Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, paranormal, romance on August 16, 2017

Title: SEAL Wolf Undercover

Author: Terry Spear

Series: SEAL Wolf, #5

Pub Date: August 1, 2017

Synopsis

Never be so foolish as to fall for the enemy…

Special wolf agent Jillian Matthews has joined the jaguar-run United Shifter Force to track down a deadly criminal. She’s even willing to work with PI Vaughn Greystroke—until the hot, growly SEAL wolf makes the mistake of getting in her way. Naturally, she shoots him. Who could blame her?

Vaughn Greystroke has always worked alone. But when a string of attempted murders puts him in the crosshairs, teaming up with the Shifter Force begins to sound like a good idea. Even if he has to work with alluring—and potentially treacherous—Jillian Matthews. Vaughn is a trained SEAL, after all. He can surely keep his distance from Jillian…no matter how much she’s getting under his skin.

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Excerpt

Formerly an army intelligence officer and now a PI, Jillian Matthews had agreed to go out with her brother Miles’s friend as a favor, but man did the guy have octopus arms. Oh sure, he was fun, but way more interested than she was. The guy several tables over, now he got her attention. If she didn’t know any better, she’d say he was all wolf, though some human males showed the same wolfish interest in a woman, even if she was with someone else. She’d never think about dumping a guy on a date when he was being nice, especially when it was to pay her brother back for his help in solving one of her cases. But she’d made sure she said it was only one date, unless she changed her mind.

Everything about the club was a blast—the music, drinks, dancers, and atmosphere—yet the man at the other table truly stole her attention tonight.

“Did you want to return here tomorrow night?” Miles asked.

She smiled at her brother. She’d love to if the other guy was going to be here.  He had dark hair, chiseled features, tanned biceps. He was muscular but not overdone, and had a darkly, intriguing smile that made her melt.

“Sure,” she said, secretly wishing she could see tall, dark, and intriguing. Maybe tomorrow he would ask her to dance or she’d ask him. The guy’s own date looked bored and Jillian hadn’t seen him dance until women began asking him. As soon as a blond did, it was like a signal to other single women that he was interested and available. If Jillian had been without a date, even she would have asked him to dance. She’d help him move that gorgeous body right up close and personal. Her own date wasn’t interested in dancing with anyone else, so she curbed the inclination. She could envision hanging onto the guy too, if he still piqued her interest and not allow any other woman to take a turn with him.

“Hey, you ready to go?” Miles asked, breaking into her fantasy. “If I’m going to help you on that next case, I need some sleep.”

His date was a human woman, and Jillian knew her brother too well. Sleep wasn’t what he had in mind at all.

“Yeah, agreed.”

“I can take you back to your hotel,” her date said, as if he were looking for some mattress action too.

“Oh, thanks so much, but no, that’s fine. Miles is right. We have to get up before the crack of dawn.”

She and Miles rose from the table, Jillian’s date not making a move to leave. “See you tomorrow night then,” he said.

Not if she could help it. She gathered her sweater and bag, and though she didn’t want to seem too obvious that she was interested in the other guy, she glanced back at him. He inclined his head a little to her and her whole body flushed with heat.

He was so hot. Yeah, he was the date she wanted tomorrow night, whether he had   a date with him or not.

Then suddenly a scream caught Jillian’s attention. One of the corner chains holding a dancer’s platform had broken loose, and the dancer on it screamed again. Thank God the dancer had reacted quickly enough to grab one of the remaining four chains holding it up before she fell. Dangling twenty feet above the patrons, she clung precariously to the end of the chain, looking up as if she was thinking of trying to climb up it. Before Jillian could do anything, the wolfish guy she had been admiring had climbed the ladder to the platform. He leapt to one of the chains still holding the platform, and shimmied across the top of it to reach the chain the dancer was holding onto.

The music was still in heavy jungle beat mode, most patrons unaware of the potential tragedy unfolding before them. Jillian rushed to tell a server to get help and to turn off the music so the guy rescuing the woman could concentrate.

“Hell, that’s part of the show,” the server said, smiling at her. “You’re not from around here, are you?”

“The guy trying to rescue her is part of it too?”

The server glanced up at him. “No. Once in a blue moon we get some hero type that has to show off how macho he is. He must not be from around here either.”

“He could injure himself! Kill himself even!”

“Safety nets spring up and will catch them if they fall. We’ve only had one case where we’ve had to use them, and everyone, including the would-be hero, loved it.”

Then the man managed to climb down the chain to the woman and had her crawl up his body. As agile as she was, she probably could have made it up the chain by herself if the heroic guy hadn’t tried to rescue her. The dancer wrapped her legs around his waist, her arms around his neck as he made the treacherous climb up.

Even so, Jillian was practically holding her breath. The visitor wasn’t part of the show, and any misstep on his part could mean the two of them could fall. Maybe he knew this was part of the show. Maybe the waiter didn’t realize it.

The music was still playing, but a lot more of the patrons had stopped to watch, probably because only once in a blue moon someone came to the dancer’s rescue.

At the top edge of the platform, the guy made his way across the wooden edge until he reached the next corner chain. He paused there for the longest time. The music was still playing, the only lights the ones highlighting the dancers on their platforms. The other dancers no longer moved, riveted by their fellow dancer and the heroic guy. If he jumped to the ladder and missed, that would be the end of the show, and the dancer and the good Samaritan would fall. What if the net didn’t appear in time?

Jillian wanted to do something, anything to help him. All she could do was lamely watch and pray he was successful.

 

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Terry Speer has written over 35 paranormal romances featuring werewolf and jaguar shapeshifters. In 2008, Heart of the Wolf was named a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. A retired officer of the U.S. Army Reserves, Terry also creates award-winning teddy bears that have found homes all over the world. She lives in Spring, Texas.

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Posted in Giveaway on August 15, 2017

 

I have way too many books and I need to clear my shelves (and make my hubby happy!).  So I’m not sure what books will be up for grabs but most like mystery, suspense/thrillers and romance.  We’ll see what I can bear to part with!

And you can enter each day if you want….increase those odds of winning!

 

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance, Western on August 15, 2017

Title: Knight on the Texas Plains

Author: Linda Broday

Series: Texas Heroes, #1

Pub Date: August 1, 2017

Synopsis

He’ll do whatever it takes

To keep them safe

Duel McClain has lost everything he’s ever loved: his wife, his son, his sense of self. But when a strange twist of fate—and a poker game he’ll never forget—leaves an innocent little girl in his care, Duel vows to defend his new family to his very last breath. If only he knew a single thing about taking care of babies…

Just as Duel swears his life can’t get any more complicated, a beautiful woman stumbles into the light of his campfire, desperate for help. Jessie Foltry is hungry, tired, and running for her life. She agrees to help Duel care for the child in exchange for his protection, even as she fights to guard her broken heart. But Duel will do whatever it takes to make Jessie see that the Texas plains have more than one kind of knight, and perhaps their salvation is closer than either of them could have dreamed…

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Excerpt

Duel McClain lifted the whiskey glass and let the fiery elixir slide down his throat. The burning path brought an odd sort of relief, momentarily dulling the permanent ache in his belly. The dealer slapped three cards in front of him. Duel took his time picking them up. A baby, whimpering at the men’s feet, unraveled the tightly knit threads of his composure. How could he concentrate with that?

A glance at the first card revealed an ace of spades. He stuck it between the eight of hearts and the two of clubs in his hand. Then he turned over an eight of diamonds. A pair might take the hefty pot in the middle of the table—that is, if he cared enough to try. Shielding his last card from the curious eyes of his opponents, he lifted it slowly. An ace of clubs.

His blood turned to ice.

Aces and eights—the deadman’s hand.

A resigned calm welled up. If lady luck rode with Duel tonight, the only space he’d take up would be on Boot Hill.

Something brushed the leg of his trousers. An animal must have sneaked under the swinging batwing doors and beneath the table. The baby’s sniffling grew louder. Tiny hands gripped his leg getting his attention. What in blue blazes? He leaned down. The baby had crawled to him and now tugged, trying to pull itself upright. Thin and dirty, the child stared up at him and he fought against the protective urge that rose at the sight of tears glistening in the kid’s big brown eyes.

“Up the bet, mister, or fold.”

The dealer broke his trance. Duel pitched two bits onto the pile. He just wanted to get this over with and leave. One by one each opponent around the table tossed down their cards in defeat until just two remained in the game—him and the stranger. The baby gurgled and played with the fringe running the length of Duel’s leg.

He shifted in his seat, feeling as if a gang of horse thieves had staked him out in a red-ant bed. If he had a lick of sense he’d fold and get the hell out. Deadman’s hand be damned.

A smug expression drifted across the face of the babe’s father when Duel closed up his cards, intending to lay them down.

Revulsion made Duel ache to smash the stranger’s jaw. Instead, he reached into his pocket for six bits—all that he possessed. He hesitated for only a split second, glancing down at the filthy child who deserved more out of life than the sorry-assed father it had gotten. Then he shifted his gaze, savoring the look of surprise on his opponent’s face when he placed his bet.

The sour-faced weasel had been ready to reach for the pot, sure he’d won. His face colored. He was reduced to turning each of his pockets inside out for more coins. None came to light.

“Whatcha gonna do, Will? Either come up with more or Duel here wins.” The dealer’s impatience grew.

“Hold your horses.” The man named Will leaned down. “Gal, where’d you go? Git your useless hide over here to your pa. Don’t know why I didn’t drown you when you was born.”

So, the child was a girl. Duel reached down and drew her up.

The weasel snatched the girl by one fragile arm. “Tryin’ to steal my daughter?”

Ignoring the question and the loud wails that came from the child, Duel leaned forward to scoop up his winnings.

“Not so fast, mister.” Will sat the baby in the middle of the table. “I’m puttin’ up this here brat. She’s worth six bits, I reckon. You win an’ you got yourself a young’un.”

“I won’t gamble with a man’s flesh and blood,” Duel said.

The dealer frowned. “The bet’s proper, I say. Let’s get on with it. Show your cards, Will.”

Tears ran down the baby girl’s face leaving white trails amid the filth. For a split second, Duel wished he held more than the lousy two pair, wished he could alter the hands of fate. But he’d never been able to change it before. What made him think he could now? He’d spent a lifetime making choices, and most had turned out wrong.

“Quit your sniveling, you brat,” Will snapped at the child as he flipped his cards face up. Two pair also. Kings and deuces.

Quiet calm washed over Duel. He gave the group a wintry smile and revealed his hand.

“Aces n’ eights. Beats your pair, Will. Done in by the Deadman’s hand.” The dealer straightened his silk vest and poured himself a generous drink.

Duel stuffed the coins from the pot into his pockets. What on God’s earth did a man like him need with a babe? The girl had stuck a thumb in her mouth and sucked noisily on it between whimpers. He’d sooner grow wings and fly than take on the responsibility for another human being. The best thing would be to saunter out the door.

“Ain’t you forgettin’ something, mister?” Will’s nasty snarl whipped the stale air like a thin, razor-sharp piece of leather.

Much as he sympathized with the babe’s lot, he couldn’t accept her. “Take her home to her maw. Don’t have any need for a kid.”

Will grabbed his daughter’s sparse hair and pulled her small face next to his own. Ignoring her sharp cries, he yelled, “Ain’t got no maw. See there, Marley Rose. Ain’t no one wants you. You’re about as worthless as one of them Confederate greenbacks. Ain’t never goin’ to be any good for nothin’. Any o’ you cowpokes wanna buy a snot-nosed brat? Sell her cheap.”

Duel found himself reaching for the scared, helpless babe. “Changed my mind. Believe I’ll take what I won.” Tiny hands clung tightly to the neck of his collarless shirt as he strode for the door before he could backtrack.

 

About the Author

At a young age, Linda Broday discovered a love for storytelling, history, and anything pertaining to the Old West. Cowboys fascinate her. There’s something about Stetsons, boots, and tall rugged cowboys that get her fired up! A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Linda has won many awards, including the prestigious National Readers’ Choice Award and the Texas Gold Award. She now resides in the panhandle of Texas on the Llano Estacado.

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Posted in Christian, Giveaway, Spotlight on August 14, 2017

Book Title: A Spoonful of Grace: Mealtime Blessings in Bite-sized Pieces
Category: Christian Living; 444 pages
Genre: Family devotional, Children’s devotional
Publisher: Credo House Publishers
Release date: Feb 2017
Tour dates: Aug 7 to 25, 2017
Content Rating: G

Synopsis

Just 2 minutes each day can change your family meal time for a lifetime.

A Spoonful of Grace is a collection of 366 evening meal graces taken from all 66 books of the Bible and designed to provide meaningful exposure to prayer and the Bible at a most opportune time: the family evening meal.

The Scripture/grace devotions are inviting, can be grasped at several levels, and are brief enough (about two minutes) to hold the attention of hungry kids. Here’s why:

  • Each day has an application section called Grace Notes: ideas and quotes to further illustrate the message and stimulate conversation.
  • Sundays are for Story Graces. These 52 devotions are a bit longer to afford the suspenseful, engrossing reading of stories such as David and Goliath, Daniel in the lions’ den, and Jonah and the big fish.
  • Special Graces are celebrations such as Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays.
  • Each grace:
    • Supports discussions of God’s attributes and of faith-based values, offering moral examples like forgiveness, friendship, honesty, trust, even table manners.
    • Creates curiosity about the Bible and ways in which Scripture can be applied to today’s issues.
    • Demonstrates how the act of praying together lifts one’s own spirit; fosters praise; and increases mutual feelings of appreciation, gratefulness, and accountability.
    • Teaches without overt instruction, similar to hiding extra veggies in the spaghetti sauce.
    • Remind us that our food, as well as God’s countless other daily blessings, is a gift.

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Endorsements for “A Spoonful of Grace”

The dining room table is a key place to connect with your children. It’s time to put down the phones and pick up this book instead.” —Arlene Pellicane, speaker and author of “31 Days to Becoming a Happy Mom”

…beautiful, winsome and creative…will spark meaningful discussion and thoughtful reflection. This book will nourish both heart and mind.”–Dr. Mark L. Strauss, Vice-Chair, The NIV Committee on Bible Translation and University Professor of New Testament, Bethel Seminary

Annette Hubbell has made this powerful family life rhythm and tradition SO MUCH EASIER! Give your family the gift that will last for generations to come—‘A Spoonful of Grace!’” -Pam Farrel, author of 45 books including best-selling “Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti,” “10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make”, and “A Couple’s Journey with God.”

“Wonderfully composed and chock-full of wit and wisdom. I wish I’d had this book when my husband and I were raising our four children.” –Susan Meissner, Award-winning author of “Secrets of a Charmed Life”

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About the Author

Annette Hubbell earned her undergraduate degree in Marketing from San Diego State University, her M.B.A. from Cal State University in San Marcos, and a Certificate in Christian Apologetics from Biola University. She has been featured in over 160 performances, and starred in the DVD, “Witness to Gettysburg” edited by 33-time Emmy Award winner, Robert Gardner. She was awarded Presenter of the Year twice at the Civil War Round Table of San Diego, and is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).

Hubbell lives in San Diego, California with her husband of 33 years, Monte. They have a daughter, Amy. She and her husband Scott live in Los Angeles, California. For more information, visit www.SpoonfulOfGrace.com.

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Posted in excerpt, mystery, Spotlight, suspense on August 13, 2017

Synopsis

No good deed goes unpunished. When Jane Larson—a hot-shot litigator for a large firm in New York City—helps out a friend, she is sucked into the unfamiliar world of divorce and child support.

Jane’s discovery of the deadbeat dads hidden assets soon unravels a web of lies, drugs, and murder that keeps getting more dangerous.

Soon, Jane is involved in a high stakes race to recover a missing suitcase of cash and catch the murderer before she becomes the next victim.

Praise

“A sleuthing lawyer returns to the streets of New York in this mystery of drugs, murder, and financial skullduggery… the husband-wife team of Rothman-Hicks and Hicks has again produced a fast-paced, engaging story… overall, this is a satisfying read. An enjoyable romp involving a shady attorney and the mob that should make readers look forward to the next Jane Larson caper.” – Kirkus

“Weave a Murderous Web is an enthralling murder mystery. It gets your heart pounding with action and passion, while simultaneously entangling your mind with its ambiguity…. Engaging. Witty. Fast paced. As the plot progresses, the intensity heightens, catapulting you into a surprising twist, then plummets you into a sudden, yet satisfying end.” – 5 Stars, Cheryl E. Rodriguez, Readers’ Favorite

“Jane Larson is the kind of character that will be loved by many readers… The plot is well thought out and masterfully executed, laced with numerous surprises to keep readers turning the pages. This is one of those books that should occupy an enviable place in your shelf if you are into fast-paced thrillers and compelling investigative stories.” – 5 Stars, Ruffina Oserio, Readers’ Favorite

Excerpt

From Chapter One

I was in my office at Adams & Ridge talking on the telephone when Francine entered. At the moment, my friend, Lee, was on the other end of the wire, yakking up a storm in my ear. Her rant covered already familiar terrain. My man, my David, was drifting dangerously away from me while I did nothing to win him back. As we say around the courts, Oy.

Francine tiptoed forward and placed on my desk a two-day-old copy of The Daily News opened to the item concerning Mark Samuels’ death.

“I gotta go, Lee,” I said.

While Francine waited for me, she had backed into a corner of my office, leaned against the wall, and tried to make her six feet of lanky body less noticeable. Two large metal buttons were pinned to her heavily braided cotton sweater. One read Stop Fracking New York and the other protested against the annual Canadian seal hunt with a scarlet X through an image of a baby seal whose brains had been battered to a pink pulp.

I pointed at the newspaper and gave her a questioning glance, but she quickly averted her eyes to stare at the floor.

“Have you been listening to me at all?” Lee demanded. Her voice rose to a kind of exasperated wail. “David has been dating someone. I think he may be getting serious.”

“David was born serious, Lee,” I said.

“Stop it, Jane,” she shouted so I had to hold the phone away from my ear. Even Francine raised an eyebrow. “You know what I mean.”

“I’m sorry, Lee.”

“I don’t understand why you’re taking this so nonchalantly. You know you still love him. You could get back together in a heartbeat if you’d just spend a tenth as much time on a relationship as you spend on your career.”

“I’m a lawyer, Lee. Not a—”

A sharp intake of breath followed. “Not a baby maker?” Lee demanded. Anger replaced the plaintive wail. “Is that what you were going to say?”

Would I ever admit that the word had been on the tip of my tongue?

“No. I was going to say, ‘not a librarian’, or the owner of some other nine-to-five job. The hours come with the territory, Lee. David knows that, but deep down in that wonderful heart of his, he also thinks the hours spent at the office are A-okay for the guy, but not for the girl. In any event, Martha didn’t raise her daughter to compete over a man.”

The sound of a whale breaching the surface erupted from the phone. “You’re maddening, Jane.”

“No, I’m busy,” I replied.

Lee sighed. “Well, I have to go too. Laurie is home sick and I’m taking her to the doctor. We’ll talk more later, Jane. I’m not going to sit back and let this happen to my two best friends in the world. I’m going to fight, Jane.”

“Goodbye, Lee.”

She disconnected.

Actually, I wasn’t busy at all, or I wouldn’t have spent even that much time on the phone being lectured by Lee. She’s an old friend from Columbia Law, but enough is enough.

A major litigation I had been working on had settled just a day before and the client and powers-that-be at Adams & Ridge were very happy with me—especially Seymour Ridge. The old man himself had hammered out the settlement shortly after I made the CEO of the party suing our client look like a doofus on the witness stand. So, I had some time on my hands until I was given another assignment.

 

About the Authors

Anne Rothman-Hicks and Kenneth Hicks have been collaborating on books for forty-six years.  Their first joint effort was a student project while Anne was at Bryn Mawr College and Ken attended Haverford. Since then, they have written over twenty books together. They are members of International Thriller Writers. They live and work in New York City, where many of their books are set.

Their Jane Larson series of mystery/thrillers involves a high-powered New York City attorney with a penchant for getting involved in situations that she would be better off leaving alone. These novels have been praised by reviewers for their gritty portrayals of city life, lively characters, fast action, surprise endings and highly polished prose. Jane is cynical and rebellious, but she finds herself drawn to the simple life her deceased mother lived as an attorney who served women unable to afford legal services. The series includes Weave A Murderous Web, Praise Her, Praise Diana, and Mind Me, Milady.

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Posted in 5 paws, Giveaway, Review, women on August 12, 2017

COMFORT PLANS

by

KIMBERLY FISH

  Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction

Date of Publication: May 23, 2017

Number of Pages: 320

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Colette Sheridan is being remodeled.

As a San Antonio architect, she’d have vowed her career was to investigate the history and create new functions for the structures everyone else saw as eyesores. The old German farmhouse in Comfort, Texas, might be the screeching end of that dream job. The assignment seemed so ideal at the start; generous clients, a stunning location, and a pocketful of letters that were surely meant to explain the ranch’s story. All that goodness crashed louder than a pile of two-by-fours when her grandfather announced he’d lured Colette’s ex-husband back to San Antonio to take over the family architecture firm. Now, not only does Colette have to endure the challenges posed by Beau Jefferson, the client’s handpicked contractor, a house that resists efforts to be modernized, and letters that may hold the secret to buried treasure, but she also has to decide if she has the courage to fight for her future.

Set against the backdrop of the Texas Hill Country, Colette and Beau have to rely on plans neither of them constructed in order to navigate the changes of a house with a story to tell, and a future they couldn’t even imagine.

Praise

“Kimberly Fish’s unique writing style snatched me out of my easy chair and plunked me down into the middle of her character’s life where I was loathe to leave when my real life called me back. Her descriptive visual writing drew me in on the first page. Can’t wait to read more stories by Mrs. Fish.” –Vickie Phelps,Author of Moved, Left No Address

The author knows how to weave a tale and this book is a wonderful mix of romance, history and a splash of mystery.

I truly enjoyed this book because it is set in Texas near San Antonio which is rich in history that we don’t hear about very often. At the end of most chapters there is a letter from Colin to Laki and these letters give us a peek into what life was like for this couple and the trials they were going through.

Colette has had an interesting life that is set out throughout the book – from a divorce at a young age, to her grandfather wanting her to take over the architectural firm, to her own insecurities about what she can and cannot do, or so she thinks.

Enter Beau – a talented builder that has his own take on life..and Colette! Let’s just say there are some fireworks with their chemistry. But as with most books, both Beau and Colette have some baggage they have to deal with so that they can establish a relationship. There are quite a few funny moments as they deal with family and some others…I was definitely chuckling!

Nathan, Colette’s Grandfather, seems to be acting strangely especially when he let’s Colette know that since she won’t run the family company that he is hiring Julian – her ex-husband. This action has Colette wondering about her grandfather’s mental state especially when Julian starts taking the company in directions they probably shouldn’t be going. There is a LOT more to this story but you’ll have to read the book to find out because that would be a huge spoiler. But it does help Colette learn who she wants to be in this life and strengthens ties with her family.

The story that is woven in the pages is engaging and it was hard for me to put the book down.

We give it 5 paws up


Kimberly Fish started writing professionally with the birth of her second child and the purchase of a home computer. Having found this dubious outlet, she then entered and won The Writer’s League of Texas manuscript contest which fed her on-going fascination with story crafting. She has since published in magazines, newspapers, and online formats and in 2017, released the first novel in a series set during the World War II years in Longview, Texas—The Big Inch. She lives with her family in East Texas.

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July 31 – August 14, 2017

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Check out the other great blogs on this tour

7/31 Excerpt 1 Books in the Garden
8/1 Review Bibliotica
8/2 Character Interview Texas Book Lover
8/3 Guest Post 1 CGB Blog Tours
8/4 Review Chapter Break Book Blog
8/5 Excerpt 2 Books and Broomsticks
8/6 Playlist Reading By Moonlight
8/7 Review Forgotten Winds
8/8 Video Guest Post Missus Gonzo
8/9 Review Hall Ways Blog
8/10 Excerpt 3 The Librarian Talks
8/11 Guest Post 2 The Page Unbound
8/12 Review StoreyBook Reviews
8/13 Excerpt 4 Margie’s Must Reads
8/14 Review Syd Savvy

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Posted in Giveaway, Guest Post, suspense on August 11, 2017

Genre: Suspense
Date of Release: August 1, 2017
Number in Series: Stand-alone
Publisher: Cinnamon & Sugar Press
Number of page: 287

Synopsis

A father’s disappearance never solved, a mother’s secret taken to the grave, a daughter deceived…

Kathryn Landry thinks her life is just about perfect. She is the owner of a successful interior designer business in Newport Beach, California, and she has an attentive, supportive husband. But her world comes crashing down when her husband, Neil Landry, vanishes without a trace… in a situation almost identical to the disappearance of her father twenty years before.

With her father’s disappearance still a mystery, Kathryn is skeptical that the detective assigned to her case will be able to find her husband. Determined to uncover the truth, Kathryn is plunged into a world of politics, high-priced call girls and wealth. As she begins to search for her husband, a decades-old secret her mother took to the grave threatens to destroy all she holds dear. Caught up in a web of betrayals and deceit, and not knowing who to trust, Kathryn must find a way to survive as she discovers the past has a way of repeating itself.

Guest Post

Welcome to K.A. Davis!  She is here to share a bit with us about her new book.  It sounds like a great read and I’ve been to Newport Beach so maybe it will bring back some memories!

Thanks for having me on your blog, Leslie! I’m excited for the chance to share a bit about my debut suspense novel, A Game of Deceit.

I started writing my book more than seventeen years ago. My protagonist, Kathryn Landry, is in her mid-thirties and I made her a bit younger than I was when I started writing. I based some of her characteristics on myself or what I wish I was like (such as I made her tall whereas I’m very short!) Her story has some elements that came from my real-life experiences too. When I was eighteen and visiting home for the first time in three months, I walked in and found my mother crying. My father had packed up all his belongings that very day and left us for another woman! He didn’t bother telling my mom he was going, nor did he think to leave note… it was just bare closets and drawers. I know that by starting Kathryn’s story with what happened to me was cathartic but from there Kathryn took on her own personality and started telling her own story. She surprised and occasionally troubled me! There were a few times I didn’t want to go down the path she was leading me but when I tried writing a different scenario, the scene felt flat. It wasn’t until I reverted back to where she was leading me that the story flowed again.

As the years passed and as I grew older (thankfully Kathryn stayed the same!) her assistant, Marianne, started taking on my more mature characteristics. Marianne has a nurturing personality and loves to bake, something I discovered I loved to do after my granddaughters were born. While I would label A Game of Deceit as a suspense, there are some cozy mystery elements to it, such as the food Marianne prepares and shares with her friends. In keeping with the theme of my own blog, I couldn’t pass up the chance to share some of those recipes in my book as well. But overall, I tried to keep the cozy elements from interfering with the suspense and continuity of the storyline.

I also decided to place the setting in Newport Beach, California, which is the location that I worked in for several years and close to where I live. While a beach town, it’s not the humble, kitschy fun place that many coastal towns are. Maybe a vacationing visitor might not catch the undertones quite so much, but after working for a wealthy philanthropist for several years I had an insider view of some of the people who live there. While generous, there is a certain pretentious air and if you’re not a part of the “in” group with the right car, the right address, the right designer labels, then you are nobody. Kathryn has to juggle her clientele with who she really is and where she fits in, not always an easy task.

I hope you take a look at A Game of Deceit and read Kathryn’s story as she searches for the truth of what happened to both her father and her husband! Her quest takes her from the setting of Newport Beach to the wilderness area of Orange County; from luxurious yachts to a raging wildfire to attempted abductions that threatens her life.

Happy reading!

Kim

About the Author

Kim Davis lives in Southern California with her husband, near wildfire country. During the Portola Hills fire in October 2007, she had to evacuate her two young granddaughters, one of whom has Rett Syndrome, as a wall of one hundred foot flames crept towards their home. Thankfully, due to the brave efforts of firefighters, their neighborhood was spared and no loss of life or property occurred. She was able to use that experience to write a harrowing scene in A Game of Deceit.

She writes the Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder blog and has had several children’s articles published in Cricket, Nature Friend, Skipping Stones, and the Seed of Truth magazines. Kim Davis is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

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Giveaway

I was lucky enough to be chosen to have my own giveaway along with the tour giveaway.

I am giving away either a Print copy of the book (open to US residents only) or an eBook (open internationally) of A Game of Deceit

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check out the other blogs on this tour

July 31 – Cozy Up With Kathy – INTERVIEW

July 31 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

August 1 – Must Read Faster – CHARACTER GUEST POST

August 1 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY

August 2 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

August 3 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 4 – A Cozy Experience – REVIEW

August 5 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

August 6 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT

August 7 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST

August 7 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – REVIEW

August 8 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

August 9 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

August 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

August 11 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY

August 12 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

August 13 – Varietats – REVIEW

August 14 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

Posted in Giveaway, Guest Post, suspense, Thriller on August 10, 2017

Shadow Girl (An Afton Tangler Thriller)
Suspense/Thriller
2nd in Series
Release Date – August 1, 2017
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425281789
Kindle ASIN: B01MXHV6CL

The brutal murder of a business tycoon leaves Afton Tangler and the Twin Cities reeling, but that’s just the beginning of a gruesome crime spree…

Leland Odin made his fortune launching a home shopping network, but his millions can’t save his life. On the list for a transplant, the ailing businessman sees all hope lost when the helicopter carrying his donor heart is shot out of the sky.

Now with two pilots dead and dozens injured, Afton Tangler, family liaison officer for the Minneapolis Police Department, is drawn into the case. As she and her partner investigate family members and business associates, whoever wants Leland dead strikes again—and succeeds—in a brazen hospital room attack.

The supposedly squeaky clean millionaire has crossed the wrong person—and she’s not finished exacting her revenge. The case explodes into an international conspiracy of unbridled greed and violence. And as Afton gets closer to unearthing the mastermind behind it, she gets closer to becoming collateral damage…

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Guest Post

A Q&A with Gerry Schmitt, international bestselling author of Shadow Girl, book #2 in the Afton Tangler Thriller series.

You write four series – the Afton Tangler Thrillers as Gerry Schmitt and the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbooking Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries as Laura Childs. How do you manage to keep them all straight?

In my former life, I was CEO of a good-sized marketing firm. Because we handled around twenty clients at a time, I was used to balancing projects and creating uniquely different campaigns and marketing programs for each client. I just brought that same discipline to my fiction writing.

Your most recent book is Shadow Girl.  Tell us a little about that.

When a medical helicopter is blasted out of the sky, a dying tycoon’s hope for a heart transplant is dashed. But that’s just the beginning of a gruesome crime spree that leaves Afton Tangler, family liaison officer, and the Minneapolis PD reeling. Vicious crime boss Mom Chao Cherry has sworn to avenge her husband’s death and recover her stolen narcotics – and nothing can stop her.

Were there any particular writers or books that influenced your writing?

I was a big Nancy Drew fan as a kid, then I got into Stephen King. Amazing stuff.  My secret dream is to be a horror writer.

What writer inspired you the most?

James A. Michener. When he put out his Writer’s Handbook, I couldn’t believe anyone could be so open about sharing scribbled first drafts, editor’s comments, and continuity mistakes. He really gave me the courage to plunge in and start writing novels. Now I’ve written 42 of them!

What’s a typical writing day like?

I try to work from 9 to 5 and turn out about 2,000 words per day. If I stay on track with that, I can generally get my book done fairly quickly – maybe 3 or 4 months. Then I let my finished book “age” for a while before I go back and punch it up. There hasn’t been a thing written that couldn’t use a little punching up.

What authors do you read for pleasure?

Stephen King, Michael Connelly, John Sandford, Patricia Cornwell, Dean Koontz, and Douglas Preston & Lincoln Childs.

What has surprised you most about your readership and their response to your novels?

I’m amazed that readers view my characters as good friends who can be re-visited every time a new book comes out. It’s thrilling and humbling – I have important relationships to maintain!

In writing your novels, how are your characters created? Does the inspiration for them come from real life?

As strange as it sounds, characters just seem to pop into my head. People always ask if I do index cards or plan intricate bios. I can’t imagine doing anything that studied. To me writing is about intuition and gut instinct – you’ve got to sit back and let the characters speak to you. My characters always seem to buzz around inside my head like people in a crowded elevator. My job is to pry open those doors and let them elbow their way out!

About the Author

Gerry Schmitt is the author of the just-released novel Shadow Girl, the second book in her Afton Tangler Thriller series. Under the pen name Laura Childs, she is the New York Times and USA Todaybestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbooking Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club MysteriesIn Gerry’s previous life she was CEO of her own marketing firm, authored several screenplays, and produced a reality TV show.

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Giveaway

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Check out the other blogs on this tour

July 31 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

July 31 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

August 1 – Varietats2010 – REVIEW

August 2 – Mystery Playground – GUEST POST

August 2 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW

August 3 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

August 3 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

August 4 – Bookworm Cafe –  REVIEW

August 5 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW

August 5 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

August 6 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW

August 7 – The Editing Pen – GUEST POST

August 7 – I Wish I Lived in a Library – REVIEW

August 8 – My Reading Journey – REVIEW

August 9 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 10 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

August 11 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

August 12 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

August 12 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

August 13 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 13 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW

Posted in Giveaway, Historical, romance on August 9, 2017

Celebrate National Book Lovers Day by indulging in a classic Regency romance

or perhaps trying a story from a Proper Romance author you haven’t read before.

Synopsis

Twenty-six-year-old Katie Macauley has placed all her hope in Hope Springs, a small town in the 1870 Wyoming Territory. But if she wants to return home to Ireland to make amends with her estranged family, she’ll need to convince the influential Joseph Archer to hold true to his word and keep her on his payroll as his housekeeper despite her Irish roots. The town is caught in an ongoing feud between the Irish and the “Reds” the frontiersmen who would rather see all the Irish run out of town and the Irish immigrants who are fighting to make a home for themselves in the New World. When Joseph agrees to keep Katie on as his housekeeper, the feud erupts anew, and Katie becomes the reluctant figurehead for the Irish townsfolk. As the violence escalates throughout the town, Katie must choose between the two men who have been vying for her love though only one might be able to restore hope to her heart.

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance on August 9, 2017

Synopsis

The rules are simple:

Never speak to outsiders.

Never yearn for something more.

And never, ever seek the pleasure of a stolen kiss…or a whispered promise that with him, she can finally be free.

Abby Merkley has been a member of the Church of the Apocalyptic Faith since she was a child, and there’s no way out…until her darkly handsome, brooding neighbor defies the rules and takes her into the safety of his arms.

He should frighten her, but everything inside Abby thrills at Luc Stanek’s rough manners and shockingly gentle touch. He excites her, ignites her, leaves her shaken and wanting more. But evil men follow in her footsteps, and it may take more than one fierce beauty to defend her loving beast.

Blank Canvas series:

Under Her Skin (Book 1)

By Her Touch (Book 2)

In His Hands (Book 3)

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Excerpt

“You don’t smile,” she said.

He stopped pruning so abruptly that Abby almost ran right into him.

“No?”

Shaking her head, she looked at his face and mirrored his frown before saying a purse-lipped, “Non,” in imitation of his accent.

And there, miracle of miracles, the man did it. His lips curved up. Or almost. One side of his mouth lifted—the side with the scar—and, oh goodness, it was a dimple. What kind of trick was it that this big, burly man had to suffer through the indignity of a dimple?

And much, much worse was her having to suffer through that smile.

She wanted to touch it, the divot in his cheek. Or those lips, or that thick, rough-looking neck, which was more cleanly shaven than the first time she’d come here.

Did he do that for me? she wondered as she turned away, reaching for…anything to stop herself. Branches.

Those would do. Pull, throw, wait—red face averted—and move on.

They’d finished the row without speaking and moved on to the next by the time Abby could breathe normally again. Surprise, surprise, he was the one to finally break the silence.

“Besides no cap, what else do you wish for?”

She didn’t hesitate before saying, “A place of my own.”

“Yes?”

“Nothing big, just a…a room. Where I could listen to music, maybe?”

“You can’t do that there?”

“Oh, we sing all right. Best part of the Church is the singing.”

“What do you sing?”

“Hymns.”

“I don’t know any.”

Without thinking it through, she sang a verse from one of her favorites. “All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful: the Lord God made them all.”

When she met his eye, Luc was…not quite smiling, but close. His eyes were warm, his expression…admiring, maybe? Abby blushed with the realization of what she’d just done.

He said one word: “Pretty.” But something about the way he said it, his eyes eating up her face, made her cheeks burn hotter and breath come faster. To hide it, she turned quickly back to work.

Changing the topic, she cleared her throat and asked, “So, how much is a place to rent?”

“What?”

“A room to live in. How much money do I need for that?”

He shrugged. “Depends. Big cities, it’s a lot, I think. Around here? I don’t know. Maybe a few hundred a month?”

“Good Lord, that is a lot.”

“Life is expensive.” He shrugged and cut, the movement lifting shoulders massive enough to carry the weight of the world.

“Right. So…you have to pay for food, right? And what else you gotta pay for?”

“Electricity. Um, water and gas, things like that.”

“Gas for the car?”

“For your car and for your stove or heat.”

“Oh. So…I’d need a lot. To start a life.”

“A good amount, yes. You need to pay a guarantee as well, I think, if it’s like France. And references for the landlord.” He glanced at her. “This makes you unhappy?”

“Guess I thought… I thought I could work for you for a couple weeks and have enough to start a life.”

“It’s hard, Abby.” His eyes on her were steady and full of a new softness that she wasn’t entirely comfortable with, like he’d taken off a layer of her skin to speak to her insides.

“Blue jeans, too,” she said, forcing a touch of flippancy to her tone.

“What?”

“Jeans. I’d like to wear jeans with snaps and a zipper, like a normal person.”

“Like a slim?” The word came out with two Es in the middle: sleem. She shook her head, not understanding.

“Um, skinny jeans?” he clarified.

“Goodness, no!” She laughed. “I’d need time to adjust to just trousers first, but…” Letting her gaze rest on the valley before them, she thought of the hundreds—no, thousands—of women who walked around every day wearing practical clothing instead of these stiff cotton skirts and modest drawers she had to fight her way out of. “I’d like to look normal when I go into town, to feel free. Just a T-shirt and jeans. Those sneaker shoes to

walk in. Maybe some—”

She stopped, hating how her current thought embarrassed her. It wasn’t the wish so much as the fantasy surrounding it.

“Some?”

“Boots. Cowboy boots, you know? The kind you stomp around in.” Except stomping wasn’t what she envisioned when she said it. In her mind’s eye, she pictured herself in jeans by all rights tighter than she should want to wear them; a cute shirt—maybe something sparkly, but not too fancy, since part of her just wanted a plain T-shirt; and those boots with their small heel and slightly pointed toe. And all of this dancing on the arm of a man. This man, truth be told. It was this man in her fantasy, which sent a new wash of heat prickling against

the cold air, from her chest to her forehead and well into her hairline.

“I can’t imagine you stomping.”

“No? I’d be good at it.”

Their eyes met as he said, “I don’t doubt it.” The words, silly and inconsequential as they were, sent blood rushing right down her body to where it didn’t belong. Somehow that blood weighed her down, made her lids heavy, and sent her mouth to drooping in a way she was sure he could see.

And then she knew he could, because his eyes strayed there, lingering before one thick, rough-hewn hand followed.

A single knuckle swiped her bottom lip in a gesture not so much affectionate as…curious? Compulsive?

Like a baby who couldn’t help but touch a ball or stuff it in his mouth. To taste. To feel. To know.

It was over too soon, that swipe. And yet, somehow, it lasted forever. Suspended here on the mountain, in their thick cloud of burning vine and sparks, the cold melted away by more than just the fire.

After that long hitch in time, Abby inhaled and let the air out in hiccups—the shaky kind you couldn’t help making after a good, hard sob. But rather than the release of a big cry, his knuckle to her lip screwed everything up tight, made her insides overflow with whatever this was.

She was sure she’d pop. She had to.

Because Lord only knew what she’d do if this pressure didn’t release sometime soon.

About the Author

Adriana Anders has acted and sung, slung cocktails and corrected copy. She’s worked for start-ups, multinationals and small nonprofits, but it wasn’t until she returned to her first love—writing romance—that she finally felt like she’d come home. Today, she resides with her tall French husband, two small children and fat French cat in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, where she writes the dark, gritty, emotional love stories of her heart.

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