Friday, November 28, 2014

An Amish Christmas Quilt Blog Tour!+($25 Amazon Blog Tour!)

Title: An Amish Christmas Quilt!
Author:  Charlotte Hubbard, Kelly Long, Jennifer B
Series: N/A
Pages: 288
Date Published: October 28th, 2014
Publisher:  Kensington
Format: Ebook
Genre: Christmas 
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours
Buy Me!

Synopsis:
A Willow Ridge Christmas Pageant
 Seth Brenneman didn’t expect his holiday would include rescuing pregnant young Mary Kaffman and her two children…or having unexpected feelings for the still-grieving widow. But when they must play the leads in an impromptu live Nativity pageant to help his Amish community, will their roles reveal their hearts—and work a miracle for a lifetime?

A Perfect Amish Christmas
 Anna and Felty Helmuth’s grandson, Gideon, plans to spend Christmas on a beach in sunny Mexico. But Anna is quite sure he’d rather be with them, snowshoeing, ice fishing—falling in love. And she knows the perfect girl. Not only is Dottie Schrock an excellent quilter and baker, she’s having a party. There’s just one complication—Gideon is not invited. Dottie has her reasons, but Anna trusts that the spirit of Christmas—and true love-will change her mind, and her future …
~Try an Excerpt!~
A Willow Ridge Christmas Pageant

Mary Kauffman clutched herself as another contraction ripped through her insides. Fresh tears sprang to her eyes as she somehow kept from screaming—somehow kept the lines in her hand while the horse and buggy continued down the unfamiliar road. Was she anywhere near Willow Ridge and Aunt Miriam’s? How much longer could she possibly keep driving, now that her water had broken?

“Are we there yet?” five-year-old Lucy whined from the back seat.

“Are we lost?” Sol asked in a testier voice. At seven, he was more acutely aware than Lucy of how their father’s death was affecting their family—and more critical of Mary, as well. “I’m pretty sure we should’ve turned left onto that last blacktop we crossed.”

Oh, but Mary wanted to scream—except Sol might be right. She was so frightened and in such excruciating pain, it was entirely possible that she’d forgotten which county road passed through Willow Ridge . . . because you’ve always been riding to Aunt Miriam’s rather than driving . . . always depended upon Dat or Elmer to get you where you needed to go.

Lucy’s two cats scuffled in the cardboard box on the seat beside Mary, and then a ginger paw poked through a breathing hole in the top of the makeshift carrier. When one of them yowled, Rowdy, their border collie, let out a disciplinary woof.

Lucy begin sniffling again. “Can I please let the kitties out to—”

“No!” Mary snapped more vehemently than she intended. “We’ll be at Aunt Miriam’s in just a few—”

“I don’t ever remember seeing those black and white cows before,” Sol remarked tersely. “We need to turn around and—Rowdy, no! You can’t get out and chase those cows!”
~Meet the Authors!~ 
Jennifer Beckstrand
 Jennifer Beckstrand is the bestselling author of The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series and the Forever After in Apple Lake series, set in two Amish communities in beautiful Wisconsin. She has always been drawn to the strong faith and the enduring family ties of the Plain people and loves writing about the antics of Anna and Felty Helmuth, the two scheming Amish grandparents who try to help their grandchildren find suitable mates in Huckleberry Hill. Who would ever suspect two elderly Amish folks of mischief?

Jennifer has a degree in mathematics, which comes in handy when one of her six children needs help with algebra. After twenty-five years of being a chauffeur, cook, maid, and nurse, she embarked on a writing career. Jennifer is a member of Romance Writers of America and is represented by Mary Sue Seymour of The Seymour Agency.

She and her husband have been married for thirty years, and she has four daughters, two sons, and two adorable grandsons, whom she spoils rotten.


You can find out more about Jennifer and her books by going to her website: jenniferbeckstrand.com or visiting her Facebook page: Jennifer Beckstrand Fans.

Charlotte Hubbard

Many moons ago—like, in 1983 while I was still a school librarian—I sold my first story to True Story magazine. This launched me into writing about seventy of those “true confessions” stories over the years, and I’ve been a slave to my overactive imagination ever since. My stories invariably take on a life of their own, different from the way I’ve proposed them: I love it when unforeseen characters and plot twists come along, because they keep me guessing right along with my readers!

