Category Archives: Guest Authors

Postings, short stories, and promotions for Authors

VBT – BETRAYAL AT THE BORDER

TourBanner_Betrayal at the Border copy

Betrayal at the Border
by Mark M. Bello

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GENRE: Legal/Political Thriller

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BLURB:

In Betrayal at the Border, attorney Zachary Blake returns to tackle two cases that strike at the heart of our nation’s contentious immigration debate.

In Riverview, Michigan, undocumented immigrants Miguel and Mary Carmen Gonzalez are determined to realize the American dream. They find jobs at a local filler plant, have children, and lead an all-American life, that is until ICE raids their plant . . .

Canan and Karim Izady are naturalized citizens of the United States. They have immigrated legally from Kurdistan and have an American born daughter, Hana. Unable to persuade her mother to follow the young family to America, Canan and Hana travel to an ISIS hotbed so the child may meet her grandmother for the first time. With the war over, what could possibly go wrong?

Two unique immigrant families, two uniquely dangerous consequences of America’s dysfunctional immigration system. Enter Zachary Blake, superstar lawyer.

But, for the first time in a long time, Blake is out of his element—immigration law calls for the expertise of his specialist/partner, Marshall Mann. Together, two extraordinary lawyers take on a terrorist network and a broken immigration system. And master investigator Micah Love returns, racing against the clock to prevent tragic circumstances. In our politically charged, anti-immigrant international climate, will a Hail Mary be their only move?

Award-winning legal thriller author, Mark M. Bello, pits our nation’s broken immigration system against important human and social justice rights issues, spinning a tale that shines a bright light on the everyday fears of immigrants all over these United States. Can Blake, Mann, and Love prevent a Betrayal at the Border?

BookCover_BetrayalAtTheBorder

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EXCERPT

The Gonzalez children were both born in Lincoln Park. The city was a part of the Downriver Community, southwest of Detroit. Their little three-bedroom bungalow was the only home they had ever known. In a city of approximately 37,000, only 20% were of Latino descent, nearly a 50% increase since 2010.

Emma and Emilio’s parents, Mary Carmen and Miguel Gonzalez, immigrated to Lincoln Park in 2011 when Mary Carmen was pregnant with Emma. Papa found a job, mixing compounds at an adhesive and filler plant in nearby Riverview. Emma was born soon after her parents moved into the house. Two years later, her little brother was born.

When they were old enough to be placed in daycare, Mama secured a job at the same filler plant as her father. The two siblings depended on each other. They were attached at the hip until Emma was old enough to go to Kindergarten. It was a very traumatic time for Emilio. He started behaving as if his sister died.

Emma promised to play with him after school, but Emilio carried on to the point where Emma pushed back and refused to go to school. Promises of candy and ice cream after Mama got home from work finally persuaded both children to go separate ways. As time went on, they adapted to the new routine.

Two years later, Emilio started Kindergarten, and all was forgotten—the siblings were reunited at Raupp Elementary School. Both children spoke fluent Spanish and English and did well in school. The children were now entering fourth and second grade, respectively, and thriving.

The Gonzalez children made friends easily and were well-liked in the school. Emma and Emilio were Americans. Although Mama taught them Venezuelan games and customs and tried to convey a sense of their Latino heritage, the kids had experienced life in no other country but America. They spoke fluent English, celebrated the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving, and proudly recited the Pledge of Allegiance. Emma collected dolls while Emilio collected baseball cards—he worshipped Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers and treasured his 2012 Cabrera Triple Crown card. Emma and Emilio did everything other American children did.

Their parents were determined to raise them in America, with American values and an American education. They dreamt of a better life, with higher education and, perhaps, affluence for their children. But these dreams were clouded by a secret reality—the Gonzalez family, as ‘American’ as they appeared, protected an important family secret, far more important than the Frozen game. This one could derail all of their dreams.

Emma and Emilio were taught to be careful and quiet, even though they didn’t understand why this was a big deal. But they knew Mama and Papa feared their secret would one day be discovered. Their parents’ fear was so intense; Emma and Emilio were frightened too.

Emma was conflicted. Mama once taught her that telling and keeping secrets was bad. She shouldn’t tease her little brother by telling him she knew something he didn’t know. She shouldn’t keep things from her friends, and, most of all, she shouldn’t keep any secrets from Mama and Papa. So, why was this secret okay?

Mama carefully explained the delicate situation to her children: She and Miguel came into the country legally but stayed longer than they were welcome. As a result, Mama and Papa were not citizens and did not have the protection some of their friends’ parents had. They could be picked up by the police at any time, put in jail, and even sent back to Venezuela, where conditions were terrible, especially for people who ran away and were later returned by government mandate. It didn’t matter if their minor children were citizens. If the family secret were discovered, her mother decried, it could mean hasta la vista, forever.

The threat of permanent separation from her parents terrified Emma. A secret preventing her from losing them, perhaps forever, was one worth keeping. Emilio was too young to understand, but Emma made him pinky swear to silence.

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AuthorPhoto

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

As an attorney and civil justice advocate, author Mark M. Bello draws upon over 40 years of courtroom experience in his Zachary Blake Legal Thriller Series.
A Michigan native, Mark received his B.A. in English Literature from Oakland University and his law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School. After working extremely high-profile legal cases, Mark wanted to give the public a front-row glimpse of what victims face when standing up for justice.

Combining his legal experience and passion for justice with a creative writing style, Mark not only brings high-quality legal services to his clients but captivating novels to his readers.

When Mark’s not writing legal and political novels, he writes and posts about fairness and justice in the civil justice system on his website, Legal Examiner and NotFakeNews. In his spare time, Mark enjoys traveling and spending time with his family. Mark and his wife, Tobye, have four children and 8 grandchildren.

For more information about Mark, please click here:

https://medium.com/authority-magazine/lawyer-and-author-mark-m-8e59acf7b054

Mark loves hearing from his readers! Drop him a line on the Contact page or follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, or Bookbub.

Contact: https://www.markmbello.com/contact
Website: https://www.markmbello.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MarkMBelloBooks/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarkMBello
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16283795.Mark_M_Bello
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/mark-m-bello
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Betrayal-Border-Zachary-Blake-Thriller-ebook/dp/B09FYJ6MWN/

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Mark M. Bello 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 – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Author Interview

Tell us about you as a person.

I’m Attorney/Author/Podcaster Mark M. Bello. I started writing as a senior citizen, toward the end of a 45-year legal career. I write social justice legal thrillers about real-life topics in America, featuring real-life American injustice. I have four adult children, 9 grandchildren, 4 grand-dogs, and a grand-lizard. I like to read, write, watch baseball, football, and basketball. I play senior league baseball, swim, walk, ride, play pickleball, golf, and tennis. My biggest joy is playing sports or swimming with my grandchildren.

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

Barak Obama. I’d like to discuss social justice with our 44th President and get the real story of how dangerous it must have been (and still is) to be the first Black president in a divided, still sadly racist, America.

What’s the story behind your latest book?

Betrayal at the Border tell the tale of two immigrant families wrapped up in two cases that strike at the heart of our nation’s contentious immigration debate. One family, undocumented from Venezuela, lives In Lincoln Park, Michigan. They live and work in peace until ICE raids their plant and separates parents from children. The other family lives West Bloomfield, an affluent Michigan suburb, naturalized citizens of the United States who return ‘home’ to Syria for a visit and are captured and held for ransom by ISIS.

Two unique immigrant families, two uniquely dangerous consequences of America’s dysfunctional immigration system—super-lawyer Zachary Blake to the rescue. He and his professional team must race against time to reunite the Lincoln Park family and rescue the captured West Bloomfield mother and child. 

The novel pits our nation’s broken immigration system against important human and social justice rights issues, spinning a tale that shines a bright light on the everyday fears of immigrants all over these United States. Can Zachary Blake and team prevent a Betrayal at the Border?

What is your writing process?

Except for my first novel, which was written from personal experience and a case I actually handled in my law practice, I choose my topics from actual social justice events happening in real life and real time. Once the theme of the novel is chosen, I outline the character and plot (either on the computer or in my head) and begin writing, typically in fits and spurts.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role(s) and why.

Zachary Blake would be played by someone like Justin Bartha, a nice Jewish boy from my neck of the woods. Other possible are Patrick Dempsey, Ryan Reynolds, or Ben Affleck, who fit the age and character profile. Bartha would be the logical choice.

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

That is the multi-million-dollar question. I have tried a lot of different things, without huge success. I guess I would say “perseverance” and a willingness to spend money. When I discover the secret sauce, I will be sure to let everyone know. Maybe it’s these questions and answers!

List 5 things on your bucket list.

  • Become a best-selling author
  • See a world where people of all races, creeds, colors, and religions, live in peace and harmony
  • Travel to multiple places I’ve never been
  • Greet my first paternal grandson (he hasn’t been conceived yet, as far as I know)
  • See our society get a handle on climate change.

In what way do you think that this current pandemic has changed the book & publishing industry?

I’m not sure. I suspect more people are shopping for books online, but I think that was already happening. In the Detroit area, where I live, multiple small and large book sellers went under and closed their doors. I think this is cyclical, though—we will one day see the rebirth of the corner bookstore.

Any final thoughts?

Thanks for the opportunity. I will keep on writing and encouraging readers to try my work. Reach out to let me know what you think. I am constantly seeing famous people on television hawking books, good and bad. I’d like to see television and radio shows devote some time to independent authors, from time to time. Otherwise, I plan to keep plugging away. I have just written, of all things, a Jewish recipe cookbook, featuring Zachary Blake’s fictional Jewish family. I have written (currently being illustrated for release in the winter) 4 children’s safety/social justice picture books, and I am currently working on my 8th Zachary Blake legal thriller. I am enjoying my golden years!

Book Blast – THE CAIRNS OF SAINCTUARIE

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.

The Cairns of Sainctuarie
Volume I – The Bleikovat Event
Volume II – The Missing Planets
Volume III – Inanna Phantom

From a rocky outcrop a battle-widowed Etkaa, gazed down at the death and upheaval. Rancid green Murian blood stanched the dusklit breezes from the haze-dimmed river marshlands. Nothing has been spared by the Green Dragon forces of Bleikovia. In skirmishes along the Feldon River, Etkaaâ’s mate is fatally wounded with deadly selvon poison. Through a gruesome mountain trek of icy blizzards, they elude the Green Dragon. The battered starving Feldovats reach the coast at Eedov City only to be confronted by their implacable enemy determined to destroy the remaining Klarvkon rabble. Taking passage on crowded Maalon freighters, the refugees escape toward a new life among their Maalon hosts. Enraged Bleikovats move against the Klarvkons, bringing indiscriminate bloodshed. War once again surfaces, as it did in the muddy filth along the Feldon River of Malfesov, and becomes a different kind of war.

Generations after the great Murian upheaval of the Malfesian War against the Bleikovats, the Accords between planets Terato and Myr are signed.

Provisional Outpost Terato is under construction near a farm where Teratoan orphan Eklam a’Qoc lives with his uncle and cousin. Inquisitive strong-minded Eklam, Ek to everyone in the village, is captivated by the off-worlders technology, and becomes an apprentice to the Outpost Terato’s Murian commander, Grand Duke Korvo. Uncle a’Qoc disapproves; wants nothing to do with these outlanders, wants their shimmering doorway portals-of-travel banned from Terato. As Outpost Terato becomes operational it seems to become a harbinger stirring ageless secrets of The Old Ones and their frightful weapons, of ancient Teratoan ruins, mysterious glowing lights, unexplained killings, a sacred book in a language no Teratoan can read, a moon that doesn’t behave like a moon in its wobbly orbit.

From cosmic reaches beyond space and time the ominous secrets of Terato’s ancient ruins become more threatening. Ek and Korvo realize both their worlds face extinction with any hope buried somewhere in unknown galaxies far beyond a pastoral Terato or the sophisticated star-empire of the Murians; of missing planets in a star system with its single star in a galaxy far-removed unknown to Terato or Myr. They travel across the universe to a place long forgotten to fight this unknown foe with weapons only dreamed of. Together they face the beast that wishes to consume the entire universe.

The threat of rift invasions seems long passed. Plentiful harvests abound. The Murian first-contact Terato Outpost has grown into the sprawling Terato-Murian Terminus Terato with a hub of relay portals reaching across the vast uncharted galactic expanses and connecting with its eon-extinct Lantaraan prehistory. An exploratory Terato-Murian Jupiterr outpost is established on the gas giant seventh planet, and its quantum and gravitational energies are used to power outpost portals for an archeological survey of the fourth planet, Eorthe. The Lantaraan database aboard Terato’s ancient Downday moon shows that one or more planets of the Solaris planets have apparently been lost. Expanded archeological records on other Lantaraan orbital bodies in the Solaris system show the fourth planet from the star—Eorthe—to be a sterile wasteland. Except it is not. Eorthe’s civilization is not to the level of the Murian Empire, but it is far advanced to those of a pastoral Terato. Terato and Eorthe form the confederated United Terran League under the nominal figurehead leader of League High Judikarr Eklam a’Qoc. Jupiterr outpost expands into a major League stronghold, Jupiterr Base, when civil unrest erupts in the League, the unexpected return of rift intrusions threatens, and the Murian Emperor Klarvko Celo is assassinated. As they prepare for confrontations with an unknown ancient enemy, the internal tensions on Myr and Eorthe push Murians and Teratoans to dangerous discords.

Read an Excerpt from BOOK ONE: THE BLEIKOVAT EVENT

There had been warnings…far from the Feldon River, across the flat prairies and far-flung farming settlements, in the grain fields and remote gelf ranches of the far-west reaches of Feldon provinces. Most dismissed them, “…idle gossip from those with too little to do.”

The onslaught struck late and faraway during the last harvesting moons of the growing season, and once again unsettled whispers passed. Among the markets and along trade routes far from the fields and farms of the Feldovat fiefdoms the word spread. That was before dispatch riders and message runners on ponderous muscled claks brought more disturbing rumors: “Heavy raids and ambushes all along the hinterlands this side of the Bleikov-Bormeikovat frontiers.”

One grizzled Murian farmer’s slit-pupils narrowed to thin slivers. Gently tightened the reins. Hooked to the plough, the lumbering gelf plodded to a stop. He laid the planed-wood handles of the plough sidewise onto the fresh furrow. Without moving from the trenched rows the gelf reached its thick neck to nibble the green tufts around its feet. The weathered work-aged farmer carefully slipped the reins off his shoulder. Fingered the split creeping along one sweat-stained handle, “…get this to the woodworker before spring ploughing times. Get it braced before I have to barter for a new plough handle.” Pulled off his wide-brim woven hat; wiped his forehead. Uncorked his gelf-leather water pouch; took long slow swallows. Spit a bitter-chewed slurry of brown chakklu; scowled, “…ill-tempered uplander Bleikovats.” Another long swallow…re-plugged the pouch. Bit off another twist of dried chakklu.

About the Author:

With postgraduate degrees and faculty positions in several medical universities, Hawk MacKinney has taught graduate courses in both the United States and Jerusalem. His professional writing includes articles on chordate neuroembryology, and aerospace research on muscle metabolic behavior in multi-orbital environments.

In addition, Hawk has authored several works of fiction including a historical romance Moccasin Trace which was nominated for both the prestigious Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and the Writers Notes Book Award. His Cairns of Sainctuarie Science Fiction Series and his Moccasin Hollow Mystery Series have received national and international attention.

http://www.hawkmackinneyauthor.com
http://www.sagewordspublishing.com

https://www.amazon.com/Cairns-Sainctuarie-Bleikovat-Event-Book-ebook/dp/B00A6BR6YG/ref=sr_1_3

https://www.amazon.com/Missing-Planets-Cairns-Sainctuarie-Book-ebook/dp/B01402PJM2/ref=sr_1_1

https://www.amazon.com/Inanna-Phantom-Cairns-Sainctuarie-Book-ebook/dp/B07Y2DQRT3/ref=sr_1_2

Hawk MacKinney will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Release Blitz – The Reality, Mythology and Fantasies of Unicorns

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About the Book

Title: The Reality, Mythology and Fantasies of Unicorns

Author: W.B.J. Williams

Genre: Historical

The Hunt for a Unicorn.

The belief in unicorns as magical creatures is one that is rooted deeply in human history. They are featured in myths, legends, and folk tales from multiple cultures across the globe. In this volume, W.B.J. Williams, the author of the historical unicorn-themed fantasy “The Garden at the Roof of the World”, takes us on a journey through time to the dawn of civilization, for a fascinating take on the unicorn and its origins. Step into the worlds of magic, science, mythology, and the arts on your very own hunt for a unicorn.

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Author Bio

W. B. J. Williams holds advanced degrees in anthropology and archeology. He is an avid historian, mystic, poet, and author who manages an information security program at a prominent New England start-up. He is noted for his bad puns, and willingness to argue from any perspective. He is endured by his beloved wife and two daughters, and lives in Sharon Massachusetts. When he is not at home or at his computer, he can often be found haunting the various used bookstores of Boston.

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Links

Amazon

B&N

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

SONG OF THE KING’S HEART TRILOGY

TourBanner_The-Song-of-the-King's-Heart-Trilogy-animated (1)

Blood and Chaos – Book 2
by Nicole Sallak Anderson

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GENRE: Historical Fantasy

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BLURB:

The second chapter of Lord Ankhwenefer’s story is one of love, betrayal, and death. The world needs to know this forgotten king’s tale so that the ghosts of the past may finally rest.

Prince Ankhmakis has left his beloved Natasa for war and treacherous obstacles block his path to becoming Egypt’s last native king. He is the warrior that the men revere, and his orders are followed without question. He is strong and powerful with Natasa on his side, and the fear that breeds in those around him is more dangerous to Ankhmakis than the swords of the Greeks.

Natasa has risen higher in the mystic arts than any priestess before her—and she is in more peril because of it. All she desires is to assist her lover, Ankhmakis, in his quest to take back Egypt from the Macedonians once and for all, but his jealous queen, his plotting brother, and the truest evil in the world want nothing more than to be rid of her.

Natasa and Ankhmakis fight not only against the Greeks but also those at court who will do anything to see them both dead. Together, Ankhmakis would become a great general and Natasa the mystic healer who saves him. Apart, they may not survive.

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EXCERPT

The prince of Behdet gazed across the Nile River at the city of Panopolis, its bonfires flickering like beacons in the dark night. A hot wind caressed his sunburnt face. He turned to see his enemy’s army spread out before him, torchlights zigzagging across an island downriver like ants on honey, protecting their city with their mighty arsenal of archers ships. He wanted control of the island, needed it, if he were ever to return home to his lover’s arms.

“This war is taking too long,” he hissed under his breath.

“My lord,” Min, his personal guard, answered. “It has been a year. It took our greatest ancestor, Pharaoh Amhose I, nineteen years to banish the Hyksos filth from our lands. Prior to his victory, his father and grandfather also battled for independence. Their line of kings fought for over thirty years to take Egypt unto back unto native hands. Our war is young. Be patient.”

Ankhmakis turned to his friend and captain, his lips curled. “I don’t want this to take three generations, Min. I will not leave this task to my heirs. I will march upon Alexandria and kill Ptolemy IV with my own hands. We should at least be to Memphis by now. Instead we’re in Panopolis, held back by their army. For the second time, the Inundation is at our backs. If we don’t hurry, we’ll be trapped here when the river floods. Such a failure can’t happen again.”

Cover_Blood and Chaos

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

AuthorImage_NicoleA

Nicole Sallak Anderson is Computer Science graduate from Purdue University, and former CTO for a small Silicon Valley startup, turned novelist, speaker, and blogger, focusing on the intersection of technology and consciousness. Her essays range from AI and Zen to direct democracy to the loneliness of modern parenting (https://medium.com/@NSallakAnderson/pretty-birds-in-pretty-cages-could-the-nuclear-family-be-the-reason-were-all-miserable-46126d573263) — featured as a top twenty story on Medium. In addition, her work on Universal Basic Income has been included on 2020 presidential candidate, Andrew Yang’s, website: https://www.yang2020.com/policies/the-freedom-dividend/.

Her latest project, The Song of the King’s Heart Trilogy, is a series about the last native Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt and his quest to take back his ancestral kingdom from the Ptolemaic Empire. The first two installments, Origins and Blood and Chaos, are available on Amazon. The last novel in the series, Civilization’s End, will be released October 2021. You can keep up with all her latest writing on her website nicolesallakanderson.com or by following @NSallakAnderson on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/NSallakAnderson/) , Twitter (https://twitter.com/NSallakAnderson), Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/nsallakanderson/) and Medium (https://nsallakanderson.medium.com/). Feel free to contact her, she almost always answers to any query or comment!

The books will be on sale for $0.99

Amazon Buy Links: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Nicole+Sallak+Anderson&ref=nb_sb_noss_2

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

A randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour will receive a $50 Amazon/BN GC.

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

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Interview

What would we find under your bed?
At the moment, nothing, because I don’t own very much since a wildfire burned my home and all the belongings I had. However, I used to store baskets full of shoes under my bed. I have a thing for shoes.

What was the scariest moment of your life?
When my husband was caught in traffic in a town one hundred miles away that was being consumed by wildfire while simultaneously receiving a notification that my neighborhood was on fire. The worst moment of my life as well as the scariest. My husband made it home safely, my neighborhood though, is gone.

Do you listen to music while writing?
Yes. If so what? I use music in two ways. I create a playlist in Spotify for every book I write and listen to that constantly while driving or cleaning the home. This gets me in the mood of the setting and my characters. But I can’t write while music with words is playing, so I have a few instrumental YouTube channels I follow, like Epic Music World, that I play in the background when I need to go deeper into a scene.

What is something you’d like to accomplish in your writing career next year?
I’d like to find an agent to represent my memoir about surviving wildfire.

How long did it take you to write this book?
I wrote the first draft of all three novels for the trilogy in nine months, literally downloading the whole story. Then I spent a year breaking it up into three books and polishing them to pitch to publishers.

Book Tour – STARTING OVER IN CEDARWOOD

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.

Starting over might just bring them the love they deserve.

Shaun Fallows came to Cedarwood to start over. He wants to be done with dating, but the moment he sees Kevin, the sparks are off the charts. He can’t get the sexy man off his mind. So much for not wanting to get involved. Kevin is the man of his dreams. Can he convince Kevin to give him a try or will the romance end before it gets the chance to begin?

Besides, there’s the small issue of Kevin’s cat…

Kevin Keiser did the dating thing and ended up burned. One of the few bright spots in his life is his cat, Leo. The animal might be a bit prickly, but he’s been a good meter for who Kevin should date and who he should avoid. He wants a boyfriend who isn’t put off by his pet. Shaun sure seems to fit the bill. Is he just another man or the love Kevin’s been waiting for?

Read an Excerpt

©2021 MeganSlayer All Rights Reserved

“He doesn’t date anyone who isn’t approved by his cat,” she said. “You hate cats, so you’d better just have one beer with him and cut your losses, now that I think about it.”

“I don’t hate cats.” He hadn’t found one that liked him, but that was beside the point. “Are he and the cat that close?”

“Very.”

Shaun shrugged. Cara was probably exaggerating. She tended to when she discussed something dramatic. The car accident was always the worst she’d ever seen or her kid scoring a goal was always the best goal ever in the history of eighth grade hockey. “I’ll give him a chance.”

“Who?” Warrick found them and sat beside Shaun. “Dave? Don’t date Dave. He’s full of himself. Plus, you’ll smell like you’ve bathed in his cologne.”

Shaun shrugged again. Their co-worker, Dave, did tend to wear his aftershave a bit on the thick side. Everyone who hugged him tended to smell like him.

“Shut up,” Dave said. “I heard our Shaun gave Kevin Keiser his digits.”

“Keiser? He’s so quiet,” Warrick said. “He’s gay? Oh wait. I knew that. He had a guy…Kyle someone or another. I guess they had a falling out.”

“Over the cat,” Cara said.

Shaun gritted his teeth to keep from speaking. Kevin’s personal life wasn’t their business. “You need to leave him alone.”

“Why? He had a fight with a guy over a cat. The critter hated Kyle, I think,” Warrick said. He shrugged, then downed some of his beer. “If I can’t find a woman to get along with Patrice, then it’s a nonstarter.”

“Your dog?” Dave snorted. “It’s just a dog.”

“Might be to you, but she’s a good dog,” Warrick said. “She’s more loyal than you’ve ever been.”

Shaun snorted. “You two.” He ignored the rest of the conversation in favor of the baseball game. “Kevin seemed nice and I went out on a limb. It might not work, but I won’t know unless we go out, so there.”

“You should give him a shot,” Cara said. “You’d be good for him. You’re quiet and smart like him. Maybe you’d bring each other out of your shell.”

“Maybe.” His thoughts turned to Kevin. He hadn’t felt sparks like that in ages and he liked the rush. He missed the delight of being with someone and being wanted. Hell, he liked being part of a relationship.

Besides, he was tired of the one-night stands and pretty boys who only wanted him to pump up their ego or be their sugar daddy. He was only forty-two, but sometimes he felt ancient. He worked hard for his money and the paper. Could Kevin be the one he’d been looking for?

He hoped so.

About the Author:

Megan Slayer, aka Wendi Zwaduk, is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and published since 2009. Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to LGBTQ and white hot themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been nominated at the LRC for Best Author, Best Contemporary, Best Ménage, Best BDSM and Best Anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on Amazon.com.

When she’s not writing, Megan spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but football is her sport of choice. She’s an active member of the Friends of the Keystone-LaGrange Public library.

Find out more about Megan and Wendi at: http://wendizwaduk.com/indexMegan.htm

Sign up for the newsletter here: http://ymlp.com/xgjmjumygmgj

Website – http://wendizwaduk.com/indexMegan.htm
Blog – https://wendizwaduk.wordpress.com/
Fan Page – https://www.facebook.com/wendizwaduk.meganslayer/
Amazon Author Page – http://www.amazon.com/Megan-Slayer/e/B008BJCFSC
Bookbub – https://www.bookbub.com/authors/megan-slayer
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/wendizwaduk/
Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5330530.Megan_Slayer
Twitter – https://twitter.com/#!/MeganSlayer

Buy links:

https://books2read.com/u/b5o5N7
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B096KXPMC4/
https://www.firstforromance.com/book/starting-over-in-cedarwood
https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/starting-over-in-cedarwood
https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=jqsxEAAAQBAJ
https://www.scribd.com/book/510301417/Starting-Over-in-Cedarwood
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/starting-over-in-cedarwood-megan-slayer/1139622982

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PHOTO BOMBED Book Blast

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.

When a corpse crashes the party, Bianca is on the case.

Bianca Wallace is a work from home mom raising her teenage daughter as a single parent. She’s determined to stand on her own two feet in Edenville, Texas after her bitter divorce. When the town’s wedding of the year stars her friend as the bride, Bianca can’t wait to celebrate the nuptials. Neither she nor the guests expect a corpse! When the police suspect the bride, Bianca’s determined to prove her friend’s innocence.

Lamar Sims, the new police detective in Edenville, is investigating the murder case. Bianca’s “interference” is not helping, but she won’t stop when her friend’s freedom is on the line. He makes it clear he wants her to let the police do their job, so she has to find ways around him.

No one in Edenville is safe until the killer is behind bars. Bianca won’t let Detective Sims dismiss her hunches. They may have to work together before another dead body shows up.

Read an Excerpt

“Good evening,” a tenor voice said.

Bianca raised her head and acknowledged the man taking a seat across from her. “Good evening.” She folded her fingers on the clothed table.

The man extended his tanned hand. His bright smile made him charming. “I’m Simon.”

“Bianca.” She shook his hand, ignoring his sweaty palm.

His face softened as his tone contained wonder. “Tell me something you love about yourself.”

His question surprised her. “Well… I think I love my creativity. I’m a graphic designer.”

His smile grew bigger. “How long have you been doing that?”

“I’ve been drawing since I was a kid, but I opened my business a few years back.”

“Same here.” Simon ran his fingers through his short, brown hair. He grabbed at the small bowl of nuts on her table, popping a few in his mouth without even taking his baby blue eyes off of her. “I got into photography in high school, but now I travel for the magazine I work for.”

Bianca didn’t mind this conversation so far. “That’s amazing. I know for me, graphic design wasn’t my first choice. I thought about the law, but when I had my daughter…” Her eyes bulged as Simon’s mouth fell open. “Are you all right?”

His spoke as if in disbelief. “You have a child?”

“Yes. She’s a teenager.”

“So you’re…?” He blinked rapidly as if trying to process what she was saying.

“Divorced. Almost three years now.” She tilted her head to the side, trying to read his expression. “Are you alright?”

He ran a hand down the back of his head. “Yes, I just wasn’t planning on dating a woman with children. I never wanted kids of my own.”

Bianca froze momentarily. Not everyone wanted children. She could understand that, but this was the first time she’d heard it out loud and to her face. It never crossed her mind until now that if she got into another relationship, would the man accept her daughter? If he didn’t, it was his loss. Her daughter came in the package deal.

“Thank you for sharing,” she said.

He gave a faint smile and stood to his feet. “I hope you find what you’re looking for.” He extended her hand. “Have a good evening.”

She returned the gesture. “You too.” Bianca returned to her chair as he walked away. She hadn’t expected that. As she adjusted in her cushioned seat, another man approached her table. Chin high and shoulders back. Bianca didn’t know whether to describe him as confident or cocky based off the smolder he gave her. With an earring in one ear and a gold chain hanging around his neck, he took the seat across from her.

About the Author:

Daria started writing as a teenager. Since she loves romance novels, she figured why not write them too? She also writes Christian fiction along with cozy mysteries! Daria graduated with a degree in healthcare management, so writing was not in the cards for her. It’s rare that you won’t catch her reading. Aside from that, she loves Turner Classic Movies, painting, Pilates, the piano, and chocolate.

Website: http://www.dariawhite.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Daria_White15
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/dariawhite90

Buy the book:

BN: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/photo-bombed-daria-white/1137390284

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Photo-Bombed-Bianca-Wallace-Mystery/dp/1952667496

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1034594

Other Books by the Author:

The Wedding Report https://books2read.com/u/31Gow6
Christmas Therapy https://books2read.com/u/b5Q1rA
Christmas Connection https://books2read.com/u/bMpYRV
Wish for Love https://books2read.com/u/49oyNd

Daria White will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Book Blast – SERVING THE WICKED

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.

A scared human plus a vampire with a secret. Things could be better, but they could be a lot worse.

Raine can’t remember time before the darkness. She’s a human in a paranormal world where humans are a commodity, not people, and she’s been abused by the vampires. When she ends up at the slave auction, she fears her nightmare will never end.

Enter Casey. He’s part vampire, part Fae, dangerous and only has eyes for Raine. He saw her at the BDSM club before she entered the vampire slave world and he swore he’d rescue her. He buys her the instant he sees her on the stage. The innocence in her eyes, combined with the sweetness in her soul calls to him. He wants her to serve him in the bedroom and be his partner everywhere.

She’s been hurt, and he’s a born protector. Can they make the attraction last and turn it into something eternal or will the fear win out?

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of violence, fighting and death, as well as references to forced sex and feeding from humans.

Read an Excerpt

©WendiZwaduk, 2021, All Rights Reserved

“You’re an odd vampire. Most every other one I’ve known wants me for dinner. Either you don’t because you’re weird or you’re lulling me into liking you so I’ll give in. If you are, you don’t have to make me like you. I’ll give in. I know the rules because you bought me. Remember?”

“Why don’t you shower and maybe get some sleep? I won’t kill or drain you.” He wanted her to trust him, but he didn’t want compliancy. Not yet and not outside of the bedroom. He liked her fire and the spunk he’d seen at the club.

“I don’t have much of a choice,” she said. “May I have this?”

“The wine? Of course.” He poured himself a glass of merlot. “Let’s drink to your freedom and new home.”

She stared at him, and he couldn’t read her expression. Wary? Confused? He wasn’t sure.

Casey sipped his wine. “Feel free to use whatever’s in the bathroom. I have no secrets from you.” Not many.

Her eyes widened again, and her lips parted. “You scare me.” She drank the wine in one gulp, then coughed.

Good merlot should be sipped—not gulped. But he hadn’t gone two days without food. “Why do I scare you?”

She shrugged out of his coat. “Because I can’t tell what you’re thinking or what you want from me.”

“Oh?” His previous girl had said he’d telegraphed every move.

“I don’t know what you want and I can’t figure out if you’re telling me the truth.” She left the stool. “I’d like that shower, though, please?”

He kept getting her right to the edge of opening up when she shut down again. Soon, he’d know her secrets, and she’d know his. He led her to the set of rooms along the back of the house. “In here. I’ve got towels, soap and anything you need in the drawers.”

“Even a flat iron?”

She’d volleyed a challenge. Nice. He liked her spirit. “If you want.” He turned the water on in the open stall. “I’ll leave you to your shower.”

“You can watch. I haven’t showered in ages.” She removed her filthy dress. “I used to have guards so I wouldn’t run away. I don’t know what it’s like to have privacy.”

Lomax used guards? Interesting. Casey spied the lines on her back. Lashings? “Were you whipped?”

She shuddered and didn’t turn around “I was told I deserved it.”

He touched the silvery scars. He remembered when he’d seen her at the club, she’d gotten off on being flogged, but not to the point of bloodletting. What she’d been through was abuse. She flinched when he touched her again.

“I’m sorry.” He pressed a kiss to her shoulder. “I’ll never do anything like this to you ever.”

She tensed, but didn’t pull away. “Uh-huh.”

Soon, she’d give him her trust, and he’d prove not all vampires were evil. He wasn’t a nice man—more a son of a bitch—but not with her. She could be his salvation, and he refused to screw that up.

About the Author:

Wendi Zwaduk, is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and published since 2009. Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to LGBTQ and BDSM themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been the runner up in the Kink Category at Love Romances Café as well as nominated at the LRC for best author, best contemporary, best ménage and best anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on Amazon.com.

When she’s not writing, Megan spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but football is her sport of choice. She’s an active member of the Friends of the Keystone-LaGrange Public library.

Find out more about Megan and Wendi at: http://wendizwaduk.com/indexMegan.htm

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Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Wendi-Zwaduk/e/B003KA589U/

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Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5330530.Megan_Slayer

Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/MeganSlayer

Buy links:

https://books2read.com/u/4EKkqo
https://www.firstforromance.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=71386
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B098QSZK36/
https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1575607975
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/serving-the-wicked-wendi-zwaduk/1139805908
https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=rUg3EAAAQBAJ
https://www.scribd.com/book/505413880/The-Refuge

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VBT – Sherlock Holmes and the Remaining Improbable

TourBanner_SherlockHolmes

Sherlock Holmes and the Remaining Improbable
by Susanne M. Dutton

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GENRE: Mystery

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BLURB:

The game is not afoot. The Better-Every-Day world of 1895 is gone, even hard to recall as WWI ends. From his rural cottage, Holmes no longer provokes Scotland Yard’s envy or his landlady’s impatience, but neither is he content with the study of bees. August 1920 finds him filling out entry papers at a nearly defunct psychiatric clinic on the Normandy coast. England’s new Dangerous Drugs Act declares his cocaine use illegal and he aims to quit entirely. Confronted by a question as to his “treatment goal,” Holmes hesitates, aware that his real goal far exceeds the capacity of any clinic. His scribbled response, “no more solutions, but one true resolution,” seems more a vow than a goal to his psychiatrist, Pierre Joubert. The doctor is right. Like a tiny explosion unaccountably shifting a far-reaching landscape, the simple words churn desperate action and interlocking mystery into the lives of Holmes’ friends and enemies both.

BookCover_ Sherlock Holmes and the Remaining Improbable

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EXCERPT

Watson writes:

Not for the first time, I felt a surge of gratitude for Holmes’ unspoken understanding that his digs at Bolt Cottage couldn’t suit me. No doubt his cottage fit his needs precisely, but it was no place for a visitor, perhaps purposely so. Some might say it was no place for any inhabitant at all, full as it was with apparatus meant for Holmes’ scientific inquiries, not to mention the maps and almanacs, the world’s newspapers, and of course, his library. Books lined shelves and the stairway to the sleeping loft. Books invaded the corner of the ground floor room usually devoted to meal preparation, too. They filled the unused icebox, the pots that never knew soup, and lined most of the cupboards. Books climbed the walls, stacked and somehow tracked in their positions with ribbons that hung from the center pages in a festive display—red, black, gold, green, purple, blue, white. Holmes claimed his color-coded system was modern and flawless. I never grasped it.

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Author Picture

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Susanne Dutton is the one who hid during high school gym, produced an alternative newspaper and exchanged notes in Tolkien’s Elfish language with her few friends. While earning her B.A. in English, she drove a shabby Ford Falcon with a changing array of homemade bumper strips: Art for Art’s Sake, Forgive Us Our Trespasses, Free Bosie from the Scorn of History. Later, her interests in myth and depth psychology led to graduate and postgraduate degrees in counseling.

Nowadays, having outlived her mortgage and her professional counseling life, she aims herself at her desk most days; where she tangles with whatever story she can’t get out of her head. Those stories tend to seat readers within pinching distance of her characters, who, like most of us, slide at times from real life to fantasy and back. A man with Alzheimer’s sets out alone for his childhood home. A girl realizes she’s happier throwing away her meals than eating them. A woman burgles her neighbors in order to stay in the neighborhood.

Born in Des Moines, Iowa, Susanne grew up in the SF Bay Area, has two grown children, and lives with her husband in an old Philadelphia house, built of the stones dug from the ground where it sits.

Blog https://www.inside221b.com

Facebook https://www.facebook/noguessing (Improbable Holmes)

Publisher bookstore link to book:

https://www.propertiuspress.com/our-bookstore/Sherlock-Holmes-and-the-Remaining-Improbable-by-Susanne-Dutton-p310417036

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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 WITH …

If you could apologize to someone in your past, who would it be?

I would apologize to anyone to whom I never said a real good-bye. I hate good-byes and I try duck it, always as if there will be a next time. I should not have counted on that. When I think of those people now, and how grateful I am to have known them, I feel as if I let myself, and them, down. I have resolved to do better.

If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have?

I’ve only recently learned about Hans the Hedgehog. He’s actually part boy and part hedgehog, rides a rooster and sits in a tree playing magical bagpipe music. I don’t know how he’d take to being a pet, but I have a few nice trees. He’d be welcome. His ability is to help you to find anything you need to find. That could be a place as it is now, in the past, or the future. He can also find people, lost treasures or simply wonderful ideas. Of course, he does ask for something in return. The story I read makes it clear that you must keep your side of the bargain—or else—but that when you do you won’t be sorry.

How do you keep your writing different from all the others that write in this particular genre?

Writers naturally develop their own voices, as unique as their spoken voices, though it takes years. I believe I do have a writing voice, but I have to take care. Sometimes after reading a lot of someone else’s work, I slip into a bad imitation of that voice, only because I enjoy the work so much. Reading Mark Twain is dangerous for me. Suddenly a Huck Finn type takes possession of one of my characters. As my genre in this case is mystery, but also Sherlock Holmes, it’s a difficult question to face. I want to be true to Holmes and yet address his “myth” in a unique way. I believe I’ve done that.

What are the best and worst pieces of writing advice you ever received?

Writers are individual. That’s why I enjoy being in their company. You can be headed for the same thing and be going about it very differently. Over three decades, I have had the benefit of extraordinary feedback at the Muse Writing Center in Norfolk, Virginia; Charlotte Writers in North Carolina and Kelly Writers House at the University of Pennsylvania. Michael Khandelwal in Norfolk says this about taking advice: “Take note of all the feedback you receive and be thankful for all of it. One third you may discard, one third you may keep or not, and one third is serious input. Pay close attention. You decide which is which.”

Are the experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

I’m not a 19th Century consulting detective and I don’t know one, but certainly I owe a lot to Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes’ creator. Conan Doyle based his character on Joseph Bell, a professor at the Scottish medical school he attended. Holmes’ famous method, having to do with making decisions based on actual hard evidence and not assumptions, was Bell’s method of medical diagnosis. My writing does owe a lot to what I know about relationships, good and bad, as a professional counselor in several settings.

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