#ReleaseBlitz…The Siege…#BookBoost #Contemporary #WomensFiction #Romantic #Suspense #Mystery #Historical @bookunleashed @MarilynBaron

THE SIEGE: A NOVEL
Award Winning Author Marilyn Baron
The Siege: A Novel
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction, Romantic Suspense, Mystery, Historical
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Publication Date: January 8, 2018
A journey of self-discovery leads to love and passion in the search for a family’s hidden past…
Artist Theia Constas receives a tour of Italy from her grandmother as a college graduation present. Before she departs, her ya-ya’s deathbed revelation of a cache of WW II photographs and love letters extends Theia’s itinerary to Crete in search of her unknown grandfather, a promising artist who studied under Chagall but didn’t survive the war.
Wade Bingham, an actuary who always follows the rules and calculates the odds, finds himself alone on his honeymoon trip, wondering why his fiancée jilted him at the last minute.
In the wrong place at the wrong time when their hotel in Florence, Italy, is besieged by terrorists, the two strangers find themselves thrust together in Wade’s honeymoon suite. Immediately attracted to each other, Wade conducts a siege of his own to win Theia’s heart.

“Go back to your room,” the American tour director ordered, shouting at the woman.
“I can’t get the door to open,” Theia protested, thrusting her key card at him in frustration.
The tour director hurriedly took the proffered card in sweaty hands and tried the lock, which didn’t click. He jammed the key card into the slot again, to no avail.
A man opened the door and stuck his head out of the room. “What’s wrong? Is this some kind of a fire drill?”
“It’s no drill. Get back in your room and shelter in place until I give the all-clear. Don’t open the door to anyone.”
The tour director returned Theia’s card. “Get back in your room with your husband.”
“This is my room, but he’s not my husband,” Theia insisted.
“There must be some kind of mistake,” the man in the room announced. “This is my room.”
The tour director grabbed the woman’s key card again and examined the key holder. He shook his head, rolled his eyes, and looked at Theia like she was a recalcitrant child. “You’re on the wrong floor, miss. This is Room 515. You’re in Room 415.”
“I’m sorry.” Theia blew out a breath and turned to leave. The tour director blocked her way.
“Excuse me, but I need to get back to my room.” Tears of exhaustion pooled in her eyes. She wanted to scream.
“I’m afraid you can’t go anywhere. We’ve disabled the elevators for your safety, and hotel security is blocking the stairs, for now.” He ushered her into Room 515 and pushed her into the arms of the man standing at the door.

About Marilyn Baron

Marilyn Baron

Marilyn Baron writes in a variety of genres, from women’s fiction to historical romantic thrillers and romantic suspense to paranormal/fantasy. Her latest book, The Siege: A Novel, a mainstream women’s fiction set in Italy and Greece, released January 8, 2018, is her 14th novel with The Wild Rose Press, Inc. and her 23rd work of fiction. AmazonEncore republished her psychic suspense novel Sixth Sense in 2015. She is also one of six authors of Love Around the Table, a short story anthology published November 1, 2017. She’s published five short stories with TWB Press.
She’s received writing awards in Single Title, Suspense Romance, Novel With Strong Romantic Elements and Paranormal//Fantasy Romance. She is The 2017 Finalist for the Georgia Author of the Year Awards in the Romance Category for Stumble Stones: A Novel.
A public relations consultant in Atlanta, Marilyn graduated with a BS in Journalism (Public Relations) and a minor in English (Creative Writing) from the University of Florida. She worked in Public Relations for AT&T in Atlanta for 13 years before starting her own PR firm.
She serves on the 2017-2018 Roswell Reads Steering Committee and the Atlanta Authors committee and she presented on an Atlanta Writers Club panel at the 2017 AJC-Decatur Book Festival.
Read more about Marilyn’s books, short stories, and other works of fiction at http://www.marilynbaron.com.
Official website: http://www.marilynbaron.com
To receive regular updates from the author, join Marilyn Baron’s newsletter.
Connect with Marilyn Baron on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

Giveaway

WIN $25 GIFT CARD AND MORE

The Siege: A Novel Giveaway Graphic
Prizes up for grabs:
1) $25 Amazon Gift Card
2) The Alibi eBook copy
3) Signed Print of Amelia Marsh by Sharon Goldman
Contest runs from January 8 – 14, 2018.

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#BookBlitz…Where Lives Lead…#BookBoost #Contemporary #WomensFiction @RABTBookTours @arrivebydusk

Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Date Published:  September 2017

Where Lives Lead is a contemporary tale of love and sacrifice as different paths attempt to unite.

Mindy and Blaine enjoy a life of marital bliss in upstate New York.  The fire is still lit on their marriage as they still experience romantic dates in the Hamptons, however, Mindy realizes that she wants more and that is to start a family. She manages to chase this desire regardless, while planning a gala with her favorite charity and opening a new design school in New York.  Blaine has many projects on the horizon including the acquisition of a new hotel out west and the family business, but the most important will enable a new cast to arrive in Crystal Shores. He is expanding to the film and entertainment market in addition to his hospitality empire. A venture which requires the expertise of his mother, Harriett, and an avant garde writer, Genevieve, who grasps the essence of the Shores and results in a promising project. Mindy decides to support his dreams with conditions. Will Blaine find the time to help Mindy realize her dreams now that he is more successful? Or will a move to the west coast delay their plans? Wherever their lives may lead all directions still point to the serenity of his first development and Crystal Shores. 

Where Lives Lead is available for purchase in both print and ebook formats.

About the Author

Gabrielle F. Culmer is a lawyer and has received degrees from universities in New York, Chicago and the United Kingdom. She is also the author of four previous novels, including “Arrive by Dusk,” and “Restoring Patterns” and two collections of poetry, including, “Glenely Bay and Nostalgia from Paris.” In her spare time, she enjoys traveling to Europe and New York, and riding horses.

Contact Links

 
Purchase Links
 

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#BookBlitz…Deck the Malls with Purple Peacocks…#BookBoost #ChickLit #SweetRomance #WomensFiction @lolasblogtours @AmyGettinger

This is my stop during the book blitz for Deck The Malls with Purple Peacocks by Amy Gettinger. This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 7 till 20 December. See the tour schedule here.

Get this book for free!

From 9 till 10 December and from 15 till 17 December the book will be free on Amazon!

Deck The Malls with Purple PeacocksDeck The Malls with Purple Peacocks (Alice Chronicles #2)
By Amy Gettinger
Genre: Chick-lit/ Women’s Fiction/ Sweet Romance
Age category: Adult
Release Date: November 18, 2017

Blurb:
It’s Christmas in Orange County, California, and the mall is full of purple peacock decorations, large and small. Department store employee Aracely Martinez has a goofy Cuban friend, Quito (who’s awfully cute in his mall Santa suit), distracting her from her night-shift restocking job. But Aracely has a long-held secret, which her supervisor at the store, Jacob Thinnes, is holding over her head to make her do his bidding.

Which is too much bidding.

Enter Aracely’s oldest friends: Alice Chalmers, Georgette Jones and Julie Bowers. The group’s “Venus Warrior” bond from the 2003 production of The Venus Monologues at Garden Beach Community College is still very strong, and these women are ready, willing, and able to kick some butt to help Aracely out of her difficult bind. Join Aracely’s “Three Wise Women” plus her ever-present trickster hunk, Quito, in one adventure after another as they work against the odds to give Aracely a fabulous, nearly impossible Christmas gift: the life of her dreams.

You can find Deck The Malls with Purple Peacocks on Goodreads

You can buy Deck The Malls with Purple Peacocks here on Amazon

From 9 till 10 December and from 15 till 17 December the book will be free!

Amy GettingerAbout the Author:
Amy Gettinger, once a community college ESL instructor, now writes novels and reader’s theater plays and coaches Reader’s Theater for Seniors. She’s a member of the Los Angeles Poets and Writers Collective. She lives in Orange County, California underneath a eucalyptus windrow full of parrots and crows. For fun, she walks the local beach cliff path with her husband and dogs–and thinks up perfectly ridiculous characters and crimes to write about.

You can find and contact Amy Gettinger here:
Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Amazon

Giveaway

There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of Deck The Malls in Purple Peacocks. These are the prizes you can win:
– a peacock Christmas tree ornament (US Only)
– an e-copy of Roll with the Punches by Amy Gettinger (International)
– an e-copy of Alice in Monologue Land by Amy Gettinger (International)
– an e-copy of Pranks and Poodles by Amy Gettinger (International)

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
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#BookPromo…Red Stiletto Strategy…#BookBoost #Women #HistoricalFiction #Shortstory @MoBPromos @HunterS_Jones

RED STILETTO STRATEGY

by Hunter S. Jones
Genre: Women’s Historical Fiction (Espionage Short Story)

Born to an alcoholic, single mother in Texas, Luckie Stratton learns from a young age to keep her distance, avoiding getting close to anyone. She moves to LA as a young film actress, becomes enchanted by a swarthy English gentleman and flies to London in 1940 to join his secret British spy elites. The seductive blonde becomes an undercover assassin. Armed with her charm, a switchblade and a Derringer, this femme fatale never fails her mission. Disguised as an anxious wife waiting for her British ‘husband’ to return from battle proves to be irresistible bait to Nazi covert operatives.
 
All’s fair in love and war.

Luckie Stratton looked across her right shoulder into the mirror, then reached down and straightened her left stocking until the seam ran up her leg with the precision of a surgical knife. The room was dimly lit, and she checked her purse for the small Derringer pistol and the switchblade stiletto. Scraping the bottom of a lipstick tube, she applied the last of the Regimental Red she had brought from Los Angeles. She slipped her feet into her best heels and clicked off the table lamp. Smoothing her hair, she walked outside the apartment door, looking both ways before locking it.
 
Tonight, she had a date with destiny.
 
Dr. Smithers had been her mark for the last few months. Making her way into the misty haze of the London night, Luckie Stratton knew she had a mission to complete. Hamish had sent her a coded message yesterday saying that the German spy—a double agent—would be at the USO where Joey’s band played. She was to kill him by any means necessary. It was a job she had completed successfully many times, and what had earned her the nickname Luckie.
 
She was born in Red River, Texas; her mother had had a weekend fling with a doughboy she met in Dallas the weekend the First War ended. The boy left, her mother discovered she was pregnant two months later, and eventually moved to L.A. with the little girl. Her mother dreamt of being an actress but only became successful at becoming an alcoholic. Eventually, the young girl took on acting jobs to support her mother and herself. Fortunately for her, she learned early that if you didn’t become too attached to someone, you wouldn’t feel abandoned when they were no longer in your life. By the time she was eighteen, she knew she had a way with men; finding companionship with producers and businessmen was much more lucrative than being a bit player in movies. With her long legs and sultry voice, men were hooked once they met her. When she dyed her hair platinum blonde, the world was hers for the taking.
 
Then, war broke out in Europe and everything changed.

Hunter S. Jones publishes historical works and fiction independently as well as through traditional platforms. She is a member of the American Historical Association, Royal Historical Society, Organization of American Historians, Society of Authors, Historian: American Historical Association, Dangerous Women Project, Society of Civil War Historians, Atlanta Historical Society, War Historians (US), Historical Writers Association, Historical Novel Society, English Historical Fiction Authors, Atlanta Writers Club, and Rivendell Writers Colony. Originally from Tennessee, she now lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her Scottish born husband.

 

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#BookPromo…Just Like the Brontë Sisters…#BookBoost #WomenFiction @iheartreads

About the Book

Title: Just Like The Bronte Sisters

Author: Laurel Osterkamp

Genre: Women’s Fictionë

Sisters Skylar and Jo Beth adore skiing and they virtually share the same soul. After an accident, Jo Beth flees to Brazil, leaving Skylar behind in Colorado to obsessively read the Brontë sisters. While abroad, Jo Beth meets Mitch and her life takes some unexpected turns, until tragedy leads free-spirited Mitch right into Skylar’s empty arms. With their Heathcliff/Catherine romance in full swing, Skylar wants to trust Mitch, but did he harm her sister? Loving Mitch could make Skylar lose everything. Just Like the Brontë Sisters is an unconventional romantic page-turner inspired by Daphne du Maurier’s My Cousin Rachel, full of magical realism, literary references, a ghost, and some healthy doses of suspense. 

“She’s crying.”

“Huh?” I couldn’t orient myself or find my bearings as I woke in this foreign room to a foreign sound.

“Bijou is crying. You have to get her because I can’t.”

I fumbled around, patting my hands along the nightstand, trying to locate a lamp and switch it on. Finally, I gave up, got myself into sitting position, and put my feet on the floor. The trek to the nursery was short and lit by a nightlight, so that part was easy.

When I got there, I found Skylar standing on one leg over the bassinette, her crutches resting against the wall. She awkwardly leaned down in preparation for lifting Bijou up. Meanwhile, Bijou had switched from crying to angry screaming.

“Let me get her,” I said, and I handed Skylar her crutches so she could move out of the way. Then I picked up Bijou and held her, but that did nothing to stop her wailing.

“Do you think she’s hungry?” Skylar asked.

“Yeah.”

Skylar sat down in the rocking chair. “I can hold her while you go and prepare a bottle.”

“Okay.” I was unsure of the way down to the kitchen, and how I’d find the stuff to get a bottle ready once I was there. But I handed Skylar the baby and walked off like I knew what I was doing.

Actually, the kitchen was where I’d expected it to be, and when I flicked on the light there was Jo Beth, standing in the middle of the room like she’d been waiting for me.

“There’s the formula and the bottles,” she said, pointing to the counter where a bunch of baby stuff had been left out, probably by Elizabeth, so it could be found easily in the middle of the night. “Don’t forget to use warm water for the formula. Warm, but not hot.”

Was it possible to be this tired? I hadn’t slept on the plane and the hours before our trip were filled with life and death, but not with sleep. Every part of my body was heavy and it was incredible to imagine that I’d ever feel light again. “You woke me upstairs?” I said to Jo Beth.

“Yeah,” she replied. “Now are you going to make the bottle?”

I walked toward the counter where the baby stuff rested and I opened the can of formula. I let a sigh from deep inside escape while I dropped the milky white powder into the bottle. 

“What’s your problem?” Jo Beth demanded.

“Nothing, I’m just tired.”

“So?” She floated over to my side and hovered next to me, her hands defiantly on her nonexistent hips. “Do you have any appreciation for the effort it took me to get here? I bet you don’t.”

“How could I?” I went to the sink, turned on the water, and stuck my finger into the stream of cold until it turned suitably warm. “I have no idea how you got here and I’m betting you’re not allowed to tell me.”

“You know I’ve never given a crap about rules. But you’re right; I can’t tell you because you wouldn’t get it.”

There was no arguing her point. If I couldn’t understand simple concepts, like how the universe could be created by a single burst of energy from a miniscule volume of space, or how it possibly rose like a phoenix from the dust of another, dearly departed universe, how could I ever comprehend Jo Beth’s existence or her journey to find Bijou and me? 

“Okay,” I said simply.

Now it was Jo Beth’s turn to sigh, which she did as I tightened the lid onto the body of the bottle and shook it. Was she angry because I wasn’t arguing with her?

“Test the temperature on your wrist.” Jo Beth said.

“Why?”

“To make sure it’s not too hot.”

“But how hot is too hot?”

“It shouldn’t hurt.”

I looked at her; even as a ghost she was beautiful. “Can you feel pain anymore?”

Her eyelids pulled down for a moment, and then she silently shook her head no.

“But you can remember pain?” I asked.

“Of course.”

“I’m sorry if I contributed to your pain, Jo.”

She shook her head again. “Our daughter is crying. You should get upstairs.”

The bottle was ready, so I turned toward the stairs, toward the sound of little Bijou’s wails. But first I looked back at Jo Beth. “Will I see you again?”

She shrugged her ghostly shoulders. “Who knows?”

“What if I can’t live with that uncertainty?”

“You have too. Everyone does.”

I almost pointed out that she doesn’t have to live with uncertainty, that she doesn’t have to live with anything, not anymore. But I kept my mouth shut for fear of being insensitive and climbed the stairs to find Skylar rocking Bijou.

“I can take over,” I said.

“Okay.”

We did the awkward dance of switching places, which included our handing the baby back and forth while she retrieved her crutches, and at one point Skylar had to lean on my shoulder while I held Bijou. Skylar looked so much like a younger, less angry Jo Beth, and she even held the same soapy scent.

“Thank you,” I said. I wanted to tell Skylar to stay, to sit with me, to not leave me alone. But right before those pleas escaped my mouth, I bit my tongue and managed not to beg. I put the bottle in Bijou’s mouth and instantly her screams stopped. Then the only sound in the room came from her sucking that rubber nipple.

“You were hungry, huh little girl?” I rocked Bijou, feeling that pull of devotion that they say always happens to mothers, but not necessarily to fathers. This delicate, strong creature, with her paper-thin eyelids, silky hair, and strong grip around my index finger: I knew that if necessary, I’d kill for her.

I could live with any other uncertainty, but Bijou had to be okay.

 

Author Bio

Laurel Osterkamp is a Kindle Scout/award-winning author of women’s fiction and suspense. Her “day job” is as at Columbia Heights High School, where she teaches creative writing, college writing, and AP Lit. She resides in Minneapolis with her husband, two chatty children, an overweight cat, a gecko, and a hissing cockroach (don’t ask). Her other loves include chocolate, jogging, and boots.

Links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Just-Brontë-Sisters-Laurel-Osterkamp-ebook/dp/B076Z4Y1T9

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

Website: http://laurel.pmibooks.com/

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#BookPromo…The Year of Loving…#BookBoost #Contemporary #Women #Fiction #Giveaway @IARTG @tracilslatton @SDSXXTours

The Year of Loving
by Traci L. Slatton
Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction

Art gallerist Sarah Paige’s world is crumbling. One daughter barely speaks to her and the other is off the rails. Sarah is struggling to keep her gallery afloat in a tough market when she learns that her most beloved friend has cancer. In the midst of her second divorce, two men come into her life: an older man who offers companionship and stability and an exciting younger man whose life is as chaotic as hers.

Sarah’s courage, humor, and spirit strengthen her, but how much can she bear, and what sustains her when all else falls away?

Traci L. Slatton is the international bestselling author of historical, paranormal, and romantic novels, including IMMORTAL (BantamDell) and BROKEN; the award-winning dystopian After Series which includes FALLEN, COLD LIGHT, FAR SHORE and BLOOD SKY; the bittersweet romantic comedy THE LOVE OF MY (OTHER) LIFE; and the vampire art history romp THE BOTTICELLI AFFAIR. She has also published the lyrical poetry collection DANCING IN THE TABERNACLE and THE ART OF LIFE, a photo-essay about figurative sculpture through the ages. Her book PIERCING TIME & SPACE explores the meeting ground of science and spirituality. Her latest novel THE YEAR OF LOVING follows an art gallerist through a steamy love triangle and a challenging year of love and travail. This story seeks to answer the question, What sustains you when all else falls apart?

 

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#BookTour…#Running In Snow…#BookBoost #Women #Fiction #Romance @SDSXXTours @ReneeRegent

Running in Snow:
A Holiday Novella
by Renee Regent
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

Two heartwarming tales of love and redemption. And snow.

 Noelle’s Promise

 Does your past define the future?

Noelle has one cardinal rule─never, ever celebrate the holidays. But now she’s promised to spend them with her boyfriend, Logan, and his extended family. As the festivities begin, bad memories surface. She manages to suppress her anxiety and join in the celebrations, until an unexpected incident sends her fleeing into the night. Can she overcome her past before it ruins her future?

 Eve’s Hope

Can a holiday be unlucky every year?

When her heater goes out in the middle of a rare Atlanta snowstorm, reclusive Eve accepts the invitation to her handsome neighbor’s party. Expecting to be bored to tears, she encounters a few surprises before the countdown to midnight begins. Can she survive just one New Year’s Eve without her bad luck kicking in?

A lifelong entrepreneur, Renee Regent spent most of her life writing for business, but never lost her love of writing stories. Being an incurable romantic, she now writes stories about mismatched people who beat the odds to be together, with a surprising twist or two.

Renee lives in Atlanta with her husband, three cats and four turtles. When not working or writing, she can be found sitting on her deck enjoying nature. Wine may or may not be involved….

 

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#Book #Promo…No One But You…#BookBoost #Women #Fiction #OnTour @RoxanneRhoads @tessalevyauthor

No One But You

Tessa Levy

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Publisher: Filament Publishing

ISBN: 978-1912256051

Book Description:

The book is a fictional account of a young girl’s story based on the true life of Tessa Levy, the author, who co-wrote the book with her youngest daughter Shelley Cassidy. From the post-war East End of London, to the high life of America and back again. It portrays a young girl’s yearning for adventure and opportunity and ultimately love, on both sides of the Atlantic.

Tessa, the main character, was the youngest child of a large family and had the responsibility of caring for her beloved dying mother. When her father secretly marries another woman, who moves into their home with her three children, Tessa’s world is shattered. She seeks solace from distant cousins whom she has never met in America, with whom she secretly commences correspondence. She reveals her situation and she is invited to stay with her cousins.

At the tender age of 17, she sets off on the adventure of a lifetime. A year and a half later, she returns to England as a glamorous young women, having fallen in love for the first time. However, she crosses the cultural divide and struggles to resettle, despite her family’s best efforts to reintegrate her into their Jewish community in London. Eventually meeting the man she will marry, she suffers another painful premature family death.

She embarks on motherhood and a career, which she loves and excels at. However, life continues to challenge her happiness and she finds herself torn between the two loves of her life: the handsome, poetic and artistic Gus in America, and the charismatic, successful, but disloyal David in England, both so very different.

