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Lucy Farago’s SIN ON THE STRIP

What happens in Las Vegas always burns bright, especially after hours. In this sizzling new series, the city’s 24/7 glitz hides one woman’s darkest nightmares—and one investigator’s seductive secrets…

Control is everything to gorgeous Maggie Anderson. Her exclusive club gives abused and troubled women a refuge from Vegas’s merciless streets—and helps her reclaim her shattered sense of freedom. But now someone is brutally murdering those she fights so hard to save. And baring her deepest fears to the one man who insists on protecting her could be the one move she won’t survive…

Elite private investigator Christian Beck knows this particular serial killer’s MO—and his own wrenching failure to find him—all too well. But staying two steps ahead of Maggie’s determination to uncover the truth pushes his well-honed skills past the limit—and ignites his most naked instincts. Now every clue is a lie, each irresistible desire a lethal trap. And the closer he and Maggie get, their shattering secrets will either save them—or torch their lives to glittering ash…

Excerpt

Maggie glanced down at his hand white-knuckling his phone. “What are you two not telling me?”
“That was Cooper.”
“Really? I hadn’t figured that out.”
Again, he debated over what to say. She was tough, but even the strongest crumbled and blamed themselves for events beyond their control. He knew that only too well. Cooper hadn’t said anything, but Christian didn’t doubt for one second that this last victim, like Heather Mackenzie, had worked for Maggie.
“He wants to see me.”
She narrowed her eyes. “And?”
Call it a flashback from his childhood, but whatever his reason, he wouldn’t be the one to tell her. “I have to go.” She stared back at him, not so much angry as hurt. Setting his jaw, he stepped around Maggie and headed back to the pool house.
“Wait,” she called after him. Hot on his heels, inside, she slammed the door, shaking it on its hinges.
“I need to get dressed.” He kept his back to her, not trusting himself to stay on track.
“What did Horace want?” she demanded. “He wouldn’t have called you for nothing,” her voice growing louder, more determined.
He suspected mama bear would rear her head and growl, and this time he wasn’t sure how he’d respond.
“Look.” He turned, taken aback by the blend of emotions on her face. Stubborn determination, rage, and alarm all played across her soft features. He’d seen the look before, in his mother’s eyes, right be- fore she’d made his father tell her how her baby girl had died. The Vegas sun had really baked his brain, because if Christian stayed any longer, those baby blues would have him confessing everything.

Lucy Farago knows there is nothing like a happy sigh at the end of a good book. With the encouragement of her loving husband, she wrote her first manuscript. An unpublished historical, it sits in a file on her computer, there to remind her how much fun she had learning the craft and becoming part of an industry whose books make you believe anything is possible. A big fan of Agatha Christie, she set out to write her first romantic suspense novel. Thrilled to be a published author, Lucy also teaches yoga, enjoys cooking, and saying what other people are thinking. In her fantasy world, her beautiful Siberian husky, Loki, doesn’t shed and her three kids clean up after themselves. Alas, that fantasy will never see fruition. http://www.lucyfarago.com/
Photo Credit: Weber Photography
Purchase links:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sin-Strip-Women-Vegas-Book-ebook/dp/B00RRT31Y4/
Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/sin-on-the-strip/id979049775?mt=11
Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Lucy_Farago_Sin_on_the_Strip?id=YBxjBgAAQBAJ
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/sin-on-the-strip
Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sin-on-the-strip-lucy-farago/1120999162?ean=9781616508173

NO REGRETS ~ Kate L. Mary

Liam’s lips twitched and his eyebrows shot up. I slammed my mouth shut because I knew I was babbling. Most of the time guys hated that about me. I did not want Liam to hate me. It’s just that I had a really tough time controlling the stuff that came out of my mouth.

“Nervous talker?” Liam’s eyes twinkled like I was the most amusing thing he’d ever seen.

I snorted, and even though I knew it was a really bad idea to let all the stuff swirling around in my head come out, there was no way I could keep my mouth shut after that comment. “No! You must have a pretty high opinion of yourself if you think your British accent and imitation sex hair can somehow make me all tongue-tied and awkward. I just talk a lot. Let’s face it, most people don’t have many interesting things to say, but I do. I have gobs and gobs of fascinating thoughts going through my head at any given moment, and I feel like it’s my duty to share them with the world.”

“Imitation sex hair?” Liam pressed his lips together like he was trying to hold back a chuckle, but it forced its way out. It was so adorable, I swear my knees wobbled.

I maintained as much composure as possible as I waved my hand toward his head, almost like I was trying to cast a spell. “Yeah. Isn’t that what you have going on there? I’m on to your little scheme. Guys like you have that sexy, messy hair for a reason. It’s specifically designed to make girls wonder how it came to be so messy, and wish they’d been the one to help you with it in the first place. Bam!” I clapped my hands in front of his face. “Next thing you know you’re in bed together.”

“Bam?” Liam smirked and leaned against the wall. “I don’t recall that sound effect ever gracing my bedroom.”

My cheeks flushed when my mind wandered to what went on in his bedroom and the sound effects that would mostly likely go along with it. Just like that, I was back to thinking about running my fingers through his blond hair. Damn him and his imitation sex hair!

College is supposed to be fun…

Go to parties

Pick up guys

Maybe get in a little trouble

On the surface Cami is your average, wild teenager out to have a good time, but inside she’s struggling. Almost a year ago her best friend was in a car accident, an accident Cami feels responsible for. Since then, she’s made it her personal mission to experience everything life has to offer, both for herself and for Julie, who will never have fun again.

Then she meets Liam, her cousin’s sexy roommate. Hooking up with a hot British dude seems like the perfect way to start off the school year, but the more time she spends with him, the more she finds herself actually liking the guy. Which totally screws up her plans to live life with no regrets…
Amazon

 

 

Author Bio:
Kate L. Mary is a stay-at-home mother of four and an Air Force wife. She grew up in a small town just north of Dayton, Ohio where she and her husband met at the age of twelve. Since their marriage in 2002, they have lived in Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and California. She currently resides in Oklahoma with her husband and children.

http://KateLMary.com

STONE COLD CASE Feature & review

 

Rock shop owner Morgan Iverson’s discovery of human remains reopens a cold case and unhealed wounds in a Colorado mountain town, while her find of a rare gemstone sparks a dangerous treasure hunt.

Sixteen years ago, prom queen Carlee Kruger vanished. When Carlee’s mother asks Morgan to investigate her death, the clues seem as convoluted as the coils on a fossilized ammonite. The hunt for the truth heats up as the local newspaper editor helps Morgan uncover the past. The rock shop’s mascot donkeys and an elderly cowboy chase after a Sasquatch look-alike who may hold the key to Carlee’s death. Whoever knows what happened to Carlee will do anything to keep the truth buried.

In book two of the Rock Shop Mystery series, amateur sleuth Morgan Iverson digs into gemstone prospecting to solve a Stone Cold Case. 

Goodreads     Amazon       Barnes & Noble      Tattered Cover

 

My thoughts……3.5 stars

This is my first experience with Morgan and her Rock Shop in Golden Springs, CO.  Ms. Dilts has created an appealing town and inhabitant’s readers can easily envision, colorful but realistic and well rounded. While Del appealed immediately, it took me a while to warm to Morgan.  Can’t put my finger on the exact reason but mid way she grew on me.  I confess at this point my favorite characters are Del, Adelaide, and Houdini. I was aware that goats and ducks could be excellent guard “dogs” but who knew donkey’s fit the bill too?

STONE COLD CASE has a fifteen year old cold case disappearance mystery that centers on the geology of the area. Cold cases give readers something different. They aren’t solved in the same way and give readers a change of pace while staying in the genre.

In addition to giving readers thought processes a good work out, there’s an entry level course on mineral, gems, etc…The way the two combine is quite interesting. Ms. Dilts knows her rocks and the area. For readers who enjoy learning side knowledge as well as solving puzzles, STONE COLD CASE should be highly appealing.

 

To Catherine Dilts, rock shops are like geodes – both contain amazing treasures hidden inside their plain-as-dirt exteriors. Catherine caught mountain fever after a childhood vacation in Rocky Mountain National Park. Determined to give up her flat–lander ways, she moved from Oklahoma to Colorado. Her husband, a Colorado native, proposed to her as they hiked Barr Trail on Pikes Peak. Catherine works as an environmental scientist, and plays at heirloom vegetable gardening, camping, and fishing. Her short stories appear in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. In her spare time, she attempts to lure wild donkeys to her property in the mountains. 

Official Website

Karyn Good ~ Small town romance & EXPOSED

For a city gal I sure love small town romances. Then again I did grow up on a farm. The closest town was small. Very, very small. When I hit my teenage years I knew it wasn’t the place for me. But just because I couldn’t wait to leave, doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the appeal or have fond memories.

As a writer, it’s fun to play with the traditional values connected to small town settings. To delve into the darker aspects of rural living. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Problems exist in these seemingly idyllic small places. Bullying, prejudice, stalking, and the list goes on. Problems erupt from everyone thinking they know everyone’s story and the continued optimism one can keep something, anything, a secret.

But there’s also a very real sense of place in small town romances. The town is a character all its own, supported by a cast of often quirky secondary characters. The connection the characters feel to each other and the setting draws readers in. There is the promise of a loyalty that seems unshakeable, the charm of living life at a slower pace. A place where technology takes a backseat. A place with traditions and values unique to a way of life that promotes a simpler, gentler way of doing things.

But not always. My fictional town of Aspen Lake is set in the middle of Canada’s breadbasket. It is surrounded by farms and ranches and supported by the oil and gas industry. There are rivalries, bad blood, and trouble weaves it way into the lives of the characters that call Aspen Lake home. No place can claim perfection. My heroine, Kate Logan, is determined to redeem her reputation. My hero, Seth Stone, is searching for solitude. But wanting something doesn’t make it so.

What are your thoughts on small town romances?

Kate Logan needs a safe haven, a place to start over after her modeling career disintegrates in scandal. But her hometown of Aspen Lake isn’t the sanctuary she hoped. Her vow of a low-key life is disrupted by a break-in and other strange happenings at her boutique. As the chair of Aspen Lake’s Gothic Revival Festival, she’s also drawn the ire of a religious fanatic. Kate is up to her stilettos in drama and intrigue including one sexy carpenter who’s determined to get in her way.

New to town, Seth Stone is seeking inspiration and solitude to concentrate on his art. Short on funds, he agrees to take on a second job restoring the damage to Kate’s Closet. Trouble erupts along with the desire to get to know Kate better. When he’s used as a pawn in a smear campaign against his gorgeous boss Seth fights back. But now the whole town is watching. Including the man determined to further his own agenda. Time is running out with nowhere to hide.

Amazon     Kobo       B&N

His eyes flashed. Kate didn’t imagine it. Didn’t think either. She simply reacted, leaning in with the certainty he’d meet her halfway. Instead, he withdrew a fraction of an inch. Not far but undoubtedly a retreat.

Oh, God.

I…” Kate closed her eyes in horror. Or denial. But no, it was happening. She knew this because she opened her eyes and he was still there. Close enough to smell the sweat of humiliation pooling out of her pores. He was staring at her in ear shattering silence. With nowhere to go, she stood up. Wiped her hands down the side of her skirt.

Pull it together, Kate.

She refused to gasp out an apology like a fish. “I shouldn’t have done that. I crossed a line. I’m sorry.”

Kate.” He got to his feet. “It’s not that I don’t want to—”

No need to explain.” Please, do not explain. “It won’t happen again.” So, so, so not happening again. “I promise.”

Why was he moving in closer? He smoothed a knuckle over her cheek. Her skin tingled in response, proving humiliation didn’t kill desire. It was merely trampled and ready to rear its ugly head again. Then he shoved his hands in his pockets. “It’s not that I don’t want to kiss you. I’m just not in a position to right now.”

You’re involved with someone.” Relief washed through her. It wasn’t that she was a horrible person. He had a good reason. One she could live with. “I understand.”

He shook his head. “I moved here with the intention of concentrating on my art. I can’t afford to get involved with anyone right now. No matter how beautiful or appealing. You don’t seem like the sex and forget it type. And that’s all I have in me right now.”

Wasn’t that the story of her life? Men wanting to have sex with her but not interested in getting to know the real her? All they saw was the face.

She knew how to deal with men like that. She froze them out. “Well, thank you for being honest with me.”

Really, it was for the best. Did she want him to get to know the neurotic, insecure woman she’d become in the last six years? Did she want this beautiful man to see the real her? She should back away. Put more than two feet of distance between them.

Tell me I’m wrong.” His Adam’s apple bobbed. “Then ask me to stay and I will.”

No, you’re not wrong.” Kate looked away. Too tempted by far to risk being carefree enough to sleep with him. To kiss him goodbye afterwards. To work with him the next day like nothing had happened. Wished she didn’t believe in consequences. Or guilt.

I should go.” He ran a hand over the stumble forming along his jawline before retrieving his shirt. At the door, with his back to her, he said, “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
She nodded, but he didn’t see it. He was out the door. His boot treads fading as he jogged down the stairs.

Then silence.

The kind that stretched to fill the four corners of a room. A quiet that left little doubt you were utterly and completely alone.

 

Website      FB         Twitter:  @karyngood         Goodreads

THE TOKYO ZODIAC MURDERS Review

    Amazon
Astrologer, fortuneteller, and self-styled detective Kiyoshi Mitarai must in one week solve a macabre murder mystery that has baffled Japan for 40 years. Who murdered the artist Umezawa, raped and killed his daughter, and then chopped up the bodies of six others to create Azoth, the supreme woman? With maps, charts, and other illustrations, this story of magic and illusion, pieced together like a great stage tragedy, challenges the reader to unravel the mystery before the final curtain.From the Trade Paperback edition & Amazon’s book page

 With more than a passing nod to Holmes & Watson THE TOKYO ZODIAC MURDERS owes much to the iconic duo and acknowledges that with Kazumi Ishioka’s love of detective fiction. Admittedly the beginning is a rough go. The letter that opens the book is long, rambling, and a bit on the esoteric side regarding alchemy, the zodiac (Western not Chinese) and the metallurgic relations to the signs. I
almost gave up. The action, and story, picks up and improves dramatically with the appearance of Kiyoshi Mitarai & Kazumi Ishioka. Kazumi has given Kiyoshi the book to read. He’s eager to discuss and attempt to solve the murder case with him, thinking to lift Kiyoshi from his doldrums. After they’re given a letter with inside information into the mystery and an encounter with the letter writer’s son, Kiyoshi promises to solve the mystery in a week. Kiyoshi and Kazumi go to various locations and each pursues their own line of
reasoning.
The author actually interjects himself into the narrative at a couple of points to let readers know they have all the clues required to solve the mystery and encouraging them to do so before reading further. Reading the afterword is recommended. It explains that this is actually a sub-genre of Japanese mystery fiction meaning authentic, it relies on plotting and delivering the clues to the reader so they too can solve it, as well as other info of interest.
I’ve read many translations of international mysteries. Typically there’s an initial adjustment period for me to familiarize myself
with names, places, and cultural differences before getting lost in the mystery. The story no longer feels foreign. That wasn’t the case with THE TOKYO ZODIAC MURDERS. Even after getting wrapped up in the mystery I still felt like a visitor to Japan.
I think that’s actually part of the appeal. It’s a mini murder mystery vacation.
THE TOKYO ZODIAC MURDERS, once past the long winded letter, is interesting and different enough to appeal to those who enjoy a good mystery and relish solving it along with or even before the “detective”. Kiyoshi Mitarai appears in a series of books for those who’d like to read more of him and his “cases”.

4 stars

NEEDS A LITTLE TLC ~ Ines Saint

I knew you were listening, and I knew you didn’t have it in you to be a silent anything. Why are you using your mom’s last name? Hiding from someone?”

Cassie closed her eyes and counted to ten, again. The words, we’re both professionals, Mr. Amador, let’s begin by treating each other as such, were at the tip of her tongue. True words. A perfect comeback. But she and Sam had been the best of childhood friends, and Sam’s words were just as true. After all, he had somehow known she was listening. But he didn’t have to know that if she could crawl through the airwaves, come out the other side, and hit him with his phone, she would.

*

Sam leaned back in his chair and tried to think above the many feelings coursing through him. Part of him had gone back to a time when he’d known Cassie like the back of his hand, and he couldn’t help but enjoy the situation. Ten years might have passed, but there was no doubt in his mind she’d hit him over the head with his own phone at that moment if she could.

Sam?” she finally spoke.

I’m here.” It was a normal response, but something within him recognized a deeper truth. He swallowed hard.

Life is funny, right? It looks like our old shared interests have brought about the possibility of a business partnership. I can guarantee we’re right for the job, and I’d like my associate to meet with you soon to discuss it. When would be a good time for you?”

All business. He’d never heard her like that. They weren’t the same people they’d once been. Maybe she didn’t even want to hit him over the head with his phone.

The Amador brothers are committed to a new beginning for their quirky, storybook town. But they’re learning that every house needs a heart to be a home…

Growing up, Cassie McGillicuddy was the one person who consistently made Sam Amador lose his steadfast outward cool. She was always full of both brilliant and harebrained ideas, and being around her had made him feel more alive.

Until her biggest harebrained idea of them all. Asking him to teach her how to be a good kisser. Soon after, they’d broken each other’s hearts, and she’d disappeared.

But now Cassie was back. And she meant business.

Author Bio:

Inés Saint was born in Zaragoza, Spain. She’s bilingual and bicultural and has spent the last decade raising her fun, inspiring little boys and sharing her life with the man of her dreams. Her greatest joy is spending quality time with the family members and close friends who happen to provide the inspiration for both the nutty and wise things her characters say and do.

Website URL: www.inessaint.com

WAITING FOR ETHAN ~ Diane Barnes

He laughs. “It was a matter of survival. Leah’s idea of cooking is slapping peanut butter and jelly on burnt toast.”

After his reaction in the living room, I’ve been careful not to mention her or the picture, but since he brought her up, I figure she’s fair game now. “So, do you really not see a resemblance between me and Leah?”

A lot of women have long dark hair and brown eyes, Gina.” He picks up his plate and takes it to the sink. I do the same.

It’s more than that,” I say as he rinses his plate.

He yanks on the handle of the faucet to shut the water off. “Believe me, Gina, you’re nothing alike.” I can’t tell if it’s a good thing, the way he says it. We work in silence. When the kitchen is clean, he wraps his arms around me. “Sorry. Leah’s hundreds of miles away, and she’s still screwing up my life. Believe me, you’re nothing alike. You’re so much prettier than she is.” He kisses me softly, and my body responds the same way it always does. It’s not unusual for men to be attracted to a certain type of woman, I think, as I kiss him back. Ethan’s type is dark hair, brown eyes, and olive skin. No different from me liking men with blue eyes and dark hair. He’s backed me against the counter, and his kisses are rougher now. He whispers again as his fingers glide down my body unfastening buttons, “And so much sexier.” I feel the counter’s hard edge cutting into my back as Ethan’s body presses into mine. By the time he lifts me and carries me into his room, I’ve forgotten all about the picture of Leah.

Bio:

Though she always dreamed about being the shortstop for the Boston Red Sox, Diane Barnes is a marketing writer in Massachusetts. She participates in two monthly writing groups and regularly attends novel writing workshops in Boston and Worcester, Massachusetts. She started “Waiting for Ethan” as a challenge to participate in National Novel Writing Month. The original story was about a character who dated a string of freshly divorced men who all had issues with their ex-wives. She won’t say if it was autobiographical. 

In 2012, Diane was one of eight writers who attended the Boston Writers’ Studio, an exclusive four-day intense writing workshop taught by bestselling author Elizabeth Berg. Diane says having her idol read her work was a moment she’ll never forget.

When not crafting novels, Diane spends her time playing tennis, going to the beach or watching her beloved Red Sox. She completed her first half marathon last year (to combat her love of chocolate) and lives in central Massachusetts with her husband Steve; they often fantasize about moving to Turks and Caicos – for the winter months at least.

www.DianeMBarnes.com

Waiting For Ethan


When Gina Rossi was in junior high, her best friend’s psychic grandmother got everything right—from predicting that Gina would break her arm and travel to Italy, all the way to leading police to a missing neighborhood child. The one time Gina didn’t listen to her, she almost got herself killed. So when she says that Gina will marry a man named Ethan—but she will have to wait for him—Gina believes her, and waits…

Now thirty-six, Gina’s Mr. Right is nowhere in sight—until the day she’s stranded in a snowstorm, and rescued by the last type of Ethan she expected. It’s very romantic, yet surprisingly not. This Ethan is sexy, and clearly her hero. Still, instead of her “Aha” moment, Gina’s confused. And when Ethan is happy to discover she’s single, does Gina dare tell him, It’s because I’ve been waiting for you? But the bigger question is, does she dare question destiny—by taking it into her own hands? And is she brave enough to handle what happens once it’s time to stop waiting—and start living?

Jane Goodger's BEHIND A LADY'S SMILE w/ Seaglass necklace giveaway!

American-set historical romance? Say it ain’t so!

For years, editors have told me (not my current one, thank goodness) that historical romances set in America are the death knell for an author. Geez, I thought American history was pretty interesting! But listening to their advice (after all, they knew the industry better than I did) I began setting all of my books in England. I adore UK-set Regencies and Victorians just as much as the next person, so it really wasn’t all that big a sacrifice.
But in my brain, there lived a story that was just dying to get out. Unfortunately, it was set in America and so I put in the backburner of my brain where it grew and nagged and finally fought its way to the front and I had to write it. I’m so glad I did! I adore Mitch and Genny—and for full disclosure, she is the granddaughter of a duke and does travel to London—but the majority of the story is set in the good ol’ USA. The second Lost Heiress book (How to Please a Lady) is also split between New York and England, and the third (I’m writing it now—Lady Lost) is set in the moors of England with a hero who hasn’t quite mastered the art of brooding and a heroine who has a penchant for lighting up a room. Thanks for reading!

Jane Goodger

BUY LINKS

Amazon   Kobo   Nook

The Lost Heiresses

It’s one thing for a girl to lose her way, quite another to lose her heart…

Genny Hayes could charm a bear away from a pot of honey. But raised in the forests of Yosemite, she’s met precious few men to practice her smiles upon. Until a marvelously handsome photographer appears in her little corner of the wilderness and she convinces him to take her clear across the country and over the seas to England, where she has a titled grandmother and grandfather waiting to claim her. On their whirlwind journey, she’ll have the chance to bedazzle and befuddle store clerks and train robbers, society matrons and big city reporters, maids and madams, but the one man she most wants to beguile seems determined to play the gentleman and leave her untouched. Until love steps in and knocks them both head over heels…

 

EXCERPT

Mitch?”

He slipped the key in the door. “What?”

Do you think I’m pretty?”

He gave her a quick look. At the moment, even with her green eyes glazed with whiskey and her hair slightly askew, she looked more than pretty. “Sure.”

Did you think Minnie was pretty?”

No.”

I think she was,” Genny said a bit wistfully.

He pushed the door open and Genny heaved herself off the wall to walk into the room. She fell onto her bed, face first. “Tired,” she said, the word muffled by the blankets.

Mitch lit a gas lamp, then allowed himself to take her in, her mussed-up hair, her trim waist, her arms akimbo. He shook his head and smiled, then let out a sigh, sat down on the bed, lifted one of her feet and started unlacing her shoe. He tried not to think about her slim ankle or the silk stocking that was so smooth beneath his calloused hand, and so he worked quickly, tossing the shoes one by one onto the floor. When he had her shoes off, she turned around and settled properly onto the bed. He wasn’t about to undress her completely, so he stood up. Let her worry about her wrinkled dress in the morning. It would be a good lesson for her.

Mitch?”

Yeah.”

Could you kiss me goodnight?”

Jesus. “Sure, kiddo.” He leaned over her, intending to kiss her forehead, but she lifted her head at the last moment and her lips pressed against his. He meant to pull back, and did a bit, but she followed him, pressing closer as he jammed one fist into the blanket beside her to stop himself from pulling her against him. It was obvious she didn’t know how to kiss, and that was one thing Mitch was thankful for. She kept her mouth closed, but her lips were so damned soft, all he could think about was nudging down her jaw gently and tasting her. But he didn’t.

He pulled back slowly and she smiled drunkenly up at him. “Minnie said you looked like a man who could kiss.”

Yeah, well, most men can.”

Good night, Mitch.”.

He grunted at her and left the room, closing the door softly behind him. She wouldn’t remember that kiss in the morning. At least he prayed she wouldn’t. God knew he’d remember, and that was enough for the two of them.

So readers, how do you feel about historical romances set stateside?  Yea, nay, or do you have exceptions? One (1) lucky commenter will win a green sea glass necklace with a braided silver chain made by Jane herself! Pretty special huh? Giveaway ends  9-15 with the winner announced shortly thereafter. Good luck y’all.

 
The award-winning author of more than 16 historical romances, Jane Goodger lives in Rhode Island with her family, juggling three kids, a full-time job, a writing career, and a business. She’s gotten pretty good at juggling. In her free time (bwahaha) Jane likes to read, shop, and once in a great while cook a decent meal.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

JaneGoodger.com    Twitter: @JaneGoodger   Facebook   Goodreads

Erin Lee’s debut CRAZY LIKE ME w/signed print giveaway

My Long & Crazy Road to Publishing

If I were to diagnose myself based on the first story I ever wrote, I’d go with narcissistic idealist. But a lot changes in 34 years. It’s been a long and crazy journey to bring me where I am today—on the verge of publishing my second novel in less than 32 days. I could write for days on all that I have learned, and surprisingly, whom I have learned it from. And I wouldn’t take one word of it back—even the intransitive verbs.

My day job is as a therapist. Don’t let that fool you; I’m as crazy as any other writer out there, especially these days (and sleepless nights). Long before I knew anything about diagnoses, I wrote a book about an aardvark. Its title—a real grabber—was Nire, the Purple Aardvark. Always one to see the world backwards, it doesn’t surprise me that I named my quirky protagonist after my own name, spelled in reverse. Six-year-old me was sure Nire would make it to the best seller list. However, I quickly learned that the literary world can be a cold place with little room for purple aardvarks. Earning only an “honorable mention” for that book in a Young Author’s contest—something given to every kid who participated—I knew Nire and I had a long way to go.

I haven’t stopped writing since that first attempt at putting my words into print. My first job as a teenager was writing hometown “news,” aka lists of community events, for a free weekly newspaper. I was paid ten cents an inch and thrilled with my bi-monthly $13 loot. The byline was better than the money. Since, I’ve worked as journalist, marketing director, and therapist. I’ve written children’s books about rainbow cows and talking apples, as well as suicide prevention literature, journal articles, memoir, and poetry. When I think about all the topics I’ve touched on, I realize I might want to add schizophrenia to my self-diagnosis.

For me, that’s what makes writing fun. Where else, but in art, can you wear such different hats so easily passed off with an “oh, she’s a writer?” Writing has made my world such a zanier place. For me, writing is a love affair. It has allowed me to fall in love with hundreds of characters. Add love addict to that diagnosis.

I’ve come a long way from my days with Nire and apparently increased my pathologies, but some things haven’t changed. My favorite color is still purple. I continue to write for the love of the art. I’m still attracted to writing about quirky personalities. My mother, my first writing mentor and a retired English professor with a heavy red pen, is still my number one wordsmith coach.

Other things have changed. My days of undergrad internships with manual paste up all-nighters are gone. The sweet smell of scented markers and newsprint on my hands has long ago been replaced by a stylus and antibacterial lotion. The Internet and digital photography have opened doors to creative folks who otherwise may not have had the opportunity to share their stories.

Along the way, I’ve been fortunate to meet kindred spirits who have encouraged my love for storytelling and imagination. I was blessed with an editor, Colleen O’Brien, of Savant Books and Publications, LLC, whose even heavier red marker was filled with as much love as Mom’s. She helped me to bring my first novel, Crazy Like Me into the world on August 6, 2015. Later, I was even more blessed to discover that Limitless Publishing, LLC was offering me a contract for my second novel, Wave to Papa. Wave to Papa will be released by Limitless on September 8, 2015.

As I hug my 41st birthday and send my oldest son to college, I’m grateful for this exhilarating time in my life. Katherine, the main character in Crazy, has taught me more than I could have asked for. She has taught me how to play and reminds me of Nire, someone I treasure to this day. A character that started as autobiographical, she had the guts to take on a life of her own, and in doing so, helped me—at midlife—reclaim mine. As a therapist who specializes in narrative therapy—the art of helping people define themselves, tell, and rewrite their own life stories—I feel privileged to tell Katherine’s.

There is a saying among therapists that we are all a little crazy. This may not be a bad thing. Who doesn’t have a wild Uncle Earl who wears mismatched socks and drinks too much at family barbecues? He’s quite loveable, the way he brings stolen lollipops for the children without fail. Would life really be as interesting without Grandma Ethel’s insistence that a wedding just isn’t a proper nuptial without lilacs and a marching band, complete with a tuba player?

If therapy room flies could talk, they would tell you that life is not always easy. As humans, we struggle with the same issues—learning who we are, what we want out of life, who we want to be, and how to get there. We all run into obstacles. We fall, we get up, and the ride isn’t always smooth. If we’re lucky, we do it together—for good or bad.

When I first became a family therapist, one of my greatest challenges was moving between sessions with shy teens incapable of eye contact to teens unable to take a breath because of their manic mothers. I took on their anxieties and problems and felt like I was on a rollercoaster. The vicissitudes of several consecutive 50-minute-hour daily mini dramas almost made me abandon my dream of helping others. Then, I remembered the big joke: We are all a little crazy. I figured; why not celebrate our common nuttiness? I decided finally to enjoy the ride.

Crazy Like Me was born as a wink to our shared human experiences. I often wondered what it would be like to put that shy teenager in a room with the manic mother. I had a feeling they could help each other. When I finally did, I saw the magic of human connectedness.

A work of fiction, Crazy Like Me is the story of Dr. Katherine Murphy, a psychologist who has the guts to take on that same challenge and allow her clients to learn from one another. Her recipe is simple: Take a few unhappy couples and a dash or two of lonely singles. Add broken hearts, anger, envy, betrayal, and hope. Stir continuously for 50-minutes. Simmer and repeat. Soon, lives collide in the craziest of ways.

I did not know what would happen to the doctor and crew when I first put these characters in a group therapy room together. But, like a fly on the wall, I found myself learning more than I ever imagined from Katherine and her eccentric clients. I stopped looking at the clock and let them take me on their journey. They made me laugh. They made me cry. They warmed my heart. Best, they surprised me.

Writing Wave was a whole different experience. A much more serious book, on a very serious and sad topic, Wave challenged my writing in a different way. Its main character is a woman who struggles with a choice many of my clients are faced with daily. And in the end, Dawn has also taught me something important. Her message is about courage and letting go— not unlike what I am now doing with these books as they release into the world.

Would you go to therapy in any shape form or fashion? One (1) commenter will win a signed copy of CRAZY LIKE ME. Sorry, limited to U.S. only. Good luck y’all.

 

Here’s a sneak peek of Wave, releasing September 8:

With the media swarming her on the courthouse steps, her husband in jail, her teenage daughter already in foster care, and a determined case worker and vigilant court appointed guardian fighting to “protect Noah,” Dawn doesn’t know where to turn. Nobody cared last time Noah had an accident while in his father’s care…so why is everyone now set on destroying her family?

But through the crazy cycle of hearings, counseling sessions, and visitations, Dawn begins to fear she’s been fooling herself. What if she’d been wrong and put Noah in danger? What if this was all her fault? During his mandatory anger management therapy, even Dan starts to wonder if he might not be the man he thought he was.

Dawn has already lost one child—possibly for good—and can’t bear the thought of losing Noah, too. But with the pieces of her life shattered all around her, can she put it all back together? Or should she salvage what she can and build a different life, broken heart and all?

The bonds of marriage and parenthood are strong.

But that doesn’t mean they can’t be broken…

Nire will always live in Katherine and Dawn’s hearts the same way she lives in mine. She is in there, in both Wave and Crazy, if you look close enough. But she’s changed. If I had to diagnose myself now, I’d go with word-aholic, type A—a condition I never desire to change. There is no cure, treatment, or expectation for my recovery. I’m a crazy writer, and I always will be. And that feels great! My hope is that you enjoy Katherine and Dawn’s stories as much as I do. Continue to read, continue to write. Never forget your inner Nire. Sometimes, the publishing world becomes crazy. But don’t let that stop you from achieving your dreams. Characters, your own or the ones you read, have so much to teach. Never stop reading, falling in love, and learning.

***

Erin Lee is a freelance writer and therapist living with her family in Southern New Hampshire. She is the author of Crazy Like Me, a novel published in 2015 by Savant Books and Publications, LLC (available at www.amazon.com and at www.barnesandnoble.com) and Wave to Papa by Limitless Publishing (available for pre order on amazon). She has also published numerous magazine articles, particularly on the topic of mental illness. She holds a master’s degree in psychology and works with at-risk families and as a court appointed special children’s advocate. When she’s not busy learning and writing about the human mind, she’s obsessively taking pictures of her rescue dog and muse, Milo. Her work can be found at www.authorerinlee.com or www.facebook.com/gonecrazytalksoon. Her twitter handle is CrazyLikeMe2015.

Have You Ever Seen a Ghost? & giveaway By Catrina Burgess

My addiction to ghost stories happened at a young age. I was the kid who could never get enough of reading, watching, or talking about ghostly apparitions. Just the idea that there was something out there, something unknown, something spooky wandering around in the dark thrilled and excited me.

My love for ghost stories hasn’t diminished as I’ve grown older. I watch every ghost hunting show I can find on TV, I scour the bookstores for stories of spooks, and admittedly, I jump excitedly in my chair every time a commercial comes on for a ghost themed movie.

Have I seen a ghost? No. I’ve never seen one, but I have entered an old building and felt the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I’ve crept through an old house and I could have sworn I saw a shadow move in a dark corner. Was that a ghost or my imagination? And more than a few times I’ve thought I’ve heard snippets of conversation late at night, in a spooky house, when no one was around.

But I often wonder what would I do if a full bodied apparition just appeared in front of me? Probably run for the hills! And then later I would not be able to contain my excitement as I told everyone all about my spook sighting.

Have you ever seen a ghost? Have you ever felt the sensation like someone was standing behind you when there was no one there? Have you ever felt a chill in the air as you walked through an old house?

I would love to hear about it. I seriously can’t get enough stories about ghosts. I guess it isn’t surprising that I wrote a young adult series that has many spirits in it. In the Dark Rituals, my four book paranormal YA series, you get to watch banshees attack. And you will meet my heroine Colina, as she tries to learn all the difficult magic that comes along with becoming a death dealer. What’s a death dealer, you ask. Read to find out… 😉 http://fullfathomfive.com/writers/catrina-burgess/the-dark-rituals/

In Awakening, the first installment in the Dark Rituals series, a former healer turns to the Death Arts to seek revenge.

Seventeen-year-old Colina was born a healer. But after a horrific event forces her to leave her clan, she becomes desperate to learn the dark magic of the death dealers, mages who draw their power from the spirits of the dead. Colina was taught to fear and hate death dealers, but becoming one of them is the only way for her to get the revenge she seeks—and the only way for her to survive.

Colina asks a young death dealer named Luke to help her, but he’s reluctant to train her in the Death Arts. Little does she know convincing him to teach her will be the easiest part of her journey. To become a death dealer, Colina will need to undergo three dark rituals, each more terrifying than the last. At the same time, she’ll have to deal with her growing feelings for her mentor. Too bad the first ritual involves him strangling her to death.

As Colina undergoes the trials, she discovers an untapped darkness within herself. If she survives the horrific rituals and gains dark power, what will she become?

Catrina Burgess’ Dark Rituals series originally appeared on Wattpad with over three million reads. Awakening is the first book of four and was named Wattpad’s Best Suspense Story of 2014.

Buy it Direct / Amazon / Itunes / Nook / Kobo /

Catrina’s giving away a paranormal readers survival kit….

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I write because it helps keeps the darkness away and reminds me that there is magic in the world. I live with one husband, two dogs, and a cat named Shitty Kitty in a small mining town in Arizona. At night this place is definitely spooky. I swear I’ve heard the wind giggle, and sometimes there’s a very odd breeze. Luckily, I love all things that go bump in the night. I adore old movies. I’m a huge Joss Whedon fan.

I’ve been known to eat pizza and cold Chinese food for breakfast, and I’m the queen of the board game Stratego. I’ve never been beaten. NEVER!

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