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Wednesday, 30 May 2018

NBtM, EXCERPT, GUEST POST & #GIVEAWAY - Labors of an Epic Punk by Mark and Sheri Dursin



GENRE:   

YA Fantasy, Myth Retelling

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                    

BLURB:

Mac is an epic punk. No wonder: after his dad went off to fight in the Trojan War and never came back, Mac spent his childhood evading his mom's scumbag suitors—all one-hundred-and-eight of them. Of course, he turned out this way—a moody, friendless sixteen-year-old who blows off work, alienates everyone at school, and pulls pranks. But when he trains a flock of birds to defecate on the headmaster, Mac (short for Telemachus) goes too far. The administrators give him an ultimatum: prove that he's truly the son of Odysseus by doing something heroic—or get out. A school story that just so happens to take place 3,000 years ago, Labors of an Epic Punk is a tale of friendship and transformation, regret and redemption, and a reminder to us all that even heroes need to survive adolescence.



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At that moment, Mac felt a prickling sensation as the hairs on the back of his neck suddenly stood on end. Instinctively, he shouted, “Get down!” as he threw himself and Homer into the sand. He looked up to see a single arrow buzz over their heads.

“Homer!” A voice—gruff, but unmistakably female—boomed through the courtyard. “How many times do I have to tell you? Stop following me!”

Mac looked in disbelief down at Homer, pinned underneath him. “I said I knew her,” Homer shrugged. “I didn’t say we were best friends or anything.” As they both stood up, Homer called out to their secret attacker, in a lame attempt to sound chummy, “Hey, Andie! What’s up?”

“How did you find me? Did you follow me? Did my roommate tell you? She told you, didn’t she? I’m gonna kill her!”

Homer glanced nervously at Mac before calling out, “So, what are you doing way out here?”

“Why should I tell you?” the mystery girl shouted back. Meanwhile, Mac’s eyes flew around, trying to determine the source of this shouting. As he squinted, he could make out someone, silhouetted against the sun, half-hiding at the top of one of the stone towers.

“Now, get out of here,” the voice called out. “This is my beach!”

“Well, OK, but first, how ‘bout you come on down?” Homer continued. “My friend and I want to ask you something.”

“You don’t have any friends, you freak!”

“As a matter of fact, I just made one. Come on down, I’ll introduce you.”






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Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found HERE



Mark and Sheri Dursin will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.




Profile one of your characters:


HOMER

The characters in Labors of an Epic Punk are based on Homer’s Odyssey, but we introduce a twist by having the poet himself as one of the main characters. Our Homer is a sixteen-year old-student at Pieridian Academy and Mac’s classmate. He’s obsessed with gods and heroes, and we first meet him delivering a blistering speech to the jocks and rich kids in Mac’s public speaking class. Here’s our first glimpse of a teenage Homer:

“Mac never remembered his name. He only knew him as the short kid with the bad foot and the big mouth who had the distinction of being, almost without peer, the least ‘cool’ kid in school.”

Homer doesn’t fit in with the rest of the students at school: he’s really small for his age; he’s gay; and he has a physical disability that prevents him from participating in a lot of activities. Tired of feeling invisible, Homer longs for recognition. He dreams of greatness...going on heroic adventures and performing acts of bravery and valor like the gods and heroes he idolizes.

Homer’s passion for all things hero-related finally results in someone noticing him. Mac realizes Homer is the perfect candidate to help him out of his current predicament: imminent expulsion from school, unless he proves he’s worthy enough to stay. Homer jumps at the chance and devises the plan that sets Mac off on his heroic journey.

In many ways, Mac—the sullen, moody loner—and Homer—the nerdy, quirky know-it-all—couldn’t be more different. But they do share one significant trait: they’re both outsiders. Only Mac willingly isolates himself from everyone, while Homer desperately wants to connect with someone. Will this unlikely partnership, with the help of some classmates who join in the quest, bring Homer closer to fulfilling his dreams of fame and friendship? Read Labors of and Epic Punk to find out!