Once again, the Atlantic splits her heart. Her romantic adventure, back and forth between the two countries, ultimately answer the underlying theme of the book; whether it is possible to love two men in one life.

Amazon     AmazonUK      Filament Publishing

 

About the Author:

Tessa Levy was born in the in the East End of London, as the youngest of six children in a Jewish family; Russian immigrants to England before the Second World War. The author, like her brothers in the fashion business and her husband in the nightclub trade of Soho, made a success of her antique business – a truly entrepreneurial woman in an era when business was dominated by men – specialising in Imari porcelain and creating an established presence in the Kensington Pavilion.

Now in her 80s, Tessa resides in West London, opposite Hyde Park, and maintains one foot on either side of the pond. No One But You is Tessa Levy’s first book, based on real events, which brings to light a topical immigrant family story of displacement, hardship, disease and death, but also of inclusion, friendship, love and success. It crosses the divide not only between two cultural differences, but also two faiths and families.

Website: https://tessalevyauthor.wordpress.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TessaLevyAuthor

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#BookTour…Christmas in Icicle Falls…#BookBoost #Women #Fiction

Title: CHRISTMAS IN ICICLE FALLS
Author: Sheila Roberts
Publisher: Harlequin Mira
Pages: 368
Genre: Women’s Fiction

When Muriel Sterling released her new book, A Guide to Happy Holidaysshe felt like the queen of Christmas. She’s thrilled when the new tree she ordered online arrives and is eager to show it off—until she gets it out of the box and realizes it’s a mangy dud. But rather than give up on the ugly tree, Muriel decides to make a project out of it. As she pretties up her tree, she realizes there’s a lesson to be learned: everything and everyone has potential. Maybe even her old friend Arnie, who’s loved her for years. Except, she’s not the only one seeing Arnie’s potential…

Meanwhile, Muriel’s ugly-tree project has also inspired her friends. Sienna Moreno is trying to bring out the best in the grouchy man next door, who hates noise, hates kids and hates his new neighbors. And while Olivia Claussen would love to send her obnoxious new daughter-in-law packing, she’s adjusting her attitude and trying to discover what her son sees in the girl. If these women can learn to see the beauty in the “ugly trees” in their lives, perhaps this might turn out to be the happiest holiday yet.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 

 

Chapter One
“This is the time of year to give
thanks for all the wonderful people in our lives.”
– A Guide to
Happy Holidays
by Muriel Sterling
–      
Thanksgiving, a day to spend with family, to give
thanks for all your blessings, to … have a close encounter with your cranky
neighbor’s shrubbery. Oh, yes, this was how Sienna Marks wanted to start her
day.
Why, oh, why, had she ventured out in her car on an
icy street to go to the grocery store for more milk when she could have asked
her cousin Rita Reyes to bring it? Rita’s husband Tito worked at the Safeway
meat department. He could have picked up a gallon.
But oh, no. She had to go out on her cheap
no-weather tires. She should have stretched her budget a little further and
gotten those snow tires like Rita had told her to do. “Here in the mountains
you want snow tires,” Rita had said.
Yes, she did, especially now as she was skidding
toward Mr. Cratchett’s front yard.
“We’re gonna die!” her nine – year old son Leo
cried and clapped his hands over his eyes as they slid up and over Mr.
Cratchett’s juniper bush. Sienna could hear the branches crunching under them,
the bush equivalent of breaking bones. Madre de Dios!
The good news was, the bush brought her to a stop.
The bad news was she was stopped right in front of Mr. Cratchett’s house.
Maybe she hadn’t damaged the bush too much. “It’s
okay, honey. We’re fine,” she assured her son, and got out of the car on shaky
legs. She probably couldn’t say the same for Mr. Cratchett’s landscaping.
She was barely out of her car before her neighbor
stormed down the walk, an ancient navy pea coat thrown on over pajama bottoms
stuffed into boots, a knitted cap pulled over his sparse gray hair. He was
scowling. Great.
“What have you done to my juniper bush?” he
demanded.
“I’m so sorry, Mr. Cratchett. “I hit a slippery
spot.”
“You shouldn’t be out if you don’t know how to
drive in the snow,” Cratchett growled.
She wasn’t sure how she’d learn to drive in the
snow if she didn’t get out in it but she decided this wasn’t the time for that
observation.
He leaned over the bush like a detective examining
a corpse. “This thing will never come back. You’ve damaged it beyond repair.”
“I’ll buy you a new one come spring,” Sienna
promised.
“You certainly will,” he snapped. “If you don’t,
you’ll be hearing from my lawyer. You’re becoming a real nuisance.”
“So are you,” she muttered as she got back into her
car.
“He’s mad,” Leo observed.
There was an understatement. “It’s okay,” she said
as much to herself as her son. She put the car into gear, held her breath and
inched toward their driveway. The car swayed as they turned in. Ooooh.
“I want to get out,” Leo said.
“Stay put. We’re fine.” She bit her lip as she
braked – oh, so gently – and the car fishtailed to a stop right before she hit
the garage door.
She let out her breath. There. Something to be
thankful for.
She could see Cratchett standing on his front walk,
glaring at her. “You shouldn’t be driving,” he called.
Yeah, well, neither should he. She’d seen him
behind the wheel and he was scary even when there wasn’t snow. Honestly, what
had she ever done to deserve inheriting him?
“Just lucky, I guess,” teased her cousin Rita later
as Sienna recounted her day’s adventures to her family over their evening
Thanksgiving feast.
There were plenty of people present to enjoy it –
Rita, her husband Tito and their toddler Linda were present along with Sienna’s
tia, Mami Lucy and Tito’s sister and brother-in-law and their two small
children. It was Sienna’s first holiday celebration in her new house and she
loved being able to fill it with company.
Especially on Thanksgiving, which was her favorite
holiday. The food – turkey and pork, tamales, Mami’s arroz con gandules,
coquito and flan for dessert, the music – salsa, merengue, and bachata, and, of
course, time with family. With her parents and two brothers still in L.A.
it was a comfort to be able to have her aunt and cousin living in the same town.
It was also nice to have them right here to complain to.
No, wait. No complaining on Thanksgiving. She was
simply venting. Justifiably venting. “I mean it’s not like I meant to run over
Mr. Cratchett’s juniper bush.”
“You didn’t exactly get practice driving in snow
down in L.A.” Rita said
consolingly.

“That man.” She shook her head in disgust as she helped herself to more
fruit salad. “Neighbors should come with a warning label.”

“This one should have,” Sienna said. “He shouldn’t
be allowed to have neighbors. He should be hermit. Actually, he’s already close
to one. He hardly ever comes out of that big, overgrown house of his except to
yell at me.” Okay, maybe that was a slight exaggeration.
Or not.
“Mr. Cratchett’s mean to me, too, Mommy,” put in
Leo.
Tito shook his head. “Threatening to call the cops
over a baseball through the window.”
“I didn’t do that,” Leo declared hotly. “It was
Tommie Haskell. Tommy said it was me.”
Poor Leo had taken the fall and Sienna had bought
Mr. Cratchett a new window.
“Culo,” muttered Tito. “I should have come over and
taken a baseball to the old dude’s head.”
Tito’s sister pointed her fork at him. “Then he
really would have called the cops.”
“He’s been there, done that,” Sienna said.
“Remember?”
“Yes, making such a stink when we had your
housewarming party,” Rita said in disgust. “Too loud my ass. It was barely
nine.”
“Maybe that’s what got us started on the wrong
foot,” Sienna mused.
Tito frowned and shook his head. “No. The dude’s a
cabrón.”
“Oh, well. Let’s not think about him anymore,”
Sienna said. There were plenty of nice people in town to make up for her
un-neighborly neighbor. She liked Rita’s boss, Charley Masters, who owned
Zelda’s restaurant, and Bailey Black, who owned a teashop, was quickly becoming
a good friend. Pat York, her boss at Mountain Escape Books was great, and Pat’s
friends had all taken her under their wings.
“Good idea,” agreed Rita. “Pass the tamales.”
Venting finished, Sienna went back to concentrating
on counting her blessings. So she didn’t have husband. (Who wanted a creep who
walked away when the going got tough, anyway?) She had her family, new friends,
a wonderful job and a pretty house. It wasn’t as big as Cratchett’s corner lot
mansion – nobody’s was – but it had three bedrooms, two baths, and a kitchen
with lots of cupboard space, and it was all hers. Or it would be in thirty
years. And she had the sweetest son a woman could ask for. Her life was good,
so more complaining, er, venting.
 
Olivia Wallace’s feet hurt. So did her back. For that
matter, so did her head. Serving Thanksgiving dinner to all her guests at the
Icicle Creek Lodge was an exhausting undertaking, even with help.
Thank God she’d had help. Although one particular
‘helper,” her new daughter-in-law, had been about as helpful as a road block.
“I was a waitress at the Full Table Buffet,” Meadow
had bragged. “No problemo.”
She’d showed off her experience by setting the
tables wrong, spilling gravy in a customer’s lap and then swearing at him when
he got upset with her. She’d capped the day off by leaving halfway through
serving the main course.
“Meadow doesn’t feel good,” Olivia’s son Brandon
had explained.
Meadow didn’t feel good? Olivia hadn’t
felt so good herself. She’d been nursing a headache for days. (Perhaps it had
something to do with the arrival of her new daughter-law?) But running an inn
was not much different than show business. The show must go on.
And so it had, but Olivia was still feeling more
than a little cranky about the performance of one particular player. “Whatever
did he see in her?” she complained to her husband as James rubbed her tired
feet. Besides the obvious. The girl was pretty – in a brassy, exotic way. Brandon
had always dated good-looking women.
James wisely didn’t answer.
Olivia had been longing to see her baby boy married
for years, but she hadn’t expected him to sneak off to Vegas to do it. She
certainly hadn’t expected him to commit so quickly, before anyone hardly had a
chance to get to know her. Before he hardly even had a chance to get
to know her!
Brandon
had met Meadow when he was skiing. She’d been hanging out at the ski lodge at Crystal
Mountain after her first ski lesson
and there was poor, unsuspecting Brandon.
They’d wound up having dinner together and then spent the night partying. That
had been the beginning of private ski lessons followed by private parties for
two. And then it was, “Oops, I’m pregnant.” And that was followed by,
“Surprise, we’re married.” Of course, all this had taken place quite
clandestinely. He’d only known this girl a few months. Months! And never said
anything about her. Now, suddenly, here they were married. And, well, here they
were.
Not that Olivia wasn’t happy to have her wandering
boy home again, ready to help run the family business. It was just that the woman
he’d brought with him was taking some getting used to. Actually, a lot of
getting used to.
The couple had started out living in Seattle
and Brandon had settled down and
gotten a job working for large company that was slowly taking over the city.
The benefits were great, but the hours were long, and Meadow had complained. So
he’d called Mom and suggested coming back. The lodge would be passed on to him
and Eric anyway, so of course, she’d gotten a little suite ready for them, one
similar to what her older son Eric and his wife had, making them all one big,
happy family.
With a cuckoo in the nest.
“She tricked him into marrying her, I’m sure,”
Olivia muttered.
Olivia’s second son had always been a bit of a
ladies’ man, but she’d never known Brandon
to be irresponsible. The idea that he’d gotten someone pregnant – someone he
barely knew and who so clearly was not his type – didn’t make sense to her at
all. It was just so unlike him, In fact, the more she thought about it
after hearing the news the more she couldn’t help the sneaking suspicion that
the whole pregnancy thing had been a ploy to pin Brandon
down. Olivia’s suspicion only grew when, a few weeks after they were married
they told her the pregnancy had ended. It was a terrible thing to think, and
yet Olivia couldn’t shake the feeling that there probably hadn’t even been a
baby – only a trashy girl looking to snag a good-looking man and some financial
security. How had she been able to afford ski lessons, anyway?
Okay, she had to admit that Brandon
did seem smitten with Meadow. So there had to be something hiding
behind the trashy clothes, the lack of manners, the self-centeredness, and haze
of smoke from her E-cigarettes. Such a filthy habit, smoking, and so bad for
your health.
“I’d rather smoke than be fat,” Meadow had said to
Olivia when she had – politely – brought up the subject.
Olivia was a little on the pudgy side. Was that a
slur?
Not only did Meadow appear to disapprove of
Olivia’s looks, she obviously disapproved of her decorating skills. The first
thing out of her mouth when she’d seen the lodge had been, “Whoa, look at these
granny carpets.”
Granny carpets indeed! Those rose patterned carpets
were classic, and they’d cost Olivia a small fortune when she first put them
in. Plus, they complemented the many antiques Olivia had in the lobby and the
guest rooms. Well, all right. So the girl had different tastes. (Obviously she
wouldn’t know an antique if she tripped over one.) But did she have to be so …
vocal?
She’d hardly raved over the small apartment that
Olivia had given her and Brandon. She’d walked into the bedroom and frowned.
“Where’s the closet?”
Olivia had pointed to the German antique pine
armoire and said, “This is it. It’s a Shrank.”
“A what?”
“For your clothes.”
“I’m supposed to fit all my clothes in there?”
Taking in Meadow’s skimpy skirt and midriff-bearing
top, Olivia had doubted that her clothes would take up much room. “I’m sure Brandon
can remodel for you,” Olivia had said stiffly.
“I hope so.” Meadow had drifted over to the window
and looked out. “Wow, that’s some view.”
At least she’d appreciated the view.
“It’s gonna be really cool living here,” she’d
said, and Olivia almost warmed to her until she added, “Once we fix this place
up.”
“So what do you think of Meadow?” Brandon
had asked after the first he brought her home to meet Mom.
By then they were already married. It had been too
late to say what she really thought. “Wasn’t this a little fast? I always
thought we’d have a wedding.” I always thought you’d pick someone we wanted
you to marry.
That was when he’d blushed and confessed that they
were pregnant. They’d wanted to get married anyway, so what the hell.
What the hell indeed.
“Dear, this isn’t like you,” James said, bringing
Olivia out of her unpleasant reverie. “You’re normally so kind-hearted and
welcoming.”
“I’ve welcomed her,” Olivia insisted. She’d given
the girl a home here at the inn with the rest of the family. That was pretty
welcoming.
But you haven’t exactly taken her in with open
arms.
The thought gave her conscience a sharp poke and
she squirmed on the sofa. Her cat Muffin, who had been happily encamped on her
lap, meowed in protest.
“If only she was more like Brooke,” Olivia said as
if that excused her attitude. “At least Eric got it right.” Brooke was refined
and well educated and loved the lodge. Not only did she truly want to be
helpful, she actually was. She and Olivia were on the same wave length.
James couldn’t help smiling at the mention of his
daughter. It had been Brooke who was responsible for James and Olivia meeting.
“No one’s like Brooke,” he said proudly.
“She is one of a kind, just like her daddy.”
James, who had spent most of his life playing Santa
Claus, was as close to the real deal as a man could come. With his snowy white
hair and beard, husky build and caring smile, he embodied the very spirit of
Christmas.
“Thank you, my dear,” he said, and gave her poor,
tired foot a pat. “But, getting back to the subject of Meadow, I’m sure she has
many redeeming qualities. All you have to do is look for them.”
“With a magnifying glass.”
“Olivia,” he gently chided.
“You’re right. I’m just having such a hard time
warming to the girl.”
“I know. But this is the woman Brandon
has chosen.”
Olivia sighed. “Yes, and I need to make more of an
effort for his sake.”
And she would. Tomorrow was
another day.
Another busy day. They’d be decorating the lodge
for the holidays. Meadow had been excited over the prospect and assured Olivia
she loved to decorate. Hopefully, she’d be better at that than she was at
helping serve food.
The next morning, Eric was knocking on the door of
Olivia’s little apartment in the lodge. “We ready to do this?” he asked James.
“Yep. Let’s start hauling up the holidays.”
There was plenty to haul up from the huge basement
storeroom where Olivia kept the holiday decorations – ornaments to go on the
eight-foot noble fir they’d purchased for one corner of the lobby as well as
ones for the tree in the dining room, snow globes and red ribbons for the
fireplace mantel and, of course, the antique sleigh which would sit right in
the center of the lobby. It was a favorite with their guests and people were
constantly taking pictures of it. There were stuffed Teddy bears and antique
dolls to ride in the sleigh, mistletoe to hang in the hallways, and silk poinsettias
to be placed on the reception desk. Decorating the inn was an all hands on deck
day.
“Where’s your brother?” Olivia asked as he set down
the box of toys for the sleigh.
“He’s coming. Meadow’s just now getting up. They
closed down The Man Cave last night and she’s pooped.”
So, she’d recovered from her earlier illness. How
convenient. “Maybe she’s too tired to help,” Olivia said hopefully. Playing
pool all night could be exhausting.
No such luck. Fifteen minutes later
Olivia and Brooke were sorting through the first bin of decorations when Meadow
dragged herself into the lobby accompanied by Brandon.
She was wearing tight, ripped jeans, complimented with a sheer blouse hanging
loose over a low cut red camisole which perfectly matched the patch of hair she’d
died red. The rest was a color of blonde that made Olivia think of lightbulbs.
Olivia could just see the tip of the wings on the butterfly Meadow had tattooed
over her right breast peeking over the top of the camisole. She made a shocking
contrast to Brooke with her soft brown hair and tasteful clothes. Now almost
eight months pregnant, she was wearing a long, gray sweater accented with a
blue silk scarf over her black maternity leggings and gray ankle boots. Meadow
even looked like a total mismatch with Brandon, who was in jeans and a casual,
button down black plaid shirt.
“I feel like shit,” she confessed. “I think those
fish tacos were off.” She shook her head. “Now I know what they mean when they
say toss your tacos.”
The queen of refinement this girl was not. To think
Brandon could have had sweet little
Bailey Black for a daughter-in-law if only he’d gotten with the program. Bailey
had carried a torch for him for years. Too late now. She was happily married.
And Brandon was … trapped. So were
the rest of them.
You’re going to have to make the best of it,
Olivia reminded herself. Her son loved his new wife. He’d obviously seen
something in her. She probably would too. If she looked harder.
James and Eric arrived in the lobby bearing more
decorations. “You’re just in time,” Eric told his brother. “You can help me
haul in the sleigh.”
Brandon
nodded and followed the men back out.
Olivia pasted a smile on her face. “Well, girls,
let’s get started.”
“All right. This is going to be fun,” Meadow said
eagerly, and opened a bin.
Eager and excited to help, that was commendable.
Meadow pulled out a pink ribbon ball holding a
sprig of silk mistletoe and made a face. “What the hell is this?”
“It’s mistletoe,” Olivia explained.
“Mistletoe.” Meadow said it like it was a foreign
language.
“You’ve heard of mistletoe, right?” Brooke prompted
and Meadow shook her head.
Both Olivia and Brooke stared at her in amazement.
“So, what is it?”
“You hang it up and then when you catch someone
under it you kiss him,” Brooke explained.
Meadow shook her head. “Why do you need a plant for
that? If you want to kiss a guy just kiss him!”
Good Lord. The child was a complete Philistine.
Brooke smiled. “It’s a fun, little tradition people
enjoy.”
“Whatever,” Meadow said, unimpressed.
She was impressed with the sleigh though. “Wow,
that’s epic.” The minute the men had set it down she climbed into it and tossed
Brandon her cell phone. “Take my
picture, babe,” she commanded and struck a rapper girl pose, complete with the
weird finger thing and the pout.
An older couple was walking through the lobby, and
the husband stopped to enjoy the moment. “Now there’s my kind of Christmas
present,” he joked.
His wife, not seeing the humor, grabbed his arm and
got him moving again. “Tacky,” she hissed.
Meadow flipped her off and Olivia’s cheeks heated.
Dear Santa, please bring me an extra dose of
patience. I’m going to need it.

 

Watch the Book Teaser!

 

USA Today best-selling author Sheila Roberts has seen her books published in multiple languages and made into movies. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, dividing her time between a waterfront condo and a beach home. When she’s not on the tennis courts or partying with friends she can be found writing about those things dear to women’s hearts: family, friends, and chocolate.

Her latest women’s fiction is Christmas in Icicle Falls.

 

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#Book #Promo…Single Rider…#BookBoost #Contemporary #Women #Fiction #Giveaway #OnTour @SDSXXTours @skyzieleah

Single Rider
by Skye Leah Collett
Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction

This is a story about a woman named Kenzie. A woman who knows what she wants and likes things just the way they are, thank you very much.

This is also a story about a man named Max. Max can be a real pain in the ass.

And finally, this is a story about Dash, ex-husband extraordinaire, who likes to get down to the Scissor Sisters and parties a little too much.

And Katie, the best friend who parties far too much and can expertly defend herself against sexual harassment accusations.

And Claudia, sister, mother and head of the school parent’s association, long time tea drinker. The chalk to Kenzie’s cheese.

And Michael, the one that got away.

(The one in the hat!)

First time author of Single Rider Skye Leah Collett, refuses to concede that her debut novel is in any way
Autobiographical.

Her exhusband doesn’t buy it

He won’t shut up about the  similarities between himself and the vibrantly likeable supporting character Dash. Unrelenting in his conviction that the imagined fellows resemblance is as unsubtle as the nose on his handsome face, he’s adamantly staked a claim in sharing any perceived future celebrity entitlements. He is also one of this author’s biggest fans.

Sydney born but a devoted Brisbane girl for almost three decades, Skye’s stories centre on the lives and relationships of individuals living in modern suburban Australia. Their friendships, their increasingly
overbearing families and of course their lovers.

Her father’s dedication to waffling, unapologetically long winded stories is a treasured family trait passed on through generations and Skye’s rich, colourful characters are painstakingly crafted to become people you wished you knew and become reluctant to farewell.

