Becoming Us Cover Reveal

Cover Reveal

Ever read a great love story and wish that you could read about the couple before they found each other?

 

So did author, Amy Daws!


Becoming Us . . .

the sequel PREquel to,

A Broken Us

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Prepare yourself for Brody and Finley. . .college days.

Add to your Goodreads To Be Read Lists!

—> Becoming Us

About the Book

Finley has been grabbing coffee at Chaz’s C-Store every morning for over a year. As a senior at K-State, she’s found her groove on campus and not much can shake her. When basketball God, Jake LaShae, strolls into Chaz’s, with his tall, broad, and lean bod. . .he gives Finley’s dreams material for weeks.
Jake appears to only want a friendship, but Finley thinks if she’s patient, it’ll turn into more. Then, scandalously hot, Brody, stumbles into her path, barefoot no less. Finley thinks his silly but sexy mannerisms might just be what she never knew she wanted.
Becoming Us takes you on a journey through all the fun and crazy drama that happens when you’re a senior in college. . .and falling in love.

Q&A with the Author

Why did you decide to write a sequel, PRE-quel?

Besides the fact that I don’t think 99.9% of the things I do through? Well, the fact is, A Broken Us was a story in my head that I was aching to tell. I was ready to write it! So I did. . .in like two weeks. It was madness. It’s is an epic love story that begins when Brody and Finley are already many years into a relationship. But of course (title gives it away here), the story starts with a break up. So it’s about Finley’s journey to finding true love again. So it still reads like a wonderful, suspenseful, twisty, turny stand-alone love story! So, I released it. And it has been AWESOME hearing how much people love it! The reviews are amazing. It’s my debut novel, I’m incredibly proud of it.

Then what happened?

Then this weird voice in the back of my head (that sounded NOTHING like Gollum from Lord of the Rings, I swear) kept saying. . .college, college, COLLEGE. Go back to college! Write their back-story. Give me more! What happened with Jake and Olivia? What was Brody and Finley’s first date like? All of that! I wanted to tell it. So that’s why I decided to write a PREQUEL.

So what book should readers read first?

Either one. That’s the beauty of writing A Broken Us first…you’re most definitely not missing anything in A Broken Us, because “anything” wasn’t even written yet! If that makes sense. Both books will be great as stand alones. You can start with A Broken Us and then jump right in to Becoming Us. I’ll still include twists and turns and suspense and excitement. Heartbreak. The whole nine. I love it all!

Which story was easier to write?

A Broken Us. . .for sure. The idea just poured out of me. Becoming Us has been a bit more challenging, only because I’ve had to become younger in my mind. Writing Brody and Finley in the New Adult genre needs to sound a bit different than when they were 25 in A Broken Us. But it’s all still fun!

What’s next for you?

I’m going to finish up my memoir series, Chasing Peace, the SEQUEL (I did that one right. . .LOL!) to Chasing Hope. Then I have spin off book ideas/characters in mind for A Broken Us! Hint, hint. . .Leslie & Theo. . .and of course, the sexy Liam!

Excerpt

I storm out of my apartment frustrated at Angela and in desperate need of air. I can’t keep doing this crap to myself. Tormenting myself over what Jake is thinking and why we’re no longer speaking. I mean, we go from being practically best friends to mere acquaintances. This makes no sense. I did nothing wrong.
I look up when I hear a door slam from across the parking lot and see a guy rushing down the steps of the upper level apartment that sits kiddy-corner from my building. My eyebrows knit together as he pads across the parking lot straight toward me.
“Hey,” he says looking up at me and holding a half empty black trash bag.
“Um, hi,” I reply figuring he’s going to ask me where the dumpster is.
“You’re Finley right?”
“Yeah, that’s me,” I reply feeling slightly surprised. He looks familiar. I know I’ve seen him around campus before but I’ve never spoken to him. I look him up and down and feel a stirring in my abdomen. He’s somehow managed to pull off comfortably sexy. I didn’t even know those two words could go together. He’s wearing a loose pair of athletic shorts and a white t-shirt that shows a nicely sculpted body underneath. Jesus, this guy has something. My eyes continue traveling downward and see that he’s completely barefoot. My excited perusal is momentarily distracted as I think about the nasty things that go down in this parking lot. No shoes is simply not safe.
“You work in the computer lab right? In the business building?” he asks scratching the back of his head. He has dark brown hair that looks like it has a natural curl to it, but it’s cut short on the sides. The top is slightly longer, long enough to yank on. Woah. . .where did that thought come from?
“Yeah! In the business building,” I answer and silently chastise myself because he just said business building. Get your shit together Finley.
The corners of his mouth turn down like he’s trying to contain a laugh. I absolutely like that look. I need to find more ways to make this man conceal laughter because it is hot as hell.
“You live here?” he asks changing hands with his garbage bag.
“Yep, that building.” I turn around and gesture back behind me.
“I just moved here this semester. I live with my buddy, Mark. His roommate bailed on him, so he needed someone to fill the space. I was in a month-to-month lease further off campus, so it worked out for me to move in.”
“That explains why I’ve not really seen you here.”
He tries to contain his laughter again and I get a good look at his eyes and have to take a big gulp of air to calm myself. His eyes are this gorgeous navy blue. They remind me of a really great dark denim wash. Those eyes, his dark, curly hair, and his creamy complexion make one delicious package. How have I over-looked this guy for so long?
“Where are you headed?” he asks and I see a twinge of nervousness fleet over his face.
“Chaz’s, I’m gonna grab a coffee or something. Honestly my roommate was just driving me nuts.”
“Cool, mind if I go with you?” he asks.
I glance down at his feet and look back up and my eyes collide into his sheepish smile. Another adorable look I must make him do over and over.
“Yeah, I, uh, should probably go grab some shoes.” He gestures for me to follow him and I can’t help myself. I follow.

