Posted in Science Fiction, Trailer on June 13, 2017

Synopsis

Dejected and left to die on a desolate planet, by a heartless filthy rich ex-employer Star-Bright; an unlikely trio consisting of, a skillful re-programed humanoid sexbot, a gung-ho, trigger-happy deranged nurse, and a strong-willed refinery grunt who is learning to tackle his fears, must ally to survive against all odds. Not only do they have to worry about the poisonous atmospheric conditions, but they also have to face corporate conspiracies, renegade mercenaries and worst of all giant insect monsters!

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Posted in excerpt, Family, Giveaway, Historical, Trailer, women on May 27, 2017

BEFORE THE RAIN FALLS

by

CAMILLE DI MAIO

 

  Genre: Women’s Fiction / Historical / Family

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing

Date of Publication: May 16, 2017

Number of Pages: 334

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After serving seventy years in prison for the murder of her sister, Eula, Della Lee has finally returned home to the Texas town of Puerto Pesar. She’s free from confinement—and ready to tell her secrets before it’s too late.

She finds a willing audience in journalist Mick Anders, who is reeling after his suspension from a Boston newspaper and in town, reluctantly, to investigate a mysterious portrait of Eula that reportedly sheds tears. He crosses paths with Dr. Paloma Vega, who’s visiting Puerto Pesar with her own mission: to take care of her ailing grandmother and to rescue her rebellious younger sister before something terrible happens. Paloma and Mick have their reasons to be in the hot, parched border town whose name translates as “Port of Regret.” But they don’t anticipate how their lives will be changed forever.

Moving and engrossing, this dual story alternates between Della’s dark ordeals of the 1940s and Paloma and Mick’s present-day search for answers―about roots, family, love, and what is truly important in life.

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Praise for Before the Rain Falls

Still wiping away tears! Before the Rain Falls is simultaneously heartbreaking, hopeful, and joyous: a story of complex characters with varied pasts and bright futures. Loved it! – Jennifer B. on Goodreads

This novel takes readers on an emotional, fast-paced, ride through one sister’s journey to self, redemption, and the true meaning of “freedom.” – Nicole W. on Goodreads

There is romance, mystery, and secrets that are kept till the very end that will have you not wanting this beautifully written story to end. – Carol B. on Goodreads

Excerpt from Before the Rain Falls, Chapter One

By Camille DiMaio

The portraits were definitely not where they belonged. They had hung over the bed, side by side, the two girls immortalized by the painter at the seaside. Now there were two spots of floral wallpaper, patches of brightness surrounded by faded print on the rest of the wall.  Della’s painting was likely in the shed somewhere, and the other was said to hang in the church, in a little shrine made to the town’s beloved girl. She’d heard some nonsense about it crying. Well, if it was, there was a lot to cry about.

In the morning, she planned to go to the church itself – Our Lady of Guadalupe. Her first foray into town. She’d found an old hat with a black veil, fashionable in its time, and perfect for whatever anonymity she could retain. She did not yet know if her notorious celebrity of the forties was still of interest to anyone today, but it felt too soon to find out.

She looked forward to venturing out. To breathe in fresh air, to see the sky and the trees and the clouds and the birds. The yard at the penitentiary was vast, but surrounded by tall brick walls and taller barbed wire that blocked the scene. Besides, one had to look out, not up, and be mindful of theft from fellow inmates and groping from the restless hands of the guards. Though that last part had not been an issue for her in the past few decades.

Funny how she could view her life in ten year spans. The nineteen forties – when she learned to be a champion catcher of greased pigs. The fifties – when she discovered a love of reading. The sixties – when she sabotaged her chance at parole. And so on. How long they all were. And yet they seemed like yesterday. Time was a droll companion when looked upon with such distance.

Those were the After Days, the ones that comprised most of the years of her life. More than most people lived. The days in which her sister was no longer the belle of Puerto Pesar, drawing crowds from around the country to the little church on Sunday mornings. The days, instead, when Eula resided six feet below the parched soil in the churchyard.

Della didn’t know what to call this new time. The Freedom Days, perhaps, but that didn’t seem quite right. It wasn’t enough that she could now walk around without bars to block the view. That was only one kind of freedom.

It was the freedom in telling your secrets before it was too late. Like the confessional of her youth, whispering things to Fr. Medina that she told no one else. About how she missed her mother. Her guilt over not being a good enough caregiver for her sister. Della had a story and she was ready to tell it.

