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Monday, July 26, 2021

Oranges for Miranda by Annette Bower - Book Tour - Guest Post - Giveaway - Enter Daily!


Oranges for Miranda

by Annette Bower

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GENRE: Romance Contemporary Sweet

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BLURB:

Miranda Porter, a newly retired award-winning businesswoman, leaves home to transition into her new life stage. Always in control, this is her time to have fun without plans and responsibilities. Enter Renato Monteiro, a considerate tour guide with secrets. Miranda isn’t looking for long-term. She wants a purpose in her retirement. Could her purpose in retirement be finding love in this unlikely place? Could her aim be domesticity and caring for and be cared for by a newly found friend? Will a vacation romance end because of miles?

Renato Monteiro has decisions to make. Stay in his birth country where his female relatives want him to marry a woman young enough to give him children. Or does he return to his second home, where he has a purpose and has built a life without children? The day Miranda and he bumped heads changed his life and his pursuit. Now he must decide which is most important the family he was born into or the family he chooses.

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EXCERPT TWO:

A blue and white tiled stairway leading up to the second floor of a house caught Miranda’s eye. She positioned her phone and snapped photos as she thought about the amenities she would prefer in her perhaps forever home or home for a while.

Orange trees in yards were stunning. Back home in Regina, residents planted fast-growing poplar trees in front of a row of fir trees, which would be mature when the Poplars had reached their life span. Her mind leapt. Stacy and Nathan were her fir trees. Her parents started the business and expanded it for her, and she, in turn, developed it for her children. She shook her head, no more thoughts of her Canadian life to ruin this beautiful day with the azure blue sky, the white stucco buildings and the red tile roofs.

Miranda stepped onto the corner café’s patio and sat on the blue-tiled bench attached to the blue-tiled table. A young woman, dressed in black, appeared from a dark interior and gave her a menu with different flags denoting the various translations of the food items. She ordered black coffee and a glass of brandy as a treat she had read that many locals enjoyed during the day. While she waited, she searched in her guide book to discover the tiled pavement in the area was called calcada.

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GUEST POST:

Everyone loves a hero! Tell us all about this genuine character and the inspiration behind their development.

 

An English professor once explained how a character in a novel became his name, and since then, I research my hero’s and heroine’s names.

But before that, I start with images.

An image of Renato began with a man I saw on a bus while I vacationed in Waikiki. This large man was with an older man, and I think he was his father and a child, I believe was his son. Just watching this man’s loving interaction with both people in his life caught my attention. I pretended to snap photos of the cityscape, but it was really of him on the bus and after he disembarked. I felt an instant connection. He was the foundation for Renato, my hero in Oranges for Miranda. Then later, I discovered pillow covers where the design depicted the kindness of a father toward his daughters that I wanted Renato to show toward family and friends and, by extension, Miranda.

Renato means reborn. Tiago is his mother’s surname, meaning James, a man who is the first to step forward. Monteiro is his family name, meaning hunter. Research showed me that contemporary persons with a sir name of Monteiro were an actor, director, writer, sprint canoer, a Portuguese footballer, and a Portuguese table tennis player in the summer Olympics. Renato in Oranges for Miranda is a master of his trade.

In Oranges for Miranda, Renato is fifty-five and unmarried. As a young man, he moved to Canada and excelled at his trade to become a master tile setter and a respected community member.

A theme of Oranges for Miranda is “A man [person] travels the world over in search of what he [they] needs and returns home to find it.” George A. Moore.

But my hero Renato has his theme that suggests a love interest should observe how a man treats his mother and other women in his family for a good indication of how he will treat the person he loves.

Renato was born in Albufeira, Portugal. When Renato was still a child, his father died in a fishing accident. His mother did not recover and later moved away to start a new life. Renato moved into his grandmother’s house. He stayed with her until he emigrated to Canada. Ren saved up his vacation time and money returning to Albufeira, helping his grandmother as often as possible. He tried convincing her to move to Canada, but she had refused. At the beginning of the novel, he is back in Albufeira for his grandmother’s funeral and discovers he inherited her home. The aunts and cousins try to convince him to return to his roots and marry a younger woman who can provide him with children.

Renato, Ren to his friends and younger cousins, is unsure what he should do, stay, or return to his new life. Can he leave a home he loved empty?

Ren loved his mother and understood that she had to leave. However, he was thankful that his grandmother accepted the responsibility of raising him. Ren respects his aunts’ concern for him and wanting to see him have a woman in his life who will love him, and that is why his decision is hard.

Because Ren experienced and understood the strong women in his family, he can accept Miranda for who she is.  But where is his home? Who would he honor? His family or his new life?

I hope your readers also fall in love with Renato and his journey toward love.  Thank you, Ally, for hosting on your Fabulous and Brunette blog and thank you to your readers and followers.

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AUTHOR BIO:

Annette believes home is where her stories percolate. And her home is a condo where she watches the urban life below, airplanes arrive and depart at the international airport, and the seasons change on farmland near the horizon. Annette travels extensively but always returns home to Regina, Saskatchewan. Whether at home or away, and even though directions are always a challenge, she wanders the streets, parks, and lanes observing how people live, love, and care for one another. Your way of sitting, holding hands, the way you tilt your head, or a t-shirt you wear may end up in one of her stories.

On her first trip to Olhos de Água, a fishing village in Portugal, she stopped at a café where the proprietors were a mother and daughter. Annette sat at the outdoor blue and white tiled table and ordered an espresso and brandy. While the sun warmed her back, she opened her new notebook. The older woman walked by carrying a basket, tipped her head toward Annette’s blank page, and shrugged. When black-laced heeled shoes struck the tile, and the scent of just-picked clementine oranges interrupted Annette’s writing, the woman plunked three oranges at the edge of her page. Annette cherishes this gift from one woman to another. Recently, Annette travels with an accompanying Orange and shares pictures on Social media as her way of honoring those Portugues women. A version of this event appears in her new novel, Oranges for Miranda.

During another trip, while searching for an address in Malaga, Spain, she asked a well-dressed man carrying a floral paper-wrapped bouquet if he spoke English? Would he direct her to the address? With impeccable English, he suggested she walk with him. They chatted, and she discovered he was a lawyer in his final days of retiring. Finally, she asked to whom he was giving the flowers. He lifted the cover to reveal a large crucifix. This detail has not appeared in a story yet.

In a coffee shop, looking south between glass tower office buildings, she could be anywhere in the world. However, she is home watching people on Eleventh Avenue run for buses, bring tea to a panhandler, and holding mittened hands while bending into the wind.

Annette uses experiences she gathered as a nurse, town administrator, elected official, traveller, and member of a large extended family to inform her stories because writing is her joy.

Annette Bower is a Soul Mate Publishing author of five contemporary romance novels. Her novel Fearless Destiny was first runner-up in the 2017 Sweet Contemporary RONE awards and winner of the Raven Award. Her novel Ponytails and Promises was a finalist in the 2020 RONE Awards and is the 2020 winner of the Raven Award.

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CONNECT WITH ANNETTE:

Webpage:

https://annettebower.com

(Also sign up for her monthly newsletter)

Blog:

http://www.annettebower.com/blog

Email:

annettebower.author@gmail.com

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/AnnetteBowerauthor

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/BowerAnnette

BookBub Author Page:

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/annette-bower

Goodreads Author Page:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5771807.Annette_Bower

Goodreads Book Page:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58556528-oranges-for-miranda

Amazon Author Page:

http://amzn.to/2aVx6xL

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AMAZON BOOK BUY LINKS:

Amazon US Kindle eBook:

http://amzn.to/3y9bBS8

Amazon CA Kindle eBook:

https://www.amazon.ca/Oranges-Miranda-Annette-Bower-ebook/dp/B095Z4DF2F

Amazon UK Kindle eBook:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Oranges-Miranda-Annette-Bower-ebook/dp/B095Z4DF2F

Amazon AU Kindle eBook:

https://www.amazon.com.au/Oranges-Miranda-Annette-Bower-ebook/dp/B095Z4DF2F

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GIVEAWAY INFO:

Annette will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**This post contains affiliate links and if clicked and a purchase is 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.

Finding George Washington: A Time Travel Tale by Bill Zarchy - Book Tour - Book Sale - Guest Post - Giveaway - Enter Daily!

Hey, lovelies!!  It gives me great pleasure today to host Bill Zarchy and his new book, “Finding George Washington: A Time Travel Tale,” here on FAB!!  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 $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card!!!  Also, come back daily to interact with Bill and to increase your chances of winning!!

This eBook is on SALE for ONLY $0.99 during the book tour!!!  See below for more details.

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

Finding George Washington:

A Time Travel Tale

by Bill Zarchy

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GENRE: Sci-Fi / Alternate History / Baseball Saga / Action Thriller

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BLURB:

On a freezing night in 1778, General George Washington vanishes. Walking away from the Valley Forge encampment, he takes a fall and is knocked unconscious, only to reappear at a dog park on San Francisco Bay—in the summer of 2014.

Washington befriends two Berkeley twenty-somethings who help him cope with the astonishing—and often comical—surprises of the twenty-first century.

Washington’s absence from Valley Forge, however, is not without serious consequences. As the world rapidly devolves around them—and their beloved Giants fight to salvage a disappointing season—George, Tim, and Matt are catapulted on a race across America to find a way to get George back to 1778.

Equal parts time travel tale, thriller, and baseball saga, Finding George Washington is a gripping, humorous, and entertaining look at what happens when past and present collide in the 9th inning, with the bases loaded and no one warming up in the bullpen.

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EXCERPT ONE:

Aurora

The General watched as the Northern Lights spread, shimmered, and swirled through the sky like the smoke from God’s own cigar, now rising, now dipping, now twirling and pulsing.

Though soldiers often considered the aurora a bad omen, at that moment it thrilled him. To the east, he could see the glow of sentry fires of some of the closer regiments, the troops hunkered down for the night. A short distance to the south, the men of his personal guard occupied their own group of makeshift huts within sight of the farmhouse.

It’s cold. I should get back before Patsy and the staff begin to miss me.

He paused and took a deep breath of the night air. He was a durable and determined man who had survived cold and wintry weather during his early life as a surveyor and, later, as a British officer. He would show his Continental Army troops that the cold didn’t bother him, that staying strong was a state of mind. Certainly they had it worse than he did, but they respected that he had refused to move out of his tent into the stone farmhouse until his men moved out of their tattered shelters into log huts.

The fluid, ethereal display of light in the skies danced and pulsated. Before he could climb down the hill and head back toward the farmhouse, the ground under his feet began to shake and rumble, providing a steady, geological drumbeat to accompany the green and red light in the sky. The terrain rolled. He lost his footing on the ice, just at a point where a crisp moonbeam seemed to hit the patch of turf he was crossing.

The earth came up to meet him, and he banged his head on the frozen ground. Woozy and lightheaded, teetering on the edge of consciousness, he felt a great sadness, felt the bones in his body melt in the shard of moonlight, even as, in his remaining awareness, he realized the moon was not out that evening. He felt his body scooped off the ground, as if by a vengeful wind, then tumbled in a heap onto something hard and unyielding that swept him along at a great rate of speed. All went dark.

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GUEST POST:

My Office: On Creating a Pleasant, Comfortable Environment for Writing

When I was younger, I could work anywhere — studying amongst a gaggle of chattering roommates, laying out and editing the campus daily newspaper in the midst of a chaotic office filled with the din of self-righteous student journalism, or writing my first stories at the dinner table after meals, still surrounded by cavorting kids and loud TV.

But that changed some years ago. My attention is now easy to shatter, yet I long resisted my wife’s suggestion, once he was out on his own, that I make my office in our older son’s room. It took me a while to move in, and another year or two before I adopted it as mine, painting the walls and buying a good quality desk with working drawers.

That space is now sacred for me. Though I do keep a TV in there, it’s not a man cave for relaxation. I spend most of my office time working on my current pursuits — writing, photography, or storytelling.

I’m very lucky. My desk is next to a sliding door to our deck and garden. Molly the Boxer is often there to greet me. I can hear trains sounding their horns as they clatter along, one mile to the west, near San Francisco Bay.

The desk is made of cherry wood and includes a built-in tray for an external keyboard, so that I don’t have to reach up to hit the keys. My main computer is a Mac laptop, which sits on a raised stand that brings its display up to match the height of a second large monitor next to it.

These days, as we come slowly out of the pandemic, the desk also has on it a number of tools useful for Zoom meetings: a professional-quality mic on a stand, an upgraded webcam mounted on the large monitor, two small task lights to light papers I’m working with, a small “tap-it” lamp which adds warm glow to the desk area, several small lights that illuminate artwork on the walls, an illuminated globe with blue oceans, and two ring lights to brighten me up when I’m on Zoom. Yes, it’s true: on the desk, I have eight different light sources!

I have framed, 20x30 posters for both my books — my memoir, Showdown at Shinagawa: Tales of Filming from Bombay to Brazil, and my debut novel, Finding George Washington: A Time Travel Tale. The latter was published during the pandemic and all the launch and tour events to date have been virtual. The two posters make a good, colorful background behind me on Zoom calls, if I raise them up on three stacked copies of George. The rest of my background is intended to look like the office of a writer, and I think I’ve succeeded pretty well there!

Elsewhere in the room, I’ve got another illuminated globe (this one with tan oceans, reminiscent of old maps), two floor-to-ceiling glass-door bookcases, a second, L-shaped, cherrywood desk, other globes and lamps, wooden blinds, busts of GW and FDR, and a bobble-head of George. I can also see at least nine clocks from where I’m sitting right now, about half of them mid-century mechanical digital clocks I collect. Not all of them work.

On the walls and bulletin boards — a watercolor of a fisherman painted by my dad when he was 19 years old, lots of San Francisco Giants paraphernalia, many pictures of George Washington, the subject of my debut novel, and FDR, the subject of the sequel. Photos of me with various film crews (from my long career as a cinematographer), posing with Bill Clinton in New York, Jimmy Carter in Atlanta, Gerald Ford at Rancho Mirage, U2’s Bono in Dublin, Morgan Freeman at Cannes, Joe Montana in the Napa Valley, and Ken Griffey Jr. in San Francisco.

Also — a certificate noting that the Documentary Special I shot for The West Wing on NBC some years ago won an Emmy for Outstanding Special Class Program (beating out an episode of Survivor and an I Love Lucy special). And pictures from my travels in France, Japan, Uganda, Chile, and Bonneville Salt Flats.

And some of my favorite possessions: Two framed book covers: Model Railroading and Stamp Collectors Guide, both by my dad Harry Zarchy, who wrote and published over 30 books on crafts, hobbies, and the outdoors. I appear on both covers in a red shirt (though the books were seven years apart) along with a friend (no, that’s not my dad).

And finally, my tit. After a shoot in England featuring new computer systems at the offices of the Lincolnshire police, the cops decided to take our whole crew out for dinner and presented us each with a Bobby’s helmet, which I smuggled home in my laundry. They called it a tit. I still wear it sometimes for Halloween.

All of this stuff is essential. It’s important for me to have the right setup for imagination, creativity, ego boost, validation, and staring off into space. Best of all, when I need to stop for food, rest, or clogged brain, I don’t have to move my computer and notes to set the table. I can usually just save my document, stand up, and walk out. When I come back to my office later, my work is just as I left it.

And that’s huge!

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AUTHOR BIO:

Bill Zarchy filmed projects on six continents during his 40 years as a cinematographer, captured in his first book, Showdown at Shinagawa: Tales of Filming from Bombay to Brazil. Now he writes novels, takes photos, and talks of many things.

Bill’s career includes filming three former presidents for the Emmy-winning West Wing Documentary Special, the Grammy-winning Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em, feature films Conceiving Ada and Read You Like A Book, PBS science series Closer to Truth, musical performances as diverse as the Grateful Dead, Weird Al Yankovic, and Wagner’s Ring Cycle, and countless high-end projects for technology and medical companies.

His tales from the road, personal essays, and technical articles have appeared in Travelers’ Tales and Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, the San Francisco Chronicle and other newspapers, and American Cinematographer, Emmy, and other trade magazines.

Bill has a BA in Government from Dartmouth and an MA in Film from Stanford. He taught Advanced Cinematography at San Francisco State for twelve years. He is a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area and a graduate of the EPIC Storytelling Program at Stagebridge in Oakland. This is his first novel.

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CONNECT WITH BILL:

Website:

http://billzarchy.com

Website:

https://findinggeorgewashington.com

Blog:

https://findinggeorgewashington.com/blog

Email:

billzarchy@gmail.com

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Finding-George-Washington-A-Time-Travel-Tale-by-Bill-Zarchy-112403433952296

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/billzarchy

BookBub Author Page:

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/bill-zarchy

BookBub Book Page:

https://www.bookbub.com/books/finding-george-washington-a-time-travel-tale-by-bill-zarchy

Goodreads Author Page:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5819226.Bill_Zarchy

Goodreads Book Page:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55992275-finding-george-washington

Amazon Author Page:

https://amzn.to/32BNdKJ

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BOOK BUY LINKS & BOOK SALE INFO:

**The Finding George Washington: A Time Travel Tale eBook is on SALE for ONLY $0.99 during the book tour!!!**

Amazon Kindle eBook:

http://amzn.to/3v5YD60

Amazon Paperback:

http://amzn.to/3v87NP4

Apple Books eBook:

https://books.apple.com/us/book/finding-george-washington/id1541743641

Barnes and Noble NOOK eBook:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/finding-george-washington-bill-zarchy/1138366946

Barnes and Noble Paperback:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/finding-george-washington-bill-zarchy/1138338533

The Book Depository Paperback:

https://www.bookdepository.com/Finding-George-Washington-Bill-Zarchy/9780984919123

BAM! Books-A-Million Paperback:

https://www.booksamillion.com/p/Finding-George-Washington/Bill-Zarchy/9780984919123

Kobo eBook:

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/finding-george-washington

Smashwords eBook:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1053144

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GIVEAWAY INFO:

Bill will be awarding a $50 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**This post contains affiliate links and if clicked and a purchase is 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, July 23, 2021

The F.I.G. Mysteries Book Series by Barbara Casey - Book Tour - Guest Post - Giveaway - Enter Daily!

The F.I.G. Mysteries

by Barbara Casey

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GENRE: Mystery

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BOOK SERIES BLURB:

THE F.I.G. MYSTERIES

Dara Roux, abandoned when she was 7 years old by her mother.  Exceptionally gifted in foreign languages. Orphan.

Mackenzie Yarborough, no record of her parents or where she was born. Exceptionally gifted in math and problem-solving. Orphan.

Jennifer Torres, both parents killed in an automobile accident when she was 16. Exceptionally gifted in music and art.  Orphan.

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BOOK BLURB – THE CADENCE OF GYPSIES – BOOK ONE:

Known as the F.I.G.s (Females of Intellectual Genius), three high-spirited 17 year olds with intelligent quotients in the genius range, accompany their teacher and mentor, Carolina Lovel, to Frascati, Italy, a few weeks before they are to graduate from Wood Rose Orphanage and Academy for Young Women.  Carolina's purpose in planning the trip is to remove her unusually gifted, creative students from the Wood Rose campus located in Raleigh, North Carolina, so they can't cause any more problems ("expressions of creativity") for the headmaster, faculty, and other students – which they do with regularity. Carolina also wants to visit the Villa Mondragone where the Voynich Manuscript, the most mysterious document in the world, was first discovered and attempt to find out how it is related to a paper written in the same script she received on her 18th birthday when she was told that she was adopted.

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BOOK BLURB – THE WISH RIDER – BOOK TWO:

When Carolina and the F.I.G.s return to Wood Rose, Dara decides that she wants to try to locate her birth mother when she learns that she might be living in New York City. Carolina, Mackenzie, and Jennifer accompany her and their search leads them to a secret dangerous shadow world hidden deep beneath Grand Central, constructed in what Mackinzie identifies as chevroned magic squares—N X N matrixes in which every row, column, and diagonal add up to the same number—and cloaked in the discordant B flat minor key music that only Jennifer can hear.

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BOOK BLURB – THE CLOCK FLOWER – BOOK THREE:

The three FIGs—Females of Intellectual Genius—graduate from Wood Rose Orphanage and Academy for Young Women after returning from New York City where Dara learned why her mother abandoned her all those years ago, and they are now attending universities where they can further their special talents. This means they will be separated from each other and from Carolina, their much-loved mentor and teacher who is “one of them,” for the first time in their young lives. They vow to try living apart for one semester, in the so-called real world that doesn’t include the orphanage; but if things don’t work out, they will come up with another plan—a plan where they can be together once again. Dara is invited through Yale University to take part in an exciting archeological project in China. Jennifer, once again visualizing black and white images and the unusual sounds of another cadence that seem to be connected to Mackenzie, is engrossed in creating her next symphony at Juilliard. Mackenzie, because of her genius at problem-solving, is personally chosen by a US Senator to get involved in a mysterious, secret research project involving immortality that is being conducted in a small village in China—not too far from where Dara is involved with the archeological site. Once there, however, she finds herself facing a terrifying death from the blood-dripping teeth of an ancient evil dragon. Her best friends, the FIGs and Carolina, rely on their own unique genius and special talents to save her as she discovers the truth of her birth parents.

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BOOK BLURB – THE NIGHTJAR’S PROMISE – BOOK FOUR:

Jennifer Torres, one of the three FIGs (Females of Intellectual Genius) who is a genius in both music and art, is the last to leave the closed rehearsal for her upcoming performance over Thanksgiving break at Carnegie Hall when she hears something in the darkened Hall. Recognizing the tilt of the woman’s head and the slight limp of the man as they hurry out an exit door, she realizes it is her parents who were supposedly killed in a terrible car accident when she was 15 years old. Devastated and feeling betrayed, she sends a text to Carolina and the other two FIGs—THURGOOD. It is the code word they all agreed to use if ever one of them got into trouble or something happened that was too difficult to handle. They would all meet back at Carolina’s bungalow at Wood Rose Orphanage and Academy for Young Women to figure it out. As soon as they receive the text, because of their genius, Dara starts thinking of words in ancient Hebrew, German, and Yiddish, while Mackenzie’s visions of unique math formulae keep bringing up the date October 11, 1943. And as Carolina waits for the FIGs to return to Wood Rose, she hears warnings from Lyuba, her gypsy mother, to watch for the nightjar, the ancient name for the whip-poor-will.

In their search for “The Nightjar’s Promise” and the truth surrounding it, Carolina and the FIGs come face to face with evil that threatens to destroy not only their genius, but their very lives.

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EXCERPT ONE:

FROM THE CADENCE OF GYPSIES – BOOK ONE:

"Ouch!  You're standing on my fingers!"  This from the petite girl with a long, blond ponytail, wearing a nightgown, most of which was pulled up between her legs and tied into a knot at her waist to keep it from getting tangled on the limb where she was perched.   Somewhere above her the sound of a saw and splintering wood filled the darkness followed by a stream of profanity repeated in several foreign languages for emphasis.

"It doesn't look right.  It's supposed to have a rim and a dent."  Clinging to a 12-foot ladder as she pointed the flashlight first this way and then that, the heavy-set girl wearing a nightshirt buttoned at the neck offered this with a slight lisp.

The girl with the blond ponytail giggled.

"What do you mean—dent?!  Let me see that picture."  The tall black girl completely hidden aimed her flashlight toward the magazine that was being thrust upwards through the thick branches in her direction.

"And the top is supposed to be rounded—like a button mushroom," the girl in the nightshirt added, the word "mushroom" sounding more like "muthroom."

"That's because it's circumcised," supplied the girl with the ponytail, from which she removed a small twig and a handful of leaves.

"Shekoo, baboo!”  More profanity.  “Okay.  I know what to do."  The tall black girl disappeared back into the upper-most branches of the tall plant that was more tree than bush.  After several additional minutes, the sawing, crunching, and clipping sounds finally gave way to the more gentle sounds of tiny snips.  And then, silence.

"That's it; everybody down."

The petite girl, with the magazine that had been overlooked in the last confiscation and now wedged firmly under her armpit, started the perilous descent first since she was nearest to the ground, followed by the tall girl.  The girl in the nightshirt eased her way down the ladder juggling pruning shears, a hand saw, and scissors.  Once on the ground, the three girls stood back to admire their work.

"That is one honkin' Peni erecti," said the tall girl causing a fresh explosion of giggles.  "Let's get out of here."  After quickly rolling down the legs of her pajama bottoms, the tall girl grabbed one end of the ladder and, along with her two friends, lugged it and the other tools back to the shed that housed lawn maintenance equipment.  Task accomplished, they returned to their rooms, and to their individual beds, careful not to disturb the other dorm residents, the floor monitors, their suitemates and, most importantly, their slumbering dorm mother, Ms. Larkins.  Within minutes, they fell into a deep, peaceful sleep—the sleep of innocent angels.

It would soon be light; and Wood Rose Orphanage and Academy for Young Women would start another day.

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GUEST POST:

IT’S A “JUST BECAUSE”

All of my life I have been fascinated by those things for which there is no explanation. As a young child, I was full of questions which my grandmother was more than willing to at least try to answer. Failing that, it was just one of those “just because.” As a writer, that same fascination continues, and I often include things that have no reasonable explanation into my stories. The F.I.G. Mystery Series is a good example.

In Book 1, The Cadence of Gypsies, I introduce the Voynich Manuscript, considered to be the most mysterious document in the world. Along with that, I add the mysterious gypsy culture that includes potions and spells that I have researched.

In The Wish Rider, Book 2 in the F.I.G. Mystery Series, I explore the little-known area deep underground of Grand Central Terminal in New York City, a secret society that actually exists there, and the obscure language of hoboglyphs.

In Book 3, The Clock Flower, I take my readers to a small province in China where the research into mortality involves the simple dandelion flower, and an ancient archeological dig site reveals some of the same hoboglyph markings that were found in Grand Central Terminal’s secret underground in The Wish Rider, Book 2 in the series.

Book 4, The Nightjar’s Promise, deals with the theft of priceless art that took place under the orders of Adolph Hitler during World War II. I connect this theme to Jennifer in order to help explain her special gifts as an artist and musician.

Of course, my main characters—Dara, Mackenzie, and Jennifer—defy explanation given the fact that each F.I.G. has an IQ in the genius range, and all three have developed a unique skill that enhances their coping abilities in a world where they are so different.

I truly love the F.I.G.s and their devoted mentor, Carolina. In each book I have tried to tell their unique story and give an explanation of something that really can’t be explained. I will write more books about these young women that will include mystery, drama, and things that simply cannot be explained—just because.

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AUTHOR BIO:

Originally from Carrollton, Illinois, author/agent/publisher Barbara Casey attended the University of North Carolina, N.C. State University, and N.C. Wesleyan College where she received a BA degree, summa cum laude, with a double major in English and history.  In 1978 she left her position as Director of Public Relations and Vice President of Development at North Carolina Wesleyan College to write full time and develop her own manuscript evaluation and editorial service.  In 1995 she established the Barbara Casey Agency and since that time has represented authors from the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Japan. In 2014, she became a partner with Strategic Media Books, an independent nonfiction publisher of true crime, where she oversees acquisitions, day-to-day operations, and book production.

Ms. Casey has written over a dozen award-winning books of fiction and nonfiction for both young adults and adults. The awards include the National Association of University Women Literary Award, the Sir Walter Raleigh Literary Award, the Independent Publisher Book Award, the Dana Award for Outstanding Novel, the IP Best Book for Regional Fiction, among others. Two of her nonfiction books have been optioned for major films, one of which is under contract.

Her award-winning articles, short stories, and poetry for adults have appeared in both national and international publications including the North Carolina Christian Advocate Magazine, The New East Magazine, the Raleigh (N.C.) News and Observer, the Rocky Mount (N.C.) Sunday Telegram, Dog Fancy, ByLine, The Christian Record, Skirt! Magazine, and True Story.  A thirty-minute television special which Ms. Casey wrote and coordinated was broadcast on WRAL, Channel 5, in Raleigh, North Carolina.  She also received special recognition for her editorial work on the English translations of Albanian children’s stories. Her award-winning science fiction short stories for adults are featured in The Cosmic Unicorn and CrossTime science fiction anthologies.  Ms. Casey's essays and other works appear in The Chrysalis Reader, the international literary journal of the Swedenborg Foundation, 221 One-Minute Monologues from Literature (Smith and Kraus Publishers), and A Cup of Comfort (Adams Media Corporation).

Ms. Casey is a former director of BookFest of the Palm Beaches, Florida, where she served as guest author and panelist.  She has served as judge for the Pathfinder Literary Awards in Palm Beach and Martin Counties, Florida, and was the Florida Regional Advisor for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators from 1991 through 2003.  In 2018 Ms. Casey received the prestigious Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award and Top Professional Award for her extensive experience and notable accomplishments in the field of publishing and other areas. She makes her home on the top of a mountain in northwest Georgia with three cats who adopted her, Homer, Reese and Earl Gray - Reese’s best friend.

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CONNECT WITH BARBARA:

Website:

http://www.barbaracaseyauthor.com

Blog:

http://www.barbaracaseyagency.com

Email:

barcafer@aol.com

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/barbara.casey.370

LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/barbara-casey-a9527667

BookBub Author Page:

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/barbara-casey-c75c3ba0-bbc2-4fbb-aa2b-90da9ad49679

Goodreads Author Page:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/697572.Barbara_Casey

Amazon Author Page:

https://amzn.to/2FpHYBW

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BOOK BUY LINKS – THE CADENCE OF GYPSIES – BOOK ONE:

Amazon Kindle eBook:

http://amzn.to/3rv6eKB

Amazon Paperback:

http://amzn.to/3kMhnFz

Amazon Hardcover:

http://amzn.to/3wXMW1B

The Book Depository Paperback:

https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Cadence-of-Gypsies-Barbara-Casey/9780982081280

BAM! Books-A-Million Hardcover:

https://www.booksamillion.com/product/A16446511361

BookBub Book Page:

https://www.bookbub.com/books/the-cadence-of-gypsies-by-barbara-casey

Goodreads Book Page:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9309485-the-cadence-of-gypsies

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BOOK BUY LINKS – THE WISH RIDER – BOOK TWO:

Amazon Kindle eBook:

http://amzn.to/36W7A7G

Amazon Paperback:

http://amzn.to/3wUQ525

Amazon Hardcover:

http://amzn.to/3zxvkeR

Barnes and Noble Paperback:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-wish-rider-barbara-casey/1123789597

The Book Depository Paperback:

https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Wish-Rider-Barbara-Casey/9781942314448

BAM! Books-A-Million Paperback:

https://www.booksamillion.com/p/Wish-Rider/Barbara-Casey/9781942314448

Kobo eBook:

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-wish-rider

BookBub Book Page:

https://www.bookbub.com/books/the-wish-rider-by-barbara-casey

Goodreads Book Page:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30209458-the-wish-rider

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BOOK BUY LINKS – THE CLOCK FLOWER – BOOK THREE:

Amazon Kindle eBook:

http://amzn.to/3rvSmzC

Amazon Paperback:

http://amzn.to/3rvPLWD

Goodreads Book Page:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36624546-the-clock-flower

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BOOK BUY LINKS – THE NIGHTJAR’S PROMISE – BOOK FOUR:

Amazon Kindle eBook:

http://amzn.to/3BAxxaS

Amazon Paperback:

http://amzn.to/2UxKe60

The Book Depository Paperback:

https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Nightjars-Promise-Barbara-Casey/9781942314691

Goodreads Book Page:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53214120-the-nightjar-s-promise

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GIVEAWAY INFO:

Barbara will be awarding a $50 Amazon/Barnes and Noble Gift Card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the book tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**This post contains affiliate links and if clicked and a purchase is 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.