Monday, August 28, 2023

Book Blast - Moccasin Trace by Hawk MacKinney


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Hawk MacKinney will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on he tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

It is July of 1859, a month of sweltering dog days and feverish emotional bombast. Life is good for widower Rundell Ingram and his hazel-eyed, roan-haired son, Hamilton. Between the two of them, they take care of Moccasin Hollow, their rustic dogtrot ancestral home, a sprawling non-slave plantation in the rolling farming country outside Queensborough Towne in east Georgia. Adjoining Ingram lands is Wisteria Bend, the vast slave-holding plantation of Andrew and Corinthia Greer, their daughter Sarah and son Benjamin.

Both families share generations of long-accepted traditions, and childhood playmates are no longer children. Against this rustic idyll of hard work and gracious living comes inflexible discord and divided loyalties that mutilate ties of blood and bond, tearing at their lives as smoke and battle no longer so faraway crashes and maims ever closer. Ahead of the on-coming ranks of Blue, foragers and bumlers burn, loot, scavenge and kill. Hamilton faces agonizing sacrifices with dreadful consequences. With little else than his wits, he tries anything to protect Sarah, their unborn child, his sickly father, and Sarah's family.

Read an Excerpt

Like the proper exemplary young lady, a bored Sarah quietly sat in the drawing room, daintily sipped her tea, thinking how they'd be here for hours with this meaningless chitchat, and wishing she was out riding, wishing she was anywhere but here. .

Bessie stood to one side, tryin' not to think of Sam. 'Membered Mistress Corinth'a calling these folks merchants. Mistress was right, these were uppity folk with no manners. .

"It's understandable you're being so busy," Abigail sighed. "There's simply not enough time to do all the things a body must do to get ready for the Saint Catherine's Christmas Ball." She placed her Wedgwood cup and saucer just so on the marble-top tea table. .

"Of course," Corinthia fastened on a charming smile. "Charlestown is all the talk." .

Abigail leaned close, intimate, "I spoke with Jonathan. He wouldn't hear of taking time off, spending the season in Charlestown. Heaven knows it would've done him a world of good. I told him if the Greers and Ingrams are going, the very least we could certainly do is be in Charlestown to welcome our Queensborough friends." Her immaculate French maid hurried in with more tea and an array of sweets. .

Corinthia sipped with her smile fixed in place...showy hanger-on. Being invited to Charlestown's Saint Catherine's Ball the week of Christmas was all the talk, not only of Georgia and South Carolina, but considerably beyond. Invitations had come through Andrew's cotton and tobacco friends. Corinthia wasn't about to countenance having anyone think the Whiteheads were their associates. It was strain enough remaining gracious with such interlopers. .

"I surely understand why you're so very excited. Everyone will be there," Corinthia said. .

"I was so relieved they arrived yesterday." Abigail Bothwell Whitehead fairly beamed. "When your man dropped off your note telling me you would call, I was all in a twitter. At the time our invitations hadn't arrived. I immediately sent Jonathan straight to the post office." She rolled her eyes in mock relief. With an insipid smile through a pinched mouth and puckered lips, she gloated, "I was so reassured when he came back with them." She could hardly contain herself, enjoying herself immensely -- the perfect dig at uppity Corinthia Greer. "It will be so grand. Anyone who's anybody will be there." .

Sarah's expression matched her mother's composure; Corinthia's attention never left Abigail. Sarah knew Abigail and how venomous this artless woman could be.

About the Author:
In addition to professional articles and texts on chordate neuroembryology, Hawk MacKinney has authored several works of fiction—historical love stories, science fiction and mystery-thrillers. Moccasin Trace, a historical novel nominated for the prestigious Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and the Writers Notes Book Award, details the family bloodlines of his protagonist in the Moccasin Hollow Mystery Series: Hidden Chamber of Death, Westobou Gold, Dead Gold, Curse of the Ancients, and Blood of the Dragonfly.

Hawk’s science fiction novels include The Bleikovat Event, Vol I in The Cairns of Sainctuarie Science Fiction Series, followed by Vol II, The Missing Planets, and Vol III, Inanna Phantom.

Hawk MacKinney served in the US Navy for over 20 years. While serving as a Navy Commander, he also had a career as a full-time faculty member at several major state medical facilities. He earned two postgraduate degrees with studies in languages and history. He has taught postgraduate courses in both the United States and Jerusalem, Israel. He now makes his home in Augusta, Georgia, where he writes full-time.

