Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Blitz & #Giveaway for Just Pru by Anne Pfeffer




Contemporary Women's Fiction
Date Published: March 2, 2015

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When twenty-five-year-old Pru Anderson—braless, pajama-clad, and clutching her cat, Chuck—is rescued from her burning Los Angeles apartment, the thing that scares her most is meeting the neighbors. New people make her hide in the bathroom, counting by sevens, but when her home is destroyed, she must turn strangers into friends …  or crawl back to the controlling parents she only recently escaped.

What would her idol, Pepper Hathaway, do? That’s a no brainer: the detective-slash-supermodel heroine from Pru's favorite TV series would take no prisoners while looking fierce in a tankini and stilettos. So when the chance comes up to live with playwright Ellen, Pru sets aside her fears and goes for it.

Thus begin the adventures a girl who's never had a job, a friend, or a first kiss. Swept into Ellen's whirlwind life, Pru begins to build her own, as director's assistant for a new play, muse to brooding actor Blake, and possible love interest to adorably neurotic neighbor, Adam.

Only one thing can derail Pru's exhilarating journey. Well, actually, it's two things—and they're in a car headed straight for LA to torpedo her life. When the past that nearly destroyed her comes calling, who will she be: a Prudence or a Pepper?


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Early Reviews of Just Pru

"Just Pru is a laugh out loud, heartwarming story ….Pfeffer does an amazing job with Pru’s character…. The supporting cast is … easy to fall in love with and to cheer for...." 5 Stars
The Self-Publishing Review

"A five star read all the way.... a happy, funny tragicomedy of errors with a cast of delightful neurotics."  Literary homebody.com

"Pru is hilarious..... Totally a perfect story, IMO. How often does that happen? Like never." 5 stars Candacesbookblog.com


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Excerpt

Chapter One

From Pru’s Journal:

How can you know if you’re normal when you’re always alone? You have no one to compare yourself to. I mean, I have my mom and dad, and I’m pretty normal compared to them. But then… a lot of people are normal compared to them.



**

As the rich CaraMellow ice cream slipped along my tongue, I popped a few potato chips in my mouth for contrast. Ah, the soothing combination of sweet, salt, cream, and crunch.

No good. Its magic wasn’t working.

Shifting my size 16 tush around on the sofa, I focused on the TV. It played an old episode from Model Cop, my favorite show ever on the Wholesome Family Channel.

Today, the show’s awesome heroine, Pepper Hathaway, was tracking down a serial killer in between fittings for a runway show at Fashion Week. It was hard to juggle her two jobs as a police detective and supermodel, but she excelled at both. Pepper ended every episode with a wink to the camera and her life motto: Remember, folks. Do Good, Look Good!

She was amazing.

I sighed. I bet Pepper didn’t get job rejections like the one I’d had today. Dear Loser, the letter said. We are relieved to say we cannot offer you the position of Low-Level Proofreading Gnome at our crummy little start-up online encyclopedia. No matter how unknown and undesirable our company is, you are more so.

Sincerely,

Executive Drone

Okay, so they didn’t use those exact words, but it’s what they meant. As I lifted my spoon, caramel dribbled down the front of my flannel nightgown. I scraped it off with a potato chip and ate it.

Mmraow. My cat emerged from one of his many hiding places. I suspected he hid on purpose, just to annoy me. “Hey, Chuck-Chuck.” I scratched his orange-and-white striped back. It lasted only a few seconds. Done with human contact, Chuck strolled away, tail in the air.

On the TV, Pepper was returning home to her elegant apartment in the Big City. Hey, girlfriend, she called out to her funny, devoted homosexual roommate Tad. They sat down and sipped Chardonnay. She was so cool.

I bet Pepper could pay her rent. I bet she didn’t run out of money just two months after moving into her place. I could justify having bought a used car, but perhaps the fifty-inch flat-screen TV had been excessive. Then there were those unfortunate yard sale purchases, but I had needed furniture, after all. I needed that Victorian-style vanity and the faux-leather recliner.

I could still hear my father’s voice, cool and cutting. You won’t last a month in Los Angeles. Mark my words, you’ll be back in Oregon before you know it.

 Well, ha ha on him, I’d lasted two months now.

And ha ha on me, because I didn’t know if I could last a third.

 Tears prickled the backs of my eyes. I wished I could talk to Dr. Abbot, my wonderful therapist back in my hometown of Clayton. He had died unexpectedly last week. I’d hardly left my apartment since I’d gotten the news.

On the TV, Pepper was modeling her latest fashion purchases for Tad. I scraped the bowl with my spoon while contemplating her minuscule waistline. Was that real or digitally enhanced? Could a person’s body organs really fit into such a tiny space?

Not mine—I was sure about that. My body organs undoubtedly filled giant caverns, which was why I’d been blessed with my five foot ten inch, big-boned body.

A ringing began—yet another fire alarm. Great. We’d had two go off already this month, I thought grumpily, and they’d turned out to be cases of burned toast—a total waste of time.

I struggled up from horizontal, made my way to the living room window, and peered out. It was 8:00 on a June evening. It had just turned dark. Below loomed the building’s quiet, empty courtyard.

Just as I thought—no flames, no people fleeing for their lives.

The sofa called to me, yet the alarm blared on.

I should probably investigate, even though it meant I might have to talk to someone. And for what was probably a false alarm. I stumbled to my bedroom dresser and wrestled a pair of plain white panties up under my nightie. Where had I thrown my bra? When you’re a size 36D, you do not venture forth into public without one.

My eyes swept my twin-sized bed, the flowered rug, the vanity whose drawers I used to store cat toys. No bra to be seen.

Feet thudded down my hallway.

WHOMP! A fist hit my front door.  “Vacate the building now! Everyone out!” The man’s voice resounded through my door, then grew fainter as he moved away from me.

In an instant, sweat beaded my forehead. Vacate the building?

A siren, then others, wailed from the street. A megaphone-amplified voice blared from outside. “Immediate evacuation is required.”

“Chuck!” I shrieked. That ingrate. He’d probably hidden from me again. I dropped to my belly and crawled commando-style around the bedroom, checking under the bed and dresser. No sign of his malevolent green-eyed gaze. I checked the open laundry hamper. He wasn’t there either.

Outside, shouts and cries came to me from a distance, sirens grew louder, and banging noises intensified. I rushed again to the open living room window. Spotlights now lit the courtyard below, which had transformed into a disaster scene. Groups of people milled behind barricades. Firefighters twice the size of ordinary humans unfurled hoses and set ladders up against walls, while smoke drifted from some windows on the fourth floor, where I was.

Holy moley! Were we really on fire?

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Author Links


Twitter:  AnnePfeffer1


Purchase Links



Giveaway

$125 Amazon Gift Card


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Book Tour for The Seaward Isle Saga by Joni Parker


We're happy to be hosting Joni Parker and her new fantasy/action adventure series, The Seaward Isle Saga!



Title: The Black Elf of Seaward Isle
Author: Joni Parker
Publisher: Village Green Press, LLC
Pages: 330
Genre: Fantasy/Action Adventure
Format: Paperback/Kindle

On the mysterious Seaward Isle, Alex, the young daughter of Count Dumwalt, escapes Wizard Mylar’s attack on her father’s fortress with the help of two men, Hamlin and Tyrone, who take her to her brother in the village of Nyla.  Disguised as a boy to stay at the Sword Academy with her brother, she learns of the death of her parents and vows to avenge their deaths.  At the same time, a witch on the far side of the island predicts the rise of the Black Elf, the only person with the power to kill a wizard.

Meanwhile, Alex’s stay at the academy is cut short when the headmistress arranges her adoption by a Scinthian Scout, an Amazon warrior and her Dwarf companion.  When her adoptive mother is killed in a pirate attack, Alex returns home to Nyla where Tyrone, now the Governor, takes her in as his ward as he accepts a cadre of Scinthian soldiers for training to restore their decimated Army.  Since Alex can speak their language, she becomes a training liaison, leading to her selection as an elite soldier and assassin known as a tracker.  Her first mission succeeds beyond all expectations and results in her selection as a training officer for the Scinthians, still involved in an extensive training program. 

Upon assignment to a remote border outpost, Alex discovers evidence of foul play—eight missing soldiers.  As she attempts to uncover the mystery, she meets with resistance and skepticism, but she leads a mission to save them.  As she basks in her glory, the wizard shows up to seek revenge on Governor Tyrone, forcing Alex to intervene.

For More Information
  • The Black Elf of Seaward Isle is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.  

Book Excerpt:

They arrived at the Governor's house and were shown to his large parlor.  When the Governor appeared, they saluted him, and he, in turn, saluted back.  He wrapped his arms around Alex and gave her a big warm hug.

          "How are you, Alex?"

          "I'm doing well, Governor.  It's good to see you.  You're looking well."

