HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

SINS OF THE FATHER -- A FAMILY-CENTERED DRAMA





Sins of the Father
by Lisa Beth Darling

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GENRE: Family centered drama


Readers, don’t you love Lisa Beth Darling’s name. Lisa Beth will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

Lisa Beth Darling has shared an interview.

Where did you grow up? Siblings? Locale? Were you considered a “bookworm” or a jock? Married, single? Children?

I was born in Norwalk, CT but grew up in New London, CT—a typical small New England city in the southeastern corner of the state—and I live in my ancestral home. I was adopted in 1967 and grew up an only child only to discover much later in life that I had three brothers; one full and two half. I have met and have a good relationship with one of my half-brothers. In school, I was the quiet artsy girl in class who loved to write. Although, like most quiet types, if you rile us up you'll be sorry, and if you take the time to get to know us you'll find we have a wicked sense of humor. I've been married for the last 30 years to my wonderful husband, Roy, and together we've raised two daughters, Nicole and Rebecca, to adulthood. They are now out of the nest and living on their own. No, I don't suffer from 'Empty Nest Syndrome', my husband and I are quite enjoying this stage of our lives.

Who are your favorite authors and favorite genres?

My all-time favorite author is Stephen King, I love horror…good horror, that is and it's very hard to find. I started reading his books when I was 10 and instantly fell in love. I am still a big fan of VC Andrews, Harold Robin, Jacqueline Susan, and Irwin Shaw.

What’s your favorite way to relax and recharge?

I'm a big movie buff and have a large collection of films on DVD and Blu-Ray, in the winter I just adore long movie marathons by the fire on our new reclining couches. They're wonderful! I'm so glad we bought them.  In the nice weather, I garden in containers on my deck. I used to do in-ground gardening but we became over-run with critters and it was very difficult to keep them out of the garden, they got far more vegetables than we did.  Doing it this way keeps the animals at bay as most of them aren't brave enough to venture up onto the deck. For decades, we went for long rides on my husband's motorcycle but, unfortunately, he had a bad accident last year and the bike is no more. Fortunately, he's fine though the road to recovery was a bit long.

Do you have a favorite quote that sums up how you feel about life?

"Get busy living or get busy dying"—Red, Rita Hayworth, and Shawshank Redemption, Stephen King

How long have you been writing?

I've been writing since 4th grade which is roughly 42 years.

Where do you prefer to write? Do you need quiet, music, solitude?  

My favorite place to write is in my home office where everything I need/want is right at my fingertips. I'm surrounded by all of my favorite books, a few letters from Stephen King, family photographs, and a plethora of "Americana" in the forms of KISS dolls, Star Trek dolls, an original Star Trek phaser, Twinkie the Kid (given to me by my brother), and a wide assortment of other such items. I burn incense and candles when I write. Solitude is a must, that's why I had my husband install French doors on my office where there was once just a huge open archway. I close my door, draw the curtains so no one can see me, and get to it. I always write on a PC, laptops are nice for something but I find them very difficult to write on, the keyboard is far too small. I use special ergonomic keyboards at home and at work.

Are you a plotter or a panzer?

I never plot anything out anymore, I found it got in the way more than anything. I always have an idea of where a story is going but not exactly of how The Muse and I will get there. That's the fun part. I'm as often surprised by how something unravels just as much as my readers are.

Do you use real events or persons in your stories or as an inspiration for stories?

Yes, I think that writers draw on all types of things to keep a story evolving and moving forward after The Muse has drafted them into writing it. We're great observers of human behavior, in fact, I think we observe others quietly from the shadows almost as much as we write. We pay attention to the news and what's going on in the world around us. Then we squash it all together to make putty that fills in some of the gaps of a given character's personality or motivation or to set the backdrop of a story.


Very well put. I always say we are the sum of all of our experiences. Do you set daily writing goals? Word count? Number of chapters? Do you get a chance to write every day?

Absolutely not, I found that was the quickest way to become discouraged. This isn't a sprint it's a marathon and there's no prize for getting to The End first.  I write every day from 2:15pm to about 4:30pm, which is when my husband comes home from work. Once he arrives home, it's Us Time and all writing is put away for the night. On the weekends, anything goes and you can often find me at my desk still in my PJs at 4 in the afternoon.

What do you hope your writing brings to readers?

A good story and not much more than that, I hope they come away feeling satisfied and as though they got their money's worth. I hope it brings them some joy or provides a distraction for them.

What long-term plans do you have for your career?

Just to keep going and keep doing what I do. I'm not interested in making a heap of money from my writing, I just hope to keep doing it until the day I die.

What advice would you give to unpublished authors?

I wish I had some magickal advice on that one, but in the end, I guess I'd say; just don't give up and don't quit your day job. Chances are you will not make a million dollars 'overnight' with your book so if that's your goal you may be in the wrong business. If what you want is to tell a good story and have your voice be heard then keep plugging along, eventually you'll find your audience.

Share a fun fact readers wouldn’t know about you.

I get up around 2am to eat a bowl of cereal and can't sleep without a fan going.

Share something about you that would surprise or shock readers.

I've done everything I've ever written about in my more adult oriented novels…all of it. After all, writers write what they know.

Is your book a series?

Sins of the Father is book #2 in the Sister Christian series of family dramas. When completed later this year the series will contain 4 novels. Genesis is the first book in the series and Mysterious Ways is the third.

How about an excerpt?

The last box was a bit of rummage sale it had several old framed family photographs and many nick-knacks wrapped in tissue paper from small finely cut crystal vases to colorful bowls and cups of blue and iridescent Carnival Glass. Hannah unwrapped as though it were Christmas Morning and told him of how their mother liked to collect glassware. Often they went to antique shops on Sundays to see what they could find, just the two of them, they would get hamburgers and ice cream at David's Roadside on the way home.

Lovingly and excitedly, she told him the story behind each and every piece as she gazed upon it with gleaming eyes, turned it over in her hands several times, and finally placed it gingerly atop of the piano. Including the story of the rather magnificent black porcelain horse tucked in with the other treasures.  Her mother gave it to her the day they got Hannah's new pony, Ares.

Hannah reminded Mason of the day when the two of them took Ares and her mother's horse, Daisy, from the stables and rode through the woods for the day.  Mason had forgotten all about it but as she spoke bits and pieces of the day came back to him.  He couldn't recall why they were alone, why he wasn't hanging with some of the guys and how they'd gotten together that day. But, being a Summer Kid, one made alliances and took friendships where one could get them. Mason was no different. 

As he remembered, it had been a very good day.  Full of sunshine and wide blue skies. Looking back now it was so obvious that Hannah knew he was her brother, the way she looked at him, smiled for him, talked to him.  Once or twice even Mason wondered if little Hannah Rice had a crush on him but that wasn't quite it. The adoration shining so brightly in her eyes wasn't the glow of a crush but richer kind, the kind that a little sister held for her big brother.  Again, he wished he'd known, wished someone had told him.

"Where's the Ren-oir?"

Mason was startled out of his daze, "The what?"

"The pain-t-ing. The Ren-oir?"

"Are you pulling my leg?"

Hannah frowned and shook her head even though it hurt, "No."

Mason sprang off the desk and yanked the printed inventory from it. Three pages in there it was; Box #98 Renoir Original. "Well, let's get that."

Hannah smiled, she loved the painting but, like the hutch, it was very large and she was uncertain whether or not Rick had a big enough bit of wall space for it.

Tossing the inventory on the table he sat next to her, "Here, I'll read, and you pick three more boxes."
Is there anything else you’d like readers to know about you?

My life is quite literally an open book, anything you want to know about me, just ask me. Other than that you're welcome to walk into my particular brand of insanity by visiting my blog http://lbdarling.wordpress.com  Warning: I don't hold back in my blog.


SINS OF THE FATHER Blurb:

As Hannah recovers from emergency brain and heart surgery, memories of the past overtake her dreams with such clarity they cannot be denied. As the last of the painful family secrets come to light it's up to her brother, Doctor Richard Mason, and his unconventional methods to help her confront the ugliness.



SINS OF THE FATHER Excerpt:

Running a hand over the side of his close-cropped gray head Frank tried to keep his cool as he pled his case, "Look, I just want to see Hannah, are you going to let me in there or not?"

Mason seemed to think about it for a second even though he really wasn't. "Ummm…not." He said finally. "She doesn't want to see you."

