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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Beyond the Book: The Captain and the Cheerleader


Today's excerpt is from the book we've been previewing The Captain and the Cheerleader. To summarize, so far we know that Susan bet an irritating fellow teacher that she could make head football coach Kurt Deveraux ask her out. He did, and invited her to a party. In today's excerpt Susan and Kurt have arrived at the party, and unfortunately both of them have had a little too much to drink. Okay, a whole lot to drink.

Blurb:
Susan English can’t stand Robin Lanford! She’s so full of herself she irritates everyone on the faculty of Fairfield High. When Robin bets Susan fifty dollars that she can’t get a date with Kurt Deveraux, the head football coach, Susan jumps at the chance to put the little heifer in her place. She had no idea that teaching Robin a lesson would irrevocably change her life, strain treasured friendships, and throw two families into chaos.

Last Week:
The rest of the evening passed in a blur. Susan couldn’t remember when she’d had such a good time. The musicians should try for a recording contract, and the food must have been catered, especially the punch. It was that good. The people were nice too. No telling how many new friends she had made. 

The band returned from a break and began a slow, sensuous song. “Danz with me?” Kurt invited. He held out his hand. 

Susan giggled when his warm fingers closed around hers. How sweet that he had mispronounced the word dance. He led her to the dance floor where he put his arms around her and pulled her against him. 

“You shouldn’t hold me so close,” Susan sighed. She laid her head on his shoulder and made no effort to move away from him.

This week:
Kurt dropped a kiss on her hair. “Mmm, you smell like flowers.” A pause. “Why shouldn’t I be so close? I like holdin’ you.”

“Because of the way you make me feel.” Susan giggled. “I can’t stop laughing.”

“I don’ see a problem.”

When the dance ended, people started to leave. She glanced at her watch. How odd. She couldn’t see it very well. “It’s late, Kurt, and I hafta go to church ah...tomorrow.” She yawned. “I’m a member of the choir.”

“Let’s say bye to Jose.” 

Buy link: http://amzn.to/1NDgnrg

Seven Days to Goodbye & Starting Over


Seven Days to Goodbye & Starting Over
by Sheri S Levy

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GENRE:   Young Adult- coming of age

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BLURB:

Thirteen year old, Trina has chosen to raise service dogs and have puppy after puppy. But during her seven day beach vacation, Trina struggles with having to return Sydney at the end of the week and worrying about her best friend changing into a stranger. To complicate the week, Sydney, meets a young boy with autism and the girls meet his two older brothers. Tension is raised over the guys, and Trina fears she’ll lose more than her service dog. Will Trina's lose her best friend, also?



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EXCERPT:

Sydney climbed on my lap and licked the corners of my eyes. I buried my face in his soft fur and scratched under his chin. He leaned into my hand as I whispered, “We’ll have fun with or without Sarah. We just have to.”

Staring through the side window, a deep-blue summer sky flickered between pine trees covered in kudzu. Sarah’s car passed on the right. I turned the other way.

Off the freeway, we headed east and then south down a two lane road through sleepy little towns one after the other. Twenty minutes later, I leaned forward between the front seats, “Wow. Look.”

Branches from gigantic live oak trees slanted towards the middle of the street. The trees looked as though they were trying to touch each other and some did. They reminded me of my cozy canopy bed where Sarah and I had spent many nights, giggling and whispering. But this canopy was made of tree limbs in different shades of green, dripping with grayish, Spanish moss. The moss hung like ghostly long arms swinging in the wind.

“This is kind of spooky beautiful. It’s like being in a green tunnel.” I cracked my window.

A whiff of salty ocean filled the car. Sydney lifted his head as the trees whizzed by. His nose twitched. “We’re getting close, Syd.” He squeezed into the same space with me and gazed out the front window.

Suddenly, the trees disappeared. The cloudless sky stretched with no end in sight. Pelicans flew in an upside down, V formation. On both sides of the road, squiggly tidal creeks flowed through green marshlands. White birds with skinny legs stood statue-still in the shimmering water. This was a place I’d only seen in postcards.

Pelicans flew in an upside down, V formation. On both sides of the road, squiggly tidal creeks flowed through green marshlands. White birds with skinny legs stood statue-still in the shimmering water. This was a place I’d only seen in postcards.

A Word From the Author:

1.    Did you always want to be an author?
Growing up, I never thought about being an author. I wanted to be a forest ranger, a dress designer, a dancer, and a Special Ed. teacher. It wasn’t until I was close to retirement, the urge took over.
As a child, I wrote every day in my diary, and as an adult I kept a travel journal. Since my parents frequented the library, I filled my arms with books. At night, I’d hide under my covers with a flashlight and read until I couldn’t keep my eyes open.
It wasn’t until I started teaching, the desire to write blossomed. As I read to my students, they leaned forward in their chairs and soaked up each word. They spurred my writing interest. I began reading about writing, taking online classes, and then joined SCBWI.


2.    Tell us about the publication of your first book.
When I retired from teaching, I began my first novel. After seven years of writing and revising, I stashed it in a drawer and began Seven Days to Goodbye.
My love of Edisto Beach, dogs, and special needs children found its way to the pages. I used my experiences and memories and spent three years polishing the words. Soon, I received requests for full manuscripts from agents. On a friend’s Facebook page, I read Barking Rain Press was open to submissions until midnight. I hadn’t thought about querying to a publisher.
After researching their site, I wrote my very long submission and sent it one minute before midnight. A month later, I received a request from BRP for a full manuscript.  
While watching the morning show two months later, I scanned my phone messages. My eyes caught the Barking Rain Press email. “We would like to offer you a contract on your wonderful story.”
Shocked, I handed my phone to my hubbie and asked him to read the message. He smiled. “Yep! That’s what it says!”
What a thrill it was to be with a supportive team. My publisher had the book printed August, 2014. Just in time to enter, Seven Days to Goodbye, in the Dog Writers Association of America’s contest. It won in their Special Interest category, February, 2015. 
My first book launch, September 11th, 2014, was like birthing another baby.

3.    Besides yourself, who is your favorite author in the genre in which you write?
  I tend to read stories with animal subjects that pull on my heart strings. If a story involves rescues, service dogs, horses, turtles or dolphins, I’m hooked.

Children’s authors from SCBWI who write delightful, young dog reads.
Kirby Larson: Hattie Big Sky, her World War II dog books, Two Bobbies, Nubs, Duke, and Dash.
Barbara O’Connor: How to Steal a Dog and Wish.

Adult favorites: too many to list!
Sarah Gruen’s, Riding Lessons and Flying Changes
Temple Grandin, Animals in Translation
Mary Alice Monroe, dramas with sea animals.
Neil Abramson, Unsaid

4.    What’s the best part of being an author? The worst?
Being an author is especially rewarding when a reader identifies with the characters and shares their delight.
 I spend a lot of time in isolation, day dreaming, pretending, and watching people. As the words spill out, I have fun adventures with my characters inside my mind.
An extra perk is doing school visits and writing workshops. This allows me to be with students and encourage them to dream big, and to go after their goals.
The hardest part of being a published writer is the online marketing. It is very time consuming and it takes away from my writing time. 


5.    What projects are you working on now?
 I am marketing, my young adult series: Trina Ryan’s Dogs in Training. I present, Seven Days to Goodbye, to schools and teach writing skills. I also attend book festivals, and fund raisers for PAALs.org., a service dog organization. They have helped me with my research, and I support them with proceeds from my book.
We have begun promotions for the sequel, Starting Over. The illustrator, Stephanie Flint, is designing the cover, and Barking Rain Press is beginning the book layout.  Pre-orders will be announced. July 18th is our print date. And I will celebrate with another exciting launch for Starting Over.
While these things are in the works, I am busy writing the third book, For Keeps.


