Thursday, April 19, 2018

Straight Chatting from the Library: James M. Jackson


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. James M. Jackson will be awarding the chance to name a character who will appear in FALSE BOTTOM (Seamus McCree #6) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner for a chance to see the other stops on the tour.

READ THE INTERVIEW


Tell us about your current book in 10 words. Character-driven suspense, amateur sleuth, hitman, emotional rollercoaster, remote location, series

What are you reading right now? A Coffin for Dimitrios by Eric Ambler. I read that some consider it the first modern international spy novel, so for a break from current novels, I borrowed this from the library.

E-Reader or print? and why? I prefer curling up with a print book. It’s how I learned to read, and I enjoy the heft of a book in my hands, the physical action of turning the pages, and that nothing breaks if I drop the book while falling asleep at night. I do love the convenience of an e-reader for trips.

One book at a time or multiples? I usually have only one novel going at a time, but I can also be engaged with multiple nonfiction books at the same time as reading the novel.

Dog-ear or bookmark? (don't worry—Librarian Judith won't hold it against you—much) Other than the occasional drop when I fall asleep, I treat my books very well. Bookmarks only, and often it is nearly impossible to know I’ve read the book after I have finished.

Favorite book you've read this year? Dark Saturday – Nicci French.

Favorite genre? Mystery/Suspense/Thriller is my favorite but when I need a break, I enjoy Fantasy as a close second.

How do you keep your books organized? Organized might not exactly be the correct term for my book-storage technique. We have winter and summer places, each filled with books. Nonfiction and fiction are mostly separated in different bookcases. Signed books are collected together. Each location has its separate TBR pile. Which bookcase in which room can be fairly random. The organized component of this chaos is I maintain a spreadsheet that lists every book we own, which room it’s located, whether I’ve read it, and if so, how I rated it.

Re-reader or not? When I was much younger, I used to re-read favorite books. Now, there are just too many books I want to read and not enough time to read them. The only time I still re-read a book is if it’s chosen by a book club I belong to and I don’t remember it well enough to discuss it.

What would make you not finish a book? I used to finish ever book I started. No longer. I don’t expect error-free reads, but if I find myself distracted by multiple examples of poor grammar, typos and/or factual errors, or sloppy writing, I set the book aside and reach for the next one in my TBR pile.

READ THE BLURB


If you love the suspense and plot twists of domestic thrillers, this page-turner will be for you. Seamus McCree’s first solo bodyguard assignment goes from bad to worse. His client disappears. His granddog finds a buried human bone. Police find a fresh human body.

His client is to testify in a Chicago money laundering trial. He’s paranoid that with a price on his head, if the police know where he’s staying, the information will leak. Seamus promised his business partner and lover, Abigail Hancock, that he’d keep the witness safe at the McCree family camp located deep in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan’s woods.

Abigail is furious at his incompetence and their relationship flounders. Even his often-helpful son, Paddy, must put family safety ahead of helping his father. Seamus risks his own safety and freedom to turn amateur sleuth in hopes he can solve the crimes, fulfill his promise of protection, and win back Abigail. Wit and grit are on his side, but the clock is ticking . . . and the hit man is on his way.

READ AN EXCERPT


Had Owen returned my call? Had Abigail found anything? Any word from Bartelle after Owen ratted me out? My phone claimed it had no voice or text messages. Sometimes the signal is so weak the phone doesn’t receive messages, so I brought the remainder of my drink to the deck, where the signal was strongest, and dialed voicemail. The sun-heated decking was uncomfortable on my bare feet. I shifted weight from foot to foot to minimize the discomfort and keyed in my password.

You have no messages at this time.

Back inside, I booted up the computer and checked email. Nothing relevant and no help for my situation.

I had a long, positive history with Sheriff Lon Bartelle. Was it strong enough for him to cut me some slack over my initially lying to him? Surely, the best way to tell him of my malfeasance was face-to-face. Like a man mounting the scaffold for his hanging, I forced leaden legs to return me to the deck. My call to Bartelle brought the information that he was in the office but not available to come to the phone.

I put Atty on a lead to do her business and then shut her in the house. “Sorry girl, I need to leave you home for this one. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.”

