Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Blurb Blitz and Giveaway - Vanessa Jared's Got a Man: A Novel by LaQuette

Welcome to my stop on the blurb blitz for Vanessa Jared's Got a Man: A Novel by LaQuette. This blitz was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as the blitz wide giveaway for a chance to win a $30 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to visit the other stops on the blitz for more content. Enjoy!
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Title: Vanessa Jared's Got a Man: A Novel
Author: LaQuette
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: September 20th 2022
Print Length: 262 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance
~
Vanessa Jared, a 40-something divorcée, decided that the best way to pull herself out of their post-divorce slump was to form The Savvy, Sexy, Singles Club and start the "Do Me" portion of her and her friends' lives.

But on the two-year anniversary, a sexy sheriff shows up on Vanessa's doorstep wanting her to help him keep his little sister from marrying her no-good ex. Vanessa is not down for this at all. She wants nothing to do with her ex...until she spots a photo of her ex's new fiancée wearing her grandmother's ring—which he clearly stole from her. So now it is on. Vanessa is ready to take this trifling (fill-in-the-blank) down. What she does not expect is to fall in love along the way.

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EXCERPT:
“I’m kinda wondering why such a good guy would try to sidestep the advances of a woman he admits is beautiful.”

He didn’t know what came over him, except the fact that his common sense exited and his ego stepped up front and center. He came from around the counter, meeting her on the other side, standing as close to her as he could.

To her credit, she wasn’t the least bit put off by his proximity as she leaned into him.

“The thing that makes me good at my job is that I love putting puzzle pieces together to figure out what makes people tick. Once I put all the parts together, I can figure out what motivates folks to do some of the drastic things they do.”

He lifted his hand, slowly pushing the sleek strands of her hair behind her ear, letting his thumb settle at the edge of her jaw.

“Call me old-fashioned.” His voice was a low rumble he almost didn’t recognize. “But I like to do the chasing when I’m interested in a woman.”

She lifted a skeptical brow as they continued their stare-off. “So, you’re not into strong, independent women who know their own minds? You need a docile woman to make yourself feel like a big man?”

“I want nothing less than a strong, independent woman who knows her own mind.” He paused a moment to let his words settle in. “Only I want to put all the pieces together and figure out what she wants before I make a move. I want her to know her worth and make me chase her like the queen she knows she is. I want her to make me work for it. Where’s the fun in having you if I didn’t have to actually put in any work to get you?”

It didn’t escape him that his pronouns for this imaginary woman had switched from third person to second in the span of a few words. He wasn’t even sorry enough to explain he was speaking in generalities to try to cover it up. They both knew he wasn’t, so what was the point. Fire flashed in her eyes, and as sure as he knew his own name, he recognized it for what it was: desire.

He leaned in, noting how bad an idea this was as he did. Then again, watching her lean in as well, he didn’t give a damn. Her plush mouth was slightly parted, and he could feel the drum of her pulse beat faster and harder at her neck. Bad idea or not, there was no way in hell he was giving up the chance to know how that mouth would feel against his.

“Stop me now if this isn’t what you want?” He was gone, intoxicated by his growing need for her. Still, even at the height of this building lust, he wasn’t so far gone that he would ever do this against her will.

“If it wasn’t what I wanted, I’d tell you.”

That sharp tongue was so sexy, and he’d bet all he had that that would be even more true once he tasted it.
---
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
2021 Vivian Award finalist and DEIA activist in the romance industry, LaQuette writes bold stories featuring multicultural characters. She crafts dramatic, emotionally epic tales that are deeply pigmented by reality's paintbrush.

This Brooklyn native's novels are a unique mix of unapologetically sexy, stylish, & sensational characters who are confident in their right to appear on the page.

She is the 2016 Author of the Year Golden Apple Award winner & the 2016 Write Touch Readers Award winner. Writing—her escape from everyday madness— has always been a friend and source of comfort. At the age of sixteen, she read her first romance novel and realized the genre was missing something: people that looked and lived like her. As a result, her characters and settings are always designed to provide positive representations of people of color and various marginalized communities.

