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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Cover Reveal: Owning It by Leah Marie Brown


Inside the Book:



Title: Owning It
Author: Leah Marie Brown
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Format: Ecopy 
The chance of a lifetime . . . or just another bad decision?

Delaney Lavender Brooks needs to grow up. At least, according to her parents. After getting evicted from her apartment and wrecking her car, Laney is almost ready to trade in her paintbrushes and surrender to a more sensible 9-to-5 existence. Almost. Until she’s awarded an internship at a prestigious art gallery in Paris. What else can the free-spirited artist do but follow her dreams? Even if her latest attempt at chasing rainbows might cost her a real future . . .

Once in the city of lights, Laney is almost undone by the glaring truth: maybe she isn’t sophisticated or talented enough to make it as an artist—or an independent woman, for that matter. And when she’s hotly pursued by a seductive Frenchman, she has to wonder if she’s about to be a fool for love, too. Soon Laney’s greatest challenge is not proving herself to her parents, but having the courage to live the life—and love—of her dreams . . .

“Leah Marie Brown has a wily way of bringing her stories to life with sharp dialogue and drop-dead sexy characters.” —Cindy Miles, National Bestselling Author

“When it comes to crafting clever, intelligent, wonderful escapist fiction with a heroine every woman wants to know, Leah Marie Brown is a new voice to watch. Prepare to fall in love!” —Renee Ryan, Daphne du Maurier Award-Winning Author

 amazon

MEET THE AUTHOR

I am an American writer with a penchant for Paris and all things pink!
Before writing novels, I worked as a print journalist for a Pulitzer prize winning newspaper and served in the United States Air Force as a Radio and Television Broadcaster.
An avid traveler, I have had adventures and mishaps from London to Tokyo, which I write about on my blog, On Life, Love & Accidental Adventures, and in my contemporary romantic series, The It Girls.
I was once a collector of truly useless bric-a-brac and cheesy tee-shirts.  My cheesiest? A tee with a cartoon Jesus riding a surf board and the words, ”And on the eighth day, Jesus went surfing in Greece.”
Today, I prefer to gather friendships and memories as travel souvenirs.
I live in the shadow of Pike’s Peak Mountain, near Colorado Springs, with my family and shamefully pampered poodles.
In my free time, I like to watch movies, read, and snap photographs.  You can view my photography by clicking on the Adventures tab above or by following me on Instagram.
I love to hear from readers, so send me a note! Or connect with me on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!
For More Information
Visit Leah’s website.
Connect with Leah on Facebook  and Twitter.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Cover Reveal: The Thief by Michele Hauf

 

Inside the Book:


Title: The Thief
Author: Michele Hauf
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Format: Ecopy 
The Elite Crimes Unit works behind the scenes of Interpol—and employs some of the world’s most talented criminal minds. Because as everyone knows, it takes a thief to catch a thief—or to seduce one . . .

The old farmhouse in the French countryside is a refuge for former jewel thief Josephine Deveraux. Admittedly, there aren’t many men in the vicinity, but she has her cat to cuddle up with. It’s a far cry from her former life, constantly running from the law, and she’s enjoying her peace . . . until the intruder in the three-piece suit tackles her. He wants her back in the game, helping with a heist—and he’s not above making threats to get his way.

Little does Josephine know that notorious—and notoriously charming—thief, Xavier Lambert, is after the very same 180-carat prize she’s being blackmailed to steal. To his chagrin, he’s doing it not as a free agent, but as a member of the Elite Crimes Unit—the team he was forced to join when his brilliant career came to a sudden end. And little does Xavier know that his comeback is about to include a stranger’s kiss, a stinging slap, and a hunt for missing treasure—along with the infuriatingly sexy woman who’s outfoxing him . . .

“Hauf delivers excitement, danger, and romance in a way only she can!” —#1 New York Times bestselling author Sherrilyn Kenyon

PURCHASE AT AMAZON

MEET THE AUTHOR

Michele has been writing romance, action-adventure and fantasy stories for over nineteen years. Her first published novel was DARK RAPTURE.

France, musketeers, vampires and faeries populate her stories. And if she followed the adage ‘write what you know’, all her stories would have snow in them. Fortunately, she steps beyond her comfort zone and writes about countries she has never visited and of creatures she has never seen.

