Wednesday, February 24, 2021

His Marriage Gamble by Nancy Fraser - Book Blast and Giveaway



Felicity Beaumont, the rebellious daughter of Louisiana elite devises a plan to move her father’s illegally owned slaves north to safety using the gambling river boat known as the Lucky Lady. Dressed as a young farm boy, she attempts to sell family heirlooms to raise the funds she needs. Short the full amount, she continues her ruse and bargains her way aboard the boat as their chaperone.

Charismatic owner of the Lucky Lady, Jake McAlister doesn’t trust women, and when he discovers Felicity’s subterfuge, he remembers exactly why.

While they find themselves in agreement about helping the free men and women, they are at odds over everything else, including their quickly escalating feelings for one another. When caught between Felicity’s powerful father and the ire of a local judge, they’re forced into a marriage neither wanted.

Can they make the best of a bad situation? And, will gambling on love be a bust or reap them both a happily ever after?

Excerpt

Jake McAlister lifted his foot to the railing above the Lucky Lady’s stern and lit a thin cheroot, its tip glowing bright red in the dark night sky. His cargo hadn’t yet arrived, and he felt the first stirring of concern. He’d asked permission to dock at this unfamiliar port under the guise of making some repairs. To overstay his welcome would draw attention he didn’t want or need. He’d give them twenty minutes and then…

“Excuse me, are you Jake McAlister?”

Jake raised his head. A young boy of no more than fifteen or sixteen stood before him. “Can I help you, kid?”

“I’m here to arrange passage for some of my friends.”

The boy coughed out his words, and Jake had to stifle a chuckle at the lad’s attempt to hide the obvious changes in his voice. “You’re the one who contacted me?” Jake asked.

“Yes.” The boy shuffled nervously from one foot to the other and kept his gaze narrowed on the ship’s deck.

“And, just where are these friends of yours?”

The boy let out a shrill whistle and a long line of blacks came out from behind a nearby building, first the men, then the women and, finally, the children. They arrived carrying their worldly belongings in a few large satchels, a handful of worn burlap sacks and, surprisingly, one rather expensive-looking steamer trunk. Jake counted heads as they came on board.

“I count four men, six women, and sixteen children. At fifty bucks a head for the adults and twenty for the children, that comes to eight hundred and twenty.”

“That’s right,” the boy confirmed, “how much extra for me?”

“I don’t take spectators on these runs, boy. The agreement is to take the blacks north to freedom. From the looks of them, they don’t need a caretaker, unless it’s to help them read.”

“My friends all know how to read, Mr. McAlister. And write.”

“Then they don’t need you, do they?”

“I’ve got the money.”

“Which you are going to give to me.”

Trailer



About the Author


Jumping Across Romance Genres with Gleeful Abandon—is an Amazon Top 100 and Award-Winning author who can’t seem to decide which romance genre suits her best. So, she writes them all.

Like most authors, Nancy began writing at an early age, usually on the walls and with crayons or, heaven forbid, permanent markers. Her love of writing often made her the English teacher’s pet which, of course, resulted in a whole lot of teasing. Still, it was worth it.

Nancy has published over thirty-five books in full-length, novella, and short format. 
When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five wonderful grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.

Author Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nfraserauthor  @nfraserauthor 
Newletter Sign Up: http://eepurl.com/bxkKvD

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Bookbub ~ Instagram
Amazon Author Page ~ Goodreads ~ Pinterest ~ YouTube ~ Newsletter

~ ~ ~


Will doing the right thing be his first mistake? Or, his last?
He's the owner of a gambling riverboat. She's the willful daughter of a rich man, hoping to free his wrongfully indentured slaves.
Can he help her with her quest without consequence? Or, will he end up with a bride he didn't want?



Purchase Links:  The Book is on sale for $0.99 During the Tour.

ASIN: B08TMQ9C3W





Custom Link: books2read.com/MarriageG 




Giveaway
Nancy Fraser will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Murder with Strings Attached by Mark Reutlinger - Book Blast and Giveaway



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Mark Reutlinger 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.

Sometimes even the most carefully conceived burglary can take an unexpected turn. Florence Palmer has her eye on concert violinist Aaron Levy's priceless violin. Unfortunately, she finds it's already been stolen. Her surprise doubles when the virtuoso she'd planned to burgle offers to hire her to help him steal it back. But they're not the only ones looking for the missing violin. When Flo inadvertently becomes the prime suspect in a case of murder, she and Aaron need to clear her name. Will they find the real killer and get the violin back to its rightful owner without anyone else, especially themselves, being killed?



Read an Excerpt

I saw nothing interesting in plain sight, so I checked the bedroom closet and then lay flat on the carpet and peeked under the bed.

Still no violin.

I was beginning to think that Aaron Levy had deliberately thwarted me by taking his violin with him or putting it in the safe—an ungentlemanly thing for him to do, given all the time and effort I was putting into finding it. I returned to the front room and was about to check the last remaining door—probably a connection to the neighboring suite—when I almost tripped over something sticking out from under the sofa. I reached down to shove it back out of the way.

The violin.

How could someone treat an instrument so valuable in such a cavalier manner, I wondered. More and more it seemed as if Mr. Aaron Levy was entirely too careless and had to be relieved of this heavy responsibility before someone…well…stole the damn thing!

And I was just the woman to do it. I opened the case and lifted up my trophy, held my flashlight close to it, and with great satisfaction, began to examine it lovingly.

And that’s when the lights came on.

About the Author:
MARK REUTLINGER is an attorney and former law professor. He now writes novels in which the law is frequently broken, including his “Mrs. Kaplan” cozy mystery series (MRS. KAPLAN AND THE MATZOH BALL OF DEATH and A PAIN IN THE TUCHIS) and the political thrillers MADE IN CHINA and SISTER-IN-LAW: VIOLATION, SEDUCTION, AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (under the pen name M. R. Morgan). MURDER WITH STRINGS ATTACHED is his latest novel. He is also a reviewer for the New York Journal of Books.

Mark and his wife Analee live in University Place, Washington, where in addition to reading and writing he plays clarinet with the Tacoma Concert Band and enjoys tennis, biking, exotic cars, model railroading, and various arts and crafts. He has no idea where he finds the time for it all.


Buy Links:


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Monday, February 22, 2021

Reaper: Aftermath by Jonathan Pongratz - Book Blast and Giveaway



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jonathan Pongratz will be awarding a 15 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.

Five years have passed since the Reapers invaded Earth and tore it asunder. Gregory, his mother, Trent, and their group of scavengers hunt the decimated wastelands for survival. 

But when a sudden Reaper attack forces Gregory through a Reaper door, he finds himself in a bizarre place, one that may provide answers to the Reapers’ past and where they came from.

Can Gregory put together the pieces of the past and find his way home, or will he just become another human casualty in the lost war against the Reapers?


Read an Excerpt

A sudden noise woke me from my fitful sleep. I groaned and rolled over, squinting in the dark as I eyed Trent’s bed. He was fast asleep, snoring lightly. I sat up slowly, removing my covers.

I glanced at the doorway, flinching when I saw the outline of a dark figure standing there. I couldn’t make out much in the dim light from the hall, except that the person was short and had a feminine form.

I snatched my flashlight off the small end table next to my bed and shined it forward. My jaw dropped. My little sister stood before me. Her curly brown hair fell down in little ringlets, and she had an impish grin on her face.

“I-Imogen?”

She giggled, then ran off into the hall to the right.

“Imogen!” I cried. I couldn’t believe it. My little sister was back! I had to tell Mom, but first I had to get Imogen to stop running and tell me what happened, where she’d been all these years.

I scrambled out of bed and left my room, aiming my light down the hall. I caught a brief glimpse of Imogen before she turned a familiar corner to the right.

Why would she head to the library? We didn’t have time for games like this. I barrelled down the hall, my bare feet loud as they slapped against the tiled floor. Seconds later, I arrived at the small double doors of the school library. One of them was slightly ajar.

I entered the library with slow, cautious steps. The entrance was the only way out, but I didn’t want to spook my little sister. She must be so scared, confused to be back with everything so different.

A tall aisle of bookshelves stood before me, another opposing set on the other side of the room.

“Imogen?” I called.

I heard movement up ahead and crept closer.

When I reached the open center of the room I spotted Imogen several yards ahead, her back facing me. She stood before a large, rickety door that wasn’t supposed to be there. My stomach dropped. A Reaper door. She reached for the doorknob.

“Imogen, don’t!”