   

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Sheri, originally from California, moved to South Carolina with her husband, two children and a Siamese cat. Soon they adopted their first rescue dog who influenced their need to continue living with dogs. Sheri taught a multi-handicapped Special Ed class, and then a GED-parenting class, which included home visits. Because of her love of reading, Sheri found unusual ways to encourage children to read. After her rescue of a difficult dog, Sheri enrolled in dog classes to change his behavior. Her dream of writing, Seven Days to Goodbye, came from the culmination of her beach experiences, her understanding of behaviors, and from research with PAALS, a service dog organization.
Links:
ISBN: 978-1-935460-74-9   EBook- 978-1-935460-75-6
Facebook.com/Sherislevyauthor342003522553368
Twitter: @SheriSLevy



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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

Sheri S Levy will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Purr M for Murder


Purr M for Murder
by T.C. Lotempio

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GENRE:  Cozy Mystery

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BLURB:

Sydney McCall left behind an ex-fiancé and a New York advertising job to return home to Deer Park, North Carolina and help her sister, Kat, run the local animal shelter, Friendly Paws. Determined to save the shelter from financial trouble, Sydney and Kat organize a cat café fundraising event at a local coffee shop. Things are looking up until their landlord, Trowbridge Littleton, threatens to shut down the event. When Sydney drops by his art gallery to make peace, she finds Kat--along with Littleton's dead body.

Local homicide detective Will Worthington--who just happens to be Sydney's old high school crush--is highly suspicious of the sisters' involvement. Desperate to clear their names from the suspect list, Sydney pounces on the investigation. With the help of one of the shelter cats, a savvy orange tabby named Toby, Sydney begins poking her nose into other local businesses whose owners may have benefited from Littleton's death--until the killer notices she's pawing a little too closely at the truth.
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EXCERPT:
We were in the doorway now.  A large desk was at the far end of what appeared to be an office.  The light was coming from a small lamp perched on the edge of the desk, and as we crossed the threshold, it flickered and then went out.  Kat shone the pencil thin beam of the flashlight around the room, letting out a sharp cry as it hit the wall nearest us.  “Lightswitch,” she squealed, and a minute later the room was filled with a harsh fluorescent light. 

I glanced around.  Yes, this was definitely an office, and not a very tidy one at that.  There were several file cabinets pushed up against the far wall, and two of the drawers in the one on the left were half open. Papers were strewn across the desk, and some file folders had dropped onto the floor and were scattered across the Oriental rug.

“Good Lord,” my sister exclaimed.  “For someone always so fastidious about his appearance, he certainly likes to work in a mess.”

I frowned.  “It looks more to me like it’s been ransacked. Someone was searching for something. What do you think, Kat? Kat?”

My sister had moved over to the far corner of the room and was standing before a large wardrobe.  “Wow, this is beautiful,” she said, lifting a hand to run it over the smooth exterior. She balled her hand into a fist and rapped it against the wood. “Solid oak.  I saw a picture of one like this in a catalog.  French, dates back to the late 1800’s.  I wonder what it’s doing in his office?”

“Who knows? Maybe he keeps his suit jackets in it,” I said.  “Why do you care, anyway?”

“It’s such a beautiful piece,” my sister murmured. “Too good for that rotter. It seems out of place in this office.”

“Maybe it just came in and he’s got it here for pricing,” I ventured.

“Maybe.  I wouldn’t mind having something like this,” Kat said, running her hand once again across the smooth wood.  “It looks deep enough – I wonder if the doors swing out all the way? It would be great to put a TV in.”

I eyed the piece. “That thing looks hand-carved. He probably wants an arm and a leg for it.”

“Probably.” She gave the handle a tug. “Hm.  The doors seem to be stuck.”

I waved  my hand impatiently.  “Oh for goodness sakes, leave it alone. Must you examine it now?”

Her lower lip thrust forward. “Yes.  Who knows, I might not get another chance.”

I shot her a sharp look.  “You’re not thinking of buying this, are you?”

She sighed deeply. “I suppose not.  Littleton will probably want some astronomical figure for it.  But I might never get another opportunity to see such a finely made one up close.” She shot me an appealing look.  “Give me a hand, won’t you? You’re strong. Maybe if we both pull on the handle at the same time it’ll open.”

I knew my sister. Once Kat made up her mind about something she was like a pitbull with a bone. I knew when it was futile to argue with her. “Okay, fine. But if we get this open, one quick look and then we’re out of here.”

She nodded and I placed my hand on top of hers. “On the count of three, give it all you’ve got. One, two—three.”

We both tugged at the same time and suddenly the door flew open.  We went staggering backwards at the same time the body of Trowbridge Littleton, his eyes bulging almost out of their sockets, tongue lolling to the side, hit the floor at our feet. 


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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

While Toni Lotempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic.  She (and ROCCO, albeit he’s uncredited) pen the Nick and Nora mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime – the first volume, MEOW IF ITS MURDER, debuted Dec. 2, 2014. Followed by #2, CLAWS FOR ALARM.   #3, CRIME AND CATNIP, is out this December. She, Rocco and Maxx make their home in Clifton, New Jersey, just twenty minutes from the Big Apple – New York. Catch up with them at www.tclotempio.com and www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com


Where to find them:

ROCCO’s blog:
www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com
Website:
WWW.tclotempio.com

Amazon- Purr M for Murder
 https://www.amazon.com/Purr-Murder-Cat-Rescue-Mystery/dp/1683310926/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474130829&sr=1-3

Amazon: All Books Page
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=dp_byline_sr_book_1?ie=UTF8&field-author=T.C.+LoTempio&search-alias=books&text=T.C.+LoTempio&sort=relevancerank

facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/Toni-LoTempio-125764404163823Twitter:
@RoccoBlogger

Purchase Link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/purr-m-for-murder-t-c-lotempio/1124519401

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE


The author will be awarding autographed copy of PURR M FOR MURDER (hardcover - US ONLY) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Use the link below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 27, 2017

Cover Reveal: All I Ask

Title: All I Ask
Author: Elizabeth York
Genre: Contemporary/Romantic Suspense
Release Date: May 23, 2017 Photographer: MHPhotography Designer: MGBookcover &; Design
My name is Devan Anderson and I am a photographer and the by product of a cheating father and a childhood evaporated by illness. I'm stubborn, protective, but I care more than I let on. What does a girl like me do when I taste life for the first time? 
I'll give you a hint. It isn't what you think.
My name is Ian Jensen and I am a Pediatric Oncologist that works day and night with kids that prove to be braver than I. I am open to Nerf gun fights, having fun, and taking control. What's a doctor who lives life by the book do when given a new chapter to live in? 
Ask me again tomorrow?
What happens when a photographer set to live in the dark meets the doctor that lives in the light? What happens when our world collide?

“Put your hands up,” a little voice yelled. Ian and I put our hands up. I turned my head to see a little boy wearing a mask and a cape holding a Nerf bow. I smiled as Ian reached into his coat and snagged a little Nerf gun. 

“Who are you?” I asked to distract the kid avenger from Ian’s movements. 
“I am-,” his voice froze as I saw a woman stepped out of a room with her arms crossed. She cleared her throat as I looked at Ian and he winked. 
In one swift, move Ian turned with his Nerf gun and shot a toy bullet as he moved in front of me. The boy fired and his bullet hit the wall as he pulled back the arm on the bow and was ready to fire again. Ian pulled the trigger on the little boy and fired again intentionally hitting the wall as the masked child fired again. 
Ian groaned as he took a toy arrow in the leg, and fell to the floor. I immediately wanted to play along so I grabbed his gun and fired at the boy who was faster than the foam bullet I launched.
I went to step forward over Ian when I got really dizzy and lost my balance. I fell back and hit the floor with a thud. 
“Doctor Ian, is she okay?” a little voice asked as a bright light was intensely in my eyes. 
“What’s your name?” Ian asked as he looked me over. 
“You know my name.” 
“What day is it?” Ian asked as I had to follow his finger. 

“Ass hole day?” I asked and snickered when Ian scoffed because there were virgin ears around.
Author Elizabeth York has been writing for about seven years. Located in the southeast, she spends her days drinking sweet tea on the porch with her laptop in hand. She has devoted her life to her family and her books. With the loss of her Father to cancer in 2010 she makes "Dear Daddy" dedication pages in each book and donates 10% royalties to cancer research.
Elizabeth was given a 2015 Author of the Year award sponsored by 31 blogs for her role in helping her fellow authors and her writing. She was also accepted into the Romance Writers of America organization in May of 2015.
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It Started With a Kiss


It Started With a Kiss
by Ella Quinn

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GENRE: Historical Romance

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BLURB:

What is a young Worthington woman to do when the man of her dreams is not who she thinks he is?

This season, all eyes are on the Earl of Worthington’s spirited, beautiful sister, Lady Louisa Vivers. Many gentlemen are vying for her attention in and around the ton. Yet, Louisa longs for someone who can take her beyond the ballroom—a man who is worldly, adventurous, and passionate. She won’t settle for just any suitor. She wants her true soul mate—and she’ll know him when she sees him.

Is Gideon, the Duke of Rothwell, him? The moment he and Louisa meet, they share a powerful attraction. Rides at sunrise and waltzes at dusk follow. Finally, Gideon can no longer resist the urge to embrace her, and Louisa is sure he will ask for her hand. But Gideon believes he is in no position to marry. The Rothwell estate has gone bankrupt, a scandal simmers in its wake, and he has nothing left to offer. Now, he must decide if he will let pride stand in the way of true love—or if he will risk everything, and let the lady decide for herself…


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EXCERPT:

Early morning, Hyde Park, May 1815

Dawn had broken only a few minutes before, but a light fog clouded the air making the sun look like a small yellow ball. Gideon, Duke of Rothwell, was certain he was the only rider at this hour of the morning. Needing the calm a hard ride gave him, he thundered down the empty carriage way. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, a dark bay burst through the mist, disturbing his solitude. Yet it was the massive dog, almost the size of a pony, keeping pace with the horse that caught his notice.

What the devil?

Faisu, his black Murgese stallion, pranced nervously as Gideon brought him to a halt. “Easy, boy. We don’t need that beast tangling with you. He could sever your hamstrings in an instant.”

A moment later, a twist of long, dark hair pulled loose from under the rider’s hat, riveting his attention on the woman. By the time she was even with him, he’d taken in the neat figure encased in a dark blue riding habit, and her excellent seat.

She glanced over, slowing her horse for a bare moment as she passed him. Her cheeks were pink from the cool air and a smile graced her lush rose lips. Their gazes collided and held. As if they were the only two people on earth. In that second, Gideon felt as if he would tumble into the vivid blue of the rider’s eyes that reminded him of lapis.

She cannot be real.

He blinked and she was gone. He might have dreamed her except that a few seconds later, a groom raced by, clearly attempting to catch up with his mistress.

For a moment he was tempted to follow as well, but it wouldn’t do him any good. She was obviously a lady, and even if he could obtain an introduction, and their relations proceeded satisfactorily, he was not yet in a position to wed.

It was pure fantasy to think of marriage in conjunction with a woman he’d seen in passing. Still, he would have liked to have been able to dream.

Blast Father! If he were still alive, I’d shake some sense back into him.

But the old duke had been in the ground for over three months when Gideon had returned from Canada. Now all he could do was pick up the pieces his father had left behind.



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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Bestselling author Ella Quinn’s studies and other jobs have always been on the serious side. Reading historical romances, especially Regencies, were her escape. Eventually her love of historical novels led her to start writing them. She has just finished her first series, The Marriage Game, and her new series, The Worthingtons, began in April 2016.

She is married to her wonderful husband of over thirty years. They have a son and two beautiful granddaughters, and a dog. After living in the South Pacific, Central America, North Africa, England and Europe, she and her husband decided to make their dreams come true and are now living on a sailboat cruising the Caribbean and North America. Europe is next!

    
Website: www.ellaquinnauthor.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/EllaQuinnAuthor
Twitter www.twitter.com/ellaquinnauthor
Blog http://ellaquinnauthor.wordpresscom

Buy Links:




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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

Ella will be awarding an Autographed ARC of IT STARTED WITH A KISS (US Only) to 5 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour.



a Rafflecopter giveaway