Thursday, April 27, 2017

"Incense and Peppermints" by Cathrina Constantine

Incense and Peppermints
by Cathrina Constantine

Incense and Peppermints by Cathrina Constantine is currently on tour with Xpresso Book Tours. The tour stops here today for an excerpt and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

Peace demonstrations, sit-ins, and burning the U.S. flag following the escalation of the Vietnam War are leading to a catalyst known to the world as the Sixties, and a musical revolution, flower power, hippies, marijuana, and drugs are carrying the generations - young and old - into a new decade. All the while sixteen-year-old Mary Monroe is caught between being an innocent good girl and an autumn of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll.
When her brother offers a solution to her dilemma in the form of a little pill, Mary ignores the rumba in her brain and takes a walk on the wild side. Plunged into popularity and a life she’s only imagined, she meets Michael Covington, the hot newcomer, and she’s instantly drawn in by his less than flawless exterior and bad boy sex appeal. Caught up in the danger and excitement as they drift from party to party, into underground fight clubs, and through a series of drug and alcohol fueled adventures, Mary follows her new crush into a world where young girls are never truly safe from the predators lurking in the shadows and young men are hiding from the harsh reality of war.
Feeling buzzed and as if her life is spinning out of control, Mary is assaulted by an unknown man at a party, and she’s left questioning if the enigmatic Michael is truly her hero or if he is the face behind the terrible attack. With every piece of information Mary learns about Michael, her doubts grow deeper, but with every minute she spends in his presence, so does her love.
With the war and her fear threatening to separate Mary and Michael forever, only the death of a friend, a crushing confession, and her own sensibilities can carry her over the threshold between adolescence and adulthood.

“My name is Mary.”
Perceptive eyes smiled at me beneath a layer of lashes.
“Not Bambi.” My disloyal vocal chords warbled.
A breeze ruffled his ebony hair, making him appear like a model posing for Seventeen Magazine. His aristocratic nose led to full lips and a squared, bristly chin. He more than adequately filled out a sleeveless T-shirt detailed with the Steppenwolf band logo “Born to be Wild.” Michael lifted his arms, propping them behind his head. In doing so, he exposed a hint of a flat stomach over his beltline. I tried not to stare. No luck. The guy was visibly out of my league.
Mary…” he said, his voice buttery sweet. “You look young, like a fawn in headlights with those big eyes and freckles.”
“I’ll be sixteen next week.” Is he being rude?
“Well, then.” His mouth stretched into a charming smirk. “I guess you’re ready for just about anything. Right, Bambi?”
I wanted to slap the smirk off his gorgeous face.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
"This thoughtful yet intensely poignant coming of age novel captures all the confusion, bliss and angst of a generation that I was a living breathing part of. Finding a balance was tricky business as we surfed political protests, new philosophies and the growing popularity of recreational drugs. The characters are complex and the era is captured by this skilled writer!" ~ Mensa Mama
"This book was excellent. It really brought back memories for me from my high school days and how much fun they were, yet the temptations and peer pressure were very emotional. I absolutely loved the characters and the relationships between them. You will love this book, but especially if you were born in the 50s. Cathrina is a very talented author. I've read all her books thus far and hope she writes a lot more." ~ cheryl a ritter
"The gritty realism of the many struggles she deals with makes this book so compelling. Plus, just when you think you might be reading a romance, the author takes a completely surprising turn. This book is more of a coming-of-age story that keeps you guessing until the end!" ~ Stephanie Faris, Best Selling Author
"I immediately feel in love with Michael and Mary, wishing them together, but the talented author Catherina Constantine keeps you on roller coaster ride of emotions in this coming of age story that has everything from young love, jealousy and even taking you into the dark side of the drugs of that era." ~ Peace & Patriots
"So much pain, heartache, love, and hate just flowed out of the pages of this book. The characters were easy to fall in love with and I felt as if I could actually relate with them. The story-line was solid and fast paced and had quite the lesson behind it. I highly recommend this read." ~ Jenny Bynum

About the Author
Cathrina Constantine is the Best Selling author of Don’t Forget To Breathe. Her book won Readers’ Favorite International Book Award for 2015 and The Literary Classics Seal of Approval and Literary Classics Gold Award. Her Paranormal Fantasy, Wickedly They Come has been awarded the 5 Star Seal from Reader’s Favorite. Tallas from her dystopian series received Literary Classics Silver Award and Literary Classics Seal of Approval.
Cathrina resides in Western New York with her husband, five children, two Labrador Retrievers and her cat, Bones. When not attached to her computer, she likes to take long walks in the woods with her dogs, drink way too much coffee, and is an avid movie watcher. She loves music and doesn’t need a dance floor to shake a leg.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card or one of two ebook copies of Incense and Peppermints by Cathrina Constantine.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

"Ninja Girl" by Cookie O'Gorman

Ninja Girl
by Cookie O'Gorman

Ninja Girl by Cookie O'Gorman is currently on tour with YA Bound Book Tours. The tour stops here today for an excerpt and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

Seventeen-year-old Snow-Soon Lee kicks ass - literally. She teaches at her family-owned martial arts gym, The Academy, and cares more about training to be the next Bruce Lee than hooking up. In fact, Snow's never even been kissed. But when Girls Night rolls around, Snow decides to prove to her friends (and herself) that she's not just some boring tomboy. Impulsively, she kisses a hot stranger and even manages to escape his two security guards.
One stolen kiss …
Ash Stryker's senior year sucks. His politician father pulled him out of Chariot High, separating him from his championship-winning soccer team. Now he's stuck at a prissy private school with no friends, no team and no chance of being scouted. On top of that, thanks to the death threats his dad's received, Ash has a security tail aka professional babysitters. When the mystery girl from the movies shows up at his school, rappelling from the rafters, Ash knows one thing: he won't let her get away again.
One interesting job proposition …
After a seemingly random attack, Ash's mother surprises everyone. She hires Snow to be Ash's personal bodyguard until after the election. But can Snow's kick-ass skills hold up against the rising threats to Ash's family? More importantly, can Ash convince his ninja girl to screw ethics and kiss him again?
Opposites attract in this YA romance where a smooth talker meets his match in the tough girl who (literally) sweeps him off his feet. Moral of the story:
Sometimes even bad boys need a bodyguard.

“You’re kidding me, right?” Snow gestured to where Sadie was sitting in the bleachers. She had her camera out, ready to record. “Tall, beautiful, skin the color of cream. She’s basically a curvy dead ringer for Taylor Swift. Or hadn’t you noticed?”
“Sadie’s like my little sister,” I shrugged. “I could never see her that way. Plus, she’s annoying as hell. Definitely not my type.”
“Yeah, right,” she said. “And what might that be?”
“I like smart girls who can kick my ass.”
The bright flush on her cheeks told me she got my meaning. Loud and clear.
I grinned. “Know anyone like that, Snow?”
Instead of answering, she said, “Want to help me with something?”
“Anything,” I said.
She nodded and called the rest of the self-defense kids over. “Alright, guys, today I’m going to teach you how to take an assailant down. This is an important lesson. In case you can’t get away, you should know how to inflict the most damage. Ash has volunteered to be my assistant for this class.” Turning to me, she said, “Ready?”
“Sure,” I said. “What do I need to do?”
“Nothing.” There was an odd gleam in her eyes. “Just keep getting back up.”
“Okay.” She shook her head, a slow smile forming on her lips. “What?” I asked.
“It’s a good thing you like girls who can kick your ass,” she replied.
And then I was flying through the air.
After about the tenth flip, I lost track of how many times my back hit the mat. Sadie laughed the whole time, recording as Snow proceeded to smack me around. The hour seemed to drag on forever. But by the end of it, even though my body was sore, and I felt like shit, I couldn’t help but smile.
“Class dismissed,” Snow said, staring down at me, hands on hips. Her face glowed with perspiration, a line between her brows. “And what are you so happy about?”
“Thought you said you weren’t jealous,” I said back.
“I’m not,” she said, but we both knew she was lying. The way she growled and stomped off just made it that much more obvious.
And that meant I still had a shot. My smile widened.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
"I loved this so, so much. I laughed, I cried, I laughed some more. I loved these characters so much, Ash can be so sweet and yet dense sometimes, and Snow is the most amazing female main character from a contemporary EVER." ~ Silverscarf
"From the first kiss I was hooked! Snow was one bad chick! No matter what others thought she wasn't afraid to be herself. I loved the connection between her and Ash. This book has love, laughter, and intrigue. Really great read." ~ CB
"Cookie's characters are strong and uncompromising. Ninja Girl is an empowering story with romance, action, and mystery! I really enjoyed this book. I hope Cookie has more great stories soon!" ~ K
"It's a page turner and I loved it! [...] Snow and Ash are such a great couple. And it was so refreshing seeing a kick-butt heroine. Can't wait to read Cookie's next book." ~ books7
"This book was so much fun to read. Wit, romance, suspense - what's not to like? The author did a great job creating characters that I not only liked, but also respected." ~ Stacey W.

About the Author
Cookie O'Gorman writes YA romance to give readers a taste of happily-ever-after. Small towns, quirky characters, and the awkward yet beautiful moments in life make up her books. Cookie also has a soft spot for nerds and ninjas. Her debut novel Adorkable is out now, along with her latest release, Ninja Girl.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

"Bed and Breakfast and Murder" by Patti Larsen

Bed and Breakfast and Murder
(Fiona Fleming Cozy Mysteries Book 1)
by Patti Larsen

Bed and Breakfast and Murder is the first book in the Fiona Fleming Cozy Mysteries by Patti Larsen and is currently ON SALE for only $0.99. Also available: Chocolate Hearts and Murder and Fame and Fortune and Murder.

Bed and Breakfast and Murder is currently on tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for a guest post by the author, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

A cozy murder mystery series to die for!
I tried not to look down the mouth of hell staring back at me from inside the glaringly pristine outer ceramic shell of the Fiona Fleming hasn't lived in Reading, Vermont in over a decade, her escape from small town living leading her to New York City and a life of adventure. An adventure that has left her with no career, an ex who cheated on her and zero plans for the future. And then, in the shocker of a lifetime, Fee's grandmother wills her a bed and breakfast. Awesome! It's the fresh start she's been dying for. Or is it?
Petunia's might seem like a refuge from her cheating ex and so-called life in the big city, but being accused of murder within two weeks of arriving back in her hometown? That's anything but charming. Can she uncover the truth before the handsome new sheriff puts her behind bars instead of asking her to dinner?

I tried not to look down the mouth of hell staring back at me from inside the glaringly pristine outer ceramic shell of the white throne, my throat catching, stomach doing half flips and a rather impressive rollover routine that would have gotten at least a 9.5 even from the Russian judges. Instead, I forced myself to smile and swallow and remind myself the elbow length yellow rubber gloves grasping the handle of the standard issue plunger were all that stood between me and Pooageddon.
Suck it up, Fee. Big girl panties and adulting and all that.
“At what point,” I waved the dripping plunger, wincing as droplets of yuck flew, “did I think owning a bed and breakfast was going to be glamorous and romantic?”
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
"Fiona jumped right up there on my list of favorites!" ~ Renee Bremer
"Another winner in a new genre from my favorite author." ~ Surfinloui
"... one of the few authors I can buy immediately without even reading a synopsis or review beforehand." ~ Michelle Kennedy
"I didn't know what to expect, but I was blown away (which I should not have been, having read everything else she has written) at the brilliant mind that has created such a great story." ~ iisk8
"Patti Larsen totally kills it writing in this genre. I loved this book almost as much as her Hayle coven books. It has everything you need for the perfect cozy mystery. Spunky heroine, quirky pet, eccentric characters, hot hero, and of course the mystery. She kept me guessing right up until the end. I am hooked and am so grateful that she writes fast and I won't have to wait long for the next in the series." ~ Angie Bartley

Guest Post by the Author
The Pet Sidekick
When I developed the concept for the Fiona Fleming Cozy Mysteries, I knew instinctively I wanted to include a pet sidekick that Fee could have long conversations with. Someone to sleep next to her and keep her warm, who loved her unconditionally and yet created enough issues in her life that their mutual existence was never perfect.
As a pet mom myself, the internal debate was on. Of course, it wasn’t that the two most common house pets I dealt with - dogs and cats - had to be the end all of choices. Perhaps a lovely parrot or a snake? A chinchilla? Even a potbellied pig? But I came back, ultimately, to the pair of loveable creatures I share my home with.
And the age old battle waged - cat or dog?
I’ve long been a cat lover and mom to multiples at a time. In fact, right now, we have six. I adore them all with their beautiful soft coats of a variety of colors, their peculiar personalities - from our most loveable, Romeo, who insists everyone pet him, to our utter jerk, Simon, whose name says it all. And I have a cat bestie in another series, the demon Persian Sassafras, so I was familiar with the concept.
But this was a non-paranormal cozy series that required someone a bit more demanding of focus and attention. And recently my husband and I decided to stray from the kitty side of the street and adopted our first pug, Jelly Bean. Followed a year later by his little sister, Lula Bug.
Our lives have been enriched and made more frustrating by the addition of that pair of fawn clowns who alternate between bounding around in comical joy to begging for food in an endless attempt to eat one more bite. Bean is about 90% a good boy and my dog through and through. His sister, on the other hand, is her father’s daughter and makes me crazy. I still wonder if, had we found her first, I’d have adopted two after all. Regardless, we love them with all our hearts and so, when it came time to decide who Fee Fleming would call her sidekick, I was torn.
Until, as Fee’s life evolved on paper and her voice grew stronger, I looked down into the soulful and bugging eyes of my darling Bean and smiled at his tongue-lolling, farty, and snorting little self. And Madam Petunia the Fourth was born.
I’m sure Fee won’t hold it against me.

About the Author
Patti Larsen is an award-winning author with a passion for the voices in her head. Now with over 80 titles in happy publication, she lives on the East coast with her patient husband and multitude of pets.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win ebook copies of the first three books in the Fiona Fleming Cozy Mysteries series.


Monday, April 24, 2017

"Bone White" by Wendy Corsi Staub

Bone White
(Mundy's Landing Book 3)
by Wendy Corsi Staub

Bone White is the third book in the Mundy's Landing series by Wendy Corsi Staub. Also available: Blood Red and Blue Moon.

Bone White is currently on tour with Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for an excerpt and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

In Mundy’s Landing, bygone bloodshed has become a big business. During the rigorous winter of 1666, all but five colonists in the small Hudson Valley settlement died of starvation. Accused of unimaginable crimes, James and Elizabeth Mundy and their three children survived, but the couple were later accused of murder and executed. Left to fend for themselves in a hostile community, their offspring lived out exemplary lives in a town that would bear the family name. They never reveal the secret that died with their parents on the gallows ... or did they?
"We Shall Never Tell." Spurred by the cryptic phrase in a centuries-old letter, Emerson Mundy has flown cross-country to her ancestral hometown in hopes of tracing her ancestral past - and perhaps building a future. In Mundy’s Landing, she discovers long lost relatives, a welcoming ancestral home ... and a closet full of skeletons.
A year has passed since former NYPD Detective Sullivan Leary solved the historic Sleeping Beauty Murders, apprehended a copycat killer, and made a fresh start in the Hudson Valley. Banking on an uneventful future in a village that’s seen more than its share of bloodshed, Sully is in for an unpleasant surprise when a historic skull reveals a notorious truth. Now she’s on the trail of a murky predator determined to destroy the Mundy family tree, branch by branch.

Chapter 1
July 20, 2016
Los Angeles, CA
We shall never tell.
Strange, the thoughts that go through your head when you’re standing at an open grave.
Not that Emerson Mundy knew anything about open graves before today. Her father’s funeral is the first she’s ever attended, and she’s the sole mourner.
Ah, at last, a perk to living a life without many—any—loved ones; you don’t spend much time grieving, unless you count the pervasive ache for the things you never had.
The minister, who came with the cemetery package and never even met Jerry Mundy, is rambling on about souls and salvation. Emerson hears only We shall never tell—the closing line in an old letter she found yesterday in the crawl space of her childhood home. It had been written in 1676 by a young woman named Priscilla Mundy, addressed to her brother, Jeremiah.
The Mundys were among the seventeenth-century English colonists who settled on the eastern bank of the Hudson River, about a hundred miles north of New York City. Their first winter was so harsh the river froze, stranding their supply ship and additional colonists in the New York harbor. When the ship arrived after the thaw, all but five settlers had starved to death.
Jeremiah; Priscilla; their sister, Charity; and their parents had eaten human flesh to stay alive. James and Elizabeth Mundy swore they’d only cannibalized those who’d already died, but the God-fearing, well-fed newcomers couldn’t fathom such wretched butchery. A Puritan justice committee tortured the couple until they confessed to murder, then swiftly tried, convicted, and hanged them.
“Do you think we’re related?” Emerson asked her father after learning about the Mundys back in elementary school.
“Nope.” Curt answers were typical when she brought up anything Jerry Mundy didn’t want to discuss. The past was high on the list.
“That’s it? Just nope?”
“What else do you want me to say?”
“How about yes?”
“That wouldn’t be the truth,” he said with a shrug.
“Sometimes the truth isn’t very interesting.”
She had no one else to ask about her family history. Dad was an only child, and his parents, Donald and Inez Mundy, had passed away before she was born. Their headstone is adjacent to the gaping rectangle about to swallow her father’s casket. Staring that the inscription, she notices her grandfather’s unusual middle initial.
Donald X. Mundy, Born 1900, Died 1972.
X marks the spot.
Thanks to her passion for history and Robert Louis Stevenson, Emerson’s bookworm childhood included a phase when she searched obsessively for buried treasure. Money was short in their household after two heart attacks left Jerry Mundy on permanent disability.
X marks the spot…
No gold doubloon treasure chest buried here. Just dusty old bones of people she never knew.
And now, her father.
The service concludes with a prayer as the coffin is lowered into the ground. The minister clasps her hand and tells her how sorry he is for her loss, then leaves her to sit on a bench and stare at the hillside as the undertakers finish the job.
The sun is beginning to burn through the thick marine layer that swaddles most June and July mornings. Having grown up in Southern California, she knows the sky will be bright blue by mid-afternoon. Tomorrow will be more of the same. By then, she’ll be on her way back up the coast, back to her life in Oakland, where the fog rolls in and stays for days, weeks at a time. Funny, but there she welcomes the gray, a soothing shield from real world glare and sharp edges.
Here the seasonal gloom has felt oppressive and depressing.
Emerson watches the undertakers finish the job and load their equipment into a van. After they drive off, she makes her way between neat rows of tombstones to inspect the raked dirt rectangle.
When something is over, you move on, her father told her when she left home nearly two decades ago. She attended Cal State Fullerton with scholarships and maximum financial aid, got her master’s at Berkeley, and landed a teaching job in the Bay Area.
But she didn’t necessarily move on.
Every holiday, many weekends, and for two whole months every summer, she makes the six-hour drive down to stay with her father. She cooks and cleans for him, and at night they sit together and watch Wheel of Fortune reruns.
It used to be because she craved a connection to the only family she had in the world. Lately, though, it was as much because Jerry Mundy needed her.
He pretended that he didn’t, that he was taking care of himself and the house, too proud to admit he was failing. He was a shadow of his former self when he died at seventy-six, leaving Emerson alone in the world.
Throughout her motherless childhood, Emerson was obsessed with novels about orphans. Treasure Island shared coveted space on her bookshelf with Anne of Green Gables, The Secret Garden, The Witch of Blackbird Pond
She always wondered what would happen to her if her father died. Would she wind up in an orphanage? Would a kindly stranger take her in? Would she live on the streets?
Now that it’s happened he’s down there, in the dirt … moving on?
She’ll never again hear his voice. She’ll never see the face so like her own that she can’t imagine she inherited any physical characteristics from her mother, Didi—though she can’t be certain.
Years ago, she asked her father for a picture—preferably one that showed her mother holding her as a baby, or of her parents together. Maybe she wanted evidence that she and her father had been loved; that the woman who’d abandoned them had once been normal—a proud new mother, a happy bride.
Or was it the opposite? Was she hoping to glimpse a hint that Didi Mundy was never normal? Did she expect to confirm that people—normal people—don’t just wake up one morning and choose to walk out on a husband and child? That there was always something off about her mother: a telltale gleam in the eye, or a faraway expression—some warning sign her father had overlooked. A sign Emerson herself would be able to recognize, should she ever be
tempted to marry.
But there were no images of Didi that she could slip into a frame, or deface with angry black ink, or simply commit to memory.
Exhibit A: Untrustworthy.
Sure, there had been plenty of photos, her father admitted unapologetically. He’d gotten rid of everything.
There were plenty of pictures of her and Dad, though.
Exhibit B: Trustworthy.
Dad holding her hand on her first day of kindergarten, Dad leading her in an awkward waltz at a father-daughter middle school dance, Dad posing with her at high school graduation.
“Two peas in a pod,” he liked to say. “If I weren’t me, I’d think you were.”
She has his thick, wavy hair, the same dimple on her right cheek, same angular nose and bristly slashes of brow. Even her wide-set, prominent, upturned eyes are the same as his, with one notable exception.
Jerry Mundy’s eyes were a piercing blue.
Only one of Emerson’s is that shade; the other, a chalky gray.

Praise for the Book
"Cunningly orchestrated, Bone White once again proves why Wendy Corsi Staub’s name remains at the very forefront of domestic psychological suspense." ~ Criminal Element
"It wasn't quite what I expected. But with Wendy, nothing ever is, and that's what makes her a great writer. It was a very puzzling whodunit, and I think that almost everyone will be as surprised as I was." ~ Karen Payne
"Good read, interesting, great twist at the end! Loved it. Another winner from this author can't wait for a follow up!" ~ T wyn
"You don’t have to be familiar with Blood Red or Blue Moon, the first two books in the Mundy’s Landing trilogy, to fully appreciate this concluding volume, though you will want to acquire those just to get a feel for how quietly twisted this particular piece of New England real estate truly is in the fictitious world that Staub has created. [...] Bone White is arguably Staub’s most ambitious novel to date. She is among the best at weaving the events of the distant past into the present. Here, she exceeds her own standards, creating enough mysteries for three books and leading the reader down a carefully crafted path of twists and turns to a series of revelations that even her longtime fans won’t see coming. She also sets up her next trilogy, or at least appears to do so, which will give us something to look forward to, even if we have to wait a year or so before we get it. Our patience will be rewarded." ~ Joe Hartlaub, Bookreporter
"As much as I enjoyed the other books in the series, this one is my favorite. From the 1600’s to the present, and from the West coast to the East, it’s a convoluted series of events and crimes. There are some new characters to contend with along with some favorites. The author fleshes them out and tangles their lives together. It’s up to you to sort out who did what, and she doesn’t make it easy. Numerous plots abound in this mystery and it’s a race to the finish line, with no easy answers and plenty of intrigue. And you won’t see the end coming. I couldn’t read this fast enough and wished it were longer." ~ laurathomas61

About the Author
New York Times bestseller Wendy Corsi Staub is the award-winning author of more than eighty novels. Wendy now lives in the New York City suburbs with her husband and their two children.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win one of three print copies of Bone White by Wendy Corsi Staub (US only).