My Books!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Seven Days With You


Seven Days with You
by Hugo Driscoll

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GENRE: YA Romance

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BLURB:

Sean Johnson’s life as a small-town farmhand has been nothing but predictable, but when he meets Sophia Hillingdon at the local animal sanctuary, she gets him out of an eighteen-year rut, away from the mundane existence on the farm, and a grieving, drunken father.

Sophia is the first person who understands him and makes him believe that he might get out of their small town, who tells him, he has the potential to be whoever he wants to be and do whatever he wants to do.

But as their relationship unfolds, it is the most devastating of news that will change both of them forever.


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EXCERPT:

I hadn’t been anywhere, but my mind had been everywhere. That’s how I felt that summer. Or more precisely, that’s how Sophia had made me feel by the time summer neared its conclusion. The months of July and August had followed identical patterns to June in that we rarely spent a day apart. We rode with Violet across the Suffolk countryside, sometimes for miles on end, often stopping by at local pubs. Then it would be Saturday. That was the best day of all for there was no work on Sunday, which meant dancing with Tom and Jessica until our bodies could no longer stand. We drank, we laughed, and most nights after, we made love as we tip-toed up the stairs of my father’s house. I was obsessed with everything about her. Yes, Sophia Hillingdon, the girl I’d known for barely a few months was the girl I now wanted to spend the rest of my life with. And though we often drove each other crazy, we soon laughed and made up as if nothing happened. It often puzzled me as to why Sophia found our fights so amusing seconds after we were hot from the exertion of spouting obscenities at each other. Red-faced, she’d often say, “You drive me mad Sean. But, you know something? That’s just how I like it.”
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A Word From the Author

The hardest part of writing is….
The hardest part of the writing process is the risk involved. You’re devoting precious hours of your life for a creation that may or may not be read by anyone other than your nearest and dearest. You can spend months- years even- writing what you think is a great novel only to have it rejected at every turn. That’s why a good writer is a risk-taker. You’re creating something that you hope will reach an audience. You have a story that may or may not be good. But you don’t know until you sacrifice things in your life for a shot at something great.  Not everyone has that in them, which is why so many brilliant writers find it hard to finish a novel, let alone build a career.

Regarding the process, the dialogue aspect has always been tricky. Sure, you can write 10 pages about a window and use a variety of superfluous adjectives, but what good fiction really comes down to is relatable dialogue. Can you express a person’s vernacular in a way that is well-written but also relatable and engaging? Can you move someone to tears from a conversation, so compelling readers feel the characters jumping off the pages? That’s what separates fiction writing from journalism and blog posts. It takes more time, and in the end, the level of detail required causes many to lose their patience.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Hugo Driscoll is a 25-year- old British journalist and content writer for an online publication in London.

When he's not working, you can usually find him writing in the basements of cafes or lamenting the unfair treatment of millennials in overcrowded London bars.

You can also find Hugo on Twitter, Facebook, and his personal blog, which he updates regularly.

Seven Days with You is his first novel.

http://twitter.com/hugosa
https://www.facebook.com/hugodriscollauthor
https://hugodriscollwriting.com/

Buy Link:



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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Beyond the Book: Flood


Today let's have another excerpt from Flood. I hope you're enjoying them because I sure did enjoy writing that book. First a blurb, then that excerpt that picks up where we left off last week.

Blurb:
Drawn together by their love of animals, Aria De Luca and Caleb Hawkins burn for each other. They never suspected that malignant forces around them were successfully plotting Caleb’s ruin from the moment he entered her life. When the flood of a century strikes Aria’s hometown, an alienated Caleb is all that stands between her and catastrophic loss.

Last Week:

“Not the whole world,” Aria teased. “Just my little corner of it.” She took a sip of cola from the can on her desk. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t give up colas. Probably she’d get fat when she got older. “What do you think, Lila? Do we have room here for an unwanted, difficult dog?”

