Book Blitz: Three Bloody Pieces by Elizabeth Davies

 

A dead king, a queen who is more than she seems, and a witch who uses the dark arts to entrap her.

Queen, widow, beggar – Lady Caitlyn is all three, and now she can add murderer to the list.

When death and treachery propel her south to Normandy, to seek sanctuary with the exiled Prince Alfred, visions of a woman with ancient eyes travel with her.

Herleva is a woman filled with ambition and greed. A woman who intends to be more than a commoner. A woman who gets what she wants by whatever means possible, even if she has to practice the dark arts to achieve her goals.

A woman who is a witch.

Caitlyn finds herself caught up in a magic which changes her very being. A magic which produces a king to change the lives of every man, woman, and child in England.

 

Amazon – https://amzn.to/2QJDStt

Apple – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1287207080

B&N – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/three-bloody-pieces-elizabeth-davies/1127125749;jsessionid=30CDB4C91A2F4A4D583FE529FF96B54C.prodny_store02-atgap06?ean=2940154924754

Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/three-bloody-pieces

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Author Bio –

Elizabeth Davies is a paranormal author, whose books have a romantic flavour with more than a hint of suspense. And death. There’s usually death…

Social Media Links –

Website – www.elizabethdaviesauthor.co.uk

Twitter  – @bethsbooks

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ElizabethDaviesAuthor/

Instagram – @elizabethdavies.author

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Giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Recent Release & Giveaway: Violet Souls by Abbey MacMunn

 

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Violet Souls, Book 1 of The Evoxian Legacies

While searching for clues to her past, shy single mum, Bree Mills discovers a subculture of aliens with supernatural abilities living on Earth.

And she’s one of them.

Finding herself hurled into a world of possibilities, it’s made more alluring by Quinn Taylor, the violet-eyed Evoxian from her childhood dreams.

324-year-old Quinn knows his destiny is entwined with Bree’s, but before he can confess his love, he must wait for her to sense the Akui, a mysterious force tied with ancient Evoxian law.

At a Cotswolds country manor, passions awaken and ignite a love more magical than the once-Utopian planet, Evox. Then Fate delivers a cruel and heart-breaking blow when Bree is kidnapped by a malicious alien who wants her and her power.

Will Quinn still love her when she’s faced with protecting her half-human daughter… whatever the cost?

Purchase Links

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Smashwords
iBooks
Kobo
Barnes & Noble

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Excerpt

Bree perched on the edge of the sofa. “Did you hear about the attack at the local shop?”

“Yeah, it’s all over Facebook,” her sister replied.

“I was there.”

“Shit. Are you okay?”

“I’m fine. Someone saved me.” Her cheeks warmed. “It turns out he has the same pendant as me, and similar, violet-coloured eyes.”

“He?” Jane raised an eyebrow. Ruby red lips twitched in a smile. “Brianna Mills! The original Miss I’m-off-guys-forever, actually likes someone. I never thought I’d see the day.”

“No, I don’t…well, maybe I do, but that’s not it.”

They laughed, and Jane made immature wolf whistle sounds.

“Okay, okay.” She let Jane have her fun before continuing. “Jane, I need to tell you something.”

“Yes, something huge, you said that already. Spill.”

“It’s amazing…or weird, depending on your views.” She bit her lip. What if Jane freaked out?

“Get it off your chest, sis.”

“You know how I’ve always been a bit different to other people?” She took a breath, then blurted out the words as she exhaled. “It’s because I’m not from this planet.” Continue reading

Book Blitz & Giveaway: The Lost Royals Saga by Rachel Jonas

Title: The Lost Royals
Author: Rachel Jonas
Genre: upper YA/NA Paranormal Romance

 

Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

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Blurb:

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Wolves. Dragon shifters. A fallen kingdom destined to rise again.
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Evie Callahan is positive there’s something strange going on in Seaton Falls, her new home. The locals are bigger, stronger, and faster than most. That includes Nick, the boy next door who’s become her silver lining in this godforsaken town.
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She wants to trust her instincts–about Nick, about what she suspects in Seaton Falls–but rumors of wolves and dragon shifters makes it hard to tell what’s real. With a history of odd dreams and the nagging sense that she’s never belonged, Evie fears she’s losing touch with reality. Her concern only grows when someone who’s haunted these dreams is suddenly tangible … and claims to hold the key to unlocking her true identity.
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Finding out her entire life has been a lie is scary enough, but what’s downright terrifying is discovering who she’s destined to become.
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Evie’s much more than your average, seventeen-year-old girl.
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And this is her genesis.
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Hey! I’m Rachel, a Michigan native with a passion for writing. I have several young adult releases on my schedule. Those releases will be within the genres of paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and dystopian fiction, so I hope you stick with me and check out my future work!
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Aside from the many hours spent happily pecking away at my keyboard, I’m a wife, mother of three, an avid reader, and a gamer with a penchant for all things Sims. There will always be a keyboard at my fingertips and I look forward to the words that will flow from them for many years to come. As a self-proclaimed nerd, there’s not a more satisfying career choice I could have made. Happy reading!
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Author Links:
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Buy Links:
The Genesis of Evangeline: https://amzn.to/2NT6zWe
Dark Side of the Moon: https://amzn.to/2OyGpVU
Heart of the Dragon: https://amzn.to/2PKTN9A
Season of the Wolf: https://amzn.to/2QE0xXO
Fate of the Fallen: https://amzn.to/2MHU5Md
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https://www.facebook.com/authorracheljonas/

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Book Blitz & Giveaway: Raven’s Eye by Adam Gowans

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Ever since magic caused his mother’s death, Ha-Neul, crown prince of Balhae, hates witches and the magic they wield. He has instituted harsh laws against all magic users.
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Lisa is a young witch working undercover as a servant in his palace, hoping to gain freedom for her people. The last thing the two expect is to fall in love. But when Ha-Neul learns that Lisa is not only a witch, but the daughter of the Prince of Vires, land of witches, he banishes her. Distracted by heartbreak, he is caught off-guard by a military coup.
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In hiding and on the run, Ha-Neul swallows his pride and travels with his siblings to Vires, planning to beg Lisa’s aid, only to learn that she has mysteriously vanished.
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Now his only hope in reclaiming his kingdom and reuniting with Lisa lies in the remote Northern Mountains, a country no one has ever penetrated and rumored home of a powerful magic source. There, Ha-Neul learns that a being powerful beyond comprehension has been carefully guiding his destiny. But if Ha-Neul can’t let go of his hatred of all things magic, and accept the new path offered to him, it will mean the destruction of his entire world.
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Amazon

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Adam Gowans is the youngest of five Air Force brats, out of which his siblings have voted him the weirdest. He loves anything that deals with stories, including movies, novels, television dramas, music, video games, manga/manhwa, and webtoons.
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In his mid-twenties, he lived and taught English in South Korea for four years before returning to the States to live, like many LDS authors, in Utah.
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His first novel is On Angelic Wings, which has a planned sequel, but the sequel will be released after two other novels that are calling for his attention.

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Facebook ~ Website ~
Amazon ~
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Excerpt 
After they ate a filling breakfast, they ordered a picnic from the café and walked to a large park. There, they played on the playground like the children. Eventually they were playing with the children as well. He usually played the monster or bad guy since he was the scary-looking one of the two, but sometimes Lisa would join him in chasing the children when they least expected it. When they or the children got tired, they left the playground to sit on a bench and share a water bottle from their picnic basket.
They ate lunch a little after one. Both were flushed and tired from playing so much. They laid out the blanket that came with the basket and began eating cold-cut sandwiches, fruit, salad, and brownies. At one point, Lisa pulled out her cell phone and held it up to take his picture.
“What’re you doing?” He smiled.
“Capturing a memory,” she said and took the picture.
He laughed. “Why capturing?”
She smiled, but something in her smile caused him to become concerned. She seemed to notice and unexpectedly sat in his lap, her legs on either side of his so her knees brushed his hips. Her hands went to his shoulders, near his neck, and she stared into his eyes. His heart raced, and he felt his insides shift with the want of having her so close and to pull her closer still. Involuntarily, his breath drew in a little more ragged, and he had to fight down his excitement.
“Capture,” she said with quiet sincerity, “so these memories never fade, so we can always find them.”
His eyes went to her lips as his hands slid to her hips and tugged her closer. She leaned in as a hint of a smile played at her lips, then she kissed his forehead, causing his hands to clutch her tighter as he let out a sigh of pleasure. She looked down into his eyes and smiled when she saw the effect she had on him.

 

“You see?” she whispered. “I’ve already captured you.”
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To view our blog schedule and follow along with this Blitz visit our Official Event Page 

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Book Blitz: The Holiday Cruise by Victoria Cooke

 

As if it weren’t enough to be cheated on by her husband of ten years, Yorkshire lass Hannah Davis is losing her beauty salon business too. Luckily, her big sister is there to pick up the pieces, but Hannah is desperate to find some independence.

Impulsively, Hannah applies for a spa job…on a cruise ship! Christmas in the Caribbean, springtime in the Mediterranean, what’s not to like? But, despite being in her thirties, Hannah has never done anything on her own before, and she’s terrified.

As the ship sets sail, Hannah has never been further from home…or closer to discovering who she is and who she wants to be.

Purchase Linksmybook.to/TheHolidayCruiseAmazon

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Q&A with the Author

Thank you so much for featuring me on your blog.

  • Were there any real-life inspirations behind your writing?

I love cruising and I was on board the Disney Magic in 2016 when I decided I’d like to write a book set on board a cruise ship’. I’m passionate about travel and some of my favourite destinations feature in The Holiday Cruise.

  • Where do you get your ideas for writing your books?

Many authors will say that ideas often hit them when they’re trying to get to sleep and I’ve found this is often the case. I think that’s the time your brain is free from the daily routine and can run off a little. Sometimes it can be a snippet of an overheard conversation, an article or just a notion that hits me and sparks a theme which then becomes a book. My first book The Secret to Falling in Love was based on my own frustrations with being addicted to technology. The Holiday Cruise stemmed from my love of travel and Who Needs Men Anyway? Came about after I’d binge-watched TV shows like ‘The Real Housewives’ and films like ‘Clueless’. I wanted to have a bit of fun with that one.

 

  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?

I use a writing tracker that gives me a daily target of words to write. As long as I start way ahead of my deadline, it can be a small manageable number like 800 words a day. On a good day, I can write about 5000 words so it’s easy to get ahead (and to fall behind if you’re not careful). As long as I meet my goal, I’m quite lenient with rest breaks. If I hit my word count in the morning, I can either spend the rest of the day doing something else or getting ahead but if I’m suffering from writer’s block, I leave it for another day.

  • What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Keep writing! It’s common advice but so true. Sometimes I write a scene and I know it’s awful, but it enables me to move to the next. I know I can go back and improve it later but at that moment in time, it’s maybe all I have. Sometimes if I’m really stuck on a plot point I’ll insert a sentence in red, block capitals such as: Jane needs to have a big sloppy kiss here. That enables me to move on to the next scene whilst I figure out how the kiss will happen.

  • What’s the best thing about being a writer?

I’ve always loved stories and living in a daydream world that I’ve created, inventing characters and orchestrating conversations are the aspects of writing I love.

  • Have any of your characters ever appeared in your dreams?

No, they haven’t – I feel left out on this because I know a few authors who’ve had this. That said, I rarely remember my dreams.

  • How did you celebrate after finishing this novel?

I always watch a movie and have a glass of fizz when I finish a novel and often snaffle the odd chocolate truffle too.

  • What’s next for you?

In the same genre as The Holiday Cruise, I have a fourth book due out in ebook in December and paperback in February. It’s called It Started with a Note and tells the story of a woman following her war hero great-grandfather’s footsteps around northern France where she meets some interesting characters. I also have a contract for a fifth book scheduled for release in 2019.

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Author Bio 

Victoria Cooke grew up in the city of Manchester before crossing the Pennines in pursuit of a career in education. She now lives in Huddersfield with her husband and two young daughters and when she’s not at home writing by the fire with a cup of coffee in hand, she loves working out in the gym and travelling. Victoria was first published at the tender age of eight by her classroom teacher who saw potential in a six-page story about an invisible man. Since then she’s always had a passion for reading and writing, undertaking several writers’ courses before completing her first novel, ‘The Secret to Falling in Love,’ in 2016

Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/VictoriaCookeAuthor/

https://twitter.com/VictoriaCooke10

https://www.instagram.com/victoriacookewriter/

Book Blitz: Bearly Magic by Catherine Vale

Title: Bearly Magic
Author: Catherine Vale
Genre: Paranormal Romance
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Blurb:

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Mixing business with pleasure can be a magical combination. And deadly.
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The local humans don’t know it, but they live among a growing community of shifters, mages, dark elves, and vamps. San Francisco may look like a beautiful city by day, but when the lights go down, the streets are crawling with dangerous paranormal creatures.
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Angela Mason works for the Order of Protection. This means that it’s her job to protect the city from dark supernatural forces, and do whatever is needed to keep the people safe, including partnering with the irresistibly handsome stranger, Cole Avery.
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Cole is a shifter mercenary, a ruggedly handsome were-bear, who is dedicated to getting the job done. His reputation as a ruthless warrior speaks for itself, so when he is called to help Angela out on a missing person report, she knows his help is needed…even if she’d rather go it alone.
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What she doesn’t expect, is to feel such a strong connection to the dangerous shifter. Thankfully, Cole Avery’s rule of never mixing business with pleasure should keep them focused on solving the mystery. Or so they think…
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If you love riveting storytelling, sensual alpha shifters, and paranormal romance that never quits, then you’ll love Bearly Magic.
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NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling author Catherine Vale writes urban fantasy stories of magic and mayhem and paranormal romance.
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Author Links:
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Buy Links:
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Audiobook Blitz: My Beautiful Suicide by Atty Eve

Title: My Beautiful Suicide
Author: Atty Eve
Genre: Psychological Thriller
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Blurb:

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Cosette has a rough life, but it isn’t until she accidentally kills someone that Cosette makes the decision to end it. Unwilling to hurt friends and family, Cosette feels the best method of suicide is to become a victim. But when she goes out and gets attacked; instincts take over and she ends up killing her attackers. Guilty, desperate, and scared, Cosette does the unthinkable.
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Blurb:

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Cosette Hugo thought she had fulfilled her wish for a beautiful suicide… but she survived. As she begins the slow road to recovery, the guilt of what she has done has become overwhelming. She vows to put her murderous alter ego, Bonnie, behind her forever. In order to do this, Cosette must rescue Hilda and keep the truth about Hilda’s kidnapping a secret. During the rescue things go wrong, and Cosette is forced to kill again. This wakes up Bonnie, now stronger than ever. Tired of the inside turmoil, Cosette has to decide who is going to be in control.
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I was born and raised in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I grew up with a faithful Christian mother and a short-tempered, alcoholic father. My escape was reading and music. I think I was the only kid with my nose in a book during the Air Force Academy football games.
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As a rebellious teen, I was very self-destructive and always getting into trouble. Needing a change, I followed my father’s footsteps and joined the Air Force.
During my four-year enlistment, I was stationed at Nellis AFB in Las Vegas,
Nevada, where I met my wonderful husband. After our tour ended, we moved to Southern Indiana, on the outskirts of Louisville, Kentucky. I have two teenage sons whom I try to embarrass but have yet to succeed.
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Now, as the president of Kentuckiana Authors, I coordinate book fairs, signings, and parties for the group. This keeps me busy along with my writing.
For information on Kentuckiana Authors book fairs please visit www.KentuckianaAuthors.com
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Author Links:
Buy Links:
My Beautiful Suicide: https://amzn.to/2CPDoPj
Controlling Cosette: https://amzn.to/2COkg4v
How to Kill a Pedophile: https://amzn.to/2OkbH2I
Stupid, Stupid Girl: https://amzn.to/2N65U3Y
Audio Links:
My Beautiful Suicide: https://amzn.to/2xaeWlU
Controlling Cosette: https://amzn.to/2p0eR0q
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Book Blitz: Borderline by Joseph Badal

 

 Lassiter/Martinez Case Files, Book 1
Mystery
Publisher: Suspense Publishing

 

In “Borderline,” Joseph Badal delivers his first mystery novel with the same punch and non-stop action found in his acclaimed thrillers. Barbara Lassiter and Susan Martinez, two New Mexico homicide detectives, are assigned to investigate the murder of a wealthy Albuquerque socialite. They soon discover that the victim, a narcissistic borderline personality, played a lifetime game of destroying people’s lives. As a result, the list of suspects in her murder is extensive.

The detectives find themselves enmeshed in a helix of possible perpetrators with opportunity, means, and motive—and soon question giving their best efforts to solve the case the more they learn about the victim’s hideous past.

Their job gets tougher when the victim’s psychiatrist is murdered and DVDs turn up that show the doctor had serial sexual relationships with a large number of his female patients, including the murder victim. 

“Borderline” presents a fascinating cast of characters, including two heroic female detective-protagonists and a diabolical villain; a rollercoaster ride of suspense; and an ending that will surprise and shock the reader.

 

Purchase Links

 Amazon: https://amzn.to/2x1vWKN

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/borderline-joseph-badal/1122172397?ean=9780692463390

iTunes: https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/audiobook/borderline-unabridged/id1115522601?mt=3

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780692463390

 

Other Books in the Lassiter/Martinez Case Files Mystery Series:

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Other Books in the Lassiter/Martinez Case Files Mystery Series:

 Dark Angel

Lassiter/Martinez Case Files, Book 2
Publisher: Suspense Publishing
 

In “Dark Angel,” the second in the Lassiter/Martinez Case Files series, Detectives Barbara Lassiter and Susan Martinez pick up where they left off in “Borderline.” Assigned to a murder case, they discover that their suspect is much more than a one-off killer. In fact, the murderer appears to be a vigilante hell-bent on taking revenge against career criminals who the criminal justice system has failed to punish.

But Lassiter and Martinez are soon caught up in the middle of an FBI investigation of a monstrous home invasion gang that has murdered dozens of innocent victims across the United States. When they discover a link between their vigilante killer and the home invasion crew, they come into conflict with powerful men in the FBI who are motivated more by career self-preservation than by bringing justice to innocent victims.

Award-Winning and best-selling author Joseph Badal presents another intricate, tension-filled mystery that puts readers on the edge of their seats from the first page to the last, and will have them demanding more Lassiter/Martinez stories.

Amazon

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About the Author

Prior to a long finance career, including serving as a senior executive and board member of a NYSE-listed company, Joseph Badal served for six years as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army in critical, highly classified positions in the U.S. and overseas, including tours of duty in Greece and Vietnam. He earned numerous military decorations.

He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in International Finance (Temple University) and Business Administration (University of New Mexico). He graduated from the Defense Language Institute, West Coast, and from Stanford University Law School’s Director College. Joe now serves on the boards of several companies.

He has had thirteen suspense novels published and has twice been the winner of the Tony Hillerman Prize for Best Fiction Book of the Year and has received three Gold Medals from The Military Writers Society of America. He also writes a blog titled Everyday Heroes, and has written short stories published in the “Uncommon Assassins,” “Someone Wicked,” and “Insidious Assassins” anthologies.

Joe has written dozens of articles that have been published in various business and trade journals and is a frequent speaker at business, civic, and writers’ events.

 Contact Information

 Website: http://www.josephbadalbooks.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/JoeBadal

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joseph.badal.5

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joseph-badal-6b97877

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/joseph_badal/

Promo Link: http://bookbuzz.net/blog/mystery-borderline/

Pre-Publication Book Blitz: Darkest Before the Dawn by Mike Martin

 

Title: DARKEST BEFORE THE DAWN
Author: Mike Martin
Publisher: Ottawa Press and Publishing
Pages: TBA
Genre: Mystery

BOOK BLURB:

Darkest Before the Dawn is the latest adventure of Sgt. Winston Windflower, a Mountie who finds himself surrounded by a new family and a new life in tiny Grand Bank, Newfoundland. There are signs of trouble that may disturb his pleasant life, including a series of unsolved break-ins and the lack of supports for young people in the most trying time of their lives. But there are always good friends, good food and the sense that if we all pull together, we can find a way to get through even the darkest days.

Ghosts, mysterious deaths, and a new character enliven the pages as Windflower and Tizzard and the other police officers awaken the secrets that have been lying dormant in this sleepy little town. The deeper they dig the more they find as the criminals they seek dive deeper behind the curtains of anonymity and technology. But more than anything, this is a story of love and loss, of growing up and learning how to grow old gracefully. It is also about family and community and looking after each other. Of not giving up hope just before the dawn.

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About the Author

Mike Martin was born in Newfoundland on the East Coast of Canada and now lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario. He is a long-time freelance writer and his articles and essays have appeared in newspapers, magazines and online across Canada as well as in the United States and New Zealand. He is the author of Change the Things You Can: Dealing with Difficult People and has written a number of short stories that have published in various publications including Canadian Stories and Downhome magazine.

The Walker on the Cape was his first full fiction book and the premiere of the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series. Other books in the series include The Body on the T, Beneath the Surface, A Twist of Fortune and A Long Ways from Home, which was shortlisted for the Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award as the best light mystery of the year. A Tangled Web was released in 2017 and the newest book in the series.is Darkest Before the Dawn.

 WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

 

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Saving Phoebe Murrow by Herta Feely

 

 

Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Upper Hand Press
Date Published: September 2016 

 

Inspired by the tragic story of Megan Meier, who committed suicide following a cyber-bullying incident, Saving Phoebe Murrow follows DC lawyer Isabel Winthrop as she struggles to balance work and the responsibilities of being a mother and wife. She does everything in her power to keep Phoebe safe but fails when the mysterious Shane appears on Facebook and flirts with her teenage daughter.

 This novel, which has won three separate awards (most recently a 2018 National Indie Excellence Award), explores the devastating impact social media can have on teenage girls along with the difficult, yet delicate relationship between mothers and their teenage daughters through five different points-of-view.

Purchase Links

 Amazon: https://amzn.to/2x6Z4Rd

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/saving-phoebe-murrow-feely/1123618113?ean=9780996439596

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/saving-phoebe-murrow-1

iTunes: https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/book/saving-phoebe-murrow/id1143504254?mt=11

Indie Bound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780996439565

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About the Author

Herta Feely is the author of numerous short stories and memoir published in literary journals and anthologies. She received two fellowships for a novel in progress, the James Jones First Novel Fellowship and an Artist in Literature from the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities, and an American Independent Writers award for a personal essay.

 Now an editor, writing coach and ghostwriter at Chrysalis Editorial, a company she founded, Herta has worked with hundreds of writers helping them to perfect their writing as well as find agents and publishers for their work. She has ghostwritten three memoirs, all of which have been published. On occasion, she also reviews books for the Washington Independent Review of Books.

 Contact Information

 Website: https://www.hertafeely.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/hertafeely

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/savingphoebemurrow

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hertafeelychrysaliseditorial/

Promo Link: http://bookbuzz.net/blog/womens-fiction-saving-phoebe-murrow/

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Excerpt

Monday, November 10, 2008

At the end of the day, as Isabel stepped through the large glass doors of her law office, a strange thing happened. Outside in the cold, she suddenly felt trapped in a bright cone of light. As if some alien spaceship were training its eye on her.

Uneasily, she gazed into the dark November sky. There was the culprit. A smiling gibbous moon. Or was it smirking, maybe even mocking her? Yes, she thought, that would be more appropriate. Work had become insanely busy, though in its own strange way that kept her mind from dwelling on her recent topsy-turvy personal life.

Which included that awful teen party at Sandy Littleton’s, an event that had ruined the weekend. Phoebe drunk, and when Isabel brought her home, Ron found their daughter’s wobbly walk vaguely amusing. In front of Phoebe, they’d kept a united front. But later, in the bedroom Ron told Isabel she was being too harsh on their daughter.

‘She’s thirteen, Ron.’

‘Almost fourteen,’ he’d said.

She really couldn’t understand Ron’s blasé attitude toward the drinking that Sandy had allowed, encouraged even, nor could she understand Phoebe’s recent obsession with some boy named Shane. They’d met on Facebook, of all places, and he’d promised to show up at the party, then hadn’t. Ron had attributed Phoebe’s drinking to her disappointment over this no-show, as if that made it okay. Not okay, definitely not.

Nor did she like the fact that Phoebe had never actually met this character Shane, that all of her communication with him had been online. Who was he anyway? Again, Ron thought it was no big deal! ‘That’s the way kids communicate these days,’ he’d said.

In the end, Isabel had caved, and Phoebe was only denied use of her computer and phone for a day. Mostly because she feared the possibility of the ninth-grade kids teasing and taunting her as so many classmates had the previous year. Now, she was eager to get home to find out how Phoebe’s school day had gone. She hoped there had been no fallout from the Saturday night fiasco, though of course Phoebe didn’t know what her mother had done. Kids could be incredibly cruel.

Isabel strode hurriedly to the underground garage. The wind, gusting up Pennsylvania Avenue, tossed stray bits of paper into the air, bouncing them about inside tiny swirling tornadoes. She flipped up the collar of her raincoat.

Traffic seemed unusually heavy, though rush-hour congestion in DC was routine, and cars were backed up as far down Pennsylvania as Isabel could see. As she inched along in her BMW, she mused on the few recent signs of behavior that Ron, her husband of sixteen years, had exhibited only once before. It had been two presidential campaigns ago, to be precise, after he’d been on the road for several weeks covering John McCain’s bid for the Republican nomination. In early 2000. At home, Ron had turned sour, testy, distant. She’d attributed his mood to work. He’d wanted to be on George Bush’s campaign trail, in the company of the sudden darling of the Republicans and his attendant court of megawatt reporters. Traipsing after McCain, Ron saw himself as nothing more than second string. She’d tried to soothe him, and he’d come around, at least a little.

But then she discovered the true source of his discontent. One night she picked up the phone to call her mother and stumbled on Ron speaking with a woman in an unmistakably amorous tone. Making plans. Her insides had grown watery. Their relationship suffered a blow. She’d been on the verge of calling it quits. If not for five-year-old Phoebe and their infant son, Jackson, she might have. No, she would have. She wouldn’t suffer another betrayal. She’d made that clear. And Isabel was a woman of her word. Actions had consequences. Continue reading