Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Straight Browsing From the Library: The Frost of Springtime by Rachel L. Demeter

BBT The Frost of Sprintime Banner copy

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Rachel will be awarding a $15 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, plus an autographed bookmark will be awarded to 5 randomly drawn winners (US ONLY). Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


MEDIA KIT THE FROST OF SPRINGTIME - Cover ArtTo rescue her was to rescue his own soul.

On a cold Parisian night, Vicomte Aleksender de Lefèvre forges an everlasting bond with a broken girl during her darkest hour, rescuing her from a life of abuse and misery. Tormented by his own demons, he finds his first bit of solace in sheltering little Sofia Rose.

But when Aleksender is drawn away by the Franco-Prussian war, the seasons pass. And in that long year, Sofia matures into a stunning young woman—a dancer with an understanding of devotion and redemption far surpassing her age.

Alongside his closest friend, Aleksender returns home to find that “home” is gone—replaced by revolution, bloodshed, betrayal—and a love always out of reach. Scarred inside and out, he’s thrust into a world of sensuality and violence—a world in which all his hours have now grown dark, and where only Sofia might bring an end to the winter in his heart.

Inspired by the 1871 Paris Commune, The Frost of Springtime is a poignant tale of revolution, redemption, and the healing power of love.

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Sofia saw the memories buried within his eyes. Gunshots. Screams. Rolling cannons and the faded cries of despair. They lodged inside Aleksender, battling for his soul.

Sofia rose from the ground and tentatively crouched behind him. Remaining silent, her hands sunk below the material of his dress shirt and encouraged him with gentle caresses.

“Disease and death were everywhere. Men with boils and rashes the size of saucers. Anyway, we almost managed to escape. It was a good mile away that we were spotted. They were corrupt soldiers, nothing but hungry dogs with a taste for blood-lust. We were tied at the wrists and ankles, crammed inside a tent. Whether it was days or weeks, I cannot say.” Scoffing under his breath, he spat, “The fools demanded answers. They demanded our plans. Strategies. We refused each time. Even so none of us knew anything.”

“Oh, Alek. Why didn’t you tell them? To think you could have avoided so much pain.”

His shoulders lifted into a dry shrug. “I suppose we took a morbid delight in their frustration.” His voice was icy, harsh and void of all emotion. “And besides—it was the prospect of whipping information from our skin that kept us alive. But we were eventually returned to the camp. Bloodied, battered and burned—but alive.” Aleksender passed fingertips through his hairline. “Till this day, I have no idea what changed their minds …” Aleksender sighed and gave an afterthought, “Word had spread of their rather unorthodox methods, so to speak. According to rumor, they’d paid dearly.”

“I pray they burn in hell,” Sofia gasped. “Every last one of them!”

Aleksender laughed, amused by her goodhearted blasphemy. “Ah, Sofia, ma chérie. You do wonders for me.” And then a sudden thought came to his mind. “Christophe was there with me.”

“In the tents?” Sofia murmured, her heart reaching out to both heroes.

Aleksender merely nodded.

Although she’d never had the pleasure of meeting Monsieur Cleef, his name inspired a strange twinge of nostalgia inside her gut. Aleksender had often spoken of his dear friend—a rather admirable man of big ideas and too little restraint. From what she knew of the roguish skirt-chaser, she’d always admired him very much.

“Such wonderfully brave men,” she crooned, caressing one of many scars. “You have a soldier’s heart.”

Cloaked beneath the darkness, Sofia’s fingertips moved over his back in hypnotic motions, not leaving an inch of him unloved. “Do they pain you much?”

“No,” he hoarsely answered, “they are no bother.” His body trembled within her arms. “Not any longer.”

Between tentative kisses and muffled sniffles, she whispered, “To think of the pain you endured. The cruelty—your suffering.”

Aligning their two bodies, Aleksender cradled Sofia’s face between his palms and sweetly stroked her skin. Sofia’s toes curled against the barrier of her slippers. It was intoxicating. By far the sweetest moment in her nineteen years of life. With a last kiss, he whispered into her mouth, “Pain is in the mind. And, in my mind, ma chérie … I was with you.”



MEDIA KIT RachelDemeter_portrait

Rachel L. Demeter lives in the beautiful hills of Anaheim, California with Teddy, her goofy lowland sheepdog, and high school sweetheart of ten years. She enjoys writing dark, edgy romances that challenge the reader’s emotions and examine the redeeming power of love.

Imagining stories and characters has been Rachel’s passion for longer than she can remember. Before learning how to read or write, she would dictate stories while her mom would jot them down for her. She has a special affinity for the tortured hero and unconventional romances. Whether sculpting the protagonist or antagonist, she always ensures that every character is given a soul.

Rachel strives to intricately blend elements of romance, suspense, and horror. Some common themes her stories never stray too far from: forbidden romance, soul mates, the power of love to redeem, mend all wounds, and triumph over darkness. Her dream is to move readers and leave an emotional impact through her words.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads ~ Google+ ~ Pinterest


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Straight Chatting From the Library: Jessica O'Gorek

Jessica O'Gorek has stoppped by The Library to chat with us as part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jessica will be awarding $50 Amazon or BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via the Rafflecopter at the end of this post. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


1. Is your life anything like it was two years ago?

No, not at all. My dad was alive and I was married. I wasn’t a published author either and I had a different job than I do now.

2. Have you ever had an imaginary friend?

I had imaginary fairies that played with my Barbies.

3. Do you have any phobias?

Just rollercoasters.

4. Ever broken any bones?

Fractured my left wrist.

5. Do you ever wish you were someone else? Who?

I wish I was Kristen Stewart for the embarrassingly obvious reason… Can you say “Rob?” and “Yummy?”


Angry at the human race and its methodical destruction of her resources, Mother Earth recruits souls who have just left their bodies to serve Her, and turns them against humanity. Gemini, a clan of paranormal beings, picked from these possessed humans, emerges. A powerful, rising force proceeds to carry out Mother Nature’s plan to systematically destroy towns, cities, states… and eventually, the world. Amidst the chaos, a forbidden relationship between a human girl, Violette, and Onyx, a lead Gemini, begins. They will both find themselves in the middle of a revolutionary war that will either save, or destroy our world.


Chapter 4
Everyone has spare humans-

“Give me my brother back and I’ll go to Saint Augustine’s,” a small voice, that of a child, caught his attention. He could barely make out the shadow of a little girl to his right, huddled behind a larger man with bulging eyes and greasy hair. With more gusto in her voice, she stepped out from behind the man and stood up taller, her jaw set in challenge.

“I said, let my brother Collin go, and I’ll get you into Saint Augustine’s.”

Something about the guts it took to speak to him so defiantly and offer herself for sacrifice intrigued him, but he wasn’t sure if she was even a member of the church.

“You belong to the church?” Onyx watched her head fall and her eyes blur with tears.

“I did…once.” She faltered in her brave facade, something in her broke, the frown on her face turned into a dark grimace.

“So none of you are current members?” A few murmurs of the word “no” and he was satisfied. Their testimonies seemed heartfelt and sincere. He did not feel like entering all of their minds one by one, his ire began to fade and the temperature immediately fell a few degrees. “All right, enough,” he said in defeat. The atmosphere then changed to one of relief and confusion.

“But you didn’t answer our question. We answered yours, but you didn’t answer ours!” A balding man almost cried as he slumped against the wall and rubbed his wrists where his shackles had scoured them raw.

“Why?” A woman beside him chimed in as Onyx turned to leave.

“Give me my brother! I know you have him!” The shy little girl was now screaming accusations at him, her fists pumping the air, but he paid her no mind.

It was always easier to leave out the details. Tork always said there was nothing worse than a room full of hysterical captives. Bad enough to be human, but add in the adrenaline and the fear of the unknown, they became that much more insufferable. He ignored their pleas and timid curses, pulling the door shut with a thud, cutting off their curious stares. Someone yelled out they were hungry and he hesitated a little, trying to remember what hunger was. Ah yes, the need for food. The youngest of his clan, Sapphire, usually fed them three meals a day: canned food, all stolen from the local country store. He had no need for food and didn’t keep any around. Sapphire and some others would simply slip into the stores at night and rob them blind in small quantities.


I was born in Chesapeake, Virginia on April 19th, 1979. I was raised within the American Indian religion and was taught great respect for the earth and all its living beings. Powwows, sweat lodges, vision quests, you name it, I’ve done it. I was the weird kid who would confront kids on the playground in elementary school when they squished a bug. I would very sincerely tell them what they were doing was morally wrong and then I would pray for the bug to come back as a butterfly in its next life.

I grew up admiring my father, Barry Weinstock, as an author. He took me around the country to different places so he could research and write his Wilderness Survival books. One of his greatest works, “The Path of Power,” was written with a great medicine man, Sunbear.

When I was twelve I started hand writing novels. My first one was two thousand pages. My dad always encouraged me and would rave about my writing. He gave me the confidence I needed to keep writing and follow my dream. My daughter, who is twelve, is currently working on her first novel. I hope to continue the legacy.





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Monday, July 28, 2014

Straight Chatting at the Library: Dennis Anthony

Dennis Anthony has stoppped by The Library to chat with us as part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Dennis will be awarding an eCopy of Debunker: Independence Day to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


Tell us about your current book in 10 words.

In a strange universe, the heart remains the strangest thing

What are you reading right now?

Innocence by Dean Koontz

E-Reader or print? and why?

Almost exclusively e-reader (except for gifts). Too many hard copy books in the house. Can’t move!

One book at a time or multiples?

I try to read one book at a time on e-reader and listen to another while working out. Life’s complicated enough without reading multiple books.

Dog-ear or bookmark? (don't worry—Librarian Judith won't hold it against you—much)

Always bookmark. My wife, on the other hand . . . .

Least favorite book you've read this year?

Watchers by Dean Koontz. I thought the book was awful. On the other hand, Odd Thomas and Innocence, both by the same author, are delights. I don’t get it. Librarian Judith actually likes all three of those by Mr. Koontz. 77 Shadow Street was the least favorite of the Koontz book. When do you do most of your reading?

I read my Kindle in the afternoon and early morning before getting out of bed. I credit audiobooks for being able to continue going to the gym every day. I don’t look forward to the treadmills, weight machines and other torture devices, but I do look forward to discovering what happens next in the book I’m reading/listening to. When my wife and I are on a trip and we have to spend a long time on boring slabs of interstate, we always listen to a book -- usually a mystery -- as we travel. We stop the book often to talk about events and predict who dunnit. We’re always wrong. But it keeps me awake while I’m driving.

Favorite place to read?

In the big leather chair in my home office. On the second treadmill from the left at the gym.

Favorite book to recommend?

If you think you don’t like paranormal books but enjoy novels with a little grit in them, read The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan. You might change your mind. If you hate Westerns (I never read one before), read Doc by Mary Doria Russell. Beautifully written and surprisingly touching. The final climactic scene in the saloon took my breath away.

How do you keep your books organized?

Um . . . memory?

Re-reader or not?

I’m rereading the classics. A lot different the second time around. The Great Gatsby, for instance, was much more enjoyable when I read it as an adult than when I read it in college. Ditto when I read Slaughterhouse Five. I think I tried too hard to find meaning and symbolism when I was younger. These days, I just enjoy the ride without trying so hard. The books are more fun and it’s a richer experience.


This is the greatest battle ever fought on American soil. History will be changed. Thousands will die. And many of the dead will wander the battlefield in three different centuries, waiting to find their way home.

It’s 150 years later. Enter Francis Trecy.

An alienated outsider, he refutes paranormal claims of other researchers on a popular reality television show. Critics call him The Dark Lord. They call him The Unbeliever. Only a few people closest to him know his secret. Francis sees a lot more than he’s telling.

Before he becomes the accidental star of the program, he falls in love with a beautiful, enigmatic woman who disappears without explanation. In her wake, she leaves behind a procession of ex-lovers, along with suggestions of deceit and betrayal. Finding her becomes Francis's obsession.

His team of mismatched investigators journeys to the most famous battlefield in American history. There he discovers that reality is not at all what it seems. In coming to terms with his relationships and his complicated past, he battles against physical danger and emotional pain. He discovers that longings of thousands of wayward spirits mirror his own.

And he learns that in a world stranger than we can imagine, the human heart remains the strangest thing of all.


“Where was this?”

“Culp’s Hill,” Francis said. “Third day.”

The old man nodded. “The Second Maryland lost more than half its men in the space of ten hours.”

“It was a slaughter pen,” Francis said. “We were exhausted after marching more than a hundred miles, but were ordered to make attacks on the second, and then again on the third. The last one was the worst.”

“Where were you?”

“I don’t know. I folded. I fell down behind a tree. I wasn’t hit and I know if I had simply kept moving, I would have . . .”

“Been killed?” Mr. Cobb said.

“Supported my unit,” Francis said. “Some of the boys got about twenty yards from the Union position. Marshall Wilson almost made it, but he caught two in his right arm. ‘I’m bleedin’ real bad, Nate,’ he called to me. He never asked for my help. He just kept talking about bleeding. Hornets were flying close above me and the tree was being chopped apart by all the fire. I was frozen. I couldn’t move. I heard Marshall call my name a couple of more times. He wasn’t mad. At least I didn’t think so. Sometimes I thought he might have been saying ‘hate’ or maybe ‘fate’.”

“What happened next?”

“I tossed my gun away. I knew I wasn’t a soldier any more.”


Dennis Anthony has been a newspaper reporter, sailor, military officer, television news producer, public relations executive and publishing company owner. He and his wife live in Pensacola, Florida, but try to spend as much time as possible at their cabin on Lookout Mountain in Alabama. Debunker: Independence Day is his first published novel. Check out his website or follow him on Twitter: @DennisAuthor. Buy the book at Amazon.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Straight Chatting from the Library: Character interview

Jonathan Weeks has stopped by The Library to bring us an interview with his main character, "Chick" Dotson, who narrates THE BRIDGEPORT HAMMER, Jonathan's newest release. Enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a $10 Amazon GC.


Interview with Arnold “Chick” Dotson, Former Catcher for the Boston Wranglers and Narrator of The Bridgeport Hammer.
(Originally published in Baseball Today magazine, June 1991)

Tell us a little about your earliest baseball experience.

I had two older brothers who were great athletes. One of them played basketball for Duke University. The town I grew up in was quite rural and there were plenty of places to toss the ball around. I remember playing catcher for my oldest brother at a fairly young age—maybe seven or eight years old. He was in middle school at the time and he refused to take it easy on me. He had a pretty decent fastball. My hand would be smarting pretty good afterward.

Who were your sports heroes when you were young?

My brothers and I took a train down to see a New York Titans game in 1932. That was long before they moved to San Francisco. They played in that weird little stadium that was shaped like a bathtub. I was in awe of all the players. It seemed like such a glamorous thing to do for a living. I consider myself lucky that I actually got to play professionally myself.

Who influenced you the most during your playing days?

Jiggs Rowland was the best skipper I ever had. He was a real players’ manager. Even when he yelled at you (which was rarely), he gave you good advice. I think he got a bum rap in Boston and Chicago. The owners there were way too demanding. They put so much pressure on him, he developed ulcers and a nervous condition that he ended up taking medication for.

Who was the most interesting teammate you ever had?

Definitely Emmett Drexler. He had that crazy blooper pitch that would sail about twenty feet in the air before it reached the plate. Emmett was the most intensely private man I ever met…Never shared a scrap of personal information with anyone. He was always showing up when you least expected it then disappearing in a puff of smoke. Real mysterious. He never got nervous during games, even when he was in a serious jam. I don’t think I ever saw him sweat. It’s too bad he didn’t hang around the majors a little longer.

What was your most memorable game?

There was a pitcher named Lu Salvatore who used to play for the Titans. They called him “The Exterminator” because he liked to throw at hitters. He had such a nasty disposition. I remember he would stomp up onto the mound before every pitch like he was mad at you. I hit a home run off of him in New York once that bounced all the way to the center field scoreboard. It was measured at about five hundred feet. He stared at me all the way around the bases like he wanted to knock my head off. I thought he was actually going to attack me.

What was your most embarrassing baseball experience?

I used to work with a left-hander named Rollie Barrett. He was one of the wildest pitchers I’ve ever played with. Half of his pitches would bounce in front of home plate. I got charged with seven passed balls one day while catching for him. That’s an all time record.

What has changed the most about baseball over the years?

Players are bigger and stronger for one thing. Pitchers are pretty pampered. Back in my day, there were only four men in the starting rotation. During a pennant race, they worked on short rest. The idea of a relief specialist was relatively new. Managers thought nothing of starting a guy one day then bringing him on in relief the next. Seriously, pitchers were expected to throw until their arms fell off. Overall, the game is a lot more gentlemanly today. Players used to fight all the time when I played. And pitchers would try to knock you down at the plate to keep you from getting comfortable. Umpires don’t tolerate that as much nowadays.

If you could change one thing about baseball today what would it be?

There’s too much time in between pitches. In my day, umpires hounded you to keep the game going. I enjoy a nice afternoon at the ballpark as much as the next guy, but games are getting to be over three hours long. It’s time to speed things up.

What is your favorite book or movie?

I don’t read much, but I really enjoyed My Time in Hell by Eddie Black. I used to play with Eddie in Boston. He struggled with mental health issues and ended up in an institution. His book really opened my eyes to the horrors of those places. When the book came out in the 1960s, it was largely ignored. It wasn’t until the 1980s when people finally began to realize that patients were being neglected and abused.


“As you would have the right to expect from any book about a baseball-playing spy narrated by the all-time record holder for most passed balls in a single game, The Bridgeport Hammer is a delight. Jonathan Weeks’ tale of baseball during wartime lovingly gets all the details of the old ballgame right, and does so while spiriting the reader through a fascinating tale of journeymen, espionage, and one unforgettably goofy pitch. Add “the bumpus” of the mysterious rookie Emmett Drexler to the great notions in baseball lore, and add The Bridgeport Hammer to your shelf of baseball classics.” - Josh Wilker, author of Cardboard Gods


A right-hander, Drexler worked from the stretch without a windup. His first offering was a cream puff that Buddy absolutely crushed.


It cleared the wall and rolled to the base of the center field scoreboard, which stands about 460 feet from home plate. Only one player has ever hit a ball off that scoreboard on the fly. It wasn’t Buddy. Nope, that was Huck Bradley back in 1934.

Drexler put a little steam on the next one, but Buddy hammered it over the screen in right field onto Waveland Avenue. The next ten or twelve pitches ended up in the seats. There was hardly a section of bleachers left untouched.

“Looks like your rookie’s on his way back to the farm,” Pierce said mockingly.

“It’s only batting practice,” Jiggs reminded him. He was trying to sound casual, but he actually looked a bit uptight. He motioned for Drexler to bear down harder. Drexler gave a little nod and readjusted his cap.

Then something really strange happened.

Drexler stood with both feet planted on the rubber and his arms hanging limply at his sides. He rotated his right arm in a windmill motion—one, two, three full turns. Then he stepped forward and sort of flicked the ball into the air with backspin. It sailed in a high arc, maybe twenty feet or so, before tumbling lazily toward the plate.

Buddy had an eternity to think about swinging. By the time he did, his eyes were the size of saucers and he was practically salivating. He reared back and lunged for the ball with all his strength, connecting with nothing but air. Unable to stop his forward momentum, he toppled sideways and landed clumsily in the dirt.

“What the hell was that?” Pierce wanted to know.

“A strike,” said Jiggs.

“Is that pitch legal?”

“I don’t know, but I’m definitely going to look into it.”


Weeks spent thirty-eight years in the Capital District region of New York State. He obtained a degree in psychology from SUNY Albany. In 2004, he migrated to Malone, New York, and has continued to gripe about the frigid winter temperatures ever since. A member of the Society for American Baseball Research, he has authored two non-fiction books on the topic of baseball: Cellar Dwellers and Gallery of Rogues. His first novel, The Bridgeport Hammer, (a baseball story set during the WWII era) is being released in the summer of 2014. He writes about the game because he lacked the skills to play it professionally. He still can’t hit a curveball or lay off the high heat. Link: Check out his “Cellar Dwellers” blog at: jonathanweeks.blogspot.com. Buy the book at Amazon.


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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Straight Listening from the Library: Ocean of Dust by Graeme Ing

We have a special treat at The Library today- a review of an audiobook! Ocean of Dust by Graeme Ing is available in print, ebook, and audiobook. Graeme will be awarding a $20 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


Fourteen-year old Lissa is snatched from her home and finds herself a slave on a trading ship traveling on a waterless ocean of nothing but gray dust. A feisty, curious and intelligent girl, her desire to explore the ship earns her the hatred of the cruel first officer, Farq.

Fascinated by the ocean of dust, Lissa becomes embroiled in its mysteries, sensing things that the crew cannot, while cryptic whispers in her head are leading her toward a destiny linked to the dust itself. Only one man aboard can help her make sense of her new talent, but can she trust him? All is not as it seems, and she must unravel the clues before it’s too late.

When a sinister plot casts her adrift on the barren ocean, her best friend is left in the hands of the treacherous crew. Everything hinges upon her courage, quick wits, and her ability to master her new talent.



Here at The Library we love audio books. How much fun to turn the chore of driving into actually READING a book---with your ears. We had that opportunity with the audiobook of Ocean of Dust, written by Graeme Ing and read by Becky Doughty.

The story is a very exciting one about a 14-year-old Lissa who is kidnapped from her world and forced to serve on a ship under a brutal mate. She begins to realize that she can sense things the other people on the ship cannnot and she has a special talent that will stand her in good stead.

The characters are well-drawn and the world building is top notch. Things are different enough you know you "aren't in Kansas anymore", but similar enough that you don't feel lost. Lissa is a very smart, resourceful, loyal girl. This reader couldn't help rooting for her the entire book. Bless her heart, it was like she couldn't catch a break--the author threw one thing after another at her. I never knew where this story was going.

The ending was left with the sense that Lissa's adventures are not yet over-- I hope not. I'm looking forward to learning more about this land and what is in store for Lissa.

The narrator was a wonderful choice for Lissa, the POV character, and she also did a remarkable job with the other voices. I hope she is chosen to narrate the next book in the series.

4 stars.


Graeme is a writer of speculative fiction. He probably won't fall into existing pigeonholes, but hang around and you'll get to read tales of fantasy, science-fiction, paranormal, cyberpunk, steampunk and who knows what.

Born in England, Graeme now lives in San Diego, California. His career as a software engineer and development manager spans 30 years, including the development of a dozen computer games for consoles, home computers and online. Graeme is also an avid armchair mountaineer, astronomer, mapmaker, pilot and general geek. He and his wife, Tamara, share their house with six crazy cats.

Website ~ Blog ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Google+ ~ Goodreads

Buy the book at Amazon or Audible.


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Straight Browsing from the Library: 2014 Summer Collection Anthology

Browse through this collection of stories as part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The authors will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via the rafflecopter at the end of this post during the tour. Please click on the banner to see the other stops on this tour.


Five complete sweet to sensual stories from five multi-talented authors in settings to make any summer occasion more special. Included are:

Meet Me In Seattle by Markee Anderson

Madysen Duke has been coerced to participate in a reality show with her teacher friends. But little does she know, her high school flame is also along for the ride, with intentions much different from hers. Even though she's out for the money, he's trying to thwart whatever crime is happening right before their eyes.

Arrow Through The Heart by Stephanie Burkhart

Summer vacation and the Fourth of July brings Ella to New Hampshire while participating in a tennis competition. Logan is an innkeeper's son who bumps into Ella and invites her for an ice cream. Attraction flares and they enjoy spending time together, but each has their own plans for their life. Then disaster strikes Ella. Can a summer attraction truly become a lasting relationship?

Taking Liberty by Gerald Costlow

Liberty "Libby" Bell is a waitress at a roadside diner, trying to hide from an abusive ex-boyfriend who refuses to leave her alone. She strikes up a romance with Roger, a hunky local fireman, and seems to be getting her life back into gear. Then her ex-boyfriend tracks her down.

Will she be forced to leave Roger and run away again, or see the ex- boyfriend and risk a violent confrontation?

And if that isn't enough to handle, suddenly there's a serial killer in their midst.

Marcy’s Struggle by Larry Hammersley

Marcy Mason is in her final year of graduate school, pursuing a PhD in chemistry. She has brains and looks, but struggles in the romance department. She met Ross Franklin in undergraduate school when she was a senior; he was a freshman and second-string quarterback. Her problem – she was hung up on Leroy Doyle at the time.

Leroy is married and moved away, but Ross, now star quarterback, isn't convinced she’s over Leroy. When Leroy arrives on campus to give a lecture, Marcy must make all the arrangements. After contact with Leroy, Marcy admits to what she’s known all along—she’s over Leroy and wants Ross in her life. Can she convince Ross to look past their different backgrounds and give love a chance?

The Garden by Jory Sherman

Summer brings forth fresh vegetables in the garden and with them, the ultimate fight against insects and wild critters to protect those vegetables. Harvey enjoys his garden, especially the corn – watching it grow, providing food for his beloved wife Ruth. Then, something unusual happens in the garden and his corn begins to disappear.


Libby turned the key to her little mobile home, realizing this was the first time anyone, man or woman, had been invited inside since moving here a year ago.

"It's not much," she said, waving at the tiny living room and attached kitchen common to all such units. "I can ride my bike to work and back in good weather and being a waitress doesn't give me enough income for anything better."

"I like it," he said, looking around. "Cozy. If I ever move out of that drafty old house I was raised in, I'd love to find something smaller. But then I think about having to pay rent..." He shrugged.

"Grab a seat on the couch," she said, heading for the refrigerator. "I have diet Coke and some orange juice that's not too old. There's milk, but it's past the expiration date, so I wouldn't recommend it."

"Orange juice is fine," he said.

"I can make a pot of coffee. I think I have an old jar of creamer in the cupboard."

"No, no, juice is fine."

She poured the juice, turned, and had to stop for a moment. Seeing him relaxed in her couch, legs stretched out under the coffee table, looked so...natural. Like he was meant to be there. She felt happy being around him. Am I...falling in love?


Markee Anderson makes her home in northeast Wisconsin, surrounded by Packer fans, snow, and cheese. Along with her husband, they have three adult children and two Boston terrier babies. She writes under different pen names, all at: www.sweettalebooks.com

Come visit her at: http://markeeanderson.com

Stephanie Burkhart was born in Manchester, New Hampshire. After graduating from Central High, she joined the U.S. Army. She spent eleven years in the military, seven stationed in Germany. She left the Army in 1997 and settled in California. Stephanie has been married for over twenty years and has two boys, Andrew and Joseph. She now works for LAPD as a 9-1-1 Dispatcher.

Come visit her at: http://www.stephanieburkhart.com

Gerald Costlow lives in Michigan and has published several novels and numerous short stories and novellas over the years. He's currently publishing a romantic-supernatural series with Publishing by Rebecca Vickery.

Larry Hammersley is 76 and has been married to Sue for 51 years. He has two children and five grandchildren. Larry enjoys jogging, amateur radio, occasional woodworking, and is active in his church. He's been writing for 39 years.

Come visit his blog at: http://larryhammersley.blogspot.com/

Jory Sherman began his literary career as a poet in San Francisco's famed North Beach in the late 1950s, during the heyday of the Beat Generation. He has been published widely in literary journals. His first book of poetry, So Many Rooms, was published by Galley Sail Press in 1959.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jory-Sherman/267712936601703


AMAZON: http://amzn.com/B00KMJB4NG

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Straight Talking from the Library: Jessica Jefferson

Welcome to Jessica Jefferson, author of TAMING MISS TISDALE, as she stops by The Library as part of her virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


I’ve been an avid reader since childhood. My mother had shelves lined with books from Louis L’ Amour, Judith Krantz, Judith Michael, and Kathleen Woodiwiss. I consider myself fortunate to have been raised by a woman who valued reading. Today, I encourage my own children to read. Both have shelves and stacks of books, as well as e-readers. I’m a sucker when it comes to buying them books – if they want one, I let them have it.

I actually keep a book journal – something I started in high school. There, I record the titles and authors of all the books I read, with the exception of e-books. I consider my Kindle to be enough of a record already not to necessitate all that rework.

As difficult as this was, I’ve somehow been able to come up with a list of my top ten favorite books. They are in no specific order, and are likely to change the day after this post goes live.

1. Paradise by Judith McNaught – I reread this one at least once a year. It has everything one could wish for in a romance. My tastes have always leaned toward historical romance, but this contemporary gave me everything and more. Poor boy meets rich girl, boy loses girl by horrible misunderstanding by evil father, girl and boy meet years later while she’s engaged and he’s rich and powerful. I can’t put it down once I start reading.

2. The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde – This collection of Wilde’s work gives me everything from his poetry to his essays, as well as his novel – The Picture of Dorian Gray. I started reading Wilde in high school and I’ve always enjoyed his poetry. I find him to be incredibly witty, and a bit snarky – my favorite qualities in a writer.

3. A Rose in Winter by Kathleen Woodiwiss – This beauty and the beast story turns out not to be. The hero in this is cocky, self-assured, and could easily seduce any woman – my perfect idea of a book boyfriend. Woodiwiss was a gifted writer and keeps me reading and interested for hundreds and hundreds of pages (her books are pretty long).

4. Perfect by Judith McNaught – I hate being unoriginal, but I love this author. Perfect is another contemporary featuring a small town girl and rich and hunky actor on the run. It’s actually a little more suspenseful that I’m used to in a romance novel, but it moves me to tears. Actual tears.

5. Goddess of the Hunt by Tessa Dare – This book introduced me to Tessa Dare, and I can safely say I’ve been hooked ever since. She’s a hilarious author and her books keep me laughing.

6. Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas – My aunts Robin and Judy referred me to this book. They said it was “comforting”, one of those books you go to after you’ve had a bad day. They were right. This book is like chicken and noodles – comfort food for the soul. It’s a tender story with sexual tension, hot love scenes, and makes me say “awww” every time.

7. If I Were You by Lisa Renee Jones – Part of her Inside Out Trilogy, this book introduces Chris Merit – the sexiest book boyfriend out there. He’s a tortured artist on a motorcycle – need I say more?

8. How the Marquess was Won by Julie Anne Long – This is another in the Pennyroyal Green series, even though it deviates from the others in that the H and h are not actually Redmond’s or Eversea’s. Julie Anne Long is another one of those authors who writes historical romance that could easily be rewritten as a contemporary and uses humor well.

9. The Crucible by Arthur Miller – Technically, a play. I think this is one of those high school required readings that’s a rite of passage, much like Catcher in the Rye. I get so excited when I read it and the characters are written so well. I’ve never seen it performed on stage, but I’m so happy with just reading it straight through, I can’t imagine liking it anymore than I already do.

10. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell – I read this at a pretty young age, but it wasn’t until I learned more about the author herself that I truly appreciated the book. There are pieces of her scattered throughout that book, and it’s fascinating to find them.


Miss Tamsin Tisdale believes herself to be completely unsuitable for London life. After a myriad of social mishaps, and the potential ruination of her family name, she’s shipped away to her cousin’s northern estate. Only after she comes to her senses will she be welcomed home.

Marcus Winston, the Duke of Grayson, has a lackluster reputation. The last in a dying line, he’s endured a protected life—rank with privilege, encumbered by isolation. After a brief encounter with rebellion, he learns the devastating consequences of his carelessness and willingly accepts living life from inside his gilded cage.

However, a chance meeting with the brazen Miss Tisdale gives Marc the opportunity to reinvent himself into the man he’s always dreamed of being. When his deception comes to light, and ghosts from both their pasts threaten to unravel the intimacy they’ve come to cherish, will either of them set their fears aside long enough to embrace love? Or will Miss Tisdale’s stubbornness divide them?


Jessica Jefferson makes her home in northern Indiana, or as she likes to think of it—almost Chicago. She is heavily inspired by classic sweeping, historical romance novels, but aims to take those key emotional elements and inject a fresh blend of quick dialogue and comedy. She invites you to visit her at jessicajefferson.com and read more of her random romance musings: http://www.JessicaJefferson.com and www.embracingromance.com. Like her at Facebook and follow at Twitter. Buy the book at Amazon.


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