Friday, July 28, 2017

Angelina's Secret by: Diane Merrill Wigginton w/ Giveaway

Title: Angelina’s Secret
Author: Diane Merrill Wigginton
Series: Jeweled Dagger Series (Book 1) (The Benjamin Franklin Award Winning Series)
Genre: Historical Romance/Suspense
Publisher: Jeweled Dagger Publishing
Release Date: Feb 14 2017
Edition/Format: 2nd Edition/Formats ~ eBook & Print
 Angelina Stewart is a beautiful, bold, independent woman hiding a terrible secret. After returning home from a sea voyage, she is touted as a hero for saving her family’s ship and crew from a band of ruthless pirates, but Angelina feels like such a fraud. At the same time, her psychic abilities are becoming more pronounced as she attempts to unravel the mystery of London’s gruesome murders before she becomes the killer’s next victim.
Captain Jude Deveraux is leading a double life as well. He and his band of French privateers steal, rob, and plunder unsuspecting ships that have the misfortune of wandering into their domain. Awarded a title by the King of France for bravery during battle, The Duke of Bayonne, A.K.A. Pirate Captain, Jude Deveraux, takes what he wants from the world as he and best friend, Honore live each day as if it were their last. That is until the day Jude discovers that the only thing he truly wants is to capture the untamed heart of fiery tempered, Angelina for his own.

I turned on my heels and headed in the opposite direction passing our table. I just kept going. I needed some air, which was funny because the enormous dance floor was outdoors.
The gardens were alight with thousands of lanterns, and I needed distance. I headed toward the topiaries at the other end of the royal gardens and as far away from Jude as I could get. Anger mingled with humiliation fueled my escape. I could hear Jude behind me, but I didn’t slow down. Breathing hard at this point because I was nearly running and my tight corset restricted my ability to breathe deeply, I didn’t even know exactly what it was that I was running from. I just knew I needed space.
When he grabbed my arm, I came to a sudden stop as I gasped for air. Jude grasped my shoulders, shaking me like a rag doll. My wig toppled to the ground and pins flew as copper strands tumbled down, spilling over my shoulders.
“Why didn’t you stop? Didn’t you hear me calling after you? What is wrong?” Jude’s anger was mixed with frustration as he tried to make sense of his own feelings.
“Help me, please. I cannot breathe,” My words came out in short gasps for air before I went limp. Spinning me around while holding me against his left arm, he proceeded to unlace the top portion of my gown. Reaching into the pocket of my gown, he retrieved the dagger and cut the top laces of my corset. The air flooded into my lungs in one giant gasp as my knees gave out. Placing the dagger between his teeth, he picked me up in his arms, like one would a hurt child, and carried me toward a bench void of light. It was probably extinguished by the bench’s previous occupants.
Shadows playing across his face made him look ruthless and savage. I had to blink twice for I thought my eyes deceived me. Gently placing me on the bench he kneeled down. Retrieving the sheath from my pocket, he placed it on the end of the dagger and put it back into my pocket.
“You can really never tell when these things will come in handy.” He patted the dagger that lay in my pocket against my leg. “Good thing you took your brother’s advice.”
“How did you know I had it on me?” Astonishment showing on my face.
“I felt it when we were dancing,” he answered offhandedly.
“Is it often you hold a woman so closely while dancing that you know exactly what she carries in her dress pocket?” I asked slightly scandalized by his admission.
“You can lose the disapproving tone, if you please. It isn’t often that I have the need to hold a woman so closely. They usually press in on me,” he added, feeling rather full of himself.
“Hah . . . you have rather a high opinion of yourself.” I found his attitude grating on my nerves. Abruptly standing to leave, I took three steps before remembering my dress was undone
“I heard no protests from you while we were dancing.”
Whirling around, I fixed him with an angry scowl. “I couldn’t protest since your arm was cutting off my circulation, you pompous toad.” I turned around presenting my back to him and indicating my need by pointing to my dress where it gaped open. “Assistance, please.”
“Toads don’t have thumbs.” Playing the fool, he held his hands up as if all his digits were stuck together.
I turned on him with hands on my hips. “You have some nerve, Jude Deveraux, or would Judas be a more appropriate name for you?” I angrily said through clenched teeth so mad that I would swear steam escaped from my ears.
“You have so many moods it is difficult to pick just which one is my favorite.” His arm snaked out ensnaring me tightly against his taut form. Tipping my head back with his free hand under my chin his kiss was tender and passionate at the same time. He tasted of red wine and sensuality and something so familiar.
Then it hit me. Those gloriously full lips had kissed me before. Opening my eyes and pulling back as my hands furiously worked to untie his cravat and open his shirt.
“Slow down, my pet, I enjoy enthusiasm but there are limits to even my self-control,” Jude said in his thick French accent which I discovered came out when he was amorous.
Reaching my hands beneath the collar of his crisp white linen shirt, I worked one hand over his chest as my other hand sought out his left shoulder. Every scar just as I had remembered them, but the left shoulder would be the tell.
“Ah hah! It was you all along, I knew it! And you tried to tell me I was mistaken.” I pushed hard against his chest to free myself from our entanglement. I paced back and forth in front of him, as I proceeded to berate his good name and parentage in the process. I turned to face him squarely now with hands on hips and eyes shooting daggers at him.
“You lied to me. You tried to make me think that I had lost my mind because I said that the pirate captain and Jude Deveraux, the Duke of Bayonne, was one in the same. And yet here you are, and much to my surprise you are the very same! Care to explain yourself, Monsieur Deveraux?” My breathing labored heavily, so filled with anger I struggled to catch my breath.
“Ma belle Ange, you truly are an angel,” Jude purred the words. “You now know my secret and the question that lies between us is what will you do with that knowledge?” He stood silently in front of me for a moment, then dropped to one knee. “My life is now in your hands, ma amour.”
My anger suddenly dissipating like water on a roof of a hot summer day. The very thought of never being with him or touching him again weighed heavy on my heart. My breathing came in short bursts now for a different reason.
“No! Don’t you start with your French and your sincere eyes. How could you?” A small scream mixed with a growl of frustration omitted from my throat as I clenched and unclenched my hands by my side, trying desperately to think.
Walking over to him, I placed my hands on his face, tilting it up to mine. “I have not breathed deeply since the day you left me on the deck of that ship, and sailed away.” Tears springing to my eyes as one single tear escaped making a trail down my cheek. “I believed I would never see you again and my heart broke that day,” I confessed, while tears spilled from my eyes as I spoke what was truly in my heart. “Then like a dream you came strolling up one day, unconstrained, giving me a shock only to deny the truth. My imprisoned heart cannot take any more lies. I implore you take my heart or lock it away forever, never to be used again.” And with that, Jude wrapped one arm around my waist as he gently caressed my face.
“You truly are a remarkable woman.”
Our lips touched gently at first, as I reached up, releasing his hair from its tie and threading my fingers through it pulling him even closer still. My desire was igniting deep inside of me as a moan escaped from Jude’s throat. Lifting me in his arms, he began to look around as I rained kisses on his neck and face.
I could tell we were moving but in what direction I did not care.

Tell us a little about the book and where did you get the idea to write this story. 
I had an idea to create an epic love affair between two unlikely people that was also full of suspense, action and some sort of psychic abilities. From there the story evolved.  

How and when did you get started writing novels?
I always wanted to be a published author and felt I could tell a good story but had never proved myself. So, one day I sat down with an idea in my head and just began writing a story from the characters point of view. I was 5o years old at the time and story flowed out of me. It turned out to be an amazing story and I had a few friends that said that it was good and that they wanted more. Then I wrote the sequel, Isabella’s Heart and they still asked for more, so I just kept going, writing Olivia’s Promise.

What’s the best and worst part of being a writer?
I love everything about writing and being creative. When your words flow out onto paper and play out in another’s head like a movie then you have told a good story.

What is your writing schedule like?
Lately it is not very good. I have been preparing our home in California for sale. We are planning a move to Montana and I have been packing, staging and cleaning as well as having garage sales to make enough money to keep my burgeoning business, Jeweled Dagger Publishing going. I am working on a new novel that has nothing to do with the Jeweled Dagger Series. It is an idea that I had long before the series and I am excited to tell the it.  

Where do you get your ideas?
I can’t really say, but sometimes you are listening to someone speak, or watch a show and an idea comes to mind and I write it down in a note book. From there I flush out characters and scenarios and begin to write. As all writers know, the story you begin with can completely change from what you end up with. And before you know it, you have a story. 

Is there something about you or your life that readers might be surprised about?
I was on the Price is Right in 1990 and won the show case. I won a trip to Japan and took my Mother and daughter who was 3 at the time. It was a great trip, full of wonderful memories. I love traveling, having unique adventures and learning about different cultures. 

Do you write a novel straight through? Or revise as you go? Plan a whole series in advance? Or does the series evolve? 
I am not a disciplined writer and I like to allow a story to flow. I tend to revise as I go, so even if I have an outline, it is just a loose interpretation. The series was not planned, it just became this epic story that developed, evolving from my imagination. 

Do you use Beta readers?
My best friend, Gigi, close friends and my mother tend to be my Beta. They are very spot on when it comes to giving an opinion. 

What’s next after the Jeweled Dagger Series?
It is a story taking place in 1846, during the great Irish Famine, about a young girl who over comes family tragedy, heart ache and escapes the rough streets of Ireland, to come to America only to be thrown into a foreign culture, forced to integrate. There will be surprises, heart wrenching emotion and witty verbal sparring along with an array of interesting characters. The working title is “Lara’s Story.”

Born in Riverside, California in 1963, my family and I moved to San Diego when I was nearly 8. I had a very rich life growing up, with my brother, David and best friend Gigi, for company. I was married to my current husband, David in 1998 and we moved to Herald, California in 2001. We have a blended family of 6 kids and enjoy the rural life on our 5 1/2 acre ranch, 45 minutes south of Sacramento. I love writing and creating stories that are different and intriguing. I like to give my readers a little something unexpected. I have always wanted to be a published author, but the timing never seemed right. Raising a family and working full time always took precedence. Shortly after I turned 50 I decided that it would never be the right time, and determined that I needed to live my truth and follow my dreams. So I began writing on a whim, and loved everything about it. My first book is out, and the second one is at the publishers, scheduled to be released, April 4, 2017. I am currently working on book 3 of my series, slated to release the first week in August, 2017. I am very excited about the future, and thrilled to be writing. I count my blessings every day because I know how truly lucky I am. Life is good.

Facebook Page/Book Page Angelina’s Secret 
Twitter  @Dianesunny
Website/Publisher Jeweled Dagger Publishing 

Friday, July 14, 2017

The Frost Series Omnibus by: Liz DeJesus w/ Giveaway & Interview


Title: The Frost Series Omnibus
Author: Liz DeJesus
Series: the Frost Series Books 1 – 3
Genre: Fantasy, Magical Realism, Fairy Tales, Young Adult
Publisher: Indie Gypsy
Release Date:  Nov 1 2016
Edition/Format: 1st Edition~ Format eBook & Print

First Frost: (Book 1)
 For generations, the Frost family has run the Museum of Magical and Rare Artifacts, handing down guardianship from mother to daughter, always keeping their secrets to family only. Gathered within museum's walls is a collection dedicated to the Grimm fairy tales and to the rare items the family has acquired: Cinderella's glass slipper, Snow White's poisoned apple, the evil queen's magic mirror, Sleeping Beauty's enchanted spinning wheel...Seventeen-year-old Bianca Frost wants none of it, dreaming instead of a career in art or photography or...well, anything except working in the family's museum. She knows the items in the glass display cases are fakes because, of course, magic doesn't really exist. She's about to find out how wrong she is.

Glass Frost: (Book 2)
When Cinderella's glass slipper is stolen, Queen Felicia sends her faithful steward Terrance to the real world to retrieve his love and witch-in-training, Bianca Frost. The power of the glass slipper, when paired with its mate, and in the wrong hands, could ruin the peace of Everafter. Bianca must gather every bit of magic she has learned in the past few weeks to find the slipper and protect her new love.

Shattered Frost: (Book 3)

Bianca Frost and her BFF Ming Lee return to Everafter to attend the Winter Ball with their boyfriends, Terrance and Prince Ferdinand. They were looking forward to a short vacation, especially Bianca, who is being bullied at school. She is looking forward to the day when she can finally graduate from high school. But all is not cute hair and fancy shoes as a mysterious count sets his sights on Bianca at the ball. When Count Jonathan Bleu kidnaps Bianca and Ming, the pair must do everything in their power to escape his clutches.

Excerpt from First Frost

Bianca got out of her car and ran inside the house. She called for her mother as she searched for her upstairs in all of the rooms. Nothing. She quickly ran downstairs and was ready to go down to the basement when a strange turquoise light caught her eye. She looked out the kitchen window; she couldn’t believe what she saw. Her mother was throwing what Bianca could only describe as balls of turquoise fireballs at a woman wearing a black hood. Bianca couldn’t see the woman’s face, but she could see her pale hands and slender fingers.
Bianca tried to make sense of it all. She kept expecting to see a special effects crew to come out from behind the trees and tell her that it was all part of an elaborate prank. But no such thing happened. All she knew was that a strange turquoise flame was coming out of her mother’s hands.
She knew that her mother sometimes read old dusty books on witchcraft, but she didn’t know she had actual powers. She thought about all the little quirks her mother had. Things that Bianca thought were essentially Rose. Her mother talked to plants and trees. She would sometimes stare off into space as though she were looking at something in another world. Something only she could see. She read tarot cards to random people and would tell them things about his or her life as though she were reading an open book. Bianca always thought she just made really lucky guesses. She chose not to believe in this other world and everything it stood for. Magic represented a life out of the norm, and Bianca desperately wanted to be normal. Just like everyone else.
Bianca pulled herself out of her thoughts. As she looked at the blue and green flashes in the backyard, she quickly realized that this was something she couldn’t escape. Normal was no longer a part of her world. Normal was no longer an option for her.
Bianca didn’t know what to do. She was frozen in place. She was afraid to distract her mother for even a second. She ducked behind the screen door; at least this way she could still hear what they were saying to each other.
“Did you really think I wouldn’t come?” the witch shouted. “Oh, I knew you’d be back,” Rose replied.
Bianca slowly lifted her gaze and peeked above the screen. She saw her mother standing behind the shed on the left side of their backyard. The witch was still too far away for her to get a good look at her, but Bianca could tell that she was on the far right corner of their yard.
“Where’s the book?” the witch demanded.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Rose replied with a smirk.
“Don’t be coy with me. You know very well what I’m talking about.”
“Sorry. I can’t help you.” Rose’s breathing was becoming more labored and she was drenched in sweat…obvious signs of exhaustion, but Bianca could tell by the look on her mother’s face that she wouldn’t give up.
“The wards in the museum are impressive. I couldn’t get past them. But maybe…she’ll know where the book is,” the witch said as she looked in Bianca’s direction and threw a sickly olive-colored fireball at the screen door.
Bianca shrieked and jumped out of the way. The screen door fell off its hinges and landed on the kitchen floor with a loud thud.
“Bianca!” Rose screamed.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Fire and Fog by: Andrew Grey w/ Giveaway

Title: Fire and Fog
Author: Andrew Grey
Series: Carlisle Cops #6
Genre:  M/M Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: July 11 2017
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print 

Carlisle police officer Dwayne knows what Robin is doing the moment he lays eyes on the young man at Bronco’s club. But he doesn’t know that, like him, Robin also comes from a family who cast him out for being gay, or that he’s still lugging around the pain of that rejection. Robin leaves the club, and soon after Dwayne decides to as well—and is close by when things between Robin and his client turn violent.
When Dwayne finds out Robin is the victim of a scam that lost him his apartment, he can’t leave Robin to fend for himself on the streets. Despite Dwayne’s offer of help and even opening up his home, it’s hard for Robin to trust anything good. The friendship between them grows, and just as the two men start warming up to each other, Robin’s sister passes away, naming Robin to care for her son. Worse yet, their pasts creep back in to tear down the family and sense of belonging both of them long for.
Will their fledgling romance dissipate like fog in the sun before it has a chance to burn bright?

The capitol complex shone like a beacon, and Dwayne headed in that direction. Light meant safety, and this wasn’t a familiar neighborhood for him. There were others on the street, some couples walking close together. It was a great summer night to be outside. He walked a block or so, the beat from the club still pulsing through the ground at his feet.
“That’s not what—” a voice called. Dwayne listened for more. “No!” Fear spiked the air, and Dwayne was on alert, listening for where the sound had come from. He heard the rip of fabric between passing cars. “I said no!” The voice got louder, and Dwayne picked up his pace.
“I paid and you’re going to put out.”
Dwayne reached the alley entrance, stopped, and peered around the corner. A huge guy stood near a dingy brick wall. It was hard to see, but Dwayne could just make out another man pressed to the brick, the side of his face against the unyielding wall.
“That’s enough.”
“Get out of here. He and I have business,” the guy growled.
Dwayne stepped closer, ready for action. “You need to leave now!” He used his cop voice and saw the guy flinch. He might be big, but as Dwayne got a closer look, he saw the beer gut and flabby arms. This guy probably was used to throwing his weight around, but there really wasn’t much to him.
“Fuck off. I paid and I’m getting my money’s worth.”
“So you’re admitting to soliciting someone for sex… to a police officer. That makes my job very easy.” Dwayne pulled out his phone, and the lug took a step back and then ran the other way. Well, he sort of waddled fast, but the response was the one Dwayne wanted. He made sure the guy was gone and then helped the smaller man, who had crumpled to the alley floor.
“It’s all right. He’s gone.” Dwayne lifted the guy, who wasn’t verbally responding, off the concrete and carried him out to where there was more light. As soon as the glow from the street shone on golden hair, Dwayne knew who it was.
“Robin.” He caressed his cheek, and Robin groaned. Dwayne set him down and waited for the shock to wear off. “You want to tell me what happened?”
Robin managed to stand and rubbed the side of his face, then pulled the remains of his tattered shirt together. “No.”
“I’ve got a pretty good idea already.” Dwayne half expected Robin to try to bolt, but instead he just shook, and Dwayne held him upright. “Let me guess. For all the bravado, this was the first time you’ve done anything like this.”
“Shit… I can take care of myself.” The defiance was back, and Dwayne was glad Robin was able to manage it, even if he knew it was all just a front.
“Like you did back there.” He wasn’t in the mood for nice at the moment. “I’m not dumb. I know what you were doing and what nearly happened. So you can tell me about it, or I can call some friends of mine and you can talk to them about prostitution.”
“You’re a real jerk, you know that?” Robin’s stomach rumbled loudly, and he put his hands over it as though it ached.
“No. The jerk was the guy in the alley. I’m the man who saved your ass from God knows what.” Dwayne saw some of the fire go out of Robin’s eyes. “And you’re acting defensive to the guy who saved your ass, quite literally, from what was about to happen. So I think you can open up and tell me what’s really going on.”
Robin quivered once again. “I was about to leave the club because I wasn’t going to get anything in there. Too many people watching. That guy approached me and asked if I was up for a little fun. We left and he paid me fifty bucks. I figured I could blow him as long as I was careful, but it turned out he wanted more than that, and I wasn’t going to give it to him, so he was planning to take what he wanted anyway.” Robin sniffed. “He stank and shuffled all the time, like he might have been sick or something, but fifty bucks will feed me for like two weeks. And….”
“How long has it been since you ate?” Dwayne asked.
“I don’t know. Probably yesterday.” Robin suddenly seemed even smaller and weaker. Dwayne knew he should be a little ashamed, but Robin’s vulnerability seemed to make him more attractive.
“Come on, then.” Dwayne guided Robin down the block to the corner. “There’s a diner just that way. We can get something to eat and then you can tell me what’s really going on.”

Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation.
Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing)  He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Facebook Group All the Way with Andrew Grey
Twitter @andrewgreybooks

For Other Works by Andrew Grey
(Please Be Sure To Stop by His Website to See All of His Works)
The ones listed below is for the Carlisle Cops Only