Friday, July 27, 2018

Amish Acres: The Celery Patch Book Blast: Giveaway for a $50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash

Amish Acres: The Celery Patch by Samantha Bayarr

When a celery patch mysteriously crops up overnight in the Yoder's field, it attracts some unwanted suitors competing for Naomi's hand.

Someone has grown an oversized patch of celery in Naomi's family field and now she's being accused of trying to "catch" a husband.

Will rumors spread by a jealous friend damage her reputation and threaten her chances of marrying the man she loves?

Amazon



5-Star Praise for Amish Acres: The Celery Patch

This book keeps you guessing. I loved it. If you love to try and guess what's going to happen, and you find yourself talking to the characters in your book, then you'll love this story. I can't wait to read the next book. Samantha Bayarr is a gifted author. I would recommend all of her books. ~ Fred Coenen, Amazon Customer

This book was such a wonderful read! The characters were interesting and the storyline was fun. This read was one I could not put down from start to finish. The interaction between the characters kept me guessing who planted the celery and who would wind up together and getting married. I highly recommend reading this book for a relaxing and enjoyable evening! I can't wait to read the next book in the series!! ~ Hope W, Amazon Customer

Great book. Very good storyline. Loved the characters, even the not so nice one! The ending holds a nice surprise, not the one I expected! ~ Beba Wildes, Amazon Customer

Naomi and Jeremiah’s story was an enjoyable read. It was well written with a well developed plot and characters. It contained jealousy, mystery, suspense, romance and enough twists and turns to keep me turning the pages. I highly recommend this book! ~ Judith Tulloch, Amazon Customer

Excerpt

“I’m getting married this wedding season, too!” Naomi Yoder blurted out before she could stop the words from pouring from her lips.

Her sister, Ruthie, sucked in her breath and covered her mouth, then quickly recovered from the shock.

Her best friend, Katie Troyer, squealed and pulled Naomi into a hug. “So he asked you, then?” Katie gushed, a giggle exploding from deep within her.

Not exactly!

Ruthie sat across from them. “Who asked you? Jeremiah?”

Naomi nodded, enjoying the attention she was getting over her fake announcement.

Annie Lapp, who’d walked over to their house to discuss a community quilt project, sank into the wicker chair nearest the swing where Naomi and Katie sat. “I don’t believe you, Naomi; you’re a liar!”

Naomi felt her blood run cold despite the heat of the morning sun beaming across the covered porch; her heart drummed against her ribs like a team of horses galloping at full speed. Of course, it was a lie, but she didn’t have much experience with lying the way Annie did; was it possible the girl’s bad habits were rubbing off on her? She hadn’t meant to say it, especially in front of Annie, who was the biggest gossip in the community. If only Katie hadn’t made her jealous with her own wedding news to Benjamin Mast. Not only had it made her worry that she was the last to make such an announcement from her age group, but Naomi just couldn’t take another minute of Annie’s or her sister’s teasing.

Hearing the word spinster coming from her own sister’s mouth had caused her to overreact, and now it was too late to take it back. Not only would Annie tell the entire community about her lie, but she would also add her own lies to make the situation worse. Annie annoyed her with her constant invasive prying, just so she’d have something to gossip about. Well, this time, Naomi had gone and given her plenty to wag her tongue about.

Author Samantha Bayarr

Samantha Bayarr, a former Paralegal, became the first Independent Author of Amish Fiction when she published Little Wild Flower in paperback in 2005. Since then, she has written over 130 Christian Fiction Books in Contemporary Romance, Historical Romance, Western & Cowboy Romance, Amish Romance, and Amish Suspense.

She lives in an historic home in a small town in Florida with her husband, John Foster, who writes children's books. Samantha illustrates her husband's books, the first in the series entitled: Walla Walla and the Great Pirate Adventure.



$50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash Giveaway
Ends 8/12/18

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or PayPal Cash. Winning entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. Susan Heim on Writing is not responsible for Rafflecopter content or prize fulfillment. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


Thursday, July 26, 2018

Promo Blitz: "Come Back," by Sally Crosiar: Giveaway for a Signed Book and Pin


 photo Come_Back_Cover__zpsa0tw50vh.jpeg

Contemporary/Upmarket/Women’s Fiction
Date Published: September 2017

 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png


Vi Masters wonders…can you come home again? More, she wonders why anyone would want to. She fled upright, backwater Freedom, Iowa at seventeen and hoped never to return. But this time, she can’t stand up against the pleas of the aunt who raised her. It’s one weekend. How bad can three days be?

Three measly days in a wonderful eighteen-year marriage – that’s what Vi’s stepmother hopes. But what if Ben discovers what Tammy knew about why his daughter ran away – something he seems determined to finally find out? She can’t be sure Ben would forgive her, and that’s got Tammy scared to her bones.

One day in and Vi has to face how Aunt Sadie is failing, Caregiving will surely wreak havoc on Vi’s hard-won career, but how can she not? At least she might be able to turn the party Sadie’s planned into a night even Alzheimer’s won’t let Sadie forget.

But that’s before Vi finds out Nate Barlow has moved back to town. Now after all she’s already survived, Vi must dig deep for courage. Nate will never be able to accept Vi’s past. Will he? Who knew hope would be so scary?


Excerpt

Chapter 12

Nate

I figured I’d chat with Victoria at Sadie’s shindig Saturday and leave it at that. So it caught me off guard when she showed up for a Pinewood breakfast Friday. Makes sense, I thought. Sadie wanted to show her off. Not because she was famous, but because she doted on Victoria, always had.

So why was I surprised? And worse, why did it feel like a punch in the gut?

Chill, I thought as my ears went hot. No biggie. I had famous clients. Got tongue-tied with the first few, but as my dealer says, they all put their underwear on one leg at a time. But picturing Vi Masters in underwear didn’t help at all.

It felt like seventh grade. I wasn’t prepared then either. The guys had ragged on me something fierce – those days when all girls had cooties – which meant I stopped hanging with her a few years before. So when she walked into school that fall, I hardly knew her.  When did she get so tall and willowy? With these subtle curves that set my imagination reeling? Why hadn’t I ever noticed her eyes were like the river at sunset?

From then on, she was Victoria, not Vicky, not Vee, like I called her when we were kids. Sexy, sultry, worthy-of-worship Victoria. And from then on, my damn ears and tongue were an adolescent nightmare whenever I came within ten feet of her. Smooth, that’s what I was.

Find your smooth now Slick, I thought as she moved toward my end of the counter.

I had more than a few minutes to get myself under control. Every last customer – Dick the retired trucker, George the retired math teacher, Mrs. Briggs and about a dozen more – wanted to shake her hand and have a word.

Working the room, I thought. Like a gallery opening. Coffee instead of wine.

I watched her smile and chat her way through the crowd. A pat on the arm here, a question there, a compliment on Miss Harriet Blue’s tacky old sweater, one I remembered from piano lessons. Miss Harriet puffed right up. She’ll likely go to her grave in that sweater now.

Mrs. Briggs got most of Victoria’s time. No surprise there. Even before we could read, the library was her favorite haunt. Worked there senior year – when she wasn’t bussing tables here at the Pinewood. So it was my haunt too.

That year I finally started acting human around her. Made conversation, joked around. Took till prom before I got the nerve to ask her out. She about knocked me flat when she said, “We’ll have a better time on prom night, don’t you think, if we go to a movie or something the night before?”

Long time ago. I jerked back to the present as Sadie tugged Victoria to the counter.

“Connie, just look at my Vicky.” She giggled as only Sadie can. “Vi, I mean. Oh, I’ll never get used to it.” Sadie turned from Victoria to Ma, “Doesn’t she look wonderful? I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to see my baby again!”

Up close, seventh grade memories didn’t hold a candle to this gorgeous creature.

“Connie, it’s so good to see you,” she said. “The Pinewood wouldn’t be the same without you. And you look better than ever.” Actress or no, she sounded like she meant it.

Victoria reached out to squeeze Ma’s shoulder – a simple greeting between old friends – but Ma pulled back, slammed the coffee pot down on the counter, and said, “Victoria Johansen – Vi Masters – whatever you call yourself – I always did like you. But I have a mammoth-sized bone to pick with you!”

Obviously not the greeting Ms. Hollywood expected. A calm veneer slid over her face fast as a lick, but like most painters, I notice things. Her hand dropped to the strap of her handbag, white fingers gripped tight. No wonder. Ma can be a scary lady.

“Do you have any idea what you put my boy through when you ran off?”

I tried to interrupt. “Ma. Let it be.”

She gave me the eye. “I will not. She ought to know what it was like for you to get hauled down to the police station. As if you knew where the silly girl went.” Ma wheeled back to Victoria. “And your father! Son of a bitch hit my boy! Blackened his eye. Worse, he made my Nate feel like a criminal, like he’d hurt you, or drove you away when anybody – anybody with a brain not up his butt – could see the only bad thing Nate ever did was fall for you.”

So much for calm veneer. Victoria’s face went white beneath her California tan, and I respected the maker of that handbag strap. She swallowed hard. Her eyes cut to me for the first time, then back to Ma. She opened her mouth, but it was clear she didn’t know what to say, where to begin.

Ma, on the other hand, still had plenty to say. Or would have, except I interrupted again.

“Ma. She didn’t know. Look at her face. How could she know? Let it be.”

“Well she ought to know.” Ma wasn’t done, but she was running down. Ma’s like that. The woman has a mighty temper. But when she’s said her piece, it’s done. Usually. “You left a mess for other people to clean up, missy, and you ought to know it!” Then, apparently satisfied she’d said what she needed to say, Ma picked up the coffee pot with her right hand, swung her left around for a mug, and said. “Now. How do you take your coffee?”

Victoria sank onto a stool, looked at Ma, at me. “Connie. Nate. I’m sorry. I am so sorry. I…” She swallowed hard again. “I didn’t know. Didn’t think… Oh God. I wish… I’m just so sorry.”

I decided to let her off the hook. “Long time ago. We survived. And so did you, I’m glad to see.”

“Nate. Nate Barlow.” Like she saw me for the first time. “You’re still here. You look…”

I grinned. “Yeah. I know. Like an aging hippy. I get that all the time.” I tugged on my ponytail. “You wouldn’t believe the grief I get from the Freedom Regulars.”

She smiled – less assured, less sparkling than the Hollywood smile she’d dished out on her way down the counter. Softer. A little rueful. A lot like the night I kissed her. “I’ll just bet. Didn’t we always say that the Freedom Regulars would never change? But that’s not what I was going to say. You look good. That’s what I was going to say. Good.”

“Ah, hell. I can’t do it.”

“Can’t do what?”

“Can’t stay mad at you.”

Her smile faded. “Oh Nate. I am sorry. So sorry. I never thought Ben would come after you. Hit you? Oh Nate.”

I waved her off. “No biggie. It wasn’t my first black eye. Or my last for that matter. Can’t pin Ben’s actions on you. Wouldn’t be mad at you for that. If I could.”

The smile was nearly back. “Okay. I’ll bite. Why would you be mad at me? If you could?”

I picked up my coffee. Took a long swallow. Milked the moment. “The prom. You stood me up. For the prom.”

I said it lightly. Like it didn’t matter. Not anymore. Back then? Stood up on prom night? Suspected of something awful. Not the best night of my life.

Now trumps then. I expected a snappy comeback like she zings on TV, but she seemed as much at a loss for words as during Ma’s rant. An odd cast shaded her eyes. Almost like…sorrow. I cut her a break.

“Even so, can’t seem to stay mad at you.”

Funny how the relief on her face made me feel easier too.

“I’m glad,” she said.

Watch yourself pal.

Ma came back with the coffee pot. And a smile. She can’t stay mad either. Just don’t get between her and her cub. As if you could.

“More coffee, you two? Crayons, coloring books? Legos?”

Victoria’s laugh came out low and husky. “Just like when we were kids, Connie? In the back booth? Waiting for you and Sadie to close up? That’s a good memory.”

“For me too,” Ma said. “For half the town, I’ll wager. You two were good for business. Got folks to dig deeper in their pockets.”

“Good old Pinewood.” Victoria looked around the diner. “So much the same. But different too. Brighter than I remember. And those wonderful drawings! Those are new.” She gestured to the framed caricatures that lined the walls. “The Freedom Regulars!” She grinned.

“Those are Nate’s. He’s a very successful artist, you know. He’s had shows in New York, London, all over.”

“Ma. Stop bragging.” My damn ears went hot again.

“Nate! Really? These are yours?”

I nodded.

“They’re wonderful! So fun! So…real.”

Funny. That’s what I was going for. To poke fun – gently – at folks, and still show I like them. Each one has hopes and dreams and sorrows – all important, all real.

“Nate did well up at Ames, even studied in Paris.” Ma came around the counter to stand behind me, hands on my shoulders. A united front. I let Victoria off the hook, but Ma wasn’t quite done with her. “He was gone a long time. I thought maybe he’d stay in New York City, he did so well there. I’m sure glad to have him home though.”

Victoria got the message. “Connie. I really am sorry for…what happened after I left. I wouldn’t have brought on trouble for you or Nate. Not if I could help it.”

“And you couldn’t help it then?”

Victoria studied the inside of her coffee mug.

Ma persisted. “So you’re not telling why you put us through that?”

“Ma. Give the girl a break.”

“No harm asking, is there?”

But there was. I could see it in Victoria’s eyes.

“No.” She said it quietly, dropped her eyes, then raised and leveled them at Ma first, then me. “I had…reasons. Good reasons. Private reasons.”

I know Ma. She wasn’t satisfied. If she chose, Ma could wear you down till you’d confess crimes you never committed. But this time, she only gave Victoria the eye. And when that didn’t produce answers, Ma nodded, and said, “All right then. We’ll leave it at that.”

“Guess she can’t stay mad at you either,” I said.

“I hope that’s true.” She paused. “Friends?”

“Friends,” I said.

Ma nodded. “Friends.”

“Just like that?” Her voice was light but there was effort behind it. The handbag strap wasn’t out of danger yet.

Ma and I glanced at each other and shrugged.

“Just like that,” I said.

“Once a friend, always a friend,” Ma said.

“Thank you.” She blinked, seemed about to say something, but gave her head a tiny shake. She gave us both a bright smile – still sincere, but somehow not quite so personal. Like she pulled on a cape of Hollywood bravado. She glanced over to where Sadie was in full chat with Miss Harriet Blue and said, “I hope maybe you can help me with something.”

What now?

Victoria leaned toward Ma. “Connie. You’ve known Sadie a long time. You see her as much as anybody. How’s she doing?”

“Well… Now honey, you know your aunt is an old friend. A good friend.”

“I wouldn’t ask if it weren’t important.”

“Well…”

“What Ma’s trying not to say is that Sadie never was the sharpest crayon in the box.”

Victoria smiled. A sad smile this time and a nod. “Oh, I know. She’s a dear, sweet woman, and I love her. But she’s always been a little…dizzy. What I want to know is…well, is she getting dizzier?”

I was surprised to see Ma’s eyes fill. She grabbed a napkin, turned toward the wall, dabbed. “Damn, damn, damn.”

“Ma? You okay?” Nobody gets between the cub and his mama either.

I saw her shoulders square like they do before she tackles any hard thing like pull a splinter from my finger or face down Ben Johansen. She nodded. “She’s slipping. Not a lot. Not enough so most people notice. But she gets confused. More now. Carleen and I, we’ve been picking up the slack.” She gave a little grin. “Not exactly new. More this last year.”

Victoria nodded and studied her coffee again. And then, damned if her shoulders didn’t square up just like Ma’s. She looked up. “I’m not surprised. Afraid and sad and…royally pissed off. But not surprised.” She paused. “How long can you keep covering for her, Connie?”

“As long as she’s able to get here. To stand upright, to walk. As long as she stays…docile and will follow directions. If it gets to the point when she fights us, well… Then it won’t be good for her to be here. For her – or for us. Till then…” There went the shoulders again. “We’ve got her back.” This was no off-the-cuff response. Ma’d given it considerable thought.

Victoria nodded. “Thank you. I needed to know.” She looked my way. “Nate?”

“Can’t say I’ve noticed much. Not job-related. But…” I didn’t want to say any more than Ma had. “She’s not as careful with her hair as she used to be.”

“Her hair?” I caught the tone. The surprise. And the speculation. Not the first time.

“No, I’m not gay,” I said. “I’m a painter. I notice things.”

Ma looked at Victoria. “I raised a boy who notices a woman’s hair. I’m so proud.”

She is. I know it and she knows I know it. Won’t stop her pulling my chain though. The two of them laughed – till they had to grab and dab. Which was fun to see.

Sadie left Miss Harriet Blue and joined us at the counter with a look that said, “I know there was a joke here. I know I won’t get it. But I like to laugh too.” Classic Sadie. Out loud she said, “Vicky, honey, I’ve got my hair appointment.” Poor Sadie. “What’s so funny?”

Victoria smothered a laugh before she kissed Sadie’s cheek.  “You go ahead. I’ll walk over to Lindy’s and meet you. Half an hour?”

“Okey dokey!” Sadie bounced toward the door.

As soon as she was out of sight, Victoria said, “I want to do something for her. Something that will matter later, when… Later. I could use your help. It’s about tomorrow night’s party.” Ma and I listened as Victoria told us what she wanted to cook up.


About the Author

 photo fullsizeoutput_254e_zpseijbmigw.jpeg
Sally Crosiar lives in the Finger Lakes of New York State where she reads incessantly, enjoys time in and on the water, savors dark chocolate with red wine at every opportunity, and teaches about health and play for Empire State College. She is the author of Find the Love of Your Life, based on her own true story, My Uncle Dave, a children’s book with an adult message, and co-author with Dr. Sidney B. Simon of Love Builders: Tools to Build Every Relationship. Come Back is her debut novel.



Contact Links



Purchase Link

RABT Book Tours & PR

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Release Blitz: "The Unexpected Wife," by Caroline Warfield: Giveaway for a Signed Book and $10 Amazon Gift Card



 photo TheUnexpectedWife2_850_zpsvrzylw1w.jpg
Historical Romance
Date Published: July 25, 2018

 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png

When the Duke of Murnane accepts an unofficial fact-finding mission to Canton on behalf of the queen in 1838, he expects work to heal him. He certainly doesn’t expect to confront his wreck of a marriage in such an exotic locale, or to find the love of his life. Zambak Hayden follows her brother to China to escape pressure to make a suitable marriage. When she finds the brother drawn into the world of greed, smuggling, opium, and corruption, she resolves to both sort out the truth and to protect her brother from becoming prey to all of it—if only she could stop yearning for the one man she can’t have.  Can love survive when troubles and war explode around them?


Excerpt


“Don’t go honorable and protective on me, Charles. I know what I want,” she sputtered, grabbing his lapels and snuggling her nose into his shoulder.

“That fills me with more joy than I can explain, Zambak,” he said. He stood, pulling her with him, and turned her outward to face the shore while he put his arms around her waist to hold her loosely from behind. “You aren’t so na├»ve that you can’t tell how badly I want you,” he whispered in her ear.

Smug and filled with triumph, she spoke without thinking. “I know. I fear I’ve tumbled entirely in love with you, Charles. It is new and precious and—” She sank her head back against him. She felt safe in his arms, yet frustrated. When she wriggled free to face him, he held her at arms length, one hand on each arm.

“You don’t understand what you’re suggesting,” he said.

“Perhaps not entirely, but I’m eager to find out. We can manage this thing between us. I know we can. For now—”

“For now, nothing. Listen to me, dear one.”

Dear one. She felt her smile fill her down to her toes. She sank back on her heels and studied his face, grave in the moonlight.

“You’ve told me over and over again you do not wish to marry,” he reminded her.

“Maybe I was wrong. I don’t wish marriage as dictated by rank and land and the rest. Or maybe I don’t need marriage. There’s Julia in any case and—and I’m jumping ahead.”

He smiled then and loosed his grip, taking a step away. “You certainly are, and I’m making a mull of it.” He reached out a hand to cup her cheek. “Lady Zambak Hayden, I find that I have also tumbled into this maelstrom. I love your brilliant mind and unbounded courage. Your lovely body drives me mad, as you will have noticed. But—”

She growled deep in her throat. Always a “but.” She put a finger to his lips, but he shook his head, and removed his hand from her face.

“Listen to me. You may not believe in marriage, but you deserve no less than my total commitment. I am a married man, who can’t make his addresses with any honor.”

“I thought you and Julia had an agreement,” she reminded him.

“We do. But Julia’s word is always questionable, making any agreement equally questionable. Divorce is tedious and difficult at best, ugly and scandal-ridden at worst. When it’s done, she will have shredded my good name.”

“I know you. I know better. I don’t care.” She didn’t. She couldn’t believe he’d think otherwise.

His smile held infinite sadness. “Your father will care, and your mother wants more for you than a man eleven years your senior with an ugly past.”

“Piffle. Even if that is true—and I doubt it, because they know you. They know what you’re made of—I am of age. They will have to accept it, because I will defy whatever they might do to stop me.”

“Yes, you would,” he replied with a sigh. “You defy them in many things, and it seems to fall to me to keep you out of trouble.”

He reached over and took her right hand between both of his. “Very well, Lady Zambak Hayden, will you—”

She tried to throw herself into his arms, but he held her back. “Wait. Listen to what I’m asking. Will you wait for me to be free? Will you wait as long as it takes to extricate myself from my joke of a marriage so I can come to you honorably and make my offer?”

She sank back, subdued. “I don’t want to wait.” Stony features looked implacably back for a long moment until she gave in. “But I will if you give me no choice, because I promise you this, Charles: there is no other man but you and never will be. I love you.”

His eyes bore into hers. “I won’t hold you to it, Zambak, but I love you for saying it.” He kissed her then—a fierce caress that battered her soul with the enormity of his feelings—stepped away and bowed. “Now I will join the crew on the quarterdeck for both our sakes, since you will not go below.”

He left her in the moonlight, cold and alone, but with hope firmly set in her heart.


About the Author

 photo CRoddy-001croppedtoo_zpscwjtos8a.jpg
Award-winning author Caroline Warfield has been many things: traveler, librarian, poet, raiser of children, bird watcher, Internet and Web services manager, conference speaker, indexer, tech writer, genealogist—even a nun. She reckons she is on at least her third act, happily working in an office surrounded by windows where she lets her characters lead her to adventures in England and the far-flung corners of the British Empire. She nudges them to explore the riskiest territory of all, the human heart.


Contact Links


Purchase Link





Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Release Blitz: "Beyond Beauport," by James Masciarelli




 photo Beyond Beauport_zpslpia6ggd.jpg
Nautical Fiction/Sea Adventure
Date Published: July 24, 2018
Publisher: Koehler Books

 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png

Shannon Clarke raised a family and worked waterfront jobs in America's oldest seaport. Her childhood dream to become a sea captain is revived when her long-lost seafaring uncle Patrick visits with a salty tale of their maritime family ancestry of pirates and privateers. He shares recovered family letters and artifacts from the Golden Age of Piracy. They take to the sea in Patrick's brigantine to follow the siren song of their ancestors in quest of destiny, truth and treasure. The voyage is fraught with raw forces of nature, past traumas and present day sea robbers, as their talents and beliefs of family, identity and purpose are shaken to the core.


 photo Beyond Beauport print front and back_zpsbfffg2pw.jpg

Praise for Beyond Beauport:

"If you like adventure, Caribbean seas and family intrigue, you'll surely enjoy this tale." --Katherine A. Sherbrooke, author of Fill the Sky

" . . . a fast-moving read that keeps you on edge page after page!" --Ron Gilson, author of An Island No More

"Loaded to the scuppers with history and intrigue, Beyond Beauport fastens a shackle to the heartstrings of the pirate in all of us, then pulls along in its powerful riptide of adventure! Bravo!" --Jim Tarantino, Gloucester doryman

"Full of history, geography, maritime life, storms, and recipes, Masciarelli has created an exciting tale of today's woman at one with the sea." -- JoeAnn Hart, author of Float

"James Masciarelli's mastery of plot, suspense, pacing, dialogue and story belies any sense that Beyond Beauport is his first novel. The history that frames this gripping narrative is impeccable. Embarking on this adventure with such appealing characters offers a pleasure that only the most well-crafted novels can provide." --Peter Anastas, author of At the Cut

"Paddy and Shannon have room for one more mate on the Second Wind, and you have permission to board. You might want to keep that life jacket close by--the waters are a little rough ahead." --John Dufresne, author of I Don't Like Where This Is Going

"James Masciarelli has crafted a unique contribution to American letters, an adventure saga that is sweeping in scope yet intensely personal. Masciarelli writes of time, place and history, and in the process has woven a lasting work that speaks to discovery that is both epic in scope and deeply personal." --Greg Fields, author of Arc of the Comet

 photo Beyond Beauport on tablet 3_zpscxoywzko.jpg

About the Author

 photo Beyond Beauport Author James Masciarelli_zpsnvt6gjih.jpg

James Masciarelli is a writer, entrepreneur, and storyteller with deep experience of the human condition from his work with individuals, families, and organizations in crisis, growth and change. Writing and use of story enabled him to move ideas through organizations in his social work, human resource, and business career. His creative fiction focuses on stories of change and transformation by the sea. He majored in psychology and classical literature at College of the Holy Cross, with advanced graduate study in clinical psychology, and holds an MBA from Babson College. He resides in Naples, Florida and his homeport, Gloucester, Massachusetts with his creative wife and twin beagles.

Contact Links


Purchase Links

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Book Review: "Unearthly," by Cynthia Hand


About the book:
When Clara Gardner learns she’s part angel, her entire life changes. She now has a purpose, a specific task she was put on this earth to accomplish, except she doesn’t know what it is. Her visions of a raging forest fire and a mysterious boy lead her to a new high school in a new town but provide no clear instruction. As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she’d have to make -- between the boy in her vision and the boy in her life, between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil.... When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

My thoughts:
If you love YA paranormal stories, you'll love Unearthly just as much as I did. It's one of those rare books that I couldn't stop reading! The story really sucked me in as secrets slowly came to light. Despite being part-angel, Clara had very human emotions, including a lack of confidence in her abilities, a sometimes difficult relationship with her mother, and the euphoria of finding her first love. She knew that her mother, also part-angel, was keeping a lot of information hidden from her, which frustrated her because she just wanted to be a "normal" teen. The only dissatisfying part of this book was that it ended on a cliff hanger so I won't know more of Clara's destiny until I get the next book!



Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. I borrowed this book from the library. This post contains my Amazon affiliate link, and I will receive a small commission purchases made through my link.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Review: "The Apprentice Witch," by James Nicol


About the book:
Arianwyn has flunked her witch's assessment: She's doomed. Declared an apprentice and sent to the town of Lull in disgrace, she may never become a real witch -- much to the glee of her arch-rival, Gimma.

But remote Lull is not as boring as it seems. Strange things are sighted in the woods, a dangerous infestation of hex creeps throughout the town, and a mysterious magical visitor arrives with his eye on her.

With every spirit banished, creature helped, and spell cast, Arianwyn starts to get the hang of being a witch -- even if she's only an apprentice. But the worst still lies ahead. For a sinister darkness has begun to haunt her spells, and there may be much more at stake than just her pride ... for Arianwyn and the entire land.

My thoughts:
Like the Harry Potter books, The Apprentice Witch resides in the children's section of my library, but it's just as enjoyable for adults as it is for children. This story centers around Arianwyn, a young witch who fails her final witch exam and is sent to a remote village to prove herself worthy of being a full-fledged witch. There, she encounters all kinds of magical creatures that she must defeat in order to protect the townspeople. As she conquers each challenge, she slowly gains confidence in her abilities and realizes that she is much more powerful than she thinks. Filled with fascinating creatures and characters with personality-plus, this is an enjoyable read for all ages.

About the author:
James Nicol has loved books and stories his whole life. As a child, he spent hours absorbed in novels, watching epic 1980s cartoons, or adventuring in the woods at the bottom of the garden. He lives on the edge of the Cambridgeshire Fens in England with his partner and a black-and-white cockapoo named Bonnie.



Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. I borrowed this book from the library.

Promo Blitz: "Finding Me," by Judith Keim


 photo Finding Me_zpsqpwnm9gb.jpg


Salty Key Inn Series, Book 1
Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Wild Quail Publishing
Published: February 2017

 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png

Sheena Sullivan Morelli and her sisters, Darcy and Regan, receive the unexpected news that their Uncle Gavin Sullivan, the black sheep of the family, has left them a hotel on the Gulf coast of Florida. The gift comes with a twist. They must live together for one year at the hotel and prepare the hotel to receive guests within a year. Sheena, eager to escape her role of unappreciated wife and mother, can’t wait for the opportunity to find herself. Dreams of sitting on the beach sipping margaritas are shattered when they see the property in need of renovation. But they begin their work of meeting the challenge. If they succeed, the bulk of Gavin’s estate will be theirs. Facing the unexpected, working together, the three sisters learn a lot about each other and the gift of family love.


 photo Finding Me set on tablets with beach background 2_zpsuzj05kcy.jpg

Other Books in the Salty Key Inn Series:


 photo Finding My Way book two_zpsj4bgdscs.jpg

Finding My Way
Salty Key Inn Series, Book 2
Publisher: Wild Quail Publishing
Published: June 2017

Darcy Sullivan and her two sisters continue to work hard at the Salty Key Inn, the small, Florida hotel they unexpectedly inherited. In order to inherit the rest of Uncle Gavin’s sizeable estate, they must meet his challenge to open the neglected hotel by the end of the year. Darcy figures once they meet the challenge, she’ll take off, travel the world, and maybe, just maybe, begin writing the world’s best novel. When she meets Nick Howard, an older man who is a reporter for the local newspaper and takes over his weekly column, her life changes. Under his tutelage, she writes about local residents, learning to see people in a different way—especially after meeting a cousin no one knew about. Her joy at having the part-time job that’s always been her dream is shattered when she learns Nick is dying. For support, she turns to Austin Blakely, whose grandmother is terminally ill, and through their growing relationship, comes to understand what true love is.



 photo Finding Love book three_zpsmzbl9pml.jpg

Finding Love
Salty Key Inn Series, Book 3
Publisher: Wild Quail Publishing
Published: February 2018

As Regan Sullivan continues to work with her sisters, Sheena and Darcy, to meet their Uncle Gavin’s challenge to make the Salty Key Inn a success, she wonders why she can never find the man of her dreams. Her sisters are happily settled with men they love. Why can’t she do the same? When she’s involved in a motorcycle accident with Brian Harwood, Regan learns to think differently about both her appearance and herself. And as she deals with her injuries and helps Brian recover from the accident she feels guilty about causing, Regan discovers that the love she’s always sought has been there all along.





 photo Finding Me on tablet 4_zpsdkxec5m0.jpg



Excerpt


 CHAPTER ONE

SHEENA

In early January, Sheena Morelli sat with her two sisters in a conference room of the Boston law office of Lowell, Peabody and Wilson, waiting to meet with Archibald Wilson himself.

“Do either of you have any idea why we’re really here?” said her youngest sister, Regan. “The letter from Mr. Wilson said something about a reading of a will. But that doesn’t make sense to me. I didn’t even know Gavin Sullivan.”

“Me, neither. He’s probably some rich uncle leaving us a lot of money,” teased Darcy, the typical middle sister, who was always kidding around.

Sheena laughed with her. The three Sullivan sisters had no rich relatives that they knew of in their modest family. They were hard workers who relied on only themselves to make it through life. Well, thought Sheena, maybe Regan wasn’t as reliable as she and Darcy. As the baby of the family, Regan had always been a bit spoiled. At twenty-two and eager to escape her old life in Boston, Regan wasn’t about to spend too much time with the family. This time, though, at the formal request of Mr. Wilson, Regan had dutifully left New York City to come to “Bean Town.”

As Sheena waited in the conference room for Mr. Wilson to show up, she studied Regan out of the corner of her eye. With her long, black hair, big, violet-blue eyes, and delicate Sullivan features, she was a knockout—a Liz Taylor look-alike.

Darcy sat on the other side of Sheena in a stiff-backed chair. Studying Darcy’s blue eyes, red hair, and freckled nose, Sheena thought of her as cute…and funny…and maybe a little annoying, though everyone seemed to love Darcy’s sassy attitude. At twenty-six, Darcy claimed she hadn’t found her true calling. Whatever that meant.

Sheena had found her calling in a hurry when she got pregnant as she was starting college, where she’d planned to take nursing courses. Ironic as it was, her wanting to become a nurse and getting caught like that, had changed many things for her. Now, at thirty-six and with a sixteen-year-old son and a fourteen-year-old daughter, she still hadn’t recovered from losing her dream.

She straightened in her chair as a tall, gray-haired man entered the room carrying a file of papers.

“Good morning, ladies. I’m Archibald Wilson, the lawyer representing Gavin Sullivan. I’m pleased you all could attend this reading of his will,” he announced in a bass voice. He looked the three of them over critically. “Which one of you is Sheena Sullivan Morelli?”

She raised her hand. “I’m Sheena. Do you mean the ‘Big G’ Sullivan?”

Wide-eyed, her sisters released loud gasps. The name “Big G Sullivan” had been mentioned in the family on rare occasions, and only when her father and his two other brothers had had too many beers. And then it was never kindly.

Mr. Wilson nodded with satisfaction. “Yes, that’s my client. Sheena, though all three of you are beneficiaries, I will address you on most of the issues, as it pertains to the specific language of the will.”

Sheena sat back in her chair, her mind spinning. This scene seemed so surreal. Their father had broken his relationship with this brother years ago. He’d always said his brother was a loser, someone he could never trust.

“He’s left something for us?” said Darcy. “I was only teasing about such a thing.”

The lawyer studied Darcy a moment, took a seat facing the three of them on the other side of the small conference table, and opened the file he had carried in.

He began to speak: “I, Gavin R. Sullivan, of the State of Florida, being of sound and disposing mind and memory, do make, publish, and declare this to be my Last Will and Testament…”

Certain words faded in and out of Sheena’s shocked state of mind. Though her sisters might have been too young to remember him, she had a clear image of the big, jovial man who’d captivated her with his smile, his belly laughs, and the way her father grew quiet when they were in the same room together. On one particular visit, the “Big G”, as he was known, gave her a stuffed monkey that she’d kept on her bed for years. It wasn’t until the fur on the monkey was worn off that she’d noticed a seam was tearing. One day, while she was probing the hole, a gold coin fell out.

Sheena showed the coin to her mother, who snatched it away and whispered, “Don’t tell anyone about this. It’s very valuable. Someday you’ll need it. Until then, I’ll keep it safe for you. Your uncle loves you very much.” As her father walked through the doorway, her mother held a finger to her lips.

Until now, Sheena had forgotten all about the coin.

Archibald Wilson’s voice brought her back to the present. “Sheena, you, Darcy, and Regan are now the legal owners of the Salty Key Inn, but you, Sheena, will be in charge of taking over the small hotel in Florida, as your uncle directed in his will. Is that understood by the three of you?”

Sheena and her sisters dutifully bobbed their heads. The bewilderment on her sisters’ faces matched her own feelings. How in the world were the three of them going to run a hotel?

“Remember,” Mr. Wilson warned them, “the hotel may not be sold for a period of one year. And the three of you must live there together for that entire time if you are to have a share in the rest of his sizeable estate, the details of which will remain undisclosed until the end of your year in Florida. You have just two weeks to prepare. In conversations I had with him in setting up the will, I believe Gavin Sullivan intended for this to be a life lesson for each of you.”

“Whoa! Wait a minute! What about the lease on the condo I share with two of my friends? I can’t just walk away from that,” said Darcy.

“And mine?” said Regan.

The lawyer nodded. “Read over the conditions of the will. Any expenses like that will be taken care of by Gavin’s estate. All expenses as you settle in will be handled through me. But, beware, there will be hidden tests for you throughout this entire process. Tests that could make a lot of difference to each of you.”

Sheena exchanged worried glances with her sisters. She wished she’d asked their mother for more information about the uncle she was never to mention. And now it was too late. Their mother had died a little over a year ago.

“Live together in Florida for a whole year? Was Uncle Gavin crazy when he set up this deal?”

exclaimed Darcy. Her indignation was understandable.

Mr. Wilson stood. “I realize you all have a lot to talk about, a lot to think about. And let me know if you need any further clarification of the terms of the will. You are welcome to continue using this conference room, and please feel free to help yourself to any of the refreshments on the side table.” His lips curved with a touch of humor in what had been a mostly expressionless face. “Enjoy the challenge.”

After Mr. Wilson left them, Sheena sank back into her chair. Her mind raced at the thought of suddenly leaving Boston to go live with her sisters in Florida for an entire year. How could she do that? It would be difficult for her on many levels. They were sisters, after all, and like sisters everywhere, being together for too long sometimes caused battles to erupt. More than that, she had a family. And her husband, Tony, wouldn’t like the idea at all. Her children even less.

“What a joke,” said Darcy, shaking her head. “Living with the two of you for an entire year? Running a hotel? No way. And, Sheena, Tony would never allow you to do something like this. You’re what he calls ‘the Mrs’. And what about the kids?”

Sheena glared at Darcy. “Wait a minute! What did you mean by that ‘Mrs.’ remark?”

“Don’t take it the wrong way,” urged Regan. “It’s just that your family depends on you for everything. Especially Tony.”

Deep in thought, Sheena remained quiet. Tony was a good man who prided himself on always doing the right thing. And he expected her to fulfill what he thought was her proper role.

Though their relationship was still new when she got pregnant, Tony had stepped right up and offered to marry her to prevent her mother’s conservative church friends from counting on their fingers how long it took for their first baby to appear. It helped that their son, Michael Morelli, had started his life in the outside world a little late. Still, Sheena had always appreciated Tony’s consideration.

A worried sigh escaped her. She knew Tony wouldn’t support her being away from their family for an entire year. That would be going against his idea of her in the proper role of taking care of their family. And yet, with his business recently doing poorly, it might be an answer to their prayers—though Tony’s fragile ego might prevent her from actually saying so.

“What about you two?” Sheena asked. “You’ll have to quit your jobs. What then?”

Regan shrugged. “I don’t care. My job is boring—answering phone calls, greeting people and all. They’ll just find another receptionist to take my place.”

Darcy shook her head. “Receptionist? You were so much more than that. More like some kind of hostess with all those special meetings you helped them with. When I visited you in New York, I witnessed how it was—you serving them drinks before they went out to some business dinner.”

“What about you, Darcy?” Sheena asked. “You’ve got a very good job working in IT.”

Darcy grimaced. “Actually, I don’t like it very much. Working with numbers and codes all day isn’t that exciting. Mom was always so proud of me and my job that I didn’t dare tell her I wasn’t happy there. But, with her gone, I’ve been thinking of doing something else.” She smiled. “Maybe this whole thing isn’t dumb after all. Maybe this will be the beginning of something new for all of us.”

Sheena returned her smile. Put this way, it sounded wonderful. If, only…

###


About the Author

 photo Finding Me Author Judith Keim_zps4vmeqh5q.jpg
Judith Keim was born and raised in Elmira, New York, and now makes her home in Idaho with her husband and long-haired dachshund, Winston, and other members of her family. Growing up, books were always present -- being read, ready to go back to the library or about to be discovered. Information from the books was shared in general conversation, giving everyone in her family a wealth of knowledge and a lot of imagination. Perhaps that is why she was drawn to the idea of writing stories early on. Judith particularly loves to write novels about women who face unexpected challenges with strength and find love along the way.

Contact Links


Purchase Links

RABT Book Tours & PR