Skye spends an unseemly indulgent amount of time pinching herself as a reminder that she is indeed awake and very much a person who finished writing a novel.

She’d adore hearing from anyone who feels inclined to make the effort or just wants to say hey.

Skye Leah Collett can be reached anytime via her many varied social media locations!

 Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Amazon * Goodreads

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Women’s Fiction
Date Published: October 24, 2017
 
Coming home to catch her husband with his face between the long, silky legs of another woman is the last thing Sofia expects—and on today of all days. So, after scratching an expletive into his Porsche and setting the cheating bastard’s clothes on fire, she cranks up her beloved Bruce and flees, vowing never to look back.
 
Seeking solace in the peaceful beachside town of Bradley Beach, NJ, Sof is determined to start over. And, with the help of best friends, new acquaintances, a sexy neighbor, and the powerful songs of Springsteen, this may be the place where her wounds can heal. But, as if she hasn’t faced her share of life’s challenges, a final flurry of obstacles awaits.
 
In order to head courageously toward the future, Sofia must first let go of her past, find freedom, and mend her broken soul.
 
 

The sighs from my supposed-to-be-empty bedroom grow into moans, and my pulse thuds in my temples. I know the dark place might suck me in if I’m not careful, but I can’t stop myself from looking.

 I peer through the half-open door. My husband crouches naked on the bed with his face buried between long, shapely legs. Gorgeous, oddly-familiar legs.

“Oooh, oooh,” groans the owner of the silky limbs.

“Mmm, mmmmm,” answers Jerome. His rear wags from side to side. The two bald spots in the center of his butt cheeks stare at me, and my skin tingles the way it did when I drew too close to the sparklers little Benjamin played with on the fourth of July.

The bed creaks. After twenty-six years the thing still makes the same noise. A chill winds its way up my back, and pain sears beneath my ribcage. My breaths rush in and out.

How can he? What the hell? In our bed. Today of all days.

Darkness grows, and flames erupt behind my eyelids. In a red fury, I howl and charge. I whoop again and bear down on the startled couple.

With a jolt, the name of the owner of the legs explodes into my mind.

Mandy.

I know Mandy. Sort of.

Jerome’s personal trainer. Mandy Malone.

I slip on the area rug and lose my balance. Oh, yes. I know Mandy. At the gym Christmas party Mandy’s hips sported a short, pink thing that appeared to be more like a headband than a skirt. The Christmas party was where I saw those legs before.

Mandy jumps out of bed and pulls the covers around her. She cowers in the corner. 

I’m not proud of what I do next. 

I grab a red high heel from the floor and climb to my feet. Taking aim, I hurl the shoe, but Jerome rolls away and the stiletto lands on the pillow. I reach for one of Jerome’s wing tips resting annoyingly on the floor beside a pair of red panties and matching bustier.  I launch the shoe, and the ever-athletic creep dodges and leaps from the bed. A pink rubber phallus lands with a thunk, and a yowl bursts from deep within me. “Sex toys. You’re using sex toys.” My hands grasp the floor lamp and level it like a spear.

“Sof, cut it out.” Jerome’s voice quavers, and he holds his hands over his privates.

Yanking the plug from the wall, I swing the lamp in a circle with no idea of what I’m doing, acting on instinct. I run towards him, but Jerome darts out of the way. The lamp smashes into the headboard, shattering bulbs and sending the pole flying from my hands. Shards of glass cover the bed and floor.

A tiny red mini-skirt and pink tank top catch my attention. My God, she must shop in the children’s department. And what an awful color combination.

 “Sof, this isn’t doing anyone any good. Can we talk?” He’s bobbing and weaving now, waiting for the next assault.

“Talk? Talk? What’s there to talk about?” My brain sizzles, and my thoughts stab mercilessly. I seize his belt from the floor and hurl it, grazing the top of his head. “Do you remember when we bought this bed?”

No answer leaves his lips.

“I do.” I snatch up his other wingtip, and this one catches him in the back. “We couldn’t afford it, but you wouldn’t take no for an answer. You said it would last a lifetime.” I rip at the all-cotton sheets, yanking them off the mattress. “I just bought these at Macy’s. I changed the bed yesterday. You told me polyester blends make you sweat. So does she!” I yell, jerking my arm towards the cowering blonde and fighting the fury twisting inside my gut.

Jerome approaches the closet. His hairy bare rear with its Orphan Annie blank orbs shines in the morning light. I tug on the curtains, and as the metal rod falls we both reach for it. He twists hard, and I let go causing him to lose his balance and send the pole clattering against the oak flooring. I swoop up the rod in a death grip and connect with the back of his knees. He falls to the rug and writhes in agony.

“Stop,” he shouts.

“Sure,” I say, launching myself on top of him and boxing his ears. “How’s this?”

He rolls to the side throwing me off, and my face plants onto the carpet. I scramble to my feet and collect the scattered clothing, stumbling down the hallway to the spare bedroom.

 

About the Author

Barbara Quinn is an award-winning short story writer and author of a variety of novels.
 
Her travels have taken her to forty-seven states and five continents where she’s encountered fascinating settings and inspiring people that populate her work.
 
Her many past jobs include lawyer, record shop owner, reporter, process server, lingerie sales clerk, waitress, and postal worker. She’s a native New Yorker with roots in the Bronx, Long Island, and Westchester. She currently resides with her husband in Bradley Beach, NJ and Holmes Beach, FL. She enjoys spending time with her son and his family and planning her next adventure. She wants to remind everyone that when you meet her, SHE’S NOT SHOUTING, SHE’S ITALIAN.
 
Contact Links
 
Purchase Links
 
 

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#Book #Promo…The Crows of Beara…#BookBoost #Climate #Womens #Fiction #Eco-Lit #OnTour @JulieChristineJ @SagesBlogTours

The Crows of Beara

By Julie Christine Johnson

Genre: Fiction, Climate Fiction, Eco-Lit, Women’s Fiction

 Along the windswept coast of Ireland, a woman discovers the landscape of her own heart

When Annie Crowe travels from Seattle to a small Irish village to promote a new copper mine, her public relations career is hanging in the balance. Struggling to overcome her troubled past and a failing marriage, Annie is eager for a chance to rebuild her life.

Yet when she arrives on the remote Beara Peninsula, Annie learns that the mine would encroach on the nesting ground of an endangered bird, the Red-billed Chough, and many in the community are fiercely protective of this wild place. Among them is Daniel Savage, a local artist battling demons of his own, who has been recruited to help block the mine.

Despite their differences, Annie and Daniel find themselves drawn toward each other, and, inexplicably, they begin to hear the same voice–a strange, distant whisper of Gaelic, like sorrow blowing in the wind.

Guided by ancient mythology and challenged by modern problems, Annie must confront the half-truths she has been sent to spread and the lies she has been telling herself. Most of all, she must open her heart to the healing power of this rugged land and its people.

Beautifully crafted with environmental themes, a lyrical Irish setting, and a touch of magical realism, The Crows of Beara is a breathtaking novel of how the nature of place encompasses everything that we are.

It took him longer than he anticipated to find a space near the gallery’s back loading door and to bring the last of his pieces inside, but when Daniel walked into the gallery, Annie was standing transfixed in front of the sculpture he’d titled Grian/Gealach—Sunrise/Sunset—her hand reaching for the delicate spheres of metal. She withdrew her hand before touching the piece, though her body leaned in still.

“Go on. It’s all right,” he said over her shoulder, removing a pair of stained and torn leather work gloves.

She seemed not to register him. Then she turned and nodded at the gloves he clutched in one hand. “Do you work here?”

“I’m delivering pieces for the installation.” He waved around the exhibit space. “We’ve set up just a few so far, but they give you an idea.”

“Is the artist a friend of yours?”


“Some days, yes. Some days I really can’t stand the sight of the bastard. But mostly we get along.” He winked and motioned her toward the sculpture. “Really, it’s meant for all the senses, not just visual. Go on.”

She drew the tip of her finger down one large round of metal. It blazed like firelight, catching the dipping sun, but the metal was cool. “It’s beautiful.”

“I like for people to handle these pieces—I want them to feel the texture and temperature of the materials.” Annie turned in surprise, but Daniel pretended not to notice. “Fingerprints leave marks and oil—that’s a good thing, at least for my work. People change my art as much as I hope it changes them.”

“I didn’t know you were an artist.”

“I do the guiding to keep a steady income coming in, but this is meant to be my day job.”

Giant parcels wrapped in quilted moving blankets leaned against the walls; only one other piece had been unwrapped, a protective cover draped over the corners. It was a tall, narrow triptych of patinated metal with a background of aquamarine. Gracing the foreground was a long hawthorn stem of leaves and berries that shimmered and waved in a silhouette of red and gold.

“This is copper,” she said in wonder. “You work with copper.”

“Copper mostly. Some bronze, chrome. I’m just starting in with glass—studying with an artist out of a cooperative here in Kenmare.”

“But, Daniel. Copper.”

“Recycled copper. I use discarded materials, from building sites mostly. Ironic, right? I don’t want the mine in my backyard, but I’m willing to exploit it nonetheless—is that what you’re thinking? I’m not so naive as to think we shouldn’t have mining.”

He pulled the cover away from the sculpture’s sharp edges and let it drop to the floor. The hawthorn was in a cow pasture where he often sat, watching for the Red-billed Chough that foraged for seeds in the manure. “But in my own way, maybe I can show that the earth’s resources aren’t ours for the taking wherever, whenever we want. Art is a way to connect people with their environment without polarizing, without politicizing. It can be used to that purpose, but it belongs to everyone. I want my art to show nature as a cultural artifact. I made a very deliberate decision to use what’s already been taken from the earth—what had been stripped from Beara’s earth more than a century ago. Maybe that is my political statement.”

At that moment, hearing the words in his own voice, speaking his heart out loud, Daniel made his decision. But it was something he needed to sit with, to form more fully on his own. And he couldn’t forget, no matter how enchanting this woman was, who she was, why their paths had crossed. 

About the Author

Julie’s short stories and essays have appeared in several journals, including Emerge Literary Journal; Mud Season Review; Cirque: A Literary Journal of the North Pacific Rim; Cobalt; River Poets Journal, in the print anthologies Stories for Sendai; Up, Do: Flash Fiction by Women Writers; and Three Minus One: Stories of Love and Loss; and featured on the flash fiction podcast No Extra Words. She holds undergraduate degrees in French and Psychology and a Master’s in International Affairs. Julie leads writing workshops and seminars and offers story/developmental editing and writer coaching services. 

Named a “standout debut” by the Library Journal, “Very highly recommended” by Historical Novels Review and declared “Delicate and haunting, romantic and mystical” by bestselling author Greer Macallister, Julie’s debut novel In Another Life went into a second printing three days after its February 2, 2016 release. 

A finalist for The Siskiyou Prize for New Environmental Literature, judged by PEN/Faulkner author and Man Booker Award nominee Karen Joy Fowler, Julie’s second novel The Crows of Beara was acquired by Ashland Creek Press and will take flight on September 15, 2017.

A hiker, yogi, and wine geek, Julie makes her home on the Olympic Peninsula of northwest Washington state. 

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/juliechristinejohnson/

On Twitter: https://twitter.com/JulieChristineJ

Website: http://www.juliechristinejohnson.com

 On Amazon: http://amzn.to/2o4RnJs

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On B&N: http://bit.ly/2pDlbda

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#Book #Promo…Tangled In Time…#BookBoost #Womens #Inspirational #Contemporary #Giveaway #OnTour @fairygirlcards @SDSXXTours

Tangled in Time
Miss Main Street Book 1
by Angela Castillo
Genre: Women’s Inspirational Contemporary

Clean slice-of-life women’s fiction with a romantic thread and Christian elements

Every small town has its secrets. Darcy’s have been locked up inside her since that last summer when she left Wimber, Texas, and the boy she loved, for a glitzy life in Los Angeles.

Seven years later, her gran’s passed away. Darcy’s been named as the sole owner of the Tangled in Time antique store. Darcy can’t wait to get back to the place where she’s always felt she belonged. But owning a business isn’t as easy as it seems. And sometimes the past is better left alone.

But Darcy is determined to push forward, despite the obstacles that cross her path. And maybe even have another chance to be with the man who stayed behind.

Angela Castillo loves living in the small town of Bastrop Texas, and draws much of her writing inspiration from life there. She loves to walk in the woods and shop in the local stores. Castillo studied Practical Theology and Music at Christ for the Nations in Dallas, Texas. She was home-schooled all through high school and is the oldest of 7 kids. Castillo’s greatest joys are her little girl and two boys. Castillo has been published in The First Line, Aardvark’s Ark, Heartwarmers, Thema, and several other publications, and also has works available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle format. Watch book trailers on my Amazon author page!

 

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#Book #Promo…Val & Pals #Series…#Humor #Women #Fiction #ChickLit @MoBPromos

VAL & PALS series

by Margaret Lashley

Genre: Humor/Women’s Fiction/Chick Lit
The first 2 books will be specially discounted to .99¢ on Sept 19th.

Absolute Zero: Misadventures From A Broad

A Midlife Meltdown…with a Side of Fries.

Val’s long-suffering life as a patient daughter, dutiful wife and reliable workhorse has turned her into a snarky, miserable nag.

She has the house, the husband and the career. The only thing missing is the happy.

Before she’s set out to pasture, Val wants one more go around the track. Unbridled. In Italy.

La dolce vita or bust.

Will Val find her happy ending abroad? Or someplace she never thought to look? And will she get there before her money and her sense of humor run out…

If you’ve ever dreamed of ditching your life and running off to Europe, now’s your chance! Join Val on a roller-coaster ride through Europe that will leave you gasping! From gut-busting hilarity to gut–wrenching gaffs, finding yourself again is always worth the price of admission. Buy it now!

The plane came to a halt. A mechanical bell binged. I looked around nervously. I slung my purse across my shoulder and sardined myself into the line of passengers inching their way down the narrow aisle. When I reached the plane’s exit door, I paused hesitantly, like a convict who’d gotten free of her cuffs without anybody noticing. My mind swirled with excitement and abject terror. Goosebumps rushed across my body. The hair at the base of my neck pricked up like a scaredy-cat.

What the hell was I doing?

Mere days before, I’d slammed every single door – including the screen one – on my life back in Florida. The last chance to change my mind had come and gone, as unheeded as a speed limit sign at a NASCAR rally. Every safety net I’d ever known was thousands of miles away, across the Atlantic Ocean, out of sight and out of reach.

I took a deep breath to steady myself, then stepped off the plane into the complete unknown. I glanced back and waved goodbye to the Air Italia flight crew. I turned again and meandered down the gangplank behind a frail, elderly couple holding hands. Their long-standing marriage triggered flashbacks of my own, long-suffering one.

Seven weeks ago, I’d signed the final divorce papers ending fifteen years of matrimony to Jimmy Johnson, a man I no longer knew. I envisioned the beautiful house Jimmy and I had shared together. I’d sold it and my advertising business just days before the flight. After splitting the pot with Jimmy, I’d netted a hot-damn jackpot of $473,000. I pictured my best friend, Clarice Whittle. I’d left my Ford in her garage, along with a few boxes that held the final remains of the cranky, resentful woman I hoped this trip would get rid of for good.

I’d brought next to nothing with me. I’d left even less behind. No kids. No pets. No job. No husband. No responsibilities. No nothing.

I’d spend the last forty-one years in perpetual motion – Val Jolly’s non-stop stint as dutiful daughter, long-suffering wife and brown-nosing business woman. I’d catered to everyone else’s needs for as long as I could remember. Somewhere along the way I’d turned into a crabby, shrill woman that even I didn’t like. I’d forgotten who I was and what I wanted. This trip was going be my R&R&R – relaxation, romance and re-invention.

I was in Italy to try my hand at living irresponsibly, like my trampy cousin Tammy Jeter. She’d always done as she damn well pleased. Up ‘til now, I’d thought she’d been selfish. Especially when she left Whitey Large and their five pit-bulls (One with puppies!) to run off with Tater Johnson. Turns out, that girl had had it right all along.


Available for only .99¢ Sept 15-19

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Glad One: Starting Over is a …!

How Many Do-Overs Do You Get in One Lifetime?

One crazy old lady. Two gin & tonics. Three wacko beach-bum friends. Will Val’s fourth stab at starting over add up to a big fat zero?

Val’s down, but don’t count her out just yet. Broke, but not broken (just seriously cracked), Val Fremden returns to her hometown of St. Petersburg, Florida to find everything she knew squashed under the heels of change.

With nothing left to go on but her own dry sense of humor and the life coach advice of a beer-guzzling old lady she meets at the beach, can her life get any crazier? Just wait.

Glad One is a satirical look at divorce, single-hood and climbing back up the social ladder. It’s told through the eyes of a snarky, reluctant, midlife-crisis survivor who lost everything — but regained herself.

Is there a light at the end of the tunnel for Val? Or is that just the headlamp of another train wreck heading her way? Knowing Val, it’s probably both.

If you like wacky, deeply flawed characters and laugh-out-loud situations, you’ll love Glad One! It’s the second book in Margaret Lashley’s hilarious, irreverent Val & Pals Series of seriously funny women’s fiction.


A puff of jaded air forced its way between my pursed lips like steam from a relief valve. I needed a good cry. But this was not the time or place for it. To distract myself, I started counting my blessings.

One decimated pocketbook. Two cottage-cheese thighs. Three maladjusted ex-husbands…. Crap!

Whoever was running the show up there had a wicked sense of humor – and I was getting damn tired of being the punchline. I scrounged around for my powder compact and opened it, intent on repairing my makeup after the nine-hour flight. One glance in the mirror at my worn-out face made me snap it shut. Why bother?

In forty-five years, I’d accumulated a good portion of wrinkles, a fair amount of belly fat, and, apparently, precious little wisdom. These questionable assets, along with $5,726 and a suitcase full of inappropriate clothes, were all I had left to launch my latest life makeover. I slumped back into my seat. I was bone-dragging tired. Even so, a wry grin snuck across my lips like a stolen kiss from a stranger. I was not defeated. Not yet, anyway.

The way I saw it, I still had two viable options. One, I could finally learn to laugh at myself. Or two, I could drink myself into oblivion. I fished around the bottom of my purse for a coin to determine my fate. I flipped a tarnished nickel into the air with my thumb. It did a triple gainer, plunged into my coffee, and splashed a nasty brown stain on the crotch of my white stretch pants.

Awesome. Let the festivities begin.

***

My last life makeover had begun over seven years ago, and had turned out to be a spectacular, downward spiral reminiscent of diving off a cliff with a bowling ball in my pants. Drowning in dullness and fueled by movie-inspired stupidity, I’d ditched a tiresome marriage and lucrative writing career, sold all my belongings and took off for Europe. In Italy, I met a German and fell in love with the idea of life with a stranger in a strange land. Things had been great for a while. But then the shiny wore off and the cracks showed up, like they always did.

On my arrival back in St. Petersburg, Florida, I’d discovered that seven wasn’t such a lucky number. In fact, seven years abroad had been just exactly long enough for my entire credit history to be erased – just like most of my money. I’d gotten off that plane with no driver’s license. No place to live. No credit card. No phone. No resume. And, worst of all, no friends. Incredibly, I’d somehow managed to become a foreigner in my own homeland.

As a lifelong lover of irony, I’d had to smile at my own ingenuity. How many other people on the planet could have claimed such a monumental fuck-up?

Available for only .99¢ Sept 19-22

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Two Crazy: Fickle Finger of Fate

The World is not a Safe Place for Figurines.

When you’re pushing 50 with an industrial bulldozer, birthdays can be a bitch. What was intended as a gag gift for Val ends up making her gag all right – and lands her in a whole heap of trouble with the law.

With one hot cop on her tail and a mean one on her trail, Val turns to old friends and new ones to help prove she’s not into human dismemberment.

Who’s the good cop? Who’s the bad? And who’s the dwarf in the Halloween mask?

Will a pair of falsies help Val stumble onto the truth? If not, she’s got to rely on her wacky, beach-bum friends if she’s going to escape the fickle finger of fate.

Two Crazy is a satirical look at how life seems to take pleasure in screwing up all of our well-laid plans. It’s told through the eyes of a snarky, middle-aged woman with major trust issues and dubious, yet highly original coping skills.

If you like deeply flawed characters and laugh-out-loud situations, you’ll love Absolute Zero. It’s the third book in Margaret Lashley’s hilarious, irreverent Val & Pals Series of seriously funny women’s fiction.

I woke the morning after my birthday party with a cop in my bed and a dead body in the kitchen. Okay, it was just a roach carcass. But I swear it was big enough to draw a chalk line around. It was legs-up in the middle of the floor. I’d fumbled, bleary-eyed, toward the cappuccino machine in nothing but Tom’s t-shirt, and had managed, of course, to step right on it. The disgusting crunch of its carapace underfoot made me scream like a little girl.

“Aaahhhh!”

As a native of the Sunshine State, I’d grown up learning to deal with the worst that Florida’s flora and fauna had to throw at me. Poison ivy. Cabbage-palm spikes. Daddy long-leg spiders. Fire ants. Kamikaze tree frogs. Ghoulish house geckos. Deadly rattlesnakes and cottonmouths. Even the occasional gator on the road or in a swimming pool. I’d managed to make my peace with all of them – except one.

Let a roach get anywhere near me – especially a flying one – and my bravado disappeared faster than Oreos at a Weight Watcher’s convention. When I’d stepped on that nasty bug, I’d let out a scream that could be heard on the International Space Station. If that marked me as a sissy, so be it. But there was something abhorrently primeval about a creature that could live for months without its own head.

“What’s going on in there!?”

Tom dashed into the room. He was naked except for his state-issued revolver. The sight of his tan, muscular body almost made me forget about my predicament. Almost.

“A roach,” I grimaced. I held up my foot like it needed stitches.

Tom grinned at me and shook his head.

“There appears to be no permanent damage. What happened to my fearless partner? Valliant Stranger?”

“Hey. Roaches are my kryptonite, okay?”

“Duly noted. I thought you put out some traps. Roach Motels, right?”

I took a paper towel off the roll and ran it under the tap. I bit my lip in disgust and wiped my foot.

“Yeah, I did. I guess there was no room left at the inn.”

Tom sniggered. “Don’t those things come with ‘No Vacancy’ signs?”

“Very funny, Mr. Morning Sunshine. Can we please change the subject now?”

“Okay.”

A dirty grin crept across his face. Tom sidled up to me and put his hands on my hips.

“Have you got a vacancy that I can fill?”

I knocked his hands off of me.

“Geeze, Tom. I think that may go down in history as the most disgusting foreplay line ever.”

Tom scooped me up into his arms. His naughty grin deepened his dimples and crinkled the corners of his hypnotic, green eyes.

“Okay, how about this? I’ve got a gun, lady. Better do what I say.”

Both my hormones and my imagination went haywire.

“Now that’s something I can work with.”

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Three Dumb: Wheelin’ & Dealin’

Baloney and Cheesed.

They say three’s the charm. But charming isn’t Val’s style.

Val Fremden is a lot of things. Quirky. Jaded. Disaster prone. But more than anything, she’s afraid of commitment.

When boyfriend Tom tells her he loves her – then trades away her mom’s ashes for a tiki hut – Val’s just not feelin’ it.

On the warpath with Tom, Val’s forced to rely on her oddball friends to help track down her mom’s cremains. But three botched stakeouts and two disasters later, she still hasn’t got peanuts. Through trial (but mostly error), Val discovers it’s not easy to outwit a mobile master of disguise when she’s stuck driving a paddy wagon full of nutcases.

She loves Tom…she loves him not. Knowing Val, she’s gonna need a bigger flower….

Three Dumb is a satirical look at how life, over time, changes our perception of love and the things we value. It’s told through the eyes of a snarky, middle-aged woman with legendary commitment issues and a gnawing reluctance toward romance.

If you like deeply flawed characters and laugh-out-loud situations, you’ll love Three Dumb. It’s the fourth book in Margaret Lashley’s hilarious, irreverent Val & Pals Series of seriously funny women’s fiction.


I’d spent Sunday evening alone, cooling down slowly, like the nuclear reactor at Chernobyl. I’d avoided a critical meltdown, and when I woke up Monday morning, I’d found myself on the verge of no longer being a lethal danger to other life forms.

After a cappuccino and a long, cool shower, at 8 a.m. I called Lefty’s Hauling again. It rang fifteen times, unanswered. This was, of course, totally unacceptable. It was time for Plan B.

I slipped on a sundress and sandals, put my hair in a ponytail and climbed into the red pleather driver’s seat of Maggie, my 1963 Ford Falcon Sprint convertible. With a little encouragement in the form of smashing her gas pedal to the floor, Maggie carried me north along Gulf Boulevard. The four-lane road, lined with two- and three-story beach resorts, skirted the Gulf of Mexico like stiches in a hem.

Year round, tourists flocked to the quaint mom-and-pop motels and sugar-white beaches. I couldn’t blame them. All-in-all, St. Pete Beach was a great place to be.

I turned east on 107th Avenue. Immediately, the salt air and kitsch beach shops disappeared, replaced with anywhere-USA strip malls. At 66th Street, I turned north in the direction of good-old Pinellas Park.

Every major metropolitan area had a section designated especially for rednecks. How they found each other, I didn’t know. Maybe they were all related, or there was some special redneck hotline I wasn’t privy to. At any rate, in Pinellas County, the mecca for country bumpkins and politically incorrect-and-proud-of-it folks was definitely Pinellas Park.

If it weren’t for Florida’s history of hurricanes and tropical storms, Pinellas Park would have choked to death on doublewide trailers decades ago. But in 1993, a freak storm took out all but the very highest quality manufactured homes. It had been dubbed the “1993 Storm of the Century” by some, the “’93 Super Storm” by others, and the “Great Blizzard of 1993” by the Yankees up north. But we locals simply called it the “No-Name Storm,” because it had come up so quickly and unexpectedly not even the weather forecasters had had time to register it with an official moniker.

It had begun on March 12th as a cyclonic storm in the Gulf of Mexico, then quickly grew into a beast that stretched from Cuba to Canada. It moved into Florida around midnight, catching us unaware with winds over 100 mph. It spawned 11 tornadoes and a storm surge in St. Pete that topped out at seven feet. For folks along the coast, bay and rivers, it had been devastating. It wiped out or damaged over 18,000 homes in the Sunshine State and killed 47 of our citizens, more than Hugo and Andrew combined. Suffice it to say, it was not a good time to be living in a tin can on wheels.

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WHAT FOUR

November 7, 2017

Most Definitely Contains Nuts.

All Val wants is a quiet holiday away from her oddball family. But a promise pried from her lips earlier in the year has blown that wish out the henhouse window.

When Val and her boyfriend Tom arrive at her mother’s house in Hicksville, USA, the annual Family Fruitcake Competition is well underway. And there’s more than a few fruits and nuts in the running.

But the biggest contest is between Val and her mom.

As their battle of wills heats up, unexpected ingredients get thrown into both women’s batter. It may be time to call in a referee….

Who will get best in show? Who will get their just desserts? And will Val’s half-baked family turn out to be too much baggage for Tom to handle? Order a copy and find out!

If you like deeply flawed characters and laugh-out-loud situations, you’ll love What Four. It’s the fifth book in Margaret Lashley’s hilarious, irreverent Val & Pals Series of seriously funny women’s fiction.

Like the characters in my novels, I haven’t lead a life of wealth or luxury. In fact, as it stands now, I’m set to inherit a half-eaten jar of Cheez Whiz…if my siblings don’t beat me to it.

During my illustrious career, I’ve been a roller-skating waitress, an actuarial assistant, an advertising copywriter, a real estate agent, a house flipper, an organic farmer, and a traveling vagabond/truth seeker. But no matter where I’ve gone or what I’ve done, I’ve always felt like a weirdo.

As a child I lived in my own pretend world of tickling fairies and talking cats. I began writing when I found an ancient black typewriter on my grandparent’s back porch. (Inspired by my brothers, Boys are Stupid was my first masterpiece.)

I’ve learned a heck of a lot in my life. But getting to know myself has been my greatest journey. Today, I know I’m smart. I’m direct. I’m jaded. I’m hopeful. I’m funny. I’m fierce. I’m a pushover. And I have a laugh that makes strangers want to join me at restaurants. In other words, I’m a jumble of opposing talents and flaws and emotions. And it’s all good.

In some ways, I’m a lot like Val Fremden the main character in my Val & Pals Series. My books featuring Val are not autobiographical, but what comes out of her mouth was first formed in my mind, and sometimes the parallels are undeniable. I drink TNTs. I had a car like Shabby Maggie. And I’ve started my life over four times, driving away with whatever earthly possessions fit in my car. And, perhaps most importantly, I’ve learned that friends come from unexpected places.

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#Book #Promo…Heel Lead…#BookBoost #Contemporary #Romance #Womens #Fiction #Giveaway @DK_Henderson @SDSXXTours

Heel Lead
by Dawn K. Henderson
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction

Because life is one big ballroom – and all we can do is dance… Former UK dance champion Caroline Elliott has two burning passions in her life: her sexy, young Spanish lover Antonio, and the weekly Ballroom dance class she teaches to a diverse group of enthusiastic locals in the small English town of Castleham where she lives. But Caroline has a problem. The numbers attending her class have dwindled, and unless she can somehow breathe new life into it, she will have no choice but to close it down. A dance display at the local Arts Festival might just be the perfect opportunity to showcase her students and pull in those much-needed new members. How difficult could it be? With the date of the display approaching, however, illness, affairs and relationship break-ups threaten to crush Caroline’s hopes. As she battles to keep rehearsals on track and soothe her students’ rampant nerves, she must also conquer the demons of a long-ago tragedy in her own life. Will she be able to let go of her fears and step into the spotlight once again? Heel Lead is an emotional, passionate and poignant story that entertains while it tugs at your heartstrings. In this short yet compelling novel, author Dawn K. Henderson presents a captivating tale of the power of love, dance and the ties that bind us.

Dawn K. Henderson: Storyteller, poet & author Goddess in training and ballroom diva (at least in her imagination) 12 years ago, Dawn walked into her first Ballroom dance class and the love affair began. Since then she has tango’d and quickstepped, waltzed and rumba’d through life. Although at the time of writing Heel Lead, she is without a permanent dance partner, she is fortunate enough to have good friends who lend her their men occasionally – she usually hands them back undamaged.

As D. K. Henderson, she is the author of The Skull Chronicles series of metaphysical adventure novels .

She lives and writes in the mystical, magical county of Wiltshire, England surrounded by crop circles, the ancient & mysterious stone monuments of Stonehenge and Avebury, and her own family of crystal skulls. When she isn’t wandering the ancient downlands that inspire her novels and poetry, you’ll probably find her pottering in the garden, foraging in the hedgerows or attempting a nifty Cha cha or elegant Waltz on the dance floor.

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#Book #Promo…Luna Rising…#BookBoost #Womens #Fiction @SCastrovilla @SagesBlogTours

Luna Rising

By Selene Castrovilla

Genre: Women’s Fiction

About the Book

Life begins at thirty-eight for Long Island mom and writer Luna Lampanelli, when she kicks her secretly gay husband to the curb. She’s got her freedom, but what she wants is love. Luna knows she doesn’t need a man to exist, but try telling that to her heart. Against the advice of Sunny, her snarky best friend, and Jiminy, the cautioning voice in Luna’s head who just won’t shut up, Luna sets course to find a mate. Luna speed and on-line dates her way into several short-lived, surreal relationships. There’s Ari, the humorless Israeli who refuses to assimilate – to America, and to humanity. There’s Alex, the young and handsome ex-crackhead who informs Luna he doesn’t want to be monogamous—while they’re in bed. There’s Memphis, the wild-eyed sadomasochist. There’s Red, angry and crippled, who becomes the catalyst for Luna to join Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous. But before Luna can proceed to recovery, she meets the elusive but oh so appealing Trip. He’s emotionally unavailable and has the Madonna-Whore Complex, but how can Luna (aka “whore”) let him go when she enjoys his dry wit so much, and his body even more? Humorously haunting and packed with unspeakable truths, Luna Rising follows a woman’s funny and heart-breaking struggle to relate with un-relatable men and an un-relatable world, and to figure out something even more un-relatable: herself.

“I’m gonna try dating again,” Luna told Joe, her boxing coach. They were doing pad work— jabbing, hooking, ducking, slipping and talking about love.

“Don’t do it. You ain’t ready,” he said. “Uppercuts!”

“Gee, thanks.” She drove her fists up into the pads until the bell rang.

“Rest. Hey, you want me to lie, or what?”

“Possibly.”

“What makes you all gung-ho to do this? You need to get laid?”

“No . . . well, I guess maybe yes . . . But that’s not it. I just feel good. I’ve been living alone for nine months. I’ve been okay.”

Not exactly true . . . she’d nearly fallen apart every time something in the house broke down. But she wanted to concentrate on the positive. She’d survived. That was positive.

“What’s your game plan?”

“I thought I’d try CraigsList.”

            “CraigsList? Are you shitting me? That’s where you buy a table, not get a date.”

            “Yesterday, I heard a guy on Howard Stern say he met someone on CraigsList. It was love at first sight.”

            “That’s ridiculous. That ain’t love.” The bell rang again. He held up his right pad. “Double hook. Twist on your heel!”

            Luna complied, or at least she thought she did.

            “TWIST!” he hollered. “Holy shit, for months I been telling you to twist. What does it take?”

            She tried again. She responded to being yelled at. “Better,” he said. “Twenty. Go!”

            Luna twisted and thudded, twisted and thudded. In the background Cher crooned “If I Could Turn Back Time.”

Joe said, “It took me six or seven years to fall in love with my wife.”

            Luna almost fell over mid-twist. “Really?”

            “Yeah. In the beginning I would’ve told you it could never happen. But people can grow on you.”

Twist, thud, twist, thud.

Over and over, catching Joe’s steady blue eyes in-between each move.

Then he said, “Love is a consequence.”

             Twist, thud¸ twist, thud. “That’s an unusual concept,” she said.

            “It’s true,” he said. Then he said, “Jab, jab, double left uppercut.”

            She struck the pads silently for a few moments. Consequence seemed almost a dirty word, although she didn’t know why. Maybe it was too grown up.

            Luna liked the immediate.

            She asked, “What about the Zen saying, ‘leap and the net will appear?’”

            Joe said, “You’re mixing metaphors. Jab, jab, right, right uppercut.”

            Thud, thud. “Am I?” Thud, Thud.

            He laughed. “What the hell do I know about metaphors? Sounded good, though.”

            The bell rang. Joe yanked off Luna’s gloves, tossed them to the corner under the mirror, ripped the Velcro seal on her wraps and unraveled her. The wraps landed in a heap at her feet. “Let’s go,” he said.

            He put a thirty-pound weight on what Luna called “the butt machine” and motioned her on. She stepped onto the platform, bent under the shoulder lift, spread her feet so they were centered, pulled the safety bar out and pushed up, lifting the weight on her shoulders.

            Lift, squat. Lift, squat. The first couple were never bad. She said, “Don’t you at least believe in unconditional love?”

            “The only unconditional love we have is for our kids.”

            Up, down. Up, down.

            By the fourth she was feeling the strain in her thighs and her rear. She felt it in her chest too, which stopped her from responding.

            Up, down. Up, down.

            Up, down. Up, down.

            Her legs were trembling. “Jesus, Joe…” she managed.

            He said, “Jesus wasn’t really sacrificing anything to die for our sins. He knew he was going to heaven. I don’t have that kind of faith.”

            Up, down. Up, down.

            Up, down. Up, down.

            Was he even keeping count here?  “I have to stop,” she told him.

            “Two more.”

            Up. “Uhhhh!” Down. “Uhhhh!”

            Up. “Uhhhh!” Down. “Uhhhh!”

            “And rest,” Joe said.

            Luna slid the locking bar forward and moved out from under the shoulder rest. She wobbled down.

            That’s why she paid him – she’d never push herself this far.

            She leaned against the machine for support. In between recuperating huffs she said, “So you’re saying even Jesus didn’t offer unconditional love?”

            “I’m saying he had nothing to lose. It was a no-brainer for him.”

About the Author

Selene Castrovilla debuts in women’s fiction with Luna Rising, but she’s no stranger to publishing. An award-winning teen and children’s author, Selene believes that through all trends, humanity remains at the core of literature. Her novel Melt, Book One of the Rough Romance Trilogy, received six honors including the IndieReader Discovery Award Grand Prize for Fiction. Revolutionary Friends: General George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette, her third nonfiction picture book about the American Revolution, was the recipient of four awards including Booklist Top Ten Biography for Youth, International School Librarians’ Honor Book and Eureka! California Reading Association Honor Book. A companion book, Revolutionary Rogues: John André and Benedict Arnold, is hot off the presses. Selene holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from The New School and a B.A. in English from New York University. She lives on Long Island with her two sons and too many cats, where she sits on her deck in the summer, fall and spring (and at her picture window in the winter) and writes. She loves the color purple and coffee. Selene plays well with others, but with words even better. She is so grateful to do what she loves. National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson calls Selene “a writer worth watching.” Visit www.SeleneCastrovilla.com.

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SCastrovilla/

On Twitter: @SCastrovilla

On Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Luna-Rising-Selene-Castrovilla/dp/0991626192

On Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32963894-luna-rising

On B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/luna-rising-selene-castrovilla/1125286165

 

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#Bookblitz…The Alibi…#BookBoost #Romantic #Suspense #Women #Fiction #Crime #Cozy #Mystery @MarilynBaron @bookunleashed

HAPPY RELEASE DAY!!
From award-winning author Marilyn Baron
The Alibi Tour Graphic
THE ALIBI
Marilyn Baron
Genre: Romantic Suspense, Women’s Fiction, Crime Fiction, Cozy Mystery
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
Publication Date: September 13, 2017
The Alibi
In Marilyn Baron’s The Alibi, a cover-up could cost heroine Merritt Saxe her life.
Merritt Saxe, newly hired public relations specialist with the Florida prison system, answers an urgent plea from their division’s director, Willard Ware Baintree. Following his orders, she finds him in the apartment of his mistress, his bloody T-shirt and the mistress’s dead body convincing her the criminal justice superstar is himself a criminal. The director claims he didn’t kill the woman and coerces Merritt into being his alibi.
Meanwhile, as the director pulls her farther into his web of lies, Merritt breaks with her longstanding boyfriend and begins a steamy relationship with hunky attorney Israel Goodspeed, whose brother works for the director. Yet how can she trust Israel with her secret or her heart when she suspects the director has been orchestrating their relationship to keep her in line? Speaking out about the cover-up could cost her more than time in jail…it could cost her life.

Purchase Links

Available now for $3.99 only. Grab your copy today.

Upcoming Book Tour: Save the Date

Follow the upcoming book tour from September 25 – October 7, 2017.
Watch out for exclusive excerpts, book reviews, interviews, and more.
To check the latest tour schedule, visit the The Alibi Book Page at Book Unleashed.

Giveaway

WIN $25 GIFT CARD AND MORE!
The Alibi Giveaway Graphic
Prizes up for grabs:
$25 Amazon Gift Card
eBook copy of Stumble Stones
Stilt House print by Florida artist Sharon Goldman*
* “Stilt House,” a signed, matted decorative print by Florida artist Sharon Goldman. Stilt House is on St. George Island off the Florida  Panhandle, where The Alibi is set. The location is representative of where the hero and heroine go for their weekend beach getaway.
Contest runs from September 13 – October 7, 2017.

About Marilyn Baron

Marilyn Baron

Marilyn Baron writes in a variety of genres, from humorous coming-of-middle age women’s fiction to historical romantic thrillers and romantic suspense to paranormal/fantasy. She’s published 13 novels with The Wild Rose Press, five short stories with TWB Press and self-published three books. AmazonEncore republished her book Sixth Sense on September 15, 2015. She’s received writing awards in Single Title, Suspense Romance, Novel With Strong Romantic Elements and Paranormal//Fantasy Romance. She is a Georgia Romance Writers (GRW) Maggie Award winner. She is the Finalist in the 2017 Georgia Author of the Year Award for Stumble Stones: A Novel in the Romance Category. She’s a PAN member of Romance Writers of America and GRW and winner of the GRW 2009 Chapter Service Award. A public relations consultant in Atlanta, Marilyn graduated with a BS in Journalism and a minor in Creative Writing from the University of Florida. She worked in Public Relations for AT&T in Atlanta for 13 years before starting her own PR firm. She serves on the 2017-18 Roswell Reads Steering Committee. She was selected as a featured author in the 2016 Atlanta Authors Series. She presented on a panel at the 2017 AJC-Decatur Book Festival (the largest independent book festival in the country) on September 3, 2017. Read more about Marilyn at http://www.marilynbaron.com.
Official website: http://www.marilynbaron.com
To receive regular updates from the author, join Marilyn Baron’s newsletter.
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#Bookblitz…Once in a Lifetime…#BookBoost #Womens #Fiction #Chicklit @KRBiel @lolasblogtours

This is my stop during the book blitz for Once in a Lifetime by Kathryn R. Biel. This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 11 till 24 September. See the tour schedule here.

Once in a LifetimeOnce in a Lifetime
By Kathryn R. Biel
Genre: Women’s Fiction/ Chick Lit
Age category: Adult
Release Date: 5 September 2017

Blurb:
Ten years ago, the Sassy Cats were at the top of the charts until Callie Smalls walked away to pursue her career in fashion and television. The other four members—Angie, Tabitha, Mandy, and Daphne—were left to fend for themselves and continue on with their lives.

That is, until the day when Callie decides to book a gig for the group at a major music festival, without talking to her former band mates. Scattered across the country, at different points in life, can they rekindle the magic in the music?

A soccer mom who’s husband doesn’t know about her past. A fading star, sacrificing all to stay in the spotlight just one second more. A party girl, challenged with her most important role yet. A tiger mom, fighting for her son. A desperate woman, unhappy and alone.

A lot can change in the course of a decade. Will it be harmony or hatred for the Sassy Cats?

You can find Once in a Lifetime on Goodreads

You can buy Once in a Lifetime here:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
iTunes

Kathryn R. BielAbout the Author:
Telling stories of resilient women, Kathryn R. Biel hails from Upstate New York where her most important role is being mom and wife to an incredibly understanding family who don’t mind fetching coffee and living in a dusty house. In addition to being Chief Home Officer and Director of Child Development of the Biel household, she works as a school-based physical therapist. She attended Boston University and received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from The Sage Colleges. After years of writing countless letters of medical necessity for wheelchairs, finding increasingly creative ways to encourage insurance companies to fund her client’s needs, and writing entertaining annual Christmas letters, she decided to take a shot at writing the kind of novel that she likes to read. Kathryn is the author of ten women’s fiction, romantic comedy, contemporary romance, and chick lit works, including Live for This and Made for Me. Please follow Kathryn on her website, www.kathrynrbiel.com and sign up for her newsletter at bit.ly/KRBNews.

You can find and contact Kathryn here:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Instagram
Newsletter

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