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Strange the Dreamer-A Goodreads Review

Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer, #1)Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Strange the Dreamer
The brothers told Lazlo Strange he’d come in the wagon load of war orphans. He grows up with nothing except for his dreams about a mythical city called Weep, based on the stories an old monk shares with him. Sent to deliver manuscripts to the library, he stumbles upon a neglected vault of fairy tales and he stays. The library-staff apprentices him and the more he reads, the more convinced he is that his destiny is linked to the far-off and forbidden city and then one day, a caravan arrives from Weep—this is Lazlo’s chance—if only he’s brave enough to put himself forward.

But the city of Weep has its own tragedies. For 200 years, its people were slaves to the evil godlike overlords. Fifteen years ago, Eril-Fane, called the Godslayer, lead a revolt and the gods died, but Weep is still haunted. Its people are desperate for cure and Eril-Fane has come in search saviors.

At the same time, Sarai, one of the five god-spawn children, who escaped death, uses her god-gift of invading sleepers’ dreams to make Weep’s population fear the angel citadel where the god-spawn hide. As a child, she enjoyed inflicting nightmares. Now, at seventeen, after spending so much time in others’ minds, she has questions and regrets. She enters Lazlo’s dream and, unlike any other dreamer she’s ever known, he sees her.

The world building is rich and enchanting, but the characters made me fall in love with the story. Life has been unfair to Lazlo, yet he’s kind, gentle and genuinely wants to help others. All the characters are deep, complex and conflicted and their interactions including the love story and those who seek revenge compelled me to keep turning pages.

If you read fantasy to be captivated by a story, this is a book for you.

Just so you know, I borrowed this book from my library’s digital consortium and I loved it so much, I had to buy my own copy.

View all my reviews

Down and Dirty Tips for Hosting a Successful Facebook Party

Photo by Mitchell Orr on Unsplash

When my new release came out this spring, my friends told me, “You must have a Facebook party.”

I freaked. I didn’t know what to do and my party was scheduled for hours and hours, so I did some research on line and gathered other authors’ advice. I attended a few parties. Then I had my own. Thanks to other authors’ wonderful suggestions, my party was a success. Right away, I liked the process, and I really enjoyed doing take-overs, where you as an author are a guest host at another author’s party.

For the last few months I’ve been a frequent guest and fellow host at Facebook events, and as a kind of payback, I’d love to share what I’ve learned.

  1. Pick a time and date. Decide how long you want your party. In my experience, an hour is a long time when you’re hosting a party, so be wary of 24 hour parties. Pick a manageable length and host it at a time your diehard fans can attend. Next, decide if you’re hosting alone or if you want to invite other authors to “take over” part of your party time.

I like the “take over” option. If other authors “take over” they’ll invite their friends and fans, and you’ll likely have a broader audience. Also, it’s fun to check out what others do and to get to make comments and just be a party goer.

  1. Invite lots of people, but make sure you have a core group of diehard fans or friends, people who will absolutely participate. This will encourage lurkers to join and make your party more fun.
  2. Ask one of those super loyal friends to show up physically (come to your home) and sit with you (on another computer) as your assistant. That person can watch the feed and make sure you didn’t miss your guests’ comments.
  3. Prepare your script and your pictures in advance, so that you’ll only have to copy and paste them into the Facebook post. You will need a picture or a post which could be a question, a comment, a game or an info-bit about your book every 3-5 minutes.
  4. Expect some dead time, some moments that you’re confused and some snafus. It’s okay to be human. Just try to roll with the unexpected and know that guests will likely enjoy the party even if it’s not perfect.
  5. Make special banners, pictures or teasers for your party. Canva.com or Pic College or Adobe Spark are free programs that can help you. Also, you can look for already-made humorous gifs and cartoons on line at sites like memegenerator.net. Try to give credit for the images you use.
  6. Let guests ask questions and try to answer them all.
  7. Try to acknowledge comments and likes even if you need to scroll back in your feed again and again to do so.
  8. Remember to hit refresh, so you can see current activity and comments.
  9. Offer prizes, but remember they don’t have to be huge cash amounts and before you offer them, plan how you will award them and how you’ll get them to your winners. Announce or contact your winners as soon as you can. You may have to ask for e-mail addresses or give badges that can be attached to Facebook messages. Some party hosts give physical prizes. Budget for postage costs and collect mailing addresses if you plan to do this.
  10. Plan some games. Soon I’ll post my suggestions for Facebook games.

I hope your Facebook parties are successful. Let me know, and if you need suggestions or another author to do a takeover, feel free to e-mail me. miaATmiacelesteDOTcom

A Scot in the Dark-A Goodreads Review

A Scot in the Dark (Scandal & Scoundrel #2)A Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLean
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Miss Lillian Hargrove, the heroine, fell in love with the wrong guy. He tricked her into posing nude. In a short month or so, all of London will view Lilly in the buff. She’s ruined, which becomes a problem for her guardian—Alec, the Scottish Duke of Warnick. He didn’t even know he’d inherited a ward, but to do his duty and because he’s a compassionate guy, a gentle, but misunderstood giant, he comes to London to settle things. That’s when everything gets interesting. The characters are likable, funny and vulnerable, both have lots of baggage—the perfect recipe for a romance that is an emotional roller-coaster. The many twists and turns lead to a satisfying conclusion that surprised me.
If you love romance, I’m betting you’ll love this story.

The Mad Monk’s Treasure and an Interview with Kris Bock

When I read The Mad Monk’s Treasure, I knew it was a novel I had to add to my to-read list and I wanted to learn more about its author, so I interviewed her.

How would you describe ­­­The Mad Monk’s Treasure in only three words?

Female Indiana Jones

Do you listen to music while you write? What are some tunes on your playlist?

I use voice recognition software, and it makes enough mistakes without music playing in the background.

How did ­­­The Mad Monk’s Treasure come to be? What was your inspiration to write the book?

I’d been writing for middle grade children for some years as Chris Eboch. But I’d been reading a lot of romantic suspense, and I wanted to try something different. I love adventure stories and treasure hunting, and I love spending time outdoors here in New Mexico. The Mad Monk’s Treasure is based on a “real” legend. The lost Victorio Peak treasure may or may not still be waiting in New Mexico, but in my novel, two spunky friends find it with the help of a sexy love interest and a feisty orange cat.

What do you hope readers take away from your work?

Most of all, I want people to have fun. If reading it gives them a mini vacation, that’s perfect. If it inspires people to get outside, and maybe believe they can have a little adventure of their own, even better.

What are you reading right now?

A Brother Cadfael mystery by Ellis Peters.

What writing advice would you give a fellow author?

It’s a tough business, and it can crush a writer’s spirit, so remember to have fun – if you’re not enjoying yourself, what’s the point?

Quick Draw:

Jeans or sweats?

Sweats around the house. Jeans for “formal” occasions.

Coffee or Tea?

Definitely tea.

Chocolate or Chips?

Yes please.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

The Mad Monk’s Treasure is free at all e-book retailers, so why not try it? If you like it, please leave a review and check out my other novels.

The Mad Monk’s Treasure
“Smart romance with an ‘Indiana Jones’ feel.”

 

“Like Nancy Drew for grownups.”

 

A legendary treasure hunt in the dramatic – and deadly – New Mexico desert….

 

photo courtesy of martina-misar-tummeltshammer-

 

The lost Victorio Peak treasure is the greatest of treasure-hunting legends, filled with riches from a heretic Spanish priest’s gold mine, bandits, and an Apache Chief.

 

Erin, a shy history professor, uncovers a clue that may pinpoint the lost cave. She’s ready for adventure, but when a hit and run driver nearly kills her, she knows she’s not the only one after the treasure. And is Drew, the handsome helicopter pilot who found her bleeding in a ditch, a hero or an enemy?

 

Erin heads into the New Mexico wilderness with her brainy best friend Camie and a feisty orange cat, Tiger. The wilderness holds its own dangers, from wild animals to sudden storms. Meanwhile, dangerous men are on Erin’s trail, determined snatch the treasure from her grasp. How far will Erin go to find the treasure and discover what she’s really made of? And will Drew be there to help her in the end?

 

“The story has it all—action, romance, danger, intrigue, lost treasure, not to mention a sizzling relationship….”

 

“The action never stopped …. It was adventure and romance at its best.”

 

“I couldn’t put this book down. You’ll love it.”

 

This book was originally published under the title Rattled.

 

Fans of Mary Stewart, Barbara Michaels, and Terry Odell will enjoy these stories of love in the wild, from an award-winning author.

 

The Mad Monk’s Treasure Excerpt:

 

Among all the legends, all the fact and fiction, one story stood out. The Victorio Peak legend had it all. A Franciscan priest and a swindler. Torture, murder, a government cover-up. Where was the truth, among all the stories? Erin wanted to find out. Over time, and with Camie’s encouragement, she’d started to take the treasure hunt more seriously. It wasn’t so much for the treasure itself, which would most likely belong to the government or the landowners. But it would make her reputation, open up new job opportunities – change her life in ways she hardly dared dream.

 

She touched the book gently. The pages were falling out; she didn’t want to risk carrying it around. Instead, Erin snapped a picture of the petroglyphs with her phone. That would be enough to show Camie for now.

 

The timing was perfect; she just had to turn in grades and field a few tearful last-minute requests for extensions, and she’d be done for the semester. What better way to spend the summer, than hunting for buried treasure?

 

Erin shook her head. Who would’ve thought that she, the quiet, studious girl who’d spent her entire adult life in academia in one way or another, would be planning such an adventure?

 

Erin wheeled the bike around the front of her house and mounted. At the corner, she paused and looked both ways. The long frontage road was dangerously narrow, with a cement wall on one side and a ditch on the other. Fortunately, traffic was normally light, and at this time of day the road lay empty. Erin pushed off, still grinning from her find. She rode on the right side, by the ditch, instead of facing traffic, because it was too frightening to ride alongside the wall when a car passed.

 

She’d gone a block when she heard the hum of a car engine as it pulled out from a side street behind her. She rode along the very edge of the pavement, even though the car would have plenty of room to pass her without oncoming traffic.

 

Erin glanced over her shoulder. The black SUV twenty feet behind her hadn’t bothered to pull out into the road at all. Jerk. When would drivers learn to share the road with bicyclists? Erin pulled onto the two-foot wide gravel strip between the pavement and the ditch. She couldn’t stop without risking a skid, but she slowed so the SUV could pass.

 

The engine roared. Erin glanced back again.

 

Black metal bore down on her. Her heart lurched and the bike wobbled. This guy was crazy! She whipped her gaze forward, rose up in the seat, and pumped the pedals with all her power, skimming along inches from the ditch. He was just trying to scare her. She’d get his license plate and—

 

She felt the bumper hit her back tire. The bike seemed to leap into the air, and she went flying. The dried mud and weeds of the ditch seemed to rise up to meet her.

 

She didn’t even have time to scream.

 

Get the book free at these ebook retailers:

 

Kris Bock’s Amazon page

Barnes & Noble

Apple iBooks

Kobo

Google Play

 

Kris Bock writes novels of suspense and romance with outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes. Whispers in the Dark features archaeology and intrigue among ancient Southwest ruins. In Counterfeits, stolen Rembrandt paintings bring danger to a small New Mexico town. What We Found is a mystery with strong romantic elements about a young woman who finds a murder victim in the woods.

 

The Southwest Treasure Hunters novels follow strong characters hunting for long-lost treasures in the dramatic and deadly southwestern desert. Each stands alone.

 

Read excerpts at www.krisbock.com or visit her Amazon page. Sign up for Kris Bock newsletter for announcements of new books, sales, and more.

Find, follow, or friend the author:

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Linda McLaughlin Shares Her Holiday in Gold Country and Her Latest Release-Lily and the Gambler

Linda is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the blog post to subscribe to her email list for five chances to win!

Thanks so much for hosting me today, Mia!

I’m thrilled to talk a little about researching my latest release, Lily and the Gambler, a Western romance set in the California Gold Country.

 

My husband and I toured the area twice some years ago and I fell in love with it. Gold Country is best enjoyed by driving State Highway 49. We started at the southern end, in Mariposa, and drove north to Sacramento, and then Grass Valley and Nevada City, where my book is set Valley in September 1868. I recall scribbling descriptions of the scenery as we drove along.

 

She watched mile after mile of open spaces pass by, all bathed in brilliant sunlight. In the distance, clusters of dark green trees dotted a hillside, standing out in contrast to the lighter yellow-green of the grass. Wispy white clouds, without a hint of rain in them, streaked the sky, separating shades of blue ranging from pale turquoise to bright azure.

 

We made the trip twice, first strictly as a vacation, though I kept thinking how I’d like to set a book in the area. The second was a research trip for me, if not for my DH. At one point, he threatened to divorce me if I dragged him through one more mining museum!

A lot of the old Victorian homes have been turned into bed and breakfasts, and we took advantage of that to stay in some lovely old homes.

California Columbia carriage in a real old Western Gold Rush Town in USA

Interesting stops along the way include:

Sonora, a lovely little town that hosts the Railtown 1897 State Historic Park. For the kid in all of us.

Columbia State Historic Park, the best preserved Gold Rush town.

Angels Camp, where Mark Twain heard a story on which he based his short story “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.”

Placerville, formerly nicknamed Hangtown for the zeal of its law enforcement.

 

And my favorite, Grass Valley, a charming town with the attraction of having the wonderful Empire Mine State Historic Park, a fascinating glimpse into the lives of 19th century miners.

If you’re up this way, do take a side trip to Sacramento, the state capital, with its charming Old Sacramento historic area, and the amazing California State Railroad Museum. This is one of my all-time favorite museums. It was fun to climb aboard the old trains and imagine a different time.

Grass Valley was especially interesting to me because of the large Cornish population in the 19th century. This area had deep gold veins that couldn’t be panned. The Cornish miners were encouraged to come because of their experience in the tin mines of Cornwall, which were petering out. To this day, the Cornish pasty is a local treat, and the city still celebrates a Cornish Christmas.

Lily and the Gambler by Linda McLaughlin

 

Blurb: Respectability is in the eye of the beholder, or so Lily hopes. After her lover’s death she pretends to be his widow and travels to California to marry a mine owner. Then she meets King Callaway, a charming gambler. King knows he’s found his Queen of Hearts. But can he convince her to take a chance on a foot-loose card sharp? Only Lady Luck knows for sure…

On sale this summer for 99 cents at:

Amazon Kindle US: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B01MYMEKMD/

BN/Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lily-and-the-gambler-linda-mclaughlin/1125157205

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/lily-and-the-gambler

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/728787

 

 

Excerpt:

“Do you tell fortunes, too?”

“As a matter of fact, I do. Is the lady interested?”

“Perhaps,” she said, aware he was flirting with her again and annoyed with herself because she was enjoying it. “There should be a deck of cards here somewhere.”

“No cards required. Just let me see your palm.”

Unable to stop herself, Lily stripped off her gloves and let him take her hand. He held it in his left hand, and with his right index finger, traced the lines on her palm. Shivers ran up her arm at each caressing touch. His scent, a mixture of bay rum, male musk, and a faint hint of tobacco, overwhelmed her.

“What do you see?” she asked, her voice suddenly breathless.

“Health and long life.”

“What, no handsome stranger?” she joked.

He raised his head and stared into her eyes. “Oh, yes, I see romance ahead for you. With a dark haired fellow. But he isn’t a stranger.”

For what seemed an age, she stared into his green-gold eyes while her pulse quickened and warmth stole through her veins. It would be so easy to surrender to the feelings he evoked.

“I also see a fork in the road ahead,” he added softly. “You have a decision to make. A very important decision.”

She snatched her hand away, knowing she couldn’t afford to be distracted by him. It wasn’t as if he had made her any promises. “I think you need to practice your fortune-telling skills, Mr. Callaway.”

He chuckled. “There’s something else I’d like to practice.” Cupping her chin, he stared at her, his eyes full of half promises. “Oh, hell, I may get my face slapped for this, but…” His hand moved to the back of her neck as he lowered his head and captured her lips in a kiss that stole her breath away.

For a moment, she closed her eyes and gave herself up to the kiss. Then a door slammed somewhere in the house, reminding her of where they were. She pushed him away. “How dare you?” she hissed.

He gave her a lazy grin. “What’s that old saying? Nothing ventured, nothing gained?”

“I think you’d best be going.”

He paused at front door, turned and held her gaze for a moment, then left.

She sighed and leaned against the doorjamb. What had she been thinking to let him kiss her, however briefly?

Author bio:

Linda McLaughlin grew up with a love of history, so it’s only natural that she sets most of her books in the past. A native of Pittsburgh, she now lives in Southern California.

 

How to show Linda some #AuthorLove:

Follow her Blog (sign up in the footer area): https://lindalyndi.com/reading-room-blog/

Like her Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/LindaMcLaughlinAuthor

Follow her at Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/lindamclaughlin

Follow her at Twitter: @Lyndi Lamont https://twitter.com/LyndiLamont

 

Linda’s Rafflecopter Giveaway:

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Want to improve your writing? Author Andrea R. Cooper’s Tip and a Look at Lyric

 

“Writing tip I wish I’d known – Get beta readers or a critique group. Having someone else’s (unrelated to you) unbiased opinion has been one of the best things I’ve done that have improved my writing. Wish I’d found readers and other writers to exchange chapters with much earlier.” ~ Andrea R. Cooper

Andrea has always created characters and stories. But it wasn’t until she was in her late twenties that she started writing novels.

What happened that ignited the writing flame in her fingers? Divorced, and disillusioned by love songs and stories. They exaggerate. She thought. Love and Romance are not like that in the real world. Then she met her husband and realized, yes love and romance are exactly like the songs and stories say. She is now a happy wife, and a mom to three kids (two boys and a girl).

Andrea writes paranormal and historical romance. When not writing or reading, one may find Andrea dancing in Zumba. She believes in the power of change and counting each moment as a blessing. But most importantly, she believes in love and that’s clear in her latest release—Lyric.

No man can resist a siren’s song…

Cassie must convince a CEO to give her interior decorating company a chance at his offices in order to stay in the black. But even using her half-siren voice, he refuses. What can she do to change his mind?

Daniel Davis has a secret he’s paid hundreds of thousands to keep that way. Now when exotic Cassie marches into his office, he can’t stop thinking about her and makes her an offer. Be his date for a high-profile party and he’ll consider her company for his office redecorating project.

After an accident, Cassie gives Daniel her blood to heal him. Trouble is, if she can’t keep him alive, he’ll become a soulless ghoul.

Worse, someone is out to kill him. Can Cassie keep him alive…both in fighting her nature and from whoever is after him?

 

Here’s an excerpt:

An hour and forty-five minutes later, Cassie fumed as she paced in front of Mr. Davis’ receptionist. Not only had Davis not contacted her, but no one knew when his blasted meeting would end. All she had to do was tell him that her corporation was the best choice. He’d hear her siren singing, sign the papers immediately, and she’d be on her vacation to the Bahamas knowing her company would be set for the next five years. While she hadn’t had more than three days off in over a decade, she wanted a break knowing all of her employees would be okay. Not that she couldn’t tell someone to pay for her trip with her voice, but she enjoyed working. Earning money with her decorating talents, even if she did have to persuade her clients in a few situations. Like this one.

She smoothed her skirt and frowned when emerald sparkles coated her palm. The spell to keep the sparkles in place must be wearing off. Without it, she’d leave pieces of glitter trailing the floor after her as though someone had hacked up a pixie. Tomorrow she’d take this to the cleaners and have the witches there reapply the sealing magic. Her heels clicked on the bamboo flooring. A few paintings were hung up sporadically. One was even of a clown and a dog. Yes, Mr. Davis needed her.

“How much longer?” Cassie faced the young receptionist, revealing her hidden razor teeth underneath the human ones. “I’m not used to waiting this long for a client.”

“Uh… I’ll go check.” The woman nearly ran out of the reception area, her headset swinging from the chair.

Cassie chuckled. Ah, well at least someone jumped when she wanted.

A few minutes passed and Cassie wondered if the girl was lost.

“How can I help you?” a deep male vibrato came from behind her, laden with an accent she couldn’t place. Exotic. Sexy.

“Yes, I’m waiting for Mr. Davis.” She smiled.

The man was at least six foot five because she had to tilt her head up to look at him. He had gray eyes framed with even darker lashes and dark chestnut hair. His commanding presence sparked her interest, but he wore beige trousers and a cotton shirt. She wrinkled her nose; she couldn’t possibly be seen with someone who considered brown and cotton acceptable outwear in a prestige corporation.

“Allow me to escort you to his office?” He offered his arm.

“Of course.” She accepted his offering and nodded to the receptionist who gaped at the two of them.

This must be Mr. Davis’ assistant, as an executive of such an established enterprise would wear a suit or more expensive clothing, and definitely not cowboy boots in the workplace. Jeans and boots reminded her of Texas.

Even though the man didn’t say anything, he stole quick glances her way. He probably admired her siren features: a small sharp nose, angled cheekbones, and colorful hair. Her hair changed color on its own. Thankfully though, the shifting was subtle enough that humans didn’t notice it. They just thought she dyed it often. Today it was an electric violet.

Outside two redwood doors carved in squares, he paused. “Shall we?”

For some reason, nerves careened in her stomach. What the heck was the matter with her? He was just a man. Sure, a bazillionaire, but no man could resist her. An image of the deaf and mute fisherman who had captured her in his net centuries ago resurfaced. She’d hated confinement and all her succubae friends who had been there had laughed and taunted her.

‘Why don’t you touch him and make him yours, Cassandra?’ one succubus had asked, swinging her hips side-to-side.

Another smirked. ‘Has your boasting made you hoarse?’

It had been her friend, Adeline, who had swum over, touched the man, and rescued her. But Cassie had taken her revenge. All those heckling succubae were dead now.

“Are you okay?” The man squeezed her hand.

Warmth spread through her arm. Maybe she was coming down with a cold or something. Damn, she’d been spending too much time among these humans; now she caught their illnesses? Yuck.

“Yes, I’m fine.” She straightened and pulled her hand from his grasp. “Thank you, but I can take it from here.” After two quick knocks on the door, she entered and stepped into another world.

A rosewood desk was in front of a window overlooking the city. A bright green Cleopatra chair sat before a wall lined with books arranged by color and size, and filled shelves around it. Gold and silver etched vases were positioned at key areas among the bookshelves. Two visitor chairs with crimson and black swirls faced the desk. A Rembrandt painting, the Stone Bridge, hung from the opposite wall. It was the only time he painted such a typical Dutch landscape. The contrast between the dark clouds and sunlight shining off the railing and trees was amazing.

The door closed behind her, and she sucked in a breath.

“Mr. Davis, I—” She stopped.

Near the mini bar tucked in a corner, the assistant poured a drink. “Would you care for something?” His dark gaze watched her, making her think he wanted to feel every centimeter of her.

Oh no, her blasted gift had done it again. She’d seduced someone without even trying. “Ah no. When will Mr. Davis return?” Last thing she needed was the big boss to come in and find his employee drunk and putting the moves on her.

He shrugged and downed the drink in one swallow. Then he brushed past her to the desk. He rifled through some documents, then tossed her a crisp paper. “I think you’ll find everything in order, Mrs. Smith.”

“Ms.” She briskly took the note and scanned it.

Lincoln Industries’ has won our bid for redecorating our buildings.

Thank you for your time.

“What’s this?” She waved the rejection letter. “We haven’t even revealed our pricing yet. I’ve seen their work; they aren’t as good as me – as my company.” She added a lilt to the last line, shifting to her siren song to make him believe fully in what she said. He’d rip up the form and beg her to take the job. Of course, she would have to bump into his boss and do the same thing until she got what she wanted.

“Did I forget to sign it?” He pulled out a pen from the desk and scribbled a signature. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, Ms. Smith, I’ve another meeting to attend to.”

This was Mr. Davis? No way was he leaving now. Not until he told Lincoln Industries they’d lost the work and she had it. Not until he burned this piece of paper dismissing her. No man ever dissed a siren.

Buy Link Lyric:

 

Amazon 99cents Or Free on KU : http://a.co/c64SbkO

Author Website: www.AndreaRCooper.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AndreaRCooper.author

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AndreaRCooper

An Interview with Beverley Oakley and a look at her new release–The Duchess and the Highwayman

The Duchess and the Highwayman
By Beverley Oakley

Beverley is giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate and an ebook The Mysterious Governess.to randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the RaffleCopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here.
BLURB: 

A duchess disguised as a lady’s maid; a gentleman parading as a highwayman.
She’s on the run from a murderer, he’s in pursuit of one…

In a remote Norfolk manor, Phoebe, Lady Cavanaugh is wrongfully accused by her servants of her brutal husband’s murder.


There’s little sympathy in the district for the duchess who’s taken a lover and made clear she despised her husband. The local magistrate has also vowed revenge since Lady Cavanaugh rebuffed his advances.


When Phoebe is discovered in the forest wearing only a chemise stained with the blood of her murdered husband, she persuades the noble ‘highwayman’ who rescues her that she is Lady Cavanaugh’s maidservant.

Hugh Redding has his own reasons for hunting down the man who would have Phoebe tried and hanged for murder. He plans to turn ‘the maidservant with aspirations above her station’ into the ‘lady’ who might testify against the very villain who would see Phoebe dead.

But despite the fierce attraction between Phoebe and the ‘highwayman’, Phoebe is not in a position to admit she’s the ‘murderous duchess’ hunted across the land.


Seizing an opportunity to strike at the social and financial standing of the man who has profited by her distress, Phoebe is drawn into a dangerous intrigue.


But when disaster strikes, she fears Hugh will lack the sympathy or understanding of her unusual predicament to even want to save her a second time.


Buy Links: 
Amazon | All other buy links

~*~*~*~*~*~
Excerpt:

Chapter One

It was an evening like any other: dull with a hint of menace and tension so thick Phoebe imagined slicing a neat hole in it and disappearing magically into a new life.
Any would do.
The company had retired to the dim, close drawing room, gentlemen included, following a gluttonous dinner. By the fireplace Phoebe worked at her embroidery, glad to be ignored though she knew that wouldn’t last for long.
The reprieve was even briefer than she’d anticipated. Brutus exhaled on a shuddering snore truncated by a yelp as he chased rabbits in his dreams; this caused James the footman, who was stooping over Ulrick in the act of offering his master a drink, to jump in fright and deposit a snifter of brandy upon her husband’s waistcoat. Not that it would concern Ulrick who was snoring more loudly than Brutus and whose waistcoat was already stained with drool.
The footman cast the mistress a sideways glance as he unwound his lordship’s stock and dabbed at the sticky mess but Phoebe held her tongue and made do with a dispassionate look. She’d never liked James. She was certain he’d conspired with Ulrick on more than a few occasions to put her on the back foot and to tarnish her name below stairs. Despite her obvious disdain, she was afraid of the power he wielded.
“That will be all, James.” She rose with a dismissive wave and the rustle of silken skirts. “I’ll attend to my husband. Please see Mr Barnaby and Sir Roderick out.”
Sir Roderick, that most unwelcome of neighbours, appeared before her, bony and wraithlike; malevolent as ever. “I believe your dog that needs more attention than Lord Cavanaugh.” His thin mouth turned up in a parody of amusement as he wafted a fastidious hand about his nose, indicating Brutus’s greater guilt than his master’s snoring.
Phoebe offered Sir Roderick a cold smile. On the other side of the room Ulrick’s two other guests conversed in low voices by the window.
She inclined her head as she ignored his attempt at levity. “Good night, Sir Roderick.”
Sir Roderick straightened his spare, weedy frame, which she saw trembled with supressed outrage at being so summarily dismissed by the lady of the house.

Phoebe refused to turn away from his challenging gaze. Sir Roderick was another who couldn’t wait until the doors of Blinley Manor were closed against her the moment Ulrick breathed his last. She’d offended his honour, having bitten his lip and kneed him in the groin six months before when he’d accosted her in a dimly lit corridor and suggested in lewd terms how he might assist in the creation of an heir for the already ailing Ulrick. An heir that would ensure Phoebe kept a roof over her head.
~*~*~*~*~*~
Author Info: 

 

Beverley Oakley was seventeen when she bundled up her first her 500+ page romance and sent it to a publisher. Unfortunately drowning her heroine on the last page was apparently not in line with the expectations of romance readers so Beverley became a journalist.
Twenty-six years later Beverley was delighted to receive her first publishing contract from Robert Hale (UK) for a romance in which she ensured her heroine was saved from drowning in the icy North Sea.
Since 2009 Beverley has written more than thirteen historical romances, mostly set in England during the early nineteenth century. Mystery, intrigue and adventure spill from their pages and if she can pull off a thrilling race to save someone’s honour – or a worthy damsel from the noose – it’s time to celebrate with a good single malt Scotch.
Beverley lives with her husband, two daughters and a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy the size of a pony opposite a picturesque nineteenth century lunatic asylum. She also writes Africa-set adventure-filled romances tarring handsome bush pilot heroes, and historical romances with less steam and more sexual tension, as Beverley Eikli.
You can get in contact with Beverley at:

 

How would you describe The Duchess and the Highwayman in only three words?

Murder, mystery, romance

Do you listen to music while you write?

No, I love silence. With two kids, that’s a rare commodity so when I write it’s all about creating my characters in a vacuum of silence.

What are some tunes on your playlist?

I do love Norwegian band A-ha’s 1980s hit ‘Take on Me’. My husband is Norwegian and he’s not fond of them but one of my music scene highlights was when the lead singer, Morten Harket, put his hands on my shoulders to move me out of the way in the midst of a crowd when I was in Oslo seeing a live Pink Floyd concert. That was probably my own fan girl moment.

What scene from The Duchess and the Highwayman was the most fun to write?

I liked the dialogue where my hero Hugh assumes he’d addressing a lady’s maid whom he thinks is putting on tremendous airs and graces and trying to ape her betters when in fact my heroine, Phoebe, is a duchess.

How did The Duchess and the Highwayman come to be? What was your inspiration to write the book? 

I live opposite a massively grand Gothic insane asylum just north of Melbourne, Australia, and I did a lot of gazing out of my study window at the high walls and crazy Victorian architecture dreaming up the storyline. So many women were locked away in that insane asylum purely because they were an encumbrance or inconvenience to their husbands or fathers so The Duchess and the Highwayman is influenced by the helplessness of women – in this case a normally timid woman who has to be daring to save her own life.

What do you hope readers take away from your work?

Essentially the feeling that life is good and that happy endings can happen when you least expect them; but also a real understanding of how difficult it was for women to forge happiness when they were so dominated by the men in their lives. In Australia, it wasn’t until 1969 that women were allowed to work in the public service following marriage so the independence we enjoy today is relatively recent.

What are you reading right now?

Why Spencer Perceval had to Die by Andro Linklater. It’s about the shooting murder in the UK House of Commons in 1812 of the then Prime Minister, an ancestor of mine. All the boys in my family are called Spencer and when I stumbled upon this ‘true crime’ investigation that links Perceval’s death with his anti-slavery quest, I had to read it. As many of my stories are set around this time, I also thought it would be great research.

What writing advice would you give a fellow author? 

Don’t give up if because you’ll never know if success was just round the corner.

How long did it take you to write this book? 

Two years – mostly because of a disastrous ‘find and replace’ error which I couldn’t undo and which riddled my manuscript with double quotations marks everywhere!

Quick Draw:

Jeans or sweats?

Jeans – though, like my heroines, I love dressing up and have a roomful of historical costumes I’ve made.

Coffee or Tea?

Both

Chocolate or Chips?

Both

Boxers, briefs or commando?

Boxers or commando, depending on the mood and circumstances.

Chocolate or vanilla?

Either, depending on the mood and quality.

Thank you so much for having me!

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Tina Gayle Tells Us About the Marketing Exec’s Widow

Four women…
One fatal car wreck…
Everyone’s lives changed…

Blurb — “Marketing Exec’s Widow”

Jennifer Larson, having lost her husband, friends and the perfect life she’d had plan, now faces the biggest challenge of her life, moving into an unplanned future. While the rest of the Executive Wife Club is still wallowing in the past, Jen is tempted into the future by a sexy chiropractor, Hagan Chaney.

But does he really love her or is he only after her money?

Excerpt:

“Want to call the evening a bust?” she blurted out, angry at herself for failing so miserably at the dating game.

Hagan leaned forward and folded his hands above his menu. “No. I already knew.”

“What? How?” She clenched her hands together under the table. He said he moved here from Texas, having arrived a few months ago to set up his practice and to be near his dad. How could he have found out? Did someone tell him? But who?

“My dad told me. He read about your husband’s accident in the paper.”

“God, you must think I’m awful.”

“Not even in the ballpark as to what I think about you. Because I know you would never have said yes to a night out with me if you’d been happy in your marriage.”

His words hit her like a fist to the face and her head snapped backward, striking the wooden partition between the booths. Wow, how could he have guessed the truth when so many people who knew her hadn’t?

She closed her eyes and searched for an answer. For so long, she’d kept her emotions bottled inside, not allowing anyone to see the loneliness or heartache her unhappy marriage had caused. What now? Lie, or admit the truth?

The vinyl cushion squeaked, and a hand touched her shoulder, pulling her from her stupor. Hagan slipped in beside her, his thigh bumped hers and his arm slid along the back of the seat. In the space of a few seconds, his large athletic body blocked her escape from the confining booth.

Nerves pulsed in an agitated rhythm. She couldn’t sit still and opened her mouth to tell him to back off, but the thin lines of concern marring his brow killed the comment.

“Hey, there’s no reason to get upset.” He cupped a hand over her shoulder and drew her close. “I’m happy you said yes.”

Jolted by his sudden nearness, she exhaled, and then fought to draw air back into her lungs. His crisp, masculine scent acted as a seductive lure, and she had to fight the urge to bury her nose in the curve of his neck.

Another sniff and her resolve weakened. She snuggled deeper into his embrace, savoring his strength, and allowed her cheek to caress the soft fabric of his sweater. Her breasts, crushed against the hard wall of his chest, grew heavy with need. Butterflies flapped wildly in her stomach. Alarms sounded, warning her to pull away.

The sultry voice of the waitress interrupted. “Excuse me. Are you ready to order? Or would you like a few more minutes?”

Swinging her gaze to the willowy, young woman standing at the end of the table, Jen straightened. Heat again stained her cheeks. How could she have forgotten they were in a public place? She had to gain some prespective.

Hagan loosened his hold and addressed the girl. “No, we’d both like the prime rib. And I’ll have whatever you have on tap.”

Jen eased along the bench, struggling with how to handle the situation. She liked Hagan and hoped to keep him as a client, but things were getting way out of hand, way too quickly.

He turned and the space she’d managed to establish between them shrank. “What would you like to drink?”

“A beer’s fine.”

He smiled and answered the rest of waitress’s questions about the side items.

The girl had a ready smile and easy manner. She didn’t flirt or make any improper gesture, but a gleam of interest sparkled in her eyes during the exchange. After gathering their menus, she nodded and checked the order. “I’ll bring your drinks right out.”

She walked away, but Hagan’s gaze didn’t linger on the girl’s butt, an insulting habit Craig had perfected. Instead, Hagan turned and laid his other arm on the table, effectively barring Jen’s exit from the booth. “I hope you don’t mind me ordering for you.”

“No. If I can’t eat it all, I’ll have them boxed up the leftovers and take them home.” She pictured the forlorn look in George’s brown eyes when she crated him before Hagan arrived. Maybe her dog would forgive her for leaving him if she brought him a steak.

What should she do about Hagan at the end of the night? Invite him in or say goodnight at the door with a kiss?

Her gaze naturally fell to his mouth. The idea of his wide, full lips touching hers sparked a shiver of awareness. She rubbed her hands along the length of her arms.

Hagan leaned closer. “What are you thinking?”

Caught fantasizing about him, she dropped her eyelids and scrambled for a safe topic of conversation. “I was…uh…wondering about the other women in your life. Ever been married?”
.

Marketing Exec’s Widow is available at
Amazon,
Free on Kindle Scout

Short Bio for Tina Gayle

Tina Gayle grew up a dreamer and loved to escape into the world of books.

After years of working in the business world doing a variety of jobs, she decided to try her hand at writing and hope to incorporate the joy of being a mother into her books.

Married twenty-five years, she and her husband love to travel and play golf. She can’t wait for Mike to retire so they can do more of both.
Read the first chapter of any of her books by visiting her website.

Tina Gayle’s Links

Home – www.tinagayle.net
Blog – www.tinagayle.blogspot.com
Twitter – https://twitter.com/#!/AuthorTinaGayle
Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1641826.Tina_Gayle
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/tina.gayle
Google + – https://plus.google.com
Linkin – http://www.linkedin.com/pub/tina-gayle/11/689/759

A Book Marketing Tip and a Glimpse into Finding Roanoak

Have you written a book and are looking for marketing tips?
Multi-published C. B. Maurice has this advice–marketing isn’t one size fits all. The purpose of marketing anything is to find the audience for that product. So, when you market you aren’t just talking about timeframe and budget. You need to know what you are capable of, where your audience is best located, and what is going to give you the most credibility with them. It’s a lot of work, but I find it worthwhile. I can put together the event; if the event is targeted correctly, all the authors involved will pool their audiences to look at each other’s work; and since the invitation is coming from an author they already like there’s credibility.
C. B. Maurice would like to share her new release with us.


Blurb:
Emme is the midwife for the Roanoak Colony. Circumstances threaten their survival, but Emme has met a European man calling himself Tighe in the forest where no European man should be.

Tighe has problems of his own. His people fled across the sea to escape mortal men and their iron weapons, but now they are dying out. Stealing children is not an option, but Tighe hopes if Emme and some of the other from the failing colony will agree to come live with his people they will interbreed. However his mother is opposed to bringing mortals into Faerie and threatens to close the border sealing the Fae in and sealing their doom. At the same time, he has lost Emme’s trust and does not know how to regain it. His efforts to protect her with Fae magic have also cast a suspicion of witchcraft on her from the expedition.

Excerpt:
“I want you to teach me how to heal a broken bone.”
“I would teach you if I could, but I cannot.”
“Why? Because I’m a woman? I’m a midwife trained in healing. I’m a willing student.”
He stepped around the tree and leaned on it. “I cannot. You must be born to it.”
“I must be born a man, you mean.” Emme folded her arms.
“No.”
Emme waited. She wasn’t sure why. None of the men in her life ever explained ‘no.’ For them, it was the end of the conversation. Why should this one be different? “What is your name?”
“Tighe.”
“Tighe? That is not a good English name.”
He laughed. The warm, rich sound of it trilled down her spine. “No, it is not.”
“Then where are you from? What are you doing here? There isn’t supposed to be anyone living in these parts.” Emme smacked her hands against her skirts. The sound wasn’t loud enough to be satisfying. “We are supposed to be the only English here. We have a contract from the Queen.”
“You didn’t tell anyone about me, did you?”
His tone was wrong. In addition to the striking coloring, she now noticed the stranger was a little odd looking. His face was thin, regal even. And a little anxious. Something about the tight set of his eyes and the pressure along his lips. His accent was a bit odd too. Like none she’d ever heard. “No, why?”
He sighed, the first overt sign of his tension. “We don’t need your people hunting us again.”

Purchase Links:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2rmMJYv
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/finding-roanoak-christa-maurice/1121647583?ean=9781508074618
GooglePlay: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/C_B_Maurice_Finding_Roanoak?id=nQyYDgAAQBAJ
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/finding-roanoak/id1222894195?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/finding-roanoak-1

Author Bio:
C. B. Maurice was an odd child who grew into an odd woman with a fascination for short, sweet stories and things unknown. When not reading or writing, she enjoys travel and rain, though not for days. (The rain, not the travel. Travel can go on for weeks. Rain has worn out its welcome after 24 hours.)

Author Links:
Website: https://cbmaurice.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CBMauriceAuthor/
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/cOYgzD

All the Missing Girls-A Goodreads Review

All the Missing GirlsAll the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

All the Missing Girls
Ten years ago, after her best friend, Corinne vanished, Nicolette fled Cooley Ridge determined to never return. She builds a whole new life for herself including a rich fiancé, but then her father gets sick. She returns, and then another girl goes missing. Her family, her friends and even some frenemies are involved.

Pulled into the mysteries, Nicole must confront her past and save those she can, which is when the story gets exciting–with more twists than a boa constrictor and a few astonishing surprises that I, for one, didn’t see coming. The secrets, love and loyalty bind Nicolette and all the suspects together in this small town whodunnit.

If you like spellbinding suspense, this tale is definitely worth your time.

View all my reviews