Category Archives: Guest Authors

Postings, short stories, and promotions for Authors

VBT – CHASING LACEY

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. January Bain will be awarding $25.00 via Paypal to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Think being a PI is all dull divorce cases? Think again.

Lacey Cameron, private investigator and treasure hunter, takes being headstrong and passionate to a whole new level. It takes exactly one morning in a school teaching young minds for her and her identical twin sister to break the whiteboard pointer in half, throw their keys on the teacher’s desk, and heed the seductive call of wide open spaces and awesome adventures.

William James Thornton III, a renaissance man and warrior poet who defended his country in Iraq and Afghanistan, knows he’s got his hands full trying to get Lacey to see him as more than just a friend. He’s ready to settle down, marry the woman of his dreams, and make his mother a happy grandmother. Hell, he’s got enough treasure in his bank account for two lifetimes.

And then things go from normal craziness to extremely dangerous in a heartbeat as hired killers are sent after Will and Lacey to prevent them from discovering the truth. They stumble on such an unexpected twist to the story that no one in their right mind would believe it or have suspected. If Will can get them out of this mess, he vows to lay all his cards on the table with Lacey. Get her to recognize what they can share as a couple. Passion. Love. And a commitment to blending her wild nature with his own—the perfect spicy blend. Even if it looks like it might just be the death of him.

Read an Excerpt

Grasping the cross like a vampire hunter and mentally crossing herself with a prayer, she kept the leviathan in her sights. A macabre dance with death began. one she was determined to win—had to win. It would have been made a whole lot easier with an outcropping at her back, but she was in shallow waters, close to shore with no hope of that. He lunged without warning, opening his mouth and re-exposing ivories gleaming evilly in case she’d missed them the first time around. Don’t worry, I get the picture. His humongous body moved fast as sheet lightning, preparing to strike.

Steady. Steady.

But instead of grasping the expected flesh and bone of a leg, he got a sharp jab in the eye for his trouble. Her father’s angry face flashed in her mind. She struck out. Harder.

Take that! If only her mother had flattened him just once, had fought back, like she herself did when practicing her karate moves. No man was ever going to get the drop on her. She’d fight tooth and nail, take them down with her, if necessary.

But the big fish didn’t learn his lesson either. Kept coming. Need conformation, eh, that I’m a force to be reckoned with. She struck again, punching him right in the snout, the cross a decent substitute for the spear, if she didn’t mind the close, disgusting quarters of a shark with food stuck in his teeth. The guy needed a good dentist. Pronto.

Breathe.

He backed off. She threatened with a gesture.

He parried again, a shark who obviously practiced evasive sword-fencing techniques. What was his problem? If it was hunger, she was less than sympathetic. Besides, to this gigantic beast, she was just a morsel. Go after something your own size.

A movement in the water to her left drew her attention for a micro-second, but she could ill afford to check out what her peripheral vision hinted at. Keep your eyes on him. Turn from a shark, especially run from a shark, and he thinks he’s found his din-din.

A spear whizzed by her shoulder, but instead of sinking into the sand-paper-like thick hide, it flew on by, entirely missing its target. She groaned and quickly moved her physical body between her sister and the shark, her heart in her throat. Had Lily missed because she couldn’t bear to hurt another living being, or because she was a terrible shot? Because now he was a whole lot more confident, looming larger than life and almost grinning at his prey. Them.

About the Author

January Bain has wished on every falling star, every blown-out birthday candle, and every coin thrown in a fountain to be a storyteller. To share the tales of high adventure, mysteries, and full blown thrillers she has dreamed of all her life. The story you now have in your hands is the compilation of a lot of things manifesting itself for this special series. Hundreds of hours spent researching the unusual and the mundane have come together to create a series that features strong women who don’t take life too seriously, wild adventures full of twists and unforeseen turns, and hot complicated men who aren’t afraid to take risks. She can only hope the stories of her beloved Brass Ringers will capture your imagination as you follow their exploits as much as they did when she wrote them.

If you are looking for January Bain, you can find her hard at work every morning without fail in her office with two furry babies trying to prove who does a better job of guarding the doorway. And, of course, she’s married to the most romantic man! Who once famously remarked to her inquiry about buying fresh flowers for their home every week, “Give me one good reason why not?” Leaving her speechless and knocking her head against the proverbial wall for being so darn foolish. She loves flowers.

If you wish to connect in the virtual world she is easily found on Facebook, twitter and writes a weekly blog about her journey on Blogger. Oh, and she loves to talk books…

Blog Address – http://januarybainjourney.blogspot.ca/

Twitter Name – https://twitter.com/JanuaryBain

Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/january.bain

Goodreads Page – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6437282.January_Bain

Amazon Buy Link – https://www.amazon.com/Chasing-Lacey-Brass-Ring-Sorority-ebook/dp/B07CVCPWNL/ref=sr_1_1

January Bain will be awarding $25.00 via Paypal to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Spotlight – Linked

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About the Author

Judy Serrano

Judy Serrano holds a Master of Arts in English from Texas A&M University, Commerce. She is the owner of Make Cents Editing Service, and was an adjunct professor at a local college. Currently she teaches high school English and is a freelance writer for certain on-line publications. Judy also writes romantic suspense and paranormal romance novels. She is the author of The Easter’s Lilly Series,The Linked Seriesand Ivy Vines, Visions.

Although originally from New York, Judy resides in Texas with her husband, four boys, four dogs and now two cats. She sings and plays guitar when she has time and enjoys singing with her very musical family in church when she is able.

Her latest book is the paranormal romance, LINKED.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

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About the Book

Title: LINKED
Author: Judy Serrano
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 265
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Linked

BOOK BLURB:

Daphne Foster is a substitute teacher stuck in an English class, waiting for that dreaded parent-teacher conference. With much preparation and anxiety, she encounters the unforgettable Charlie Cross. His charm and good looks, win her over but rumors of his involvement with organized crime make his continued disappearances disturbing. In walks Heathcliff Vanderpool, creating a love triangle of unusual sorts. Unknown to Daphne, Heathcliff and Charlie are old friends: Older than she could have imagined. With Charlie away on business, Daphne and Heathcliff discover a passion between them lying beneath the surface. As their souls link, pulling away from Charlie becomes next to impossible. Will his involvement in organized crime consume them both before she’s able to get free? When you become “linked,” the choice may not be your own.

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Book Excerpt

The blood was pulsating through my veins and when I looked down, my hands were shaking. All that schooling and relentless training still did not prepare me for what was coming next. What would I say, and how would they react? All the uncertainty was driving me mad. Sometimes I doubted my very own motives. I took this job out of necessity, not out of a passion for my craft, and with every passing day, I grew just a little more disheartened.

I am a substitute teacher and this is my very first parent-teacher conference. Sometimes the meager pay that I bring home for this incredulous journey hardly seems worth it. I earned my degree, got my certification, and couldn’t find a job as a teacher. So, the principal promised me a teaching position if I would just do this one last thing… be a long-term sub for a high school English class. This has not been my finest hour. The teacher I replaced had already made a mess of things and the students were failing left and right. One of the moms called and demanded to know why her little Michael was failing. Maybe if he did his homework… is of course what I wanted to say, but now I have to face her and tell her why little Michael is my least favorite student in the class.

I got all my papers together and sat back down at my desk when Michael walked through my door. “Michael,” I started. “What are you doing here?”

Just then a very handsome man walked in behind him. He was about 5ft. 10, blond and blue-eyed, wearing faded jeans and a button-down, powder blue sports shirt. When he smiled, my knees went weak and I’m sure my face flushed. “I’m Charles Cross,” he said, putting out his hand to shake mine. “My friends call me Charlie.” He smiled. “You look surprised. We do have an appointment today, don’t we? I hope I didn’t get the date wrong.”

“I’m sorry, I was expecting Michael’s mother,” I told him. “And yes, we have an appointment. I’m Daphne Foster.”

“She was unavailable,” he continued. “So now I guess you’re stuck with me.” He pushed Michael ahead of him so that he would move farther into the room. I’m sure my face was still red.

“I don’t mind,” I told him. Little did he know that my insides were doing somersaults. “Please, sit down.” I motioned to the two chairs that I had strategically positioned in front of my desk.

“I understand that you’re not even really a teacher,” was his icebreaker.

“I’m certified,” I replied, trying not to sound too defensive. “I have just been unable to find a full-time position. But I assure you, Mr. Cross, I am more than qualified to teach your son’s class.”

“Good to know,” he answered, sitting back and starting to relax. “Michael is generally a good student,” he continued. “But he appears to be carrying a 60 in your class. Tell me what you think the problem is so that I can help him fix it.”

Michael was staring down at the floor with his baseball cap on backwards. I’m sure if he was standing up, we’d both be able to see his boxer shorts, peeking out beneath his sagging pants. “For starters,” I bravely began, “he can lose the baseball cap.” Michael sneered at me. “He’s not allowed to have it on during school hours, yet he always walks through the door with it on his head. This is a continuous waste of my valuable time, since we seem to need to argue about its importance, daily.” Charlie laughed, which frustrated me a bit. “He hasn’t turned in one homework assignment since I’ve been here, and he is very disruptive during class.”

“Well, Miss Foster,” he responded in a condescending tone, “sounds to me like you have a problem with my son.”

“Mr. Cross,” I replied, trying to conceal the agitation in my voice, “you are the one with the problem.” He sat up, giving me his full attention. I must admit that I began to feel my blood pressure rise. “I suggest that you get a handle on this boy before I fail him and do not underestimate me, because I will do it.”

“Miss Foster, do you know who I am?” he asked. Michael smiled at this point and looked me square in the eyes.

“I don’t care if you’re Obama’s long lost son. He doesn’t do his work, he fails… pretty simple, really.”

He stood up and motioned for his son to stand. “I suspect that you will change your mind.”

I stood up at that point and put out my hand. “Thank you for coming in to see me, Mr. Cross… Michael.”

“Daphne.” My name glided off his tongue like music. “Such a beautiful name.” He shook my hand. “The pleasure was all mine.”

Book Blast – Sunset Beach

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About the Author

Christine Donovan

Christine Donovan is an International Bestselling Author who writes romance that touches the heart, soothes the soul and feeds the mind. She is a PAN Member of RWA and belongs to Novelist, Inc. and Rhode Island Romance Writers.

She lives on the Southeast Coast of Massachusetts with her husband, four sons, four cats and one spoiled golden retriever. As well as writing contemporary romance, she also writes historical and paranormal. All her books have some degree of suspense. In her spare time, she can be found reading, painting or gardening. She loves to tackle DIY projects. 

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

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About the Book:

Title: SUNSET BEACH
Author: Christine Donovan
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 328
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Sunset Beach

BOOK BLURB:

Until Sarah Kennedy is 17 she spends her summers at Sunset Beach with a close-knit group of friends. They are young, carefree, and just a tad wild—as teenagers tend to be. They share secrets, love, and a deep connection. But that final summer life as the friends know it begins to unravel. Domestic violence plagues one family, one of their group becomes a criminal. Sarah severs all ties with her friends and disappears.

Fifteen years after the summer that changed Sarah’s life forever, she receives a letter about a reunion. Can she bury her fears, curb her anxiety enough to attend and finally unearth who attacked her and changed the trajectory of her life forever? She also hopes to reconnect with the one man she gave her heart and soul too—Jake Ferroli. She wonders if his life faired any better than hers after his family tragedy and his downfall into drugs and alcohol.

Sarah locks down her demons and rents a cottage for the summer. To her surprise Jake is still single and they slowly reconnect. But so does her attacker. He is good at eluding the police. Somehow he has gone on attacking women for fifteen years without so much as being a suspect. Pictures, letters, and threats against Sarah now come on a daily basis. Jake and Sarah hire a private detective and as they get closer and closer to revealing the identity of the perpetrator, he strikes. Can Jake rescue Sarah before their so-called friend rapes her, or even worse, kills her as he did to his last victim?

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Book Excerpt

When he stepped close to her, he could sense rather than see her retreat. Her eyes darted toward the door then back to him, suddenly full of panic. Why? It tore at his heart to know someone or something traumatized her.

“Why don’t you take a seat and relax.” He reached out to touch her arm and she all but flinched. It appeared ever so quickly, but he noticed it. On an exhale, he let his arm fall, frowned at her behavior, and sat down. She slid into the chair opposite him.

“So, tell me why you’re so jumpy? Is it me, or are you always like this?” God, please don’t let it be me.

She shot him a look of disbelief. “I’m not jumpy.”

Clearing his throat, he said, “If you say so.”

“Have you kept in touch with everyone?”

The desperation he witnessed flash in her eyes nearly broke his heart. “Yeah, I have. You know about Drew and Alyssa. Tom’s a doctor. He works at Mass General and he’s still single. Dylan lives in his mother’s old house. He’s a local cop here. Had a nasty divorce a few years back, but I don’t know all the details. I believe he has one kid, a daughter. Mitch is a detective with the Boston Police Department. He married a fellow police officer and they have two kids. Heather married some guy last year, I haven’t met him. Tracy’s single and I think she’s the only one not coming.”

“I had no idea what became of anyone.” Tears pooled in her eyes. “Except Charlotte.” She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “You took me by surprise when I saw you pull up today.”

Exhaling, he said, “Likewise. I didn’t expect you to come after fifteen years of silence.” He ran his hands threw his hair and asked, “Why did you come?”

“I don’t know. I thought it was time.”

She had a strange, vacant look on her face, so Jake decided to drop the subject. He would push for more answers later. And he wanted answers. Something had been eating a hole in his heart all these years, and he wanted to know why.

GIVEAWAY!

Christine Donovan is giving away five free e-copies of SUNSET BEACH!

Terms & Conditions:

  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.

  • Five winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter

  • This giveaway ends midnight June 29.

  • Winner will be contacted via email on June 30.

  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

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VBT – Conch Shell Confessions

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About the Author

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Dax Marie was five or so, when the man that she would otherwise call, “father” gave Dax her issues. What’s the medical terminology for that? Oh, Daddy Issues! For nearly the whole of her life she has tried to deny this grave medical condition and up until about seven years ago, she was doing alright. By no means was she swimming through the world with ease, but she did like a’ight (that’s hood talk for alright).

It was not until sometime in high school when she discovered her self-diagnosed condition. Sigmund Freud (you may have heard of him, he’s like a coke-head genius) told Dax (in a text book) that she has Penis Envy. Poor thing, she was absolutely flabbergasted!

“Me, Dax Marie? Associated with male genitalia?” she thought to herself.

So, it was then and there, her junior year of high school that she knew what

she was destined for…MEN.

Dax’s latest book is the memoir, Conch Shell Confessions.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

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About the Book

Title: CONCH SHELL CONFESSIONS
Author: Dax Marie
Publisher: Author House
Pages: 202
Genre: Memoir

Conch Shell Confessions

BOOK BLURB:

This is a book about love: hunting it, chasing it, losing it, tripping, and falling into it.

And yes, it’s a book about sex: hunting it, chasing it, losing it, tripping from it, and falling onto…ahem…it.

But more than anything, it’s a book about self-discovery, navigating the learning curve of adulting, and learning the kind of tough lessons that only come when you have to pick yourself off the floor, block a guy’s phone number (for the second time), and clean some curious stains off your dress.

I dove headfirst into love and sex, and for better or worse, they have taught me that sometimes you just need to try the world on for size to really understand what it is you want and learn who you are. So here’s my experience in the world of men.

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Book Excerpt

Epigraph

Because lord knows I need one.

    Ladies, this is a book about men (or maybe they could be more accurately defined as boys…little boys). So, if you have ever found yourself with the wrong guy (or guys as I have mistakenly done), I am so sorry. If you have ever had to deal with heartbreak, frustration, or immaturity due to boy-kind, I would like to apologize for their actions, too, because lord knows they never will. Can I do that? Just apologize for the inferior gender like that? Oh well, I’m going to anyway.

    The dating struggle is real, and I feel your pain. Know that you don’t stand alone in your dating of dipshits and DEFINITELY know that I understand (and that it’s okay) if sometimes you’re the dipshit because of the men you choose for yourself. As some cliché somewhere once said, you live and you learn. So let’s start making our way towards finding ourselves and learning about love. Oh, the happy struggles of vagina-hood.

    Some of you men out there might be worried that you’re going to show up in these pages. Some of you will be right––but not to worry my sweet boys, I have changed your names to ones that I find more befitting of you. So if you don’t like it, I’m sorry, but you shouldn’t have been so deserving of such colorful nicknames.

Guest Post – Dax Marie

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Dax Marie & The Disappearing Tampon

Oh me, oh my, I think I’ve lost something between my thighs.

You should take out your tampon, gurgled my last two unsaturated braincells.

Ri Ri almost hits the nail on the head, “White girl wasted on that brown liquor.” Only Don Julio and I are besties and he would never do me dirty, despite the glorious fountain of puke I’ve been. Ehh, but I barely remember those countless times so they hardly count. I mean, I guess RiRi’s “white girl wasted on that brown liquor” pegs me with the rye whiskey and rum but even then, I just blackout; get cut on random glass in the backseat of the Uber; shove my gushing bloody finger in the bouncer’s face; somehow am still able to talk my way into the dive bar; spill my drink on the dance floor only to slip on my own spilled drink seconds later; get ditched by everyone in my party (probably because my dance moves were so sick); realize I’m about to be too drunk and decide to call Uber but then start to cry when I realize that I don’t remember how to operate Uber; and then when I finally find my babysitter—I mean boyfriend, we leave and I find kitties (not pussies) to pet. But even then, I consider myself to be sexually responsible on the brown liquor. Yes, you can be sexually irresponsible when you’re in a monogamous relationship…protection, anyone?

Vodka on the other hand is a CLEAR liquor and that bitch makes me a sex-crazed psychopath. Confused? Yeah so was I. Here, let me backtrack…

I’m at the stage in my life where everyone I know is getting married, having babies, buying houses, embracing their inner weekend warrior, and paying for their own health insurance…you know, they’re adults and I’m not there yet but I pretend to be. I mean, my boyfriend is, but I’m still playing fake-it-till-I-make-it as a writer. Even my friends that aren’t doing all of these expected adult things, they do other adult things like, invite you and your significant other over for a dinner party with all of their other mature adult friends. That’s A LOT of adulting…

Here’s what I’ve only recently discovered about being a couple who adults together: There may actually only be ONE adult in the couple. How do you know if you’re the mature adult in the couple? Well, you’re definitely not the mature adult in the couple when you frequently, by which I mean never know your limit. Hi, that’s me! You’re also not the mature adult when you keep pounding pulpy grapefruit infused vodka shots because you can’t taste the alcohol. Despite the fact that vodka always makes you gag. Oh, wow, also me!

Grapefruit, I can dig it. Vodka, not my jam. But grapefruit infused vodka…maybe I misjudged vodka? Fast-forward through a glass of rosé, shrimp tacos, three or four vodka grapefruit concoctions speckled throughout the evening, a forgotten car ride home, all the way to my bedroom seven hours later, What the fuck? Where’re my clothes?

I slid my hands down my body to my underwear—Oh my god, my tampon! I jumped out of bed, frantically running to the bathroom…no tampon. Fuck me.

“Hey…hey,” I whisper to my slumbering boyfriend.

No response.

“HEY!” I gently (violently) nudge him.

“What?” He moans as he rolls over to face me.

“What do you mean what? What happened? Where’s my tampon?”

“What tampon? You nearly attacked me to have sex.”

My stomach sank to my big butt. We had sex?

He continued, “You ran into the room when we got home and then you came running out to the living room with nothing but your underwear and your pink blanket draped around you.”

“No I didn’t.” I retorted as if I could actually remember what the fuck had happened.

“Yeah, you did and then you grabbed me off of the couch, took me to the room, and pushed me down on the bed.”

Wow, aren’t you a lucky man—but seriously, where the fuck is your tampon, you idiot!

“Baby, you were super aggressive last night. You jumped my bones and then passed the fuck out.”

“Okay, but where’s my tampon?”

“What?! You were on your period?”

“I was…I think my uterus ate my tampon…Or you shoved it way up in me.”

“That’s not on me, how was I supposed to know?”

“I’m going to get toxic shock syndrome,” said the hypochondriac me.

“What the hell is that?”

I rolled my eyes and rolled back to sleep. I’d go fishing in the morning.

Two hours later, it was showtime, time for me to go searching for something that I wasn’t too sure I had lost. Nothing. A couple more hours and I’m imagining cramps. Oh shit, here comes the TSS. I check again. Nothing. Some more hours pass. I feel feverish. Check again and again nothing but slippery uterus. Debated calling out of work to take myself to the ER but the ridiculous medical bill coupled with the cognizance of my overactive and imaginative hypochondriac imagination told me to spare my mula and myself.

For three whole days I fished for that allusive vagina plug. Morning, afternoon and night, every search and rescue mission leaving me empty-handed. So eventually, I gave up. If this non-existent tampon wanted to be embedded in my uterus, then who was I to deny it? It was my fault in the first place…or maybe vodka’s fault?

Two weeks later, it’s still missing and I am still without Toxic Shock Syndrome. Moral of the story? Vodka makes me a sex-crazed psychopath who “loses” tampons inside of her. Although, I’m still not too sure if there was ever a tampon in there to begin with. I guess I’ll have to get back to you on that one.

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VBT – Nurse to the Marquess

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About the Author

Katy Walters

USA Today Best-Selling author, Katy Walters e.books, and paperbacks are purchased and read in their thousands on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited. Katy lives in the midst of Regency towns on the South Coast of England. Her main interests are historical; contemporary suspense romance, and time travel. She is equally drawn to the paranormal based on mythology and the Dark Ages.

After studying at various universities Katy was awarded a B.A Hons (psych) B.A.(Soc.) B.A. Eng Lit & Creative Writing and an M.A. She was also awarded a Doctor of Science (Hon) for research into pain control. She pursued a fulfilling career as a research psychologist and psychotherapist and gained a fellowship in hypnotherapy. She now enjoys writing over several genres. At present Katy is working on a novel based on psychology and hypnosis.

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About the Book:

Title: NURSE TO THE MARQUESS
Author: Katy Walters
Publisher: Celtic Circle Publishing
Pages: 181
Genre: Regency Suspense/Romance

Nurse to the Marquess

BOOK BLURB:

Under pressure from her aunt, Lady Rosamond Whitney agrees to attend the Little Season in support of her widowed friend Lady Harriett Templeton. 

Still mourning for her young husband, Lady Harriett also has no desire to marry again. Yet they both give in to their beloved aunt who fears for their future if they do not meet worthy husbands. 

After visiting the modiste who is preparing their ball gowns and riding habits for the Little Season, they go to a local coffee house, unaware of the danger ahead. 
Enter the Lord Sebastian, 6th Marquess of Delmoor, once a renowned rakehell and hero of the Battle of Waterloo suffering from war wounds that make it highly unlikely he will win the love of a woman. His friend, Lord Charles Roberts, 10th Viscount Morhampton intent of finding a bride, begs Sebastian’s support as he attends the Little Season. 

On their way, to Bath, they stop for coffee at the local coffee house little realizing they would be fighting a rapacious group of drunken dandiprats intent on dishonouring Lady Rosamond and Lady Harriett.

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Book Excerpt

Chapter 1

‘Cassie, you’re badgering me again.’

‘Dearest, I’m only thinking of you. The Little Season is upon us. We’ve put it off too long.’ Her Grace, the Duchess of Taunton, stood in front of a baronial stone hearth, the carved features of leaping gargoyles menacing in the flickering firelight. ‘There will be such splendid balls. So many suiters will attend looking for a suitable wife.’

‘I’m happy as I am.’ Defiantly, Rosamond crossed her arms across her chest. ‘Tis not a joking matter Cassie,’ she muttered, seeing her sister bite back a smile.

‘Look, it‘s only a few balls and soirees.’

‘But it’s all so belittling – a sham. The truth is, we’re not going there to enjoy the dancing, we’re parading ourselves, like stuffed dolls on a shelf.’

‘If you want to marry, you’ll have to attend more social events.’

‘Cassie, I don’t want to wed – not yet. I’m so caught up with the horses. Really.’

‘Time is running out Rose. Look, you’re now one and twenty and you haven’t attended a season. Don’t let your chances slip away.

‘Cassie, I told you I’m not interested. I have too much to do.’

Tutting, the Duchess crossed to her side, as she spoke. ‘You’re still young and beautiful – please think about it. Surely you don’t want to live your life alone? Any suiter would go on his knees for your hand. Just think you could meet the man of your dreams, and be wed at Christmas. Oh yes, imagine – a Christmas wedding. Don’t throw it away.’ She patted her sister on the arm and sitting down on the chaise longue picked up her embroidery.’

Rose beetled her brows. ‘I cringe at the thought of it. Endless boring hours doing those country dances. Don’t laugh.’ She scowled at her sister. They’re trying to ban the waltz, honestly the only dance where you can have some fun. ‘Nay, I’m not waiting for a titled runt.’

‘I would not describe the men as—’

‘I will know the man for me at first glance, and it won’t be in an Assembly Room. I want a hot-blooded gallant, not some bacon brained twit, mincing to the minuet.’

‘Come on Rose, what novel are you reading? You have to have presence, be seen to —’

‘I’ll wait.’

‘So you want to wait for some unknown beau who might happen to come along?

‘Yes, if you put it that way.’ Rose frowned, trying to look interested in the builders working in the castle bailey.

‘I know, but it rarely happens – ouch, darn it.’ Cassie sucked on her finger. ‘I’ve pricked my finger on the needle.

‘Hmm, maybe you’ll stop needling me.’ Rose could not suppress a grin, and pulled out her handkerchief from her pocket. ‘Here, use this.’

Cassie hissed, ‘funny, you’re very quick today. But don’t change the subject Rose; you do need to think very seriously on what you could be throwing away. Next season you will be two and twenty and….’ she let her words trail away.

‘And I’ll be too old; I’ll become an ape leader, cooing after my nieces and nephews.’

‘Rose it’s not a joking matter. Even one year in your age makes all the difference. Men are looking for a wife, the future mother of their heirs.’

‘Oh Lord, don’t Cassie, now I’m a brood mare.’

Cassie bent her head wrapping the handkerchief around her finger. ‘It’s life dearest, life, and I want you to have one with the man you love. Darn it, will you tie this up for me please.’

Bending, Rose tied the handkerchief in a knot. ‘Honestly Cassie … I really hate those assembly rooms, queuing up and writing their name on my dance card when I don’t even like them.’

‘Well … look, why don’t you just try? Attend a couple of the dances. The Assembly Rooms at Bath are spacious, with beautiful crystal chandeliers, a huge ballroom. I’ve heard they have so much fun there. And there’s a scrumptious buffet. It’s not at all like the preening pomp and lifted noses of the Big Season.’

Rose chuckled. ‘If a man twinkle toed his way across the room to me, I’d run. Honestly Cassie, they’re all so effeminate, waving fingertips, pointing toes and—’

Putting the embroidery aside, Cassie looked earnestly at her sister. ‘The right beau may just attend this time, you never know.’

‘The right beau?’ Rose tossed her head. ‘A man who spends his time at dances, and soirees? I have no time for dandies.’

‘Don’t exaggerate. They’ll be lots of handsome men attending, It’s the only way for them to find a wife really.’

‘Hmm like cats feeding on mice.’

This could be your season for love.’

‘I abhor the Assemblies Cassie; I can’t imagine sitting on wallflower row, all fluff and feathers twiddling a stupid fan. Many girls sit there all evening praying some male will ask them to dance. How debasing. No, I will not attend.’

‘I shall let the dowager loose on you.’ Cassie smiled, raising her eyebrows.

Rose lifted her hands in defense. ‘You wouldn’t? Not the dragon; you wouldn’t?’

‘Alright, but it’s six months since Harriett’s period of mourning ended. The dear dowager told me, she’s now discarded her black gloves. It’s time Harriett entered the society again. Your sister-in-law needs you. She dreads attending the Assemblies. Truly she needs you. You know how she suffered.’

‘Now it’s emotional blackmail.’

‘Pray relent, if not for her, then for your own sweet sake. At this rate, you’ll never experience a man’s touch, his passion, his love. I don’t like to repeat this but you may not have another chance. Most young women wed at seventeen and mothers with two children at your age.’

‘But you were four and twenty before you met Max, and you didn’t attend one formal ball or assembly, yet you urge me to sell myself on the Marriage Mart?

Exasperated, but amused, Cassandra rose to her feet and walked over to the fire warming her hands over the glowing embers of the logs. Today would be quite busy with groups of tourists arriving to view the castle and the ongoing rebuild. ‘Rose, the dowager is forcing our gentle Harriett to attend, but I will not do that to you. I just ask that you try, if only for two weeks.’

‘Oh … alright – but just a week.’ Rose stood up; her mouth set defiantly.

Cassandra drew a breath of relief. Privately, she too did not agree with the Marriage Mart; of young women literally posing to catch a future husband. However, pray God, there would be a man to meet Rose’s expectations. She was a head turner, with her amber eyes, an abundance of golden hair and cream complexion. However, to Cassandra’s despair, the girl preferred mucking out the stables to tiaras and dances. It would be a lonely life for her, a spinster doting on her siblings’ infants. In time, she would regret it.

VBT – THE MULTIMA SCHEME

TourBanner_TheMultimaScheme

The Multima Scheme
by Gary D. McGugan

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GENRE: Suspense, fiction

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BLURB:

Can Multima Corporation withstand another attack from organized crime? While billionaire John George Mortimer copes with treatment for cancer, the accomplished CEO must also ward off challenges for control of his sprawling fictional American empire both from within the company and from nefarious powers operating outside the law.

The Multima Scheme is a fast-paced account of the lengths to which organized crime can infiltrate large global corporations and seize control of respected businesses to conceal activities that are both illegal and immoral but generate billions. It’s also a story of survival – how individuals and organizations might react under intense pressures and the ease with which people can cross lines between what’s legal and what’s not.

Using his knowledge of how large multinationals operate – accumulated over 40 years working with major corporations around the world – author Gary D. McGugan weaves a tale of intrigue using a writing style that readers will find hard to put down once started.

BookCover_TheMultimaScheme

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EXCERPT

His elaborate scheme to oust John George Mortimer, CEO of Multima Corporation, started to unravel with his first telephone call in the wee morning hours. His contact at The Organization reported that no one could locate Wendal Randall – a development of serious concern to Knight. To engineer the election of Multima Logistics’ wayward division president to the post of CEO of the entire corporation, he desperately needed Randall at the meeting.

Events worsened. By mid-day, Knight learned that Randall would not appear at the meeting at all. Instead – at the same time as all the other company direc¬tors – he was shocked to hear the FBI had arrested Randall and was holding him in custody, charged with multiple serious crimes. Knight might still have had a chance to carry out the Mortimer coup successfully until a subsequent startling revelation proved all his efforts would be in vain.

John George Mortimer, more devious and cunning than Knight ever imag¬ined, had somehow finagled an exchange of corporate shares. He’d found a way to convert some Multima shares from one class to another. The shrewd maneuver instantly shifted the corporation’s balance of power entirely in Mortimer’s favor. Knight’s plot had no hope of success with the new equity structure.

Instead, he found himself trapped in a rapidly unfolding disaster. A decade earlier – on his recommendation – The Organization had invested a billion dollars in Multima. And just the previous week, Howard had knowingly put that billion dollars at precarious risk with his scheme to remove John George Mortimer and seize control.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links

AuthorPhoto_TheMultimaScheme

A successful business leader, speaker, and author, my most recent work is an exciting novel, The Multima Scheme.

I’m in love with the same special lady for almost five decades. In turn, we love — and are incredibly proud of — our daughter, our son, their spouses, and three remarkable grandchildren.

Family, friends, and hundreds of other wonderful people also populate my life, repeatedly creating rewarding experiences. I’ve had all this good fortune for many years, with reading and writing often playing integral roles.

I’ve loved reading as long as I remember and have enjoyed writing for just as long. For me, writing has taken many forms. Like most, it started with assigned essays as a student and then evolved with my business career. I’ve written letters, speeches, reports, ads, brochures, presentations, proposals, articles, and a blog. My first book was a work of non-fiction – NEEDS Selling Solutions – co-authored with my friend Jeff Allen.

https://www.garydmcguganbooks.com/about-the-author.html
https://www.garydmcguganbooks.com/
https://www.facebook.com/gary.d.mcgugan.books/
https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00J8HJK8Y
Twitter: @3WeeksLessaDay
https://www.garydmcguganbooks.com/rendezvous-blog
https://www.linkedin.com/in/gary-d-mcgugan-ba02b3/
https://plus.google.com/+GaryMcGugan
https://www.garydmcguganbooks.com/fiction.html

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

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

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Interview:

Have you ever had an imaginary friend?
I am the oldest child from a large family, with lots of friends. I’ve never had time to have an imaginary friend!

Do you have any phobias?
Heights have always been a challenge. Over time, I’ve learned to cope and have enjoyed visiting some of the world’s tallest buildings and driven through rugged mountains with perilous cliffs in several countries.

Do you listen to music when you’re writing?
Rarely. I like 100% focus and concentration when I write. On those rare occasions when I do listen and work, the background would be classical music.

Do you ever read your stories out loud?
Yes! I usually read all passages of dialog out loud several times during the editing process to be sure it sounds real and natural.

Tell us about your main character and who inspired him/her.
John George Mortimer is purely a product of my imagination and a composite of many people I’ve encountered over the years. His struggle with breast cancer was inspired by the battles our daughter waged to survive that insidious disease and the experiences of a former male colleague who also coped. While not the focal point of The Multima Scheme, I hope to improve awareness about the potential for male breast cancer as I tell a great story that entertains and informs.

 

VBT – FOR THE BRAVE

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Holly Bush will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

1869 – Matthew Gentry joined the Confederate Army at eighteen years of age after an argument with his father, leaving Paradise, his Virginia home and famed horse breeding stables, for the fields of Gettysburg. Having survived the War Between the States, Gentry is haunted by the violence and inhumanity of the war. He continues to roam the country long after the conflict is over, finding solace in the arms of soiled doves and at the bottom of whiskey bottles. Finally traveling home after learning of a family tragedy, he nearly loses his life in a spring-flooded riverbed.

Annie Campbell, lone survivor of her family, lives at a remote farm near the North River, raising pigs and trying to grow enough to feed herself, and to stay out of the crosshairs of the Thurmans, violent men who run the town of Bridgewater. Annie’s secrets threaten her safety, even as she rescues and nurses Matthew Gentry.

Matthew knows he must return to Paradise, to grieve with his family. Will his heart lead him back to Bridgewater and Annie Campbell?

Read an Excerpt:

Matt saw a path on the right, running parallel to the water, through a rocky area that led away from the sharp incline and loose boulders. Rain started to fall and the mud slid out from under his and Chester’s feet. He called to Ben until his voice was hoarse and made his way slowly to the safer path to his right. He looked back and watched rocks and stones tumble forward, hitting Ben and making his horse shy back and rear up as much as it could on the narrow path.

Matt slid out of the saddle and struggled to turn himself and Chester around to get back to where Ben was held up. The rain was coming down steadily now and Matt went down hard on his shoulder when his boot slipped. He sat up, now thoroughly soaked and mud covered, turning just in time to see Ben’s horse fall as his hooves came out from under him, landing on his side, kicking Ben, and sliding toward the raging river. Ben stood, reaching out, as if he could pull a thousand pounds of horse upright. A large boulder behind Ben shifted and began to bounce and roll toward him. Matt shouted and started down the hillside, off the trail, desperate to get to the other man in time. It was of no use, he knew—he was twenty or thirty feet away—but he clamored down anyway, slipping and struggling, watching as the rock slammed into Ben’s legs, pinning him against another rock and then rolling on toward the river.

He heard Ben’s screams over the sounds of the rushing water. He hurried the last ten feet as quickly as he was able and fell to his knees.

“Ben!”

“My leg! God! Look at my leg!”

He held Ben’s shoulders still as he looked at a bone that had poked through Ben’s pants. He wanted to vomit. He wanted to climb back up to Chester and get off the hillside. He wanted a whiskey. He pulled his belt from his pants and pulled it tight above the exposed shinbone on Ben’s leg. He looked up to see Chester lose his footing as he followed his whistle, the horse forced to leave the trail and pick through the stones and moving rocks.

About the Author:

Holly Bush writes historical romance set on the American Prairie, in Victorian England, and recently released her first Women’s Fiction title. Her books are described as emotional, with heartfelt, sexy romance. She makes her home with her husband in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

http://www.hollybushbooks.com

http://www.twitter.com/hollybushbooks

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https://www.bookbub.com/authors/holly-bush

https://www.amazon.com/Holly-Bush/e/B006ZDTQ1A/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Buy Links:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06Y1PNDTC/ref=sr_1_23

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/for-the-brave-holly-bush/1126163737

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/for-the-brave/id1222434376?mt=11

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/for-the-brave

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Holly_Bush_For_the_Brave?id=otOYDgAAQBAJ

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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