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Monday, April 24, 2017

Smoke by Emily Mims - The Smokey Blues Series - Book Two - Book Tour - Interview - Giveaway - Enter Daily!


Hi lovelies! It gives me great pleasure today to host Emily Mims and her new book, “Smoke”!  For other stops on her Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above or any of the images in this post.

Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card!  Also, come back daily to interact with Emily and to increase your chances of winning!

Thanks for stopping by!  Wishing you lots of luck in this fabulous giveaway!


Smoke
The Smokey Blues Series:
(Book Two)
by Emily Mims

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GENRE: Romance/Romantic Suspense

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BLURB:

A concert violinist and musical prodigy, Francesca Giordano is internationally acclaimed and always in the spotlight—right where she doesn’t want to be. Not after she’s witnessed a murder. Suddenly on the run, she finds her way to Bristol, Tennessee, and to the music club Acoustics. There, as “Chessie Hope,” she can hide out in the open. But with this newest gig comes a different kind of danger. Older and impossibly sexy, bluegrass singer Cooper Barstow is everything she’s ever wanted in a man, and his daughters are just as easy to love. Yet Francesca cannot enjoy the luxury of such a relationship, not even if he could protect her from the men on her trail or if she could be honest with him about who she is. Cooper is as wounded as he is strong, and he needs someone who will stay by his side for the rest of his life. Just as Francesca does. And the smoke on the mountains and the haze of desire almost make her believe that could happen.

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EXCERPT ONE:

“No, it was more than that.  You’re wise for your tender years, Chessie.  How did you get to be so smart?”

“I’m not all that smart.  You’d eventually have figured it all out.”

They stared into one another’s eyes for a moment.  “I was jealous.”  Cooper was abrupt.  “Of Jeremy.  When he came on to you.”

Chessie cupped his face between her hands.  “Cooper, why?”

Cooper put his good hand on Chessie’s shoulder.  “He’s young and he’s cute and he has both his arms.”

“If I were into boys, I might have been impressed.  But I’m not into boys, Cooper.  I’m into men.  One man, in particular.  And you know what?  I’m going to kiss that man, right now.”

Cooper stood, not moving, as Chessie went up on her tiptoes and placed her lips against his.  She held his face in her hands and nibbled, touching and seeking in the gentlest of caresses before deepening their embrace.  At first Cooper let her take the lead, but as hiss torment became unbearable he crushed her to him, her soft curves fitting just right into his hard, muscled body like a cool drink of water in the parched Arizona desert.  She wrapped her arms around his body and held him even closer.  Her nipples stiffened with desire and poked into his chest.  Cooper was overcome with longing.  He wanted this woman so badly he could taste it.

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INTERVIEW:

Good morning Emily!  Welcome back to Fabulous and Brunette!  We are thrilled to have you here again and can’t wait to learn more about you and your new book, “Smoke.”

First off, such an intriguing book cover!  Tell us how it came about.
It’s magic created by our art director Chris Keeslar.  We had already designed a similar cover for ‘Mist’ with the heroine’s instrument across the bottom of the cover.  The biggest challenge was finding a couple in which the man is visibly older.  Cooper is fifteen years older than Francesca and we wanted it to show.

What 3-5 words would you use to describe your book?
Interesting!  Heart-warming!  Sexy!

I love books with strong female leads.  Francesca seems to fit that bill.  Tell us more about this elegant, but strong-willed character.
I conceived this as a fish-out-of-water story.  Circumstance has thrown this young woman into a new, totally different environment in which she not only survives, she thrives and lets herself grow as a result.

There is so much chemistry and passion between Francesca and Cooper.  It basically leaps off the page.  What was your inspiration for these two characters’ relationship?
Musicians are by nature passionate people.  We couldn’t make music if we weren’t!  Although Cooper and Francesca are not based on any individuals in particular, they are figments of my imagination, I see their passion in the musicians with whom I make music.

Francesca and Cooper both have some baggage.  Do you think this common ground brings them closer or makes things more complicated?
Probably a little of both.  Baggage always complicates things, but having to cope with baggage of their own perhaps makes them more sympathetic to the baggage of others.

