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 fiancé’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



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Friday, April 12, 2019

FOREVER IN A MOMENT by Charlotte O'Shay


I'm happy to feature another entry in the Deerbourne Inn series from The Wild Rose Press. Charlotte O'Shay is here with her new release FOREVER IN A MOMENT. She's here to talk about her favorite scene with her secondary characters. I can't wait to read it! Welcome Charlotte O'Shay!


Hi Jana!


It’s a pleasure to be with you today to talk about my newly released novella, Forever in a Moment and secondary characters. 

Forever in a Moment is my addition to the Deerbourne Inn series published by the Wild Rose Press.

When the publisher’s call came out for this series, the editors created a series “bible” with a map of the fictional town as well as various townspeople with brief profiles of pedigree information —name, age, profession. Of these townspeople, I chose Karla Payne and Jared Langford  to layer into my story.

Little did I know these Karla and Jared would come to life so quickly. 

A little background. When this story starts, corporate lawyer, jilted bride Samantha DeMartino is alone, a fish out of water in small town Vermont.  Most of the town has heard… as one does in a small towns, that Sam was stranded on the side of a rode in a winter storm and given a lift by hero Jed Armstrong. 

Secondary character Karla Payne is the owner of a local tavern and a good friend of Jed’s. I gave Karla some heartbreak in her backstory and watched her go toe to toe with Samantha in several scenes. Karla judges and disparages everything about Sam moments after meeting her. Karla has a underlying bitterness about events in her life and she’s super protective of Jed and his family. Even though I was annoyed at her for rebuffing Sam’s friendly overtures, I couldn’t help but feel for her.

Here is the first meeting between Karla (behind the bar at her tavern) and Samantha:

She brushes a wisp of strawberry blonde hair back from her eyes and says, “What can I get you?” 

“Sam Adams, please.”

“Anything else?”

“Um, the pizza burger, medium rare, thanks.” And because I’m so virtuous I order a side salad instead of fries. 

In seconds my beer is in front of me and as I take my first sip, she asks the now ubiquitous question. “You must be the person Jed picked up on the side of the road.” More a statement than a question and it could’ve been stated in a friendlier way but since it’s essentially true, I nod, ignoring the undercurrent of you are dumber than a rock in her tone. 

“Yes. I’m Sam DeMartino.” My hand is on its way out to clasp hers but she isn’t offering. I put it back in my lap as I endure a very thorough once over. A feeling of déjà vu sweeps over me. This is the same way Krystal Harris, Ben’s ex and present lover looked at me the one and only time Ben and I ran into her in the city several months ago. 

This woman’s blue eyes are judging me, all of me, from my recently purchased, I’ve never skied before, jacket, to my long hair, crazy with static electricity, to my, expensive but worth every penny, boots to the little Italian-gold hoops in my ears. I straighten in my seat and purse my lips. Yep, she totally meant that ‘on the side of the road’ jab. 

She completes her inspection and I resist the urge to ask if I passed muster. She says, “Karla Payne. I’m a very good friend of Jed and the Armstrong family.” She gives me a brief nod and a marginal smile before moving along the bar to help another customer. 

Mkay! 

As first impressions go, I guess you’d vote us both least likely to become BFFs. 

I take another healthy swig of my beer and try to concentrate on the battle brewing in my book. But before too long she’s back and places my salad and a mouthwatering burger in front me. 

 “So you read romance?” She says it in the same tone my mother would use when observing a cook using store bought tomato sauce instead of making fresh from scratch. I’m either ignorant or strange in her eyes, probably both. 

I sit even straighter in my seat and allow the light of challenge to enter my eyes. “I do.” 

“Real life is just a tad more complicated,” Karla says with a disparaging twist of her lips. 

Ugh, that old line? “You’re right,” I say to her obvious surprise. “But that’s why I read them. To escape life’s complications. Although I would imagine Viking life,” I nod at the cover of my book with its menacing ship and equally intimidating shirtless and tattooed hero, “was exciting and complicated.” Then I throw her a curveball. “I can give you this one after I’m done. I was just going to leave it in the Deerbourne’s library.” 

She allows a small smile. “I might take you up on that. How long will you be here?” 
“A week.” She nods again and moves on. I sip my beer and sink back into the tenth century on the Norwegian Sea.

