Category Archives: giveaway

Author Interview with  Susie Black ~ Death by Sample Size, a Cozy Mystery #AHAgrp #WRPbks

Please help me welcome today’s guest, Susie Black…

Good morning, Susie…Please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from?

I grew up in the greater Los Angeles area.

Where do you live now?

Now I live in Palm Desert, California, close to Palm Springs. 

Tell us about your family.

I am married, have one adult son, and a younger brother and sister.

Pets?

No, regrettably after our last dog passed away, it was too painful to get another one.

Where did you get the idea for Death by Sample Size?

I got the idea of Death by Sample Size after a challenging meeting with a difficult buyer and visualized murdering her.

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

This was the first book I’ve written in this genre. I chose this genre because it is the one I read and enjoy the most. I love to solve puzzles, I am curious and ask a lot of questions…some say I am nosy, LOL.

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

I am an apparel sales exec and all my stories take place in the LA garment center. I keep a daily journal chronicling the quirky people I’ve encountered as well as the crazy situations I’ve been in. The journal is the core of my research and is the foundation of all I write. All of the characters I write about are based on real people. I enjoyed re-creating these real people into characters that were my image of them.

What is the most difficult thing about writing a book?

The most difficult part of writing a book was being careful not to change the point of view. I write in the first person, so if the main character wasn’t in the room, she  couldn’t comment on what happened since she wasn’t there. I had to create a group of women called the yentas to fill the main character in on things she had not witnessed on her own.

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

The most difficult part of writing this one in particular was to have enough believable red herrings to throw the reader off. So far, no one has figured out whodunit.

Would you rather have a bad review or no review?

I would rather have a bad review than no review. I write for an audience, not for myself. If you don’t get a review, you have no way to gauge where you shined or where you need to improve.

What is your favorite quote?

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

What do you want your tombstone to say?

WHODUNIT??

What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author?

If you can say it in five words, the author says it in ten.

What has been the best compliment?

The book was so well-written, you’d never know it was the author’s debut publication.

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

The late great Joan Hess. I love her irreverence, her sarcasm, her wit, her ability to poke fun at the society she grew up and lived her life in by caricaturing it.

 

Thanks for joining me. Ha, love the tombstone answer. :D. Please tell us about your book.

Everyone wanted her dead…but who actually killed her?

Blurb:

The last thing swimwear sales exec Holly Schlivnik expected was to discover ruthless buying office big wig Bunny Frank’s corpse trussed up like a Thanksgiving turkey with a bikini stuffed down her throat. When Holly’s colleague is arrested for Bunny’s murder, the wise-cracking, irreverent amateur sleuth jumps into action to find the real killer. Nothing turns out the way Holly thinks it will as she matches wits with a wily killer hellbent on revenge.

Excerpt:

When the elevator doors opened, I had to stop myself short not to step on her. There was Bunny Frank-the buying office big shot-lying diagonally across the car. Her legs were splayed out and her back was propped against the corner. Her sightless eyes were wide open and her arms reached out in a come-to-me baby pose. She was trussed up with shipping tape like a dressed Thanksgiving turkey ready for the oven with a bikini stuffed in her mouth. A Gotham Swimwear hangtag drooped off her lower lip like a toe tag gone lost. Naturally, I burst out laughing.

Before you label me incredibly weird or stone-cold, let me say genetics aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. If you’re lucky you inherit your Aunt Bertha’s sexy long legs or your father’s ability to add a bazillion dollar order in his head and get the total correct to the last penny. Without even breaking into a sweat, it’s easy to spout at least a million fabulous traits inheritable by the luck of the draw. Did I get those sexy long legs or the ability to add more than two plus two without a calculator? Noooooooooo. Lucky me. I inherited my Nana’s fear of death we overcompensated for with the nervous habit of laughing. A hysterical reaction? Think Bozo the clown eulogizing your favorite aunt.

I craned my neck like a tortoise and checked around. Then I clamped a fist over my mouth. Cripes, how could I possibly explain my guffaws with Bunny lying there? The disappointment was simultaneously mixed with relief when there was no one else in the parking lot. Where was security when you needed them?

I toed the elevator door open and bent over Bunny. I’d seen enough CSI episodes to know not to touch her. She was stiff as a board and I attributed the bluish tinge of her skin to the bikini crammed down her throat. I was no doctor, but I didn’t need an MD after my name to make this diagnosis. Bunny Frank was dead as the proverbial doorknob.

It was no surprise Bunny Frank had finally pushed someone beyond their limits. The only surprise was it had taken so long. The question wasn’t who wanted Bunny Frank dead. The question was who didn’t?

Buy link(s):

Amazon

barnesandnoble

Book Bub

goodreads

Googleplay

itunes

kobo

Target

About Susie:

Born in the Big Apple, Susie Black now calls sunny Southern California home. Like the protagonist in her Holly Swimsuit Mystery Series, Susie is a successful apparel sales executive. Susie began telling stories as soon as she learned to talk. Now she’s telling all the stories from her garment industry experiences in humorous mysteries.

