Blog Tour: The Calm After the Storm by Mya O’Malley and Giveaway

Calm after the storm

The Calm After the Storm by Mya O’Malley

Can true love shine through the darkest storm?

The storm of the century raged through the northeast, causing destruction and despair, millions were left without power and hope. Weeks later, countless people were still devastated by the destruction of Hurricane Sandy, Emma Riley among them.

Determined she didn’t need the help of a man, Emma was convinced that she could brave the aftermath of the storm on her own. That is, until Jake came into her life.

After having suffered heartbreak and embarrassment, Jake Mack, a utility foreman, volunteered to travel north from small town, Georgia to assist with the aftermath of the storm. Jake was decidedly done with women. But he didn’t count on meeting Emma or falling in love so quickly. Can he trust this woman or will his past get in the way and ruin the relationship with the one woman he truly loves?

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Excerpt from The Calm After the Storm:

Jake and his crew had now been in the suburbs of New York for a few days. His first thought upon entering this area was his surprise at the devastation. Sure, he had heard about the destruction on the news and had seen footage of the aftermath of Sandy, but it still hadn’t prepared him for the actual sight of Sandy’s rage. Telephone poles were down, trees were snapped in two, and houses were completed destroyed by the storm. Seeing all the destruction only strengthened Jake’s resolve that it had been the right thing to come. He felt proud to be able to help out and be a part of the solution to the horrible aftermath of this disaster.

As the day was wrapping up. Jake and Chris met up with some of their crew in the next town to finish one more area before calling it quits. The chill in the air was something that Jake had prepared for, but was not accustomed to. Clutching the new flannel he had purchased right before his trip, he put it on over his thermal shirt. Thankful for his thermos filled with hot coffee, Jake grabbed it but quickly tossed it aside.

“Come on, Chris! I asked you to stop drinking my coffee. Now there’s none left,” he said as he shook his head, irritated at his friend.

Chris looked up at his boss sheepishly. “Sorry, man. I didn’t sleep well last night. I needed some caffeine.”

“Well, that makes two of us.”

They rode until they approached the utility pole that needed attention. Jake and Chris were among the first to arrive and got busy setting up for the job. Within minutes, the rest of the assigned crew trickled in. The workers were now familiar with the details and routine of this job, so for the most part they worked in silence, focused on getting this last job done so that they could grab some dinner and hit the sheets. It was cold and dark, the night chill settling in upon them. Jake supervised and helped his crew perform their individual duties as quickly as possible. As they were just about wrapping things up, Jake headed over to Steve, one of the older guys directing traffic. He looked frail and tired.

“Hey, Steve. I got this. Why don’t you call it a night, huh? We’ll meet you at the hotel for some dinner.”

“Nah, Jake, we’re almost done here. I’m good,” Steve said as he looked up at Jake with glaring dark circles under his eyes.

“Steve, go. I’m serious. Get in a hot shower and we’ll meet up for dinner. Boss’ orders. Now go and take Andy with you,” Jake gestured toward another man on the crew who looked like he was ready for bed.

Shrugging his shoulders, Steve made his way to one of the smaller utility trucks, calling for his co-worker to join him. Jake took over the responsibility of directing traffic, slowing people down and stopping cars when necessary. Yawning, he waved a small SUV along, noticing that the approaching driver was slowing down, much more than necessary. Jake squinted his eyes to get a better look. The car came to a stop when Jake stepped up to it and its window rolled down. Looking back at Jake was a woman who appeared pretty, even in the diminished light. Wait, scratch that—she was stunning, with long, wavy hair and piercing eyes. His heart faltered just a bit.

“Hi. I wanted to thank you guys for all of the hard work that you’ve been doing. We really appreciate you guys coming up here. I think I speak for everyone,” she said as she smiled widely. Her smile hitched his breath ever so slightly. Jake smiled back. This was certainly a change. Since he had been in this area, some people waved, some people smiled, others remained with their eyes straight ahead, but nobody had yet offered any thanks verbally. So different from the Southern hospitality way of life where he grew up, Jake mused.

Here it was different, the pace of life was much faster. People always seemed to be in a rush, and they minded their own business for the most part. Sure, being so close to the big city must be nice and the landscape was quite beautiful at times, but he didn’t think this lifestyle was something he could ever get used to. It seemed too stressful, too impersonal. He would be glad to be back home when his job was finished.

The woman leaned over and offered Jake a box of donuts, disposable coffee cups, and a box of hot coffee. Jake was impressed.

“Thank you, that was very thoughtful!” Jake gushed, thrilled at the idea of hot coffee. He thought he felt warmth spread across his cheeks despite the chill in the air.

The woman stared back and smiled at Jake for a minute and then set her eyes on the road ahead. She waved as she pulled away.

“Wait!” Jake called out. “Wait, what was your name?” But the words were lost. The mysterious woman with the coffee and donuts was long gone.

“Guys!” he called out as his crew worked on cleaning up for the night. “Guys! Our guardian angel just appeared, and she brought coffee!”

The coffee and donuts were gladly received, but the idea that someone would go out of their way to show a random act of kindness truly touched Jake. He felt the warm liquid slide down his throat and knew that he would always remember the woman’s thoughtfulness. Who was he kidding? That woman’s beautiful face was what he would most remember. He just wished that he had gotten her name.

 

 

Mya OmalleyAuthor Mya O’Malley
Mya O’Malley was born and raised in the suburbs of New York City, where she currently lives with her husband, daughter and three step-daughters. The family also consists of two boxers, named Destiny and Dolce, and a ragdoll cat named Colby. Mya earned an undergraduate degree in special education and a graduate degree in reading and literacy. She works as a special education teacher and enjoys making a difference in the lives of her students.

Mya’s passion is writing; she has been creating stories and poetry since she was a child. She spends her free time reading just about anything she can get her hands on. She is a romantic at heart and loves to create stories with unforgettable characters. Mya likes to travel and has visited several Caribbean Islands, Mexico, and Costa Rica. She is currently working on her sixth novel.

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“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl

Book Blitz: Unexpected Eden by Rhenna Morgan and Giveaway

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Book Title: Unexpected Eden
Author: Rhenna Morgan
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy Romance
Release Date: December 2014
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

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Book Blurb

Paradise, love, power…and a prophecy with a price.

Most people believe Eden no longer exists. Lexi Merrill’s about to learn they’re wrong. A hard-working bartender with a self-sufficient backbone and a wary nature, she knows pickup lines like a second language. So, when Eryx Shantos barges into her world with too-smooth words and a body to back it up, she locks up her libido and vows to keep her distance.

Eryx has other ideas. As king of the Myren race, Eryx is duty-bound to enforce the laws preventing exposure of their existence to humans. Yet The Fates have led him through his dreams to Lexi, a temptation he doesn’t want to resist. The question—is she Myren, or human which makes her forbidden fruit?

When Eryx’s nemesis tags Lexi as his next target, Eryx insists on taking her home where he can keep her safe. Lexi had no idea “home” would mean the one-and-only land of creation…or that she’d trigger a prophecy that could doom her newfound race.

excerpt

Author’s Note: I thought since Unexpected Eden is a fantasy romance based in current times, I’d pick an excerpt from the book that highlights one of Lexi’s favorite benefits of being Myren—flying.

In this scene, Lexi’s fresh out of her awakening and about to learn the mechanics behind getting airborne—a pretty big deal since she’s dreamt of doing just that for years.

“So are you ready to give flying a go?” Eryx asked.

Lexi glanced at the landscape behind her. “In front of everyone?”

Eryx edged closer, but didn’t crowd. He stroked her cheekbone. “They’re to keep you safe. Until we find Maxis, we need them.”

She wrinkled her nose and scowled. “Am I going to flop on my face?”

“Tell her about your first try.” Ludan smirked and crossed his arms.

“Can it.” Eryx said, but kept his focus on Lexi. “Picture it in your mind and let the energy do the rest.”

She nodded and sucked in a breath.

He stepped back.

Her eyelids fluttered shut and her hands fisted at her sides. The soft drone of nature hummed and wind swirled between them.

He held his breath, anxiety wrenching the muscles along his forearms.

“Yeah, not working.” Her shoulders slumped and she ducked her chin.

“At least you’re not jumping off of rocks or tall ledges,” Ludan said.

Eryx glared at Ludan and stepped between them. “You’re not helping.”

Lexi sidestepped and asked Ludan, “Who did that?”

Ludan didn’t respond, but the way Lexi’s lips spread into a sly smile told him Ludan had pointed at him.

Interfering family and friends. He couldn’t wait until Ludan found someone he gave a shit about impressing. Payback would be a bitch. He turned Lexi away from his somo. “You need to relax. If you tense up it gets harder.”

“Easy for you to say. You’re not the one learning with a bunch of strangers watching.”

“Forget about them.” He cupped her shoulders and lowered his voice. “Close your eyes and think about your dreams. Remember how it felt to fly.”

The wind around them stirred, nothing too strong, but more than what Mother Nature generated on her own and crackling with untrained energy.

He eased back. “Just like that. Remember the feelings. How you took off. How you turned. What the wind felt like on your skin.”

Lexi relaxed her head, faced aimed at the sky with her eyes still closed. Peaceful looking with the barest smile on her lips.

He lifted off the ground and hovered a few stories above her. Pale silver shimmers danced in a fine halo around her head and shoulders, power ready for release. “Now open your eyes and come with me.”

Her chest lifted on a slow, deep breath and she opened her eyes. For a split second, her gaze clouded, then sharpened. She took two steps forward and shot into the sky. Overshooting his position, she squeaked and began to fall.

“Whoa!” Eryx snatched and steadied her against him. “You have to keep thinking. Autopilot doesn’t kick in right away. It’s like driving a car. When you’ve been doing it for years, you don’t even think about it. But when you first start, it’s all you can think about.”

She laughed, not the least bit concerned she’d nearly tumbled to the Earth. “I did it.” She braced her hands on his chest, the smile on her face enough to grip his heart and lock on tight. “I really did it.”

Her warm breath fanned against his face. His thoughts scrambled and a raw, achy need pushed to the surface.

Her mouth softened and she rubbed her hand, slow against his heart. “You okay?”

Reason batted at the back of his head, shrieking to get back in the game. Now wasn’t the time or place for selfish impulse. “I’m fine.”

She lifted an eyebrow.

“I like seeing you smile.” It was only a sliver of the truth, a speck of the impact she had on his heart.

Her face glowed, the tips of her cheeks a pale pink. She glanced at Ludan, still on the ground, but poised for action. “Can we do it again?”

“That’s what we’re here for.” What he really wanted was to cart her home and practice at something much more carnal. He faced her forward. “Ludan will cover from below. I’ll stay close.”

She shot from his arms without a beat of hesitation. With every minute her movements smoothed. Her confidence radiated against his senses hot and heavy, slipping into its Myren nature as easy as a river found its course.

If she knew the type of relationship he craved from her, would she adjust to the idea of him as easily? He shoved the idea away before it could take root and tightened his distance to Lexi. He should be focused on her training, not postulating relationship suicide.

Every task he gave her she tackled, her enthusiasm and tenacity unhindered by the realm she’d left behind. And it was rubbing off. Not just on him, but Ludan and Ramsay too if the awe-filled commentary via link was any indication. Most people balked when it came to learning to land, but Lexi? She laughed and plowed toward it like she did everything else.

Her latest approach was faster than previous landings, arms high and opened for balance.

Eryx balanced on the balls of his feet, ready to catch her if she faltered.

Her energy sputtered.

He darted forward and swept her into his arms just as her knees buckled. “I let you go too long.” His voice was gruff, the angry beat of his heart and the fact that his stomach was lodged in his throat making a lighthearted tone impossible.

Lexi draped her arms around his neck. “Hardly.” A contented sigh hummed past her lips and her head relaxed against his shoulder. “But I am tired.”

Eryx lowered her to the ground, but kept an arm around her waist. “That’s burnout. Just like you had too much before, now you’re running low. You need food and rest. Once you’ve acclimated, the extremes won’t be so great.”

Stomach rumbling in agreement, she pressed a hand against her belly. “I love it.” Huffing, she leaned over and rested her hands on her knees, and looked up at him. Her eyes twinkled and she smiled wide enough to show perfect white teeth. “For the first time in my life, I feel right. I think I could handle just about anything you throw at me today.”

Could you handle the idea of being my mate? The thought leapt up along with a growl he barely kept in check.

I know, I know! A crummy time to cut things short on you, but I promise what happens next is…well…delicious. 🙂

I hope you’ll come join Eryx and Lexi on their adventures and explore more of their wonderful world.

See you in paradise!

Rhenna

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Meet the Author

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Rhenna Morgan writes for the same reason she reads—to escape reality.

Yes, her life rocks—two beautiful little girls, a great husband, a steady job, and the kind of friends that would take you out back if you hurt her. But, like most women, she’s got obligations stacked tight from dusk to dawn. So, when the world gets her down, she slips into something…less realistic.

Romance is a must. So is a steamy romp (or four). Nothing thrills her more than the fantasy of new, exciting worlds, strong, intuitive men, and the sigh of, “Oh if only that could happen to me.”

So, if you’re picking up one of her books, expect portals into alternate realms and men who’ll fight to keep the women they want. Romantic escape for the women who need it.

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“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl

Blog Tour: Pride by Rosie Somers and Giveaway

Pride2Pride by Rosie Somers

Seventeen-year-old Gabriella Pierce is used to taking care of herself, but she’s about to become responsible for a whole lot more. When she gets a visit from three men claiming to be defenders of fantastical rings imbued with the powers of THE CARDINAL SINS, her life is changed irrevocably.

Gabby is the steward of PRIDE

To make matters worse, she’s falling hard for fellow steward, Grant Barnett, and he hates her guts. Now Gabby has to learn to protect Pride without letting her feelings for Grant get in the way.

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Praise for the Book:

Iola’s Christian Reads: “Pride is aimed at the YA market, and is the first in a planned series (presumably one for each of the seven deadly sins). It incorporates elements of other well-known YA series such as Harry Potter and Divergent, (an orphan who is the ‘chosen one’ fighting the forces of evil). It has that fast pace and addictive quality which makes it hard to put down.”

“…it was thrilling enough to grab my attention and I can’t wait to continue Gabby’s story in the next installment. Rosie Somers has made it to my Author’s to watch for list!”

 

Excerpt
Copyright © Rosie Somers

Gabby

 

The man didn’t make a sound. He stood stock still for the span of one sharp, inhaled breath, then he crumpled to the floor. After assuring herself there was no one behind him, Gabby flipped her flashlight on and knelt to give the unconscious heap at her feet her full attention. Oh God, she’d killed him. She just knew it.

Save for green streaks coursing through his thick, black hair, and a spot of blood near his temple, there wasn’t any color on him. His clothes were black, his skin winter-pale. Everything about his appearance was smooth, lean, handsome—no feature out of place. Full lips, chiseled jaw, and strikingly thick eyelashes. He was pretty, for a boy. It all fit, even the green hair. And he was still breathing. She wasn’t a murderer.

Suddenly, a strong hand gripped her forearm, and the heavy flashlight was ripped from her grasp. Wrenching free from the iron grip, she tried to turn around as she stood. Instead, she fell backward over Pretty Boy, landing hard on her butt with her legs draped over his torso.

Gabby scrambled to her feet. The moment she was steady, she broke into a run, but only made it as far as the back door before arms like steel bands wrapped around her from behind, pinning her to a rock-solid chest. She couldn’t breathe.

“We’re not here to hurt you, Gabriella,” a deep voice murmured into her ear. As if to prove the honesty of his words, the man relaxed his hold just enough for her to breathe normally.

“Yeah, right.” And her foster dad had only wanted to give her a kiss goodnight—with his tongue. Gabby knew what men were like, and she was not about to be fooled by this one. “How do you know my name?”

“It’s a long story, but we’ve been lookin’ for ya for some time now.” He had an Irish accent.

“Who are you?”

He turned their bodies back toward the unconscious man across the room. Now another guy stood over Pretty Boy. He wasseveral years older, thirty maybe. His pale blond hair was short and, even from across the room, it was clear he was much taller than her.

As Vice Guy half-carried her to the other men, a muffled moan floated up to meet them, and the guy on the floor took great care disentangling lanky limbs to pull himself to a kneeling position. He rubbed the side of his head with one hand while he used the other to brace himself against the wall. The look Pretty Boy raked over Gabby as he got up made her cringe.

The guy still holding her spoke. “If I let ya go, will ya promise not to run? We’re not goin’ to hurt ya. We’re here because we need your help.”

She believed him. Maybe because, even though she’d just clobbered his friend, he hadn’t hurt her. She nodded and was immediately released.

She turned, but the guy behind her wasn’t the giant with superhuman strength she’d imagined. Her captor was probably only a couple of years older than her, with dark auburn hair and a hint of a dimple on his right cheek. Despite the seriousness of the situation, his bright blue eyes sparkled with interest, and the corners of his lips were turned up in an amused smile.

He didn’t take his gaze off her, even when he took several steps away. Instead, he stood arms crossed, feet planted apart. Poised to give chase if she fled. Running had crossed her mind, but something compelled her to stay at least long enough to hear what they had to say.

