Thursday, July 16, 2020

Book Tour and Giveaway: Seventh Circle by William Becker

Title: Seventh Circle 
Author: William Becker
Publication Date: May 20th 2020
Genre: Romance 
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Michael is an awkward university student. He is lonely, socially anxious, and has no experience talking to members of the opposite sex. Michael is introduced to Mia, who is everything he could ever want. She is energetic, exciting, passionate, and much unlike him, massively experienced. Michael's life changes as he falls madly in love with Mia, feeling the passion burn within him; it threatens to swallow him whole, but as time goes on, Michael realizes things are not what they seem to be.

**Get the eBook free by clicking here!**

William Becker is a young horror author with a mind for weirder sides of the universe. With an emphasis on complex and layered storylines that tug harshly on the reader to search for deeper meanings in the vein of Silent Hill and David Lynch, Becker is a force to be reckoned within the horror world. His works are constantly unfathomable, throwing terror into places never before seen, while also providing compelling storylines that transcend the predictable jumpscares of the popular modern horror.

His first novel, WEEPING OF THE CAVERNS, was written when he was 14. After eight months of writing, editing, and revising, the story arrived soon after his 15th birthday. During the writing sessions for his debut novel, he also wrote an ultra-controversial short story known as THE WHITE SHADE that focused on the horrors of a shooting. Living in a modern climate, it was impossible for THE WHITE SHADE to see the light of day. Following a psychedelic stint that consisted of bingeing David Lynch movies, weird art, and considering the depth of the allegory of the cave wall, he returned to writing with a second story, THE BLACK BOX, and soon after, his second novel, GREY SKIES.

- What book do you think everyone should read?
Four books. The first is “The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck” by Mark Manson. It’s essentially eastern philosophy dressed up with cuss words and simplified language for millennials. It isn’t as influential as some similar works, but it’s a great introduction to a very specific lifestyle. “Breaking Night” by Liz Murray is perfectly paired with that book. I found it pretty inspirational. The main theme is that no matter where you start, who you are, what you look like, or how much money you have, anything is possible. Finally, “We Need To Talk About Kevin” and “Of Mice and Men” need to be read by every writer. Both are perfect and excellent at description, pacing, and every aspect of the process.

- How long have you been writing?
I started making little stories when I was in the second grade, but I really began pretentiously and meticulously writing when I was 12 years old. It’s been seven years since then. I think I’ve learned a lot and I suck a little less.

- Do you see writing as a career?
I see writing as my main art form, regardless of if it pays my bills or not. I have film, journalism, and maybe things related to my Russian language ability to make money with. I’d rather use writing to make myself happy and share that with other people.

- What do you think about the current publishing market?
It’s awful. Anyone can get published, including weirdos like me. It means there’s a lot of garbage being written and thrown out there, which devalues actually talented people and makes them harder to find. One of my favorite authors of all time has like 5 reviews on Goodreads. Getting traditionally published is costly and very very difficult. Maybe that just means I suck at appealing to the masses or I’m not good at writing, but the market isn’t very good.

- Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?
I like anything weird, experimental, or disturbing. “Cows” by Matthew Stokoe was really interesting to me. “House of Leaves” was also fantastic. Anyone who knows anything about that book probably will think I have some serious issues, but I’m not sure how far off the mark that is.

- Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?
I love to write with music. Whenever I start a new project, especially a novel, I try to make a playlist based on the atmosphere of the novel. Seventh Circle never got one because of how short it is, but Grey Skies has a pretty sizable one full of dark jazz, ambient, and black metal.

- Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?
I usually balance a novel with a short story. I’ll get a few months into writing a novel, then stop halfway through to write a little short story. “New York Onions” (which is free on my website, by the way) was written when I was approaching the final few chapters of my second novel, Grey Skies. I’m working on a super secret project right now and balancing a shorter super secret project at the same time.

- If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose?
The Bible. Take that as you will.

- Pen or type writer or computer?
I have disgustingly bad handwriting. My partner is something of an artist and they always make fun of me for my handwriting. It’s somewhat ironic; a writer that can’t write very well. Typewriters are cool, but they’re mostly used by hipsters, people who like feeling powerful, and people who want to act like they’re really interesting. They’re the same kind of people who have a coffee-shop themed Instagram and listen to Eminem and say, “man, all the rap out there these days is mumble rap. They don’t make the songs like they used to.” Don’t get me wrong, they’re wonderful machines, but they’re just not very practical. As a writer, I’m looking for ease and perfection with the process, so a computer works best for me.

- What made you want to become an author and do you feel it was the right decision?
I was always a very creative child. Not the creative type in the sense that I went and built computers or robots or was very good at math, but I had a very colorful imagination. I wanted some kind of way to use my imagination. I got fairly decent at writing and then it turned into something. As my imagination has gotten more specific and weirder, I’ve realized that writing is the most practical way to handle that. I obviously can channel it into my film and music work, but to me, writing is the cleanest pallate where anything can happen. In film, you need to have a crew, actors, a location, a set, food to feed your crew, etc.. It takes a lot of money and effort which forces you to compromise some of your artistic vision based on what is possible or what will produce income. I believe it was Banksy who said that nothing can be allowed to exist if it doesn’t make a profit. In my world, I’ve found this to be very true about every medium besides writing.

- Advice you would give new authors?
A few pieces.

1. We all suck just a little bit at writing. Embrace the fact you suck, find your weaknesses, and build up on them.

2. Show people your writing. You could write a piece that’ll be a classic in a hundred years. Even if you publish it and never make a single dollar, keep writing because you love it. Never hide your art from the world.

3. Execution of an idea is just as important as a good idea. If you have poor execution and a good idea, you’ll probably be ignored. If you have good execution and a poor idea, then you’re in a different kind of trouble. The latter is preferable in an economic sense, but pretentious people like me will moan and complain.

- Describe your writing style.
I mix picturesque descriptions with digestible writing. It’s very important for me to balance complexity with accessibility. If you have a dense book that’s full of descriptions and not much else, then it won’t be very fun to read. I try to make my stuff just easy to read.

- What makes a good story?
One that’s enjoyable to read. That’s about it for me. If I can read a book written for five year olds about talking goats on the moon and still have a good time, that is just as good (or maybe even moreso) as Moby Dick. Some books are just fun to read, others are a bit of a slog.

- What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first? What are common traps for aspiring writers?
I kind of bullsh*t my way through and act like I’m really good at what I do. Outlines help a bit when the inspiration runs dry, but for the most part, I write a series of images and interesting scenes I want to include. I think a lot of writers who want to do this as a career or in any format that is even mildly serious fall into the trap of never pushing themselves. They never go out of their way to write when they aren’t super inspired. It’s usually fun to write, but sometimes, you have to stomach through and do things you don’t want to.

- Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I typically write experimental horror. Seventh Circle is my one main deviation so far from that. Take a guess.

- If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Don’t get upset at anyone offering constructive criticism to you, they’re trying to help. You aren’t as good at writing as you think you are, so keep working and listening to other people.

- What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
I think that every character is different. If your main personality trait of a character is being a female, then you’ve got a damn boring character. Sure, sex is important, but writing a female isn’t that much different from writing a female.

- How long on average does it take you to write a book?
It changes from book to book. Weeping of the Caverns took me five months, Grey Skies took me four. I wrote Seventh Circle in about a week. New York Onions took two days. The Black Box (which is packaged alongside Grey Skies) took me two months. I’m working on a novel that I’ve been writing for a year and a half. It really changes from book to book.

- Do you believe in writer’s block?
No, it was made up by the Trump administration. Just kidding, it exists, but isn’t as hard to escape as some like to pretend. Immersing yourself in art that isn’t your own is a fantastic way to escape it. Music, other books, and movies sandwiched in between writing sessions can do wonders for inspiration.
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Follow the tour HERE for more content!

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Blurb Blitz and Giveaway: Beautiful, Frightening, and Silent by Jennifer Anne Gordon

Welcome to my stop on the blurb blitz for Beautiful, Frightening, and Silent by Jennifer Anne Gordon. This blitz was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt for you as well as the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $15 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Check out the rest of the stops on the blitz for more content. Enjoy!
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Title: Beautiful, Frightening, and Silent
Author: Jennifer Anne Gordon
Publisher: Breaking Rules Publishing
Publication Date: February 24th 2020
Print Length: 225 pages
Genre: Gothic Horror
~
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.

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EXCERPT:
He walks up the stairs, the sound of his cane echoes loudly with each uneven but heavy impact. The sound travels out and finds its way back to him. It reverberates into his ears, and he can feel it on his skin like a kiss. Each step he takes feels like love. It is almost enough for him to forget the rest of it and let it all go.

As he looks down the upstairs hallway, he sees that every door is open to him. He looks in the rooms and sees the white sheets covering most surfaces. He wonders if these are the ghosts that people are taking about. Are they all just memory filled objects covered and hidden away?

He understands now that Ben is under one of those sheets. He is hidden away in one of these rooms for safe keeping. Hiding in plain sight, for only Adam to find him.

Adam walks into a room at the end of the hall. The one furthest from his own. The air in that room is thick with perfume and dust that has been baked to a ripe stuffiness over the years. It's a mother's, or a grandmother's room. You can feel it. The judgement and condemnation make him feel slightly nauseated. The furniture and mirrors are all covered in sheets. The shutters on the widow are closed and only sharp slices of light penetrate between the slats. As he walks through them, they hit his skin like little cuts. Each slice is quick and shallow the way the paper would cut at skin as he would grade his student’s papers while drunk.

He walks around the room and the light is in and out of his eye like a strobe. He sees the things under the sheets begin to dance a little and squirm. He hears breathing. It is coming from the far corner of the room. Something or someone is huddled in the nook near the fireplace. He sees the small hand of a boy peeking out from under the sheet, trying with fierce four-year-old determination to keep it in place. Benny Boy wants to win this game of hide-and-seek. The once white sheet is covered with brownish red water stains. It looks like blood that someone has spent years trying in vain to wash. In the end they are still dirty and stained with tears.

"Ben?" Adam calls softly. The air from his voice makes the dust particles dance in the fragmented light.

He hears a giggle and knows he was right. He is here. Adam begins to understand the game now.

"I wonder where Benny Boy is?" He feigns a lighthearted-ness. He knows he can't make it seem like Ben is in trouble for being in this room. This is most obviously not a room where a boy should play or hide which makes it even more appealing for a child.

"Is he under the bed?" Adam knows of course he isn't there, but in his heart, he needs Ben to realize he is good at the game and that he was able to trick his dad.

Adam can't wait to rip the sheet off him and to hear Ben scream with giggles. He wants to scoop him up and say, "There you are Benny Boy, I didn't know if I would be able to find you."

He walks slowly to the corner. If Ben is giggling again it is drowned out by a low moaning of the foghorn. Adam uses that distraction to take a few steps closer to the corner. There is no silent way for Adam to walk, no possible way for him to surprise Ben.

His had reaches out, it tremors in anticipation and fear. He pauses. "Ben?" he waits for an answer or a giggle or even a breath. There is just silence, of course there wouldn’t be a breath.

"Benny Boy?" He whispers even quieter. He leans in close to the sheet. He doesn't hear anything, but he swears he can feel the air flinch away from him as he leans in close.
---
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.

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GIVEAWAY:
Jennifer Anne Gordon will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter after the blitz. To increase your chance of winning, leave a comment at a different blog participating in the blitz each day. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Review: The Safe Place by Anna Downes

Title: The Safe Place
Author: Anna Downes
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: July 14th 2020
Print Length: 368 pages
Genre: Psychological Thriller
~
Welcome to paradise...will you ever be able to leave?

EMILY IS A MESS.

Emily Proudman just lost her acting agent, her job, and her apartment in one miserable day.

EMILY IS DESPERATE.

Scott Denny, a successful and charismatic CEO, has a problem that neither his business acumen nor vast wealth can fix.

Until he meets Emily.

EMILY IS PERFECT.

Scott offers Emily a summer job as a housekeeper on his remote, beautiful French estate. Enchanted by his lovely wife, Nina, and his eccentric young daughter, Aurelia, Emily falls headlong into this oasis of wine-soaked days by the pool. But soon Emily realizes that Scott and Nina are hiding dangerous secrets, and if she doesn't play along, the consequences could be deadly.

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MY REVIEW:
I'm a sucker for psychological thrillers, so when the opportunity arose to read The Safe Place by Anna Downes, I jumped at the chance! Luckily, I ended up loving this book!

Emily Proudman just can't catch a break. After losing her job as well as her acting agent, things are looking grim. After being late on the rent again, she's also facing eviction from her apartment. However, things start looking up when she runs into Scott Denny. Scott, a successful CEO of the company she's just been fired from, feels like Emily would be perfect working for his wife, Nina, and living on their very remote property in France. Things seem perfect, but they are a little too perfect. When Emily finds out the truth behind Nina's and Scott's ideal life, she puts herself in grave danger and finds out how far some people will go to protect their secrets.

While the idea behind The Safe Place has been done before, Downes does a fantastic job of making it feel like it was her idea and hers alone. To me, The Safe Place felt like it was a slow burn as the action didn't really take place until towards the end. I would say the first 85 percent of the book or so is just the backstory and build up to all the action which happens in the last few chapters. The pacing is a little slow throughout most of the book, but it isn't so slow that I became bored - quite the contrary. While the pacing is fairly slow, I did enjoy what I read thanks to Downes' brilliant way with words. There are a few plot twists although I found them fairly easy to figure out, but I think that's only because I've read so many psychological thrillers before. Some of my guesses were wrong though, I admit. Even though there's an epilogue, I would have liked to have known more about what happened with Denny family. I just need a little more closure when it came to that.

Downes did a fantastic job with all of her characters. It was easy to imagine every single character in The Safe Place as a real person. The main characters all had plenty of backstory (or just enough to keep them mysterious), and the minor characters were all described very well. I liked how Emily seemed to want to please those around her. While she didn't feel like a pushover, it was nice to see her wanting to fit in with her new employer as well as Yves, the sometimes handyman. Nina was definitely an interesting character. I didn't know what to make of her before Emily met her in the book, but once Emily met Nina, and I read more about her, I ended up liking her. (I kept trying to figure out why Scott didn't want to be around her though.) Aurelia, the Denny's daughter, was my favorite character. She seemed like such a sweet little girl who had been through so much. I found myself wishing I could meet Aurelia and give her a hug (only if she'd let me since she took a long time to warm up to people). 

Trigger warnings for The Safe Place include profanity, mental illness, alcohol use, prescription pill abuse, self harm, violence, and attempted murder. 

Overall, The Safe Place is a highly intriguing book that makes each and every word on the page come alive. With a great set of characters, beautiful descriptions of the scenery, and a highly intriguing plot, this is one book that's sure to become a best seller. I would definitely recommend The Safe Place by Anna Downes to those aged 20+ who enjoy psychological thrillers and/or want to be instantly transported into a fantastic book!
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(A special thank you to Minotaur Books for sending me a paperback ARC of The Safe Place by Anna Downes. A review was not required but appreciated. This was my honest and unbiased review.)

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

NBtM Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway - Just Outside of Hope: Sequel to Road Without End by Ron Kearse

Welcome to my stop on the NBtM virtual book tour for Just Outside of Hope by Ron Kearse. This book tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt for you as well as a great guest post. There's also a tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $20 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to visit the other stops on the tour for more content. Enjoy!
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Title: Just Outside of Hope: Sequel to Road Without End
Author: Ron Kearse
Publisher: Tellwell Talent
Publication Date: August 27th 2019
Print Length: 252 pages
Genre: LGBT Fiction
~
Just Outside of Hope, the sequel to Road Without End, moves through the early years of the 1980s. It takes us from the Canadian Prairies to the pubs, bath houses and nude beaches of Vancouver, British Columbia.

It is now September 1980 and ex-Lieutenant Jim Whitelaw is dealing with the guilt he feels from the fall out of a military tribunal, and lingering family issues which make things worse. But just as he feels he's getting his life together, cracks appear once more and he has to make some serious decisions.

Meanwhile, in a matter of a moment, Jim's friend and sometimes lover Bert Gilhuis, finds himself trapped in a serious situation that eventually sees him set off on new adventures in Vancouver.

These are two more stories in the continuing series of the lives of gay men who lived through the most exhilarating and terrifying of times.

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EXCERPT:
Bert stares silently down at the table. This moment of silence seems like forever.

“I’m going to miss the hell out of you, Jim. It’s too bad you’re leaving. We could have had something really good together.”

Then he takes a deep breath. “What does it matter though? I’m probably going off to jail for the next little while, and even if you stayed here, I probably wouldn’t be seeing much of you for God-knows-how-long anyway.”

We’re silent again.

“I think it’s good that you’re going back to help your family in their time of need,” he says. “I really hope your father will be okay, somehow, and I really hope that someday you can come back to
Calgary.”

I smile at him and nod.

One of the guards knocks then opens the door. “Five minutes to count Gilhuis!” Then he shuts the door and goes back behind the counter.

“Count?” I ask, “What’s that?”

Bert looks at me sadly. “That means I have to go. They stick us back in our cells just to make sure we’re all still here,” he says with a sigh. “They do this to us about three or four times a day.”

We’re momentarily silent again.

“Bert, I won’t forget you.”

“Jim, I sure as hell will never forget you. Promise that you’ll write to me?”

I smile sadly and tell him I will. I slowly get up from the table. I look into Bert’s eyes wanting to say something, anything that won’t sound trite or superficial. But what do I say at a moment like this? I want to kiss him, to hug him, but I don’t dare, not in here.

It’s as Bert is reading my thoughts. “You don’t have to say anything, Jim. Just go. You have a life to live.”

I bow my head and leave the room. I open the door I look back to Bert. He has a sad but stoic look in his eyes.

“Goodbye, Jim.”

My voice cracks as I say, “Goodbye, Bert.”

I turn and walk through the door.

I feel overwhelming sadness. It’s strange where time brings everybody. I think of my life and twists and turns it’s taken over this past year and a half. I think of Bert, my father, Glenn, Bryn and Marcel, the military and the tribunal. I think of Cliff who has made a special trip out from Manitoba and is at my place packing some boxes for me. I think of how every change in my life seems to be more dramatic and comes at me more quickly. Somehow though, I seem to muddle through those changes and manage to carry on. I don’t know what these next years are going to bring, but I can tell you this much, I’ll conquer every single one of them. This I promise myself.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ron Kearse lists travelling, photography, art, reading and history as his main sources of inspiration.

An artist, broadcaster, actor and writer, Ron has a colourful and varied work resumé.

Having lived a nomadic life, Ron has finally settled in Victoria, BC where he lives with his partner James Howard.

Just Outside of Hope is the second installment in the Road Without End Trilogy, he has also published a photo book of Vancouver Street Art in the mid-1980s called Lost History.

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GUEST POST:
- If I Could Go Back in Time, What Era Would I Like to Visit and Why?

This is a good question because, as far as I’m concerned, there have been so many interesting historical eras to visit; many eras of great change and great creativity, that it’s difficult for me to choose only one.

For example, I think of the medieval monks at Lindisfarne Abbey in Scotland who illustrated The Lindisfarne Gospels in Holy resplendence. Then later, the monks in Kells, Ireland who wrote and illustrated the world-famous Book of Kells…what might it have been like to be part of that? Who were those monks who created these beautiful Gospels? What were all of those mysterious symbols they illustrated into the texts telling us?

Or, I think of the city of Florence and how it was a hotbed of creativity during the renaissance. To witness first-hand, artists such as Leonardo di Vinci and Michelangelo, scientists like Galileo, and poets like Dante would have been awesome! To visit that highly creative era that produced incredible art which, to this day, continues to blow us all away, would have been fascinating!

To be in ancient Greece would have been an interesting era to visit. The birthplace of Democracy, graceful architecture, incredible art and stunningly handsome statuary, ancient Greece would have been a sight to behold.

Speaking of Ancient Greece, what would it have been like to be part of The Sacred Band of Thebes, or more famously, The Army of Lovers. This was an army of three hundred pairs of male/male soldiers, who were lovers. They were sent into battle together and won many of them. The idea was that because they were lovers, they would fight more ferociously for each other and more closely protect each other.

But of all the eras there ever were, I’m convinced that this era, beginning with 2020, will prove to be one of the most game-changing and life-altering eras in the modern history of the world. This is the era where a huge cosmic hand has hit a pause switch, making way for massive change to develop throughout the world. This is promoting a lot of healing and general introspection in the population that changes, not only individuals, but society-at-large. And it’s that prospect that makes me happy to be living here and now, just where I am.
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GIVEAWAY:
Ron Kearse will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter after the tour. To increase your chance of winning, leave a comment at a different stop on the tour each day. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 13, 2020

Blurb Blitz and Giveaway: The Sheriff's Baby Bargain (Angel Point #1) by Susan Lute

Welcome to my stop on the blurb blitz for The Sheriff's Baby Bargain by Susan Lute. This blitz was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt for you as well as the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $15 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to check out the rest of the stops on the blurb blitz for more content. Enjoy!
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Title: The Sheriff's Baby Bargain
Series: Angel Point #1
Author: Susan Lute
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Publication Date: April 20th 20202
Print Length: 280 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance
~
She's just what the doctor ordered... but never knew he needed

U.S. Marshal-turned-Sheriff Taylor James can trace her family back to the original thirteen Marshals appointed by George Washington. She's good at her job, but once they find out she's the local law, she can't get even one of her dates to stay past the appetizers. Her plan? Convince good friend and hot neighbor Dr. Gabriel Adams to give her dating lessons since his dance card is always full.

A survivor of childhood leukemia with no guarantee his remission will last, Gabe lives by two rules: Don't get emotionally involved and don't let his well organized life spiral out of control. When he's given a baby, with his name on her birth certificate, he needs Taylor's help. But dangling dating lessons in exchange? If that will get the dedicated sheriff to lend a helping hand, could it be a bargain worth making?

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EXCERPT:
Gabe parked his Jeep behind her truck.

Taylor had to admit the man had the goods. With chestnut hair, cut short, and dark brown eyes, sporting a sexy sense of humor in triplicate, the rumors had to be true. Irresistible charm, coupled with the touch-me cleft in his chin, and a light growth of beard he never quite shaved smooth, his dating card most certainly had a wait list.

Taylor resisted fanning her face. She wasn’t one of his dating bunnies, and getting in line wasn’t on her must-do list. Gabe Adams was every woman’s fantasy. Just not hers.

He frowned at the bag in her hands. The line between his dark brows smoothed into a clarity that had her teeth grinding. “Want to talk about the latest dating disaster?”

A startling idea braked to a halt in her head. Shoving the crazy thought into a mental locker, she shrugged. “He had to rush off to an estate sale.”

“Likely story.”

“That’s what I thought,” she muttered, giving in to his charming smile.

“When did you tell him you’re the sheriff?”

She rolled her eyes. Here it comes.

She knew it. Her timing had been off. “Did you hear Our Town is opening at the new theater next month? Are you planning to go?”

He narrowed his gaze on her. Taylor squirmed. And not in a good way. “You told him right off the bat, didn’t you? I keep telling you to wait until the date is over before revealing you’re a lawman…woman…whatever. Guys aren’t keen on the idea that the gal they’re dating can ticket them for racing through residential districts or bust them for being non-compliant with local business laws.”

“You think he’s a felon?” She ground her teeth. That would be a great addition to her already smeared résumé.

She could see the headline in the Angel Point Gazette now. “Taylor James, Former U.S. Marshal Turned Small Town Sheriff, Seen At The Chowder House With Notorious Criminal.” Now she was going to have to check the man for wants and warrants.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Susan is an award winning, multi-published traditional and Indie author. Her debut novel, Oops…We’re Married? was a Reader’s Choice nominee and Holt Medallion Finalist. She describes herself first and foremost as a wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, dreamer, and novelist. When not working as a nurse she writes, travels whenever she can, and remodels her house.

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GIVEAWAY:
Susan Lute will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter after the blitz. To increase your chance of winning, leave a comment at a different stop on the blitz each day. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blast and Giveaway: Dream Phaze - Germination by Matt Watters

Welcome to my stop on the book blast for Dream Phaze - Germination by Matt Watters. This book blast was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt for you as well as the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $20 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to check out the other blogs on the book blast for more content. Enjoy!
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Title: Dream Phaze - Germination
Author: Matt Watters
Publisher: Red Giant Publishing
Publication Date: March 25th 2019
Print Length: 195 pages
Genre: Science Fiction
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Everyone dreams.

All Saxon Zynn wanted to do was dream, not for himself, but for everyone. Back in 2037, Saxon stated, ‘Dreaming is a reality to be experienced.' A decade of research later and his Dream Immersion technology is poised to become the major entertainment medium of the 21st century, but will unforeseen obstacles prevent him from achieving his purpose?

Dream Phaze is about the inception of engineered dreams and the evolution of indulgence. Set at the crossroads of alternative realities in the near future, it plunges into a world where every human desire, no matter how heroic or evil, can be fulfilled… dreaming just became an adventure.

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EXCERPT:
Murmurs rippled around the boardroom. Saxon threw a worried look at Margo, but her sculpted face evaded his gaze. He knew Margo was concerned as she fidgeted with her manicured fingernails.

‘What does that mean for ZynnComm, Walt?’ Alfred asked.

‘I’ll get to that, Alfred. Needless to say, the Eringa Project is on hold, indefinitely.’ He stopped pacing. ‘Staff at one of our casinos, the Iridium in Moscow, have been caught allegedly manipulating gaming machines, accused of laundering large sums of money, and involvement in illegal drug transactions. The Kremlin wants to close the Iridium and our four other casinos across Russia. We’re expecting both pieces of information will be made public sometime today. A devastating blow for the corporation. We’ll be in damage control, and I’m flying to Sydney after this meeting for the anticipated media frenzy.’

More discussion erupted around the room as Walt continued his walk.

‘This morning before I arrived at the facility, I had the weight of the planets on my shoulders ladies and gentlemen–until I experienced the future.’ Walt continued, now fixated on Saxon, ‘Dr Saxon Zynn, our dream master, will revive the Tremaine Group with our Dream Immersion Platform and Gatekeeper of Dreams authoring technology. We will return to our glory days. Our testing feedback, along with my personal experience this morning, is telling me, nay shouting at me, we are going to transform entertainment as we know it. We are on the verge of a massive entertainment revolution that will fuel public imagination. Everyone will want what we are selling!’

Spontaneous cheers and applause erupted around the room. Saxon glanced at Margo, who was no longer playing with her fingernails, instead wearing her beguiling proud of you smile.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Matt lives in Sydney, Australia and works as a course developer and writer in the Community Services sector.

'This narrative began as a short story in 2014. Over subsequent years it evolved through several plot, character and title iterations until Dream Phaze emerged as an episodic series published online in 2018. These episodes, collectively known as Germination, are now an ebook.

Dream Phaze - Imagination, the second ebook in the series, will be released in September 2020.

Matt is a member of the Australian Society of Authors and Alliance of Independent Authors.

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GIVEAWAY:
Matt Watters will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter after the tour. To increase your chance of winning, leave a comment at a different stop on the book blast each day. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway