Friday, August 22, 2014

My Life Interpreted


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Wanda will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

If you’ve ever pondered how you’ve ended up where you are in life, why things happen the way they do and what your life’s purpose is, then you’ll love My Life Interpreted. It is an uplifting book of ninety-nine inspiring reflections that seeks to demystify the questions of everyday life. Through real-life examples, Wanda Octave demonstrates how you can use your own life to decipher spiritual principles begging for attention.

The answers to life’s burning questions are often right in front of you and Octave shows in a practical and down to earth manner how to access those answers and live more fully.

What started out for Octave as snippets of her own life sent weekly to her list of newsletter subscribers has now been collected into one volume of inspiration. My Life Interpreted is a delightful daily companion or the perfect gift book for anyone seeking encouragement.

Enjoy your exclusive excerpt:

Soul Budget

Yesterday, it seemed like my daughter was possessed by an IRS demon. She hit me with a barrage of questions about my earnings and demanded that I tell her how much I had earned in the last few years. I blurted out a figure, hoping to get her off my back. “Mummy,” she said, “what in the world have you done with all that money?”

I looked at her, wondering how best to respond. “Well…actually, it’s not as much as you think it is. The cost of living is high. But I guess I’ve paid the bills, bought food, sent you to school, bought the things we needed, cut the grass….’ I drifted off. What on earth had I done with all the money? How much of it had I used to nourish my soul? How much had I truly enjoyed with my family? Or had I enjoyed at all?

You may argue that paying for food, shelter, transport, and utilities are necessities, but why do they always take priority over the other necessities in our lives? Aren’t lifestyle accessories, body pampering, health care and spiritual enlightenment also necessities?

Lifestyle accessories are usually those things that we love - pleasures that feed our soul such as music, retreats, books, meditation and time with our loved ones. Most times we barely squeeze them into our budget except when we feel sufficiently starved. Somehow we have convinced ourselves that the socially prescribed necessities are more important. And even if we are not extravagant with our lifestyle, these necessities always seem to suck up the bulk of our income.

But it’s time to change the formula. How would the world change if we fed our souls first? If we focused more on our wellness and enlightenment? I was talking to a friend about this earlier, and we began to discuss small budgetary changes that could be made to live a more fulfilling life. It wasn’t long before I realized that we had been on the phone for almost an hour. Not wanting to run up her long-distance bill, I started apologizing and saying my goodbyes. But she insisted on staying on the phone. “This is exactly what you were just talking about. This is what I should be spending my money on—connecting with my friends, not clothes.”

And we spoke for a further half hour.

How often do you feed your soul? How might your life change if you reprioritized it?

Life is short…budget to feed your soul.  

About the Author:
Wanda Octave lives with constant fascination and intrigue for life. Her amazing ability to extract spiritual messages out of everyday experiences, has kept readers captivated for years and is finally revealed in her new book My Life Interpreted. A former Marketing professional, Octave worked in the fields of banking, real estate and tourism before becoming a writer.

Hailing from the small Caribbean Island which produced two Nobel Laureates - Honorable Derek Walcott and Sir Arthur Lewis, Octave has set her sights on becoming an international best-selling author, hoping to again position Saint Lucia as a force of to be reckoned with.

Learn more at www.WandaOctave.com or follow My Life Interpreted on Facebook.

https://www.amazon.com/author/wandaoctave
Get your copy today!

Connect with me

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/My-Life-Interpreted/424218667598103
Twitter: https://twitter.com/mylifeinterpreted
Blog: http://www.wandaoctave.com
Smashwords Interview: https://www.smashwords.com/interview/wandaoctave
Smashwords profile page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/wandaoctave a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway

Up the Tower


Congratulations to J.P. Lantern as he celebrates the release of Up the Tower with this Book Blast scheduled by Goddess Fish Promotions. One reader will win a $25 Amazon gift card via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Disaster brings everybody together. A cloned corporate assassin; a boy genius and his new robot; a tech-modified gangster with nothing to lose; a beautiful, damaged woman and her unbalanced stalker—these folks couldn't be more different, but somehow they must work together to save their own skin. Stranded in the epicenter of a monumental earthquake in the dystopian slum, Junktown, there is only one way to survive. These unlikely teammates must go...UP THE TOWER.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

“Hey, Smellson!”

Samson ignored the jeer, focusing carefully on opening the box. He was twelve years old and he did not want to screw this up; being twelve was important, and people took the things you did seriously so long as you did them well.

“Smellson, hey!” The Crowboy banged his crowbar on the dusty ruins of the factory line where they had set up the six crates from their haul that morning. “Don’t blow us up, okay? I don’t want to die with your stench clogging me up, yeah?”

Again, Samson ignored the other boy, trying to concentrate as he eased his longtool through the gap in the crate before him. He very well could blow himself up; he could blow them all up. Inside the GuaranTech crate he tinkered with was a copbot.

Copbots blew up all the time. If their main processors or power source were damaged, they blew up. If they were being captured, they blew up. If they ran out of ammo and couldn’t refill within about ten minutes, they blew up. When they blew up, they incinerated everything in about a hundred foot radius. The warehouse was not big enough for the Crowboys to keep their distance and still work in the role of protection as they had been hired. So they were in the blast zone as well as Samson.

The copbots, deactivated, were precious and valuable. Strangely, they were valuable precisely because they were so hard to deactivate. A copbot was made almost entirely out of self-healing nanotech, and with enough time, it could repair from almost any wound to its metal shell. So, to keep this sort of power out of the hands of the gangster conglomerate that ran Junktown, the Five Faces, and any other sort of competitor, the copbots had a very liberal self-destruct mechanism.

About the Author:
J.P. Lantern lives in the Midwestern US, though his heart and probably some essential parts of his liver and pancreas and whatnot live metaphorically in Texas. He writes speculative science fiction short stories, novellas, and novels which he has deemed "rugged," though he would also be fine with "roughhewn" because that is a terrific and wonderfully apt word.

Full of adventure and discovery, these stories examine complex people in situations fraught with conflict as they search for truth in increasingly violent and complicated worlds.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7171112.J_P_Lantern
Blog/website: http://jplantern.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JpLanternBooks
twitter: @jplantern

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Honeymoon Prize



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Melissa will award a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via the rafflecopter at the end of this post during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

NOTE: This book is on sale for only $0.99 during the tour.  Why not grab yourself a copy today?

He needs a wife...

Single bodyguard Nick Calhoun has been given an ultimatum by his boss--find a wife or lose his cushy, high-paying job. Clients' wives are hitting on him and putting Nick, and his boss, in hot water. But monogamy? He's never been a white picket fence kind of guy, and he's not about to embrace the happily married lifestyle now. He needs a wife who doesn't care about his steamy, extra-curricular love life...and he knows just the woman to fit the bill.

She needs a home...

Adalaide Sinclair spent years caring for her ill grandmother. Upon Grammy's death, she's stunned to find herself evicted from the only home she's ever known and labeled a thief by her inheritance-hungry family. Addie needs to find a place to live and a job--fast. So when her childhood friend, Nick, proposes a no-sex marriage of convenience, she puts her dreams of true love and happily-ever-after on hold. Finding Prince Charming can wait a little longer, right?

But will their friendship survive the honeymoon?

When Nick and Addie unexpectedly win a dream honeymoon, they decide to go their separate ways during the ten-day vacation. Too bad a camera crew is waiting for them at the tropical paradise. Acting like a head-over-heels bride and groom for reality TV wreaks havoc on their no-sex agreement...and blurs the line between fantasy and reality. Will Nick and Addie remain married in name only, or will a romantic honeymoon for show turn them into true newlyweds?


Enjoy an excerpt:

Time to focus on the present—a paradise full of beaches and sun and fruity drinks with paper umbrellas. She could swim and sail and participate in the forty-seven other activities the resort offered or read one of the novels she’d brought.

“What are you thinking?” Nick asked.

“That I deserve this lovely island.” She raised her chin, buoyed by a resolve she hadn’t felt in . . . years. “I’m going to make the most of the next ten days. Let my hair down and dance in the sand. Who knows when I’ll get to do something like this again?”

Nick’s eyes darkened, turning serious. Something rare for him. He started to speak then stopped himself.

“Your turn,” she said. “What are you thinking?”

“This is only our first vacation. You’re not going to have to wait another nine years for another one, okay?”

The raw emotion in his voice sounded nothing like the Nick she knew, but the determination behind each word warmed her heart. “Okay.”

The plane landed and motored across the water toward a long wooden dock that led to a pristine curved strip of white sand beach. Two paddleboards lay by the shore’s edge. Palm fronds blew in the wind.

Her breath caught in her throat. “It’s like a postcard.”

“Only better. This is real life. The island is ours for the next week and a half.” Nick motioned to the people on the dock. “Looks like we have a welcoming committee. Show off your pearly whites. I see cameras.”


With a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa McClone worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters. Her first full-time writing endeavor was her first sale when she was pregnant with her first child! Since then, she has published over thirty romance novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group. She’s also been nominated for Romance Writers of America’s RITA® award. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her driving her minivan to/from her children’s swim practices and other activities. She also sends care packages to deployed service members and fosters cats through a local no-kill animal shelter. Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three school-aged children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds and cats who think they rule the house. They do!

Website: http://www.melissamcclone.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MelissaMcCloneBooks

Twitter: @melissamcclone

Buy link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LE4Q370

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Twist of Fate

Twist of Fate
by Shawna C. Jones

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

Shawna grew up with a secret that she couldn't share with anyone. She thought of it as her "inner demon" and it shaped her life. When she became an adult, it sent her on a quest to try to find her Real Home. In Paris, she fell in love with a fellow traveler who changed her life, for better or worse. Their relationship was full of discovery and of lessons learned.

How could she come to terms with her "inner demon"? Can we change our fate or karma? Does love really conquer all?

This book is based on a true story of an independent woman's search for her true self and the meaning of life, and how she found answers in unexpected places.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excerpt Three:


 I meditated in my Paris apartment the day before leaving for London.

 Hurricane John had picked me up and tossed me around high in the air, and then pounded me on the sand. Like my aunt’s tea cup, I broke into pieces and lay at the bottom of the ocean. I wished sharks would eat me, but none came. But there was a gentle manatee that floated by and pushed all of my pieces together with her nose. Slowly, I became whole again. I found a shield and an arrow lying on the ocean floor, and quickly picked them up. I climbed on top of the manatee, and she easily carried me to the surface. I walked out of the water with my treasures and lay in the warm sun letting it heal my wounds. I closed my eyes for a time.

 When I opened them an eagle was hovering above me, staring at me. I realized its message of freedom and strength, and soaring to new heights. I would be happy with or without John. I really did not need him. I never did. A connection to the divine was at hand and I needed to prepare. Change would be coming, and I welcomed it with open arms.

 London. Home again. I felt like I could breathe once more. My new life had begun and I waited for the stirrings of new growth to move me onward and upward. No more going backwards ever again, I swore to myself.

I moved in with Trina. We became friends when I worked in London. A successful lawyer with room to spare for a lost American gal. But not for long, I hoped.


~~~~~~~~~~~~


1. Plotter or pantser?

I have to say I'm a little of both but primarily I'm a pantster.


2. What books have influenced your writing style?

The book, “Story Engineering, helped me a lot. Plus “Tell It Slant”. I have to say that writing seminars can also be very productive. I took several writing classes, which proved beneficial.

3. Classics or something else?

Something else.

4. Favorite ice cream flavor?

Chocolate peanut butter.

5. Favorite type of character to write about?

A woman who is strong, independent, brave, and full of integrity. 

6. Tell us one thing about you that no one knows.

I almost got shot when I was a kid. A cousin and his friend were in the room next to mine, and the gun went off accidently. I was lying on the bottom of a bunk bed, and the bullet whizzed by me. It missed me by several inches. I’ll never forget the worried expressions on everyone’s faces. At the time, I didn’t think it was such a big deal. 

7. Name three things on your desk right now.

A large, brown candle, a salt rock lamp, and a huge, black, amethyst crystal structure.

8. What is next on your writing timetable?

I hope to edit my next book which is already written. After that, I want to work on the political novel that’s been running around in my head for some time now.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Author bio:  Shawna C. Jones lives in the US, when she's not traveling the world. She lives with her husband, and "inner demon" quite peacefully now. She is continuing her mission of helping others, and encouraging young people to travel and follow their dreams.

https://www.facebook.com/ShawnaJonesAuthor

http://www.shawnacjones.com/


Shawna will be awarding the winner's choice of a  $50 Amazon GC, a $50 Starbucks GC, or a crystal from Middle Earth Store in Mt. Shasta  to a randomly drawn commenter during this tour.

Follow the tour for more chances to win!

http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2014/04/virtual-nbtm-book-tour-twist-of-fate-by.html

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 18, 2014

Blood Chimera





“BLOOD CHIMERA” / JENN LYONS

Some ransoms aren’t meant to be paid. Kidnap and Ransom negotiation used 
to be straightforward. The bad guys kidnap someone, and K&R expert 
Jackson Pastor negotiates their release, skillfully traversing a maze of 
bloodthirsty monsters: criminals, terrorists, police, and especially the FBI. 
But that was before he met real bloodthirsty monsters. 

When Jackson Pastor arrives in Los Angeles to help a new client recover his 
kidnapped wife, he finds himself dropped in the middle of a 500-year-old war 
between rival European and Mexican vampire clans, a conflict that threatens 
to escalate into a full-on public gang war. Worse, Jackson hasn’t been brought 
to Los Angeles to be a negotiator. His new boss wants to turn him into an 
assassin. With Jackson about to be caught in the middle of a clan war, his only 
hope of escape may lie with a secret FBI monster-hunting task-force led by a 
very dangerous, eccentric wizard. Which could be a problem, since Jackson’s a 
monster himself.
Blood Chimera is be available in trade paperback and ebook via Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, 
Kobo.com, WorldWeaverPress.com, and other online retailers, and for wholesale through Ingram. You 
can also find Blood Chimera on Goodreads.

About the author:

Jenn Lyons lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, three cats and a lot of 
opinions on anything from Sumerian creation myths to the correct way to make a 
martini. At various points in her life, she has wanted to be an archaeologist, 
anthropologist, architect, diamond cutter, fashion illustrator, graphic designer, or 
Batman. Turning from such obvious trades, she is now a video game producer by 
day, and spends her evenings writing science fiction and fantasy. When not 
writing, she can be found debating the Oxford comma and Joss Whedon’s oeuvre 
at various local coffee shops. 

World Weaver Press is an independently owned publisher of fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction. 
We believe in great storytelling.
Publication Date: August 12 • Paranormal Mystery
$14.95 trade paperback, 360 pages • $6.99 ebook
ISBN: 978-0692249185
Publicity/Reviews: publicity@worldweaverpress.com
Information:
www.worldweaverpress.com/blood-chimera.htmlWORLD WEAVER PRESS
Blood Chimera / 2
# # # # #

Guest post:

One of the many inspirations for Blood Chimera came from the fall of the Berlin Wall.
I know, I know. A long time ago, but I’m not young in body anymore, so bear with me.
One of the things that happened with the domino chain fall of communism, specifically with the overthrow of Romanian tyrant Nicolae Ceaușescu, was greater access to Romanian myth and folklore. A lot of these stories had been actively suppressed under communism, so they were rarely discussed. With open borders, there was an explosion of such tales.

That’s how I was first exposed to stories about the strigoi.
At first blush, a strigoi just comes off as a different name for vampire, and indeed, in many versions, that’s really all they are. Some versions of the Romanian strigoi didn’t conform to the classic stereotypes, however, which I found fascinating. In specific, strigoi are often born that way, the result of being born redheaded, or with a caul, or a seventh son, or witchcraft (if the father was a warlock, or the mother a witch, or they made their own pacts with the Devil,) or, the one that really got my attention, the child born to a union between a woman and her dead husband. In some parts of Romania, you see, it was the custom for a widow to never be allowed to remarry, which was more than a little embarrassing if, several years after her husband’s death, she then became pregnant.

Woops.

But such widows had an out, which was to claim that her husband was in fact the child’s father. If her husband was strigoi, well…who could blame the woman for honoring her marriage vows? 

Of course, I imagine the deal was a little less welcome for the baby. Such a child would be seen as something almost as bad as a bastard, because even if they were perfectly normal, everyone knew their inevitable fate: when the child eventually died, they would become strigoi too, inheriting their father’s thirst for blood. Perhaps they would even pass their strigoi inheritance on to their own children.

I loved this idea. Someone could go their whole life thinking they were completely normal only to discover that they were anything but that. I didn’t use all the strigoi stories, but I can hardly deny that the tales were a huge influence as I developed the marans.

Even more fun, of course, if the child had no idea…






Friday, August 15, 2014

Anger: How to Control It So It Won't Control You Book Blast

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Dr. Brown will be awarding an ebook copy of Anger: How to Control It So It Won't Control You to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Everyone has experienced it at least once in their life. Some have experienced it at least every day.

I have traveled all over the world and have seen it in every place. I have struggled with it as well. It’s a family problem for generations. It can be your greatest motivator or worst enemy.

Anger. Anger is defined by the Webster Dictionary as a strong feeling of displeasure and belligerence aroused by a wrong; wrath; ire.

I will show you not only how to control your anger from a Christian perspective but also have manage it until it motivates you; not hinders you. Get Ready. Anger is nothing more than manifestation of fear. Once you eliminate fear, the anger will be gone. Become Fearless.

Read an excerpt:

Section 2 - What is Fear and its connection to anger?

Fear is defined as a perceived threat of some type. It can be emotional or physical. When you feel that you’re in some form of danger. This activates your fight or flight response. Most animals respond to threat by either fighting or fleeing. However, we don't always have the option to fight what threatens us. Instead, we have anger. Words are the civilized way that we get to fight threat.

Some of my biggest blowups often involved a fear of being alone. When I have depended on people to reciprocate support for me on various levels, (new venue, in a relationship, or just life) they have disappointed me. I have never felt more rage in my life. It wasn't the disappointment that I was feeling or the feeling of being used. It was the thought that all my hard work wasn't good enough. I was unworthy, not loved, and alone.

Anger is just a manifestation of fear. For some people, when you are fearful of something, the first response that comes up is usually anger. Anger is a mask of fear.

I have learned that despite it all, I must be able to rely on myself and God. People, situations, and organization will fail you time and time again. When God is with you, nothing is against you.

You can do all in Christ that strengthens us (which is my current Church's motto).

Through my personal evolution of how to handle my anger, I have become fearless. I think before I move, I think instead of becoming angry. I am also slow to anger. I have now begun to think about the motivations behind people's actions. Sometimes, the only answer is indifference. Never fight anger with anger. It causes long reaching effects in ways you cannot even possibly imagine.

Fear is nothing more than an illusion of a possible threat. If you can control your response to your fears, then the anger will melt away.

About the Author:
Dr. Tiffany Brown is a native of Atlanta has taken great pride in her education and strives to continue broadening her knowledge. Graduating with a degree in Political Science from the prestigious Spelman College in 2001, a Master's degree in Public Administration from Clark Atlanta in 2004 and also a Doctorate in Public Policy from Walden University in 2009, she earned these achievements through determination and the desire to achieve her goals. She has held positions with the United States Government Accountability Office, Fulton County District Attorney's Office, Georgia Law Center for the Homeless, Georgia Conservation Voters, Supreme Court of Georgia, Equifax, Coca-Cola Enterprises, and Atlanta Bar Association. Upon Graduation from Walden University, she has truly impacted change as an academic and practitioner. She is former 2009 Write-in Atlanta Mayoral Candidate and owner of 3 companies: Tribute Contracting LLC, a minority owned government consulting firm TB LLC; Tiffany Brown Design House; Tiffany Brown Holdings Inc. - Consulting firm that has five divisions: entertainment, vending, radio, food, nonprofit management and book publishing. She is an author of several books: Daily Reflections of Life: A Book of Affirmations for the Ambitious and Prayers of a Faithful Woman. In 2010, She is honored as a Influencer by BOSS Network. The BOSS Network is a women's empowerment alliance dedicated to highlighting women and creating opportunities for growth through networking beyond events. BOSS was named among the top 100 websites and one of the top 10 career sites for women in 2010 by Forbes.com

Goodreads ~ Facebook ~ Website ~ Blog ~ Twitter


Buy the book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Traitor's Legacy


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Beth will be awarding a $35 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn winner via the rafflecopter at the end of this post.

1781. On opposite sides of the War of Independence, British Captain Jacob Vaughan and Claire Monroe find themselves thrust together by chance and expediency.

Captain Vaughan comes to a stately North Carolina manor to catch a spy. Instead, he finds himself in bedlam: the head of the household is an old man ravaged by madness, the one sane male of the family is the very man he is hunting, and the household is overseen by his beguiling sister Claire.

Torn between duty, love, and allegiances, yearning desperately for peace, will Captain Vaughan and Claire Monroe forge a peace of their own against the vagaries of war and the betrayal of false friends?


Now enjoy an excerpt:

She fixed those wonderful eyes on him, more lethal than a backwoods rifleman. “Shall I lead the way, Captain?”

“Certainly.” He’d be tempted to follow her anywhere. A most unsettling thought.

Nothing about this fetching young lady struck Vaughan as calculating, but for the sake of her adored brother and sacred revolution he strongly suspected she’d try to deceive him. He’d hate to have to make her arrest. In fact, he should loathe it to his core. And he’d only just met her.

Why did she have such a potent effect on him, and why did it seem his fate to encounter beguiling females on the wrong side of this infernal conflict? If they weren’t Rebels to begin with, they inevitably adopted the cause.

Could he persuade Miss Monroe of her duty to the king, to him, and win her allegiance? Perhaps. She’d conducted herself splendidly thus far, and for such a prize he was willing to give his all.


Married to my high school sweetheart, I live on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia surrounded by my children, grandbabies, and assorted animals. An avid gardener, my love of herbs and heirloom plants figures into my work. The rich history of Virginia, the Native Americans and the people who journeyed here from far beyond her borders are at the heart of my inspiration. In addition to American settings, I also write historical and time travel romances set in the British Isles, and nonfiction about gardening, herbal lore, and country life.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Beth-Trissel/276061290666

My Blog: http://bethtrissel.wordpress.com/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/BethTrissel

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Beth-Trissel/e/B002BLLAJ6/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1404073285&sr=1-2-ent

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/beth-trissel?store=allproducts&keyword=beth+trissel


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

To Tempt an Angel



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Patricia will be awarding a free eBook from Lachesis Publishing to a randomly drawn winner via the rafflecopter at the end of this post during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

NOTE: this book is FREE everywhere!  Buy links are at the end of this post -- why not download your own copy today?

Angelica Douglas has no idea that she’s the Countess of Melrose. What she does know is that she needs to support her family as a card shark, while finding a way to seek revenge on the men who ruined her father and sent her family spiralling down into poverty.

Robert Campbell, Marquess of Argyll, heir to the Duke of Inverary, has no idea who Angelica truly is. He just wants to watch over her and make her his mistress.

Angelica thinks Robert is simply a dashing rogue who is far too dangerous for her peace of mind. Robert thinks Angelica is an angel except when she’s being a pain in the behind.

When Robert finds out that his own father may have been one of the men who ruined Angelica’s family, he vows to keep a careful eye on her. When Angelica finds out that Robert’s father may have been one of the men responsible, she vows to stay as far away from Robert as possible. But when danger threatens, both Robert and Angelica must face the truth and let fate take the upper hand.


Enjoy an excerpt:

“I knew someone would try to steal your money,” Robert said, helping her rise. He lifted the wreath of flowers off the ground and placed it on top of her blond head, adding, “You look like a flower fairy again.”

“What makes you think the assassin was aiming at me?” Angelica countered. “He didn’t stop to steal my money. Perhaps he’s one of your enemies.”

Robert snapped his brows together. She knew from the expression on his handsome face that he thought she made sense.

“I’m an excellent markswoman,” Angelica said, pulling her dagger from the sheath strapped to her leg. “If you hadn’t thrown yourself on top of me, I would have taken him down. Then we could have questioned him.”

Robert burst out laughing. “A knife wielding angel? Next time I’ll let you rescue me,” he said, helping her onto his horse.

“I should walk the rest of the way,” Angelica said when he mounted behind her. “Being attacked twice in one day is statistically impossible.”

“You are the sweetest gambler I’ve ever encountered,” Robert said. Then, “What’s your full name?”

“Angelica Douglas.” His body pressing intimately against hers made her feel weak. To mask her nervousness, she asked “What is your full name, sir?”

“Robert Roy.”

“Are you joking?” Angelica glanced over her shoulder at him. “Your name is really Rob Roy?”

Robert shrugged. “My father had a keen sense of humor.”

“I agree,” Angelica said with a smile, “but the joke is on you.”

Robert inhaled deeply of her scent, lavender and water lily. She reminded him of a spring day. “Your smile shames the envious sun, angel.”

“I love this moment in the year’s cycle,” Angelica told him. “Sunshine, flowers, and freedom fill the days.”

“Do I detect a philosophical gambler?” Robert asked, amusement tingeing his voice.

Angelica shrugged. “I am philosophical by choice and a gambler by necessity.”

A connoisseur of beautiful women, Robert enjoyed the feeling of the angel in his arms as they started down Hampstead Road. She exuded seductive innocence, an aphrodisiac to his senses.


I'm a dog person. Who lives with 10 cats. Get the picture?

My first brush with the romance genre happened in my high school junior year. I discovered Gone With the Wind and hid it behind my American history book to read during class. (The Civil War is American history.) The ambiguous ending left me dissatisfied, though. Rhett and Scarlet needed a happily-ever-after. Believing in happily-ever-afters positively screams romantic-at-heart.

On the other hand, I love murder and mayhem as much as happily-ever-after. My usual television fare is fiction and nonfiction crime shows, not love stories. Which accounts for the mysteries I sneaked into my historical romances. Now I'm trying my hand at writing a humorous mystery, sans historical and sans emphasis on the love interest. I even prepared for my mystery-in-progress by attending the local NRA's Pistol School. Shooting pistols is great fun. I adore the .22 semiautomatics.

After graduating from high school without distinction, I earned both Bachelor and Master degrees at a state college. Again, without distinction. I held several part-time jobs during my college days: file clerk in an insurance company, long-distance telephone operator, kimono-wearing waitress in a Japanese restaurant.

And then I began my teaching career, eighteen years in the eighth grade and thirteen years at the high school. Weary with the same old routine, I decided I needed a creative outlet. So I decided to write a romance novel but only managed to talk about writing one. After five years of listening to me, a friend said to stop talking and start writing.

So I did.

I made every mistake known to man. Blunder would be a more appropriate word, but I did learn using the trial and error method. As well as studying the works of authors I admired.

After five years of writing for nothing but love, I sold my first novel. Since then, I've sold eighteen novels and won several awards--- National Readers' Choice Award New England Readers' Choice Award, Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice and KISS Awards, B. Dalton and Bookrak Awards for best-selling author. My novels have been translated into fifteen languages and sold in twenty countries.

If I had my life over, would I become a writer? Nope. I would enjoy being a Victoria Secret model. Perhaps in my next incarnation I won't be too old, too short, or too unphotogenic.

www.patriciagrasso.com

https://www.facebook.com/patricia.grasso.902

BN http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/to-tempt-an-angel-patricia-grasso/1005102935?ean=9781927555071

Kindle http://www.amazon.com/To-Tempt-Angel-Book-Douglas-ebook/dp/B00A2WZ1IC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1401151486&sr=8-1&keywords=to+tempt+an+angel

Kobo http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/to-tempt-an-angel-2

iBooks https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/to-tempt-angel-book-1-douglas/id576045599?mt=11

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Luck of the Draw



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Cheri will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner and a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card to another randomly drawn winner via the rafflecopter at the end of this post.

If only life had a refresh button...

Kate Mitchell never planned to be a 31 year-old widowed single mom, but when her soon-to-be-EX husband up and dies, her dreams of finishing college and starting over are thrown in the air like a game of 52 pick-up. When she’s given a leave of absence from work and told to “quit or recommit,” Kate retreats to idyllic Sugar Falls, New Hampshire, to figure out whether she can discover her passion and pay the bills. Cue the fresh air, summer sunshine and one sexy local contractor.

Tall, dark, and handy…

Volunteer fireman and all-around hunky guy in a toolbelt, Jim Pearson has sworn off complicated women with messy baggage. They cling to his nice-guy stability and skills with a power saw just long enough to straighten out their lives and move on… but then he meets the cute single mom staying at Grams’ lake house for the summer.

While a sizzling attraction draws them together, Jim's distrust of complicated women and Kate's incredibly complicated life threaten to pull them apart. But forces beyond their control--match-making grandmothers, the lazy backdrop of summer, and their own reckoning with the past--conspire to make them risk it all... and bet on love.


Now enjoy and excerpt:

She could hear their breathing in the quiet room, the air a bit close from the heat of the day. She smiled.

He grimaced.

“Kate, I—”

She put her finger to his lips. “Please, don’t. I know this must seem crazy. We hardly know each other, but… I don’t want to analyze it. Not now.”

She didn’t want to talk. Didn’t want to admit her behavior was so far removed from her usual comfort zone it was like observing someone else. But Jim made her feel safe in a way she couldn’t put her finger on. Safe… and alive. No, that wasn’t right. He made her feel… hopeful. There was something about his eyes. So gentle, so kind. When she looked into his eyes, all the sad, lonely years melted away, and her heart felt light again, like a butterfly in her breast. She hadn’t felt that feeling in so very, very long. She couldn’t bear to turn it away. Not now. Not yet.

He nodded, his gaze boring into hers as he grasped her hand and pressed a kiss to her palm. His thumb brushed over her fingers as he looked at her hand. “You took off your ring,” he whispered.

She nodded, and he brought her hand to his lips again, looked her in the eyes. “Tell me what you want,” he said.

“For you to,” she managed a shaky breath, “do that again?”

He grinned against her wrist…


Cheri Allan lives in a charming fixer-upper in rural New Hampshire with her husband, two children, one dog, four cats and an excessive amount of optimism. She’s a firm believer in do-it-yourself, new beginnings and happily-ever-afters, so after years of wearing suits, she’s grateful to finally put her English degree to good use writing romance. When not writing, you might find her whizzing down the slopes of a nearby mountain or inadvertently killing perennials in her garden.

Cheri loves to hear from readers! E-mail her at cheri@cheriallan.com, friend her at facebook.com/cheriallanauthor, or visit her website and blog at www.cheriallan.com. Luck of the Draw, Book 1 in the ‘Betting on Romance’ series is available now from Amazon and Smashwords. Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/448863

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cheri-Allan-Books/143131549193624

https://twitter.com/CheriAllan

http://www.cheriallan.com/

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Second Chance Bride



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Sandra will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via the rafflecopter at the end of this post. Please click the banner to visit other stops on this tour.


After being jilted, practically at the altar, Genie Wainwright heads to Hawaii to escape the well-meant pity party her friends and family are bound to throw on her behalf. What she never expects is to find someone to help her mend her broken heart.

Donnie Taylor, owner of the posh Sapphire Bay Resort, has no interest in marriage--until he meets an unforgettable guest at the hotel. What starts out as a kindhearted gesture brings Donnie something he never expects--love!



Now enjoy an excerpt:

“Seriously, Gene…” Cami’s voice echoed from the cell phone in Genie’s hand. “You went on a date last night?”

“I wouldn’t exactly call it a date.” Genie shrugged. “I think his mother put him up to it.”

“His mother?”

“Yeah. I think they both work here at the hotel.”

Cami sighed. “Well, if nothing else, he’s a great transitional guy to get back in the swing of dating.”

“I’m not really interested in dating anyone.” Even as she said it, Genie knew she was lying as images of last night flickered though her thoughts. Donnie was so easy to talk to; not to mention completely gorgeous. She wondered what his job was at the hotel, and how long he’d had to save to take her on that dinner cruise last night? It just didn’t make sense that he’d spend that kind of money on a girl his mother had pushed him into taking out to dinner. Maybe the dinner cruise was a reward from the hotel for his exemplary service. No matter how it happened the truth was, she was interested in dating Donnie, but he lived half a world away. “Besides, there’ll be like two thousand miles separating us when I go back home.” That was just it. Genie was going home, and sooner than she’s like. In a couple of days.

“Typical,” Cami said. “You finally meet Mr. Right and he works in a hotel in Hawaii.” Her laughter teetered off.

“Mr. Right?” Genie scoffed. “Nobody said anything about Mr. Right. Besides, we’ve only had one date. One.”

“Doesn’t take more than a taste of the wine to know if the bottle’s a keeper.”


NEW YORK TIMES & USA TODAY Bestselling Author Sandra Edwards writes award-winning romance in a variety of subgenres such as paranormal (mostly time travel and reincarnation), contemporary, and suspense. She lives in the U.S. (west coast) with her husband, two kids, four dogs and one very temperamental feline. Sandra's books often push the envelope and step outside the boundaries of conventional romance. For more info on Sandra's books, visit her website at:

www.SandraWrites.com

Find her on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/SandraEdwards.Author

Sign up for Sandra's NEW RELEASE ALERT at: bit.ly/1k31XDr

Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LYD3YD2

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1119975491?ean=2940149740901

Available for pre-order on iBooks (release date: August 15): https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/second-chance-bride/id894150981?mt=11&uo=4

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 1, 2014

Release Day Blitz Fall Rush

Fall Rush BannerFall Rush Cover
Synopsis
Embry Harris is desperate to turn things around her senior year of college. She’s determined to make more responsible choices and rid herself of the stigma plaguing her. But because of her job and the hot bartender who goads her into making impulsive decisions, it isn’t going to be easy. Stede Bennett’s mission since returning from his overseas tour is to get his degree. The last thing he needs is a spoiled sorority girl distracting him. Being a Marine taught him many things, except how to handle a beautiful woman in constant need of saving. Protecting Embry from the jerk threatening to ruin her reputation is how Stede begins to lose his heart. Being empowered by Stede’s words is how Embry starts losing hers. If the schemer responsible for pushing them together gets his way, they could lose their chance for happiness. Buy Links Coming Soon
Excerpt
“Wait a second.” Stede caught Embry’s arm. “I can’t let you walk home by yourself at this hour.” “I walk all over the place by myself.” “If you get raped and killed, I’ll never forgive myself.” “Okay, now I’m scared. Thanks for that. Do you have a savior complex?” “Only around you.” He was good. Too damn good. Nobody, no guy, said stuff like that and meant it. “Are you the type of savior who rescues the damsel from the trouble you create?” His grin sent a jolt of excitement through her. “I can see why you might think that, but no, I’m a responsible adult.” He stood. “Now, how ‘bout I give you a ride?” “How adult are you?” He tilted his head to the side and raised his eyebrows. “You’re a flirty little thing.” “I was asking your age, not how X-rated you can get. You’re a guy. I already know the answer to that one.” Author Bio meda white Meda White writes sweet, sultry, and southern contemporary romance. She resides in the Southeastern United States with her husband and a very spoiled furbaby. When not writing, you might find her making music, shooting zombie targets, teaching yoga, or explaining the meaning of her unusual first name.
Giveaway
Meda is giving away a $5 Amazon Gift Card and an e-copy of Fall Rush

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Fever: An Interview with Megan Abbott


Interview:

1.    I write because...
I can’t stop.
2.    What is your advice for someone just starting out in their writing career?
Read widely and to excess.
3. Name three things on your desk right now.
Scribbled-on post-it notes of various colors, a miniature Sigmund Freud (don’t ask) and a very large bottle of seltzer.
4. Do you listen to music when you write?
Mostly, no. Sometimes during revising, but lyrics can really distract me.
5. If I were your favorite cookie, I would be a...
Macaroon (and now I’m hungry).
6. Heels or flats?
If I’m honest, flats. (In my dreams, always heels.)
7. Name the best place you've traveled to.
Oxford, Mississippi. If you’ve been there, you know why.
8. What are you currently working on?
Revisions for my next novel, You Will Know Me, about a family with a child prodigy. And something bad happens.
9. Plotter or pantster?
A little of both.
10. What is your typical day like?
Coffee, stare at computer screen, poke out a few words, check email, poke out a few more words. More coffee. Repeat. (Not a pretty picture, is it?)



Named one of Entertainment Weekly's 2014 "14 Reads That Are Worth The Wait" and called "a mesmerizing modern portrait of teenage life today" by Gillian Flynn, THE FEVER has received rave reviews from Booklist ("a powerful portrait of community, with interesting echoes of The Crucible"), Publishers Weekly ("thrilling...gripping...razor-sharp"), and Kirkus ("stunning"). 

Loosely inspired by the nationally reported story of the purported "mass hysteria" outbreak in Le Roy, NY in 2012, THE FEVER is a haunting, thought-provoking page-turner that examines the powers of desire, guilt, secrets, and fear. It's at once entrancing and disturbing, and readers will not be able to put it down until the very last page.

Megan Abbott wrote one of the most memorable and beloved books of 2012. Called "deft, intelligent, and enthralling" by Kate Atkinson and "spectacular" by Chelsea Cain in the New York Times Book Review, her novel Dare Me--a chilling story of backstabbing cheerleaders and adolescent rivalries--was nominated for Anthony and Steel Dagger awards, was Gillian Flynn's Holiday Book Picks selection for NBC's Today show, and made many Best Books of 2012 lists. 


EARLY PRAISE FOR THE FEVER:
"An unforgettable inquiry into the emotional lives of young people... It's also a powerful portrait of community, with interesting echoes of The Crucible...Abbott may be on her way to becoming a major writer."--Booklist, Starred Review

"Thrilling...a gripping story fueled by razor-sharp treachery, jealousy, hormones, and the insecurities of teenage girls."--Publishers Weekly

"The book to beat... in the "Is it the next 'Gone Girl'?" sweepstakes."--Janet Maslin, New York Times 

"The lives of teenage girls are dangerous, beautiful things in Abbott's stunning novel... Abbott expertly ratchet[s] up the suspense...nothing should be taken at fact value." --Kirkus, Starred Review

"THE FEVER is deliciously, page-turningly 'no, no, leave me alone, I'm almost done!' Abbott nails both the reality of being a teenage girl and the hyper-reality of memory." --BookRiot

"No one understands the social dynamics of teenage girls better than Megan Abbott...settling into THE FEVER, one realizes that Abbott is setting a rhythm, one that's measured and paced with the brilliance of one of the best living mystery writers." --Grantland

ABOUT THE BOOK:
The panic unleashed by a mysterious contagion threatens the bonds of family and community in a seemingly idyllic suburban community.

In the idyllic community of Dryden, Tom Nash is a popular high school teacher and the father of two teens: Eli, a hockey star and girl magnet, and Deenie, a diligent student with a close-knit group of friends-who are all horrified one day in class when Deenie's best friend, Lise, is struck by a terrifying, brutal, and unexplained seizure. As Lise clings to life in the hospital, the seizures systematically infect more teenage girls, one by one, sending the entire town into terrified, questioning chaos. Is there a dangerous virus at work? Is it something in the school itself? Are the girls faking it? Who or what is to blame-and who will be next?

As hysteria and contagion swell, a series of tightly held secrets emerges, threatening to unravel friendships, families and the town's fragile idea of security.




Excerpt: Copyright Megan Abbott, courtesy of Little, Brown and Company

 THE FEVER

Before

The first time, you can’t believe how much it hurts.”
Deenie’s legs are shaking, but she tries to hide it, pushing her knees together, her hands hot on her thighs.
Six other girls are waiting. A few have done it before, but most are like Deenie.
“I heard you might want to throw up even,” one says. “I knew a girl who passed out. They had to stop in the middle.”
“It just kind of burns,” says another. “You’re sore for a few days. They say by the third time, you don’t even feel it.”
I’m next, Deenie thinks, a few minutes and it’ll be me.
If only she’d gotten it over with a year ago. But she’d heard about how much it hurt and no one else had done it yet, at least not anyone she knew.
Now she’s one of the last ones.
When Lise comes out, her face puckered, holding on to her stomach, she won’t say a word, just sits there with her hand over her mouth.
“It’s nothing to be scared of,” Gabby says, looking at Deenie. “I’m not afraid.”
And she takes Deenie’s hand and grips it, fingers digging into palm, their clasped hands pressing down so Deenie’s legs stop shaking, so she feels okay.
“We’re in it together,” Gabby adds, making Deenie look in her eyes, black and unflinching.
“Right,” Deenie says, nodding. “How bad can it be?”
The door opens.
“Deenie Nash,” a voice calls out.
Four minutes later, her thigh stinging, she’s done. It’s over.
Walking back out, shoes catching on the carpet, legs heavy as iron, she feels light-headed, a little drunk.
All the girls look at her, Gabby’s face grave and expectant.
“It’s nothing,” Deenie says, grinning. “It’s just . . . nothing.

1

T U E S D A Y

At first, Lise’s desk chair just seemed to be rocking. Deenie’s eyes were on it, watching the motion. The rocking of it made her feel a little sick. It reminded her of something.
She wondered if Lise was nervous about the quiz.
The night before, Deenie had prepared a long time, bringing her laptop under her covers, lying there for hours, staring at equations.
She wasn’t sure it was studying, exactly, but it made her feel better, her eyes dry from screen glare, fingers tapping her lower lip. There was an uncomfortable smell from somewhere in her clothes, musky and foreign. She wanted to shower, but her dad might hear and wonder.
Two hours before, she’d been at work, dropping dough balls in a machine and punching them out into square pans slick with oil. Lise and Gabby had come by and ordered the fat pizza sticks, even though Deenie warned them not to. Showed them the plastic tub of melted butter that sat all day by the hot ovens. Showed them how the oven workers stroked the sticks with the butter from that tub and how it looked like soap or old cheese.
As they left, oil-bottomed paper sacks in their hands, she wished she were going with them, wherever they were going. She was glad to see them together. Gabby and Lise were Deenie’s best friends but never really seemed easy with just each other.
By the ovens, Sean Lurie clocked in late. Wielding his long iron grippers like swords, he started teasing her. About the fancy-girl arc of her hand when she’d grab a dough ball, like she was holding a kitten. The way, he said, her tongue stuck out slightly when she stretched the dough.
“Like my little sister,” he teased, “with her Play-Doh.”
He was a senior at Star-of-the-Sea, shaggy black hair, very tall. He never wore his hat, much less the hairnet, and he had a way of smiling lopsided that made her tie her apron strings tighter, made her adjust her cap.
She didn’t even mind all the sweat. The sweat was part of it.
Like her brother after hockey, his dark hair wet and face sheened over—she’d tease him about it, but it was a look of aliveness you wanted to be around.
The heat from the ovens made his skin glow.
How it happened that two hours later she was in Sean Lurie’s car, and a half hour after that they were parked on Montrose, deep in Binnorie Woods, she couldn’t say for sure.
She always heard you looked different, after.
But only the first time, said Gabby, who’d done it just twice herself. To make you remember it, I guess. Deenie had wondered how you could ever forget.
You look in the mirror after, Gabby said, and it’s not even you.
Except Deenie had never really believed it. It seemed like one of those things they told you to make you wait forever for something everyone else was doing anyway. They didn’t want you to be part of the club.
And yet, looking in the bathroom mirror after she got home, she’d realized Gabby was right.
It was partly the eyes—something narrow there, something less bright—but mostly it was the mouth, which looked tender, bruised, and now forever open.
Her hands hooked on the sink ledge, her eyes resting on her dad’s aftershave in the deep green bottle, the same kind he’d used all her life. He’d been on a date too, she realized.
Then, remembering: she hadn’t really been on a date.

Now, in class, all these thoughts thudding around, it was hard to concentrate, and even harder given the rocking in Lise’s chair, her whole desk vibrating.
“Lise,” Mrs. Chalmers called out. “You’re bothering everyone else.”
“It’s happening, it’s happening” came a low snarl from Lise’s delicate pink mouth. “Uh-uh-uh.”
Her hands flying up, she grabbed her throat, her body jolting to one side.
Then, in one swoop—as if one of the football players had taken his meaty forearm and hurled it—her desk overturned, clattering to the floor.
And with it Lise. Her head twisting, slamming into the tiles, her bright red face turned up, mouth teeming with froth.
“Lise,” sighed Mrs. Chalmers, too far in front to see. “What is your problem?”

* * *

Standing at his locker, late for class, Eli Nash looked at the text for a long time, and at the photo that had come with it. A girl’s bare midriff.
Eli, for you xxxx!
He didn’t recognize the number.
It wasn’t the first time he’d gotten one of these, but they always surprised him. He tried to imagine what she was thinking, this faceless girl. Purple nails touching the tops of her panties, purple too, with large white polka dots.
He had no idea who it was.
Did she want him to text her back, invite her over? To sneak her into his bedroom and nudge her shaky, pliant legs apart until he was through?
A few times he’d done just that. Told them to come by, smuggled them to his room. The last one, a sophomore everyone called Shawty, cried after.
She admitted to drinking four beers before she came on account of nervousness, and even still, had she put her legs where she should? Should she have made more noise? Secretly, he’d wished she’d made less noise. Since then, he could only ever think about his sister, one wall away. And how he hoped Deenie never did things like this. With guys like him.
So now, when he got these texts, he didn’t reply.
Except sometimes he felt kind of lonely.
The night before, his friends at a party, he’d stayed home. He imagined maybe a family night of bad TV and board games moldy from the basement. But Deenie wasn’t around, and his dad had his own plans.
“Who is she?” he’d asked, seeing his father wearing his date sweater, the charcoal V-neck of a serious man.
“A nice woman, very smart,” he said. “I hope I can keep up.”
“You will,” Eli said. His dad was the smartest teacher in the school and the smartest guy Eli knew.
After one of those times sneaking a girl out of his room, Eli had gotten caught, sort of. In the upstairs hallway, his dad nearly bumped into her as she hitched her tank-top strap up her shoulder. He’d looked at Eli and then at the girl and she’d looked at him and smiled like the prom queen she was.
“Hey, Mr. Nash,” she cheeped. “Guess what? I got an eighty-five in Chem Two this year.”
“Great, Britt,” he said, his eyes not focusing on hers. “I always knew you could do better. Glad to hear you’re doing me proud.”
After, Eli shut his door and turned his music as loud as he could and hoped his dad wouldn’t come talk to him.
He never did.

* * *

Dryden was the cloudiest city in the state, the sky white for much of the year and the rest of the time a kind of molten gray broken up by bright bolts of mysterious sun.
Tom Nash had lived here for twenty years, had moved with Georgia the summer after they’d finished their teaching certificates, and she’d gotten a job starting up the district’s new special-education office.
Like many long-term transplants, he had the uncomplicated pride of a self-proclaimed native, but with the renewing wonder a native never has.
In the deep white empty of February when his students would get that morose look, their faces slightly green like the moss that lined all their basements, he’d tell them that Dryden was special. That he had grown up in Yuma, Arizona, the sunniest city in the United States, and that he’d never really looked up until he went away to summer camp and realized the sky was there after all and filled with mystery.
For Dryden kids, of course, there was no mystery to any of it. They didn’t realize how much it had shaped them, how it had let them retain, long past childhood fairy tales, the opportunity to experience forces beyond their understanding. The way weather tumbled through the town, striking it with hail, lightning, sudden bursts of both clouds and sun, like no other place Tom had ever been. Some days, the winter wind moving fast across the lake’s warm waters, the sun unaccountably piercing everything, students came to school, faces slicked in ice, looking stunned and radiant. As if saying: I’m sixteen and bored and indifferent to life, but my eyes are
suddenly open, for a second, to this.
The first year he and Georgia lived here, Dryden had been this puzzle to them both. Coming home at night, the haze of the streetlamps, shaking off the damp, they would look around, their once-copper skin gleaming white, and marvel over it.
Pregnant with Eli and her body changing already, giving her this unearthly beauty, Georgia decided Dryden wasn’t a real place at all but some misty idea of a town. A suburban Brigadoon, she called it.
Eventually—though it felt like suddenly to him—something changed.
One afternoon two years ago, he came home and found her at the dining-room table drinking scotch from a jam jar.
Living here, she said, is like living at the bottom of an old man’s shoe. Then she looked at him as if hoping he could say something to make it not feel true.
But he couldn’t think of a thing to say.
It wasn’t long after that he found out about the affair, a year along by then, and that she was pregnant. She miscarried three days later and he took her to the hospital, the blood slipping down her leg, her hands tight on him.
Now he saw her maybe four times a year. She’d moved all the way to Merrivale, where Eli and Deenie spent one weekend a month and a full ten days each summer, after which they came back tan and blooming and consumed by guilt the moment they saw him.
In his middle-of-the-night bad thoughts, he now felt sure he’d never really understood his wife, or any woman maybe.
Whenever he thought he understood Deenie, she seemed to change.
Dad, I don’t listen to that kind of music.
Dad, I never go to the mall anymore.
Lately, even her face looked different, her baby-doll mouth gone. The daddy’s girl who used to climb his leg, face turned up to his. Who sat in his leather reading chair for hours, head bent over his own childhood books on Greek mythology, then Tudor
kings, anything.
“I’m taking the bus,” she’d said that very morning, halfway out the door, those spindle legs of hers swiveling in her sneakers.
“I can drive you,” he’d said. “You’re so early.”
Deenie hadn’t beaten him to breakfast since she was ten, back when she was trying to be grown-up and would make him toaster waffles, with extra syrup he’d be tugging from the roof of his mouth all day.
Eli off to hockey practice at six a.m., Tom liked these drives alone with Deenie, the only time he could peek into the murky teen-girl-ness in her head. And get occasional smiles from her, make bad jokes about her music.
A few times, after dates like the one he’d had the night before— a substitute teacher divorced three months who’d spent most of dinner talking about her dying cat—driving to school with Deenie was the thing that roused him from bed in the morning.
But not this morning.
“I have a test to study for,” she’d said, not even turning her head as she pushed through the door.
Sometimes, during those same bleak middle-of-the-nights, he held secret fears he never said aloud. Demons had come in the dark, come with the famous Dryden fog that rolled through the town, and taken possession of his lovely, smart, kindhearted wife. And next they’d come for his daughter too.




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Megan Abbott is the Edgar Award-winning author of six previous novels. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Salon, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, The Believer, Los Angeles Review of Books, Detroit Noir and Queens Noir among other places. She received her PhD in literature from New York University. She lives in New York and recently served as the John Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi. Currently, she is working on the screenplay for her novel, Dare Me, soon to be a major motion picture.

THE FEVER BOOK TOUR:
June 17, 7:00pm ET | Book Court | Brooklyn, NY 
June 18, 7:00pm ET | WORD with Julia Fiero | Brooklyn, NY 
June 20, 7:00pm ET |Brookline Booksmith with Stona Fitch | Brookline, MA 
June 22, 3:00pm ET | Nicola's Books | Ann Arbor, MI 
June 23, 7:00pm ET | Barnes and Noble | Troy, MI 
June 24, 5:00pm ET | Square Books | Oxford, MS 
June 25, 6:30pm CT | Murder by the Book | Houston, TX 
June 26, 7:00pm CT | Book People | Austin, TX 
July 1, 7:00pm MT | Poisoned Pen with Jeff Abbott | Phoenix, AZ