Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Review: Luke's Redemption (+$10 Amazon GC Giveaway!)

Title: Luke's Redemption
Author: Anni Fife
Series: King Security #1
Pages: 386
Date Published: 2016
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Format: Kindle
Genre: Erotic Romance/Suspense
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours
Buy Me!

Synopsis:
Chased by her criminal kingpin father, Katya Dalca runs to New Orleans and straight into the arms of Luke Hunter. Sucked into the carnal world of the French Quarter, she succumbs to Luke’s potent sexuality. He not only steals her breath, he steals her heart and the only leverage she has against her father. She is left with no choice except to pick up the pieces and rebuild her life alone.

Undercover DEA agent Luke Hunter thought his newest assignment—recover a stolen flash drive to gain the trust of the Russian mob—was like any other. But his target brings him to his knees, and after one taste of her intoxicating beauty, he's in too deep. Doing his job means walking away, leaving his heart behind with nothing but a promise to reunite. It's a promise he can't keep.

When Katya's past reaches out and her world unravels, her only hope is the one man she is most vulnerable to—Luke.

~Try an Excerpt!~
The smell of beignets wafted up and distracted, I lifted the bag and took a deep breath. Whoosh! Fine sugar blew up out of the bag and coated me. 

“Shit, honey, you look sweet all over.”

Oh, just great. 

Blinking sugar out of my eyes I looked up. And up. He was tall, well over six foot. Midnight-blue eyes rimmed by a deeper blue-black smoldered lazily down at me. “You’re holding the best beignets in the world. You gonna stand there or you going to take a bite?”

“Umm.” Jeez, Katya. Say something.

“Here, let me hold that for you.” He took the coffee from my hand. “Go on, babe. Take a bite. It’ll be the best thing you’ll ever taste.”

Still struck dumb, I did what he asked and lifted a beignet out of the bag and took a big bite. Oh! It was like sinking my teeth into a sweet pillow of ambrosia.

“Good huh?”

I nodded and stared back at him. Then, without uttering a word, I stuffed the rest of the beignet into my mouth. He grinned at me, shaking his head. “Want to wash it down with this?” He held out my coffee.

My fingers brushed against his. Yikes! I couldn’t stop the slight tremor caused by his touch. I took a gulp of coffee - half rich chicory, half hot milk - and finally found my voice. “Would you like one?” I offered the bag of beignets to him.

“Would be like taking candy from a baby,” he grinned. “But don’t worry, I’ve got my own.” He dangled a packet like mine in front of me.

Then we both stood there and smiled at each other while we gorged on sugary donuts. He would reach for my coffee to free my hand. Then after I ate some fluffy yumminess, he’d hand it back to me so I could take a sip. We swallowed the last of our beignets and licked our fingers. 

I didn’t even know his name, yet I was more turned on than I had ever been in my life.
~Meet Anni!~ 
Last year, Anni Fife closed the door on a successful career in television, to fulfill her lifelong passion, writing. In the space of one month, she closed her business, packed up her city life and moved to a small seaside village. ‘My writing has always been constrained by client briefs,’ Anni says. ‘Now, I finally have the opportunity to write to the beat of my own heart.’ LUKE’s Redemption is Anni’s debut novel and she hopes you enjoy reading it as much as she loved writing it. Anni loves to spend hours walking on the beach searching for pansy shells, more hours drinking red wine with her gal posse, and the most hours writing steamy romance novels filled with hot alpha men and the sassy intelligent women they can’t live without. She is currently working on her second novel, GRAY’s Promise.



Anni is published by The Wild Rose Press, and is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA). 

Anni will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Review: Morgaine Le Fay and the Vikings

Title: Morgan Le Fay and the Vikings
Author: Kimbra Kasch
Series: N/A
Pages: 254
Date Published: 2016
Publisher: Midnight Frost Books
Format: Kindle
Genre: Arthurian Romance
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours
Buy Me!

Synopsis:
Travel across oceans, continents and countries to discover the story of legendary Viking hero, Holger Danske, and his magical romance with King Arthur’s half-sister in Morgaine Le Fay and the Viking

This is the story of two warriors who never thought they’d find love, especially on the battlefield, yet standing poised against each other Morgaine and Holger face an attraction more powerful than any sword, stronger than any warrior and more magical than all the powers of Merlin.

~Try an Excerpt!~
She shook her head, disregarding his warning as she rode ahead to act as the King’s guard over her brother. Sitting proud and tall, she fully intended to protect him from the onslaught that was about to begin. Arthur was transfixed. She was more beautiful than ever. An angel blanketed in shadows but edged in starlight, no man on the battlefield would ever forget her face.