As a result of an injury, Cooper has a prosthetic arm.  How did this idea come about?
I live in San Antonio, the home of Brooke Army Medical Center, where many injured service people have been treated for their injuries.  Many of these wounded warriors now call San Antonio home and are part of our community.  Cooper is not the first wounded warrior I have written about.  Five of the heroes (and two of the heroines) in my Texas Hill Country series are wounded warriors.

I think you did this character justice.  It was very inspiring to see Cooper overcome such a difficult setback.  Do you think this book brings spotlight to people living with a disability?
I hope so.  They are heroes in real life.  They deserve to be the heroes in my stories.

Absolutely!

What is your favorite chapter or section of the book?
When Cooper and Francesca make love for the last time before she leaves.

Give us an interesting fun fact about your book.
My publisher Michelle Klayman is from New York and gave me the idea for Francesca’s frustration with the slower pace of southern life.

Smoke is book two in “The Smokey Blues” book series.  How many more books will be part of this series and when can we except them to be released?
The third book in the series, ‘Evergreen’, is already out.  ‘Indigo’ has just come back from my beta reader and is on its way to my editor.  I have four more plotted to hopefully be written over the next year and a half.

As an author, what is your favorite word you love to include in your books?
According to my very frustrated beta reader, it’s ‘and’.

Do you write your books with a pen or type writer or computer?
I plot them on a Big Chief, word-process a very detailed outline that I print out to work from, and from that point on it’s all in the word processor.

For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
Ebooks for many reasons.  My eyes aren’t the best and I don’t have to worry about a reading lamp, and I can go shopping at midnight with the touch of my finger.

What book(s) are you currently reading?
I read a book a day!  Whatever new romance went live that morning.

What is your favorite motivational phrase?
‘If a chemistry teacher from Texas can write thirty novels, so can you.’  I use this one on aspiring writers to get them to be more than aspiring.

I like that!  It is very motivating!

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I’m living my dream.  I write books, play in two bands and have five trips planned for this year!

Sure sound like it! :)

What is your favorite flavor of ice-cream?
Butter pecan.

Yum!  I like that flavor too!

What is your favorite TV show?
Probably the buy-a-house-in-paradise shows on HGTV.

Great choices!  I love those HGTV shows!  Such amazing homes and beautiful towns!  I have dream homes in like twenty-some towns/islands LOL! :)

What is your favorite movie?
Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
See motivational phrase above!

What's next for you? What are you working on now?
I’m revising ‘Indigo’ after a beta read.  I’m also finishing up four detailed synopses for the next four in the series.

Thank you so much for spending time with Fabulous and Brunette readers and sharing your exciting new book with us!  We wish you all the best on your book tour!

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AUTHOR BIO:


Author of thirty romance novels, Emily Mims combined her writing career with a career in public education until leaving the classroom to write full time.  The mother of two sons and grandmother of six, she and her husband Charles live in central Texas but frequently visit grandchildren in eastern Tennessee and Georgia.  She plays the piano, organ, dulcimer, and ukulele and belongs to two performing bands.  She says, “I love to write romances because I believe in them.  Romance happened to me and it can happen to any woman-if she’ll just let it.”

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CONNECT WITH EMILY:

Website:

Facebook:

Twitter:

Goodreads Author Page:

Goodreads Book Page #1:

Goodreads Book Page #2:

Amazon Author Page:

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BOOK BUY LINKS:

Amazon Kindle:

Amazon Paperback:

Barnes and Noble:

Kobo:

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GIVEAWAY INFO:

Emily will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.


**This post contains affiliate links and if clicked and a purchase made I may receive a small commission to help support this blog.  This does not cost you anything, it just helps pay for all those awesome giveaways on here.**

This contest is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions.  Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Lake of Destiny by Martina Boone - Book Tour - Book Sale - Giveaway - Enter Daily!



Lake of Destiny
by Martina Boone

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GENRE: Contemporary Romance (Sweet)

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BLURB:

Helping her aunt organize a Beltane Festival in a picturesque Highland village seems like the perfect escape from Anna’s second broken engagement and the meltdown that wrecked her legal career. But to succeed, she’ll need to wrangle kilt-wearing villagers, dangerous sheep, a disaster of a dog, and the reclusive laird who refuses to open his property to the public for the ancient tradition of “Sighting.”

For centuries, Loch Fàil in Balwhither has been known to locals as a ‘thin’ place, one where the veil between worlds peels back on Beltane morning to reveal the face of a person's one true love. The tradition could draw tourists by the busload, but that’s exactly what Connal MacGregor fears will expose the two secrets he's been desperate to keep hidden.

As Anna struggles to mediate between the needs of the village and Connal’s need to protect his identity and his child, she finds herself falling in love with all of them: Connal and his daughter, the magical glen, the villagers. But day by day, opening herself to love exposes deep scars from Anna’s childhood, and confronting those wounds could finally set her free--or endanger her every chance of happiness.

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EXCERPT ONE:

He’d stopped knocking by the time the glass slid down, but his fist still hovered in the air. Jaw slack, he gaped at her, blue eyes narrowed beneath wiry dark hair, as if she’d shocked him. 

Anna felt just as stunned. With the sunset behind him, he shimmered, all gold and gleaming around the edges like a hopeful memory. The impression vanished the moment she blinked, but still he seemed familiar. So familiar that she knew his identity had to be tucked away in some dusty corner of her brain. Ah, there. The actor. The one her sister Katharine had dreamed of co-starring with someday—before he’d disappeared. 

“You’re Gregor Mark,” she said, barely managing to keep the surprised squeak from her voice. 

“The hell I am,” he bellowed in an accent decidedly more Scottish than Gregor Mark’s cut-glass British accent, “and what do you think you’re doing, driving like an idiot on this road? Or off the road, to be exact. I have my daughter in the car. You could have killed us both.”

Anna winced, both at the tone of his voice and at her own stupidity. “I’m sorry. It was the sheep—”

“The bloody sheep are part of the reason it’s daft to drive that fast through here.”

Daft? Hold on. Anna’s eyes slitted. She’d had enough of people telling her she was doing things wrong of late. Didn’t anyone think she knew when she was in trouble?

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AUTHOR BIO & LINKS:


Martina Boone is the award-winning author of the romantic southern gothic Heirs of Watson Island series for young adults, including Compulsion (Oct ’14), Persuasion (Oct ’15), and Illusion (Oct ’16), from Simon & Schuster, Simon Pulse, and heartwarming contemporary romances for adult readers beginning with Lake of Destiny. She’s also the founder of AdventuresInYAPublishing.com, a three-time Writer’s Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers Site, and YASeriesInsiders.com, a site dedicated to encouraging literacy and reader engagement through a celebration of series literature. She’s on the Board of the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia and runs the CompulsionForReading.com program to distribute books to underfunded schools and libraries.

She lives with her husband, children, shetland sheepdog, and lopsided cat, and she enjoys writing romance set in the kinds of magical places she loves to visit. When she isn’t writing, she’s addicted to travel, horses, skiing, chocolate flavored tea, and anything with Nutella on it.








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PRAISE FOR MARTINA BOONE’S COMPULSION:

“Skillfully blends rich magic and folklore with adventure, sweeping romance, and hidden treasure . . . An impressive start.” — Publisher’s Weekly

“Eight Beaufort is so swoon-worthy that it’s ridiculous. Move over Four, Eight is here to stay!” — RT Book Reviews, RT Editors Best Books of 2014

“Boone’s Southern Gothic certainly delivers a compelling mystery about feuding families and buried secrets, not to mention a steamy romance.” — Booklist

“Darkly romantic and steeped in Southern Gothic charm, you’ll be compelled to get lost in the Heirs of Watson Island series.” — #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout

“The perfect Southern family saga: charming and steamy on the surface, with cold-blooded secrets buried down deep. — Kendare Blake, NYT bestselling author of Three Dark Crowns and Anna Dressed in Blood

“A fresh twist on the Southern Gothic—haunting, atmospheric, and absorbing.” — Claudia Gray, New York Times bestselling author of A Thousand Pieces of You and the Evernight and Spellcaster series

“A stunningly magical debut with a delicious slow burn to be savored. I want to live in this story world!” — Wendy Higgins, NYT bestselling author of the Sweet Evil trilogy

“Beautifully written, with vivid characters, a generations-old feud, and romance that leaps off the page, this Southern ghost story left me lingering over every word, and yet wanting to race to the compelling finish. Martina Boone’s Compulsion is not to be missed.” — Megan Shepherd, NYT bestselling author of The Cage series and The Madman’s Daughter

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BOOK BUY LINKS - SALE INFO - COUPON CODE:

Amazon  https://www.amazon.com/Lake-Destiny-Martina-Boone-ebook/dp/B01N4WMDDM/

Barnes & Noble |http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lake-of-destiny-martina-boone/1125707914 

iTunes | https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/lake-of-destiny/id1203391119?mt=11

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/lake-of-destiny

On sale for $0.99 at Smashwords with this tour specific coupon!  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/702217 

Coupon Code: FF83K – expires the final date on the tour

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GIVEAWAY INFO:

Martina will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


**This post contains affiliate links and if clicked and a purchase made I may receive a small commission to help support this blog.  This does not cost you anything, it just helps pay for all those awesome giveaways on here.**

This contest is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions.  Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Last Resort by Ember Leigh - Book Tour - Guest Post - Giveaway - Enter Daily!



The Last Resort
by Ember Leigh

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GENRE:   Erotic Romance

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BLURB:

Rose Delaney is a baby bounty hunter, rescuing children from fugitive ex-spouses. All she wants is to return a recovered child to its mother and get back to her regimented solitary life. But when a snow storm leaves her and baby Emmy stranded, Rose has no choice but to lean on the ruggedly handsome rescuer, who thinks the baby is hers. Holed up in their mountain resort-under-construction and unable to contact Emmy’s mother, Rose's priority is hitting the road—even if Garrett’s erotic touch entices her to ride out the storm. Construction boss Garrett Galo loves his job, but he never imagined a perk like being snowbound during a whiteout with the sassy brunette he just rear-ended. He’s learned to stay away from women who want a family, especially when they come with a kid in tow. When passionate nighttime encounters flare between them, Garrett begins to question what he’d risk to keep Rose. This isn’t the time or the place for romance—but will five days on a mountain make these loners reconsider giving in to love?

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EXCERPT ONE:

Inching the door open further, she poked her head in. Garrett’s body silhouetted against the translucent shower door. The image of his chiseled, naked body seared through her mind. Her mouth went dry.

She crept inside and eased the door shut, body rigid as she watched his shadow move inside the shower. The fogged mirror hid her reflection as the soft mesh shorts slipped to ground, followed by her undies and T-shirt.

Garrett began humming, out of tune, something that sounded suspiciously like a children’s song.

Rose grinned, excitement roiling beneath her skin. This not only was going to happen, it needed to happen. Her heart thumped in her chest as she reached for the shower door.

The door opened a few inches before Garrett’s humming turned into a gasp. He whipped around and pulled aside the shower door, eyes wild.

“Rose.”

She grinned up at him, loving the swirls of shock and appreciation in his eyes as he took her in.

“Can I join?”

His mouth hung open a moment, gaze sweeping over her naked body, lighting fires on her skin. He grabbed her around the waist and yanked her inside the shower, slamming the door shut behind her.

The water hit her body in a pleasingly warm rush. He pinned her to the shower wall with his hips. Her breath hitched.

“I don’t even want to ask why you’re naked in my bathroom,” he said, kissing her neck, “and I don’t even care. Fact is, you’re here, and you’re mine now.”

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GUEST POST:

I’ve been practicing yoga for a long dang time—but not nearly as long as I’ve been writing. The two areas dominate my life; they are inherently my primary practices, the things that I come to almost every day as a ritual, meditation, sanity-stoking activity, whatever you want to call it. 

I began writing when I was nine, but it sprang from me unprovoked. It was the beast living inside me, one that I had inherited from my ancestors, the fairy-tale disease that gets passed down for generations. Writing spilled from my fingertips, an inspiration unhindered, and “practicing it” was no difficult feat in those early days.

But once I graduated high school and entered college, the natural spring of inspiration started to dry up. I worked less and less on my novels. And then once I hit the work force, my writing stopped entirely.

By contract, yoga was a practice that did not spring naturally from my deep, dark wells. I can’t say if it, too, in some ancestral tomes appears as a fabled inheritance, the inevitable by-product of time and life. But I picked it up out of necessity. A spinal cord surgery that changed my life, rendering me paralyzed for a while, made it very important for me to do something beyond the moderately-useful physical therapy. My mother suggested yoga. 

And there began the practice.

As my yoga practice deepened, my writing practice did not. All of my time was spent working, and any free time was spent being grateful for the chance to relax. Yoga was the priority, for my still-healing body, but the raucous urge inside me to WRITE never truly faded. I’ve known since age nine that I was meant to be a writer. Ancestral, fairy-tale diseases stain you like that. So I changed my job, changed my lifestyle, and began to focus more on writing.

When I say ‘focus on writing’, I mean this was a sloooow process. I set goals: publish one novel. And while my work situation allowed me to seriously pursue this goal, I began to see the relationship between the writing and yoga practice, like someone had finally adjusted the picture on a television screen that had been fuzzy for years.

My yoga practice had started at such a feeble, shaky point. But with repeated practice, three days a week at a minimum, I saw myself get stronger throughout months, and then years. Poses that I could achieve one week that had been unreachable to me for months prior. Regaining muscle and strength into areas of my previously-weak legs, making me feel like a champion.

Years passed by like this, and then one day, I realized I could do a headstand. I couldn’t have even done that at my strongest point, pre-surgery.

And then suddenly the cripplingly clear truth crashed down: If I’d ever wondered why my writing wasn’t getting better, why nothing was “happening” in my writing career? 

It was because I wasn’t practicing. 

Day in. Day out. You have to just DO IT.

Whether it’s yoga, or writing, or ballet, or knitting, or drawing, or painting, or singing, or sculpting. Whatever the form is, the only requirement for achieving it is doing it. Regardless of what the outcome looks like; no matter the result.

I’d sat around in a confused daze after I published my first novel wondering why my God-given talent wasn’t making me famous yet. Well, it was because I wasn’t practicing. Sure, my God-given talent had made me a published author. But not on the level I wanted; not at the quality I wanted. I realized I still had a LOT MORE to learn as an author if I ever hoped to reach the level I knew I could.

Practice. Practice. Practice.

My yoga practice these days looks like something I never could have dreamed of. (For those curious: I practice Ashtanga, the Primary Series). My writing practice does too. I write the equivalent of a novel per month (on a slow month) and the things I’m learning along the way make me look back at my output a year ago and whisper, “Wow”. It’s not a bad thing—it’s a very, very good thing. The same way I look back at my yoga practice a year ago and think, “Wow. Look how far I’ve come.”

There’s a healthy reverence paired with a respectful desire to get even better. And maybe I’m still not even a “good writer”, “good yogi” or “good anything”. But that’s not really the point, either. 

The point is in the practice. 

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AUTHOR BIO & LINKS:


Ember Leigh has been writing erotic romance novels since she was far too young. A native of northern Ohio, she currently resides near Lake Erie with her Argentinean husband, where they run an Argentinian-American food truck. In addition to romance novels, Ember also writes travel memoirs and occasionally updates a couple of blogs. In her free time, she practices Ashtanga yoga, hops around the world, and eats lots of vegetables. 

Twitter: @EmberLeighAuth

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BOOK BUY LINKS:



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GIVEAWAY INFO:

Ember Leigh will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Rik’s by dhtreichler - Book Blast - Giveaway - Enter Daily!


Hi lovelies! It gives me great pleasure today to host dhtreichler and his new book, “Rik’s”!  For other stops on his Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above or any of the images in this post.

Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a $30 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card!!  Also, come back daily to interact with dhtreichler and to increase your chances of winning!

Thanks for stopping by!  Wishing you lots of luck in this fabulous giveaway!


Rik’s
by dhtreichler

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GENRE: Thriller (International)

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BLURB:

The entire affair began with sheep brains and falafel -- Saddam Hussein's favorite dish.

It is 1990 and in Baghdad two lovers are separated by the impending First Gulf War. CIA operative Rik Bogart is desperately seeking television correspondent Ingrid Johannson -- but is instead picked up by  Saddam’s Secret Police and thrown into Abu Graib -- the Prison of the Dead. Ten years later, he must make a fateful decision after finally reuniting with her -- one that may keep them apart forever. How far would YOU go for your true love?

This iheart-pounding thriller is written by a former international defense contractor who brings incredible realism and thrilling insights into the days leading up to Saddam’s brutal regime downfall and provides a chilling account of life inside the infamous Prison of the Dead.

"It's as much a love story as it is a runaway thriller." Midwest Book Review

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EXCERPT ONE:

Baghdad, 1989 -- The Eve of Saddam’s Invasion of Kuwait

The waiter appeared within seconds and poured the glass of water for Tariq.

“Do you study the desert, Rik?” he asked as soon as we were seated.

“I try to learn its lessons.”

“Then you know sands shift quickly, often for no apparent reason.”

“It seems there is usually a wind somewhere.”

Tariq seemed genuinely delighted. “Ah! You not only observe but seek to understand why.”

I answered, “It’s one of my gravest faults,” as Tariq took a sip of water.

Looking at me as if trying to judge me, Tariq finally responded, “There is much about the desert one cannot fathom. Trying to understand everything is fruitless.”

I finally had a glimmer of where he wanted this to go. “But you seem to understand more than most, Tariq. Perhaps for the right price you can enlighten me?”

Tariq seemed to consider a series of memories. “We have indeed exchanged many valuable things over the years,” he observed.

“How valuable is this one?” I inquired.

He motioned to the waiter, who arrived instantly. “Lamb kebobs and falafel.” Tariq motioned so the waiter knew he ordered for both of us. When the waiter disappeared inside, Tariq answered, “I understand you are not a connoisseur of sheep brains.”

“Hasn’t made my list of favorite foods yet,” I responded.

He nodded his happiness that he had another piece of information about me correct and could display it for me.

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AUTHOR BIO:


As a defense contractor, award-winning screenwriter and novelist, dhtreichler has wandered the world, visiting garden spots and more.  Having lived and worked with our intelligence agents and soldiers, witnessing the conflicts and the turmoil of recent decades, he paints vivid backdrops for his stories. Like him, the men and women he portrays attempt to make sense of our fast-changing world. He has held a lifelong interest in the profound influence of rapidly changing technology on our lives and relationships. Exploring that power (what has changed and what might come) forms an insightful theme of his novels. His stories also reflect the universal desires and fears of real people everywhere.

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CONNECT WITH DHTREICHLER:

Website:

Facebook:

Twitter:

Goodreads Author Page:

Amazon Author Page:

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AMAZON BOOK BUY LINKS:

Amazon Kindle:

Amazon Paperback:

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GIVEAWAY INFO:

dhtreichler will be awarding a $30 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.


**This post contains affiliate links and if clicked and a purchase made I may receive a small commission to help support this blog.  This does not cost you anything, it just helps pay for all those awesome giveaways on here.**

This contest is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions.  Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Promise of Pierson Orchard by Kate Brandes - Book Tour - Guest Post - Giveaway - Enter Daily!



The Promise of Pierson Orchard
by Kate Brandes

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GENRE: Women's Fiction

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BLURB:

In the novel, Green Energy arrives, offering the impoverished rural community of Minden, Pennsylvania, the dream of making more money from their land by leasing natural gas rights for drilling. But orchardist, Jack Pierson, fears his brother, Wade, who now works for Green Energy, has returned to town after a shame-filled twenty-year absence so desperate to be the hero that he’ll blind their hometown to the potential dangers. Jack also worries his brother will try to rekindle his relationship with LeeAnn, Jack’s wife, who’s recently left him. To protect his hometown and to fulfill a promise to himself, Jack seeks out his mother and environmental lawyer Stella Brantley, who abandoned Minden—and Jack and Wade–years ago.

When LeeAnn’s parents have good reason to lease their land, but their decision leads to tragedy, Jack must fight to find a common ground that will save his fractured family, their land, and the way of life they love.

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EXCERPT ONE:

Pa A brand new black pickup was parked between LeeAnn’s red Chevy and Jack’s old beater. A man stood beside it, with his hand raised in greeting, but he said nothing more. Coming from the bright light of the barn into the dusk prevented Jack from making out the man’s face. Jack stared in his direction. Some tug of memory caused him to hesitate. There was something familiar about the slight curl in his shoulders. 

LeeAnn emerged from the edge of the orchard and the man turned at the sound of her boots on the gravel drive. “LeeAnn?” the man said. 

She stopped. “Wade Pierson?” She hesitated a moment more and then walked slowly toward him. “Is it really you?”

There, right in front of him, was his brother. Wade. Back after twenty years. He was still alive, at least. Wade’s arms encircled LeeAnn. 

Jack clenched his fists and went back into the barn. He offloaded the fruit from the wagon, bruising most of it. He washed apples with shaky hands and then crushed them for the cider press. LeeAnn and Wade came through the doorway.

“Jack, look who’s here.” Jack glanced up and then couldn’t take his eyes from his brother’s face for a long moment. He wasn’t a sixteen year-old kid anymore. He’d grown taller than Jack and filled out. Damn if he didn’t look even more like their dad now, with that same dark red hair and fair skin. That curl of the shoulder used to give Wade the look of someone unsure of whether he belonged. But now Wade stood there smiling, like he would be welcome. Like he could just show up after all this time with as much warning as he gave on the night he left. 

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GUEST POST:

Fierce Female Characters: How to Create Strong Role Models in Books

In my novel, The Promise of Pierson Orchard, I have four point-of-view characters, two female (LeeAnn and Stella) and two male (Jack and Wade). The novel is told through each of their eyes in a braided narrative. 

I would argue that all characters of interest are fierce. By fierce I mean that they exhibit deep personal courage to get want they want in the story. That doesn’t necessarily mean their going to save the world or get away with a bank heist, but they will overcome great odds that are specific to them. 

So often in novels, we see what we see in movies – that women serve the role of love interest or a support character, but they lack their own goals and story arcs. They are in the novel (or movie) to help tell the story about another character (often male), but they don’t have their own story. 

While I was driving this morning I heard an NPR report about a new book written by statistician Ben Blatt, Nabokov's Favorite Word is Mauve. Using a database, Blatt looked at thousands of classic and contemporary best sellers to determine, for example, if our favorite writers use clichés. He also looked at whether men and women write differently. It turns out they do.

Blatt found that female authors write equally about men and women, but men write overwhelmingly about men.

According to the NPR story, “For every appearance of the word "she" in classics by male authors, Blatt found three uses of the word "he." In classics by women, the ratio was pretty much one-to-one.”

Neither of the two female point-of-view characters in my novel is the lead character, but just like every strong, fierce character, each of them has a clear goal and will risk everything to get it. They each have their own story within the story.

How do we get more fierce female characters as strong role models for readers? We write them. And maybe if Blatt is right, that will mostly be up to women authors.

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AUTHOR BIO & LINKS:


An environmental scientist with over 20 years of experience, Kate Brandes is also a watercolor painter and a writer of women’s fiction with an environmental bent. Her short stories have been published in The Binnacle, Wilderness House Literary Review, and Grey Sparrow Journal. Kate is a member of the Arts Community of Easton (ACE), the Lehigh Art Alliance, Artsbridge, the Pennwriters, and the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. Kate lives in a small town along the Delaware River with her husband, David, and their two sons. When she’s not working, she’s outside on the river or chasing wildflowers.

Personal Links:


Bookclub Giveaway: In celebration of my upcoming book launch, I'm offering 8 signed paperback copies, 8 small prizes, a $25 Amazon gift card and a list of book-related discussion questions to one lucky book club member to share with your club. All you have to do to enter is tell one person about the book and sign up here: http://katebrandes.com/books/the-promise-of-person-orchard/ Contest runs through my book launch date, April 22, 2017. The winner will be announced the following day! Good luck! 

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BOOK BUY LINKS:



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GIVEAWAY INFO:

Kate Brandes will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway