The Second Lie Book Tour

The Second Lie

by Anna Richland

The Immortal Vikings #2

Excerpt_TourBanner_TheSecondLie

 

About the Book

BookCover_TheSecondLieA woman desperate to achieve her dreams.

To reassure wealthy clients, Christina Alvarez Mancini invented a jet-setting British owner for her Napa Valley wine collection service. Success has brought her close to buying her own winery, when irregularities at a London wine auction threaten her business.

A man in love with a good plan.

Stig, an immortal Viking thief, knows he’s found the perfect role. The California woman who created his character won’t discover what he’s up to in England until after he’s pocketed the money he needs. Then Christina walks into the auction preview, ready to ruin his plans, and he knows his boredom has ended.

Secrets that turn deadly.

By the end of the night, these two rivals must cooperate to escape kidnappers, British authorities, media and a pair of mysterious watchers. That’s when a game Stig’s played for a thousand years puts Christina’s life at risk.

Can two people whose identities are based on lies trust each other enough to survive?

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Excerpt

After a night evading kidnappers, Christina is too tired to object to Stig’s plan to cross underneath London on a disused mini-cargo train system.

She shouldn’t let his English manners lull her into forgetting that he was a swindler, but the way he phrased simple requests was musical to a woman used to California’s casualness.

Their ride chugged away from the platform into the circular mouth of a tunnel. Returning to the absolute darkness was disorienting after the fluorescent lights, and she inched closer to Stig while also trying to find a comfortable position. “Where are we going?”

“Now that you ask —”

“You’ve got a plan,” she said at the same time as he said, “I have a plan.”

As they both laughed, her elbow bumped the low metal side of the car, and she pulled back sharply. “What—” Then her skull thunked into an equally hard object, which caused her to bite her tongue. “Oww.”

“Unn.” Next to her, Stig grunted and flicked on the flashlight, revealing that he had one hand pressed to his chin and lower cheek.

“I’m sorry,” she said through her own fingers.

“I’m glad that was an accident.” He removed his hand and turned his cheek toward her. “D’you want to kiss it better?”

“No.” Yes. She straightened and tried to move away, but holding a stiff pose against the swaying of the little wagon was a losing battle when last night’s tackle made itself felt in her aching shoulders and left knee, which throbbed in time to the rotations of the steel wheels.

“You must be sore.” His hand squeezed the clenched triangle of muscle where her neck and shoulder met. The rhythmic pressure and release made the motor’s whine recede enough to feel more like white noise. It was much warmer in the small tunnel than it had been in the larger platform space. A lack of ventilation, she assumed.

“Close your eyes.” He spoke so close to her ear that she could feel his breath move her hair. “We’re about to reach Bird Street station and another flash.”

She saw the flicker of bright colors through her eyelids, but instead of worrying about cameras, her head bobbed forward. As they reentered another section of dark tunnel, he used both hands on her shoulders and rearranged her position. Instead of sitting side by side, she was turned at an angle so his hands could access more of her back.

Heavenly.

“Wimpole Street, next stop.” If his murmur was played for bus stop announcements, females between fifteen and ninety-five would ride transit just to listen. Especially if the ride included a massage. The rhythmic motion was lulling her into forgetting why she should move away from him and bringing up thoughts of what would happen if she turned to face him. His hands took her to the world of not-quite-sleep, the point where she could sense events happening around her, but through a veil.

“The total ride takes less than twenty-five minutes.”

“That’s—” Her mind was a blank, the sibilant final sound stretching between them as she wondered what she’d intended to say, her words all chased away by the overwhelming urge to sink deeper into his arms.

“Not enough time.” Then he turned her around and his lips replaced the questions she might have asked with one simple need: him.

 

About the Author

AuthorPhoto_TheSecondLieAnna lives with her quietly funny Canadian husband and two less quiet children in a century-old house in Seattle. The perpetual drizzle is a good excuse to drink more coffee. She’s a former US Army officer who now writes The Immortal Vikings series from Carina Press and also the author of His Road Home, a novella which Publishers Weekly called “Tantalizing … a raw, emotional story” and the website SmartB*tchesTrashyBooks gave an A rating.

She donates a portion of her book proceeds to two charities: the Fisher House Foundation, which provides housing 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, find out more about her books, and read longer excerpts, please visit her website at www.annarichland.com, her Facebook page, or her Goodreads page.

 

 

Giveaway

Anna will be awarding a set of En Route notecards, gorgeously illustrated by Kate Pocrass (because falling in love with an Immortal Viking is a wild journey!) to a randomly drawn winner (INTERNATIONAL) via rafflecopter during the tour.

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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

Connect with the Author

 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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