Thursday, October 22, 2020

Centricity (Centricity Cycle Book 1) by Nathaniel Henderson


 
Science fiction meets espionage in this new offering from Nathaniel Henderson. Today, you can check out an excerpt from Centricity and then download your own copy. You can follow the tour for even more. Be sure to let him know what you think along the way and take advantage of extra chances to enter the giveaway!



The world already ended once. Now it's up to an outgunned negotiator, a disavowed spy, and an immersion-addicted hacker to stop it from happening again.

Centuries after the Fold, civilization is fragile. In the megacity of Naion, people live stacked in arcologies, most never going outside because the air is another enemy. Instead, freedom comes from technology: bodytechs modify the human form while synthetic intelligences whisper through brainware.

Now a new bridge between man and machine has emerged, one that could destroy humanity’s second shot at survival—or save it, depending on who gets to it first....

Adasha Denali is one of the government’s best dispute resolution specialists, but when a scandal threatens to destabilize the city and end her career, she’ll need more than words to escape the fallout. Venturing out of her office and into a fight for the future, she’ll team up with a disavowed spy, learning the hard way that betrayal wears many faces, and one of them may be her own.

Neon Nik is an immersion-addicted IT freelancer struggling to pay off debts to circling loan sharks. Threats of dismemberment become the least of his problems when a surprise inheritance throws him into a vortex of corporate kill squads willing to burn the city down to find him.

Engineered spies, high-tech mercenaries, and immersion hackers collide in this first gripping installment of the Centricity Cycle.

Read an excerpt:
JUSTICE OFFICER NEIL Linz watched Adasha from across the table with bulbous eyes set in a surgically smooth face. The conference room lights reflected slashes of crystal white along the hard edges of his cheekbones, jaw, and the solid metallic wave one might call hair.

“Then to summarize: to your knowledge, Gabriel never shared classified information with any unauthorized persons, never lied to or withheld pertinent information from superiors, nor did he ever act in a way counter to the goals of the CPCA?”

Three dozen questions in and he hadn’t blinked once. No eyelids. Fully synthetic ocular implants didn’t require cover as they could be deactivated, but most people had some for aesthetic reasons. Linz obviously enjoyed the discomfort his perpetual stare caused; it was more unsettling than the facial canvases of self-mutilators.

“As I said, no, he did not.” Adasha clasped her hands together on the polished table, posture a vertical line, and stared straight back.

“Mmm.” Linz glanced at the folder in front of him, pushed aside a sheet of vaper to get at one beneath. His use of the physical medium felt like a strategic choice, as if to emphasize how solid his thoughts were. “When did you first meet Gabriel?”

Adasha wondered if Linz’s disregard of honorifics was meant to rile her. “Fourteen years ago.”

“You were a legislative director for Assembly Representative Jenov Quamay at the time.”

“I was an assistant.” It seemed Linz had made the mistake on purpose. To test the accuracy of her responses, she assumed. “The title of director came a year later.”

“Legislative director to CPCA senior analyst to interagency coordinator…. People usually climb in the other direction, no?”


Available on Amazon 

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About the author:

Nathaniel Henderson was born in 1983 in Albuquerque, NM, USA. At a young age he moved to Tulsa, OK, where he spent the next fifteen or so years surviving adolescence. After graduating from high school, he packed it up and headed out west to the picturesque Santa Cruz, CA to attend UCSC. After a year of wrestling with computer science, he transferred to San Francisco to study computer animation and special effects. The career didn’t stick, and he set off to teach English in South Korea, Thailand, and finally Tokyo, Japan, where he currently resides.

Links
email: citizenhenderson@gmail.com

website: nathanielhenderson.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/citizenhenderson

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/citizenhenderson

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

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/citizenhenderson

Twitter: https://twitter.com/citizenn8


Nathaniel Henderson will be awarding a $40 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour

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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Sympathy for the Devil by Alex Stevens

 


If you're a fan of fantasy, then you're going to want to check out this excerpt from Sympathy for the Devil by Alex Stevens! Get more as you follow the tour. Be sure to let the author know your thoughts along the way! And best of luck entering the giveaway.


Four warriors on one hell of a mission.

Lieutenant Colonel Tyler Graven is known as the “Demon of Kyoto,” and he specializes in death. When an assassin attempts to kill pharmaceutical mogul Mortimer Sackler, Tyler becomes the lead suspect and the target of a $100 million dollar hit. To save himself and clear his name, he must hunt down the true killer, a deadly entity known only as The Priest.

Tyler teams up with his former military unit, The Four Horseman, including his brother, crack-shot Corporal Jack Graven, the mysterious Lance Corporal Jin Xialong, and his one-time flame Colonel Diana Levitas. Once, they were an elite fighting team known for completing two of the most successful campaigns against terrorism ever launched. Now, they’ll find themselves locked in a war with The Church, the most influential organization on the planet--and pitted against the supernatural forces of the Underworld itself.

During their mission, Tyler and Jack learn of the legendary Black Muramasa, the only weapon that can destroy immortals such as demons, angels, vampires, seraphim, and nephilim. As they uncover the secrets of the ancient black blade--and their own heritage--they are faced with unforetold powers and infinite evils. If the Four Horsemen succeed, they may save themselves. If they fail, it’ll cost them their sanity, their lives, and even their souls...

Here comes an action-packed, gun-slinging fantasy adventure that packs the punch of a military thriller combined with high-stakes supernatural intrigue.

Read an excerpt:
This is real. I know it.

An acrid and sour smoke that could only be gunpowder filled my nostrils, caking my mouth with the bitter taste of ammonia. The air sang with an angry chorus of cracking, snapping, and buzzing as tiny projectiles assaulted me in hushed gunfire from every direction. The thuds of pierced wood rang out like hail on a rooftop. My heart raced with pure terror as I cowered beneath the classroom table, hands pressed to my ears.

This is it. They found me.

I had broken one of the rules. I didn’t have a weapon. I had neither Shade, nor a gun, nor a bayonet. Not even a kitchen or pocket knife. I’d even abandoned my eighty-cent mechanical pencil on top of my notebook the moment the shooting began.

They were going to murder me, and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. Thunder hammered in my head as pure terror consumed me; each second seemed an eternity. I was expecting to feel pain. Maybe even a part of me was hoping to hear one final gunshot that would be the last sound I would ever hear. Instead, I heard laughter.

Sheepishly, I poked my head above the classroom table. Every pair of eyes in my Beijing University International Business class had settled on me. Merriment filled more than a few, but concern and empathy occupied most. After a few moments of displacement, I realized what had occurred: I’d had another episode. This time it was during class, the attack ultimately spawning from my own imagination. And it was set off by one quiet click of a pen.

It was bad enough that I was the only white student in the classroom, as every other student was Chinese. Now I was the “crazy white guy” in the school. Unspeakable shame quickly replaced my confusion.


Available on Amazon
(affiliate link)



About Alex Stevens:

Alex Stevens is a Marine Corps Veteran with two deployments and a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Interdisciplinary Studies program, a unique undergraduate degree that caters to students with various interests of study. He is also an advent traveler and philosophy enthusiast who has spent a lifetime studying religions, with a focus on Non-denominational Christianity. Alex spends most of his time going for walks, spending time with loved ones, and when the juices are flowing, writing. Fantasy fiction is his great escape from the mundane and he likes to create fantastical realities that are blended with non-fictional people, places, and events.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20740528



The author will be giving away a $15 Amazon/BN GC via rafflecopter. Follow the tour for more chances to win! 

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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Review of All Bags Go to Cleveland by C.S. Hale

 


Welcome to the Name Before the Masses Tour for All Bags to Cleveland, a clever paranormal romantic comedy by C.S. Hale! I'm letting you know what I thought of the book, plus sharing an excerpt. You can also get a sneak peek into the author's life as she talks about balancing life and writing. Lots to enjoy here and then as you follow the tour! Plus there's a great giveaway at the end.



Angela Grimalke appears more blonde bombshell than the gremlin she is. But there is no denying her supernatural truth after her clumsiness gets her fired from her modeling career. Forced to work for her family’s upscale airline, she spends her days slinging luggage and wishing her parents would get off her back about finding a nice gremlin guy to settle down with.

Relationships were the last thing on her mind, not that her family would accept that.

For Dave Ford his frequent business travel made it next to impossible for him to find a woman who could tolerate his chaotic schedule. Which is why he appreciates Angela. Neither of them are looking for love, but Dave feeds Angela's addiction for chocolate while she provides him with the chaos to keep him on his toes.

However, as Angela’s parents bombard her with a parade of "eligible" gremlin men at their weekly family dinners, she finds herself torn between who she longs to be and her family’s expectations. Will she give in and live the life of magic they want for her? Or risk it all by to confessing to Dave that she isn’t human?


Read an excerpt:
“You owe me.”

Angela glanced up from her computer screen. Dave Ford stood in front of her. The blood drained from her face. “Do I?” She raised her “helpful” smile.

“Yes.” Dave handed over his passport and put the Louis Vuitton garment bag on the scale. “Last time, you sent my bag to Cleveland.”

“The system isn’t perfect,” Angela said, punching Dave’s information into the computer. “Things do happen sometimes.”

“You control the system. I think you owe me a glass of wine for having to find a tailor at six a.m. I had a nine o’clock business meeting and just my jeans and sweatshirt.”

“Hmm. By that reckoning, I think I’d owe the tailor for having to get you a functional suit so quickly at that early hour.”

“I tipped him £100. Least you can do is buy me a glass of wine in return.”

Angela lifted her gaze. Dave—all six feet of him with his fabulous hair— had a hopeful expression on his face.

“I’m not in the habit of buying strange men alcohol.”

Dave stuck his hand out. “Hi. Dave Ford. Business traveler.” Angela laughed. “All I’m asking for is a glass of Malbec. Or maybe pinot noir. Small price to pay in comparison to my having to fight off jet lag via acupuncture.”

“Acupuncture?”

Dave shrugged. “It was early for the tailor. His aim wasn’t quite what it could have been.”

Angela dipped into Dave’s mind. The tailor had stabbed him a couple of times. And Dave was playing with her. He wanted to see what she’d do.


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**My thoughts**
First I have to say that I love the title of this book. That's what first captured my attention, followed by the cover. And then when I read the blurb, I knew I had to read this book. Whoever thought of a paranormal romantic comedy with a gremlin as a lead character? I always think of the little dudes from Gringotts, or even Gizmo and company. Angela shows us that they can have a fun and playful, even though still mischievous, side. I was amused at the little games she would play with people and kind of wish I had that ability.

She meets Dave after she messes with him and his bags during one of his flights. (So now we all know why our bags don't necessarily go where we go!) He is totally on to her and manages to finagle a date. The two of them start hanging out more and more, and I absolutely love their interactions.

Despite Angela and her family being supernatural creatures, I completely felt like so many of their conversations and situations were very true-to-life. I could see just about all of this unfolding in my own life or that of my friends. The realness peppered with the paranormal fun made this a giggle-worthy read that I greatly enjoyed. I got really annoyed when people interrupted me while I was reading it! 

Thank you to the author and to Goddess Fish for a requested review copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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

Balancing life and writing;

I am a slow writer. Usually. While I plan out all my plot points via Save the Cat, I pants my way from point to point. I love that gasp out loud I get when something is finally revealed. From start to finish, most of my books take a year to write. I do first drafts longhand in a notebook. I usually require two. And more Pilot G2 pens than I can count. I once had to go hunting for them in London when I ran out, and I was shocked at the £3.50 price for a single pen! Sometimes I make it all the way to “The End” before I do my first edit, typing everything up, and sometimes I make it 4/5 of the way through before I type it all into a Word document.

In my day job, I’m an elementary teacher. I work 12 to 15 hours a day nearly seven days a week. I find it much easier to edit when school is in session than to write new words. The advantage of being a teacher is that I do have several weeks off during the summer. This is when I get the bulk of my new writing done. Though I have found it’s easier to write if I go away somewhere. I love writing in London and have found I can write an average of 34 longhand pages a week if I’m holed up in my favorite studio apartment (a whopping 14 sq meters) not far from Euston Station. I walk to the parks every day and write, as well as write in my room as I watch all of London drive by. My favorite example of life colliding with art came when I had just written that my character needed to “stop viewing everything as a life or death situation” and I looked up to see a ladder fire truck pull up and park outside my second story window.

My critique partner Bethany Adams writes with two young school age children. She’s even managed to get her word counts in while homeschooling during this pandemic. I don’t know how she does it. Balancing life with writing needs to happen. You can’t create beautiful words if your soul is dry. Cleveland took an initial three years to complete, and it would not be the book it is if I had had to finish it under deadline. While I can force myself to put out one a year, I’ve given myself permission to take two years to get out the companion novel to Cleveland - Ghost Chilis Are Real. This new school year is going to be incredibly stressful, and I want to be mindful of that and be kind to myself. But my characters also want me. I’ve got 7 different books that are begging for my attention but only so much time and energy.

So write. Put words on the page. But also give yourself time to breathe. The characters will still be there waiting to welcome you.



About the Author:

Catherine “C.S.” Hale has been writing fantasy since she could hold a pencil. When not holed up in a comfortable corner writing all her books out by longhand, she can be found somewhere by the sea, enjoying tea and pastries.

Website: cshalebooks.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/CatSHale

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authorcshale



A randomly drawn winner will receive a $50 Amazon/BN GC. Follow the tour for more chances to win!

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Monday, October 19, 2020

The Madness of Mercury by Connie di Marco

 


Murder meets astrology in this new mystery by Connie di Marco. Enjoy an excerpt from The Madness of Mercury and then follow the tour for even more! Be sure to let the author know what you think along the way. Best of luck entering the giveaway!



The Zodiac Mysteries feature San Francisco astrologer, Julia Bonatti, who never thought murder would be part of her practice. Julia sought answers and found solace in astrology after the death of her fianc├ę in a hit and run accident. Since then, she’s successfully built a clientele of the city’s movers and shakers.

In The Madness of Mercury, Julia’s outspoken advice in her newspaper column, AskZodia, makes her the target of a recently-arrived cult preacher who advocates love and compassion to those less fortunate. But the power-hungry preacher is waging war on sin and his Army of the Prophet will stop at nothing to silence those who would stand in his way. Julia is at the top of his list.


Read an excerpt:
Wizard had curled into a fetal position on top of a fuzzy throw close to the fireplace. The wind was buffeting the windows so hard the rain sounded like gravel being thrown against the glass. The logs were blazing and I thanked my stars I could snuggle inside tonight with Wizard and work.

Samantha had forwarded about fifty emails from the newspaper to my own AskZodia email address. As a weekly column, there was space for only three or four questions and answers, but now, the editor was considering running it as a daily feature. To keep the column interesting to as large a group of readers as possible, I like to pick a range of ages and problems.

My first pick was a letter from an older man forced into retirement.

Dear Zodia

I’ve worked as a bookkeeper in the corporate world my entire life. I’m 65 and my company forced me to retire. I’m in decent shape financially. I have a good pension and savings, but I don’t know what to do with myself. I’ve tried to find part-time work but no luck. I’ve never felt so lost and useless. Do you see any kind of work on the horizon for me? My birth date is May 4, 1944 at 10:43 PM in Baltimore.

~- Discarded

Poor guy. Worked his whole life and now shoved aside. The man’s birth chart showed Venus as the oriental planet, that is, the planet rising first before the Sun, a position that can sometimes offer a strong clue to the profession. This man was a natural artist, perhaps a craftsman, with his Mars in Virgo. He was someone with artistic yearnings and capable of patient, detailed work.

Dear Discarded:

Your true artistic abilities have never been recognized, much less nourished. A whole new world can open up for you if you would pursue some form of craftsmanship to produce beautiful things. Jewelry design, working in precious metals, is just one possibility that comes to mind. Please take some classes, perhaps at a local university extension and try your hand. I think you’ll be amazed at your abilities and imagination. Believe me, you won’t look back.

~ Zodia

I worked through several more questions and responses and then saved them all. This was hardly a perfect way to practice astrology, but hopefully, my quick judgments and answers would be spot on and help someone head in the right direction. I clicked back to the inbox and realized three more emails had arrived while I had been working.

I didn’t recognize the various senders. My AskZodia address had been set up only for Samantha, but these new emails weren’t from her. My private clients use Julia.Bonatti and my friends use JuliaB. None of them would even know of my AskZodia address. I hesitated. I’m a hopeless non-techie person and rely on my computer for business so I’m very fearful of viruses. I clicked on the button to open the reading pane and scrolled down. A jolt of fear shot through me. The message read, “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.”


(affiliate link)



Connie di Marco is the author of the Zodiac Mysteries featuring San Francisco astrologer Julia Bonatti. The Madness of Mercury, the first book in the series will be re-released in October 2020.

Writing as Connie Archer, she is also the author of the national bestselling Soup Lover’s Mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime. You can find her excerpts and recipes in The Cozy Cookbook and The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook. Connie is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers and Sisters in Crime.

Social media links:

Website: http://www.conniedimarco.com

Blog: http://www.conniedimarco.com/blog

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/zodiacmysteries/ (Connie di Marco Author)

Twitter: https://twitter.com/askzodia

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1r4fl4U



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

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Sunday, October 18, 2020

Heartbeats & War Drums Complete Series by Amber Savage

 


Rylen Hagan has everything he ever wanted; on the cusp of winning the Nobel Prize for Physics, the love of the woman of his dreams and a thrilling career as a Time Pilot. But in the blink of an eye he loses it all when Clarissa is snatched from him and simply erased from time.

Undaunted by the difficulties and ignoring the risks, he sets off to find her again, but is transported straight into the middle of war that is raging through the Scottish Highlands, a thousand years out of his comfort zone. As his quest drags him from the misty mountains of Scotland to the shores of the New World, Rylen notices that a rip in time threatens to destroy everything he has ever known.

As he slowly begins to fall for Bronia, the feisty daughter of the clan chief Magnahul, Rylen finds himself in danger of forgetting the real reason he is a millennia away from his time. With changes in the past now affecting the future, his desperate actions are beginning to reap what they have sown and as clans march to war there will be a heavy price to be paid.

But there is something else that is at play with the fabric of time and it is altering everything that Rylen knows, slowly and inexorably destroying his past as sure as it is destroying the future of the clans he has come to know as friends.

Is there anything he can do to change the outcome? Or has his actions started a chain reaction that will consume millions of lives?


Read an excerpt:
The man screamed in agony. He had been sworn to secrecy and was about to give his life to fulfill that oath. Magnahul, enraged by how the night had unfolded, was in no mood to play games. The raw energy of the giant was bursting at the seams. His daughter lay lifeless in the room beyond, and the king who could destroy his people was fleeing. He was not a man to be trifled with on any occasion, but today – right now, it was perilous to stand against him.



Available on Amazon

(affiliate link) 



Amber Savage still cares too much about what other people think. She is a hopeful romantic and citizen of the Earth whose vision is to inspire her readers through compelling and candid storytelling. An avid traveler who has resided in various locations all over the world, she is continually reminded of the thread that binds us all: love. (Sounds cliche, but it's so true.)


When she isn't crafting stories that showcase the wide spectrum of human emotion and experience, you can find this creative soul going on outdoor adventures, practicing yoga, or spending quality time with her loved ones (her husband, two canines, two felines, a parrot, chickens, and three horses). Infinitely dedicated to making this world a better place than when she first entered it, Amber also advocates for the prevention of cruelty to humans, animals, and mother nature.




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

The Billionaire's Birthday Blind Date (Billionaire Birthday Club) by Jo Grafford

 


It’s not easy coming up with a birthday surprise for a billionaire best friend — especially a guy she likes a little more than a best friend should…

But that won’t keep Eloise Cantona from trying. After enjoying the Billionaire Birthday Club’s exclusive birthday experience with her brother, Roman, she’s determined to recreate some of that magic for her best friend, Elon. He seriously works too hard managing his family’s golf resort empire. Don’t CEOs deserve a break, too? Unfortunately, Elon is so tight-lipped about his bucket list that she hardly knows where to begin. She ultimately decides to surprise him with a blind date.

Elon Carnegie has been wanting to ask Eloise on a date for a long time, but he is reluctant to risk a lifelong friendship if things don’t work out between them. When she surprises him with her ridiculous birthday gift of a blind date, however, he decides he’s done waiting for the right time and place to reveal his true feelings for her. So what if she thinks she already has the perfect weekend planned for him? He has one goal in mind — to spend every second of his birthday trying to win her heart!

Read an excerpt:
“Our friendship means everything to me.” So much so, that the idea of losing him for good brought her close to tears. 
After a pause, Elon folded his arms. His normally empathetic expression was unreadable.\ 
“Prove it." 
“Prove what?” she asked helplessly, half expecting him to break into a laugh and tell her this was all some sort of joke. He’d always been a bit of a prankster. She glanced around them at the crowded cafe. It was a popular lunchtime dive. The tables were jammed with patrons. Not an empty chair was in sight. 
“That our friendship still means something to you." 
“How?” She reached for her glass of tea to get rid of the sudden dryness in her throat. 
“That’s for you to figure out, sugar.” A ghost of a smile tugged at his mouth, though it didn’t reach his eyes. “I have a birthday coming up. How about you surprise me?”


Available on Amazon

(affiliate link)

 Find more of Jo Grafford's books here.



Jo is an Amazon bestselling author of sweet and inspirational romance stories with humor, heart, and happily-ever-afters.

Readers can connect with her in Cuppa Jo Readers on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/CuppaJoReaders and Bookbub at https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jo-grafford. To join her New Release Email List, visit JoGrafford.com.




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

Read an excerpt from Her Billionaire Best Friend (The Black Tie Billionaires) by Jo Grafford

 


It’s not easy for an undercover agent to be just friends with the woman he’d much rather be dating.

Titus Rand is sent to Anchorage by a top-secret organization to investigate Genesis & Sons. He goes undercover as the head of his own security firm to serve as a bodyguard — which makes his path cross again and again with Jolene Shore, a lovely nurse on their payroll. Unfortunately, his line of work leaves no time for dating.

His plan to keep his emotional distance from her falls apart when he's asked to guard the newest ward of the Maddox clan, a long-lost brother who requires constant medical attention. Though he knows it’s best to keep his relationship with Nurse Jolene firmly in the friend category, it’s getting harder each day to ignore what his heart wants.


Read an excerpt:

In exactly seven minutes and thirty-two seconds, I’m going to be on a lunch date with the hottest nurse on the planet! 
Titus Rand glanced at his watch, hardly believing his luck. After months of dodging a powerful attraction to the tall, athletic-looking ICU nurse supervisor, he’d finally given in to the temptation to ask her to lunch. And she’d said yes! 
Getting close to her wasn’t advisable on any level. Every instinct of his was waving a red flag of caution. But for once, he planned to ignore his better judgment. In his line of business, he’d learned that sometimes a person only had a narrow window of opportunity to accomplish a particular goal. Usually, those narrow windows involved bringing dangerous criminals to justice. 
Today, that narrow window involved letting his guard down a fraction to allow himself the luxury of a single lunch date. He was pretty sure the attraction was mutual. Or so he hoped. And daydreamed about. And at other times prayed it was nothing more than wishful thinking on his part, because he’d rather take a bullet than hurt Jolene. 
Which he inevitably would do if he allowed her to get too close to him — something he was choosing not to think about at the moment.


 Available on Amazon

(affiliate link)




Jo is an Amazon bestselling author of sweet and inspirational romance stories with humor, heart, and happily-ever-afters.

Readers can connect with her in Cuppa Jo Readers on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/CuppaJoReaders and Bookbub at https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jo-grafford. To join her New Release Email List, visit JoGrafford.com.




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