Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, Historical, romance on December 30, 2016

Title: Lord Sebastian’s Secret

Author: Jane Ashford

Series: The Duke’s Sons, #3

ISBN: 9781492621621

Pubdate: January 3, 2017

Genre: Historical Romance

Synopsis

He’s hidden this shameful secret all his life…

Lord Sebastian Gresham is a battle tested soldier and brilliant strategist.  Yet all his life he’s had to hide his complete failure to decipher letters. In his own mind, he’s just stupid. What a miracle it is that he’s found the perfect bride.

Lady Georgina Stane is beautiful, witty, and brilliantly intelligent. Sebastian is head over heels in love, proud as a peacock, and terrified. But if she finds out his secret, he’ll lose her love forever.

Amazon * B&N * iBooks

A Note from Jane

Dear readers of The Duke’s Sons series,

We’ve reached volume three, Lord Sebastian’s Secret, out on January 3. The military Gresham brother’s story turned out to be quite a romp. On a visit to his betrothed’s family, Cavalry major Sebastian faces a plethora of impertinent pugs, ubiquitous younger sisters, and a prospective father-in-law dedicated to ancient Saxons and arcane philosophy. Very much not Sebastian’s forte, for several reasons. Fortunately, there’s the lovely Georgina, who makes any amount of adaptation and effort worthwhile. Sebastian would do anything for her, and he very nearly does!

I really like the Gresham family. I’m feeling sad right now as I finish the fifth and final volume about them. I kind of hate to let them go. Should I consider revisiting the clan in future? Hmm. Is there anyone from the stories you’d really like to see again? Get in touch and let me know.

And thanks so much for reading!

Jane Ashford

Excerpt

Sebastian closed his eyes and gritted his teeth. He could all too easily picture the astonishing news that he had eloped running through his family—the letters flying back and forth, the disbelief and consternation. The surreptitious brotherly smirking. An image of his mother’s astonished face made him wince.

“Some people think I don’t care about convention,” muttered the marquess. “Not true. And this was too much. An elopement!”

“Except that it wasn’t, Papa,” Georgina pointed out. “It was an unfortunate accident. I think you might have had more faith in my character.”

Frowning at the floor, the older man said something too softly to be heard. Sebastian thought it might have been, “It wasn’t you I was worried about.”

“The duchess is sending your brother,” said Georgina’s mother. She tried to speak blandly, but Sebastian got a clear sense of a woman getting the better of an argument at last.

The marquess glared at the group with a mixture of defiance and contrition.

“Which brother?” Sebastian asked.

“Randolph,” supplied his hostess.

Sebastian groaned softly. If anything could have killed his appetite at this point, the news that a brother had been dispatched to sort him out would have done it. He supposed this was his mother’s idea of just retribution for what she probably characterized as “antics.” She would have known that he would never elope.

If she’d had to send a brother, she could’ve drafted Robert. He’d have made a joke of the whole matter and charmed everyone so thoroughly that they saw it the same way. Alan or James might have refused to be embroiled in such a tangle at all. Nathaniel was still on his honeymoon. Mama couldn’t order him and Violet about quite so easily, anyway.

Randolph, though. Sebastian nearly groaned again. Randolph was usually glad for an excuse to take a few days’ leave from his far-northern parish. And he positively delighted in helping. Sebastian supposed that was why he’d become a parson. Part of the reason. He’d also been asking “why” since he could speak. According to family legend, that had been the first word Randolph learned. Sebastian certainly remembered being followed about by a relentlessly inquisitive toddler.

Nathaniel, a responsible six-year-old, had become so tired of saying he didn’t know that he’d taken to making things up. Sebastian still sometimes had to remind himself that discarded snakeskins were products of reptilian growth rather than intense surprise. Sebastian smiled. Randolph had spent several months trying to startle snakes out of their skin after that tale.

Then Sebastian’s smile died, and he put down his last sandwich. Randolph would revel in Mr. Mitra and the marquess’s lectures on reincarnation. There would be no end to his questions, or to the incomprehensible discussions after the ladies had left the dinner table. Sebastian only just resisted putting his head in his hands.

Georgina was looking at him, though, her expression anxious. He tried a reassuring smile. From her response, he judged that it was only marginally effective. He bolstered it, vowing to deal with Randolph. He would face anything to save her distress.

Georgina stood, holding her still half-full plate to her chest. “I believe I’ll go to my room now,” she said. “I’m quite tired.”

Her father looked guilty, her mother approving. Sebastian wondered at the determination on her face. It seemed excessive for a walk up a few steps. Was her leg hurting? One look at her father told him he would not be allowed to assist her to a bed.

Night had deepened by the time Georgina managed to hunt down Hilda and corner her in a little-used reception room, where she’d apparently been holed up for a good while, judging from the cake crumbs. Georgina stationed herself between her youngest sister and the door and confronted her with hands on hips. “Have you lost your mind?” she demanded.

For a moment, it seemed that Hilda might deny everything, but then she slumped back on the sofa and let out a long sigh. “I only meant to leave you overnight, but everything went wrong from the very first. Whitefoot didn’t like being led. He jerked the rein right out of my hand and ran away. I had to take your Sylph to the Evans farm before I could chase after him. It took hours before I got him there as well.” She paused and looked indignant. “Emma abandoned me! She turned tail and rode home. And she’s been practically hiding in her bedchamber ever since.”

“Perhaps she feels a sense of remorse for having done something absolutely outrageous,” Georgina suggested.

Hilda wrinkled her nose. “Well, we came back first thing the next morning to get you.”

“That does not excuse…”

“And you were gone!” Hilda actually dared to look reproachful. “As if you’d vanished into thin air.”

“Thick mud, more like,” said Georgina.

“If you had just waited, or only walked a little way along the trail, we would have found you. And there wouldn’t have been such a very great fuss. Why didn’t you? How could you be so clumsy as to fall into a gully?” Hilda cocked her head. “I never even knew it was there.”

“Don’t even dream of blaming this on me!” Georgina gazed at her sister. They were alike in coloring and frame, but apparently their minds ran on entirely different paths.

 

About the Author

Jane Ashford discovered Georgette Heyer in junior high school and was captivated by the glittering world and witty language of Regency England. That delight led her to study English literature and travel widely in Britain and Europe. Her historical and contemporary romances have been published in Sweden, Italy, England, Denmark, France, Russia, Latvia, Slovenia, and Spain, as well as the U.S. Twenty-six of her new and backlist Regency romances are being published by Sourcebooks. Jane has been nominated for a Career Achievement Award by RT Book Reviews. She is currently rather nomadic.

Website * Facebook * Goodreads

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 | 
Comments Off on Excerpt & #Giveaway – Lord Sebastian’s Secret by Jane Ashford #historicalromance @SourceBooksCasa
Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance, Western on December 29, 2016

Title: Blazing Hot Cowboy

Author: Kim Redford

Series: Smokin’ Hot Cowboys, #2

ISBN: 9781492621508

Pubdate: January 3, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Western

Synopsis

He’s all the heat she’ll ever need.

Lauren Sheridan’s return to Wildcat Bluff after the death of her husband is bittersweet. Thirteen years have passed since she set foot in the place that’s always held her heart…and the sizzling memories of her high school sweetheart.

Kent Duval has it all. A proud rancher and volunteer firefighter in the small town of Wildcat Bluff, he’s missing only one thing from his life: passion. Kent last saw Lauren Sheridan when she was sweet sixteen and they were head-over-heels in love. Now she’s back, spunky daughter in tow, and he no longer knows which way is up. As the heat between them builds, Kent can’t help but wonder if past flames can be rekindled and second chances really do exist.

Amazon * B&N * iBooks

From the Author

Kim Redford: I’m excited to share one of my favorite cowboy characters!

