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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Defending Hayden

Title: Defending Hayden 
Series: A Second Chances Novel
Author: LP Dover
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: June 28, 2016 Publisher: Random House  Cover Design by: Mae I Design and Photography Photo Taken by: Regina Wamba
No one’s tougher than Carolina Cougars linebacker Derek McLaughlin. But when a fatal car accident claims the life of his girlfriend, Derek finds himself caught in a destructive spiral of drugs, alcohol, and meaningless sex. But not even a string of one-night stands can ease the hurt. Football is all he has left. Then fate leads him back to the scene of the crash, and into the arms of a kind, gorgeous woman who sees past his fa├žade to the man he once was . . . and can be again.
When a chance roadside encounter brings Derek into her life, veterinarian Hayden Hunter isn’t fooled by his bad attitude: All bark and no bite, he’s hiding a wounded heart beneath that gruff demeanor. And Hayden wants to be the one to kiss it all better. Soon they both find that a dose of passion is potent medicine. But when a hidden enemy lashes out at Hayden, Derek steps up to do what he does best: put his body on the line in the name of love.
“Sexy and emotional with characters you will root for, Defending Hayden is a great addition to the Second Chances series!”—Elisabeth Barrett, author of the Return to Briarwood series
“Defending Hayden is a smart and heartwarming story that is impossible to put down. Throw in a sexy football player and some lovable animals and you’re all set.”—Stina Lindenblatt, author of This One Moment
Guilt plagued me and I felt sick. Getting out of bed, I paced the room, running my hands angrily through my hair. I didn’t want to hurt Hayden. Keeping her away would protect her from my life. She was bound to leave me anyway. I’d fuck up somehow and it would ruin her. What the hell was I talking about? I’d already fucked her up.
“Derek?” Her voice was like honey, silky and sweet. I’d imagined what it would be like to hear that voice screaming my name as I fucked her over and over. Last night had been the best night of my life, but it had scared the shit out of me. I couldn’t shake it. “Derek, are you okay?” she asked. Stopping midstep, I turned to face her, and her eyes widenened when she got a glimpse of my face. I could only imagine what she saw. So many emotions battled inside me. She held the blanket to her chest, and her lips trembled. “Please tell me this wasn’t just a game to you,” she whispered.
Swallowing hard, I sat down on the edge of the bed and reached for her. She recoiled from my touch. “None of this was a game, Hayden. Last night was fucking amazing.”
Her eyes glistened, but her jaw was firm. “Then why are you looking at me like that? Like you regret what we did.”
I wanted to touch her, but last night had been my only chance. She’d never let me close to her again. “I don’t regret it, but eventually you will. You’re not the only one who’s lost someone they cared about. I can’t go through it again. It’s best to stop this before it goes any further.”
“Any further?” she scoffed. She waved her arm around the room, her anger so thick I could cut it with a knife. “If you didn’t want it to go any further, then why did you bring me here? Why would you do that to me?”
“Because I care about you,” I said, knowing it made no sense to her.
“Then why are you pushing me away?” she cried.
Standing, I got up and walked over to the window. “You wouldn’t understand.”
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author L. P. Dover is a southern belle living in North Carolina with her husband and two beautiful girls. Before she began her literary journey she worked in periodontics, enjoying the wonderment of dental surgeries.
She loves to write, but she also loves to play tennis, go on mountain hikes and white water rafting, and has a passion for singing. Her two youngest fans expect a concert each and every night before bedtime, usually Christmas carols.
Dover has written countless novels, including her Forever Fae series, the Second Chances series, the Gloves Off series, the Armed & Dangerous series, the Royal Shifters series, the Society X series, and her standalone novel Love, Lies, and Deception. Her favorite genre to read and write is romantic suspense, but if she got to choose a setting in which to live, it would be with her faeries in the Land of the Fae.
L.P. Dover is represented by Marisa Corvisiero of Corvisiero Literary Agency and Italia Gandolfo of Gandolfo Helin & Fountain Literary Management for dramatic rights.

