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BABY TEETH Review & print galley giveaway

A battle of wills between mother and daughter reveals the frailty and falsehood of familial bonds in award-winning playwright and filmmaker Zoje Stage’s tense novel of psychological suspense, Baby Teeth. 
Afflicted with a chronic debilitating condition, Suzette Jensen knew having children would wreak havoc on her already fragile body. Nevertheless, she brought Hanna into the world, pleased and proud to start a family with her husband Alex. Estranged from her own mother, Suzette is determined to raise her beautiful daughter with the love, care, and support she was denied. But Hanna proves to be a difficult child. Now seven-years-old, she has yet to utter a word, despite being able to read and write. Defiant and anti-social, she refuses to behave in kindergarten classes, forcing Suzette to homeschool her. Resentful of her mother’s rules and attentions, Hanna lashes out in anger, becoming more aggressive every day. The only time Hanna is truly happy is when she’s with her father. To Alex, she’s willful and precocious but otherwise the perfect little girl, doing what she’s told.Suzette knows her clever and manipulative daughter doesn’t love her. She can see the hatred and jealousy in her eyes. And as Hanna’s subtle acts of cruelty threaten to tear her and Alex apart, Suzette fears her very life may be in grave danger…(synopsis from Amazon)
My thoughts, 4 stars
When & how did it all go so horribly wrong?
There’s plenty of blame to go around, unfortunately. An unhealthy competition for Alex’s time, attention, and love maybe? Suzette, a mother who vacillates between loving, resenting, and hating her child. Seeing her daughter as an intrusion, a mistake, coming between the life she desired and the life she’s forced to live because of perceived maternal expectations, and her husbands vision of the perfect happy family. Suzette is too needy and self-centered, and in my opinion, should never have had a child. Hanna, a daughter who despite her young age, is crafty and cunning. Is this behavior innate, learned or something else entirely? Is it a reflection of Suzette’s inner feelings about the bonds between a mother and child? Could this have been different? Alex, a father who prefers his rosy familial vision to reality. How long will he be able to hold onto that delusion?
BABY TEETH had my sympathies all over the place & in knots. There were times Suzette got on my nerves with her whining and self-centeredness; understandable or not. Hanna became downright scary. Alex’s refusal to believe/understand or acknowledge what was staring him in the face was also understandable, but isn’t there a point, before it reaches crisis stage, when you have to take off those rosy glasses?. In all honesty, I can’t say I particularly liked any of the characters. The over all feel was creepy and the ending left me filled with dread.

Thanks to Jordan at St. Martin’s Press I have a print galley to give away to one lucky commenter, sorry contiguous U.S. only.  Do you believe in bad seeds? Comment, and be sure to leave your email address so we can contact you if you win. Good luck!

DEVIOUSLY FUN. STAGE EXPERTLY CRAFTS THIS CREEPY, CAN’T-PUT-IT-DOWN THRILLER.Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)TIGHTLY PLOTTED, EXPERTLY CHOREOGRAPHED.Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)DELICIOUSLY CREEPY…THE AUTHOR KEEPS THE SUSPENSE TAUT.Library Journal (Starred Review)

Linda Broday's TO CATCH A FALLING STAR & giveaway

Roan Penny soaked up the sun’s warmth and leaned his head back, his eyes closed. Marley wrapped a warm towel around his face, leaving his eyes and mouth open, readying to shave him.

She rested a hand on his shoulder. Her touch gave him such a calm feeling. “I’m going to be very careful and avoid the cut around your throat. If I cause you pain, let me know right away.”

“You can be sure of that.” He closed his eyes and enjoyed the pampering. His thoughts wandered to this ranch, the McClain family, and to Marley. They’d shown him there were still kind people in the world. Minutes passed and she removed the towel.

The razor strokes were smooth, never hard or jerky. Marley’s skill amazed him. Was there anything she couldn’t do? He lay back, soaking up the sounds of the windmill, horses nickering in the corral, and the light scrape of the razor against his jaw. Except for Marley’s closeness, he could doze off.

But she made sleep impossible. The faint scent of something flowery encircled his head. He relaxed and enjoyed her presence, wishing he could tell her how much sharing these days meant to him.

Still, what use would it be to voice feelings that could never go anywhere. His thoughts drifted until he felt her lean over him, felt a strand of hair brush his shoulder. He opened his eyes to find himself staring into her pretty brown ones just inches away. For a second, he barely breathed for fear it was a dream and she’d vanish.

Her close proximity did strange things to his heart.

Dark curls framed her face and her eyes glistened like diamonds shimmering in a stream. Air got trapped in his lungs and the wanting was so powerful it sent throbbing pain through him.

Like a man wandering too long alone, he reached to capture a strand of hair between his thumb and forefinger. The texture was like satin and he couldn’t move, couldn’t think, couldn’t speak.

Her soft breath whispered against his newly shaved cheek and hunger rose.

Awareness sizzled between them. He became aware of the length of her eyelashes, her heartbeat, the pulse in the hollow of her elegant neck. He’d long searched for a woman like Marley, never once thinking she existed.

Her mouth was so close. Just a slight move forward…

But to what end? He wouldn’t tease her, make her think they could have more when in truth they could have no future at all.

Marley Rose McClain was everything a man like him could never have and to even wish for a life with her was a big mistake that could only lead to bitter disappointment. Best to remember his place and that he had nothing to offer—not to her or any woman.

Maybe just for a moment he could pretend.

“You have the silkiest hair I’ve ever felt.” His voice was low and full of yearning. He released the strand and brushed a finger lightly across her cheek. “I’m afraid you got a poor bargain when you patched up my rotten hide.”

“Let me be the judge of that and there is nothing wrong with your hide.” Her soft statement wound around his heart like a stubborn trumpet vine.

She adjusted her angle, cleared her throat, and moved back a fraction. Her attention once again on his jaw, she applied the razor’s edge to his stubble. “I’m glad I found you,” she murmured.

“Me too.” Roan glanced toward the barn, a safe place to turn his gaze, feeling the need to apologize. “I’m sorry. I don’t know what came over me.”

“Good heavens, Roan. You didn’t do anything wrong and I like being with you. We have an easy kind of relationship and over the days and hours we’ve spent together, we’ve become true friends.” She lifted the razor and wiped it with the towel.

Friends. Well, that put him in his place. He should thank her for the reminder of how she saw him.

“You’re easy to be around, Marley, and I’ve enjoyed being with you.” He’d remember this time for the rest of his life. When he sat around a lonely campfire, he’d recall Marley McClain and how tempted he’d been to kiss her.

A minute later, she wiped away the remaining shaving cream and handed him a mirror. “What do you think?”

“You’ve worked a miracle. I feel like a new man and, except for the bruises and black eyes, I look almost human.”

She stood back with a smile. “I think you’re very handsome.”

Roan thought about that later as he sat with her in the sun, listening to the lazy windmill, imagining a life here for real—the place of belonging he’d searched for. He watched her scribbling in her story book, a grin curving her lips. She was an amazing woman with so much to give the world.

He had nothing to offer except bad luck—and grief to Mose’s killers.

But if one day he had the opportunity again to ride near the Aces ’n Eights, he would stop in a heartbeat. For sure, the lovely Marley McClain would fill his dreams for a long time, her gentle touch lingering in his heart.

He’ll do what it takes to prove his love  

The son of a notorious outlaw, Roan Penny yearns to make his life count…but heroism comes with a price. Left badly injured, only the kindness of a gentle stranger can save him. He longs to be with the captivating beauty—his savior, his Texas star, his Marley Rose McClain—but he knows he’d bring her nothing but trouble.

If only he could convince his heart of that.

Marley’s lived a charmed life, and she’s determined to spend the rest of her days at her quiet hero’s side…but she isn’t what she seems. A life-long secret threatens to destroy everything she knows—and everything she could hope to be. As dangerous men threaten to pull her back into the shadows, a desperate Roan must ride hell-bent for leather to save the other half of his heart…before he can lose her light for good.

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SMALL TOWN RUMORS excerpt & giveaway w/ Carolyn Brown

“Well, well, well! Are you leaving us already? You only got here yesterday.” Lettie shoved the suitcase over and sat down across the table from Jennie Sue. Short, as round as Mabel, and sporting a kinky hairdo that had gone out of style years ago, Lettie hadn’t changed since Jennie Sue was a little girl. 

“Yes, ma’am,” Jennie Sue answered. “How have you been, Miz Lettie?” 

“Elaine, I’ll have a big stack of pancakes and two orders of bacon,” Lettie called out across the café. 

“Got it,” Elaine yelled. 

“So where are you going?” Lettie turned back to Jennie Sue. 

“To find a job,” she answered. 

“What kind of skills and experience do you have?” 

Elaine crossed the floor and set Jennie Sue’s breakfast in front of her. “Millie will bring out your order shortly, Miz Lettie.” 

“No rush. Just send me a cup of coffee, and I’ll be happy until it gets here.” Lettie waved her away with a flick of the wrist and turned back to Jennie Sue. “Now, you were about to tell me about your work experience.” 

Jennie Sue picked up the saltshaker and applied an unhealthy dose to her eggs. “I have no experience, but I do have a business degree. The only thing I’m good at is keeping a clean house and organizing fund-raisers and parties.” 

“Hmm.” Lettie pursed her lips. “So why didn’t you have a housekeeper up there in New York?” 

“Percy was never pleased with the way they cleaned.” 

“Was?” Lettie asked. 

“Been divorced for over a year.” 

“Oh, really?” Lettie cocked her head to one side. 

“Yes, ma’am.” 

“Me and my sister, Nadine, lost our housekeeper a couple of weeks ago. The lady that worked for us cleaned for me on Friday and Nadine on Thursday. You interested?” 

Charlotte would probably go into cardiac arrest if Jennie Sue became nothing more than a maid for her archenemies. But hey, it was a job, and Jennie Sue damn sure knew how to clean a house so well that it would pass judgment in the courts of heaven. 

“I might be interested if you could point me in the direction of an apartment or a rental house of some kind that wouldn’t be too expensive,” Jennie Sue answered. 

“I got an apartment over my garage. It’s pretty small, but it’ll work for a single person. I’d be willing to rent it to you furnished. You’ll clean for me on Friday each week, but the last week in the month, you won’t get paid. That’ll be your rent,” Lettie said. 

Jennie Sue could imagine Charlotte throwing whatever she could get her hands on at the wall when one of the Belles called her with that bit of news. Even if she was angry with her mother over trying to mold her into another Wilshire woman, she couldn’t do that to her mother—or could she? How else would she be independent? 

She picked up a piece of crisp bacon with her fingers and took a bite while she thought about the offer. It was a job that she could do. It was a place for her to live. She didn’t have to live in a shelter or sleep on a park bench. However, her mother would never speak to her again, and the rumors would be so hot that they might burn down the whole town of Bloom.

***

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Everyone is talking about Jennie Sue Baker and the mess she made of her life in New York. The former high school queen bee—and wealthy darling of Bloom, Texas—has returned home after all these years, riding on a common bus and bearing two bounced alimony checks. In a town that thrives on gossip, Jennie’s fall from grace has shamed her mother, set the town buzzing, and caused old, jealous enemies to whisper in delight. They say she’s taken a job as a housekeeper, gotten a garage apartment, and might be crushing on Rick Lawson, a simple farmer with modest dreams.

As romance starts to bud, Jennie relishes what it means to follow her heart, find real new friends, and finally be herself—regardless of all the lying town chatter. But fate has another twist in store. Rumor has it that Jennie now stands to lose what matters most . . . unless she can convince Rick of one true thing—and that’s love.

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Carolyn Brown is a New York TimesUSA TodayPublishers Weekly, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author and a RITA finalist with more than ninety published books, which include women’s fiction and historical, contemporary, and cowboys-and-country-music romance. She and her husband live in the small town of Davis, Oklahoma—where everyone knows everyone else and knows what they’re doing and when—and they read the local newspaper on Wednesday to see who got caught. They have three grown children and enough grandchildren to keep them young.

ALL-AMERICAN COWBOY & giveaway w/ Dylann Crush

He spun her out and under his arm, then clasped her around the back and pressed her close again. “You have been practicing.” She gazed up at him through heavy lidded eyes while a slight smile played across her lips.

“Just trying to make you look good, Ms. Walker.” Not that she needed any help in that area. There was something about her that drew a man’s attention. Beyond her good looks, she had a spark, a sizzle, some crackling force that surrounded her and demanded to be noticed.

“You’re doing a fine job of that.” She nodded to herself and leaned her head against his chest.

He liked the way it felt, the heat from her cheek pressing against his heart. Hell, he liked the way all of her felt, nestled into his arms.

“About earlier…can I ask you a question?” His chin rested on her hair, and he let himself breathe her in. The scent of sunshine and peach cobbler layered over something else. Something that was just Charlie. “Sure.” “Are you seeing anyone?”

A wrinkle appeared between her brows. “You’re asking because of what Darby said, aren’t you?”

He shifted to the left, spinning them out of the way of a couple in full square-dance gear who spiraled around the small dance floor. “Just curious. If you don’t want to talk about it, we don’t have to.”

“Good.” She nodded. “I don’t want to talk about it.”

Fine. For now. He wasn’t lying—he was curious. Why wouldn’t a woman like Charlie be involved with someone? She was smart and sassy as hell, had a great sense of humor and curves that wouldn’t quit.

She wrapped her arms tighter around him, making him lose track of the simple steps he’d been counting in his head.

He tried to recover but ended up stepping on her foot instead. “Sorry. I guess I’m still learning.”

“Have you always been such a slow learner?” she teased.

He’d play along. “You sure it doesn’t have something to do with the talent of my teacher?”

Charlie’s eyes sparkled, then narrowed. “What are you trying to imply? I’ll have you know your teacher is a two-time two-stepping Texas teen champ.”

Beck chuckled. “I bet you can’t say that ten times fast.”

“Two-time two-stepping Texas teen champ. Two-time two-stepping Texas—”

He laughed and covered her mouth with his hand. Her lips moved against his palm, soft and fluttery like a butterfly’s kiss. He leaned close to her ear, nestling his nose in her hair. “I was just joking.”

She nipped at his palm, sending a charge rocketing through him. “Don’t make bets you don’t intend to pay.”

A dangerous burn flared low in his gut. “Hey, watch it there, champ.”

“Or what?” Rolling her eyes, Charlie added a little extra twist in her step.

He exhaled his next words, trying to squelch the fire she’d sparked inside. “Or else.”

She spun out and around, then resettled herself against his chest. “I’m shaking in my boots. Or else? That’s all you’ve got? I’m utterly terrified.”

“Are you mocking me?” Damn if she didn’t get under his skin. The sass, the smiles, the way her cute Texas twang taunted and teased him.

“What if I am?” She drew her head back and met his gaze, her mouth curved up in a grin. Their feet stopped moving, and they stood frozen, in the middle of the dance floor, the other couples swirling around them. Her arms went around his neck, and he tightened the circle of his arms around her waist. Their hips snapped together, drawn with a magnetic force. His skin crawled with anticipation, every nerve ending crackling, waiting. His eyes searched hers for encouragement. Yes? No? Did she want him to kiss her? Would it be another mistake?

“A part of me wants to kiss you right now, Charlie.”

Her fingers toyed with the hair at the nape of his neck. “Just a part of you?”

“A big part,” he admitted.

“I’m not familiar with all of your parts yet, Manhattan. What kind of part are we talking about here?” She glanced up at him through lowered lashes.

He knew he was about to cross a line. Ironically enough, it was a line he’d put into play. The line that was supposed to keep things on a professional level. He lowered his head, his mouth inches from hers. “Do you want me to?”

She drew in a sharp breath. “What do you think?”

He was close enough to feel the slow exhale on his chin. “I don’t know what to think when I’m around you. You rattle my brain, make my head hurt.”

“Then don’t.”

“You’re right.” He pulled back. “We shouldn’t.”

The confusion in her eyes didn’t match the way her hands gripped him tighter. “I didn’t mean don’t kiss me. I meant don’t think about it so hard.” Then she tilted her head up and met his lips with hers.

Holiday, Texas is known far and wide as the most celebratory town in the South—and no shindig is complete without one of its founding members. It’s a real shame the last remaining Holiday is a city slicker, but what’s that old saying about putting lipstick on a pig…?

Beck has no intention of being charmed by some crazy Texas town, but the minute he lays eyes on his grandfather’s old honky tonk—and Charlie Walker, the beautiful cowgirl who runs it—he finds himself wishing things could be different. Life’s gentler in Holiday. Slower. More real than anything he’s ever known. And when he looks into Charlie’s eyes, Beck may finally discover what it’s like to truly belong.

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Julie Ann Walker's conclusion to the BKI series~ BUILT TO LAST w/ giveaway

In the epic conclusion to the BKI series, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julie Ann Walker delivers her biggest bombshell yet!

Welcome to Black Knights Inc.
What appears to be a tricked-out motorcycle shop on the North Side of Chicago is actually headquarters for the world’s most elite covert operatives. Deadly, dangerous, and determined, they’ll steal your breath and your heart.

After a mission-gone-sideways forces Jamin “Angel” Agassi to change his identity, he’s determined to bring down the world’s worst crime syndicate kingpin once and for all. That’s going to be the easy part. Keeping Interpol agent Sonya Butler from discovering who he really is—and blazing another trail into his heart—is the challenge.

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“Angel,” she whispered, coming up for air.

The way she said Angel, with such longing and desperation, was perfect. Except it wasn’t his name. Not his real name, anyway. And the fool in him longed to throw caution to the wind and tell her the truth, if only to hear her call him Mark one last time.

Years of unquenched desire rode atop his shoulders. A decade of dirty words fell from his lips as he kissed his way back to her ear.

“Tell me you want me,” he commanded, nipping her earlobe.

The way she groaned captured him. Trapped him. Except the truth was, she’d owned him since the moment she opened her mouth beside his table at that café in Paris and asked if he was Mark Risa in sweetly accented Hebrew. He was hers. Always had been. Always would be.

Instinct was his ruler now. Instinct and the memories of all the things she liked. All the things that made her yelp and purr and beg for more. Cupping her breast through the soft cotton of her T-shirt, he thumbed over her nipple, delighted to discover the peak already ruched tight with desire.

She was as responsive as he remembered. Possibly more so.

“Tell me you want me,” he demanded again, needing to hear it. Needing her to admit it.

“I want you. God help me, I do.”

If he’d only heard the desperation in her voice, he might have kept going. Except…overshadowing that desperation were hard notes of guilt.

Reality check.

He pulled back to discover her eyes were glassy with unshed tears. Everything inside him stilled—his heart, his lungs, his blood. Everything except his mind. It raced toward a conclusion he didn’t want to face.

“Are you still crying for him?” he whispered. “This man from your past?”

“No.” She shook her head. Then shrugged. “Maybe. I don’t know. It’s just that you remind me of him sometimes. The way you walk. The way you pop your jaw. The way you kiss except…”

He wanted nothing more than to keep contact with her. But she had withdrawn from him emotionally, and the gentleman in him—a guy he rarely let out to play—demanded he withdraw from her physically. When he stepped back, breaking the connection of their bodies, it felt like everything that was important inside him stayed behind. Stayed with her.

“Except what?”

“Except you’re better at it than he was. I didn’t think that was possible,” she was quick to add. “Because he was the best. The absolute best. And yet it is possible. And I feel so…so…” She swallowed and searched his eyes. “Guilty for admitting it.”

Angel shot a victorious fist in the air. Or, at least, he imagined he did.

Couple of things here… One, good to know that for her, and up until now, he’d been the best. And two, he had learned a thing or two since the tender age of twenty-four. He looked forward to demonstrating each and every new skill.

“Sonya, you are not wrong to want me. Your man is dead.” The lie tasted sour in his mouth. God, don’t strike me down. Not now. Not yet. “But you are still living. Still breathing. You have needs.”

She frowned before ducking her chin and staring at her bare feet. He glanced down too and found, much to his delight, her toenails were painted a familiar hot pink.

So there is some of the old Sonya left

“It feels wrong to want you.” Her blond hair had fallen over her shoulders like the halves of a curtain. “I don’t even know you.”

He didn’t mistake her words. They were essentially the ones he’d given her earlier. Except the difference was that in his case, he had known he was lying.

She lifted her chin, staring into his eyes. “Why? Why do I feel this connection with you? Is it because we’re in the same boat? Because Grafton has us both by the nose?”

“I cannot say.” Another lie. The pile was becoming unwieldy. “But I can tell you I feel it too.”

He thought she would be happy to hear it, but she pressed the heel of her hand to her forehead and blew out a gusty sigh. “I’m tired. I should go to bed. We leave for Moldova in six hours.”

Whoa. What? That was it? She was going to abandon the conversation when it was getting good?

“Good night, Angel,” she said a little breathlessly.

Stay, he wanted to tell her.

No. Screw that. He didn’t want her to stay. He wanted to toss her over his shoulder, cart her upstairs, and throw her on his bed and undress her. He wanted to kiss every inch of her naked body until she begged him to put himself inside her.

Instead, he took a step back and lifted a hand, wordlessly indicating she was free to go.

It took everything he had not to reach for her when she slid past him. Instead, he satisfied himself with watching her hips sway to the feminine rhythm of her body as she walked to the end of the kitchen island. She had filled out some over the years. Not that she’d ever been stick thin. God had smiled the day he made her and blessed her with curves. But what little angularity youth had given her was gone now. Her hips were fuller. Her breasts heavier. Everything about her screamed woman.

At the doorway, she swung around, a question in her eyes.

“Was there something else?” he asked.

“I know you think I’m broken.” The misery in her voice hit him in the place where his shattered heart used to be.

Oh, Sonya. What happened to you?

He wanted so much to take her in his arms and remind her of what she once was. Of who she once was. But all he could give her was one simple truth. “The light only truly shines through people who have been broken.”

Roy Grace's latest case~ DEAD IF YOU DON'T for every lover of procedurals

New York Times and international bestselling author Peter James celebrates his newest addition to the Roy Grace series with one of his deadliest cases yet and every parent’s worst nightmare: DEAD IF YOU DON’T will pique the interest of every crime procedural reader and satisfy everyone who loves to unravel a good mystery that’s full of true-to-life characters.
Even Detective Investigator Pat Lanigan, Office of the District Attorney, NYPD said, “In my thirty-four years of policing, never have I come across a writer who so accurately depicts ‘The Job’.
 
This time around, Superintendent Roy Grace is contacted by successful businessman and compulsive gambler, Kipp Brown, and is brought in to investigate what everyone believed to be a straightforward case of kidnap.  Kipp is having the worst run of luck of his life and it only gets worse when he decides to take his teenage son, Mungo, to their club’s Saturday afternoon football match. Within minutes of arriving at the game, Kipp bumps into a client, taking his eyes off his son for a few moments, and in that time, the boy disappears.  Will this be an open and shut case?  Will Roy successfully solve this mystery or will the investigation bring him into a dark, criminal underbelly of the city, where rules are different and nothing is what it seems?

 

Praise for the novels of Peter James

 


“This skillful twister shows why James was awarded the 2016 CWA Diamond Dagger.”

 

Publishers Weekly *Starred  Review* on Need You Dead
“James is a master of constructing the kind of plot that twists and turns, ensnaring the reader in its grasp.”

Booklist on Love You Dead


You can read my review of YOU ARE DEAD here.

And my visit with Peter here.

If you’re a fan of procedurals, you really want to make room on you summer reading list for DEAD IF YOU DON’T.

Peter James has led quite the interesting life…

Peter James is the #1 international bestselling author of the Roy Grace thriller series. He has had 3 smash-hit play adaptations of his work, has hit #1 on the international bestseller list, and was awarded the Crime Writers’ Association Diamond Dagger Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.

Before writing full time, James lived in the U.S. for a number of years, producing films including The Merchant of Venice, starring Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons and Joseph Fiennes.
James’s novella ‘The Perfect Murder’, started its world stage premiere in 2014, and his first Roy Grace novel Dead Simple has now been adapted for stage, and toured the UK in 2015. In 1994, in addition to conventional print publishing, James’s novel Host was published on two floppy discs and is now in the Science Museum as the world’s first electronic novel.
Famed for his in-depth research, in 2009 James was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Brighton in recognition of his services to literature and the community, and in 2013 he was awarded an Outstanding Public Service Award by Sussex Police with whom he rides along regularly. He has also been out many times with the NYPD and the LAPD in the US and with many other police forces around the world, as well as doing extensive research with offenders in prisons and psychiatric institutions. He has served as two-times Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association and is a board member of the US International Thriller Writers.
He has won numerous literary awards, including the publicly voted ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards People’s Bestseller Dagger in 2011 and was shortlisted for the Wellcome Trust Book Prize for Perfect People in 2012. James’s novels have been translated into thirty-six languages and three have been turned into films.
All of his novels reflect a deep interest in the world of the police, with whom he does in–depth research and has unprecedented access, as well as science, medicine and the paranormal. A speed junkie, who in his teens was selected to train for the British Olympic Ski Team, he holds an international motor racing license and switches off from work by racing his classic 1965 BMW. James divides his time between his homes in Notting Hill in London and near Brighton in Sussex. DEAD IF YOU DON’T is the 14th book in the Roy Grace series.
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ARISE FROM THE ASHES: Stories of Hope-various authors

Write Now Literary is pleased to be organizing a virtual book tour for Arise From The Ashes: Stories of Hope, Anthology. The tour will run June 26, 2018.

About The Book


Arise from the Ashes, are stories of hope from seven women from all walks of life. These women who have gone through the fire, walked in places that others dare not tread, but women who are not ashamed of their scars and willing to bare it all.

They share their journey of going from trials to triumph and pain to purpose. Arise from the Ashes is filled with inspiration, wisdom and life’s lessons from women
who have endured personal pain and have come through empowered, encouraged and victorious.

Genre: Non-Fiction, Inspiration

Meet Paulette

Visionary and Co-Author

Chapter Title: Losing To Win

Behind her smile is a woman who has learned the real meaning of endurance, faith and tenacity. Bestselling, award winning author, speaker and marketing specialist, Paulette Harper has authored several books, including her award winning novel Secret Places Revealed, and her award winning inspirational book Completely Whole.

Her literary works have been spotlighted in a growing number of publications, including CBN, The Sacramento Observer and Real Life, Real Faith Magazine.

As an inspirational speaker, Paulette’s presentations are inspiring, enriching and encouraging. Her ability to share and connect with her audience comes from her own life’s journey and experiences. She lives her life based on her motto: Intentionally Living Life on Purpose.

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  Meet Donna

Chapter Title: Unexpected Life’s Transitions

Donna Moses passion is to pen works that will impact the hearts of readers, leading them to Christ. An avid reader, she founded Sistahs in Conversation & Sistahs in Harmony Christian Book Club.
She is a retired nurse, graduate from Sacramento Theological Seminary And Bible College, and a member of Progressive Community Church. A Links Incorporated member, Donna is also a recipient of the Susan B. Anthony Award for her community involvement.

Donna lives in Northern California with her husband, Raymond. They have four adult children and nine gifted grandchildren.

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 Meet Cassietta

Chapter Title: Not Forgotten: After the Storm

Cassietta Jefferson is a contemporary Christian author, book reviewer, and blogger. She is the founder of Virtuous Ink Publishing where she seeks to provide her readers with the best in contemporary Christian literature. She earned her Bachelors of Applied Science in Healthcare Administration from Wayland Baptist University.

Cassietta currently resides in Las Vegas Nevada where she lives with her husband of twenty years, retired United States Air Force Master Sergeant Ben Jefferson Jr.

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  Meet Angie

Chapter Title: God Sees What We Cannot See

Angie Jones is passionate about prayer and called to build prayer within the local church. Since the late 1980s, she has been involved with prayer ministries through intercessory prayer as a watchman on the wall, corporate prayer, prayer walks, prayer partners, and facilitating prayer meetings and conferences. She wrote a monthly publication “The Prayer Journal” which included articles on prayer, testimonies and prayer activities.
As a co-leader of Community Prayer Conference Call connecting local churches in prayer, she leads a team of eighty-plus prayer team members and holds prayer trainings within the local church. An advocate for adoption, Angie lives in Fairfield, CA and is the mother of three adopted children.

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Meet Michele

Chapter Title: Back Down Memory Lane

Andrea Mills is a published author of several books writing under her pen name, Michele Mills. An inspirational speaker, visionary, and entrepreneur, she is the Founder and CEO of Love In Spite of Women’s Bible Fellowship, where Jesus Christ is Lord. Women’s ministry leader and Bible teacher, in 2014, Andrea launched the 1st Annual Prophetic Women’s Crusade, which was embraced by the mighty presence of the Holy Spirit, manifested through signs and wonders from God in Heaven.

Andrea resides in Northern California. The mother of two children., Adrienne, her late daughter, and a son, Andrè. She also has three grandchildren: Charnell, Ronal III, and Chase Benjamin.

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Meet Sydney 

Chapter Title: Hope Exists


Sydney Dela Torre is creative, passionate and funny. She has a heart for God that exudes in her writing. Her transparency and vulnerability are on display as she walks her audience through the fragments of her broken life so God may be glorified. Sydney has always been encouraged by others to “share her story.” From after school children’s programs to women and youth groups, her words open the window to her heart. Often witty, Sydney approaches some of life’s toughest challenges with candor, honesty and an understanding that no problem is too big for God.
Personal discoveries, as well as spiritual growth, have proven to be a source of inspiration for her writings. Her works introduce real flawed characters who overcome obstacles through Jesus. Currently penning her first fiction novel, about God’s love and grace breaking down barriers and transforming hearts, she hopes to complete it soon.
Sydney and her husband, William, reside in the breathtaking mountains of Arnold, California.

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Meet Yolando

Chapter Title: Unfailing Love

Yolando Cooksey is a published devotional author in The Upper Room magazine and was recently published in an anthology, The Short and Sweet of It: When the Right Word is a Short Word. She enjoys writing as an expression of sharing her faith and her journey of developing an intimate, personal love relationship with Jesus Christ. Although raised in a Christian home, Yolando did not discover intimacy with God until after suffering several traumatic events in her life. The experiences God allowed Yolando to go through have been her motivation and passion to mentor teen girls and women to find the true meaning of real, authentic, and unfailing love. Yolando’s foundation in Christ has been the guiding light in her writing and making a decision to return to school after retiring in 2015. Yolando is pursuing a master’s degree in Social Work with a goal to counsel at-risk youth and children in the foster system.

Yolando is a mother, grandmother, friend, and most importantly, a daughter of the Most High God. It is her dream that women truly learn who and whose they are!

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Shana Galen's AN AFFAIR WITH A SPARE & giveaway

He’s turned seduction into an art form…
Rafe Beaumont, fifth son of an earl, uses his irresistible charm with the ladies to glean dangerous war secrets. Now he’s putting those skills to the ultimate test: capturing an elusive assassin by seducing his daughter. The problem? She’s entirely immune to Rafe’s flattery.

Never before has Collette Fortier met a man as attractive as Rafe. But her father’s life is at stake, and succumbing to Rafe would be disastrous. But when Rafe turns the tables on her, offering support and friendship instead of a fleeting affair, Collette finds herself tempted in ways she never could have imagined…

“Bright, funny, poignant, and entertaining―everything historical romance fans could ask for.” ―Kirkus Reviews Starred Review for No Earls Allowed

Amazon       B&N         Apple        Kobo

In this excerpt from An Affair With a Spare, former soldier and charmer Rafe Beaumont and spy Collette Fortier remove their figurative masks.

“Will you bring me here again?” she asked.

“Not if you object. I don’t enjoy standing about in cold gardens in the middle of the night, but it won’t be the worst hardship I’ve had to endure.”

She glanced about his flat, her eyes lingering on paintings and a few of the pieces he’d collected—vases, lamps, and other accoutrement. “It’s dangerous coming here,” she said.

“Because you think I will try to take you to bed?”

“Because I think you won’t.”

Rafe stared at her. Women did this sometimes. As well as he understood them, at times, they still managed to say something that flummoxed him. “I’m at sea here,” he finally admitted. “We are friends, nothing more.”

“Correct.”

“And when I proposed something more, you were not interested.”

“I was interested. I simply did not think becoming your lover a good idea.”

“And now it is?”

“Oh, definitely not.”

He gave her a long look. “My ship is sinking.”

“That’s why you’re dangerous. Because you make me want what I cannot have.”

“Oh, you can have me,” he said, rather too quickly. “What I mean is—”

She laughed. “I thought you didn’t want me anymore.”

Where the devil had she acquired that notion? She was the only woman he did want. “How could I not want you? That has never changed. If you want to change your position on the matter…”

“No. I meant only to say you tempt me. Coming here tempts me.”

“Good. I like to know I’m not the only one tempted.”

She rose, and he did the same. She linked her fingers, looking nervously about.

“What would we do were we hedgehogs, Miss Fortier?”

Her eyes widened. “I don’t—”

“Would you approach me? Would I approach you?”

“The, uh, boar pursues the sow, attempting to mount her.”

“I see. And what does the sow do?”

“She will persistently reject his advances. A high percentage of observed hedgehog courtships do not result in cop-cop—”

“Copulation?”

She nodded.

“I do wonder what tempts a hedgehog.” Before she could answer, he moved closer and placed a finger lightly over her lips. “That was a rhetorical question.”

“I wonder what tempts you,” she said shyly. “Do I tempt you now?”

Washed in the golden firelight, she was lovelier than words. And Rafe knew a lot of words to describe women. With her glossy hair piled on her head and her cheeks tinged pink by the wine and the firelight, she looked young but regal. He dared not allow his gaze to dip lower than her chin. “Immeasurably,” he murmured.

She stepped closer, and he took her hand. It felt warm and soft in his, and he lifted it to his lips and kissed her knuckles. Then, turning it over, he placed a lingering kiss on her palm. Her dark eyes turned even darker when his mouth skated up her flesh to brush against the skin at the inside of her wrist. She must have dabbed scent here because, above the clean smell of her skin, he also detected the fragrance of juniper.

His mouth explored her sensitive flesh until he found her pulse, which fluttered rapidly. She might have pulled her hand away at any time. He held it with the lightest touch, but when he slid his lips higher to the tender skin at the inside of her elbow, she trembled. Rafe’s gaze never left hers when he flicked his tongue out and tasted her flesh.

She inhaled sharply. “You are very good at this, aren’t you?” she whispered.

“If my imaginings count, I’ve had extensive experience touching you.”

“Did you ever imagine kissing my lips?”

He grinned. “Once. Or twice.”

Her free hand wrapped around his neck, sliding into his hair. He straightened and she pulled him close.

When he released her hand to wrap his arms around her, she twined her arms about his neck and looked up at him. Rafe had never wanted to kiss a woman so badly. And he’d never feared doing so before. The last time he’d tried to kiss her, she had pushed him away. What if he kissed her now and frightened her? What if the kiss ruined the friendship, and she wouldn’t see him any longer? Draven would kill him, but even worse, Rafe would lose Collette.

“Kiss me,” she said when he hesitated.

“Are you certain this is a good idea? I don’t generally kiss my friends.”

“Surely you can make an exception for me.”

“Surely.” He bent closer, then pulled back again. “But should I? This might change everything, and I do value our friendship.”

“As do I.” She pressed closer to him, and the air caught in his lungs when her breasts pushed against his chest.

“Then we stay friends,” he said, voice choked.

“Friends who have shared a kiss.”

“Yes.” He brushed his lips over hers, then jerked back again. “That’s actually a new category of friendship for me. Should we discuss its parameters before we go on?”

She sighed, sounding suspiciously frustrated. “No. Just kiss me, Rafe.” But she didn’t wait for him to comply. Instead, she rose on tiptoe and took his mouth with hers. Her lips were soft and gentle but insistent. He couldn’t have refrained from kissing her back if he’d wanted. Kissing her was as necessary in that moment as breathing. And when her mouth became more insistent, he met her demands, kissing her deeper, holding her tighter, teasing her with his mouth until he felt her tremble. He trembled as well. He’d never reacted this way to kissing a woman before. He’d always enjoyed kissing women—some more than others—but he’d never

been so moved, never felt as though he needed a woman like he needed Collette.

“I think this is enough for now,” he said, pulling back.

She blinked up at him, her brown eyes almost black. “Really?”

He ran his thumb across the satin of her cheek, marveling at the silky flesh. “I think it’s for the best.”

“And I thought it best if we continue.”

That was a rather appealing idea as well. Who the devil cared about restraint and all the rest of that rot? She was in his arms and he wanted her and she wanted him…and if he took her, he might just ruin everything. Because he was not who she thought he was.

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Jennifer Hillier's psychological thriller JAR OF HEARTS video, review, character interview, & 3 chpt excerpt

You can read 3 chapters here.

You can read Elise Cooper’s interview with character George Shaw here.

And my thoughts on JAR OF HEARTS

Jar of Hearts  

 

This is the story of three best friends: one who was murdered, one who went to prison, and one who’s been searching for the truth all these years . . .
When she was sixteen years old, Angela Wong—one of the most popular girls in school—disappeared without a trace. Nobody ever suspected that her best friend, Georgina Shaw, now an executive and rising star at her Seattle pharmaceutical company, was involved in any way. Certainly not Kaiser Brody, who was close with both girls back in high school.
But fourteen years later, Angela Wong’s remains are discovered in the woods near Geo’s childhood home. And Kaiser—now a detective with Seattle PD—finally learns the truth: Angela was a victim of Calvin James. The same Calvin James who murdered at least three other women.
To the authorities, Calvin is a serial killer. But to Geo, he’s something else entirely. Back in high school, Calvin was Geo’s first love. Turbulent and often volatile, their relationship bordered on obsession from the moment they met right up until the night Angela was killed.
For fourteen years, Geo knew what happened to Angela and told no one. For fourteen years, she carried the secret of Angela’s death until Geo was arrested and sent to prison.
While everyone thinks they finally know the truth, there are dark secrets buried deep. And what happened that fateful night is more complex and more chilling than anyone really knows. Now the obsessive past catches up with the deadly present when new bodies begin to turn up, killed in the exact same manner as Angela Wong.
How far will someone go to bury her secrets and hide her grief? How long can you get away with a lie? How long can you live with it? Find out in Jennifer Hillier’s Jar of Hearts. (synopsis from Amazon)
There were parts of JAR OF HEARTS that I skimmed (I’m not that desensitized. There are still places I can’t bring myself to go), but it’s also a compelling read that made me think about so many things.
 
-How do you go on, day to day, living with guilt of that magnitude?

-Is Geo the only person Calvin, in his warped way, ever really loved? My conclusion would be a resounding yes. That in itself is creepy and scary. What about her touched him and exactly what part did it reach? Their relationship fascinated me, perhaps like an accident on the highway. You can’t help but look and wonder.

-Forgiving, is it the only way to move on? Am I capable of that depth of forgiveness?

-They say, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”, and that’s so true in JAR OF HEARTS.

-Nature or nurture?  A bit of both?

-Was there any other choice? How far is too far?

-Do we ever really know what we’re capable of until we’re up against it?

My imagination is vivid enough, so I would’ve preferred less of the graphic details, but overall JAR OF HEARTS is thought provoking and compulsive. Just when you think you know, you don’t. That’s always a good thing for me.
3.5 stars

Joanne Otto's THE YOU SONG & DAUGHTER OF JERUSALEM

Write Now Literary Book Tours is pleased to be coordinating a book tour for author Joanne Otto. This is a two-month book tour for her books: The You-Song and Daughter of Jerusalem. This tour will run June- July, 2018.

                                                                      Introducing Joanne

Joanne Otto is a lifelong student of the Bible who has taken four exciting tours of Bible lands and done extensive research, including numerous courses. She has taught foreign languages and English and more recently, as an academic language therapist, has helped dyslexic children strengthen their reading and writing skills. Also a music lover and amateur pianist, she especially enjoys accompanying singers.

Website: http://joanneotto.com/

About the Book

The You-Song celebrates, in a way young children can understand, the unique and vital place each of us occupies in God’s world and encourages them to fill their place in it with joy. Written by a teacher who’s helped many children overcome reading challenges, “The You-Song” is user-friendly, consisting of words that are either familiar or easy to decode. Lavishly illustrated with nearly 50 heart-warming photos, it’s also fun to read aloud to pre-readers.

Genre: Juvenile Nonfiction

About the Book

Daughter of Jerusalem” takes its 21st-century readers on a journey back to the first-century world of a young rabbi named Yeshua—better known to us as Jesus. Mara, the young heroine of this story, gets to mingle with the crowds who come to hear him teach during his visits to Jerusalem and, finally, to meet him face to face in a brief, life-changing encounter—one that comes at no small cost to herself. For middle-grade readers who want to use the book as a springboard for deeper study, there are Bible references and questions on each chapter, as well as a glossary. For others, the story itself will be the full journey.

Genre: Christian Fiction

Purchase Link: http://amazon.com/author/joanneotto

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