She loves hearing from readers and discussing the crazy characters that are running around in her head causing so much trouble

Latoya Smith at Arthouse Literary Agency
Please send all publishing and film industry
inquiries to Latoya@arthouselit.com .

Keisha Mennefee at Honey Magnolia Co Publicity
Please send all press and or publicity inquiries to keisha@honeymagnolia.co

Please send all conference speaker and teaching inquiries to LaQuette@LaQuette.com.

LaQuette at
Brooklyn Girl Ink, LLC
412 N Main St Ste 100
Buffalo, Wy 82834 USA


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GIVEAWAY:
LaQuette will be awarding a $30 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Good luck!

(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, its entries, or the prize. Goddess Fish Promotions and the author assume all responsibility over this giveaway.)

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Book Blitz and Giveaway: Frozen by Lies (Sleigh Riders #1) by Martha Sweeney

Title: Frozen by Lies
Series: Sleigh Riders #1
Author: Martha Sweeney
Publisher: WWN Publishing Group
Publication Date: December 6th 2022
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy Romance

~
BESTSELLING author Martha Sweeney presents her first paranormal romance/fantasy series (Sleigh Riders) that features bikers, swearing, spiked hot chocolate, magic, innuendos and so much more.

The bitter fault of one caused the magic from within to wither and die.

A feud has ensued for many generations, leaving most from both the Frost Clan and the Klaus Clan unaware of its origin. What happens when Noelle Frost and Nikolaus Klaus find themselves drawn to each other? Will their worlds collide, destroying everything in their wake? Or, do they have the power to bridge the ancient chasm and restore balance to the world?

This is NOT your average holiday story and NOT for the faint of heart.

Goodreads * Amazon *
Other Purchase Links

EXCERPT:
No one remembers the reason why the feud started and there’s no need to hold onto it for the most recent incident,” she huffs. “Let things be as they will be.”

“It’ ain’t—“

“Hush,” she scolds. “I will not hear another word of it.”

Despite his disagreement on the matter, Grandpa Jack makes his way back inside, whispering under his breath. Grandma Sapphria follows after him, hoping to defuse any tension and to make sure no one else tries to pick another fight.

“You okay, kid?” Noelle asks, bringing over two hot chocolates, extra marshmallows, and an extra shot of whiskey for Nikolaus.

“I’m not a kid,” he refutes. He takes a sip of the hot beverage. “F*ck, this is good.”

“Language, Nicky,” Nikolaus chides.

Noelle snickers.

“But—“

Nikolaus starts to reach for Nicky’s mug. “I’ll happily drink—“

“No,” Nicky whines, pulling it closer to him. “I’m sorry. And, thank you.”

“You’re welcome,” Noelle sighs. “Besides, the language thing doesn’t bother me.”

“Will you join us?” Nikolaus asks.

Noelle’s bites her tongue as she considers the offer.

“She’d be glad to, sugar,” Grandma Sapphria states, approaching the table. “My apologies for the way the men were with ya. I hope they didn’t scare you too much?”

“I’m good,” Nicky claims.

“Good,” Grandma Sapphria coos with a smile. “Sit, Elle. Relax.”

“But—“

“Sit,” Grandma commands.

Noelle quickly lowers to the seat next to Nikolaus, knowing not to challenge her grandmother—regardless of her elder status.

“I’ll bring you one as well,” she states, leaving in the next breath.

It takes Noelle a second to compose herself. It’s not that she minds being so close to Nikolaus. It’s the fact that she’s drawn to him more than any other person she’s ever known. Each time she’s been near him, the pull intensifies. Plus, she enjoys his scent.

“What’s that?” Nicky inquires, picking up the shot glass.

“That will put hair on your chest among other places,” Noelle chuckles. “Instant man maker right there.”

The boy’s eyes light up as he reach for it.

“I don’t think so,” Nikolaus says, taking it from him.

Nicky frowns and looks at Noelle.

She shrugs. “Your loss. Next time, be faster.”

“Don’t encourage him,” Nikolaus scolds playfully.

“The kid did well with Blix,” Noelle states. “He deserves a shot of whiskey to commemorate it.”

Nicky grins, pleased by the praise from a beautiful woman.

“Well, drink up,” Noelle huffs.

Nikolaus clears his throat. “You can keep drinking yours, Nicky. I’ll wait for Noelle’s.”

Without hesitation, Nicky takes another gulp of the hot liquid. “Damn, that’s good.”

“Here ya go, Elle,” Grandma Sapphria says, lowering the mug and saucer to the table along with a shot of whiskey. She also places a plate with three peppermint sticks on it. “Just in case.”

“Thanks, Grandma,” Noelle replies, sitting up. She grabs a stick and stirs her drink.

Nikolaus reaches for one as well.

“Nope.” Noelle pushes the plate out of reach.

“I thought—“

“You haven’t tried it as is and then with the shot,” Noelle informs. “You’re got to start with the base and go from there to see what you prefer.”

Nikolaus chuckles and then throws back the first shot. He lifts his mug to his lips. Noelle watches eagerly for his reaction while contemplating the dirty thoughts circling in her mind. Before Nikolaus gets the chance to stop her, Noelle dumps her whiskey into Nicky’s mug.

“Noelle,” Nikolaus scolds.

Nicky takes a big chug and then makes a funny sound. “It tastes nasty.”

Nikolaus and Noelle snicker.

Nicky smacks his lips a few times and then takes another sip. “Not bad that time.”

“It’s meant to be sipped,” Noelle informs. “Never rush into a good spiked hot chocolate.”

“Why not?” Nicky asks.

“It’s not much different than kissing a girl,” she says. “Slow and steady and build from there, just like when you’re having—”

Nikolaus snorts, spraying some of his whipped cream.
---
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Martha Sweeney is a BESTSELLING author who writes in a variety of genres: romance (contemporary, romcom, suspense, paranormal and historical), suspense, fantasy, thriller, coloring books, and soon, science fiction. She strives to push herself as a storyteller with each new tale and hopes to push her readers outside of their comfort zone whether it be genre or the stories themselves.

With a B.S. in Psychology, Martha utilizes her knowledge of human and animal behavior successfully in the business world and in her writing to present realistic characters and situations. She's been creative since she was little, always drawing, coloring or making crafts, so her venture into being an author was a natural transition.

Website * Goodreads *
Twitter * Facebook * Instagram
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GIVEAWAY:
Win a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card and a signed copy of Frozen by Lies by Martha Sweeney - US only!
(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, its entries, or the prize. Xpresso Book Tours and the author assume all responsibility over this giveaway.)

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Book Blitz and Giveaway: The Monsters of Saint Mark's Series by KC Cross

Series Title: The Monster's of Saint Mark's
Author: JA Huss writing as KC Cross
Publication Date: December 6th 2022
Genre: Paranormal Romance

~
THE MONSTERS OF SAINT MARK’S is a fun paranormal monster romance series about a girl named Pie who accidentally stumbles into a monster’s 2000-year-old curse only to find she’s exactly where she’s supposed to be.

******

When I answered an ad for a caretaker at Saint Mark’s Sanctuary I thought I’d be dusting chandeliers and polishing floors. I didn’t expect to be tricked into a curse, going in debt to a monster, and being forced to take a self-paced “Let’s Learn Magic” course so I can fix a two-thousand-year-old problem.

And that monster?
Not your ordinary, everyday beast.
He has hooves, and horns, and fur on his legs.
But ya know where he doesn’t have fur?
Yep. There.
Which is fine.
Except he doesn’t wear pants.

Nothing at Saint Mark’s is exactly what it seems.
The entire inside is magic, the hallways upstairs are nothing but parties from the past, and the super-hot guy who lives in the dungeon?
Yeah.
Not human.

My name is Pie and all I want is to be a normal girl with an average life.
I refuse to get stuck in this curse.
I refuse to learn magic to break it.
And there is no way in hell I will fall in love with a monster.

Famous.
Last.
Words.

SERIES COMPLETE!
FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Goodreads *
Book One- Damaged Gods *
Book Two – Savage Saints *
Book Three – Royal Beasts

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
JA Huss is a New York Times Bestselling author and has been on the USA Today Bestseller's list 21 times. She writes characters with heart, plots with twists, and perfect endings. Her books have sold millions of copies all over the world. Her book, Eighteen, was nominated for a Voice Arts Award and an Audie Award in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Her audiobook, Mr. Perfect, was nominated for a Voice Arts Award in 2017. Her audiobook, Taking Turns, was nominated for an Audie Award in 2018. Her book, Total Exposure, was nominated for a RITA Award in 2019.

Website * Facebook Page * Facebook Group *
Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Audible
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GIVEAWAY:
Author JA Huss is giving away a Pie’s Apothecary Box of Bookish Fun. Enter the giveaway for your chance to win by clicking here!




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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Blurb Blitz and Giveaway: Under the Cloud by B.R. Erlank

Welcome to my stop on the blurb blitz for Under the Cloud by B.R. Erlank. This blitz was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book. There's also the blitz wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to visit the other stops on the blitz for more content. Enjoy!
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Title: Under the Cloud
Author: B.R. Erlank
Publisher: Khanya
Publication Date: September 15th 2022
Print Length: 389 pages
Genre: Technothriller
~
They call themselves The Settlement Bureau. A faceless, soulless organization coercing individuals with threats to expose their improprieties and vulnerabilities. Inhumanely persistent, they’ve secretly driven hundreds of victims into bankruptcy, despair – and several even to suicide.

But when this organization tries to blackmail IT expert Terry Reynolds, they make a serious mistake. Terry is down on his luck. He is penniless, divorced and in a dead-end job. Yet, the abuse of his personal information stirs Terry out of his lethargy and he fights back. He embarks on a digital game of cat-and-mouse with the cold, calculating minds behind The Settlement Bureau – and in doing so, uncovers a sprawling criminal conspiracy.

Under The Cloud is a chillingly plausible new thriller by B.R. Erlank. With a plot ripped straight from the headlines, advance readers warn, “this book delivers a roller coaster ride right up to the final pages.”

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EXCERPT:
Charlie’s canine senses were on high alert. He growled and stared across the street. There was a commotion in the shadows of a tree. Then Terry heard a frail, plaintive voice, “No, no, leave me. That’s mine. Let go!”

Terry knew that voice; it was Joe. What sort of low-life attacks an old homeless man? There was a thud and a howl of pain. Charlie was the first to react; the dog raced across the street with Terry behind him. Under the streetlamp, Terry could make out the old man’s face, bleeding and distorted with fear, as he shouted, “You imbecile, you don’t know…”

The attacker was dressed in black and was at least six inches taller than Joe. The assailant pushed Joe hard, then his fist smashed into the old man’s face. Joe slumped against the tree, and the thug pulled back his fist for another punch.

Terry shouted, “Hey! Leave him!”

The man briefly turned and hesitated. Then, before he could plant the fist again, Charlie lunged and sank his teeth into the man’s wrist. The attacker cursed, and a knife appeared in his other hand. The blade glinted in the streetlight, and Charlie’s bark turned into a surprised yelp, then a whimper. The attacker ran.

For a split second, Terry’s rage commanded him to follow, but the sight of Joe and Charlie, both crumpled and bleeding, stopped him in his tracks. He knelt by the old man, whose face was smeared with blood, one eye beginning to swell. His breath was coming in desperate rasps.
---
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Boris Erlank grew up in Southern Africa. He has lived and worked in places as diverse as Luanda, Cape Town, Singapore and San Francisco. Boris recently gave up his job as Global Privacy Manager with a Fortune 100 company to focus on writing full-time.

He has an extensive background in IT, data privacy and cybersecurity, and has drawn on that experience to craft his latest novel, Under the Cloud. His previous novel, Catch You Later, is a murder mystery set in Cape Town.

Boris lives with his family and two dogs in the foothills of Mount Diablo, east of San Francisco. He likes to cycle and hike. “Those solitary pursuits give me time to dream up the characters and plots for my novels,” he says. Boris also enjoys choir singing, travel, and listening to audiobooks.

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GIVEAWAY:
B.R. Erlank will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Good luck!

(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, its entries, or the prize. Goddess Fish Promotions and the author assume all responsibility over this giveaway.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blast and Giveaway: Blood of The Hunted by Marc R. Micciola

Welcome to my stop on the book blast for Blood of The Hunted by Marc R. Micciola. This book blast was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as the blast wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to visit the other stops on the blast for more content. Enjoy!
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Title: Blood of The Hunted
Author: Marc R. Micciola
Publisher: Centaury Lilium Publishing
Publication Date: December 15th 2022
Genre: Dark Epic Fantasy
~
The Resistance Is Rising

Weylyn, Olwen, and other members of the marginalized and subjugated group known as the Tóráin are trying every day to gain equality and freedom. Their enemies, which consist of vile human monarchs, their soldiers, and a masked witch assassin known only as The Dove, continue to tighten their grip around the necks of the Tóráin.

Leading The Resistance, Weylyn and Olwen endure many trials that test them physically and mentally, relying on their loved ones to keep them from losing hope. They both wish to see a time of equality and peace, but to achieve that requires more than what they have. Desperation leads The Resistance to find new allies all across the continent of Kosavros with the goal of finally defeating their oppressive overseers.

Their fight for freedom and respect leads Weylyn and Olwen down paths that open their eyes to new dangers, both involving themselves and the rest of the world. However, they do not waiver. For the Tóráin are known for their resilience, and they have already endured much. What comes next will be hard, but they’re ready to fight for their lives. Together.

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EXCERPT:
I considered myself a fair-sized lycan. It wasn’t common for others to be taller or stronger than me, so fighting someone who was both of those by a wide margin was a difficult task. We wrestled on the floor for only a moment before he threw me off him, sending me down the hallway we had come from earlier. Quickly recovering, I kept my eyes on Greagoir as he got to his feet and growled. Both of us charged at each other this time, the hallway wide enough for Greagoir’s large frame. Right before we collided, I pounced on the wall and leapt off it, bringing my arm under Greagoir’s chin and dragging him down to the ground. He roared as he fell onto his back, clearly unhappy that he was bested. Foolishly, I had admired my good work too long, and Greagoir spun around, swiping at my legs with his massive arm. I fell, landing on my ass. Now on all fours, the large lycan clawed at me. He just missed my thigh as I pushed myself back and away from the small knives he called claws. I tried to get to my feet, but before I could, Greagoir leaped from his crouched position and caught me. He pinned my arms down with his massive hands and reared his head, showing off his teeth during a thunderous growl.

“A good try, but you can’t kill me. Around here, I do the killing.”
---
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Marc R. Micciola lives in Ontario, Canada with his two dogs Rielly and Ace. He has a great passion for hockey, movies, and books. He possesses a book collection consisting of a multitude of fantasy stories. Many of these novels are from his favorite authors: Mark Lawrence, George R. R. Martin, Tom Lloyd, and J. R. R. Tolkien. His prize possessions are his two replica swords from the Lord of the Rings films and his growing number of fountain pens.
 
When Marc isn’t writing, he’s spending time with his dogs, his family, and his friends. Photography and wood art are other things that Marc enjoys doing. Marc’s goal when writing any book is to put together a story that is enjoyable, emotional, and intriguing. If the words on the page make you feel something, then this author feels he’s done his job.

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GIVEAWAY:
Marc Micciola will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Good luck!

(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, its entries, or the prize. Goddess Fish Promotions and the author assume all responsibility over this giveaway.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blitz and Giveaway: Moon Tamed by Audrey Greene

Title: Moon Tamed
Author: Audrey Greene
Publisher: Pen & Page Publishing
Publication Date: December 6th 2022
Print Length: 365 pages
Genre: Paranormal Romance

~
Coraline Patten enjoys nothing more than facing new challenges, but when she’s asked to evaluate Moonriver’s ruling faction, she worries she’s bitten off more than she can chew.

Allasandro Stephans has reigned since she’d been a child, unwavering in his dedication to Moonriver. His heir, Calden, has supported him every step of the way. Together, the shapeshifting widower and his son appear to be the perfect men for the job of preserving and protecting their home.

When Moonriver’s heir asks her to free his father from the burden of leadership, Coraline is determined to do what is best for her people, even if it costs her the love of her life.

Goodreads * Amazon *
Barnes & Noble * iBooks * Kobo

EXCERPT:
I should have called in sick. Had I pretended to suffer from some ailment, my name wouldn’t have been added to the list of potential sacrificial lambs doomed to work for the Hunters of Moonriver for the next week, possibly for longer.

I enjoyed change, and I preferred it on a daily basis.

The Hunters of Moonriver would give me change for a few days, but after the first week, the monotony would drive me insane. All factions were alike. Once someone settled into their role, that was that. They stared down an endless tunnel of the same old, climbing the social ladder for higher pay, slight modifications to their duty, and more responsibility.

After a month of that, I would surely go mad.

As one of Moonriver’s unaffiliated, I flitted from faction to faction, filling in for those who couldn’t work for whatever reason. I preferred when I covered for one of the craft factions, but after a week of doing the same job, I craved new waters, new experiences, and new people.

I loved the thrill of discovery, and none of the factions had offered me the variety I needed to be satisfied with my lot in life. As such, I remained one of the oldest unaffiliated in the city, working at a temp firm.

My boss understood how I ticked and made sure I could test new waters often.

Had I done something to irritate my boss? A job with a minimum duration of a week would drive me insane, although I would do it with a smile fixed into place on my face if it was asked of me.

“I knew I should have selected a faction last quarter.” Of my co-workers, Sila tended to be the first to voice a complaint but the last to do anything about her situation. Had anyone else tried that garbage with me, I would have moved on, but Sila somehow managed to make me smile even in the most dire of situations. While she complained and rarely acted, if she could help someone else, she would.

My friend was the queen of contradictions.

She cleared her throat to make certain she held my attention. As she rarely put up such a fuss, I did as she wanted and met her gaze.

“I told you we should have made our selections last quarter, Coraline,” Sila whined.

Any other day, I would have told her to mind her own business or muttered about her attitude. Today, I wanted to join her, abandoning my professionalism to indulge in a childish temper tantrum over the situation. If I had picked a faction last quarter, I would have avoided the entire situation, but I doubted I would have been happy with my choice. Still, she made a good point. “You might be right. How many qualified for the job?” With a little luck, all six hundred or so employees could be picked, significantly limiting my chance of being the unlucky one.

The last thing I needed was a long-term contract with any faction, let alone the undisputed rulers of Moonriver.

“Twenty,” Sila informed me in a solemn tone. “Of which we are two of the twenty. I peeked at the list. More accurately, the boss asked me to warn you that you are on the list, and that he will not believe any excuse you might concoct to dodge this. As such, you can’t dodge your dance with doom, and I fear it’s probable you’re the unlucky soul stuck with the Hunters contract. Why else would he make me make you show up?”

Until it was confirmed I was stuck with the contract, I would hold hope someone else would win the assignment. As there were more than twenty people in the room, I assumed our boss had another reason for calling most of our floor together for handing out our daily duties. Usually, he either dropped the contracts off or sent us an email telling us we had feet and should use them.

I longed to voice a curse, but professionalism demanded I remain silent.

“There’s a rumor that the odds aren’t equal. By request.”

I relaxed, as my general skill set meant I spent most of my time working with craft or artisan factions. “The boss asked you toy with me, didn’t he?”

“Maybe a little. He didn’t tell me who was picked, just that somebody has already been assigned the contract, and that you have to deal with the same stress just like everyone else. But you’re no Hunter, and everybody knows it. But maybe the boss wants to add a little extra versatility to your resume? It’s only for a week or two, as far as I know.”

