Monthly Archives: December 2019

VBT – ONCE UPON A TIME, BITCHES

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Once Upon a Time Bitches

by Branden LaNette

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GENRE: Self-help

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BLURB:

That’s Branden on the cover. Yes, she has a boy’s name, a Mom bod, and her tattoos are not photoshopped. She doesn’t look like your typical author and she sure doesn’t look like the next self-help Instagram sweetheart. 

However, besides being a wife, mom to six kids (plus others with fur), coach and business owner, Branden is the author of the new book, Once Upon a Time, Bitches. It’s a fast paced, in your face, expletive laced, nothing held back message to women everywhere: There is no magic fairytale, but if YOU work at it enough you can come pretty close to creating your version with a happily ever after. 

But first, no more whining and no more damsel locked in a tower, bullsh*t. Is it possible to design a fairytale life? Control your destiny? Be the hero in your story? Branden thinks there is and she wants to help you.

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EXCERPT

Ever since I was 8 years old, I dreamed of an easy life. The problem with my dream? I expected that fairytale life to be handed to me. And when it wasn’t, I decided that fairytales were bullsh*t. Not that you can’t have a fairytale life—you can. What I understand now, however, is that to get a fairytale life, you’d better be willing to work your Cinderella-ass off for it.

Still, I held on to the fantasy of having an easy life handed to me. I wanted to be saved. To be specific, I thought I needed a guy to be my hero. So I went about trying to find one.

I dated a lot of guys. Lots of guys.

But as they came and went, I always ended up disappointed. Not a single one of them ever made my life easier. Things weren’t going the way I’d planned. WTF? Hadn’t anyone read the f-ing script? It was right there on page 43:

Tall handsome guy with tight ass, great pecs and a 124-foot yacht named “Sh*tload of Cash” enters stage-left and sweeps Branden off her feet, and they sail off to Barbados.”

Even in my adult years, I would find myself just wishing—not just for prince charming to appear (which he eventually did in the form of my husband, minus the yacht and gobs of cash) but wishing for things in every area of my life. Even today, in my writing/coaching career, I find myself drifting into wish-mode: Why isn’t this easier? Why can’t things just take off and grow overnight? Is it always going to be this hard?

And when it comes to parenting, it’s the same thing. Why can’t parenting just be easy? And in my marriage, too: Why do I have to keep asking for things? Can’t my husband just read my f-ing mind?

One day I—still 8 years old—had the most terror-filled realization in a simple yet profound truth:

No one is coming to save you.

F**k. No one is coming to rescue me. Ever?

My heart broke. More like shattered. Yet, after taking some time to mentally digest this fact, I found this realization liberating somehow. Why was this liberating? Because it meant I could stop waiting for something outside myself for my salvation.

It put me in control. Newsflash, bitches: No one is coming to save you, either. Get it? No. One. Is. Coming. You’re going to have to save yourself.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Branden LaNette doesn’t look like a typical author but she has long ignored what she “should” do, say and look like. On her own at a very young age, Branden eventually found herself with the wrong guy, the wrong job, and a bleak future. The fairytale she was promised as a child never materialized.

Finally, Branden decided that she wanted something different for her life, and realized no one was going to do it for her. Prince charming wasn’t coming to save her—she’d have to save herself.

Step by step, decision by decision, through major trials and tribulations that would stop most people in their tracks, Branden learned how to turn heartbreak into happiness and self-judgement into inner joy.

Today, Branden LaNette is an entrepreneur, coach, speaker, wife, and stay-at-home Mom to six C-section babies (ages 1-16) and way too many f-ing pets. Somehow, however, she manages to juggle all of this effortlessly (a blatant lie) while pushing her way through the kinds of fear and self-doubts that whisper within all of us (totally true) to achieve her goals. Her most recent dream come true is this book, one that is destined to have a major impact on millions of women across the globe (or at least nine people in Michigan.)

Through it all, she has found her happiness, her joy, and more importantly, her voice. 

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Contact Info:

Website: BrandenLanette.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Branden.Lanette

Twitter: @Branden_Lanette

Instagram:@@Brandenlanettel

Hashtags: #OnceUponaTimeBitches #OUATB

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Once-Upon-Time-Bitches-Fairytale/dp/1947814869/

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Branden LaNette will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

 Enter to win a $50 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Thanks for being here today. Tell us about you as a person.
If I had to sum up what makes me, me… it would be my strong rebellious streak. Just when I get put in one category, I flip the switch to make sure I don’t fit in there at all. I thrive on not belonging. I find comfort in being alone with myself in a quiet room. I live for those moments outside of the chaos that normally defines me. I like walking to the beat of my own drum, I like taking the Long Road and secretly I get strength from learning things the hard way, so I do this on purpose. 

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
If I could hang out with someone famous for a whole day, it would definitely be “Deadpool.” He is my spirit animal. 

What’s the story behind your latest book?
Once Upon a Time, Bitches happened because of the personal journey I was experiencing. I wondered how many people could relate to what I was experiencing. Wishing, hoping, just wanting things to be easier and not fully excepting that you just have to be better. I wanted to empower women to save themselves and stop looking for answers in other places and other people. 

What is your writing process?
Currently, my writing process is escaping the family and getting a hotel room and pumping out as many pages as I can in the course of a few days. Music isn’t the priority, I really am a fan of a quiet room. However, there are times that I need to get out of my own head and escape into the words I’m writing and music does that for me. I can listen to anything from country to death metal, 80s rap probably being my favorite. 

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why.
I love this question because it makes me think of my dad. His favorite actress is Jennifer Aniston. That’s the only reason I would want her to play me, as a tribute to him. 

What are you working on next?
I have some personal development training currently released in a test group, so I’m hoping to have that launched publicly soon! Of course the second part to Once Upon a Time, Bitches is also coming in 2020. My mind is constantly moving around how to make it bigger and better. 

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?
Network, network, network. Show up at places that hold your readers, don’t be afraid to promote yourself, if you can’t share and brag about what you’re doing, how would you expect anyone else to? 

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?
My favorite book is, The Secret. My current favorite read right now, because I’m finding I have blocks on financial issues, is Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. I will take one book and just submerse myself into it for weeks at a time, audio, I read it, I take notes. It’s my secret power.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
You know what’s really f**king cool about me? I’m super good at anything I choose to be good at. I spent some time decorating cakes for people. Like, really f**king awesome cakes. it was a hobby that I moved on from, but I was really good at it. I’m a psycho super speed reader. I also write as fast as I can read. I also make a really pretty babies! It’s probably easier to talk about the things I’m not good at. Like, live videos or public speaking hahahha! 

You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why?
If I had any superpower, it would be that I could travel and manipulate time. I really love being pregnant and having babies, just that whole nurturing spirit in my soul craves having an infant in my arms, babies grow so fast. I want to rewind time and just experience the kids I have now all over again. 

List 5 things on your bucket list:

My bucket list:

  • I want to take my kids on a world tour of REAL history.
  • I want a TV show.
  • I want to be on the New York Times bestseller list with every book I write…
  • I want to publish a fiction book.
  • I want to tour with Tony Robbins.
    Not in that order. haha.

VBT – Jay Got Married

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About the Book

Title: Jay Got Married

Author: James Robinson Jr.

Genre: Non-Fiction Humor

Jay Got Married consists of 9 humorous and, at times, poignant essays chronicling the ironies of everyday life in word and picture. Take for example the lead essay, aptly titled, “Jay got Married,” where I find myself mired in a horrendous dream.

In the fantasy, my aging father–dressed in his favorite Champion t-shirt with stains covering the front–marries my wife and I like he did 42 years ago but, this time around, the my 92-year-old ex-clergy dad forgets his lines causing me to coach him through the event with hints like: “ask for the rings, ask for the rings.” All the while, my best man sings Sonny and Cher’s, “I Got You Babe.”

Finally married, my wife and I end the ceremony with a kiss. But as I turn to exit, my eyes catch a glimpse of the bridesmaid who is no longer my wife’s best friend but now Gal Gadot from Dell Comics and Wonder Woman Fame. She is dressed in full Wonder Women regalia and looks totally shocked by the whole affair.

My mother turns to my father (now in the audience) with a quizzical look and says, “Dad, look at that bridesmaid. Isn’t that Superman?” She doesn’t get out much.

As we exit the church, and the bubbles fill the air–no one uses rice anymore—my wife ignores the limo and takes off on a sleek motorcycle, leaving me in the lurch—hence the cover.

Sure, it’s sounds crazy. But, in truth, isn’t the world of marriage crazy these days? In my case, what would one do when faced with the prospect of losing their beloved wife after 42 years? At age 67, would they remarry? Would they even want to remarry? These and other marital tidbits are discussed with humor and as much reverence as I could muster.

P.S. The author pairs up with Wonder Woman again in a final bit of photo wizardry Why? How? How are tricky copyright infringement laws avoided? Read Jay Got Married and find out.

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Links

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

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jamesjr3?ref=bookmarks

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/James-Robinson-Jr/e/B0074O0QLI/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

Get “Jay Got Married” from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1687046670/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i3

EXCERPT

CELEBRITY

Because We Need to Know

Who’s living with whom, who’s breaking up with whom, who’s having sex with whom? In the scheme of things, do we really need to know? Does the public really have the right to hear about the intimate details of the lives of the rich and famous? Well, guess what! You’re damned right, we do. It’s called celebrity. And they say that’s what famous people have signed up for. They may not have realized they were making a pact with the devil when they scribbled their name on the dotted line (You see, their eyes were all blurry with the prospect of fame and fortune.), but that’s what they did.

Had they read the small print, they would’ve seen the following:

The public, including all the losers, bozos, Walmart dwellers…”

…and sociopaths, whom I never would’ve come within ten feet of prior to success, will have all rights and privileges to my family, property, belongings, and garbage, should they choose to go through it.”

Translation: “Any member of the creepy public, as well as the paparazzi and my adoring fans, can get all in my shit any damn time they please, without so much as a Hello.”

I’ve never attained celebrity status, but I often wonder what it’s like. They say everyone gets their 15 minutes of fame, but frankly, that isn’t nearly enough. It could be wasted on some real bullshit. It could come when you happen to witness some “exciting” event. You may find yourself in the middle of a holdup or carjacking.

Oh, look, there’s Sharon!” friends and family might say, as they watch the evening news. “They’re interviewing her about that drug bust over on Carson Street. Guess that was her 15 minutes. That’s it for her. Boy, that sucks.”

Sharon would reply, “Wait, that didn’t count! I want another chance!”

I’ve fantasized about my name being a household word. Remember when Kim Kardashian flashed that $4,000,000 ring on social media, alerting every criminal in the free world to the fact that it was there for the taking? Well, when she was gagged, tied up, and robbed in her French hotel room, celebrity status lost a bit of its luster for me. Kim thought her life was over and was shaken up for a long time. But it’s all a part of the superstar experience. And for me, the charm quickly reappeared when I found out that she is worth $100 million.

Sometimes I like the idea of fans approaching me and asking me for autographs or for photos with them. You know, these days, those in the cellphone generation ask celebrities for selfies. Such a request would make me feel good for the moment—the thought that these people like me enough to approach me and ask for my name on a piece of paper or to record my picture on an iPhone.

As an author, I have written my name on the inside covers of my books when asked, but it’s not the same thing. Being recognized and summoned for a signature is attention based on fame and notoriety, which is quite different.

Sometimes rock stars, rappers, and other music artists are asked by crazed female fans to sign their body parts. “Here,” a young girl might say, pulling down her top, “sign my breast.” I’ll never be asked to do that. But if it were to happen, and I did it, my wife would shove a dagger through my heart.

James,” she would say. “Have you been signing women’s breasts?” I might gather the strength to nod. “I hate to do this, but…”

She would regret it afterwards.

VBT – Refraction

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About the Book

Title: Refraction

Author: Terry Geo

Genre: Science-Fiction / Fantasy

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Most stories start at the beginning; this one begins at the end. At least for Maria. Her sudden death sends shockwaves through her family and pushes her grieving mother to the very brink of insanity. After exhausting every avenue conventional medicine has to offer, Maria’s father, Henry, brings together the world’s greatest minds in the hope of carving out a new path. Months pass, and as Henry watches his beloved Elena slowly drift away, he begins to lose faith. It is only then that a solution presents itself. A discovery so momentous, it saves Elena and reveals the most important scientific and technological breakthrough in modern history.

Silicate is founded; a privately funded facility which delves deeper into the human mind, able to discover answers to questions we are yet to ask. Securing Silicate’s secrets becomes of utmost importance; even after treating hundreds of patients, the public are still unaware of the wonders and terrifying reality Silicate has unearthed . . .

The world you know is only half the story.

Author Bio

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Born in Derbyshire, raised in Yorkshire, resides in London, Terry learned from a young age that he was different from his peers. He preferred the company of girls over boys, didn’t like sports and would write at every opportunity. He was bullied throughout his school life both physically and verbally and had to deal with the cruelty of others from an early age.

Terry Geo wrote and directed his first play at age eleven. At sixteen, he started work in television, writing scripts and becoming the youngest director in the country. Terry applied for a job while taking his final exams and started work in television the week after he finished school. For the first time in his life, he found a world where he could shine and be accepted for who he was. He came out as gay to his parents the following week and never again hid his sexuality from anyone. At seventeen he became the youngest director in the country, producing a light entertainment show for Yorkshire Television. After a short stint in a boyband, Terry went back to writing, editing two national publications. He toured the world as an actor, moved to London and in 2017, wrote and directed a musical for the London stage. A year later, Terry married Ken, the love of his life, in London. After their honeymoon in Thailand, he returned to a book he had started some years before. In January 2019, his cat Megara sadly passed away. This hit Terry hard and in memorial to her, he wrote her into the book he was writing. She is now a part of Terry’s debut published novel, Refraction.

Links

https://refractedworld.com/

https://twitter.com/terryjgeo

https://www.facebook.com/refractedworld

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07XDC1PPS

Giveaway

Win an eBook copy of Refraction during the tour!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/OWVmMzUzNWJlY2NjOWExMTIxY2QwNzQ2NmEzMTdiOjYwMw==/

Book Excerpt

ONE

And you think he’s trapped us in here out of spite or something?” Isabell asked.

I can’t say I understand his motives, but the system logs show he was the last person to enter this room before today. Until we have more information, that’s the only explanation I can come up with.”

What do we do now? Just wait until someone lets us out?” Jake asked.

I’m afraid that’s not an option. The nearest washroom is on the other side of that locked door, along with the kitchen, so we have no food or water. The next person with access to Archeus won’t be on duty until six a.m.”

You’re saying we have to hold our bladders for another six hours?”

Sorry, I meant six a.m. on Monday.”

What?” Isabell, Jake and Ryder cried in unison.

And that’s assuming we’re reported missing and they come to check Archeus.”

That’s insane. How are we going to manage that long?” Isabell asked.

That’s not even our most immediate problem.”

What do you mean?” Ryder looked hard at Padman.

I can’t access the main network on the computer, but I was able to search through the folders specific to this room. In the system logs is a live-feed measuring the air quality. It’s dropping. I checked why that might be, and I believe the air circulation system has been manually switched off. This is a vacuum-sealed room and as you can see, there are no windows to crack open.”

How long do we have left?” Ryder asked.

There are stores of air to feed this room and as long as we —”

How long do we have, Padman?” Jake asked nervously.

A little over an hour.”

Panic set in for Isabell and Jake, whose eyes were now darting around the room, searching for an opening of any kind. Ryder maintained more composure.

Do you have any suggestions?”

Only one, and I would use it in a heartbeat, but —” the doctor turned to Isabell “— your cat being here terrifies me more than the thought of us all suffocating to death.”

Spotlight – THE STORMWATCH SERIES (Spotlight on Book 2: Deep Freeze)

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions.

STORMWATCH series blurb:

The storm sweeps in like a thief in the night… Winter storm Holly is the worst in eighty years bringing high winds, subzero temperatures and snowfall better measured in feet than in inches. The weather paralyzes everything in its path, but in this storm, weather isn’t the only threat.

A new installment of STORMWATCH releases each Thursday starting December 5 through January 9. Each thrilling full length novel is a standalone story with no cliffhangers. Don’t miss a single one from half a dozen of the genre’s bestselling storytellers!

December 5 – Frozen Ground by Debra Webb

December 12 – Deep Freeze by Vicki Hinze

December 19 – Wind Chill by Rita Herron

December 26 – Black Ice by Regan Black

January 2 – Snow Brides by Peggy Webb

January 9 – Snow Blind by Cindy Gerard

Stormwatch series at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07YZB1FZR

Emma Miller, a probationary security consultant posing as a reporter, is stranded at Portal International Airport in the worst storm in eighty years. She’s reassigned to protect a top-secret High Containment Lab in the international airport that houses the deadliest bio-contaminate diseases on the planet. A lab under attack by international terrorists who want those pathogens to sell on the black-market.

Dr. Gregory Mason Martin is a bio-containment specialist who runs the top-secret lab, and he knows Emma well. They grew up together, went to school together, and she’s always fascinated him, but she has a long-standing habit of going through men like water, so he’s kept his distance. He doesn’t dare to trust her or her abilities.

Now, all these years later, they must work together to protect the lab and stop the terrorists from obtaining the pathogens. And they must protect the pathogens from Holly, the deadly storm barreling mercilessly toward them. If those pathogens are stolen, the world will be held hostage, and worse, if mishandled, the country could be facing the worst pandemic in history. A pandemic that in short order could wipe out not just cities and states, but the entire nation.

Both are willing to risk their lives. Both are reluctant to risk their hearts. Yet events prove neither of them is who they were thought to be. And a fierce battle against terrorists and the storm proves challenging but no match for the challenges chambered in their human hearts.

Read an Excerpt

Winter Storm Holly bears down on Colorado…

Insight: Emma, an undercover security consultant, has been assigned to protect a High Containment Lab located under Portal International Airport from winter storm Holly and from a potential terrorist attack. A lab run by Dr. Gregory Mason Martin. They grew up together, and Mason wasn’t the one who got away. He was the one Emma never got…and always wanted. He, however, had never wanted her.

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Emma saw Mason weaving through the crowd. Her breath hitched and she gave herself a mental shake. He was no longer lanky, instead he was muscular. His face was more angular, and she liked the scruff of beard. It accentuated his high cheekbones and slim nose. Gorgeous, as always. Even as a gangly boy, his face had hinted at the man he’d become. And the fitted blue shirt, cuffs still worn rolled up to just below the elbow, made his eyes appear all the bluer. Her breath threatened to hitch again, but the sudden downturn in his wide mouth into a formidable frown nixed that. He’d spotted her. And he was not pleased.

Mason intercepted her. “Tell me you aren’t here waiting for me.”

He smelled as good as he looked and sounded obnoxiously hopeful. “Hello, Mason.”

“It’s Gregory, as you well know, Emma.” He didn’t look flustered, just irritated. “Are you waiting for me?”

She smiled just to annoy him. “I am.”

“Great.” He shoved a hand into his slacks’ pocket. “I need a security specialist and headquarters sends me a reporter. Batting a thousand today.”

So was she; not that she’d mention it. She needed a battle with him about as much as she needed another close call on her life. “I’m glad to see you again, too.” She sniffed and jutted her chin so he wouldn’t miss it. Everyone else had called him Gregory or Greg. She’d only ever called him Mason, trying to get his attention. It had failed. But she kept up the practice to needle him. Compensation for his rejecting her.

“They honestly did send you?”

They, being his headquarters, of course. “I’m here. No one else is, or can get here,” she said, lifting a hand. “So, do you want me to go or to stay?”

He didn’t answer, but from his darting eyes, she saw the mental debate raging inside him. It annoyed her. “That was a rhetorical question, Mason.” She folded her arms. “I’m staying.”

About the Author:

Vicki Hinze is a USA Today bestselling, award-winning author, who has written nearly forty books and hundreds of articles published in as many as 63 countries. Known widely for innovation, she generally includes strong suspense, action adventure and thriller elements with a dash of romance, penning series that genre-blend and earned her career-achievement awards as a trailblazer. For nearly a decade, she was columnist for the global Social-In Network and, before that, a radio talk-show host for Everyday Woman. Hinze holds an MA in creative writing and a Ph.D. in Philosophy (Theocentric Business and Ethics). Long before being named as the first PRO Mentor by the largest writing organization in the world, she founded Writer’s Zone to mentor other authors and maintains a free online writers’ library. Raised in New Orleans, Hinze then married a career Hurricane Hunter/Special Ops officer. After moving around the country, they settled in Northwest Florida, where she heeds her one writing rule: Writing only books she loves.

Vicki Hinze online

Website: http://vickihinze.com

Facebook: http://facebook.com/Vicki.Hinze.Author

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/vicki-hinze

Twitter: https://twitter.com/vickihinze

Exclusively on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07YG889PT

The author will award a $20 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

VBT – THE WRONG KIND

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The Wrong Kind

by Austin S. Camacho

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GENRE: Mystery

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BLURB:

A distraught woman hires private investigator Hannibal Jones to track down her daughter who has run away, trying to escape the homeless shelter life her mother has come to accept. When Hannibal finds Connie Blanco she is entwined in a gang war and somehow connected to a murder. The corpse is barely cold before a second murder follows and Hannibal finds himself entangled in a complex plot revolving around stolen drugs…but who is the mastermind of this twisted scheme?

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EXCERPT

As Chico’s foot hit the first step he noticed Sophia for the first time. Just as his eyes met hers, Hannibal’s right foot thumped into Chico’s chest, slamming him back into the man whose jacket said he was Dave. Then Hannibal leaped from the porch, smashing his right fist across Billy’s jaw. A side stamp dislocated Jimmy’s right knee. Dave swung past Chico and clipped Hannibal’s cheek. Sophia gasped at the flesh-on-flesh sound of the blow.

Hannibal blocked the follow-up punch and snapped two crisp jabs into Dave’s face, staggering him into the tree growing up out of the sidewalk. Chico tried to slip past Hannibal, still driving for the door.

Not tonight,” Hannibal said through clenched teeth. Sophia didn’t think Chico ever even saw the three punches, left-left-right that put him on his back, barely conscious.

With no standing attackers, Hannibal stepped back up onto the porch. “That was fun, but now I’m running out of patience with you boys.” Hannibal reached inside his suit coat, under his right arm, and pulled out a pistol. He pointed its muzzle down at Chico’s face.

There is nothing lower than a man who beats his woman, although anybody helping him is mighty close. I’d beat your asses some more, just for fun, but I don’t feel like answering questions at a hospital. Now, all of y’all, drag your sorry asses out of here. And if I ever hear you came back here, or if you tell anybody where this shelter is, I will hunt you down and end you.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links

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Austin S. Camacho is the author of seven novels about Washington DC-based private eye Hannibal Jones, five in the Stark and O’Brien international adventure-thriller series, and the detective novel, Beyond Blue. His short stories have been featured in several anthologies including Dying in a Winter Wonderland – an Independent Mystery Booksellers Association Top Ten Bestseller for 2008. He is featured in the Edgar nominated African American Mystery Writers: A Historical and Thematic Study by Frankie Y. Bailey. Camacho is also editorial director for Intrigue Publishing, a Maryland small press.

https://www.facebook.com/austin.camacho.author/

https://www.amazon.com/Wrong-Kind-Hannibal-Jones-Mystery/dp/1940758971/

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Austin S. Camacho will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Austin, thanks for being my guest today. Tell us about you as a person.
I was a cold war baby, an only child born in New York City, although we moved upstate to Saratoga Springs, NY when I was in 5th grade. First in my family to ever attend college, I ran out of money after my junior year. That led to a career in the Army as a broadcast journalist. I spent two weeks in Israel during Operation Desert Storm shooting video of incoming Scud missiles and watching Patriot Missiles shoot them out of the sky.

My second career was as a communications specialist for the Defense Department, but I was also writing mystery and thriller novels that whole time. Now I write full time but I don’t seem to be any more productive.

I believe that the best of us are honorable, and that character is the most important trait a person can have. I don’t meet enough people who meet that test, and fail as often as I succeed myself, but I can at least create those people in my novels.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
Stephen King. He is our greatest living writer and I’d treasure a day just talking with him about how we do this.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
There are actually two stories. I’ve written a previous novel that started with a missing person’s case (Blood and Bone) but I wanted to do something very different from that same starting point. While I was building that plot line I attended a conference at which I learned of a unique murder method that struck me as so cool I just had to use it in a book. The two ideas came together nicely!

What is your writing process?
I write best in the early morning, at my desk that has been handed down to me through the past two generations. Coffee is a requirement and yes, music. I change the mix in my iPod every day. It’s heavily slanted toward classic rock and old R&B, but just about every genre gets folded into the mix (except country.) As I type this Aerosmith just faded out, to be replaced by Bruce Springsteen.)

I always work to a fairly detailed outline, and I charge forward from the first chapter to the end without any kind of editing or re-thinking. All the rewriting happens after I have that first entire manuscript. I find it easier to fix a rough draft than to write a great book the first time.

Tell us about your main character.
Hannibal Jones in an African American private investigator in Washington DC. His card says he’s a Troubleshooter and he takes jobs to get people out of whatever kind of trouble they might be in. He has what might be called a Galahad complex – he wants to save anyone who needs help. He is also very stubborn – he never gives up – and obsessed with finding the truth, even when others think it doesn’t matter.

Also, Hannibal is mixed race, which makes him an outsider almost everywhere. And he is not a violent person, but he has a gift for violence when it’s needed.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why.
Physically, the character was patterned after Shemar Moore and he’s still my first choice. He’s the right skin tone, height, weight, and handsome enough. Also, in Criminal Minds Shemar showed just the right attitude for Hannibal Jones. If you have a connected, please tell him to stop ignoring my calls and letters. 😉

What are you working on next?
My work in progress is about a female assassin in Washington DC named Skye. She has taken a contract to kill a major crime boss. It’s more thriller than mystery, although it will have my typical twist ending.

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

  1. Do a blog tour. 😊
  2. Stay active on social media. Comment on posts, answer questions and let readers get to know you.
  3. Get face to face with readers. Call up bookstores and ask to do a reading or book signing

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?

My all-time favorite book is The Lady in the Lake by Raymond Chandler. But for contemporary authors, it’s hard to choose. Favorite new thriller would be The Goodbye Man by Jeffery Deaver. Favorite new mystery is surely The Bitterest Pill by Reed Fardel Coleman.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?

I’m very proud of my abilities as an interviewer and broadcaster, but perhaps a more “extraordinary talent” is my ability to recall song lyrics. People frequently ask me for the words to various old tunes because, for some unknown reason, I remember them all.

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

I would choose the ability to heal illness and injuries. It might not help much against super villains, but it would really enrich my real life. Of course, I’d have to keep it secret, so I didn’t get mobbed by sick strangers or dissected by the bad guys trying to replicate my abilities.

List 5 things on your bucket list:

I don’t really have any such list. So, five things I’d like to do at some point:

Have my Hannibal Jones mysteries turned into a Netflix series.

Jam with Aerosmith.

VBT – A WOMAN’S PERSUASION

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions.
Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

What would you do for a second chance at a perfect love?

Anne’s privileged family forced her to break off her romance with Freddie Wentworth, an Air Force pilot; they didn’t approve. Almost eight years later, Freddie is back in her life. Can they rekindle an old flame? Or is there too much hurt and misunderstanding in the way?

Read an Excerpt:

She looked in the mirror at the result of eight years of self-neglect and self-hatred, and she didn’t like what she saw. She wished Freddie could have looked at her and seen that she had improved over the years. It didn’t even need to be about her physical appearance. If she would have had three Master’s Degrees and a PhD to her name, or a Pulitzer Prize, or an Oscar for Best Screenplay, or a byline in The New Yorker, that would have been something. But she had nothing to show for all the intervening years.

She wondered if Freddie had said the words out of spite, calculating that Henry and Louis would repeat them to her, or they were merely said honestly, not thinking that they might get repeated back to her. She could only assume that Freddie expected the hurtful words to reach her ears. Freddie had not forgiven her.

Well, could she blame her? Her feebleness of character, her inability to stand by her loved one in the face of adversity, wasn’t something Freddie would respect. Being in a relationship with a soldier in military service took dedication and courage, not weakness and timidity. Anne couldn’t blame her for being hurt, even disgusted. She was not worthy of the love Freddie had offered her.

The eyes that looked back at her in the mirror confirmed what she already knew. She was going to have to change. It was too late with Freddie, but she needed to be a person she could respect. She wanted her self-respect back.

About the Author:

Jeanette Watts was happily writing historical fiction when she got the idea for her first Jane Austen-inspired novel, Jane Austen Lied to Me. Going to a JASNA event to work on selling that book, she attended a lecture that asked, “Why does everyone rewrite Pride and Prejudice so much more than her other novels? Why doesn’t anyone rewrite Persuasion?”

So she had to…

Website: http://www.jeanettewatts.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JeanetteAWatts

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6967936.Jeanette_Watts

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

Jeanette Watts will be awarding a Cameo Necklace to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

VBT – THE INVISIBLES

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Sisters Saffron and Elinor inherit a cottage on the Italian coast from their father, along with its resident ghost and a secret manuscript. Their rivalry explodes through a struggle for control of the inheritance.

Saffron has a genius for creative living, but ever since her judgmental older sister interfered in her love life, Saffron and Elinor haven’t spoken. When death brings them together at their father’s funeral in Rome, the battle re-ignites. It continues as they travel up the Italian coast to take possession of their cottage. Both secretly wish to mend fences, but they have opposite views about the best way to live.

Saffron has always sensed the “Invisibles”, people lingering after their demise. When the spirit who lives in the house predicts one sister might die, she takes it seriously, but can’t convince her practical-minded sister.

As they prepare the house for sale, Italy infuses its magic in food, festivals, and local love interests — until a shocking night changes everything for the sisters and their friends.

A tale of sisterhood and the supernatural, perfect for fans of Mary Ellen Taylor and Barbara O’Neal.

PRAISE FOR THE INVISIBLES

Author Dacus does a superb job bringing the village of Lerici to life, from the smells of the sea to the pungency of the local olive oil, and showing how the Italian way of life changes both women. An enjoyable, romantic read. — Suanne Schafer, author of HUNTING THE DEVIL

Read an Excerpt

Michael pulled her down the street. They turned right at the bottom of the hill and onto the beach promenade. Walking alongside the water, today full of white curlicues, Saffron looked up at the green hills. In the clear light, they looked fresh-minted.

The pressure of his hand intensified. “The hidden beach is wild and perfect, he said. “Like you.”

Dazzled by this compliment, she walked along, more aware of Michael’s hand than of the wide swath of beach, dotted with beach chairs. The benches were nearly empty, the wind driving everyone indoors.

“Just a bit farther,” he said, tugging her along.

Their speed throbbed in Saffron’s pulse. The hidden cove, they both knew, was a pretext and a preamble—a pre-amble. Excitement tightened her throat, making her breath catch as she trotted beside him. He was so tall and his hand never loosened its grip.

She was going to have an adventure in Italy. His hand kept her locked into it, any doubt falling away.

They came to a sign: “Beach Behind Castle.” A few more signs directed them to a marble arch over a tunnel beneath the building. They darted into the darkness holding hands, the path level, though impossible to see under- foot. They came out at a small, brilliantly white beach. The surf seemed higher now, pounding the shore steadily with dark, frilled swells. “Do people swim here? I mean, when it’s not so windy?”

“They do. No one’s here yet, but by afternoon I bet the beach will be full. People who know the secret of this place love it.”

They took off their shoes and walked closer to the surf. Saffron scooped up a shell and put it in her pocket. “A souvenir.” Of more than the beach.

On the way back, Michael stopped at a corner and pointed up a steep cobblestone street. “My little castle’s up there. I bring home all the goddesses I meet. Would you care to visit?”

The rash compliment went to her head like a quickly quaffed glass of champagne. “Sure.” This was it. The real adventure, not the hidden beach.

“Come, my Artemis,” he said.

They climbed a short distance and turned down an even narrower alley. He stopped at a turquoise wooden door with a lintel low enough that he had to duck his head entering.

“The gate to my modest tower.”

Saffron paused long enough to wonder if she was stepping into another mess with someone she hardly knew. But if she stopped now, she’d never find out what it was like to be a goddess.

When they were inside the doorway, he hesitated, but didn’t kiss her. What would his lips feel like? Instead, he led her up narrow stairs that turned on a landing with a small window. She glimpsed the hills, and then they went up the last few steps.

About the Author:

Rachel Dacus is the author of The Invisibles, a novel of sisterhood with a touch of the supernatural. “An enjoyable, romantic read.” The Renaissance Club is a time travel love story featuring the great 17th century Italian sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini, who meets and falls for his superfan from future time. “Enchanting, rich and romantic.” Dacus has written four poetry collections: Arabesque, Gods of Water and Air (poetry, prose, and drama), Earth Lessons and Femme au Chapeau. She lives in Northern California with her husband and Silky Terrier. When not writing, she raises funds for good causes.

Website: http://www.racheldacus.net

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rachel.dacus

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Rachel_Dacus

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/rdacus/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/987726.Rachel_Dacus

Rachel Dacus will be awarding a $40 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cover_The Invisibles

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