Monday, July 23, 2018

The Clock Flower by Barbara Casey - Book Blast and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Barbara Casey 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.



Mackenzie Yarborough, one of the three FIGs—Females of Intellectual Genius—finds herself facing a terrifying death of an ancient evil dragon while in China working on a secret research project and trying to discover the truth of her birth parents.














Read an Excerpt:

Dara knew that once she started researching the ancient writing systems and language of Shandong Province, there was no way she was going to waste her time attending her required undergraduate classes when she could be working on her research. Therefore, with Dr. Chu’s permission and using the syllabi she received on the first day of classes, she simply completed all of the course work in advance and turned it in. Most of the professors only wanted a report anyway. “Now with that out of the way, I can turn my full attention to the Longshan period dating 2500-1900 BC and researching the early writing, language, and human sacrifice at the Shang Dynasty capital of Anyang,” she told Mackenzie, Jennifer, and Carolina during another one of their nightly visits by phone.

“I am so impressed, Dara,” said Carolina. “Not surprised that you could do it, but still impressed.”

Jennifer and Mackenzie agreed.

Dara had something else to tell them. “I was going to wait to talk to you about this once I had all of the details worked out, but since Mackenzie might be going to China over our winter break to visit the Yellow Sea Laboratories, I’d better go ahead and let you know what I am thinking.” Then she told them about Dr. Wu inviting her to the small village of Dawenkou in the Shandong Province over the winter break in order to meet the rest of the archeology team and see the dig site and their research facilities. “I was hoping the four of us could go together—check it out. Dr. Wu said you are more than welcome.” She hesitated, and when no one said anything, “Mackenzie, Dr. Wu said that the Yellow Sea Laboratories is also in the Shandong Province and near Dawenkou where the dig site is.”

“That’s right—Ling told me it is in the town of Puli.”

Carolina interrupted, “Did you say Puli?”

“Yeah, have you heard of it?” Mackenzie asked. “I don’t think it is a very big town—Ling calls it a village. It is located on the Yellow Sea, and it is near Qufu where Confucius lived. That is where her family and ancestors are from although she was born in Hawaii. And other than what I am doing at MIT, that is also where the research on the Clock Flower Project is being conducted.”

“Talk about coincidence,” Jennifer mumbled. “Well, I’m in,” but she couldn’t say anything else. The pounding in her chest, the painful heaviness of the rock, and the brilliance of the bright yellow and red took her breath. As the pain eased, she once again heard the delicate tones of the banhu—a little more distinct this time—a few more notes—another measure to be added to the symphony.

Carolina’s heart started to race, and it felt like all of the air had been sucked out of her lungs. Taking little breaths, she managed to say, “That goes for me, too.” Putting her hand on her chest and taking a deep breath, willing her heart to stop pounding, “I’ve never been to China, and this is too good of an opportunity to miss. Maybe they will let us tour the research lab, Mackenzie. And it will be great fun to see an actual working archeology site, Dara.”

But those weren’t the reasons she wanted to go; she knew when it concerned the FIGs, there was no such thing as coincidence. Larry had told her that he believed Mackenzie’s mother was from Puli and that is where she returned after giving birth. Something was happening which she didn’t understand. She had heard her mother’s warning, and she knew she needed to go to China. She needed to be with her girls. And she needed to protect Mackenzie.

About the Author:
Originally from Carrollton, Illinois, author/agent/publisher Barbara Casey attended the University of North Carolina, N.C. State University, and N.C. Wesleyan College where she received a BA degree, summa cum laude, with a double major in English and history. In 1978 she left her position as Director of Public Relations and Vice President of Development at North Carolina Wesleyan College to write full time and develop her own manuscript evaluation and editorial service. In 1995 she established the Barbara Casey Agency and since that time has represented authors from the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Japan. In 2014, she became a partner with Strategic Media Books where she is involved in acquisitions and day-to-day operations and oversees book production.

Ms. Casey's two middle-grade/young adult novels, Leilani Zan and Grandma Jock and Christabelle (James C. Winston Publishing Co., Trade Division) were both nominated for awards of excellence by the SCBWI Golden Kite Award, the National Association of University Women Literary Award and the Sir Walter Raleigh Literary Award. Shyla's Initiative (Crossquarter Publishing Group), a contemporary adult novel (occult romance/mystery), received a 2003 Independent Publisher Book Award and also an award of special literary recognition by the Palm Beach County Cultural Council. The Coach's Wife (ArcheBooks Publishing), also a novel for adults (contemporary/mystery), was semi-finalist for the 2005 Dana Award for Outstanding Novel and listed on the Publisher’s Best Seller List. The House of Kane (ArcheBooks Publishing), released in 2007, was considered for a Pulitzer nomination. Another contemporary novel for adults, Just Like Family, was released at Christmas 2009 when it received “Special Recognition from the 7-Eleven Corporation,” and The Gospel According to Prissy, also a contemporary novel written for adults, received a 2013 Independent Publishers Book Award for Best Book in Regional Fiction.

The Cadence of Gypsies, a novel written for young/new adults, was released in 2011 and was reviewed by the Smithsonian Institute for its List of Most Notable Books. In 2012, The Cadence of Gypsies was expanded into a four-book mystery series called THE FIG MYSTERIES: The Wish Rider (2016), The Clock Flower (2018), and The Nightjar’s Promise (to be released in 2019).

Ms. Casey also writes book-length nonfiction for adults. Kathryn Kelly: The Moll behind Machine Gun Kelly was released in 2016 and has been optioned for a major movie. In 2018 her book Assata Shakur: A 20th Century Escaped Slave was released and it has been signed for a major movie.

Ms. Casey's award-winning science fiction short stories for adults are featured in The Cosmic Unicorn and CrossTime science fiction anthologies. Ms. Casey's essays and other works appear in The Chrysalis Reader, the international literary journal of the Swedenborg Foundation, 221 One-Minute Monologues from Literature (Smith and Kraus Publishers), and A Cup of Comfort (Adams Media Corporation). Other award-winning articles, short stories, and poetry for adults have appeared in both national and international publications including the North Carolina Christian Advocate Magazine, The New East Magazine, the Raleigh (N.C.) News and Observer, the Rocky Mount (N.C.) Sunday Telegram, Dog Fancy, ByLine, The Christian Record, Skirt! Magazine, and True Story. A thirty-minute television special which Ms. Casey wrote and coordinated was broadcast on WRAL, Channel 5, in Raleigh, North Carolina. She also received special recognition for her editorial work on the English translations of Albanian children’s stories.

Ms. Casey is a former director of BookFest of the Palm Beaches, Florida, where she served as guest author and panelist. She has served as judge for the Pathfinder Literary Awards in Palm Beach and Martin Counties, Florida, and was the Florida Regional Advisor for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators from 1991 through 2003. She is a frequent guest lecturer at universities and writers’ conferences around the country including the SCBWI Regional Conference, the Harriett Austin Writers Conference in Athens, SIBA (Southeastern Independent Book Sellers Association), Florida Writers Association, and the University of Auburn, Montgomery.

In 2018, Ms. Casey received the prestigious Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award for her extensive experience and notable accomplishments in the field of publishing and other areas. She makes her home on the top of a mountain in northwest Georgia with her husband and Benton, a hound mix who adopted her.


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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Bluebonnet Ballerina by Carol Kilgore - Book Blitz and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Carol Kilgore will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Gracie Hofner returns, and chaos reigns—including a couple of ghosts trying to save their granddaughter. But as Gracie dances from problem to problem, she’s unaware the music has been orchestrated into a murderous symphony.

When a different melody reaches Gracie’s ears from a guitar played by the new tenant living in her garage apartment, her tension vanishes. She listens unseen, cocooned in the shadows on her patio, and wonders who he’s longing for—and how it would feel for someone to crave her that much.

She can’t dwell on those thoughts, however. Problems of murder and missing prisoners abound. To say nothing of the ghosts. No one ever said being a law enforcement consultant would be easy.

Bluebonnet Ballerina follows Jalapeno Cupcake Wench and is the second book in The Amazing Gracie Trilogy.





Read an Excerpt:

“I don’t even know where to begin. Oh, yes I do! With this.” Gracie pulled out her phone and found Donovan’s photo. She handed it across.

A smile spread across Ariana’s face. “Look at those eyes. Does this sexy hunk have a name?”

“Donovan Beck.”

“Tell me you like him and he likes you and it’s not some kind of police thing.”

“I thought I liked him, but…”

“Gracie.” Ariana motioned with her fingers for Gracie to tell her more, but Gracie kept her mouth shut. “Come on, spit it out.”

“He’s a good kisser.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“It means that I met him on the job, but he wasn’t the reason I was on the job. Bastion sent me to a bakery—Jalapeno Cupcake—and Donovan was there helping his sister. She’s the owner and just had a baby.”

Ariana sipped her water. “Does he know what you do?”

“Sort of.”

“And?”

“He doesn’t like it.”

“Is that why you think you don’t like him?”

Gracie shook her head. “He’s controlling. We went out once—probably not again.”

“Is he really controlling, or is that an excuse?”

“No excuse. A combination of thinking he can tell me how to do my job, spend my time, and even unwarranted jealousy.”

Ariana leaned forward. “Who’s he jealous of?”

“The guy who came to look at your old apartment.”

“I see. Tell me about him.” She smiled again.

“My mother sent him.”

About the Author:
Carol Kilgore is the award-winning author of The Amazing Gracie Trilogy. In addition, she is the author of In Name Only (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008FC8OG2), Solomon’s Compass (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00C0F8DZ2), and Secrets of Honor (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NH0QTO6), three standalone romantic suspense novels set along the Texas Gulf Coast.

She and her husband live in San Antonio, the setting for the Amazing Gracie books, with two quirky herding dogs who still require help opening the food bin and the door.

You can learn more about Carol and be the first to know when the third book in the Amazing Gracie Trilogy will be released by visiting her website and subscribing to her newsletter at http://www.carolkilgore.net or connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carolkilgore.author
Twitter: https://twitter.com/carol_kilgore

Carol is a member of Romance Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Forbidden Fires by Bobbi Smith - Book Tour and Giveaway


When Ellen Douglass saves the Union officer from the cold river, she doesn't think this one action will so alter her future. But as Price holds her is his arms, they try to forget that they fight on opposing sides and will be kept forever apart.




Excerpt

On the Mississippi near Memphis
The sound of the Sultana’s explosion brought Ellyn Douglass upright in bed. She ran from her room to find her grandfather already in the hall.
“What was that, Grampa?”
“It may have been a steamer . . .”
They rushed out onto the observation area to see the sky glowing a fiery red in the river’s direction.
“I’ve got to get to town,” he told her.
“I’ll come with you,” Ellyn offered.
“No. Stay here. If I need you, I’ll send word.” He hurried inside to get ready to leave.
Ellyn looked out toward the Mississippi. The steamer was farther south, drifting with the current. She decided at first light she would go down to the river.
At dawn, Ellyn hurried up to the observation area and searched the river for some sign of last night’s disaster. It was then she noticed something caught in a tree. Rushing from the house, she sought out Franklin.
“We have to get on the river right away.”
“Why?”
“Did you hear the explosion last night? I was checking this morning and I think there’s someone trapped in a tree.”
They hurried down to the river dock where the skiff was tied up. They pushed off and headed toward the flooded grove of trees.  
“It’s a man!” Ellyn was shocked by the sight of the lone figure stranded motionless in the treetop.
Franklin maneuvered them in close and awkwardly managed to get the unconscious man into the boat.
“Is he alive?” Ellyn asked as she knelt next to him.
“Seems to be, but he’s cut up pretty bad.”
Ellyn tore off a strip of her petticoat and started to bandage the man’s bloody head wound. Much of his clothing had been ripped away from the force of the blast and he had been burned in several places.  
The man groaned softly, and she reached out to soothe his brow.
“Hang on, mister. . . . Just hang on. . . .”

Guest Post

Writing Tips For New Authors

Hi Everybody!  
I’m Bobbi Smith.  I sold my first book to Zebra in 1982 and have since published more than 40 books.  It’s been a wonderful career.  I knew I wanted to write when I was 10 years old, and I’m thrilled that I got to live my dream.
Now, the reason for my blog- I’m going to share some of the wisdom I’ve gained over the years and I hope it helps you sell your book and write many more!

1.  For your first book, write what you love.  You don’t know if you’ll sell it or not at this stage of your career, so do it strictly for the joy of it.  I wrote my very first book long-hand during my son’s nap time. It took about two and a half years to finish, and I can remember crying when I finished it.  I was working part-time at a bookstore then, and I told my friend at work how I’d finished the book and how I’d cried.  I said to her,  “What am I supposed to do now?”  She gave me the best advice ever.  She replied, laughing, “Sell it and write another one!”  And she was so right!  I was blessed enough to sell my first book.  I learned a lot from that moment.  My publisher said they would buy it if I added another 150 pages to it.  (It was already more than 400 pages long.)  As excited and determined as I was, I did it.  It wasn’t easy using white-out to correct and change things, but the result was my first real book on the bookstore shelf!  A sidebar here – I also learned that the publisher had control over the titles as well.  My title was ‘The Mist And The Dream’.  When copies of the cover showed up in the mail, I discovered my publisher had changed the title to ‘Rapture’s Rage’.    It’s still my favorite book, because I wrote it from my heart.

2.  Be open to new ideas!  My first few books were centered here in the heartland and a very wise editor said to me,  “If you want a career, stop writing about the Mid-West.”  And so was born my thrill to writing westerns.  I grew up loving western TV shows, so I had no problem making cowboys my heroes!  I became know as the ‘Queen of the Western Romance’ at Romantic Times magazine.  What an honor!

3.  Regarding editors, they are very smart.  They know what will sell, and they are always looking for the next great book.  Listen to any advice they may give you and take it for what it’s worth.
  
4.  Make sure you have a friend who will proofread your manuscript for you.  I know time and again, I’ve made mistakes that I missed.  It’s always good to get someone you trust to look over your work.
  
5.  Join a writers’ group.  Authors are a strange bunch of people (who else has all those characters talking in their heads?), but when we all get together we have fun!    It’s great to have someone to bounce ideas off of and to plot with.

6.  And last but not least, never give up!  Enjoy every moment of your creativity!  It’s so wonderful to write a story that is all yours!

Good luck to you all!

                                                                  Best, 
                                                                  Bobbi Smith


About the Author

After working as a department manager for Famous-Barr, and briefly as a clerk at a bookstore, Bobbi Smith gave up on career security and began writing. She sold her first book to Zebra in 1982.

Since then, Bobbi has written over 40 books and 6 novellas. To date, there are more than five million of her novels in print. She has been awarded the prestigious Romantic Times Storyteller of the Year Award and two Career Achievement Awards. Her books have appeared on numerous bestseller lists.

When she's not working on her novels, she is frequently a guest speaker for writer's groups. Bobbi is mother of two sons and resides in St. Charles, Missouri with her husband and three dogs.

You can follow Bobbi on Facebook in the group Bobbi Smith Books.

Bobbi has been awarded the prestigious “Storyteller of the Year” Award from Romantic Times Magazine (New York) and has attained positions on the New York Times Best Seller List, the USA Today Best Seller List, the Walden’s Best Seller List, B. Dalton’s List, and the Wal-Mart and K-Mart Best Seller Lists.

The foreign rights to Ms. Smith’s books have been sold to China, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Russia and Sweden. Smith’s current publisher is Amazon. Bobbi has written two faith-based contemporary novels - Haven (https://bobbismithbooks.com/product/haven) and  Miracles (https://bobbismithbooks.com/product/miracles)- using the pseudonym of Julie Marshall.

Copyright © 2018 Bobbi Smith.



Giveaway
Bobbi will be awarding $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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