Stagecoach (1939) is a culturally significant film directed by John Ford and based on Ernest Haycox’s short story, “The Stage to Lordsburg” (1937). A group of strangers join forces as they survive a stagecoach ride through dangerous Apache territory. The Ringo Kid (John Wayne) breaks out of prison to seek justice for his murdered father and brother, but his horse goes lame and he ends up on the stage as a prisoner of Marshal Curly Wilcox (George Bancroft). The Ringo Kid takes a fancy to Dallas (Claire Trevor), who was run out of town by the “Law and Order League”. As the trip progresses, the Ringo Kid’s skills are vital in saving lives, and he asks Dallas to marry him. The Ringo Kid represents the West’s indomitable spirit of overcoming great odds and a checkered past to begin a new life on a sprawling ranch.

He’s one hero who inspired my Smokin’ Hot Cowboys series of contemporary cowboy firefighter novels.

Excerpt

In Wildcat Bluff County, Texas . . .

Kent Duval joined other firefighters in front of a burning barn. He wasn’t wearing much firefighter gear, so he’d pump water and roll hose from the booster while another volunteer used the nozzle to wet a perimeter around the structure.

Streams of water hit the building and steam rose along with smoke as Kent and the other first responders fought to bring the blaze under control. Even so, the fire quickly expanded in size as it ate up oxygen. Soon the wooden barn was fully engaged and pumping smoke. Flames surged higher into the sky. They kept up the water barrage, beating back the blaze despite the orange-and-yellow flames spitting and licking and clawing to take back what was lost. Every fire had its own personality. This one reminded Kent of a dangerous wild bull.

And just when he thought they had the blaze contained, a piece of shake-shingle roof was ripped off by the wind and whipped across firefighter heads to land in the adjacent pasture. Flames immediately set the dry grass ablaze, and a line of fire headed straight for the nearby house at Twin Oaks.

“Watch my pump!” When Kent got a nod of understanding from another firefighter, he took off running, hoping he could stomp out the fire with his cowboy boots before it took hold and swept away from them.

He got ahead of the blaze, but the flames were quickly consuming the grass. He stomped hard, making a little headway, but he quickly realized he wasn’t able to do enough fast enough. And the other firefighters couldn’t leave the barn. He’d have to call for backup, but he feared the engine couldn’t get there in time.

Just as he pulled his cell phone out of his pocket, he heard Lauren calling to him. He glanced up. She’d crossed the road, dragging a heavy fire extinguisher in each hand, up to the barbwire fence. He could’ve cheered because she might just have saved the day.

He pocketed his cell, ran over to her, grabbed the canisters, and set them down on his side of the fence.

“Hold up the barbwire and I’ll crawl under,” she said as she went down on her knees.

“Lauren, I don’t want you in danger.”

“I’m not letting that fire get anywhere near my daughter at Twin Oaks.” She lay down and started to crawl on her stomach under the fence.

He quickly raised the bottom strand of wire so she wouldn’t tear her clothes or scratch her back.

Once she was on the other side, she grabbed a can and dragged it toward the leading edge of the blaze.

He used the black strap to hang the other fire extinguisher over his shoulder and caught up. He tried to take the canister from her, but she gave him a no nonsense look.

“Two of us are faster than one,” she said. “I remember how to use these cans, so let’s get to it.”

He grinned, loving her sassiness even as he wanted to keep her safe. He knew better. This was his Lauren, and she didn’t back down for nothing or nobody. “Let’s do it.”

Together, they got out in front of the fire and started spraying the potent chemical on the blaze, leaving a trail of yellow. They continued to relentlessly douse the flames till nothing was left except charred grass. When their fire extinguishers were empty, they tossed them aside, and then stomped on the crisp grass to make sure there were no hot embers left that might reignite.

Finally, Kent picked up one empty canister and hung it from his shoulder by the strap before he put the other strap over his free shoulder. He couldn’t resist leaning down and giving Lauren a quick kiss.

“Don’t you know I’m too hot to handle?” she teased, chuckling with a sound caught somewhere between delight and relief.

“Guess I’m looking to get burned.”

“I think we’re both a little on the scorched side.” She pointed toward the barn. “But that building took the brunt of it.”

He looked in that direction. He felt a vast sense of comfort when he saw the old barn was nothing more than a pile of black rubble with a red-orange glow of banked embers here and there. He glanced back at the blackened patch of pasture. He’d been cocky tonight—maybe because being with Lauren had made him feel like Superman. He knew better. You could never count on a fire doing what it was supposed to do, and particularly not when it was a raging bull of a blaze.

He clasped Lauren’s hand and threaded their fingers together. “Guess you’re a Wildcat Bluff volunteer firefighter all over again.”

She squeezed his hand. “I feel like I’ve never been gone.”

“Let’s get you home.”

“Twin Oaks will look mighty good.”

But Kent hadn’t been thinking about that place. He’d been thinking about his own farmhouse on Cougar Ranch.

 

About the Author

Kim Redford is an acclaimed author of Western romance

novels. She grew up in Texas with cowboys, cowgirls, horses, cattle, and rodeos for inspiration. She divides her time between homes in Texas and Oklahoma, where she’s a rescue cat wrangler and horseback rider—when she takes a break from her keyboard. Visit her at kimredford.com.

GoodreadsAuthor Website * Twitter

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 | 
Comments Off on Excerpt & #Giveaway – Blazing Hot Cowboy by Kim Redford @kim_redford @SourcebooksCasa #western #romance
Posted in excerpt, Historical, romance, Spotlight on December 28, 2016

Title: My Highland Rebel

Author: Amanda Forester

Series: Highland Trouble, #2

ISBN: 9781492605461

Pubdate: January 3, 2017

Genre: Historical Romance

Synopsis

A conquering hero

Cormac Maclean would rather read than rampage, but his fearsome warlord father demands that he prove himself in war. Cormac chooses what he thinks is an easy target, only to encounter a fiery Highland lass leading a doomed rebellion and swearing revenge on him.

Meets an unconquerable heroine

Jyne Cambell is not about to give up her castle without a fight, even though her forces are far outnumbered. She’s proud, hot-blooded and hot-tempered, and Cormac falls for her hard.

It’s going to take all of Cormac’s ingenuity to get Jyne to surrender gracefully—both to his sword and to his heart…

Buy the Book

Excerpt

Highlands, 1362

She had always wanted to have an adventure. That was her first mistake. Her second was to set off for a little privacy in the thick fog of the Highland morning.

Lady Jyne Campbell tramped along the cold ground of the Highland moor, trying to retrace her steps back to camp. She could not have gotten far. Could she? She considered calling out to her brothers for help, but rejected the idea. She wished to show her clan that she was capable of taking care of herself. Admitting she had gotten lost in the fog was not going to help her cause.

Being the youngest daughter, Jyne was accustomed to being bossed about by all of her fourteen siblings. And not just any siblings—Campbell siblings. Her eldest brother was David Campbell, laird of the pow­erful Campbell clan. The Campbell brothers were tall, broad-shouldered, hardworking, and a formidable foe to their enemies. The Campbell sisters were statuesque, brave, bold, and ready to stand shoulder to shoulder with any man to defend the Campbell clan, or against any clansman who got out of line. Jyne’s mother had borne fifteen children, and not one of them had the audacity to die in childhood. No, frailty was not allowed in the Campbell household.

All except Jyne. She had been born a little too soon and had always been small. In childhood, she was prone to illness and had a delicate constitution. Being of questionable health during her formative years, she was never chosen to travel or have any adventures. Though her dreams were as big as any of her siblings, she had to content herself with listening to the stories of others and making herself useful about the castle, while the other siblings returned with wild tales of their exploits.

