Book Blitz: WHITE OAKS by Jill Hand







White Oaks

by Jill Hand

Genre: Thriller





“An ingeniously dark comic thriller about greed, gluttony and murder that is destined for the big screen.” –Best Thrillers




Aimee Trapnell reluctantly leaves her apartment on Manhattan’s Central Park West to return to her childhood home in Georgia for her father’s ninetieth birthday. Also on hand are her two brothers, wily Marsh and ne’er-do-well Trainor. With a forty-billion-dollar inheritance at stake, they’re willing to do whatever it takes to make the old man happy.




To their shock they learn that what their father wants for his birthday is to kill someone. He doesn’t care who it is. He just wants to know what it’s like to commit murder.




Betrayal, double-dealing, and fast-paced action set the Trapnells on a collision course with an unexpected villain. Their journey takes them from the swamps of Georgia, to Italy’s glittering Amalfi coast, to rugged Yellowstone National Park.






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Jill Hand is a member of the Horror Writers Association and International Thriller Writers. Her Southern Gothic novel, White Oaks is available on Amazon and from the publisher, Black Rose Writing.

 

Advance readers called it a fast-paced, hilarious account of three siblings who are competing for their father’s forty-billion-dollar fortune while trying to prevent the destruction of Planet Earth.


 

Diane Donovan, senior reviewer from Midwest Book Review praised White Oaks, calling it, “an unusually multifaceted tale that holds the ability to prompt laughter from thriller-style tension.”

 

Jill Hand’s novel, Rosina and the Travel Agency, and The Blue Horse, a novella, follow the adventures of a young woman rescued from a railway accident in 1889 by a twenty-fourth-century enterprise in the business of time travel tourism.

 


 


 

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Book Blast: THE BEST OF FAMILIES by Harry Groome



Contemporary Fiction

Date Published:  May 2016


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The Best of Families is the revelatory midlife memoir of a Philadelphia socialite, Francis Hopkinson Delafield. Uncomfortable with the mores of one of the city’s oldest families, Fran begins his story the summer after he graduates from prep school, when he dutifully marries his pregnant French Canadian girlfriend only to have her disappear within months of their marriage. Disillusioned and angry at the whole world, Fran quits college and enlists in the army. He is badly wounded in a war that no one seems to know or care about, and upon returning home from Vietnam, he is confronted with navigating the roiled waters of a second marriage while both his parents and his wives hold secrets that alter his life forever.

Praise for The Best of Families:

“With wit and compassion, The Best of Families captures perfectly the floundering of WASP society at mid-20th century. Trapped in the empty rituals of an upper crust that is well past its sell-by date, young Fran Delafield struggles to free himself from family and tradition. Love, the war in Vietnam and fatherhood turn out to be his path to an authentic life, and his salvation. Harry Groome interweaves romance and tragedy in this lively, evocative novel.” — Rebecca Pepper Sinkler, former Editor of the New York Times Book Review

“…a heartfelt, captivating read, packed with familial politics and strife.” — Kirkus Reviews

 “A wonderful, fascinating, tragic and ultimately redemptive story that begs to be told.” — Ellen Lesser, author of The Shoplifter’s Apprentice

“Not only is The Best of Families a page-turner, but the story truly moved me, and haunts me still.” — Chase Twichell, author of Horses Where the Answers Should Have Been: New & Selected Poems

 “…a great read that makes a convincing and timeless case for the power of the individual—the power to build your own happiness out of the unwieldy materials you’ve been handed.” — David Ebenbach, author of Into the Wilderness

“One of the great pleasures of life is a good book that tells a story so compelling that when you put the book down, you can’t wait to pick it up again. For me, The Best of Families is such a book…(it) blew me away with its believable razor-sharp dialogue and compelling plot…” — Len Lear, editor, the Chestnut Hill Local

Excerpt


My Family; Our Story

Mark Twain once wrote, “In Boston they ask, how much does he know? In New York, how much is he worth? In Philadelphia, who were his parents?”

As a Philadelphian I’ll answer that provocative question this way: My name is Francis Hopkinson Delafield Jr.—Fran to most everyone—and I was born into one of the city’s oldest families, a family of Social Register–registered blue bloods who were born on third base but thought we’d gotten there by hitting a triple. Without a doubt, we Delafields are a nest of good old-fashioned WASPs: unimaginative, out-of-touch, sporting Bermuda shorts, bow ties, and Capezios…well, the list goes on and on, but I think old Mr. Twain would get the picture. And, although it goes well beyond what he asked, of course we’re all products of private school educations. Every entitled one of us.

What’s more, having learned how my connection with my parents—I don’t know the proper term for it: biological, cultural, spiritual, genetic?—has shaped my life, I understand why my sister, Heather, always says that everything that takes place in our parents’ circle of friends is tribal. And over time I’ve gotten a better grip on why it’s easier for them to stay rooted in the past than to face the changes the future might bring, certainly the kind of changes that I’ve forced my parents to accept.

Heather also was the person who thought it would be a good idea for me to confront my past rather than sweep it under the rug the way I do most things. Write it all down, is what she said—hence this midlife memoir, or whatever you might choose to call it. She thought it might help me understand, maybe even help me forgive, a lot of what’s happened in our family, and from this I guess you can tell that, as uncomfortable as parts of this will be for me to tell, Heather thought it might heal some old family wounds, maybe even help me learn some things I needed to know.

So to begin, a little bit of background.

In 1941, just before my father went off to the war, we moved to 1212 Poor Richard’s Lane in Chestnut Hill, to a cinderblock-and-glass house that Dad had designed and which Mom and he have ever since referred to as “Twelve-Twelve,” as if it were a Newport mansion or a building of similar historical significance. With the 23 trolley clanking up and down its cobblestone main street, Chestnut Hill, both fashionable and unhurried in its pace, could easily have been a Hollywood set, even a Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post cover. It was there that Mom saw our family as members of the “impoverished aristocracy” and viewed herself as one of Philadelphia’s grandes dames. And, after the war, it was where she and Dad entertained their well-heeled friends, rolling back the worn rug in the living room and drinking and smoking and dancing into the wee hours of the morning to the big bands—Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw—as though they never again would have a care in the world.

But Twelve-Twelve is more than just a place where my parents entertained. It’s where Heather and I grew into our teens, doing pretty much everything that was expected of us. Maybe even a little more. Heather was a high-honor student, president of her class, and captain of the field hockey team at the nearby girls’ school. I started at the local day school for boys but, after eighth grade, went away to the Episcopal School in New Hampshire, just like my grandfather, father, and Mom’s brother, my uncle Robert Peltier, had before me.

I think that’s enough history and will begin my story in 1955. I was eighteen, had just graduated from Episcopal, and was on my way to a summer job in Quebec with my closest friend, Potter Morris. As you will see, this trip, as brief as it was, set the cornerstone for all that follows and altered my life forever. Please know that many of the revelations that I uncover here—several of which my family have jealously kept secret from the outside world—may come as a surprise to you because a number of them aren’t exactly what you’d expect of a family like mine.

Francis H. Delafield, Jr.

September 1968

About the Author
Harry Groome is the author of the novels Wing Walking and Thirty Below and the award-winning Stieg Larsson parody The Girl Who Fished with a Worm. Harry was a finalist for the William Faulkner Short Story Awards and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. His short stories, poems, and articles have appeared in dozens of magazines and anthologies, including Gray’s Sporting Journal, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Descant, and Detroit Magazine. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and holds an MFA in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

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Book Blitz: IN THE LINE OF DUTY by Carolyn Arnold

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He devoted his life to seeking justice. But would she get any for him?

It was an ordinary day for police officer Barry Weir. It was the end of shift, he was tired, and he just wanted to get home to his wife and kids. But someone had other plans for him, shooting him down and forcing him to make the ultimate sacrifice.

When news of Weir’s murder reaches the department, it leaves Detective Madison Knight and every cop in the Stiles PD itching for revenge. It cuts Madison’s boyfriend, colleague, and Weir’s childhood friend, Troy Matthews, deepest of all, driving him away from everyone he loves just when they need one another the most.

With evidence pointing to a gang-related drive-by, Madison and her team investigate the town’s seedy underbelly in search of justice for their fallen brother. But the deeper they dig, the more convoluted the case becomes. Now they need to figure out if this was a random shooting as part of a gang initiation, a straight-up hate crime, or a targeted kill. But with members of the Stiles PD under attack, they have to do it fast…before more officers pay with their lives.





PURCHASE










hero


ABOUT THE DETECTIVE MADISON KNIGHT SERIES

Murder. Investigation. The pursuit of justice. Do you love trying to figure out whodunit? How about investigating alongside police detectives from the crime scene to the forensics lab and everywhere in between? Do you love a strong female lead? Then I invite you to meet Detective Madison Knight as she solves murders with her male partner, utilizing good old-fashioned investigative work aided by modern technology.

This is the perfect book series for fans of Law & Order, CSI, Blue Bloods, Rizzoli & Isles, Women’s Murder Club, and Hawaii Five-O.

Read in any order or follow the series from the beginning: Ties That Bind, Justified, Sacrifice, Found Innocent, Just Cause, Deadly Impulse, In the Line of Duty, Life Sentence (Bonus Prequel).




Author Biocarolyn

CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international best-selling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.

Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives just west of Toronto with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada and Sisters in Crime.




Connect with CAROLYN ARNOLD Online:

Website – http://carolynarnold.net/
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Book Blitz: NO REASON FOR INSANITY by Kevin E. Hatt









Crime Mystery


Date Published: 2/12/16


No Reason For Insanity is a tale of intrigue, concentrating on the thoughts and actions of Haszard, the narrator. It is a whodunit with dark, and occasionally light humour, using lateral thinking as Haszard works through the bizarre murders to discover links. There is tension and danger throughout, plus a desperate fight for survival.


Intrigued by the bizarre events surrounding the murder of a friend, Haszard is asked by the family to look in to the matter. Against the advice of his friends, he begins making enquiries, and is disturbed when he realizes that it may well be someone he knows.
As progress is made, further events occur, endangering the life of Haszard and his friends, and he is forced to delve into the deepest recesses of his resourcefulness . . .

Excerpt




Walking away from the house I said nothing but had a feeling something sinister was afoot. Gerry, a non-swimmer who was terrified of water, would never go near a swimming pool, yet he’d been found in one. Wrong. Everything about this was wrong. Gerry used to joke that he only ever showered because the water in the bath was too deep, therefore him being found in a swimming pool bordered on the surreal.

Why, though, would someone want to murder a man like Gerry? He was probably the nicest man I’d ever met, never having a bad word to say about anyone. Id never heard of him being involved in any kind of conflict—nothing at all. In fact, the same went for the entire family. Sylvia was a church-going lady who involved herself with charity work, raising money for disadvantaged children, seldom going out to restaurants or the like, choosing to remain at home where she organized dinner parties for friends.

Alec’s only confrontation was on the rugby field, the young man spending the majority of his time with fiancée, Loretta, the couple enjoying their weekends in the great outdoors, rock-climbing, canoeing, and pony-trekking.



Donna, who’d not long turned twenty-one, was probably the more outgoing member of the family, although she seldom frequented nightclubs, preferring to see live bands instead. I knew that she’d recently split with a long-standing boyfriend; nevertheless, that was an amicable parting and therefore couldn’t be put forward as a motive for anyone to wish harm on the family, especially her gentle father.



The way that I saw it, there was no reason anyone should want to harm Gerry, and certainly not his loving wife Sylvia or their children, Alec and Donna.



“Haz, are you all right?” Sabrina asked as we entered the car.



I shrugged. “I’m just bothered about what Loretta said. Something’s not right about all this. We’re seeing Vicky tomorrow night, so I’ll ask her what she thinks and if there’s anything she can tell us.”




About the Author




Kevin E. Hatt is a registered medical professional and advanced life support provider at one of his local hospitals. His love of writing began at school, and continued on into his twenties. 

In nineteen eighty-four he began his medical training, and in nineteen eighty-seven began writing what is now the Haszard Narratives. They were, though, shelved when he pursued another love, that of art, and he left the medical profession in two-thousand to become a freelance art consultant, teacher, demonstrator, framer and retailer. In twenty-ten he returned to the medical profession, and also resurrected the Haszard series. He now lives in the north east of England with his wife of twenty-five years and his daughter of twenty-three.





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Book Blitz: COMING TO ROSEMONT by Barbara Hinske









Coming to Rosemont by Barbara Hinske


Women’s Fiction / Contemporary


Date Published: February  18, 2013

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Maggie travels to Westbury for the stated purpose of listing Rosemont for immediate sale, but what she really seeks are answers to her all-consuming questions about her sham of a marriage; her sham of a life. She never anticipated the seductive charm of Rosemont. Throwing her trademark caution to the wind, and over the objections of her opinionated grown children, she pulls up stakes and moves halfway across the country, determined to make a fresh start in Westbury. Behind closed doors, however, lurks a cadre of evildoers, playing with multiple wild cards of fraud, embezzlement and arson.




With a quiet, orderly — and distinctively solitary — life in mind, Maggie is instead thrown headlong into a crusade against political corruption, where defeat and retreat are not an option. Still bearing the scars of betrayal, will she find joy, romance and possibility in Westbury?




This fast-paced, smart novel has enough twists and turns to make the reader want to buckle in!




EXCERPT




From chapter 9




Maggie dropped to her knees and threw her arms around the squirming dog.  “You don’t know how much I appreciate being able to have Eve with me tonight,” she beamed up at John.  “My flight was delayed and I had a Chatty-Cathy car rental agent.  I drove like a maniac to get here. I’m really very grateful you waited.  The lot was empty and I thought that I was too late.”


“It was no trouble.  I was catching up on paperwork,” John assured her.  “I live on the other side of the Square and walk to work, weather permitting.  I usually stop at one of the restaurants on the way home for dinner.”


“Are you done?  Would you like a lift home?”


John knew an opportunity when he saw one.  “I just need to lock up,” he said.  “Are you hungry?  Or are you full of delicious airline food,” he mocked.  When she shook her head and indicated that she was, indeed, starved, he proposed that the three of them walk over to Pete’s for dinner. They could leave her car at the Hospital and she could drop him off at his house after dinner.




From chapter 7




“What do you mean, mom?  Fresh start?  I don’t get it,” Susan finally replied.


“You know how awkward things have been for me with the College crowd.  The new President and his wife are headed in a different direction and don’t want me hanging around.  I don’t feel like I fit anywhere anymore.  Helen is the only friend that I continue to see,” she said.  Maggie raised her hand to hush their objections.  “You both have your own lives.  I need to have mine.  I can run my business from anywhere with a phone and a computer.”


“So you’re thinking of moving there?” Susan choked.


“That’s exactly what I’ve decided to do,” Maggie replied with her best attempt at a firm, confident voice.


“But you don’t know anyone there,” Susan protested.


“Won’t you rattle around in that huge house all alone?  Won’t that make you feel more alone?” Mike interjected for the first time.


“You know, that’s the part I’m most sure of.  That I won’t be lonely in that house.  When the front door closed behind me that first night, I knew I was home.  I never told you, but I checked out of the hotel and moved into Rosemont the night I arrived,” Maggie said.  Mike and Susan exchanged a skeptical glance.  “And you know, the most extraordinary thing happened the next morning.  I adopted a lost dog.  Or more accurately, she adopted me,” Maggie said, and told them about Eve.  “So you see, I won’t be alone there,” Maggie finished.


Both children remained silent.  Astonished, Maggie thought with a measure of satisfaction.





From chapter 4




“Now,” Tonya said, “As you know, I have been calling for an independent audit of Westbury’s books.  At first, I simply thought this was a good practice.  I never dreamed that something could be wrong.  But the more I requested and pushed for one, the more the Mayor and the other Council Members balked and stalled and misdirected the conversation.”


“I grew up the oldest child in a large family,” she continued.  “I’ve heard plenty of wild excuses and tall tales in my time.  My mother always knew when one of us was lying, and I guess I’ve inherited her nose for nonsense.”  At this, a chuckle rippled through the crowd.  “I felt like I was back in my mother’s kitchen with my brothers when these guys were making excuses to avoid an audit,” she said.  “So I got my back up and decided that I was going to find out about the town’s finances one way or the other.  And at last week’s Town Council meeting I finally got my chance.  Mayor Wheeler left the bank statement out on the Council table in plain sight when we went to recess.”  Tonya paused for dramatic effect.  “So I spent my recess pouring through it.  Long story short, the general account is about half of what was reported in the treasurer’s report and the pension fund was short by almost forty percent,” she announced, as a gasp escaped from the crowd.


Side conversations started up all over the room.  Tonya raised her hands and gestured for quiet.  “At this point, I don’t have a good picture of where the money has gone.  I confronted the Mayor and Council when we resumed after recess.  They scolded me for looking at ‘confidential Town information’, as they called it, telling me that I didn’t understand what I was looking at.  ‘Well, enlighten me,’ I said.  Instead, they quickly adjourned the meeting.  I’ve been calling the Mayor and each of my fellow Council Members ever since and no one has been available to take my call.  And they’re not coming to their offices, either.”


“They’ve all gone to ground,” she continued.  “And you hunters in the crowd know what that means.  We have to drive them out of their hidey-holes.  And this is where I desperately need your help.  Each and every one of you.”




About the Author




Barbara Hinske


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Book Blitz: LOSING THE GIRLS and THE ROAD PAVED IN PINK










Non Fiction – Memoir – Self Help – Breast Cancer
Date Published: August 2013



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Readers can delve into the breast cancer journey and beyond in Losing the Girls, a unique memoir differentiated by the author’s cutting-edge nipple-sparing mastectomy (NSM)—a little-known breast cancer surgery technique that leaves the breast completely whole.  Shirley Alarie shares her story to boost awareness of this specialized procedure, which is only offered at select hospitals.  She believes that women facing mastectomies deserve to know all of their options. 




Shirley found that the biggest challenge of her life began with a convoluted breast cancer diagnosis; and then there was the overwhelming array of surgery options.  Mastectomy or lumpectomy?  Single mastectomy or double?  Reconstruction or no reconstruction?  She worried about making the right choice and how her decision would affect her both in the short and long term.  How would it affect her marriage? W as it crazy to choose a hospital three hours from home?




After the surgery, Shirley’s determination to beat the cancer triggered a lifestyle transformation that resulted in a stronger, more empowered woman.  Her deep faith in God and her peace with the afterlife helped shape her response to this life-changing ordeal with cancer—and the love and support of an amazing posse of family and friends, along with a liberal dose of humor and hope, pulled her through the darkness and back into the warm, sunny light.




Losing the Girls is a powerful and uplifting book for every woman—and the people who love them—to read.




What others have said:




As I read ‘Losing the Girls- My Journey Through Nipple Sparring Mastectomy and Beyond’, I was touched by Ms. Alarie’s honesty, humor and spirit that shone through her written words. I cried, laughed and at times held my breath as she took the necessary steps to face her fears and come out the other side of the journey, strong and healthy. Ms. Alarie faced the gut wrenching reality of hearing – you have breast cancer, and now she is a survivor sharing her story with the world. A must read. Lucinda Race




What a fantastic read! From the very first pages Shirley opens up and gives honest glimpses of her life to her readers. Knowing she has a family history does little to take the sting out of her diagnosis. The way she deals with her tests, results, doctor visits and eventual surgery is truly an inspiration for any woman dealing with this disease. Along with writing about her emotional journey, Shirley shares with her readers all the information she has gained from researching breast cancer and what she has learned through her support system of Drs., nurses and the like. Great knowledge for anyone who many deal with breast cancer themselves or have a family member go through it. I found her reliance on God through her ordeal comforting and inspiring. Any reader will feel that they’ve gained a friend by the end. P Walker






 






Non Fiction – Memoir – Self Help – Breast Cancer
Date Published: July 2014



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Lovey’s nightmare has begun. She’s been thrust into a terrifying and confusing journey, joining the nearly 250,000 women who will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. If Lovey is fortunate, she has an excellent support team, also known as Angels. The Road Paved in Pink: A Practical and Personal Guide for Breast Cancer Patients and Their Loved Ones offers Lovey and her Angels the comprehensive guidance needed to withstand the challenges ahead.




Readers will be empowered by the love and support of the many others who have already traveled the same bumpy road.




The Road Paved in Pink is offered with a unique “Pay it Forward” program designed to reach as many people in need as possible. By request via her website, Shirley Alarie will provide a free book to people recently affected by breast cancer, with the stipulation that they forward it to someone else in need when they are finished with it, and so on.




If someone agrees to take a booklet from the Pay it Forward program, they will be asked to sign in to the website and log their first name and location, so we can watch the books travel around the country – and hopefully, the world!




Request a copy of The Road Paved in Pink – Pay it Forward Program at the following link: http://shirleyalarie.com/2014/08/road-paved-pink-pay-forward-program/




What others have said:




This is a very worthwhile read. The author does an excellent job of giving useful information that is very understandable, which doesn’t always happen in the medical field. She is able to tell her story as well as provide the reader with an understanding of the many choices available for their own journey. Also a great guide for families and friends to help them be helpful in what can be a truly difficult time. P Walker




A moving and to the point awesome guide. If you don’t know someone with breast cancer odds are in your lifetime you will. Have this book on hand, everyone involved will need it, as will you. Twenty seven years ago my mother had her first breast removed only to have the other one worked on seven years later. I was there, so wish I had this guide. I have it now and have already highlighted my “talking points”, when I’m faced with being an angel for someone. Marion Brenan












About the Author




I spent the first twenty years of my career in an industrial manufacturing environment, running around the hamster wheel as fast as my legs would carry me. My breast cancer diagnosis jammed on the brakes and forced me to put life in perspective. My journey since breast cancer has been focused on making a positive difference in the world. Stepping off the hamster wheel has brought greater harmony to me and my home. My husband and furry baby appreciate that the “Crazy Lady” of the house is gone and a more “Mellow Mama” has taken her place.




My writing adventure began with Losing the Girls: My Journey Through Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy and Beyond, my memoir, written with the intention to entertain as well as spread awareness of nipple-sparing mastectomy (NSM). My website identifies some of the hospitals that perform this surgery, through the “What is NSM?” and “Where is NSM?” links.




My follow-up, The Road Paved in Pink: A Practical and Personal Guide for Breast Cancer Patients and Their Loved Ones serves to heighten awareness of reconstruction options, among other key topics specific to a breast cancer challenge. I am thrilled to offer the “Pay it Forward” program in conjunction with this book promotion.




Another tool I’ve created to help further the awareness of breast cancer surgery options is a free 11-minute video that describes and shows the various options. Since studies have shown women undergoing treatment for breast cancer aren’t always informed of all of their options, I’m striving to ensure women facing this challenge are able to make fully informed choices. I invite all women to become educated on this topic, as this information might make a huge difference for someone they love. The video can be found on my website: http://shirleyalarie.com/2014/08/breast-cancer-surgery-options-video/




I’d love to have you join me in my journey to making a positive difference in the world!






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Book Blast: KILLING BLISS by EC Sheedy

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Killing Bliss – PROMO Blitz

By E C Sheedy

Date Published: June 2013


Romantic Suspense

One night. Two bullets. Three runaways.

Addy Michaels, living her careful life on a forgotten back road, thinks she’s safe–that her past and its corpses are long buried. Surely after fifteen years the cops have quit looking for the street kids believed to have kidnapped a baby and killed their prostitute foster mother, Belle Bliss.

Addy couldn’t be more wrong.

A cold case. Hot again, when the missing child’s grandmother hires renowned profiler Cade Harding to find her grandson. Cade tracks Addy to her safe haven in a remote area of Washington state. Their attraction to each other is immediate, dangerous, and badly timed because…

Cade isn’t alone.

A twisted killer, faceless and unknowable, follows in Cade’s footsteps–on the hunt for anyone who can tell the truth about killing Bliss.

All roads lead to Addy.

EXCERPT

Cade looked at Stan and Susan, two aging lovers—and he’d decided they were definitely lovers. Susan’s eyes were wide, expectant. Stan’s were judgmental and pissed off.

Cade turned to Susan, genuinely puzzled. “Why now?” he asked. “After all these years, why ask me to investigate now?”

“Mainly because I didn’t know, until your mother’s funeral, that you could help. It was your wife who told me what you did, how successful you were. She was very proud of you, you know.” She paused. “As for your mother? Whenever I asked about you, she said very little, other than you’d ‘taken off and left her alone, just like your father.”

Cade might have protested, except for the glint of understanding in Susan’s eyes, an understanding that no doubt came from years of her lending his mother money. He didn’t bother defending himself, say how he’d kept in touch with his mother until she died and sent a regular monthly check. His business.

“That it?” he asked, wanting to end the conversation.

“No. The big reason is Frank Bliss is being paroled after serving seven years for manslaughter.”

Stan interjected. “Go back a bit, Susie.”

She pursed her lips. “A few months after the murder, I met with Frank Bliss. I’d hoped to learn something the police hadn’t—stupid, I know—but…” She took a few steps, then turned back to face him, her expression defiant. “Ever since, I’ve felt that boy knew more than he’d told.”

“You ‘felt’?” Even though Cade’s career as a profiler centered on building a whole loaf from discarded chaff, he’d learned to distrust the I felt phrase—so often too close to its sister phrase, I wish, to be worthwhile.

“I figured you’d glom on to that word, but regardless, I’ll stand by it. Frank Bliss was either lying or not telling everything he knew.”

“If you consider his mother was brutally murdered—literally before his eyes—why would he lie? What do you think he’d gain from it?”

“I have no idea,” she said. “But ever since the murder, Frank Bliss has been in jail more than he’s been out. I suspect he lies for all kinds of reasons.”

“And his brother?”

Stan answered. “Dead. Knifed in an alley after a fight in some club. About three years after the murder.”

“Unlucky family,” Cade said. “A good psychologist might say it was his mother’s murder that turned Frank bad in the first place.”

“He’d be wrong,” Susan said, “because Frank didn’t like his mother.”

“He told you that?”

“He didn’t have to. It was in his face, in his eyes. I think he was happy she was dead.”

“Even if you’re right, it doesn’t prove—”

She stopped him with a raised hand, her eyes coal hard and direct. “If he didn’t care about his mother, he certainly wouldn’t care about a sixteen-month-old baby. Whatever his reasons, I think he lied.” She waved her hand in a frustrated action, her voice rose. “Maybe he killed his mother, maybe the lies were to protect himself, or his kid brother—”

“That’s a lot of maybes, Susan.” Cade said quietly. “Besides, you said the police checked Brett’s alibi.”

“They could be wrong. It wouldn’t be the first time.”

The room went quiet, and Stan arched a brow and looked at Cade, his expression bordering on sympathetic. “Susie hasn’t let this case go since she found out about Josh. She’s not about to stop now,” he said.

Maybe not, but Cade knew they’d stepped hip deep into the realm of conjecture and magical thinking on a murder that occurred fifteen years ago. “It’s a waste of time. Mine and yours,” Cade said. He hadn’t left WSU to get mired in someone else’s problem, someone else’s grief—or to work a case with a serious case of freezer burn. He’d walked this walk before. Swampland in a fog. “I’m sorry,” he said again, more firmly this time. “I can’t help you.”

Again the room fell to silence, broken finally by Susan’s heavy sigh.

“I didn’t want to do this,” she said. “But you leave me no choice.” She met his eyes, her gaze unwavering. “You do this for me, Cade, and I’ll forget what your mother owed me, which over the years came to over sixty-five thousand dollars.”

She might as well have hit him in the gut with a two-by-four. His breath swooshed out, then he shook his head, muttered, “Son-of-a-bitch.”

“No,” Susan stated in a clear, measured tone. “I’m the mother of a dead daughter who’s missing her grandson. Sons-of-bitches don’t even come close.”

***

Addy picked up her paint gear, straightened, and let her gaze drift over Star lake. Ruffled by the wind, it was a blanket of rippling diamonds in the afternoon sun. She swiveled, her gaze feasting on the tiny property: the cabins, ten of them sporting new paint jobs and looking proud and pretty, the fresh gravel she’d laid in the driveway, and the new sign in amusing fifties-style lettering she’d had done for over the office door. All of it her work, her dream, her safety net.

She headed for the maintenance shed, but hadn’t taken more than three steps before she heard a car turn off the highway and scrunch its way along her new gravel.

She looked over her shoulder to see a Cherokee—maybe three or four years old—pull up to the office steps. A man and a dog—probably the same age as the truck—got out. Knowing Toby would handle them, Addy continued on to the shed and stowed her supplies neatly on the shelves.

The man was coming out of the office as she approached. The big yellow dog, who’d been sitting outside the door, got up, wagging its tail and wiggling its rear end as if he’d been abandoned for a month rather than the few minutes it had taken for his owner to check in.

There were three steps up to the office door. From the bottom one, she said, “Friendly?” And nodded at the dog.

The man smiled and patted the dog’s head. “A teddy bear, especially if there’s food around.”

“Does he have a name?” She ran a hand along the silky fur on his back. She really should get a dog… if she stayed.

“Redge.” He shifted his gaze from the dog and met hers. “What about you?”

Her nerves jangled, and she tucked her hands in the pockets of her overalls. “Me?” she said, sounding confused and stupid and knowing she was neither.

“Name. Do you have one?”

She pulled her hands from her pockets, stuck one out straight as a lance, and said, “Addy Michaels. I’m the owner of Star Lake.”

She wasn’t sure, but she thought she saw him blink a couple of times, his eyes sharpen. He definitely hesitated before taking her hand, then smiled as if he was obliged to, kind of cool and polite. “Addy. I’m Cade Harding. Nice to meet you.”

“Likewise. I take it you’ll be staying with us?” She dropped to one knee to pet the dog, and get out from under his eyes, which suddenly seemed a bit too intense.

“A couple of days at least.” He hesitated. “Maybe more.”

She got to her feet, risked looking up at him. He resembled Gus a little, or how she imagined Gus would look with a few years on him. Dark hair, dark eyes, a bit of stubble around the chin, body on the lean side. Gus’s face would be harder though, colder, not so… bookish or calm. And Gus’s eyes were a strange amber brown, nothing at all like Cade Harding’s, which were a green color that reminded Addy of cedar boughs. “You sound like a man without a destination.”

He didn’t smile this time, but he did tilt his head a bit. Her nerves skittered again when his gaze fixed on her. “As destinations go this will do just fine.”

About the Author:
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EC Sheedy

EC Sheedy lives and writes on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. With the ocean a few steps from her door and Zuke, a 110 pound Rhodesian Ridgeback, sleeping on the sofa in her office, she considers herself one very lucky writer. But her real luck is being married to Tim, her first and final husband.

EC writes both contemporary romance and romantic suspense, the latter because sometimes a nasty and conniving villain pops into my head and she just has to get him out.

She dislikes cooking.

She dislikes nosy people.

She dislikes too many rainy days in a row.

She dislikes snakes.

And the only word she hates is hate—especially when used as a verb.

Authors Links

Website | Tumblr | Twitter

Buy Link

Amazon


This Blitz is brought to to you by Reading Addiction Book Tours

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Book Blitz: SECRETS OF JENKINS BRIDGE

Secrets of Jenkins Bridge by Donna Shields
Buy the book: Amazon  | Barnes & Noble | Soul Mate Publishing 
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publication Date: June 6, 2012

Hunting down a dangerous mob boss has brought FBI agent Mitchell Donovan home, reawakening an old flame, resurrecting a dead best friend, and discovering fatherhood. As if those aren’t enough, his new case will push everything else aside: finding the kidnappers who took the daughter he never knew he had.

Katherine Delaney never forgot the heartbreak Mitchell had caused with his abrupt departure all those years ago. With her dead ex-husband accused of murder and her daughter kidnapped, she will place her trust in the one man who could trample her heart again if she gets too close. But, will the resurrection of Katherine’s ex-husband and Mitchell’s chase for a killer destroy their second chance at love and happiness?



Excerpt

They followed the paramedic toward the ambulance while Gladys and the other woman continued to talk. 

He’d had a nightmare in the early hours before Gladys’ call had awakened him. The Camaro from his dream sat in the same exact spot. Aidan pointed out the car and told Mitchell he had to save ‘her’, whoever that might be. He figured he was about to find out. If, in fact, he wasn’t losing his marbles. 

As they rounded the corner to the back of the ambulance, Gladys stopped short causing Mitchell to nearly colliding into her. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah,” he croaked, and then cleared his raw throat. “What’s the victim’s name?”

The paramedic shook her head, blonde ponytail swishing. “We don’t know. Haven’t found any ID yet, and she’s a little confused. Has a nasty bump to the head.”

He let Gladys climb aboard. Her upward movement stopped in midair, one leg dangling a little too close to Mitchell’s jewels. He jumped back as she whipped around, almost losing her balance. In a barely audible tone, she said, “I know her.”

“You know practically the entire town.” Mitchell gestured toward the victim. “Say something. Who is she?”

Her gaze stared off in the distance above his head. “It’s just so weird. It’s the widow whose husband drove off that bridge.” She pointed toward Jenkins Bridge, the old wooden-covered overpass in the distance.

An icy chill ran up his spine. Gladys moved aside, giving him full view of Katherine Delaney. She may be battered and bloody, but Mitchell could never forget her face, her high cheekbones, or the tiny, turned up nose. Shit.

Their eyes met, and his chest instantly tightened, his throat constricting. Something was wrong. She seemed to stare through him. Surely, she recognized him. He hadn’t changed that much. He managed to find his voice. “Hello.”

Katherine closed her dazzling emerald eyes. “What happened?”

He put his trembling hands behind his back interlocking them. “You were in an accident. What’s your name?”

She shook her head, the confusion apparent. 

“It’s all right. This is Detective Freeman and I’m Detective Donovan.” Would the name register?

If it did, she didn’t react. She closed her eyes and turned her head away from them.

The paramedic announced, “Gonna have to finish this at the hospital after the doctor examines her.”

Mitchell reluctantly backed away allowing Gladys to jump down. Once the ambulance left, Mitchell said, “She didn’t recognize me.” Hundreds of miles apart and fifteen years later, and none of that mattered anymore. He wanted to wrap his arms around her and protect her. What was her life like now? Did she still live on the ranch with Aidan’s mother? Or did she have another whole life somewhere else? 

Would she be okay? What if something happened to her? He couldn’t think like that. He wouldn’t.

“You know her?”

Of course he had. When he left Addison, he had been running from the hurt they’d caused one another. And his mother’s death. And his own demons.. “You keep forgetting. I grew up in this town.”

“What’s your connection?”

He didn’t want to get into his and Katherine’s complicated past at the moment. “We went to school together. Her husband, Aidan, and I were best friends.” 

Gladys’ milk chocolate eyes grew large. “Oh wow. I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be. That was a long time ago.” Life goes on. 



About Donna Shields

I live in the beautiful upstate of South Carolina with my husband, our children, and some great haunts. Besides being a busy bee with my writing, I’m a Mom, a Grandmom, a co-owner of a motorcycle shop and an avid reader. And we love traveling to Mexico and Jamaica when life and finances allow us to go.

I have two books published with Soul Mate Publishing: The Swan Cove Murders, a paranormal romantic suspense, and Secrets of Jenkins Bridge, a romantic suspense. I like writing about things that go bump in the night and finding a new twist to include in my stories.

I can usually be found on Facebook and Twitter (@Donna_Shields), and on my blog. 

Connect with Donna:

Bookmark Blitz Tour: JESSICA by Laura DeLuca





Jessica by Laura DeLuca
ASIN:  B009RBJYL4 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Pagan Writers Press
Publication Date: October 15, 2012

Wilbur was used to going to his college formals alone. He thought the Halloween Ball would be no different. He’s amazed when a beautiful girl in a Victorian costume displays an interest in him and even more amazed to find himself alone with her on one of the campus nature trails.

What Wilbur doesn’t realize is that another woman has her eye on him too. The White Lady returns every Halloween to take revenge on the men of the campus for her brutal murder. She has chosen Wilbur as her next victim.

**The first chapter of Laura DeLuca’s new book, Morrigan (Release Date October 31, 2012), is also included with this short story**

Excerpt:


Wilbur thought he was going to collapse when Jessica wrapped one arm around his waist. He could feel her fingers, soft as silk, touching the nape of his neck with her other hand, and it made his flesh tingle. She even went so far as to lay her head on his shoulder. Her hair brushed against his cheek and the fresh, flowery scent made his vision blur. At first he thought it was just his allergies, but then the whole room and all the people in it seemed to change. The woman all wore full lacy gowns with their hair piled up in fancy up dos, while the men waltzed beside them in tailored suits with long tails and top hats. Even the music had changed from the typical sappy love song to a classical ballad played by a string quartet. He swore he saw the musicians in the corner; their bows sliding effortlessly over the strings of their instruments while their fingers pulsated in perfect vibrato. Even the floor under their feet had changed from the faded gymnasium floor, marked with the lines and circles of the basketball court, to hand laid tile in intricate patterns reminiscent of a Victorian ballroom.

As they circled the dance floor in an oddly quickened pace, the faces of the dancers started to transform even more. The beautiful nineteenth century ballroom aged and decayed, as did the men and women that surrounded him. Grotesque monsters with bloated skin and empty eyes dragged their decaying limbs in slow motion. Wilbur watched them with growing horror, almost forgetting about the girl in his arms. The monsters noticed the stranger among them. They reached for him with fingers green from rot. Catching his breath in fear, Wilbur pulled away from Jessica and very nearly stumbled to the ground. 

About the author:

Laura “Luna” DeLuca lives at the beautiful Jersey shore with her husband and four children. In addition to writing fiction, Laura is also the sole author of a popular review blog called New Age Mama. She is an active member of her local pagan community, and has been studying Wicca for close to eight years. She is the author of four young adult novels including: Destiny, Destiny Unveiled, Phantom, and Morrigan and has many other works in progress.




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