Holiday Blitz and Giveaway: Terry Spear, Carolyn Brown and Grace Burrowes

Welcome to a Holiday Blitz featuring Christmas stories from Terry Spear, Carolyn Brown, and Grace Burrowes. Enter the Rafflecopter to win an iPad Mini.

10_21 A Highland Wolf ChristmasA Highland Wolf Christmas by Terry Spear

Summary

It’s going to take a lot of mistletoe…

Guthrie MacNeill, financial advisor for his clan and werewolf pack, is at his wit’s end when the pack leader’s mate hires a gorgeous party planner to bring holiday cheer to the castle. Guthrie’s wildly attracted to Calla, except he can’t reconcile the fact that his job is to save the clan’s money, and hers seems to be to spend it.

To warm this Highlander’s heart

Calla Stewart has never had a more difficult client. The laird and lady of the castle are delightful, but the handsome Highlander holding the purse strings is quite impossible. Since she specializes in holiday magic, Calla hopes she can make the scrooge-like wolf lighten up. Then Guthrie takes on the role of Highland warrior to protect her from an unexpected threat, and the holidays take a turn for the passionate.

Excerpt from A HIGHLAND WOLF CHRISTMAS by Terry Spear

 

Women shrieked and shouted, but Calla was on the other side of the tree where she couldn’t see the commotion. But then she saw the twelve-foot tree toppling over—right toward her.

 

Before Calla could get out of the way, something hit her hard from the side and slammed her against the floor. Just before the tree landed on top of them. He was on top of her, smelling like the great outdoors, fir tree, and musky, sexy male wolf. Guthrie.

 

“Sorry,” he mumbled against her ear, branches framing his head and touching the floor on either side of her. “I meant to rescue you.”

 

She smiled. “From … the tree?”

 

He smiled back. “That was the idea.”

 

Guthrie lifted his head, smiling at her with a mischievous glint in his green eyes. Despite all the commotion, and to Calla’s surprise, Guthrie kissed her. His lips were warm and masculine and tasted like wassail. Cinnamon, apple cider, and oranges. She licked his mouth to enjoy more of the taste and he licked her back, smiling. Then he deepened the kiss.

 

Oh my God! She hadn’t felt this naughty in forever! The men were going to move the tree soon, and here she and Guthrie would be. Kissing. In front of several members of his pack.

A Highland Wolf Christmas Goodreads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18487189-a-highland-wolf-christmas

A Highland Wolf Christmas Buy Links

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Bhkt36

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1pgP0IC

iTunes: http://bit.ly/1nbwIO2

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10_21 Cowboy Boots for ChristmasCowboy Boots For Christmas by Carolyn Brown

Summary

After two tours in Afghanistan, retired Army sniper Finn O’Donnell believes his new ranch outside the sleepy little town of Burnt Boot, Texas, is the perfect place for an undisturbed holiday season. But before he can settle in, an old friend shows up looking for protection and a place where nobody knows her name.

But that’s going to take a miracle…

Callie Brewster must relocate to protect her young nephew, Martin, and the only person she trusts is her old Army friend, Finn. Burnt Boot seems like the perfect place to be anonymous, but it turns out a small town with big drama is no place to hide…

Excerpt from COWBOY BOOTS FOR CHRISTMAS by Carolyn Brown

 

Callie was standing in front of the window, staring out like a bird in a cage. He crossed the room in long strides, scooped her up, and sat down in the rocking chair with her.

 

“I’m scared,” she said.

 

“I know. So am I.”

 

“This is too perfect, Finn. There’s a grenade somewhere and the pin is pulled. It’s just a matter of time until it all goes boom. I figured if I left now, it would be with good memories and not horrible ones. But I don’t want to leave. Just thinking of walking away from you breaks my heart.”

 

He tangled his fingers in her hair and held her head against his chest. “I’ll help you work through the fear if you’ll do the same for me.”

 

She drew her head back, her aqua-colored eyes swimming in tears. “Don’t bullshit me, O’Donnell. You’d face off with the devil.”

 

He let go of her hair and bent just enough that their lips touched in a salty kiss. Her arms sent desire shooting through his body when they laced around his neck. The kiss deepened into more as she opened her mouth and let his tongue inside to make love to her mouth.

 

“Darlin’, never doubt that my fears are every bit as big as yours, with commitment topping the list in big bold letters. Don’t run away, Callie. I need you to stay,” he whispered softly.

Cowboy Boots For Christmas Goodreads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18509671-cowboy-boots-for-christmas

Cowboy Boots For Christmas Buy Links

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1rxwlvo

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1pCZgdx

iTunes: http://bit.ly/1DTbwB9

***

10_21 What A Lady Needs For ChristmasWhat a Lady Needs For Christmas by Grace Burrowes

Summary

Lady Joan Flynn needs a husband—any husband—if she’s not to find scandal and mischief under her Christmas tree; Scottish wool magnate Dante “Hard-hearted” Hartwell needs an aristocratic wife to gain access to the financing that will keep his wool mills secure. Can holiday magic spin an expedient match into true love, and wary differences into trust?

 

Excerpt from WHAT A LADY NEEDS FOR CHRISTMAS by Grace Burrowes

 

Dante and Joan’s wedding night has begun with a discussion of holiday gift-giving, though neither bride nor groom can stay focused on that topic for very long…

 

Joan stretched out her chilly foot, and encountered Dante’s calf. His bare, warm, hairy calf, because her husband slept without the benefit—or hindrance—of clothing.

 

He moved onto his side, facing Joan. “What shall I get you for Christmas, Mrs. Hartwell?”

 

“You’ve given me your very name. That’s gift enough.” Also his trust, his respect, his kisses…so many treasures.

 

He rolled to his back, suggesting Joan had provided the wrong answer.

 

“I don’t want your gratitude, madam. Loyalty, fidelity, and a good-faith effort to make something of this marriage will be a fine bargain on both of our parts. The marriage is as much opportunity for me as it is convenient for you.”

 

Joan did not want a fine bargain, but she did want the warmth her husband’s body gave off. She yielded to the craving and snuggled right up to his side. His arms came around her, as if they’d spent many nights visiting their way to shared sleep.

 

“I kept my nightgown on.”

 

“I know, lass. I’ll forgive you that modesty if you kiss me.”

 

She kissed him, and the contour of his lips told her he was smiling. “You should kiss me too, sir. My feet are cold.”

 

“You need your new husband to warm them up?”

 

Joan needed her new husband in so many ways. “Shall I take off my nightgown?” She didn’t want to, but Dante was naked, and the intimacies she’d tried hard not to dwell on were commencing.

 

“You feel safer with it on,” he said, shifting to blanket her with his body. “I’ll try not to tear it.”

 

Gracious. “I can stitch it back together if you do.”

 

He nuzzled her ear, sending a shivery feeling down Joan’s spine. “Kiss me some more, Mrs. Hartwell.”

What a Lady Needs For Christmas  Goodreads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18487087-what-a-lady-needs-for-christmas

What a Lady Needs For Christmas Buy Links

Amazon: http://bit.ly/WhatALadyNeeds

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/BNWhatALadyNeeds

iTunes: http://bit.ly/AppleWhatALadyNeeds

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Good Faith by Liz Crowe- Spotlight and Giveaway



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Prizes will be awarded via Rafflecopter as follows:

GRAND PRIZE: Kindle Fire pre-loaded with all Liz Tri-Desitny titles
FIRST PRIZE: $50 Amazon Gift Card
SECOND PRIZE: $25 Amazon Gift Card
THIRD PRIZE: full ebook set of STEWART REALTY SERIES up to Good Faith (8 books in all including the prequel House Rules)

*****Book is on sale for $0.99*****

Strong personalities—volatile marriages—stressful careers—conflicting goals—difficult children.

Contemporary challenges facing close-knit families form the crucible that forges a new generation.

Brandis, Gabriel, Blair and Lillian emerge from the entanglement of their parents’ longstanding emotional connections, but one’s star will burn brighter – and hotter – than the others.

With a personality that consumes everyone and everything in its path, Brandis Gordon struggles to maintain control as he ricochets between wild success and miserable failure. His life proves how even the strongest relationships can be strangled by the ties that bind.

Brandis and Gabe Frietag are as close as any brothers, bound by both loyalty and fierce rivalry. The strength of their ultimate alliance is tested time and again by Brandis’ choices.

Companions from birth, Blair Frietag and Lillian Robinson share loner tendencies, but come to rely on each other through adolescence. As they mature, both are forced to confront their feelings for the men they knew as boys.

Somewhere between the tangle of good memories and bad, independence and addiction, optimism and despair, the intertwined destinies of the new generation finally collide, leaving some stronger, others broken, but none unscathed.

As a chronicle of three families navigating the minefields of teen years into the turbulence of young adulthood, Good Faith holds up a literary mirror to contemporary life with joys and temptations unflinchingly reflected. Its fresh, real-life voice portrays the sheer volatility of human nature, complete with the hopes, dreams, and unexpected setbacks of marriage, parenthood and “coming of age.”

Enjoy an excerpt:

That morning his father had roused him from a sound sleep. He’d blinked, confused, by the angle of the sunlight. He rarely slept much past eight since he usually had some sort of training or the other.

“Let’s go son. Time for lunch.”

Brandis had dragged himself up, his limbs feeling like they weighed a thousand pounds each. His brain buzzed with a strange sort of energy, his typical state, and not at all welcome considering it normally didn’t hit him until later in the day. The conversation his father began as soon as they were seated at their usual diner did not help.

“So, listen, Brandis. These girls…Katie’s friends from college….”

Brandis sipped his ice water, waiting for his father to finish the thought. His heart pounded, and his face flushed hot with embarrassment.

Jack sighed, as if exasperated that Brandis didn’t pick up the thread on his own, leaving him to carry on with the awkwardness about to ensue. Then he leveled his gaze, his face open, not angry or judgmental. “I think that you may be in for some…I mean, they’re…shit.”

“If you are gonna tell me where babies come from again,” Brandis said, after deciding to ease his father’s obvious distress. He cocked an eyebrow and half a smile. Jack seemed to relax somewhat as Brandis continued. “Don’t bother. I already know.”

He flashed his brightest smile up at the middle-aged woman who stood at their table, coffee pot in hand. She blinked rapidly at him, and at that precise moment, Brandis got his first flash of…something…about his power. Up until now he’d merely been “Brandis the trouble maker, the causer of strife.” Suddenly, he felt strong, amazingly so, stronger than even the man sitting across from him, a taller, older version of himself. His body tingled all over, as he tested the smile out again on the woman, making her slop some coffee out onto the table. His father frowned, but then chuckled as the woman walked away after they gave their orders.

“Son,” he said, leaning back and cradling the coffee mug to his chest. “Your adventure has only just begun.”

“Huh?” Brandis picked up his cup but didn’t drink any. He hated coffee, but had ordered it in a burst of need to be more like Jack. As he sipped the bitter stuff, he was transported back years before when he and his dad would spend every single Saturday morning together, eating breakfast at this very diner. He had adored the man, he remembered distinctly. His chest hurt at the simplicity of their relationship then. He looked away from Jack’s deep blue, knowing gaze.

The subject changed of its own accord, and Brandis let it. Although part of him wanted to ask for advice, a much bigger part would not allow the words past his lips.

They ate, discussing the upcoming football season and Brandis’ part in it. The recruiting company Jack had contracted last year to video his every move would start up with the first game. He’d made varsity again, technically as backup quarterback to a senior boy. Brandis didn’t see this as a setback and had every intention of starting under center by the second or third game.

Finally, when they pushed their empty plates back and sat looking at each other, Brandis felt more comfortable in his father’s presence than he had been in a long time. Jack said, “I am pretty sure at least one of those girls sleeping in the basement is determined to change the status of your virginity for you probably as soon as tonight.”

Brandis choked on the last sip of lukewarm coffee. His face burned, and his body tingled again. “I’m…it’s…uh….” He clutched the napkin in his lap unable to meet his father’s eyes.

“No need to say anything. Let’s just say your mother is an astute reader of female intent. While I was busy admiring your sister’s friend’s ass, she apparently read the girl’s mind or something.” Brandis’ face flushed even hotter.

He resisted the urge to protest, to proclaim his innocence of such things. Because he wanted it back—those mornings between them, father and son, man and boy, not this awkward, man and almost-man bullshit. Because while the thought of one of his sister’s college friends popping his cherry remained a pleasant fantasy, it also made him feel older than he wanted to be right then.

“So, I bought a box of condoms this morning,” Jack went on. “Put some downstairs in the side table drawer and the rest in your room. Use them please.” He sipped the last of his coffee, looked as if he were about to get up, then leaned forward, touching Brandis’ wrist. “Have fun. Don’t be an asshole to women. Let every experience teach you…something. Because you are nothing as a man if you don’t learn from every woman you…love.” Jack looked out the window onto the nearly empty parking lot. Then he turned back, tightened his grip on his son’s arm. “God, you are so…young.” His face fell a moment, then he perked up again, his eyes twinkling. “Okay, so, your mother told me to tell you not to let them corrupt you. But all I’m gonna say is this: always wear protection, no matter what, no matter how much you don’t want to. And don’t let your mom catch you in the act. I’ll handle her otherwise.”

Then he let go, stood and smiled, draping a friendly arm around Brandis’ shoulders as they exited the restaurant.

“You really didn’t tell me you were admiring Katie’s friend’s ass, did you, Dad?”

“No, son. I most certainly did not. You obviously misheard me.” Jack winked as he stood by the passenger’s side of his classic Corvette convertible and tossed the keys to Brandis. “Remember what I told you. Don’t ride my clutch.”

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.

www.lizcrowe.com
www.brewingpasssion.com
www.facebook.com/lizcroweauthor
www.facebook.com/groups/lizcrowefans
www.twitter.com/beerwencha2
www.a2beerwench.com

www.amazon.com/Liz-Crowe/e/B00573TC7M

Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes

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Ten Things You Don’t Know About Codi Gary – Guest Blog and Interview

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Codi will be awarding a signed copy of Make Me Crazy to a randomly drawn commenter at every stop (US ONLY) during the tour; and a Grand Prize of a $25 Amazon/BN GC plus a signed copy of Make Me Crazy (US ONLY) will be awarded to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Ten Things You Don’t Know About Me by Codi Gary
1) I hate onions with a fiery passion! They touch anything and I can sense their presence.
2) I am a passive person, except in the defense of others.
3) I sold sex toys for a brief time.
4) I have always dreamed of going to Scotland, but have never made it there.
5) I am terrified of heights to an irrational point. Standing on a hill makes my knees weak and driving on cliffs makes me white knuckled petrified.
6) Despite my height terror, I do okay flying except on take off and during turbulence. Then I cry like a bitty baby.
7) I have six siblings, two step brothers, and 20+ nieces and nephews.
8) I am a major klutz and get injured daily bumping into walls, doorjambs, tables, tripping over dogs…
9) Worked as a Vet Tech for almost 7 years, including the time I was in school and spent a semester at a zoo and 6 years at a cat only hospital.
10) Made a “romantic” bucket list when I was 13 and have checked off every item except two! ;-)

MEDIA KIT Make Me Crazy - Codi Gary Miranda “Rand” Coleman has seen the way love can wreck a person and wants absolutely no part of it. When her granddaddy dies suddenly, he leaves a clause in his will that has her married in three months or she loses her inheritance. Unwilling to give up the Double C Ranch, she starts to set her eyes towards the eligible men in town, with little luck in finding a man she can stand for a minute let alone a year. Until she sets eyes on the new veterinarian and enlists the help of her womanizing best friend, Jake, to help.

Jake Hansen is a single guy who likes his women pretty and uncomplicated, with no plans to settle down anytime soon. When he decides to help Rand hook her man, he has no idea the effect watching Rand change would have on him. Especially when she starts letting her gorgeous brown hair down and showing off a body he didn’t even know she had. Before too long, Jake isn’t just lusting after his best friend, he’s feeling downright possessive. But when it comes down to the wire, will he get over his issues and step up to the alter…or lose the only woman he was ever meant to love?

Enjoy an excerpt:

Rand pulled her hand away from him and he covered his smile with his hand as she looked surprised by the compliment. “I don’t remember.”

Tandy leaned on the table and the woman’s look was downright sultry. “Well it looks awesome on you.”

Jake blinked. The girl wasn’t being friendly. She was flirting…with Rand.

Rand seemed oblivious to Tandy’s interest. “I got it as a present for my birthday, and was going to take it back, but my granddaddy couldn’t find the receipt.”

Tandy actually batted her lashes. “Well that would have been a damn shame.”

Alright, it was funny at first but that was too much. “I’ll have the chicken enchiladas with two tacos.” Both women turned to stare at him and he focused all of his attention on Rand, “Honey, what do you want to eat?”

Rand looked back up at Tandy when she answered. “I’ll have a bean and cheese burrito with rice and beans.”

“Coming right up.” Tandy said. Her smiled faded when her gaze shifted to him, her expression downright hostile. This time he watched her walk away and turned back to Rand with wide eyes. “Did you see that?”

“You checking out our waitress?” Rand asked with false sweetness.

It was his turn to be angry. “No, the glare she sent me.”

“Right because women usually glare at you.”

Jake said very patiently, “Rand honey, I have no interest in that woman and I’m telling you, I am not her type.”

“How do you know that?”

He leaned back in his seat and grinned. “Because it wasn’t me she was checking out.”

About the Author: MEDIA KIT Codi GaryAn obsessive bookworm for twenty years, Codi Gary likes to write sexy small-town contemporary romances with humor, grand gestures, and blush-worthy moments. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading her favorite authors, squealing over her must-watch shows and playing with her children. She lives in Idaho with her family. Visit her website www.codigarysbooks.com for latest news, social media, or just to say hi!

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Buy the book at Amazon, iTunes, or Barnes and Noble.

Vanished from Dust by Shea Norwood – Spotlight and Giveaway



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions Shea Norwood will be awarding a $25 PayPal, Amazon or BN GC via rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour

A CHILL RUNS THROUGH HIS SKIN AS THE PHANTOM APPEARS.

HE SEES THEM EVERYWHERE . . .

Eric Stark is not insane. Or at least he doesn’t think so. He wishes everyone in Dust, Texas, felt the same way. But that’s not going to happen since the whole town thinks he’s crazy. Why didn’t he keep his mouth shut?

No one understands. Eric is alone as he battles his sanity in a town of tormenters. Suddenly a new friendship emerges after the new kid, Kyle Barrett, moves to town.

Eric reluctantly reveals his secret. Is it a curse or a gift? He isn’t certain, but with Kyle by his side he finds the courage to seek the truth.

They soon realize that something sinister is descending on the residents of Dust.

Is it caused by Eric’s phantoms or is it something else? Is it connected to the mysterious death of hundreds of townspeople over sixty years ago? One thing is certain—only Eric and Kyle can save them.

They set out on a heart-pounding adventure and find themselves transported to a disturbed and deserted version of their small southern town. They quickly discover that this new world has mysteries of its own to uncover. What they find could prove more than they bargained for, and it only leads to more questions. Eric and Kyle must face a horrifying fact—they may never get out alive.

“We’re gonna die here,” Kyle muttered.

“I don’t believe that,” Eric said. “And neither do you.”

Will they survive their encounter with these dark and mysterious beings?

Will they find a way back home?

Or will they be lost forever?

The Vanished from Dust series is perfect for anyone who craves a hair-raising thriller packed with mystery and suspense. This paranormal story for young adults can be compared to Stand by Me, mixed with Odd Thomas, and a twist of The Dark Tower.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Where’s Katie?” Kyle asked. “Tell me.”

The sparkling view into another world, his world, reminded Eric of when he used to swim underwater on his back in the public pool. At moments, the portal was still providing a clear picture. At other times, it was blurry. Was it his concentration that brought the image into focus? He took a deep breath and tried to calm his mind.

Katie was now playing with red blush and laughing about something only third grade girls would find funny. Her side of the portal looked nearly identical to the world Eric and Kyle were in. He noticed subtle differences like blue versus leafy-green towels next to the sink. But, otherwise it was the same.

Eric touched the mirror, sending a shockwave of ripples as if he’d just tossed a stone into a still lake. A tingle of electricity passed through his hand and up his arm. He pulled his finger back sharply as the tingle became more intense.

“What are you doing?” Kyle asked.

This time, Eric put his entire hand on this mirror. A much larger ripple spread, blurring the image. His hand felt like it was asleep. He closed his eyes again, trying to calm his mind. The inside of his head felt like a violent ocean near the eye of a hurricane with monster waves that surged against the shore.

Katie, Eric said in his mind, can you hear me?

In the portal, Katie picked up the eye shadow and leaned in closer to apply it. She looked like a clown with all the make-up she had already smeared across her face.

Eric focused all his mental energy: Katie!

She dropped the eye shadow and looked directly at him, but it wasn’t like before. They locked eyes for a moment, and then she screamed and ran out of the room. Amanda looked bewildered and turned to watch her leave. She looked back into the mirror. Her jaw dropped. She ran.

Eric pulled his hand from the mirror and backed away.

The circle was shrinking. The image of Porky Pig saying, ‘That’s all folks,’ at the end of a Looney Tunes’ cartoon flashed through Eric’s mind.

A few seconds later all he could see was the blue dot. When he blinked it vanished.

About the Author:

Shea Norwood is a West Texas native that currently lives in the DFW area with his wife and son. He’s an avid reader and enjoys the craft of writing. The fictional town of Dust is loosely based on a small town south of Odessa, TX.


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Character Interview with Spencer from CRIMSON SON by Russ Linton – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Russ will be awarding a $10 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner and another winner will receive a signed copy of Crimson Son (US ONLY), both prizes via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Recently, I attempted to interview the main character of my book, Crimson Son. Things didn’t go as planned, but since I went to all the trouble to contact a secure, undisclosed location (which actually has no outside connections, but hey, I’m a FICTION writer…) I figured I would post the results.

 

Spencer: I got your encryption key. Bouncing the signal through enough wingates to give the NSA a hernia. Man, this is just like the good ol’ days at D3dm4n$ Ch3$t. Okay, let’s get this going – I can only jeopardize the air gap for so long.

 

Me: You think he’d be upset?

 

He freaks out when I grab passing satellite TV signals. If he knows I’m actually sending a signal, he’ll literally shit a brick.

 

Literally?

 

Pretty sure he eats bricks for breakfast. He’ll pick them out of his teeth when he gets home from fighting Super Villain number whatever. Maybe that’s why he htinks cardboard is a good substitute for real food.

 

Alright, well, as you know, my name is Russ Linton, author of Crimson…

 

Really? This book is about HIM?

 

Let me finish. The book is called Crimson Son, not Crimson Mask. The book is about you, not him.

 

Oh. How could you possibly write an entire book about me?

 

Well, it’s a book about how your life was changed by tragedy. How you’re thrust into your father’s world and have to survive.

 

That sounds like a crappy book.

 

It isn’t. It starts out right there in the bunker…

 

You start things in the Icehole? Why would anyone read a book about this place? Let me sum it up – cold, boring, claustrophobic. It’s like The Road, only no road and no people to eat. I could really go for a good slab of people right about now.

 

Yes, it starts in the Icehole. There, we get an idea of your everyday life: the isolation, the stress you have to deal with after the loss of your mother.

 

Easy now. She’s still out there, Mr. Biographer…ummm, right?

 

I’d rather not say, you know, spoilers and all.

 

What!? Don’t be a douche.

 

I’m simply saying who would buy the book if I gave away the ending?

 

Wait, there’s an ending? Is it a happy one?

 

Of course there’s an ending and I’ll leave it to the reader to decide how happy it is.

 

Do I see some action?

 

Oh, definitely. The whole book is action-packed.

 

Nice! Do I become a porn star or something?

 

Not THAT kind of action.

 

Dammit. ‘Cause it’s REALLY cold in this bunker. And lonely. Hey, how detailed is it exactly?

 

Pretty detailed…

 

Awww man, don’t do this to me. This place is like the igloo of masturbation! I mean there’s almost nothing else to do here.

 

Woah, hang on. No, nothing like that. We skip closer to the homicidal-robot-dodging, heroic sort of action.

 

Hmmmm, I’m liking my book idea much better. Are you sure I couldn’t become a pornstar?

 

Spencer, what is it with you?

 

What the hell do you expect? I’m a bundle of hormones who’s been on ice for the past two years in Dad’s not-so-cleverly veiled fortress of solitude reference. Nineteen, locked up in my prime, I’m pretty sure I’m going insane.

 

The book’s a bit more serious than all that.

 

Didn’t Cyrus have a kid? What about Ember? You sure you have the right son of a superhero?

 

Positive. Maybe I took some creative license and subdued your smart assery a tiny bit. Except the time you’re tripping on Mountain Dew or one of the many pulse-pounding adrenaline rushes as you struggle to survive and prove to your dad that true heroes are the ones with the most to lose.

 

Wait, I get to drink Mountain Dew again? Fuckin’ sweet!

 

Language, Spencer.

 

Crap. Dad’s home.

 

<<END TRANSMISSION>>

 

Crimson SonHis mother kidnapped, his superhero father absent, powerless Spencer Harrington faces a world of weaponized humans to prove himself and find the truth.

Nineteen-year-old Spencer is the son of the Crimson Mask, the world’s most powerful Augment. Since witnessing his mother’s abduction by a psychotic super villain two years ago, he’s been confined to his father’s arctic bunker. When the “Icehole” comes under attack from a rampaging robot, Spencer launches into his father’s dangerous world of weaponized human beings known as Augments.

With no superpowers of his own save a multi-tool, a quick wit and a boatload of emotional trauma, Spencer seeks to uncover his mother’s fate and confront his absentee superhero father. As he stumbles through a web of conspiracies and top secret facilities, he rallies a team of everyday people and cast-off Augments. But Spencer soon discovers that the Black Beetle isn’t his only enemy, nor his worst.

Enjoy an excerpt:

This part always comes so fast.

I hand the phone back to Mom. “You’ll need to send later, I guess. The signal dropped. Should be in your outbox ready to go.”

As she takes the phone, the wall of the room explodes.

Here. Dream becomes nightmare. For a moment, I feel I can make it stand still, but why would I? Events unfold with the emptiness of the bunker gnawing at my insides. I can identify every stray chunk of plaster and splinter of wood in this time-robbed moment.

Fragments of home spray like a swarm of locusts. Mom screams and the world spins under her protective dive. I struggle to see through a haze of dust. Glimpses of the valley filter past a humanoid silhouette. A long, pincered arm lashes out. The arm clamps tightly around Mom’s waist and retracts, drawing us closer.

“Release the boy and he will live,” the Black Beetle speaks with an unnatural vibration. “He can relay a message for your husband.”

Mom squeezes tighter but her screaming stops.

I search her face, knowing what I’ll find, all the while scrambling to find an anchor as we slide across the room. She’s bleeding from a gash on her forehead and the pincer cinches tighter. Her eyes are full of fear, but focused. She’s calculating, deliberating. A hundred times? A thousand? It always hurts.

“No, Mom, please!” I throw my hands around the leg of a toppled chair which drags uselessly behind us. Countless trips through this nightmare, I know I can’t keep us here, but I reach out anyway. And always, she lets go.

I grab her arm, trying to pull her back, cursing my stunted size, my weak limbs, my feeble grip. Sweaty hands slip as the pincer continues to retract. Her trembling lips form a final smile and she watches me with a sad but determined expression.

She mouths the words, “I love you.”

About the Author: MEDIA KIT Author Photo In the fourth grade, Russ Linton wrote down the vague goal of becoming a “writer and an artist” when he grew up. After a journey that led him from philosopher to graphic designer to stay at home parent and even a stint as an Investigative Specialist with the FBI, he finally got around to that “writing” part which he now pursues full time.

Russ creates character-driven speculative fiction. His stories drip with blood, magic, and radioactive bugs. He writes for adults who are young at heart and youngsters who are old souls.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Google+

Buy the book at Amazon, Amazon UK, Createspace, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, iTunes, Google Play, Powell’s Books, txtr, Abe Books, Alibris, or Kobo.

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Violca’s Dragon by Leilani Love – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Leilani will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card to two randomly drawn winners and a Swag Giveaway to four other randomly drawn winners, all via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Violca knows life can change instantly. Her parents died suddenly, leaving her to raise four younger sisters and keep them safe ~ even from the golden-eyed stranger.

Chase knows the Grey sisters possibly hold the key to his fate. He is determined to to get close, protect them and bring them to his Dragon King. What Violca doesn’t know is that once a dragon decides he wants something, there is no stopping him from getting it.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Opening the door, she steps onto the patio and smiles at Eryk. Her eyes are drawn to some movement behind him and she looks up to see Chase walking in from the woods. He is wearing his pants low on his hips and no shirt. Her breath catches as she notices his rippling muscles and the light traces of a six pack on his abs. When her eyes finally roam up to his face, she feels her cheeks heat up. His self-satisfied smile tells her he saw her checking him out.

Eryk clears his throat. “Good morning.”

Violca swears she must be beet red. She smiles at Eryk. “Morning, I just wanted to invite you guys in for eggs and sausage.”

Scott peaks his head out of the tent. “Did you say sausage?”

“Yep, do you want to join us?”

“Hell yeah,” Scott replies, crawling out from the tent.

Violca’s eyes widen. Scott is also in only a pair of jeans, no shirt, and Violca smiles thinking Linda and the girls would be mad to find out that she is the first to see him with his shirt off. She hears a growl and turns to see Chase watching her. “Be careful, I think there is an animal close by,” she says, wondering where that sound came from. “It shouldn’t be too much longer.”

About the Author: Leilani Love is a proud mother of two very active boys. A military wife she loves getting to meet new people wherever they move. She loves to read books crossing many genres. Her love affair with dragons started when she was young and one day dreams of having her own dragon and black panther.

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/missleilanilove

Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iTunes, or Smashwords.

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Lessons I Learned from Allen Iverson by Jesse LeBeau – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly drawn commenter will received a signed Deuce Brand watch. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Lessons I learned from Allen Iverson

They were about to call my name. I was backstage, about to be introduced to thousands of fired-up streetball fans in Indonesia. The music was blaring, the MC was yelling into the mic, and everything was pitch black except for the spiraling spot light that was about to shine down on me. You could feel the pulse in the crowd growing with each word the announcer said, and I took one last deep breath to gather myself. That’s when it hit me: I was about to take the court with one of the greatest basketball players of all time – Allen Iverson. I couldn’t believe I was living this moment. Before I could really take that thought in, the speakers rumbled: “Jesse…Spin Cycle….LeBeau!” It was my time to take the court.

On reflecting on this experience, here are a few of the lessons I took away from Allen Iverson (AI).

BE FEARLESS! BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!

One story that AI shared with me was his first time playing against Michael Jordan. He himself admits that he is a big Jordan fan, and he said that during warm-ups he kept looking down to the other end of the court because he’d never seen him in person before. But he told us that once the tip-off was thrown up, all his nerves went away, and it was just time to play basketball. I will never forget what he said next: “At the start of the game, everyone know who Michael Jordan was. I was going to make sure they by the end of the game, they never forgot who #3 was.”

I about lost my mind when he said that! I love that mindset. Here he was, going up against the greatest player to ever play the game, and he had the attitude “I respect you, but today is my day to be the greatest.” That is the winner’s approach that is key to success in anything in life. You can’t just hope for it’ you have to claim it as fact. I’ve experienced radical changes in my performance on the court by merely adjusting my confidence level. I can dominate a game one day when I’m thinking that I am the best player on the court and no one can touch me. Then, the next game, I second-guess myself and play hesitantly, even timidly, and suck! I have the exact same amount of talent as I did in the previous game, but my mentality is weaker, and that changed the outcome of my performance. Take on the Michael Jordans in your life fearlessly, and I promise you will see results.

YOUR ATTITUDE AND MENTALITY ARE EVERYTHING!

Going along with the last point is knowing how to control your mentality and attitude. One thing that separates a lot of streetball players and NBA players is not their talent level, rather what is going on in their heads! There is a good number of streetball players who are much more talented than NBA players, but because they have quick tempers, refuse to buy into a system, and make bad decisions in their personal lives, they will never play in the NBA.

You’re going to be ups and downs in your career and life, no matter what you choose to do. AI battled all kinds of adversity, from chronic injuries to jealous teammates to disloyal friends, but he chose to persevere through it all. He possesses a true winner’s attitude, and although he is amazingly talented physically, it is his tenacity a competitive fire that separates him as one of the greatest. There are many other players that can dribble just as well as he does, run as fast, and jump as high and even higher. But nobody wanted it more. No one was going to exhaust every ounce of energy in their body and put it on the line like AI. His attitude and mentality made all the difference. The great part about that is we get to choose what our attitude / mentality will be every day. We can’t control what happens to us, but we can control our response. Choose to be great, and choose to have a winner’s attitude like AI!

MEDIA KIT book coverThe sound of the basketball slapping the floor echoed hollowly in the gym, as I began working it playfully with my hands. Planning my next move, I locked eyes with my opponent. I noticed small beads of sweat beginning to form in the furrow between his eyebrows. My heart was pounding, and my nerves tightened in response . . . but slowly a smile formed on my lips. Here I was, 5’8” Jesse LeBeau, going one on one with basketball superstar Kevin Durant . . . and I was making him sweat! As I started to make my move on him, I briefly wondered, “How did a skinny kid from a small town in Alaska ever get the chance to do this?” Here I was, involved in the filming of the 2012 Warner Brother’s basketball movie Thunderstruck, playing against the NBA scoring champion! It shouldn’t have happened. I didn’t fit the profile and anyone would have told you that. But I did make it, despite the odds. And here is my story . . .

Growing up as an undersized white basketball player on a remote island in Alaska, Jesse had nearly every chip stacked against him. Yet despite his size and circumstances, he managed to rise above it all and make it to the big screen in Hollywood. With only the love of the game of basketball and the tenacity to follow a dream driving him, Jesse’s persistence has led him to star in national commercials and movies with some of the most recognizable celebrities and professional athletes in the world. More importantly, he found a way to tweak the system and alter his dream and get paid to do what he loves to . . . every day! Be inspired by his story and learn the keys to successfully creating a life that is uniquely yours.

Enjoy an excerpt:

The majority of you don’t know my name, although you’ve probably seen my face on television. at the age of twenty-four, i began starring in national commercials for Kobe Bryant and other nBa players. i’ve been featured by sports magazines and played in basketball games that were televised to a global audience. i’ve done interviews for radio, television, and websites. i’ve met and spent time with famous, wealthy, and influential people from all over the world, and i have relationships some of the most re- spected and intelligent business men and women in the country.

do i think i’m special because of this? no. i know my efforts have been blessed. i also know that if there is anything special about me, it isn’t necessarily my talent. it would more likely be my dogged tenacity to pursue a dream and my drive to put every ounce of my energy into making that dream happen. i was an underdog my whole life, but i refused to become a victim or a “less- than” in any endeavor i attempted. i always believed in myself, even when the odds were stacked against me. and they usually were.

even with the success i’ve had so far, i still feel like i have room to grow before reaching my fullest potential. But i believe i am on the right track. The fact that all of this happened for me in such a short time is a true testament to the principles i have learned and applied to my life. i want to share my story and these “life lessons” with you . . . and i want this book to inspire you to find your passion and chase your dreams, so you can wake up every day and do whatever it is you love.

About the Author:MEDIA KIT Author PhotoOver the course of the last couple years, Jesse has propelled himself from a small, Alaskan fishing town to the Hollywood big screen, being seen by millions all over the world. By leveraging his love of the game of basketball and making the most of every opportunity, he has successful created a life all his own. At 5’8”, he may not be an NBA player, but by tweaking his dream, he has been able to use his passion (basketball) to star in national commercials and movies, work with pro athletes and celebrities, and even give back on a regular basis as a motivational speaker for youth. His underdog story, outlined in his book, Among the Giants, serves as an inspiration to anyone who has ever been told they can’t make their dream a reality.

Jesse was born and raised on Pennock island, Alaska, where his mother worked as a school teacher and his father was involved in the logging industry. Jesse played basketball growing up, but no one wanted to take him seriously, and coaches told him he was too small and would never make it. Despite his critics, he believed not only in himself but also in the plan God had for him. Jesse has experienced big wins and frustrating losses, but both triumph and defeat helped him grow as a leader and a person, and helped deepen his faith.

Today, he uses his message to motivate and inspire young people around the world as a speaker and author. Combining his love of basketball, speaking, and entertaining, Jesse founded the Fab4 Takeover, which brings celebrities into schools to teach and impact students. He also released an instructional dribbling DVD titled Dribble Like a Star. For a free download from the DVD visit www.JesseleBeau.com or text the word “DVD” to the number 58885. You can find more information, read news in the press, watch highlight video footage, and follow Jesse on a more personal level at the following websites:

www.JesseleBeau.com

www.fab4streetball.com

www.twitter.com/jesselebeau

www.facebook.com/jesselebeau

www.instagram.com/jesselebeau

Purchase Among The Giants on Amazon, get a free download from his DVD, or get a free download from his eBook “What Allen Iverson Taught Me About Life”.

THE BAR V5 DUDE RANCH SERIES by Melissa McClone – Spotlight and Giveaway

 

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Melissa will award a $25 Amazon Gift card and a Mini Swag Goodie Bag to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour (international giveaway). Click on the tour to see the other stops on the tour.

Three couples. Three stories, where you can follow one pair from meeting to wedding day!

Mistletoe Magic

Spending a quiet Christmas housesitting and reading novels about hot cowboys sounds perfect to Caitlin Butler. Until a stray kitten brings her face-to-face with Noah, her crush from college. Watching the handsome vet in action melts Caitlin’s heart and brings back long forgotten emotion. She would be safer back at the house lost in the pages of a book. But a toe-curling mistletoe kiss tempts her to stay. Maybe she won’t be spending this Christmas… alone.

Veterinarian Noah Sullivan isn’t a Scrooge, but the Christmas Eve tradition of hanging mistletoe in the clinic’s waiting room annoys him. Kissing doesn’t belong at the Copper Mountain Animal Hospital. Noah rethinks his position when Caitlin arrives with a stray kitten she found freezing in the snow. All he wants now is to maneuver the pretty preschool teacher under the mistletoe. If he’s not careful, he’ll wind up on Santa’s naughty list.

Kiss Me, Cowboy

She didn’t mean to kiss him…

When dude ranch wrangler Charlotte – aka Charlie – Randall kisses Zack Harris in an act of empathy, she falls hat over spurs for the handsome military veteran turned cowboy. Zack has too many demons, however, and refuses to get involved. A year later, he’s still stonewalling, and Charlie needs to move on with her life so she can find a fulfilling relationship, not frustrating unrequited love. Putting distance between them seems the best way to get Zack out of her head and heart…but that means quitting the job she loves and accepting a position in Colorado.

He didn’t mean to kiss her back…

Growing up, Zack longed for a real family, and had one with his squad while deployed in Afghanistan. Now, he’s back in the States and doesn’t want anything messing up his new ranch family, no matter how much he’s attracted to the sexy, hard-working Charlie. She could break his heart and ruin the comfortable working relationship they and the other wranglers enjoy. Besides, her friends claim she’s looking for the perfect guy, and perfect he’s not.

A kiss is just a kiss…or is it?

When Zack learns Charlie’s thinking about leaving the ranch, he decides to find her a boyfriend — someone so good, so perfect, she has a reason to stay in Montana. Until he realizes too late that the only cowboy he wants her kissing is him. Can he commit to love and convince Charlie not to leave? Or has she made up her mind to put the past, and the kiss that started it all, behind her and move on without him?

Mistletoe Wedding

Event planner at the Bar V5 Dude Ranch, Meg Redstone is dreaming of a white Christmas with twinkling lights, sparkly decorations and strategically placed mistletoe. She loves making dreams come true for others, whether planning a holiday wedding or giving her young daughter the best Christmas ever.

Ranch foreman Tyler Murphy loves the holidays, but his newest employee has taken over his barn with her over-the-top decorations. He admires Meg’s desire to give her daughter the perfect Christmas while planning a winter wonderland wedding, but he wants to show her that a Montana Christmas is more than glitter and lights.

After raising his younger sister, an instant family is not on Ty’s Christmas wish list. But he finds himself falling hard for the single mom and her little girl. Meg, however, is not interested in a romance with a cowboy like Ty, or any man. Getting her under the mistletoe is going to take a Christmas miracle . . . or a little help from Santa.

Enjoy an excerpt from Mistloe Wedding:

Her gaze kept straying back to the man walking next to her.

And she knew with pulse-pounding certainty.

All the rationalizations of why romantic feelings didn’t matter and why she was better off alone than in a relationship disappeared like a snowflake being caught on a tongue. They mattered, and she wanted those things badly.

With Ty.

She hadn’t meant to fall for him, but she had. Hard.

A shiver raced down her spine. The realization was unexpected, scary.

He shot her a sideways glance, which she knew because she couldn’t drag her attention off him. “You, okay?”

“Just thinking.” Of course, he would sense something was up. That was part of his appeal. He got her. The way he understood her daughter, too. If there was one man out there who was what she needed and Brooklyn needed, that was Ty Murphy.

Feelings and desires long buried rose to the surface. She was ready to stop saying she didn’t want more, want him.

“Know what you want?” he asked.

Meg swallowed around the lump in her throat. “Excuse me.”

“What chocolates you’re going to get?”

She sighed with relief. She thought he’d read her mind. “Salted caramels for the guys. I’ll have to see what Sage has in the display case before I decide what I want.”

Besides him.

“You can have more than one,” Ty said.

“I might want only one.”

“It’s Christmas. Don’t be so cautious. Live it up.”

If only she knew where he stood . . . Dare she ask?

About the Author:

With a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa McClone worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters. Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! Since then, she has published over thirty romance novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group. She’s also been nominated for Romance Writers of America’s RITA® award. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities. She also sends care packages to deployed service members and fosters cats through a local no-kill animal shelter. Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three school-aged children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds and cats who think they rule the house. They do!


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MISTELTOE WEDDING is on sale for only $2.99 at Amazon
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10 things we would be surprised to learn about Richard H. Hardy – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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10 things we would be surprised to learn about Richard H. Hardy
1) I lived in three different countries by the time I was 4 years old: Scotland, England and the USA.

2) I play tenor, alto, and soprano sax. I also play the bass clarinet and keyboard.

3) I was a sectional champion for the shot put on my high school track team. My best throw was 47 and a half feet.

4) I once hitchhiked from Denver to the East Coast.

5) I really enjoy a good cup of tea.

6) One of my favorite movies is The Big Lebowski. I’ve known far too many people just like “The Dude” in that movie.

7) I’m a big time cat person. I believe what Leonardo De Vinci once said, “Even the smallest cat is a work of art.”

8) My sister Lynne is also a published writer. She earned a PhD. at age 70 and lives in Australia.

9) Exactly 100 years before my book, The Infinity Program was published, my great uncle George Webb Hardy had a bestselling book published in England.

10) I love walking on the rocky coast of Maine. It’s one of my favorite things to do.

10_16 infinityJon Graeme and Harry Sale are unlikely friends. Harry is a world-class programmer, but his abrasive personality alienates co-workers. In contrast, Jon is a handsome and easy-going technical writer, the low man on the IT totem pole.

Sharing a love of nature, the men set out together, planning to go their separate ways–Jon on a hike and Harry, fly fishing. Three days later, Jon arrives at the rendezvous point, but his friend is nowhere in sight. When Jon finds Harry unconscious on the floor of a cave, Harry claims to have been lying there the entire time. But he is neither cold nor hungry. What Jon doesn’t know is that Harry fell into an underground cavern, where he came into contact with an alien quantum computer.

Back at work, Harry jettisons his regular tasks and concentrates exclusively on inventing new operating language to access the alien system. In the process he crashes his office’s Super Computer and is fired. Jon convinces the company to give Harry a second chance, arguing that the system he has invented will make them millions.

Jon has no idea what havoc Harry is about to unleash.

About the Author: 10_16 infinity author richRichard H. Hardy was born in Glasgow, Scotland, during a week of relentless bombing raids just before the close of World War II. The day he was born an incendiary bomb fell on the church across the street from where he lived, so he is fond of saying that he entered the world with a big adrenaline rush.

His family later moved to England and then on to America.

After college Richard bounced through a series of temporary jobs as he traveled around the country, wanting nothing more than to write fiction. A job driving a library van allowed him free time to write several short stories and work on a novel.

He and his wife moved to New Hampshire, where he took an entry level job at a software company. He was soon promoted to the technical writing department and ended up producing over 500,000 words of online documentation. After a few years he was promoted to the programming department and ended up as the Senior EDI Programmer, creating EDI maps and writing UNIX scripts and troubleshooting on AIX systems throughout the U.S. and Canada.

After he retired, he started writing fiction again. The Infinity Program is his first published novel.

The Infinity Program GoodReads page:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20794011-the-infinity-program

Richard H. Hardy’s Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/richard.hardy.31924

Richard H. Hardy‘s Twitter:
https://twitter.com/rhfh944

Richard H. Hardy‘s GoodReads:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7844267.Richard_H_Hardy

Richard H. Hardy’s blog:
http://richard-hardy.com/blog/

Richard H. Hardy’s website:
http://richard-hardy.com/

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http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-infinity-program

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The Ghost in the Closet by M.K. Theodoratus – 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 rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Some say the ability to see ghosts is a gift, but after losing her job, Dumdie Swartz says, “Hogwash”.

Since she was a child, Dumdie has seen ghosts and has developed several quirks to cover the fact so she wouldn’t need to explain herself or be exploited. When her boss witnesses several of these occasions, he fires her, thinking that she suffers from a mental issue that could be a liability to his business.

Without a job and money, Dumdie becomes just another old, homeless woman living out of her car. As winter approaches, her luck changes, and she secures a private room in a homeless shelter, but it isn’t as private as she thinks. The ghost of the former owner of shelter haunts the room where she died, searching for the misplaced will that guarantees the shelter would continue to exist as she so desired.

Dumdie must make a decision. Does she continue to hide her gift in fear of upsetting people or appearing insane? Does she go out on a limb and try to save the shelter, the room they have given her, and herself in the process.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Do you think the place has bed bugs?” Hanna had picked up the clothes and putting the suitcases in the closet. She stood in the middle of the room, wrinkling her nose. “I wonder if they sterilized the mattresses. I hope so.”

“The carpenters probably left the closet as-is to save money. Haven’t you noticed all the short-cuts in the house remodeling? All the places the boards don’t even meet.” Dumdie stopped before she said she’d seen nine corners where there were gaps in the trim. Fifty-two places where the paint coat was uneven, and she was only passing through the rooms on the tour.

Hanna pulled a face. “The house reeks of charity, but the public rooms were much nicer than the bedrooms. Must have been part of the original rooms. The two bathrooms still have the old fixtures, but I kind of like those deep old bathtubs. Think of the wonderful soaks we’ll have. Much nicer than the showers the janitor at the fitness club let us use in the mornings.”

The janitor at the gym had called them Mutt and Jeff. Dumdie was tall and dour, and while the shorter and thinner, Hanna beamed with good cheer even as she described the shelter’s shortcomings. Dumdie wished she could be more like Hanna.

“This place could be worse. Granted, my bed has more lumps than under-cooked porridge.” She poked her head back into the closet. “At least they didn’t try to squeeze someone else in there. It’s big enough for a cot and chair if they put hooks on the wall. That’d make our rooms smaller to fit in a hallway to the landing.” Her nose contorted. “Think we’ll have ta get up at an ungodly hour to get a bath? The seven of us will cause a log jam in the mornings, otherwise.”

“Seven old ladies fighting for the lavatory.”

About the Author:

Hooked by comic books at an early age, M. K. Theodoratus’ fascination with fantasy solidified when she discovered the Oz books by L. Frank Baum with his strong female characters. She has traveled through many fantasy worlds since then. When she’s not reading about other writer’s worlds, she’s creating her own. Most of her tales are set in the Far Isles where she explores the political effects of genetic drift on a mixed elf human population. She also writes about gargoyles, magic, ghosts and other magical beings.

A sixth grade English assignment started her writing. The teacher assigned a short story. Theodoratus gave her an incomplete, 25-page Nancy Drew pastiche which turned into a full novel by the next summer. She’s been writing happily ever after ever since in two different alternative worlds – that of the Far Isles Half-Elven and in Andor where humans fight demons in many forms.

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