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text 2018-07-09 12:35
Blog Tour: Resistance by A.S. McGowan with Excerpt and Giveaway

Today’s stop is for A.S. McGowan’s Resistance. We will have info about the book and author, and a great excerpt from the book, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway.

Happy Reading :) 


Over a hundred years ago, Earth was dying. A few rich men and women banned together to create a kingdom on Mars. They hand picked the people who would join them in this new kingdom. Then they brought their arrogant beliefs and made them laws. The Trademark Commission was established to allow anyone who could afford it, the ability to trademark any common word. The laws stated that once a word was trademarked no one could speak that word again. The Naming Commission ensures that all names are copyrighted and no one uses another person's copyrighted name. Fines and even prison time are given to those who violate the trademark and copyright laws.

Kathryn 5.0 was pregnant with her first child when the word 'baby' is trademarked. Forced to refer to her baby as "little human" she is tired of the 100 year old laws. Reaching out to friends, she works to create a resistance. Together they fight against the trademark and copyright laws. Battle lines are drawn and it is family against family. Those who resist the laws are branded "Bullies" while those who support the ancient laws wave the "Victim" banner.

What would you do if the laws allowed anyone with money to Trademark an everyday word? Or the copyrighting of a name, so no one could ever use that name again?

Buy Link

Amazon

Kathryn 5.0 walked down the hard-packed, red dirt streets. The heat wave sucked the air from her lungs. With her hands under her swollen belly, she tried to elevate some of the strain on her back. Only three weeks to go and her baby would be born. She should be excited, but she was worried. The Naming Commission told her today that the name she wanted has already registered. Sadly, Luna was registered last month to someone else’s baby girl. The only option they offered her was to name her baby Luna 2.0. She did not want her child to be a point anything, she wanted her child to have a unique name. To be the first registered.

When she reached her house, she darted inside. The cool air was a blessed relief from the outside heat. The sweat on her body practically froze on her skin. Plopping down on the bright teal wooden bench, she removed her shoes. She slid them under the bench then stood and shook the red dust from the bottom of her long blue skirt. It was a daily struggle to keep the dust out of the home, especially when it clung to everything. It seemed all the women in the kingdom sported the red stains upon the hem of their skirts. She hated it. Not long ago she had petitioned the Fashion Commission to allow shorter lengths to prevent this. They shot her down instantly. The women who sat on the Commission were the fashion superiors and their word was law.

Inside the living room, she sat on the bright yellow sofa. Her feet propped up on the white wooden coffee table. She put her earphones in and clicked the button on the sound system remote. She was that way when her husband came home. She noted that he had removed his shoes but still wore his cream-colored cotton pants and matching tunic work suit. He joined her on the sofa, placed his hand on her stomach, and smiled. She took the earphones out and turned off the sound system.

“How did it go at the Naming Commission?” His voice held a hint of anticipation. His smile lit his face up.

“Not good. The name we wanted was already registered. I want a unique name for our baby.” She looked at him, her eyes pleaded with him to offer up a unique name.

“Well you need to stop referring to the child as ‘baby.’ I heard on the city speakers that the word “baby” is now a registered trademark. We can’t afford to be sued for using the word.” He shook his head.

“Surely the use in our home if acceptable.” Turning she faced him, her eyebrow lifted.

“There are eyes and ears everywhere, Kathryn 5.0, we can’t risk it. Use the term little human from now on.” He lovingly patted her stomach again. “So, what’s for dinner?” “I thought we would have cucumber soup. With this heat, a chilled dish would be most welcomed.” She hated the way he deflected from the subject at hand. She knew he was looking forward to the name Luna just as much as she was. Instead, he focused on a trademarked word and violations.

“Kathryn 5.0! You know that James 3.0 registered a trademark for the word soup a couple of months ago. Remember, it is liquid puree now.” He looked at her the way a parent would look at an errant child.

“I am sorry, Matthew 7.0, of course. Dinner is cucumber liquid puree.” She smiled at her husband. He was more concerned with the Trademark Commission and all the trademarked words than she was. Then again, in his line of work as a lawyer, she could see how such things would affect him more than her.

They ate their dinner in silence at the small table in the kitchen. Finishing his dinner, Matthew 7.0 disappeared into his private office. She remained in the kitchen to clean up. There were nights like this where she wished she was one of the Elite. The Elite were allowed various servants to take care of daily chores. Uppers such as herself were denied these luxuries.

She was placing the dishes into the dish cleaning machine when her husband came in. He had changed out of his work suit and now wore a sage green tunic with matching pants. He was smiling the smile that always meant he had big news to share. She couldn’t help but smile back at his infectious smile. He grabbed her and spun her around. Laughing and squealing, she begged to be put down. When he put her down, he kissed her. Breathless, she smiled up at him. His sparkling blue eyes mesmerized her, pulling her in. “I have the perfect name for our little human.” He was giddy. “Minka!” “Minka?” She scrunched up her nose. What kind of name was that? “You wanted her to have her own unique name. I think Minka would be just that kind of name. What do you say?” He gave her those puppy dog eyes and smiled at her. His dimple gave him a boyish look that reminded her of when they were young. He was right, it was very unique. What would be the odds of someone already registering that name? “Okay, I will go to the Naming Commission tomorrow and register her name as Minka.” “Good. Good. Now our little girl will have a name.” He smiled again and left the kitchen to prepare for bed. She finished loading the dish cleaning machine. With that chore done, she grabbed the floor sweeper and swept up the light traces of red dust. She looked at the floor washer and sighed. She remembered when it was called a mop and one simply mopped their floors. But about ten years ago someone decided to trademark the word mop. Some people get use to the words being trademarked and forbidden to be used by anyone other than the trademark holder. Kathryn 5.0 was not one of those people. She hated the practice and wished people would put a stop to it. She wondered what life was like before the practice as she slowly made her way upstairs. It seemed that each step was a struggle. She wished someone would have told her how difficult simple tasks were when one was at the end of their pregnancy. When she finally made her way to bed, she settled in and made plans to go speak with her grandmother in the morning.

 

I am a wife and mother, who lives in a small Southeast Missouri town. I am the author of the Centaur Agency series. Currently I am working on book 3 in the series The Making of a Centaur which will publish in July 2017. I also have plans for a vampire trilogy that I am working on. I will be publishing the trilogy after I finish the 4 book Centaur Agency series. From there I also am working on a Werewolf series. So much planned with a little bit for everyone.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

 

 

Source: snoopydoosbookreviews.com/index.php/2018/07/09/blog-tour-resistance-by-a-s-mcgowan-with-excerpt-and-giveaway
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text 2018-06-26 12:35
Blog Tour: Five Knives by D.F. Bailey with Excerpt and Giveaway

Today’s stop is for D.F. Bailey’s Five Knives . We will have info about the book and author, and a great excerpt from the book, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway.

Happy Reading :) 


One Reporter. Three Dead. Five Knives.

FIVE KNIVES welds the intensity of Jack Bauer’s “24” to the scorching heat of THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST.

“The author is a great talent.” — Aaron C. Brown, Amazon Top 1000 Reviewer

When a man plummets to his death from an apartment tower, Will Finch’s shock soon becomes a nightmare. As he studies the open windows above the corpse, Finch notices a lamp blinking erratically behind a drawn curtain on the eleventh floor.

When he investigates the distress signal, Finch discovers a woman handcuffed to a bedpost. Over the following week, he uncovers a conspiracy that ties the murder to a series of bombshells. The victim’s bankruptcy. A global stock fraud. A murder spree that began in Baghdad and is now haunting the citizens of San Francisco. Is this the work of a serial killer, a copycat — or both?

But before he can file his report for The San Francisco Post, Finch’s leads evaporate. Within days, three victims are dead. Does a pattern of five knife wounds provide a clue? Can he unravel the mystery before he — and his fiancée — are caught up in the web of murder?

Five Knives is the prequel thriller in the Will Finch crime series — a novel that opens on the first day of Will Finch’s journalism career. Everything that Finch learns about crime reporting begins with Five Knives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buy Link

 

Amazon

 

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

SAN FRANCISCO. FALL, 2007.

 