I love touring historic homes, trying new recipes, crocheting, and playing with my border collie Ramona—although it’s humbling, having a dog smarter than I am! I’m an ordained Presbyterian deacon, and I devote a lot of time to singing in my church choir and to practicing/performing with our percussion ensemble. I’m celebrating more than thirty-five years with my husband, who—bless him—has never once suggested I get a real job!
The authors will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn host.

Portrait of Passion Book Blast!


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. A randomly drawn winner will receive a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
What’s a Viscount to do when a mysterious lady with a secret past and a reputation frayed around the edges suddenly appears in London in hot pursuit of his naive young cousin, setting the gossips’ tongues wagging, stirring his family into pandemonium, and driving him mad with her irreverent ways?

If the Viscount in question is Simon Easton, the answer is quite simple. Seduce the beguiling lady. But Miss Beatrice Morgan isn’t your average tarnished lady. She’s lived a slapdash life wandering the globe like a gypsy, painting fantastical portraits of Duchesses as Sirens and landscapes featuring a crumbling old fountain, all the while harboring a secret desire to return to Idyllwild, the only home she’s ever known.

What Simon does not know is that Beatrice just might be willing to sacrifice her honor, her virtue, her very heart to reclaim Idyllwild.


~Enjoy an Excerpt~

Beatrice thought that had Abby been born into a different family, she would be making her debut soon, perhaps next year.

Instead she waited upon a dishonest, lying, scheming woman.

Bea could not hold back bitter laughter at the thought. Simon turned his head to look at her in surprise. Abby froze, her gaze flying to Bea’s face.

“You are a very pretty girl,” Bea said and watched the blush deepen on the girl’s cheeks.

“Thank you, miss,” she shyly replied, bobbing another quick curtsy.

When Bea only watched her silently, Abby looked to Simon, who gave her a subtle shrug, before she asked, “Is there anything else I can do for you, miss?”

“You may undress me,” Bea said.

“Beatrice,” Simon protested quietly.

“I would like Abby to undress me and brush out my hair,” Bea insisted. She forced herself to raise her eyes to his, unsure what they would reveal to him. She was confused, an awful feeling of desperation mingled with the banked rage and shame. Would he see?

Simon captured her gaze, his eyes dark, not angry, uncertain perhaps. She knew she was behaving irrationally. She did not care.

“I’ll step outside,” Simon finally replied.

“Do not,” Bea said, waving her hands about in agitation. “Please, stay.”

Simon looked from her face to her hands, suspended in midair. She dropped them to her sides, clenched her fingers in her skirts, grabbing fistfuls of the dark silk.

Bea looked at Abby, standing as still as a statue, her eyes wide as she looked back. Bea realized that it was the first time the timid girl had ever looked her mistress in the eye. As if reading her mind, the maid tore her gaze away and bent her head down.

~About the Author~
Every Creative Writing Teacher and College Professor said these words to Lynne Barron in one form or another. But what did she know?

She knew she enjoyed the guilty pleasure of reading romance novels whenever she could find time between studying, working and raising her son as a single mother.

She knew quite a bit about women's lives in the Regency and Victorian era from years spent bouncing back and forth between European History and English Literature as a major in college.

She knew precious little about romance except to know that it was more than the cliché card and a dozen red roses on Valentine's Day.

Then she met her wonderfully romantic husband and finally she knew.

Passion, Love and Romance.

And she began to write.

If you would like to learn more about Lynne Barron and the Idyllwild Series, please visit her website at LynneBarron.com or follow her at Facebook or Twitter.

Buy the book at Ellora’s Cave, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble.

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Mind of the Beast Blog Tour! (+$20 Amazon GC Giveaway!)

Title: Mind of the Beast
Author: Brian and Juliet Freyermuth
Series: Sundancer #2
Pages: 286
Date Published: August 19th, 2014
Publisher: Middark Press
Format: Paperback
Genre: Paranormal
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours
Buy Me!

Synopsis:
When a vampire asks Nick St. James to investigate his friend’s murder, the answer should have been easy, right? NO. Okay, not so easy. How do you say no to a friend like Felix?

Besides, with Thelma by his side, what could go wrong? She’s got that, umm … cute pink backpack of Voodoo magic. Of course it hurts that she manages to look good even when she accidentally conjures and gets possessed by a drunk loa. No, it won’t be at all distracting to have her along. Since no good deed goes unpunished, a crazy man with starry eyes jumps out of the shadows at the victim’s apartment and pummels them. Their attacker doesn’t just beat them up but also infects them with some bad mojo that’s killing Thelma and making Nick angry … angrier.

If the trail to the suspect—the Green Man—is any indication, they’ll be killed before the poison finishes the job. The old gods are more dangerous than helpful. The Watchers—even the one who seems to have a brain—are always a hazard. And what’s with the all the minions? Who has minions anymore? Not to mention the rapid progression of the infection that quickly upgrades Nick’s condition to ‘blind-rage-filled.’

Why couldn’t Felix have just asked Nick to help him move?

~Guest Post!~
Playlist for Mind of the Beast

People always ask me if I listen to music while I write. The funny thing is, I can’t see myself not listening to music when I write.

How it works is simple. I determine the emotional mood of the scene I need to write, and then I turn on music that fits. I love a HUGE range of music, so the artist doesn’t matter as much as the mood. (I like to tell people that I listen to everything from the soothing sounds of Enya to the hip-hop of Rhianna to the gothic metal of In Flames. My son gives me funny looks when he hears my playlists). On the other hand, Juliet listens to music before she sits down but needs silence when she writes.

So, without further ado, here are the top ten songs and artists I listened to while working on Mind of the Beast.

1)      Lacuna Coil: This is a big one. They are an Italian metal band, and their album, Dark Adrenaline was on repeat quite a bit as I wrote the novel. The gothic nature of the band fits really, really well with the Sundancer series. You can check them out at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyl4EinZsMY .
2)      In Flames: Another gothic band, this one from Sweden. I used them more in Demon Dance than I did with Mind of the Beast, but some of their songs were still used to fuel the action scenes in the new novel. Especially the song “Deliver Us”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTiQ75HY0DA .
3)      Eminem “The Monster”: And on the other end of the spectrum we have Eminem. “The Monster” is a great song about becoming something you don’t want to become, and it encompassed a lot of the self-doubt Nick felt through the novel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHkozMIXZ8w
4)      Coldplay: A staple of any Sundancer novel is Coldplay. As you can guess, these songs play during the downturns, those points in the book where things turn bittersweet. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RB-RcX5DS5A
5)      Within Temptation - Hydra: Now back to the metal side of things. Within Temptation’s latest album “Hydra” came out around the time I began Mind of the Beast, so it went into the playlist. WT is like Lacuna Coil, but it’s a little less gothic. They also aren’t afraid to try something different. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awvqIi427_A 
6)      Jim Dooley - Veiled Nation: I worked with Jim on Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, and you’ll probably recognize his name from the television show, “Pushing Daises”, as well as a host of other movies, games, TV, and even the Circus. His trailer album, “Veiled Nation” played during the truly epic fight scenes in the book. http://jimdooley.com/
7)      Lindsey Stirling: Like Jim Dooley’s music, I listen to Lindsey Stirling during truly epic moments, as well as any scene that needs a sense of wonder. She has an amazing mixture of violin and pop, with a little Dubstep mixed in. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvTUuxQz8co
8)      Sirenia - Seven Widows Weep: Another gothic metal staple for the Sundancer series, this album came back into rotation during the more fantastical elements in the book. This band is a perfect example of metal with a Norse twist. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGCxgJFjnZw
9)      Sting “Fields of Gold”: Whenever I have a scene that is particularly emotional or bittersweet, I listen to this song. I like the acoustic version, but the original is great too. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLVq0IAzh1A
10)  Imagine Dragons “Demons”: Most of the time when we write, we get lost in the story and the words. It’s fun and energizing and you know you’re telling a good tale. However, there are times when the words fade from the page and you are swept along by a dark ocean. You have no clue where it’s going to take you, and when you’re finished, you’re left breathless in the face of what you just wrote. There’s a scene in Mind of the Beast, where the main character, Nick, needs to face his past. I started with the song “Demons” by Imagine Dragons on repeat, just to see where the scene would go. Forty-five minutes later I emerged, blinking weakly in the sunlight. I had tears in my eyes and had almost no recollection of what I just wrote. Needless to say, it’s my favorite scene in the book, and I have this song to thank for it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWRsgZuwf_8


So that’s my list for Mind of the Beast. Some of these will make it back into the playlist for the sequel, along with new ones that come my way. They are the soundtrack for my muse, and for that I’m grateful. 
~Try an Excerpt!~
“How about a beer?” Felix asked.

“Beer? I didn’t know you could drink that.” A beer actually does sound good, I thought as I put away the coffee beans and grabbed a couple bottles from the fridge.

“We can drink or eat anything as long as it doesn’t have garlic in it,” Felix said as I handed him a bottle. “That shit burns, man. I once saw a couple of vamps have a garlic eating contest.”

“Why?”

He shrugged. “They were bored.”

“Who won?” I asked as I sat down in my old black recliner.

“Their heads caught on fire.”

I blinked.

“Seriously, it was like chomp-chomp-poof.” A ghost of a smile played across his lips. “Our bodies burn out most food. High metabolism or something. Does nothing for the hunger, though. I know a few that don’t eat at all,” he said before chugging the amber liquid.


“Did you know,” he continued, “there’s a dude who actually wrote a book called The Anatomy of a Vampire? He wrote it like fiction so the Watchers wouldn’t get him, but I’ve had a couple of my peeps on the slab over the years. He was right on the money. Talked about how our cells don’t work with food anymore, man. Just blood. How we can eat and eat and eat, but the blood just sends the food packing. Talk about having something go right through you.” He chuckled, although the humor didn’t reach his eyes. “Another reason most vamps don’t eat or drink.”
~Meet Brian&Julie!~ 
After 18 years of marriage, Brian and Juliet Freyermuth decided to try something crazy; write a book together.

Brian’s writing is not limited to print. For twenty years he wrote and designed games such as Fallout, Star Trek: Starfleet Academy, Epic Mickey 2 and Lichdom: Battlemage.

Juliet’s love for writing began with a fourth grade assignment. She has been writing ever since. Her writing took a new direction when she enrolled in journalism and met amazing people. Whether it is an article about anthropology or a hero’s journey in a magical world, she hopes to inspire readers to new possibilities.

When Brian and Juliet aren’t writing, they enjoy reading, watching shows like Persons of Interest and going on road trips with their son, Kyle.

Website: www.magicalunderworld.com
Josh will be awarding a $20 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $20 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn host.
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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Forgotten No More Blog Tour! (+$25 Amazon GC Giveaway!)

Title: Forgotten No More
Author: Christina McKnight
Series:  A Lady Forsaken #2
Pages: 350
Date Published: November 20th 2014
Publisher: La Loma Elite Publishing
Format: Paperback
Genre: Historical FIction
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours

Synopsis:
A lady forgotten by all...Ruby St. Augustin must find the truth of her past to determine what her future holds. She only has a short time in London to uncover the identity of her real father and the secrets behind her birth. If anyone learns of her mission, she will disgrace everyone she holds dear. What she doesn’t expect is to draw the attention of a man who doesn’t care about his reputation or her past.

A man mesmerized by one...Harold Jakeston is a man without wealth or title. Resigned to a life he loathes, Harold has the chance at a few weeks of freedom before being trapped in a future he wants no part of. When he’s drawn into the mysterious quest of a woman from his past, he embraces the opportunity to forget the life that awaits him. What he never anticipated is falling in love with a woman who ignites his desire to create a new future for himself and for her.
~Try an Excerpt!~
London, England
January 1816

Ruby took a deep breath before trying the final drawer that could hold all the answers to her past, her true heritage. Her lungs expanded; she held the air inside. She didn’t exhale until it burned. With trembling fingers, she reached for the last drawer and pulled. 

Her nicely trimmed nails nearly snapped when her grasp on the handle slipped from the force of her tug. The drawer hadn’t budged.

Locked!

“Oh, poppy cocks!” she hissed. Moving her hands to the folds of her evening gown, Ruby procured a small pouch tucked neatly into a hidden pocket. Setting it on the desk, she pulled out her array of lock-picking devices, really only hairpins and small wires she’d collected since her first night—and her first failed attempt at breaking into a desk—to help her disengage the drawer.

She had to know what secrets this lord held. Would she find an envelope inside labelled ‘Abandoned Daughter,’ or a report from the Bow Street Runners with details about herself—her hair color, the particular green shade of her eyes, places she’d been, perhaps the details of her activities over the course of her life?

Nothing worth finding was that simply ascertained.

No man, married or not, would leave record of their nefarious past. It was more likely her father had not spared her, or her mother, a second thought after throwing his pregnant mistress from his townhouse in the middle of the night with no coat and no means to get home.

Ruby was anything but a fool, but she found herself continuing to search regardless. She didn’t need a signed confession—she just needed that letter opener.

Picks in hand, she knelt before the locked drawer and eyed the keyhole, blowing a wayward strand of hair that had fallen across her face. She’d been unsuccessful more often than not when attempting to open locked drawers. But luck may have been on her side this evening. She’d entered the ball with little fuss, shortly after the host and hostess had quit the receiving line. It was surprising how similar the layout of most London townhouses were. Ruby had navigated the halls of the second floor and found the room she sought fairly quickly, encountering not a soul.

The pins slipped into the lock and her tongue darted out of her mouth to lick her lips as she concentrated on moving them exactly right to click the lock over. She fought to keep her hands steady when sweat broke out across her forehead. She was running out of time.

Ruby applied a bit too much pressure and the pin snapped, falling uselessly into the locked drawer. “Damn you to hell, mother!” she cursed and sat back, wiping her slick brow.

She’d always viewed herself as a sensible girl, a dutiful daughter, and an honest friend. She could only imagine the horror on Vi’s face if she saw her now. A common thief. A midnight prowler. A defiler of privacy.

Although, it could not be helped.

She sought answers and at the moment all she had was an endless list of questions.

Gaining her feet once more, she bundled her kit and slipped it back into her pocket. She turned her attention to the long table against the wall behind the desk. Leaning over, she ran her hand along the underside of the ornately carved piece, feeling for hidden compartments or—if her luck returned—a forgotten folder of papers.

“Sherry, Miss Ruby?” an oddly familiar voice asked behind her.
~Meet Christina!~ 
Christina McKnight is a book lover turned writer. From a young age, her mother encouraged her to tell her own stories. She’s been writing ever since. Currently, she focuses on Historical Romance, Urban Fantasy, and Paranormal Romance.

Christina enjoys a quiet life in Northern California with her family, her wine, and lots of coffee. Oh, and her books…don’t forget her books! Most days she can be found writing, reading, or traveling the great state of California.

Follow her on Twitter: @CMcKnightWriter

Keep up to date on her releases: www.christinamcknight.com

Like Christina’s FB Author page: ChristinaMcKnightWriter

Add Forgotten No More to your Goodreads List:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21937939-forgotten-no-more

Buy Her Books Below!
Amazon Print - http://amzn.to/1ujssNu
Smashwords - http://bit.ly/11eXqvt
Createspace - http://bit.ly/1v0yzZ6

Christina will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner, and a $15 Amazon GC to another winner, both via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $15 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn host.
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Deviation Book Blast! (+$25 Amazon GC Giveaway!)

This post is part of a cover reveal for the re-release of Christine Manzari's DEVIATION. One randomly drawn winner will be awarded a $25 Amazon/BN gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
Being a Sophisticate of the Program seems like it’d be a pretty sweet deal: a little genetic alteration and anyone can be smarter, faster, and stronger. It’s a dream come true. All you have to give up is your freedom.

Cleo is a Sophisticate and she has a bright future in the Program. But she has a secret. When she gets upset, bad things happen. Explosive things. Things she can’t control.

When her secret is discovered, she’s sent to the Academy to train in the military branch of the Program. She’s destined to be a human weapon in the war that’s been going on since Wormwood occurred nearly 30 years ago. She soon learns that although her ability is unique, there are others like her — other Sophisticates with lethal skills and odd code names like Archerfish and Mimic Octopus.

Immersed in a dangerous game of supernatural powers and dubious motives, Cleo doesn’t know who to trust. Ozzy, the annoyingly attractive cadet who has perfect aim in weapons class and deviant lips behind closed doors, begs her not to use her powers. He’s the golden boy of the Program, but can she trust him? Or will she find herself a target, caught in his crosshairs?
~Enjoy an Excerpt~
“Late on your first day?”

I turned to find the dark haired boy still leaning against the wall. The top button of his shirt was undone and his tie was slung over his shoulder. He wasn’t wearing his jacket and his shirt sleeves were rolled up, revealing his tan, muscular forearms. His tousled hair hung across his forehead, nearly falling into his eyes, and it appeared he hadn’t bothered to shave this morning.

“You’re late, too,” I pointed out. I also wanted to point out that his uniform was far from uniform or acceptable according to St. Ignatius policy.

The boy shook his head and then ran his hand back through his messy curls, trying to tame them into submission. “Not late. Sick.”

“Sorry to hear that,” I said, because I couldn’t think of any better response. It was obvious the boy wasn’t sick, he was skipping class. “Look, I really have to go. It was nice meeting you.”

“But we haven’t met,” he responded.

“What?” I asked, confused.

“We haven’t actually met yet,” he explained, pushing away from the wall. “Name’s Ozzy,” he said, holding out his hand.

I looked at his hand. “Is it contagious?”

He tilted his head causing the unruly curls to tumble back across his forehead. “I don’t follow.”

“Your sickness, I don’t want to catch anything.”

“Right,” he said, a wide grin dimpling across his face as he pulled his hand back and returned it to his pocket. “Well then, I should let you get to class I suppose.” He turned and walked down the hallway, the opposite direction from my classroom. “It was nice meeting you, Clementine,” he called back over his shoulder.

“I never told you my name,” I said calmly, even though I was a little unnerved that he knew my name.

“You didn’t have to.”

“Apparently, I do,” I retorted. “I don’t answer to Clementine.”

Ozzy chuckled without turning around. “See you around, Cleo.”

~About the Author~
The first thing Christine does when she's getting ready to read a book is to crack the spine in at least five places. She wholeheartedly believes there is no place as comfy as the pages of a well-worn book. She's addicted to buying books, reading books, and writing books. Books, books, books. She also has a weakness for adventure, inappropriate humor, and coke (the caffeine-laden bubbly kind). Christine is from Forest Hill, Maryland where she lives with her husband, three kids, and her library of ugly spine books.

Website: www.christinemanzari.com
Email: christine@christinemanzari.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ChristineManzari
Twitter: twitter.com/Xenatine
Instagram: instagram.com/xenatine
Pinterest: pinterest.com/xenatine/
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/Christine_Manzari

Buy the book at Amazon, Smashwords, or Smashwords.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

REVIEW: The Bootlegger's Wife Blog Tour! (+$25 Amazon GC Giveaway!)

Title:The Bootlegger's Wife
Author: Terri Lee
Series: N/A
Pages: 316
Date Published: October 9th, 2014
Publisher: Capricorn Publishing
Format: N/A
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours

Synopsis:
Life often demands much of love. True love always answers, yes. It's a story as old as time. Then again, every love story is brand new. And the world never tires of rooting for a couple who hand in hand are determined to defy the odds. So we turn each page with hopeful hearts as we watch the layers of love unfold, knowing all the while that no two people arrive at true love's door unscathed. There is always a price to pay.

Life had been well planned for Frances Durant, but she was fond of saying, "I rarely do what's expected of me." In the summer of 1919 she, like the rest of the country, was ready to throw off the gray days of war and laugh again, now that the 1920s were about to come roaring onto the scene and change everything. What she wasn't ready for was a tall, tanned Marine fresh from the battlefield and ready to take New York City by storm.

Frankie Lee was just the sort of guy to sweep a restless young heiress off her feet. The sort of man who could see that her sass was a thin veil covering an emptiness, a longing and a heart waiting to be found. Their two worlds collide on the dance floor and set in motion a love story that careens through the twenties, when the world thought the parties would never end, to the crash of 1929 and the devastation that followed. A brush with the dark side of the bootleg world, and a tragedy that reaches out from the cold dark night will test their love over and over. Life often demands much of love. Sometimes more than a person has left to give.

~My Thoughts~
My review of the book! Ah the twenties. Is there a more dramatic or cherished time period in American History? With nostalgia reaching back, similar to today's "90's kids" to a time before the Great Depression where affluence was all over and life revolved around an endless swirl of parties and bright flashing lights and alcohol. When the crash hit, worlds came down around the wealthy's ears and the chaos and drama that ensued

It's against this setting that our two lead characters meet. Frances and Frankie are from two different worlds. An heiress has no rightful business being with a marine just back from the war, but when the two meet across the dance floor there is no denying or stopping their chemistry. There's a kind of desperate romance to their relationship that made you feel breathless anytime they were in the room together.

The couple has to fight tooth and nail to stay together, but the drama adds spice to their lives and makes them that much more dedicated to being together in the end. So romantic and sweet!

One of my favorite things about this book was that it didn't take place over days or weeks, but years. You get to see nearly the full expanse of this couple's relationship and that gave it a certain weight that I really loved. I felt like I really got to know them, the good and the bad, and it made them stick in my mind much easier than some others have. Definitely give this one a read if you are a historical romance junkie! 
~Try an Excerpt!~
Lake Champlain was beautiful. The freshwater lake was in its glory for this summer soiree. Of course, Lena would stand for nothing else and even Mother Nature knew enough to comply. The younger crowd had gathered at the water’s edge on this second day of festivities, preparing for the first swim of the season. The water, smooth as glass, looked like a polished dance floor in the flickering sunlight. Although the girls were in their bathing suits, they had no intention of going into the cold water. It would be quite enough to sit on the sidelines and look pretty.

There had already been a bit of a stir among the parents regarding the latest swimwear fashions. The girls were accused of pushing the boundaries of propriety with their choice of attire. Bare arms and legs, which were now all the rage, were still considered an appalling breech of etiquette among the older crowd. So Frances and Lucy knew exactly what they were doing as they sashayed down to the lake, heady with the full force of their female power. 


Laughter from the group that had already made their way to the dock greeted Frances on the dirt path and she quickened her steps, eager to join in the merriment. It was a joyful noise, trumpeting from free-spirited youth, in those heady moments before stepping fully into adulthood. Life had not yet stolen their dreams, for once dreams have been handed over there is nothing left to do but stand with clenched fists and watch them go. However, now would not be the time for such sobering thoughts, for it was the time of invincibility. They owned their future and they wore their glorious youth like a suit of armor as they prepared to take on the world. In their laughter was the sound of summer.
~Meet Terri!~ 
Born and raised in northern California, that part of the country will always have a piece of my heart. My family moved to Missouri in my teenage years and when the love of my life walked through my door at my summer job, that is where my heart truly found its home. As with all good things, when I least expected it. Of course it didn't hurt that the first thing he did was buy me a chocolate malt. Forty years later I am still married to my High School sweetheart, who has always been my biggest cheerleader in whatever scheme I dream up. And believe me, I'm capable of dreaming up almost anything. We have a golden/lab named (Elizabeth Bennett) Lizzie,  who is my muse and my steadfast writing partner. She offers only the kindest critiques. Not to be outdone, our cat, Baby Kitty, is a card carrying terrorist, whose only mission in life is to thwart any goodness that comes my way. I make my home in a small rural town outside of Springfield, MO, the sort of place where the adventures reside only in the stories I spin, which is just the way I like it.

I can't remember a time when I wasn't scribbling away and playing with words. I wrote my first novel at the age of thirteen. I gladly exchanged the bulk of my sunny days that summer for afternoons spent on the back porch at a make shift table, surrounded by pens, pencils and paper. There, I marveled as I watched the little character that I had created take shape and come to life. That was my first foray into writing, certainly not to be my last. Through times of great joy and times of confusion writing has always been my solace. It is the one thing I return to over and over again.  I only truly understand how I feel about something once the words have pushed themselves down through my fingertips and out onto the page. 

How are my stories born? The words, colors, smells, family legends, people, places and things of my past provide the fertile soil for a small seed of an idea to take up root and blossom. They present themselves to me when they are ready, when they have lain in the soil and soaked up all that they need. Once they come to me and beg to be written, to be set free, it is only then that I recognize the work that's been going on behind the scenes. Sometimes for many years. 

The Bootlegger's Wife is a story near and dear to my heart.  It grew from the tales I heard as a small child., words that floated around the kitchen table. A phrase  here, a snippet there...an unfinished sentence that piqued my curiosity.  With the writing of this story, I am able to say to my grandparents. " I heard the stories you told me. I took them to heart. I heard every word you said and even all the words you couldn’t bring yourself to sayAnd it is my hope, that you dear reader, will find some small piece of yourself in my stories. Something familiar,  something that feels like home. May  you find yourself nodding along and whispering. "Of course."

Terri will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn host.

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Losing Touch Blog Tour! (+$15 Starbucks Giftcard!)

Title: Losing Touch
Author: Sandra Hunter
Series: N/A
Pages: 224
Date Published: July 15th, 2014
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
Format: Paperback
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours

Synopsis:
After Indian Independence Arjun brings his family to London, but hopes of a better life rapidly dissipate. His wife Sunila spends all day longing for a nice tea service, his son suddenly hates anything Indian, and his daughter, well, that’s a whole other problem. As he struggles to enforce the values he grew up with, his family eagerly embraces the new. But when Arjun’s right leg suddenly fails him, his sense of imbalance is more than external. Diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, he is forced to question his youthful impatience and careless cruelty to his family, until he learns, ultimately, to love them despite — or because of — their flaws. In a series of tender and touching glimpses into the shared life of a married couple, Sandra Hunter creates strikingly sympathetic characters — ones that remind us of our own shortfalls, successes, hypocrisies, and humanity.
~Guest Post!~
This is my unusual working experience that made me realize I wanted to be a writer.

Back in the ‘80s, I’d just finished my undergraduate degree and wasn’t sure what I wanted to do for graduate work. So I took a 2-year teaching contract in Kenya. This is what you do when you’re searching for your life’s work: Find a country on the other side of the world where you don’t speak the language, it’s hotter than California and Texas combined, and there has just been a violent, bloody, but unsuccessful attempt to take over the government. Makes sense, right?

Kisii, the nearest town to our school was a 4- hour bumpy truck ride away. In Kijauri, you went to the Aberi the butcher and pointed out which part of the freshly slaughtered goat you wanted. If you preferred vegetables, you visited the women who sat near the road selling small piles of tomatoes, onions, and cabbage. There was a lot to adjust to: using a hurricane lamp at night because there was no electricity, cooking over a charcoal burner (when the charcoal gets hot—you cook the food), and washing clothes down by the river. Hauling a heavy basket of wet clothes uphill is not as romantic as it sounds.

They’d partitioned off a couple of rooms in the administration building for my accommodation. My walls were hardboard and painted a bright yellow. The offices and the food store (hello rats) were on the left of the building, and the library was at the back. Aside from the nightly battle with the rats, it was cozy.

And then, just as I thought I was settling in, and just as the rainy season started, we had a school riot.
There were a number of reasons: no clean drinking water, limited food options (maize and beans virtually every day), no milk, and draconian discipline. Because of the rain it was hard to hear what was going on outside. I could hear girls screaming and a lot of shouting but I couldn’t make out what anyone was saying. And then I heard the rocks and the breaking glass of the library windows behind me. The breaking was working its way around the building.

Soon, I heard rocks thrown at my door.

I didn’t know what to do. If they wanted to come in, they could. My hardboard walls wouldn’t keep them out. If they wanted to take things, I couldn’t stop them. If they wanted to kill me, I couldn’t do anything about that either. The only Swahili I could remember was “Hamjambo” which is the plural form of “hello”. Not exactly calming for a mob of angry students.

I had maybe 10 seconds to get their attention, and if I didn’t, I was dead. I was probably dead anyway.

I could hear pushing and scuffling and then a voice shouted something.

Everything stopped.

Then the shouting moved off.

I stood in front of my door for what seemed like hours.

Finally I heard gunshots and I knew that the police from the station down the hill, about 3km away, had arrived.

Then I heard the voice of the headmaster calling my name. With shaking hands I opened the door. He and several teachers were standing there, staring at me. “We thought you were dead.”

I walked outside with everyone. The school grounds looked like they’d been ploughed. Students began straggling back, some with terrible wounds from the barbed wire fencing where they’d tried to run through in their panic to escape.

The school closed for repairs for 2 weeks. After that, we went back and started teaching again.

I learned that the reason they didn’t break down the door and kill me was because someone thought I was armed. So that was the shout that had stopped the rock-throwing: She has a gun!

The head boy, who they’d also tried to kill, came and apologized to me on behalf of the school. It was the only time I cried.

And that’s when I realized I wanted to be a writer. I’d written bad poetry and scribbled in journals while I was in college, but here, for the first time in my life I realized I had something worth writing about. It was definitely a dramatic kick-start!
~Try an Excerpt!~
Sometimes she goes to stand at the bottom of the garden, pretending to tidy up the compost heap, and allows the forbidden thought to come: divorce.


She can only whisper it. It’s a bad word. Bad people do it. But in the Woman’s Own magazine at the doctor’s office, she read that Elizabeth Taylor had done it. She’d done it so many times that it was just part of her normal routine. Get up, put on face cream, divorce Richard. How daring it sounds, so chic. Sunila practices. Get up, put on Johnson’s Baby Lotion, divorce Arjun. I’ll just divorce him and he can take his disapproving face and jump in the lake.
~Meet Sandra!~ 
Sandra Hunter’s fiction has been published in a number of literary magazines and received awards including the 2014 H.E. Francis Fiction Award, 2012 Cobalt Fiction Prize, 2011 Arthur Edelstein Short Fiction Prize and three Pushcart Prize nominations. Her debut novel, Losing Touch, was released in July (OneWorld Publications). She lives in Simi Valley, CA, with her husband and daughter, and is always on the look out for the perfect gluten-free cupcake.

Author links: http://sandrahunter.strikingly.com

Amazon.com: http://ow.ly/zDmuH

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sandra.hunter


Twitter: @sandrajhunter
Sandra will be hosting a giveaway with this tour! Here are the prizes! One randomly drawn winner will get a luggage tag, mini book necklace and a $15 Starbucks GC

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