Cherry Mischievous

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ASH TO STEELE Blog Tour & Giveaway

The Book


Ash To Steele by Karen-Anne Stewart
Genre: contemporary romance

About Ash To Steele:

Emma

Who I am and all I believe is marred with just one glance into angry, steel blue eyes. He seems to control my air, my ability to breathe. He makes me crave everything I know is a sin. Pure becomes tainted and lines are blurred. It’s my fault; I’m the one who isn’t strong enough. I’ve been damaged…broken. Breck’s words haunt me…’There’s a consequence for every choice you make.’

Breck

I’ve had so many women I can’t even remember over half of their names, but none of them are mine; I make damn sure of that. I take what I desire and never look back. I don’t need or want anyone, ever…not until I met Emma. Those eyes bore into what’s left of my soul and her touch sears me, weakens me. I want to hate her for that. She is my ruin…my sweetest hell.

Disclaimer: Intended for readers 18+ due to strong language, mature scenes, and some violence.

Source: Info in the About Ash To Steele was from the press kit from the publicity team.

Buy Link(s):

Excerpt:

His confession knocks the air out of me, just as ruthlessly as if he punched me in the stomach. I gasp, desperately try to fill my lungs with air, “I am yours. You’ve always had me; even when I hated you, you had me.”

All coherent thoughts disintegrate when Breck grabs my shoulders, pulling me against him. The heat of his body radiates through my skin as his hand runs behind my head, sliding up my neck until his fingers are tangled in my hair, pulling it until my mouth is almost touching his. The intensity of his gaze weakens me. Steel blue phases into a stormy gray as his mouth collides with mine.

My head spins. My knees go weak as I collapse against him, my body not able to handle the intensity of the sensations exploding inside of me. Breck’s lips claim mine with such power, for one second, I am afraid. I know the danger of losing myself in him, but then the fear is gone; there is no one else I would rather lose myself to.

His hand fists my hair as his kiss deepens, his tongue pushing, probing, demanding access. Opening my mouth, I kiss him back. The feel of his lips conquering me, the taste of his tongue as it slides over mine, colliding, taming, plundering, sends the sweetest shivers down my spine. His teeth graze my bottom lip, nipping and lavishing as his tongue tastes my lips, then plunges inside again, breaking me to his will. I need him with such desperation, I cringe at my weakness but allow him to tame me.

Meet The Author

About Karen-Anne:

Karen-Anne Stewart has always adored reading and has now fallen in love with writing. Her written works are The Rain Trilogy: Saving Rain, Healing Rain, and After the Rain, and the newly released stand alone novel, Ash to Steele. Her debut novel, Saving Rain: The First Novel in The Rain Trilogy, was a nominee for the Book Junkie’s Choice Awards, and Saving Rain and After the Rain were nominees for the 2014 RONE Awards.

When Karen-Anne isn’t writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, hiking, and visiting new places. She fuels her addiction of creating new stories by her only other addiction, caffeine, and listening to a myriad of musical genres. Tucked away near the Blue Ridge Mountains, Karen-Anne lives with her husband, daughter, two dogs, and their cat. She plans on writing new adult romance as long as her fingers maintain dexterity.

www.karen-annestewart.com | twitter | facebook | instagram | linkedin | google+ | youtube | pinterest | goodreads
Giveaway
  • Prize(s):
    • Karen-Anne is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card & one Kindle copy of Ash To Steele!
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate or Paypal Cash and one copy of Ash to Steele delivered by the Kindle store.
  • This giveaway begins July 7 and ends on September 26.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on Monday, September 29.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

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11/07/2014 Posted by | blog tour, contests, guest blogger, Karen-Anne Stewart, Pump Up Your Book | , , , , | Leave a comment

INVITATION Blog Tour & Giveaway

 

The Book

 


Invitation by Christina Hoffman
Genre: contemporary romance

 

 

About Invitation:

Madison Spencer is a serious medical student, focused only on work and hiding her beauty and her once-passionate spirit behind a quiet plain-Jane facade. Since she was drugged, stripped, assaulted and photographed by a vengeful ex, she has stayed away from men and kept her heart and body safe.

But when heart-stoppingly gorgeous Dr. Liam Mason walks into her world, she knows she’s in trouble. After finding out about her devastating past, Liam offers to bring her back to life with physical passion. Madison thinks she should be repelled, but she’s intrigued and can’t turn him away. Together they explore days and nights of pleasure, and slowly develop into something more than bedmates.

Deep inside they each wonder if they’ve found their perfect match. But with Liam’s fear of being dragged down by commitment, and Madison’s fear of being hurt by another man threatening to destroy the world they’ve built together, will they each be strong enough and brave enough to risk their hearts to have it all?

Source: Info in the About Invitation was from the press kit from the publicity team.

 

Buy Link(s):
      

 

Excerpt:

First Chapter:

I can’t even blame it on the booze. There wasn’t any, or at least there wasn’t any for me. I was with Chloe, my bodyguard. Okay, actually she was my friend, but a really overprotective friend who knew all about what I’d been through and wanted to make sure it never happened again. So, no alcohol.

But, what she and I hadn’t counted on was him being there. There I was, minding my own business, putting in my time at the Med School Social, more than ready to head home for some studying, then Chinese food and a movie. And suddenly, him.

I was inhaling when I caught sight of him, but my breath just stopped. It felt like being punched in the chest. I kept telling myself, look away, look away! But it was impossible. I was paralyzed. His beautiful face and magnificent body were magnets, and my eyes were locked on them.

I hadn’t felt this kind of physical attraction since, well, ever. I had never felt like that. I had stayed away from men for two years. I was pretty much terrified of them, to tell the truth. But there he was. Unavoidable and irresistible.

I saw him in profile. Oh, that hair. Thick, almost curly, falling into his eyes. The kind of hair you need to gently push off of his face right before you kiss him. Or, the kind of hair you grab really hard right before you’re about to…

But, I’m getting ahead of myself. The point I’m trying to make is that my mind very clearly recognized all the dangers ahead and was saying, “Turn around, go, get out of here! Before it’s too late.” But then he turned around to look right at me. It was already too late.

We held each other’s gaze a second longer than politeness required. Something inside me went click, and for the first time in almost two years, I felt young and alive, and really, really turned on. Every part of me suddenly woke up, and all the best parts started to tingle. I was breathing harder. My lips parted slightly, already begging to be kissed.

It was a little overwhelming. I was out of practice. No, actually, I had never had the kind of practice you would need to stay controlled in a situation like that. I think maybe you can have a soul mate for your mind, and also one for your body. And my body was saying “Get me over there right now!”

But I was still too afraid. I smiled a little and turned away.

I had to stay for a while, to look sociable, so I went over to the food table and stared at the snacks, which were already stale. Nothing looked very good, and my throat was too tight to eat anyway.

I was starting to formulate a plan for escaping without the other students or the teachers noticing when I felt the air move behind me, the softest caress against my bare shoulders. Then, a hand on my back, an electric shock to my body, wildly pleasurable. I gasped and spun around. Right into the arms of…

“I’m Liam.”

Liam. Right into the arms of Liam. Oh, he was even more beautiful up close. My hand rose all on its own to push that wonderful floppy hair from his face. I stopped suddenly, embarrassed, but he caught my wrist, and held my palm gently to his face. We looked at each other and knew.

“Wanna get out of here?” he asked, and of course, foolish, foolish woman that I am, I said, “Yes.”

I saw him my first day at the new hospital. I’m a medical student and had just finished the lecture part of things where we sit around learning about chemical reactions and body parts. That was over, at last, and we were moving on to seeing real live patients in the hospital.

The orientation was step one in getting us ready for our new roles. We each got a short lab coat and a tour of the locker rooms. We received our ID tag photos.

I’m not sure why I first noticed Liam.

Since the bad thing happened, I keep my head down and make eye contact with pretty much nobody. I wear my hair in a tight bun at the nape of my neck and my clothes are dull and loose. On that particular day, I was trying very hard to concentrate. I was excited to be starting work in the hospital, but I was mostly terrified. There was so much to take in and remember. My head was reeling after only two hours. The last thing on my mind was men. So, who knows why I took that second look as he walked by our group.

Well, actually I do know why. He was gorgeous. Ridiculously gorgeous. Dark wavy hair, just slightly overgrown so he looked like a happy surfer who’d tumbled out of bed. Smiling eyes. Sparkling, mischievous, movie star eyes. A little bit of stubble, likely because he had been on call all night. The rest of him looked pretty much immaculate. He wore light wool pants and a sky blue shirt. No tie, but the white lab coat made him look professional enough.

I was dedicated to maintaining my nun-like lifestyle, but, seriously, it was impossible not to look at him. Even Chloe noticed him. She looked at him, then at me. She shook her head lightly and whispered, “No”. I laughed a little because she sounded like a mom telling a toddler that she couldn’t have any candy. Well, that was pretty much what was happening, so I guess Chloe nailed that.

She was absolutely right. I didn’t want any trouble. Certainly not that awful, frightening feeling of falling in love. No time-consuming romance. And certainly not all the time I had lost trying to recover from the trauma of what had happened before. Even a plain old tiny heartbreak could set me back, and put me way off course in my career.

No, I didn’t have the time or energy for any distractions. Nothing. Just work and school.

So I ignored the stunning resident with the black hair, and tried to focus on the tall blond giving us the orientation spiel. This was much easier because I felt no attraction to him at all. He was really handsome, too. But something about him seemed mean. Or maybe arrogant. It’s hard to remember what I thought of him that first time, because the memory is so clouded with all that came after. I’ll just say he was a tall, slim blond who should have caught my eye, but didn’t.

 

Meet The Author

 

About Christina:

Christina Hoffman was born in London, England. She moved with her family throughout Canada and the US, and has finally put down her suitcase, for now, in San Francisco.

She believes that everyone has the right to feel both smart and sexy. We don’t have to be one or the other! She writes stories about characters who live in the real world and who, somehow, still believe in love.

She’s starting a mini-revolution. She writes sexy stories, but hasn’t lost the romance from her Romances. Enough with whips — back to lips!

She hopes you enjoy her stories and see yourself in her characters. After all, they are based on smart and sexy people, just like you.

Christina’s latest book is the contemporary romance, Invitation.

Visit her website at http://www.christinahoffman.com.

www.christinahoffman.com | twitter | facebook | google+ | pinterest | goodreads

 

Giveaway

 

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26/05/2014 Posted by | blog tour, Christina Hoffman, contests, guest blogger, guest post, Pump Up Your Book | , , , , , | Leave a comment

GUARDIANS INC.: THE CYPHER Blog Tour

GUARDIANS INC.: THE CYPHER Blog Tour

The Book

Guardians Inc.: The Cypher by Julian Rosado-Machain
Book 1 of the Guardians Inc. series
Genre: Young Adult Urban Fantasy

About Guardians Inc.: The Cypher:

GUARDIANS INC.: THE CYPHER is two stories in one. A glimpse into a multinational company that is in reality the oldest of secret societies, one that spans close to seven thousand years of existence, weaving in and out of history, guiding and protecting humanity from creatures and forces that most of us believe are only mythology and fairy tales.

The other is the story of Thomas Byrne, a young man thrust into secrets he shouldn’t be aware of and dangers he shouldn’t face but, that he ultimately will, for he is a Cypher. The only one who can steer humanity’s future.

The ultimate conspiracy theory is that Magic is real. Kept in check by technology but, every five hundred years the balance can shift and, if it does, technology will fail and those creatures we’ve driven into myth will come back with a vengeance.

To protect the present, Guardians Incorporated needs to know the future, and to unlock the future they need a Cypher.

This is the first book of the Guardians Inc Series.

Source: Info in the About Guardians Inc.: The Cypher was from the press kit from the publicity team.

Buy Link(s):

Excerpt:

First Chapter:

Vice Principal Killjoy

Thomas fiddled with his thumbs waiting for his grandfather to emerge from his meeting with Vice Principal “Killjoy” Khanna.

He hadn’t come up with that nickname; it was something he had heard since his first day at Oceanic High School, in Carlsbad, California. It was whispered along the corridors and classrooms with dread, like a monster under the bed. If you did something wrong, Killjoy would get you.

Even the adults knew about her infamy. Morning drop-offs at school were always a chaotic cutthroat race until Killjoy took command of the school’s entrance. Holding a metal notepad in one hand and a large coffee mug in the other, Killjoy gained control of the drop-off zone. As parents cautiously drove through the parking lot, a mere frown stopped those who wanted to cut in line. A wave of the metal notepad dissuaded those who wanted to drive into the teacher’s parking lot. Her system was very simple: students wouldn’t be admitted to school that day if their parents tried to cut in line. Simple as that.

Killjoy always wore a long overcoat over a buttoned knitted sweater, even in the summer. Her haters compared her to a barrel with legs, but many of the girls were jealous of the wavy black hair that reached her lower back and her thin manicured hands. Nobody had seen her eyes — she always wore huge sunglasses that covered half her face — but it was rumored that her eyes were the blackest black.

She was shorter than the average sophomore girl, so it was easy for her to walk among students undetected during recess, and she was silent too, like a tiger stalking prey. Someone had found out that her shoe size was around 12 or 13, but Killjoy wore rubber-soled shoes and walked in a short step gait.

In those first two weeks, Thomas had been startled three times by her sudden appearance. Only the first time had she acknowledged his presence by nodding her head at him, her chin embedding itself deeply into her large double chin.

That simple nod was enough for an introduction.

There was a story about how Killjoy stopped a speeding SUV by standing in front of it and putting her hand on the grill of the car. The incident happened before Thomas even entered school, and he knew it must have been an exaggeration, but the story went that two days later, the family who was driving the SUV moved from the county.

Or so it was rumored.

Parents avoided her, teachers respected her, and students were completely terrified of her. In a nutshell, the school was completely under Killjoy’s iron grip. The principal seemed happy to be just a figurehead, the school ran like clockwork, and there were no problems between him and Killjoy since Killjoy was always right.
Everyone told Thomas to avoid her, but he was now on her radar.

Thomas shifted in his seat, swinging his legs back and forth. He stared at Killjoy’s closed door. He shivered. This was his first visit to her office, and since he had just transferred from Ohio, the Killjoy legend hadn’t really sunk in. A boy from his class had called him a “farm boy” in front of a group of girls, and although he had let that one slip by, he couldn’t ignore “hick,” “redneck,” and all the other names that followed. He dropped his backpack and immediately a ring of onlookers gathered.

The other boy, Roger Hill, was large and strong, with blond hair and blue eyes. He was three inches taller than Thomas, and his shoulders were many inches wider. Roger was a linebacker on the school’s football team.

Thomas was the complete opposite – always on the skinny side, with black hair and brown eyes. But three years in Tae Kwon Do earned him a red belt and third place in Ohio’s junior open. Of course, nobody knew that, and Roger found out the hard way.

Thomas didn’t throw the first punch; he tried to talk first, but when the punches came he made sure to throw the last kick, and then the next one, and the next one, as Roger’s teammates jumped in to help their linebacker. Thomas was in a trance – fighting – and zooming in on one of Roger’s friends when the circle of onlookers opened and Killjoy entered the arena.

With a wave of her notepad, Killjoy dissolved the spectators and assessed the situation. Everyone was silent. Thomas tried to catch his breath.

“You three,” she said in a thick Hindu accent, “to the principal.” Then she turned to Thomas and pointed with her coffee mug. “You, follow me.”

Thomas picked up his backpack and followed the short, plump woman through the school hallways. All the kids looked at him with pity; some even waved goodbye.

With a little kick, Killjoy opened her office door and led Thomas inside. She pointed to a chair across from her desk and waited for him to sit down before plopping in her chair. She intertwined her fingers and leaned over her desk, staring at Thomas.

Thomas tried to keep his cool and held her gaze while he counted in silence. He’d never been prone to get into trouble. He was never singled out for anything other than for his prowess in Tae Kwon Do in Ohio.

In Fulton, a town of roughly eleven thousand people, and a high school with a total two hundred students, everyone was familiar with each other. They’d actually grown up together. His old principal, Mr. Blair, had been to barbecues at his home many times. When someone got into trouble, not only did the parents know about it, within hours, the whole town heard of the news. And, like it or not, your reputation grew up with you — screwing up as a kid, you’d be branded a “bad apple,” and your reputation would follow you forever.

The switch to Carlsbad, a proper city between San Diego and L.A., and a school with about three thousand students, had been difficult. It was harsh and disorienting. It seemed that everyone was trying to be individuals, trying to do something that would set them apart from each other. Clothing, attitude, friends, sports. It was all about who was who. Who did what? And, who was with whom? Thomas had tried to keep a low profile, but once again, his prowess in Tae Kwon Do had singled him out.

And now he was sitting in front of Killjoy.

When he had counted to twenty Mississippi, Killjoy finally spoke.

“Did you throw the first punch?”

“No, I didn’t.”

“Did you entice the fight in any way?”

“Entice?”

“E-N-T-I-C-E. Entice,” she spelled. “To bait, to attract. Did you lure Roger to fight with you?”

“No. They started it.”

“They?”

“Roger and his friends.”

“So you know him?”

“He’s in one of my classes.”

“And you don’t like him.”

“I don’t really know him.”

“You wanted to fight him?”

“No.”

“You wanted to show off in front of the school? Build a little reputation? Show everyone who’s boss.”

“No.”

“No to which question.”

“No to all of them.”

“Show me your hands.”

Thomas paused, and then extended his knuckles.

“Palms up,” Killjoy said leaning forward. He opened his hands and turned up his palms.

Killjoy leaned even closer and lifted her sunglasses. Her eyes weren’t black but light brown, so clear that they were almost yellowish and perfectly delineated with a dark line. If she wasn’t wearing the sunglasses all the time, the girls would surely have another thing to envy. As she stared at his palms, Thomas began to feel a tingling sensation. He pulled his hands away.

She leaned back in her chair drawing in a deep breath. “Are you afraid of me?” she asked as she reached for her coffee, her nails screeching as she ran them across the mug.

“Should I be?” Thomas asked the way he had answered all of her other questions, immediately, without thinking.

Yes, she was scary, and she ruled the school with an iron grip, but in all the stories he’d heard, she was portrayed like a righteous but level-headed person. He really wanted to believe that he would get a fair interview with her.

Killjoy smirked. “I ask the same question to every student that sits in that chair. Ninety-nine percent say ‘yes.’ The other one percent, the bold or stupid, depending on how you want to look at it, say ‘no.’ You are the first to ask if you should be afraid.”

She turned her computer screen toward him. “This is your student record. Because of your fight I can suspend you. I can also try to expel you. I can have all the teachers keep tabs on you and let me know when you do something that’ll bring you back to this chair. I could recommend counseling, maybe even a psych evaluation. I could go out of my way and write some college recommendation letters, the kind that hint that maybe you wouldn’t be the best candidate for that school. I could do all that, maybe even a little more. And you know what?”

She stood and filled her coffee mug with a fresh batch from a machine she kept behind her desk. “It wouldn’t matter. This…” she pointed at the screen, “is your record, but it isn’t you. It isn’t what you are or what you can become. No matter what I or anyone else does to help you or bring you down, only you can decide your future.

Success or failure is in your hands. You understand all of this?”

Thomas nodded.

“Good,” she said sitting down. “Because most people your age don’t. That said, the answer is no, you shouldn’t be afraid of me, but you will respect me while you’re in this school. Are we clear?”

“Very clear.”

“Now get out of my chair and I’ll call your grandfather. You’ll wait outside and study.” She took a sip of coffee and turned to the computer screen.

Thomas didn’t know if he needed to apologize, thank her, or ask her what was going to happen next. He stood up and walked toward the door.

He’d imagined a completely different outcome from the stories he’d heard. He had actually liked his little chat with Killjoy except, of course, that she was calling in his grandpa.

Now that was a conversation he began to dread.

“By the way,” Killjoy said, “for a red belt, you’re twisting your back leg too much on your Dwi sa gi.”

“Excuse me?”

“Your back stance,” Killjoy said without looking at him. “If Roger had known a little Tae Kwon Do, or any other martial art, he would have blocked your side kick and you’d have ended up on the floor. You need to work on your side-raising kick too.”

It was almost word-for-word what his Master in Ohio had told him to work on before he left for California.

“Thanks,” he said. “I will.” And she waved him away with the mug.

Thomas sat down outside of her office to study, but all he could think about was his chat with Killjoy. How did she know that he practiced Tae Kwon Do, and how could she have guessed that he was a red belt?

It took Thomas’s grandfather four hours before he arrived. The school was almost empty when Morgan Byrne entered through the office doors. Thomas felt the full intensity of his grandfather’s glare, even behind his thick, coke-bottle glasses. As his grandfather walked toward him, Thomas felt his body shrink. He had seen that glare before.

He closed his notepad and got ready for the lecture that was sure to come. His grandfather’s limp was more noticeable when he walked at a brisker pace, and the way he nodded was an even worse sign of things to come.

Morgan Byrne had big hands, and at seventy-two he was an imposing man. He still had a full head of hair, although it had gone completely white. The diabetes and mild arthritis had only begun to dent his stamina, but he still exercised every morning and tried to get Thomas to exercise with him as much as he could.

“Tom.” His grandfather lifted a finger from his clenched fist, but before he could say another word, Killjoy opened the door to her office.

“Mr. Byrne,” she said extending a hand. “I’m Vice Principal Khanna. Before you take Thomas home I need to speak with you.”

Morgan shook Killjoy’s hand, flashed Thomas a final glare, and disappeared into the office.

Thomas’s guts twisted into a knot, and he locked his hands in between his knees. He involuntarily began to rock back and forth. A chat session between Killjoy and Grandpa could very well mean a whole new level of grounding. He tried to listen to the conversation through the door, but he only heard muffled voices.

Grandpa raised his voice, then Killjoy, then Grandpa again, followed by a long stream of words from Killjoy. Then a long silence, then… laughter?

Were they really laughing in there?

The door flung open. His grandfather walked out of Killjoy’s office with a smile. He turned and waved at Killjoy. Thomas stopped rocking and drew in a long breath. His grandfather didn’t seem as angry as he thought.

But, Thomas’s relief was short-lived as Grandpa’s smile slowly turned into a grimace.

“To the car, Tom,” his grandfather snapped. Not another word was spoken until they reached the parking lot.

“I tried to talk it out first,” Thomas began when they reached the car.

“Inside.” Morgan opened the door and closed it very gently. The car was his most prized possession: a black 1959 Chevrolet Impala that had been in and out of his garage only a couple of times since he’d bought it.

Thomas had heard all the car stories more than once. It was his grandfather’s pride and joy, his first car, bought with the labor of his teenage years and his first check from the Marines. The car that wooed his grandmother; the car his dad first learned to drive; the car Thomas’s parents used on their first date.

The car had been as special for his parents as it was for Grandpa and, had they not disappeared, it would already be theirs.

“I was furious with you, Tom.” Morgan buckled his seatbelt. “You got into a fight two weeks after I finally became your legal guardian. Really? Don’t you remember how difficult it was? All the hurdles and hoops? What would those people at the board say if they knew about this fight?”

“I tried to talk first, Gramps, I’m sorry.”

“Well,” his grandfather pursed his lips and turned on the ignition. “You should be. Let’s go.”

As they drove away, Thomas saw Killjoy leaving the school and, for a second, he thought she smiled at him.

“So,” Thomas asked once they pulled out from the school driveway. “We’re good? You’re not mad?”

“Oh no, I said I was furious.” Grandpa turned on the radio to one of his sixties stations. Bob Dylan was asking once again how it felt to be a rolling stone. Grandpa immediately joined in with the rhythm, tapping on the wheel with his hand.

“Until Miss Khanna told me that you beat up three kids today and…” he slapped the wheel and mouthed the words of the last chorus.

“And?” Thomas asked. He swallowed a lump in his throat.

“And I told her that three against one wasn’t my idea of a fair fight, especially since they are older than you. Aren’t they?”

“Well, yeah. But just by a year. They’re juniors.”

“Do you go beating up freshmen?”

“No.”

“Well, there you go. You didn’t start the fight, did you?”

Thomas lifted up his hands. “No, I swear I didn’t.”

“But you did finish it and I can’t get mad at you because you defended yourself. I told Miss Khanna that only cowards gang up on someone and that I expected the parents of those kids to give us a call to apologize.”

“Really?” Thomas was sure that if Killjoy called the parents of Roger and company, his social life at school was over before it even got started. “And what did she say?”

“That you’re suspended for a week without it going on your permanent record. To keep appearances.” Grandpa turned the radio dial; The Rolling Stones were playing Sympathy for the devil. “Those boys belong to the school’s football team, one is the running back. He had a big game this weekend that he’s not going to play, and if they lose and she doesn’t punish you somehow, well, I’m sure you know just how popular you would have become. Nice going champ. Good way to make friends.”

“But is she calling their parents or not?” It was great that Killjoy wouldn’t put the fight on his record, but she could still destroy his social life with that call.

“Of course she will.” Grandpa parked inside of their garage. “But, to tell their parents that they beat you up, and that they have extra duties at the school for a month.” He looked at Thomas and winked. “She also has her Killjoy reputation to keep, you know?”

Book Trailer:

Books In Guardians Inc. Series:

Meet The Author

About Julian:

Julian Rosado-Machain has enjoyed pizza in three continents, worked in graphic design, armored vehicles, built computers, handcrafted alebrijes and swears that he has seen at least one ghost.

He lives in San Diego, California. And enjoys the sun with his wife, three children and cat.

His latest book is the YA fantasy adventure, Guardians Inc.: The Cypher.

www.guardiansinc.com | facebook | google+ | goodreads
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19/05/2014 Posted by | blog tour, guest blogger, Julian Rosado-Machain, Pump Up Your Book | , , , , | Leave a comment

THE SOUL OF THE SUN Blog Tour & Giveaway

THE SOUL OF THE SUN Blog Tour & Giveaway

Ten Things you might not know about Genevieve Crownson

· All my book ideas come from my dreams. They are vivid, detailed movie quality stories that just show up when I sleep.

· I love animals. Any type. Any kind.

· I am a gluten-free vegan. I am gluten free due to a serious food allergy, and vegan because I love all animals so much. I just can’t bear the thought of eating them.

· I have two dogs and a cat. Lailah, age five is my maltipoo and Kahlua age sixteen is my poodle. Majick Moon cat rules the household with an iron paw.

· I am terrified of fire. I’m pretty sure I was burnt to a crisp in my bed in a past life.

· I have an obsession with Esther the Wonder Pig. I avidly follow her posts on Facebook. Check out her page it will definitely make you smile.

· One of my favorite places to visit is my Mom’s home country of New Zealand. It’s one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.

· My Dad is from London, England and as such I have a certain affinity for all things British and royal. I am still disappointed Prince William chose Kate over me!

· In another life I think I would enjoy being an Olympic figure skater.

· My biggest challenge is trying to live fearlessly. It is something I strive for.

The Book


The Soul Of The Sun by Genevieve Crownson
Genre: YA Paranormal

About The Soul Of The Sun:

“The hands of time turn on the face of the sun. Only you can move them. If the Watcher controls the hands of the clock he can go anywhere, past or future– and destroy our planet.”

Since the days of ancient Greece, the Argos dynasty has kept a secret, a mystery passed down through their descendants from generation to generation, in the hopes that the forces of good can stop the evil destruction of planet Earth.

Margaret Ingall is harboring that secret. Time is running out for the descendants of the Argos. They know a great healer and time traveler will be born of their blood. But the only person that knows whom they will call “the soul of the sun” is Margaret’s sister, Abigail. Before she can reveal the healer’s identity, disaster strikes…
Evil stalks them, watching and waiting to find out which member of her family has the ultimate power. Is it Margaret’s own child? Or her beloved granddaughter? Or even herself? Their only clue is a powerful protective amulet that will lead them all in a cat-and-mouse game to discover secrets as ancient as time.

If the Watcher discovers the truth before they do, all will be lost.

Fate, time and love weave together in their struggle to fulfill their destiny. Will Margaret’s fears sabotage her family’s protection? Can the healer accept her gifts in time? And once the soul of the sun is finally revealed, will it be too late?

Her power is incredible. The sacrifices required of her are immense.

Will it be enough to stop the Watcher?

Source: Info in the About The Soul Of The Sun was from the press kit from the publicity team.

Buy Link(s):

Excerpt:

The rain fell in sheets around me, it was gloomy and depressing, but I didn’t feel a drop. I was completely encased in light; I was a moving, breathing, flaming yellow orb that no one could penetrate. I watched in amazement as my broken leg instantly healed and the torn pajama fabric cinched itself back together. My jaw pain ceased. I closed my hands over the amulet, now humming with intensity. In a split second, I was vibrating with the same power. The wind picked up and the sky loomed black. The moon lay dark behind an inky sky and somehow strange chanting words flowed out of me. Lava hot and fraught with meaning, they rose to a fever pitch. Every word was a part of me, part of my being. Words from another time, Tanga’s time, slipped from my lips as though it were my native tongue. It was the inscription on the amulet, of that much I was sure.

I stretched my glowing hands out to Thomas.

“I call on you Lady Isis.

Protect Me.

For I am the one, the Soul of the Sun.

I plead with you and your son Horus to give refuge.

Patroness of Nature and Magic bring all my power and your power together to glorify what is right and true in this world.

Honor your name and those we safeguard from harm. Let time be taken from no man.

Amen.”

He was laughing at me.

“You stupid little twit, did you honestly think that would work? You think that I can’t take what’s mine?”

As he spoke, I chanted the same words, repeating them over and over. I saw fear cross his face just for a moment when he realized I was using the amulet’s power. A brilliant beam of light continued to radiate from my core. It was strange, the light now shone gold instead of blue. It must have changed when it sealed together. I continued to watch and to my astonishment, he became transparent and, with a puff of smoke, evaporated into the heavens. I could hear his heart-rending screams echoing through the ocean’s storm. Drained completely of energy, I crumpled, exhausted, onto the sand.

Meet The Author

About Genevieve:

Genevieve Crownson graduated from the College of Charleston with a Bachelors of Science degree. A love of writing led her to pen her debut novel, The Soul of the Sun. This is book one in her highly anticipated trilogy, The Argos Dynasty. She currently lives in beautiful Charleston, SC with her family and beloved four-legged friends. You can find her at www.genevievecrownson.com.

genevievecrownson.com | twitter | facebook | pinterest | instagram | google+ | goodreads
Giveaway

Genevieve Crownson is giving away 2 $25 Amazon Gift Cards!

  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • Two winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card.
  • This giveaway begins April 7 and ends June 27.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on Monday, June 30.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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13/05/2014 Posted by | blog tour, Genevieve Crownson, guest blogger, Pump Up Your Book | , , , , , | Leave a comment

DARK DIARY Tour

INTERVIEW WITH DANIELLA ROLFE from DARK DIARY by Dawné Dominique

Hello, readers. As promised, below is Daniella Rolfe’s interview. I’m so relieved I came out of these unscathed. *whew*

Q: Ms. Rolfe—

A: Call me Daniella.