She ignored me, and as she opened the door a brilliant white light beamed through. I shielded my eyes with my arm. “Imogen!”

My little sister walked through the door. Without thinking I chased after her. I couldn’t lose her again. As I ran through the doorway, the blinding light suddenly snuffed out, replaced by darkness. I scanned my surroundings with my flashlight, a cold tingle shooting through me like icicles.

To my right a set of stairs led upwards. On my left, numerous items of furniture were draped in white sheets. Dozens of boxes stood in tidy columns behind them. This was … no, it couldn’t be. The basement from my old house in my hometown. But how was this even possible? We knew that the doors the Reapers used had to be some kind of portal, but this didn’t make any sense.

I shook my head. Find Immy first, ask questions later. I glanced at the stairs and ruled them out immediately. I’d been right behind her. If she’d climbed the stairs I would’ve seen her. I turned left. The covered furniture and other sheeted items created odd, threatening shapes in the dark. When I ran my light over them, a wave of dread shot through my core.

I needed to get out of here and fast. I frantically checked around each blanketed surface, calling for my sister as I progressed further into the basement. I made my way to the back where Immy had been taken five years ago, my anxiety soaring. Don’t think about it, don’t think about it, I thought to myself as I searched high and low.

Regardless, faded gritty images from the past flashed inside my head: the sudden appearance of the door in the wall, me scrambling to find a weapon to fight whatever would come out, Imogen being taken by the Reaper. Her cries ...

No. No, no, no! I wasn’t going to let the past get the better of me. I shined my light around again. “Immy, where are you? Say something, please!”

I headed down the aisle of boxes along the back wall of the basement, searching every nook and cranny. I was nearly through with my search when a familiar sofa with golf clubs sticking out from under it caught my eye. The white sheet draping the couch was discolored, misshapen. I inched closer until I could snag the sheet away.

As the white cloth fell to the floor, I cried out in horror. Imogen’s dead eyes stared straight up at the ceiling. Her chest and face were covered in blood, and her expression was frozen in shock and terror. I felt around desperately for a pulse, but couldn’t find one.

Oh god, oh god, oh god. This couldn’t be happening! I had just gotten her back. Warm tears rolled down my face, and I held my little sister in my arms as tightly as I could. “Please don’t leave me,” I squeaked.

A series of guttural warbles sounded nearby, making me jump. Goosebumps raised all over my body, and the air in the basement became heavy, electric. Reapers.

I released Imogen for a moment, taking a cautious look around. I couldn’t see them, but they could be anywhere. I reached for my gun, but grabbed at empty air. Shit! It was still in the storeroom back home. I mulled my situation over for a quick second. I couldn’t just sit here and let them find me. I scooped up Imogen’s body with a grunt and made my way back. I wouldn’t leave her here. She deserved better than that.

I tottered back to the open Reaper door as best I could, stumbling several times due to the awkward load in my arms. When I was just feet away, an inhuman shriek of protest stopped me dead in my tracks. I spun around. Three Reapers approached me from the way I’d just come. A cloaked Reaper, flanked by two others on all fours. The cloaked Reaper pointed a crooked finger in my direction, and the two hunter Reapers prowled forward. Saliva oozed from their mouths and their predatory yellow eyes leered at me dangerously.

I turned back around to escape, but the door was no longer there. With one hand I struck the wall in disbelief. No, it had just been here! The Reapers on all fours closed in on me, forcing me back against the wall.

“No,” I whimpered. I couldn’t believe it. This was it. This was the end. I looked down at Imogen’s still body, propping her up to me. I kissed her forehead, my vision watery with tears. “I love you, Immy.”

I glowered at the Reapers defiantly, just in time for them to pounce upon me.

About the Author:
Jonathan Pongratz is a writer and author of captivating horror, fantasy, and other speculative fiction stories. When he’s not writing, he’s busy being a bookworm, video game junkie, and karaoke vocalist. A former resident of Dallas, he currently resides in Kansas City with his Halloween cat Ajax. By day he works magic in finance, by night he creates dark and mesmerizing worlds.


Reaper: Aftermath Universal Ebook Link: https://buy.bookfunnel.com/3asmrg39g7

Reaper: A Horror Novella Universal Ebook Link: https://buy.bookfunnel.com/yaar1pv37e

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