Showing posts with label new release. Show all posts
Showing posts with label new release. Show all posts

Thursday, January 31, 2019

"Tailwinds Past Florence" by Doug Walsh


EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
Tailwinds Past Florence
by Doug Walsh

Tailwinds Past Florence by Doug Walsh

Tailwinds Past Florence by Doug Walsh is currently on tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. The tour stops here today for an excerpt and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


Description
Their love spans centuries. Will it survive a journey around the world?
After getting blacklisted from the venture capital industry, twenty-nine-year-old Edward Vaughan will do anything to avoid telling his wife what happened. Even if it means agreeing to her dream of bicycling around the world. Kara, tired of being married to a workaholic, was readying for a divorce. Now, she’s packing bags of a different kind. Together, they pedal away from Seattle, headed east on the open road across America, Europe, and beyond.
Theirs is a decision that reverberates across centuries, shattering a continuum that bound their souls throughout time, and traps Edward in a battle with a past life over an eternal love.
As the miles roll by, and the couple's sordid secrets begin to surface, the couple encounters several men plucked from history, each one a vessel of Edward’s soul in a prior life. Of them, a 19th century art dealer proves dangerous, believing Kara is his ticket back to the past.
Tailwinds Past Florence is a contemporary love story with a magical twist, landing readers in the saddle of a global bicycle adventure.

Excerpt
Kara clutched her chest as her breathing returned to normal. It was one thing not to know why he wasn’t at work, it was another for him to be hiding behind the door. What the hell, Edward. She bent to pick up her dropped keys. “You’re home.” It came out more statement than question.
“Long story. Why didn’t you cover your eyes?”
She raised her hands in answer. They held a gym bag, purse, keys, and an envelope she’d somehow forgotten about in the commotion. “You didn’t give me any time,” she said. Then, noticing the map—her map—and the champagne, asked, “What’s all this?”
“This,” he said, grinning like a schoolboy about to receive his first kiss, “is a change of plans.”
Her mouth fell open as she processed what she was hearing. Kara spent months asking him to take time off, hoping he’d see how important the trip was to her, practically begging. She tore the map down after the holidays, after diplomatic overtures had failed. She’d been holding a bomb ever since, delaying the inevitable. Now, with her self-imposed deadline having come and gone, he wanted to do it.
Today? You’ve got to be kidding me, she thought, clutching the envelope, dumbstruck.
“I thought you’d be excited.” His smile drooped.
“I … I am,” she stammered. “I think. You have to admit, it’s a lot to swallow.”
“You still want to go, right?”
Did she? It’d be an incredible adventure, a badge she’d wear the rest of her life. But, to Kara, cycling around the world was a means to an end. Her gaze drifted to the map, the promise held within its Sharpie itinerary. The promise of change, of resurrecting the man she married, her best friend and lover. For three years, it’d be just the two of them, reforging their bond against the anvil of the open road. And if her plan didn’t succeed, if he returned to his workaholic ways when it was over, she’d at least know she tried.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“Having followed the author's travels around the world by bicycle, I half expected a travel guide and a story about that trip from a fictional perspective. What Doug wrote was so much more. If you enjoy whimsical stories about travel, love stories or stories of mystery and intrigue, this book hits them all and brought me joy with each page turned.” ~ Eric Carlson
Tailwinds Past Florence rewarded me with equal parts pure escape, discovery, and adventure, as well as a welcome reminder to value what's important in life. If this novel's product description or my review stirs your interest even in the slightest, I'm confident you'll enjoy Doug Walsh's story, characters, and world immensely.” ~ T. Fitzpatrick
Tailwinds Past Florence engages the reader right from the start. Each character is brought to life with such a depth of human emotion, their relationships and interactions feel so authentic, the tension between them is so real - that I was captivated. I hardly wanted to put this book down after reading each night. But it is also a novel that I found myself thinking back to during my day and an adventure that I was always eager to return to.” ~ simple512
“It was a fun and sweet read, with an interesting twist. I really enjoyed it!” ~ Cindy Hartnell
Tailwinds Past Florence is such a delightful read because it is a beautiful blend of travel, romance, and suspense, which is not something I have come across before. […] I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a solid fiction novel. You may just find yourself turning the pages as quickly as Edward attempted to race across the world.” ~ Jessica A. Walsh

About the Author
Doug Walsh
Doug Walsh made his fiction debut with Tailwinds Past Florence, a road-tripping love story with a magical twist, inspired by the two years he spent cycling the world. The novel was a prizewinner in the PNWA Literary Contest. He's also authored One Lousy Pirate, a travel memoir, and over one hundred officially-licensed video game strategy guides. Travel guides to fictitious places, as he likes to call them. Originally from New Jersey, he now lives and plays in the mountains of western Washington.



Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon/B&N gift card.

Links

Books featured in this post:


Wednesday, January 30, 2019

"Picture Not Perfect" by D. E. Haggerty


GUEST POST and GIVEAWAY
Picture Not Perfect
(The Not So Reluctant Detectives Book 2)
by D. E. Haggerty

Picture Not Perfect (The Not So Reluctant Detectives Book 2) by D. E. Haggerty

Picture Not Perfect, the second book in The Not So Reluctant Detectives series by D. E. Haggerty, has just been released and is currently ON SALE for only $0.99.


Also available in this series: Finders, Not Keepers (read my blog post).

Finders, Not Keepers by D. E. Haggerty

Picture Not Perfect is currently on tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my review, a guest post by the author, an excerpt and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.



Description
A picture tells a story. But is it the truth?
When the police find pictures of Melanie hanging up at her murdered colleague’s house, they’re convinced he was stalking her. Maybe she even killed him. Melanie was not being stalked! And she certainly didn’t kill her supposed stalker – as if. But Mel – always up for a bit of drama – jumps at the chance to go search for the real killer. When Mel’s ex-boyfriend, Owen, discovers her plans, he pulls out all the stops to ensure she’s safe and to win her back. No matter what happens with the murder investigation, he’s not letting her go. With the police setting their sights on Mel, he may need to jeopardize his own career on the police force to protect her.
Will Mel find the real killer before the detectives arrest her for murder?


Excerpt
Chapter 1
There once was a creepy dude
“I’m not sure how gentrification will get more students to read,” Mel complained as she shelved yet another book. Why had she agreed to help her friend re-shelve the entire library? Oh yeah, because she would be getting a nice little bonus in her next paycheck. Usually, she had two days off during parent-teacher conferences. As the school guidance counselor, she didn’t teach classes. This year, however, her friend Terri who was the school librarian had convinced her to help out in the library for two days. It was the evening of the second day and Mel was beyond bored. She didn’t understand how her friend could get excited by books. She wasn’t a reader. Sitting still was not an activity she did unless forced.
“Not gentrification. Genrefication.” Terri corrected.
“Genrefication?” Mel chuckled. “Now you’re just making up words.”
Terri grabbed her arm. “You’re getting crabby. Time for a break.” Mel opened her mouth to deny she was crabby but stopped herself. If being crabby bought her a chance for a break from the endless boredom of shelving books, she could be crabby. Judging by the number of books still stacked on the floor, they were going to be here a while.
“Genrefication is the organization of books by type instead of using the Dewey Decimal system,” Terri explained as they sat down at the big table at the front of the library. Amongst the litter from the remains of their lunch was a freshly brewed pot of coffee.
“Uh-huh,” Melanie mumbled as she poured herself a huge cup of coffee. Terri may be her best friend in the world, but when she started to speak library geek, Melanie tuned her out.
“I know you’re not paying any attention to me, but I don’t care. The library is going to be awesome. Students are going to be able to find books they want to read easier. Everyone’s going to be reading more.” Terri rubbed her hands in excitement.
Melanie hoped her friend was right since Terri had been working her butt off. She’d spent the past month re-cataloging and assigning a genre to all the fiction titles in the library. Then, she’d made new labels for each book before creating signage for all the genres. Huh, looks like she didn’t tune out Terri’s library geek speak the entire time after all.
“And,” Terri waggled her eyebrows, “how’s Owen?”
Melanie huffed. Terri had been nagging her about her ex-boyfriend, Owen, for the past month. She’d rather listen to library geek speak than talk about her ex. “We’ve haven’t gone out yet.” Which Terri knew since she asked Mel the same question every single day. Talk about a broken record.
“Really? It’s been a month since you promised to go out with him.”
Melanie had agreed to go on a date with Owen after he provided her with information she’d needed to help Terri solve a murder. With his police connections, he’d been able to find the address of some goons who’d chased them. It was a long story. “It’s not my fault. He’s been busy.” She may claim she didn’t want to go out with the man, but she was more than a bit miffed he didn’t seem to have time for her.
“Busy? Doing what?”
Mel shrugged. She had no idea, and it was literally driving her crazy. First, the man bugged the heck out of her insisting she agree to a date, and then he dropped her. Well, he didn’t completely drop her. He still sent her text messages a few times a day, but he didn’t seem to have the time to take her to dinner. She couldn’t wait to get the entire obligation over with. The waiting was killing her!
“He must be busy. The man is majorly into you.” Terri waggled her eyebrows again. She looked completely ridiculous, and Mel couldn’t help but laugh. “Uh oh, incoming.”
Mel turned to look out the glass windows covering the entire front of the high school library. She watched as Alfred Schultz, the social sciences teacher, walked to the entrance. “Please tell me you locked the door,” Mel’s words were muffled as she tried to speak without moving her lips.
“Of course, it’s locked,” Terri whispered before shouting. “We’re closed, Mr. Schultz. I’ll be open tomorrow.” She smiled and waved as he nodded in acknowledgment. “Now, walk away, creepy dude.”
Mel and Terri watched as he backed up and slowly walked past the glass windows keeping his eyes locked on Mel who held her breath until he was out of sight.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
Picture Not Perfect was a page-turner. I couldn’t help but enjoy the second chance at love.” ~ My Reading Journeys
Picture Not Perfect was twisty, angst-ridden for Melanie (and reader), with some hot topic contemporary big issues (stalking and instances of inappropriate or overbearing police behavior), and I was kept turning the pages rapidly, too engrossed to stop reading.” ~ Mallory Heart’s Cozies
“I loved the book and the mystery portion because I did not suspect the killer until the clues were all revealed at the end and it was quite a surprise how it all came together.” ~ Storeybook Reviews


My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.


By Lynda Dickson
This is the second book in the series. This time we follow school counselor Melanie, who is trying to sort out her relationship with ex-boyfriend Owen. When a teacher at her school is murdered, and numerous photos of Melanie are found in his home, she comes under suspicion by the police. Of course, when Owen (who just happens to be a police officer) says to Melanie, “You are not going to investigate this murder,” you just know she will. Especially given the success she had in solving a mystery with best friend Terri in the previous book. This time, they enlist the help of Pru, the new English lit teacher. Melanie is a cute character, but with her abundance of energy and her recklessness (“I’ll wing it”), she’s bound to get them all in trouble. As their list of suspects grows steadily, I was left guessing, and so will you!
Warnings: murder, sex scene, sexual references.


Some of My Favorite Lines
“She didn’t understand how her friend could get excited by books. She wasn’t a reader. Sitting still was not an activity she did unless forced.”
“Apparently, being creepy wasn’t an offense.”
“She wasn’t going to ruin her shoes to prove a point.”
“Maybe you should watch less television and read a book sometime.”
Home. Owen’s lips on hers again felt like home.”
“If women still swooned, Melanie would be on the floor right now.”
“Maybe yoga wasn’t a good idea. Nope. Yoga was always a good idea.”

Guest Post by the Author
How the Title Picture Not Perfect Was Born
Sometimes writing a book seems like the easiest part of being a writer. Like when you have to figure out a title for one of your manuscripts. I swear I could write another book in the time it takes me to settle on a title. Slight exaggeration, but you get what I mean. Titles for books in a series are even more difficult. At least in my case, that’s true as I like the idea of keeping the titles or at least the style of the titles similar.
The first book in The Not So Reluctant Detectives series is Finders, Not Keepers. The name is a play on the expression ‘finders, keepers’. As I used a common expression for the first book in the series, I thought using an expression for the second book would be fun. But what expression?
I spent days, hours, weeks combing the internet for common expressions. Seriously, I spent more time than I should have. First, I wanted to find a children’s rhyme as ‘finders, keepers’ is not only a saying, but it’s a common rhyme in schoolyards everywhere:
Finders, Keepers
Losers, Weepers
I gave this up after spending entirely too much time on parenting websites. Who knew there were so many websites for parents? Not this childless lady, I tell you.
I went back to common expressions. I wanted to use an expression that had something to do with how things are not as they seem. The kern of the story behind Picture Not Perfect is how police detectives accuse the heroine of murder as she was being stalked. The accusation is based upon pictures the detectives found of the heroine at the murder scene. This led me to the expression “every picture tells a story”. According to the Cambridge dictionary, this expression is used when what has really happened in a situation is clear because of the way that someone or something looks.
But what if a picture tells a story that isn’t true? I could hardly title the novel Every picture tells a story, but is it the truth? That’s a bit long for a title and my graphic designer would kill me for making him figure out how to put a title that long on a book cover.
What about other sayings involving pictures? Maybe there was one I could use that wasn’t quite the mouthful of Every picture tells a story, but is it the truth? ‘Picture perfect’ is another common saying, but again the meaning of the saying didn’t fit with the story. That’s when I had my a-ha! moment. I could – just like with the previous title in the series – add a ‘not’ to the saying.
I ended up with the title Picture Not Perfect. Not only does the title match the previous title in style, but it’s nice and short, and hints at the book’s story. Phew.

About the Author
D. E. Haggerty
I grew up reading everything I could get my hands on from my mom's Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew to Little Women. When I wasn't flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed.
College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although on the odd occasion I did manage to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear.
After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law.
But being a lawyer really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out being a B&B owner wasn’t my thing either. I polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before following the husband to Istanbul, where I decided to give the whole writer-thing a go.
But ten years was too many to stay away from my adopted home. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where, in between tennis matches and failing to save the world, I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.
Picture Not Perfect is my fourteenth novel.

Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card.

Links


Books featured in this post:




Friday, January 25, 2019

"The Princess of Baker Street" by Mia Kerick


REVIEW and GIVEAWAY
The Princess of Baker Street
by Mia Kerick

The Princess of Baker Street by Mia Kerick

The Princess of Baker Street by Mia Kerick is currently on tour with Xpresso Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my review, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


For more books by this author, please check out my blog post on The Weekend Bucket List, my blog post on My Crunchy Life, my blog post on Love Spell, and my blog post on The Art of Hero Worship.

Description
“Always wear your imaginary crown” is Joey Kinkaid’s motto. For years, Joey, assigned male at birth, led the Baker Street kids in daring and imaginative fantasy adventures, but now that they’re teenagers, being a princess is no longer quite so cool. Especially for a child who is seen by the world as a boy.
Eric Sinclair has always been Joey’s best friend and admirer - Prince Eric to Joey’s Princess Ariel - but middle school puts major distance between them. As Eric’s own life takes a dangerous turn for the worse, he stands by and watches as Joey - who persists in dressing and acting too much like a Disney princess for anybody’s comfort - gets bullied. Eric doesn’t like turning his back on Joey, but he’s learned that the secret to teenage survival, especially with an absent mother, is to fly under the radar.
But when Joey finally accepts who she is and comes to school wearing lip gloss, leggings, and a silky pink scarf, the bullies make her life such a misery that she decides to end it all. Eric, in turn, must decide who he really is and what side he wants to stand on … though no matter what he chooses, the consequences with be profound for both teens, and they’ll face them for years to come.
Is there a chance the two teens can be friends again, and maybe even more?


Excerpt
Every day’s basically the same—it’s like the lunchtime bullying plan is set in stone, and it’s only the end of September. And it’s way worse than it was last year, even though he sat alone then too. Travis gets to sit at the jock table, seeing as he’s on the county football team. He starts in on Joey as soon as he sets his rear end on the bench and drops his lunch tray onto the sticky table. For Travis, “bullying Josie” is sort of like a bad habit he just can’t kick. But I’m pretty sure he’d say it’s more like a hobby he’s real good at.
“All the way through sixth grade, Kinkaid wore a dress, like, every day after school—I kid you not.” He announces this loud enough for the jocks and the entire hot-girl table, and of course, lonely Joey, to hear. And even though Joey wasn’t hiding that he wore his mom’s purple dress after school when we all played together, blabbing about it makes me feel like we’re ratting him out.
An imaginary knife stabs into my gut and twists around. I try not to squirm and to keep my face blank, but it’s next to impossible because my belly hurts like I’m having a baby.
“You’ve got to be kidding me—he wore a freaking dress?” Miles Maroney is always the first guy to jump in whenever things start getting mean and dirty. “But I betcha Josie looked cute, if you go for gays.”
We all laugh, and I mean all of us.
I laugh even though I don’t want to. Because I still remember how it was: Joey was the Princess of Baker Street, and Travis and Emily and Lily and me all looked up to him as much as middle school kids look up to the guys on the soccer team now. Joey was the neighborhood kid with all the best ideas. None of us cared what he wore out to play—not even Travis.
“What a freaking princess!” yells Noah Mayer, and we all laugh some more because Noah is the starting forward on the soccer team, and we pretty much have to laugh at everything he says when he’s trying to be funny, or he won’t pass to us. Maybe I forgot to pay my brain bill, but I know how shit like this works.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“What a fantastic story. Heartwarming, sad, and brave! I have never read a Mia Kerick book before, but kudos to her for being such a brave edgy writer! This left me definitely wanting to read more.” ~ Wall-to-wall books
“This book tore my heart up in the best ways. […] This book is so beautifully written and so heartbreaking at the same time. […] This is a special book.” ~ DiverseReader
Mia Kerick’s young adult coming of age novel, The Princess of Baker Street, is a beautifully written and compelling story about a transgender teen and her childhood friends. I loved witnessing the story through Eric’s eyes and felt for him as he struggled to keep his awful home situation a secret. While Joey’s story is the dominant theme here, Eric’s tale is equally transfixing, and their interactions make this coming of age novel an unforgettable one. Kerick’s depiction of a transgender teen and the stresses and strains of life both at home and in school experienced by her is right on point. Kerick’s characters are remarkably real, and her storytelling is powerful. The Princess of Baker Street is most highly recommended.” ~ Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite
“The story was a perfect portrayal of how things change as children grow older. Their innocence and acceptance is replaced by what adults and society ingrain in them as the ‘norm’.” ~ Shirley


My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.


By Lynda Dickson
Eric and Joey have been friends all their lives, but things change when they start middle school. Joey defies gender norms and has always been a bit of a princess. Eric decides it’s time to ditch him for a more popular crew, the jocks, which includes Travis, also once Joey’s childhood friend but now his biggest bully. Eric has problems of his own, but Joey takes most of the attention off him and he can hide in plain sight. Eric’s home situation goes from bad to worse, while his relationship with Joey progresses to a whole new level, making it harder and harder for him to remain inconspicuous. Eric must decide which is more important, self-preservation or loyalty. Will he make the right choice?
The story is told from Eric’s point-of-view with flashbacks to his childhood with the other Baker Street kids. His grammatically incorrect narration and conversational tone provide him with an authentic his voice. It’s sad to see how Eric’s mother is physically absent, yet always present in Eric’s mind. He never openly resents her and places so much credence in her quirky sayings, drawing on her words of wisdom whenever he’s in trouble. The author presents Joey as a believable character, giving us a clear and accessible description of both the physical and emotional sides of being a transgender youth. This is a heartbreaking story of two damaged souls who don’t yet realize they are the only ones keeping each other alive. Thankfully, the book ends on an uplifting note. The only problems I had were with characters being called alternately by their first or last names (which can become confusing) and the similarity between Eric’s and Joey’s last names (Sinclair and Kincaid).
Warnings: LGBTQ themes, bullying, attempted suicide, child abuse.


About the Author
Mia Kerick
Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children - a daughter in law school, another a professional dancer, a third studying at Mia’s alma mater, Boston College, and her lone son off to Syracuse. She writes LGBTQ romance when not editing National Honor Society essays, offering opinions on college and law school applications, helping to create dance bios, and reviewing English papers. Her husband of twenty-four years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about this, as it is a sensitive subject.
Mia focuses her stories on emotional growth in turbulent relationships. As she has a great affinity for the tortured hero, there is, at minimum, one in each book. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with tales of said tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to her wonderful publishers for providing alternate places to stash her stories.
Her books have been featured in Kirkus Reviews magazine and have won Rainbow Awards for Best Transgender Contemporary Romance and Best YA Lesbian Fiction, a Reader Views’ Book by Book Publicity Literary Award, the Jack Eadon Award for Best Book in Contemporary Drama, an Indie Fab Award, a Royal Dragonfly Award for Cultural Diversity, a Story Monsters Purple Dragonfly Award for Young Adult e-book Fiction, among other awards.
Mia Kerick is a social liberal and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.


Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $15 Amazon gift card.


Links

Books featured in this post