Category Archives: New Release

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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16 Comments

Filed under Author Blog Post, giveaway, New Release

Author Interview with Anna Kittrell – New Release: The Commandment

I’m thrilled to welcome today’s guest, author and friend, Anna Kittrell. Anna is one of my favorite people in the world. She’s a talented writer, she’s beautiful, inside and out, and she’s soooo much fun. (Boy, do we have some stories! :)). She’s a member of my local RWA chapter, OKRWA, which is awesome, because I get to hang out with her often. I adore her and I’m so pleased to introduce her today with a new release that sounds amazing! And, a great interview. Take it away, Anna…

Where did you get the idea for your book? 

The premise for The Commandment approached me somewhat like a dream. I kept picturing a girl lying in a hospital bed, coming out from under anesthesia. A doctor asked the girl if she “still remembered,” and she replied, “yes.” This made her mother sob hysterically. I kept wondering why the girl’s mother didn’t want her to remember. What exactly was it that her mother so desperately wanted her daughter to forget? It seemed like a reverse-amnesia situation, but I didn’t have a clear idea of what was taking place until I began to outline and the story started to take shape. As it turns out, the book takes place 35 years in the future, and is the story of a girl who faces elimination on her 18th birthday because her body rejects a mandatory, God-erasing vaccine.

Where did the title come from? 

In the story, the government is attempting to “level” the thought process of all U.S. citizens by removing God (therefore, sin) from the brain. By order of The Commandment, all references to God have been erased from society as well as cyberspace.

Why did you choose this genre? 

Actually, the genre chose me. I’ve never written futuristic scifi before, and to be honest, neither have I read books from that genre. As the story unfolded, I just went with it. If I would have put too much thought into genre, I would have probably talked myself out of writing the story!

Was there anything unusual about the book that you’d like to share? 

There are so many unusual things in this book, I’m not sure which to share! Guess I’ll go with the first one that comes to mind. Main character Briar Lee’s brain is resistant to SAP, a serum formulated to numb the area of the brain that holds all God-related thought and emotion. While doing story-related research, I learned that there really was, in real life, a research tool invented to investigate the brain’s role in religious experiences called the “God Helmet” (originally known as the Koren Helmet, after its inventor, Stanley Koren.) Apparently, some people had “visions of God” while participating in experiments with the helmet. The helmet applies complex magnetic signals to the head of the person wearing it, exposing them to a very weak magnetic field near the temporal lobes.

What is the most difficult thing about writing a book?

Time constraints. Hands down. Although I prefer to write in large blocks of time, working full time and helping to raise my four-year-old grandson rarely allows that luxury. I’ve learned to write in tiny snatches instead— before work, during my lunch hour, and on the occasional free weekend or holiday break. In doing this, I’ve discovered, with amazement, how much I can get done in those small snippets. At the time, it feels I’m crawling at a snail’s pace, barely getting the keyboard warmed up before snapping the laptop closed. But before I know it, I have a completed outline, rough draft, and then novel—one lunchbreak at a time.

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

My daughter-in-law passed away tragically while I was in the middle of writing The Commandment.  She was like a daughter to my husband and I, and was the mother of our only grandchild. My story stopped cold. I couldn’t eat or sleep, and certainly didn’t feel like writing. Three months later, I trudged back to the keyboard. In another three months, the book was finished.  The Commandment is a testament to how God’s gifts (in my case, writing) give life purpose and bring healing to the broken.  This is my “one word at a time, sweet Jesus” book.

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

I have worked as a secretary in my hometown middle school for the past 17 years. Middle school children are unique—some look (and sometimes act) like itty bitty babies, while others tower over me like grown men. I enjoy my job, and often refer to my office as the “funnest” place on earth this side of Disney Land.

What is one word you would use to describe yourself? 

Introverted

What is one word you think others might use to describe you? 

Extroverted

What would you want readers to come away with after they read your book? 

I hope readers come away with an awareness about themselves as well as society. That they might take spiritual inventory, to determine what beliefs they would or would not compromise, if faced with “The Commandment.”  I also hope readers find it fun and enlightening (as I have) to ponder the “what ifs” of our future.

What is your favorite quote? 

I have two:

“Today I will do what others won’t so tomorrow I can do what others can’t.”

–Jerry Rice

and

“I have spent most of the day putting in a comma and the rest of the day taking it out.”

–Oscar Wilde

Loved the interview, Anna, thank you so much for joining me! Now, please tell us about your book.

 

Blurb:

 Ten years ago, Briar’s body rejected a government mandated vaccine known as SAP (Serum to Advance Progressivism), formulated to erase God from the mind. Briar was seven years old. She’s been on house arrest ever since.

Now, just weeks from becoming a legal adult, Briar remains non-responsive to her mandatory SAP injections. Along with her rapidly approaching eighteenth birthday looms a grim reality: by order of the Commandment, adulthood means institutionalization for those resistant to SAP.

In a matter of days, Briar will become a permanent resident of the ARC—a facility shrouded in dark rumors of torture, experimentation, and death. Her only alternative is to accept a last minute ultimatum to become a laboratory test subject for a new God-dissolving serum.

With a decade of solitude behind her and a lifetime of confinement before her—what does she have to lose? Except maybe her soul.

