Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Spotlight: Dakota Wedding by Lisa Mondello

Dakota Wedding
Dakota Hearts
Book 6
Lisa Mondello




Genre: Contemporary Western  Romance
Date of Publication: November 30, 2014
Number of pages: 212
Cover Artist: Melyssa Naujoks



Book Description:

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lisa Mondello, book 6 of the popular DAKOTA HEARTS western romance series.

Ian McKinnon was just getting steady on his feet, looking forward to the opening of the Wounded Veterans Center and a big McKinnon wedding celebration, when tragedy struck again. The soldier who'd saved his life while in the military has died. He's charged with his most important mission: find his friend Carlos's family in Mexico or become guardian and raise Carlos's children. The only mandatory stipulation of his friend's will was that Ian live under the same roof with Abby Townsend, a firefighter from Carlos's firehouse. Abby knew the kids well and she could help ease them all through the transition of becoming a family. Okay, so Ian may not be daddy material, but he'd grown up with a whole lot of McKinnons running around. He could handle the kids just fine. The beautiful Abby Townsend was another story.

Abby took one look at Ian and shook her head with utter disbelief. What were her dear friends thinking by naming a man whose nickname was "The Hazard" as guardian of their three small children? She only needed to spend one year in Ian's house in South Dakota. She had to either find Carlos's family, or convince Ian that she was the better person to raise the children. Abby knows how hard it is to lose someone you loved. She'll be there to protect the children in any way she can. But can she protect her heart from falling in love with a man known for taking too many risks...and risk heartbreak again?

Amazon  | BN  | iTunes  | Google Play | Kobo  | ARe  | Smashwords


DAKOTA HEARTS Series:

Book 1 - Her Dakota Man
Book 2 - Badland Bride
Book 3 - Dakota Heat
Book 4 - Wild Dakota Heart
Book 5 - His Dakota Bride
Book 6 - Dakota Wedding

Coming in 2015, check for more Dakota Hearts books.



If you're a fan of western romance, contemporary romance, stories full of angst and emotion, and sexy cowboy and military heroes, then you'll enjoy Lisa Mondello’s Dakota Hearts, Texas Hearts and Fate with a Helping Hand series of romance novels.

Excerpt:

There was a time when the prospect of standing on two feet was beyond Ian McKinnon’s imagination. That had been a darker time in his life. A time he didn’t ever want to go back to again.
As he made his way up the driveway leading to the home he’d spent the last year refurbishing, feeling the early autumn sun on his face, he could finally see light. He felt at peace.
His cousin’s SUV sat next to his Jeep in the driveway. As he rounded the corner, he found Hawk sitting on the porch overlooking the river in the back yard.
Hawk smiled and stood up when they made eye contact. But the look on Hawk’s face immediately told Ian he wasn’t here for a social call.
“Can we go inside and talk?”
Ian sighed and tried to force a smile. “Something tells me I’m not going to like this conversation. So if it’s all the same to you why we just have it right here on the front porch?”
“I was hoping to spare you.”
Ian laughed without any humor. “That bad, huh? Just give it to me straight.”
Hawk shook his head and chuckled low. “You always did things your own way.”
Ian climbed the few stairs and pivoted so he could sit opposite Hawk on the porch. He braced himself for whatever news he was about to get.
“You got a call from Vermont this morning. Your mom took the call. No one has your new number.”
“I didn’t get the new number until last week. I haven’t had a chance to call Carlos and Brenda yet. Both of them are excited to come out and see the house and the Wounded Veterans Center now that it’s nearly complete. But both of them have my cell phone number. They could have used that.”
He was rambling and his stomach hurt just looking at Hawk as his cousin struggled with what he was about to say.
“Carlos and Brenda’s lawyer only had your parents’ telephone number.”
“Lawyer?”
Hawk nodded, taking a deep breath. “Carlos and Brenda are dead.”

* * *

Ian couldn’t breathe. He glanced at his reflection in the bathroom mirror and wiped the cold moisture from his face with a crisp clean towel he’d just purchased at a fancy department store in Rapid City last week.
Two years after a mortar blast in Afghanistan took part of his leg, Ian was not only standing, he was running. And he was looking forward to life again. Soon the Wounded Veterans Center he’d worked tirelessly on with his cousin, Ethan, and Hawk’s girlfriend, Regis, would be open, and they’d be celebrating the McKinnon way with the wedding of Logan McKinnon and Poppy Ericksen. They all couldn’t wait. No one more than Ian. The entire McKinnon clan was coming in from all over the country just for this celebration. Life was finally righting itself.
And now the man who’d given Ian a second chance at life was gone. Dead at the hands of a drunk driver on a winding Vermont road. One day he was enjoying life. The next he and his beloved wife were gone. The only thing left were three children who no longer had their parents.
The knock on the door pulled him out of his thoughts.
“Ian, it’s me. Everything okay in there?” Hawk hadn’t left. Ian knew he wouldn’t. Hawk would stay all day and all night until he knew Ian was steady on his feet. Like always. Hawk had a medical clinic in town. The people of Rudolph depended on him. But they were McKinnons and McKinnons stuck together through everything. Barring an emergency, Hawk would stay as long as Ian needed him or at least until one of his brothers or cousins could come and relieve him.
Ian wiped his face with his towel again, still feeling the jolt of the news. “I’ll be just a minute.”
Closing his eyes, he fought the wave of nausea he hadn’t felt in a long time. But the feeling of loss overwhelmed him. And for the first time in more than a year, Ian wept.



About the Author:


New York Times and USA TODAY Bestselling Author, Lisa Mondello, has held many jobs in her life but being a published author is the last job she'll ever have. She's not retiring! She blames the creation of the personal computer for her leap into writing novels. Otherwise, she'd still be penning stories with paper and pen.

Her popular series includes TEXAS HEARTS, DAKOTA HEARTS and Fate with a Helping Hand. Writing as LA Mondello, her romantic suspense, MATERIAL WITNESS, book 1 of her Heroes of Providence received a starred Kirkus Review and was named one of their Best Books of 2012.

Author Links:
Author Blog  | Series Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads





Monday, April 27, 2015

Spotlight & Giveaway: Scent of the Soul by Julie Doherty

Scent of the Soul
Julie Doherty





Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Date of Publication:  February 11, 2015
Number of pages: 288
Cover Artist: Leah Suttle



Book Description:

In twelfth century Scotland, it took a half-Gael with a Viking name to restore the clans to their rightful lands. Once an exile, Somerled the Mighty now dominates the west. He’s making alliances, expanding his territory, and proposing marriage to the Manx princess.

It’s a bad time to fall for Breagha, a torc-wearing slave with a supernatural sense of smell.

Somerled resists the intense attraction to a woman who offers no political gain, and he won’t have a mistress making demands on him while he’s negotiating a marriage his people need. Besides, Breagha belongs to a rival king, one whose fresh alliance Somerled can’t afford to lose.

It’s when Breagha vanishes that Somerled realizes just how much he needs her. He abandons his marriage plans to search for her, unprepared for the evil lurking in the shadowy recesses of Ireland—a lustful demon who will stop at nothing to keep Breagha for himself.

Book Trailer  


 Amazon  | Amazon UK  | Amazon Canada

Excerpt:

As Godred’s oarsmen shoved off from the jetty, Somerled wondered if there was any man less suitable to deliver a marriage proposal. Godred of Dublin was coarse, marginally Christian—indeed, marginally sane—and easily riled. Nevertheless, King Olaf liked him, and for that reason alone, Somerled had selected him as his envoy.
“No side trips,” Somerled shouted before Godred was too far away to hear. “Ye have three places to go and that’s it: the Isle of Man, your clan, and back here.” Godred was prone to unscheduled detours.
Unless bad weather or the scent of easy plunder pulled Godred and his thirty oarsmen off course, Somerled would have Olaf’s answer in a few days. If Olaf agreed to the marriage, Somerled would add a wife to the items decorating his new castle at Finlaggan and eventually, the Isle of Man to his expanding area of influence.
The nobles would respect him then. Half-breed or not.
Behind him, a door squealed on one of the two guardhouses standing sentinel over the Sound of Islay. The small building spat out Hakon, his chief guard, another man of Dublin birth and temperament. Hakon strode the length of the jetty to join him. “I have every confidence the Norns will weave Godred a successful journey, my lord king,” he said, his words puffing white clouds above his tawny sheepskin cape.
“If your goddesses have woven anything, it’s an unfortunate headwind,” Somerled said. “Godred is forced to tack.” He closed his cloak and secured it at his throat with a brooch he once plucked from a Viking who no longer needed it. “The wind promises hail. My proposal will be delayed.”
“Aye, likely,” Hakon said, his hair and beard whipping into copper clouds, “but it will hasten Olaf’s reply. Do not despair, my lord. Ragnhilde will marry ye soon enough.”
Despair? Somerled stifled a laugh. Did Hakon think he had feelings for a lassie he had never met? He was about to tease his guard about being a romantic when Hakon stiffened.
“Another ship,” Hakon said, looking past Somerled’s shoulder.
Somerled spun around to inspect the northwestern waters of the channel separating Jura and Islay—the jewel of the Hebrides and the island that served as the seat of his burgeoning kingdom. “Where?” he asked, squinting.
Hakon thrust a finger toward the fog bank blanketing the horizon. “There, at the promontory, in that pale blue strip of water. See it?”
At first, Somerled saw nothing but swooping terns and ranks of swells. Then, an unadorned sail appeared. It crested on a wave, dipped low, and vanished.
“Should I sound the horn?” Hakon asked.
Somerled raked his fingers through the coarse, wheaten mess slapping at his eyes and held it at his nape while he considered his response. Behind them, the signal tower on Ben Vicar was smoke-free. Across the sound, the towers on the frosty Paps of Jura were likewise unlit, although clouds partially obscured their peaks. The Paps had a commanding view. If a signal fire blazed anywhere, the men stationed there would have seen it and lit their own.
“My lord king, should I sound the horn?” Hakon impatiently palmed the battle horn dangling at his broad chest.
Men began to gather on the jetty.
“Let us wait. It is only one ship, and it looks to be a trader. The signal fires would blaze by now if it were someone worthy of our concern.” Somerled glanced back at the mud and thatch cottages shouldering against one another. At their doors, the bows of half his impressive fleet rested on the shoreline, a sandy slip extending well into the distance. The rest of his ships sheltered at the far side of Islay, in Loch Indaal. A signal fire would deploy them quickly and, perhaps, needlessly.
“Alert the village. Have Cormac ready Dragon’s Claw,” he said, “but send only the nyvaigs for now.” The nyvaigs were smaller, but no less deadly. They would be out and back quickly.
Hakon sprinted through the gathering crowd and past the guardhouses. He leapt over a pile of rocks with surprising agility for a man of his years and size. In no time, specialized warriors and oarsmen were boarding the boats. A pony thundered inland, its rider instructed to warn, not panic, the people of Finlaggan.
Though Somerled carried his mighty sword, he had dressed for warmth, not battle. His mail shirt, aketon, and helmet hung in his bedchamber, two miles away in Finlaggan. He singled out a boy in the crowd. “Lad, find me a helmet and a shield, and be quick about it.”
The boy shot like an arrow toward the cottages.
Somerled held his breath as he watched the nyvaigs head out. At the first flash of steel, he would blow the battle horn. His men would light the towers and he would board Dragon’s Claw. The foreigner would be sorry he entered the Sound of Islay.
The ship’s features were barely discernible, but he could see that its high prow lacked a figurehead. He was trying to identify the banner fluttering on its masthead when the ship’s sail dropped and scattered gulls like chaff in the wind. His heart hammered against his chest as he waited for the foreign vessel to sprout oars; it didn’t. It stalled—a sign its crew had dropped anchor.
Dragon’s Claw bobbed next to him at the jetty, her top rail lined with colorful shields and her benches holding sixty-four of his savage warriors. Cormac gripped the tiller, but he would move aside when Somerled barked the order to do so. He would serve as his own shipmaster in the face of an enemy.
Low and curvy with a dragon’s head exhaling oaken flames from her prow, Dragon’s Claw was his favorite vessel, not because she was new or particularly seaworthy, but because he had wrenched her from the last Viking to leave his father’s lands.
The memory of that battle warmed him and occupied his thoughts while the nyvaigs swarmed around the foreigner. Then, they swung about, furled their sails, and rowed for home like many-legged insects skittering on the water’s surface.
When the boats reached the beach, Hakon jumped from his nyvaig and jogged through ankle-deep water, apparently too impatient to wait for his men to haul the vessel’s keel onto the sand. “Well, my lord king,” he said, “it seems to be the day for marriage proposals. It is an envoy from Moray, who comes at the behest of Malcolm. He asks to speak with ye regarding Bethoc.”
“Malcolm MacHeth . . . the Malcolm MacHeth . . . wants my sister?”
He had met Malcolm MacHeth only once, at King David’s court, on a night spoiled by ill-bred lassies who had mocked his foreign garb and speech. Malcolm, a bastard nephew of the Scots king, had observed his humiliation and pretended not to notice.
Yet here was Malcolm of Moray, a claimant to the Scottish throne and a known rebel, seeking Bethoc’s hand in marriage. Tainted bloodline or not, Somerled was apparently worthy of notice now.

About the Author:


Something magical happened in the musty basement of Julie Doherty’s local courthouse. She went there intending to research her ancestry, not lose herself in a wealth of stories, but the ghosts of yesteryear drew her into the past and would not let her go. The trail left by her ancestors in those yellowing documents led her from rural Pennsylvania to the Celtic countries, where her love of all things Irish/Scottish blossomed into outright passion.

She became particularly interested in Somerled, self-styled "King of Argyll" and progenitor of the Lords of the Isles. In 1164, he led a fleet of 164 galleys up the River Clyde in an all-or-nothing attempt to overthrow the Scottish crown. What would lead a man of his advanced years to do such a thing?

Of course, history records he did so because the king demanded forfeiture of his lands. But the writer in Julie wondered ...what if he did it for the love of a woman?

Those early ponderings led to SCENT OF THE SOUL, Julie’s first novel, coming soon from Soul Mate Publishing.

Readers will notice a common theme throughout Julie’s books: star-crossed lovers. This is something she knows a bit about, since during one of her trips to Ireland, she fell in love with an Irishman. The ensuing immigration battle took four long years to win. With only fleeting visits, Skype chats, and emails to sustain her love, Julie poured her heartache into her writing, where it nourished the emotional depth of her characters.

Julie is a member of Pennwriters, Romance Writers of America, Central PA Romance Writers, The Longship Company, Perry County Council of the Arts, and Clan Donald USA. When not writing, she enjoys antiquing, shooting longbow, traveling, and cooking over an open fire at her cabin. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, who sounds a lot like her characters.


Author Links:
Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Website



Tour giveaway:
10 bars of soap open to US Shipping
5 Kindle Gift Copies of  Scent of the Soul

Thursday, April 23, 2015

5 Heart Review and Spotlight: Good and Evil The Collection by Micah Persell

Good and Evil
The Collection
Micah Persell

Publisher: Crimson Romance
Publication Date: April 20, 2015


About the Books:

D.C.’s top-secret military operation, Operation: Middle of the Garden, is the exciting backdrop for these strong heroines and sexy heroes who must team up to save the country, and themselves, from the most unlikely of sources: the immortals who hold the secret of the Garden of Eden. Join these four couples as they discover paradise isn’t quite as tempting as real love:

Of Eternal Life: Dr. Abilene Miller is shocked when a dead man jerks back to life in her arms and infuriated when he kidnaps her. He thinks she’s part of a conspiracy; she thinks he’s insane. Only together can they find out the truth—and brave the risks they run in loving each other.

Of the Knowledge of Good and Evil: When faced with prison or joining the undercover operation, convicted criminal Dahlia immediately chooses to become a test subject. Her partner, Jericho Edwards, knows better. He was the operation’s first guinea pig, and he must find a way to save them both.

Of Consuming Fire: A terrible accident places Grace Tucker at death’s door, and Jayden, the cherubim who guards Eden, allows the unthinkable to take place. He lets his intended victims heal her with the fruit from the Tree of Eternal Life. Too bad Grace is the one woman on earth who can bring him down.

Of Alliance and Rebellion: A loyal soldier of the Garden of Eden, Anahita is faced with a daunting mission: to slay the three imprisoned immortals who ate from the Tree of Eternal Life. But once she lays eyes on prisoner Max Wright, her spirit wars with the compulsion to both kill and protect him.


Our Review:

I have read and enjoyed every one of these books and highly recommend them to readers who love strong, feisty women, delicious, noble, and quirky men, passion…and laughter. Well written and compelling, these stories of angel-warriors and their oh-so-human women lead down unforeseen paths, are full of adventure and evil, will have the reader in its grip and on the edge of their seat from the first page. Stark, gritty, and sometimes tragic, Ms. Persell also weaves hope, love, and a whole lotta sexy into her tale.
Much to her credit and writing talent, Ms. Persell makes each story different, fresh, and always leaves us cheering.

Very well done. 

Amazon | BN 

About the Author:

Micah Persell, winner of the 2013 Virginia HOLT Award of Merit for her first novel Of Eternal Life, holds a bachelor's degree in English and a double master's degree in literature and English pedagogy. She is an avid reader of all types of literature, but has a soft spot for romance. She currently teaches high school English classes. Her paranormal romance series, Operation: Middle of the Garden, and her "wild and wanton" editions of Austen's Emma and Persuasion are available through Crimson Romance.

Author Links:
Facebook | Twitter

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Spotlight: Viking Claim by Sky Purington

Viking Claim
The MacLomain Series
Viking Ancestors
Book 2
Sky Purington

Genre:  Time-travel Fantasy Romance
Date of Publication: April 2, 2015
Number of pages:  240
Cover Artist:  Tamra Westberry

Book Description:

Veronica tries to cope with losing her sister but is drawn to everything that seemingly took Megan away. A magical stone. Rune staves. A Viking king. The far distant past. It all seems too impossible to believe. Until she slides down a snow swept hill near Maine's, Raven's Nest cliffs straight into a reality she never could have imagined.

Of dragon blood and brother to the king, Raknar Sigdir 'the hunter' is determined to welcome any woman from the future if it means he can conquer anew for his people. For those he cares about most. However, Veronica, the irresistible woman thrust back in time, soon has his mind less on loot and more on all the things he forgot about himself.

Honor. Decency. Pride. The ability to love.

A pact with the seers hangs in the balance when a ninth century Viking gives in to his heart to protect a modern day woman from a sworn, powerful enemy...his former wife. Rash actions mean an uncertain outcome. A new fate unfolds. An ultimatum is given. A claim must be made. Now all that lies ahead is a challenge that might very well mean the loss of an unparalleled passion found across time.

Amazon  | iTunes  | Kobo BN 

Excerpt:
Raknar was heading in her direction.
Though tempted to take a healthy swig from her skin, she didn’t. Instead, Veronica stood up straighter and waited for him to approach. Believe it or not, she’d never seen him look quite as intent as he did at this moment. As if the devil was coming for her soul but he’d get there faster. Purposeful, focused, he strode up to her. Before she could say a word, he yanked her against him.
Not a kiss.
Not quite.
But so very close.
Eyes nearly shut; his mouth hovered centimeters from hers, his hot breath a whisper over her lips. It was as if they were reliving that moment when he first pulled her down onto the Drakkar longship. Save now they were far closer, unparalleled need pulsating and palpable between them, like a living, breathing thing.
“Raknar,” she whispered before she could stop herself.
Her eyes slid shut. His lips came closer, hovered, rested against hers but didn’t move. Nothing existed but the feel of him against her. A renewed fire, a blatant want that had been there since the moment they first laid eyes on one another.
A shiver raced through her.
Lightning fast, he dug one hand into her hair and the other around the side of her neck. Still they didn’t move. Lips close. Breath mingling. Heat didn’t just flare but roared between them, an untouchable element made to mock, to accentuate the place both fought but needed so very much.
Somehow they were better at this. Wanting but not taking. Needing but avoiding. Pushing but not going all the way. Yet they had that in common. An unwillingness to scale the walls they’d erected.
His lips moved away and his cheek pressed against hers, his whisper close to her ear. “Come. Dance with me, woman.”
In any century.
Raknar gave her no chance to respond before they moved closer to the fire and she was in his arms, her body swaying slowly against his. Veronica dropped the skin of mead, not interested in her drink as she floated, lost. Just like she’d been that first night. Gone within his arms.
Gone within him.
Though it only felt like moments, the night drifted away. The planet turned. The stars moved. Vikings laughed, danced, partied, sang, but never once did Raknar let her go. They moved, touched, but never kissed. His hands drifted over her body not lewdly but worshiping, as though he memorized her every curve, every line that made up her form.



About the Author:

Sky Purington is the best-selling author of fifteen novels and several novellas. A New Englander born and bred, Sky was raised hearing stories of folklore, myth and legend. When combined with a love for nature, romance and time-travel, elements from the stories of her youth found release in her books.

Purington loves to hear from readers and can be contacted at Sky@SkyPurington.com. Interested in keeping up with Sky's latest news and releases?

Author Links:
Website Blog |  Twitter Facebook | Pinterest  

Tour giveaway:
1 $50 gift card to winner’s choice of Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Spotlight: Dancing to an Irish Reel by Claire Fullerton

Dancing to an Irish Reel
Claire Fullerton


Genre: Romantic Fiction
Publisher: Vinspire Publishing
Number of pages: 220
Cover Artist: Elaina Lee for the Muse Designs

Book Description:

When twenty-five year old Hailey Crossan leaves her job in Los Angeles’ music business, she takes a trip to the west coast of Ireland where she’s so enchanted, she decides to stay. Walking into the Galway Music Center, she’s offered a job in a budding business alongside three locals, with whom she becomes the best of friends.

Unexpectedly, in what now seems like fate, Hailey meets Liam Hennessey, an astoundingly handsome, regionally famous Irish traditional musician. Liam, who has never been in love before, is so unbalanced at the prospect of love that he won’t come closer, nor completely go away.

In this rich, layered, tug-of-war along the road to love in rural Ireland, Hailey is surrounded by vibrant characters that help her navigate Ireland’s soulful culture and idiosyncratic ways as she tries to decode her growing relationship with the enigmatic Liam.

A whirlwind foray through the west of Ireland, Hailey comes to Ireland as a fish out of water, but soon ingratiates herself to a land with more soul than any place imaginable.

Excerpt:

There’s an energy that hangs between strangers even in a crowd. Call it interest, or attraction, or the knowledge of things to come. It is awareness, and I was aware to the exclusion of all activity around me that Liam Hennessey was watching me. He was sitting at the corner of the bar by himself, and because I could feel his gaze upon me like an electrical current, I froze. I did not move an inch because I sensed I didn’t have to, that something would come about with little prompting from me. I don’t know how I knew this, but I was right, it came about within the hour. It began as a series of introductions to people near Liam, and drew itself closer until Liam was introduced to me.
Right before Leigh left, claiming she had to get up early the next day to drive to Cork, Kieran pointed out that the Irish traditional musicians playing in the corner were the father and older brother of the lad sitting at the end of the bar.
“That’s Liam Hennessey at the bar there,” Kieran gestured to my right. “He’s the best box player in Connemara – even in the whole of Ireland, many say. His family is long in Connemara; they’re all players, so. That’s Sean Liam, his da, and his brother Anthony there on the guitar.” Kieran seemed proud to know the facts. He next took my arm and led me straight to Liam.
“I’ve the pleasure of knowing this American here, her name is Hailey,” Kieran announced to Liam.
I had an uneasy feeling. It’s one thing to suspect you’ll cross paths with someone again, and quite another to be fully prepared when it actually happens. For some unknown reason, I kept thinking it was strange to see Liam this far out in the country from Galway, but then again, what did I know? I didn’t know anything about him.
Liam looked at me with large dark eyes and smiled brightly. He was different than I had imagined: he was friendlier, more candid. I assumed because he looked so dark and mysterious, there would be a personality to match. I assumed he would be reserved, aloof, perhaps arrogant in an artistic sort of way. I was paying close attention, and there was none of that about Liam. In seconds, I realized he was a nice guy. I moved a step to my right as an older man approached the bar.
“Would ye give us a hand there,” the man said to Liam, and for the next few minutes, Liam handed pints over his head to a group of men too far from the bar’s edge to grab the glasses themselves. Just then, Kieran said something that set off a chain of events and put the rest of the night in motion.
“Liam, will you watch Hailey for me, I’m off to join the sessiun.” With that, Kieran produced a harmonica from his shirt pocket and walked off to join the musicians in the corner.
I stood at the bar and waited for the next thing to happen. The world seemed to operate in slow motion. All the noise in the room subsided, and the only thing I knew was I was looking directly at Liam Hennessey. I searched his face for imperfections. I had never before seen such beauty in the face of a man. I hoped my thoughts didn’t show on my face. He was so good looking, I wondered why other people in the room weren’t staring at him, then I realized most of Hughes’ patrons knew him and were probably used to the way he looked. I was reticent, unsure of how to speak to Liam, unfamiliar with how provincial he may or may not have been. Words tend to get in the way in moments like this, but they lay in wait just the same.
“You’re an American, yah?” he asked in that way the Irish have of answering their own question. “I’ve been to America,” he said.
“Where in America?” I encouraged.
“Boston, New York, Chicago. My cousins live in Chicago. I even went all the way to Niagara Falls.”
“Believe it or not, I’ve never been to Niagara Falls. What’s it like?”
 “Not much, mind you, it’s a nice enough place, but ten minutes after I saw the falls, I was asking where I could get a nice cup of tea.”
“I imagine it would take a lot to be impressed after living here,” I said.
“I’d never want to live anywhere else. Everything you could ever want is here in Connemara.”
And it is, I thought. Connemara has a sense of peace I’ve never felt before.
“Are you long in Ireland?” he asked.
“I live here,” I said. “I live in Inverin.”
“Ah, so you’re just up the road. Me too.”
At 27-years-old, Liam lived with his parents in the house in which he grew up.He was a world-class Irish traditional musician that traveled often to places like Germany, Austria and New Zealand. He was in demand as a player in touring bands because he was a master at playing the button accordion. As such, he was more than a musician: he was the bearer of a torch that represented the history of an old culture. He brought the language of Irish music to regions that otherwise would have never been enlightened.
Being an Irish traditional musician is a feat not easily arrived at. Rather, it is a feat painstakingly achieved. Most of the tunes in a traditional player’s repertoire have been memorized through listening and repeated execution, as opposed to memorization by reading musical scores. Traditional music has been passed down through generational lines, and with Liam’s family, there had been no interruption. His father was a player, and the world in which Liam grew up was one of constant exposure to traditional music as if it were a language. I came to realize much later that Liam’s first language was music, his second language was Irish, and his third was English.
“So, you must be another American looking for their roots, then,” Liam stated.
If that was a question, then it’s a fair one, I thought.

“Actually, I’m working at the Galway Music Center,” I said, then I followed with my poetry aspirations, hoping to impress upon him I was not just passing through.

Amazon Kindle and Print

About the Author:


Claire Fullerton is the author of Paranormal Mystery, A Portal in Time. She is an award winning essayist, a contributor to numerous magazines (including “Southern Writers Magazine) a former newspaper columnist and a four time contributor to the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” book series.

She hails from Memphis, TN. and now lives in Malibu, CA where she is working on her third novel.


Author Links:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads



Tour giveaway:
1 e-book copy Dancing to an Irish Reel

Friday, April 10, 2015

Release Day Blitz: Jayded by Shevaun DeLucia

Jayded
Shevaun DeLucia


Genre: New Adult
Release Date: April 10, 2015

Photographer/Cover Designer:
George Parulski

Book Description:

Maxine Daniels was made an offer that she couldn’t refuse. She couldn’t think of a better time—after breaking things off with her fiancé—to change cities and merge her company with Saunders Literary Agency. At thirty-three, she isn’t getting any younger, so it’s time to start fresh and leave her past behind.

What she doesn’t anticipate is the diversion that lies ahead. Kyle Saunders is a catastrophic tsunami that enters her life and consumes her world in just a matter of minutes. Everything about him is telling her no, but her heart and the heat between her legs is screaming yes. He was never a factor in her divine plan—nor was she in his.

Kyle is the cliché bachelor; he is a twenty-four-year-old charismatic chick magnet who refuses to settle down. He’s dead set on living the carefree single life—that is—until Max comes strolling in. Then all his ridiculous rules fall to the wayside.

Who knew that just one hello could alter their lives forever?

Add it to Your Bookshelf on Goodreads

Amazon

About the Author:


Shevaun DeLucia lives in upstate New York with her husband, four children, and two dogs. As a stay-at-home mom while her children were young, she fell in love with reading. She indulged in the small moments that took her away from the reality of her loud, overly rambunctious household, bringing her into a world of fantasy. When reading wasn’t enough to satisfy her, she turned to writing, determined to create the perfect ending of her own.


Author Links:
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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Spotlight: Bound by AM Hudson

Bound
Bound Series
Book One
AM Hudson




Genre: New Adult/Paranormal
Publisher: AM Hudson
Date of Publication: April 20, 2015
Cover Artist: AM Hudson




Book Description:

Elora can speak to the dead, but she has an affinity with the undead.

Born of immortal blood, her curse not set to trigger until around her twenty-fifth year, she was sent away to remain unaware of and hidden from the world of magic. And from vampires. But after Elora befriends the cocky, self-loving Ric Mason, she discovers secrets about him and his distant link to her family that reshape her entire world.

A dark, sexy three-book series that will have you screaming for more...

Preorder at Amazon

Excerpt:

In my state of distraction, I hadn’t noticed how far into the prison we’d walked. I passed the other tour group on my way out, trying really hard not to advise a few people to check over their shoulders, and when I reached the yard, I stopped dead. A wide space of black grass, darkened by the absence of the orange lights and by the high cream wall, stared back at me, empty and oddly quiet. Usually, there were other groups lingering after their tours, but tonight … no one. Nothing. Not even flashes of torchlight showing the whereabouts of the rent-a-cops.
A cold shiver passed over me, pushing the summer heat away from the thick walls behind me.
I put my head down and brought my shoulders up, making myself as small as possible, casting my eyes to the glowing streetlight outside the prison gates. A hundred paces across the yard, that’s all that stood between me and freedom. A hundred paces through almost pitch darkness. A hundred paces past four ghosts that just made themselves visible to me, knowing I could see them.
They all looked up as I stepped out onto the grass, their eyes falling on the tight fist of fear in my chest. My heart raced as each step drew me closer, and I tried to remind myself that they had no physical power. They couldn't actually hurt me. I hoped.
Tales of horror, of the tortures and other atrocities that led these murderers to prison, filled my head as I walked between them. I could feel the hairs stick up on the back of my neck as another one came up behind me. I wasn’t sure who it was, but his energy felt dark and menacing. Every cell in my body screamed at me to turn around and just take one look. But if I did, or if I ran, they’d know I was afraid and they’d feed on that—they’d follow me, most likely outside the prison walls and to my car. If I let them think they had no power over me, they might let me be once I reached the gates.
My breath hitched and my stride shortened as I quickened my pace. I hugged my chest, holding tight to the keys, but as I my heart leaped forward, just six steps away from the gates, my hand went loose for no reason and the keys dropped to the ground. The clunk didn't register until I stepped outside the prison walls and as I spun around to look back at the shiny metal cluster—a few steps away into the pitch blackness I’d just walked through—the spirits closed in, standing shoulder to shoulder. No faces now. No form. Just wavering pulses of light. They hovered there just in front of the keys as if challenging me to cross the threshold back into the prison.

About the Author:

AM Hudson lives and works in Australia. She has four sons, a husband that plays in a band, and writing is her full-time job. In her spare time she reads books and spends too much time on Facebook.

Some of her works include: The Dark Secrets Series (complete), and Willa Wicked.


Author Links:
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Monday, April 6, 2015

Spotlight: Typewriter from Hell by Diane Cox

Typewriter from Hell
Diane Cox




Genre: paranormal romance, romance suspense
Publisher: Opal Creative Enterprises, Inc.
Date of Publication: November 2013
Number of pages: 147
Cover Artist: Rebecca Poole
Dreams2Media



Book Description:

Unemployed librarian Ellen Brinson submits her steamy manuscript to literary agent Henry Morgan. The only thing they have in common is that they are both desperate for money. Henry believes the unfinished piece is his ticket back to the big time.

His hopes for a winner are thwarted when Ellen falls in love and is offered a cushy job. As her interest in finishing the manuscript wanes, Henry's desire to get it published increases.

Enter the Typewriter from Hell. Ellen can't stop writing. The old Corona is a magnet and it's wrecking Ellen's new romance. Henry will pull any dirty trick he can think of to win - and he does!

You'll laugh your way through this fast paced suspense story and you'll never guess the ending.

Book Trailer

Amazon


Excerpt:

Chapter One

Ellen Brinson peered over her half glasses at the messy typewritten page. The ‘e’ on the old Corona was so occluded it looked like a giant dot. She quickly read through the last few paragraphs she’d just pounded out. She had a screaming headache.
Where the Hell was this stuff coming from? It was true she’d always wanted to write. Her MLS in library science was all about Ellen’s belief that she couldn’t write, so being around books was the next best thing. But, this, this stuff she was typing -- she’d never done the things, never even known anyone like the people in this story.
It didn’t matter. Six more weeks and her unemployment was going to run out. The stress of not having a job for two years, of trying to find something else she could do to earn a living and getting nowhere, the sheer desperation, was about to drive her crazy. This book was the only hope she had right now, and she clung to it.
Rubbing her eyes, Ellen stretched and the old afghan that covered her lap slipped to the floor. This damn dump was so drafty; she was always cold. Pushing her chair back, she moved to the other side of the room where a row of cabinets and a miniature stove and fridge masqueraded as a kitchen. She poured a cup of hot water from the kettle warming on the stove and dunked a tea bag in it. Then, she reached under the sink and found a pint of vodka, splashing a liberal shot into the tea mug.
The mug cradled in both hands, she plopped down on the rumpled bed that dominated the small room, and leaned back against the wall. Sometimes she felt like she was someone else. Maybe that explained what happened at the typewriter. Or maybe she was just going nuts. That was probably it.
Ellen took a big gulp of the spiked tea, her mind running in circles like a hamster on a wheel. She had to do something, even if it was wrong. She got up and crossed to the rickety wooden table that held her typewriter. She grabbed the messy pages of the manuscript that had been pouring out of her for the past three weeks. Automatic writing, wasn’t that what they called it? Ellen read a paragraph at random:
Serena slid a glance at the senator next to her. With a twitch of her shoulders, she hit him with a blast of décolletage, and then sent her tongue on an exploratory tour of her mouth. She could feel the man heat up like a kitchen stove.
 Another sideways glance confirmed that the front of his pants now looked suspiciously like a tent. Turning her head to look directly at him, she lasered him with the 100 Watt Sex Bomb Smile. Tossing her head back, she trailed her long, red fingernails down her arched, white neck toward her bosom. Then she rose and wiggled her way across the room, giggling to herself.

My God, what crap! Where had it come from? All the same, it was so trashy that maybe it had some potential for being published. It reminded her of the stuff written by Isabel Ritter –no, Isabel Rider.
Rider - she got a visual of the author astride a naked man, bucking in unabashed lust. Ellen laughed out loud, then as quickly sobered as the gravity of her situation struck her.
She ran her fingers through her curly hair. What could she do with this stuff? She needed to send it out to somebody, but who?
And, why would they read it? She was nobody, unpublished. She didn’t even have a friend at a publishing house. She knew a few writers, but they were mostly historians. They would be appalled if she asked them to pass this trash on to their agent.
She read through the pages again. What the Hell. It’s worth a try. Taking in a deep breath, Ellen jumped off the sagging bed, pulled her parka on over her sweats, and tugged on some mukluks. Slamming the door to her flat, she descended five floors of walk-up, her mukluks slapping against each step.
A late spring snow was lazily drifting down as she pushed through the front door of her building, cursing as a splinter poked her hand. She hated this dump. She was beginning to hate New York. Ellen had come here with such high hopes, sure she would discover the glamor and excitement that beckoned in so many novels. Instead, the reality was that New York was no fun for the poor.
In spite of her disappointment, the farmhouse in Iowa where she’d grown up still didn’t look good to her. That was something. Her mother would make her life a living Hell if she had to go back home, broke. Only her father had believed in her dream, and he’d been dead five years now.
“Watch where you’re going!” A guy in a plaid wool jacket bumped her as he passed on the busy sidewalk. She turned into the Strand book store, and headed straight for romantic fiction.


About the Author:

Diane Cox lives in Atlanta, Georgia with two dogs and two cats. She loves to garden, snap photos of her flowers, and dine out with friends.  She works hard for her money, so she squeezes in her writing early in the morning.

Some years ago she fell in love with the true story of one of her neighbor's pioneer ancestresses. After seven years of rewrites, she had learned about the craft. Her next tale -"Typewriter from Hell" was a complete departure from the first, incorporating romance, satire and a bit of fantasy. This year she will bring out a third project, and once again writing will be part of the plot.

She has been in love with books and reading all her life and has always wanted to write. Finally it has happened.


Author Links:
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