She would think of this time as the Truth Days. That was it.

The Truth Days.

And it would start by visiting Eula.

DiMaio PicCamille is an award-winning real estate agent in San Antonio who, along with her husband of 18 years, home schools their four children. She has a bucket list that is never-ending, and uses her adventures to inspire her writing. She’s lived in Texas, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California, and spends enough time in Hawai’i to feel like a local. She’s traveled to four continents (so far), and met Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II. She just about fainted when she had a chance to meet her musical idol, Paul McCartney, too. Camille studied political science in college, but found working on actual campaigns much more fun. She belts out Broadway tunes whenever the moment strikes, and forever stays up late reading “just one more chapter”. There’s almost nothing she wouldn’t try, so long as it doesn’t involve heights, roller skates, or anything illegal. “The Memory of Us” is Camille’s debut novel. Her second, “Before the Rain Falls” will be released in the spring of 2017.

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5/17 Promo Texas Book Lover
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5/20 Review Books in the Garden
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Posted in 5 paws, Giveaway, Photography, Review, Trailer on March 16, 2017

Synopsis

I have always been fascinated by the sheer beauty and diversity in Indian culture. “Sensory overload in a glance” is an apt description of a country that is always in movement. To be able to stand still in the middle of all that movement allows me to really “see” her people and absorb the flow of life from birth to death.

From learning how to make yellow ink from cow urine to watching funeral pyres burn in Varanasi, I realized that I would have to spend a lifetime here to grasp the immense value of her art, stunning architecture, fascinating food and love of all that is beautiful.

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Review

I have never been to India, but the author does a beautiful job of bringing India to me.  The colors, the hopes of the people, the way they live their lives, all of these gave me a deeper understanding of the country and its beauty.  There is even one picture that made me chuckle, it is a store with a lot of false teeth/dentures for sale.  I really love all the bright colors the women wear: to me it brings job to potentially a bleak situation.  I enjoy seeing the pictures of dogs (and other animals) and how the dogs don’t seem to have a care in the world and are sleeping right on the street with people passing them by.

The book is diverse in the images – from nature, to the majestic buildings, the poverty in places, and the people.  I think that it is very down to earth and a realistic portrayal of India and various castes.

We give this book 5 paws up and you need to pick up a copy and view the images she shares with us.

About the Author

Debra Schoenberger aka #girlwithcamera

“My dad always carried a camera under the seat of his car and was constantly taking pictures. I think that his example, together with pouring over National Geographic magazines as a child fuelled my curiosity for the world around me.

I am a documentary photographer and street photography is my passion. Some of my images have been chosen by National Geographic as editor’s favourites and are on display in the National Geographic museum in Washington, DC.  I also have an off-kilter sense of humour so I’m always looking for the unusual.

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Giveaway

Win one $25 Amazon gift card (international) – 5 other winners will receive one copy of INDIA (choice ePUB or PDF) (ends April 1, 2017)

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Posted in excerpt, Thriller, Trailer on February 12, 2017

Synopsis

THE GIRL FROM ROSTOV is a crime thriller/love story, but more importantly it is also a story of loss and the range of human emotions that a person goes through following it. The orphaned niece of a Russian gangster/international spy and arms dealer must solve the mystery of her uncle’s killer. She teams up with the son of a millionaire who has his own set of demons from the past.

* A couple of chapters in the beginning of the book are situated in Russia while most of the other scenes take place in India.

Excerpt

He stood there watching him, smoking a cigarette, silently waiting.

“Where is my money?” he asked. He spoke softly, as if scolding a child for his misbehaviour, trying not to come across as too harsh.

“I swear to you, I didn’t take it. I would never betray you,” the man sitting across from him replied. He was tied to a chair, unable to move, the rope cutting into his wrists.

He took two steps forward, towering over the man in the chair, well within his personal space. He smacked him hard across the face. The man and the chair were both knocked to the floor. He caught hold of his collar and pulled the chair with him still in it back onto its feet. He took two steps back.

“Now, shall we do this again?”

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About the Author

Shitij Sharma is a nineteen year old budding author from India.He is the author of the book – THE GIRL FROM ROSTOV. He believes that he can successfully explain the world’s current situation in this one paragraph

‘This world was a strange place to live in. It was disorderly and chaotic. Therefore, we had to find our way through this labyrinth of human emotions and actions to arrive at a place where there was some resemblance to order, order in the form of disorderly governments and a moral compass that does not always point north.’

