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Once Upon A Lie by Michael French

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Once Upon A Lie
by Michael French

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GENRE: Fiction / Murder Mystery

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BLURB:

Once Upon a Lie is about a smart, ambitious sixteen year old, Alexandra, who chooses to keep silent when she learns terrible secrets about both her father and her mother, whom she grew up adoring. The price of keeping her “perfect” family together soon unravels her well-planned future, and puts in jeopardy the life of a young stranger whom she befriends and ultimately falls in love with. We learn how your life can end at any time, and it can end more than once. And then it can be saved.

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Excerpt:

The beefy man suddenly moved toward him. Jaleel raised the revolver, aimed, and pulled back the hammer. Hager stopped seven or eight feet away, with enough doubt in his eyes to buy Jaleel more time.

“I can see why you call yourself Mr. Hager. Your real name is Stephen Lyman, isn’t it?” Jaleel said, using information his student had gotten him. “You’ve got a rap sheet. You’ve been in jail several times for failing to pay judgments. You might even be a suspect in the Bank of Vancouver robbery three months ago. That why you’ve been hiding out here with your ex and little boy?”

The volcano in Jaleel was moving from simmer to boil. “If I shot you this instant, would the police really care?”

“You’re in over your head, pussy. I never heard of a teacher type who could pull a trigger.”

“You don’t know anything about me.”

“I know a coward when I see one.”

“So do I,” Jaleel replied.

He took a decisive step forward, and watched as Hager stepped back. “Here’s what I’m going to do,” Jaleel promised, barely recognizing his voice. “I’m not going to call the cops. I’m keeping your gun and going back to my apartment. I don’t want to hear one more word of fighting, one fist slamming my wall, and if you ever hurt your child or even your dog, I’m going to come back and shoot you between the eyes.”

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Michael R. French graduated from Stanford University where he was an English major, focusing on creative writing, and studied under Wallace Stegner. He received a Master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. He later served in the United States Army before marrying Patricia Goodkind, an educator and entrepreneur, and starting a family. In addition to publishing over twenty titles, including award-winning young adult fiction, adult fiction, biographies ad self-help books, he has written or co-written a half-dozen screenplays, including Intersection, which has won awards in over twenty film festivals. He has also had a long business career in real estate, living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His passions include travel, collecting rare books, and hanging with friends and family. He describes his worst traits as impatience and saying “no” too quickly; his best are curiosity, taking risks, and learning from failure.

Once Upon A Lie Amazon Buy/Pre-Order:
http://bit.ly/oualmrf

Michael French Website:
http://bit.ly/michaelrfrench

Michael French Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/MichaelRFrenchAuthor

Michael French Twitter:
twitter.com/mfrenchauthor

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 

 http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2016/03/book-blast-once-upon-lie-by-michael.html

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Cassandra by J.M. Anton

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Cassandra

by J.M. Anton

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GENRE:  Contemporary Romantic Suspense

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BLURB:

Cassandra Hoffman orphaned at the age of five was raised by her maternal grandmother. Two decades pass when she is confronted with a letter from her father’s Denver based attorney. She’s shocked to learn that her dad lived through the car crash that took her mother and brothers in 1985.

Casey’s haunted nights begin with the death of her father. Who is the shadow man in her dreams? Could it be her dad whom she had believed dead? She discovers he had another family, and some dark secrets Casey sets out to solve the mysteries of her abandonment, and find the answers to the nightshades that threaten her sanity.

Our heroine runs afoul of a previously unknown nemesis as she searches for answers, but she also finds the love of her life. He too abandons her, as he struggles with physical and mental wounds from multiple tours in the Middle East. Can Casey forgive him as they confront a mutual enemy?

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Excerpt:

JD escorted Gram to the car, and she entered the Italian restaurant on his arm. Casey walked behind the pair. Gram really seemed to enjoy herself, and it was obvious she was getting a kick out of parading around on JD’s arm. Heck, why not? Casey figured it had probably been a long time since Gram had such a good looking man, one who wasn’t gray, pay so much attention to her.

As for the other ogling females, Casey thought that they should get a load of him in his dress blues. That sight would have folks running for the defibrillators to restore the victims’ regular heartbeats. Casey decided she was in the safest spot, behind him and temporarily out of range of his piercing blue eyes. The small parade, led by the hostess, ended at a secluded corner table, which suited Casey just fine. While JD was occupied seating Gram as if he were the reincarnation of Sir Galahad, Casey positioned herself in the corner and tried to fade into the shadows of the dimly lit room.

She wished she was able to relax and enjoy the evening, but she did not trust him. She was losing the daylong battle to subdue the tormenting ache behind her eyes as well as persistent nausea. Her order of minestrone soup and salad set both of her dinner companions on her case. Nibbling on a breadstick and sipping a warm cup of tea, she ignored them and surveyed the coming and going of diners.

Soup was served, and she felt that she had made an excellent choice: it was not disagreeing with her touchy stomach. She focused on her bowl and avoided eye contact as she listened to JD banter with Gram. Still, she could feel his eyes whenever they traveled her way and lingered. Hearing her name, she raised her eyes to meet two familiar faces.

Andy and Alice greeted Casey and her grandmother, who then introduced Jimmy.

Gram insisted that the couple join them. Casey moved over to the vacant chair next to Gram, leaving two unoccupied. Andy, no fool, seated Alice next to Casey, and placed himself between JD and Alice. Casey’s sense of humor kicked in at the obvious manipulation.

She was digging into the pocket on her sundress for her vibrating cell while the newcomers placed their order. Casey asked Gram if she wanted to speak with Millie.

“You know that I can’t hear on those contraptions. Just ask her what she wants.”

“She says she’ll pick you up at nine in the morning.”

“Tell her that I will be ready.” Gram waved her hand in dismissal.

Casey thought her grandmother’s hearing was getting worse. In addition to her lapses in memory, and her occasional bouts of believing Casey was still a child, Gram seemed to get confused and disorientated more lately. It was worrisome to Casey that getting her grandmother to a doctor’s office depended on her state of mind and mood when it was time to keep the appointment.

“Millie, she’ll be ready, but there is a small snag. Gram has company from out of town. Do you have room for one more on the bus tour? Wonderful! I’ll pass on the good news. Oh, don’t worry, you’ll like him, all the ladies do.”

“Okay, Gram you’re all set, and you are welcome to bring Jimmy along.” A small triumphant laugh escaped before she could squelch it. She didn’t look at him as she tucked her phone back into her pocket, but she could feel his blue eyes burning holes through her like two powerful lasers.

“Did you just book him a seat on a senior bus tour?” Alice whispered while covertly glancing at JD.

 

“Yep. Sure did,” she declared, and grinned at him when Alice broke out in a fit of giggles.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Author Jackie Anton lives in rural Ohio with her husband, two horses, two dogs, and abundant wildlife. Years of experience with horses and youth riders lend a unique perspective to her Backyard Horse Tales, and crop up in unexpected scenes in her adult works written with the pen name J.M.

Ms. Anton is the author of the award winning children’s series Backyard Horse Tales. In her 2015 award winning adult novel  “Wind River Refuge” she turns her attention to the difficulties in overcoming childhood abuse. Set in the turbulent sixties and early seventies. This romance / who done it comes from a time before child advocacy, cell phones, and PCs.

Cassandra Hoffman begins her search for justice in the early decade of the twenty first century in Anton’s latest adult novel Cassandra: Night Shades.

Other Books by J.M.

2015 saw the release of the first two books in the Troubles in Love-Land Series. Book One: “Fateful Waters” was released as an e-book and paperback May of 2015. Book Two: “Panhandle Mayhem” was be released November of 2015. There is more to come in the series for 2016.

 

Author Links:

Writing Blog: http://jackieanton.com/

Author Website: http://talesbyjackie.com/

Author Page with buy links: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/jackie-anton.html

Authors Den: www.authorsden.com/jackieanton

Online Autographs: http://www.authorgraph.com/authors/backyardhorse

FB Adult Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/authorjmanton?ref=hl

 

Book Buy Links:

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/607837

Janton’s Square Market: http://mkt.com/jackie-anton/

IAN: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/jackie-anton.html

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The author will be awarding a “Wind River Refuge” autographed paperback to a randomly drawn winner (US ONLY), or a Smashwords coupon for a “Wind River Refuge” E-book for an international winner, via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Banewolf by Eden Ashley

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Banewolf

by Eden Ashley

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GENRE: Paranormal Romance

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Banewolf is currently on sale for just .99! Pick it up now!

BLURB:

Love. Conflict. Adventure. Banewolf continues the romance, betrayal, and heartbreaking secrets between Kali, a girl who largely lacks understanding of the powerful creature contained within her, and Rhane, the mysterious and passionate man from her forgotten past.

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Excerpt:

First Date

Rhane looked at her like she was nuts. “You just met me. What makes you think I’ll let you take my truck?”

Moving toward him, Kali rested one palm against his cheek. His eyes were translucent in the sunlight, two seas of emerald bordered with flecks of amber. She leaned in close, wanting to drown in them and nearly did so. Her lips brushed softly against his as she spoke. “You won’t refuse me.” She felt him tremble.

A long moment passed. “I think you’re right,” he finally said, and held up a key.

Snagging it, Kali smiled gratefully. Then she walked away, throwing her hips deliberately because she knew he watched her. “Don’t worry,” she called to him. “I promise to thank you later.”

Placing one foot on the runner, she hauled herself into the truck. The dark grey leather molded to her form as sank into it. Kali sighed, remembering how Rhane’s lips and hands felt against her body. She wriggled in the seat.

“You might need this, Kalista.”

Startled, Kali jumped about four inches. She adjusted the shoulder belt in an attempt to hide her embarrassment. Her cheeks were flaming, but she found the nerve to look at him. Rhane was holding her purse.

“Oops, I almost forgot. Thanks.” She took the bag and started the truck. The engine came to life with a purr, and the time displayed on the clock. Six a.m. was approaching fast. She was already ridiculously late. A few more minutes wouldn’t hurt. Besides, Kali was curious about him. Such a nice suit had to mean Rhane had been headed somewhere. And it certainly wasn’t to deliver pizzas.

“Will you be late for work?”

“Not really, it was a business meeting.”

“Will you make it?”

He shrugged. “It’s via satellite and can’t happen without me. I’ll reschedule.”

She nodded, wanting to know more but lacking the time to pry. She put the gear in drive but kept a foot on the brake. “How did you fix Greg’s car so fast?”

“I know a guy,” he answered vaguely. “And I threw a lot of money at him.”

“You loaded or something?”

“You could say so.”

“I really wish I had more time to finish this conversation.”

 

He scratched his head. “I’m glad you don’t,” he said and smiled.

Kali grinned back and was about to go, but stopped again. Her smile faded. “Rhane?”

“Yeah?”

“I usually don’t do this. Go around kissing strange men I’ve just met.” They’re usually teenage boys, she amended silently.

His expression was unreadable. “I surely hope not.” He leaned into the window. “Are you free tonight?”

“Can’t wait for that thank you?”

He winked. “That, and I’d like my nice, shiny and new truck back.”

“Then it’s a date.” With an earsplitting grin pasted across her face, she pulled out into traffic. Looking into the rearview mirror, she noticed Rhane watching her until he was a tiny dot in the distance.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Eden currently resides in a small town in sunny South Carolina where thunderstorms inspire her best ideas. When not daydreaming about her next novel, she can be found curled up with a musty old paperback and a cup of coffee…or mired deeply in her next plot to take over the world. Since Eden enjoys reading or watching anything with supernatural elements, writing paranormal and fantasy romance is a natural fit.