"She told you that? I don't believe it."

"Well, you could go and ask herself…oh, wait, that's right…you can't go in there. Guess you'll just have to take my word for it."

"Yeah, like that's worth anything."

"Some people think it is." Mason retorted as he held out his cupped hands, "Some people put their lives right here.  Crazy, right?"  From the look on the man's face Mason thought he'd stand there and bitch all day long. "While you're waiting for noon to come around, why don't you do Hannah a favor?"

"What's that?"

"Tell me about the two years between her accident and the birth of my pre-maturely deceased nephew."  He watched Frank's mouth drop open. "Take a load off." Mason said and gestured toward the chair opposite his desk. "In fact, why don't you just tell me everything you know?"

"She told you about Little Ricky?" Frank asked as he leaned forward but the question was more directed to the air than anyone in the room. "She's never spoken about him…ever."


Purchase Links:

Kindle/Amazon (paperbacks available on Amazon)

Nook

iBooks

Smashwords


Lisa Beth Darling, Author

It was in the 4th grade when Lisa Beth Darling discovered she was a naturally gifted writer. For her very first creative writing assignment, the teacher asked the class to pen a story about a baby bird's first flight and read them to the class. Putting pencil to paper, Lisa was instantly whisked away by a force she couldn't explain. When they were finished, all of the children read their happy stories to the class. Not Lisa. She got up and told of how the baby bird flew too high, hit a plane, crashed to the ground and died. She told of how the mama bird and daddy bird cried of how even God was upset sending the rains pouring from the sky. The class was speechless when she finished all they could do was stare at her. The teacher kept her after class told her the story was very good but it was different from the others. She asked Lisa if she'd ever heard of Icarus and had she based her story on him. Lisa had yet to encounter Greek Mythology or hear a whisper of Icarus. As Lisa left the classroom the teacher again told her how good the story was but suggested she might want to write something happier next time. Perplexed, Lisa turned and asked her teacher: "Why?" The teacher had no answer. Luckily for us, Lisa never took that teacher's advice.

Today she brings us complex multi-layered stories rich with the trials and tribulations that make up the world in which we live. Not one to be pigeonholed into any single genre, Lisa's stories revolve around the intricacies of couples from range the intimacy of lovers, to mothers and sons, and brothers and sisters.

Lisa Beth Darling lives in her hometown of New London, CT with her husband of nearly 30 years, Roy.  She is the author of more than fifteen novels along with several short stories and non-fiction books.

Author web links: (web, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads, etc)

Purchase Links:

Kindle/Amazon (paperbacks available on Amazon)

Nook

iBooks

Smashwords

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER


As mentioned at the first of this post, Lisa Beth Darling will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday, March 28, 2016

HOW ISLE OF FANGS CAME TO BE

By Alicia Dean

When I decided to write a vampire series, I wanted to create something a little different from the multitude of vampire stories on the market. One thing I did was to go back to traditional lore, such as…
My vampires…
Cannot go out in the sunlight, not even with magic rings or any other tricks
Do not sparkle
Cannot see their reflection
Cannot procreate
Are weakened by garlic, holy water, and crosses
Sleep in coffins
I created a main character/protagonist, a young woman, who is a descendant of Van Helsing, the vampire hunter. Lastly, I decided to set my story on a tropical island. I have had SO much fun with that. In researching which geographical area to use, I settled on French Polynesia due to its beauty, proximity to the United States, and uniqueness. I learned tons of interesting facts, some I’ve been able to use in the books, some I hope to use in future installments.
It's tradition to place a tiare (Tahiti’s national flower) behind your ear--left side means you're taken, right means you're looking. (I used this in Book 2 and the excerpt can be found below)

There are no poisonous snakes or insects in French Polynesia.

Outside the homes of locals, you will find boxes that appear to be for mail, but they are actually for French bread delivery. Residents get a fresh loaf dropped off twice a day. But alas, they must go to the post office to retrieve their mail! (I used this in Book 3)

The over-water bungalow was invented in the 1960s in French Polynesia, on the island of Moorea.

