This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kirsten Weiss will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
Midlife Magic and Murder… and a Dog Named Dog.
When Riga Hayworth finds her new client dead, she smells a setup of metaphysical proportions. Now, to find a killer, Riga must travel from San Francisco to the underworld of Greek mythology… and make it back alive.
Donovan, Vinnie, Pen and Brigitte – the story that started it all. The Metaphysical Detective is the prequel to the Riga Hayworth series. If you like Gen-X, no-nonsense heroines and supernatural with your mystery, you’ll love The Metaphysical Detective.
Buy this quirky paranormal women’s fiction and explore the magical world of Riga Hayworth today!
Read an Excerpt
He fingered a tendril of auburn hair that had escaped her ponytail and fallen across her cheek. “Your expressions are as changeable as the clouds. What were you just thinking?”
He was close enough now for her to feel the heat from his body, and the forest stilled. Her being filled with a fevered waiting.
A woman laughed, her voice a raucous cawing, and Riga blinked. A party of hikers tramped along the trail beneath them. Someone below made a joke about mountain lions.
Riga relaxed onto her elbow. “I was thinking about an old movie called The Bishop’s Wife – the original version with David Niven and Cary Grant and Loretta Young.”
“Good movie,” he said. “It had a wine bottle that magically refilled itself. Port, I think. A bit sweet for my tastes, but this port was –” He stopped at Riga’s look. “What?”
Nonplussed, she stared. “You’ve just… taken my conversational thread in a completely different direction.”
“Sorry. You wanted to say something else about the movie?”
“No really, go on.”
“No.” Riga struggled not to laugh. “I don’t want to anymore.”
He sighed. “Okay. Let’s pretend I didn’t say anything about the wine bottle, even though it is the best part of the movie. You said you were thinking of The Bishop’s Wife. And I said, ‘really?’”
“Okay. What I was thinking was how sad it was that when the angel left, nobody remembered he’d ever been there and caused all those miracles to happen in their lives. They thought they’d just done it on their own.”
Donovan nodded. “I don’t think it mattered that the characters didn’t remember him. Their lives had been changed. Perhaps it was best they thought that they’d done it themselves.”
“I suppose,” Riga said, unconvinced. “But the movie was true in one sense – that’s the nature of the metaphysical experience. You can’t hold onto the experience. It comes and goes in a flash. You understand deep in your soul that something marvelous has happened, but you’ll never be able to prove or explain it.”
About the Author:
Kirsten Weiss conjures up action-packed witch mysteries based on contemporary and historical magical practices. Her witchy heroines aren’t perfect (and neither are their familiars), but they’re smart, they struggle, and they succeed.
Kirsten writes in a house high on a hill in the Colorado woods and occasionally ventures out for wine and chocolate. She is best known for her Doyle Witch and Riga Hayworth paranormal mystery books. Are you ready to be enchanted? Just turn the page and… voila!
This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Liza Malloy will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
College students Nate and Olivia are a perfect match on the courts—and in the sheets. Everywhere else, they’re polar opposites and sworn enemies. But as the chemistry builds, a figure from Olivia’s past unexpectedly pops back into her life and the couple realizes they have more in common than they thought. Are these star-crossed lovers doomed to repeat their parents’ mistakes, or can they build a life together once the final set is played?
This book is a standalone, steamy, new adult/college, sports romance, 77k words. Tropes include enemies to lovers, he falls first, and billionaire.
Read an Excerpt
God, she was enchanting. Even up close, even in this dim lighting, even after playing tennis… Olivia was pure perfection. Olivia licked her lips casually, drawing my eyes to her mouth. I needed to know if her lips were as soft as they looked, couldn’t help but wonder if she tasted as good as she smelled. But I didn’t dare try.
So instead, I just stared.
Olivia stared back at me with the same intensity. I hoped maybe she would make the first move and breach the six inches between us. Instead, she spoke.
“I’d love to know what you’re thinking right now.”
My heart beat faster. “I’m trying to guess if you’d slap me if I kissed you right now.”
Her perfect lips curved upwards into a grin she tried to hide. “What did you decide?”
I considered my next words, then spoke slowly. “I decided that you’ve had plenty of time to turn away.” I leaned forward, placed my hand on her cheek, and when she still didn’t move, I pressed my mouth to hers.
