Friday, October 20, 2017

At Last in Laguna by Claire Marti (VBT, guest post, excerpt, and GIVEAWAY) GFT



I have the pleasure of sharing this guest post by author Claire Marti (and kudos to her)




Cancer Made Me Do It: How I finished my first novel

By Claire Marti

Like many authors, I’m one of those people who always said they’d write a novel. Who dreamed of creating a romantic story that would transport readers from the challenges of their daily lives into another world where hope exists, love wins, and dreams are fulfilled.

Like many authors, this straightforward plan took a long winding path to fruition. Establishing a writing schedule around a full-time job, family responsibilities, and a busy life isn’t for the faint of heart. Oh, I procrastinated. If I could just retreat to a cabin in the mountains for a few weeks, I’m sure I could whip out a romance novel, how hard could it be?

I’ve had several careers, but psychiatrist wasn’t one of them. But, I know the answer. Fear. Fear of failure. So, I procrastinated. I never made the time or space. Writing was part of my career as an attorney and I free-lanced magazine articles about my other passions like health and wellness and animal welfare. In 2009, I made the move from the corporate world to teach yoga and Pilates and write. I had more time, but I didn’t take the leap.

Then, on January 2, 2010, I found a lump in my breast. Unleash the most unwelcome rollercoaster ride I’d ever experienced. Denial: how could this happen to me? I’m healthy. I’m too young. Anger: how could this happen to me? Why me? Acceptance: This disease is happening to me. How do I navigate two surgeries, six rounds of aggressive chemotherapy, and daily radiation for almost two months?

I began blogging. Stuck inside the house for more time than I care to recall, I wrote. I shared the good, the bad, and the ugly—cue the music from one of Clint Eastwood’s best westerns. I experimented and benefitted from many alternative therapies like yoga, acupuncture, meditation, juicing, and Reiki.

I found my voice. People connected to my brand of truth around the disease and the battle that is often pink-washed. Once, someone actually told me I was lucky to “just have breast cancer.” Mind you, this was on a day when I’d just lost a friend from the disease. She was thirty-three years old. I was compelled to speak up.

Sharing my journey helped me cope and I’m told from people who followed my journey, helped them cope and also helped them understand what a loved one was experiencing a little bit better. Encouraged to learn I could help others in this manner, I compiled and refined the blog entries into a memoir, Come Ride with Me Along the Big C.

It took me facing my own mortality to finally find my voice. I determined that one thing I would do, especially if my remaining time on the planet were cut short, was to write the damn romance novel. The Finding Forever in Laguna series was born. I began.

Resistance erupted from unlikely places. During my time with cancer, I began teaching yoga for cancer patients, created a DVD, and also co-created the largest yoga fundraiser in Southern California called Yoga for Hope, to raise awareness and funds for City of Hope, a national cancer center. I spoke at conferences and cancer events. How could I be so frivolous to scale back my volunteering and time to write a romance? Didn’t I have more serious work to do?

Well, as I explained to a dear friend, I consider writing romance novels serious work. Important work. When I traverse tough times, reading is my solace. My escape. Heck, reading is one of my greatest pleasures, period. If I can live within the pages of a beautiful story that transports me to a place where love wins despite great odds, my heart is strengthened.

My intention and greatest wish is that my stories will provide the same comfort and escape for readers. Currently, I love writing stories that are fun, sexy, light-hearted with underlying important themes like releasing the past. Come visit Laguna with me.




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by Claire Marti

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GENRE:   Contemporary Romance

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BLURB:

Alyssa Morgan has secretly been in love with her older brother Nick’s best friend, Brandt Dempsey, since she was an awkward, lonely teenager. When she catches the bouquet at Nick’s wedding, she throws caution to the wind and propositions Brandt to a two-week fling. He’s tried to ignore how Alyssa has blossomed into a strong, talented, gorgeous woman because as his best friend’s baby sister, she’s off limits. 

After they share a mind-blowing kiss, Brandt struggles to fight their undeniable chemistry. His tragic childhood scarred him, but he pushes it deep inside, only allowing the world to see a wealthy, carefree entrepreneur. Forced to work together on Brandt’s latest charitable venture, Brandt and Alyssa’s passion cannot be denied. Alyssa knows he’s the one. Can she convince him they belong together?



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EXCERPT

She'd give him the cold shoulder if it killed her.

And it just might.

He’d rejected her, so why was he opening doors, hovering, and acting like a pest? Practically breathing down her neck. She could swear he’d sniffed her. Sniffed her. He couldn’t conceal his awareness. If he were so attracted to her, he would’ve agreed to her proposition, right? Since he’d shot her down in flames, he could at least have the decency to ignore her today. Rude, infuriating man.

Inhaling a deep cleansing breath, she forced herself to concentrate on the center. Sunlight streamed through the abundance of windows and along with the high ceilings imparted a feeling of freedom and space, perfect for the planned occupants. Because they’d decided to wait to obtain her input for the more specific room layout, the building’s interior remained a shell. She’d add to her brother’s amazing design and ensure Tearmann House’s beauty and serenity.

Serenity. What a concept. Ha.


Buy links:

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:



Claire Marti started writing stories as soon as she was old enough to pick up pencil and paper. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a BA in English Literature, Claire was sidetracked by other careers, including practicing law, selling software for legal publishers, and managing a non-profit animal rescue for a Hollywood actress.

Finally, Claire followed her heart and now focuses on two of her true passions: writing romance and teaching yoga. At Last in Laguna is the second book in her Finding Forever in Laguna series from The Wild Rose Press.


Twitter:  @clairepmarti


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Thursday, October 19, 2017

A Simple Wish by Charlotte Hubbard (VBB, excerpt, and GIVEAWAY) GFT




by Charlotte Hubbard

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GENRE:   Amish/Inspirational Romance

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BLURB:

Making rugs for the Simple Gifts store has taught Loretta Riehl that an unassuming pattern can reveal surprising depth. People, too, have a way of defying first impressions. Drew Detweiler came to Willow Ridge under a cloud, but the  handsome craftsman has gained the community's respect for his upholstery skills and commitment to making amends for his mistakes. As her new brother-in-law's twin, he's joining the family for dinners and Sunday visits, and Loretta can't deny enjoying his attentions.

If only  her dat were willing to let a little joy into his life. Cornelius Riehl grows sterner with each day, and Drew suspects there's more to his moods than missing Loretta's late mamm. Hoping to fulfill Loretta's wish to live in a  peaceful, happy home again, Drew sets out to learn the truth. It's a journey that will bring to light painful realities—but also the chance to forge a new, honest, and loving future together...


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EXCERPT

When Loretta looked across the road, she noticed that one of the Detweiler brothers was coming out of the stable in an open buggy pulled by a tall black Percheron. Asa and Drew, identical twins, owned matching horses, so it was impossible to tell which one of them was heading down the long lane toward the road.

She held her breath. Was it her imagination, or was the driver of that buggy looking right at her?

“I—I’ve never forgiven myself for turning my back on the love we shared, Loretta,” Will said again. He stopped the swing so suddenly that Loretta’s long, loose strips of rug fabric fluttered to the porch floor. “We both knew we had a love that would see us through a lifetime together. I was so upset about your Dad splitting us up that I didn’t realize Molly was coming on to me too fast, too soon,” he lamented, gazing at her with the soft brown eyes of a begging dog. “I am so sorry, Loretta.”

Loretta was feeling more unsettled by the second, because Will’s soul baring was leading her down a path she no longer wanted to follow. How could she tell him she wasn’t interested in rekindling their relationship? It would break his heart and depress him further while he still mourned the death of his wife and their misguided marriage.

Sighing, she chose her words carefully. “God has a reason for everything He does—every stumbling block He places in our paths—”


“But I see the world so clearly now!” Will blurted out. “I’ve prayed over these things night and day since Molly died and left me with her six-month-old twins. And while I never wished such a horrible death from cancer would take her, it gave me hope that you and I could—”

Loretta stood up, dropping her unfinished rug onto the swing between them. As the Detweiler buggy approached the road, coming toward her, she realized that Drew surely must be driving because Asa and Edith were inseparable—they went everywhere together and took the twins with them, in their baskets. Her pulse quickened. Drew was gazing right at her, pulling out of the Detweilers’ lane and stopping the buggy on the roadside in front of her.

“Loretta, I’ve got a gut steady job now, farming for Luke and Ira Hooley,” Will was saying, oblivious to the buggy. “Soon I’ll be planting a vineyard for them—can you imagine that? And I’ll be asking the Brenneman brothers to build us a house—”

“Hey there, Miss Loretta!” Drew called out from the buggy. “I have an errand to run. Want to come along?”

For a moment, Loretta felt lower than a worm, but she couldn’t allow Will to believe he could take up where they’d left off. He hadn’t heard a word she’d said as she’d gently countered his suggestions. Loretta nipped her lip, glancing apologetically at the handsome young man who’d gone through such an ordeal these past several months. Without a word, she hurried down the porch steps and across the front yard toward Drew Detweiler.




Order Ebook
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Order Print
Zebra 
September 26, 2017
ISBN-13: 9781420138719
ISBN-10: 1420138715
Amazon 
Amazon UK 
Amazon Canada
 Barnes & Noble
 Books-A-Million
 IndieBound 
The Book Depository


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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Charlotte Hubbard is the acclaimed author of Amish romance and fiction that evokes simpler times and draws upon her experiences in Jamesport, the largest Old Order Amish community west of the Mississippi. Faith and family, farming, and food preservation are hallmarks of her lifestyle—and the foundation of all her novels. A deacon, dedicated church musician and choir member, she loves to travel, read, try new recipes, and crochet. A longtime Missourian, Charlotte now lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, with her husband and their border collie, Vera.

Please visit Charlotte online at her website or on

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GIVEAWAY


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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Accident by Glen Ebisch (VBB, excerpt, and GIVEAWAY) GFT





by Glen Ebisch

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GENRE:   Mystery

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BLURB:

Karen Walker is an ex-homicide detective slowly recovering from the trauma of an automobile accident in which she was injured and her husband was killed when a drunk driver struck the car she was operating. After a year of surgeries and attempts to come to terms with her feelings of guilt, she finds herself living the narrow life of a semi-recluse.

Her seclusion comes to an end when an old friend from college, Clarissa Hammett, asks Karen to help in the search for her missing sister, Justine.  Karen agrees, and she goes to live alone in the family’s summer home on the coast of southern Maine, which Justine was occupying at the time of her disappearance.  Karen even goes one step further and takes on Justine’s job as hostess in a local restaurant, hoping to learn more about the missing woman’s life from her co-workers.

Conversations with the sister’s estranged husband, her present boyfriend, and a mentally disturbed young girl on the beach, lead Karen to believe that Justine’s disappearance was not voluntary and that, if still alive, she may desperately need help.


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EXCERPT


I heard the intruder walk around the foot of my bed. I lay there breathing deeply but softly. I was reassured when I saw a dark shape go between one window and myself. Having one sense reinforced by another increased my confidence that I wasn’t imagining someone being there. The figure was now in the dark corner between the two windows. I had to convince myself of that. When the time came, my swing couldn’t be tentative or uncertain. It takes a certain leap of faith to swing full force at what could be an empty space, so in my mind, I filled it with a living, breathing person. In one smooth motion I hopped from the bed, took a step forward, and turned on the light.

Frozen in the glow of the light was a man dressed in black wearing in a ski mask holding a knife in his right hand.


Buy Links:

Amazon
B&N

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:


I have been a professor of philosophy for over thirty years. Most recently I retired from teaching at a small university in western Massachusetts.  For much of that time I have also written mystery and suspense fiction, starting with books for young adults and moving on to writing for adults.  I have had twenty-eight books published, fifteen of them in the last fifteen years as time has allowed me to write more. All are cozy in nature and suitable for any reader.
I live in western Massachusetts with my wife.  My hobbies include reading (of course) and going to the gym.  We also look forward to traveling to Maine and Cape May, New Jersey for our needed dose of the beach.
 



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The Silver Mosaic by Michael McMenamin & Patrick McMenamin (Spotlight, excerpt, review, and GIVEAWAY) GFT






by Michael McMenamin & Patrick McMenamin

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GENRE:   Historical Thriller

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BLURB:

March, 1933. The weak German economy is in peril. Winston Churchill wants to push it over the cliff with a boycott of German exports and take with it the new Nazi government whose brown-shirt SA thugs are terrorizing German Jews. He enlists Hearst journalist Mattie McGary, but the Nazis are determined to fight back. To oppose the boycott, they find unlikely allies in the Jews of Palestine and FDR.



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EXCERPT
 

Though Churchill had been out of government office since 1929 when his last post as Chancellor of the Exchequer ended, he maintained a network of intelligence sources throughout Europe, including Germany, who kept him as well informed on developments there as the British Prime Minister or Foreign Secretary. From them, he knew that in the last two months, Germany literally had become a gangster nation. The police made no effort to interfere with the SA, the ‘Brownshirts’ who served as the Nazi Party’s private army. Scores were settled with impunity. Robberies, rapes, beatings and murders were commonplace. Their victims were Communists, Social Democrats, Jews and anyone else who had ever offended the brown-shirted Storm Troopers of the SA.
           
The violence against the Jews and Hitler’s failure to rein it in were, in Churchill’s opinion, his first two big mistakes.

Now, Churchill was planning to make Hitler pay. The Jews were key. In the short term, with a little luck, what Churchill knew to be a very weak German economy could collapse and with it the entire odious Nazi regime. If not, then in the long term, Germany’s ability to re-arm and wage war would be dramatically weakened.
           
Churchill may have been out of power and out of influence, but he was not out of ideas. He had a multi-faceted plan for dealing with Hitler and the threat to the peace of Europe he posed. He hoped that the first, but not the last, step would be taken in a few moments.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Michael McMenamin and Patrick McMenamin are the co-authors of the award winning 1930s era “Winston Churchill Thriller” series. The first four novels in the series—The DeValera Deception, The Parsifal Pursuit, The Gemini Agenda and The Berghof Betrayal—received a total of 14 literary awards. The Silver Mosaic is their fifth Winston Churchill Thriller and they are currently at work on their sixth, The Liebold Protocol. Both Michael and Patrick have travelled extensively in Europe, South America, Central America and Asia while Patrick has also travelled in the Middle East and Africa.

Michael is the author of the critically acclaimed Becoming Winston Churchill, The Untold Story of Young Winston and His American Mentor [Hardcover, Greenwood 2007; Paperback, Enigma 2009] and co-author of Milking the Public, Political Scandals of the Dairy Lobby from LBJ to Jimmy Carter [Nelson Hall, 1980]. He is an editorial board member of Finest Hour, the quarterly journal of the Churchill Centre and Museum in London and a contributing editor for the libertarian magazine Reason. His work has also appeared in The Churchills in Ireland, 1660-1965, Corrections and Controversies [Irish Academic Press, 2012] as well as two Reason anthologies, Free Minds & Free Markets, Twenty Five Years of Reason [Pacific Research Institute, 1993] and Choice, the Best of Reason [BenBella Books, 2004]. He was formerly a first amendment and media defense lawyer and a U.S. Army counter-intelligence agent.

Patrick, the other half of the father-son writing team, is an award-winning journalist who has produced stories for ABC News, Fox News and HuffPost. He is a Phi Beta Kappa cum laude graduate of the University of Rochester with Departmental Honors in both 20th Century European History and Film Studies.

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My review



4 stars

The Silver Mosaic by Michael McMenamin and Patrick McMenamin is a historical suspense story that is part of the ‘Winston Churchill 1930s Thriller’ series. An unlikely assortment of people work together to thwart German persecution of Jews during the maneuverings that predate World War II. A vicious cat-and-mouse game that transpires across multiple countries and leaves carnage in its wake reflects the machinations and countermeasures taken by groups that have diametrically opposing goals, and leads to alliances that are contradictory but pragmatic.

History has never been my strong point, so I won’t attempt to evaluate the accuracy of many of the events chronicled in this story as it is a piece of fiction. I am sure a few liberties have been taken with certain events (especially since one of the main characters is fictitious, lol), even as the multitudinous footnotes and the authors’ notes at the end of the book refer to extensive research that provides the framework for this imaginative tale.

I admit I was initially reluctant to read this story once I discovered it was fairly long, is told in third person omniscient—thereby causing the action to constantly skip from person to person and country to country—and the focus was a horrific time in history. Amazingly enough, I was drawn into the tale as the authors brought to life multiple historical figures and created a narrative that is filled with anecdotes and interesting asides even as the race to stay alive and combat the underhanded and atrocious torture and murders is vividly depicted. Please be warned that there is considerable graphic violence described (including a propensity for mutilation and torture), as well as sexual harassment and nonconsensual sex. This is an action-packed and intriguing look at the world stage and maneuverings leading to WWII that will likely be enjoyed by those who like suspenseful political stories (and have strong stomachs!).


A copy of this title was provided to me for review

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Hide and Seek by Desiree Holt (VBB, excerpt, and GIVEAWAY) ADULT title






by Desiree Holt

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GENRE: Romantic Suspense

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BLURB:

Anything can happen when you let your guard down . . .

After receiving a violent threat on the heels of her father’s disappearance from the town of Arrowhead Bay, Devon Cole fears for her life—until Vigilance, a local private security agency, steps in to shield her from danger. Although she isn’t usually quick to surrender her freedom, she has no problem stripping her defenses for her new sexy bodyguard . . .

Tortured by the painful memory of lost love, Logan Malik is determined not to fall for a client again. So when he’s tasked with watching over Devon day and night, he’s focused on doing his job. Day is no problem, but as tensions rise at night, nothing can protect them from giving in to unbridled passion . . .

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EXCERPT


He wasn’t as much shocked by his physical reaction as by the fact that it happened at all. For a long time now, he’d managed to keep a clamp on his sex drive and take it out only when required, like taking aspirin for a headache.

“You’re a smart woman,” he congratulated her. “I didn’t know if you’d play along with me.”

She inhaled an unsteady breath and blew it out. “I took a chance. You could have been worse than they were.”

“Still, that shows brains and quick thinking. Good for you.” He studied the interior of her car. “Wow. They did a number with that window. Don’t move. There’s chunks and pebbles everywhere.”

She stared at him, studying his face. “You promise you aren’t the second wave? You know, like good cop, bad cop? The bad guys threaten me and you come along and win my confidence by helping me?”

“Nope. Scout’s honor.”

“I, uh, saw that you have a gun.”

“So did those jackasses. I wanted them to see it.” He smiled at her. “But I only use it as part of my job.”

She caught her lower lip in her teeth. “They just came at me out of nowhere and ran me off the road. Then they boxed me in and smashed the window.”

“Later I’ll want all the details. Right now let’s get you out of here.”

“Do you know who they are? Those men?”

“No.” His voice hardened. “But I know other garbage like them.”

She swallowed. “So who are you, anyway?”

“Oh. Sorry.” He winked at her, and the tension in her body visibly eased. “Logan Malik. Savior of women in danger.”

“Devon Cole.” She dug up a smile. “Woman in danger who needed saving.”

Amazon link

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Desiree Holt is the world’s oldest living published author of erotic and spicy romance. A graduate of the University of Michigan with double majors in English and History, her earlier careers include agent and manager in the music industry, public television, associate vice president of university advancement, public relations, and economic development.
She is three times a finalist for an EPIC E-Book Award (and a winner in 2014), a nominee for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, winner of the first 5 Heart Sweetheart of the Year Award at The Romance Studio as well as twice a CAPA Award winner for best BDSM book of the year, a USA Today Bestselling author and winner of the Holt Medallion for Excellence in Romance Literature.

She has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and in The Village Voice, The Daily Beast,
USA Today, The (London) Daily Mail, The New Delhi Times, The Huffington Post and numerous other national and international publications. She is also the Authors After Dark 2014 Author of the Year.

“Desiree Holt is the most amazing erotica author of our time and each story is more fulfilling then the last.” (Romance Junkies)

Learn more about her and read her novels here:

Twitter @desireeholt
Pinterest: desiree02holt


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GIVEAWAY

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The tour dates can be found here