Excerpt

#BlogTour #Excerpt
Finding Jess by Julia Ibbotson
@JuliaIbbotson @Endeavour_Media
#LoveBooksGroupTours

#BlogTour #Excerpt Finding Jess by Julia Ibbotson @JuliaIbbotson @Endeavour_Media #LoveBooksGroupToursTitle: Finding Jess

Author: Julia Ibbotson

Series: Drumbeats #3

Published by Endeavour Media on August 10, 2018

Genres: Women's Fiction

Pages: 254

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Single mum Jess has had her world turned upside down. Now it’s about to be turned inside out.

Jess has got a tough life back on track after love-of-her-life husband Simon walked out on her and their beautiful young daughters Katy and Abi. But she has long-time friend and confidante Polly to turn to…until Polly and Simon start having an affair together.

When Polly decides to apply for a job at Jess’s school, in the English department, Jess feels threatened. So why has Polly set her sights on the department head’s role? And why is the school now offering Jess a sideways ‘promotion’?

Jess can no longer trust anyone – including herself. Then out of the blue she is mysteriously sent a clipping for a temporary post in the Ministry of Education in Ghana, where she did a gap year as a teenager, and where she was happy. She is on the brink of losing everything at home but could this be a lifeline?

Julia Ibbotson’s Finding Jess is a passionate study of love and betrayal – and of one woman’s bid to reclaim her self-belief and trust after suffering great misfortune. It is a feel-good story of a woman’s strength and spirit rising above adversity.

 

 

Excerpt:

On that night, in 1986, so long ago, on their wedding anniversary, lying next to her beloved Simon, listening to his breathing, loving him yet somehow afraid, she had held her hands up over her face trying to blank out the rhythmic rising and falling of sounds in the heavy darkness, that sense of imminent danger. She had no idea what was about to happen to them, to her much-loved family, but somehow it reminded her so vividly of that time in Ghana, and those portentous drumbeats … they were haunting her again, whatever they meant …

… the whispering souls and spirits calling to her across the bush; the surging and dying of the wind on the night air, the insistent beat of the kpanlogo djembe. Once more, her dreams were garish and crowded as they had been there. And she remembered that haunting. What was it that felt so ominous now?

Eventually, exhausted, she had slept, but it was restless and in the morning she had struggled out of bed feeling as though she had the worst hangover ever. Simon was already up and she could hear him downstairs as she went for her shower.

“Katy! Abi! Are you both up?” she had called.

“Yes, I’m getting dressed and Katy’s gone down.”

After her shower she had sunk onto the stool at the dressing table and peered at her drawn features. Her eyes looked puffy and sore. Right. Makeup out, let’s get respectable. Paint a decent face on …

As she swept brown eyeliner across her eyes, she became aware that he was standing in the bedroom doorway, a sense of agitation emanating from him. She could almost smell the sweat. She looked up and saw that he was leaning against the lintel staring at her. It was not a loving stare but a troubled, frowning one and she knew that he needed to tell her something that she wasn’t going to like. She knew him so well. Some money problem? Work? He wanted to resign from his job and let her to be the breadwinner? Oh dear – she hoped not. She didn’t have the years of promotions behind her to stand keeping the family on her income. But he had threatened that so many times.

She raised her eyebrows enquiringly. He shifted from foot to foot in the doorway and Jess began to feel very uneasy. Her hand trembled and she dripped the liquid eyeliner onto the dressing table.

“I have to tell you,” he said with a slow intake of breath, those fatal, unimaginable, alien words that would haunt her forever. “I’m leaving you.”

“What?” She hadn’t expected that. Her heart fell, tumbling to inexorable death.

“You heard me,” Simon snapped, his face suddenly contorted. “I’ve decided that I don’t want to be a husband and father any more.”

“Decided …? What on earth do you mean?”

 

 

 

This novel is available now.

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

 

 

Thank you to Julia Ibbotson for being featured on my blog today!

 

About Julia Ibbotson

Award-winning author Julia Ibbotson is fascinated by the medieval world and concepts of time travel. She studied English at Keele University, specialising in medieval language, literature and history, and has a PhD in linguistics. She wrote her first novel at 10, but became a school teacher, then university lecturer and researcher. Julia spent a turbulent but exciting time in Ghana, West Africa, teaching and nursing. She has published both academic works and fiction, including a medieval time-slip, a children’s novel , a memoir, and the Drumbeats trilogy (which begins in Ghana in the 1960s). Apart from insatiable reading, Julia loves world travel, choral singing, swimming, yoga, and walking in the UK and Madeira where she and her husband divide their time. She runs an editing/critiquing service for authors: details on her website. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Society of Authors and the Historical Novel Society.

 

#BlogTour #Excerpt
Ravens Gathering by Graeme Cumming
@GraemeCumming63 @matadorbooks
#RavensGathering #Lovebooksgrouptours

#BlogTour #Excerpt Ravens Gathering by Graeme Cumming @GraemeCumming63 @matadorbooks #RavensGathering #LovebooksgrouptoursTitle: Ravens Gathering

Author: Graeme Cumming

Published by Matador Books on March 16, 2017

Genres: Fantasy, Horror, Young Adult

Pages: 432

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

As she let her gaze drift around her, she saw that there were more birds.  Perhaps a dozen or so, perched among the trees that stood on the edge of the clearing. And yet more were arriving, swooping down through the gap overhead and landing on branches that overlooked them. The birds weren’t threatening, yet the sight of them all coming together in this dark and isolated spot was unnerving. Tanya reached a hand out towards Martin, and was relieved to feel him take it.  She felt him move in behind her.  After the uncertainty she’d experienced with him in a similar position only a few moments ago, she recognised the irony of her reaction. His closeness offered security. 

“You know what they are, don’t you?” 

A stranger’s arrival in a small village coincides with a tragic accident.  For the Gates family in particular it’s more than a coincidence, but unease increases following a brutal attack.  As tensions rise, a dark past returns to haunt them and others, while newcomers to the village are drawn into a mystery with terrifying consequences. 

And only a select few know why the ravens are gathering.

 

Excerpt:

In the darkness of his bedroom, he wondered for a moment whether the drums had just been part of a dream. Then he heard something familiar from downstairs. The rhythmic rattle of a latch hitting a strike plate. It was the sound his mother regularly complained about when he came in from playing and didn’t close the door properly. Someone had left a door open, and it was swinging back and forth in the night air.

Sitting up in bed, he rubbed the sleep from his eyes. In truth, the sleep was illusory, the pause an unconscious effort to give him a moment to rein in his emotions. And those were wide and varied, covering a range that ran from puzzlement to fear. He realised it must be the middle of the night. The only illumination was the faint glow of a nearby streetlamp through his curtains. So why would his parents leave a door open?

His bed was close to the window, so he pushed the bedclothes back and knelt up, leaning forward to lift a curtain to one side. The street was deserted. Looking to the left, he saw no sign of life. To the right, there was barely enough light to see anything. Just one streetlamp 50 yards away, then nothing.

He had hoped a quick look outside might explain everything, but it didn’t. Now he had to face the prospect of getting out of bed and negotiating the darkness of the house. And the first thing he had to concern himself with was the crocodile under the bed.

 

 

This novel is available now.

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

 

 

Thank you to Graeme Cumming for being featured on my blog today!

 

About Graeme Cumming

Graeme Cumming lives in Robin Hood country. He has wide and varied tastes when it comes to fiction so he’s conscious that his thrillers can cross into territories including horror, fantasy and science fiction as well as more traditional arenas.
When not writing, Graeme is an enthusiastic sailor (and, by default, swimmer), and enjoys off-road cycling and walking. He is currently Education Director at Sheffield Speakers Club. Oh yes, and he reads (a lot) and loves the cinema.

 

#BookBlitz #Giveaway
Hitman Wedding by Eve Langlais
@EveLanglais @InkSlingerPR

 

Today we have the release blitz of HITMAN WEDDING by Eve Langlais!

Check it out and grab your copy today!

 

 

Title: HITMAN WEDDING

Author: Eve Langlais

Genre: Contemporary Romance

 

About HITMAN WEDDING:

The employees of Bad Boy Inc. are gathering for a celebration. The bride sported the latest in bullet proof corsets. The groom wore a gun. The guests came armed for action. But the cake blew up before they could eat it. As for the honeymoon, it’s going to be a mad chase across the globe dodging bullets and bombs to find the culprit who wants them all dead.

Once upon a time, Darren fell for a woman while in the world’s most romantic city. In full view of the Eiffel tower he had his heart torn from his chest and stomped on.

Time for revenge. Francesca played Darren for a fool, but he won’t let it happen again. Now that he’s found her, she’s going to pay for her actions. Problem is she’s getting under his skin. Rubbing against his skin. Making him remember those Paris days and hotter nights.

Before he can decide if he’s crazy enough to fall in love with her again, everything explodes after the wedding.

 

Get Your Copy Today!

 

 

 

Exclusive Excerpt:

“Who hired you?”

Fran snorted. “Come now, Darren. You and I both know I am not going to answer that.”

“You will.”

She sighed. “You’re being ridiculous.”

“There is nothing wrong with demanding answers.” He waggled the point of his knife at her.

She still didn’t flinch. “Are you going to torture me? Is that what you do now? Torment women because your ego is bruised?”

“The last time I tortured someone, it was with my tongue, and as I recall, you screamed for more.”

A slight flare of her nostrils showed that she remembered what he spoke of. There was no mistaking the slight hint of pink in her cheeks. She never could hide her blushes, especially when aroused.

She still wants me, too? Heat flashed through him followed by an instant cold bucket of don’t-fall-for-it-you-idiot. This wasn’t real.

“You need to let me go. You don’t know what you’re doing. My surveillance of you was standard industry business. You, of all people, should understand that.”

Yes, Darren knew all about espionage, especially that of companies and people. But who was behind it of late? Who kept laying traps and trying to kill the people trained at his academy?

 

 

 

 

About Eve:

New York Times and USA Today Bestseller Eve Langlais is a Canadian author who loves to write hot romance. She likes to blame her twisted imagination for her sarcastic sense of humor which tends to heavily influence her stories. She loves to write, and while she might not always know what her mind is going to come up with next, she does promise it will be fun, probably humorous and most of all romantic, because she believes in a happily ever after.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Mailing List | Goodreads | Amazon

 

 

Enter Eve’s Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

#BookBlitz #Excerpt
Entrapped by Claire Ayres
@BrizzleLass

 

TitleEntrapped (Musicians Hope #1)

 

Author: Claire Ayres

 

Genre: 18+ Contemporary Romance

 

Release Day: August 17th

 

 

Synopsis:

Cellist, Luka, has moved to Bristol to start a new job and recover from the betrayal of finding his best friend and his girlfriend in bed together. He doesn’t plan on the emotional thunderstorm that meeting his next-door neighbour Jess causes. 

Jess had everything, a man she loved, friends she adored and then the world crashed around her. Depression came from nowhere and slowly started ripping her life away. Now she lives a lonely, sad life but the music which she keeps hearing next door is waking her up and she doesn’t know why. 

Join Luka and Jess as they discover life after heartache, how to forgive and how to live and love again. 

*Entrapped is an 18+ Contemporary Romance with several graphic sex scenes* 

 

Excerpt:

As if on cue she hears music start drifting from next door, the same beautiful sound as Friday night, except this time she recognises the tune, it’s a track by The Blaze a popular rock band. Again, she finds herself pulled towards it.

Before she realises what she is doing, she has stood up and walked to the boundary between the two balconies. She presses tightly against it and leans over to listen as closely as possible. There is something about that man and his music which pulls her towards them. Her thoughts imagine him listening to the music the way that she does, his entire body and soul captured by the sounds in the same way she is and finally she starts to imagine her body entwined with his. The music leading them in a slow dance which is sensual even with his strong arms wrapped around her and his body leading the way. Jess is so caught up in her daydream she doesn’t notice her feet lifting off the ground. Her knuckles are white from gripping the top of the boundary which her belly is balancing on. She is stretching her neck to get as close as possible to the doors on the other side and hear the music, which is igniting her whole body. The music is making all of the small hairs everywhere stand to attention, ready to march into battle, although she is not sure what battle they are expecting. Her breaths are becoming pants, and there is a ringing in her ears accompanying the pulsing between her legs.

As she strains to hear better the music stops and she topples forward almost falling headlong into his balcony. Saved only by strong arms, the arms she was fantasising about. Now those arms are catching her by her waist, not before they brush her breasts and sends heat signals to parts of her body which need no further encouragement.

He lifts her back to her side of the balcony, where she glances up, taking a glimpse of him through her eyelashes and feeling the heat rising from her neck into her cheeks she hastily picks up her Kindle and turns to her patio door. The humiliation that he caught her falling into his balcony burned through her like the heat of a thousand suns. She paused briefly to look over at him standing calmly watching her. “Ummm, thank you,” she says before quickly running inside to the sound of a deep chuckle following her.

 

This novel is available now.

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

 

 

About the Author:

Claire lives in Bristol, UK and has taken her inspiration from the people and the places she has seen over the years. She always has a book close at hand and devours Fantasy and Romance like some devour chocolate! Claire loves a happily ever after followed by lots of bloody sword-fighting and dangerous dragons! But when writing her debut novel Entrapped drew on her childhood ambition to be a musician and one of the instruments she played and still loves as a centre-point.

Claire is also a passionate mental health advocate who lives with bipolar disorder and has done regular radio interviews and even some TV. She is also a huge heavy metal fan and can regularly be found banging her head at a concert or festival.

 

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Thank you to Claire Ayres for being featured on my blog today!

#Excerpt
House of Belonging by Andrea Thome
@AndreaThome @JKSlitpublicity

#Excerpt House of Belonging by Andrea Thome @AndreaThome @JKSlitpublicityTitle: House of Belonging

Author: Andrea Thome

Series: Hesse Creek #3

Published by Andrea Thome on June 5, 2018

Genres: Women's Fiction

Pages: 314

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Who can we count on? The family we’re born into, or the one we create for ourselves?

Renowned chef Laina Ming walked away from the culinary spotlight and an unhealthy relationship—one that still haunts her a year later. She’s trying to start fresh in the Rocky Mountains, opening a concept restaurant on the banks of the Roaring Fork River, where she hopes she’ll be able to express her passion for food and bury her heartache.

Horse rancher Logan Matthews moved to Aspen to be near his sister and her husband, grateful for his newfound family. Since a chance meeting with Laina the previous summer, Logan’s been enchanted. But she doesn’t want anything to do with him—which makes her all the more appealing.

Despite Laina’s efforts to protect her heart, Logan has been on her mind, too—and he has a way of turning up in the most unexpected places. Can they learn to trust one another and finally find the sense of belonging they’ve both been searching for?

 

Excerpt:

Laina turned to fix herself a vodka and soda, and as she was squeezing a lemon wedge she felt someone ease up next to her. She knew who it was before she turned to face him.

“You know, you really should open a restaurant.  That was some dinner you served up tonight.” Logan smiled at her, that same cheeky look he’d given her during the ceremony. “Just a shame you weren’t out here to enjoy it with us.”

He reached around her to grab the bottle of vodka to make himself a drink, brushing up against her ever so slightly in the process.  The effect was as if someone had run a feather across her bare neck and shoulders, and Laina involuntarily shivered at the intrusion of her personal space. 

Logan noticed her stiffen, and he stifled a smile. “Sorry, I just figured I’d need something a little stronger if I was going to get up the courage to ask you to dance. I mean, a guy can only handle so much rejection from one person, so go easy on me if the answer is no.”

He’d added ice cubes and a splash of Pellegrino to the vodka in his glass while he spoke, and now he was stirring his drink and trying to gauge her response to his offer while he did so.  This was the closest he’d been to her in weeks, so he took the opportunity to study her while he awaited her answer.

Logan felt that, with her flawless skin and jet-black hair, Laina was the most exotic woman he’d ever laid eyes on. Her last name spoke of an Asian heritage, but he knew from a quick Google search that she had Italian roots too. He didn’t think she looked like she belonged to either ethnicity. No, she was definitely one of a kind. She studied him curiously with eyes that were somewhere between brown and green. He couldn’t decide which. 

“Here you are. I knew you’d try to wriggle away when I turned my back.” Van had sidled up next to Laina, sliding his left arm around her waist protectively. He reached for a sip of her drink before handing it back to her with a wink.

Laina watched in amusement as Logan’s face fell just for a moment before he regained his composure. Van wasn’t through with him yet. “Who’s this, Laina?” He looked squarely at Logan. “Friend of the bride or groom?”

Logan steeled himself with a sip of his drink before extending his right hand in greeting. “Logan Matthews. I’m a friend to both actually, but I’m also the brother of the bride. And you are . . . ?”

Logan knew exactly who this man was. Chef Donovan Laird had been the talk of his dinner table, at least among the ladies, but Logan wasn’t going to give the man the pleasure of divulging that awareness. He’d heard his sister and India giggling about the handsome Scot and pondering whether there was anything going on between him and their mysterious girlfriend.

Apparently, there was.

Van just laughed, extending his own hand to meet Logan’s. “I’m Van. Nice to meet you. Your sister and brother-in-law are good people.”

Van turned his attention back to Laina. “Now, you promised me a dance, lass, and a dance we’ll have.”

He nodded at Logan, who mumbled something unintelligible as Van ushered Laina out toward the pulsating mob of revelers.  They hit the dance floor in time for a song that Laina loved, so they jumped right in.

Laina leaned forward to shout over the music into Van’s ear. “You enjoyed that, didn’t you?” She pulled back to watch the grin bloom across Van’s handsome face, and there was her answer.

He moved closer to respond. “I predicted that coming a mile away. I’ve seen the way he looks at you, and I know you’ve been doing your best to get him to bugger off since last summer. So I thought I’d help drive the point home.”

They laughed together, enjoying the freedom of cutting loose after such a long and stressful night of cooking. From all outward appearances, anyone would have thought they were a couple, thanks to their comfortable way with each other.

Logan was still watching from the edge of the dance floor, wondering how he’d read her so wrong. He knew Laina had been doing her best to avoid him, but he also thought he’d felt chemistry when she’d caught him staring at her during the ceremony.  

He hadn’t been able to help himself.

 

 

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 Andrea Thome and JKS Communications for being featured on my blog today!

 

About Andrea Thome

Andrea Thome is a former broadcast journalist, having covered both sports and news during her career. WALLAND and SEEDS OF INTENTION are her first two novels. The third book in the series, House of Belonging, has just been released.

Andrea is beginning work now on the first book in a brand new series set in the Pacific Northwest.

#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:

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#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.

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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.

 

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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.

 

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