Author Nan Reinhardt: The Baby Contract

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Nan Reinhardt will be awarding a set of 6 handmade wineglass charms and a $10 Starbucks gift card. (USA only) to 5 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

She wants a baby…he wants a family

Firefighter and paramedic Tierney Ashton has always been a bold adventurer, but at thirty-four she longs to embark on a new adventure—motherhood. But who will be the father? Although financially challenging, a sperm bank appears to be her best option. That is, until she shares her dream with her long-time pal, Brendan Flaherty.

Government analyst and world traveler Brendan Flaherty returns home to River’s Edge to help out at his family’s thriving winery and his brother’s new community theater. He also plans to finally achieve his lifelong goal of writing a novel. But when Tierney shares her wish, Bren offers to be her baby daddy—with one condition. Marriage.

It seems like a perfect contract, but will love get in the way?

Read an Excerpt

Three texts from Bren—he’d heard about the fire—wondering if she was okay. He was moving into his cabin; did she want to come up to the winery and help him celebrate. And, hey, it was almost midnight, where was she?

She smiled. Good old Brendan Flaherty. Her buddy had returned home from Washington, DC, nearly a year and a half ago. It was good to have him back in River’s Edge. He’d been her older brother, Mike’s, best friend since elementary school and had always treated her like his own little sister. He’d stepped right in as surrogate big brother when Mike died in Afghanistan fifteen years ago, and the two of them had helped each other through the grief. She treasured their friendship, especially now that Bren was home to stay.

Her eyes went to the photo on the mantle above the fireplace in the living room—Mike and Bren on their bikes with her sitting on Mike’s cross bar, his arm around her skinny form. The boys had been in seventh grade in the picture and at eight years old, Tierney had worshipped her older brother, although she’d always found his best buddy a little geeky. Actually, both Mike and Bren had been kind of nerdy—into computer games and science experiments and exploring the caves down by the Ohio River.

Bren was still geeky, but in the nicest way possible. He still made a point of looking after Tierney, even though at thirty-four, she was quite capable of taking care of herself. She went into the kitchen, refilled her coffee mug, and retrieved the box of marshmallow cereal from the pantry. Plopping back down at the table, she ate fingersful of dry cereal directly from the box while she texted Holly to let her know she’d be there at three and then Bren to reassure him that she was fine and would love to come out to the winery to celebrate his new digs.

About the Author:

Nan Reinhardt is a USA Today-bestselling author of romantic fiction for women in their prime. Yeah, women still fall in love and have sex, even after 45! Imagine! She is a wife, a mom, a mother-in-law, and a grandmother. Nan has been a copyeditor and proofreader for over 25 years, and currently works on romantic fiction titles for a variety of clients, including Avon Books, St. Martin’s Press, HarperCollins, Kensington Books, Tule Publishing, and Entangled Publishing, as well as for many indie authors.

Although she loves her life as an editor, writing is Nan’s first and most enduring passion. She can’t remember a time in her life when she wasn’t writing—she wrote her first romance novel at the age of ten, a love story between the most sophisticated person she knew at the time, her older sister (who was in high school and had a driver’s license!), and a member of Herman’s Hermits. If you remember who they are, you are Nan’s audience! Her latest series, the Four Irish Brothers Winery series is available from Tule Publishing and all book retailers. Books 1 through 3 are currently available; Book 4 releases July 16, 2020 and is available for preorder.

Visit Nan’s website at www.nanreinhardt.com, where you’ll find links to all her books as well as blogs about writing, being a Baby Boomer, and aging gracefully…mostly. Nan also blogs every third Tuesday at Word Wranglers, sharing the spotlight with five other romance authors, is a frequent contributor the RWA Contemporary Romance blog, and she contributes to the Romance University blog where she writes as Editor Nan.

Website: http://www.nanreinhardt.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authornanreinhardt

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/NanReinhardt
Buy Link for The Baby Contract

BN https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-baby-contract-nan-reinhardt/1136768046
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-baby-contract-6
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Baby-Contract-Irish-Brothers-Winery-ebook/dp/B086L7MMYL/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0

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Author Jordan R. Samuel: On The Eighteenth of May

https://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2020/06/vbt-on-eighteenth-of-may-by-jordan-r.html

Jordan R. Samuel will be awarding a $30 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Author Interview: Jordan R. Samuel

Author Interview

1. How did you choose your genre? What made you write this book?

I probably shouldn’t admit it, because I am sure it will come across as a little lazy, but I wrote my first novel to be exactly the kind of novel I would love to find on the bookstore shelves! A sad, sweet love story. Simple writing that keeps my interest but doesn’t make me think TOO hard (I do enough of that at work!) This is the genre I love to read myself! As I wrote the book, I kept thinking – “wow, I can’t wait to finish so I can relax, lay on the couch, and read this book!” I love simple romances, with a little bit of mystery thrown in.

And as I started writing On the Eighteenth of May, I started picturing all the people in my mind who probably loved this type of book as well and were all just waiting for me to finish! I have already started writing my next novel, The Broken Bridge, and I am happy to share that, yes, it is the same general type of genre. A sad romance that will pull on your heartstrings and leave you cheering for characters even though you suspect, against all hope,  that a rough road is ahead – just around the curve.

I belong to a book club and we met recently to discuss a historical fiction that we had just read. I was so relieved when everyone started sharing how hard it was for them to “get into it”. It was then that I knew, I’m not alone. Sometimes we all just need a sad love story to engross ourselves in, as we lay on the beach or sit on our couch or swing on our front porch.

I love highly dramatic scenes with words and phrases that stay with you for a long time. I love descriptions of places as seen through the character’s eyes – not necessarily the author’s. I love sweet gestures and even tragic twists and turns. It’s a great feeling when you find it hard to put a book down and can’t wait until the time comes to pick it back up.

I have never before, in my entire life, tried writing fiction. As a professional educator, and now a university professor, I have spent a great deal of my life writing academic pieces. I have published many peer-reviewed articles and chapters in various journals and books and have very recently published a handbook on research regarding effective online course design. I had always hoped to write a novel, but had never quite made or found the time.

In early 2019, I was busy working on two research articles for my university, which both happened to fall during a very sad time in my life. Not to go into too much detail, but one of my family members was very ill, and was lost and hurting and struggling. And I realized at that period just how sad I was, over the whole situation . . . over my lack of ability to help in some meaningful way and over my complete uselessness to make things better. And so, one day I opened my laptop, but instead of working on the research articles (like I was SUPPOSED to be doing), I started writing a story. A story filled with sadness. A story filled with love.

I hope you and your readers will enjoy On the Eighteenth of May!

2. Writers write what they know, and must observe the world. Are you a firstborn, middle, or last child, and how does this shape your view of the world?

As those who know me could probably guess, I am the middle child of three! Those of us in the middle have to fight hard, for recognition, for space … I felt growing up that I somehow was having to look after my older sibling as well as my younger, and the more I achieved, the more that was expected. But that’s okay. It shaped my worldview into one that is about loyalty, strength and perseverance. [Many themes you will also find in On the Eighteenth of May].

3. Where is your favorite place to write?

Depending on the time of day, my writing space is either golden arches or water! I do my best writing either sitting in my local McDonald’s (with a large coffee at hand) in the early morning or sitting on my back deck in the evening, overlooking a river, with a glass of red wine close by. In addition, however, much of this book, On the Eighteenth of May, was actually written as I was visiting at various times in the Lake Lure area, so it was definitely inspiring for me to be sitting among the beautiful mountains as I wrote about those very mountains in the story. I set my timer for one hour, and then, when the chime rings, I walk away from the novel writing for a bit and work on other things. I find the time away helps me as I process what I just wrote and reflect on how it could be better.

4. How do you feel about killing your darlings, and what do you do with the remains?

I feel horrible. I cried – A LOT – while writing this novel. It hurt me to see some of the pain and suffering certain characters had to endure. What I do with the remains is yet to be seen. You’ll have to read to the end for that answer.

5. You are introduced to your favorite author. Who is it, and what is that one burning question you must ask them?

What an opportunity – to meet Nicholas Sparks! The one burning question I would ask him is – why couldn’t you have switched all those sad endings to happy ones? But, in all honesty, now that I have written a sad love story myself, I can understand Mr. Sparks much better than I once did. Once you start writing a character, you feel what is right for that character – whether it be happy or sad.

6. Inquiring minds want to know…tell readers something about you that no one knows.

Even though I am a little older than many of my readers, I like to challenge myself both mentally and physically. Just last week I did a virtual half-marathon. I am trying to teach myself Spanish using a virtual language program. I asked a neighbor to borrow her keyboard and I am trying to learn how to play the piano. I am constantly looking for things to do that will stretch my mind and my body in ways they haven’t been stretched before!

7. You are stranded on a deserted island with only a backpack for company. What three items are in your survival pack?

Oh, how interesting that you should ask this, since the main character of On the Eighteenth of May LITERALLY has only a backpack to her name as the story begins. Shall I pick the same items she has in her backpack? A pen? A single piece of paper? A calendar?

Those sound like three great items for my time alone on the island!

8. If you could have one super power in your existence, what would it be?

I would definitely want the power to fly! It would assist me in running errands, traveling, and checking out what my neighbors are grilling in their backyard without seeming too nosy!

9. Favorite snack?

Popcorn! Salty, kettle, butter, movie theater butter. I love it all – EXCEPT the white cheddar popcorn. I could eat popcorn for breakfast, lunch and dinner – and all snacks in between!

10. Indy 500 – Do you know how to get where you’re going or do you drive the speed limit? Speed limit for sure. I am a rule follower, so when I drive on the highway, I only allow myself to go 3 miles or less above the speed limit. Hey, it has its advantages. My car insurance is really low!

On the Eighteenth of May

by Jordan R. Samuel

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GENRE: Romance

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BLURB:

On the evening of the eighteenth of May, a young woman named Cass walks alone into a small village with the intent to stay for exactly one year. Cass soon meets two precocious children, a caring and generous business owner, and the Chief of Police from the neighboring town. Family and loss are parts of many of their stories, and while these people, as well as others, attempt to know and help her, the history and troubled memories of what led Cass to this place begin to gradually unfold. As the potential for love and the pathway for healing become clearer, the date of departure approaches. Cass and those around her will be forced to decide how forcefully they are willing to hold on: to the past, to the pain, and to the person.

On the Eighteenth of May is the story of the people and events that are interwoven throughout Cass’s journey and her life.  It is a story that examines the true test of strength in the deepest depths of sorrow, as felt by the human heart. It is a story that explores the perceived helplessness of those within the support structure, and the extent to which those we love can hinder or accelerate the healing process.  Finally, it is a story that reminds us of the overwhelming power of comforting influences in all of our lives, as our human souls struggle, against all odds, to survive.

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Excerpt:

The megaphone announcer was readying the competitors now. “All teams to the line, please. I’ll count down from three to one, then listen for the horn as your start signal.”

Lucas watched as the other pairs approached the line where he now stood alone. He looked down at his right leg where the Velcro strap lay. He started to bend down to retrieve it so he could move aside and out of the way, when suddenly he saw another leg appear beside his. A person was crouched down, securing a left leg to his right one, pulling the Velcro tight, fastening the hooks.

The megaphone announcer shouted, “Three!”

The person was standing upright now, looking straight ahead towards the finish line. Lucas, however, was looking at the side of her face. He felt her left arm reach around his waist, felt her hand as it clasped onto his shirt.

“Two…,” the announcer called. The spectators appeared fully enthralled with the drama of the countdown. 

She was silent, looking straight ahead, and now, he too, looked straight ahead and readied himself for the race. Without thinking, his right arm reached up and over her shoulders, found her waist, and settled there in a loose embrace of her shirt and skin underneath.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Jordan R. Samuel is a former public school teacher and administrator who enjoys her current work as an Assistant Professor of Education. She spends her days with her husband and her three children as she teaches, studies and writes. She immensely enjoys travelling, and penned many parts of this particular story while relaxing in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina.

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20148821.Jordan_R_Samuel

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Jordan-R-Samuel/e/B087CB3RTF/

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Author Patricia V. Davis: the Secret Spice Cafe Trilogy

Patricia V. Davis is giving away $25 Amazon/BN gift card.

Author Interview: Patricia V. Davis

1. How did you choose your genre? What made you write this book?

I didn’t choose the genre—it chose me, as did the story. Some while ago, I stayed aboard the RMS Queen Mary, the ship where the novel is set. It used to be a grand ocean liner, and now it serves as a floating hotel and museum, permanently docked in Long Beach, California. It’s glamorous, has an astounding history, and is also believed to be haunted. But I didn’t know any of that when I stayed overnight. I had an experience that…let’s say, was unique. And that experience, as well as the beauty and history of the ship, inspired the novels


2. Writers write what they know, and must observe the world. Are you a first born, middle or last child and how does this shape your view of the world?  I’m the first-born. I didn’t like that at all growing up. I didn’t want to be ‘in charge’ of my younger siblings. They never listened to me. Why should they have? I wasn’t their parent. They gave me lots of crap when I was left alone with them to take care of them, and then when our mother got home, I got more crap because they didn’t do what she told me they needed to do before she got back. Did that shape my world view? I don’t know.  I only gave birth to one child, so maybe.


3. Where is your favorite place to write?  I can write anywhere, but I write best when I’m alone in the house with no one to distract me. I can write for hours on end, survive on turmeric tea, toast and cheese, broccoli, berries, dark chocolate, and the occasional shot of white rum. I don’t have to get up and cook. I don’t have to talk to anyone. I don’t have to comb my hair unless I want to. And if I am on a roll, I might stay in my pajamas for three days straight. 


4. How do you feel about killing your darlings, and what do you do with the remains? After more than a decade of this, I’ve learned not to be so sensitive. If my editor is good, and it’s suggested that I cut or change something, ninety-nine percent of the time I do. There’s no heartbreak in it for me. The goal is to write your best story, not get your ego stroked, and a good editor makes a good story better. 


5. You are introduced to your favorite author. Who is it, and what is that one burning question you must ask them?  I don’t have one favorite, so I can’t answer the question properly. If I could ask a question of some of my favorites, it might be, “Can I come to your house?”

6. Inquiring minds want to know…tell readers something about you that no one knows Hmm. I’m pretty much an open book. Let’s see…okay, here’s one: My big toes on both feet are double-jointed. I can bend them completely sideways. It looks really weird. 


7. You are stranded on a deserted island with only a back pack for company. What three items are in your survival pack?  A giant tube of sunscreen, a can of mosquito repellant, a Jedi lightsaber.


8. If you could have one super power in your existence, what would it be? Fun. It’s one that one of my characters in Spells and Oregano has—to speak every language in existence. It’s not enough that I already talk too much in English. 


9. Favorite snack? Lindt’s Extra Dark Chocolate Truffles.


10. Indy 500 – Do you know how to get where you’re going or do you drive the speed limit? I don’t know how to get where I’m going, but I would floor it, anyway. 

The Secret Spice Café Trilogy

by Patricia V. Davis

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GENRE: magical realism, women’s paranormal fiction, mystery

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BLURB:

Book One: Cooking For Ghosts

Do hearts broken long ago forever leave a tangible trace?

A Vegas cocktail waitress. An Indian herbalist. A British chemistry professor. An Italian-American widow. Four unique women with one thing in common: each is haunted by a tragedy from her past.

Cynthia, Rohini, Jane, and Angela meet on a food blogging site and bond over recipes. They decide on impulse to open The Secret Spice, an elegant café on the magnificent ocean liner, the RMS Queen Mary, currently a floating hotel in Long Beach, California. Rich in history and tales of supernatural occurrences, the ship hides her own dark secrets.

The women are surrounded by ghosts long before they step aboard, but once they do, nothing is quite what it seems. Not the people they meet, not their brooding chef’s mystic recipes, and not the Queen Mary herself. Yet the spirits they encounter help them discover that there’s always a chance to live, as long as one is alive.

An Official Pulpwood Queens Book Club Selection, and read by Ann Marie Gideon, COOKING FOR GHOSTS is an unforgettable tale of love, redemption, and divine female power.

Book Two: Spells and Oregano

 A mother desperate to save her twin sons, a war veteran in torment, a beautiful young psychic with a terrible secret, a powerful magician with a shattered soul, and a Queen steeped in history and glory. These extraordinary beings cross paths and set off a remarkable chain of events in Spells and Oregano: Book II in The Secret Spice Cafe Trilogy.

Overcome by despair after a trauma when she was sixteen, Sarita Taylor has spent the past ten years isolated and lonely aboard her beloved RMS Queen Mary. Fearful of outsiders, she dedicates her time to managing The Secret Spice Café, now an award-winning restaurant. Until Luca Miceli, a man with a dark past, steps on board.

Patricia V. Davis deftly spins past and present, mystery and magic, into a potent story of passionate longing and family tragedy all at once. Spells and Oregano is a compelling tale of atonement, devotion, and undying love, set aboard one of the world’s most magnificent, haunted ships.

Don’t miss Cooking for Ghosts: Book I in The Secret Spice Cafe Trilogy. The Secret Spice Trilogy is an Official Pulpwood Queens Book Club Selection

Book Three: Demons: Well Seasoned

Dare to Believe in Your Power…

A long-lost grandmother. A stay-at-home mom. A comic book fan. A five-year-old girl with a star-shaped birthmark. And nine more.

The cast is bigger, the stakes are higher. When Sarita’s grandmother, a Vodou priestess, foresees a terrible evil, Cynthia, Jane, Angela, and Rohini reunite on a heart-rending mission to save all that’s precious to them, including the iconic ship, the RMS Queen Mary. They cannot do it alone–the priestess tells them there must be thirteen on the night of the thirteenth moon. in this life-or-death pursuit. Yet, can she be trusted?

Spiced with history and the supernatural, Demons, Well-Seasoned takes us from 1930s Glasgow, to New Orleans and Harlem in the 1950s, to present day southern California, and back again, on a metaphysical voyage that is both exhilarating and poignant. But before you embark upon this final sail with the denizens of The Secret Spice, be warned: expect to lose sleep, and keep tissues at hand. These valiant characters might just stay with you long after their story comes to a close.

Don’t miss Cooking for Ghosts, and Spells & Oregano, Books I and II in The Secret Spice Café Trilogy. The Secret Spice Cafe Trilogy is an Official Pulpwood Queens Book Club Selection.

Excerpt: Cooking for Ghosts:

Unconcerned with what her business partners were up to, Rohini was giggling with excitement. Hugging herself, she whirled in circles, then flung her arms up over her head and collapsed back in dizzy elation onto the enormous bed in the glorious stateroom. Everything was glorious. She was here. This was her room. The Secret Spice was, in part, her restaurant.

 Hers.

And when she’d first seen the Queen from the back seat of Cynthia’s preposterous little car, she knew she was headed to exactly where she should be. She couldn’t stop smiling, until, abruptly, a lump formed in her throat and her eyes misted with tears.

“I made it, Zahir,” she whispered. “I made it.”

She sobered as she thought of him, of all he’d done for her, and all that she might still need to do on her own.

But that wasn’t for today. Today was for celebration and thankfulness. Getting up from the bed, she opened her case, pulled out all the little plastic sacks of spices and herbs she’d packed, and sighed with relief. Not a one had opened or torn. Even so, she could smell their pungent bouquet right through the protective wrappings. Rauvolfia, Serpentina, Jaiphal, Javitri, Khus Khus, Ashwagandha and more — why did cinnamon always smell the strongest? There were dozens of varieties that she’d stuffed inside shirt sleeves and trouser legs and white cotton gym socks, just like a drug dealer might hide a stash. The TSA had missed them completely. They’d even affixed a sticker to the top of her bag: “Checked by Homeland Security.”

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

PATRICIA V. DAVIS’s debut novel series, THE SECRET SPICE CAFE, is comprised of three books: COOKING FOR GHOSTS (2016) SPELLS AND OREGANO (2017) and DEMONS, WELL-SEASONED. (2019) The audio books will be released in 2020 by Tantor Media, and narrated by Ann Marie Gideon. Patricia lives with her husband, who is both a poker player and a rice farmer, so she divides her time between southern Nevada and northern California. Say hello to Patricia at her author website: www.TheSecretSpice.com

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/authorpatriciavdavis/

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

TikTok:        @patriciavdavis

Wikipedia:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patricia_V._Davis

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Author Jennifer Anne Gordon: Beautiful, Frightening and Silent

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Pomotions. Jennifer Anne Gordon will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Adam, a young alcoholic, slowly descends into madness while dealing with the psychological scars of childhood trauma which are reawakened when his son and wife die in a car accident that he feels he is responsible for. After a failed suicide attempt, and more group meetings that he can mention. Adam hears a rumor of a Haunted Island off the Coast of Maine, where “if someone wants it bad enough” they could be reunited with a lost loved one. In his desperate attempt to connect with the ghost of his four-and-a half year old son, he decides to go there, to Dagger Island, desperate to apologize to, or be condemned by, his young son. Adam is not sure what he deserves or even which of these he wants more. While staying in a crumbling old boarding house, he becomes involved with a beautiful and manipulative ghost who has spent 60 years tormenting the now elderly man who was her lover, and ultimately her murderer. The three of them create a “Menage-a-Guilt” as they all come to terms with what it is that ties them so emotionally to their memories and their very “existence”.Beautiful, Frightening, and Silent is a poetic fever dream of grief, love, and the terrifying ways that obsession can change who we are.

Read an Excerpt

She walks slowly to his bed, leaving a trail of wet footprints in her stead. She is a ghost ship, silently making its way across the sea of his room. She looks at his sleeping form, he is curled in on himself. When he was younger and stronger, he would sleep like a warrior. He was so proud. He would dominate everything, his bed, his dreams, even sleep itself would bow down under his perceived strength.

He is so much older now. These days he sleeps like a child, or a cat, both starving but petrified of the mouse.

She hears the rattling of death, climbing out from the deepest parts of his lungs each time he exhales. It was the little things like these moments, she supposed, that she grew to love. They were her favorite part of all of this. Her favorite part of this very long endless day.

This existence, it is not a life, but it is not death. She is in the in-between. She is in the empty.

She climbs into his bed and into his world. She lies next to him; her body is damp and seemingly heavy. Her wet hair and wet face, and waterlogged body creep into his dreams. She is a memory revitalized, a nightmarish creature, a visitor come back to stay.

She stares at him, intently, she is focused. You would think, after 60 years she would grow tired of his face, of this, her nightly ritual, but she hasn’t, and she expects she never will. She stares until she feels something building in her throat, it’s her anger, it’s her fear, it’s her rage. It feels like fire, it burns inside her, aching to get out.

He opens his eyes, with the confusion of age, alcohol and too many dreams. Before thinking better of it, his arm reaches across the bed. It reaches for her memory. He finds the other side of the bed empty, but damp. She doesn’t let him touch her, not for many years. In the morning, his sheets will smell like the ocean, at least her side of the bed will. It will have the aching scent of brine, salt, and wet. It is so different from the way his side smells, which is of tears, whiskey, and the sour sweat of fear.

He gets up, ignores the wet foot prints she leaves on the floor, the ones that lead to his bed, the ones that circle him while he sleeps. He plods to the bathroom, washes his face, rinses the staleness out of his mouth, he thinks for a moment he sees her out of the corner of his eye. She will always look the same, with her soaked hair, white dress, her head down, no, she doesn’t let him look at her face, not directly. His breath catches in his throat; he makes a sound, somewhere between a cough and a scream.

He should be used to this by now, used to her. The simple fact she can still surprise him like this is what keeps all of this from becoming commonplace. He thinks he picks up on the sound of her laugh, the way it would ring like silver in his ears, but he is mistaken.

She loves him.

No, that’s not quite right.

She loved him.

She tries to remember the time before she felt those things. this task of hers is more difficult than one would expect, the simplicity of trying to remember when she existed before they met, before she wandered into his life. This a burden she has not yet managed to bear.

Was there a time before they collided and destroyed each other’s worlds?

She hates him.

She never hated him while she was alive, she should have, she knows that he deserved it. He deserved her hate.

She does hate him now. She knows is both a beginning and an ending.

Hate can be powerful, but not as powerful as fear.

She fears him now.

She feared him then.

There are ghosts and memories in this house that even she fears. This man, he only fears her. It is what keeps her here.

She opens her mouth, and she invites the rage that burns in her throat to finally have a voice and it feels like fire, waiting to be born. She feels it rushing out of her. It is a scream that has taken 60 years to finally be birthed.

She opens her mouth, and all that’s there is saltwater.

About the Author:

Jennifer Anne Gordon is a gothic horror novelist. Her debut novel, Beautiful, Frightening, and Silent broke presale records with her publisher (Breaking Rules Publishing) and has received critical acclaim. Her second novel, From Daylight to Madness, is set to be released in late summer 2020 and is the second in her “Dagger Island” series.

She had a collection of her mixed media artwork published during spring of 2020, entitled Victoriana: mixed media art of Jennifer Gordon
Jennifer is one of the hosts of Writer Someday, to Author Today, as well as Prose Garden, she is also a book reviewer and contributor to HorrorTree.com, as well as the Creator and Host of Vox Vomitus, a video and podcast on the Global Authors on the Air Network.

Jennifer is a pale curly haired ginger, obsessed with horror, ghosts, abandoned buildings, and her dog “Lord Tubby”.

She graduated from the New Hampshire Institute of Art, where she studied Acting. She also studied at the University of New Hampshire with a concentration in Art History and English.

She has made her living as an actress, a magician’s assistant, a “gallerina”, a painter, and burlesque performer. For the past 10 years as an award-winning professional ballroom dancer, performer, instructor, and choreographer.

When not scribbling away (ok, typing frantically) she enjoys traveling with her fiancé and dance partner Roman Sirotin, teaching her dog ridiculous tricks (like ‘give me a kiss’ and ‘what hand is the treat in?’) as well as taking photos of abandoned buildings and haunted locations.

She is a leo, so at the end of the day she really just thinks about her hair.
Her novel as well as her art collection are available on Amazon.
For more information and benevolent stalking, please visit her website.

Website: http://www.JenniferAnneGordon.com

Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/y9bepoqj
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JenniferAnneGordonAuthor/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jennifergenevievegordon/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JenniferAnneGo5
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20063036.Jennifer_Gordon

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Author Gini Grossenbacher: Madam in Silk

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Gini Grossenbacher will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

San Francisco,1849. Despite her objections, twenty-year-old Ah Toy and her servant Chen voyage from China to San Francisco with her husband who dies on board ship. With little cash and bound feet, how is she to find employment in the Gold Rush town? Since she is the only Chinese woman there, she opens a “Lookee Shop,” catering to miners who pay in gold dust to see her exotic beauty. As her notoriety grows, so does her attraction to the devoted policeman, John Clark. Yet should she put her faith in one man? Will their love survive despite her frightening encounter with Sydney Ducks, threats from rival madam Li Fan, and a tempting offer from Henry Conrad who promises her wealth and security? Armed with her mystical beliefs of the inner dragon and Goddess Mazu, Ah Toy faces much more than the journey from the ancient ways in China to the new world in America. In fact, she must find the true source of courage in a life or death struggle for her own fate, justice, and dignity. Based on page-turning accounts about the life of Ah Toy, one of San Francisco’s most legendary madams.

Read an Excerpt

After she swallowed what seemed like a rock, she found her voice. “If you knew this Mr. Painter, why did you not contact us in Guangdong?” If only her dragon would reach out its fangs to bite him.

“I tried, but even when I sent your husband the letter, I knew you would not receive it by the time you sailed. News came too late.” He twisted the brim of his cap.

“Now what do I do?” Those dragon fangs would tear off that hair on his face. Then she would feed it to the chickens.

He reached into his inner coat pocket, drew out an envelope, and held it out to her. “Here is money to get by for a month. Lodging, room and board.”

“Only a month?” She took the envelope, her hands trembling.

Painter’s patient tone grew curt. “I got you a room in Little Canton until you can get another ship’s passage home. You better leave on the next sail. Believe me, without a job you are a gone circumstance amidst all these varmints.”

“What are varmints?” she asked.

He tapped the badge clinging to his lapel. “Men with no good intent. You’ll see men who call themselves Hounds from New York who parade around town with fife and drum. Stay away from that lot. They prey on immigrants, such as your fellow Celestials and Mexicans. . . .

She took a half-step toward him. “I am strong. Willing to work.” Maybe if she said the words, they would come true. Was her dragon listening?

About the Author:

MADAM IN SILK is California teacher and editor Gini Grossenbacher’s second historical fiction novel. Her debut novel MADAM OF MY HEART garnered the 2018 IPPY silver medal for Historical Fiction; finalist in the 2018 American Fiction Awards for Historical Fiction; honorable mention at the 2018 San Francisco Book Festival for General Fiction; and runner-up in the 2017 Hollywood Book Festival for Genre Fiction. She is also a copyeditor and leads an aspiring writers group called Elk Grove Writers and Artists, providing lessons in novel writing, memoir, poetry, and flash fiction. When she’s not writing, Gini can be found taking long walks, tending the roses in her garden, and barbecuing with her husband and beloved dog, Murphy Brown.

Amazon buy book link: https://www.amazon.com/Madam-Silk-Gini-Grossenbacher-ebook/dp/B07VH5SXVN/ref=sr_1_1

Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.ginigrossenbacher.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ginigrossenbacherauthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ggrossenbacher
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ggrossenbacher/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/ggrossenbacher/

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Author Barbara Whitaker: Kitty’s War

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Barbara Whitaker will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Seeking adventure, shy Kitty Greenlee joins the Women’s Army Corps. In 1944 England, as secretarial support to the 8th Air Force, she encounters her dream man, a handsome lieutenant who only has eyes for her blonde friend. Uncomfortable around men, Kitty doesn’t think the handsome officer could want someone like her.

Recovering from wounds, Ted Kruger wants to forget about losing his closest friends and have fun before returning to danger as a bomber navigator. When Ted recognizes Kitty as the girl who rescued him two years before, he must choose between dating the sexy blonde or pursuing quiet, serious-minded Kitty even though he knows he’s not nearly good enough for her.

As the war gears up with the D-Day invasion, will Kitty and Ted risk their hearts as well as their lives?

Read an Excerpt

Once all the WACs were ashore, they marched to a loading area and climbed aboard waiting trucks. Packed like sardines, they had to pile their overstuffed duffle bags on their feet.

Katherine squirmed to get more comfortable and bit her trembling lip.

Madge leaned close. “You okay, kid?”

She nodded, but it was a lie. She fought the panic, pushed it deep inside.

“We’re here. We’ll be settled soon.” Madge tried to reassure her, and Katherine was grateful.

“I know.” She placed her hands on her midsection. “I’ll feel better when my stomach calms down.” Truth was she didn’t like the in-between. She wanted to get there, wherever there was, and get to work. She closed her eyes, leaned her head back against the canvas cover, and willed herself not to cry. After all, she wasn’t alone. Madge was here with her. She’d made it so far. This was the biggest adventure of her life. She wouldn’t fall apart now.

Madge patted her hand, and Katherine realized she had squeezed it into a tight fist. “Kitty. Relax. We’ll get there, in good time.”

“Are you Kitty?” a girl across from them asked.

Katherine’s eyes flew open. She nodded and forced a smile. Madge had dubbed her Kitty when they’d first met. And Katherine had accepted it because she’d wanted so badly for Madge to be her friend.

“I heard you were on the ship. You’re the one who got all the commendations back in Boston, aren’t you?” The girl stuck her hand across the mound of duffle bags. “I’m Dallas.”

Kitty nodded, unsure whether the girl meant her comment as a compliment or a jibe. She leaned forward and politely shook the girl’s hand. “Nice to meet you.”

About the Author:

Barbara grew up in a small town in Tennessee where the repeated stories of local and family history became embedded in her psyche. Fascinating tales of wartime, from her parents and her in-laws, instilled an insatiable curiosity about World War II. After retiring from her sensible career in accounting, she began full time pursuit of her lifelong love of historical romantic fiction. Enjoying every minute of research, Barbara spends hours reading, watching old, black-and-white movies and listening to big band music.
Although Barbara and her husband have been longtime residents of Florida, they both still think of Tennessee as “home.” Visit Barbara’s website at http://barbarawhitaker.com. Or find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BarbaraWhitakerAuthor.

Buy Links and Other Links:

https://www.amazon.com/Kittys-War-Barbara-Whitaker-ebook/dp/B01MCU9SOW/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/kittys-war-barbara-whitaker/1125466321?ean=9781509210909
https://www.bookbub.com/books/kitty-s-war-by-barbara-whitaker
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33303373-kitty-s-war
https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/kitty-s-war-2
https://www.audible.com/pd/Kittys-War-Audiobook/B07MJ7LFKC
https://books.apple.com/us/book/kittys-war/id1164144741

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Author Claudia Riess: False Light

https://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2020/04/nbtm-false-light-by-claudia-riess.html

Claudia Riess will be awarding a $50 Amazon or BN GC to a randomly drawn commenter via rafflecopter during the tour.

Author Interview: Claudia Riess

1. How did you choose your genre?  What made you write this book?

I love art, mystery and romance and wanted to explore all three.  The notion of “genre” was secondary.  For efficiency it’s labeled mystery, but it’s really hybrid.  What sparked Stolen Light, the first book in the art mystery series was an offhand remark by my brother, an art historian, about the possibilities of unearthing a presentation drawing or cartoon fragment of Michelangelo’s Battle of Cascina.  The idea instantly brought to mind a conversation I’d had years with ago with a college mate, who spoke of her father’s sugar plantation in Cuba having been confiscated during the Cuban Revolution.  I reconfigured events, made the plantation owner an art enthusiast whose art collection is looted during an incident shrouded in a mystery that resurfaces six decades later. Enter Erika Shawn, a young art magazine editor and Harrison Wheatley, a more seasoned art history professor, who find themselves thrown together in an academic sleuthing adventure that turns deadly and a burgeoning romance with hazards of its own.  What pressed me into writing False Light, the second book in the series, is two-fold. I was hooked on tackling adventures in the art world, where man’s most sublime aspirations conflict with its basest, and Erika and Harrison were insisting that I allow them to get on with their lives.

2. Writers write what they know, and must observe the world. Are you a first-born, middle or last child and how does this shape your view of the world?

I’m a first born.  However, for the first ten—formative—years of my life I was an only child, the center of the universe; my parents’, at any rate. As the exclusive recipient of their attention, I was read to for uninterrupted spans at bedtime, escorted to piano and dancing lessons, trips to the beach and museums, zoos and playgrounds.  Luckily, at the same time I was being doted on, I was being encouraged to think freely and to view the world with neither dark nor rose-colored lenses, but clearly.  We used to sit around the kitchen table eating crackers and cheese and debating (sometimes loudly) ideas on the meaning of the universe. I was given a copy of Will and Ariel Durant’s The Age of Reason to pore over.  There was a kind of innocent romance to all this, I mean the kind that precedes but nevertheless seeps into one’s attitudes and expectations of adult relationships.  I think the association, early on in my life, of lively discussion and free inquiry, especially in the company of my caring parents, made me feel safe to freely inquire and explore in my writing.

3. Where is your favorite place to write?

At my cluttered desk, which sits near a bank of windows overlooking the East River.  When I’m proof-reading, editing, or typing up passages scribbled on legal pads, I glance out at the lovely view and am refreshed.  When I’m about to be immersed in a scene unfolding, a dialogue heating up, I want to insulate myself in my little workspace.  I pull down the shades.

4. How do you feel about killing your darlings, and what do you do with the remains?  

You mean brilliant ideas that just won’t fit into a scene or jam up a sentence?  I’m getting better at tossing them.  A few get saved for what I kid myself into thinking will be a more appropriate environment.  Later I take a second look and realize, oh, here’s a rambling bit of self-aggrandizement. Or not another expository remark sure to slow down the plot.  Bye bye.

5. You are introduced to your favorite author.  Who is it, and what is that one burning question you must ask them? 

Hard to choose, so I’ll stick with the first one who comes to mind: David Mitchell.  I’d really like to ask him about the creative process that went into the production of “The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish,” a lengthy excursion in his novel, Cloud Atlas.  This is the most hilarious stretch of writing I’ve ever come across.  I cried with laughter until my sides hurt.  Was it necessary for the riff to have gone on for so long?  Who cares. I have several questions about it.  I’m not sure which burns the most.  I would ask Mitchell if he was laughing throughout the writing or was he stone cold sober.  I would ask if he could not stop himself from going on and on with it, or was he in total control of its pace and duration.  I would ask if the first draft was even longer, but his editor had him cut it down, and if so, did he put up a fight or willingly yield.

6. Indy 500 – Do you know how to get where you’re going or do you drive the speed limit?

I drive over the speed limit in spurts.  When I know where a scene is headed and the GPS is entered, I race ahead.  When a character decides to override the directions, I swerve, then hopefully regain my composure and race ahead.  When I hit a bump in the road—a plot glitch, an awkward sentence—I generally pull off to the side of the road and fix it.  Sometimes I slow down to a snail’s pace as I mull over a problematic image or a fresh idea.  At those times, I may grab my pad and pen from the door pocket and blindly scribble a couple of words to remind me what I should deal with later. There can be a good bit of lurching during those intervals. You wouldn’t want to be in the passenger seat.

False Light: An Art History Mystery

by Claudia Riess

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GENRE:   Mystery

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

Academic sleuths Erika Shawn, art magazine editor, and Harrison Wheatley, a more seasoned art history professor, set out to tackle a brain teaser.  This time the couple—married since their encounter in Stolen Light, first in the series—attempt to crack the long un-deciphered code of art forger Eric Hebborn (1934-1996), which promises to reveal the whereabouts of a number of his brilliant Old Master counterfeits.  (Hebborn, in real life, was a mischievous sort, who had a fascination with letters and a love-hate relationship with art authenticators.  I felt compelled to devise a puzzler on his behalf!)  After publication of his memoir, Drawn to Trouble, published in 1991, he encrypts two copies with clues to the treasure hunt.  On each of the title pages, he pens a tantalizing explanatory letter.  One copy he sends to an art expert; the second, he releases into general circulation.  The catch: both books are needed to decipher the code.

When the books are at last united 25 years later, Erik and Harrison are enlisted to help unearth their hidden messages.  But when several research aides are brutally murdered, the academic challenge leads to far darker mysteries in the clandestine world of art crime.  As the couple navigate this sinister world, both their courage under fire and the stability of their relationship are tested.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excerpt:

Erika would not permit herself to sleep. She gave in to her selfish body only to allow it to lean its skull and spine against the wall as she went over, again and again, the day’s nightmare. Reliving it kept the memory raw; healing, impossible.

There was a light tapping on the door. She didn’t know how long she had been sitting there, only that the scant light in the room had dimmed. There was another tap.

“Miss Erika? May I come in?”

It was Grace. Erika had never heard the woman’s supplicating tone of voice, but who else could it be? “Grace?”

“Yes, Miss. Please, may I?”

A kind of dull curiosity moved her to answer, “Come in.”

Grace opened the door and entered the room. She was holding a tray, bracing one side of it with her forearm. She turned the knob with her free hand and shut the door, then better secured the tray. “I’ve brought you some cream of tomato soup and a muffin. You need some nourishment. Would you turn on the light? You wouldn’t want this old lady to trip, would you?”

Grace’s gentle prodding was so uncharacteristic that it caused Erika to rise to her feet and obey, as if to the command of a hypnotist. She clicked on the wall light and took the tray from Grace.

“Where should I put it?”

Grace scurried to the vanity table and pushed aside Erika’s pads and pens. “Right here is good.”

Erika did as she was told. Grace pulled out the chair from the vanity and reached up to touch Erika’s shoulder. “Now sit and have some soup.” She smoothed her scalloped white apron overlaying her starched black dress and stood there, waiting.

“I’m not hungry, Grace.”

“You don’t want to be hungry, but you are,” Grace said, without budging.

There seemed to be no choice but to heed Grace’s first prompt. Erika sat down. She had no intention of lifting the spoon provided. “Thank you.” She waited for Grace to exit the room.

Grace wasn’t going anywhere. She strode to the desk and dragged the desk chair to the vanity, placing it directly alongside Erika’s chair. She sat down. “You must take care of yourself—for yourself as well as your husband,” she said. “He loves you so. I have never seen him so distraught.”

“Harrison will be fine,” Erika said, staring straight ahead.

Grace shook her head. “Not if you aren’t.” She took Erika’s hand in her own. “I haven’t been very cordial to you. I apologize.”

“Apology accepted,” Erika said, feeling nothing.

“I have no children,” Grace said. “I worked for Harrison’s grandparents for fifty years. I’ve known Harrison all his life, and he is family to me; my only family. He is a dear man, but terribly naïve. It broke my heart to see his first wife take advantage of him. She nearly destroyed him. I was afraid you might do the same.”

“I won’t.” She withdrew her hand from Grace’s.

“I know you won’t. I see how you are with him. I see how you look at him.

My prejudice made me blind to this, but now I see.”

Erika turned to Grace. “I’m empty, Grace. Do you see that?” She returned her focus to the wall.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Claudia Riess, a Vassar graduate, has worked in the editorial departments of The New Yorker and Holt, Rinehart, and Winston and has edited several art history monographs.

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3052782.Claudia_Riess

http://www.facebook.com/ClaudiaRiessBooks

https://www.instagram.com/claudiariessbooks/

Buy Link:

The book is on sale for only $0.99 during the tour.

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Author David Beem: Edger

https://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2020/03/nbtm-edger-audio-book-by-david-beem.html

David Beem will be awarding a $10 Amazon or BN GC to one randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter.

Author Interview: David Beem

1. How did you choose your genre? What made you write this book?

I was going through a tough stretch after a neurological disability ended my cello career. Writing began as a temporary creative station while I got my bearings. I wanted to inhabit a “fun” place, psychologically, and settled on the comedy fiction genre.

For Edger, I was inspired by the TV show Chuck, which had recently finished its run. I knew I wanted to write something similar but make it my own thing. There’s not a real comparable literary manifestation to the action-comedy tv show, but I studied books like Hitchhiker’s Guide, and Good Omens, Dave Barry’s Big Trouble and Insane City, and a few less comparable books, namely rom-coms and one wonderful book by Jonathan Tropper called This is Where I Leave You, because in the beginning poor Edger was going to die! Also, this was around the time Marvel was really lifting off. Superheroes were an emerging hot topic. I shopped the idea for my manuscript to around fifty agents, but none of them wanted it. These books are so unlike anything out there, either someone is going to “get it,” or they aren’t. Either way is fine when you’re self-publishing, if the goal is to write the book you want to read. One of these days I suppose I’ll write to market.

2. Writers write what they know and must observe the world. Are you a first born, middle or last child and how does this shape your view of the world?

 I’m the second of two boys, but I wouldn’t say my outlook is shaped by that. Rather, I think the most dominant force comes from my former career as a classical musician. That industry occupies a somewhat marginalized segment in our country’s workforce. Most classical musicians exist in the “gig economy,” playing in what’s called “the freeway philharmonic,” meaning they play in many part-time orchestras, driving from one city to another each week for rehearsals, concerts, and often teaching positions. That makes them (as a tribe-at-large) rather nomadic. So that’s a formative thing in its own right, because you see the country, other countries, and encounter all kinds of people, particularly if you teach. But classical musicians are also dedicated to an art form that isn’t particularly rewarded by our country’s capitalist model, where popular things thrive, and less popular things have less market value. Classical musicians dedicate their lives to Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms, and also self-mastery. (Playing in tune, with good rhythm, musical expression, etc.) And they do these things with much the same life-or-death intensity as some people bring to a literal battlefield—which is a less hyperbolic observation than it might seem at first blush. Of course, every career has some kind of life-or-death intensity to it by virtue of bills needing to get paid. But the formative aspect of being a classical musician was, for me, in giving such devotion to something that has so little value in the “normal” swaths of our society. I always felt like an outsider looking in, and there was what normal people did, popular culture they spoke fluently, and really big kitchens with expensive countertops, and then there was my life, which largely consisted of wood, strings, horsehair, and rosin.

3. Where is your favorite place to write?

I have one home office where I write everything.

4. How do you feel about killing your darlings, and what do you do with the remains?

HA! I write a lot of darlings, which makes them easier to kill. They exist entombed in the subfolder grave of death, cursed.

 5. You are introduced to your favorite author. Who is it, and what is that one burning question you must ask them?

Stephen King. How does he curate his reading list? That guy reads like a machine, and his writing reflects it!

6. Inquiring minds want to know…tell readers something about you that no one knows.

That no one knows? Hm. My favorite dessert is a cream horn from Macri’s Italian Bakery in downtown South Bend, IN. Sugary-flaky goodness and whip cream may be the pinnacle of human achievement!

7. You are stranded on a deserted island with only a backpack for company. What three items are in your survival pack?

My wife, my son, and my dog. (It’s a big backpack.)

8. If you could have one super power in your existence, what would it be?

The Force. Do, or do not. There is no try.

9. Favorite snack?

Sweet Cajun trail mix.

10. Indy 500 – Do you know how to get where you’re going or do you drive the speed limit?

I’ve got the pedal to the metal in search of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway—but I’m driving a bumper car in Walt Disney World’s Goofy Versus Godzilla ride.

www.davidbeem.com

https://amzn.to/2RNyhEw

Edger (2018) by David Beem

Edger Audiobook (2020) Narrated by Vikas Adam

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Authors Marcia Rosen & Jory Rosen: The Gourmet Gangster

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Marcia Rosen & Jory Rosen will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


A Note from the Author

The mysteries are malicious. The recipes are delicious. John Klopfenstein, Criminal Defense Attorney ~ Carmel/Salinas, California

My son Jory and I had a great time collaborating on this book. I wrote the mysteries and he provided the recipes. Together we created some murderous titles for the recipes and decided which types of food would best fit the various mystery stories.

Some of my stories were influenced by being a gangster’s daughter.

Really. My father was a gangster.

He was a bookie, owned a gambling ‘place’ and when he was ready to move on, he and his partner opened a restaurant and bar at the heart of Main Street in Buffalo, New York.

The head of one of the big crime families lived in Buffalo. Odd as it may seem, Buffalo was home to many members of that family in the middle of the twentieth century. There are books about them, telling who they were and what they controlled—from Buffalo to Niagara Falls.

My father knew some of them, I have been told. He was invited to share their goods, their ill gained fortunes and business opportunities. He always refused, and I’m grateful for his wisdom and choice. For some reason they left him alone to forge his own gains.

He did not have or carry a gun. In fact, even though his wife, my mother (who I once called his gun moll in a story I wrote) could be nasty, he was never unkind to her or me. He was generous, and I learned a lot about generosity through his actions.

My boyfriend at the time, his friends and I would stop in at the restaurant. They would even go on their own, knowing my dad loved to have them visit.

What stories he told them! Ones he wouldn’t tell a daughter, he told them and, eventually, his grandson. Who, of course, told me.

I watched my father as he found his way, lost it and then found it again.

Through it all, I always knew I was loved. How lucky I was!

My two sons, his grandsons, also knew he loved them. They were more than special to him; he adored them.

He loved owning and hanging out at his restaurant, The Spaghetti House, and he enjoyed cooking as much as serving drinks and talking to people.

Some people sat at the bar, others in leather booths where meals were served. Passersby stopped to talk with him. Looking back, I know that, for my father, it was the best of times. Food, friendship and family were at the heart of his life.

Remembering my father, and picturing him at a restaurant he owned is what initially inspired me to write stories that took place in a restaurant. I’m a mystery writer, so they had to be about murder, mayhem and, I thought, a fun bit of madness.

Loving short stories, I decided to write a series of short mysteries, all taking place in a restaurant called Manhattan Shadow.

I’m a New Yorker at heart and have lived there for many years, so New York was perfect as the restaurant’s location and the center of the stories’ criminal organization.

.Zero the Bookie is fashioned after my father. He also appears in my Sleuths Mystery Series along with Dick and Dora Zimmerman, reminiscent of the Thin Man characters.

The idea of adding recipes made good sense, since my father was a chef and the stories were set in a mob-owned restaurant. Then, Level Best Books, our publisher, suggested putting a recipe before each story.

I agreed. “Great idea. My son is a fabulous cook; he can create the recipes. Plus, we’ll give them names to fit the stories.

Indeed, we did. For example, “Chicken Piccata Caper,” “The Sacrificial Lamb,” “The Quiche (Kiss) of Death.” Near the end we added, “A Deadly Delicious Dessert.”

It will perhaps seem strange to some readers that those desserts are ‘donuts,’ but those donuts belong to a very important memory. When my father and mother came to visit us after we moved to Long Island, my father brought along a small donut-making machine.

I wisely disappeared from the anticipated mess.

Oh, how his grandsons loved making the donuts, adding different frostings and sprinkles and devouring them. The three of them had such fun! The experiences of those times have long belonged to my son, Jory. I believe they inspired his joy of cooking.

Here are Jory’s thoughts concerning his love of both cooking and his family ties: “Some of my earliest memories about my grandfather include making donuts with him in the kitchen of our house. I remember his kindness, patience, and love for the process as well as the end result. It gave me a lifetime passion for cooking, and a desire to learn the best techniques. It did, of course, also have the effect of creating a lifetime love affair with donuts (come on, they are nature’s perfect food). As I grew older, there were many shared meals and stories that gave me a true appreciation of my grandfather as a person.

“In my family, today, we truly look forward to our evening meals. I have three kids (2 girls, 9 and 7, and a boy 3); my grandfather would have adored them. What I cook allows my children to get know my grandfather through every bite of the cuisine he created. I hope the recipes in my mother’s books inspire good memories and experiences in others, too.”

As I considered mystery stories for the book, I thought about places familiar to me or where I like to spend time.

The story, “He’s A Dead Duck,” was a reminder of a duck pond we lived near on Long Island, years ago. I loved the idea of creating a story beginning with a duck recipe. “The Chicken Piccata Caper” was the easiest; I always ask Jory to make that delicious recipe for me when I visit.
There’s a story centered in a coffee shop: I meet friends there several times a week to take a writing/computer break.

“Malled to Death” is a result of my seeing a mall at death’s door, most stores gone, when I was back east last year.

Never a dull moment in this entertaining and intriguing collection of underworld stories featuring a mob boss with plenty of axes to grind. Fascinating tales told by a talented author. As an added bonus: delicious recipes for the gourmet mobster in all of us. ~ Lida Sideris, author of the Southern California Mystery series

The Family Business

This is a collection of murder mystery stories linked by two main characters, Poppa and the Boss and at times joined by the Senior Sleuths, Dick and Dora Zimmerman and their friend, Zero the Bookie. How they get involved is often a mystery.

Poppa is head Chef for a successful restaurant, Manhattan Shadow, owned by the Boss, a powerful mobster determined to maintain control and power in his territory.

To refuse to work for him would be considered an insult. Not a good thing for Poppa’s wellbeing.

There are silent implications if one should become disloyal. There are consequences implied one doesn’t want to experience.

In the restaurants private dining room murder is often planned for all sorts of irrational reasons that seem very rational to the Boss: including power, greed, control, revenge and of course money.

The stories Poppa could tell…and does.

But who is he telling?

That’s also part of the mystery.

Of course the Senior Sleuths and Zero know.

Read an Excerpt

Alan D’Angelo didn’t plan to be a mobster.

Hardly anyone grows up thinking that’s the career they want. Also it’s a truth few people grow up unscarred if they’ve been badly and constantly abused. The terrible cruelty of his father sent him to the streets early leaving him with a lifetime of terrible memories played out in haunting nightmares.

Sometimes he woke up in a cold sweat screaming at his father who he hadn’t seen since he was a teenager.

He found companionship on the streets of his neighborhood. Joining a gang made him feel wanted, connected. and most of all it made him fee important as if he mattered, something he’d never felt at home.

All too often, it’s what happened. The gangs became family. It did for him. The Mob Boss early on realized he was a natural leader. Before long the small gang of guys from his neighborhood who were stealing from local stores, grabbing old ladies handbags and taking what they wanted off pushcarts grew, demanding bigger and better opportunities.

Marco was his best pal since grade school. They both quit high school in their junior year and took to controlling the neighborhood with their demands and threats. Marco was over 6 feet tall and 250 lbs., and he would do whatever Alan asked of him.

“We’re taking over this neighborhood Marco and after that further uptown for the really big money. You with me?”

Marco nodded and hugged his friend, who for years had protected him from being bullied. He was more than a little slow and if people made fun of Marco they quickly regretted it. Alan used Marco’s vulnerability to his advantage.

Alan, his mother was Jewish and his father Italian, was just under six feet, good looking, street smart and as mean as they come. He would kick someone who made him mad until they had to be sent to a hospital. Later his anger became more menacing with acts of revenge carried out by Marco.

Some mob leaders were known as shadow kingpins, hiding behind those who carried out their orders. Not Alan D’Angelo. He loved being seen, having people show him respect. It gave him the attention he so desired from his abusive father and a mother too damaged by fear to help him.

Alan became known as The Mob Boss by the time he was in his early twenties. He bullied people, threatened them, and called them humiliating names. Over the years, his power and position grew beyond the neighborhood. His reputation for violence and being vindictive gave him power.

Marco always near by had a 1928 tommy gun in the trunk of his car and carried a Smith and Wesson handgun tucked into his belt.

Meantime, D’Angelo made friends with celebrities, politicians and the police.

“Marco, remember what I told you, money talks. Gives ya power and respect. We got that now. We own them, all of them coming to us for help or money. Anyone betrays us, you know what to do.”

Smiling, Marco stood at the entrance of Manhattan Shadow. There was a red carpet, valet parking and hundreds of lights brightening up the windows and entrance. It had taken many months to remodel the space D’Angelo rented, and spent millions of dollars to build it to his vision of being a showpiece.

***

This was opening night. It had it all: lights, camera, action and positive reviews for it’s elegance and excellent food.

Still, the owners reputation left a bad taste in the mouths of many people.

They would be looking forward to closing night.

The Mob Boss had quite a few people waiting in line for his demise.

Years later the Manhattan Shadow’s lights would go out. There would be real shadows surrounding the cold and empty place where a chef served up gourmet meals and gangsters served up murder.

Here is a deadly delicious recipe from The Gourmet Gangster

Chicken Piccata “Caper”
Cauliflower Rice and Fresh Italian Bread

Chicken Piccata is a classic recipe filled with an amazing lemon butter flavor. Place the Piccata over the fresh cauliflower rice (or standard rice, if you prefer) and let the sauce coat the rice for the ideal bite. Use the bread to soak up any extra sauce. The meal is the perfect complement to the crisp, clean taste of the Sauvignon Blanc.

4 skinless and boneless chicken breasts (The thinner the cutlet the better, as it will cook easier and more evenly. If you have thicker breasts, use a meat mallet or rolling pin to pound thin/flatten out.)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour, for dredging
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup brined capers, rinsed
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Season chicken with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour and shake off excess.

In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 3 tablespoons olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add 2 pieces of chicken and cook for 3 minutes. When chicken is browned, flip and cook other side for 3 minutes. Remove and transfer to plate. Melt 2 more tablespoons butter. When butter starts again to sizzle, add the other 2 pieces of chicken and brown both sides in same manner. Remove pan from heat and add chicken to the plate.

Into the pan add the lemon juice, stock and capers. Return to stove and bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from the pan for extra flavor. Add seasoning to taste and return all the chicken to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove chicken to platter. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to sauce and whisk vigorously. Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley.

Wine Pairing: Sauvignon Blanc.

About the Authors:

M. Glenda Rosen is author of a total of ten books including The Gourmet Gangster: Mysteries and Menus by The Family published by Level Best Books. They are also her publisher for The Senior Sleuth Mystery Series, and will be republishing all four books in her Dying To Be Beautiful Mystery Series. She has won several book awards, was founder and owner of a successful marketing and public relations agency for many years, receiving numerous awards for her work with business and professional women. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, LA and Alb.NM, Central Coast Writers and Public Safety Writer’s Association

She currently resides in Carmel, California and can be reached at: MarciagRosen@gmail.com

Books by M. Glenda Rosen (aka Marcia Rosen)
The Gourmet Gangster, Mysteries and Menus by The Family (Marcia and Son Jory Rosen)
The Senior Sleuths Mysteries: Dead In Seat 4-A
The Senior Sleuths Mysteries: Dead In Bed
The Senior Sleuths Mysteries: Dead In THAT Beach House (2020)
Dying To Be Beautiful: Without A Head
Dying To Be Beautiful: Fashion Queen Dying To Be Beautiful: Fake Beauty Dying To Be Beautiful: Fat Free
My Memoir Workbook
The Woman’s Business Therapist:Eliminate the MindBlocks & RoadBlocks to Success

Jory Rosen has been in the advertising and marketing business for over 30 years and is the owner of the J. Rosen Group, a full-service international advertising, branding and direct marketing agency.

For over two decades, Jory Rosen has set the tone for strong, innovative, and successful campaigns, while providing a flexibility and level of personal client service rarely seen in the industry has extensive experience in all areas of advertising, direct response and marketing including sales, production direct mail, email, web, TV, radio, alternative media and more. In addition, with over 150 campaigns under the belt, there is a strong track record of success.

Jory’s passions are his family, cooking and wine. Jory worked as a cooking demonstrator for many years in NYC and now takes the show on the road by doing cooking demonstrations for his kid’s schools and classrooms. He often cooks meals with his kids and loves seeing their reactions to new recipes and meals.

They live in Los Angeles, California.

http://www.jrosengroup.com
Joryla@gmail.com

Amazon buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Gourmet-Gangster-Mysteries-Menus-ebook/dp/B07ZQYFL4N/

The book is $0.99.

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Author Kristina M. Sanchez Cover Reveal: Never Enough

This cover reveal is organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kristina M. Sanchez will award a randomly drawn winner a $20 Amazon/BN GC. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

At thirty-seven, Valentin Belmonte returned to his mother’s house with his tail between his legs. No surprise there. His life had been a long line of bad choices, failures, and trouble. Also returning home, freshly graduated and on the hunt for a job, was Mina Toussaint, the orphan Val’s mother and stepfather had taken in when he was already grown. She’d been the only person who’d ever really liked him, but he’d screwed that up a long time ago.

Mina’s adoptive family had treated her like the perfect princess and little girl they always wanted. Val was the only one who’d ever seen her for who she really was; she’d never wanted to be a princess. But after what happened when she was sixteen, she thought she hated him. Now, six years later, things were different. She wasn’t the child she’d been when she got so angry. The trouble was that Val hadn’t changed. He still saw her.

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