Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Straight Chatting from the Library: Stephanie Sorensen


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

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What is the sweetest thing someone has done for you?

My husband is not a fan of dogs, dust or dog hair. And he’s really not a fan of dogs on the bed. So when he bought a tiny staircase to put against the bed so my elderly cocker spaniel Pahoni, no longer agile and spry, could climb up to our bed to sleep, that was very sweet. Even sweeter was when he presented me with a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy of impeccable lineage a few years after dear Pahoni’s passing.

How would you spend ten thousand bucks?

I don’t have to be practical and save for retirement or something sensible like that? That’s easy. $5k for a Babylock Ovation Serger and $5k to go to Scandinavia to research my Viking series.

Where do you get your best ideas?

Broad, diverse reading, fiction and non-fiction, high-brow and low, plus long walks under the aspen trees in the Rocky Mountains. Really long walks, like seven or eight miles, so you chew through all the stupid ideas for the first hour, and then you start to settle in on a couple of really cool ideas and spin them out for the rest of the walk. I get home and it’s a shock to be back in my own time and space after living with characters and story for several hours.

What comes first, the plot or characters?

For Tōru, it was the world, setting and situation that came first and drove the plot. But to make the plot work, I needed a solid understanding of the character. Once I had world, setting and situation, high-level plot and character interacted to drive the outline and detailed plot. With my historical novel set in Mexico, the plot is set by history, although of course I have to pick and choose the incidents to drive the history and the plot. But I chose the project and story because of the amazing main character, a historical woman who came from nothing and changed the world.

What does your main character do that makes him/her special.

I came up with a way for Tōru to be raised poor among commoners, but have a lord’s education and all the raw talent of a classic hero. He’s smart and athletic and disciplined. Those things make him exceptional but not special.

It’s funny, but my main character Tōru is to me the most endearing when he’s screwing up. He’s not good at engineering or teaching in a plot where attaining technological superiority is everything, he gives terrible speeches, he lacks flashy charisma, he fails to see the leadership merits of his best friend because he’s of the wrong class and worst of all he manages to piss off the woman he loves by being over-protective and sexist. He’s not a perfect modern hero. He’s got this huge job to do of saving the nation and in many ways he’s all wrong for it.

What makes him special is a certain relentless commitment to his cause, no matter how impossible it may be or how often he screws up. He just keeps going, no matter how stupid or crazy or outrageous or impossible his plan is, because there is no other option. I think Sam and Frodo discussed this kind of commitment on the border of Mordor on their way to toss the Ring into Mount Doom. He’s a hero not because he does something special, but because he refuses to give up and because he loves--his cause, his woman and his nation—in a relentless way.

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A nation encircled by enemies

A noblewoman with everything to lose

A fisherman with everything to prove and a nation to save.

In Japan of 1852, the peace imposed by the Tokugawa Shoguns has lasted 250 years. Peace has turned to stagnation, however, as commoners grow impoverished and their lords restless. Swords rust. Martial values decay. Foreign barbarians circle the island nation’s closed borders like vultures.

Tōru, a shipwrecked young fisherman rescued by traders and taken to America, defies the Shogun’s ban on returning to Japan, determined to save his homeland from foreign invasion. Can he rouse his countrymen in time? Or will the cruel Shogun carry out his vow to execute all who set foot in Japan after traveling abroad? Armed only with his will, a few books, dirigible plans and dangerous ideas, Tōru must transform the Emperor’s realm before the Black Ships come.

READ AN EXCERPT



Omae wa dare da? Who are you? Whose ship is that? Why are you here?”

They forced Tōru to his knees.

He bowed down to the sand and spoke in the rough unhewn Japanese of a fisherman.

“Noble sirs, I am Tōru, of the village Iwamatsu, some days’ travel north of here. I was fishing with my father. A terrible storm destroyed our boat and cast us all into the sea. My father gave me a piece of wreckage to cling to as everything sank.”

Tōru struggled a moment, the words and flow of his native language catching on his lips after more than two years without a soul to speak with in Japanese. The memory of the storm and his last memory of his father that night rose up before him.

He steadied himself as the men listened intently, their swords never wavering from his throat, nor their gaze from his face.

He chose his next words carefully.

“That night was the last I saw my father. I was picked up by an American ship and taken to America.”

He bowed down to the sand again, easing between the blades.

“This night I am returning, to look after my mother. She has no other child to care for her, and no husband to feed her. The Americans brought me home, so I might do my duty by my mother and my people. I beg you, forgive me any crimes I may have committed by landing on your lord’s shore, and allow me please to return to my home.”

As he looked up into their eyes, he saw they would permit no such thing.

MEET THE AUTHOR


Stephanie is a writer based in the Victorian mining town of Leadville, Colorado, where she lives at 10,251 feet with her husband, five chickens, two bantam English game hens and one Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. After a former life in big cities-New York City, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Boston, Mexico City, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Santa Fe-she now enjoys the birdsong and quiet writing time she finds in Leadville. Her first novel draws on her experience living and working in Japan; her next historical novel is set in Mexico where she also lived for several years. As a Leadville local, she likes her Victorian attire spiced with a little neo-Victorian futurism and the biggest bustle possible.

Recognition for "Toru: Wayfarer Returns"
-- Finalist, Fantasy category, 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards
-- Bronze Medal Award, Multicultural Fiction category, 2016 eLit Book Awards

WEBSITE: http://stephaniersorensen.com
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011148014463

Buy the book at Barnes and Noble or Amazon.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Straight Browsing from the Library: Rebellion by Rowan Bishop


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Rowan Bishop will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

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Akyra Roux is an up-and-coming Security Operations commander: ambitious, dedicated, and fearless. Her soldiers have a reputation for getting the job done and cracking skulls, earning her a perilous mission to the far fringes of the galaxy.

As soon as she lands, however, Akyra learns the hard way that rival factions have a lot to gain by seeing her fail, no matter what the cost…

Captain Raemus Petrus is the hunky, charismatic leader of the genetically-engineered Titans stationed at the outpost. He has a job to do and battles to fight, and he doesn’t let anything get in his way. However, when Akyra and her team of hot-blooded females land on the planet, his need to protect her and his duty to betray her collide…

Can Raemus, engineered to be ruthless, prove he has enough humanity buried inside his heart to salvage his honor, save Akyra, and ultimately prove his ability to love?

Can Akyra, running from her past, learn to lose control of the one thing holding her back, her own heart?

READ AN EXCERPT


“You’d give all this up?” Raemus pointed to the cluttered mess of the vehicle maintenance shed they’d been facing the whole time, “for a family?”

Akyra shrugged. “Family isn’t an option anymore.” She rubbed the birth control bolt deep in the skin of her shoulder, the one engineered with a homing beacon that would bring arrest, conviction, and death if removed from her body. “Being really good at fighting for The Church is all I got.” She felt pressure behind her eyes, and her nose began to itch, but she shook it off. “That’s why I’m the best commander I can be.” Akyra rubbed her hands against the intensifying cold. “What’s your excuse?”

Raemus didn’t miss any signs of sadness spreading over Akyra’s body, the slight slouch, the successive blinks, the three irregular deep breaths. “I’m with you,” he said. “I get it. When shooting bad guys gets you through the day, might as well become the best at it.”

She laughed through the frog in her throat. “Yes. Exactly.”

“Well, let’s see… I can let you shoot Levi over there if that’ll make you feel any better.”

She blurted out a big laugh.

Her smile! Raemus thought. Rich and honest. So… real.

MEET THE AUTHOR


All her life, Rowan Bishop has thrown herself into both romance and science fiction every chance she could, so it was destiny that she’d fall in love with the growing subgenre of science fiction romance.

Consequently, she stepped away from her retail career to focus on her dream of writing full-time. The new girl on SFR scene, she brings her electrifying love stories and her naughty fantasies to our galaxy.

Rowan Bishop is her penname.

Amazon book page: https://amzn.com/B01HS8F14Q
Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/Rowan-Bishop/e/B01HSNGHYY
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Rowan-Bishop-SFR-1223186771038475/
Wordpress: https://rowanbishop.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/rowansfr
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15818760.Rowan_Bishop

Rebellion will be $0.99 during the tour.

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Monday, February 20, 2017

Straight Browsing from the Library: Wenna by Virginia Taylor and Schooling the Viscount by Maggie Robinson


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One commenter tour-wide will win both books featured. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post and click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

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The lady’s maid meets her match…

Wenna Chenoweth’s future is secure, until dashing Devon Courtney’s illicit flirtation gets her dismissed from her job as a lady’s maid. With nowhere to turn, Wenna is forced to accept Devon’s bold proposal: To be his bride. To enter society on the handsome aristocrat’s arm. To give him the heir he requires. It’s a foolproof plan. Except Wenna finds herself falling hard for a man who can never love her for who she is….

Wenna is passionate, mysterious, and ill-suited to the idle life of a society wife. She’s also exactly the kind of woman who could endanger Devon’s hopes to build his own future far from his family’s influence. For the spirited beauty has embarked on an unthinkable plan of her own—one that could lead him to surrender his resolve, and sacrifice everything he believes he holds dear….

Yet amid the wondrous landscape of colonial South Australia, anything is possible. Perhaps even love between two people the boundaries of society would keep apart….

*****


Welcome to Puddling on the Wold, where the sons and daughters of Victorian nobility come for a little rest, recuperation, and “rehab,” in this brand-new series of rebellious romance from Maggie Robinson.

After a harrowing tour of duty abroad, Captain Lord Henry Challoner fought to keep his memories at bay with two of his preferred vices: liquor and ladies. But the gin did more harm than good—as did Henry’s romantic entanglements, since he was supposed to be finding a suitable bride. Next stop: The tiny village of Gloucestershire, where Henry can finally sober up without distraction or temptation. Or so he thinks…

A simple country schoolteacher, Rachel Everett was never meant to cross paths with a gentleman such as Henry. What could such a worldly man ever see in her? As it turns out, everything. Beautiful, fiercely intelligent Rachel is Henry’s dream woman—and wife. Such a match would be scandalous for his family of course, and Rachel has no business meddling with a resident at the famed, rather draconian, Puddling Rehabilitation Foundation. All the better, for two lost souls with nothing to lose—and oh so very much to gain.

READ AN EXCERPT FROM SCHOOLING THE VISCOUNT


“Quite right. I haven’t the best reputation. A sensible girl like you is wise to be wary. See, that’s why I want to marry you. You’re sensible.”

Rachel curbed the urge to throw her inkpot at him. She didn’t want to be sensible at the moment! But really, of course Henry didn’t love her. She didn’t love him either. She hardly knew him, and she wasn’t even supposed to know as much as she did. She’d be getting a visit from members of the Puddling Rehabilitation Foundation any second to accuse her of sabotage.

Someone would have noticed him walking down the hill to the school on such a filthy day, and would blame her for being some sort of Circe. Unless he was planning on plunging into the stream and getting even wetter, the school as the final destination.

She stood up. “While I am grateful for both your offer of escort and of marriage, I must decline both. Good day, Lord Challoner.”

He rose too, with a blinding smile. “At least take my umbrella.”

“Did you hear me?” Rachel cried.

“Yes. I have my good ear turned toward you. And I’m getting better at reading lips. Of course, when I look at yours, I forget what you’re saying and just want to kiss you.”

Well, that was almost romantic. Rachel tried not to feel a pleased flutter.

“I insist you take the umbrella.” Henry propped it against her desk. “I assume you don’t wish to be seen with me.”

“You assume correctly.”

“Very well. Shall I leave first?”

“Don’t you have a hat?”

“No, I hate them.”

Blast. He would be soaked by the time he climbed back up the hill.

He was probably used to marching in the rain. Beneath the scorching sun. Under conditions in countries she couldn’t even fathom or find on a map. It wasn’t as if it was an Indian monsoon out there—just a heavy warm English rain. Rachel had not been looking forward to it herself, but hadn’t been afraid to brave the elements. Why should she worry about a strong, healthy man?

Yet she did. She’d worried last night when she’d left him unconscious in the cool night air. Henry needed someone to take care of him. Care for him.

No, Rachel. No. But she picked up the umbrella and took hold of his arm, ignoring the warning voice in her head. Sometimes being sensible was overrated.

MEET THE AUTHORS


After training at the South Australian School of Art, Virginia Taylor worked in an advertising agency. This segued into re-training as a nurse/midwife before meeting the man of her dreams, marrying and producing two children. Over the years Virginia has been a theatre set painter and designer, but now she fills her days as a full-time writer.

Website: http://www.virginia-taylor.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorVirginiaTaylor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/authorvtaylor

Buy Wenna at Amazon, iBooks, Google Play, Kobo, or Barnes and Noble.

*****


Maggie Robinson didn’t know she wanted to write until she woke up in the middle of the night once really annoyed with her husband. Instead of smothering him with a pillow, she decided to get up and write—to create the perfect man—at least on a computer screen. Only to discover that fictional males can be just as resistant to direction as her husband. The upside is that she’s finally using her English degree and is still married to her original, imperfect hero. Since she’s imperfect, too, that makes them a perfect match. Until her midnight keyboarding, she had been a teacher, librarian, newspaper reporter, administrative assistant to two non-profits, community volunteer, and mother of four in seven different states. Now Maggie can call herself a romance writer in Maine. There’s nothing she likes better than writing about people who make mistakes, but don’t let the mistakes make them.

Website: http://www.maggierobinson.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/maggie.robinson.165
Twitter: https://twitter.com/maggielrobinson

Buy Schooling the Viscount at Amazon, iBooks, Google Play, Kobo, or Barnes and Noble.

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Friday, February 17, 2017

Straight Browsing from the Library: Fighting Love by Melissa West


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The authors will be awarding digital copies of the books on tour to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

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Single dad Zac Littleton has always tried to make lemonade from life’s lemons, and striking a bargain with Sophie Marsh is no different. A relative newcomer to town, she needs his help convincing the locals to try her Fresh Foods Organics produce—and Zac needs to satisfy his preteen daughter’s pleas to get out and have fun. Fake-dating Sophie will kill two birds with one stone, at least for a while—unless he gets addicted to the sweet pleasure of his beautiful competitor’s company…

Sophie can’t stand Zac. Or maybe she simply can’t stand Littleton Farms beating her in sales every week. It’s true that pretending interest in Zac and his sculpted biceps and devilish smile is a lot easier than she expected, and much more tempting, too. But despite their all-natural attraction, Sophie’s past has left her wary of any man—even one as charming as Zac. Besides, he’s got trust issues of his own. If anything real can blossom between them, it’s going to take a whole lot of patience, persistence…and passion.

READ AN EXCERPT


Grabbing the phone book that was still delivered to her door every three months, despite the fact that nobody needed a phone book anymore or even looked at one, she flipped through the names until she found the one she was looking for. She dialed the number before she could chicken out.

The phone rang three, then four times, and it was then that Sophie realized the time and that maybe they were both sleeping and she was going to ruin the little girl’s day tomorrow and maybe she had a test and now she would fail and it would all be Sophie’s—

“Hello?”

“Oh my God.”

“Well, actually, most people call me Zac. Or ‘Hey, dude.’ But sure, you can go with God.”

“I wasn’t calling you God.”

“But you were calling me.”

Sophie stomped her foot and cursed to herself, except she must not have kept it to herself, because the next thing she knew, Zac was laughing. Loudly. A full-body kind of laugh, the kind that rumbled from deep within a person.

“What?”

“You call me, and then you get mad because I called you out on calling me? What sense does that make? Ah, right. About as much sense as you thinking you were going to win that bet today.”

“I can’t stand you.”

“Man, not many people admit to hating God, but whatever works for you, honey.”

“I didn’t call you God.”

“Sure you didn’t.”

“Oh my God!”

“See.”

“I’m hanging up now.”

“All right, but you won’t have any resolution to whatever made you call if you hang up.”

Sophie’s temper boiled over, her fingers and toes and stomach all tensed for a fight. She’d never met a man who behaved as arrogantly as Zac, and suddenly she regretted every positive thought she’d ever had about him.

“I called to ask how you cheated.”

“Wait, wait, wait.” He chuckled softly, the sound so delicious she almost sighed—before yelling at herself to pull it together. Once again, she wished Zac had some horrible habit that would make her less attracted to him. Maybe he smoked. No, no way did he smoke. Not with super white teeth like his. She’d have to find something to secure this hate before it turned into something really dangerous.

Like a crush.

MEET THE AUTHOR


Melissa West writes heartfelt Southern romance and teen sci-fi romance, all with lots of kissing. Because who doesn't like kissing? She lives outside of Atlanta, GA, with her husband and two daughters and spends most of her time writing, reading, or fueling her coffee addiction.

Website: http://www.melissawestauthor.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MelissaWestAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MB_West

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Straight Browsing from the Library: Run to Her by Lynn Kellan


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

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She avoids men like him. He needs a woman like her. One lie changes everything...

Gabriel Antonov is a mechanic who can fix anything, even a woman’s hesitance. His talents have earned him the well-deserved reputation as a player, but when a routine one-night stand goes wrong, he’s haunted by what he’s done. Nothing can free him from those depraved memories, until he meets Leigh Nelson.

Leigh avoids strong, silent types like Gabe, who is stronger and quieter than most guys. The only man she’s focused on is her father, who is suffering from a devastating health crisis. She’ll do anything to help him, even at the cost of ignoring her own well-being, but the stress is getting to her. Gabe’s strength is tough to resist, and his silence might be hiding a crushing secret only she can understand.

He can’t outrun his gut-deep craving for her. Problem is, she’s running from him. When they’re marooned in his lakeside cabin, he might finally catch her…if he can admit why he’s falling apart without her.

READ AN EXCERPT


“I’m here to speak with the owner of this place. A friend of mine set up the meeting.” Leigh glanced at the clock on the wall, which read half past five. “I’m very early. We’re supposed to meet at six.”

“Hold tight and I’ll get him. He’s in the kitchen.” The waitress strolled across the room, opened a door, and poked her head inside. “Your appointment is here.”

The metallic clank of a spoon against the edge of a bowl echoed into the restaurant, followed by a deep bark of laughter. A man walked out, carrying a heaping plate of fries that would clog the arteries of a lesser mortal.

Leigh’s stomach growled, willing to clog a few arteries for those fries…and that man. He was tall, built like an Olympian, and looked like—whoa, hold the phone. He looked like Gabriel Antonov, which couldn’t be possible. Gabe lived in Philadelphia, a few miles away from her apartment. There was no reason he’d be this far north of the city. He owned a busy auto repair shop that devoured most of his time. An Internet search for ‘brawny workaholics’ would put his name near the top of the results page.

When she’d seen him a few mornings ago, he hadn’t mentioned that he might head into the mountains for the weekend—but he never chatted about his plans.

He didn’t chat about anything.

She took advantage of her semi-hidden position by the cash register to gobble him up with her gaze. Faded blue jeans clung to his long legs like water, rippling with every flex of his muscular thighs. A gray T-shirt hugged a burly torso that could have graced the home page of a fitness website. Thick black whiskers darkened his sturdy jaw, which made him look ferocious in a hold-on-to-your-ovaries kind of way.

His dark eyes landed on her and he slowed to a stop. “Hey, Leigh.”

“Hi.” She gave him a puzzled grin. “What are you doing here?”

One side of his mouth tilted up. “Waiting for you.”

“But I’m supposed to meet the owner of this place.”

“You just did.”

Of course. She ran into Gabe everywhere, so why not here? He smelled like crispy fries and pine forests, two of her new favorite things. If she could fuse those scents into a cologne, she’d call it Spud Stud and sell the fragrance at Christmas. She’d make millions. “I didn’t expect to see you, tonight.”

“I didn’t tell you I’d be here, for good reason.” His deep voice bottomed out to a low murmur. “If you knew I owned this place, you might not show up.”

His square-jawed, Slavic features made him look like he was made of concrete and steel. Immovable. Not going away, even though Leigh had turned him down every time he’d asked for a date. Part of her wanted to hug him for not giving up. The other part wanted to sprint out the door, because she knew he carried a heavy secret. She had one, too. The weight of that burden had driven her into a psychologist’s office two months ago, where she’d bumped into Gabe. Literally. She’d collided face-first into his hard, broad chest. He’d taken one look at her, turned as gray as dishwater, and left.

She’d never mentioned the encounter and neither did he, but she wondered why she kept running into this man. Like now. “There must be a mistake. I’m here to pick up a book. My friend told me to come here.”

“You must be talking about Darlene, right? I saw her a few days ago when she dropped off her car for an oil change. She said you’re looking for a vintage copy of The Twisted Claw. I’ve got one. You can have the book if you’re willing to make a trade.”

“Oh.” Darlene hadn’t mentioned a trade. She hadn’t revealed that Gabe would be here, either. Typical. Darlene loved surprises, especially if they unnerved people. Leigh clasped her hands behind her back and frowned. Usually, she bought the vintage books for a few bucks. She’d never bartered for one. “What do you want in exchange for the book?”

“Dinner with you.” He plucked a menu off the counter.

MEET THE AUTHOR


Lynn Kellan writes contemporary romance about strong men who have a weakness for smart women. She believes men and women aren't that different, because everyone wants to be with someone who will empty the dishwasher. To prepare for her career as a romance author, she fell in love with bad boys, burly athletes, battle-hardened Marines…and married a chemist. Lynn has won numerous writing contests and served two terms as President of her local Romance Writers of America chapter, but she feels a true sense of accomplishment whenever she doesn't embarrass her teenaged kids.

For love. For funny. For ever.

Find Lynn at http://LynnKellan.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LynnKellan
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LynnKellan.Author
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/LynnKellan/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ey_aNwYAAp0
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/E4qxL

RUN TO HER is on sale for $2.99

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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Straight Browsing from the Library - An Epiphany in Lilacs by Iris Dorbian


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

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An Epiphany In Lilacs is a young adult novel set in a DP camp outside Hamburg, Germany following the end of World War II. The author, Iris Dorbian, captures in this story a unique glimpse into the period after the Holocaust when survivors had to deal with their new realities for living, based on her father's personal experience.

After liberation in May 1945, Daniel, a 14-year-old Latvian Jew, is treated in a field hospital in the British zone of partitioned Germany. A survivor of various concentration camps, Daniel fights to recover from starvation and disease. Racked by nightmares, a nearly nightly occurrence, Daniel finds sleep almost impossible. Through his love of nature, and pre-war memories, Daniel struggles to find comfort. He forms an intriguing bond with an older German gentile, another survivor. Later on, as he joins a theater troupe, Daniel tries to move on with his life, yet still searching for the whereabouts of his mother and two sisters. Poised on the cusp of a new life, young Daniel makes his way to the country that will become his new home.

READ AN EXCERPT


As Daniel staggered into the latrine, he saw a ramshackle halfmirror nailed haphazardly to the wall. Composed of lattices of wood, it was the only part of the hospital that looked like a construction afterthought. Either it was the first time it had been put in there or he never noticed it before, having other pressing things on his mind.

Daniel gasped. He looked like a fifty-five-year-old man. Everything about him reeked of lifelessness – from the opaque hazel eyes to the stooped posture resembling a fading, elderly gnome in the final throes of osteoporosis to the branches of bones sticking out through brittle veiny skin. Even his ears protruded with an extraterrestrial freakishness he found alarming. There was nothing youthful about him. His complexion was cadaverously sallow. No, it was worse than that. The flesh was imbued with a color no presumably alive human being could have. All vestiges of innocence were summarily robbed from him and what remained was the hollowed out hulk of a frightened, damaged old man-child.

MEET THE AUTHOR


Iris Dorbian is a business and arts journalist whose articles have appeared in a wide number of outlets that include the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Venture Capital Journal, Buyouts, Investopedia, DMNews, Jerusalem Report, the Forward, Playbill, Backstage, Theatermania, Live Design, Media Industry Newsletter and PR News. From 1999 to 2007, Iris was the editor-in-chief of Stage Directions. She is the author of "Great Producers: Visionaries of the American Theater," which was published by Allworth Press in August 2008. Her personal essays have been published in Blue Lyra Review, B O D Y, Embodied Effigies, Jewish Literary Journal, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Adanna Literary Journal, ThisSpace.org, Skirt! and Gothesque Magazine. A New Jersey native, Iris has a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University. You can friend her on Facebook at https: //www.facebook.com/irisdorbianauthor

Linkedin Site: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/iris-dorbian/1/759/358
Twitter site: https://twitter.com/IrisDorbian
Facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/iris.dorbian
Muckrack.com: http://www.muckrack.com/irisdorbian
Personal Website: http://www.irisdorbian.com
Contact info: irisdorbian@gmail.com

Buy the book at Amazon - available in both paperback and kindle, Barnes and Noble - available in paperback, or Mazo Publishers - available in paperback.
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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Straight Browsing from the Library: Texas Heat by Gerry Bartlett and Four Nights at Sea by Demi Alex


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The authors will be awarding digital copies of both books on tour to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

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Cassidy Calhoun can't believe she's the secret daughter of an oil billionaire. This small-town Texas girl with student loans by the barrel has never gotten a thing she didn't earn for herself.

The terms of her late father's will say Cassidy—and her newfound spoiled half-siblings—must work a year at the family's floundering business before they inherit a dime. Too bad the only thing Cass knows about oil is that it makes the junker she drives go.

Mason MacKenzie, the evaluator for their test, will help her get up to speed. Or will he? Mason is a boot-wearing, truck-driving Houston hottie who runs Calhoun Petroleum's biggest rival. The sparks between him and Cassidy could combust any minute. But the closer they get, the more strange near-accidents Cassidy seems to be having. And Mason has plenty of reasons to play up their attraction for his own benefit.

If she can trust him, the two of them working together might save a crumbling dynasty. But if she can't, Cass might just lose both her fortune and her heart . . .

*****


Charlene “Charlie” Stanton doubts her maiden voyage on a lusty singles cruise will direct her sails toward love. But an unexpected lothario just might change the tide in her favor . . .

Charlie boarded the Cozumel-bound Lovers Sail cruise hoping for nothing more than writing an article that would make it into the pages of City Wings, a trendy travel magazine. Still recovering from a highly publicized divorce, love is the last thing on her mind—especially when she realizes she’s mistakenly booked herself a spot on a kink cruise. That is until she meets Ford, an outsider just like her, and he whips her attitude into submission. Despite rules limiting their interaction, he shows her a world where pleasure is encouraged, and nothing is forbidden. And with Ford as her anchor, she begins to wonder if she can turn four nights of fantasy into more nights of reality when the trip is over . . .

READ AN EXCERPT FROM TEXAS HEAT


Cass found him studying the book collection on the shelves in the living room. He looked good, like a normal guy, in cargo shorts, a T-shirt, and leather flip-flops. Great muscled legs. No surprise there. His shirt hugged that amazing chest, which surely came from regular workouts. Was there any part of him that wasn’t perfect?

Of course there was. He was arrogant and thought he could make a play for her and she’d fall at his feet. Then there was the way he steered her around like she couldn’t make a move without his guidance. Hah! She was Cassidy Calhoun, the woman who’d worked her way through school without anyone’s help. Certainly without a boatload of money. She was tough. More her father’s daughter than anyone knew. And she’d prove it to all of them.

She stiffened her spine. She could resist Mason’s charm and male beauty. If he thought he could steer her right into an affair and to be his inside woman at Calhoun Petroleum, he could think again.

“You want some water or a beer?” She might be tough, but she did have manners.

“No, I’m fine.” He pulled a book from the shelf.

“Those books aren’t mine. I haven’t had much time for reading anything but business texts since high school.” Which was sad but true.

He held up a self-help book on finding love. “You’re not looking for love?”

“Nope.” Cass grabbed her purse. Did he really think she was going to fall for that stale routine? “Let’s go.”

“Wait a minute. I don’t believe you. I know women. They’re always looking.” He picked up his bag. “Seriously? Not interested?”

Cass gave him a scan. Yes, she just bet he knew women. They probably threw themselves at him on a regular basis. “Not looking because I’ve already found it, Mason.” Cass opened the door and stepped outside. “You met me and came after me hard without a thought about what I wanted. Maybe when you’re after another notch on your bedpost it doesn’t matter if the woman is in a relationship.” She turned to face him. “Listen up. You’re wasting your time hitting on me. I have a boyfriend who I love very much.”

“No shit. That is a news flash.

MEET THE AUTHORS


Gerry Bartlett is a native Texan and former teacher with more than twenty published novels. She lives near Houston, Texas.

http://www.gerrybartlett.com/
https://twitter.com/gerrybartlett

Buy Texas Heat at http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/book.aspx/34058

*****


Demi Alex writes steamy romances, blending emotional fulfillments of the heart and carnal desires in her work. Born in Athens, Greece, and raised in her own version of a big fat Greek life in New York, Demi was infected with book and travel bugs early, and currently admits the only therapy for this condition is to combine the two in fictional stories that allow her characters to let loose and experience all they crave. She attended SUNY at Stony Brook, and after changing her major numerous times, graduated with a degree in Public Policy and International Studies. Her characters are loosely based on people she encounters while she travels or during the time she spends matching homes to owners as a Realtor. She simply has a passion for matchmaking that can’t be put to rest.

http://demialex.com/

Buy Four Nights at Sea at http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/book.aspx/34072

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