Excerpt:

Briar turned from the scalpel cuts crisscrossing the old woman’s spine like mountain switchbacks. Tears, hotter than the rinse water stung her eyes. How could this be happening? They were human beings. Flesh, blood, and bone. Their only crime—a predisposed ability to believe in God. Something no one had any control over.

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://goo.gl/Fuca4k

Pelican/Prism: https://goo.gl/9BbDod

Barnes and Noble: https://goo.gl/UWgq3Y

Bio:

Anna works as a middle school secretary in her beloved hometown of Anadarko, Oklahoma, where she resides with her high school sweetheart-turned-husband, Tim. She has written for as long as she can remember, and still has many of her tattered creations—stories she used to sell on the playground for a dime, written on notebook paper. Her love of storytelling has grown throughout the years, and she is thrilled her tales are now worth more than ten cents.

 

Contact Links:

Website:          annakittrellauthor (https://sites.google.com/view/anna-kittrell/home)

The Commandment Trailer:    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRLTQp4S-aA

Author Facebook Page:          https://www.facebook.com/AKittrell

The Commandment FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/TheCommandment2017/?ref=br_rs

Amazon Author Page:            https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B009OWBPMM

Email:                                      kittrellbooks@gmail.com

12 Comments

Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

“10 Moments That Changed My Life” by Min Edwards ~ New Release: Precious Stones, Book 4 in the High Tide Series

#AHAgrp

Please help me welcome author friend Min Edwards with the moments that changed her life, and her latest release, Precious Stones, Book 4 in the High Tide Series

Hi, Alicia and thanks for having me on your blog. Today I want to tell you about the 10 moments that changed my life. Actually, the title is daunting. How to pick just 10 moments in the long life I’ve lived so far. But here goes:

1) The first I guess should be when my Aunt Corina came to live with us before she married my Uncle Don. Corina Montez, a gorgeous young woman from Cochabamba, Bolivia. Her heritage was French and Bolivian, and she grew up in the upper echelons of Bolivian society. Her father was in government, a railroad commissioner: Her grandfather was as well… one of the many early 20th century Presidents of Bolivia. She left all that behind and came to the states when I was a very small child, bringing hand embroidered baby dresses from the nuns who schooled her and adored her. She taught me Spanish before I could speak any recognizable English. I’ve loved her throughout my life.

2) My mother’s disappearance into the hospital the early part of my 1st grade year. I say disappearance because I only knew she was gone but I didn’t understand where or why. In those days small children weren’t allowed on to Patient floors. She was gone the entire school year except for a few short and scary returns. In just a few days, I remember my father picking her up and taking her away again.

3) The return of my mother in the summer after my 1st grade. I couldn’t believe she was home. My mother would be waiting for me with cookies and love every day during my 2nd grade and throughout my schooling. I can’t believe that was all I was thinking about. But she was home and our house seemed right again. It took her a while to get her strength back as she’d been bedridden and recuperating from numerous surgeries for months. But by the fall and the beginning of school she was an active young woman again.

4) When I was in High School my grandmother came to live with us. Of course, our house wasn’t big enough for everyone, so my father rented her a small cottage across the street, just steps away. She was a seamstress and though she was retired, she began taking in sewing again. Before too long everyone was raving… Page is so talented. Don’t use anyone else to sew for you. She’d been the head of the alterations department in a very large department store in Tulsa, Oklahoma for years… and she didn’t know how to retire.

The only draw-back to this change in our family dynamics was the tension between my grandmother and her daughter (my mother). It colored my life for years, even on my wedding day. I didn’t understand the tensions between these two loving women, and it wasn’t until my mother was elderly that she told me the reason. Then I understood, but I loved them both so much.

5) Going away to college… Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas… the most gosh-awful, sandy, windy, tornado-ridden place on the earth, or so I thought at the time. But the campus was beautiful, the college football team was fun to watch, the quarterback was gorgeous, and I was majoring in Mechanical Engineering… all those boys! It was too much to bear. But I slowly over several years changed my major to Architecture, then in my Junior year to my great love, Anthropology/Archaeology.

6) My marriage in my Junior year at Tech was pretty life changing and probably not in a good way. I was way too young as was my husband. But my wedding was nice. Of course, the tension was still in the air between my mother and grandmother and they each made me a wedding dress. My grandmother’s dress was elegant (she was always trendy), white, short and very simple but very 60s. My mother’s contribution was elegant as well (she was as talented a seamstress as her mother), but long, ecru with a trailing French lace veil in a shaded ecru… I have the veil to this day. My grandmother didn’t come to the wedding because she caught the flu. She finished the dress though… what a trooper.

7) My arrival in the Philippines. My first visit to a 3rd world country and I wasn’t prepared. The country however, was beautiful, the people were so helpful and friendly, but the politics were brutal. One Sunday my husband and I went to the cockfights just a few blocks from our compound… and ate wonderful barbequed chicken (the losers in each fight). The next Sunday we stayed home, and a rival political group swept into the arena and killed many of the opposing party right where we were sitting just a weak earlier… it was like a 1920s crime wave! Lots more happened in the two years I lived in Angeles City, 50 miles north of Manila, and I’m sure the stories will creep into my books in the future.

