Sunday, June 30, 2013

Review of 'Paranormal Days Gone Awry: an Anthology'

Book blurb from Amazon:

Bad days, we all have them. Even the supernatural beings among us. Do their powers and abilities make it easier or harder? You be the judge! In this anthology you'll see those doldrums days from every angle. From funny to tragic, from dragon to vampire, whatever your paranormal craving we have a flavor just for you! Enjoy one short story after another from many of today's hot and upcoming authors!




**My thoughts**

Vampires, witches, and zombies, oh my! And elementals and weres! You name it, this book has it!

I had purchased this book during a sale, because I am familiar with many of the Anchor Group authors. I was ecstatic when my book club chose to read it this month. By this time, I was caught up with even more of the authors than I had been before reading it.

I love reading books by Elizabeth Kirke, Christy Sloat, Stacey Rourke, and Karen Pokras Toz. All four of these ladies have stories featured in here, along with 9 others. Some of the stories provide more insight into characters in the full-length novels, such as the short about Dani and the kids by Elizabeth Kirke. Stacey Rourke's story about Keni was already familiar, as it also appears in one of her novellas. Christy Sloat's short about a vampire is an example of an author showing off a different side of her writing skills. Karen Pokras Toz's Nate Rocks is one of my current favorite middle grade series.

I also really liked Dana Piazzi's "Full Moon Flip Flop" and "Once Bitten, Twice Shy" by Katherine Polillo. I am not usually a fan of short stories, but these kept me plenty entertained.

This book is a fantastic introduction to the authors who make up the Anchor Group. It has something for everyone. Following each story is that author's bio and a listing of their other books, so you can catch up on ones you may have missed before.


 Available at Amazon \ Barnes & Noble \ Smashwords

'The End of Athens' by Anthony Karakai


Urban Fantasy
Date Published:
5/2/2013

In the year 2091, humans have lost the ability to dream. After decades of financial and social depression, dreams and aspirations have become a recessive gene—an impossibility of the modern mind.

Greece is one of the worst social and economic disaster zones, and all hope of a better future has been lost. One young man, Nikos, discovers that he is not like everybody else—there is something different about him.

Believing that he may be going crazy, he soon discovers that he is the only person in Greece who has inherited the ability to dream. Time is running out as the government continues its tirade of corruption and suppression against the people, and Nikos must find a way to teach others how to dream so that once more society can free itself from the shackles of mental slavery.


Read an excerpt:
I looked into the face of death, and took his mask off. What was it that I was seeing? Stringent blue lights, creeping black shadows, and an entity as tall as myself. This wasn’t evil personified, this thing, this man, this sometimes boy, had a message. He mirrored my actions as I leant against the dark bluestone walls, in what would’ve been an alley if it were not for the enclosed, claustrophobic cube. His face was bare underneath the flowing black hood. We stared at each other, somewhat intently but more so with recognition. As he raised his right hand up towards my face, I found mine momentarily doing the same. Just as we were about to touch, as our hands were to feel the complexity of warm life and cold death, did this mirage disappear.

I find myself instantly in my bedroom, tired but awake, starting another day off the back of what I suspect is the beginning of the end.

As I make myself to work, I think constantly about these apparitional mirages and what it is I’m experiencing. I have no idea, I think I’m going crazy, and I wonder if I should tell somebody. This type of behaviour isn’t normal, as far as normalcy is concerned. I pay the young girl for my coffee- a long black, and saunter towards the entry of building Zero before walking the staircase. The staircase is long, it’s difficult to walk but I do this each morning under the misguided assumption that it will somehow keep me fit. As far as I know, since a desk job was invented the human body periled into a frivolous state of sugar, fat and general regression to what it was designed for in all those history books. We live longer, but for what, I’m not so sure.

After completing the ceremonious “hellos” and “good mornings”, I sit down in what can only be described as a pod and turn on the computer. The year is 2091, and I reside in Athens- the birthplace of democracy, the cradle of free thought and the place on Earth where the potential for civilisation to be civil all began. My name is Nikos, and I am 27 years old.

Buy it on Amazon


Anthony Michael Karakai was born in Melbourne, Australia, and is a dual citizen of Hungary. Holding an International Business degree, he is also a qualified percussionist and music producer, having studied music extensively since the age of seven. Working in journalism, his work has been published in various magazines and websites. With an insatiable appetite for travel and an eagerness to explore off the beaten path, Karakai travels at every opportunity- his travels and ongoing commitment to exploring the world are what inspires him to write.

Contact links:

Website - http://www.anthonykarakai.com

Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/karakaibooks

Twitter - @AnthonyKarakai

Friday, June 28, 2013

Get all of Jessica Gibson's titles for just 99 cents apiece!

How awesome is this??? All of the books are on sale of .99 for a limited time. You know you want to snap them all up while you can :)



***Kindle Best Seller in Contemporary Fantasy***


Magic flows through Jillian Proctor's veins as surely as blood, but so far her life outside Boston has been peaceful. William Morgan blows into Jilly's life like a hurricane, unleashing her magic and sending her out of control. Unknowingly, William brings an enemy who only wants to posses the power of the witch. Jilly must learn to harness her magic before she loses it - and everything in her life is destroyed.





After the events of Mark of the Witch, Jilly at last begins to breathe easier though her powers are still growing. But can she harness them in time to confront a new chain of events that threatens to change everything?

Caroline has finally accepted her life as a witch, but when a stranger comes into her life she's forced to question her family loyalty.

The sisters are thrown together to protect a young girl from the enemy determined to hunt her down. Can they save her -- and themselves?





Ronan has lived for hundreds of years. In all of his years there has only been one for him. What will he risk to get back what is his by right?

This is a short story and is the prequel to Love and Blood and can be read at any point in the series.









Bronwyn Fitzgibbons was young and reckless. It was easy for Ronan to steal her human life and make her a vampire. She ran, but she never forgot him--or how he made her feel.

Rider saved Bronwyn from the new life she loathed and the new self she detested. His love restored her sanity.


Now Ronan is back to claim her. She struggles like hell against him, but she cannot deny the overwhelming power of her maker. Will Bronwyn surrender to the one who could possess her utterly? Or can she find the strength to choose the one who loves her as she is?




Bronwyn left everything behind when she left with Ronan. She became what he needed her to be and forgot the rest. Too bad the past won't stay in the past.

Rider bursts back into her life uninvited, and is not the man she remembers. There is an edge to him that was not there before. Bronwyn is torn by guilt over what he has become and anger at being blamed for it.


When Ronan ended his maker’s life, he inherited a line of vampires and a whole set of problems to go along with it. Bronwyn must decide if their love is worth it, worth the killing, and the constant disruption of their lives.


Is love enough? Can Bronwyn find herself again and strike a balance between who she wants to be and who Ronan needs her to be? Or will she lose herself all over again?





Buy them, read them, love them :)




Cover Reveal! 'The Posse' by Tawdra Kandle

Coming soon...

From the author of The King Series...

'The Posse'


The Possefinal

Being a widow at the age of forty-four was never in Jude Hawthorne's plans. After her husband’s death, she's left with her family’s beach restaurant and two nearly-grown children. The last thing she’s looking for is another chance at love. However, if her husband’s best friends, the Posse, have anything to say about it, love is just what she’s going to get. The Posse is determined to take care of Jude, and when they decide the best way to do that is for one of them to sweep her off her feet, three begin to vie for her affections. But only one can reach her heart. In a story of friendship, loss and second chances, Jude will learn her life is far from being over. 

A note from Tawdra: THE POSSE, my first contemporary romance, will be out in early July! I'm so excited about this book, and I am thrilled to reveal the gorgeous cover designed by Stephanie Nelson of Once Upon A Time Covers.

Watch for news of this release and stalk Tawdra here!  

'A Moment' by Marie Hall


A Moment
by Marie Hall

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

Ryan Cosgrove and Liliana Delgado are on a collision course with destiny. They don't know it yet, but before the night is over their lives will be forever changed.

Spending Valentine's Day at a burlesque bar, hadn't been Liliana's ideal way of spending a Friday night. She'd much rather be back at campus, doing homework... until she meets Ryan. Tall, athletic, and gorgeous, Lili can't keep her eyes off him, and despite his gruff manners and drunken disposition she's intrigued.

Ryan's got demons, and they're deep, dark, and eating him alive. Regardless of his attraction to the petite brunette he's tired of fighting, of pretending the last fifteen years haven't been a daily struggle just to get out of bed every morning. That night he decides to end his pain, to leave it all behind and float away into the blessed darkness of oblivion. But fate has other plans for him, Lily finds and rescues Ryan, determined she'll not only save his body, but his soul too.

This is their moment...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Read an excerpt:
I don’t like seeing Ryan drink, not that it’s any of my business, but I just don’t.

“I know what you’re thinking. It’s all over your face?” he says.

I scrap my nail along the rim of my empty cup. “No you don’t.”

He purses his lips and I know my face is blushing, I can feel the heat spreading through my cheeks. He’s torturing me on purpose, I know he is.

“This isn’t beer. See.” He tips his cup, showing me a red liquid inside. “It’s juice, Alex is good about making sure I don’t drink except on very special occasions.”

What does that mean?

Does he consider what he’d done a special occasion?

Tongue feeling two sizes too big in my mouth, I shrug like he hadn’t just pegged me. “I wasn’t thinking that.”

“Sure you weren’t.” His smile is short and mysterious as hell, it makes my body burn.

Clearing my throat, I arch a brow. “Anyway. You do this all the time?”

“What’s that?” He takes another sip of his juice.

“Come to frat houses on the weekends? Awfully clich├ę, wouldn’t you say?”

“I think that’s the pot calling the kettle black, wouldn’t you?”

He had a point, I laugh. “Whatever.”

“Nah.” He shifts again, but this time he’s moving away from me and I don’t like that. Yeah, I know, it makes me one of those females that just can’t make up their minds, but I can no longer deny my attraction to him, especially when he’s trying to do exactly what I’ve asked and just be friends. It only makes him more sexy.

