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Saturday, May 21, 2022

Book Blitz & Giveaway for The Love List by Elana Johnson

The Love List
Elana Johnson
Publication date: May 17th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Beatrice Callahan loves lists. Sometimes she even makes a to-do list of things she’s already done, just to go check, check, check and feel accomplished. So it’s easy to understand why, when her divorce is finally final and her ex is all moved out, Bea takes a cool, close look at her life…and makes a list.

It’s not exactly a bucket list.

It’s a love list.

Bea loves the outdoors, so she puts visit 10 National Parks on the list.

She loves animals, and on goes get a puppy.

She loves the beach, and she adds take a dream vacation to the list, and decides to do that one first. After all she’s been through and all she’s lost, she needs time to relax, rest, and reset.

On the first day she arrives in Hilton Head Island, she meets Grant Turner, the man whose house she’s renting for her fabulous beach vacation. He’s just there to make sure she settles in properly and has enough towels.

But when Bea asks for recommendations around the island, Grant quickly becomes her tour guide and then a friend and then…more than friends.

Bea turns to her lists when things get confusing and her love list morphs once again… Can she add fall in love at age 45 to the list and check it off?

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EXCERPT:

Grant’s stomach rumbled as the line didn’t seem to dwindle at all. When he glanced at the clock, he dang near fell over. “I have to go,” he said, twisting to look at Cara like she was the boss and could dismiss him.

“No,” a woman said in a near-bark from the other side of the counter. “I need to put in my order.”

He turned and met a pair of dark blue eyes that reminded him of deeper waters off the shores of Hilton Head. The kind he’d fish in when he went out trawling with one of his friends who owed him for letting his mother stay in the best condo on the island for a weekend girls’ trip.

“Excuse me?”

“Did I hear you say I can’t get anything without a banana?” she asked, those eyes flying across the wall behind him. “They’re a really strong flavor profile.”

She wore her hair in a pixie cut, with fashionable bangs that hung in shaggy layers across the very tops of her eyebrows. In any other situation, Grant would classify her as beautiful, and if he held a drink in his hand instead of a blasted blue ballpoint pen, and if the music pumped through a tiki bar instead of wafted along the air conditioning currents in a smoothie shop, he might try to get her number.

“They’re what makes your smoothie smooth,” he said, irritation blipping through him.

“Fine,” the woman said with a sigh. She hitched her rustic, spotted-cow-purse higher on her shoulder. He did smile at that bag, wiping the gesture away quickly when she lifted her eyebrows and asked, “Are you ready to take my order?”

“Yes, ma’am,” he said in true Southern-gentleman style.

“I’d like the Beach Sunrise, with half the banana.”

“No more raspberries,” Cara called just as Grant started writing. He froze and looked up at the woman.

“Uh,” he said.

“Let me guess,” she said. “I can’t have the Beach Sunrise.”

“It does have raspberries in it,” he said, and he congratulated himself that he didn’t even have to turn to look at the menu to know that. He’d enjoyed a fair few Beach Sunrises over the years, and he happened to like the raspberry, mango, and banana combination.

She emitted the sigh of the century, and Grant’s phone started buzzing at him. “Oliver,” he called down the line. “I have to go.”

Oliver burst out laughing with a customer down at the register, and Grant rolled his eyes.

“I’ll get him,” Cara said. She stopped making the smoothies and went down to Oliver. She said a couple of things, to which he leaned his head toward her, and then he looked down to Grant.

“I’ll have the Fake Sunset,” the woman with the cute hair and pretty eyes said.

Grant scratched out her order, flung the paper onto the slider, and dropped the pen. “I have to go,” he said to an approaching Oliver. “And I still don’t have my smoothie.”

“Ten minutes,” Oliver said. “I’ve got raspberries in the freezer. Can you do the register while I grab them?”

“The freezer” meant the grocery store half a mile away. Grant wasn’t stupid, nor was this the first time he’d helped Oliver in a pinch.

“How about I run and get the raspberries?” Grant asked. “Then when I get back, Cara will have my smoothie ready, and I can go.” He held his ground with the sandy-haired owner. Just because Oliver could charm scorpions didn’t mean Grant had to do his bidding. In fact, he had half a mind to leave for “the freezer” and never come back to The Mad Mango. It had certainly inspired some anger in him that afternoon—and he was in danger of being seriously late to meet his four o’clock check-in.

His phone hadn’t alerted him to her proximity, however, so he might be okay. Oliver didn’t need to know that, and Grant glared at his friend.

The woman who’d stood a foot or two down the counter listening stepped back toward them. She clearly wasn’t super happy. “Are you telling me I can have the Beach Sunrise?” she asked. “You just have to grab the raspberries out of the freezer?”

“Yes,” Oliver said at the same time Grant said, “No.”

Grant made an executive decision. “I’ll go grab the raspberries,” he said, walking in the wrong direction to get them from the freezer. “I can’t ring these people up.” He didn’t look back as he stepped away.

“If you can get raspberries,” the pixied woman said. “I want the Beach Sunrise.”

“Lady,” Grant said, cutting her a glare out of the corner of her eye. “I don’t work here. Let it go.”

A blender started making a horrible chugging noise, then metal on metal, all within a single second.

“Watch out,” Cara called from down where she’d just scooped frozen peaches into a blender cup.

“Watch out?” Grant swung his attention from the blonde woman with the stormy eyes to the counter that ran along the length of the back wall. The lid blew off the top of the blender in that moment, and all Grant had time to do was throw his hands up in front of his face and pray.

He entered some weird place where noise and feeling didn’t exist. He sensed them happening around him, but for some reason, they didn’t affect him. The weird sensation didn’t last long, and then everything came rushing at him at double-speed.

Cold seeped through his shirt and made his skin ripple with gooseflesh. More than one person shouted, and he could pick out Oliver’s voice saying to get some napkins and then for Cara to kill the power to the blenders.

The soul-wrenching sound of that metal on metal that said the blender bottle wasn’t seated with the motor rotor grated against his nerves, and then it blissfully ended.

“I’m so sorry,” Oliver said, but he wasn’t talking to Grant. He’d somehow gotten on the other side of the counter, and Grant wouldn’t put it past him to have vaulted the stupid thing, because the person he’d just apologized to?

The beautiful blonde…who now had Fake Sunrise dripping down the side of her neck.

Author Bio:

USA Today bestseller Elana Johnson writes adult contemporary beach romance. She is the author of over 130 books across two names, and there's nothing better than sun, sand, and swoon-worthy kisses! Unless it's a sweet-and-sexy cowboy - read those under her pen name of Liz Isaacson. Learn more about her sweet beach romances at www.elanajohnson.com. Join her texting group by sending the word SAND to 474747 and get exclusive sales, freebies, and more.

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Book Blitz & Giveaway for The Memory Keeper of Kyiv by Erin Litteken

The Memory Keeper of Kyiv
Erin Litteken
Publication date: May 16th 2022
Genres: Literary Fiction

Perfect for fans of The Tattooist of Auschwitz and The Beekeeper of Aleppo.
“A powerfully moving debut . . . Ukraine’s tragic history painfully echoes its current crisis, and on every page the Ukrainian spirit shines out, unbowed, unbent and unbroken. This is a compelling, timely read.” Kate Quinn, author of The Rose Code

In the 1930s, Stalin’s activists marched through the Soviet Union, espousing the greatness of collective farming. It was the first step in creating a man-made famine that, in Ukraine, stole almost 4 million lives. Inspired by the history the world forgot, and the Russian government denies, Erin Litteken reimagines their story.
In 1929, Katya is 16 years old, surrounded by family and in love with the boy next door. When Stalin’s activists arrive in her village, it’s just a few, a little pressure to join the collective. But soon neighbors disappear, those who speak out are never seen again and every new day is uncertain.

Resistance has a price, and as desperate hunger grips the countryside, survival seems more a dream than a possibility. But, even in the darkest times, love beckons.

Seventy years later, a young widow discovers her grandmother’s journal, one that will reveal the long-buried secrets of her family’s haunted past.

This is a story of the resilience of the human spirit, the love that sees us through our darkest hours and the true horror of what happened during the Holodomor.

“I never imagined the release of my novel on a past oppression of the Ukrainian people would coincide with such a parallel tragedy.” Erin Litteken

May we never forget, lest history repeat itself.

A share of proceeds will be donated to DEC’s Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.

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EXCERPT:

A sharp click echoed in the room, and everyone froze. The Russian’s cocked pistol pointed at Tato. “Are you resisting orders? If you are, we will have to label you an enemy of the people. We all know what happens to enemies of the people. I could shoot you right now, and nobody would care.”

Katya’s head buzzed. All the anger she’d felt morphed into sheer terror as she stared at her Tato. His beet-red face glistened with sweat and his hands curled slowly into fists, the anger crackling off him like a hungry fire seeking fuel. If someone didn’t intercede, he would be shot for attempting to murder Prokyp with his bare hands.

Mama, too, saw his inner struggle, for she stepped in front of Tato and spoke calmly. “I apologize for my husband’s behavior. He’s overprotective of his daughters. He didn’t mean what he said. We’ll cooperate, I swear it.”

The Russian smirked and lowered his gun. Dropping Alina’s hand, Katya pulled her father into a hug and spoke in his ear. “Please, Tato, there is no harm done, but we can’t lose you. Please.” She felt the tension lessen from his body, but vibrations of anger still throbbed like the veins on his neck.

Prokyp watched the scene with amusement, then sauntered back over to his cohorts, smiling. The Russian turned to him and asked with complete sincerity, “Have you been offended by this man? What would you like to do, Comrade?”

Prokyp glanced at Tato and then at Alina, who was white as a sheet, but holding her head high as Mama had taught them to. Katya’s legs wobbled, so she locked her knees and held her breath as they waited for this fool to decide the fate of their family.

“I suppose I can overlook it this once, as long as he and his family promise to cooperate fully in the future.” His gaze lingered on Alina. “But we shall have to check back here often to make sure they are behaving.”

Another activist pushed into the house with a large sack of wheat balanced on his shoulder. “I found this, and another just like it, hidden in the barn loft.”

Katya’s heart sank. She’d worried the wheat in the barn wasn’t hidden well enough, but Tato thought it safe out of sight beneath the hay.

“You can’t take that!” Tato shouted. “It’s my seed for planting this fall!”

“This will pay your quota. For now.” The Russian Soviet waved a hand dismissively, as if suddenly bored by them. “Come, we must move to the next house.”

The woman cast an apologetic look toward Mama and hurried behind the men as they left. The door swung wildly in their wake, and none of them moved until Tato strode forward and slammed it shut, though not before Katya saw the activists’ cart stacked high with sacks of grain, just like the ones they’d taken from the barn.

Author Bio:

Erin Litteken is a debut novelist with a degree in history and a passion for research. At a young age, she was enthralled by stories of her family’s harrowing experiences in Ukraine before, during and after World War II. She lives in Illinois, USA with her husband and children.

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Friday, May 20, 2022

Book Blitz & Giveaway for Love's Last Kiss by Sharon Wray

Love’s Last Kiss
Sharon Wray
(a Deadly Force Novel)
Publication date: May 17th 2022
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

Is love worth risking everything for?

Rose Guthrie, a reluctant erotic dancer, hasn’t trusted anyone since her parents’ death. Yet, to make money for her brother’s heart transplant, she agrees to deliver a sealed box to a mysterious buyer. Until the box—and the seller—disappear. Not surprised by the betrayal, her situation becomes more dangerous when she learns that a brutal arms dealer, known as the Prince, also wants the box and will kill everyone she loves for it. With one clue left, she breaks into Doom—Savannah’s violent, illegal fight club. Unfortunately, Doom’s referee—the sexy, ex-Army Ranger, Kade Dolan—stands in her way. Although she harbors a secret attraction to Kade, she can’t let him stop her. If she doesn’t deliver the box on time, she’ll lose everything. Including her own life.

Rose doesn’t trust disgraced Army Ranger, ex-con Kade Dolan, but that’s okay—he doesn’t trust himself either. Why? Because he lies to everyone about everything, including his time in Leavenworth and his job as an illegal fight club referee. Then there are his two side gigs. The first as an informant for the Prince, the leader of a secret, two-thousand-year-old private army. The second, loving from afar the beautiful, secretive Rose Guthrie. After the Prince discovers Rose is the courier of a lost 18th century artifact, he orders Kade to help her find the box before their greatest enemy does. If they succeed, Kade must return it to the Prince. If they fail, Kade must kill her.

Betrayal or death. When faced with an impossible choice, Kade can’t lie anymore, at least not when it comes to what he’s about to do the woman he loves. But when Rose uncovers Kade’s lies, they learn a terrible truth—the 18th century box holds a secret far deadlier than they imagined. A secret that could destroy them all.

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EXCERPT:

Kade rubbed his forehead with his fist. How could he have made such a terrible mistake?

Since meeting Rose, he’d been unable to stay away from her, even when he’d barely known her. And now that they’d made love, he wasn’t sure he could leave her.

Yet, while he’d admitted his growing love for Rose, he’d also left out the most important details of his life. And Rose wasn’t stupid. She had to suspect he was hiding things. It was probably why, despite the passion she’d shown in his arms, she hadn’t spoken her own feelings aloud.

He couldn’t blame her. He was neither a prince nor charming. He was a man in an impossible situation. A man in love with a woman who had trust issues. A man who rarely asked for help because it made one beholden to others. A man about to commit the rest of his life to a murderous cult that dated back centuries.

He opened his eyes, determined to crush his pity party. Rose needed him, and they still had work to do. They had twenty-eight hours to meet the Prince’s deadline, and they still had no idea where to find that box.

When he saw the cup of hot coffee on his bedside table, his throat closed up. He’d never get enough of her sexually, but her inherent thoughtfulness was what made his heart brim with other unfamiliar emotions. Emotions he struggled to understand, much less define.

Yes, he loved her. But his feelings for her were so much more intense than he’d expected. Then again, other than Nin and his mother, he had little experience in loving women. Infrequent sex with random females from the club didn’t count.

He swung his legs over the edge of the bed and moved slowly, testing each tight muscle group before standing upright. Unfortunately, King George, who’d been guarding the bathroom door, decided Kade had committed an Act of Aggression. The cat bared his teeth.

Kade held out his hands and backed up. “Whoa, kitty.”

He hit the edge of the bed and fell onto his naked ass. The pillow flew across the room, and King George pounced after it. A moment later, Rose emerged from the bathroom with a towel wrapped around her body. Wet strands of hair hung past her shoulders.

He drew the throw blanket over his lap and tried not to stare at her bare thighs. The towel acted more like a short, strapless dress, exposing way too much soft, bare skin.

The cat hissed at him again, and she shooed him away. “King George, be nice!”

The cat left the room with his back arched and his tail high in the air. As if to say to Kade, kiss this.

“I’m sorry.” Rose clutched the towel, keeping it tight around herself. “I’d like to say King George isn’t normally this nasty in the morning, but that would be a lie.”

Actually, Kade wasn’t thinking about the cat at all. He was too distracted by the drops of water that rolled down the curve of her neck and slipped between her breasts. His body hardened with one part in particular becoming almost painful. Needing a distraction, he took the mug and inhaled the scent of roasted beans. “I don’t mind King George. Nin had a cat like that once. It took a while, but I eventually won her over.”

She took a step forward. “How long is ‘a while’?”

He sipped his coffee and sighed. It was perfect. Hot, black, and not too bitter. “Seven years.”

She laughed and shifted awkwardly, her hands grasping the towel. “You don’t give up, do you?”

“Never.”

Author Bio:

Sharon is a librarian who once studied dress design in the couture houses of Paris and now writes of novels of suspense, adventure, and love. A caretaker of Donut the one-eyed rescue dog, she's addicted to snapping photos and eating Oreos.

She writes the bestselling Deadly Force romantic suspense series where smart, sexy women teach their alpha males that Grace always defeats Reckoning.

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Thursday, May 19, 2022

Blog Tour & Giveaway for The Playgrounds Series by P. Stormcrow

 

The Words To Bind

The Playgrounds Book 1

by P. Stormcrow

Genre: Erotic BDSM Romance 

FROM AWARD-WINNING ROMANCE AUTHOR P. STORMCROW

Book one in The Playgrounds series

It all started with a munch, a meetup for the kink-minded. How was Luna supposed to know that it would change her life forever?

A munch.

A play party.

A Dom that sets her passion aflame.

After a string of failed vanilla relationships leaves her feeling unfilled, Luna Weir decides to give the fetish scene one last shot. But with her one and only experience as a submissive leaving much to be desired, she has little hope that the lifestyle is her answer. So when she gives the local scene one final try in the form of a casual meetup for the kink-minded, the last thing she expects is to be pulled back into the world of ropes and commands.

But that is precisely where she meets Jacob Dakota—Mr. Tall, Dark and entirely Dominant. The experienced Dom commands respect from other Dominants and desire from the subs in the community who frequent The Playgrounds, a local fetish club. And when Jacob takes her under his wing, Luna senses he wants something more beyond the careful words and veiled glances.

Now she must figure out whether her feelings for Jacob are enough for her to take a leap of faith and relinquish control. Because a simple yes will bind her to him, heart and soul.

**On Sale for only .99 cents May 7-13!!**

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The Will To Serve

The Playgrounds Book 2

 

FROM AWARD-WINNING ROMANCE AUTHOR P. STORMCROW

Book two in The Playgrounds series

When her contract with her Dom is about to expire and her past comes knocking, Luna must make the right moves or risk losing her heart and her soul.

On the surface, Luna Weir leads a perfectly normal life, but behind closed doors, she surrenders control to someone else—Jacob Dakota, who is sexy, charming and entirely dominant. The problem is that they only agreed to this power dynamic for a limited time.

Jacob has never taken on training a submissive for more than three years at a time. However, as their end date draws near, he finds himself more reluctant to let go of Luna than he’d expected. To make matters worse, Luna’s past returns in the form of the charismatic Bryan Walsh, her original Dom, who offers her another choice—to become his after her contract with Jacob expires. But there are secrets between the two of them that not even she can explain.

With the future of their relationship unknown and a suspicious Dom waiting in the shadows, Luna’s will to submit and Jacob’s ability to lead are both tested like never before. Now they must decide if what they feel for each other is strong enough to hold them together beyond their contractual terms—for the measure of a Dominant is how willing their submissive is to serve.

**On Sale for only $1.99 May 7-13!!**

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P. Stormcrow grew up with a love for love and somehow that turned into authoring contemporary and paranormal BDSM romances. Fierce women and sensitive men fill her stories while she examines social norms and challenges conventional tropes of the genre through her craft. She is the recipient of the 2021 inaugural Good Sex Awards in the category of Erotic Touch. Born in Hong Kong and raised in Canada, she enjoys writing about both cultures.

In addition to being an author, she is also a techie, a graphic designer, a mother, a lover, a fighter and a little bit of everything else in between. When she's not typing away madly on her phone and running into poles, she enjoys copious amounts of tea, way too many sugary treats and as many sci-fi / fantasy / paranormal TV shows as she can sneak in time to watch.

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Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

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Signed copy of The Words To Bind + Swag Pack – 1 winner,

Swag Pack – 2 winners!

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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Blog Tour & Giveaway for Amethyst by Rebecca Henry

 

Amethyst

Ambrosia Hill Book 1

by Rebecca Henry

Genre: Clean YA LGBTQ Fantasy Romance 


FROM EXCITING YOUNG ADULT ROMANCE AUTHOR REBECCA HENRY

Book one in the Ambrosia Hill series

She was sent away because of her feelings for another girl. But what she discovered at her aunts' lake house was a birthright of magic.

Thirteen-year-old Zinnia is about to turn fourteen when her life is flipped upside down. With her parents on the brink of a divorce, Zinnia is sent to spend the summer with her eccentric great-aunts at their lake house away from her home in Manhattan. Zinnia arrives at her aunts' massive Victorian house with a heavy heart after a recent falling out with her best friend Charlotte, who betrayed her trust by showing the meanest and most popular girl in school a letter Zinnia wrote confessing her feelings for Charlotte. The aunts rely on practical magic, acceptance and old family friends to help heal their great-niece in more ways than one.

What Zinnia discovers on Ambrosia Hill is more than just her birthright to magic—she meets Billie, a girl who conjures feelings inside Zinnia that she can no longer deny.

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Rebecca Henry is an American author living in the UK. Her books range from vegan cookbooks to fantasy to sci-fi to Rebecca's latest release with Urban Edge Publishing, Louisiana Latte: A Chick Lit Comedy About Sisters, Stilletos, Coffee, and One Fabulous Diva! You can find all Rebecca's books on Amazon.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Blog Tour & Giveaway for Cinco de Mayo: What Is Everybody Celebrating? by Donald W. Miles

 

Cinco de Mayo: What Is Everybody Celebrating?

2nd Edition

by Donald W. Miles

Genre: Nonfiction, Hispanic History

Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a holiday so popular that in the United States it draws larger crowds than here in the United States. About half a million people turn out for the annual event in Los Angeles alone, but exactly what is everybody celebrating? They're there for the music - and the half-priced margaritas - but if you ask around, you won't find many people who can tell you what happened in Mexico on that day. There are very few adult-level books currently on the market about that subject, but readers can now learn how the Mexicans took back their country after a five-year struggle against the French army in this 90,000-word book, Cinco de Mayo: What is Everybody Celebrating? (2nd Ed.)

The original 2006 edition has now been upgraded to include color photographs in every chapter and maps to help readers navigate the story. There's also a new cover which has already won graphics awards for the book design firm that created it. The photos were taken by the author and his wife (who is originally from Mexico City, ) during more than 50 years of family visits and travel to as many as 53 cities in Mexico.

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Don Miles’ professional career of almost 50 years was split about evenly between teaching and broadcasting. He was News Director for radio stations in NYC, NY, CT, FL, NE and Texas. He won AP’s “Best Newscast” award in Nebraska, his news teams in Florida and Nebraska have won numerous awards, and he has judged broadcast news awards for UPI Rhode Island. He has taught at the Universities of Florida and Nebraska, at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas,and at elementary schools in New York, Connecticut and Texas.

He is the author of two books in the field of broadcast news: Broadcast News Handbook and Broadcast Newswriting Stylebook. He has a bachelor's in education from the State University of New York at New Paltz and a master's in journalism and Communications from the University of Florida.

This is Don’s fifth book. There was a 2006 edition of this current volume, but several new features appear in the new version including maps to help the reader navigate the text and color photos in every chapter. There was also Cinco de Mayo, the Novel, published in 2012.

Don’s inspiration for this book came mainly from his late wife, Dr. Minerva Gonzalez-Angulo Miles. Minerva grew up in Mexico City near Emperor Maximilian’s Chapultepec Castle, and would often visit the castle and view the portrait of the emperor and empress whose story is featured as part of the history you’ll follow as you read the book.

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Monday, May 16, 2022

Book Blitz & Giveaway for The Irish Wanders by Shannon O'Gorman

The Irish Wanders
Shannon O’Gorman
(Rose Hawthorne, #2)
Publication date: March 16th 2022
Genres: Adult, Cozy Mystery

Rose Hawthorne is a celebrity author in her early seventies, who dislikes the spotlight but has a penchant for Hermes scarfs, round violet sunglasses, and old colonial hotels.

One day, she receives a strange letter asking her to visit Newgrange, Ireland and look for something that has been hidden there for a thousand years.

She asks her granddaughter to accompany her, but she hadn’t expected Samantha to continually be posting photos of their progress on her Instagram account. An encounter with an old love and an unexpected discovery leads Rose further and further into the past, and she finds must make a hard decision about her future.

Don’t miss this second book in the Rose Hawthorne series!

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EXCERPT:

She linked her arm around his as they walked, a natural move. She was allowed to do it. It felt right. Rose was drawn towards Bill. He was like a giant magnet pulling her and she couldn’t help but move closer to him.

They walked together, drunk and happy. She didn’t engage him in conversation. She knew the flow was right. He talked and she listened.

When they got to the next pub, he bought her another pint, and they sat down to listen to a lone fiddler. She sipped the Guinness. It was dark and warm, different from any other beer.