Lila rolled her eyes. “Sure. When do we pick her up?” 



This week:

The next day Aria parked her SUV near the front door of the Pine City Animal Shelter. She and Lila got out of the vehicle and stared at the grounds of the place they’d driven two hours on a beautiful spring day to reach.

“The shelter looks nice,” Lila said.

Aria nodded. “Yeah, that’s what I was thinking.”


The red brick building was only one story high. From the parking lot, Aria saw fenced dog runs and a small enclosure occupied by two goats. The grass had been freshly cut. All in all, it looked neat and well cared for. 
She and Lila made their way to the front door, which was made of institutional-looking gray metal and went inside where a pretty receptionist greeted them with a smile.  

Who Killed My Husband?

Write Now Literary is pleased to announce Who Killed My Husband? By Michelle Stimpson
Virtual Book Tour. July 17-28, 2017.  
Genre: Short Story/Mystery
ASIN: B071743ZLP
Michelle Stimpson is an author, a speaker, and an educator who received her Bachelor of Science degree from Jarvis Christian College in 1994. She earned a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2002. She has had the pleasure of teaching elementary, middle, and high school as well as training adults. In addition to her work in the field of education, Michelle ministers through writing and public speaking. Her works include the highly acclaimed Boaz Brown, Divas of Damascus Road (National Bestseller), and Falling Into Grace. She has published several short stories for high school students through her educational publishing company, Right Track Academic Support Services, at www.wegottaread.com. Michelle serves in women’s ministry at her home church, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship, in Dallas, TX. She regularly speaks at special events and writing workshops sponsored by churches, schools, book clubs and other positive organizations, and she has taught writing classes at the University of Texas at Arlington. Michelle lives near Dallas with her husband, their two teenage children, and one crazy dog.
Ashley Crandall finally convinced her husband, Allan, to attend the Christian men’s retreat...but he ends up dead there. What happened to him on the campgrounds? Who would want to kill Allan? And why are the detectives pointing fingers at Ashley? In her quest to solve the mystery and clear her name, Ashley will learn something about her husband that she didn’t want to know and something about her Christian faith that shifts her life. 
This short work by national bestselling, multi-published author Michelle Stimpson is packed with emotion, suspense, and a her signature way of weaving hope into a story – always a hit with readers who enjoy faith-based reads.
In Conversation with
Michelle Stimpson
Q: This is a different kind of book for you. What made you venture a little with this title?
A: After writing 40+ books, an author can get kinds stagnant. I have recently started reading clean mysteries, and I found that I actually enjoy them. They keep me up late at night because I truly want to find out whodunit and why. I’m hoping my readers will enjoy a different pace, too. I think they’ll be glad to know it’s possible to change things up and still keep the message of the book strong.
Q: What is the message of the book?
A: The main character, Ashley, is struggling to make sense of things as they relate to her. She has suffered much loss in her life already. But she’s going to have to understand that God doesn’t make His plans around Her. She may be the apple of His eye, but she is not the center of the universe.  His promise to be there always will have to sufficient for some of us until we reach the other side.
Q: Wow! That title really caught me. How did you come up with the idea for this book?
A: You know what, I wish I could remember. Thankfully, I have not experience much death around me, but I know that the longer I live, the more loved ones will pass away. Death is a part of life.  I don’t kill off a lot of characters in my books, but there was just something about this couple that struck my imagination and I knew they needed a book. Quickly!
Q: How quick?
A: About 10 days from outline to finished first draft.
Q: Seriously?
A: Yes, but keep in mind: This is a shorter work of fiction.
Q: Why did you choose to write a shorter piece?
A: I actually got my start with fiction as a short-story writer. I love shorter reads because I can finish them quickly. My schedule is often irregular, so it’s hard for me to get into longer books during hectic weeks. When I sit down for a few hours with a short read, I already know I’m going to have the satisfaction of finishing it. I usually save longer reads for holidays/vacations.
Q: What else is going on with you outside of the writing world?
A: Glad you asked! I am now the grandmother of a wonderful baby girl. Bless God! I am spending a ridiculous amount of time just staring at her and nibbling on her juicy cheeks.
Q: What’s your next release?
A: I’ve got a non-fiction book coming out entitled Change Your Mind, Transform Your Life: 21 Truths to Renew Your Mind in Christ. I am always sooo excited about edifying believers. Non-fiction is not my first genre, but it is definitely one of the most fulfilling to me.
Q: Do you have advice for aspiring authors?
A: I have more than advice—I have help! They can visit www.PublishMyBookAlready.com to take classes and learn more about publishing, marketing, etc.

Q: How Can Readers Connect with You?
A: The best way to keep in touch is through my email list. I send out notice of new books and keep people posted on all kinds of things from events to what’s happening with their favorite characters to upcoming releases. 
Click here to join
Tour hosted by Write Now Literary 

Click here to follow the tour 

Monday, July 24, 2017

The Flip

Title: The Flip
Series: Romance in Rehoboth
Author: K.L. Montgomery
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: July 20, 2017
Andrew and Sonnet hated each other in high school. Always rivals for the best grades and top academic honors, there was no love lost between these two nerds after graduation.
Ten years later, they've both been named heirs to property in Bethany Beach, Delaware, after the passing of its owner, Penelope Vaughn. Ms. Vaughn was Andrew's Great Aunt and Sonnet's beloved next door neighbor growing up. 
The quaint beach cottage needs serious work before going on the market. Andrew and Sonnet are both willing to bury the hatchet in exchange for drills and saws, especially since they stand to make a pretty penny with the beachfront property, which will finance Drew's dream of opening a business and Sonnet's plan to earn her doctorate in astrophysics.
But when they face a multitude of home improvement obstacles, will these two former adversaries be able to pull off a successful flip? Or did Great Aunt Penny have something else in mind with her bequest?

Goodreads Reviewer 5 Star - “The humor in this story made it a 5 star read! I haven't chuckled this much reading a book in such a long time.”
Goodreads Reviewer 5 Star - “Fun read with plenty of twists and laughs along the way.”
Goodreads Reviewer 5 Star - “This book had me laughing from the beginning. Loved every second of this story!”

Check out K.L. Montgomery's Author Page for Giveaway

By the time we’ve finished up at the house that night, Sonnet and I are both beat. We came inside during the heat of the day to work on stripping the wallpaper in the kitchen. It didn’t matter how many “stripper” jokes I made, I don’t think she ever cracked a smile. See, that’s why we never got along. She could never lower herself to be even slightly amused by the comedic stylings of world-renowned funnyman, Andrew Clark. I was elected Class Clown for a reason, you know.
“What did I do with my shoes?” she asks as soon as I crack open a cold one from the trusty cooler I packed up this morning. “And don’t you have to work tonight?” she asks when she eyes me taking a nice, healthy swig.
She’s such a buzzkill.
“A) I don’t know where your shoes are and B) nope, I’m off this weekend. Fuck yeah!” I wink at her, quickly deciding not to let her sour mood ruin mine.
“How did you manage that in the middle of the season?” she questions, getting a curious look in her eye.
“I told my boss I really needed to work on the house this weekend. She knows we gotta get this place fixed up, so I sweet-talked my way into a weekend off once a month this summer.”
“Well, good for you. I’m probably going to take some time off too once we figure out what the contractor is going to handle and what we’re going to do ourselves. If we only work on this place on the weekends, we’ll never finish before the end of the summer. And we really need to get this thing on the market by August first or we might as well wait until spring.”
That gives us almost two months, I calculate. “Agreed.” Well, at least a quick turn-around time is one thing we can both agree on. I notice she has found her shoes and slipped them on. “Where are you going?”
“I think I’m going to walk over to the boardwalk and grab something to eat,” she answers. I know she sees my eyes light up because her lips turn up with the tiniest smirk. “Do you want to come with me?”
She said the magical words.
But wait. Going with her means being seen in public with her. Willingly. It seems a little….odd. A little too much like a….date. But my stomach is growling, and it gets to make any decisions Drew Jr. isn’t going to make, so I agree to dinner.
As we're trekking along the few blocks to the boardwalk, I notice Sonnet is walking funny. "What's going on? Did you hurt your foot or something?" I ask, remembering my mother's admonishment not to be a dickhead. Of course, she didn’t put it so…colorfully.
"I think there's something in my shoe.” She sighs as she glances down at her hideous neon-colored running shoes, the kind that looks both ludicrous and outrageously expensive at the same time. "Hold on a sec, okay?" She gives me a little smirk.
I stop walking and watch her take off her shoe. The sunlight is fading into an rusty orange streak as it slips toward the purple horizon, so she fails to see anything when she peers inside. But when she turns the shoe upside down, a small object falls out onto the sidewalk. It looks round, almost like a dollop of poop or something, so of course I have to bend down and inspect it.
"Ewww, it's a millipede!" I stand back up to poise my foot over it, preparing to smash it to smithereens.
"Wait, no!” She forcefully grabs me by the arm, and even with her tiny body, she manages to shove me a yard or two away from the creepy-crawly creature. “What do you think you’re doing?!” she demands with obvious moral outrage.
"Uh, protecting your honor?" I retort. Come on, she was violated by that stealthy multi-legged worm! Or at least her shoe was.
"It's just a harmless millipede! It didn’t do anything wrong!” She smiles, crouching down to have a closer look at it. It's all curled up into a ball, it's million legs completely hidden by its hard brown shell. It slowly unfurls and starts to wiggle across the sidewalk. "See? It's so cute!" she fawns over it, her face all animated with a grin.
"Yeah, real cute." I shake my head.
We manage to have a fairly enjoyable dinner. She eats a huge salad heaped with every vegetable known to mankind, while I scarf down a steak and its rightful, god-ordained companion: steak fries. She tries not to get too grossed out by the salacious way I'm savoring my medium rare rotting cow flesh (as she referred to it multiple times), and I try not to get too grossed out by her unexplainable enthusiasm for broccoli. 
"I'm dying to see the estimates," she says as we head back to Aunt Penny's house. “I want to get this show on the road!” I nod in agreement, noticing the sun has completely surrendered to the moon, which is hanging over the ocean like a giant pearl. I can hear the waves crashing on the shore from a block away. I'd ask her if she wanted to go down there and take a look, but that feels a little too romantic – i.e. icky – in my book.
"What is the deal with my foot tonight?" she asks as I swing the front door open to what will hopefully soon be a charming beach cottage. "First the millipede, and now it feels...weird and kinda tingly.” She scrunches up her nose with the last word as if she can’t quite decide if she’s freaked out or in pain.