“This is Alex’s thing. I just come with him to keep him honest.”

“Then what do you usually like to do on the weekends?”

His brows gather as he seems to consider it. “I don’t know, you mean besides watching porn?”

I stick my tongue out and he clamps down on the edge of his lip, rolling it between his teeth in a way that makes me hot and twitchy. This man is dangerous and I want him. I mean, I really do. I want to drag him up the stairs, find a room and not come out until morning.

Licking my lips, I cross my legs.

He grins. “I watch movies, read--”

“You read?”

Narrowing his eyes, as if not sure whether I’ve just insulted him or not he pauses and I shake my head. “That’s not what I mean, I just meant, it’s nice to find a guy who admits to that. Most guys don’t. And if they do, it’s like some shameful secret.”

Chuckling, he nods. “I guess. I’m kind of into the classics. War and Peace, A tale of two cities, started reading Moby Dick last night. Call me Ishmael.”

Not at all what I’d expected. I hate judging books by their covers, but Ryan seems more like this guy. The one sitting in a frat house on a Saturday night, the one drinking beers and sleeping with as many women as possible. And maybe he’s just blowing smoke up my butt, but I don’t really believe that because he knows he’s got nothing to gain with me.

I’m off limits, so maybe this is the real him and I’ve had him all wrong.

He must have noticed my look, because he smirks. “Yeah, not what you expected, huh?”

“You know it’s really annoying when you read my mind.”

He laughs and I can’t help but respond. He has a nice one, sexy… it shivers across my body and makes my breasts feel full and achy.

“At least you’re honest.” Tipping his cup, he takes another sip.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Marie Hall has always had a dangerous fascination for creatures that go bump in the night. And mermaids. And of course fairies. Trolls. Unicorns. Shapeshifters. Vampires. Scottish brogues. Kilts. Beefy arms. Ummm... Bad boys! Especially the sexy ones. Which is probably why she married one.

On top of that she's a confirmed foodie, she nearly went to culinary school and then figured out she could save a ton of money if she just watched food shows religiously! She's a self-proclaimed master chef, certified deep sea dolphin trainer, finder of leprechaun's gold at the end of the rainbow, and rumor has it she keeps the Troll King locked away in her basement. All of which is untrue, however, she does have an incredibly active imagination and loves to share her crazy thoughts with the world!

If you want to see what new creations she's got up her sleeves check out her blog:

www.MarieHallWrites.blogspot.com and sign up for her newsletter! :D

Marie will be awarding at every stop an Ebook from her fairy tales series to a randomly drawn commenter, and a Grand Prize of a $50.00 Amazon or Barnes & Noble GC (Winner's Choice) to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. A $50.00 Amazon or Barnes & Noble GC (Winner's Choice) will be awarded to a randomly drawn host. Follow the tour for more chances to win!

'Her Honor's Bodyguard' by Johnny Ray Book Tour Blast

Her Honor's Bodyguard

by Johnny Ray

Do first loves ever really die? While reunions can take many forms, there is always one question that has to be answered sooner or later—what happened?

Vance had always been extremely proud of Noella, and just because his life had been ruined, he saw no reason why she had to have the same faith. When his dad died, leaving him and his mother penniless, he dropped out of law school and ended his relationship with Noella, but in doing so, he stopped a scandal that could have ruined her family. These secrets he would never let her know. Ironically, years later, he would have never guessed she would be instrumental in ruining his career with the Tampa police force.

After Noella finished law school and started pursuing her goal of working up the ranks in judgeships, she never considered inviting another guy into her life. As such, when someone attempts to threaten her into vacating her seat on the bench, and by force if necessary, she knows of no one else she really trust as much as Vance, who now has a successful bodyguard and private detective business.

She knows that Vance might hate her for her part in having him dismissed from the police force, but what he will never know is that she actually saved him from going to prison. Additionally, she now thinks he was framed, and perhaps by the same people who are threatening her. She had to talk him into taking her on as a client . . . but would he agree to her request?

As the number of attacks on her life increases, Vance soon has no choice but to offer her his protection, and in spite of everything, when they see each other again their old attraction for each other returns. She wants the truth. He wants the truth. However, making the ultimate sacrifice is not always easy to understand, whether given or received. Ultimately . . . could they now trust each other with these secrets? While their lives depend on discovering the truth to their past, these truths are locked in deep secrets that could also destroy them.

Buy on Amazon


About the Author:

Johnny Ray has a passion for life and adventure that he loves to share with his readers. As an avid traveler and professional businessman conducting business worldwide for years he has made many interesting contacts and received numerous awards for top pro
duction. He has owned and operated several real estate companies, several insurance companies, and a stock brokerage company. He loves radio and TV talk shows, as well as speaking in front of various audiences. Feel free to contact him if you need a guest speaker.

When it comes time to play, he is very active in many sports including dancing, swimming, tennis, biking, and skiing. While he loves adventures that are new, interesting and challenging, making friends that share his passions is a special gift.

Johnny lives in Clearwater, Florida where he works full time as a writer, and he can be often found in one of the hundreds of coffee shops along the beach working on his next novel. He belongs to the Florida Writer Association where he recently won the Royal Palm Literary Award for best thriller, the Romantic Writers of America, and the Mystery Writers Association. He attends various national writer conventions throughout the year, as well as several local writing groups in the Tampa Bay area of Florida.

Follow Johnny: Website | FaceBook | Twitter | Blog | Goodreads | Literary Addicts

Prize: $50 Amazon Card Fill out the form to Enter. Open INT
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Thursday, June 27, 2013

'Apocalypse Cult' by Alex Siegel Ultimate Book Tour


Apocalypse CultAPOCALYPSE CULT is the first book in the Gray Spear Society series. They are God's secret warriors, His henchmen, His assassins cloaked in shadows. When lives and souls are at risk, He sends the Gray Spear Society to save mankind. This time the enemy is the Church of One Soul, a cult that intends to kill thousands of unsuspecting tourists in Chicago. But this is merely the first step in plunging the world into a devastating war. The Society has only a few days to destroy their elusive foe, despite interference by overzealous federal agents.


Purchase Apocalypse Cult: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

About Alex Siegel

Alex Siegel Alex Siegel grew up a math and computer geek. At the age of twenty-five, he received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Cornell. He continues to make a good living as a software developer in Chicago. In his late twenties, he took up creative writing as a serious pastime with the intention of eventually making it his career. This goal has been elusive, but failure is not an option. In 2001, his wife gave birth to triplet boys. People often ask him how he still finds time to write. In 2009, he began the Gray Spear Society series, and he hopes it will be his key to literary fame.

Follow the Author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Join us

July 11 9PM - 10 PM EST Twitter HashTag #ApocalypseCultBookTour

July 19 Pinterest Event

July 23 Video Chat on Literary Addicts

July 31 - August 2 for our Social Media Event on Facebook. Come learn More about the author and win prizes

Follow the Tour
The author will be offering a $50 Amazon Gft Card to the giveaway winner. Fill out the form below to enter. 

'Nowhere to Hide' and 'Defective' by Joan Hall Hovey

SUSPENSE BY JOAN HALL HOVEY

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Nowhere To Hide:

Eppie Winner ~ Best Thriller - 1992
  
SHE DARED TO CHALLENGE A MERCILESS KILLER

Raised in an atmosphere of violence and unpredictability, Ellen and Gail Morgan have banded together, survivors of a booze-fertilized battleground, forming a fierce united front against an often cold and uncaring world. When their parents are killed in a car crash, Ellen becomes the mother figure for Gail.

When fifteen years later Gail is brutally raped and murdered in her shabby New York basement apartment, practically on the eve of her big breakthrough as a singer, Ellen is inconsolable. Rage at her younger sister's murder has nearly consumed her. So when her work as a psychologist wins her an appearance on the evening news, Ellen seizes the moment. Staring straight into the camera, she challenges the killer to come out of hiding: "Why don't you come after me? I'll be waiting for you."
 
Phone calls flood the station, but all leads go nowhere. The police investigation seems doomed to failure. Then it happens: a note, written in red ink, slipped under the windshield wipers of her car, 'YOU'RE IT.' Ellen has stirred the monster in his lair … and the hunter has become the hunted!

Read an excerpt:


NOT ALONE

It was nice to be alone. As she brushed her hair, Gail launched into her favorite fantasy of buying her sister a white Ferrari. Ellen's birthday was coming up in May; she'd have the car delivered right up to her door, a big red bow tied on the antenna ... dream on, girl she told herself, grinning at her reflection in the mirror.

Tiger padded into the room just then, winding his sleek, warm body around her bare ankles, purring like an old washing machine.

I owe her so much, Tiger, Gail said, reaching down to stroke the cat's soft, glossy fur. If it wasn't for...

Suddenly, Tiger's back arched under her hand and he hissed. Gail's heart leapt in her breast and her hand drew back as if burned. "What the...?" But Tiger, fur standing on end, had already fled the room. Gail turned in her chair just in time to see his electrified, retreating tail...

Then she caught a movement from the corner of her eye. Turning, she froze at the sight of the closet door slowly opening.
Chapter One

August 6, 1979

The closet door was at the top of the stairs at the end of the hall. To get to it he had to pass by two doors, one on either side, both now partly open. He could hear talking, very low. Farther away, the sound of running away. In three quick strides he was past the doors and inside the closet. He knew he was smiling. He felt excited the way he always did when he got past them. Even if anyone had got a glimpse of him, it wouldn't really matter. He was invisible. The invisible man.

The secret door was to his right, just behind the wide rack of musty-smelling winter coats in varying sizes. He ducked beneath them, and opening the door, let himself into the narrow, cave-like space.

The space separating the inside and outside walls went nearly the whole way round the third floor, stopping abruptly at the wall of the stairwell where he had to turn around and go back the way he had come. Once, this space had been used for storage - old bed springs, broken chairs, trunks - but the doors, except for the one in the closet which he had come upon quite by luck, and through which he had come again and again, had long since been replaced by sheetrock and papered over with rose-patterned wallpaper.