She reads, writes, and speaks Spanish, albeit with an accent that sounds like Mildred from Michigan went on a Mexican vacation and is trying to fit in with the locals. Since life without pizza and ice cream as her core food groups wouldn’t be worth living, she’s a dedicated walker to keep her girlish figure. A voracious reader, she’s also an avid stamp collector. Susie lives with a highly intelligent man and has one incredibly brainy but smart-aleck adult son who inexplicably blames his sarcasm on an inherited genetic defect.

Contact links:

Twitter

Linkedin

Pinterest

Facebook

Instagram

Susie has a giveaway for each of you… CLICK HERE to get your FREE copy of her Swimwewar Fit Guidebook.

 

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Amazon.com Gift Card Giveaway & New Release: “You’re Invited” #AHAgrp #Giveaway

Hello and Happy Month of Halloween!

If you like slasher/horror stories, check out my new release. A short Halloween horror story: You’re Invited

ONLY 99 cents!!

Excerpt:

“You what?” Morgan glared at Axel. “You left her out there? You’re a tool.” She was already annoyed at him for dressing like Elvis. Her parents had been huge fans and she loved him too. There was only one Elvis, and Axel dressing like and trying to imitate him was completely disrespectful.

He laughed. “Come on, cuz. I’m just messing around. I’ll go get her here in a minute. I’m just wanting to see how long she’ll wait.”

“Oh…she’ll wait forever for her Romeo.” Liesel put a hand on her heart and fluttered her eyes.

The others laughed.

“It’s not funny,” Morgan bit out. “That’s the only reason you invited her, isn’t it? So you could screw with her? Sometimes you guys are just evil.” She slammed her empty cup onto the picnic table and grabbed Axel’s hand. “Come on, we’re going to get her right now.”

“Okay, okay. Sorry. I didn’t mean to piss you off.”

She scowled. Even after his apology, she wasn’t ready to let him off the hook. She loved him, and she was so grateful to his family for taking her and Hadley in after their parents died. And he’d been good to her, making sure she was included in a group that normally wouldn’t give her a second look. But sometimes, he could be a real dick. “Take me to where you left her. Hopefully, she didn’t try to come back on her own and get lost.”

They headed through the gate and into the woods. Shit. It was sooo dark. The poor girl was probably terrified. And cold. The weather was mild compared to most Octobers in in Minnesota, but it was still chilly.

“Celina!” she called. “We’re on our way. Just hang tight.” She didn’t know if the girl could hear her, but she continued to call our reassuring words.

They’d gone maybe twenty feet when Morgan saw something up ahead. The moonlight was nearly obscured by the tree branches, but the path was well-lit enough for her to make out Celina…lying on the ground…something dark and oily, like blood, oozing around the dagger…

Morgan stumbled back, a scream rising from her throat and echoing into the night.

KINDLE EBOOK

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Giveaway!!! Amazon.com Gift Cards!

#Giveaway
#AHAgrp

Good morning…how was your St. Patrick’s Day? Mine was noneventful. Long gone are the days of drinking green beer and worrying about being pinched. 😀 I do love a good Irish blessing though, so…

May you escape the gallows, avoid distress,
And be as healthy as a trout. 

I had no idea trouts were healthy but apparently so. LOL.

I am running a giveaway through April 14th. The prizes are Amazon.com Gift Cards – First place is  $25.00 and second place is $10.00. Best of luck!!

Enter HERE

 

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Author Interview with Terry Korth Fischer & New Release: Gone Astray – GIVEAWAY!!

Please help me welcome today’s guest, Terry Korth Fischer…

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

I have lived in Texas most of my adult life, although I was born in South Dakota. When I was a child, our family moved often, but we always spent summers visiting our grandparents in Nebraska. I have wonderful memories of those times. To this day, Eastern Nebraska holds a special place in my heart and is the setting for much of my writing.

Where did you get the idea for Gone Astray?

A dozen years ago, I wrote a short story a month to share it with my sister, mother, and a few cousins. They did the same. Some of us were writers; the others were good sports. As you can imagine, over time, one by one, they dropped out. My challenge was to continue to write without the family commitment. Writing a novel was the answer. I read a lot of mysteries—traditional, cozy, and thrillers. I thought, why not? I can do that. Right around the same time, a friend’s mother disappeared. One morning she was fine, and the next, she was gone without a trace. A missing woman is not the main story in Gone Astray, but it was the spark that started the whole creative process.

Are there any tricks, habits or superstitions you have when creating a story?

If I have to admit to anything, it would be to over-organizing. I like an outline before I begin and then write toward an ending. The novel’s shape flexes as the story grows and matures, and I’ve been known to toss the plan aside. I don’t think I could get started without one.

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

I don’t think I could cast the actors—especially Rory Naysmith, my protagonist. I hope I’ve written the characters so that readers see them in their mind’s eye, and they can select the perfect flesh-and-blood actor for each role. Of course, I picture each character before I write. The internet is full of movie and TV celebrity images. I cold-heartedly steal their pictures and post them in my scrivener software to stay inspired. 