Purchase Links
Becoming Us will release in January 2015,

add to your Goodreads To Be Read Lists!

—> Becoming Us

In the mean time, check out A Broken Us

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Connect with the Author

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About the Author

Amy DawsAmy Daws is a local TV commercial producer and lives in South Dakota with her husband, Kevin, and their miracle daughter, Lorelei. The long-awaited birth of Lorelei is what inspired Amy’s passion for writing. On most nights, you can find Amy and her family dancing to Strawberry Shortcake’s theme song or stuffing themselves inside children’s-sized playhouses because there is nothing they wouldn’t do for their little miracle.

For more of Amy’s work, visit: http://www.amydawsauthor.com

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Ready to Burn Release Day

Ready to Burn Release Day

 

 

Ready To Burn

Due South Book 3

by Tracey Alvarez

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Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 25th, 2014
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

About the Book

Take one sassy Harland girl…

Shaye Harland, sous chef de-awesome, desperately wants the role of Due South’s head chef. Though a little out of her depth, she can totally cope with the extra demands if she can resist her future brother-in-law when he muscles in on her kitchen. The Hollywood wannabe is nothing but a troublesome distraction and he fries her sex-ometer to a crisp. But as far as romance? Forget it. Love, when she finds Mr. Perfect, will be as sweet as her to-die-for cookies.

Add a bad-boy from LA…

Del Westlake swore he’d never again set foot on the island he calls the “ass end of New Zealand.” With his reputation as a sous chef in one of LA’s hottest restaurants trashed, and his estranged father’s restaurant needing a head chef, Del wants nothing more than to go in, get the job done, and get out. Except his feisty second-in-command carves herself a spot in his heart and completely incinerates his plans.

Watch the sparks fly as they burn it up in the kitchen…

Winning a spot on a TV reality show is just what Del needs to jumpstart his career back in the States. Nothing can get in the way of him winning—not even the woman whose trust he’d destroy if she discovers his secrets. But with a film crew capturing the explosive kitchen chemistry between them, will his bad-boy ways rear up and ruin his shot at becoming Shaye’s Mr. Perfect?

About the Author

 

Tracey Alvarez Bio Photo

Tracey Alvarez lives in the Coolest Little Capital in the World (a.k.a Wellington, New Zealand) where she’s yet to be buried under her to-be-read book pile by Wellington’s infamous wind—her Kindle’s a lifesaver! Married to a wonderfully supportive IT guy, she has two teens who would love to be surgically linked to their electronic devices.

Fuelled by copious amounts of coffee, she’s the author of contemporary romantic fiction set predominantly in New Zealand. Small-towns, close communities, and families are a big part of the heart-warming stories she writes. Oh, and hot, down-to-earth heroes—Kiwi men, in other words.

When she’s not writing, thinking about writing, or procrastinating about writing, Tracey can be found reading sexy books of all romance genres, nibbling on smuggled chocolate bars, or bribing her kids to take over the housework.

Excerpt

One second Del stood beside her all moody and mysterious, and the next, his hands gripped the railing on either side of her hips. He moved fast—fast enough that she made an embarrassing little eep-ish squawk. Nowhere to go unless she became flexible enough to do a flip over the wooden railing.

Shaye yanked her hands from her pockets and gave his chest a shove. “Back off.”

Even after she added her sous chef do it now or die glare, he stayed, big and bad and way too close. He continued watching her with dark and unreadable eyes, his nostrils flaring slightly as he breathed.

Her hands didn’t know what to do. She couldn’t put them back on those two hard pecs, since every single nerve-ending had soaked up the heat burning through Del’s shirt and transmitted swoony, oh yeah sighs into her brain.

Stupid nerve-endings. Stupid brain.

She wriggled her bottom, so she half sat on the railing, arching away from him. “What are you doing?”

“Showing you the reason.”

The rough timbre of his voice stroked over her. Wickedly dark, decadently rich, scarily addictive. Like chocolate, the quality stuff made of eighty percent pure cacao.

He leaned forward, his face level with hers. “It’s a compelling reason.”

Shaye’s hand shot out to grip his biceps—that or topple backward—but God, he felt amazing. All hard, sinewy muscle and why the hell couldn’t she unhook her fingers?

Her breathing hitched, high and ragged. “My sister’s a cop, and I know how to defend myself.”

“So, show me your ninja moves.”

“Daring a cornered woman to hurt you isn’t very bright.”

One of his hands rasped off the wooden railing and touched the end of her ponytail. He selected a strand and stroked it down her jaw. Shaye licked her lips, unable to suck her gaze from his mouth, which angled closer. Close enough that she could tell the flavor of the last handful of potato chips he’d eaten.

Salt and vinegar. Her favorite.

She strained upward to see if he tasted as good as he smelled…Freaking hell

Shaye reared back a little, hair slipping from his fingers, her chin narrowly missing his. “Are you going to kiss me?”

Her heart gave a little bunny-hop at the thought and leaped around her ribs.

