Posted in 5 paws, Book Blast, e-books, fiction, Sale on August 26, 2014

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Literary Awards for Cracks in the Sidewalk

Amazon Family Saga Bestseller

FPA President’s Book Award

Royal Palm Literary Award

Synopsis

A powerful story that is a heart-wrenching reminder of how fragile relationships can be. Cracks in the Sidewalk is based on a true story.

Claire McDermott is a wife, a mother, a grandmother… Her only daughter is gravely ill… Her son-in-law is resentful and angry… Her grandchildren are missing…

After years of writing letters, hoping to find the children, hoping to bring them back, Claire receives a reply…a dog-eared gray envelope is stuffed into her mailbox, but will it bring hope or simply put an end to the waiting?
Can a single letter change the lives of four people? Claire McDermott and her grandchildren are about to discover letters are a journey of the heart which can ultimately deliver people to their destination.

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Reviews

Reviewed By Samantha Rivera for Readers’ Favorite

Elizabeth is a woman whose sole purpose in life is to be a good wife and mother. She has no care in the world but to accomplish these goals and she works hard at them despite the treatment she is given at the hands of her husband. When Elizabeth falls ill suddenly during her pregnancy with their last child, her husband determines to have nothing to do with her. Unfortunately that means her children (including her newborn son) will also have nothing to do with her. It’s almost a year before Elizabeth is finally able to see her young children again, but even then things are not what they might seem in Cracks in the Sidewalk.

Cracks in the Sidewalk is the type of book that you can’t stop thinking about long after you put it down. Elizabeth is a woman that any woman would be proud to be. She is able to roll with the punches and even when people behave in a reprehensible way towards her she is incapable of truly hating them and can only feel sorry for the love they don’t have. Her plight is one no mother would ever want to find herself in, but at the same time it is one that will draw you in. This is a heart-wrenching story but it is also a beautiful one of love and devotion and forgiveness. For Elizabeth’s children and her mother it is also a story of miracles and of overcoming any obstacle life may put in your way. An excellent book by Bette Lee Crosby.

A moving, emotional story…when I read this book I felt so moved, I was crying at the end…writing flowed beautifully…depth of characters and insight kept me turning pages. -Bria Burton

A compelling story…Well written, with a realistic, compassionate telling, Cracks In the Sidewalk will bring readers into the family, happy to be a part of it. -Angie Mangino

Posted in 3 1/2 paws, Blog tour, California, fiction, Review on August 26, 2014

City-of-Toys

 

Synopsis

What would you do to become famous in Hollywood? In City of Toys, four beautiful women confront that very question. It takes more than just looks to make it in Tinsel Town, as they soon discover. The city brings them together as roommates and the hunger of fame lures them into situations that they never expected.  Through a series of intertwined yet separate events, City of Toys takes us from the naive optimism of the girl’s hopes and dreams to the sordid Hollywood underworld. Relying on one another helps get them through the Hollywood maze but will their friendship be enough to save them?

Four beautiful women, each with their own demons driving them towards the fame and fortune they so desperately seek, come together in Hollywood, the land of shattered dreams and broken hearts. Marlo, the tough-talking, former child actress from New York, Rhonda, the small town beauty queen, Kim, the “nice Jewish girl” with a painful childhood, and Guyla, the “serious actress” with a debilitating, stress-induced illness, all meet and reside in the same apartment building deep in the heart of Hollywood.

Each of these fame-hungry women experiences one painful disaster after another from casting directors behaving in sexually inappropriate ways, to crazed stalkers and jealous, mentally deranged starlets hounding them. They begin to rely upon one another to get through the horrific maze called Hollywood. But when the pressure gets too much, will their friendship be enough to save them in the City Of Toys?

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Excerpt

Chapter 1

The morning sun sparkled high in the sky above Los Angeles, and the summer heat had not yet fully invaded the curious world known as Hollywood. A cool, coastal breeze drifted in from the Pacific Ocean, so the infamous L.A. smog was not going to permeate the atmosphere too severely. The traffic at the intersection of Franklin Avenue and La Brea was typical, bumper to bumper and road rage simmering from tempestuous drivers. But, it was made even worse today by the arrival of a large moving van in front of the building.

The Franklin Regency was a five-story dwelling that loomed on the southwest corner of the crossway, halfway between the sparkling wealth of the Hollywood Hills and the sordid madness that was Hollywood Boulevard.

Everywhere beautiful, young people with fabulous faces and perfect bodies — every single one of them a struggling actor, model or something or other, trying to keep the bitterness at bay — jogged, walked dogs, hurried to auditions and roller-bladed. While the homeless (and other un-lovely denizens of ‘paradise’ almost equal in number) who had long ago lost the spark of life, seemed to blend into the background, completely ignored and snubbed by the bronzed gods and goddesses scurrying to an audition for a laxative commercial.

Awe-filled and often-disappointed tourists took it all in, recording it on film and video for the folks back home, wherever that may be. In the bright, mirrored lobby of the Franklin Regency, however, all was cheerful and sanguine. Rhonda McNutt talked excitedly on a pay phone to her father back in Cordova, Tennessee. Rhonda was nineteen, beautiful, and in the process of moving into the Franklin Regency Apartments.

“Yes, poppa, the truck just got here.” She spoke into the receiver with her thick Southern drawl. Outside, the large van containing all of her worldly possessions had pulled up to the curb. Rhonda had driven out to Los Angeles the week before, and was still in shock that she was actually here. She looked vigilantly around the lobby, at the longhaired rocker guys covered with tattoos, the sexy, gorgeous blondes, and the older men who could not resist winking at her as they passed by. She knew she was in a whole new place, but that didn’t matter. She was in Hollywood, and she was determined to be an actress. I’m here, and I’m going to make it! I’m going to be a star!

“All right, poppa, I’ll call you as soon as the phone is turned on…I love you too, poppa. Bye.” She gently hung up the phone, and waited for Marina Edwards, the apartment manager. An older woman stepped out of the elevator, clad in a severe dark business suit, and walked purposefully towards the front door.

She turned and gaveRhonda a nasty look, then stepped outside, chatting deliberately into a cell phone. Rhonda sat on a pink plush couch and waited while the moving men began to unload her furniture. She stared up at the famous James Dean poster on the wall. ‘The Boulevard of Broken Dreams’ was the caption underneath. Not for me, Rhonda thought, my dreams of Hollywood stardom are going to come true. She had dreamt of being a movie star since she was five, and nothing was going to stand in the way of her goals. Finally, the elevator doors opened, and Marina stepped out, accompanied by a tall, beautiful redhead.

“I’m glad this place is centrally located, my agent says I need to get to my auditions quickly.” She told Marina curtly, glancing down at her watch.

“We’re just fifteen minutes from Burbank and Warner Brothers, and five minutes from Hollywood and Paramount.” Marina explained. The girl pursed her lips and gripped her designer handbag.

“Well, I’ll think about it. I live in Pasadena now, and my agent is on my case about being late to auditions all the time. Things are starting to happen for me, and my agent tells me that I need to be close to the studios,” she said a little too loudly, glancing over at Rhonda to make sure she overheard.

She thrust her hand out to Marina, who smiled. “I’ll call you.” The girl turned sharply on her heel and headed out the front door, not without sneaking a quick glimpse of Rhonda. She gave Rhonda an uppish glance, and darted out the door.

“Marina.” Rhonda jumped up and cheerfully bounded over to her.

“Hey you! Come on in.” Marina unlocked the office door and the two of them ambled in. Marina was in her late thirties, blonde and beautiful, with very white teeth and an enormous smile. The two women had met a few days before, when Rhonda noticed the ‘Now Renting’ sign out front as she was driving around. Marina had leased her a single apartment on the first floor, and now it was time to go over little details. The moving men were placing Rhonda’s things in the lobby.

“Apartment 122, right?” Marina smiled sweetly. She smelled of Noxzema and peppermint chewing gum.

Rhonda was so excited she could barely contain herself. My God, I’m really here!

 

Review

Warning, this book is rather crude (language, situations) but fits the story of the book – 4 women that have come to LA to become movie stars and their journey in that quest. Sadly some of the stories are what you expect and not everything is champagne and roses for these women.

someone else described this book as a trainwreck and I can see that. You wonder how some of these women can fall prey to the underbelly of the entertainment world. In fact, you might even feel sorry for them but at the same time, they compromise their principles to be in LA.

This was a pretty good story, just be prepared – it isn’t a fairy tale.

We give it 3 1/2 paws

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About the Author

Lindy S. Hudis is a graduate of New York University, where she studied drama at Tisch School of the Arts.

She is the author of several titles, including her romance suspense novel, “Weekends”, her “Hollywood” story City of Toys, and her crime novel, Crashers. She is also the author of an erotic short story series, “The S&M Club” and “The Mile High Club”.

Her short film “The Lesson” was screened at the Seattle Underground Film Festival and Cine-Nights in 2000.

She is also an actress, having appeared in the television daytime drama “Sunset Beach”. She and her husband, Hollywood stuntman Stephen Hudis, have formed their own production company called Impact Motion Pictures, and have several projects and screenplays in development.

She lives in California with her husband and two children.

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, Medical Thriller on August 25, 2014

deadly errors

Synopsis

A comatose man is given a fatal dose of insulin in the emergency room, even though he isn’t diabetic. An ulcer patient dies of shock after receiving a transfusion of the wrong blood type. A recovering heart patient receives a double dose of medication and suffers a fatal heart attack.

Brain surgeon Dr. Tyler Matthews suspects that something is seriously wrong with the hospital’s new “Med-InDx” computerized medical record system. But he doesn’t suspect that there’s something murderously wrong with it.

As Matthews begins to peel back the layers of deception that cover the deadly errors, he crosses powerful corporate interests who aren’t about to let their multi-billion dollar medical record profits evaporate. Now a target, Matthews finds himself trapped in a maze of deadly conspiracy, with his career, his marriage, and his very life on the line.

Once again, Wyler blends his unparalleled expertise as a world class surgeon with his uncanny knack for suspense to create a true “best-of-breed” medical thriller. Deadly Errors is a lightning-quick action procedural that is destined to win new fans to the medical thriller genre.

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Excerpt

November, three months later, Seattle, Washington

Trauma Room Three, Maynard Medical Center Emergency Department

“Is this how you found him?” Robin Beck, the doctor on call, asked the paramedic as she quickly ran the back of her fingers over Tyrell Washington’s skin. Warm, dry. No fever, no clamminess. Black male. Age estimated in the mid-sixties. Half open eyes going no where. Findings that immediately funneled the diagnosis into the neurologic bin.

“Exactly as is. Unresponsive, pupils mid position and roving, normal sinus rhythm. Vital signs within normal limits. They’re charted on the intake sheet.” Breathing hard, the paramedic pulled the white plastic fracture board from under the patient, unofficially consummating the transfer of medical responsibility from Medic One to Maynard Medical Center’s Emergency Department.

“History?” Beck glanced at the heart monitor as that the nurse pasted the last pad to the man’s chest. Heart rate a bit too fast. Was his coma cardiac in origin?

A respiratory therapist poked his head through the door. “You call for respiratory therapy?”

She held up a “hold-on” palm to the paramedic, told the RT, “We’re going to have to intubate this man. Hang in here with me ‘til anesthesia gets here.”

The tech nodded. “You called them yet?”

“Haven’t had time. It’s your job now.” Without waiting for an answer she rose up on tip toes and called over the paramedic’s head to a second nurse plugging a fresh line into a plastic IV bag, “Glenda, get on the horn to imaging and tell them we need a STAT CT scan.” Better order it now. The scan’s status would be the first question out of the neurologist’s mouth when asked to see the patient. Nervously fingering the bell of her stethoscope, she turned to the paramedic. “I need some history. What have you got?”

“Nada.” He shook his head. “Zilch. Wife’s hysterical, can’t give us much more than she found him like this.” He nodded at the patient. “And, yeah, he’s been a patient here before.”

A phlebotomist jogged into the room, gripping the handle of a square metal basket filled with glass tube Vacutainers with different colored rubber stopper, sheathed needles, and alcohol sponges. “You call for some labs?”

“Affirmative. I want a standard admission draw including a tox screen.” A screen blood test for coma producing drugs. Then to the paramedic, “Did the wife call 911 immediately?”

He shrugged, pushed their van stretcher over so his partner standing just outside the door could remove it from the cramped room. “Far as I know.” He paused a beat. “You need me for anything else?”

“That’s it? Can’t you give me something else to work with?” She figured that under these circumstances a hysterical wife was of little help in giving her the information needed to start formulating a list of possible diagnoses.

His eyes flashed irritation. “This was a scoop and scoot. Alright? Now, if you don’t need me for anything else…”

She waved him off. “Yeah, yeah, thanks.” She wasn’t going to get anything more from him now. At least knowing the patient had been treated here before was some help.

She turned to monitor. Blood pressure and pulse stable. For the moment.

She called over to the lead nurse. “We got to get some history on him. I’m going to take a look at his medical records.

At the work station, Beck typed Tyrell Washington’s social security number into the computerized electronic medical record. A moment later the “front page” appeared on the screen. Quickly, she scanned it for any illness he might have that could cause his present coma. And found it. Tyrell must be diabetic. His medication list showed daily injections of a combination of regular and long-lasting insulin. Odds were he was now suffering a ketogenic crisis caused by lack of insulin.

Armed with this information, Robin Beck hurried to the admitting desk where Mrs. Washington was updating insurance information with a clerk.

“Mrs. Washington, I’m doctor Beck… has your husband received any insulin today?”

Brow wrinkled, the wife’s questioning eyes met her. “No. Why?”

Suspicions confirmed, Beck said, “Thank you, Mrs. Washington. I’ll be right back to talk to you further.” Already calculating Tyrell’s insulin dose, Beck hurried back to Trauma Room 3.

“I want 15 units of NPH insulin and I want it now.” She figured, Let him start metabolizing glucose for an hour before titrating his blood sugar into an ideal level. For now she’d hold off calling for a neurology consult until assessing Washington’s response to treatment.

“Mama, what’s happened to Papa?”

Erma Washington stopped wringing her hands and rocking back and forth on the threadbare waiting room chair. Serena, her oldest daughter crouched directly in front of her. She’d called Serena – the most responsible of her three children – immediately after hanging up the phone with 911.

“I don’t know, baby… I just don’t know.” Her mind seemed blank, wiped out by the horror of what life would be like without Tyrell.

Her daughter reached out and took hold of both her hands. “Have the doctors told you anything yet?”

“No baby, nothing.”

“Nothing?”

“No, wait…” Amazed that she’d completely forgotten. “A lady doctor came, asked had Papa been given insulin today.”

Insulin? Why’d she ask such a thing, Mama? Papa doesn’t take insulin!”

In November 1999, the Institute of Medicine concluded a study entitled, To Err Is Human: Building A Safer Health System. It focused attention on the issue of medical errors and patient safety by reporting that as many as 44,000 to 98,000 people die in hospitals each year from preventable medical errors. This makes medical errors this country’s eighth leading cause of death — higher than motor vehicle accidents, breast cancer, or AIDS. About 7,000 people per year were estimated (at that time) to die from medication errors alone. In spite of efforts by health care providers to decrease the rate of these preventable errors, they are still a cause of morbidity and mortality.

How can you, as a consumer, limit your risk of becoming the victim of an error? Numerous studies have shown errors to be lower when using computerized medical records. Does your doctor use a computerized system? Also, errors occur more commonly during “hand offs,” when care is passed between providers. Examples are: a change of shift for hospitalized patients, or when doctors refer a patient to a specialist. Always make sure your personal health information is passed accurately between providers. You might consider keeping a copy of vital information such as your prescription drugs and thier dosages. Always be sure to check prescriptions when accepting medications from pharmacies, especially if receiving generic drugs. If a pill doesn’t look familiar, verify with the pharmacist the does and drug. Although errors are unlikely to be reduced to zero, consumer vigilance by lower the rate to more acceptable levels.

 

About the Author

Allen Wyler is a renowned neurosurgeon who earned an international reputation for pioneering surgical techniques to record brain activity. He has served on the faculties of both the University of Washington and the University of Tennessee, and in 1992 was recruited by the prestigious Swedish Medical Center to develop a neuroscience institute.

In 2002, he left active practice to become Medical Director for a startup med-tech company (that went public in 2006) and he now chairs the Institutional Review Board of a major medical center in the Pacific Northwest.

Leveraging a love for thrillers since the early 70’s, Wyler devoted himself to fiction writing in earnest, eventually serving as Vice President of the International Thriller Writers organization for several years. After publishing his first two medical thrillers Deadly Errors (2005) and Dead Head (2007), he officially retired from medicine to devote himself to writing full time.

He and his wife, Lily, divide their time between Seattle and the San Juan Islands.

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Giveaway

1 Print Copy of Deadly Errors by Allen Wyler.  Open to US & Canada residents only.

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Posted in 4 paws, Monday, mystery on August 25, 2014

BBB

 

Synopsis

“Boardwalk Empire” meets “Miss Universe” in 1927 Galveston, Texas-the “Sin City of the Southwest.” Jasmine (“Jazz”) Cross is an ambitious 21-year-old society reporter for the Galveston Gazette who wants to be taken seriously by the good-old-boy staff, but the editors only assign her fluffy puff pieces, like writing profiles of bathing beauties.

The last thing Jazz wants to do is compare make-up tips with ditzy dames competing in the Miss Universe contest, known as the “International Pageant of Pulchritude and Bathing Girl Revue.” She’d rather help solve the murders of young prostitutes who turn up all over town, but city officials insist on burying the stories during Splash Day festivities. After Jazz gets to know the bathing beauties, she realizes there’s a lot more to them than just pretty faces and figures.

Jazz becomes suspicious when she finds out the contest is also sponsored by the Maceos, aspiring Beach Gang leaders and co-owners of the Hollywood Dinner Club, where the girls will perform before the parade and pageant. Worse, her half-brother Sammy Cook, owner of the Oasis, a speakeasy on a rival gang’s turf, asks her to call in a favor from handsome Prohibition Agent James Burton: He wants Agent Burton to raid the Hollywood Club during the bathing beauties dance routine–or risk revenge from the Downtown Gang leader. Her loyalties torn, Jazz is faced with an impossible task that could compromise both of their jobs and budding romance.

Meanwhile, Jazz fends off advances from Colin Ferris, an attractive but dangerous gangster who threatens Sammy as well as Burton. In the end, she must risk it all to save her friends from a violent killer hell-bent on vengeance. Inspired by actual events.

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Review

I love all the history I am learning about Galveston and the 1920′s. The dialogue makes me feel like I am right there in that decade! Thank goodness for the dictionary at the end to let me know what some of the words mean.

This book continues where FFF left off with Jazz getting into her usual trouble but still keeping a secret about Sammy, that he is her brother. This time it is the Miss Universe Pageant and this is not the pageants we know today!

Like the first book, there are people that are murdered and that mystery must be solved. The author does a pretty good job of intertwining the mystery with the storyline and I don’t think you will figure it out…at least I didn’t!

We give this book 4 paws!

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About the Author

ellen collierEllen Mansoor Collier is a Houston-based freelance magazine writer and editor whose articles, essays and short stories have been published in a variety of national magazines. During college summers, she worked as a reporter (intern) for a Houston community newspaper and as a cocktail waitress, both jobs providing background experience for her Jazz Age mysteries.

A flapper at heart, she’s worked as a magazine editor/writer, and in advertising and public relations (plus endured a hectic semester as a substitute teacher). She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Magazine Journalism and served on UTmost, the college magazine, and was active in WICI (Women in Communications), acting as president her senior year.

Flappers, Flasks and Foul Play is her first novel, published in 2012, followed by the sequel, Bathing Beauties, Booze and Bullets, released in May 2013. Gold Diggers, Gamblers and Guns is the last novel in her Jazz Age Mystery series, published in May, 2014. She lives in Houston with her husband and Chow mutts, and visits Galveston whenever possible.

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Posted in Cover Reveal, New Adult, romance on August 25, 2014

 

Title: London Loves 

            Author : Theresa Troutman

        Release Date: Sept 15th 



Synopsis

“You never know what the future holds.”
Tess Hamilton Irons is excited about her new job prospect overseas. Her husband Sebastian has second thoughts. He acquiesces to his wife so she can have her dream job in his home town, London. A city brimming with excitement and adventure at every turn—not all of it good.
Lady Lily Irons menacing persona looms large, as he vows to protect his family at all cost. With the help of an unexpected ally, Sebastian begins a search for the father he never knew.
In a split second, the life they know is blown to bits and Sebastian is forced to pick up the pieces. Can he reclaim the life he loved or is the inevitable change a good thing?

 

Friendship, love, lust, tragedy and triumph combine in the thrilling conclusion to the Love’s Great Adventure series.

 

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About the Author

Theresa Troutman lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and their crazy dog, Niko. She loves reading, theatre, traveling and is an active member of the SCBWI. Works by Theresa include My Secret Summer (YA romance), A Special Connection (New Adult Romance), and Life’s What You Make It – Love’s Great Adventure Series Book 1 ( Mature YA romance)

Love This Life – Book 2 Love’s Great Adventure Series

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Posted in excerpt, romance, Spotlight, Western on August 24, 2014

roses2

Title: One Last Letter
Author: Pema Donyo
Genre: Historical romance, Western
Pages: 171

Synopsis

A romantic hardened by reality… 

Evelyn Lancaster turned her back on her love for ranch hand Jesse Greenwood when she was sixteen to pursue a career and marry into wealth that could save her father’s struggling ranch. Now twenty-three, she works hard to keep the property afloat, but no suitor has stirred her heart the way Jesse did. After her father falls ill, she needs all the help she can get to keep the ranch running.

A cowboy returning to what he left behind… 

After making his fortune, a newly wealthy Jesse has returned home to see his younger sister married. Still smarting from Evelyn’s rejection, he finds the tables have turned, and now only his investment could save the ranch that he vowed to never step foot on again.

When he agrees to help her salvage her family legacy, they must overcome their pride and painful past to work together. As long-held emotions rekindle, Jesse pretends indifference, only to admit his true feelings in an unsigned letter left on Evelyn’s porch.

Evelyn finds the missive and writes back, beginning a furtive correspondence. She dares to hope her mystery admirer is Jesse, but then another man comes forward to claim the letters as his own. Will one last letter give them the courage to say yes to love on the wild Texas plains?

Deleted Prologue

1868

Texas

“You have to promise me.”

“I promise.”

“No! Say it like you mean it.”

“How else am I to say two words?”

“With emotion! With passion!”

“Reckon I don’t need words for that.” Jesse flipped Evelyn over on the pasture and pressed his lips against hers. She arched her body toward him as his hands fell to her hips.

“Not so fast.” He grabbed her wrist in a light hold, and she laughed. He pulled her tighter to his chest, and after an exaggerated huff of breath, she settled beside him.

She caught herself smiling as she nestled next to his body on the green grass. A slight breeze blew through his hair, ruffling the brown locks that fell forward into his face a bit. Jesse’s sharp cheekbones had always seemed aristocratic to her. The angular planes of his face didn’t belong on a cowboy, they belonged on a prince.

Evelyn brushed her fingertips over his clean-shaven jaw. “Still. Promise me.”

He pulled her against him until she was sitting on his lap. “I promise you.”

“Say it! Say the promise.”

He sighed. “All right, fine. I promise you, Evelyn Lancaster, Eve, the crazy one…”

“Hey!”

She felt a lock of her hair pull as he wrapped one of her wavy tendrils around his finger. His voice was low. “I promise I will never stop writing to you while you’re away in the Old States.”

Her heart thudded in her chest at the reminder. The East Coast seemed so far away. She leaned her forehead against his. A desperate plea tugged at her lips. “You cannot make me go to that female seminary. Why must one travel so far for school?” The tears she’d managed to hold back threatened to surface. “I cannot leave you. I cannot leave the ranch.”

“The year will be over before you know it.” Jesse’s thumb brushed over her cheek. She grabbed his hand and kissed it, then leaned forward to peck him on the lips.

He tilted up her chin between his thumb and forefinger. “Now Elle, you have to promise me something.”

“What?”

“You won’t forget me.”

As if she could! She leaned closer against him, burying her face against her shoulder. His shirt fabric felt rough against her cheek, but all the dust and dirt of the ranch could have covered his clothes and she still would have embraced him. “Forget you? Never.”

“Promise?”

“I promise you, Jesse Greenwood, that I will never stop loving you.”

He averted his eyes, as if working up the courage to say something. “What if we just eloped? Run off to California and never come back?” He kept his tone light, but Evelyn thought she could spot a hint of sincerity in his eyes.

She laughed. Surely he’d been teasing. She tried to cup his cheeks with her hands, but he inclined his head away and she dropped her hold.

When he spoke again, his voice sounded bitter. “No doubt your father will pressure you to find someone else. Someone who owns land, no doubt.”

“There is no one else! I want you.”

“I don’t belong in your world.” His tone chilled her heart like a winter night. “Your father knows you could make a better match than with a ranch hand.”

She shook her head with resolve. “You and me, forever.”

Excerpt

Evelyn Lancaster wanted to run away as fast as possible.

It was a mistake. It was one colossal, gargantuan mistake. Worse than Athens ordering the death of Socrates. Worse than Persephone being kidnapped by Hades. What did she think she was going to do? Seconds ticked by as she found herself unable to say anything more. Her mouth felt dry. What was she supposed to say?

He’d changed, more than she would have ever imagined possible. The boyish frame was filled out, and extra years working on the ranch had defined the muscles in his arms under his coarse brown shirt. He’d even grown taller—past six feet, she guessed. His shoulders were broader, and his cheekbones seemed more pronounced than before. His face carried even more of an aristocratic air, but his body seemed undeniably more masculine.

Yet the expression was the same. Jesse Greenwood’s same reticent, admiring expression hadn’t changed as he continued to stare at her like she was hand-blown glass. His brown hair still flopped lightly in front of his eyes, causing him to brush it away.

“Hey, Eve.”

She winced. She hadn’t heard that nickname since she’d left Hamilton, Texas, for the female seminary in Massachusetts. No one there ever called her Eve. During classes she’d been “Miss Evelyn” and “Miss Lancaster.”

She cleared her throat. She’d anticipated the awkwardness but not the simple difficulty in forming words. “I returned home a few hours ago. I thought I should stop by and say hello. Is Preston here? Are any of the other ranch hands here?”

Jesse blinked. He didn’t respond for a few seconds. The adoring expression morphed to one of disbelief. “Eve, did you get my letters?”

She bit her lip. “I did.” Evelyn resisted the urge to embrace him. Doing so would only make it harder to answer his questions with a lie. Instead, she stood rooted to the spot. She wouldn’t move a muscle; there was too much she could regret. “They were nice letters. Thank you. But I burned them.”

His eyes became cool steel, all traces of admiration in his eyes melting away. “Burned them? But you . . .” His jaw was set. “Eve, why didn’t you write me back?”

“I was busy.” She tore her eyes away from Jesse’s searing gaze and tried to look behind his shoulder. The sinking feeling in her chest was surely no more than an echo of the past. She needed to leave before all rationality left her. “Just let all the other ranch hands know I stopped by.”

“Stop. Eve, I said stop.” Strong hands grabbed both of her shoulders, and she looked up in alarm toward his furrowed brow and confused expression. His voice was so much deeper than she’d remembered. “That’s all? You couldn’t once respond to me?”

She struggled to push against him, but he held her in place. His tone was rough. It increased in volume, rising with each word that tumbled out of his mouth.

“What about the promise I made to you? When you told me that you wanted to marry—”

“Enough!” Evelyn yanked herself out of his hold and glared. She breathed deeply, as if the extra air would give her the courage she couldn’t truly conjure up. “I remember what you are referring to. I did receive your letters. I thank you for them. But I did not respond to you because whatever we had before I left for school . . .” She gulped. The polite tone of indifference faded. “This has to end.”

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Playlist

First Time Feeling by Dan + Shay
Close Your Eyes by Dan + Shay
Still Fallin by Hunter Hayes
Still Into You by Hannah Trigwell
Sooner or Later by Mat Kearney
A Case of You by James Blake
To Whom It May Concern by The Civil Wars

About the Author

PemaDonyoPema Donyo is a coffee-fueled college student by day and a creative writer by night. She currently lives in sunny Southern California, where people wear flip-flops instead of Stetsons and ride in cars instead of carriages. As a rising sophomore at Claremont McKenna, she’s still working on mastering that delicate balance between finishing homework, meeting publisher deadlines, and… college. Black coffee, period dramas, faded book covers, and peanut butter continue to be the driving forces in her life.

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Posted in Book Blast, fiction, Giveaway, Middle Grade, Young Adult on August 23, 2014

angels club

Angels Club by Courtney Vail & Sandra J. Howell

Hola, Cuties! I’m Jacinda Gonzalez, almost twelve. Although I think I’m pretty nice, not to mention way cool and one of the most knowledgeable people in all things horse, I just can’t make any friends in my new school. The only things flying my way are totally rude insults. The horseback riding therapy farm where I volunteer becomes my perfect escape from mean bullies. And when Angel, a scrawny, muddy American Curly, shows up as rescue, no one but me can see her potential and lovableness, so I take her on as a project horse to get her ready for sale. But, the thing is, I don’t want them to sell her. She’d be so perfect for therapy. So perfect. Now, if only I could prove it.

Anyway, Angel’s sugar-candy personality inspires me to be sweet in spite of bad things happening to me. So, of course, I can’t resist the urge to make the world a whole lot brighter. Come on in and see how I do it!

 

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Angels Club Website

CourtneyAuthor Courtney Vail

In addition to writing quirky, twisty books for teens and adults, Courtney works from home as a graphic designer and book formatter. She’s married to a should-be-famous comedian and has three kids who make her house LOUD and messy and do things like turn her veggie garden into Jurassic Park, but she thoroughly loves her life. She’s a member of Authors Selling Books in Western Mass.

Courtney is a major sports junky and loves to run, visit amusement parks (and ride all the roller coasters first), skate, cook, and watch standup or anything that cracks her up or makes her heart race or neck tingle.

Angels Club is her first novel for kids. It was a blast to write, so maybe her crazy brain and fancy purple pen will find a grand adventure next time.

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SandraAuthor Sandra J. Howell
Sandy is an avid horse enthusiast and was the first breeder in Massachusetts of the rare American Bashkir Curly horse. Her lifelong passion for Curly horses led her to write two Equine novels, Spirit of a Rare Breed and Saving GiGi. Howell, a college professor, has been a contributing writer, featuring the American Bashkir Curly horse, for Equine journals and magazines. She has been featured on television, radio talk shows and news media, and has received numerous letters from Native Americans thanking her for promoting and advocating for their favored steed. Howell is a founding member of Authors Selling Books of Western Mass and is a member of the Independent Publishers of New England. Her novels are showcased at the New England Equine Affaire and promoted through many Equine organizations.

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Book Blast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 9/15/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Posted in Book Blast, Giveaway, romance on August 23, 2014

secret bliss

The Secret Bliss of Calliope Ipswich by Marcia Lynn McClure

“Oh! Do link arms with me, Calliope,” Blanche whispered, her brown eyes widening with apprehension. She took Calliope’s arm, tightly linking it with her own. “The old Mulholland house still gives me the willies every time I walk past it. I hate to think on what might have gone on inside. It’s truly terrifyin’!”
“Oh, don’t be silly, Blanche,” Calliope said, feigning calm. “Poor Prudence’s lunacy…it’s sad. And besides, her fiendish acts were not committed inside the house. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s just…it’s just a sad, empty building.” Calliope Ipswich felt the hypocrite, however, as an uncomfortable shiver of residual dread and unease shuttered down her spine,

More than six months had passed since the All Hollow’s Eve when the dangerous state of Prudence Mulholland’s fracturing mind had been revealed to the townsfolk of Meadowlark Lake. And now, each time Calliope thought of poor Prudence and her family, not only did her heart ache for their family’s unhappy lot but a chill of lingering horror rippled through her being.
In truth, at times Calliope wondered if it had all been simply a bad dream—a nightmare. But it hadn’t. It really had happened—all of it.

 

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marciaAuthor Marcia Lynn McClure

Marcia Lynn McClure’s intoxicating succession of novels, novellas, and e-books, has established her as one of the most favored and engaging authors of true romance. Her unprecedented forte in weaving captivating stories of western, medieval, regency, and contemporary amour void of brusque intimacy has earned her the title “The Queen of Kissing.”

Marcia, who was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has spent her life intrigued with people, history, love, and romance. A wife, mother, grandmother, family historian, poet, and author, Marcia Lynn McClure spins her tales of splendor for the sake of offering respite through the beauty, mirth, and delight of a worthwhile and wonderful story.

 

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BookBlast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 9/16/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Posted in 4 paws, Blog tour, Cozy, mystery, Review on August 22, 2014

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undertaking-irene

 

UNDERTAKING IRENE by Pamela Burford
Cozy Mystery – 250 Pages

 

Synopsis

Jane Delaney does things her paying customers can’t do, don’t want to do, don’t want to be seen doing, can’t bring themselves to do, and/or don’t want it to be known they’d paid someone to do. To dead people. Life gets complicated for Jane and her Death Diva business when she’s hired to liberate a gaudy mermaid brooch from the corpse during a wake. Well, a girl’s got to make a living, and this assignment pays better than scattering ashes, placing flowers on graves, or bawling her eyes out as a hired mourner. Unfortunately for Jane, someone else is just as eager to get his hands on that brooch, and he’s even sneakier than she is. Just when she thinks her biggest problem is grand theft mermaid, things take a murderous turn. But hey, when you’ve teamed up with a neurotic seven-pound poodle named Sexy Beast, how can you lose?

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Review

This was quite a humorous book! yes it is still a mystery but there are quite a few bits of humor throughout. The book is told in first person so if that bothers you (and I know a few people that it does) you may not enjoy the book. But if you can get past that, then this mystery will keep you guessing. There is a dog – a poor poodle that hasn’t seen a groomer since birth, named Sexy Beast. A “priest” named Martin who really isn’t a priest, thank goodness because apparently he is quite the hunk.

I didn’t figure out the killer until they were revealed and then it was an interesting twist as to the “why”.

We give this book 4 paws up!

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About This Author

Pamela Burford is the best-selling author of 15 works of mystery, contemporary romance, and romantic suspense. She has received four RITA and Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award nominations and is a frequent speaker at writers’ conferences and workshops. Her books have sold millions of copies, received outstanding reviews, and been translated into more than a dozen languages. Pamela is the founder and past president of Long Island Romance Writers, a chapter of Romance Writers of America. Fun fact: her twin sister Patricia Ryan, a.k.a. P.B. Ryan, is also a published novelist

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Giveaway

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Tour Participants

August 18 – readalot blog – Review

August 19 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Interview

August 20Queen of All She Reads – Review

August 21 Kelly P’s Blog – Interview

August 22StoreyBook Reviews – Review

August 23Mystery Playground – Interview

August 24Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review 

August 253 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – Interview

August 26Shelley’s Book Case – Review

August 27rantin’ ravin’ and reading – Review

August 28Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – Interview

August 29Brooke Blogs – Review, Interview

August 30deal sharing aunt – Spotlight

August 31Dalene’s Book Reviews – Review

Posted in Book Blast, excerpt, romance, Spotlight on August 22, 2014

Finding me finding you book blitz

Book Blitz

FMFY Cover Update

Book Title: Finding Me, Finding You
Author: Shealy James
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 2013
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

Synopsis

Parker wasn’t always a bad boy. It wasn’t until his life seemed to lose meaning that things started spiraling out of control. Nothing mattered though, not without her around. That was until he met Maggie, the introverted beauty that had taken one too many verbal beatings.

Maggie wasn’t exactly shy, but she definitely wasn’t confident either. Until now she had been happy existing in her small world, but she was ready for a change. She vowed to make friends in college. Simple, right? Not quite. Maggie discovers she was in store for more than just friendship. Instead she finds a painful crush on an emotionally unavailable guy.

As Maggie and Parker each head down the path of self-discovery, they learn it isn’t always easy to keep the ones you love when you are becoming the person you want to be.

excerpt

“So, Parker, how long have you been in love with my little girl?”

I looked at him shocked. “What?”

“You’re watching her like You’re ready to pounce anyone who touches her wrong or if anyone under the age of sixty tries to dance with her. You drove all this way to come to a party that she hates. I know she is incredibly crabby when she is home, and I can only assume that has something to do with you. She has been happier at school this year than she was the last two, and I know about your piano performance, which was a nice touch by the way.”

I thought for a second. Was I in love with Maggie? This wasn’t the first time this had crossed my mind, but it was the first time I believed it could be possible. Yes. I am. I’m in love with Maggie Miller.

“I’ll ask you again, son. How long have you been in love with my daughter?”

“I think since the day I met her, sir.”

“Yeah I thought so. I saw the way you looked at her then as well. Have you told her how you feel?”

“No, sir.”

“Have you had sex with her?”

“What? NO! No, sir!”

He gave me a mischievous grin. “Ha. Just checking. Well, go get her.” He nodded to where she was dancing with a bald older man with wandering hands. I laughed when she had to move his hand off her butt for probably the tenth time.

“Are you going to cut my balls off?”

Meet the Author

Shealy James is Georgia native who teaches middle school math during the day and disappears into fiction at night. She is an avid reader and a writer who laughs in the face of middle school angst and welcomes humor, drama, and the all-important happy ending. Shealy is the author of Finding Me, Finding You (Finding Series Book 1), Finding Us (Finding Series Book 2) and Whole Life Re-Do (Whole Life Series Book 1).

 

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