Jyne paused a moment, straining to hear sounds from the camp. She would rather search for hours than admit to her over­protective brothers she had gotten lost in a bit of mist. She continued walking in the thick gray fog, which blanketed the rugged landscape. Straining to see ahead of her in the fog and stepped onto something she thought was firm ground, but suddenly wasn’t.

“Oh!” She fell forward into a bog, gasping as the cold, muddy water engulfed her to her thighs. “Oh, no!” She struggled, trying to find firm ground to drag herself out of the treacherous moor, but everywhere she touched was made of cold, wet mud. Her efforts were rewarded only by her sinking into the bog a few inches more.

The freezing sludge seeped through her clothes and held her fast, like an icy claw. The smell of rotting swamp gas made her gag. Her heart pounded in her throat, along with the remnants of her last meal. She had heard stories of people getting trapped in the bog and never returning.

She clenched her teeth to stop them from chatter­ing. Should she call for help? The thought of the looks on her brothers’ faces to find her stuck in the bog shut her mouth. She made another try for solid ground, straining her reach for a crop of grass.

She could almost make it. Her fingertips brushed tantalizingly against the stems of the grass, but there was nothing to grasp. She could not reach solid ground. Her efforts had only caused her to sink another few inches as fear slithered down her spine. Nothing she could do was going to get herself out.

“Help! David? Help!” Her pride was gone. She only hoped her brothers would hear her before she was gone. “Can anyone hear me?”

She had expected her siblings to come running as soon as she called. She could not be that far from camp. Could she? She listened for footsteps, for any hint that help was on the way. She heard nothing.

Panic surged within her, tinged with frustration. The one time she actually wanted her brothers to hover over her, and they were nowhere in sight. She made another lunge for solid ground, but the more she moved, the farther the bog sucked her down, and soon she was up to her waist, panting with exertion and sheer terror.

She closed her eyes and screamed with all her might, “Help! Heeeeeelp!”

“Here, lassie, take my hand.” A man, a stranger to her, flung himself onto the solid ground and reached out his hand over the murky bog. She grasped it, and he began to back up slowly, pulling her from the quagmire. He pulled hard, but the swamp resisted, as if unwilling to release its prize from its cold clutches. Finally, he wrenched her from the deadly swamp, and she collapsed beside him on firm ground.

“Thank ye,” she gasped, not sure if she was trem­bling from the fear of coming near death or the frozen chill of the mire still permeating her bones.

“Are ye hurt?” asked the stranger. He was a tall man dressed in the plaid kilt of the Highlander, belted at the waist and thrown over one shoulder. He had a wild mop of unruly brown hair and glint­ing dark eyes. He was armed with a bow and quiver of arrows and had several scrolls stuck into his wide leather belt.

Her teeth chattered. “N-nay, just relieved to be out o’ the bog.”

The stranger stood up and took her with him, easily lifting her to her feet. “Ah, lass, ye’re chilled to the bone.” He pulled her close and wrapped the ends of his plaid around her, warming her with his own heat. She melted into the comforting warmth and safety of his arms.

Jyne sighed. She had a vague feeling she should not be enjoying an embrace with a total stranger. She must be simply thankful to be out of the bog. At least that is what she told herself to justify resting her cheek against his chest.

“Thank ye. I dinna ken what would have happened to me if ye hadna come along,” said Jyne into the man’s solid chest. “Ye must have been sent by the angels to save me.”

The man laughed. “Angels? That would be the first time anyone said that about me.”

Jyne looked up at him. He had a decided jawline and sharp cheekbones. His face was almost angular, but attractive. His dark green eyes gleamed in the early morning light. He was a trim, muscular man who looked to be in his early twenties. Perhaps it was her brush with danger, but she decided he was the most handsome Highlander she had ever seen.

“Then I am glad to be the first to say it to ye. Ye truly are my hero.” Jyne’s voice trembled with sincerity.

“I’m nobody’s hero.” He tilted his head with a sardonic smile.

“Ye are to me. I am Jyne and much in yer debt.”

He shook his head. “Ye owe me naught.”

She touched her hand to his cheek, and he tilted his head toward her, leaning closer.

“Unhand my sister!”

Jyne jumped away from the stranger and turned to see her brother, Laird of the Campbells, emerging from the mist.

About the Author

Amanda Forester holds a PhD in psychology and worked many years in academia before discovering that writing historical romance was way more fun. A Publishers Weekly Top Ten author, her books have been given starred reviews from Booklist, Publishers Weekly, and a Top Pick from RT Book Reviews. Whether in the rugged Highlands of medieval Scotland or the decadent ballrooms of Regency England, her novels offer fast-paced adventures filled with wit, intrigue, and romance. She lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest outside Tacoma, Washington.

Website * Twitter * Facebook

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 | 
Comments Off on Excerpt & #Giveaway – My Highland Rebel by Amanda Forester @SourcebooksCasa @Amanda_Forester #historicalromance
Posted in excerpt, nonfiction, Spotlight on December 27, 2016

The Conversations We Never Had, by Jeffrey H. Konis, is a historical fiction novel / memoir that highlights the importance of family history.

Synopsis

When Jeffrey’s grandma died, he was left with a sense of guilt and profound regret for not having gotten to know her better.

“My father remembers nothing about his real parents. They were dead by the time he was nine. Olga, his mother’s younger sister, not only survived the Holocaust, but was able to find my father at his hiding place – a farm in Poland – and later brought him to America to raise as her own. In all that time, he never asked her any questions about his parents,” says Jeffrey. “I lived with Olga for over two years and she would have been able and willing to tell me about my real grandparents, my dad as a little boy and so much more had I simply asked the questions.  I never did.  Olga has been gone for more than twenty years, along with everything she could have told me. I wish I could go back and have a second chance to get to know her better and learn more about my family from the only person in the world who knew them and remembered them.”

The Conversations We Never Had is a chronicle of Jeffrey’s time spent with his Grandma “Ola” and an imagining of the stories she might have shared had he only took the time to ask the questions. It is a heartwarming story that will leave you eager to spend time with your family and learn more about them before it’s too late.


Excerpt

From Chapter 2 – Grandma Ola and Me

Over the following days, I found myself picking up the old routine of going to classes, hitting the library, getting a slice or two for dinner, going home and hibernating in my room. Grandma would occasionally check on me, I think more than anything to make sure it was indeed me and not some wayward stranger. I felt bad not spending more time with Grandma the way I had that night when we talked about her dad, but I guess I was too tired after my long days or unsure how to restart the conversation. I knew Grandma was lonely, lonelier with me around than she would have been alone. Then there was something of a break in my schedule. It was the weekend after Thanksgiving and, caught up with all my work, I decided to spend some time with Grandma and talk. Late Saturday afternoon, after the caregiver had left, I approached her.

” I know it’s been awhile but I was wondering whether we could talk some more, if you’re up for it, that is.”

“Up for it? I’ve been ‘up for it’ for the last two weeks. What do you think, that I’ll remember these things forever? You think my memory will get better as I get older?”

“I know, I’m sorry. I’ve been busy with school and . . . .” “Jeffrey, you barely say hello to me. How many grandmothers do you have anyways? Well?”

Interesting question but, of course, she was right. My maternal grandmother died when my mother was a young girl; I never knew her father, Grandpa Eugene, who died when I was two.

But Grandma Ola said something else that made me stop to think for a second: her memory would surely deteriorate, and in the not-too-distant future. Once that went, so did any chance of learning about my paternal grandparents. There was now a sense of urgency to my mission. Indeed, there were increasing signs that her mind was starting to slip.

The phone had rung, a few nights previously, and I gave Grandma first dibs to pick up the phone to see who it was, as this was pre-caller i.d. The phone kept ringing and I looked in on Grandma, who I knew was lying on the couch in her room. The scene upon which I stumbled was humorous, though it should not have been: there was Grandma, holding a pillow to her ear and talking into it, “Hol-low? Hol-low?” I quickly picked up the phone just as my dad was about to hang up. He often called to check on both of us, to make sure that we hadn’t yet killed each other, that we were still alive.

As willing as Grandma was to have me and as eager and grateful I was to live with her, we each had our own trepidations about this new living arrangement, this uncharted territory in which we were to find ourselves. Grandma Ola had taken in her first new roommate in over forty years. Grandma, I suspect, felt responsible for my well-being. For all she knew, I could be entertaining all sorts of guests and be a constant source of noise and irritation that she had been mercifully spared for so long. I, on the other hand, was moving in with an elderly woman whose mind was on the decline, someone for whose well-being I would be responsible. Not that Grandma expected this of me; then again maybe she did.

She had employed caregivers seven days a week from nine to seven, who would look after her needs, meals, laundry, baths, doctors’ visits, grocery shopping – everything. Grandma, who was a proud, independent woman, and did not wish to argue or appear unreasonable with these good- hearted people, particularly Anna, seemed to accept their help with graciousness and gratitude. Anna may well have a different story to share but this is what I had observed. Above all, Grandma was a realist; she was aware of her own limitations.

What did I add to this equation? Not a whole lot. I did provide Grandma with some psychological comfort in the evenings when I was home. Should some life-threatening event occur, a bad fall for example, I was there to help. My services had been called upon once in this regard, though the fall in question was more humorous than harmful.

I woke up to a yell from Grandma in the middle of one night. My first thought was that she was having a nightmare and ran to her room to check on her, only she wasn’t there. Puzzled, I was on my way to the kitchen but noticed the light was on in the bathroom. I knocked and opened the door a crack. “Grandma, are you in there? Are you okay?” I asked.

She cried that she wasn’t and asked for help. I walked in to find my grandmother stuck in the bathtub on her back from which she was unable to extricate herself. She explained that she had been about to sit on what she thought was the toilet, not realizing her error until it was too late. I scooped her up and carried her back to her bed. I made sure she was indeed okay and wished her goodnight.

I suppose I shouldn’t have found any of this humorous, that this was a sad result of aging, a dreaded process, and that I should have been more compassionate and understanding. True, I suppose, but my understanding under the circumstances consisted of making sure Grandma was all right, carrying her to bed and keeping a straight face through it all. But it was funny. The only thing that wasn’t so funny was that I would be exhausted in my classes the next day owing to my lack of sleep.

As her new roommate, I was also expected to provide Grandma with some company, particularly since she had recently lost her husband. My father, I knew, expected at least this much from me; I didn’t know, on the other hand, what she expected. She likely considered my presence a mixed blessing; I might be nice to have around but also something of an intrusion.

Praise

“Jeffrey H. Konis won my heart from the very first page and had my eyes glued to the pages throughout the entire narrative…The Conversations We Never Had is a book that will warm your heart and lead you toward the pursuit of love and gratitude for those who are part of your journey to yourself. Beautiful and inspiring, this book is highly recommended!” – 5 Stars, Romuald Dzemo for Readers Favorite

About the Author

After practicing law for many years, Jeffrey H. Konis left the profession to embark on a career as a high school social studies teacher. His first book, From Courtroom to Classroom: Making a Case for Good Teaching, offers a unique perspective for teachers who seek to inspire their students to learn for the sake of learning.

His latest work, The Conversations We Never Had, was released in May 2016.

Jeffrey loves reading, collecting fine art photography, soccer – especially Liverpool F.C. – travel, and his family most of all. He currently resides in Goshen, New York with his wife, Pamela, and sons, Alexander and Marc.

Facebook * Twitter

 | 
Comments Off on Excerpt – The Conversations We Never Had by Jeffrey H. Konis @JeffKonis #nonfiction @bookpubservices
Posted in excerpt, nonfiction, self help, Spotlight on December 20, 2016

eylbanner

energize-your-life-cover

Synopsis

Are you suffering from a personal energy crisis?Are you constantly running through your day, feeling chronically exhausted? Are you desperately overcommitted? Do you find yourself sacrificing your health, family time and quality of life just to meet the never-ending demands on your time? Are you exhausted when you go to bed at night and still tired when you awake? If the answer is yes to any of the above questions, then you may be suffering from a personal energy crisis.
Unfortunately, this way of living — and working — not only robs us of our health and puts a strain on time and energy resources, it blocks our access to our most essential sources of energy, leaving us feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally drained.

In his new book, Energize Your Life, Dr. Del shows you simple things you can do everyday to fuel your life and work with positive energy. Drawing from his years of experience consulting with executives, entrepreneurs, small business owners, career changers and self re-inventors, as well as the wealth of new research over the past two decades on positive psychology, employee engagement and play, Dr. Del demonstrates how you can program the brain — and the subconscious — for productive, beneficial action.

Energize Your Life is different from other positive energy books and personal energy management programs. Its unique advantage is that it shows you how to fuel your life and work with positive energy from seven distinct sources.

And why is it important to increase your daily dose of positive energy? Well, several studies have clearly demonstrated that chronic stress and negative energy shuts down the creative problem solving brain, slows your productivity and puts you in fight or flight mode where very little gets done.

Energize Your Life will challenge and inspire you to develop a personal action plan to fuel your life and work with positive energy everyday. Thereby, improving your personal well being, enhancing your work engagement, and helping you feel more alive.

goodreads-badge-add-plus

amazon buybn buy

Excerpt

The 7 Pillars of Positive Energy

  1. Ignite Your Passions…Fuel Your Purpose

Passion energizes.  Purpose motivates.

  1. Accelerate Your Personal Evolution

Self-awareness leads to emotional maturity, which frees us to respond differently.

  1. Cultivate Physical Vitality

Physical vitality expands our energy capacity.

  1. Become a Conduit for Positive Energy

Positive energy attracts.  Negative energy repels.

  1. Practice Positive Psychology

Positive thoughts and emotions program the brain (and our subconscious) for positive action.

  1. Increase Your “Prosocial Behavior”

Simple acts of kindness, good for the doer too.

  1. Give Yourself Permission to Play

Play increases our capacity to respond appropriately to the unexpected.

Chapter 5: Become a Conduit for Positive Energy

“Positive energy attracts. 

Negative energy repels.”

– Del Millers

Pillar #4: Positive Energy

It was December 2013, and I was flying home to Los Angeles from Charlotte, NC via Chicago O’Hare airport.  Unfortunately, flying through Chicago in the winter during bad weather automatically spells delays and canceled flights.  And that was exactly the case.  The flight that was supposed to leave before mine from Chicago to Los Angeles was canceled.  And so was mine.

Imagine being one of those American Airline attendants that night trying his or her best to accommodate 300 angry, stranded passengers.

But, as I stood in line that night waiting my turn to talk to the attendant, I made a radical decision to adopt a positive outlook about my situation.  I had every right to be as pissed off as everybody else in that terminal, but I chose instead to focus on one thought to the exclusion of all others:  “I am on the next flight to Los Angeles.”

I kept repeating that one single thought in my head over and over again with a single mindedness of purpose.  I would also look at the attendant every so often and send her a silent message — “you’ve got a seat for me on that next plane, I know it.”

By the time I reached the counter, I was told that the next flight was fully booked.  I looked at the attendant with a smile and said, “rough night isn’t it, Nancy?”

“You have no idea,” she replied with a sigh.

Then with a smile I said “Nancy, I know you’re probably all booked up, but I’ve got an event in Los Angeles tomorrow and I’m the keynote speaker, so I would be forever grateful if you could somehow get me on the next flight out tonight.”

She said, “Mr. Millers we’re all booked up, but please have a seat and I will see what I can do.”

Fifteen minutes later, I was standing in line with a boarding pass in hand, waiting to board my flight to Los Angeles.

Yes, I know the pessimists would say that I just got lucky.  But did I?

Or did I create the right conditions that led the universe to conspire in my favor?

The truth is, I don’t know.  All I know is that I was sitting on the next flight home while most of the angry people were on their way to a hotel for the night.

Here’s what I do know for sure.

My positive optimistic attitude allowed me to stop thinking about myself long enough to empathize with Nancy’s situation.  When I said to Nancy, “rough night, isn’t it?”  I genuinely meant it, and she felt that.

Here’s something else I do know for sure.

When you go out of your way to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and see things from their perspective, it often creates a win-win situation.  You’ll find that most people will go out of THEIR way to accommodate your needs.

Now, I don’t know what exactly Nancy did that night to get me a seat on that last flight out of Chicago to Los Angeles, but I’m certain she went out of her way to accommodate me.

Why would she do that?

Positive energy attracts positive results and people to youNegative energy repels.

There’s a lot of negativity in the world.  We are surrounded by it.  It’s inescapable.  You hear about it every time you turn on the television.  It’s thrown in your face when you walk out the door and have to listen to your neighbor complaining about how much he hates his dead end job. Again!

The world is filled with negative energy because it boosts television ratings and helps to sell newspapers and magazines.  Negative energy is controversial, provocative, and confrontational.  Just watch an episode of most Reality TV and you’ll see what I mean.

Positive energy, on the other hand, is subtle, purposeful, and uplifting.  It’s the kind of energy that gives you the momentum you need to move in the direction of a larger vision for your life.

Positive energy is like a magnet.  It attracts positive people and positive results into your life.

But how can you become a conduit for positive energy in a world obsessed with sensationalism, controversy, and fear?

You cultivate positive energy by taking positive actions every day.  Or as Jon Gordon puts it in his book, The Energy Bus, you must “feed positive dog:”

A man goes to the village to visit the wise man and he says to the wise man, “I feel like there are two dogs inside me. One dog is positive, loving, kind, and gentle dog and then I have this angry, mean-spirited and negative dog and they fight all the time. I don’t know which is going to win.” The wise man thinks for a moment and he says, “I know which is going to win. The one you feed the most, so feed positive dog.”

About the Author

del-millersDr. Del Millers is the founder of TheBestYouAcademy.com, EnergizedLifeAcademy.com, and author of eight books on nutrition, fitness, and personal growth.

A PhD Nutritionist with a Masters degree in psychology, Dr. Del teaches simple mind-body principles to busy entrepreneurs and professionals to help them energize their lifestyle, improve their personal wellbeing, and enhance their work engagement.

Dr. Del has appeared on FOX Television (Good Day LA), E-Entertainment TV (DR 90210), numerous nationally syndicated radio shows, and in magazines, and newspapers throughout the United States and Australia (LA Sports & Fitness, Australian Ironman, Health & Fitness, Stuff, Fighting Fat and others).

Dr. Del’s greatest passion is sharing what inspires him with others. He lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife and three daughters.

Buy any of Dr. Del’s books and forward your receipt to gifts@delmillers.com for Dr. Del’s special bonuses worth hundreds of dollars. Subscribe to Dr. Del’s weekly podcast

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

wwbadgeweb

 | 
Comments Off on Energize your Life by Del Millers PhD #nonfiction #selfhelp @drdelmillers #excerpt #positivethinking
Posted in excerpt, paranormal, Spotlight, suspense, Thriller on December 19, 2016

Synopsis

Out of darkness and danger

You can’t hide your secrets from Lathan Montgomery—he can read your darkest memories. And while his special abilities are invaluable in the FBI’s hunt for a serial killer, he has no way to avoid the pain that brings him. Until he is drawn to courageous, down-on-her-luck Evanee Brown and finds himself able to offer her something he’s never offered another human being: himself.

Dawns a unique and powerful love

Nightmares are nothing new to Evanee Brown. But once she meets Lathan, they plummet into the realm of the macabre. Murder victims are reaching from beyond the grave to give Evanee evidence that could help Lathan bring a terrifying killer to justice. Together, they could forge an indomitable partnership to thwart violence, abuse, and death—if they survive the forces that seek to tear them apart.

AmazonB&NiBooks

Trailer

Excerpt

Minds of Madness and Murder. The glossy poster advertising today’s seminar was taped to the closed auditorium door. Someone had drawn tears of blood dripping from each of the M’s.

Lathaniel Montgomery’s gut gnawed at his backbone, but not because of the poster or the bloody tears.

Holy Jesus. How was he going to manage being in an audience surrounded by hundreds of people, with all their smells, all their memories?

Gill touched his arm like he always did to get Lathan’s attention. “Going in?”

“Yeah.” But Lathan’s feet had grown roots into the floor. He hated how nothing in his life was normal. He hated the f*ed-up sequence of genetic code that had enlarged the olfactory regions of his brain. He hated that he smelled everything. And he especially hated the ability to smell the energy imprints of people’s memories. Scent memories. Memories that could overwhelm him and annihilate his reality.

Gill stepped up close and examined Lathan’s left eye—the eye the SMs always invaded first, the eye that would roll around independently of the other one, making him appear in need of an exorcism.

“Quit with the eye exam. I’m all right.” For now. Concentration kept the SMs out of his mind. Vigilance kept them under control.

“Your seat is directly in front of the podium. You won’t have any trouble reading Dr. Jonah’s lips. After the presentation, introduce yourself. He’ll recognize your name.” Gill gave him the don’t-screw-this-up look. “Convince him about the Strategist.”

The Strategist.

Lathan’s freakish ability had generated leads for nearly every cold case he worked. Except for the Strategist’s.

“Explain how each person has a scent signature. Explain that you smell the same signature on thirty-eight unsolved murders. Explain that the FBI won’t do anything unless he confirms there is a connection among the kills.”

“Save the lecture. This whole f*ing thing was my dumbass idea.” Could he maintain control of the SMs long enough to make it to the end of the presentation? “If I—”

“There is no if. You’re not going to lose control.” Gill had read his worries as easily as Lathan read his friend’s lips. “Maybe I should go in with you.”

“I don’t need you holding my hand.” Lathan showed him a raised middle finger—a salute they always used in jest, forced a smile of bravado across his lips, and then pushed through the doors before he made like a chickenshit and bolted from the building. Barely inside, the SMs hit. Millions of memories warred for his attention, tugged at the vision in his left eye. He sucked air through his mouth to diminish the intensity, to maintain control.

Never in his life had he been around so many people at once and been coherent. Maybe he should leave.

No.

He clenched his fists. Knuckles popped, grounding him, giving him an edge over the SMs.

He strode down the steps toward the front of the room. Thank whoever-was-in-charge the presentation hadn’t started yet.

An empty seat in the front row had a pink piece of paper taped to it: RESERVED. Lathan would’ve preferred the anonymity of the back row, but he couldn’t see Dr. Jonah’s face from that far away. He ripped off the sheet and sat in the cramped space.

His shoulders were wider than the damned chair. His arms overflowed the boundary of his seat. The woman on his left angled away from him, the cinnamon scent of her irritation infusing the air. Typical reaction to his size. And with the tattoo on his cheek, she probably assumed he’d served a sentence in the slammer.

The woman on his right reeked. But it wasn’t her fault. The rot of her body dying was a stench he recognized, along with the sharp chemical tang of the drugs that were killing her so she could live. Cancer and chemo. Her emaciated features evidenced the battle she fought. And yet, she was here. At this presentation. She was a warrior. And he was a f*ing pussy for bellyaching about the SMs.

His ears picked up a faint snapping noise. Clapping. Everyone applauded enthusiastically.

Dr. Jonah walked to the podium. His clothes were baggy and ill fitting, his face wrinkled, his head topped with a mass of fluttery gray hair. Even though he looked like he’d just awakened from sleeping under an overpass, he possessed the look of frazzled genius. The look of someone whose work mattered more than living life. The look of the nation’s most respected profiler.

A door on Lathan’s right opened. A young woman lugged a folding chair across the room. Toward him.

He held his breath.

No. She couldn’t be there for him. No one here knew him. Knew about him. Except Gill. And Gill wouldn’t—

She opened her chair and sat facing him. With an overly enthusiastic smile that showed the silver in her back molars, she started to sign.

He looked away. A long bitter whoosh of air escaped his lips.

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 contests including the Golden Heart. Race the Darkness is the first book in the Fatal Dreams series of dark, gritty romantic suspense with a psychological twist.

Website * Twitter * Goodreads

Posted in excerpt, fiction, Giveaway, Historical, Spotlight on December 15, 2016

LOVE GIVE US ONE DEATH

  Bonnie and Clyde in the Last Days

by

Jeff P. Jones

**WINNER: 2016 Idaho Author Award**

**WINNER: 2015 George Garrett Fiction Prize**

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publisher: Texas Review Press

Date of Publication: October 25, 2016

Number of Pages: 232

Scroll down for Giveaway!

Bonnie and Clyde are the most famous outlaw pair in American history. Frank Hamer, the legendary Texas Ranger, was hired to stop them. Part prose, part verse, with historical artifacts interwoven, the well-researched novel tells the story of their deaths on a lonely Louisiana back road, as well as their bloody and short lives together. Its many voices invite the reader to become a ghost rider along with Bonnie and Clyde, while it also exposes the forces of injustice and greed that created them.

 PRAISE FOR LOVE GIVE US ONE DEATH

“If you are a fan of historical fiction, you must secure a copy of his debut novel in which Jones ‘added, subtracted and distorted facts’ adroitly and creatively in his re-telling of Bonnie and Clyde’s last days. There are very few writers who can write like Jones — in many voices and in various forms — but he choreographs his work like an award-winning producer, designating him as unique as the members of the Clyde Barrow Gang.” -Idaho Statesman

“Love Give Us One Death delivers not only a knock-out story of brutal adventure, and love, across the heartland of the Great Depression, but a story about the very character of the republic itself.” -Robert Wrigley, Poet

“This is the history of love and destruction you didn’t know you needed. In a time of Public Enemies, we see the last legs of a journey between the violent and manic Romeo and Juliet-like pair. The last public outlaws are riding away into their last sunrise, and this book serves as its journal.” -Atticus Books

“The language is absolutely stunning. Characterization, historical setting, ambience are all accurate and depicted with great clarity. A terrific achievement.” -Mary Clearman Blew, Author of All But the Waltz

“This is historical fiction raised boldly to the level of myth.” -Tracy Daugherty, Author of The Last Love Song

Love Give Us One Death: Bonnie and Clyde in the Last Days

Excerpt from Chapter 1, “Love’s Kingdom”

By Jeff P. Jones

The two teenagers were together in the tiny kitchen, Clyde at a spindly table, Bonnie orbiting around the stove. In the corner stood a battered wooden icebox. From the other side of the swinging door erupted voices and laughter.

Clyde was puzzling over the mystery before him. Her face was lovely, but he couldn’t luxuriate in its full light. He hadn’t gotten past her hands, which seemed to contain all of her, and which held the paradox of Bonnie Parker in all her petite ruggedness. They were tiny, the fingers as slim as pencils and the skin oiled and smooth, yet when she picked up the kettle or closed them around a cup, green veins piped around the bones and tendons sprang to the surface.

Then there was the ring she wore.

“Be careful, it’s hot,” she said and held out a steaming mug.

He wrapped both hands around the cup. Inhaled the steam threads. Then, he couldn’t help himself, he reached out and caressed her hand, and the stiffness in his fingers registered the warm liveliness of hers, and something else. She acknowledged the breach with a smile and withdrew her hand. There was delicacy wed to strength in her face. Lively mouth. Aquiline nose. Warm but fleeting eyes that said she was keeping something back.

“My, your fingers are cold,” she said.

He took a sip, felt the warmth flow through his icy shell.

“Sweet enough?”
“Never tasted better.”

Click here to read the full first chapter!

JEFF P. JONES’s ancestors were sharecroppers in east Texas. He was born in Denver, and was educated at the University of Colorado at Denver, the University of Washington, and the University of Idaho. He’s a MacDowell Fellow, and his writing has won a Pushcart Prize, as well as the Hackney, Meridian Editors’, A. David Schwartz, Wabash, and Lamar York prizes. He lives on the Palouse in northern Idaho. This is his first book.

 

Author Website * Amazon Author Page

Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads

————————————–

GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!

5 Winners! One winner  wins poster & signed copy; Four winners win signed copies!

(US ONLY)

December 13 – December 22, 2016

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the other great blogs on this tour

12/13 Guest Post Country Girl Bookaholic
12/14 Review The Page Unbound
12/15 Excerpt StoreyBook Reviews
12/16 Author Interview It’s a Jenn World
12/17 Review Missus Gonzo
12/18 Excerpt Kara The Redhead
12/19 Illustration Forgotten Winds
12/20 Review Book Chase
12/21 Author Interview Syd Savvy
12/22 Review Reading By Moonlight

blog tour services provided by

 | 
Comments Off on Excerpt & #Giveaway – Give Us One Death by Jeff P. Jones @jeff_p_jones #LoneStarLit #BonnieandClyde #historicalfiction @KristineTHall
Posted in excerpt, fiction, humor, Spotlight on December 14, 2016

on-top-of-the-world-banner

on-top-of-the-world-cover

Title: ON TOP OF THE WORLD (UNTIL THE BELL CHIMES)
Author: David Lamb
Publisher: Woolly Mammoth Books
Pages: 240
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Contemporary Romance/Multicultural/Humor/Satire

Synopsis

2016 BEST FICTION-Pacific Book Awards. FROM THE FUNNY AND NATURALLY BRILLIANT DAVID LAMB, award-winning playwright of the New York Times celebrated play, Platanos Y Collard Greens, comes a modern spin on Dickens’ classic tale that perfectly combines humor and romance in a story re-imagined for our digital, consumerist age.

This version of Scrooge and Belle is familiar, yet unlike any you’ve come across before. Scrooge, or rather Scrooje, is music’s biggest superstar, with one hundred million albums sold, fifteen million devoted YouTube subscribers, two and a half million Facebook likes, and twenty-five million fanatical Twitter followers known as Scroojites.

Belle, is a legal shark who gulps down her opposition voraciously and whose beauty and stunning figure causes traffic accidents as she zips through the sidewalks of Manhattan stylishly adorned and taking no prisoners.

They never imagined being music’s most powerful couple, but that’s exactly what happened when Belle fell head over heels and gave the Coke-bottle glasses wearing, plaid and stripe attired, scrawny, biggest nerd on her college campus the ultimate makeover, turning him into a fashion impresario whose style sets trends from Milan to NY Fashion Week and who can be seen courtside at the NBA Finals sporting a perfectly-fitted cashmere suit.   Then it happens. Belle realizes too late that she’s created a chart-topping monster as Scrooje’s ego explodes and he starts acting a fool.

Now, it’s been three years since they ve spoken. But tonight at Hollywood s biggest red carpet event, with the whole world watching, they’ll be given a second chance.   Will Scrooje listen to the ghostly-advice of Marley, his best friend since the fourth grade, who at the time of his untimely drowning at his Brazilian poolside birthday bash was as big a star as Scrooje? Will Scrooje finally do right by his number one artist, Cratchit, a genius comedian, who Scrooje invariably rip offs every chance he gets?   And with twenty-five million viewers tuned in will Scrooje finally shed his ego, jeopardize his image and declare his love for Belle, the one he betrayed and let slip away?   Second chances don’t often come around. Will Belle even give him a chance?

Mixing heart, soul, bling and romance in a fresh, original satire about race, class and celebrity worship Lamb establishes himself as one of the most talented and amazing writers today. And leaves no doubt that the Pacific Book Awards chose wisely when they selected On Top Of The World as the year’s Best Fiction.

goodreads-badge-add-plus

Amazon | iTunes | B&N

Excerpt

The devil doesn’t wear Prada, he wears Sean John and I was the idiot who taught him how to shop.

That was what I got for reading Frankenstein in college. I’d been turned into a mad scientist without even realizing it. Just my luck, I was a math major and the one literature course I took had tricked me into creating a monster.

When I first met Scrooʝe, he—like most humans with XY chromosomes—was a fashion emergency. Awkwardly walking around campus—lost, desperately in need of a haircut, and for some strange reason wearing glasses so big he looked like an owl hunting for prey. He was just plain pitiful.

But I have to confess, from the moment I saw him my heart sang a happy song and I couldn’t look away. Something between us was magnetic.

Hey, what can I say, I was always the kind of girl who liked rescue projects. When I was eight years old, I turned my family’s garage into a makeshift animal shelter, and damn near gave my father a heart attack when a hungry pack of strays rushed at him as he pulled into the driveway.

So naturally, one look into Scrooʝe’s sad puppy dog eyes and I felt right away—he was the one.

Before I knew it, we were college sweethearts and best friends. Of course, I had to clean him up, but after a few months under my tutelage everyone noticed his transformation. They saw that with his gorgeous toffee skin, deliciously full lips and sexy broad shoulders he was the cutest boy on campus.  Pretty soon I had girls telling me I needed to start a makeover service.

That was how it all started. Who could have known that a simple makeover would unleash the devilish genius of the sweetest, shyest, most socially awkward boy I’d ever met, and transform him into music’s biggest superstar with an ego the size of Texas yet more fragile than an egg yolk? And a whole lot messier! Not me.

Without a doubt we’ve traveled a long crazy road together. Scrooʝe was the first boy I gave my heart to. Our relationship went from me rescuing him in college, to him rescuing me in law school, to our emergence as music’s power couple. He was the artist/entrepreneur, and I was the best lawyer love could buy.

And now, we’re strangers.

It’s been three years since we’ve seen or spoken to each other, and sometimes, against my better judgment, I find myself thinking about him and feel a smile creep across my face.

This morning was one of those times when my thoughts turned to Scrooʝe. Normally I’d tell myself off for not letting go, but today I gave myself a break. After all, it isn’t every day that you might not just run into your ex, but do it live on television at Hollywood’s biggest event.

“Everything’s gonna be fine, girl,” I told myself as I contemplated everything that could go wrong if we ran into each other at The Awards. I was especially dreading an untimely re-emergence of my long-standing “klutz curse”.

My whole life, I’d been jinxed with “inopportune clumsiness”. As the ring girl at my parents’ vow renewal, I stumbled, fell in the grass, and lost the rings. As a tiny ballerina, I was the best in my class, until the day of the recital when I went tumbling down like Humpty Dumpty.

Now with the whole world watching, I simply could not afford such an embarrassing spill.

As I sat in the back of a sleek limousine on my way to the ceremony, gazing up at the L.A. skyline, nervously checking my hair in the mirror for the dozenth time in half a dozen minutes, I tried to push down the queasiness threatening to erupt from the pit of my stomach. The last thing I needed was to step onto the red carpet covered in this afternoon’s lunch. The paparazzi would surely have a field day with that one.

Well, like I said it was exactly three years to the day that I stomped out of Scrooʝe’s life, but tonight we were both nominated for Awards. I knew God worked in mysterious ways, but now I was convinced she also had a sense of humor.

I never thought I’d be nominated for anything, but life had other plans. After we broke up, I quickly discovered that the best cure for PTRS—post-traumatic-relationship-stress—was writing. By the time I finished hammering those computer keys, I was author of an award-winning, best-selling, drama-filled, tragically comic novel that Hollywood just had to have. Now here I was nominated for an Award as one of the producers of the year’s biggest movie.

Once word got out that I was nominated, I was immediately blessed (or cursed depending on your view) with a merry-go-round of opinions. From my hair to my makeup to my shoes to my dress, from my eyebrows to my voice, to making sure I didn’t have ashy knees—everyone had an opinion. Normally I was unflappable, but with so many people giving so many conflicting opinions I was suddenly a nervous wreck. Finally, I stopped answering the phone because I couldn’t take any more unsolicited advice. If someone did manage to reach me on the phone, before they could even say a word I’d say, “No, I don’t know what I’m going to wear, and no, I don’t know how I’m doing my hair,” before abruptly clicking off. Unbelievable, Russell Simmons can show up without a tie and wearing sneakers, yet still be a style icon. But let a woman have one eyelash out of place and it’ll be the lead on the evening news.

Two nights before The Awards, I tried to veg out with an episode of Soccer Moms From Hell. But before I could lose myself in the drama, my cell phone buzzed with a text. “Oh, come on!” I yelled, throwing my hands up unnecessarily dramatically. Then I looked at it. It was from my father. He wrote simply—Be you.

At least there was one man in the world I could still count on.

Two days later, on my way to The Awards I tried to wrap my head around the idea that I’d soon be standing on the stage with millions watching. This was not part of the plan. I was a behind-the-scenes kind of gal, not at all attracted to the limelight. So, as I pulled up to The Awards, my nerves fluttered in my stomach like butterflies. But despite my anxiety, when I last checked the mirror I didn’t look too shabby. Thank God, Michelle Obama isn’t the only one who looks perfect in a Carolina Herrera gown.

As I climbed out of the limo and walked the red carpet, waving at the crowd gathered to cheer on their favorite artists, I thought about everything that had led up to this moment and even though I was anxious on the inside, on the outside I smiled as if I weren’t the least bit concerned all while praying for two things—please, dont let me fall in front of all these people, and please, please, dont let me run into Scrooʝe.

About the Author

david-lambDavid Lamb is a native New Yorker, born and raised, bitten with the writing bug since he was in elementary school and had handwriting nobody could decipher. Like Charles Dickens, David grew up a poor boy in the big city who found that the pen really is mightier than the sword. In middle school Lamb’s hero was David Lampel whose velvet voice could be heard reporting the news over David’s grandmother’s radio. Whenever he heard him on the radio, David would substitute Lamb for Lampel and pretend he was delivering the news. Sure that he was destined to be a famous reporter David was happy to go to a high school with a journalism program. Like most kids, by the time he finished high school he had a whole new career in mind. After high school he went to Hunter College and majored in Economics because he wanted to be cool like that college kid who came to speak at his last year of high school. He was an Economics major, he was dressed sharp and above-all the girls thought he was the man! So like any unreasonable high school boy fueled by overactive hormones David figured if he majored in Economics they’d think he was cool. After finishing college David went on to law school at NYU, but all the time writing was still his heart. While working as a lawyer by day, at night he transformed into a writer and eventually wrote and produced the award-winning hit off-Broadway romantic comedy Platanos Y Collard Greens. Being a writer and having the chance make people laugh out loud while challenging them to think about the world around them, and inspire each of us to believe in the power of love and our own ability to overcome life’s challenges is a great gift that David truly enjoys and thanks you for allowing him to share with you in On Top Of The World (Until The Bell Chimes).

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS

PUYB logo

 | 
Comments Off on Excerpt – On Top of the World by David Lamb #PUYB @authordavidlamb #fiction #humor
Posted in excerpt, Fantasy, Giveaway on December 14, 2016

guardian-of-the-way

Guardian of the Way by Diane Moat

It’s been two centuries since someone murdered the last Guardian of the Way, closing off this world from the many realms of magic and fae.

Cassiopeia “Cass” Wilson is an eighteen-year-old living on her own for the first time. The only magic she’s interested in is the kind that will help her pay the bills on time. Little does she know that a trip to the hospital after a fainting spell will change her life forever.

Cass soon learns she may be fae, and everything points to her being the next Guardian of the Way. There’s just one problem: whoever—or whatever—killed the last Guardian wants Cass dead too.

Cass quickly runs into problems, and an attack by djinn is just the first. But Cass joins forces with a wrath daemon, were-creatures, and fae on a quest to reach the Lighthouse—the site of the Way.

Cass soon learns about wizards desperate to keep the Way closed to serve their dark purposes, and she comes to a crossroads: will she take the test to become the new Guardian and leave her normal life behind? Or will the Way remain closed to all who need it?

amazon

Praise for Guardian of the Way

“Cass Wilson takes us right along with her in this journey, revealing a world she never knew existed, with a diverse new tribe of companions, protectors, and friends. A must read for anyone who wonders what else is out there beyond what we can see.” by C.S.

“A strong story, full of surprises. Getting there is half the fun, but is she meant for this challenging job between many worlds? Quite worth a read.” by M. Hayden

add to goodreads

Excerpt

A massive lighthouse sits off the coast of Maine near the town of Cutler. The building has stood empty for over two-hundred years. Those who can make out the edifice view a tower of stone and paned glass unlike any other lighthouse they have ever seen. The specific dimensions are hard to determine as this structure, unlike most lighthouses, is not a single tower. Instead, it has a broader base than usual, with what appear to be turrets at the top. The construction may even consist of two buildings connected at the middle. But not many people question this odd lighthouse, or even wonder why it remains vacant.

This is because most Humans can’t actually see the Lighthouse. A few who have a drop of Fey, Were or “Other” blood may perceive an ordinary lighthouse. And some instinct guides these souls to avoid the building, though they wouldn’t be able to voice why if they were asked. True Fey, Were, Vampires, and other supernatural beings can certainly identify the building known to them as the Lighthouse, but none of them dare try to enter. Those genuine descendants know the Way is blocked, and has been for the two-hundred years the Lighthouse has stood dark.

The place has sat empty since the most recent Lighthouse Guardian died one horrible night at thepinnacle. The Guardian had only been Guardian for four-hundred years and was killed well before his time. Inside the Lighthouse lies the only permanent causeway (the “Way”) between the worlds of magic and the world of the mundane. Fey, Were, Vampires and other non-Humans, despite the barrier to journeying across from inside the Lighthouse, could still travel between these two worlds using costly magic spells—but such a trip is difficult and dangerous. The entrance to the Way closed at the time of the Guardian’s death, and neither magic nor mundane had been able to open it since.

On one late evening in particular, a large man sat under a tree just outside of Cutler, eating the stew his mate had made earlier and placed in a storage dish. The season was early fall, but already the nights had a bite to them. The man was on his third shift of watch duty in a row. He had pulled this job ten months previously and was glad the rotations were only a year long. He would be back home in Louisiana before the truly bitter winter was well underway.

The man was suddenly blinded by a light coming from the very top of the Lighthouse. The man’s reflexes were frighteningly quick, but even so he dropped his stew. Flabbergasted, he stared directly at the light for a full twenty seconds, until he no longer cared about the meal. He turned away from the brightness, and shedding his clothes, he found his legs shortening and his arms lengthening. In less than a minute, a large dark-grey Wolf shook himself once, then again. Glancing back for a final look at the Lighthouse, the Wolf began running toward the town.

He wouldn’t stop running until he was at his pack leader’s house. From there, word would spread like a virus. Everything was different now. For somewhere in this ordinary domain, two minutes before, a brand-new Guardian had been born.

 

dianeAbout the Author

When not creating fantastical worlds of young adult fiction, Diane Moat spends her time in Tennessee as an animal rescuer and nurse. Her various rescue dogs often assist her in the creative process.

Website * Facebook * Twitter

$25 Blog Tour giveaway

Blog Tour Schedule

 

amazon or paypal$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 1/1/17

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

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in Cozy, excerpt, mystery, Spotlight on December 13, 2016

book-blast-pink
self-serve-murder-book-blast-large-banner-640

self-serve-murder_cover

Book Series: Death by Cupcake, Book 3 

Genre: Cozy Mystery, Humor

Published: December, 2016

Synopsis

Kristie is kind with a capital K, so it’s quite the surprise when she wakes up next to a dead man with no recollection of the previous night. Even worse? She’s naked. Kristie may be a sweetheart out to save the world, but sticking her nose into an investigation of rapes across campus makes her the target of a murderer. Before she knows it, Callie is smack dab in the middle of a murder investigation with her colleagues Callie and Anna. If that’s not enough to drive a sane person up the wall, a friend has decided he’s going to keep her safe whether she wants him to or not. And, oh yeah, he’s her man and that’s that.

Come join us at Callie’s Cakes, where murder investigations are on the menu. You are most welcome, but you may need to serve yourself as our barista Kristie is busy trying to save the world.

Warning: Although there are plenty of moments that will make you shake your head and laugh at the antics of the ladies of Callie’s Cakes, the subject matter – rape on college campuses – is very real and somewhat darker than your usual cozy mystery.

goodreads-badge-add-plus

Amazon * Smashwords * Barnes and Noble * Kobo

Excerpt

I assumed that, as soon as we got back to my apartment, everyone would take off, and I’d be left alone to contemplate what happened. Contemplate. I snort to myself. Freak out’s more like it. Unfortunately, when I open the door and turn around to thank everyone, the men push their way in and collapse on my sofa. My sofa, heck my apartment, was not made to house the two oversized detectives.

I don’t shut the door but stand at the entrance with my mouth opening and closing in my best imitation of a fish. Think, think, think. Oh yeah, I have the perfect excuse for keeping them out. “Should you be in here? Doesn’t CSI or whatever it’s called in real life need to do their thing? Find clues or fingerprints or something?” There! That sounded reasonable. Not at all like I’m trying to kick everyone out.

Logan snorts. “You watch too much TV.”

Luckily, Ben takes pity on me and explains. “They’ve already come and gone. And even if they hadn’t, it wouldn’t matter.” The confusion must show on my face. The big detective smiles. “We were all here this morning.” I nod my head in understanding but don’t move away from the door.

Anna sits on Logan’s lap and I cringe as my sofa creaks. “You might as well shut the door and come in here.” Oh great, the troublemaker is on the case. Looks like I don’t have a choice. I shut the door and walk the short distance to my living room. I collapse in the chair across from my friends and close my eyes. Let the questions begin.

“So why were you in that bar anyway? You don’t drink. Or at least the few times we’ve gone out, we nearly had to force-feed you beer.” Callie’s voice actually sounds hurt.

I shrug and try to evade giving away the real reason for my visit to the bar. “Am I not allowed to go to a bar on a Friday night?”

“That’s not what I meant and you know it,” Callie immediately snaps. Darn it! I suck at the secret spy mission stuff.

“Sorry, I’m not feeling well.” There, that’s not a lie.

“We just need you to answer a few questions and then we’ll leave you alone,” Ben insists in a gentle but firm voice. Obviously, I’m not getting out of answering some questions and considering I woke up naked next to a dead man, I should probably be grateful I’m getting grilled by my friends instead of cuddling up to some jailbird named Bertha.

About the Author

de haggertyI grew up reading everything I could get my hands on from my mom’s Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew to Little Women. When I wasn’t flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although I did manage every once in a while to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. Another job change, this time from lawyer to B&B owner and I was again fed up and ready to scream I quit, which is incredibly difficult when you own the business. Thus, I shut the B&B during the week and in the off-season and started writing. Several books later I find myself in Istanbul writing full-time.

 

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads * Google+ * Amazon author page * Pinterest

great escape button160