Before I could even panic that I’d done the wrong thing, she kissed me back. Her lips were velvety smooth against my own, and they parted willingly, welcoming my tongue into her warm mouth. She tasted sweet, like oranges and cinnamon.
Her hand brushed against my bicep, startling me at first, then egging me on as she pressed her fingers against me, practically squeezing the muscle. I reached to place my other hand around her arm, missing and inadvertently grazing the side of her breast before landing on her arm. Still, she didn’t slap me.
The kiss went on and on. Olivia sure didn’t kiss like the innocent girl she claimed to be, but I wasn’t about to complain, either. Her lips fit perfectly against mine, and I was positive that the rest of our bodies would fit just as well.
All of a sudden, all the court lights flashed on, flooding us in full light. We broke apart in an instant, leaving only our fingers entangled. We both gazed down, as though neither of us had realized we were holding hands, and then we each winced from the light.
About the Author:
Liza Malloy writes contemporary romance and women’s fiction. She’s a sucker for alpha males, bad boys, dimples, and muscles, and she can’t resist a man in uniform. Liza loves creating worlds where her heroine discovers her own strength and finds her Happily Ever After. When Liza isn’t reading or writing torrid love stories, she’s a practicing attorney. Her other passions include gummy bears, jelly beans, and the occasional marathon. She lives in the Midwest with her four daughters and her own Prince Charming.
This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. A randomly drawn winner will receive a $50 Amazon/BN GC. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
When a newspaper reporter’s fiancé dies abruptly, she questions how he could just cease to be.
Dogged by unbidden thoughts, odd coincidences and unexplained phenomena, Ann Stewart becomes obsessed with finding out what really happens after we die and whether her beloved Gregory is still out there. She finds her answer, which takes her and a close-knit coterie of women to the edge of the cosmos—and the core of their own hearts.
Based on a true story.
Enjoy an Excerpt
“It was definitely Gregory,” Connie declared, forcing herself to return to the vision. “As clear as if he were standing next to me. Smiling.”
“If you saw him”—and I still wasn’t believing—“did he see you? Did he see me?”
It made no sense, but I had to know more.
“I don’t know. I tried to un-see him. I really did,” she said, turning to me, something akin to terror twisting her face. “This ‘seeing’ is a part of me that triggers so much shame—and reactivates the trauma. Like shell shock.” Red mottling crept up Connie’s neck and onto her cheeks.
She saw him. The words slid off my brain as if she were speaking in tongues. What did that mean?
“Could it have been your imagination?” I offered wanly, not wanting that to be the case.
“Yes, I suppose it could.”
Neither of us believed it.
“What would it mean for you to ‘see’ him?” I pressed.
Tell me. Even if it makes no sense.
“That there’s something wrong with me,” came her acrid reply. “Deeply, terribly wrong. At least that’s what my father would say. And a lot of other people who make judgments about what I can do.” She slammed the car into park a little too aggressively.
“There’s nothing wrong with you,” I said, getting out of the car.
Connie shut down.
“I need to go home for a while,” she said.
Tell. Me. More.
About the Author: Kim Pierce is a former Dallas Morning News writer and editor who completed the Writer’s Path fiction program at Southern Methodist University. My Dead True Love is her first novel, inspired by events surrounding the death of her fiancé in 1998. She lives in Dallas, Texas, with her partner and three cats.
A three-letter word made me a murderess at the age of eight years. But having experienced the curses of that word, I was done with men as I grew up. All men. Except to outplay them in the New York financial arena. Then Crowned Sex enthroned in gorgeous velvet charm and lustful gallantry storms into my life. Spewing volcanic lava on my monumental arctic ice block. With the unapologetic fierceness of a savage god. Wearing crackling thunderbolts straight from the god Zeus. Explosive has nothing on it.
Adrian isn’t hot, he’s fucking hellish. He embarks on melting my ice block at the speed of lightning. But I was done with men. I was done with sex. For ever. I. Was.
I scented her darkness from the moment I was told about her. The sight of her sealed my decision. She was the woman created for my own darkness. I set off to protect her even from herself. Protect her to claim.
Fuse her darkness with my own. For. Myself. I’d fended women off me with bazookas when I was done but they weren’t. I wasn’t prepared for the battle I soon fought. Not only with her but also with her family. And New York’s billionaire gangsters who own entourages of corrupt cops and politicians. With every battle I won, she started new darker wars around me. You ate or you were eaten. Not even starving was an option.
NOTE: Although the blurb is in the first person, the story of Leo and Adrian is written in the third person. This story contains adult material including explicit sex and violence. You’ve been warned.
He caught both her flying arms, used her momentum to spin her around onto her back on the couch and landed over her.
Smack bang between her legs.
Pinned her hands above her head and every f****** struggle she tried only forced her to rub against his hard body.
Furious, her thighs tensed but with nowhere to go except around his hips. He planned this. She f****** bet he planned this to the last minute detail.
“You double-faced bastard, get off me!”
“No. You put yourself here. Right here under me, Leo.”
“Get the f*** off m—”
He slammed his crotch right against hers and ground in.
She screamed as some unknown force kindled her center and the sensation rushed simultaneously south to her soles and north to her scalp.
She stiffened, trembling. Then whimpered. Then—
Behind the Scenes with Adrian Cranford
The maître d’ ushered her into the enclosed niche at Park Chinois restaurant in Mayfair, and the earth juddered as I got up and buttoned my blazer to offer her my hand.
“Ms Boswell, Mr Cranford,” the maître d’ said and the trillion dollar quaking literally thrust him out.
Leontine Nigella Boswell in the flesh. Her mesmerizing turquoise eyes that I’d traced countless times with my fingers on her stunning images now munched my mouth with an intensity that forced me to lick my lips. As if I readied myself to eat her. My own eyes tore off hers and descended on her fuck-me mouth with another planetary jolt that glued them together.
“Don’t expect anything from me that’ll adequately answer the way you’re looking at me, Adrian Xerxes Cranford.”
Those were the first words she spoke to me. In a voice that made think of taking arms and adorning my military commander uniform to go to war for her. All my adult life I’d fought off women with bazookas when I was done but they weren’t. Now I was ready to go to war for an Adrian goddess I’d worshipped for ever without her proximity.
Bugger me, I thought as her hand left mine, here is magnificent womanhood cloaked in black marble. I felt her darkness claw out of the marble, absorb me and grab inside the even darker abyss within me. Then take root and blossom like a magical flower creating itself for the first time in life’s universe. That darkness slithered into my own darkness and instantly mated. By the time she sat on the chair I held out for her, I knew she was the woman created for my own darkness.
“Give me the inadequate answer, then, Ms Boswell,” I said settling down in my chair opposite her.
“Your uncle, Sir Gordon—”
“Who happens to be your lawyer,” I said to stop that mouth moving for a moment before its movements ruined me. A mistake. Because the planet hadn’t regained its balance yet and forced a gasp from her as she fought not to squirm, her eyes back on my mouth, devouring it.
Watching our mouths in motion was obviously an issue to both of us.
“Yes. He organized this dinner so you can coach me with regard to the City of London. So how many top investors do you know in the World’s Richest Square Mile?”
With every word she spoke, my magical flower opened to full bloom absorbing the blackness in my abyss. Miraculous in its capability to reflect it back. She filled up my inner sight completely with her dazzling darkness. She couldn’t look away, I couldn’t look away, both of our gazes held and locked like two forces with opposing magnets in a tag of war that would never end. Not ever.
“Are you uncomfortable, Leo?” Projection. Fuck, I was uncomfortable and didn’t know where to bloody take it but throw it back at her.
“What?” Her effort to stop our juddering planet brought her eyes back to my mouth. The same omnipotent power slammed my eyes on her mouth.
“That’s not an answer. It’s at best avoidance and therefore an insult to both of us. Since when do you skirt around challenging situations?”
“Fuck you, Mr Cranford.”
“As long as it’s you, Leo, any time.” In my mind’s eye, as I stared at her mouth, I saw her eagerly open it wide for me to fuck it raw and come deep down her throat.
She was too intense to treat this as a quip. I watched her energy whip itself into a coiled tornado speeding towards me, intent on turning me into dust and blowing me off the face of the planet.
“Are you ready for the aperitifs?” the maître d’ asked, back just in time to save my arse. I’d have preferred to have her blow it to hell just to feel that untameable fury of hers on me.
That first close encounter with the goddess I’d worshipped before clapping my eyes on is forever etched in my memory.
To this day, Leo and I are titanic fire and ice. We burn and freeze each other. We destroy and reconstruct each other. We kill and resurrect each other. We fuck like primal beasts and love like demonic gods. In every mood, location or situation, we’re too extraordinary to ever be normal. We’re irreparably damaged. Our story continues to be written.
Adrian set off to protect Leo even from herself. Protect her to claim. Fuse her darkness with his. I feel totally Adrian. I don’t want whatever Leo and I are to be any other way but as is. Neither do I want our story to end although I know it has to, one day.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
AP von K’Ory writes the kind of books she herself would like to read and is passionate about, whether romance, psychological thriller or nonfiction. She is the winner of six awards from four continents, the last one being the Achievers Award for Writer of the Year 2013 in the Netherlands. The Selmere Integration Prize was awarded her in 2014 for her engagement in helping African Women in the Diaspora cope with a variety of domestic and social problems. The Proposal, a short story, won the Cook Communications first prize in 2010 and is published in an American anthology Africa 2012. In 2012, she won the Karl Ziegler Prize for her commitment to bring African culture to Western society in various papers, theses, and lectures. Again in 2012, her book Bound to Tradition: The Dream was nominated for the 2012 Caine Prize by the Author-me Group, Sanford, and in 2013 she was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize.
Von K’Ory is married to an aristocrat and politician of Franco-German descent, has a large extended family. She lectures Economics and Sociology in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. She’s migratory and – weather willing – lives in Germany, France, Cyprus, and Greece.
It would be equally wonderful if you could Like my Author page and read more about Shana and Roman new releases, cover reveals and what I’m up to lately on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAPVonKOry
Their final battle has come, and Chaos will not surrender.
The danger and risks have never been more real for Claire. She has spent her adult life fending off his relentless attacks, and now only wants to protect those she loves, but in doing so, she places everyone at greater risk.
Born of two sacred lines created by Carling, generations before, Aroha must face Chaos. Young, and unsure of herself, Aroha looks to her godmother for guidance, but is it enough? Claire must prepare her for the moment Aroha was born for.
Can Claire keep those she loves safe and reunite those that were once lost?
Standing in the centre of the circle, the couple waited. Beyond the stones the wind and rain that blustered in the darkness did not affect them. Inside it was calm and warm. Matt clasped her hand in his and was growing impatient. Claire turned to face him, her arms going about his waist as she drew him into her. He looked down at his wife and smiled, his bright blue eyes sparkling in the fleeting moonlight and showing the love he felt for her. He reached up and pushed her blond hair away from her face and kissed her.
There was no need for words, they had been together for twenty-eight years and knew each other too well. The connection between them ran deep inside their minds and was unbreakable. Claire rested her head on his chest and closed her eyes, taking comfort from his arms and his presence. Memories of their times at the stones came floating up and she smiled at the ones that meant the most to her.
“Claire,” Matt said, softly bringing her out of her memories.
Pulling away from the warmth of his body reluctantly, she watched the Guardians enter the circle. Each figure took their place once more in the gaps between the large stones and faced the couple. With increasing nervousness Claire waited for the Guardians to begin.
“Greetings to the One True Child, daughter and sister of the Sentinels, Staff and Sword of Order, Guardian of the Stones and wife of Galen the Protector,” one of the hosts proclaimed, as he stepped forward from his place.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
L.C. Conn grew up on the outskirts of Upper Hutt, New Zealand. Her backyard encompassed the surrounding farmland, river, hills and mountains which she wandered with her brothers and fed her imagination. After discovering a love for writing in English class at the age of eight, she continued to write in secret. It was not until much later in life that L.C. turned what she thought was a hobby and something fun to do, into her first completed novel. Now married, L.C. moved from New Zealand to Perth, Western Australia, and became a stay at home mum. While caring for her family and after battling breast cancer, a story was born from the kernel of a dream. The first book of The One True Child Series was begun, and just kept blooming into seven completed stories.
This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. M W Arnold will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
During a hectic couple of weeks in February 1944, the girls of the Air Transport Auxiliary Mystery Club must face devastating personal loss amongst their number. A member of an illegal faction blackmails Betty, whilst a mystery at Mary’s ancestral home threatens to cause more trouble than anyone thought possible. In the midst of what should be the happiest of times, the portents seem to be catching up and little is what it seems to be. Can the girls find the strength to battle forces both internal and external, yet still maintain their dignity and friendship?
Read an Excerpt
After lowering the shoebox into the newly dug hole behind Riverview Cottage, Walter stood up straight again.
“Over to you, Ruth,” he said, bowing his head.
Ruth nodded, bowed her head, and clasped her hands before her. “Dear Lord, in whom we trust and worship, accept this, a symbolic foot, to your mercy. Look over my son in his time of need, all his friends, and the subjects of His Majesty, King George the Sixth. Amen.”
“Amen,” Walter echoed and handed Ruth a trowel.
Bending down, Ruth shoveled some dirt over the box before passing the tool back to Walter, who did the same. Turning around, Ruth called for Bobby and placed him on the leash once he came to a halt at her ankles. Walter now filled in the rest of the hole and patted it down with the back of the trowel.
Dusting some dirt off his knees, Walter got to his feet. “Ready for work?”
Ruth cast one glance down at the small mound of earth. “I suppose.”
“There’s the enthusiasm I love!” he joked, offering Ruth his arm.
Taking it, Ruth led him toward the side entrance with Bobby pulling on his leash, eager for an early morning walk. Squeezing Walter’s hand, Ruth told him, “At least I can put in my next letter to my son that we’ve held a funeral for his foot. I feel a little guilty, as it’s a while now since I told him I’d do one.”
About the Author:
M W Arnold lives near Northampton, UK and is known to his family and friends as, Mick. He was in the Royal Air Force for 16 years, visiting many different countries and very much enjoying himself. If he ever meets the Queen, he will have to thank her. He began writing as these characters needed their own voices. For a few years now, he’s been a member of the Romantic Novelists Association, a wonderful group of writers who’ve welcomed this bloke into their fold with open arms.
For Lachlan Smith, learning the secret of the apocalypse was the easy part.
Ever since Locksmith found the portal to the future, he has been wondering who or what was responsible for the empty, uninhabited world he found.
Now he knows—and now he has to fight them.
He thought he had fifteen years in which to prevent the extinction of the human species.
Now, he has only hours.
When the portal is stolen by a cabal of dangerous fanatics, his mother and many of his friends are trapped on the other side. Now the enemy is after him, and the only way to thwart their genocidal plan is to retake the portal and hold it—at both ends.
With very little time left, a handful of allies who don’t trust each other, almost no chance of success and the survival of humanity itself at stake… Locksmith is going to war.
Rikki’s first plan of escape
Rikki’s first plan of escape was simple — wait for somebody to open the door, then pounce on them, beat them up and start running. She couldn’t act on this plan until the drug wore off.
She was still feeling jittery from the drug when the lights went out, leaving her in something very close to pitch darkness. The tags on her ears glowed in the dark. The lights stayed off for a fair stretch of time — it might have been an hour. Before long, even with the drug out of her system her pupils had dilated to the point where the light that leaked in under the doorway looked like a line of yellow-white fire, dimly illuminating the room.
Then she heard the footsteps out the in the hall. Someone was headed this way. Rikki pointed herself at the doorway and got herself into a sprinter’s crouch like she’d seen Lock do.
The footsteps stopped in front of the door to her cell. She could see the shadows of somebody’s feet. Just one person. Good. Heavier than average, from the sound of the footsteps, but still better than trying to tackle two or more people at once. Her leg muscles were ready to launch her at the enemy. She got her fists into position. A few good blows to the solar plexus and kidneys…
and try again tomorrow?” This isn’t a track meet, this is a heist. You can’t just reschedule it.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
In addition to writing books, Paul Briggs has worked as a newspaper editor, court reporter’s assistant, and audio transcriber. In his spare time (when he has any) he sometimes performs in community theater, most recently taking on the roles of Bottom, Petruchio, Macbeth, Rosalind, and Richard III in a Shakespeare compilation. An Eastern Shore native who grew up in Chestertown, Maryland, Paul earned a BA in English from Washington College and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland – College Park.
He is the author of several short plays, including the award-winning The Worst Super Power Ever and The Picture of Health. He is also writing the sequel to his 2018 science fiction novel Altered Seasons: Monsoonrise, which vividly imagines the dislocations that follow when the Arctic Sea ice finally melts and the Chesapeake Bay is drowned by the effects of climate change.
This post ispart of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Connie di Marco will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
The Zodiac Mysteries feature San Francisco astrologer, Julia Bonatti, who never thought murder would be part of her practice. In The Madness of Mercury, Julia’s outspoken advice in her newspaper column, AskZodia, makes her the target of a recently-arrived cult preacher who advocates love and compassion to those less fortunate. But the power-hungry preacher is waging war on sin and his Army of the Prophet will stop at nothing to silence those who would stand in his way. Julia is at the top of his list.
Read an Excerpt
“Thank God you’re there.” Gale sounded very shaky.
“I’m at the Mystic Eye. Something very strange just happened. I heard a knock at the back door. I thought it might be you.”
“Are you alone?”
“Yes. I closed up and sent Cheryl home. When I opened the door . . . oh God, Julia. Someone left a dead cat on the doorstep.”
I cringed. “I’ll be right there.”
“I’m sorry. You don’t need to come. I wrapped it up and put it in plastic in the dumpster. It looked like its neck had been broken.”
“Don’t argue. I’ll be there in twenty minutes. Less than that.”
I drove the length of California Street as fast as I could, slowing at each red light. Once I was sure no other cars were crossing I ran through several intersections. When I reached the Eye the shop was closed but the display lights were on in the front windows. I pulled down the alleyway and parked next to Gale’s car. I tapped on the door. “Gale, it’s me.” She opened the door immediately. The storeroom was dark. A stack of empty boxes and packing materials stood against the wall. Inside, the only light was a small desk lamp in the office.
Gale is tall and self-assured with a regal bearing. Tonight she was completely shaken. She hugged her arms, more from fright than from cold. “I feel bad now that I’ve called you. I was just so freaked out. I recognized the cat, it was the little gray one that hangs out behind the apartment building next door. I think it’s a stray. Everyone around here feeds it, even the restaurant people, and it’s such a friendly little thing. Some sick bastard probably gave it some food and then snapped its neck. God, I think I’m going to be sick.”
“Shouldn’t you call the cops?”
“And tell them what? I found a dead cat? Please. Like they’d listen. Even if they thought someone had killed it, what could they do?”
“It shows a pattern of harassment. Might be worth making a report.”
She sighed. “Yeah. You’re probably right. I just wasn’t thinking straight. I was so upset.” She collapsed in the chair behind her desk.
I shrugged out of my coat. “Why are you here so late?”
“We just got a huge shipment of books and supplies in. Cheryl’s been working late every night so I sent her home. I had just finished stacking the boxes in the storeroom.” Gale shivered involuntarily. “Look, let’s get out of here. Have you eaten? Why don’t we go up the block and grab some food? Actually a drink sounds even better.”
“Get your coat. We can leave the cars here and walk. I’ll just get my purse.”
I headed to the front door and checked that the locks were all in place. The drapes separating the display windows from the shop were drawn for privacy. Gale left the desk lamp on in the office and walked out to the front counter. As she reached under the counter for her purse, we heard glass breaking. Then I saw a flash of flame through the doorway to the back storeroom. I screamed. The empty boxes and packing materials had caught fire in an explosive flash. The smoke alarm started to ring, filling the shop with earsplitting sound. Using my coat like a blanket, I dropped it over the center of the flaming pile. It wasn’t going to be enough, but I had to do something before the entire storeroom went up, if not the building.
About the Author:
Connie di Marco is the author of the Zodiac Mysteries featuring Julia Bonatti, a San Francisco astrologer who never thought murder would be part of her practice: The Madness of Mercury is the first in the series. Writing as Connie Archer, she is also the author of the national bestselling Soup Lover’s Mysteries from Penguin Random House. You can find her excerpts and recipes in The Cozy Cookbook and The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook. Connie is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, The Crime Writers Association and Sisters in Crime.
This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Megan Slayer will award a prize pack featuring a bracelet and necklace made by the author. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
Can a high school romance that never happened have a second life in a small town?
Tracey Baker got out of Blakes Creek to find her purpose in life. She found it in the theatre scene in New York, but after ten years, she’s ready for a change. Working for the community theatre in her hometown is just what she needs—until she sees Ryan Greene.
