Marilyn, Music, and Top Tens by John Herrick – Guest Blog and Giveaway

 

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. John Herrick will be awarding a Kindle version of Beautiful Mess, plus free Kindle versions of entire John Herrick backlist to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Marilyn, Music and Top Tens

Although Beautiful Mess is a romantic comedy centered around a modern-day ensemble cast, my main character, Del Corwyn, is an aging actor who shared a close friendship with Marilyn Monroe. Her backstory triggers much of the novel’s action.

Despite her persona as a dumb blonde bombshell, Marilyn was a driven, thinking individual. Her third husband was Arthur Miller, playwright of Death of a Salesman and The Crucible. Like you, she was a frequent reader. And she helped break down racism in the arts. She worked behind the scenes to gain entry for Ella Fitzgerald to perform at the Mocambo, a popular Hollywood venue. Prior to Marilyn’s intervention, Fitzgerald was denied the opportunity to perform because of segregation.

I’m a music fan. To prepare myself to write the novel’s flashback scenes, I checked Billboard magazine’s archives for August 5, 1962—the day Marilyn passed away. So to get you into the mood for Beautiful Mess, here’s a list of the Top 10 songs on that day:

  1. “Breaking Up is Hard to Do” – Neil Sedaka
  2.  “Roses are Red (My Love)” – Bobby Vinton
  3.  “The Wah Watusi” – The Orions
  4.  “The Loco-Motion” – Little Eva
  5.  “Ahab, the Arab” – Ray Stevens
  6.  “Speedy Gonzales” – Pat Boone
  7.  “Sealed with a Kiss” – Brian Hyland
  8.  “You’ll Lose a Good Thing” – Barbara Lynn
  9.  “Things” – Bobby Darin
  10.  “The Stripper” – David Rose and His Orchestra

I often get asked what music inspires me as a writer. So to personalize this guest post—and at the risk of embarrassing myself—I’ll post my personal Top 10 album list here, greatest hits collections excluded, in no particular order:

Automatic for the People – R.E.M.

What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye

One More Story – Peter Cetera

Rumours – Fleetwood Mac

August and Everything After – Counting Crows

Wilson Phillips – Wilson Phillips

World Falling Down – Peter Cetera

Jagged Little Pill – Alanis Morissette

Rhythm Nation 1814 – Janet Jackson

Listen Without Prejudice – George Michael

If you’re in the mood for a laugh with a twist of pop-culture history and a group of modern misfits, check out Beautiful Mess. Of all the novels I’ve written, this one was, by far, the most fun to write.

Thanks for letting me stop by for a visit!

 

 

A fallen star. Four Los Angeles misfits.
And the Marilyn Monroe you only thought you knew.

Del Corwyn is an aging relic. An actor who advanced from errand boy to Academy Award nominee, Del kept company with the elite of Hollywood’s golden era and shared a close friendship with Marilyn Monroe. Today, however, he faces bankruptcy.

Humiliated, Del is forced to downgrade his lifestyle, sell the home he’s long cherished, and fade into a history of forgotten legends—unless he can revive his career. All he needs is one last chance. While searching through memorabilia from his beloved past, Del rediscovers a mysterious envelope, dated 1962, containing an original screenplay by Marilyn Monroe—and proof that she named him its legal guardian.

Del surges to the top of Hollywood’s A-list overnight. But the opportunity to reclaim his fame and fortune brings a choice: Is Del willing to sacrifice newfound love, self-respect and his most cherished friendship to achieve his greatest dream?

A story of warmth, humor and honesty, Beautiful Mess follows one man’s journey toward love and relevance where he least expects it—and proves coming-of-age isn’t just for the young.

Enjoy an Excerpt

I have an intriguing prospect for a new film,” Del replied as he took a seat. He tapped the manila envelope tucked under his arm, which contained Marilyn’s script.

He could’ve sworn he caught Arnie in the onset of an eye roll brought to a sudden halt.

“What kind of project?”

“A pop-culture type of thing. You could say it has a retro feel to it.”

Arnie sighed. “Del, I realize you like to relive the past—”

“This is a winner, Arnie. I guarantee it.”

“And what does this winning project involve?”

“Marilyn Monroe. It’s a screenplay.”

“With all due respect, isn’t that a bit clichéd? This would need to be an angle no one else has covered. Many people have done films about Marilyn Monroe, not to mention books and memorabilia and everything else under the sun.”

“You don’t understand. This isn’t about Marilyn Monroe.” Del felt a surge of adrenaline and couldn’t contain himself. He leaned forward and, with great pomp, planted the thick package on Arnie’s desk. It landed with a thump. “It’s by Marilyn Monroe.”

Arnie sat open-mouthed as he tried to follow along. His eyes widened in perplexity. “By Marilyn Monroe,” he repeated.

“That’s right.”

“Del, what the hell are you talking about?”

With a lighthearted laugh, Del eased back into the chair. “Last night, I rummaged through some boxes I’d stored away long ago. Hadn’t looked through them in years. Relics from my heyday. Things I’d forgotten I’d saved. And at the bottom of one of those boxes, I found this.”

He patted the envelope, which crinkled at his touch.

“It’s a script, given to me in 1962.” Del caught Arnie’s eye to make sure the man paid full attention. “Written by Marilyn Monroe.”

About the Author:

A self-described “broken Christian,” John Herrick battled depression since childhood. In that context, however, he developed intuition for themes of spiritual journey and the human heart.

Herrick graduated from the University of Missouri—Columbia. Rejected for every writing position he sought, he turned to information technology and fund development, where he cultivated analytical and project management skills that helped shape his novel-writing process. He seized unpaid opportunities writing radio commercial copy and ghostwriting for two nationally syndicated radio preachers.

The Akron Beacon Journal hailed Herrick’s From the Dead as “a solid debut novel.” Published in 2010, it became an Amazon bestseller. The Landing, a semifinalist in the inaugural Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest, followed. Publishers Weekly predicted “Herrick will make waves” with his novel Between These Walls.

Herrick’s nonfiction book 8 Reasons Your Life Matters introduced him to new readers worldwide. The free e-book surpassed 150,000 downloads and hit #1 on Amazon’s Motivational Self-Help and Christian Inspiration bestseller lists. Reader response prompted a trade paperback.

His latest novel, Beautiful Mess, folds the legend of Marilyn Monroe into an ensemble romantic-comedy.

Herrick admits his journey felt disconnected. “It was a challenge but also a growth process,” he acknowledges. “But in retrospect, I can see God’s fingerprints all over it.”

Website | Facebook |
Twitter | Goodreads

Buy the book at Amazon.

ENTER THE GIVEAWAYa Rafflecopter giveaway

The Hardest Part About Writing Is The Rejection by Leslie D. Soule – Guest Blog and Giveaway


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

The Hardest Part About Writing Is The Rejection
Leslie D. Soule

The hardest part of writing is the rejection, and no one tells you that when you start out, starry-eyed, believing that the hardest part will be getting published. Getting published is a goal that is attainable. But what happens when it doesn’t come right away – when you keep on submitting and submitting, and all you get is a pile of rejection letters? Then the rejection begins to eat away and you give yourself doubts about your writing – is it good enough? Will I ever gain the attention of a publisher?

Then there’s the rejection that comes after you get published – you get bad reviews on something you’ve worked so hard on. And then it creeps again into your psyche and you wonder where you went wrong. It gnaws at every corner of your brain, and keeps you up at night. Not all of us can write like Stephen King or George R. R. Martin. You understand that. Doesn’t everyone else? You wonder why their standards are so high.

But the real lesson here is that of PERSEVERANCE. You write not for the masses, but because you have something to say. And in time, you learn to brush off the rejection and keep on going, because you are not at a dead-end but a bump in a road that leads further on. And those negative reviews won’t matter when you’ve written ten books, years from now. All that matters is that you’re better than you were yesterday – that you can look back on your past writing and have learned from it, and then the reviews just melt into the background – just so much white noise, after the fear of rejection has run out of you. And you keep going. But that’s something that has to be experienced, rather than taught. That’s the hardest part.

With five crystals to destroy, in order to rob the dark lord Malegaunt of his power, Ash Kensington’s path is set. She begins a quest with the talking cat, Greymalkin, and her wyvern, Slick. But when she meets up with the handsome dragon slayer, Draeon, her senses overwhelm her, and she becomes distracted. Will she be able to destroy the crystals in time to challenge Malegaunt?

Enjoy an Excerpt:

Ash wasn’t so sure, and her breath caught in her throat. I feel like this is some dreadful portent. Still, she dusted off her cloak, throwing it over her arm. I’ll have to find a spot for it to dry when we get back to the house. She fixed her chestnut hair up into a ponytail and followed Greymalkin over a carpet of snow, brushing snowflakes away from her pale face as she continued on. Things had been tense lately at the house in the deep woods and, though neither Will nor Terces had said anything directly, Ash recognized the strange signs: the knowing glances they gave each other, Will’s frantic writing sessions, and Terces’s new interest in the fighting arts. Terces had been a jester his whole life, so there was no reason on earth why he’d need to fight anyone. What in the world was going on? Ash knew that they were up to something. Why wouldn’t they tell her what it was? If they were planning something, she wanted to help. The sense of not knowing was killing her. Still, she wasn’t going to bring it up at dinner. Surely Will and Terces would tell her eventually…right?

About the Author: Leslie D. Soule is a fantasy/sci-fi author from Sacramento, CA. She has an M.A. in English from National University, and is currently working on the final book of her fantasy series, The Fallenwood Chronicles.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

Buy Fallenwood at Melange Books or Amazon.

Buy Forgetting Fallenwood at Melange Books or Amazon.

Buy Betrayer at Melange Books or Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hearts at Seaside by Addison Cole – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Addison Cole will be awarding a $10 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.

Read our review of this book, here.

Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers features a group of fun, flirty, and emotional friends who gather each summer at their Cape Cod cottages. They’re sassy, flawed, and so easy to relate to, you’ll be begging to enter their circle of friends!

Hearts at Seaside by Addison Cole is the sweet edition of New York Times bestselling author Melissa Foster’s steamy romance novel Seaside Hearts. The stories and characters remain the same and convey all of the passion you expect between two people in love, without any explicit scenes or harsh language.

In HEARTS at SEASIDE…

Jenna Ward is vivacious, spontaneous, and confident—except when she’s around the man who stole her heart years earlier, strikingly handsome, quiet, and reliable Pete Lacroux. After years of trying to get his attention and overwhelmed from dealing with her mother’s new cougar lifestyle, Jenna’s giving up on Peter—and is ready to explore other men.

As the eldest of five siblings, with an alcoholic father to care for, boat craftsman Pete Lacroux always does the right thing and has no time for a real relationship. He’s looking forward to seeing his friend Jenna, a welcome distraction who’s so sexy and painfully shy that she equally entertains and confuses him.

When Jenna picks up a hard-bodied construction worker, jealousy ignites Pete’s true feelings, and he’s unable to ignore the desires for Jenna he never realized he had. But Pete’s not the quiet guy he appears to be, and his life is anything but conducive to a relationship. Can Jenna handle the real Pete Lacroux—the most alpha male she’s ever seen—or will she crack under pressure? And can Pete reclaim the life he once had without tearing apart his family?

SWEET WITH HEAT: SEASIDE SUMMERS SERIES
Read, Write, Love at Seaside
Dreaming at Seaside
Hearts at Seaside
Sunsets at Seaside
Secrets at Seaside
Nights at Seaside
Seized by Love at Seaside
Embraced at Seaside
Lovers at Seaside
Whispers at Seaside

Enjoy an Excerpt:

She stood in the middle of the boat, and he watched her eyes dance over his workmanship. He’d refinished all of the wood, stained and painted it, and worked his fingers to the bone, which he now realized he had done to work out his frustrations over his father’s drinking.

“Pete, this is stunning. It’s beautiful.”

“You’re stunning, Jenna. I don’t mean that as cheesy as it sounds.” He folded her into his arms and kissed the edge of her mouth. “You have the biggest heart of anyone I’ve ever known, and it comes through with everything you do and say.”
He kissed her softly, loving the feel of her hands as they traveled up his chest, and he deepened the kiss. He pushed away the thoughts of his father and what the boat was supposed to signify and allowed himself to get lost in Jenna, in the taste of her lips as he dragged his tongue over the bow of her upper lip.

“Pete.”

She reached for him, her eyes full of pleasure and desire. Pete reveled in the sound of his name coming off her lips, and his heart swelled. He’d shared his most intimate secret with Jenna, and as he lowered his cheek to hers, he barely contained the three words that he wanted to say. Their relationship was years in the making, and there was no stopping his heart from pouring out, one word at a time. He had to tell her, had to let her know, even if he withheld the words he really wanted her to hear.

About the Author:

SIGN UP for ADDISON’S Sweet with Heat newsletter. Fun, flirty romance with a dash of heat. www.AddisonCole.com/Newsletter

DOWNLOAD the first book in Addison’s Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers series free: READ, WRITE, LOVE AT SEASIDE on Amazon.

Addison Cole is the sweet alter ego of New York Times and USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Melissa Foster. She writes humorous and emotional sweet contemporary romance. Her books do not include explicit sex scenes or harsh language. Addison spends her summers on Cape Cod, where she dreams up wonderful love stories in her house overlooking Cape Cod Bay.

Addison enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups and welcomes an invitation to your event.

Addison’s books are available in paperback, digital, and audio formats.

Website | Newsletter | BookBub | Amazon Author Page
| https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16711767.Addison_Cole
| Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Instagram | Google+
Please note: All Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers books can be read as stand-alone novels or as part of the series.

Buy Hearts at Seaside (Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers Book 3) at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Google Play, iBooks, or Amazon (paperback).

Sunsets at Seaside (Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers Book 4) will release on August 23rd and is on pre-order at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Google Play, iBooks, Smashwords, or Amazon (paperback).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Lawman’s Apache Moon by Debra Holt – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly drawn commenter will win a $10 Amazon/BN GC. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

“No more detours!” That was the promise Angelina Lord made to herself when she accepted a ride from a wedding in Texas, with the best man to her destination in Santa Fe, New Mexico. What could possibly go wrong?

Angelina is focused on one thing–opening a fashion boutique in Santa Fe. What she really doesn’t need is one full-of-himself lawman with his aggravating air of superiority and soul-searing eyes…not to mention heart-stopping kisses…coming to her rescue. If she lets him get too close to the truth, he could bring down the wall she erected around her well-ordered life and her heart.

United States Marshal Jace Blackhawke holds family and traditions as the center of his life. He isn’t part of Angie’s world and she certainly isn’t part of his. Will their differences prove to be too insurmountable in the face of the truth that will not stay silent?

Enjoy an Excerpt

At first, Clay remained silent. When Jace was about to prompt him again, he finally began to open up. “A long time ago, I thought I did the right thing. It hurt like hell to do it. Then I did something else that seemed to be the honorable thing. And that went bad, too. I paid for it all for twelve long years. Now, Kaitlyn comes back here because her grandmother needed to see her. I thought I was beyond all the feelings, all the memories and the pain from a dozen years ago. But turns out, I am still the world’s biggest fool. I put my heart out there once again. But I should have known it was too late.” He’d probably left out the more personal details, but what he told Jace was enough to have him shaking his head when Clay finally finished with his departure from the ranch that morning and his arrival at Lou’s Bar.

About the Author: Born and raised in the Lone Star state of Texas, Debra grew up among horses, cowboys, wide open spaces, and real Texas Rangers. Pride in her state and ancestry knows no bounds and it is these heroes and heroines she loves to write about the most. She also draws upon a variety of life experiences including working with abused children, caring for baby animals at a major zoo, and planning high-end weddings (ah, romance!).

When she isn’t busy writing about tall Texans and feisty heroines, she can be found cheering on her Texas Tech Red Raiders, or heading off on another cruise adventure. She read her first romance…Janet Dailey’s Fiesta San Antonio, over thirty years ago and became hooked on the genre. Writing contemporary romances, is both her passion and dream come true, and she hopes her books will bring smiles…and sighs…to all who believe in happily-ever-after’s.

Debra invites you to visit her website at www.debraholtbooks.com. She loves to hear from other aspiring authors or readers via email at debraholtbooks@gmail.com.

Twitter | Facebook

Buy the book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Love on the Risky Side by Mariah Ankenman – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Mariah will be awarding a $10 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.

Falsely accused of the murder of her best friend, Kayla Jenkins is on the run for her life. She ends up lost in dark, snowy woods off some backcountry road in the middle of nowhere. Frightened and colder than she’s ever been in her life, she almost thinks she’s hallucinating when a warrior on a white steed saves her.

In all his years as the sheriff of Peak Town, Colorado, Jake Ryder has never come across a half-frozen woman alone in the woods. She’s terrified…and lying to him, yet something about her calls to him on a primal level.

Even with her trust of law enforcement lower than the harsh temperature, Kayla finds it difficult to keep her secrets hidden from the kind and far too handsome sheriff. But as her faith in Ryder grows, she not only risks the real murderer finding her, but losing the one thing she has searched for her whole life and only just found…love.

Enjoy an Excerpt

“My name is Jake Ryder, but most folks call me Ryder.” When she didn’t return the introduction, he continued. “Can I ask how you came to be all the way out here in the middle of the night?”

Giving a guarded glance from the horse back to him, she simply said, “Got lost.”

And they say women were chatty. Hell, he had a pet parrot as a kid that talked more than this woman. Not a problem. As sheriff, he was used to interrogating uncooperative suspects. Not that she was a suspect, yet.

“Got lost…” He looked her over. Big, red, winter coat, long dark slacks and—were those high heels? “…shopping?”

Honestly, who the hell wears heels in the woods?

She scowled, wrapping her arms around herself. “My car ran off the road. I—I got out to find help. Wandered off the road and got lost.”

Something about her story smelled like Wind Chaser’s stall after feeding time. “Why didn’t you call Triple A?”

Her gaze darted to the side. “Cell died.”

Yeah, and I’m the King of England.

“You need a ride back to your car?”

Her eyes widened. “On that thing?”

“Her name is Wind Chaser, and yes. Did you think I had a car hidden in the trees?”

Her jaw clenched at his sarcasm. Well, excuse him. It was dark, cold, and the last thing he wanted to do was be out here trying to pull a story out of Ms. Lying-Crazy-Lady.

About the Author:RWA® Golden Heart® Nominated author Mariah Ankenman began writing at the tender age of five. Her first book “George and the Green Glob” received high praise from her mother. Many years, and green glob stories later, Mariah received a playwriting degree from the University of Wyoming. After a few years in Hollywood, working in “the biz,” she came home to the beautiful Rocky Mountains. When she’s not writing Mariah loves to read, crochet, and play her ukulele. She loves to hear from readers.

Website | Facebook | Twitter
Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or The Wild Rose Press.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Quiet Child by John Burley – Spotlight and Giveaway


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

From the award-winning author of The Absence of Mercy, comes a gripping and darkly psychological novel about family, suspicion, and the price we are willing to pay to protect those we love the most.

It’s the summer of 1954, and the residents of Cottonwood, California, are dying. At the center of it all is six-year-old Danny McCray, a strange and silent child the townspeople regard with fear and superstition, and who appears to bring illness and ruin to those around him. Even his own mother is plagued by a disease that is slowly consuming her.

Sheriff Jim Kent, increasingly aware of the whispers and rumors surrounding the boy, has watched the people of his town suffer—and he worries someone might take drastic action to protect their loved ones. Then a stranger arrives, and Danny and his ten-year-old brother, Sean, go missing. In the search that follows, everyone is a suspect, and the consequences of finding the two brothers may be worse than not finding them at all.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Michael McCray squinted into the low-hanging sun as he swung the liberty blue Mercury four-door into the Century Grocery parking lot off Gas Point Road. At 7:45 p.m., the last of the August daylight still lingered, not yet willing to surrender the town of Cottonwood, California, to the custody of the night. Throughout the surrounding neighborhood, shadows spilled out from the bases of homes and businesses, dim expanding pools that merged to cover the quiet streets, the suburban yards strewn with forgotten playthings. On the radio, Kitty Kallen’s honey-flecked voice finished singing “Little Things Mean a Lot,” and Michael leaned forward and turned the knob to the left, clicking it off. He could feel warm air drifting through the open windows, the oppressive heat of the day finally slipping away with the reluctance of a child heading in for an evening bath.

The churn of the Mercury’s whitewall tires across the gravel lot—now all but empty except for the hunkered yellow presence of the proprietor’s 1952 Chevy Bel Air—ground to a halt as Michael nosed his car into a spot in the second row. He placed the vehicle in Park and turned off the engine. In the backseat, his two boys sat silently, gazing through the open windows at the parking lot beyond. It was Monday—a school night for ten-year-old Sean and six-year-old Danny—but Kate had been feeling unusually well this evening, her dark brown eyes engaged with her family instead of trapped beneath the hazy effect of her medication. “We should celebrate,” Michael had suggested. “How do you and the boys feel about ice cream from the market?”

Kate had nodded, smiling up at him from the living room La-Z-Boy, her expression both foreign and familiar, reminding him of how she’d looked at him twelve years before as he’d leaned in for their first kiss—awkward and wonderful—at the
top of that Ferris wheel in Redding. It was the summer after he finished his master’s degree in chemistry at UC Davis, the road trip north made on a whim, Michael thinking he’d spend some time in the mountains, maybe cross into Oregon and hit Portland before turning back. He’d made it as far as the small community of Cottonwood before encountering Kate at the late-night check-in desk at the Travelers Motel on the north end of town. It was her summer job between college semesters. By the end of that first conversation, Michael had asked her to the carnival the following night. By the end of August, they were married.

“I’ll take Danny with me,” he’d told her this evening before heading out.

“I wanna come too,” Sean had protested, jumping up from the couch.

“Stay with your mother.”

“Please, Dad. Please,” Sean persisted, wrapping his hands around his father’s forearm.

“It’s okay. Let him go,” Kate had said, the latest issue of Cosmopolitan magazine resting in her lap. “I’ll be fine here by myself for a few minutes.”

Michael paused, uncertain, his palm on the doorknob.

“I’ll be fine,” Kate assured him once again. Then, glancing at Sean, “He wants to go.”

About the Author: John Burley is the award-winning author of The Absence of Mercy, honored with the National Black Ribbon Award, and The Forgetting Place. He attended medical school in Chicago and completed his emergency medicine residency at University of Maryland Medical Center and Shock Trauma in Baltimore. He continues to serve as an emergency medicine physician in Northern California.

Website | Amazon Author Page | Facebook
Buy the book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Somewhere My Lady by Beth Trissel – Spotlight and Giveaway


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


Lorna Randolph is hired for the summer at Harrison Hall in Virginia, where Revolutionary-War reenactors provide guided tours of the elegant old home. She doesn’t expect to receive a note and a kiss from the handsome young man who then vanishes into mist.

Harrison Hall itself has plans for Lorna – and for Hart Harrison, her momentary suitor and its 18th century heir. Past and present are bound by pledges of love, and modern science melds with old skills and history as Harrison Hall takes Lorna and Hart through time in a race to solve a mystery and save Hart’s life before the Midsummer Ball.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Something about him held her spellbound…the tilt of his head, arch of his brow, glimpse of his profile… She followed his every move with the fixity of an owl.

He turned blue-gray eyes toward her and sensuous lips curved into a smile on his handsome face. Hands down. No contest. He was the hottest guy ever. Her heart beat a thrilling new rhythm.

He circled closer to where she stood rooted in the foyer, not moving a toe, scarcely drawing breath. Did he truly see her backed tremulously against the wall, or did it only feel that way?

Unlike the others in the ghostly assembly, his eyes didn’t skirt past her. He paused in the dance. Bending at the shoulders, he tipped his hand to her in a genteel flourish.

He’d freakin’ bowed. Her jaw dropped. He most definitely saw her. And she sure as heck saw him.

A sparking sizzle jumped between them, awakening her as she’d never been roused before. Even more than when the house charged through her at her arrival. It was as if she were plugged in—to him.

How that could be, she had no idea, but when he gazed into her eyes, time seemed to stop. She spiraled into moonless stars, and back again to this dizzying realm. To him. Even if she were dreaming, she’d never forget this moment.

About the Author: Married to her high school sweetheart, Beth Trissel lives on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia surrounded by her human family and furbabies. An avid gardener, her love of herbs and heirloom plants figures into her work. The rich history of Virginia, the Native Americans, and the people who journeyed here from far beyond her borders are at the heart of her inspiration. She’s especially drawn to colonial America and the drama of the American Revolution. And she loves a good ghost story. In addition to Young Adult and New Adult fantasy romance, she also writes historical, time travel, and paranormal romance, plus nonfiction.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon Author Page
Buy the book at Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Lady’s Arrangement by Colleen L. Donnelly – Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Colleen will be awarding a $10 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.

Neither Rex nor Regina wants a spouse, but they do have needs.

Ranger Rex Duncan needs a false identity—just long enough to uncover a ring of Kansas ranch thieves. Answering Regina’s ad for a temporary husband, he leaves his beloved red dirt of Oklahoma to assume that disguise. But the most obstinate woman he’s ever known confounds his assignment, and with hair the red color that has always made his heart beat a little faster.

Regina Howard needs a new Mrs. in front of her name—just long enough to reclaim her deceased husband’s ranch, since Kansas law won’t allow women to own property. When Rex answers her ad for a husband who can take orders as part of a brief business arrangement, she finds this stubborn man ignores her every command. Yet a good man is far more than just a name…

Enjoy an exclusive excerpt

I came off the wall and stepped along the inside of the barn doorway. I peered through one of the gaps between the boards. Doc stood near her, very near her, looking down in a way the widow deserved. “Thank you, Doc,” I called and waved as I strode out where they could see me. Doc and Regina each took a step back from the other.

“No—thank you.” Doc nodded, but I caught the baffled look on his face. “And thanks to your horse, there, also. Walter.” He tipped his head toward Walter.

I could see the ready in his eyes, the ready that would take care of Regina and Jess, whether they were ready or not. I waited for Regina to chime in, say anything to either him or me, but she didn’t. Her face picked up a sheen. A crimson flush that made her look right attractive where she was, here on a ranch instead of somewhere frilly back east. Red. I was way too fond of red. I felt a similar sheen creep up the back of my neck.

“Thank ya,” I said again. I rubbed my hands along my trousers, making old memories sting. Doc needed to go. I dropped my hands. No, he needed to stay. I watched him and Regina. If I’d known the rules for moments like this, Becky wouldn’t be Becky Carson right now. Doc was reserved, but he seemed to know how to stand and how to look. “Anything special I can do for Jess?” I called across the brown dirt to where they stood.

“Ben…” Regina looked my way. We stared at each other across that color of ground I didn’t care for, her red on the other side like a rising sun.

Doc should go. No, he should stay.

“Thank ya again, Doc.” I knew I should hie it back into the barn. Doc would love that woman, but he sure couldn’t lead. Ted would run over him every chance he got. So would she. It was the look on Regina’s face that gave me what I needed to leave them alone. I dragged one boot backward, and then the other until I was on my own in the barn’s dim light. Walter nickered from outside the doorway as they began to speak again. To each other. Soft, so I couldn’t hear. I went back to the low wall and bent forward, bracing myself against it with both arms. I leaned into my fists and listened until Doc Harris’s buggy finally rolled away. Wheels grinding into the solid dirt, the crunch getting farther and farther from Regina.

“Ben…”

I heard her behind me, the step that said West as much as East, the clip of her deceased husband’s boots stopping not far from my back. I knew what I had to do. I drew in a deep breath and turned. She opened her mouth the same time I opened mine.

“Will you marry me?”

About the Author: Born and raised in the Midwest, Colleen earned a four-year degree in Medical Technology and used it to travel and explore other parts of the country while working in the field of science.

Outside the laboratory she delves deeply into literature, both reading and writing, her interest piqued by tales involving moral dilemmas and the choices people come up against.

A lover of the outdoors as well as a comfy living room, Colleen is always searching inside and out for the next good story.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon Author Page
Buy the book for only $0.99 at Amazon.

Also available at Amazon:

Mine to Tell
Love on a Train
Asked For

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What Would I Tell a New Author? by Barbra E. Ross – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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

What would I tell a new author?

I have been writing for years and I still feel like a new author. I learn new things everyday about advertising, writing and editing. It is an ongoing process. When I look back to when I started writing, I think about what I would have liked to know then, that I know now. Here is my list that I would tell myself or anyone who is thinking of starting to write.

1.) Don’t ever give up. I know this sounds easy, but when you get your first bad review and they tear your writing to shreds, it is not that simple. It felt like someone kicked me in the ribs and knocked all the wind out of my body. I wanted to crawl in bed and forget the world. Thankfully, I had a great support network who reminded me that you can’t please everyone.

2.) Write what your heart tells you to write. Don’t let trends or people tell you what you should write. It won’t be believable if it isn’t true to you.

3.) Promote yourself. Go to local bookstores, libraries and show them your work. Just because you published, doesn’t mean the work stops there. That is when the real work begins. Writing was easy to me, marketing myself wasn’t.

4.) Network with other authors. See what they are doing to advance their work. You can get great advice from fellow authors.

5.) Learn how to write an effective query letter for agents and publishers. I self-published, but I still send out queries to agents and publishers. You never know when that one letter will land on the right desk.

6.) Invest in yourself and your book. It takes money to get your name and product out there. But who better to invest in than yourself. If you wrote it, believe in it and go for it.

7.) Make a website and join social media to promote your work. I can’t tell you how awesome it was when readers started writing me and telling me how they enjoyed my books. It still gives me butterflies when I think about it.

8.) Take care of you and give yourself the time to write. Set up free time where you can do your best work. I like my days off from work, when I am alone to write. Just me and my animals while I type away.

Bottom line is… do what you love to do. If I had listened to people who told me I was crazy for writing vampire romance, I would not be where I am today. And I am darn happy with what I have accomplished so far. You are never too old or too young to do anything. Keep reaching for the stars. Or in my vampire’s case, keep flying to the stars…

Barbra E Ross

One night changed everything for bachelor Justin Bertolli. A womanizer at heart, never quite ready to settle down, he meets the woman who would change his life forever. Ambra Taylor is that woman, but is she all that Justin bargained for? When Justin discovers the truth about who and what she is, will he still love her? Will he still want her? Find out, as their hearts collide in this epic tale of love.

The sequel, MARZIO’S REVENGE, is now available.

Enjoy an Excerpt

“Justin, please, don’t leave!” I heard her yell.

“Why the hell not? You are playing me for a fool!” I yelled back.

“No! I am not. I love you!” she yelled.

“I am not stupid Ambra! I know something is going on here.”

“Nothing is going on! Please believe me!” she cried.

“Oh yeah? An empty closet? You, running away every morning, working every single day. Even God took a day off Ambra,” I said, smartly.

“I cannot tell you! I cannot!”

“Then we are done. Finished. Over.”

I opened the door and went out in the hallway. I pushed the button over and over again for the elevator. I was on fire. I heard her come into the hallway. I looked up at the glowing numbers, waiting for them to count up to her floor. She stood in her doorway and I heard her sobbing. I glanced over at her and she looked so sad. I felt badly for second and quickly snapped out of it. I knew I was being played.

“Justin,” she whispered.

“I’m done talking,” I said and noticed the elevator was close now. Finally.

“Please. I am begging you to change your mind,” she said and I heard the ding of the bell. The door slid open and I put my hand on them to stop them from closing.

“Give me one good reason why I should. I don’t like being lied to. I have never lied to you Ambra,” I told her, still holding the doors.

“Because, I believe you are the only man I will ever love. I knew it the second I saw your face, and I believe that you feel the same way about me,” she said, still crying. I let go of the doors and they slid shut.

“Then tell me the truth,” I said. “Or I am gone.”

About the Author: Barbra E Ross lives in Michigan and is a nurse by day, lover of fiction at night. When people ask me what my book is about, I pause a moment because it is not so simple to describe. It is a vampire romance, I say and then, I pray that doesn’t scare them away. Because what are books really? I believe that books are a way to escape the daily routines of life.
I wanted to take an ordinary man and put him in fantastic situations. To bring a bit of fantasy down to reality. It is a love story at its heart. If I can take the reader on a journey and give them a laugh, cry, or simply bring a smile to their face, then it is all worth it. This story helped me through rough times in my life, and I can only hope it will do the same for the reader.

Facebook | Twitter | Website | Blog | Goodreads

Buy the book at Amazon US, Smashwords, Nook, iBooks, Kobo.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Come Helen High Water by Susan McBride – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Susan will be awarding a print copy of the book to two randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour (US only). Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Helen Evans returns in Susan McBride’s fourth River Road Mystery!

Spring has sprung, the river is rising, and when Luann Dupree, the head of River Bend’s Historical Society, vanishes into the night everyone in town is convinced she’s run off with her Internet Romeo. But her lifelong friend, Sarah Biddle, is convinced Luann is the victim of foul play. No one believes her-not even her husband, the local sheriff, so she turns to Helen Evans for help.

As River Bend’s resident puzzle-solver, Helen’s tackled many a local mystery before. So she agrees to help Sarah, even though she’s not so sure herself that Luanne is really in trouble. But as the town’s flood waters slowly recede, dead fish and muck aren’t the only things Helen finds. She begins to uncover town secrets, false identities…and the very real chance that Luanne might not be discovered alive…

Enjoy an Excerpt

The “walk of shame,” wasn’t that what they called it?

Despite the hangover that played timpani drums in her head, Luann Dupree cracked a smile as she locked her car and scurried toward her front door in the gray light of early morning. She’d always been such a straight arrow that it tickled her to envision herself being labeled a hussy. Unfortunately, it appeared that no one was around to witness her predawn homecoming.

She glanced right and left, checking an all-but-deserted Main Street beneath the still-glowing streetlamps. It felt very much like a ghost town, though there were a few signs of life: the lights flickering on at the diner down the block; a whip-poor-will calling out from a nearby tree; and a cat with a bell on its collar darting beneath a parked car. Otherwise, the town slept, not to awaken until the morning newspaper landed hard upon front porches.

“No one here but us chickens,” she murmured, shaking her head.

She let herself into the building that had, half a century ago, been the Spring Creek Hotel. Through the years the hotel had fallen into disrepair. When its owners died and their heirs placed it on the market for a pittance, the town council had scooped up the property for the River Bend Historical Society. Walls had been torn down to create vast space on the first floor for a museum. The second floor held countless documents and photographs that needed scanning into the system. Its unoccupied rooms also provided storage for the dozens of boxes found in the attic during the renovation and an extensive inventory of items left to the Historical Society by deceased town residents.

The renovation had been fully completed a year ago, and Luann was still sorting through the jumble.

She’d assumed the helm of the Society a decade before and had spent so much time in the building that it felt like home. Heck, it was her home. Before the town council had pushed forward plans to turn the attic into a tiny one-bedroom apartment, she’d often slept on the couch in her office. Though her brand-new living space was hardly bigger than a breadbox, it was all that she needed, seeing as how she was single without even a pet to her name.

One of these days, Lu imagined moving into a cottage perched atop the bluffs above the Mississippi River. How glorious it would be to wake up every morning and see the sunrise dapple the water! It would be even better if she had someone to share it with, she mused wistfully.

Not that there was anything wrong with living alone. Luann had been alone most of her fifty-two years. If she’d liked pets, it might have been a different story. But she was bored to death of herself and itched to share her passion with someone else, hopefully before another decade passed her by while her nose was buried in census tomes or dusty old photographs.

About the Author:SUSAN MCBRIDE is the USA TODAY bestselling author of Blue Blood, the first of the Debutante Dropout Mysteries. The award-winning series also includes The Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, The Lone Star Lonely Hearts Club, Night of the Living Deb, and Too Pretty to Die. She’s also the author of The Truth about Love & Lightning, Little Black Dress, and The Cougar Club, all Target Recommended Reads. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri, with her husband and daughter.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Buy the book at Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway