Author Lindsay M. Chervinsky: The Cabinet

https://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2020/05/nbtm-cabinet-by-lindsay-m-chervinsky.html

Lindsay M. Chervinsky will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Author Interview

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

I’ve always loved history, but I thought of it as a hobby and passion, not necessarily as a career. I had planned to go to law school—including taking the LSATs, applying, and getting into several schools—when I had a last-minute change of heart. Once I decided to get my Ph.D. and make it my profession, early American history was a no brainer, as it’s always fascinated me.

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?

I have two older half-brothers that are nine and fourteen years older than me and a younger sister. Because my brothers were at school most of the time growing up and I was my mom’s firstborn, I definitely have the people-pleaser, rule-follower aspects of the oldest sibling. But my personality is completely shaped by my brothers’ presence in my life. I love sports and I have an adolescent boy’s sense of humor, a sailor’s mouth, and slicing sarcasm.

3. Where is your favorite place to write?

Ideally, I split my writing time between my home office and local coffee shops. I’ve made my home office the most comfortable, writing-conducive space possible and it houses all of my books. But sometimes, if I’m procrastinating, I really need a change of scenery and the peer pressure of being in public to force me to work. The inability to safely work in a coffee shop has been one of the hardest parts of the pandemic for me, so I’ve taken to working outside on my screened-in porch when I need a new environment.

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

I’m a pretty ruthless editor, so I don’t feel much guilt about killing off words. If I’m cutting any more than a sentence, I save it to a scrap file. I’ve frequently used such scraps for articles, blog posts, opinion editorials, or other chapters. NEVER DELETE WORDS. (At least not whole sentences anyway).

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

Well, Jane Austen is my favorite author, so that would be one heck of an opportunity to talk to her! I’d love to talk a walk in the English countryside with her or drink a cup of tea, and I’d like to know if she ever experienced love like she wrote about, or if she just imagined the possibilities.

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

Aquaphor because I absolutely hate chapped lips and skin and that would be essential. My kindle with tons of books stashed on it for entertainment. My dog, John Quincy Dog Adams (Quincy for short). He pretty big, so he doesn’t really fit in a backpack, but I can throw him over my shoulder and cheat. He’s the best pal ever and my constant companion.

7. If you could have one superpower in your existence, what would it be?

I’d like to be able to apparate between places effortlessly. I adore traveling, but I need my sleep and jet lag really affects me. I’m also impatient and I’d like to be able to get there immediately. My family also lives across the country and the inability to travel to see them is really hard. It’s never convenient to fly 3,000 miles, but the pandemic has really emphasized that distance.

8. Favorite snack?

If I’m being healthy, then I love the light Laughing Cow wedges spread on a small apple. If I’m not, then I love Goldfish crackers and Sour Patch Kids. I really can’t keep Goldfish in the house because I simply cannot control myself!

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

I always drive about 5-10 miles over the speed limit. I try really hard not to get speeding tickets, but sometimes 25 MPH is simply ridiculous. I figure if I stay 10 MPH or less over the limit, the police have better things to do. At least that’s what I tell myself!

The Cabinet

by Lindsay M. Chervinsky

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GENRE:   History

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BLURB:

The US Constitution never established a presidential cabinet―the delegates to the Constitutional Convention explicitly rejected the idea. So how did George Washington create one of the most powerful bodies in the federal government?

On November 26, 1791, George Washington convened his department secretaries―Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Henry Knox, and Edmund Randolph―for the first cabinet meeting. Why did he wait two and a half years into his presidency to call his cabinet? Because the US Constitution did not create or provide for such a body. Washington was on his own.

Faced with diplomatic crises, domestic insurrections, and constitutional challenges―and finding congressional help lacking―Washington decided he needed a group of advisors he could turn to. He modeled his new cabinet on the councils of war he had led as commander of the Continental Army. In the early days, the cabinet served at the president’s pleasure. Washington tinkered with its structure throughout his administration, at times calling regular meetings, at other times preferring written advice and individual discussions.

Lindsay M. Chervinsky reveals the far-reaching consequences of Washington’s choice. The tensions in the cabinet between Hamilton and Jefferson heightened partisanship and contributed to the development of the first party system. And as Washington faced an increasingly recalcitrant Congress, he came to treat the cabinet as a private advisory body to summon as needed, greatly expanding the role of the president and the executive branch.

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Excerpt:

When Washington and Knox arrived at Federal Hall at 11:30 a.m., the doorkeeper announced their arrival. Washington sat at the front of the chamber, and Knox took the chair to his right. Washington handed his remarks to Knox, who in turn handed them to Vice President John Adams. Adams read the statement, but as Senator William Maclay from Pennsylvania recalled, the senators could “not master . . . one Sentence of it.” Adams wasn’t known for his public speaking skills, but the senators’ struggles weren’t entirely his fault. The Senate gathered for their work in the large chambers that occupied the first floor of Federal Hall. Because of the August heat in New York City, the doorkeeper had opened the windows in search of a cooling breeze. But along with fresh air, noise from Wall Street’s pedestrians, carriages, peddlers, and horses flowed into the Senate chambers. The clamor overpowered Adams’s voice, so few senators could make out the words that Washington had carefully crafted. After a few complaints, Adams repeated the speech from the beginning. Washington’s remarks offered a brief synopsis of the current diplomatic state between the United States and the Southern Indians, and posed seven questions for the Senate to answer with an aye or a no.

Adams finished his recitation and sat. The seconds ticked by as the senators remained in awkward silence. A few shuffled papers or cleared their throats. Maclay speculated in his diary that his colleagues were so intimidated by Washington’s presence in the Senate chamber that they cowered in shameful silence. Eager to show that they could be active participants in the creation of foreign policy, Maclay stood up and suggested referring Washington’s seven questions to committee for discussion in detail. Washington lost his temper, stood up, and shouted, “This defeats every purpose of my coming here!” The senators fell into a stunned hush before Washington acquiesced to Maclay’s suggestion and offered to return to the Senate a few days later. Although he did return the following Monday, his first visit to the Senate was an inauspicious start to the executive-legislative relationship. As he returned to his carriage, Washington muttered under his breath that he would never return for advice. He kept his word—August 22, 1789, was the first and last time he visited the Senate to request guidance on foreign affairs. Unfortunately, the diplomatic challenges facing the United States during the Washington presidency were just beginning…

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Lindsay M. Chervinsky, Ph.D. a historian of Early America, the presidency, and the government – especially the president’s cabinet. She shares her research by writing everything from op-eds to books, speaking on podcasts and other media, and teaching every kind of audience. She is Scholar-in-Residence at the Institute for Thomas Paine Studies and Senior Fellow at the International Center for Jefferson Studies. Previously, she worked as a historian at the White House Historical Association. She received her B.A. in history and political science from the George Washington University and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis. She has been featured in the Law and History Review, the Journal of the Early Republic, TIME, and the Washington Post. Her new book, The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution, was published by the Belknap Imprint of Harvard University Press on April 7, 2020.

The New Criterion recently said of her book, “Fantastic…Unlike many works of popular history, The Cabinet never feels like hagiography. It lacks the reverence of works like Joseph J. Ellis’ Founder Brothers or the revisionist obsequiousness that now greets Alexander Hamilton’s name on stage…Chervinsky exemplifies the public-history ethos in her new book. The writing is clear and concise…She takes what could have been a dry institutional and political history of the Early Republic and transforms it into a compelling story of people and places.”

When she isn’t writing, researching, or talking about history, she can be found hiking with her husband and American Foxhound, John Quincy Dog Adams (Quincy for short).

Readers can request a personalized book plate here: https://www.lindsaychervinsky.com/book-plate

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Cabinet-Washington-Creation-American-Institution/dp/0674986482/

Harvard link: https://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674986480

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lmchervinsky

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

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/lmchervinsky

Website: http://www.lindsaychervinsky.com/

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Author Jacqueline Snowe: Internship with the Devil

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jaqueline Snowe will be awarding a $15 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.

Grace Turner scores the opportunity of a lifetime interning with an Ex-NFL player. But working under Brock Anderson turns out to be the job from hell. The hometown hero turned athletic trainer has a reputation as the best in his field, but his volatile personality makes working with him miserable.

Despite the animosity between them, he’s highly respected in his field and interning under him could mean everything for her career. The long days, longer nights, injuries, and busses filled with smelly athletes are the easy part. The biggest battle is the unwarranted attraction to Brock that she can’t seem to shake.

But as Grace spends more and more time with her brooding boss, she uncovers that his abrasive nature is deep rooted in his grief—something she’s no stranger to.

The glimpses of the man beneath the harsh exterior Brock presents to the world leave Grace conflicted in her feelings for him. As the internship draws to a close, Grace is faced with a choice that could set her future on an entirely new course.

Read an Excerpt

“Uh, hi. I’m Grace Turner.” I held out my sweaty hand, hoping the trembling wasn’t too obvious. I needed to get off to a good start. My career goals were important. More important than this guy being a dick. So, I waited. And waited. And waited.

His lips turned downward. So much so that it had to hurt his face. My hand still hung between us, awkward and a mixture of embarrassment to the tenth degree. He moved one of his hands to scratch his jaw, bringing my attention to his incredible jawline.

I dropped my hand. I couldn’t handle the flip-flopping going on in my stomach, and when I got uncomfortable, word vomit ensued. Hence, why I decided to attempt being friendly. “Are you Brock Anderson? I’m the one who received the internship for the season. I’m Grace. I’m so excited for this opportunity.”

I’d introduced myself. Again. And, he still hadn’t said a word. Someone moved into view from his office and gave me a small wave. I returned the gesture to the older gentleman and that was when Asshole Anderson spoke.

“Excuse me.” He motioned with his large wrist for me to leave the office.

I stepped back, shocked, and gasped when he shut the door in my face. What. The. Hell. I pinched my nose, taking deep breaths. I counted to three a couple of times and calmed myself down, but then loud, angry voices carried through the door. It was him, his voice brasher and deeper than anyone else’s. So, I did what anyone would do. I listened.

About the Author: 

Jaqueline Snowe lives in Arizona where the “dry heat” really isn’t that bad. She identifies as a full-blown Gryffindor and prefers drinking coffee all hours of the day. She is the mother to two fur-babies who don’t realize they aren’t humans and a new mom to her adorable son. Her life revolves around balancing her day job in education and her incessant need to write and explore the world with her wonderful baseball-loving husband.

Buy links:

Amazon: https://smarturl.it/Shut1Amz

Amazon Paperback: https://smarturl.it/Shut1AmzPrt

BN: https://smarturl.it/Shut1BN

Kobo: https://smarturl.it/Shut1Kobo

iBooks: https://smarturl.it/Shut1iBooks

Goodreads: https://smarturl.it/Shut1GR

City Owl: https://smarturl.it/Shut1CO

Social Media:

Blog: http://www.jaquelinesnowe.com/blog
Website: http://www.jaquelinesnowe.com/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jaquelinesnowe
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jaquelinesnowe
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/jaquelinesnowe
Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/snowebirds/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53516600-internship-with-the-devil

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Author Interview: Meredith Egan & Tide’s End

https://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2020/06/nbtm-tides-end-by-meredith-egan.html

Meredith Egan will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Author Interview: Meredith Egan

Thank you so much for inviting me to contribute today!

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

This book bubbled up for me after many years of working and volunteering with people affected by trauma. I started writing a story as a way to decompress after hearing so many stories of pain and transformation. Fictionalizing my experience helped me stay healthy!

That was 20 years ago. My first book (Just Living) was finally published in 2016, and I wasn’t sure of the genre. Tide’s End continues the story.
Now I’m calling my novels “Hopepunk meets Contemporary Fiction”. I wrote my novels because during conversations with friends and colleagues I realized that the places I go (prisons) and the people I work with (trauma survivors – thrivers even!) were pretty unique and special. I was given the rare opportunity to understand (at some level – I know it’s not the same as being there!) life in prison, and the consequences of living after trauma.

These are voices that deserve to be heard, especially at this time when we are trying to understand histories of oppression and the consequences of generational trauma. I’m so honoured to work with people on the front line to help me tell their stories well.

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?

I am the last child of four children, born into a fairly chaotic home life. I spent way to much energy trying to minimize conflict and the (very loud) difficult relationships in my family.

I didn’t succeed very often (of course).

However, my early experiences encouraged me to learn more about conflict management, de-escalation, restorative responses to harm, and critical incident/trauma informed practices. I worked in schools, communities and prisons promoting peacemaking and healing practices. I also decided pretty early on that I needed to understand healthy family dynamics and peaceful parenting, and non-violent communication.

Which led to my unique work, and these novels!

3. Where is your favorite place to write?

I work most happily in my office of my home in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia (north of Bellingham-ish). I live in co-housing, on a 20-acre organic farm with 35 other families. We like each other (usually!) and work together to share meals, gardens, and conversations. Looking out my window, I see my (small) pond in my back yard, and just past that are our communal plum tree, a cherry tree, neighbour’s veggie gardens, and in the background the Vedder Mountain.

​I respectfully acknowledge that I  live and work on the unceded territories of the S’ólh Téméxw (Stó:lō) people.  Information about these peoples can be found at https://www.stolonation.bc.ca/

All of these things (including such rich and generous teachings from First Nations neighbours) make my writing space overlooking the land the perfect place for me to write.

Unless I can head to my camper…

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

This is a hard one! I live and work in a world where murder and sexual assault are common – in fact, I got involved in this world because a family friend was murdered, and since then two more friends have been murdered (one in prison). So I understand death.

But my darlings? SO hard. I struggle sometimes to even make them do bad things, or have bad things happen to them. Good developmental editors, and great teachers help me along with this. I have to remember that even my darlings aren’t perfect!

However, once I’ve killed a few darlings, and heavily edited others my world is so much more interesting! And occasionally one will show up again in another work…so perhaps they are buried in my subconscious!

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

This is so easy for me because I’ve had the privilege of having many conversations with many favourite authors!

Diana Gabaldon (who defied publishing practices in the 80s!) has joined me in prison every year for about 5 years, working with the men inside to learn about creative writing. Hearing her stories about how she “just kept writing” in the early years while she was learning the craft have encouraged me to also just keep writing (and learning and growing).

Robert Dugoni has also joined us in prison. I’ve asked him lots of questions over the years (he also helps with developmental edits) and he has taught me about writing to keep the reader engaged. Donald Maas is an amazing resource, teaching me about evoking emotion in my writing.

I realize in answering this question that I’ve been very fortunate with my author relationships!

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

Ooo….secrets! This is a tough one because I’m a bit of an open book…but let’s see…
Years ago, when in University, I worked cleaning a police station during the summers. Some of what I experienced during that time definitely has ended up in my books. Thank you, Edmonton Police Services!

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

A notebook and a bunch of pens, of course.
A great water bottle with a filter for safe drinking!
A hammock to swing in the breeze, while I write, hydrate and wait to be rescued?

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

Hmmm…a superpower?
Unending hope.
Even when it’s grim.

It’s the only thing that helps me smile in these difficult times!

9. Favorite snack?

I’m a huge ‘fruit and cheese’ person, so apples and old cheddar, or pears and blue cheese, or grapes and brie…with a side of multigrain crackers and ginger kombucha. Maybe even … gasp … some roasted almonds?

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

I know where I’m going, and I’ll get there soon enough.
However, I am more cautious than the Indy 500…and do drive with an eye on gas mileage.
Because global warming is real…

Tide’s End

by Meredith Egan

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GENRE: Contemporary Fiction

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BLURB:

Taylor Smythe dreams of having a loving family. But first, he has to rescue his little sister Jenny from the gritty underbelly of the child cyberporn industry. Taylor journeys from homelessness in the inner city to a community in the dripping forests of the Pacific Northwest to confront the relentless pounding of his fiercest pain. Can he become the big brother Jenny needs right now, and for the rest of their lives? Tide’s End explores the many faces of sexual assault and human trafficking, and how life can shatter for those most affected – the victims. Because #MeToo is more common than we can imagine. As is #ChildrenToo and even #BoysToo. It tears apart our families and neighbourhoods. And wherever there is suffering, there are guardians and helpers who still the relentless pounding to encourage Tide’s End.

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Excerpt:

“Welcome, everyone. I’m Rosie, and I’m honoured to be here today,” she said, and she waved the long stick she was holding, getting us to stand. It had a carving of a big, black bird on the top and was painted bright colours. There was a large crystal in it, and some feathers fluttered from a ribbon. I liked it, I decided.

“Let’s start this evening in a good way, with a prayer,” she said. A prayer? Weird.

“Thank you, Creator, for bringing us together tonight. Thank you for the journeys that brought us here, especially the good bits.” She asked for kindness on our “healing journey,” and open hearts and minds and other stuff. Then she said something I won’t forget.

“Creator, we ask you to remind us to believe each other as much as we want to be believed. And to show us new ways to make sense of what happened to us. Help us find a way to go back into the world with less hurting.” Less hurting. An idea I could get behind.

“Let’s be open to new things, and not be too judgemental.” She just stood there for a bit, and when she finally sat, so did everybody else. People were smiling, even me.

“Tide’s End. I don’t know if you know why this place is named that, so I’ll try to explain.

“Mission – the train bridge, actually – is the place where the folks who regulate fishing have decided the tides end. The water is brackish until here, up the river delta, but First Nations People have been fishing here since time…forever.  At least 10,000 years. We fished the salmon, and the sturgeon, and other fish. And we know about tides, and how they pound and beat on a place. Without ending.

“So, we called this place Tide’s End because we hope to help with the relentless pounding.” She adjusted her skirt and looked at us again.

“We’ll talk about Taylor’s participating later, but for now, know that sometimes we are going to push you. Ask you to work hard. But you can always say no, if you need to. We just don’t want you to be disruptive…stopping someone else from getting what they need in the circle.” She smiled and handed the talking stick to Kate.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Meredith Egan is an author of critically acclaimed novels, Just Living: a novel and Tide’s End: A Just Living novel. The stories are shaped from her work with crime victims and violent prisoners over more than thirty years. Meredith is trained in mediation and peacemaking circles., and has been honoured to learn from many First Nations peoples. Meredith coaches writers and other creative folks and offers workshops and training through her Daring Imagination work.

Meredith is the principal at Wild Goat Executive Coaching where her clients include leaders in the automotive, technology, government and small business fields. She lives at the Groundswell Ecovillage in beautiful Yarrow, BC. with her dog Mollie, and rambunctious feline sisters Firefly and Filigree. For fun she dabbles in cooking soup for her neighbours, and soaking in her hot tub with her four adult children when they visit.

You can find Meredith through her website, and on Facebook and Twitter for information about her novels, and her coaching work. Meredith welcomes opportunities to speak with groups about justice, and writing. Her books are available through Amazon and local bookstores.

Website: http://www.meredithegan.ca/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/meredith.egan.writer/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WildGoatCoach

Amazon buy link: https://www.amazon.ca/Tides-End-Just-Living-novel-ebook/dp/B083HCP264

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Author Nancy Fraser: I Do Again

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Nancy Fraser will be awarding $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

LAST CHANCE BEACH is the island paradise where dreams go to live again and wishes may come true. It’s Summer’s End on the island, and the cottages, condos, hotels, and bungalows are filled to capacity.

There’s still plenty of time to find summer fun and summer love, new romances and second chances; hot alpha males and heartwarming heroes, beach bunnies, dudes, and romance popping up when you least expect it.

Throw a log on the beach bonfire tonight and celebrate LAST CHANCE BEACH: Summer’s End, a special collection of 14 short stories from bestselling authors—all new, never published before—that will thrill the hopeful romantic in you. Some stories are sweet; some are sizzling hot. All will touch your heart and make you want to book a vacation to LAST CHANCE BEACH!

Hot August Night by Joan Reeves, NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author
Can a chef and a hot dog loving cop resist desire when they’re forced to share the same overbooked beach cottage?

Something New by Liz Flaherty, USA Today Bestselling Author
Their lives are all planned out–until they’re not.

I Do…Again by Nancy Fraser, Amazon Top 100 Author

Thirty-five years earlier, Lily Abbott and Mitch Colby exchanged wedding vows in a quaint ceremony attended by a small crowd consisting of four Micronauts, a one-eyed pet rock, two special-edition Barbies, and an assortment of stuffed animals. Officiated by Stretch Armstrong, it was the social event of their 8th summer.

Lily never forgot the childhood ceremony. Or the fact her best friend and first love had left her behind and relocated to Boston to pursue an expensive education. Now a divorcee, with college-bound twin daughters, Lily’s moved on and put the foolishness of first crushes and the childish dream of true love behind her.

At eighteen, Mitch had never wanted the expensive education his father mapped out for him. He’d have been perfectly happy to stay in Summerville, marry the love of his life, and settle down. However, when push came to shove, he’d not wanted to upset his ailing mother, and had left everything…and everyone…that he’d wanted behind.

The 25th reunion of the graduating class of Summerville High has brought Lily and Mitch back together at The Sands, a seaside resort on Last Chance Beach. Will one weekend together be enough? Or, is there a possibility for more?

The Man in Gull Cottage by Caroline Clemmons, Amazon Top 100 Author
Will the solution to her dilemma drive them apart or into one another’s arms?

That One Summer by Maddie James, Amazon Top 100 Author
He’s the one who got away. She’s the one who couldn’t commit.

Romancing the Spouse by Jan Scarbrough, Amazon Bestselling Author
Can she turn back the clock to save her marriage?

Blue Sky Summer by Kathleen Lawless, Amazon Bestselling Author
Of all the beaches on the coast, who does she see again? Him!

Hangover Husband by Bonnie Edwards, Amazon Bestselling Author
What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay there

One Last Shot by Marcia King-Gamble, National Bestselling Author
She can run, but can she hide? Will love still find her?

Secondhand Hearts by Kathryn Hills, Award Winning Author
Life takes you down many winding paths. Will theirs lead to love on Last Chance Beach?

Paradise Perfume by Connie Vines, Award Winning Author
Fragrance and love cannot be hidden.

Dreams of the Past by Laura Hunsaker, Award Winning Author
Can dreams of the future erase her nightmares of the past?

Beach Kisses & Sunset Wishes by Nora LeDuc
She wants someone interested in a fling. He wants someone interested in a ring.

Can’t Buy Me Love by Hannah Rowan
Things aren’t always what they seem.

Read an Excerpt

The soles of her sandals skittering across the wet surface, Lily Abbott landed on the weather-worn dock with a loud thump, her backside slapping against the damp slats in the same way a fish flops around on the ground after being pulled from the lake.

So much for a graceful entry.

She glanced from side-to-side, wondering if any of her former classmates had seen her awkward faux pas. Gracie Potts and Shep Warren stood off to the side, more engrossed in each other than those around them. Ellie Cabot was stoking the campfire, poking at it with angry jabs and then letting loose a string of curse words when the embers jabbed back.

At least half of the varsity football team were huddled around two well-stocked coolers, chugging beers and laughing about past victories.

Off in the distance, laughter, mixed with strains of Meatloaf’s I’d Do Anything for Love, floated across the warm night air from the hotel’s patio. Nostalgic music from their senior year…as if time could be turned back, memories either revived or erased.

About the Author:

Like most authors, Nancy Fraser began writing at an early age, usually on the walls and with crayons or, heaven forbid, permanent markers. Her love of writing often made her the English teacher’s pet, which, of course, resulted in a whole lot of teasing. Still, it was worth it.

Published in multiple genres, Nancy currently writes for four publishers. She has published thirty-one books in full-length, novella, and short format.

When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five wonderful grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.

Website: http://www.nancyfraser.ca
Twitter: https://twitter.com/nfraserauthor
Facebook: http://facebook.com/nancyfraserauthor
Bookbub: http://bookbub.com/profile/nancy-fraser
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7206382.Nancy_Fraser

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Boxed Set Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08CV3GN3R/

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Author Bob Liter: Nick Bancroft Series

https://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2020/05/vbt-nick-bancroft-mystery-series-by-bob.html

One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

Author Interview: Bob Liter

1. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

My favorite ice cream flavor is vanilla, occasionally with toppings. The possibilities are endless.

2. Which mythological creature are you most like?

I like to think of myself as a unipeg, a powerful winged unicorn of royal status, bringing light, love, and mischief to the world.

3. First book you remember making an indelible impression on you.

When I was very young, I received books of poetry. I kept every one and share them with our granddaughters often. I later indulged in books by Jean M. Auel and can still recall stories of Ayla learning to survive and thrive in a prehistoric world.

4. How do you develop your plot and characters?

Because I tend to ask a lot of questions and sometimes make up my own answers, possible plots present themselves on a regular basis. The people I meet can easily take rolls in the imaginary world I create.

5. Describe your writing space. We have an extra bedroom furnished for our youngest granddaughter when she comes to visit. The ample desk has a great writing space and the L-extension is ideal for the laptop and printer. During social distancing, the stuffed animals covering Emery’s single bed keep me company.

Nick Bancroft Mystery Series

by Bob Liter

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GENRE: Romantic Mystery/Suspense

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BLURB:

IN THIS “GRIPPING” MYSTERY THRILLER SOMEONE TRIES TO BURN NICK BANCROFT ALIVE, BEATS HIM SENSELESS, USES HIM FOR TARGET PRACTICE AND WORST OF ALL HIS BELOVED CHICAGO CUBS DISAPPOINT HIM AGAIN! SOMETIMES A PI JUST CAN’T CATCH A BREAK! BUT WHEN HIS CLIENT IS A SEXY NUDIST, NICK BANCROFT WILL PUT UP WITH JUST ABOUT ANYTHING!

When a sexy nudist hires him to protect her from whoever is threatening her life, Nick Bancroft becomes the target. Someone tries to burn him alive, beats the hell out of him, and since that didn’t run him off, uses him for target practice. Meanwhile, two people are murdered, Nick’s true love, Maggie Atley, is more than somewhat perturbed by his relationship with his client, and a mysterious club seems to hold the answer. Nick survives an exciting but still losing season by his beloved Chicago Cubs, a vicious attack by a couple of huge dogs, and eventually puts the finger on the bad guys.

Nick Bancroft Mysteries, written by Bob Liter

I would have refused the inheritance, but I was sick of working where news had been converted to entertainment. And, besides, Jimmy had paid six months’ rent in advance for the office with a small apartment attached. Since I inherited the business I have helped solve a murder and got some press as a result.

In a small town like Centrel City, you can find bribery, graft, kickbacks, political influence peddling, criminal cover-ups, and sometimes murder. Now when I get involved in a case, there usually is a story I can sell to the upstate Chicago Times. I didn’t expect to make a living as a private investigator and freelance reporter, but I was wrong … sort of. It beats making money for someone else and it leaves time for my almost favorite sport of bowling and my passion for the Chicago Cubs.

It’s all in a day’s work; I can be tough enough when I have to be. On the other hand, I can be soft for the ladies, especially for an on-again off-again lover, Maggie Atley. Nothing is ever as it seems and I don’t quit until I find the answers. My name is Nick Bancroft.

Blurb #1 – Book One

Murder by the Book, written by Bob Liter

Nick Bancroft inherits a rundown detective agency and embarks on a new career as a hard-boiled detective. When date rape drugs show up in Centrel City, so does reporter Nick Bancroft. The drugs are discovered at two different murders with sex etiquette books left at the scenes. Nick is hired by the first victim’s father, Ramsey Sinclair, to find the killer. A Chicago detective, Miss Faustine, is also hired by Mr. Sinclair to work “closely” with Bancroft. His focus is interrupted when he begins a love affair with receptionist, Maggie Atley, from a neighboring office.

Bancroft is banking on solving the murders and selling the story to the Chicago Times. As the case unfolds there is enough danger, drama, and deception to fill a book. Nick finds few things are as they seem and in his enthusiasm, he becomes the target of a shooter and also the target of charming Maggie Atley’s affections.

August is Murder, written by Bob Liter

A sexy nudist hires Nick Bancroft to defend her from threats on her life; Nick volunteers to provide 24-hour protection. Now, he is the target and August becomes even hotter when someone tries to burn him alive. Nick is not one to turn tail and run, especially now with two murders and Lady Godiva to protect. Nick’s true love, second only to the Cubs and bowling, Maggie Atley, is more than somewhat perturbed by the arrangement with his beautiful client.

After weeks of investigation there are still unanswered questions. Who are the bad guys? What does a mysterious club have to do with the murders? Can Nick survive another losing season by his beloved Chicago Cubs? Is this the last inning for Nick and Maggie?

Death Sting, written by Bob Liter

After an intimate breakfast together, while reading the paper to Maggie, Nick is baffled by a headline: Female Body Found Covered with Stings: The Sheriff Calls the Death an Accident. Free-lance reporter and private detective, Nick Bancroft, doesn’t believe it and is drawn to the case like a bee to honey. He learns the victim lived in a home for young unwed mothers who work as waitresses and hookers at a nightclub.

 Murder suspects include an alcoholic handy man, the man and wife who operate the home, a nightclub operator and his henchman, and a sheriff’s deputy. Everyone is trying to stop Nick’s investigation, including federal agents.

Even when he and his earthy lover Maggie survive being dumped in a deep lake with weights tied to their ankles, Bancroft is unwavering in his pursuit of the truth. Will Maggie and Nick’s romance sink or swim before the case is solved?

Point of Murder, written by Bob Liter

Nick Bancroft, a former investigative reporter, enjoys a mundane existence in Centrel City operating a one-man detective agency. He supplements his pauper’s wages selling news stories to the Chicago Times. In a small apartment, Nick and his roommate Maggie, share frivolous romantic lovemaking and the responsibility of feeding a stray cat that adopted them. On the surface it seems picture-perfect.

The bed of roses ends abruptly when Nick’s destitute young friend, Bobby Scalf, is found murdered with a blunt six inch spike in his head. Nick becomes a suspect when the second murder victim is discovered in the abandoned building where the boy lived.

While Nick tries to find out who killed the boy, he uncovers a web of corruption involving the town council, the school board, the police chief and the local newspaper publisher. Nick survives several attempts on his life, and that of his stormy lover, before nailing the killer and exposing the town’s secrets. Solving the town’s problems may not be enough to solve the problems festering between Maggie and Nick. Is it really over?

And the Band Played On, written by Bob Liter

Freelance reporter and sometime private detective, Nick Bancroft, is tough enough when he has to be. On the other hand, he can be soft for the ladies. That’s how he ends up at an outdoor band concert, with Maggie, a librarian, divorcee, and his very talented lover. Nick is front row center to witness the murder of a well-connected private secretary of an important political figure.

It doesn’t earn him any points with the cops that he is on the scene before them, and it doesn’t earn him any points with certain influential politicians that he won’t get off the case. Not only is Nick drawn into the dirty details of the crime, someone is trying to kill him. During the investigation, Maggie and Nick come face to face with the events surrounding 9-11. Will the final case break their spirits and crumble their love, or will they emerge stronger and committed to life together?

Excerpt:

August is Murder, A Nick Bancroft Mystery – Book 2

The first time they tried to kill me I was asleep. My office and apartment were on the third floor of a nearly abandoned building. My own coughing jarred me awake. I rolled to a sitting position from the sweat-wet bedding and continued choking on hot, acrid air. The sweat was no surprise. My air conditioner had quit. But this was more than August heat in Centrel City, Illinois.

A flip of the light switch near my bed did nothing to alleviate the darkness. I went to hands and knees and felt around until I found my pants and shoes, sat against the bed, squirmed into the jeans. Heat from the floor threatened to roast my rump.

“Don’t panic, Nick,” I said aloud. Should I try to save anything or just get the hell out? My files, I had to save my case files. I crawled into the office, stood, and pulled out the top drawer. I felt my way to the office door and opened it. A swish of even hotter air swept against my face.

What about Maggie? She might be in the office on the second floor. It was well past midnight. Why would she be there? I assured myself she was not. She was the reason why I now had a stray cat and a cracked heart. What about the cat? Any cat that came and went when the office door was locked wouldn’t be trapped in that old building.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Robert T “Bob” Liter (1923-2008) was born in Hartley, IA to Charles and Hazel Liter and grew up in Des Moines, IA.  His sisters June and JoAnn, joined the family before the decade was over. Bob was a U.S. Navy veteran, and was honorably discharged after two tours of duty, one tour in World War II and the other tour in the Korean War. A Graduate from Drake University in Des Moines, IA, he earned his degree in journalism, and married Lillian in 1950.

What Happened Next

I came along 9 months later; my name is Martie. I was soon followed by my sister Jeannie and two brothers, Jeff and Ron.

Later in Dad’s journalism career he worked as a copy editor for the Peoria Journal Star, Peoria, IL until his retirement. Through the years he was also a writer. Early in his sideline career he was published in various True Confession magazines. When Dad retired to take care of Mom he continued to pursue his passion for writing. Much of his work has been available since 2002 in EBook format.

First Five Novels Available On Amazon NOW

It is my honor to introduce new readers to the Bancroft Mysteries where the character Nick Bancroft has an uncanny resemblance to my Dad, Bob Liter with his wit and bodacious gutsy approach to life.  Then there is Nick’s on-again off-again lady, Maggie Atley, who is just like Mom, Lillian Liter, in the way she deals with a self-proclaimed “male chauvinist piggy.”

While Nick solves mysteries in the fictitious, but very real, community of Central City, IL he still finds time for his love-hate relationship with bowling, and his avid undying passion for the Chicago Cubs and Bears.

Website: http://www.BancroftMysteries.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BancroftMyster1

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

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/BancroftMysteries/

Author Page on Amazon: http://www.bit.ly/BobLiter

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Author R.W. Buxton: Beverly Hills Torture

https://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2020/05/vbt-beverly-hills-torture-by-rw-buxton.html

R.W. Buxton will be awarding $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Author Interview: R.W. Buxton

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

In my author bio, the first line is I love all things paranormal. That’s the truth and writing about vampires just seemed to be the natural thing to do. I have some other paranormal ideas, but think it’s only fair to finish with the Erin Kingsly series before I get distracted and start work on something else.

When I finished Capital Thirst, there was way more to the story. It was too much to fit in that book so I knew there had to be more. So before I even began editing Capital Thirst I started writing Beverly Hills Torture.

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 first born, middle and last. I’m an only child. I know many people that were only children and wanted nothing more than to have a sister or brother. I never thought of that until I was an adult and started talking to other only children and that seemed to be the common theme among them. For me, as a child I had books. I read constantly and always had “people” around me. They may have just been the characters from the books, but I never felt alone.

For me that is one reason books are so important and why I want to share with the rest of the world. It may just be fantasy or romance, but it can help us heal and overcome so much. Books can create a world where anything is possible.

3. Where is your favorite place to write?

I do most of my writing in the family room. Sitting in a wingback chair with a cat on the arm of the chair across from the fireplace. This works great unless the cat wants to lie on my lap and pushes the computer out of the way. Then it becomes somewhat unproductive, but the kitties need love too and the writing can always wait.

I’ve tried writing just about everywhere. I have a wonderful study that I rarely set foot in. But sitting in my favorite chair just seems to be the best place.

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

I’m assuming this is talking about my favorite characters. The answer would be I hate it. It’s the most difficult thing I’ve done in writing. It probably seems strange to become attached to something that isn’t even real, but after spending hours or weeks developing backstories and personalities and then writing about them for months or years, it’s like knowing someone. An old friend. Killing a character is awful and I go to great lengths not to. That said, sometimes it happens. I’ve written those scenes over and over trying to find a different ending, but I know going into it what has to happen. Although killing an antagonist is easier than a protagonist or supporting character it’s still hard.

I don’t want to give anything away for the future so I won’t say what I do with the remains. You’ll have to read to find out what happens.

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

It would be the question I hate the most and the one I’m asked the most but I would have to ask it. Where do your ideas come from? I hate this question because it’s hard to explain that they just pop in my head then roll around like rocks in a tumbler until they develop into scenes or stories. But I would love to know how it happens for other authors.

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

If I were to tell something that no one knows then I’d have to kill you to make sure no one knew. So I’ll share something that readers may not know, but anyone who knows me would. I’m a fanatical Pink Floyd fan. Back in the day (oh my God I must be old to say that) I wouldn’t miss a concert anywhere near me. I saw the whole band several times, The David Gilmore incarnation several times and Roger Waters solo. Now I have to go see tribute bands like Brit Floyd or the Australian Pink Floyd. Unfortunately, this year the show I planned to go to was cancelled due to Covid 19. I also planned to see Nick Mason solo as Saucer Full of Secrets but that too was cancelled.

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

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. That should keep me entertained over and over. I’ve read it half a dozen times and there are enough stories that I forget the solutions between readings so there is always a surprise.

The other two items are boring. A multipurpose knife and a flint and steel. (Before you say a flint and steel are two items, they are always sold together in the camping store. So I’m counting that as one.) That would give me most of what I would need to survive and what I didn’t have I could make with those two items.

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

Easy immortality. Maybe that’s what I like about vampires. But to live through history and see the events as they unfold, not through the eyes of the victor would be wonderful. Being able to see the development of humanity as it happens rather than through the eyes of others would be amazing.

9. Favorite snack?

The right answer is chips and salsa. Especially Tortilla Scoops because you can get more salsa on the chip. The guilty answer is Double Stuff Oreos.

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

I never drive the speed limit and the number of tickets I have is a testament to that. But with the top down and wind blowing through your hair, screw the speed limit and have fun. If you’re on a twisty winding two-lane road and the speed limit is 25, that’s just an invitation to see if you can do it at 60. On a more philosophical level I don’t go as fast, but if you slow down too much, you don’t make any progress. As far as where I’m going, no idea. Each day is a new invitation to go someplace new and try something different.

Beverly Hills Torture

by R.W Buxton

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GENRE: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

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BLURB:

A frantic middle of the night call jolts Gerry from his quiet, but lonely life, back into a world fraught with dangerous creatures of the night. Erin’s frenzied call leads Gerry across the country where he finds himself immersed in the luxuries of Beverly Hills and the seedier side of the Hollywood strip.

Sadness and longing grip him as he finds a blood-spattered room and Erin is nowhere to be found.

Alone in a strange city with nothing to go on can Gerry find and save Erin? Or is this the end of something never meant to be?

Her past has caught up with her and he’s her only hope.

With a group of trusted friends Gerry takes on the impossible and gives everything to save Erin.

Beverly Hills Torture is the second novel in the Erin Kingsly series. Be sure to check out Capital Thirst.

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NOTE: The book is only $0.99.

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Excerpt:

As he stood there staring, he couldn’t accept that Erin was gone. Now he was the sole person who could save her. Turning, he left his thoughts of Erin behind with the house. He started down over the grass, with no specific destination in mind. He just wanted to wander with his thoughts, trying to clear his mind and determine what the next course of action was.

He couldn’t do anything until Vernon arrived. He hoped Vernon would have some insight about what was going on. These were his people.

Whatever was going on was serious. A life and death matter. The way her bedroom appeared told him that much. Whoever took her wasn’t messing around.

Before Gerry could return to his thoughts, he ran out of lawn. A wrought-iron fence lined with towering, thin cypress trees blocked his path. The fence itself was about ten feet high. “So, there is a limit to her property,” he said out loud.

“Helloooo?” A woman’s voice broke through Gerry’s thoughts like an ice pick splitting a block of ice. “Is someone there?”

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

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

I love a good paranormal read, something about the un-dead haunts the fringes of my mind. Mix in romance, love, loss, and you have a great story.

I voraciously read everything, fiction, and non-fiction but always find myself turning back to the darker stories. I’ve always wanted to write and the dream became a reality with Capital Thirst, and the remainder of the Erin Kingsly novels.

I spend most of my days designing and building websites, but my free time is devoted to my wife, family, and cats. Yes three grown children and three cats. Things can be hectic.

For fun you might find me driving winding roads with the top down or out photographing nature.

Website

RWBuxton.com

Facebook

R.W. Buxton – Home | Facebook

Twitter

RW Buxton Author (@rwBuxtonAuthor) | Twitter

Other Links

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/r-w-buxton

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19658320.R_W_Buxton

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48481089-capital-thirst

https://allauthor.com/author/rwbuxton/

Buy Links

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/beverly-hills-torture-rw-buxton/1136398689

https://books.apple.com/us/book/beverly-hills-torture/id1498346169

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/beverly-hills-torture

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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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