For many years Mark, a high school English teacher, and Sheri, a freelance writer and blogger, wrote independently. No matter the writing project—newspaper articles, retreat talks, college recommendation letters, fan-fiction, blog posts on spirituality or 80s pop songs—they tended to work alone. Separate rooms, separate computers. But raising their twin sons helped them discover an important truth: All Good Things Come in Twos.

Tour Organised by: Goddess Fish Promotions 


Tuesday, 29 May 2018

BLOG TOUR, EXCERPT & REVIEWS - New Dawn Series by Rachel M. Raithby

Titles: Winter Wolf (New Dawn #1) 
Wolf Dancer (New Dawn #2) 
Wolf Sight (New Dawn #3)

Genre: NA Shifter Romance
Cover Designer: Winter Wolf by Regina Wamba  
Wolf Dancer and Wolf Sight by Rob Smith 

Amazon US: Series https://amzn.to/2Gg3hsQ
Amazon UK: series link https://amzn.to/2ur28cK
Amazon AU: series link https://amzn.to/2x3bRal

Can love bring an end to the brutal war that has raged for so long, or will it spark the fighting around them into an all-consuming fire?
  BOOK ONE  
Katalina Winter was prepared for life to change when she turned eighteen—but she never expected to actually change.

Learning that her birth parents were purebred wolf shifters is shocking enough. Now she’s expected to take her place in their unfamiliar world. Caught between two warring packs, Katalina must learn fast. One pack, led by the father she has only just met, wants to control her—and the other one wants her dead.

However, there is one bright spot to shifting, and his name is Bass Evernight. Tall, dark, and oh-so-handsome, Bass is the wolf that Katalina craves. He’s also strictly forbidden: a member of Dark Shadow, Bass is the son of her father’s mortal enemy. Yet deep down inside, Katalina’s new primal instincts howl that Bass is her mate. Can their love bring an end to the brutal war that has raged for so long, or will it spark the fighting around them into an all-consuming fire?

4 out of 5 (very good)


Winter Wolf is the first book in the New Dawn series, and we start with Kat in the car with her parents. The unthinkable happens, and Kat thinks she is going to die. Instead, her life is turned upside down, and she feels lost and completely alone.

This is a good start to the series. We get to know Kat and Bass in more detail than even the other characters know. Kat is a feisty female who is trying to understand, but won't stand for something she doesn't agree with. She is not the sort of person just to go with the flow. Bass is her rock. He is strong and steady, but with more emotion than others give him credit for. Together, these two work.

With no editing or grammatical errors, I found this to be an excellent start to a new series. With plenty of characters to like or dislike, I can't wait to continue with this series. Absolutely recommended by me.

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *

Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!


  BOOK TWO
$1.99 SALE  

The war's over but danger still lurks. As the packs align, hidden currents are about to cast a shadow over the peace.

Charming, handsome, and with a smile on the edge of sin, Nico has loved Olivia from afar for what seems like forever. When Olivia is kidnapped, he not only finds himself alone with her, but standing between her and an angry wolf out for revenge. Olivia learns how Nico feels that day, he just hopes he's not left it too late.

Olivia planned for her life to change when she left school—but she never bargained on Nico. He is the wolf who could so easily shatter her carefully constructed plans, ones she set in place to escape her father. It’s time she stepped out from the shadows. It’s time she became brave.

Secrets are revealed, fates are changed, and Nico and Olivia learn sometimes, love requires sacrifice.

5 out of 5 (exceptional)


Wolf Dancer is the second book in the New Dawn series, and we get to learn more about Nico, Bass' friend and Adviser. He is only seventeen years old, but seems a lot older at times. He knows Olivia is his mate, but doesn't want to force the issue. He wants her to realise by herself. The trouble is, Olivia has been mentally and emotionally abused by her father for years, and doesn't believe in any self-worth. The only thing she has for herself is her dancing, and with that she has a goal in mind.

