Posted in Book Release, excerpt, mystery on April 13, 2017

Book Title: REMNANTS

Author: Carolyn Arnold

Series: Brandon Fisher FBI series, Book 6

Published by: Hibbert & Stiles Publishing Inc.

Synopsis

All that remains are whispers of the past…

When multiple body parts are recovered from the Little Ogeechee River in Savannah, Georgia, local law enforcement calls in FBI agent and profiler Brandon Fisher and his team to investigate. But with the remains pointing to three separate victims, this isn’t proving to be an open-and-shut case.

With no quick means of identifying the victims, building a profile of this serial killer is proving more challenging than usual. How is the killer picking these victims? Why are their limbs being severed and bodies mutilated? And what is it about them that is triggering this killer to murder?

The questions compound as the body count continues to rise, and when a torso painted blue and missing its heart is found, the case takes an even darker turn. But this is only the beginning, and these new leads draw the FBI into a creepy psychological nightmare. One thing is clear, though: the killing isn’t going to stop until they figure it all out. And they are running out of time…

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Excerpt

KILLING WAS THE BEST SEDATIVE. Just knowing that the time was coming had allowed him to fall asleep the second his head had hit the pillow last night, and now the clock on his nightstand told him it was almost noon.

He got out of bed and opened the curtains, letting the sun spill in and blanket him in its warm glow. Closing his eyes, he bathed in its splendor. His breath was calm and deep as he got down onto his knees and spread his arms heavenward, giving thanks for not just another day but for the blessing of life. Not his, but what would be the beginning of another offering.

He remained there in a meditative state, letting his consciousness drift to the other realm, a place far too few visited or were even aware of. But it was in this stillness that he found his true self, his identity, and his purpose, where he became centered and focused on the seriousness of his mission.

He wrapped himself in a black robe and shuffled downstairs and out the back door. He stood on the patio facing the riverbank with his eyes closed.

As the sun warmed his eyelids, he imagined himself being carried up toward the sky, merging with the flames, the source of life, and shedding his human form. He knew that he belonged somewhere else—a different plane of existence—but the physical required roots. So for now, he was grounded.

He remained standing there until the sun ducked behind a cloud, the shadows casting over him. He opened his eyes and knew. It was time.

His stride was full of purpose as he returned inside to where he kept the man in a dimly lit room. He closed the door behind him and headed for the preparation room.

The man was standing, restrained at the wrists and ankles, and held up by a clasp around his neck. His arms and legs were stretched out like rays of sunshine. The offering was free to talk, but his spirit had become broken with the passage of time and he rarely whispered a word.

About the Author

carolyn-arnold-authorCAROLYN ARNOLD is an international best-selling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.

Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives just west of Toronto with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada and Sisters in Crime.

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance, Western on April 12, 2017

Title: Texas Homecoming

Series: Night Riders, #1

Author: Leigh Greenwood

Pub Date: April 4, 2017

ISBN: 9781492648796

Synopsis

She’s his last chance to find peace…

Cade, Captain of the Night Riders, is determined to lead his men home to Texas to recover from a long and brutal war. But when a fellow Rider betrays the team, Cade sets aside his hopes for peace and swears he will hunt down the traitor no matter what it takes…

He has a foolproof plan to use the feisty Pilar diViere to lure her traitorous brother out of hiding. And yet when he takes the dark-eyed beauty into his arms, Cade can’t help but remember the passionate past they shared. He would do anything for a chance to rekindle that flame…even spare her brother’s life.

The war has changed them all, and each of the Night Riders must decide what is more important: love or revenge?

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Excerpt

“Let’s go for a walk instead.”

“I don’t want to walk,” she said, angry he’d forced her to leave the fiesta. “I can do that any time.”

“We can walk along the river. The moonlight on the water makes it look like a river of silver.”

A walk sounded awfully dull compared to dancing, but she’d never seen a river in the moonlight. Young ladies of aristocratic lineage weren’t supposed to be interested in such things. Cade made it sound very pretty. “Okay, but if I don’t like it, I want to go back to the fiesta.”

The fruit drinks had undoubtedly contained more tequila than she suspected. She had never felt so uninhibited, so unfettered by tradition, so unrestrained by her grandmother’s strictures. It felt absolutely marvelous.

“Have you walked along rivers in the moonlight with a lot of girls?” she asked.

Cade chuckled softly. “You should ask Owen that question.”

“I’m not interested in Owen. I’m interested in you.” She didn’t mean it quite the way it sounded, but it was too much trouble to explain.

“No one seemed particularly interested,” Cade said.

Pilar couldn’t understand that. To her, Cade seemed like exactly the kind of man a woman would want to walk with in the moonlight. He was strong, handsome, and dependable, everything a young woman would look for in a man.

“I can’t believe the young women you knew were so silly.”

“Young ladies want excitement, clever words, flattery,” he said.

“They’d want something very different if they’d been driven out of their home and forced to cook for a living.” She hadn’t meant to mention that, but what he said seemed so frivolous, she couldn’t help herself.

“Some lost more than you. They just wanted to forget.”

She would never forget. “Let’s not talk about the war. Pretend I’m one of those silly women who pant after Owen. Tell me I’m pretty and you get lost in my eyes.”

Pilar felt herself flush with embarrassment. She didn’t know where those words had come from. She’d never even thought anything so foolish in her entire life.

“You’re not pretty,” Cade said.

That’s what she got for putting words into a man’s mouth.

“You’re beautiful. Any man would give his right arm to be able to drown himself in your eyes.”

Pilar didn’t know what more those Virginia beauties could want. Manuel had never said anything half so poetic.

“Your fiancé should be cut into small pieces and fed to the coyotes for leaving you unprotected. If I had been your fiancé, not even loyalty to my country could have been enough to make me leave you.”