In February 2015 Michele’s 70th book, THE UNFORGIVEN: ATHOS will be published! And she marks another milestone with her 50th book for Harlequin in April 2015.

Connect with Michele: Website|Facebook|Twitter|Instagram|Pinterest  

Monday, November 28, 2016

Captain Hawkins Book Blast!



Join us for H. Peter Alesso's CAPTAIN HAWKINS Book Blast today! Please leave a comment to let him know you stopped by!


Title: Captain Hawkins
Author: H. Peter Alesso
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 207
Genre: Science Fiction

Jamie Hawkins was living on an obscure planet in the twenty third-century when on one fateful night—his life changed forever. His heroic effort to save the lives of innocent women and children, caught in the cross-fire of war, placed him squarely in the crosshairs of avenging soldiers.

A former marine, Hawkins was stunned when his rescue effort was seen as treachery. Unfairly convicted of treason by a corrupt judge, he was sentenced to life imprisonment at hard labor on an infamous penal colony.
 
Once in prison, his courage and perseverance won him the admiration and trust of his fellow convicts. While he was plotting his escape, an enemy attacked the planet--giving this daring warrior his chance. Together with his fellow prisoners, he launched a bold assault and high-jacked an enemy warship.

From then on, the rebel ship Indefatigable, engaged in multiple ship-to-ship and fleet actions until the exploits of Captain Jamie Hawkins became legendary.

PURCHASE:

Amazon


Book Excerpt:

The black of night had fallen, but Jamie Hawkins couldn’t sleep. Though the surgeons had patched up his many wounds, the remorseless pain persisted, even now, months after his medical discharge from the Marines.

BAM! BAM! BAM!

Despite his desire to ignore the unwelcomed thundering blows, he answered the door to his country home and found his neighbor, tall scrawny seventeen year old Joshua Morgan, gasping for breath.

“Captain Hawkins, come quick! Come quick, or they’ll all be killed!”

“Who? What are you talking about, Joshua?”

“I’ve just come from the city—it’s a war zone. People are dying,” Joshua’s voice broke. “The hospital is taking care of the wounded and sheltering women and children, but its force shield is buckling.” He finished in a breathless rush, “It’s only a matter of minutes before it fails.”

A troubled frown creased Hawkins’s face. Their mothers had been friends and he had known Joshua since he was born.

Has the boy been drawn into the turmoil? He wondered.

Hawkins had listened to the broadcasts throughout the day, absurd in every detail; demonstrators declared that they were only protesting injustice, while the government insisted the violence was a last resort against rebels.

Which is the greater lie?

I told one of the doctors, I knew someone who could help. My flyer’s right outside, sir. You must come,” begged Joshua, his expressive eyes pleading.

A more kindhearted man, who possessed his insight, might have agonized over what was happening in the capital city, but though Hawkins was not unsympathetic, past adversity had left him more hardboiled and cynical than most.

“That’s not my concern anymore,” he said.

Joshua’s desperate voice squealed, “You’re a veteran. You could make a difference, sir.”

Hawkins put his hand on his hips, threw his head back, and barked, “Ha!”

Then, giving vent to a deep inner passion, he demanded, “What difference can one man make?”

As a Marine, Hawkins had been a hot-blooded warrior, always quick to action, so at this moment of great upheaval, while frenzied violence was playing out in the capital, he surprised himself with his reluctance to act. As he ran his hand over the long jagged scar that marred his chest, one thing was certain, the foolish mutinous passions of the people could only lead to ruin.

But the look that spread across the boy’s face was indescribable—it was as if he had just lost his hero.

“Alright, if you won’t come, at least tell me how to maintain the shield,” said Joshua, showing a daring and persistence beyond his years. “I’ll go back alone, but you must tell me what to do.”

“You have no idea what you’d be getting yourself into. All hell has broken loose. Can’t you see, you can’t contribute anything worthwhile, and most likely something terrible will happen?

“I must go back, my mother is a volunteer at the hospital,” said Joshua. Throwing back his shoulders with a determined jerk of his chin, he challenged Hawkins’s jaded gaze, pleading, “Please. Tell me how to fix the shield.”

Hawkins opened his mouth, but the words froze on his lips. The boy’s courage was a splash of cold water in his face, stinging his sense of honor. It wasn’t in his nature to send this boy to certain deathfor Joshua could never accomplish what had to be donenor it was in his makeup to let innocents be condemned to death with the hospital’s destruction.

A gritty resolve washed over Hawkins. He said, “Let’s go.”

***

Wearing a brown pilot jacket, tanned rawhide trousers with knee-high leather boots, calfskin gloves, and goggles, Hawkins skillfully maneuvered the single seat flyer at breakneck speed. Joshua desperately clung to him to stay on the back of the motorcycle-like vehicle--his arms wrapped tightly around Hawkins's waist.

What they saw was a madhouse--Newport was ablaze with savage fires that lit up the horizon--scores of them. Just hours before it had been a vibrant city, the capital of Jaxon, renowned for its culture and history, thriving with business and commerce, home to over a million inhabitants going about their ordinary daily lives, now it was a battlefield.

Though his home was a mere two dozen kilometers outside the city, it was impossible for him to fly directly there. There were several sharp mountain peaks in their way, one tremendous one, flanked by two smaller ones, causing Hawkins to race the engine of single-seat turbojet to gain altitude. The noise and vibration of the straining sputtering engine roared into the dark rainy night until they were able to ascend to three thousand meters.

When they reached the outskirts of the city, they descended to a hundred meters, but skyscrapers rose in their path causing them to fly directly over a paved highway that connected the planet's capital to the suburbs. It was swollen with traffic--pedestrians, motorcycles, trucks and cars--choking the road. There were people of every description; disheveled housewives and construction workers, unskilled laborers and local tradesmen, reeking hobos and sharply dressed businessmen, young and old, men and women alike, all seeking safety. Some carried cherished possessions while others brandished antiquated bullet guns, since the government had already confiscated most laser and plasma weapons. This crowded mass of human unhappiness snaked its way along its ill-chosen path intent on escaping the terrifying violence.

Is Joshua's mom in that mob? Hawkins wondered.

Those remaining in the city suffered under a shower of high explosive aerial bombs intermixed with artillery shells. With sirens wailing, Hawkins saw bombers overhead dropping death from the skies and heard the repeated firing of artillery in the distance. He couldn't tell who was doing the shooting.

After his initial reluctance to come, he agonized over whether he would arrive in time. A nearly impenetrable wall of smoke, flame, debris, and explosions added extra heart wrenching minutes to the journey.

Every two minutes a new wave of jets would be overhead and a new barrage of artillery shells would join in. The roaring fires pulsed, like the blind fury of an agitated buzzing beehive. Little fires grew into big ones, right before his eyes. Big ones died down under the valor of firemen, only to break out again a few moments later.

Hawkins saw the panic in the street. The city's civil-defense included shelters that were now overflowing with refugees. Many had left their homes and defied the flames to run to the bomb shelters distributed throughout the city, only to find there was no room for them. In addition to the death and injury, everywhere there was evidence of psychological trauma--children sat in rubble--their dead parent's bodies nearby. It was impossible to gauge how much more the citizens could take. Panic and raw nerves grew tighter with each passing minute. The people prayed for a respite--but there was little hope for mercy on this night.

Hawkins heard the crackling of the closest flames and the screams of victims and firemen, alike. Smoke blurred his vision and seared his lungs. Nevertheless, he kept going with Joshua clinging to his waist.

"Arf! Arf!" choked Joshua.

"Here cover your mouth with this handkerchief," yelled Hawkins over the uproar around them.

EEEEEEERRRR!!!

The sirens wailed.

Hawkins cursed.

"Oh, no," said Joshua. "Are we too late?"

"We're almost there," said Hawkins.

They heard detonations high in the air. The sky was alive with a deadly dance of destruction.

BOOM!

Then another--

BOOM!

Farther down the street, Hawkins could see soldiers breaking through the defensive ring of some diehard demonstrators, sending them fleeing in every direction. He couldn't quite make out what the people were yelling, but he could see one oversized banner fall to the ground.

It read, "Beware the Wrath to Come!"





About the Author


As a scientist and author specializing in technology innovation, H. Peter Alesso has over twenty years research experience at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). As Engineering Group Leader at LLNL he led a team of scientists and engineers in innovative applications across a wide range of supercomputers, workstations, and networks. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a B.S. and served in the U.S. Navy on nuclear submarines before completing an M.S. and an advanced Engineering Degree at M.I.T. He has published several software titles and numerous scientific journal and conference articles, and he is the author/co-author of ten books.

WEBSITE | GOODREADS

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Book Blast: In Jesus' Arms by Mary E. Keenan

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Inside the Book:

in-jesus-arms
Title: In Jesus' Arms 
Author: Mary E. Keenan 
Publisher: iUniverse 
Genre: Religion 
Format: Ebook

What if you could literally see Christ and listen to Him answer some of your deepest spiritual questions: Who receives eternal life, and why? Are we still “us” after death? What happens in heaven? And is there an unseen dimension here on earth?

In In Jesus’ Arms: One Woman’s Trip to Heaven, author Mary E. Keenan shares here amazing journey being in the arms of Jesus Christ. Opening with the story of her life as an unworthy sinner who once rejected God’s forgiveness—but who found restoration through a relationship with Christ—she reveals her experience of being held and carried by Jesus as she and Christ walked together on the earth and ascended to heaven. There, Mary receives Christ’s lessons and is able to offer a glimpse into the inner workings of heaven, the mind of Christ, the preparations for the second coming, and the important messages God wants individuals and churches to heed today about the difference between faith and religious practice.

Whether you are a curious and skeptical unbeliever, a believer who avoids the church, or an active church member involved in the pastorate or other Christian organizations, In Jesus’ Arms will compel you to delve deeper into the scriptures and provide you with a joyous, hopeful account of a victorious Christ—where His lessons from the past are still current, where His plans are being carried out, and where heaven is still very much involved in our lives.  

Meet the Author:
Mary E. Keenan was born and raised in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and she has a master’s degree in adult and technical education from Marshall University, West Virginia. Now retired from a career in nursing administration and education, she loves to paint and lives with her husband, Dale, in Weirton, West Virginia.  

Giveaway

Mary is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

 
Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins November 14  and ends on November 25.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on November 26.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Cover Reveal: More Than a Soldier by Irene Onorato

more-than-a-soldier

Inside the Book:

 more-than-a-soldier_final
Title: More Than a Soldier
Author: Irene Onorato
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Genre: Contemporar Romance
Format: Ecopy 
There’s more than one way to be a hero . . .

Former Special Forces soldier Hank Fleming is living a safe, quiet life in upstate New York, but there are days he isn’t sure he’s going to make it. The sole survivor of a devastating grenade attack in Afghanistan, he is still scarred, physically and emotionally. He hangs on to his faith and tries to keep moving forward, waiting for the day that something—or someone—can make him feel whole again.

Cindy Giordano is searching too—for her biological family and a fresh start. When her journey to find her brother, Edward, leads to Hank’s front door, she is instantly drawn to Hank . . . and instantly wary. With her ex-fiancĂ©’s betrayal still fresh in her mind, friendship is about all she can muster.

When shadows from Cindy’s past threaten, Hank’s protective instincts shift into high gear, and he realizes everyone has their own battles to fight. But the road to healing would be much sweeter with the right person by his side . . .

  amazon

MEET THE AUTHOR

Irene Onorato was born and raised in Bronx, New York. Her father, a first-generation American whose parents were born in Italy, was an Army veteran who had served with the 178th combat engineers during WWII. He told numerous stories of battles, hardships, tragedies and triumphs. The glimpses he gave into the hearts of many American warriors would later become the inspiration for much of Irene’s writings. In 1972, a few months after graduating high school, Irene met James Onorato, a soldier who had just returned from Vietnam. After dating two weeks, they married, raised three children, and are still happily married today. Irene and James, both radiation protection technicians, retired from the nuclear power industry in 2014 and now reside in Louisiana.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Cover Reveal: Forbidden Knight by Diana Cosby


Inside the Book:


Title: Forbidden Knight
Author: Diana Cosby
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: Ecopy 

“Diana Cosby is superbly talented.” —Cathy Maxwell, New York Times bestselling author 

Deep within Scotland, a healer and a warrior join forces to protect Scotland’s future . . .

There is an intruder in the woods near King Robert Bruce’s camp, but when Sir Thomas MacKelloch comes face-to-face with the interloper, he is shocked to discover his assailant is a woman. The fair lady is skilled with a bow and arrow and defiant in her responses. The wary Knight Templar dare not allow her beauty to lower his guard. Irritated by his attraction, he hauls her before his sovereign to expose her nefarious intent.

Outraged Sir Thomas dismissed her claim, Mistress Alesone MacNiven awaits the shock on the arrogant knight’s face when he learns that she has told the truth. But it is she who is shocked, and then horrified, as it is revealed that her father, the king’s mortal enemy, has betrothed her to a powerful noble, a deal that could jeopardize the king’s efforts to unite Scotland. Robert Bruce orders Sir Thomas to escort Alesone to safety. As they embark on a harrowing journey through the Highlands, Alesone tries to ignore her attraction to the intimidating warrior, but as she burns beneath Thomas’s kiss she realizes this fearless knight could steal her heart. 

amazon

MEET THE AUTHOR

diana-cosby   

 A retired Navy Chief, Diana Cosby is an international bestselling author of Scottish medieval romantic suspense.  Her award-winning books are translated in five languages.  Diana has appeared at Lady Jane’s Salon, in NYC, and in Woman’s Day, on USA Today’s romance blog, “Happily Ever After,” MSN.com, and in Texoma Living Magazine.

After retiring as a Navy Chief, AGC(AW), Diana dove into her passion – writing romance novels. With 34 moves behind her, she was anxious to create characters who reflected the amazing cultures and people she’s met throughout the world.

Her years of living in Europe inspired Diana to write in the medieval time frame.  After watching the movie Braveheart and with her passion for writing complex plots, the idea for the MacGruder brothers series was born.

With the release of her 1st book in her new Scottish medieval The Oath trilogy, An Oath Taken, which hit bestseller lists in Canada and the United Kingdom, she’s now preparing for the release of the e Box Set of the MacGruder Brothers series on February 24th, and the last two books in The Oath trilogy, An Oath Broken – 22 June, and, An Oath Sworn – 23 December, 2015!

Diana has many passions in life, but one that resonates in her life is that of giving. She firmly believe that each of us can make a positive difference in another person’s life.

Some of the charities she supports are listed below: ntfslogo

The National Trust for Scotland, which acts asguardian of Scotland’s magnificent heritage of architectural, scenic and historic treasures.

Habitat For Humanity, which gives a deserving family more than a home, but a foundation upon which to build their dreams..

Semper Fi Fund , is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit to help with immediate financial support for injured and critically ill members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families.

Homes For Our Troops, assists severely injured Servicemen and Servicewomen and their immediate families through various venues to aid them in building a home that allows them live a more independent life.

The Navy SEAL Foundation, provides immediate and ongoing support and assistance to the Naval Special Warfare community and their families.

CONNECT WITH DIANA: WEBSITE

Battle for Cymmera Book Blast & Win $25 Amazon Gift Card!



We’re happy to host Dani-Lyn Alexander’s BATTLE FOR CYMMERA Book Blast today! Dani-Lyn is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card.  Enter below!

Title: Battle for Cymmera, Kingdom of Cymmera Book Three
Author: Dani-Lyn Alexander
Publisher: Lyrical Press/Kensington
Pages: 226
Genre: YA Fantasy

With Chayce Maynard on the run, Ryleigh and Jackson can finally begin rebuilding their kingdom. But when a cryptic message suggests Chayce was seen in Argonas, chaos creeps back into Cymmera once more . . .

Jackson knows Cymmera will never be safe until Chayce, guilty of treason, is detained and executed. After ordering Cymmeran guardsmen to scour the land, he and the Death Dealer team brave wild Argonas in search of the informant who spotted his foe. And in his absence, Jackson not only leaves the throne empty, but the kingdom vulnerable to attack . . .

As a vicious army descends on Cymmera, Ryleigh is forced to flee to an uncharted realm with a small group of survivors—a place Jackson has no chance of discovering. Alone, but for the few people she was able to save, Ryleigh must decide whether to reclaim her kingdom or remain in the new realm forever, forsaking all she left behind . . .

Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Book Excerpt:

As she slid past her throne, Ryleigh’s sword caught on the arm, and she took a step back and untangled it. She’d never get used to wearing the stupid thing everywhere she went. If not for Jackson’s insistence, it’d probably be stuffed under her bed beside the baseball bat she kept hidden there.
She pulled open a drawer on the side table behind her throne and rifled through the papers she’d stuffed in there in search of her leather appointment book. If she couldn’t find answers, may as well get some work done. It was either that or dwell on Jackson’s mission and the terror it brought. She pressed a hand against her heaving stomach. No. She couldn’t think about that. She had more immediate problems she might actually be able to do something about.
Several meetings had to be scheduled, and without writing them down, she’d never keep track of where she was supposed to be. Especially with her mind so jumbled with images of Jackson going up against Chayce.
She snatched the book, shoved the drawers shut, and turned to leave.
Ryleigh’s vision blurred. The air shimmered in the center of the throne room, and her ears popped.
She ripped her sword from its sheath even as the portal opened.
A seven-foot-tall beast built of solid muscle tore through the portal. A triple headed flail swung from one massive hand.

About the Author


Dani-Lyn lives on Long Island with her husband, three kids and three dogs. She loves spending time with her family, at the beach, the playground, or just about anywhere. In her spare time, which is rare, she enjoys reading and shopping—especially in book stores. Some of her favorite things include; Bernese Mountain Dogs, musicals, bubble baths and soft blankets. She’s an incurable insomniac, and she has an addiction to chocolate.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK



            Giveaway Details:

Dani-Lyn Alexander is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Card
  • This giveaway ends midnight November 22.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on November 23.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 21, 2016

Cover Reveal: Pop Star by Meredith Michelle


Inside the Book:


Title: Pop Star
Author: Meredith Michelle
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Genre: Romance
Format: Ecopy 

CHOOSE HOW FAR YOU WANT TO GO . . .

You are Honey Noble, this month’s Rock N Roll Magazine cover star, with a platinum debut album and swarms of devoted “Honey Bees.” Life has never been sweeter—or crazier, as you juggle a cross-country tour (traveling on your luxury Airstream tour bus), a clothing line, fabulous endorsements, and a relationship with gorgeous former boy-bander, Crispin Hershey.

But rumors are swirling about Crispin’s flirtation with pop’s bad girl, Trixie Sheer. And life on tour is opening up all kinds of intriguing possibilities for you, too . . .

Do you snoop into Crispin’s phone to discover the truth about Trixie? Will a night in Vegas lead to a quickie wedding, a gambling debt, or a rehab stint? Should you enjoy a fling with a sizzling backup dancer or reconnect with Han Lee, your Korean pop star ex—or is your soul mate someone closer to home?

Every choice has a juicy consequence, and the potential for steamy fun, fulfillment, tabloid scandal . . . or even a fatal misstep. The choice is yours . . .

  amazon

MEET THE AUTHOR

Star Struck is Meredith Michelle’s debut and is the first in the Pick Your Own Plot Bedventures series. It combines her lifelong fascination with celebrity culture and her childhood love of the Choose Your Own Adventure series. Meredith has been an avid writer since her youth, penning plays, poetry and short stories. She is a native and current resident of the Washington, DC area, where she lives with her husband and three children.

A Poisonous Journey Book Blast



We’re so happy to be hosting Malia Zaidi’s A POISONOUS JOURNEY BOOK BLAST at The Writer's Life today!  Please leave a comment to let her know you stopped by!

Title: A Poisonous Journey
Author: Malia Zaidi
Publisher: Bookbaby
Pages: 385

The year is 1925, a time that hovers between two catastrophic wars, a time of jazz and sparkle, and a time of peace and reflection. For Lady Evelyn, struggling to outrun the ghosts of her tragic past, it is a time of transformation. Left orphaned after a fire when she was only four, Lady Evelyn Carlisle was raised in London by her stern aunt and uncle. Now, twenty years later she has grown restless and is keen to escape her chaperone's grasp. A letter from her cousin, Briony, living with her husband on Crete, comes at just the right time. Packing what she can, Lady Evelyn makes off for foreign shores. Welcoming her are not only Briony and her husband, Jeffrey, but also his handsome and mysterious friends, Caspar Ballantine and Daniel Harper. Though the latter carries with him tragic memories of the Great War, Evelyn is glad to be in their company. With the sun warming her back and the dazzling sea in her sights, this fresh start seems destined for happy days ahead. Little does she know . . . What starts off as a sunny holiday quickly turns into a sinister nightmare, when Evelyn stumbles across the corpse of one of her cousin's houseguests. Drawn into the mystery surrounding the murder, Evelyn embarks on a mission to discover the truth, forcing her to face her own past as well as a cold-hearted killer. With the help of her cousin, the handsome local police detective, and the mysterious Daniel Harper, will she uncover the truth, before another life is claimed?

Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Book Excerpt:
Prologue

Crete 1908
A chill ran down his spine and goose-bumps prickled his skin as the cold darkness enveloped him, swallowed him, the realm of Hades tormentingly near. He sucked in a breath of the damp air and blinked furiously, anxious to find his bearings, to discern hard rocky wall from empty space. It was his fault, he had dropped the torch and they had no choice but to save the reserve for later. For their destination. He would manage. He knew the way.
“Andros?” The nervous voice caught him almost unaware. Andros, Dros, Dros…the echo bounced off the walls around him and made him feel dizzy for a moment, as though the walls were moving closer and caging him in.  He exhaled, trying to steady himself. They just had to follow the plan. He was good at that. Good at being patient, good at doing what he was told, at following directions to the letter.
“It’s all right,” he tried to sound calm, quelling his fear as it mingled with the excitement that bubbled inside him, ready to explode. They were so close now. He could feel the rhythmic beat of his heart increasing, a nervous echo in his chest. “Stay where you are, your eyes will adjust. Have patience.” Listening for a moment, he became aware of the labored breathing of his brother close behind.
He stood still for another moment, no other sounds dared to intrude, eerie silence, thick with mystery, with secrets to be uncovered swathed them in its heavy shroud.  The Sirens are calling, only you can hear. Run for safety, or plunge and fall prey to temptation. His eyes began to adjust, slowly deciphering the jagged outline of a rocky outcrop above him. It was close. He could feel it. His muscles tensed, stiff and solid, waves of energy pulsing through him, barely contained anticipation. Despite the cold, he felt beads of sweat dotting his brow and running down his temples.
“Andros? I think I see you. Yes.” A few unsure steps followed these words, and he saw the shadowy outline of his younger brother, warily moving toward him.
“Come, but beware your steps, a wrong move could be your last.”
Slowly, with his hands carefully outstretched, he felt his way forward. The air was growing stale, thick and cloying with dust and age. 
“Are we almost there?” 
“Close, very close.”
Breath was quickening, he shivered. So close now.  Everything would change. For a split, indulgent second, he allowed himself a fantasy of the glory that would come, of the life that awaited him. Yes, not much further now. His feet, clad only in his worn leather shoes felt every rock on the uneven ground, a sensation that gave him comfort, a feeling of awareness that had replaced his compromised eyesight and heightened his sense of touch. Hands extended, he reached into the blackness like a blind man. Suddenly they came up against something. Wall. Hard rock wall.  The tunnel had come to an abrupt end. 
“What is this?  Are we lost?” 
Andros frowned, small creases folding his forehead, his brother’s voice behind him a distracting intrusion. “No,” he answered carefully, unconsciously holding his breath. He ran his hands along the roughness of the stony wall, seemingly solid and impenetrable, until… Yes, a smooth oval protrusion in the rock face. Sucking in a nervous lungful of dusty air, he pushed.  The oval receded into the wall with neat precision.  A momentary silence. Then, as if by some miraculous force, the wall gave way, an ingenious mechanism.  A dense cloud of dust and debris rose up, sending both men staggering backward, coughing, and rubbing their stinging eyes.  Soon the dust settled and silence was again upon them. Neither spoke, fear and excitement taking hold of them. Andros swallowed. It was all coming together.  They were here, finally.
“The torch, now.” His voice was almost a whisper, thick with anticipation.  A hiss, and a flicker of orange light shot out of the darkness, illuminating his brother's dirty face.  Reluctantly the younger man handed it over. No words were exchanged as Andros took the first careful step, holding the glowing light before him.  He entered the chamber, eyes wide, barely breathing.  He had found it!  He wanted to shout out in joy, in relief. He had known all along, he had found it. 
“So, this is it.” 
Andros turned, sensing something strange in his brother's tone. The younger man's face was still cast in shadow, save for the glittering eyes, shining in the gloom like those of an animal.
“Yes, this is it,” he turned around again, taking it in, the glory. His glory. A sudden coldness at his neck startled him, a stab of pain.  And then the blackness returned.  Endless and unrelenting.

About the Author


Malia Zaidi is the author of A POISONOUS JOURNEY. She attended the University of Pittsburgh, and studied at English at Oxford University. Having grown up in Germany, she currently lives in Washington DC, though through her love of reading, she resides, vicariously in countries throughout the world. A POISONOUS JOURNEY is her first book in the Lady Evelyn mysteries series. The sequel, A DARKER SHORE will be available later this year.

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Book Feature: Friend of the Devil by Mark Spivak


We're happy to be hosting Mark Spivak on his FRIEND OF THE DEVIL Virtual Book Tour today! Please leave a comment or question for Mark to let him know you stopped by!


Title: Friend of the Devil
Author: Mark Spivak
Publisher: Black Opal Books
Pages: 325
Genre: Culinary Thriller

In 1990 some critics believe that America’s most celebrated chef, Joseph Soderini di Avenzano, sold his soul to the Devil to achieve culinary greatness. Whether he is actually Bocuse or Beelzebub, Avenzano is approaching the 25th anniversary of his glittering Palm Beach restaurant, Chateau de la Mer, patterned after the Michelin-starred palaces of Europe.

Journalist David Fox arrives in Palm Beach to interview the chef for a story on the restaurant’s silver jubilee. He quickly becomes involved with Chateau de la Mer’s hostess, unwittingly transforming himself into a romantic rival of Avenzano. The chef invites Fox to winter in Florida and write his authorized biography. David gradually becomes sucked into the restaurant’s vortex: shipments of cocaine coming up from the Caribbean; the Mafia connections and unexplained murder of the chef’s original partner; the chef’s ravenous ex-wives, swirling in the background like a hidden coven. As his lover plots the demise of the chef, Fox tries to sort out hallucination and reality while Avenzano treats him like a feline’s catnip-stuffed toy.

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Book Excerpt:

Several years after the opening of Chateau de la Mer, the triumvirate of Avenzano, Walsh, and Ross appeared to be one big happy family, although there were rumors of strains in the relationship.
One night, at the height of the Festival of Champagne, there was an incident. Ross, a notorious womanizer, was sipping Cristal with a redhead at the restaurant’s corner table.
His wife slipped through the front door of the mansion, unannounced. Walking slowly through the dining room, past the Medieval memorabilia and dramatic cast-iron griffins, she strolled up to Ross’s table, took a revolver from her evening bag, and calmly shot him through the heart.
The ensuing chaos did more to establish Joseph Soderini di Avenzano in the American imagination than his designer pasta, his Bedouin stuffed poussin, his recipes transposed from Etruscan or Old Genoese, or his library of ten thousand cookbooks.
This was more than a good meal, after all. This was sex and death in Palm Beach. Even more intriguing was the chef’s refusal to comment on Ross after his death, except for informal and effusive eulogies in his famous baritone.
“Watch that Cristal,” David’s friend Bill Grimaldi told him before he left Manhattan to do an assigned story on the twenty-fifth anniversary of Chateau de la Mer. “It’s a killer.”



About the Author

Mark Spivak is an award-winning author, specializing in wine, spirits, food, restaurants, and culinary travel. He was the wine writer for the Palm Beach Post from 1994-1999, and was honored by the Academy of Wine Communications for excellence in wine coverage “in a graceful and approachable style.” Since 2001 he has been the Wine and Spirits Editor for the Palm Beach Media Group, as well as the Food Editor for Palm Beach Illustrated; his running commentary on the world of food, wine and spirits is available at the Global Gourmet blog on www.palmbeachillustrated.com. His work has appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Robb Report, Men’s Journal, Art & Antiques, the Continental and Ritz-Carlton magazines, Arizona Highways and Newsmax. From 1999-2011 Spivak hosted Uncorked! Radio, a highly successful wine talk show on the Palm Beach affiliate of National Public Radio.

Spivak is the author of two non-fiction books:  Iconic Spirits: An Intoxicating History (Lyons Press, 2012) and Moonshine Nation: The Art of Creating Cornbread in a Bottle (Lyons Press, 2014). Friend of the Devil is his first novel. He is currently working on a political thriller set during the invasion of Iraq.
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