Ryan Greene crushed on Tracey Baker in school, but he never thought she’d come back to Blakes Creek. When he sees her at the theatre, he’s determined to win her heart. His daughter Maisey is just as determined. She likes Tracey and sets out to prove her dad is Tracey’s Prince Charming.
Love might conquer all, but with the eyes and ears of the town focused on their relationship, Ryan and Tracey will have to prove they can set the stage alight together.
Read an Excerpt
“Ryan?” Tracey held a clipboard and one of the glittery chorus girl dresses. “Do you have a second?”
“I do.” He’d rather run. “How are you?”
“I’m good. Busy. You seem busy, too.” She smiled. “You’re doing well with the sets. I can’t wait to see them in action.”
“Thanks.” Was he blushing? The tips of his ears burned. “The costumes looked good. I haven’t seen them all, but I bet they’re great.”
“Oh, they’re not done yet. I still have to get everyone fitted properly and figure out where to add more glitz like Derek wants.” She fiddled with the garment in her hands. “I wanted to talk to you about Maisey.”
“What did she do?” He steeled himself for her answer. Maisey could tell tales and made things seem worse than reality. She craved attention, too.
“It’s not anything she did.” Tracey left the stage and strode out to the audience. “Here. This is less invasive. No, it’s what happened.”
“What happened? Did she try to set us up? She thinks I need another wife.” Shit. He shouldn’t have said that. “Sorry.”
Tracey paled. “Another? How many have you had?”
“One. Carol. It didn’t work out.” He shook his head. “Honestly, I’m not looking to date anyone.” He could be convinced if the right woman asked him on a date—like Tracey.
“Uh…she didn’t say anything about a date or a wife.” Tracey fumbled with the dress and perched on one of the seatbacks. “No, she was wearing another girl’s costume because the other girl wanted Maisey to be able to dance in the performance.”
He wobbled onto the seatback one aisle behind hers. “Come again? Maisey did what?”
“Maisey wants to dance, and she’s in the class showing she can do it. One of the girls, a friend, gave her the wrong costume—the friend’s—so Maisey wouldn’t have to pay for it and could participate. I asked Maisey, and she said her dad couldn’t afford for her to dance.”
He had to be honest, but he hated the embarrassment. “I work two jobs, and I don’t have the time or money for dance. I barely keep us fed.” He tried to hide his shame. Tracey didn’t need to see him upset. If he hadn’t been saddled with Jessica’s debts, he’d be better off.
“Do you mind if she takes part in the recital?” Tracey asked. “I saw her practice with the other girls, and she’s good. She deserves to dance. She’ll have a costume, if you’ll let her, since I took her measurements. Actually, she’s already got one.”
“How much?” He’d have to shuffle a few things to find the money, but he had to give Maisey this.
About the Author:
Megan Slayer, aka Wendi Zwaduk, is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and published since 2009. Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to LGBTQ and white hot themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been nominated at the LRC for Best Author, Best Contemporary, Best Ménage, Best BDSM and Best Anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on Amazon.com.
When she’s not writing, Megan spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but football is her sport of choice. She’s an active member of the Friends of the Keystone-LaGrange Public library.
Ava Moreland has it all planned out. In two months, she will marry her fiancé, Tim. She’ll continue working at Vegas’s famous Cosmopolitan bar while he runs his father’s accounting firm. Soon they’ll start a family and she’ll have the white picket life she’s always dreamed of. Or not.
When her fairytale engagement implodes in a devastating display, Ava embarks on a quest to reclaim her identity and feminine prowess – by sleeping her way through Las Vegas. With her best friend, Jarrod, acting as wingman her plan is foolproof. Or not.
Nothing goes as planned with hilariously disastrous results. Her sexual misadventures will keep you in stitches as Ava searches for herself in Sin City, finding herself and her happily ever after in the unlikeliest of places.
“That’s your master plan? To become known as the slutty bartender?” Jarrod raises one eyebrow, his skepticism written all over his face.
“Well, it sounds bad when you put it like that.” I shrug. “You’re misunderstanding the point.”
“Is the point to see how many STD’s you can rack up?”
I sigh. “No. The point is to reclaim my womanly power. The point is to live life. The point is to embrace life’s opportunities without the expectation of a happily ever after. The point is to forget about Mr. Right and enjoy Mr. Right Now.”
Jarrod shakes his head, leaves me sitting on the sofa alone and goes into his bedroom.
“I thought you’d be totally on board!” I shout to his closed door.
I mean, seriously. It isn’t as if I told him I was going to lay spread eagle in front of The Bellagio holding a sign reading ‘Free Sex’. While I’m not the type of girl to throw her cooter at every guy passing by, I see no reason to be a total prude either. I’ve decided to explore the world of one-night stands. I get hit on all the time at work. What’s so wrong with taking someone up on the offer if I find him attractive? I am no longer beholden to anyone.
A few minutes later, Jarrod jerks his door open. “Ok. I’ve thought about it. You can do this, but you need a chaperone.”
“I don’t need a chaperone.”
“Ok, A wingman, then. I’ll be personally vetting your selections to make sure there’s no psycho vibes.” He plops down next to me on the couch.
FROM THE AUTHOR
I took a risk when I titled my newest book, The Misadventures of a (Wannabe) Slutty Bartender by putting the word ‘Slutty’ in the title. Slutty is loaded word. Hearing it elicits some type of visceral response from everyone, and rarely is that response positive. For most, the word slutty represents a woman of low moral character, someone we should look down upon with disdain and scorn. I’ll admit, there were times in my life I thought much the same way. Calling a woman a slut is usually the result of gossip, driven by virtue signaling and insecurities. When used in a derogatory way, the moniker of slut is a badge of shame, a public declaration of a woman’s unworthiness of love and compassion. We are to believe she is dirty, unclean and impure.
Well, I refuse to continue the tradition of shaming a woman for the choices she makes with her own body. Which is why I decided to put ‘Slutty’ on the front cover, out in the open for God and everyone to see.
As times change and social norms evolve, being called a slut no longer carries with it the negative connotations it once did. For many, a slut is merely a woman who chooses to reject the patriarchal ideology that a woman touched is a woman ruined while men are free to dip their wick in any willing receptacle without damage to their reputation or social standing. What was once a shameful label is now looked at as a symbol of pride by some.
The Misadventures of a (Wannabe) Slutty Bartender is a story about a woman empowering herself (or at least attempting to) by no longer allowing anyone to tell her how she should behave or how she should conduct her private life. The main character, Ava, has been turning herself inside out for several years trying to become the person her fiancé and his stuffy parents would approve of. When her engagement collapses in a heap of shock and lies, she realizes she has lost herself in the outdated and suffocating perception of what makes a woman valuable. In an effort to regain her essence, she embarks on a mission to embrace life my having a series of one night stands. She theorizes the only way as a young, single woman to recapture her lost zest for life is to welcome all Vegas has to offer, including casual sex. It isn’t the sex she is necessarily after, but instead she is chasing the freedom to decide what – and who – she does and when she does it. Unfortunately for her, her escapades rarely live up to her fantasies. Each attempt is more hilariously disappointing than the last, thus making her a wannabe slut. Don’t worry. She eventually gets the HEA all women deserve.
My hope is that in addition to being entertaining, The Misadventures of a (Wannabe) Slutty Bartender conveys the message all women are fabulous, worthy and fierce, regardless of their sexual practices. There is no longer room in a woman’s underwear for societal judgement.
Make no mistake, I am in no way advocating the women of the world suddenly start tossing their cooters at every man passing by. In addition to being an author, I have also been a nurse for over twenty years. While I am all for women having total control over their goodies, my medical training demands I urge you to use good judgement and be safe.
Whether you have one partner or a hundred, you deserve to be valued for the awesome and beautiful person you are.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
WS Carmichael is attempting to write the world into romantic bliss one novel at a time. Based in upstate NY, she travels as often as her hectic schedule will allow. When she isn’t busy writing, she’s a mother, nurse and avid sportswoman.
WS Carmichael fell in love with romance at an early age when she would sneak Harlequins from her mother. A voracious reader, she eventually made the jump to writing.
Writing is her passion and she’s always jotting down new storyline and character ideas. Often, her characters take on a life of their own and don’t always cooperate with her plan for them. Creating well developed, strong alpha male characters that don’t fit into the typical romance hero mold makes her novels exciting and relatable. A woman who believes whole heartedly in happily ever after, she gives her heroes the heroine they deserve.
You can check out her blog and find out more on her website: