Wednesday, July 31, 2013

My Precious by Clare Davidson, author of 'Reaper's Rhythm'

Author Clare Davidson has stopped by with a teaser from her new book Reaper's Rhythm.
Charley’s lying on the bed, her blond hair fanned out over the pillow. Her arms are spread wide, palms up. Crimson blood drips from deep slashes on her wrists. Her blue eyes are open, staring at the ceiling. But they don't see. They're dull, empty. Dead. The room spins. My stomach lurches and bile rises up my throat. I swallow and clap my hand to my mouth. Sagging against the doorframe, I can’t tear my gaze from the single lock of hair resting over Charley’s porcelain cheek. What should I do? Charley would know what to do. As I stumble down the stairs, my mind clicks into gear. A scream rips out of my throat, eclipsing the pounding music. My foot slips on the beige carpet, sending me tumbling down the remaining stairs. My shoulder and back slam against the wall. I scramble to my feet, screaming, sobbing, then stagger into the hallway, colliding into a young man with the darkest eyes I’ve ever seen. My own force knocks me backwards. His strong grip clenches my arm, preventing me from falling. I try to scream again, but the sound is trapped within my constricting chest. My sister is dead. A stranger is in my house.
Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00100]
Title: Reaper's Rhythm
Author: Clare Davidson
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy/ Mystery

Book Description:
When everyone thinks your sister committed suicide, it’s hard to prove she was murdered. Kim is unable to accept Charley’s sudden death. Crippled by an unnatural amnesia, her questions are met with wall after wall. As she doubts her sanity, she realises her investigation is putting those around her in danger. The only person who seems to know anything is Matthew, an elusive stranger who would rather vanish than talk. Despite his friendly smile, Kim isn’t sure she can trust him. But if she wants to protect her family from further danger, Kim must work with Matthew to discover how Charley died – before it’s too late.

My precious

Even though I have a Kindle, I love physical books and I have one particular book that I cherish above all others: a signed, first edition, first printing, hardback of the complete His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman.

My brother gave it to me on my wedding day. He was giving me away, so we were the last two to set off for the church. We had to wait for the car to come back from taking my Mum and my bridesmaids. I was so nervous. Pacing up and down, fidgeting, when my brother surprised me with a present.

I unwrapped it and revealed the deliciously dark dust jacket. The design was beautifully simple: the golden compass took pride of place, with the title in striking gold letters. I opened the book, feeling the thick paper and squealed when I saw it was signed. In an instant, nerves turned to delight.

It really was the most amazing gift my brother could have ever given me. Waiting to give it to me in that moment was a stroke of pure genius on his part. Not only do I love the book because it’s a signed, first edition, first printing copy, I love it because it brings back the happy memories of my wedding day. It really is my precious book.

Do you have a book you cherish above all others? I’d love to know what it is and why you love it so much.
Author Bio: claresmall Clare Davidson is an independent writer, based in Lancaster. Clare is a high school teacher, mother and character-driven fantasy writer. Clare was born in Northampton and lived in Malaysia for four and a half years as a child, before returning to the UK to settle in Leeds with her family. Whilst attending Lancaster University, Clare met her future husband and never left. They now share their lives with their young daughter, a cranky grey cat and an insane white kitten. She published her first novel, Trinity in July 2012. Trinity is a young adult, fantasy novel, which currently has seventeen five star reviews on Amazon UK. Her second novel, Reaper’s Rhythm, is due to be released on the 26th July 2013. Also aimed at a young adult audience, Reaper’s Rhythm is an urban fantasy with a dash of mystery.

Ways to connect with Clare Davidson:
Website Twitter Facebook Goodreads
New releases mailing list:
Purchase Links America: Kindle Paperback UK: Kindle Paperback: Amazon Waterstone's 
Giveaway: a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Sunday, July 28, 2013

I'm Shelf-ish interviews Mary Carter, author of THREE MONTHS IN FLORENCE

Mary Carter is a freelance writer and novelist.  Three Months in Florence is her seventh novel. Her other works include:  The Things I Do For You, The Pub Across the Pond, My Sister’s Voice, Sunnyside Blues, She’ll Take It, and Accidentally Engaged.  In addition to her novels she has written three novellas: A Kiss Before Midnight in the anthology, You’re Still the One, A Very Maui Christmas in the New York Times best selling anthology Holiday Magic, and The Honeymoon House in the New York Times best selling anthology Almost Home.

Mary is working on two more novellas for winter and summer of 2014, as well as her eighth novel.

Visit her website at

Connect & socialize with Mary at Twitter:

Like her on Facebook:

Click here to enter the $25 Amazon Gift Card + Books Giveaway!

About the Book:

Lena Wallace was supposed to go to Italy on her honeymoon. That was sixteen years ago. Instead, she settles for cooking Spaghetti Bolognese for her two children while her husband, Alex, is on yet another business trip to Florence without her. Lena deals with his absences in the same stoic way she deals with all her responsibilities. And then comes the call that changes everything–the one from Alex’s Italian mistress.
Stunned and heartsick, Lena flies to Florence to confront Alex. The city is every bit as beautiful as she imagined, from its glittering fountains and cafés to the golden sunsets over rolling hills. But the further she goes to salvage her marriage, the less Lena recognizes herself–or the husband she’s trying to win back. Instead, she’s catching glimpses of the person she once hoped to be and the life and family she truly wants. Most of all, she’s wondering if the real journey is only just beginning. . .
In a novel as warm and vibrant as its rich Italian setting, author Mary Carter explores the intricacies of marriage, the ways love can both liberate and confine, and the journey to happiness that begins with one surprising step. . .

Purchase your copy at AMAZON.

Thank you for this interview!  I’d like to know more about you as a person first.  What do you do when you’re not writing?

I teach writing. I walk my dog. I watch way too much television. I read. I go to pubs, plays, parks, movies.

When did you start writing?

When I was four-years-old. The Boy and the Mouse.

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?

When an agent wanted to represent me.

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?

I would spend a year in Florence. I wanted to do that while writing Three Months in Florence and didn’t get the chance. Just walking around the city makes me happy.

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do?

Pack. I’m moving.

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?


Back to your present book, Three Months in Florence, how did you publish it?