Before too long Sam finds out about Karla’s heartbreak but these two still knock heads in spite of Samantha’s sympathy for Karla’s loss. In a pivotal conversation for Samantha, she and Karla go at it again. 

“I’m craving your fries. They smell amazing. I don’t want to leave Willow Springs without trying them.” There. I said it again. I’m leaving. It’s not getting any easier to verbalize. 

Karla lifts a brow, her expression inscrutable. “Coming right up. Anything else?” 

“A Sam Adams, thanks.” 

In no time another server brings my fries and beer and in an indecently short amount of time after that, I’ve cleared my plate and drained my glass. 

I’m sliding money onto the bar when Karla comes back down to where I’m seated. 

I wave my hand at my empty plate. “Those are addictive, bucket list checked,” I say, making a vee motion in the air with my forefinger. 

“Was Jed on your bucket list too?” Karla goes right for my jugular and I’m so angry I almost can’t croak out a response. 

“I can’t believe you said that. What Jed is to me is none of your business.” My voice has risen and I lean over the bar to get in her face but I’m still almost yelling. 

“Jed’s my friend. That makes it my business. What is he to you?” Her fists are on her hips and I stand too, feet planted on the other side of the bar. 

“My private life is my own.” My face is hot with anger and mortification. 

“Maybe so. And maybe I don’t have the right to say anything to you but I learned a hard lesson and I’m gonna pass on a little wisdom. Here it is. Don’t postpone joy. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you control everything in this life.” 

Don’t I know it. I’m a jilted bride. Never saw that coming. Never saw an infertility diagnosis coming either. 

But I won’t give her the satisfaction. “Are we talking about fate? Because I’ve always believed I control my destiny.” 

Karla jerks her chin up. “Pffft. Up to a point. But tell me this. What were the chances you’d be alone on Maple Run Avenue needing a lift just as Jed was driving by? Things happen that we never foresee. We can’t plan everything. Sometimes something great happens and sometimes it’s utter disaster. I’m telling you this because I learned it the hard way. I care for Jed. And he cares for you.” 

I shake my head. “Jed and I just met.” 

Karla lifts a dark red-gold brow and I know this town, more Grapevine than Willow Springs, knows all about a certain rendezvous at the inn. 

“Is there a timetable for falling in love? Is that a tax lawyer thing?” Her voice is scornful. 

Karla has a chip on her shoulder a mile wide and I winced every time she made a kick the puppy comment toward Sam. As soon as I finished this novella, I started on Karla’s story because she’s had a lot of grief in her young life and deserves to get her happily ever after too.

The other secondary character I fleshed out in Forever in A Moment is Jared Langford. He’s the irrepressible receptionist at the inn who hits it off with Samantha immediately. They have a fun brother sister vibe going on. Somehow they were able to slip into an easy friendship within minutes. Here’s one small scene to illustrate:

“Here’s the deal, Jared. I feel like I’ve seen my heart’s desire. Felt it. Tasted it. And now I have to go back to my real life and forget it ever happened…all I can see is a big pile of hurt for me when I leave.”

“Samantha, let me tell you what my mom always tells me—life is short and pain is inevitable. Who’s to say this isn’t your world? Who’s to say you don’t belong here? As a lawyer or anything else. Why do you have to go back? I came up here five years ago. I have my ups and downs but I’m happy and I’ve never looked back.”

Finally there are the secondary characters I created. Tracey and Beth are Samantha’s stalwart best girlfriends who convince her to go on her honeymoon alone to use it as ‘me’ time:

“So one problem solved. You’re going on that honeymoon.” 

“I’m hardly in the...” 

Beth raises her hand in front of me, teacher style, and I shut up. 

Tracey continues. “You said yourself you’ve cleared your desk through the New Year; you said you’re exhausted. If I know you, you have a closet full of cute ski clothes you were ready to take on this trip.” 

“Not a trip. It was our...” I stumble over the word because this wasn’t just a trip and I’m not part of an ‘our’ anymore. And damn I want to scream because I do have a closet full of useless, cute ski clothes I’ll never wear now because I don’t even know how to ski. 

“Finally, you said you and Ben were in a rut. Well, Sam, I hate to say it like this but Ben is out of his rut and you’re still stuck. Forget about your schedule, forget about work, forget about the reason for this trip, and just go.” 

At my nod, the bartender refills each of our particular poisons. When I’m still silent and sipping my wine, Tracey pipes up again. 

“Damn, girl, Ben paid for it and you will go if I have to kidnap you to get you there.” 

That gets a choked chuckle from me. 

“Ha, Tracey, you pipsqueak, you couldn’t kidnap a fly much less me. I am so toned right now I could bench press you.” 

Still, she’s right. I could use the break. I could use being around people I don’t know, who don’t know me, or the mess of my life right now. I could use a little R and R in a remote spot. 

Where would we be with the friends, enemies and frenemies who comprise secondary characters? In a very one-dimensional world.

Thank you Jana for allowing me to share a little of Forever in a Moment.

Buy Links for Forever in a Moment:


Amazon Au:  https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07Q5Q4XWW   

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/forever-in-a-moment-1

Goggle Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Charlotte_O_Shay_Forever_in_a_Moment?id=pcOPDwAAQBAJ

Author Bio:



Author Charlotte O’Shay was born in New York City into big family and then married into another big family.

Negotiating skills honed at the dinner table led her to a career in the law.

But after four beautiful children joined the crowded family tree, Charlotte traded her legal career to write about happily ever afters in the City of Dreams.


Charlotte loves to challenge her heroines and heroes with a crisis and watch them figure out who they are while they fall in love.

Social Media Links:






BOOKBUB




Tuesday, April 9, 2019

#NewRelease from Karilyn Bentley - DEVIL FORGET ME

Karilyn Bentley stops by for an interview today. DEVIL FORGET ME is the newest installment in her Demon Huntress series from The Wild Rose Press. Thanks for coming to visit and to tell us a bit about yourself, Karilyn!



Why did you choose this genre?
I love writing and reading fantasy stories that take place in the modern world. Paranormal stories of any genre intrigue me. It's fun to explore the possibilities and imagine what could happen if I had unusual abilities.

What genre have you never written that you’d like to write?
I'd love to write a historical romance but I'd have a lot of research to do before then!

Did you always want to be a writer?
I was writing stories in elementary school but never thought of becoming a published author until I was married and working in a cube farm. I wanted to do something different and remembered all these stories I'd put on hold for years. I pulled them out and tried to write them. Then realized the writing was hideous so I joined RWA and learned to write and here I am!

If you could change something about one of your books that’s already released, what would it be?
My writing has improved over the years, not to mention the trends have changed in romance. The topic choice of some of my earlier books makes me cringe.

Do you work on more than one book at a time?
No. I can only work on one book at a time.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I'm a pantser hybrid. Which means I need a beginning and an ending to the story and the middle is created while writing.

How many books do you have under the proverbial bed? Will they ever see the light of day?
I have several hiding out under the bed (more like in a dark corner of the closet) but have no plans to share them. Although I did put parts of one of the stories in the first book of the Demon Huntress series (Demon Lore).

Do you have another occupation, other than writer? If so, what is it? Does it help you with your writing?
I do! I work for an oncology company in the research department (we run clinical trials). And no, it doesn't help me with my writing.

Do you have any pets? Are you cat person or a dog person? Or are you into totally different pets, like goldfish? What do you like best about your pet?
I love my two dogs! While I like cats, I'm really allergic to them, so can't allow them in the house. My husband also has a salt water fish tank with different fish and corals. My favorite thing about my dogs is how funny they are. And how intelligent they are. I swear, sometimes they read my mind!

What genre is your favorite to read?
Almost anything with a fantasy/paranormal element to it. I also like historical romances and most mysteries. Pretty much any book with a happy or resolved ending.

What are your hobbies away from the computer?
Is reading a hobby? :) Right now I'm trying to learn Swedish and German on an app. It's pretty fun!

What did you want to be (occupation-wise) when you were a child?
A teacher! Actually, that's why I went to grad school, I wanted to teach at college. But that didn't work out and through a circuitous path, I found the day job I now have.

What do you like best about your heroine in DEVIL FORGET ME?
Gin Crawford is snarky and says things I don't dare. It's been a fun journey with her to see how she grew and changed from her first story.

