Excerpt

#BlogTour #Excerpt
A Steep Price by Robert Dugoni
@robertdugoni @midaspr

#BlogTour #Excerpt A Steep Price by Robert Dugoni @robertdugoni @midasprTitle: A Steep Price

Author: Robert Dugoni

Series: Tracy Crosswhite #6

Published by Thomas & Mercer on June 26, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Pages: 380

 

 

 

Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author Robert Dugoni’s thrilling series continues as Seattle homicide detective Tracy Crosswhite is plunged into a case of family secrets and murder…

Called in to consult after a young woman disappears, Tracy Crosswhite has the uneasy feeling that this is no ordinary missing-persons case. When the body turns up in an abandoned well, Tracy’s suspicions are confirmed. Estranged from her family, the victim had balked at an arranged marriage and had planned to attend graduate school. But someone cut her dreams short.

Solving the mystery behind the murder isn’t Tracy’s only challenge. The detective is keeping a secret of her own: she’s pregnant. And now her biggest fear seems to be coming true when a new detective arrives to replace her. Meanwhile, Tracy’s colleague Vic Fazzio is about to take a fall after his investigation into the murder of a local community activist turns violent and leaves an invaluable witness dead.

Two careers are on the line. And when more deadly secrets emerge, jobs might not be the only things at risk.

 

Excerpt:

Faz looked up when he heard the thrum of a hovering news helicopter. First thing they’d need to do, if Billy hadn’t done it already, was to get the helicopter the hell out of the area. They badged the officer holding the police log, scribbled their names, badge numbers, and time of their arrival in the log, and ducked beneath yellow-and-black crime scene tape. Most of the officers had congregated around a small playground in the center courtyard of the U-shaped apartment building. The body lay beneath a blue sheet near a green jungle gym. Billy stood talking to one of several uniformed officers but he broke off the conversation when he saw Faz and Del.

“You call in about the helicopter?” Faz asked.

“Yeah,” Billy said, not sounding optimistic his call  would do any good. News helicopters could only be fined for being in a police no-fly zone. If the story were big enough, the station would stay and pay the fine.

“Any chance we can argue the apartment is in King County?” Del said.

“I wish,” Billy said.

Some of the streets in South Park were within the King County Sheriff’s jurisdiction, and the running joke between the two agencies was that officers rolled bodies across streets to put them in the other’s jurisdiction. Though he meant it as a joke, Del refrained from smiling. With the union trying out body cameras on their uniformed officers, humor no longer had any place at a crime scene. They’d all be on Zoloft by the end of the year.

Billy adjusted his driving cap, which shielded his shaved head from the sun. “This one could get ugly, fast. The decedent is Monique Rodgers.” He paused, as if the name should mean something to them. “You might have read about her or seen her on the news, advocating against gangs and drugs in South Park.”

“The activist?” Faz said. He recalled something on the news about an African American woman speaking to the city council about drugs and gangs in the South Park community.

“Would-be activist,” Billy said. “She didn’t get all that far.”

“Could be the reason she was shot in broad daylight,” Faz said. “Someone sending a message.”

“Likely,” Billy said.

“I’m assuming someone saw it?” Del asked.

“One would think, wouldn’t he?” Billy said. “I’m told there were half a dozen moms out here with their kids, but so far everyone is doing the see no, hear no, speak no English act.”

“They’re scared,” Faz said.

“Anyone else hurt?” Del asked.

Billy shook his head. “Nothing reported.”

“So then we’re assuming she was the intended victim?” Faz asked the question as he considered two brick pony walls along the sidewalk, which would have made for good cover if two rival gangs had started shooting at one another—South Park was also home to the Crips and to a couple Asian gangs, though in far fewer numbers than the Sureños. If two gangs had opened fire, Rodgers could have been an innocent victim caught in the cross fire.

“We are,” Billy said, “given that no one else was shot, and witnesses said they only heard the one shooter.” He glanced up at the news helicopter, still hovering. “TV is going to play up big the fact that it was broad daylight with kids around.”

“Where’s her family now?” Faz asked.

“Grandmother got the kids out of here and took them into the apartment.” He pointed to a corner of the U-shaped building. “Husband has apparently come home from work and is also with them.”

“Is anyone saying anything?” Faz asked.

Billy shook his head. “We can’t even get confirmation on the number of shots or from what direction they were fired. One woman told the responding officer she thought she heard three bullets coming from over there.” Williams pointed to a corner of the building.

“They find shell casings?” Del asked.

“None,” Billy said.

“So the witness either got it wrong,” Faz said, “or the shooter used a revolver.”

“I got patrol searching for casings,” Billy said. He pointed again to the apartments. “And Anderson-Cooper is going door-to-door.”

Desmond Anderson and Lee Cooper worked out of the B Team. Since theAnderson Cooper had become CNN’s regular nightly news anchor, the detectives in Violent Crimes referred to the two-man detective team in the singular.

“We’re going to need the video unit,” Faz said. “One of the businesses around here might have picked up the shooter fleeing or getting into a car.” The street was mixed-use, with apartment buildings, small homes, and corner stores.

“Already on their way,” Billy said.

“How much did the kids see?” Faz asked.

“All of it,” Billy said.

Faz turned to the sound of trumpets and guitars—Mexican music—coming from the street. A cherry-red, two-door Chevelle with black stripes and gold hubcaps bounced up and down as it drove past the apartment complex.

“Send in the clowns,” Del said.

The passenger had a shaved head and a thin mustache that extended to a goatee. Dark sunglasses hugged his face, giving him fly’s eyes. His right arm, heavily tattooed, hung out the window. The car slowed and the man removed his sunglasses, staring at Faz.

“Little Jimmy,” Faz said. “All grown-up.”

Ten years earlier, Faz had put Little Jimmy’s father in prison. Big Jimmy lasted six months. A rival gang member killed him with a shiv.

