Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Special excerpt for contemporary romance Walker Bride by Bernadette Marie

Today’s special feature is an excerpt from the contemporary romance novel, Walker Bride, by Bernadette Marie.

During her virtual book tour, Bernadette will be awarding autographed copies of all three Walker series books (US ONLY) to a randomly drawn winner, and one e-copy of one of her backlisted books to another randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!

A little bit about Walker Bride:
Always the bridal consultant, never the bride. That was former bad girl gone business professional, Pearl Walker's life until she put her hands on Tyson Morgan while measuring him for a tux.

Tyson was happy being a miserable man, taking care of his family's land, and not involved with a woman. However, even he can't resist the pull of attraction to the beautiful, and off limits, Pearl?

The feud between the Walkers and the Morgans had torn apart friends and families for generations. What might happen when Pearl Walker and Tyson Morgan become business partners—and more?

Excerpt from Walker Bride:
It had been worth inviting herself to tag along just to see Tyson’s expression, Pearl thought. Okay, she might have made his experience getting fitted for a tux a little too intimate. He didn’t know it wasn’t the norm and in no way did she violate him at all. She was just having some fun.

Tyson Morgan had always been a mystery to her. Of course, he was the older brother of her friend Lydia and he was off limits to any Walker to get to know. That feud between her father, grandfather and uncle with his grandfather had simply been ego—or pride. Pearl couldn’t have been more surprised when it came out that Tyson was, actually, her cousin Eric’s half-brother. That only made him more intriguing--shrouded in mystery and Pearl liked a mystery.

She also liked tall, muscular men who wore boots and ball caps. It didn’t hurt anything that he was twelve years older too. She liked them a little more seasoned than herself though she was no prude.

Pearl gave herself one last look in the mirror that hung over the sink in the back room. Fetching her lipstick out of her purse, she slid it over her lips, then pressed them together. She looked like a million bucks, she thought. Oh, she’d come a long way from the heavy eyeliner, ear piercings, and black hair. She had her mother’s blonde hair. Desecrating it with jet black color had made her skin so pale she nearly looked dead had pissed her parents off. Of course, that had been the point.

 Heavy metal had blared from her stereo, and there was always a stash of stolen alcohol in the bottom of her closet. Not to mention she’d spent all of her money on fancy clove cigarettes.

That made her laugh. Now she drank champagne and nibbled on chocolate-covered strawberries with clients. The salon had a standing appointment for her hair and nails. Over the years, she’d become a fashionable and significant member of society.

Still, there was a little deviousness inside of her, and it had come out when that sexy Tyson Morgan walked in her door and she’d draped the measuring tape across his broad shoulders. Work had taken over her life lately. Especially now with so many people in her family getting married. It was time to let her hair down and have some fun. And it seemed as though her body was itching to have fun with Tyson. All she had to do was make her move and make him hers.

A little bit about the author:
Bernadette Marie has been an avid writer since the early age of 13, when she’d fill notebook after notebook with stories that she’d share with her friends. Her journey into novel writing started the summer before eighth grade when her father gave her an old typewriter. At all times of the day and night you would find her on the back porch penning her first work, which she would continue to write for the next 22 years.

In 2007 – after marriage, filling her chronic entrepreneurial needs, and having five children – Bernadette began to write seriously with the goal of being published. That year she wrote 12 books. In 2009, she was contracted for her first trilogy and the published author was born. In 2011, she (being the entrepreneur that she is) opened her own publishing house, 5 Prince Publishing, and has released contemporary titles and has begun the process of taking on other authors in other genres.

Bernadette spends most of her free time driving her kids to their many events. She is also an accomplished martial artist, working her way to her second degree black belt in Tang Soo Do. An avid reader she loves to meet readers who enjoy reading contemporary romances and she always promises Happily Ever After.


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Monday, February 8, 2016

Special excerpt from Good Morning Diego Garcia by Susan Joyce

Today’s post is just one of several blog stops for Susan Joyce as she tours her new travel-adventure memoir, Good Morning Diego Garcia

During her virtual tour, Susan will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!

A little bit about Good Morning Diego Garcia:
When Susan and Charles receive a letter from Cyprus friends, now in Taiwan, they get a chance to help crew a sailboat from Sri Lanka across the Indian Ocean. They have no clue what to expect. Susan reminds Charles she isn't a good swimmer. He tells her a life jacket will do the trick, and convinces her it's the opportunity of a lifetime. A must-do travel adventure. They say goodbye to friends and family in sunny California, fly to New York and on to India, arriving the day the Indian government has issued a state of emergency. And then onto the boat, and into the ocean. In monsoon season. With no charts.

In this true-life travel adventure, Susan keeps a journal and record her bizarre thoughts and telling dreams. A real life thriller, Susan's monsoon-season journey is about discovery and spiritual realization—one dream at a time.

Excerpt from Good Morning Diego Garcia:
Ch 12

A powerful surge of energy flooded my body and relaxed me. It was a breakthrough as I became aware of a reality outside my perceived normal existence. The sea heard, answered me, and calmed. I experienced a moment of pure joy when I discovered the interconnections of nature and the universe around me. My epiphany.

This was not the first time I had felt supernatural powers surround me. I had experienced this also as a child when I sat out on a hot rock in the Arizona desert with my dog Brownie. We watched magic happen while we waited on a spaceship to collect us. My senses became so keen I could see rocks change as the wind brushed them.

I thought back to Cyprus and the long months I had spent in bed thinking and dreaming, bedridden in an attempt to have a healthy baby. Information seemed to flow then from a higher spiritual reality, and events that were beyond what could be explained by nature happened. Again and again.

As the sea stirred my senses, I became the curious, wide open-eyed child again, welcoming the power of magic

Examining these connections, I realized I had touched on a greater truth; the reality of how I fit into the bigger picture of life. The quieter I became, the more I could see and hear. Was it my imagination? Or was I experiencing a heightened awareness as a result of being in tune with nature. Floating in this immense ocean at eye level, gave me a new appreciation for how massive the universe is, and how small and insignificant a human is by comparison. A small speck in the full spectrum of life on earth.

I had traveled far and wide to find myself; to discover my core. My soul.

A little bit about the author:
Born in Los Angeles California, Susan Joyce spent most of her childhood in Tucson, Arizona and returned to LA as a young working woman. Inspired as a child by postcards from her globe-trotting great aunt, Susan left the United States at age 20 to see the world.

She planned on being gone for a year, but ended up living her 20s and 30s in Europe and the Middle East. As a Jill of all trades, she worked as a secretary, freelance writer, taught computer classes, wrote songs, and became an accomplished artist while writing her first children's book, Peel, the Extraordinary Elephant.

An award-winning author and editor of children's books, Susan's first adult book in her memoir series, The Lullaby Illusion--A Journey of Awakening is a travelogue of the politics of Europe, the United States, and Israel during a twelve year 'roller-coaster' period of her life and an adventure of survival through friends and sheer determination.

The Lullaby Illusion was awarded
* Readers' Favorite 5-Stars and the 2014 GOLD Medal Winner, Non-Fiction--Travel in the 2014 Readers' Favorite International Book Awards.
* Honorable Mention Prize Winner--2014 Stargazer Literary Prizes

Good Morning Diego Garcia, her second travel memoir, is about her adventure from India and across the Indian Ocean in monsoon season in 1975. Available for pre-order.

Stop in and say hello to Susan on Facebook.

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Friday, February 5, 2016

Interview with historical romance novelist W. E. Lawrence

I’m wrapping up the week with an interview with W. E. Lawrence about his historical romance novel, Chakana.

W. E. Lawrence graduated in 1978 from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill with a BS in business administration. He has run a successful home health care supplies distributorship for the past twenty-three years.

Passionate about God, writing, reading, family, sports, politics, and America, Lawrence currently lives in Davidson, North Carolina, with his lovely wife and their two wonderful children.

W. E. Lawrence enjoys writing historical romance novels filled with action, adventure, and suspense. He published his debut novel Guardian of Paradise in October 2014.  His latest book Chakana was published in December 2015.

Welcome, W. E. Please tell us about your current release.
Chakana – Encounter in the Sacred Valley, is a James Bond meets Indiana Jones action/adventure story set in Peru just before the start of World War 2.  The basis of the tale is a race between good and evil to find an ancient treasure that could affect the outcome of the war before it even begins.  It’s filled with danger, suspense, some humor, and even a torrid romance.

In 1940, before the start of World War II, James Fleming, the original British secret agent, races on a high-stakes chase to track down the ancient lost treasure of King Huascar of the Incas. He must recover it before the Nazis do or the whole world will be in imminent danger.

Fleming joins forces in the remote ruins of Peru, South America with Kate Rhodes, a policewoman on leave from the United States, her archaeologist brother, Nick, and their college professor, Dr. Charlie. Together, they must decode and interpret the clues, and face the challenges of the Chakana on their hunt for the treasure.

The group is hounded throughout their search of the ancient Sacred Valley by international artifact smugglers, familiar with the Chakana and working with the Nazis, who are determined to acquire the treasure to help finance their war effort.  Intrigue, danger, suspense, action, adventure, and even romance abound in this brave band’s quest to save the free world.

What inspired you to write Chakana?
I’ve always enjoyed action stories with some kind of puzzle to solve.  However, most of the ones I read lacked the adult element of including an intense romance with descriptive love scenes.   I wanted to create a tale which combined components of what thrilled us when we were young with what arouses us as adults. 

Excerpt from Chakana:

Countryside outside Athens, Ohio 1934

    The rumble of thunder sent the horse into a nervous prance.  The animal jerked its head and whinnied as James Fleming pulled in the reins to steady his mount.  “Whoa there, big fella. It’s just a few boomers, nothing to be concerned about.”  But when he raised his gaze to study the sudden ominous build of cloud formations, the certainty of a brewing storm made him decide it was time to get back to the barn.  With a gentle tug, he turned the horse.  “All right, Major, you win.  Let’s go home.” 
     James had enjoyed these lone horseback outings through the hills and valleys of the countryside and took them as often as he could.  However, this would be his last ride.  He would miss America. Ohio in particular.  He had learned a great deal the three years he spent there, working and studying.  He even learned things he hadn’t intended, like riding horses owned by his sponsors who graciously opened their home and provided him with a place to stay.
     But the time had come to return home.  The winds of war were building between his homeland of Great Britain and Germany, now ruled by the radical Nazis hell-bent on avenging their defeat in the Great War.  His country needed him, and James, always a patriot, would contribute any way he could.
     He again looked to the sky.  The storm had moved in quicker than he expected.  Dark angry clouds now directly overhead made it look as if night was descending.  Gusty howls of wind and more rumbles of thunder gave sound to the suddenly eerie scene.  His horse became more frantic by the moment, pressing the need to get out of the weather as soon as he could.  Although unfamiliar with the shortcut through the valley and having been warned by the ranch hands that the territory contained dangerous marshland, he decided to take the chance.
    Entering the valley, his heart beat faster.  After little more than a hundred meters, the trail narrowed but he pressed on.  Clouds linked together and the low whistle of wind made the hair on his neck stand on end.  Thank God, it hadn’t started raining …yet. 
     Then a sudden crack of thunder crashed over their heads.  The horse bolted.  Using what he’d been taught, James fought the reins and had his mount under control in a matter of seconds.  He exhaled, then stopped to regain his bearings.  The animal had only traveled another dozen meters, but his relief was short lived. 
   The ground beneath them began to quiver.  When he tried to turn the horse, the earth sucked at the animal’s hooves like quicksand.  Again, his heart raced.  He had to get out, but the horse, now in full panic, reared back and threw him.  Falling backwards, he landed hard in the swampy marsh.  As he lay stunned, he heard the horse struggle to gain its footing, and then gallop away to freedom.
     The horse escaped, but James was not so fortunate.  Sinking, he tried to scramble out but the marsh restricted his movement.  The more he struggled, the faster he went down.  When up to his waist, he stopped.  This couldn’t be happening.  This was supposed to be his last day in America.  He couldn’t die like this.  But the wet mud and the tangy smell of rotting vegetation made it all too real. 
     Nearly panic stricken, James turned his head and caught sight of a fallen branch sticking up out of the marsh like an outstretched hand.  With trembling fingers, he reached out and grasped it.  After he pulled himself closer, he slung an arm over and hung on.  He tried to relax so he could catch his breath but each time he started to sink, he had to wiggle upward to keep his head above the marsh.
     Soon, the wet mud and exhaustion began to take its toll.  Though it looked hopeless, he began to shout.  He shouted as long and as hard as he could.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m kicking around some ideas about a political espionage thriller.  Again, I want it to contain the same elements of action and romance as my previous books.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I really don’t consider myself a writer just yet.  I feel that a true writer has to have attracted at least some sort of reader audience.  So far, I‘ve just been piddling around.
Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I have recently retired from being a business owner after twenty-five years.  Now, I would enjoy being a full-time writer if the ideas and opportunities keep coming.  My normal day would be to write and brainstorm in the morning and do my reading in the afternoon.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I never learned to type and I can’t spell worth a hoot.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I never thought much about a career as a child.  Like a lot of boys, I dreamed of becoming a professional football player.  Unfortunately, I was too short, too skinny, and too much of a slow white boy to make that happen.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Just that I tried to make my books fun and entertaining.  There may be subtle hints of a political message in the stories, but nothing that takes away from the tale …I hope.


Thank you for being here today, W. E.!