Category Archives: Author Blog Post

Spirits of the Heart by Claire Gem

Please help me welcome Claire Gem with a spooky sounding Romantic Suspense…

Tortured spirits haunt Talcott Hall, an abandoned mental asylum. Can Laura & Miller free them without risking their love – or lives – in the process?

Excerpt:

“Hey. Little girl. Let me help you,” Miller tried again, and the child finally lowered her hands. She was younger than he’d first thought—ten, maybe. Tears streaked her reddened cheeks, glistening in the beam of his headlights. Her pale, golden hair was baby fine and wispy, but tousled and disheveled. As though it hadn’t seen a brush in good long time.

She met his gaze with eyes like the man’s, clear and blue and strangely luminescent. The sadness Miller saw behind them made his chest ache.

“Where did your friend go, sweetheart? The man who came out with you. Where did he go?”

She stared at him with lips quivering before her face crumpled again. “I don’t know. I don’t know where Daddy is. I’ve been looking and looking for him. Every time I think I’ve found him, he goes away.”

Miller swallowed. Yeah, that’s one way to describe the mysterious vanishing act.

He drew in a breath and tried again. “What’s your name, sweetie? Was that your daddy with you?”

Head bobbing, the tears flowed freely now, and she wouldn’t take her eyes off Miller’s face. He felt a lump growing in his own throat, as though she was somehow transferring her pain to him. His hands, clasped in front of him, began to shake.

When she spoke again, her voice took on an echoed quality, as though she were receding into an empty culvert. “I’m Greta. And I’m looking for my daddy. He used to live here. But I keep coming back to find him, and nobody knows where he is.” She dropped her chin to her chest and ground her knuckles against her eyes.

“Greta,” he repeated, a stab of pity piercing his gut. So freaking pathetic. A forlorn little girl . . .his own memories rose up like foul-smelling steam. Swallowing hard, he pressed on. “Greta, honey, what’s your last name?”

When she looked up, Miller gasped. Behind her, against the fence, a bright red McDonald’s French fry box clung to the base of the chain link. Directly behind her, yet he could see it clearly. That’s when he realized he could see .  . .right . . .through her.

 

Claim your free first chapter here by signing up for Claire’s Author-Reader group.
https://dl.bookfunnel.com/ep56jprme8

 

Claire Gem Bio:

 Strong Women, Starting Over

   ~Redefining Romance~

Claire is a multi-published, award winning author of five titles in the genres of contemporary romance, supernatural suspense, and women’s fiction. She also writes Author Resource guide books, and presents seminars on writing craft and marketing.

Her supernatural suspense, Hearts Unloched, won the 2016 New York Book Festival. Her women’s fiction, The Phoenix Syndrome, was a finalist in the National Reader’s Choice Awards, and her contemporary romance, A Taming Season, was a Literary Award of Merit finalist in the HOLT Medallion Awards. Spirits of the Heart was a finalist in the 2017 “I Heart Indie Awards.”

Creating cross-genre fiction she calls “supernatural suspense,” Claire loves exploring the paranormal and the unexplained, and holds a certificate in Parapsychology from the Rhine Research Center of Duke University.

A New York native, Claire has lived in five of the United States and held a variety of jobs, from waitress to bridal designer to research technician—but loves being an author best. She and her happily-ever-after hero, her husband of 39 years, now live in central Massachusetts.

Media Links 

Website:                      http://www.clairegem.com

Blogs:                          http://www.clairegem.wordpress.com

                                    http://www.hauntedpathways.wordpress.com

Facebook:                    http://www.facebook.com/clairegem.author

Twitter:                       http://www.twitter.com/gemwriter

Goodreads:                  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8284235.Claire_Gem

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2nabvbm

Youtube Channel:        https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCO-vB7WDZhEQ8U4YpC937ng

 

Spirits of the Heart

 

Createspace:               https://www.createspace.com/6899776

Amazon:                      https://www.amazon.com/Spirits-Heart-Haunted-Voices-Book-ebook/dp/B01N7VIZU2/

Amazon Bitly:              http://amzn.to/2sjTCKx

Youtube:                      https://youtu.be/YUa2RALSEm8

Youtube Bitly:              http://bit.ly/1QreCAY                        

 

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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

One Night in Havana by Kathleen Rowland ~ Giveaway!!

One Night in Havana 
#34 in the City Nights Series from Tirgearr Publishing
by Kathleen Rowland

Kathleen will be awarding 3 lucky winners a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate. Winners will be chosen randomly with Rafflecopter. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here.

About the Book:  

A desperate competition and sizzling attraction leads to dangerous desire.

New York Marine biologist Veronica “Roni” Keane is attending the Havana Bay Conference in Cuba. Tomorrow only one grant will be awarded which will provide the winner with professional recognition, resources for a project, and living expenses for two years. She hopes to continue her deceased father’s work, but smooth operator, Carlos Montoya, has won many grants in the past.

Carlos, a freelancer for the Havana Port Authority, works to help protect Havana’s reputation as a bastion of safety. As international travelers flock to the island, attracted by its 1950’s time-warp and colonial architecture, the drug business is running rampant, particularly on Roni’s cruise ship. Something’s not right, and when her scuba tanks are tampered with, Carlos brings in the military police to investigate. For her safety, he keeps her close, but he craves her body.

Their attraction leads to a fun night with a bit of kink. But Roni finds herself in more trouble than she bargained for when the criminals blame her for alerting the military police and come looking for her. Can Roni trust Carlos to protect her? Will she stay in Havana if Carlos wins the coveted grant, or kiss her lover goodbye?

An erotic romance with mystery. 

Amazon Buy Link

Excerpt:

— Chapter One

“Why, Veronica Keane.” A voice heavy with a Spanish accent drawled from behind her. “A dive bar?” A taunting tsk. “What do we have? A slumming New Yorker?”
She stiffened and closed her eyes. She knew that voice and its owner, Dr. Carlos Montoya, a finalist like her, competing for the same damn grant at the biggest Cephalopoda conference of the decade. Her heart pitter-pattered against her ribs. To turn toward him would intimate distress, or worse yet, weakness. She wouldn’t fail to win this grant, not when she was a final contender. “I like this funky little place.” Sia Macario Café, smack in the center of Havana, allowed her to observe locals and their daily lives.
“You need to eat with all the mojitos you’ve downed.” The big tease wasn’t  counting. This was her first drink, but his rumbling, sexy timbre hinted at all kinds of dark, hot promises. She’d rubbed shoulders with the Cuban scientist all week. This splendid specimen of Latin male brought on a physical ache that punched low.
A flare-up stirred fear. For her own good, she needed to resist. “I ordered camarones enchiladas.” By now she knew the menu on the chalkboard by heart. She tipped her head back to whiff grilled shrimp soon to arrive in sofrito sauce with fried sweet plantains.
“The flan is good. Just like my abuela makes.”
“I bet. Your grandmother would be happy to hear that,” she said, knowing he brought out the best in most people. Two days ago he’d invited her and a handful of others scuba diving. The chance to ogle him had been one of the perks. He’d worn nothing but swim trunks, his bare chest on display. Every glistening muscle was finely etched. Not a drop of fat on him. Since he’d not given her the time of day, she’d checked him out without him noticing.
The hard-bodied host had led the way toward habitats of soft-bodied creatures. To find where invertebrates lived was never an easy task. Octopuses squeezed into narrow passages of coral for protection and gave females a place to keep their eggs. She’d discovered the remains of a few meals nearby.Octopuses scattered rocks and shells to help them hide.
 This grant meant so much to her and no doubt to him as well. Veronica mindlessly toyed with the gold necklace around her neck, but anxiety crackled through her brain. Unlike this man of action, she lacked the flamboyant personality necessary to talk people into things. Carlos had that ability. He’d made friends with judges on board while she’d conversed with an older woman about a box of scones made with Cuban vanilla cream.
That day the wind had picked up to a gale force, and this woman named Bela with Lucille Ball red hair needed help walking to her home. The half mile down the seaside promenade, The Malecón, had provided her with time to practice her Spanish. Turned out Bela was Carlos’s grandmother. She’d worked as a maid when the Castro government came to power. When private homes were nationalized, titles were handed over to the dwelling occupants. Bela owned a crumbling home in the respected Verdado district and rented out rooms.
What Veronica detested about Carlos was his abnormal level of talent for schmoozing. Not that he wasn’t charismatic; he drew her like a powerful magnet with emotions hard to untangle. Why was a self-assured woman who ran her own life thinking about a man who commanded everyone around him?
She inhaled a breath and turned around on the barstool, caught fast by a gut punch of Carlos Montoya in the flesh. She sighed and surrendered to the tendrils of want sliding up between her thighs.
Tall and muscular, his lush dark hair curled to his collar giving him a wild, roguish appearance. His face was lean and chiseled. His mouth full and tempting. His eyes the smoky-gray of a grass fire and fringed with black lashes as dense as paintbrushes. He smiled. A faint hint of mockery curved his mouth, a sensual mouth she imagined to be either inviting or cruel. Or both at the same time when he leaned over a woman with a diamond-hard gleam in his dark eyes while she drowned with pleasure. She fought a fierce desire to run her hand across his broad chest, tip her face upward, and…
His breath tickled her face.
Not going there. She blinked and forced her mind to focus. Carlos Montoya was not the kind of man you lost focus around. But that image of putting her mouth full on his and peeling away his shirt once introduced in her mind was impossible to expunge. Pointless even to try.
He was an intimidating blend of intellect and sexy danger. Both qualities had her leaning back against the bar’s edge. If it weren’t for him, she’d have a chance at winning the grant.
His lips twitched. “You’re staying on one of the cruise ships, am I right?” He rolled up the sleeves of his linen jacket to reveal a dusting of manly hair.
”Yes.” Her cabin served as her hotel room while attending the January meetings with perfect high-seventies temperatures. His eyes locked with hers. She willed herself to move and yet she remained seated, clutching heat between her legs, a wetness so intense that her breath stalled in her chest while her heart hammered faster. Soon she’d return to freezing New York City.
“So, Bonita, give.” He slid onto the bar stool next to her. “What brings you down from a lofty ship to grace us lowly Cubans with your presence?”
Bonita. Pretty lady was not an endearment coming from the mouth curved in a taunting smile, but not a slight either. Not with his deep, melodic voice speaking words as if he knew secrets about her. What secrets did he know? Would he pry into her personal life? She doubted this bad-boy college professor acknowledged boundaries.
“Just drinks and dinner.” She scrambled for composure. “Aren’t we attending a world-class conference? I find the local population to be friendly and kind. That’s not slumming.”
The bartender set down a saoco. “Hope you like it, senorita.”
“Gracias,” she said. “Very nice, served in a coconut.”
“Ah, the saoco,” Carlos said. “Rum, lime juice, sugar, and ice. The saoco,” he repeated, disbelief heavy in his words. “Um. Wow. Once used as a tonic for prisoners of the revolution.”
“Medicinal?” She couldn’t help it. She chuckled and sounded as if a rusty spoon had scraped her throat raw, but it was genuine. The warm glow in its wake was welcome and needed. .
He leaned an elbow on the bar, his beer bottle with the green-and-red Cristal label dangling between his fingers. “Be careful with that one.” He dipped his head toward the front door as if he needed to go somewhere soon.
That fast, the glow snuffed out. She cleared her throat and gripped the fuzzy surface of the coconut container.
He placed a five-peso coin with a brass plug on the counter and whirled it. The spinning motion mirrored a dizzying attraction going on in low parts of her belly.
She cleared her wayward mind and nodded toward artwork on the opposite wall. “I plan to buy a painting tonight.”
“Don’t buy anything unless the seller gives you a certificate. You’ll need one to take art from Cuba. Artists deal in euros in case you don’t have pesos.”
She’d come prepared but said, “Thanks for the info.”
His coal-black eyes widened as he gazed from her head down to the tiny straps around her ankles as if she wore high heels and nothing else. “You give off a Barbie doll image,” he replied and stood up.
“Huh?”
“Where’s Ken, anyway? Kenneth Morton. He came with you to the talks in Antarctica. Five years ago.” He grinned, and the mortification in her belly gave way to a longing which she had no business feeling toward her competitor.
“Ken and I broke up.” She hesitated for a moment. “You have a gift for remembering names. Like a salesman.”
“A person’s name is, to that person, the most important and sweetest sound. Back then I introduced myself to Ken in the men’s room.”
“I remember now. Didn’t you give a talk on a specialized pigment in the octopus?”
“Ahh, si.” He splayed his fingers over his chest. “A pigment in their blood is—”
 “—called hemocyanin. Turns their blood blue and helps them survive subfreezing temperatures. Were you awarded something?”
“The antifreeze protein grant? No. It went to a deep-diving photographer. He wasn’t chicken about getting lost or trapped under the ice.”
She slid from her stool and strutted around, jutting her chin in and out like a chicken. “Bock, bock, bock, bock, bock, begowwwwk.”
He chuckled. “Cute chicken dance. Very cute in that skimpy black dress.”
Her cheeks heated, and she clutched her necklace. He’d seen plenty of women in body-fitting attire. In Cuba, women wore dresses to meetings. If she’d harnessed sexier mojo, she’d have livened up presentations. Her presentations with an abundance of dull data went south. She slid back against her stool and clutched her purse to her stomach as if the small satin bag could calm the nerves playing deep down kickball. She belonged in her tidy New York office filled with computers, modems, and research manuals. Not in this softly lit café where passion oozed from a man’s pores, and artists displayed their canvases. Here was where Havana’s trendsetters congregated, and Ernest Hemingway wrote about desire.
“Good luck with your purchases, Veronica Keane.”
Okay, so they weren’t going to pretend they were going head to head for the grant.
As if he had more to say, he grinned at her, his perfect white teeth flashing.. “Do you find us different, like apples and oranges?”
“What am I, an apple or an orange?”
“Hmm. You’re an apple.” He was doing that sexy voice thing which made her brain shut down. Heady. 
It started with an unexpected spark, an instant attraction, the jolting jab of oh-I’m-feeling-something. Something like a flashfire in her belly, but now they were talking. “Am I the apple of desire? Want to take a bite out of me?” She pulled in a breath. Had she really said that?
Bonita, do I ever.”
“Tomorrow is the final ceremony.” Would she watch him walk to the podium to accept the grant? 

About the Author: 

Book Buyers Best finalist Kathleen Rowland is devoted to giving her readers fast-paced, high-stakes suspense with an erotic love story sure to melt their hearts.  Her latest release is One Night in Havana, #34 in the City Nights series.

Kathleen also has a steamy romantic suspense series with Tirgearr Publishing, Deadly Alliance is followed by Unholy Alliance. Keep an icy drink handy while reading these sizzling stories.

Kathleen used to write computer programs but now writes novels.   She grew up in Iowa where she caught lightning bugs, ran barefoot, and raced her sailboat on Lake Okoboji.  Now she wears flip-flops and sails with her husband, Gerry, on Newport Harbor but wishes there were lightning bugs in California.

Kathleen exists happily with her witty CPA husband, Gerry, in their 70’s poolside retreat in Southern California where she adores time spent with visiting grandchildren, dogs, one bunny, and noisy neighbors.  While proud of their five children who’ve flown the coop, she appreciates the luxury of time to write.

If you’d enjoy news,  sign up for Kathleen’s newsletter at http://www.kathleenrowland.com/

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“10 Moments That Changed My Life” by Melinda Dozier ~ New Release: TROUBLE WITH GOLD

#AHAgrp

Please help me welcome Melinda Dozier with the moments that changed her life, and her new release, TROUBLE WITH GOLD…

10 Moments That Changed My Life by Melinda Dozier

  1. Meeting my husband at The University of New Mexico. I remember the exact moment and how time literally stood still. I knew he was “the one.” (Yes, I am a hopeless romantic!)
  2. Graduating from university with a double major in Communications and Political Science.
  3. Moving to Guatemala, Central America after graduation with my then fiance, not knowing a word of Spanish or what I was getting myself into.
  4. Becoming a middle school English teacher in Guatemala without any teacher education. My first year was very painful, but here I am 24 years later!
  5. Having my first child in Guatemala. Since it’s a third-world country, the hospital was a little behind the times. I stayed in the operating room all alone until it was time to push. Then they allowed my hubby in with me. Once my first son was born, I knew my life would be forever different.
  6. The birth of my second and third sons in Guatemala.These two experiences were much better than my first. All in all, I love being a boy mom and it’s really WHO I AM!
  7. Finding God in 2008. I had always been raised as a Christian, but I truly BECAME a Christian during this year.
  8. Finishing my first book, Time Changes Everything, and then it actually being published in 2013! The bad news was that the publisher went under after 6 months of it being published, so I also learned a lot about the harsh publishing world. I’ve since self-published my first novel, because it’s my baby.
  9. My second book, Breaking the Rules, being chosen as a winner in the November Harlequin Blaze Pitch. However, I did not ultimately have my book chosen as the final winner, though I did conference with a Blaze editor and had positive feedback. In the end, Breaking the Rules found a home at Crimson Romance, and I’m so happy it did.
  10. Moving back to the United States in 2015. How I missed my home country!

What a great list! Thank you for sharing. I would miss my home country too. But, it’s so great that you had the experience of living in Guatemala. It’s crazy you became a teacher without a degree!

Please tell us about your latest release…

 

Blurb:

US snowboarder and notorious prankster, Ty (Trouble) Madsen is only getting a taste of his own medicine when his Olympic teammates shackle him to a fence wearing nothing but his boxers.  Reception and protocol volunteer, Nadia Hoffman, gets up close and personal with the sexy snowboarder to rescue him, but she’s not the kind of girl who lets her hormones get in her way.  A professional performance could help her land her dream job at Olympics Committee Headquarters, but her new assignment supervising the rambunctious US Snowboarding Team is making that difficult.  Can she see behind the snowman in the community center bathroom and into the warm heart of the man everyone calls Trouble?

Excerpt:

“Thank God you’re here,” a male’s voice groaned, in English.

Nadia looked across the path toward the stairs ahead of her and saw a very well built, tall man, light brown hair curled around his beanie, with a chiseled chest and tight thighs. Wait a minute. Why could she see his chest and thighs? It was zero degrees Celsius. Why would a man be standing in nothing but his underwear? Her mother always warned her about sickos.

She dug into her purse, searching for her mace – something she carried since her internship in New York last summer. It settled somewhere at the bottom. Great. When she finally needed it, she couldn’t find it.

“Do you mind?” He said, a little louder. “I could use some help.”

“I have mace.” She answered, still searching. “Stay where you are.”

“Not a problem.” He laughed, a deep laugh that sent tingly sensations from head to toe. God, sleep deprivation must be worse than she thought if she had these thoughts about a sicko.

She shook her head and finally held the mace up. The man remained in the same spot. He had a fabulous smile and a few wrinkles at the side of his eyes, from smiling or being out in the sun. He must be an athlete with that tight physique. “Who are you and what are you doing?”

Instead of answering, he let out a laugh all while his teeth chattered. An ache sat in her throat. Poor guy. If his blue lips and frosted hair was any indication, he was beyond cold.

“Are you okay?” She slowly approached the stairs, not sure what the handsome man would do. But, he looked like he was in trouble.

His eyes perused her from top to bottom and then he looked back into her face. “Better now.” He smirked.

Author Bio:

Reading romance has always been at the top of Melinda’s favorite past times. You can always find a book in her hands no matter where she is.Melinda is Louisiana born, New Mexico raised, Guatemala adopted, and recently a newcomer to Houston, Texas. So, it’s only natural that her stories take place all across the world.Melinda loves reading, reality TV, traveling, blogging, and playing Words with Friends.Find Melinda on social media at:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/melindadoz/

Twitter: www.twitter.com/melindadozier

Amazon Author Page: http://bit.ly/MelindaDozier

Buy links:

Universal Links: https://www.books2read.com/u/4jwYw2

Amazon: https://books2read.com/u/4jwYw2?store=amazon

Barnes & Noble: https://books2read.com/u/4jwYw2?store=bn

ITunes: https://books2read.com/u/4jwYw2?store=apple

Kobo: https://books2read.com/u/4jwYw2?store=kobo

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36643019-trouble-with-gold?from_search=true

 

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Filed under 10 Moments that Changed My Life, Author Blog Post, New Release

An Author Interview with Karen Chino ~ New Release: New Beginnings

Please help me welcome Karen Chino who is sharing about herself and her fun new book!

 

Please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from? Where do you live now? Family? Pets?

I’m from Staten Island, New York and am presently living on the Jersey Shore in Barnegat.

 

Where did you get the idea for New Beginnings?

I came up with the idea when I move into a 55 and over community.

 

Why did you choose this genre (is it something you’ve written in before)?

I’ve never written a cozy mystery before. But there was something about this genre that I knew I could incorporate in my new living conditions.

 

Was there anything unusual, any anecdote about this book, the characters, title, process, etc, you’d like to share?  

When I realized that the drama in a 55 and over community could be compared to high school, I knew I found a new genre to tell my story.

 

What is the most difficult thing about writing a book?

Finding the time and being able to get into the zone is the most difficult part of writing any book. I find writing the outline to be difficult too. With an outline, I can keep the flow going.

 

What was the most difficult thing about this one in particular?

Since the book takes place in the community I live in, I had to make sure that the scenery and props were all in sync. When the color of the lobby changed, I had to rewrite my descriptions.

 

Do you collect anything?

Yes! Books, of course.

 

What’s your favorite book of all time and why? What’s your favorite childhood book? Lovers and Gamblers by Jackie Collins. After reading it, I knew my genre was going to be Women’s Fiction. As a kid, I read Nancy Drew Mysteries.

 

What do you want readers to come away with after they read New Beginnings?

I want the reader to know that no matter what the situation is, there is always a way to get out of it or deal with it in a positive manner.

 

What genre have you never written that you’d like to write?

Time Travel

 

Have you written any other books that are not published?

Yes. I have four books.

 

Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?

 

My characters are based on acquaintances but take on a life of their own.

What do your friends and family think of your writing?

My family has given me 100% support. Of course my family loves my books, but it’s the support that they give me that is priceless.

 

How much of the book is realistic? 

I write about realistic situations that women deal with everyday. In my cozy mysteries, I have more room to use my imagination.

 

How did your interest in writing originate? 

I started writing poems and short stories when I was fourteen. By junior year of high school I knew it was time to write longer pieces. (I still have all the notebooks with the story I had written.)

 

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? 

Janet Evanovich. Her books are quick reads, laugh out loud with quirky characters. I love the mystery along with the relationship Stephanie Plum is having with two gorgeous men.
Your favorite…

Movie:  Saturday Night Fever

Music: Classic Disco, The Beatles, Paul McCarntey

Place you’ve visited: Sicily

Place you’d like to visit: Hawaii

TV show from childhood: American Bandstand

TV show from adulthood: This is Us

Food: Pizza and Chicken

Sports team: New York Mets

Which do you prefer: Board games/card games or television? Television

 

Question for readers:

I’m always open for new ideas. Is there anything out there that you would like to read about that has yet to make the bookshelves?

 

BIO

Karen Cino has been writing since she was fourteen years old. She started her career by writing poetry, short stories and writing articles for her high school newspaper. Her daily walks down at the boardwalk are what gets her muse going. It clears her mind and helps her find realistic plot ideas and the characters boosting up her muse. Karen loves writing about local places that people can relate to.

Karen loves the summer, loves the beach. Her previous books were written and take place in various places across Staten Island. Karen relocated to Barnegat, New Jersey in 2015. She traded in the Staten Island Boardwalk for the shoreline in Long Beach Island. Her Camp Mirage Series takes place in Barnegat, NJ.

Karen is a member of Romance Writers of America, Women’s Fiction Writing Association and Liberty States Fiction Writers. She is also busy writing newsletters and newspaper articles for the 55 and over community she resides at.

Karen has two adult children, Michael Giordano who’s a singer, songwriter and producer and Nicole Giordano who works in Retail Management and is also a photographer. In 2014 Karen married John Gatti. Her husband is an actor, teacher and attorney.

BLURB

After a traumatic event in her life, Connie Acosta heads down to the Jersey Shore to stay with her friend, Sara Mazza, who lives in a fifty-five and over community. For Connie, this is a temporary stop until she figures out what she wants to do.
Connie and Sara have a brief discussion and decide to start the baking business they had spoken about decades before. But things take a dramatic turn when Sara gets Connie involved in a mysterious adventure at the clubhouse.

BUY LINK

EXCERPT

“Hey, what happened to your cell phone?” Sara asked.

“I left it in the car and I’m too lazy to walk out to get it,” she said, sitting down at the kitchen table with a mug of coffee in her hand.

“What’s going on up there?

“You can’t even imagine. I’ve been shunned by my friends. Teddy made a mess of things. He turned our lives upside down.” Connie lifted the mug to her lips taking a sip. “I can’t even go into Starbucks without people staring at me.”

“Screw everyone. Pack your suitcase and come stay with me for a couple of weeks while you figure out what you want to do.”

“That sounds great. But I don’t want people to think I’m running away.”

“You aren’t running away from anything. You did nothing. Teddy’s the one that caused this backlash, leaving you to pick up the pieces.”

“I agree.”

“Come on down. I promise you if you stay here long enough you’ll be looking to stay. Whenever you come here, you’re only here for a couple of days and we’re usually out gallivanting, not giving you enough time to see what’s down here.”

“It’s an adult community. I guess it’s safe to say we’re not going to get ourselves into trouble.”

“You’ll be surprised.” Sara giggled. “I’m going to run food shopping to pick up a few things. Do you still eat that hummus crap?”

“Of course I do. But don’t go crazy. When I get there, we’ll go stock up.”

“Should I expect to see you in a couple of hours?” Sara excitedly asked.

“Let me pack a couple of things. I plan on going shopping in the boutiques in Long Beach Island.”

“Be careful.”

“I always am.”

 

CONTACT LINKS

Karencino.com

karencino@aol.com

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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

A Fun Mystery by M.S. Spencer ~ The Pit and the Passion: Murder at the Ghost Hotel

Please help me welcome today’s guest, M.S. Spencer, with her new release…

Thanks so much, Alicia, for letting me talk to your readers about my new mystery romance The Pit and the Passion: Murder at the Ghost Hotel. Set on Longboat Key, Florida, it features an unexpected skeleton, a quirky romance between an arrogant though talented writer and a beautiful reporter, and a complicated set of clues that lead to a deadly secret long hidden by the most famous circus family in the world.

Blurb:

At midnight, in the darkness of a deserted hotel, comes a scream and a splash. Eighty-five years later, workmen uncover a skeleton in an old elevator shaft. Who is it, and how did it get there? To find out, Charity Snow, ace reporter for the Longboat Key Planet, teams up with Rancor Bass, best-selling author. A college ring they find at the dig site may prove to be their best clue.

Although his arrogance nearly exceeds his talent, Charity soon discovers a warm heart beating under Rancor’s handsome exterior. While dealing with a drop-dead gorgeous editor who may or may not be a villain, a publisher with a dark secret, and an irascible forensic specialist, Charity and Rancor unearth an unexpected link to the most famous circus family in the world.

The Pit and the Passion: Murder at the Ghost Hotel

The Wild Rose Press, January 22, 2018 (Crimson Rose)

Mystery, Humorous/Romantic Comedy

Rating: PG13

418 p.; 97370 words

Rancor has many hidden talents, as Charity discovers in this excerpt.

Excerpt (G): The Frog Prince

As she trudged up the stairs, rain began to fall, sparking a chorus of cheeps from the tiny native treefrogs. It seemed to grow louder and louder. When she reached her door, she found out why. A huge green bullfrog sat in a small wooden cage on the mat. A tag attached to it said, “Kiss Me.” When she picked up the cage, a guttural voice croaked, “If you don’t kiss me, you won’t get your present.” She looked around but couldn’t see anyone. The voice came again. “Down here.”

The frog regarded her solemnly, its large eyes unblinking. She spoke to the air. “I am not going to kiss a frog.”

“Ah, but I’m a special frog. A prince of a frog. Kiss me.”

She had to admit she was tempted. “If I let you out, you’ll hop away.” Why the hell am I talking to an amphibian?

“Then you’d better kiss me quick.”

She shrugged. The rain turned into a downpour, and she moved under the shelter of the overhang. With hesitant fingers, she opened the little door. The frog hopped out. Quick as a flash, she bent down and touched her lips to its back. Surprisingly, it was neither slimy nor wet. She resisted the urge to wipe her mouth. The frog croaked once but remained crouched on its haunches, gazing at her. She shook her head. “No sense in asking. I’m only doing it once.”

“Wait.”

“Wait for what?”

“Wait for it…” There was a flash of purple smoke. When it cleared, the frog was gone, and Rancor sat on the step. “Your prince. As ordered.”

“How did you do that?”

“A magician never divulges his secrets.” He opened his palms to reveal a bouquet of gardenias. “For you. Will you be my valentine?”

She held the flowers and inhaled deeply. “They’re my favorite—how did you know?”

“I made inquiries. Jane is delightful by the way. Didn’t care much for Darryl.”

“Find out why he only sees her once a month, and she’ll be your slave for life.”

“That would make a refreshing change.”

“More than you deserve. Coming in?”

“Yes. I have to watch you change into something more suitable for Michael’s on East.”

“Rancor! I can’t afford that.”

“You don’t have to—I have secured a source of funding.”

“I don’t want to know.”

“No. You don’t.” He closed the door behind him. “Now, you haven’t answered my question.”

Busy with the flowers, Charity didn’t reply. He took the vase from her and set it down. Then he took her in his arms. “Will you be my valentine?”

At that, something broke inside her, and the tears flowed.

He dried them. “Should I take that as a ‘yes,’ or a ‘get out of my sight, you ogre’?” She kissed him, unable to talk. “Go then. Put on that pearly white dress you wore in Paris. And leave your hair down this once.”

She obeyed, savoring the prospect of a Valentine’s Day that just might turn out to be the best ever.

Buy Links:

Wild Rose Press: https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/5533-the-pit-and-the-passion-murder-at-the-ghost-hotel.html

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Pit-Passion-Murder-Ghost-Hotel-ebook/dp/B078JY8RLY

ITunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-pit-and-the-passion-murder-at-the-ghost-hotel/id1332026896?mt=11

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-pit-and-the-passion-m-s-spencer/1127750685?ean=2940158925351

KOBO: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-pit-and-the-passion-murder-at-the-ghost-hotel

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/M_S_Spencer_The_Pit_and_the_Passion_Murder_at_the?id=F-tGDwAAQBAJ

 

About the Author:

Although M. S. Spencer has lived or traveled in five of the seven continents, the last thirty years were spent mostly in Washington, D.C. as a librarian, Congressional staff assistant, speechwriter, editor, birdwatcher, policy wonk, non-profit director, and parent. After many years in academia, she worked for the U.S. Senate, the U.S. Department of the Interior, in several library systems, both public and academic, and at the Torpedo Factory Art Center.

Ms. Spencer has published eleven romantic suspense novels, and has two more in utero. She has two fabulous grown children and an incredible granddaughter. She divides her time between the Gulf Coast of Florida and a tiny village in Maine.

Contacts:

Blog: http://msspencertalespinner.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/msspencerromance

Twitter: www.twitter.com/msspencerauthor

Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MSSpencerauthor

GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/msspencer
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/msspencerauthor/

Linked in: www.linkedin.com/in/msspencerauthor

 

 

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January Featured Books – Bargains / Awesome Reads!!

#AHAgrp

 Looking for something new and fabulous to read? Try these…

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Sacred Ground by PJ Sharon

In book three of the Savage Cinderella Novella Series, kidnap survivor turned rookie cop, Brinn Hathaway, joins her friends, Justin, Cody, and Dani on a quest to search for Justin’s brother–believed dead after having disappeared from his Marine unit in Afghanistan. When he’s reportedly seen at a protest in Wyoming, where Native American land protectors are at odds with a mining company bent on destroying what could be a sacred burial ground, it’s up to Brinn to find out the truth and help stop them.

But life is complicated when Brinn and the two men vying for her affections (Justin and Cody) are forced to face off with the corrupt mine developer and his hired guns–one of whom could very well be the man they’re searching for. Can they take on the powerful industrial complex to save sacred tribal lands from destruction? And can they convince Justin’s brother to turn himself in before he has a chance to run again? What will be the cost to this band of brothers? And who will Brinn choose to be by her side through it all?

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Lady of Steel (Medieval Ladies Book 1) by Mary Gilgannon
One rapturous hour sparks unforgettable passion between Lady Nicola and Fawkes de Cressy. The memory of their time together enables Fawkes to survive the horrors and perils of the Crusades and gives Nicola the hope and strength to endure a brutal marriage.
Fawkes returns to rescue the woman of his dreams and finds Nicola enmeshed in a dark web of castle intrigue. Fawkes is so altered by the hardships and cruelties of war, that Nicola fears to trust him with her secrets or her heart.
Surrounded by enemies, the battle-hardened knight and the aloof, wary woman must rebuild the bond between them. Only if they dare let the soul-stirring magic their bodies share grow into love can they escape the sinister plot that threatens to destroy them both.
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Four White Roses by Judy Ann Davis – ONLY 99 cents thru Jan 31!!!

When widower Rich Redman returns to Pennsylvania with his young daughter to sell his deceased grandmother’s house, he discovers Grandmother Gertie’s final request was for him to find a missing relative and a stash of WWI jewels.

Torrie Larson, single mom, is trying to make her landscape center and flower arranging business succeed while attempting to save the lineage of a rare white rose brought from Austria in the 1900s.

Together, the rich Texas lawyer and poor landscape owner team up to rescue the last rose and fulfill a dead woman’s wishes. But in their search to discover answers to the mysteries surrounding them, will Rich and Torrie also discover love in each other’s arms? Or will a meddling ghost, a pompous banker, and an elusive stray cat get in their way?

CLICK HERE TO BUY

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On the Surface by Margo Hoornstra 

Wrongly convicted ex-con and recent parolee Jenny Reynolds wants to forget her tarnished past and focus on a brighter future. One that begins with a return to the small tourist town where she grew up. The restoration of her family’s once proud Rest Easy Bed and Breakfast is the only thing on her mind. Fleeing an ex who refuses to let her go, what she doesn’t need to complicate her already problematic life is another man.

Enter handsome handyman Brad, a man who seems to care as much about restoring the B and B as she does. A man who soon becomes ready, willing and able to steal her heart. A man, as it turns out, with more than a few secrets of his own. A dropout from law enforcement, the real Brad Collins will use anyone and anything to fulfill a personal vendetta.

When two pasts collide and danger threatens, their budding love for each other may be the first casualty.

CLICK HERE TO BUY

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Legacy of Evil by Sharon Buchbinder

When a wild mustang is shot in Montana, renowned horse whisperer and telepath, Emma Horserider, is called in to calm the herd and find out what happened. Once on scene she is almost killed by a bullet-spewing drone, and calls her black ops brother for back-up.

Emma’s help roars into her life covered in tattoos and riding a Harley. Remote viewer Bronco Winchester takes the assignment because he is ordered to, but he wonders what type of assistance, his boss’s sister needs. That is until he sees Emma, a valiant Warrior Woman proud of her Crow heritage.

Posing as a married couple, Emma and Bronco go undercover to infiltrate and stop a hate group. Both are anxious enough without the now growing attachment they feel for one another. When the lives of many are on the line, they are not sure if they will live or die—let alone have a chance at love.

CLICK HERE TO BUY

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For Money or Love by Margo Hoornstra – ONLY 99 cents!

Mega-millionaire Daniel Winston Montgomery lives to work at his prosperous software company. Scrimping to survive as a child, money means everything to Dan. He’ll do whatever it takes to preserve his wealth and the security it provides his mother and younger siblings. His brilliant top assistant, Lindsey Carr, is essential to his firm’s continued success. He has no problem sharing the fruits of their combined labors with her. Though, truth be told, he needs Lindsey far more than she needs him…

Computer brainiac Lindsey Carr wants more out of life than her prestigious, well-paying job and craves a little excitement. She’s tired of being no more than boring tech support in a well-run software enterprise. Convinced Dan and his company will survive—and thrive—just fine without her, she tenders her resignation. After all, Dan has never required more from her than her superior analytical skills. Well, except for that one time she won’t let herself think about…

Unwilling to let Lindsey go, Dan must fight to keep her in his life. In a clash of priorities, will he choose money…or love?

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Saturday in Serendipity by Margo Hoornstra  

A Three Book Anthology

A twenty year high school reunion changes the lives of former classmates and leads to unexpected futures.

Three Strikes Thursday
Barry Carlson, a pro baseball success, could have any woman he wanted. Except one. Twenty years before, Barry won Amanda Marsh’s love, only to crush her heart. He’s returned to Serendipity, determined to win her back. Recently divorced, Amanda is happy—until Barry slides back into her life. Can they put aside old wounds and new misunderstandings to find a forever love?

Two On Tuesday
Blane Weston’s construction company needs the venture capital Matt Durand has. With his reputation for hostile takeovers, she wants no part of him. Mixing business with pleasure, she’s off to Serendipity to hook up with a former flame. Not used to being denied, Matt follows. How can Blane enjoy a journey to her past when Matt is determined to dictate her future?

One Fateful Friday
His high school reunion in Serendipity over, hospital CEO Jake Holbrook regrets his single state. When a special woman from his past tumbles back into his life—and his bed—he’s determined to keep her there. Family practitioner Bethany Thomas avoids an entanglement with her new boss, but unknowingly betrays him. As the holidays approach, can they overcome a lack of trust to find their Christmas miracle?

 

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Our Love Is Here To Stay by Madison Michael


Our Love Is Here To Stay
By Madison Michael

Madison has some fabulous giveaways for this tour. Remember you may visit the other tour stops to increase your chances of winning. You may find those locations here

Romance and TimeTravel Prize Package #1: Includes  Books: Outlander, Time Traveler’s Wife and Beyond the Highland Mist and  DVDs: Somewhere in Time, The Lake House, the eBook Our Love Is Here To Stay.
Romance and TimeTravel Prize Package #2: One of the books above and 1 of the DVDs plus the eBook for Our Love Is Here To Stay.
Romance and TimeTravel Prize Package #3: One of the books above or one DVD plus the eBooks Our Love Is Here To Stay.


About the Book: 
Can Love Transcend Time?

Thirty-year old Matthew Herrington is weary of solo nights in strange cities. He is ready for a change. And that is exactly what he gets when he steps into Swing Night at The Green Mill and is instantly immersed in the sights and sounds of another era. Intrigued by the club’s authenticity, Matthew is enchanted when he meets Patty, a mixture of sexy and sweet who steals his heart.

Patty Dennison has never met a man like Matthew in all her twenty-one years. A sophisticated man, he stands out from the usual Swing Night crowd. He is self-assured, smart, charming, and handsome as hell, even if he is a lousy dancer. Once he takes her in his arms, Patty is more than willing to give him a few dance lessons along with her heart.

Repeated missed dates and unanswered phone calls strain the relationship and frustrate the pair. But unraveling their mystery exposes an impossible scenario, one that will torment their sanity and test their love.


How can they make their fairytale last? Can love transcend time?

Buy Links: 
Amazon | All other formats 

Excerpt: 

 A waitress came to take it off his hands. “Another?” she queried and he nodded agreement, placing a crumpled dollar on her tray. “Too much,” she told him shaking her head no. Matthew was surprised by her response but the tray was covered with loose change so he removed his bill and left the equivalent in quarters. Everything was so inexpensive but the server still needed to make a decent living.
She gave him a grateful smile and turned to move to her next customer, carefully balancing her tray above the heads of the young people around her. In the process, she nudged Matthew slightly causing him to lose his footing and fall gently against another body. Turning to apologize he found himself staring into the clearest, lightest blue eyes he had ever seen. He couldn’t look away.
“Sorry,” he mumbled when he finally regained his composure.
“That’s okay,” she replied with a quick, bright smile. She was lovely, in a wholesome girl next door way. She had her blond hair pulled into a ponytail that curled like a hair product ad, clear-skinned cheeks that were pink with warmth and perhaps exertion, and a curvy body displayed under a bright red sweater and a flared plaid skirt.
Matthew felt his mouth go dry and his palms get sweaty. She did something to him, this fresh faced woman that he found incredibly sexy. Her red lipstick was a slash of bright color mimicking the red of the sweater. Until this moment, bright red lipstick screamed “tough broad, stay away” to Matthew but on this girl it whispered “come hither.”
“Matthew,” he squeaked out, extending his hand to shake hers. Thinking twice about it, he retracted his arm, running his palm against his pants swiftly, and hopefully surreptitiously, before he extended his hand again.
“Patty,” she responded, placing her soft fingers in his large palm. She shook like a girl. After all the bone-breaking handshakes Matthew had endured across the globe, this limp, fingers-only shake surprised him. She looked athletic, not tough but toned, and not sickly pale like most Chicagoans in winter. The handshake didn’t match the image and normally would have bothered him. Nothing about Patty bothered him. Everything about her bothered him.


Author Bio and links:

Madison Michael traded 28 years in Fortune 500 tech and management positions for a chance to spend her days with sassy heroines, sexy, rich heroes and nothing but happy endings. Growing up the daughter of a librarian, she learned to love books, especially classics and romances, and spent winters cuddled under blankets losing herself in books.
Madison is the author of three novels in the Beguiling Bachelor series, as well as several short stories. She is a member of Romance Writers of America.
After living in the northeast, southeast and the west, Maddy returned to her Midwest roots. She lives in Evanston, IL with two feline editorial assistants and great views of Chicago’s famous skyline.

Contact her at:
Website | Madison’s Blog | Maddy’s Romance Madness | Facebook | Twitter


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