Friday, July 25, 2014

Together Always Review Tour

Blurb:
A new body, a new life…

Because of a facial disfigurement, Nurse Grace Joye has never felt beautiful, and when she’s told a brain tumor will end her life within a matter of weeks, she’s devastated. 

Grace’s friend, psychiatrist Dr. Tobias Andrews has been experimenting with spirit travel. He suggests that Grace transfers her spirit to the body of his newest patient—Mrs. Vanessa Knight, a gorgeous-looking woman who is soon to be released from life-support. Grace doesn’t take much convincing to take this drastic step: she will live on and realize her two dreams: to be a mother, and be loved by a man….Only to hear her soon-to-be husband’s whispered words just before the life-support is switched off: “Good-bye, darling. I'm glad I’ll never have to see you again.”

Lucas Knight has been contentedly preparing for Vanessa’s death when the plug is pulled and the ventilators turned off. Throughout their marriage, this volatile woman had become increasingly vicious towards him and their young son. Therefore, he’s appalled and traumatized when, miraculously, she comes out of her coma. Strangely, this girl isn’t anything like the witch he’d said goodbye to. He could love this gentle angel. But, could he trust her to stay this way?


Excerpt:
“Grace, lovie, what’s happening ‘ere? Doctor, what are you doing to this poor girl?” Mrs. Dorn bustled into the room, dropped her parcels and rushed to the bed to gather the weeping Grace into her arms.

Stuttering, Grace replied. “Lucas wants to make love to me.”

“Is that all? Thank goodness for small mercies. Of course he does, child. I’ve seen the way the man stares at you. The bloke’s bonkers over ya. And I don’t blame him none. If I were a man, I’d want ya for me own, and that’s the right of it.”

Dr. Andrews cleared his throat so loud that both ladies swiveled in his direction. He stood rigid, a furious look not often seen made his face look rather red and Grace believed that even his distinguished grey hair appeared to stand at attention. 

“Mrs. Dorn,” he bellowed. “Mrs. Knight is my patient and we were having a consultation before you barged into the room. May I request that you step outside for a short while so that we may continue?”

Grace’s attention was caught as she watched the brief war between her two champions.

“Oh, pooh! She needs a motherly shoulder for her tears, not a doctor’s prescription.” Mrs. Dorn’s unrelenting stern expression made Dr. Andrews look from one woman to the other, before snorting and backing down. Once again, Grace’s streaked face sought Mrs. Dorn’s ample chest while the chubby old hands soothed and stroked her hair. 

“Fine, you may stay. In fact it’s probably for the best, because we need to resolve something here and we’ll do it now.

“Grace, once and for all you must make up your mind if you are willing to continue as Mrs. Vanessa Knight. If you feel you can’t proceed, Henrietta and I will help you start a new life in every way possible. But, you must realize”—and he emphasized must strongly—“that you have run out of time. It wouldn’t be fair to either Lucas or Samuel for you to go to their home and then leave them after such a step. Both already love you and are willing to accept that you are who they believe you to be.”

The minute he’d started to speak, she’d sat up and listened carefully. Voice tones could make a huge difference to the words spoken. After listening to this speech, Grace knew this to be true. Every word, concise and heartfelt, was engraved onto her brain and she appreciated, without a doubt, the seriousness of his directives. She looked toward Mrs. Dorn who sat nodding her head; the wart on the pale skin of her nose stood out stronger than ever and called attention to her wobbling chin and artificially reddened lips now caught between her teeth.

When she still hadn’t replied, Dr. Andrews spoke again.

“If you like, I can talk to Lucas and tell him that you are fragile, that your mental state is still seeking answers to who you are and what happened in the past. That he must be gentle and patient to help you regain some of what’s been lost. He’s a good man and will give you time.”

Grace felt the doctor watch her closely for signs of compliance or resistance, trying to read her expression. If she still wore Grace’s face, without a doubt, he’d have known what her soft heart needed. But this face was as new to him as it was to her. Thoughts filtered through her head at an alarming rate. What was she to do?

Her love for Samuel screamed for her to be the mother he coveted, the mother she knew she could be. But the fearful, unloved woman who’d lived her life hiding behind her hand, giving up dreams without a fight—that woman held her back.

Suddenly a huge wave of yearning filled every crevice inside of her until taking another breath seemed impossible. Both the doctor and Mrs. Dorn moved forward as if they sensed she needed help. Before they could do anything, the powerful sensation released her and she fell back against the pillows, weak but resolved.