Banewolf is the second installment of the Amazon Bestselling Dark Siren series. The first book is currently free for download on Amazon.

Link to download Dark Siren for free: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DSPPOX2

Link to purchase Banewolf: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GTT3RDI

Eden loves to hear from readers and can be reached at the following links:

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

Blog: http://edenbynite.blogspot.com/

Twitter: Eden_byNite

Email: edenashleyromance@outlook.com

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Eden will be awarding a $10 Starbucks Gift Card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 

 http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2016/02/book-blast-banewolf-by-eden-ashley.html

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Luck of the Irish by Liz Gavin

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Luck of the Irish

by Liz Gavin

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GENRE: Contemporary Paranormal Romance

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BLURB:

Keira Ashe’s parents are great but her mother has overprotected her for years. Now, this twenty-two-year-old Bostonian has graduated from college and can go on a trip she has been planning for years. She fears her shyness may get in the way of her enjoying what could be a life-altering adventure. However, Keira feels her luck is about to change when she meets gorgeous bartender Declan Slane.

Declan Slane is twenty-six and works at a hotel bar in Dublin. He hasn’t been very lucky in his love life so far. Also, he has got a troubled past he has chosen not to revisit in order to keep his sanity. Because he isn’t looking for a girlfriend, Declan isn’t very pleased to meet a certain breathtaking American who walks into his bar one afternoon.

Get a taste of adventure and heartache as Keira spreads her wings and matures while she gets to know her great-grandparents’ home country – Ireland. Hold your breath when she faces tough decisions and dangers. Root for Keira while she weighs up the consequences of making love for the first time. Bite your nails when she comes across unforeseen threats.

Liz Gavin’s second full-length novel is hard to put down just as it is hard to pinpoint its genre. She has woven an intricate web around her characters that will leave readers breathless. In the sizzling concoction, this talented new author poured heart-warming romance, heart-stopping suspense, and a dash of heart-searching paranormal. Take your pick. Regardless of the literary genre you might favor, Liz Gavin’s writing will take you to a whole different side of it.

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Excerpt:

When Declan opened his eyes again, he didn’t know how much time had passed. The house was deadly quiet. O’Hallon was nowhere to be seen. Sluggish, Declan crawled forward and sat up beside Keira. He could barely breathe, due to the effort to move and the loss of blood, but he pulled her lifeless body onto his lap and held her close. He hugged her tight against his chest. He buried his face in her hair, which was covered in blood, and cried like he hadn’t cried since he was a little boy. He felt like he was six again.

“Please, please, don’t leave me, Keira.”

His sobs filled the air. He balled his hands into fists, frustrated because Keira didn’t respond. He couldn’t face the evidence that she wasn’t able to answer him.

“This is my fault, too. He wouldn’t have killed you, if I had let you go with him.”

He sat there, rocking back and forth for a long time, hanging on to her as if he could bring her back by sheer power of will. The thought that she was gone forever caused such burning pain in his chest, much stronger than the one from the bullet. He couldn’t breathe.

“Please, don’t go. I can’t bear it if you leave me, too.”

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Interview with the Author:

Any weird things you do when you’re alone?

Hmm I don’t know. When I’m alone in the house I talk to the dogs but then again that’s not weird. Right?

What is your favorite quote and why?

Wow there are so many. Right now the one that pops into my mind is one from Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff to Catherine: “I have not broken your heart — you have broken it; and in breaking it, you have broken mine. So much the worse for me, that I am strong. Do I want to live? What kind of living will it be when you——oh, God! would you like to live with your soul in the grave?”

Who is your favorite author and why?

Shakespeare because his whole body of work is perfect.

What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

Multidimensional characters set in multilayered plots.

Where did you get the idea for this book?

When I started writing Luck of the Irish I wanted to create a romantic story about a young woman’s journey of self-discovery in her search for love and self-assurance. I ended up writing a book about how she learns to defend herself against a psychopath in the direst of circumstances and finds out she is much stronger than anyone had ever imagined including herself. I also managed to tackle delicate subjects such as domestic violence and rape, which I never thought I’d talk about in one of my stories even though I find these issues to be extremely serious and important.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

When Liz Gavin was in Second Grade – just a couple of years ago, really – her teacher told her mother the little girl should start a diary because she needed an outlet for her active and vivid imagination. She was a talkative child who would disrupt the class by engaging her colleagues in endless conversations. She loved telling them the stories her grandfather used to tell her.

Apparently, the teacher wasn’t a big fan of those stories, and Liz’s mother bought her a diary. She happily wrote on it for a couple of months. Unable to see the appeal of writing for her own enjoyment only, she gave up on it. She missed the audience her friends provided her in class. She went back to disturbing her dear teacher’s class.

Since then, she has become a hungry reader. She will read anything and everything she can get her hands on – from the classics to erotica. That’s how she has become a writer of erotica and romance, as well.

As a young adult, she participated in a student exchange program and lived in New Orleans for six months. She fell in love with the city and its wonderful inhabitants. NOLA will always hold a special spot in Liz Gavin’s heart. Nowadays, living in Brazil, Liz’s creativity has improved many times because it’s such a vibrant, gorgeous and sexy country.

Welcome to her world of hot Alpha males and naughty, independent women. Add a touch of the paranormal in the presence of some wicked souls and you’ll get the picture.

AUTHOR LINKS

Bloghttp://lizgavin.wordpress.com

Facebook Pagehttps://www.facebook.com/lizgavinauthor

Twitter – @LizGavin_author

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7360069.Liz_Gavin

Amazon Author Pagehttp://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00F5BJC7Q

B&N Author Pagehttp://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/liz+gavin?_requestid=513766

Email – lizgavin@elessarbooks.com

BUYING LINK

AMAZONhttp://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MS48JO0

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Prizes for the tour are as follows:

  • One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 

 http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2016/02/vbt-luck-of-irish-by-liz-gavin.htm

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Crushed by Deborah Coonts

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Crushed

by Deborah Coonts

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GENRE: Contemporary  Romance

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BLURB:

In Napa Valley, he who has the best grapes wins. And in the pursuit of perfection, dreams and hearts can be crushed.

Sophia Stone is a widow on the brink of an empty nest, stuck in an unsatisfying job managing the vineyard for a mediocre Napa vintner. Faced with an uncertain future she wonders how do you choose between making a living and making a life? Between protecting your heart and sharing it? Five years ago, after her husband was killed in an accident, Sophia put her heart and dreams on ice to care for those around her. Now her home, her dreams, and her family’s legacy grapes are threatened by the greed of the new money moving into the Valley. Sophia has a choice—give up and let them take what is hers, or risk everything fighting a battle everyone says she can’t win.

Nico Treviani has one goal in life: make brilliant wine. A woman would be an unwanted distraction. So, while recognized as one of Napa’s premier vintners, Nico finds himself alone… until his brother’s death drops not one, but two women into his life—his thirteen-year-old twin nieces. In an instant, Nico gains a family and loses his best friend and partner in the winemaking business. Struggling to care for his nieces, Nico accepts a job as head winemaker for Avery Specter, one of the new-money crowd. And he learns the hard way that new money doesn’t stick to the old rules.

When Sophia Stone gets caught in the middle of Nico’s struggle to remain true to himself or sacrifice his convictions to make stellar wine, both Sophia and Nico are faced with a choice they never imagined. A choice that might extinguish the hope of a future neither expected.

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Chapter Two

Nico Treviani’s mood stood in stark contrast to the collegial spirit of the throng gathered at the annual meeting of the Napa Valley Vintners Association.  Housed in a LEED-certified, open and airy, steel-and-glass building near the library in St. Helena, the Vintners Association was Mecca to winemakers both experienced and novice—a repository of their collective knowledge and a gathering place to commiserate over the fickle affections of their shared mistress.

Wine.

Had he had a choice, Nico would’ve done anything other than be a winemaker, but choice was not an option—he’d been born to it, a family heritage so strong that Nico suspected his blood was half Cabernet.  As his father’s first-born, he was handed the reins to something that was less a business than a calling.  On the other hand, his brother, Paolo, had been given the option, and, fool that he was, he chose wine.  And the fool had died before he knew the brilliance of the last Cab vintage they’d crafted together.  100 points.  Liquid perfection.  Not many wines reached those lofty heights—not that it translated into much more than bragging rights, which were a damn poor substitute for food on the table.  Without his own land, his own grapes, he was nothing more than the hired help.  Oh, he could buy grapes and custom crush, but that wouldn’t be the same—he’d have no real control, and folks would take too keen an interest in watching him work his magic … assuming he had any left without his brother.  No, he needed his own space far from prying eyes … and he needed very special grapes.

Their mother had always said while you’d be hard-pressed to make a good living out of winemaking, you could make a great life.  Nico wasn’t sure he agreed. And now that he had Paolo’s, children to house, feed, clothe, chase down, and send to college, he was feeling the pinch.  How his brother had done it, he didn’t know.  Especially after his wife had fled to the city.  Preferring a quiet, sophisticated life, she’d turned her back on her family, her children.  Nico was sure that was one of the unforgivable sins, the kind that ensured an eternity roasting on a spit over the open fires of Hell.  And if it wasn’t, when he got there he’d be sure to figure a way to make it so.

As he eased into the back of the large room and leaned against the wall, Nico thought about the price a life of wine exacted.  He recognized the back of every head filling the rows in front of him as the speaker droned on.  He knew their histories almost as well as they did.  One guy was a recovering alcoholic—no longer able to risk tasting his wine, he still made it, slaving over every nuance of the process.  One or two had hit a home run and now basked in the ability to make limited batch estate wines that sold for upward of a grand a bottle.  Some scratched out an existence on the strength of their wine clubs.  Most turned large fortunes into small, proving the old joke.  And then there were a very few, like Nico, who had been born to winemaking or grape growing, selling their skills to those who could pay.  Despite differing backgrounds, and differing futures, wine glued them together.

Except for Avery Specter, Nico’s current employer.

As if thought could conjure flesh, Avery materialized in front of Nico, his usual ruddy complexion flushed hotter than normal.  With his eyes at half-mast, his comb-over falling the wrong way in wisps of misplaced hair, exposing his bald pate, he looked like exactly what he was:  a self-important prick who’d made a fortune in manufacturing, or textiles, or running a hedge fund, or something, and had bought his way into the wine business.

Specter grabbed Nico by the arm and tugged him into the vestibule as he hissed, “Have you read this report?”  Stopping in the center of the open area, Avery turned to face his winemaker and pressed a sheaf of papers into his chest.  “And before we get started, you need to learn one thing, Treviani.  You come when I call.”

Being treated like a dog to be trained was enough to kick up Nico’s simmer to a boil, so he wasn’t about to validate Specter’s contemptuous attitude by making excuses … although he did have a good one.  He figured talking the sheriff out of turning his twin thirteen-year-old nieces over to the Juvenile authorities would earn him a get-out-of-jail-free card, but ego wouldn’t let him play it.  The psychologist said the girls were just acting out and they’d get beyond it.  Fine for him to say—he didn’t have to ride herd on the heathens.  Who knew two pint-sized females could bring a grown man to the point of complete surrender?  Nico snorted at his own weakness.

“You think this is funny?”  Specter’s voice rose enough to turn heads as the meeting broke up and Nico’s friends filtered out of the meeting room.  When Nico ignored the sheaf of papers, Specter pulled them back and began rolling them into a tube, his agitation poorly hidden.

“No, sir.”  Nico avoided making eye contact as he fought to get his temper under control.  “There’s a lot more to life than making wine, Mr. Specter.”

“Not while you’re on my payroll.”

Specter had no children of his own, and that thought alone reassured Nico that there was indeed a God.  But it also made arguing with the man futile.  So he argued with himself.  He had sold out.  Lowered his standards.  And he couldn’t shake the feeling it was going to bite him in the ass.

“You wanted to talk to me about a report?” Nico asked even though he knew all about it.  Avery Specter might need a report to learn what had been painfully obvious for years, but Nico didn’t.   Hell, he could’ve written the damn thing himself—he’d been saying as much for a long time now to anyone who would listen.  It didn’t take some government expert to know the baby boomers were transitioning to fixed incomes, their penchant for high-end wine taking a hit along with their lifestyle.  The next generation, whatever they were referred to—the Millenials, the Me generation, the Y generation?  Nico couldn’t remember, but whoever they were, they didn’t yet have the disposable incomes or the sophisticated palates to support the high-end wine industry at the current levels.  Something had to give.

Wineries had to reposition themselves.

Keeping his eyes lowered, Nico managed to avoid the few stragglers just now leaving the meeting room.  It was bad enough being called to heel by his boss, but having his colleagues witness it threw gasoline on the embers of his foul mood.  A few greeted him, and he nodded but didn’t invite conversation so they didn’t stop.   Out of the corner of his eye, Nico caught the looks many flashed at Avery: contempt, thinly veiled if they tried to hide it at all.

Avery wasn’t stupid … anything but.  His barely contained frustration and worry pulsed from him like light from a dying star making his hands shake as he unrolled then re-rolled the sheaf of papers into a tighter tube. “Cult wines are coming under economic pressure and there’s nothing we can do about it.”  His reedy voice screeched like notes played by a fourth-grade clarinetist.

Nico crossed his arms and glowered at his boss.  Cocking an eyebrow he feigned interest.

Avery didn’t wilt when he ran headlong into Nico’s scowl.  “They say that the number of Boomers, the population segment solely responsible for the record profit of the cult wine industry, is shrinking.”

“Age attrition.  People die, Mr. Specter.”  Nico’s voice was flat, hard.

Avery’s mouth pulled into a thin line.  His backbone straightened.  But at six feet he was still several inches shorter than Nico, so he leaned in closer and lowered his voice.  “I like being talked down to about as much as I like tardiness.  You’re property bought and paid for.  You’d be wise not to jerk my chain.”

“And you’d be wise to show a bit more respect.  You need me, Mr. Specter.  Without a winemaker making wine’s damned difficult.  And you want high-priced juice, so you need a man with my CV—and, to my knowledge, there is only one.”

Heels firmly dug in, both men stared at each other.  Neither wavered.

Finally, Specter shrugged as his gaze slithered to the side, focusing over Nico’s shoulder.  “I know what people think of me around here.  You people think I haven’t paid my dues.  I don’t have wine running in my veins, filling my soul.”  His derision leaked from each word.  “You think I’m the worst kind of blight since phylloxera—a businessman thinking he can buy his way into making great wine.  And you know what?”  He stepped back and slapped the rolled-up report into Nico’s chest.  “That’s exactly what I am.”  He shot Nico a grin.  “Working pretty good so far, don’t you think?”

Nico grabbed the papers before they could unfurl like the white flag of surrender in the heat of battle.  A tic worked in his cheek as he watched the bastard saunter away.  Avery Specter didn’t deserve much, he thought.  Perhaps a grisly, lingering, painful death and a pine box, but not much more than that.

Nico felt someone step in next to him, but, wearing the blinders of pride, he resisted looking to see who.

“He’s wrong, you know.  To me he’s more like Pierce’s disease.  Kill a vine in less than five years and no cure in sight.  Phylloxera we got under control.”  Billy Rodrigues clearly had been eavesdropping, a fact that would make Nico mad if Billy wasn’t his best friend.

At the sound of Billy’s voice, Nico felt himself relax.  “Quatro, you do have a way with words.  Let’s hope he and his friends don’t kill the wine business.”  Nico called Billy “Quatro” as did many others, because he was William Xavier Rodrigues IV.  His father was Tres, same logic.  Nico called him “Sir.”

Through the years, he and Quatro had witnessed many of each other’s indignities; one more wouldn’t matter.  “But there is another side to all of this.  And maybe I’m justifying,” Nico said, his temper dissipating.  “God, I hate to give the guy any credit, but without money it’s damn hard to make a truly great cult wine.  When you and me scratched our way up the ranks, making wine was like voodoo, a bunch of wine drinkers relying on folklore and playing around with a kid’s chemistry set.  And the growers were nothing more than hobby farmers.  But now, with property values through the roof, international distribution agreements, hundreds of wineries in this valley alone, it’s big damn business. ” Nico shot his friend a serious look minus the scowl he’d used for Specter.

“I still can’t figure whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing.”  Quatro was thick and solid, his hair and skin different shades of brown, his eyes black, and his smile pure mischief.  He’d been working the fields so long his hands were a mass of callouses permanently stained from red dirt, and red grape skins, and scarred by the brutal work.  As if remembering his manners too late, Quatro swept his sweat-stained broad-brimmed straw hat from his head then raked his fingers through his thick salt-and-pepper hair.  When he was done, he set his hat back in place, low over his brow.

“Both.  More money to go around, but long-time residents are being priced out of the game.”  Nico stuck the tube of papers in his back pocket.  “All of us are in this together, the whole Valley.  If we don’t figure out how to distinguish ourselves, the economic contraction is going to squeeze us all back into oenophilic oblivion.”

“All your awards—”

“Couldn’t save the family vineyard or keep my brother from dying.”  Nico snarled as his brows snapped into a frown.  The emotional tempest dissipated as fast as it had arisen.  He squeezed his friend’s shoulder.  “Sorry.  Got a lot on my mind.”

“You made a 100-point wine from Beckstoffer grapes.  And we all know they are the best.”

“I made the wine.  My employer makes the money.”  Nico didn’t voice his fear that now, without his brother, his wine wouldn’t be as good.  They’d been a team.  Was half really as good as the whole?  And, his worst fear, could he even make wine without his brother?  “What I need is something new, something better than Beckstoffer.”  Nico raised his hand before Quatro could get a word in.  “Not better, that was the wrong term.  Just different, but not too far a reach for the discerning but limited American palate.  Something amazing that we can produce at a reasonable price point.”

“Amazing yet accessible.  The Holy Grail.  Well, if anybody can do it, you can.  But God knows where you’re going to find those grapes.  And I know you’re a Cab guy, but, if I were you, I’d be thinking about something white or rosé.”

“Yeah, short or no aging, quick to market.  I got an MBA in the family who’s been singing that song for years.  We just haven’t found the grapes.”

“I’m pretty sure if you start making wine on the side, Mr. Specter will have no problem dragging you into court. As I recall his lawyers spent a lot of time crafting your non-compete.  He’s got you tied up pretty good.”

“Given time and conviction all knots can be loosened.”

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

My mother tells me I was born in Texas a very long time ago, but I’m not so sure—my mother can’t be trusted.  She’ll also tell you I was a born storyteller.  That I believe—I have the detention notices and bad-conduct reports to prove it.  However, the path from minor hyperbolist, or as I prefer to think of my former self, Grand Master of the Art of Self-Prevarication, to the author of the New York Times Notable Crime Novel and double Rita ™ finalist, Wanna Get Lucky?, the book that launched the bestselling series, was a bit tortured.

Someone once told me I lived a peripatetic life—yes, I had to look it up.  And he was right.  I’ve been everything from a mom, business owner, accountant, wife, pilot, flight instructor, lawyer …worse, a tax lawyer… to a writer. The three personas I’ve kept suit me the best: mom, flight instructor, and writer. And the other personas I’ve tried on then shrugged out of and discarded like an itchy coat were great grist for the story mill.

Chasing stories keeps me busy and out of jail…for the most part. Researching in Vegas can be a bit… sketchy.

Prodded by the next adventure and the police, I keep moving. Right now I have a house in Texas, but that will change soon. I lived in Vegas for 15 years—the longest I’d stayed anywhere. And I get back there often. But other places, too, are calling.

Someone asked me the other day where I lived. The question stopped me cold.  Finally I said, “On Southwest Airlines, third row, window seat, either side.” Always in search of a story.  And the adventure would be perfect if they could just stock a split of nice Champagne.

http://www.deborahcoonts.com

https://www.facebook.com/deborahcoonts/

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/crushed/id1074006072?mt=11

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Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 

 http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2016/02/book-blast-crushed-by-deborah-coonts.html

Deborah will be awarding a $50 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

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2 Broads Abroad: Moms Fly the Coop

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2 Broads Abroad: Moms Fly the Coop

by Deborah Serra and Nancy Serra Greene

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GENRE: Nonfiction, Motherhood, Travel Memoir

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BLURB:

When sisters, Deborah & Nancy, discovered that motherhood was a temp job they decided to run away from home. After packing up that last kid for college, and facing the sad stillness of their suddenly quiet homes, they decided to leave the country. 2 BROADS ABROAD: MOMS FLY THE COOP is a funny, irreverent, occasionally poignant travel tale of their impulsive road trip around Ireland.

In this witty warm-hearted adventure, they experienced some of Ireland’s quirkier history while sharing universally relatable stories of maniacal school coaches, neurotic neighbors, and tiger moms. Having kicked that empty nest into their rearview mirror, the sisters took off careening down the wrong side of the road, making questionable choices, getting trapped in a medieval tower, sneaking Chinese take-out into a famous cooking school, drinking way too much, and gaining a changed perspective on their lives ahead.

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Excerpt:

When we thought about the phases of our lives at each juncture of change: our own departure from home, our first real job, our marriages, the birth of our children, all of the big phases of change held out something new for us.  This change was shaping up very differently.  This change was loss – complete dissolution of the fundamental family structure forever and that was all.  We had to plan.  We needed to be proactive.  The alternative was to be left standing frozen in time, in a life that had moved on without us, and to become observers and visitors in our kids’ lives. Not acceptable. So, we set our imaginations loose.

We considered our location. Now that we knew we were leaving – where could we go?

“Angkor Wat,”  I said.

“Wat what?” Nancy asked.

“It’s the largest temple in the world, built in 1125.”

“Where is it?”

“Cambodia.”

“Uh, huh. Deborah, I was thinking more along the lines of a bucolic vineyard in Tuscany.  You know, stroll along the hills, sample the fruit of the vine, nectar of the gods?”

“Oh.  Okay, how would you feel about a camel trek in Morocco?”

“Probably sore, smelly, and hot.  And I understand camels are mean and they spit.  They spit, Deborah. What about a civilized boat ride down the Rhine River in Germany?  They have castles and I know how you like castles.”

“I do like castles, but don’t you think we should go more exotic?”

“This is our first trip together.  I’d like to steer clear of nations at war, places we’d need to wear a burka, or can’t speak the language, or ride on an angry animal.  Surely we can agree on somewhere.”

“I’ve always wanted to see where grandma’s family came from.”

“Me, too!”

“With a little research and a rental car we can see the entire island in a couple of weeks.”

“Perfect. Ireland it is!”

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Deborah Serra has been a sought-after screenwriter for twenty-five years having written for NBC, CBS, Sony, Lifetime, Fox, and others. She was a recipient of the 2012 Hawthornden Literary Fellowship. Her first novel was a semi-finalist for the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Award given by the Faulkner Society in New Orleans, LA.

Nancy is a graduate of San Diego State University. She worked in medical sales before stepping away to raise her two children, at which point she became: Team Mom, Snack Mom, PTA member, Assistance League Volunteer, and the list is never-ending. Nancy was the editor and publisher of the Buffalo Hills Echo newsletter with a circulation of 1400. She also designed and managed her community website.

www.2BroadsAbroad.com

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CRITICISIM V. COMMENTS

By Deborah Serra

WORD COUNT: 446

I’ve been a successful screenwriter for over twenty years. I’ve received my share of negative criticism from some very well known and colorful Hollywood denizens.  It really depends on the professional experience of the person giving the criticism how I feel and react. On the outside, I’ve never allowed anything to show in my expression except interest, while on the inside it could be anything from ennui to a volcano of personal invective and vitriol. (Really language too harsh for a rock fight.) My sister, Nancy, who co-authored this book 2 BROADS ABROAD: Moms Fly the Coop was going to experience all of this for the first time – this being her first book.

While we were shopping for an agent and editor for 2 BROADS we ran into some encouraging, useful, and elegant comments from editors at Simon & Schuster, Atria, and St. Martins Press, and also to some bitter, mean-spirited, unnecessarily sarcastic criticism from elsewhere. For this category, the prize goes to one agent in particular, a woman at William Morris in NYC. Stunned at her visceral malicious response to our fun, humorous, travel memoir we reviewed her comments, and then, could see that she was clearly irritated that we had happy marriages and kids we missed. She had admitted to a bad marriage (yes, during our notes phone call) and said seeing her kids once on Thanksgiving was plenty – why were we complaining about an empty nest? It’s hard to communicate the derisive tone and nature of her comments. From criticism like that writers just need to shut their ears. And even with closed ears – you feel it.

All along the submittal and comment process, I was concerned for my sister. She was new to this and I worried if someone hurt her feelings I could lose that faux sang-froid and bite their head off – not productive for anyone. I recognized that being her sister was more important to me than anything else, and I was armed with a lifetime of big sister weapons so watch out.  Then, I learned how very much easier it was to have a co-author; to have someone equally invested and how it made our shield doubly strong.  How wonderful it was to have a partner in this adventure.

Ultimately, it’s always been the case for me personally, that if a comment has legs it will repeat on me until I attend to it. I find myself thinking about it and eventually give in to it. Those are the best comments: the ones that make the work better. And let’s all start using the word comment instead of criticism, shall we?

Buy Link:

Amazon: www.amazon.com/Broads-Abroad-Moms-Fly-Coop-ebook/dp/B016DVCWBY/

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/2-Broads-Abroad-Moms-Fly-The-Coop-214434485258098

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/2broadsabroad_thebook/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/2_BroadsAbroad

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Deborah Serra and Nancy Serra Greene will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:

  http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2016/01/virtual-book-tour-2-broads-abroad-moms.html

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Pure Temptation by Auria Jourdain

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Pure Temptation

by Auria Jourdain

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GENRE: Historical Romance

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BLURB:

A rogue gypsy hired to kidnap a debutante Creole spying for the Cabildo government discovers they are both pawns in a dangerous Frenchman’s game. Over land and sea, they discover the truth, but can they fight their uncontrollable desire for one another to save her family home?

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Excerpt:

Folding his arms about his chest, Talon stared at her suspiciously. What exactly had they told her?

Sensing his mistrust, Talia continued. “Alberto has regaled me with your life story, sir. Your activities during the revolution, and your adventure across England with your cousin, your Spanish heritage…need I go on?”

Talon smirked and shook his head, gazing out across the rough waters of the Atlantic. Apparently that bloody Spaniard didn’t know everything. “If you say so.”

“What does that mean?”

“It means that Alberto hasn’t given you the whole truth, not that he knows what it is.” Talon turned to her, gazing into her magnificent emerald eyes. “I am no Spaniard.”

Reaching a long finger out, Talia wrapped a curl of his dark hair around her fingertip, just as he had done to her all those weeks ago. She placed her palms against his bare chest, and Talon’s heart began to race, his blood pumping with desire as she looked up at him seductively. “If not a Spaniard, what are you?”

As his control dissolved, Talon inhaled her flowery scent that drifted through the air to weave its way through his senses. Her intimate touch had pushed him over the edge. Without any scruples, he placed his hands on Talia’s waist and pulled her close, her lithe, curvy body melting into his tall frame. Her strong, womanly presence drew him closer until his mouth hovered above hers. Talon whispered in her ear, his voice laden with desire, “I am Romani.”

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

An avid reader from an early age, Auria Jourdain has fond childhood memories of spending quiet afternoons with a book in her hand. She loved the “happily ever after” sweet teen romances, and when she came of age, she plunged into the world of historical romance with fervor, transporting herself to a bygone time. Her favorites were Regency, but as a girl brought up in a common home, she was disheartened that most of the novels of this era focus on the nobility and wealth. Auria set out to write her own romance, encompassing her passion for French Revolutionary history and her innate sense of goodwill for the common man. An idealist at heart, she writes heroes and heroines that struggle to find acceptance in their world. Their differences” and their soul mates’ complete acceptance of them are the embodiment of values that she holds dear, passed down to her by her father, a blue collar worker. She has an autistic son struggling to make his own way in the world. Looking to educate people about this mysterious disorder, she’s releasing a YA novel set in the U.P just for him during Autism Awareness month, April 2016. She hopes that someday we can break down the social barriers and forgo stereotypical judgments that harm our world.

Auria lives in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with her husband of twenty years, her four children (ages eight to eighteen), and two golden retrievers. A rather new transplant to the area, she loves the changing of the seasons, and she is currently working on a contemporary romantic suspense trilogy set in her rough and rugged homeland. Silence the Northwoods is set at a local ski resort in her hometown of Ironwood, Michigan—the ski capital of the Midwest. Silence the Waters takes place during the summer on the dangerous river ways that flow into Lake Superior in the Keweenaw Peninsula; and Silence the Birchwoods is an autumn tale set on Sugar Loaf Mountain, near Marquette, Michigan. All three involve murder, mystery, and romance, of course.

Auria spends her the long winters plotting and scheming her next book, and in the mild summers, she and her husband spend every waking moment they can hiking and kayaking the Northwoods. An amateur photographer, she lives fifteen miles from the shores of Lake Superior, and her muse has been piqued by the awe-inspiring beauty that surrounds her. Although she hasn’t officially acquired “Yooper” status yet, she can’t envision living anywhere else.

Find me here!

https://www.facebook.com/auriajourdainbooks/

https://twitter.com/AuriaJourdain

https://www.auriajourdainromance.com/

https://amazon.com/author/auriajourdain

 

Buy link for Pure Temptation, Kindle and Paperback:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01B17ZYF6?ref_=pe_2427780_160035660

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Auria will be awarding e-copies of Pure Temptation on Kindle to 5 randomly drawn winners, and 1 grand prize – a signed paperback copy of Pure Temptation with swag bag and goodies – to one randomly drawn winner, all via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 

 http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2016/02/book-blast-pure-temptation-by-auria.html

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No Place Like Home by Jennifer Kacey

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No Place Like Home

by Jennifer Kacey

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GENRE: Contemporary Romance

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BLURB:

Coming Home, Book 1

In high school, Bianca Charleston was a nobody. An overweight wallflower, so invisible that Cole, the boy she had a crush on, never even knew she existed.

Things have changed, and she’s finally ready to show off her new bombshell look. Sort of. Maybe. After a one-sided pep talk with her cat, she takes a deep breath and flies home to help out with the annual hospital carnival. Cole is there, too—and he still has no idea who she is.

FBI field officer Cole Johnson doesn’t have an easy job, and his nights are usually booked solid. Then in walks Charlie, a blonde with killer…everything. Suddenly he’s mentally clearing his schedule for a rare night out. While Charlie doesn’t do one-night stands, somehow after-dinner dessert is served up against the wall of her hotel room. But happiness will have to navigate an emotional minefield of preconceived notions—and a couple of not-so-secret stumbling blocks.

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Excerpt:

“You look beautiful. I’m glad you didn’t take my advice on casual. It’s…beautiful.” He shook his head after he stared at her for a few more seconds and then took a drink of what looked like water. They each had a glass in front of them.

“Kia made me buy it.” She blurted it out and then reached for her wrapped silverware to have something to do with her hands. She unwrapped it, setting the silverware on the table and the napkin across her lap.

“I’ll have to remember to thank her. I’ve never been that big a fan of the little black dress hoopla, but on you? Big fan.”

His smile. It melted her. “Thanks,” she managed with a hesitant smile. Attention from a man with his sex appeal threw her off. What she really wanted to do was put her chin on her hand so she could stare at him for the rest of the evening.

But she wouldn’t.

Not at all.

“So, how did the rest of the packet delivering go?”

She took a drink of water since her mouth had gone dry with him this close. “Good actually. It’s been a while since I was here to help with any of this. Since high school really. It surprised me how many people are still around. How many people never left. Or left and came back. Can’t believe it’s almost been ten years. Seems a lifetime ago.”

“And you’re sure we met in high school? You’re sure of it?”

Wanting to giggle and groan at the same time was a new one for her. “Only a few hundred times.”

“It just doesn’t seem possible. Surely I’d remember you.” He gave her a once over from head to waist. Everything he could see above the table probably.

Shaking her head seemed like the thing to do. “I was very different in high school. Popularity was the name of a very distant planet when I was a teenager.”

“Can’t imagine you being that different. Truly. Care to give me your name and I can look you up? High school yearbooks and all should be good for something other than killing spiders.”

“Nope.”

He chuckled and picked up his menu. “You do know what I do for a living, right? I could run your plates and figure it out within five minutes. I could show you my ID if that would help.”

“You wouldn’t.”

“Ha. If you could see your face right now.” He chuckled and she tried to wipe the panic off her face and probably didn’t do a very good job. “I won’t. I’d much rather figure it out on my own. I love solving puzzles.”

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Jennifer Kacey is a writer, mother, and business owner living with her miniman in Texas. She sings in the shower, plays piano in her dreams, and has to have a different color of nail polish every week. She’s the Amazon top seller/evil mastermind of the Elite Warriors Series and award winning author of the Members Only Series and the Surrender Series along with several standalone novels and novellas. The best advice she’s ever been given? Find the real you and never settle for anything less. Connect with her on twitter @JenniferKacey and Facebook. And don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter so you can hear about all of her new releases and giveaways!!

Social Media Links

Websitehttp://www.jenniferkacey.com/

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Amazon Pagehttp://www.amazon.com/Jennifer-Kacey/e/B00GXHUB30/ref=s9_simh_gw_p351_d9_al1?_encoding=UTF8&refinementId=618073011&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0G8ZPDQJVKJPKXNBRY10&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1688200382&pf_rd_i=507846

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Pinteresthttp://pinterest.com/jenniferkacey/

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Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 

 http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2016/02/book-blast-no-place-like-home-by.html

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway