Posted in #Book, #Giveaway, Author, Bewitching Book Tours, blog, Book, Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal, Silver Dagger Scriptorium Tours, Story, Tour, Writer

The Fortune Teller’s Secret by Ron D. Voigts Book Tour + #Giveaway

20/03/17

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The Fortune Teller’s Secret
A Cavendish Brown Paranormal Mystery Book 2
by Ron D. Voigts
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
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A dead man on a Ferris wheel and a cold-case murder take Cavendish
Brown into a world of carnival freaks, ghosts, and killers.
The annual carnival comes to Maiden Falls, a small town in the West
Virginia Mountains, but everything is not merry.


The ghost of a woman appears to Cavendish Brown, a carnival worker lies
dead aboard a car on the Ferris wheel, and a bullied teenager plots
to kill people at the carnival with a homemade bomb. More
complications arise. Cavendish again butts heads with the local
sheriff, Clinton Pike.
Marbella Wellingway, owner of the newspaper where Cavendish works, receives a
visit from the Angel of Death. And a Fortune Teller at the carnival
knows something that could forever change Cavendish’s life.
With the aid of Jane, a disturbed psychic, and Alexandra, a Goth witch, he
must find the killer, help the mystery woman, and risk his life to
prevent more deaths.
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From the darkness came a whisper.

“Help me.”

I heard the woman’s voice clearly. Yet everywhere was black. A void. Impenetrable and empty.

“Help me, please.”

Sounds beyond the woman’s plea filled the vacuum. Somewhere a happy tune played on a pipe organ, the music dancing in the wind, a prelude to a circus parade with clowns and acrobats and a dancing bear. Children and adults laughed and cheered. Wonderful scents lingered in the air. Sweet cotton candy and popcorn elicited memories of happy times.

Something else filled the atmosphere. The smells of dampness and dirt mingled, forcing back the joy. Decaying leaves and rot stung my nose. I retched at the stench of death.

Disjointed images, fuzzy around the edges, traveled toward me then fell away into nothingness. A farm tractor. A wood rail fence. And a sign, blurred except for the words “GATE MUST BE KEPT CLOSED.”

With the snap, the darkness returned.

In the black, a speck of light grew into an image, taking form and shape. A woman stood in front of me, dressed gaily in a short ruffled pink skirt below a yellow long-sleeve shirt with triangles of black print. Leg warmers like a dancer might wear were bunched around her ankles. A blue ribbon tied in a bow kept back wild, unruly hair.

Her wide blue eyes stared at me, unblinking. Her lips, painted bright red, pursed.

“Help me.”

A dark wet spot appeared in her brown hair on the left side of her head, growing like a stain. Blood trickled from the edge of her ear and to her throat. Her head twisted, and a deep gash formed on its side.

She stretched out her arms as if crucified and fell backward in slow motion, tumbling away, then crashing with a deep thud. Her head struck the earth and the blue ribbon came loose. She twisted at an impossible angle, arms and legs bent like a broken doll.

A man in a denim jacket hovered above her, clutching a rock. He stared at the blood covering his hand. A shiver passed through him. He released the rock, letting it vanish into the shadows that surrounded everything.

Another man with his back toward me sauntered up to the woman and stopped at her feet. He wore a white T-shirt with a cigarette pack rolled into the sleeve. He scratched the back of his head, mussing his hair. “What did you do, Johnny boy?”

“I killed her!” The man in denim fell to his knees.

The one in the T-shirt took a drag on a cigarette and tossed it aside. “I’ll take care of things.”

Shadows swelled around them and eclipsed everything except the woman’s face. Her eyes opened. Her lips parted. The whisper came once more. “Please, help me.”

“No, no.” I wanted to run and flee this place of death, to be away from these evil men. “No.”

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The Witch’s Daughter
A Cavndish Brown Paranormal Mystery Book 1
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Investigative reporter and recent widower, Cavendish Brown, is unemployed and
floundering. Coerced into returning to his childhood home by the
town’s eccentric matriarch, Cavendish finds himself involved in
murder, deceit, and a not-so-subtle attempt at matchmaking. Joined by
Jane, a disturbed psychic, and Alexandra, a young Goth woman with
uncanny abilities, they follow leads into the hills of West Virginia
to catch the killer. A sheriff who shoots first and asks questions
later makes solving the case difficult for the trio. Adding further
complications is an ex-girlfriend with a mob hitman on her trail who
seeks Cavendish’s help.
Immersed in a never-ending spiral of clues and secrets, he must unlock the
darkness that surrounds the enigmatic Jane, stay ahead of the law,
and come to terms with his own grief.
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Ron D. Voigts lives in Raleigh, North Carolina and sometimes somewhere
else. When back in Raleigh, he enjoys time with his family, watches
old movies and shoots lots of pool. He has his own private writer’s
retreat in La Vale, MD where he spends lots of time working on his
next novel while enjoying the mountains and eating ice cream.
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Posted in #Book, #Giveaway, Author, Bewitching Book Tours, blog, Book, Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, Tour, Writer

Love and Famiglia The DiDominzio Novellas by Lyssa Layne – Spotlight Tour + #Giveaway

20/03/17

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Love and Famiglia

The DiDominzio Novellas

Lyssa Layne

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Date of Publication: 3/13/2017
ASIN: B06VVKY7DV
Number of pages: 400
Word Count: 157,013
Cover Artist: Amanda Walker

Book Description:

Meet the DiDominzio family—fiery, loud, Italian. Francesca, Antonia, Gianna, and Carmine were raised by their strict, old school Italian father. Each sibling has their own journey but how they find their happily ever after definitely isn’t easy.

The King and the Pawn – Francesca, the baby of the family, wants nothing more than to fulfill her dream of being a fashion designer. Unfortunately, Papa DiDominzio will stop at nothing to squash her dreams and lead her toward the traditional career of the women in their family. Francesca concocts the perfect plan to bring home a man her father will hate in hopes that he’ll make a deal so she can still reach her dreams.

Not in Love – Antonia, the sexy second to youngest DiDominzio, exudes nothing but sex appeal, especially with her non-traditional blue eyes. After dating one man after another, Antonia thinks she’s finally found the man of her dreams until she realizes the one she really wants has been right in front of her since they were children.

One Day as a Lion – Gianna, the eldest DiDominzio sibling, is the only one that has followed Papa’s wishes by marrying an Italian man and working in his restaurant. While her brother and sisters suspect something isn’t right with her marriage, none of them can prove any differently. However, there is one man that will do everything in his power to save Gianna from the man she calls her husband.

Destined For You – The only male sibling, Carmine is more like a second father to his sisters than their brother. There’s only two things that are important to Carmine-his family and his club. Keeping up with his sisters and running his successful business leaves him no time to find a mate. As luck would have it, fate falls into his lap, changing his world, in more ways than one… and not necessarily for the best.

Available at Amazon

Get the first book in the series,

The King and the Pawn,

for FREE at Amazon

 

Excerpt:

  “But, Papa, this is the opportunity of a
lifetime! Do you know how many aspiring fashion designers have the chance to
build their own line of clothing at only twenty-four?”
Desperation.
Yes, there’s definitely desperation in my voice, but there’s nothing left. I’ve
begged, I’ve pleaded, I’ve cried, but nothing has broken my father’s old-school
Italian demeanor. This is a last ditch effort to convince him to sign off on
the trust my Noni DiDominzio left for me so I can fulfill my career aspiration
of my own women’s fashion wear. My boss is moving to France and has offered me
to take over his line, giving me free reign on designs. All I have to do is
come up with three months rent and it’s mine.
“Francesca, in
nine months, the trust will be yours to do as you please. However, I suggest you
look at how your siblings used their inheritance. Their money was used to buy a
house, a car, even start a business which is how Noni intended for you children
to use it.”
I throw back my
head and let out an exasperated sigh. Lifting my head up to look at my father,
I take a deep breath, knowing that I’m walking on thin ice. My father, Andrea
DiDominzio, is Italian through and through. He’s got the full head of dark
hair, the olive skin tone, brown eyes, and the man sticks strongly to his
Italian beliefs despite the change in times. My siblings and I look exactly
like our father, except for Antonia, my middle sister, who has blue eyes.
However, we all share the loud, feisty attitudes which we’ve inherited from our
father, his father, and his father’s father. Being the baby of the bunch, I
have to fight louder than the others to be heard, but it still doesn’t mean I
get my way.
Speaking calmly,
I nod, “I would be doing the exact same as Carmine. He used his money to buy
the nightclub. I’ll be starting my career with Noni’s money. Papa, this is just
the beginning of what I can do with my skills.”
Papa leans back
in his plush leather chair on the other side of his desk, his fingers steepled
together. He’s not smiling with his lips but I can see it in his eyes.
“Francesca, you know I don’t agree with your choice of profession and I can
assure you Noni wouldn’t either. When you turn twenty-five, the money is yours
so you can do as you please then.”
“But, Papa, the
opportunity will be gone by then and I’ll be out of a job!” I stomp my foot
like a child not getting their way.
“Mia figlia, you
know that you always have a job at the restaurant which would be an excellent
place for you to meet a good Italian man to settle down with.”
He’s smirking.
The man is seriously smirking at me while he stomps all over my dreams. I’m not
even going to entertain his suggestion. Turning my back, I grab my jacket off
the chair and mutter under my breath in Italian.
 As I open the door, my father calls to me.
“Francesca, ladies don’t speak that way. I’ll see you in a few days at our
Christmas celebration weekend.
 With a huff, I slam the door to his office and
let out a scream. My father is infuriating but I’m not giving up on my dream.
One way or another, I will have my clothes in a show in New York Fashion Week.
Just wait, Papa, I’ll make you proud despite not having your blessing.
 

About the Author:

Lyssa Layne is first, and foremost, the proud momma to her precious daughter, AR. In addition to working full-time and being a mommy to AR, she is also an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan, a runner, blogger, and an infertility survivor.
Having watched one too many medical dramas and being inspired by author Rachelle Ayala, who introduced her to the world of indie writing, Lyssa decided to try her hand at writing a romance story.
Her attempt turned into the Burning Lovesick series. You can find Lyssa’s own interests throughout her stories although all stories are fictional.
Website:     http://www.lyssalayne.com/
Twitter:       https://twitter.com/layne_lyssa

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Posted in #Book, Adventure, Author, blog, Book, Comedy, Fiction, Humor, Love Story, Romance, Story, Syfi, Writer

Between Venus and Mars by S.C.Mitchell

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THE SOUL MATE TREE, BOOK THREE 

BETWEEN VENUS AND MARS

AUTHOR: S. C. Mitchell

GENRE: Science Fiction Romantic Comedy

HEAT LEVEL: Steamy

An intergalactic adventure filled with laughs, love, and adventure.

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An ancient legend spanning eras, continents, and worlds. To some, it’s nothing more than a dream. To others, a pretty fairy tale handed down through the generations.

For those in critical need of their own happy ending, a gift.

About the Book:

Once Upon a Galaxy . . .

Zana Starchild is on a mission to restore her tribe’s livestock and save herself from one more meal of kelp. Sure, it’s technically illegal to visit Old Earth, but to a rim rat like Zana, galactic laws are really just guidelines. Her wrecked starship just means she’ll need to use her backup plan to get off the abandoned world, an old Earth legend her uncle passed down to her.

Pulled from a relaxing shower, across the galaxy to Old Earth, Galactic Marshall Kyle Kepler finds himself naked and marooned with a quirky rim rat. Zana’s broken more laws than Kyle can count, and he plans to arrest her, just as soon as he can find transport off the planet and a pair of pants.

A junk heap of a starship, a magical tree, and a roving gang of mutant kangaroos are just the beginning of rollicking intergalactic journey filled with laughs, love, and adventure.

Amazon Link: Between Venus and Mars

When series collide: Between Venus and Mars is not only set the multi-dimensional worlds of the Soul Mate Tree legend, but also ties into my Hearts in Orbit series, a futuristic universe filled with starships, aliens, and new technologies. And, of course, romance. The Soul Mate Tree project offered me a great way to play with some new characters and further develop my universe, while partnering with some of the best authors in the business.

The Hearts in Orbit universe is a place where galactic marshals keep the peace in the cosmopolitan Core Worlds as well as the wild-west type rim world planets. While this book works as a standalone, and you don’t have to have read any of the others, I consider it Hearts in Orbit 2.5, fitting nicely between Pirates of the Dark Nebula and my soon-to-be-released Hearts in Orbit 3 novel Captives of the Kratzen.

Series Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B016DF63JM/

About the Author

scmitchell2

Hidden strengths, adventurous hearts.

S.C.Mitchell grew up an avid reader of comic books, science fiction and fantasy literature. He’s been writing stories for over thirty years. In 2010 he left his job as a computer desktop support specialist to pursue his passion for writing full time. He is a member of the Romance Writers of America as well as the Wisconsin chapter.

As a writer of paranormal and sci-fi romance, fantasy, and science fiction, Steve crafts unique and wondrous worlds where his characters explore, romp, and fall in love. Whether traveling through dark, demon filled dimensions, the edge of wild space, or ancient mythological heavens, his heroes and heroines, guided by their adventurous hearts, discover hidden strengths on their pathway to enduring love.

What motivates S.C.Mitchell to write

For as long as I can remember I’ve had stories running through my head. Comic book super heroes prompted amazing adventures. The 60’s moon shots took me to outer space. And a hulking barbarian named Conan brought me to an age undreamed of. Fantasy and science fiction were my escapes from the ordinary. To this day I love crafting worlds and setting my characters loose in them. I can’t wait to get up each morning and see what those characters are going to do next.

You’ll find him at:

http://scmitchellauthor.com/

Blog: http://scmitchellauthor.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSCMitchell

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorSMitchell

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B007D0Z1MW

Additional info:

Videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rV0BQCcwhfk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdtFXXlGvbk

Posted in #Book, #Giveaway, Adult, Author, blog, Book, Fiction, Giveaway, Mystery, Paranormal Suspense, Silver Dagger Scriptorium Tours, Story, Tour, Writer

A Stone’s Throw by Debbie De Louise – Book Tour + #Giveaway

17/03/17

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A Stone’s Throw
Cobble Cove Mysteries Book 1
by Debbie De Louise
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Romantic Suspense
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Widowed librarian Alicia Fairmont needs answers…
After her husband is killed in a hit and run accident, Alicia travels
upstate to his hometown of Cobble Cove, New York, hoping to locate
his estranged family and shed light on his mysterious past.
Anticipating staying only a weekend, her visit is extended when she
accepts a job at the town’s library.
Secrets stretch decades into the past… Assisted by handsome newspaper
publisher and aspiring novelist, John McKinney, Alicia discovers a
connection between her absent in-laws and a secret John’s father
has kept for over sixty years. But her investigation is interrupted
when she receives word her house has burned and arson is suspected,
sending her rushing back to Long Island, accompanied by John.
Back in Cobble Cove, cryptic clues are uncovered…
When Alicia returns, she finds a strange diary, confiscated letters, and a
digital audio device containing a recording made the day her husband
was killed. Anonymous notes warn Alicia to leave town, but she can’t
turn her back on the mystery—or her attraction to John. As the
pieces begin to fall into place, evidence points to John’s
involvement in her husband’s accident.
The past and present threaten to collide, and Alicia confronts her fears…
Has she fallen in love with her husband’s killer?
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Between A Rock and a Hard Place
Cobble Cove Mysteries Book 2
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Librarian Alicia McKinney has put the past behind her…
Two years ago, Alicia discovered both a terrible truth and lasting love
with John McKinney in the small town of Cobble Cove, New York. Now a
busy mother of twin babies and co-author of a mystery series, Alicia
couldn’t be happier.
Alicia’s contentment and safety are challenged…
Walking home alone from the library, Alicia senses someone following her, and
on more than one occasion, she believes she is being watched. Does
she have a stalker? When the local gift shop is burglarized, the
troubling event causes unrest among Alicia and the residents of the
quiet town.

John and Alicia receive an offer they can’t refuse…
When John’s sister offers to babysit while she and John take a
much-needed vacation in New York City, Alicia is reluctant to leave
her children because of the disturbances in Cobble Cove. John assures
her the town is safe in the hands of Sheriff-elect Ramsay. Although
Alicia’s experience with and dislike of the former Long Island
detective don’t alleviate her concern, she and John take their
trip.
Alicia faces her worst nightmare…
The McKinneys’ vacation is cut short when they learn their babies have
been kidnapped and John’s sister shot. Alicia and John’s
situation puts them between a rock and a hard place when the main
suspect is found dead before the ransom is paid. In order to save
their children, the McKinneys race against the clock to solve a
mystery more puzzling than those found in their own books. Can they
do it before time runs out?
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Coming Soon!
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Written In Stone
Cobble Cove Mysteries Book 3
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Alicia McKinney is confused . . . .

Was the strange email her husband received from the fictional
detective in their mystery series a threat? Did the killer mistake
the woman shot in the library for Alicia or the victim’s twin
sister?

Cat vs. Dog . . .

After Sneaky goes missing from the library, will he turn up before a
young girl becomes ill with worry over his disappearance? And will
he return in time to outsmart Fido by being first to find the
perpetrator’s smoking gun?

Alicia is worried . . .

While waiting for the killer’s next move, Alicia has other concerns.
An old flame of John’s is in town and her friend, Gilly, has adopted
the role of Miss Marple to aid her sheriff boyfriend in his
investigation.

When all clues point to one of her co-workers, Alicia joins Gilly in
searching for the answers to the mystery.

Will they survive . . .

or is their ending written in stone?
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Debbie De Louise is an award-winning author and a reference librarian at a
public library on Long Island. She is a member of Sisters-in-Crime,
International Thriller Writers, and the Cat Writer’s Association.
She has a BA in English and an MLS in Library Science from Long
Island University. Her three published novels include Cloudy Rainbow,
A Stone’s Throw, and Between a Rock and a Hard Place (Solstice
Publishing, 2016) that has been on the Amazon bestseller list for
cozy mysteries. Debbie has also written articles and short stories
for several anthologies of various genres. Her third Cobble Cove
mystery, Written in Stone, will be published Spring, 2017. She lives
on Long Island with her husband, daughter, and two cats.
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Posted in #Book, #Giveaway, Author, blog, Book, Historical, Romance, Silver Dagger Scriptorium Tours, Story, Tour, Writer

The Fires of Love & Hate by Sky Alexander Book Tour + #Giveaway

17/03/17

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Forced to Love
The Fires of Love & Hate Book 1
by Sky Alexander
Genre: Historical Romance
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FORCED TO LOVE is the newest book in Sky Alexander’s series The Fires of
Love & Hate (Historical Romance Collection).
Inspiration can come from anywhere, but nothing is more uplifting and
irresistible to me as a new Sky Alexander novel. This is one of my
new favorites, (with FORCED TO LOVE) Sky Alexander shows his unique
writing style that reminds us of how great historical romance and
western romance can be written that reminds you of classics but with
new addictive twists that are uplifting and intriguing in The Fires
of Love & Hate (Historical Romance Collection). Hattie really
shows that through thick and then love for your family is one of the
most important things.” ~Heather Goodreads
FORCED TO LOVE is spell-bounding and one of my new favorite historical
romance stories that is sure to be around for a long time. You must
read this!” ~ Juanita Goodreads
Hattie Morran is a poor dirt farmers daughter in Missouri. Suddenly Hattie
finds that her life is changed in the blink of an eye and she is
forced to love Abner Garland. Now her Western Romance which is purely
a façade for show and to save her family will soon come to an end.
From the moment that you are brought into the book you will be immediately
part of the western romance in the middle of the south. The Fires of
Love & Hate Series will keep you right in the middle of a tale
that is based on some true and historical events. This Historical
Romance series is sure to be you’re new favorite.
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Falling Into Love
The Fires of Love & Hate Book 2
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FALLING INTO LOVE is the newest book in Sky Alexander’s series The Fires of
Love & Hate (Historical Romance Collection).
Inspiration can come from anywhere, but nothing is more uplifting and
irresistible to me as a new Sky Alexander novel. This is one of my
new favorites, (with FALLING INTO LOVE) Sky Alexander shows his
unique writing style that reminds us of how great historical romance
and western romance can be written that reminds you of classics but
with new addictive twists that are uplifting and intriguing in The
Fires of Love & Hate (Historical Romance Collection). Hattie
really shows that through thick and then love for your family is one
of the most important things.” ~Heather Goodreads
FALLING INTO LOVE is spell-bounding and one of my new favorite historical
romance stories that is sure to be around for a long time. You must
read this!” ~ Juanita Goodreads
Hattie and Lou decide to take the world by storm in this historical romance.
Hattie is finally reunited with her first love Ira Saxon. Now her
Western Romance which has been something she has been dreaming of
looks like it is finally coming true. Still there are many challenges
from her Ex-Husband who is determined to get his hands on his
inheritance and bound and determined to see Hattie’s life ruined.
And now with Nicholas Star in the mix Hattie has much more to deal
with.
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Hate To Love
The Fires of Love & Hate Book 3
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HATE TO LOVE is the third book in Sky Alexander’s series The Fires of
Love & Hate (Historical Romance Collection).
Uplifting jaw dropping Western Romance! This book really shows you what kind of
Historical Romance author Sky Alexander is. ~ Tiffany Goodreads
HATE TO LOVE” Reminds me of that song “You Lied Straight Faced; While
I Cried” This Historical Romance is perfectly set in a Western
Romance theme. I literally could not believe that Ira was doing what
he was! I can’t wait for the next book. ~ Stephanie Goodreads
Hattie’s whirlwind Western Romance is quickly changing even before the
honeymoon to the man she has loved for so long comes to an end. It
seems forever is not much more than a fantasy in this Historical
Romance. Hattie takes an adult view deciding to try and fix the
situation that seems impossible.
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Death of Love
The Fires of Love & Hate Book 4
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Death of Love is the fourth book in Sky Alexander’s series The Fires of
Love & Hate (Historical Romance Collection).
Ira’s infraction with the law has caused a change in their relationship.
Hattie must now see things through to the end. Her long desires for
Matthew tear heavily on her heart in this western romance. Still, she
has no idea how to pull herself out of this devotion she has had for
a man that she has loved as long as she can remember. Will this
historical romance leave her wanting? Will she ever find peace?
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Sky Alexander is one of the most knowledgeable and experienced IT
professionals in the industry today. He holds degrees in Software
Engineering, Network Engineering and Database
Engineering.He has worked for companies such as Hewlett Packard, Citicorp Bank and Wells Fargo,
as well as many different top United States Government Agencies in
the intelligence arena.
Sky has built software that is in use in multiple businesses utilizing
both structural design patterns and behavioral design patterns. He is
an expert in .Net, Java and OSI platforms. He has used many different
technologies to create very sophisticated applications for both
mobile devices as well as stand-alone software applications.
Sky has over 15 years experience in the industry, managing teams in the
United States as well as managing teams remotely in Bangalore, India
and Shanghai, China. He has designed and implemented website
infrastructures for many multi-national companies.
Sky is also the author of 16 novels. He is currently working on three
different series: The Fires of Love and Hate, Aspen Falls, and World
of Darkness. Sky has also written several stage plays and two
full-length feature films: Out of Darkness and A Forbidden Love.
Sky also does ghostwriting and is currently mentoring several other
authors on how to
write
books. Sky is founder and CEO of two different companies: Rising
Phoenix Publishing
is
designed to help people of all ages who want to write and publish a
book. We take submissions from aspiring authors and determine if
their work is ready for publication. Rising Phoenix will work with
authors who may need additional coaching to reach publication level.
We currently have books from 21 authors being prepared for production.
We will engage the best in the business to produce, market, and sell
the books, both online and to bookstores across the United States and
eventually the world.
Rising Phoenix Studios is designed with the intent of breaking all the rules
of Hollywood by bringing fresh new stories to the platform with
up-and-coming talented actors. Our goal will always be to bring
original untold stories to production that are entertaining,
compelling and positive films for the enjoyment of the entire family.
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Posted in #Book, #Giveaway, Author, blog, Book, Coming of Age, Fiction, Silver Dagger Scriptorium Tours, Story, Tour, Writer

The Origins of Benjamin Hackett by Gerald M. O’Connor – Book Tour + #Giveaway

16/03/17

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The Origins of Benjamin Hackett
by Gerald M. O’Connor
Genre: Coming Of Age
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All families have secrets. Most go untold…

In the summer of
‘96, Benjamin Hackett has come of age, technically. And in the
midst of the celebratory hangover, his world is whipped out from
under his feet. His parents have finally shared their lifelong secret
with him; he’s adopted.
At the age of 18, the boy still has
some growing up to do, and with the help of JJ, his loquacious
consigliore and bodyguard, he embarks on an adventure that’ll put
to bed a lifetime of lies.
Over the course of five days, they
find themselves caught up in the darker side of Cork. But when they
sweep through the misfits blocking their way and finally discover the
truth of it…now that’s the greatest shock of all.

 

The Origins of Benjamin Hackett
is a tender tale of heartache and displacement told through a wry and
courageous voice. Set in Ireland, it’s a timely reminder that the
world hasn’t moved on just as fast as we fancy. Now, in this
emotionally charged story, Gerald M. O’Connor explores conditioned
guilt and its consequences in a country still hiding from the sins of
its past.
O’Connor’s book draws on a time when the Catholic Church in Ireland would
quietly take children from mothers in convents and Magdalene
Laundries and deposit them into new homes, making it nearly
impossible for these kids to find their real parents. Attempts by
children to find their birth parents were often blocked by a dark web
of secrecy and bureaucracy that, in many ways, still continues to
haunt the country today.
Brimming with unfathomable escapades, a motley crew of characters and a
healthy serving of Irish humor, O’Connor’s book is steeped in
Irish culture told in the inimitable Corkman’s brogue. Set in a
time before the chaos of modern digital culture,
The
Origins of Benjamin Hackett

takes a step back, allowing space for readers to escape and think
about the realities of growing up in a family founded on a lie. In
his stylish debut, O’Connor shows an amazing ability to paint
heartbreak and longing that will keep readers thinking about
The
Origins of Benjamin Hackett

long after they finish the story.
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Here is a preview of The Origins of Benjamin Hackett by Gerald M. O’Connor…Chapter 3…

 

Life was lived in the quiet moments; all the rest was pure bluster. I was paraphrasing of course. I hadn’t the foggiest who’d said those words, or whether they were ever uttered out of the mouth of anyone at all, and if by happenstance they had it probably was more succinct. But the thought cropped up in my head then, watching my dad visibly stutter less than the width of a jab away from me.

“There’s no way in hell I’m adopted,” I said.

“You are a bit.”

“You can’t be a bit adopted.”

Dad seemed to consider this for a moment, before shrugging and smiling wanly. “No…I suppose you can’t.”

“This is a pile of unadulterated nonsense. You’re both having a laugh, right? Some twisted revenge for me not applying to college?”

Dad reached inside his shirt pocket, pulled out a manila envelope and laid it on the table. “This,” he said, tapping it twice with his index finger, “contains your adoption certificate. We decided to keep calling you by your birth name, Benjamin. Seemed the correct thing to do at the time.”

“Did it?”

He held up his hand to hush me. “It’s the original document we received the day Father Brogan brought you here and made it all official.” He slid it over to me. “It’s yours now.”

I picked up the envelope and tore it open, unfurling the paper inside and laying it flat on the table. My eyes skimmed over the document, flitting from word to word—adoption, adoptees, dates, signatures and the official diocesan insignia on the envelope. They were all there, all the bureaucratic paraphernalia of the state and church.

I held his stare, neither of us flinching. “Am I really adopted?”

“Yes.”

My throat turned to dust. Call it the formality of the letter, or the way the word cut short on his breath. I thought of Mam’s delicate frame and barley-blonde hair. We looked nothing alike. But Dad? He was meant to be the exception. We both towered over her. We both had lanky frames. Hell, we even shared that same terrible torture of walking on long, flat feet that no shoe, no matter the cut or cobbler, could fit comfortably.

Reams of memories of years gone by played on a loop in my head. “Sure, isn’t Benjamin the spit of his old man,” they’d said. “Dug from the same field, no doubt about it. Oh, he’s a Hackett all right, this fella.” And my parents had lapped it up. Like the time in Hay Street, in the bustle of market day, when they nodded in tacit agreement at some hunched-over old coot as she tousled my hair and told them how my curls were the carbon copy of Dad’s.

“But we look alike?” I said.

“Do we?”

“You know we do.”

He leaned in closer, dropped his voice to a whisper. “Truth is, we’ve been secretly dying your hair since you arrived. You’re actually ginger.”

I shoved the table into him and threw my hands up. “Jokes? You think now is the time for messing about? For having a bit of a laugh?”

“Sorry, sorry,” he said, showing his palms in surrender. “It just snuck out…but seriously, you’re not going to make a big deal of this, are you?”

“And why shouldn’t I?”

“Because it’s not what Hackett men do.”

“Well, I’m clearly not one of them, now am I?”

My comment flushed crimson high in his cheeks. He balled his hands twice and relaxed them flat on the table. “You’ve been long enough on the farm,” he said, quieter now. “Long enough to know that animals of all sorts adopt strays and nurture them as their own. And there’s not a blind bit of difference in them when they mature. Attitude is more in the rearing than the genes. You’re my son and a Hackett. Adopted or not.”

“So you’re calling me a stray animal now? Christ, Dad, you’re some piece of work.”

“That’s not what I meant and you know it. Don’t go all melodramatic on me now. We’ve enough histrionics happening outside already.”

I shook my head in disbelief. “I think we’re allowed this one time to have a bit of a barney.”

“Well, you’re not. No son of mine is going to throw a tantrum over something like this. Adoption happens all over the world, every day of the week. Just because you came out of another doesn’t mean we’re not your parents. And let me tell you this now. If I hear any of that sort of nonsense when your mother’s about I’ll—”

“You’ll what?”

“Ah, nothing.” He leaned back, folded his arms and studied his feet for a while. His standard move whenever his mood blackened. “You know,” he said after a while. “I never wanted to say anything. But your mam wouldn’t have it. Have you any idea how difficult it was for her to keep this a secret all this time?”

“And if it was such a burden on you two, why didn’t you relieve yourselves of it sooner?”

“Because we thought if you knew too soon it’d mark you, hang over you like a shadow looming large. Scar you for life. Father Brogan advised us to tell you early, but your mother thought it was best you didn’t know. She thought you’d settle better and handle it easier as an adult rather than a child. I don’t know…maybe we should have taken the priest’s advice and told you sooner?” He stroked his stubble and sighed. “It was bad enough you’d that birth mark on your face without lugging this around as well.”

“Nice one, Dad,” I said, and instinctively I felt for the port-wine stain on my face. I couldn’t help myself. It was an old habit, hiding behind my veil of fingers and thumbs. “An Angel’s kiss” Mam had called it when I was finally tall enough to catch sight of myself in the mirror. Even at three years of age I knew it’d be a burden. Angel’s kiss was such a pile of nonsense. It was more like ten of them took turns to give me a six-inch hickey from cheek to chin. I stopped wearing camouflage since the age of twelve. No matter how you applied the green-tinted clay, it always came out a weird shade of vomit.

“Okay so, Mister Automaton,” I said. “Tell me this, then…who are my real parents?”

“Not a clue. All we know is what’s in that letter, and we never felt a need to find out more. Do you?”

“Ah, I don’t know what I want to do with all this. I mean…who would? Springing it on me now after all these years with my head all over the shop.”

“Well, if you do, Father Brogan’s your man. He knows all about this revelation today. I expect it wouldn’t be a surprise to him if you turned up there later.” He pushed up and away from the bench. “Right so, that’s that.”

“Seriously? That’s all you’re going to give me?”

“Well, as much as I’d like to stay and chat the farm won’t work itself. Fancy helping me spraying weeds in the paddock?”

“What do you think?”

“Suit yourself, then.” He buttoned his overalls, swung his arms into his mac and zipped it up to his neck. With a hand on the door handle, he inched it ajar, before turning around once more. “You know, Benjamin. We’ve farmed this patch of land for near on ten generations. And do you know what I’ve learned from the three decades I’ve held it together? Tides come and tides go. Every bit of sand laying on the beach below us today will be somewhere else entirely tomorrow. Nothing stays the same. All this is just noise, a glitch in your life. By tomorrow, or next week, or ten years down the line, today will be a distant memory to you. Hell, you’ll probably even laugh about it.”

“I doubt that.”

“Well, whatever your plans are from here, don’t go leaning on your mam too much. Do what you have to do, but do it gently.” He fixed his cap on his head and held a finger up as if he’d just remembered something. “Oh, and make sure to collect Ella from Nell’s before you trot away into the day. And get her home before the high tide. It’s a spring one and it’ll cut the road off. If Ella misses her lunch, there’ll be hell to pay.”

I snorted. “And we can’t be having that.”

“Nope. You’re right on that point,” he said, the trace of a smile brightening his face. “You see? We are alike after all.”

Away up the yard he pottered, hands tucked into pockets, shoulders hunched forward, with a host of grey clouds looming above him. I raced upstairs and changed out of the flag into a plaid shirt and black denim jeans, and a whole load of questions kept buzzing about in my brain. One kept barging its way towards the front and trampling over the others. “What you gonna do, Benjamin?” it said, over and over again, mockingly.

I looked through the attic window and spied Mam down in the yard with pegs clipped to her blouse and her sheets being harassed by the weather. She must have sensed me staring because she glanced up and immediately gestured me down.

“You going out?” she asked, when I appeared.

“I am. Going to pick up Ella from Nell’s.”

“Thanks for doing that…” Her voice trailed off, and she turned away, and I knew she was lining up the sentences in her head.

“And then?” She picked up a duvet cover and laid it across the line.

“Then I’m going to see Father Brogan.”

A peg fell from her grasp, and she kicked it away across the yard. “I thought you might.”

She nodded over towards Dad. “Did he handle it okay? Explaining things, I mean.”

“I suppose so.”

“Any jokes?”

I shrugged. “Just the one.”

“Ah, I’ll wear him up the road—”

“It was a pretty good one, though, in fairness.”

“Still…”

The wind stiffened. Wisps of hair slipped across her mouth. She tucked them back behind her ear, and her eyes met mine. She looked scared standing there and frailer than her years. “You won’t stop until you find them, will you?”

I shook my head. “I’m the odd man out. I have to find out why.”

And with that I turned on my heel and strode out of the farm and away from the people I thought were my family. The weather seemed to match my mood; a gale rose up and blew in my face. In the distance, the seas roared thunder.

I stopped by Mosses Point and walked out to the ledge where the whole sweep of the coast stretched out beneath me. The isle of Inis Saor stood less than a mile from shore as a tall and immovable mule of rock. Normally, a quick glimpse of the place would take the breath clean out of my chest, pulling any bit of foul mood with it. Not today, though. For some unknown reason, I thought of Dad, of him leading me into the fields with my wellies two sizes too big and the chill of dawn biting at my skin. I remembered the shakes I’d felt, as I stood rooted to his side with one tiny hand clutched in his. The black-and-white giants plodding toward us with their teats swollen terrified me.

“You have to be brave, Benjamin,” he’d said. “If they rush you, wave your hands, stand tall and make as much noise as humanly possible.”

And I did. I was only five, but I’d waddled over to the nearest one with my boots sticking in the muck, and I’d barked until they clomped the ground with their hooves and shied away back down the farm. When I’d looked at Dad he’d this honest-to-God warmth to his smile that had me brim with happiness.

“That’s my boy,” he’d said, like the big liar he was.

All the frustration in me erupted. I opened my mouth wide and screamed into the winds until my throat ran hoarse. One thought played over in my head—I’ll find my rancid parents. And when I do, I’ll punch them square in their goddamn noses. And with the fire in me stoked up nicely, I cinched my shirt closed and headed up the road to Nell’s.

 

Copyright © 2017 by Gerald M. O’Connor.

Reprinted with permission of Down & Out Books.

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Advance Praise For
The Origins of Benjamin Hackett
“‘The Origins of Benjamin Hackett’ by Gerald O’Connor is a raucous and
riotous coming-of-age story that is brutal, tender and hilarious.”

Paul D. Brazill, author of A Case of Noir and Guns of Brixton

“O’Connor doles out killer dialogue that adds oodles of character to this
hero’s journey. Told with the lilt and panache of Joseph O’Connor
and Dermot Bolger in their novels of the ‘90s, Gerald O’Connor is
the new and improved voice we’ve been waiting for.”
Gerard Brennan, author of Undercover and Wee Rockets

“Visceral writing that inherits a long Irish tradition. O’Connor’s
narrative contains sharp characterization, and has an assured voice,
while dramatizing conditioned guilt with humor and style.”

Richard Godwin, author of Apostle Rising, Mr. Glamour, One Lost
Summer and others

“If you’re expecting the usual coming-of-age tale, you’re in for a
big shock. This is a tale big on heart and one which the author,
Gerald O’Connor, has hied religiously to the advice of Harry Crews
for writers, to ‘leave out the parts readers skip.’ None of those
parts remain in these pages. An auspicious debut!”

– Les Edgerton, author of The Death of Tarpons, The Bitch, The Genuine,
Imitation, Plastic Kidnapping, Bomb and others

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GERALD M. O’CONNOR is a native Corkonian, currently living in Dublin with
his long-term partner, Rosemarie, along with their three children. He
writes character-driven novels of various genres by night and is a
dentist by day. When he isn’t glued to the keyboard, he enjoys
sci-fi films, spending time with his family and being anywhere in
sight of the sea. He is currently working on his second novel, The
Tanist.
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Posted in Author, blog, Book, Fiction, Mystery, Silver Dagger Scriptorium Tours, suspense, Tour, Writer

Burned Kimberley Patterson – Release Tour + #Giveaway

16/03/17

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Burned
By Kimberley Patterson
Genre: Suspense, Mystery
Pay attention to the signs that are all around you,” Sarah’s mother
used to say. Sarah never listened until her world turned upside down
in the wake of her mother’s death. When sifting through the fiery
ashes, signs begin to appear, giving her the feeling that the
accident was less of an accident and more of foul play. While Sarah
struggles to understand the images haunting her dreams, she finds
herself losing a grip on reality.
Based on true events, Sarah unravels the mystery surrounding her mother’s
death, and, in doing so, uncovers an internal darkness capable of
murder.
Horses were one of my first loves, and writing soon followed. As a child, I
spent hours writing poems, and short stories (about horses). My
parents realized that I was horse-obsessed and decided to buy me one
after taking riding lessons for two years. I think they hoped that
all of the hard work, and hours spent mucking stalls would help me
give up this expensive hobby. They were wrong. Writing is still a
passion of mine, although now I primarily write fiction. My first
novel, Red Rock, was published in 2010, and big surprise, there are
horses in it. My second novel, The Three Month Plan was released
August 2013.
Other Loves: My family, yoga, skincare and makeup, sushi, and raising money
for pediatric cancer. I have two rescue dogs and would have more if
there weren’t zoning restrictions. I’m always trying something
new, as I tend to get bored very easily. Thankfully, my love of
driving around with the gas light on fuels some excitement. I love
novels with happy endings, and am a hopeful romantic. My latest
obsession is browsing Netflix, and I can name all 50 states in
alphabetical order in under 30 seconds. Do I feel a wager coming on?
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