The official languages of the islands are Tahitian and French, however, English is widely spoken on most of the islands. (FUN fact: I wanted to create my own island, so I made up a name: Sang Croc – In French, ‘Sang’ means blood and ‘Croc’ means either crocodile, or fang – So, it more or less translates to ‘Blood Fang’ J

More than half of the population of Tahiti is under the age of 20 years old.

The word tattoo originated in Tahiti. The legend of Tohu, the god of tattoo, describes painting all the oceans' fish in beautiful colors and patterns. In Polynesian culture, tattoos have long been considered signs of beauty, and in earlier times were ceremoniously applied when reaching adolescence.

Blurb for Liberty Awakened – BOOK 1:
Liberty Delacort doesn't believe in Vampires. Then she meets the father she never knew, just before his death, and learns she's the last of the Van Helsing bloodline. 

Eli, a 300 year old Vampire, doesn't believe Liberty has what it takes to stand between the humans and the Evil Ones on Sang Croc Island, and orders her back to the mainland. 

Ryan, a friend of Liberty's late-father, disagrees and insists that Eli provide the promised training. 

Now the Full Moon has come and Liberty must stand in the gap. But unbeknownst to her--she's fallen for the wrong vampire. 


Excerpt from Liberty Divided – BOOK 2:
Just before they reached the parking lot, they passed a tiare shrub blooming with white flowers. "These are gorgeous." Liberty inhaled the fragrant scent. "And they smell amazing." She turned a delighted smile on him. "Can I pick one?"

"Of course. The natives of Sang Croc want people to enjoy the beauty of their flora. The motto is, there are always more to grow." Eli stopped and gripped a flower by its stem, pulling it from the bush. "Here you go."

She hadn't realized he'd moved, but suddenly he was close. Their bodies almost brushed. She didn't remind him of the rules about no flirting. If she did, she was afraid he'd step away. He locked his eyes on hers and lifted the flower, gently tucking it behind her ear.

She swallowed hard and took a shallow breath. His eyes dropped to her mouth. Involuntarily, her lips parted.

He was going to kiss her... and she was pretty certain she going to let him. Even in her drunken state, she vowed she wouldn't go as far as she'd wanted to go with Ryan. But she wanted to kiss Eli—had wanted to since she'd first seen him.

They'd come close a few times, but something had always interrupted them. Tonight, there were no distractions. She'd had enough to drink that she didn't feel her normal inhibitions. But she couldn't use the booze as an excuse. Her adrenaline was pumping, and she'd sobered considerably. Would she or wouldn't she? Would it be disloyal to Ryan? They hadn't exactly made a commitment, she hadn't told him she—

"Are you and Ryan a couple?" Eli asked.

She blinked, not sure she'd heard correctly. "Do what?"
"Are you and Ryan a couple?"

"That's not—not really your business."

"I need you to tell me that you are."

She frowned and put a hand to her forehead. "What?" He wasn't making any sense, and her head was fuzzy.

He stared down intently at her, his gaze roaming over her features. His voice was low in the hushed night. "If you say you're not, I'll do something stupid. If you belong to Ryan, tell me you do, and hands off."

She didn't answer. For several seconds.

His lips tightened. The two of them remained sheltered in silence in the darkness. It was so quiet, she could hear the ocean waves lapping the sand.

He took the flower from her right ear and moved it to her left. He trailed his fingers along her cheek, making goose bumps break out over her flesh. "There you are. Left side."

"Left side?" Her throat was so dry, she could barely speak.

He nodded. "It means you're taken. Now all the guys will know you belong to Ryan, and they'll stay away."

She clenched her teeth, angry at herself for feeling disappointed, angry at him for not giving her what she wanted. Rejected by two guys in two nights.

Screw this romance crap.

**** Book 1 is currently on sale for 99¢


Amazon Buy Page for all 3:


Alicia Dean, Author
Award-winning author, Alicia Dean, began writing stories as a child. At age 11, she wrote her first ever romance (featuring a hero who looked just like Elvis Presley, and who shared the name of Elvis’ character in the movie, Tickle Me), and she still has the tattered, pencil-written copy. Alicia is from Moore, Oklahoma and now lives in Edmond. She has three grown children and a huge network of supportive friends and family. She writes mostly contemporary suspense and paranormal, but has also written in other genres, including a few vintage historicals. She is a freelance editor in addition to being an editor for The Wild Rose Press.

Other than reading and writing, her passions are Elvis Presley, MLB, NFL (she usually works in a mention of one or all three into her stories) and watching (and rewatching) her favorite televisions shows like The Walking Dead, Dexter, Justified, Sons of Anarchy, Haven, Vampire Diaries, and The Originals. Some of her favorite authors are Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, Lee Child, Lisa Gardner, Sharon Sala, Jordan Dane, Ridley Pearson, Joseph Finder, and Jonathan Kellerman…to name a few.

Find Alicia here:


*** Sign up for our Novel Notes Newsletter, a multi-author newsletter where we give away a $25 gift card each month: https://www.facebook.com/NovelNotesAuthors


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

MINDY COLTON SHARES STORIES OF ROMANCE, TONS OF HUMOR, AND A SPLASH OF DRAMA




Mandy Colton is awarding a $25 Gift Card to someone on her tour who has left a comment. See the Rafflecopter at the end of the post to enter.


WAY TO GO Blurb:

Way to Go: Veronica Lane works in the travel industry in her dream job when she experiences a hellish travel day ending in the loss of her job and stranded far from home. To make the situation even worse, she drowns her sorrows in the hotel bar, and wakes the next morning to a big surprise.

Gathering up the remains of her dignity along with her travel bags, she returns to her hometown in Peachtree City, Georgia. A community similar to a progressive Mayberry, except with golf cart paths and carts. A lot of them. Her family is kooky. The parents are sexually free and liberal, her brother is a golf cart cop with more good looks and brawn than brains. Her grandparents, one from each side, live in the same retirement community and maintain a constant battle while entertaining the other senior citizens. The Grandmother on her dad's side is stuck in the 1960’s, and the Grandfather on her mother's side served in WWII and thinks that the Japanese are still trying to kill him.

She calls inquiring about a job in the newspaper, a group escort for a small tour company in Atlanta. She is hired immediately and leaves the next day with her first group to Jamaica. First, she meets a handsome pilot with the charter airline they use, and then there is one unusual group participant that doesn’t seem to belong. He leaves the group for periods of time and when things happen, he uses MacGyver like skills to get them out of the situations. She is aggravated and knows something is fishy and the bad thing is, the man is very charismatic and she’s not just a little attracted to him.

Upon their return, she finds out that the man is friends with her rather unconventional boss and after a second unusual group excursion to Puerto Rico; she knows for sure that the little tour company in Atlanta is not really what it seems on the outside. When the truth is revealed, she finds herself unintentionally dropped into a new career that she can't exactly add to her resume.

Veronica finds herself in uncomfortable and hilarious situations, surrounded by crazy tour participants, family, friends, neighbors, and pets. After a long dry spell, she finds that there is suddenly an overabundance of romance, drama, and intrigue in her life. Her life is now a sometimes very bumpy, yet exciting ride.






Excerpt from WAY TO GO:

I was dreaming about Gremlins, an old movie I’d watched years ago as a kid. The little critters in the movie were really cute, until they got wet and then multiplied and wreaked havoc. Somehow they’d gotten in my head and dragged a hot tub in with them, having some twisted version of a frat party. That’s when my dream turned into a nightmare—fur balls popped as the creatures multiplied, wiggling and wallering around squealing. All the bouncing around and commotion started to nauseate me. My subconscious pleaded with me to wake up and just make it stop.

When I finally opened one eye and turned to look at the clock, a line of drool followed me. I smacked at my lips, grimacing at the strange taste in my mouth, and looked down at my pillow. Yuck. I seriously slobbered in my sleep?

Nice, Lane. Can’t wait to look in the mirror.

I swiped my hand across my mouth and slowly opened the other eye. Looking down, I waited a few seconds for my vision to clear. No nightgown. Drooling and naked. Not good signs. Blinking a few times, I looked around the room.

Agh, shit!

I closed my eyes and declared in my head that I was still having a nightmare. I would open them again and just be curiously sitting here naked with a hangover. That’s all. One, two, three…

I opened one eye. Aww, fuck—I mean, fudge. What did I do? Uhn…probably did just that.

There was a man in my bed.   




WAY TO ROLL Blurb:

Secure your seat belt and get ready for another bumpy ride.

Veronica Lane never considered her life dull as a single woman working in the travel industry as a sales representative—not until one bad day ends in the loss of her dream job, and desperation leads her to Cavalcade Tours. The fun quickly turns into chaos and eyebrow-raising questions. Disaster leads to a shocking revelation leaving Veronica disgruntled and unsure if she has what it takes to begin a whole new career.

Some time away, deep thought, and her own misadventures have her gathering up the remains of her dignity and returning to her job with its interesting group of colorful and charismatic cohorts...with one big change. She’ll no longer just be a tour escort this time. Milton Porter, the owner of Cavalcade Tours, owns another company with secrets.

With her mind made up, new skills, passport in hand, and her bags packed, Veronica is ready to roll out for new destinations. Things get hairy as she tackles the dual roles her new job demands, dodging wild animals, nasty foes, and sometimes even the new men in her life.

Surrounded by kooky tourists, Veronica’s adventures place her in some dramatic and hilarious situations, and each return home to Peachtree City, Georgia has its own drama with her family of oddballs, nutty bunch of friends, and their pets. Her new life is sometimes bumpy and filled with turbulence, but it stays an intriguing and exciting ride.

  

Excerpt  from WAY TO ROLL:

When Nash came back, he was naked, having shed his own wet clothes, and he was carrying a tray full of food.

That made me giggle. I pointed at his man parts. “Ha! A naked waiter. That’s pretty hot. I wanna place my order right now.”

He snickered and sat down in the floor next to the tub with the tray and began spooning me soup. That’s when I got a really good look at him in the light. He was almost blue!

“Nash?”

“Yeah, kitten.”

I giggled again. “You look like a Smurf.”

He laughed. “So do you. We’re working on that.”

He fed me another bite of soup.

“You have to take some bites too,” I said touching his cold face.

He did and then smiled at me, and we continued to eat until the food was gone. He set the tray aside and then warmed up the water, stepping into the tub behind me and wrapped his arms around me.

“We did it, and we’re safe now, right?”

“Yes, we did, and we are safe.”

Feeling warmer, I was really getting drowsy again, thinking about the way he always seemed to come through and save us, keeping me and others around him safe. The sweet way he took care of me. The thoughts were giving me the warm fuzzies again. I picked up the hand on my stomach and grazed his fingers with my lips. Without thinking, I whispered, “Nash, I really love you.”

His body instantly tensed and minutes went by. Then he finally said in a very monotone voice, “Let’s get out of the tub and go to bed.”

I became more alert as we dried off, and when we crawled into the bed, he put his arm around me, but that was it. It was only a double bed and the cover was thin making me feel like the gesture had been made more out of necessity than affection. He never said a word, he never touched me further, and I felt the uncomfortable void that had suddenly grown between us like the Grand Canyon. And there was definitely emotional distance involved, he didn’t desire me anymore. When Nash was this close, he was always aroused. Not so tonight. It was what I’d said in the bathtub. I hadn’t really meant to say those words, meaning that I…that I really… I sighed. Fudge. They’d just sort of tumbled out and were hanging there for those awkward moments, and now something had changed in Nash. Guess I knew a sure fire way now how to repel him. Mentally and physically exhausted, I closed my eyes and quickly fell asleep.

Nash was up early and had already reported to WIC, and uploaded photos, and a map of the militia location. He had called the lady at the front desk about our wet clothes, and she’d been nice enough to stop by the room and take them for laundering. There wasn’t much we could do about our leather boots and jackets, as they were pretty much ruined. Nash gave the nice lady at the motel a generous tip, and thanked her for all she’d done for us when we left. We headed out, stopped quickly for some food, and moved on toward Crater Lake.

Nash had been unusually quiet all morning. He’d been polite, but curt, and avoided eye contact. It had stung the first time I put my arms around him on the bike and he’d gone nearly rigid like he couldn’t bear my touch. I was left with no doubts about how he felt regarding emotional ties, and I really wished that we could just go home now that we’d completed the mission. The rest of this trip was going to be miserably uncomfortable.