She felt the fire burning inside her belly. The cry of war rising up into her heart, she wanted nothing more than to ride.

As the men moved nearer, she raised her hand, stopping Arthur’s men—holding them back, “Wait for my signal,” she called out, “Steady!” Finally reaching up over her head, she dropped her sword across her body as the moonlight glistened on the shiny steel, blinding the men riding toward them into battle.

Morgaine let out a laugh that echoed over the field as she galloped forward, and then immediately she swung her mare away from the men. Standing out alone and off to the side, she was a vision…

Suddenly time stood still. She was frozen, as a warrior on their frontline came into view. His arm raised up over his head, sword in hand, he led the charge against her, against Arthur, and against all the people of Camelot. He was a brute of a man and her attention was riveted.

There was no turning away; he was all she saw, all she noticed. Opening his mouth, he let out a roar as he rode straight toward her, this man with the golden mane.

The moonlight shimmered down on him. His browned skin glistened and his hair gleamed like an autumn jewel beneath the starlight. Suddenly she was reminded of hot summer days and amber pebbles washed up on the white sandy shores. Fascinated, she was spellbound by his glowing skin beneath the fading evening sun.

She was mesmerized.

Shaking her head to clear the fog inside her mind, she readied herself for his blow. Raising her shield, she steeled herself.

He was a giant among men, with ten times the form of any god she could imagine.

Was it possible? Was this an illusion? Could he be real?
~Meet Kimbra!~ 

I grew up in a family with 9 kids and 1 t.v. so I spent my days reading and, later, writing. I've always loved books. . .maybe partly because I never got to pick the t.v. shows we watched. Although I would run home from school every afternoon so I could watch the last fifteen minutes of Dark Shadows...

I still love to run...or at my age, maybe I should call it wogging (kind of a cross between walking and jogging). I get a group of girls together for community fund raising wogs...like the Run Like Hell, here in Portland, which is a Halloween themed run - where people don costumes and run. It's just a lot of fun...and I know those two words don't always go together: fun...and...run. But it is.

And, with those Halloween themed runs, I guess Dark Shadows had more of an influence than some people might think. Even today my favorite author is Stephen King. My all-time favorite book is Salem's Lot.

Favorite romance novels are The Hunger Games...okay, I know, it's a book about survival but it's really all about romance. Then there were the Twilight Books, The Fifty Shades books, and lots of others but I also really love paranormal, Horror and even light little books like Dewey the Small Town Library Cat... Mainly, I just love to read. . . and write.

I've just recently had my first novel published and am looking for ways to share it with the world. It's a story I was inspired to write after visiting Hamlet's Castle and seeing an enormous Viking statue down in the tunnels next to the dungeons.

 Kimbra will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Blog Tour: The Naughty List (+Christmas Present Giveaway!)

Title: The Naughty List
Author: Various
Series: Anthology
Pages: 237
Date Published: 2015
Publisher: Red Moon Romance
Format: Kindle
Genre: Romance (Anthology)
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours
Buy Me!

Synopsis:
A Christmas Maggie by Tiffany Reisz
All Daniel wanted for Christmas was to spoil his new girlfriend, Anya, make love under the tree, and ignore all his old heartaches. But the ghosts of Christmas past aren’t so easily forgotten especially when Maggie, his late wife, shows up to remind him why the past should stay in the past and why his Christmases-future could be the best of his life if he can finally let himself live and love in this Christmas present. (A Christmas Maggie is the final story in the Daniel trio [from the Original Sinners series] beginning with The Gift and followed by Daniel Part Two.)

Christmassy by Alexa Piper
When taotien Valerion and witchling Cora get together sparks fly. But on the way to visit Cora’s family for Christmas, they encounter a supernatural predator that will not only test their individual powers and abilities, but also their connection to one another.

My Midnight Cowboy by Pumpkin Spice
If chocolate is the way to a man’s heart, then pastry chef Lucy Baker has the recipe for success. But will her culinary skills melt the most hard-hearted bachelor in Wyoming? A chance encounter on a New Year’s Eve flight leaves two strangers to discover unbound pleasure and a hunger for sexual discovery.

In the Doghouse by Elizabeth Black
Nicky and Angela had just begun to add a little kink to their lives when, caught up in the influence of his dudebros he forgot their anniversary and broke Angela’s heart. Angela wants Nicky’s strong arms around her again, but first she wants him to fight for her. Can one night, a paddle and some restraints bridge the gap between them?

Winter’s Daughter by Doug Blakeslee
A child of the Fae—bound to winter and a promise given to her chosen mate. She must claim him before time runs out and all she loves in the world falls to ruin. A child of mortals—forgotten and discarded by the world, then torn from the most amazing woman he’s ever met. Trapped in the sort of fae-tale that rarely ends in happily ever after, are they strong enough to defy the odds and find love?

Stealing Time by Wendy Sparrow
As Father Time’s son, Zeit must sacrifice a mortal’s lifetime to the Fates each New Year’s Eve. Last year—inexplicably, really—he made an 11:59 substitution. The Fates are pissed and they’re after his mortal Hannah. With the year ending, he ought to figure out why he’d saved her—and why he keeps doing it. Following an unlucky year, Hannah needs a week’s holiday in a lodge to unwind. What she gets is near-death experiences and a sexy immortal who can’t avoid kissing her, but might have to kill her. After all, even Zeit can’t hold back time indefinitely.
~Try an Excerpt!~
From Stealing Time by Wendy Sparrow
Zeit snapped his fingers as he approached the sweet brunette stumbling through the snow. All around him, shoppers froze, and the air went still. Snow hung in place like a fog. Hannah shouldn’t be out on the streets on the day before Christmas. It was too busy. Too crowded. Hell, it was too easy—she made it easier to kill her than to keep her alive on days like this.

He could feel the pull of the Fates as they attempted, once again, to steal her from him. His beautiful conundrum was standing too close to the curb again and about to hit a patch of ice. In another fifteen seconds of mortal’s time, she’d have slipped on the ice, as that woman carrying the terrier brushed by, knocking Hannah out in front of the snow plow.

Messy.

“You’re getting gruesome,” Zeit called to the Fates.

He stopped in front of the pink-cheeked mortal.

“Thirty-eight times now, Hannah.” Thirty-eight times he’d stopped the clock for her.


Snow clung to her eyelashes, and her red lips were parted, probably in shock that she’d, once again, dropped her favorite scarf. Her hand was poised at her neck, feeling for the crimson scarf he held in his hand.

 The authors, and editor Cori Vidae will be awarding Surprise Christmas Present to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Blog Tour: 51 Love

Title: 51 Love
Author: Jeremy T. Ringfield
Series: N/A
Pages: 281
Date Published: January 2017
Publisher: Self-Published
Format: Kindle
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Suspense
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours

Synopsis:
This story is about Abram, a hopeless romantic who enrolls into college and begins leaving love notes for the girl, Jec, who works at the front desk of his student apartments. About why they know each other when neither have even met. That's right, she had seen his face only two weeks earlier, when he tossed his book bag in the middle of the street, holding up traffic like a mad homeless man. But what she doesn't know is that just before he came to grab his keys to move in, the handsome albeit strange eyes and the person they belong to had just been released from the county jail.

The jail cell talk without any cameras around to record make his last 51 minutes in the pen with a sketchy bunkmate a do or die conversation that may explain why he became homeless, why he wrote the love letters in the first place, and if both were random at all.

~Try an Excerpt!~
It is the guy from the fire pit of whom Bobby was just joking about that is now approaching the front desk where I sit, and my heart rate begins to decrease as I feel the baritone boomp-boomp in my chest getting slower. But I cannot not look away, for he looks as if he got ran over by a train this morning from this closer view and I am not sure what is about to happen next.

I think, have we not already asked what of vanity is so serious? Or is our ultra-modern scientific understanding unresponsive to the inward call of good will? Does it need a new face?

But there is something underneath the wreckage that is dark, and handsome. I’ve got a secret thing for bad boys, and this one looks like just the right amount of danger.

I inhale a deep slow breath of air just before he begins to speak.

“May I ask for the keys of the apartment I am renting please? Here is my check. My name is Abram Wedger and I am two weeks late from my move-in date.”

I let out a long slow breath.

He is gazing directly into my eyes and for a brief moment I felt I knew.

“Of course” I tell him, and then proceed to retrieve the keys to his apartment in the file cabinet. As I turn in my chair, I clumsily knock the pen holder onto the floor, scattering a few pens and pencils. I blush, then kneel to the floor, placing a knee on the ground as I pick up the utensils that are nearer to my front foot. I hastily return the pen holder to the counter trying to save face before walking to the back office and realizing one of my earrings fell out of my ear.

What is wrong with me?

When I return, he is still standing in the exact same spot, facing in the exact same direction, as if stoic in time, space, and emotion. I swiftly pick my earring up off the floor, and place it into my ear lobe.
~Meet Jeremy!~ 
Jeremy lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He grew up in the south Atlanta area, where he eventually earned a football scholarship to Duke University. After experiencing enough life to form his own opinions, he enjoys sharing some with friends, reading, watching fantasy thriller and romance films, listening to music, and jogging when he is not writing. He writes new adult fiction. 

Jeremy would love to hear from you. Follow him on Twitter @JTRingfield, friend him on Facebook, or visit his webpage at www.jeremytringfield.com
 Jeremy will be awarding a $75 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Review: Conquered (+$20 Amazon GC Giveaway!)

Title: Conquered
Author: Paula Quinene
Series: N/A
Pages: 326
Date Published: 2015
Publisher: Self-Published
Format: Kindle
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours
Buy Me!

Synopsis:
Groomed to become the people’s medicine woman, smart and resourceful Jesi Taimanglo has been hiding in a cave in Guam, hoping to escape Japanese treachery during WWII. Having noticed more frequent and louder bombs on the eve of July 21, 1944, Jesi realizes the Americans are finally rescuing her people. Instead of waiting for her family to come for her, she leaves her hideout to find them. She is caught by the enemy, but the American who soon rescues her appears just as threatening.

Blaming himself for the death of his beloved, Johan Landers enlisted in the US Army in February 1942, and ends up in the middle of the war on Guam. Hell-bent on putting himself in harm’s way, a marauding airplane blows him from his platoon. Awakened by terrified screams, Johan is enraged to find a native girl pinned by three Japanese soldiers in a nearby shack. Ignoring his injuries, he eliminates her attackers, one by one. 

Jesi is expected to marry a Chamorro man, but the one who’s awakening sensations in her heart and body is not a man of her own race. Still grieving, Johan has vowed to keep his heart closed forever yet the girl that patched him up, with her strange eyes and beautiful smile, has crept into the deepest place of his heart. Unable to resist forbidden passion, Johan and Jesi must hide their growing attraction. As time nears for Johan to ship out, they must choose between their love for each other, and their duty to those that rule them.
~My Thoughts~
This is actually an area of WWII that I never really read about, and I have read a LOT of WWII fiction. From British soldiers in battle on the front lines, to Nazi soldiers in forbidden romances with their Jewish sweethearts, but a story set in Guam is an exotic, romantic, and unique approach to the era. 

The main plot line here is of the "two worlds collide" variety and was particularly interesting as it focused on an interesting interracial relationship in a time in which that was still very taboo on both sides. I thought that the author handled the situation deftly, and without making too big of a deal out of their differences. I enjoyed the romance between Jesi and Johan quite a bit! They truly sizzled and you could tangibly feel the chemistry between them! 

My this was a spicy little novel! It was a bit more erotic than I had anticipated, seeing as the genre is Historical Romance, but those of you who tend towards the erotica side of things will be very happy with the steam level of this one! Those of you who are used to a bit more...demure...affair may find themselves blushing quite a lot! 

Definitely give this one a shot if you are a romance fan. It's got an interesting setting and plot, and is not your average love affair! 

~Try an Excerpt!~
Staff Sergeant Johan Landers left his tent and walked toward the railing on the port side of the ship. With his back against the rail, he looked left. The bow was blocked by a chimney and the quarterdeck. He looked right. The gun turrets didn’t completely obstruct his view of the stern. It never failed to amaze Johan that these ships were much longer than a football field. Some ships were built twice as long. Soldiers and equipment were packed so close together on the deck Johan felt as if he were training in the deserts of Arizona. He turned to look out at the ocean.


Johan pressed his hips into the metal. Mount Sasalaguan is at the center of southern Guam. Johan checked the time; it was 0140. The glass and frame of the Bunn Special sparkled when it caught one of the lights on the ship. The silver-cased watch was the only keepsake he had from his old life. It was a gift from his grandfather who had worked the railroads that ran through the Catskill Mountains. It was a pocket watch, Pops had said. Johan cleaned the glass with his thumb, and a smile touched one corner of his mouth….


He crossed his arms on his chest and filled his lungs with air. Soon, even sleep would be tinged with thoughts of battle, a welcomed retreat from the nightmares he’d had since losing Lily. Johan shouldn’t have bothered with his mother and father that day. If I had left on time. The ache in his heart threatened to consume him. They should’ve just let me die.
~Meet Paula!~ 

Paula Quinene was born and raised on Guam. She graduated from the University of Oregon in 1997 with a bachelor’s of science in Exercise & Movement Science, hoping to return to the island as an anatomy teacher. A resident of North Carolina since 2000, Paula’s homesickness – or “mahalangness” – has motivated Paula to write A Taste of Guam, Remember Guam, both cookbooks, and her first novel, Conquered. Paula’s home on the web is www.paulaq.com.

Paula will be awarding a $20Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Review: Home Free (+$25 Amazon GC Giveaway!)

Title: Home Free 
Author: Claire McEwen  
Series: Sierra Legacy #4
Pages: 384
Date Published: 2016
Publisher: Harlequin Special Release
Format: Kindle
Genre: Romance
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours
Buy Me!

Synopsis:
His first taste of freedom was only the beginning…

Arch Hoffman has paid for his crimes. All he wants is to come home to rural California and start over. He's not looking to be a hero when he rescues a wedding cake from hitting the dirt at the ranch next door. But culinary artist Mandy Allen's irresistible smile makes him glad to save the day—and thankful that they're neighbors. 


Mandy's just the distraction Arch needs. Her sweet voice quiets the memories that threaten his chance to be a better man, and he's determined to help her confront her fears. But the past is its own prison, and even love might not be enough to set them free.


~My Thoughts~
Arch is a reformed bad boy, looking to make a comeback. Mandy is a woman in a rut, trying to make something of herself. When Arch plays hero to Mandy's damsel in distress, sparks fly and the two are drawn together in a way that may get both of them on the right track. 

Well, McEwen certainly doesn't waste any time. Right from page one, she started the story rolling with the meet-cute and simultaneous character development for Mandy. We get an immediate sense of who she is, and of course when her day gets saved, we can't help but fall a little for Arch. 

I didn't read the first books in this series. Although this puts me at a bit of a disadvantage when it comes to character knowledge and setting the stage for this book, I also think it kept me free from prejudices about Arch. It's clear that he was somewhat of a bad guy in past books, and now he's supposed to be the main lead of a romance book! But since I didn't really see him being a jerk, I only know him as the reformed prisoner who's looking for a second chance. *queue melting hearts* 

Now, Mandy was not really my favorite. While I can get on the same page with her about feeling like I'm in a rut, I sort of felt like she wasn't doing anything to move herself forward. Anyone who just mopes about their lives or themselves without actively trying to change for the better drive me right up a tree. Mandy just didn't seem to appreciate what she had going for her, and what an interesting person she was/could be. Like any good author does, eventually McEwen made Mandy grow on me so that I liked her (nearly) as much as I liked Arch. 

The writing style was rustic and easy, and had more colloquialisms than you could swing a cat at. This book will definitely appeal to the country-lovers and bad-boy fans, and was a cute, simple romance that resolves itself nicely! 
~Try an Excerpt!~
“Arch!”

He turned, surprised, and saw Mandy hurrying after him. In her hand was a paper plate piled high with an enormous slice of cake. He started back toward her, admiring how elegant she looked in that wine-colored dress.

“You saved it. You earned a slice.” She was a little out of breath, like she’d jogged, cake and all, to catch him.

Arch tried to remember the last time someone had reached out to show him a kindness like this—he couldn’t. The plate was heavy in his hand, she’d put so much cake on it. “You’re a good person.” He blurted it out like an awkward kid. He had no experience with generosity.

“I just made a whole lot of cake.” Her smile was fleeting but kind.

“Well, this will make the walk home a whole lot better.”

There was silence while they looked at each other. Total strangers who’d done each other a good deed today, and maybe found a small seed of friendship. He needed to let her get back to her sister’s wedding. “Nice to meet you, Mandy. Thanks for sticking up for me back there.”

“Of course.” She took a step back and waved “Welcome home, Arch.”

It was more of a welcome than he’d ever, in his most wishful dreams, hoped to get. He watched her walk lightly back up the drive, her full skirt swaying right down to the tops of her pretty brown cowboy boots. She was much more than a fairy like Tinker Bell. She was a guardian angel. A vision from heaven.


He looked down at the plate she’d brought him. White cake, chocolate cake, a few different kinds of icing. The first mouthful was a revelation of sugar and cream. He closed his eyes and tried to absorb the flavors. To savor such a fine taste. She might have heaped his plate, but her kindness today was sweeter than any cake. And he would never, ever get enough of sweetness like that.
~Meet Claire!~ 
Claire McEwen lives by the ocean in Northern California with her family and a scruffy, mischievous terrier. When not dreaming up new stories, she can be found digging in her garden with a lot of enthusiasm but, unfortunately, no green thumb. 


Claire enjoys discovering flea-market treasures, walking on the beach, dancing, traveling, and reading, of course! She loves to write complex heroes and heroines who grow and find themselves through their search for love. 

Claire will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Blog Tour! The Ticket (+$10 Amazon GC Giveaway!)

Title: The Ticket
Author: Debra Coleman Jeter
Series: N/A
Pages: 210
Date Published: 2015
Publisher: Firefly Southern Fiction
Format: Kindle
Genre: YA Suspense
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours
Buy Me!

Synopsis:
It is 1975, an ordinary year for an ordinary Southern family. TRAY DUNAWAY, like thousands of other teenagers around the country, longs to be part of the popular set at school. Tray’s mother, EVELYN, lies in bed most days with a headache, and her bipolar tendency toward extreme highs or desperate lows veers more and more often toward depression. Tray’s grandmother GINNY, who lives with the family, still grieves the loss of her husband, Brook. She believes it’s time for her to move out, if she could afford to, and find a place of her own, maybe even a new romance. This doesn’t look likely, given the state of the family’s finances.

Then something extraordinary happens. A down-and-out friend of the family, PEE WEE JOHNSON, buys an extra lottery ticket. He gives it to Tray’s dad as a thank-you for driving Pee Wee to Hazard, Illinois, where he purchased the tickets. And what do you know?

When Johnson demands his cut, Tray’s dad refuses. As Evelyn’s illness spirals toward madness, Johnson turns threatening, and Tray makes some poor decisions, what initially seems like a stroke of good fortune suddenly triggers a disturbing chain of events.

~Try an Excerpt!~
My name is Tray, and I live in Paradise, Kentucky.

They say Kentucky is known for its fast horses and beautiful women. The joke is maybe it should be beautiful horses and fast women. Neither applies to the women in my family, except maybe Mama. She’s definitely beautiful, but she isn’t fast. At least not normally, though she can be when she’s in one of her manic states. But those aren’t beautiful. In fact, they are downright ugly.

“How’d this town ever come to have a name like Paradise?” I used to ask Gram when I was little. Enough times I got to know her version of the story pretty much by heart. It goes like this:

“It started at a crossroads where there was a little store owned by a man name of Sullivan, and folks just called it Sullivan’s Stop. Some folks got there by foot, others by stage coach, and a lot by horse and buggy. It was on the turnpike between Paducah, Kentucky, and Nashville, Tennessee.

“One day, a rascal of a fellow came to Sullivan’s Stop and began challenging the men unlucky enough to be there that day with a pair of dice. Pretty soon he owned Sullivan’s store, and he discovered the men around there were such easy marks for his pair of dice, he started expanding. Before long, there was a blacksmith shop and a tavern, even a hotel. A bustling community, folks called it Pair o’ Dice.

“Then one day a traveling preacher came to town. He preached hellfire and brimstone, and showed the local folks the error of their ways: the sin of gambling. So when the church was built, they changed the spelling to Paradise.”

Even though I knew the answer to my next question, I’d ask it anyway. “Did you know those men yourself, Gram?”

She would laugh her deep-throated chuckle and her blue eyes would crinkle with amusement. “I may be old, child, but I haven’t lived forever.”

She changed up the words in the story a little from one telling to the next, but you get the gist. Now I don’t know if there’s any truth in the tale or not. But for a time the year I was fourteen, I thought the name might suit us after all. I’d never had much in the way of luck, and I was tired of being too tall, too bony, too uncoordinated. Then something unimaginable happened, and it looked like all our lives were set to change for the better.

~Meet Debra!~ 
The Ticket is Debra Coleman Jeter’s first novel. It was a finalist for a Selah Award in two categories: Young Adult Fiction and First Novel. A Vanderbilt University professor, Debra Coleman Jeter has published fiction and nonfiction in popular magazines, including Working Woman, New Woman, Self, Home Life, Savvy, Christian Woman, and American Baby. Her story, “Recovery,” won first prize in a Christian Woman short story competition, and her nonfiction book “Pshaw, It’s Me Grandson”: Tales of a Young Actor was a finalist in the 2007 USA Book News Awards. She is a co-writer of the screenplay for Jess + Moss, a feature film which premiered in 2011 at the Sundance Film Festival, screened at nearly forty film festivals around the world, and captured several international awards. She lives in Clarksville, Tennessee, with her husband.

 Debra will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.