Haunted Love

March 26th, 2015

 

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About the Book:

My name is Thea Bell and I was murdered.

I always assumed that death was the end. So when my life was cruelly taken away from me, I never thought I would get a second chance to say what I needed to.

But then I was given a choice, a choice that allowed me to see the people I had left behind, and I knew I had to take it.

I wanted to say a proper goodbye. I needed justice for what happened to me.

But even in death, things rarely go to plan.

I never expected to meet him. I didn’t anticipate falling in love. I hadn’t considered the repercussions of coming back. I never realized I would put another person in danger.

I didn’t know my actions were going to haunt us forever.

My name is Detective Aiden Mercer, and I think I have gone insane.

I am seeing the murder victim of my current case alive and in the flesh, and that is simply not possible.

I can see her, hear her, touch her. She’s real to me, however I know this cannot be real. Right?

But try telling my heart that, because as I grow closer to catching Thea’s killer, I also fall deeper into trouble.

Because love is rarely anything but trouble and I know this love will haunt me forever

 Excerpt:

I leave Aiden scanning over the boxes, moving back through my house and taking time to look over the photos I have hanging up. It’s strange how I had them along my walls, in my eye line for years yet never took the time to look at them. I used the photos as decoration instead of a reminder of the good times I shared with friends and family as well as the few amazing places I got to visit.

I take my time now, smiling at the memories sparked of Flynn, laughing at the reminders of the fun times we shared and yearning for the places I will never get to visit. I had a list of countries and activities I wanted to do for my summer vacation. I wanted to take at least one trip every summer and slowly work away at the list. Now I’ll never get to see any of those places, never have the chance to skydive in New Zealand, eat gelato in Italy, or go skiing in Switzerland. The most exciting thing I managed is a school field trip to New Orleans where we toured the main tourist destinations, and I ate beignets and gumbo.

I shake my head, slowly moving through the lower level of my house, checking over the mess made from the forensics people who appear to have coated every surface looking for foreign fingerprints. I don’t find anything suspicious here or out of place. There is nothing I can see that is missing, and nothing screams to me that there is a clue here. While I’m disheartened to still have nothing to give Aiden to go on, I stare up my staircase, knowing I will need to check up there, too.

With each step, my legs grow heavier. Soon, I’m dragging my feet. I purposely check every other room, leaving my bedroom for last. I’m dreading what will happen when I glance back inside that room. I feel ill as I approach the still ajar door.

I know I need to get this over with. I might remember something about the murderer in there. If anything is going to be amiss that might help us figure out who my killer is, it will be in my bedroom.

But how am I supposed to enter the room where I lost my life?

The room where I was beaten and violated?

Even if it means catching my killer, can I face what I might see in there? Do I really want that memory etched into my brain? Isn’t already having a good idea what I went through bad enough?

Then again, what if he is out there right now, terrorizing other women? What if my reluctance to walk into this room means another person will lose their life?

I take a deep breath, my hand reaching out to push the door open.

“You don’t have to go in there,” Aiden tells me.

I glance over my shoulder, seeing both worry and fury in his eyes. “I do.” I sound more sure then I feel, but I force my feet forward. Within two steps, I am standing inside my bedroom.

About the Author:

Jessica Frances was born and raised in South Australia, quite possibly born with a book in her hand already. An avid reader her whole life, a pen finally appeared in her hand and she began her journey writing her own stories. The voices in her head have not slowed down and hopefully they never will.

House Divided

March 25th, 2015

House Divided (1)

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house dividedHouse Divided

There is a law irrevocably decreed in the state of Alabama that you must choose a team. You’re either an Auburn fan or an Alabama Fan. There is no fence sitting or waffling. It’s one or the other. However, it doesn’t mean that you can’t fall in love with someone from the opposing side. They even have a name for it … House Divided.

Ellie Eaton and Brady Jackson were just such a couple, but unfortunately they were separated by more than just their loyalty to a university. Against the odds and against the rules, Ellie and Brady dove right into the forbidden current of friendship and then love. Their sweet, innocent romance was one for the storybooks, but old rules and family prejudices ultimately tore them apart, just as they were each ready to depart to their beloved universities, Ellie to Auburn and Brady to Alabama. But years later, when near tragedy strikes, they’re brought together again and given a second chance at love, this time with help from some very unlikely sources.

House Divided is a sweet romance filled with southern charm, a dash of humor and, for good measure, a pinch of lies and intrigue.

AMAZON

Excerpt from book

Wait, Ellie.”

“What, Brady?”

“Can we please talk?”

“I don’t think there’s anything else left to say, Brady.”

“Ok, Ellie, but if you think I’m going to let you walk out of my life again without a fight, then you have another thing coming, so saddle up, Ella Lu Eaton.”

“Brady!”

“Goodnight, Ellie.” And just like that he hung up.

He was on my ever living last nerve tonight. Well, you have another thing coming, Brady Jackson. “And by the way, I didn’t walk out of your life in the first place. You pushed me!” I don’t know why I said that out loud, it wasn’t like he could hear me.

I stomped up the stairs and took a long, hot bath. As I lay there soaking, I tried not to think of that fool. Who did he think he was, telling me to saddle up? Well, cowboy, you better hold on to your hat because I have no intention of losing this rodeo.

Praise for the Book

“House Divided was one of those books that made me want to ignore my children, my to-do list, my need for food, and pretty much anything else that would keep me from reading. Jennifer Peel has a real gift for depicting first love, heartbreak, and hope.”

“A tender, soft, story that truly is a gem to read.”

“Ms. Peel has created a story that stands as a tribute to true southern gentility, it’s foibles and strengths. Truly a beautiful read that gives heart and meaning to true devotion. She truly knows how to weave a story that has beauty and true southern charm.”

 

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Jennifer Peel HeadshotAuthor Jennifer Peel

I’m a Colorado native who currently calls Alabama home. I’m the mother of three amazing children who have grown up way too fast. I enjoy the mountains, vacations at the beach, date night with my husband, late night talks with my kiddos, touring model homes, and pink bubblegum ice cream.

I grew up on the Western Slope in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. I learned to love the beauty of the outdoors, but not camping–unless staying overnight at the Marriott counts. I met my husband while living in Denver and then several years later we traded the beauty and majesty of the Colorado Rocky Mountains for the art and culture of Chicago, Illinois. My family and I enjoyed living near this world class city, despite the crazy cold winters, but new adventures awaited in Northern Alabama–just six hours away from Orange Beach, Alabama. These three magical places (the Colorado Rocky Mountains, Chicago, and Orange Beach) are the inspired locations used in several of my books.

Website * Facebook * Twitter

Jennifer Peel

 

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

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half-life

March 19th, 2015

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1Title: Half-Life

Author: Tina Ferraro

Publisher: Leap Books

Description: Half a life is not worth living.

Probably not a good idea to take advice from your dead twin sister. High school sophomore Trisha Traynor and friends have played the Halloween mirror game for years, the one that’s supposed to show a glimpse of the guy they’ll marry. But no one’s ever seen anything.

Until tonight—when Trisha is gob smacked by the candlelit arrival of her long-deceased twin sister, instead of her crush, Kirk Maxwell.

In a voice and vision that only Trisha can hear and see, Chessie claims to be back on a compassionate journey. Trisha fears she’s gone nuthouse crazy. But she nonetheless follows the instructions Chessie outlines in their nightly conversations, until she finds herself stepping across some ethical lines, and probably ending all chances with Kirk.

When a sisterly showdown ensues, resulting in the shattering of the mirror, Chessie’s gone again, and a heartsick Trisha sets about righting her recent wrongs. That is, until she stumbles upon the real reason Chessie had come back and the most important glimpse yet that the mirror could never predict.

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tn3Author Bio:  Tina Ferraro been writing since she learned to hold a pencil, and sold upwards of a hundred short stories to national magazines before turning to novels. She is the author of three Random House novels, The ABC’s of Kissing Boys, How to Hook a Hottie and Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress, which have received distinctions such as the ABA Book Sense Award and two RITA nominations.

Her fourth YA, The Starter Boyfriend, has spent time on Amazon’s Top 100 Lists. She lives in Los Angeles with her rocket scientist husband, two cats and whichever of their three young adult children is in town. When not writing, she enjoys playing Facebook Scrabble, swimming, and chasing coyotes out of her neighborhood.

Twitter ♦ Facebook ♦ Website

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“Look, I don’t like you threatening me. I don’t like that I can’t tell Mom about you. I don’t like a lot of stuff right now.” When my ghost of a sister didn’t respond, my voice went into a full-tilt tremble. “So you can take your I-know-everything attitude and just shove it!”
I slammed the mirror closed, half-thinking we both needed to cool down, that we’d talk again. Tomorrow night. Or maybe the next.
Then the reality of what I might have done – permanently ending our conversations – crashed in on me. I pitched the compact across the room. It smashed against a drawer and fell in a quieter ka-plunk upon the carpet.

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Just Pru

March 8th, 2015
Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Date Published: March 2, 2015
When twenty-five-year-old Pru Anderson—braless, pajama-clad, and clutching her cat, Chuck—is rescued from her burning Los Angeles apartment, the thing that scares her most is meeting the neighbors. New people make her hide in the bathroom, counting by sevens, but when her home is destroyed, she must turn strangers into friends …  or crawl back to the controlling parents she only recently escaped. 


What would her idol, Pepper Hathaway, do? That’s a no brainer: the detective-slash-supermodel heroine from Pru’s favorite TV series would take no prisoners while looking fierce in a tankini and stilettos. So when the chance comes up to live with playwright Ellen, Pru sets aside her fears and goes for it.

Thus begin the adventures a girl who’s never had a job, a friend, or a first kiss. Swept into Ellen’s whirlwind life, Pru begins to build her own, as director’s assistant for a new play, muse to brooding actor Blake, and possible love interest to adorably neurotic neighbor, Adam.

Only one thing can derail Pru’s exhilarating journey. Well, actually, it’s two things—and they’re in a car headed straight for LA to torpedo her life. When the past that nearly destroyed her comes calling, who will she be: a Prudence or a Pepper?

Early Reviews of Just Pru

“Just Pru is a laugh out loud, heartwarming story ….Pfeffer does an amazing job with Pru’s character…. The supporting cast is … easy to fall in love with and to cheer for….” 5 Stars
The Self-Publishing Review
 
“A five star read all the way…. a happy, funny tragicomedy of errors with a cast of delightful neurotics.”  Literary homebody.com
 
“Pru is hilarious….. Totally a perfect story, IMO. How often does that happen? Like never.” 5 stars Candacesbookblog.com
 
EXCERPT

Chapter One

From Pru’s Journal:

How can you know if you’re normal when you’re always alone? You have no one to compare yourself to. I mean, I have my mom and dad, and I’m pretty normal compared to them. But then… a lot of people are normal compared to them.

 

**

As the rich CaraMellow ice cream slipped along my tongue, I popped a few potato chips in my mouth for contrast. Ah, the soothing combination of sweet, salt, cream, and crunch.

No good. Its magic wasn’t working.

Shifting my size 16 tush around on the sofa, I focused on the TV. It played an old episode from Model Cop, my favorite show ever on the Wholesome Family Channel.

Today, the show’s awesome heroine, Pepper Hathaway, was tracking down a serial killer in between fittings for a runway show at Fashion Week. It was hard to juggle her two jobs as a police detective and supermodel, but she excelled at both. Pepper ended every episode with a wink to the camera and her life motto: Remember, folks. Do Good, Look Good!

She was amazing.

I sighed. I bet Pepper didn’t get job rejections like the one I’d had today. Dear Loser, the letter said. We are relieved to say we cannot offer you the position of Low-Level Proofreading Gnome at our crummy little start-up online encyclopedia. No matter how unknown and undesirable our company is, you are more so.

Sincerely,

Executive Drone

Okay, so they didn’t use those exact words, but it’s what they meant. As I lifted my spoon, caramel dribbled down the front of my flannel nightgown. I scraped it off with a potato chip and ate it.

Mmraow. My cat emerged from one of his many hiding places. I suspected he hid on purpose, just to annoy me. “Hey, Chuck-Chuck.” I scratched his orange-and-white striped back. It lasted only a few seconds. Done with human contact, Chuck strolled away, tail in the air.

On the TV, Pepper was returning home to her elegant apartment in the Big City. Hey, girlfriend, she called out to her funny, devoted homosexual roommate Tad. They sat down and sipped Chardonnay. She was so cool.

I bet Pepper could pay her rent. I bet she didn’t run out of money just two months after moving into her place. I could justify having bought a used car, but perhaps the fifty-inch flat-screen TV had been excessive. Then there were those unfortunate yard sale purchases, but I had needed furniture, after all. I needed that Victorian-style vanity and the faux-leather recliner.

I could still hear my father’s voice, cool and cutting. You won’t last a month in Los Angeles. Mark my words, you’ll be back in Oregon before you know it.

Well, ha ha on him, I’d lasted two months now.

And ha ha on me, because I didn’t know if I could last a third.

Tears prickled the backs of my eyes. I wished I could talk to Dr. Abbot, my wonderful therapist back in my hometown of Clayton. He had died unexpectedly last week. I’d hardly left my apartment since I’d gotten the news.

On the TV, Pepper was modeling her latest fashion purchases for Tad. I scraped the bowl with my spoon while contemplating her minuscule waistline. Was that real or digitally enhanced? Could a person’s body organs really fit into such a tiny space?

Not mine—I was sure about that. My body organs undoubtedly filled giant caverns, which was why I’d been blessed with my five foot ten inch, big-boned body.

A ringing began—yet another fire alarm. Great. We’d had two go off already this month, I thought grumpily, and they’d turned out to be cases of burned toast—a total waste of time.

I struggled up from horizontal, made my way to the living room window, and peered out. It was 8:00 on a June evening. It had just turned dark. Below loomed the building’s quiet, empty courtyard.

Just as I thought—no flames, no people fleeing for their lives.

The sofa called to me, yet the alarm blared on.

I should probably investigate, even though it meant I might have to talk to someone. And for what was probably a false alarm. I stumbled to my bedroom dresser and wrestled a pair of plain white panties up under my nightie. Where had I thrown my bra? When you’re a size 36D, you do not venture forth into public without one.

My eyes swept my twin-sized bed, the flowered rug, the vanity whose drawers I used to store cat toys. No bra to be seen.

Feet thudded down my hallway.

WHOMP! A fist hit my front door.  “Vacate the building now! Everyone out!” The man’s voice resounded through my door, then grew fainter as he moved away from me.

In an instant, sweat beaded my forehead. Vacate the building?

A siren, then others, wailed from the street. A megaphone-amplified voice blared from outside. “Immediate evacuation is required.”

“Chuck!” I shrieked. That ingrate. He’d probably hidden from me again. I dropped to my belly and crawled commando-style around the bedroom, checking under the bed and dresser. No sign of his malevolent green-eyed gaze. I checked the open laundry hamper. He wasn’t there either.

Outside, shouts and cries came to me from a distance, sirens grew louder, and banging noises intensified. I rushed again to the open living room window. Spotlights now lit the courtyard below, which had transformed into a disaster scene. Groups of people milled behind barricades. Firefighters twice the size of ordinary humans unfurled hoses and set ladders up against walls, while smoke drifted from some windows on the fourth floor, where I was.

Holy moley! Were we really on fire?

 

 


 

Silk

March 5th, 2015

Mystery / Suspense / Thriller

Date Published: December 14, 2015
Silk on the skin—luxurious, luscious..lethal.

London-Fall, 1888

The city is in a panic as Jack the Ripper continues his murderous spree. While the Whitechapel police struggle to find him, Detective Inspector Rudyard Bloodstone and his partner are working feverishly to find their own serial killer. The British Museum’s beautiful gardens have become a killing ground for young women strangled as they stroll through.

Their investigation has them brushing up against Viscount Everhard, a powerful member of the House of Lords, and a friend to Queen Victoria. When the circumstantial evidence  points to him as a suspect, Rudyard must deal with the political blowback, and knows if they are going to go after the viscount, they’d better be right and have proof.

As the body count grows and the public clamor for the detectives to do more, inter-department rivalries complicate the already difficult case. 

Chris Karlsen

I was born and raised in Chicago. My father was a history professor and my mother was, and is, a voracious reader. 

I grew up with a love of history and books.

Website: http://chriskarlsen.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chriskarlsenwriter

Any Others: http://www.pinterest.com/chriskarlsen/

Giveaway:
 
Please notate that the Author Will Choose a Random Winner of a Kindle Copy and $15 Gift Card from comments left during the tour.  So be sure to leave a comment!!

 

Liar’s Inc.

March 2nd, 2015
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Liars, Inc.Synopsis 
 

For fans of Gone GirlI Hunt Killers, and TV’s How to Get Away with Murder.

Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of the truth, so when the opportunity arises to sell forged permission slips and cover stories to his classmates, it sounds like a good way to make a little money and liven up a boring senior year. With the help of his friends Preston and Parvati, Max starts Liars, Inc. Suddenly everybody needs something and the cash starts pouring in. Who knew lying could be so lucrative?

When Preston wants his own cover story to go visit a girl he met online, Max doesn’t think twice about hooking him up. Until Preston never comes home. Then the evidence starts to pile up—terrifying clues that lead the cops to Preston’s body. Terrifying clues that point to Max as the murderer.

Can Max find the real killer before he goes to prison for a crime he didn’t commit? In a story that Kirkus Reviews called “Captivating to the very end,” Paula Stokes starts with one single white lie and weaves a twisted tale that will have readers guessing until the explosive final chapters.

For more information, check out THE OFFICIAL LIARS, INC. WEBSITE.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY

 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Paula Stokes writes stories about flawed characters with good hearts who sometimes make bad decisions. She’s the author of several YA novels, most recently Liars, Inc. and The Art of Lainey. Her writing has been translated into nine foreign languages. Paula loves kayaking, hiking, reading, and seeking out new adventures in faraway lands She also loves interacting with readers. Find her online at authorpaulastokes.com or on twitter as @pstokesbooks.

INSTAGRAM: https://instagram.com/pstokesbooks/

Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter
 
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2 Signed Copies of Liars, INC. by Paula Stokes.

2 Mini Swag Packs. Includes (2 Signed Bookmarks, 1 Magnet, 1 Signed Bookplate)

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Blood Soaked Ashes

March 2nd, 2015

 

 

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

BLOOD SOAKED ASHES
Eramane #2
Author: Frankie Ash
Release Date: January 21st, 2015

SYNOPSIS:

A legion from across the sea wants her dead.

The man she loves would die a thousand deaths to keep her alive.

The demon she fears would cover the lands in blood-soaked ashes to have her again.

Eramane is learning to accept her new life, a life that demands much from her. She is a Breather, and she has no idea how to be one. But when Eramane learns that a passage she opened between her world and the Reach cannot be closed, she will find herself on a treacherous journey searching for dangerous allies.

In the north are the Cloud Walkers; across the South Sea is a kingdom with a massive army. Both could end up destroying her and all that she loves, if the demon she thought was dead doesn’t do it first.

 

10′s List from Frankie Ash

10 best characteristics of an antagonist

  1. Motivated
  2. Relentless
  3. Intelligent
  4. Dedicated
  5. Manipulative
  6. Ambitious
  7. Hot
  8. Anchored
  9. Frightening
  10.  Vengeful

 

 BOOK LINKS

Amazon |B&N| Goodreads

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B&N

Goodreads

My Thoughts:

To begin with, the title sold me.  I think that too often a title falls flat and doesn’t do the story any justice, not the case with BLOOD SOAKED ASHES.  The cover had the same effect.  I am usually pretty sold by a good cover, pathetic, I know.  I often will return to the cover to see if I think it matched the story well.  I really liked the clean look and color contrast of the cover.  Sometimes it can be too easy to get carried away or have a cover look like all the other books on the shelf, BLOOD SOAKED ASHES definitely stands out.

The story was very captivating.  I liked how the characters became very familiar, almost real.  It had a lot going on, but not to the point of confusion.  Rather, there was never a lull in the storyline and before I knew it, I was on the last page.  It is refreshing to have so much story packed into the pages without it going over the top and becoming inappropriate for all audiences.  This book could easily be recommended to the younger teens and is still enough to entertain the more mature reader.

I do believe that I will read again after I go back and read ERAMANE, the first book in the series.  I don’t often like to read books out of series, given that I haven’t read them one right after another, it was still a good read and did well on its own.  I think going back to ERAMANE will help clarify and questions I may have had with BLOOD SOAKED ASHES.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

10653866_1539217159646977_2543125529611405524_nFrankie Ash lives in Northern Virginia. She is pursuing a master’s in English and wrote ERAMANE (Archway Publishing) and BLOOD SOAKED ASHES (both available online wherever books are sold.)

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

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Murder, Mystery & Dating Mayhem Cover Reveal

February 21st, 2015

 

Humorous Chick Lit with a dash of Murder/Mystery
Date Published: March 1, 2015
My name is Izzy. I drink too much, am clumsier than a newborn foal, and my brain-to-mouth filter often malfunctions. My daredevil husband killed himself in a parachuting accident five years ago and my best friend Jack has decided it’s time I jump back in the dating pool. He’s perfectly happy to throw me in if I don’t listen. Just when things in the dating world start to heat up, my grandma dies. Only her knitting group of Jessica Fletcher wannabes is sure it’s murder. I’m not convinced but I’m always up for a bit of excitement as long as it doesn’t lead to a night in jail. Well, more than one night anyway. Will I miss my chance at love because I’m chasing imaginary killers? Did someone really kill grandma or am I and my merry band of geriatric thieves imagining things? 
 
EXCERPT:

The first ‘date’ starts off well. His name is Ed. He’s not drooling or anything, is talking to me and not my boobs, and seems to be interested in my graphic design work. Maybe Jack was right after all. I need to get myself back into the dating game.

“So,” Ed says after we’ve exchanged the usual pleasantries and some small talk. He leans forward and starts to whisper. “How do you feel about whips and chains?”

Not the appropriate moment to be sipping my wine, but how could I have expected that! I choke and spit a bit of wine into Ed’s face, which seems to excite him. He wiggles his eyebrows. “I take it that’s a yes?” He asks eagerly.

“Um no. That’s a definite no. N.O.” I lift my glass and down the remainder of my wine. The bell rings and I yell loudly “Next!”

Ed looks disappointed as he walks to the next table, but I’ve got my eyes on the prize. A cocktail waitress is headed my way. I snag another glass of wine before turning to my next date. Oh dear lord! The man is older than grandma. He struggles to lower himself in the chair opposite mine.

There goes that annoying bell again. Time to put my game face on. I smile and decide that I’ll check this guy out for grandma. She could use a date. Although to be perfectly honest, I don’t remember her going out with a man – ever. There’s no time like the present.

The old man’s name is Wilbert and the five minutes pass pleasantly enough – as long as I pretend he’s dating grandma and not trying to pick me up. When the bell rings again, I rush from my chair to help Wilbert stand. I take his elbow and guide him to his next date – a girl that could be his great granddaughter.

I sit back down and gather my courage for my next winner. I try to smile at the guy across from me, really I do. But have you ever tried to smile at a man with the biggest comb over ever? Let me tell you, it’s not easy. I may be grimacing a tiny bit.

Mr. Combover leans over and leers at me. Yes, leers at me! His eyes are surgically attached to my boobs. True, I have good boobs, but maybe pay a bit of attention to the person attached to the boobs?

Finally done leering, he leans back and takes in my face. “You’re not the youngest anymore.” Really? That’s the first thing Mr. Combover is going to say?

“I could say the same about you,” I respond in my nasty voice. The voice I’d perfected from nagging my lazy butt husband.

Mr. Combover clears his throat and leans in again. I bend backwards as far as possible in my chair, but he’s undeterred. “So, I’m just gonna get this out there and not waste my time.” At this point, I should raise one eyebrow, but, as we’ve established, I can’t do that so I just stare at him. “Do you put out? ‘Cuz if not, I ain’t got time for you.”

Oh no, he didn’t. “What,” I sputter and grab for my wine glass, which I down in one go. Never said I was a classy lady.

“Do. You. Put. Out?” Yes, he really enunciates it like I didn’t understand him the first time.

      

I was born and raised in Wisconsin, but think I’m a European. After spending my senior year of high school in Germany, I developed a bad case of wanderlust that is yet to be cured. My flying Dutch husband and I have lived in Ohio, Virginia, the Netherlands, Germany and now Istanbul. We still haven’t decided if we want to settle down somewhere – let alone where. Although I’ve been a military policewoman, a commercial lawyer, and a B&B owner, I think with writing I may have finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up. That’s assuming I ever grow up, of course. Between tennis, running, traveling, singing off tune, drinking entirely too many adult beverages, and reading books like they are going out of style, I write articles for a local expat magazine and various websites, review other indie authors’ books, write a blog about whatever comes to mind and am working on my fifth book.

Waiting on Wednesday: Skin Of My Teeth by Judith Graves

December 17th, 2014

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY

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SKIN OF MY TEETH (Skinned Book 3 – Volume 1)

Published by Leap Books, LLC

To be released 12/23/14

Add to Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3166590.Judith_Graves

Read an excerpt on WATTPAD: http://www.wattpad.com/user/JudithGraves

SUMMARY:

HOW TO PLAY

· draw a card from the deck

· kill or be killed

· and if you’re lucky, repeat…

Hidden agendas, deep, dark secrets, and monsters lurking around every locker. It’s business as usual at Redgrave High for Eryn and her crew of paranorm hunters – they plan to capture and cure Brit’s brother from his tormented existence, Eryn is reunited with her father’s beta, and Redgrave’s origins are revealed.

Although the two guys vying for Eryn’s heart just might have to up their game. Enter hot, wolven guy stage left. Is he the one Alec’s blood magic foretold? He is, if Eryn’s knocking pulse has anything to say about it. The tale-tell sound is driving Wade mad. But it’s Eryn’s move, and everyone is holding their breath.

A little healthy competition soon becomes all-out survival of the fittest as the crew are pitted against a pack of demons trading souls – for keeps. The student population is enamored with a new card game, Boroughs Quest. Kids are desperate to get their hands on gilded cards from a mysterious expansion deck, but when they do…

It’s all fun and games ’til somebody dies. 

 

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Judith Graves has multiple young adult novels and short stories published with Leap Books, Orca Book Publishers, Compass Press, and, under the pen name, Judith Tewes, is also published with Bloomsbury Spark. In addition, Judith is an award-winning screenwriter and playwright, writes freelance articles for literary magazines, and facilitates writing workshops for both adults and young adults. She lives in northern Alberta with her husband and three crazy labs.

Stalk Judith at:

https://www.judithgraves.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/judithgraveswrites

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/judithgraveswri/

Twitter: @judithgraves

Botticelli’s Bastard

December 9th, 2014

Botticelli's Bastard

 

Book Synopsis:

Art restorer Giovanni Fabrizzi is haunted by an unsigned renaissance portrait. Obsessed to learn the truth of its origin, he becomes increasingly convinced the painting could be the work of one of history’s greatest artists, which if true, would catapult its value to the stratosphere. But in learning of the painting’s past, he is faced with a dilemma. He believes the portrait was stolen during the greatest art heist in history—the Nazi plunder of European artwork. If true and a surviving relative of the painting’s rightful owner were still alive, Giovanni, in all good conscience, would have to give up the potential masterpiece. His obsession with the portrait puts a strain on his new marriage, and his son thinks his father has lost his mind for believing an unremarkable, unsigned painting could be worth anyone’s attention. Regardless, Giovanni persists in his quest of discovery and exposes far more truth than he ever wanted to know.

Stephen Maitland-LewisAuthor’s Bio

Stephen Maitland-Lewis is an award-winning author, a British attorney, and a former international investment banker. He held senior positions in the City of London, Kuwait, and on Wall Street before moving to California in 1991. He owned a luxury hotel and a world-renowned restaurant and was also the Director of Marketing of a Los Angeles daily newspaper. Maitland-Lewis is a jazz aficionado and a Board Trustee of the Louis Armstrong House Museum in New York. A member of PEN and the Author’s Guild, Maitland-Lewis is also on the Executive Committee of the International Mystery Writers Festival.

His novel Hero on Three Continents received numerous accolades, and Emeralds Never Fade won the 2012 Benjamin Franklin Award for Historical Fiction and the 2011 Written Arts Award for Best Fiction. His novel Ambition was a 2013 USA Best Book Awards and 2014 International Book Awards finalist and won first place for General Fiction in the 2013 Rebecca’s Reads Choice Awards. Maitland-Lewis and his wife, Joni Berry, divide their time between their homes in Beverly Hills and New Orleans.

Photo credit: Nathan Sternfeld
Connect with Stephen: Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter
 Where to buy the book: 

Guest Post:

Going Back in Time

By Stephen Maitland-Lewis, author of Botticelli’s Bastard

If I could go back in time to anywhere, I would have a hard time choosing between two particular destinations. My first choice would be 1920-1929, and in the United States. The second, equally alluring, would be Venice during the Renaissance. For a very limited sojourn, of course. Perhaps for just one day and night!

The uniqueness of the city-state, the splendor of the views, the elegance of the couture, the joie de vivre of the population, the gastronomic brilliance, and the ability to meet with all manner of artists who became legendary old master painters, would make a visit to Venice at this time – the Renaissance – fascinating. One might meet Casanova over an aperitif, the Doge over pasta marinara, and Botticelli over Chianti, in any of the bars in Piazza San Marco.

A stay longer than 24 hours in the city-state of Venice, or anywhere for that matter during this time, would not be appealing to anyone who has been spoiled by the creature comforts of the 20th and 21st Centuries. Hot and cold running water, sanitation, refrigeration, communication, medication, safe drinking water, are all aspects of life that we now take for granted. It would be difficult to adjust, other than for a very short period, to a lifestyle without them.

Europe, pursuant to the First World War, was depressed as a result of the carnage, inflation, and general strikes. The United States – notwithstanding, or maybe because of prohibition – was alive with exciting music, Broadway, nightlife, and the emergence and expansion of the movie industry. For many, it was party time up until the Wall Street crash. I think I’d want to leave, however, on October 28th, 1929, before the events of “Black Tuesday” plunged the country, and the entire western hemisphere, into the depths of the Great Depression.

My Thoughts:

I think that anytime you can pick up a book and not really know whether or not you are going to like and start to read it and end up surprised, you’re holding a pretty good book!  The author has a unique way of captivating the reader and incorporating several levels of intrigue.  It’s a little different, but I think that most readers will be glad they took the time to step into a unique writing.  It was a little difficult to find the right words to review, I don’t want to give away too much!

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