It was pitch black in front of him and all around him, like he was all alone in the world. He had his flashlight, but didn't turn it on. He knew the way. Besides, it might shine through someplace.

As he made his way along the darkened corridor, breathing the stale, hot air, his progress slowed by the long, heavy skirt he wore, he had to stoop. At seventeen, though narrow-shouldered, he was nearly six feet tall.

Sweat was trickling down between his shoulder- blades, and under the wig, his head felt squirmy, so he took the wig off and stuffed it into his pants pocket, under the skirt.

And then he was there. He could see the thin beam of light shining through, projecting a tiny star on the wall. It was coming through the place where two Sundays ago, when they were all at Chapel, he had made a peephole. He'd made it by simply pounding a nail through, then drawing it cleanly back out so that there would be nothing detectible on the other side - no more than a black dot.

A giggle floated through to him and the smile froze on his face, his fists clenching involuntarily. No, it can't be me they're laughing at. They can't see me. They don't know I'm here. I'm invisible, remember? Calming himself, he slowly brought his face to the wall.

Eight narrow, iron-framed beds faced him, each covered by a thin, grey blanket with a faded red stripe across the top and bottom. Twelve beds in all, but the two at either end were cut from his view. A few religious pictures hung above the beds. The one facing him said 'Suffer the Little Children to Come Unto Me'. It had a picture of a lamb on it. Only three of the beds were occupied. It was still early. Some of the girls were probably downstairs watching their alloted hour of T.V. Others would still be doing kitchen duty. At least one troublemaker would be doing 'quiet time'. He grinned.

He understood now that the laughter he'd heard had come from one of the two girls sitting on the edge of the bed flipping through a teen idol magazine. He'd caught a look at the cover - some weirdo with a green punk hairdo and a guitar slung around his neck. The two sluts, heads together, were still at it, giggling, whispering, low and secretive. He felt a hot surge of hatred course through his veins. He wished SHE would walk in on them right now. He knew what they were doing. They were talking about who they liked, who they thought was 'cute', who they would let do it. They were thinking and talking about that.

Two beds over, a fat girl with short brown hair that looked as if someone (guess who? Ha-ha) had cut it around a bowl, lay on her back with her hands behind her head, staring at the ceiling. A jagged scar travelled from a spot between her eyebrows right up into her hairline. He could tell she'd been crying; her raisin eyes were all red and puffy, practically disappearing in her moon face. They cried a lot in here. Mostly in the middle of the night when they thought no one could hear. It always excited him hearing their soft muffled sobs. Sometimes, though, it just made him mad like it did when they laughed. Then he wanted to fix it so they didn't make any sound at all.

His gaze wandered back to the girl who had first caught his attention, the one who sat under the lamb picture, and who he'd wanted to save for last. She was sitting cross-legged on the bed, a writing tablet balanced on her knees, her long, pale hair fallen forward, though some damply dark ends curled against her neck. He watched as she scribbled a few lines, then frowning, looked over what she had written. She would chew on her yellow pencil, then write some more, the pencil making whispery sounds on the paper. He watched her for a long time, taking in the flushed, shiny cheeks that made him think, as had the darkly damp curls, that she might just have stepped out of the bath. Yes, he remembered hearing the water running. He liked to see them when they just got out of the bath - all that damp flowing hair, pinkly scrubbed skin, soft necks. Sometimes they changed into their flannel nightgowns right there on the edge of their beds, right there in front of him - though of course they didn't know that.

That was the best part. Them not knowing. It didn't matter that they dressed so hurriedly and so slickly that he often didn't get to see much. Though occasionally there was a flash of white shoulder, a curve of breast.

I'm watching you, he thought, and had to stifle a giggle of his own.

And then she raised her head and those clear blue eyes were staring right at him, stabbing fear into his heart. He couldn't move.

She was frowning, not in the way she did when she was thinking of what to write, but with her head cocked to one side, as if she were listening for something. A terrible thought struck him. What if he hadn't just almost laughed, but actually done it, right out loud? Adrenaline pumping crazily through his body, he backed slowly away from the peephole. Standing perfectly still with his back against the wall, he waited. When after several minutes there were no screams, no sudden cries of alarm to alert the other girls - and HER, especially HER - he began to relax. His heartbeat returned to normal; once more he brought his eye to the hole. She was back to writing. Of course she was.

He smiled to himself.

He hadn't laughed out loud, after all. And she hadn't seen him. Of course she hadn't. His gaze slid down to her breasts, their shapes round and firm as little apples under the flannel nightgown.

But you will, he thought. You will.



Defective:
Therapist Melanie Snow is driving to her office when her Honda is struck by a dark-colored van and sent spinning into a ditch, where it catches fire. The driver never stops. A passerby pulls Melanie from the car just seconds before it explodes.
Waking from the coma nine days later, she is devastated to find she is blind.
As Melanie struggles to cope with her new reality, life as a blind woman, her fragile state of mind is further threatened by a madman who is stalking and strangling disabled women. The first two victims were mentally challenged and Detective Matt O’Leary, who carries a torch for Melanie, (even though Melanie is engaged to someone else) tells himself she is not the killer’s targeted prey. But then a woman who lost a leg to cancer is murdered, and another physically disabled woman is stalked. Even with a whole town in terror, Melanie refuses to live her life in fear and reopens her practice in the basement of her home. She has a living to earn.
And Detective Matt O’Leary must find a way to keep Melanie safe until the monster is caught. But how? Her door is now open to the public and the killer can just walk through anytime he chooses.
And he does.