We caught up with the group at Crater Lake at the end of their hike. They were heading to a natural hot spring to soak, relax, and have some beers before dinner. Nash went with them, and I told Jemah to wake me to help with dinner and then headed to the coach for a nap. A while later, when I woke up and stepped off the coach, I noticed that the motorcycle was gone. Damn, the company I worked for had connections.

Nash set up his tent and sleeping bag for me that night, but he never joined me. He was up early, had breakfast with other tour members, and at the next coach stop, he disappeared. Although I wasn’t really surprised, it still hurt that he’d left without saying goodbye again.

The next two nights and days passed quickly. It had helped that I was in a mindless fog most of the time. We toured the caves of Lava Beds National Monument, a place where the U.S. Army and the Modoc Indians faced off at Captain Jack’s stronghold, and then Lassen National Park, currently a quiet volcano. The park had enough cracks in the earth and thermal activity to make the average man nervous and excite a volcanologist. Was supposed to be one of the wonders of the world. Made you wonder when it was really going to blow its stack again and hope you didn’t happen to be the dodo standing in the middle of it like we’d been.

Regarding blowing stacks… We had one more moment of excitement during the tour, and it came in a surprising form the last morning of the trip. I hadn’t slept much since Nash had left and was up early, had already showered and even helped in the breakfast line. Nash surprised the heck out of me and walked off the coach during breakfast, turning to give me a slight smile. I couldn’t believe he wasn’t already back in Atlanta. TI

This camp had a nice shower house, and Jemah donned her vintage swim cap again and headed that way after breakfast with her clothes and big scrub brush in hand while the rest of us finished cleaning up.

We had packed up the coach, and I was sitting at a picnic table talking to a few members of the group when we heard a hair-raising, high-pitched shrieking, followed by a sound like a squealing pig on the move. The door slammed open on the bathhouse, and out blasted a dripping wet and au naturel Jemimah, who was moving like the Roadrunner similar to that day after the bear encounter, scrub brush still in hand. We watched her squeal all the way to the coach and hop all three steps at one time like a mad bullfrog. Right before that door slammed shut, we heard a male scream, and Sully’s face appeared, plastered against the door window, looking freaked out with mouth agape. Suddenly, the door opened and he tumbled out onto the ground with a grunt, and then the door slammed shut again behind him. He just sat there on the ground, dazed and blinking, kind of like he was in shock.

After the rest of us had recovered from our own shock at that scene, some of the guys at the picnic table actually formed a plan and donned weapons and gloves to go in the bathhouse like they were expecting to find a killer or rapist like in the slasher flicks. They grabbed a cooking fork, a chopping knife, some big sticks, and a hammer and went to investigate. They came out several minutes later with Jemah’s clothes, howling with laughter. The only thing that they’d found was a tiny little deer mouse with a litter of babies.

Later, when we asked Jemah about it, she swore that it had raised up and tried to attack her like a momma bear with cubs. Poor Sully grumbled that his eyes burned and his butt was bruised for the first fifty miles heading back to Frisco. Nash pretty much stayed clear of me during the trip back


Mandy Colton, Author

Mandy Colton is from Louisville, KY, and lives a very quiet life with her husband and teenage son. She’s a fan of romance, fun adventure stories, and some occasional sci-fi or paranormal thrown in. Veronica Lane and the idea for her adventures came from her own experiences and career working in the travel industry.

She claims that working in the travel business could be horribly stressful but was equally laugh-out-loud funny at times. She enjoyed many priceless and comical experiences with groups, friends, and peers. Even her clients shared humorous adventures of their own. Her opinion is that there just are no better stories than those that involve true life.

Subscribe for notifications on future new releases! http://www.mandycoltonfiction.com  




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Monday, March 21, 2016

SPLINTERED -- A PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER BY KELLY MILLER





Has she already fallen prey to the vicious stranger hunting her?


Publication Date: Jan 26, 2016
Genre: Psychological Thriller/Crime Fiction


Life turns from barely tolerable to complete hell when Maddy Eastin’s impulsive plan to win back the attention of her absentee father backfires. Word of her scheme spreads through her high school, but when mockery escalates to cyberbullying, Maddy and her failed stunt become headline news. But the worst is yet to come…

A disturbed man is fighting the overwhelming urge to surrender to his true nature—a moral code molded by a sadistic father who taught him that a girl needs proper training to become the perfect subservient woman. As he watches Maddy on the evening news, his already fractured psyche completely splinters. She’s the girl he’s been waiting for.