Buy Links:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Book Blast - A Long Dark Road by Joan Hall Hovey


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Selected Tales of Suspense containing 5 short stories and a novella

“Joan Hall Hovey knows suspense. She keeps it simmering in every scene she writes and knows just the right moments to turn up the heat. She also knows character creating richly layered people to populate her stories, sometimes with no more than a single sentence stocked with perfectly chosen description words or phrases... terrific suspense ."James Hankins, author of Brothers and Bones

“Taut plotting, great characters, and chilling suspense. Abook you can’t put down, exhibits a master’s touch. Alfred Hitchcock would be smiling. - Book Pleasures Review, Steve Moore

Read an Excerpt from "Tragic Spawn" (novella)

Hearing the closing of the front door, her thoughts scattered and she turned around. The faint fall of footsteps was headed in her direction. A smile broke from Melanie. Francie. “Francie, I’m in the bedroom,” she called out. Oh, I’m so glad you’re here. I know I said I’d call you when I was being released from the hospital, but I wanted … she stopped. The footsteps halted in her bedroom doorway, came no farther. Frowning, she thought: No, not Francie standing there. Not her father, either. She would know if it was him. He would speak. A shot of adrenaline shot through her. Someone was there. Someone had followed her into the house. How could she have been so stupid as to forget to lock the back door behind her? What was the matter with her? And then she saw movement in that milky whiteness at the corner of her eye. Felt a shifting of air in front of her. Don’t show fear, came the warning voice inside her mind. Don’t show fear. Stay calm.

“Who is it?”

No answer. The fine hairs prickled on the back of her neck and it was hard to breathe, let alone speak. “Can I help you? Have you come to the wrong house?” She heard the tremor in her voice. Receiving no answer, alarm quickly turned to panic, a reaction that both angered and frightened her.

“Who are you? Instantly, the bit of whiteness at the corner of her eye went dark as a hand touched her cheek and it was as if spider webs were draped over her face and she was suddenly screaming screaming, hands flailing like a mad woman.

About the Author: I've always been drawn to the dark side of our human psyche, and devoured everything from Edgar Allan Poe to Shirley Jackson growing up and later Ruth Rendell and Stephen King and so many more wonderful writers than I could list here. It was my dream to become a published writer for as long as I can remember, and have written eight novels. My latest book is ‘A Long Dark Road’. My love of reading seemed to go hand-in-hand with the writing.

I grew up in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada's oldest incorporated city, situated on the Bay of Fundy. I married young and had four incredible children, three boys and a girl. My eldest son passed away in 2018, of ALS, which was the moment I knew I was in control of nothing. Nothing at all. And how it feels to have your heart shredded, slowly. But still, we must be grateful for what we have.

When the children were still small we moved to Gondola Point, where we lived in a modest home my husband built, overlooking the Kennebecasis River. Lots of lovely tall pine trees and bird song. It was country then, but no more. We lived there happily with various beloved pets over the years. People often remarked that the view must be inspiring, and it was, but the truth is when I was at my computer, my back was to the river, my head already filled with characters and scenes as I lived in a world of the imagination.

My husband is gone now, my children grown with children of their own and I moved back to the city to escape the loneliness. I live in a pleasant apartment in a historical part of the city with my sweet calico cat, Bella. From my window, I can see a beautiful old church with the steeple jutting into the sky, and a clock that competes with the moon. It is Sunday morning and the church bells are ringing as I type this.

I hope you enjoy my books!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 11, 2023

Excerpt Tour: Murder at the Zoo by Marcia Rosen

 It's a blog tor and this one looks fantastic. Murder at the Zoo by Marcia Rosen. You'll want to keep reading. Why? There are prizes to be won in addition to the fantastic book to read. What's being given away? Marcia Rosen will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. How cool is that? Want more chances to win? Then follow the tour. You can do that here:

Murder at the Zoo

An Agatha, Raymond, Sherlock and Me Mystery

by Marcia Rosen

A body is tossed into the lion’s habitat at the zoo where Miranda Scott is the senior vet. She and Detective Bryan Anderson join forces to unravel that mystery and several more murders. A fan since childhood of Agatha Christie, Raymond Chandler, and Sherlock Holmes they seem to live in her head frequently telling her what to do…and not do. Murders, family, deceit, revenge and a gangster father and godfather often get in the way of a fine romance between Miranda and the Detective.

Now for an Excerpt:

Wilson grabbed her arm and pulled her up, “Get your boss and security guard over here. Let them know there’s been another murder at the Zoo.”

Miranda looked at Bryan who shrugged his shoulders. There was nothing he could do. Not now. She knew she should have trusted him.

“One of these days you’re going to learn to trust me, “ he whispered to her.

By the time Emma and George arrived, the Medical Examiner and her photographer were already busy with the body. Forensics was checking the area around it.

The Zoo was lit up and getting more and more hectic. The scene outside grew bolder and brighter as once again press and television cameras arrived. Two new Vet Interns and several Vet Technicians showed up as well. Apparently, social media was in full gossip.

Police cars, an ambulance, and even a fire engine arrived just in case. Their sirens could be heard racing through the city to the Zoo. When the news went out over the police monitor, the response grew to unnecessary proportions.

“You know, it seems there’s a rhythm to this type of chaos. I always find it fascinating that everyone’s movements are carefully calculated in order not to disturb the body or possible evidence. You can learn so much by watching the reactions,” Agatha said.

Then the obnoxious state senator showed up at the murder scene. Wilson had called him. He was always looking to make points with the senator. The senator was always looking to be a media star, and this story was made for his ego.

Wilson and State Senator Matthew Graham had met years earlier. Each found a way to serve the other’s purpose. Neither had the will of the people or justice as their primary interest.

The press was shouting questions at the 62-year-old Graham, who was only too glad to oblige them, as he straightened his tie and pushed back the few wisps of hair he had left.


About the Author:

Marcia Rosen (aka M. Glenda Rosen), award winning author of eleven books including The Senior Sleuths and Dying To Be Beautiful Mystery Series and The Gourmet Gangster: Mysteries and Menus (Menus by her son Jory Rosen). She is also author of The Woman’s Business Therapist and award winning My Memoir Workbook. For 25 years she was owner of a successful national marketing and public relations agency, Marcia has frequently been a speaker and/or program moderator at organization meetings and conferences, bookstores, libraries and Zoom Programs. Topics she has taught and presented over the past twenty years include: Encouraging the Writer Within You, Marketing for Authors, Writing Mysteries…Not A Mystery, Writing Your Memoir and recently “Anatomy of Writing A Murder.” Many articles on these topics have been published on mystery reader blogs and in newsletters and magazines including “Mystery Scene Magazine” and “Mystery Reader International Journal.”

She is a member of Sisters in Crime National and New Mexico (Croak & Dagger), Southwest Writers, New Mexico Book Association, Women Writing the West, Public Safety Writer’s Association, and National Association of Independent Writers and Editors—for which she is also a board member.

“Marcia Rosen's new book is hard to put down! The characters are engaging and you enjoy getting to know them as you read this mystery. I enjoyed discovering the world and people in Murder at the Zoo and can't wait to read more from this author!”  ~ Cat Harper, National Steinbeck Center



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

A Voice Out of Poverty by Jillian Haslam

It's a blog tour and you'll want to stick around. There are prizes to be won and this looks like a fantastic book. What can you win? One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $25 Amazon/ gift card. Want more chances to win? Then follow the tour. You can do that here:

A Voice Out of Poverty

by Jillian Haslam

A woman’s ascent from devastating poverty and childhood trauma to international standing as a prominent advocate for the poor and helpless.

As a young girl, Jillian Haslam saved a life. Herself tiny and aching from malnutrition, she stood for hours at a tea shop, begging for a ladle of milk to try and prevent her newborn sister from dying of starvation.

From the slums of Calcutta to the executive floors of a global bank, A Voice out of Poverty offers an unflinching look at one woman’s journey from destitution to success.

Throughout, Haslam demonstrates an inexhaustible drive to rise above adversity and find beacons of positivity in impossible circumstances. But her rise doesn’t stop at the top; she returns to her roots again and again to extend a hand to those left in the impoverished communities that she so narrowly escaped.

British by ancestry and born in India after its independence, Haslam and her family suffered degradation and prejudice. They were forced to live on the streets, flee danger in the middle of the night, and face persistent abuse and starvation.

This treacherous environment is the backdrop of an unlikely story of resilience and an unshakable family bond. From squalor and powerlessness, Haslam finds countless moments of grace, community, gratitude, and love.

A Voice out of Poverty is a raw and inspiring memoir that shows how beauty can be found in improbable places, and how “success” is not just the act of making it through. Rather, it is the act of reaching back to bring others with you.


Now for an interview with the author: 

What are your favorite TV shows?

Heartland, Succession, Breaking Bad, Yorkshire Vets and a few others

What is your favorite meal?

Stew & Rice

If you were to write a series of novels, what would it be about?

How to Overcome Adversity

Is there a writer you idolize? If so who?

Lord Robert Winston because he manages to explain the most complex topics like the working of the human brain in a simple and understandable way.

How did you come up for the title of this book?

It was a joint effort on the part on my Publicist and myself.

Now for an Excerpt: 

One day my mother took Vanessa and me to see Mr. Nazareth, a kindly family friend. Mr. Nazareth was a tall, dark, South Indian, Christian gentleman in his late forties, who my parents had met through a mutual acquaintance and in the past helped my father find work. Mr. Nazareth was blessed with a charitable heart. Poor himself, he was always smartly dressed, a habit from his father who had worked closely with the British Army during British rule. His family had worked for the British Army and he always wore perfectly pressed shirts and trousers and behaved like an absolute gentleman.


Seeing Mr. Nazareth was a high point for Vanessa and me. He never failed to have a bag of Muri Balls ready for us. Flavored with cardamom, ginger, and coconut, and the size of a golf ball, Muri Balls were made from puffed rice, honey, and jaggery—an unrefined sugar. They were super sweet and light and a huge treat. Each time we saw Mr. Nazareth he’d have a bunch for us wrapped in a paper packet called a thonga.

But my mother didn’t take us to him to indulge our sweet teeth. My mother sought his guidance regarding where and how we should live, which we desperately needed. He asked us to return two days later with my father.

We returned as requested and gathered with him into the crowded small living space in his two-room home. My parents perched on his two cane stools called moras and he, hands on his knees, sat upright on his sole dining chair. Vanessa and I sat on the floor and leaned against the wall, devouring the obligatory Muri Balls as fast as humanly possible.

“I’d like to make you a proposition,” he said. His tone was more formal than normal, like a CEO leading a discussion with staff. He paused to emphasize the moment and continued.

“I have spoken to a friend who would like to open a school for the poor in Dum Dum. The area is desperately short of such facilities, so many children in need.”

“I see,” said my father, with a tone of respect, “but why are you telling us?”

“I would like you, Roland, to be the principal and Margaret the teacher. I want you to teach the children to speak and learn English. But beyond that, I want to offer you all a place to live. You cannot go on like this.”

Embrace Adversity, Unleash Greatness!

Once upon a time, in the heart of adversity, there lived a young girl named Jillian Haslam. Born into abject poverty in the city of Kolkata, her life seemed destined for despair. But little did the world know that within those hardships lay the seeds of greatness and resilience.

Jillian's childhood was filled with struggles, facing hunger, homelessness, and the harsh realities of poverty. However, amidst the gloom, she discovered a glimmer of hope - education. Determined to change her fate, Jillian pursued knowledge with fervor, knowing that education was her ticket to a better life.

Through sheer determination and hard work, Jillian excelled in her studies. She didn't let
her circumstances define her, but instead, she let them fuel her dreams. Every challenge she faced became a stepping stone towards her ultimate goal - to break free from the shackles of poverty and create a life of abundance.

As the years passed, Jillian's unwavering spirit caught the attention of a kind soul who offered her a chance to work for a prestigious organization. This opportunity opened doors she could only dream of before. With dedication and passion, Jillian climbed the ladder of success, proving that her past could not hold her back.

But Jillian's journey didn't stop there. Instead of forgetting her roots, she embraced her past and used it as a powerful tool to drive change. She founded initiatives to help underprivileged children like herself, providing them with the gift of education and hope. 

Today, Jillian stands tall as a beacon of inspiration and a symbol of turning adversity into golden opportunities. Her voice echoes through her book, A Voice Out of Poverty, touching countless hearts and motivating others to rise above their circumstances.

In the face of challenges, lies the key to your transformation. Embrace your struggles, for they hold the power to unlock your true potential. Rise above adversity and let your resilience shine, turning every experience into a golden opportunity for growth and success! 

#EmbraceTheJourney #UnleashYourPotential #TurningStrugglesIntoTriumphs #Adversity

About the Author:

Jillian Haslam is a remarkable individual with expertise in speaking on adversity and Resilience

With a distinguished 23-year career in banking, she brings a wealth of industry knowledge to her engagements. As an acclaimed author, her books A Voice Out of Poverty and 9 Steps to Overcome Adversity-A Handbook for Life have garnered critical acclaim including the prestigious Kirkus Star Review! Her extraordinary journey has earned her accolades, including the prestigious Mother Teresa Memorial International Award for her humanitarian contributions.

Jillian's unique perspective and powerful storytelling have made her a sought-after speaker on the topics of adversity and resilience. She has inspired audiences around the world with her transformative message, helping individuals and organizations overcome challenges and achieve remarkable results. Her insights have been featured in major media outlets, including The Times, The Telegraph, The BBC, and The Week. Through her speaking engagements, Jillian empowers individuals and teams to harness the power of resilience, navigate adversity, and unlock their full potential. Her profound impact continues to resonate with audiences from various backgrounds, fostering a culture of strength, growth, and success.

Jillian Haslam's expertise as a speaker on adversity and resilience, coupled with her extensive banking experience, has made her a trusted voice in the field. Her ability to inspire and guide others through their own journeys of overcoming obstacles sets her apart, making her a valuable asset to any event or organization seeking to cultivate resilience and achieve exceptional success.

Jillian currently lives in London with her husband.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 3, 2023

Midnight Rapture by Anya Summers


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Anya Summers will award a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Rescued by a hot, kilt-wearing Scot…

Freya’s on the run from her abusive ex-boyfriend. She’s exhausted and terrified, but if she stops, she knows he’ll find her – and their infant daughter – and make her pay. Desperation drives her to do something she shouldn’t, that she knows is fundamentally wrong…

… and sure enough, she gets caught red-handed. All she can do is beg for mercy.

When Jasper catches the gorgeous new maid with her hand in his wallet, his first instinct is to call the police. But Freya’s tearful plea strikes a chord deep within him, and instead he finds himself offering her the protection of his name and family.

Their union is meant to be on paper only but Jasper soon finds himself enthralled by his new bride. He starts a campaign to seduce her into his bed, never expecting her to wiggle her way into his heart.

And when her past threatens her very existence, he will stop at nothing to keep her safe.

Fall headlong into this steamy, fake relationship, stand-alone romance between a fierce Scottish businessman and a single mother as they navigate the road of love with all its pitfalls

Read an Excerpt

His tongue plunged aggressively inside, caressing her tongue and learning the contours of her mouth. Freya’s entire body caught fire. The world dimmed until the only thing that registered was the sexy man and his devastating kiss.

She wanted to dive into the erotic flames. His tongue thrust deep into her mouth, and she moaned. God, it had been so long since she had felt anything but fear and worry. The pleasure fried her brain. All the reasons she shouldn’t do this fled with every thrust of his tongue. Her entire world winnowed down to his seductive mouth that should be illegal in most states.

Freya clutched at his muscled chest and whimpered as he changed the angle, taking the kiss infinitely deeper. The hunk dominated her and kissed her like a man about to go before a firing squad. The sheer magnitude of his hunger fueled her own to epic heights. She wanted them both naked, with him pounding away inside her. She wanted to climb him like a tree and have him take her. She wanted to feel him moving inside her. She wanted—

“Mama.” Maddie’s sweet little voice broke the stillness. Freya’s stomach dropped through the floor at hearing her daughter’s tiny voice. The sound jolted her out of his arms. Maddie’s timely interruption acted like a bucket of ice water, dowsing the flames. She shoved at his chest to make him release her. Somehow, while they kissed, his hands wound up on her ass.

The man released her like he’d been holding a venomous snake. He whipped his head around. Shock stole over his features, and his thick black brows rose, nearing his hairline. But then he turned accusing eyes her way. “Oy! What the bloody hell? You brought your kid to work, lass?”

Instinct kicked into high gear. Freya spied an opening and took it. After years of abuse, she moved fast, escaping his reach, and shielded her daughter with her body. Fists clenched, she stood in front of the playpen, ready to fight him off if need be, regardless of whether or not she would lose. “If you’re going to hurt someone, hurt me, but keep your goddamn hands off my daughter.”

Mr. Campbell reared back and snarled. “Do you honestly think I would hurt a child? Or you, for that matter, woman?”

“I don’t know you or what you’re capable of.” But she knew what his mouth tasted like.

She shut that train of thought down immediately. She hefted Maddie into her arms when she reached for her. It would make it easier to run. The moment Freya spied an opening, she’d break for the minivan, pray the jalopy started, and that she could get away before he could read her license plates to report to the police. She’d have to leave the playpen behind. That loss stung, but there was nothing she could do about it. One mistake was costing her dearly.

Life had never been fair. She’d rather leave without it than wind up in jail. Because he would find them, and would take her daughter away where she couldn’t defend her.

And Freya would fight to the death to protect Maddie.

About the Author:
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Anya grew up listening to Cardinals baseball and reading anything she could get her hands on. She remembers her mother saying if only she would read the right type of books instead of binging her way through the romance aisles at the bookstore, she’d have been a doctor. While Anya never did get that doctorate, she graduated cum laude from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with an M.A. in History.

Anya is a bestselling and award-winning author published in multiple fiction genres. She also writes urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and contemporary romance under the name Maggie Mae Gallagher. A total geek at her core, when she is not writing, she adores attending the latest comic con or spending time with her family. She currently lives in the Midwest with her two furry felines.