Little Jimmy smiled, then he made a gun with his thumb and index finger and took aim at Faz, imitating the kick of the barrel as the gun discharged.

 

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy of this novel from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links!

                              

 

 

Thank you to Robert Dugoni and Midas PR for being featured on my blog today!

 

About Robert Dugoni

Robert Dugoni is the No. 1 Kindle bestselling and No. 1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Tracy Crosswhite series, including My Sister’s Grave, Her Final Breath, In the Clearing, The Trapped Girl, and Close to Home. His books with Amazon Publishing have reached more than 3 million readers through print sales and digital downloads, and have twice been nominated for the International Thriller Award. He is also the author of the Edgar Award–nominated The 7th Canon; the New York Times bestselling David Sloane series, which includes The Jury Master, Wrongful Death, Bodily Harm, Murder One, and The Conviction; the stand-alone novel Damage Control; and the nonfiction exposé The Cyanide Canary, a Washington Post Best Book of the Year selection.

Dugoni is a two-time nominee for the Harper Lee Award for Legal Fiction and the recipient of the Nancy Pearl Award for fiction.

#BlogTour #Excerpt
Tilting: A Memoir by Nicole Harkin
@harkinna @rararesources

Synopsis:

We only learned about our father’s girlfriend after he became deathly ill and lay in a coma 120 miles from our home.

Overhearing the nurse tell Linda–since I was nine I had called my mom by her first name–about the girlfriend who came in almost every day to visit him when we weren’t there confirmed that the last moment of normal had passed us by without our realizing it. Up to then our family had unhappily coexisted with Dad flying jumbo jets to Asia while we lived in Montana. We finally came together to see Dad through his illness, but he was once again absent from a major family event–unable to join us from his comatose state. This is the moment when our normal existence tilted.

Dad recovered, but the marriage ailed, as did Linda, with cancer. Our family began to move down an entirely different path with silver linings we wouldn’t see for many years.

In this candid and compassionate memoir which recently won a Gold Award in The Wishing Shelf Book Award, Nicole Harkin describes with an Impressionist’s fine eye the evolution of a family that is quirky, independent, uniquely supportive, peculiarly loving and, most of all, marvelously human.

 

Excerpt:

For fifteen years, Linda sat on Erica’s mantel.

“What’s in that pretty vase on your mantle?” visitors asked. The purple container was pleasing to look at.

“My mom.”

Erica took a little glee from shocking people with this fact. The urn was indeed attractive.

Linda was on Erica’s mantel because of a family impasse.

“Guys, we need to sprinkle Linda’s ashes,” Erica said on the phone with the four of us.

“I know. But I don’t want John to fly her over Glacier National Park. I’m worried he will be too upset and crash.”

I also imagined the ashes flying back into our faces and us inhaling Linda.

“I’m a professional, Nicole. I won’t crash. I do this for a living,” John said.

“But still. I don’t think it’s a good idea.”

Montana just chuckled at our ongoing conversation.

Again we tabled sprinkling her.

But now Erica was finally moving out of Montana. She was the last one of us living there, and she was done with pharmacy school. We needed to honor this last request by Linda.

We planned a weekend of camping in Glacier Park to do it. We brought tents and sleeping bags, we cooked over a fire, and then we rented two boats on a clear chilly summer morning.

To document the event I brought my Polaroid camera. John drove one boat with his wife and Walt. Erica, Tanner, Montana’s wife, and I were in the other boat piloted by Montana. We rode out twenty minutes to the middle of Lake McDonald. We hadn’t been boating together since we were little.

When we found the right spot, we tethered the boats together. There was a bit of wind. The glacial water was freezing, as it always was. We each said a few words but uttered no prayers.

Erica opened the urn and started sprinkling. And sprinkling. And sprinkling.

“There was more of Linda than I realized,” she said.

We laughed. And it was true.

 

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy of this novel from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links!

                    

 

 

Thank you to Nicole Harkin for being featured on my blog today!

 

About Nicole Harkin

Nicole Harkin currently resides in Washington, DC with her husband and two small children. She works as a writer and family photographer. As a Fulbright Scholar during law school, Nicole lived in Berlin, Germany where she studied German environmentalism. Her work can be found in Thought Collection and you are here: The Journal of Creative Geography. She is currently working on mystery set in Berlin. Her photography can be seen at http://www.nicoleharkin.com.

 

#BlogTour #Excerpt
Summer of Love by Caro Fraser
@carofraser @aria_fiction

Synopsis:

The dark days of the war are over, but the family secrets they held are only just dawning.

  In the hot summer of 1949, a group of family and friends gather at Harry Denholm’s country house in Kent. Meg and Dan Ranscombe, emerging from a scandal of their own making; Dan’s godmother, Sonia; and her two young girls, Laura and Avril, only one of whom is Sonia’s biological daughter. Amongst the heat, memories, and infatuations, a secret is revealed to Meg’s son, Max, and soon a terrible tragedy unfolds that will have consequences for them all. Afterwards, Avril, Laura and Max must come of age in a society still reeling from the war, haunted by the choices of that fateful summer. Cold, entitled Avril will go to any lengths to take what is hers. Beautiful, naive Laura finds refuge and love in the London jazz clubs, but Max, with wealth and unrequited love, has the capacity to undo it all.

 

Excerpt:

1949

The air was full of the fresh, damp scents of early spring as Meg and Dan Ranscombe turned off the road and walked up the narrow path that led to the back of Woodbourne House. They made a handsome couple – Meg, in her early thirties, was vividly pretty, with dark eyes and chestnut hair curling to her shoulders; Dan, a few years older, was by contrast fair-haired and blue-eyed, his clean-cut features marked by a faint arrogance, a remnant of youthful vanity. They walked in thoughtful silence. It was four years since they had last been to Woodbourne House, the home of Sonia Haddon, Meg’s aunt and Dan’s godmother.

‘I’m glad we took the train instead of driving,’ said Dan, breaking the quiet. ‘I have fond memories of this walk.’

They paused by a big, whitewashed stone barn standing at the foot of a sloping apple orchard.

‘Uncle Henry’s studio,’ murmured Meg. ‘I remember that summer, having to traipse down every morning with barley water and biscuits for him while he was painting.’

Sonia’s husband, Henry Haddon, had been an acclaimed artist in his day, and in pre-war times to have one’s portrait painted by him had had considerable cachet. In Britain’s post-war modernist world, his name had fallen out of fashion.

Dan stood gazing at the barn, lost in his own memories: that final day of the house partytwelve years ago, when he had come down to the studio to say farewell to his host. Finding Henry Haddon, his trousers round his ankles, locked in an embrace with Madeleine, the nanny, against the wall of the studio had been absurd and shocking enough, but what had then transpired had been even worse. He could remember still the sound of the ladder crashing to the floor, and the sight of five-year-old Avril peeping over the edge of the hayloft. Presumably the shock of seeing his daughter had brought on Haddon’s heart attack. That, and unwonted sexual exertions. The moments afterwards were confused in his memory, although he recalled setting the ladder aright so that Avril could get down, then sending her running up to the house to get someone to fetch a doctor, while he uselessly attempted to revive Haddon. Madeleine, unsurprisingly, had made herself scarce. And the painting – he remembered that. A portrait of Madeleine in her yellow sundress, seated on a wicker chair, head half-turned as though listening to notes of unheard music, or the footfall of some awaited lover. Haddon had been working on it in the days running up to his death, and no doubt the intimacy forged between painter and sitter had led to that brief and ludicrously tragic affair. The falling ladder had knocked it from the easel, and he had picked it up and placed it with its face to the wall next to the other canvases. He didn’t to this day know why he had done that. Perhaps as a way of closing off and keeping secret what he had witnessed. To this day nobody but he knew about Haddon’s affair with Madeleine. Had the painting ever been discovered? No one had ever mentioned it. Perhaps it was there still, just as he had left it.

Meg glanced at his face. ‘Penny for them.’

‘Oh, nothing,’ said Dan. ‘Just thinking about that house party, when you and I first met.’

What a fateful chain of events had been set in motion in the summer of 1936. He had been a twenty-four-year-old penniless journalist, invited to spend several days at Woodbourne House with a handful of other guests. Meeting and falling in love with Meg had led to the clandestine affair they had conducted throughout the war years behind the back of her husband Paul. Its discovery had led to estrangement with much of the family. Paul, a bomber pilot, had been killed on the way back from a raid over Germany, and the possibility that his discovery of the affair might have contributed in some way, on some level, to his death, still haunted them both. They never spoke of it. Meg and Dan were married now, but the guilt of what they had done remained. Meg’s mother Helen had been trying for some time to persuade her sister, Sonia, to forgive Meg and Dan, and today’s invitation to Woodbourne House was a signal that she had at last relented.

They walked up through the orchard, and when they reached the flagged courtyard at the back of the house Meg said, ‘I’m going to the kitchen to say hello to Effie. I don’t think I can face Aunt Sonia quite yet. I’ll let you go first. Cowardly of me, I know, but I can’t help it.’ She gave him a quick smile and a kiss, and turned in the direction of the kitchen.

 

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy of this novel from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links!

          

 

 

Thank you to Caro Fraser and Aria Fiction for being featured on my blog today!

 

About Caro Fraser

 

Caro Fraser is the author of the bestselling Caper Court novels, based on her own experiences as a lawyer. She is the daughter of Flashman author George MacDonald Fraser and lives in London.

 

 

For more information on Aria Fiction visit them at:

Website | Twitter | FacebookInstagram | NetGalley | Newsletter

 

#BlogTour #Excerpt
Deep Fear by Rachel Lynch
@r_lynchcrime @canelo_co

 

Synopsis:

DI Kelly Porter is back. But will this new case push her beyond her limits?

On a peaceful summer’s morning in the Lake District, a woman’s body is discovered outside a church. She’s been murdered and a brutal, symbolic act performed on her corpse. DI Kelly Porter is in charge of the team investigating the crime, and is determined to bring the killer to justice. But as more deaths occur it is clear this is the work of a disturbed, dangerous and determined individual. Can Kelly put the puzzle pieces together before the danger comes closer to home?

Don’t miss this gripping crime thriller featuring an unforgettable detective. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Patricia Gibney and Robert Bryndza.

 

————–

Excerpt:

The cardiac ward at The Penrith and Lakes Hospital was utterly depressing. Old people, smokers for years, hacked their lives out of their chests, and others wheezed and rattled around the corridors. The ward wrapped around a courtyard, and each patient had their own room. Wendy Porter was dozing. Kelly looked at her mother and felt regret. They were close in some ways but not in others. Kelly knew from DS Umshaw that being a mother was a tough job and children often believed that you were taking sides. The moment offered Kelly room to breathe and she watched as her mother’s chest rose and fell gently. She looked peaceful in sleep. An urge to take her hand gripped Kelly, but it passed when she heard the carping voice of her sister. She rolled her eyes.

Kelly knew that she had to move out of her childhood home, and she made a note to herself to try to squeeze in a viewing tomorrow. But even as the thought came and went, she knew she wouldn’t have time. Already the case was taking over. Damn it, she had to make time.

There had been a time when Kelly had worried about why she always seemed to disappoint her mother – to the satisfaction of her sister – but now she had more important things to consider, such as finding a house of her own, so she didn’t need to listen to it. As well as needing her own space, Nikki had a key to her mother’s house and barged in unannounced, whenever it pleased her, and Kelly felt suffocated. And now Kelly was public enemy number one. She’d not only put Dave Crawley away for fifteen years, but his father had been found guilty and sent down, only to spend the last pathetic days of his existence in the prison infirmary, being tended to by palliative care nurses. He’d died merely two months into his sentence. Of course it was all her fault, rather than the fact that they were both fucking toe rags. It still pained her that she’d shared a bed with Dave. She still felt unclean.

Nikki had lived in Penrith all her life; she’d never left. She finished college here, married a boy from here, and now she was raising kids here. Maybe that was the problem. Kelly had known for years, all the way through college and university, that she’d leave The Lakes one day. It wasn’t that she didn’t love the place, not at all – it was more that it made her feel trapped somehow. Before London, all she’d ever known was lakes and mountains; the same boys, marrying the same girls, and the same conversations around the same bars and the same nightclubs. Kelly wanted more, that was all, but Nikki called her arrogant and selfish. London did its job: Kelly found the life she’d craved, the freedom, the spontaneity, the vastness and the anonymity; they all intoxicated her, and when she came back, her sister was exactly the same. But with a vicious edge. Kelly hadn’t known what to make of it, and had tried to comfort her sister, thinking the cause of her annoyance to be grief over their father.

She was wrong.

And now she’d rocked the boat on a monumental scale. Nikki’s best friend was Dave’s wife, and was finding life on the knuckles of her arse, without the trappings of Dave’s extra-curricular activities, challenging.

Now, Nikki made it clear that she blamed her sibling, not only for not being there when their father passed away, but for the fate of one of Penrith’s greatest families. The irony was lost on her, and when the sisters clashed, it was never pretty.

Kelly followed the noise and found Nikki berating a male nurse with a clipboard.

‘Nikki, Mum wants you,’ Kelly lied.

Nikki spun round and the nurse slipped away. Kelly turned to go back to the room, ignoring anything her sister might have had to say. Nikki turned back to where the nurse had been standing and, realising they’d gone, tutted indignantly. Kelly couldn’t help smile as Nikki clacked towards their mother’s room in her impossible heels. It must be exhausting being that pissed off all the time, Kelly thought.

Their mother was now awake, and having her vitals checked by the young male nurse who’d been debriefed by Nikki, just a moment ago. Nikki glared at him. Kelly wondered what on earth he might have done wrong. Offence; everyone is so easily offended, she thought. Kelly found the nurse polite and efficient, but then Nikki wouldn’t be happy unless there was a problem. Kelly folded her arms, accepting that she’d have to share space with her sister for a while, and examined her. She wore black leggings, high white boots, and a baggy sweatshirt with some logo on it, several bangles around her wrists – which jangled infuriatingly – plenty of makeup, and a sullen expression. Her dyed hair was piled high on her head and she chewed gum. She stood in a strop, arms folded, glaring at the nurse.

‘How are you feeling, Mrs Porter?’ the nurse asked.

‘Better now. You’re very handsome,’ Wendy said.

Kelly found her mother’s blunt honesty (a result of the drugs she was taking) hugely amusing: it left her with no filters, and stuff simply fell out of her mouth. The nurse laughed, used to the effects of the drugs. But Nikki was appalled.

‘Mum!’ Nikki said. The nurse left.

‘It’s true,’ Wendy said.

 

About the Author:

Rachel Lynch grew up in Cumbria and the lakes and fells are never far away from her. London pulled her away to teach History and marry an Army Officer, whom she followed around the globe for thirteen years. A change of career after children led to personal training and sports therapy, but writing was always the overwhelming force driving the future. The human capacity for compassion as well as its descent into the brutal and murky world of crime are fundamental to her work.

TWITTER

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                  

 

 

 

Thank you to Rachel Lynch and Canelo for providing me with an excerpt for my blog today!

 

#BlogTour #Excerpt #Giveaway
13 by Rhonda James
@AuthorRljames @InkSlingerPR

#BlogTour #Excerpt #Giveaway 13 by Rhonda James @AuthorRljames @InkSlingerPR

 

 

Synopsis: 

“Fake it till you make it.”

A notion I once considered utterly ridiculous. Until one crazy night with a mysterious man resulted in a social media frenzy that had the entire entertainment industry talking.

Seems a fake marriage was just what my career needed to make Hollywood come knocking.

Convincing him to continue the charade was almost too easy. The chemistry between us made it impossible to keep my hands to myself. But it was all just pretend, right? Love was never in the script.

That is, until he re-wrote it.

13 Reasons You Should Stay:

  1. I’m crazy about you
  2. I make you laugh
  3. You totally dig me

 

 

 

 

Excerpt:

 

It was early morning by the time I let myself into the house. I carried my suitcase up the stairs and headed straight for the shower to wash off the travel grime. After slipping on a tank and sleep shorts, I quietly entered his room and leaned against the door, watching as he slept. I wasn’t sure how long I’d been watching when he draped an arm over the side of the bed and beckoned me with a crook of his finger.

“What are you doing all the way over there?” he asked, his voice thick with sleep.

“Admiring you.”

“You look cold. Get your butt over here, and I’ll warm you up.”

I scrambled across the room and tucked myself against the warmth of his body. Oh, how I had missed this. He kissed me a few times and smiled a sleepy smile.

“I’ve missed this.”

“I’ve missed you,” he admitted. I loved how open he was with his feelings. He wasn’t afraid of putting himself out there. If he felt it, he blurted it out.

I slipped my fingers between his and sighed. “My agent thinks there’s a strong chance I’ll be offered the role.”

“I thought that was the whole point of all this,” he reminded me.

“It was. I mean, it still is. Being in L.A. helped me realize how much I’m going to miss you when I’m gone. Whether L.A. or New York, we’ll still be apart.”

God, I couldn’t believe I’d just admitted that. I might as well have handed him my beating heart and then given him the boots to stomp on it.

He gave my hand a squeeze. “I get that, and I feel the same way, but that just proves we need to take advantage of the time we have left—however short it may be. Are you still okay with going away this weekend?”

“I’m more than okay with it. Thank you again for inviting me.”

He kissed me tenderly, tangling his legs with mine as we pulled each other close. His tongue teased the seam of my lips until I welcomed him inside. Bodies pressed together, lips seeking, tongues tasting. I allowed myself to get lost in his unspoken promise. One that told me he’d never hurt me. His kiss reminded me to stop trying to figure out our future and focus on the moment. Moments like these.

 

Enter Rhonda’s Giveaway:

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

About the Author:

 

Rhonda is an Amazon bestselling romance author who strives to create a book boyfriend for all her readers. She’s married and lives in Michigan with her family. In her spare time you can find her talking to readers, getting lost in a new book, or just spending time with her family.

 

Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Pinterest | Youtube | Instagram | Website

 

 

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                              

 

 

 

#BlogTour #Excerpt
East of India by Erica Brown
@baywriterallat1 @canelo_co

  

 

Synopsis:

India, 1940. When Nadine learns that the Indian woman she thought her nanny is, in fact, her mother, she rebels against her English father and he arranges for Nadine to be wed to an Australian merchant many years older. She whisked off to his plantation in Malaya but as the Second World War rages throughout the East, Nadine is taken captive by the Japanese. She is held at a camp in Sumatra with other women and forced to provide sexual favours for the soldiers. In the most unlikely circumstances, Nadine finds an ally and protector in a Japanese-American general, caught up in the war. The two bond over the conflicted identities and gradually fall in love. But can Nadine survive long enough to find happiness?

Don’t miss this emotional and powerful saga about a women’s determination to beat the odds, perfect for fans of Renita D’Silva, Dinah Jefferies and Julia Gregson.

 

Excerpt:

Schooldays were coming to a close and Nadine was glad that they were. She’d never fitted in, viewed as slightly odd by fresh-faced girls who knew the far-off Mother Country far better than they did the one they lived in. Her dark hair and skin had set her apart. Only the odd contrast of her grey eyes had halted their insinuations of mixed blood, until Cecilia Renfrew had thrown comments around that she’d overheard from gossiping memsahibs. Some of the girls now went out of their way to avoid her, though not all.

Girls in brown uniforms had filed in and out of the Benares Academy for Young Ladies for over forty years. Most were destined to be wives either in this country or back home. Only a very few intended furthering their education and contemplating a career in ‘something useful’, such as becoming a secretary or doing a little nursing, though nothing too strenuous.

Someone asked Nadine whether she was going to England to continue studying. ‘Seeing as Cecilia may have scotched your chances on the marriage market.’

Nadine had bristled. ‘No. I’m going to study India – and the rest of the world if I get the chance.’

‘Oh! How odd,’ said the person who had asked. ‘Still, as long as you can afford it. Anyway, not everyone needs a man, do they?’

‘Will you get a job?’ someone else asked.

‘As what?’

Jennifer, a softly spoken girl who was as near to being her best friend as anyone, shrugged her narrow shoulders.

‘Nurse, secretary, teacher…’

Nadine shuddered. ‘Certainly not. What will you do?’

‘Marry an eligible man as quickly as possible. That’s what my parents hope for too. Have you considered marrying? I mean, I know some of the others think you’ve got no chance because of your pedigree, but let’s face it, you’re jolly pretty. Actually, the prettiest girl in the school.’

Nadine glanced at the slight sixteen-year-old. She had hips like a boy and the curve of her breasts barely disturbed the front of her blouse.

‘No. I won’t marry.’

‘I see. Of course, now there’s a war on you could do something in the military, I suppose – once you’re old enough, that is.’

‘I don’t think so.’

‘So what will you do?’ persisted the girl, peering from beneath a floppy brown fringe as she awaited an answer.

Nadine eyed the sandstone yellow of the school building, the locked gates that kept the girls in and the world – an India viewed as decadent but tempting – firmly shut out.

Remember it was here that made you respectable young ladies, truly representative of all the British Empire stands for.

The school’s mantra, dogged and basically unthinking: Nadine grinned as a deliciously naughty thought crossed her mind.

‘I think I shall be a dancer.’

Jennifer gasped and clapped a hand across her mouth. ‘You wouldn’t!’

‘Why not?’ Nadine spoke deliberately loudly. ‘I’m going to be a dancer in the Hindu fashion. I’m going to twirl and twitch my hands and arms around all those exquisite temples – you know the ones I mean – those decorated with intertwining, naked bodies.’

Jennifer’s shocked expression fuelled Nadine’s urge to shock and unsettle. She raised her voice, determined everyone would hear.

‘You know what they’re doing of course, don’t you? They’re having sex in every position possible. Some of the female carvings are sucking on the men’s…’

Nadine’s descriptions of the lewd statuary spread from girl to giggling girl.

‘MISS BURTON.’

Judging by her flame-coloured expression, Miss Clark looked about to explode.

Nadine didn’t care. Satchel tucked beneath her arm, she sauntered off, her hat swinging on a ribbon around her neck.

She half-turned, smiled and waved back to those gathered at the school gates. ‘Goodbye, Miss Clark. I’m off to dance seductively in a Hindu temple.’

 

About the Author:

Erica Brown is the pseudonym of a very successful author of women’s fiction and crime. She lives in Bath and has one daughter and twin grandchildren one of whom is dead set on becoming a writer.

 

Thank you to Erica Brown and Canelo for providing me with an excerpt for my blog today!

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                  

 

For more information on Erica Brown follow her on Twitter at: @baywriterallat1

 

 

#BlogTour #Excerpt #Giveaway
Can Dreams Come True? by Krysten Lindsay Hager
@KrystenLindsay @NeverlandBT

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Cecily has always had a huge crush on singer Andrew Holiday and she wants to be an actress, so she tags along when her friend auditions for his new video. However, the director isn’t looking for an actress, but rather the girl next door—and so is Andrew. Cecily gets a part in the video and all of Andrew’s attention on the set. Her friend begins to see red and Cecily’s boyfriend is seeing green—as in major jealousy. A misunderstanding leaves Cecily and her boyfriend on the outs and Andrew hopes to pick up the pieces as he’s looking for someone more stable in his life than the models he’s dated. Soon Cecily begins to realize Andrew understands her more than her small-town boyfriend—but can her perfect love match really be her favorite rock star?

 

Excerpt:

Andrew sat back and nodded. “Well, Dimitri got the song, you know? He understood what I was looking for—a relationship where two people understand each other on a spiritual level. You know, where their souls connect. Make sense?” 

“Yeah, is that what you have with your girlfriend?” I asked hoping it didn’t look like I as phishing for info on who he was dating. 

He shook his head. “Nah, I’ve never had anything like that before. But it’s the ultimate idea though, you know? How about you?”

“No, never,” I said and then I felt guilt wash over me. “I mean, I’ve had deep connections with people—just not what you’re talking about or what Dimitri said—the whole deep mystical thing.” 

Andrew stared at me and I felt like he was looking into my soul. “Sometimes it feels like it’s impossible to get that connection with anybody. Or you think you’re halfway there and they say they get you, but then something happens and you know they weren’t as deep into it as you were—or at least as deep as you were hoping. That’s the inspiration for next song I’m working on. It’s about when you want to believe so badly that you have a soul connection, then something happens and you realize it was just another superficial relationship. That’s the title: Just Another Superficial Relationship.” 

“Wow, I can’t wait to hear it.” 

“I can sing you the chorus if you want,” he said. 

Holding my breath, I tried to be cool and not squeal with delight that my favorite singer was about to not only sing for me, but let me hear an unreleased song. This was like a dream come true and it made me question if I hadn’t indeed fallen into the water and hit my head on some rocks, and was now either dreaming this in a coma somewhere or this was my own personal version of heaven. I felt guilty for inwardly gushing over Andrew when I had a boyfriend. But this wasn’t about me being interested in going out with Andrew. It would never happen anyway. This was just me meeting my crush who happened to be a singer, who I felt understood my feelings more than anyone else. 

Andrew sang the chorus and a warmth washed over me. The song was perfect—the yearning, the longing—I had experienced all of it myself. It was like he had taken all my innermost thoughts and somehow put them into words. 

“Amazing,” I said. My whole body was warm as my mind raced. Was I actually sitting here with him and having him trust me enough to share a new song? This was beyond anything I had dreamt of happening today.

 

About Krysten Lindsay Hager:

Krysten Lindsay Hager writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, crushes, fame, first loves, and values. She is the author of True Colors, Best Friends…Forever?, Next Door to a Star, Landry in Like, Competing with the Star (The Star Series: Book 2) and Dating the It Guy. True Colors, won the Readers Favorite award for best preteen book and the Dayton Book Expo Bestseller Award for children/teens. Competing with the Star is a Readers’ Favorite Book Award Finalist.

Krysten’s work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Beavercreek Current, the Bellbrook Times, Springfield News-Sun, Grand Blanc View, Dayton Daily News and on the talk show Living Dayton.

WEBSITE / TWITTER / INSTAGRAM AMAZON BIO / FACEBOOK / PINTEREST

 

 

International Giveaway:

 

£5 (or equivalent in dollars) Amazon gift card

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Thank you to Krysten Lindsay Hager for allowing me to be part of the blog tour today! It was truly an honour!

 

Pick up a copy of this novel from your favourite retailer or from the following link!

#BlogTour #BookReview #Giveaway
Undone by You by Kate Meader
@KittyMeader @Pocket_Books

#BlogTour #BookReview #Giveaway Undone by You by Kate Meader @KittyMeader @Pocket_BooksTitle: Undone By You

Author: Kate Meader

Series: Chicago Rebels #3

Published by Pocket Star on March 5, 2018

Genres: Contemporary Romance, LGBTQIA

Pages: 184

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Pocket Books, NetGalley

Book Rating: 10/10

 

Synopsis:

Dante Moretti has just landed his dream job: GM of the Chicago Rebels. And screw the haters who think there should be an asterisk next to his name because he’s the first out managing executive in pro hockey. He’s earned the right to be here and nothing will topple him off that perch—especially not an incredibly inconvenient attraction to his star defenseman, Cade “Alamo” Burnett. Cade has always been careful to keep his own desires on the down low, but his hot Italian boss proves to be a temptation he can’t resist. Sure, they both have so much to lose, but no one will ever know…

As Dante and Cade’s taboo affair heats up off the ice and their relationship gets more and more intense, they’ll have to decide: is love worth risking their careers? Or is this romance destined to be forever benched?


Review:

Heartfelt, seductive and downright fervent!

Undone by You is an engrossing, passionate, sports romance that features the closeted, fun-loving Cade, and the handsome, mature Dante as they engage in a love affair strife with issues of age disparity, impropriety, hidden sexuality, and the stigma and stereotypical mentality surrounding professional sports.

The prose is titillating and sincere. The characters are well-drawn, appealing, and genuine. And the plot is a provocative tale full of explosive attraction, unquenchable lust, sizzling chemistry, family drama, friendship, support, acceptance, hockey, and love.

I didn’t think it was possible for this series to get any better but I stand corrected. Undone by You is emotional, tender, tantalizing, and absolutely dynamite and it has without a doubt left me counting down the days until the next novel in the series, Hooked on You, Violet’s story is available!

If you haven’t had a chance to read my review of the first two novels in the Chicago Rebels series be sure to check them out here:

 

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                  

 

 

Giveaway::

 

Kate Meader will be giving away a $50 Amazon gift card in honour of release week.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster, especially Pocket Books, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Kate Meader

Originally from Ireland, Kate Meader cut her romance reader teeth on Maeve Binchy and Jilly Cooper novels, with some Harlequins thrown in for variety. Give her tales about brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron, a fire hose, or a hockey stick, and she's there. Now based in Chicago, she writes sexy contemporary romance with alpha heroes and strong heroines (and heroes) who can match their men quip for quip.

 

 

#BookReview #Excerpt #Giveaway
So Over You by Kate Meader
@KittyMeader @Pocket_Books

#BookReview #Excerpt #Giveaway So Over You by Kate Meader @KittyMeader @Pocket_BooksTitle: So Over You

Author: Kate Meader

Series: Chicago Rebels #2

Published by Pocket Books on December 19, 2017

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 400

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Pocket Books, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

Synopsis:

Three estranged sisters struggle to sustain their late father’s failing hockey franchise in Kate Meader’s SO OVER YOU, Book 2 in the new sizzling Chicago Rebels series. Middle sister Isobel is at a crossroads in her personal and professional lives. But both are about to get a significant boost with the addition of a domineering Russian powerhouse to the Rebels…

Isobel Chase knows hockey. She played NCAA, won silver at the Games, and made it thirty-seven minutes into the new National Women’s Hockey League before an injury sidelined her dreams. Those who can’t, coach, and a position as a skating consultant to her late father’s hockey franchise, the Chicago Rebels, seems like a perfect fit. Until she’s assigned her first job: the man who skated into her heart as a teen and relieved her of her pesky virginity. These days, left-winger Vadim Petrov is known as the Czar of Pleasure, a magnet for puck bunnies and the tabloids alike. But back then…let’s just say his inability to sink the puck left Isobel frustratingly scoreless.

Vadim has a first name that means “ruler,” and it doesn’t stop at his birth certificate. He dominates on the ice, the practice rink, and in the backseat of a limo. But a knee injury has produced a bad year, and bad years in the NHL don’t go unrewarded. His penance? To be traded to a troubled team where his personal coach is Isobel Chase, the woman who drove him wild years ago when they were hormonal teens. But apparently the feeling was not entirely mutual.

That Vadim might have failed to give Isobel the pleasure that was her right is intolerable, and he plans to make it up to her—one bone-melting orgasm at a time. After all, no player can perfect his game without a helluva lot of practice…


Review:

Sexy, steamy, and sweet!

So Over You is a sizzling second-chance romance that introduces us to the broody, stubborn, handsome Vadim and the feisty, driven, scarred Isobel as they each navigate the loss of a loved one, familial drama, career-altering injuries, undeniable chemistry and insatiable desire.

The writing is lighthearted and fun. The supporting characters are encouraging, loyal, and kind. And the plot, from start to finish, is filled to the brim with longing, lust, emotion, angst, witty banter, and tantalizing romance.

So Over You is the second novel in the Chicago Rebels series and another highly entertaining, thoroughly enjoyable sports romance by Meader who seems to have the formula for writing irresistible rom-coms down to a fine art.

If you haven’t had a chance to read my review of the first novel in the series, Irresistible You, be sure to check it out here:

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

 

 

 

Excerpt:

He leaned in again, smelling of fame, privilege, and raw sex appeal. Discomfort at his proximity edged out the hormonal sparks dancing through her body.

“Does Moretti know that we have history? That you are the last person I wish to work with?”

Before she could respond, someone squealed, “Vadim!” A blond, skinny, buxom someone, who now wrapped herself around Vadim in a very possessive manner. “You said you’d be back with a dwinkie!”

A dwinkie?

Drawing back, Vadim circled the squealer’s waist and pulled her into his hard body. “Kotyonok, I did not mean to be so long.” He dropped a kiss on her lips, needing to bend considerably because she was just so darn petite! Not like big-boned Isobel, who could have eaten this chick and her five supermodel Playmates for a midmorning snack. A group of them stood off to the side, clearly waiting for the signal to start the orgy. And Vadim clearly wanted to give it, except he had to deal with the annoying six-foot fly in the sex ointment.

Why did the lumberjack hotties always go for twigs instead of branches? Did it make them feel more virile to screw a pocket-sized Barbie?

Yep, feeling like a schlub.

But he didn’t need to know that. All he needed to know was that she had the power to return him to competitive ice. This was her best shot at making a difference and getting the Rebels to a coveted play-off spot. Vadim Petrov and his butt-hurt feelings would not stand in her way.

“Do you need to talk about it, Russian?”

She infused as much derision into the question as possible, so that the idea of “talking about it” made him sound a touch less than manly. Big, bad, brick-house Russians didn’t need to talk about the women who done them wrong.

“There is nothing to talk about,” he uttered in that voice that used to send Siberian shivers down her back. Now? Nothing more than a Muscovian flurry.

“Excellent!” Superscary cheerful face. “Regular practice is tomorrow at ten, so I’ll see you on the ice at 9 a.m. Don’t be late.”

Pretty happy with her exit line, she walked away.

Far too easy.

A brute hand curled around hers and pulled her to the other side of the bar, out of the sight line of most of the VIP room. She found her back against a wall—literally and figuratively—as 230 pounds of Slavic muscle loomed over her.

He still held her hand.

If she weren’t so annoyed, she’d think it was kind of nice.

She yanked it away. “Who the hell do you think you are?”

“Who am I?” he boomed, and she prayed it was rhetorical. Unfortunately, no. “I am Vadim Petrov. Leading goal scorer for my first two years in the NHL. Winner of both the Kontinental and the Gagarin Cups. A man not to be trifled with. And you are, who, exactly? The daughter of a hockey great who was not so great when it came to running a team. The woman who can no longer play yet thinks she can offer ‘tips’ to me. To me! You may have pedigree, Isobel, but there is nothing I can learn from you.”

This arrogant, douchewaffle piece of shit!

 

 

Giveaway:

Kate Meader will be giving away a $25 Amazon gift card during release week.

To enter, please go here!

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Pocket Books, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Kate Meader

Originally from Ireland, Kate Meader cut her romance reader teeth on Maeve Binchy and Jilly Cooper novels, with some Harlequins thrown in for variety. Give her tales about brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron, a fire hose, or a hockey stick, and she's there. Now based in Chicago, she writes sexy contemporary romance with alpha heroes and strong heroines (and heroes) who can match their men quip for quip.

#GuestPost & #Excerpt
Zenka by Alison Brodie
@alisonbrodie2

 

Synopsis:

Ruthless, stubborn and loyal.

Zenka is a Hungarian pole-dancer with a dark past.

When cranky London mob boss, Jack Murray, saves her life she vows to become his guardian angel – whether he likes it or not. Happily, she now has easy access to pistols, knuckle-dusters and shotguns.

Jack learns he has a son, Nicholas, a community nurse with a heart of gold. Problem is, Nicholas is a wimp.

Zenka takes charge. Using her feminine wiles and gangland contacts, she aims to turn Nicholas into a son any self-respecting crime boss would be proud of. And she succeeds!

Nicholas transforms from pussycat to mad dog, falls in love with Zenka, and finds out where the bodies are buried – because he buries them. He’s learning fast that sometimes you have to kill, or be killed.

As his life becomes more terrifying, questions have to be asked:

How do you tell a crime boss you don’t want to be his son?

And is Zenka really who she says she is?

 

Excerpt:

 

Prologue One 

7 July, 2011

My dearest Alina,

Olga Savchukis is a lying bitch. She say I vill be taken care of. I vill get good job in London. Good job?! She sells me to Romanians. I kick man in balls. I bite. But I cannot get out. Even vindows locked. I know if I am injected I can never escape, NEVER.

Suddenly doors crash open and there is much shooting of guns. After is silence. A man with a face like crumpled McDonald bag takes us outside. The other girls are like sleepvalkers. We have to step over dead Romanians.

The man who saves us is Jack Murray – I am not allowed to tell who he is, but I can tell YOU because you are in Hungary and cannot sneak. He is top gang boss in London.

He hates Romanians. He says it’s very bad thing they do to girls. The girls who escaped that night get jobs in bakery and supermarket. Me? I vill not leave Jack.

Remember the puppy, Yuki? I am like that. I follow Jack all around. He says I am nuisance. I offer myself to him. I am virgin but he deserves me. But he doesn’t vant me! He says he is too old. I say he is not too old. He tries to ignore me. But nobody can ignore Zenka Valentina Varga if she does not vant to be ignored. Ha!

You saved my life, I tell him, now I am your guardian angel. He rolls his eyes to heaven as if seeking patience from God, and says: How can you be guardian angel ven you are only five foot two? I say I am small but a grenade is also small.

I get job in Jack’s club, The Men’s Room. I tell manager I do pole dancing. (That is ven girl climbs up and down pole – I don’t make it sound sexy – but it is ven it is done right). Me? I try to turn upside down, and fall into a heap. Now I am STAR performer!

I ver vigs, blonde, black, orange, pink, depending on my mood. Job pays good vage and the customers throw money on the stage – not like other places ver the man puts money in girl’s panties with fingers – urgh! If man touches me, I slap his face. He is shocked but his friends laugh.

Jack tells me not to attack customers – it is not good for business, he say. Yesterday I scratch customer because he hurts new girl. Jack is angry with me, but then he goes outside and punches the customer. So JACK can punch but I cannot scratch? Ver is the justice in THAT?

Jack has bodyguards. Lockjaw looks like Frankenstein. Vince is tall but he never talk. Billy is short and square and he talk too much. He teaches me Cockney:

“Bollocks” is a man’s balls. But if you say “Don’t drop a bollock” it means don’t make a mistake. “I’m the dog’s bollocks” is ven man thinks he is the best. Jack says this all the time.

I have to tell you. Ven Jack is angry, it makes me laugh. He can be tough with men, but he cannot be tough with vomen. He is like the father I never had. He tells me to find good husband and I say, yes, yes, Jack, to shut his mouth.

My dearest friend. Do you know ver Olga Savchukis can be found? If you know this, tell me. Then I can kill her.

Your loving friend,

Zenka. x

How is the family? 

Fifty miles away, at exactly the same time…

 

Early Praise for Zenka:

“A riveting read. Powerful. Spicy” -Midwest Book Review

5* “To say I loved this story would be a massive understatement” –Bloggers from Down Under

5* “Will warm your heart and chill your bones” –Tome Tender Blogspot

5* “Top of my list for best fiction this year” – Lauren Sapala, WriteCity

5* “You won’t be able to put this book down” –Laura Reading

5*   “Brodie nails it again. Intelligent wit and outstanding writing” –Charlie Elliott, author of Life Unbothered.

 

About the Author:

Alison Brodie is a Scot, with French Huguenot ancestors on her mother’s side. She is a writer and animal rights activist. Her books have been published in hardback and paperback by Hodder & Stoughton (UK), Heyne (Germany) and Unieboek (Holland). Alison is now a self-publisher. Here are some editorial reviews for her recent books:

BRAKE FAILURE: “Masterpiece of humor” –Midwest Book Review

THE DOUBLE: “Proof of her genius in writing fiction” -San Francisco Book Review.

 

Thank you to Alison Brodie for providing me with an excerpt for my blog today! It was truly an honour!

Preorder a copy of this novel from your favourite retailer or from the following link!

For more information on Alison Brodie visit her website at: alisonbrodiebooks.com

or follow her on Twitter at@alisonbrodie2 or Facebook at: AlisonBrodieAuthor

%d bloggers like this: