May 25

Veiled Obsession Release Day Blitz

 dramatic close up of a dried rose is a dark foggy setting

 

Veiled Obsession

His Agenda, Book 1

By Dori Lavelle

 Veiled Obsession 3d

 

About the Book - Copy

I cry for the man I used to know, the man I used to love…until his love killed mine.

My name is Haley Macknight, and I’m dying inside. From the outside my life is every woman’s dream. I’m married to Jude Macknight, a handsome billionaire who loves me…too much.

Once upon a time, I loved him. But that love is dead. Unwilling to let me go, I’ve become his obsession. He will stop at nothing to make sure I remain in a marriage I no longer want, inside my gilded cage.

Each day I pull away from Jude, I watch him transform into a monster. Before my eyes, he becomes a man I don’t recognize, a dangerous man. He makes it clear that I belong to him, that my life is no longer my own. If I leave, he’ll kill me. But if I stay, I’ll die a slow death.

**WARNING: Due to sexual situations and dark adult content, VEILED OBSESSION is not intended for readers under the age of 18, and anyone who is unable to read books containing the following issues: kidnapping, murder, graphic rape, and extreme abuse.**

Purchase Links

Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00UDEVNWM

B&N: http://bit.ly/1Amm0dG

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1C2POuL

iTunes: http://apple.co/1GCJ9Kr

DIVIDER

Exclusive Excerpt

I stood inside the walk-in closet and studied the clothes Jude had asked his assistant to buy me, expensive clothes I wouldn’t have a chance to wear again.

Last night I arrived at a decision. I was leaving. And I wouldn’t take anything more than the money he had given me—most of which I still had—and the clothes on my back. Waiting for something to happen and not being able to do anything unnerved me. The feeling of helplessness was getting to me.

Madison was no more than two hours away from Serendipity, but Serendipity was the last place I wanted to go back to. At least not yet. Even if I saw nothing in the news, the small town would possibly be crawling with police. I wasn’t about to walk willingly into my jail cell.

The money I had would be more than enough to get me as far as away from both Madison and Serendipity as possible. I’d find a small town to hide, where I could get a chance to glue the pieces of my shattered life back together. And hope the past never caught up with me.

But it was only midday. I’d wait until dinner, when Lin left to go home. I wouldn’t want her alerting Jude about my departure.

I crawled under the fresh bed sheets. The magnolia-scented fabric softener clinging to them made me think of my mother, of happier times, before Elizabeth left our lives.

Dori Lavelle. Veiled Obsession. Kindle Edition.

DIVIDER

Book Review - Copy

It is a great pleasure to read and review Veiled Obsession by Dori Lavelle.

Veiled Obsession  by Dori Lavelle carries a very strong warning and should be heeded! This is not your regular hearts and flowers, happily ever after offering!

Veiled Obsession is written as though Ms. Lavelle has immersed herself in researching the subject of domestic abuse or lived through the terror herself. I am amazed at the emotions that I experienced while reading it. As a survivor myself, it resonated very deeply in me. I experienced the joy, the disbelief, the shame, the anguish, the terror and the hopelessness Ms. Lavelle wrote into Haley, and I still feel a deep and abiding hatred for Jude Macknight that will carry me through this series, His Agenda.

Well done, Dori. Your range and writing abilities continue to amaze me with every subsequent novel.

I highly recommend Veiled Obsession by Dori Lavelle and give it five steaming hot cups of Room With Books coffee.

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DIVIDER

© May 25, 2015

Patricia, Room With Books

DIVIDER

About the AuthorDori

Dori Lavelle, is a mother, wife, and a sucker for happy-ever-afters and mint chocolate. Give her a great romance novel and a mug of hot chocolate and she’d be one happy woman. Growing up, Dori read a lot, and when she wasn’t happy with a particular ending, she wrote a different one, just for herself. Before long, she was writing stories when she should have been doing homework. The time has come for her to share the stories she cooks up in her head.

