Category Archives: giveaway

#TuesdayTestDay with Alicia Dean ~ Win a $5 Amazon Gift Card!!

 

Each Tuesday, I will share a snippet from one of my stories, along with three options. To enter, guess which of the three options the snippet is from.

Post your answer in the comments before Sunday evening at 5 p.m. CT. (You may respond here or on my Facebook page). Each Monday, I will randomly draw a name from all the correct answers and that person will win a $5 Amazon Gift Card. Winners will be announced in the next Tuesday Test Day post.

Last week’s winner is…

Alina K. Fields

Congrats!! Please email me and I will send your $5 gift card. Thank you for playing!

(The correct answer was “Soul Seducer”)

Which of the below stories is this snippet from?

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

“You’re crying again. Another movie?”

She jumped, whirling to see Chase standing behind her. Had he heard her phone call with Greg? There was nothing in his expression, or his words, to indicate he had.

She turned her back to him and shook her head. “Please just go. I want to be alone.”

“Must be a doozy. Let me guess. It’s a Wonderful Life?”

With rage bubbling just beneath the surface and no one else to expend it on, she vaulted from her chair and advanced on him. “I’m not watching a movie. You were right, okay? Christmas sucks. The movies, the stupid trees, the music, it all sucks. And, by the way, you’re fired.”

His eyes widened, and he lifted his hands in surrender. “Chill out, okay? You didn’t hire me, so you can’t fire me. I stay on until Greg tells me the job is over.”

She stood directly in front of him, hands on hips. Her chest rose and fell with the intensity of her anger, although why she was angry at him, she had no idea. “Well, Greg’s a two-timing piece of shit, and I’m no longer in danger since I’m no longer his fiancée, so trust me, your job is over.”

His expression softened. “I’m sorry. How did you find out?”

Her eyes flew to his. “You’re not surprised. You knew?”

He rubbed a hand over his jaw. “I worked on his security detail before he sent me here. I knew.”

“And you didn’t bother to tell me? To save me the humiliation?”

He smiled with sympathy. How dare he smile at her with sympathy.

“Would it have been less humiliating if a total stranger had told you your fiancé was cheating?”

No, it wouldn’t have been, but that was beside the point. “I expect you to be gone as soon as you can make arrangements. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a bottle of wine that needs my attention.” She went to brush past him, and he took hold of her arm, stopping her.

“Drowning your sorrows?”

She looked down at his hand, then back up at him, shaking off his touch. “No, celebrating. After all, it’s the holiday season, right?”

~*~*~*~*~*~*

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*

Short story “BLUE CHRISTMAS” from:

~*~*~*~*~*~*

Have fun!

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Filed under Alicia Stuff, giveaway

#TuesdayTestDay with Alicia Dean ~ Win a $5 Amazon Gift Card!!

 

Each Tuesday, I will share a snippet from one of my stories, along with three options. To enter, guess which of the three options the snippet is from.

Post your answer in the comments before Sunday evening at 5 p.m. CT. (You may respond here or on my Facebook page). Each Monday, I will randomly draw a name from all the correct answers and that person will win a $5 Amazon Gift Card. Winners will be announced in the next Tuesday Test Day post.

Last week’s winner is…

Leah St. James

Congrats!! Please email me and I will send your $5 gift card. Thank you for playing!

(The correct answer was “Death Notice” – Sorry, I know it was a tough one since they are in the same series. :))

Which of the below stories is this snippet from?

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

A grin played over his full lips. “I can’t say I’m fond of that adjective. Grim. Sounds sort of…repugnant. I’m just a reaper. Plain and simple.”

“Plain and simple? A reaper is plain and simple?” She shook her head, stalking away from him, then back. “You’re telling me you’re death? You take people’s souls? You’re a killer?”

He scowled. “A killer? Absolutely not. I’m not a killer.”

“Well, pardon me. Then why don’t you tell me how the hell this works.”

“It’s very complicated. There are rules and procedures—”

“Oh, so it’s like a job? You mean your job is to reap?” A bubble of hysteria worked its way up to her throat.

Was she really having this conversation? Had this guy actually just told her he was a reaper? Then again, would a ghost or a demon or whatever else she’d imagined be any easier to believe? Could this really be happening?

Wait. Maybe it wasn’t happening. Maybe she’d died the night of the beating, and she couldn’t move on because she hadn’t accepted it yet. Maybe nothing that happened since then had been real. Her body sagged with the realization.

He reached out as if to grab her, but let his hands fall.

“Am I dead?” she choked.

He shook his head. “No. No, you’re not dead.”

“I didn’t die the night of the beating?”

“No. You survived.”

A chill went over her flesh that was only partly due to the bite of the frigid air. She pulled her jacket more tightly around her. “Then why can I see you? What has happened to me?”

~*~*~*~*~*~*

 

Have fun

 

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Filed under Alicia Stuff, giveaway

#TuesdayTestDay with Alicia Dean ~ Win a $5 Amazon Gift Card!!

 

Each Tuesday, I will share a snippet from one of my stories, along with three options. To enter, guess which of the three options the snippet is from.

Post your answer in the comments before Sunday evening at 5 p.m. CT. (You may respond here or on my Facebook page). Each Monday, I will randomly draw a name from all the correct answers and that person will win a $5 Amazon Gift Card. Winners will be announced in the next Tuesday Test Day post.

Last week’s winner is…

Amber D

Congrats!! Please email me and I will send your $5 gift card. Thank you for playing!

(The correct answer was “Caster’s Unfriendly Ghost’)

Which of the below stories is this snippet from?

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

When they were alone, Lane stared at Monroe silently, attempting to push back the fear and stay focused. Like a cop.

“How did Lovell get in?” he asked.

“I’m not sure. I was in the shower.” As if just realizing she still wore a robe—only a robe—she tightened the belt and crossed her arms over her middle. “When I came out, he was in my kitchen.”

Lane clenched his jaw, picturing that asshole invading her home. Waiting for her when she came out of the shower… vulnerable, half-naked. He cleared his throat and said sharply, “Weren’t your doors locked?”

“I think so. I usually lock them.”

Lane shook his head. “And you couldn’t have called us? Called me, as soon as you saw him?”

Her bottom lip quivered. “I wasn’t… my phone was… I’m sorry. I couldn’t get to my phone.” She looked up at him, tears pooling in her eyes, making them look like liquid chocolate. “I’m sorry he got away.”

She thought he was angry because Lovell escaped. Good. Let her think that. Safer that way.

~*~*~*~*~*~*

 

 

 

 

Have fun

 

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Filed under Alicia Stuff, giveaway

SUMMER OF 99 CENTS BOOK FAIR ~ NEW GIVEAWAYS DAILY ~ June 5-8, 2019

#99CentEbooks

SUMMER OF 99 CENTS BOOK FAIR

NEW GIVEAWAYS DAILY

June 5-8, 2019

https://bookwrapt.com/summer-of-99/

What would summer be without a ton of must-read books loaded onto your reading device of choice to enjoy on a lazy June afternoon? Our fair is filled with 99 cents bargains on sale for a limited time in contemporary romance, paranormal romance, thrillers, fantasy, science fiction, women’s fiction, romantic suspense, and more.

Plus, each day of the fair we’re giving away a $15 Amazon gift card and 12 books from the fair via Amazon instant giveaways!

Look for Books from Your Favorite Authors!

Alexa Aston • ME 🙂 • Amanda Uhl • Anne McClane • Brenda Whiteside • Cara Marsi • Catherine Kean • CB Samet • Debbie White • Elizabeth Rose • Emerald Dodge • Honey Phillips • Jacqueline Diamond • Jennifer Allis Provost • Jessie Kwak • Jim Stein • JL Lora • Jordan Hallak • Karen Michelle Nutt • Katherine Gilbert • Kristine Smith • LC Owen • Leslie Scott • Linda Mooney • LJ Swallow • Loralee Evans • M.D. Dalrymple • Margaret Tanner • Maria Geraci • Morgan Kay • Morgan Kay Wyatt • Rayna Noire • Rhondi Ann • Rose Pearson • Sherrie Lea Morgan • Stephanie Queen • Tara Gallina • Taylor Marsh

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Filed under giveaway

Jenna Barwin New Release: Dark Wine at Dusk (A Hill Vampire Novel Book 3)

Please help me welcome Jenna Barwin with a fun interview and her brand new release…plus, a giveaway!!

Thank you, Alicia, for hosting me today. I’m so excited to be here. Dark Wine at Dusk, the third book in the Hill Vampire series, and it was released yesterday.

How was the Hill Vampire series born?

I’ve been fascinated by the vampire myth my entire life. I read Dracula as a young teen, and something in me wanted the vampire, the tragic hero, to get the girl. That was my starting point.

What is the Hill Vampire series about?

It’s an urban fantasy romance, and combines mystery and political intrigue with a continuing love story. It’s set in an exclusive winemaking community of vampires.

Here’s the elevator pitch for the first book in the series, Dark Wine at Midnight: A research scientist is forced by her people to spy on the vampires she’s trying to help. One of those vampires is an expert winemaker who’s hiding his own deep secrets. In the end, he learns to love again, and she learns to embrace her own decisions, which includes choosing him.

Who is your favorite character, and why?

The hero, Enrique “Henry” Bautista Vasquez. I enjoy writing him. He’s the first character I created in the Hill Vampire series, and I just loved the process of discovery—peeling back the layers to find out who he is.

He’s originally from Mexico. He came to California in the early 1800s, where he was turned vampire, and founded the town of Sierra Escondida. So he has a deep backstory, entwined with California’s history, and I like weaving the two together.

He’s also an expert winemaker, with bourbon-brown eyes and long, ebony hair, but he’s a bit moody. Because of a dark secret he carries, he’s been unsuccessful at relationships. He’s also very protective of the town he founded. So when Dr. Cerissa Patel arrives in town, he’s suspicious of her, but also attracted to her, and his suspicion is fighting with the feelings she’s stirred up in him.

In Dark Wine at Dusk, we finally get to learn his secret. In many ways, Dusk is Henry’s book.

Does he get his happily ever after?

No spoilers! But I can safely say it wouldn’t be a romance if he didn’t ultimately get his happily ever after with Cerissa, the heroine. Still, he has to work for it over the series’ arc.

To put it another way, the Hill Vampire novels are a “same couple series.” I’m an avowed fan of same couple series, so I wrote what I love.

Please explain to readers, for those who may not know, what do you mean by same couple series?

It’s a series of novels following the same couple from their first hot glimpse of each other, all the way through to their marriage and beyond. As a reader, once I’ve fallen in love with a couple, I want to read more about them.

Faye Kellerman did a great job reeling me in with the Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus mystery series. Peter Decker is a police detective and his Orthodox Jewish wife Rina assists him in solving crimes. They have their ups and downs, but I fell in love with them when they fell in love with each other. I happily followed them through their engagement, marriage, kids and ultimately, into retirement.

In the world of urban fantasy and paranormal romance, I swoon over Jeaniene Frost’s Cat and Bones books. She kept the sizzle going through seven books, along with writing very satisfying adventures for her pair. To keep me entertained, the adventure or mystery has to be as strong as the romance, and Jeaniene Frost delivers on both.

It’s what I hope to achieve with the Hill Vampire series.

Thank you for joining me today. Please tell us more about your book. 

Blurb for Dark Wine at Dusk:

A seductive spy. An alpha vampire. A hidden threat to their love…

When a rogue vampire group attacks again, Dr. Cerissa Patel’s happily ever after with the man of her dreams must take a back seat to her mission.

Her lover, vampire Henry Bautista, is quick to pick up the gauntlet. He’ll do anything to help his beautiful spy capture the conspirators who are determined to enslave mortals.

But as Henry’s secret past rears its ugly head, it not only threatens their mission, but risks their love–and their very lives.

“Passionate, breathtaking and beautifully written.” ~InD’tale Magazine

Excerpt:

Henry accepted the shiny silver pouch Cerissa handed him. Usually, she used a blue bag to package blood from her human clones and a red one when she drew a higher concentration of red blood cells. What did the silver bag contain?

“If you don’t mind being my guinea pig,” Cerissa added.

“Guinea pig?” He started a pan of water heating on the stove. The pouch wasn’t wrapped in a self-warming bag. “What is different about this blood?”

“While I was away, I figured out how to induce the clones to produce a higher concentration of stress hormones—adrenaline, as well as cortisol and norepinephrine, if you want to be technical—to create the blood Rolf craves.”

“You think this will satisfy him?”

“We’ll have to experiment to find out. I don’t know what the cause is. It could be a substance addiction he can be weaned off, with support. If his problem is akin to a deficiency, more like a diabetic who needs insulin to survive, then I’ll have to determine the proper dosage. Just because the blood produces a mental high doesn’t mean it’s bad for him.”

Henry turned off the flame under the pot and slid the bag into the warm water, swishing it around so the contents would heat evenly without cooking. Cooked blood was disgusting.

“There is an exhilaration that comes from drinking adrenaline-spiked blood—”

“I’m calling it ‘adrenaline-enhanced’ for now,” she said. “The other term has baggage.”

“You could be right.” He fished the bag out of the water, cut the corner with scissors, and poured it into an insulated coffee mug. A quick sniff told him it smelled like the blood of a victim who’d been hunted.

Is this a good idea?

He sniffed again, and a thread of apprehension brushed his skin. He took a sip and closed his eyes. The sudden rush pounded through his veins, followed by an ice-cold chill. He dropped the mug on the kitchen island. It toppled, and the blood spread across the granite counter.

Cerissa rushed to his side. “Henry, are you all right?”

He stumbled back, fighting the surge, the power, the desire for more.

“Y-you made it too s-strong,” he stammered, and clutched the edge of the island’s granite top. The spilled blood flowed between his fingers, invoking images he’d rather forget.

“I’m sorry,” she said, clinging to his arm.

Her scent beckoned to him. He gripped the counter harder and fought the driving desire to plunge his fangs into her. “Please, cariña, step back.”

“Henry—”

“Step back. I don’t need new sins to repent for.”

 

Dark Wine at Dusk is book three in the Hill Vampire series. It will enhance the reader’s experience to read Dark Wine at Midnight and Dark Wine at Sunrise, before reading Dusk.

And great news—Dark Wine at Midnight, the first eBook in the series, is on sale for $0.99 through May 31, 2019 on Amazon. Click on the image to be taken to the series purchase link.

Rafflecopter GIVEAWAY:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’m sponsoring a giveaway to celebrate the launch of Dark Wine at Dusk and to thank my blog tour readers (giveaway begins 5/29/2019 and ends 6/25/2019)

The four prizes being given away are:

  • $10 Amazon.com Gift card
  • eBook copy of Dark Wine at Midnight
  • eBook copy of Dark Wine at Sunrise
  • eBook copy of Dark Wine at Dusk

No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. One prize per entrant. See Giveaway page for full terms and conditions.

 

Bio & Social Media Links:

Jenna Barwin writes the Hill Vampire novels, which blend mystery, wine, and romantic spice into a heady (and steamy) combination.

When not writing, she enjoys underwater photography, and is known to occasionally attend a Victorian dance in full regalia right down to pantaloons and a hoop skirt.

If you’d like to stay up to date on her newest releases, join her VIP Readers: jennabarwin.com/jenna-barwins-newsletter/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JennaBarwin (@JennaBarwin)

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jennabarwin/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jennabarwin/

BookBub Author Page: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jenna-barwin

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Jenna-Barwin/e/B06XV6TMG9/

Goodreads Author: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16632097.Jenna_Barwin

Website: https://jennabarwin.com

 

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Filed under Author Blog Post, giveaway, New Release

“Tainted” is #FREE!!

I’m happy to share a freebie from my dear friend, Tina Fausett. It’s only free for a limited time, so grab it while you can!!

Tainted – Part 1 (A Shift in the Universe) by Tina Fausett

The first installment in the ongoing saga of A Shift in the Universe is FREE for a limited time…

Amazon purchase link:

https://www.amazon.com/Tainted-Shift-Universe-Book-1-ebook/dp/B07FTCF2K8/

 

Part 1 – Tainted:

A jealous, malevolent wife hooked on prescription drugs, a husband caught between reality and carnal fantasies, and an angel cast from heaven, are all bound together by their hatred for one woman whose spells and manifestations catch them in a downward spiral towards hell…Gina Faulkner, thought to be a voodoo queen, owner of Swamp Witch Pickles in New Orleans, is the center of it all.

Bane Colton, dangerous and cocky, sees Gina at the French Market and the game is on. He makes up his mind he’s going to break the feisty redhead with the infamous kinky reputation, body and soul. And Gina’s ready to be a player, until Bane’s estranged and demented wife, Beverly, wants him back.

Enter enigmatic Darsh, known to many as the Angel of Death, who’s watched over Gina since she was fifteen and has loved her almost as much as he’s hated her. Now they would come face to face. He could save her from certain peril, but could never save her from herself. Would she destroy them all? At the very least, a shift in the universe was coming.

Excerpt:

“I had a love once that I never got over. I still dream about him, think of him, wonder if I’ll see him in heaven. No, it wasn’t your grandfather, Ian. I did love him. But sometimes there’s one person your soul meshes with so completely that you don’t care if you ever have sex because it’s worth a lifetime just to see them once in a while.” His grandmother looked off as if she were seeing someone in the distance. “Can you understand what I’m saying?” She turned back to him, her gaze penetrating.

“No,” he lied as tears stung the backs of his eyes.

“Sometimes, you love someone so much you almost hate them for it, for to hate someone you have to be capable of loving them. Who is it that you just lied about? Who is it that you hate?”

“No one, Grandmother…no one.”

“I’ve always felt sad for you, Ian, never having known what it’s like to be in love. But I see it in your eyes. You know what it’s like to be in hate.”

Darsh stood, walked to her, bent, and kissed her cheek. “No one is worthy of my hate,” he whispered.

“If you saw her today, the woman unworthy of your hate, what would you feel for her?” the old woman asked knowingly.

“Extreme dislike,” he answered, his eyes narrowing. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got work to do before dinner.”

Darsh turned down the hallway towards the library. My world’s crumbling…I can’t keep going like this.. He ran his hands through his hair. It’s all finally catching up to me and soon nothing will be the same. A shift in the universe is coming and Gina Faulkner’s bound to be at the heart of it.

Check out the other stories in the series…

Link to other installments:

https://www.amazon.com/Tina-Fausett/e/B07FQ24FZ6/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

 

About the author:

Tina Fausett was born and raised in Oklahoma City and attended both the University of Central Oklahoma and Oklahoma University, majoring in History and English. She’s a published poet and novelist, as well as an oil painter, historic home specialist. She’s owned an antique store and art gallery and currently runs a company called Red Hot Mamma’s Pickles in Oklahoma City where she lives in an historic neighborhood. She’s lived in the Garden District in New Orleans, the city she loves, and tries to spend her time between the two cities. Tina has a daughter, son and granddaughter that are her main focus.

 

Find Tina Here:

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/tina.fausett

Twitter: @TinaFausett

 

 

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Will Rise from Ashes by Jean Grant

I love hosting Wild Rose Press authors, and I’m pleased to introduce today’s guest, Jean Grant, with her new release, Will Rise from Ashes, a Contemporary Women’s Fiction novel.

The Writer’s Journey

Will Rise from Ashes was by far my hardest book to write. For many reasons, some personal, some technical. I’d been writing romances with HEAs for so long, shifting to women’s fiction with grittier topics took some getting used to. The romantic in me though, did toss in a romance subplot, and I am a sucker for a happ(ier) ending.

A few more facts about this book:

  1. I began writing it in 2015, 4 years ago. The first draft took a year (while working part-time and around kids’ busy schedules). Editing took a few more years…
  2. It underwent at least 8 full-length revisions before I submitted to my editor at The Wild Rose Press. I’ve also written/edited the entire manuscript at least 20 times (that is 400 pages x 20 = 8,000 pages. It’s no wonder authors can be a little nutty!)
  3. It’s my first book written in both first person (AJ, the mother) and third person (Will, the son).
  4. My villain is a volcano!
  5. The book spans over a month of time and over 2,000 miles.
  6. My theme of heartache, healing, and hope dominates this book.
  7. It is the 7th book I’ve written, but 4th published. (Yeah, that’s some funny math. Hint: 3 books are now shoved in drawers as “practice” novels).
  8. The story tackles topics of widowhood, anxiety, autism, and redemption.
  9. I threw everything but the kitchen sink at AJ. I love an emotional journey, but I do enjoy lots of external conflict and roadblocks (teehee, in this case, literal roadblocks).
  10. Its title was changed from the original. And nope, I won’t tell you the first one, but it took quite some convincing from my editor to change it!
  11. This book underwent the most “killing my darlings” (aka scene slicing!) of all my books. All for the better, or course!

Feel free to follow me on my BLOG TOUR, April 18-June 6. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

About the book:

Living is more than mere survival 

Blurb:

Young widow AJ Sinclair has persevered through much heartache. Has she met her match when the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts, leaving her separated from her youngest son and her brother? Tens of thousands are dead or missing in a swath of massive destruction. She and her nine-year-old autistic son, Will, embark on a risky road trip from Maine to the epicenter to find her family. She can’t lose another loved one.

Along the way, they meet Reid Gregory, who travels his own road to perdition looking for his sister. Drawn together by AJ’s fear of driving and Reid’s military and local expertise, their journey to Colorado is fraught with the chaotic aftermath of the eruption. AJ’s anxiety and faith in humanity are put to the test as she heals her past, accepts her family’s present, and embraces uncertainty as Will and Reid show her a world she had almost forgotten.

Excerpt:

Even from far away, I recognized the man’s plaid long-sleeved shirt and the large backpack, but now he was walking alongside a bike on his approach.

“Hey, look! It’s that guy you drove past this morning!”

 I shuddered inwardly. Well, karma just bit me in the butt.

“How did he catch up with us?” Motherly instinct took over as I rose, my legs wobbly. “Will, stay there. Here, take this,” I said, handing him the tire iron.

 “We already tried that, Mom.”

“Not for that, Will.”

He scratched his brown hair, which was overdue for a cut, and looked at me, confusion wrinkling his brow.

“Be my wizard, Will. It’s your sword.”

“Wizards have wands.”

“Will…”

The circuit connected. “Oh…yes, Mom, I’ll protect you!”

I smiled faintly. “Thank you, honey.” I didn’t want to explain further that it was me protecting him. I didn’t want to say that if something happened, to run and hide in the woods. Because he would run and hide. Then what? Who would come help?

I shoved my hand into my front jeans pocket to nestle my fingertips around the pocket knife I had given Harrison for our wedding anniversary. The man slowed his bicycle as he drew nearer. He gave me an understated, yet significant, nod. The nod of understanding, of kindness. I didn’t buy it.

“Hello, again,” he said.

Ouch.

Buy links:

Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ iTunes ~ Kobo ~ GooglePlay

 

 

Bio:

Jean’s background is in science and she draws from her interests in history, nature, and her family for inspiration. She writes historical and contemporary romances and women’s fiction. She also writes articles for family-oriented travel magazines. When she’s not writing or chasing children, she enjoys tending to her flower gardens, hiking, and doing just about anything in the outdoors.

 Social Media links:

Website ~ Twitter  ~ FacebookGoodreads ~ Bookbub ~ Amazon Author PageThe Wild Rose Press

 

 

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Filed under Author Blog Post, giveaway, New Release

Author Interview with Diane Burton ~ New Release: Rescuing Mara’s Father ~ Giveaway!!

I am thrilled to introduce today’s guest, fellow author and friend, Diane Burton. She is a fabulous writer, and I have had the honor of editing many of her stories, including her latest, which is awesome!

Welcome, Diane…

 

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

First, thanks for having me here today, Alicia. I’ve lived most of my life in Michigan, grew up in the Detroit area, now live near Lake Michigan. My husband and I have two children and five grandchildren who all live close enough to visit often. We’ve had three dogs but are dogless now. When we need a dog-fix, we visit our kids who have a total of three. I was an elementary teacher, an inventory clerk in a flute store, and a land technician for an oil and gas company. My favorite occupation—writer.

Where did you get the idea for Rescuing Mara’s Father?

My older grandchildren (ages 9 and almost-12) know I write novels, and that they can’t read them until they’re adults. Disappointing for them. That’s why I wrote Rescuing Mara’s Father, a book they can read. It’s the first time I’ve written in the children/young adult genre, and it was fun. I’m a pantser, write by the seat of my pants. When an idea hits, I just start writing. Around chapter 8, I need to stop and plot. Not an extensive plot but enough to know where the story is going. The hardest part of writing Rescuing Mara’s Father came near the end. I knew what I wanted for the climactic scene. Writing it was more difficult. I think I wrote five different scenes until I found what felt right.

Do you collect anything?

Nutcrackers. One Christmas, in the 1980s, my mother-in-law gave me one. I expressed delight. That meant I got nutcrackers for my birthday and Christmas every year after. And from her sister, too. Hubs got into it, and his idea was the more the better. I had to tell him only one a year. Please! Each year, the older grandchildren come over and, standing on the kitchen counter, put up the nutcrackers. Now Hubs says I have too many. Lol

Here are some of Diane’s nutcrackers…aren’t they so adorable? (and, to be fair to your husband, Diane, men are not likely going to have an affinity for something called a ‘nutcracker’ :))

What do you want readers to come away with after they read Rescuing Mara’s Father?

First, that they’ve enjoyed a good adventure. Underneath that, I want them to think that the feelings they’ve had are common. Other kids think/feel the same way.

What actors would you like in the main roles if your book were made into a movie?

Hallee Steinfeld (True Grit) as Mara; Jeremy Irvine (Mama Mia 2) as Lukus; Anthony Ursin (Chocolat) as Jako. With Hallee, it was the braids and her attitude in True Grit that made me think of Mara. Jeremy’s eyes in the picture—serious, old, like he had to grow up quickly. That’s why he’d make a good Lukus. Anthony’s attitude (and smile in the picture) makes me think of Jako.

Hallee Steinfeld

Jeremy Irvine

Anthony Ursin

What is your favorite quote?

“Never give up, never surrender.” (from Galaxy Quest)

Your most prized material possession? Why?

My grandmother’s ceramic nativity set. She made it for our family when I was young. It’s kind of gaudy with sequins and glitter, but she made it. And that’s what’s important.

Is there one subject you would never write about? What is it?

Cruelty, especially to children. Violence begets violence. Same with cruelty.

Have you written any other books that are not published?

Oh, yes! And many will stay hidden away. They were for practice. Will they ever be published? Probably not. I’ve discovered (with two books) that it’s easier to start fresh than try to edit/revise an old story.

Who is the most famous person you have ever met?

Nora Roberts. What a sweet, considerate woman.

How much of the book is realistic?

Though Rescuing Mara’s Father takes place in a “galaxy far, far away” the relationship between a parent and daughter is quite real, especially her emotional highs and lows. I tapped into what I remembered from my own teen years and my daughter’s.

Your favorite…

Movie: The African Queen

Music:  Old-time Rock & Roll

Place you’ve visited:  Rocky Mountain National Park

Place you’d like to visit:  Alaska

TV show from childhood:  Maverick (with James Garner)

TV show from adulthoodMurdoch Mysteries & Father Brown

Food:  Pepperoni pizza

Sports team:  Detroit Tigers

Thank you, Diane, for sharing with us today. Now, Diane has a question for readers…

Since Rescuing Mara’s Father features an almost-fifteen year old girl, what do you remember about your teen angst?

RESCUING MARA’S FATHER

A Middle Grade Science Fiction Adventure

ebooks:  Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ Kobo ~ B&N ~ Smashwords

print:  Amazon

3 friends, a hidden starship, a quest

Blurb:

Her father is gone! Taken by the Queen of Compara’s agents. Mara has to rescue him before the Queen tortures and kills him.

Instead of the kind, loving father she’s always known, he’s become demanding, critical, with impossible expectations—not just as Father but also as the only teacher in their frontier outpost. Mara would rather scoop zircan poop than listen to another boring lecture about governments on Central Planets. Give her a starship engine to take apart or, better yet, fly, and she’s happy. Now, he’s gone.

Never mind, they’ve had a rocky road lately.

Never mind, Father promised she could go off planet to Tech Institute next month when she turns fifteen, where she’ll learn to fly starships.

Never mind, she ran away because she’s furious with him because he reneged on that promise. Father is her only parent. She has to save him.

Along with her best friend, eleven-year-old Jako, and his brother 15-year-old Lukus, Mara sets off to find her father. Her mentor, old spaceport mechanic, seems to know why the Queen captured Father. In fact, he seems to know her father well. But, does he tell her everything? Of course not. He dribbles out info like a mush-eating baby. Worse, he indicates he’ll be leaving them soon. And Lukus can’t wait to get off their planet. Mara’s afraid they will all leave, and she’ll be on her own. Despite her fears, Mara has to rescue her father.

Excerpt

“There you are!” Jako kneels next to me, his urgent voice and torchlight in my eyes wake me up.

I gasp, my heart racing. I must have fallen asleep. I was dreaming about being chased.

“I’ve been looking all over for you!” He lowers his torch and scoots back.

As I sit up, I shove my hair out of my eyes. My braid came undone while I was sleeping. Automatically, I reach up and use my fingers to comb through my long hair. Jako is breathing hard and heat rises off his small body.

“Why were you looking for me?” I ask as I rebraid my hair.

“I was afraid they got you, too.” He gasps for breath. “I didn’t see you when they took him on board, so I ran back to your house. The Dunpus brothers were laughing about how the goons hauled you away, screaming and crying. I knew they were lying. You wouldn’t cry.” His eyes grow wide. “You should’ve seen their ship, Mara. It was so cool. It was a—”

“Hold on. Took who?”

“Isn’t that why you came up here? To get away from them?”

“Them who?” I might be awake, but my mind is still muzzy. “Slow down. You aren’t making any sense.”

Jako grabs my arm. “Your father, Mara. Coalition goons arrested your father.”

 

About the Author:

The first time D.M. Burton saw Star Wars IV: A New Hope, she was hooked on science fiction and space travel. The Star Trek movies made her want to travel to other planets. Alas, she is still Earth-bound. D.M. and her husband live in Michigan, close to their two children and five grandchildren.

Join D.M. Burton’s readers’ group on Facebook.

For more info and excerpts, visit D.M.’s website: http://www.dmburton.com

She writes adult fiction as Diane Burton, where she combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides writing science fiction romance, she writes romantic suspense, and cozy mysteries.

For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s website: http://www.dianeburton.com

Connect with Diane Burton online.

Blog:  http://dianeburton.blogspot.com/

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/dmburton72

Facebook:  http://facebook.com/dianeburtonauthor

Goodreads: Diane Burton Author

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/dmburton72/

Sign up for Diane’s new release alert: http://eepurl.com/bdHtYf

GIVEAWAY!!!

A $10 AMAZON e-GIFT CARD

Many chances to win.

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Author Spotlight: Claire Marti – SUNSET IN LAGUNA

Please help me welcome Claire Marti with a new release and a fabulous giveaway!! Enter for your chance to win a $15 gift card, just for liking her Facebook page!! – https://www.facebook.com/ClaireMartiAuthor/  (Winner chosen in approximately 1 week)

 

Blurb

Returning to Laguna Beach after four tours in the Middle East, Christian Wolfe leaves the military behind and buys a wine bar, vowing to keep his life simple. He fights to keep his devastating PTSD a secret and refuses to burden anyone else with his baggage. When stunning Kelly Prescott and her red stilettos saunter into town, she drives him past the bonds of his self-control.

Successful in her father’s stuffy law firm, Kelly’s too compassionate to survive in the cutthroat world of corporate litigation. Leaving behind both family and courtroom drama, she moves to Laguna to become general counsel for a nonprofit veterans’ organization.

She didn’t bargain on a gorgeous modern-day Heathcliff, and in Christian, she sees another kind of challenge—one she can’t resist.

Excerpt

She’d restrain her natural tendency to fill the silence with words. Cool, calm, and collected. She leaned forward and selected a heavy-metal-rock station. Metallica barked out it was time for the sandman to enter.

“Nice choice.” He aimed a sidelong glance at her but still hadn’t smiled.

She grinned. Someone who could appreciate her eclectic taste in music. “Thank you. It’s my ‘get fired up to kick ass in court’ music. The courthouse parking attendant used to crack up when I rolled in dressed in a navy suit and pearls, blasting rock and roll.”

“Nice. So why did you move up here?” He kept his gaze on the road, his long tanned fingers gripping the steering wheel.

“Oh, it’s a long story. I don’t want to bore you.” Or reveal too much about my soap-opera family.

“We’ve got time.” He glanced at her again and smiled a crooked smile.

Had she noticed he had a dimple in his right cheek? “Okay, Reader’s Digest version. My father’s kind of a shark.” Actually, he’d make the shark in Jaws look like a tadpole.

He nodded and gestured with one strong hand for her to continue.

She sighed and glanced out the window. Savored the brisk breeze on her face cooling her now warm cheeks. Here goes nothing.

“I was expected to work for the family firm and take it over when my father retires. Let’s just say the clients and the cases began to wear on me.” She rolled her now tense shoulders back and kept her gaze fastened on the passing scenery. “Everything is about making money or destroying and dismantling what others created. I hit my breaking point last month.”

“A particular client or case? Or just in general?” His quiet voice encouraged her.

“In general—for years, actually. I realized I just didn’t care about those battles. They seem so meaningless, all about money. I’d always hoped to use my law degree for justice, to help people, to create, to rebuild.” She braved a glance at him. He hadn’t stopped the car and run for the hills yet. She took a deep breath. She didn’t want to divulge too much.

“So you were too idealistic for corporate law, right?” He smiled again.

“Well, in a nutshell, yes. And recently the corruption of some of the clients became too much. I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror.” She’d had “idealistic woman” tossed at her by her father on countless occasions. He’d used it as an insult, though. Christian made it sound like a strength.

Buy link(s)

AMAZON: https://amzn.to/2uaYvEm

B&N https://bit.ly/2NAsbmu:

iBooks: https://apple.co/2O5XDtL

TWRP: https://bit.ly/2KENE0i

Bio:

Claire Marti started writing stories as soon as she was old enough to pick up pencil and paper. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a BA in English Literature, Claire was sidetracked by other careers, including practicing law, selling software for legal publishers, and managing a non-profit animal rescue for a Hollywood actress.

Finally, Claire followed her heart and now focuses on two of her true passions: writing romance and teaching yoga. At Last in Laguna is the second book in her Finding Forever in Laguna series from The Wild Rose Press.

Contact Links

Website:  www.clairemarti.com

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

Twitter:  @clairepmarti

Instagram: @clairepmarti

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8203678.Claire_Marti

 

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Author Interview with Stanalei Fletcher, PLUS a 99 cent sale!!!

I love author interviews and today, I’m sharing an interesting one from Stanalei Fletcher, along with an amazing 99 cent sale on each of the books in her Northstar Security series!

 

What is the first book that made you cry?

The first book that made me cry…hmmm…this is tough question, because I’m not a very emotional person. I honestly don’t recall any books as a child that brought tears to my eyes, although I do recall sobbing pretty hard at the movie, Black Beauty. The first book that made me cry came a bit later in life. I’d been reading everything I could put my hands on by Alistair McLean. I’d left reading his first book, HMS Ulysses until almost last, thinking I wouldn’t enjoy it as much as his other works. I was wrong. This book wasn’t just about one protagonist. Instead, the story fictionally chronicled the ship and the men who fought aboard her. Their heroic struggles to save that ship still resonates with me. I’m not ashamed to say I cried at the end of that story.

Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym (or do you already)?

I do write under a pseudonym. My pen name is a combination of my husband’s middle name and my father’s middle name. I chose to do this partly as a marketing tool and partly because I still work a day job, where most of my fellow coworkers do not know I write.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

Excellent question and one that challenges writers who desire to have their works published and read. I don’t believe what I write is terribly original in concept or in plot lines. I believe the originality in my stories comes from the personal experiences and knowledge I bring to the story. I am a firm believer in STORY. Readers and audiences in general, select their entertainment with preconceived expectations. If I don’t deliver on those expectations, they will intuitively know something is missing. They may not know what, but they will feel dissatisfied when they close the book. I strive very hard to make sure I don’t leave a reader wanting.

Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

My Northstar series is a connected work, currently with five books. However each book in the series was deliberately written to be read as a standalone. Personally, I’m not a fan of serials, so I don’t care to write them. That said, I do understand their appeal and the authors who produce them have my upmost respect. I think it’s a rare talent to write in the same world book after book.

If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be?

Unfortunately, I would tell my younger self the same thing I tell myself today. Stop worrying about things I can’t control. I’ve had people telling me that all my life. Yet, it’s still a concept I’m trying master.

How do you balance making demands on the reader with taking care of the reader?

I don’t believe it’s my place to make demands on any reader. I certainly do what I can to take care of the reader by producing the best work I’m able. It’s my job as a writer, especially if I want the reader to part with, not only their hard earned dollars, but their time, to put effort into my craft and offer them a satisfying read and time well spent.

Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?

I do see writing as spiritual practice. I see it as a way to put my expressions and emotions into words. I believe it to be a practice on the path to mastery of life.

How do you select the names of your characters?

Like many writers, I have a baby names book. And I make use of it. There were all those great names I wanted to name my own children but I was limited to only a few…which for the kids ended up being mostly family names. Well, now I get to name my characters with those great names. How cool is that?

That said, I do try to fit the name to the personality of the character as I envision him/her. If I find a name isn’t working, it’s not like I have to go before a judge to have a character’s name changed. I can simply pick another name. That’s pretty cool too.

What is your favorite childhood book?

I have a well-worn book of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. I’d have to say that is my personal favorite. I’m not locked into a single story, but have all the great ones from Cinderella to Snow-White and Rose-Red.

What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

The most difficult part of my artistic process is being an artist. I’m mostly left-brained and tend to overthink a lot of the process. But I do love the creative sparks and it’s very exciting for me when it flows and the words come together.

 


Stanalei Fletcher’s January Blowout Sale Blog Tour
All 5 Northstar Security Series books are on sale for only 
$.99 during the tour only!

GiveAway: Stanalei is offering some fabulous prizes during this tour. One Lucky winner will have the chance to choose an ebook from her backlist, another lucky winner will receive a $50 Amazon Gift Certificate, and one lucky winner will have the chance to choose a print book from Stanalei’s backlist. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember to follow along with the tour to increase your chances of winning. You may find the other tour locations here

~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Series Blurb: 

Northstar Security Firm is an elite private security agency whose mission statement: GUIDED BY THE TRUTH, is the guiding principle to provide justice for those who have been wronged. Founded by former CIA agents Byron O’Neal, Katherine O’Neal, and Sean Malone, Northstar Security has a ninety-nine percent success rate. That one percent is a still open case involving Katherine’s murder and Sean Malone’s career-ending gunshot wound. Nothing is a hundred percent guaranteed, and angst over one unsolved case doesn’t stop good men and women from fulfilling their duty.

Proving Ground

Northstar Security Series Book #1

About the Book: 

Caitlin Malone believes screw-ups don’t get second chances. When she returns to Oregon after failing her first Northstar Security assignment and stumbles across a plot to steal deadly pathogens, she sees a chance at redemption.

For USDA Forest Ranger, John ‘Mac’ MacAlistair, having Caitlin home again brings up feelings that are better left buried.

When Caitlin is trapped by the wildfire, started by the terrorists, her only hope of rescue is pinned on Mac, the man she’s tried two years to forget.

Buy Links:
Amazon | The Wild Rose Press

 

Dead Reckoning
Northstar Security Series Book #2
About the Book: 

Byron O’Neal, Northstar Security Firm’s director didn’t always run an elite private investigation firm. His early CIA years were spent chasing Soviet spies. Now his past is catching up, and Kellee, Bryon’s daughter is caught in the middle of a game of Russian Roulette. Northstar agent and former Navy SEAL, Egan Maddox, is tasked to save Kellee from the Russian mafia before it’s too late, a task that puts not only his life, but his heart on the line.


Buy Links:
Amazon | The Wild Rose Press 

Beyond Duty
Northstar Security Series Book #3

About the Book: 
Northstar Security agent, Riley O’Neal, balks at posing as anyone’s husband for an assignment. Nevertheless, to rescue the kidnapped wife of a U.S. Senator, he’ll perform his duty and do his best to resist the charms of the very woman who deceived him on a previous mission.

U.S. Army Lt. Mary “Chip” Anderson is uneasy about the undercover assignment to pose as newlyweds. Concealing her attraction to Riley while staying focused on the task, may be the biggest challenge. Despite efforts to remain objective, enforced proximity ignites emotions and a desire to make the fake honeymoon real.

When Chip is kidnapped during a botched rescue attempt of the senator’s wife, both women become pawns in the case that threatens the nation’s security. Riley must remain objective, save the women, and avert the threat. But after that, can he convince Chip that she wants to wear his ring forever?

Buy Links: 
Amazon | The Wild Rose Press 

Excerpt:
Riley waited until the conference door closed and then picked up the sealed envelope on the table. “What’s this?”

His father gestured with his hand. “Open it.”

Riley tore one end of the envelope. Not seeing anything at first, he tipped it upside down. Two gold bands slid out. The innocent symbols of eternal love clattered ominously on the table. The larger one spun a moment before coming to rest, barely touching the smaller ring.

Chip gasped.

Riley felt immobilized by the significance of the gold glinting under the room’s fluorescent lights. As though on cue, they both reached for the rings. When their hands collided, Chip snatched hers back and balled it into a fist.

He picked up the smaller ring first, and rolled the smooth metal between his fingers. He strode around the table and stopped in front of the petite lieutenant.

She stood her ground. Taking her left hand, he heard her draw a breath.

His gaze locked on to the violent storm brewing inside her gray eyes. The temperature inside the room increased. His breathing matched the rise and fall of her chest as the room filled with white noise. Her slender hand trembled ever so slightly as he slipped the band onto her fourth finger. It fit perfectly. He stared into the dark pools of her eyes, like a man dying of thirst in the scorched desert. Uninvited, the timeless words from the marriage ceremony echoed through his head. “With this ring…”

Stunned by the thought, he stopped short of speaking the words aloud. At the head of the table, Byron cleared his throat and broke the spell.

Riley dropped her hand as though he’d been burned. He returned to his side of the table, picked up the other ring, and slid it on the fourth finger of his left hand. No fanfare. No ceremony. Only an unfamiliar burden he was about to carry. A partner—a wife as a cover story—with two lives and the nation’s security at stake.

 

Breaking the Honor Code
Northstar Security Series Book #4

About the Book: 

Cyber-terrorism brings even the most powerful companies to their knees. When Northstar Security Firm discovers a breach inside their computer firewall, agent Sloan Cartland will do anything to help the firm’s brilliant computer tech, Allison Richards, find the culprit—even after he learns that all evidence of the hack points back to Allison.


Buy Links: 

Amazon | The Wild Rose Press

Tell It Like It Is
Northstar Security Series Book #5

About the Book: 

 

FBI agent, Nelson Kane’s Aunt Rosalee has a story to tell. Someone wants her stopped. When Northstar Security’s unconventional bodyguard, Justine Shelby, is assigned as Aunt Rosalee’s protection, Shelby learns she’s as welcome as a wiretap at the annual J. Edgar Hoover Christmas party. Ornaments start to fly when Shelby informs by-the-book, Agent Kane to stay out of the way while she helps his aunt complete her tell-all memoirs.

Buy Links:
Amazon | The Wild Rose Press

About the Author:

Stanalei’s love of writing romance stems from reading favorites such as Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Barbara Cartland, and Alistair MacLean. She has over twenty years of training in the martial arts and holds the rank of Sandan, a third-degree black belt, in Aikido.

After a taste of life on both U.S. coasts, she now resides near the beautiful Wasatch Mountain Range with her hero, who just happens to be her best friend and husband. Together they enjoy backcountry dirt trails on a RZR, visiting our National Parks, or exploring museums and ghost towns. You may visit Stanalei at: 

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