Read an excerpt:


It was mid-afternoon, overcast, and The East End Mall in Kingsdale was crowded with shoppers. The Eraser, as he liked to think of himself, sat at one of the molded plastic tables by himself, nursing a Pepsi and eating fries from a small cardboard plate, and people watching. It was one of his favorite things to do, especially in nice weather when the girls wore shorts or tight jeans, some with their tanned midriffs bare, skimpy tops that showed off their boobs and skinny jeans that accentuated their tight little butts. Why not? He was a normal guy, he told himself. He avoided looking at the ones with flab hanging over their waistbands. He had girlfriend once or twice, but it didn't last. The last one said he was weird and just stopped returning his calls. Well, to hell with her.

His eye strayed momentarily to the big screen monitor advertising Nike sneakers. Then it changed to a rent-a-car commercial and on to something else, but he'd already looked away. Idly dipping a French fry in the small pool of ketchup on his plate, he popped it in his mouth and went back to girl-watching. They did little for him today. His hand moved to cover the scratch that the retard left on his cheek, though it was fading now. That Polysporin ointment was good stuff.

Music played over the sound system, competing with the jabbering of shoppers, nothing he recognized. Probably supposed to keep people shopping, buying junk they didn't need. His gaze narrowed ever so slightly as a young girl with a silver ring in her lower lip and wearing black eyeliner got up from a table not far from him and limped heavily to the waste bin and dumped in the remainder of her meal, a half-eaten hamburger, fries. She sat the tray on top of the stack. Behind her, someone called out, "Hey, Lana," and the girl turned in his direction and took a step forward so he could see her full-length; she looked past his shoulder and waved. He felt his heartbeat rev up, his throat go dry.

She had short dark hair, and was wearing a khaki skirt and cream-colored blouse. Her dimpled smile, the gleam of white, even teeth barely registered on him. He didn't even glance behind him at the woman who had called out to her. He had no interest. As he had no genuine interest in the woman who returned the wave, really.

No. It was her foot in its big brown shoe that drew and held his attention. Not brown exactly, but like tea when you put milk in it. Taupe. Yes, that was what his mother called that color. It was all he could see when he looked at her: that big clunking shoe. So ugly it offended him, as deformities of any kind offended him. Even horrified him. A chill had crept down his back. He had to work extra hard to keep the disgust and pity from his face. She was a mistake. A blight, a tragic spawn. She must be erased. Like when you're a kid and you draw a picture of something and it doesn't come out right. You just erase it. Or rip out the page, and start again.

He was the eraser of mistakes. The good Lord had chosen him to do this work. Not that he was blaming God. No, there was no blame to be handed out here. Some small voice told him his reasoning was flawed, that that wasn't why they had to die. But he wasn't listening. As people were born of sin, women carried the faulty limbs, twisted features and minds within them. Carriers. As his mother had been a carrier, her womb spewing forth a defective, barely human—thing. Not the defective's fault either. But since the flaw couldn't be repaired, the whole issue had to be erased. The burden lifted. The Eraser held that kind of power; he could end suffering, change lives for the better. He remembered well the very moment he had changed his own life but no time for that now. She was heading for the exit doors. He rose casually from his chair, tossing the remainder of his own fries and drink into the trash, dropped his tray on top of hers, and followed. He was really following the 'shoe'. His eyes were riveted on the shoe. It filled his vision, his consciousness. That big, ugly shoe that rose and fell, rose and fell, her left hip dipping in sync, the shoe dragging it downward, seeming an entity in itself. When she stepped through the automatic doors into the grey, drizzly day, he was right behind her. Close enough to touch her. He buried his hands deep in his pockets to stifle the urge.

The bus pulled up with a hiss of air brakes and a belch of exhaust, and she hitched herself up onto the step. He followed, paid his fare. His bike was chained and locked in the parking lot; it would be fine. She took a side seat near the driver, and he sat himself two seats behind her and pretended to look out the window.

In the grayness of the day, his reflection in the glass was faint, but almost at once he could see his reflection begin to morph into that of another, as she had once been. A raindrop ran down the window and caught one corner of her mouth like the drool he remembered, couldn't forget, and he could not tear his eyes away. The small voice in his head spoke to him, sending the familiar chill through him, as if his heart had just received an infusion of ice water. The voice could form words now, where once it was capable only of mindless gibberish. "You know it's me in there, don't you. I'm watching you. I've come back. I'll always come back. I'll never leave you."

"No! No!"

Fearing he had cried out, he jerked his head around in sudden panic, but no one on the bus was looking at him. One man was reading a newspaper. A woman was talking and smiling at her little boy. Relief swept through him, but he was trembling just the same. A Chinese man seated across from him turned the page in his paperback, paying him no mind.

The girl had put earphones in her ears and her lips were moving to a song only she could hear. Her legs were crossed, the shoe swinging in time, mocking him.



Praise for Joan Hall Hovey’s Books

“…suspense that puts her right up there with the likes of Sandford and Patterson..." Ingrid Taylor for Small Press Review

 "...Alfred Hitchcock and Stephen King come to mind, but JOAN HALL HOVEY is in a Class by herself!…" J.D. Michael Phelps, Author of My Fugitive, David Janssen

"…CANADIAN MISTRESS OF SUSPENSE…The author has a remarkable ability to turn up the heat on the suspense… great characterizations and dialogue…" James Anderson, author of Deadline

"...a gripping style that wrings emotions from everyday settings. Oh and by the way ...is your door locked?" Linda Hersey - Fredericton Gleaner

"...will keep readers holding their breath until the very end..." inthelibraryreview, Melissa Parcel

"This one is a chiller - you won't be able to put it down - guaranteed!"- Rendezvous Magazine


"If you are looking for the suspense thriller of the year-look no further…you will find it in Nowhere To Hide..." Jewel Dartt Midnight Scribe Reviews

Buy both books on Amazon: Nowhere to Hide \ Defective


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

In addition to her critically acclaimed novels, Joan Hall Hovey's articles and short stories have appeared in such diverse publications as The Toronto Star, Atlantic Advocate, Seek, Home Life Magazine, Mystery Scene, The New Brunswick Reader, Fredericton Gleaner, New Freeman and Kings County Record. Her short story Dark Reunion was selected for the anthology investigating Women, Published by Simon & Pierre.

Ms. Hovey has held workshops and given talks at various schools and libraries in her area, including New Brunswick Community College, and taught a course in creative writing at the University of New Brunswick. For a number of years, she has been a tutor with Winghill School, a distance education school in Ottawa for aspiring writers.

She is a member of the Writer's Federation of New Brunswick, past regional Vice-President of Crime Writers of Canada, Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.


Joan will award one randomly drawn commenter a $50 gift certificate for sunglasses at Sunglasses Shack (US/Canada only). Follow the tour for more chances to win!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A conversation with Casey Dawes, author of 'California Homecoming'


Today, I would like to extend a warm welcome to Casey Dawes, author of 'California Homecoming.' She talks a bit about her latest book, plus writing in general. Please feel free to leave her a comment or a question below!

What was the inspiration behind 'California Homecoming'?
My new contemporary romance, California Homecoming (Crimson Romance) is the third in the series, California Romance. Sarah, the heroine of California Homecoming, has appeared in the first two books, but the new book can be read as a stand-alone. Sarah is a likeable sprite, but there was something about her boyfriend, Rick, that I just didn’t like. When I started thinking about this book, I knew he needed to create trouble for her!

For my hero, I needed someone who was opposite of Rick. I drew my inspiration from the men and women who are returning home from our long wars. Time Magazine’s cover story  from August 2011 on the “new greatest generation” has stuck in my mind. Hunter evolved from the brave men and women who are coming home and building success in their lives, even if it’s a struggle to do so.
Which character spoke to you the most during the writing process?
Hunter spoke the most to me. I could feel his depression and pain, as well as his frustration at being a skilled laborer unable to find a job. I’ve been in that position, even though I retain all my limbs. Once I lost my technical job, I discovered ageism is alive and well in this country. It’s discouraging to know you can do a job, but be turned down because your hair is gray….or you’re missing a limb.
How much do you and Sarah, the main character, have in common?
On the surface, very little. I drew from many of my experiences and the questions I have about the best way to do things to create her character. I’ve been a single mother and since I was the one who initiated the divorce, I questioned many times if I’d done the right thing. (I still believe I did.) I’ve owned my own business for over a decade, so I can relate to the up and down roller coaster of enthusiasm and doubt.
Which scene is your favorite?
Oh, gosh, there are many -- and they all contain spoilers! I like climactic scenes, where the action is turned in a different direction that wasn’t anticipated. I like endings where everything is wrapped up and people are happy. In this book I also like the “meet cute,” when Hunter and Sarah meet. Hopefully, you can tell there’s an attraction right away!
Tell us about some of your other works.
The first two books of this contemporary romance series are already published by Crimson Romance, but as I said earlier, you can read California Homecoming as a stand-alone book. California Sunset is Annie’s story. Annie is laid off from her tech job (sound familiar?) and either has to find something else or move with her teenage son across the country. Reviewers have called this book “more than a romance,” which I think is a compliment.

California Wine is Elizabeth’s story. (Elizabeth is Sarah’s mom.) She meets a dashing Italian winemaker, but is afraid to take a chance on love. In this book, I used a lot of the research I’d developed when I wrote a few non-fiction books about the Santa Cruz Mountains (CA) winegrowing region.

Chasing the Tumbleweed, a short romantic suspense, was released by Books To Go Now in March 2013. It grew out of a travel experience. When stopping at a rest stop in the middle of Nevada, we discovered a red ice chest filled with Louis L’Amour books. Thinking what else could have been in there kept us entertained for miles!
On what other projects are you currently working?
I just finished the first draft of a short romantic Christmas story. It’s sitting in cold storage for a few weeks before I start at it with the editing fillet knife. I also have a synopsis for the next book in the California Romance series--Mandy’s story. I’m also working on a synopsis for a start of a brand new series set in my home state of Montana.
Sometimes it is difficult for writers to dive in and get started, due to a variety of reasons. What were some of your struggles with getting started and how did you overcome them?
I go through phases I call ABW--anything but writing. The house gets a cleaning, quilts get finished, I even do filing! (Too bad you can’t sharpen pencils anymore.) The cats, Mongo and Bonnie, are suddenly very entertaining. I find if I do some kind of outline first, it helps, but even then a blank page can be daunting. Fortunately, I have good sense of self-discipline and I set a word count to meet that day. It may be lots of really bad words, but they give me something to edit.
What is it about writing romance that is so fulfilling to you?
I’m a sucker for happy endings. The fact that I get to create them for my characters is very fulfilling.
How do you make yourself stand out in this competitive genre?
That is a great question. If you find out the answer, can you let me know? LOL!

Seriously, I know I have to work on my craft continually. There are many books of varying quality out there. Readers should be respected and that means giving them the very best I can do for entertainment, as well as something to think about. Second, I need to get my books in front of people so they can discover them. Marketing, including blog tours like this one, is a very important part of that.
What are some of your recommended romantic destinations?
Paris. Always Paris. Beyond that? Anywhere you are with your beloved can be romantic. A romantic destination is an attitude, not a place.
What is something readers may be surprised to learn about you?
I very briefly worked in an Actor’s Equity Theater in Beverly, Massachusetts, the North Shore Music Theater. I met a lot of stars--John Raitt (Bonnie’s dad), Pearl Bailey, Theodore Bikel, and my second husband.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I love hearing from my readers! Have I inspired you? Disappointed you? Is there a character you’d love to have his/her own book? You can contact me at casey@stories-about-love.com, like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter (@CaseyDawesAutho) or Pinterest.
Thank you so much for your time!
Thank you for having me!

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Author Casey Dawes lives and writes on the bank of the Clark Fork River in Montana with the love of her life and two cats who think they own the joint. To learn more about Casey, visit her website: www.stories-about-love.com.


Twitter: @CaseyDawesAutho





 
California Homecoming
by Casey Dawes

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

When Sarah Ladina purchased an old Victorian in Costanoa with plans to turn it into a high-end destination inn, she had no idea life could get so complicated. Well, maybe she did. As an unwed pregnant woman who couldn’t cook, she had her work cut out for her. A good-looking disabled veteran, a doctor who orders modified bed rest, and an ex who’s trying to get back into her life make her wonder if she’ll ever be able to stand on her own and open the inn in time for her mother’s best friend’s wedding.

After returning from duty in the Middle East wounded in both body and spirit, Hunter Evans is in search of employment and a home, but finding a job has been tough and housing doesn’t come cheap in Costanoa, the town that he loves the most on the California Coast. Can he strike a deal with the pretty innkeeper to trade a room for handy work?

Read an excerpt:
Sunday morning Hunter pressed a shirt and put it on, along with his best khakis. He thought about picking up a bunch of flowers on the way, but laughed at himself. He was trying to find a room, not a relationship.

“Oh, it’s you again,” Sarah said when she opened the door, the dog standing next to her. She was frowning.

Against all reason, something about her made him want to scoop her up in his arms and hug her. Because her t-shirt and jeans were dripping with dust, cobwebs, and streaks of soap, it was probably a bad idea, but her short height and big brown eyes gave her an appealing elfin look. He’d always been a sucker for Eowyn in Lord of the Rings.

“I still don’t have any rooms,” Sarah continued and began to shut the door.

“Wait,” he said.

She stopped. “Why should I?”

He smiled. Considering their size difference, she really had no choice. But he bet she’d fight him with every ounce of her strength.

She’d probably fight like a girl -- nasty.

“This is an inn, isn’t it?” he asked.

She smirked at him. “It’s an unopened inn. No room. Get the picture?” She started to inch the door closed.

This time he shoved his foot in the gap. The swinging door clanked on his prosthetic.

Sarah gasped. “I’m so sorry!”

He grinned. “I’m not. It would have hurt a lot more on the other leg.”
Buy it on Amazon

   Casey will be awarding a bottle of Santa Cruz Mountain Pinot Noir (a wine served in California Homecoming)(US ONLY) OR a $25 Amazon gift certificate (winner's choice) to a randomly drawn commenter during this tour and her Virtual Reviews Tour, as well as donating $20.00 to Fisher House (http://www.fisherhouse.org/donate/) in honor or memory of a serviceperson of the winner's choice. For each tour stop $5 will be donated to Fisher House (http://www.fisherhouse.org/donate/) in honor or memory of a serviceperson of the host’s choice. Follow the tour for more chances to win!