“Not unless you ask real nice.”

“Ask you?” There was that damn smirk of his again. She should’ve guessed he was playing with her. “When pigs fly.”

A muscle ticked in his jaw, but the smile didn’t falter. “Now you’ll have to say, ‘Please, Del. With a cherry on top.’”

“I’d jam that cherry up your nose before I’d kiss you, Hollywood. Get outta my face.”

His gaze dipped once to her mouth then flicked up. “I can’t go anywhere while you’re grabbing onto me.”

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Blue Dahlia Blog Tour

Blue Dahlia

by Vivian Winslow

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Genre: Erotic Romance
Release Date: October 16, 2014
Amazon:  http://amzn.to/1qy8RFY
Goodreads

About the Book

Blue Dahlia cover

New York socialite Dahlia Baron is falling for her Latin lover, Rodrigo Cruz, the scion of the Mama Linda Latin foods empire, and hopes to take the relationship to the next level. But there’s a dark secret that she must deal with first in order to truly give her heart to him. When Dahlia visits the man from her past, will the undercurrents of her emotions let her go to Rodrigo or will they pull her back to the one person who stands between them?

Blue Dahlia is the first book in the second trilogy of Vivian Winslow’s Gilded Flower series, featuring Lily Baron’s free-spirited twin sister, Dahlia.

Teaser 1

 

Q&A with the Author

If you were a dessert, what would you be?

Oooh. Definitely something salty and sweet. There’s a dessert at Big Gay Ice Cream down on the Lower East Side called the Salty Pimp. It’s a soft serve vanilla cone with drops of Dulce de Leche and covered in chocolate. I love anything you eat with your tongue.

What 3 things are essential in your bedroom for a sexy/romantic night in?

Music is a must.  I change it up quite a bit depending on my mood. Also, the right man (I’m married so that’s a given : )). And, depending on our mood, a toy, prop or just us. Sorry, that’s 2-2 ½ things. Oh, I guess sleeping children. There’s nothing romantic going on when they’re awake.

What do you like about writing erotic romance?

I like that I can take my characters to the edge of and beyond their limits.  I also get to define what those limits are. The beauty of digital publishing is that there are no set parameters for a particular genre. So it’s been a lot of fun incorporating various elements from other genres (women’s fiction, suspense, etc.) and creating really hot sex scenes to go with them. It’s pure freedom, which for a writer is extremely difficult to find and balance.

If you could sleep with any of your characters who would it be?

Ahem. No disrespect to the hot man in my life or to those I write about. I’ve had sex with them all (in my head, except for my husband), and the one I think I’d come back to time and again is Alejandro. He’s a true alpha. Not overly dominating in the way that readers have come to expect because of books like 50 Shades. Rather, he’s confident and secure in his masculinity and is completely self-possessed. To me, that’s what makes a true alpha male. They’re not necessarily assholes or dominants. I think those qualities can often confuse what makes a man a sexy alpha versus a crazy, stalker with low self-esteem masked as an alpha. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that when I picture him, I see William Levy. So hot.

And confession. Gustavo is a close second. Just once though. I’d have to get it out of my system. Lol.

What do you for inspiration for your love scenes?

Personal experiences aside, I have quite an imagination. : ) I’ve been writing love scenes since I was a young girl. If I’m feeling a need for a kick-start, I’ll listen to sexy music, which varies depending on the scene, if it’s animalistic or sensual.  I might also read a scene from a sexy book. It doesn’t hurt to look at some hot guys on the Internet. But that’s a last resort. It’s important to connect with the character and figure out what kind of lover he is, for example, rough, gentle, confident, or dominating, and then go from there. While the books are centered on the female characters, their sexual experiences are defined just as much by the men they are with as it is by them. It’s a mutual scene, so it does take two to make it work.

Which character has surprised you the most and why?

Gustavo, without a doubt. He’s played so many roles in my mind throughout The Gilded Flower series. I never conceived him to be a villain. Originally, I wanted him to be an open and intense lover for Lily, one who would challenge her and force her to grow and face her fears. As the series progressed, he kept appearing, and thus his role had to change. I secretly hoped he would be her HEA until mid-way through Calla Lily when I realized that wasn’t going to happen. So then he needed to assume a new role. As the series continues, his story deepens and becomes more nefarious. I love it, and I appreciate how his character is so malleable like that. Makes him even more appealing. Amoral characters don’t lose their sex appeal (most of the time).

A close second is Dahlia. I expected a lot out of her, but now that I’ve written the end of her Trilogy, I just want to hug her for how far her character has come.

 

 

About the Author

Vivian WinslowVivian Winslow was born and raised in Southern California. Before becoming a writer, she made a career out of moving around the world every couple of years thanks to her husband’s job. She currently lives in New York City with her husband and two elementary school age children, and is grateful to finally have a place to call home for more than two years. New York is the perfect city to indulge her love of shopping, the arts and especially food.

If she’s not at home writing or running around the city with her kids, you’ll most likely find her indulging in pizza on the Lower East Side or having a cocktail at her favorite bar in Alphabet City. That said, she’s still a California girl at heart and would gladly trade in her heels for a pair of flip-flops to catch a sunset on the beach.

Connect with the Author

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Short Tales of Horror Part II Book Review

Book Review

Short Tales of Horror Part II

Regina Puckett

Short Tales of Horror II - Tour Banner

GENRE – Horror

PUBLICATION DATE – September 2, 2014

LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 77 pages

PUBLISHER – Punk & Sissy Publications

COVER ARTIST – Ryan Jorgensen owns copyright on photo. Charity Parkerson put together the book cover.

About the Book

Short Tales of Horror II - Book Cover

Ours

While Sheriff Wilson has no idea what really transpired the night twelve people were murdered in the old mental hospital during what was supposed to be a simple night of ghost hunting, he was at the scene moments after the lone survivor committed suicide. Now it’s a year later and a group of paranormal investigators want to set up a haunted house and invite the general public in that same abandoned mental hospital. How is he supposed to keep that many people safe from whoever or whatever killed the last group?

Silent Baby Screams

Gwen doesn’t understand why her husband resents their newborn baby so much, but she never suspects that one day she’ll return home from work to discover their baby boy has simply vanished. What happens next is the stuff of nightmares.

Lucky Thirteen

Thirteen black cats help keep watch over a bedridden, old lady. Sometimes the number thirteen is lucky but then again it might just depend on it who you are.

Pay Back

There’s nothing usual about Jeremy waking up late for school, but on this particular morning something feels different. When he goes downstairs to face the music, he finds his grandmother waiting for him but no one else appears to be at home. Jeremy believes he’s caught a lucky break and his mother and father won’t get to know, but he soon discovers that not everything is as it seems. He finds he’ll have to face up to his mistakes, though, and maybe even suffer a little payback himself.

Slimmer

Sandy loves her new boyfriend, but ever since they moved in together, Donald won’t get off her back about how much she eats. When he offers her a new miracle diet pill, she decides to try one just to shut him up. Unfortunately, there are unexpected side effects that take them both by terrifying surprise.

Sam I am

The morning after moving into her dream home with her young daughter and husband, Paige learns that the three story, 18th century house might be haunted. She then finds that her daughter has a new imaginary friend called Sam I Am. It isn’t long before Paige’s perfect home turns into a living nightmare.

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Excerpt

Ours

“Something drained its battery. Sometimes that happens when a spirit is nearby. Why don’t you try asking Wallace a few questions?  Maybe he likes men better than women. After all he only kidnapped, raped and killed little boys. “

There nothing Alan wanted less than to try and communicate with a dead serial killer but he had forced his way in with the group so the least he could do was try in fit in. “He liked little boy’s. I don’t think he’s going to be interested in my type. I’m a little old for his taste.”

Rhonda didn’t say anything but continued to stare at him. He finally shrugged. “Why the hell not?”  He turned toward the empty room and tried not to feel like a damn fool. It was a good thing none of his deputies could see him talking to a ghost. “If you’re with us, Wallace Webster, you should know the world’s a better place without you in it. You were the lowest form of scrum bag and I think it’s a damn shame you were granted the pleasure of dying of old age in here instead of getting the electric chair like you deserved.”

Rhonda elbowed him. “Ask a question and stop antagonizing him.”

Alan glared at her. “Fine.”  He closed his eyes and tried to think of a good question. “Why did you hurt those innocent children?”  All of the K2 meters lit up.

Rhonda leaned over and grabbed her backpack. She dug around until she found the recorder. “Ask him something else. “

Alan stood and walked over into the circle of K2 meters. “Why, you Son of a Bitch. Why?” He felt a sharp stinging sensation across the back of his neck before cold air enveloped him. Just as he was reaching back to rub the painful area, a putrid smell filled the air and a voice right next to his ear whispered. “Mine.”  Without even thinking, he asked, “Why?”  There was a sinister laugh and another sharp painful slash across his neck and then down the full length of his back. He went to step out of the circle until something bumped against the side of his leg. The air around him became soupy and every breath became harder and harder to draw in.

When he made another move to leave the circle several things happened at once; it felt as if a large hand gripped onto his shoulder, a breathe of foul air filled his nose and the room became crammed with small black shadows. Another whisper finally answered his question. “My children.” Alan forced his legs to move but he only made it a few steps when the black forms rushed to surround him. It felt as if several pairs of small hands were tugging at his pants’ legs and there were arms wrapping around both of his legs. The air overflowed with agitated murmurings and whispers.

Every hair on Alan’s body stood up from the static electricity in the room. He blinked his eyes several times trying to focus on the tiny black shadows which had suddenly appeared out of nowhere. They were all inside of the circle of K2 meters and the lights on the meters were flashing on and off like crazy. The shadows were darker than the room’s darkness. They were completely void of any light and the feelings emanating from them were if they were totally void of any happiness.

It wasn’t so much the touching or even the presence of the black shadows that bothered Alan. It was those feelings of pain and anguish that were slowly leaching away his own happiness. He could sense they needed his help and this was the only way they knew how to ask for it. He broke out in a cold sweat, and just as the coldness was beginning to seep into his skin, frantic screaming came from somewhere else in the hospital.

Review

I love this time of year. It truly brings out my love of horror like no other time does. I had the most wonderful time regaling my husband with snippets from Short Tales of Horror Part II while I was reading just to see his face and hear his comments about my choice of reviewing material!

Regina Puckett has one of my favorite senses, wicked twistedness, which she employs readily in Short Tales of Horror Part II. I quickly became engrossed in each short story as it unfolded and found it difficult to put down. My housework has gone on hold until I have spent the weekend riffling through her other books to find my next favorite read.

Short Tales of Horror Part II is a non-stop thrill and I definitely recommend you read it before the mood of the season changes!

Single Cup

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~ Patricia, Room With Books ~ © Oct 24, 2014

Interview

It is my pleasure to welcome Regina Puckett, author of Short Tales of Horror Part II, to Room With Books!

What do you do when you are not writing? 

A little bit of everything. I work full time for a local university so I have to squeeze in writing between my job, grandchildren, painting, sewing and napping.

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

Gone with the Wind was my first full length novel.  I don’t think you ever forget your first.

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?

It was agony. I received rejection letter after rejection letter until I became so discouraged I gave up writing for about six years. It wasn’t until I got my sweet romance, Concealed in My Heart, stuck in my head that I had to write again to get it out. Of course, that just meant I had to go through the entire rejection process all over again, but by this time I had grown a little older and wiser so I didn’t give up until I finally had a yes from a publisher.

If you could have any superpower what would you choose?

To slow down time.  There aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything accomplished.

What was your first job?

I sewed back pockets onto blue jeans – not an experience I wish to relive.

Out of all of your characters, which is your favorite?

Bill from What the Heart Knows. He’s sweet, vulnerable but still strong.  He’s so real to me.

What does your writing schedule look like?

If I have a story I want told, I write during every spare moment, but since I already have one job, I try not to make writing into another job that one day I’ll resent.  I want writing to always be something I love doing so I only write when I have a story to tell.  I never force myself to sit down and try and churn something out just to say I’ve written a certain number of words every day.  To me that’s not very creative.

Do you use your OWN experiences?

I certainly do.

Was it easy to pick the title for your book?

I don’t agonize over the titles to my books.  I pick a working title just so I’ll have a way to save my document, and then I’ll wait until I’m just about finished to decide on the final title.  Usually one of my characters will say something that will make it clear what the title should be.

If you could pick one profession other than author, what would it be? Why does it appeal to you?

An artist.  I love painting but I’m not very good at it.  That doesn’t stop me from trying to get better though.

What are you currently working on?

I’m finishing the last short story to a book that will have five short romances loosely based on fairy tales titled, Modern Day Fairy Tales.

Fun Facts
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Strawberry
Night owl, or early bird? Early bird
Coffee or tea? Tea
Roller Coasters or Water Rides? I’m a big chicken.  I like my sofa.
Swimming in the ocean or a pool? Pool.  I like to see what’s under the water.
Walking or fitness club? Walking

Any last words?

I love hearing from my readers so come join the conversation at @ReginaPucket.  I’ll answer any question or at least try to.

Thanks you for chatting with our readers and for allowing Room With Books to be part of your tour!

About the Author

Short Tales of Horror II - Author PhotoRegina Puckett writes sweet romances, horror, inspirational, picture books and poetry. There are several projects in various stages of completion and there are always characters and stories waiting for their chance to finally get out of her head and onto paper.

Regina Puckett is an award nominated author for her short story, Balloon Wishes.

Concealed in My Heart is a Readers’ Favorite Book Award Winner.

Claimed by Sin is nominated for 2014 Ellora’s Cave Golden Ankh award.

Concealed in My Heart won runner-up in the international 2014 MARSocial Author of the Year Competition.

Borrowed Wings, has received the Children’s Literary Classics Seal of Approval.

Memories won first place in the 1st WSBR International Poetry Contest. This poem may be found in her book of poetry, Tilting at Windmills and Words.

Slowly Drowning won second place in the 3rd WSBR International Poetry Contest. This poem may be found in her poetry book, My Words into the Beyond.

Sir Galahad Comes to the Rescue won third place in the 3rd WSBR International Poetry Contest. This poem may be found in her book of poetry, Ramblings and Dreams.

Her collection of poetry, Fireflies, won 2013 Turning Pages Poetry Book of the Year.

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His Road Home Book Review

Book Review

His Road Home

by Anna Richland

His-Road-Home-Anna-Richland (1)

Released October 13th, 2014

Carina Press

About the Book

His Road Home final cover

Special Forces medic Rey Cruz needs to find a fiancée, fast, to avoid insulting a matchmaking Afghan warlord. Finding a picture online of a girl he barely knew back home, he fakes an engagement photo, thinking no one else will see it. But when Rey is injured while rescuing a local boy, the image no one was supposed to see goes viral.

Seattle marine biologist Grace Kim is shocked to find out she’s engaged. When she’s offered a plane ticket to visit her “fiancé,” she takes it, looking for the answer to one question: Why did he lie? A traumatic brain injury means Rey can’t tell her, until they figure out how to communicate. Touched by Rey’s funny texts and determination, Grace offers friendship—a big step for someone who prefers whales to most company.

And when Rey is finally sent home, Grace agrees to help him drive his classic car cross-country over Thanksgiving—a once-in-a-lifetime road trip that leads to what feels like real love. In front of his friends and family, she plays the caring fiancée, but what place will Grace have in Rey’s new life once he’s ready to be on his own again?

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 Excerpt

Reynaldo Cruz looked terrible. Two fat rolls of bandages stopped above where legs and feet should fill the bed. Tubes emerged from the wrappings and disappeared under the sides. He’d lost both legs, that was obvious. He also had an oxygen tube taped under his nose and an intravenous line in his hand. Dark hair stuck to his head, and his tan skin shined as if coated with lotion or sweat. His eyes were closed.

She’d studied the pictures she could find, including one of him on the Pateros football team as a junior in 2003 and one printed in the Quad City Star Tribune when he’d completed basic training. Ten years ago, he’d been a skinny boy in an oversized army hat, but the arms and shoulders of this man were too muscled to be labeled boyish. Her stomach lurched over the contrast of his upper body filling the space between the bed rails and the empty mattress at the foot of the bed.

When the nurse looked over her shoulder and connected with Grace, she jerked her head at the bed, as if she’d been waiting for Grace to enter. Maybe some visitors fled without stepping inside, but taking the easy route wouldn’t give her answers about the engagement photo. To get her life back, she’d have to come all the way in.

Despite the monitors arrayed around the top of the tilted bed, the room was quieter than she’d expected. No repetitive beeps, just the generic white noise of electronics and humming ventilation.

“Hello.” She swallowed and tried again, but the new greeting sounded too loud.

The man in the bed fluttered his eyelids and turned his head, and then his mouth fell open and his skin flushed to his hairline. She might have no earthly idea why he’d fabricated an engagement, but even with the robe and hairnet, he recognized her.

“Surprise, Sergeant.” The nurse stood. “Your fiancée’s here!”

The whole world believed the lie.

Standing at the head of the bed, if she focused on his face, she could keep the bundled stubs out of her peripheral vision. “Hello, Reynaldo.”

The nurse gathered a tray of dishes. “Buzz if you need me.”

After the other woman left, the silence absorbed the energy Grace’s nerves had supplied on the way to the room. She could almost graph how the longer she stood five feet from the bed, the smaller she became. Eventually, if neither of them spoke, maybe she would disappear.

On a paper taped to the wall, someone had written SSG Reynaldo Cruz, Pateros, WA and a string of numbers and letters that must have meaning to army people.

Enough time passed with her studying the room and him staring wordlessly that any change felt awkward, but she tried again. “I’m Grace Kim. But you know that, don’t you?”

The disposable paper cap created a desperate urge to scratch her scalp, a feeling almost as sharp as the one that overcame her when her cubicle-mate talked about his kids’ headlice, but she kept her hands at her sides and waited for the man in the bed to reply.

He nodded, and his lips flexed like a ling cod until he managed to say, “Rey Cruz.”

“This is awkward, isn’t it?”

“No.” This time his voice was deeper and stronger than she’d expected, and he nodded, which confused her.

“You don’t think so?”

He closed his eyes and blew out a huff of air while he made a twisting gesture with his hand, as if screwing in a light bulb or flipping things.

“You meant yes?”

He nodded again.

She pulled a chair beside the bed and looked over the rail at his head and shoulders. The edges of a tattoo peeked below the sleeve of his blue hospital gown. “I had two flights full of babies, so let’s cut to the chase. Why’d you claim we’re engaged?”

“Long.” His lips moved, and eventually a word emerged. “Stor-stor-story.”

“I have a week off that I didn’t want. Go ahead and tell me.”

He rolled his eyes and lifted empty hands, palms up. “No.”

Idiotic laughter, as sudden as the tears she’d almost released downstairs, bubbled close to the edges of her control. Of course he must have some sort of brain damage. “So how are we going to clear up this mess if you can’t even tell me how it started?”

 Review

I always love a HEA story but His Road Home by Anna Richland is exceptional!

Author Anna Richland treats a very serious subject with sensitivity, humor and a great deal of honesty. I do wish more of the trials our returning veterans was delved into more deeply, but I realize how difficult this would be in a short amount of time and was not the focal point of the story.

Rey, but mostly his interpreter in Afghanistan, creative a very interesting situation that could lead to nothing but trouble and I saw it coming from the very beginning!

Grace handles the situation as her name implies, with as much grace as any woman could be expected to, and with so much more compassion that many would be able to muster with such surprises coming off of the internet!

Anna Richland uses her mastery of the written word to great advantage in His Road Home. I am going back to her previous novel, which introduced Rey Cruz and I will be watching for future stories that she releases.

On a more personal note, I am the wife of a disabled veteran from the Vietnam conflict. I can’t thank you enough, for bringing the stories of our fallen and unsung heroes to your books. The dedication in His Road Home brought me immediately to tears. Thank you as well for mentioning Fisher Houses and Doctors Without Borders / MSF. Both are worthy of note for the great works they do.

I highly recommend His Road Home by Anna Richland and give it five, steaming cups of coffee (my gold stars). May this coffee be taken in the spirit it is offered and know that I would give it many, many more were that an option.

Single Cup

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~ Patricia, Room With Books ~ © Oct 24, 2014

About the Author

Anna RichlandAnna lives with her quietly funny Canadian husband and two less quiet children in a century-old house in Seattle. Like the heroine of her debut paranormal romantic suspense novel, First to Burn, Anna joined the army to pay tuition, a decision that led to a career on four continents.

She donates a portion of her book proceeds to two charities: the Fisher House Foundation, which provides free accommodations near military hospitals for families of wounded soldiers in the US and Great Britain, and Doctors Without Borders, which delivers emergency medical care in more than sixty crisis zones world-wide.

To sign up for Anna’s newsletter and find out about her next release, The Second Lie (The Immortal Vikings, Book Two), visit her website at www.annarichland.com

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 Giveaway

Anna Richland will make a $50 DONATION to The Fisher House Foundation in honor of a veteran of the winner’s choice.

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Crimson Son Book Tour

Crimson Son

by Russ Linton

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About the Book

Crimson SonHis mother kidnapped, his superhero father absent, powerless Spencer Harrington faces a world of weaponized humans to prove himself and find the truth.

Nineteen-year-old Spencer is the son of the Crimson Mask, the world’s most powerful Augment. Since witnessing his mother’s abduction by a psychotic super villain two years ago, he’s been confined to his father’s arctic bunker. When the “Icehole” comes under attack from a rampaging robot, Spencer launches into his father’s dangerous world of weaponized human beings known as Augments.

With no superpowers of his own save a multi-tool, a quick wit and a boatload of emotional trauma, Spencer seeks to uncover his mother’s fate and confront his absentee superhero father. As he stumbles through a web of conspiracies and top secret facilities, he rallies a team of everyday people and cast-off Augments. But Spencer soon discovers that the Black Beetle isn’t his only enemy, nor his worst.

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CRIMSON SON is on sale for 99¢ through October 29

 

Excerpt

This part always comes so fast.

I hand the phone back to Mom. “You’ll need to send later, I guess. The signal dropped. Should be in your outbox ready to go.”

As she takes the phone, the wall of the room explodes.

Here. Dream becomes nightmare. For a moment, I feel I can make it stand still, but why would I? Events unfold with the emptiness of the bunker gnawing at my insides. I can identify every stray chunk of plaster and splinter of wood in this time-robbed moment.

Fragments of home spray like a swarm of locusts. Mom screams and the world spins under her protective dive. I struggle to see through a haze of dust. Glimpses of the valley filter past a humanoid silhouette. A long, pincered arm lashes out. The arm clamps tightly around Mom’s waist and retracts, drawing us closer.

“Release the boy and he will live,” the Black Beetle speaks with an unnatural vibration. “He can relay a message for your husband.”

Mom squeezes tighter but her screaming stops.

I search her face, knowing what I’ll find, all the while scrambling to find an anchor as we slide across the room. She’s bleeding from a gash on her forehead and the pincer cinches tighter. Her eyes are full of fear, but focused. She’s calculating, deliberating. A hundred times? A thousand? It always hurts.

“No, Mom, please!” I throw my hands around the leg of a toppled chair which drags uselessly behind us. Countless trips through this nightmare, I know I can’t keep us here, but I reach out anyway. And always, she lets go.

I grab her arm, trying to pull her back, cursing my stunted size, my weak limbs, my feeble grip. Sweaty hands slip as the pincer continues to retract. Her trembling lips form a final smile and she watches me with a sad but determined expression.

She mouths the words, “I love you.”

Interview

It is my pleasure to welcome Russ Linton, author of Crimson Son, to Room With Books.

Russ, would you please tell us about your novel, Crimson Son, and what inspired you to write it?

Crimson Son is the story of the powerless son of a superhero who has to survive in his father’s world of weaponized human beings. Not only survive, but escape his father’s enormous shadow and uncover the truth about his missing mother and absentee father.

I was inspired mostly by my family. The book is a fantasy and obviously isn’t about personal experiences, but I let those experiences inform my writing.

Crimson Son has plenty of heroics, action, and even robots that can’t seem to figure out how to use a door instead of blasting through the nearest wall. But the heart of the story lies in self-discovery and learning to understand and accept your family for who they are.

When you start writing a new novel, do you outline the story or do your characters dictate what will happen?

I’m one of those “whole brain” people. Tests for right and left brain dominance come back split right down the middle. The idea of an organized, structured plan is appealing to that logical thinking left side but the right side always says “oooh, oooh, I got this idea” and starts typing.

Usually that idea starts with a vague theme or maybe an opening scene in mind. The characters, the circumstances, sometimes my mood, all dictate which direction the story goes. I’ll even create elements in scenes which I have no clue what their purpose is at the time but become important anchors as I build around them.

Where my left brain starts freaking out and shouting “I told you so” is when I’m about sixty or seventy thousand words in and figuring out just how much work it is going to be to tie up all the threads I’ve created. That’s when the frantic much-too-late-to-be-a-proper-outline attempts start.

Do you ever have arguments with your characters and who usually wins?

No. Next question.

What? No, I’m not saying that. Stop. I know you’re trying to be all cute and witty but I’m just not in the mood. Really, drop it. You’ll do what?

Okay, fine, I’ll say it.

‘Only when my meds are low.’

There, I said it. Happy, Spence? Now all these readers think I’m certifiable.

What is something about you your readers would be surprised to know?

I have a third nipple.

Dammit, Spencer! I said to stop.

Honestly, I’m not sure what I could surprise you with. I’m pretty open about things. Though there are things about my time with the F.B.I. which might surprise you. Like the time I XXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXX XXX XXXXXX XX XXXXXX XXXXX XXX XXXXX XXX XXXX XX XXXXXXX XX X XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXX. . . (NOTE FROM ROOM WITH BOOKS, I just love characters that attempt to take over these interviews?! It makes my day so much more fun.) :-P

If you could write with any other author who would you like it to be and why?

Neil Gaiman. Is the “why” part even necessary?

He’s such an inspirational person. His viral commencement speech, his work in Syria, and boundless energy supporting the arts alongside a body of work the spans mediums, genres and still maintains a cohesive “Neil”-ness. I’d be willing to talk body parts to make this happen.

Plus, our styles are similar in many ways. I enjoy grounding my stories in myth as he does. Those mystical boundaries and events where the real and the other cross, that’s where Neil’s greatest strengths lie and I could learn so much from even a few hours writing with him.

He also tends to write about ordinary people thrust into amazing circumstances. Neverwhere’s protagonist, Richard becomes a vehicle for exploring a world between worlds. American God’s Shadow may be related to the divine, but at the start he’s an old school American Joe who stumbles into his past and uncovers a hidden realm in the rest stops and tourist traps of the United States.

I love those kinds of stories because the fantastic should never be that far from us. One thin line, one unopened door, or the simple press of a button and the ordinary should meet the extraordinary.

When you were little what did you dream of becoming when you grew up?

In fourth grade I wrote down that I wanted to be a “writer and an artist”. Books and drawing were things I loved to do and out of all the school work I was assigned, they were the only assignments I ever completed or received high marks on.

Somewhere down the line, I lost focus. I took one art class in college. One creative writing class. And then muddled my way through a philosophy degree. It took a few false starts to rediscover that commitment I’d scrawled on a piece of wide-rule paper so many years ago.

When did you decide to write and what prompted you to start?

The decision to try this as a professional came a few years back but the seed was planted long before. Books have always fascinated me since I was a child – a pretty typical writer’s story.

I completed a “book” for a 4th grade assignment and ended up with what might have been my first and only “A” in elementary school (mainly because it was one of the few assignments I actually finished…) But I set aside any notion of being a writer until recently, about three decades later.

At one point I was having trouble paying expenses for my business which had become a bizarre mix of private investigation services and graphic design. I ended up finding a freelance writing site and competing with other writers to sell articles on spec. To my surprise, nearly everything I wrote sold.

Business picked back up, mostly in graphic design, so I set the writing aside. But that minor success with the articles never quite went away. Eventually, I put it together with my fantasy-driven hobbies, my grade school dreams, and my use as writing as a crutch throughout my academic career and figured out I should try writing fiction. A few years later, a Crimson Son was born!

What music inspires your writing?

I don’t listen to music much when I write.

I have been known to listen to ambient sounds. Noises of a swamp at night, monks chanting or the sound of a busy marketplace for instance. I use those to get a feel for setting when I want to add detail or try to capture a specific mood.

My only exception so far is queueing up the Fleet Foxes’ album, Helplessness Blues when writing my current fantasy novel. They have an aural, medieval sort of folk sound that inspires discovery (even if it doesn’t fit the hindu-inspired theme of the novel…)

Fun Facts:

  • What is your favorite breakfast? I’ll eat breakfast any time of day, definitely my favorite meal. My go to breakfast is oatmeal with fresh blueberries and honey. Of course, I like it all – pancakes, eggs, biscuits, even a plain ‘ol bowl of cereal (not too plain like Spencer’s boxes of “insert grain” and “insert shape” bunker food).
  • What is your favorite color? Blue. No yel… AHHHHHHHH! (No, that never gets old. Fine, green.)
  • What is your favorite movie? Most recently, Guardians of the Galaxy. Spencer could totally grow up and be Star Lord. Of all time? Growing up, I probably watched The Empire Strikes Back more times than is healthy for a young, impressionable mind and it remains my favorite today.
  • What is your dream car? My dad owns a 1964 ½ Mustang which has been chromed and painted a blinding, glossy black. It’s a show stopping, first place winning machine. I know this because I went to many said car shows as a kid.  Wandering the rows of cars (and being careful not to touch – holy shit, DO NOT TOUCH) I decided I wanted a ’67 Ford Mustang Shelby GT 500. Barring that, I’ll take a Bugatti Veyron. I’ll blast across the U.S. on a Cannonball Run tour then sell so I can publish and write without having to sweat the marketing and sales.

How can our readers find you?

Best place to find all things “me” is at my blog, www.russlinton.com.

I’m also active on social media at the following:

And you can find Crimson Son at the following retailers:

CRIMSON SON is on sale for 99¢ through October 29

 

Thank you for chatting with our readers today, Russ (and Spencer) and for allowing Room With Books to be part of your tour.

About the Author

MEDIA KIT Author PhotoIn the fourth grade, Russ Linton wrote down the vague goal of becoming a “writer and an artist” when he grew up. After a journey that led him from philosopher to graphic designer to stay at home parent and even a stint as an Investigative Specialist with the FBI, he finally got around to that “writing” part which he now pursues full time.

Russ creates character-driven speculative fiction. His stories drip with blood, magic, and radioactive bugs. He writes for adults who are young at heart and youngsters who are old souls.

Russ lives in Denton, Texas where he writes beside an unnervingly quiet dog with the support of his history-obsessed son and his extremely patient wife. He regularly pursues community service and is currently scoutmaster for his son’s Boy Scout troop. He is a regular at the North Branch Writers’ Critique Group and has honed his craft through creative writing courses with Stanford University’s continuing studies program as well as writing workshops at local conventions.

Russ holds a black belt in Tae Kwon Do which was marginally more useful in a former life not making his living from behind a desk. He enjoys the outdoors and when he isn’t leading his scouts on virtual campouts in Minecraft, he’s making them haul their gear across state parks in the North Texas area.

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Giveaway Details

Russ will be awarding a $10 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner and another winner will receive a signed copy of Crimson Son (US ONLY), both prizes via rafflecopter during the tour. A $10 Amazon GC will be awarded to a randomly drawn host.

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Room With Books encourages our readers to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.

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