One for the Price of Two by Howard Weiner – Spotlight and Giveaway

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

Fraternal twins are raised by an ambivalent aunt who provides an unusual childhood experience. One twin leaves home to join the armed forces and is ultimately assigned to a Special Forces unit conducting clandestine operations in North Korea. The death of one his unit members produces an introduction to an organized crime family specializing in murder for hire. The funeral for the family’s son and an interest in their daughter brings new blood and methods to the family business.


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Later, she found she couldn’t explain what it was about the passenger who boarded in the midst of the newbies. He was taller than most, but that wasn’t it. His facial features were smooth, rounded with none of the angular bone structures most men had. He wore one of those rugby shirts with the parallel horizontal lines much like the old TV test patterns. His skin was light, very light. Perhaps that was it. Who lived in Las Vegas with milky white skin?

His long sandy hair was tied in the back—a man bun.

The horror that was the boarding process mercifully came to an end. The late hour guaranteed a quick trip to their runway and takeoff. Planes waiting to depart were not stacked up. A long, but quick taxi ride to the take-off area was the only thing between the plane and flight. Quickly, they were airborne, and shortly thereafter, they reached cruising altitude. Drink and snack service began.

The senior flight attendant encouraged economy passengers scattered throughout the plane to move forward. Seating was plentiful, and they wanted to bring this part of the flight service program to an end.

She completed the business class service and turned her attention to staging the extra beverages and ice needed to begin service in the economy section, when one of the other attendants started to complain.

“Didn’t she hear us ask everyone in economy to please move forward?”

“I’m sorry,” she started, “who are you talking about?”

“The tall woman sitting in front of the rear bulkhead.”

“Describe her,” she prompted.

“Tall, milky complexion, soft features, pony-tail, wearing a rugby dress.” She paused, “Can you imagine? Skin like that in the hot desert sun. She must hide under a ton of sun screen and big hats. Poor thing.”

“Did you say a woman?” she asked.

“Yes, a woman.”

The only person who fit that description was a man she saw during boarding.

Wow, she thought. It’s been a long day. Did I mistake a woman for a man?

About the Author:

Howard Weiner is a recent addition to the literary genre of fiction. Writing mysteries, thrillers, crimes—with a touch of romance—an approach described by one reader as “one bubble off.”

Many authors sharing the genre have characters whose fortune is determined by others. They literally have dodged the bullet that otherwise would have killed them. Weiner’s characters make their own fortune—good or bad—and they live with the results.

Weiner’s own experiences are blessed with no small number of noteworthy characters and events. He brings these slightly off-kilter individuals to life, complete with their own stories and dramas. Like the child prodigy in his first novel, “It Is Las Vegas After All”, who comes to the starting edge of adulthood and then loses the approval of his doting parents, the sponsorship of one of America’s great institutions of higher education, and gains the enmity of his girlfriend’s father—an international arms dealer—to become a home-grown terrorist operating on U.S. Soil.

A survivor of rich, nuanced bureaucracies in the public and private sector, Weiner writes about characters whose career choices and decisions are morally questionable. A student of personal behavior in complex circumstances, Weiner brings these often cringe-worthy characters to life. Some are amoral, others immoral in a narrow slice of their lives, yet they otherwise look and act like people we all know from work or even childhood. Like one of the female leads in his novel, “Serendipity Opportunity”, an out-of-the-box thinker who flunks most of life’s basic relationship tests, yet she is someone you never want pursuing you in the cause of justice. There’s a former foreign security official who uses his protected status as a witness for federal prosecutors to provide cover for his own mayhem and murder in Weiner’s third novel, “Bad Money”.

Many of Weiner’s stories are born out of real life events: The mix-up in luggage claim at the airport in, “Bad Money”, the chronic high school slacker in “Serendipity Opportunity” whose one stroke of good fortune creates his opportunity to perpetrate a complex series of frauds, or the brilliant student in “It Is Las Vegas After All” who uses his prodigious talents toward an evil end.

As a former federal official, Weiner can neither confirm nor deny having the highest security clearances in classified security programs. Yet, his knowledge of the dark web, criminal organizations, and security organizations takes stories from the popular press to the next level.

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A Hole in One by Judy Penz Sheluk – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Judy Penz Sheluk will be awarding a $10 Amazon/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.

Hoping to promote the Glass Dolphin antiques shop, co-owners Arabella Carpenter and Emily Garland agree to sponsor a hole in one contest at a charity golf tournament. The publicity turns out to be anything but positive, however, when Arabella’s errant tee shot lands in the woods next to a corpse.

They soon learn that the victim is closely related to Arabella’s ex-husband, who had been acting as the Course Marshal. With means, opportunity, and more than enough motive, he soon becomes the police department’s prime suspect, leaving Arabella and Emily determined to clear his name—even if they’re not entirely convinced of his innocence.

