Tuesday, September 17, 2019

The Cure for Stupidity



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Non-Fiction

Self-Help
Date Published: 6/12/19
Publisher: Peacock Proud Press

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Every day you’re driven nuts by the people around you making common sense errors and irrational decisions. Imagine what life would look like if you didn’t have to waste time and energy dealing with stubborn, clueless, argumentative, defensive, or apathetic coworkers! Thank goodness Eric Bailey translates decades of brain science research into every-day language, helping you break through common communication barriers that will improve every relationship in your life. Whether you work in the executive suite or on the front-line, this book will teach you how to cure the stupidity all around you.

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About the Author

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Eric M. Bailey is the President of Bailey Strategic Innovation Group, one of the fastest-growing communication consulting firms in the United States. Eric has a diverse set of experiences that includes helping an NFL player pet a rhinoceros, doing barrel rolls in an F-16, and chatting with LL Cool J on the campus of Harvard University.

Eric's unique style blends fact and emotion and finds ways to appeal to analytical thinkers, emotional feelers, and everyone in between. Eric has been featured on Huffington Post, Forbes, the Like a Real Boss Podcast and has helped leaders and teams across North America see common problems from new and different perspectives. Eric works with Google Inc., the US Air Force, Los Angeles County, Phoenix PD and many more.

Eric holds a Master's Degree in Leadership and Organizational Development from Saint Louis University and is a lifetime learner of human and organizational behavior. When not working or researching, you can find Eric and his wife, Jamie racing on their road bikes, being cheered on by their three children.



Contact Links

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Purchase Link

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RABT Book Tours & PR

Monday, September 16, 2019

Strangers She Knows


Strangers She Knows

by Christina Dodd

September 17, 2019

on Tour September 17 - October 1, 2019

Synopsis:

Strangers She Knows by Christina Dodd


Perfect for fans of Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown, Linda Howard, and Jayne Ann Krentz, New York Times bestselling author Christina Dodd returns with the chilling finale to the Cape Charade trilogy.




I have three deadly problems:

  1. I’ve seriously offended a maniacal killer.
  2. I just had a bullet removed from my brain.
  3. My new daughter is growing up too fast—and she's in the line of fire.


Living on an obscure, technology-free island off California means safety from the murderer who hunts Kellen Adams and her new family…or does it? Family time becomes terror time, until Kellen finds herself alone and facing an all-too-familiar psychopath. Only one can survive, and Kellen knows who must win…and who must die.

Be sure to also check-out the rest of the Cape Charade series, starting with DEAD GIRL RUNNING and WHAT DOESN'T KILL HER, available now wherever books are sold.

Series STARRED reviews from Booklist

"From the unforgettable heroine with a past to the incisively etched cast of secondary characters to the brilliantly imaginative plot, Dodd is at her most wildly entertaining, wickedly witty best." -Booklist STARRED review on DEAD GIRL RUNNING

"Featuring an unforgettable protagonist…who makes Jack Reacher look like a slacker when it comes to dispatching trouble, and an ingenious plot that includes plenty of white-knuckle twists and turns as well as some touching moments of mother-daughter bonding." -Booklist STARRED review on WHAT DOESN'T KILL HER

“Dodd continues her addictively readable Cape Charade series featuring Kellen Adams with another white-knuckle tale that simply begs to be inhaled in one sitting. With a fascinating island setting that includes a spooky old mansion, a secondary storyline involving World War II, and an antagonist who could give Villanelle from Killing Eve a pointer or two, this is Dodd at her brilliant best.” -Booklist STARRED review on STRANGERS SHE KNOWS

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Published by: HQN Books
Publication Date: September 17, 2019
Number of Pages: 352
ISBN: 1335468331 (ISBN13: 9781335468338)
Series: Cape Charade #3
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Yearning Sands Resort Washington’s Pacific Coast This Spring
Rae Di Luca stacked up her Level Three lesson books, opened the piano bench and put them away. She got out the Adult Course Level 1A book, opened it to “Silver Bells,” and put it on the music rack. “Mom, you have to practice.”
Kellen didn’t look up from her book. “I know.”
“When?”
“When what?”
“When are you going to do it?”
“I’m at the good part. Let me finish this chapter.”
“No, you have to practice now. You know it helps with your finger dexterity.”
When had their roles reversed, Kellen wondered? When had ten-year-old Rae become the sensible adult and Kellen become the balky child?
Oh yeah. When she had the brain surgery, her right hand refused to regain its former abilities, and the physical therapist suggested learning the piano. But there was a reason Kellen hadn’t learned to play the piano earlier in her life. She loved music—and she had no musical talent. That, added to the terrible atrophy that afflicted her fingers, made her lessons and practices an unsurpassed agony…for everyone.
She looked up, saw Rae standing, poised between coaxing and impatience, and the Rolodex in Kellen’s punctured, operated-on and much-abused brain clicked in:
RAE DI LUCA:
FEMALE, 10YO, 5‘0", 95LBS. KELLEN’S DAUGHTER. HER MIRACLE. IN TRANSITION: GIRL TO WOMAN, BLOND HAIR TO BROWN, BROWN EYES LIGHTENING TO HAZEL. LONG LEGS; GAWKY. SKIN A COMBINATION OF HER ITALIAN HERITAGE FROM HER FATHER AND THE NATIVE AMERICAN BLOOD FROM KELLEN; FIRST PIMPLE ON HER CHIN. NEVER TEMPERAMENTAL. KIND, STRONG, INDEPENDENT.
Kellen loved this kid. The feeling was more than human. It was feral, too, and Kellen would do anything to protect Rae from threat—and had. “I know. I’m coming. It’s so much more fun to listen to you play than practice myself. You’re good and I’m…awful.”
“I’m not good. I’m just better than you.” Rae came over and wrapped her arms around Kellen’s neck, hugged and laughed. “But Luna is better than you.”
“Don’t talk to me about that dog. She howls every time I sit down at the piano. Sometimes she doesn’t even wait until I start playing. The traitor.” Kellen glared at the dog, and once again her brain—which had developed this ability after that shot to the head—sorted through the files of identity cards to read:
LUNA:
FEMALE, FULL-SIZED POODLE/AUSTRALIAN CATTLE DOG/AT LEAST ONE OTHER BREED, 50LBS, RED COAT, BROWN EYES, STRONGLY MUSCLED. RESCUED BY RAE AND MAX WHILE KELLEN RECOVERED FROM SURGERY. FAMILY MEMBER. RAE’S FRIEND, COMPANION, PROTECTOR. MUSIC LOVER.
Luna watched Kellen in return, head resting on her paws, waiting for her chance to sing a solo protest to Kellen’s inept rendition of “Silver Bells.”
“Everybody’s a critic.” Rae set the timer. “Come on. Ten minutes of scales, then you only have to practice for thirty minutes.”
“Why do I have to practice ‘Silver Bells’? Christmas isn’t for seven months.”
“So you’ll have mastered it by the time the season rolls around.”
“I used to like that song.”
“We all used to like that song.” Rae took Kellen’s left hand and tugged. “Mom, come on. You know you feel better afterward.”
Kellen allowed herself to be brought to her feet. “I’m going to do something wild and crazy. I’m going to start learning ‘When the Saints Go Marching In.’ It’s the next song in the book, and I like it.”
“You can learn anything you want after you practice your scales and work on ‘Silver Bells’ for fifteen minutes.”
No one wanted to be inside today, certainly not Rae Di Luca, certainly not Kellen Adams Di Luca, certainly not upstairs in their private quarters in the Yearning Sands Resort. Not when spring had come to the Washington state Pacific Coast. April and May’s drenching rains turned the world a soggy brown. Then, on the first of June, one day of blazing sunshine created green that spread across the coastal plain.
Kellen made her way through the ten minutes of scales—the dog remained quiescent for those—then began plunking out “Silver Bells.”
As she struggled with the same passage, her right hand fingers responding only sporadically, Luna started with a slight whine that grew in intensity. At the first high howl, Kellen turned to the dog.
“Look, this isn’t easy for me, either.”
Luna sat, head cocked, one ear up, one ear down, brown eyes pleading with her.
“I would love to stop,” Kellen told her and turned back to the piano. “How about a different tune? Let’s try ‘When the Saints Go Marching In.’”
She played the first few notes and out of the corner of her eye, she saw the dog subside. Then, as she worked on a tricky passage, made the same mistake, time after time, the dog sat up again, lifted her nose and howled in mourning for the slaughter of the song.
Rae giggled, and when her mother glowered, the child controlled herself. “Come on, Luna, I’ll take you outside.”
The dog didn’t budge.
“She thinks she’s helping you,” Rae explained. “Come on, Luna. Come on!” She coaxed her out the door, turned back to Kellen and said sternly, “Twenty more minutes!”
“Yeah, yeah.” Kellen struggled on, trying to make her recalcitrant fingers do her bidding. Even when she finally got the notes right, it wasn’t a piano tune so much as jack-in-the-box music. When at last the timer went off, she slumped over the keyboard and stared at the fingers of her right hand.
They were trying to atrophy, to curl in and refuse to do her bidding ever again. But the physical therapists assured her she could combat this. She had to create new nerve ways, train another part of her brain to handle the work, and since two hands were better than one and her right hand was her dominant hand, the battle was worth fighting. But every day, the forty minutes at the keyboard left her drained and discouraged.
Behind her, Max said, “Turn around and let me rub your hands.”
She noticed he did not say, That was good. Or even, That was better.
Max didn’t tell lies.
Kellen sighed and swiveled on the piano bench. Again that Rolodex in her brain clicked in:
MAX DI LUCA:
MALE, 38YO, 6'5", 220LBS, ITALIAN-AMERICAN, FORMER FOOTBALL PLAYER. HANDSOME, TANNED, CURLY BLACK HAIR, BROWN EYES SURROUNDED BY LONG BLACK LASHES. ONCE HIGH UP IN THE DI LUCA FAMILY CORPORATION, STEPPED DOWN TO RAISE HIS DAUGHTER, NOW DIRECTOR OF THE FAMILY’S YEARNING SANDS RESORT ON THE WASHINGTON COAST. KIND, GENEROUS, RESPONSIBLE, LOVING. A STICKLER FOR DUTY. FAR TOO MUCH WILLPOWER, WHICH WAS IRRITATING TO KELLEN IN MATTERS RELATING TO THEIR MARITAL STATE.
He took her right hand gently in both of his and, starting at the wrist, he massaged her palm, her thumb, her fingers. He used a lavender-scented oil, and stretched and worked the muscles and bones while she moaned with pleasure.
He listened with a slight smile, and when she looked into his face, she realized his lips looked fuller, he had a dark flush over his cheekbones and his nostrils flared as he breathed. She looked down at his jeans, leaned close and whispered, “Max, I’m done with practice. Why don’t we wander up to our bedroom and I’ll rub your…hand, too.”
He met her eyes. He stopped his massage. Except for the rise and fall of his chest, he was frozen in that pose of incipient passion.
Then he sat back and sighed. “Doctor says no.”
“Doctor said be careful.”
“Woman, if I could be careful, I would. As it is, nothing is best.”
“I am torn between being flattered and frustrated.” She thought about it. “Mostly frustrated.”
I’m just fine.” Max didn’t usually resort to sarcasm, so that told her a lot. Married almost two years and no sex. He was a good man, but he was coming to the end of his patience.
“If we’re refraining because we’re worried I’m going to pop a blood vessel while in the throes of passion, I’d like to point out there are solutions that you might enjoy.”
“That isn’t fair to you.”
“You’re massaging my hand. That’s pretty wonderful.”
“Not the same.” Again he took her tired hand and went to work.
Bitterly she said, “Kellen’s Brain. It’s like a bad sci-fi fantasy.”
He laughed. “It’s improving all the time.” When he had made her hand relax and Kellen relax with it, he said, “I’ve been thinking—the Di Luca family owns Isla Paraíso off the coast of Northern California. The family bought the island seventy years ago with the idea of placing a resort on the island, but now that doesn’t seem likely. Someone needs to go there, look things over, make decisions about its fate.”
Kellen nodded. “You want to go there? See what you think?”
“Actually, I thought we should all go there.”
He was still working her hand, but with a little too much forcefulness and concentration.
“Ouch,” she said softly.
He pulled away, horrified. “Did I hurt you?”
“Not at all. Except that you’re treating me like a child.”
“What do you mean?”
“You’re not telling me what’s really going on. Why do you want to go to this island?”
“I told you—”
“I don’t doubt that what you told me is the truth. But it’s not all the truth. Max, what’s wrong?”
Max sighed, an understatement of a sigh, as if he dreaded what he was about to say. “You’re not going to like it.”
“I gathered that.”
“Mitch Nyugen.”
“What about him? He’s dead.” She remembered she couldn’t always trust Kellen’s Brain. “Isn’t he?”
“Yes. He was buried in the Cape Charade cemetery.”
Was buried?” Unease stirred in her belly.
“This week, his widow arrived from Wyoming.”
“He wasn’t married.” That brain thing. “Was he?”
“No.” Max was as sure as Kellen was not. “Yet the woman who claimed to be his widow had all the necessary paperwork to have his body exhumed.”
“Oh, no.”
“She had the coffin placed in the chapel. Last night, the undertaker, Arthur Earthman, found her there, with the coffin open. She murdered him, and almost killed his wife, Cynthia. The widow escaped ahead of the sheriff, and she left her calling card.”
Kellen knew. She knew what Max was going to say. “She cut off Mitch’s hands.”
“And took them.” Max looked up at her, his brown eyes wretched with fear. “Mara Philippi is back. And she’s here.”
***
Excerpt from Strangers She Knows by Christina Dodd. Copyright 2019 by Christina Dodd. Reproduced with permission from HQN Books. All rights reserved.



Author Bio:

Christina Dodd
New York Times bestselling author Christina Dodd writes "edge-of-the-seat suspense" (Iris Johansen) with "brilliantly etched characters, polished writing, and unexpected flashes of sharp humor that are pure Dodd" (ALA Booklist). Her fifty-eight books have been called "scary, sexy, and smartly written" by Booklist and, much to her mother's delight, Dodd was once a clue in the Los Angeles Times crossword puzzle.

Enter Christina's worlds and join her mailing list at:
christinadodd.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Twitter, Instagram, & Facebook!




Tour Participants:




Tour Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Christina Dodd and HQN Books. There will be one (1) winner. The winner will receive an Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on September 17, 2019 and runs through October 2, 2019. Void where prohibited.
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Sunday, September 15, 2019

Challenging Mountains




This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Tricia McGill  will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


See below to sign up for the GIVEAWAY



By 1840 the colony of New South Wales was expanding. Transportation of convicts to the east coast ended, and many free squatters set out to settle on lands to the south. In 1836, the Government in London authorised Governor Bourke to establish a settlement in The Port Philip District of New South Wales, and an Association was formed to make the district a separate colony.

Timothy, Tiger and Bella Carstairs eldest son has turned 21. Bored with his Government job and intent on seeking adventure and a new life away from Sydney, Tim decides to journey south in an endeavour to find this adventure, accompanied by his Uncle Carlos. Where else to find it, but in a newly formed settlement.

In the 1840s the road south might not be as hazardous as the one across the mountains travelled by his parents when he was a child, but the month long journey overland holds many dangers and challenges to be faced. Escaped and ex-convicts seek the easy life by forming gangs to take what they can where they can. Forced to fight off the intruders who take claim to the land they have cared for over many, many generations, the Indigenous people are faced with many trials and battles of their own.

Not the least of Tim’s personal challenges is a young headstrong woman who, uninvited, takes it upon herself to join him on his travels.  When they reach their destination, their troubles have only just begun.

My Review...
What I thought in maybe the first 20 pages was going to be a good read of young people and life turned out to be a really good read of all ages facing the challenges of life in a new land. People of all ages enduring the hardships of moving to a land the government said they could take for a pittance. Of course, it happened to be land inhabited by natives. Sound like the United States taking away and settling land that many thought belonged to Native Americans? It is somewhat the same idea but not your same old story.

This story told by Tricia McGill has intense characters. Strong characters you’ll enjoy and some bad ones you’d just as soon do without. Not much different than life is it? It’s listed as being of the historical romance genre. Many of you have seen me write here that I am not a romance genre girl and I’m still not. It’s true that in the journeys of this story a few people fall in love. This too is not much different than life. But I didn’t have to read about their intensely personal bedroom feelings. Was it implied or even mentioned a little? It was, but somehow it all seemed a part of the flow of the story.  

It all seemed to blend in to one of those stories that keep you turning the pages as fast as you can. I didn’t want to take a break with this book, and I didn’t take many.










read an excerpt...
“My God, poor wench. Why would she choose to drag herself overland with you, I wonder.”


“Wonder no more, dear uncle. She is in search of excitement and adventure I believe. I assured you she was no ordinary wench did I not? And she is not chasing me, more a life of her own I guess.”

Carlos rubbed his chin thoughtfully. “Hmm, do not be so sure. I have lived longer that you, lad, and most women do things because they have a plan in mind, a plan that often includes some poor hapless male. Mark my words, she sees you as a likely candidate for marriage.” He chuckled.

Tim made a small scoffing noise. “You are barking up the wrong tree there my man. I doubt the thought of a husband has even entered her head.” On saying that, Tim recollected she had mentioned that very thing when they were discussing this journey south. But no, that was merely some frivolous joke, meaning nothing. He quickly pushed that aside, saying, “She is not some silly little chit as I first thought but a woman of means who will be able to take her pick of the nobs once we reach our destination. And Billy is off in search of his people—the people he was taken from as a child.”

“A woman of means, you say? Hmm, I might even toss my hat her way. She is a comely lass I’ll give her that, and plucky. Not many women would dare to do what she has decided to do, unless they were accompanying their husbands.”

Tim swore. “Do not even think so Carlos. You are an old man and she is still a virtuous young woman despite her appearance. Keep your thoughts of lechery and whatever else away from her.”



AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Award winning author Tricia McGill was born in London, England, and moved to Australia many years ago, settling near Melbourne. The youngest in a large, loving family she was never lonely or alone. Surrounded by avid readers, who encouraged her to read from an early age, is it any wonder she became a writer? The local library was a treasure trove and magical world of discovery through her childhood and growing years. Although her published works cross sub-genres, romance is always at their heart.

Tricia’s love of animals has always shown up in her books. Tricia devotes as much time and money as she can spare to supporting worldwide conservation groups and is passionate about supporting those who do all they can to preserve our wildlife for future generations, especially elephants and orangutans who seem to be getting the raw end of the deal even in this enlightened age. She also volunteers for a local community group that helps disabled adults and children to connect to the internet with provided computer equipment. When people ask what she does in her spare time, she is heard to ask, “Spare time, what is that?”




Buy links for Challenging Mountains: https://books2read.com/Challenging-Mountains

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Thursday, September 12, 2019

Fragments of French



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Wanda St. Hilaire will be awarding a ribboned beret & Paris coin bag with an E-book of Fragments of French to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. (International offer) Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.



After a harsh brush with her mortality, shadowed by a premature divorce, Wanda St. Hilaire pledges to be true to her primary passion—living ardently through travel. On the fateful day her life intersects with Jean-François, a charming Frenchman, on a bustling street in Lisbon, every fiber of her being feels as though she has finally entered the doorway to a magical world that she knew existed since she was a young girl.



St. Hilaire turns a complicated romantic ballet full of missteps into a collage of people, places, and cultures. Fragments of French is an exquisitely detailed travelogue of Portugal, Canada, France, and Mexico, filled with minor characters who delight with their humanity. However, what really makes this tale a standout is a gift for pacing and description to rival Tom Wolfe.



The hero’s journey is not only for the characters of our favorite stories or mythical legends. At some point, each of us receives the call to adventure. Fate summons the hero; we can refuse the call, or step into something that will turn our lives upside down, and potentially change everything we know to be true.



From feeling “completely disarmed, no fortress standing”, to embracing her untethered strength, the author turns this account of living life out loud into lessons for us all.






Read an Excerpt



After his shower, Jean-François invites me to join him at a nearby café he visits each morning before work. He looks squeaky clean and refreshed. We pass a tiny desk in the dim hallway, and a smiling, motherly landlady pops out from a doorway, insistent on meeting me. Although this short conversation is in French and Portuguese, it is clear that she is pleased for Jean-François to have found a woman, and I can see that she has adopted him as one of her own.



The noisy pâtisserie has standing-room-only at the bar, typical for a busy European weekday. Jean-François orders a double espresso and two pains au chocolat, and I my daily cappuccino. The baker pulls a fragrant tray of freshly baked pastries from an oven directly in front of us. As I bite into my croissant, the chocolate still hot and velvety and running down my fingers, I cannot know that this is a moment I will never forget, and one I will seek to relive, to re-taste.



He draws me a map of the way back to Rossio on a small blue napkin, and I leave him only after he boards the bus. Passing businessmen in tailored suits and starched white shirts, I observe the workaday life of the Lisboans from my wistful world, a million miles away from my everyday life—energized by the tender night, twitterpated by the possibility of love, and high on travel. On the way, I plan for a daytrip to Sintra by train today.


About the Author:

Her prime passion is the thrill of travel—of experiencing other cultures, traditions, lifestyles, and languages—thus expanding her perspective.



Wanda St. Hilaire has a predilection and passion for all things Latin, and she believes life is too short not to do what you love, where you love. She spends time writing in Mexico for inspiration and to escape the frozen landscapes of Alberta.



Through writing, St. Hilaire shares what she’s learned from the high peaks of adventure and love, to the dark valleys of illness and heartbreak. Her mission is to help people overcome the self, and tap into their wise inner guidance system. Her wish is to inspire others to live true to their unique and beautiful nature.



Website: http://www.fragmentsoffrench.com

Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPp3vMOpFFw

Blog: http://www.lifebyheart.wandasthilaire.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wandasthilairethewriter

Twitter: https://twitter.com/spicytraveler



Fragments of French on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Fragments-French-Unexpected-Journey-Heart/dp/189433115X/ref=sr_1_1

Companion Poetry Book, Of Love, Life, and Journeys on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Love-Life-Journeys-Companion-Fragments/dp/1894331176/ref=sr_1_3 (Inspired during the story of my travel memoir, this collection of poems and verse was first published in 2004 and became a Canadian bestseller for poetry. This second edition was created as a companion book to Fragments of French.)

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Monday, September 9, 2019

The Deception

The Deception

by Kat Martin

September 10, 2019 Book Blast

Synopsis:

The Deception by Kat Martin


“Fans of romantic suspense won’t be able to put this book down until the final page is turned.”―Publishers Weekly on The Deception



When missing turns to murdered, one woman's search for answers will take her to a place she never wanted to go…



After searching for her sister for two long years, Kate Gallagher is devastated when she’s called to the morgue to identify Chrissy’s body, the runaway teen the victim of a brutal attack. Guilt and grief send Kate into a tailspin. She failed Chrissy once…she won’t do it again. Even if finding her sister’s killer means following a lethal bounty hunter into the heart of darkness, placing both their lives in danger.



Working at Maximum Security has taken Jason Maddox down some dangerous paths, but never for a client he’s so drawn to, or for a case so monstrous. As clues lead them deeper into the city’s underbelly, connections to human trafficking draw them closer and closer to peril, but even Jase’s warnings can’t convince Kate to walk away. As the deadly operation puts a target on their backs, they’ll have to decide what matters most: the truth…or their lives.


Book Details:

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Published by: Harlequin Books

Publication Date: September 10th 2019

Number of Pages: 384

ISBN: 1488054320 (ISBN13: 9781488054327)

Series: Maximum Security #2

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads





Read an excerpt:

Jason Hawkins Maddox sat at the old-fashioned long bar in the Sagebrush Saloon, a country-western hangout with a live band for dancing on the weekends and a jukebox that served the same purpose the rest of the week. The place, out I-30 on Bruckner Boulevard, was a spot Jase had been to before but not for a couple of years.
He was there tonight on business, meeting an informant he hoped would give him a lead on the fugitive he was hunting.
Randall Darren Harding, a cement contractor, had been arrested for the brutal murder of his ex-girlfriend. He’d been out on bail when he’d decided to flee instead of standing trial, where most likely he would have been convicted.
On the outskirts of Dallas, he’d had a firefight with police, shot two sheriff’s deputies and escaped. The guy was tough. He wouldn’t go down easy.
From what Jase could find out, Harding was a rotten, self-centered, mean-tempered bastard, the kind who could wind up killing again. He’d strangled his girlfriend in a fit of rage, but a fancy lawyer had gotten him out on bail.
Jase had a warrant for Harding’s arrest—rearrest, technically, since the guy had already been charged with murder-one, the premeditated kind that could earn you the death penalty in Texas.
The reward for catching him was a fat 15 percent of his million-and-a-half-dollar bond. Jase planned to collect.
Thus his meeting with Tommy Dieter at the Sagebrush Saloon.
It was relatively early, a little after 9:00 p.m., but the place was already more than half full. A big dance floor dominated the interior, surrounded by a sea of wooden tables. Being Wednesday, there was no band, but the juke was belting Willie Nelson so a few couples two-stepped out on the floor.
It was a decent place, not one of the rat holes he occasionally frequented for information, the crowd a mix of cowboys and bikers, couples of various ages, and a smattering of tourists, there to try some real Texas line dancing.
From the mirror in the carved oak back bar across from him, Jase could keep an eye on the front door and watch for Tommy’s arrival. Between a row of liquor bottles, he could see himself on a bar stool next to a little guy in a blue Texas Rangers baseball cap. The little guy made Jase look even bigger than his six-foot-four-inch, 210-pound frame, a size that in his job often came in handy.
So far Tommy hadn’t shown, but he wasn’t due for another few minutes. In the meantime, Jase was enjoying the local scenery, his attention fixed on the tall blonde with the pretty face, sexy curves and amazing cleavage, but then half the guys in the bar were watching her.
In a short denim skirt, a pair of cowboy boots and a bright pink tank top, she had danced to five songs in a row. Jase figured as long as her stamina held out, she wouldn’t lack for partners. If he weren’t there on business, he might have asked her for a turn around the floor himself.
The blonde finished the dance and sat back down on a bar stool a ways down from him. He noticed she was drinking tequila shooters. Looked like someone was going to get lucky tonight. Hearing the throaty purr of her laughter, he felt a tug in his groin and couldn’t help wishing it was him.
The front door swung open and Tommy Dieter walked in. Jase tossed money for the Lone Star he’d been drinking on top the bar. Time to go to work.
Tommy spotted him and walked over to the bar. “Hey, Hawk.” It was a nickname Jase had picked up thanks to his middle name. They called him the Hawk because he swooped down on his prey and always got his man. Or so the story went.
“Tommy.” He was a slender guy in his early twenties with carrot-red hair, not a bad sort, but he hung with a bad crowd, which gave him access to a lot of dirt, and he was hungry enough to deal the info for money.
Jase nodded toward an empty table at the back of the bar, and the two of them made their way past a pool table where a couple of cowboys clacked balls across a sea of green.
Tommy and Jase both pulled out chairs and sat down at the battered wooden table. Jase didn’t ask Tommy if he wanted a beer. It wasn’t healthy for an informant to spend too much time with a guy who hunted people for a living.
“You got something on Harding for me?” Jase asked.
“Yeah. Randy has a girlfriend in Houston,” Tommy said. “Mexican girl. No papers. She keeps him happy. He pays her rent.”
“What’s her name?”
“Rosa Diaz. She’s got a brother in town. A mechanic named Paulo.”
“You think Randy’s still in Houston? I figured he’d leave the state, head for Arizona, maybe, or New Mexico.”
“Word is he’s got the serious hots for Rosa. According to Randy, she’s a great piece of ass.”
The words sent Jase’s gaze back to the blonde who had returned to the dance floor with a lanky biker too short for her, too skinny and a few years too young.
She wasn’t meant for the boy biker, but she was just Jase’s type, luscious, with legs that went on forever. And, as she slid her arms around the boy biker’s neck and he pulled her close, clearly uninhibited. It didn’t take much to imagine the way she’d feel moving beneath him.
Jase ignored a surge of heat and forced his mind back to business. “If Randy’s that close, you’d think the cops would already have him in custody.”
“I don’t think the cops know anything about the girl.”
Probably not. They had their hands full without having to arrest the same guy twice.
Jase reached into the pocket of his black T-shirt, plucked out a folded-up hundred-dollar bill and slid it across the table to Dieter. “Let me know if you come up with anything else.”
Tommy snagged the hundred. “Good luck,” he said. “I hope you nail this prick. What he did to that girl…fucker deserves to fry.”
Jase made no comment since he completely agreed. One of the perks of the job was bringing dicks like Harding to justice.
As Tommy walked away, Jase noticed his seat at the bar was still empty. Since he wasn’t ready to leave, he picked up his beer and headed back the way he’d come.
He watched the blonde as he passed the dance floor. He’d been watching her all evening. The good news was, she’d been watching him, too.
When the song came to an end, she left the boy biker and walked toward him, stopped right in front of his bar stool, the heels on her boots pushing her closer to his height.
She smiled. “You like to dance, cowboy?”

***
Excerpt from The Deception by Kat Martin. Copyright 2019 by Kat Martin. Reproduced with permission from HQN Books. All rights reserved.





Author Bio:

Kat Martin
Top ten New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin is a graduate of the University of California Santa Barbara. Residing with her Western-author husband, L.J. Martin, in Missoula, Montana, Kat has written 70 Historical and Contemporary Romantic Suspense novels. More than 17 million of her books are in print and she has been published in twenty foreign countries. Kat is currently hard at work on her next novel.

Catch Up With Kat Martin Online:

www.katmartin.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Twitter, & Facebook!






Tour Participants:











Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Kat Martin. There will be one (1) winner. The winner will receive an Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on September 10, 2019 and runs through September 19, 2019. Void where prohibited.
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Friday, September 6, 2019

Bedeviled





The Beguiling Bachelors, Book 3
By Madison Michael





                                                      ♥♥♥ ~ Free September 7th - September 10th Only ~ ♥♥♥


Steamy Romantic Suspense
About Bedeviled:
If You Build Your Love on Lies, You Better Run Faster than the Truth
Newly appointed Finance Director, Charlotte Roche escaped dangers lurking in Boston by moving to Chicago. A new name, a new beginning - all built on lies. Believing she is safe, Charlotte drops her guard and sets her sights on her ruggedly handsome and wildly sexy running partner, Alexander Gaines. Can she advance their relationship from the track to the bedroom and still maintain her charade? or will Alex's probing questions pierce her carefully rehearsed story?

Alex, with unrevealed secrets of his own, struggles to hold the irresistible Charlotte at arm’s length. But when Charlotte sustains a suspicious injury, Alex seizes the opportunity to cuddle up to the sassy beauty. Does he dare risk his reputation, his fortune, his friends, and his heart by letting her get close?

How can they build a bond with deceit on both sides? With exposure imminent, their freshly forged relationship is in jeopardy and so are their lives. Can their love survive or are they bedeviled?

Join Alex and Charlotte, in this steamy romance, the third in the five-star rated Beguiling Bachelor series. The suspense builds as the characters you’ve met and loved in “Bedazzled” and “Beholden” help tackle the maze of half-truths and cover-ups threatening the lovers.



Excerpt from Bedeviled:


Keeping his mind on the topic always took all of Alex’s effort anyway. When Charlotte sat hip-to-hip with him as she had today, he felt the heat of her skin, saw the long length of thigh exposed in front of him, heard her heavy post-run breathing until he was in sensory overload. She smelled so good, not stinky and sweaty like he must. She smelled classy and expensive with all those clean, floral scents. She smelled like a woman he could trust.
More like a woman I want to trust.

Thinking back, Alex recognized that she had been hiding something all along. When he wasn’t lost in a sensual fog, he was able to zero in on where the conversations lagged, when she got testy with his probing or tried to change the subject. It had something to do with her life in Boston before she moved to Chicago and it was something that had been going on for a while. She was practiced at her excuses by the time she used them on him. She was making too many trips back East for ‘Harvard stuff.’ She had met Regan Howe through this same ‘Harvard stuff’ yet Regan went back to her alma mater only once or twice a year, if that.

Oh yeah, Charlotte is definitely up to something and I intend to find out what. I have been patient long enough.
Sitting waiting now for Charlotte to arrive at Starbucks, Alex promised himself that he would get to the bottom of this or walk away.
Since she had declined his offer of a ride, Alex currently sat at a shady outside table enjoying the last of summer, waiting for her to walk over and speculating on her possible secrets. He was planning his subtle interrogation during the few minutes Charlotte would need to make her way across the park,
Stubborn. She should have just accepted the ride.

You driving over or walking?” she had asked him, once they caught their breath.
“I have the car if you want a ride?” When she hesitated, he tried tempting her. “I have the new car.”

Alex was the proud owner of a brand new Mercedes AMG. The sleek, luxury sports car suited him despite most people’s image of him as logical, conservative and staid. The need for speed was actually deep in his blood. “You will love it, tight on the curves, fast and quiet. She purrs,” he had bragged.

Charlotte hesitated on his last remark and Alex had been sure she would accept. “The new car, huh?” she sounded intrigued. “I am excited to see it at last, Alex. You have certainly been talking about it long enough.”

“I need to walk off this tight hamstring, so I’ll have to pass this time,” she had replied reluctantly. “Meet you there in five.” Of course, Charlotte had been Charlotte, and that included being unpredictable.

Charlotte, leaving Alex standing there, had taken off across the park without a backward glance. Alex stood dumbfounded a moment, watching her slow jog-walk toward the trail across the grassy lawns of Lincoln Park. She was heading directly toward their usual post-run Starbucks and if he didn’t get moving, she would be there first.
Still he stood, willing her to look back and flash him that smile that changed her whole face. She didn’t, of course, and Alex was left standing there, admiring her lithe figure and the smooth bunch and release of her muscles in those tiny running shorts as she moved into the distance. Reminding himself to close his gaping mouth, Alex jogged to the parking lot, trading an extra moment of admiring a beautiful woman for a few short moments admiring his beautiful new car.

Arriving at the coffee shop several minutes before Charlotte, Alex was forced to cool his heels. He spent the time piecing together anything he could think of to uncover Charlotte’s deep, dark, secret. Admittedly, he needed the ten-minute head start away from her to give his overheated blood a little cooling time too. He kept envisioning the two of them in that sweet ride, sitting close with their sweat-slicked bodies. The image had intensified the jolts of.electricity already coursing through his veins from running beside her scantily clothed body.

Too bad she turned me down. One of these days we will be in tight quarters, all alone, and I will make my move. I have resisted too long already.
Since the mention of her tight hamstring, all Alex could think about was massaging her leg, and moving up from there. Did the woman not understand what she was doing to him? After all, he was a healthy red-blooded man. How long was he supposed to watch her round little ass wiggle in front of him, or the glide of muscles in those incredible legs – or
OMG – her breasts bob up and down in those little running tops. The woman was killing him. He wanted her so badly he could taste it.

He chided himself to stop thinking of her that way, as he always did when he lusted after her. He would catch himself wanting her and repress the overwhelming sexual response that had plagued him since the beginning. She was so much more than just beautiful and sexy. She was a brilliant woman, funny, witty, complex and delightful. She considered him a running partner, and a friend…
…but that body, oh, that body. Stop it!

Alex determined to stay focused on what she might be trying to cover up and got his desire under control. He reviewed the signs – when she changed topics or failed to make eye contact. He carefully dissected her words while he waited for her to arrive. He knew she was being intentionally elusive. Alex resolved again that today would be the day he found out what she was concealing, beginning as soon as she arrived.
Speaking of arriving, Charlotte should have shown up long before now. She would have, unless something had happened. How long had he been sitting, pondering? How much time had passed?

Heart racing like a freight train, Alex ran into the park. Unsure why, he was terrified of what he might find.


About Madison Michael

Madison Michael is an indie publisher, blogger and the author of the Beguiling Bachelor Series as well as the novella Desire & Dessert, from her sizzling B&B Billionaire Bachelor
series.

A Chicago native and hopeless romantic, Maddy was raised on Chicago culture, fairy tales, great literature and swashbuckling movies. Maddy employs that history, writing steamy contemporary romance novels set against the sumptuous backdrop of Chicago’s elite society.

After receiving a BA in Journalism from the University of Illinois and an MBA from Loyola University of Chicago, Madison abandoned her writing to find her way in the corporate business world. Daughter of a librarian, it was inevitable that she would return to the world of books.

Maddy writes from high above Chicago where she can stare at its gorgeous skyline or the shores of Lake Michigan surrounded by feline assistants. When she is not writing,, Maddy can be found lost in a book, fighting for the rights of the mentally iil or dining on Chicago’s famous cuisine. Hot dogs and pizza, anyone?

Social Links:
     Website: http://madisonmichael.net/
     Maddy's Romance Madness: https://www.madisonmichael.net/maddys-romance-madness/







Tuesday, September 3, 2019

The Fixer Upper


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


Abby Callier is more in love with Shakespearean heroes than any real man, and she’s beginning to wonder if there is life for her outside the pages of a book. It doesn’t help that her esteemed parents tend to view her as they would one of their science experiments gone wrong. On the eve of finishing her dissertation, she escapes her staid existence to live in the house she inherited from her Great Aunt Evie in the small town of Echo Springs, Colorado. Because, let’s face it, when a woman starts comparing her life to horror films, it might be time for a break.

Sheriff Nate Barnes believes in law and order and carefully building the life you want. In his spare time, he has been remodeling his house in the hope that one day it will be filled with the family he makes. But Nate doesn’t like drama or complications and tends to avoid them at all costs. And yet, when Miss Abigail Callier, his newest neighbor, beans him with a nine iron, he can’t help but wonder if she might just be the complication he’s been searching for all along. It doesn’t hurt that he discovers a journal hidden away by the previous tenant and decides to use Old Man Turner’s advice to romance Abby into his life.

Abby never expected her next-door neighbor, the newly dubbed Sheriff Stud Muffin, to be just the distraction her world needed. The problem is she doesn’t know whether she should make Echo Springs her home, or if this town is just a stopover point in her life’s trajectory. And she doesn’t want to tell Nate that she might not be sticking around—even though she should because it’s the right thing to do, the honest thing—because then all the scintillatingly hot kisses with the Sheriff will come to an abrupt halt. Did she mention that he’s a really great kisser?
My Review
What I thought I would write here about halfway through Maggie Mae Gallagher’s book and what you’ll read now are two totally different flavors.

This is a contemporary romance and at first, I would have labeled it a cozy. No offense meant here. It’s in a small town named Echo Springs. The main character has inherited an old home from her Grand aunt. It has a handsome sheriff who happens to live right next door to Abby, the main character. But there’s no dead body and the sheriff only has to worry about a few break-ins and… it’s much more steamy than your everyday cozy. It is definitely a romance. 

I was going to tell you this was too much “romance” for me. I don’t mind a little bit of sweet romance in a book. We all fall in love at one time or another. The romance genre is not my thing and as I have said this one is steamy. The “steam” talk went on a little too much for me. I wanted more body to the story (no pun intended).

However, somewhere mid-story I didn’t want to put it down. I wanted to see how it ended. So, I read all of it. And, in truth, I didn’t regret it.


The Fixer Upper is Book 1 of a new series titled “Echo Springs”. Gallagher has several other books published. All seem to have good reviews. Check them out.

Read an Excerpt

The Carruthers’ property was on a half-acre of land. The two-story home had fallen into disrepair. The pale blue paint was cracked and peeling in places. One of the black shutters had slats broken out of the middle. Jed was a mechanic at one of the local garages, who liked his whiskey more than he did working. And it showed. His wife, Clare, had taken herself and the kids to her parents’ house, which was only three miles away.

Nate knocked on the door. “Jed, this is Sheriff Barnes. I need you to open the door and come out with your hands in the air.”

“Fuck off,” came a slurred shout from inside.

Nate sighed. From the sounds of it, the man was already well on his way to being shitfaced. “Jed, don’t make this more difficult than it needs to be. I have a warrant for your arrest. If you come with me now, peacefully, it will help your case.”

Deputy O’Leary stood off to the side of the front door of the ramshackle home with its screen door torn in spots. When there was no response from Jed, Nate nodded at O’Leary, who made his way around to the back to ensure the idiot didn’t try to go out the back door and escape.

“Jed, I’m going to give you to the count of five and then I’m coming in.”

There was a shout from O’Leary around back. Nate took off and sprinted to the edge of the porch, just in time to watch Jed, in a pair of white boxers and nothing else, race around the corner and head toward the street.

“Halt, Jed.”

Shit.

Nate charged after him on foot. This was why he ran six miles a day—so he could catch morons like Jed who thought they could outrun the police. Nate snagged him by the neck and wrestled him down to the ground. He took an elbow to the chin and swore before he had Jed pinned on the ground with his hands behind his back. Not quick enough, he thought as he slid the cuffs on Jed’s wrists.

“For that stunt, I will be adding resisting arrest and assault on a police officer, Jed.”

“Piss off, pig!” Jed yelled, uncowed by the fact that he was handcuffed. From the smell of him, he had started early on the Jack Daniels.

Nate shook his head and began reading Jed his Miranda rights. His chin throbbed like a son of a bitch and it wasn’t yet noon. So much for having a slow and easy day.



About the Author:

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Maggie grew up listening to Cardinals baseball and reading anything she could get her hands on. She remembers her mother saying if only she would read the right type of books instead binging her way through the romance aisles at the bookstore, she’d have been a doctor. While Maggie never did get that doctorate, she graduated cum laude from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with an M.A. in History.



Maggie is a bestselling and award-winning author published in multiple fiction genres. She also writes erotic romance under the name Anya Summers. A total geek at her core, when she is not writing, she adores attending the latest comic con or spending time with her family. She currently lives in the Midwest with her two furry felines.



Visit her website here: http://www.maggiemaegallagher.com




Visit her on social media here:



Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MagMaeGallagher/

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7846308.Maggie_Mae_Gallagher

Twitter: https://twitter.com/magmaegallagher

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/maggiegallagher

BookBub Author Page: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/maggie-mae-gallagher



Don’t miss these exciting titles by Maggie Mae Gallagher!



The Mystic Series



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CASKET GIRL: https://amzn.to/2Dmw9MD



The Cantati Chronicles



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ANOINTED: https://amzn.to/2Gu0Xgm

ASCENDED: https://amzn.to/2VRGSpz



And if you like your romance with a bit of spice and kink be sure to check out Maggie Mae Gallagher writing as Anya Summers on Amazon!   https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07XHP4SLY


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