Friday, January 24, 2020

An exclusive excerpt from Spent Identity by Marlene M. Bell

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Spent Identity is a new contemporary romantic suspense novel from author Marlene M. Bell. Today, I'm giving you an exclusive sneak peek inside this book before you download your own copy. Be sure to visit other stops on the tour for even more! And best of luck entering the great giveaway at the end!



Spent Identity


(Annalisse Series #2)
By Marlene M. Bell
Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Paperback & ebook, 378 Pages
December 11th 2019 by Ewephoric Publishing

To find her missing aunt, she has to unearth the secrets of the past. But lies and deceit run through the very heart of their town….

What started out as a promising relationship with adventurer and tycoon Alec Zavos has fizzled into an uncertain future for antiquities expert Annalisse Drury. Returning to Walker Farm in Upstate New York to see her Aunt Kate should have been a welcome homecoming and distraction. Instead, she finds the childhood home she expected to inherit is for sale, without her permission. What’s worse, Kate’s ranch manager makes a gruesome discovery in the barn: the body of a man, dead by foul play.

Annalisse turns in Alec’s direction for help. She and her aunt shelter on his estate in the Catskills while the authorities canvass the scene. But when Kate herself disappears without a trace, Annalisse fears the worst: that one of the many secrets of her hometown has ensnared her family—a secret someone is willing to kill for to keep hidden.


Praise for the Book

"The story is welcoming and vibrant, and much of it is nuanced and warm. When Bell aims for fun adventure, she hits the bull's-eye." - Booklife Review

"...Bell keeps her well-paced story moving. Her use of dialogue to drive the narrative is excellent and she sticks the twist ending nicely, one of the harder tricks to pull off in this genre. Her characters are vivid and spot-on..." - IndieReader Review

"Ambitiously written, Spent Identity has lots of action, a solid narrative, and engaging dialogue that give it substance, while the theme of betrayal cuts a wide swath. Enhanced with a cast of well-balanced and wide-ranging characters, Spent Identity acts as more than a run of the mill mystery, with engaging and relatable family relationships woven into the mains storyline. Suspenseful and well-crafted, Spent Identity is a consistently entertaining read." Self-Publishing Review



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Excerpt:
Helga’s giggles erupted from the kitchen. 
“We shouldn’t do that to her. Did you see Helga’s mouth drop? We’ll give that poor woman the vapors.” Annalisse drawled out the last few words, fanning her cheeks, imitating a proper Southern lady. “It’s great seeing you so… unscripted. How’d you get away from the union bosses?”

Alec slid his belt from the loops and slipped off his tie, liberating the first few buttons of his simple dress shirt. Tall, in white broadcloth and thigh-hugging slacks, he was one of those guys who made everything he wore look good.

She admired the brawny biceps and strong shoulders. Not surprising that he worked too much for an occasional workout, but the illusion remained in his thick, athletic neck and small waist.

He began unbuttoning at his collar, exposing a tiny bit of hair, then stopped and checked to make sure she was paying attention.

“Are you going to undress? Here? With Helga on the other side of that wall, painting pictures in her mind? This is so unlike you.”

Alec leaned back on his loafers and continued to observe her without answering her. He dropped his gaze from her to the floor and kicked off his shoes.

“Sweetness, I’m such an idiot.” A clap of thunder shook the room. “Chief Thundercloud agrees.” He chuckled and sat on the edge of the couch, leaning over to take off her boots. When her feet were bare, he tickled the bottom of her foot.

Her legs jerked reflexively, and she sucked air between her teeth. “You know that drives me nuts.” Annalisse reached out. “I like it. It’s good to have you this close and happy for a change.” Her hand dropped to bare skin, and she savored how it leaped under her fingers when she stroked his chest.


Other Books in the Series


Stolen Obsession

(Annalisse Series #1)
By Marlene M. Bell
Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Paperback & ebook, 294 Pages
June 30th 2018 by Ewephoric Publishing

People die, but legends live on.

New York antiquities appraiser Annalisse Drury recently lost her best friend to murder. The killer’s identity may be linked to her friend’s expensive missing bracelet—a 500-year-old artifact that carries an ancient curse, one that unleashes evil upon any who dare wear the jewelry created for the Persian royal family.

Weeks later, Annalisse sees a matching necklace at a Manhattan gallery opening. She begs the owner to destroy the cursed piece, but her pleas fall on deaf ears—despite the unnatural death that occurs during the opening. With two victims linked to the jewelry, Annalisse is certain she must act.

Desperate, Annalisse enlists the gallery owner’s son to help—even though she’s afraid he’ll break her heart. Wealthy and devastatingly handsome, with a string of bereft women in his wake, Greek playboy Alec Zavos dismisses Annalisse’s concerns—until his parents are ripped from the Zavos family yacht during their ocean voyage near Crete.

Annalisse and Alec race across two oceans to save his mother, feared dead or kidnapped. When the killer changes tactics and goes after Alec behind Annalisse’s back, can her plan to rescue Alec’s mother save them all?

Hold on for a heart-thumping, thrilling adventure through exotic lands in this fast-moving romantic suspense mystery by Marlene M. Bell.

Praise for the Book

"Debut author Bell delivers a great, slow-building romance, gently examining her characters' painful pasts." — Kirkus Reviews

"An irresistible page turner and a successful melding of thriller and romance. With a splash of international adventure and plenty of surprises, Stolen Obsession is an entertaining read and a great beginning to the Annalisse Series." — Self-Publishing Review, ★★★★½


(Affiliate links included.)


About the Author

Marlene M. Bell is an award-winning writer and acclaimed artist as well as a photographer. Her sheep landscapes grace the covers of Sheep!, The Shepherd, Ranch & Rural Living, and Sheep Industry News, to name a few. Her catalog venture, Ewephoric, began in 1985 out of her desire to locate personalized sheep stationery. She rarely found sheep products through catalogs and set out to design them herself. Marlene and her husband, Gregg, reside in beautiful East Texas on a wooded ranch with their dreadfully spoiled horned Dorset sheep, a large Maremma guard dog named Tia, along with Hollywood, Leo, and Squeaks, the cats that believe they rule the household—and do.


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One winner will receive the following (valued at $230):
  1. Poppies Overnighter bag – Leather and canvas
  2. Large Spa Tin – Lavender scents
  3. Autographed novel by Marlene with companion wire bound notebook
  4. Authentic Vera Bradley portable umbrella
  5. $50 Amazon gift card                                        
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Ends February 5, 2020

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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Deleted Scene and Review of Secrets of the IN-Group by Carolyn Re and Loretta Re


Welcome to the book tour for Secrets of the IN-Group by Carolyn Re and Loretta Re! I have an excerpt and my review of this book for you today. But even more fun is a deleted scene that the authors wanted to share with you all. Be sure to let them know what you think in the comments section! And then be sure to follow the tour for even more. You can also enter to win a $10 gift card in the giveaway at the end!

************************

Deleted Scene from Secrets of the IN-Group
‘Martin?’

Denise tried to keep her telephone voice light, untroubled. She didn’t want Martin to know that she’d already ditched PayPal while selling online.

‘Could I ask for some advice? I have a customer who’s suggesting we stop using PayPal and do our transactions off-line instead. Save us both the fees involved. I wondered if you could trace her email address for me first, though? To check that it’s genuine, before I agree.’

‘Happy to,’ Martin’s confident, reassuring tone soothed her nerves but only until his next words. ’But my advice would be “DON’T DO IT”. It’s too risky and it’s not worth bypassing safeguards for the small amount you’ll be saving.’ 
‘Sure, understand that completely.’ Boy, did she understand that—now! Unbeknown to Martin, the off-line payment she was expecting hadn’t come through.

‘But this customer has bought from me before, and she’s always been trustworthy,’ she continued. ‘In fact, we’ve become quite good friends. She lives in the US. I wasn’t going to take her suggestion on as a serious proposition, but … I thought … out of curiosity … it might be interesting to check if her email address is genuine.’ 
‘No problem at all,’ Martin said, before adding, ‘of course, they play the long game.’

‘What do you mean, “they”? Who are “they”?’ 
‘Scammers. They do small sales at first and always pay on time to convince you that they’re honest, make out they’re your friend, that they have similar interests etcetera until they’ve reeled you in. Then they suggest you move off line, claiming it will save you money. Before you know it, BANG! You’ve done a whole wad of cash.’ 
Denise held her breath. Did he know already? She gave a feeble laugh but said nothing.

‘So, what’s the email address?’ he asked. ‘Don’t worry, if it’s not genuine I’ll pick it.’


‘I’ve got the information you’re after Denise.’ It was Martin again, just twenty-four hours later, sounding pleased. ‘Wise decision to check it out first. The email address re-routes though several countries, but ends up in Eastern Europe. It’s a scam all right.’



Secrets of the IN-Group

A small town. A world wide web. Is the net really a friend?

What do you do when the children have flown the nest and you have time on your hands?

Six women in the Australian riverside city of Albury realise that, without social media skills, they’re staring irrelevancy in the face. Their book club won’t cut it any more. It’s time to go virtual.

But their decision to plunge into the on-line world brings shocking revelations and unexpected outcomes. Friendships, new and old, are tested and their lives teeter on the edge of collapse. They must navigate a path through the chaos. But who exactly can they trust?


Read an excerpt:
[At Martin’s technology lesson, Sarah is shocked at an image on her husband’s iPhone]

—Sarah tried to smile, but her face felt stiff, as if she’d had Botox injected. Her mind screamed: Who is this girl who looks so like Anna? Why is she on Rob’s home screen? And why is he enveloping her in some sort of … horrible hug? It wasn’t the kind of hug you’d give a girlfriend, more like a father’s proud embrace.

Andrea cleared her throat loudly in a distracting way, quite out of character.

‘Sorry, but I have to go soon,’ she said, gathering her things. She slid her iPad into its leather satchel. ‘Such a nuisance. It’s been fun tonight.’ She looked at Martin. ‘There’s only ten minutes left, would you mind if we finished early? Pick up on this again next week?’

Thank you, Andrea. The ploy had given Sarah momentary breathing space. Her internal scream quietened a little. She had to get out of here, away from the goodbye chatter and the polite offers to take a slice of cake home. She needed to digest what she’d seen and work out what it meant. She had to have time to think.

She dreaded time to think. With the flick of a switch—what a cliché, but how true in this case—her life had changed. It was all so confusing; her fragmented brain whirled with questions. But an answer, barely thought out, misshapen but insistent, was boring into her brain.

Rob has another daughter somewhere. A daughter who’s the image of ours …

Buy Links
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**My thoughts**
I have to admit that I was first drawn to the book because of its title. In college, one of my groups of friends called ourselves the "In Group," but it was somewhat different. Granted, we were quite the motley crew of young men and women brought together because of technology, but were still young and foolish and rarely discussed books. And we definitely did learn a lot of life lessons along the way.

When I started to read the book, I was, of course, delighted to find that the first women we were introduced to was also named Andrea. It's always amusing to read about a character who shares your name, because you find yourself kind of comparing yourself to that character. Or at least I do. And then we meet all of the other ladies.

Andrea and Sarah have been friends almost forever. They decide to start a book club and end up making four new unlikely friends, Kate, Denise, Libby, and Neelam. They segue into learning about the technological world, as they can barely use smartphones and Kindles, let along iPads and laptops. They enter the world of email and blogging and online buying/selling and so much more, thanks to their attractive and patient widowed instructor Martin. It's like a whole new world has opened up for them. But shiny things are not always as wonderful as they seem.

Each of these women is in need of a makeover in her life. There are secrets from previous lives from before the group and new secrets uncovered thanks to technology, as well as technology creating horrible new secrets that they keep from each other. Friendships are tested and families are forever changed. Romance is in the air, as is deception. These women have a lot to learn about life, despite all of their years of experience. And most of all, they learn a lot about themselves as they each go through their personal trials and tribulations. Likewise, the reader may learn a little bit of life lessons as well, if she is paying attention and open to it.

I was gripped by their roller coaster of plights, applauding their triumphs and cringing during their disasters. It could be interesting to find out what else happens to these ladies in the future. And I will be on the lookout for more collaborations between these sister authors.


About Carolyn Re

Carolyn Re worked for over twenty years as a general practitioner before turning to writing. No longer needing to produce serious medical and scientific articles, she's now writing contemporary fiction for older women. Carolyn lives in the regional city of Albury, New South Wales, with Ziggy the whippet and three contented chickens.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/regal525
Website: https://outsidethesquare101.com/


About Loretta Re

Loretta Re is a former lawyer who is now writing novels and screenplays. Her book for middle grade readers, Stand Up and Cheer, is a story inspired by the rescue of the Uiver DC2 over Albury during the 1934 Centenary Air Race. It was voted one of the best books for literacy and language development in 2015. Loretta lives in Sydney and is on the board of Writing NSW.


Carolyn Re and Loretta Re will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Read an excerpt from The Matchmaker's Rogue by Regina Scott

On Tour with Prism Book Tours


Welcome to the book tour for The Matchmaker's Rogue by Regina Scott! Today I am sharing an exclusive excerpt from this historical romance. Be sure to also check out the rest of the tour for more. Plus there's a great giveaway at the end!



The Matchmaker's Rogue
(Grace-by-the-Sea #1)
By Regina Scott
Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 272 Pages
January 8th 2020

Grace-by-the-Sea: Where romance and adventure come home.

Polished Jesslyn Chance has one of the most enviable positions in the little Regency coastal village of Grace-by-the-Sea. She is the hostess of the spa, arranging introductions and entertainments and playing matchmaker to the ladies and gentlemen who come to take the waters, promenade through the shops, and dance at the assembly. But when a rogue returns from her past, Jess finds herself suddenly at sea.

Always an adventurer, Larkin Denby left Grace-by-the-Sea to right the wrongful death of his father. Now he’s back on a mission: to identify the mysterious Lord of the Smugglers who allegedly sails from Grace Cove and takes England’s secrets to France. But Grace-by-the-Sea is the perfect little spa town, run by the still oh-so-perfect Jesslyn Chance. When the village’s future is threatened, Jess must work with Lark to solve the mystery and protect the town’s own. In doing so, the matchmaker of Grace-by-the-Sea may just find that the best match for her is the rogue who stole her heart years ago.

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Read an excerpt:
Jess took another deep breath, feeling as if she’d been wanting air for the last few moments. What was wrong with her? She’d been pursued by two other men in the time since Larkin Denby had shaken the chalk soil from his boots and ridden away from Grace-by-the-Sea. Neither of those courtships had been successful, of course, but she’d realized that her skill lay in matching others. And she had to deal with men every day—visitors to the spa, shopkeepers in the village. None were quite that handsome, that confident, but still.

She raised her chin. “Two hours yet until tea,” she told her aunt, attempting to return things to normal. “Are you pouring today, or shall I?”

But Maudie started around the tall desk as if intent on chasing after their newest guest. “You can pour. I’ll be watching Mr. Denby. I tell you, there’s something odd about him.”

Jess caught her arm to keep her from accosting him. Such a scandal would cost them their positions, and where would they be then?

“Mr. Denby will get on with the others famously,” she assured her aunt, letting go of her cautiously. “Look, he’s talking with the general like a gentleman.” The two men chatted, strangers making idle conversation as so many of their guests did. Then Lark moved on, leaving the general smiling as he rubbed the paunch straining his waistcoat.

“Mr. Denby doesn’t fit in the spa,” Maudie argued. “He doesn’t look the least bit ill. He has no limp, no squint, no sign of a scrofulous cough.”

“Neither did most of our visitors to arrive this summer,” Jess pointed out. “Not everyone comes to the spa because they are ill.” She tidied the stack of pamphlets, noticed her hands were trembling, and shook them out. At this rate, her aunt might suggest that Jess take the waters!

About the Author

Regina Scott started writing novels in the third grade. Thankfully for literature as we know it, she didn’t sell her first novel until she learned a bit more about writing. Since her first book was published, her stories have traveled the globe, with translations in many languages including Dutch, German, Italian, and Portuguese. She now has more than forty-five published works of warm, witty romance.

She loves everything about England, so it was only a matter of time before she started her own village. Where more perfect than the gorgeous Dorset Coast? She can imagine herself sailing along the chalk cliffs, racing her horse across the Downs, dancing at the assembly, and even drinking the spa waters. She drank the waters in Bath, after all!

Regina Scott and her husband of 30 years reside in the Puget Sound area of Washington State on the way to Mt. Rainier. She has dressed as a Regency dandy, learned to fence, driven four-in-hand, and sailed on a tall ship, all in the name of research, of course. Learn more about her at her website.



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One winner will receive print copies of all six books in Fortune's Brides series (Never Doubt a Duke, Never Borrow a Baronet, Never Envy an Earl, Never Vow for a Viscount, Never Kneel to a Knight, and Never Marry a Marquess)


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Remember Fate (Healing Hearts) by Ginny Sterling


Remember Fate

Lucy Reyes didn’t need anyone interfering with her life as an investigative reporter. She’d found out the hard way that having to depend on someone made you weak and left you vulnerable. When she overhears a private conversation that leaves her feeling sorry for her childhood crush, she takes up the mantle and begins writing the soldier who’d been betrayed.

Jamie Post had always known the direction of his life. He had a fiancée back home and was working diligently to be a strong provider until he discovers that Annabelle’s loyalty lies elsewhere - in someone else’s arms. Jamie takes what comfort he can in purging all his thoughts and emotions to a acquaintance on the other side of the world, when suddenly Lucy materializes on base in Afghanistan in jeopardy.

Can Lucy tackle a job in the middle of a warzone while fighting the feelings inside of her? Will Jamie discover that letting down his guard means letting someone back into his heart? Can fate intervene, bringing these two hearts together in a world torn apart?



Available on Amazon
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Find more of Ginny Sterling's books here.


I was compensated via Fiverr for sharing this post. I only share those books that I feel will be of interest to my readers.

Monday, January 20, 2020

America's Culture War: 2020 DiVision by Stephen Grant



No matter what anyone tells you, we’re in a war—a culture war. Our morality is at stake, and our children are growing up in a dangerous world. We’re hearing conflicting things online and from the media; our fellow citizens are becoming lazy, relying on the service of the government and the kind hearts of the religious. The best thing we can do in these troubled times is open our minds to the truth. The real truth, not the truth spouted in fake news and reports.

Whether you’re conservative or liberal, you can agree that the United States of America needs some old-fashioned TLC. Neither political party is perfect, and focusing on our disagreements isn’t solving our problems. Instead, think back to our Constitution. Think back to our Founding Fathers. Is this really the nation we made? Can we really justify pandering to today’s society?

I’m asking for your eyes and ears, just for a short time. I’m no politician, no expert of any kind, but I implore you to rethink what it means to be an American. Let’s make a more perfect union together for this is a country of the people, for the people, and by the people.


Available on Amazon
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I was compensated via Fiverr for sharing this post. I only share those books that I feel will be of interest to my readers.

There Be Demons (Demon Wars Book 1) by M.K. Theodoratus


Demon Wars, Book 1
Supernatural Fantasy

 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png

Britt never dreamed demons existed. Then, the Angeli drafted her to fight them.

When the stone effigy she finds turns into a live gargoyle and tells her she must learn magic in order to fight demons, headstrong Britt Kelly wants to run the other way. She has enough problems fitting into a new high school in the projects and coping with her parents' divorce, thank you very much.

Gillen, the centuries old leader of the Gargoyle Guardians, knows he has a serious problem--teaching Britt and her teen-aged friends to control enough Grace to survive the coming battles against invading demons.

Britt and Gillen soon fight over the best way to cope with the demons. Will anyone survive?


Purchase Links
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Other Books in the Andor Demon Wars Series:





Running from Demons
Andor Demon Wars, Book 2


Pillar Beccon travels across Andor to discover her mother's mysterious past. But danger is never far away as a demon seeks to destroy her.

An orphaned null without a hint of magic, Pillar can't remember ever belonging anywhere, especially not in the Freemage commune where she grew up. After she graduates from high school, she jumps at the chance to learn why her mother ran away from her family.

During an accidental encounter, Grylerrque, a surviving commander from The Demon Wars, recognizes what Pillar is and decides to feed the girl's life force to her clutch. The demon sends her minions to capture the girl. Pillar escapes with a help of an unexpected allay, only to learn she was pulled out of the frying pan and thrown into the fire.

Running from Demons tells the story of Pillar's search to find a place to call her own. The book continues the chronicles of Andor, a land where the mundane world clashes with one of magic and demons from another plane prey. If you love paranormal stories of discovery and mayhem, this is the story for you."





About the Author

Fantasy has always been part of M. K. Theodoratus's life from having an imaginary friend to reading. Now she also writes fantasy.







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Friday, January 17, 2020

Abigail (Once Upon a Church House) by Jo Grafford


Abigail

Abigail Price, a recently widowed church secretary, receives a letter from an old friend, urgently requesting her presence for the opening of the Mountain Springs Church in rural Idaho. Though things are difficult at the moment, financially and otherwise, she splurges on a train ticket, not quite knowing how she’ll scrape up the funds for the return trip.

Chad Patterson’s boxing career is cut short when his ailing father insists he return home to Mountain Springs to run the family sawmill. Bitter over his premature exit from the boxing circuit, Chad is even less thrilled to discover his father’s work crew is a hodgepodge of misfits, ex-cons, and all-around troublemakers.

To make matters worse, some do-gooder pastor has arrived into town and won’t quit hounding everyone about attending his church opening festivities. Plus, some hoity-toity church lady seems to think Chad and his men should simply fall in line with her every demand when it comes to cleaning up the church grounds. It doesn’t help that she’s too pretty for her own good and his rascal logging crew is all too happy to oblige. Or the way he finds himself leaping to her aid in the hopes of coaxing one of those rare but intoxicating smiles from her…

ONCE UPON A CHURCH HOUSE is a sweet and inspirational historical western romance series with a dash of magic and time travel.

Pastor Zach Shepherd feels called to plant a church in rural Mountain Springs, Idaho, a place his friends warn him is unredeemable. However, he’s a firm believer in miracles and scoffs at their dire predictions of his pending failure. He quickly sizes up the renegade collection of mostly male town folk and determines what they need (in addition to salvation) is a woman’s touch to straighten them out. Throwing on his matchmaker hat, he prays God will send a few saved and sanctified women his way to get the first marriages rolling. He specifically prays for the kind of women legends are made of — from the Bible days — never dreaming how swiftly nor how thoroughly his prayers would be answered!



Buy on Amazon


About Jo Grafford

Jo writes sweet historical and contemporary romance stories — with humor, sass, and happily ever-afters.

She loves to visit with readers in her Cuppa Jo Readers group on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/CuppaJoReaders/. To receive a personal email about each book she publishes, join her New Release Email List at www.JoGrafford.com or follow her on BookBub at https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jo-grafford.




I was compensated via Fiverr for sharing this post. I only share those books that I feel will be of interest to my readers.