Dogged by incriminating online posts from an anonymous blogger, they track down leads from Emily’s ex-fiancé (and the woman he left Emily for), an Elvis impersonator, and a retired antiques mall vendor with a secret of her own.

All trails lead to a mysterious cult that may have something to do with the murder. Can Arabella and Emily identify the killer before the murderer comes after them?

Enjoy an Excerpt

Arabella Carpenter let the others go first. All three managed to clear the pond with their tee shot and land on the green, but not one was anywhere close to getting a hole in one. Arabella breathed a sigh of relief—since they were sponsoring the contest, their foursome might not be eligible to win, but it still freaked her out to think someone else might. She went through her mental prep, took her swing, and watched as her ball went directly into the woods.

“Hey, you made it over the water,” Hudson said, hopping into his cart. “For someone just starting out, that’s not a bad shot.”

Arabella caught Emily’s look and smiled. He really was a nice guy. “Thanks, Hudson. Whether I can find my ball is an entirely different story. Why don’t I look for it while you guys putt in? I’m sure one of you will be able to make the shot.”

They crossed the pond on a wooden bridge just wide enough for their golf carts, parked on the path next to the hole, and grabbed their putters. Luke, Hudson, and Emily went to the green and began debating which ball to hit. Arabella trundled over to the woods, feeling stupid and hoping like hell it wasn’t infested with poison ivy. The woods were thicker than she’d expected. She walked in a couple of feet, using her putter to push the branches aside.

That’s when she started to scream.

About the Author:

An Amazon international bestselling author, Judy Penz Sheluk is the author of two mystery series: The Glass Dolphin Mysteries (THE HANGED MAN’S NOOSE and A HOLE IN ONE) and The Marketville Mysteries (SKELETONS IN THE ATTIC). Her short crime fiction appears is included in several collections, including LIVE FREE OR TRI.

Judy is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, the Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Crime Writers of Canada, where she currently serves on the Board of Directors as the Regional Representative for Toronto/Southern Ontario.

Find Judy on her website/blog at, where she interviews and showcases the works of other authors and blogs about the writing life.

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Guarding Her Heart by Jade Webb – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jade will be awarding a $30 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Trust me, even though I’ve had a silver spoon in my mouth since I was a fetus and have a world-famous pop diva as a sister, there is nothing I want more in the world than to fade into the background and live out my Law & Order fantasy of becoming a public defender.

The only problem is my dad won’t bankroll law school unless I spend the summer following my older sister on her arena tour, keeping her out of trouble and making sure she doesn’t have yet another embarrassing public meltdown. Now relegated to a glorified babysitter, I am stuck lugging my ten-pound LSAT prep books through hotel lobbies and taking practice tests in my sister’s dressing rooms.

Then I find myself caught in a love triangle with my sister’s arch nemesis, bad boy popstar Jordan James and Liam, my sister’s confusing and irritatingly gorgeous Scottish bodyguard. Too bad I’ve sworn off love after seeing my own parent’s train wreck of marriage end with heartache and misery.

I’m tired of living under my family’s careful rules and law school is my way out. I won’t let anything get in my way. I won’t let anyone close enough to break down my walls. I have to guard my heart.

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The sound of the door opening behind me sends a shiver of fear down my spine. I drop the hairbrush and fumble to hang the dress back with the others on the clothing rack. I step backward and let out a loud gasp as I feel a hard, thick wall hit me from behind. Turning slowly, I take a nervous step back, sweeping my eyes up and down the giant man looming in front of me.

I feel my breath catch as I take him in. He easily towers over me, and is definitely over six feet tall. His body is literally radiating heat, and a quick glance up to his face reveals that it is not the good kind: he looks pissed. His eyes are narrowed into an intimidating glare, and his brow is deeply furrowed as his steel-grey eyes pin me in my place. We stare at each other for a few long moments, neither one of us uttering a word. His eyes flicker up and down my body and I swear I can feel my skin scorch under his assessment. I am so overwhelmed by his presence that I take another staggering step backward. My tactic doesn’t work and only seems to annoy him further.

“Who are you and what are you doing here?” His voice is loud, authoritative, and surprisingly, unmistakably Scottish. Although I try to fight it, my mind instantly travels to my secret stash of Scottish highlander romance novels I read when I need to unwind after a long day. God, this guy would look amazing in a kilt.

At that thought, I feel heat instantly rush to my cheeks. God, why am I so awkward? Just calmly explain who you are and send him on his merry way. I open my mouth and inwardly cringe at how high-pitched and mousy I sound. “I- I’m here to see Daphni.” He stares at me blankly, his eyes narrowing even more in annoyance.

“My sister,” I clarify, my voice a bit more even.

He rolls his eyes at me and swears under his breath. “Great,” he mutters, “Another crazy fan.”

About the Author:

I am a lover of romance novels that feature strong heroines who know that the loves that may come into their lives are always the icing, and never the cake.

I have loved romance novels since I was a teen, sneaking them into my Bible studies at my all-girls Catholic school. I love strong heroines who know that the men that may come into their lives are always the icing, and never the cake.

Thanks to my own marriage, I have learned that the challenges of life can only help to make love stronger and I am grateful to my partner for embodying all the magic that love can offer.

When I am not writing or dreaming up new love stories, I am working in a retirement community outside of Boston that provides me with enough writing material for ten lifetimes.

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Guarding Her Heart is available exclusively on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited $0.99 during the tour.

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A Walk on the Wild Side by Eileen Dreyer writing as Kathleen Korbel – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Eileen will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly chosen winner via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour and more chances to win.

J.P. O’Neill is in the fight of his life. A legendary agent with the DEA, he’s uncovered a conspiracy in his own agency. The only problem is he’s been arrested for the murder of his partner. If he goes to jail, he dies.

There’s only one solution—escape. The only way to do that is to kidnap his defense attorney. Lauren Taylor is a high-priced attorney doing a favor for a friend. Suddenly she finds herself on the run with the most dangerous man she’s ever met. Will she survive with her heart intact?

“Ms. Korbel generates an incredible chemistry between her two immensely appealing lovers that will set your heart on fire.” ~ RT Booklovers

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The first time she saw him, he was unkempt, unwashed and unshaven. And that was after they’d cleaned him up.

“It says here you were a DEA agent,” Lauren mused, her eyes down on the file she’d been handed rather than the bedraggled man who sat across the table from her.

“I’m still a DEA agent,” he allowed, his voice gravelly with weariness, his hands clenched around a foam coffee cup.

He’d already finished the coffee. Now he was tearing little strips off the rim with his fingers, fingers that were so grimy that Lauren had thought twice about shaking his hand.

She knew his story was that he’d been undercover as a street person, but she wasn’t sure he’d had to go to quite the lengths he had. James O’Neill smelled like a cannery and looked like the bottom of an oil drum. His layered clothes were torn and filthy, his beard gnarled and unruly, a salt and pepper variation on the nondescript hair that straggled down the back of his neck from beneath a knit cap. The typical uniform of any of the thousands of lost men who wandered the streets and slept in parks and under bridges.

But that wasn’t what kept Lauren from facing him. She’d sat across from her share of derelicts. After all, she’d been with the public defender’s office before joining the firm of Paxton, Bryant and Filmore. She knew how to survive a pungent odor or two and didn’t think twice about the type of grime in which a man chose to coat himself.

What Lauren couldn’t quite face were James O’Neill’s eyes.

They’d been the first thing she’d noticed, the single startling contrast to the rest of the picture that made her believe that O’Neill had been, at least until a month earlier, one of the DEA’s top agents. Brilliant, according to the records she’d scanned. Canny, daring, a risk taker of the first order who’d netted some of the top players in the game by running some of the most unbelievable stings in the history of the agency. A legend in his own time.

The file before her also said that sometime around dawn the man who sat before her had shot down his ex-partner in cold blood in a public park rather than be hauled in on drug charges.

About the Author:

New York Times bestselling, RWA Hall of Fame author Eileen Dreyer has published 31 romance novels in most genres, 8 medical­forensic suspenses, and 10 short stories.

2015 sees Eileen enjoying critical acclaim for her foray into historical romance, the Drake’s Rakes series, which Eileen labels as Regency Romantic Adventure that follows a group of Regency aristocrats who are willing to sacrifice everything to keep their country safe. She is also working on her first non­fiction book, TRAVELS WITH DAVE, about a journey she’s been taking with a friend’s ashes.

A retired trauma nurse, Eileen lives in her native St. Louis with her husband, children, and a large and noisy Irish family, of which she is the reluctant matriarch. She has animals but refuses to subject them to the limelight.

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The Storm and the Sea by January George from Lawbreakers – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The authors will be awarding a digital copy of the book to 4 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

If you like strong women who take a detour from the straight and narrow, this collection is for you! From computer hackers to art heists, to a mysterious woman reclaiming her legacy and a re-telling of a classic with a billionaire twist, this box set has it all.

Join us for a ride-along on the wrong side of the law, and see if you fall in love with a Lawbreaker.

Collection includes The Fighting Lancasters by Deb Julienne, Two Truths and a Lie by Daryl Devoré, The Storm and the Sea by January George and Painted Love by Viviana MacKade.



The Storm and the Sea

After an impulsive decision lands her in hot water, Adrianne Broussard is desperate to get to the far reaches of the Louisiana Bayou to make things right. But a tropical storm is barreling up the Gulf and she can’t find anyone willing to take her.

When Ronan Doyle’s fishing boat is locked up by a shady dock owner, he’ll do just about anything to get it back, even take a mysterious blond out in the middle of a storm.

But when they’re left stranded in the unforgiving swamp, and their secrets start to unravel, will they find the strength to trust each other, even if it puts them on opposite sides of the law?

Enjoy an Excerpt from The Storm and the Sea

He jumped the cabin steps in one leap, wrenching open the door. “We’re taking on water. Life jacket on, now!” Ronan pulled on his own, not waiting to see if she followed directions.

“What was that?” Adrianne cried, her knuckles white on the steering wheel.

Ronan shook his head, snapping the clasps before he turned to her. He shot a look over his shoulder. The smaller craft struggled in the waves, closing the distance. His fingers moved deftly down the black plastic clips, snapping them across her chest. “We hit something. We’re going down. I don’t know how deep it is, but we can’t stay here.” He scanned their surroundings. They were about thirty yards from land.

Adrianne clung to the backpack like it was a buoy. Tears glistened in her eyes. “Ok.”

Ronan framed her face with his hands. “I need you to do exactly as I say, ok?”

She nodded. She still wouldn’t let go of that damn backpack.

He pulled her behind him. The boat listed, the horrible sound of torn metal groaned below them. “We’re going to jump. Swim for the shore with everything you got.”

“I—I can’t,” she stammered.

Ronan glanced over his shoulder. The boat was close, its lone occupant fighting against the wind. Once they were in the water, the carcass of the Fiona would block them, but not for long. He smiled sheepishly at Adrianne. “Sorry about this.”

She looked up sharply. “What?”

He picked her up and unceremoniously tossed her overboard.

About the Author:January George has been writing since she was a child, but fell in love with happily ever after while traveling through Europe at thirteen when she ran out of books and discovered Harlequin. She lives in Upstate New York with her husband and children.

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Living from the Inside Out by Kristie Booker – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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

Living from the Inside Out

As a wellness coach, I often work with women who feel like their body is never good enough. I can relate. I used to live with that mindset as well. I spent a large part of my life working up the courage to raise my middle finger to society’s view of a perfect body. Self-acceptance is hard.

What if we felt good enough because we were simply good enough? What if we spent time understanding what we love, what makes our heart happy and ultimately, “fitting in” to who we are?

These questions led me to think about where I continued to conform to society’s expectations. What part of me was still drinking the social Kool-Aid in order to be popular? Where was I continuing to live from the outside in?

I realized that I was participating in society’s push toward moving up the social ladder, competing and winning in the name of power and wealth. I made up my mind that I didn’t want to do that anymore. Little by little, I embraced the discomfort of letting go. It was hard. I did my best to quiet the outside noise so I could hear my tiny voice inside.

There’s always been a push inside of me to write. I ignored it. It wasn’t practical. The more I quieted the outside noise, the stronger the urge. As much as I felt inspired, I also was afraid. Afraid of being judged. Afraid of not being good enough.

I committed 2 hours each day to writing. Keeping my butt in the chair and fingers on the keyboard during those ugly moments where I had to wrestle mean, self-induced fears of not being smart enough, creative enough and all of the other “not enough” thoughts down to the ground was hard. At times, it felt impossible. After a while, the two hours a day became three, then four and five.

I felt resentful toward the blank stares and rolled eyes from some of those I chose to tell about my writing. I fought the desire to tell my internal voice to shut up so I could go back to the comfort zone of seeking acceptance from others. Being true to myself wasn’t supposed to please others, it was only supposed to feel right to me.

Now that I’m on the other side and have a completed novel ready to publish, I’m eternally grateful to whatever forces were at work to help me see my first book through to the end and ultimately, complete a lifelong dream of being a writer. Living from the inside out isn’t always easy but staying tuned in to the inner voice makes life a whole lot better.

Growing up on a farm in Brockville, Illinois, did not prepare Colleen O’Brien Adler to be the wife of a wealthy entertainment lawyer living in Chicago. It certainly didn’t prepare her to be Dinah Adler’s daughter-in-law. The stay-at-home mother of two has more than she’s ever wanted—a personal stylist, a prestigious country club membership, a multimillion-dollar home—but she finds herself not only struggling with depression and body image but also failing as a parent and fearing for her marriage. Her life is about to change when an invitation to a wellness meeting arrives in her inbox. With some coaxing from personal coach Kory Stone, she commits to a new beginning. But will she be able to overcome the things that are holding her back?

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Colleen tossed the other pieces of mail on the kitchen island between her freshly opened can of Diet Coke and the white-lidded paper cup that had contained a large vanilla latte. She tore through the heavy cardstock. White roses swirled up each side of the invitation.

Harborview Country Club cordially invites you to attend the Forty-Fourth Annual Spring Fashion Show — featuring Raina Rose. The event will be held on Friday, the first of April at noon. RSVP by the eighteenth of March. Spots are limited!

Today was March 17. Colleen dialed the club and was put on hold. While she waited, she thought of her doctor’s appointment scheduled on Friday, April 1. She would have to reschedule. She wasn’t missing the fashion show for the second year in a row.

The club receptionist finally returned to the line. “I’m sorry. Mrs. Adler, but the event is full.”

“Were the invitations mailed late?” Colleen said.

“I sent them three weeks ago,” the woman said. “Would you like me to add you to the waiting list?”

“But I just got mine,” Colleen said. “Who’s in charge this year?” She already knew the answer to that question — her mother-in-law, Dinah, and her porcelain-faced lackeys, Ashley Barr and Victoria Heller.

The same thing had happened last year, and Colleen had given the three women the benefit of the doubt. She believed them when they blamed the post office for the delay. This year, however, Colleen knew her invitation was sent late on purpose.

About the Author: Kristie Booker is the author of Blooming Into Life, a blogger and a Wellness Coach. She enjoys coaching and inspiring women through her writing as well as in person. Kristie is a wife and mother of two sons. She grew up in rural Illinois, but now lives in Chicago.

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Character Development by D. Lieber – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is parts of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. D. Lieber will be awarding a fancy homemade bookmark (US ONLY) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Character Creation

To me, characters are the most important part of the story. They drive the plot. They make even the most out-there fantasies seem real. Of course, world-building, plot, and themes are also important, but it’s all about the characters.

Characters need to feel like real people, even if they are magic. Readers need to be able to know who they are so well that they can tell you what they think a character would do in any given situation.

I get inspiration for characters from all over. It could be from a song, a movie, an off-handed conversation, or a person I met. Most of the time, I start with the question: I wonder what this kind of person would act like in this kind of situation. Or I wonder how these types of people would act with each other.

I find personality archetypes quite interesting, so I play around with them. I like to just plunk characters into situations and see what they do. I love it when they surprise me. In a strange twist, I can only do that when I have a clear image in my mind of who the character is.

I think that characters are what makes a story memorable in readers’ minds. Readers need to feel strong emotions toward characters. They need to love them, to hate them, to laugh with them, and to cry with/for them. They need to be outraged or heartbroken when a beloved character dies and cheer when the baddie gets his or her due.

In short, characters don’t have to be epic, though it’s fine if they are. They just need to be regular people in crazy situations.

Exiled from Faerie when her father dies, half-Fae Ember is surprised by how much the human realm has changed since she was there last. She takes a dangerous job on a merchant airship, hoping a life on the move will keep her well-hidden. Sure, she misses her brother, but years of apathy have numbed her emotions.

When the optimistic and naïve Reilley follows her, it’s annoying to say the least. But when she starts feeling responsible for him, long-stifled emotions crack the ice around her heart.

Faeries, pirates, and traveling players meet in this steampunk fantasy adventure as Ember tries to cope with feelings long forgotten and a past that pursues her.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Men and women dashed around the room, gleaming with sweat and smudged with black smears. The fires burned low. A large furnace at the center of the room had a thick chimney leading from it into the ceiling. Some people were moving piles of what looked like coal, while others tended a huge machine. It consisted of a number of large metal coils attached to gears. Some of the coils were wound tight while others were loose. The gears attached to the coils were meshed with gears that had magnets on them. Ropes, made of a material I couldn’t identify, were threaded through the center of the magnet gears.

We passed through engineering and climbed to the main deck. The wooden deck sprawled before us. The chimney from engineering came up through the floor and reached toward the cloth bubble above us.

Shy pointed to a cabin on the left. “That’s where you’ll bunk with the rest of the deckhands, Ember. I still have inventory to do. I trust you both can get settled?” He disappeared below deck.

I walked toward the cabin, and Reilley followed.

“I wish we were bunking together, Ember,” he said, slumping his shoulders. I didn’t respond and entered the cabin, shutting the door in his face.

About the Author:D. writes stories she wants to read. Her love of the worlds of fiction led her to earn a Bachelor’s in English from Wright State University.

When she isn’t reading or writing, she’s probably hiking, crafting, watching anime, Korean television, Bollywood, or old movies. She may also be getting her geek on while planning her next steampunk cosplay with friends.

She lives in Wisconsin with her husband (John), retired guide dog (Samwise), and cat (Yin).

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The Rake and the Bishop’s Daughter – Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Julia will be awarding a $30 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Society’s beloved wastrel, Sir Harry Collyns, pushes his popularity past the point of acceptability when he poses for a statue that creates a social uproar. People line up for blocks to see Handsome Harry in the nude, sculpted by a female artist! Bored with the fuss and scandal, Harry hitches up his fastest team, heads for the country, and a near fatal curricle accident. When the bandages are removed from his head days later, he discovers the angel-voiced widow who’d cared for him is neither elderly nor as mild as her tone, but a straight-laced do-gooder unimpressed with his flamboyant past and dashing good looks. Head-battered and heading for a broken heart, he falls into love with Widow Olivia St. Clair, who might be the one woman in England that Harry can’t charm into loving him back.

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“I wish you wouldn’t run away, Harry.”

Lying on his back on a blanket spread across the grass on a soft summer day, Sir Harry Collyns looked up at Lady Asterly, who reclined on a nearby chaise lounge wearing a lavender tulle frock and a scowl.

“Nothing else for it, Lizzie.”

Sunlight peeked through the leaves of the towering oak. Bright dots flickered over her disgruntled moue, which made him laugh. It sounded forced, mainly because he didn’t want to talk about why he needed to leave. Disappointment and concern clouded her expressive hazel eyes. He didn’t much like it when she did that. It hurt as much as it made him feel guilty.

In an attempt to change the prickly subject, he said, “It’s been two years and I’m still trying to figure out how my brother managed to catch you. You’re too rich and intelligent for him. The only sensible conclusion is that you would’ve been much better off marrying me.”

“Stuff and nonsense! You know compliments won’t work with me, and I’ll not let you use them to avoid this issue. Fleeing at the height of this scandal will only make matters worse. Especially since it comes so quickly on the heels of the last one.”

“Set it down to the price of popularity. Let’s find a happier subject.”

“Harry, everyone knows she’s a liar, just as everyone knows your only associations are with widows.”

“You mean affairs,” he teased, hoping to dislodge her from the subject.

“My point is that you’d never jilt a girl.”

He stood and looked down into her troubled gaze. She started to say something, then stopped the words with a shake of her head. He tapped the end of her nose and smiled at her worried gaze.

“Don’t fret, love. I’m fine. I just need to get away and rethink things.”

“You are so much more than what you allow the world to see, Harry.”

About the Author: Julia Donner (aka M.L.Rigdon) grew up in historic Galena, IL, USA, and spent most of her time in the museum of her aunt, who encouraged her interest in history and understood the need to cherish a dream. She started writing in secret in her teens and never stopped, merging it with her mother’s encouragement to study theater and music, which led to performing in the Midwest, California and as far away as Austria.

Donner never forgot what it was like to write alone as a girl and is a happy member of Summit City Scribes. Concern for the failing educational system led her to develop Your Futures in Ink, a panel of local and regional authors, who go into to schools to encourage students and answer questions about writing.

THE TIGRESSE AND THE RAVEN, first book in the regency Friendship Series, is an RWA contest finalist. The ninth book in the series, A ROGUE FOR MISS PRIM and the tenth, AN AMERICAN FOR AGNES, are available now. A LAIRD’S PROMISE will be released by Spring 2018.

M.L Rigdon (aka Julia Donner)

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The Hardest Part About Writing by Samie Sands – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Samie Sands will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The Hardest Part About Writing Is…
…finding the time and the inspiration at exactly the same moment!

Most writers, myself included, have other priorities that sometimes take over everything else, and I always seem to find that these are the times when the ideas are swirling in the back of my mind, needing to get down on paper. I just don’t have the time to actually make that happen. When I do have the time, and I mean a good amount of time because half an hour here and there isn’t enough time to really get into the swing of things, I sometimes feel stuck, like I can’t quite translate what I want to say. The characters in my brain go very quiet, or the words simply won’t flow. It’s very frustrating!

For me, the best part about writing is creating characters that are very real and relatable to. Yes, they are flawed and they don’t always make the wisest choices, but who can honestly say that they always do the right thing, one hundred percent of the time? With Lottie, I think I’ve created a character with a strong – albeit very confused – voice which remains very much her as she delves into her past, trying to work out whether her present would be better or worse, had her childhood sweetheart not been ripped from her life. It’s a situation that might not be exactly relatable to, but I’m sure everyone has something in their past that they’d like to do differently.

My previous book series, which features the zombie apocalypse, so of course no one has been through that before, but I hope readers can relate to some of the characters included in the plots…even if they aren’t always the smartest or the most likeable at times!

“Will you marry me?”

Four words I’ve waited my whole life to hear. Four words I was sure would change my life forever…and they did. Just not in the way I expected.

Finding out my extremely gorgeous rock star boyfriend was about to propose had the complete opposite effect I thought it would. Rather than catapult me into a future I’ve always wanted, it plunged me back to a past I tried to forget.

Now I can’t get him out of my head. I can’t help but wonder what could have been, how our lives would have ended up if he didn’t leave me behind, a shattered mess.

All these memories are dangerous. They’re bringing my past back to ruin my future. And worst of all, they’re taking me right back to him, my childhood sweetheart, my first love…my biggest regret.

Enjoy an Excerpt

“Will you marry me?”

They were the words I’d wanted to hear my entire life. Didn’t every girl fantasize over the perfect man buying the perfect ring and getting down on one knee in the most romantic way possible, before telling them they loved them so much they wanted to spend the rest of their life with them?

I knew I certainly had.

Me and my best friend Cici used to talk about it all the time. We used to plan our dresses, the music, the flowers—every part of the ceremony down to the very last detail. Of course, the man didn’t really matter. We were young enough and naïve enough to believe we would magically meet the perfect man without even trying.

And I really thought I had. I really, truly believed my dream had come true.

Me and Danny had begun our love story in a very typical fashion—our eyes had met across a bar, where we’d had long, lingering eye contact, sparking all kinds of emotions within me. The only difference between my story, and that of every other rom-com ever, was that Danny was a genuine up-and-coming rock star, playing on a fairly big stage, and I was a fan who already felt a lot of love for this man. I’d been admiring him from afar ever since I first heard their album a year or so before.

I certainly hadn’t expected it to ever go any further than that moment, so when he came and joined me at the bar later on for a drink, despite being mobbed by other members of the audience, I felt like my entire life had been leading me up to that moment. I felt like everything I’d experienced had drawn me closer to Danny, the love of my life. Here was a gorgeous man who was destined to be famous, and who could have any girl in the world hanging off of his arm, talking to me, asking me questions, and actually showing me interest.

It seemed like a dream—one I was terrified to wake up from.

As he flicked his wavy auburn hair from his warm, chocolaty eyes, and he gave me that smile that had already melted the hearts of the nation, I thought for a dreaded, wonderful second that he was going to kiss me in front of all of those people. But after a few beats of pure terror, he didn’t. Instead he handed me his phone number, and he asked if I would like to go on a date with him.

Me—boring old Charlotte aka Lottie Jones—on a date with Danny Boreom, drummer of the now very famous band Jax. It didn’t seem real.

Yet, it was real, and it did happen.

It was the start of my real life.

After a night out on the town where he well and truly wined and dined me, he walked me home to my tiny flat, which must have looked ridiculous compared to the mansion I now know he lived in with the rest of the band at the time, and he finally kissed me. As his lips met mine, I felt myself flying on top of the world—he was an amazing kisser, and there seemed to be an endless chemistry between us. One I never wanted to end.

Breathless and turned on by the power of his mouth, I invited him inside. Although he coolly and calmly turned me down, it was still the best night of my entire life, made even better by a phone call the next day to say that he only didn’t come inside with me because he wanted to be something real. He didn’t want our love to end with a one-night stand, he actually wanted us to develop, and for him to become my boyfriend.

Fast forward three and a half years and we were blissfully living together, grazing by every day happily and easily. Although he was away for a lot of the year touring, it didn’t seem to bother us. We were so strong and so solid with what we had, nothing would get in our way.

It was perfect, still a dream come true, and that intense chemistry hadn’t burned down one bit.

Which made it even weirder that my reaction to Cici telling me that Baz—another member of the band—had just told her that he’d been engagement ring shopping with Danny, wasn’t one of pure joy.

“What…what do you mean?” I asked, my heart racing frantically in my chest. I could tell that my voice was breathless and kind of terrified, but my mind was spinning too fast for me to be able to do anything about it.

“Aren’t you happy?” She giggled. “I thought you’d be over the moon to finally be Mrs. Boreom.”

“No, no, I am,” I half lied. The idea had always been at the edge of my thoughts. I knew Danny was the one for me, and despite all the car crash relationships around us, we’d even managed to survive the fallout of him becoming mega famous. It helped that I had no interest in the spotlight and I did everything I could to avoid it, but even despite all of that, I felt like it proved we could go the distance, and be together forever. So why wasn’t I excited for us to take the next step? “It’s just a bit of a shock, that’s all.”

But that was normal, right? Everyone freaked out at first when they learned they were going to become someone’s wife…didn’t they?

Of course, I already knew that wasn’t true. I’d already been proposed to once in my life before, and that time, I didn’t hesitate one bit. Panic didn’t even come into the equation, I was happy, over the moon at the thought of becoming his wife. This was nothing like that had been. I felt completely different.

For the first time in a very long time, I allowed myself to think about Joe again, and almost the second I allowed that vault to open in my mind, I felt myself fall into a tailspin. As his face filled my brain once more, it was almost as if the last five years hadn’t happened at all, and I was still his proud girlfriend, waiting to be his wife.

As the wound reopened, I could barely hear what Cici was saying. I felt like I was gaping, exposed, and extremely vulnerable all over again, and I did what I’d always done when I was younger when things got too difficult for me. I started to talk to Joe in my mind.

Where are you now? What became of you? What happened to your life?

It was so strange to have gone from the closest people in the world, to absolutely nothing, and I struggled to imagine that he’d changed one bit. Of course I had, my life was completely different, but I couldn’t think of Joe without viewing him as the other half of me. The boy that I’d adored, and the one I never thought would leave my side.

“I…I’ve got to go,” I finally announced to my friend. “I’ll speak to you later, okay?” And then I hung up the phone, without even waiting for her to answer. I knew I was being rude, acting more than a little strange, but I needed some time. I needed to be alone with my thoughts to try and process all of this.

So how I found myself sitting at my computer with my fingers running along the keys, I wasn’t quite sure.

Don’t press anything, I willed myself. As soon as you do, everything will change.

Since we had gone our separate ways, I hadn’t contacted Joe once, and with the rising of social media, I hadn’t looked him up either. I just couldn’t face it. He was like an imaginary fantasy in my mind now, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to ruin that with reality. What if he was married now? Or into drugs or something? His life could have gone in any direction, and I wasn’t sure I really wanted to find out which one.

Plus, my life really was amazing now. Why would I want to even consider risking that? I had a gorgeous, passionate man who actually wanted to be with me forever, even though he was about ten leagues above me. I had a teaching job I loved, and friends that would do anything for me. That was a hell of a lot more than most people had!

In the end I forced myself to stand up and to move away from the computer screen before it lured me in. I couldn’t do it; I just wasn’t willing to take that step into the unknown. It terrified me far too much. But as I wandered aimlessly from room to room, I realised I couldn’t just do nothing, either. I needed to calm this beast within me, which meant delving into my past whether I liked it or not.

I stood at the bottom of the attic ladder, wondering what awaited me up there. When me and Danny decided to buy a place together—well, he put the most money in, of course, but we still classed it as ‘ours’—I shoved everything related to my old life away, not wanting to even consider it. But it was always a comfort, knowing it was there, knowing I could access it at any moment if I really wanted to.

And I could feel myself finally taking that step.

I creaked up the ladder, feeling my heart thump and my palms sweat with nerves. This was a mistake, I knew it was, but at the same time I couldn’t stop.

There would be no way for me to get married without taking this step anyway. Right now, things were comfortable, but if I was ever going to have a future with Danny, I needed to confront my past first. At least, that was my excuse and I was sticking to it.

Danny knew about Joe anyway. Well, he’d been told some of it, the very basics, so I supposed I was probably going to have to confess all before we finally took the plunge. With that thought in mind, I tore open the first box I stumbled across, and I ended up looking at the few photographs I had of me and Joe when we were very young, when we first met…

About the Author:Samie Sands is the author of the AM13 Outbreak series, published by Limitless Publishing. She’s also had short stories included inAmazon best selling anthologies and work featured on Wattpad. Lottie Loves is her first book in the contemporary romance genre.

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Chicken Culprit by Vikki Walton – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Vikki Walton will award a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter a $25 Amazon/BN GC. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Chicken Culprit is only $0.99 at Amazon!

Moving to Colorado seemed like a great way to start over. In Carolan Springs, Anne plans to spend her days living the simpler life.

But when her neighbor is found dead in his compost pile, trouble comes knocking on Anne’s door.

All the evidence points to Anne’s other neighbor, Kandi Jenkins. As the young woman begs Anne for help, Anne finds herself thrust into a world of deceit and secrets.

Who had the most to gain from Ralph’s death? As the suspect list grows, Anne finds her desire for the simple life may have led her to something sinister.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Anne yawned and stretched her hands over her head. She unlocked the kitchen window, taking in a deep breath of crisp Colorado air and sighed loudly. No longer would she have to deal with divorce lawyers or Duke. She could finally live her life as she saw fit.

Anne surveyed her domain. Even though boxes cluttered every available space, it didn’t matter to her. What she cared about was that it was all hers. While the work ahead might seem daunting, the prospect of transforming the old Victorian house didn’t deter Anne.

She poured herself a cup of coffee, both hands cradling the mug, before deciding to drink it out on the back porch. Rays of sunshine had risen about the copse at the back of her property, and its golden warmth welcomed the day. Raising the mug to her mouth, Anne took a much-needed sip of the hot morning brew.

“Stop! Stop!” A woman’s voice carried over from the other yard.

Anne sloshed coffee onto her chambray shirt. “Shoot!” She set her cup down on the railing. The liquid turning cold began seeping onto her skin.

“Stop!” The piercing scream came again.

About the Author: Vikki is a well-liked speaker and knowledgeable instructor on myriad topics such as fundraising, work quilting, creative writing, design, homesteading, travel, and getting what you really want out of life. Her diverse background and passions enables Vikki to speak and write about many subjects. She’s the author of Work Quilting, a top ten book on vocational guidance. She’s also a global house and petsitter, founder and travel blogger at and upcoming book on women’s travel.

If Vikki isn’t off exploring the globe, you’ll find her at her home in Colorado digging in the garden, watching her chicken’s antics, reading a mystery or working on her newest project.

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