I adored this book! Olivia is as strong as she can be, showing unexpected strength at times. It was also a refreshing change to read about a gentle omega wolf, rather than a strong alpha. Nico and Olivia are indeed a perfect match, but the climax of the book? My heart was in my throat, and I was panicking about how it would turn out!

Wolf Dancer had no editing or grammatical errors to disrupt my reading flow. I found this to be a brilliant addition to the series, definitely leaving me wanting more. Highly recommended by me. 

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *

Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!



  BOOK THREE 
$1.99 SALE 
The packs have aligned. Peace is here. But it came at a price.

Cage’s world shifted when Katalina arrived but not in the way he’d expected. The pain is tearing him apart, and with each day, he loses a piece of himself. Unable to watch Katalina love someone else, Cage sees no other option but to leave the pack.
Will he find the answers he seeks? Or has he taken the wrong path, altering the fate of not just himself but the pack he’d once called home?

Anna's world is one of confusion and dreams. When a vision of a boy’s death begins to haunt her, she leaves everything behind in hopes of finding him. But Anna finds far more than she expected. She’ll be pushed to the limits, and her faith will waver.
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2kgEF63

4 out of 5 (very good)


Wolf Sight is the third book in the New Dawn series, and we find out just what Cage has been up to since he left the Pack. It isn't pretty, and he nearly lost himself within his wolf. He ends up in Canada where he never expected to be tracked down, especially by a crazy girl. Anna is going by her gut, not knowing how much longer she can deal with the information and visions she receives.

A lot of this book is actually before Cage and Anna get together, but it needs to be. That way you see how Anna fits in, how her visions affect her, and how Cage also affects her! I think Cage is a great character, but my goodness, I wanted to whomp him upside the head! Duty is important, but so is life! 

With smooth pacing, and no editing or grammatical errors to disrupt my reading flow, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I don't know if there are anymore in this series, or if it is a trilogy, but I highly recommend it either way!

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. * 

Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

Monday, 28 May 2018

BLOG TOUR, REVIEW & #GIVEAWAY - Ride With the Seal (Norse Security #1) by Leslie North

Book details:

Ride With the Seal
by Leslie North
(Norse Security, #1)
Publication date: May 24th 2018
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

Synopsis:

When ex-SEAL Camden Thursday enters the garage at two in the morning, he’s intent on grand theft auto. Instead he’s confronted with more than a hot car—there’s a sexy mechanic too. His high school crush, wrench in hand, projects a “Dangerous Curves Ahead” warning far more tempting than any joy ride, but Camden isn’t here to try the road less traveled. He’s here to jack a car and prove he can do more than manipulate computer code for the black ops service he works for: Norse Security. So while Camden is looking to get physical on this job, he was hoping for someone to punch, not someone to plunder…

Everly Knight is the baddest bad girl in town. As the daughter of a mobster and a name in the auto industry for hot cars, she could rest on her laurels and let her reputation proceed her. However, Everly has a deep dark secret: she wants nothing more than a shiny, new, legal garage all of her own. She’s just a few thousand away from cashing in and figures that one last illegal car theft could finance her legal dreams. That is until the geek from her past shows up as a hunky hero; letting Everly see that it’s possible to become more than just a tough girl.

Camden may be all muscle, but it’s Everly who can stall the entire operation. She holds him hostage and offers an ultimatum: Take her on the ride or find himself a sitting duck for the mob. It’s not a hard choice when the bombshell revs his engine. But with warring goals and secret missions, they’ll find themselves fighting for their futures and racing toward a love they never saw coming.

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3 out of 5 (good)


Independent Reviewer for Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!


Cam needs the car, but so does Everly. When they find themselves on the run in the prototype car, all bets are off and they fight for their lives. 

If you follow my reviews, you'll know how much it PAINS me to use the N word. But that's stuck at the back of my throat for this book, and I simply cannot shift it. 

So! This was a NICE book! 

It's not overly explicit, nor is it graphic. It doesn't have an overly complicated plot line, no make up/break up. I saw no spelling or editing errors. It has an engaging plot line, and I read the maybe 90 pages in one sitting in just under an hour. (Not entirely sure of page length though, since I can't find!)

I just can't get past that N word! But I don't mean it in a negative way, not at all. It was just a nice easy read! A perfect hang over cure!

So! 

3 GOOD stars

(sorry for the short review!)

**same worded review will appear elsewhere**

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *


Click HERE to follow the tour - links updated daily



Tour-wide giveaway (NTL) - ends 14th June


1 Norse Security ARC, 2 Royal Service ebooks, 1 SEAL Defender audiobook, 1 Shooting the SEAL audiobook





Leslie North is the pen name for a critically-acclaimed author of women's contemporary romance and fiction. The anonymity gives her the perfect opportunity to paint with her full artistic palette, especially in the romance and erotic fantasy genres.

The truth of the matter is she loves her fictional persona, Leslie North, more than her normal, day-to-day persona! Her bestselling books focus on strong characters and particularly women who aren't afraid to challenge an alpha male. Inspired after years of travel, her stories are set all over the world, from the tough streets of Russia to the beautiful beaches of the middle east.

Leslie fell in love with romance when she first picked up a scrappy, dog-eared romance book from her local library. She began writing soon after and the rest, as they say, was history. She now lives in a cozy cottage on the British coast and enjoys taking long walks with her two Dalmatians, George and Fergie.

She LOVES reader feedback, and if you have any comments, don't hesitate to contact her via e-mail: leslie@leslienorthbooks.com

Author links:


Tour Organised by: Xpresso Book Tours


NBtM, GUEST POST & #GIVEAWAY - To Catch A Thief by Nan Dixon



GENRE

Contemporary

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

BLURB:

What would you do for your family?

When Carolina Castillo’s once vivacious mother becomes ill, she gives up her singing dreams and comes home to Savannah. She’d do anything for her Mamá, even work at Fitzgerald House for the family she should have been part of. She’d even steal.

Carolina’s decisions make perfect sense until she comes up against the immovable rock that is gorgeous FBI agent Sage Cornell. The honorable cop sees the world in black-and-white. He would never understand the difficult choices she’s had to make, the secrets she’s been forced to keep close. And he could never love a woman like her. Or could he?

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He boosted his butt onto the stool, moaning like he was Gramps after being in the saddle for a day.

Two women worked behind the counter drawing beers. He closed his eyes and took a couple of deep breaths.

“Sage?”

His eyes blinked open. “Carolina?”

The napkin slipped out of her fingers and floated to the floor.

“You got the job.” Did that make him feel better or worse since she hadn’t called?

“First day.” Her deep blue eyes had that stunned look, like a white-tailed deer caught in a four-wheeler’s lights at dusk.

“How’s your mother?” He schooled his voice, hoping she couldn’t catch his disappointment.

Her shoulders moved up and down with her sigh. His eyes dropped to her chest. Even in the modest polo, he didn’t need much imagination to remember how she’d pressed against him as they’d kissed.

So why in blazes hadn’t she called?

“They can’t get her seizures under control.” Her fingers crushed the second napkin she pulled for him. “She’s still in the hospital.”

He caught her hand. “I’m sorry.”

“Thanks.” She stared into his eyes.

The noise of the room slipped away. He wanted to make the pain in her deep blue eyes disappear, too.

She shook her head. “Um, what can I get you?”

“What’s on tap?”

“First day.” She winced. “Lots of Southbound.”

“I’ll have their seasonal.” He could have one beer and make it last through dinner.

“I’ll get that.” But she stayed right in front of him.

He smiled. Maybe she hadn’t been blowing him off. Warmth flooded through him.

“Sage?” she asked.

“Yeah?”

“I need my hand back.”

Cripes. He let go and the warmth faded like a leaking balloon. He was an idiot. “Sorry.”

Over her shoulder, she quipped, “I didn’t mind.”

 “Like I said, I’m available for dinner or just a shoulder to cry on.” Preferably in bed, but even he wasn’t crass enough to suggest that to her. He wanted to help any way he could. It was the Cornell way.





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Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found HERE

Nan Dixon will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Do you have a day job as well?
I write full time now, but my previous career was as CFO or Senior Finance VP in the pharmaceutical and health care industry.

What was your favourite book as a child?
The Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling. My grandfather was stationed in India during WWI and fell in love with the country.

Do you ever experience writer’s block?
Since this is my job, I’m pretty good at working through blocks. Sometimes when I am ripping apart a draft, I might have to step away and let issues simmer. But I keep plowing through.

Are you a planner or a pantser?
I used to be a pantser, but now I plot using archetypes, GMC, and Save the Cat steps. It was the only way to meet deadlines.

Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?
Oh my, I wrote five books before I really knew how to write. It took four submissions to my agent before she offered representation. (Four different books) The book she repped me on hasn’t ever sold, but I love that book and series.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book? 
Right now I am revising Book 1 in a romantic suspense series. The working title is THE PERFECT CHILDREN. Embryos have been genetically modified and implanted in women scattered across the country. The modification techniques are being used by a group to develop superior/enhanced people with the goal of running the US and eventually the world. The first book is the discovery by two of the original men. (They aren’t part of the plot to take over the US.) It’s been a lot of fun writing the series.

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
I have three sisters and for almost thirty years we have taken a long weekend together. (Our mother used to go with us.) The task of planning rotates and the location is secret. One year I was the Social Director and I planned a trip to Savannah. We stayed in the gorgeous historic district, had a blast on a ghost pub crawl, and shivered over the ghost stories in our Inn. And I fell in love. And thought—what if four sisters (see the connection?) owned a crumbling mansion in the historic district. And they are turning it into a B&B? When I sold the 1st book, SOUTHERN COMFORTS, my editor wanted me to cut one of the sisters. But I always wanted 4 sisters. So Carolina is the 4th sister. But she is only a half-sister and the other Fitzgerald sisters don’t know she exists.

What was your favourite chapter (or part) to write and why?
In this book, my favorite chapter was writing the Epilogue. I wanted to make sure I wrapped up the whole series, so all the couples are together. And there’s a baby!

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Take all the craft classes you can. And find a critique group. My critique group taught me how to write! There are wonderful online classes if you can’t get to conferences or workshops.

What has been the best compliment?
One reader wrote I laughed, I cried, I read it twice. Of course, I cried when I read that.

What sort of writing environment do you create? I.e. music or not? Pen and paper or laptop/PC?
I write on my treadmill desk—multi-tasking. Working and steps! I can’t write with music with lyrics when I’m drafting, so I might have classical music on. I can revision with all music. (That I like!)

How important are the names in your book?
The Fitzgerald sisters are alphabetic and are named after presidents’ wives. (So are the rooms in the B and B.) So I did need to decide which wife to pick.

Do you read your reviews?
I have pretty thick skin, so I do read my reviews. I only have a few bad reviews, which helps.

Award winning author Nan Dixon spent her formative years as an actress, singer, dancer and competitive golfer. But the need to eat had her studying accounting in college. Unfortunately, being a successful financial executive didn’t feed her passion to perform. When the pharmaceutical company she worked for was purchased, Nan got the chance of a lifetime—the opportunity to pursue a writing career.  She’s a five-time Golden Heart® finalist, lives in the Midwest and is active in her local RWA chapter and on the board of a dance company. She has five children, three sons-in-law, two granddaughters, one grandson and one neurotic cat.

Buy Links - http://www.nandixon.com/category/books/


Tour Organised by: Goddess Fish Promotions 


Friday, 25 May 2018

VBT, EXCERPT, GUEST POST & #GIVEAWAY - Old Gold Mountain by Bradley W. Wright



GENRE:   

Mystery, Thriller

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

BLURB: 

Justin Vincent is a San Francisco based artist who leads a secret double life as a cat burglar. He likes the freedom, money, and self-determination his unusual career provides but also increasingly feels that it is a life he fell into by accident. When a valuable painting is stolen from his lover Valerie, Justin agrees to use his underworld contacts and knowledge of the black market to help. The search leads him to an antiquities dealer who has fallen on hard times and a mysterious European middle man. With the help of his friend Ashna, a skilled hacker, and Gabrielle, owner of an art gallery in Nice, Justin gathers clues that lead him to a mysterious chateau in the South of France and a dangerous web of secrets and lies. To escape with his life and complete his objective, Justin’s skill, luck, and perseverance will be tested to their utmost limit.



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“What happened to that painting you used to have above the bed?” I asked.

“Above the bed? I didn’t—” Val turned, stopped speaking, breath caught.

A moment later, she whirled, flipped on the light switch, jumped onto the bed, and placed her hands on the wall above the headboard. In the light, I noticed there was a picture hanger still nailed into the wall and a square of slightly brighter paint where the painting had hung. She ran her hands over the bare wall then turned to look at me. Her eyes were manic, her body tense. “Tell me this is some kind of joke, Justin.”

“No joke,” I replied. “Was it there when you left for the gallery?”

“Yes, I think so.” She stepped down off the bed and started frantically pacing the room, looking everywhere. “I’m sure it was.”

“Did you have cleaners scheduled today?”

“No. They come on Wednesdays.”

“Did you leave your balcony door open?”

She looked at me, suddenly focusing. “No. I never leave it open.”

“It was open when we came in. Was it locked?”

“Maybe not. I don’t know. I was in a hurry.”

“Let’s see if anything else is missing,” I said, turning toward the door.

Valerie grabbed my arm, pulling me around to face her. “I don’t care if anything else is missing.” She was on the brink of tears, a tight, almost hysterical, edge to her voice. She raised her hands, placed them over her ears, shaking her head back and forth. “I don’t care. That painting is the only thing I own that I care about, Justin.”


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Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found HERE

Bradley W. Wright will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC  to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Do you agree with the adage “Write what you know”?


This is a complicated question. I both agree and disagree. Here’s why:

To me, ‘write what you know’ means choosing settings you are familiar with, characters from cultures you understand from the inside, a time period you have experienced first hand, places and things you have visited/owned. There is a lot of power in these choices. Writing about things that are familiar makes the work of writing a bit easier. You can imbue your story with a kind of authenticity you might not otherwise accomplish.

On the other hand, you must be a very observant and careful writer to write about places, people, and things you know well. It’s easy to stop noticing things when you are familiar with them. Also, writing about something that is totally new to you can be exciting and your readers will feel that. It’s a great opportunity to do research and learn new things.


You can put elements of things you know nothing about in your writing but you should also use your own experience and expertise to make your work really shine. In Old Gold Mountain I did both. I didn’t know anything about being a cat burglar, the black market, picking locks, the Corsican mafia, or chateaus in the South of France. I spent a lot of time researching those subjects. I do know a fair amount about certain neighborhoods in San Francisco, painting, and the drive from Genoa and Nice. So, I mixed up what I knew and what I didn’t know to write a book. It might not work for everybody or every genre of fiction but it seemed natural to me. 

I am a writer and educational technology professional. I lived in San Francisco for the past fifteen years but recently moved to Los Angeles with my wife and five year old son. My first book Old Gold Mountain is out now. Buy it at Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Also available through Apple iBooks, Google Play, and Indigo.

Website: http://www.bradleywwright.com


Tour Organised by: Goddess Fish Promotions