Will Finch saw the corpse less than a minute after he heard the horrible noise. He never imagined that death could sound so leaden. And yet, so wet. The punch of a heavy body splatting onto flat concrete. A splash punctuated by a gasp. Then a faint wheeze as the lungs released a final breath into the city night. At first, he couldn’t see the body. Four people stood on the sidewalk blocking his view. Their heads tipped down at an angle as they absorbed the catastrophe that sprawled next to their feet. “What happened?” Finch pushed forward and stepped around the blonde girl. She held a hand to her mouth and let out a cry. “I don’t know.” The boy next to her glanced at the building above them. “He fell,” he offered with a stony expression. Finch studied them a moment. Two couples in their midteens, white, vibrant, all well-bred and dressed for dinner at an upscale restaurant in nearby Jackson Square. Probably making their way down to the Embarcadero where they could catch a street car or train back to their suburban homes. He checked his watch. 11:18. These kids were probably trying to beat their midnight curfews. But now he observed the change coming over them. The reality seeping in. One by one, the cold hand of death caressed their faces and forced them to look again at the bloody pulp on the ground. Turn and watch. This is what I can do. “Did you see him fall?” Finch studied their shocked expressions. Two girls and two boys, standing stock-still. They all shrugged and glanced away from the corpse. One of the boys lurched to the sidewalk curb and vomited into the gutter. “Yeah. I did.” The blonde rubbed a hand over her mouth, her trance now broken. “Just in the last second.” “Do you have a phone?” “What?” She glanced at him for the first time. Her eyes swept over his face as if she were memorizing the features of his eyes, nose, mouth. “To call 9-1-1.” Her look suggested some uncertainty. Then she rummaged through a small purse that hung from her shoulder by a chain strap. “Here.” She offered Finch her Nokia. He made a mental note of her number on the flash screen, then placed the call. The dispatcher advised him that a response team would be by as soon as possible. Meanwhile, he should remain on the line and not leave the scene. As he waited, he leaned his buttocks on the door of a parked car, pressed his ear to the cellphone and stared at the building. He counted fourteen stories which rose above the Bank of America outlet on the corner of Stockton and Washington Streets. He tried to determine how many apartments had open windows. Maybe six. His eyes swept from room to room, scanned for fluttering curtains or someone above who might be peering back at him. Nothing. Then he detected something unusual. Behind the curtains in an apartment on the eleventh floor a lamp clicked on, then off. On and off. As the pattern continued Finch tried to time the periods of each interval. Five seconds, seven, ten. Then the apartment blinked into darkness. And lit up again. Finch made another calculation: the intermittent flashes came from the sixth window along the left side of the building. He guessed that each apartment had two windows facing the street. The third apartment in from the north side on the eleventh floor had one window open, one closed. The room behind the closed window was the source of the flashing light. He took the phone from his ear and passed it to the blonde. “What’s your name? “Alice.” “Alice?” “Winkler,” she added. “All right, Alice. My name’s Will Finch. The 9-1-1 dispatch said someone should be here soon. They want you to stay here and stay on the line.” He gave her a serious look. “Now I think I saw something up there, so I'm going to see what happened.” “Okay.” She said this as if she were making a polite concession and then held the phone to her ear and nodded. She turned to her friends. Both were tending to the boy who’d lost his dinner. Will walked along Washington Street past the bank and approached the glass doors that led into the apartment building. He tugged on the handles. Both doors were locked. He stepped to the curb and turned his attention back to Alice and her friends. Three pedestrians had come to their aid, and then an older couple coaxing a Shiatsu on a leash paused to provide more support. Another minute passed, and Finch saw a couple approaching the apartment doorway from the interior elevator bay. He stepped up to the door. When it opened, he smiled at the two women strolling past him and said, “Thanks. I don’t seem to have a key.” He rode the elevator alone up to the eleventh floor and wondered if he’d counted everything correctly. The car door opened onto a hallway illuminated by covered fluorescent ceiling lights. The carpets bore a floral pattern of braided roses that stretched from one end of the empty corridor to the other. As he eased toward the north side of the tower, he detected the flat odors of fried food. Years of fried chicken and beef dinners had added their heavy flavors to the stale air. He guessed that the building was about thirty years old. Perhaps it had once been an impressive residential tower, but years of wear and disrepair had tarnished its pedigree. He stepped along the passageway counting off the numbers on the street-side apartments. 1110, 1108, 1106. He approached 1104, the third door from the end of the hallway. Like all the others, it was closed. He knocked once, twice — and again. Nothing. He pressed an ear to the wood panel. From the apartment’s interior, he could make out a quiet mewling. The sound of a puppy whimpering? In the distance, he heard the wail of approaching sirens. He hesitated for a moment and wondered what he was doing. What business is it of yours? Good question, he decided and made a bargain with himself. He would try the door handle, and if it were locked, he’d go back to the street and tell the emergency responders what he’d discovered. On the other hand, if the door were unlocked, he’d go in. He turned the handle. The door opened. He stepped onto the beige carpet and closed the door behind him. He paused a moment to assure himself that he was making the right move. Who could know? The apartment appeared to have a standard one-bedroom layout. To his right stood a galley kitchen with an eating nook that faced into the living room. On the left, a bathroom. Adjacent to the bathroom a closed door — which Finch assumed led into the bedroom. Directly in front of him, he could see the living room window had been pulled open. The sheer drapes, drawn tight to the side window frames, lofted slightly in the breeze coming off the bay. Finch sniffed the air. It smelled fresh, full of life. He heard the emergency vehicles stop on the street as the blare from their sirens wound down. The whimpering noise he’d heard from the corridor was detectable again. He walked to the open window and stood to the left of the window frame. From there he peered onto the street. Directly below him lay the corpse, which from eleven floors up, appeared to be little more than a sack of flattened pulp leaking a dark stream of blood that slipped toward the curb. A crowd of fifteen or twenty people made way for the ambulance crew. A fire truck pulled up behind the ambulance. One of the attendants approached Alice, who still held the phone to her ear. They began to talk and she slipped the phone into a pocket. Her friends moved to the corner across the street. One of the boys waved to her, a gesture to let her know they were still present, if not at her side. The trucks left their flashers on alert. The silence surprised Finch, and for a moment he tried to grasp the conversation of the ambulance crew as they attended to the body. He could make out a few words, some standard commands, he guessed, but no complete sentences. Then he heard the mewling again. He turned from the window and approached the bedroom door. “Hello?” He tapped the door panel with a knuckle and said, “There’s been an accident. I’m here to check on you.” The whimpering now turned into something more human. A gasp of surprise. “What? See-See, is that you?” A woman’s voice, rigid with fear. Finch eased the door open. The bedroom was half the size of the living room. The curtains were pulled tight across the window. With her left hand, the woman clutched the bedpost opposite the door. Her left leg was poised on the floor as if she was about to stand. The right calf was curled under her thigh and resting on the bed. She wore a bra and panties. Nothing else. Her almond-blonde hair was disheveled. It appeared as if she’d just showered but hadn’t had time to dry and brush her hair. From where he stood Will thought that she could be leaning on the post to support herself. “Jeez. Who are you?” Her question came out with another whimper. Finch felt confident she was the source of the cries he’d heard from the hall. “Do you need some help?” “Help?” A startled frown crossed her face, then a rising awareness that something had changed. “Get me that key,” she demanded and shook her wrist against the bedpost. She flicked her free hand toward the bureau in the corner. Finch now saw the handcuff that clamped her left wrist to the post. He moved to the bureau and examined a standard handcuff key that sat in a glass ashtray on top of the bureau. Will almost picked up the key, then thought again. He turned to face her. “Who busted you?” “Busted me?” A flash of panic gripped her face. “No one busted me. This is all a setup for some psycho with a rape fantasy.” A stick lamp stood on the bedside table next to her. He assumed that she’d been able to reach the light with her free hand. “Was that you clicking the lamp on and off?” “Yes, damn it!” Her panic shifted to exasperation. “Now get the key so we can both get out of here before it’s too late.” She tipped her head back toward the bureau. “Before what?” “Before we both get thrown out the fucking window!” The panic in her voice sent a chill through him and he knew he had to take her seriously. At the same time, his doubts and uncertainties multiplied. He didn’t understand what was going on. Not half of it. But he had to make a decision. Will grabbed the key from the ashtray and approached the woman. “What’s your name?” “Jojo.” She shifted her right leg off the bed. “Jojo who?” “Joanne Joleena. Jojo. Get it?” “Hey, look — I don’t need the attitude.” He examined the key and the handcuff fastened to the bedpost. It took a moment to determine how they fit together. “All right. Just unlock me,” she pleaded with another gasp of exasperation. “Please.” Finch unlocked the cuff from the post and took it in his left hand. “What are you doing?” He noticed that she had two script tattoos on her forearms. One read Forever Young. The other, Love Now. “Where are your clothes?” “In the bathroom.” He locked the free cuff around his right wrist and slipped the key into the half pocket in his jeans. “Okay, let’s get you dressed.” “What the fu—” “Come on.” He yanked on the cuff and pulled her toward the bathroom. “Let’s get going before it’s too late.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Amazon bestselling author, D.F. Bailey is a W.H. Smith First Novel Award and a Whistler Independent Book Award finalist.

In 2015 D.F. Bailey published The Finch Trilogy — Bone Maker, Stone Eater, and Lone Hunter — three novels narrated from the point-of-view of a crime reporter in San Francisco. Second Life (2017) is the first in a series of stand-alone books that follows the characters established in the trilogy. The series prequel, Five Knives, came out in 2018.

His first novel, Fire Eyes, was optioned for film. His second novel, Healing the Dead, was translated into German as Todliche Ahnungen. The Good Lie, another psychological thriller, was recorded as an audiobook. A fourth novel, Exit from America, made its debut as an e-book in 2013.

Following his birth in Montreal, D.F. Bailey's family moved around North America from rural Ontario to New York City to McComb, Mississippi to Cape May, New Jersey. He finally "landed on his feet" on Vancouver Island — where he lives next to the Salish Sea in the city of Victoria.

For twenty-two years D.F. Bailey worked at the University of Victoria where he taught creative writing and journalism and coordinated the Professional Writing Cooperative Education Program — which he co-founded. From time to time he also freelanced as a business writer and journalist. In the fall of 2010 he left the university so that he could turn "his pre-occupation with writing into a full-blown obsession."

 

 

Links

 

Website *** Facebook *** Twitter *** Amazon *** Goodreads

 

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

 

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!

 

 

 

Source: snoopydoosbookreviews.com/index.php/2018/06/26/blog-tour-five-knives-by-d-f-bailey-with-excerpt-and-giveaway
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text 2018-06-25 12:35
Blog Tour: Bound by Jennifer Dean with Excerpt and Giveaway

Today’s stop is for Jennifer Dean's Bound. We will have info about the book and author, and a great excerpt from the book, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway.

Happy Reading :)


When fate leads Emma Morgan back to her small hometown of Washington, she learns that the life she knew three years ago has changed once she meets the charmingly, mysterious Liam Alexander. But when her brother Sean, voices his disapproval, Emma finds her loyalty in the way of her newfound curiosity of the youngest Alexander. Only the more she tries to avoid Liam the more she finds him in her constant company.

A risk that leads down a dangerous path once Emma begins to discover a secret about the Alexanders that no human should ever know.

Buy Link

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I could feel the worry slithering up my veins like a serpent as Sean sauntered forward. Liam immediately straightened with a few steps away from me. I couldn’t blame him. It was like getting out of the way of a raging bull. He refused to take his eyes off my brother. I sighed with pursed lips and squinted eyes. I had become confused and curious in the same moment. I had never seen Sean like this, even in the heat of argument with my dad. It was almost like he had blinded me with the fury that radiated off of him. When he was only feet away, I could feel the scramble of nerves in my stomach that left a chill through my body. Something I had never known around Sean. “Where do you want to go for your birthday tonight?” he asked. My eyes widened with surprise. It was his tone. What I had expected to be enraged sounded slightly saddened with the randomness of his question, like he had just gotten bad news. But what did I expect? I didn’t know. Maybe some form of anger to lash out through yelling. “Um . . .” I paused to smile at an idea. “Well, how about Burger King?” I said. I found humor in the joke, but I could tell he didn’t. By the way he shifted his gaze to the ground I didn’t know if he even heard me. “I’ll see you tomorrow,” Liam said. When he spoke, I turned my head back to follow his lead. I smiled, but the feeling never traveled to my eyes. They were cautiously aware of Sean behind me. “Yeah,” I said. “See ya tomorrow.” I turned back to Sean who still hadn’t answered. His gaze was still on the ground. In fact he hadn’t moved at all. “Oh, Emma,” Liam said. When I turned back to my name, I realized Liam hadn’t left like I had thought. Well, he had moved so that he was farther away, but he still stood waiting for my attention. “Happy birthday.” I smiled without my control. I just couldn’t resist how warm it made me feel to hear him say that. It was like a voice I had known my whole life. “Thanks,” I said. He nodded before looking over my shoulder toward Sean. “Emma!” I turned back to the annoyed tone, feeling the grasp of Sean’s hands on each of my shoulders. I could see from the corner of my eye that Liam had moved out to my left side. He fidgeted slightly as if he wanted to intervene, but knew he shouldn’t. I was somewhat grateful when I watched him finally turn and leave. I didn’t need some embarrassing fight to cause a scene in the hallway. “What?” I asked. I held an annoyance in my voice now. It wasn’t like Sean to be so aggressive with me. He had even alarmed a passing freshman. It wasn’t an abusive way, but it was still out of character. Of course despite the shocking tactic, it worked. He held my attention again. But when he dropped my shoulder, he shifted his gaze to the floor across the hall. Suddenly I was in need of his attention. “Sean?” I said. My eyes widened in a waiting response until my impatience pushed through. “Hello!” I raised my voice while I shoved his shoulder. Even though my push carried a more than playful touch, he still didn’t budge. I didn’t affect him at all. His focus almost looked like he was listening to some radio, a radio that had just turned off. It was just plain luck that he looked up at me now. “Well, it’s nice to finally have your attention,” I said. “Sorry,” he said. His apology carried a variety of layers. “What’s wrong with you?” His golden honey eyes dropped away from me as if he was trying to avoid my eye contact, like there was something he didn’t want me to see or focus on. “I’m just in a bad mood, Emma.” I pursed my lips. “I noticed,” I said. I watched as he bent down to grab my backpack, which I had dropped in my worry. “Thanks.” As we began walking, I continued to watch him. He started to regain some of the charm that I had always known. “So are you going to tell me or what?” “Well, how about Frank’s? Italian was always a favorite of yours.” I narrowed my eyes in time to watch him grin. He knew very well that he had jumped conversations. But I had actually been thinking of Frank’s, so I couldn’t resist the offer. “All right,” I said, although even as I said the word I didn’t agree with it. Sean was anything but all right. The ride home was worse than the lockers. I had kept the radio off in case Sean decided to spill anything. But instead the ride was just filled with silence, a silence that carried an awkward filter in the air of my Jetta. As I contemplated whether I should drive on or pull off onto my uncle’s street, I saw his head turn out of the corner of my eye. “Can you just drop me off at Uncle Greg’s?” he requested. “Sure,” I said. I looked back tilting my lips inward and letting out a small sigh as I turned onto my uncle’s street. My mind felt like a war zone with all the negative thoughts hitting me. When he said drop off, I knew those were usually exclusive with solitude. As in, not including me. When I pulled into the drive, I focused on the green Jeep Wrangler parked to the left of the garage. It was my uncle’s old Jeep that he had passed down to Sean after he bought his new F-150 truck. And now it was the only thing I could manage to stare at to avoid looking back at Sean. “I’ll pick you up around seven,” he said. My head turned to look at him with raised eyebrows. “Are we still going?” I asked. “Of course,” he said. He grinned, making half of my worry melt. I had begun to assume the atmosphere change had dissolved the chances of going to dinner. Maybe I was just anticipating him cancelling because of his mood. But in fact he waited for me to acknowledge that he had meant his words before he swiftly opened and shut the car door behind him. It seemed like he had barely shut the door when I heard the distinct slam. I waited for him to walk inside before I pulled out of the drive. As I drove toward my house, I was still carrying the other half of worry that had yet to dissolve. And funny enough, the feeling grew as I looked in my rearview mirror toward the new scrapbook in my backseat. I showered two hours early because I needed to relax the new tension in my shoulders. I wasted time choosing a new red blouse and playing with the new kindle that my uncle had bought me for my birthday. With now nearly five minutes before seven, I placed my copy of The Scarlet Letter on the nightstand. I knew there wouldn’t be enough time to start the fourth chapter even though I contemplated using the time. Instead I grabbed my shoes in the corner before placing my jacket on my arms and swinging my purse over my shoulder, dropping my new camera inside as I hit the lights. As I began walking down the hall thinking, I wish he was already here, I heard a mild honk from outside. It was like he almost knew. I caught a glimpse from my dad who had narrowed his eyes with slight annoyance to the sound. As if somehow it inconvenienced him and the football game he was watching with an abnormally loud volume. “’Night, Dad,” I said. He grinned as he took the time to decide whether he would approve or deny my outfit. Luckily, I had gone with some dark washed jeans and a blouse that covered enough skin. I didn’t consider it too revealing. But you never know with fathers. “Be careful,” he said. It was a habit he had gotten used to saying once I started leaving the house on my own. “I’ll have Sean with me,” I said. He straightened his lips inward with the half roll of his eyes as he nodded with the silent words I stand by what I said. I hated that look because it was that of a father who didn’t trust my judgment. It was as if I was heading out on a date with a boy covered in tattoos and facial piercings who drove a motorcycle. I turned my neck to the left toward the kitchen. “’Night, Mom,” I said. She popped her head around with a genuine smile. At least until she saw the absence of Sean. “Oh, I asked him to just honk when he got here. Sorry,” I said. Yes, it was a lie, but the drooped cheeks and disappointment that carried in her eyes made me want to keep her from any more worry. If Sean wanted to keep his worries a secret from me, then I was going to still do what I could to keep them from anyone else. “Oh, okay. Well you two have fun,” she said. She nodded with a smile that tried to come across as understanding, though I could see the small disappointment lingered in her eyes. When I shut the front door behind me, I could only see the head beams of the Jeep. Not being able to see Sean and whatever mood he held caused my feet to dawdle. When I eventually opened the door, my eyes were looking down at the floorboards. It wasn’t until I had shut the door with my legs inside that I finally looked over to Sean. But there he was with the large grin I knew, the one that was always present with my Sean. That’s how I thought of it now. Furious Sean and my Sean. The one who I had grown up with. “Ready?” he asked. I nodded. “Feeling better?” I was trying to test the waters. “Yeah, sorry about that,” he said. “I almost thought you weren’t going to show,” I said. Sure my Sean would never do that, but who knew if furious Sean would bail on plans. “I’m sorry, Em. I didn’t mean to ruin your birthday by being moody.” I gazed into the brightness of his golden eyes before shrugging with a small grin. He hadn’t exactly ruined my birthday, but he hadn’t made the last few hours very pleasant either. “I guess even heroes have their days,” I said. “Yeah, we’re bound to slip now and then,” he said. How strange it was to look over and find all his teeth clenched as his nose wrinkled. Oddly enough, he still pulled off a charming expression. His emotions were already wearing me out. I watched as he pushed different pre-selected stations before stopping on a song to his liking. It was a George Strait song. My eyes shifted from his lifted finger to his absentminded gaze on the road ahead. Really? His eyes gazed to the side as if he had heard my thought. But it wasn’t enough to call his attention. Instead I could hear the barely audible sound of lyrics that came from his lips. The silence forced my impatience to slowly surface. Well, maybe a little faster than I thought. “Well, what was the problem?” Luckily my tone was still easy with my intention of not meaning to be rude. It was obviously something bad enough for him to show his temper, so I didn’t want to be too pushy. Sean usually had a good way of keeping calm, making the big things seem small. It was when he couldn’t that I knew it was a problem. He looked at me as if he thought the subject was already over and done. I had not noticed we were already in the parking lot of Frank’s, but I had never taken my eyes from his face. As I was still questioning how we had reached the parking lot so fast, he was already turning the engine off and opening his door. I was waiting, now getting a little more impatient for his response, as I met him near the hood of the Jeep. In his eyes, there seemed to be hesitation, but he sensed my building irritation. That was when I remembered the rumor Becca had told me at lunch. “Does this have to do with Lillian Edwards becoming top of your class?” I asked before following him toward the front door. I placed my hands into my pockets to gain some warmth back into my fingers. Sean looked back to me with his eyebrows raised in surprise and his lips curved with expectancy of the guess I had just made. “My Advanced Physics teacher may ruin my chances of passing her,” he said. “I’m sorry I took that out on you.” So he did know his chances of being valedictorian were in trouble. Now that I knew Becca’s information was real, it all made sense. I always knew Sean was very intense about his grades. He worked hard and always kept a flawless 4.0, and even though my GPA was very high, it seemed mediocre compared to his perfection. I loved to tease him when I got the chance, but tonight did not seem appropriate to take that opportunity. His wounds still seemed open, and I would only be pouring the salt. “Don’t worry about it. I understand,” I said as we approached the hostess. “I’d probably be a little irritated if someone new came in and took my top class spot too.” I could see Sean’s crooked smirk as he looked up to the mid-thirties host. “Welcome, just the two?” she asked. I hated that look we got when people thought we were a couple. I wish she’d quit starting at us like that. Sean seemed to notice the distress in my face. He put his arm around my shoulder and smiled at the hostess. “I’m taking my little sister out for her birthday.” She smiled to me as she grabbed two menus beside her. Sean looked down at me with a grin and a wink. It was the lesser of two evils. I hated people I didn’t know to make a deal of my birthday. Sean let out a chuckle, as if he had just thought of something funny, while the hostess led us to our seat. “Is this okay?” She was smiling politely and gesturing to a circular table near the middle of the restaurant. “This is fine. Thank you,” Sean said. Sean gave an identical smile, and it felt like his past behavior was all in my head. As the hostess and Sean exchanged pleasantries, I debated asking Sean about lunch. “Would you mind taking a photo of us?” Sean’s question to the hostess pulled me from my thoughts. “Sure,” she said. I pulled my camera out from my purse before handing it to her waiting hand. I leaned into the middle of the table like Sean, holding a smile just seconds before the flash went off. “Thank you,” Sean said. I took the camera from her and placed it back into my purse. “Happy birthday.” She added a wink as she walked away. I hope they don’t sing. It was awkwardly painful when waiters sang to me, mostly, because I never knew where to stare during the song. Was it at the unknown singers? The cake? Some empty space to the left? “So how was your first day?” I was glad Sean’s question had interrupted my silly thoughts. “I’m sorry I was in such a mood this afternoon to ask.” He waited for my forgiving smile. “Good,” I said as our waiter now approached the table. “Hello, guys, I’m Kevin. I’ll be your waiter tonight. What can I get you to drink?” He was a middle-aged man with dark brown hair. His nose was a little crooked from where he seemed to have broken it when he was younger, I guessed. I did the polite thing by looking at his eyes as I spoke. “I’ll have an ice tea please,” I said. “Water please,” Sean said. I gave him a mocking smile. “Any appetizers to start out with?” I looked toward Sean because I knew I was not going to eat anything extra. “No, thank you.” The waiter nodded at Sean’s words and turned away. “I saw you sat with your old friends today.” He was stating a fact, while expressing relief. He was just as glad that I did not have to sit alone at lunch. Of course, like he had said before school, he would have invited me to sit with him in that case, but I’m sure it was nice to know your sister wasn’t a loser. And with the opportunity of talking about lunch, I decided to take my chance while it was there. “I have a question for you about lunch.” His body seemed to tense, but his face remained calm. It was like he already knew what I would ask. “And that would be?” “What was up with you and Grace Alexander?” I went with a different word choice than I was originally thinking. “What was up,” Sean repeated with a grin as he brought his hand to the table. He was putting up his guard to avoid vulnerability. “Yeah, why was that interaction so weird?” I immediately regretted my words as I watched his eyebrows and lips lift, as if by a string, to reveal his perfect teeth. I rolled my eyes at an expression of clear explanation of a point he was making, as if he was pointing out how odd she was. But he missed what I meant. “I mean it wasn’t just her. It was you too.” I pulled back to study his face, expecting to bust him, but his façade never faltered. His lips merely brought themselves back to straighten. “We’re assigned partners for a Spanish project.” So Liam had been right when he said they had Spanish together. “And you’re annoyed by that?” I asked. “Well, it’s not a partnership by choice,” he said. Sean was always huge on getting a jump-start into assignments. I had the habit of procrastination unless I was trying to use school as a distraction. But part of me thought the oddness of the two was something more than school related. “So it’s not just sexual tension?” He grimaced to me. “Definitely not.” I narrowed my eyes as I watched his own. His eyes shifted away from me as if they were forbidden to see. “What’s wrong with her? She’s beautiful, and seems so beyond her age. I figured you would like that.” Sean suddenly chuckled. “What?” My observational curiosity had caused his smile to lose all humor. “She is just strange,” he said. “What kind of strange? Like her parents are weird? She likes to sit in her own group at lunch? She only drinks Coke?” “You couldn’t tell by talking to her that she was different?” Sean asked. I guess I could admit that she wasn’t exactly a personality I had known. She was a little intimidating. And I had only been around her for a few minutes. Maybe there was something I just didn’t know about her that Sean did. “I have a question for you now,” Sean said. I looked up to notice his eyes were not as soft as before. He had switched the conversation like he did so well. “Yes?” I asked hesitantly. I knew what was coming. I had been waiting and expecting this. In fact it was probably how he knew his subject change would be so successful. “I noticed you were talking with Liam Alexander.” I tried for my wall of defense now, but I wasn’t as good as Sean was. He knew that. “That’s not a question, you know.” I tried to smile but I was so nervous from his stern features that I bit my lip instead. His brow was furrowed, and his eyes, although gleaming, became unrelenting with their stare. “Yes, he was nice enough to walk me to my locker after English.” I shifted my eyes to the table and back with the first memory. “Well, he was nice enough to help me out earlier when I couldn’t get it open too.” I was thankful to see the waiter approaching with our drinks. I sighed with some relief. “Here you are,” the waiter said. He handed me my tea while placing Sean’s water next to his right arm. Sean had not looked away from me until he decided to swiftly sip his water. “What can I get you?” I pointed my finger to the menu. “I’ll have the chicken parmesan.” I glanced up at Sean who slowly shifted his eyes toward the waiter. His head moved an inch away from my direction. “And for you, sir?” “I’ll have the lasagna. Thank you.” Sean’s voice was polite but stern. “Okay,” the waiter said. He noticed the tension between us as he collected our menus. As he walked away, I caught his pitied glance in my direction. “Do you not like Liam or something? Is he strange too?” I was grinning with a tease as my eyes moved from the table up to Sean. But Sean was frustrated with my use of Liam’s name. “You shouldn’t hang around him, Emma.” His face held no humor in its serious demeanor. Is there something wrong with him? I honestly didn’t know what to think because Sean never showed aversion to anyone before. There was always a sense of protection, like any brother, but never a firm warning to keep my distance from anyone. “Why?” I never usually question Sean’s judgment, but I found myself irritated that he didn’t approve of Liam Alexander. If there was something wrong, why wouldn’t I have already discovered it? “Just trust me, Emma. He’s not a good match for you.” I was worried with the furious expression that had returned into Sean’s face. “Can’t you give me more than not a good match?” I was trying to joke as I put the air quotes around my words. He was not biting as he almost glared at me. “I’m serious, Emma. He’s just . . . weird. I’ve heard rumors.” His eyes shifted with a small grimace of his lips. “Since when have you believed rumors?” “Since the rumor began having interest in my sister.” I knew Sean was being protective and trying his best to scare me away from whatever reason he held an aversion toward Liam. Nevertheless, his effort had made an opposite effect. There is just something in the girl DNA that makes the words stay away more inviting. I was now curious to what was so weird about Liam. He seemed sweet, polite, and charmingly beautiful this afternoon. Maybe he had some weird past before he moved to Washington. I found myself in an awkward silence as I began drinking my tea. Sean sat back and gazed to his left at a colorful canvas painting of what looked like Venice. It was as if the painting carried a familiarity to him. I couldn’t help myself as I spoke the words just as they came. “Well, what kind of rumors?” Sean turned his gaze back on me with his usual grin. As if the painting had elevated his mood. He was going to give me a headache with these emotional 180s. I caught sight of the waiter approaching with a tray that had me grateful because I was starving. But I was also annoyed since I wanted an answer. “Here’s your chicken parmesan. And you’re lasagna.” He looked up to me after reaching back to grab his cheese grater. “Parmesan cheese?” “Yes, please.” I gestured with my hand, stopping him after a few seconds. “No cheese for me, thank you.” Sean had spoken firmly before the waiter had time to move. He left once again, eager to be away from the tension. “Everything looks good,” Sean said. His eyebrows rose as he dove into his lasagna. As we ate the rest of our meal in silence, I could not get the Alexanders out of my mind. Nothing alarmed me to conclude they were what Sean was making them out to be. When Sean finally asked, “Ready to go,” I found that I was still curious. “Sure, but you never answered my question.” I smiled up at the waiter who seemed concerned about my dinner companion as he took the check back. “No change,” Sean said before pushing his seat back and catching my impatient gaze. I seemed to have a lot of those tonight. “Didn’t you even notice the strange things about him on your first day?” he asked while leading me through the restaurant. “Like what?” I said walking out the door he held open for me. Maybe I had noticed some things, but my mind wasn’t letting me recall anything that sent a red flag. “How about the fact that he never comes to lunch?” Sean said with narrowed eyes. Yes that was strange, and I had never gotten the reason. Okay, so one point for Sean. But I hated that he had that smiling gloat on his lips as he drove out of the parking lot. “That’s only one thing and for all we know it’s for a good reason,” I said. “How about how he doesn’t even look like a junior? He looks like he should be going to the university by now, and yet he’s still here,” Sean said. I sighed as it was something I had myself been thinking about. For both him and his older sister. “That could just be his genetics.” “What about—” “That’s enough,” I said annoyingly, cutting him off this time. As we turned onto my street, I knew Sean would see my clenched jaw and slow exhale. I wasn’t in the mood to hear him list off reasons why Liam was weird. “I’ll drive tomorrow,” he said. I looked back to him with widened eyes. “Aren’t you coming in?” “I think I just need some sleep. I’m exhausted.” You’re exhausted? What about me? “Well, should we take one last photo of my birthday? Or are you too tired for that?” “Oh no, for that, I think I have time to spare.” I grabbed my camera from inside my purse, and then Sean grabbed it from my hand, knowing that his arms extended further than mine did for a better picture range. “Say cheese,” he said. He snapped the picture with ease before giving me back the camera. I turned it over to get a quick look at the picture. We had identical grins, but our eyes were nowhere close to the same. I had been right from the moment I had seen him. His were an incredible bright golden honey drip of hazel that had mine looking utterly plain. Maybe mine had just dulled over the past three years though. Finally, I faced the inevitable by placing it back in my purse and opening my door. “Thanks for dinner,” I said. I leaned back to give him a kiss on the cheek before jumping out with the disappointment. “Did Sean leave?” My mom asked from the moment I had walked in the door. “Yeah, he was really tired.” I wasn’t sure whose disappointment was bigger between the two of us. Once I entered my room, I wasted time I thought I would be spending with Sean by slowly changing into my purple pajama bottoms and pink tank top before beginning to read The Scarlet Letter. I had barely started the fourth chapter when my thoughts focused on Liam Alexander. I was apprehensive to find the reason why Sean was so disapproving of the Alexanders. Maybe it was because he was so adamant to keep a distance between me and the youngest one. But why Liam? When I realized I was reading the same sentence repeatedly, I laid the book on my nightstand. The day’s exhaustion had finally surfaced. I reached for my lamp and laid my head down onto my pillow. Upon closing my eyes, I found myself in the school cafeteria. There I saw Grace Alexander, with the same electric sapphire eyes, waving to me invitingly from her table like a pageant queen. To her right, Liam stood near her shoulder with a stunning and seductive smile. His hand extended forward as he welcomed me to come join him and his beautifully alluring sister. I began to walk toward them with a thrill I couldn’t resist when a force from behind suddenly grabbed my arm. My head turned and my smile vanished when I found the same furious gaze in Sean’s eyes that he held this afternoon.

I was never that child you found in the corner reading. In fact, I loathed the idea of picking up a book. The activity seemed more of a chore than a past time. All that changed when my brother began talking to me about the newest novel he was reading.Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix. Before I knew it, my curiosity got the better of me, luring me to try the series. It didn't take long for my mindset of reading to turn on its head. But even with my new hobby discovered it wasn't until my junior year of college that I developed a hidden desire for writing stories. And when I found myself writing scenes instead of paying attention to my professors, I knew becoming a writer was the career path I was meant to follow

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Source: snoopydoosbookreviews.com/index.php/2018/06/25/blog-tour-bound-by-jennifer-dean-with-excerpt-and-giveaway
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text 2018-06-23 12:35
Blog Tour: Catching Dragos by Gail Koger with Excerpt and Giveaway

 

 

Today’s stop is for Gail Koger's Catching Dragos . We will have info about the book and author, and a great excerpt from the book, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway.

Happy Reading :) 


Everyone calls Mariah Smith the Judge. No, she doesn't wear a black robe or sit on a bench. She provides a unique service to those who have been wronged. She's an expert in paybacks both psychic and magical.
 
Mariah's next target is the famous supermodel Fabian. Smoking hot body, the face of an Italian sinner and dumb as a rock. His crime? Sticky fingers. The man whore makes millions of dollars a year, but can't resist seducing elderly women out of their jewelry? How does she resist all that tanned, male perfection and unmask Fabian as the
gigolo he truly is?
 
Mariah soon discovers Mister Sticky fingers isn't quite as dim-witted as he acts. He's actually the Dragos clan's top demon hunter who is stealing back magical artifacts that open gateways to hell. Now that she's attracted Fabian's attention, he's determined to possess her and her magical abilities.
 
 
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My name’s Mariah Smith, but everyone calls me the Judge. No, I don’t wear a black robe or sit on a bench. Using my psychic and magical abilities, I provide a unique service to those who have been wronged. I’m in the business of paybacks. How did I choose this career path? Justice. I wanted justice for my father. Dad was one hell of a cop. His partner, Dan Harvey, not so much. Dan’s midlife crisis led him to dump his wife of twenty years and shack up with Bambi, a hot-to-trot teenager. When my dad found out she was only sixteen, he tried to talk his partner into stopping the affair. When that didn’t work, my father was forced to tell the chief of police what was going on. That ended Dan’s career, his illicit affair, and their partnership. The court sentenced the idiot to a year in county lockup. The minute Dan got out of jail and foundout Bambi had moved on to fresher game, he lost it. He cleaned out his ex-wife’s bank account, shot my father, and fled. My dad survived but had to learn to walk again. The lame-ass detective they assigned to the case misplaced the evidence, and the county attorney refused to prosecute. Using my rather awesome psychic abilities, I tracked the jerk to Mexico. While my dad recovered from a bullet in the back, Dan was having the time of his life in Acapulco. He drove a flashy red sports car and had a luxury villa with a spectacular view of the bay. I was going to teach Dan a well-deserved lesson. First he would lose his libido, his looks, his money, the car, and the villa. Dan’s oversexed libido was in high gear, and he wasn’t content until he had bedded at least five women a day. Did he practice safe sex? Hell, no. He liked going commando, and Senorita Clap soon had him walking like a bowlegged cowboy. It was a real shame his meds didn’t work. Disguised as a maid, I soon discovered Dan took a popular baldness drug that had some rather nasty side effects. It caused men’s genitals to shrink, and within a month 80 percent of the users became impotent. I tripled his dose, and damn, it worked. He couldn’t get it up, and not even the little blue pill helped. Dan was an extremely vain man. Instead of getting braces for his son, he blew the money on veneers for his own teeth. I added a mixture of nicotine, black tar, and a dash of magic to his toothpaste. Presto! Pearly whites gone. I hacked his bank account, sent the money back to his ex-wife, and reported Dan’s bogus credit cards to the Mexican Federales and his landlord. Next, I hotwired Dan’s sports car and drove it down to the poorer side of town. I watched gleefully as it was stripped down to the frame. I had it towed back to his villa. Dan threw a hissy fit and unloaded his Glock into the remains. Sometimes getting your car back simply isn’t enough. Dan’s expression when he got arrested for fraud? Priceless. He’s now doing time in a Mexican prison. That’s what I call justice. As time passed, my reputation grew. I became very selective about the cases I took. I’m not a killer. My retributions were carefully planned out to expose the villains’ crimes and get closure for the victims. My current target was the famous supermodel Fabian. Smoking hot body, the face of an Italian sinner, and dumb as a rock. His crime? Sticky fingers. The man-whore makes millions of dollars a year, but can’t resist seducing elderly women out of their jewelry? I’m not talking about mature women of fifty or sixty. I’m talking old. His latest victim, Ethel Rossi, was eighty-five, hard of hearing, and had a bad habit of misplacing her dentures. Rumor has it, Ethel fell asleep during the act. Maybe Fabian’s not the fabled lover everyone says he is. The Rossi family hired me to retrieve the three-hundred-year-old medallion he walked off with and unmask him as the gigolo he truly was.
 
How do I come up with my stories? Being psychotic helps. I was a 9-1-1 dispatcher for way too long. All those years of wild requests, screwy questions, bizarre behavior and outrageous demands have left me with a permanent twitch and an uncontrollable craving for chocolate. Don’t get me wrong. Working as a 9-1-1 dispatcher can be very rewarding. BUT - some days I felt like the entire world was nuts. I mean, c’mon, who in their right mind calls 9-1-1 for the winning lottery numbers? To keep from hitting myself repeatedly in the head with my phone, I took up writing. I made the Night Owl's Awesome Paranormal Romance Authors List.
 
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Source: snoopydoosbookreviews.com/index.php/2018/06/23/blog-tour-catching-dragos-by-gail-koger-with-excerpt-and-giveaway
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text 2018-06-21 12:35
Blog Tour: Moms With Secrets by Bena Roberts with Giveaway

 

Today’s stop is for Bena Roberts’s Moms With Secrets. We will have info about the book and author, and a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway.

 

Happy Reading :) 

 


 

Move over Thelma and Louise! Enter Tammy and Lisa two moms of troubled teenage boys. Not convinced of the school's ability to deal with serious issues, the two mothers become mom detectives.

Meet Tammy Lewis - the local politician's wife. She is a dutiful wife and adores her family. Her life in her cozy village and Victorian home is perfect.

Enter Lisa Evans - an enigmatic yoga teacher and single mother. Lisa has worked hard to succeed in her life, and when she discovers her teenage son might be dealing drugs, she comes up with a crafty plan. Lisa sets out to frame innocent mom Tammy Lewis for her son's misdemeanors. Lisa's son and Tammy's son are best friends so; the set-up could work.

Is Tammy the pushover that Lisa believes?

More importantly? Has the village school got the accusations right? Are Mark and Ethan, Tammy & Lisa's children really the local village school drug lords?

Author Bena Roberts has delivered a warm and witty short read ideals for mums with troubled teenage boys who understand the pull of motherhood. How far would you go to protect your teenage son?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bena Roberts was a journalist and analyst. Now she prefers the title novelist and romance adventurist. She graduated in England 1994 and then with a Masters in 1997.

Born in 1973, Bena lived in West London until she was 24. Then she lived and worked in Budapest, Bruges, Prague, Amsterdam, Vienna, Hamburg and Munich. She currently resides in Germany, between Heidelberg and Frankfurt. Although she still refers to London as 'home.'

Bena successfully created a technology blog which gained funding, had lunch with Steve Ballmer and was 'top 50 most influential woman in mobile.' Her blog also won several awards including Metro Best Blog.

Bena has two children, loves small dogs and always writes books with a cup of Earl Grey.

Bena's favorite literary style is black humor, and she hopes to offer a unique voice in this area. Her books aim to confront the darkest of life experiences, with levity. Most of her writing is heavy hitting yet also entertaining. The second novel out in 2018 offers thought-provoking fiction which embraces the absurd with reality.

 

Links

 

Website *** Facebook *** Twitter *** Amazon *** Goodreads

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!

 

Source: snoopydoosbookreviews.com/index.php/2018/06/21/blog-tour-moms-with-secrets-by-bena-roberts-with-giveaway
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