How can readers reach you or find you online?
I love to have readers find me online! Here are all the places I hang out:
Website: www.karilynbentley.com
Newsletter: https://eepurl.com/ba_0Rf
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KarilynBentleyAuthor
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/karilynbentley1
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4051943.Karilyn_Bentley
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/karilynbentley
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/karilyn-bentley

Tell us a little about your current work in progress.
I'd love to! Devil Forget Me is the fifth and final book in the Demon Huntress series. Gin Crawford is the world's newest demon huntress. Here's the blurb:

What appears to be a simple crime, unmasks a chilling deception...
Gin Crawford, the world's newest demon huntress, kills two minions who are breaking into a financial adviser's office. But what she thinks of as another night in the life of a demon huntress leads to a cover-up of epic proportions. A demon haunts her employer, the Agency, and only she can stop it.

Aidan Smythe, her guardian mage and lover, along with her brother T, and the healer Eloise, join her search in discovering the demon's identity. A search thwarted by a powerful spell.
Breaking the spell requires her to join forces with Zagan, the demon of deceit, the demon who marked her as his. But working together comes with a price. One Gin is not sure she can pay.

What’s your tagline? Why did you choose it?
My tagline is: Fantasy with a Touch of Funny. At heart, my stories are fantasy (be it paranormal romance or urban fantasy) and there's always a little humor in my books. But I had help coming up with the tagline. I belonged to a group of writers who liked to get together and help each other plot and at one of our plotting sessions, we helped each other come up with taglines. And voila, Fantasy with a Touch of Funny, was born!

If I was a first time reader of your books, which one would you recommend I start with and why?
I'd start you off with Demon Lore, the first book in the Demon Huntress series. Although the books can be read out of order, you get the larger story if you start at the beginning.

EXCERPT:
     She chuckles as I sip my beer. “Not nothing. I am trying to discover the identity of the demon at the Agency.” She frowns. “It’s not going well. I know I know who the demon is, but every time I think of its identity”—her hands move in a poof motion—“it vanishes.”

     “Yeah, I have the same problem.”

     A memory pops into my mind. Two memories, actually. The first was of last night’s fight with Rahab. How the demon said he only had one demon left to kill in order to rule Hell. Mammon, the demon of greed. The second memory was from last week when Smythe and I went to the Agency. We ran into Chuck Tweedy, the Big Boss of the Agency, and my justitia couldn’t stop chanting “greedy.” I assumed the bracelet got its words mixed up, exchanging Tweedy for greedy. But what if there was a connection?

     A dull pain hammers my head. I rub my brow. What was I thinking? We were talking about the Agency demon. Who could it be?

     “You do have the same problem.” Eloise touches my leg, and the headache disappears. “That’s what happened to me.”

     “How did you know?” Eloise was blind, although I swear at times she sees fine.

     “I could feel your pain.” Her brow furrows. “Like a spell had been thrown at you that caused the headache. I wonder if the same thing happens when I get a headache from thinking on the demon’s identity.”

     “Wait. You mean whenever I think about who the demon is, my thoughts trigger a spell? What does the spell do?”

BUY LINKS:
Amazon: https://www.amzn.com/B07P2NG13X/
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1130823757
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/devil-forget-me/id1456448283

AUTHOR BIO:
Karilyn Bentley's love of reading stories and preference of sitting in front of a computer at home instead of in a cube, drove her to pen her own works, blending fantasy and romance mixed with a touch of funny.

Her paranormal romance novella, Werewolves in London, placed in the Got Wolf contest and started her writing career as an author of sexy heroes and lush fantasy worlds.

Karilyn lives in Colorado with her own hunky hero, two crazy dogs, aka The Kraken and Sir Barks-A-Lot, and a handful of colorful saltwater fish.

Website:         www.karilynbentley.com
Newsletter: https://eepurl.com/ba_0Rf
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KarilynBentleyAuthor
Twitter:         https://www.twitter.com/karilynbentley1
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4051943.Karilyn_Bentley
Pinterest:         https://www.pinterest.com/karilynbentley
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/karilyn-bentley


Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Character Interview with Tamara from BEYOND THE FALL

Diane Scott Lewis is my guest today and she's sharing an interview with her character Tamara, a modern woman who time travels to 1789. I love time travel romances (OUTLANDER anyone?) Diane wants to let you know that BEYOND THE FALL is on sale for .99 cents for the next two weeks!

Diane Scott Lewis’ time travel BEYOND THE FALL is ON SALE for two weeks, only .99!



Blurb:

Tamara Ledbetter travels to Cornwall, England and researches her ancestors. In a neglected cemetery, she scrapes two fallen headstones together, faints, and wakes up in 1789, the year of The French Revolution, and grain riots. Farmer Colum Polwhele, a man with his own secrets, comes to her aid. Can a sassy San Francisco gal survive in this primitive time and fall for Colum, or will she struggle to return to her own time?

Interview with Tamara:

Q: Tamara, why did you travel to Cornwall in the first place?

A: The trip was first planned with my husband, Mister-the-oh-so-important-doctor. I wanted to research my Trembeth ancestors in the village of Shevioke. Then, well, Michael informed me he no longer loved me and was moving out to live with his nurse. I was simply tossed aside. But you know, I discovered I didn’t care that much. We’d grown apart. I was just shocked and angry at the timing.

Q: So you went alone and ended up in a neglected cemetery?

A: Yes, I was surprised the village was run-down, deserted, the cemetery overgrown. I tried to lift a fallen headstone, then the strangest thing happened. Like an earthquake, burning smells, and I did something I never do…I fainted.

Q: How did you react when you first woke up in the eighteenth century?

A: Absolutely flummoxed, as they say. At first, I was just amazed that the cemetery was cleaned up, the church no longer half-fallen in, the village in complete repair. Everyone was in old-fashioned clothes. I thought I was caught in a reenactment. Or a festival of some kind. But how long I must have been unconscious for all the preparations to happen freaked me out.

Q: Then you tried to return to your car?

A: I did. But a drunk accosted me, thinking me a whore because I wore a short skirt. I thought he played his part too well, you know, in the reenactment. He got rough, and a man on a horse rode up and chased the drunk off.

Q: And this was your knight in shining armor?

A: A young farmer named Colum Polwhele, he was very nice. But he insisted on playing the eighteenth-century part. I was annoyed by this time that people insisted they were in the past, when I knew that was impossible. He walked me to where I thought I’d left my car.

Q: But it was no longer there, right?

A: The parking lot was a field, no car. Then Colum saw two riders, got angry, threw me on his horse, and off we galloped. I yelled at him to stop. But things got totally weird. There were no paved roads, no telephone or electrical wires.

Q: Then he took you to his friend’s home?

A: Even weirder! A house with no modern appliances, no electricity, not even switches to turn on lights. I swore it must be historical and kept that way for tourists. Colum argued with his friend, who didn’t trust me. He thought I was a spy. Sure. They were into something underhanded, those two. Colum questioned me, doubted my story completely.

Q: What did you do? Did you finally realize you were in the past?

A: I began to panic. Nothing made sense. I had to decide if I was insane, or I’d actually gone back two hundred years. It was 1789! And these guys thought I was a spy because my ancestor was their enemy.

Q: Did Colum help you, as in, were you two attracted to one another?

A: He is handsome, quite the gentleman compared to my a-hole husband. Yeah, we started to feel an attraction. But we had so much to overcome. Am I really stranded in the past? Is Colum involved in stealing grain? Can he handle a bold, modern woman? How do we figure this out? We both could end up hanged!

Q: Well, I’m dying to know more. I hope readers will pick up a copy of Beyond the Fall, to share your adventure.

Visit Diane’s website: http://www.dianescottlewis.org

To purchase Beyond the Fall: https://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Fall-Diane-Scott-Lewis-ebook/dp/B07HDFRLT4

Excerpt:

Why had the village been abandoned so completely? Sadness hung over the area like a fog.

At least one of her ancestors had a manor house in the vicinity that was still intact: the Elizabethan Roscarrock House from the pamphlet. She’d try to locate the place when she left the cemetery. The Trembeth family had settled in this area in the fifteenth century, mostly involved in mining.

Approaching a fallen headstone, she bent, brushed away dirt, and swore the name Trembeth was etched in the mossy granite. But the years were difficult to decipher. Another stone appeared to be buried beneath this one.

She kneeled and strained to move the top stone, scratching her fingers. The wind swirled her hair again. She blew strands from her mouth and continued to scrape the top stone across the bottom to jar it off, the sound strident. Her arm muscles started to ache. A burning smell reached her nostrils, and she glanced up.

Suddenly, she grew lightheaded. Dampness soaked through the skirt where her knees pressed the earth. The ground trembled beneath her. An earthquake, in Cornwall?

Nausea bubbled up inside. The church and churchyard shimmered around her, like an out of focus photograph. She tried to pull back her hands, but they seemed glued in place. Stifling a cry, she felt what seemed an electric shock pierce along her spine. She grew dizzier, her heart pounding, and then crumpled over like a rag doll into the moist grass.

Author Bio:


Diane Parkinson (Diane Scott Lewis) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, joined the Navy at nineteen, married in Greece and raised two sons all over the world, including Puerto Rico and Guam.
A member of the Historical Novel Society, she wrote book reviews for the Historical Novels Review. Diane worked from 2007 to 2010 as an on-line historical editor. She had her debut novel published in 2010, and has had several historical and historical-romance novels published between 2010 and 2018.

Diane lives with her husband in western Pennsylvania.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

BACKLASH by Karyn Good #OnSale

My friend Karyn Good writes really great romantic suspense, and book one in her Aspen Lake series is on sale for .99 cents until April 5, 2019. Check it out! 


Blurb:

What he's sworn to protect, she's willing to sacrifice to save those she loves...

When dedicated teacher Lily Wheeler interrupts a vicious gang attack on one of her students, she vows it won't happen again. But her rash interference puts her in the path of a cold-blooded killer and the constable tracking him-a man she has little reason to trust, but can never forget.

Constable Chase Porter returned to Aspen Lake to see justice done, not renew old acquaintances. But when he rescues the woman he once loved from a volatile situation, he realizes his feelings for Lily haven't lessened over the years.

Now, the dangerous killer Chase has sworn to capture has Lily in his sights. Can Chase and Lilly learn to trust each other again before it's too late-or will old insecurities jeopardize their future?


Excerpt:

Chase rubbed at the grinding ache settling in at the base of his skull. Gang violence showing up in the tranquility capital of the world proved what law enforcement knew for a fact: gang activity was escalating in both rural and urban districts. The infestation extended across the country. Controlling it was like trying to shovel a hill of shit with a teaspoon. Raphael Tessier seldom left the cover of his hill. His appearance in Aspen Lake was an anomaly. Chase needed to know what had necessitated the out of character move. And what a scrawny teenage boy had to do with any of it? Or his teacher?

He paused in the open doorway and studied the five feet, six inches of complication seated at the battered metal table. His jaw clenched as Lily tucked a strawberry blond curl behind her ear. After a span of ten years the girl-next-door look she had going on still had the power to muddle with his brain. Instead of focusing on the bad guys every taste bud he owned was salivating; each fingertip was coveting a touch.

It was bloody demoralizing.

Fantasizing didn’t have any place in his game plan. He needed to strategize. He had zero time for small town, freckle-faced schoolteachers who smelled like blue sky, wheat fields, and the toughest decision he’d ever made. He cleared his throat and pushed away from the doorframe. Time to put his money where his mouth was.

"Lily."

She flinched at the sound. He gestured to a chair across from her, waited for her nod of permission. And because he’d morphed into a pathetic loser, he noted the slow slide of her tongue over her bottom lip, the skittish eye movements, along with the infinitesimal head bob. He tossed the file he’d been holding onto the table between them. The slap of sound calmed his nerves as he settled into the chair.

“Can I get you anything?” Coffee, tea, protective bubble wrap.

She lifted up the disposable cup in front of her. “No, thank you.”

"Where's Jason?” He shifted on the hard seat. “Is he all right?"”

"He's on his way to the doctor's."

"Okay. Then what can you tell me about the confrontation in the parking lot?"

"Shouldn't we wait for one of the officers before getting into that?"

"Right now, I'm it."

"I don't understand." Her fingers tightened around her cup, and the resulting pop from the pressure filled the small space. She glanced back at the door, all confusion, and he knew she was hoping for some kind of intervention. For someone else to join them, anyone else. "What do you have to do with all this? Why are you back here?"

Stalling, he settled his arms on the tabletop. She didn't trust him. He also got she was the last person she'd want dropping back into her life. The file between them held some of her answers. There rest were buried so deep inside him, it made ignoring them all part of the routine.

He offered her an anemic look of confusion. “Here?”

“Yes. Here. In this room. In Aspen Lake. In the parking lot of my school.” She spread her hands out and motioned around her. “Here!” She averted her gaze and inhaled a deep breath before spotlighting him, apprehension darkening her eyes, deepening the blue color. 

“My job.” To him, it was that simple.

“Your job?”

“I’ve been transferred to the Aspen Lake detachment.”

“You’re a cop?” Her look of skepticism said it all. The air of disbelief pricked at his ego and he shifted in his chair. Like all the times in fifth grade when his teacher, Miss Carlisle, had asked him why he had no lunch. Had asked questions about his father.

“Is that so hard to believe?” He had worked his ass off to get where he was, and he was a damned good cop. The work he did with the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, and his reputation, proved his dedication to his job. None of which she’d be aware of, or care about if she did. When he burnt a bridge, the only thing he left behind was ash.

Buy BACKLASH here!




Friday, March 22, 2019

#NewRelease: THE NIGHT HOUSE by J.C. McKenzie

J.C. McKenzie joins me today with her new urban fantasy THE NIGHT HOUSE. J.C. writes kick-ass heroines and to-die-for heroes so I'm sure this is a great read. She's also got a Rafflecopter giveaway, so make sure to enter. Please welcome J.C. McKenzie!


Blurb:
What would you pay for your freedom?

Caught by a powerful lord from the alternate realm of Arkavia, Taya’s offered the chance to avenge the dead, save her home world, and win her freedom.

Her days of stealing supplies and surviving among the remnants of Earth are over, but can she afford the price of Lord Thane’s deal?

Excerpt:

The Tarka held perfectly still, gray gaze flashing, white-blond hair shining under the setting sun. He looked like a warrior angel sent to Earth to smite the pest-like humans.

She clutched her staff and brought it up with numb fingers.

He raised a dark eyebrow. “You plan to fight me with a stick?”

“I can hand it over and tell you what to do with it, if you promise to follow directions.” She moved the stick slowly. Not fast enough to give away her skill, but enough to warm her wrists and get blood flowing back into her limbs.

“I’ll take option number one, thank you,” he said.

“Fine with me. I’d prefer anything to becoming your next sacrifice.” They’d never confirmed the Arkavians were responsible for the bloody sacrifice they’d stumbled on, but no crazy magical beasts had roamed the forest since the portal opened, so they made an assumption. She glanced behind her at the trees and George’s exposed foot. What the hell had the Tarka done to him?

“He’s incapacitated. You won’t find any help from him.”

Taya snarled while her mind raced. The man hadn’t used any magic yet. Maybe he didn’t have any. Maybe only some of the blondes had power. Could she outrun him? She wasn’t fast, but he was bulky with muscle, and wore lightweight armour and a heavy cloak to stave off the damp cold.

Where would she run to? She couldn’t lead him to the others, and she couldn’t survive long in the woods without supplies.

The man cocked his head, studying her and probably reading every thought screaming through her head. “Sacrifice? Exactly what kind of fantasies have your kind concocted about us?”

“I would hardly call them fantasies.”

“What would you call them, then?”

“Nightmares.” Duh.

He nodded. “Is this where you tell me my evil ways are done?”

“I’m not sure. Is this where you make some grand speech about ridding the world of my kind or do you plan to preach about the superiority of your race and how you deserve to leach off our planet?”

“I’m waiting for you to finish warming up so we can get on with it.”

She fumbled and almost dropped the staff.

Buy Links:


Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/the-night-house-1


a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author:



J. C. McKenzie is a book-loving, gumboot-wearing, unapologetic science geek. She's the author of the Carus Series, an urban fantasy five-book saga published by the Wild Rose Press. Born and raised on the West Coast, J. C. sets the majority of her books in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Canada. She writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance with sassy heroines and brutish, alpha-type men.

Social Media Links: