Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Straight Browsing from the Library: Tiger Stripes by Hannah Renae



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Hannah Renae will be awarding a $100 Amazon 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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Four psychiatric wards

Three rehabs

Two jail cells

And a suicide attempt...

Hannah was told she would not make it to 25 with the way she was living. She had struggled with mental illness her entire life, but at 22 her demons came to a head at the grips of severe substance abuse, life-changing trauma, and two major deaths in her life.

Hannah's struggles land her places no one ever hopes to grace; jail and psych wards lead her to the brink of death. Running out of options she's left with two choices: live or die. This heart-wrenching memoir combines recovery with bittersweet romance told in a raw presentation that immerses the reader into the author's dark state-of-mind in every page.

Tiger Stripes is going to add a valuable voice to the conversation about women's mental health issues.

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THE LETTER H

October 7, 2019

“HENRY! HENRY! HENNN-RYYYY!!!!”

I am screaming at the top of my lungs and can feel my throat tearing, becoming raw. I don’t know how many times I have said his name now, but it is all I know how to do because nothing is making any sense.

I am in a locked room and flashes of images are going through my head, but there is only one thing, one thought that I can focus on, that is pounding through my brain throughout this confusion and that is pouring out of my lungs to the point that my chest feels like it is going to rip.

“HENRY!” I choke on his name and a sob.

He cannot hear me, and he is not coming. He doesn’t know where I am and I don’t know where I am, but I know I am not supposed to be here—and I have to get out.

I beat at the metal door that barricades me from something unknown and choke on words that begin with H.

“HENRY!”

“HELP!”

“HENRY!”

“HELP!”

I repeat these words for what feels like a lifetime, until I forget how to speak and my begging turns to carnal screaming—shrieking.

No one comes. No one answers. I wait for footsteps, for the sound of the door unlocking, but all I can hear is the sound of my frantic breaths and the echoes of a lamentation that is anything but human.

I look down at my body. My feet are bare against the concrete floor; I cannot feel them. The jean shorts I am wearing show off my slender, scratched legs and remind me that I am small and feeble at this moment, but in an act of desperation, I put all of my faith in the power of momentum and I run. I fucking run as fast as I can from the three paces it takes to get from the wall to the ominous looming, locked door and attack it with my entire being, letting out my most vicious battle cry as I fumble towards it.

The door wins.

I try again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

I am degraded to a crumbling, bruised ball of flesh.

I can barely speak, my throat reduced to sandpaper.

Everything hurts and I can taste the bitterness of blood in my mouth. The floor is like ice against my bare legs. Through the tears in my eyes I see the moon shining through a window at the top of the room. It is full and brilliant and illuminates the white of the brick walls that surround me. I realize that there is writing on them. People have been here before me. People will be here after me. Why am I here though? I should not be.

I should be home, where I belong. In bed, with him. Safe. I feel anything but that word in this moment, as terror sweeps through every single one of my nerves.

I whisper in one last futile attempt:

“Henry?”

But there is silence. Horrible, deafening, fatal silence.

And it seems to last forever, until I hear it, or think I do. A click, the door unlocking, and the small room is suddenly filled with light. Fluorescence suffocates me.

When I dare to open my eyes, they do not find Henry. Instead I find a police officer looking back at me. He wears broad, black framed glasses that are too big for his face and he looks eerily familiar. A sudden memory of lying in a hospital bed comes to me but does not fully resonate. His face is forlorn and almost disappointed, as if he expected more out of me.

“I thought you were going to hurt yourself,” he tells me. “Promise you’ll stay calm and you can come out for a bit. We’ve got to get you fingerprinted.”

It’s then that I have the shattering realization that I am drunk and in a holding cell at a police station. The reason why escapes me though, as I try to grab onto flashes of sober memories but drown in my current state-of-mind.

I try to breathe with intent as I remember every single arrest-cliché in the book, and I cling to the fact that I am going to get my phone call. They will probably let me go—they have to. If anything, they will make me stay the night at the most.

I remember the silent promise I had once made myself—that the moment I got a DUI that I would put down the bottle for good. Jail was the worst it could get. It had been my crowning achievement at my last three rehabs that I had never graced the inside of a jail cell and I never planned to.

“Continue down the path you have been,” one of the staff members at my second treatment center had told me after sharing her own story about prison, “and jail is a guarantee.”

And here I am. Her words have come to pass, as promised.

I then remember what else she told me as we talked over a pack of Marlboro Reds on a warm Orange County night.

“Finish the 90 days,” she had said, “Or you will not make it and there will come a day where you will no longer be able to cry out ‘I’m a good person!’. You will lie. You will steal. You will become someone and something else. You will hurt everyone you love. You will lose everything, and just when you think you have lost it all, you will lose something else.”

MEET THE AUTHOR


If there is anything Hannah believes in, it’s hope, but that wasn’t always the case. For a long time, chaos was comfortable for Hannah, but at just 22 she would have to make her hardest decision yet: was life really worth living? Since picking up a pen Hannah has had a love for writing, and as an adult it would become her greatest tool in healing from an almost decade-long battle with severe mental illness and substance abuse. Her first book, Tiger Stripes, is a harrowing, raw telling of her year in and out of hospitals, treatment centers, and jail that finally led her on the road to recovery and freedom.

Hannah was born in Orange County, CA but has lived in the Los Angeles area for several years. She now lives in West L.A. with her boyfriend. When she is not writing she can be found reading, running, cooking, or finding the best vegan eats in L.A.!

Website - http://hannahrenaeauthor.com/
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/hannahrenae/
Pinterest - https://www.pinterest.com/hurnpublications/tiger-stripes/
Book Landing Page - https://hurnpublications.com/tiger-stripes/

Buy Links:

Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08WM2S9Y2/ref=as_li_tl
BN - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tiger-stripes-hannah-renae/1138814034?ean=9781736450901
Kobo - https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/tiger-stripes
Apple Books - https://books.apple.com/us/book/tiger-stripes/id1553383519
TBD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Tiger-Stripes-Hannah-Renae/9781736450901
Indigo - https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/tiger-stripes-a-memoir/9781736450918-item.html

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Monday, April 12, 2021

Straight Browsing from the Library: How to Overcome Insomnia All by Yourself by Antoinetta Vogels



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Antoinetta will be awarding a print copy of "Healthy Sense of Self - How to be true to your self and make your world a better place!" to one randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour (US Only). Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

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Antoinetta has a bachelor’s in French and a master’s in music. She worked in the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra as a bassoonist, has two grown daughters, and lives in Bellevue, WA, USA.

In 2013, Antoinetta created the Sense of Self Method, a self-help program for people who want to get a good night’s sleep no matter what!

With her company, Healthy Sense Of Self, LLC, Antoinetta and her team provide education about what can be wrong in the way a person experiences their self and, consequently, others. Antoinetta has made it her life’s work to help people improve their life by reversing issues related to a negative self-image. She wants everyone to have the ability to be their most authentic self.

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Some children grow up in a supportive environment, with parents who give them the freedom to discover their true Self and encourage them to feel good about who they are. Others of us are doomed to constantly earning parental approval over the course of our lives because we’ve never felt acknowledged or accepted. How we deal with that situation will differ, depending on our individual temperament, character, and the way we learned how to deal with our emotions.

Feeling like you don’t belong creates a negative self-image because the message you receive is that you aren’t good enough to be included. But feeling invisible can be a self-fulfilling prophecy—when you aren’t seen or heard or taken into consideration, it’s a natural reaction to shrink in on yourself and not do anything to stand out.

I remember very well how I felt on those occasions. It was a feeling that always haunted me. One day, when I was about sixteen years old, I stood on the beach looking out over the sea, and I noticed a pole rising above the water. I imagined that the sea was full of people and I was sitting on that pole, removed from everyone around me and unable to reach them. It felt terribly lonely. The endlessness of the sea only made that sense of isolation stronger.

MEET THE AUTHOR


Antoinetta Vogels is the Founder and CEO of Healthy Sense of Self™ LLC, author of "How to Overcome Insomnia All by Yourself" her newest book which will release in the fall. She also wrote "Healthy Sense of Self How to be True to Your Self and Make Your World a Better Place!" (2013), as well as the Online Course: Introducing the Sense of Self Method! (found on her website, www.healthysenseofself.com), the "Sense of Self Workbook" (based on the Online Course but also to be used independently) (2014), "A Guided Journal to a Healthy Sense of Self (2014), and "The Motivation Cure" (2017).

Through many years of searching for her Self, Antoinetta has come to conclude that from early childhood on, many of us have not been acknowledged as the autonomous people we truly are. She provides insight and tools to help you enhance and/or completely restore your ability to sense your Self and correct the ill-effects of childhood conditioning that reverberate in all aspects of our lives.

Antoinetta Vogels is a graduate of the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, Netherlands and a former bassoonist of the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra. She is a ballroom dancer, a mother of two and lives in Washington, USA.

https://www.healthysenseofself.com/
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7177981.Antoinetta_Vogels
http://www.twitter.com/HealthySoS

https://www.amazon.com/How-Overcome-Insomnia-All-Yourself-ebook/dp/B08T5Y299B/

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Friday, April 9, 2021

Straight Browsing from the Library: The Place Beyond Her Dreams by Oby Aligwekwe



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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“We are most courageous at our weakest; when we believe we have faced what we fear the most and have nothing more to lose.”

At the sudden death of her grandfather, Ona’s pain transports her to mystical Luenah—a place of infinite possibilities, free of turf wars and other ills that plague the earthly dimension she lives in. In Luenah, where her grandfather awaits her, Ona learns she is an Eri, one bestowed with unique intuitive and spiritual gifts passed down from generation-to-generation.

On her eighteenth birthday, she returns to Luenah and is handed a box to deposit her ‘exchange’ for love and happiness—her great desires.

Burdened by her quest, Ona crosses paths with danger and heartbreak as the two men that love her dearly are viciously pitted against each other. As evil looms, she learns that dreams carry a hefty price, and no one is who they seem. Now, she must unmask the villain and save the one she loves, even at the risk of losing everything she holds dear.

Set against the backdrop of two warring towns, Oby Aligwekwe’s Young Adult debut—told from the viewpoint of her main character—is inspired by her West African heritage, fables, and spiritual beliefs. Ona’s journey reveals the power of choice, the true source of happiness, and, most importantly, the transformation one must go through to realize and eventually occupy their purpose.

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Death was nothing new to me as living with my grandparents gave me the experience of witnessing village elders passing away. My grandfather was always in attendance to support families who had lost loved ones, and I sometimes accompanied him. Unlike the others, his death was more than a passing experience. This was no ordinary man. This was my Papa—a six-foot-six gentle giant, the head of our family. Since my grandfather was a chief, layers of rites were performed in keeping with the tradition of Ntebe. All the other chiefs in the town, twenty in total, lined up in their full chiefly regalia to pay homage to their fallen comrade. For a full twenty minutes, they danced and made ritualistic sounds around the casket that bore the body of my grandfather. I remember being in complete awe of their attires and flamboyant displays.

They placed the casket in the ground at midday. I stood next to my grandmother and my parents at the graveside. My parents had been in Ntebe since the day before. For the first time that day, I saw a physical reaction from my grandmother. Wailing from deep within her lungs, she threatened to throw herself into the six-foot grave if my grandfather didn’t return to her. As the gravediggers worked desperately to cover the hole with a mound of red dirt, a group of men tried to prevent her from jumping in.

“Stop her!” I heard several people screaming.

Since I had always known her to be dramatic, I doubted she was going to carry out her threat. And I was right. As gunshots to commemorate the occasion tore through the air, my grandmother abandoned her display and ran for cover.

MEET THE AUTHOR


Oby Aligwekwe is the author of Nfudu and Hazel House. The Place Beyond Her Dreams is her Young Adult debut.

Oby’s first novel, Nfudu, a romance set in 1960’s Paris, received critical acclaim and was featured in publications such as Excellence Magazine and Mosaic Editions. Her second novel, Hazel House, paints a vivid portrait of how the needs of humans collide amidst intense desire and the quest for power. In her Young Adult debut, The Place Beyond Her Dreams, the protagonist Ona goes on a transformative journey to discover her purpose.

A talented writer, Oby is also an inspirational speaker and a chartered accountant. She lives in Oakville, Ontario, with her family and supports her community through her charity Éclat Beginnings.

When Oby is not working on her day job or whipping up stories, she enjoys traveling to exotic locations and bringing pieces of her travel with her. She lives in Oakville, Ontario, with her family and supports her community through her charity Éclat Beginnings.

Amazon author page URL - https://www.amazon.com/Oby-Aligwekwe/e/B076G1J4YC?ref_=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000
Barnes and Noble Author URL - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/%22Oby%20Aligwekwe%22?Ntk=P_key_Contributor_List&Ns=P_Sales_Rank&Ntx=mode+matchall
BN Buy Link https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-place-beyond-her-dreams-oby-aligwekwe/1138601469
Amazon Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08SLPGCFP/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0

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Thursday, April 8, 2021

Straight Browsing from the Library: He'll Be Waiting by Liz Alterman



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Liz Alterman will be awarding a $25 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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What would you do to remember? What would you give to forget?

When Tess Porter agrees to pick up her boyfriend’s college pal at the airport on a snowy December night, she has no idea she’s about to embark on the most dangerous ride of her life.

Two days later, the 17-year-old wakes up in a hospital with broken bones, unable to remember how she got there. Her parents are acting strange, and neither James, her boyfriend, nor her best friend, Izzy, has visited.

As she struggles to physically recover, Tess wrestles with haunting questions: What happened? Will her memory ever return? And what if she’s better off not recalling any of it?

READ AN EXCERPT


A blast of heat smacks my face as I walk through the automatic doors. I look at the monitors. If someone gave me a dime for every time the word “canceled” appears beside a flight, I could buy a private jet.

Stranded holiday travelers sleep on the floor using their suitcases for pillows. Families eat dinner slumped against garbage cans. The stale air smells like French fries and feet. It’s chaos, and though I don’t want to drive again anytime soon, I’m jumpy to get out of here as fast as possible.

Circling the baggage carousels like a shark, I’m bursting with adrenaline after that hell ride. My shirt, damp with sweat, sticks to my skin. I feel chilled beneath Mom’s coat. I’m wondering how I’ll ever find Nick Lawrence in this sea of people when a guy walks up to me. At first, I think he’s going to ask me for money or a ride, but then I take a closer look. Dark hair, dark eyes, empty-looking duffel bag slung over his shoulder. He’s wearing a lightweight hoodie over a t-shirt. The neck is stretched out and wavy. He looks sloppy, not like a guy who attends a top university, but maybe he’s shot from finals too. His eyes, vaguely familiar, meet mine. He holds out a thick, clammy hand. When our palms touch, an electric shock passes between us. He holds my hand a beat too long and smiles, a weird, goofy grin. I have the sudden urge to pull away, turn around, leave him standing there. He doesn’t look like the kind of guy James would befriend, but James always reminds me: Don’t judge a book by its cover.

MEET THE AUTHOR


Liz Alterman lives in New Jersey with her husband and three sons. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Parents, McSweeney's, and other publications. She spends most days microwaving the same cup of coffee and looking up synonyms.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LizAlterman
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21164511.Liz_Alterman
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/liz-alterman
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/liz.alterman
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/elizabethalterman
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lizalterman

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08Y7HKQYB/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i0

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Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Straight Browsing from the Library: Eat Your Heart Out by Shirley Goldberg



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Shirley Goldberg 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.

When a tyrant in stilettos replaces her beloved boss, and her ex snags her coveted job, teacher Dana Narvana discovers there are worse things than getting dumped on Facebook. Time for the BFF advice squad. Alex—hunky colleague, quipster, and cooking pal extraordinaire is Dana’s staunchest ally. So what’s with the smooching after hours? And why won’t this grown man make up his mind?

Actor turned teacher Alex Bethany craves a family of his own. Newly hotified, he’s now got the confidence to try online dating. Meanwhile he’s sending Dana mixed messages in the kissing department. After a surprising event rocks his world, Alex panics, certain he’s blown his chances with his special person. Funny and bittersweet, Dana and Alex’s story will have you rooting for them all the way to dessert.

Read an Excerpt

Alex trotted inside to pay. Dana stood in the aisle ahead of him, drinking coffee from a Smiley’s container, her back to him.

What the hell, he’d give it a whirl. “Hey Dana, nice to see you.”

She turned. Her expectant look morphed into confusion.

Why hadn’t he changed after his trip to the mall? He pulled the T-shirt tighter by stuffing it into the back waistband of his shorts and leaned an elbow on the counter. The casual look. “I thought I saw you fondling the peaches. With Sunny and Noelle. One minute you’re there, next you’re gone.”

Irritation crossed her face. She checked her watch.

“You don’t have a clue about who I am, do you?” She’ll recognize me. I’ll make her see me. The stubborn gene from his grandmother.

“Let me give you a hint.” He cleared his throat and bounced on his heels as if limbering up for a sprint. “Cha-cha-cha changes,” he sang like a demented fool. Then repeated the refrain.

Heat rose in her face and he watched, fascinated as a drop of sweat slid down her neck into the V of her blouse. He stopped as suddenly as he’d begun. What the hell are you doing?

“Look, I’ve got to run.”

She was gone before he could explain, apologize…or cover his face with a paper bag.

About the Author:
Shirley Goldberg is a writer, novelist, and former ESL and French teacher who’s lived in Paris, Crete, and Casablanca. She writes about men and women of a certain age starting over. Her website http://midagedating.com offers a humorous look at living single. Her books FINISH THIS and dating in mid life, and her friends like to guess which stories are true. Eat Your Heart Out is the second book in the series Starting Over. Middle Ageish, the first, is available now. Her characters believe you should never leave home without your sense of humor and Shirley agrees.

Contact Links:

Website/blog: http://midagedating.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/midagedating
Twitter: https://twitter.com/mylifeasadate
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shirleygoldbergauthor/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3916624.Shirley_Goldberg
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/3531427862?list=following

Purchase Links for Eat Your Heart Out

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Your-Heart-Starting-Over-Book-ebook/dp/B08VHWN56S/
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/eat-your-heart-out-shirley-goldberg/1138734045
Apple: https://books.apple.com/us/book/eat-your-heart-out/id1552301489

Purchase Links for Middle Ageish, 1st book in series

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Middle-Ageish-Starting-Over-Book-ebook/dp/B08DHHGVSD
APPLE: https://tinyurl.com/y37cbc5u
Barnes and Noble: https://tinyurl.com/yyuwpq6o
Google: https://tinyurl.com/yypcdp7t Kobo: https://tinyurl.com/y3ezzmhk

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Friday, April 2, 2021

Straight Browsing from the Library: Midnight Masquerade by Anya Summers



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Anya Summers will be awarding a $25 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.

Sophia is in trouble. Again.

Maybe it’s the masks. Maybe she needs to feel something other than regret. Whatever the reason, she is either daring… or foolish… when she trades places with another submissive, and ends up spending the night in her mysterious boss’s bed.

He doesn’t recognize her, but now she’s had him, she knows one taste of his dark love will never be enough.

Gabriel Ryan has one firm rule: don’t sleep with employees.

Even though he’s infuriated beyond measure to discover Sophia in his bed after a night of mind-blowing pleasure, she is now in his blood. He craves her. Needs her. Yearns for her surrender.

But she is forbidden. He will break her with his dark desires.

When Sophia’s dangerous past waltzes into his club, Gabriel must protect her. He must claim her. And break every single one of his rules to keep her safe.

READ AN EXCERPT


By the time he ventured down into the Eros Pit, his exclusive, members only BDSM club hidden a floor beneath Eternal Eros, he was in no mood to play. It had been a spectacularly long day at the office. Shame, really, that his mind and body weren’t on board, given the submissive bounty in his club.

But tonight, he would participate in the event, under threats and orders by Sophia. He sighed over the fact that he could deny the woman little. And she had badgered him from the start about joining in the events each month, until he finally yielded.

Granted, that might have had something to do with the way she had stood in his office earlier today, her hands on her lush hips, a fierce scowl on her face and a glimmer in her eyes that told him that she would forcibly escort him if needed.

He’d folded like a house of cards while ignoring what the sight of her in his office did to him and his libido. Gabe refused to let his dick do his thinking for him, no matter how much Sophia stirred him.

In the elevator, he adjusted the black mask covering his face. He’d not changed into a costume, as much as his event coordinator had pestered him to wear one. The woman had gone so far as to have a costume made for him. But he couldn’t see himself prancing around in the dandy seventeenth century garb, not even to make her happy. Instead, he had stuck with his black suit and navy-blue tie. His one concession, besides his willingness to participate tonight, was the mask covering the top half of his face.

And the mask was all Sophia would get out of him.

The mood in the Eros Pit most nights tended to be more subdued—with the extra added elements of scenes in progress and muted music—than the club upstairs. That was by design on his part. At least, it usually was more laid back, with scenes at various stations and the occasional high-pitched moans from submissives. But tonight, with the masquerade event, the air in the Eros Pit held a thrill of excitement. Submissives in their exotic costumes were grouped together, talking excitedly, wondering who they would end up with for the night.

All participating Doms had been given a station in one of the scene areas or private rooms a floor down. Then the submissives, in their erotic ball wear, selected from a bowl a marker with the scene area and Dom listed. The submissive would head to the scene area or private room upon selection, and then the Dom would join them once all the selections were made.

It was a rather brilliant strategy and way of introducing unattached Doms and submissives to one another. In participating, they were agreeing to scene with another for the night—and possibly more, depending on the connection.

And the place was packed to the gills tonight.

Scanning the crowd, Gabe discovered that even his rapscallion brothers were in attendance—and had gotten into the spirit of the event, given their costumes, or most of them had, anyhow. Dean was a no show, but that had been the norm the last few months.

The submissive selection process was already in progress, with peals of laughter and squeals of delight from the women. It was arranged so that by midnight, all the submissives would be at their stations. With time to kill before he went to his private room, Gabe made his way through the throng to his private section of the club. Most nights there were available subs standing near the black velvet rope separating his section of the club, or sitting at one of the booths or tables nearby with the hope that either he or one of his brothers would give them a nod and join them. Yet, this evening, all those subs were dressed in costume and waiting in line to select their Dom..

MEET 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 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.

Website: http://www.anyasummers.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AnyaSummersAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/anyabsummers
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15183606.Anya_Summers
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Anya-Summers/e/B01EGTVRKC/
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/anya-summers
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/anyasummersauthor/
Newsletter: https://anyasummers.com/newsletter/

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2MSosG4
Nook: http://bit.ly/3e0yf8e
Kobo: http://bit.ly/389cG1p
Apple: http://apple.co/30bEOga
Universal: https://books2read.com/u/me7vDl

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Monday, March 29, 2021

Straight Reading from the Library: Ellerslie by William Francis



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. William Francis will be awarding a $25 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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Did you know author F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda lived in a haunted house?

It’s the Jazz Age, it’s Prohibition and aviator Charles Lindbergh is the most famous person in America. Author F. Scott Fitzgerald rents a mansion in Edgemoor, Delaware called Ellerslie hoping for a quiet retreat so that he can write his next novel following The Great Gatsby.

April Ross, the first and only female history major at the University of Delaware, is commissioned by the owner of Ellerslie to research the estate’s history for a potential sale. At least, that’s what April is told. In the days ahead, April’s historical research uncovers Ellerslie’s former owners dating back to 1810. She interacts with the Fitzgeralds, yet endures unexplained occurrences and visits by an unknown woman. Against her better judgement, April eventually accepts that the woman is a ghost and realizes that her true purpose is to find out who this woman is, or was, and what happened to her in real life.

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“I don’t know,” Scott said, lifting his glass of gin, his bowl of stew untouched. “I’m just so sick and tired of hearing about Charles Lindbergh. They report everything he says and does.”

Zelda spooned her stew and turned serious. “I’m sorry, Fitz. I know you’re upset about the latest sales figures for Gatsby. I should’ve been more receptive to your feelings when you told me.”

Scott took another sip. “I blame the title. I told you I hated the title.” He mimicked sarcasm. “The Great Gatsby. Rather pretentious, don’t you think? And what’s so great about him? He’s a sick symbol of today’s greed and self-absorption. Who needs to read a story about a man who epitomizes what we see in everyday society?”

“You know,” Zelda said, “I think those journalists who are coverin’ Lindbergh would better serve the public if they examined the disgusting tastes of American readers. They need to explain to me why dime novelists like Zane Grey are making a fortune while respectable writers like you, Fitz, are not.”

April appreciated seeing Zelda act kindly to her husband, but she wondered how long it would last.

“My friend Mencken is soooo right,” Scott said after tasting some stew. “Quote: ‘No one has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of plain people, nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.”

“Fitz, maybe you should write one of those dime novels.”

“I’d rather die.”

“Do not fret, monsieur. I believe you could write a good one.”

“Well,” Scott said to April, “what do you think? You’ve been silent so far.”

April put her spoon down and took a moment to formulate her response. “I’ve been reading The Great Gatsby and I really like it. I’m intrigued by the mysterious Jay Gatsby and how Nick perceives him. And then there’s the relationship between Jay and Daisy and Tom Buchanan. I look forward to finishing the book, hopefully tonight.”

“Thank you for saying so, but that wasn’t the question. Should I write a dime novel?”

“No, sir,” April said staring directly at Scott’s bloodshot eyes. “There’s nothing wrong with writing at an elite level. It’s a known fact that the masses prefer tabloid stories and yellow journalism, and that Mr. Hearts has capitalized on this. But I think you’d be doing yourself and the literary world a great disservice if you lowered your talents to that type of writing.”

Scott’s eyes watered. He looked shocked.

“Wow, Fitz,” Zelda said, humbled. “I think that’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to you about your writing.”

MEET THE AUTHOR


Raised in Newark, Delaware, William spends his days working in Corporate America and writing about the First State. He achieved a Masters Degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, but also writes non-fiction. Through Arcadia Publishing he has produced 5 books related to Delaware: The DuPont Highway, Along the Kirkwood Highway, Along the Christina River, Building Interstate in 95 in Delaware and Newark Then &amp Now. Fiction titles include: A Life Told to None, The Umpire, Seacrest, and the five-star The Katie Dugan Case. Whether his books are fact or fiction, William hopes to entertain as well as inform and leave the reader with a satisfying experience.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/william.francis.925
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7752881.William_Francis
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08XK1JYC7/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i4

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