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

My husband devours westerns. I would love to surprise him by writing one. Maybe, someday.

What is your favorite quote?

Years ago, I received a humorous greeting card. On the front, a cartoon hippo dressed in a tutu stood at the top of a platform, preparing to dive. Fifty feet below sat a half-filled paper cup. The caption read, “Nothing is obvious to the uninformed.” I love that. When you can’t imagine failure, how hard can any task be?

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

All my characters have pieces I’ve taken from real people, not replicas as much as bits of attitude and personalities borrowed. The trick is to blend the traits into the fictional characters, so the models don’t recognize themselves.  

What do your friends and family think of your writing?

My whole family is supportive. It would be wonderful if they were readers, as well.

What character in your book are you least likely to get along with?

That’s easy. Marilyn Beauregard is a seventyish busy-body widow. With a flashy wardrobe, nosy tendencies, and nerves of steel—she’s been there; done that. Marilyn’s a gal that gets in your way for your own good—precisely the kind of person I would cross the street to avoid.

 

I want to thank you for having me here today.

My pleasure, Terry…thank you for being my guest!

#Giveaway!!

Terry is giving away a $15 Amazon Gift card to one lucky commenter!!

Blurb*

A heart attack sends detective Rory Naysmith reeling. Too young to retire, he accepts a position in small-town Winterset, Nebraska. Handed an unsolved truck hijacking case, and the assistance of a rookie, Rory sets out to prove he is still able to go toe-to toe with men half his age. When the body of a Vietnam veteran turns up, he dons his fedora and spit-shines his shoes. But before he can solve the murder, an older woman disappears, followed closely by a second hijacking. He doggedly works the cases, following a thread that ties the crimes together.  But can Rory find the mental and physical strength to up his game and bring the criminals to justice before disaster strikes?

Excerpt*

“Powell’s back,” he said to Esther.

She pushed off from the wall. “Thank you.” They stood toe to toe, Esther’s chin level with his eyes. “I think Sunny wants you.”

Rory looked in the dispatcher’s direction, his gaze passing over the security monitors on the way. On the center screen, Chief Mansfield’s face stretched from edge to edge. Clutching the phone to his ear with a beefy hand, he glared into the camera.

The chief wanted him. Rory’s mouth went dry. He swallowed hard as the first hit of adrenaline kicked in. Hot damn—it was about time!

Buy link(s) Gone Astray amazon https://amzn.to/2LHnlYI

Buy link Gone Astray Barnes & Noble https://bit.ly/3q5h4Wh

Bio*

Terry Korth Fischer writes short stories, mystery, and memoir. Her memoir, Omaha to Ogallala, released in 2019, S&H Publishing, Inc. and Gone Astray, her debut mystery, The Wild Rose Press, in 2021. Her short stories have appeared in numerous print anthologies and online magazines. Terry is a member of SinC, Pennwriters, Inc. and Clear Lake Area Writers. Transplanted from the Midwest, Terry lives in Houston with her husband and their two guard cats.

Contact links

Website: https://terrykorthfischer.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/terryiswriting

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

Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/terrykorthfischer

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14349440.Terry_Korth_Fischer

Book  Gem Author Page: https://www.bookgems.com/profile/tkfischer/

BLOG Website: https://www.terryiswriting.com

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Writing About Labor – A Guest Post by Chrys Fey

Writing About Labor – A Guest Post by Chrys Fey

I’ve never been through labor, and what I knew about it from my sister wasn’t enough to write about it convincingly in Frozen Crimes. The closest experience I had was from an episode with endometriosis and an ovarian cyst that made me believe the pain I felt was close to a contraction. I had to lay down on my side on the couch, because it was too painful to sit, and I seethed between my teeth as tears flowed, but even that wasn’t all I needed to know, so I did what any good writer would do…I Googled it.

I researched what contractions feel like, what happens to the uterus during contractions, and the stages of labor. I learned a lot and put all of that in my story, from reddish-brown discharge at the beginning of the process to even a mention of what is called “the bloody show,” which I don’t actually write about.

Still, I needed to know the facts. I had to know what Beth would be experiencing (in the middle of a blizzard!) and the time limit Donovan would be contending with before the baby came.

While writing Beth’s labor in Frozen Crimes I researched these questions:

–      Can you hear your water break? (You can…it’s a popping sound.)

–      When does a woman go to the hospital when she’s in labor? (Usually when contractions are 2-3 minutes apart.)

–      How long and frequent are contractions in the beginning? (About 65 seconds long and ten minutes apart. Gradually, they become longer and more frequent.)

–      How long after 10 centimeters dilated is the baby born? (Two or more hours.)

–      How do nurses and doctors measure the cervix? (With the width of their fingers.)

–      What items would you need for a home birth?

EXCERPT:

Her eyelids grew heavy and lowered. Sleep pulled her back under. A few hours later, though, the same jab of pain returned. She inhaled sharply and held her breath. Her uterus felt as though it had transformed into a balled fist. Throbbing pain dominated her entire abdomen and back, and a tremendous pressure radiated along her pelvis. She seethed between her teeth. Her heart beat erratically, and sweat dampened her scalp.

No, no, no. Panic rushed through her, flooding her body. This can’t be happeningI can’t be going into laborIt’s a month too soon.

She knew very well that early labor was an unwanted possibility and that false alarms happened all the time. Please let it be a false alarm. Please. I can’t have this baby now. Not now.

It took her a long time to fall back asleep, and when she finally did, another contraction pried her awake. She couldn’t deny it anymore; she was in full-blown labor.

This was their worst nightmare come true. She peeked at Donovan on the other side of the couch, but she didn’t want to wake him. Maybe she could fend off the labor long enough for them to get freed. Some women could be in labor for days, and hers had only begun. There was no reason for her to raise the alarm so soon, especially when they had no way of getting to the hospital. So, she’d grit her teeth and bear it. For as long as she could. 

When disasters strike around every corner, is it possible to have a happily-ever-after?

 

BLURB: Beth and Donovan are expecting their first child. Life couldn’t get any better…until a stalker makes his presence known. This person sends disturbing messages and unsettling items, but it isn’t long before his menacing goes too far.

Hoping for a peaceful Christmas, Donovan takes Beth to Michigan. Days into their trip, a winter storm named Nemesis moves in with the goal of burying the state. Snowdrifts surround their house, and the temperature drops below freezing.

Except, the storm isn’t the only nemesis they must face. Everyone’s lives are at stake—especially that of their unborn child. Will they survive, or will they become a frozen crime?

BUY LINKS: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iTunes

 

***HUGE DISASTER CRIMES GIVEAWAY*** 

 

Prizes: 4 eBooks (Disaster Crimes 1-4: Hurricane Crimes, Seismic Crimes, Tsunami Crimes, Flaming Crimes) + Girl Boss Magnets (4), Inflatable Cup Holder (1), Adventure Fuel To-Go Cups (2), Anchor Fashion Scarf (1), Mermaid Nail Clippers (2), Citrus and Sea Salt Scented Candle (1), Snowflake Handmade Bookmark (1), Insulated Cooler Bag (1)

 

Eligibility: International

Number of Winners: One

Giveaway Ends: October 30, 2020 12:00am Eastern Standard Time

LINK: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/76132e0221/?

 

***FREE EXCLUSIVE EBOOK***

 

 

To get the exclusive prequel to the Disaster Crimes series, sign up for Chrys’ newsletter. By signing up, you agree to receive Chrys Fey’s newsletter. After you confirm subscription, you will receive an email (so check your inbox and spam folder) with directions on where to snag your eBook copy of THE CRIME BEFORE THE STORM.

Click here to sign up and get The Crime Before the Storm FREE!

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Chrys Fey is author of the Disaster Crimes Series, a unique concept that blends disasters, crimes, and romance. She runs the Insecure Writer’s Support Group Book Club on Goodreads and edits for Dancing Lemur Press. https://www.chrysfey.com

Author Links:

Website / Blog / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Amazon

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Author Interview with Diana Rubino ~ Eliza Jumel Burr: Vice Queen of the United States

Please help me welcome author Diana Rubino…

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

I am originally from Jersey City, New Jersey, and now live on beautiful Cape Cod with my husband and two tabby cats, Milo and Lucky.

Where did you get the idea for ELIZA JUMEL BURR, VICE QUEEN OF THE UNITED STATES?

When I was researching Alexander Hamilton for my biographical novel about him and his mistress Maria Reynolds, the nation’s first public sex scandal, I read some books about his political rival Aaron Burr. Through him, I learned about his last wife, Eliza. She fascinated me—she grew up dirt poor and with her wits and street smarts, invested in real estate and became New York City’s richest woman. I had to write about her.

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

I recently began writing biographical novels with few or no fictional characters. My other books always featured a fictional hero/heroine, and included some historical figures, but I truly enjoy writing about real people who shook up history as the main characters. Because I stick as closely to the historical record as possible, I don’t need to make much up!

What was the most difficult thing about writing this book?

There aren’t many biographies of Eliza out there, and I didn’t have much in the way of sources to consult. Also, the story covers her life from her teen years to her 50’s, so I needed to add a few subplots—including two murders of young women that actually occurred. Eliza helped solve these murders (not in real life, but in the story).

Do you have another occupation, other than writer? If so, what is it and do you like it?

My husband Chris and I own a construction cost estimating business, CostPro, Inc., based in Boston. We’re celebrating the company’s 25th anniversary in March. I am Director of Marketing, and since I’m outgoing, I enjoy meeting people, networking, and bringing in the work that we do.

What’s your favorite book of all time and why? What’s your favorite childhood book?

THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF HENRY VIII WITH NOTES BY HIS FOOL WILL SOMERS by Margaret George. She writes in such vivid detail, she brings you back to Henry’s time with her lush descriptions. Since I’m a huge Tudorphile, I enjoyed it all the more. It was great for research on my novel about Henry VIII.

My favorite childhood book is FRIENDLY GABLES by Hilda Von Stockum. I read it in 5th grade, found it in the library several years ago and re-read it, enjoying it just as much.

What do you want readers to come away with after they read ELIZA JUMEL BURR?

That she’s an unforgettable historical figure who never became a household word, but I hope she inspires women to realize that they can succeed in whatever they work hard at and never give up on.

What is your favorite quote?

“I am still learning.” – Michelangelo

If you could spend time with a character from your book, whom would it be? And what would you do during that day? (PG-13 please 🙂

I’ve always wanted to meet Richard III. I’d talk to him about his life leading up to becoming king, and how he feels about inheriting the throne from his brother Edward. I’d like to meet him over High Tea in York, England.

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

Now they are about real people, but several of my earlier characters, especially Vita, the heroine of my 1894 New York romance FROM HERE TO FOURTEENTH STREET, is based on my great-grandmother, who had 4 kids and was a successful businesswoman, small-time bootlegger and local politician.

Who is the most famous person you have ever met?

My idol at the time, Ray Davies of the Kinks. I was editor of a music magazine in Houston, I got a backstage pass to one of their concerts, and got to meet him backstage. He posed for a photo with me, was so gracious and polite, and it was a huge thrill to meet him. 

 

Blurb:

Providence, Rhode Island, 1775: At the glorious moment of the American nation’s birth, little Betsy Bowen is born into grinding poverty.

She is raised in a brothel, indentured as a servant, and when her widowed mother is jailed, she toils at backbreaking labor in a workhouse. Like all new Americans, the indomitable Betsy is driven by dreams—of security, of status, of wealth….

But most of all she dreams of being reunited with her father – none other than George Washington, a founding father of the United States of America and the nation’s first president. Sharp wits, good humour and a thirst for education help single-minded Betsy reinvent herself, and as Eliza Capet she pursues her quests. She is determined to create her own property empire, conquer the social elite, and above all, to win her dear father’s acknowledgment.

She also craves love – true romantic love. Though she happily marries French wine merchant Stephen Jumel and makes them both fabulously wealthy, her heart belongs to lawyer, aspiring president, and former Revolutionary War Colonel Aaron Burr.

Excerpt:

July 11, 1804, a day I’ll never forget, a Wednesday, I rose early from fitful sleep. Two of my servants huddled in the kitchen, murmuring instead of cooking. They held the newspaper wide open.

When I walked in, they froze as if turned to stone, and held the paper out to me.

“What is it?” Without fresh coffee I was half-awake. But seeing the paper, I trembled. My mouth dried up. “Oh, no …” I hid my eyes with my hands, I couldn’t bear to look.

“M-Miss Eliza …” Mary stammered. “Vice President Burr shot General Hamilton in a duel.”

Too weak to stand, I grabbed a chair and sank into it. “He … shot Hamilton?” My head spun, dizzy with relief. But I still didn’t know about Aaron. “Is he all right? The vice president?”

“We don’t know, ma’am. It just says General Hamilton was mortally wounded.”

Without another word, I ran down the hall, threw open the front door, not closing it behind me, and raced to Gold Street in the gathering morning heat. Humidity soaked my clothes. I mopped sweat from my face.

I banged on his door. No answer. “Aaron, open the door, it’s me, please, we need to talk!” I banged again. Echoes answered me. I stepped back and squinted into the sunlight, shading my eyes to see the upper windows. Nothing stirred. The house was shut tight. He’d fled. But where? When would I see my beloved again?

Hamilton died the next day, and the city fell to its knees in mourning. It was even more pronounced than when Papa passed – because Hamilton was one of New York’s own.

Public grief over Hamilton paled beside the anger at Aaron. As I approached Trinity Church for the funeral, Gertrude’s father Gouverneur Morris greeted me. “I’m to deliver the eulogy. But indignation mounts to a frenzy already,” he cautioned me, eyeing the mob.

The tolling church bells and muffled drumbeats echoed through the sweltering city air. I thought of every place Aaron could be. I knew he hadn’t meant for this to happen. It was a tragic twist of fate. I also knew Aaron’s political career was over. He’d never be president.

“Oh, Aaron,” I wailed, “Where are you, my love?”

About Diana

My passion for history and travel has taken me to every locale of my books and short stories, set in Medieval and Renaissance England, Paris, Egypt, the Mediterranean, colonial Virginia, New England, Washington D.C. and New York. My urban fantasy romance, FAKIN’ IT, won a Top Pick award from Romantic Times. I’m a member of Romance Writers of America, the Richard III Society and the Aaron Burr Association. My husband Chris and I own CostPro, an engineering firm based in Boston. In my spare time, I bicycle, golf, play my piano, devour books of any genre, and spend as much time as possible living the dream on my beloved Cape Cod.

Contact me at:

My Website

www.dianarubino.com

My Blog

http://www.dianarubinoauthor.blogspot.com

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/DianaRubinoAuthor/?ref=hl

Twitter

https://twitter.com/DianaLRubino

 

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Author Interview with Cassie Laelyn ~ Unforgotten, The Fallen Guardians Book 2 ~ + a Giveaway

Please help me welcome author Cassie Laelyn…

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

Hi! I’m Cassie Laelyn and I’m addicted to paranormal romance. I mean, I write paranormal romance! I live with my husband, two BMX-mad boys and a crazy, very spoiled dog. I grew up in a military family, so I moved around a lot as a kid, but the family and I finally settled in a small beachside town in sunny Queensland, Australia. Right now, I couldn’t imagine living anywhere more beautiful.

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

The whole Fallen Guardians series is based on the notion of soulmates. I’ve always believed that soulmates are two halves of the one soul. No matter what choices they make, regardless of the obstacles they face, those two halves will always find their way back together. After all, it’s destiny! But with Unforgotten, I wanted to take that one step further and show that even during great tragedy, there’s always a reason to choose hope.

In Unforgotten, Aric and Willow are two immortal soulmates living blissfully happy until one devastating choice tears them apart. Now, centuries later, those two halves are desperate to reunite. Consumed with never-ending love, commitment and a dangerous amount of hope, even Hell won’t stand in their way.

What book have you read that you wish you had written?

Anything written by JR Ward or Kresley Cole! Those ladies have an amazing ability to create complex worlds and characters in a long-standing series. I would love to have written the Arcana Chronicles by Kresley Cole. It’s a series based off the Major Arcana tarot Cards, and the whole world she created has blown me away. I can’t wait for the final installment.

Do you collect anything?

Books, books and books!! But I guess all authors collect books, right? Something else I love collecting are Willow Tree figurines. They’re tiny sculptures that come with a message, usually one of love, hope, comfort or inspiration. I like to buy a new one each time I experience a significant milestone in my life, such as releasing a book!

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

Even when all seems lost, never lose hope. “Once you choose hope, anything’s possible.” – Christopher Reeves

What is your favorite quote?

I have two favorite quotes I turn to when things seem impossible:

“It is often in the darkest night that we see the brightest stars.” – Richard Evans.

“Follow your soul, it knows the way.” – Unknown.

What celebrity would you most like to be stranded on an island with?

You said “celebrities” right?? Ha ha! I’d like an island with me, Ryan Reynolds, Ian Somerhalder, Scott Eastwood and right now, I’m adding John Krasinski to that list!

If you could be a character in any of your books, who would you be?

If I had to choose only one, I think I’d like to be Fate. She’s mysterious, powerful and not afraid to do what’s right. Even though many immortals think she’s the enemy, I believe her heart is in the right place.

Have you written any other books that are not published?

I’ve written Book 3 in The Fallen Guardians series, which is about to enter the editing stage. I also have a bear shifter novella plus a short story as part of a charity anthology to raise money for the Australian bushfire appeal. Both are due to release in mid-2020.

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

My favorite romance authors are: JR Ward, Kresley Cole, Jennifer L Armentrout, and fellow Aussie Kylie Scott… and many more! I love how they all write over-the-top flawed heroes who will stop at nothing for the one they love. They’re intense, fiercely protective and loyal, powerful and hot! I also love how the heroines are strong and not willing to sit on the sidelines while all the action happens!

Tell us your favorite… 

Movie – Sweet Home Alabama and Ten Things I Hate About You.

Music – Anything by Lifehouse!

Place you’d like to visit – New Zealand and the USA!

TV show from adulthood – The Vampire Diaries / The Originals

Food – Woodfired pizza

Sports team – My boys are mad into BMX, so that’s my favorite sport right now!

Which do you prefer: Board games/card games or television? – It depends on my company – I love doing all three!

GIVEAWAY!!! To celebrate Unforgotten’s release, I’d love to give one lucky reader an ebook copy! To win, tell me why love reading paranormal romance!

Unforgotten, The Fallen Guardians Book 2

Goodreads – http://bit.ly/Unforgotten_GR

Blurb:

Fate offers no mercy. Especially not to those who betray her.

Lethal Guardian Aric’s loyalty never falters. Not even when Fate exiled him and his brothers from the Heavens, separating Aric from his soulmate. He’ll do anything to reunite with her. But when Willow suddenly appears in the mortal realm, Aric’s greatest fear comes true—she’s no longer the angel he left behind.

Since Aric abandoned her, the Heavens have become Willow’s personal Hell. Centuries of bitterness and hurt is a toxic combination. It even affects her angelic powers. When a Fallen offers Willow a chance to escape, she accepts. But shunning her connection to the Heavens comes at a cost.

In a twisted battle of loyalty, trust and hope, what price will two soulmates pay for a second chance at love?

Excerpt:

Pivoting around, he peered over the cliff. Flames consumed the mountainside like bright orange burning fingers reaching for him.

Fuck. The fire surrounded him. No way out.

“Help!” Willow shrieked, her voice screaming through the roaring flames.

He had to find her before it was too late. Shielding his face with his arm, he crept closer to the flames.

“Willow, where are you?” A blast of heat scorched his face, forcing him back. “Fuck!”

Any gulp of air he managed burned in his chest. The smoke swirled around his body making his head swim and legs wobble. His stomach rolled.

The moment his throat squeezed shut, his legs gave out, falling to his knees in the ash, gasping for breath. Fire licked his arm as he reached for Willow.

He couldn’t find her. He couldn’t save her.

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon US – https://amzn.to/2GMnzbg

Amazon UK – https://amzn.to/3b5t8jb

Amazon CA – https://amzn.to/2OpzYGC

Amazon Aus – https://amzn.to/2GQbvWO

 

iBooks – https://apple.co/37TQ7vo

B&N – http://bit.ly/Unforgotten_Nook

Google – Coming Soon!

Kobo – Coming Soon!

Bio:

Growing up in a military family, Cassie had a childhood filled with countless crazy adventures. Eventually, sunny Queensland stole her heart, and she now calls it home with her husband and their two BMX-crazy boys.

Borderline obsessed with the paranormal world, Cassie has a passion for crafting stories involving strong, otherworldly characters in need of redemption. She’s a self-confessed book-a-holic and a sucker for a gut wrenching happily ever after.

When she isn’t narrating imaginary characters, Cassie loves binging on TV shows, spending time at the beach, and curling up listening to the rain.

Join Cassie’s newsletter (www.cassielaelyn.com) to stay up to date with release information, including the next instalment in her action packed, steamy paranormal romance series, The Fallen Guardians.

Stalk Links:

Facebook Reader’s Group (Cassie’s Log Cabin) – https://www.facebook.com/groups/CassieLaelynsLogCabin/?source_id=151798248858993

Facebook – http://bit.ly/Cassie_Facebook

Instagram – http://bit.ly/Cassie_Instagram

Twitter – https://mobile.twitter.com/CassieLaelyn

Website – https://www.cassielaelyn.com

Bookbub – http://bit.ly/Cassie_BookBub

Goodreads – http://bit.ly/CassieLaelyn_GR

Amazon Profile – https://amzn.to/2ZlZcwP

 

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Filed under Author Blog Post, giveaway

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

 

Welcome to Tuesday Test Day! Each Tuesday, I 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…

Jude Anita

Congratulations!! Please email me at Alicia@AliciaDean.com and I will send your $5 gift card. Thank you for playing!

(The correct answer was Liberty Awakened)

Which of the below stories is this snippet from?

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Jade’s voice wrapped around Luke in the semi darkness, sending a shiver up his spine. He didn’t recall that husky quality when he’d heard her speak before and wondered if it was due to her injury.

Her hair in the dim light of the kitchen reminded him of warm honey. Hazel in the light, her eyes now took on a deep green tint, like a jungle cat…a beautiful cat, trapped and forced into captivity.

He looked at her hands wrapped around the coffee cup and thought about how soft and fragile they’d felt when he’d held them in the hospital. He had an absurd urge to touch them once again, to slide his arms around her and hold her body against his.

Damn, where had that come from? He couldn’t afford to think about this woman like that. Couldn’t afford the luxury of desiring her, of wondering what her skin would taste like, what it would feel like to kiss her.

Her voice startled him out of his treacherous reverie. “I still don’t understand why he saved my life.”

He cringed inwardly, knowing she was talking about Smith, about him. “Could be several reasons. Maybe he wanted to keep you alive. Use you for leverage in case they got in a tight spot.”

She leaned her elbows on the table and pillowed her head in her hands. “God, it’s all so crazy. So confusing.”

He didn’t like her asking questions about El Lobo. It was important he not expose his undercover role. He might have to use it again one day. It could also possibly jeopardize the undercover agents still out in the field.

He should have known she would ask. He had hoped that the trauma of her injury would keep her from remembering but obviously, that hadn’t happened.

Jade rose from the table and moved to the window. She sipped her tea and peered outside. “It’s so quiet out here. And so dark.” She turned back to him. “How many agents did you say would be here at all times?”

“No less than four.”

“Will you be one of them?”

“Most of the time.”

Moving back to the table she sat down, a haunted look in her eyes. “How am I going to live with all this guilt?”

“What do you feel guilty about?”

“Allowing Bryce to do what he did. To hurt those poor girls.”

“It’s not your fault. My partner, Delia, helped the girls escape. I don’t think any of them were actually hurt.”

“What about the other times? I’m sure he’s done this before. How many other girls were there? Do you have any idea?”

Luke took his time replying, then reluctantly admitted, “I’m afraid we don’t. But, our government has contacted the Mexican government and they’re being very cooperative. They’ve agreed to let us send agents over there to investigate and have offered assistance in helping to locate any girls that may have been victims in the past. Or as many of them as possible.”

“Good,” Jade said quietly. Then she gave him a look of sympathy. “Delia? She was the woman Bryce murdered? She was your partner?”

Grief weighted his chest like a block of cement, but he kept his voice even. “Yes. We’re fairly certain your husband is responsible for her death.”

“You must hate me.” Her eyes shimmered with tears and self-loathing.

“You had nothing to do with it.”

“I should’ve stopped him.”

An image of DiMarco holding the blade to Jade’s neck flashed in his mind. He recalled the helplessness and the rage he’d felt as she slid to the floor, blood pouring from the wound. He gave himself a mental shake, wondering why the sight of her near death had affected him so profoundly when he’d seen more than his share of murder victims. Dragging in a breath, he said, “You did try and you almost died. Everyone did the best they could.” He didn’t acknowledge his role in Delia’s death. The fact that she wouldn’t have been out there, chasing the lead, if it hadn’t been for him.

She gave a brief nod, but her eyes were still haunted. “I’m just sorry it wasn’t enough for your partner.”

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Good luck!

8 Comments

Filed under Alicia Stuff, giveaway

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

 

Welcome to Tuesday Test Day! Each Tuesday, I 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…

Sue A.

Congratulations, Sue!! Please email me at Alicia@AliciaDean.com and I will send your $5 gift card. Thank you for playing!

(The correct answer was Smashing Pumpkins from Love Breaks)

Which of the below stories is this snippet from?

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

She braced her hands on the door, intending to step back. Before she could, Eli lifted his head and whipped it toward her. He couldn’t have heard her, could he? She’d barely made a sound. Maybe he just sensed—

Her thoughts ceased when she took a closer look at Eli’s face. He stood in place, breathing heavily. She narrowed her eyes. God. No.

His features were somehow distorted, his skin had a gray cast and looked… crumpled. His eyes glowed red. Something dark and liquid—blood?—was smeared around his mouth, dripped off his… fangs?

“No!” She let out the cry before she could stop herself, then clamped a hand over her mouth.

Backing from the door, she shook her head violently from side to side. It couldn’t be. No way. She had to have imagined it.

A sound at the door told her Eli was coming out. She turned and fled. Her tennis shoes slapped the ground, the noise reverberating in her ears along with the word—vampire… vampire… vampire. Oh my God. Vampire… Bats… Drained

A hand landed on her arm. She screamed and stumbled, nearly falling to the ground. Eli pulled her up and whirled her around to face him.

“Let me go!” Terror strangled her vocal cords. She jerked at his hold, but couldn’t budge him. His face was back to normal except for the red eyes. Trembles shook her body.

“Calm down,” he said, so softly she almost didn’t hear him.

He wiped blood from his mouth. Blood. Oh God.

Nausea surfaced in her throat. She clutched her stomach, afraid she was going to throw up.

“Don’t touch me.” Her voice came out hoarse from her raw throat. She jerked her arm again, and this time he released her.

He held his hands out. “Liberty. Let me explain—”

“Explain what? That you’re a—a vampire?” She wrapped her arms around her body and backed away. “How is that even possible?”

Eli squeezed his eyes shut. When he opened them, the red was gone, and they glinted their usual silvery blue. The moonlight reflecting in them made them look like Christmas tinsel.

“It is what it is, sweetheart.” A muscle ticked in his clenched jaw. “I’m a vampire.”

He took a step toward her, and she took a step back. “Stay away from me.”

He shrugged. “You’re the one who came to my house in the middle of the night.” He was still moving slowly toward her. His eyes roamed over her body. “I can only guess why. ” His voice was low, hypnotic. He jerked his head toward his house. “I can send her packing if you’d like.”

“She—she’s not dead?”

His mouth curved in a slow smile. “Did she look dead? I assure you, a killing was not what you interrupted.”

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Have fun!

12 Comments

Filed under Alicia Stuff, giveaway

Gothic Mystery Romance from Louisiana ~ Shadows and Lies #AWorldofGothic

Tis the season…what better time to get lost in A World of Gothic?

A group of authors from countries all over the world were drawn together by our love of the classic gothic mysteries by authors such as Daphne du Maurier, Victoria Holt and Phyllis A. Whitney.

While the stories are stand-alone, they each share a recurring thread of a Spinel stone, which can play a small or large part in the plot. We have stories set in Scotland, Greece, Oklahoma, Florida, France, Ireland, and more.

Shadows and Lies ~ A World of Gothic: Louisiana by Raine English

ON SALE for 99 Cents!!

**** Contest! Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card – I’ll be sharing all 10 books on my blog on various days and on Oct 31st, I’ll share all 10 in the same post. On November 5th, I’ll draw a winner. Receive additional entries for each task you perform. (Details below)

 

A shadowy figure haunts Turnberry House, and a trail of death follows…

When Olivia Lockwood leaves the comfort of her quaint Massachusetts home for an eerie mansion in Louisiana to fulfill her grandfather’s dying wish, she has no idea of the long-buried secrets that await her there. Or whether Jaxon Carter, her grandfather’s right-hand man, might steal her heart or put her life in jeopardy.

 

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Check out all the stories here…

A World of Gothic Facebook

**** Contest! You will receive an additional entry for doing each of the following:

  • Comment on each blog post
  • Like each blog post
  • Share each blog post using the ‘twitter’ button
  • Like the Facebook Post (link listed above)
  • Comment on the Facebook post
  • Share the Facebook post

If you missed the other posts, start here and catch them all for additional entries…

Ghost in the Rain

1 Comment

Filed under Author Blog Post, Ebook Deal, giveaway