He currently resides in New Delhi, India. He spends most of his time writing his second novel which he hopes to complete before this year is out.

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Posted in Crime, Spotlight, suspense, Trailer on February 7, 2017

Synopsis

When you’ve lost it all, how far would you go to get it back?

Bennett Covington has a good life. The support of a loving, growing family. A satisfying job. A roof over his head. Not perfect, but close enough.

Nothing lasts forever, of course. After stumbling into the middle of a back-alley murder, Bennett becomes entangled in a web of violence set in motion by members of a shadowy criminal organization.

Subjected to psychological torment, Bennett struggles to understand the depth of their evil intentions – intentions that threaten to take much more than just his life.

Through it all, one question endures: why have they taken such a keen interest in him? When he runs, they catch him. When he hides, they find him.

The only way out is to fight back.

About the Author

Chip Scarinzi is an award-winning communications executive and the author of two books. His first book, Diehards, is a work of non-fiction about sports fandom. Ghosts is his first novel. Scarinzi lives in the San Francisco Bay Area island community of Alameda with his wife and two young daughters.

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Posted in excerpt, humor, Spotlight, Trailer on January 13, 2017

Synopsis

Doesn’t it seem as if someone issues a new apocalypse prediction every week? Y2K? The Mayan apocalypse? The Rapture? Doesn’t it seem endless? As opposed to the traditional trend of post-apocalyptic literature, Apocalypse All the Time is post-post-apocalypticism.

Marshall is sick of the apocalypse happening on a weekly (if not daily) basis. Life is constantly in peril, continually disrupted, but nothing significant ever happens. The emergency is always handled. Always. Marshall wants out; he wants it all to stop…one way or another. Apocalypse All the Time explores humanity’s fascination with the end times and what impact such a fascination has on the way we live our lives.

Excerpt

Chapter One

Someone ran into the room where Marshall had been sleeping. He’d been dreaming of being pursued by robed riders on skeletal horses. One person ran into the room, and then more people followed, their steps echoing everywhere. It got louder. He opened a tired eye, but he was alone in his apartment. The rumbling continued.

Then, the building was on log rollers, rumbling back and forth. Marshall was disoriented as he lay in bed. His body, always feeling a little oversized, seemed disconnected from up or down. Rudderless.

An earthquake.

Marshall tried to remember if they were still on Earth. So many things had happened and it was di cult to keep track of everything. If he was still on earth then it was only an earthquake. Otherwise, it’d be a something else quake.

Same difference for what it meant, but the distinction seemed as important as anything else. It was at least as important as the fact it was happening, which itself wasn’t a big deal.

Marshall grabbed the side of the bed to pull himself out from under the blankets. He let his body roll onto the door and tried to stand. Nothing fell off the walls, but only because Marshall had never bothered putting anything up. He started toward his front door.

It was just the apocalypse. An earthquake apocalypse. The ground under people’s feet would betray them. Great cracks would open and swallow up men without thought, without intention. Buildings would crumble. People would die. Continents would shift. Life would change forever.

Marshall yawned. He rubbed sleep from his eyes. He ran a hand through his shaggy, black hair. Then he emerged from his apartment, sure his pale skin made him seem like a naked mole rat tentatively greeting the day.

Oh well.

In the hall, a flood of people screamed, and owed toward the stairs, pulling Marshall awkwardly along with them. He couldn’t be sure who was screaming. There were so many people everywhere. Nobody seemed to be yelling, but everybody seemed to be. It was disembodied screaming, and Marshall stopped thinking about it when he remembered he didn’t care about who it was.

The flow swept him down the cement stairs. No one took 
the elevators during an emergency. They were well trained. The flow surged Marshall downward. Some people tumbled, but only onto other people. No big problem. No one seemed to be getting crushed. There was that at least.

The mass broke outside, each out for themselves, running anywhere away from the buildings.

The open.

The instinct was to head for the open.

Marshall found himself in a nearby green space. It was like a park, but with nothing in it. Like a vacant lot, but mowed. It was probably important for something, but for the moment, Marshall thought it best for avoiding earthquake dangers.

There was a tearing sort of roar. Marshall looked up to see an apartment building separating into halves. Like a wishbone, though Marshall didn’t bother making a wish. Steel frames shrieked and twanged, snapped. Bricks crumbled to powder. The whole thing fell to the ground as if it was tired and needed to sit.

No people died though, apparently. It looked like everyone had gotten out. That was a nice thing.

Other buildings fell.

Then the shaking stopped. People looked around, Marshall along with them. Thousands of voices buzzed, probably trying to ask what was going on. Confusion. It all merged into a giant mass of noise-thought. Indistinguishable sound like listening to all the broadcast stations at once. No message remained in all the messages. Then the rumbling began again. Stronger.

A red-haired woman in a brown jumper grabbed Marshall. She pulled him down to her and jammed her tongue into his mouth, searching. Need.

Surprised, Marshall returned the rutting kiss.

The woman was short and curvy. The jumper stretched, emphasizing attractive bulges. Not that he’d had a chance to judge, but Marshall felt attracted. His instinct wasn’t to push her off.

She ground her hips into him, something to which Marshall was unaccustomed. It wasn’t like he’d never been with a girl before, only it was usually a lot more work. Meeting, expressing interest, pursuing, and mood setting. A choreographed and stylized dance. It was kind of refreshing to have one just show up.

Her hands groped at his belt. She moaned. “Come on. We don’t have much time. This could be it.”

Marshall froze, disgusted. His arousal drained. The redhead repulsed him. She smelled of saliva and sweat, though she’d smelled of sex a moment before. Her grinding now seemed like an attack, desperate. She clung like a maggot, a greasy, rotting maggot. The taste of bile rose in Marshall’s throat.

The redhead didn’t seem to notice, still humping Marshall’s leg. Maybe she didn’t care. She still pulled at his clothes, frantic. Drool leaked out one side of her mouth.

“Get me off. We’re going to die.”

Marshall broke away. Stunned, he didn’t go far. He had to get the redhead o him, get her out of his face. He couldn’t breathe.

The woman didn’t pursue. She almost didn’t pick up on his departure, instead grabbing a fat man nearby. She latched on and the fat man did the same.

“We’re going to die,” the woman shrieked as a crack tore through the green space, splitting earth, and knocking everyone o their feet. “Do it, now.”

The redhead and fat man pulled at their clothes, frenzied. As soon as a path was open, she thrust herself onto him. The fat man grunted, red-faced, and pumped furiously. They looked like pigs.

Marshall stared in horror, wishing he could look away. “Faster,” the woman screamed, “before it’s too late.”

The fat man’s flesh rolled. It jiggled and shook more than the world around them. The coarse hair on his hide was flecked with bits of white deodorant, and the scent of rotting milk wafted o of him. He groaned and squealed, frantically trying to finish. He barely seemed to notice the redhead.

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About the Author

David S. Atkinson is the author of Apocalypse All the Time (forthcoming from Literary Wanderlust), Not Quite So Stories, Bones Buried in the Dirt (2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards® finalist, First Novel (under 80,000 words)) and The Garden of Good and Evil Pancakes (2015 National Indie Excellence® Awards finalist in humor). His writing has appeared in Bartleby Snopes, Grey Sparrow Journal, Atticus Review and other literary magazines and journals.

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Posted in excerpt, nonfiction, Spotlight, Trailer on August 22, 2016

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Scapegoat cover

 

Title: Scapegoat: A Flight Crew’s Journey from Heroes to Villians to Redemption
Author: Emilio Corsetti
Publisher: Odyssey Publishing, LLC
Pages: 472
Genre: Nonfiction Narrative

Synopsis

“This is the kind of case the Board has never had to deal with-a head-on collision between the credibility of a flight crew versus the airworthiness of the aircraft.” NTSB Investigator-in-Charge Leslie Dean Kampschror

On April 4, 1979, a Boeing 727 with 82 passengers and a crew of 7 rolled over and plummeted from an altitude of 39,000 feet to within seconds of crashing were it not for the crew’s actions to save the plane. The cause of the unexplained dive was the subject of one of the longest NTSB investigations at that time.

While the crew’s efforts to save TWA 841 were initially hailed as heroic, that all changed when safety inspectors found twenty-one minutes of the thirty-minute cockpit voice recorder tape blank. The captain of the flight, Harvey “Hoot” Gibson, subsequently came under suspicion for deliberately erasing the tape in an effort to hide incriminating evidence. The voice recorder was never evaluated for any deficiencies.

From that moment on, the investigation was focused on the crew to the exclusion of all other evidence. It was an investigation based on rumors, innuendos, and speculation. Eventually the NTSB, despite sworn testimony to the contrary, blamed the crew for the incident by having improperly manipulated the controls, leading to the dive.

This is the story of an NTSB investigation gone awry and one pilot’s decades-long battle to clear his name.

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Excerpt

When TWA 841 departed JFK on April 4, 1979, no one onboard had any idea of the drama that would soon unfold. One passenger, travelling with her husband, wrote in a journal about the smooth takeoff. She had been keeping a personal journal of her travels to share with her children on her return. She documented everything down to the most inconsequential detail such as her ears popping as the aircraft climbed. Days, weeks, and years later, after TWA 841 had become the subject of one of the longest NTSB investigations in the agency’s history, investigators would scrutinize every minute of the flight in a similarly detailed manner. Much like a criminal investigation, the movements, actions, and whereabouts of each crew member were documented. Routine tasks such as when and where the meal trays were exchanged between the cockpit and cabin crew would take on added significance. Unraveling the mystery of TWA 841 was a monumental puzzle that needed to be solved. But unlike any accident investigation before or since, the same evidence investigators would use against the crew would be used by others to challenge the theories put forth by Boeing and the NTSB. Readers can draw their own conclusions as to which version is correct.

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About the Author

Emilio Corsetti IIIEmilio Corsetti III is a professional pilot and author. Emilio has written for both regional and national publications including the Chicago Tribune, Multimedia Producer, and Professional Pilot magazine. Emilio is the author of the book 35 Miles From Shore: The Ditching and Rescue of ALM Flight 980. The upcoming book Scapegoat: A Flight Crew’s Journey from Heroes to Villains to Redemption tells the true story of an airline crew wrongly blamed for causing a near-fatal accident and the captain’s decades-long battle to clear his name. Emilio is a graduate of St. Louis University. He and his wife Lynn reside in Dallas, TX.

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Posted in 5 paws, Book Release, Review, Trailer on August 16, 2016

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Synopsis

Janet Evanovich, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum series, teams up with Emmy-winning writer Phoef Sutton for a brand-new series of thrillers featuring the invincible and incompatible pairing of Knight and Moon.

Emerson Knight is introverted, eccentric, and has little to no sense of social etiquette. Good thing he’s also brilliant, rich, and (some people might say) handsome, or he’d probably be homeless. Riley Moon has just graduated from Harvard Business and Harvard Law. Her aggressive Texas spitfire attitude has helped her land her dream job as a junior analyst with mega-bank Blane-Grunwald. At least Riley Moon thought it was her dream job, until she is given her first assignment: babysitting Emerson Knight.

What starts off as an inquiry about missing bank funds in the Knight account leads to inquiries about a missing man, missing gold, and a life-and-death race across the country. Through the streets of Washington, D.C., and down into the underground vault of the Federal Reserve in New York City, an evil plan is exposed. A plan so sinister that only a megalomaniac could think it up, and only the unlikely duo of the irrepressibly charming Emerson Knight and the tenacious Riley Moon can stop it.

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Review

This is a new series coming out this summer and I finished this one very quickly. To me it reads like her Plum books, quick, funny and lots of action. I like that in a book!

Emerson is a smart, rich recluse that wants to see his gold being held by the investment firm. Riley is new that to investment firm and is assigned to watch over Emerson. I don’t think she knew what she was getting in to with that job assignment.

I loved how quirky Emerson is…from his estate, to the menagerie of animals to his meditation habits (at least we think he is meditating!). Riley is from Texas (yeah!) and just wants to do a good job and move up within the company. She is definitely not prepared for Emerson. But once she starts working with him, it turns out they are a good fit in figuring out where his gold is and the mystery behind the Grunwald family. Oh and I love that her nickname from the investment company is Moonbeam…makes her sound like a hippy and she definitely is not.

There are many characters and the book is fast paced which kept my interest from start to finish. It is definitely on par with the author’s other books and I can’t wait for a second book to come out in this new series.

We give it 5 paws up!

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, Romantic Suspense, Spotlight, Trailer, women on July 14, 2015

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Cuba Undercover

 

Happy Release Day for Cuba Undercover by Linda Bond!

Get Ready To Be Kidnapped by Sexy Hero Antonio and Head to Cuba Where the Sun Isn’t the Only Thing That’s Hot

Synopsis

Cuban-American TV reporter Rebecca Menendez’s success comes from playing by the rules. When she’s kidnapped by a fierce and intensely handsome man who needs her help, however, all of those rules seem pointless. Nothing could have prepared her for being taken hostage…or the irresistible reward if she complies: information about her long-thought dead father. Antonio Vega has spent almost every day of his adult life dreaming of revenging his father’s death. With his sister’s life and freedom in jeopardy, Antonio isn’t taking any chances. But once Rebecca and Antonio are in Cuba, they’re immersed in a world of corruption, deceit, and betrayal. It’s a deadly game…and there are no rules.

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In honor of Cuba Undercover’s release, Linda Bond is sharing one of her favorite Cuban recipes here!

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Excerpt

He stroked her cheek. “I never expected this.”

“Expected what?” Her heart sped up.

“To care.” He dragged his thumb against her bottom lip, his eyes following his movement.

A rush of excitement shimmied down her spine. “To care about what?”

“To care so much about you.” He parted her lips with his thumb. “To want you so much.”

She licked his thumb. He tasted salty. Her head spun. Now she did feel drunk. But it wasn’t from the alcohol. She was drunk with lust. Closing her eyes, she allowed the pleasure to wash over her. She sucked his thumb, longing to do the same to his rum-soaked tongue.

Yes, she was acting like a crazy woman. But she didn’t care. She’d never felt this turned on in her life. And she feared she never would again. She was in Cuba, on a farm, far away from America. Who would possibly know? It’s not like they had surveillance cameras or iPhones here. She had to explore this feeling further.

As if reading her mind, Antonio’s lips pressed against hers with a need that matched her beating heart. He tasted of the seven-year rum, which she now loved. She gave in and played with his tongue, savoring the flavor. Sucking on it softly at first, she dragged it through her teeth, wanting to, hoping to inflict the slightest bit of pain. Truth be told she wanted to hear Antonio express his needs. He was usually so locked up. She was desperate to know he longed for her the way she longed for him.

He inhaled sharply, but didn’t yell or stop her. If anything, her naughtiness provoked him further. His big hands moved down to her butt, his fingers gently caressing her there. She could only imagine what it would feel like if those long fingers stroked her underneath her thin little sundress. She willed his fingers to find their way there.

So lost in this glorious sensation, it didn’t register at first that the music had stopped. The kiss ended, and Antonio leaned away. Maybe he noticed, too? A round of applause erupted, and a few adults whistled. Oh God, was the whistle for them? She’d totally forgotten where they were. She dragged her hand across her mouth. There were kids here. Oh Lordy.

She turned around. Dallas was staring at her with his mouth wide open and his eyes full of disbelief. He had a video camera with him. Was he shooting video of her and Antonio? Holy shit. Heat blasted both her cheeks. She felt breathless, just like she had when Ignado had pressed that nasty-smelling rag against her face.

If the police ever saw her making out with her “abductor” that would shoot down any chance she had of getting back into America without repercussions. “Oh my God.” Her hand covered her galloping heart. “What the hell have I done?”

About the Author

linda bondLinda Bond is an Emmy award winning journalist by day and an author of romantic adventures by night.  She’s also the mother of five, four athletes and an adopted son from Cuba. She has a passion for world travel, classic movies, and alpha males. Linda currently lives in Florida, where the sun always shines and the day begins with endless possibilities.  You can become a Bond girl and share in her continuing adventures on her website.

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Posted in Book Blast, excerpt, Fantasy, Giveaway, Spotlight, Trailer, Young Adult on March 28, 2015

Pride2

Pride by Rosie Somers

Seventeen-year-old Gabriella Pierce is used to taking care of herself, but she’s about to become responsible for a whole lot more. When she gets a visit from three men claiming to be defenders of fantastical rings imbued with the powers of THE CARDINAL SINS, her life is changed irrevocably.

Gabby is the steward of PRIDE

To make matters worse, she’s falling hard for fellow steward, Grant Barnett, and he hates her guts. Now Gabby has to learn to protect Pride without letting her feelings for Grant get in the way.
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Praise for the Book

Iola’s Christian Reads: “Pride is aimed at the YA market, and is the first in a planned series (presumably one for each of the seven deadly sins). It incorporates elements of other well-known YA series such as Harry Potter and Divergent, (an orphan who is the ‘chosen one’ fighting the forces of evil). It has that fast pace and addictive quality which makes it hard to put down.”

“…it was thrilling enough to grab my attention and I can’t wait to continue Gabby’s story in the next installment. Rosie Somers has made it to my Author’s to watch for list!”

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Excerpt

Copyright © Rosie Somers

Gabby

The man didn’t make a sound. He stood stock still for the span of one sharp, inhaled breath, then he crumpled to the floor. After assuring herself there was no one behind him, Gabby flipped her flashlight on and knelt to give the unconscious heap at her feet her full attention. Oh God, she’d killed him. She just knew it.

Save for green streaks coursing through his thick, black hair, and a spot of blood near his temple, there wasn’t any color on him. His clothes were black, his skin winter-pale. Everything about his appearance was smooth, lean, handsome—no feature out of place. Full lips, chiseled jaw, and strikingly thick eyelashes. He was pretty, for a boy. It all fit, even the green hair. And he was still breathing. She wasn’t a murderer.

Suddenly, a strong hand gripped her forearm, and the heavy flashlight was ripped from her grasp. Wrenching free from the iron grip, she tried to turn around as she stood. Instead, she fell backward over Pretty Boy, landing hard on her butt with her legs draped over his torso.

Gabby scrambled to her feet. The moment she was steady, she broke into a run, but only made it as far as the back door before arms like steel bands wrapped around her from behind, pinning her to a rock-solid chest. She couldn’t breathe.

“We’re not here to hurt you, Gabriella,” a deep voice murmured into her ear. As if to prove the honesty of his words, the man relaxed his hold just enough for her to breathe normally.

“Yeah, right.” And her foster dad had only wanted to give her a kiss goodnight—with his tongue. Gabby knew what men were like, and she was not about to be fooled by this one. “How do you know my name?”

“It’s a long story, but we’ve been lookin’ for ya for some time now.” He had an Irish accent.

“Who are you?”

He turned their bodies back toward the unconscious man across the room. Now another guy stood over Pretty Boy. He wasseveral years older, thirty maybe. His pale blond hair was short and, even from across the room, it was clear he was much taller than her.

As Vice Guy half-carried her to the other men, a muffled moan floated up to meet them, and the guy on the floor took great care disentangling lanky limbs to pull himself to a kneeling position. He rubbed the side of his head with one hand while he used the other to brace himself against the wall. The look Pretty Boy raked over Gabby as he got up made her cringe.

The guy still holding her spoke. “If I let ya go, will ya promise not to run? We’re not goin’ to hurt ya. We’re here because we need your help.”

She believed him. Maybe because, even though she’d just clobbered his friend, he hadn’t hurt her. She nodded and was immediately released.

She turned, but the guy behind her wasn’t the giant with superhuman strength she’d imagined. Her captor was probably only a couple of years older than her, with dark auburn hair and a hint of a dimple on his right cheek. Despite the seriousness of the situation, his bright blue eyes sparkled with interest, and the corners of his lips were turned up in an amused smile.

He didn’t take his gaze off her, even when he took several steps away. Instead, he stood arms crossed, feet planted apart. Poised to give chase if she fled. Running had crossed her mind, but something compelled her to stay at least long enough to hear what they had to say.

“Well …?” She prompted with a wave of her hand that clearly said, get on with it.

The blond man cleared his throat. “Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Andrew. This is Lucas.” He motioned toward the man who’d grabbed her, then to the one she’d knocked out. “And Grant.”

Grant’s eyes were narrowed. She shifted under his scrutiny and diverted her gaze.

Andrew whispered something in his ear, and Grant looked down at his feet. Andrew continued, “We need to go.”

They were there to abduct her. At the realization, panic rose in Gabby’s chest, choking her breath into shallow threads. She threw her hands up defensively and backed away with slow, shaky steps. “I’m not going anywhere with you.”

Andrew sighed. “You may not want to now, but you will when you find out why.”

“Then tell me.”

He checked his watch, then squared his shoulders in determination. “Have you ever heard of the seven deadly sins?”

Gabby snorted. “Who hasn’t?”

“I assume you don’t realize how serious they are. We’ve spent our lives protecting humanity from the temptations and you laugh at the mention of them?” Grant’s voice was deep and forceful.

He looked as though he would have continued scolding her, but Lucas uttered a soft “Dude” and shook his head. Grant snapped his mouth shut and raised a hand to rub the back of his neck.

Lucas picked up where Andrew left off. “Do ya know much abou’ the history of the sins?”

She’d only ever heard an Irish brogue on TV. His lilting tone was soothing.

He raised an eyebrow.

Oh, he’d asked a question. What was it? Ah yes, history of the sins. Gabby shook her head.

“In the latter half of the fourth century, a monk fled Constantinople to a small monastery in Egypt. There, he penned a list of eight sins which he referred to as the Temptations of Man: Pride, Avarice, Acedia, Gluttony, Impurity, Anger, Sadness, and Vainglory.”

He took a few steps back and leaned against the wall, then continued, “For two centuries, almost all of those not involved with that particular monastery thought the list of Temptations was nothing more than the opinion of one monk, a suggestion of how to lead a good Christian life. Then, sometime around five-ninety A.D., Pope Gregory the First came across a collection of rings tha’ had been housed by this monastic order in utter secrecy. They considered them so powerful only the handler was permitted near them, just one specific monk who devoted his life to ensurin’ no one else came into contact with the Temptations.”

“Listen guys, much as I appreciate the history lesson, I’ve got work in …”she made a show of checking her non-existent watch, “a few hours, so I really hope you’re getting to a point.” This earned her a leveling glare from Grant.

“Pope Gregory had the rings studied and discovered they were in fact imbued with special properties. It seemed they had the power to influence people toward certain … well … temptations,” Andrew replied.

What asylum had these guys broken out of? Did they actually believe this nonsense they were spouting? “Seriously, jewelry that makes people sin? Right.” Gabby moved to her bag and gathered her clothing, making sure to keep the men in her line of sight.

Lucas reached into his shirt and pulled out a chain. He slipped it free of his neck and dangled it from the tips of two fingers. Swinging like a pendulum at the bottom of that chain was a brilliant, red ring.

“What is that?” She already knew the answer.

Lucas took several slow steps in her direction and extended his arm toward her. She clenched her fists and bit down on her tongue to keep from yelling at the men. How dare they sneak into her makeshift home, intruding into her life, practically scaring her to death. Now, they were feeding her this absurd story about sin-possessed rings and crazy monks.

The closer he got, her anger went from muted seething to barely-contained rage. The more she thought about it, the more she wished she was still in possession of her Maglite so she could hit him with it, and maybe again after that. When Lucas was little more than five feet from her, he winked and reversed direction. With each step he took away from her, the violent feelings receded.

“Anger,” Gabby answered her own question.

“Anger,” Andrew affirmed. “Lucas is the steward. I’m the steward of Pride, Grant of Envy.”

Grant’s eyes narrowed at her, while Andrew pulled a matching chain from beneath his own T-shirt and let the attached orange ring fall to rest against his chest. Something about Andrew’s ring was different though. Sure, power emanated from it, too, but she wasn’t experiencing pride. This power was different. It tingled—almost like static electricity.

After slipping the chain back over his head and tucking it under his neckline, Lucas picked up his story from where he’d left off. “Each of the rings has the ability to influence people toward a particular sin. Pope Gregory discovered which ones led to which temptation and labeled them accordingly. As a result, the original list of temptations was amended. It came to be known as the seven deadly sins.”

That was why the list Lucas spouted earlier didn’t sound right.

“The rings didn’t create the sins, of course. They just have the power to promote that particular feeling or action. Each sin has two rings and two custodians.” Lucas was matter-of-fact.

“What, like a janitor?”

He shook his head, but didn’t otherwise acknowledge her interruption. “The stewards are bound to their particular ring, can sense it, can control its influence over others.”

“How come I’ve never heard of these … stewards?”

“We exist in secret. If the world knew about us and the sins, all hell would break loose. We are not equipped to deal with that,” Grant answered in a tone that clearly said she should already know the answer.

“I still don’t understand what any of this has to do with me.” Were they ever going to get to the point?

Lucas took a tentative step toward her. “You’re the other steward of Pride, Gabriella.”

 

 

About the Author

Rosie Somers is a YA author who lives in Florida, soaking up the year round sunshine. She can often be found in her favourite spot on her favourite beach, nose-deep in a good book.

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