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Didi Oviatt

Author of suspense novels Search For Maylee, Aggravated Momentum, The Stix, and New Age Lamians. As well as the short story collection Time Wasters and (co-author of) The Suspenseful Collection. Columnist for The Conscious Talk Magazine.

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booktour

The Stone Arch Secret, by K. D. Dowdall @shanannigans81 #blogtour #thriller #giveaway

Genre:  Mystery/ Thriller/ Romance

Publication Date: January 2018

Blurb:

Twenty-eight-year-old cultural anthropologist, Lilly Allaire, receives a phone call telling her that Dax is dead.  The cause of death is unknown.

At the age of fourteen, best friends, Lilly and Dax, experience a traumatic incident. After the incident, Dax is institutionalized in a psychiatric hospital with total memory loss.  For Dax, his memory loss is an act of self-preservation.  Lilly still suffers a blocked memory of that day and has frequent nightmares.

Lilly decides to go back to Salmon Brook, her hometown, to find out the truth about the mysterious incident that left Dax in a catatonic state. Lilly has a chance meeting with a former high school classmate, Noah Hawthorne.

Noah remembers Lilly as his high school secret crush and offers to help her. Together, they try to unravel the mysterious incident that plagues Lilly’s dreams and turns them into nightmares.

However, Noah has a secret of his own, a dangerous secret, that will put Lilly in harm’s way.

Available on Amazon

The Stone Arch Secret Cover

About the Author

D. Dowdall, PhD, MSN, RN was born in New England and spent her elementary-grade school years in Granby, Connecticut. She graduated from FAU with a master’s degree in Clinical Research Nursing and has a PhD in clinical nutrition. K. D. is also a lover of ballet, jazz, ballroom dance, contemporary dance, and has had her own dance studio.  She has written songs, poetry, short stories, and now several fiction novels; a children’s fantasy adventure story, a historical mystery/murder with a dash romance and a third fiction novel almost complete;  a mystery thriller with romance. All are standalone novels.  Her next book is a series.

Along the way, it was her good fortune to live in the Republic of China, Saudi Arabia, and England. Each culture she experienced reinforced her belief that all cultures are rich in storytelling to explain their human hopes, dreams, struggles, and life experiences, often in magical fantasy presentations. K. D. still dances, loves swimming, scuba diving, and theatre.

KD Dowdall

https://karendowdall.com/

Giveaway: 2 Print Copies of The Stone Arch Secret

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Embracing Hope, by Janelle Butler Wojtowicz #blogtour #excerpt @shanannigans81

Embracing_Hope_Cover

Embracing Hope

Janell Butler Wojtowicz

Genre: Christian Romance/ Clean Romance

Published: November 2016

Blurb:

Take a poignant look into the broken heart and daily struggles of Christian college dean Drew McKinley. The story chronicles the turbulent first year in his desperate journey to understand God’s motives for the sudden death of his wife and his quest to find hope in his future.

Crossing his perilous path are Allison, a graduate student and new employee in the dean’s office, and Chris, the handsome but egotistical student senate president.

The road Drew must navigate is fraught with career upheaval, a reawakening heart and the struggle for forgiveness and restoration. Will Drew finish his journey to embrace the hope God offers, the love Allison shares and the guidance Chris needs, or will he turn his back on all three with catastrophic consequences?

Add to Goodreads

Excerpt from “Embracing Hope”

When Drew got back to his condo after breakfast with Mitch, he took recycling bins from the garage and headed straight for his office. He pulled open the top drawer of the filing cabinet, labeled “Dissertation,” removed all the folders and tossed everything in a bin with a satisfying thump. He turned on the TV for company and for the next several hours sorted through files and books, occasionally reading, mostly shredding. Taking the framed photo from the bookshelf, he wrapped the UConn afghan around it and placed it carefully in his briefcase. Sitting down at the computer, he composed a new email.

Dr. Cavanaugh,

Thank you so much for the opportunity to serve as Dean of Students at Riley University. Riley is an outstanding university devoted to its students and committed to serving God. It’s been a privilege to work here.

However, it is in the best interests of the university and its students that I resign the position of Dean of Students, effective immediately. I will contact Human Resources upon your acceptance of my resignation to complete the necessary exit procedures.

Blessings,

Andrew McKinley

Without hesitation, Drew hit “Send.”

He looked up a phone number on his contact list. “Ed, this is Drew McKinley. Could you give me a call as soon as you can? I need to put the condo up for sale.”

Next he went online and checked flights to Hartford. He frowned at the airfare, but booked a one-way ticket for eleven the next morning. He perused the online career section of the Chronicle of Higher Education and made notes.

Going into his bedroom, Drew hauled out a suitcase from the back of the closet and laid it on the unmade bed. He pulled out clothes from the bureau, placed them in the suitcase and stuffed a couple of suits in a garment bag. The bottle of pills on the bed stand caught his eye. He poured out two, then two more, and swallowed all four without water. Closing and moving the suitcase to the floor, he lay on the crumpled linens. He glanced at the clock: 2:38. Closing his eyes, he let the memories—bittersweet as they were—engulf him.

He saw his preschool teacher leading him to his little desk as his mother lingered in the doorway.

He saw himself as an eight-year-old on his knees next to the bed asking Jesus into his heart.

He saw his mother taking a picture of him in his high school cap and gown.

He saw Kendra grinning across the table in the student union, a dollop of whipped cream from the latte on her nose.

He saw her floating down the aisle on her father’s arm.

He saw Tony behind his desk, interviewing him on a sunny, spring day.

He saw him and Kendra kissing in the gazebo during orientation.

He saw the white casket being put inside the white hearse.

He saw Allison at the Christmas party in the sparkly green dress.

He saw her with Eliza nestled in her arms.

He saw the red car with the bashed-in rear fender in the ramp.

The shrill squeal of the phone sliced through his ears, a crack of thunder shook his bed, and Drew bolted upright in the darkened room. The red numbers of the clock glowed 9:12. He leaped out of bed, but when he stood his legs buckled, and he fell over the suitcase onto the floor. The phone screamed at him again. Like a flood, the dream from the bus rushed back: the storm … the ramp … the exit sign … footsteps … Allison!

Available for Purchase

Amazon | Smashwords| Nook| Kobo

Enter for a chance to win a digital copy of “Embracing Hope” by Janell Butler Wojtowicz

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About the Author

Janell Butler Wojtowicz

Janell Butler Wojtowicz, born and raised on an Iowa farm, was one of those kids who loved to write the dreaded “What I did on summer vacation” essay. She wrote stories for her own enjoyment, including a short story about a teenage drug addict—something of which she knew nothing about. Her cousin illustrated the cover using Halloween orange paper featuring a hypodermic needle.

Janell attended the University of Northwestern in St. Paul, Minnesota, earning a bachelor’s degree in, naturally, Written Communication, adding a Journalism Emphasis. She returned to Iowa where she worked as a reporter/editor at three small town newspapers for 10 years.

Janell left the small town Iowa life when she married, Frank Wojtowicz, a family friend who lived in Minneapolis. (By the way, her Polish last name is pronounced “Why-tow-vitch.) She worked in public relations at her alma mater, the University of Northwestern; Leadership Foundations, a nonprofit organization supporting inner-city Christian ministries; and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. Today, Janell owns a freelance service, A Portrait in Words, and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America.

Much of Janell’s writing has been the “people stories” of trial, tragedy and triumph, which are reflected in her debut novel, “Embracing Hope.” The idea for the novel came after watching a BBC version of “Jane Eyre” in 2007. That night she dreamed the beginning, pivotal scene in the middle and the ending of “Embracing Hope”, and began writing it the next day. Unlike her first story, she was very familiar with the setting of “Embracing Hope”: a Christian college campus.

She and Frank, live in New Brighton, Minnesota, a pleasant suburb of the Twin Cities. She has two step-sons, a step-daughter-in-law, and three step-granddaughters.

Janell Butler Wojtowicz| Facebook | Amazon | Goodreads| Twitter

Tour Organized By:

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R&R Book Tours

Blog Tour: Embracing Hope by Janell Butler Wojtowicz

Schedule

Dec 18th
Reads & Reels (Feature Promo) http://www.readsandreels.com
Love Books Group (Excerpt) http://www.lovebooksgroup.blog
The Christian Fiction Girl (Interview) https://christianfictiongirl.blog
Dec 19th
The Bookworm Chronicles (Excerpt) http://muretbookworm.wordpress.com
Book Reviews by Shalini (Excerpt) http://www.bookreviewsbyshalini.wordpress.com
Dec. 20th
Captive Dreams Window (Review) https://captivedreamswindow.wordpress.com/
Reading is My Superpower (Promo) http://readingismysuperpower.org/
Dec. 21st
Didi Oviatt (Excerpt) https://didioviatt.com
Tenntwo Musings (Review) https://tenntwo.wordpress.com/
Dec. 22nd
Literary Dust (Excerpt) https://literarydust.wordpress.com
Discerning Lillies (Review) http://discerninglillies.wordpress.com
Dec. 23rd
Kristin’s Novel Café (Review)  https://knovelcafe.wordpress.com
Book Lover in Florida (Promo) http://bookloverfl12.wordpress.com

White Water Black Death, by Shaun Ebelthite #booktour #review @shanannigans81

White Water Black Death - cover.jpgWhite Water, Black Death

Author: Shaun Ebelthite

Release Date: Septemer 2017

Genre: Thriller/ Suspense

“A cruise ship is the perfect target for a biological attack”. These are the chilling words emailed to the Seaborne Symphony in the mid-Atlantic.

Magazine editor Geneva Jones has been sent on the trans-Atlantic cruise to help secure a major advertising agreement from the CEO of the cruise line Rachel Atkinson, but her efforts to win her over are curtailed by a mysterious crew death. Geneva suspects foul play. Rachel insists its suicide. A former investigative journalist, Geneva can’t resist digging deeper, but what she finds is far more devastating. There’s an Ebola outbreak on the ship, everyone is trapped aboard and Rachel is trying to keep it secret.

Geneva knows enough about Ebola to be terrified, but she’s also onto the biggest story of her career. As panic surges through the ship, she becomes fixated on a single question. How was the virus brought aboard? The answer is worse than she could have imagined, and the greatest exposé she’ll ever get, if she can only prove it.

Add to  Goodreads

Available to Purchase on Amazon

About the Author

Author Pic.jpg

Shaun Ebelthite was born in Namibia, raised in South Africa and educated in Dubai in the Middle East where he is a maritime and cruise journalist. He has been covering all aspects of ocean transport for more than five years and runs the Middle East’s foremost online cruise magazine. He has had two children’s books published, and is now branching out into a new genre with his first thriller.

Cruise Arabia

Amazon

MY REVIEW:

I’d like to thank the Author as well as R&R Book Tours for the free copy of this book that I received in exchange for an honest review.

There’s a lot going on with White Water Black Death by Shaun Ebelthite. Lots of characters, lots of complexities. It’s very fast paced, which I thought was awesome given the setting and tone. A few of the scenes were extremely unexpected, so the shock factor is really what kept me turning the pages rather than character attachment. I didn’t feel very emotionally invested with the people in the book, especially for the first half (maybe a little less… like a third.).

At first I couldn’t quite pinpoint my attachment struggle because it really is well written, yet I had to go back and re-read several pages a few times in order to draw a clear mental picture of what was really going on and with who. I feel like there are too many characters, and they’re a little underdevelopment out the gate, so it takes a while to get them all straight. I was a little confused. Luckily it turns around and the story really picks up once the characters are mentally cleared. It winds up being an excellent and very intense thrill ride!

That said, there are a couple distinct qualities about this book that I really loved.

First thing’s first, the plot is so unique. If you’re going to write a book about a deadly virus then what better place to put it than an inescapable cruise liner in the middle of dicey seas! What a setting! After reading it you can bet your ass I won’t be caught dead booking myself a cruise vacation anytime soon… if ever!

Secondly, the secrecy was very intricately laced and it really brought the story together. From the beginning to end it felt like every single character has something to hide. I found myself questioning everyone and looking for a motive and/or conspiracy behind everything, which was great. Also the secrecy between the Captain’s staff and the guests. The lies they tell left and right in order to keep everything under wraps and avoid a panic is so gut wrenching and eye opening, its almost surreal to think about something like this really happening. I’m willing to bet that if this book ever becomes a bestseller then there would easily be a very noticeable dent in the amount of cruise ship vacationers.

Lastly, there is so much more to the depth of the plot than just the sickness and it gives the entire story that much more umph. Geneva the reporter on board, is a really sneaky snoop — as any great reporter should be. She is relentless and utterly determined to get to the bottom of the secrets amongst the crew members and staff.

Ultimately I enjoyed the read, and am glad I picked it to review. 3.75 rating

For your chance to win 1 of 3 digital copies of “White Water, Black Death” click here!

Blog Tour Organized By: 

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Blog Tour: Fender, by Brent Jones #Review #giveaway

Author: Brent Jones

Publication Date: August 21, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/ Drama

Blurb:

How far must we travel to find our way home?

Nothing could have prepared Brennan Glover for the car crash that claimed the lives of his wife and six-year-old daughter. Stricken with grief, the only things that get him through each day are breaking his sobriety and clinging to Fender—the family dog and the sole survivor of the crash.

Desperate to distance Brennan from tragedy, his two closest friends take him on the cross-country road trip they had always talked about. But what begins as an effort to mend his broken heart ends up unraveling a secret that changes everything he thought he knew about his family. Can a journey of six thousand miles lead Brennan to acceptance and new beginnings?

From finding the good in an often cruel world to learning to say goodbye to those we love most, this sophomore release from author Brent Jones is sure to leave readers longing for home, wherever that may be.

Add to Goodreads

Also available at Barnes and Noble

MY REVIEW:

4 of 5 stars

Fender really has a real heartstring puller of a plot line. It shines a certain light on the grieving process that in my opinion really should be pointed out more often. Loosing loved ones unexpectedly is an extremely rough road and this book puts the realities of such hardship front and center for the world to see. Nothing is sugar coated about this book which I love. The emotions felt are raw and the way the main character copes with the loss of his wife and child are likely. One thing that gives this book it’s own unique twist, setting it apart from the run of the mill grieving husband tale is his dog, Fender.

Brennan has an alcohol problem. It started in his early twenties when his best friend committed suicide and Brennan blamed himself for the tragedy. It was during one of his drunken nights, slurring and blacking out that he came across Fender. He found the Beagle hiding under a car in a rainstorm. Brennan wound up keeping the dog and over time, Fender helped him to cope with the death of his friend. Through thick and thin Fender is there for him. As Brennan’s wife neared the birth of their child, she tried talking Brennan into getting rid of Fender. Luckily he stuck to his guns and kept the pup because little did he know his life will take another turn for the worst in the years to come and it’s Fender then will help him through.

Days after the funeral of Brennan’s wife and six year old daughter (they were in a car accident), Brennan’s two best friends Rocco and Franky talk him into going with them on a road trip to help him heal and cope. Brennan had quit drinking while his wife was pregnant with his daughter, and when they passed away he fell off the wagon. The road trip is full of ups and downs while tries to wrap his head and heart around the loss of his loved ones, all the while battling his pull to drink. He insisted on bringing Fender along for the drive, refusing to leave him behind.

I love the way the story bounces back and forth between past and present. Brent Jones is able to reveal the character’s marriage and family life along the way, as if reflecting it all as Brennan’s memories while enduring the grieving process. Brennan didn’t exactly have an easy upbringing or the perfect experience with his in-laws. It was actually quite the opposite. It’s his unique relationship with his loyal companion Fender that helps bring him clarity.

This book is a bit of a slow burn, and sad… Very, very sad. From cover to cover, every single time I sat down to read I wound up crying!! I definitely recommend it to anyone grieving the loss of a loved one!

author pic.jpg

About the Author:

From bad checks to bathroom graffiti, Brent Jones has always been drawn to writing. He won a national creative writing competition at the age of fourteen, although he can’t recall what the story was about. Seventeen years later, he gave up his freelance career as a social media manager to pursue creative writing full-time. Fender and The Fifteenth of June are his first two novels.

Jones writes from his home in Fort Erie, Canada. He’s happily married, a bearded cyclist, a mediocre guitarist, (sometimes) vegetarian, and the proud owner of two dogs with a God complex. Subscribe to his newsletter (AuthorBrentJones.com) or follow him on social media (@AuthorBrentJ) for updates.

EXCERPT:

Brennan sat on the living room floor staring at his polished shoes, his back pressed against the leather sofa, a bottle of Jim Beam in his left hand, a lit cigarette in his right. Traces of afternoon sun peeked through lush drapes, adding a hint of color to an otherwise dark and empty room. He tilted the bottle back and flicked ash in an empty drinking glass between his legs, trickles of silver smoke rising up past his face. He was too stricken with grief to hear the front door open.

“You here, Bee?” Rocco entered with Franky in tow. He lowered his head, taking in the scene before him. “We’re so sorry.” He offered Brennan a sympathetic frown, his forehead wrinkled with worry. “How’re you holding up?”

Brennan flicked more ash in the drinking glass without responding.

Rocco let out a deep breath, added, “It was a beautiful service.”

Brennan kept his head down, making no effort to suggest he had heard Rocco.

“Should we come back later?”

“It’s all right if you wanna be alone,” said Franky.

Brennan raised his eyes with pronounced difficulty. He was immediately turned off by their concern, which looked a lot to him like judgment and shame. Rocco, evidently concerned about his drinking, and Franky, concerned because Rocco was concerned. “Go ahead,” said Brennan. “Say it.”

“Say what?” asked Rocco, exchanging a glance with Franky.

Brennan dropped his cigarette in the glass, raised the Jim Beam to his lips. “Say I shouldn’t be drinking again.”

“What you’re going through right now, Bee, I understand—”

“Oh, you always understand, Rocco. Don’t you? Not thisss one, though. You fucking can’t. You didn’t loosh yer family.” Brennan could hear himself slurring.

“I didn’t mean it like that.”

“He’s saying he’d be fucked up, too,” Franky chimed in. “That’s all.”

Brennan hadn’t taken a drink since the day his daughter was born—hadn’t smoked a cigarette since that day, either—and he knew drinking himself senseless was no way to honor her memory. Just this one time, he had told himself. I need this today. But so far, it had brought him no peace. It only heightened his sense of hopelessness.

A faint jingle echoed down the hallway, getting closer, a senior beagle with a limp and fresh stitches emerging at last. Franky knelt down, extended his hands. “Fender,” he said in a singsong voice, scratching behind the dog’s ears. “Who’s a good boy, Fender? Who’s a good boy?”

Fender parked himself at Franky’s feet—not out of obedience or affection, but sheer exhaustion. He was normally playful and energetic—even at twelve years old—and never allowed anyone to enter the house without barking to alert his humans. But at that moment he whimpered, sullen and subdued, rubbing his snout against Franky’s leg.

“When’s the last time he ate?” Rocco asked.

Brennan shook his head.

Rocco motioned to Franky. “Why don’t you take Fender out for a bathroom break? Maybe fill up his food and water bowls, too.”

Franky nodded and Fender followed him out of the room.

Rocco sat on the floor next to Brennan. “Listen, Bee, I get that this is tough.”

Brennan rubbed his temples and said nothing. He was a sensitive man, emotional, fragile at times, and now near speechless. He could almost feel himself shutting down, giving in to the pain, letting go of the world. It felt like he was drowning in a sea of sorrow, violent waves of grief washing over him, and he was losing the will to keep his head above water.

Rocco touched Brennan’s shoulder. “Me and Franky want to take you away for a little bit. It’d do you good.”

“Now?”

“Yeah.” Rocco motioned to the Jim Beam. “I think now’s good. You’ve been outta work for a couple months. I’ve got vacation time saved up at the office, and Franky can walk away from roofing anytime. We were thinking of taking that trip to California we’d always talked about.”

“We talked ’bout ’at shit when wurrr kidsss.”

“Yeah, I get that, but we could still do it. We’d make a road trip out of it, just like you, me, Franky, and Colin—” Rocco winced, having unintentionally drudged up the past.

“My family was just kilt in a car crasssh,” said Brennan. “And you think the best place furr me ish out on the open road?”

Rocco nodded. “I do, Bee. You need to get away and clear your head.”

Brennan listened without speaking, his line of sight again lowered toward his shoes. Tears spilled down his cheeks.

“You can’t stay here by yourself. It’s—it’s too much. It’s too much for anyone to have to handle.” Rocco glanced at Brennan through narrowed and swollen eyes. “Our hearts are heavy, too, and we all need to grieve. But nothing good can come of you sitting here alone and drinking. You need something to take your mind off it.”

Franky returned a minute later. Fender hobbled behind him, his movements labored and graceless, his eyes wet and dark. He positioned himself near Brennan in slow motion. Fender was the last member of the Glover household to see Rosie and Abby alive, and the only survivor of the crash that killed them both.

“Did he eat?” asked Rocco, gesturing toward Fender.

“Not much.” Franky changed gears without blinking. “What’d he say?” He asked the question as if he and Rocco were alone in the room.

“Bee says he’s gonna think on it,” Rocco said, standing. He looked down at Brennan before walking out. “You will give it some thought, right? That’s all I’m asking.”

The house was quiet again, but Brennan was certain nothing could silence the storm in his heart. He ran his finger over the tattoo on his left shoulder through his shirt, as he often did during difficult times. He knew its intricacies by heart—the anniversary of Colin’s death inked in a simple script. He once thought losing his best friend had prepared him for anything life might throw his way, but now he knew better.

Author Links:

Website/ Blog: http://authorbrentjones.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorBrentJ/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorBrentJ

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorbrentj/

Newsletter: http://authorbrentjones.us15.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=25780171a7af1a527bbe46e27&id=27b15978b2

 Giveaway:

3 digital copies of Fender (Mobi or Epub)

1 Print copy of Fender (Canadian/ U.S. Residents only)

1 Audio copy of Fender

*Note: Please be advised that all entries will be automatically subscribed to author’s newsletter

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE

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Book Blitz: Fender, by Brent Jones @AuthorBrentJ @shanannigans81

Fender: A Novel (Book Blitz)

Author: Brent Jones

Publication Date: August 21, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/ Drama

Blurb:

How far must we travel to find our way home?

Nothing could have prepared Brennan Glover for the car crash that claimed the lives of his wife and six-year-old daughter. Stricken with grief, the only things that get him through each day are breaking his sobriety and clinging to Fender—the family dog and the sole survivor of the crash.

Desperate to distance Brennan from tragedy, his two closest friends take him on the cross-country road trip they had always talked about. But what begins as an effort to mend his broken heart ends up unraveling a secret that changes everything he thought he knew about his family. Can a journey of six thousand miles lead Brennan to acceptance and new beginnings?

From finding the good in an often cruel world to learning to say goodbye to those we love most, this sophomore release from author Brent Jones is sure to leave readers longing for home, wherever that may be.

Add to https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35673296-fender?ac=1&from_search=true

Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073X3B148

Note: Fender will be available in both Kindle eBook and paperback as of August 21, audiobook version coming shortly thereafter.

Fender Cover.jpg

About the Author:

From bad checks to bathroom graffiti, Brent Jones has always been drawn to writing. He won a national creative writing competition at the age of fourteen, although he can’t recall what the story was about. Seventeen years later, he gave up his freelance career as a social media manager to pursue creative writing full-time. Fender and The Fifteenth of June are his first two novels.

Jones writes from his home in Fort Erie, Canada. He’s happily married, a bearded cyclist, a mediocre guitarist, (sometimes) vegetarian, and the proud owner of two dogs with a God complex. Subscribe to his newsletter (AuthorBrentJones.com) or follow him on social media (@AuthorBrentJ) for updates.

author pic.jpg

Author Links:

Website/ Blog: http://authorbrentjones.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorBrentJ/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorBrentJ

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorbrentj/

Newsletter: http://authorbrentjones.us15.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=25780171a7af1a527bbe46e27&id=27b15978b2

 

Giveaway Details:

*Note to Readers: Please be advised that all entries will be automatically subscribed to author’s newsletter

10 digital copies of Fender—MOBI or EPUB

Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0e7c6a8f17/?

Embed: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Excerpt:

Brennan sat on the living room floor staring at his polished shoes, his back pressed against the leather sofa, a bottle of Jim Beam in his left hand, a lit cigarette in his right. Traces of afternoon sun peeked through lush drapes, adding a hint of color to an otherwise dark and empty room. He tilted the bottle back and flicked ash in an empty drinking glass between his legs, trickles of silver smoke rising up past his face. He was too stricken with grief to hear the front door open.

“You here, Bee?” Rocco entered with Franky in tow. He lowered his head, taking in the scene before him. “We’re so sorry.” He offered Brennan a sympathetic frown, his forehead wrinkled with worry. “How’re you holding up?”

Brennan flicked more ash in the drinking glass without responding.

Rocco let out a deep breath, added, “It was a beautiful service.”

Brennan kept his head down, making no effort to suggest he had heard Rocco.

“Should we come back later?”

“It’s all right if you wanna be alone,” said Franky.

Brennan raised his eyes with pronounced difficulty. He was immediately turned off by their concern, which looked a lot to him like judgment and shame. Rocco, evidently concerned about his drinking, and Franky, concerned because Rocco was concerned. “Go ahead,” said Brennan. “Say it.”

“Say what?” asked Rocco, exchanging a glance with Franky.

Brennan dropped his cigarette in the glass, raised the Jim Beam to his lips. “Say I shouldn’t be drinking again.”

“What you’re going through right now, Bee, I understand—”

“Oh, you always understand, Rocco. Don’t you? Not thisss one, though. You fucking can’t. You didn’t loosh yer family.” Brennan could hear himself slurring.

“I didn’t mean it like that.”

“He’s saying he’d be fucked up, too,” Franky chimed in. “That’s all.”

Brennan hadn’t taken a drink since the day his daughter was born—hadn’t smoked a cigarette since that day, either—and he knew drinking himself senseless was no way to honor her memory. Just this one time, he had told himself. I need this today. But so far, it had brought him no peace. It only heightened his sense of hopelessness.

A faint jingle echoed down the hallway, getting closer, a senior beagle with a limp and fresh stitches emerging at last. Franky knelt down, extended his hands. “Fender,” he said in a singsong voice, scratching behind the dog’s ears. “Who’s a good boy, Fender? Who’s a good boy?”

Fender parked himself at Franky’s feet—not out of obedience or affection, but sheer exhaustion. He was normally playful and energetic—even at twelve years old—and never allowed anyone to enter the house without barking to alert his humans. But at that moment he whimpered, sullen and subdued, rubbing his snout against Franky’s leg.

“When’s the last time he ate?” Rocco asked.

Brennan shook his head.

Rocco motioned to Franky. “Why don’t you take Fender out for a bathroom break? Maybe fill up his food and water bowls, too.”

Franky nodded and Fender followed him out of the room.

Rocco sat on the floor next to Brennan. “Listen, Bee, I get that this is tough.”

Brennan rubbed his temples and said nothing. He was a sensitive man, emotional, fragile at times, and now near speechless. He could almost feel himself shutting down, giving in to the pain, letting go of the world. It felt like he was drowning in a sea of sorrow, violent waves of grief washing over him, and he was losing the will to keep his head above water.

Rocco touched Brennan’s shoulder. “Me and Franky want to take you away for a little bit. It’d do you good.”

“Now?”

“Yeah.” Rocco motioned to the Jim Beam. “I think now’s good. You’ve been outta work for a couple months. I’ve got vacation time saved up at the office, and Franky can walk away from roofing anytime. We were thinking of taking that trip to California we’d always talked about.”

“We talked ’bout ’at shit when wurrr kidsss.”

“Yeah, I get that, but we could still do it. We’d make a road trip out of it, just like you, me, Franky, and Colin—” Rocco winced, having unintentionally drudged up the past.

“My family was just kilt in a car crasssh,” said Brennan. “And you think the best place furr me ish out on the open road?”

Rocco nodded. “I do, Bee. You need to get away and clear your head.”

Brennan listened without speaking, his line of sight again lowered toward his shoes. Tears spilled down his cheeks.

“You can’t stay here by yourself. It’s—it’s too much. It’s too much for anyone to have to handle.” Rocco glanced at Brennan through narrowed and swollen eyes. “Our hearts are heavy, too, and we all need to grieve. But nothing good can come of you sitting here alone and drinking. You need something to take your mind off it.”

Franky returned a minute later. Fender hobbled behind him, his movements labored and graceless, his eyes wet and dark. He positioned himself near Brennan in slow motion. Fender was the last member of the Glover household to see Rosie and Abby alive, and the only survivor of the crash that killed them both.

“Did he eat?” asked Rocco, gesturing toward Fender.

“Not much.” Franky changed gears without blinking. “What’d he say?” He asked the question as if he and Rocco were alone in the room.

“Bee says he’s gonna think on it,” Rocco said, standing. He looked down at Brennan before walking out. “You will give it some thought, right? That’s all I’m asking.”

The house was quiet again, but Brennan was certain nothing could silence the storm in his heart. He ran his finger over the tattoo on his left shoulder through his shirt, as he often did during difficult times. He knew its intricacies by heart—the anniversary of Colin’s death inked in a simple script. He once thought losing his best friend had prepared him for anything life might throw his way, but now he knew better.

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Book Tour Review Stop: The Last Dragon Rider, by Errin Krystal 5 of 5 stars

Genre: Fantasy/ Adventure/ Romance

Novella Release Date: August 9, 2017

MY REVIEW:

5 of 5 stars

Every single page of this novella packs a punch. What a powerhouse! The Last Dragon Rider honestly takes fantasy to a whole new place. This is actually the first time I’ve given a fantasy revolving around dragons five stars. I went into this book expecting something run of the mill, which is okay, because I do like such stories. But, what I got was completely opposite from your average magical war fought atop dragons type story!! WOWZA it’s good!

This authors style in writing and word choice is superb! I read the entire novella in one sitting, I couldn’t put the magical bad-ass-ery of this story down, I want more! The characters are unique, sexy, and very well painted. The chemistry between the power couple Flint and Saira is a force to be reckoned with. The love between them is strong, their banter is to die for, their back story is perfect, and the things they do in private are wildly unforgettable. Really though, cutting off a breast wrap with a blade before claiming her body as yours until her knees buckle….. Yes please!! AND that’s not to mention how awesome of fighters they are, both physically and mentally. The magic is perfectly placed, and not cheesy at all. It all actually seems real! Love it!

The villains are also meticulously put together. An uncle and niece duo, on a mission to claim what they feel is rightfully theirs. They’ve created an army of the dead, and found a missing book that contains unfathomable powers in an ancient spell. This changes everything! Mnuvae doesn’t hesitate to use this book, making its contents reality. She gains complete control of a very large powerful dragon, willing it to follow her commands by thought. Of course, she uses this power against Flint and Saira and their army.

The battles are just the right mix of combat, magic, blood and gore. The sex scenes are wonderfully sexy! The plot line and characters are drawn well and delivered with perfect detail! I can’t wait to read the next book in this series!

 

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Blurb

Trained as an elite warrior from childhood, the elven crown prince Flintathriël fights to bring a stop to a war that began before he was born. With the aid of his betrothed Sairalindë, a skilled mage and dragon rider in her own right, they must find the Book of Souls – an ancient and mysterious tome rumored to have belonged to the god Hath’Raal.

When the missing book turns up in the hands of Mnuvae, the bastard child of the dead king, Flintathriël finds himself fighting to not only save his people from this new threat but also trying to keep Sairalindë safe when Mnuvae takes over the dragons in her attempt to win back the kingdom she believes is rightfully hers.

The love Flintathriël and Sairalindë share shines pure and true, but when the smoke of the battle clears, will their hearts survive the aftermath of war or will their love become a casualty that cannot be revived?

Goodreads Link

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Author Bio

Errin Krystal is a fantasy romance writer who has been writing since she was a small child. Her head has always been full of stories. She began work on her first novel when she was sixteen.

She lives with her family in regional Victoria, Australia, and works as a chef. In her quieter moments, she loves to indulge her passion for storytelling, basking in the joy that comes from creating vibrant characters, fantastical worlds and all manner of magical creatures. Dragons and elves, mages and warriors, troubled princes and beautiful princesses, romance, magic, and adventure can all be found in her writing.

Excerpt

She began wrapping the cloth tightly about her, binding her breasts firmly, criss-crossing the gauzy fabric around her torso and across her stomach, tying it off at her hip. She shimmied into a pair of leather leggings and reached for her foot wraps. To other races—like the dwarves and humans—the elves lack of footwear was strange. The elven people had strong ties to the lands, their magic and mystique were inexplicably linked. Even those who did not practice magic felt the connection to nature, and the elven people had maintained the practice throughout their long history.

After binding her feet and leaving only her toes exposed, she tossed an olive green tunic over her head before quickly weaving her tresses into a thick braid.

Sivath was waiting, and Flintathriël was late. Again.

She was reaching for her leather jerkin when he finally appeared in her doorway.

Arms akimbo, he slouched against the frame, all lean muscle and sharp angles beneath his leathers. Silver-white hair fell across his forehead, hiding the dark arches of his brows as he gazed at her with silvery blue eyes. The mop of hair barely touching his shoulders. His coloring typical of the royal family.

Her gaze traced his tattoos. Sweeping vines encompassed runic symbols, curling downward from his bottom lip, winding and weaving their way down his chin and neck. She knew every line that twisted and spread across his shoulders, and across his back. Etchings that disappeared beneath his tunic and reappeared along his arms. She still remembered the day he received the markings, branding him Nuvian. The day she first gave herself to him, the day she truly became his.

Author’s Links

Errin’s Website

 Facebook

 Twitter

Instargram

Errin’s Goodreads

Errin’s Blog

 Facebook Launch Party!

Amazon Purchase Link

Guest Post

Characters gone wild: How the comic relief became the hero

It’s funny how wildly out of control things can get. I mean, you start out with the intention of simply writing a short 2,000 word character study to help push through the writer’s block you have been struggling with. Short, concise, maybe spend a day or so on it. Just something fresh and new to get the creativity flowing again you know?

That’s not what happened.

What happened was I set aside my novel and spent six months on writing a 30,000 word novella featuring a character who originally only had a small bit part… until I fell in love with him and created a more in depth history.

In his simplest incarnation, Flintathriël, (now the full-fledged hero of The Last Dragon Rider), was basically created to offer snarky and sarcastic comments to the hero and flirt with his love interest. That was pretty much his entire purpose in the beginning. Someone light and fun, someone to stir the proverbial pot.

Until one day his entire past just came crashing through, demanding to be written. So I started jotting down some notes for a short story… It was never meant to be anything serious…

I had this amazing idea, set against the backdrop of an ancient war with love, betrayal, dragons and elves and all those good things. But I only wanted it to be short.

I was determined to finish my other novel in 2015…

I wrote a novella instead…

But Flintathriël was destined to be more than a flat caricature and all too soon he had taken over telling his own story. He wanted more from life so I obliged, turning him into a fully fleshed out character as he demanded, creating something magical in the process.

In getting distracted with my novella, it has enabled me to fill in a few gaps in my novel (which is now book 2). Several characters appear in both stories and writing this novella has allowed me to flesh out those characters and add more depth to a specific story arc.

So while he still maintains that cocky arrogance I originally intended, Flintathriël is now burdened with a few more obstacles and responsibilities (as well as a kick ass love interest), making the transition from comic relief to tortured hero.

Giveaway Details:

5 digital copies of the book (Giveaway runs from July 31st to Aug. 9th)

ENTER RAFFLECOPTER NOW

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Dead Over Heels, by Theresa Braun #blogtour #bookreview #5stars

Dead Over Heels

Theresa Braun

Publication Date: Nov 16, 2016

Frith Books

Genre: Paranormal/ Paranormal Romance/ Short Story

My Review:

5 of 5 stars

A short review for a short book: Wow, this tiny little 38 page bomb really sets off a BANG! Don’t be fooled by the size, because this story has everything! It’s twisty, edgy, romantic, AND creepy. The main characters are overflowing with personality. From cover to cover this story is bursting at the seems. The plot points are well defined, the picture is drawn perfectly, and even with the refreshingly unpredictable shockers Braun is still able to tie it all together to produce a nice even flow.  I really have to give Theresa props, as it is SO hard to accomplish such qualities in such a short tale.

Veronica meets Sebastian on a dating site. After much previous disappointment in the struggle for finding love Sebastian is a breath of fresh air for Veronica. Their feelings take off quickly, as does the drama and hauntings of their past.  Their very first date provides an odd encounter with a couple who never actually existed. After a full month of dating they return to the haunted restaurant. I wont give anything else away. You have to read this book!!!

More Buy Links:

Barnes & Noble: HERE

Kobo: HERE

Synopsis:

Veronica’s first date with Sebastian not only stirs up a powerful attraction, but also a series of supernatural events that will tear them apart.

After countless hours of dead end online dating, Veronica meets up with Sebastian at a reportedly haunted restaurant, since he knows she has a fascination with the paranormal. While enjoying their meals and each other’s company, they share a shocking supernatural experience. Their romantic connection is overshadowed by the ghosts of their own pasts that threaten to destroy their budding relationship. Veronica decides she must return to the restaurant to face her past and dig up more answers. Unfortunately, she realizes she must go back, this time with a reluctant Sebastian. In the end, they join forces against the evil that stands between them, but will they make it out alive?

Add to Goodreads: HERE

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Quotes:

“The problem is, I never knew that finding the one would be such a double-edged sword.”

 

“My brain started exercising like it had never done before. The Rubik’s Cube, the GRE, and my Master’s thesis on Jungian psychoanalysis all seemed like simple level capacity in comparison to the riddle at hand.”

 

“Bile rose in my throat, and I gripped Sebastian’s arm tightly. Had my dad really killed someone with his bare hands?”

 

“My breathing shallowed and I grew woozy. It was as if I was dying with her.”

 

“Now I knew the truth, but I couldn’t do a damn thing about it.”

 

“Suddenly I realized my feet hurt. Somehow I had managed to weather all of this while standing in my black patent leather heels. I kicked the up into my hands as if they had wronged me for the last time.”

 

“Last night had been spooky, and my breath had been taken away, but was it really magic? Maybe the vague intention of my candle ritual had come to fruition…after all, Sebastian had come into my life, and I knew now that my mom hadn’t abandoned me.”

 

“An echoing snarl became an animalistic roar, pinching e from my childhood memory. Once my eyes met the source of the sound, I saw my father barreling straight at us.”

 

“It was then that I screamed. The sound sliced through the night and my vocal cords felt as if they were shredding in my throat.”

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About The Author:

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Theresa Braun was born in St. Paul, Minnesota and has carried some of that hardiness with her to South Florida where she currently resides with her two fur babies, who are her creative sidekicks. She enjoys delving into creative writing, painting, photography and even bouts of ghost hunting. Traveling is one of her passions—in fact, her latest adventure took her to Romania for a horror writers’ workshop where she followed in the steps of Vlad the Impaler. She writes horror fiction and the occasional romance. She blogs about writing, television shows, movies, and books, and all things dark. Her short stories are published in Under the Bed Magazine, in Hindered Souls, in The Horror Zine, in Schlock! Webzine, and by Frith Books. Upcoming stories to appear in Monsters Exist and Hardened Hearts.

Author Links:

https://twitter.com/tbraun_author

https://www.facebook.com/GroomAndDoom/

https://www.theresabraun.com/

 
Giveaway: Digital Copy of Dead Over Heels in Format of Choice
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Blog Tour Schedule

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~June 5~
Reads & Reels www.readsandreels.com (Promo)
Tranquil Dreams www.klling.wordpress.com (Review)
Beware of the Reader www.bewareofthereader.com (Review)
~June 6~
The Bookworm Chronicles www.muretbookworm.wordpress.com (Excerpt)
Didi Oviatt www.didioviatt.wordpress.com (Review)
~June 7~

Nesie’s Place https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com/  (Review & Excerpt)

~June 8~
Between the Lines Book Blog www.betweenthelinesbookblog.com (Review)
~June 9~
Where Dragons Reside www.kernerangelina.live (Review)

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Book Blitz: When Smoke Rains Down by Cecelia Earl

Kingdom Come #2

Release Date: May 31, 2017

Genre: Young Adult/ Paranormal/ Fantasy

When Smoke Rains Down Cover

Blurb:

In the aftermath of an explosion and Homecoming battle, Julia tries to form some semblance of a routine: work, study, visit her brother. Unable to confide in anyone about her double life of being both human and angel, and fearful she’ll bring death and destruction to those she loves, she pulls away from her family and best friend.

When demons once again start to show up at every turn, seemingly bringing about her brother’s deepening depression, she demands her sword from Nicholas. Ever the stern Guardian Angel, he forbids her from using it. Isolated, she takes protecting her brother into her own hands.

Thrust into a dark world of conspiring demons, Julia is in more danger than she ever imagined possible. To stop evil from spreading and overtaking those she loves, she’ll have to seek out the one person she mistrusts most.

Enter a complex world where humans, demons, and angels collide, all battling to rule the Earth. For readers who enjoy young adult paranormal romance and dark fantasy. Fans of City of Bones, Hush Hush, Unearthly, Halo, and Hidden Wings will be captivated by this unique take on angels and demons.

When Smoke Rains Down is Book Two in the Kingdom Come series. Book Three, the final installment, will be out Summer 2017.

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Author Bio:

Cecelia Earl graduated with a degree in education and has been teaching ever since. She’s a wife, a mom of three boys, and an owner of a magical laundry pile that never stops growing. She lives near enough to Green Bay, WI that her refrigerator is always stocked with cheese, and the first colors her children learned were green and gold. She’s a teacher by day, a mom always, and a writer in her sleep, but that’s okay because being an author is a dream come true. She writes angel books for young and youngish adults. If you feel young, she writes for you—whether or not you feel particularly angelic.

Goodreads: When Smoke Rains Down

Author Links:

Goodreads

Facebook

Website

Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr: @authorcecelia

Amazon

Author Newsletter

Purchase links:

When Ash Rains Down

When Smoke Rains Down

Rafflecopter Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0e7c6a8f5/?

 

 

 

Continue reading “Book Blitz: When Smoke Rains Down by Cecelia Earl”

Blog Tour Review Stop: Before The Tempest, by Tani Hanes. (my rate 4 of 5 stars) #blogtour #review #giveaway

Before the Tempest (UK Crush Series Book #4)

Tani Hanes

Publication Date: March 21, 2017

Genre: New Adult Romance/ Contemporary Romance

Synopsis:

Aileen Foster, poor, orphaned, musically gifted, never imagined her life could change so much, so fast, but getting a job as interpreter for boyband UK Crush pitched her headfirst into tumult and a glamorous life she never thought she’d have. Now, engaged to band member Theo Shelley, and having survived her audition to Hamilton Conservatory in Manhattan, she’s off to the Bahamas with the boys while they write their new album. Life has never been easy for her, but she’s trying.

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MY REVIEW:

4 of 5 stars!!

Three books in and I’m yet to be disappointed! Before the Tempest is an absolutely indispensable portion of the UK Crush tale. Moving along with the romance of Tink and Teddy is emotionally enchanting. Now engaged, and after winning a very prestige classical music scholarship, Aileen faces a whole new set of obstacles in life.

I love all the drama in this one!! In my opinion it’s neck and neck with book one, and is much better than 2 and 3. It’s rare to be able to keep the story flowing and to create such a bang three books in!! Tani executed quite the whirlwind of admiration, love, and obsession. She is able to mix up the couple’s bedroom escapades in a way that keeps you as the reader wanting more. It’s far from droll, to put it lightly! *drools*

My hat is also off to Tani with this one in terms of intense scenes of jealousy, sabotage, and rage. The fans of our favorite group of gorgeous boy/men are at an all time high in erratic action – As is the craziness of past relationships(ish)… Pushing the limits with ups and downs in a relationship, especially such a high profile relationship, is really a strong point for Tani in Before the Tempest!

Another aspect that I love about this book is the music standpoint. The entire series IS after all written around musicians. Up until this point the main focus (in terms of tunes) has been all behind the scenes with an occasional explanation of concerts and piano practice/performance. I found it very fulfilling to learn more about the back end of the music process. Especially since the band decides to make some changes.

I loved Before the Tempest, and I can’t wait to read the next book in this series!

About the Author:

Tani Hanes was born in Yokosuka, Japan. She spent the first few years of her life traveling back and forth between Japan and the US, making the permanent move to the Central Valley of California when she was five. She visited family in Japan on a regular basis, and attended college in Tokyo for one year at ICU before getting her degree in Language Studies from UC Santa Cruz. She has two children, and was a substitute teacher for fifteen years. Hanes currently resides in New York City with her husband and cats, Moss and Lily.

Make sure to visit and follow Tani!!  Here are her Author Links:

Facebook: HERE
Website: HERE
Twitter: HERE
Amazon: Author Page
Goodreads: HERE
Pinterest: HERE

Swoonreads: https://www.swoonreads.com/a/tani-hanes/6QA49L/

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I’m so glad I decided to read this series!  It isn’t my usual genre, so I was honestly a little bit leery going in.. I’m happy to say that I’M SO GLAD I DID FINALLY READ THESE BOOKS!!  You can find my reviews for all three previous books here:

Review: Living in the Shallows (UK Crush #1), by Tani Hanes 4 of 5 stars

Review: Diving Deep (UK Crush #2)

Review: Learning to Fly (UK Crush #3), by Tani Hanes

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And, now for the..

Giveaway:

5 digital sets of the UK Crush series and 1 complete print set of the UK Crush series, signed by author

Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0e7c6a8f6/

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Last but not least, don’t forget to PRE-ORDER book #5!!

AMAZON ORDER LINK: HERE

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