#BookTour “Redesigning Happiness” by Nita Brooks

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REDESIGNING HAPPINESS BY NITA BROOKS

Real life is a work in progress… #DesignYourLife

It wasn’t easy for Yvonne Cable to get over a heartbreaking relationship and revamp her life. But now the once-broke single mom is Atlanta’s most sought-after interior designer—and one-half of the media’s hottest power couple. She and her celebrity fiancé, Nathan, are a perfect, practical match, on—and off—camera. And with their new home improvement reality show the object of a fierce network bidding war, there’s no limit to how far they can go . . .

But Yvonne is stunned when mogul Richard Barrington III unexpectedly makes an offer for their program. He’s the man she thought left her for a more successful woman. And he’s the father of her son—though he didn’t know it until now. Richard wants to get to know their boy, and Yvonne agrees, though she’s wary. Yet little by little, she’s finding it hard to resist the responsible, caring man Richard has become. But when a scandalous leak puts everything Yvonne’s worked for at risk, she’ll have to look beyond surfaces to come to terms with who she is—and discover what she truly wants.

AVAILABLE ON:

AMAZON | KENSINGTON | BARNES & NOBLE

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EXCERPT

Chapter 1

The Power of Perfection. 

Yvonne Cable stared at the headline and grinned. The glowing feature on her latest design made her want to do cartwheels down the hall in her office. If only she’d mastered the art of a cartwheel.

The picture below the headline was of the completed home office for her latest client. Muted blue-grey colors created a cozy and restful feel. The natural light from the picture window overlooking the home’s intricate landscape brightened the room. A mixture of textures—cotton, leather, and wood— added depth and visual interest.

After clawing her way through Atlanta’s cutthroat interior design community, the article in Atlanta Life Magazine was the coveted crown after a hard-fought battle. She created perfection for her clients. Gave them the spaces they needed to be comfortable and content, a haven in their hectic lives. Money, family, status . . . she didn’t care. Whatever her clients needed, she was going to give them.

She put the magazine on her desk and walked over to the perfectly organized whiteboard in her downtown Atlanta office. Nine sections partitioned off. The title of her projects in blue at the top of each section. Tasks associated with each project in green. Due dates written in purple. Red checkmarks for completed tasks. The board served as a quick reference guide to where she was and what she needed to do next.

Her grin widened as she a grabbed the green dry erase marker to add the title for a new project to the ninth box. Sandra Covington Project. Or, as her assistant Bree liked to call it, the super enviable commission of every designer in Atlanta. The people who’d vied for Sandra’s new home project were many, but Yvonne was the one to land it.

Sandra Covington, self-help author turned radio personality, had just announced that her radio program was going into nationwide syndication. Yvonne was familiar with Sandra’s radio show. The woman’s advice was quoted everywhere. Known for going deep into her readers’ and clients’ pasts to help them unlock the “key to their potential,” her famously quoted words, Sandra kept her own personal life out of the spotlight. Yvonne didn’t care about Sandra’s past, all she cared about was that she’d gotten the project. Designing Sandra’s house, and possibly getting a shout-out on her show, combined with the notoriety she’d gotten from her appearance on Celebrity Housewives, would go a long way toward increasing the demand for an original Yvonne Cable Design when someone needed decorating for their home or business.

She’d arrived. Shed the mistakes of the past and become a household name. Her mom still couldn’t believe it. On most days, Yvonne couldn’t believe it either.

“Yvonne, I got the fabric swatches you needed for the Tyson project, and don’t forget that you’ve got a call with the editor of Lady Entrepreneur magazine in fifteen minutes.”

Bree Foster, Yvonne’s administrative assistant, swept into Yvonne’s office with an arm full of fabric. She laid the material on the drafting table in the creative corner of Yvonne’s office. Vision boards for projects adorned the walls in that corner. Sketch pads, colored pencils, and drawing notebooks littered the drafting table where Yvonne created her designs. Bree continually purchased organizers to keep Yvonne’s samples in order, but when Yvonne was in the middle of the creative process, materials scattered the desk. As usual, Bree picked up the strewn color charts, pencils, post-its, and papers and put them back into their correct spots.

“Crap, I completely forgot about that call.” Yvonne hurried over to her desk, in the working corner of her office. Lady Entrepreneur magazine wanted to start a lifestyle section which would include design tips. Yvonne wanted to be the person who supplied the articles.

Lady Entrepreneur had a wide circulation. Women all over the country subscribed to the magazine, which provided everything from tips for running a business to interviews with successful women on its pages. Of course, she wanted those same women to think of her when they thought of interior design.

“That’s why I’m here,” Bree said. A recent graduate of design school, they’d met when Yvonne hired Bree as an intern the summer before. After graduation, Yvonne had snatched up the brilliant designer immediately. “Besides, you’ve got a good excuse. I can imagine your head is elsewhere.” Bree grinned and squeezed her hands together in front of her chest. Bree’s curly hair was worn in a cute pixie cut and her brown eyes sparkled with excitement behind a pair of black framed glasses.

“I know. I’ve been busy thinking about what I need for my first meeting with Sandra Covington.”

“I’m not talking about that. I mean your proposal over the weekend. The way Nathan surprised you! That was so romantic!”

Yes. The proposal. You’d think saying yes to the man she loved after he proposed via the jumbotron at the Atlanta Braves game wouldn’t slip her mind. Honestly, she was still getting used to the idea of being engaged. For the past six years, she’d been a single mom and business owner. Now she was part of a team. Of course, she would have a hard time believing it.

Nathan Lange, home improvement television star, boy next-door sex symbol, and all-around good guy, was her fiancé. She couldn’t be happier. And if she happened to notice that saying yes to Nathan had gotten her more congratulations and well wishes than starting her own business, being named business woman of the year twice, or working for a star on Celebrity Housewives, she didn’t let it bother her. Not too much.

Marriage was a big deal. Her son, Jacob, would have a father. She would have a man who loved and supported her. That was worth congratulating.

She glanced at the three-carat diamond on her left hand. “I can’t wait to marry Nathan, but no, that’s not what distracted me. Now that I’ve got Sandra’s account, I want to make sure I don’t let any other projects slip through the crack.”

“That’s what you have me for,” Bree said. “As your administrative assistant, I’m determined to keep you on track. But once you and Nathan get the television show, I may need an assistant for all of the work that’s going to come your way.”

Yvonne knocked three times on the oak surface of her desk, then crossed her fingers. “I hope so. The television show is still up in the air.”

She’d met Nathan on the set of Celebrity Housewives, where he’d worked as the contractor. The disagreements and attraction between them had sparked almost instantly. So much so, they’d stolen every scene they were in. Their chemistry had given Nathan’s publicist the idea they could be the new helm of a home improvement show. While Yvonne had never thought about television, she wasn’t one to turn down the opportunity to grow her business even further. She’d once been forced to accept whatever scraps she could get from the person who claimed to love her. Not anymore. Neither she, nor her son, would ever be in that position again.

“You guys will get it.”

“Maybe, but until then I can’t forget what got me here in the first place. No matter what happens with me and Nathan, Yvonne Cable Designs is and always will be my priority. I fought too hard to build my brand to this point to let it go just because I’m getting married.”

“But you will be making time to plan your wedding.”

“You know it!”

“I’d expect nothing less.” Bree looked at her cell phone. “Five minutes until the call. I’ll leave you alone so you can get ready.”

Yvonne went through the notes she’d jotted down for why she should be their go-to person for the lifestyle section. When she’d spoken with Lashon, the editor of the magazine, she’d still been considering a few other designers. This call would, hopefully, convince Lashon to go with her.

Lashon called right on time. They went through the normal pleasantries: quick stories about their kids, Lashon had two girls, and the latest good news from the magazine staffers. Then Lashon got to business.

“Look, Yvonne, I know you’ve gotten really busy lately.”

“Not too busy to supply design tips for the readers of your magazine. I was thinking of a focus on commercial spaces. Restaurants, offices, things like that.”

“Actually, I was thinking we could go in a different direction,” Lashon said before Yvonne could go into the reasons why she was the right choice.

“You’re no longer looking to include interior design tips?”

“No, silly. I’m surprised you haven’t already figured that out,” Lashon said laughing. “I want the feature to be with you and Nathan.”

“Really?” That idea had not crossed her mind.

“It’s genius, right?”

“I’m not sure I’m following along.”

“Lady Entrepreneur is still going to focus on women business owners, but I’m thinking of expanding the lifestyle section to also tackle relationships. Doesn’t that make sense?”

Not entirely, considering the magazine was supposed to be a business resource, but Yvonne never claimed to be an expert in magazine editing. “I’m intrigued by this new direction. Tell me more.”

“We did a survey of our subscribers. Many of them are single women who are also struggling to find a balance between work and family. You, my friend, are now the epitome of what so many single women want. You made a successful career despite having a child.”

“Despite?” A child wasn’t an automatic liability.

“And even though you are a single mother, you still happened to land a great guy like Nathan Lange. We think a quarterly feature on how you balance being a wife, mother, and business owner would go a long way to giving our readers hope.”

Giving the readers hope? Landing a great guy like Nathan hadn’t been part of her life goals. If anything, after the disaster that was her relationship with Jacob’s father, she’d never believed she would trust a man again. But she had, and yes, Nathan was great, and she was happy things worked out, but she wouldn’t say her life was now defined by her engagement. Was it?

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ENTER TO WIN

Nita Brooks is giving away a $15 HomeGoods gift card to a lucky winner!

CLICK TO ENTER

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ABOUT NITA BROOKS

A reading addict, self-professed connoisseur of home improvement shows, and a collector of teapots, Nita Brooks resides in South Carolina with her family. You can connect with her on Facebook and Twitter at @AuthorNitaB.

CONNECT WITH NITA BROOKS

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#GuestPost “The Time Traveler Professor, Book One: Silent Meridian” by Elizabeth Crowens

Silent Meridian by Elizabeth Crowens Banner

on Tour August 18 – September 21, 2019

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Topic:  Your book is a movie! Who’s in your dream cast?

Book: The Time Traveler Professor, Book One: Silent Meridian

If The Time Traveler Professor, Book One: Silent Meridian were a movie, there would have to be a whole bunch of them — similar to the Harry Potter films, because that’s how the series is constructed. Silent Meridian, however, has often been compared to Doctor Who. Therefore, I could totally visualize it as a Netflix or Amazon Prime series with approximately eight one-hour episodes per season and a season assigned to each novel. Originally, there were going to be seven novels in the Time Traveler Professor series, but I’m trying to cut it down to four.

Since I worked in various capacities of the entertainment industry for over twenty years, I’m very good at spotting facial similarities of actors to famous people. There’s no question I’d cast Hugh Jackman as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. For a Victorian gentleman, Doyle was unusually tall at 6’5” and an athletic man. Jackman has pumped up for roles and is a hearty 6’4”. Some of his best roles are when he plays historical characters and does the Victorian era well. If you compare photos of Doyle and Jackman side by side, the shape of Jackman’s eyes and his broad forehead are similar. Add the signature mustache and voila!

H.G. Wells is tougher, but I think Edward Norton could pull it off, and it’s ironic they both starred in films set in the 19th century where they both played stage magicians, The Prestige and The Illusionist. As long as there aren’t any contractual issues, for Harry Houdini, I’d cast Michael Weston who played Houdini in the ill-fated television show, Houdini and Doyle. Personally I didn’t think the writing on the show was up to par and I don’t think the directors did Houdini’s character justice, but Weston certainly had the look.

Sasha Baron Cohen or Rami Malek could play Francois Poincaré depending on how old we want to make the character, because Poincaré has a Freddie Mercury-type of charm. Once that is determined, we’d have to cast the role of his wife, Sophia, although I’m not sure who would be the best fit. Possibly Marion Cotillard if Sasha Baron Cohen is cast because the similarities in age. Also, if she could do a German accent. Wendell Mackenzie’s character would also be up for grabs. In the novel, I describe him with dark hair and a beard and with blue eyes, able to speak with a Scottish accent and around the same age as the actor cast as John Patrick Scott.

Finally for John Patrick Scott, our protagonist, I’ve had my eye on Irish actor, Robert Sheehan and think he can pull it off as long as we color his hair auburn. That was before he got his role in The Umbrella Academy. Depending on the timing, I’m not sure if he’d be available for another series. I also have concerns about the similarity of the roles.

Read The Time Traveler Professor, Book One: Silent Meridian and see if you agree. Similar to the Harry Potter series, I’d suggest reading the first book before picking up any of the others in the series. That’s why we’re discounting the eBook for only $1.99. Also, if you sign up for my monthly newsletter at elizabethcrowens[dot]com/contact/ you’ll get updates on my book tour and free eBooks several times a year exclusive for subscribers.

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Synopsis:

The Time Traveler Professor, Book One: Silent Meridian by Elizabeth Crowens

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is obsessed with a legendary red book. Its peculiar stories have come to life, and rumors claim that it has rewritten its own endings. Convinced that possessing this book will help him write his ever-popular Sherlock Holmes stories, he takes on an unlikely partner, John Patrick Scott, known to most as a concert pianist, but a paranormal investigator and a time traveler professor to a select few.

Like Holmes and Watson trying to solve a mystery, together they explore lost worlds and their friendship is tested to the limits when they go back in time to find it. Both discover that karmic ties and unconscionable crimes have followed them like ghosts from the past, wreaking havoc on the present and possibly the future.

The Time Traveler Professor, Book One: SILENT MERIDIAN reveals the alternate histories of Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells, Houdini, Jung and other luminaries in the secret diaries of John Patrick Scott, in an X Files for the 19th century. First Prize winner of Chanticleer Review’s Goethe Award for Turn-of-the-Century Historical Fiction and First Prize for Steampunk in the Independent Press Awards. Stay tuned for A POCKETFUL OF LODESTONES; Book Two in the Time Traveler Professor series by Elizabeth Crowens.

Book Details:

Genre: Alternate History, Mystery, Fantasy Noir

Published by: Atomic Alchemist Productions LLC

Publication Date: June 12th 2019

Number of Pages: 384

ISBN: 9781950384 (ISBN13: 9781950384044)

Series: The Time Traveler Professor #1

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

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Read an excerpt:

Edinburgh, 1898

Scotland was just barely crawling its way out of the nineteenth century. I was a naïve, but ambitious student studying music at the University of Edinburgh hurrying over to meet Arthur Conan Doyle, the man who would change my life forever. “John Patrick Scott, sir,” I said and approached Mr. Doyle, who was already seated at a back corner table of the Deacon Brodie, the pub that inspired the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I extended my hand to greet him and removed my rain-soaked hat, while my overcoat slipped out of my hands and fell on the floor by accident. It was still hard to believe that good fortune finally brought us together, but we were both nervous. “Mr. Conan Doyle, or should I call you Doctor Doyle?” I was unsure how to address him. Doyle scrutinized me from top to bottom as he signaled the waiter. “John, call me Arthur.” “Sir, I’m so honored that you agreed to discuss this matter. Perhaps you can enlighten me in a way that I’ve failed to comprehend.” I wanted to ask him about my unusual turn of events straight away but he caught me off guard and was dead set on pulling me into the swift current of an unexpected conversation. “Can I assume you believe in the transmigration of souls?” he asked. “Until now, I haven’t given it a lot of thought,” I said, unsure as to which direction he was leading. “Did you ever read those books about that Swiss doctor who felt his body and soul had been taken over by a Benedictine monk? That presented a curious case. He claims that he was approached by the spirit of an elderly monk before he died, and that the monk needed to rent his body to continue his spiritual mission.” “Rent?” I choked in disbelief. “We truly don’t take anything with us when we pass on, do we? This monk knew he was dying and therefore needed to replace his physical body with something more youthful and vital.” “That’s incredible. It debunks the theory that you need to die and be reborn as an infant to carry on your spirit.” Mr. Doyle had the tinge of excitement in his voice. “John, here’s another instance. I’ve had my suspicions about a famous musician who had an obsession about a notorious and controversial mystic. You’d surmise by his overwhelming attraction to that person he might’ve been him in a previous lifetime, but facts were clear he was born three years before the mystic died. My understanding is the mystic was aware he didn’t have long in his present incarnation. Therefore he made plans for some sort of partial soul transference while he was still alive to imprint his essence upon the child. That would’ve allowed him to carry on and accomplish unfinished business, which couldn’t have been executed otherwise. Essentially he had the ability of being two places at once.” “Sounds more like Spiritualism,” I replied. “Honestly, John, I don’t think there are any steadfast rules when it comes to this matter. That’s what makes it so intriguing.” I sensed he had a secret agenda. Doyle reloaded his churchwarden pipe with fresh tobacco and continued, “This is not at all like anything you’ve ever read from H.G. Wells or Jules Verne. We’re poking holes in every treatise written on the subject — the idea of being able to reincarnate a part of yourself while you are still alive into another soul.” Our conversation was quickly becoming like a speeding train ready to jump the tracks. Realizing this, Doyle slowed down the pace and took a deep breath. He carefully composed his next statement. “Fiction it may seem to be but it’s not hocus pocus. Don’t you also find it strange that you somehow found yourself initiated into a mystical order on a commuter train bound from London to Edinburgh when the instigators kept on mistaking you for me? There are no accidents.” I became silent for a moment, stalling for time as I slowly raised my glass of ale to my lips. As soon as I fished a small red book out of my coat pocket and placed it on the table in front of us Arthur eyed it intently. It had been the source of intrigue, which led me to Doyle in the first place and piqued his curiosity as much as it did mine. “Could I have done something terrible in my youth that caused this to happen?” “You have no recollections, John?” “I remember so little of my childhood. I wish I could.” “You’re a smart young man. I’m sure you’ll come up with a clever deduction.” Mr. Doyle paused to relight his pipe. He had an unnerving look in his eye, which I vainly tried to read into, but he took me for a spin when he brought up the next topic. “On another note, John, have you ever considered that people are capable of communicating without speech, and I’m not talking about writing letters?” “Pardon me?” “Imagine communicating by mere thoughts. I’ve always wanted to experiment with someone open to these concepts. God knows — my brothers at the Society for Psychical Research certainly talk enough about it. My wife, Touie, has been an unwilling subject and is not the most objective choice.” I looked at him, somewhat perplexed. “Are you asking me to accurately guess what you’re thinking?” “Come now. We’ll play a game. I’ll form an image in my mind, and for the next minute I will try to project it into yours. Clear your thoughts of any distractions and be as receptive as possible,” he explained. As much as I tried, I couldn’t have been more preoccupied. Images of that fateful event flashed through my brain. My recollections revealed my rain-soaked train ticket. I kept arguing with the steward about putting me in the wrong cabin. An erroneous judgment had been made when three strangers insisted I was Arthur. We were so different in physical appearance. He was a large, athletic man with a distinguished moustache. On the other hand, I had baby smooth skin and couldn’t grow facial hair to save my life. I was nearly twenty years younger and much shorter with wild auburn hair that resembled Maestro Beethoven’s with the exception of premature strands of gray. So why was I singled out? Was there laudanum in my brandy? Details spun like a whirlwind. I must’ve been in a drug-induced stupor but I was initiated into some secret Masonic-like society, and when it was all over those mysterious men were gone. What remained were an engraved silver ring on my finger and an ominous red book on the seat beside me. “Looks like you’ve seen a ghost.” Arthur broke my trance and realized my thoughts had been elsewhere. “I felt like I had.” Barely able to articulate, I tried to tame my wild mane in place. Visions faded in and out. Timelines jumped. So I gulped down another swig of ale to focus on the present. Arthur leaned in closer. “I can see you’re still worried about that event on the train. Those men have been after me for some time. Why? It’s hard to fathom. I’ll dilly dally with notions here and there about Sherlock Holmes and his partner, Watson, who fancy themselves as detectives. Me? I’m just a simple doctor and writer with interests in Spiritualism trying to find scientific explanations for the unknown.” “Arthur, what would anyone want with an unassuming music student like me?” “Personally, I don’t think this was A Case of Identity,” Arthur replied with a smile. Obviously he meant to say my dilemma was not a case of mistaken identity, not the name of one of his famous Sherlock stories. He was pleased I caught the humor of his play on words. “Perhaps it has something to do with that book,” he said pointing to the one I brought. “I’m concerned it’s dangerous, that it’s a curse. I wish I had never found it.” I shoved it back into my pocket and drained my glass. * * * One week later as I was returning home from school, my landlady, Lydia Campbell, yelled from the kitchen as I trudged my muddied shoes through the front door of her boarding house. “John, a letter from Undershaw arrived for you today! I wonder whom it could be from? You don’t know anyone from Undershaw, do you?” Oh, yes I did. I grabbed the letter and ran upstairs so fast I nearly tripped on my muffler and fell on my face. I poured myself a glass of port to calm my nerves, doffed my wet garments and sank into my most comfortable brass-studded leather chair I affectionately named my thinking chair, where I created many a melody in my head, could think deep thoughts, and drift off to dreamland. * * * Dear John, I wholeheartedly enjoyed our conversation at the Deacon Brodie and kept my promise of a prompt reply. By now, you are well aware of my passion to explore the realms of Spiritualism and related paranormal phenomena far surpasses any personal interests involved with Sherlock Holmes. Public demand for my writing, however, exerts a strain on how much I can overtly reveal to even my most trusted colleagues. Whenever I indulge in any activity, be it a simple séance, investigating a revered medium or attending a meeting of the British Society for Psychical Research, it never fails to raise the eyebrows of my wary publishers and critics. It’s God’s honest truth that I believe in many of these inexplicable accounts. Even my father painted beautiful renditions of fairies, which I trust he witnessed with his own eyes. The betterment of mankind rests on embracing such theories once they are proven to exist by the scientific community. Thus, I’ll have to continue more controversial and debatable endeavors in utmost secrecy, or at least for the time being until more evidence can be brought to light. Since you seem to be an open-minded young man who has already experienced some effects of the preternatural, this is my proposal: At midnight every night, we should conduct a variety of remote operations with the primary purpose of communicating through means of telepathy. Since I have a tendency to travel, we’ll have to make some sort of adjustment to take into account the different time zones. Of course, you must share this secret with nobody. Besides us, only my wife will know, although she will not participate. When you shared the account of the strange commuter train incident that was enough to convince me that you would be the perfect partner for this private undertaking. Most assuredly, there was something you did in the past in the realm of the arcane to warrant such a chain of events. That was not mere happenstance, and now since you possess that enigmatic red book, I’m sure it will affect your life in ways you’ve never imagined. My intentions have been to perform similar trial and error enterprises with Harry Houdini, a rising star whose stage performances have been astounding audiences, but his busy schedule has made it nearly impossible to coordinate such engagements with any sort of regularity. One of these days we’ll catch up. Meanwhile, I collect whatever news comes from across the herring-pond. At one point, he and I will develop a special relationship based on mutual interests. Regarding the two of us, however, we’ll back up our observations with letters or telegrams as often as possible as proof of results, but those must be destroyed as soon as they are read. Once again, I cannot over emphasize the importance of confidentiality. Regardless, we must keep a faithful agreement, as skill will come with practice. If you are willing to put aside any apprehensions regarding trains, I’ll pay for you to travel down to Undershaw and visit me on weekends whenever possible. My driver can meet you in London at a pre-arranged time. You’ll stay in one of our guest bedrooms, and as long as you don’t mind the children and can tolerate what our kitchen staff provides, you’ll be well taken care of. That’ll give us the opportunity to expand our repertoire and commence further psychical experimentation with ectoplasm, spirit photography and astral projection. And bring the red book. I’d like a chance to look at it. I’ve also desired a partner to accompany me for ghost sightings and occult investigations. For all we know with the knowledge gained, we might even break through the barriers of time. That would certainly give Bertie (H.G. Wells) a shock to the senses, proving his imagination does not merely dwell in the realm of fiction. We’ve been at odds on this topic for years. Regarding telepathic technique, I can only suggest you conduct yourself in a way as you see fit. Personally, I don’t give credence to things like magical amulets, but if it helps to have an etheric link, use this letter you hold in your hand, as it contains my heart, soul and signature with a drop of blood, which I added to the ink. You might wish to reciprocate. Let’s raise our glasses to honor the quest of conquering the unknown. Arthur Conan Doyle * * * So, Arthur was serious when he first brought up the subject. When he and I left the pub, I really didn’t know what to think. After all, he was a famous author, and I was merely a student. What possessed him to choose me for such an engagement? I shuffled through my schoolwork to find my pen and ink and a fresh sheet of paper. Blood, I needed blood. Ah, my razor! That would work. I fetched my shaving kit and winced as I drew a few drops. I scribbled a swift, affirmative reply with the blood-tainted ink, mailed the letter the following day and looked forward to our first otherworldly encounter. *** Excerpt from The Time Traveler Professor, Book One: Silent Meridian by Elizabeth Crowens. Copyright © 2019 by Elizabeth Crowens. Reproduced with permission from Elizabeth Crowens. All rights reserved.

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Author Bio:

Elizabeth Crowens Crowens has worked in the film and television for over twenty years and as a journalist and a photographer. She’s a regular contributor of author interviews to an award-winning online speculative fiction magazine, Black Gate. Short stories of hers have been published in the Bram Stoker Awards nominated anthology, A New York State of Fright and Hell’s Heart. She’s a member of Mystery Writers of America, The Horror Writers Association, the Authors Guild, Broad Universe, Sisters in Crime and a member of several Sherlockian societies. She is also writing a Hollywood suspense series.

Catch Up With Our Author On: elizabethcrowens.com, Goodreads, Bookbub, Twitter, & Facebook

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Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

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Giveaway

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Elizabeth Crowens. There will be eight(8) winners. One (1) winner will receive an Amazon.com Gift Card and seven (7) winners will each receive Silent Meridian by Elizabeth Crowens (eBook). The giveaway begins on August 18, 2019 and runs through September 23, 2019. Void where prohibited.

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#BookTour “What She Never Said” by Catharine Riggs

What She Never Said by Catharine Riggs Banner

on Tour August 19 – September 20, 2019

Synopsis:

What She Never Said by Catharine Riggs How much would you pay to keep a secret? Ruth Mosby is the VP of operations at Serenity Acres, where the privileged elite go to die. For a hefty fee, wealthy retirees can live the good life in this posh Santa Barbara community—even after they outlive their money. But the savvy new boss has a new rule: if you can’t pay, you can’t stay. Guests whisper about an “Angel” who assists with suicides. Ruth has another word for it: murder. Ruth enlists her neighbor, an ex-detective named Zach, to discover the Angel’s secret identity. However, the two have a painful history, and Ruth has dark secrets all her own. To solve the mystery, Ruth must descend her golden tower—but can she bear the consequences of revealing her own sinister truths?

Why Readers LOVE What She Never Said:

“Riggs keeps the tension high to the dramatic climax.” —Publishers WeeklyWhat She Never Said is a fast-paced, compulsive read—and I speak as a slow-paced, easily distracted reader.” —Ashley Dyer, award-winning author of the Lake & Carver series. “A compelling read that will keep you awake well into the night.” —T.R. Ragan, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Beneath the weight of metastasizing secrets, idyllic veneers buckle to reveal shocking truths that will haunt readers long after the final page. —P. J. Vernon, acclaimed author of the debut thriller, When You Find Me

Book Details:

Genre: Psychological Suspense

Published by: Thomas & Mercer

Publication Date: September 10, 2019

Number of Pages: 377

ISBN: 1542042135 (ISBN13: 9781542042130)

Series: Santa Barbara Suspense #2

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

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Read an excerpt:

RUTH MOSBY

ONE

Monday, May 6

My goal each day is ten thousand steps. A Fitbit monitors my progress. One. Two. Three. Four. This morning I’ll reach six thousand steps. Only four thousand left after that. It’s nice the days have grown longer. I’ll walk the harbor loop after work. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. I speed up the slope of Orpet Park through the grove of moth-eaten oaks. At the summit of the steepest hill, I catch a peek of ocean gray. The islands are invisible today, shrouded in waves of lowering fog. June gloom. That’s what the locals call it, although we’ve barely stepped into May. Locals? I am a local. Or should be after thirty-some years. But oh no. Not in Santa Barbara. You can’t be a local unless you’re born here. Ridiculous but true. Sometimes I wonder why I stay. But at my age, where would I go? Cresting the final hill, I catch my first glimpse of the mission bells. They’re a sad reminder of my walks with Carlyn and the chats we had every day. She thought the Queen of the Missions was a sign of God’s blessing on our tony beachside town. I wonder what she thinks of God now. I wonder what she thinks of me. I continue past the mission lawn, verging on parched and dry. The agaves look weathered and dusty; they’re wilted at the tips. A handful of elderly tourists snap photos of the iconic scene. Their foreign chatter disrupts the calm, so I cross the street to the rose garden and follow the rutted trail. A lone dog shoots into view, and I slow my rapid gait. The golden Lab jumps, twists, and barks, nabbing a Frisbee in his mouth. “Morning,” his master calls to me, a smile gracing his youthful face. “Morning.” I lock my gaze on my running shoes. How did he miss the DOGS ON LEASH signs staggered every twenty feet? Or maybe he didn’t but somehow believes he’s above the city’s rules. I make a mental note to call animal control and continue on my way. I pick up my pace for the final ten blocks, feeling better than I have in weeks. Turning down my narrow driveway, I cringe at the sight of my neighbor standing on his porch. “Morning, Ruth,” he calls. “Morning, Zach.” Zach limps down his steps and through his drought-stricken garden, a frown rumpling his grizzled face. He’s dressed in board shorts and a tattered T-shirt, mended flip-flops shielding his feet. “You hear those kids partying last night?” he asks. “No,” I lie. “Was it loud?” “Hell yeah. I can’t believe they allow short-term rentals in our neighborhood. We’ve got to put a stop to that.” “Well, kids will be kids.” I fail to mention I called the police at ten sharp. That’s when the noise ordinance kicks in. “I’m going to complain at today’s city council meeting. Want to come along?” The breeze shifts, and I catch a whiff of spoiled milk. Zach has taken to strategic bathing, which results in an occasional stench. “I would, but I have to work.” “Bummer. There’s a better chance if we complain together.” I nod, thinking he’d have a better chance if he made an effort to clean himself up. When we moved into the neighborhood decades ago, Zach had been a handsome man with an easy smile and a mop of thick black hair. A homicide detective whose pretty wife, Tina, taught art at the nearby elementary school. The perfect neighbors on a perfect street of tiny Craftsman homes. Then their son died in a tragic accident, and Tina passed soon after that. A broken man, Zach took early retirement and nearly drank himself to death. He’s in recovery now and has replaced the booze with an obsession for neighborhood affairs. “What about my petition?” he asks. “You plan on signing that?” I bite my lower lip. “I’m not sure.” “Construction begins next week.” “I wish I could, but . . .” Mumbling under his breath, he eyes me with a frown. He’s also taken to talking to himself. Is dementia creeping up? “But what?” he asks. “I don’t think it’s wise for someone in my position to take a political stance.” “Your position?” He rolls his eyes. “You work at an old folks’ home.” “I work in a life-care community.” “Same thing.” “No, it’s not.” His frown deepens into a crevasse. “So, you’re okay with those homes coming down?” He nods at the four vacant bungalows located directly across the street. They’re slated for demolition, to be replaced by a ten-thousand-square-foot mansion with an Olympic-sized swimming pool. Our future neighbors are a flashy young couple with toddler twins and an army of well-groomed staff. Seems our former middle-class neighborhood is attracting the fashionable Hollywood types. “I’m not okay with it,” I say, “but what can we do? The planning commission has made their decision. We’re not going to change their minds.” “But if we don’t take action, it won’t be long before people like us can’t live in this town.” “At least we’ll make a mint when we sell.” “You’re not thinking of moving, are you?” “Of course not.” Although I might if the price is right. Zach sniffs and takes a swipe at his nose. “I just wish we could stop these assholes. They even complained about my new picket fence.” I hold my voice steady. “They did?” Last month, Zach replaced his aging fence with a synthetic version that lists from side to side. “Hell yes. City says my fence is four inches too tall, and I’ve got one month to replace the thing. Where the hell am I going to get that kind of money? My pension only goes so far.” He searches my face with his electric-blue eyes. They’re the only part of him that haven’t aged. “That’s terrible,” I say, dropping my gaze and backpedaling down the driveway. “Got to get to work. Have a nice day.” I hurry through the gate, swimming through waves of guilt. What if Zach finds out I turned him in? He’ll be angrier than a cornered wasp. But by the time I step out of the shower, I’ve pushed away all my self-doubt. Is it my fault his fence is too tall? For God’s sake, rules are rules. *** Excerpt from What She Never Said by Catharine Riggs. Copyright © 2019 by Catharine Riggs. Reproduced with permission from Catharine Riggs. All rights reserved.

~~~

Author Bio:

Catharine Riggs Catharine Riggs lives and writes on California’s central coast. Before her dive into thrillers, Riggs worked as a business banker, adjunct college instructor, and a nonprofit executive. What She Never Said is the second novel in her loosely linked Santa Barbara Suspense series. The first, What She Gave Away, was published by Thomas & Mercer in September of 2018.

Catch Up With Catharine Riggs On: www.CatharineRiggs.com, Goodreads, & BookBub, Twitter

~~~

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Catharine Riggs. There will be 4 winners. Two (2) winners will each receive one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card and Two (2) winners will each receive one (1) print copy of What She Never Said by Catharine Riggs. The giveaway begins on August 18, 2019 and runs through September 22, 2019. Open to U.S. addresses only. Void where prohibited.

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#BlogTour “Cowboy Up” by Michelle Beattie

Title: Cowboy Up
Author: Michelle Beattie
Genre:
Contemporary Western Romance
Release Date: August 20, 2019
Cover Designer: The Killion Group
Hosted by: Buoni Amici Press, LLC.

When Dallas Granger left his family’s Last Stand, Texas, ranch, he hadn’t planned on returning. But when a medical emergency calls him home and a legal matter affects his business, suddenly his family isn’t the only thing in need of a re-build. Unfortunately his new project involves building a house for a woman who not only awakens his desires, but also his fears. But if he wants to claim her as his own, he’ll have to tear down the walls he’s built around his heart.

Single mom Ashley Anderson knows all about juggling. Between an assortment of part-time jobs and raising her sixteen-year old daughter, she doesn’t need a hunky construction worker with an attitude as a distraction. Even one who steps in to help her when she needs it most. Life has taught Ashley that when the going gets tough, she’s on her own. It’s going to take a man with a Texas-sized heart to show her that this cowboy isn’t going anywhere.

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International Bestselling Author Michelle Beattie first found her love of romance in romantic comedies such as Romancing the Stone and Valley Girl (yes, she realizes that dates her). It wasn’t until after high school when she worked for a car rental company and had too much time on her hands that she started reading romances. Historicals were her go-to and she raided many bookstores looking for historical western romances.
Eventually she started thinking “what if” and “I’d have done that differently” and quietly started writing her own. More than a dozen books later, Michelle has published in both digital and print platforms and her works have been translated in more than 4 languages.
Michelle is a mother of two very strong, independent daughters. She is a certified member of the Master Bowler’s of Alberta and loves coaching and passing on her love for 5 pin bowling. Besides bowling herself in a weekly league, she also likes to golf in the summer, play games, and read.
Michelle lives in a solar-powered house in Central Alberta with her husband of almost 25 years, youngest daughter, and the cutest dog ever.

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#BlogTour “Pervade Montego Bay (Duet #2)” by Vanessa Fewings

 

Title: Pervade Montego Bay (Duet #2)
Author: Vanessa Fewings
Genre:Erotic Thriller/ Suspense (Dark Romance/ MMF)
Release Date: August 18, 2019
Cover Designer: Najla Qamber (Najla Qamber Designs)
Hosted by: Buoni Amici Press, LLC.

For every patch of sun, there’s a pool of shadows. For every stretch of paradise, there’s a stain of secrets.

Montego Bay offers everything the heart desires…and the soul fears.

Emily Rampling once again finds herself in the throes of unforgettable passion and irresistible power as she dives deeper into the love of two men and the dangerous world they inhabit. James Ballad and Xavier Rothschild are not yet done with Emily. Not by a long shot.

But somewhere on the island of his birth, James is hiding something, a personal secret he seems to be guarding with his life. Emily becomes obsessed with finding out the truth, but the discovery that awaits her is something she couldn’t have foreseen.

Pervade Montego Bay is book two in the romance duet by USA Today Bestselling Author Vanessa Fewings, the follow-up to the acclaimed Pervade London. Experience a ménage à trois romance that unfolds from clear, warm waters to lush, rolling mountains.

Sip the rum. Taste the ecstasy. See you in paradise.

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Vanessa Fewings is a USA TODAY bestselling author. Her latest series is The Icon Trilogy, a romantic suspense about Zara Leighton, London’s most brilliant art investigator on the hunt for the notorious thief known as Icon.
PERFUME GIRL (standalone) is scheduled for a fall release.
Vanessa’s previous novels include the bestselling Enthrall Sessions, a romance series spanning eight books about a woman who gets swept up into Enthrall, L.A.’s premier club that caters to the secret desires of the elite.
Readers can also listen to Vanessa as she hosts the weekly podcast The Romance Show, a captivating podcast featuring authors and industry professionals in the romance world.
Prior to publishing, Vanessa worked as a registered nurse and midwife. She holds a Masters Degree in Psychology. She has traveled extensively throughout the world and has lived in Great Britain, Germany, Hong Kong, Cyprus and the USA.
Born and raised in England, Vanessa now proudly calls herself an American and resides on the East Coast with her husband.
Vanessa can be found on her Facebook Fan Page, and in The Romance Lounge, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Goodreads. She enjoys connecting with fans all around the world.

On Sale for 99¢ From August 17-24

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#BookTour “The Experiment” by Robin Lamont

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on Tour August 1-31, 2019

The Experiment cover

Synopsis:

  Jude Brannock is a brash and single-minded female protagonist for today’s readers who believe that nature and animals deserve our respect and must be protected. In The Experiment, author Robin Lamont brings these forward-looking themes to her newest suspense novel. Jude is an investigator for an animal protection organization. When the young man she has trained for an undercover job suddenly vanishes after a tantalizing text that he’s “on to something,” Jude rushes to the quiet, farming community of Half Moon, only to discover that her trainee might have perpetrated an elaborate con job on her. Determined to get to the truth, she unearths a biopharmaceutical company’s deadly secret, and in doing so, comes up against dark secrets of her own.

Book Details:

Genre: Suspense

Published by: Grayling Press

Publication Date: May 15th 2019

Number of Pages: 288

ISBN: 0985848588 (ISBN13: 9780985848583)

Series: The Kinship Series

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

~~~

Read an excerpt:

John Harbolt wasn’t easily shaken. With over forty years of medicine under his belt, there was hardly an injury, disease, or fatality he hadn’t seen, and he’d treated just about everyone in the small town of Half Moon at some time or other. But on that late summer day, young Tori Lacey showed him something that baffled him. Her symptoms were inexplicable and downright scary. She was his first patient of the day, a young woman who had battled her weight for years. In between the earaches and the sore throats, Harbolt had gently counseled her about diet and exercise. He hoped she wasn’t here to ask him about diet pills again, because as far as he was concerned, they were off the table. After removing her file from the plastic holder bolted to the outside of the examination room, he adjusted his wire rim glasses and straightened his lab coat. The younger doctors often wore khakis and a short-sleeved shirt at work, and maybe it put the kids more at ease. But Dr. Harbolt stuck with a freshly starched white coat, believing that it made his patients feel more confident in his abilities. And confidence in one’s doctor was important to the healing process. “Tori Ann Lacey,” he announced jovially as he shambled into the room. “Hi, Dr. Harbolt.” The morose girl before him sat on the table. She had taken off her running shoes but left her sweatshirt and shorts on. “I haven’t seen you for a while,” he said, noting with some surprise that she had slimmed considerably, her round face now leaner and more mature. “How is college life treating you?” “Ok, I guess.” Her voice and posture belied this. “What brings you here today, my dear.” “I don’t really know. But we thought you should look at these.” She pushed back the sleeve of her sweatshirt and held out her arm for inspection. There were several bruises that vandalized the translucent skin of her inner arm. Dr. Harbolt held her wrist and peering over his glasses, looked closely at the red and purple marks. He pressed lightly on one of them. “Does that hurt?” She shook her head no. “What happened?” “That’s the thing. Nothing happened. They just appeared.” She showed him another set of bruises on her other arm. “Did you fall?” “No.” “Knocked into something?” “No,” she exclaimed, as though he didn’t believe her. “My mom thinks it’s my diet. That I should be eating meat.” “And you’re not?” “No. I needed to lose five more pounds for the track team, which I was having a hard time doing, so I switched over to a raw food diet. And it really helped because I made my goal.” “And you were selected for the team?” She nodded, anxiously chewing on a nail. “Congratulations. You getting enough protein?” he asked, studying the bruising and letting her answer drift past him. This wasn’t because of her diet. She rambled for a moment about nuts and spinach, then peeled off her socks and lifted her bare feet to the end of the examination table. “And then yesterday after a run, I found this,” she said. “I didn’t even show my mom ’cause she’d freak out.” Dr. Harbolt caught his breath. It looked as though someone had taken a baseball bat to the soles of the girl’s feet. Fiery maroon blotches screamed out some kind of violence. Three of her toes had turned a dark purple. “Good Lord!” he blurted out. “What happened to you?” “Nothing! I’m telling you nothing happened,” wailed Tori. “They just … showed up.” *** Excerpt from The Experiment by Robin Lamont. Copyright © 2019 by Robin Lamont. Reproduced with permission from Robin Lamont. All rights reserved.

~~~

Author Bio:

Robin Lamont Before becoming a novelist, Robin was a popular Broadway actress and singer, turned private investigator, and then New York prosecutor. She draws on these diverse careers for her work, infusing suspenseful plots with character-driven drama. Robin’s prior work has garnered awards and recognition, including Suspense Magazine’s Best of the Indies and a Gold Medal in the Independent Publishers Book Awards for her novel If Thy Right Hand. Her book The Chain, which introduced Jude Brannock to readers, was a Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Finalist. Her screen adaptation of the book, Six Seconds, is currently under option.

Catch Up With Our Author On: thekinshipseries.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Twitter, & Facebook!

~~~

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

~~~

Enter To Win!

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Robin Lamont. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on August 1, 2019 and runs through September 2, 2019. Void where prohibited.

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#AudioBookBlogTour “Pawn: The Strategy Series” by J.C. Ahern

Audiobook Blog Tour: Pawn by J.C. AhernPawn by J.C. Ahern

Author: J.C. Ahern

Narrator: Patricia Santomasso, Sean Patrick Hopkins

Length: 10 hours and 6 minutes

Series: The Strategy, Book 1

Publisher: Joni Ahern

Released: Dec. 19, 2016

Genre: Science Fiction

Seventeen-year-old Rogue has always classified herself as socially awkward, preferring video games over a trip to the mall. When she wakes up in a forest, she finds that life as she knew it has changed forever, and she cannot remember how. In fact, she can’t remember the last six months at all. As she navigates this new world she soon discovers a talent for combat and survival she’d never had before. A handy ability in a world where humans compete in a game governed by rules she can’t remember.

Ronin, a talented 19-year-old, was wrenched from his Midwest home and forced to compete with a Skaki set. Despite the set’s repeated losses, Ronin has proven himself a powerful player, his sights set on surviving each match – no matter the cost. When a new pawn is added to his set to replace one they lost, Ronin begins to break out of the shell he built around himself and reexamines what he and the other humans have become.

J.C. Ahern was born and raised in the Midwest. From a young age she watched her older siblings playing videogames. She also developed a passion for reading and playing those same games herself. It wasn’t long before her immersion into the different worlds of Fantasy and Sci-fi that she was inspired to create her own worlds and write her own stories. She began her craft in the sixth grade and continued that passion into college where she graduated from Stephens College with a degree in Creative Writing. She went on to get a degree in Nursing, which led her to become a Nurse Practitioner. She now uses the experiences of her life and the things she has learned to enrich her stories to take her readers on flights for the imagination.

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Narrator Bio

A student of neuroscience and speech pathology, Sean Patrick Hopkins has translated his understanding of human behavior & vocal performance into a career in storytelling. His classical training and versatility with dialects has helped to create distinct and varied characters across many genres. In addition to narrating over 150 audiobooks, he has been seen and heard on film, television, video games, and stages in NYC & across the country. When not in the booth, you can find him buried in genealogy research, out exploring our National Parks, and raising an amazing daughter alongside his wife, fellow narrator Patricia Santomasso.

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Narrator Bio

Patricia has always been an avid reader and storyteller. In college she politely smiled hearing the age old question: what on earth are you going to do with a BA in English? Patricia pressed on, thinking what can’t you do? Realizing she should get some practical training to fall back on, she also pursued a degree in theater. After working for years on stages around the country (where she met her husband, narrator Sean Patrick Hopkins, doing a production of As You Like It) she has merged her two loves and happily tells stories for a living from the comfort of a booth. To date, she has recorded over 100 audiobooks. Patricia’s youthful voice and comic timing give heroines a warm relatability and her surprising dips into baritone make her male characters engaging and believable. Patricia and Sean have a sweet baby daughter Lyra Róisín, who isn’t much interested in hearing either one of them read to her.

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Top 10 List

Author J.C. Ahern’s Top Ten Inspirations
  1. J.R.R. Tolkien: so much respect for this man who made up several languages and created extensive histories and culture for Middle Earth. I can’t even come close to his genius, but want to!
  2. C.S. Lewis: the possibility of multiple worlds and people and talking animals all with a common beginning. His writing ranged from being able to write to the young and to the more age advanced.
  3. R.A. Salvatore: reading his multiple books taught me to write fight scenes. His style just drew my attention fully.
  4. Zelda Franchise: the only video game that I’ve played every installment of and still enjoy repeat playthroughs. Showed me how to make something that people will want to play, er, read over and over!
  5. Firefly (the series) and Star Wars: Got me into sci-fi in the first place!
  6. Anime: helped me figure out how to make likeable characters and give them a story arc.
  7. Childhood Cartoons: my first inspiration as a child.
  8. Multiple Videogames: helped me with the mechanics of the gameworld and were totally fun, which made me want to sort of make my own.
  9. Ancient Aliens: a long time favorite show of mine that I started watching after I published Pawn and gave me more ideas for the sequels.
  10. Friends and Family: these were the inspiration for several of my characters, though of course, different names and different characteristics.

Giveaway

Giveaway: Amazon Echo Dot

Pawn Giveaway: Amazon Echo Dot

Aug. 15th:

Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author

Nesie’s Place

Aug. 16th:

Country Road Reviews

Aug. 17th:

Viviana MacKade

Lynn’s Romance Enthusiasm

Aug. 18th:

The Book Junkie Reads . . .

T’s Stuff

Aug. 19th:

Readeropolis

Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews

Aug. 20th:

My Creatively Random Life

Turning Another Page

Aug. 21st:

Teatime and Books

Jazzy Book Reviews

The Book Addict’s Reviews

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