The Double by Gosslin Ann / #Extract #BlogTour @legend_times_ @GosslinAnn

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Following a violent outburst at an awards ceremony, Vidor Kiraly, a prize-winning neuroscientist and Cambridge don,
is sent to an isolated psychiatric clinic in the Swiss Alps.
When the clinic’s director, Anton Gessen, tries in vain to unearth the missing pieces of Vidor’s life, he suspects his
reluctant patient is not who he appears to be. After one of the patients at the clinic goes missing, Gessen has reason
to doubt Vidor’s self-proclaimed innocence. But what is he hiding, and who might be next?

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Extract

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Rosenborg Castle
Copenhagen, Denmark
22 October 2008

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When a man in ceremonial dress announced his name, Vidor rose from his seat and approached the stage. Polite applause
and a blaze of flashbulbs accompanied his journey up the steps. Blinded by the cameras, he briefly stumbled as a wave
of nausea threatened to derail his progress towards the dais and the beaming man awaiting him.
Having rushed to the airport to catch his flight to Copenhagen, and too nervous to eat, he’d consumed nothing
since breakfast. That single whisky on the plane to calm his nerves had left a burning sensation in his gut. The big day had
come, the pinnacle of his career, yet here he was, unsteady on his feet and afraid of passing out.
His Royal Highness, the Crown Prince of Denmark, resplendent in gold epaulettes and a blue silk sash, smiled at
him as he approached the dais. He touched his breast pocket to make sure he hadn’t left his notes on the kitchen table.
Winner of the Søgaard Prize for Excellence and Innovation in Neuroscience. Quite a feather for his cap. Perhaps next
year it would be the Nobel. With his name in the history books, no one would doubt him then.
In the great hall, where the air was thick with the odour of too many bodies, he found it difficult to breathe. But he remembered
to smile as the Crown Prince placed a gold medal around his neck, and a brass plaque was thrust into his arms. They shook
hands and together turned towards the rows of heads, faceless in the muted light, while the media pack snapped away in a frenzy
of popping flashbulbs. ‘Over here! Give us a smile.’
He flinched in the bright lights and shuffled his notes, frowning through a brief moment of confusion – why was he
here? – before launching into his prepared remarks. He began with Newton’s famous quote about standing on the shoulders
of giants, sure to be a crowd pleaser. But his words stalled and juddered as he thanked his colleagues and students, pausing
to remind the esteemed members of the audience about the slow and painstaking nature of scientific progress. One step
forward, two steps back. He meant to offer them a pithy line, frequently quoted in his field, but couldn’t locate the phrase
in his notes. Did he not write it down?
Sweat streamed from his brow. Before him, the disembodied heads expanded to ghoulish proportions, then receded like
deflating balloons. He struggled to read his notes, and when he looked up, he spotted a man slipping through the doors and taking
a place at the back of the hall. Arms crossed, jutting chin. A sinister, jeering figure, with black eyes that glowed like embers.
Blood rushed to his face. Him again. How dare he?
Choking with rage, a strangled cry escaped his lips.
‘Monster. Traitor! You’re supposed to be dead.’
Blind with fury, Vidor leapt from the stage and raced down the aisle to lunge for the intruder’s throat. The satisfying crack
of the man’s skull hitting the stone floor gave him a brief moment of pleasure.
Amidst the rising tide of chaos and clamour, someone wrenched his arm back. A sharp cry, a stab of pain. Darkness
fell upon him like a shroud.
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2
Clinique Les Hirondelles
Saint-Odile, Switzerland
23 October 2008

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Ten minutes past the hour, and Gessen’s first patient of the day had failed to appear. After a night of broken sleep,
he’d opened his eyes in the waning darkness, trying to hold onto the remnants of a dream. Lost in a forest, obscured by
shadows, he’d thrashed for what seemed like hours through the deepening gloom. Only to stumble through a hedge of
thorns, scratched and bleeding, to find the ruins of a once glorious city, razed to the ground.
A classic anxiety dream, Gessen mused. Brought on, no doubt, by yesterday’s report from his accountant on the dire
state of the clinic’s finances. But he had no time to worry about money today. As always, his attention was focused on
the individuals in his care, and this particular patient, an angry young man admitted against his will, was proving to be a
difficult nut to crack. After six weeks of little progress, their treatment sessions had deteriorated into a contest of wills.
He stood and scanned the grounds, as if Ismail might be lurking in the garden outside his window. The cobalt sky shimmered with that peculiar, scintillating light of the high mountains. But there was no sign of a furtive young man crossing the vast lawn between the stone manor and the precipitous slope to the valley below. Though ringed by treacherous peaks, the great bowl of open space and crystalline air seemed to reassure him: All will be well.
A shadow darkened a corner of the box hedge. Gessen blinked and it was gone. He buzzed Ursula, but when no reply
came, he hurried off and nearly collided with her in the hall outside his office. Her face was taut with worry, and strands
of pale hair hung loose from a metal clip.
‘Ismail’s gone missing.’ Her eyes flicked to the window. ‘He was at breakfast this morning, but now nobody can find him.’
Dread pooled in his gut. Losing a patient was his worst nightmare, but Ismail had to be somewhere on the grounds.
If he’d breached the boundary, his wrist monitor would have triggered an alarm. Gessen hurried down the hallway, with
Ursula close behind. ‘Have you looked everywhere?’
‘We checked the obvious places,’ she said. ‘But if he’s trying to elude us he could be anywhere.’
True. The clinic’s extensive grounds and gardens offered any number of places to hide. The patients’ wrist monitors,
while a useful tool for tracking their movements, weren’t accurate enough to pinpoint their exact coordinates at any
given moment. They would have to fan out and look for him. He rubbed his temples. Though nothing about this was
funny, he could picture Ismail contriving his vanishing act as a wonderful joke. What fun to lead the staff on a merry goose
chase while he hid at the back of a wardrobe like a naughty child. Except he wasn’t a child, even if he acted like one at
times. A spoiled and entitled young man, furious at having his freedom curtailed.
As they stood on a hillock behind the manor house, Gessen scanned the grounds. ‘Have you informed Security?’
‘Not yet.’ Ursula bit her lip. ‘I suppose I should have, but I wanted to tell you first.’
They hurried along the gravel path that led to the men’s residences, while Gessen peered left and right at the masses
of shrubbery and small stands of pine. He should have cleared all that out years ago. With so many places to hide, Ismail
could be anywhere.
‘Let’s split up,’ he said. ‘I’ll check his chalet, while you organise the house attendants to search the grounds.’ As
Ursula headed back to inform the staff, his mind raced ahead.
Where could the boy be? Cameras studded the property. Any one of them should have picked up Ismail’s movements.
Time to alert Security. Sweat dampened his collar as he punched the number into his phone. Before anyone picked
up, he spotted a figure, some fifty metres away, slipping through the hedge. His heart lurched with relief, and he
texted Ursula: Found him.
Spurred on by a rush of adrenaline, Gessen crashed through the shrubbery and into the hushed atmosphere of the
Zen garden. Normally, his favourite place in the grounds, painstakingly constructed with exotic flora and statuary
shipped from Japan. But with his heart hammering against his ribs, it was impossible to appreciate the elements of stillness
and ease. A movement in the far side of the garden caught his eye. A slender figure heading towards a gap in the hedge.
‘Ismail!’
The boy hesitated. When he turned, his dark eyes blazed with scorn. Weak with relief, Gessen struggled to stay calm.
‘We’ve been looking for you.’
Ismail folded his arms. ‘And now you’ve found me.’ He waited while Gessen trotted over, as if this infuriating lad
were in charge and his doctor was nothing more than a welltrained lackey. Ismail patted his pockets for the cigarettes he
wouldn’t find. Though he’d been offered nicotine patches, he complained bitterly that not only was he robbed of his
freedom, but also one of his greatest pleasures. What was next? Coffee? Food and water?
‘I’m just glad to see you’re all right,’ Gessen said, chest heaving, as he tried to project a professionalism he didn’t feel.
What he felt like doing was giving the lad a good thrashing.
‘Why wouldn’t I be?’ Ismail brushed a dried leaf from his sleeve. ‘What are you doing out here, anyway? Don’t we have
a session or something?’ He turned on his heel and headed across the lawn in the direction of the manor house.
Gessen followed doggedly behind, reluctant to say anything more lest he set the boy off. His heart ticked oddly as he tried
to keep up. A close call. Not something he wished to repeat.
And where, during all the excitement, was Ismail’s personal bodyguard? A man named Sendak, courtesy of Ismail’s father,
whom Gessen passed off to the staff as a new groundsman.
Wasn’t the man paid to keep Ismail out of harm’s way?
After this latest show of rebellion, it might be best to have someone on his own payroll to watch Ismail around the clock.
A glorified minder, as a backup to the useless bodyguard.
Another expense he couldn’t afford.
* * *
Seated across from Ismail in one of the suede wingback chairs in his office, he waited for his reluctant patient to say
something in his defence.
‘I’m here to help you,’ Gessen said, as the minutes dragged on, ‘but I can only do that if you meet me halfway.’
Ismail spread his fingers and made a show of examining his nails. ‘And how do you suggest I do that?’
Only the very wealthy, Gessen mused, could be so coolly self-assured. He suspected it was a pose, though there was no
doubt Ismail was suffering. Anxiety and depression topped the list. Exacerbated, surely, by the ongoing stand-off with
his father, a wealthy diplomat and business tycoon, with an explosive temper, if the rumours were true. To complicate
matters, Ismail now had two men to rebel against, both of whom stood in the way of his only desire: a swift return to
Oxford and the ‘unsuitable attachment’ awaiting him there.
A pretty, socially ambitious girl, apparently, whom the father was anxious to keep away from his son.
Gessen leaned forward, hoping to make eye contact. ‘Talk to me.’
Ismail raised an eyebrow. ‘I’d rather not.’ With a look of distaste he scanned the room. ‘Why isn’t there a single bloody
clock in this pimped-up prison of yours?’
‘Is there somewhere you have to be?’ Gessen suppressed a smile. The boy certainly had a way with words. A brilliant
student in his last year at Oxford, he’d been headed for a first-class degree in biomedical engineering, until his plans
were derailed in the wake of a suicide attempt. A bid for his father’s attention, Gessen believed, rather than a true desire to
die, but that didn’t mean he could take any chances. Not with a patient like this, trapped by family decrees and fighting for
personal autonomy. After graduating, Ismail had planned to take a year off and travel with his girlfriend before returning
to England to study medicine. That is, until his father swooped in and scuppered his plans.
Ismail slid onto his tailbone and closed his eyes. A segue to his usual modus operandi, refusing to speak. Since Gessen
couldn’t force him to talk, their sessions often ended in a stalemate. Mute patience on one side, seething resentment on
the other, with Gessen obliged to travel the thin line between silence and a restrained monologue. Tossing titbits into the
void about how important it was for Ismail to work through not only the impasse with his father, but the storm of emotions
roiling in his heart.
But he might as well be talking to a stone. Worn out by his troubled sleep and the panic over the boy’s disappearance,
Gessen folded his hands in his lap and listened to Ismail breathe. As the silence stretched into minutes, his mind
wandered to a small item in the newspaper he’d seen at breakfast. An acclaimed Cambridge University neuroscientist,
who was in Copenhagen to receive an international prize, had gone berserk and attacked a man in the audience.
As he pictured the scene, Gessen puzzled over the drama.
Had the scientist known the man he attacked, or did a random stranger trigger a momentary psychosis? A memory kindled,
a buried injury revealed. Gessen’s speciality, the rupture of the psychic wound, ossified through time, yet festering still.
In a man like Professor Kiraly, an award-winning Cambridge don at the pinnacle of his career, it was intriguing to imagine
what that wound might be.
Ismail sighed noisily and rose to his feet. ‘Are we done here?’
Gessen felt a surge of paternal empathy. How easily he recalled the passions of youth. The fierce desire to set fire to
the world and fashion it anew. We don’t choose our families.
A sentiment he’d shared with Ismail at the start of his therapy.
Parents and siblings are thrust upon us. There’s no running away, so we must learn to deal with them as best we can.
But convincing Ismail to make friends with his anger was no simple matter. Whether the boy liked it or not, they had a long
road ahead of them.
A blood vessel beat in Ismail’s neck and his dark eyes flashed. A good thing his father was safely in Geneva, Gessen
mused. Such anger, if not held in check, could escalate to catastrophic proportions.
‘In the time remaining today, I’d like to explore in more depth your relationship with your father.’ He gestured at
Ismail to retake his seat. ‘Why don’t we start with your very first memory and go from there.’

Thank you, Ann Gossling and Legend Press

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About the Author

Ann was born and raised in New England in the US. She has lived and worked internationally in
the Netherlands, Morocco, Malaysia, Germany and now lives in Switzerland.

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Author Links

Twitter: @GosslinAnn
IG: @anngosslin_author

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Book Link

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Double-Completely-engrossing-Katherine-Webb/dp/1800319371/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=ann+gosslin&qid=1613289934&s=books&sr=1-1

Taming Wild Horses by Mila Nicks / #Extract #BlogTour @RABTBookTours @mila_nicks

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Book 2 of Wild Horse Ranch Series

He’s ready to be a better man… 

Chase Collins started the summer a brooding, broken man. He was content keeping to Wild Horse Ranch, where he could tend to horses and stew in peace. When Samara Grant reentered his life, she changed everything, and now he wants to prove to her—and himself—he can be the good guy he always hoped to be. What he doesn’t know is that it’s darkest before the dawn…

She’s done running from the past…

Only a summer in Lutton, Texas. That’s what Samara Grant told herself when she arrived. Now months into living in the small town, she’s carved out a life for herself managing her grandma’s B&B, riding horses and falling in love for the first real time in her life. After so many years spent running, she wants happiness, but unfortunately her tragic past is back to haunt her…

He’s not letting things go that easily… 

Reed Ward is supposed to be the guy who has it all. He comes from the most prestigious family in Lutton. He’s handsome. He’s charming. He always gets the girl—so why is it that he’s on the sidelines watching his life go up in smoke? His family’s torn apart, his ranch is no longer his, and the woman that’s supposed to be his wants his best friend. One things for sure: he’s not going down without a fight…

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Extract

If possible, she looked even more beautiful than the last time he’d seen her, which was only a week ago. She entered the Horseshoe alongside Lea Wilkes, strolling back into his life like she’d never left it. Her curly black hair was free, grazing the tops of her bare shoulders—shoulders he’d kissed intimately many times, among other places. She’d worn one of those spaghetti-strap dresses he liked, the breezy fabric doing little to hide the curves he remembered so well. It was a tangerine-orange color that looked amazing against her dark brown skin.

Shit. Shit. Shit.

How he wanted to stride forward, pull her in for a kiss, and rip that dress right off her—make up for lost time and show her how much he’d missed her. How much he wanted her.

The feral need arose out of nowhere and he had to inhale a rocky breath and remind himself to stay put. He couldn’t rush over and bombard her with attention and affection like he wanted to. They were broken up; he’d driven her away enough already.

Reed clapped a hand to his back. “Look who just walked in.”

Chase shrugged off Reed’s hand and took an overindulgent swig of his beer. It was his first real mouthful of the night; before that point he’d been casually sipping. Samara showing up changed everything. His stomach flipped and flopped over and over again and his palms became sweaty. How did one woman affect him so much?

He didn’t need to question it. He knew why. Samara wasn’t any other woman; she was the woman and he’d fallen hard for her.

At first it seemed she didn’t see him. Lea and she squeezed through the crowd and came out on the other side at the bar counter. Chase watched them in his periphery. They sat on stools and enjoyed a drink over animated chatter. What were they doing here tonight?

Samara had said she wasn’t sure when she was coming back. He hadn’t expected her to waltz back into his life so soon, so suddenly. His desire to rekindle things was still a large part of him, but a seed of resentment had been planted, had begun to grow…

How could she break things off and then casually walk into the Horseshoe like nothing had happened?

Thank you, Mila Nicks and RABT Book Tours

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About the Author

Mila Nicks is on a mission to pen heartfelt and entertaining love stories featuring women of color. 

When she isn’t writing diverse love stories, you can find her globetrotting, sampling new cuisines, and spending quality time with her spunky pet Chihuahua, Zayden. 

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Author Links

Website: https://www.milanickswrites.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Mila-Nicks-Romance-Author-102612398051499/?eid=ARCW8_NLKjrYnchl7T_4jrhltbOXE-y1A32CAZOsq0TptFq9wssaCXe5WPPYQsfOslaYylq2eSbEhpEr

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mila_nicks

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/103234944-mila-nicks

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

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Book Link

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08F2XJGPQ

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Giveaway

$15 Amazon Giftcard

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/408264011283/

Chasing Petalouthes by Effie Kammenou / #Extract #BlogTour @LoveBooksGroup @EffieKammenou

 

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The Gift Saga Book 3

Evvie has lived through more tragedy than a young girl should ever endure, having lost both her father and a most beloved grandmother at a young age. Her rebellious ways are her only defense to mask the ever-present pain in her heart. Closing herself off emotionally, Evvie vows to never let anyone into her heart. But will her determination to keep everyone out see her lose the only person who could heal her broken soul?

Over-achieving, focused, talented, determined to succeed. Those are the traits Stella envies in her siblings and cousins. Her insecurities and lack of confidence stunts her ability to realize her own worth. When an older, handsome young man claims her as his own, Stella believes she has finally found who she has been looking for—someone to love her enough to mold her into the best version of herself. But has she fallen in love too quickly for a man she barely knows anything about?

Chasing Petalouthes (Chasing Butterflies) is the coming of age story of two flawed, young women who push their way out from the confines of the cocoons they’d built around themselves and discover how to soar.

Chasing Petalouthes can be read as a standalone novel. To understand the full emotional impact of these characters histories and lives read Evanthia’s Gift & waiting for Aegina.

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Extract

Chapter 1

Aegina

July 2005

Twilight cast an incandescent glow over the Saronic Gulf, as the sun slowly began to peak over the horizon. The reflection of porch lights from homes surrounding the shoreline glimmered like stardust on the water. In less than an hour, the sun would assume its full magisterial position and, as though gifted from the Gods themselves, another day would dawn on this enchanting island.

Two by two, a contemplative assembly of young adults leisurely walked along the momentarily vacant main road to Aegina Town. Once daylight broke and the ferryboats pulled into the harbor, the streets would be cluttered with tourists, and it was for this very reason they’d set off at the early hours of the morning. For what they were about to do required solemnity—privacy—a place to pay tribute and share deeply personal remembrances.

Evvie had left a note for her mother on the kitchen table before exiting her great-grandmother’s beach house with the rest of the group. She rolled her eyes thinking of how her mother, Sophia, seemed to have the need to know where she was every minute of the day. She and her twin brother, Nicky, were nineteen years old and, in Evvie’s mind, their mother sometimes treated them as though they were nine-year-olds.

It was the last few days of the ‘extended family’ vacation Evvie’s stepfather, Dean, had arranged for the entire family and Sophia’s closest friends to spend some much-needed bonding time together. The past year had been a difficult one. Dean had almost lost his life in a car accident, and Sophia’s friend, Amy, had been in jeopardy of losing her career and family. But it was RJ and Donna who had suffered the most dreadful tragedy of all. Donna had lost her younger son, and RJ, his only sibling. But RJ was not alone, Evvie thought. They were all brothers and sisters of the heart. After all, they were the children of the ‘Honey Hill Girls,’ and those girls—women—were now fifty years old and still the best of friends.

Thank you, Effie Kammenou and Love Books Group

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About the author

Effie Kammenou is a first generation Greek-American who lives on Long Island with her husband and two daughters. When she’s not writing, or posting recipes on her food blog, cheffieskitchen.wordpress.com, you can find her cooking for her family and friends. Her debut novel, EVANTHIA’S GIFT, is a women’s fiction multigenerational love story and family saga, influenced by her Greek heritage, and the many real life accounts that have been passed down. She continues to pick her father’s brain for stories of his family’s life in Lesvos, Greece, and their journey to America. Her recent interview with him was published in a nationally circulated magazine. As an avid cook and baker, a skill she learned from watching her Athenian mother, she incorporated traditional Greek family recipes throughout the book. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theater Arts from Hofstra University

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Author Links

https://twitter.com/EffieKammenou

 www.facebook.com/EffieKammenou

 https://www.instagram.com/effiekammenou_author/

 Newsletter signup –  http://eepurl.com/bIoJl1

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Book Link

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Chasing-Petalouthes-3-Gift-Saga/dp/0692120599/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=chasing+petalouthes&qid=1610461396&s=books&sr=1-1

Marriage Bureau by Mary Oliver, Richard Kurti / #Extract @Richard_Kurti @B7Media @sewell7 @HQvoice @Peearghbaby

REMARKABLE TRUE STORY OF BRITAIN’S FIRST DATING AGENCY REDISCOVERED AND REPUBLISHED FOR FIRST TIME IN 80 YEARS

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Mary Oliver’s frank, funny and inspiring accountof 1940s matchmaking businessis revived for a modern generationIn 1939Mary Oliver and Heather Jenner took the business of dating into their own hands and set up the country’s first ever Marriage Bureauin London’s fashionable Bond Street.Now, Mary Oliver’s memoirs-published only once 80 years ago-havebeen rediscovered, revised and republishedandset out,with searing frankness,the remarkable true story of the Marriage Bureau; its successes, its failures and its many varied and interesting clients. 

The Marriage Bureau marked the beginning of a dating rebellion. No longer did women have to wait for a suitor to come to their door, no longer did they have to wait for parents to arrange ‘appropriate’ matches — now women could put themselves out there in a safe way that didn’t threaten their reputations. They could look beyond their neighbourhoods and the boy-next-door to find the person that truly made them happy. But Mary Oliver and Heather Jenner’s revolutionary idea certainly had its detractors.

The story behind the Marriage Bureau is an extraordinary one, not least because it shredded the rulebook of propriety. What Mary Oliver and Heather Jenner established was nothing short of a revolution for women, who suddenly found themselves in a position of agency and power.

Today, the Tinder generation take being in control of their romantic destiny for granted but in 1939 someone had to break the shackles of tradition and that was Mary Oliver and Heather Jenner.

While there were many books circulating in the 1940s and 1950s about how to please your husband, extracts from which circulate on social media today to much hilarity and derision by both women and men, Mary’s book was a refreshing read because it is just as much about how to please yourself.

Some of Mary’s views reflect the period, but many blatantly don’t and it’s that voice (which would probably have thousands of Instagram followers today) that still makes her relevant. Mary and Heather set out to blaze their own trail and level the playing field on love. They were sharp-witted, smart and independent women who were inspiring, layered and relatable characters who will resonate with a modern audience.

The book, published by B7 Media alongside an audiobook, has been given a new introduction by screenwriter and novelist Richard Kurti (Monkey Wars, Maladapted, Going Postal) and has already attracted the attention of Hollywood producers who are looking to turn it into a TV series. 

Richard says: “I sat on the sofa and started to read, expecting something stuffy and old fashioned. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Mary Oliver’s voice rocketed across the decades with such frankness and caustic humour that, within minutes, I was chuckling to myself. And I carried on chuckling, chapter after chapter, so much so that my wife asked what on earth I was reading. ‘If I’d read this fifteen years ago, before we were married, I’d have made a much better job of being a husband,’” I confessed.

“As soon as I put the book down, she picked it up, read it, and agreed – it’s a book that everyone who is even vaguely contemplating marriage should devour.”

Richard Kurti was determined not to let Mary’s voice fall silent and set about tracking down the rights so that he could get the book published in a brand new and updated edition. It was a massive task, involving hundreds of hours of online research and phoning complete strangers all over the world, eventually discovering that the rights were held unknowingly by seven different people across two different continents.

Long before we swiped right, imagine a time marked by a personal touch in the business of matchmaking.  These women originated a rebellious spark of independence in dating and forming unions, started no less, during a time of war and loss. 

“Here is a story that is funny, romantic, and steeped in attitude, driven by two young women taking on the world,” observed Richard. “It’s rebels with immaculate lipstick; who doesn’t want more of that?”

Marriage Bureau is published by B7 Media. The book is available to order now on Amazon and is also available as an audio book on iTunes and  Audible

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Extract

Rosalind and her mother

For  half  the  afternoon  Mrs  Smart  extolled  her  Rosalind,  while  the  daughter twisted a handkerchief round and round her wrist and stared at my hat. I saw a slim, attractive, dove-like girl of twenty-one with pretty hair and enormous grey eyes. All the time I was wondering how I could get her alone, and whether she would confide in me when I did.I  thought  it  polite  and  more  diplomatic  to  wait  until  the  maternal  extravaganza came to an end, so I nodded and smiled automatically, waiting for a chance to pick up the conversation and take it over myself; but having finished her sales talk about Rosalind, the mother made a clumsy dive into the subject of matrimony.“I’ve always said that directly a girl grows up she ought to think seriously about  getting  married  and  having  a  lovely  home  of  her  own.  Isn’t  that  so,  Miss Oliver?” she said, holding the teapot in mid-air.Fortunately I was not expected to reply.“It’s  stupid  to  waste  time  over  silly  things  like  a  career,  when  there  are  such  wonderful  things  as  darling  babies  waiting  to  be  born.  Could  youunderstand anybody wanting to put off thinking seriously about something so wonderful, Miss Oliver?”“Yes, I could, easily.” I was startled at my own courage. “I think a girl might feel  she  needed  to  have  a  chance  of  meeting  a  good  many  people  first  and  getting to understand them. And she could do this while she had the interest of her career. It would all help to make a better wife and one probably much happier, and easier to live with.”Out of the corner of my eye I saw the handkerchief stop twisting.Mrs Smart’s eyebrows had gone up quite a distance and she looked most disapproving. “Yes, but think of all the simply delicious things she is missing while she muddles round with that career.”I ventured to suggest that the career might be successful.This time the eyebrows descended in a frown of annoyance.“I’m  surprised  at  that  coming  from  you,  Miss  Oliver.”  She  turned  to  Rosalind,  “Miss  Oliver  is  an  expert  on  marriage,”  and  she  then  proceeded  to give a completely inaccurate description of the Marriage Bureau, which I bore patiently.Suddenly,  in  the  middle  of  it  she  was  called  away  to  the  telephone,  and  directly she left the room the girl became entirely self-possessed.“Ma’s a nuisance,” she said laconically. “She always tries so hard to get me married, but the fact is she’s broken off three engagements for me.”“Intentionally?”

“Oh, no. She just scares everybody away, she’s so embarrassing. Either that or I feel so ashamed of her anxiety about marriage that I have to break off   the engagement myself. I think it’s really because she’s terrifi ed I’ll be a secretary all my life, and that would be too boring for her.”“A lot of mothers are like that,” I assured her. Th   en I arranged that I should introduce Rosalind to several young men whom she should meet away from her home and leave the mother out of the whole business.We  spent  three  months  preventing  Mrs  Smart  from  plunging  into  Rosalind’s  aff  airs,  which  took  a  good  deal  of  tactful  manoeuvring.  But  eventually she was very happily married to a successful young solicitor.One day we opened a letter from a daughter in Liverpool who asked if we would try to fi nd a husband for her mother:“She  wants  someone  with  a  love  of  gaiety  and  enough  money  to  live  in  comfort. She is the small feminine type and would probably prefer the kind of man who would fuss over her. I am enclosing a snap of her with my baby. I do hope you can do something about it. It seems such a pity for her to live alone when she could be happy making a home for someone.”I supposed she was very fond of her mother and had been miserable about leaving her alone ever since she married.One way and another we have a busy time with parents. Th   ere was a retired bank manager in Bath who wrote to us about his two daughters:‘My  wife  died  18  months  ago.  If  anything  happened  to  me,  my  daughters  would  be  left    very  lonely,  as  they  have  made  very  few  friends  here  and  I  consider that marriage to a proper man would be desirable in the event of my decease. Th  ey are too shy to make a move, and if I do not do so on their behalf now, I feel it would be too late.’He then went on to describe the girls, and give full particulars of what their exact fi nancial position would be when he died, adding—‘It is not proposed to make application to you till aft er my decease, and then only if they wish to do so. In the meantime I wish to put the position fully before you so as to simplify matters later on.’He  was  over  eighty  and  the  daughters  were  a  long  way  under  thirty.  Th   e  dear old man must have felt he could not live much longer (he said he could only walk a few yards) and he was doing all he could to ensure their future.

Thank you, Mary Oliver, Richard Kurti and Joanne Clayton

The authors

Picture courtesy of Jane Borthwick

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Belial’s Teachings by Vlad Tudoise / #Extract #BlogTour @LoveBooksGroup @VTudosie

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Living alone and forgotten by almost all those he loved, life does not seem to have much in store for a depressed writer. That until one day, when a mysterious apparition from outside the physical world decides to show him new ways of thinking through intelligent and sometimes humorous observations that challenge the status quo, which will bring change to his life forever. A change that, as he will soon learn, comes first and foremost from within himself. About the Author: The author has had his fair share of life disappointments and obstacles, which inevitably led to him questioning human relationships, society and even life itself. In an effort to regain control over himself, he resorted to reading books on psychology, spirituality and self-improvement and as a result, his own philosophy of life was born, which he would adopt and follow forever since that moment. A philosophy comprised of ideas the author wishes to share with others through the creation of this book.

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Extract

That particularly fateful day, I was out of ideas. The only things I had ever thought were mine
were slowly leaving me desolated, desperate as I struggled to wipe the haze binge drinking
from the night before had left upon my ‘brilliantly philosophical’ mind, as Mrs. Kowalski
enjoyed describing it. I decided to take a walk around the room, which was at that time the only
form of fitness I knew, in hopes that the blood flow to my brain would improve sufficiently for
me to come up with a breakthrough concept to write about. I couldn’t bear the thought of
losing the only job I could ever take, not because I was so passionate about what I was doing,
but out of fear of not affording the alcohol and illicit substances that kept the illusion of nightly
euphoria alive for me. Life felt like enough of a burden for me and now I was facing the
prospect of not even being able to trick myself into thinking otherwise. As a young boy, I would
always judge people around for drinking, smoking or taking various pills to enter a state of
lethargy which they deemed enjoyable. I thought they were trying to act cool in front of their
peers. Little did I know back then about what one may feel deep inside, hidden from the
superficial level of eyesight and general, everyday perception. All human beings, good or evil,
rich or poor, smart or average, are fragile and break easily when confronted with repeated
disharmonies in one of the most natural things on earth, human bonds. These same, broken
individuals then cast their anger onto other untainted souls, trying to gain some sort of superior
position in relation to them, thinking they would feel better by pumping their image in relation
to another’s, until they realize they’ve just made their lives, and others’, worse. And so, the
spiral keeps following a downward pattern, until all we’ve got as a species is hurting each other.
After a 10 minute walk around the room which left me exhausted and had probably depleted all
of my energy for the day, I collapsed into my chair, supporting my head on my desk, slowly
drifting into a state of acceptance which was quickly followed, as I reckoned it would be, by a
mix of anxiety, denial and outright terror. The feelings of fear and sadness have a habit of
feeding upon themselves. You just cannot get rid of them, you must let them consume you in
order for them to be consumed. Trying to resist only leads to a build-up. As you think they are
going away, a bigger wave filled with such emotions hits you, until the only option left is to
drain their vessel of energy, yourself, with a scream, a punch in the walls, or perhaps allowing
your inner baby to release its tears.
No matter how hard I tried, I could never bring myself to a state of inner peace. A few years
before, I had assumed that learning to control my anxiety would add to my well-being and
improve my socializing abilities. Thus, my decision to resort to meditation. Yet, there was
something about the stillness such an activity inferred that only made me delve deeper into my
stormy sea of thoughts. Perhaps there was something I was doing wrong, perhaps the type of
meditation I had chosen was not suitable for my needs, or perhaps it was bullshit and would
have never worked anyway. I couldn’t even imagine standing face to face with a human being,
let alone actually get out of the house and find a yoga instructor to help me figure this whole
thing out.
After the vortex of negative emotions subsided, I decided it was time for an 8 hour slumber that
would, in my idealistic opinion, refresh me fully and turn me into the lean, mean, fiveparagraph-article writing machine that I was.

Thank you, Vlad Tudoise and Love Books Group

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About the author 

Just a pharmacy graduate who spent one year of his studies being dedicated to his writing project. Could be because pharmaceutical chemistry just wasn’t interesting enough, but it’s more likely a result of finding a very special way of expressing thoughts and feelings in making a book, and wanting to share them with others

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Author Link

Twitter: @VTudosie

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Book links

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08S35V44Whttps://

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Belials-Teachings-Vlad-Tudosie-ebook/dp/B08S35V44W/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Belial%27s+Teachings&qid=1610029943&s=digital-text&sr=1-1

An Unkindness of Ravens by S. E. Smith / #Extract #BlogTour @LoveBooksGroup @PublishingShip

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When Symington, Earl Byrd is called in to investigate the murder of Robert Langley, he’s confused. Why shoot a man when you’ve already poisoned him?

Much to the prime minister’s disgust, a trip to Wales complicates matters further. But the prime minister is the least of Byrd’s worries. Rumour has it, Jack the Ripper’s back – tying up loose ends.

But when did Jack start using poison?

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Extract

I’m back in England Lil, and God is it cold! I’ve had to go and buy a new coat. Not that you
want to hear my complaints, so I’ll get to the point.
I know who’s killing ‘the unkind ravens’ as we got labelled. And guess what? He lives near you.
Not that he’s blown your cover. But we’d better meet, so you can work out what you’re going to
do, coz when he finds out what your part in it was, it’s not going to end well for you, is it? Not in
Wales. Too dangerous, he knows what I look like, given that bitch sent him that photo! Not
where we worked either. Somewhere neutral, like The Grapes, Limehouse Basin, where noone’ll do anything for fear of the Big Man, Jethro, not liking it. Oh, and better make it late at
night, when a decent Christian lady like you should be in bed.
Robert
Lilian laughed. She might be a Christian, but never decent. A veneer, that’s all. And as for men:
she was off them. Bloody cheek. Reacting that way to her confession like she’d done something
wrong. She’d tell the duke about him when she got home, like she should have done the moment
it happened.
About to enter The Grapes, Lilian stilled as escaping smoke paved the way for the exit of a
black-haired old man. Unusually upright for his surroundings and age, he stopped to cough into a
handkerchief – before surveying the world through eyes bubbling with amusement.
Oh God! No! Not him! Not the pawnbroker.
She shrank against the wall. Tried to become invisible. It didn’t work. The old man’s eyes
widened, and he gave a slight salute of recognition. “Night Lil. Give my love to your sister!”
Coincidence.
Had to be.
He couldn’t recognise her.
Not after all this time.
Unsteady hands rolled and lit a cigarette.
“Oh, for Gawd’s sake, Lil! Pull yourself together,” she chided through drags. “Just because he
called your name, doesn’t mean he really knows it was you.” Another drag. A further puff. “You
met him what?… three… four times? Get a grip!”
A coughing fit, coupled with cramps, took her just as she finished her cigarette, and, the
pawnbroker forgotten, Lilian cursed the jellied eels she ate for lunch. “Bloody ‘ell Flo, I told you
they were off, but you wouldn’t ‘ave it!”
Rummaging in her bag, Lilian pulled out a bottle of home-made heartburn relief and took a
healthy swig then one more for good measure. Just as she put the stopper back, she spoke –
possibly to the night air, possibly to the lamppost at the end of the street. “Well Langley old mate
you’re late, and I’m not ‘anging around. As much as I want to find out who did it and who I need
to avoid; this weather ain’t good for my lungs.” To emphasise the point, she wretched again.
Doubling with pain, as wave after wave of spasms seized her, she dived into the alleyway not far
from the pub to throw up.
Once finished and wiping her mouth on her sleeve as she did so, Lilian looked around the little
alleyway. A pile of clothes, shaped like a man, caught her attention and, having been on the
nasty side of sleeping rough, she resolved to do one good turn before she left this city.
“Oi, mate! You can’t sleep here!”
When the clothes didn’t move, Lilian tried a different tack. “A mate of mine says Mr Jethro’s the
big man in these parts. He won’t like it, you kipping here. He’ll take it personal – ‘specially when
he’s got a dosshouse you can go to … If you ain’t got the pennies, I can see you right.”
All too ready to continue berating the clothes for their shocking lack of sobriety and sense, Lilian
grabbed the coat’s shoulder and tugged – hard.
Time stopped. Sound died. Blood. So much blood.

Thank you, S.E. Smith and Love Books Group

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About the author

S.E. Smith, known as Sarah to her friends, and ‘Miss’ to her students, was born into a naval family and now lives on a 65-foot broad-beam boat with her husband, Steve, and her two rescue dogs – Ben and Eva.

Crediting her Nana May for instilling in her a love of history, and an encyclopedic knowledge of the East End of London at the turn of the 20th Century, Sarah took on board the adage ‘write about what you know’ and created Symington Byrd: a gentleman detective whose foray into the East End leads him into all kinds of danger.

A great fan of the West Wing, Pokemon Go, and Doctor Who, Sarah’s biggest claim to fame is the day spent with the Fourth Doctor, Tom Baker, chasing Daleks down The Strand.

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Book Link

Amazon: https://amzn.to/35lxNfM

Triple Jeporady by Christopher Lowery / #Extract #BlogTour @LoveBooksGroup @urbanebooks

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A mysterious batch of diamonds that has lain undisturbed for almost a half-century, reappears to be sold at public auctions in Switzerland. But what is the true provenance of these priceless gems, and who is behind their discovery and sale?

Jenny Bishop believes they are notorious blood diamonds with a legacy of deceit, corruption and murder, and is drawn into a web of intrigue and threat as she tries to unravel a conspiracy that threatens everything she knows and loves.

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Extract

Santa Monica, California

May 2019

Ricardo Menendez’s iPhone alarm awakened him at 6:30

am. In fact, he’d been unable to sleep for most of the night and only fallen into a light doze around 4:00. By 7:30 he had shaved and showered, dressing in his dark blue suit with a red tie. Despite his Spanish origins, Ricardo was a conservative dresser, like everything else he did in life –

he didn’t like taking risks, not usually anyway. That was why he wasn’t married. He had gone out with some good-looking girls in college and afterwards, but the consensus seemed to be that he was an unadventurous bore and no woman in her right mind wanted to spend her life being bored.

He took his wallet, driver’s licence and car keys from the sideboard in the hall then opened the bottom drawer, took an item out and shoved it in the inside pocket of his jacket. In the mirror, he saw the bulge and transferred it to the side pocket. Lastly, he folded the letter and placed it inside a manila file with an elastic band around it that already contained some documents; a stamped, addressed envelope and several items of correspondence. He’d reread the letter a couple of times while he was getting ready and it was now covered with notes in his untidy scrawl. His Ford was in front of the building and at 8:00 he parked it at the diner on the corner of Overland and Regent Street.

He checked the stamps on the envelope, kissed the seal and pushed it into the nearby post box, then walked into the diner, the file in his hand. The teenage waitress placed a mug of coffee in front of him and went to the kitchen with his order. He glanced around at the other customers; they were all eating, reading newspapers or looking at phones. He gazed out the window at the park on the other side of the street.

It was a bright, clear morning and several dog owners were walking their pets around the park. He regretted that he’d never owned a pet. Not a cat, they were far too independent and sure of themselves. A small to medium sized dog would have been good company for him and he would have enjoyed looking after it. He was a very tidy and well-organised man and apart from this last experience his life had been without any major disruptions. A dog would probably have enjoyed the stability and routine he’d established.

The girl came back with his eggs, bacon and pancakes and he poured a generous dose of syrup over the meal then devoured it greedily, feeling hungrier than he had for some time. He pushed the empty plate aside and put his glasses on, sitting with another mug of coffee, checking the items from the file and reading the letter one more time. He could have recited the contents from memory, so many times had he gone through it word for word, looking for some meaning that might have escaped him. But there was none and even if there had been he knew it would make no difference in the end.

Thank you, Christopher Lowery and LoveBooksGroup

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About the author

Christopher Lowery is a ‘Geordie’, born in the northeast of England, who graduated in finance and economics after reluctantly giving up career choices in professional golf and rock & roll. Chris left the UK for Switzerland in 1966 and has lived and worked in six different countries over the last 50 years. He was a real estate developer and Telecoms/Internet entrepreneur and inventor and has created several successful companies around the world, notably Interoute Communications, now Europe’s largest cloud services platform provider and Wyless Group, now part of Kore Telematics, one of the world’s largest Internet of Things providers.

In 2014, Chris started writing historically/factually based thrillers and the first two volumes of his African Diamonds Trilogy – The Angolan Clan & The Rwandan Hostage, were published by Urbane Publications, a UK publisher. These books are based upon his family’s experiences during the Portuguese Revolution of the Carnations of 1974 and his daughter’s work as a delegate with the ICRC in Rwanda in 1996. The third volume, The Dark Web, was published in April 2018, and draws on his experience as one of the creators of The Internet of Things, between 2002 and 2016. His fourth book, The Mosul Legacy, an unrelated story, will be published in September 2018. His illustrated All About Jack stories for children are written in humorous verse, and were published privately.

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Book Link

Amazon -https://www.amazon.co.uk/Triple-Jeopardy-Christopher-Lowery/dp/1912666952/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1TB9OM4XM5UHV&dchild=1&keywords=triple+jeopardy+christopher+lowery&qid=1610445476&s=books&sprefix=Triple+J%2Cdigital-text%2C175&sr=1-1

Mrs. P., Who Stole My Keys? by Lacie Carpenter and Thornton Cline / #Extract #BlogTour @RABTBookTours @thorntoncline @intensepub

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Mrs. P series #2

Mrs. P. and her students return to school from their holiday break only to find more pranksters on the loose in her classroom. Mrs. P.  is pranked with a hologram of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the Ghost of Avery Middle School and with the mother of them all–her keys mysteriously disappear for weeks.  Ella, Lennox, Stella and Austin team up to investigate and uncover the identity of the secret prankster who is constantly disrupting Mrs. P.’s class.

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Extract

“Class, watch carefully because the next eruption will be spectacular. This volcano model will demonstrate the Phreatomagmatic eruption, which produces lava and is very explosive,” Mrs. P. warned. “I ask you to please stay in your seats during this experiment.”

Memories of Mrs. P.’s hair on fire from a chemistry experiment gone wrong flashed through her mind. Mrs. P. moved toward the third model and took a slow, deep breath as she lit the fuse at the base. She closed her eyes for a second, waiting for the large, tall volcano model with a wide mouth to explode.

“It’s getting ready to erupt. These volcanoes erupt due to water and magma interacting,” Mrs. P. warned.

All of the student’s eyes were glued to the volcano. The room became quiet, still before the storm. Without any warning, the volcano exploded with a loud, thunderous noise, which could be heard from three classrooms down. Something shiny and metallic flew out of the mouth. Massive amounts of lava spewed and spilled all over the place.

Thank you, Lacie Carpenter, Thornton Cline and RABT Book Tours

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About the Authors

Lacie Carpenter  

With a love for music, literature, and the obscure-Lacie Carpenter finds joy and solace in writing. With three degrees, working on two more, and several Fiddler of the Year awards; her passions lie in music and writing.  Her performances and writing reflect her zest for excitement and intrigue.  She is a published author with Hal Leonard and INtense Publishing.  Carpenter is a music specialist, psychology professor, avid YouTuber, Vlogger, and has a love for baking and travelling.  An award-winning fiddler, multi-instrumentalist, and singer/songwriter, Lacie enjoys passing on her knowledge to others.  She has spoken on and moderated many panels at conventions such as NAMM and Music Cities Convention in Chengdu, China. She calls Nashville, TN her home and is grateful to be able to live out her dreams as an artist.  

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Thornton Cline

Ever since his mother signed him up for piano lessons at age five, Thornton Cline has been writing non-stop. With over 1,000 published songs, 150 recorded songs, 32 traditionally published adult, children’s and YA books published, Thornton Cline has been nominated multiple times for Grammy and Dove Awards. In 2017, Cline won a first-place Maxy Literary Award for “Best Children’s Young Adult Book”. Thornton Cline’s books have appeared at the top of the Amazon bestselling charts. Cline has been honored with “Songwriter of the Year” twice-in-a row and has received a platinum award for certified sales of over one million units in Europe.

Cline continues to mentor, speak, teach, and inspire aspiring authors and songwriters around the world. He resides in Hendersonville, Tennessee with his wife, Audrey and their cat, Kiki.. 

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Author Links

Lacie Carpenter  

Website: http://www.laciecarpentermusic.com

Facebook: Lacie Carpenter Music https://www.facebook.com/fiddlerlacie

Instagram: @fiddlinlacie https://www.instagram.com/fiddlinlacie/

Youtube:    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwhcV7diCqbOXvZ7J-pW17A?view_as=subscriber

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Thornton Cline 

Website:  http://www.ThorntonCline.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thornton.cline

Twitter: http://www.twitter@thorntoncline

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thorntoncline/?hl=en

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/thornton-cline-bb103713/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6071084.Thornton_Cline

http://SumnerAcademy.org

http://WelchCollege.edu

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Book Links

Amazon: https://amzn.to/398tkzl

Publisher: https://intensepublications.com/shop/ols/products/mrs-p-who-stole-my-keys

The Retirement Mirage by Nancy Hite / #Extract #BlogTour @RABTBookTours

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Time to Think Differently

Don’t be fooled by the retirement mirage.


Are you still buying into the retirement mirage, hoping that, once you stop working, your life will be a perpetual enjoyment, exploration, and pleasant experience? It’s time to think differently.

Your ideas about retirement are dissipating before your eyes. People are living longer, and the world is changing faster because of advancing technology. Twenty-first century notions about retirement are antiquated.

Nancy Hite has a fiduciary duty when guiding her clients’ financial process throughout their lives. If you’re like them, then you are so busy in your day-to-day life that you don’t have time to think farther ahead than next week’s paycheck. Nancy helps you: See ahead when you’re too busy to look up®.

In The Retirement Mirage, Nancy dissects the key points to help you think differently about your financial future.

  • People are living longer today than at any time in history — be prepared so you don’t run out of money before you run out of time
  • The world is evolving with climate change, disease, unsteady markets — learn how to adapt to constant change
  • Technology is changing the world — find out how science positively impacts your financial future
  • Education and our children — let’s give them a process that establishes a strong financial foundation for financial stability
  • Spend it now, spend it later, or spend it never® — find out why this is Nancy’s motto and why it should be yours, too

The Retirement Mirage combines Nancy’s years of financial expertise with real-life examples to show you a variety of perspectives. The Retirement Mirage will inspire you to honestly assess your financial situation and offers the tools you need to prepare for the realities of your financial future.

The Retirement Mirage includes advice for all ages on what experts don’t tell you.

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Extract

A t fourteen years old, Barbara received her fi rst credit card allowing her to be authorized to charge on her mom’s account. Her mom felt the $500 limit would give Barbara some spending money while teaching her how to control her finances.

Instead, since her mother paid the monthly credit card bills, Barbara learned credit meant easy money. She just presented the card, and money appeared. What could be easier?

Ten years went by. Barbara got a well-paying job as an architect, which enabled her to get even more high-limit cards. She bought a car new, direct from a dealer (on credit, of course), and filled her apartment with nice furniture. She wore the newest fashions and ate at the best restaurants. Barbara continued along, accumulating debt, until this scenario unfolded at the bank…

“Sorry,” the guy behind the thick glass said, “I can’t give you another loan.”

“What? But . . .”

“It’s not me. Computer says no.”

“But why?”

“You still haven’t paid off the last one.”

“But you gave me a payday loan last month.”

“Yeah, like I said, you gotta pay that back. Can’t help you.”

“But how will I eat?”

“Your problem. Can’t help you.”

In this modern age, you’re constantly bombarded by advertising. Even during the drive to work, you’re inundated with commercial messages. They’ve become so prevalent that you may not even be conscious of them, but you can be sure you are soaking up every word. Advertising is everywhere, and it is designed to drive everyone to spend money. There’s nothing particularly wrong with spending money as long as you are still meeting your other fi nancial goals. However, modern ads are designed to work at an unconscious level, being seen over and over and over again to drill in the concept that you must buy a particular brand of sneakers or sunglasses to be cool. It seems as if there’s always something that we are being told we want, something we must have to make our lives complete. It might be a brand-new car, a video game, a new movie that must be seen on the night it comes out, or that new smartphone that was just released yesterday. Advertising and marketing have convinced the general public of the necessity of purchasing the newest models of something we already have far more often than necessary. This phenomenon is especially prevalent with automobiles, smartphones, video game consoles, and computers.

Thank you, Nancy Hite and RABT Book Tours

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About the Author

Nancy Hite is the founder of The Strategic Wealth Advisor® LLC, located in Boca Raton, Florida.

She offers forthright advice and has a fiduciary duty to provide meaningful and workable options to help her clients prepare for and enjoy the current and future chapters of their lives by focusing on their personal goals.

Her first book, “The Retirement Mirage,” offers a fresh perspective to your future financial stability.

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Author Link

Website: http://www.thestrategicwealthadvisor.com/

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Book Link

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Retirement-Mirage-Time-Think-Differently-ebook/dp/B08PMNYFFF

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Giveaway

Amazon Gift Card $25

 

 

A Deadly Inside Scoop by Abby Collette / #Extract #BlogTour @RABTBookTours @abbyvandiver

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An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery Book 1

Recent MBA grad Bronwyn Crewse has just taken over her family’s ice cream shop in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and she’s going back to basics. Win is renovating Crewse Creamery to restore its former glory, and filling the menu with delicious, homemade ice cream flavors—many from her grandmother’s original recipes. But unexpected construction delays mean she misses the summer season, and the shop has a literal cold opening: the day she opens her doors an early first snow descends on the village and keeps the customers away. To make matters worse, that evening, Win finds a body in the snow, and it turns out the dead man was a grifter with an old feud with the Crewse family. Soon, Win’s father is implicated in his death. It’s not easy to juggle a new-to-her business while solving a crime, but Win is determined to do it. With the help of her quirky best friends and her tight-knit family, she’ll catch the ice cold killer before she has a meltdown…

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Extract

“Yes,” I said. “Let’s make ice cream!” I clapped my hands together. “Maisie, you’re on flavor duty. I’m making the usual—French Vanilla, chocolate, only mine is going to be chocolaty decadence.”

“Decadent chocolate? I don’t know how you’d do that.” Riya said, “But that sounds like it’s going to be my favorite.”

“I’m betting it’ll be everyone’s favorite,” I said.

“What about strawberry?” Maisie said. “That’s a usual one.”

“I’m doing it, only I’m mixing it up and making it a shortcake.” I turned and pointed to my mother. “Mom, I need you to bake the cake and,” I nodded toward the pantry, “I had ears of corn delivered this morning. They’re in a box. I pulled them in there, too. If you can cut the kernels off the cobb for me.”

“Popcorn?” she asked her eyebrows arching. “You’re making popcorn ice cream?” She didn’t seem to like the idea.

“We’re not doing popcorn, per se,” I said with a sly grin. “At least not what you’re thinking of. I’m making a caramel corn ice cream.”

“Oh! That sounds yummy,” she said and smacked her lips.

“Glad you like it,” I said and smiled. “So you take care of the corn and I’ll make the caramel.”

“So what do you want me to do?” Maisie asked.

“Split the vanilla bean and extract the seeds,” I said. “And I’ll need enough to make vanilla extract, too. I’ll give you the measurements. Then cut up the strawberries. I’ll make the puree.” I grabbed my knapsack and pulled out my notebook. “Oh,” I said after perusing it, “I’m also making cherry amaretto chocolate chunk.”

“Amaretto?” Maisie said. “As in the liqueur?”

“Yes,” I said. I looked at her sideways and batted my eyes. “As in the liqueur. So, I’ll need you to pit and half the cherries and break the chocolate into chunks.” I tore the page out of my notebook. “I wrote down how much I’ll need.” I pointed to the pantry where I’d told my mother she’d find the corn. “Everything’s in there.”

“And me?” Riya asked.

I walked over to the commercial refrigerator and pulled out a crate of eggs. “Here,” I said and nodded toward the aluminum mixing bowls, “Grab a couple of those. I need you to separate these eggs for me.”

“Oh.” She looked down at them, then back up at me. “I-I don’t know if I can do that,” she said, taking the tray from me, her eyebrows knitted together. “I don’t think I remember a thing from my surgery rotation.”

“It’s not like surgery,” my mother said laughing. “It’s easy. You’ll be fine.” My mother headed to the pantry to get started on her assignment. “Crack open the shell and extract the yolk.”

“Sounds like surgery to me,” Riya muttered. Maisie and I chuckled.

Thank you, Abby Collette and RABT Book Tours

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About the author

Abby L. Vandiver, also writing as Abby Collette, is a hybrid author who has penned more than twenty-five books and short stories. She has hit both the Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller list. Her latest cozy series, An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery, published by Penguin Berkley, is out now, with the second book, A Game of Thrones, coming in March 2021.

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Author Links

Website: http://www.authorabby.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authorabbyl.vandiver

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

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

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Book Links

Amazon: http://bit.ly/DeadlyScoop

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-deadly-inside-scoop-abby-collette/1133013365

Other: http://bit.ly/ScoopPRH

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Giveaway

An ice cream maker

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/408264011284/