Q: Daniella. Thank you for granting me this interview.

A: I didn’t. Aiden thought it would be a good idea.

Q: I’ll have to thank him. May I ask why you don’t like being interviewed?

A: I tend to keep you mortals at a distance. My blood cycle is approaching—

Q: Blood cycle?

A: I’m not like vampire kin who need to feed every night. I must digest blood once a month and within three days. It’s a little like a menstrual cycle, only backwards.

Q: That’s different. What happens if you don’t feed within three days?

A: Hope that you and I never meet. The hunger takes over and the blood madness follows. People die. Over the centuries I’ve developed staunch habits to ensure I feed in a timely fashion.

Q: Centuries? How old are you?

A: You do know it’s impolite to ask a woman her age, don’t you?

Q: Yes, but you’re no ordinary woman.

A: Touché. I gave up counting years ago, but there was once a time I thought I was about seven centuries old. Things have transpired recently, and I’ve discovered I’m far older.

Q: How much older?

A: How about we leave it at seven centuries?

Q: Absolutely. I didn’t mean to offend. Let’s talk about Aiden.

A: My favorite subject.

Q: You and Aiden met in a small prairie city in Canada, correct?

A: Yes, in Winnipeg. A quaint, beautiful city, and one we hope to return to soon and live out the rest of our days.

Q: How did you and Aiden actually meet?

A: My penthouse was broken into by some petty thieves. Aiden had been assigned the task of investigating the crime, but unbeknownst to me he was also working on another case. A serial killer was loose on the streets of Winnipeg killing off my monthly lovers, excuse me, monthly fodder. He was the lead detective searching for the murderer.

Q: Damn, that’s horrid!

A: Sometimes in the realm of horror, good can come from it.

Q: Good analogy. You two hit it off pretty good, eh?

A: I see there’s some Canadian in you.

Q: Excuse me? Oh, the “eh”. I rarely use it, I swear.

A: To answer your question, I fell in love with Aiden the moment I first saw him, though I fought against it with every ounce of my essence. A man of authority, a cop, is dangerous to creatures such as I. And love? What did I know of such a mortal emotion? He awakened something dormant inside me and brought out my humanness.

Q: But you’re a vampire.

A: I’m half vampire, half human. I was born a blood drinker.

Q: Whoa! What? Aren’t vampires usually turned?

A: We call it “the veiling” and yes, vampires come into existence through the interlacing of blood. They are my kin, but I’m nothing like them, except for the unrelenting hunger that comes once a month. I had once thought I was the last of my kind, but there is one more. My father, Sanehet.

Q: So your mother was human and your father a vampire?

A: He was an Egyptian demi-god.

Q: You’re kidding?

A: I never kid.

Q: Then that means vampires have been around for –

A: Since the beginning of man.

Q: You’re joking?

A: I don’t joke either. Aiden is the comedic relief.

Q: You mean to tell me that vampires walked this earth since the days of Adam and Eve?

A: To learn the truth of that, I suggest you speak with Addison Eden. And it was Adam and Lillith, not Eve.

Q: Who’s Lillith?

A: His first wife.

Q: Holy crap! I learn something new every day.

A: There is a lot you mortals don’t know. Your bibles are storybooks, recounts of events written and rewritten so many times that no one knows what’s fact or fiction anymore. The Alluminatae, who some profess to be a vampire’s bible, believe in the same nonsense. As a writer, you know that one person’s rendition of something is entirely different from another.

Q: True, but religion? A vampire’s bible?

A: You repeat yourself a lot, don’t you?

Q: Only when I’m shocked.

A: Everyone is entitled to believe what he or she wishes. I’m not that naïve. What god would create creatures such as us?

Q: True. No one believes in vampires.

A: Or vilkacis.

Q: What a vil-ka-size?

A: Wolf.

Q: You mean like in werewolf?

A: Why are you surprised? You’re interviewing a vampire, and not just any vampire, but a First.

Q: Yes, but… Why do you call yourself The First?

A: Because I am from the first bloodline.

Q: Wow. That’s so cool.

A: There is nothing cool about what I am. I’m a blood drinker. I hunt every month to feed from one or several of you. I prefer taking someone of bigger stature to ensure I replace all the blood in my system. In this way, fodder is not in danger of being drained to death. I take what I must and my magic ensures they remember nothing of the incident.

Q: In other words, you don’t kill.

A: I never said that. Some souls don’t have a place here.

Q: So you play God?

A: I would suggest you ask him yourself.

Q: *gulp* Well look at the time.

A: Yes, it is getting rather late, almost midnight. I must sleep.

Q: Oh, that’s right. You sleep at night, unlike the other vamps that have to sleep during the day.

A: I’m a day dweller, for now, but things can always change.

Q: What do you mean?

A: To answer that you’ll have to read The First series.

Q: Now that’s clever.

A: I thought so.

Q: Well, Daniella, it’s been a pleasure to speak with you. I hope we have an opportunity to do this again.

A: Time will tell.

The Books

Eden’s Hell by Dawné Dominique
Book 1 of The First series
Genre: urban fantasy

About Eden’s Hell:

In the beginning…

God created man and called him Adam, a fine specimen replicated in his own image. He then created woman to ease Adam’s loneliness and named her Lillith. Unfortunately, God realized his mistake too late in giving woman free will, for she would rule her domain-not man. When Lillith left Adam, God created another for his first-born son, and gave her the name Eve and a kingdom called Eden, but by then it was too late, for he’d unleashed Hell into the world of man.

Source: Info in the About Eden’s Hell was from the press kit from the publicity team.

Buy Link(s):

Dark Diary by Dawné Dominique
Book 2 of The First series
Genre: urban fantasy

About Dark Diary:

The lives of a deranged serial killer, a seven centuries old First vampire and a City of Winnipeg detective collide in this second novel of Dawné Dominique’s The First series. Daniella Rolfe, a seven-century old First vampire is unwittingly drawn together with a City of Winnipeg detective, who happens to be investigating a string of some rather bizarre serial murders. It doesn’t take long for her to discover that this mere mortal man holds more power over her than any she’s ever known. And Aiden…he’s only dreamed about women like Daniella. Blood battles and broken vows are just the beginning of Daniella Rolfe’s woes.

Source: Info in the About Dark Diary was from the press kit from the publicity team.

Buy Link(s):

Kindred Blood by Dawné Dominique
Book 3 of The First series
Genre: urban fantasy

About Kindred Blood:

There is nothing thicker—or stronger—than kindred blood.
Being married in Scotland sounds like the perfect romantic getaway, doesn’t it? For Daniella Rolfe and Aiden Blackmore, the nightmare they’d left behind was just the beginning. When Aiden is kidnapped, Daniella will go to any lengths to ensure he’s brought safely back to her, no matter the amount of blood to be shed. Together with Spencer Dalton, a private investigator she hired to help find Aiden, they begin to unravel more than they bargained for.

Broken vows are the least of Daniella’s worries now.

Source: Info in the About Kindred Blood was from the press kit from the publicity team.

Buy Link(s):

Crimson Cries by Dawné Dominique
Book 4 of The First series
Genre: urban fantasy

About Crimson Cries:

Can she leave behind her past in order to do what’s necessary for the future?
When Paladin Sandalio, prince of the vilkacis race, shows up at her door with the same cryptic warnings as her father, Daniella Rolfe has no choice but to believe the Nuasiar Nine walk the world again. With vamps and wolves dying side-by-side, and innocents caught in the crossfire, she knows it won’t be long before the veils are set asunder. Trusting those she’s detested for centuries is no easy task, but learning that entities like them were not created by accident will be the greatest challenge of all.

New vows will be taken—now she will show them real fear.

Source: Info in the About Crimson Cries was from the press kit from the publicity team.

Buy Link(s):

 

Discuss all these books in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE

 

Book Series Trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vSbqa4bHtc

 

Meet The Author

 

A multi-published and award-nominated author of paranormal erotic romance and fantasy, Dawné Dominique’s novels instantly hook readers until that last page is read.

Although published in the US, she’s a Canadian author through and through. The second novel of her vampire series, Dark Diary, II: The First, is set in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she resides with her family, and Gunkers, a stray cat she recently saved, and Chumbly, their newest addition to the feline household.

She embraces life with one simple rule: “Everything in life happens for a reason, be it good or bad, and it’s because of this we learn to never take anything for granted.”

Her latest books are in The First Series: Eden’s Hell, Dark Dairy, Kindred Blood and Crimson Cries.

dawnedominique.com * facebook * google+ * youtube * deviantart * goodreads

 

Follow The Tour Here.

 

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21/04/2014 Posted by | blog tour, blog tours, Dawne Dominique, guest blogger, guest post, Pump Up Your Book | , , , , , | Leave a comment

INVITATION Book Blitz

The Book

Invitation by Christina Hoffman
Genre: contemporary romance

About Invitation:

Madison Spencer is a serious medical student, focused only on work and hiding her beauty and her once-passionate spirit behind a quiet plain-Jane facade. Since she was drugged, stripped, assaulted and photographed by a vengeful ex, she has stayed away from men and kept her heart and body safe.

But when heart-stoppingly gorgeous Dr. Liam Mason walks into her world, she knows she’s in trouble. After finding out about her devastating past, Liam offers to bring her back to life with physical passion. Madison thinks she should be repelled, but she’s intrigued and can’t turn him away. Together they explore days and nights of pleasure, and slowly develop into something more than bedmates.

Deep inside they each wonder if they’ve found their perfect match. But with Liam’s fear of being dragged down by commitment, and Madison’s fear of being hurt by another man threatening to destroy the world they’ve built together, will they each be strong enough and brave enough to risk their hearts to have it all?

Source: Info in the About Invitation was from the press kit from the publicity team.

Buy Link(s):

Excerpt:

I can’t even
blame it on the booze. There wasn’t any, or at least there wasn’t any for me. I
was with Chloe, my bodyguard. Okay, actually she was my friend, but a really
overprotective friend who knew all about what I’d been through and wanted to
make sure it never happened again. So, no alcohol.

But, what she
and I hadn’t counted on was him being there. There I was, minding my own
business, putting in my time at the Med School Social, more than ready to head
home for some studying, then Chinese food and a movie. And suddenly, him.

I was
inhaling when I caught sight of him, but my breath just stopped. It felt like
being punched in the chest. I kept telling myself, look away, look away! But it
was impossible. I was paralyzed. His beautiful face and magnificent body were
magnets, and my eyes were locked on them.

I hadn’t felt
this kind of physical attraction since, well, ever. I had never felt like that.
I had stayed away from men for two years. I was pretty much terrified of them,
to tell the truth. But there he was. Unavoidable and irresistible.

I saw him in
profile. Oh, that hair. Thick, almost curly, falling into his eyes. The kind of
hair you need to gently push off of his face right before you kiss him. Or, the
kind of hair you grab really hard right before you’re about to…
But, I’m
getting ahead of myself. The point I’m trying to make is that my mind very
clearly recognized all the dangers ahead and was saying, “Turn around, go, get
out of here! Before it’s too late.” But then he turned around to look right at
me. It was already too late.
We held each
other’s gaze a second longer than politeness required. Something inside me went
click, and for the first time in almost two years, I felt young and alive, and
really, really turned on. Every part of me suddenly woke up, and all the best
parts started to tingle. I was breathing harder. My lips parted slightly,
already begging to be kissed.
It was a
little overwhelming. I was out of practice. No, actually, I had never had the
kind of practice you would need to stay controlled in a situation like that. I
think maybe you can have a soul mate for your mind, and also one for your body.
And my body was saying “Get me over there right now!”
But I was
still too afraid. I smiled a little and turned away.
I had to stay
for a while, to look sociable, so I went over to the food table and stared at
the snacks, which were already stale. Nothing looked very good, and my throat
was too tight to eat anyway.
I was
starting to formulate a plan for escaping without the other students or the
teachers noticing when I felt the air move behind me, the softest caress
against my bare shoulders. Then, a hand on my back, an electric shock to my
body, wildly pleasurable. I gasped and spun around. Right into the arms of…
“I’m Liam.”
Liam. Right into the arms of Liam. Oh, he was even
more beautiful up close. My hand rose all on its own to push that wonderful
floppy hair from his face. I stopped suddenly, embarrassed, but he caught my
wrist, and held my palm gently to his face. We looked at each other and knew.
“Wanna get
out of here?” he asked, and of course, foolish, foolish woman that I am, I
said, “Yes.”
          I saw him my first day at the new
hospital. I’m a medical student and had just finished the lecture part of
things where we sit around learning about chemical reactions and body parts.
That was over, at last, and we were moving on to seeing real live patients in
the hospital.
The
orientation was step one in getting us ready for our new roles. We each got a
short lab coat and a tour of the locker rooms. We received our ID tag photos.
I’m not sure
why I first noticed Liam.
Since the bad
thing happened, I keep my head down and make eye contact with pretty much
nobody. I wear my hair in a tight bun at the nape of my neck and my clothes are
dull and loose. On that particular day, I was trying very hard to concentrate.
I was excited to be starting work in the hospital, but I was mostly terrified.
There was so much to take in and remember. My head was reeling after only two
hours. The last thing on my mind was men. So, who knows why I took that second
look as he walked by our group.
Well,
actually I do know why. He was gorgeous. Ridiculously gorgeous. Dark wavy hair,
just slightly overgrown so he looked like a happy surfer who’d tumbled out of
bed. Smiling eyes. Sparkling, mischievous, movie star eyes. A little bit of
stubble, likely because he had been on call all night. The rest of him looked
pretty much immaculate. He wore light wool pants and a sky blue shirt. No tie,
but the white lab coat made him look professional enough. 
I was
dedicated to maintaining my nun-like lifestyle, but, seriously, it was impossible
not to look at him. Even Chloe noticed him. She looked at him, then at me. She
shook her head lightly and whispered, “No”. I laughed a little because she
sounded like a mom telling a toddler that she couldn’t have any candy. Well,
that was pretty much what was happening, so I guess Chloe nailed that.
She was
absolutely right. I didn’t want any trouble. Certainly not that awful,
frightening feeling of falling in love. No time-consuming romance. And
certainly not all the time I had lost trying to recover from the trauma of what
had happened before. Even a plain old tiny heartbreak could set me back, and
put me way off course in my career.
No, I didn’t
have the time or energy for any distractions. Nothing. Just work and school.
So I ignored the stunning resident with
the black hair, and tried to focus on the tall blond giving us the orientation
spiel. This was much easier because I felt no attraction to him at all. He was
really handsome, too. But something about him seemed mean. Or maybe arrogant. It’s
hard to remember what I thought of him that first time, because the memory is
so clouded with all that came after. I’ll just say he was a tall, slim blond
who should have caught my eye, but didn’t.
Meet The Author

About Christina:

Christina Hoffman was born in London, England. She moved with her family throughout Canada and the US, and has finally put down her suitcase, for now, in San Francisco.

She believes that everyone has the right to feel both smart and sexy. We don’t have to be one or the other! She writes stories about characters who live in the real world and who, somehow, still believe in love.

She’s starting a mini-revolution. She writes sexy stories, but hasn’t lost the romance from her Romances. Enough with whips — back to lips!

She hopes you enjoy her stories and see yourself in her characters. After all, they are based on smart and sexy people, just like you.

Christina’s latest book is the contemporary romance, Invitation.

Visit her website at http://www.christinahoffman.com.

www.christinahoffman.com | twitter | facebook | google+ | goodreads
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16/04/2014 Posted by | Book Blitz, Christina Hoffman, guest blogger, Pump Up Your Book | , , , , | Leave a comment

FOG CITY STRANGLER Blog Tour & Giveaway

THE GLAMOR GIRLS OF THE SKY

There are no more stewardesses.

The stewardesses on airlines morphed into flight attendants who are both male and females. In the 21st Century flight attendants are the generally congenial people who walk down the aisle of the cramped plane offering you a small cup of soda, an even smaller bag of peanuts and tells you to stow your bags before take-off.

The glamor of air travel has gradually disappeared and most passengers who navigate the extensive security at the airport and then squeeze into the seat on the plane, hardly consider it a glamorous experience.

There is nothing wrong with flight attendants but they are a far cry from the glamor girls of the 1950s and 1960s who were called stewardesses. In Life magazine in 1957, there was a cover picture and featured article called “The Glamor Girls of the Sky.”

The article details the rigorous training and selection process a woman must endure in the hopes of being chosen by the airline to be a stewardess.

The stewardesses of the 1950s and 1960s were something very close to movie stars and were widely admired by men as sex symbols and also were envied by women of the era.

This was the world where the female protagonist, Amelia Ryan, inhabits in my new mystery “Fog City Strangler.” Amelia is clearly a “glamor girl” and admired all the men she encounters.

The attention and admiration at that comes to Amelia as a stewardess is a two-edged sword.

I found an old job application for stewardesses from the 1950s. The requirements show how far we have come as a society and specifically how far women have come in their quest for equality in the work place.

Here is a laundry list of the requirements for stewardesses. They are:

Appearance: Height and weight proportionate
Attractive (“just below Hollywood”) Standards
Gender: Female
Martial Status: Single, not divorced, separated or widowed.
Race: White
Age: 21 to 26 years old
Education: Registered nurse or two years of college
Height: Between 5 feet, 2 inches and 5 feet, 6 inches
Weight: 135 pounds maximum

I’m not sure how a woman is supposed to react to the qualification–“attractive, just below Hollywood standards.” Is it a compliment or an insult to be told that you are “just below Hollywood standards?” It’s astounding to think of a job application which would list the “qualifications” as “white, single, female, a range for height and of course, a weight restriction. The weight restriction was a sliding scale. For instance, the fictional character, Amelia Ryan is 5 feet four inches which means she could only weigh 125 pounds. If a stewardess shows up for a flight above weight, she is grounded.

The airlines wanted pretty young, single women to provide eye candy for their well-heeled passengers who flew–mostly affluent businessmen. Once a woman was over 26 or was married she was asked to resign.

That of course changed.

On February 11, 1958, Ruth Carol Taylor was hired by Mohawk Airlines and became the first African-American flight attendant in the United States.

Ironically, despite her historic breaking of the racial restriction, Ruth’s career ended just six months later due to another discriminatory barrier: she married and was dismissed by the airline. Incidentally, only stewardesses had the age restriction and the marriage ban. No other airline employees and especially pilots, were under the same type of requirements.

In my novel, stewardess Amelia Ryan falls in love with Sam Slater. They want to get married. But Amelia also loves her job. She has to choose between marriage and continuing as a stewardess. It was a great dilemma for her.

The glamorous world of stewardesses was one of the only avenues open to women in the 1950s to “see the world” and have a career. But it came at a great price. Sam and Amelia are secretly married in “Fog City Strangler.” They keep their union a secret so she can continue to work for the airline.

In an earlier book in the mystery series—“San Francisco Secrets” another challenge rears it’s head for Amelia–sexual harassment.

A womanizing pilot, Mark Silver, is essentially Amelia’s boss and aggressively pursues her with unwanted sexual advances. There was no such term as “sexual harassment” in the 1950s. As she tried to fight off Capt. Silver, Amelia ponders the avenues she has to protect herself. There are basically none.
Amelia wonders if she goes to the airline to complain about Silver if it will cause her problems, not the pilot. She fears that when she complains about the “sexual harassment,” the airline will just say that “boys will be boys.”

Stewardesses routinely had to evade grabby male passengers and the unwanted advances of pilots.

Sam is upset by the groping of Amelia and complains about her work environment saying that if anyone is attracted to my girlfriend they can “take a sample.”

It would be several years before the stewardesses unionized and stood up to the airline. There was a series of lawsuits that knocked down the discriminatory barriers for women.

The Book

Fog City Strangler by Greg Messel
Book 1 of the Sam Slater Mysteries
Genre: crime fiction

About Fog City Strangler:

As 1958 nears an end San Francisco is being terrorized by a man who calls himself the “Fog City Strangler,” who preys on pretty young blonde women. The strangler announces each murder by sending a note and piece of cloth from the victim’s dresses to the local newspapers.

Private eye Sam Slater is worried that the Fog City Strangler may be eyeing his beautiful blonde wife, stewardess Amelia Ryan. Sam’s angst mounts as the strangler continues to claim more victims. His anxiety is further fueled when TWA launches an advertising campaign with Amelia’s picture on a series of billboards plastered all over the city. Sam fears the billboards may attract too much attention–the wrong kind of attention.

Meanwhile, Sam and Amelia are hired to try to find the missing daughter of a wealthy dowager who fears she has lost her only child. The missing woman went for a walk with her dog on Stinson Beach, near San Francisco, and seemingly vanished into thin air. The woman’s husband arrived at their beach house and found the dog running loose but there was no trace of his wife. The police are stumped in their investigation.

As Sam and Amelia look into the disappearance of the woman on the beach they discover that nothing is as it seems at first glance. On a stormy night a shadowy figure sets fire to the beach house where the couple is staying–hoping to stop their investigation.

Fog City Strangler is a stand-alone thriller but is part of the Sam Slater Mystery Series–Last of the Seals, Deadly Plunge and San Francisco Secrets.

Source: Info in the About Fog City Strangler was from the press kit from the publicity team.

Buy Link(s):

Chapter One:

THE BEACH FIRE
Stinson Beach
November 29, 1958

Amelia Slater had only slept a short time before she was startled awake by crashing and banging noises outside the beach house on Stinson Beach where she was staying with her husband Sam Slater.

Shortly after she awoke, another physical sensation hit her as she regained consciousness. She was really cold. She tried to see if Sam was awake but the darkness was so thick that she couldn’t see him even though he was right next to her in the bed.

The house where Sam and Amelia were staying seemed to be right in the bull’s eye of an unusually fierce early winter storm that was zeroing in on the northern California coast. Storm warnings were up for the coast for high winds followed by heavy rains. The fury of the storm raged outside the large window of Sam and Amelia’s bedroom as the winds whistled through the rain gutters of the beach house and rattled the windows.

The two-story beach house was perched on a steep hill which thrust up from the sandy, wide beach below. The master bedroom where Sam and Amelia were sleeping had a large sliding glass door which opened out onto a deck that surrounded the house on the second story offering spectacular vistas of the beach below.

The beach house also had a round turret with a large leaded-glassed window of Neptune, Kind of the Sea, flanked by two large fish with curvy tails. On the roof was a large weather vane of a gray whale which was spinning like a top in the high winds.

Beach access from the house was a wooden stair case which was built on the steep hill that was covered by thick, low-growing masses of blooming ice plant. The staircase had obviously been replaced recently since the wood had not yet become the weathered gray color of the rest of the house. The raging storm was roiling the foamy surf which crashed onto Stinson Beach and was lapping up at the bottom of the wooden stairs.

Their sleep had been brief. In preparation for a stormy night, Sam and Amelia had found flashlights and candles to put on the nightstands on either side of the bed in case they lost power.

Sam detected Amelia stirring next to him in bed and tried to click on the lamp on the nightstand. It was then that he discovered that the house had no power. Sam reached into the darkness until his hand touched the flashlight. He then clicked it on to look at his wristwatch which was on the table. It was 1:15 a.m.

“Amelia,” Sam said softly, “are you awake?”

“Yeah,” came the reply out of the pitch darkness of the bedroom. “How could anyone sleep through this? I’ve been awake for a while. I didn’t want to bother you in case you had been able to get to sleep.”

“No such luck. It’s freezing in the house. I’m going to go check on things. Maybe I can get a fire going in the fireplace. Light the candles. I’m going to go see if the house is okay. I heard some really loud noises earlier.”

Sam didn’t want to unnecessarily alarm Amelia but he’d swear he had heard footsteps earlier, like someone running through the house. He couldn’t be sure because of the sounds of the raging storm.

Sam clicked on his flashlight so Amelia could find the matches. After she lit the first candle, Sam disappeared into the darkness. Amelia watched as the shafts of light from Sam’s flashlight vanished from sight as he began to walk through the house.

Amelia picked up the candle and made her way to a chair to retrieve her coat which she put on over her nightgown to fight off the chill. She listened intently and could hear some thumping noises. She wasn’t sure if source of the banging was Sam or the storm.

“Sam! Sam!” Amelia called. “Where are you? Sam, is that you?”

There was no response.

The large floor-to-ceiling glass doors which opened off of the bedroom were rattling to the point where Amelia wondered if they would be able to withstand the strong winds. Amelia heard noises outside on the deck and saw a shadowy figure throwing a large can which clanked onto the deck. The man then turned and ran. She strained her eyes against the dense darkness.

Amelia instinctively walked towards the glass doors. She wondered if the man on the deck was Sam. If it was, what was he doing?

She held up the candle but could see nothing. She reached for the flashlight on the table and clicked it on. Amelia shined it out the glass door, but she could see nothing but her own reflection. As she walked closer the beam of her flashlight fell on a red gas can lying on it’s side on the deck.

Amelia moved closer towards the door and then to her horror she saw flames racing across the deck outside the doors. Amelia was simultaneously confused and frozen with terror as she watched the deck become a wall of fire being buffeted by the high winds from the storm.

The bewildered Amelia shrieked before turning to run towards the bedroom door with the flashlight illuminating her path. She began shouting Sam’s name as loudly as she could. As she opened the bedroom door two shots rang out and ricocheted off the wall and door frame above her head.

Amelia squealed and retreated into the bedroom, slamming the door. She looked for a way to lock the door to protect her self from the assailant but there was no lock. It was an old fashioned lock that required a skeleton key.

There was so much noise from the fire roaring outside on the deck and that storm, that Amelia couldn’t tell if the shooter was pursuing her further or attempting to break down the bedroom door. She leaned against the door but knew she would be defenseless if the gunman wanted to force his way into the bedroom.

Where was Sam? Was he okay? Who fired the shots at her? Who set the deck on fire?

Amelia was now trapped between an unknown assailant outside her bedroom door and the fire raging on the deck on the other side of the glass doors. She knew she had just moments to make a decision about how to escape.

She decided to take her chance on the deck since the shadowy figure who fired the shots at her was undoubtedly just outside her bedroom.

Amelia tried to grasp the door handle to the sliding glass door but it was getting hot. She couldn’t figure out how to unlock it and didn’t have time in the darkness to deal with it. Amelia decided to take more direct action–she picked up a wooden chair and threw it at the large glass doors onto the deck.

The chair cracked the glass but mostly bounced off of the door and fell onto the floor. She quickly scanned the room for something heavier that she could throw through the glass door.

Amelia spotted a large metal paperweight on a writing desk in the bedroom. It looked like some kind of navigation tool from a boat. Amelia cocked her arm and threw it as hard as she could at the cracked glass door.

That did the trick, but the glass shards from the door went flying all over the bedroom floor and the deck. The breaking of the door only made her situation worse as the high winds now pushed the flames into the bedroom and closer to Amelia.

The curtains around the large glass door ignited as the fire now snaked it’s way towards Amelia. It was now going to be impossible for Amelia to escape onto the deck because of the intensity of the flames. Amelia let out a blood curdling scream. “Sam! Sam! Help! Sam, help me!”

The storm and the crackling of the fire which exploded into the bedroom onto new sources of fuel drowned out Amelia’s cries for help. She eyed the bedroom door and decided she had to open it and confront whatever was on the other side.

Sam had taken his gun when he left moments ago. She had no idea what had happened to him. The defenseless Amelia stood in front of the closed bedroom door, She glanced over her shoulder at the advancing flames.

Amelia didn’t know what awaited her on the other side of the door but she was going to have to make a break for it.

To her horror when she grabbed the knob and turned it but the door was locked. Someone had used a skeleton key to lock her in the burning bedroom.

She was trapped.

Book Trailer:

Meet The Author

About Greg:

Greg Messel grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and now lives in Edmonds, Washington on the Puget Sound with his wife, Carol. Fog City Strangler is his seventh novel and is the fourth in a new series of Sam Slater mystery novels. Greg has lived in Oregon, Washington, California, Wyoming and Utah and has always loved writing, including stints as a reporter, columnist and news editor for a daily newspaper.

www.gregmessel.com | twitter | facebook | goodreads
Giveaway

Giveaway Details:

Greg Messel is giving away a 3 book set of his Sam Slater Mystery Series (Last of the Seals, Deadly Plunge and San Francisco Secrets AND a $25 Amazon Gift Card!
• By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
• One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive the 3 book set and $25 Amazon Gift Card.
• This giveaway begins February 3 and ends on March 28.
• Winner will be contacted via email on Monday, March 31, 2014.
• Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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27/03/2014 Posted by | contests, Greg Messel, guest blogger, guest post, Pump Up Your Book | , , , , | Leave a comment

SOUTHERN HEAT by David Burnsworth Blog Tour

When I read a book or watch a movie, I find I enjoy the experience more if the atmosphere has been set up well. The definition of atmosphere I’d like to reference, and there are six of them in my trusty 2002 edition of The American Heritage College Dictionary, is number five: “The dominant tone or mood of a work of art.” For movies, I’m drawn to Francis Ford Coppola and Ridley Scott. In particular, The Godfather I and II and Apocalypse Now, and Blade Runner and Hannibal. Books are a little different. Atmosphere is one place where authors like John Grisham and James Lee Burke shine. Masters of show and tell, I love the way they set the climate of the southeast. Michael Connelly’s depiction of Los Angeles is another exceptional creation. Same with C.J. Box’s Wyoming.

But what is it about these craftsmen and their work that makes them so extraordinary? For me, it’s the tone of the whole story. I like the noir side of things; a little dark, a little cynical, and characters with deep, self-destructive failings. The atmosphere in them sets a murky, sinister ambiance. Winning supersedes morality. And everyone has faults, especially the protagonist.

In my debut mystery, Southern Heat, I wanted to capture an atmosphere of a flawed paradise. Charleston, S.C. is paradise, or at least it was for me when I lived on Sullivan’s Island. I had a wonderful view of the Intra-Coastal Waterway out my front door, a short fifty yard stroll to the Atlantic Ocean, and a semi-private beach. Million dollar homes surrounded me, though I rented and wasn’t anywhere near the one percent tax bracket. Crabs side-walked across the sand, pelicans flew overhead, and dolphins circled close by.

But Charleston, like anywhere, has a bleak side. In the middle of all that old charm and character, there are not-so-nice parts of town. Gangs roam the outskirts. And there has been environmental abuse.

So I plopped my protagonist, Brack Pelton, right in the middle of a mirage of lowcountry perfection. After losing his wife to illness and going off to fight in Afghanistan and forget the perfect life he had with her, he returns to Charleston to rebuild his life. Except that his uncle, his only real family, is gunned down in front of him. Despite a significant inheritance, all Brack cares about is revenge, which gets dished out liberally but at the expense of the innocent.

If you like Southern mysteries with a shadowy slant, check out Southern Heat. I can be found through my website, www.davidburnsworthbooks.com, Facebook, www.facebook.com/BurnsworthDavid, and Twitter, @DavidBurnsworth. Drop me a note and let me know what you think.

The Book

Southern Heat by David Burnsworth
Genre: crime fiction

About Southern Heat:

Gunshots echo down an antebellum Charleston alley. Brack Pelton, an ex-racecar driver and Afghanistan War veteran, witnesses the murder of his uncle, Reggie Sails. Darcy Wells, the pretty Palmetto Pulse reporter, investigates Reggie’s murder and targets Brack.

The sole heir of his uncle’s estate, Brack receives a rundown bar called the Pirate’s Cove, a rotting beach house, and one hundred acres of preserved and valuable wetland along the Ashley River. A member of Charleston’s wealthiest and oldest families offers Brack four million dollars for the land. All Brack wants is his uncle’s killer.

From the sandy beaches of Isle of Palms, through the nineteenth-century mansions lining the historic Battery, to the marshlands surrounding the county, Southern Heat is drenched in the humidity of the lowcountry.

Source: Info in the About Southern Heat was from the press kit from the publicity team.

Buy Link(s):

First Chapter:

“A man doesn’t have the right to avoid reaping what he sows.”
Brother Thomas

Saturday night in the holy city of Charleston, S.C., it was easier to find a cheap motel on the Battery than a parking space near the Market. Especially in July. I bounced over century-old bricks, made a big U on Meeting Street, and headed back.

My uncle wanted to meet for dinner, and I was late.

Three blocks over, a spot opened up on Chalmers Street and I shoehorned my Mustang in. A birthday present to myself, the car had a screaming V-8, chrome wheels, and black paint. Its finish reflected the glow of the gaslights. I hadn’t needed a new car. What I needed was something besides my dog to make me smile, and I was tired of double-shots of Beam.

To save a few steps, I cut down a darkened alley. A quick flash and a loud pop echoed off the surrounding walls. I hit the deck, rolled behind a dumpster, and reached for my Berretta. It hadn’t been there in six months and wasn’t now. The aroma of spoiled seafood from the garbage hit me harder than a bullet.

A voice in the alley shouted like my drill sergeant in boot camp. “Give me an answer!”

My eyes adjusted to the dim light. I peered around a corner of the dumpster. A figure knelt over a body. To get a better view, I stood. My foot hit an empty bottle. It clanged across the cobblestones of the alley. The kneeling man raised his arm. The silhouette of a gun aimed in my direction. I dove back behind the dumpster. He fired. The bullet ricocheted off the steel frame. I needed an exit strategy.

Receding footsteps of someone running echoed in the alley. After a moment all I heard was labored breathing and eased from my hiding spot. The figure with the gun was gone. The body on the ground wheezed. I got to my feet, hurried over to help, and found my uncle staring up at me with his one good eye, the other having been lost in Vietnam and now covered with an eye patch.

“Uncle Reggie!” I fell to my knees.

Blood trickled from his mouth as he said my name, “Brack.” His voice was rough and muffled by the liquid filling his lungs.

Grabbing my phone, I punched nine-one-one.

“Brack,” he whispered, and his uncovered eye closed.

The emergency line rang in my ear.

“I’m calling for an ambulance,” I said.

“Ray.” He coughed. “Ray shot me.”

I let the phone drop a few inches. “Who’s Ray?”

He swallowed hard.

A tinny female voice interrupted, “Nine-one-one. What’s your emergency?”

The life went out of Uncle Reggie and I placed two fingers on his neck.

No pulse.

“Sir,” said the operator. “What’s your emergency?”

“My uncle’s been shot. We’re in Simmons Alley.” I placed the phone on the ground next to me, raised my uncle’s chin, and gave him CPR.

In the middle of my second round of chest compressions, the howling intake noise and moaning exhaust of a car engine at full throttle made me look up. Flashing lights bounced off the dumpsters and trash lining the alley.

A patrol car headed for me, and I jerked my hands up in reaction. It skidded to a stop a few yards away. Doors swung open in unison. Two men stepped out and trained their weapons on me. “Police! Freeze!”

One of them moved out of my line of vision.

“He’s not breathing,” I said.

The officer by the cruiser said, “Get your hands up!”

Patience left me. “He’s been shot! Make yourself useful and call an ambulance.”

“Get down!” screamed a voice behind me. A hard shove made me hit the ground face first next to my uncle. The officer jammed his knee into my back, frisked, and cuffed me.

I spit blood and dirt and tried to take a breath. “He’s my uncle. Help him!”

The second officer knelt beside Uncle Reggie and checked for a pulse like I did. “He’s gone.”

It took both cops to lift all six-foot, two-hundred-and-ten pounds of me off the ground. I grunted at the strain on my joints from the handcuffs. They placed me in the back seat of a cruiser and shut the door. One of them rattled off something on the radio. I ran my tongue over a split in the middle of my lower lip. Blood on the front of my white T-shirt mixed with three-century-old soot from the cobblestones. Ten feet away my only family and best friend lay dead. I shook my head in disbelief. The moon cast everything in electric blue.

More vehicles showed up and the area erupted in activity. Gray uniforms and white-jacketed technicians crowded into the narrow passage between the old brick buildings. Cameras flashed. Two suits got out of an unmarked Crown Vic. One knelt beside my uncle. The other spoke with one of the uniforms, both of them glancing at me several times. After a few minutes, the suits teamed up and came at me like two sand crabs ready to make a meal out of a fish carcass washed up on the beach. I saw my wallet in one of the crab’s claws and realized it was no longer in my back pocket.

The first one to the cruiser’s door was slim and tall with stiff creases in his slacks and shirt. A silver Rolex flashed on his wrist. The second man, half a step behind, had a stocky build. His loosened tie exposed an unbuttoned collar. Both wore short sleeves, a necessity in the sweltering lowcountry.

The stiff-creased crab opened the door. “Brack Pelton?”

“Yes.”

“I’m Detective Rogers.” He pulled out a notepad and pen. “This is Sergeant Wilson. We’re with Charleston P.D. and need to go over a few things with you.” He looked at my face. “I see you’re injured. We’ll get someone to check you out in a minute.”

“Thanks.” I didn’t feel the pain.

“Brack?” Detective Rogers paused. “Can I call you Brack?”

I grinned to show off my busted mouth. “Sure.”

“How did that happen, Brack?”

“What?”

Rogers pointed at my mouth with the pen. “Your lip.”

I gritted my teeth, knowing it wouldn’t do me or my uncle any good to get on the bad side of the police. “I must have fallen. The officers were kind enough to help me up.”

Detective Wilson spoke for the first time. “Good answer.”

Rogers wrote something in his notepad. “So, what can you tell us about the deceased? You said he was . . . .” He flipped a page. “Your uncle?”

“I was supposed to meet him at High Cotton.”

“We can’t seem to find any identification,” said Wilson. “Can you give us his name?”

“Reggie—Reginald Sails.” I spelled the last name.

Detective Rogers wrote it down. “Did he say anything before he died?”

I nodded. “He said Ray shot him.”

Rogers and Wilson looked at each other.

“Did he say it exactly like that?” Wilson asked. “We need to know, word for word.”

The cuffs dug into my wrists. I eased forward and exhaled. “He said ‘Ray shot me.’ I asked him who Ray was but he didn’t answer.”

Wilson said, “Any reason why someone might want to harm your uncle?”

“No. He owns a run-down dive on the Isle of Palms and spends his free time surfing.”

Rogers asked, “Which dive? That pirate bar?”

“The Pirate’s Cove.” It was the only real dive left on the island.

“No kidding.” Wilson’s eyes focused on something past me, as if he was thinking.

I choked and cleared my throat. “No kidding.”

“My nephews love the place,” Wilson said. “All the pirate stuff and that big red and blue bird.”

“Macaw,” I said.

“Macaw, right.” Wilson watched me. “What were you guys doing in this alley?”

“I couldn’t find a parking spot close to High Cotton and ended up on Chalmers. I was late and turned through here to save time and that’s when he was shot.”

Wilson paused and scanned the area. “Where was Mr. Sails?”

“Already in the alley.”

Rogers wrote more. “You didn’t arrive together?”

“No. Like I said, I was on my way to meet him.”

Without looking up, Rogers made another notation. “You see who shot him?”

“Can’t tell you what he looks like. Maybe six feet and fairly stout.”

Both detectives sized me up. Rogers said, “That could describe you.”

I stood, forcing them to back up. “Look, you think I did it? Test me for gunshot residue. Otherwise, get these cuffs off me and go find who killed my uncle.”

“Easy there.” Wilson raised his hands in a calming gesture. “No one’s accusing anyone of anything.”

“At this point,” Rogers added.

Wilson fished his keys out of his pocket and held them up. “Wanna turn around so I can unhook you?”

*****

Murder in the tourist district was rare in Charleston and the TV news got wind of the shooting. Vans from three networks arrived from the opposite end of the street and set up camp. Their lights added to the intensity of the illumination used by the police and transformed the alley into a morbid scene from High Noon. Cameramen floated around along with reporters clutching microphones. Released from the confines of the cruiser’s backseat, I sat on the rear chrome step-bumper of an ambulance within the safety of the police barrier. The detectives kept me company until the paramedics finished cleaning my face.

Detective Rogers said, “We’ll need your T-shirt. For evidence.”

I peeled off my shirt and threw it to him. “Take it.”

Wilson got a green scrubs shirt from the back of the ambulance and handed it and a business card to me. “You’re free to go. If you think of anything else, give me a call.”

“Don’t worry. You’re going to hear a lot from me.” I pocketed the card, slipped on the shirt, and walked through the alley to my car. At the police barricade, I found a spot with the fewest people loitering about and tried to cross the line.

A woman holding a microphone cut me off. “Are you involved in the police investigation?”

I was ready to brush past her when a cameraman approached, flipped on the lights above the camera and proceeded to film us. The woman stepped into the brightness and I caught a glimpse of my late wife, Jo, in the reporter’s blond curls and pretty face. The momentary image of her almost made my knees buckle.

The reporter shifted on her feet, stood in front of me, and spoke into her microphone. “Darcy Wells, Channel Nine News. Are you with the police?”

She moved the microphone from her mouth to my face, but I said nothing. Channel Nine was supposed to mean something to me, I was sure, but all I could think about at the moment were the words I had wanted to say to Jo but didn’t.

Darcy Wells aimed the microphone back at her mouth. “Can you tell us what’s going on?” Her eyes did a good job of pleading as she stuck the microphone in my face for the second time.

I spit a glob of blood on the ground away from her, trying to get the taste out of my mouth, and didn’t care it was on film. My forehead beaded with sweat from the sultry night air. “My uncle was killed tonight in this alley.”

Detectives Rogers and Wilson pushed through the crowd and stood in my line of sight but out of view of the camera.

She said, “Did you see the killer? Was there more than one? Who was your uncle?”

I pointed to the investigating officers. “Ask those guys.”

When her attention went to them, I stepped away. I heard her call, “Hey, wait!” But I turned the corner and hurried to my car, hoping the double-parked news trucks hadn’t blocked me in.

The Mustang had just enough room to squeeze out.

*****

Death followed me like a hungry predator. I’d seen enough of it, caused enough of it, and hadn’t planned on seeing any more for a while. Not like that. Not Uncle Reggie. I had to do something or I’d go nuts. The only place that might have some answers was the same place the police would be headed next, if they weren’t there already.
As I wound the Mustang to a hundred and merged onto the Arthur J. Ravenel Bridge, my thoughts converged on what had happened. I thundered over the Cooper River and didn’t let up on the accelerator until the descent on the other side into Mt. Pleasant. If not for the patrol car usually parked at the end of the bridge, I wouldn’t have let up at all.

The small beach-shack my uncle had called home for as long as I’d known him stood on the south side of the Isle of Palms. Sand covered the driveway—the entire yard, in fact. I swung around and parked, the High Intensity Discharge headlights from my Mustang bouncing off palmetto trees. I got out of my car and walked to the house that mimicked my uncle’s lifestyle. In the darkness, I opened the door to the screened-in porch, trimmed in rotten wood and white paint-flake, and eased my way between two old rocking chairs. At the front door I felt the top of the frame for the key, found it, and let myself in.
My uncle had left a light on in the living room. His prized surfboards leaned against one wall . . . vintage Hobies, Webers, and Nolls all waxed to perfection, unlike his car. A newer couch faced a big flatscreen TV. Two shot glasses and a tequila bottle sat on his glass-topped coffee table. Lipstick on one of the jiggers caught my attention.

He’d always said cell phones caused cancer. The one and only instrument for his land line sat in the kitchen. A calendar hung on the wall beside it. Ms. July stared at me with all her naked beauty. I pulled out the push-pin holding it to the wall and scanned the dates. Today, my birthday, had been marked in bold black marker. The previous week had a notation for a Mutt’s Bar.

With the calendar in hand, I walked into the bedroom. My uncle had shown me his version of a safe-deposit box, a hole in the floor covered by loose boards, when I moved to town. He peered at me with his one blue-crystal eye and his trademark grin peeking through a graying beard. “If anything happens to me, here’s some legal stuff.”
“Uncle Reggie,” I told him, “the next hurricane will blow this whole house and all your legal stuff to Columbia. It’ll land on the front lawn of the capitol, right next to the confederate flag.”

He said, “That’d be something, wouldn’t it?”

I knelt beside the bed and lifted a couple flooring boards up and out of the way. In the hole I saw two bands of cash and a stack of papers on top of a moving carton. I picked up the papers and sat on the bed to read them. Nothing popped out at me other than the cash—ten grand in each band. I put the bills in my pocket and carried the carton and calendar out to my car. The police were about to get a whole lot of help to solve this murder. Probably more than they’d want. And I would make sure they found my uncle’s killer . . . dead, if I got to him first.

Meet The Author

About David:

David Burnsworth became fascinated with the Deep South at a young age. After a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Tennessee and fifteen years in the corporate world, he made the decision to write a novel. Southern Heat is his first mystery. Having lived in Charleston on Sullivan’s Island for five years, the setting was a foregone conclusion. He and his wife along with their dog call South Carolina home.

www.davidburnsworthbooks.com | twitter | facebook | goodreads
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24/03/2014 Posted by | blog tours, David Burnsworth, guest blogger, guest post, Pump Up Your Book | , , , , | Leave a comment

REQUESTED SURRENDER BookBlast & Giveaway

The Book

Requested Surrender by Riley Murphy
Book 4 of the Trust In Me series
Genre: erotic romance

About Requested Surrender:

She knows he’s dangerous for a woman like her.

He knows she’s perfect for a man like him.

From their first meeting, David Hollan is intrigued because Lacy Pembrook is subconsciously hiding someone. Herself. And David wants to know why. He’s patient at first. Willing to give her space, but when she breaks the rules they’ve set between them, he’s ready to hold her accountable. One way or another, he’s going to find the piece of her that’s yet to be uncovered. And when he does? He intends to own it.

Given an ultimatum after she got caught coloring outsides the lines of their “trial” relationship, Lacy decides to fall in with David’s plans. She’ll cancel her trip and spend her vacation time at his house making up for her transgression. No sweat, right? Wrong. What she doesn’t count on when she gets there is him going full-out Dom on her. She quickly learns why they call him the quiet one. He’s dead sexy, watchful and stern at the best of times, and now that he has her all to himself, each of those things are magnified tenfold.

By the time Lacy realizes that he’s completely subjugated her—by way of an emotional striptease—it’s too late. She’s bared her soul to him, so when he requests her surrender she has no choice but to give it to him. Or does she?

Source: Info in the About Requested Surrender was from the press kit from the publicity team.

Book Trailer:

Meet The Author

About Riley:

Riley Murphy writes sexy, humorous and emotional romance, happy ending guaranteed. An optimist, she believes life is awesome, people are complicated, but in a good way, and we should never stop learning. Riley currently resides in Florida with her gorgeous husband. She has two wonderful kids and one very bossy English Bull terrier she has dubbed ‘The divine One’. When Riley’s not working she enjoys reading, oil painting and getting to the Sunday crossword puzzle before anyone else does, so she can fill-in all the easy answers first. If Riley wasn’t a writer she’d be an international spy with top-level security so she could have a peek at Area 51 and decide for herself if those green guys are for real. Failing that she’d probably go with chicken sexer. Riley loves to hear from readers.

To learn more about her or her upcoming releases swing by her website and say hello at: www.AuthorRileyMurphy.com or connect with her on twitter @Riley__Murphy where she’s always sharing her deep-dark secrets.

www.authorrileymurphy.com | blog | twitter | facebook | google+ | goodreads

Giveaway

Terms & Conditions:

  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate or Paypal Cash.
  • This giveaway begins February 28 and ends March 28.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, March 31.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
  • Good luck everyone!
  • a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Pump Up Your Book

    06/03/2014 Posted by | contests, guest blogger, Pump Up Your Book, Riley Murphy | , , , , | Leave a comment

    LOVING IN TIME by AE Kirk Book Tour

     

    My Top Five Movies or Programs Which Have Inspired Me

    The first program which inspired me to write a short fantasy story, called, “You fell on my car” was when I was watching Judge Judy. I remember this lady expressly tell the sarcastic yet blunt judge that a man fell onto her car and I kept thinking, how is that possible? Unless he jumped from a great height? Obviously the woman meant something else, but how she phrased the incident, got me thinking. This then lead to a short story where it was based within a court room and a woman was suing this man from damaging her car, however, the man refused to give evidence as then he’d have to ‘out’ himself as a superhero as he wants his identity kept a secret. It was just a simple line which gave me inspiration for this.

    One story I am about to publish on Wattpad was adapted from the programs Ghost Adventures and Most Haunted and their experiences. The inspiration came directly from what these ghost hunters heard or saw and I wondered if I could write a story using a “spirit therapist” being able to actually interact with these spirits instead of being vague in detail of their appearance or what they got from a Spirit Box. The story, which I’ve named “The Cursed Hill” surrounds the Pendle Witch Trials, similar to Salem, but they happened in England. The entire story wouldn’t have started if I didn’t have an interest in ghosts or spirits and weren’t showed to me in such varied ways within these two programs.

    My third inspiration for a story came from a Japanese anime, called Origin. Not only did the music inspire me but the concept of a girl waking up to discovering her world was so far in the past that everything she had come to love, had gone. “The Last Rein” is based on a girl waking up, but she wakes up in a human morgue. Her story is that she is the last of her kind and the world in which she lives in, its inhabitants blame her and her race for almost destroying the entire world. The concept is similar to Origin, but “The Last Rein” is more sci-fi with aliens, technology and a little bit of fantasy thrown in for good measure.

    One story was inspired by the movie, “Sleepy Hollow” with Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci. The short story, entitled, “Toy Box” has a Sleepy Hollow-esque feel at the beginning. It opens out with a man on an eerie road at midnight and I pictured it near the resting place of the Huntsman. This man is the son of a grave digger and has an plot to summon the devil and kill the children of his town by the use of a Toy Box that was granted to him, by the Devil himself. Of course I also like factual instances in my books and tied the box in with a downed German pilot from World War 2, who was beaten by the local woman of the village where the Toy Box still rests and the man was placed in the attic and left there for the Toy box to swallow him up. Though I don’t go into such grizzly detail of the German pilot’s demise.

    My last story that gave me great inspiration was Angels and Demons. It was the Vatican itself and the rules and regulations around this country that played an integral part to my 2nd book “The Uprising” in a series called the “Barcode Series” and having already been to the Vatican and seeing it again in a different light, gave me a multitude of inspiration into the detail, the security and the history of the world’s smallest city.

    I hope you have enjoyed this guest post and I hope you are inspired in various ways, as I have been.

    “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” Jack London

     

     

    The Book

     

    Loving In Time by AE Kirk
    Genre: Urban Fantasy YA

     

    About Loving In Time:

    High school student Helen Xenakis is not just a teenager, she is also a Princess of Sparta. When her guards travel to her time, from the past, they take her back to the time of Trorian war, but there is someone that threatens her new regal life. Can Helen truly have her soul-mate or is her heart destined to be for someone else? And when a tragedy occurs, will she take up the mantel to do what needs to be done?

    Source: Info in the About Loving In Time was from the press kit from the publicity team.

     

    Buy Link(s):

     

    Meet The Author

     

    About Abi:

    Abi Kirk is a writer of sorts. Mostly she writes about fantasy or science-fiction for young adults and or horror for adults. After teaching and traveling most of Asia in 2012 and early 2013, Abi now lives in Devon, UK and is constantly inspired by the views of the sloping, idyllic landscapes around her.

    She got her inspiration to write this book while competing for a Writers Competition on Wattpad in 2011, and after coming in joint second, Abi was guided by her fans and readers to seek out publishers.

    www.abi-kirk.webs.com | twitter | facebook | goodreads

     

    Pump Up Your Book

    05/03/2014 Posted by | AE Kirk, book tour, guest blogger, guest post, Pump Up Your Book | , , , , | Leave a comment