LASR Anniversary: Ann Herrick – Guest Post and Giveaway

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Leave a comment on THIS POST for a chance to win an additional prize -A PDF copy of my ebook How to Survive a Summer Romance (Or Two)

 Summer Then, Summer Now

             When I was a kid, I just loved summer. It was a time of freedom. Freedom from school, freedom from heavy winter clothes, freedom to read just for fun, with no book report looming. On the last day of school summer stretched ahead like an endless horizon.Ann&Cats

I would wake up and think, “What should I do today? Who should I play with?” I lived in a neighborhood with plenty of kids. One was and still is my Best Friend Forever, though back then we would simply say, “best friend.” Others kids met certain interests. I would play “horses” with one friend. Hunt for rocks and arrowheads with another. Play softball with a group. Sometimes we would just flop on the ground and watch the clouds, imagining them to be everything from horses to giants. Or we’d curl up on a front porch and read. Reading for pleasure was always part of summer.

While I had some chores (clean my room, help my mother hang laundry, iron my father’s handkerchiefs), most of the summer days were for pure fun. I would ride my bike, roller skate, climb trees, make crafts, put on a “show,” for neighbors (and charge a nickel!), build a fort. I could walk down to the end of the street and watch boats in the harbor, or catch a few small crabs to sell to the fisherman and take my money to the little bait store that also sold candy and soda and get myself a treat.

When I was bit older I could walk to the town beach every day to swim, sunbathe, play cards and listen to the radio with my friends. I would stop at the library and pick out books to read. One year a friend and I got into a competition to see who could read the most Black Stallion books (in order of publication!).

My older brother might take me for a ride in the convertible he was working on or the new motorcycle he just bought.

But once I grew up, summer lost a bit of its glow for me. For one thing, I had to work through the summer. There were days when I would look out at a clear blue sky and just ache to be outdoors. But, of course, I had to stay inside and stick to my tasks.

The heat of summer began to bother me. I couldn’t just run through a sprinkler or go to the beach on a hot day. I had to go to and from a job, or do yard work, or raise my daughter—or write books. Now I grumble when the temperature gets to be over 75! And lying in the sun to get a tan lost its appeal once the news was out about the kinds of harm it could do to one’s skin. But reading for pleasure is still a summer delight. Although I read all year, there’s still something special about sitting in the shade with a book and reading just for the pure enjoyment of it.

So even though summer is no longer the carefree season it once was for me, a warm day with a soft breeze, the sound of birds chirping in the back yard, memories of the cherished days of my childhood, and reading a special book still make summer a wonderful season.

Herrick-MyFakeSummerBoyfriend200x300
Sun, surf, sand and Alex–Katie was swept away!

Katie eagerly agrees to pretend she is Alex’s girlfriend for the summer in order to protect his job. Amid sundrenched waves, they develop a friendship that is on the verge of turning romantic, when who should arrive but Nicole, Alex’s old girlfriend. In three days, Nicole ruins Katie’s relationship with Alex. So Katie gets involved with Logan, Nicole’s handsome older brother, though Alex is the one for her.

Soon enough Katie learns that fake romances can get out of hand and lead to complications she never imagined.

Ann Herrick is the award-winning author of several books and short stories for kids and teens. Included in the awards her books have won are the ALA Recommended Book for Reluctant Readers, IRA/CBC Children’s Choice and EPIC Best YA Novel Finalist.
Ann grew up in Connecticut, where she graduated from The Morgan School and Quinnipiac University. She now lives in Oregon with her husband, who was her high-school sweetheart. Their wonderful daughter is grown, married and gainfully employed, and has given Ann her only grand-dog, Puff, a bloodhound-rottweiller-beagle mix and six grand-kitties. While she misses the East Coast, especially houses built before 1900, she enjoys the green valleys, fresh air and low humidity in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. Ann loves cats, walking, the Oregon Ducks and working in her back yard. In addition to stories and books for children and young adults, Ann also writes copy for humorous and conventional greeting cards.

http://annherrickauthor.com

http://annherrick.blogspot.com

https://www.facebook.com/ann.herrick

https://twitter.com/ann_herrick

http://amzn.com/B00KAOD562

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LASR Anniversary: HL Carpenter – Guest Post and Giveaway

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Leave a comment on THIS POST for a chance to win an additional prize -One e-copy of Walled In, our young adult novel.

Summer Weather Forecasting is for the Birds

Weather forecasting is for the birds—bluebirds, that is.

Here in Carpenter Country, the magical place where we write, we offer room and board to local avians in exchange for the pleasure of their company. We built two of our community birdhouses especially for bluebirds, and they’ve been continually occupied over the years.

During that time, the bluebirds-in-residence have followed the same routine. In spring, for warmth, they raise chicks in the box that sits in full sun. In summer, to keep the nestlings cooler, they use the quarters that occupy a shady spot close to a leafy Sycamore.

Last month, Mr. and Mrs. Blue reversed the procedure and built a summer nest at their spring address.Bird House small

We’re pretty sure bluebirds don’t move house because the kitchen in the new place is equipped with great appliances or the bathroom has a hot tub. We think they’re more into the realtor’s creed of location, location, location. They decide—in advance—which location will offer the best conditions for the survival of their chicks.

So, are bluebirds better at long range forecasting than human meteorologists?

Turns out they are. Every day during the month of July, the weather people predicted an occasional shower and lots of sunshine. But the birds knew July would be cloud-covered and rain-soaked.

Perhaps forecasters should watch birds instead of computer models. How about putting bluebirds on the air? A live-stream webcam of bluebird activity would be more interesting than swirling maps of radar simulations. And, given the accuracy of recent forecasts, Mr. and Mrs. Blue would earn their salary of insects and berries.

What do you think? Is employing bluebirds as forecasters an idea whose time has come? Or could it only happen in Carpenter Country, a place that, like our stories, is unreal but not untrue?

walledin-500 full size 500 by 750Seventeen year old Vandy Spencer lives like a princess. Sheltered by her wealthy family, she happily makes plans to spend a fantasy before-college gap summer with her gorgeous boyfriend.

Then her dad is accused of a huge financial fraud. Vandy is thrust into a frenzy of media attention as accusations and innuendos pile up daily. The victims of her dad’s swindle vow revenge, and her dad flees.

As her perfect life disintegrates, Vandy struggles to separate reality from lies. Was her perfect life truly so perfect? Did she ever really know her father?

When family secrets come to light, revealing an unimaginable betrayal, Vandy learns to appreciate the simple richness of sincerity and truth.

HL Carpenter is a Florida-based mother/daughter duo who writes from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. Their latest young adult novel is Walled In. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity. Their work is featured on their website, HLCarpenter.com.

http://www.hlcarpenter.com/

http://www.hlcarpenter.com/index.php/essay-summer-weather-forecasting-birds/

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00K2KKVJS/

Musa Publishing – http://musapublishing.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=5&products_id=780

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Profile of Terror by Alexa Grace – Spotlight and Giveaway

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

MEDIA KIT profileofterror_400x600A missing coed named Abby Reece.

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

Things get complicated.

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

Add a sociopathic serial killer who calls himself the Master.

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

Profile of Terror

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

Enjoy an excerpt:

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

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

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

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

“Why is that?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can visit her website.

Subscribe to her newsletter.

Friend her on Facebook

Tweet her – @AlexaGrace2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy an excerpt:

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

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

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

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

Website link: www.prophecychronicles.com

Purchase link at Rogue Phoenix Press

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


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

How Much Is Too Much?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope you get a chance to read it soon!

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

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

Fate throws the men together altering their respective worlds forever.

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

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

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

About the Author:

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

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

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

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

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


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

Lessons I learned from my characters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s an excerpt:

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

“Did you mean it?” Ren asks.

“Yes.”

“You’re in love with me?”

“Yes.”

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

“I want us to be together—”

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

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

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

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

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

Website ~ Twitter

Buy the book at Interlude Press

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy an excerpt:

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

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

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

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

“What the deuce for?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Contact information:

Author Website: http://amyrosebennett.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AmyRoseBennett

Buy Links:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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This Time by Trish Edmisten – Spotlight and Giveaway

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

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

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

 

Enjoy an excerpt:

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

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

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

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

“I don’t dance.”

“Don’t or won’t?”

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

“Don’t, end of story.”

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

About the Author:

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

Buy the book at Barnes and Noble or Smashwords.

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Gabe Kincaid by Caroline Clemmons – Spotlight and Giveaway

8_20 BBT_GabeKincaid_Banner

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

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

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

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

Enjoy an excerpt:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Nearest relative?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

website: http://www.carolineclemmons.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorcarolineclemmons

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/carolinclemmons

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/Caroline_Clemmons

Google+: https://plus.google.com/+CarolineClemmons/posts

WattPad: http://www.wattpad.com/user/CClemmons?utm_source=wp_widget

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50 Shades of Fur by Missy Barkalot – Spotlight and Giveaway

This stop is part of a tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions.  The author will be awarding a signed copy of 50 Shades of Fur by Missy Barkalot, as told to Belinda Stevens to a randomly drawn winner via the rafflecopter at the end of this post during the tour.

A delightful, yet somewhat bawdy “tail” about Missy Barkalot, a petite rust-colored long-haired Dachshund and the apple of her eye, Humphrey B (aka “Hump”), and the other characters, both dogs and cats, who are frequent guests at Doggie Bath. Missy is pursued by Ralph the Bulldog, but she only has eyes for Hump, who was seduced by the glamorous toy poodle, CoCo. It turns out CoCo was a victim of her environment, as her owner had some kinky habits using a gray tie. Bondage with leashes, bite marks, jive-talking cats and cross-dressing Dobermans – not to mention a Doggie Blues band – keep the story rolling as Missy Barkalot uses her feminine wiles to woo Hump away from CoCo. DoggieBath has a little bit of everything – sexual intrigue, rock-n-roll and blues – canine style, and of course, a little weed. This fun romp through the world of Missy and Hump make a “furfect” read! If you love animals, you will love “50 Shades Of Fur.”

Enjoy an excerpt:

You would think it was Valentine’s day, the way the romances were emerging among the guests at Doggie Bath. It was obvious something was going on between Roxie and Bubba. She followed him around without her herd of Spaniels and Bubba didn’t seem to mind. The two spent hours softly growling, licking each other’s faces and of course, you know. Everyone was happy they were an item, not to mention the welcomed end to cougar stalking. Without their leader, the over-the-hill gang disbanded. Those females started looking for fur separately.

Even Lance found love with a two-year-old German Shepherd. They shared a water bowl, and wore matching pink and purple outfits. Lance’s new love fit right in with the Blues Dogs. His name was Mozart and he was musical. It wasn’t long before he joined the group. Those paws of his could bang out some serious R & B on the ivories.

Belinda J. Stevens was born in Yazoo City, Mississippi, the gateway to the Mississippi Delta, in 1948. She grew up in the turbulent sixties, and has a true appreciation for the difficulties experienced Katherine in her first novel, “Just Out of Reach.” A radical departure from her first novel, her lastest effort is a fun parody, “50 Shades of Fur by Missy Barkalot, as told to Belinda Stevens.”

An attorney by profession, Belinda tells the story of young love and dark secrets in the world of the Doggie Bath. Canines, cats and even a skunk with a prestigious lineage converge for a bawdy “tale” that will keep you laughing.

Belinda is a graduate of Belhaven University and earned a Masters in Social Science and a Law Degree from Mississippi College. From 1987-1997 she served as Special Assistant to Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore. She resides in Brandon, Mississippi with her dog Humprey B., and practices law in Yazoo City where she is a Public Defender.

Learn more about Belinda at www.belindastevens.com, or follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/belindastevensauthor.

You can order her book at http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=50%20Shades%20of%20Fur%2C%20Belinda%20Stevens

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