Guest Release Promotion–Gold Nuggets by Lynn Lovegreen

 

 

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In the shadow of Denali, she has a home, and he finds adventure. Charlotte Cooper wants to stay near her parents’ home in Alaska. But her dreams of being a writer call her away to college or work, and she has to choose her own path in life.

Henry Reeves is a wealthy New Yorker seeking a summer adventure when he travels to Kantishna near the proposed Mt. McKinley National Park. He discovers two passions, one for Charlotte, and the other for keeping Alaska wildlife from being wiped out like the buffalo.

Charlotte and Henry find an attraction they can’t deny, but can they build a new life together between the wilderness and high society?

BUY LINKS

Amazon

Amazon print

Barnes & Noble

Prism Book Group

Smashwords

EXCERPT

Good health practically oozed out of his pores. It was easy to imagine him winning a footrace or wrestling a champion. The short hair under his broad-brimmed campaign hat seemed to accentuate his high cheekbones and strong jaw. And his hazel eyes dashed this way and that, taking in the scene. He was as pretty as a magpie, and just as annoying when he opened his mouth.

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Lynn Lovegreen grew up in Alaska, and still lives there. She taught English for 20 years before retiring to make more time for writing. Her young adult historical romances are set in the Alaska Gold Rush, a great time for drama, romance, and independent characters. Her novels Golden Days and Gold Nuggets are available through Prism Book Group or your favorite book vendor.

 

WEB CONTACTS

Website

Facebook

Goodreads

Pinterest

Character Interview from Her Survivor by Vonnie Davis

How about you introduce yourself by providing the basics?

Dustin for July 20 “Hello Ladies, my name is Dustin Franks, former SEAL and problem child for author Vonnie Davis.” He shakes his head and leans forward, his massive forearms resting on his spread thighs. “I never set out to be such a problem for her. But, you see, her editor at Loveswept told her she wanted a series on wounded warriors, SEALs in particular, who were also dealing with PTSD. What her editor didn’t know was Vonnie’s grandson was in the middle of his own dark battle with post-traumatic stress from serving in Afghanistan and seeing two of his Army buddies blown up with some of their body parts landing on him. A couple months earlier, he’d tried to commit suicide, so Vonnie wasn’t sure she could write this series and keep the emotional grandma out of it, you know?” He shakes his head again. “The woman was a mess. She stalled by reading books on life as a SEAL and PTSD. She cried.” Dustin rolls his eyes. “Like I wanted to deal with an author who bawled every time she opened her manuscript and read ‘Chapter One.’ Finally, I leaned over her shoulder and whispered, ‘Type what I tell you.’”

What do you like most about being a SEAL?

“For the most part, I was a sniper. Some would say I was one of the best in the teams, but I’m not so sure I deserve that distinction. I enjoyed taking a high point and protecting my SEAL brothers from enemy attacks. I cleared a safe path for them. SEALs are cross-trained to do all operations required to secure an area. My buddy, Wysocki, and I were clearing a building when we saw a crying toddler. Wysocki had kids back home, so instinctively went to pick up the kid.” Dustin pinches the bridge of his nose. “That’s when I saw the trip wires over the infant’s chubby legs. Before the words of warning were out of my mouth, the explosion killed my friend and took off part of my leg below the knee.” He taps the prosthesis under his jeans.

Did you always want to be a SEAL?

“No. Actually, I graduated from University of Maryland as an architect and worked for a firm for a while, but I couldn’t stand spending all day inside in a cubicle. I swam and ran track in college. I missed the activity, so I joined the Navy. When my superior officer talked to me about going through BUD/S, the challenge of training for a SEAL spot appealed to me. I love a challenge.” A smile slowly spreads. “I suppose that’s why my first meeting with Kelcee sparked my interest, even though I was mad as a hornet.”

How did you end up on a ranch in Texas?

“Zane Quinlan, or ZQ as we called him, the Commander of SEAL team 5 retired after our time in Syria. His dad was dying of cancer and he returned to the family ranch to help out. Slowly, one by one, his old team members started drifting in. First was JJ, demolitions expert and dog handler. He’d adopted the team’s service dog, Nance, who’d been wounded just before me. JJ couldn’t handle the noise and social hubbub of Columbus, Ohio. He needed quiet to deal with his demons. When I landed in a high tech hospital in San Antonio after my time in Bethesda Naval Hospital, ZQ visited me the first few days, read me my favorite poetry. When he told me I was welcome to spend time at Eagle Ridge Ranch, I took him up on his offer.”

What attracts you first to a woman? You mentioned a lady named Kelcee. Is she your current love interest?

“Oh man, she’s my whole world. Curly strawberry blonde hair, a shade plump the way I like my women, and eyes that will singe your skin when she’s angry. She got upset with me the first time we met, which was in her bookstore. She’d just inherited it from her former boss and wanted to update it. ZQ thought I’d be ideal guy, with my architectural training, to come up with some ideas. Little did I know he was playing matchmaker.” Dustin scratches the back of his head. “I still don’t know what I said to fire her up like that, but she all but tossed me out of the store on my ear.” He leans his head back and laughs. “How could you not love a woman like that? Whooo, she’s got spunk. She was also in the Witness Protection Program, but that’s revealed later in the book.

 

HER SURVIVOR cover for July 20

 

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Vonnie Davis welcomes readers to Warrior Falls! In this sizzling contemporary series, broken heroes meet women worth fighting for—and discover the healing power of love.
 
Navy SEAL Dustin Franks can handle physical pain; it’s his soul that needs mending. After losing part of his leg in an explosion, the panic triggered by his PTSD nearly drives him over the edge. So Dustin retreats to the Eagle Ridge Ranch, a charming hideaway tucked into the Hill Country of Texas. There he finds solace in the arms of a beauty who reawakens desires he thought he’d lost forever—and who makes him want to lose control, just when he needs it most.

Kelcee Todd sees beyond Dustin’s scars to the real man beneath: fiercely protective, strong yet tender. She wants nothing more than to feel his battle-hardened hands on her body. However, Kelcee is not the ordinary small-town girl she appears to be. Her brother is a killer with ties to the Russian mob, and after her testimony put him in prison, he’s out and eager for revenge. Now Dustin is her best defense, even if it could cost him everything. Kelcee could never ask him to make that sacrifice . . . but she can’t stop him, either.

Amazon BUY LINK

EXCERPT

Kelcee didn’t know what to expect when ZQ spoke to her about his friend who was just getting out of the hospital. She anticipated someone frail. This man, with the one earpiece of his sunglasses clamped between his teeth, towered over her and had broad muscled shoulders built for hugging. Even though one large bicep bore three jagged scars, she imagined they would deliver strong hugs in return. His face was scarred on one side and no doubt he had more scars elsewhere, especially since he used a cane.

Being scarred like that would probably take him some getting used to, particularly on the face where everyone could see them. She extended her hand. “Hello, welcome to my little book nook. My name is Kelcee Todd.”

The man with short wavy, dark hair removed the shades from his mouth and tucked the one temple bar under the neckline of his t-shirt. He flicked his hat back which allowed her to take in blue eyes so serious, they seemed to read the secrets of her soul. She nearly gasped as his hand encased hers and a tingle zigzagged up her arm. “Pleased to meet you. I’m Dustin Franks. ZQ said you wanted to rearrange your place.” His voice was dark and dangerous like a thunderstorm at midnight.

“Yes.” She cleared her throat and waved her open hand around. “The original owner had things to suit him. I’d like to give the shop a fresher appeal without losing any of its charm.”

“Charm?” His gaze swept over the interior as if he were getting ready to condemn the building.

Suddenly she wasn’t so sure she liked this guy and his square jaw with the cute indentation in it. Still, she kept talking. “The layout the previous owner had isn’t the most efficient, plus I want to be able to see people as they come in.” She paused and worried her lower lip with her upper teeth for a minute. “So I can greet them as they enter.” Or see if it’s my brother or one of his men.

“You two talk. I have a book to pick up for Mom.” ZQ tugged a slip of paper from his shirt pocket. “It’s for that book club she belongs to; the one Wanda runs. Mom claims she picks the worst books to talk about.” He chuckled. “Too highbrow for her tastes. ‘Literary snobbery’ she calls it. I practically force her to go or she’d hide out on the ranch with Dad gone. She needs some social interaction.”

“This month’s selection is around the corner of this row of shelves, the middle one.” She pointed to the row and ZQ meandered off. She returned her attention to Dustin who was giving the shop some close scrutiny. His nose was scrunched as if he smelled something foul, which further ruffled her feathers. She worked hard to keep the store clean.

“This place ever been checked for termites, being so close to the water?”

“Of course! Every year.” She was more than ready to defend her shop.

“Well, that’s one thing in its favor. The building’s substructure should be evaluated for stability. What about mold?”

A haze of red lowered over her vision and her hands slapped on her hips. “Mold?”

ZQ peeked around the corner, his eyebrows raised to his hairline.

“Yeah, being so close to all that constantly flowing water would make it an ideal place for mold to grow. How old is this…” He waved his fingers around as if he were searching for the right words.

“Bookstore, Dustin,” she forced through clenched jaws. “There’s not a damn thing wrong with this building that some updating wouldn’t take care of. I drew up rough floor plans of the store. They’re to scale as best I could do. I measured the place and its windows. I’ve got it over here.”

He followed her as she stepped behind the counter at the far side of the building. “Is this where you want to keep your register and computer?”

She removed her drawing and a pad of graph paper from the shelf beneath the computer. “No. I’d like my computer where I won’t keep bumping my knees on this stupid shelf. But that would mean rewiring for the register and everything. And that sounds costly to me.”

Two weeks earlier, she’d found an envelope containing some money in a drawer under Frank’s worn stockings. Her quick call to the lawyer told her anything she found was hers.

Choosing whether to spend it on her living quarters or in the store had been a tough decision. She’d bought paint, curtains, a new mattress and box springs, and a sofa. Enough to make her new place livable and clean. Now she wished she’d saved the monetary windfall for the store. The money Frank had in the bank and her savings, she’d earmarked for future taxes and a car.

“Here’s my drawing. I had to tape four sheets of paper together.” She opened it for him to see.

Dustin stepped behind her and she noticed a slight limp and the gentle tapping of his cane. The fragrance of male soap overwhelmed her. He leaned over her and studied her version of a blueprint. “Not a bad drawing. I graduated as an architect before I joined the Navy. I couldn’t handle sitting inside in a cubicle all day. No view of the outside.”

“I know what you mean. I love those large windows that allow me to see the falls. It’s almost like being outdoors.”

“Do you want your work counter over there?” He jerked his thumb in that direction.

“Yes, but wouldn’t that make me more vulnerable to someone passing by?” Cripes, why did I say that? Now, he’ll wonder. She twisted her neck to check his reaction to her careless remark and met his blue eyes. Oh, they were something.

“Vulnerable to whom? Are there a lot of troublemakers in this little town?” His gaze had locked hard on her and his hand closed gently around her elbow. The warmth of his touch made her want to sigh, which was so silly she got a shade or two pissed with herself.

She shook her head. “I can’t say. It’s nothing, really.” She’d never have said what she did if the man touching her hadn’t rattled her so by invading her space.

“Okay, if you say so.” He removed his hand and she missed his gentle, yet almost sensual touch. “I take it these little ovals are the windows since you’ve noted their size.” He kept staring at her, or so it seemed.

She swallowed and forced her gaze to stay focused on his eyes and not drift to his scars. “Yes. And these little parenthesis thingies indicate doors. The little x’s are outlets.” She pointed to indicate what she meant.

“Well, you’re certainly thorough. I don’t see the front porch on the drawing.”

“No. It stays as is. Men come here every day to play checkers or chess. Women like the wooden rocking chairs to sit and rest a spell, listen to the falls, and gossip.”

BIO: Vonnie Davis is an award-winning, international author who likens herself to a freshly baked croissant: Warm, crusty, wrinkled, a tad flaky–and best served with strong coffee.

By day, she hunches over her laptop, bringing to life the men who strut through her dreams at night with that delightfully self-assured swagger. They end up in passion-filled contemporary and contemporary paranormal romances with a strong spice of suspense and dollops of humor.

Vonnie’s heroes are always that delightful blend of alpha male with a chewy chocolate center. And her heroines? Her heroines are feisty females, who take life’s adversities and turn them into advantages. The settings for her stories range from the Scottish Highlands to the gulf side of Florida to the hill country of Texas to her favorite city, Paris.

You may stalk Vonnie here:

Amazon Author page

Blog

Website   Sign up for her Newsletter while you’re there. There are prizes to be won and current news of upcoming releases.

Goodreads

Facebook

Twitter: @VonnieWrites

Help With Finding the Latest Romance Titles

Keeping updated on the latest romance releases can be hard. So many titles are available, and sometimes checking the Top 100 best sellers lists on Amazon just isn’t convenient.

I’ve discovered The Romance Reviews ezine is a great way to learn what’s new. All sub-genres are covered. The author interviews are informative, the excerpts tantalizing, and the reviews help me as a romance reader determine what titles to purchase.

June 2016 TRR cover

I happened to buy a cover ad in the June 2016 issue (page 10) for Montana Sky: Laced By Love, which serendipitously coincides with the current, limited-time 99-cent sale. Love it when events come together like that. Plus Laced by Love has hit a couple of best seller lists like Clean and Wholesome and Western Romance on Amazon. YAY!

If you want to learn about the releases, you’ll want to subscribe to the magazine for the earliest peek at these popular titles. http://www.theromancereviews.com/ezine.php

Character Interview from Sarah and the Double Wedding Woes

How about you introduce yourself by providing the basics?

Sarah, Where were you raised?

I was brought to life in The Heavenlies by the Eternal Father. I stayed close to home until my first mission to Earth. Texas is the first place I’ve visited, and leaving heaven scared the willies out of me. I still get scared at times, but all you humans are nice people and I like you.

Family members?

I have no immediate relatives, but everyone in The Heavenlies is family.

Did you attend college?

Yes. I attended Angel School. The classes were difficult, but I managed to graduate. I still have a lot to learn, but my mentor, Mother Goodness is patient. She continues to give me grades on my behavior. After each mission, the Commander reviews me. He’s kind with his critique. The Father gives the Commander words of wisdom, and I’m grateful for both of them.

Are you athletic?

Are you kidding? No! I’m constantly falling down. I love red stilettos and see ladies stroll easily in them, but not me. I fly barefoot and slide off roofs when I land on them. Ugh. Earth has a hard surface. I’m accustomed to fluffy clouds.

What’s your favorite participation sport?

I suppose I’d have to say baseball, but I don’t understand the game. Gay N. Lewis, the lady who writes about me, wrote about one of my experiences at Minute Maid Park in Houston. I’d gone there to foster a relationship between Bonnie and William. They made strange comments.

Here’s the way Gay wrote about my experience. This excerpt is from Sarah and the Double Wedding Woes.

“After the National Anthem, the game started. A player threw a ball to a man crouched on the ground while another guy stood nearby with a stick on his shoulder. A hunched dude dressed in navy blue stuck a hand in the air and yelled, “Ball!”

A big fellow two aisles down from Bonnie and William stood up and shook his fist. “You stupid umpire, are you blind?”

What? Did they let blind men judge players’ actions on the field? And why did the man in the dark uniform yell ‘ball’? Wasn’t that the name of the game and the reason people came to this place? Surely they all recognized a ball when they saw one. Seriously? These humans shouted the strangest things.

William leaned toward Bonnie. “That pitcher can’t hit a barn, the way he is throwing tonight.”

“Huh?” Sarah voiced the word aloud, but no one noticed. Why would William want the guy to hit a barn? None were even in sight. No cows, horses or other animals roamed about either.

“Stay alive out there. This guy can hit.” A man screamed from behind her.

Sarah shook her head, puzzled. No one lay dead on the grass below and none of God’s death angels hovered above. All the players appeared healthy. Good grief! People thought she spoke in odd phrases. Had they ever considered some of the things they said?”

See what I mean? Baseball is difficult for me to learn. It contains strange jargon.

What do you like most about (your profession)?

I love helping men and women find relationships with each other. I also enjoy learning how humans live. I terrify myself with goof ups down here, but I don’t want to stop coming. Even though I’m insecure and clueless, I laugh at myself for the silly things I do.

What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you?

I’m in the middle of a crazy time right now. On missions to earth, I must create human disguises. My favorite foods are cheeseburgers, fries, and chocolate malts, but my metabolism is of a heavenly nature, and weight is never an issue. At the moment, in order to help a young woman, I’ve added fifty pounds to my frame and I’m eating small portions of rabbit food. My assignment is to help Valerie transform Valerie with a magical makeover. I’m starving. This is difficult. I’ve resorted to sneaking food.  I’m also to teach her to wear makeup and dress. Merciful heavens! I make a bad choice with human female attire when I must call forth a masquerade. Goodness! My wardrobe consists of white muslin robes.  Now, I ask you, how can I do this crazy thing? Teach someone to do something I don’t know how to do?

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A double wedding? Was it possible?

The Superiors want Jessica and Robert to marry, but they throw in a twist–while seeing to their wedding, Sarah, Heaven’s Little Love Angel, must also find a mate for Bonnie, Jessica’s mom. Her orders are to bring about the two weddings simultaneously.

Can Sarah pull it off? Or will her clumsiness destroy two romances in one shot?

BUY LINKS

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

GayNLewisA native Texan, Gay lives in a small town west of Houston.  She loves to travel and engage in artistic ventures.  Two videos she produced —The Canadian Rockies, English and Japanese translations, and Psalms from the Mountains, sold well in international markets.  Graphic skills kept her busy as a portrait photographer, and for over ten years, she used her imaginative insight in the interior design field.

Gay loves travel, writing, and reading.  As a pastor’s wife, she writes Faith Features for various church periodicals.  Her current series is about a dyslexic angel who comes to earth to help humans, but Sarah, the angel, is more like Lucy Ricardo with humorous antics and bumbles.

For more information, please go to http ://gaynlewis.com/

Read excerpts on www.prismbookgroup.com

Gay would love to have you see her video trailers and become a follower of her blog.

http://www.gaynlewis.blogspot.com

https://www.amazon.com/author/gaynlewis
www.facebook.com/GayNLewis and also on Twitter @GayNLewis2.

Sarah has her own Facebook page. Follow Sarah on Facebook@ Sarah Wingspand

What are readers saying about the Sarah series?

“…well-written and entertaining…” Amazon Reviewer

“Sarah, with all her antics is just adorable…”  Amazon Reviewer

“It’s a joyful read and appeals to all ages and personalities. Makes a wonderful gift too!” Amazon Reviewer

99-cent sale on Montana Sky-Laced by Love

I’m excited to share that my title, Laced By Love, part of Debra Holland’s Montana Sky Kindle World series is on sale for a limited time for 99 cents. This is your chance to discover stories with new characters and watch them struggle to find their happy ending while revisiting some of Debra’s beloved characters.

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Set in October 1886, a vaudeville troupe arrives in Morgan’s Crossing, Montana Territory late in the traveling season. When an event threatens the continuation of the troupe, seamstress Cinnia decides to say no to older sister Nola who has made the sisters’ decisions since they were orphaned a decade earlier. Leather worker Nicolai Andrusha is lying low and using an alias until he receives word the patent is approved on his family’s leather tanning formula. But he finds the auburn-haired poetess irresistible. Will Nicolai oppose his family obligation to help the stranded beauty who has caught his eye?

http://amzn.com/B01BL0HL4K

Additional stories on sale:

Slater's Bride

Patricia Thayer’s book is Slater’s Bride  https://amzn.com/B01BL0HKIC

Loretta Drennan learns about her stepfather’s plot to sicken her mother and take over the family business in Chicago. Letty flees to Montana in search of her brother, Johnny, to seek his help. Traveling alone, she meets Paul Slater who claims to own a ranch with Johnny as his partner. He offers to escort her on the two-day journey to their ranch in Morgan’s Crossing.

Reunited with her brother she pleads her case for him to return home. Johnny’s share of stocks aren’t the needed votes to gain control of the family company. Letty can only get her shares when she turns twenty-five or by marrying. Paul offers to wed his friend’s sister.

They plan a wedding, in name-only, but when left alone at the ranch house, they can’t deny their real underlying feelings. The honeymoon is interrupted when a stranger shows up and kidnaps the bride. Can Paul save the woman he’s fallen in love with before it’s too late?

Cynthia Woolf‘s book is THORPE’S MAIL-ORDER BRIDE https://amzn.com/B01BL0HKL4

Thorpe's Mail Order Bride

Lena DuBois never knew her father until he suddenly reappeared in her life to tell her he’s arranged for her to marry one of his business partners. Lena flees, deciding to become a mail-order bride, where at least she’s the one doing the choosing.

Her future husband, John Thorpe, has requested a woman of good moral character which Lena considers herself to be. The problem is her mother is the most celebrated madam in all New Orleans. What will happen if he discovers her secret?

Leave a comment for a chance to win an ecopy of Laced By Love. Winner announced July 9th.

Backlist Promotion–Fourth of July stories

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Today marks the approximate one-year anniversary of the release of A COWBOY CELEBRATION, a seven-story historical romance anthology published by Prairie Rose Publications.  Contributing authors are: Agnes Alexander, Linda Carroll-Bradd, Julia Daniels, Lorrie Farrelly, Meg Mims, Angela Raines, and Beverly Wells. An added bonus is each story mentions a tasty picnic dish and the recipes are included.

My novella is titled Forged By Fire, and I loosely based the story on the Beauty and the Beast fairytale.

LOGLINE

Can a wounded soul find solace in the attentions from a cook who nurtures through her culinary creations?

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Ivey Treadwell, cook at her family’s boarding house, wants to accomplish something big. For now, she satisfies herself with improving on the traditional recipes for the boarders by adding herbs and spices she gathers. An incident with a broken pan causes her to see Berg Spengler, the town’s blacksmith, in a new light.

Stigmatized for his huge size and blamed for his brother’s injury, Berg has discovered being alone is safer for his heart. But when he sees interest spark in Ivey’s eyes, he decides to take a chance and approach her. The pair discovers an attraction that heats up each time they are alone together. Will Ivey convince Berg his wandering days are over and home is here with her in Comfort?

BUY LINKS

Amazon

Barnes&Noble

KOBO Books

Smashwords
Additional stories include:

The Longest Way Home by Lorrie Farrelly—Maddie, an orphan, is torn when her father shows up to reclaim her from her adoptive mother.

Winner Takes All by Meg Mims—Cora Peterson’s plan to beat her rival at a picnic auction brings about a surprising end and an unexpected love…

For the Love of Grace by Julia Daniels—Poppy travels west to find her sister—but her own happily-ever-after awaits, as well.

Brighter Tomorrows by Beverly Wells—Callie trusts no man. Chase Matlock is fearful to love again. He gets his man, she gets her adventure, and together they find it all.

Second Chance at Love by Agnes Alexander—A temporary living arrangement might lead to something else when love enters the mix.

Never Had a Chance by Angela Raines—How can a deadly trick bring two people the love they didn’t know they needed?

Leave a comment about your favorite Fourth of July food for a chance at winning an ebook.

Guest Post–New Gothic Mystery Series

A group of authors from various countries all over the world are writing stand-alone gothic mystery romance novellas set in their specific country. The stories are in the classic style of the old Victoria Holt and Phyllis A. Whitney novels—a young woman in a remote setting, cut off from family and technology, a spooky house, a reclusive hero, ghostly elements–but set in modern times. (Although, actually, there will be at least one historical gothic in the series).

While the stories are stand-alone, they each share a recurring thread of a Spinel stone, which can play a small or large part in the plot. The series has stories set in Scotland, Greece, United States, France, Ireland, and more. The releases so far have been Ghost in the Rain: A World of Gothic – Scotland House at the Edge: A World of Gothic – Greece, and mine (featured below) releases July 8th.

This project has been so much fun, and I hope it continues for a long time. I love reading the stories, they remind me of my youth when I devoured gothic mysteries. We hope readers will enjoy them too.

Devil's Promenade

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Amidst a blizzard, paranormal debunker Camille Burditt arrives at Devil’s Promenade in Oklahoma to research a supernatural ‘spook light’ for her latest book. There she encounters a ghostly being, which she dismisses as a figment of her imagination. But as the apparition becomes too persistent to deny, Camille realizes the woman’s ghost is quite real—and that her demise was not accidental.

Declan Rush—the inhospitable, reclusive owner of the inn—is linked to the deceased woman, but he is less than forthcoming. Despite his unfriendliness, Camille is oddly drawn to him, even though she suspects his connection to the spirit might be that of killer to victim.

Pre-order link on Amazon

EXCERPT

I was about to turn back when I heard the murmur of a voice—a male voice. An irrational prickle of fear swept through my stomach, but I dismissed it. There was nothing to fear out here. Why would there be? Well, maybe coyotes, but that had definitely been a human voice.

I stood still and cocked my ear, trying to figure out where the voice came from. It came again. I rounded the carriage house and ended up back where the trail had forked. I took the other path this time. I walked a few steps and realized I no longer heard the voice. Maybe I hadn’t heard anything at all.

A glimpse through the trees made me halt. A man. I moved closer and when I cleared the trees, I recognized Declan, although his back was to me. Three headstones were spaced six feet apart. Declan stood in front of the one on the right. It was a white marble teardrop-shaped stone with roses carved into the side and looked newer than the others.

His sister’s grave? I moved around until I was to his right but slightly behind so he wouldn’t see me. He wore a gray coat with the collar pulled up around his neck. His breath came out in wisps of smoke. He was bare-headed, snow dampening his dark blonde hair, making it look almost black. He was unaware of my presence. His focus was on the grave.

Sympathy pierced my heart, and I blinked back moisture. He looked so forlorn, so alone. I had to tighten my hands into fists inside my coat pockets to keep from reaching out to him. In spite of my good intentions, my efforts wouldn’t be welcome.

After several moments of silence, I began to wonder if I’d really heard his voice. Had he been speaking to his sister? He didn’t seem the type of man to give in to sentiments such as talking to a dead loved one. But what did I know?

I no sooner had the thought than he spoke again. “I’m sorry, Eleanor. I wish we’d gotten along better, but I did love you. I never wanted this to happen. I only wanted to protect you.”

Feeling like a spy and not wanting to continue intruding on his privacy, I stepped back. My foot landed on an icy tree branch lying on the ground, and the sound cracked like a firecracker in the still afternoon.

Declan whirled to look at me.

My heart leapt to my throat.

His expression tightened in anger. “Ms. Burditt? What in God’s name are you doing out here?”

“I—I was just…taking a walk.” I cast a guilty glance over my shoulder, then looked back at him.

He peered in the direction from which I’d come. “You were at the carriage house?” The words were barked like an accusation.

“Y-yes. I just…” I took a deep breath, suddenly feeling the cold even though the wind was still calm. “I just came upon it. I didn’t go in. the doors were locked.” I realized my error as soon as I said the words. Too late to take them back.

“You tried to get in?” He stalked over until he stood directly in front of me, looming like a dark angry cloud. “The carriage house is off limits. Stay away from it, do you understand me?”

I swallowed. “I wasn’t going to hurt anything, I was just curio—“

“I said stay away.” His voice was deadly, his eyes molten steel. “Do you understand?”

I couldn’t speak, so I only nodded. He held my gaze for a few more angry moments, then stormed away.

Author Picture - Alicia Dean

Alicia Dean is a suspense and paranormal author in Edmond, Oklahoma. She wrote her first romance at age 11, and she still has the tattered, pencil-written copy. Other than reading and writing, her passions are Elvis Presley, MLB, NFL, and watching her favorite televisions shows.

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Character Interview from Time Trap by Danele Rotharmel

How about you introduce yourself by providing the basics?

Hello, everyone! I’m Dr. Laura Nelson from Washington D.C. I’m a professor at National Science University and third-in-command of the Temporal Counseling Program.

What exactly is the Temporal Counseling Program?

TEMCO trains time-traveling cadets to intervene in the lives of troubled individuals before they embark on a career of crime. In essence, we find people in our prison systems who could have led peaceful lives instead of violent ones if they’d been counseled as children. We send counselors back through time to help criminals make different choices. Many times, the people we counsel end up becoming influential members of society.

That sounds very exciting. Is it dangerous?

Not usually. Occasionally, we do have a case that spirals out of control. Four years ago, we almost lost a cadet to a serial killer. But most of our cases go smoothly…

You look concerned. Is anything wrong?

Not really. It’s just that we lost contact with two of our cadets today. I’m sure it’s nothing serious. Most communication problems are due to malfunctioning equipment. Nevertheless, I can’t help feeling concerned… But I really shouldn’t be discussing ongoing cases. Do you have another question for me?

 Can you tell us where were you raised and how you became involved with TEMCO?

I was raised in the mountains of Alaska. My family lived miles away from the nearest large town. I wasn’t lonely, though. I had a pack of older brothers to keep me company. As I grew up, I excelled in academics. I went to college at age sixteen. While I was working on my doctorate, I met Peter Matthews and William Ableman. I began assisting them in their attempts to capture timewaves. Later, I helped them establish TEMCO operations on the NSU campus.

 You mentioned Director Peter Matthews. Is there truth to the rumor that you’re dating him?

Where on earth did you hear that? Peter and I are just friends. Good friends. I’ve known him since college. I’ll admit that he’s very handsome, but dating him would be like dating my brother.

 Would you ever consider dating him?

Peter is a wonderful man, but there’s never been a spark of romance between us. I wouldn’t be averse to exploring a relationship with him, but I doubt the opportunity will present itself. Regardless, I think we’re getting off subject. Do you have another question about TEMCO?

What do you like most about your profession?

I like the fact that we’re changing lives. TEMCO prevents tragedies from occurring. It turns criminals into productive members of society, and the crimes they would’ve committed never take place. Recently, Vice President Hamilton praised the TEMCO program in one of his speeches. He said that TEMCO had made our society better in a thousand ways.

Why are you smiling?

I was just thinking that TEMCO has made our society better in 4,896 ways—that’s how many cases we’ve handled since the establishment of the program. I don’t think people realize just how big of an impact we’ve had on society. TEMCO is a wonderful program!

 You mentioned earlier that cases occasionally become dangerous. How big of a commitment do you have to the program? Would you be willing to fight, or even die, for it?

No one likes walking into danger, but if the life of a cadet was in jeopardy, or if the program itself was facing a threat, I would willingly step up and fight. I know that with my manicured nails and coiffured hair that I don’t look like a fighter, but I am. I won’t let anything happen to my students or to TEMCO. If that means putting myself in danger or sacrificing my life, I’m willing to do it. But hopefully, that will never happen. As I said before, most cases never encounter a hint of danger.

 But if danger arises, you’re ready to face it?

Yes, I am.

Time Trap_June 22

 

BLURB

When problems arise during a field exam, Director Peter Matthews and Dr. Laura Nelson are sent through a time portal to investigate.  While they search for their missing cadets, they encounter an enemy who is calculating and brutal—a mysterious nemesis who is holding a grudge against the TEMCO program.  As Peter and Laura race to unravel clues directing them to their kidnapped cadets, their own survival comes into question.  A deadly trap has been set, and they are forced to pit their wits against a serial killer who is intent on playing a deadly chess game through time itself.

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EXCERPT

The soft sound came again. Standing to her feet, Laura tried to calm her breathing. The furtive sounds could only mean one thing—their captor was approaching.

“Whatever happens,” she said quietly, laying a hand on Peter’s shoulder, “don’t tug against your cuffs. You can’t afford to lose more blood.”

“Keep your head and take your time,” Peter said stiffly. “Be patient. Stay out of his reach until you see an opening. If he has a gun, you can use a roundhouse kick to disarm him, but you’ll have to be quick. If he gets you down and starts kicking you, curl into a ball and protect your head and stomach.”

Laura squeezed Peter’s shoulder. She could hear the tension in his voice, and she knew he was terrified for her. She also knew that his inability to protect her was ripping him apart.

Peter spoke quickly, “If he manages to get his hands on you, use the heel of your palm and thrust it up against his nose. Don’t be afraid to be vicious. Go for his eyes, throat, and groin.”

“Don’t worry,” she said in a focused, determined voice. “I’ll fight dirty.”

The door opened.

Moving to the center of the room, Laura took a solid stance.

Danele Rotharmel

Danele Rotharmel’s life took an unexpected turn when a mysterious illness brought her close to death. Eventually, she learned that a carbon monoxide leak from a faulty furnace was poisoning her. This poisoning triggered Multiple Chemical Sensitivity causing her to be put in quarantine. For seven years, she could only talk to friends and extended family through a windowpane. During this time, she wrote the first six books in The Time Counselor Chronicles.  Although her journey back to health was difficult, it provided her the opportunity to grow closer to God and write her books. For that, she’s forever thankful.

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Danele’s Blog: https://dragonflydanele.wordpress.com/

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About Danele’s Books: https://dragonflydanele.wordpress.com/my-books/

Free Book Promotion—Leap Into The Knight by M.J. Schiller

LEAP INTO THE KNIGHT June 17

BLURB

Sir Darius Lee is a Knight of the High Order.

But when Darius wakes to discover a beautiful female intruder in his room, he begins to question his vows and how he lives his life.

Princess Megan of Bethyea is being held captive.

But when two knights help her to escape and bring her back to her home planet, she finds the home she knew no longer exists.

 The Council of Twelve has questions about Maggie and Darius’ budding relationship.

Will Darius lose his Knighthood? And what about Orion’s feelings for Maggie? The questions abound for these romantic Knights.

EXCERPT

Orion’s feet hit the bottom of the stairwell and he crossed the short distance to the door. After yanking it open, he stepped out into what were undoubtedly the laundry facilities. He was met by the heavy and unpleasant odor of mingled mold, flowery detergent, and the acidic smell of dry-cleaning chemicals. His eyes quickly adjusted to the bright light spilling from naked bulbs hanging from the ceiling. The heat and humidity were so thick they could almost drink it like a soup. He surveyed the area in dismay. The girl could have gone anywhere in the vast room running the length of the building.

Darius entered seconds behind him, seeming to take it all in instantaneously. They scanned the floor for clues. Maybe she had stepped in one of the many puddles left by the condensation dripping from pipes and left footsteps to follow. But no such luck. Orion was about to give up when Darius called out, “There.” He pointed to some windows near the top of the wall.

One window was cracked open a few inches and he could see where fingers had wiped away steam in the places they grabbed the glass and left droplets of water racing each other down the pane. He wondered how anyone could fit through so small an opening while at the same time, he tried to re-visualize the layout of the building.

“This way,” he called over his shoulder as he dodged laundry carts.

He found the door they needed, and they soon soaked in the crisp night. Bright light illuminated the lawn around the compound, ending at the edge of a wood. He felt certain the girl was lost, but as he watched, his master closed his eyes and seemed to center himself, breathing deep in the cool outside air. He had never met someone who could access their Inner Spirit so easily. But what could it possibly tell Darius now? Surely his master could not have formed a connection to this woman in such a short time, and Orion knew a spiritual connection was needed to track someone without physical clues to go on. Yet as he watched, he knew somehow the Knight would find her.

Darius opened his eyes and said purposefully, “This way.” He stepped out with certainty toward the nearest copse of trees.

They soon hurried through the woods, following what seemed to Orion to be an invisible path, although here and there he thought he caught glimpses of trampled grass and broken twigs. At last his master slowed his pace, much to his relief, as he struggled, despite his own tall frame, to keep up with Darius’s long strides. Darius motioned silently, indicating the stranger was ahead. They moved forward, trying to make no sounds that might alert her to their presence.

Within seconds, they arrived on the edge of a clearing bordering a large body of water. At first glimpse it appeared to be a natural lake with a gentle waterfall tumbling into it from a small stream to their right. But upon closer inspection Orion realized it was a little man-made oasis. What he initially thought to be rock was actually some kind of synthetic material with spaces created at regular intervals for people to sit, half-submerged in the water.

The girl stood on the edge of what appeared to be a large, upward-sloping outcropping of rock, but now he saw it was actually a cleverly designed diving platform for the pool.

Darius held up his hand and made a circular motion, gesturing to the far side of the pool. Orion nodded and circled around quietly in the brush beneath the covering of trees to the far side of the “lake.” He understood his task was to wait there in the event the girl should attempt to flee across the lake when cornered on the rock.

***

Darius waited in the stillness for Orion to reach the far side of the pool. The light changed, making it easier to watch the girl, but also allowing her to see him on the fringe of the woods. He guessed she’d stopped to rest after escaping into the woods and she didn’t suspect they had followed her here. He watched from slightly below where she stood on the ledge. Her lone figure was silhouetted in the growing dawn, and he speculated on whether this could be the woman they were sent to find. He didn’t take his eyes off her, but not out of the usual devotion to the mission. He simply was compelled to do so.

He wondered what it was he found so striking, so intriguing about this particular woman. He often met beautiful women in the course of his travels throughout the universe, and while he could appreciate their attractiveness, their physical appearance meant very little to him. They were merely features to note on his mental checklist of their description, like anyone else’s features. But this stranger who had not spoken a word to him, he discovered himself riveted to for some reason.

Completely out of character. But the change quietly thrilled him.

Free copies are available to anyone who emails a request to the author at mjschillerauthor@gmail.com

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M.J. Schiller (2)

M.J. Schiller is a lunch lady/romance-romantic suspense writer and the mother of a twenty-one-year-old and three nineteen-year-olds. That’s right, triplets! She enjoys writing novels whose characters include rock stars, desert princes, teachers, futuristic Knights, construction workers, cops, and a wide variety of others. In her mind everybody has a romance.

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Character Interview from Dumpster Dicing by Julie B. Cosgrove

How about you introduce yourself by providing the basics? 

My name is Janie Manson and I am the widow of an Austin police detective. He often bounced his most puzzling cases off my brain to get a different perspective. Now I live in Sunset Acres retirement village where I power walk almost every morning with my best friends Ethel and Betsy Ann and host Bunco on Thursday evenings.

Family members?  

I have a son living with his family in New Jersey ad a daughter, Mel, who lives here in Alamoville with her husband. His name is Blake Johnson and he is the chief detective for their police department. I don’t mind telling you, he is overworked and I worry that it might damage their marriage.  Mel and Blake have two teenaged kids, Elli and Jaime. He never gets to their banc=d concerts or soccer games.

Did you attend college? 

I did, and that is where I met my late husband. He was moonlighting as campus security while going for his law enforcement degree. I majored in English with a minor in sociology. Don’t ask me why. Back then it was acceptable. All of us gals were really there to get our MRS. Women’s lib was not yet in full swing so most of us expected to be housewives.

Are you athletic?  

I try to stay fit, even though I am in my sixties. My ticker is fine and except for a slight blood pressure issues and being about fifteen pounds more than I’d like to be. I do power walk, as I said, which is how Betsy Ann and I discovered Edwin’s body diced up in the community’s dumpster. And after he’d only lived here three days. Quite odd, don’t you agree? But I won’t tell you why, because then you wouldn’t read Dumpster Dicing.

I also take yoga at the village and swim. I have never been a golf or tennis aficionado, even though they offer both here at Sunset Acres. Walking the golf course in the early morning is invigorating, however.

Did you ever think about a profession?  

(She leans closer to the microphone with a hushed voice.) Just between you and me I wanted to be a private investigator. Women in my day just didn’t do that sort of thing, you know. Or if they did, well they were very secretive about it.

Are you a pet person?

Oh my, yes. I have a cat, Ms. Fluffy. A spoiled rotten Persian, but she is a great companion. I am not that fond of dogs, but I tolerate them as long as they don’t bark obsessively or slobber. My late husband had a German Shepherd named Buddy. He was a police dog, of course, so when Jack died I gave him to his junior partner. Buddy stayed outdoors most of the time. He preferred his run and dog house to our house. Got antsy when he remained inside for too long, so we got along just fine.

Do you have any hobbies?

I do needlework, and of course I am an avid reader. Mostly suspense and mysteries, though I am nothing compared to Ethel with her bookshelves crammed with mystery novels. Did you know she cross-catalogs them by crime and motive? Oh, but I digress. I also love Bunco, which is why I host it in my home.

What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you?

Well my dear, if I told you, I’d be revealing part of  the plot of Baby Bunco, the next one in the Bunco Biddies mysteries. You will just have to wait until the winter of 2017 to discover that!  (She winks and sets down her tea cup.)

DumpsterDicing June 15

BLURB

As Janie and Betsy Ann go for their morning jog, the city sanitation vehicle follows its normal five-mile Tuesday morning route through their retirement community of Sunset Acres. The two Bunco-playing biddies spot a leg dangling out of the dumpster when the truck lifts the trash container high in the air. Someone diced up one of their newest residents—a grouchy loner named Edwin Newman. Did he unpack too much of his dicey past when he moved in last weekend?

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EXCERPT

The community’s trash receptacle dangled at a precarious angle.

The senior citizens sputtered in unison. “Stop. There’s a body.”

The garbage man shook his head in confusion.

Betsy Ann motioned to the back. “A body. Get it? Dead person.”

The man shut down the engine. “¿Muerto?”

“Yes. Uh, sí.” She bobbed her cropped, reddish-blonde hair.

The worker crawled down from his seat and walked to the back of the sanitation truck, which rumbled and spewed more putrid fumes. The dumpster titled down at a forty-five degree angle. Suspended in time clung numerous trash bags, pizza boxes, a broken lawn chair and…an arm?

It’s Edwin.

“Who?” Betsy Ann’s brow furrowed.

“Newman. Edwin Newman. He chewed out Mildred Fletcher because her Yorkie barked at him. Threw a coffee mug at the poor animal. Whack! Right on the nose. It left a raw, sore spot.”

“He did?”

Janie gave her a quick nod. “Mildred must apply a special salve on him three times a day. Says it cost her $22.95.”

“On Mr. Newman?”

Janie scoffed into her velour v-neck. “No, the Yorkie.”

Betsy Ann’s lips formed an “O.”

Janie pointed to the dumpster. “Mr. Newman’s in there all right.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.” Janie bent to Betsy Ann’s ear. “I see his head.”

Julie Cosgrove

Julie B Cosgrove is an award-winning novelist, freelance Christian devotional writer and public speaker.  When she is not writing novels, she enjoys reading those by other faith-based authors while curled on her sofa with her two purring cats and a cup of Earl Grey.  And yes, she plays Bunco.

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My sites: www.juliebcosgrove.com

Blog: Where Did You Find God Today?

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by author Linda Carroll-Bradd