She promptly sits on the plastic-covered couch to take her shoes off. She stretches her sock-covered feet out in front of her, examining them as I head into the kitchen. "Huh, seems normal,” she proclaims. I'm grabbing a beer from my trusty cooler when I hear a loud gasp, quickly followed by a sharp shriek.
I take my time prying the cap off my beer bottle before heading into the living room to see what the fuss is about. I find her gripping her left foot in her hand, her eyes approximately the size of the full moon we saw hanging over the shore.
"Andrew!" she chokes out. "Oh my god, look at my foot!" She moves her hand away to reveal large purple splotches up and down her skin from her big toe to her heel.
"What the hell is that?" I ask. "Looks like purple dye!"
"It’s BURNING!" she screams as the air begins to circulate around her foot.
"What do you mean ‘burning?’" 
She doesn't answer me. Her face turns red as she hops up and down on her right foot all the way into the kitchen where she hoists her slim, perfectly toned leg up onto the counter. She shoves her whole left foot under the faucet, which is turned full-blast on cold.
"Wait, did the millipede do this?" she gasps again. "The millipede!" She turns around to look at me with her dark eyes on fire. "Google it, google it!" she demands, bouncing up and down on her right foot.
"Google what?" I ask her, still confused as hell but highly amused by the scene unfolding in Aunt Penny’s kitchen.
"Google whether or not millipedes can hurt you!" she replies as if I'm a complete moron. It's the same tone I remember her using in 9th grade when I screwed up the animal we were supposed to dissect in biology class.
I whip my phone out of my pocket, and my thumbs furiously fly across the keyboard until a set of search results appear. My eyes grow to the same size as Sonnet's as I read aloud: "Certain types of millipedes release a harmful substance if they are threatened or if you handle them roughly. The harmful chemicals in millipede toxin are Hydrochloric acid, Hydrogen cyanide, Organic acids –" I throw my phone on the counter. "Holy shit, Sonnet, you've got millipede poisoning!"
"Oh my god, what do I do?" she screams back at me. Her face is contorted with fear and pain, her arms flailing as she wildly gestures at me. I have never seen her look so worried, not even in sixth grade when I snapped her bra so hard the strap broke, and she had to go to the nurse's office to get some help fixing it. Man, I was such a jerk! No wonder my mom told me to be nice.
I pick up my phone again and continue reading, giving her the highlights, "You may notice a brown stain and/or intense burning and itching."
"Yes, yes, go on!" she urges me as the cold water continues to run over her splotch-covered foot.
"It says you should wash with soap and water and go to the ER if it's in your eye. It's not in your eye, right?"
She shakes her head with a slight sense of relief.
I finish speed-reading the WebMD article. "Looks like you're good." I lay the phone back down. "Carry on then,” I encourage her with a little wave and a bow. 
Her eyes narrow as she processes my flippant response. "What? That's it? I'm just going to have these purple marks on my skin or what?"
"Yeah for a while, or so the all-powerful intrawebz say," I reassure her. I open one of Aunt Penny's drawers that I suspect contains dishcloths. Turns out I'm right. I hand her one and she pats off her foot, examining the dark patches of skin.
"Oh my god, they're HOT to the touch!" she gasps.
"Yeah, it's a chemical burn," I confirm.
She shakes her head. "Who knew we had poisonous millipedes around here?!"
I laugh. "I bet you wish you'd have let me stomp on it now, don't you?"
"Don't even!" she fires back. "Poor little defenseless thing. It's not its fault my big ole foot tried to squish it!"
"Really?" I look at her incredulously.
"Yeah, it's still a living creature. I wouldn't want to harm it!"
"Even though it harmed you?"
She nods emphatically. "I'll be fine," she assures me. And just like that, all traces of panic are gone from her face and voice.
I'm honestly impressed her freak out session was so short in duration. Hell, I would have freaked out a lot more. Better her than me, that’s for sure.

My Review

The Flip is a smart, well-written, romantic comedy. A great deal of the humor in the book comes from the differences between the two main characters. Sonnet is determined and focused. Andrew not so much. Add to the mix that they were enemies during this childhood and high school days, and you have the recipe for potential fireworks. I found myself rooting for them and hoping they'd find their way which they did. I thought the supporting cast was also very well done, especially the neighbor who never could get their names right. The ending was intriguing to me. It ended the way it had to, but it was something of a surprise for me in a good way. If we were giving stars I'd give it 4 out of 5.
K.L. Montgomery grew up in Greencastle, Indiana, and studied psychology and library science at Indiana University. After a career as a librarian, she now writes novels and wrangles three sons and four cats at her home in rural Delaware, which she shares with her husband and the aforementioned creatures. She has an undying love of Broadway musicals, the beach, the color teal, IU basketball, paisleys, and dark chocolate.

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