The wolf-dominated Hunters needed athletic, strong people with a fondness for difficult challenges.

I preferred difficult mental challenges, especially when numbers were involved. While anyone could discover their animal and begin shifting at any age, those who wanted to shift actively pursued their magic—or partnered with a shapeshifter.

I had opted against putting in the effort; I struggled enough with life without the additional complications of shapeshifting. I also dodged dating shapeshifters, as most who married a shifter developed their magic through frequent exposure.

As such, I did my best to avoid anyone associated with the Hunters of Moonriver, who ran the city and the nearby towns with iron paws but common sense and tolerable ethics.

“Well, that should eliminate me, then,” I said, allowing myself a relieved sigh. “Me, working with the Hunters? You said it yourself. I’m no Hunter.”

Fur would fly, and not in a good way.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Audrey Greene writes sweet paranormal and urban fantasy splashed with some romance and hints of science fiction. She lives in California, loves going to the beach, and appreciates taking the time to smell the roses.



Website * Goodreads * Facebook
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GIVEAWAY:
Win a $25 Amazon gift card!

(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, its entries, or the prize. Xpresso Book Tours and the author assume all responsibility over this giveaway.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Monday, December 5, 2022

Virtual Book Tour: To Catch the Setting Sun by Richard I. Levine

Welcome to my stop on the virtual book tour for To Catch the Setting Sun by Richard I. Levine. This tour was organized by Pump Up Your Book. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as an interesting guest post from the author. Be sure to visit the other stops on the tour for more content. Enjoy!
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Title: To Catch the Setting Sun
Author: Richard I. Levine
Publication Date: August 22nd 2022
Print Length: 320 pages
Genre: Suspense Thriller
~
There’s a killer loose on the island of Oahu. His targets? Young, native-Hawaiian women. But it also appears that he’s targeting and taunting Honolulu police detective Henry Benjamin who knew each victim and whose wife, Maya, had been the first name on that list. In addition to battling his personal demons, this New York transplant’s aggressive style didn’t sit well with his laid-back colleagues who viewed Henry’s uncharacteristic lack of progress in the investigation as evidence that fueled ongoing rumors that he could be the killer. Was he, or could it have been someone within the municipal hierarchy with a vendetta? As it was, after thirteen years on the job Henry had been disillusioned with paradise. His career choice long killed any fantasy of living in a grass hut on a wind-swept beach, being serenaded by the lazy sounds of the ocean and a slack key guitar. Instead, it had opened his eyes to a Hawaii that tourists will never see.

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EXCERPT:
The reflection from scattered tiki torches competed with the moonlight flickering across the black velvet lagoon. Gentle trade winds, carrying the sweet peach-like scent of plumeria, tickled the flames and the palm fronds. Clearly a welcomed reprieve from five straight days of stifling temperatures. A catamaran and a couple small outrigger canoes, their artfully painted fiberglass hulls made to look like the wood of ancient Koa trees, were pulled up along the sandy shoreline. The heavy beat of drums reverberated off the tall palms and set the rhythm for a half-dozen pair of grass-skirted hips dancing on the main stage while vacationers laughed, ogled, and stuffed their faces with shredded pork, scoops of macaroni salad, steaming flavored rice wrapped in Ti leaves, thick slices of pineapple, papaya, mango, and freshly roasted macadamia nuts that were all artfully displayed on wide banana leaf covered center pieces. They sat cross-legged in the sand, sipping Mai Tais from plastic cups made to look like hollowed out coconut shells, lost in a tropical fantasy that came complete with a souvenir snap shot taken with an authentic hula girl—the perfect paradise as portrayed on the website. The noise from the music, chanting, and laughter, drowned out the frantic noise of the nearby kitchen, and it drowned out the desperate pleas and painful cries of Makani Palahia from the far side of the beach at Auntie Lily’s Luau Cove and Hawaiian Barbecue.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Richard I. Levine is a native New Yorker raised in the shadows of Yankee Stadium. 

After dabbling in several occupations and a one-year coast to coast wanderlust trip, this one-time volunteer fireman, bartender, and store manager returned to school to become a chiropractor.

A twenty-three-year cancer survivor, he’s a strong advocate for the natural healing arts. 

Levine has four Indy-published novels and his fifth work, To Catch The Setting Sun, is published by The Wild Rose Press and was released in August 2022. In 2006 he wrote, produced and was on-air personality of the Dr. Rich Levine show on Seattle’s KKNW 1150AM and after a twenty-five year practice in Bellevue, Washington, he closed up shop in 2017 and moved to Oahu to pursue a dream of acting and being on Hawaii 5-O.

While briefly working as a ghostwriter/community liaison for a local Honolulu City Councilmember, he appeared as a background actor in over twenty-five 5-Os and Magnum P.Is. Richard can be seen in his first co-star role in the Magnum P.I. third season episode “Easy Money”. 

He presently resides in Hawaii.

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GUEST POST:
That Little Voice
by Richard I Levine

That little voice is always there. We all have one, maybe two. We simply need to acknowledge it exists and allow ourselves an open mind to hear its counsel. Trust me, I don’t have a multiple personality or dissociative identity disorder of any kind. At least I don’t think so. To be clear, I’m not poking fun at anyone who is coping with this condition. With that disclaimer out of the way, the little voice I am referring to is also known as our intuition. But what is it exactly? At the risk of seeming to be “out there” (or as my friend describes it; being connected to the woo woo world), based upon so many past experiences I firmly believe my intuition is a connection between me and my spirit guides, or if you prefer, my guardian angels. We all have them and they’re always with us—from our entry into this physical world at birth, to the time we are called back home. It’s that little voice that warns us something doesn’t seem right. It’s that reflex that makes the hairs on the back of our necks stand up. It’s that second-guessing that convinces us to delay a trip or to take a detour. It’s the whisper that seemingly comes out of nowhere when we suddenly think of a long-lost friend or relative right before they call. How many times have we had that happen and think “what a coincidence, I just thought of her yesterday!”

Sadly, many people are no longer tuned into their intuition and they no longer hear their little voice. With all the static noise and stress we are subjected to from the artificially created environment of the world we live in: traffic, construction noise, work deadlines, family obligations, political messaging, and so on, most folks have forgotten that we are all spiritual beings in the midst of a physical existence. But with intention and practice, we can learn to tune out the static and reconnect with our innate ability to listen to that little voice.

On several occasions, while driving and simultaneously deep in the imaginary world of a current book project, I’ve arrived at my final destination without being able to recall any part of the drive. How did I not end up in a ditch on the side of the road? Please keep in mind that I don’t imbibe or do drugs—although one time after driving home late at night through a torrent of rain and wind (it was a dark and windy night…), and not being able to recall most of that journey, a stiff drink would have been justified. Was one angel providing the crystal-clear imagery of my next chapter while another angel took the wheel and safely guided me home? To that end, I believe my guardian angels have worked with me when I am writing—from an idea that wakes me in the middle of the night, to when I’m searching for just the right phrase, or better yet, when I’ve finished several pages of dialogue between two or more characters, and I then have to read over what I couldn’t recall having written. Sure, my fingers were dancing all over the keyboard, but I am convinced that those characters, by way of that little voice (my guardian angels or spirit guides) dictated the direction, tone, and length of the conversation. For my fellow authors who might feel frustrated because of writers block, allow me to suggest that you stop trying to force the next paragraph, sentence, or word. Take a break. Go for a walk and enjoy a little fresh air and sunshine, listen to some beautiful inspirational music or simply turn off all the electronics and find a quiet, peaceful place to meditate. Make this a part of your routine and I’ll bet, without trying, your intuition will reconnect, your little voice will begin to sing, and your imagination will begin to flow. As I button this up, my angles are laughing right now because one of them just said they should receive equal billing on my book covers. What’s next, a percentage? ☺




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