Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Dreams of Her Own by Rebecca Heflin - Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Rebecca Heflin will be awarding a $5 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Can even the unlikeliest of dreams come true?

He sees a spinsterish misfit.

If the Guinness Book of World Records had a category for the world’s most boring life, Millie Stephens knows she would hold the record. After the plain, strait-laced personal assistant is saved by a total stranger from becoming New York City’s latest traffic fatality, she has a disheartening epiphany: her life’s highlight reel didn’t exist. Determined to step out of the shadows and take a walk on the wild side, she starts Millie-style – by making a list.

She sees a stereotypical thug.

That total stranger, bad boy Ian Brand, is more than the sum of his parts. Beneath that sexy, tattooed exterior is a man with a painful past who’s desperate to both hide and overcome his disability in the pursuit of his dreams. But his decision to bid on a large construction project could both lead to his downfall and reveal his secret.

Will Millie and Ian look beneath the surface and see there’s more to each other than meets the eye?
Enjoy an excerpt:

If the Guinness Book of World Records had a category for the world’s most boring life, Millie Stephens knew she would hold the record.

Bundled up in her brown wool coat against the chill of a New York fall, she hurried down the Brooklyn sidewalk to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription for her boss.

As personal assistant for best-selling romance author, Darcy Butler-Ryan, Millie kept her calendar, edited her manuscripts, handled her social media, and through her agent, Gloria Madison, scheduled her public appearances, among other duties. Since Darcy had become pregnant, Millie had also taken it upon herself to run errands and generally oversee Darcy’s health and well-being.

Thus, the trip to the pharmacy for Darcy’s anti-nausea medication.

She consulted the day’s to-do list to see what other errands were on it. Lists were her life. They provided organization, structure, and a sense of accomplishment. She loved ticking things off her list so much that if she accomplished something that wasn’t on the list, she’d write it down just so she could have the pleasure of marking it off.

She had a list for everything. Errands. Tasks. Books to be read. Special dates to remember. If something needed doing, she had a list for it, all appropriately categorized, of course. Shoving her errand list into her coat pocket, she stopped at the corner and waited for the pedestrian signal. As soon as the light changed, she stepped out into the pedestrian crosswalk, anxious to get to the pharmacy and out of the cold. She glanced to her left and froze, as a delivery truck barreled down the street as if the red light meant nothing. And as if she truly were invisible.

Fear stole her ability to move and she scrunched her eyes closed hoping death would at least be quick. She strived for invisibility, but now she’d give anything to stand out.

Next thing she knew she was yanked from behind and hauled up against a hard object, bands of steel around her waist, her feet dangling in the air.

About the Author:
Rebecca Heflin is an award-winning author who has dreamed of writing romantic fiction since she was fifteen and her older sister snuck a copy of Kathleen Woodiwiss' Shanna to her and told her to read it. Rebecca writes women's fiction and contemporary romance. When not passionately pursuing her dream, Rebecca is busy with her day-job as a practicing attorney.

Rebecca is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), Florida Romance Writers, RWA Contemporary Romance, and Florida Writers Association. She and her mountain-climbing husband live at sea level in sunny Florida.


2014 Florida Writers Association Royal Palm Literary Award Finalist (Dreams of Perfection)
2013 Florida Writers Association Royal Palm Literary Award Winner (Rescuing Lacey)
2013 Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence Winner (Rescuing Lacey)
2013 Virginia Romance Writers Holt Medallion Award of Merit (Rescuing Lacey)
2013 Georgia Romance Writers Published Maggie Finalist (Rescuing Lacey)
2013 Shooting Star Award (Rescuing Lacey)
2013 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Finalist (Rescuing Lacey)
2013 Wisconsin Romance Writers Write Touch Readers' Awards Finalist (The Promise of Change)
2011 Royal Palm Literary Awards Finalist (The Promise of Change)


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Friday, March 25, 2016

Take Me As I Am by Charmaine Ross - Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Charmaine Ross will be awarding a copy of the e-book Take Me As I Am (international) to three randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

My First Loves

Today, I’d like to talk about my first loves - I’m talking about the real – and slightly embarrassing - firsts.

I’m going to be honest. I have compiled a list of my first loves – the very first - that more or less I fell in love with in Primary School. Yes, I had eyes in my head even then, even if my tastes were somewhat to be desired.

I guess being a girl of about ten or so and having none-what-so-ever idea about men and anything that they entailed, I relied on my first point of call. The television screen. Yes, these ‘real-life men’ taught me a lot about what to expect when I started dating.

For one thing, I thought that all dates would consist of flying around the world in a super-sonic jet (at least), if not defeating a world-class villain or two. There might even be an inter-dimensional restaurant we might have stopped in for some refreshments during life-and-death duels because you have to be practical – you will get hungry doing all that stuff.

The ‘men’ that could accommodate me in said adventures were the following:

• Mark, from the five-member superhero team called G-Force from Battle of the Stars, who defend Earth and its space colonies from the threat of planet Spectra. I would settle for no less than being called on as the sixth member of the team and having the chance to also defend Earth shoulder to shoulder with Mark. I loved his big blue eyes that would see into my soul. Unfortunately, he was also a cartoon character. And before you judge, one of my friends also confided that she also fell in love with Mark, so I wasn’t the only one.

• Buck Rogers from the eighties television series. On a date with him, which I now know could last a while, I would sleep the next five hundred years, run about in a skin-tight white body-suit, because didn’t everyone from the future wear clothes like that, and go on big adventures in space and defeat the criminals of the future with good ol’ fashioned thinking and wit.

• I also fell in love with Indiana Jones, and I will also mention his alter-ego Hann Solo. Or did I just fall in love with the young Harrison Ford – not sure. Adventure would also be on the cards on these dates and if I was lucky I might discover an ancient artifact or a remote village who had never seen white people before. Either one could happen, I didn’t care which.

• Oh, there was also Flash Gordon from the movie in the eighties played by Sam J Jones. I just loved his washboard abs and blank eyes. Not much going on up top, but with a bod like his, who cares! – sigh. Content of our date? Adventure. Space. Defeating villains. The same old spiel.

Surprisingly enough I didn’t have any crushes on real life boys at school. They were dirty and a little bit too smelly for my sophisticated tastes. No footy players (they were a bit muddy as well), no sports heroes, no real-life individuals at all. I was a girl with selective tastes and any boy who took me out on a date had to at least have a jet or a wormhole though time and space to entertain me.

Why did I crush on characters? Maybe because they were really, really safe for me to fall in love with. I could day-dream about all the things I could do to them, and they can do to me from the comfort of my couch.

The modern day me still reaches for the same safety my ten-year-old self did. There are dozens of characters in books and movies I go on adventures with nearly every day. For example Aidan Turner from his role in ‘Poldark’ – quite frankly have you seen that man without a shirt on! And yes, that was the sound of me scooping up my jaw from the floor.

I can devour him with my eyes open, dream about him with my eyes shut and travel the depths of the world and beyond. It all happens inside my head. Dating this way is also extremely safe. I can stretch my boundaries in any way I want and it all remains private. I stay in my safe place. If my daughter wants to date this way until she’s thirty, I will be more than obliging.

I’m not saying that if Aidan Turner turned up on my doorstep with a space-craft and a star-chart I wouldn’t go in real-life, but I’m older than ten now. I’m allowed to go on real adventures. It’s my daughter's turn to mind-play and day-dream from a safe distance. I’d like to think she’ll have her safe place for years to come and enjoy future books and movies, like her mother. After all, it’s the best way to date!

And the truth is I’m not the only woman who does this. Millions of women around the world get a little buzz from the characters they discover and read in romances of all categories. Don’t deny it!

That’s the reason these books exist and grow in popularity each and every day. So enjoy these characters. Do things to them you wouldn’t do in real-life. Go on adventures, claim your dreams. You’re allowed to. After all, it’s the safest thing you can do!

Thank you so much for having me here and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading a bit about me. As a thank you to your readers I’m offering two free fun and flirty novellas on my web site when you subscribe to my very sporadic email. I also have free sample chapters on my web site. It’s worth a look@

MediaKit_BookCover_TakeMeAsIAmForget the whole billionaire tycoon thing: Kate Moore is a billionaire’s daughter, and she knows first-hand that they’re not all romance novel worthy. Her father is brilliant, inflexible, and brutal – and nothing she’s ever done has been good enough for him. Her one chance to take over the massive Moore’s Hotel Corporation is restoring the run-down Burnham Beeches in beautiful Sassafras to its former glory. To that end, she hires David Wright, a talented landscaper with an unparalleled eye for beauty and an unparalleled talent for distracting her from her goal.

David really needs this job. He needs the contract, the Moore’s name on his portfolio, and the money to pay for his ailing father’s health. Everything he’s worked for is now within his grasp, and he’s going to reach for it with both hands. What he doesn’t need is the diversion, or the temptation, presented by his new boss.

Neither David nor Kate are free to follow their own desires, but they’re powerless to fight their growing attraction. But they come from very different places; perceptions will have to crash, misconceptions will have to collapse, and they will have to face their own personal challenges before they find their space to meet in the middle.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Kate peeked out from her office window. David had done a lot in the past few hours, having marked out the skeleton of the garden. Unfortunately, the piece of ground he’d decided on meant he was all she could see when she looked out of the window.

She would catch herself, lost in thought as she watched his lithe movements outside. Every so often he would call out an order to his brother, Jack, as he’d introduced him, who would follow the instruction. Kate studied them both, comparing brothers. Jack was as lean as David, but he wasn’t as tall. David a little darker with hair and skin tones. They looked similar, had distinct physical family traits, but he hadn’t captivated her as much as David had.

Captivated. Was that what she was? As much as she pulled her attention back to the computer screen, her eyes kept returning to the window, as though they had a mind of their own. Each time she did, she’d notice something new about David. The way his calf muscles contracted when he bent, and the way his biceps seemed to burst when he carried something heavy. The way his skin glowed with sweat in the midday heat. His brother wasn’t as fit, or as lean. Or as tanned. Or half as masculine. Kate bit her lower lip until it hurt.

Kate wondered if he would feel as hard as he looked. Would his skin be warm to the touch? Hot? Would each ripple of muscle undulate as smoothly beneath his skin as they looked?

Would she burn if they touched just skin to skin?

Kate sank her chin into the palm of her hand, feeling her lower belly melt. As she watched, David reached to the hem of his fitted T-Shirt and pulled it over his head.

She stopped breathing.

She didn’t have to imagine his muscles any more. They were superbly on display. He was lean. Fit. And had a six pack to prove it. He had the perfect frame, broad shoulders, a clean chest that showcased perfectly sculpted muscle. Not the type that was designed in a gym, but the kind that was created from daily physical labour. His chest tapered into a trim, flat stomach. A hollowed line ran from the centre of his torso beneath his waist-band to much lower parts of his anatomy. A fiery thrill ran up Kate’s spine.

‘Who’s the hunk?’

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_TakeMeAsIAmAbout the Author: My first foray into romance was as a fourteen year old where I fell hopelessly and eternally in love with my hero as only a teenager can. Instead of watching movies and staying up late, I would go to bed at eight thirty and continue my very romantic, very safe, love affair.

Since then, I have fallen in love with many heroes, some less safe than what my teenage brain could possibly imagine. After earning a Fine Art’s Degree, a Diploma of Secondary Education and a Diploma of Marketing, I worked as a Graphic Designer in various advertising agencies as well as in-house marketing roles and am currently involved with digital marketing and everything web in my current position. But I always return to writing.

Although I have travelled, I always return to my home town of Melbourne and live with my husband, two children and two cats in the ferny-greens of the Dandenongs. If I'm not working on my latest romance and falling in love with yet another hero, you’ll find me reading, watching and basically indulging in my addiction to any story on any media type I can get my fingers on.

Check out my web site to download and read two fun, flirty novellas - the best news is they're free - plus free chapter downloads from all of my books, as well as updates on my latest news @


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Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Purse by Julie A. Burns - Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Julie will be awarding 1 printed book of The Purse or 2 ebooks (The Purse and a second of their choice) from RRPI to a randomly drawn winner (international) via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

When Lydia Blackwell visits her dying father for the last time, he reveals the deeply hidden truth about her mother. After the funeral, the stranger Derek Meade gifts her with a gorgeous antique purse. But before she has the chance to connect with the man who knew her father intimately, Lydia finds Derek murdered in his home.

Lieutenant Sonja MacIntosh is assigned to investigate Mr. Meade’s death, but her career on the force never prepared her for Lydia Blackwell. As Sonja works to solve the murder, Lydia takes the greatest risk of her life in leaving Chicago to search for clues to her mother’s past. Their instant attraction surprises them both, but even through the chaos Lydia can’t deny the intensity of her feelings for the strong willed Lieutenant.

Lydia’s possession of the antique purse throws her already chaotic life into a whirlwind of kidnapping, blackmail, vengeful mob bosses, and mind-numbing revelations. Through it all, Lydia must find the strength to accept herself – and those closest to her – despite their darkest secrets.
Enjoy an excerpt:

As she walked into the bedroom, the smell of her father’s cologne lingered even through all the sickness that had been in the air. Stepping over to the deep walk-in closet, Lydia opened the double doors to reveal her father’s suits, ties, and shoes. She made a mental note to have Rosita donate her father’s clothes so they didn’t hang like a shrine. She stared at every inch of the closet until her eyes fell on a small shoebox buried on the top shelf. Lydia retrieved the step-ladder from within a hidden compartment in the closet’s wall and stood on it to pull down the shoebox. Without thinking, she strolled over to her father’s bed, sat down, and went through all the memories kept in the cardboard box.

Many were just baby pictures of Lydia, and then she discovered a picture of her mother when she was pregnant. How beautiful she was; she looked so happy and carefree. What in the world could have happened? More questions, no answers. Lydia decided to keep the picture with her. Digging deeper yet into the box, she also found pictures of her father and Derek together. They made a handsome couple, though it was still difficult to believe her father had been involved with a man. At least true love hadn’t escaped him as she’d previously thought.

About the Author:
Julie A. Burns is a native Iowan born in Marshalltown, Iowa and raised in Davenport, Iowa. After her parent’s divorce at age 7, she took to writing, whether it was her diary or poems about people she met or situations that bothered her. After graduating from high school in 1983, she spent time working as a Nurse’s Aide in different nursing homes in Iowa. In 1989, she gave birth to a daughter, Brittany and raised her as a single parent. In the same year, she enrolled at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology in 1994. Since then, Julie has spent time working with developmentally disabled adults and the mentally ill throughout Iowa and also in Wyoming, where she lived for 6 years. Julie currently lives in Waterloo, Iowa with her spouse. When she’s not writing, she enjoys being a grandmother to 3 year old Sophie.


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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Honeydripper Affair by Joanna Kidson - Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Joanna will be awarding a $30 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.

Cyber girl's face on abstract backgroundShe should never have met up with Ryan, that’s for sure.

You see, Lucy Nevin has got something that people are willing to kill for - she just doesn't know it....yet.

Handing Ryan the notebook threw the killers off her scent for a while but as Lucy uncovers more details about the death of her father, it becomes clear that this ruthless gang of criminals will stop at nothing to get what they want from her.

And then Dan shows up. Is that coincidence or by design? Either way, she’s now sucked into a deadly game between the killers, the armed forces and the government. They all think that Lucy has the code – the code that will give them control of the internet. The scary thing is; if you’ve ever used the internet, this is happening to you right now.

Trouble is - time is running out for Lucy and she needs answers. What exactly is the Honeydripper Affair?

Enjoy an excerpt:

Lucy had thought about meeting Daniel again a thousand times, but it had never played out like this. She surprised herself at the ferocious nature of her attack. She was mocking him and she wanted to rise above that, just stick to the facts, but she couldn't.

"Look," Daniel spoke again. "I need to talk to you."

His insistence just wound Lucy up more. "Oh, you need to talk, do you? Now that it suits you, it's time for a chat? What about all the times when I needed to talk? Where were you then? With your new woman? Go and talk to her now if you need a chat."

"Stop, Lucy. I know you hate me, and I deserve it, but I need to talk to you. You're in danger. Serious danger."

Lucy did stop. For a moment. But she hadn't finished.

"Yes, I'm in danger. In danger of punching you, of kicking your head in."

Daniel leaned forward, tried to grab her hands. Lucy pulled away, sputtering, and he sighed. But he didn’t lean away.

"Listen, this is about your father. He was murdered. The accident was no accident. And the people who did it are coming after you now."

Lucy let the words sink in, her mind a confused jumble of conflicting thoughts. She started again on autopilot. "I don't know what kind of game you’re playing this time, but you are full of shit."

Daniel looked her straight in the eye, silently commanding her to listen. It was a look she recognized, but one he’d never turned on her.

"I know this sounds crazy, but I'm deadly serious. Your father was working on something classified – Operation Honeydripper. Check it out. His killers think you have information and they'll stop at nothing to take it from you. I want to help you."

Lucy could feel her mind coming back, shifting her away from anger, but the rage wasn’t completely subdued.

"You've got a nerve coming back here and feeding me this bullshit. You didn't even know my father. You’re a bastard for bringing him into this mess, putting the blame on him."

She was shaking as she stood. "I honestly don't know what I ever saw in you."

The shaking increased as she marched from the bar but she didn’t look back.

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_TheHoneydripperAffairAbout the Author: After living in America and Australia, Joanna finally settled in England and now lives in London, a stone’s throw away from the river and the park. Also in the household is a husband, two kids and a small dog.

She’s a hopeless romantic at heart and an eternal optimist, believing that everything will turn out alright in the end.

She also believes that the chance of a lifetime comes around about once every two weeks and we actually did land a man on the moon!

Writing is a joyful escape but it’s often laced with a healthy dose of truth and reality.


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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Productivity Book by Michael Brecht - Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Michael Brecht will be awarding 5 Doodle Premium Accounts for Free to randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

5 Things You Didn't Know about Michael Brecht

1. I’ve always been passionate about seeing my projects come to life. As a result, I’m something of a serial company founder. Two of my most notable startups have been in Germany. The first, Urbia, was founded in 1998. Urbia is now Germany’s biggest online resource for families, providing information for men and women who want, or have, children., started in 2010, with the target to build Germany’s leading online wine store. I’m now the CEO of Doodle, so you can see—my career path has not been the conventional corporate route by any means!

2. I am the proud owner of both a German and an Australian passport. I love my two countries. They’re very different and distinct places, not just culturally, but physically too—at 14,457 km apart, you couldn’t get any further away! I love the outdoor lifestyle in Australia, and dream of travelling around the vineyards in my VW van when I’m in Europe, but Germany has a powerhouse economy and is the core of Europe’s startup culture—so it’s perfect for someone like me. It is the combination of both worlds which makes my business life tick.

3. I’m married with four kids and labradoodle. This might not seem that surprising, but as someone who always has several projects and hobbies on the go, finding the right work/family balance has always been important to me.

4. Wine is my passion. Luckily, I live between two countries that are major wine producers; Germany is the world’s eighth largest producer and Australia is the fourth. So, wherever I find myself, there’s always a good glass at hand. I also run a wine blog about Australian wine: Since I started it in 2007 it has managed to gather a substantial following, but this is something I do just for the enjoyment. It’s a hobby, it’s honest and fun—that’s why people like it, and I want to keep it that way.

5. One thing that surprises the people around me is that I’m very strict about how much I allow myself to work: I never work on weekends. I also make sure to keep my phone switched off and leave any emails until Monday morning. It’s so easy to answer another email or read another report—there are new devices and platforms to keep us connected coming onto the market all the time, but I believe there has to be a cutoff point. That’s the spirit of Doodle; it’s not about finding more time to work, it’s about finding more time for yourself to do what you want to do, and who couldn’t use that?

It’s funny, when we were writing the Doodle Productivity Book, I noticed that many of the productivity experts we spoke with also use this method. Whether that was in the morning or at night, learning when to disconnect from the technology designed to help us is just as important these days.

Ever wondered what the secret is to productivity? Here’s a hint: there isn’t just one. Introducing the Doodle Productivity Book! Containing in-depth interviews with 30 of the world’s top productivity & time management experts, this book lifts the lid on the industry’s best kept tips and tricks. The result? An engaging and practical guide that will help you find your natural pace, so you can work smarter—not harder.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Quote Laura Stack:

What are some of your favorite productivity tips & apps?

Obviously, I love Doodle! I use it to schedule client conference calls and I talk about it in my presentations! Other apps I like:

TripIt. I use this for plane, hotel, directions and ground transportation. Simply forward your confirmation emails and TripIt automatically populates your digital itineraries. It also means I can access all my details on my phone as I’m walking through the airport.

Evernote. Sync content from the cloud to your desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone. When I see an article I like online, I simply right-click, clip the page, file it in a Notebook and tag it for easy searching. I drag large PDF documents into new Notes to read on upcoming business trips. I use Evernote in conjunction with my Livescribe Smartpen, so my handwritten notes from meetings and conference calls sync through Wi-Fi to my online account. I can listen to recordings right before meetings to refresh my memory.

TouchDown. Microsoft Outlook users can sync their data to their phones, which is really handy, except the native apps require them to tap multiple icons to access different modules. Instead, I use the TouchDown ActiveSync Exchange client. This allows me to click ONE icon to access my Email, Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, and Notes, as well as handle Out of Office and Rule settings.

Square. My smartphone is a portable credit card processing machine. Using a small scanner that plugs into the earphone jack, I can accept payments for things like book sales and speaking fees. I slide the card through the scanner, enter the dollar amount and ask the buyer to sign with a fingertip. The buyer can enter an email address to receive a receipt.

About the Author:
I am a serial entrepreneur, have more than twenty years of experience in IT and Digital Media and have held several international leadership positions in Europe and AustralAsia.

Since the beginning of 2014 I am CEO of Doodle – the world’s favourite online scheduling tool. Together with my fantastic team we have integrated Doodle into the Digital Portfolio of Tamedia AG, Switzerland’s largest media company. Our focus is to grow the business into a global application while strengthening its product offerings and continuing its successful monetisation. Doodle AG is a highly profitable business with offices in Zurich and Berlin.

My experience ranges from founding a start-up to various exits to multi-national corporates and subsequent integration. I enjoy topics of digital transformation and the leadership of highly innovative teams with a particular focus on growing a business internationally.

Now that digitalisation is increasingly becoming a topic for all businesses from start-up to large corporate, I have decided to start my own blog. Here you’ll find information on productivity topics, quotes about personal and professional efficiency, my reviews of awesome apps I use myself and I am trying to present a few stories that aren’t meant to be too serious too.

In my private life I am married and our home comprises of four children and our dog (an Australian Labradoodle). We are currently living in five different countries and I myself carry a German and an Australian passport. I enjoy sports, in particular football, swimming, tennis and all kinds of outdoor activities and I am passionate about the discovery of great wines.

Book Website:
Author Website:

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Once Upon a Lie by Michael French - Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Michael 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.

MediaKit_BookCover_OnceUponALieOnce Upon a Lie is about a smart, ambitious sixteen year old, Alexandra, who chooses to keep silent when she learns terrible secrets about both her father and her mother, whom she grew up adoring. The price of keeping her "perfect" family together soon unravels her well-planned future, and puts in jeopardy the life of a young stranger whom she befriends and ultimately falls in love with. We learn how your life can end at any time, and it can end more than once. And then it can be saved.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Jaleel began to wonder if running away was the smartest thing. Detective Patterson might have forensic evidence, but he couldn’t have any real proof that Jaleel had killed his father. But what Texas jury would believe the story of a twelve-year-old black kid?

Come on, focus, Jaleel thought as he studied a map from the glove box. His plan was to travel northwest, cross into New Mexico, and ditch the Chevy. He would take a bus to Arizona or California. He would find a place to live, get a job, and go to school. He just hadn’t figured out the details. Maybe he’d have to lie about his age to get work. How expensive were apartments? He had never been completely on his own. He hoped that inside him was a gyroscope, the kind he had read about, with an interior spinning wheel to keep him steady.

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_OnceUponALieAbout the Author: Michael R. French graduated from Stanford University where he was an English major, focusing on creative writing, and studied under Wallace Stegner. He received a Master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University. He later served in the United States Army before marrying Patricia Goodkind, an educator and entrepreneur, and starting a family. In addition to publishing over twenty titles, including award-winning young adult fiction, adult fiction, biographies ad self-help books, he has written or co-written a half-dozen screenplays, including Intersection, which has won awards in over twenty film festivals. He has also had a long business career in real estate, living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His passions include travel, collecting rare books, and hanging with friends and family. He describes his worst traits as impatience and saying "no" too quickly; his best are curiosity, taking risks, and learning from failure.


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Monday, March 14, 2016

Trifling Favors by Heather Hiestand - Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Heather 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 sweetest treat is a kiss…

Greggory Redcake's plate is full. Widowed young and left with two small children, the manager of the Kensington location of the illustrious tea shop is besieged on all sides between the bakery and family matters. If only his remarkably efficient shop assistant, Betsy Popham, could manage his home life, too! But Greggory can't linger on thoughts of Betsy's fetching smile when a dead body is discovered in the bakery...

Betsy has no time for romance, not even with the delectable Mr. Redcake, whose kisses are all too unforgettable. Haunted by a specter from her family's past, Betsy is terrified that the man blackmailing her has turned to deadly violence. Yet the only way to save her position--and possibly her life--is to accept Greggory's help as their delicious attraction sweetens into the tantalizing promise of true love…

Enjoy an exclusive excerpt:

“Have you thought of me, a couple of floors below you, when you are upstairs in bed?” he asked.

“I…” She twisted her hands together and stared down. “Well, Mr. Redcake…”


“Greggory,” she said softly. “I think of you all the time. This house smells like you. And the babies. And good food, and cleanliness. It’s wonderful here.”

“Then why think about moving away?”

“It’s improper for me to stay here.” She moved closer to him.

“I’ve come to the conclusion that nothing about my feelings for you is proper.”

She blinked. “No?”

At this point, a true innocent might run. But she didn’t. She stayed still, but her gaze lifted to his face. He shook his head and loosened his tie. “I see you there and all I can think about is how to remove you from your clothing. The high neck of your dress strangles me when I look at it.”

Her fingers went to her collar. He watched her swallow. “It is tight.”

He pulled off his tie and unbuttoned his waistcoat before standing. “Let me loosen it for you.”

“I know it’s not proper dinner attire, just a day gown, but I haven’t any dinner dresses,” she said as his hands went to her shoulders, then up her neck to the buttons just beneath her hair. She shuddered and rotated her neck, as if she loved the feel of his hands on her skin.

She hardly seemed to breathe. He undid the buttons down the back of her dress until he’d completely exposed the layer beneath. He could see her shoulders, the back of her neck, and had renewed appreciation for her tiny waist.

He loved her shoulders. She had a strong body due to the physical demands of her work. Her skin was peachy and soft, but he knew there were firm, rounded muscles underneath the feminine grace. He could see them move as she half-turned around.

“Wait,” he said, helping her out of her dress, hoping she wouldn’t demur. She didn’t. Only then did he let her turn.

The demands of her work and the warmth of May meant she wore few layers beneath her clothing. A single petticoat, he thought. No corset cover. With the top layer of her armor gone, she appeared even more of a siren.

She seemed as stunned as he felt when she stared at him in his shirt, trousers, and suspenders. He felt proud, admired, in a way he hadn’t been in more than a year. Her fingers went to the base of his throat where his collar was open and caressed him. His pulse leaped at her touch. For a moment, he wanted to cry from the sheer pleasure of a woman’s caress. He put his hands on her waist and pulled her forward, knowing she’d be able to feel the hardness of him against her belly.

About the Author:
Heather Hiestand was born in Illinois, but her family migrated west before she started school. Since then she has claimed Washington State as home, except for a few years in California. She wrote her first story at age seven and went on to major in creative writing at the University of Washington. Her first published fiction was a mystery short story, but since then it has been all about the many flavors of romance. Heather’s first published romance short story was set in the Victorian period, and she continues to return, fascinated by the rapid changes of the nineteenth century. The author of many novels, novellas, and short stories, she has achieved best-seller status at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. With her husband and son, she makes her home in a small town and supposedly works out of her tiny office, though she mostly writes in her easy chair in the living room.

For more information, visit Heather’s website. Heather loves to hear from readers! Her email is

Facebook Page:

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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Loves of our Lives by A.C. Chenier - Interview and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author 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.

Welcome to It's Raining Books.

I would like to thank you for hosting my blog tour today. I’m happy to share my love of writing with your readers.

Why do you write in your genre? What draws you to it?

I write in the romance field. I’ve always loved a good romantic novel, especially historical or fantasy ones. (My current “go to” author who combines these is Jayne Ann Krentz, and her “alter egos” Amanda Quick and Jayne Castle)

I guess for me the concept that a soul mate is out there, looking for us, as we are looking for them is irresistible. My late husband and I always felt that we had a deep connection to each other that transcended time. Now having studied Dr. Brian Weiss and his theories, I can truly understand the bond that we had. So I write about that moment, that knowing, that happens when you truly do meet a bonded soul.

What research is required?

I do a lot of research on my books; everything from names, to locations to ambience to “current” events. Especially as I write a lot of historical components to my book, I spend a great deal of time researching the norms of interaction and dialogue in the past. I have never particularly liked the Time Travel books when the heroine takes her current morals and habits back to the past. I want to be captured by the rhythm of life in the times I visit. So, I try as best I can to research and understand life in those days.

As well, I’ve travelled to many of the places I use as settings. It is my intention to visit a few new locales as I start prepping my next books.

Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.

Sticking up for oneself. I can relate to so much of what Katie does in her relationships; “I don’t care”, “what do you want to do”. I tend to be easy going, and don’t always voice what it is I really want to do, but just go with the flow around me. Watching and writing about Katie starting to assert herself more, was eye opening for me and my own relationships.

Do you have any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?

Not any that I can think of. But then again, I don’t come from a line of writers, or frankly know that many as close friends. So, I really don’t have anyone to compare my writing habits too. I do know that I do my best imagining and create my best ideas when I’m near water, preferably meditating or practicing mindfulness. When I shut off my brain, and just let the words flow....that’s my best work.

Are you a plotter or pantser?

Pantser 100%. If I try to plot too much, I engage too much of my logical side. Then I start to get caught up in the structure of sentences, rather than letting the character tell the story for me.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

My computer (desktop) and printer. My desk is currently very messy.... a state that seems to come naturally to me... but definitely does not encourage my best work. I’ve got be more disciplined about keeping my writing spaces free of clutter.

Oh yes, right now, one of my kittens, Oscar is sleeping on the desk with me. He likes to keep me company in the morning. Midnight, the other one is AWOL somewhere. He prefers to stand and sit in front of the screen, making it very hard to see what I’m typing. LOL

Anything new coming up from you? What?

My second novel “Love by Knight” is just back from my editor. I’ve got some work to do on tightening it up, and finishing it off, then it will be into the publishing process, hopefully by March. I hope to have it on book shelves by the summer.

The third “past lives” book is still in its infancy. I have a number of past life scenarios written, I just need to figure out how they all link into the now; who my main character will be. A few of the characters from both of the first two novels are begging to have their stories told. So I expect that readers will see more of them in the future.

Do you have a question for our readers?

Well, given that “Loves of our Lives” is about past lives and reincarnation, I wondered how many of your readers believe. Is it real? Or is it fantasy?

For Katie Benjamin, finding the perfect soul mate was just a fairy tale until a chance encounter on a train changes everything. What she discovers takes her on a journey that spans lifetimes.

Enjoy an excerpt:

It felt so peaceful to just sit quietly beside John after the bustle of the rest of the party. The silence felt…well, she wasn’t sure how it felt. The best way to describe it was that it felt just right. The music and chatter from the other rooms drifted on the edge of their ears, but otherwise it was peaceful and restful. She realized John was still holding her hand in his. And that felt right, too. She turned to look at him and found his eyes on her. Their eyes met and the world faded around them. It was just the two of them.

About the Author:
I am a CPA, CGA and live in Southern Ontario. After working for many years in the high pressure worlds of banking and IT, I decided that it was time to have a change in pace. Leaving Toronto behind I embarked on a new career in retail sales. The change was wonderful, but I felt something was missing.

Then, the unthinkable happened, and I was widowed at 46. That was a truly life altering experience. In time, I was introduced to the books and work of Dr. Brian Weiss. I discovered in his research a new purpose in life, and was driven to start writing, something I had always enjoyed, but never thought of as a career choice.

And now here we are in 2015, and my first novel is ready to be published. My second, also in the Past Lives series, will follow shortly. I continue to write and dream of a future that I had never even considered in my wildest dreams.


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Monday, March 7, 2016

Annabel's Wedding by Susan Murphy - Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Susan will be awarding an eCopy of Annabel's Wedding to 3 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

After the breakdown of her marriage and her life, Viv has finally found happiness with Tom. But, can things really stay so perfect?

With the planning for Annabel's wedding underway, Genevieve is distracted by family bickering and an unexpected life-altering discovery. With Annabel threatening to cancel her wedding and Julia hiding a dark secret, her life once again descends into the perfect mix of hilarious chaos. Will the sisters be able to sort everything out and get their happy endings?

Annabel's wedding is a tale of sisterhood, relationships and learning to find happiness in spite of the sometimes crazy hand you're dealt.

Enjoy an excerpt: ‘I think we may have overdone it,’ I laughed, pushing the back door hard to close it.

‘Oh well, at least we’ll have fun,’ Julia cackled, as she planted her foot and reversed much faster than I liked, sending half of the pile to the floor, including the helium kit.

‘We need to make a plan for the night,’ I said, gripping my seatbelt. ‘Which games shall we play first?’

‘Everyone can mingle for a while and have a few drinks, and then once they’ve all arrived we can start the games.’

‘Has Annabel given you a guest list yet?’ There was a lot that Annabel hadn’t gotten around to doing.

‘No, but she said she’d get it to me this week. I don’t think she has too many coming, maybe thirty, so we should be fine with what we have.’

Julia’s phone rang in her bag. ‘Can you grab that out for me, it’s probably the stripper people.’ I reached into the black hole of her bag and fished around, finally feeling the vibrating phone. I held it up and pressed answer, switching it straight to speaker. ‘Hi, Julia speaking,’ she called out.

‘This is Madame Summer’s, you called about booking a stripper?’

‘Yes, that’s right. I just wanted to confirm the Hunky Hoseman I had tentatively booked in.’ As Julia spoke I noticed there was a slight elevation to her pitch. I looked at her, she sounded weird.

Madame Summer confirmed the booking and promised to send an email with the details. I was still trying to work out why Julia sounded so odd.

‘What? Why are you looking at me like that?’ she asked.

‘You sound weird.’

She shrugged. ‘You always sound weird.’

‘I’m serious. You sound like a teenage boy before puberty. What’s wrong with you?’

Before Julia could answer her phone vibrated against my hand and the twinkle sound of a message rang out. I looked down, expecting to read Madame Summer’s confirmation, but the words were far more personal. Julia immediately saw the shock on my face and grabbed at the phone, but the words, awful and paralysing, had already made their way from the screen to my brain.

‘Give it here,’ she insisted, flapping her hand around to take it from me.

I held it out, escaping her reach, buying my scurrying thoughts some time to register what I had just read. ‘Please tell me this is a joke!’ I sat, glaring at her with an intensity I hadn’t felt since Peter’s betrayal. ‘You lied to me, Julia. You lied to my face. I can’t believe this. I can’t believe you would do this.’

Her voice had gone yet another octave higher. ‘What the hell is going on with your voice now? And give me my phone!’ She said, swiping at me again.

I was shaking as the words cut deeper each time I looked at them: I need to see you, I need to feel your body against mine.

They weren’t just words. They were betrayal, lies and heartbreak.

‘It’s none of your business, Viv, stay out of it.’ She lurched at me, one hand on the wheel and the other grabbing at the air for the phone.

I pushed it away and held the phone further out. Another message came. ‘Oh my God, Julia, how long has this been going on?’ I lowered my tone to convey my disgust at her behaviour. Instead, I sounded like a chipmunk.

She slapped back at me ferociously, squealing for me to hand it over as the car veered onto the gravel. Julia swerved, spinning the wheel and causing the car to slide.

‘Stop, Julia,’ I screamed, pointing to the approaching tree and bracing for impact.

She slammed her right foot hard onto the brake pedal, enough to bring the tiny car to a screeching halt. The front bumper was touching the tree trunk.

‘Are you okay?’ she asked, not waiting for a response before launching her attack. ‘This is your damn fault, you idiot,’ she shouted, clawing at me.‘Give me my damn phone.’

It was possible a chipmunk had climbed into the car and was practising ventriloquism. Her voice sounded ridiculous and so did mine. I threw the phone at her. ‘You can stick it,’ I retaliated. ‘This is your fault for being a sneaky, conniving cow. And where the hell is the helium? You’ve obviously left it on to poison us to death. That’s your fault too!’

‘I don’t think you can die from a bit of helium, you sook.’ Julia turned to kneel on her seat, reaching over and dragging the helium canister out of the box. ‘Shit, I didn’t shut off the nozzle properly.’

You ladies okay?’ A handsome twentysomething police officer was tapping at the window.

‘Not really,’ I chip-munked. ‘My sister is a lunatic who put a leaking helium canister in the back of this tiny car and then ran us off the road while trying to hide her sordid affair from me!’

About the Author: Susan Murphy is a marriage and funeral celebrant from South Australia with a passion for telling stories. She's also Mum to three fabulous kids, a wife of many years, and self-confessed chocolate addict. When not writing she can be found standing on the edge of a cliff, on a P&O cruise ship or even getting blown away on a beach somewhere while officiating wedding ceremonies. You might also find her at the SA Writers Centre where she is currently the Writer in Residence.


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Friday, March 4, 2016

Becoming Fenimore by Rebecca Bryan - Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Rebecca Bryan will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Upon learning she is the only living beneficiary of a late aunt's estate on far away Mackinac Island, Elle Curtis finds an unusual array of items connected to 19th Century writer Constance Fenimore Woolson—a discovery that will lead her on a journey and change her forever.

Enjoy an excerpt:

March, St. Augustine

Elizabeth.” She sat up in bed, darkness all around her. The digital clock on her nightstand read two in the morning. She strained to listen, but could only hear the howl of the wind from outside. It must have been the storm brewing, she told herself as she readjusted her pillow and tried to go back to sleep.

But there would be no sleep, because creeping like a silky web into the inky spaces around her rose the sound again. This time she recognized it as music. And it was coming from her mother’s room. She slipped out of bed, her feet silent as they crossed the cold wood floor to the shadowy hall where her eyes were forced to adjust to an even deeper blackness. The floorboards creaked loudly. She shivered. It’s just an old house that creaks in the night, she tried to assure herself.

The sound grew louder behind her mom’s closed door. She opened it a crack and Chopin’s familiar “Nocturne” escaped, giving her the courage she needed to fling the door wide and flip the switch.

The blaring light silenced her fear, but not the sound coming from an old music box by the bed. I must have bumped it when I was in here earlier, she thought.

The room had a very different appearance than it did two months ago. Piles lay in heaps all over the floor. Things to go, things to throw away, etc, etc. She walked around all the stacks of giveaways to where the small jewelry box sat open, it’s song winding down. She picked it up.

The stiff ballerina twirled and spun, her plastic arms high above her head, her leg bent effortlessly as the sharp, tin can-like music played in her ears.

The painted lips, drawn-on brows, red and white striped costume, tight bun and serious, beautiful face were a big part of her childhood. She used to sneak in and listen, closing her eyes and humming along. This ballerina symbolized another world. The idea that somewhere, there was something greater than what she knew or had. A family, a lover. A doting mother.

Inside were several necklaces her mom used to wear. She held a long silver chain up and gasped when she saw what was hanging on the end. A key. Silver and small as a thumbnail with a tiny fin at one end. She had seen this before, but had forgotten it.

She hurried to her room where the silver box had remained on her nightstand since January, inserted the key, and gave it a small twist. It clicked, releasing the lid. She peered in. The box itself was lined in red velvet and smelled like old paper. An old leather-bound book with the outline of a sparrow lay beside a bundle of letters and a decorative pin made of a green beetle stone. She lifted the book from its resting place and carefully turned the crisp pages covered with old fashioned writing in the margins.

As she turned the next page a photograph dropped onto her lap, stiff, parchment-like, and definitely old. The young woman in the photograph had her hair pulled back in a low bun. Her smile was straight, yet tipped up in the corners, held up by her secrets. Her deep-set eyes curious. She turned it over to find an inscription written across the back in fancy cursive. To HJ from longtime friend CFW.

She tucked it back into its hidden spot so she could examine the pin. It was a small green brooch, beetle-like with gold wings, something you’d see in ancient Egypt. Strange, but also interesting. She returned them both to the box and held up the single pearl necklace. Pretty, but nothing extraordinary. Next was the stack of letters. She returned everything except the letters, which she was careful not to rip as she unfolded the thick paper and read.

Dear Henry,

I am here to tell you that it is time to marry. Father and I suggest Miss Woolson. Haven’t you said she is intelligent, and your equal? Or perhaps Mrs. Van Rensselaer. I hear she has moved close to you in London. Do the two women often cross paths? Please respond quickly as Father is pacing the floor.


Elle quickly opened the next letter which seemed to be a response.


Tell your father that I will not even have The Constanza. As far as your other suggestion, The Rensellina, she is more than close. She is practically breathing down my neck like a crazed dragon just beside me on Bolton Street (as if Half Moon Street hadn’t been close enough.)

As far as the two women crossing paths, I am relieved to say they have kept to their separate spheres—The Rensellina with the titled, The Litteratrice alone with her pen— and I remain undevoured.


As she returned everything to the box her head spun with questions. Who were Lizzy and Henry and why had her mom kept the box hidden all these years? And did it have something to do with her long lost sister Lois?

About the Author:
Rebecca started writing one summer day in 2008 to escape from the stresses of life, never imagining she actually publish one day. Becoming Fenimore is her third novel. Her previous novels, The Sand Bar, 2012 and Far From Perfect, 2013 were runners up on Readers Favorites, in the category of women’s fiction.

In a previous life Rebecca graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho in Interior Design. When she is not writing or taking care of her five children, she can be found working in the theater and has been known to do a commercial or two on the side.

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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Pure Temptation by Auria Jourdain - Spotlight and Giveaway

BB_PureTemptation_Banner copy(1)

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Auria will be awarding e-copies of Pure Temptation on Kindle to 5 randomly drawn winners, and 1 grand prize - a signed paperback copy of Pure Temptation with swag bag and goodies - to one randomly drawn winner, all via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

MediaKit_BookCover_PureTemptation A rogue gypsy hired to kidnap a debutante Creole spying for the Cabildo government discovers they are both pawns in a dangerous Frenchman's game. Over land and sea, they discover the truth, but can they fight their uncontrollable desire for one another to save her family home?

Enjoy an excerpt:

Folding his arms about his chest, Talon stared at her suspiciously. What exactly had they told her?

Sensing his mistrust, Talia continued. “Alberto has regaled me with your life story, sir. Your activities during the revolution, and your adventure across England with your cousin, your Spanish heritage…need I go on?”

Talon smirked and shook his head, gazing out across the rough waters of the Atlantic. Apparently that bloody Spaniard didn’t know everything. “If you say so.”

“What does that mean?”

“It means that Alberto hasn’t given you the whole truth, not that he knows what it is.” Talon turned to her, gazing into her magnificent emerald eyes. “I am no Spaniard.”

Reaching a long finger out, Talia wrapped a curl of his dark hair around her fingertip, just as he had done to her all those weeks ago. She placed her palms against his bare chest, and Talon’s heart began to race, his blood pumping with desire as she looked up at him seductively. “If not a Spaniard, what are you?”

As his control dissolved, Talon inhaled her flowery scent that drifted through the air to weave its way through his senses. Her intimate touch had pushed him over the edge. Without any scruples, he placed his hands on Talia’s waist and pulled her close, her lithe, curvy body melting into his tall frame. Her strong, womanly presence drew him closer until his mouth hovered above hers. Talon whispered in her ear, his voice laden with desire, “I am Romani.”

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_PureTemptationAbout the Author: An avid reader from an early age, Auria Jourdain has fond childhood memories of spending quiet afternoons with a book in her hand. She loved the "happily ever after" sweet teen romances, and when she came of age, she plunged into the world of historical romance with fervor, transporting herself to a bygone time. Her favorites were Regency, but as a girl brought up in a common home, she was disheartened that most of the novels of this era focus on the nobility and wealth. Auria set out to write her own romance, encompassing her passion for French Revolutionary history and her innate sense of goodwill for the common man. An idealist at heart, she writes heroes and heroines that struggle to find acceptance in their world. Their differences" and their soul mates' complete acceptance of them are the embodiment of values that she holds dear, passed down to her by her father, a blue collar worker. She has an autistic son struggling to make his own way in the world. Looking to educate people about this mysterious disorder, she’s releasing a YA novel set in the U.P just for him during Autism Awareness month, April 2016. She hopes that someday we can break down the social barriers and forgo stereotypical judgments that harm our world.

Auria lives in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with her husband of twenty years, her four children (ages eight to eighteen), and two golden retrievers. A rather new transplant to the area, she loves the changing of the seasons, and she is currently working on a contemporary romantic suspense trilogy set in her rough and rugged homeland. Silence the Northwoods is set at a local ski resort in her hometown of Ironwood, Michigan—the ski capital of the Midwest. Silence the Waters takes place during the summer on the dangerous river ways that flow into Lake Superior in the Keweenaw Peninsula; and Silence the Birchwoods is an autumn tale set on Sugar Loaf Mountain, near Marquette, Michigan. All three involve murder, mystery, and romance, of course.

Auria spends her the long winters plotting and scheming her next book, and in the mild summers, she and her husband spend every waking moment they can hiking and kayaking the Northwoods. An amateur photographer, she lives fifteen miles from the shores of Lake Superior, and her muse has been piqued by the awe-inspiring beauty that surrounds her. Although she hasn’t officially acquired “Yooper” status yet, she can’t envision living anywhere else.

Amazon Author Page:

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