Posted in #Giveaway, Author, blog, Book, Mystery, Silver Dagger Scriptorium Tours, suspense, Thriller, Writer

The Girl at the Bar by Nicholas Nash – Book Tour + #Giveaway

15/02/17

The Girl at the Bar
By Nicholas Nash
Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Mystery
Rebecca, a brilliant cancer researcher, disappears after a one-night stand
with a neurotic man with a questionable past.
Her sudden disappearance in the midst of a high-stakes quest to cure
cancer between two rival billionaires sets into motion an
inexplicable chain of events as the bodies start to pile up.
No one knows why she disappeared. The race to find answers ensnares
everyone around her, one of whom is a deeply disturbed psychopath
lurking in the shadows.
Is Rebecca still alive? What happened to her? Who did it? And why?
Questions about her vex everyone looking for answers. No one can be
trusted and no one is above suspicion…

Please join Quill & Ink Book Tours in supporting Nicholas Nash’s debut release,

The Girl at the Bar.

http://thndr.me/fs6hw4

Nicholas Nash is the exciting new author of The Girl At The Bar, a
psychological thriller about the mysterious disappearance of a
brilliant cancer researcher and the quest to find what happened to
her. Nicholas resides in the concrete jungle of Manhattan in New York
City with his wife and three children and enjoys every moment of it.
An accomplished finance professional, he has a passion for reading
fiction and non-fiction books which inspired him to write an
intriguing thriller. Nicholas hopes you enjoy his work.
Nicholas can be reached at:
Posted in #Book, #Giveaway, Author, blog, Book, Romance, Silver Dagger Scriptorium Tours, Story, suspense, Tour, Writer

Sunset Reads by D.C. Triana – Book Tour + #Giveaway

06/02/17

Sunset Reads: William & Cristina
A Sunset Reads Novel Book 1
by D.C. Triana
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Within the doors of Sunset Reads William Jameson has come home to take over
his mother’s New York publishing house after her death. He’s
ready to turn things around when an electrifying encounter with the
company’s sexy bestselling author makes him change his priorities
to more sensual plans. While his cruel stepfather has decided he
wants control of the company, William tries to remain focused as
images of soft brown eyes and sensual lips continue to keep him up at
night.
Cristina Cruz suddenly finds herself with part ownership of Sunset Reads. Not
only has the previous owner left her with part of the publishing
house, but also at the mercy of her son William, the company’s
handsome new CEO, who seems to be determined to drive her crazy. Not
only is he annoyingly attractive, but his alluring blue eyes continue
to send shivers down her spine. Working side by side with him becomes
all the more torturous as his enticing looks and their heated
encounters send her senses reeling.
sr-excerpt

Opening the door slowly she peeked her head in. “Mr. Jameson, Miss Cruz is here to see you.”

“Yes, yes, I was expecting her eventually.”

Cristina walked through the door, feeling confident in herself and her work. “Were you now?”

He stood up and his long lean body stretched out to enhance every muscle beneath his fitted, black suit. Her confidence suddenly managed to waver and she took in a deep breath and found a way to compose herself. She stood straighter and forced herself to act professional.

Stop ogling him Cristina, he is the enemy and you are a renowned author, get your shit together! She forced herself to look at the deep blue eyes that had been so rude to her moments before.

He stood in front of her, his hand outreached. “Sorry about before Miss Cruz. It truly is a pleasure to meet my favorite author.”

Cristina stood there, staring at this sexy god, not knowing whether to slap him or drape herself around him. She blinked twice, and grabbed his hand in a strong shake. Electricity poured through every cell of her body as his warm hand enveloped hers. She told herself to remember to breathe. “So, you are Mr. Jameson. I’m sorry, but all I know of you, is your last name.”

Cristina’s thoughts went back to her romance novels, when the heroine meets the man of her dreams and everything goes perfectly well, and she knows exactly what to say and how to react… Well, it’s not true. It usually goes down right sour, even though his hand feels warm and strong and he drips sexiness and charm.

He laughed at her comment, an almost unrealistic sound that would send tingles down the spine of any hot blooded woman. “Yes well, you wouldn’t know me. You are far too important to notice a man like myself unless you considered reading Forbes Magazine and Business Journal every once in awhile.”

Was that a quip? She smirked. “I suppose if those matters intrigued me, I would know you. Yet, if you were that important you would have not only been mentioned, but written one of those articles yourself.”

He laughed again. “You are everything Adele said you would be and more.” He let go of her hand, taking its warmth with him. “Please, have a seat.” He walked back to his desk and hit the intercom. “Miss Arias, if you would please be so kind to bring in two coffees, I take mine black. Miss Cruz?”

“No thank you Daisy, I’ll just be a minute,” she answered, averting his gaze by focusing on the intercom in front of her.

He sat down, unbuttoning his suit jacket and leaning forward giving her a glimpse of a strong, tanned neckline and well-developed muscles. She stared for a moment and then blinked trying to glance around the office instead of at him.

“What can I help you with today, Miss Cruz?” he asked, bringing her out of her stupor.

She cleared her throat and forced to herself to look straight at him. “Well, I’d like to know why suddenly I get limitations and deadlines placed upon me?”

He nodded. “I understand why you might be upset, Miss Cruz, but this can only benefit you.”

“And you…you do understand, Mr. Jameson, that if I am forced into a short deadline, I am being forced to produce half assed work.”

He nodded. “Honestly, Miss Cruz, I didn’t feel you could ever possibly produce less than wonderful work.”

“Flattery will not get you anywhere Mr. Jameson…”

“Will,” he replied suddenly.

She paused. “I’m sorry?”

“My name is William, I go by Will, I prefer my colleagues call me that.”

She stopped and stared at him for a moment, her mouth slightly ajar in confusion. She shook her head. “Yes…ok, Will…the reason I am here is because I need an extension.”

“And why is that, Miss Cruz?” The deep tone of his voice vibrating in what seemed like fake concern.

Seemingly flustered, she tried to explain… “My inspiration…I am having trouble…I can’t concentrate.”

“Are you telling me you have writer’s block, Miss Cruz?”

“Yes…no…yes, and stop calling me by my last name!” Suddenly feeling aggravated by him, she pressed a forefinger to her temple.

“Oh… and how would you like to be called?”

Shocked, Cristina stared at him; his eyes almost looked endearing, like a small child’s. “Crissy…” she whispered nonsensically.

“Crissy…” he whispered back and smiled. “I can work with that. Well then, Crissy, how long of an extension were you looking for?”

“I’m not sure, deadlines make me flustered and I don’t like them. I don’t work well under them, it’s one of the reasons I chose to work with this publishing company….”

“And are you aware, Miss…Crissy, that because of our lack of deadlines, this company may collapse.” His voice held a slightly serious undertone to it causing Cristina to squirm uncomfortably in her seat.

“I doubt very much….”

“I am not finished,” he said sternly.

She paused, and stared at him in astonishment as he stood and walked to the far side of the office, proceeding to actually pour himself a drink. A drink! In the middle of the day?! Cristina realized that no matter how handsome he was, Adele was right, he truly was a conniving bastard, a truly slimy businessman who was used to getting his way.

“Neither was I.” Her voice sounding stronger and louder than she meant it to be. Standing up, she walked over towards him.

If he wants to play hardball, then he needs to be prepared for what’s coming.

She stood straighter, coming to stand in front of him. “Now, are you going to give me a drink or will I have to serve it myself?”

William’s eyes widened and he looked at her…then down at the bottle. He slowly handed her the glass he held and proceeded to pour another. Cristina held her breath and took a sip, the dark liquid unexpectedly heating up her insides. She managed not to cough and set the glass down, reaching out for her purse. “As I was saying, Mr. Jameson, I don’t work well under pressure. I’m well aware of your status here, but I also know you are well aware of mine. So I suggest you buy me some time unless you want to lose your best author.”

She went to leave, but quickly turned back around, wanting to get one last glimpse of the handsome man. “And Mr. Jameson, I hope next time you’ll be able to offer me a better drink.”

He smiled at her, a real smile that lit his face up. She quickly stepped out and walked away before she lost her nerve. Cristina felt good as she closed the door behind her, like she had won a battle. There was absolutely no way a man, let alone that man, would place any restrictions on her work. She refused to abide by them and she would make sure he understood it if he wanted to keep her. Her confidence remained strong, that is…until she reached the elevator doors and was stopped by Daisy, his receptionist. Astonished, Cristina watched as the pretty, petite, brunette came running up to her.

 

Sunset Reads: Damian & Layla
A Sunset Reads Novel Book 2
One year.
It’s been one year since Agent Damian Trent left for Washington without a
word.
One year since he’s seen her beautiful face.
One year since he’s heard his name on her lips.
He’s been recently called back to New York City on assignment, to catch a
criminal who’s trying to infiltrate Sunset Reads. The last thing he
expects is to work side by side with the woman he turned his back on.
Having her close is an unwanted distraction that he’s more than willing to
ignore, if only she wasn’t so damn tempting.
Everything seems under control, until a night of feverish passion has him
abandoning all thoughts of reason. Now, he will do everything in his
power to get her back, and even more so to protect her.
Layla Reece wants nothing to do with the man who left her a year ago.
The man who took her heart with him, leaving her broken.
After a year of trying to forget Damian Trent, she is finally ready to move
on.
But trying to forget him becomes a tedious task when he suddenly
reappears in her life.
Although she fights to stay away, his magnetism is too strong and she finds
herself giving into the deep timbre of his voice, and the strength
and safety of his arms.
Staying away from Damian turns out to be futile, especially when his kisses
consume her and his heart shatters the walls she spent so much time
building.
Finding herself in danger, she now has to turn to the only man she trusts to
keep her safe, but can she trust him enough to give him her heart
once again?
sr-excerpt

As she hurried to the back of the tent, a hand reached out for her and pulled her into the bushes. Before she could let out a scream, her mouth was covered and a deep voice whispered in her ear. “Don’t scream. It’s me.”

She immediately recognized Damian’s voice and more so the feel of his body pressed against her back. He slowly turned her to face him, all the while making sure to keep her in his embrace.

Layla looked up at him with wide eyes, “What are you doing here?” she breathed. “You scared the crap out of me!” She smacked him in the arm with her purse.

“What are you doing here?” he returned.

“I work here.”

“What?”

“I’m Sunset Reads’ new PR Director.”

His brow furrowed at her news, and then his eyes traveled lower, down her throat, over her collarbone, to the low-cut of the dress and the tempting view of her full breasts. He swallowed hard and it took everything in him not to take her deeper into the park and have his way with her.

“What the hell are you wearing?” His voice came out deep and husky.

She looked down at herself, and realized that Damian had a lovely view straight down her dress. She quickly squirmed out of his grasp and took a step back. “It’s called a dress, and stop looking at me like that!”

“Hey, it’s not my fault you look sexy as hell in that thing. It’s barely covering anything!”

Layla was grateful for the lack of light; that way Damian couldn’t see the bright blush on her cheeks. His eyes were all over her, but she secretly enjoyed the appreciation in them. It brought hot tingling sensations across her lower abdomen, and erased any semblance of Gus Schwartz’s dark leering glare.

She shook her head, trying to clear her lust-hazed thoughts and said slowly, “I asked you what you were doing here.”

He pressed a finger to her lips as a couple passed by and she stared at him with dark eyes. After a moment, he looked down at her. Seemingly distracted, he grazed her plump bottom lip with his thumb.

“I’m undercover,” he whispered.

A slight thrill ran up her spine and she looked around them into the dark night. “Are we in danger?”

“If Schwartz keeps staring at you like that he will be.”

“What do you care if he stares at me?”

“I care. I care a lot,” he said calmly but tightened his grip on her arms.

“You didn’t care for a whole year, Damian. What does it matter now?”

“Stay away from him, Layla, he’s not a good man.” He looked down at her once again, his eyes intense and his jaw held tight. After a long moment, he stepped around her preparing to leave.

“Wait!” she whispered, grabbing his arm.

He looked back at her, an eyebrow lifted, waiting.

She quickly released his arm. “Does William know about this?”

He shook his head. “No, and I prefer to keep it that way for now.”

“What? You have to tell him. He’s about to do business with him!”

She now had his full attention. “Are you sure?”

She nodded. “They were just talking about it. William wants Skyline to manage the technological advances at Sunset Reads. We’ve set up a meeting.”

“We’ve?” he asked

“I’m the Director, Damian. Who else is going to be his contact if not me?”

Damian frowned. “I’ll talk with William, but you… I need you to remain as far away from Schwartz as possible.”

She looked behind her towards the party. “I had a feeling he couldn’t be trusted. Tell me,” she turned back to Damian, “what did he do?”

Damian shook his head, looking off into the distance as if in thought. “Nothing that can be proven yet, but I have a feeling he’s connected to someone big. Someone who can hurt William and Cristina.”

“Damian?”

He looked at her. “Just do your job and forget I was here.” He quickly went back to the party, leaving Layla alone.

“If you only knew how hard that is,” she whispered in the empty space.

D.C. Triana was born in 1982, in New York City, to Colombian Immigrant
parents. Being bullied in school made her find a healthy outlet in
writing at the age of fourteen. She now resides in Florida with her
family and shit-szu, Obi Wan, and works in Human Resources helping
others.
Being a hopeless romantic, she is a fan of Pride & Prejudice and spends
her free time reading new romance novels and supporting new authors.
She won’t miss an episode of the Walking Dead and being a huge fan of
Vampires has inspired her to dabble into the supernatural world for
her next series. It was always her dream to become an author, and
recently that dream has come true and continues to flourish. D.C.’s
debut romance novel, Sunset Reads: William & Cristina is now
available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited. It currently has a 4.5 star
review rating on Amazon & a 4.3 star rating on Good Reads. She is
currently working on her Sunset Reads four part series.
Sign up for her newsletter to receive more info on upcoming releases and
giveaways!
Posted in Action, Adventure, Author, Bewitching Book Tours, blog, Book, Interracial, Multicultural, suspense, Tour, Writer

The Guardian by Amber Malloy – Book Tour

02/02/17

the-guardian-banner-851-x-315

The Guardian
Las Vegas Tales
Book 1
Amber Malloy

ASIN: B01MS3SHGN

Genre: Action Adventure, Suspense, Guilty Pleasures, Interracial, Multicultural

book-cover

Book Description:

Jack Stone has inherited his family’s casino. The only problem? The mob wants it more than he does. If he doesn’t play his cards right, he’ll end up dead.

When his high school sweetheart drops back into his life, Jack’s got an even tougher decision — should he trust the beauty with his life and heart — again? This time he’s hoping the odds are in his favour.

Amazon     Changeling Press     

 BN       Kobo       iBooks

Excerpt: Copyright ©2017 Amber Malloy

This e-book file contains sexually explicit scenes and adult language which some may find offensive and which is not appropriate for a young audience. Changeling Press E-Books are for sale to adults, only, as defined by the laws of the country in which you made your purchase. Please store your files wisely, where they cannot be accessed by under-aged readers.

The last remains of the Vegas nightlife surrounded his bar, where the showgirls from the Bellagio ignored last call. Jack Stone cleaned off the glasses with a smile. He had no choice; this town was a world of its own. Only in Las Vegas would a baby shower at the witching hour be acceptable. The star act of the Night Review was not blessing a new life with just any old nightclub but one where old Hollywood had once clamored to get in.
“To Mindy, for getting out of the dance race before she got tossed out on her pregnant ass!” The pack of Amazons cheered at their captain’s toast.

“Last ones, lovelies,” Jack called out. “It’s time to go.”

“Aw, come on, Jack, one more?” they whined practically in unison.

“Sorry, girls, the big boss would have my head if he knew I kept us open this late.”

“We could only make it over after the show.” The tallest of the tribe reached across the dark bar to touch his shoulder. “I’m sure you can pull a few strings.”

Jack kept his smile firmly in place, without allowing them to know he was immune to their charm. “Last one,” he repeated with a wink to soften the blow.

“Okay, you win.” Still sparkly from her performance earlier, the replacement showgirl took her Peppermint Schnapps down like a pro. “What do you say to dinner tomorrow night after last curtain?”

Since his return to Vegas three years ago, this was the same song and dance he went through nightly. He was hip deep in friends with benefit offers. At first he indulged in the available pool of beauties, a distraction from his true mission. It would have been easy to keep going, but the sexy woman who had just stepped into Pauline’s consumed his mind and heart.

Lena Mercier walked upstream of the thin dancers. Toned with curves in all the right places, she was an artistic statue painted in the vibrant hue of milk chocolate.

“Thanks for the drinks!” The showgirls headed out of the bar doors in a peal of giggles.

“You’ve got something of mine, Jack,” Lena said in a subtle tone that stopped the mindless chatter in his head. The Lululemon leggings cupped her perfect ass. It was her usual travel uniform. She must have just gotten off a plane. A fancy tank top and light leather jacket topped off her outfit. Her sleek black hair fell in a swoop in front of her right eye — a sophisticated cut that showcased her elegant neck. Jack noted how perfect she looked. Except for the fact she had left town two weeks ago, and he had no idea where she had gone. It still aggravated him.

He wiped down the deep wood and concentrated on the high polish, instead of the sexy woman in front of him. “Just put your lips together and blow.”

She gave him a cheeky smile before she put her fingers to her mouth and ripped a high-C whistle. In a matter of moments, the heavy panting of excitement filled the damn near empty bar. A squat, furry toad ran at full tilt in her direction. Lena’s Frenchie, Harry, hopped on the chair, then the table before he took full flight through the air. Lena caught the little fucker in the crook of her arm.

Since he never tired of that circus trick, Jack chuckled. “Nightcap?” Happy to see his neighbor had made it back home, he tried not to compete for her attention with the dog.

“Sorry, Jack, I’m beat.”

“You want to talk about it? After all, bartenders are great listeners.” He nudged to get her to open up about her work. Once high school sweethearts, they’d spent more than a decade apart, and then one day she was back. Since he didn’t believe in coincidence, he had his suspicions why Lena had suddenly showed up in his life.

“If only that were true.” Lena smiled before she headed toward the door.

“We’re not good listeners?” He wished she would stay and keep him company.

“No,” she turned around, stopping short of disappearing into the cool night, “the part where you’re just the bartender.”

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About the Author:

Amber Malloy dreamed of being a double agent but couldn’t pass the psyche evaluation. Crushed by despair that she couldn’t legally shoot things, Amber pursued her second career choice as pastry chef. When she’s not writing or whipping up a mean Snickers Cheesecake, she occasionally spies on her sommelier. Amber is convinced he’s faking his French accent.

Amber loves to talk to her readers and can be found at www.ambermalloy.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/authambermalloy 

Website: http://ambermalloy.blogspot.com/

 bewitching

 

Posted in Author, blog, Book, Silver Dagger Scriptorium Tours, suspense, Thriller, Tour, Writer

A Shadow Life by Leta McCurry – Book Tour + #Giveaway

23/01/17

A Shadow Life
By Leta McCurry
Genre: Thriller, Suspense
Run, Laney, run. That’s what Mama said she should do if something really
bad happened. What just happened is worse than Mama could have
imagined. Now Laney, terrified, covered in blood, and alone, is on
the run from the law.
Laney finds a way to hide in plain sight and builds a safe and near-perfect
new life. Safe and near- perfect, that is, until three people from
the past show up looking for revenge, redemption and love.

Laura Oakley

The Lost Chapter from A Shadow Life

By Leta McCurry

I’ll never forget the first time I saw Laura Oakley.

I was shot up and on fire with fever and pain, lying on a narrow bed in the war casualties ward of the Minnie Tapp Memorial Hospital in Dallas not long after the Armistice of 1918. The only thing I had on my mind was how to get somebody to put me out of my misery for good when I felt a cool hand slide under my head and raise me up. A cup of water touched my lips and a voice said, “Welcome home, soldier.”

I looked into a pair of brown eyes the exact color of Mama’s secret recipe chocolate cake. The kindness I saw there flooded my eyes with tears that dribbled down into stubble on my cheeks. Now, you might think a six-foot-four pig farmer from the Texas hill country would be too shamed to cry, but you would be mistaken. I tell you, after wading through body parts of men and mules in the Argonne Forest, with the blood of your dead friends thick on your face and filling your eyes so you can’t tell a Kraut from a tree, well, a few tears… they don’t amount to nothing.

When Laura leaned over me and brushed the hair back off my forehead with her fine pale hand, all of a sudden it seemed like life might be worth living after all.

Where are you from?” Her voice flowed over me, warm and sweet, like the honey that always covered my hands when I robbed the hive up in the old cottonwood at the farm.

Kendalia, down in the hill country.”

I love it down there, especially when the bluebonnets are in bloom.”

Yes, ma’am.” It was all I could think of to say. Laura smiled and moved on to the next soldier.

The man in the bed on my left didn’t know who he was or where he was but the man on my right told me Laura was a volunteer who visited the military ward every weekday. From then on, Laura was the reason I bothered to open my eyes every morning.

She was tall, taller than a lot of men, but you could tell she was strong even though her frame was slim. Her skin looked smooth and soft, the ivory color reminding me of the bit of Irish lace Mama had brought from Ireland and kept safe in her top dresser drawer.

All the men were in love with her, not because of how she looked but because of who she was. She had a gentle way about her that made you feel like you were special, and no matter how sick you were, you just knew you were going to be okay because Laura said so.

Laura stopped by my bed and talked for a few minutes every day, just like she did with the other men but I didn’t want to be lumped in with the other men. I wanted to be extra-special but I could tell Laura was a genteel, educated girl by how she talked and how she acted. She was so far above me, it was like she was the sun and I was a little petunia in Mama’s flower bed; I could feel the warmth of her shining but I’d never be able to touch her.

So I just watched as she moved among the hospital beds in the ward, stopping for a few words with everyone, squeezing the hand of a kid too young to be coming back from a war, writing a letter for a man who lost his arms, and always smiling. I held those few minutes she spent with me every day close to my heart and I still think it was Laura that speeded my recovery. Even though I understood all my yearning would come to naught, I lived in dread of the day I would be discharged and never see Laura Oakley again.

Then one day a miracle happened, though it didn’t feel like a miracle at first. Laura said “Hi” as she walked right past my bed without stopping to talk like usual. I didn’t know what to make of that and fretted and stewed all day. Then, a little before supper, she came back, pulled up a chair and sat by my bed. “So, Mr. Pig Farmer Milo French, what do you do down there in the hill country besides raise pigs? Do you have a wife and a passel of youngsters to keep you busy?”

Well, I tell you, I was so billy-whacked by this turn of events, it took me a few minutes to come to myself and say, “No, ma’am, just pigs, ma’am.” I felt like I was chewing my words way too much before spitting them out.

Laura laughed and took my hand between hers. “Call me Laura, Milo. Ma’am makes me feel like an old lady.”

Yes, ma’am…Laura.”

So, it’s just you and the pigs down there all by your lonesome?”

No. Mama and Papa are still there. But Papa is getting old. I’ll be taking over one day.” It made me proud, telling her that because it was not a small thing. My family had been pig-farming that land as long as anybody could remember and even longer.

You’ll have to tell me all about it.” Laura stood so the orderly could deliver my supper tray. “We’ll talk some more tomorrow.” She waved and walked away.

I lay awake most of the night trying to figure out what just happened. Maybe it was nothing. Just Laura being her usual kind self, but I really didn’t want to believe that.

I held my breath all the next day, waiting to see if she would single me out for special attention again. Sure enough, at the end of her shift, she rolled a wheel chair up to my bed and said, “You’re so much better, soldier, I have permission to take you down to the lounge. The orderly will bring your tray down there so you can have supper by the fire. That suit you okay?”

Yes, ma’am!”

Yes, Laura.”

Yes, Laura.”

My chest puffed way out when I saw the other men watching Laura wheel me out. If my leg wasn’t still so gimpy, I would have gotten up and danced. Laura wheeled me to a table in front of the fireplace in the lounge and sat across from me.

So, Milo, do you have brothers and sisters?”

No. I had an older brother who died as an infant and a younger sister who died of scarlet fever when she was nine.”

Oh, I’m sorry.”

I never knew my brother and I have trouble remembering my sister. I know I should but it gets harder all the time to even remember what she looked like.”

I never had brothers or sisters so I can’t imagine what something like that would be like. It must be hard.” She waited for the orderly to put my supper tray on the table then continued. “So you’ve lived all your life in … where is it?”

Kendalia.”

You went to school there?”

Yes. I went through the eighth grade at primary school just down the road from the house, but I had to take a bus to high school.” I laughed when I remembered what a dust-up me going to high school had been.

What’s so funny about riding a bus to school?”

Oh, it’s not that. It’s just that my Mama’s a sight to behold when she gets her dander up.” I buttered a biscuit and took a bite. “You see, boys in that part of the country don’t usually go to high school. Most drop out even before eighth grade to help on the farms. Papa thought it was stretching things for me to finish primary school, so when Mama decided I should go through high school, Papa thought it was time to put his foot down.”

What happened?”

Papa didn’t count on Mama pitching a hissy fit that could have set a pack of hound dogs to howling all the way over in Louisana.” I couldn’t help it; I laughed until tears rolled down my face, telling how Mama was so determined I finish high school. “So I ended up being just about the only boy in that part of the country with a high school diploma. I can’t tell that it makes any difference at all to the pigs but I’m glad to have it.”

Then I went quiet for a minute or two as I stirred the green beans around on my plate and thought how silly this probably all sounded to Laura. It was likely she had even gone to college. She seemed to know what I was thinking because she put her hand on mine and said, “Milo, don’t confuse intelligence with education. I can tell you have more natural intelligence than some men I know who have four years of college.”

I didn’t know what to say to that. Nobody had ever said such a thing to me before. I just know that hearing her say it made me feel so good, like sinking down into the warmth of a feather bed on a cold night.

It wasn’t but a few days before I was out of the wheel chair and using crutches and we went down to the lounge every afternoon. Every night she would sweet talk the cafeteria into a tray for both of us so we could have supper together, then we’d sit by the fire having coffee and talking about anything and everything.

I couldn’t get enough of her. This was a real genteel girl, but she never made me feel she was better than me. Me, a pig farmer. We took to holding hands while we talked and she started staying later and later. Then she started coming in for a few hours on Saturdays just to see me. One Saturday afternoon she asked me, right out of the blue, “Have you ever been in love, Milo?’

No,” I said. “Not yet.” I didn’t tell her how I made a fool of myself over Prissy Calloway when I was thirteen and she was a grade ahead of me in school. I was so mortified when she chose to share her lunch bucket with Joe Bob Dorell instead of me, I figured that love business wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. I expected I’d grow old by myself then drop dead someday, probably in the pig pen. That had all seemed like a fine idea until I met Laura so I had to ask, “Have you?”

Yes. Well, I think so. I was eighteen and he was twenty. Ryman’s father was a school teacher and Ryman was working to put himself through college. He was hired by our gardener and we got acquainted quite by accident. Then we started finding ways to spend time together. My father exploded when I told him I wanted to marry Ryman.” Laura stopped for a minute and looked at her hands in her lap. “I explained that Ryman was poor but he was working his way through college and wanted to be a lawyer. Father would have none of it. He said Ryman was most likely studying to be a gigolo.

We had a terrible row. I thought Mother would side with me but she didn’t. It wasn’t but a few days before Father called me into his study and showed me a cancelled bank draft for five thousand dollars with Ryman’s signature on the back. I never saw Ryman again.” Laura looked up at me and I could see tears shimmering in her eyes. She dashed them away with her fingers.

I have never forgiven Father or Mother for that matter. But, I will say, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve thought a lot about it. I don’t know if I loved Ryman or if it was the excitement of sneaking about and finding ways to spend time with him. Or it might have been just the excitement of defying Father. He has always ruled Mother and me with an iron fist. But, whether I loved Ryman or not, he broke my heart when he didn’t stand up to Father.”

I found myself quite pleased, not that she had her heart broke, but that she hadn’t married Ryman.

One night, it must have been after eight o’clock, this man in a funny uniform came into the lounge. It wasn’t a military uniform and he was a pretty old man. He stood by the door and said, ‘Miss Laura, excuse me, but we really should go.”

Laura sighed real big and said, “You’re right, Upton. Thank you.” Then she leaned over, kissed me on the cheek, winked and was gone.

I lay awake just about all night puzzling about who that man might be. I knew it wasn’t her daddy. And I was right. It wasn’t but a couple of days before I got to meet that gentleman and I can say I could have lived my whole life without the pleasure.

It was a Sunday. Laura generally didn’t come in to the hospital on Sunday and I was surprised to see her. She came in the morning and we walked down to the lounge. We got to spend the whole day together. After dinner from the cafeteria as usual, we sat by the fire holding hands, laughing and talking, and it got later and later. It must have been going on ten when that same man in the uniform came rushing in real nervous like.

He said, “Miss Laura, your…”

Before he could finish this really big man in a fancy suit with a fancy hat on his head pushed right in.

Laura!” The man didn’t shout but his voice cracked just like a rifle shot. It felt like the room shook and everybody in there looked up.

Laura stood up real quick like and said, calm as you please, “Father.”

He walked right up to us and said, “What do you think you’re doing?”

He grabbed her arm and I could tell he hurt her but she only said, “Why, I’m visiting with Mr. Milo French.”

Her father didn’t even look at me. He said, “I only agreed you could volunteer in this hellhole to keep the peace and because you said it would only be a few hours a couple of days a week. Now it seems you’re down here every day and until all hours.”

These men are coming back from war, Father, and my conscience dictates that I give whatever comfort and aid I can.”

He came right back at her and said, “I knew it was a mistake to let this get started. It ends tonight. It’s not proper that a girl like you is here at all hours consorting with riffraff.”

I tell you, Laura drew herself up and lifted her chin ‘til I thought her head must be touching the ceiling and she said in a cold voice, “I’ll have you know that Mr. French is not riffraff, Father. He happens to be a very fine pig farmer from an old Texas family in Kendalia.”

In that instant, I fell so in love with Laura Oakley, I didn’t know my name or where I was. I just knew I wanted to live out my life with this beautiful woman. Her father swelled up like a toad ‘til his face turned red and I thought he would have apoplexy right then and there.

He tightened his hold on Laura’s arm and said, ‘You will come with me this instant, Laura, and you will not come to this place again.”

I stood up. “Now, wait a minute…”

Laura shook her head at me and jerked her arm out of his grip. ‘I will come with you, Father, not because you order it, but to avoid a petty scene. I remind you that I am twenty-one now and not a scared eighteen year old. I shall return here if I wish.”

The old man snorted and mimicked her. “If you wish. Well, I’ve had about enough of your shenanigans and sass. You straighten up and behave or we’ll see how you fare if I cut you off without a dime. You understand me?”

I understand you, Father.” She leaned down and kissed me right on the lips.

The old man really grabbed her then and drug her, stumbling, toward the door, and her looking back over her shoulder at me. The sight of her walking out of that room felt just like when that sharpshooter’s bullet tore into me in France. My whole self just exploded into a million pieces and I knew I could never be put back together whole again. I knew it beyond doubt because, in that instant, I knew as sure as I knew my name that I could never have a life with that girl. Not because I didn’t love her, but because I did.

I didn’t have to go look at where she lived to know what it would be like. It would be a mansion. I had never seen her in anything but a nurse’s uniform but I understood that one of her regular dresses would cost more than I would earn as a pig farmer in a year. But it was a lot more than Laura being used to fancy houses, fancy clothes and fancy cars. She was used to going to fancy places with fancy people. The men she knew wore suits instead of coming in the back door every night stomping pig shit off their boots.

Laura could say intelligence and education weren’t the same as much as she wanted but she was used to talking with people who knew things. Sooner or later she would miss talking with educated people and she would start thinking I’m ignorant, which I am, of a lot of things.

So there was a lot of puzzlement going on in my head as that girl walked out the door. First, I had to think that maybe I was misreading her. Maybe she wasn’t having the same feelings as me. Maybe she was just being kind. Everybody could see that was just the kind of person she was.

The second thing I had to think on was maybe she was using me to get back at her father for running off the boy she wanted to marry when she was eighteen. Maybe she had really loved him and wanted to pay her father back by marrying somebody even worse than a school teacher’s son or she might just play me along until her father was really good and mad. But somehow, I just couldn’t swallow that pill, no matter how I tried to tell myself it could be. It just didn’t fit the Laura I loved.

The third thing was really the worst of all. Maybe she did love me enough to walk away from everything and marry a pig farmer. I know I loved her enough to do anything to be with her but what could I do? I only knew pig farming. It was who I was. Just like she was who she was, a smart, rich, beautiful girl who could have anybody she wanted.

I knew if she got carried away with loving me enough to marry me, the day would come when she would hate me. She would hate everything she thought she loved. Hate herself for loving me and hate me for letting her get herself into such a sorry life.

So, even if she did truly love me and was willing to marry me, I had to be the sensible one. I had to love her enough to let her go so that is what I did.

It had nothing to do with money, or her father cutting her off. I didn’t even know she was rich when I first started to fall in love with her. Besides that, I don’t want no man’s money but what I earn my own self.

So I put on my regular clothes and just walked out of the hospital late that night. I didn’t tell nobody I was leaving or where I was going. But I couldn’t bear being so far away from her, not just yet, so I went to one of my mama’s cousins just on the outskirts of Dallas. I stayed there a week or so until I thought I was strong enough to really walk away from her.

When I got home, back to Kendalia, there were two letters waiting from me. There was no return address on them but I knew they were from Laura. I lifted the lid on the cook stove in Mama’s kitchen and dropped them in. I knew I would be in more trouble than I could handle if I read them. But, the one thing I didn’t reckon on was how fierce Laura Oakley really did love me.

I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a Thursday, the day after Christmas in 1918. Mama had rung the dinner bell and me and Papa had come in from the barn for the noon meal. I was about to set down at the table when we heard a motor then a car door slam out in the yard.

Now, who in the world could that be?” Mama said.

I’ll go see.” I opened the door and Laura was standing there.

I thought I loved her and wanted her so much every minute of every day that I had just conjured her up. But it was Laura all right. She put her arms around my neck and kissed me. Mama and Papa walked up behind me to see who it was and Laura said, “You all come with me.”

And we did. We rode in that fancy car driven by the man in the funny uniform over to Boerne, the county seat. We were married by a justice of the peace that afternoon.

If I had known what Laura’s love for me would cost her, I would have made her go back to Dallas that December day she showed up at my door.

That’s what I tell myself, but I don’t know if I could have really turned away from her a second time, even now, knowing what killed her. It wasn’t the snake coiled behind a jar of peaches on a shelf in the cool, dark cellar that hot summer day that killed her. It was her love for me, a love so strong it held her on that god-forsaken pig farm. That is what haunts me.

Tale-spinner. Revealer of secrets. A dog’s best friend. Cornbread and fried okra
country girl.
Lives in Southern Oregon and enjoys writing, reading, the open road on a
Stallion motorcycle (trike–as a passenger), good food, travel,
genealogy, and a large, fun-loving family. Favorite destinations:
Ireland and Singapore. Author of “High Cotton Country” and “A
Shadow Life” and presently writing her third novel, “Dancing to
the Silence.”
Leta says she loves the fascination of new characters and the fun of
getting acquainted with them and seeing what they will do as the
story develops.
Come on over to www.letamccurry.com to read a free chapter. Sometimes free books, too.
Posted in #Giveaway, Author, blog, Book, Romance, Silver Dagger Scriptorium Tours, suspense, Writer

Invisible by L.A. Remenicky – Book Tour + #Giveaway

20/01/17

Invisible
By LA Remenicky
Genre: Romantic Suspense
They found each other. Then the killer found them. Detective Jackson “Jax”
McKenna walks into a psychologist’s office and finds that the
doctor bears a striking resemblance to his first love, Lainie, who
disappeared ten years ago after their disastrous first date ended in
violence. Dr. Elizabeth Parker is really Elaine Wilson, Jax’s
Lainie. She’s been in hiding since the night that changed both
their lives. Jax discovers the truth when the killer lets Lainie know
he’s found her. When Jax and Lainie go on the run to keep Lainie
safe, old feelings resurface as the killer threatens their lives. Can
Jax save Lainie and help her stay Invisible?
L.A. Remenicky ~ Love Stories With A Twist
L.A. Remenicky is a wife and mother of two fur kids. A payroll
professional by day, she writes out the stories in her head by night.
An avid reader all her life, she finally put pen to paper (or fingers to
keyboard) during NaNoWriMo in 2012 and has never looked back. When
she’s not typing away on her latest story with music playing in the
background, she can usually be found spending time with her family
and friends.
Posted in #Giveaway, Author, blog, Book, Mystery, suspense, Thriller, Tour, Writer

Neil Brand Thriller Series by Ray Dyson – Book Tour + #Giveaway

19/01/17

The Ice Cream Blonde
A Neil Brand Thriller Volume 1
by Ray Dyson
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense, Crime
Neil Brand is a former World War I soldier and disgraced ex-cop, now
running security for Harry York at York Brothers Studio in 1931
Hollywood. York has a problem with bad boy actor Johnny Cutter, who
failed to show up on the set to finish his latest picture, and Brand
is sent to find the star. In doing so, Brand uncovers a trail of
white slavery, drugs, and murder, involving famous actors and wealthy
businessmen—and a dirty cop who was once Brand’s partner on the
force. As the body count mounts, Brand tries desperately to discover
the truth—before he becomes one of the victims.
nb-excerpt

Jones noticed and grinned wider. “Where’d you put the body, Bo?”

“Be a little clearer.”

“You know what I mean. I left that bruno as a warning to Johnny Cutter. Thanks to you, Cutter didn’t get the message. Now it’s too late to warn him.”

“Didn’t think a cake-eater like Johnny Cutter would scare you that much. You’re slipping, Jonesy.”

Jones stood away from the door, balancing himself on the balls of both feet. He dropped the cigarette on the floor and ground it with his heel, his eyes not leaving mine. His right

hand dipped into his coat pocket.

“That body shows up, Bo, I’m gonna tag it to you. Should’ve thought of that in the first place. But I didn’t come here to your cage to talk about a dead torpedo who only thought he was tough. I come to see a walkin’ corpse that knows he ain’t tough. Little Bo Peep. I just wanted to see your pan to tell you that what you got the other night is comin’ back to you, Bo, and you ain’t walkin’ away again.”

“You could have phoned that in and not brought your stink.”

His right hand came out of his coat pocket holding a snub-nosed .38 Special. He squeezed off a shot that shattered the glass in the window behind me, the slug tearing into the Stage One wall. He grinned at me, slipped the gat back into his pocket, and pointed his right index finger at me.

“Tick…tick…tick.”

The Naked Nymph in the Dark Flickers
A Neil Brand Thriller Volume 2
Rachel Ann Maddon is about to become America’s next great movie star.
Adored by the camera, loved by her public, beautiful Rachel Ann has
it all, including a dark secret from her past that threatens to blow
up her promising future when her mentor and lover—a man old enough
to be her father—turns up dead. Did he fall or was he pushed? Or
did the bullet in him do the job? Either way, a homicide
investigation will be deadly publicity for Rachel Ann and her family.
Rachel Ann’s movie studio switches into high gear to protect her
teetering career, but then Neil Brand, the studio’s security chief,
uncovers a blackmail scheme over illicit sex films that threatens
other major motion picture stars. As the heat builds, the rich and
powerful scramble to get out from under. That’s when the bodies
begin to pile up.
nb-excerpt

Harless saw me and stepped to the doorway. He pointed at the black sheet. “I think that’s somebody you know. David Lemmert.”

“VanderSaant’s kid?”

“The same. I believe you’ve met.”

I shrugged. “Briefly.”

“Keep your hands in your pockets and come on in.”

Another figure wrapped in a black sheet slumped on the bed, head over the edge, arm dangling. It was a woman’s arm.

“Charlotte Lemmert?”

Harless nodded. “No gunshot wounds on either body. No marks of any sort that indicate something of a violent nature. Cabin undisturbed.”

“No one to hear. No one to see.”

“That’s right,” he said. “Looks like David Lemmert managed to get the cabin door open before he dropped dead. We found a snub-nosed Smith and Wesson .38 Special with a full chamber on the floor beside him.”

I frowned. “One cabin?”

“Adjoining cabins. Figures out to around two grand for the trip.”

“That’s a lot of kale. I had the hunch these two were on their uppers.”

“Any idea how they bought it?”

“We’ll know more when the coroner gets them.”

“Hunch?”

“Same one you got. It ain’t hard to figure.” He eyed me stonily, went on. “What we don’t have are any witnesses. We can pin it down pretty solid. Looks like they bought it late last night. Ship was to sail this morning and it was a pretty busy place last night. You could probably have slipped a marimba band on board without it being seen.”

“You’ve got people to see, Frank. Why bring me down here?”

“Might be the people we want to see belong to your pal Harry York in one way or another. Thought I’d give you a heads up.”

“I’ll tell you this, Frank. Harry no longer cares about any of them. There’ll be no interference. No stall. No more payoffs.”

He nodded. “I figured that since we got access to Metcalf and to the Maddon doll without strings it was shaking out that way.”

“I figure I’ll be seeing some of those people in the course of business.”

“Go ahead, Neil. At least one of them already knows we’re on our way.”

Ray Dyson first took up writing in Evansville, Indiana, far enough back
that not only is the house he was born in no longer there, neither is
the street. He had a short career as a baseball player, but a long
career as a newspaperman whose gigs included crime reporter, sports
reporter and sports editor. He is also a noted Western historian. He
is the author of the baseball book, Smokey Joe: A Baseball Fable, a
tale of legendary pitcher Smokey Joe Hood. That book, and Bannon: The
Scavenger Breed, involve members of the Bannon family: Joel Patrick
the main character in Bannon, and his grandson, Henry Louis Bannon,
an outfielder in Smokey Joe. His mystery novel, The Ice Cream Blonde,
set in the Hollywood of the early 1930s, follows York Studios
security chief Neil Brand as he solves the murder of a famous movie
star mixed up in blackmail and white slavery. His latest Neil Brand
tale, The Naked Nymph in the Dark Flickers, about a rising movie star
caught up in a treacherous blackmail scheme that turns to murder, is
now available. He lives in Mansfield, Ohio, with his family. In
retirement, he works even harder on his golf game, but with less
success.
Posted in #Giveaway, Audio book, Author, blog, Fiction, Silver Dagger Scriptorium Tours, suspense, Thriller, Tour, Writer

One Minute There by Max E. Stone – Audiobook Tour + #Giveaway

30/12/16

One Minute There:
Warren-Bennett-Johnson/New England, Book 3
Audible – Unabridged
by Max E. Stone
Genre: Thriller, Suspense
Two torturous months came and went. Detective Bennett refuses to give up on finding his daughter. Even as the authorities of New England and beyond, trailing the blood in the girl’s wake, devised a ruthless manhunt to bring her back. Well aware of the young woman’s fragile state, Bennett is determined to locate her first. He’s terrified to learn that he and the officers aren’t the only ones looking…
FOR YOUR LIFE…
Tucked in a hideaway past America’s borders, courtesy of her only trusted connect as of late, Melissa is sure she’s safe. That is until the hammering knocks at her door threaten her world, her sanity…
And her life.
THERE’S ONLY ONE WAY OUT…
My name is Max E. Stone and my characters tell me what to do. Not the other way around. Sound weird? I don’t think so.
I’ve been writing and studying the subject since the age of nine. I put my life into the New England series and am still working at it. Hardships in my teen years shaped my words as I further delved into the craft and everything it entails. I understand how powerful the
pen can be and believe that my job is to speak for as well as entertain the people.