“Well …?” She prompted with a wave of her hand that clearly said, get on with it.

The blond man cleared his throat. “Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Andrew. This is Lucas.” He motioned toward the man who’d grabbed her, then to the one she’d knocked out. “And Grant.”

Grant’s eyes were narrowed. She shifted under his scrutiny and diverted her gaze.

Andrew whispered something in his ear, and Grant looked down at his feet. Andrew continued, “We need to go.”

They were there to abduct her. At the realization, panic rose in Gabby’s chest, choking her breath into shallow threads. She threw her hands up defensively and backed away with slow, shaky steps. “I’m not going anywhere with you.”

Andrew sighed. “You may not want to now, but you will when you find out why.”

“Then tell me.”

He checked his watch, then squared his shoulders in determination. “Have you ever heard of the seven deadly sins?”

Gabby snorted. “Who hasn’t?”

“I assume you don’t realize how serious they are. We’ve spent our lives protecting humanity from the temptations and you laugh at the mention of them?” Grant’s voice was deep and forceful.

He looked as though he would have continued scolding her, but Lucas uttered a soft “Dude” and shook his head. Grant snapped his mouth shut and raised a hand to rub the back of his neck.

Lucas picked up where Andrew left off. “Do ya know much abou’ the history of the sins?”

She’d only ever heard an Irish brogue on TV. His lilting tone was soothing.

He raised an eyebrow.

Oh, he’d asked a question. What was it? Ah yes, history of the sins. Gabby shook her head.

“In the latter half of the fourth century, a monk fled Constantinople to a small monastery in Egypt. There, he penned a list of eight sins which he referred to as the Temptations of Man: Pride, Avarice, Acedia, Gluttony, Impurity, Anger, Sadness, and Vainglory.”

He took a few steps back and leaned against the wall, then continued, “For two centuries, almost all of those not involved with that particular monastery thought the list of Temptations was nothing more than the opinion of one monk, a suggestion of how to lead a good Christian life. Then, sometime around five-ninety A.D., Pope Gregory the First came across a collection of rings tha’ had been housed by this monastic order in utter secrecy. They considered them so powerful only the handler was permitted near them, just one specific monk who devoted his life to ensurin’ no one else came into contact with the Temptations.”

“Listen guys, much as I appreciate the history lesson, I’ve got work in …”she made a show of checking her non-existent watch, “a few hours, so I really hope you’re getting to a point.” This earned her a leveling glare from Grant.

“Pope Gregory had the rings studied and discovered they were in fact imbued with special properties. It seemed they had the power to influence people toward certain … well … temptations,” Andrew replied.

What asylum had these guys broken out of? Did they actually believe this nonsense they were spouting? “Seriously, jewelry that makes people sin? Right.” Gabby moved to her bag and gathered her clothing, making sure to keep the men in her line of sight.

Lucas reached into his shirt and pulled out a chain. He slipped it free of his neck and dangled it from the tips of two fingers. Swinging like a pendulum at the bottom of that chain was a brilliant, red ring.

“What is that?” She already knew the answer.

Lucas took several slow steps in her direction and extended his arm toward her. She clenched her fists and bit down on her tongue to keep from yelling at the men. How dare they sneak into her makeshift home, intruding into her life, practically scaring her to death. Now, they were feeding her this absurd story about sin-possessed rings and crazy monks.

The closer he got, her anger went from muted seething to barely-contained rage. The more she thought about it, the more she wished she was still in possession of her Maglite so she could hit him with it, and maybe again after that. When Lucas was little more than five feet from her, he winked and reversed direction. With each step he took away from her, the violent feelings receded.

“Anger,” Gabby answered her own question.

“Anger,” Andrew affirmed. “Lucas is the steward. I’m the steward of Pride, Grant of Envy.”

Grant’s eyes narrowed at her, while Andrew pulled a matching chain from beneath his own T-shirt and let the attached orange ring fall to rest against his chest. Something about Andrew’s ring was different though. Sure, power emanated from it, too, but she wasn’t experiencing pride. This power was different. It tingled—almost like static electricity.

After slipping the chain back over his head and tucking it under his neckline, Lucas picked up his story from where he’d left off. “Each of the rings has the ability to influence people toward a particular sin. Pope Gregory discovered which ones led to which temptation and labeled them accordingly. As a result, the original list of temptations was amended. It came to be known as the seven deadly sins.”

That was why the list Lucas spouted earlier didn’t sound right.

“The rings didn’t create the sins, of course. They just have the power to promote that particular feeling or action. Each sin has two rings and two custodians.” Lucas was matter-of-fact.

“What, like a janitor?”

He shook his head, but didn’t otherwise acknowledge her interruption. “The stewards are bound to their particular ring, can sense it, can control its influence over others.”

“How come I’ve never heard of these … stewards?”

“We exist in secret. If the world knew about us and the sins, all hell would break loose. We are not equipped to deal with that,” Grant answered in a tone that clearly said she should already know the answer.

“I still don’t understand what any of this has to do with me.” Were they ever going to get to the point?

Lucas took a tentative step toward her. “You’re the other steward of Pride, Gabriella.”

 

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Author Rosie Somers

Rosie Somers is a YA author who lives in Florida, soaking up the year round sunshine. She can often be found in her favourite spot on her favourite beach, nose-deep in a good book.

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$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 4/13/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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I love this quote, Diana
“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl

Pre Order Blitz, Lost Wishes by Kelly Gendron and Giveaway

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Book Title: Lost Wisher ~ A Troublemaker Novel
Author: Kelly Gendron
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

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Book Blurb

He’s ruthless. She’s relentless.
Together, they are boundless.

Fallon O’Conner is ruthless…
Each day comes and goes without meaning
He eats, sleeps, and waits
The time is nearing to confront his wife’s killer
And nothing will stop Fallon from getting his revenge
Then, Katie Rustle comes crashing into his forsaken life…

Katie Rustle is relentless…
Her boss needs something
Fallon O’Conner has it
And Katie is just the person to get it
She’s no stranger to bad-tempered, cruel, heartless men
A man corrupted by the loss of a loved one raised her

Teaser

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Meet the Author

Kelly GendronKelly is the author of the TroubleMaker series, a stand-alone contemporary romance series, and she has a few romantic suspense novels out there too.

In a quiet suburb, somewhere between Buffalo and Niagara Falls is where you’ll find Kelly. When she’s not writing, she’s out meeting new people while representing a group of reputable nursing facilities in the WNY area.

Kelly writes steamy, blush producing romance novels. Her motto: “Bad boys, give ’em a little time and experience, and they will evolve into misbehaving men!”

Kelly loves to hear from her readers! Visit her at her Blog, Twitter, Pinterest, or Facebook Page.

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“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl

Book Review: Newbie by Jo Noelle and Giveaway

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Synopsis

The housing market is crashing, and Sophie’s life is crashing with it. At twenty-four, her successful real estate career evaporates. She’s broke, can’t find a job, or pay her bills, leaving Sophie wondering how her successful lifestyle became so fragile.

At the urging of her roommate, Sophie accepts a job in her fallback career—teaching six-year-olds. She hopes it’s temporary. After all, how long can a tanking economy last anyway? The best part of the new job is Liam, another employee at Rio Grande Elementary. The worst part of the new job is, well, teaching.

Sophie has a surprise real estate closing from a contract she wrote months ago, leading her to a niche in the real estate market and to a new partner, Kevin. Sophie must choose between Liam or Kevin and between a lucrative career or recess duty

My Review

Newbie, is a sweet book, written by Jo Noelle.

The story starts out with Sophie, loving her Real Estate job, being able to dress in awesome clothes and shoes, her favorite, she had just bought a new car as well. Of course when she bought the new car, The real estate market dropped and leaving her with no income. Not sure what to do, she hits the local want ads, as her room mate suggested. She applied to be a first grade teacher for one year. Not an easy job at all.

The story goes on to tell how she got the job and her experience and life as a first grade teacher, and of course the job is not as glamorous as being a real estate agent. A classroom full of first graders and she has no lesson plans, nothing to prepare her for this job.

This book is really good, I love how she describes being a first time teacher, how much she cares about the children and of course the other people in her life, including the man she meets while being a teacher, he works there as well. Things are going as well as can be expected, and Sophie hears from her old boss about coming back, even working part time in real estate. There are a lot of ups and downs through out the story, feels like it could be real life. Sophie has choices to make, will she make the best choice for herself? Well you will have to read the story to find out.
I was provided an ARC from the author.’

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I love this quote, Diana
“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl

Blog Tour: Dreamer by Phillip L. Davidson

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dreamer_front (1) Book Title: Dreamer
Author: Phillip L. Davidson
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

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Book Blurb

The U. S. government initiates a secret assassination operation called Phoenix. An elite team of assassins carried out this operation. The mission failed. The team, headed by Captain David Elliott is captured and the horrors and long-term effects of being a P.O.W. are vividly detailed. In the meantime Captain David Elliott’s wife, Sunny is kidnapped by the Argentine Police. She is the love of his life. David and his team go on an international mission to rescue her. This is an action packed book that will have you on the edge of your seat.

excerpt

From Darkness to Light – A Soldier’s Story

Phil Davidson

When I landed in Saigon in 1972 I thought knew about the dangers that were ahead. After all, I knew it was a desperate place. Fighting and dying had been going on long before I arrived there. As an Infantry officer, a Captain, I had been well trained. I could set ambushes, call in air strikes and shoot my way out of a gun-fight with the best of them. I had also hardened myself against my subordinates, and intellectualized that taking casualties was for the most part unavoidable. I also accepted that I might be killed or wounded, though I had made my mind up that I would never be captured. That was what my hand gun was for. But what I had not foreseen nor planned for was the ‘darkness.’

I had just snuck into my hideout from a night ambush mission when I received a secure radio call from my Six from his lair near the Mekong to be ready to be extracted in two hours. Two hours. As the chopper lifted off leaving my little team waiving to me I expected to be back after receiving another one of ‘those’ missions. Instead I was put on a plane and sent home. Arriving in America a couple of days later I was a man from space. Seventy-two hours earlier I had been in a fire -fight. Now I was picking ghostly insects from my meal at home. Two weeks later I was a ski instructor for the Northern Warfare School in Alaska.

It was there during those cold clear nights that I began experiencing the ‘dreams.’ They came at night, like an ambush team, while I was weak and vulnerable, and while my ego was resting. Images of the jungle, the people I knew, and the things I had done. And after awhile, I began to have waking dreams. Yes, the ‘Thousand Yard Stare.’ While you were driving, while you were talking, while you were eating, while… I fought the dreams with things I don’t want to write about. I left the Army. But the dreams never left.

They accompanied me while I was driving in my patrol car after I had become a police officer. They took the place of script as I studied my law books. When I would walk down the street a car backfiring or some loud noise would invoke an embarrassing response from me wherever I was and with whomever I was with at the time. I trusted no one and everyone and everything was out to get me. I even joined the National Guard to be able to act out my subconscious desires. I was at a point that I was at the end of myself. I couldn’t form personal relationships and felt alienated from everyone and the society I was in. The darkness had taken me. I was alone and suicidal. I had no family left to fall back on and the institutions I had made myself apart of were not set up for understanding the human condition of their employees.

As a small boy I had been a member of a church, a small group that meet in the basement of a larger house. One of the deacons was leaving, a plain man with a friendly smile and solid voice, he gave the children, there were three of us, Bibles as parting gifts. That was when I was twelve. I still had the Bible. My grandmother had kept it for me and when I left home after joining the police force she handed it to me. She didn’t say anything but she knew. One night for some reason, to this day I cannot tell you why, I thumbed through it. My eye was caught by the story of David. I read it. And in my mind his story was similar to mine. Over the days I formed a bond with David. If God loved a man like David, a man that he said was of his own heart, then there was a chance for me. After awhile, when the darkness came, David drew his sword of light and cut it away. David had put himself to the task of being God’s servant. He didn’t run from evil, he faced it. I decided to find out what the darkness was. I read everything I could about what I was experiencing. And I found out it had a name-delayed stress syndrome.

I took a real hard look at myself in the light of day and I realized that I had been saved from death and disaster so many times by God. If God wanted me to survive then my life was worth something. The darkness would not win the battle for my soul. Each time I felt myself losing control I remembered that I was not alone. Like David, I could use the armor of God to defeat what threatened me. That is a point of healing for anyone suffering from PTSD. Your life has value to God and he will help you to fight your darkness. God is a warrior and he knows how to win battles. He will help you to cope.

Once I focused my life away from my problems I began to see that many of my fellow police officers were showing symptoms of the darkness. I was now an instructor at the Police Academy and had recently received Master’s Degree in clinical psychology. I began teaching officers how to cope the darkness, now labeled, post traumatic stress disorder. Thus began my journey of teaching others to defeat this malady. In 1982 I was appointed to President Reagan’s Vietnam Veterans advisory committee, where I centered on PTSD. In the years to come I knew that I wanted to write about PTSD and what it had done to so many soldiers. But I also wanted to write about what had happened to me not my experiences but my being saved from the darkness by what I know was God’s grace. Some would call it redemption.

But how would I do this? I wrote Dreamer. Dreamer is novel about redemption, but not redemption in the classical sense that has been written about many times. How would God redeem warriors? Warriors who had been sentenced to live in the darkness for questionable conduct. God would come to them as a warrior. I knew that this concept might be foreign and perhaps offensive to many religious readers. But I felt it was a story that I had to tell.

My central character is a man named David. I patterned him from the Bible’s David. And like King David, Dreamer’s David was a failed human being. David and his team were called upon to carry out Phoenix missions in Vietnam and all had the left the service in disgrace. Years later God comes to them and brings them together to accomplish an impossible task that will redeem them and let them stand in the light of men once more.

I used as a background for the novel’s action, the Falklands War. I’m not sure if there has been any fiction written about the Falklands War. Dreamer is gritty. There is rough language, scenes of violence, but also tales of bravery and sacrifice. I wanted to take the Christian and other religious readers to a real world, a world where evil lives and to show how it can be defeated. Christ never flinched from entering places of evil men and danger. I hoped the Christian reader would find Dreamer a little dangerous but worth saving because Dreamer’s David’s dreams were not a product of PTSD but rather messages from God. Those messages brought him from darkness to light. God’s power will lead you into the light.

_______________

Phil Davidson is a practicing attorney in Nashville, TN and author of the book Dreamer. This is a novel about redemption and the power of God to restore the fallen. It is available on Amazon.com. This book has been written to inspire everyone and especially those with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that there is a place for recovery in the arms of God.

Interview

Did your book require a lot of research? If so, what kind?

Yes, I had to do quite a lot – Phoenix, the CIA ‘s assassination program in Vietnam that led to Tet 658, The Argentine Secret Service that fought ‘the Dirty War’ and the Falklands War.

This book is very realistic when it comes to war and military actions. It has content for mature audiences because of its gritty nature. Life is that way, its raw, its real and it’s not all rose-colored glasses. Dreamer is an excellent book that shows the struggles that those in the military have to deal with, as well as life with challenges.

What inspired you to write Dreamer?

My belief is that God can and does intervene in our lives. I wanted to write about how he would do that with soldiers.

I wanted to tell a story about how God would offer redemption to warriors. I chose to portray God as a warrior. I know this thought is foreign to most religious readers but shouldn’t be. I took the lead character from the Bible character David, who like the characters in Dreamer was flawed but loved by God.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Dreamer is a book about failed warriors, who lost their way as soldiers and human beings, in the horror that was Vietnam. (That war is so far in people’s rear view mirror, that we have forgotten how really bad it was.) These men made up a SOG (Special Operations Group) team whose mission was to carry out the CIA’s Phoenix Program (the systematic assassination of suspected Viet Cong, (which was so successful it lead to Tet 68). The lead character, David, was the team leader. One of the team members betrayed the team and David is required to execute him, but he is stopped from carrying out the execution by an unseen but powerful force.

His failure to do his duty lead to a horrific chain of events that ends with the team being captured, and tortured. At the moment that death is at hand, the team makes a pact – a covenant with God, that if he saves them they would aid each other no matter what or when for the rest of their lives. Afterwards, each man lives in the “darkness”. Years later God comes to them and give them the chance to redeem themselves and stand in the “light of men” once again. But the path he chooses paralleled with death and destruction. Dreamer is about redemption. God as a warrior gives grace and the chance for redemption to other warriors.
What was the toughest criticism given to you? What was the biggest compliment?

My first reviewer said there was too much sex in the book. She seemed to think I was pre-occupied with the sexual relationships of the characters. I took her comments to heart and toned it down in a rewrite. The biggest compliment was that one reader said he was inspired.

Meet the Author

Philip Davidson is a former Vietnam veteran. He was awarded the Bronze Star, Combat Infantry Badge and Vietnamese Jump Wings. He was also a Kit Carson Scout. He was the author of the first SWAT Tactical Training Manual that has been used to train police across the country and served on President Reagan’s Veteran’s Affairs Council. His novel Dreamer is a military thriller and historical fiction about various wars and touches on the controversial subject of PTSD. Davidson is currently a Civil Rights Attorney residing in Nashville, TN. Contact Phil Davidson at www.phildavidsonbooks.com.

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I love this quote, Diana
“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl