Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Day #4: Audio Book Worm Tour - HOME FIRES


Today I'm visiting Turning Another Page on Day 4 of the HOME FIRES blog tour. This blog is featuring a spotlight of my World War Two war bride novella, giveaway and the narrator interview. If you haven't read Steve Wojtas's interview, stop by today and check it out. Steve is a multi-talented person - a narrator, an actor (he's appeared on Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D.) and he's also an aspiring author. I'm pleased he was able to narrate two books for me!

Actor, narrator and author Steve Wojtas

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Day #3: HOME FIRES on tour!


Day 3 of HOME FIRE'S audio book tour with Audio Book Worm and I'm making two stops:

The Book Junkie Reads - spotlight and giveaway

Romance Novel Giveaways - Narrator interview and giveaway. I hope everyone can stop by and say hello to my narrator Steve Wojtas. Steve is a wonderful narrator and has been great to work with. He also narrated my Valentine romance CHILL OUT. I liked his work so much on that audiobook that I asked him to narrate HOME FIRES as well. Check out his interview!

Narrator of HOME FIRES, Steve Wojtas

Monday, April 22, 2019

Day #2: HOME FIRES AudioBook Blog Tour

I love audiobooks. That's why I was excited at the opportunity to make HOME FIRES into an audiobook. At just over 25,000 words it's a fairly short read, but it's big on romance!

On Day 2 of my Audiobook blog tour with Audio Book Worm, I'm over at Jazzy Book Reviews with a spotlight, giveaway and a character interview with Erik Gustofson, my hero from HOME FIRES. Erik is a man with hopes and dreams shattered by World War Two. See you there!

Review of INSTANT FATHER by Donna Gartshore

Today I'm featuring a review of INSTANT FATHER, an inspirational romance from Love Inspired author Donna Gartshore. Check out my review - spoiler alert - I loved it. Enjoy!



Blurb:

When his orphaned nephew has trouble at school, Paul Belvedere must turn to the boy’s teacher, Charlotte Connelly, for assistance. But as the little boy draws them together, can Paul trust Charlotte with his secret…and his heart? 

Excerpt:

            “Trying to get rid of me?”

            She was startled at first but then saw the twinkle in his eye. It appeared that Paul too was ready to be done with their teacher-parent roles, but she couldn’t resist adding one more thing.

            “I hope I’ve made it clear, Paul, I won’t tolerate being pressured about this. But, at the same time, I want you to trust me. Can you do that? I care about Tyson too, just as I care about all of my students.”

            “I trust you,” Paul said, but she couldn’t escape a peculiar sensation that those words were unfamiliar in his mouth.

            “I, uh, missed you at lunch yesterday,” he added, his tone gruff with confession.

            So, he had noticed. I missed you too …

            But she couldn’t bring herself to say the words or to stir the embers by admitting that she had stayed away to avoid the very confrontation they’d just had.

            “I had a couple of extra things I needed to take care of,” she said. That was true on any given day in the life of a busy school teacher and she didn’t volunteer that she’d spent her lunchbreak searching missionary sites and commanding herself not to have second thoughts … just as she had commanded herself not to give in and walk over to Harold’s so that she could see Paul’s face light up when she came in the door.

            “Well … you were missed.” Paul said it in a shy way that warmed her heart.

            It was clear that he didn’t want there to be tension between them any more than she did.

            She suddenly wondered how it would go over if she was to start dating the guardian of one of her students.

            Whoa, now where had that thought come from?

            Paul had never given her any indication that he saw her as anything other than a friend and, even with that, she still knew that his primary focus was Tyson and the role she played in the boy’s life as his teacher. He had proven that again today and she had been reminded of what her responsibilities were, not only to both of them, but to her profession in general.

            Besides, there was her application, making its way through the mail and waiting to bring back with it the answer to her future.


            An answer that she was no longer sure she was ready for.

My Review: 

In INSTANT FATHER, both characters have secrets, private shames that haunt them and rule their lives. It’s only when they trust each other enough to share their secrets that they can move past the shame to find the lives and the love they’ve always wanted.

Because this is an inspirational romance, the characters’ relationships with God is front and center. Charlotte has a strong faith, but she struggles to figure out what message God is trying to send her. Hardships in Paul’s life have caused him to move away from God. He’s unsure why He let bad things happen to him and to people he loved. As Paul and Charlotte grow closer, Paul finds comfort in prayer and in his faith once more. Faith and the characters’ relationship with God are integral and natural parts of who they are, and never feels forced or fake.

I loved how Paul and Charlotte’s relationship grew naturally as they began to trust one another. But it’s not all smooth sailing. Charlotte is struggling to find her place in the world and make a difference but her relationship with her parents makes it difficult for her to know what that is.

INSTANT FATHER is a sweet story with a wonderful message. Ms. Gartshore has created characters that are engaging and relatable, with unique problems that make them very human. I highly recommend it.


Buy Links:

Kobo (Can): https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/instant-father-4

Kobo (US): https://www.kobo.com/US/en/ebook/instant-father-4

Amazon (US): https://www.amazon.com/Instant-Father-Inspired-Donna-Gartshore-ebook/dp/B07GTLW31S

Amazon (UK): https://www.amazon.co.uk/Instant-Father-Inspired-Donna-Gartshore-ebook/dp/B07GTLW31S

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/instant-father-donna-gartshore/1129422650?ean=9781488042799

Sunday, April 21, 2019

I'm on Tour!

Today I begin a blog tour for the audio version of HOME FIRES with Audio Book Worm. HOME FIRES is set just after the end of World War Two and tells the story of an English war bride. Anne's road to love is anything but smooth:

 Anne Wakefield travels halfway around the world for love. But when she arrives in Canada from England at the end of World War Two, she discovers the handsome Canadian pilot she’d fallen in love with has married someone else. Heartbroken, she prepares to return to London, though she has nothing left there to return to. Her former fiancĂ©’s mother makes a suggestion: marriage to her other son. 
Badly wounded and scarred during the war, Erik Gustafson thinks he’s a poor substitute for his brother. Although he loves Anne almost from the first time he sees her, he cannot believe she would ever be able to love him as he is – especially as he might be after another operation on his bad leg.  Anne sees the beauty of his heart. The cold prairie winter may test her courage, but can she prove to Erik that her love for him is real?

The first stop on the tour today is at Lone Tree Reviews with a spotlight and giveaway. See you there!

Friday, April 19, 2019

A Look at GLIMPSE, The Beautiful Deaths by Stephen B. King

Today I'm featuring Stephen B. King's book GLIMPSE, The Beautiful Deaths from The Wild Rose Press. Steve tells us a little about the story and the characters and shares an excerpt. Check out this amazing thriller!



“When is a Serial Killer not a murderer?” asks criminal psychologist Patricia Holmes of the detectives she is preparing a profile for, in Book 2 of The Deadly Glimpses Trilogy, Glimpse, The Beautiful Deaths. 

Detective Sargent Rick McCoy wanted her brought back to the Major Crime Squad after her recovery from the stabbing attack by the maniacal killer PPP, in Book 1 to help them understand a find in a series of caves in the South of Western Australia. The bodies of six young girls have been discovered, fully clothes, with garlands of flowers, each left there approximately a year apart. Strangely, there appears to be no visible cause of death; it’s as if the girls just faded away.

When another teenager goes missing, the pressure is on for a quick result, but Pat is not convinced it’s the same person responsible. She believes they are hunting a man whose upbringing and current life is so ugly, he is addicted to beauty. Further, she thinks he wanted to collect the young women after becoming obsessed with their looks, and they only died when they ceased to be what they were when he took them – beautiful. Hence her assertion that while he is a serial killer, he hasn’t actually killed anyone, and even if they catch him, there is no guarantee that they can charge him with murder.

But both Rick’s and Pats marriages are in trouble, because everyone can see the attraction, and desire they have for each other. Hell, blind Freddy could see that. Even PPP knew it, and he hates Rick and Pat and used their obvious desire to poison the mind of Rick’s wife, Juliet. So, while Rick needs Pat to help find the man who has caused the Beautiful Deaths, he doesn’t need the drama from Juliet because he is staying in a motel with Pat in the room next door. The real problem is, Rick had an affair once before, and though Juliet forgave him, she never forgot, and trust is an issue even if he was a saint.

Meanwhile Pat’s husband, Tom, has forbidden her to work with the police in general, and Rick in particular again after she was almost killed. But that’s not going to stop Pat from following her dream, and working with the man who thrills, respects and wants her more than Tom ever did.

Together, Rick and Pat must not only fight to control their desires, but face problems from their partners, and find a serial killer, who may not be a killer at all.

In this book, like all stories in the Glimpse series, the reader is given, in alternate chapters, a glimpse through the killer’s point of view into his life. Just why and how he became what and who he is. Pat says by way of explanation to the detectives working on the task force: “we are all products of our upbringing.” Gordon, as she nicknames him, is all that and more.

Though they don’t know it, Rick and Pat have a far bigger problem looming. PPP, the master of long term planning and strategy, is plotting his escape. When he succeeds, he is intent on making their lives a fate worse than death.

Blurb:

Rick McCoy of the Major Crime Squad is trying to repair his marriage when he is sent to the South of Western Australia. A young girl's body has been found in a cave, with flowers on her chest. A search finds five more bodies.

Beautiful criminal psychologist, Patricia Holmes, has recovered from her stab wounds inflicted by the serial killer PPP, and is brought in. Pat believes they are hunting a man who is addicted to beauty. When another school girl goes missing, they have only days before she too will die.

As their desire for each other grows and the pressure on their marriages increase, they close in on the man responsible for the beautiful deaths. Meanwhile, in the high-security wing of the mental health hospital, PPP plans his revenge on Rick

Excerpt from Glimpse, The Beautiful Deaths:

“Right, listen up everyone,” DCI Colin Harris began, as officers stopped talking or working at their desks. He with Rick and Pat stood before the whiteboard back in the incident room. “Some of you were with us on the PPP case and are familiar with the work the extraordinarily talented Patricia Holmes did for us. It is true to say without her help in capturing him; God knows how many more people he would have killed. She has graciously agreed to help us again and has been down to the caves with Rick and Tyler. I want you to pay close attention to what she tells us, as she has completed a preliminary profile of our killer which is nothing short of remarkable. We are very lucky to have an expert of her caliber working with us. Pat, please take over.”

“Thank you, Sir, and thank you all for having me back as part of the team. Sooner or later you will be interviewing this man, and for the purpose of drawing a picture of him for you, I’m going to call him Gordon. To me that name sums up how I’d like you to think of him, does that make sense? Gordon; that’s a nice common name that hopefully conjures up an image of a decent, caring, ordinary bloke. Rick, Tyler and the DCI are familiar with all this, and I’m not sure how much they’ve passed on to you, so for those who have heard this before I apologize. I started my profile with Rick and Tyler by asking a question, which is relevant to the kind person I believe we are hunting. That question is: When is a serial killer not a serial killer?”

She paused to look around at the police officers, and Rick smiled to note the look of consternation on a lot of the faces. “The answer is when the killer doesn’t actually kill the victims. His actions caused them to die, but that wasn’t his intent. I gave the others an estimation that I could be up to twenty percent wrong, but I think it’s now closer to ten, fifteen tops. What I do, is interpret the facts and things I see with some understanding of the psychology behind it, but it’s not an exact science. Please understand that.

“In the case of Gordon, when these girls died he was sad, terribly upset. Strictly speaking, while he knew he was breaking the law when he drugged and took them, he didn’t see it as illegal, if that also makes sense. In his mind, he saw a thing of beauty, or such sheer captivating loveliness, he had to own it. He is a collector of beautiful things, but soon after their abduction, the girls woke up, and suddenly they were no longer stunningly beautiful things, they were angry, sweaty, dirty, and smelly, and Gordon, well, he realized they had changed into something horrible. Like a butterfly turning back into a chrysalis. So, he no longer liked looking at them and talking to them, they were dirty ungrateful ugly things, so he visited them less and less because each time he did see them they were worse. Eventually, they died through his neglect, and he was hurt by that. But what hurt him most was not his actions, but her change from being a person of such beauty, to an ugly dead corpse.

“Now, to you or me, Gordon is a murderer, right? Of course, he is, but to him he isn’t. I think he is a rather a sad, pathetic creature who is addicted to beauty and who wants to collect as much of it as he can. He does this because his home is most likely not lovely any more, not on a personal level. Do not mistake his submissive nature for homosexuality, he is not gay, but his whole life he has been the meek one. Firstly, to his mother, or father, and then to his wife who probably dominates him to the point of stifling him.

“When you visit his house you will find his personal space, which will not be the main area, his wife will dictate what goes where there, but he will have a study, locked bedroom, or shed that is quite pretty. There you will find his collections. They all represent beauty to him. I’m thinking here of things like a collection of first day release postage stamps, perhaps those framed South American exotic butterflies, porcelain china or dolls. The house may or may not be perfect, because he doesn’t live alone, and he lives how he is told to live, but within that possibly untidy house he will have a room which in its own way will be quite extraordinary. You will know it when you see it.

“He is married, unhappily, though once he wasn’t, or at least he believed marrying would make him happy. In the early days, he was glad to get away from his mother, even though he idolized her. It’s possible; his mother forced him into it. She may for example, have told him he wouldn’t be able to do any better. Either way his wife is by far the more dominant; he is meek and mild mannered; she is strong willed and makes him conform to her lifestyle. Again, this strengthens his desire to own beautiful things, because his day to day life is far from that.”

Purchase GLIMPSE,The Beautiful Deaths at Amazon


Stephen B King
www.stephen-b-king.com
twitter: @stephenBKing1
Facebook: @stephenbkingauthor

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

A Look at WICKED WAGER by Beverley Oakley


Wicked Wager
By Beverley Oakley
♥♥ GiveAway ♥♥ 

Beverley is giving away a signed print copy of The Duchess and the Highwayman during the tour. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember there is a chance to enter everyday so be sure to follow the Blog Tour. You may find the tour schedule and locations here https://goo.gl/XTRwwr

About Wicked Wager: Can innocence survive the machinations of a malevolent society beauty and a charismatic rake?

Two weeks before her nuptials to her cold, harsh cousin, virtuous Celeste Rosington finds herself in the arms of notorious libertine, Lord Peregrine.

The unexpected encounter is, at first, shocking, but as Peregrine’s charm weaves its magic, becomes a welcome distraction from Celeste’s troubles. Isn’t she already the subject of whispers due to her involvement in the mysterious disappearance of a wealthy plantation magnate? It was a role orchestrated by her demanding husband-to-be in which Celeste had failed spectacularly.

Nevertheless, Celeste has no intention of sacrificing all of her scruples for a man she knows is only toying with her. One kiss from handsome, charismatic Viscount Peregrine will surely be enough to give her the strength to fulfil her marital obligations?

But what if one kiss is not enough?

With her reputation in the balance, Celeste must navigate the treacherous waters of envy, intrigue and deadly secrets, unaware she’s the unwitting pawn in a wicked wager between a ruthless society beauty and delicious, dissolute Lord Peregrine.

Could Peregrine really be a party to such perfidious plans? Will his reckless charm be the final undoing of a young woman once respected for her virtue and piety?

Or will Peregrine discover that true love is more powerful than greed and ambition in time to save Celeste from the terrible fate that otherwise awaits her?

Genre: Georgian Historical Romance Buy Links:
~♥~♥~♥~♥~♥~

Excerpt:

The last of the applause drifted away and for a few seconds the shrill cries of the orange sellers held sway. Rising from his ironic bow for the benefit of his companion, Lord Peregrine held back the red velvet curtain that had afforded them privacy so that Xenia could pass through and join the throng of theatregoers descending the sweeping staircase.

He saw that she had fallen into conversation with a club-footed general whose more than interested eye swept appraisingly over Xenia’s abundant assets, and once again Perry felt again the familiar heating of his loins that only Xenia could inspire with a mere incendiary glance. The contours of her sack-back gown, adorned with a row of bows the length of her stomacher, recalled the more lascivious of those thoughts he’d entertained for the past decade: what it would be like to undress her, layer by layer by layer. He could only imagine how many layers there might be, but the prize would be worth the exquisite torture of restraint. He’d not revealed quite how much her proposition tonight had taken him by surprise, and the fact he’d agreed fuelled him with an odd combination of conflicting sensations: raging lust tempered by the knowledge that he’d just sunk to depths of moral depravity that might make even his uncle squirm in his grave: seduce an innocent on the eve of her nuptials.

Except that Xenia maintained the young woman’s ingenuousness was a ploy. Still, Miss Rosington retained her standing in society as a paragon of virtue. What right had he to assume otherwise, just because it was convenient?

He was diverted by a squeal to his left. Xenia was moving ahead, caught up by the crowd, her head bent to absorb the admiration of her club-footed general. Peregrine meanwhile found himself unable to continue, due to the fact the young woman in front of him had snagged her skirts on what appeared to be a nail or splinter protruding from one of the supporting beams. No one could move until she’d freed herself, and as Peregrine was directly behind her it was incumbent upon him to act the gentlemen and so enable the rest of the pulsing crowd to forge ahead.

‘Please be careful, sir, it’ll tear and it’s the first time I’ve worn it,’ the young woman warned as he took a handful of stiff silk in one hand. ‘It’s my finest.’ She twisted her head round to address him.

As her lips parted, revealing a set of near perfect small white teeth, and her worried blue eyes bored into his, Peregrine felt a jolt of something unidentifiable plummet like a stone to the pit of his stomach. No, further than that, for without a doubt his groin was reacting with something akin to roiling hunger. And, surprisingly, with an intensity that exceeded the dull throb of ten years of wanting Xenia like a frustrated schoolboy. Close to, Miss Rosington was exquisite, her pale white and rose-blushed skin far more lustrous than when seen from a distance through opera glasses. Her powdered coiffure, dressed to fashionable heights, accentuated high, rounded cheekbones; and with growing excitement he followed the sweep of her graceful neck to a bosom that was rising and falling with surely greater rapidity than fear of what peril her gown might face. He liked to think that was so, as her candid look met his and the connection between them seemed like the sharp tug of some inner cord, forcing him forward, his hand brushing hers, nestled beneath a froth of silken furbelows, as they both reached for the undamaged silk petticoat, now released.

‘No harm done,’ he murmured as she drew herself up, her companion, the black-eyed viscount to whom she was affianced, returning to claim her, drawing her away with the barest of thanks.

All over in a matter of seconds, and at what cost? For while silk skirts and dignity had escaped with minimal damage, Peregrine was the first to concede, as he watched her graceful back with pounding heart and aching groin, that a great deal of harm had indeed been done.

~♥~♥~♥~♥~♥~

About the Author:

Beverley Oakley is an Australian author who grew up in the African mountain kingdom of Lesotho, married a Norwegian bush pilot she met in Botswana’s Okavango Delta, and started writing historical romances to amuse herself in the 12 countries she’s lived as a ‘trailing spouse’ (in between working as an airborne geophysical survey operator, a teacher of English as a Second Language, and writing for her former newspaper).

Her Scandalous Miss Brightwell series was nominated Best Historical Romance by the Australian Romance Readers Association. She is also the author of the popular Daughters of Sin series, a Regency-era ‘Dynasty-style’ family saga laced with intrigue and espionage.

Under her real name Beverley Eikli, she writes Africa-set romantic suspense, and psychological historical romances. The Reluctant Bride won Choc-Lit’s Search for an Australian Star competition and her Regency tale of redemption The Maid of Milan was shortlisted in the Top Ten Reads of 2014 at the UK Festival of Romance.

Beverley lives north of Melbourne (overlooking a fabulous Gothic lunatic asylum) with the same gorgeous Norwegian husband, two daughters and a rambunctious Rhodesian Ridgeback. You can read more at beverleyoakley.com



a Rafflecopter giveaway