Ties of Smoke by Claudia Herring – Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Claudia will be awarding a $15 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.

Lady Lavinia Bramley is master of a Djinni.

Lavinia runs away from her husband to make a life with the djinni Yasir, but it’s not what she thought, not pearls and flying carpets and wishes come true . . .

Her desperate efforts to find happiness with Yasir are foiled by her husband’s reappearance, murder attempts by the jealous magician who cursed Yasir to the urn, and Yasir’s desire for revenge.

Lavinia finds love, and loyalty, are as ephemeral as ties of smoke.

Enjoy an Exclusive Excerpt:

The boy cocked his head and thumped the heel of his hand near his ear. He straightened and squinted at her, drops of water competing with the freckles sprinkled on his nose. “What’re doing throwin’ bottles in the water—then looking horrified?”

“I changed my mind.” She wrung out the front of her skirt.

“Ya couldna swim in that.” He looked contemptuously at the fabric clinging to her legs.

“I know,” Lavinia said softly. She sat beside him in the warm sun and reached for the urn.

The boy grabbed it and pulled it out of her reach. “It’s mine now.”

Her face grew hot. Curse the little urchin. He could not have her urn. She stared at the vessel. “I will have it back.”

He scooted away and held it to his side, away from her. “Wot’s tossed away’s fair game.” He grinned, smug.

Lavinia held his gaze and stood slowly, shaking out her skirts. “You wouldn’t steal from a lady.”

The boy guffawed and rose to his feet, tottering from the weight of the urn. He looked her up and down and backed away. Lavinia followed, gaining on him. He turned, feet planted in the mud to take a running start.

“Stop, you little thief.” Desperate, she leapt at him, bringing him to the soggy ground as she landed on top. For a moment, she lay stunned. What had she done? Had she hurt the child?

“Criminy! S’blood!” The boy struggled on his stomach, his leg somehow kicking her in the thigh.

“Ow!” Lavinia rolled off of him into the mud.

“Damn it to hell.” He flopped upright and grabbed for the urn, clamped his hand on the base and dragged it to him. Lavinia crawled towards the vessel as he endeavored to pick it up. She threw herself on the urn, grunting as she landed half on the boy. He wriggled, trying to break free.

She clutched the urn in both hands, rolled away and staggered upright. The boy sat up, latched onto her skirt and pulled hard, ripping the cloth. With a cry, Lavinia stepped forward to regain her balance, her foot landing hard on his shin. He jerked his leg away, causing her to stumble and she pitched backwards onto her bottom, still clutching the urn.

“Cor blimey. Have mercy.” He grabbed his leg and crawled a few feet, mud covering his trousers.

They both scrambled up, bits of dirt and grass flying, and faced each other. The lad’s hazel eyes peered from his muddy face, shining with anger and greed. “I can get a bob, least, from the tinker fer it.” He scowled.

“Ha! More like sixpence.” Lavinia swayed, breathing hard. She wiped mud out of her eye and smeared it on her skirt.

“A bob.” The lad held out his grimy hand and planted his bare feet in the mire.

“I don’t have it here.” Lavinia huffed. What a conniving little bastard—why, he had stayed around to bargain.

About the Author: Claudia Herring aspired to be a baton twirler when she was five and an archaeologist at thirteen. When she became a graphic designer and an author of fantasy, she decided she’d hit upon the perfect compromise.

Along the way she worked as a gift wrapper, a server in a Mexican restaurant at an amusement park (where she rode the Black Dragon at midnight—an actual ride, not a sexual allusion) and an illustrator in medical graphics (where they featured videos on wound healing during lunch) at the Texas Medical Center.

Her novel, His Master’s Bride, a historical fantasy with romantic elements set in Regency England, won first prize in the Houston Writer’s Guild Novel Competition. Ties of Smoke is the second in the series The Djinn Chronicles.

When she’s not delving into the world of the Djinn, Claudia is practicing yoga to go to that hushed space where she imagines and plots her next fantasy novel.

If you like Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series or Carol Berg’s Soul Mirror series you’ll love His Master’s Bride and Ties of Smoke.

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Sunrise Over Brasov by Stephanie Burkhart – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Stephanie will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

6_18 sunrise Cover_SunriseoverBrasovRosa Getzi lives a life of intrigue at Poiana Brasov with Clement, a werewolf, and Cassandra, the witch. Her past doesn’t matter to her – until she discovers what it holds.

Prince Michael Sigmaringen joins his sister-in-law, Caroline, and the vampire prince, Darius, in a daring rescue, igniting Rosa’s desire to find her family. However, all is not as it appears. Rickard, Rosa’s friend, escapes with her. Clement will go to any lengths to get Rosa and Rickard back.

At Darius’ fortress, Michael soon discovers Rickard is a new breed of werewolf – one who can control the change, and Clement hopes to exploit Rickard’s abilities.

Michael’s courage, strengths, and convictions will be tested like never before. Can Michael and Rosa find true happiness and the rid the lupine haunting of the Sigmaringens once and for all?

About the Author:authorphoto_sunriseoverbrasovStephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. She was born and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire. After serving 11 years in the US Army she currently calls Castaic, California her home. Stephanie was married in Denmark in 1991 and has two young sons. She adores chocolate, is addicted to coffee and enjoys early morning walks. She’s also an assistant den leader for her son’s Cub Scout den and is a Boy Scout mom. She writes paranormal, contemporary, and steampunk romance and has two children’s books published with 4RV Publishing.

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What You Don’t Know by Elka Ray – Q&A and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Elka Ray 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.

What books/authors have influenced your writing?

After a childhood spent devouring everything from literary classics like “Treasure Island”, and “The Wind in the Willows” to ‘80s trash – i.e. “Flowers in the Attic, “Sweet Valley High”, etc – I became a literary snob as a young adult. I read good literary fiction – Michael Ondaatje, Rohinton Mistry, Alice Munro – and wrote bad literary fiction: short stories full of beautiful phrases and zero action, or never-ending novels with heavy (but important) themes. Yawn. So it was a big surprise when a chick lit mystery snuck into my brain to become my first published novel, “Hanoi Jane”. Suddenly, I couldn’t stop writing – or reading – genre fiction, especially thrillers and mysteries.

No one wants to wade through bad writing. But all the beautiful prose in the world can’t save a lame story. The books that have stayed with me the longest could all be classified as “genre fiction”: the melodramas of Dickens; the science fiction of John Wyndham, Ray Bradbury and Margaret Atwood; Andrew Piper’s ultra creepy ghost story “The Lost Girls”; and the super-smart psychological mysteries of Daphne Du Maurier, Tana French, Harriet Lane and Belinda Bauer. These women prove that genre fiction can teach us as much about the human condition as any literary novel.

Tell us something you hate doing. Why?

Many writers are introverts and I’m no exception. I hate public speaking. “Writers’ Festivals” strike me as a cruel joke. I’d rather be home writing – or reading.

Share a funny incident in your life.

I’d like to share a humiliating motherhood story, although it’s a bit dirty. Readers with a low tolerance for offensive language and mild sexual content – cover your eyes and look away.

When my son was about two he had a decent vocabulary but bad pronunciation. I usually knew what he was saying but strangers had trouble understanding him. We’d just moved to a new neighborhood and were in a cafe/playground popular with parents and small kids. Instead of sitting at separate tables, patrons sat close together at long picnic benches.

My son toddled over from the sandpit and yelled: “Mommy, do you like pussy?”

I blinked and froze. All I could manage was a feeble, “What?”

His question unanswered, my little boy yelled even louder. “Mommy! I said do you like PUSSY?”

To my left a guy with two small girls was looking at me sideways. I went bright red, racking my brain as to where my two-year-old could have heard such a thing. Frustrated by my lack of response, he bellowed: “MOMMY! I LOVE PUSSY! AND DADDY LOVES PUSSY TOO!”

If I’d whipped off my top to reveal a latex bra, the guy beside me couldn’t have looked more shocked. I jumped up and hustled my son back over to the sandpit, thinking: “Be quiet! You’re never going to get invited to any playdates!”

It took many more agonizingly embarrassing minutes to figure out what he was saying. At that time, he was besotted with a toy train character called Thomas the Tank Engine. One of the other toy trains is called “Percy”. Find me a toddler who can pronounce that name properly. Like they couldn’t have called it “Bob” or something…

What’s your pet peeve?

Emails marked “URGENT” that aren’t. My fingers itch to hit delete.

Who was your favorite hero/heroine?

She’s by no means a heroine, but Miss Havisham – the bitter old lady in Dickens’ “Great Expectations” is one of my favorite fictional characters. Having been jilted at the altar, Miss Havisham spends the rest of her life lounging around in her tattered wedding gear, poisoning the mind of her adopted daughter, Estella, whom she teaches to mistrust and manipulate men. Miss H is the worst sort of woman – both hateful and pathetic. But she tells us a great deal about life in Victorian England (when this book was written), back when a woman’s only “career” choice was to make a good marriage.

mediakit_bookcover_whatyoudontknowAn American lawyer dreams of killing his trophy wife in Thailand. A Vietnamese soldier goes mad in a haunted forest. A bereaved mother’s trip to Cambodia ends in tragedy – or does it?

Take a spine-tingling journey from the jungles of Sumatra through Bangkok’s seedy bars to the seemingly sedate streets of Singapore. Your traveling companions are a slew of dark emotions – fear, grief, jealousy, greed, lust and revenge. And your destination?

With flashes of black humor and hard-to-forget characters, these ten stories shine light into the dark corners of Southeast Asia.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

“Kyle?” I yell. I’m sure my son is gone, sucked down to the bottom.

Blinking against the blood, I see him lying face down on the deck. He’s got himself wedged against the boat’s sides like a rock climber. I call again and he twists his head. I must look pretty bad, because he gasps. “D—dad?”

The boat is still rocking, but not enough to tip. Water sloshes back and forth. Kyle pushes himself onto his hands and knees. We both look around. Beneath the streaks of rain, the sea is dead calm. No swell. No big whitecaps. Nothing.

“Shit. What happened?” says my son. His face appears bleached. “What was that?”

I’ve been boating in these waters for going on two decades but can’t explain what hit us. If it was the wake from a big cargo ship there’d have been more waves. That wave came from nowhere. Was it a whale? I shake my head. “I…I don’t know,” I say.

The engine has stalled. My hands are shaking so hard I have trouble restarting it. It roars to life once, twice, only to cut out.

“Daaaad! You’re flooding it,” says Kyle, his voice a hysterical whine. “It won’t start! It won’t start! You’ve flooded it!”

I grit my teeth. “Fine, you try.”

If he hears, he doesn’t respond but just hugs his knees. “My god. My god. She’s here. She’s here.” He says it over and over again.

“Shut up!” I yell, and my son stops. He presses his palms to his cheeks. I force myself to count to ten before trying the motor again, terrified that Kyle’s right: If the motor is flooded, we’re stuck out here.

About the Author:mediakit_authorphoto_whatyoudontknow At the age of eleven, Elka Ray co-founded the Double Trouble Detective Agency. She’s been on the lookout for mysteries ever since. Elka’s latest book, “What You Don’t Know: Tales of Obsession, Mystery & Murder in Southeast Asia”, takes readers on a darkly suspenseful tour of the Far East. Her first novel, a fast-paced romantic adventure titled “Hanoi Jane”, was published by Marshall Cavendish in English and DT Books in Vietnamese. Elka’s next novel, the thriller “Saigon Dark”, will come out with Crimewave Press in November 2016. Elka is also the author and illustrator of a popular series of bilingual kids’ picture books about Vietnam.

Elka divides her time between Hoi An in Central Vietnam and Canada’s scenic Vancouver Island. When she’s not writing, drawing or reading she’s in – or near -the ocean.

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The Pawn by Skye Warren – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Skye will be awarding a $20 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.

mediakit_bookcover_thepawnThe price of survival…

Gabriel Miller swept into my life like a storm. He tore down my father with cold retribution, leaving him penniless in a hospital bed. I quit my private all-girl’s college to take care of the only family I have left.

There’s one way to save our house, one thing I have left of value.

My virginity.

A forbidden auction…

Gabriel appears at every turn. He seems to take pleasure in watching me fall. Other times he’s the only kindness in a brutal underworld.

Except he’s playing a deeper game than I know. Every move brings us together, every secret rips us apart. And when the final piece is played, only one of us can be left standing.

THE PAWN is a full-length contemporary novel from New York Times bestselling author Skye Warren about revenge and seduction in the game of love.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

A sense of familiarity fills the space between us even though I know we haven’t met. This man is a stranger, but he looks at me as if he wants to know me. He looks at me as if he already does. There’s an intensity to his eyes when they sweep over my face, as firm and as telling as a touch.

“I need…” A thud against my ribs as I think about all the things I need—a rewind button. One person in the city who doesn’t hate me by name alone. “I need a loan.”

He gives me a slow perusal, from the nervous slide of my tongue along my lips to the high neckline of my dress. I tried to dress professionally—a black cowl-necked sweater and pencil skirt. His strange amber gaze unbuttons my coat, pulls away the expensive cotton, tears off the cotton fabric of my bra and panties. He sees right through me, and I shiver as a ripple of awareness runs over my skin.

I’ve met a million men in my life. Shaken hands. Smiled. I’ve never felt as seen through as I do right now. Never felt like someone has turned me inside out, every dark secret exposed to the harsh light. He sees my weaknesses, and from the cruel set of his mouth, he likes them.

His lids lower. “And what do you have for collateral?”

Nothing except my word. That wouldn’t be worth anything if he knew my name.

About the Author: Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary romance such as the Chicago Underground series. Her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, two sweet dogs, and one evil cat.

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The Jake Bernstein FBI Series by Donna Del Oro – Q&A and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Donna Del Oro will be awarding winner’s choice of ebook or print copy of A BODYGUARD OF LIES (print – 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.

First, tell us about yourself – where you live, your family, and those sorts of details.
I live in northern California, used to teach high school English, married with two kids.

How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing since my teens. I wrote my first novel when I was sixteen. It was a teen romance, naturally.

Do you have a favorite place to write?
My kitchen counter is my favorite place. I used to write in my office but I hated facing the wall. Now I can look outside and see my big trees and sunshine.

Why did you decide to write Lies in Wait?
LIES IN WAIT is the second book in my FBI romantic-suspense series. I love my hero and wanted to put him through a very difficult test and undercover assignment.

Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
My hero, Jake Bernstein, is a former SEAL/Navy officer turned undercover FBI specialist. He has linguistic abilities and is fluent in four languages: German, Hebrew, Arabic and Farsi. He’s also very handsome and somewhat of a ladies’ man.

How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
In LIES IN WAIT, the villains are Islamic terrorists who are plotting to set off bombs in five different football stadiums on Super Bowl Sunday.

Do you proofread/edit your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
I proofread/edit my own work but I also have two critique partners who are very adept at catching mistakes I have overlooked. Three pairs of eyes are better than one set. Additionally, my editor at The Wild Rose Press is exceptional at finding problems in the plot.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
As a hobby, I sing in a Sweet Adelines women’s chorus. In 2018, I’ll be traveling with a group of singers in Italy. Evidently, the barbershop style of singing (four-part harmony) is popular in Italy.

Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
I read voraciously! Most of my favorite authors are Daniel Silva, Michael Connolly, Brad Thor, James Rollins, Tami Hoag and Sandra Brown.

What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has? Write it out here, then answer it.
Where do your ideas for the FBI plots come from? I have an FBI source but in addition, I get the ideas from real life events reported on various media and from nonfiction books.

mediakit_bookcover_liesinwaitA riveting blend of romantic thriller, mystery and WWII espionage that spans sixty years of lies. England’s secret service agency MI5 recruits Jewish-American FBI analyst Jake Bernstein to go undercover and investigate an elderly, naturalized American grandmother, suspected of being a notorious Nazi spy wanted for war crimes during WWII. Jake runs into a series of complications: This spy knows a secret that could endanger the British royal family; Jake’s attraction to the old woman’s beautiful granddaughter; a ruthless and violent Irish neo-Nazi group is tracking him; and a clever, cagey old lady stands in the way of justice. His priority shifts from finding the evidence to staying alive!

Enjoy an Excerpt:

Breakfast in the hotel dining room was to be served at 7 a.m.. Next stop: Cardiff, the capital of Wales, then their ferry ride to Ireland. He’d finally looked over the itinerary. The motor coach would be leaving that afternoon, after a tour and lunch in Bath. A quick perusal of the day’s agenda showed him they had the afternoon free to wander around Bath and do some shopping. Maybe he could invite Meg and her grandmother to spend some time with him.

Still drowsy with sleep, he looked over at the pillow next to his. Visualizing Meg lying there, her lush hair with all its variegated blonde hues fanned out, stirred him. The erection he’d awakened with grew harder; not surprising, he thought, considering his celibacy of late. Strictly his choice, despite the offers tossed his way.

The opportunities had been there and he’d ignored them, stubborn man that he was. Even late last night, when the two New Jersey sisters had called and invited him to a private party in Hank’s room. He’d declined tactfully.

At thirty-two years old, he found himself holding out for more.

Stupid fool, he scolded himself. Or as the Brits would say, sodding wanker! Or something to that effect. He should learn to take it when it was offered to him on a platter, free of charge. All he had to do was be nice to a girl for a few hours, promise to call her, and then…

Ah, but as Grandpa Nate would say, “nussing is free in dis vorld”.

Dreams of Meg had plagued him—rather entertained him—all night. Even now, recalling how her small, plump breasts bounced up and down while she ran alongside him, how her long ponytail swung back and forth, filled him with unbridled lust. The one time they’d stopped at the Roman ruins, they’d let their arms brush together. Neither had pulled away. Just that light touch had flooded his insides with longing. She appeared to feel the same. She’d flushed to the roots of her hair and after that, had touched him in some small way every chance she got. Each touch was electric, sizzling!

What he liked about her was her total lack of coyness or flirtatiousness. Meg was straightforward, without guile; she wasn’t playing games. He could read the honesty in her face when she told him about her breakup with the ex-fiancé and her distrust of men and their empty promises and vows. All lies, she’d mused with just a hint of bitterness. She’d finally come to accept the reality of men.

Or some men, she’d amended, adding quickly that she’d apologize if she was offending him. No, he’d said; I agree with you. Most men lie through their teeth. It’s a guy thing.

That admission had elicited a small, rueful laugh from both of them. And she’d let her arm brush his again, as if to reassure him. He was different, she was saying.

No, I’m not, he’d wanted to say. I’m a liar, an impostor. And you’re going to hate me when this is all over.

About the Author:mediakit_authorphoto_abodyguardofliesDonna is a retired high school English teacher and is finally able to fulfill her dream of writing fiction. She lives in Northern California with her husband and three cats. When she’s not writing novels, she’s singing with the Sacramento Valley Chorus or traveling with her husband. Life is good and she feels very blessed.

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This tour is featuring the Jake Bernstein FBI Series LIES IN WAIT, Book Two of the FBI series will be out January 4, 2017, and the 3rd book will be attached a few months after.

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His Montana Rescue by Vella Munn – Q&A and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Vella Munn will be awarding a several photographs of Montana’s wilderness sent via email (international and U.S. giveaway) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

What books/authors have influenced your writing?

I’m such a book junkie that’s hard to answer, but even though his horror scares me, I swear no one does characterization better than Stephen King. He blows me away with the tiny details he uses to make even minor characters three-dimensional. When it comes to romances, my dear friend Catherine Anderson is a master of slowly building the process of falling in love. She too uses details to create a full experience.

Tell us something you hate doing. Why?

Shopping. Of any kind. Oh, I can tolerate grocery shopping because it has become a rote experience. Same things on the same aisles at the same store. Then I stand in the checkout line looking at other shoppers’ carts and am amazed that certain products exist. I’m not much for processed foods so learning there are such things as pre-mashed potatoes boggles my mind. As for the rest of the dreaded shopping experience, I was raised in remote, rural areas and to this day crowds intimidate me. Most stores have so many products jammed together and the colors are so bright. I feel my mind shutting down. What the hell did I come in here for? Shoot, I can’t even remember my name at that point.

What’s your pet peeve?

I’m not sure I have one because I pretty much roll with the punches. There is a matter of a 16 year old dog who lets me live with her. The older she gets, the less bladder control she has and there’s only so much the carpet shampooer can accomplish. I’d love to get new carpet instead of being on the constant search for damp spots. (Sorry if this is too much information)

When you are in writer mode, music or no music? If music, do you have a playlist?

Music. Silence makes me antsy. I rely a lot on Pandora, lots of country and western but sometimes I’m in the mood for Indian flute music.

Who was your favorite hero/heroine?

I can’t say there’s been one favorite but Winter Barstow in my romantic suspense Death Chant is near the top of the list. She was found by the side of the road when she was a little girl and knows nothing about her background except she has Native American features. I love her mix of strength and vulnerability. For the record, I give all of my characters emotional hang-ups—just like real people.

mediakit_bookcover_hismontanarescueFormer firefighter Echo Rose may have recovered from the injuries that nearly ended her life but the emotional scars still linger. She now devotes herself to protecting wildlife and sheltering her heart until local contractor Rey Bowen reminds Echo that life can offer so much more.

Rey Bowen is not the only one at Lake Serene with secrets and a desire to reboot his seriously derailed life. Meeting Echo reminds him that life can sparkle with joy and laughter and passion, but can he show the cautious Echo how to love again even as he struggles to trust his own heart?

Enjoy an Excerpt:

“Ranger Echo Rose,” a rumbling voice said.

Taking it slow, she turned in the direction the words came from.

Rey Bowen was looking at her, or rather looking down at her. He wasn’t a giant of a man, just a shade over six feet, but that didn’t stop her from remembering she was at least seven inches shorter and only one hundred twenty pounds. For reasons she was careful not to examine too closely, she’d told herself the breadth of his chest and width of his shoulders were responsible for her unsettling reaction to him.

What was she thinking? Hadn’t she learned, painfully, to keep emotional distance between herself and men? She had, darn it. She’d never drop her guard.

Until she’d done in her ankle, she’d spent much of her time around physical people, most of them men. She still was around more men than women, but in recent months she’d mostly rubbed shoulders with people who spent their days behind desks.

Despite how she’d been forced to earn her living since last summer, she believed she still understood the physical male. When he was around women he was trying to impress, the breed carried himself as if he was a bull elk, strutting a bit, hard muscles pushing against too-tight T-shirts, and gazes giving out bedroom vibes.

Rey did none of those things. Instead, it was as if he’d built an emotional wall around himself. The reason was none of her business, darn it. She had enough to do dealing with her own life.

About the Author:mediakit_authorphoto_hismontanarescueVella Munn freely admits to being a dedicated and sometimes demented fiction writer. She has always been drawn to nature and those who feel at home in it. A career writer, she has had way over 60 books published, most of them romances both past and present. As far as personal statistics go, she has one husband, two sons, four grandchildren, and is owned by two rescue dogs. Home is southern Oregon within a two hour drive of Crater Lake. She frequently visits Montana in her mind and heart.

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Girl in the Water by Dana Marton – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Dana will be awarding a $100 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.

mediakit_bookcover_girlinthewaterAfter the tragic death of his family, Ian, fresh home from the Army, is a shadow of his former self. Only his best friend’s disappearance in South America pulls him back from the ledge. He rushes to Brazil, but he gets there too late. The best he can do now is find his friend’s murderers. The single lead in the case is also the single biggest obstacle–Daniela, a mysterious beauty very much in need of protection, with a host of secrets hidden in a dark past. As the two of them track down clues and try to untangle an impossible case, they draw the attention of all the wrong people, and danger follows them back to the US.

Ian wants the murderers. Daniela wants Ian to acknowledge the hot sparks of passion between them. He doesn’t mind breaking rules, just never his own. Rule #1: You don’t seduce the woman you protect

Enjoy an Excerpt:

A couple of boats had been dragged up on the flat of the riverbank. Nobody around. Ian sat in the shade of the largest boat and pretended to be watching the barges and tugboats going past him.

He stole a glance at the house, hoping to spot Finch. Nothing there, but something rising out of the water maybe thirty feet from him caught his attention.

At first, he thought it might be a caiman—South America’s version of an alligator. Caimans were native to the area, although, he had no idea if they lived in this part of this particular river.

But instead, out of the river, rose a young woman.

She seemed to be struggling with…an anaconda?

When the shiny black, long body wrapped around hers, Ian moved, ready to dive into the water to help her, but she had the upper hand and dragged the wriggling beast toward shore with a triumphant smile, and he could see that she had a giant eel.

He couldn’t take his eyes off the thing. The eel stretched as long as the woman was tall, over five feet. They wrestled in the mud, the scene stunningly primal and elemental.

She had a piece of rag tied around her small breasts, and another around her slim waist, covering only the private parts of her body. She was the most stunning sight he’d ever seen, long dark hair streaming down in wet rivulets. A goddess risen.

A goddess in mortal struggle.

His western sensibilities pushed him to run and help, but the woman and the eel and their battle seemed somehow the spirit of the Amazon itself, and he felt like an interloper. He felt that he couldn’t take the woman’s triumph away from her.

And she did win, dragging the eel to shore, grabbing a rock the next second and smashing the eel’s head. The eel was still squirming when, with the same, sharp-edged rock, she gutted the thing, dumping the insides back into the river. She was not a peaceful goddess.

She washed the eel efficiently, then picked up the carcass and carried it, staggering under the weight, up the tall, steep bank, and in through the back door of the house Ian had been watching.

Ian’s chin might have dropped a little. Or a lot. In fact, he felt as if his chin just hit his lap.

Who on earth was she?

About the Author: authorpicNew York Times and USA Today bestselling author Dana Marton has thrilled and entertained millions of readers around the globe with her fast-paced stories about strong women and honorable men who fight side by side for justice and survival.

Kirkus Reviews calls her writing “compelling and honest.” RT Book Review Magazine said, “Marton knows what makes a hero…her characters are sure to become reader favorites.” Her writing has been acclaimed by critics, called, “gripping,” “intense and chilling,” “full of action,” “a thrilling adventure,” and wholeheartedly recommended to readers. Dana is the winner of the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence, the Readers’ Choice Award, and Best Intrigue, among other awards. Her book, TALL, DARK, AND LETHAL was nominated for the prestigious Rita Award. DEATHSCAPE reached the #1 spot on Amazon’s Romantic Suspense Bestseller list.

Dana has a Master’s degree in Writing Popular Fiction, and is continuously studying the art and craft of writing, attending several workshops, seminars and conferences each year. Her number one goal is to bring the best books she possibly can to her readers.

Keeping in touch with readers is Dana’s favorite part of being an author. Please connect with her via her web site or her Facebook page.

Having lived around the world, Dana currently creates her compelling stories in a small and lovely little town in Pennsylvania. The fictional town of her bestselling Broslin Creek series is based on her real life home where she fights her addictions to reading, garage sales, coffee and chocolate. If you know a good twelve-step program to help her with any of that, she’d be interested in hearing about it! 🙂

***Visit Dana’s website to read the first chapters of her books!***

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Love on Tap by Judi Lynn and Love & Rockets by Maggie Wells – Spotlight and Giveaway

 


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

 

LOVE ON TAP
 

There’s a different rhythm to life in small-town Mill Pond, Indiana. And with the easy pace come friendships that are built to last and love that starts out on a slow simmer . . .

Charming boutiques, picturesque farms, and a growing foodie scene have turned Mill Pond into a tourist destination. And thanks to the culinary skills of Paula Hull, its beautiful rural resort is leading the way. The widowed mom left behind the stress of the New York City restaurant world to spend more time with her two young children. And now she’s ready to see if there’s more out there for her than being a chef and single parent . . .

Chase Atwood is the local good guy with a bad reputation. He’s a respected business owner and trusted friend, but the drop-dead gorgeous bar owner usually has women beating down his door—and Paula knows to keep her distance. His burgers and beer, on the other hand, are not off limits. But their mutual admiration is always on the back burner—until Chase turns up the heat. Soon he’s determined to prove to Paula that he’s the one key ingredient missing in her life…

 

LOVE & ROCKETS
 

Smart is the new sexy…

They say if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen, but it’s not the sauce at The Pit BBQ that has Darla Kennet breaking a sweat. The sassy single mom has waited tables in Mobile for years to support herself and her daughter, Grace, and she’s never let anything get her rattled…until now. Somehow, handsome aerospace engineer Jake Dalton has gotten under her skin.

Although they went to school together, Jake doesn’t remember much about Darla. Back then the Brainiac future rocket scientist always had his head in a book. But now that a chance meeting has him helping Grace apply to space camp, he’s been pulled into Darla’s orbit. And it isn’t long before Jake and Darla have a heated meeting of their own celestial bodies. The trouble is, Jake wants more. Convincing cautious, fiercely independent Darla to trust him with her heart just may be his most challenging mission yet…

Enjoy an Excerpt:

Chase was waiting by his boat. “Come on. Let’s spend as much time on the water as we can.”

He lifted the kids aboard and held out a hand to help her. Her legs were short. Getting onboard was a challenge. He reached across the water and lifted her next to him. He made it look easy. How strong was he? Biceps bulged, and she decided he must work out. When he started the engine, she stumbled as the boat backed away from shore. He reached out to steady her. At his touch, shockwaves sizzled through her body—electric. She hurried to find a seat.

He headed toward the center of the lake as they settled in place. Paula moved to the front of the boat to see better, and he glanced at Aiden, raising his eyebrows.

Aiden grinned and nodded.

Chase turned sharply, speeding forward, and water doused her.

Her hair dripped, her suit clung to her.

She sputtered, glaring at her bratty son. He and Chase burst out laughing. Even Bailey giggled. A fun prank. She shook her head. So much for taking more time than usual with her hair and makeup this morning. She undid the clasp in her hair and let it fly around her face to dry. The wind felt good. The boat’s speed energized her. She closed her eyes and raised her face to the sun. When she opened them, Chase was staring at her.

She blinked. “Do I look like a raccoon? Did my makeup smear?”

“No, you’re beautiful. You look like a Roman goddess.”

A short Roman goddess. She snickered. “Yeah, I get that all the time.”

But he didn’t smile. He was serious. “I love how black your hair is.” Heat rushed to her cheeks, and she looked away.

He cleared his throat and said, “Who wants to go tubing?”

About the Authors:

Judi Lynn received a Master’s Degree from Indiana University as an elementary school teacher after attending the IPFW campus. She taught 1st, 2nd, and 4th grades for six years before having her two daughters. She loves gardening, cooking and trying new recipes.

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Buy the book at Kensington Books.

Maggie Wells is a deep-­‐down dirty girl with a weakness for hot heroes and happy endings. By day she is buried in spreadsheets, but at night she pens tales of people tangling up the sheets. The product of a charming rogue and a shameless flirt, this mild-­‐mannered married lady has a naughty streak a mile wide.

Fueled by supertankers of Diet Coke, Maggie juggles fictional romance and the real deal by keeping her slow-­‐talking Southern gentleman constantly amused and their two grown children mildly embarrassed.

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Buy the book at Kensington Books

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Bounty’s Song by Mandy Colton – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Mandy will be awarding a $15 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.

Gage Knight is a Texas bounty hunter and just doing a tough job when he’s sent to Nashville to pick up a grifting high-dollar fugitive. He arrives at the right place at almost the right time, but he makes a big mistake when he leaves.

Once a debutante, Danica Chastain is now a struggling songwriter with a dream of landing a job in the music business. On the day when her hard work seems to be heading in the right direction, a gruff man with a dark presence and wolfish eyes arrives at her door.

Although their immediate chemistry is off the charts, the two clash—for good reason. Danica is not who he thinks she is, and he’s not listening…

Enjoy an Excerpt:

That little bitch had pulled her con off so smoothly, Danica knew just like she knew her rent hadn’t been paid that Tara, if that was even her real name, the money, and her stuff was long gone. She would just wait and call the cops after her appointment at the record company tomorrow. Focus on your meeting with Hank, Danica. If that went well, she’d just find her another roommate, take what was left of her clothes, and leave this dump. She would hold her head up and keep moving forward with her mind on her future and dreams.

* * * *

The next morning, Danica spent much of her time stomping around and grumbling. Her routine was screwed. She’d found the coffee pot gone first and then, after taking her shower, found her blow dryer lifted as well. She’d had to painstakingly brush her hair dry. Then there was the underwear dilemma she’d faced next. She had none. It was all gone, and the only thing she could do was put the bra back on from the day before, which was not going to work for the panties. There had been too much freaking out the night before about bigger issues than to remember to wash them out or even worry about something as minor as going sans the drawers. She’d just have to temporarily go commando and leave early enough to buy herself some undies on the way to her appointment.

She was about ready to leave the apartment when there was a knock on the door. Danica looked out the peephole but didn’t see anyone. Hmm. She shrugged, opened the door to take a step out and look, immediately walking into a wall of man and muscle. Yelping in surprise, she quickly moved her eyes up to his face. Whoa. At first glance, the guy had a dark, daunting presence, almost intimidating as he loomed over her. A closer inspection made another thought cross her mind. What a hunk-o-man! Talk about tall, beefy, and ruggedly handsome. Not exactly swarthy but deeply tanned and a nice amount of past-five-oh-clock shadow framed a nicely chiseled jawline. The whole package made her shiver a little. She could smell the guy, he was so close, and his cologne was a heady alpha male blend of sweat, the non-stinky man-musk kind, and spice. Ooh, and leather. In fear of being zapped by a jolt of supercharged testosterone mixed with potently virile pheromones, she took a step back.

He stood there, intimidating-like, looking down his nose at her, eyeing her, nothing moving except for a pair of odd color eyes. They were mesmerizing. He cleared his throat, which broke her staring spell.

She finally said, “If you’re looking for Tara, she’s gone.” She scanned him again. At least the bitch had a little taste in who she screwed. Couldn’t say the same for the guys.

Suddenly his eyes changed and he looked a bit amused. What a pair of peepers he had on that strikingly handsome and chiseled face. The guy had bright-gray eyes, like a husky dog or a wolf. My goodness, how beautiful they were and framed by lush lashes, those making her a little jealous. Danica was curious if the eye color was real or if he might be wearing contacts. Before she had the chance to ask, he opened his mouth.

“Is that right?”

Wow. The beefcake wasn’t the meathead she was expecting, he could speak. Smooth, sexy voice too. “Yup, bitch is gone. That’s for damn sure.”

He snickered at that. “Mind if I come in?”

“As a matter of fact, I do. I have somewhere I gotta be.”

The guy rudely bumped her aside with his broad chest and walked right past, making her gasp because he didn’t have permission and she was pretty sure that brief contact had created a few sparks underneath her chassis. Sparky, like after a bump in the road and your loose muffler intermittently drags the asphalt before scraping your undercarriage again with a zing. Yeah, like that.

Danica put her hands on her hips and cleared her own throat this time. “Excuse me, but I think I just told you that Tara’s not here and I have someplace to go.”

He walked right through the apartment, opened a bedroom door, and turned to grin at her. Then he walked to the other and opened it. “Mmhmm. Bet you do have some place to go, being that you just missed your court date. Again. Skipping for a second time on the same bondsman. He warned you last time. Somebody was gonna be comin’ for your lily-white ass.”

“Why are saying ‘you’? Like I did that? I don’t have a clue what you’re even talking about. I haven’t done anything, and for your information, my white ass is clean. I have never needed a bondsman.”

That made the corners of his mouth quirk upward into a smile. “Nice to know. Let’s see some ID, sweetheart.”

She still had her hands on her hips and narrowed her eyes at the guy. “What? You think I’m her, don’t you?” Thoroughly insulted by the thought, she continued, “Freaking Jesus H. Believe me, I could never be as bad as that nasty-ass, thieving, nympho skank is.”

Those sexy lips began twitching at that. She couldn’t stop focusing on them. He stuck his hand out, doing a “give it”-type motion with his fingers. “ID, please.”

Aggravated now, she grabbed her bag and snapped, “Fine! Who the hell are you, walking right in and demanding ID? Why are you here?”

“I’m a bond enforcement officer working on behalf of the bondsman in Texas. The law and bond was broken by not showing on the scheduled court date. I’m here to collect Tara Morgan and take her to jail. If you’re not her, then just kindly show me some ID and I’ll go.”

About the Author:

Mandy Colton is from Louisville, KY, and lives a very quiet life with her husband and teenage son. A fan of romance, fun adventure, drama, humor, and on occasion, sci-fi stories. Her first book, Way to Go, and the continuing series came from her years, own adventures and experiences working in the travel industry.

Although she’s a great fan of the human imagination, she is also of the opinion that there are just no better stories than those that involve a bit of true life.

If you like my books, please review on Amazon or Goodreads. Subscribe for notifications on future new releases!

Website | Cavalcade Press | Amazon Author Page | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

The book is FREE at Amazon.

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The Christmas Tree by Allyson Charles and The Accidental Elopement by Maggie Dallen – Spotlight and Giveaway

 

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

It was one little fender bender. Sadie was only in picturesque Pineville, Michigan, for a day, trying to handle the ramshackle house her grandmother left her and juggle the sale of her failing design business at the same time. Her debtors don’t care that it’s almost Christmas. But then neither does the big bad contractor whose truck got squashed.

Colt McCoy might be the least festive person she’s ever met. He’s gruff, rude, and way too upset about a minor accident. Of course, he is nice to look at, with dimples hiding in his scruffy beard and a body like a lumberjack’s. And Sadie will have plenty of time to enjoy the view, since their community service sentence has put the two of them in charge of Pineville’s jinxed Christmas tree.

But as their squabbles over ornaments turn to laughter, anyone can see Colt and Sadie have something electric. The hard part is guessing if they’ll light each other up—or just keep blowing the fuse . . .

First comes love, then comes marriage—or is it the other way around?

Lucia is an Italian spitfire with big dreams like her billionaire grandfather. But she wants to become a top tier fashion designer, not the heir to the family business in Italy. Now is her only chance to forge her own path. And what better place to start than in New York City? But working behind a bar doesn’t exactly pay the rent. Her trust fund would come in handy, but she needs to get married first. Luckily, she may have found the perfect husband candidate in her co-worker, who just happens to be the most charismatic and devastatingly gorgeous man she’s ever met . . .

There’s more to Ryan’s charming smile than meets the eye—he’s out for revenge and working for his enemy is his best bet at getting it. When Lucia comes to him with her crazy plan, he sees a perfect opportunity to make his move. But doing that could mean hurting his new wife. They say nothing’s sweeter than revenge—but “they” never met a woman like Lucia . . .

Read an Excerpt:

Sadie Wilson knew she shouldn’t do it.

It was against the rules, and the key to her ordered life had always been to follow the rules. But the ping of her phone rang in her ears, a siren’s call. It could be what she’d been waiting for.

She peered out her windshield up the street. Maple trees, bare of any leaves and wound with hundreds of white lights, lined the avenue, giving the dark night a cheery glow. Green wreaths with red bows hung from each light pole. And the dark streets were empty of traffic.

She glanced down at her phone. Shoulders slumping, she blew out a deep breath. The text wasn’t the one she’d been praying to see. And because that was just the way her life had been going lately, of course her lapse in judgment would come back to bite her in the end.

The raccoon didn’t even try to avoid her car. It was a stationary shimmer of silver fur, black mask, and a raised paw, and she swore it was giving her the middle finger. She gasped, swerved. She pumped her brakes, knuckles whitening. The Nissan Maxima skidded sideways, executed a perfect pirouette, and slid inexorably toward the sidewalk.

The light pole on the sidewalk didn’t stand a chance. The front end of her car struck the pole, her hood buckling with the crunch of metal. Her body trapped by the seatbelt, Sadie felt her head and limbs snap forward before she collapsed back into her seat.

Groaning, she rolled her head, trying to work through the ache in her neck. The raccoon waddled down the street to her left, unrepentant. But it was the movement she caught from the corner of her eye that stopped her heart. Peering through the windshield, she saw it again. A flutter of red.

Swaying in its moorings, the light pole wobbled like a metronome, the ribbon in its Christmas wreath trailing through the air.

“Please, please don’t fall,” Sadie whispered. The twinge in her neck from the collision forgotten, she prayed for further disaster to be averted.

Luck was not on her side. The thirty-foot aluminum pole tore from its bolts with a shriek and toppled away from the crumpled hood of her car, the ribbon flapping cheerfully. The cab of an F-150 Ford truck broke its fall. “Oh, God.”

A choking sound across the street made Sadie spin. A man stood in front of the large window of a darkened hair salon, mouth gaping, brown paper bag dangling from the tips of his fingers. He swiveled his head from the truck to Sadie and back again. The shock evaporated from his face, his lips pressing into a hard line, his chest expanding with a heated breath.

Roaring, he chucked his bag on the ground and ran across the street. A bear of a man, he was tall and well built, making her own five-foot-nine-inch frame feel insignificant. Or maybe it was his righteous fury that made her feel small. A black knit cap covered his head, but Sadie assumed his hair was the same color as his short beard, dark brown. A blue-checked shirt peeked out from under his worn pea coat, and jeans stretched tight across muscled thighs.

“What the hell happened to my truck?”

About the Authors:

Allyson Charles lives in Northern California. She’s the author of the “Pineville Romance” series, small-town, contemporary romances published by Lyrical Press. A former attorney, she happily ditched those suits and now works in her pajamas writing about men’s briefs instead of legal briefs. When she’s not writing, she’s probably engaged in one of her favorite hobbies: napping, eating, or martial arts (That last one almost makes up for the first two, right?). One of Allyson’s greatest disappointments is living in a state that doesn’t have any Cracker Barrels in it.

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Maggie Dallen is a huge fan of happily-ever-afters. She writes contemporary and YA romance and has been known to rewrite the endings to classic love stories to ensure that they end on a happy note. In Maggie’s version, Ingrid Bergman does not get on the plane. She lives in Northern California and works at a yarn store to support her knitting addiction.

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