          "I am well.  Have you seen your brother recently?"

          "Not recently.  A few months ago, he challenged me to a sword match, and when I beat him fairly, he accused me of cheating.  He told me that I wasn't his sister anymore, and he wished I had never returned."

          Tyrone was dismayed by this news.  "Well, I shall speak to him and explain that he can't disown his own sister, even if she beats him at swords.  Now, for the business at hand, Alex, I want you to accompany me on a trip next month.  We'll go to Agana and visit Agamon, the King, and his brother, Pashamon, in Pashkina.  This will be an official visit where we'll represent the Kingdom of Northeast Forest and our King, Lord Ellsworth.  You'll be listed as my thirteen-year-old ward, Lady Alexin."

          "I'm fourteen," Alex said.

          "When did that happen?"  He stared at her.    

          "At the spring solstice a few weeks ago."

          "Well, happy birthday.  You should have said something.  At any rate, this will provide you an opportunity to visit another land, but you'll also aid me as a secretary.  I'll need help in recording the visit, keeping the itinerary, and so on.  In addition, you'll aid with security.  Major Dano will be my security advisor.  I believe he's a friend of Major Jonnbo's.  True, Major?"

          "Yes, Governor."  He bowed his head slightly.  "I know him well."

          "Major Dano is expecting you, and he'll explain the trip in greater detail.  Now off with you, I have other appointments."  Tyrone gave Alex another big hug and left the room. 

Alex glanced at Colonel Penser in distress.  "Can Mistress Penser help me with the right clothes to wear?"

          "Let's meet with Major Dano to find out what you'll need."  The Colonel chuckled.

          Alex was flattered that the Governor would take her on such an important mission.  What she didn't know was that he had been planning this for several months.  The King had ordered him to visit Agana to assess pirate activity in the south.  Governor Tyrone had expressed his confidence that Agamon had the city of Agana under control, but didn't know anything about Pashamon or Pashkina.  The King had strongly recommended that he take his wife with him to socialize with the women and find out what they knew.  The Governor saw no reason to marry someone just for the sake of this trip, so he told Colonel Penser to prepare Alex instead.  She was almost ready.  

Title: Tangled Omens
Author: Joni Parker
Publisher: Village Green Press, LLC
Pages: 320
Genre: Fantasy/Action Adventure
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Alex, now an experienced soldier and proven tracker, goes undercover to learn the fate of a pirate leader.  As she conducts her investigation in the market, she has her fortune read by the famous Witches of Winden, renown fortunetellers.  Unimpressed, she’s about to leave when a man barges into the tent demanding his fortune be read.  Alex observes and notices similarities to hers--their omens seem entangled, but she dismisses it as coincidence.  However, she learns that he’s the Horseman, the most dangerous pirate spy on Seaward Isle and wanted for treason by her King.  Although she attempts to follow him, he sails away on a ship. 

When she returns home, she reports the incident to Governor Tyrone who tasks her to find and kill him or die trying, her first tracker mission.  Although she doesn’t know his real name, she’s the only one who can recognize him.  His trail leads her north, deep into the pirate stronghold of Riverton, her first solo mission. 

For More Information

Book Excerpt:

By the time Alex got to the street, he was a block ahead of her.  She saw him trot up to a large house with a lot of carriages and people in front.  Two girls from Mistress Clarisse's house passed by in long elegant dresses, holding the arms of handsome young men who wore black top hats.  They smiled and laughed at her as they strutted by.  One of the girls turned back to Alex and giggled.  Alex realized they were laughing at her.  She stared at her clothes and wondered if she should go back to change into a dress, but she returned her attention to her quarry.  Where did he go?

Alex had lost sight of the Horseman in the crowd, but soon noticed him at the entrance of the house where he was greeted and welcomed.  She stood in place, uncertain what to do next. 

A man grabbed her arm and put his horse's reins in her hand.  "Take care of my horse, will you?"  He put a coin in her hand and rushed off towards the house. 

Alex stared at the horse and didn't know what to do with it.  On the other side of the street, Noel had another horse so she pulled it over to him.

"Noel!"

"Where did you get that horse?"  

"I was just standing on the street watching everyone, and a man put his reins in my hand and asked me to take care of him.  He must have thought I was a stable boy.  I don't know what to do with him."  She petted the horse on the nose. 

"I'll take him.  Let me this one in and come back."  Noel laughed. 

When he returned, Alex gave him the horse.  "Here you should have this, too."  She gave him the brassie the man had given her.

"Thanks," he said.  "If you want to earn a brassie, go up to the kitchen, and help them.  They need extra help tonight."

"I think I will.  Where do I go?"

Noel pointed to the open door at the back of the large house.  "The Governor's celebrating his new home.  All the rich people are here."

Title: Blood Mission
Author: Joni Parker
Publisher: Village Green Press, LLC
Pages: 323
Genre: Fantasy/Action Adventure
Format: Paperback/Kindle

While on leave from the army, Alex visits her cousin, Prince Darin of the Water Elves, and arrives in time to thwart an assassination attempt ordered by the rogue Elf Mellen.  Although weakened by poison, the Prince assigns Alex a Blood Mission to kill Mellen.  However, Alex finds the Elf elusive as he organizes and trains his pirates to take over the harbor at Agana, the best deep water port on the island.

At the same time, Alex must deal with Colonel Jeffrey, a handsome young man determined to marry her for her inheritance.  Alex rejects his advances and faces his wrath, becoming the target of several murderous plots.  Unfortunately, her path to success includes Colonel Jeffrey as she needs him and his soldiers to stop the Elf Mellen before he takes over and destroys the fragile civilization on the island.            
   
For More Information
  • Blood Mission is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.  

Book Excerpt:

After she left Colonel Penser, Alex marched up to Major Jonnbo's bedroom and knocked on the door.  When he didn't answer the door, she pounded on it harder and shouted at him.

"It's too early."  Major Jonnbo yawned.  "Come on in, Alex."

"Colonel Penser wants to talk to us." 

"I'll get dressed."  He sat up in bed, yawning and rubbed his head.  He stretched his arms and stood up.  "So, what's going on?"  He opened the wardrobe, grabbing some clean clothes. 

"The Commandant gave me a new mission to kill the Elf Mellen.  Isn't it a little late to be sleeping?"  Alex turned around while he put his clothes on.

"That Elf again?  You're an Elf, aren't you?  You can use your Elfness and locate him that way, can't you?  I don't know much about them."  He put on his boots.

"Elfness?"  Alex wrinkled her brow.

"You know, Elf stuff.  Weird stuff."

"I'm not very good at that.  I don't know how to do it like the Elves, but I can hear what they say when they Elfspeak."

"What is that Elfspeak stuff anyway?" 

"They can talk to each other with their thoughts.  It sounds just like a normal conversation, but it's private.  They just don't know I can hear them.  It's a little weird.  I'm still learning how to use it." 

"When did the Commandant get here?"

"He's not here--I saw him at the Regiment before I left."  Alex pointed over her shoulder with her thumb.  "I think he wants to see me dead."

"It's his job to assign tough missions to the best tracker, Alex.  And that's you.  Let's go."  Major Jonnbo pushed her out the door.

About the Author:


Joni Parker was born in Chicago, Illinois, but left the windy city at an early age when her family moved to Japan.  Upon return to the United States, her family moved to Phoenix, Arizona where she graduated from Camelback High School and began college.  However within months, Joni quit college and joined the Navy where she became a Photographer’s Mate.  After 3 years in the Navy, she returned to college and got married.  She got a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and an MBA before she returned to the Navy.  As a Commissioned Officer, Joni attended the US Army Command and General Staff College, completing a Master of Military Arts and Sciences Degree.  She retired from the Navy with over 22 years of service and spent several years traveling the United States in a motorhome with her husband.  When he died unexpectedly, Joni returned to work for the federal government in a civil service job.  Five years ago, she started writing and retired once more to devote more time to her new passion.  She currently lives in Texas.  

Her latest fantasy books are The Black Elf of Seaward Isle, Tangled Omens and Blood Mission.
For More Information
 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Virtual Tour & #Giveaway for Passing the Torch by L.L. Sanders


Welcome to my stop on the Virtual Tour, presented by Goddess Fish Promotions, for Passing the Torch by L.L. Sanders.  Please leave a message or question for L.L. to let her know you stopped by.  You can enter her tour wide giveaway, for a $10 Amazon/BN GC and 3 PDFs of PASS THE TORCH, by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.  You can follow the rest of the tour by clicking on the tour banner above.  The more stops you visit, the better your odds of winning. 

Passing the Torch
By L.L. Sanders

Publisher:  LLS Books
Release Date: February 14, 2015
Genre:  Mystery/Suspense
Length:  67 Pages
ISIN:  9781506196527
ASIN:  B00TNTLTZY


Buy Links:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo


About the book: 

Deep in the Arizona desert rests a house of secrets … a house of utter horror … a house that must burn to the ground.