HOSTED BY:

Drop Dead Handsome #CozyMystery


Drop Dead Handsome
by M.K. Scott

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GENRE: Cozy Mystery

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BLURB:

The Painted Lady Inn is open for business and limping along in the B and B world. A high school reunion package assembles Donna’s least desirable classmates, including the backstabbing cheerleader, her narcissistic high school crush, and Arnie, whose cheesy poem had everyone calling her, hot mama. It’s all something she liked to forget. These are the normal guests.

An octogenarian self-proclaimed sleuth, Father Christmas, a dognapping couple, and a pair who is copying everything in the Inn to set up their own competitive establishment rounds out the group. Maria, the sister-in-law, has a matchmaking agenda for Donna. Daniel, her brother, finds himself serving as a referee with one guest’s multiple wives.

High school reunions can be murder. Detective Mark Taber is on the trail of the murderer, when he isn’t interfering in a smitten Arnie’s determined bid to woo the no nonsense innkeeper.

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EXCERPT:

“Hello. Welcome to The Painted Lady Inn. Thanks for choosing the Lady for your weekend getaway.” She held the smile in place, questioning her choice of a name for her bed and breakfast. Daniel remarked it sounded like something out of a horror movie, as if it would come to life.

The woman didn’t answer, but took two more steps closer, then placed her bag on the floor. “I’m glad to be here before the sun sets.”

“You made it.” Her cheeks were starting to ache from continually smiling. Well, that and acting like a genial innkeeper. Why couldn’t she’d just be normal Donna Tollhouse?

“Yes, yes, I did.” The woman glanced around the foyer that had several open doors to the front parlor, library, and dining room. Her lips pursed as her eyes flicked upward.

No dust anywhere and the floors gleamed where they weren’t covered by a floral runner. 

“May I have your name, please?”

The woman gave a nervous laugh, which seemed out of place.

“Lorena, Lorena Fitzgerald.”

Convenient, since she was the first name on the list. Her hand gripped the heavy reunion basket and held it out to Lorena. “Compliments of the inn for your stay.” The woman’s French tipped manicured hand wrapped around the basket handle beside Donna’s. “Enjoy the reunion.”

Lorena’s eyes widened. “There’s a reunion? What type?”

Donna had relinquished the basket unaware that her guest didn’t merit it. Too late to take it back too, especially since the woman was now poking through it making pleasurable noises. With her luck, the couple out antiquing would hear about it and expect one too. Well, she did have a couple cases of Reunion Red.

“Ah yes, the local high school is having a reunion. Thirty-one years.”

Lorena fanned her free hand in front of her as if overcome by the thought of a reunion. “Thirty-one years. Goodness, I’ve only been out of school barely twenty years.”

Taking a page from Detective Taber’s book, she ran a hand over her face, hoping to hide her smirk. Okay, the woman looked good, but not that good. A woman in her thirties would wear something a little more playful, edgy, or even more casual. The shoes and sweater set declared her mid-forty. Once she recovered her innkeeper face, she dropped her hand.





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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

M. K. Scott is the husband and wife writing team behind The Painted Lady Inn Mysteries. Morgan K Wyatt is the general wordsmith, while her husband, Scott, is the grammar hammer and physics specialist. He uses his engineering skills to explain how fast a body falls when pushed over a cliff and various other felonious activities. The Internet and experts in the field provide forensic information, while the recipes and B and B details require a more hands on approach.  Morgan’s daughter who manages a hotel provides guest horror stories to fuel the plot lines. The couple’s dog, Chance, is the inspiration behind Jasper, Donna’s dog.  Murder Mansion is the first book in The Painted Lady Inn Mysteries. Overall, it is a fun series to create and read. Drop Dead Handsome is the second book in the series. Killer Review should be out in October 2016.

Social Media

Website    http://www.morgankwyatt.com/

Facebook   http://www.facebook.com/AuthorMorganKWyatt

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

Goodreads  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5826299.Morgan_K_Wyatt

Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/morgankwyatt/

 tsu  http://www.tsu.co/MorganKWyatt


Buy Links

Forthcoming on KOBO, iTunes & Barnes and Noble


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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

The author will be awarding a prize to multiple winners such as $50 Amazon Gift Cards, $15 Target or Groupon Gift Cards and other GCs and books to randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Use the link below to enter.




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Hidden in Love


Hidden in Lies, book 1 in the Lies and Truth Series, is FREE for a limited time!! 

Synopsis:
Who needs love when you have money
​?


This has been my motto. This is who I am. Who I’m expected to be.

All of that changed when he walked into my life and made me question everything. As my personal security guard, I can’t escape him or the way he makes me feel.

He makes me laugh.

He makes me second guess my choices.

He makes me want more from life.

I hide in a bed of deception to disguise myself. It used to be enough, but now I’m not so sure.

Can I sacrifice those who depend on me for my own happiness?

I’m Elizabeth Fitzgerald.

I’m a Senator’s wife.

And I hate my life.


 

Get book 2, Uncovered by Truth to finish the series!




This Madness of the Heart

This Madness of the Heart
by Blair Yeatts

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GENRE: gothic mystery/thriller

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BLURB:

Bad religion can be deadly. So Miranda Lamden, small-town religion professor, discovers in This Madness of the Heart. The dark hollers of Eastern Kentucky offer fertile soil for shady evangelist Jasper Jarboe, new president of Grace and Glory Bible College, as he beguiles the small mining town of Canaan Wells with his snake-oil charm.

When Miranda isn’t teaching at Obadiah Durham College, she’s investigating paranormal phenomena—or enjoying a turbulent romantic relationship with backwoods artist Jack Crispen. JJ’s inquisition-style gospel has alienated her long since, but when he announces his plan to transform her forest home into an evangelical Mecca, complete with neon cross and 40-foot Jesus, Miranda girds her loins for war. But JJ isn’t finished: he goes on to launch an attack on her friend and fellow professor Djinn Baude with an avalanche of vicious rumors. Not only does he accuse Djinn of demonic communion with the old Voudon witch whose curse killed the college’s founding family, but he also smears her with insinuations of lechery and vice.

With JJ’s urging, hate boils over into violence and tragedy, sweeping Miranda up in its flood. One death follows another as a miasma of evil overwhelms the tiny community, and only Miranda can see clearly enough to halt its spread.

This Madness of the Heart is the first in a new series of Gothic mystery-thrillers featuring Professor Miranda Lamden, whose spiritual gifts have drawn her beyond university walls to explore the mysteries of other world beliefs. Her unique vision brings her into repeated confrontations with evil, where too often she finds herself standing alone between oblivious onlookers and impending disaster.

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EXCERPT:
The large woman beside me slid to the plank floor with surprising grace, twitching and jerking on her back, eyes glittering sightlessly under half-closed lids. Worshippers stepped around her with hardly a thought. Her lips fluttered in prayer, inaudible amidst the tumbling chaos of sound rolling through the tiny church.

“Hallelujer! Hallelujer! Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Jesus! Praise-a the Lord!

Oooooooohhh, glory be to God, honey! Praise-a his holy name!” The preacher’s voice roared over the babble.

I rocked contentedly in the midst of a storm of joy. Ecstasy beat against me like a rising spring tide. I loved my work. No matter how many hours I spent observing people celebrating their faith, their joy always lifted me up—perhaps bearing me on the wings of their prayers. And Appalachian Holiness congregations had to be among my favorites. I loved their lack of pretense, their tolerance of diversity, their unselfconscious enthusiasm. I envied how easily they gave themselves up to spiritual ecstasy. Comparatively, I was a clam, tightly sealed in a riotous bed of wave-swept anemones.

Several white-shirted men carried cardboard boxes into the center of the floor while the worshippers danced close around. One by one, two by two, three by three, coiling copperheads, cottonmouths, and rattlesnakes were scooped from the boxes and passed from dancer to dancer, man or woman, whoever held out a willing hand.

Panic knocked the breath from my body like an adder’s sudden strike. My gut clenched, writhing with the coiling snakes. Tremors shook my hands. Shadow threatened to overwhelm my sight. I’d forgotten myself, relaxed my guard, let slip the rigorous discipline I wore like a second skin in my field studies.

A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR


1.When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?
I’m not sure. I was one of those little kids who was forever making up stories and telling them to herself and to anyone else who’d listen, even before I was old enough to start school. I remember a kindergarten teacher who took a special interest in my stories and wrote some of them down—even invited me over to her house for tea from time to time. (This was back in the days when teachers could do things like that without people looking at them oddly). But life and growing up took their toll on that free-flowing creativity, and for many years whatever stories came to me I kept to myself. I wrote for English classes, but turned my attention to academic subjects—and art. I don’t think the urge to write really returned until I started journaling during a particularly tough personal time. Those journals eventually grew into (a perfectly dreadful) autobiography, which I am endlessly grateful was never published! But the act of writing it, and the intensity of that creative experience, reminded me of the delight I’d once found in weaving words into story . . . and I was hooked. That was twenty-some years and seven books ago now, and it’s all I can do to tear myself away from my desk when the muse is speaking—no, let me rephrase that: if the muse is speaking, only a power outage could drag me away from my computer, and then I’d probably just switch to my laptop!


2.Besides yourself, who is your favorite author in the genre that you write?
That’s an odd question for me! It was only when I sent This Madness of the Heart out to a few readers that the word “gothic” came up. I had set out to write a mystery-thriller, for lack of a better description. I love mysteries, but not the formulaic ones that spend a lot of pages on alibis and timetables. “Gothic” was a surprise, so I looked it up online and found a helpful article by Robert Harris. According to him, the elements of a gothic novel include things like: a setting in an old mansion or ruin; an atmosphere of threat and mystery; an old prophecy or curse; omens, portents, visions; the supernatural; women in distress, especially from tyrannical males . . . well, bingo! So, in answer to your question, I haven’t read any gothic novels since my teens (I loved Mary Stewart), although I intend to. But I do read mystery-thrillers. My favorite author would probably be the mother/son team “Charles Todd,” who writes the Inspector Ian Rutledge series; I don’t care for their Bess Crawford novels. Nevada Barr runs a close second for me. She was my favorite for many years, but I’ve found her most recent mysteries to be increasingly dark and violent. I enjoy a moderate amount of violence, but not too bloody. I don’t care for too-sweet books, either, with happy-happy endings, but I do like resolution and justice and healing in the end, without lingering despair.


3.What are reading right now?
I just finished Robin McKinley’s Deerskin, and enjoyed it so much that I’m reading her more recent (vampire) novel, Sunshine, right now. Deerskin was pure magic, although shot through with harrowing pain. Yet she brought healing and justice to her ending. I’ll read it again. Books I really like leave me feeling that there’s more to be discovered in a second reading. As for Sunshine, I haven’t finished it, but I trust McKinley enough as a storyteller to believe she’ll bring it to a satisfying ending. So far it’s entertaining, and her vampire portrayals are creative and unique, although I don’t like it as well as Deerskin. I don’t often read vampire books these days. I went through a vampire phase, when I read everything Anne Rice (and others) wrote, but too often I find that they call to something dark in me that needs no encouragement. We all balance light and dark inside us, but I’ve discovered that too much darkness leads to places I don’t care to go.


4.Which one of your characters is most like you?
Miranda Lamden, the series’ main character, has a lot of me in her. Maybe that’s because I originally wrote Madness as an expression of my own disgust with villains like Jasper Jarboe, DD. Perhaps she emerged full grown from my brow like Athena, a kind of avenging “me.” Or not. Anyway, we have a lot in common: we’re both college professors who teach religion and have a particular interest in paranormal phenomena; we both find peace and healing in wild nature; we both have mystical bents, and we both love cats. But our personalities are quite different, as are the other elements of our lives. Although I think most writers start out writing what they know, some characters seem to insinuate themselves into a writer’s mind, taking on their own personalities, wisdom, and history: they just are. She’s somewhere in the middle.


5.Which of your books is your favorite? Why?
First I need to say that “Blair Yeatts” is a pen name that I chose in order to publish the Miranda Lamden series without confusing the readers of my other three books, which are in a completely different genre. And I’ve already written three books in the Miranda series: Madness is only the first. So when you ask me which is my favorite, first I have to eliminate the other three from consideration, which leaves me with Madness and two no one else has read yet! But still, I think I would choose the second one in this series, due out (with any luck) before Christmas: Blood on Holy Ground. The relationship between Miranda and Jack Crispen, her significant other, becomes more intense in every way, and the violence may be more disturbing. Both are essential parts of the story. In Holy Ground, Miranda goes to a convent in Tennessee’s hill-country to research an old Native American legend on the small reservation that adjoins the convent grounds. She and Jack stumble into a firestorm of savage violence and only escape with their lives thanks to the guidance of the Native elders and the power of an angry land. Everything in Holy Ground comes together for me: its flow, its intensity, the depth of the characters, and their healing, and the uniqueness and power of nature and land.




AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Blair Yeatts grew up in the midst of a large, old southern Virginia family, much like the family of her main character. She followed her parents into a career in academia and taught religion at the college level in Kentucky for many years. Her special areas of expertise are psychology and Earth-based religions, in which she has done considerable research.

From childhood, Ms. Yeatts has been a fan of mystery fiction, starting with Nancy Drew and moving through Agatha Christie to twentieth century giants like Dorothy L. Sayers, P.D. James, and Nevada Barr. She is fulfilling a life’s dream in writing her own mysteries.

Ms. Yeatts shares her home with her photographer husband, two cats, and a dog. She has a lifelong love of wild nature, and prefers to set her stories in rural areas, where threads of old spiritual realities still make themselves felt. Her first three books take place in different parts of Kentucky and Tennessee.

Buy Links:

This Madness of the Heart e-book will be free during the tour.


https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/624868  The book is free on Smashwords.

(CreateSpace will be up on May 1)


Author/Book Links

blog/website:  http://blair-yeatts.com







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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

Blair Yeatts will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Use the link below to enter.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Beyond the Book: The Civil War


Last week we talked about Civil War photography, and today we're going to discuss other technologies that either developed during the war or were invented during this time. The obvious place to start is with guns.

Before the war soldiers carried muskets that could only be fired once before a soldier had to reload. They weren't very accurate until you were very close to your target. Rifles had greater range, but it was too hard to load them so they weren't used in battle until a Frenchman named Claude Minie invented a better, easier to load bullet. It was an improvement, but you still had to pause and load after every shot. By 1863 rifles that fired more than one shot before soldiers had to reload was invented. This gave the North a huge advantage over the South because the South didn't have the new guns. This is the Spencer rifle that shot 7 times before reloading.



The North used hydrogen filled balloons to fly over Confederate sites and report what they found.


The North also used ironclad boats, but the South developed submarines to try to stop them. They did sink one ironclad off the coast of SC. The Hunley a Confederate sub sank the Housatonic, but the Hunley sank too.



Railroads and telegraphs were also used in the war. In both cases the North had the advantage. The union had 24,000 miles of railroad track at the beginning of the war, and the South only had 9,000. The North also had most of the track and locomotive factories. Of course the advantages of moving troops and supplies quickly is obvious. The railroad was one technology that was extensively used after the war ended.

Abraham Lincoln was the first president to communicate using a telegraph. Again, relaying information quickly is obviously an advantage to any army. The South lacked the money and experience to have widespread telegraph usage.

In case you've forgotten, we're talking about the Civil War because Aimee Sherwood my heroine in Fortuna is in love with two men, and one of them owns a house built during the Civil War era. If you'd like to pick up a copy of Fortuna you can find it at http://amzn.to/23yoW2d