Daily Archives: September 12, 2018

Book Spotlight – Killing the Rougarou

KILLING THE ROUGAROU by Shawn M. Beasley, Romantic Suspense, 492 pp., $22.88 (paperback) $3.99 (Kindle)

 

Title: KILLING THE ROUGAROU
Author: Shawn M. Beasley
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 492
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Author Shawn Beasley captivates readers with the enthralling saga of
two southern families-the Gauthiers from the South Louisiana bayou
country and the Thomases from rural Texas-and the nightmare that will
ultimately touch them both. In her sweeping and richly evocative novel,
Beasley unfolds two remarkable family histories, populated by
unforgettable, deeply human characters, and then rocks their worlds with
tragedy and true horror. A novel that succeeds brilliantly on many
levels, Killing the Rougarou is, at once, moving and terrifying, tense
and thrilling, while capturing the sights, sounds, and vibrant life of
Louisiana’s Cajun country and Brazos County, Texas.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon / iUniverse / B&N

 

Being from South Louisiana, you hear a lot of
folklore. You never actually believe the old tales. You pass the stories on
down to your babies and so on. You never quite believe in them until you meet a
monster. Maybe then, you wonder: Could these stories be true?
 It was the Louisiana State fair in Shreveport, October 13, 1972—Friday the thirteenth, for the
superstitious. The sky was cloudless and the weather perfect for a night out.
The lights from the rides twinkled and it seemed they competed with the stars
in the clear sky with their brightness. It was cool and crisp, the temperature
in the mid-sixties. All that was needed to keep warm tonight was a light
jacket.
 A handsome family of six were enjoying the sights and sounds of
the fair. They had driven up this morning from
Sulphur and would stay at
the Holiday Inn downtown. Matthew Robert Gauthier (pronounced “Go-shay”), the
father of the family, had chosen this hotel because it was rumored the king
himself, Elvis Presley, had stayed here during his Louisiana Hayride days. He
fancied himself to be “the coon-ass Elvis,” and was the only one who did. He
loved to sing and would often sing as loud as he could, mostly off-key. It
drove his family crazy. His wife often joked that Matthew couldn’t sing, so he
had to work in the oilfield. Music had always been in their home and was a big
part of their community.
 Matthew almost always had a big smile on his face and a song on
his lips and so if Matthew was singing, he was dancing. It didn’t matter to him
when or where he performed. He truly loved to dance and sing, and if it
embarrassed his kids, well, that made it even better.
  Matthew and his wife Jessie had been married for just over
sixteen years and he was still crazy about her. They had four children, three
boys and a girl. The baby girl was his world. He loved his boys with all his
heart, but “the Girl” as he called her, wrapped him around her little finger.
She had them all under her spell. As the baby and only girl child, she got away
with everything and usually all her requests were granted. In fact, the fair
had been her idea.
 Louisiana has two state
fairs: one in
Baton Rouge (which they always
went to), and this one in
Shreveport. She learned of the
fair in
Shreveport from school, and
wanted to go up north. As usual, what “the Girl” wanted “the Girl” got! So,
they loaded up the car and would spend their weekend here, in
Shreveport, before returning
south to Choupique Bayou.
 They had been to the exhibitions, looked at the livestock, and
finally made their way to the midway. Tomorrow they would go to the rodeo.
Matthew loved the rodeo: it was where he first met Jessie. A fleeting memory of
that meeting brought a smile to his face.
 Music played through the outdoor speakers that surrounded the
midway. The song playing was “Smoke on the Water” by the band Deep Purple and
was so loud it drowned out the noise from the rides. The smell of hot dogs and
cotton candy was strong near the food trucks parked in a row between the rides
and the games. The games were on both sides of the midway alley and the
carnival barkers yelled for the Gauthier family to try their luck and maybe win
a prize. As they passed through the games, Matthew could sense his boys’
excitement and could barely prevent them from running off to the nearby rides.
The boys were ready to break free from their parents’ supervision and he
enjoyed delaying them. He liked to tease them and it made his day to embarrass
them.
 After he dispensed the rules to his boys as to the when and where
of meeting back up, the boys ran off to enjoy themselves. Matthew called the
boys back to give them each some forgotten money.
 “Come see, boys!” he yelled to the fleeing trio.
 He smiled when he heard them groan. They were worried he might
begin dancing before they could get away. They looked back to see what he could
possibly want. When they turned around, they saw a smiling Matthew as he held
money up for them to see and waved the cash back and forth as if it were a fan.
They grinned back at their father when they realized in their haste to get away
they hadn’t remembered to get money for the rides. Their eyes lit up with
excitement as they each were given twenty dollars from Matthew, and he reminded
them not to be late when they met back up.
 “Don’t make me come and find you,” he warned with a serious look
on his face.
 They laughed at their father and ran off toward the rides,
thankful they missed his dance moves they knew were soon to begin.
 As Matthew, Jessie, and the Girl made their way to the rides for
younger children, Matthew began to dance. Elvis Presley’s hit, “Burning Love”
vibrated through the speakers now and he couldn’t be contained. He grabbed up
his baby girl and adapted his Cajun two-step to the fast beat of the music as
he held his daughter. She laughed while she danced with her daddy and a bright
smile spread across her little face.
 The lights from the rides caught the five-year-old girl’s
attention and twinkled back from her eyes. She was beautiful. She was tiny in
stature.
 “Tiny but mighty,” her daddy would say.
 Her hair was long, auburn, and pulled back in a ponytail. Her skin
was olive-colored and blemish-free. She also had a few light freckles sprinkled
across her nose. She had recently lost her upper-front tooth and lisped when
she talked. She was the spitting image of her mother with one exception: she
had her father’s unusual amber eyes. Amber eyes were also known as wolf eyes,
and as if nature wanted to increase their dramatic effect, they were fringed
with long, dark lashes. Her eyes sparkled brightly and when the dance ended,
she grabbed her daddy’s face and planted a big kiss on his cheek. He put her
down between himself and Jessie and they each grabbed one of her little hands.
 “Come on with your daddy, Girl, the frogs are laughing and time’s
a wasting!”
 They continued on to find the rides for her to enjoy. She was safe
and loved and right where she wanted to be, with her parents. This night at the
fair would be one of the last happy memories she would have with both of them.
This was the night “the music” died in their home. This was the night her
father lost his smile. This was the night she met the rougarou.
#
 He watched them and saw her smile. He knew she secretly smiled for
him. He grew hard as he thought about what he wanted to do to her. She was his.
He would bide his time and follow them. He would take her. They didn’t matter.
It was what she wanted. His breathing grew heavier and his heartbeat
accelerated in anticipation.

 

 

 

 

 

Author Shawn Beasley captivates readers with the enthralling saga of

two southern families-the Gauthiers from the South Louisiana bayou
country and the Thomases from rural Texas-and the nightmare that will
ultimately touch them both. In her sweeping and richly evocative novel,
Beasley unfolds two remarkable family histories, populated by
unforgettable, deeply human characters, and then rocks their worlds with
tragedy and true horror. A novel that succeeds brilliantly on many
levels, Killing the Rougarou is, at once, moving and terrifying, tense
and thrilling, while capturing the sights, sounds, and vibrant life of
Louisiana’s Cajun country and Brazos County, Texas.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon / iUniverse / B&N

 

 

 

 

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VBT – SHADOWS AND SILKS

TourBanner_ShadowsAndSilk

Shadows and Silk Series
(Three Lessons in Seduction/Tempted by the Viscount)
by Sofie Darling

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GENRE: Historical Romance

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURBS

Three Lessons in Seduction blurb

Lord Nicholas Asquith needs his wife. Too bad he broke her heart ten years ago.

Can he resist a second chance at the love he lost?

When Mariana catches the eye of the man at the center of an assassination plot, Nick puts aside their painful past and enlists her to obtain information by any means necessary, even if it means seducing the enemy agent.

Even if the thought makes his blood boil.

Only by keeping his distance from Mariana these last ten years was he able to pretend indifference to her. With every moment spent with her, he feels his tightly held control slipping…

Can she trust the spy who broke her heart?

Mariana spent the last decade forgetting Nick. Now she has the chance to best him at his own game, an opportunity she can’t resist, even as her view of him begins to shift. Increasingly, she wants nothing more than to seduce her own husband . . .

It’s only a matter of time before mad passion ignites, a passion never convincingly extinguished. A passion that insists on surrendering to the yearning of the flesh and, quite possibly, of the heart.

Tempted by the Viscount blurb

London, April 1825

Lord Jakob Radclyffe left his past behind in the Far East. Or so he thinks until a ruthless thief surfaces in London, threatening to ruin his daughter’s reputation. With the clock ticking, Jake needs the scandalous Lady Olivia Montfort’s connections in the art world to protect his daughter’s future.

Olivia, too, has a past she’d like to escape. By purchasing her very own Mayfair townhouse, she’ll be able to start a new life independent from all men. There’s one problem: she needs a powerful man’s name to do so. The Viscount St. Alban is the perfect name.

A bargain is struck.

What Olivia doesn’t anticipate is the temptation of the viscount. The undeniable spark of awareness that races between them subverts her vow to leave love behind. Soon, she has no choice but to rid her system of Jake by surrendering to her craving for a single scorching encounter.

But is once enough? Sometimes once only stokes the flame of desire higher and hotter. And sometimes once is all the heart needs to risk all and follow a mad passion wherever it may lead.

Cover_Tempted by the Viscount

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EXCERPT (from Three Lessons in Seduction)

Cover_Three Lessons in Seduction

“Unbutton your dress?” Nick repeated. It wasn’t possible he’d heard those words in that order.

“Have you spent a single minute of your life bound within layers of corset, shift, and tightly buttoned dress? Has this ever been required for one of your spy missions?”

He couldn’t miss the scorn in her voice. “Never.”

“Then you’ll have to trust me when I suggest that it’s a bloody fantastic idea for you to unbutton me. You’ve done it before, in case you’ve forgotten.”

“I haven’t,” he said, his voice incapable of more than a low, gravelly rumble.

She blinked, and a moment passed.

Reason bade Nick exit the room and abandon the entire proposition. Under no circumstance should he close the distance between them and place his hands on Mariana’s body. Paper thin layers of chartreuse silk and muslin between his fingers and her skin wouldn’t be enough.

A few quick steps could carry him to her.

A few quick steps could undo him.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links

Sofie Darling White Logo

Sofie spent much of her twenties raising two boys and reading every book she could get her hands on. Once she realized that she was no longer satisfied with simply reading the books she loved, that she must write them, too, she decided to finish her degree and embark on a writing career. Mr. Darling and the boys gave her their wholehearted blessing.

When she’s not writing heroes who make her swoon, she runs a marathon in a different state every year, visits crumbling medieval castles whenever she gets a chance, and enjoys a slightly codependent relationship with her beagle, Bosco.

Sofie Darling Headshot

WEBSITE:
http://www.sofiedarling.com/
BUY LINKS:
https://www.amazon.com/Three-Lessons-Seduction-Sofie-Darling-ebook/dp/B074WGWGMK/
https://www.amazon.com/Three-Lessons-Seduction-Sofie-Darling-ebook/dp/B074WGWGMK/

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sofiedarlingauthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sofie_darling
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sofiedarlingluv/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Sofie Darling will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Q&A With … Sofie Darling

Tell us about you as a person.

I love rap music. Sometimes, I need to co-opt that swagger to get my day started and my creative juices flowing.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?

Bill Murray. For the simple reason that I think he’d be fun.

What’s the story behind your latest book?

I read a historical novel set in early 19th century Dejima, Japan and was fascinated by the setting. Before 1854, Japan was closed to all Western trade with the exception of the Dutch and only on the small, man-made island of Dejima located in the Bay of Nagasaki. It wasn’t long before my half-Dutch, half-English sea captain came to me, and his story began to unfold in my mind, then on paper. And Tempted by the Viscount was born!

What is your writing process?

I’m a plotter. There’s this misconception that plotting is drudgery, but, for me, it’s the opposite. First, I tape together several sheets of paper and draw a line across it lengthwise. Then I grab a stack of yellow stickies and start jotting down scene ideas, snippets of conversation, and whatever comes into my head that will go into the story. When I start arranging and rearranging the stickies on the line—voilà!—the story begins to form. For me, this is the most fun and free part of my writing process.

Tell us about your main characters:

Jake is new in London. He’s been a sailor all his life, but he recently inherited an English viscountcy that he didn’t really want. He has two goals: sort out the estate’s finances and find a wife. Well, mostly a stepmother for his daughter Mina. She has a mixed-race heritage and for her to succeed in English Society, she will need a proper stepmother of impeccable reputation to guide and protect her.

Enter Olivia: with her pedigree, Lady Olivia Montfort might perfectly fit the bill, except she’s a scandalous divorcée and has sworn off men entirely. What she really wants is her own townhouse and complete independence.

When Jake’s past in the Far East surfaces in London and threatens Mina’s future. Jake and Olivia must strike a bargain to help each other.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead roles and why?

For Jake, Michael Fassbender with his arctic blue eyes rimmed with navy. For Olivia, Kirsten Dunst with her cute crooked tooth.

What are you working on next?

Book three of my series, Her Midnight Sin, is now in the hands of my editor, so I’ve started work on book four. Her Midnight Sin will release in April, 2019 and features the world-weary Captain John Nylander and feisty Lady Calpurnia Radclyffe, Dowager Viscountess St. Alban, as they vie against each other for the same Devon country estate. There will be pirates and apple brandy. 🙂

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?

I think it’s a good idea for a writer to develop a newsletter and send it out with some regularity. Joining list builders with other writers from your genre can be really useful for gaining new readers.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?

A few months ago, I read Longbourn by Jo Baker. Her attention to Regency period detail combined with a great story about the “downstairs” help of Pride and Prejudice’s Bennett household just blew me away.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?

I consider myself to be a reader extraordinaire.

You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why?

Invisibility. I love observing people, unobserved.

List 5 things on your bucket list:

  1. To travel to Japan.
  2. To have a porch with a view.
  3. To taste absinthe.
  4. To run a marathon though French wine country.
  5. To enjoy *this* moment.

Where can readers find you on the web?

Website: https://www.sofiedarling.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sofiedarlingauthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sofie_darling
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sofiedarlingluv/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16594212.Sofie_Darling
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/sofie-darling

Any final thoughts?

Thank you so much for inviting me for a chat today. This was fun! Xo, Sofie

VBT – Taking Control: Rick’s Story

Taking Control banner

About the Author

Morgan Malone

Morgan Malone is the pen name of a retired lawyer who turned in her judicial robes to write romantic memoir and sexy contemporary romance, which always features silver foxes and the independent women who tame them.

Morgan fell in love with romantic heroes after reading her mother’s first edition of “Gone with the Wind” when she was 12 years old. Rhett Butler became the standard by which she measured all men. Some have met the mark, most have failed to even come close and one or two surpassed even Rhett’s dark and dangerous allure.

Morgan lives near Saratoga Springs, NY with her beloved chocolate Lab. She can be found on occasion drinking margaritas and dancing at local hostelries, but look for her most often in independent book stores and the library, searching for her next great love in tales of romance, history, adventure and lust. When she can’t find the perfect man, she retreats to her upstairs office and creates him, body and soul, for her pleasure and for yours. Remember: love, like wine, gets better with age.

Her recent novel is the contemporary romance, Taking Control: Rick’s Story.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

About the Book

Title: TAKING CONTROL: RICK’S STORY
Author: Morgan Malone
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 170
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Taking Control Rick's Story

BOOK BLURB:

Summer on the Jersey Shore and all Rick Sheridan wants is some solitude at his beach house. Then he spots a lean, leggy blonde coming out of the surf and his plans are shot to hell. And the dangerous looking knife strapped to her arm tells him this is no damsel in distress. As a not-so retired Marine, at 51, Rick’s learned that nothing is for certain, plans can spin out of control and shit happens.

Wounded and weary from one too many wars, Britt Capshaw thought a summer at the Shore, hanging out in her family’s beach cottage, would help her heal. And figure out what to do with the rest of her life. Out of the military, disillusioned and distrustful of any two-legged male, Britt’s one love is Alex, the yellow Labrador retriever she rescued from Afghanistan.

Rick and Britt are immediately attracted to one another, but after years in combat, they are wary of letting down their guard, of giving up control. The summer heats up and fireworks are flying between them even after the Fourth of July. But, ghosts from their pasts haunt them and finally bring them face to face with some dark secrets that may destroy the fragile trust they’ve built.

Can Britt trust Rick with her dangerous past? Will Rick be able to let go of the rigid control he needs to keep Britt and himself safe from more heartbreak? These two brave souls fight against surrendering their hearts and finally finding love. Who will win?

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon

Book Excerpt

He stood before the French doors to the deck, with a large mug of steaming black brew cradled in his hands, letting its warmth take away some of the chill that had surrounded him for the last several months. I’m freezing. And it’s not the air-conditioning. It’s my damn frozen heart. Rick pushed the doors open, letting the heat of the sun and the smell of the ocean sweep into his house. He stepped outside, breathing deep, relaxing just a little. Yeah. This is what I need. A summer at the Shore, a few projects, and plenty of quiet—then I’ll be back to my old self. Chuckling as he mentally reminded himself of just how “old” his self was, Rick raised the cup to take a long sip of coffee.

He saw the figure emerging from the waves almost directly in front of his cottage at the same moment he heard the loud barking of a nearby dog.

What the hell?

She was a modern-day Botticelli’s Venus, with the waves foaming around her legs. Long, long legs, lean and tan, disappeared into a bright blue bikini bottom, just visible under the blue and white swim T-shirt that covered a long, muscular torso. Her arms were raised, her hands brushed back sodden strands of platinum blond hair. A swim mask dangled from her left elbow, dropping down into her hand as she lowered her arms. When she stepped from the surf, the woman gave an all-over body shake, drops of ocean water flying off her, glistening for an instant like diamonds in the early morning sun. Then she dropped to her knees so suddenly that Rick lurched forward, splashing coffee as he looked down for a place to leave the heavy mug before he rushed to her aid.

He needn’t have bothered. From the deck of the cottage to his left, a huge yellow dog was bounding down the wooden stairs two at a time in a mad dash to the woman. She stretched out her arms to the animal just before the happy hound collided into her, rolling her into the sand. The woman’s laugh floated on the ocean breeze. Rick straightened, still grasping his cup of coffee and stepped back into the shadows cast over his deck by the second-floor balcony. From his vantage point, he watched the woman ruffle the dog’s fur, the animal prancing and shaking in spasms of pure pleasure. When had he ever experienced such unfettered joy? Rick couldn’t remember. A long, long time ago…maybe.

Who was she? The owners of the cottage next door were an older couple who spent half the year in Florida and half the year on the Shore. Could she be a granddaughter or niece? Or had the couple decided to rent this year? Rick made a mental note to contact his property manager who handled many of the shore homes and make inquiries. He had not planned on having to deal with a stranger; he just wanted some peace and quiet.

The woman and dog were walking up from the water’s edge. Rick eased toward the open doors of his living room, thinking to disappear into the shadows. He just didn’t feel like an early morning encounter with anyone, certainly not the mermaid with those incredible legs who was ambling slowly in his general direction. He stopped suddenly when something caught the corner of his eye. A glint of sunlight on metal. He reached for his pistol, but his waistband was empty. Damn. What is that woman doing with a diving knife strapped to her right bicep? Who the hell is she?

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