8) Guantanamo Bay, Cuba: I spent four years here and had my son at the Naval Hospital. This was very life changing. I’d waited almost a decade for him through 4 miscarriages and moves around the world. This was long before Guantanamo was the terrorist prison it is today. Then it was an American leased property, estranged from Cuba by a tall razor-wire topped fence. In fact, one of my favorite beaches was watched over by a Cuban guardhouse peopled by Cuban snipers with guns pointed our way and an American guardhouse with equally scary guns pointed at the Cubans. Our base commander said that our guard tower was there to protect the swimmers from sharks… but that wasn’t a very believable story to any of us.

9) Moving from my home of 30 years to property I’d owned since the 70s outside the most eastern town in the U.S. It’s 9+ acres of Maine waterfront… towering Spruce and Fir trees, groves of Birch and Poplar, lush meadows and abundant raspberry bushes and blackberry canes… and apple trees… everywhere! It’s beautiful but I still haven’t recovered from leaving all my friends behind in Texas.

10) My life as a single mother raising the most precious son that ever lived is my No. 1 most important Moment in my life. Most of his upbringing was in Texas but when I retired I moved north, to a piece of property I’d owned since before he was born. He was bored with Austin, Texas and wanted a change so he came along. The first couple of years were a little dicey but he’s now comfortably situated as an IT Tech for the University of Maine System… The village misses him enormously, but he likes the steady paycheck, the benefits and the work. He’s been wonderful throughout his lifetime: No drinking, no drugs, no jailtime, no divorces. Really, I’ve been blessed. Raising him to be the man he is today has been my most rewarding accomplishment.

 

Wow, Min, fascinating! You’ve had quite an interesting life. I’m so envious of where you are now. I’ve always wanted to live in Maine. Thank you so much for sharing!

Precious Stone

Book 4 in the High Tide Suspense series

by Min Edwards

 

Collee McCullough is the beloved town baker in Stone Bay, Maine. She’s always ready to serve you a luscious treat or offer you a helping hand, but very early one morning trouble comes to call. Two men, in suits—no one wears suits in Stone Bay—asking questions about her great grandmother and something she brought from Russia.

Just as Collee decided to pull out her shotgun which she kept behind the pastry counter, her brother, Nick, the Chief of Police arrived for his morning coffee. Of course, all hell broke out because her brother was her protector even when she didn’t need him. But today, he was needed.

After the melee was over, a jogger stopped by, also for morning sustenance. He, Jake, took one look at Collee… and her shotgun and named himself her knight in shining armor much to the chagrin of her brother, Nick.

And so begins the story of Collee, Jake, Russians and Collee’s mysterious great grandmother. Follow along from the Maine coast to the Dordogne area of France and then to the Highlands of Scotland. I promise you a wild ride!

 

And follow me on my Amazon Author Page to see other books in the High Tide Suspense series as well as my upcoming prequel to Precious Stone, The Russian Phoenix,

Coming in the fall of 2018

 

An act of bravery, a gift of unimaginable worth.

But the outcome haunts a young Russian girl through the years.

The Russian Phoenix is the story of Collee’s great grandmother Natasha, the Russian noble women who was kidnapped on the eve of the last ball of the Romanov’s Jubilee Celebration of their 300 years of rule. Natasha was taken on a mad dash across Russia and into the east German woods. Her adventure continues across Europe on the brink of war and the English Channel to Scotland, a place she’d never imagined. Join me on her journey.

Website

http://www.minedwards.com

Facebook

www.facebook.com/AuthorMinEdwards

Pinterest

www.pinterest.com/MinEdwards

Amazon Author Page

http://amzn.to/2bHJ1kb

 

4 Comments

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

Author Interview with Rachel Brimble & New Release: The Mistress of Pennington’s

I am so happy to introduce today’s guest. I’ve worked with Rachel Brimble at The Wild Rose Press on a few books, and she was one of my early authors when the company first opened. I love her writing…and she’s a wonderful person! 

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

Hi, it’s so great to be here! I have been happily married to my husband (Mr B) for twenty years and we live near the famous city of Bath, England along with our two teenage daughters and mad chocolate Labrador, Tyler.

When I’m not writing, I like to read, knit, walk the beautiful English countryside and watch far too much TV.

Where did you get the idea for The Mistress Of Pennington’s?

I absolutely loved the TV series Mr Selfridge and The Paradise, but as I was watching something was always missing for me. I came to realise that I wanted more depth to the struggles women were facing during the Edwardian era. All too soon I concluded that I would write a series books with ‘female empowerment’ as the theme. Thankfully, my editor at Aria Fiction loved this book enough to offer me a four-book contract.

The Mistress of Pennington’s covers the issue of women in business, book 2 (coming early 2019) will cover women’s suffrage. I’m so excited!

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

I’ve previously written historical romance set in the Victorian period and was ready to learn, research and write about a different era. The Edwardian period was a time of huge change for women and I couldn’t wait to start my research. When these books are done, I am very tempted to start exploring the Georgian period.

What is the most difficult thing about writing a book?

For me, the most difficult thing is the plotting – it’s all very well to come up with a great book idea, but is it strong enough to stretch to 90,000 words? I usually struggle around the 40,000 word mark but heed my own advice and write through it. A first draft can be edited, a blank page…not so much!

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

Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell or The Outlander series by Diana Galbaldon – I love to think that one day I’ll write a huge epic of a book or series. To have so much space to really explore issues of the time as well as digging deep into lead and secondary characters appeals to me on every level.

What’s the main thing that you could get rid of in your life that would give you more writing time?

Housework! I am a terrible housekeeper and would rather write, knit or watch TV than tackle dusting, vacuuming and cleaning bathrooms, lol! The only household chore I enjoy is ironing…and that’s because I can watch TV while doing it. Apparently, I’m exactly like my paternal grandmother – much to the amusement of my extended family 🙂

What do you want readers to come away with after they read The Mistress of Pennington’s?

To feel inspired, transported back in time and looking forward to book 2! The ultimate aim of this series is to remind us all how much women have struggled for the freedoms that we have today and how they manage to find love and have families along the way. The Mistress of Pennington’s is a book of hope, love and never giving up.

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

This is an easy question for me as I’m a very visual writer and start each book trawling the internet for pictures of my hero, heroine and villain (if I have one). So, for The Mistress of Pennington’s, I would love Niamh Walsh to play Elizabeth Pennington and Josh Lucas to play Joseph Carter.

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

I love reading crime fiction so would definitely like to try to write the genre at some point in the future. I think I’d probably go historical and set it in the Georgian or Victorian period, both for atmosphere and the fact they didn’t have as much complicated forensic procedures back then!

What is your favorite quote?

Set it up the way you want it to be – Iyanla Vanzant

What do you want your tombstone to say?

She came, she loved, she laughed and wrote a few books along the way…

What do your friends and family think of your writing?

They are all very supportive and respect that writing is my passion and always will be – a few of them are amazed I’ve written 23 books to date and have written around my children since they were 4 & 6 years old. Suffice to say, my writing time is a lot more my own now they are almost 19 & 17!

Your favorite…

Movie – Notting Hill

Music – Bruno Mars or a LOT of 80s music

Place you’ve visited – So many, but most recently Bruges

Place you’d like to visit – The Caribbean

TV show from childhood – Grange Hill

TV show from adulthood – Downton Abbey

Food – Scallops

Which do you prefer: Board games/card games or television? TV…closely followed by board games!

The Mistress of Pennington’s is available to buy now!  

1910 – A compelling tale of female empowerment in Bath’s leading department store. Perfect for the fans of the TV series Mr Selfridge and The Paradise.

Elizabeth Pennington should be the rightful heir of Bath’s premier department store through her enterprising schemes and dogged hard work. Her father, Edward Pennington, believes his daughter lacks the business acumen to run his empire and is resolute a man will succeed him.

Determined to break from her father’s iron-clad hold and prove she is worthy of inheriting the store, Elizabeth forms an unlikely alliance with ambitious and charismatic master glove-maker Joseph Carter. United they forge forward to bring Pennington’s into a new decade, embracing woman’s equality and progression whilst trying not to mix business and pleasure.

Can this dream team thwart Edward Pennington’s plans for the store? Or will Edward prove himself an unshakeable force who will ultimately ruin both Elizabeth and Joseph?

 

Buy Links:

Amazon UK: http://amzn.eu/2SvRcqp

Amazon US: http://a.co/3OFh9JK

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-mistress-of-penningtons-rachel-brimble/1128920728?ean=9781788546508

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/the-mistress-of-pennington-s

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Rachel_Brimble_The_Mistress_of_Pennington_s?id=dIFSDwAAQBAJ

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-mistress-of-penningtons/id1362129705?mt=11

Bio:

Rachel has had several novels published by small US presses, eight books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical.

In January 2018, she signed a four-book deal with Aria Fiction for a brand new Edwardian series set in Bath’s finest department store. The first book, The Mistress of Pennington’s released July 2018.

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America and was selected to mentor the Superromance finalist of So You Think You Can Write 2014 contest. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.

She likes nothing more than connecting and chatting with her readers and fellow romance writers. Rachel would love to hear from you!

Links:

Website

Blog

Twitter

Facebook

Facebook Street Team – Rachel’s Readers

Amazon Author Page:

https://www.amazon.com/Rachel-Brimble/e/B007829ZRM/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1490948101&sr=8-1

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1806411.Rachel_Brimble

Bookbub:

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/rachel-brimble

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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

Meet the Author: Linda Nightingale ~ New Release: The Summoning

Please help me welcome Linda Nightingale:

(Be sure to check out the giveaway at the bottom of the post!)

Meet the Author

Please tell us about yourself, Linda. Born in South Carolina, I’ve lived in England, Canada, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Atlanta and Houston. I’m back in South Carolina now. I’ve seen a lot of this country from the windshield of a truck pulling a horse trailer, having bred, trained and showed the magnificent Andalusian horse for many years. I have a poster that says, ‘this horse will change your life’.  They did mine, and I wouldn’t take anything for the experience.

On my journey to publication, I won several writing awards, including the Georgia Romance Writers Magnolia Award for Excellence and the SARA Merritt.  I retired from a career as a legal assistant and enjoy movies, theater, music, travel, reading and events with my car club. The stars in my crown are two wonderful sons. In a former life, I must have had to walk everywhere because today I am into transportation with fine taste in expensive horses and hot cars! I like to dress up and host formal dinner parties.

Where can readers find you? (social media, etc.)

I love to hear from my readers, and you can find me at:

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/LNightingale

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

Web Site:  http://www.lindanightingale.com – Visit and look around. There’s a free continuing vampire story.

Blog:  https://lindanightingale.wordpress.com/ – Lots of interesting guests & prizes

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4839311.Linda_Nightingale

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/lbnightingale1/

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Linda-Nightingale/e/B005OSOJ0U

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? About 9th grade. I had a teacher who’d allow me to write stories instead of book reports. I began writing short stories and poetry dripping with teenage angst.

How many books have you written? I’ve written 10 books: Gemini Rising (now released as Her Brother’s Wife under my pen name Bianca Swan) and the following:

Love For Sale

Gambler’s Choice

Morgan D’Arcy: A Vampyre Rhapsody

Gylded Wings

Her General in Gray

The Summoning

Sinner’s Obsession

Cardinal Desires

Which is your favorite? Sinners’ Opera.  The book of my heart is not listed above because my rights reverted to me from the original publisher, and it is now under consideration by my editor at The Wild Rose Press. It’s a paranormal romance starring my favorite hero, Morgan D’Arcy, an English lord, a concert pianist…and a vampire.

What do you enjoy most about writing? What is the best part of writing for you? Hearing from my readers that they loved a book and are looking forward to the next one.

Are your stories driven by plot or character? Always by character.  One character, usually the hero, begins the tale and, as the plot evolves, other characters join in with their part of the story.

How do you balance a life outside of writing with deadlines and writing muses? Since I retired, I don’t face the problem of a day job to interfere.  My children are grown with lives of their own.  In fact, neither live near me. As with other people, I do have conflicts. My biggest problem with deadlines is that my muse will not always cooperate. Now with galleys and the such, the deadlines are rarely a problem.

If I were a first time reader of your books, which one would you recommend I start with and why? Probably, until Sinners’ Opera is in print again (fingers crossed), I’d recommend Love For Sale.  LFS is a sci-fi romance, a different love story about a human-like, sentient android and a the disillusioned dreamer who buys him.  Reviewers have called the story ‘different’ and ‘touching.’

What do you hope readers take with them after reading your work? A sense of wonder, satisfaction and the feeling that when they finished the book they surfaced into reality—when they wanted to stay in the story.

Tell us about your latest release, including its genre.

The Summoning is a fantasy romance. Here’s the blurb and a short excerpt:

BLURB:

Heather Morique is a witch. The problem is she doesn’t know it. Her husband Jahill was a refugee from an obscure branch of the Arawak Indians. After his death, mysterious whispers lure her to his homeland of Jamaica. Soon, she finds herself in a web of secrets, lies and illusions.

Jahill’s people worship Eyrael, the God of Wind and Sea, and his brother Sofiel, the God of Fire and Earth. The new Shaman has pitted brother against brother, and these two powerful spirits from an alternate universe fight to become the tribe’s ruling deity. Will light or darkness reign?

When Heather unwittingly summons Eyrael, these two unlikely soul mates face a dangerous fate.  The chemistry between them is more disturbing than the long-buried secrets.

EXCERPT:

Like storm clouds cloaking a sunny day, darkness gathered in the room. Heather lifted her gaze from the computer screen. Smoke sullied the air, crawling across the floor in a black mist. No scent of burning came from the billowing murky fog. Her hands froze on the keyboard. An icy shiver melted down her spine. The gulls’ cries and the normal sounds of life had quieted. The house was as still as a tomb. Her skin prickled, goosebumps pebbling her skin. A shudder leapt over her. Fear seized her in its cold, cold hands. Her heart beat a rapid staccato in her ears.

“Heather,” a dark voice called softly.

She started violently, whirled to see who’d spoken and shuddered again. No one. Just the scentless smoke. The hair at her nape quivered. Danger lurked just out of sight.

With trembling fingers, she guided the mouse, clicking on save. She set the laptop aside, intending to rise, but found herself paralyzed as fire flickered to life five feet from where she sat. Sofiel. The battle had come. Why hadn’t she trusted her gut feeling?

Please don’t let him kill me now I’m finally happy. Please don’t let me lose my baby.

Nausea burned her throat, her stomach twisting into a knot of terror. She jumped to her feet, focused on saving her child. Fire nibbled at the black mist swirling around her feet. A tongue of flame licked her ankle. Ignoring the stinging pain, she charged toward the door. A crimson blaze climbed the walls. She’d taken three desperate strides when fire consumed the exit. She was trapped with the dark spirit who wanted her dead.

Does it cross over to other genres? Not really. I suppose it could be considered a contemporary or a paranormal, but fantasy best describes it.

 

Thanks for hosting my characters and me!

It was my pleasure, Linda…thank you for joining me.

 

Giveaway:  Linda will be giving away a $15 Gift Card through Rafflecopter! Winner will be announced 8/30.  Follow her on tour for more fun and chances to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Author Interview with Barbara Brett ~ SECRET AGENDA: Who’s Castrating the Wolves of Wall Street?

Please help me welcome today’s guest, Barbara Brett…

 

Thank you for joining me today, Barbara. Please tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? Where do you live now? Family?

I’m one of those rare birds—a native New Yorker. I was born here, and have spent almost my entire life here. In fact, I’ve lived in every borough of the city except Staten Island, but I visit family there, so maybe that counts too. I was born in Queens, but grew up in Manhattan and the Bronx. Early in our marriage, my husband and I settled down in Brooklyn, the borough that will never forgive the Dodgers for leaving, but that now has the great Brooklyn Cyclones (Yea!). We have a lot more, too: the gorgeous Brooklyn Botanical Gardens; the great Brooklyn Museum; the terrific Brooklyn library system; and probably the best pizza in the world. Our kids are now grown and live out of state, but the first thing they want to do when they come home to visit is have Brooklyn pizza. Thanks for having me over, Alicia. If you’re ever in Brooklyn, the pizza is on me!

Where did you get the idea for SECRET AGENDA: Who’s Castrating the Wolves of Wall Street?

Ideas are all around us—in newspapers, in overheard conversations, in life in general. For me, there were two sparks that started SECRET AGENDA on its way. First came the headlines. Like most of us, I was really disturbed about the underhanded Wall Street maneuvers that brought disaster into the lives of so many of us hardworking, everyday Americans. Writing a mystery in which some of these millionaire-marauders, at least fictional ones, got their come-uppance was very appealing. And so I began my research, fully intending to kill off my villains in particularly fitting ways. Then one day in a restaurant I overheard a conversation in the booth behind me (people should watch what they say—one never knows if an author is eavesdropping!). Three or four men talking about a friend who had been in a terrible accident that left him emasculated. They all agreed that the poor man would have been better off dead. They even referred to what had happened as, “A fate worse than death.” I found that appalling, and for days, I couldn’t get it out of my head. And then I realized that those men had given me the perfect punishment for my scoundrels.

How much of your book is realistic?

The book, of course is fiction, and all of the characters are products of my imagination, but it’s my job as an author to do the necessary research so that I can make everything as convincing as if the characters actually exist and all the twists and turns really happened. That’s the fun of writing, and my delightful reward is that readers and reviewers are enthusiastically reporting that my characters spring to life and the plot is compelling and riveting. What author could ask for more?

What is your favorite quote?

Actually, I have two favorite quotes, and they are in frames on my desk. Each inspires me in a different way. I’ll give you the shorter one first. It is from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince, which is one of my favorite books: “I need to put up with two or three caterpillars if I want to get to know the butterflies.” It reminds me to be patient, that life’s struggles often lead to better things, and, hopefully to a better me.

The second was said by Eleanor Roosevelt, a woman whose life and work I greatly admire: “Surely, in the light of history, it is more intelligent to hope rather than to fear, to try rather than not to try. For one thing we know beyond all doubt: Nothing has ever been achieved by the person who says, ‘It can’t be done.'” This gives me hope in a world where things are so often chaotic, and the determination to achieve my own personal goals despite the roadblocks we all meet along the way.

What do you dislike that most people wouldn’t understand?

Believe it or not, it’s most people’s favorite drink—coffee! I like the fragrance, but I cannot abide the taste. I know many people drink it to get rid of a headache, but it actually gives me a headache. There are people who will say, “But surely you like coffee ice cream!” No, I don’t. And I don’t like mocha cake or icing, either. The irony of it is that I have a reputation for making an excellent cup of coffee. My family and friends all rave about it. Maybe the secret is that, not being a coffee-aholic, I’m not into experimenting with new blends and ways of preparing them. I still use my mother’s old percolator and whatever is on sale at the supermarket. Go figure!

If you could spend time with a character from your book, who would it be? And what would you do during that day?

Well, it certainly wouldn’t be one of the Wall Street villains! I suppose the obvious answer would be the hero, Tom Berenson, the retired police detective who now runs a bookstore in Brooklyn. Tom is handsome, intelligent, and witty, and our love of books and Brooklyn would certainly keep the conversation going, and we could visit some of his favorite spots and mine in our beloved borough, just as he does in the book. But if I could have a second day, I think I’d spend it with the Reverend Arnold Simon. Like his fraternity brothers, the Wall Streeters who are being attacked in the book, he was born to a life of wealth and privilege, but eventually he gave it all up to work with the poor and society’s outcasts. I’d like him to take me on a tour of his soup kitchens, his shelter for abused women, his clinic for addicts. I’d like to find out what makes him tick, and if he’s really as good as he seems to be. Is there something dark lurking beneath his altruistic façade?

What’s the main thing that you could get rid of in your life that would give you more writing time?

That’s easy—e-mail! I have a love-hate relationship with it. I love the way it keeps me in touch with family and friends. I need it to connect to colleagues and associations and organizations that are so helpful to authors. It’s essential for keeping up with what’s going on in our ever-changing world. But it eats up so much of my time! I remember back to when I was a little girl and what a thrill it was if the mailman actually had a letter for me. Now, I go on line and my eyes roll back when I see the long list of e-mails waiting for me. Sometimes I long for the days when messages were written in pictures on the walls of caves. But I suppose if we could interview someone who drew those pictures, he or she would tell us that it took up too much time, time much better spent hunting and gathering!

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

The easy answer is a comedian who could keep me laughing or a magician who could conjure up a sturdy ship. Actually, the only person I’d choose to be stranded on a desert island with is my husband, Hy Brett. He has kept me laughing all these years, he has a sense of direction, which I certainly don’t have, and he’s brilliant and well read enough to figure out how to make a raft out of palm leaves and float it on coconuts. And Hy fills the celebrity category too: He’s the author of six critically acclaimed books and has a new one coming out later this year, THE HITMAN OF AVENUE U. What more could a woman stranded on a desert island ask for?

What do you want your tombstone to say?

For years it has been a family joke that I want my tombstone to say: “There’s always something!” That’s because it so often seems that whatever my plans are something always seems to pop up to interfere, delay, or change them. The bonus, of course, is that, despite that, I’m still around and  can keep trying. (See Eleanor Roosevelt above.) In the end (both literally and figuratively), if there could be a phrase that could cover my life as a woman, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a citizen, and an author, I’d hope it could be: “She tried her best.”

Thanks again for having me over, Alicia! It’s been fun. I’d love to know what some of your readers would like to have on their tombstones too.

 

Blurb:  They are the most powerful men in America: billionaires born to privilege and linked by their membership in the nation’s most elite fraternity. They have always snatched what they want. From the halls of their ivy-league college to the counting houses of Wall Street, nothing has ever stopped them from reaching their nefarious goals. But as they gear up for their biggest takeover of all—the presidency of the United States—they discover to their horror that someone else has a secret agenda too. One by one, they are being castrated by an unknown attacker….

SECRET AGENDA—a riveting mystery of political ambition set in the glittering heights of New York society and darkest depths of Wall Street depravity!

Buy links:

Amazon paperback:

https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Agenda-Castrating-Wolves-Street/dp/0997971002/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1516233751&sr=8-1-fkmr0

Amazon Kindle:

https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Agenda-Castrating-Wolves-Street-ebook/dp/B078MWY9WD/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1516233751&sr=8-1-fkmr0

Barnes & Noble paperback:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/secret-agenda-barbara-brett/1127742158?ean=9780997971002

Nook:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/secret-agenda-barbara-brett/1127742158?ean=2940155065456

Apple iBooks

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/secret-agenda-whos-castrating-the-wolves-of-wall-street/id1330041599?mt=11

Kobo

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/secret-agenda-who-s-castrating-the-wolves-of-wall-street

Smashwords

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/772808

Bio: Until she left to pursue her own writing, Barbara Brett was both a magazine editor and book editor and publisher. Besides Secret Agenda, she is the author of Sizzle, Between Two Eternities, Love After Hours, and, with her husband, Hy Brett, the critically acclaimed mystery, Promises to Keep.

Contact links: You can find out more about Barbara and her books on her website: www.brettbooks.com And you can  keep up with her news and her views on writing, reading, and life by following her on her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BarbaraBrettAuthor

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Author Spotlight: Linda Bennett Pennell ~ Miami Days, Havana Nights

Please help me welcome Linda Bennett Pennell to my blog today, with a spotlight on her brand new release!

 

Sometimes our biggest debts have nothing to do with money.

1926. When seventeen-year-old Sam Ackerman witnesses a mob hit, he is hustled out of New York under the protection of Moshe Toblinsky, A.K.A., the mob’s bookkeeper. Arriving in Miami with no money, no friends, and no place to hide, Sam’s only choice is to do as the gangster demands. Forced into bootlegging, Sam’s misery is compounded when he falls in love. Amazingly, the beautiful, devout Rebecca wants only him, but he cannot give her the life she deserves. When Prohibition ends, Sam begs the mobster to set him free. The price? A debt, as Toblinsky puts it, of friendship. A debt that will one day come due.

Present Day. History of American Crime professor Liz Reams has it all – early success, a tantalizing lead on new info about Moshe Toblinsky, and a wonderful man to love. Life is perfect. So what’s keeping her from accepting her guy’s marriage proposals? Confronting a long-standing personal debt sets her on a journey of self-discovery. While she delves ever deeper into Sam’s and Toblinsky’s relationship, her understanding of her own relationships increases as well, but the revelations come at a price. The emotional and physical dangers of her dual journeys may prove too big to handle.

 

Excerpt:

Chapter 1

May 18, 1926, 105 South Street, New York City

Knocking – sharp, loud, rapid – echoed through the empty speakeasy. Sam froze, the notes of a tune stuck in the roof of his mouth. He glanced at the entrance and leaned the handle of his push broom against his shoulder. Puffs of dust settled on the floorboards around his feet while he remained motionless.

It was late, too late, to be admitting customers, even for the city’s illegal watering holes and gambling joints. Although a thick crossbar and several stout locks protected the heavy iron door, an uneasy feeling crawled down Sam’s spine. Growing tension over control of the Fulton Fish Market, in fact the entire South Street area, was making a lot of people jumpy, including him.

Several seconds passed without noise from the other side of the door. Sam let out his breath and laughed at himself. Working at the fish market in the afternoon then staying up half the night at the speakeasy didn’t leave much time for sleep. It kept him on edge. All the rumors and threats floating around these days weren’t helping either. Inclining his ear and hearing nothing, he relaxed and gave his broom a shove.

Bam, bam, bam.

Sam’s heart jumped into his throat.

“Open up, Monza. I know you’re in there.” The shout, colored by an Irish lilt, came from the second floor landing accompanied by renewed pounding. “I come to talk with ya. We need to settle this business. I got a proposition for ya.”

Sam’s breathing kicked up a notch as he looked over his shoulder toward the office. The boss didn’t like to be disturbed when he was meeting with his guys. The pounding from outside in the hall returned in earnest, but the office door remained fixed.

“You gonna open this damned door or do I break it down?” The doorknob rattled and jerked.

Behind Sam, the office door clicked open an inch. He watched in the mirror over the bar as the muzzle of a .38 Special emerged from the opening, its nickel-plated barrel glittering in the overhead lights. One of the gangsters stepped into the room, met Sam’s eye in the mirror, and jerked his head, then the room went dark. Sam dropped his broom and backed into an alcove next to the bar. The office door opened wider. Several shadows scurried across the floor. Metal locks and bolts snapped and clanked, then the entrance door swung inward.

 

Chapter 2

Present, Fall Semester, Gainesville, Florida

Crap. Not one blessed thing gained.

Liz bookmarked and closed the archival records web page she had paid a small fortune to access. Frustration knotted the muscles at the base of her skull. She stretched her back against the living room sofa and rolled her head and neck. Months of research and all she had to show for it was a regurgitation of everything everybody already knew. Maybe she was what she most feared – a one hit wonder destined to fade from her fifteen minutes of glory into ignominious mediocrity.

Jeez. How was that for a pretentious mouthful? Liz’s lips thinned into a smirk accompanied by a quiet snort. Well, at least she could still laugh at herself. Unfortunately, some people might not find her so amusing.

She glanced across the room at Hugh. Liz drummed her fingers against the edge of her computer. He would probably understand if she didn’t meet the deadline. Hugh was a good boss and a good… What? She never knew what to call the man she lived and worked with. Boyfriend sounded so lame, childish even. Boss tended to raise eyebrows. Fiancé would work if she had said yes to his most recent proposal.

Liz sucked the corner of her lower lip between her teeth. Of all the things she had ever thought herself to be, a commitment-phobe was not one of them. And now she was on the verge of disappointing him twice in one week. The new course she was designing could still be taught in the spring, but it would be incomplete as it stood now. She had incorporated a plethora of original details about Al Capone, et al., but new, riveting details on Moshe Toblinsky and the Jewish gangsters were proving elusive. As a consequence, Florida’s Underbelly, 1920-Present: the Mob in the Sunshine State would probably fail to accomplish what the dean expected despite its titillating title. What a depressing thought.

Buzzing against Liz’s thigh made her jump. She dug the phone out of her jeans pocket and looked at the caller ID. Her heart rate kicked up a notch. She slid her finger over the screen to take the call and listened to the monologue coming through the ether.

Liz tapped the end call icon, slumped a little lower into the sofa cushions, and sucked her lower lip between her teeth. Apparently, nothing was going to go right today.

Next to the living room window, Hugh lounged in an armchair with the latest historical monograph spread open on his lap, pretending he hadn’t listened to her side of the phone conversation. When she didn’t speak, he looked up from the book and raised his brows.

“Well?” His voice was kind but direct.

“Well what?”

“What was in that call to make you look so stormy?”

Liz sighed and crammed her phone into her jeans pocket. “Aunt Mildred says Daddy is going downhill faster than anyone thought possible, something Mom decided to keep from me. Yesterday, he wandered away from the house and was gone for hours. Mom was on the verge of calling the police when a neighbor brought him home. The neighbor stopped Daddy trying to board the ferry to Whidbey Island. He said he had to report for duty at the naval air station.” Liz hunched her shoulders and shook her head. “He retired from the Navy in 1995.”

BIO:

I have been in love with the past for as long as I can remember. Anything with a history, whether shabby or majestic, recent or ancient, instantly draws me in. I suppose it comes from being part of a large extended family that spanned several generations. Long summer afternoons on my grandmother’s porch or winter evenings gathered around her fireplace were filled with stories both entertaining and poignant. Of course being set in the American South, those stories were also peopled by some very interesting characters, some of whom have found their way into my work.

As for my venture in writing, it has allowed me to reinvent myself. We humans are truly multifaceted creatures, but unfortunately we tend to sort and categorize each other into neat, easily understood packages that rarely reveal the whole person. Perhaps you, too, want to step out of the box in which you find yourself. I encourage you to look at the possibilities and imagine. Be filled with childlike wonder in your mental wanderings. Envision what might be, not simply what is. Let us never forget, all good fiction begins when someone says to her or himself, “Let’s pretend.”

I reside in the Houston area with one sweet husband and one adorable German Shorthaired Pointer who is quite certain she’s a little girl.

History is filled with the sound of silken slippers going downstairs and wooden shoes coming up. Voltaire  

Books:

Al Capone at the Blanche Hotel Soul Mate Publishing http://amzn.to/16qq3k5

 Confederado do Norte Soul Mate Publishing http://amzn.com/B00LMN5OMI

 When War Came Home  Real Cypress Press  http://amzn.com/B010RXNZRO

 Casablanca: Appointment at Dawn The Wild Rose Press http://amzn.com/B0121Q6S88

 Miami Days, Havana Nights Soul Mate Publishing July 18, 2018  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07F7NFD8K

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

Website:  http://www.lindapennell.com/

Twitter:  @LindaPennell

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7166661.Linda_Bennett_Pennell

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

 

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