LASR Anniversary: Trina Lane – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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Summer is a season that should be exploited for hours of fun in the sun. Long days. Endless blue skies. And for those of us who are children at heart the chance to revel in all kinds of activities that make us remember a more innocent time in our lives. Summer activities are different for everyone depending on how you grew-up, where you live, and what your interests are. For me some of my favorite summer activities are sitting in a crowded stadium and cheering on my home team with a hotdog in one hand and a scorecard in another. The chance to float down a river in a giant raft with friends and family while occasionally instigating a water fight. Strictly for protecting the ones I love from suffering a heat stroke of course. Hours spent screaming on roller coasters and trying to win giant teddy bears. Exploring mountain trails while climbing over boulders the size of elephants. Relaxing at a campsite, watching flames flicker and hearing logs crack as fireflies perform nature’s ballet. Having a barbeque in a park while kids run around chasing each other with dripping ice cream cones and sitting under a night sky as it comes alive with brilliant explosions of colored lights. These of course are only a handful of possibilities!

There’s more to summer than thrilling activities though. Summer is a time when we can reevaluate our lives. It’s the perfect time of year to ask ourselves are we being the best son/daughter, husband/wife/partner, colleague, human being we can be. If the answer is no then it begs the follow-up question as to why and what can we do to fix that? Half the year has passed and maybe those resolutions we set for ourselves on January 1st have proven to be more of a challenge than we anticipated, or maybe we’ve met those goals and are ready for even more challenging ones. Set new goals. Continue to grow. Don’t let the craziness of the season’s adventures consume you to the point of forgetting to look inward too.

Finally, I look at summer as a chance to enjoy and explore new love. Every one of you reading this has probably sung along to Grease’s Summer Nights at least once in their lifetime. And if you say no then you’ve been forced to listen to someone else at the top of their lungs. Cheesy classic musicals aside though, summer is the perfect chance to find a new lover, a bit of excitement, or discover something new about the person you already share your life with. I challenge you to at least once a day this summer look for someway to celebrate love because life without love is not living at all.

Have A Great Summer!
Trina Lane

trina sealingfate_800 (2)After a chance encounter in a crowded St. Louis nightclub, anthropologist Dr Kat Martin is swept into the arms and the dangerous life of Navy SEAL Lieutenant Commander Jace Hudson. However, their hearts aren’t the only things in danger of being taken prisoner.

Jace’s missions are compromised, and Kat finds herself becoming the obsession of a stalker. Only a team of America’s bravest will travel from the American Midwest to the steamy jungles of Central America to discover the person responsible. Failure is not an option as Jace refuses to allow the fates that brought him and Kat together to rip them apart forever.

About the Author:If you look up the word conundrum in the dictionary, there should be a photo of Trina. Her personality is so multifaceted that her friends have spent countless hours scratching their heads in wonder. A scientist with a passion for history, music and photography she loves to travel and experience new places but is terminally shy around people she doesn’t know.

Trina has been devouring romance novels since her tender teenage years, although only began writing in 2007. When her debut novel was met with resounding success, she said ?Hey I can do that again?. The rest as they say is history.

Her choices in reading and writing material are as diverse as her iTunes library, which contains music from Mozart to Metallica. Her one concession is all stories must have a happily ever after ending-did we mention she’s incurably romantic?

She lives in Missouri with her loving and indulgent husband, a brilliant toddler who is going to rule the world someday, and an orange tabby cat affectionately referred to as ‘Houdini’ for his stealthy escape attempts.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter

Buy the book at Totally Bound.

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Profile of Terror by Alexa Grace – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Alexa will be awarding a signed copy of PROFILE OF TERROR with a $25 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. (US ONLY for book/ International for GC)

MEDIA KIT profileofterror_400x600A missing coed named Abby Reece.

Two clever thrill killers are committing the most brutal, public, and horrifying abductions and murders in the county’s history. The killers, known as the Gamers, have done this before, and are now upping their evil game to a new level. The question is — can they be stopped before they kill again?

Things get complicated.

When an ex-girlfriend goes missing, Private Investigator Gabe Chase is obsessed with finding her. But once her naked and posed body is discovered, the investigator becomes the investigated. His passion for the victim’s beautiful sister is a complication he doesn’t need, as he helps solve the county’s most baffling, terrifying murder cases ever.

Add a sociopathic serial killer who calls himself the Master.

A serial killer so deadly, the FBI’s behavioral analysts want to know when and why he began killing, as well as the identification and location of additional victims. He will speak only to former federal agent, Carly Stone, a woman he blames for his capture. When the profiler finds herself at the mercy of this ruthless killer, his becomes the most terrifying profile of all.

Profile of Terror

Three chilling villains, two passionate love stories, and pulse-racing suspense with startling plot twists keep readers on the edge of their seats from page one of this heart-pounding and unforgettable romantic suspense.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Sipping her coffee, Kaitlyn let her eyes move over him. His jet-black hair curled over his ears and the collar of his white shirt. Long and lean, with broad shoulders and a wide chest, he was handsome as the devil, with a few days growth on his sculpted jaw. And why he seemed familiar to her was a mystery.

It was the muscles rippling under his white shirt that quickened her pulse as he leaned across the desk, dangerously close to her. Kaitlyn decided Gabe Chase was too good-looking for his own good. No, she corrected herself, he was drop-dead gorgeous. That her sister dated him was no surprise. To Abby, a man like Gabe would be another notch on her bedpost until she tired of him and threw him away like an old toy.

If that was what happened, she empathized with him. She knew from personal experience that getting dumped was no picnic.

“I’m not surprised Abby didn’t tell you she had a sister,” Kaitlyn said softly.

“Why is that?”

“We aren’t close by any stretch of the imagination. Abby and I have polar-opposite personalities. I’m the responsible, older daughter who has life goals, and Abby is the younger wild-child who’s been giving my mother ulcers since she was fourteen-years-old. If our father had stuck around, I’m sure she would have driven him to distraction, too.”

“How did you find me, Kaitlyn?” Gabe asked, with a long, searching look.

“After you left the apartment yesterday, I watched you talk with Abby’s landlady. Once you left, I had a talk with Dr. Ramsey myself. She told me who you were and gave me your business card. Later in the evening, I parked outside your building. I saw you pull up in your truck. So I waited until you entered the building, opened your office blinds, and turned on the lights. Then I slipped into the lobby to check the mailboxes — Gabriel Chase, Private Investigations, Suite 201.”

“That doesn’t explain how you got in my locked office.”

Kaitlyn shot him a sly, secretive smile and said, “I have my ways.”

“Besides accusing me of breaking and entering, why are you here?” he asked sarcastically, wanting to put all the pieces together.

“I want to hire you to find Abby.” Kaitlyn raised her eyes to his expectantly.

About the Author: MEDIA KIT Author photoUSA Today Bestselling Author, Alexa Grace’s journey started in March 2011 when the Sr. Director of Training & Development position she’d held for thirteen years was eliminated. A door closed but another one opened. She finally had the time to pursue her childhood dream of writing books. Her focus is now on writing riveting romantic suspense novels.

Author Alexa Grace is consistently listed in top twenty of Amazon’s Top 100 Most Popular Authors in the categories Romantic Suspense and Police Procedural. She was named one of the top 100 Indie authors by Kindle Review. A chapter is devoted to her in the book Interviews with Indie Authors by C. Ridgway and T. Ridgway.

She became a USA TODAY Best Selling Author for her participation in THE PERFECT TEN book set.

Her books Deadly Offerings, Deadly Deception, and Deadly Relations have consistently been listed in Amazon’s Top 100 Bestselling Romantic Suspense and Police Procedural Books. Deadly Deception, Deadly Relations and Deadly Holiday have ranked #1 in the top… Read More

Alexa Grace began her writing journey in March 2011 when the Sr. Director of Training & Development position she’d held for thirteen years was eliminated. A door closed but another one opened. She finally had the time to pursue her childhood dream of writing books. Her focus is now on writing riveting romantic suspense novels.

Alexa Grace is consistently listed in top twenty of Amazon’s Top 100 Most Popular Authors in the categories Romantic Suspense and Police Procedural. In 2013, she was named one of the top 100 Indie authors by Kindle Review. A chapter is devoted to her in the book Interviews with Indie Authors by C. Ridgway and T. Ridgway.

Her books Deadly Offerings, Deadly Deception, and Deadly Relations are listed in e-retailer’s Top 100 Bestselling Romantic Suspense and Police Procedural Books. Deadly Offerings has not left the top ten bestselling free mystery romance and police procedural books since 2011.

Deadly Holiday, published in November 2012, is her holiday-themed romantic suspense novella, featuring all her Deadly Trilogy characters.

Alexa Grace’s book Deadly Relations is included in the bestselling book set The Perfect Ten along with Dianna Love, Norah Wilson, Nancy Naigle, Andrienne Giordano, Misty Evans, Sandy Blair, Mary Buckham, Tonya Kappes and Micah Caipa.

Profile of Evil, the first book of the Profile Series was published in May 2013. Profile of Terror was released in May 2014 and Profile of Fear will be released in 2015.

Earning two degrees from Indiana State University, Alexa currently lives in Florida. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

Her writing support team includes five Miniature Schnauzers, three of which are rescues. As a writer, she is fueled by Starbucks lattes, chocolate and emails from readers.

You can visit her website.

Subscribe to her newsletter.

Friend her on Facebook

Tweet her – @AlexaGrace2

Buy the book at Amazon U.S., Amazon UK , Amazon CA , Amazon AU , or Barnes and Noble.

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Science Fiction and Fantasy—What is the Appeal? By Ron Hartman

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Ron will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter. Click on the banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Science Fiction and Fantasy—What is the Appeal?
By Ron Hartman
I love fantasy. I like a good science fiction story too, but to me there is nothing quite like a well-written fantasy novel. To me the appeal for both sci-fi and fantasy should be obvious: it’s that ANYHTING can happen! You could see starships, sorcerers, aliens, vampires, wormholes, black holes, teleportation, or dragons. With fantasy and sci-fi, there are no holds barred. They offer the promise of something amazing happening.

Yes, some people look down their noses at these two genres. They say sci-fi and fantasy aren’t mature, that they’re the bottom rung of literature. I disagree. I think these genres are the epitome of literature. They look at man, not how he is, but how he should be. They look beyond the petty differences we obsess about today and show us vastly more interesting…well, petty differences we could one day strive for!

But seriously, when fantasy and science fiction are presented at their best, they don’t focus on the differences of mankind, they focus on the similarities that bind us all together. They open our eyes to new possibilities and motivate us to strive for a greater version of ourselves. You know it’s out there somewhere, waiting beyond the stars or in a monster’s lair.

One galaxy is not enough to contain all of humanity. Hell, one continuum is barely enough! Sci-fi and fantasy give us the promise. There will be hardship. There will be pain, and sometimes there’ll be humor, but through it all we will persevere. We will rise above a current world where humanity is bogged down by racial and religious intolerance. We will unite for the greater good.

In a word, fantasy and science fiction offer the purest form of escapism. In this strange world we inhabit, most of us are looking for a couple hours of release. We want to lose ourselves in something amazing, where our hopes and dreams can flourish. Just look at the success of superhero movies these days. Did anyone go watch Guardians of the Galaxy? Did you go because you wanted to hear how Abraham Lincoln passed the Emancipation of slaves, or did you go to escape for a couple hours?

Sure, you could escape into a good western, or a steamy romance novel. Will there be something amazing there? With sci-fi and fantasy you can get the same story, but there will be something along the way that will open your mind. It will expose you to new ideas, concepts, and people you’d never expected. And if you’re lucky, if you strap into the starship and ride all the way in hyper-drive, you just might learn something about yourself. You just might find that better version of you just waiting beyond the rainbow.

As I said, my favorite is fantasy. So come, escape with me. I’ll weave you a tale about sacrifice and destiny. I’ll tell you about magic, and dragons, foretold saviors, and vampires. It’ll be a fantastic voyage, and I promise you, something amazing will happen on the way.

Daniel Marten crossed the Burning Sea and convinced himself that he is the Prophesied One. But what does that mean? In this second installment of the Prophecy Chronicles trilogy, Daniel forges new alliances in his bid to save Naphthali from the Emperor. He meets the Tene’breon, a magical race that has evolved to use the Weave as effortlessly as he breathes air. The leaders of this race recognize him for what he is…but they also see something more.

Naphthali has been dramatically altered by the rule of a new governor, a man whose power is tied to Daniel in a horrifying way. How far will Daniel go to save Naphthali? And what is the secret that binds his destiny with his new allies? Only time will tell in The Prophecy Chronicles: Prophecy Revealed.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Rage started to build inside Daniel. He closed his right hand into a tight fist and felt a dull ache that quickly gave way to burning pain. Of course that was alright too, because that was as it should be. He looked back to his desk and there, on the now cluttered surface was—Ah! His solace. The ones he turned to at his darkest moments. Ashley and the kids beamed at him from photos.

He turned to the thing doing a poor job of mimicking one of his closest friends. Her eyes flashed orange and she gave off a series of clicks as realization struck. She may be orchestrating this, but it’s my mind, and I can control what happens. He looked at the pictures of his beloved family and considered his office, his refuge. She’d perverted it, desecrated it. Rage continued to build, and Daniel knew soon he would be powerless to stop it. Let it. He didn’t want to stop. Still looking at the photos, he started to speak, his voice shaking with fury. “These are my family, my friends. I give them my time, and my care.” He turned to not-Meg. “You are not one of them, and you will have no more.” The last came out in a roar as he closed the distance between himself and his tormentor.

He opened his right fist and clamped it around not-Meg’s throat, slamming her to the wall. The burning grew to encase his entire arm when he tightened his grip, but he refused to let go. He pulled his face to within inches of hers, and glared with suddenly steely eyes. “Who are you?” he growled.

About the Author: Author Bio: Ron Hartman has had a life-long passion for the written word and is an avid reader. The Prophecy Chronicles are his first written works. The first in the series, Prophecy Foretold, was released in October of 2012. Prophecy Revealed is the second in the trilogy. Ron graduated from the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy in 2000 and lives in Ottumwa, Iowa with his wife and three children.

Website link: www.prophecychronicles.com

Purchase link at Rogue Phoenix Press

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Operation Paris by Misty Evans – Spotlight and Giveaway

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8_21 giveaway OS Book CoverThis post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the author to announce the release of Operation Paris, the second book in the Super Agents series. This book was originally released under the title of I’d Rather Be in Paris. Leave a comment or ask the author a question for a chance to win a digital copy of Operation Sheba, the first book in the series.

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CIA operative Zara Morgan—codename Tango—has a reputation in Conrad Flynn’s secret army as a renegade. Once held at gunpoint by terrorist Alexandrov Dmitri, she was seconds from saving herself and arresting Dmitri when Lt. Commander Lawson Vaughn, the sexy leader of a covert ops team, intervened. She’s never lived down the fact that everyone—including her boss—believes Lawson is her knight in shining armor.

Former Navy man Lawson Vaughn doesn’t consider himself anyone’s savior. He lives and breathes protocol and hates the fact that his latest assignment is to babysit Zara while she hunts down Dmitri and stops the terrorist from releasing a biological weapon on the world.

But from the time they touch down in Paris, Lawson can’t resist Zara’s sassy attitude and dauntless bravery in the face of danger. When Dmitri kidnaps Zara and injects her with the contagious and deadly virus, Lawson is once again forced to come to her rescue, whether she likes it or not.

With unflinching determination and steadfast courage, Lawson must break all the rules to save Zara, even if it means becoming the one thing he can’t stand…a renegade.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“What are you so pissed about?”

“I’m not pissed!” As Zara’s voice rang inside the car, she forced herself to take a deep breath and calm down.
“I’m just having a really, really bad night.”

Lawson got out of the car and came over to her side. He opened the door and pulled her out of the seat, putting his hands on her shoulders. “I’m not going to let anything happen to you. I promise.”

She looked into his face, and without warning, burst into tears.

Mortified at her lack of control, she brushed Lawson’s hands off her shoulders and walked to the rear of the car. The tears rolled down her cheeks, and she pressed the sleeve of the robe to her face in an attempt to hide them.

“Hey.” He came up behind her and rubbed her back. “It’s not that bad. I’ve been in a lot tighter situations than this.”

She shrugged his hand off. “You just killed two people and you think I’m overreacting?”

Lights from a passing car touched his face. He guided her to the other side of the Audi and leaned her back against the passenger-side door, planting his hands on either side of her.

“I didn’t say you were overreacting.” He dropped his face close to hers. “Yvette was going to kill you, plain and simple. I took care of her before she could do the job. At that point, it became necessary to stop Giovanni as well. If I’d left him alive, he could have followed us or reported back to Yvette’s friends and then we’d have a classic Chinese goatfuck.”

His gaze traced over her face. “Right now, we’ve dodged the police and whoever may follow up on Yvette’s death. We need to get on the road again before we call any more attention to ourselves, and I need to make contact with Langley.”

Zara wiped at her eyes again, took a breath and regrouped. As she was driving, her brain had red-flagged a couple things Yvette had said. “I think Yvette was tied in with the same group Varina Scalfaro is running for the Mafia. She kept talking about her clients and her business partner. I don’t think Yvette’s playing mistress for a handful of rich men solely for her own gain. I think she was actually running a prostitution ring in partnership with someone else, probably Varina.” She hated herself for what she was about to say. “And in that case, I’m not sure what Director Flynn has up his sleeve.”

In the deep shadows of the night, Lawson nodded. “We just ran out of people we can trust, didn’t we?”
“What are we going to do?”

Lawson eased her to him. “Shhh. Don’t cry.”

“I’m not crying, you moron.” She smacked his chest and attempted to push him away at the same time. Although she wasn’t sure why she was pushing him away. She felt better when he was close. “I had dinner all planned out. We were going to go someplace nice, but not too fancy, because I knew you wouldn’t like that, and…and… Damn it!”

Lawson smiled down at her. “So we have to take a rain check on the dinner thing. The mission isn’t over yet. We’ve still got time.”

“But I wanted to do it in Paris, and now we’re fugitives on the run from there. We can’t go back. Not even for dinner.”

He pushed a stray hair away from her face and hooked it behind her ear. “When the mission is over, our names will be cleared. We’ll have a proper dinner anywhere you want then, okay?”

She studied his expression in the dark shadows of the night. “If I didn’t know better, I’d say you’re trying to placate me. After the mission is over, we won’t be partners anymore.”

“That doesn’t mean we can’t have dinner.”

Her pulse tripped over a couple of beats. “You want to have dinner with me after the assignment is over?”
He lowered his face and leaned his forehead on hers. “Jesus. I’ve spent the past twenty-four hours trying to come up with an excuse to do just that.”

“We don’t even like each other.”

He brushed her lips with his in response.

A jolt of electricity shot all the way down to her toes. This could not be happening. “You are bent, Lawson Vaughn,” she said, smacking his chest again.

“Then we make a good pair.”

This time, his lips were more insistent against hers, demanding and possessive. Zara closed her eyes and kissed him back. One of his hands went to the small of her back, and he drew her in close to his body, pressing her against the car frame and sinking his other hand into her hair.

He held her head as he parted her lips with the tip of his tongue, and she let go of the last of her hesitation and ahhed into his mouth. She ran her hands under his jacket, and the solid muscles of his back tightened under her palms. Rising up on her toes, she pulled their bodies even closer.

She wanted to forget about Yvette and Giovanni. She wanted to forget about being on the run from the police and whoever Yvette worked for. She wanted to forget she and Lawson were running out of people to trust.

At that moment, in the darkness of the French countryside, she wanted to forget all of it, to give up control and forget about everything except the tough, sexy man holding her close.

About the Author: 8_21 Misty Evans PhotoUSA Today bestselling Author Misty Evans has published over twenty novels and writes romantic suspense, urban fantasy, and paranormal romance. As a writing coach, she helps other authors bring their books – and their dreams of being published – to life.

The books in her Super Agent series have won a CataNetwork Reviewers’ Choice Award, CAPA nominations, the New England Reader’s Choice Bean Pot Award for Best Romantic Suspense in 2010 and the ACRA Heart of Excellence Reader’s Choice Award for Best Romantic Suspense in 2011.

Her Witches Anonymous series was dubbed a Fallen Angel Reviews Recommended Read. The Super Agent Series, Witches Anonymous Series, and the Kali Sweet Series have been on multiple Amazon Kindle bestsellers lists. Her culinary romantic mystery, THE SECRET INGREDIENT, and the first book in her Deadly series, DEADLY PURSUIT, are both USA TODAY bestsellers.

Misty likes her coffee black, her conspiracy stories juicy, and her wicked characters dressed in couture. When not reading or writing, she enjoys music, movies, and hanging out with her husband, twin sons, and two spoiled puppies.

Connect with Misty: Website / Newsletter / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Pinterest

Buy Operation Paris at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

August 18, 2014

The Book Review
Cricket’s Chirps
So Many Reads
SOS Aloha

August 19, 2014

A Closet Full Of Books
Amy Manemann
Happiness Is A Book

August 20, 2014

Becky on Books…and Quilts
Omnimystery News
Reading on the Rocks

August 21, 2014

Long and Short Reviews
Ramblings From This Chick
Romancing Rakes…
What I’m Reading
Sun Mountain Reviews

August 22, 2014

Em & M Books
Just The Write Stuff
Romance Junkies

How Much Is Too Much by Liz Crowe – Guest Blog and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Liz will be awarding a $50 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

How Much Is Too Much?

Like many authors who count themselves among the “erotic romance” fold, I have fairly specific tastes when it comes to reading in my own genre. Given the limited amount of time I have to do things like “read” now that I’m branching out into self publishing and trying to find an agent at the same time I’m even pickier about it.

I have discovered that I’ve undergone a bit of an evolution with regard to sex in books both as a reader and writer. I’ve always claimed that “unless it moves the story along I don’t include it” in my books, and if I hit yet another cunnilingus moment for a couple in a book I’m reading that has nothing to do with anything but describing the act I will set it aside. And I stand by that. But when I go back and re-read some of my early stuff (yes I do that, mainly to see how I’ve progressed, technically) I sometimes wince and wish I had the opportunity to go back and fix things, including that egregiously unnecessary sex scene (or five).

I’ve been told by readers and reviewers that I really do excel when it comes to “sexual tension” (the build up) and have yet to get too many complaints about my explicit descriptions of the deed itself. Now that I’m on book twenty-something I take a bit longer to ponder my original claim of “moving the story along” before diving into the sack with my characters. Eroticism resides within a reader’s imagination. Sometimes, letting you picture or hear or taste or smell a sex scene the way you want it is the hottest thing I as an author can ever do for you—that is to say, I leave it out and leave you wondering.

In ESSENCE OF TIME there is a different sort of wrinkle to consider—the fact that the story is about two men in love with each other requires me to describe “that” sex act, which for some is challenging to accept. In order to make the attraction between Blake and Rob believable, I wanted to establish each of them as individuals, with emotions, desires and needs that were both physical and otherwise. They also have things in their past that set them apart—old secrets and breakups that keep them from connecting emotionally. Until they meet each other.

The fact that both men are entirely comfortable in their bisexuality was a plot point I made on purpose. I did not want this novel to be about them coming to terms with wanting to have sex with a man. They both already know that. It’s more about moving from the sex into something more. And for me as a reader there is nothing more “erotic” than going inside the head space of a man who is being sexually satisfied while coming to terms with the fact that he wants more from the person who is satisfying him.

I have gained many new fans from this book. It’s a “stand alone novel” within the “Stewart Realty series” story arc. It can easily be read without having read books 1-3 (Floor Time/ Sweat Equity/ Closing Costs) although that would give you a better sense of why the relationship between Rob’s best friend Jack and Blake’s sister Sara is so fraught for everyone concerned.

But that is merely backdrop for Essence of Time. Many of my new fans state that they have never read, nor would they ever consider reading, a book “like” this one (about men in love with each other) but all of them claim that it was so well characterized that it didn’t feel like a gay love story. Just like…a “love story.”

I hope you get a chance to read it soon!

A “take life by the throat” philosophy has always served Rob well. It keeps him focused, forcing emotions and potential relationships to take a back seat to his aspirations. But once every obstacle has been conquered and he’s achieved his goal—executive chef at a famous Chicago restaurant—he must acknowledge that he has reached his mid-thirties very much alone.

Blake has just jettisoned his dream job—head of a fast-growing craft microbrewery—to escape from the woman who shattered his soul. Arriving at a Chicago beer festival prepared to drown his sorrows before moving on he is miserable and numb.

Fate throws the men together altering their respective worlds forever.

Once Rob reveals the personal demon that has haunted him for years, Blake allows himself to fully trust again, and admits he wants a child. But a mutual attraction evolves out of a business arrangement with the woman hired as their surrogate, which has the potential to destroy an already delicate status quo.

But time is of the essence, and becomes the one luxury they don’t have.

An honest depiction of a modern relationship mosaic reminding us to treasure every single moment we are allowed to love and be loved.

About the Author:

Amazon best-selling author, beer blogger and beer marketing expert, mom of three, and soccer fan, Liz Crowe lives Ann Arbor. She has decades of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as a three-continent, ex-pat trailing spouse.

Her early forays into the publishing world led to a groundbreaking fiction subgenre, “Romance for Real Life,” which has gained thousands of fans and followers interested less in the “HEA” and more in the “WHA” (“What Happens After?”). More recently she is garnering even more fans across genres with her latest novels, which are more character-driven fiction, while remaining very much “real life.”

With stories set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, in successful real estate offices and at times in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, her books are unique and told with a fresh voice. The Liz Crowe backlist has something for any reader seeking complex storylines with humor and complete casts of characters that will delight, frustrate and linger in the imagination long after the book is finished.

Website ~ Blog ~ Facebook ~ Facebook Fan ~ Twitter ~ Amazon

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Lessons I Learned From My Characters by A.J. DeWall – Guest Blog and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $25 Barnes & Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. A free download of an Interlude Press eBook title or an author/book swag pack (US ONLY) will be awarded to one randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter at each stop during the tour. Click the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Lessons I learned from my characters

When I started writing Forever Man, it was a story about two old friends who have been in love with each other for years, but never had the courage to tell each other. They’ve settled into their lives, accepting the fact that they will never be together, when they meet by chance in Santa Fe and suddenly those feelings rise to the surface. In this odd little romantic city, they very quickly realize their love and attraction for each other is like a force of nature.

Forever Man was supposed to be a love story, but it’s so much more. As I edited the novel, I came to realize that the love Ren and Cole had denied themselves for so many years prevented them from living a truly fulfilled, vibrant life. They both made compromises, and generally settled into a muted version of the life they knew in their hearts they were meant to live. They both stopped doing the things they loved most. They stopped dreaming. Even though they were both successful, it was as if they lived on the periphery of their own lives.

Ren tries to build an amazing life for himself without Cole. I applied his decision of the heart to my decisions about career, and ultimately came to the decision that no amount of success is worth it if you’re not doing the thing you’re supposed to do. I’ve had a successful career as a ghostwriter, but it’s just work. It’s soulless. Writing the story of Ren and Cole brought me so much joy, and even though it’s scary to give up something that works, to give up a career other people would like to have—just as people look up to Ren’s relationship with his powerful fiancé, Paul—it’s the right thing to do.

Cole, on the other hand, doesn’t try very hard to find a substitute love, even though he has boyfriends. He won’t say ‘yes’ to life—he even turns down a record contract. From Cole I learned that at some point you have to show up for your life, and take a chance.

I’ve heard from people who read Forever Man in early stages that the story inspired them to take up writing, or start writing, or try something else they were afraid to try. I certainly have made big changes after writing his book—all inspired by Ren and Cole.

A bond forged in Catholic school, an unspoken attraction that outlasts years of separation and other relationships.

Ren and Cole never acted on that thing that always bubbled beneath the surface of their friendship, not until a chance encounter in a Santa Fe bar and a song that would tip the scales forced them to confront their feelings. Will the influence of a music superstar, a New York socialite and a mystical property manager finally bring them together, or will a history of missed opportunities, their own fears and an impending wedding keep them apart? Can they just have one night, and then walk away?

Forever Man is a story of the consequences of the choices we make, and how the courage to change can last a lifetime.

Here’s an excerpt:

Ren turns to see Cole standing not five feet away, a bit out of breath.

“Did you mean it?” Ren asks.

“Yes.”

“You’re in love with me?”

“Yes.”

Ren doubles over again, trying to catch his breath. Cole crosses to him, rubbing his back but saying nothing. After a moment, Ren straightens out and asks, “How long?”

“I want us to be together—”

“No. How long have you been in love with me?”

The answer to this one question is all Ren needs to know. Because this man, this friend, this lover of his has always given in to whims and drama and intensity, and Ren has to be sure that he is not that. He has to be sure that this is not new.

Cole steps into Ren’s space, tilts his chin up and kisses him. The kiss is firm, an answer, a promise.

“I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t in love with you.”

About the Author: A professional writer for more than 20 years, A.J. DeWall began her career as a playwright. She is the ghostwriter behind dozens of nonfiction books, including several award-winning bestsellers. As a writer of fan fiction, her online titles have hundreds of thousands of reads. Forever Man is her first novel. She lives in New York with her wife and son.

Website ~ Twitter

Buy the book at Interlude Press

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Teaser Tour: My Highland Spy by Victoria Roberts – Excerpt and Giveaway

8_21 VictoriaRoberts-BlogBadge4It’s wonderful to be here today at LASR, the fourth stop on the My Highland Spy Teaser Tour!

My Highland Spy is the first book in my new Highland Spies’ series, and I hope you enjoy the story as much as I enjoyed writing it. We left off yesterday meeting Ravenna’s tenacious younger siblings.

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpt Four/Chapter One:

“Uncle Walter, what a pleasant surprise. I’m so glad you’re here with us on such a lovely morn,” said Ravenna, pulling out her chair.

He swallowed his oatmeal and smiled. “I have to meet with His Majesty later this morn and I thought to pay you girls a visit.”

Lord Walter Mildmay, her mother’s brother, had been appointed the Walsingham family’s guardian, but their situation was more pretense than anything. Uncle Walter had his own estate and family, while he permitted Ravenna and her sisters to stay under their own roof. At twenty-five years old, Ravenna handled all the accounts, managed the servants, and had served as a mother figure to the girls since the deaths of their parents.

Uncle Walter, with his dark hair and tanned skin, was the complete opposite of Ravenna’s fair-skinned mother. No one would ever think they were of the same relation, especially because his hair was as black as night. Ravenna always thought the man looked like a bloody pirate.

Ravenna’s father, Lord Francis Walsingham, had been Queen Elizabeth’s principal secretary until his death. Little did anyone know that her sire had also been the queen’s spy. Given that Ravenna’s father had handled all of the royal correspondence and had determined the agenda of the council meetings, he had been a very influential man in his time, which fortunately now worked in Ravenna’s favor.

In short, she was a spy for King James and the Crown, the same as her father had been under Queen Elizabeth’s reign. When Ravenna was old enough to show an interest in political matters, her father had educated and conditioned her to one day take his place. She lived in a man’s world, but that’s why she was so proficient at doing what she did—a mere woman was the last thing anyone would expect. Her family meant everything to her, and she was deter¬mined to keep her siblings sheltered and protected for as long as possible.

Especially from unsavory establishments like the one last eve.

After everyone finished their meal and polite conversation, Ravenna and Uncle Walter excused themselves and met behind the closed doors of her father’s study. With the dark wooden furnishings, the large desk, and her father’s books lining the wall, the room always reminded Ravenna of her father. At times, she could swear she even smelled his scent, almost as if he wanted her to know that he still watched over her.

“What did you find out?” asked Uncle Walter, tapping his fingers on the desk.

Ravenna sat in her father’s chair. “I followed Lord Cobham into the Devil’s Tavern. The man he met with was Charles Paget. I thought he was still in Paris.”

Her uncle sat forward, his eyes narrowing. “I suppose it should come as no surprise. His Majesty gave Paget back his manor of Weston-on-Trent and his other homes in Derbyshire, but we’ll be sure to keep an eye on him. As usual, I’ll pass along the information to the king’s advisors. You did well, Ravenna.”

“Grace is questioning my sudden disappearances, and I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to keep the truth from her.”

“You know as well as I do that it’s better she doesn’t know what you do. Perhaps we should start thinking about arranging a marriage for her.”

Ravenna rubbed her fingers over the bridge of her nose. “I really want to give her some time. She doesn’t show an interest in anyone at the moment, and I’m not quite ready to force her into a marriage.” She paused. “Let me think about it.”

He bobbed his head. “There is another assignment from His Majesty.”

“So soon? I just completed this one.” She sat forward, frowning. “What is it this time?”

Sourcebooks will give away one copy of My Highland Spy to a lucky commenter (US and Canada only, please.) Did you ever spy on anyone as a child?

8_21 highland spyThis Highland Laird won’t bow to the Crown

Laird Ruairi Sutherland refuses to send his only son away to be educated by the English. And he most definitely will not appear in Edinburgh to pay homage to a liege who has no respect for Scotland. So he does what any laird would do—he lies to the king. The last thing Ruairi expects is a beautiful English governess to appear on his doorstep.

But this lady spy might make him…

Lady Ravenna Walsingham is a seasoned spy who is sent to the savage Highlands to uncover a nefarious plot against the Crown. Playing the part of an English governess—a job easier said than done—she infiltrates the home of Laird Sutherland, a suspected conspirator.

If she doesn’t betray him first

Ravenna soon discovers that the only real threat Sutherland poses is to her heart. But will the proud Highland laird ever forgive her when he discovers the woman he loves in an English spy?

“An exciting Highland tale of intrigue, betrayal, and love.”

—Hannah Howell, New York Times bestselling author of Highland Master

“Roberts’ newest features a surprise-laden, quick-paced plot, replete with unconventional and fiercely independent characters. Her lyrical prose grabs readers’ attention, and the high level of emotional tension simply adds to the depth of the story. This book begs to be read and reread.”

—RT Book Reviews

About the Author: 8_21 victoria

Victoria Roberts writes sexy, award-winning Scottish historical romances about kilted heroes and warriors from the past. Prior to ever picking up a single romance novel, she penned her first young adult novella at 16 years old. Who knew her leather-studded motorcycle hero would trade in his ride and emerge as a kilt wearing Highlander wielding a broadsword? Victoria lives with her husband and their two beautiful children in western Pennsylvania. Visit her at www.victoriarobertsauthor.com.

Website: http://victoriarobertsauthor.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/victoria.roberts.395

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5763317.Victoria_Roberts

Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | IndieBound | !indigo | iBooks

 

 

8_21 victoria My Highland Spy - Promo Image

Lady Beauchamp’s Proposal by Amy Rose Bennett – spotlight and giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via the rafflecopter at the end of this post during the tour. Click on the banner to visit other stops on this tour.

A runaway countess finds love when she least expects it…but she can’t hide from her past forever.

Elizabeth, Lady Beauchamp, fears for her life. When she discovers her dissolute and long-estranged husband has syphilis—and he wants to beget an heir no matter the cost—she flees to a remote part of Scotland to begin a new life as the widowed governess, Mrs. Beth Eliott at Eilean Tor Castle.

When Mrs. Eliott unexpectedly arrives on his doorstep, the reclusive and recently widowed Marquess of Rothsburgh is both irritated and intrigued. No longer in need of a governess—his young daughter now resides with his sister’s family in Edinburgh—he proposes the beautiful widow fill a position of a different kind…

Torn between staying true to her marriage vows and her wanton attraction to the devilishly handsome marquess, Elizabeth struggles against the temptation to become his mistress. But living a lie is not easy when you have fallen in love. And secrets always have a way of coming out…

Enjoy an excerpt:

Set-up: Elizabeth, Lady Beauchamp—after leaving her husband and now in disguise as the widowed governess, Mrs. Eliott—arrives at Eilean Tor Castle, where she hopes to gain employment within the household of James Huntly, the Marquess of Rothsburgh.

At last, she heard the unmistakable sound of bolts being pulled back, and then the door was thrown wide. A bright lantern was thrust toward her face, blinding her. She raised a hand to her eyes in a futile attempt to shield them and squinted upwards. An extremely tall man was holding the lantern aloft; she could discern little else about him as the intense light in her eyes obscured her vision.

“What do you want, woman?” The man’s voice was a low growl.

Elizabeth drew a deep breath and summoned her most imperious voice. She had come so far and she would not be cowed by an obnoxious servant. “I seek an audience with Lord Rothsburgh. Is your master at home?”

“What the deuce for?”

She immediately bristled at the insolence in the man’s tone. “I’d have a care to mind your tongue, sir. And lower that lantern. You’re hurting my eyes.”

The light was immediately lowered, and Elizabeth was able to see a little more of the man who seemed to be filling up the whole doorway. He must have been at least six foot four, with black hair that fell across one eye. She also noted that he was informally dressed in a loose, white cambric shirt that was open at the neck, black breeches and boots. The marquess obviously had low standards when it came to fitting out his staff in proper livery.

“Well, aren’t you going to invite me in?” she demanded.

The man—she assumed he was some sort of sloppy butler or footman—let out a snort of laughter. “What on earth for?”

She scowled and drew herself up, raising her chin. She would not be laughed at by the hired help. “I understand there is a vacancy for a governess. I’ve come to offer my services to Lord Rothsburgh.”

“Have you indeed?” There was still an annoying undercurrent of laughter in the man’s voice. Nevertheless, he stepped aside and made a grand sweeping gesture with his free hand. “Then by all means, come in.”

Elizabeth picked up her skirts and started to step forward when the toe of her boot caught on an unevenly laid flagstone on the threshold. With an unlady-like squeal she pitched forward toward the floor—until she was deftly caught about the waist by the vulgar butler. With a gasp of half-shock, half-embarrassment she found her midriff was bent across his muscular forearm, whilst her side was crushed roughly against his wide chest. One of her hands had involuntarily fisted into the linen sleeve of his shirt where underneath she could detect the bulk of a sizeable, iron-hard bicep.

The scent of the man flooded her senses; warm male, whisky and the tantalizing scent of exotically rich soap; it reminded her of sandalwood, leather and a spicy note she couldn’t quite place—perhaps it was cloves. She took all of this in within the instant that she was suspended above the floor before the man righted her. She took a step away, her cheeks flaming. “I’m so sorry, sir. How clumsy of me. And I’ve made you all wet…Mr.…”

The man’s arm lingered across her waist. Perhaps he thought she would fall again. She noticed he had dark eyes; his gaze travelled over her face, studying her. She must look a sight.

“James,” he said, his eyes holding hers. In the dim light she couldn’t work out if they were dark brown or black.

Amy Rose Bennett has always wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember. An avid reader with a particular love for historical romance, it seemed only natural to write stories in her favorite genre. She has a passion for creating emotion-packed—and sometimes a little racy—stories set in the Georgian and Regency periods. Of course, her strong-willed heroines and rakish heroes always find their happily ever after.

As an unpublished author, Amy has been a finalist in contests in both Romance Writers of Australia and Romance Writers of America. In 2013 and 2014, she has achieved a place in the top three of Romance Writers of Australia’s Emerald Award, and her debut Regency romance novel—‘Lady Beauchamp’s Proposal’—was the winning entry in the historical section of two Romance Writers of America Chapter Contests in 2013—the Chicago North Fire and Ice Contest and the San Francisco Heart to Heart Contest.

Amy is happily married to her own Alpha male hero, has two beautiful daughters, a rather loopy Rhodesian Ridgeback and a Devonshire Rex cat with attitude. She is a Speech Pathologist, but is currently devoting her time to her one other true calling—writing romance.

Contact information:

Author Website: http://amyrosebennett.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amyrosebennett.author

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AmyRoseBennett

Buy Links:

Amazon US store: http://www.amazon.com/Lady-Beauchamps-Proposal-Rose-Bennett-ebook/dp/B00MMVK13G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407882672&sr=8-1&keywords=lady+beauchamp%27s+proposal

Amazon Australian store: http://www.amazon.com.au/Lady-Beauchamps-Proposal-Rose-Bennett-ebook/dp/B00MMVK13G/ref=zg_bs_2537591051_21

Amazon UK store: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lady-Beauchamps-Proposal-Rose-Bennett-ebook/dp/B00MMVK13G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407886324&sr=8-1&keywords=lady+beauchamp%27s+proposal

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/466689

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lady-beauchamps-proposal-amy-rose-bennett/1120113778?ean=2940150334076

BookStrand: http://www.bookstrand.com/lady-beauchamps-proposal

All Romance EBooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-ladybeauchamp039sproposal-1592868-340.html

Secret Cravings Publishing Store: http://store.secretcravingspublishing.com/index.php?main_page=book_info&cPath=10&products_id=925

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This Time by Trish Edmisten – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Trish be awarding a $25 Amazon or BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Seven years ago, he broke her heart. This time, the tables are turned!

Chelsea Schumacher always knew this day would come. Sooner or later, she would have to face Justin Jacobs, the guy who broke her heart when she was just seventeen years old. With his brother about to marry her best friend, that day is finally here. It’s been seven years since she last saw Justin, but time has done nothing to dull the pain of his rejection. If anything, the ache has grown worse. Determined not to let him have any power over her, and more determined not to ruin her best friend’s wedding, Chelsea makes her own vow. Things will be different this time. Or will they?

 

Enjoy an excerpt:

Their group was too large to fit into a booth at the restaurant so the hostess sat them at a round table. Chelsea’s stomach turned a little when Darren pulled Danni’s chair out for her before taking the seat next to her. Seven years obviously hadn’t done anything to diminish his devotion to her. As happy as she was for her best friend, she was again envious. Why couldn’t she find a man who would gaze down at her with such tenderness as he pulled her chair out for her?

From where they sat, Chelsea could see into the bar where the dance floor was. Music was playing, but only a few couples were dancing.

“You’re going to save me a dance, right?”

Chelsea tore her eyes from the dance floor and sucked in her breath as she turned to face Justin. How the hell did he end up sitting next to her?

“I don’t dance.”

“Don’t or won’t?”

His confident grin grated on her nerves. Just because other women had fallen victim to his intoxicating masculinity and overpowering sexiness didn’t mean she was going to do the same.

“Don’t, end of story.”

Justin leaned forward. “How can it be the end when we haven’t had the beginning?”

About the Author:

Trish Edmisten is the author of several novels, including Extraordinary Will, a Reader View’s award winner in the contemporary romance category. Her work has appeared in Writer’s Journal, A Long Story Short and Creative with Words. Besides being an author, she holds a degree in criminology. Trish lives in Fresno, California with her husband and two daughters. To learn more about Trish, visit her website www.trishedmisten.com or find her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, or her blog.

Buy the book at Barnes and Noble or Smashwords.

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Gabe Kincaid by Caroline Clemmons – Spotlight and Giveaway

8_20 BBT_GabeKincaid_Banner

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Caroline will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

8_20 Cover_GabeKincaidGabe Kincaid has reasons to hate lies and those who tell them. He moved from Austin to Kincaid Springs and joined his great uncle’s law firm. Gabe believes he’s happy and pushes aside those moments of loneliness, of wishing for more. He strongly believes in the law, in justice, and obeying rules. Doing what’s right is fulfilling, isn’t it? Then why is he so fascinated with a circus fortuneteller who spins tales faster than a cowboy whirls his lariat?

Katie Worthington poses as Dorothy Duncan in a small-time circus. If she isn’t behind the scenes mending costumes or in the circus kitchen, she’s disguised as the fortuneteller, Maharani Shimza, Mystic of the East. Even so, she worries about being killed by the men pursuing her. She fears a brawl at her fortune telling tent that sends her into the Kincaid’s protective custody will end with her exposure and death. Then, a death at the circus implicates her. How can she escape when that attorney pops up every time she turns around?

Will Gabe and Katie let the sparks between them ignite into a passionate romance or will her secrets destroy their chance at a happily ever after?

Enjoy an excerpt:

The sheriff dropped into his chair and threw his hat on his desk. “I hate the circus.” He met the woman’s glare. “Not the people in it, mind, but their appearance in town makes normal folks do crazy things.” He pointed at the three young men. “Your parents are gonna be mighty mad at you three. No madder than I am, but I hope the father of each of you busts your hide.”

He opened his desk drawer and took out paper. After dipping his pen in the inkpot, he wrote “July 16, 1888” at the top of the sheet. “Start with you, young lady. I want your name and place of residence.”

She flashed a haughty look. “I’m Maharani Shimza, Mystic of the East and fortune teller.” With a theatrical gesture, she posed with one hand in the air. “I am a gypsy queen and live with the circus people. Shall I tell your fortune, sheriff?”

He leveled a gaze at her. “If you’re a gypsy queen, I’m Queen Victoria. Real name and place of permanent residence.”

Resignation replaced her haughtiness. “I’m Dorothy Duncan from Boston, Massachusetts.”

Gabe believed she lied. She had a deep Southern accent. He’d place her in Georgia or South Carolina.

Ben wrote her information on the paper. “How long have you been with the circus?”

“Two years, almost. And I do live with the circus.”

“Nearest relative?”

Absolute fear shone from her eyes. “I’m an orphan.”

Gabe figured there was an interesting story there and one she didn’t want to share. A simple question from a sheriff shouldn’t create that kind of reaction. Interesting.

About the Author: 8_20 AuthorPic_Gabe KincaidCaroline Clemmons is an Amazon bestselling author of historical and contemporary western romances whose books have garnered numerous awards. Her latest release is GABE KINCAID, book four of her popular Kincaid series. A frequent speaker at conferences and seminars, she has taught workshops on characterization, point of view, and layering a novel.

Caroline is a member of Romance Writers of America and the Romance Writers chapters of Yellow Rose, From The Heart, and Hearts Through History. Her latest publications include the acclaimed historical Men of Stone Mountain series: BRAZOS BRIDE, HIGH STAKES BRIDE, and BLUEBONNET BRIDE and the audio books of BRAZOS BRIDE and HIGH STAKES BRIDE.

Caroline and her husband live in the heart of Texas cowboy country with their menagerie of rescued pets. Prior to writing full time, her jobs included stay-at-home mom (her favorite), secretary, newspaper reporter and featured columnist, assistant to the managing editor of a psychology journal, bookkeeper for the local tax assessor and—for a short and fun time—an antique dealer. When she’s not indulging her passion for writing, Caroline enjoys reading, travel, antiquing, genealogy, painting, and getting together with family and friends.

Find her on her blog: http://carolineclemmons.blogspot.com/

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