When Maddy disappears, she’s labeled a runaway even though her mother believes it was foul play. Will the two detectives investigating Maddy’s disappearance find her before it’s too late? Or has she already fallen prey to the vicious stranger hunting her?

This psychological thriller unfolds through the viewpoints of five deeply flawed characters. Each is on their own emotionally charged journey that ultimately intersects in a collision course of devastating consequences.






Kelly Miller grew up shivering in Illinois but now enjoys the year-round sunshine in Tampa, FL. Her debut novel, "Dead Like Me," won second place in the best mystery category of the 2011 FWA Royal Palm Literary Awards competition. It was also named a semi-finalist in the mystery category of The Kindle Book Review’s 2013 Best Indie Books Awards competition. The Detective Kate Springer series continues with the second book, "Deadly Fantasies."

In Kelly’s newest book, "Splintered" which is a 2015 Kindle Scout winner, she introduces her readers to a whole new cast of characters. Visit www.kellymillerauthor.com to get a glimpse into the inner workings of her writing life.







Friday, March 18, 2016

HEATHER HIESTAND RELEASES TRIFLING FAVORS IN THE REDCAKES SERIES



Trifling Favors
by Heather Hiestand

Heather will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

GENRE: Historical Romance (Victorian)

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TIFLING FAVORS Blurb:

The sweetest treat is a kiss…

Greggory Redcake's plate is full. Widowed young and left with two small children, the manager of the Kensington location of the illustrious tea shop is besieged on all sides between the bakery and family matters. If only his remarkably efficient shop assistant, Betsy Popham, could manage his home life, too! But Greggory can't linger on thoughts of Betsy's fetching smile when a dead body is discovered in the bakery…

Betsy has no time for romance, not even with the delectable Mr. Redcake, whose kisses are all too unforgettable. Haunted by a specter from her family's past, Betsy is terrified that the man blackmailing her has turned to deadly violence. Yet the only way to save her position--and possibly her life--is to accept Greggory's help as their delicious attraction sweetens into the tantalizing promise of true love…



TRIFLING FAVORS Excerpt:

“There is a lot to learn,” Betsy said. “Thank you, sir.”

“Thank you, Miss Popham.”

She nodded and left the room. Now, she was an employee who never had a slow-moving moment. She did the work of three of her counterparts, appropriate for someone, even young as she was, who had worked for Redcake’s since it opened, catching the notice of the owners. He’d heard rumors that she wasn’t as good as she ought to be, and might have entertained a fantasy or fifty that she’d show some of that reputed sexual fire to him, but it had never happened. Betsy Popham was the soul of propriety in his presence, and if she had ever been any different, he had never heard the details.

With a shake of his head, he returned to his perch at the window and stared out again. He really ought to tend to his reports, but the twins had earaches and had screamed through the night. The nursemaid had threatened to leave if she didn’t have at least five continuous hours of sleep, so he’d been up through the wee hours, rocking one baby while Mrs. Roach took the other. He ought to fire the nursemaid and find a new girl, but he just didn’t have the energy. While nursemaids were lower class than nurses, a good one had still proved difficult to find.

He’d never yet met a father who was so burdened with domestic concerns. Or perhaps, men like him were simply too tired to discuss it. Men like him weren’t relaxing at their clubs telling tales; they were at home tending their crises.

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Heather Hiestand, Author

Heather Hiestand was born in Illinois, but her family migrated west before she started school. Since then she has claimed Washington State as home, except for a few years in California. She wrote her first story at age seven and went on to major in creative writing at the University of Washington. Her first published fiction was a mystery short story, but since then it has been all about the many flavors of romance. Heather’s first published romance short story was set in the Victorian period, and she continues to return, fascinated by the rapid changes of the nineteenth century. The author of many novels, novellas, and short stories, she has achieved best-seller status at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. With her husband and son, she makes her home in a small town and supposedly works out of her tiny office, though she mostly writes in her easy chair in the living room.

For more information, visit Heather’s website at www.heatherhiestand.com. Heather loves to hear from readers! Her email is heather@heatherhiestand.com .

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER



Heather will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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