Pilar was wise enough to know that no man ever valued his wife above his loyalty to his country; his money or his children perhaps, but never his wife. But the effect on her was the same as if it had been the truth. She’d never felt so important in her life, and she liked it.

“Would you really have stayed in Texas if I’d been your fiancée?”

“Maybe not, but I’d have made sure you were safe before I left.”

“Why?”

“A man protects what he values. Nothing is more valuable than the woman a man loves.”

Pilar had never expected to be loved by her husband, but when she was alone and faced with the future, she couldn’t help dreaming about it. Respect and all that stuff about lineage and money didn’t seem enough in a world that could turn cold and cruel at any moment.

“How would you show a woman you loved her?” Pilar asked.

“Like this.” Cade took her in his arms and kissed her.

Pilar knew that some part of her must have been wanting this, hoping for it, but a part of her was shocked to find herself in Cade’s embrace. That same part was even more shocked to discover how much she wanted it, welcomed it, moved forward to meet him. Nor did she back away from the kiss when it turned from a genteel brushing of lips to an unbridled expression of pent-up emotions.

She didn’t know what was responsible for the feeling that her life had suddenly turned in a new direction, had taken on a different meaning. She didn’t know how to account for the emptiness inside her, or the conviction that Cade was the only one who could fill it.

She only knew she’d been swept up in Cade’s powerful embrace, and it was the most wonderful feeling of her whole life.

She’d never imagined that anything could feel as wonderful as this kiss. His lips were full, his mouth soft. His tongue darted between her teeth before she knew what was happening. But even as her conscious mind started to reject the idea, her body’s response was the opposite—and enthusiastic. Her own tongue rose to duel with Cade’s, entwining sinuously around his, plunging deep into his mouth.

Gradually Pilar became aware that other parts of her body were reacting to Cade’s embrace. Her breasts—pressed hard against his chest—had become extremely sensitive, her nipples swollen. A feeling unlike anything she’d ever experienced uncoiled deep in her belly, then began to spread through her limbs, causing her muscles to go limp. Instinctively she clung still more tightly to Cade.

Without warning, Cade broke the kiss, took her by the shoulders, and thrust her away from him.

The shock was total.

“We have to go back to the hotel before I forget you’re a lady I’ve promised to protect,” Cade said.

Pilar’s brain refused to function. She couldn’t understand what Cole was saying. She could only understand that all comfort had suddenly been torn from her. “What would you do if I weren’t a lady, if we didn’t have to go back to the hotel?”

About the Author

Leigh Greenwood is the USA Today bestselling author of the popular Seven Brides, Cowboys, and Night Riders series. The proud father of three grown children, Leigh resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. He never intended to be a writer, but he found it hard to ignore the people in his head, and the only way to get them out was to write.

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, paranormal, Spotlight on April 9, 2017

Title: Between a Wolf and a Hard Place

Author: Terry Spear

Series: Silver Town Wolf, #7

ISBN: 9781492645115

Pubdate: April 4, 2017

Genre: Paranormal

Synopsis

In Silver Town, the secrets run deep…

Alpha werewolf Brett Silver has an ulterior motive when he donates a prized family heirloom to the Silver Town hotel. Ellie MacTire owns the place with her sisters, and he’s out to get her attention.

Ellie is even more special than Brett knows. She’s a wolf-shifter with a unique ability to commune with the dead. Ellie has been ostracized, so she protects herself and those she loves by revealing nothing—not even when strange and dangerous things begin to happen in Silver Town. And especially not to the devastatingly handsome and generous wolf who’s determined to win her over…

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A SIGN YOU MIGHT BE A SHIFTER

If you suddenly don’t need a light to see in the late evening or early morning, when others can’t see a thing in the dark.

Excerpt

When Brett and CJ arrived at the inn, they got out to help guide the piano movers. Laurel met CJ outside, giving him a big hug and kiss. Brett sighed. He’d love it if he and Ellie got to that point in their relationship—and soon. They’d both been busy lately, she with the inn and he with reporting about Victorian Day festivities. So he hadn’t seen her as much as he would have liked.

As soon as they went inside, he saw Ellie showing the movers where she thought the piano should go, while Meghan insisted it should be more to the right of the stairs.

Then Ellie caught his eye and smiled, and he felt his whole outlook brighten. She was the darkest-haired redhead of the bunch, her long, curly hair auburn in color, and to him, sexier and more mysterious. He wanted to ask her out tonight. He could cook, though he’d do better grilling outside.

She turned her attention to the piano again, frowning. And Meghan was frowning too.

Poor movers. Brett thought the two ladies would have the men relocate the piano all over the lobby before settling on the perfect place for it. Instead, Ellie suddenly looked pale and said it was fine where it was. Meghan quickly nodded, looking just as ashen.

CJ and Eric readjusted the burgundy, brocade-covered bench in front of the piano, which made Brett remember he needed to box up all the sheet music and books and bring them over. He’d taken them out of the bench when he had its seat cushion reupholstered last year, and they were still sitting in a box in the spare bedroom.

Brett paid the movers and they cleared out.

“Got to get back to work,” Eric said, giving Brett a knowing look. “Late shift working as a park ranger tonight.”

“Yeah, I’ve got to get back to the business of sheriffing.” CJ smiled at Ellie. “Can you drop me off at the station, Eric?”

“Sure thing,” their eldest brother said.

Sarandon was admiring the piano, arms folded across his chest, when he realized his brothers were leaving and snapped out of his thoughts. “Yeah, I’ve got to get back to work too.”

Brett knew Sarandon didn’t have a guide job in the park tonight, so he was glad Sarandon was vacating the premises pronto, taking his brothers’ cues. Now if only Ellie’s sisters would leave the two of them alone.

Laurel took Meghan’s arm and hauled her toward the back door. “Let’s go fix supper, why don’t we?”

“For two, three, or four of us?” Meghan asked with a smile in her voice as they disappeared outside.

Brett didn’t hesitate before he moved toward Ellie, placed his hands on her shoulders, and leaned her gently against the piano, blocking her from escape if she thought to put on the brakes again. “Would you be up for dinner for two? You don’t have any guests for the next week,  unless something has changed.” He rubbed his thumbs against her shoulders, loving the feel of her, the sweet, fresh fragrance of her. She looked beautiful in her soft teal sweater, rust-and-teal-plaid skirt, and high-heeled boots, her dark-red hair in silky curls around her shoulders.

She was soft in his arms and appeared receptive when he leaned down to kiss her. It seemed like the perfect time. No one was around. The piano had been the perfect gift. Now it was time to kiss her like he’d wanted to since they’d first started dating. As soon as their mouths touched, she responded by wrapping her arms around his back, but then Eric felt her jump a little and pulled his mouth away, wondering if he was going too fast. If he’d done something wrong.

She quickly moved against him, pushing him away from the piano, her heartbeat racing, her breathing unsteady, the color that had infused her cheeks instantly draining from her skin.

“What’s wrong?” he asked as Ellie moved him even farther from the piano. He thought maybe she had gotten static-electric shock from touching it.

“Let’s go have dinner,” she said, her Irish accent more pronounced as it was whenever she was overly worried. The sisters had been born in the United States, but their parents had been born in Ireland, and they’d picked up their parents’ accent. He loved it. “Any place is fine.”

Yet she was visibly upset, and he wasn’t sure what the difficulty was.

“Thanks for the piano. It’s beautiful.” Ellie glanced back at it, but not in an admiring way. She was looking off to the right of it, a frown marring her temple , which he thought was odd.

“Why don’t I take you to the Silver Town Tavern? If you like steak, they have great cuts there.  And we can catch up on what’s been going on.”

“I hear you’re working on some interesting  stories.”

“Yeah. My favorite? The last time the Silver Town Inn was part of the Victorian Days celebration. The idea seemed appropriate since this will be the first time the inn is open for business during the festivities since then.”

“I can’t wait to read it.” Ellie glanced back at the vicinity of the piano one last time before she shut and locked the front door to the inn.

“We can help you move the piano again if you don’t think it’s in the right place,” Brett offered, getting the car door for her.

“Uh, no, I think it’s fine.” But she didn’t sound like she thought so.

He was afraid he’d pushed her too fast on the kiss, yet she’d seemed so willing. He didn’t know what he had done wrong, but he had every intention of proving how much being with her meant to him, no matter what the difficulty might be.

***

Ellie couldn’t believe that not only had Chrissy shown up, looking interested in the piano, but so had some other woman. She was older, with white hair and dark eyes, and had appeared when Brett leaned Ellie against the piano and gave her the beginning of a spine-tingling kiss. It was so reminiscent of the start of the dreams she was having about him that Ellie could have screamed when seeing the ghost shook her up and ruined the in-the-flesh fantasy with Brett.

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 excerpt, Giveaway, suspense on April 7, 2017

Synopsis

First in a chilling new paranormal romantic suspense series from award-winning author Abbie Roads

He’s found her at last

Cain Killion knows himself to be a damaged man, his only saving grace the extrasensory connection to blood that he uses to catch murderers. His latest case takes a macabre turn when he discovers a familiar and haunting symbol linking the crime to his own horrific past—and only one woman could know what it means.

Only to lose her to a nightmare

Mercy Ledger is brave, resilient, beautiful—and in terrible danger. The moment he sees Mercy, Cain knows he’s the one who can save her. He also knows he’s beyond redemption. But the lines between good and evil blur and the only thing clear to Cain and Mercy is that they belong together. Love is the antidote for blood—but is their bond strong enough to overcome the evil that stalks them?

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Excerpt

He stepped out of the shower, nabbed a towel and dried himself as he walked into the bedroom.

And nearly ran into her.

A towel—a mere piece of cloth—wrapped her body, the edge of it tucked in just above the swell of her left breast. Her skin shone pink from her bath and her hair hung in a tangled wet mess over her shoulders. She’d never looked quite so lovely.

When she didn’t say anything he forced his gaze to rise above the towel to her face. Her eyes were aimed downward, toward his—

“F*.” He’d been standing there just holding the towel in his hand, not even thinking to hide the log—that hadn’t gone away—jutting straight out from his body. He slapped the towel over his dick, nearly decapitating it.

“I was…” She swallowed and looked at him. “…looking for something to wear. I didn’t want to interrupt you.”

She wanted something to wear? His ears heard the words, but all his brain could focus on how easy it would be to get that towel off her. She didn’t need to wear anything.

“Cain?” Alarm sounded in her voice. Her eyes widened.

He took a step back, ass-smacked into the edge of the bathroom door.

“You’re bleeding.”

It wasn’t her words, but the concern in her voice that knocked him out of the stupor he’d been in. He glanced down at himself. A rivulet of blood ran down his chest from the gunshot wound high up on his shoulder.

She moved closer to him. He couldn’t move away. All he could do was press his ass harder into the wall.

With steady hands, she unhooked the secure edge of her towel, let it swing from one hand in front of her. He caught a glimpse of pink breast and pale thigh, before he clamped his eyes shut. But he’d seen enough. His dick went granite. The unrequited longing painful. He smothered a groan.

She pressed her towel low on his abdomen, so low her hand brushed his—the one covering himself with a towel. His dick leaped, strained for her touch.

She raised the material, stroking up his skin, higher and higher—until she gently pressed it to his wound. “You want me?” Her voice was thick and husky as if she were having a hard time talking.

He forgot how to speak, but his body remembered the universal sign for yes. He nodded. Or at least he tried to. Maybe he was having a stroke or something because suddenly he felt paralyzed. And confused.

“Open your eyes. Look at me.”

Disobedience didn’t exist. He opened his eyes. She looked at his hand trying to cover his erection, then met his gaze. “I can tell. I just thought I’d ask.” A sweet smile—shy as a spring sunrise, and stunning as summer sunset settled on her lips.

She peeked under the towel on his shoulder and he peeked at her body.

Glorious. Long slender muscles and bones. Her breasts weren’t large, instead they were perfect with peach colored nipples he longed to taste. The only imperfections—the fading green bruise on her ribs and the filigreed cross scarred into the flesh over her heart.

He pointed at the cross. Jesus. What was wrong with him? He’d forgotten how to use words.

She glanced down at herself and then settled her hand over the raised flesh as if to pledge her allegiance. “It’s to protect me. I know it sounds weird, but I felt that if I had this symbol carved into my body I’d be safe from the demons in the world.”

She grabbed his free hand and placed it over the scar. The coolness of the damaged flesh imprinted on his palm. She tugged at his other hand—the one covering himself with the towel. No way could he deny her. The material fell from his fingers and she guided his other hand up to the puckered ring around her throat—where his father had cut her neck—and settled it on that scar as well.

A jolt, almost a shudder ran through him at the dual connection. He melted in to her. Merged with her. Became a part of her. Somehow touching those places was more intimate than anything they could do sexually. She had given him her greatest gift. Her vulnerability and trust.

About the Author

Abbie Roads is a mental health counselor known for her blunt, honest style of therapy. By night she writes dark emotional novels, always giving her characters the happy ending she wishes for all her clients. Her novels have finaled in RWA contest, including the Golden Heart. She lives with her family in Marion, OH.

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Posted in excerpt, Fantasy, Young Adult on April 5, 2017

Sage Alexander and the Hall of Nightmares by Steve Copling

Synopsis

The world is darker than it seems.

Demons, vicious half-humans and evil creatures of myth and legend prowl the earth, unseen to human eyes – but not to the eyes of 14-year-old Sage Alexander. Descended from humans and angels, Sage has the power to see and fight all these creatures, and in fact he must.

The human race is in danger, controlled unknowingly by the Seven Princes of Hell, the seven deadly sins. Greed, Sloth, Envy, Gluttony, Lust, Wrath and Pride all breathe their sin into weaker human ears and take those souls for their own, as they have for centuries. And now Mammon, Greed incarnate, has possessed Sage’s father and threatens to keep him forever. The Angelic Response Council, a committee of angels, archangels, guardians and half-angelic humans, has fought the forces of blackest evil for centuries, but their numbers are dwindling.

There is prophecy of a gifted warrior, who will come in the Council’s darkest hour to bring about the demise of the fallen angels cast out from heaven and all of their nefarious descendants. His name will be Sage Alexander.

Sage must face danger and death as he assembles a supernatural team and battles his way through time and Godspace in order to save his family from the grips of Greed. But he has an even bigger quest ahead of him. … This is only the beginning.

Excerpt

 

“Since the day of your birth, I have done my best to prepare you for—”

“My destiny, yes,” Sage said. “I wish that word didn’t exist.”

“Yes,” Leah said, “I am certain that is true.” Her face softened. “For your benefit, I will no longer use that term, yet the meaning still sits heavily upon your shoulders. You have resisted, at every turn, my attempts to prepare you, and you are years behind schedule.”

He’d long ago gotten used to how she often floated in front of him, her pattern of speech, and her sermons of evil beasts out to conquer mankind. Yes, he could see other angels. And demons—Darks, he called them, but he’d seen no monsters or creatures she’d preached about over the years.

Leah tapped the book in front of him. “We believe one of the Seven Princes of Hell has a special place, a kind of prison where he has taken the missing Council Members.”

Sage glanced at the book, which was invisible to anyone else, but had the same bluish glow emanating from it as all the others she’d given him. Most of the angelic books dealt with the formation and history of the Angelic Response Council, an organization created six hundred years after Noah’s flood, and comprised of angel-blooded humans like himself. The others were to teach him Adamic, the language of angels.

He hadn’t whispered a word of any of that to his family.

“We believe they are being held,” Leah continued. “That some may yet be alive. You must memorize their faces, familiarize yourself with their gifts. Learn where they came from and under what circumstances they disappeared.”

The Seven Princes of Hell? This was new. Well . . . mostly. Sure, she’d mentioned the Princes through the years: Pride, Greed, Lust, Envy, Gluttony, Wrath, and Sloth. They were of the Rephaim race, one of the three evil races descended from the Watchers, the fallen angels.

Leah reached over and opened the heavy leather cover of the book. The face of a man stared back at him.

Leif Erickson, the caption read, gifted with Pathfinding, gone missing in the Year of our Lord 1000.

Despite his irritation, Sage did a double take on the name. He looked up at Leah, and she seemed to read his mind.

“Yes,” she said. “That Leif Erickson.”

Do you live in the Dallas/Ft Worth area? If yes you might want to check this out

Sage Alexander and the Hall of Nightmares

Author Steve Copling Signs Copies at the Official Launch Celebration

Sunday, April 9, 2017 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm

Barnes & Noble Stonebriar Mall

2601 Preston Road, #1204
Frisco, TX 75034

Join author Steve Copling at the official launch event for Sage Alexander and the Hall of Nightmares! Hear a reading and Q&A by the author, and try out the virtual reality experience “Jack the Ripper” based on the world created for Sage Alexander. We will also be viewing for the first time the full official book trailer for Sage Alexander and the Hall of Nightmares.

About the Author

Steve Copling has spent more than 35 years in law enforcement and corporate security. Over the years, he has worked in field training, crime prevention, SWAT, criminal investigations, narcotics and internal affairs. He has also held multiple supervisory positions at sergeant, lieutenant and captain ranks.  He currently serves as a captain in the Plano, TX police department.

Copling’s career as an author began as a favor to his sister who happened to be writing a screenplay about a murder. Because her background didn’t include police work or investigations, she asked him to take a look at it. He immediately recognized that her fictional suspect would have gotten caught within five minutes in the real world. He agreed to write the story for his sister as a manuscript that she could later convert into a screenplay.

Even though that first manuscript never saw the light of day, Copling was hooked. He went on to write two crime novels, The Listener and The Shooting Season. His professional background and knowledge of police procedurals informed his writing, and he often draws from his experiences when writing crime fiction. However, unlike most crime writers in today’s marketplace, his writing is profanity free. Appealing to a wide audience, Copling’s books are clean enough for teenage fans of police narratives yet still intriguing enough to captivate suspense readers of any age. He is working on a third crime novel titled, The Noise Before Defeat.

Sage Alexander and the Hall of Nightmares is his first foray into young adult fantasy and serves as the foundation for a seven-book series based on the seven deadly sins. It was born out of an endearing request from his grandson Sage, who asked Copling to write him a book for Christmas. His ultimate goal with this series is to simply write stories that Sage and his brother Nikhil will love reading.

Copling has three sons and five grandchildren. He and his wife of nearly 40 years live in Plano, TX.

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance on April 5, 2017

Title: This Time Around
Author: Tawna Fenske
Pub Date: April 4, 2017
Publisher: Montlake Romance

Synopsis

Allie Ross is not living the life she once dreamed. Her law career ended before it ever started, her parents landed in jail for running a Ponzi scheme, and she just inherited her grandmother’s B&B—which is nice, even if it is full of extra-toed cats. As for her love life…she’d rather not talk about it.

When Jack Carpenter reaches out to reconnect with Allie, the girl who broke his heart in college, his plan is to impress her with the adult he’s become. Sure, he was a deadbeat then, but life has forced him to grow up. And it’s a relief to find out that things didn’t necessarily go the way Allie expected either.

As Allie and Jack get reacquainted, they rediscover the things they loved—and hated—about each other. But who they are now isn’t who they were then, and secrets—old and new—will test whether they have a future together, or if the past is destined to repeat itself.

Exclusive Excerpt

Allie stared at the little girl who held the hand of a tall, handsome man, dimly aware she knew them both, though not quite in this context.

“Jack,” she croaked out, finding her voice at last. “Paige. It’s so good to see you two again. What brings you here?”

“School shopping!” Paige chirped. “Daddy says this is a smart place to buy stuff if you want to dress like a rich snob but not spend stupid amounts of money.”

“Those may not have been my exact words.” Jack stepped closer, looking as surprised to see her as Allie felt seeing him. Which was saying something. He nodded at the cluster of hangers gripped in her hand. “Doing some dress shopping?”

Allie looked down at the froth of dresses looped over her arm, the silky fabrics a little too bright now that she looked at them with Jack standing this close to her. There was no point pretending she was shopping for someone else, so she shrugged like it was no big deal.

“Someone sprung a college reunion on me at the last minute, so I had to find something appropriate to wear.”

“Never figured you’d shop in a place like this.”

“Like what? A high-end boutique thrift shop?”

He shrugged, and Allie wondered if he was baiting her. Trying to make her defensive or to imply how far the mighty had fallen.

Or maybe she was reading too much into it.

“Oh, this one’s pretty!” Paige gripped the hem of one of the dresses Allie held, a fluttery, silk chiffon Vera Wang number with a V-neck and a draped skirt. “It looks like the green part of a peacock feather.”

“It kinda does,” Allie agreed. “That’s the one I like best. I’m crossing my fingers it fits.”

Paige beamed at her. “My favorite color is green, too.”

Allie glanced at the dresses, every one of them a slightly different hue of green. Heat crept into her cheeks, and she could feel Jack’s eyes on her. “Yes, uh—they do all seem to be green, don’t they?”

“A green dress?” The teasing note in Jack’s voice made her look up at him, and she wasn’t surprised to see traces of a smirk on that obnoxiously handsome face.

Allie straightened her spine. “Yes. A green dress.”

He grinned wider. “Is that in honor of our song? The one by the Barenaked Ladies?”

“No, I just—I like this color, that’s all.”

But that wasn’t all. Jack was right. She knew the song well, the one that used to make her laugh each time it got to the part about the green dress. The Barenaked Ladies had sung about the things they’d buy if they had a million dollars, and she and Jack used to sing along with them, twirling through the living room of their too-small apartment. They’d substituted words like textbooks and phone bill in place of items the singer claimed he’d buy for his sweetheart in the event of a financial windfall.

Allie felt the smile starting slow in her belly and spreading across her face. She saw the corners of Jack’s mouth tug, too.

“So,” she said, brushing hair off her forehead. “I didn’t even realize they had kids’ stuff here.”

“I can wear women’s extra-small stuff now,” Paige boasted. “And size-six shoes.”

“Impressive!” Allie smiled at the little girl, who wasn’t actually that little. She came up to Allie’s shoulder, probably four foot seven or eight. Was that above average for a ten-year-old? “You must have inherited your dad’s height.”

The second the words left her mouth, Allie wanted to kick herself. Good Lord, the girl’s mom was dead, and might have been a pro basketball player for all Allie knew.

But Paige just shrugged and looked up at her dad. “Can I go check out the jeans over there?”

“Sure. Looks like the smaller sizes are on this side. Remember what we talked about, okay?”

“I know, I know . . . nothing skintight.”

“Right.”

Paige wandered toward the opposite side of the store, leaving Jack and Allie alone. Allie held the dresses aloft. “I guess I should try these on.”

“You should. For the record, the skintight rule doesn’t apply to you. In fact, I encourage it. The tighter the better.”

Allie rolled her eyes. “You haven’t changed a bit.”

About the Author

Tawna Fenske is a romantic-comedy author who writes humorous fiction, risqué romance, and heartwarming love stories with quirky twists. Her offbeat brand of romance has been praised by Booklist as “a tame Carl Hiaasen on Cupid juice,” and her debut novel, Making Waves, was a nominee for RT Book Reviews’ contemporary romance of the year. She is a fourth-generation Oregonian who can peel a banana with her toes and loses an average of twenty pairs of eyeglasses per year. She lives in Bend, Oregon, with her husband, her stepkids, and a menagerie of ill-behaved pets.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads

Giveaway

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Posted in excerpt, nonfiction, Spotlight on April 3, 2017

Synopsis

Do you ever ask yourself, ‘What is my purpose?’

Life’s Equation provides you with a formula to discover your true purpose through uniquely explaining and defining life’s energy and how that energy directly affects one’s actions, reactions and fundamental existence.

Written in the style of a memoir telling an introspective story of vulnerable, heartbreaking, humorous and very relevant experiences, Life’s Equation shares Frank’s unique experiences and relationships he has shared with people he’s met along the way that offered great influence in his life.

Come celebrate your experiences through logically discovering your own true purpose, all while helping make the world a better place in the process. Life’s Equation represents a proven equation toward discovering full potential, accomplishing goals and making true, raw sense of one’s own purpose.

Life’s Equation had me hooked from page one.  With vulnerability and humor, [Frank] shares stories of heartbreak, pain, and confusion, but also redemption, growth, and healing. It’s impossible to read this book and not connect it to your own life and experiences; consider the impacts of the energy you surround yourself with; and examine the untapped power you hold in finding understanding and meaning in your own life. This is a beautiful, digestible, and important read!”

Excerpt

One night after work I decided to take a long drive, something I hadn’t done in six months. After an hour of driving under a star-filled sky I arrived at the beach, got out and sat on a rock and listened to the ocean. I was hoping I would have a moment of clarity that would lead me to the next phase of my life. While I sat there I began to feel a calmness wash over me and I noticed that there was now an object in front of me that appeared to have washed up on shore. Then I realized it was slowly creeping up onto the sand. It was a sea turtle and it worked its way up alongside me as I sat motionless and watched. It began to dig a hole and then it moved over the hole and went into a trance. I was looking directly into one of its eyes and that’s when I realized it was laying eggs. I watched her for a few minutes until another turtle coming out of the water further up the shore distracted me. It was then I realized there were many more all around me all moving on instinct and somehow all acting together.

Many of the people I met flashed into my mind and I could see their faces and hear their words and I could feel them because they were now a part of me. They each had lived a life, experiencing it from a single perspective, and this was my life and I was doing the same. We are all the same. My mind began to flash between two realities, one where I got up tomorrow and continued as I had today and one where I got up and lived guided by my instincts. The flashing between these two thoughts drew them closer together and at the moment they became equally real I changed my perspective and I began to believe I could create my own reality and live my life the way I thought it should be.

The next morning I got out of bed, put all of my belongings on the front lawn of my apartment and had a garage sale. I sold everything I owned for either five dollars or forty dollars and when I was done I had $385, some clothes, a can of disinfectant spray, two blankets and a wrinkled tie. I put it all in my Jeep and decided to take a drive to Colorado to find a mountain of my own to climb before it was too late.

If we continue to do the same thing as we’ve always done, our lives will slowly change allowing us to predict our future. If we choose to implement change in our life we can alter our future making it less predictable while shifting our direction. The more dramatic the change the greater the risk we take. How we perceive change is based on our understanding of the past and we call that perspective. Perspective allows us to have greater understanding of an experience and guides our choices. Having very little and no place to call home may be a difficult experience to some, while to others it is the highlight of their life. Perspective allows us freedom of choice.

About the Author

Frank Daidone is a dynamic author, business leader and speaker.  His heartening talks to audiences of all backgrounds and interests provide invaluable insight on his own experience to help to inspire others. His greatest passion lies within creating a strong foundation for exploring our strengths and passions.

Life’s Equation is an extension of this mission.

Frank is best known for bringing large organizations together, as well as transforming the mundane into something substantive and meaningful. After eight years with Chipotle, Frank left his private sector post to accent an appointment from Denver’s Mayor Michael Hancock.  He served as Chief Information Officer for the City and county of Denver and during his governmental tenure, Frank transformed the culture of a public sector organization by running it like a cutting edge start up; empowering the people within to rise to their greatest potential.

Outside of his professional career, Frank devotes much of his time to nonprofit organizations. He has mentored a thirteen-year-old boy from the age of seven through Big Brother’s Big Sisters, supports the Tennyson Center for Children through their mission of supporting at-risk children, and serves as Chief Operations Officer for Nurse-Family Partnership to support the long-term success for first-time moms in poverty, their babies and society. He also is the Executive Chair of the education committee for Colorado Technology Association where he formed two mentorship program through Denver and Aurora Public Schools so that high school students may explore opportunities and interests as they begin their college and career search.

When Frank isn’t out sharing his perspective on the world, his biggest accomplishment is being a proud father two his two daughters. With them and his wife, Frank enjoys traveling and exploring, whether that’s around the world or right at home in Denver.

Visit FrankDaidone.net to purchase Life’s Equation. $1 from each sale benefits United Cerebral Palsy.

Author Website * Twitter  * LinkedIn * Facebook * Goodreads

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Posted in excerpt, fiction, Literary, Spotlight on March 28, 2017

Title: BEETHOVEN IN LOVE; OPUS 139
Author: Howard Jay Smith
Publisher: SYQ
Pages: 385
Genre: Literary Fiction/Biographical Fiction

At the moment of his death, Ludwig van Beethoven pleads with Providence to grant him a final wish—one day, just a single day of pure joy. But first he must confront the many failings in his life, so the great composer and exceedingly complex man begins an odyssey into the netherworld of his past life led by a spirit guide who certainly seems to be Napoleon, who died six years before. This ghost of the former emperor, whom the historical Beethoven both revered and despised, struggles to compel the composer to confront the ugliness as well as the beauty and accomplishments of his past.

As Beethoven ultimately faces the realities of his just-ended life, we encounter the women who loved and inspired him. In their own voices, we discover their Beethoven—a lover with whom they savor the profound beauty and passion of his creations. And it’s in the arms of his beloveds that he comes to terms with the meaning of his life and experiences the moment of true joy he has always sought.

Amazon

Excerpt

Prologue:

The Death of Beethoven

Vienna, 5:00 pm, March 26, 1827  

Outside Beethoven’s rooms at the Schwarzspanierhaus, a fresh measure of snow from a late season thunderstorm muffles the chimes of St. Stephens Cathedral as they ring out the hours for the old city.

Ein, Zwei, Drei, Vier… Funf  Uhr.  Five O’clock.

Beethoven, three months past his fifty-sixth birthday, lies in a coma, as he has now for two nights, his body bound by the betrayal of an illness whose only virtue was that it proved incurable and would, thankfully, be his last. Though his chest muscles and his lungs wrestle like giants against the approaching blackness, his breathing is so labored that the death rattle can be heard over the grumblings of the heavens throughout his apartment.

Muss es sein? Must it be? Ja, es muss sein. Beethoven is dying. From on high, the Gods vent their grief at his imminent passing and hurl a spear of lightening at Vienna.

Their jagged bolt of electricity explodes outside the frost covered windows of the Schwarzspanierhaus with a clap of thunder so violent it startles the composer to consciousness.

Beethoven’s eyes open, glassy, unfocused. He looks upward – only the Gods know what he sees, if anything. He raises his right hand, a hand that has graced a thousand sonatas, and clenches his fist for perhaps the last time. His arm trembles as if railing against the heavens. Tears flood his eyes.

His arm falls back to the bed… His eyelids close… And then he is gone …

About the Author

Howard Jay Smith is an award-winning writer from Santa Barbara, California. BEETHOVEN IN LOVE; OPUS 139 is his third book. A former Washington, D.C. Commission for the Arts Fellow, & Bread Loaf Writers Conference Scholar, he taught for many years in the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and has lectured nationally. His short stories, articles and photographs have appeared in the Washington Post, Horizon Magazine, the Journal of the Writers Guild of America, the Ojai Quarterly, and numerous literary and trade publications. While an executive at ABC Television, Embassy TV, and Academy Home Entertainment, he worked on numerous film, television, radio, and commercial projects. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Santa Barbara Symphony – “The Best Small City Symphony in America” –  and is a member of the American Beethoven Society.

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, nonfiction, Writing on March 24, 2017

Creating Stories
by Hank Quense

Published by Strange World Publishing

AVAILABLE April 1, 2017

$8.99, 9947 KB, 105 Pages

Genre: Fiction Writing

Synopsis

Do you have a story in you? Do you know how to write it or how to tell it? Well, CREATING STORIES has the answers. In addition, Hank is offering a tour-wide giveaway featuring of five (5) eBooks of CREATING STORIES and three (3) print copies of the author’s MOXIE’S PROBLEM (U.S. entries only). See how you can enter to win below. If you don’t want to wait to win a copy of CREATING STORIES, Hank is offering a special ‘half price’ sale that will only be available during his tour (March 20 through April 14).

Hank, the author of more than twenty books, tells you how to write your story. He believes that stories come from the melding of three elements: getting ideas, story design, and story-telling. Ideas have to come from the author. CREATING STORIES covers the last two.

The book concentrates on developing characters including such rarely discussed requirements such as a dominant reader emotion and the character’s biography.

Plots are also covered in depth and a number of graphics are included to illustrate complex points. Another topic discusses subplots and how to utilize them and how to nest them within the main plot.

A separate chapter discusses the relationship between the plot and the emotional arcs.

Other topics covered are character arcs, scene design, point-of-view, writing voice.

Excerpt

From Chapter 2 of Creating Stories

Setting can do much more than describe the backdrop for the story.  It should convey and define the time period and customs of the characters.  It can set up the reader’s expectations about the type of story he is about to read.  It can start the reader’s image-building process.

Consider your characters acting out the story on a stage.  Behind the characters, instead of the scenery typical with plays, there is nothing but white panels.  The people who paid money to see the play would be dismayed by the lack of scenery, so too your readers will not like it if your story doesn’t have the appropriate setting to back up the characters.

As with the plot and other story development elements, the setting must dovetail with the overall story design.  As an example, a Medieval setting won’t work if the bad guy uses an automatic pistol (unless the bad guy is also a time traveler).  Thus the setting places limits on what the author can do and can’t do, so it’s best if the author has the setting developed before the work gets too far along.

The setting used in your story has to be accurate.  Don’t try to set a story in Manhattan’s Central Park if you haven’t been there.  Likewise, the French Quarter in New Orleans is unique and shouldn’t be used by anyone who hasn’t walked the narrow streets.

Here is an example of what can happen.  I’ve lived and worked all my life around New York City.  The Hudson River is over a mile wide here and the East River is nearly a half-mile wide.  If you haven’t been to Dublin, you may assume the Liffey River, which runs through that city, would be of similar size.  It isn’t.  The Liffey is rather small compared to the rivers around Manhattan.  Making the Liffey a wide river will destroy your credibility with those readers who have seen the Liffey.

On the other hand, if you develop an imaginary location, you can make the city’s river as wide as you want.  Similarly, if you use a backdrop of a historical period in the distant past, none of your readers will have been there, but you’ll still have to do research to get the setting accurate. You can’t use St. Paul’s Cathedral with its great dome in London right after William the Conquerer became king of England.  St Paul’s wasn’t built yet.

The setting of the story should be conveyed early to the reader, the earlier the better.  Ideally, the opening paragraph in a short story or the first few pages in a longer work should give an indication of the type of story the reader is about to encounter.  Is it a mystery set in Victorian London?  Is it a story of survival set in war-torn Iraq?  Are those vicious aliens on their way to Earth?  The reader expects and has a right to know this stuff as early as possible.  Don’t disappoint the reader.  She may put the book down and never open it again.

An effect of establishing the setting is the placing of limitations on the author and the characters.  For the author, a space ship means he shouldn’t have the characters using swords and landline phones since these artifacts are from bygone eras.

Your characters are also limited.  A character in the Old West can’t have knowledge of computers or smart phones, unless he’s a time-traveler.

If you write a story that uses weapons from a different era or knowledge not available at that time, you’d better have a good reason why it makes sense.  You don’t have to convince yourself, you have to convince the reader.

~ ~ ~

If you have any questions or comments on this material, leave a note and I’ll respond.

About the Author

Hank Quense writes humorous and satiric sci-fi and fantasy stories.

He also writes and lectures about fiction writing and self-publishing. He has published 19 books and 50 short stories along with dozens of articles. He often lectures on fiction writing and publishing and has a series of guides covering the basics on each subject. He is currently working on a third Moxie novel that takes place in the Camelot era.

He and his wife, Pat, usually vacation in another galaxy or parallel universe. They also time travel occasionally when Hank is searching for new story ideas.

Amazon Author Page * Website * Twitter

You can check out the schedule and follow Hank’s tour by clicking HERE.

Giveaway

 

This tour-wide giveaway is for five (5) eBooks of CREATING STORIES and three (3) print copies of the author’s MOXIE’S PROBLEM (U.S. entries only). The prizes are courtesy of the publisher. The giveaway will end at 12 a.m. (EST) on Tuesday, April 18.
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Posted in Christian, excerpt, Giveaway on March 21, 2017

Author Maria Santomasso-Hyde is visiting today as part of her HE GAVE ME BARN CATS Blog Tour with MC Book Tours. Her book is scheduled to be released March 14 by Dancing Lemur Press.

If you’re looking for a story that will touch your heart, you’ve found it in this tender story of love, loss, and inspiration. You could win your own copy, just check out the giveaway details.

Title: He Gave Me Barn  Cats
Author: Maria Santomass0-Hyde
Published by Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.
Available March 14, 2017
Genres: Christian Fiction / Christian Life-Death, Grief, Bereavement

Synopsis

Inspired by true events…

        Maria has cared for her very ill mother for many years. Her burdens are heavy, causing a sadness bordering on darkness.  When she discovers her historic barn is now home to a mother cat and kittens, she feels lighter than she has in years. As the kittens grow, they teach her as only animals can do.

Then tragedy strikes. As Maria loses her family, the darkness envelopes her like the heavy fog that blankets her Blue Ridge Mountain home each morning. She creates a scorecard:  God: 9, Maria: 0.  Her questions turn into anger at God.  She searches to find answers as to why her loving God would take away so much in such a short time.

How will she learn to trust again? Can the kittens in her barn help her heal?

HE GAVE ME BARN CATS is available in print format at following sites: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books A Million, Everything Cats, Foyles, and Chapters-Indigo.

HE GAVE ME BARN CATS is available in eBook format at the following sites: Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iTunes, and Amazon.

 

Excerpt

Chapter 4

Charlotte, 5-25-09

I have my back to them, but I know that smell―dog breath, hot and moist and odorous. It smells like death. I used to live with a family with a big dog, but when I got pregnant again, they took me to this barn―and they left me. I couldn’t believe they left me here all alone, and I couldn’t believe they chose the dumb dog over me. But who knows if the dog is still with them or not. They were having trouble feeding their children because the man had lost his job. They couldn’t have me bringing them more mouths to feed.

From my experience with dogs, I know to be still. If you run, a dog thinks it’s a game of chase. Of course, I can’t run now, because I’ve got these three kittens nursing on me. And it’s making me so weak. I really do think I might die.

It’s really perverse. All of this nutritious milk is coming out of me, and yet, I’m starving. The three kittens have full bellies and are healthy and quite beautiful, in my totally unbiased opinion. We’re lying in the one sunny spot in the old barn, and their fur glistens in the warm light. Not me. My coat is dull, lifeless, itchy, and bald in one spot. I really need to get away from these kittens and hunt for a small rodent to eat. The kittens can fend for themselves for a bit. They need to learn how to care for themselves anyway.

About the Author

Formerly a newspaper reporter, Maria Santomasso-Hyde now owns Alta Vista Fine Art Gallery.

She lives in Valle Crucis, North Carolina, with her husband, Lee, and The Queen of the Universe (Roma, their Black Cat) … and other Black Cats who decide to move in.

Giveaway

Tour-wide giveaway for two (2) print copies (U.S only) and two (2) eBooks (international).

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Come join the blog tour and learn more about Maria and HE GAVE ME BARN CATS by visiting the following blogs

March 7 – Joylene Nowell Butler, Suspense Author – Feature

March 8 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – Guest Post

March 9 – Mello & June, It’s a Book Thang! – Feature

March 10 – Defending The Pen – Excerpt

March 13 – Reviews by Crystal – Q&A
Alex J. Cavanaugh – Guest Post

March 14 – Thoughts in Progress – Review

March 15 –

March 16 – A Bluestocking’s Place – Excerpt
deal sharing aunt – Review

March 17 – Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit – Q&A

March 20 – Reviews From the Heart – Review
The Story of a Writer – Feature
CBY Book Club – Excerpt

March 21 – bookworm1102 – Excerpt
StoreyBook Reviews – Excerpt
Celticlady’s Reviews – Feature