Mesa has secrets. Twelve, twenty, fifty secrets. Over the years she’s learned to bury them, a collection of rotten seeds stowed away in the hidden parts of her, rooting deep down in that place where deception and sorrow are stored. Waiting, for that single ray of light to set them free.

And now those secrets are surfacing, as Mesa begins to question the life she’s so carefully cultivated. How far would you go for someone you love? How much pain would you endure to keep your family together? And what if the person you love was the source of your pain?




EXCERPT



Good girls do anything for their fathers, including rob, cheat, and kill, and I always considered myself a good girl. The time I first came to that conclusion will stay with me forever. Years later, here I am, still fulfilling my daughterly duty.

After wiping the sweat from my palm onto my jeans, I press the bulbous tip of the match against the strike strip on the side of the small carton. My hands shake worse than Grandma's had when trying to slice her ninety-first birthday cake just a few hours ago, but I manage to run the match across it anyway. The flame comes alive at my fingertips, dancing merrily at the prospect of latching on to something and disintegrating it into smoldering embers. Although the light breeze causes the flame to flicker at the end of the matchstick, I'm aware of the control I have over it. I watch the glow change shape through a veil of tears and with that the decision was absolute.

The flame will get to perform its destructive duty.

I flick the match toward the pile of wooden planks that used to be the porch. Instantly the fire catches the fumes of the pooled liquid and expands so quickly a wall of gasoline-scented hot air rushes me before the blaze travels deeper into the house. I back away to a safe distance as the straw-like grass crunches beneath my feet. Nearing the homemade fence, which is nothing more than a double row of chicken wire, I hear the screams from the distance, cries of agony that meld with my memory like two spreading pools of melted wax. I can't stop the waterworks. I don't even make an attempt.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:
The L.L. stands for Leslie Lee. I write erotic romance and post-apocalyptic/dystopian fiction under Leslie Lee Sanders.

But horror and thriller fiction is what I grew up on, what inspires me, and what began my pursuit to authorship. I’ve written many short scary stories since the 6th grade. Now they’re much more mature in general, thanks to the wide range of emotion and experience I’ve encountered over the years.

I’m a huge fan of horror and psychological thrillers in every fashion, including movies, books, art, campfire tales, etc. Some of my favorite stories are those that twist at the end or are ambiguous with deep societal or morality themes. This includes dystopias like Hugh Howey’s Wool, psychological thrillers like Shutter Island, and popular and classic horror/romances like V.C. Andrews’s Flowers in the Attic, my favorite.

All my ideas start with a twist, which is exactly how most of my stories end.




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cover Reveal & #Giveaway for Danger Deception Devotion: The Firsts by Lorhainne Eckhart


Danger Deceptions Devotion:
The Firsts
by Lorhainne Eckhart
Genre: Romance/Mystery-Thriller/Women’s Fiction
Cover Designer: Steven Novak
Release Date: March 17, 2015



This very special box set edition contains all of the first books from each of my series: The Outsiders, The Friessens, The Wilde Brothers, Walk the Right Road and The Saved Series.

The One:  You never know when you’ll suddenly meet the one.

 

The Forgotten Child:  How do you tell a man there is something wrong with his child?

 

The Deadline:  Andy Friessen has packed up everything and moved his family two states away to Montana to protect his wife, Laura, his newborn babies, and his stepson, Gabriel, from the threats of his mother.  What Andy doesn't know is that they'll soon face a new threat, one he never saw coming.


Saved:  Growing up I had dreams that one day I'd fall in love, get married and start a family.  Then one night I was taken.  But I survived, I escaped and I was saved.  Eric didn't see me as damaged.  He didn't see my baby as a monster.  He protected me, he kept me safe...he saved me.

 

The Choice:  One woman.  Two men.  And a choice that will kill her.

 






USA Today Bestselling Author Lorhainne Eckhart’s books have been described as Longmire meets old-school Dallas, and she recently received the 2013 Readers’ Favorite Award for Romantic Suspense for her title Lost and Found. With over thirty titles under her belt, she is frequently a Top 100 bestselling author in multiple genres, such as romance, westerns, and mystery/suspense, including such series as The Outsider, Walk the Right Road, The Wilde Brothers, The Saved, and her most recent addition, The Friessens: A New Beginning.

Lorhainne lives on sunny Salt Spring Island with her family, where she is working on her next novel.