Contact Links:

Website : http://www.dorilavelle.com/

Newsletter : http://eepurl.com/Ycsu5

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dori-Lavelle/1423314904547560

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7348559.Dori_Lavelle

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DoriLavelle

Email: Dorilavelle@gmail.com

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Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

May 25

Generational Curse Book Tour

Generational Curse

by Tracy Reed

VBT_TourBanner_GenerationalCurse

 

About the Book - Copy

What happens when a celibate Christian man befriends a woman involved with a married man? Sean knows he should run in the other direction, but Kyla tempts him to abandon his Christian beliefs for a taste of the forbidden. But if he continues the relationship, can he convince her that being with a married man isn’t the fantasy life the generations of women in her family made it appear to be?

Sean Prescott and Kyla James are business associates playing a dangerous game of cat and mouse hoping the other will give in. But in this high stakes relationship game, is there really a winner or will both be losers?

Purchase Links

http://www.readtracyreed.com/

Amazon: Amazon.com

Barnes & Noble: Barnesandnoble.com

iTunes/iBooks:  itunes.com

All Romance eBooks: allromanceebooks.com

Smashwords: smashwords.com

BookCover_GenerationalCurse

Excerpt - Copy

“I WANNA GET MARRIED,” ERIC announced.

Kyla leaned up against the headboard. “Excuse me?”

“I want, let me rephrase that. If I want to be taken seriously as a marriage therapist, it would help if I were married.”

“I see.”

“Most of the couples I’ve been working with are beginning to question my ability to treat them, seeing I’m not married. So, what do you say?” He waited for her answer.

“That was a horrible proposal.”

“I’m sorry.” He got up and walked over to her side of the bed, took her hand in his, cleared his throat and made a second attempt. “Kyla, will you marry me.”

She looked at him for a brief moment, before replying, “Baby, I’m not Susie Homemaker. I like things the way they are.” He stood up, looking at her with no reaction. “Like I told you before, I’m not interested in marriage.”

“We don’t have to live together, it could be like it is now. Only difference is, we’d be married.”

“How is that like what we have now? I don’t want to be legally bound to you, or anyone else for that matter.” She tried to read his expression. “If this is something you feel you need to do, then I think you should get married.”

“But you said you didn’t want to get married.”

“I don’t.” She stood up and put her robe on. “Excuse me.” She walked into the kitchen and he followed her.

“I’m a little confused. You agree with my decision to get married, but you don’t want to marry me.”

“That’s correct.” She poured two glasses of champagne.

“I don’t understand.”

She took a long sip and answered him. “It’s very simple. You need a wife. Let me rephrase that, you want a showpiece. Someone your patients can relate to, right?”

“Yes.”

“All I want from you is sex.”

DIVIDER

 

Author Interview

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Tracy Reed author of GENERATIONAL CURSE.

Hi Tracy, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Please tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I’m a single Christian Woman who loves God, Fashion and Cute Guys. I live in California, but consider myself a partial New Yorker because of the two and half years I lived there. I own www.thepinkduchess.com, a lingerie site for curvy women. GENERATIONAL CURSE is my debut novel.

What were you like at school?

In school I think I was the geeky smart girl.

Were you good at English?

Yes, I was pretty good at English

What are your ambitions for your writing career?

What are my writing ambitions…good question.  First off, I want to write good books.  Would I love to have a New York Times Best Seller, of course.  Will I consider my writing career a flop, if I don’t, nope.

My other writing ambition is a little more immediate.  I want to complete the list of books on my writing schedule.

Which writers inspire you?

Another good question.  I don’t have a favorite writer.  That’s sort of like asking me which pair of shoes are my favorite.  My library varies and depends on what I’m working on or my mood.  Much like my shoe collection.  Smile.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does she do that is so special?

The main character in my book is Kyla James.  Let me see if I can answer this without giving too much away.  She’s talented and successful.  At the same time she has a sweet naivety when that appears as she grows and changes.  She’s tough and sexy, but also very vulnerable.

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on a few things.  My first novella is coming out in June.  It’s called “The Good Girl.”  The second is the first book in a series called, “The Alex Chronicles.”

Plus there’s also the follow up GENERATIONAL CURSE.  A little insight on that, it revolves around Kyla’s sister and yes, Kyla’s in that one as well.  And the second installment of The Alex Chronicles and the Good Girl.

Which actor or actress would you like to see playing the main characters from Generational Curse?

Who would I like to see playing the lead characters…that’s tough.  Some friends of mine and my mom were sitting around playing that game.  I never give answers, because I don’t want that person stuck in the reader’s head when they read the book.  I do, however, think Laz Alonso would be great as Eric.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?

I wanted to read books about women like me.  Women who love God, fashion and cute guys.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

I don’t have a special time to write.  So far, I haven’t set a writing schedule.  I sort of have a production schedule.  I do however, love to write when it’s quiet.  If I’m home alone, I can easily start writing around five in the evening and keep going until three or four in the morning.

Where do your ideas come from?

I get my ideas from a variety of resources.  Sometimes it’s a word or phrase, a snippet of a funny story or thought, possibly something I saw on television, the movies or something I read.  Or it could be a great place or meal.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

I am so not an outline writer.  I prefer to let the characters and story guide me.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

The hardest thing about writing, is the blurb.  I’m still amazed at how I can write 90k words and not be able to sum it up in a hundred or less.

Do you read much and if so, who are your favorite authors?

I don’t really have a favorite author.  Reading much is sort of a subjective term.  For me, I read a lot.

For your own reading, do you prefer eBooks or traditional paper/hard back books?

When I read, it’s a toss-up.  Print books are my favorite.  However, ever since I downloaded the Kindle app, I’ve been reading a lot of new writers and genres on my iPad.

What books are you reading now?

I’m reading a few things right now.  I just finished Julia Kent’s “Shopping for a Billionaire.”  These are great books.  Next on my list is the second edition of Elizabeth Lennox’s series about the Attracelli Family.   I’m also reading two devotionals, Tia McCollors, “If These Shoes Could Talk” and “Trusting God With Your Dream” by Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson.

Tell us about the cover and how it came about.

The road to designing the cover for GENERATIONAL CURSE is a long story.  So I’ll try to make it short.  I wanted a cover that was a little salacious.  I found an image I loved, but way out of my budget.  I spent a lot of time on stock photos sites and prayer looking for something that would be an attention grabber.

The image I selected is really a very pale Caucasian woman, I Photoshopped to be a honey mocha woman.  The red band is a result of a few computer mishaps.  When I went back and redesigned the cover, I added the red band which made the title pop.  The lips on the back are a play on Sean’s reaction to Kyla’s lips.

Who designed your book cover?

I’m sorry I kind of got ahead of myself with the last question.  I designed my covers.  I have a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud.  I love it, because it gives me access to Photoshop [which I use to make my covers] and InDesign [which I use to format my books for print].

Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for Generational Curse?

No, I don’t have a trailer for my book.  Honestly, I hadn’t given it any thought.  I was just trying to catch all the typos.  J

Do you think that giving books away free works and why?

Free books are an excellent marketing tool.  I was told the best time to offer free ebooks is after you have three titles.  However, whenever I can, I give away signed print copies and/or digital versions.

How do you relax?

I’m a foodie…so I love cooking and visiting new restaurants. I also, love fashion and collecting vintage clothing.

What is your favorite quote?

My favorite quote is by Erma Bombeck, “ When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say ‘I used everything You gave me’.”

What is your favorite movie?

What’s my favorite movie…that’s another good question.  It’s a toss-up between anything with Idris Elba, Gone With The Wind, The Way We Were, The Incredibles and Iron Man.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

You can find me here:

Website: www.readtracyreed.com

Blog: readtracyreed.wordpress.com

Facebook: facebook.com/readtracyreed

Tumblr: writertracy.tumblr.com

Pinterest: pinterest.com/readtracyreed

Twitter: twitter.com/readtracyreed

Goodreads: goodreads.com

And you buy book here:

http://www.readtracyreed.com/

Amazon: Amazon.com

Barnes & Noble: Barnesandnoble.com

iTunes/iBooks:  itunes.com

All Romance eBooks: allromanceebooks.com

Smashwords: smashwords.com

Any final words?

Final words…uhm…this was a great interview.  Can we do it again?

Of course, Tracy. I would be glad to feature you and your books here any time! I appreciate you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.

DIVIDER

About the Author

AuthorPhoto_GenerationalCurse

I’m a single Christian Woman who loves God, Fashion and Cute Guys. I live in California, but consider myself a partial New Yorker because of the two and half years I lived there. I own http://www.thepinkduchess.com, a lingerie site for curvy women. GENERATIONAL CURSE is my debut novel.

 

 

DIVIDER

Giveaway

Tracy will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B&N gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Room With Books encourages our readers to follow the tour and comment.

Click here to follow the tour

May 24

Keep Dancing Book Review

02_Keep Dancing Cover
Publication Date: February 5, 2015
Percambio Press
Formats: Print & ebook (256 pages)

Series: Come Dancing, Book Two
Genre: Contemporary Romance/New Adult/Chick Lit

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About the Book

Julia is a young book editor on the rise. Jack is a British rock star at the pinnacle of his fame.

Can they both get what they want—if what they need threatens to tear them apart?

It’s January, 1982. Twenty-four-year-old Julia Nash has just moved in with her boyfriend, rock and roll guitarist extraordinaire Jack Kipling. Their connection sizzles as Jack takes her to England to meet his mother, and then to a private Caribbean island for a sensual post-holiday retreat.

But back in New York, they hit a turbulent patch. Career-focused Julia is in the running for a new job, while Jack’s life becomes even more chaotic with an upcoming thirty-city tour. Although free-spirited Jack enjoys his partying lifestyle, he craves more support on the home front. But Julia doesn’t know if she can ever be a domestic goddess—or if her wild boyfriend can ever be domesticated.

On tour, Julia experiences private jets, mind-blowing concerts, shocking hotel room antics, and screaming headlines. Back home, she has to decide if their relationship can withstand the ravages of fame and conflicting interests—not to mention a suave bestselling author who seems to like more than her grammar sense.

Emotionally poignant, hilarious and steamy, Keep Dancing will delight brand-new readers as a stand-alone novel, and also serves as the perfect follow-up to Come Dancing.

What Others are Saying

“Set in the 80s and dripping with the excesses this time period excelled at, Julia and Jack have reached a point in their relationship where the hard work begins. Julia is working towards her own stardom, while Jack continues to play in the world that made him. As external forces do their best to force this unusual couple apart, Jack and Julia will need to decide if they should keep dancing or find new partners. Emotionally plump with laughter, love, and heartbreak…” —Smexy Book Reviews

“HOT”—“In book two of the Jack and Julia series, Wells once again titles chapters after hit songs, and finds even more ways to describe the excitement surrounding New York City as she did in the debut…” —Romance Times

“This is a 5 star series, and I recommend this as a wonderfully fun yet angsty read. I loved the chemistry between Jack and Julia and their crazy bad communication skills (they didn’t have cell phones, after all). The breakups were worth it, if only just so they could make up!” –Cindy Becker, The Book Enthusiast

Praise for the first novel about Jack and Julia

Come Dancing, an Amazon Bestseller

and Apple iBooks Breakout Book

“Wells builds an emotionally poignant love story, abounding with romance and humor.” —Smexy Book Reviews

“Sometimes a book like this comes along and takes me out of the niche reading that I tend to find myself in…. I am in love… So very sex + the city.” —Must Read Books or Die

“It reads like a very, very good romantic comedy movie.” —Michelle & Leslie’s Book Picks

“Once you start, you are completely unable to put it down.” —Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews

“Like a well-oiled machine or a well-tuned guitar, Julia and friends work their way into your heart.” —Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

“Hot, sexy, and combustible.” —Blushing Divas Book Reviews

“Come Dancing is brimming with both humor and heart.” —Flashlight Commentary

“It’s a fun romp, and the sparkling characters definitely made it worth the read.” —A Bookish Affair

“I enjoyed reading Come Dancing! It had a good story, fascinating characters, and a charming vibe.” —Julie Anne, Teacups & Book Love

Purchase Link

Amazon

 

Book Review

It is a pleasure to read and review Keep Dancing by Leslie Wells. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

When all is said and done, I apologize to Leslie Wells and Book Junkie Promotions for the lateness of my review. Although the circumstances were unavoidable, I know it makes a huge difference to you. I hope you will forgive my tardiness and I hope it was worth the wait!

Keep Dancing is the second book in the Jack and Julia Series written by Leslie Wells. I didn’t have the background from her first novel in the series, Come Dancing, when I read this book, but it didn’t take me long to catch on the gist of what had happened between Jack and Julia. I might have missed out on some of the original details, but not enough to slow me down once I was able to read uninterrupted.

The characters in Keep Dancing are very endearing for the most part. They are realistically written and very believable. There are several characters that I even learned to dislike a great deal and I’m hoping there will be another book that will tie this all up with a red bow and give the creeps exactly what they deserve! I even fell in love with Muddy and wish them luck with a puppy of his size in New York City!

Keep Dancing isn’t all about HEA. Jack and Julia, being very human, have their doubts, their insecurities and their love for each other. But you learn that love isn’t always enough. A relationship takes communication and trust before love can be successful. There are lots of lessons in Keep Dancing that can be learned about what it takes and I applaud Leslie for being real in her writing and allowing her characters to be flawed, but working toward better!

Now, I’m going back to the beginning and finding out exactly what I may have missed, but never fear. Before I go I am highly recommending Keep Dancing by Leslie Wells and I know you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.

I’m giving Leslie Wells and Keep Dancing five steaming hot cups of Room With Books coffee!!

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DIVIDER

© May 22, 2015

Patricia, Room With Books

DIVIDER

About the Author

03_Leslie Wells Credit © Leslie WellsLeslie Wells left her small Southern town in 1979 for graduate school in Manhattan, after which she got her first job in book publishing. She has edited forty-eight New York Times bestsellers in her over thirty-year career, including thirteen number one New York Times bestsellers. Leslie has worked with numerous internationally known authors, musicians, actors, actresses, television and radio personalities, athletes, and coaches. She lives on Long Island, New York.

Author Links

Website | Blog | Facebook | Google+ | Goodreads

Sign Up for Leslie Wells’s Newsletter.

Keep Dancing Blog Tour Schedule

Friday, May 1
Review at Peeking Between the Pages

Saturday, May 2
Spotlight at The Never-Ending Book

Monday, May 4
Review at Red Hot Books

Thursday, May 7
Guest Post at I Heart Reading

Friday, May 8
Spotlight at Rainy Day Reviews

Monday, May 11
Review at Tea Cups and Book Love

Tuesday, May 12
Review at Room With Books

Wednesday, May 13
Spotlight at Susan Heim on Writing

Friday, May 15
Spotlight at Flashlight Commentary

Wednesday, May 20
Review & Guest Post at Must Read Books or Die

Thursday, May 21
Spotlight at Romance Junkies Blog

Monday, June 1
Review at The Life & Times of a Book Addict
Spotlight at Genre Queen

Tuesday, June 2
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Wednesday, June 3
Review at Shelly’s Book Shelves

Thursday, June 4
Review at SOS Aloha

Friday, June 5
Spotlight at Just One More Chapter

Monday, June 8
Review at The Danish Bookaholic

Tuesday, June 9
Review & Excerpt at Reading in Pajamas

Wednesday, June 10
Review at Book Nerd

Thursday, June 18
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Monday, June 22
Review at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Wednesday, June 24
Guest Post at Brooke Blogs

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Exciting Giveaway!

Keep Dancing_Giveaway_FINAL

a Rafflecopter giveaway

May 23

Damaged 99¢ Charity Donation Sale

★✩★ 99¢ Charity Donation Sale ★✩★

★✩★May 22nd – May 26th ★✩★

This weekend only all proceeds of Damaged sales will be donated to Saints and Sinners Books Books for Boobs Charity Campaign in honor of my Dad. This October Saints and Sinners Books will be sending book care packages to women who are battling cancer that have been nominated by their family and friends!

Damaged special promo
Evie Carter has faced trials and tribulations her entire life. Her teenage years have been ripped away from her as she battles cancer. Just when things can’t get any worse, her doctor delivers the news that it’s finally time to make a life or death decision. Her options are limited and come with deadly consequences. The miracle drug that is meant to save her life changes her on a cellular level. She might not be damaged anymore, but she might just be damned in her new life.
Just when Evie’s life couldn’t get any worse… her miracle turns into a nightmare!

★✩★On Sale Now★✩★

Amazon US – http://amzn.to/1FoUwmF

Amazon CA – http://amzn.to/1FoUtas

Amazon UK – http://amzn.to/1FoUz24

Amazon AU – http://bit.ly/1FoUxqU

B&N – http://bit.ly/1FoUEm8

Goodreads – http://bit.ly/1FoUDi9

Kobo – http://bit.ly/1FoUBHb

Category: Sale | LEAVE A COMMENT
May 23

Eight Second Ride Cover Reveal

EIGHT SECOND RIDE

Author: Anne Jolin

Series: Willow Bay Stables #2

 CR BANNER

 

Genres: Contemporary Romance & Sports Equestrian Romance

 

About the Book - Copy

 

Front Cover

Owen Daniels lives his life eight seconds at a time. The thrill of anticipation that comes with sitting on twelve hundred pounds of untamed power is unparalleled. The adrenaline rush that floods his system when the chute opens is one of life’s most unique and natural highs.

Ride eight seconds bareback on a bucking bronco—that’s his life.

When Owen’s stock horse, Remington’s Lady, is injured midway through the rodeo circuit, he trailers her back home to Willow Bay, Alberta, to remain in the care of the local vet, Ray Brookes.

Months later, with a truck bed full of buckles, Owen comes home to collect his Lady from the man he trusted to help her recover. Only Ray happens to be short for Rayne, and Rayne happens to be a woman.

And this woman wants nothing to do with a cowboy fresh off the circuit. As far as she’s concerned, he can take his buckles, boots, and spurs right back on out of her life.

Will Rayne keep them from holding on to their eight-second ride? Or will love buck out of the chute in time for a perfect score?

 FULL COVER

~ COVER DESIGNER ~~ Sara Eirew

~ COVER PHOTOGRAPHER ~~ FuriosFotog

~ COVER MODEL ~~ Justin Keeton

 Books by Anne Jolin PIC

 Also by this Author

Rock Falls Series:

Chasing Rhodes, Book 1

Choosing Henley, Book 2

Breaking Bennett, Book 3

Keeping King, Book 4

Willow Bay Stables:

Change Rein, Book 1 – Coming JUNE 15th!

 

About the Author

Hey y’all,

author logoI was born and raised in Ladner, a small farm town just outside Vancouver, Canada. I grew up riding horses, shooting guns, and driving in trucks.

I never expected to be an author. A massage therapist? Yes. Take over the family construction company? Yes. But an author? No. Writing was something that snuck up on me and rooted itself into my life. It was beautiful to discover that love, and I’m truly grateful to say I’ve found my passion.

Since I’ve always been a creative person, it feels amazing to harness all of that energy and use it to tell a story I love. I enjoy incorporating bits of my real life into the stories I write. What parts are true? Hah. I’ll never tell—what would be the fun in that?

If I could leave y’all with one thing, it’s that life’s far too short to not live it out loud. Drown in your passions, hold on tight to the things that inspire you, and chase your dreams relentlessly. I can promise you without a doubt that you won’t regret it. I know I don’t.

Mad love,

Anne Jolin

xx

Social Media Links

Facebook ~~Goodreads ~~ Twitter ~~ Website

 

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HEA Book Tours, PR & More

http://heabooktours.blogspot.com/

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Patricia, Room With Books

RWB Top Banner all things books

Email: blog@roomwithbooks.com

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May 23

Turnstiles Book Blitz

Turnstiles Book Blitz

Book Blitz

turnstiles-mock-book_blue1

Book Title: Turnstiles
Author: Andrea McKenzie Raine
Genre: Literary Fiction, Mystery, Triller
Release Date: December 2013
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

Goodreads Button with Shadow

Book Blurb

Martin Sourdough is a homeless person who has chosen to turn his back on the corporate, material world; Willis Hancocks Jr. is a barrister, an alcoholic philanderer, and a misogynist; and Evelyn (aka Yvonne) is a prostitute. Turnstiles speaks to these social problems through the smaller scope of each character’s individual trials. There is a struggle that exists between the need to serve one’s own needs and the expectation to participate in the larger social scheme. Martin and Willis are both trying to fit into the world, but on their own terms. They are naïve, searching for an Eden-like state of being. Through a broader experience of personal fortune, misfortune, travel, and social interactions, they each learn to accept their path and take control of their own destinies.

excerpt

Martin
Martin opened his eyes. He squinted between his zippered lashes, stuck together with sleep. A small army of shoes marched past his face, which was half-hidden inside a dingy blue sleeping bag. His first instinct was to place a limp, protective hand on his red knapsack. He was inside a short tunnel that lay beneath a busy London street beside Hyde Park. He didn’t look up. He knew what their faces would convey, their cowardly faces. He was experiencing the real Europe, instead of peering out at it through heated hotel windows or hostel bunk beds or tour buses. He didn’t have to pay anyone for his space of concrete bedding. He was free. He closed his eyes. Martin was free.

He ignored his growling stomach as he smelled the subtle waft of fries from the nearby Hard Rock Café. Tourists, he thought. They were all missing the local colour. Except Joe the hotdog vendor, who was from the north, a Scot, an outsider. Hot dogs in London were a foreign idea, but it seemed to catch on like every other American phenomenon. London was a metropolis with people from every race sounding their thick British accents. It didn’t really matter who you were or what you were, only where you happened to become that person. Still, people could tell if you were from somewhere else, and Martin stuck out like a wounded hitch-hiker’s thumb. He had a quiet bond with Joe the Outsider and, on most occasions, received his hotdogs for free. Then he would usually lie under a tree in the park and watch tourists get charged two pounds by security for using the lawn chairs. The grass was free. Martin felt as though mindless sheep surrounded him. He had it all figured out.

A year before he had bought a cheap ticket to London and decided to depend on the day to see him through. Martin cherished every consequence. He held on to every face that examined him with curiosity or disgust. He always kept a plain expression. He had no reason to indulge anyone with his emotions. In fact, he barely spoke. Except to people like Joe.

When he opened his eyes again, a different army of shoes were marching past. The tunnel was never quiet, and he had long been used to the intrusion of echoing sounds and rustling pavement. It was a small sacrifice. He wriggled out of his bed and began to pack up. He would return later that night. Martin had become a familiar sight, and some of the locals knew this tunnel was his home. So did some of the other shoestring backpackers. Martin marched alongside the army and out of the tunnel. The sun was out, and again, he squinted. He ran a hand over his stubbled head and rubbed his eyes. He turned left.

The sun was already seated royally in the sky as Martin strolled down the wide, crowded sidewalk. He could see the faint shape of an umbrella a few blocks away, and as he came closer, he recognized Joe. Martin’s stomach began to growl again.
“Get your hotdogs here! Hello, sir, what a gorgeous day. Would you like a hotdog? Get your hotdogs here! Good day, love! Can I get you a hotdog? Would you like the works?” Joe called to the passing public all day long. He set up his stand on the same corner every day, and everyone who frequented that spot knew him. Some just by his ruddy, round face, and others knew him well enough to have a word or two. Martin felt he could relate to Joe, because it seemed they were both stuck in London making a living on the sidewalks, and most of the people bustling by chose to ignore them.

“Hey, Joe.” Martin showed a couple of teeth and then retracted his smile. Even though he liked Joe, he was still careful not to let anyone get too close. “Catering to the North American public, eh? It’s amazing you are able to sell hotdogs here. I guess if you had your way, you’d be selling cans of haggis.”

“Marty, my boy!” Joe’s face opened wide with good-natured eyes. “How was your night? Those bloody bed bugs didn’t bite ya, aye, lad?” he boomed in his rich, Scottish accent, completely disregarding Martin’s offhand remarks.

“Nah, Joe. No rats, neither. Just the bloody tourists waking me up in the morning.” Martin grimaced.

“Bloody tourists?” Joe raised his eyebrows so high they looked comical. “You better button your tongue, Marty. If there were no tourists, there’d be no hotdogs! Besides, what the devil do you think you are … a member of the general voting public? You’re the worst kind of tourist, Marty. You don’t pay taxes and you don’t leave!” Joe chuckled and flung a hotdog with ketchup and mustard into Martin’s waiting hand.

“See ya tomorrow, Joe,” said Martin without looking at his friend, and he began to walk away.

“See ya, Marty,” Joe said quietly and to himself, because Martin was already out of earshot. And they both knew they meant it. Tomorrow. Chances were they would find themselves in the same skin and doing the same thing. The two of them were like hamsters trapped in transparent, plastic balls looking out at the world, unable to break free of their bubbles and constantly bumping into walls.

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Meet the Author

Author photoAndrea McKenzie Raine was born in Smithers, BC and grew up in Victoria, BC where she still resides. She was enrolled in the Creative Writing program and earned a B.A. in English Literature at the University of Victoria in 2000, and completed a post-degree Public Relations certificate program. She has attended the successful Planet Earth Poetry reading series (formerly known as Mocambopo) in Victoria, BC since 1997, and participated in the Glenairley writing retreats led by Canadian poet and novelist Patrick Lane in Sooke, BC. In 2005, she published her first book of poetry, titled A Mother’s String, through Ekstasis Editions. Her poetry has also appeared in Mocambo Nights, Canadian Literature journal, Quills, Borderlines anthology (Ascent Aspirations magazine), Tempus anthology (Rubicon Press), Poems from Planet Earth (Leaf Press), Tongues of Fire anthology, and several Glenairley chapbooks edited by Patrick Lane (Leaf Press). She has also written book reviews and articles for local magazines, celebrating the work of her peers. Andrea lives with her husband and two young sons and, by day, is employed as a correspondence writer for the provincial government. Turnstiles is her debut novel published by Inkwater Press.

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May 22

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When an angel falls in love, his heart forever belongs to that one soul. For Camael, loving Hannah Adams has been the blessing of his very long life. The only thing more amazing is the fact that he is going to be a father. However, his joy may be short-lived as the forces of darkness plot to release Lucifer from the pit of a thousand years unleashing hell on Earth, and they plan to use Hannah and her child as the key! With the goddess, Astarte, orchestrating her fallen lover’s release from hellish incarceration, secrets long buried are revealed causing chaos and throwing obstacles in Camael’s path to rescuing his true love. Even with help from the rebellious Gabriel, and reluctant Michael, he might not make it in time. Can Camael save Hannah and their unborn child or will Lucifer rise to lead an army of darkness into battle for dominion over the heavens and the Earth? Welcome to the Angelic Hosts, the New Adult series of short stories by Michele E. Gwynn. (Heat level: Sweet, romantic & spiritual action and adventure)

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May 22

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