“I will be Vanessa Knight, mother and wife. And I will be a good mother, and the best wife I know how to be. Learning has always come easily to me, so I’ll research everything I need and I’ll succeed.”

“Bless my soul, Gracie. You had me scared for a minute. Why, one of life’s greatest pleasures for a young woman is carrying on with the right man. Back in my day, I had a beau or two who tickled my—”

“Mrs. Dorn!”

“Er…fancy. Yes, well, it’s a jolly good life you’ll have, and we’ll help you every step of the way, won’t we, Doctor?”

“Absolutely, but just one more thing and then we’ll not speak of this ever again. Mrs. Dorn, once again you’ve called her Grace. That must stop. Now! From this minute forward, she is Vanessa Knight, Lucas’s wife and Samuel’s mother. Do you understand?” His demanding gaze moved from Grace to a red-faced Mrs. Dorn. “Do I make myself clear?” he asked again, his tone brooking no nonsense. 

“Yes, Doctor.” Tight curls bobbing around her face as she swiveled toward the bed, Mrs. Dorn said, “I’m ever so sorry, Gr…I mean, Vanessa. It won’t happen again—if I can help it.”

At that moment, something caught at Grace’s attention and halted her movement toward Mrs. Dorn. Stopping her intention to hug the dear woman who showed her such caring, she looked toward the door, which sat open a few inches.

“Doctor, did you close the door when you came into the room?”

“Yes, I remember distinctly wanting some privacy to speak with you. Henrietta, did you close the door?” Both Grace and he turned to the perplexed housekeeper.

“I don’t remember,” she answered. Biting her lip, she raised her hands outwards and flopped back in her chair, making her full-skirted, red, polka-dotted dress billow around her ample girth. “I don’t think so. Why do you ask?”

Pale and shaken, Grace answered. “I’m sure someone was at the door just now. What if they heard us talking?”

“Oh dear,” said Dr. Andrews.

“Sod a dog!” said Mrs. Dorn.


Author of five series: The Vicarage Bench, Angels with Attitudes, Vegas, Elvis and the brand new sizzling romantic suspense series called Undercover FBI. Mimi lives on the East coast of Vancouver Island and writes her romances with tongue in cheek and a mad glint in her eye. “If I can steal a booklover’s attention away from their every-day grind, absorb them into a fantasy love story, and make them care about the ending, then I’ve done my job.”

Contact Information:
Website     |     Blog     |     Twitter

Buy Links:
Amazon     |     B&N     |     Kobo

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Unintentional VBT

Blurb:
Cade, the gorgeous song man, has every reason to steer clear of commitment and train his soulful eyes, killer dimples, and sexy voice on every beauty swaying to his band. So why is it that he finds himself truly, deeply and unintentionally, fixed on the one woman who is not so easily swept away?

The sequel to Intentional, the debut romantic novel by MK Harkins, Unintentional is the heart-racing new work that follows the tangled thread of Cade in the aftermath of his heartbreak in losing the one woman he thought was his soul mate. After taking a hiatus from his job as an engineer, as well as his role in the band as lead singer, Cade reemerges in the Seattle music scene. Enter Laurel, the tenacious and determined music agent. Laurel is determined to sign him, no matter how clearly reluctant he is. Though they try to resist one another romantically, the magnetism is as immediate as it is powerful.

Unintentional offers readers an intricate, riveting story about the fraught paces of love, while also offering strains of heartwarming humor. With rich detail, authentic characters, and plenty of blood-pumping romance, Unintentional is a moving and multilayered look at how love can slip through our fingers, only to be pulled back again at the most surprising, stirring moments.


Excerpt:
I’ve never understood how Scott, and especially Ayden, can do the whole “one night stand” thing. In college maybe, but they’re too old to still be doing that shit. But I guess some people never outgrow it.

“You know that’s not the way I roll, Scott. Never has, never will be.”

Scott grins and says, “I had to give it a try. I could never understand why a guy like you, with women literally throwing themselves at you, doesn’t take advantage of that shit.” 

Scott can be so dense at times. “You’ve just said the operable word. Advantage. I don’t take advantage of girls, Scott. Anyway, they’re just wrapped up in the fantasy of a singer in a band. It’s not me they really like. It’s just who they think I am, some bad boy rocker with tattoos. They don’t know I just like to hang out on the weekends and watch sports like everyone else.”

Scott laughs. “So true! You are a boring bastard. You should give them a chance though. Maybe one of them will like football?” 

“Have you seen the girls at the bar? I have yet to see one who looks even remotely interested in anything other than a good party and having fun. I don’t want a party girl, you know that, Scott. Besides, I tried that coping technique after Jennifer, remember?”

I remember it all too well. I walked in to find my then girlfriend, Jennifer, having a little too much fun with her college math tutor. It was our senior year in college, and I was devastated.

I spent the next year escaping into the beds of whatever girl was available, hoping Jennifer would notice. She never did. 

“How about one of those chicks at your engineering firm? They should be boring enough for you.”

“Too boring. Mattie was it for me,” I state unequivocally.



1. If we were to come to your house for a meal, what would you give us to eat?
Barbequed salmon

2. Do you listen to music when you're writing?
No, I try to block out all sounds.

3. What are your future ambitions?
In life – to be happy. I think the road to happiness is to help other people.

4. What have you got coming soon for us to look out for?
I’m starting new social media website for book lovers called Best Book Friend. It will be similar to FB – but without all the restrictions. I’ve just started the beta sign ups. (http://tempbestbookfriend.launchrock.com) 

5. What song would you choose for Karaoke?
Moon River – I hear it’s the easiest song to sing.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
MK Harkins is the author of the romantic novel Intentional. An avid reader, she began writing fiction when she ran out of reading selections on her Kindle. Her new novel, Unintentional, is a sequel to her first work and is based on the life of the character Cade. A business owner, Harkins spends her free time traveling, watching movies, reading voraciously, in addition to creating her own fiction. The author currently lives in Mercer Island, Washington.

Website     |     Facebook     |     Goodreads 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Hard Act to Follow Cover Reveal

First of all, thank you so much for hosting me on this, the momentous one-month countdown day to my upcoming release, Hard Act to Follow!

I’m super excited to be here. I absolutely adored writing these characters and I can’t wait to share them with…well, anyone who will take them in and throw them a scrap of bread. Do it. You didn’t want that crust, anyway. It was dry and had all those yucky seeds on it. Maybe even mold if your bread drawer is like mine. I promise you won’t regret it.


Blurb:
Kyrie is an actor with a physical aversion to telling lies, a one-eyed cat, and horrible taste in men. His ex-brother-in-law and best friend, Greg, harbors a secret crush he can’t shake. After denying his feelings for Kyrie for too long, Greg finally gives in to desire one drunken night. Come the morning, the facts get twisted. Kyrie pretends he doesn’t remember a thing — a lie that eats him alive — and Greg can’t stop thinking about how he screwed up the best thing in his life.

Before they can clear the air, Kyrie follows his dreams to New York City, but could he also be running away?

A mistake from Kyrie’s past detonates their silence, and Greg is forced to confront the man he loves. Is their new truth strong enough to support a relationship, or are they doomed to crumble under old fears? Their friendship could evolve into something a million times stronger, but maybe Kyrie’s act is just too hard for Greg to follow.

Sounds like an awesome book right? And now, here's the cover!!!!



Release Date: 8/18/14


Kimber Vale is giving away a release day e-copy of Hard Act to Follow along with a $5 Amazon gift card for a little extra spice from the spice weasel. BAM! Win it before you can buy it!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hard Act to Follow is a standalone novel, but you can still get jazzed for its release by picking up the first two books in the Shooting Stars series, Forever is Now and Double Takes. :-)


Find Kimber’s work at Liquid Silver Books, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance, and all the other usual suspects.

Goodreads


Are you a blogger/reviewer who would like to jump on Kimber’s book tour train? The kindly old conductor solemnly swears not to speed (too much), and there will, of course, be a drink car.



Author Bio:
K. Vale writes erotic romance of all stripes, from hot hetero to mouthwatering manlove. Find her MF work published under Kimber Vale. Come for the sex. Stay for the story. Stalk Kimber on Facebook and Twitter @KimberVale, and check her site for updates, new releases, and freebies at http://www.authorkimbervale.com. The blog: http://www.kimbervale.me

Elliot K. Carnucci is a Big, Fat Loser VBT

Blurb:
The kids at Ralph Bunche Middle School love to pick on Elliot Kravitz-Carnucci. He struggles with his weight, looks like a geek, makes top honors, and lives above the Carnucci Home for Funerals in South Philadelphia with his distant, workaholic father and Nonna, his quirky, overbearing grandmother.
 
Since his parents divorced, he splits spending his time with his funeral director father and his mother Rayna, who dreams of becoming the queen of commercials on the west coast.
 
At the hands of his peers, Elliot experiences a series of bullying episodes that escalate from entrapment in a school supply closet to a brutal “swirly” (head dunk in the toilet) that lands him in the hospital emergency room.
 
Elliot has a small circle of loyal friends and a mentor named Duke, an aging school custodian, who root for him to overcome his bullying issues so that he can enjoy his life as a teenager and a budding singer/performer. Can Elliot win his fight against the nasty bullies, or is he doomed forever? Read this funny, sad, and crazy book to find out.


Excerpt:
“Help–I can’t breathe–let me out. Somebody help...”


I pounded the inside of the musty supply closet until my knuckles turned blue. Did anybody even have the key?
         
What if they don’t come? What if I’m trapped here all night?
         
I could hear loud voices and laughing, so I knew Kyle Canfield and one of his friends from the basketball team were there, waiting to see if I would cave in and plead for mercy.
         
The bell blared. Classes changed. Kids stampeded through the halls. Then, silence.


Finally I heard someone shout, “I’ve got the key, Doc.”
        
“Thanks, Duke,” Doc Greely, the assistant principal, said to Mr. Boardly, the man who’d sprung me loose.


Mr. Boardly, the head custodian, better known as Duke, offered me his arm, and I stumbled out of the closet. He was as thin as his mop handle, but all muscle–no flab like me. A scruffy white beard covered half his face.
         
He slammed the closet door shut and bolted the lock. “One of the hall guards reported noise coming from this area. We came as soon as we heard.”
         
Duke patted my shoulder. “Let me know if I can help, Elliot.” I could hear his keys clanging as he walked down the hall humming “Duke of Earl,” that old sixties song he loved. That’s where he got his nickname.


“Up to their old tricks again, Elliot?” Doc asked on the way to his office.



Catherine, thanks so much for stopping by. So, why don’t you tell us a little about yourself?
I’ve been married for half a century, but I still feel as young as I did in high school, mainly I think because I keep active. Zumba is my favorite way to exercise. You can get lost in the haunting melodies and the exotic moves. I recently wrote a book for women about to retire and retired women called Fire Up Your Life: 101 Ways for Women to Reinvent Themselves. It’s predicated on the idea that you never have to grow old and crochety.


I have three daughters and five grandchildren, who bring me endless happiness and keep me young. For 31 years I worked in the Philadelphia School System as a teacher, department head, and disciplinarian. After that, I worked for Temple University as a student teaching supervisor, mentoring and observing future teachers. After retiring, I became a full-time writer. Most of my books were traditionally published. This is my first self-published book, other than a girls’ prayer book I received the rights back for from a religious company.




How did you get started writing?
I’ve written all my life simply because I had to. Writing gives me great satisfaction, and it’s what I like to do best. In fact, I’d rather write than eat or sleep.


Before I retired from the school system, I didn’t have time to write, but I thought about it every day. When I was still working, I wrote magazine articles, but after I left my job, I started writing in earnest. My first published work was a study guide for an educational company for the works of the YA author, Cynthia Voigt. After that, I wrote a grammar book for the same company, and I’ve been writing ever since. I’ve written five books about bullying, and the subject of this interview, Elliot K. Carnucci is a Big, Fat Loser: A Book About Bullying is my latest. This book is closest to my heart because I think it vividly describes one child’s fight against bullying. I’ve also written two prayer books for teens and many grammar/writing books.




What was the inspiration for your book?
Elliot, the main character in Elliot K. Carnucci is a Big, Fat Loser, came to me one day and asked me to write his story. How could I refuse? He was a persistent character who tugged at my heartstrings.


I also felt close to Mr. Boardly, his friend and mentor in the story, In real life, he was a school custodian named Scotty we in Lincoln High School all knew and loved. Unfortunately, he died in a tragic accident. However, now he lives on in the character I patterned after him.


The main setting in Elliot is a city high school, which I’m very familiar with since I’ve worked in schools all my life. The other setting of the book, the funeral home where Elliot lives with his dad and Nonna, his grandmother, was somewhat unfamiliar to me. I did extensive research on the funeral business to gain an understanding of what people in that business actually deal with each day and how they help themselves cope with it. Learning about the business was quite an eye-opener and scary at times, but I enjoyed doing the research, and I think it gave the story an authenticity it wouldn’t have if I hadn’t learned about it.




What’s the one genre you haven’t written in yet that you’d like to?
I love writing non-fiction as well as fiction. That said, I’d like to write a book related to psychic phenomena. I’m an intuitive who does readings and find it fascinating. I read any book I can get my hands on about the supernatural. As Hamlet said, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”




So, what are you working on right now? Got any releases planned, or still writing?
I’m trying to market another bully book called Cool Things to Do While a Bully’s Bugging You. In addition to Elliot K. Carnucci is a Big, Fat Loser, I’ve just released that women’s retirement book I mentioned. I’d love it if your readers would write to me about any topic related to reading or writing. My website is www.catherinedepino.com. It lists my address.




Alright, now for some totally random, fun questions. Favorite color?
My favorite colors are turquoise, fuchsia, and any shades of blue or pink. Once we had our shingles painted turquoise and the neighbors thought we were weird hippies. I could tell by the way they scowled at us. I do Reiki healing (hands on healing), and I use color a lot when practicing it. I try to think of which color will best help the person. Often it turns out to be their favorite color.




Favorite movie?
My favorite movie of all time is an oldie: “Splendor in the Grass” with Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty. It was very daring for its time, having dealt with pre-marital sex, although the two principles in the movie never actually did it.


I also loved “Life is Beautiful,” an Italian film. I think it was the most touching movie I’ve ever seen.


Book that inspired you to become an author?
I loved Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye because it was a great story and because he knew how to get inside the minds of his characters. I also love that it kept me laughing—and crying. I always try to keep his ability to move people emotionally in mind when I write a story. It was a prime motivator when I wrote Elliot.



Alright, you have one superpower. What is it?
I would like be able to channel without being self-conscious or nervous. I have done it once in a while and it’s an awesome experience, but it is kind of frightening in a way.




You can have dinner with any 3 people, dead, alive, fictitious, etc. Who are they?
I’d love to have dinner with Anne Frank. Despite the atrocities she and her family endured, she believed that people were basically good. That goes against what some major religions espouse. They believe we were born in sin and constantly have to fight our evil impulses. However, I much prefer Anne Frank’s ideas.


I’d also like to have lunch with the singer Andrea Bocelli. He has a golden voice that sounds like it came from another world. I’d love to ask him how he feels when he sings, what he thinks about when he’s performing, and how he got his start in singing.


Finally, I’d like to talk to Anderson Cooper because I think he’s the most compassionate interviewer around. I’d ask him what the most important lessons he’s learned from people were. I’d ask him about his most interesting interviews and his most difficult ones.




Last question: Which of your characters are you most like and how/why?
I believe I’m most like Nonna, the grandmother in my story, Elliot K Carnucci is a Big, Fat Loser. I speak my mind as she does, but I listen when others talk as she also does. Like Nonna, I’m outrageous sometimes. I wear bright colors and wild outfits and do things most women my age wouldn’t dream of doing. She also believes that love and romance should never fade as you get older. Viva Nonna! I totally agree.



Catherine will be awarding a $20 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. So the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.


June 17 SECOND STOP Shelf Full of Books
June 20 SECOND STOP: The Write to Read
June 25: Room With Books
June 25 SECOND STOP: TeacherWriter
June 27 SECOND STOP: The Pen and Muse Book Reviews
July 8: Angela Myron
July 8 SECOND STOP: Booker Like a Hooker CANCELLED
July 10 SECOND STOP LizaOConnor-Author
July 11: Books Direct
July 18: Bunny's Reviews



Author Bio and Links:
Catherine DePino has sold thirteen books for parents, teachers, and children to mainstream publishers. She self-published her fourteenth book, Elliot K. Carnucci is a Big, Fat Loser: A Book About Bullying because she wanted to give it a wider forum. Her background includes a BS in English and Spanish education, a Master’s in English education, and a doctorate in Curriculum Theory and Development and Educational Administration from Temple University. The author worked for many years as an English teacher, department head of English and world languages, disciplinarian, and curriculum writer in the Philadelphia School District. After this, she worked at Temple as an adjunct assistant professor and student teaching supervisor.


Catherine has also written articles for national magazines, including The Christian Science Monitor and The Writer.


For many years she served on the board of The Philadelphia Writers’ Conference.  She holds membership in the Association of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.


Her new self-help book, 101 Easy Ways for Women to De-Stress, Reinvent, and Fire Up Your Life in Retirement,appeared on the market in March, 2014.

Links: