Broken Girls by Joy Kluver / #Review #BooksOnTour @bookouture @JoyKluver

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Brambles catch her dress, scratch her legs, pierce her feet. To escape, she’d had no option but to go barefoot. They’d been laughing together a few minutes before, but things can change in the blink of an eye…

The woman is dark-haired and young, judging by the short red dress. Any other signs of her identity have been erased during her long wait to be found, but it’s clear she was strangled: this was a passionate and personal murder.

D.I. Bernadette Noel knows that every second counts if she is to catch this killer, but she has no leads – until the discovery that the dead woman’s rings match a stolen property report, and the rings’ owner mentions Rosa, her missing nanny.

Just when Bernie and her team think they’re getting somewhere, a shocking discovery about Rosa – and the news that another young girl has been abducted – changes everything the team thought they knew about the case.

Laura is only twelve, and her parents are beside themselves with worry – but Bernie has an additional fear. Laura’s home is right next to the woods where their murder victim was found: are the cases connected?

When Bernie notices similarities between descriptions of the man last seen with Rosa and someone Laura was messaging online, these fears grow stronger. But they still have no clear leads as to the identity of the culprit.

With few options left, and time running out, she makes a desperate plan to trap the predator. But any mistakes will mean another innocent life lost

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Review

I admire police officers. I think you really have to be very strong mentally in order to deal with all the crime scenes they have to visit. When they receive a call, they never really know what they will find, but they know it will not be a walk in the park. 

DI Noel has to solve a murder case, but at the same time a girl has gone missing. Are they looking for a killer and an abductor? Are the cases connected? These are a few questions she and her team have to find answers to with almost no clues at all. Will they work it all out in time and save the girl? 

In the first book it felt a bit like she still had to find her place, but in this second book, she certainly knows how to manage her team. In my opinion she has grown a lot and I like her even more now. 

Once again I realise people are often not who they say they are. They can be very loveable in public, but it’s devastating to see how they can change once they are behind closed doors.

This is a very gripping story and I thoroughly enjoyed it. 5 stars

Thank you, Joy Kluver and Bookouture

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About the Author

Joy Kluver has been an avid reader and writer since childhood. More recently she’s been escaping the madness of motherhood by turning her hand to crime novels. A book blogger, she’s also part of the First Monday Crime team and if you’ve been to any of their events it’s likely you’ve eaten one of her cookies. She also organises author talks for her local library. Joy lives in SW London with her husband and three children. ‘Last Seen’ is her debut novel and the first book in the DI Bernadette Noel series.

Joy is represented by Anne Williams at the Kate Horden Literary Agency.

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Author Links

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoyKluver

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

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thumbnail_Joy - Salisbury 1

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Book Links

Amazon: https://geni.us/B0931767LCcover 

Apple: http://ow.ly/30e250EzwYE 

Kobo: http://ow.ly/8ltA50EzwW8  

Google: http://ow.ly/hsWr50Ezx08 

Advertentie

The Legend of Hobart by Heather Mullaly / #Extract #BlogTour @lolasblogtours

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Tired of being teased about his name and his stutter, twelve-year-old Hobart sets out to do a few heroic deeds and earn a place in Knight School. But the local damsels he hopes to save assure him that the last thing they need is rescuing. The runaway bull he tries to catch wears him like a hat. And don’t even ask about the ogre.

Finally, in desperation, Hobart sets out on the most daring quest he can think of–he will slay a dragon. Or that’s his plan anyway.

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Extract

“I have one last gift to aid you on your journey,” Mildred said with great ceremony.

“I-I thought it was t-traditional to give a h-hero three g-gifts,” I said.

Mildred shrugged. “I’m a nonconformist, and you are no hero. Not yet anyway. You have quite a few things to learn first.”

“L-like what?” I asked, hoping for any clues this riddle of a wise woman might give me about how to slay a dragon.

“You will learn them when the time comes,” Mildred said. “But first, follow me.”

I was not interested in hauling any more useless stuff, but Mildred gave me a look, and I followed. We walked through the light rain to a small building behind the cottage. Inside stood a fine white horse. My spirits immediately rose. I no longer cared that Mildred had given me an almanac that didn’t predict the weather and an endless supply of turnips. This noble creature would make up for it all.