He’d leaned over her, and then—the kiss. The kiss came as a surprise to her. His soft lips were on hers. She could smell the beer on his breath.

After the kiss, he put his forehead against hers. They sat together, joined like that for a long time, letting the music wash over them, throbbing in time with their heartbeats.

At first, the music the fiddler played was lively, his fingers deftly danced across the strings, and a few couples got up to spin around the floor. Towards the end of his set, he played exquisite notes that washed over the pub, making the dust dance, and it rose in the air like magic. The cheering and conversation quieted down for his last song. It was a slow piece that most of them recognised. The fiddler hit the final note with such poignancy that it echoed throughout the pub. When the music stopped, the whole pub went quiet.They cleared their throats and blinked back tears, and then took a few last swallows from their pints.

“Nothing like a bit of Irish music to bring out the tears,” Bill admitted wiping an eye.

“It’s something so special,” Rose agreed with a small sniff.

And all around the pub, they raised their glasses to the fiddler and his music.

As people began to leave the pub, Rose realized that it was getting late and neither of them had eaten yet.

“Shall we eat something? Maybe grab some fish and chips?” Bill said, reading her mind.

“Perfect,” she replied in a low, quiet voice.

They bought some greasy fish and chips at a nearby takeaway. It was wrapped in brown paper and covered with the Dublin news.

Then, they walked the streets until they found a bench under the stars away from the shouts, laughter and the lights. Beside the river, they were alone. They unwrapped the greasy paper and ate the cod hungrily, stuffing the vinegar smeared fries quickly into their mouths.

“Do you want the last chip?” Bill had said softly, holding it up in his greasy fingers.

Rose raised her eyebrows and smiled. “I certainly do.”

Bill placed it gently in her mouth, looking deeply into her eyes. She kissed his fingers slowly.

Then he kissed her again. She’d clung to him and let him kiss her.

They were both tired. Bill took her hand and led her up a narrow laneway not far away.

Author Bio:

Shannon is originally from Winnipeg, Canada but has had the great fortune to have traveled and lived in several countries. After graduating with a degree in English literature she focused on travelling for a few years and eventually found herself teaching English in Japan. After more than a decade in Japan, she returned to teach ESL in Canada and convinced her husband and daughter to join her. These days she lives in San Jose, California, and enjoys coaxing her dog to train for a Camino.

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Sunday, May 15, 2022

Blog Tour, Review, & Giveaway for Shadow of the Gypsy by Shelly Frome

Shadow of the Gypsy  

by Shelly Frome

About Shadow of the Gypsy

A Novel Crime - Thriller - Love Story 
Setting - The Blue Ridge, The Litchfield Hills, and Waterbury, CT  
BQB Publishing (May 3, 2022)  
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 340 pages  
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1952782570 
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1952782572 
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09HST8WP5 
 Print length ‏ : ‎ 280 pages
 

Josh Bartlett had figured all the angles, changed his name, holed up as a small-town features writer in the seclusion of the Blue Ridge. Only a few weeks more and he'd begin anew, return to the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut and Molly (if she'd have him) and, at long last, live a normal life.

After all, it was a matter of record that Zharko had been deported well over a year ago. The shadowy form John had glimpsed yesterday at the lake was only that --- a hazy shadow under the eaves of the activities building. It stood to reason his old nemesis was still ensconced overseas in Bucharest or thereabouts well out of the way. 

And no matter where he was, he wouldn't travel south over eight hundred miles to track Josh down. Surely that couldn't be, not now, not after all this.

REVIEW
*I received a free copy of this book which I voluntarily chose to write an honest review for.

This is definitely an intriguing mystery read. This is a new author for me so I am just meeting Josh. He is hoping to settle down in North Carolina instead of staying in Connecticut where he grew up. Instead of a fresh start he is traded by his past after a shadowy figure appears that looks like someone who should never be anywhere close. As the questions start piling up Josh finds it necessary to go back to his hometown in search of some answers. He ends up with much more then he expected leading us to a suspenseful mystery that really keeps you guessing making for quite the enjoyable read. I really liked it so I give it 4/5 stars.

About Shelly Frome

Shelly Frome is a member of Mystery Writers of America, a professor of dramatic arts emeritus at UConn, a former professional actor, and a writer of crime novels and books on theater and film. He also is a features writer for Gannett Publications. His fiction includes Sun Dance for Andy Horn, Lilac Moon, Twilight of the Drifter, Tinseltown Riff, Murder Run, Moon Games and The Secluded Village Murders. Among his works of non-fiction are The Actors Studio: A History and a guide to playwriting and one on screenwriting, Miranda and the D-Day Caper is his latest foray into the world of crime and the amateur sleuth. He lives in Black Mountain, North Carolina.

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Book Blitz & Giveaway for In the Trap by Jessica Cranberry

In The Trap
Jessica Cranberry
(Hazel & Maeve: The Campus Mysteries, #1)
Publication date: May 10th 2022
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Suspense

For Hazel, an introvert with a knack for people watching, campus life is awkward and hard and…lonely. That is, until she starts to let her guard down around her roommate, Maeve—who’s fun and has a wicked flair for drama. Could there be more than just a friendship here? Maybe. But Hazel has a lot of family trauma to work through before figuring out the other big parts of her life. For now, she’s just happy to have someone to talk to.

All seems to go well until a night in the Trap—the university’s green space—leads to a tense encounter with some drunk guys. When one of the guys ends up dead, Hazel is implicated, and she and Maeve set out to solve the crime before police can connect either of them to it. But how can two amateur sleuths put together a solid case to hand over to the police in time? By following the campus online diaries, that’s how.

Set at the beginning of the internet age, people are just starting to share all their deepest, darkest secrets via the World Wide Web, yet the assumption of online anonymity may be a critical mistake. As the perpetrator posts their criminal diary for public consumption, Hazel and Maeve scramble to use technology to piece together the murderer’s identity. Can they hack their way out of becoming suspects? And if so, could they ever go back to their boring majors?

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EXCERPT:

“The rain subsided a little; its pounding beat softened to a patter, and Aunt Liddy relaxed her shoulders. She punched the radio back on, and the soothing tones of “I Can See Clearly Now” filled the car.

As Aunt Liddy hummed along, I worried a hangnail on my thumb, savoring the little sting of pain. It reminded me who I was, where I was going, and that I was doing it alone. The road stayed slick with water and sounded like its own river as we drove over and through puddles.

Suddenly, a sharp bite stole my breath as I lurched forward in my seat, the seat belt digging into my collarbone and chest. Aunt Liddy put her arm in front of me as if that would be enough to stop my head splitting against the windshield. The dashboard was mere inches from crushing the bridge of my nose.

She stomped the brakes and yelled and cursed. Bright red taillights filled our windshield, sparkling and reflecting in the last of the raindrops that hadn’t been swiped away. The back of our car started to edge around. Back and forth, fishtailing as Aunt Liddy tried to gain control. Her face flushed pink, expression strained.

Life was supposed to flash in front of my eyes, but I hadn’t lived long enough for anything to really show up. I saw my mom smiling and heard my dad laughing, and nothing more. Were they—and everything they’d been through—all my life had amounted to?

Miraculously, Aunt Liddy steadied the car. She laid on the horn. It blared long and loud.

“Did you see him? He cut me off!”

The truck in front of us was massive, with a set of mud flaps showing the curving silhouettes of two naked women. Classy. The truck driver stuck his middle finger out the window.

“Stupid dick.” Aunt Liddy drew in a deep breath. “He’s gonna get someone killed.” She turned to me. “I’m sorry. Are you okay, hun?”

I could barely breathe. My heartbeat pounded in my throat and ears. My eyes watered and felt as though they were barely in their sockets. But sure, I was fine and said as much. That stupid song continued. Its singer insisted life was all clear blue skies and obstacles could be seen from far off, which was a damn lie. Trucks came out of nowhere, and so did bad people. Red flags didn’t look like red flags until after the fact.”

Author Bio:

Jessica Cranberry lives in the Sierra Nevada foothills with her family and spends days striking a balance between parenthood, teaching, editing/proofreading, and writing–suspense novels and eclectic short stories mostly. When she's not doing those things, she's reading, attempting to garden, or hiking around town. She's an okay baker, and has been known to paint on occasion.

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