[Blog Tour]Spotlight+Excerpt – Corrupt Me by Jillian Quinn

blog-title-header-corrupt-me-blog-tour

I am so happy to feature Jill’s (@rantandraveaboutbooks) upcoming debut novel on my blog today. When I saw the tour post, I just knew I had to sign up because:

I loved the Godfather, but always wondered about how it would have read if it had been if women had more role to play in the book. So when Jill mentioned that Corrupt Me was inspired by  the “what-could-have-been” of the relationship between Michael Corleone and Kay Adams, I was hooked!

cm-synopsis-website

corrupt-me-couple-slider-size

Here’s an excerpt from the book: 

Of the three, Luca was the most attractive. And, judging by his cockiness, that wouldn’t be news to him.

Luca cleared his throat, a smirk tugging at his mouth. “Twice in one day.”

He tapped his knuckles on the table. It drove me crazy—the air of confidence he exuded, the whole I-own-the-school mentality. What a pompous ass.

I rolled my eyes and chugged the last sip of my soda. “Yay for me,” I deadpanned, holding the straw to my lips as I fought a smile. “Now, I know you’re stalking me.”

“Where are you really going tonight, bella donna?”

As much as I wanted to smirk, I liked hearing him tell me I was beautiful. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I struggled with my feelings for Luca. The butterflies doing somersaults in my stomach churned up acid from my picked over mystery dinner.

“Bella—” Luca said, breaking the silence.

“That’s not my name,” I just about spit the words. Even though Bella was a nickname for Isabella, I never liked that name much. Luca’s older brother, Mario, always called me Izzie when we were kids, and I thought Izzie better suited me. “You’re an ass, you know that?”

Luca ran his fingers through his dark hair, flashing a very Preston-like smile. “Let me take you out.”

“Not a chance.” My first thought at his words, “take you out,” was that he wanted to whack me, and that provided me with my own personal entertainment. But I knew he’d be pissed if I mentioned that aloud.

I almost felt bad when he frowned, but he recouped quickly. His looks made it so hard to hate on him for too long. Still, I couldn’t allow myself to become involved with someone like him. In some ways, it was a conflict of interest. There was a reason our families severed ties over the years even though I suspected Grandfather had kept in touch with Luca’s father.

I leaned on the table, meeting his gaze. “Is that part of your winning charm? You think you can give me that shit-eating grin, and I’m going to drop to my knees? Like I said, I’m not interested. If this is about earlier, I’d rather give you the money and be done with whatever this is we’re doing.”

He laughed. “I’m not that bad, babe.”

I snorted at his comment, annoyed by his pet names.

He scratched his jaw, the corner of his mouth opening a little bit. He didn’t need game. He had that crooked smile and that sexy mouth I wanted to smash my lips against.

corrupt-mrs-marchese

About the Author:

Jillian Quinnabout-jillian-quinn-bio-graphic

Connect with the Author:

Facebook | Twitter | Author Website | Goodreads Profile

Buy Links:

Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Kobo|iBooks
Goodreads

Book Trailer:

corrupt-me-book-boyfriend-twitter-teaser

Do check out all the tour stops:

 

corrupt-me-blog-tour-week-1-poster

 

corrupt-me-blog-tour-week-2-poster

 

Advertisements

Book Spotlight/Guest Post by Robert Eggleton

It isn’t very often that I receive review/spotlight request for a book with such a unique premise – its contents addressing child abuse and mental health against a backdrop of     SciFi/Fantasy cross-genre. I am so pleased to feature Rarity from the Hollow on my blog today.

Rarity from the Hollow

Synopsis2Lacy Dawn’s father relives the Gulf War, her mother’s teeth are rotting out, and her best friend is murdered by the meanest daddy on Earth. Life in the hollow is hard. She has one advantage — an android was inserted into her life and is working with her to cure her parents. But, he wants something in exchange. It’s up to her to save the Universe. Lacy Dawn doesn’t mind saving the universe, but her family and friends come first.

Rarity from the Hollow is adult literary science fiction filled with tragedy, comedy and satire. The second edition was released on November 3, 2016.

praises

“The most enjoyable science fiction novel I have read in years.” Temple Emmet Williams, Author, former editor for Reader’s Digest

“Quirky, profane, disturbing… In the space between a few lines we go from hardscrabble realism to pure sci-fi/fantasy. It’s quite a trip.”  – Evelyn Somers, The Missouri Review

. “…a hillbilly version of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy…what I would have thought impossible; taken serious subjects like poverty, ignorance, abuse…tongue-in-cheek humor without trivializing them…profound…a funny book that most sci-fi fans will thoroughly enjoy.” — Awesome Indies (Gold Medal)

“…sneaks up you and, before you know it, you are either laughing like crazy or crying in despair, but the one thing you won’t be is unmoved…a brilliant writer.” —Readers’ Favorite (Gold Medal)

“Rarity from the Hollow is an original and interesting story of a backwoods girl who saves the Universe in her fashion. Not for the prudish.” —Piers Anthony, New York Times bestselling author

“…Good satire is hard to find and science fiction satire is even harder to find.” — The Baryon Review

About the Author:

Robert Eggleton

Robert Eggleton has served as a children’s advocate in an impoverished state for over forty years. He is best known for his investigative reports about children’s programs, most of which were published by the West Virginia Supreme Court where he worked from 1982 through 1997, and which also included publication of models of serving disadvantaged and homeless children in the community instead of in large institutions, research into foster care drift involving children bouncing from one home to the next — never finding a permanent loving family, and statistical reports on the occurrence and correlates of child abuse and delinquency.

Today, he is a recently retired children’s psychotherapist from the mental health center in Charleston, West Virginia, where he specialized in helping victims cope with and overcome physical and sexual abuse, and other mental health concerns. Rarity from the Hollow is his debut novel. Its release followed publication of three short Lacy Dawn Adventures in magazines: Wingspan Quarterly, Beyond Centauri, and Atomjack Science Fiction. The second edition of Rarity from the Hollow was release on November 3, 2016. Author proceeds have been donated to a child abuse prevention program operated by Children’s Home Society of West Virginia. http://www.childhswv.org/ Robert continues to write fiction with new adventures based on a protagonist that is a composite character of children that he met when delivering group therapy services. The overall theme of his stories remains victimization to empowerment.

Buy Links : 

Amazon     Lulu    Dog Horn Publishing

Connect with Robert:

Website Facebook Twitter 

divider

Here’s a guest post from the author about writing books with emotional triggers.

courage-n-spirit

Do you cry during sad or uplifting scenes in books or movies? Some people are so sensitive that they weep during fund-raising infomercials for Save the Children or another heart-felt cause.  

Good fiction, unless you are a total narcissist and unable to feel empathy, does trigger emotions on some level. Since adolescence is often a period of strong egocentrism, and since empathy is an acquired skill that develops as we mature, young adult content often prompts basic feelings – romance, excitement, or anger using plot and action. Whereas, literary fiction tends to be more complex and prompt contemplations about emotionally charged issues long exposures to the content, such as the book/movie Precious or The Color Purple.

People who avoid triggers of strong and complex emotions may be considered by some to be “faint hearted.” Some individuals are so faint hearted that they faint when there is no medical explanation, such as at the sight of blood, a condition that may have neurological roots: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/broadcast/read/838. They avoid, for example, horror movies or books because the content causes them to feel so uncomfortable that it could even cause nightmares.

Other people appreciate and pursue the powerful emotions triggered by some fiction. We each have individualized comfort zones, often reflected in our entertainment choices. In general, however, some psychologists believe that people should strive to break out of their comfort zones: http://lifehacker.com/the-science-of-breaking-out-of-your-comfort-zone-and-w-656426705.  

Rarity from the Hollow is an adult literary social science fiction novel full of tragedy, comedy and satire. Here’s what one book reviewer concluded after reading it, the second of two Gold Medals: “… Full of cranky characters and crazy situations, Rarity from the Hollow sneaks up you and, before you know it, you are either laughing like crazy or crying in despair, but the one thing you won’t be is unmoved….” —  https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/rarity-from-the-hollow

Emotional triggers prompted by fiction may also be related to warm or harsh personal memories. Memories of very bad experiences, such as rape, car accidents, war, child maltreatment, can traumatize a person. For example, one of the characters in Rarity from the Hollow begins the story as a war damaged Vet having returned from the Gulf War with PTSD. There is also one violent scene in the story, a flashback of domestic violence. And, there are references to child maltreatment and puns about sex (no actual scenes).

Perhaps more important than parental guidance advisories meant to define adult content appropriate to youthful consumers, book and movie reviews play an important role in helping people scarred by trauma, not merely the faint hearted, from unpleasant experiences in entertainment. We each take one step at a time in putting our bad memories to rest.  

While some degree of cautionary statement is appropriate to advise potential readers of Rarity from the Hollow, the early tragedy amplifies subsequent comedy and satire: “a hillbilly version of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, only instead of the earth being destroyed to make way for a hyperspace bypass, Lacy Dawn must…The author has managed to do what I would have thought impossible; taken serious subjects like poverty, ignorance, abuse, and written about them with tongue-in-cheek humor without trivializing them…Eggleton sucks you into the Hollow, dunks you in the creek, rolls you in the mud, and splays you in the sun to dry off. Tucked between the folds of humor are some profound observations on human nature and modern society that you have to read to appreciate…it’s a funny book that most sci-fi fans will thoroughly enjoy.http://awesomeindies.net/ai-approved-review-of-rarity-from-the-holly-by-robert-eggleton/

As a retired children’s psychotherapist, the novel was written to be a fictionalized road map from victimization to empowerment, especially for those victims still symptomatic after having been involved in mental health treatment or currently involved in treatment. This story is pure fiction, based on people that I’ve met during over forty years as a child advocate. It is not a self-help manual. It is a genre bender that uses science fiction as a backdrop.

To readers who have PTSD and who decide to check out Rarity from the Hollow, I do recommend please reading beyond the third chapter. Several book reviewers privately disclosed to me that they had experienced emotional trauma, and one publicly disclosed for the first time that she was a survivor of rape: “…As a rape survivor… found myself relating easily to Lacy Dawn… style of writing which I would describe as beautifully honest. Rarity from the Hollow is different from anything I have ever read, and in today’s world of cookie-cutter cloned books, that’s pretty refreshing…taking you on a wild ride you won’t soon forget….http://kyliejude.com/2015/11/book-review-rarity-from-the-hollow/

If you decide to read Rarity from the Hollow, yes, I hope that your emotions will be triggered. Its mission is to sensitize readers to the huge, world-wide, social problem of child maltreatment through a comical and satiric science fiction adventure. Author proceeds have been donated to child abuse prevention. “If I could, I would give it all the stars in the universe…I was hesitant to accept. I usually do not read or review books that discuss child abuse or domestic violence; however, I was intrigued by the excerpt and decided to give it a shot. I am glad that I took a risk; otherwise, I would have missed out on a fantastic story with a bright, resourceful, and strong protagonist that grabbed my heart and did not let go….”  http://www.onmykindle.net/2015/11/rarity-from-hollow.html
If you decide not to read Rarity from the Hollow but want to help maltreated children, there are several ways to contribute. There are hundreds of under-funded emergency children’s shelters all over the U.S. Google to find one, and then send an unwrapped anonymous gift to a kid, any size will do because maltreatment comes in all shapes and sizes. It is the Holiday Season. Furthermore, some community-based providers of social and mental health services are likely to be concerned that there could be cuts in federal funding of their programs under the new administration. Your help may be needed more than ever before.

 

Book Spotlight/Guest Post by Chuck Barret – Why Cyber Terrorism

While cyber-terrorism is featured as a plot quite often in films, it is still not seen much in adult fiction books. In this post, author Chuck Barret talks about what prompted him to pick this theme for his latest book in the Jake Pendleton series- Disruption.

divider

Why Cyber Terrorism?

Since my latest thriller, DISRUPTION, has been out (October 25, 2016 release date), I’ve been asked numerous times why I picked cyber-terrorism as the main theme of the book. I say to them, why not cyber-terrorism? I mean, it’s in our faces every single day. You can’t open a newspaper or listen to the news without hearing about another cyber-attack somewhere in the world. It’s a daily occurrence. Many times a day, if truth be told. Other than the recent elections that dominated the news for a few weeks, cyber-security is THE hottest topic in this day in age. And it’s one that is extremely important to everyone except the most technologically challenged.

All of the examples of hacking in DISRUPTION are accurate. Most have already happened! Many are realistic threats that our nation, as well as many other nations, fear could happen anytime. Just look at the elections, our government took extreme measures to prevent any attempt by foreign entities to hacking the election results and plummet this country into total chaos. Much worse than how anyone might have felt about who won the election. This would have shaken our trust at a much deeper level.

The dark world of hacking is a fact of life we must live with every day. Currently, there is no way to avoid that threat. Certainly, we can and should take every precaution available to us, but we aren’t free of the possibility of being hacked. And won’t be for a very long time.

When crafting the storyline for DISRUPTION, I consulted a man who has been a vital part of my research since my second novel, a man who became the character of The Toymaker, and is now the boss. We discussed conspiracy theories and political implications of cyber-warfare. We discussed, in pain-staking detail I might add, encryption technology and how that technology could be turned against a country. Actually, I came away more paranoid about cyber-security than I did going in.

I took what I had and weaved a storyline around it. It is plausible. It could happen. And this should scare the hell out of you. Cyber warfare is real and it is looming on our horizon.        

The greatest threat to our country right now is not nuclear warfare or aggressive threats by Russia or Islamic State. Cyber-security is the greatest threat to our country today. Or rather the lack of it.

divider

Thanks Chuck and good luck with Disruption!

About the book:

Disruption (Jake Pendleton #4)

There are two types of people: those who have been hacked and know it, and those who have been hacked and don’t know it.

Former Naval Intelligence Officer turned secret operative Jake Pendleton finds himself in a pulse-pounding race to stop a cyber-terrorist from releasing a string of the most heinous cyber-crimes the world has ever seen. Crimes that could render the world’s advanced technology useless.

Jake teams with his partner, Francesca Catanzaro, to track down their only lead, a white-hat hacker in Italy known only as The Jew. A man who might hold the key to stop a group of black-hat hackers from causing worldwide chaos—tag named Disruption.

After a search of the hacker’s flat in Rome turns up empty, Jake and Francesca follow the clues—a trail of dead bodies that leads them across Europe. Along the way, Jake discovers a possible link between recent hacks and a Malaysian airliner that mysteriously disappeared.

In the final adrenaline-charged moments before Disruption, Jake and Francesca find themselves in a high-voltage race to stop these cyber terrorists from unleashing destruction against their sworn mortal enemy.

About the author:

Chuck Barrett

Chuck Barrett is the bestselling author of the Award-Winning Jake Pendleton series—Breach of Power, The Toymaker, and The Savannah Project, as well as his latest award-winning blockbuster, BLOWN, the first book in his new Gregg Kaplan series.

In addition to writing thrillers, Barrett speaks and conducts workshops at book festivals, book clubs, reading groups, writers conferences, and writers groups. Some of his topics include Nuts & Bolts of Self-Publishing based on his book—Publishing Unchained: An Off-Beat Guide To Independent Publishing—as well as, Blueprint for a Successful Book Launch, Getting from ‘Idea’ to ‘Finished Manuscript,’ Mysteries & Thrillers: Fact or Fiction, and Adding the “What if” in Storytelling.

Barrett is a graduate of Auburn University and a retired air traffic controller. He also holds a Commercial Pilot Certificate, Flight Instructor Certificate, and a Dive Master rating. He enjoys fly fishing, hiking, and most things outdoors. He and his wife, Debi currently reside in Colorado.

Buy links : Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble  ~ Audible

Connect with Chuck : Website  ~ Twitter  ~  Facebook

To follow rest of the tour, click here 

iRead Book Tour Logo Medium

[Book Spotlight] More than Madness

Today, I am featuring a spotlight of the John Kanieki’s memoir. This sounds like a wonderful life account of courage and hope, so I am really pleased to be hosting this on my blog.

 

 

 

 

Author: John Kaniecki
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Dreaming Big Publications
Release Date: October 31, 2016

Synopsis2There is MORE than the MADNESS

This book gives readers a glimpse into the life of someone living with bipolar disorder. It’s not a clinical book filled with facts and figures, but a book of humanity.

Spanning childhood to early adult, through stories of abuse, being bullied, experimentation with drugs and alcohol, inpatient stays on psych wards, a night in jail, his college days in the fraternity, hitchhiking across America, and his time in a third world country, John gives the reader a personal and up-close look into his life as a manic depressive. The stories are sad, shocking, and at times funny as he shares his antics while at his most manic and delusional. 

Throughout his journey, John also struggles with his faith in God. More than the Madness is a testament of one man’s journey to grow closer to God while gaining a better understanding of himself. 

John wrote his story to help educate others on mental illness and remove some of the stigma associated with it. It is his hope that readers will get to know the person behind the diagnosis; take away the labels and meet someone’s son, friend, and husband. See that there is More Than the Madness.

Buy Links : Amazon , Barnes & Noble

About the Author:

John KanieckiJohn Kaniecki is an author and poet. His works has been published in over eighty outlets. He was born in Brooklyn, New York and grew up in Pompton Plains, New Jersey. He attended Steven’s Institute of Technology for two years before dropping out. At that time John became a Christian and a member of the Church of Christ. Also John began to seriously suffer from bipolar disorder. This mental illness would adversely affect John. As such the topic is dealt with in his writing. In particular in his book of memoirs “More Than The Madness”. Also the experience is poetically explored in the book “Murmurings Of A Mad Man”. John’s shining achievement is his poetry book “Poet To The Poor,Poems Of Hope For The Bottom One Percent.” This book deals with historical figures and events along with people from John’s own life. True to John’s poetic philosophy the book is written with poems that deliver a clear message. Rhyming and rhythm are prominent. John’s book “Sunset Shadows” is a book of classically written sonnets dealing with dying and death in a spiritual and wholesome way. “A Day’s Weather” completes John’s present poetry collection which is a depiction of his days as a neophyte poet. This early work is a wholesome and quaint collection. 
 
John has a science fiction anthology called Words of the Future. This book is interesting, unique and exciting. John presently has two horror books out, “Scarecrow, Scarecrow” and “Satan’s Siren”. These two books are part of a series following the main character Anne McFry. 
 
John presently lives in Montclair with his wife Sylvia. John is a volunteer minister at the Church of Christ at Chancellor Avenue which is located in the south ward of Newark New Jersey. John is also a full time caregiver for his wife. Expect more exciting stuff from John soon.

Book Spotlight/Guest Post by Lauren Carr – I’m Sorry If I Offended You … Now Grow Up

I am pleased to feature a guest post by the author of Lauren Carr as part of a blog tour for her latest book. It is written from an author’s perspective, but anyone who wants to hold an opinion – and voice it – will be able to relate to this post!

I’m Sorry If I Offended You … Now Grow Up

The year: 1508

Setting: Sistine Chapel

Michelangelo enters the Sistine Chapel with his paints and scaffolding. He has a great image in his mind. This will be his piece of art that will define him as an artist. The creation that he puts on this ceiling is going to put his name in the history books to immortalize him as a great master painter.

As Michelangelo is setting up, someone comes in. Spying one of the cans of paint, he asks, “Is that red paint you have there?”

Michelangelo says it is. The red will be needed for much of the paintings: for example, in the creation of Man.

“Can’t you use another color?”

“No,” Michelangelo says. “Red is one of the primary colors.”

“But it is so offensive.”

“How?”

“Red is the color of evil,” the visitor says. “Evil is offensive. Therefore, red is offensive.”

“It is the color of blood which gives us life,” Michelangelo says.

“Maybe according to you, but a lot of people don’t like the color red and if you use it you will offend them, which will make you and us look bad. People will think we’re endorsing evil.”

With a shrug of his shoulders, Michelangelo relents and takes the bucket of red paint out of the chapel. He is thinking about how he is going to adjust his painting when he comes in and sees someone else standing over the bucket of yellow paint.

“Is this yellow paint?” the new visitor asks with a glare in his eyes.

“Yes,” Michelangelo manages to say before the gentleman launches into his offense.

“Are you saying that we’re cowards? Yellow is the color of cowards used in terms like yellow-belly and—”

“No!” Michelangelo throws up his hands. “I just need to use yellow because it’s the base color in brown—”

But before Michelangelo can finish the second visitor hurries from the chapel while muttering about bigots and stereotyping of some social group which Michelangelo doesn’t have time to discern before a third person comes in to spy yet another bucket of paint.

“Is that green?”

“‘I need it for the Garden of Eden,” Michelangelo says in a firm tone.

“Why green? Aren’t you discriminating against the color blue? Blue has just as much right to be used for the Garden of Eden as green. Besides, were you there? How do you know the Garden of Eden wasn’t blue instead of green?”

A month later, Michelangelo finishes the Sistine Chapel. When the great ceiling is revealed to the public, they stare up in awe at the great white ceiling high above. After all, after Michelangelo had eliminated all of the colors that offended anyone, all he had left was white—to which, one member of the audience commented:

“Did you have to choose white? White gives me a migraine.”

* * * * *

In January, my ninth Mac Faraday Mystery, Three Days to Forever was released to rave reviews from both readers and reviewers. This time, I took readers on a thrill-ride. Three days before his and Archie Monday’s lavish wedding, Mac Faraday, Joshua Thornton (of Lovers in Crime), and Archie’s mother are running for their lives after a professional hit team attack Spencer Manor.

Many reviewers and readers have declared this suspense-filled mystery the “best of her best!”

Not surprisingly, a small number of readers have expressed disappointment and even dismay because they were offended by a storyline which involved home-grown terrorists. Current political issues were raised and discussed by the characters involved. It would have been unrealistic for them to investigate a case involving terrorism without these discussions. Because some of the views expressed by some of the characters differed from their views, a few readers were offended by the whole storyline.

Based on one of the twists in my suspenseful mystery, a couple readers even took a leap-frog jump to proclaim Three Days to Forever was my political message accusing our current President and his administration of corruption and cover-up.

This response was in spite of an author note on the book page on Amazon and in the front pages of the book reminding readers that:

Three Days to Forever is fiction. It is not the author’s commentary on politics, the media, the military, or Islam. While actual current events have inspired this adventure in mystery and suspense, this fictional work is not meant to point an accusatory finger at anyone in our nation’s government.”

This is not the first time that I have unintentionally offended readers in my quest to write a challenging and fun-filled mystery.

A couple of years ago, I received a review for Blast from the Past, a Mac Faraday Mystery, in which the reader opened with “Thankfully, this book in the series contained no insulting-to-fat-people characters.”

I did a lot of head scratching trying to figure out what she could possibly have been talking about. When did I insult fat people? Apparently, one of my fans had the same question because she went onto the site to ask the reader, who claimed that in one of my previous books I had presented a fat character in a derogatory manner. The fan came back to say that if it was the book she was thinking of, it was the character, not fat people who were presented in a derogatory manner.

The fact remains, this reader was so offended by my use of an obese character in It’s Murder, My Son that she felt compelled to carry out her grudge by posting a negative review four books later.

In It’s Murder, My Son, the character of Betsy is a victim. She is sloppy and, yes, obese. Her low self-esteem puts her into the perfect situation to be manipulated and used by the killer—who is slender and attractive, by the way.

Rightfully, it should be the skinny people posting negative reviews about me making them out to be manipulative and homicidal. In It’s Murder, My Son, I killed five skinny people to the one fat one. I mean, if I’m prejudice against fat people because I killed one—I must really have it out for skinny people!

How can a mystery author write books that are entertaining without offending anyone? Well, obviously, I can’t have fat characters be victims because they will offend readers like the one I mentioned above. I also can’t use them as killers because I will be saying that fat people are homicidal maniacs—unless they are driven to it by skinny people.

I guess I should stop using women as murder victims. People may start to think I’m sexist. For that matter, I should no longer have the killer be a woman. Then people will think that I’m saying that women are bad people. Heaven forbid I kill a blonde woman—then they’ll think I’m prejudice against blondes, even though I am one!

Furthermore, I really should avoid using short people—because I will offend those readers who suffer from dwarfism.

In recent history, the world has become a great melting pot. Along with the melding of cultures and people becoming more aware of each other’s differences, sections of our society have felt justified in demanding that everyone else—including artists—walk on eggshells in order to not offend them or anyone. Children can’t even pray in school because they may offend the one atheist child in the room of thirty students.

This post is not directed toward those sensitive readers who throw hissy fits in the form of negative reviews because their feelings were unintentionally hurt in the name of art. Nothing I, or any author writes, can change their perception. Rather, this is directed to writers who may fear being on the receiving end of such a tantrum when they have, without intention, offended someone somehow someway.

If writers bend to such criticism, they might as well throw away their laptops.  All murder victims in mysteries will need to be white men (because they deserve it); and the killer is always going to be the white man (because they’re always the bad guy).

Mind you, these white men have to be of average height and weight.

I guess they can’t be bald either because you may offend those readers who are bald.

Also, they need to be heterosexual otherwise you’ll be called homophobic. (Been there! Done that! More than one reader accused me of being homophobic when a homosexual couple died in A Wedding and a Killing.)

They can’t be Muslim because the terrorists will be justified in coming after you.

I guess you need to make them American because we are the great bad guys …

The end result would be authors shaking in their boots afraid to write, “It was a dark and stormy night,…” for fear of messing with Mother Nature.

The pathway to political correctness is a very narrow strip in the middle of the road. Realistically, no one can travel it.

So writers: Be bold. Be brave.

As Jerry Senfield told David Letterman, “We offend everyone. If we haven’t gotten to your group yet, just wait. We’ll get to you.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Thanks Lauren and good luck with Candidate for Murder!!

About the book:

It’s election time in SpCandidate for Murderencer, Maryland, and the race for mayor is not a pretty one. In recent years, the small resort town has become divided between the local year-round residents who have enjoyed their rural way of life and the city dwellers moving into their mansions, taking over the town council, and proceeding to turn Deep Creek Lake into a closed gate community—complete with a host of regulations for everything from speed limits
to clothes lines.

When the political parties force-feed two unsavory mayoral nominees on the town residents, Police Chief David O’Callaghan decides to make a statement—by nominating Gnarly, Mac Faraday’s German shepherd, to run as mayor of Spencer!

What starts out as a joke turns into a disaster when overnight Gnarly becomes the front runner—at which point his political enemies take a page straight out of Politics 101. What do you do when you’re behind in a race? Dig up dirt on the front runner, of course.

Seemingly, someone is not content to rest with simply embarrassing the front runner by publicizing his dishonorable discharge from the United States Army, but to throw in a murder for good measure. With murder on the ballot, Mac Faraday and the gang—including old friends from past cases—dive in to clear Gnarly’s name, catch a killer, and save Spencer!

About the Author:

Lauren Carr is the interLauren Carr 2national best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries. The twelfth installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series,
Candidate for Murder will be released June 2016.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, son, and four dogs (including the real Gnarly) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with Lauren: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook

To follow rest of the tour, click here.

Check out the book trailer :

 

iRead Book Tour Logo Medium

[Book Excerpt] That Girl – By Rachel Strong

Today, I am introducing That Girl by Rachel Strong as a part of blog tour hosted by:

HCL-Book-Tours-Logo-2That Girl Tour graphic 1

Synopsis : 

After serving half of a three-year prison sentence, James is out and ready to try and get his life back on track, which means forgetting about the girl who sent him to prison in the first place – despite the fact he’s still in love with her! Katie knows that she can’t see James, but that doesn’t make it any easier. If she does it could send him straight back to prison, but, she still loves him and is desperate to make things right and tell him how sorry she is for ruining his life. 

After accidentally bumping into each other, James and Katie can’t stay away from one another and so begin to see each other in secret. After a slight wobble on James’s part, when he decides he can’t take the risk of going back to prison, Katie decides enough is enough and it really is time to move on and put James behind her.  Heartbroken, James decides to try and get his life in order. But due to his conviction it’s not as straightforward as he would like, leaving him miserable and despairing at what his life has become. 

When a job opportunity comes up hundreds of miles away he doesn’t hesitate to head south and put his troubles behind him. Can James and Katie forget each other and move on with their lives without one another?

Excerpt :

Chapter One

January 2012

Katie

All I can think about is him! Today’s the day he’s being released – I know this as his parole officer sent me a letter informing me. I want to see him, but I know it’s not allowed, I know he would end up back in prison for breaching his license conditions. I’ve thought about him every day for the last eighteen months’ – but I didn’t think I’d want to see him as much as I do right now.

“Kate, you’ve been staring into space for most of the day, that essay won’t write itself you know,” Mum sighs, walking into the kitchen with a basket full of washing.

She is the last person I can talk to about this. She knows he’s coming out today, she saw the letter too, she hasn’t said anything – but I know she thinks he shouldn’t be released yet. “I know,” I reply, getting up from the table. “I’m going to pick Hollie up from nursery,” I tell her, picking up my car keys and heading for the front door.

I drive to the nursery on auto pilot, I’m not meant to pick her up for another hour, but I have an overwhelming urge to see my daughter, an evening of Disney princess’s and snuggles is what I need right now. She will take my mind off it all.

But the moment I see my dark haired beauty, she takes me right back to him – she looks so much like him.

April 2008

  “Happy Birthday!” I exclaim, hugging Becca. “Eighteen at last!”

  “Thank you,” she giggles, hugging me back. “Come on, come and meet Liam.” She’s grinning and I don’t have chance to reply before she grabs my hand and propels me in the direction of two lads – one of them grabs my attention straight away! He’s incredibly tall, with short, ruffled, light brown hair. He has an impressive muscular physique, with huge biceps and broad shoulders. I really can’t stop staring at him – he’s hot . . . I hope to god he’s not Liam!

  “Liam,” she begins, putting her hand on the one with short, dark hair – much to my relief! “This is Katie, my cousin. Katie, this is Liam.” She’s smiling so much I’m scared her face is going to crack.

  “Nice to meet you, Katie,” Liam grins, whilst shaking my hand.

  “You too,” I reply. It’s nice to finally meet the guy my cousin hasn’t stopped talking about for the last month. I don’t think I have ever seen Becca as happy. I really am pleased for her.

  “Katie, this is James, Liam’s best mate,” Becca adds as an after-thought, indicating to Mr Gorgeous – who I can’t stop staring at. I need to get a grip, it’s embarrassing.

  “Hi,” I reply, suddenly going all shy.

  “Hi.” He smiles and I feel my cheeks turning red. He’s got a cute smile, I could stand here all night staring up at James, but at that moment my mum calls me away. “See you later,” I say reluctantly, heading across the room, to where my mum is standing impatiently waiting for me with my grandma.

* * *

 “Katie, you know you can’t see him,” Becca warns.

“I know,” I sigh, “It’s just . . .”

“It’s just nothing! Seriously, stay away from him, it really wouldn’t be fair on him if you did, he would go straight back to prison.”

I stare at her in shock – amazed that she’s worrying about James going back to prison, when two years ago she could have killed him.

“He’s my fiancé’s best friend,” she says, when she sees me looking at her with my mouth hanging open. “He’s done his time, let him be whilst he’s on license. You don’t want him to go back inside, do you?”

“No, do I hell, I didn’t want him to go in the first place,” I reply, whilst wondering where James is, what he’s doing and how he feels to be free after eighteen months in prison.  “What about Hollie?” I add, because I know he’s going to want to see her.

“You know all that, you know he is only allowed supervised contact with her – and that doesn’t mean you!”

I sigh loudly. “I just . . . I just . . .”

“I know, Kate, I know, but it’s time to move on. You’re eighteen years old, you have your whole life ahead of you and there are so many nice boys out there that you could fall in love with…”

“I have a child.”

“So? Katie, you’re beautiful and such a lovely girl, you could have any lad you want. James Askew is not the be all and end all!”

He is to me – I would do anything to be with James – I still love him!

James

“Seriously, Mum, stop staring at me,” I laugh, though I’m not joking. I’ve only been home two hours and every few minutes she comes over and either squeezes my arm, ruffles my hair or kisses the top of my head like I’m five years old. And now she is sitting across from me at the kitchen table, just staring at me with a silly grin on her face.

“I’m sorry, I can’t help it, I missed you,” she says, sipping her tea.

“I know you did, but it’s starting to creep me out a bit,” I reply with a sigh.

“Yea, come on, Lynn, leave the poor lad alone,” Dad says with a laugh, from the other end of the table.

“It’s alright, I’m gonna go upstairs and un-pack, she can’t stare at me there.” I stand up, push my chair in and head into the hallway, sticking my tongue out at Mum as I pass her.

“Cheeky boy,” she calls after me.

“See, he’s fine, I don’t know what you were worrying about?” I hear Dad say, as I’m halfway up the stairs. I stop and listen.

“He’s trying to act fine for me, Will. He’s putting on an act, he’s not the same old Jamie.” Mum sighs sadly.

I don’t want to listen to anymore, so I carry on upstairs to my room.

It kills me to think what I have put my mum and dad through over the last few years. How did I get myself into this mess? Is the question I have been asking myself over and over again, ever since this whole nightmare began. Three years ago I had a job I loved and a gorgeous wife, now I have neither, it’s all gone. No job and a wife that wants nothing to do with me and who’s taken my son thousands of miles away.

I know it’s all my fault – I only have myself and my own stupidity to blame. But at the end of the day, if I could go back and change it all, I doubt I would, as I know I couldn’t keep away from Miss Katherine Greene! And no matter how much I try to convince myself otherwise, I know I’d be with her like a shot if I could – I love her, even after everything that happened.

April 2008

  “Put your eyes back in your head, Askew!” Liam laughs, patting me on the back.

  “Have you seen her?”

  “Yea.” He laughs again, clearly amused by me. “What are you like? Come on, let’s get another?” he suggests, shaking his empty pint glass at me and heading for the bar.

  The last thing I wanted to do tonight was come to Liam’s girlfriend’s eighteenth. He didn’t want to come on his own and I felt sorry for him, so I had to give in. I’m glad I came now, because the tiny brunette in the short, pink dress has made my night. She’s absolutely stunning and it certainly beats sitting at home, moping over the fact my that girlfriend of two years has just dumped me.

  I spend the rest of the night watching Katie on the dance floor amongst a gaggle of girls. I want to go and talk to her, but I don’t know what to say. I’m not normally nervous when it comes to girls, but it’s been a while since I’ve done any chatting up and I think I’ve forgotten how.

  By the time I’ve plucked up enough courage to go and talk to her, the party is wrapping up and everyone is moving on to a club. I only agree to go as I really want to get to know Katie. When we get there, I spend ages trying to locate her, but after an hour I give up – she’s nowhere to be found. I’m seriously disappointed.

  “Where’s Katie?” I shout to Becca, over the music.

  “She’s gone home.”

  “Oh, can I have her number?” I ask cheekily.

  “No.” Becca laughs and walks away, leaving me gutted that I’m not going to end the night with Katie.

* * *

  The knock on the door brings me out of the past and back to the present. “Have you got a minute?” Dad asks, opening the door slightly and sticking his head round.

“Yea,” I reply, trying my best not to sigh. I just want to be left alone for a bit.

Dad comes in and closes the door whilst I sit up on the edge of my bed.

“Don’t suppose you’ve given much thought as to what you’re gonna do with yourself now, I mean work wise?” he asks, sitting down beside me.

I can’t stop the sigh that comes out. “No, not really.”

“I was thinking you could come and work for me?”

“What, as an accountant?” I exclaim with a groan. This is what I have tried to avoid my whole life – working for my dad.

“Well, no, seeing as you’re not qualified, but we could use you in the office and put that math’s degree to good use. What do you think?”

“Can I think about it?” I ask, not wanting to say no straight away. I need to come up with a good excuse as to why not.

“Yea, okay,” Dad replies, sounding disappointed and making me feel guilty as I know he’s only trying to help. “Dinner won’t be long,” he adds, standing up and heading for the door.

“Okay.”

“Listen,” he begins, turning back to face me, “go easy on your mother. I know she’s a pain, but the last couple of years haven’t been easy on her.  If she’s being too . . . over the top, just let her, she’s just pleased to have you home.”

This makes me feel even guiltier than I did before – if that’s possible? “Yea, I will.”

“Great, see you in a bit.” He opens the door and leaves me to it.

Fuck!” I mutter, throwing myself down on the bed and rubbing my face. What have I done?

  Later on, when I can finally escape my parents and I’m in bed, I realise as much as I hate the idea, I have no option but to accept my dad’s job offer. I need a job and it’s not like I can go and get my old job back!

About the author:

 Rachel Strong is a romance author and lives in Lancashire, England, with her husband, three children and little dog Daisy. Rachel works part time as a Health Care Assistant at her local hospital, but her real passion is writing.

Ever since sh1530523_1687888068153432_4227585715699439335_ne can remember, Rachel has been writing stories but didn’t really take it seriously until summer 2012 when her husband discovered one of her stories, read it and convinced her that it was good. She loves writing and creating characters, sometimes a whole day can pass her by, just sitting at her laptop, typing away.
When she’s not writing, Rachel loves to read slushy romance novels, chick-lit and a good thriller. When she finds a spare moment she will be found curled up on the sofa with her nose in a book.

Rachel’s debut novel ‘Complicated Love’ is out now with her second novel ‘That Girl’ is due to be released this coming June.

Connect with the author:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US

Do check out all the tour stops:

June 13th
The Bookworm Lodge – www.thebookwormlodge.com – Book Excerpt/Promo Post
Little Shop of Readers – http://littleshopofreaders.com/ – Book Promo Post
T&L Book Reviews – http://tasz1976.wordpress.com – Book Excerpt/Promo Post
One Book At A Time  – Booksandwinearelovely.blogspot.com – Book Promo Post
The Writing Garnet – HTTPS://Thewritinggarnet.wordpress.com– Book Review
June 14th
Grass monster – Amazon/GoodReads – Book Review
Vikbat – http://vikbat.blogspot.co.uk/ – Promo Post
The Bookdragon – http://sheisadude.blogspot.com/ – Book Review
Boundless Minds – www.boundlessminds.org – Author Guest Post
ItsShelbyMariee – http://itsshelbymariee.blogspot.co.uk – Book Review
June 15th
JustaBooklovinJunkie – http://jabooklovinjunkie.blogspot/ – Book Review/Excerpt/Promo Post
Liz Ellyn – https://lizellyn.com – Book Review
Fervently Curious – ferventlycurious.wordpress.com – Book Review/Excerpt
Love Sex and Other Dirty Words – http://lovesexandotherdirtywords.com – Book Promo Post
Little Novelist – www.littlenovelist.com – Book Excerpt
Hello…Chick Lit – http://hellochicklit.com – Book Promo Post
June 16th
Rachel Brimble Romance – http://www.rachelbrimble.blogspot.co.uk/ – Author Guest Post
Have books, Will read – www.havebookswillread.wordpress.com – Book Excerpt/Promo Post
Bookmyopia – www.bookmyopia.wordpress.com – Book Excerpt
Book Lover in Florida – https://bookloverfl12.wordpress.com/ – Book Excerpt/Promo Post
Ali – The Dragon Slayer – http://cancersuckscouk.ipage.com/ – Book Review
The Book Basics – https://thebookbasics.wordpress.com/ – Book Review/Promo Post
June 17th
Steamy Book Momma – http://steamybookmomma0.blogspot.com – Book Review
Book Groupies – http://bookgroupies2.blogspot.com/ – Book Promo Post
Brittany’s Book Blog – http://www.brittanysbookblog.com – Book Review
Sparkles at Midnight – www.sparklesatmidnight.com – Book Review
MsWanderlust – www.mswanderlust1963.wordpress.com – Book Review/Excerpt

 

[Book Spotlight+Excerpt+Giveaway] Silent Sentry – By Theresa Rizzo

Family drama was probably one of the earliest genres that I took a liking to, and if you combine that with crime/mysteries – I am hooked! So I am pretty excited to feature this book on my blog today..

Silent Sentry

Author: Theresa Rizzo
Genre: Crime/Mystery/Romance
Publisher: Rizzo Publishing
Release Date: September, 2015

Synopsis:

An entrepreneur must team up with the man she’s secretly loved to outwit a psychotic hacker before she destroys all she holds dear.

Award-winning author Theresa Rizzo delivers a thrilling crime novel packed with suspense, romance, and redemption.

The Scarfilis and Donnatellis love deeply and protect fiercely. “Family takes care of family” is the code they live by.

So when a hacker threatens Gianna Donnatelli’s life, Dr. Joe Scarfili is determined to keep her safe, only he has no police or tech experience, and Gianna’s penchant for aiding Detroit’s underprivileged is the same kind of altruism that got his wife killed. Gianna protects Joe with the same unyielding resolve. 

Gianna pushes all his insecurity buttons. Joe tries her patience like no other. But together they’ll fight to save each other and their love… Or die trying.

Excerpt:

The cool air-conditioning refreshed Gianna as she entered the house. She watched Paul steadily make his way across the crowded living room. How had he managed to get away from Aunt Rosalie so quickly? Must be his suave European manners. Gianna used to tease Paul about his charming demeanor, but apparently it had some advantages she’d overlooked. He shook hands and chatted with those waylaying him before smoothly excusing himself and moving on. With each delay Paul’s smile seemed a little less warm and his conversations more abrupt.

Excusing herself, Gianna followed her brother as he broke away from one final group of mourners and slipped into the study. Gianna hesitated at the closed paneled door before approaching footsteps propelled her into the room. Quietly she shut the door behind her. Although it’d not been quite two months since her attack in this very room, it seemed a lifetime ago. She frowned to keep the tears at bay.

“Don’t look that way,” Paul ordered gruffly. “There’s nothing you could have done.”

Gianna blinked to disperse determined tears. She cleared her throat, swallowing hard. “It’s my fault.”

Shaking his head, her brother made a dismissive noise. “It’s not.” Pacing from one window to the next, he searched the yard, watching people come and go from the house.

“I left Pa waiting on the front porch like a sitting duck.” Gianna took a shuddering breath. “I had the locks changed and forgot to send him a new key. He rang the doorbell a couple of times before I reached it.”

Paul unbuttoned his double-breasted navy suit coat and brushed it aside. Ramming one hand into his pants pocket, he crossed to the wet bar and poured himself two fingers of scotch. After taking a generous sip, he stared at the family portrait above the fireplace.

“Pa’s death had nothing to do with you,” he said in a deep, quiet voice.

Gianna peered at her brother, as surprised by his seeking alcoholic courage as by his confident tone. Paul sounded so sure, yet there was something else.

“How do you know?”

Paul took his monogrammed white handkerchief from his pocket and blotted the sweat from his forehead. Crossing to the window, he again watched the people. “I just know.”

Know what? What was he hiding? Why was he so nervous? Slowly Gianna approached. She tugged on his arm. “What do you know, Paulie?”

He looked down at her upturned face and then pulled away, turning his back on her. “Come on, Gianna, you can’t be that naive,” he snapped, taking another sip.

Her grief turned to impatient suspicion at her brother’s short temper and strange behavior. “Let’s pretend I am. Spell it out for me.”

He wheeled around. “It’s obvious.”

Coldness settled over Gianna, chilling her to the bone. She stared at her brother hard. “Enough innuendos, Paul. Who killed Pa? And why?”

Buy links

Kindle 

Paperback – Amazon US

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1Q9pmSx

Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/20XywJQ

Amazon AU: http://bit.ly/1XljNGo

 Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1WgbFWN

B&N UK: http://bit.ly/1O4KE2A

iBookstore: http://apple.co/1QtREHZ

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1TakdPm

About the Author:

Theresa Rizzo is an award-winning author who writes romantic crime fiction and emotional stories that explore the complexity of relationships and families through real-life trials. 
Born and raised in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, she currently lives outside of Boulder, Colorado with her husband of thirty-three years. After attaining a BS in Nursing, Theresa retired to raise four wonderful children and write.

Connect with the Author:

 Facebook Twitter  Goodreads

Website:

 www.theresarizzo.com

GIVEAWAY!!

The author is giving an e-book copy of The Silent Sentry (Thank you Theresa!!) Click the link below to enter the giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

[Book Spotlight] The Urban Boys : Discovery of the Five Senses (Volume 1)

2b6aa351-d65b-45c5-9f5c-dfe2697206bf

Author: K.N. Smith
Genre: Action Adventure/ Paranormal
Publisher: Two Petals Publishing
Release Date: September, 2015

Synopsis:

The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses is an action-adventure story about five teen boys who are mysteriously exposed to a foreign energy source that gives them extremely heightened senses. Sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell become hypersensitive gifts that forever change the world!

The story chronicles their effortless interrelations and later exposes the testing of their deep bonds, and introduces the reader to an array of supporting characters who alter the boys’ lives forever. The Urban Boys offers young and mature readers central themes of loyalty, responsibility, honesty, fear, and triumph, which become artfully integrated with cinematic-level action and high drama.

We wonder, will they pass the test of fate, and will each of us pass the test of our very own lives? Intriguing, intelligent, and full of action, The Urban Boys offers a memorable, emotion-packed, thrilling ride for traditional and digital readers of all ages! (first in a series)

About the Author:

K.N. Smith K.N. Smith is an American author and passionate advocate of childhood and family literacy programs throughout the world. She continues to inspire students of all ages to reach their highest potential in their literary and educational pursuits. Her creative, lyrical flair sweeps across pages that twist, turn, and grind through elements of paranormal and action-adventure in diverse, exciting, edge-of-your-seat narratives. She lives with her family in California.

Book Trailer:

Buy Links:

Kindle
Paperback

Connect with the Author:

 Website  Twitter   Facebook

To follow rest of the tour, click here.

iRead Book Tour Logo Medium

[Book Spotlight & Giveaway] Voice of the Spirit

28487538

Author: Charlotte Raines
Genre: Adult Fiction / Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Arrabella Publishing
Release Date: January 30, 2016

Synopsis :

Tobias and Lauren have been together for four months since the end of Do You Want to Play. They’ve found rhythm in their relationship, but that rhythm comes to an abrupt stop when a body is found nailed to a cross inside Pious Church.

As they dig through possible suspects—from religious fanatics to resentful Satanists—they also find themselves reexamining their relationship, trying to figure out if two people with opposite beliefs can stay together. As time begins to run out for their kidnapped singer and the murders begin to pile up, they will have to find a way to resurrect what they had doubted and sacrifice what they had believed.

About the Author :

charlotte raine

Charlotte Raine is a best selling suspense author. Charlotte gets inspiration for her writing from the scenic mountains around her home near Vail, Colorado.

When she is not writing you will find her after a long day of skiing at one of the many lodges in Vail. She will most likely be next to a warm fire, drinking a glass of wine and telling stories.

Buy links (Amazon) :

Kindle

Connect with the author :

Website Twitter Facebook

Giveaway : 

Win 1 of 3 signed copies of Teacher Beware by Charlotte Raine (USA) . Enter by clicking the link below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To follow rest of the tour, click here.

iRead Book Tour Logo Medium