She trotted to the living room and, without a glance back, crawled onto the couch, where she didn’t belong. She pawed the throw pillow resting against one arm, knocking it flat, and stretched out, snuggling into the back of the couch and resting her head on the flattened pillow. Her eyes met mine and she grinned, as if to say, “What? I’m just following orders.”

MEET THE AUTHORS


James M. Jackson authors the Seamus McCree series consisting of five novels and one novella. Jim splits his time between the deep woods of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Georgia’s Lowcountry. He claims the moves between locations are weather-related, but others suggest they may have more to do with not overstaying his welcome. He is the past president of the 700+ member Guppy Chapter of Sisters in Crime. You can find information about Jim and his books at http://jamesmjackson.com. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and/or Amazon.

https://www.facebook.com/james.m.jackson.author
https://twitter.com/JMJauthor
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6989254.James_M_Jackson
https://www.amazon.com/James-M.-Jackson/e/B004U7FRP2

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Straight Browsing from the Library: K.I.A. by Alexander Charalambides


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

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Hildegard lives in a real-life dollhouse, surrounded by prop houses and actors who play friends, teachers and foster parents. Only one man ever seemed real, and after his disappearance, she’s had enough playing along. As Hildegard makes her final preparations to run away from home, a swarm of black clad soldiers appear, controlling the police and swarming across her home town. She can evade them for now, but after learning their mission, she decides to play along one last time, following them to Truman Academy, a lonely building on a freezing aleutian island. Hildegard knows it for what it is: just another prop, but not everyone feels the same way. Through the hell of endless drills and marching, Hildegard befriends the stealthy Grace and bloodthirsty David, and enlists them in an effort to unravel the plan of the man called G and his monstrous menagerie of inhuman soldiers.

READ AN EXCERPT


“Doctor!” A student rushes in, holding a smoking walkie-talkie, and supporting a friend, limping on a bleeding leg. Islet jumps to his feet again, setting the injured student on the ground, elevating the leg, and shining a small flashlight across it.

“What happened?” I ask them.

“It’s G,” he says, never taking his eyes from Islet’s treatment. “We overheard the baggers, they formed up around him, somewhere near their comm room, and called in a chopper.” I scan the ground and snatch up a weapon.

“That’s where they had all the phones, right?” Grace says. “The one outgoing line.”

“Trashed.” The student groans. “By the time we got in it was just broken glass and charcoal.”

“If G escapes, we’re all as good as dead,” I tell the room. “And he has a lot to answer for.” They all look up. “So who’s coming with me to bring him in?” Some stand. Others raise their hands. “Grace.” I tap her on the shoulder. “Take two minutes to organize them, make sure they’re all healthy and armed.”

“Got it,” she nods. “He’s going to get what’s coming to him.”

“Islet.” I drag him aside. “We need to talk.”

“Uh, okay,” he nods. “What is it?” I listen to the murmur of voices and the clatter of equipment.

“I saw the medical staff.” He nods, making a show of listening. “Radiation suits.” His eyes roll down to his feet.

“You saw the bomb?” he asks.

“I saw enough to guess,” I say. “We all did.”

“I didn’t want to,” he gasps. “We were forced, we installed it at gunpoint, I hate-”

“I don’t care how you feel about it,” I say and shove him against the wall, “I need to know how big it is, what kind of detonator it has, and if it can be disarmed.”

“Well,” he gulps, “it’s tactical grade, I remember they said that, just enough to-”

“Get rid of the evidence,” I say.

“That was the idea.” He nods. “Even if we take the academy, they might-”

“They won’t,” I tell him. “G wouldn’t trust anyone else with the detonator, so we won’t give him the chance to get far enough away. Don’t get the wrong idea, Islet, I need to know if it can be moved.”

“Moved?” He flinches again. “You want to use it?”

MEET THE AUTHOR


Alexander Charalambides was born in London and grew up in Berkshire in the UK.

He studied Creative Writing, and graduated from the Open University.

As a freelance writer Alexander enjoys storytelling just as much as editing and analysis, but often takes time off to enjoy wind surfing, do the sickest of motorcycle flips, wrestle with deadly animals and lie about his hobbies.

In 2008 he moved to the USA and now lives in New Hampshire’s beautiful White Mountains with his family and two dogs, Gwynne and Gimli.

Website: http://www.AlexanderCharalambides.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ajcharalambides
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ajcharalambides

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/K-I-Alexander-Charalambides-ebook/dp/B075F9J9DC

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Monday, April 16, 2018

Straight from the Library: The Ancient Tripod of Peace by Kalen Cap



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kalen Cap will be awarding a $40 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.

READ THE BLURB


Teens Lexi and Gil face relic-thieving secret societies.

Plagued by loneliness in her Lake Erie Islands community, vegan Lexi hopes to make like-minded friends in high school. But her dad’s job is jeopardized when relics are stolen from his museum, changing her priorities. And she finds her new teachers’ eerie dislike of her troubling.

His dad in jail, cipher enthusiast and bacon-loving Gil hopes freshman year will provide a clean slate. Soon, he discovers secret codes within a Shakespearean play while paired with Lexi, pulling him into an ancient mystery.

With the official museum burglary investigation stalled, the mismatched teen sleuths join forces to try and crack the case. Lexi’s inquiries and Gil’s codes capture their teachers’ attention. But these teachers have the stolen Tripod of Peace, a powerful relic sought by rival secret societies. Caught in these societies’ crossfire as thieves wield an instrument of astounding power, Gil and Lexi are in danger.

The Ancient Tripod of Peace is the first book in novelist Kalen Cap’s Teen Thief-Catchers Series. If you like stories with artifact treasures, fighting secret societies, and spirited protagonists, you’ll enjoy this novel.

READ AN EXCERPT


Lexi hadn’t met any vegan guys her age, only girls. “Want to join me and Anita later?”

“Sure. I’ll try it out,” Trevor agreed.

“We only have a day to find our code for this topic,” Gil said. “Let’s focus on the project. I don’t want to start out locked in with something weak.”

The three read the project description again. Lexi felt clueless. She asked the others how to begin.

Gil said the topic related well to his social science fair project the year before on secret codes in writing.

Lexi rolled her eyes. From the way Gil told it, the project was designed for him. Full of yourself maybe?

Trevor said he spent part of a summer in Greece the year before when his father ran workshops there. There, he’d learned about ancient Greek history. Lexi didn’t mind as much when Trevor made it sound like his experiences aligned with the project. Unlike Gil’s, Trevor’s voice soothed her.

Trevor and Gil both stared at her expectantly. She blushed, first believing they were checking her out. But she soon realized they wanted to hear her special connection to the project topic.

“My grandmother usually teaches history here, too. She gave the opening talk at assembly. Oh, and my granddad’s an actor. He used to be a professional and acted in lots of Shakespeare. They can give me pointers,” Lexi said. My grandparents? That’s my “in” on the project? I’m such a loser. She was determined to not be the weakest link in the group.

MEET THE AUTHOR

Kalen Cap is a writer living in Ohio and regularly commutes back and forth between Columbus and Port Clinton residences. Set among the Lake Erie Islands, “TheAncient Tripod of Peace” is his second novel, first of the Teen Thief-Catcher series. His first novel, “Tangled Ties to a Manatee,” was published in 2012.

Author website - http://www.kalencap.com
Amazon Author Page - http://www.amazon.com/Kalen-Cap/e/B007XZEKTC/
Author’s facebook page for the new series - http://www.facebook.com/TeenThiefCatchers/
Buy the book at https://www.amazon.com/Ancient-Tripod-Peace-Thief-Catchers-Novel-ebook/dp/B07B29FTBX

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Friday, April 13, 2018

Straight Browsing from the Library: Heart of a SEAL by Dixie Lee Brown


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Dixie will be awarding a $30 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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They’re brothers in arms, Navy SEALS risking their lives for their country . . . and the women they love.

This is Luke Harding’s story.

Six months in a desert hellhole taught Navy SEAL Luke Harding things he never wanted to learn about life and death. Only tender memories of the beautiful brunette he met a few weeks before his deployment helped get him through the torturous days and nights. Back in the States after a perilous rescue, physically and emotionally damaged, Luke’s about to plunge into a new kind of war. In a seemingly bucolic Idaho town, Sally Duncan faces real—and unpredictable—danger.

All Sally ever wanted was a safe place to raise her nine-year-old daughter. Her identity hidden behind a fa├žade of secrets and lies, can she trust Luke—a man she barely knows—with the truth? Even as they give in to long-denied passion, a killer with a personal vendetta is setting an ambush that will leave them praying for a miracle and fighting for the future they may not live to see.

READ AN EXCERPT


Luke stepped from the shower and made quick work of drying off before wrapping the towel around his waist. Sandy-colored clumps of wet hair stuck out every which way as his image stared back at him from the mirror. He raked his fingers through the strands, in serious need of a haircut, and called it good. Grabbing the shaving cream from his kit, he applied it evenly to his whiskered face and dragged the razor down his rough skin, systematically shaving from right to left. He paused for a heartbeat when he heard a knock.

“Be right out.” Luke turned the water on as hot as he could get it and let it run. Jen probably had to use the bathroom. He’d throw on some clothes and finish up in here later. A smile formed beneath what was left of the shaving cream. There wasn’t much he wouldn’t do for that little girl.

An instant later the door opened behind him, and the razor went still in his hand.

He stared at Sally’s reflection in the steamed-over mirror. Her in that damn shirt of his, leaning against the bathroom door, both hands behind her back. A good deal of shapely thigh led his gaze to well-toned calves. He followed them down to pretty pink toenails on bare feet. Did she know what coming in here like that would do to him? He took the last two swipes of shaving cream off with the razor, rinsed his face in the hot, running water and patted it dry. Barely able to swallow and momentarily unable to form an articulate sentence, he turned slowly.

Her blue eyes went wide as her gaze dropped below his waist, immediately answering his unspoken question. Evidently, she could see the hard-on he sported beneath the form-fitting towel that hugged his hips.

He took a step toward her. “Sally?” That was all he managed to force from his mouth. It sounded more like a command than the question with which he’d intended to rule out the possibility something was wrong.

A secretive smile played on her lips as she brought one hand up and raised it in front of her with a dismissive shake of her head. “I’m sorry. I don’t know what I was thinking. This can wait till you’re finished.” Her gaze dipped once again to the towel draped around his hips, and she swiveled with a hand on the doorknob.

Oh no. Hell no. He wasn’t letting her escape that easily. He was damn sure she’d stepped out of her comfort zone for a reason and her baby blues were daring him to find out why. He closed the gap and caught the door as she opened it a sliver. Peering through the opening, he saw Jen, still intent on her game. A glance toward the motel room door confirmed that the dead bolt was thrown and locked. They could have a few minutes of privacy.

MEET THE AUTHOR


Dixie Lee Brown lives and writes in Central Oregon, inspired by gorgeous scenery and at least three hundred sunny days a year. Having moved from South Dakota as a child to Washington, Montana and then to Oregon, she feels at home in the west. She resides with two dogs and a cat, who are currently all the responsibility she can handle. Dixie works fulltime as a bookkeeper. When she's not writing or working, she loves to read, enjoys movies, and if it were possible, she’d spend all of her time at the beach. She is also the author of the Trust No One romantic suspense series, published by Avon Impulse.

Please visit her website: http://www.dixiebrown.com
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/Dixie-Lee-Brown-311618418919108/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/DixieLeeBrown
Or join her street team: https://www.facebook.com/groups/309603219231692/

Order today at:

Amazon - http://amzn.to/2n6Wzt1
Barnes & Noble - http://bit.ly/2EpY38y
iTunes - https://apple.co/2GblJ2l
Google Play - http://bit.ly/2n5CpPT
Kobo - http://bit.ly/2DCARY2

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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Straight Browsing from the Library: Edger by David Beem


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. David Beem will be awarding a $50 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.

READ THE BLURB


It’s been said every story must start somewhere. Ours begins with a professional dork. The kind who fixes computers and lives in his gran’s basement. The kind tapped by destiny (that saucy minx) to become the world’s first superhero!

And not a moment too soon…

A nano-sized artificial intelligence is on the loose! It got itself dart-gunned into a cow butt by a frog man in a porn store! Two stoners are corrupting it on twitter! And that’s just the first three pages!!

Join our dork of destiny as he channels the collective unconscious—his psychic superpower—in a harrowing tale of high drama, romance, betrayal, revenge, jesus chickens, cocaine, weirdos, magicians, ninjas, nfl spies, and disco ball water torture administered to the tune of rapture, by blondie. My god, man, what does it all mean!?

It means uncorking that next bottle of wine isn’t only a good idea—it’s advisable.

READ AN EXCERPT


Water and glass shower the dance floor. Needle scratches vinyl. Hattori Hanzo seizes control instinctively and I land with the grace of a ninja. Mary, who has no dead ninja in her head, thuds with the grace of a turkey carcass dropped from the Level Two parapet of Westfield Horton Plaza.

“Kill them!” someone yells.

“Don’t kill them!” I yell back, figuring that’s got to be worth a try.

Shots are fired. Screaming patrons run and duck for cover. A bullet ricochets off the wall. I grab Mary by the ropes binding her, and drag her behind a nearby couch.

More gunfire.

I chance a peek. Caleb Montana is near the front door, exchanging shots with two Nostradamus agents hiding behind a life-size statue of Caleb in his quarterback uniform, one arm cocked back, preparing to pass the football, and the other stretched out in front, pointing.

I round on Mary, who flings her wet hair back like a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model. Water sprays my supersuit’s visor.

“Cut me loose.”

“Right, right,” I say, feeling around on my utility belt. Jeez, I’ve never tried to locate anything without someone helping me from the Collective Unconscious. There are a lot of things here. I pull a tiny ball out, and the nano-technology grows into a switchblade-shaped object. Seems promising. I flick it on. Blue flame blows out from the end.

“Holy crap!”

“Come on, quit fooling around.”

“Don’t rush me! Do you have any idea how stressful this is?”

“Come on,” she says, her voice husky, cheek to floor, back arched, butt in the air.

“You never see Batman having this problem,” I mutter.

MEET THE AUTHOR


David Beem enjoys superhero movies, taekwondo, and flossing. He lives in Djibouti with his family and crippling self-doubt. Help actualize David’s inner confidence. Visit his website today, and buy all the stuff.

http://www.davidbeem.com
https://www.facebook.com/david.beemauthor
https://twitter.com/davidbeem

Buy the book at Amazon.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Straight Chatting from the Library: Songs for Lucy by Philip Wilson


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Philip Wilson will be awarding a signed paperback copy of the book to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

READ THE INTERVIEW


What is your favorite book today? Outside of my own books, I’d probably say Exile by Richard North Patterson.

Tell us about your current book in 10 words. Young woman, terminal diagnosis, dreams destroyed, finding peace and fulfilment.

What are you reading right now? I’m part way through The Rooster Bar by John Grisham (I liked his earlier stuff better though), The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware and a non-fiction book on a particular area of mathematics than intrigues me. I probably only finish half of the books I start.

E-Reader or print? and why? No strong preference, but generally I prefer e-reader for light fiction and print for anything more complex.

Dog-ear or bookmark? (don't worry—Librarian Judith won't hold it against you—much.) Why? Neither. If I can’t remember the page number I just guess where I was.

Favorite book you've read this year? Leonardo Da Vinci by Isaacson. He’s also written biographies of Ben Franklin, Steve Jobs and Albert Einstein. Heard Isaacson interviewed once. He made the intriguing comment that of the four subjects, he believed only Einstein had a truly superior intellect, and the other three achieved greatness through curiosity, perseverance and a willingness to question established beliefs – attributes he believed we can all apply.

Favorite place to read? It varies, but when I’m reading or writing, I’m most often sitting on the couch. At my place in Florida, there are quite a few places I enjoy reading – both inside and outside.

Favorite genre? Most frequently I read fiction thrillers although my interests are pretty varied including a lot of non-fiction.

Keep books or give them away? Give them away.

READ THE BLURB


It’s spring, and Allison Connelly has it all – pretty, popular and smart. With a summer job teaching tennis and starting Harvard Law School in the fall, Allison plans on a successful law career, marriage and kids – and dreams of becoming a Supreme Court Justice.

When relentless headaches drive her to her doctor, Allison receives a terrifying diagnosis that destroys her plans and imperils her life. Devastated, Allison struggles to accept her shattered dreams and uncertain future. One night, she happens into a small-town pub and, on a whim, takes a job singing, finding solace and a measure of peace in her music. She settles in the town, and from that small beginning finds love, a new life and a new reason for living.

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The town of Mackenzie Cove was situated on a quiet natural harbor, also called Mackenzie Cove, and protected from the open ocean by cliffs on all sides. On the western point of land marking one side of the harbor entrance stood the lighthouse where Terri and Allison had met. The Seawind Tavern stood just back from the beach at the foot of the bay. There was no wind but the sky was blue and the air was warm. The harbor and the ocean beyond were dotted with paddleboarders and kayakers. The three of them found a table on the patio just up from the beach.

“It’s beautiful,” Allison commented as they sat down and admired the view. “We should come back some time. Maybe we can rent a kayak somewhere.”

“I’m in,” Terri replied.

A waiter came to take their drink order. Tanned and fit, he looked to be in his late twenties. He wore jean shorts and a T-shirt with a picture of a sailboat. “Hi ladies. I’m Jack.” He gave them a sparkling smile. “Welcome to the Seawind Tavern. What can I get for you?”

They all ordered beer. “If you guys are here for lunch, I’d recommend the cod burger,” Jack volunteered. “Freshly caught this morning. Anyway, have a look at the menu. I’ll be back with the beer.”

As Jack walked away, Allison caught herself glancing at his butt.

“I saw that, girl,” Terri laughed. “You’re not dead yet.”

“Just wishful thinking at this point, I guess,” Allison replied, a little sheepishly.

MEET THE AUTHOR


Philip Wilson is a retired financial executive who spends winters in Florida and summers sailing on the Great Lakes in his 32-foot sailboat. Songs for Lucy is his second book. His first, The Librarian, was rated one of the best reviewed books of 2017 by IndieReader and featured in the Huffington Post.

Website: http://www.philipmwilson.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authorphilipwilson
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16684168.Philip_Wilson

https://www.amazon.com/Songs-Lucy-Philip-Wilson-ebook/dp/B07BNVN3PM/
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1128286496

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Monday, April 9, 2018

Straight Chatting from the Library: Charlotte Hubbard


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.

My High-Fashion Life


You might think novelists lead glamorous, high-fashion lives, but your assumptions might be all wrong when it comes to my life! For example:

**I don’t hang around all day in silk pajamas and kitten-heeled slippers, sipping wine. When you have a dog in Minnesota, spending all day in any sort of jammies doesn’t make sense—unless you enjoy being cold, or you want your neighbors to talk while you’re out for all those potty walks.

**I don’t have long, beautifully painted nails. A lifetime of playing the piano/organ, playing Frisbee with the dog, typing for hours at a time, gardening, and washing a lot of dishes make long, polished nails out of the question for me. Too high maintenance. My nails are always clipped short and out of my way. During sandal season, however, I love to get pedicures and show off my toes—because I don’t type with my toes.

**I don’t have pierced ears. Besides having a bit of a needle phobia, I’ve never understood the glory of having someone punch a hole in your earlobe and then warn you against infection. I do, however, enjoy wearing wire “cuff” earrings and vintage clip-on earrings I find in antique stores.

**I don’t have any tattoos. See the needle phobia thing, above—and again, the allure of having ink injected into your skin escapes me. Also, I tend to tire of things, and unless you want to remove several layers of skin to erase it, a tattoo is forever.

**I dislike the bare-legged look with skirts. I know, I know—modern women prefer to skip the panty hose. When we were in Paris last spring, I was really happy to see so many French women wearing hosiery of some sort, plain or patterned. Their legs looked so chic instead of, well—naked.

**I don’t wear high heels. Back in the day, I rocked some fairly tall wedges or stacked heels, but not anymore—and never stilettos. I can twist or break an ankle just looking at those things. I’m only 5’1”, and I’m good with staying close to the ground!

**I don’t dress entirely in black—unless concert black is required for a choral performance. Black drains the color from my already pale face, and I find it depressing. Sure, black pants are a wardrobe staple, but I wear them with bright colored tops, jackets, and accessories. Color makes me feel happier and more alert.

There you have it, the low-down on my high-fashion lifestyle!

READ THE BLURB


For Leah Otto, marrying Jude Shetler is a long-held dream come true. As a young girl, she was captivated by his good looks and talent as an auctioneer. When Jude, now a widower with three children, begins to court her, Leah doesn’t hesitate. Other men may not appreciate her tomboy ways, but Jude values Leah’s practical nature and her skill with the animals she tends, and both enter the marriage with joy and optimism.

Three months later, Leah feels as if her world is coming down around her. Her twin teenage step-daughters, Alice and Adeline, are pushing boundaries and taking far too many risks, while five-year-old Stevie deeply misses his mother. Leah, more at ease in a barn tending her goats and chickens than in a kitchen, struggles with her housekeeping duties.

Then a baby is abandoned on their doorstep, and Leah must search her soul. Caring for little Betsy fills her with renewed purpose and the strength to begin pulling her family together. With Jude’s steadfast support, Leah finds that what she once thought of as a happy ending may be something even better—the beginning of a life rich in love, faith, and unexpected blessings.

READ AN EXCERPT


Jeremiah Shetler leaned his elbows on his kitchen table, gazing earnestly at his younger brother—who, at thirty-three, was surely old enough to know better about what he was getting into. “Last chance to see reason, Jude,” he stated bluntly. “If you go through with this wedding tomorrow, you’ll be signing on for a lifetime of sorrow and regret.”

Jude’s dark eyes flashed with resentment. “Sounds more like my marriage to Frieda—God rest her soul,” he added quickly. “Why can’t you let me find my happiness with a woman who won’t keep secrets? A woman who adores me and makes me laugh?”

“Leah’s a nice girl, jah,” Jeremiah said with a shake of his head, “but she’s clueless about such basic activities as putting a gut meal on the table—”

“Why are you telling me this?” Jude demanded.

Jeremiah exhaled forcefully. He’d never understood what Jude saw in Leah. He could only assume that his widowed brother was so desperate for affection and companionship that he was willing to settle for a woman who’d never progressed beyond being the tomboy daughter Raymond and Lenore Otto hadn’t taught much about a wife’s responsibilities.

“Have you ever eaten a meal Leah cooked?” he challenged. “Vernon Gingerich has told me that any time he’s visited the Otto home, Lenore’s been bustling around in the kitchen and Leah’s been in the front room chatting with him and her dat. And at our family dinners these past months, Leah’s cleaned up the dishes, but I’ve not seen any signs that she knows how to operate a stove.”

“Lenore does the cooking when Vernon visits because he’s her bishop, and she enjoys cooking for a man now that Raymond’s gone,” Jude explained impatiently. He raked his hand through his disheveled dark waves, glancing downward with an anguished sigh. “Come on, man. You know how it is to lose a wife—and you don’t even have kids to look after. Doesn’t the loneliness—the need for adult conversation—eat you alive at times?”

Jeremiah looked away, his heart pierced by the blatant reminder of Priscilla’s absence. After three years of living without her, he did indeed know how the silence of nights alone clawed at a man’s heart like a relentless beast. But he needed to pursue his present purpose before Jude made the biggest mistake of his life.

MEET THE AUTHOR


Charlotte Hubbard is the acclaimed author of Amish romance and fiction that evokes simpler times and draws upon her experiences in Jamesport, the largest Old Order Amish community west of the Mississippi. Faith and family, farming, and food preservation are hallmarks of her lifestyle—and the foundation of all her novels. A deacon, dedicated church musician and choir member, she loves to travel, read, try new recipes, and crochet. A longtime Missourian, Charlotte now lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, with her husband and their border collie, Vera.

http://www.CharlotteHubbard.com
http://www.Facebook.com/Charlotte.Hubbard1

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