But then I had a terrible thought. What if she planned to give me a tired old donkey instead? I looked around, but the horse was the only creature in sight.

“Hobart, I would like to introduce you to Albert. Albert, this is your new master, Hobart. You will be accompanying him on his quest.”

“A quest, how exciting.”

I looked up at the horse, confused.

“I do hope that you are planning to wait until after the rain stops, though. I hate getting my hooves wet.” The horse looked at me with a worried expression. “Goodness knows we wouldn’t want me to catch cold.”

“Don’t be such a baby, Albert,” Mildred said to the horse. “A little damp won’t hurt you.”

I just stared at the two of them as I realized that this strange little sage was offering to give me a talking horse. I couldn’t decide if that was a good thing or a bad thing.

By the end of the day, I was sure. It was a bad thing.

Thank you, Heather Mullaly and Lola’s Blog Tours

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About the author

Heather Mullaly is a passionate believer in the power of story. When she isn’t writing them, reading them, or listening to them, she can usually be found baking something that involves chocolate, thinking up new story ideas before she’s finished the two she’s currently writing, or hanging out with her family, who happen to be even more fantastic than the characters in her head. She lives in Virginia with her husband and their three teenagers.

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Author Links

Website: http://www.heathermullaly.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/106508034343528

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/heather-mullaly

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Heather-Mullaly/e/B091MCSFY2

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Book Links

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/the-legend-of-hobart-by-heather-mullaly

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B092FTC5T4

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-legend-of-hobart-heather-mullaly/1139393485?ean=9781736477397 

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ebook/the-legend-of-hobart

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Heather_Mullaly_The_Legend_of_Hobart?id=mkwtEAAAQBAJ

Apple: https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-legend-of-hobart/id1565697527

Target: https://www.target.com/p/the-legend-of-hobart-by-heather-mullaly-paperback/-/A-83226711#lnk=sametab

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Giveaway

Three winners will win an $10 Amazon gift card.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1000e4f1373/

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A Summer of Surprises by Rosie Green / #Review #BlogTour @rararesources @Rosie_Green88

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Little Duck Pond Cafe, Book 16

When Ruby Watkiss lands a job at the True Loaf Bakery, she feels as if the sun has finally come out. Having been through a traumatic time that wrecked her confidence levels, it’s a joy to be working for Ellie, and now all Ruby wants is to lead a quiet life and support her mum in getting the help she needs.

But life, it seems, has other plans for Ruby.

Working alongside the bafflingly rude Hudson Holmes would be bad enough – but then odd things start happening. It seems that someone is out to sabotage the café and bakery, and to her horror, Ruby finds the finger pointing at her.

Desperate to prove her innocence, she teams up with the most unlikely person in order to get to the bottom of what’s going on. Tailing suspects and hiding in bushes isn’t something she ever imagined she’d be doing, although her partner in mystery-solving seems the perfect man for the job. Can they clear Ruby’s name by discovering the real culprit?

With all the drama afoot, at least there’s no time for romance. Because that’s the very last thing on Ruby’s mind these days. Or is it…?

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Review

When a write a review for the next book in the series, I feel like I can easily paste and copy a part of the previous review. It’s always nice to be back in Sunnybrook and meet some of the characters I already know, every story is great and I am, each and every time, looking forward to the next part.

The author introduces us to a few new characters Ruby and Hudson and I was not surprised it would involve Cupid too. It was great how they interacted with each other. There was a lot of teasing and it made me smile.

The series has always been like a romcom, but the author decided to spice things up a bit. She adds some suspense and turns the book into a very cozy mystery. Rest assured, no murders involved, just a bit of brain gym if you want to figure it all out before the characters do. 🙂

The main recipe for the book has not changed: romance, love and friendship are still very much there and maybe you should not change a winning one? Well, no if it does not add anything, you should keep it exactly the way it was. In this case though, it makes the whole even better. It turns the wonderful series in a wonderful wonderful one. 😉

Thank you, Rosie Green and Rachel’s Random Resources

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About the author

Rosie has been scribbling stories ever since she was little.

Back then, they were rip-roaring adventure tales with a young heroine in perilous danger of falling off a cliff or being tied up by ‘the baddies’.

Thankfully, Rosie has moved on somewhat, and now much prefers to write romantic comedies that melt your heart and make you smile, with really not much perilous danger involved at all – unless you count the heroine losing her heart in love.

Rosie’s series of novellas is centered around life in a village cafe. The latest, ‘A Winter Wedding at the Little Duck Pond Cafe’, is out now.

Rosie has also written a full-length, standalone book, ‘Snowflakes over Moondance Cottage’, out now.

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Author Link

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Rosie_Green88

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Book Link

https://amzn.to/3feTsKn

My Feats in These Shoes by Ronda Beaman / #SpotlightPost #BlogTour @pumpupyourbook

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If memoirs, done right, tap the right sort of personal journey to ignite fresh insight and inspiration into the human journey, then what better way to humorously and poignantly illuminate the sequential steps and stages of life than with shoes?

“My Feats in These Shoes” is an exuberantly spunky woman’s spirited and irrepressible romp—slips, missteps, leaps, scuffs, and twirls—toward becoming something bigger, something better, something more.

Far from serving up trauma porn (or emotional bunions), this memoir is an upbeat, humorous, affectionate and affecting coming of age memoir that ends each chapter with a ‘Put Yourself in My Shoes’ section for readers to consider their own strides in pursuing an out of the shoe box life.

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Spotlight Post

Thank you, Ronda Beaman and Pump Up Your Book

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About the author

Dr. Ronda Beaman has been Chief Creative Officer for the global research and solution firm PEAK Learning, Inc., since 1990. As a national award-winning educator, Dr. Beaman is Clinical

Professor of Leadership at The Orfalea School of Business, California Polytechnic University. She is Founder and Executive Director of Dream Makers SLO, a non-profit foundation granting final wishes to financially- challenged, terminally-ill adults, and serves on the Board of Directors for the National Pay It Forward Foundation. She was recently named a Stanford Fellow at the Distinguished Career Institute.

Her national award-winning book, You’re Only Young Twice, has been printed in five languages. Her memoir, Little Miss Merit Badge, was an Amazon bestseller and was featured at The Golden Globe Awards. Her children’s book, Seal With a Kiss, is designed to improve skills for beginning readers and is offered at Lindamood-Bell Learning Centers internationally. My Feats in These Shoes will be released in Spring 2021.

Dr. Beaman is an internationally recognized expert on leadership, resilience, fitness, education, and life coaching. She has conducted research in a host of areas, written many academic articles and books, and won numerous awards. She was selected by the Singapore Ministry of the Family as their honored Speaker of the Year and named the first recipient of the National Education Association’s “Excellence in the Academy: Art of Teaching” award. She has been selected as a faculty resource for the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) university in Argentina, Kyoto and India, where she received the highest speaker ratings among 36 elite faculty. She has been featured on major media including CBS and Fox Television, USA Today, and is a national thought leader for American Health Network.

Dr. Beaman earned her doctorate in Leadership at Arizona State University. She is also a certified executive coach and personal trainer with multiple credentials from the Aerobic Research Center. Her family was named “America’s Most Creative Family” by USA Today and she won the SCW National Fitness Idol competition.

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Author Links

Website: https://www.featsinmyshoes.com/

https://www.instagram.com/featsinmyshoes/

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Book link

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2UjPvgX

Make Me Stay by Aline Hunter / #SpotlightPost #ReleaseBlitz @RABTBookTours @AlineHunter

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Make Me Series, Book Three

Believe in second chances.

After his heart was broken by his first love, Kamden Stone avoided romantic entanglements. He lives in the moment, taking partners who understand his desires and know things will end after one encounter. He’s comfortable with the life he’s carved out for himself, refusing to need anyone or anything until a young woman he can’t stop thinking about changes the game.

Everly Mason moved to escape toxic family ties. All she wants is a fresh start and a new life. The house left to her is the perfect place to fall, isolated and in the middle of nowhere, providing plenty of work to keep her occupied. She’s on the right path, taking things one day at a time, when she’s introduced to a mysterious man she can’t stop thinking about.

Despite everything, Kamden and Everly can’t deny their chemistry. When they agree to a trial period, curious to see where things will go between them, they discover they need each other in a way they never thought possible. When the time comes, they’ll have to accept what they want and need. To be together, they both have to find a reason to make them stay.

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Spotlight Post

Thank you, Aline Hunter and RABT Book Tours

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About the author

Aline Hunter has written stories featured in horror magazines, zombie romance anthologies, and flash fiction contests. Her work has a dark undertone, which she credits to her love of old horror films, tastes in music, and choices in reading, and has been described as “full of sensual promise,” “gritty and sexy,” and “a breath of fresh air.”

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Author Links

Website: http://www.alinehunter.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JASaare.AlineHunter

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AlineHunter

Blog: https://jasaare.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3060067.J_A_Saare

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

FB Private Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/494092794964081

Mewe: http://mewe.com/i/jaimesaare

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Book Links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B093LRVLG6

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/make-me-stay-aline-hunter/1139347716?ean=2940165267758

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/make-me-stay-12

iBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1564475611

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1081141

Universal Links v/a Books2read.com : https://books2read.com/u/b6OlMZ

Pressure Chamber by Nir Hezroni / #Review @legend_times_ @nirhezroni

Four babies have been kidnapped from four different maternity wards in Tel Aviv. With not a single lead to follow, all investigators can do is wait patiently for the suspect they call ‘the Babysitter’ to make their next move.
Four weeks earlier, on a quiet street, a medical studentwent out for a run and was killed by a hit and run driver.
Then a second student went out and never returned. Daphne Dagan, a young, talented police officer, is first to realise that the hit and run and the kidnappings are related.
But she’s also in the middle of her own battle – a recurring nightmare that’s been haunting her for years.
The strain of dealing with a real-life killer and kidnapper during the day, and the man who murders her in her sleep
each night drive her into a place of darkness and despair from which she must escape if she is to catch ‘The Babysitter’.

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Review

This is a book that intrigued and confused me from start to finish! 

The author allows us to follow every step the culprit takes, but it remains hidden until the end why they do what they do. I can assure you it’s sick and they are seriously disturbed. On the one hand I had chills running down my spine, but on the other hand I understood why he did what he did if you delve into their past.

Daphne is a member of the forensic team. She is determined to delve into this case and put the bad guys where they belong: behind bars. She does everything she can, but the case is not easy to crack open. Moreover she struggles with her own past. There is a demon who won’t let go, but she decides to take care of him once and for all.

I had a bit of a love/hate relationship with this book. Well, hate is a too harsh. It was more a love/not my cup of tea feeling. I loved the part about the investigation and I really enjoyed trying to figure out what was going on. I failed, course. ;). The part I struggled with was about Daphne. It was too confusing for me. I was very intrigued by the technique that was being explained. I had never heard about it and I learned something which is always a good thing too. 🙂

In a nutshell: a great book. I loved the way the author describes everything in detail and keeps the reader waiting. The culprit was a genius and a master planner. If you can invent a story like this, you must be a genius too. 4 stars

Thank you, Nir Hezroni and Legend Press

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About the author

Nir Hezroni was born in Jerusalem. His first two thrillers, were sold in 2-book deals in six territories and have been
optioned for film by Sony Pictures Television Inc. He now lives with his family near Tel-Aviv.

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Author Links

Twitter: @nirhezroni

Instagram: @nirhezroni 

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Book Link

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pressure-Chamber-Nir-Hezroni-ebook/dp/B08L7F55NP/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=pressure+chamber&qid=1623575356&s=digital-text&sr=1-1

Prophecy of the Guardian by J.W. Baccaro / #SpotlightPost #BlogTour @pumpupyourbook @JWBaccaro

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“Not darkness, not light, perhaps something in between, and is claimed by the darkness…as theirs. Though being saved by the light, that which is saved must in turn save the world…” Darshun Luthais has never experienced the Nasharin Frenzy—the unbending will to challenge a stronger opponent, no matter the cost. He doesn’t know what he will transform into, has never bonded with an elemental crystal and has never seen any of the unearthly creatures his father talks about. Even though he’s an infant in Nasharin years, his life consists of nothing but constant training, striving to unlock the sleeping power his so-called accursed race is born with. But all that changes when he is pursued by a Dream Assassin in the dead of night. What he witnesses will forever change his outlook on life and lead him on a quest only the strongest can complete.

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Spotlight Post

Thank you, J.W. Baccaro and Pump Up Your Book

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About the author

J.W. Baccaro is the author of Prophecy of the Guardian, The Coming of the Light and Blood Dreams. Always a lover of creativity, from works of literature to writing music with his electric guitar; even baking and cooking. When not working on his next story or lost in a good book, J.W. enjoys kicking back with a couple of tasty craft beers and binging on Kaiju movies, 80’s action flicks, Japanese animation and slasher films (particularly the one involving a hockey mask). Heck, he even enjoys a good romantic comedy

He lives in upstate NY with his wife Melissa, his son Alexander, his German Shepherd and his three cats.

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Author Links

Website: https://jwbaccaro.medium.com/a-little-bit-about-my-guardian-trilogy-c0dbb719cac5

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JWBaccaro

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Book link

Amazon: https://amzn.to/36crgUB

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Giveaway

J.W. Baccaro is giving away a set of paperbacks – Prophecy of the Guardian, The Coming of the Light and Blood Dreams!

Terms & Conditions

· By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.

· One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive the set of books

· This giveaway ends midnight July 30.

· Winner will be contacted via email on August 1.

· Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1a49cf61247/

The Pepper Tree by Dave Freedland / #SpotlightPost #BookBlitz @RABTBookTours @davefreedland @BookBuzznet

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A Southern California landmark primarily known only to law enforcement earned a reputation for crime scenes of the most unspeakably vicious homicides. Infamous serial killers had chosen this location to discard and display their victims as trophies of their horrific deeds. Lieutenant Scott Hunter must lead a team of detectives to identify and capture a perpetrator who’s targeting young women, and has chosen this landmark to showcase his victims.

This story is a work of fiction, but the Orange County location is real. So notorious, in fact, that those officers working the graveyard shift need only radio their activity at a site bearing two words, and they are immediately dispatched a back-up officer to the “pepper tree.”

As a young patrol officer, Hunter had been introduced to the “terror at the tree” on an evening when he turned his police cruiser down that dusty road separating asparagus fields, and discovered a corpse hanging from a low-hanging limb. But now as the leader of the Robbery/Homicide team, he received that most dreaded call interrupting the stillness of the night, a body dump.

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Spotlight Post

Thank you, Dave Freedland and RABT Book Tours

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About the author

Dave Freedland is a 34-year decorated law enforcement professional having served with the Irvine (California) Police Department. Following a competitive athletic career culminating with the award of “UCLA’s Most Valuable Gymnast,” he graduated 1st in his Sheriff’s academy class. As a SWAT team leader and commander for over 25 years, he supervised operations for numerous barricade and hostage incidents, and was the recipient of several awards including “Police Officer of the Year” and the “Meritorious Service Award.” He retired at the rank of Deputy Chief, and currently holds a 6th degree black belt in Japanese Shotokan karate. His first novel, Lincoln 9, was Oak Tree Press’ best-selling book on Amazon in 2015. His second novel, The Pepper Tree, published by Aakenbaaken & Kent, received a 2018 manuscript award from the Public Safety Writers’ Association.

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Author Links

Website: https://www.davefreedland.com/

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

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authordavefreedland

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/dfreedland01/

Promo Link: http://bookbuzz.net/blog/mystery-thriller-the-pepper-tree-by-dave-freedland/

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Book Links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Pepper-Tree-Dave-Freedland-ebook/dp/B07P277415/

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-pepper-tree-david-freedland/1130570029?ean=9781938436703

Love Me Tender by Lorraine Mace / #Interview #BlogTour @rararesources @lomace

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IF HE WANTS YOU . . . THERE’S NO ESCAPE.

A brutal murder . . .

Responding to a tip-off, newly promoted Detective Chief Inspector Paolo Sterling arrives at an apartment block to find the dismembered body of a young woman. And with no indication of a break-in, all signs suggest the killer was known to her.

An abduction in plain sight . . .
Then the victim’s friend is snatched with no witnesses and the unanswered questions mount up.

At the same time, Sterling’s team are leading the surveillance of a local club, thought to be involved in a drug operation. But when one of his colleagues ends up in hospital close to death, Paolo begins to lose his grip.

A detective on the edge . . .
With the odds stacked against him, and time running out, can DCI Sterling uncover the truth before it’s too late? Or will this case finally tip him over the edge?

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Q&A

Which character would you like to be in this book?

I’d like to be CC (DS Cathy Connor). She’s smart, sassy and takes no crap from anyone. Paolo Sterling (her boss and the central character) loves working with her. Criminals fear her.

Do you always take a book/erader wherever you go?

Always! Where I go, my kindle goes. If I have to wait for something or someone, even for five minutes, I read.

Say someone asks if they can use your name in a book. Would you rather be the ‘good one’ or the ‘bad one’?

I wouldn’t mind either way, as Iong as the character is interesting. Funnily enough, all the people who have asked to be in my books want to be on the bad side.

Do you prefer to read/write standalones or series?

From a reading perspective, it depends on the author. For me, I have just completed the first of two standalone psychological thrillers for Headline. The second has a deadline for submission in October. Until recently, I’d only written the series (of which LOVE ME TENDER is number five). It took me a while to get into the heads of the new characters, but I am really enjoying taking a different path for a while. However, after these two, the next one will be book six in this series.

Where can I find you when you are reading?

Seriously reading, or using up five minutes as mentioned above?  Proper reading time is either in bed or stretched out on the couch.

Where can I find you wen you are not writing/reading?

Running (I cover 5km five times a week), swimming or practising my dreadful Spanish on the people in our local tapas bar.

Can you walk past a bookstore without going inside?

I can if I’m pushed for time, but it hurts.

What are you most proud of?

My children.

What goes through your mind when you hold your new book in your hands for the first time?

Did I really do this? Wow! It’s such a special feeling and never gets old.

What piece of advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Read a lot and not just in your own genre. Write something every day and remember that 350 words a day (Monday to Friday with weekends and public holidays off) would give you a 90,000 word manuscript in a year.

Thank you, Lorraine Mace and Rachel’s Random Resources.

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About the author

Born and raised in South East London, Lorraine lived and worked in South Africa, on the Island of Gozo and in France before settling on the Costa del Sol in Spain. She lives with her partner in a traditional Spanish village inland from the coast and enjoys sampling the regional dishes and ever-changing tapas in the local bars. Her knowledge of Spanish is expanding. To stop her waistline from doing the same, she runs five times a week.

Author of the D.I. Sterling series of novels, Lorraine has been engaged in many writing-related activities. A columnist for Writing Magazine, she has recently stepped down from writing two columns for Writers’ Forum and also her role as head judge of the magazine’s monthly fiction competitions in order to concentrate on her own writing. She is currently writing two standalone psychological thrillers for Headline Accent.

She also runs her own private critique and author mentoring service.

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Author Links 

Website: www.lorrainemace.com

Blog: http://thewritersabcchecklist.blogspot.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lomace

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lorraine.mace.52

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Book Link

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3vHyDxT

 

Change by Lyla Oweds / #Extract #BlogTour @lolasblogtours

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A mate bond is stronger than any other force in the world.

At least, that’s what they say.

But what Titus and I have is… unique. Especially as, even though we’d been reborn so many times, the dragon has never had a mate. No one knows what to expect.

Outside of that, everything with Damen, Julian, and Miles is not all fun and games. Things are different now, and while that’s natural, I’m not entirely sure I’m ready to make that next level of commitment.

However, we might not have a choice.

When Titus’s investigation ramps up, becoming entangled with my debut case, I’ve run out of all other options. The reality is, my usual methods of coping won’t work anymore. But to live is to grow, and to change.

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Extract

The farther I walked, the fewer homes I saw. The woods thickened. Eventually, the sidewalk ended and street lamps vanished. At this point, I could only see the occasional mailbox at the end of a dirt driveway for homes that were far back off the road.

My map application was telling me that I was in the right place, but could there really be a meeting out here in this remote location? It didn’t seem likely.

Unless, Dr. Stephens had faked his background check somehow. It was entirely possible he had lured me out here to murder me.

I was about to turn back when the sound of an approaching motorcycle startled me from my thoughts. Suddenly, it became vital for me to remain unseen. But of course, I wasn’t so lucky. My heart raced as the motorcycle pulled to a halt behind me.

“Hey you,” a man called. His tone was commanding, though not unkind. But I’d already almost reached my stress limit for the day and the threat of confrontation froze me with terror.

I peeked over my shoulder, unsure of what to do. My already racing heart accelerated as my vision took in the newcomer. The beginning of every horror movie I’d ever watched flashed through my mind.

It was hard not to notice his imposing stature. But as he removed his helmet and shook his head, it was even more impossible to not be entranced by his long, silky locks as they fell gently around his chiseled face.

His movements mesmerized me, and I couldn’t seem to pull my gaze away as he used a glove-covered hand to slowly flip his hair back over his shoulder. He was wearing a torn, plaid shirt, extremely faded jeans, and a few days’ worth of stubble, and the look worked for him.

I was an idiot, admiring the person who was probably going to kill me. Then again, it was impossible not to watch him. He was so gorgeous that I could almost hear a choir of angels harmonizing in the background. His physique was molded from God himself. His face was perfect seduction. I wanted nothing more than to explore every inch of his smooth, olive skin.

I wasn’t stupid. No one that beautiful had good intentions. This was clearly a trap. Much as it normally was in the way of natural selection. This must be how he distracted his victims: dazzling them with his looks. I was certain, because despite all the above, something about this guy screamed danger.

There was something off about him. This was as certain as coffee was the greatest beverage known to mankind.

“Do you need any help? This isn’t the greatest place for a beautiful young woman like yourself to be wandering around alone.” His large green eyes twinkled as he grinned at me, showing off his perfect teeth and adorable dimples. Despite his friendly words, my breath caught. A familiar warning rang in the back of my mind.

Yes, unless I did something drastic, I probably would end up dead. I couldn’t let a lumberjack kill me. That would just be ridiculous.

“I’m all right, but thank you,” I somehow managed to say. I was barely able to look at him anymore. I’d had just about enough of strangers for the day, and I hadn’t even made it to my destination. There was no choice but to move forward; I couldn’t turn back, now that he was there.

Maybe if I ignored him, he’d go away.

“Why are you out here?” His deep, melodious voice drifted after me like a caress. I took the risk to glance back again and almost fell to the gravel.

He had gotten off of his bike and was strolling after me as he pushed it beside him.

…Was this for real?

I could probably outrun him, if I had to. I was fast. Despite his attractiveness, he didn’t look well off. I doubted that he’d be stupid enough to leave the expensive-looking bike behind just to chase me.

There was also the possibility that I was wrong. Perhaps he was a good Samaritan—albeit a persistent one. If he was going to kidnap me, wouldn’t he have done so already?

I slowed down, giving him a wary look. He couldn’t be planning on following me the whole way, could he?

He grinned, realizing that he had regained my attention. “I’m just curious. We don’t get strangers in this part of town. There’s nothing out this way except private residences and trees.”

My anxiety rose as I fought to maintain composure. There wasn’t a reason for him to smile during this discussion. He was totally preying on me. And his words, wasn’t that the same as him saying that no one would ever find my mutilated body?

I had to do something. I discreetly searched my purse until I held the tiny can of pepper spray. I was ready. If this guy tried anything—if he even tried to touch me—he would never know what hit him.

“You didn’t answer, angel. Where are you headed?” He continued to trail after me, managing to become more persistent with every passing moment. “I can walk you there, just to make sure you’re safe.”

I stopped walking entirely—I certainly couldn’t show up at Damen’s with this interloper in tow. “I’m seriously fine.” I tried to reassure him in my nicest voice. To show no fear. “You don’t need to bother with me. Besides, I don’t even know who you are.”

“It’s not a bother at all.” He flashed another blinding smile. “And I guess I should introduce myself. It’s a good thing to be wary of strangers. My name is Titus Ducharme. You might have heard of me; I own Jinshu Security.”

Never heard of it. I pursed my lips, listening to him continue on. If anything, I was even more suspicious now. I highly doubted that this man was the owner of anything resembling a respectable corporation. He was far too young and too wild.

Titus—if that was his real name—didn’t seem to notice. “I’m perfectly legit. You can ask my assistant. But I can’t tell you how happy it makes me when I see a young woman asking questions. You have a good head on your shoulders, it would be remiss of me to not see you to your destination.”

I raised a brow skeptically, unable to come up with a response. He thought I was smart because I asked a question? It almost sounded as though he was making fun of me.

“Let me take a guess and say that you are headed…” He glanced up and pointed in the direction that I had been walking when he pulled up. “…that way. What a coincidence! I’m going that way as well, so this works perfectly. I’ll escort you.”

I wasn’t sure how to respond. He was being so stubborn. It was time to take some action.

He had at least a foot-and-a-half on me and over a hundred pounds of muscle. I had no chance in hand-to-hand combat. There was only one thing for a woman like me to do in this situation.

Yet, despite my fear, I felt guilty. “Titus—”

He grinned warmly as I said his name, as if he loved hearing the sound. The action made me feel even worse for what I was about to do.

I’d give him one more chance.

“I’m seriously fine.” I leveled my most severe glare in his direction, in case he was just a persistent dude with no clue. “You can leave now, please.”

He sighed as he rubbed the back of his head, clearly uncomfortable. “I don’t think that you understand. These streets…I can’t just leave you here alone. I really should—”

Titus didn’t see it coming. The second he refused to leave, I pulled out the weapon and aimed the pepper spray right at his eyes.

Once I had downed the attractive stalker, I ignored his screaming and took off like a bat out of hell.

I had only this chance. According to the maps, I was close to my destination. Between my speed and Titus’s temporary incapacitation, hopefully he wouldn’t catch up to me before I reached safety.

Thank you, Lyla Oweds and Lola’s Blog Tours

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About the author

Lyla Oweds is a paranormal romance author who resides in the beautiful Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania. She grew up near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and is a native of Baltimore, Maryland, and has a deep appreciation for the paranormal, hauntings, and Edgar Allan Poe. As such, she loves all things fantasy, mystery, crime, and horror.

She is the author of the Paranormal Reverse Harem series, The Grimm Cases and related novellas. She has also published the first book of Gloria Protean’s story, The Red Trilogy. You can find out more about her current and upcoming works at her website, http://lylaoweds.com.

When not reading, writing, or working as a web programmer, Lyla can be found doing adult-y things such as being a mom, decorating the house, and baking. She also frequently enjoys makeup videos, massages, wine, and coffee.

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Author Links

Website: http://lylaoweds.com

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lyla.oweds/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Lyla-Oweds/e/B07FWW34N4

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18244784.Lyla_Oweds

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Book Links

 
 
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Giveaway

– paperbacks of books 1-6 in The Grimm Cases series by Lyla Oweds (US Only)

– hardcopy of Origins by Lyla Oweds (US Only)

– ecopies of books 1-6 in The Grimm Cases series by Lyla Oweds (INT)

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1000e4f1380/

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Other books in the series

Home (The Grimm Cases prequel novella): https://books2read.com/grimm-home

Origins (The Grimm Cases #1): https://books2read.com/grimm-origins

Ghost (The Grimm Cases #2): https://books2read.com/grimm-ghost

Blood (The Grimm Cases #3): https://books2read.com/grimm-blood

Hidden (The Grimm Cases #4): https://books2read.com/grimm-hidden

Balance (The Grimm Cases #5): https://books2read.com/grimm-balance/

Change (The Grimm Cases #6): http://books2read.com/grimm-change

 

Get the first 3 books and the novella Home as a box set!

Mu is the box set collection which combines books 1-3 as well as the novella Home in one handy box set. You can buy it here: https://books2read.com/grimm-mu