It is published by Kensington Books.

In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research?


Why was writing Three Months in Florence so important to you?

Each novel I write is important because it’s my creative expression and you are trying to portray an honest journey of a character in crisis.

Is the book always better than the movie?

Not always!

Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is?

They all come from wondering….. “What if?” The mind is a mysterious place.

Any final words?

Thank you for reading this interview. I hope you check out Three Months in Florence.
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Friday, July 26, 2013

Untimed by Andy Gavin Book Feature

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00004]ABOUT UNTIMED

Charlie's the kind of boy that no one notices. Hell, his own mother can't remember his name. So when a mysterious clockwork man tries to kill him in modern day Philadelphia, and they tumble through a hole into 1725 London, Charlie realizes even the laws of time don't take him seriously. Still, this isn't all bad. Who needs school when you can learn about history first hand, like from Ben Franklin himself. And there's this girl... Yvaine... another time traveler. All good. Except for the rules: boys only travel into the past and girls only into the future. And the baggage: Yvaine's got a baby boy and more than her share of ex-boyfriends. Still, even if they screw up history -- like accidentally let the founding father be killed -- they can just time travel and fix it, right? But the future they return to is nothing like Charlie remembers. To set things right, he and his scrappy new girlfriend will have to race across the centuries, battling murderous machines from the future, jealous lovers, reluctant parents, and time itself.

Purchase your copy at AMAZON



Andy Gavin is an unstoppable storyteller who studied for his Ph.D. at M.I.T. and founded video game developer Naughty Dog, Inc. at the age of fifteen, serving as co-president for two decades. There he created, produced, and directed over a dozen video games, including the award winning and best selling Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter franchises, selling over 40 million units worldwide. He sleeps little, reads novels and histories, watches media obsessively, travels, and of course, writes. His latest book is the young adult time travel novel, Untimed. Visit his website at
Connect with Andy:

Untimed Virtual Book Publicity Tour Schedule

Wednesday, July 3 - First Chapter Review at Reader Girls
Thursday, July 4 - First Chapter Reveal at Margay Leah Justice
Friday, July 5 - Book reviewed and First Chapter Reveal at Ellis (Reviews and Life)
Saturday, July 6 - Book Featured at Sweeping Me
Wednesday, July 10 - Book reviewed at The Musings of ALMYBNENR
Wednesday, July 10 - First Chapter Review at Read 2 Review
Wednesday, July 10 - First Chapter Reveal at Books and Needlepoint
Thursday, July 11 - First Chapter Review at Wanted Readers
Friday, July 12 - Book featured at Authors and Readers Book Corner
Sunday, July 14 - Guest blogging at Bibliophilia, Please
Wednesday, July 17 - Book Reviewed and First Chapter Reveal at Miki's Hope
Friday, July 19 - Book Reviewed at Create with Joy
Wednesday, July 24 - Book Featured at My Cozie Corner
Wednesday, July 24 - Book Featured at Book Lover Stop
Wednesday, July 24 - Book Reviewed at Alexia's Books and Such
Thursday, July 25 - Book Reviewed and Character Guest Post at My Book Addiction and More
Friday, July 26 - Book Reviewed at Mary's Cup of Tea
Friday, July 26 - Book Featured at A Room Without Books is Empty
Friday, July 26 - Book featured at I'm Shelf-ish
Pump Up Your Book
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{First Chapter Reveal} Training Temptation by Diana Baron

Genre: Erotic Romance
Author: Diana Baron
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services



Caught in a web of deceit, Caroline must run the race of her life to save her family home. Her reputation as the high society owner of the #1 stable for Ponygirls in the world is on the line. And, there’s only one man who can help her win.

Edward Hastings is steamy, passionate, and dangerous. With molten brown eyes and a rock hard body, the notorious playboy could have any woman in the world, but he only wants her. The first time he’d seen Caroline dressed like a pony, he’d been enthralled. Now, nothing will keep him from her.

They strike a deal. He’ll train her if she sticks to his rules. But rules were made to be broken. The moment he slides the bit into her mouth, she knows she’s in trouble. As he ignites a fire in her body and her mind, will she make it through the week without losing her heart to him? Or will she be able to train temptation?


The 1959 Dom Pérignon Rosé soured in Caroline’s mouth. “I’ve only missed one payment. I don’t see how the bank can start foreclosure proceedings.”

Anton reclined on the plush sofa and laced his hands behind his head. “Banks can begin the foreclosure process the second you miss a payment.”

She gazed into the flames slithering in the fireplace. “I’m going to catch up on my payment as soon as the race is over.”

His lips curled into a smirk. “I’m offering to buy you out.”

“You can’t put a price on this estate.” Her mother would shudder in her grave. Caroline imagined ancestral specters looming amongst the towering bookshelves in her library glaring with disapproval.

He oozed off the sofa, leaving a deep indentation in the cushions. He towered over her and the wine on his breath nearly gagged her. “Everyone has a price.”

She wouldn’t let him intimidate her. “I’ll never sell.”

His sudden grip on her arm startled her. Leaning close, he whispered, “Everyone has a price. The bank will be all too happy to hand the estate over to me. But maybe we can come to a certain agreement.”

The lecherous glint in his eye told Caroline the type of agreement he had in mind. She yanked her arm from his sweaty grasp then retreated to the far side of her enormous oak desk. When he didn’t follow, a trickle of relief slid down the back of her neck. “So you’re the one pressuring the bank?”

“Pressuring?” He laughed. “They just want to get paid. Money is money.”

“You won’t get this estate.”

“I always get what I want. It’s really only a matter of time.”

“Not this time!”

He pulled an envelope from his tuxedo pocket and dropped it onto the desk. “Let me know if you’re interested in my friendly offer.”

Before she had a chance to say anything, he sauntered out of the room. She crumbled the envelope into a ball then hurled it into the fireplace. The contents didn’t matter. She could never sell the legacy her mother left when she died.

The gilded walls of the study seemed to close in on her. No one could know about the threat. If even a hint of financial strain twisted in the rumor mill, people would stop bringing their ponygirls to her world-class training facility. She’d lose the last thing her mother gave her before she died, Sheridan Estate.

A log cracked and sparks exploded amongst the flames. Her ponygirl Tiffany Rose was her only hope. If she didn’t win the final race, she would lose everything.

Footsteps shushed on the carpet behind her. Caroline jumped as a deep male voice whispered into her ear.


She spun to face Edward Hastings. The son of the man who’d just threatened her stood before her, grinning.

“What are you doing up here?” The last thing she needed was taunting by her arch-rival. Through the pony circuit they’d know each other for years, but his silly jabs still annoyed her.

“I came to escort you to the ball.” He leaned his hip against the sofa and hooked his thumb into the waistband of his slacks.

Ignoring the way the fabric hung from his hips, she grabbed the precariously balanced tray from his free hand and set it on the desk. The last thing she needed was to be distracted by his delectable body. An occasional fantasy was manageable, but she’d never act on her desire.

“I don’t need an escort.” Caroline’s gaze strayed to the contours of his broad shoulders. A thousand hooves galloped across her heart. The week’s festivities hadn’t officially stated and he’d already ruined her plan to ignore him. And even worse, she’d suddenly forgotten how to breathe.

The corners of his bottomless amber eyes crinkled, a slow smile formed on his sensuous mouth. “You remembered.”

“Remembered what?”

His gaze caressed her body traveling from her eyes, to her lips, to the deep V of her neckline. “Burgundy is my favorite color on you.”

She willed her face to remain passive. “Oh? I had no idea.”

“Denying it makes things more fun, doesn’t it?” He grinned.

Clenching her fist, she fought the urge to slap him. He needed to learn that women were more than just playmates for spoiled rich brats. An assumption he’d clearly learned from his father.

“I have to see to my other guests.” She turned to walk away but his strong warm hand clasped her elbow.

“You know,” he leaned closer to her, “I’ve been looking forward to beating you in the race for, what is it now, the third year in a row? You could say I’ve been chomping at the bit.”

She rolled her eyes and yanked her arm out of his grasp. “When you see Tiffany Rose race, you’ll realize you have no chance.”


“She’s the fastest pony I’ve ever trained.”

“Care to make a little wager on the side?” His eyes seemed to hypnotize her. Maybe that’s how he lured so many women into bed.

“You know the rules, we can’t bet on the races.” She stole a quick glance at his chiseled forearms then averted her eyes.

“It doesn’t have to be money.” The sparkle in his eye implied he wanted something money couldn’t buy.
Caroline swallowed. “What exactly did you have in mind?” The second the words became airborne, she regretted them. Too late to pull them back. The race was too important to let anyone, especially him, cause such a disruption. It wouldn’t help the situation. The bottom line: If her ponies didn’t win, all remaining connection to her family would be lost.

“Well, I think…” His gaze drifted to the door where her maid stood.

“You may enter,” Caroline said.

She sauntered into the room. “Excuse me Lady Caroline, the first guests are arriving.”

“Please show them to the ballroom.”

“As you wish.”

The maid’s curvy hips gave an exaggerated sway as she left the room. Choosing the younger woman for the dressage competition would ensure a victory. The $100,000 First place prize would help, but she really needed to win the final race if she was going to pay off her debt and continue to preside over Sheridan Estate.

Nothing could be done about it now. Guests were arriving.

“I have to attend to a few matters before I go downstairs.” She waved her hand toward the door but he grasped it mid-air.

Brushing his lips across her knuckles, he whispered, “I look forward to a dance.”

A shiver of pleasure slid like sweat between her breasts. The look in his eyes left her speechless. She quickly turned away from him to hide her face.

The soft click of the door closing signaled his departure. She smoothed her palms against the satin on the bodice of her gown. She needed to collect herself and stop acting like a schoolgirl in heat.

Caroline took a deep breath and closed her eyes. She visualized a brook meandering through a valley then released a pent-up breath. Picturing herself in a serene place always helped to calm her. The tension headache threatening to ruin her night eased into a dull ache. She willed the muscles around her mouth to transform from a scowl into a smile. A mask of happiness fell into place. She’d spent years hiding her true emotions and today wasn’t any different.

As she strolled the length of the east wing, the edge of her gown lapped at her ankles. She half expected to find Edward waiting as she rounded the final curve of the hallway. No one stood near the winding staircase.
She dismissed the flutter in her chest as nerves, not disappointment. From the top of the stairs, she looked down at the crowd gathered in the foyer. She waited until her newly arrived guests tilted their faces to look up.

Edward watched from the crowd below as she raised her slender arms. Her stance reminded him of the fountain of Athena in Austria.

Caroline carried herself like a goddess as she addressed the crowd. “Ladies and gentlemen.” Her voice cast a silken spell over the guest who fell silent. “Welcome to Sheridan Estate.”

The crowd responded with enthusiastic applause. She surveyed the room and smiled while slowly descending the staircase. He took a sip of his martini and watched as a group of women adorned in glittering dresses flocked to her. Maneuvering through the crowd, he got within earshot of her conversation. With his back to her, he turned slightly to catch her reflection in the French doors.

One of the men stepped forward to greet her. “Lady Caroline.”

“Senator Garvin, it’s so nice to have you here,” she said.

The senator grasped her hand and brushed his lips across it. “The pleasure is all yours, of course.”

“Of course.” Her silvery laughter echoed through the room as he released her hand.

Edward skewered an olive and jammed it into his mouth. She flirted with everyone but him. This year, no matter what it took, he would charm her into his bed.

“Edward Hastings.” The smooth southern drawl tickled his ears as he turned to face a sultry blonde in a tight black dress. She looked vaguely familiar but he couldn’t place her.

She tapped her long red nails against her whiskey glass. “You never called.”

Where did he last see her? Think. “Darling, I’ve been so busy. I just got in from Switzerland two nights ago.”
Sliding closer, she rested her hand on his shoulder. Her breast pressed against his arm and a subtle musky perfume enveloped him.

She whispered, “You might be able to convince me to meet you on the beach again. But bring a towel this time. You don’t want to scrape your back against the rocks again.”

He instantly remembered the moaning vixen. The scars from that night were still fading and it had been over a year. He smiled. “Slamming me against them left quite the impression.”

“I’m sure it did.”

Over her shoulder he caught a glimpse of Caroline. Would she be a moaner or silent? His eyes caught hers and they gazed at each other over their conversational partners.

“What time should I meet you?” The vixen leaned into him, her hand trailing across his chest.

Caroline frowned and turned her attention back to the senator. Terrible timing, as usual. He tore his eyes from the tight curve of her hip and discretely adjusted his tux to hide his arousal.

“Excuse me. I see the senator has arrived.” He flashed his most dazzling smile then brushed the woman aside.

She sputtered behind him, “Later then?”

“Mmm,” he mumbled as he walked toward his intended prize.

As he crossed the room, he stopped to grab two champagne flutes from a liveried waiter.

Shifting closer to the senator, Caroline gazed over his shoulder at the reflective glass in the French doors behind him. She spotted the reflection of the man staring at her and the smile faded from her face.

She had to get away, fast. “Excuse me senator, allow me introduce you to Prince Franco. He just arrived.”
“Trying to get rid of me so soon?” he joked.

She leaned in and whispered, “Franco just acquired Bareli Enterprises. The announcement will come Monday, but you might want to discuss the details of his intended merger with Denning Corp.”

The senator arched an eyebrow. “Merger? It seems that the prince and I do have something to discuss.”

Attempting to disguise her distress, Caroline played the proper hostess and steered him toward the prince. After introducing them, she turned to escape.

Blend in. She could blend into the party if she hid amongst the other guests in the ballroom. With over two hundred guests at the party, she could avoid him.

Caroline threw open the heavy mahogany doors to the ballroom and her eyes darted around the room. No sign of him. Excellent.

The rhythmic beat of drums and the soulful singing of the sultry woman draped across the piano filled the ballroom with electric energy. Laughter carried through every corner of the enormous room.

A sigh escaped her lips. She knew he would be here, so why was she nervous about seeing him? Caroline had spent the last five years ignoring him. Not an easy accomplishment. Their particular fetish du jour, sexy athletic women dressed like horses, ensured they’d see each other at almost every event. This week marked the 13th Annual International Ponygirl competition. Everyone who was anyone would be here.

The sound of shattering glass smashed through the ballroom snapping her into the present. Conversations sputtered then roared back to life as the piano singer continued her song. The carnal hunger of the crowed swirled around her. Everyone’s eyes seemed misted with anticipation for the race.

Overwhelmed by the energy in the room, she threaded her way through the crowed to the safety of the kitchen where broken wine glasses littered the floor. The chef barked orders as the kitchen staff scurried to clear the mess.

She leaned over to help pick up a shard from the floor. The glass bit into her hand. Dammit. Pain slashed across her fingers and blood dripped from the wound.

The chef grabbed a clean dishrag and wrapped it around her hand. “Are you okay?” he asked.

“I’ll live.”

“Let me call a doctor.”

“I’ll be fine,” she lied. She hadn’t been fine since Anton’s threat and she wouldn’t be fine again until she was sure she wouldn’t lose Sheridan Estate. Tears formed in her eyes but she blinked them away.

The staff stared at her. She followed their attention downward to where droplets of red stained her dress.

She needed to change.

She turned to leave and Edward appeared out of nowhere. “There you are.”

Great. He’d cause an even bigger scene if she didn’t get rid of him quickly. She brushed past him. “Excuse me.”

The chef stepped between them. “Sir, you can’t be in here.”

“It’s okay, I’m a doctor.”

Aware the staff was listening, she lowered her voice. “You never finished med school.”

“It doesn’t take med school to slap on a bandage.”

She thrust her wrapped hand toward him. “Blood is dripping everywhere. Please get out of my way.”

“Wait, let me help you.”

She shoved past him and stomped down the hallway.

“I was pre-med at Stanford,” he said.

She paused. Maybe he could be of some use after all. Avoiding Edward for the rest of the week would be pointless. Why was she trying so hard to avoid him anyway? It wasn’t like he was a serial killer. Men like him were always around the stable with their latest flavor of the week, so why did she get so rattled when he was around?

She stood up straighter and pushed her shoulders back. She wouldn’t let him get to her. “All right doctor, I have a first aid kit in my bathroom but you better behave.”

“I finally get to play doctor with you.” He grinned.

Caroline put her injury-free hand on her hip. “This is exactly why I don’t think you should come up.”
He held his hands up as if he was surrendering. “I promise to be on my best behavior.”

“The only reason I’m letting you come up is because you’re the only doctor here, and I hate hospitals.”

He gestured toward her hand. “From the way it’s bleeding, it may not be minor, but I need to look at it to be sure.”

“Fine.” She could tolerate him for a few minutes.

He remained silent as they climbed the staircase to the third floor. Her room occupied the end of the east wing of the mansion.

“Sit here.” He pointed at her crushed blue velvet settee. Her hand throbbed as he unwrapped the kitchen towel. “The bleeding has slowed considerably but we need to wash it out to avoid infection.”

He grabbed a bottle of hydrogen peroxide, cotton balls and a gauze wrap. His eyebrows furrowed and his lips pressed together. Interesting, he actually seemed concerned about someone other than himself.

“This is going to sting.” He held her hand over the sink and poured the liquid onto the cut.

Shocked by the burning sensation, she yanked her hand back. “Damn, that hurts.”

His expression softened. “I know, but I want to make sure it’s completely disinfected.”

She allowed him to grasp her hand again. His fingers encircled her wrist and warmth spread up her arm.
Their eyes met in the mirror and for a moment, neither of them moved. The corners of his eyes were softer.

His full sensual lips relaxed into an inviting smile. She couldn’t look away.

“Thank you.” Maybe there was more to him than just an arrogant playboy.

He dropped his gaze to her hand then brought it up to his lips. As he brushed his smooth lips across her knuckles, he seemed to be searching for something in her eyes. The pain in her hand was forgotten as her heart threatened to explode in her chest.

The tense edge of her mouth relaxed when he looked down to wrap gauze around the wound. “You need to apply ointment twice a day. If you see any redness or swelling, or if the pain gets worse, you need to see a doctor right away, okay?”

In a daze, she nodded.

A twinkle lit up his eyes. “You realize you owe me now, right?”

His question snapped her back to reality. “I’d say name your price, but I don’t think I want to know.” Of course, he wasn’t doing this out of the goodness of his heart.

He sat next to her and turned to face her. “I’ll settle for a kiss.”

She sat perfectly still as he leaned toward her. Her pulse leapt when his fingers grazed her sensitive earlobe as he settled a lock of hair behind it.

He whispered, “You can say no.”

Mesmerized, she wouldn’t stop him. His tongue flicked out darting across his bottom lip. She wanted more than anything in that moment to taste him, to suck and nip at his lips, to tangle her fingers in his thick, luxurious hair.

Intoxicated by the subtle scent of his cologne, she inhaled deeper, pulling his essence into her lungs. Her eyes locked on his face as he shifted closer to her. Closing her eyes in anticipation, she could hear the sound of her breath mingling with his. His wine laced breath caressed her face.

“Excuse me, Lady Caroline?”

She smacked her head against his hand as she jerked back. Scowling at her maid, she said, “Amanda, you need to knock when you enter my chambers.”

“I did knock.”

“Did you wait for a proper reply?”

The maid stared at the floor. “No, Lady Caroline.”

“I should send you to the groom the ponies in the stable this week. What do you want?”

The maid glanced from her to Edward and back to her. “The guests who are staying on the property wish to retire for the night.”

Caroline stood and towered over the maid. “You have the list of who is staying in each room.”

The maid nodded toward Edward, a wry smile crossed her face. “Does he know where he’s staying tonight?”

“He’s staying in the blue room in the west wing, not that it’s any of your concern.” She raised an eyebrow and glared at the maid.

“Should I show him to his room?”

“That won’t be necessary. I was just about to escort him out.”

What was this girl up to? She wasn’t jealous of the maid, was she? The maid excused herself then sauntered out the door.

Caroline turned to him. “It’s been a long night. I trust you remember how to get to your room?”

She struggled to read his expression and it bothered her.

He stood. “I guess it has been a long night. Until tomorrow?”

As soon as he stepped into the hallway, she closed the door. She sagged against the wall as tremors rippled along her spine. The stress of being behind on mortgage payments coupled with the stress of organizing the competition killed the ability to think clearly. She'd fallen right into a trap like all of his other playthings.
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First Chapter Reveal: San Francisco Secrets by Greg Messel

Title: San Francisco Secrets
Author: Greg Messel
Format: Paperback, ebook
Length: 405 pages
Publisher: Sunbreaks Publishing

Noted novelist and newspaper editor Edgar Watson Howe once said. “A man who can keep a secret may be wise but he is not half as wise as a man with no secrets to keep”

As the spring of 1958 arrives in San Francisco, it seems that baseball player turned private eye, Sam Slater and his fiancée, TWA stewardess Amelia Ryan, are surrounded by people who have secrets.

A prominent doctor, John O’Dell is being blackmailed by someone who has discovered a dark secret from his past. When the private investigator trying to catch the blackmailer is murdered, Dr. O’Dell hires Sam Slater to try to pick up the pieces. Someone is playing for keeps and will do anything to protect their own secrets.

Meanwhile, Amelia begins her new job as an international stewardess which takes her on adventures to New York City, London, Paris and Rome. In hot pursuit is a womanizing older pilot who has his sights set on Amelia.

Their lives get even more complicated when a mysterious woman from Sam’s past returns.
Sam and Amelia’s relationship will be tested as they work together to solve the mystery on the foggy streets of San Francisco.


March 6, 1958

On a quiet sunny Thursday afternoon, a quaint, little Spanish-style bank on Macarthur Boulevard in Oakland was robbed.

Two career criminals, Lloyd Wells and Doug McAllister, who were down on their luck, were elated as they pulled off a big score and made their getaway towards San Francisco.

The small neighborhood bank, made of white stucco with a red tile roof, had minimal security provided by an ancient bank guard who seemed to be dozing when the robbers stormed in. In the middle of the afternoon, there were just a few old people putting some money in their passbook savings accounts or cashing their Social Security checks.

Wells and McAllister needed this score badly. They planned to grab their loot and head for the Reno area where McAllister had a small rundown house. The score at the bank would set them up for future exploits in Reno.

Wells was anxious to get out of the Bay Area where he had already had several run-ins with the law. The bank robbery went flawlessly. It was over in just a few minutes with the tellers quickly emptying their cash drawers into McAllister’s bag before the thieves fled.

After making a clean getaway from the bank in Oakland, the pair caught the on-ramp to the Bay Bridge and headed for San Francisco. They kept checking their rearview mirror but there was no one in pursuit, even though they expected a lot of heat after the robbery.

McAllister and Wells wanted to get as far away as possible until things cooled down a bit after the heist. Wells had a plan to stash most of the loot from the robbery and then come back later to retrieve it before they permanently relocated to Reno.

McAllister tried to do a quick count of their haul while Wells drove the car cautiously over the bridge into San Francisco. It all happened so quickly inside the bank, but to his astonishment, it looked like they might have gotten away with as much as $70,000.

Wells drove out to Ocean Beach near the Cliff House on the western edge of the city, where he had parked his light-blue and white 1953 Chevy. He pulled the stolen aqua-colored 1954 Ford into the parking lot by the beach.

The men emptied everything out of the Ford. Wells popped the trunk on his Chevy and retrieved a burlap bag. The men put their black masks, hats, gloves, and two bricks into the bag.

They inspected the interior of the stolen car one last time and then locked it. McAllister looked around and then threw the keys to the Ford as far as he could out onto the sand of Ocean Beach. Wells transferred the bag full of money into the Chevy. The two men got into the car and drove away slowly.

They drove north past the Cliff House on the roadway that snaked along the seaside heading toward the Presidio grounds.

“Pull over here,” McAllister said.

Wells complied. McAllister retrieved the burlap bag and walked to the edge of a cliff near China Beach that overlooked the Pacific Ocean. He gave the bag a few swings and then threw it as far as he could off the cliff. McAllister watched the bag create a large splash as it landed in the ocean below.

When McAllister returned to the car, Wells said, “Time to go visit uncle.”

The men then headed to a house on O’Farrell Street in the heart of San Francisco. Wells’ uncle, Andrew Griffiths, was 85 years old and lived in an old Victorian townhouse that appeared frozen in time.

Wells had always been very fond of his uncle, who had raised him after his troubled parents abandoned him. Andrew Griffiths thought of Lloyd Wells as the son he never had, but he knew in his heart that attempts to keep his nephew on the straight-and-narrow were largely in vain. Griffiths had stopped asking Lloyd about his activities. He had come to the sad conclusion that it was best if he didn’t want to know a lot of details about his nephew’s life.

Wells knew that his uncle’s health was beginning to fail and he was spending more and more time in bed. His uncle’s only child was a daughter, Yvonne, who lived in Vacaville near Sacramento.

As the men parked in front of Uncle Andrew’s house, Wells gave final instructions to his partner.

“When we get in there, I’ll go into the back of the house and keep my uncle busy. There are two high-backed overstuffed antique chairs with green upholstery by the front window,” Wells explained. “Take the bank money and stuff it in the bottom of the two chairs. Just take your pocketknife and carefully pry off the covering on the bottom of the chairs. Put the cash inside and reattach the cloth on the bottom of the chairs. Got it?”

“Got it,” McAllister replied.

“Just make sure the covering on the bottom of the chair is securely fastened so the wad of cash stays put. Put the cash in these paper bags and secure it to the frame of the chair.


“Yeah, no sweat,” McAllister said.

“It’s important that no one suspects that there is anything stashed in the bottom of the chairs. Those chairs haven’t been moved for a hundred years, so it’s the perfect place to hide our money until we come back to San Francisco and get it. I just want to make sure no one gets wise about what’s in those chairs.”

“Okay. You’re sure you can keep your uncle occupied and he won’t hear me tinkering with the chairs?”

“You could run a herd of cattle down my uncle’s hallway and he wouldn’t hear it. Just be quick about it and I’ll talk with him. I need to make sure he’s taken care of and I’ll explain that I’ll be out of town for a few weeks.”

“Sounds good. I’ll keep enough cash to get us through while we’re waiting for things to calm down,” McAllister replied.

“Right,” Wells responded. “Let’s get to work.”
Read More »

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Cassie Scot: Paranormal Detective by Cassie Scot Book Feature

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Join Christine Amsden, author of the paranormal mystery novel, Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective, as she tours the blogosphere May 13 - August 16, 2013 on her first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book! This tour is part of a huge Kindle Fire HD Giveaway. If interested in signing up for a review, interview, guest post, or book spotlight, please let us know by contacting Tracee at tgleichner (at) or leave a comment below along with your contact information.


Cassie Scot is the ungifted daughter of powerful sorcerers, born between worlds but belonging to neither. At 21, all she wants is to find a place for herself, but earning a living as a private investigator in the shadow of her family’s reputation isn’t easy. When she is pulled into a paranormal investigation, and tempted by a powerful and handsome sorcerer, she will have to decide where she truly belongs. Purchase at: barnes and noble amazon amazon


Christine Amsden has been writing science fiction and fantasy for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories. Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone. At the age of 16, Christine was diagnosed with Stargardt's Disease, a condition that effects the retina and causes a loss of central vision. She is now legally blind, but has not let this slow her down or get in the way of her dreams. (You can learn more here.) In addition to writing, Christine teaches workshops on writing at Savvy Authors. She also does some freelance editing work. Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. They have two beautiful children. Her latest book is Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective



Pump Up Your Book and Christine Amsden are teaming up to give you a chance to win a new Kindle Fire HD!

Here's how it works:

Each person will enter this giveaway by liking, following, subscribing and tweeting about this giveaway through the Rafflecopter form placed on blogs throughout the tour. If your blog isn't set up to accept the form, we offer another way for you to participate by having people comment on your blog then directing them to where they can fill out the form to gain more entries. This promotion will run from May 13 - August 16. The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter, contacted by email and announced on August 17, 2013. Each blogger who participates in the Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective virtual book tour is eligible to enter and win. Visit each blog stop below to gain more entries as the Rafflecopter widget will be placed on each blog for the duration of the tour. If you would like to participate, email Tracee at tgleichner(at)  What a great way to not only win this fabulous prize, but to gain followers and comments too! Good luck everyone!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective Virtual Book Publicity Tour Schedule

Monday, May 13 - Book reviewed at Sara's Organized Chaos
Tuesday, May 14 - Book trailer reveal at Margay Leah Justice
Wednesday, May 15 - Book spotlight at The Busy Mom's Daily
Thursday, May 16 - Character interview at Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews
Friday, May 17 - Book reviewed at By the Broomstick
Monday, May 20 - Interviewed at Review From Here
Tuesday, May 21 - First chapter reveal at Offbeat Vagabond
Wednesday, May 22 - Book reviewed at Offbeat Vagabond
Thursday, May 23 - Guest blogging at You Gotta Read
Monday, May 27 - Book reviewed at My Cozie Corner
Thursday, May 30 - Guest blogging at Miki's Hope
Monday, June 3 - Guest blogging at Janna Shay
Tuesday, June 4 - Guest blogging at The Book Connection
Thursday, June 6 - Book reviewed at Miki's Hope
Friday, June 7 - Book reviewed at Repeat Reads
Monday, June 10 - Interviewed at From the TBR Pile
Tuesday, June 11 - First chapter reveal at By the Broomstick
Wednesday, June 12 - Book reviewed at Waiting on Sunday to Drown
Thursday, June 13 - First chapter reveal at Butterfly-o-Meter Books
Friday, June 14 - Interviewed at Literal Exposure
Monday, June 17 - Book reviewed at Carol's Notebook
Tuesday, June 18 - Book featured at Naturally Kim B
Wednesday, June 19- First chapter reveal at Inside BJ's Head
Thursday, June 20 - Book reviewed at Quilted Reviews
Friday, June 21 - First chapter reveal at Literary Winner
Monday, June 24 - Interviewed at The Writer's Life
Wednesday, June 26 - Book reviewed at From the TBR Pile
Thursday, June 27 - First chapter reveal at As the Pages Turn
Wednesday, July 3 - Book trailer reveal at Pump Up Your Book
Friday, July 5 - Book reviewed at Inside BJ's Head
Monday, July 8 - 5 Things at Literarily Speaking
Thursday, July 11 - Book reviewed at Mary's Cup of Tea
Friday, July 12 - Interviewed at Blogher
Monday, July 15 - Interviewed at Broowaha
Friday, July 19 - Book featured at By the Broomstick
Monday, July 22 - Book featured at Book Marketing Buzz
Tuesday, July 23 - Interviewed at Examiner
Wednesday, July 24 - Book reviewed at Naturally Kim B
Thursday, July 25 - Book featured at I'm Shelf-ish
Friday, July 26 - Interviewed at Pump Up Your Book
Monday, August 5 - First Chapter Reveal at Confessions of a Book Habitue
Tuesday, August 6 - Book reviewed Confessions of a Book Habitue
Wednesday, August 7 - Interviewed at As the Pages Turn
Friday, August 9 - Top Ten at Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews
Monday, August 12 - Interviewed at Beyond the Books
Tuesday, August 13 - Guest blogging at The Writer's Life
Wednesday, August 14 - Book featured at Authors and Readers Book Corner
Thursday, August 15 - Up Close and Personal at Between the Covers
Friday, August 16 - Book featured at The Road to Here
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Monday, July 22, 2013

Magnolia and Lotus: Selected Poems of Hyesim by Ian Haight Book Feature


Enlightenment as a process: what might it have been like for a Korean Buddhist monk who lived hundreds of years ago? If enlightenment is an unfolding of wisdom, what progressive awareness is suggested by that unfolding? Imagine, then, this same monk becoming the leader of the nation’s most important Buddhist Order: the Chogye. Magnolia and Lotus: Selected Poems of Hyesim suggests what Hyeim might have valued in life; as a monk; and as an early founder of Korea’s largest Buddhist sect. Despite his achievements, this collection asks, did Hyesim eventually relinquish his position? If so, why? What were Hyesim’s thoughts in his final years? Each of the translated poems, attentive to the nuances of Hyesim’s Buddhist and Confucian background as well as the landscape of Korea, posits the point of view of Hyesim, his voice, and his time.  

Purchase your copy at AMAZON



Ian Haight was a co-organizer and translator for the UN's global poetry readings held annually in Pusan, Korea, from 2002-4. He has been awarded 5 translation grants from the Daesan Foundation, Korea Literature Translation Institute, and Baroboin Buddhist Foundation for the translation, editing, promotion, and publication of Korean literature. Ian is the editor of Zen Questions and Answers from Korea (2010), and along with T’ae-yŏng Hŏ, the translator of Borderland Roads: Selected Poems of Kyun Hŏ (2009) both from White Pine Press. Ian’s translations, essays, poems, and interviews have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Writer’s Chronicle, Barrow Street and Hyundae Buddhist News, among many other publications. For more information, please visit His latest book is Magnolia and Lotus: Selected Poems of Hyesim

Magnolia and Lotus Virtual Book Publicity Tour Schedule

Tuesday, July 2 - Book featured at Cindy's Love of Books
Thursday, July 4 - Guest blogging at Read 2 Review
Friday, July 5 - Book featured at Parenting 2.0
Tuesday, July 9 - Guest blogging at The Writer's Life
Thursday, July 11 - Interviewed at Literal Exposure
Friday, July 12 - Guest blogging at Allvoices
Monday, July 15 - Up Close and Personal at Between the Covers
Wednesday, July 17 - Book featured at Beyond the Book
Thursday, July 18 - Guest blogging at The Book Barista
Friday, July 19 - Interviewed at Book Marketing Buzz
Monday, July 22 - Book featured at I'm Shelf-ish
Tuesday, July 23 - Interviewed at Review From Here
Wednesday, July 24 - Guest blogging at The Story Behind the Book
Friday, July 26 - Interviewed at Pump Up Your Book Pump Up Your Book
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Vampire Vic by Harris Gray Book Review

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Would you give up donuts…for blood? Fat, balding accountant Victor Thetherson hoped becoming a vampire would turn his life around. But Victor can’t stomach confrontation and gets queasy at the sight of blood. Instead he gets it from the blood bank, diluted in bloody Bloody Marys. The result: a vampire who doesn’t bite, and a man who gets no respect. Victor’s slacking staff mockingly calls him Vampire Vic. Victor’s boss amuses his wife by intimidating Victor on video. His ex makes him stay out late while she entertains boyfriends in the house she insists they continue to share. One night it finally boils over, and Victor bites someone. And then another…and very soon, he’s no longer visiting the blood bank. Muscle replaces fat, and his comb-forward widow’s peak takes root. Victor basks in newfound attention and respect, at the office and at home. But real vampires get hunted, and as the transformation reaches the tipping point, Victor must decide how much he’s willing to sacrifice for the power of the vampire. Purchase at: amazon     Add on: goodreads

If you are like me, you are sick of the 'sparkly' vampires, the vampires young and old girls alike swoon over and wouldn't have any problem spending time with, and even consider becoming one of them. Thankfully, Vampire Vic was not at all one of those books. Victor Thetherson is a laughing stock when it comes to vampires. His staff makes fun of him and his wife cheats on him while making him stay outside of his own house. And Victor takes least for a little bit. But, like many of us he reaches his breaking point and one day he does what vampires were made to do - he bites someone. And that's when his life changes.

No longer the laughing stock, he is now a muscular vampire who people respect. With their unique take on vampires, authors Harris Gray have taken this story to a new level. Whether you believe in vampires or not (and who am I to say they don't exist) you can either personally relate to the plight of Victor's tale, or know someone who is like Victor. And who among us wouldn't want to gain the respect of our peers and show them we aren't who they thought we were. But, at what cost?

A fabulous book and one I would highly recommend. Even if you think you are sick of vampires, please do yourself a favor and read this book. The writing style is unique and intriguing, and something I am sure you will enjoy.


Harris Gray finish their third pint and mull over their next writing project, simultaneously deciding on a vampire book. Because the women in their lives eat up every vampire story on the shelves. And for the gratuitous T&A. But hunky, smoldering vampires are beyond their grasp; and dammit, T&A should mean something. Deciding to write what they know, Harris Gray return to their wheelhouse: An aging, uncomfortable man, not so happy with his lot in life. A man bitten by a vampire, unsure what to do with his new…skillset. Vampire Vic – VV – is born. Perfect. The latest book is Vampire Vic.



Pump Up Your Book and Harris Gray are teaming up to give you a chance to win a new Kindle Fire HD!

Here's how it works:

Each person will enter this giveaway by liking, following, subscribing and tweeting about this giveaway through the Rafflecopter form placed on blogs throughout the tour. If your blog isn't set up to accept the form, we offer another way for you to participate by having people comment on your blog then directing them to where they can fill out the form to gain more entries. This promotion will run from May 6 - July 26. The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter, contacted by email and announced on July 27, 2013. Each blogger who participates in the Vampire Vic virtual book tour is eligible to enter and win. Visit each blog stop below to gain more entries as the Rafflecopter widget will be placed on each blog for the duration of the tour. If you would like to participate, email Tracee at tgleichner(at)  What a great way to not only win this fabulous prize, but to gain followers and comments too! Good luck everyone!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Vampire Vic Virtual Book Publicity Tour Schedule

Monday, May 6 - Book featured at Margay Leah Justice
Thursday, May 9 - Book featured at Review From Here
Monday, May 13 - Interviewed at Digital Journal
Wednesday, May 15 - Interviewed at Pump Up Your Book
Friday, May 17 - 1st Chapter Reveal at Book Him Danno
Tuesday, May 21 - 1st Chapter Reveal at As the Pages Turn
Thursday, May 23 - Guest blogging at Literarily Speaking
Monday, May 27 - Up Close and Personal at Between the Covers
Tuesday, May 28 - Book featured at Jody's Book Reviews
Wednesday, May 29 - Interviewed at Literal Exposure
Friday, May 31 - Book featured at Plug Your Book
Monday, June 3 - Book featured at Parenting 2.0
Tuesday, June 4 - Book featured at Book Reviews by Dee
Wednesday, June 5 - First Chapter reveal at Sapphyria's Book Reviews
Friday, June 7 - Book Featured at Mary's Cup of Tea
Monday, June 10 - 1st Chapter Reveal at Literary Winner
Tuesday, June 11 - Character Interview at Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews
Wednesday, June 12 - Guest blogging at The Paperback Pursuer
Friday, June 14 - Interviewed at Review From Here
Tuesday, June 18 - Book featured at Naturally Kim B
Wednesday, June 19 - Book Featured at Miki's Hope
Friday, June 21 - Guest blogging at My Book Addiction and More
Tuesday, June 25 - Book Featured at Moonlight, Lace, and Mayhem
Thursday, June 27 - Guest blogging at You Gotta Read
Tuesday, July 2 - Interviewed at The Writer's Life
Wednesday, July 3 - Interviewed at Broowaha
Thursday, July 4 - Guest blogging at A Little Bit of R & R
Friday, July 5 - Interviewed at The Top Shelf
Monday, July 8 - Book Featured at Authors and Readers Book Corner
Tuesday, July 9 - Interviewed at Janna Shay
Tuesday, July 9 - Guest blogging at Review From Here
Friday, July 12 -Interviewed at Examiner
Monday, July 15 - 1st Chapter Reveal at CelticLady's Reviews
Monday, July 15 - Book reviewed at The Top Shelf
Tuesday, July 16 - Book reviewed at My Cozie Corner
Wednesday, July 17 - Book reviewed at Inside BJ's Head
Thursday, July 18 - Book featured at Beyond the Books
Friday, July 19 - Book featured at Cheryl's Book Nook
Monday, July 22 - Book reviewed at I'm Shelf-ish
Monday, July 22 - Book reviewed at Steph the Bookworm
Tuesday, July 23 - Book reviewed at Gina's Library
Tuesday, July 23 - Book reviewed at Naturally Kim B
Wednesday, July 24 - Book reviewed at Mary's Cup of Tea
Wednesday, July 24 - Interviewed at Book Marketing Buzz
Thursday, July 25 - Guest blogging at Darlene's Book Nook 
Friday, July 26 - Interviewed at From the TBR Pile
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Friday, July 19, 2013

Trading Vincent Crow by D.C.J. Wardle Book Feature

Trading Vincent Crow reduced sizeABOUT TRADING VINCENT CROW

Vince Crow had heard somewhere that you could trade a piece of useless junk on the internet and within a year of swapping it for better and better things you could get cool stuff. Crow decided that he himself was going to start off as that piece of tat, jump from one job to the next; indeed he would trade one lifestyle for a new one, until he was finally a success. Every three months he would have to trade-up for an entirely new life - new job, new girl, new wheels, new pad, new threads - until he reached the top. The plan of comparing himself to a used item traded over the internet was of course marginally flawed, as there is a human factor to all of this which he'd over-looked. Besides, success isn't just about work. It's about the car, the clothes, the house, and getting the girl, so changing all of that with every new trade upwards is a lot more difficult than swapping an old stereo in the classifieds. Crow quickly learns what the price of success really is. An education he would never have got if he had gone to college.
Purchase your copy:




D. C. J. Wardle holds post graduate qualifications in development management as well as community water supply engineering. Over the past twelve years he has worked extensively in developing countries in Africa and Asia, managing emergency and development programmes. You can visit D.C.J. Wardle’s website at:
His latest book is Trading Vincent Crow.



Trading Vincent Crow Virtual Book Publicity Tour Schedule


Monday, July 1 - Book featured at Naturally Kim B
Tuesday, July 2 - Guest blogging at Janna Shay
Wednesday, July 3 - First chapter reveal at Parenting 2.0
Thursday, July 4 - Guest blogging and First chapter reveal at My Devotional Thoughts
Friday, July 5 - First chapter reveal at Miki's Hope
Friday, July 12 - Book reviewed at Naturally Kim B
Monday, July 15 - Interviewed at Broowaha
Wednesday, July 17 - Interviewed at Pump Up Your Book
Friday, July 19 - Book featured at I'm Shelf-ish
Monday, July 22 - Interviewed at Book Marketing Buzz
Tuesday, July 23 - Interviewed at Review From Here
Wednesday, July 24 - Guest blogging at Straight from the Authors Mouth
Thursday, July 25 - Interviewed at Examiner
Friday, July 26 - Book reviewed at Quilted Reviews
Pump Up Your Book
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