Book Blast ~ A Crime of Passion Fruit #cozymystery by @BakeshopMystery #giveaway

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A Crime of Passion Fruit (A Bakeshop Mystery)

Cozy Mystery

6th in Series St. Martin’s Paperbacks (June 27, 2017)

Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages

ISBN-13: 978-1250088079

E-Book ASIN: B01MRU56AS

~ Synopsis ~

Torte―everybody’s favorite small-town family bakeshop―is headed for the high seas, where murder is about to make a splash. . .

Jules Capshaw is trying to keep her cool as Torte gets set to make its transformation from quaint, local confectionary café to royal pastry palace. Meanwhile, Jules’s estranged husband Carlos is making a desperate plea for her to come aboard his cruise ship and dazzle everyone with her signature sweets. She may be skeptical about returning to her former nautical life with Carlos but Jules can’t resist an all-expense-paid trip, either. If only she knew that a dead body would find its way onto the itinerary . . .

Now, instead of enjoying tropical drinks on deck between whipping up batches of sea-salted chocolates and flambéing fresh pineapple slices in the kitchen, Jules is plunged into dangerous waters. Her investigation leaves her with more questions than answers: Why can’t anyone on board identify the young woman? And how can she help Carlos keep passengers at ease with a killer in their midst? Jules feels like she’s ready to jump ship. Can she solve this case without getting in too deep?

What other readers are saying

“A warm and inviting atmosphere, friendly and likable main characters, and a nasty murder mystery to solve!” ―Fresh Fiction

“A perfect mix for fans of Jenn McKinlay, Leslie Budewitz, or Jessica Beck.” ―Library Journal

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~ About the Author ~

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Ellie Alexander is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research.

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Read an excerpt of Avenging Kiss #suspense from @KTjebbenAuthor #giveaway

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Title: Avenging Kiss

Author: Karen Tjebben

Genre: Psychological Romantic/Suspense

Published: December 2016

~ Synopsis ~

Some sins cannot be forgiven. Those must be avenged.

When Aditya Chopra stumbled upon the decimated camp, she vowed to hunt down the men who killed her sister. The stench of burnt flesh and the taste of death in the air haunt her dreams and power her lust for vengeance. She will show no mercy.

The men of Savage Security served their country. They’d done their time in the sandbox and now enjoy their peaceful lives in the States, far from the death and mayhem of war. Will living in peace blind them to the dangerous threat that’s poised to strike?

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~ Excerpt ~

Aditya had waited outside the American base, hoping to catch sight of him. His look was very distinct. At six foot four with hair the color of a raging fire, he’d been easy to spot. He’d pulled out of the base with another man in a jeep. The hot wind pulled at his scraggly red hair as he’d laughed at something the other man said.

She’d known where they were going. There was a hotel nearby that catered to Europeans and Americans. It boasted a full bar with live music, decent food, and willing women.

After donning her black garments and niqab, she’d made her way into the hotel. Other than the cameras that covered the entrances and exits, security at the hotel was poor. One only had to get inside to enjoy privacy.

Aditya had entered the hotel a few feet behind the men. As they’d headed towards the bar, she’d walked directly to the bathroom off the lobby. Entering the stall, she’d quickly removed her outer clothes and shoved them into her bag. Then she’d stopped in front of the bathroom mirror to check her appearance. After adjusting her skirt, she’d decided to open another button on her shirt. While he’d get a peek at her cleavage, she’d still look like a respectable woman. Playing a whore gathered too much attention. She’d added a touch of lipstick and powdered her face. And finally, she’d adjusted the Kanzashi Geisha sticks in her hair to make sure it would be easily accessible. Hidden inside the stick was a sharp two-sided blade. It was thin and slid easily from the decorative case. And after one more look in the mirror, she was ready.

She’d walked into the bar with the confidence of a Western woman and noticed Lieutenant Shaw sitting alone at the bar. His friend was dancing with a woman, his hand palming her ass and pulling her close to his body. Aditya didn’t waste time. She needed to get to Shaw before he found someone to screw.

She’d slipped onto the bar stool next to him and offered him a shy smile. He’d grinned as he raked his gaze over her. His high-wattage smile had nearly knocked her over. The heat in his gaze as he’d mentally undressed her pleased her. She returned his smile and stared at his muscular arms as she bit into her bottom lip. With that one interaction, she knew that he wanted her. He’d come to the hotel in search of sex, and she didn’t plan to disappoint.

He’d been such an easy target. Arrogant men never realized the threat a woman could pose to them, and she’d tirelessly worked that advantage. They’d quickly exchanged names and engaged in meaningless chatter. But once she’d stroked his knee, he’d taken the bait and asked her to join him in a room.

She’d played coy at first, acting as if she’d needed to think about it. But then he’d leaned in close and whispered in her ear promises of pleasure. And then, as he’d pulled away, he playfully tugged on her earlobe with his teeth. She’d responded by stroking higher on his thigh. That worked for him, and he stood to go back to a room. His pants had tented nicely; apparently it didn’t take much to turn him on.

She’d followed him to a room. He’d unlocked the door and waited for her to enter first. As she’d stood in the entrance, he’d closed the door and turned the bolt. After a dangerous smile, he’d lifted her and pressed her against the wall with his muscular body. She’d instinctively wrapped her legs around his waist and her arms around his neck. In response, he’d rubbed his cock against her center. The pressure of his body against her had lit her up. He knew how to kiss, and Aditya realized that fucking him would be fun. So many of the other men she’d entertained cared little about her pleasure. She hadn’t expected much from those lowlifes anyway. But little had they known that there was nothing more erotic than the warmth of your prey’s blood washing over your skin as you take their life.

~ About the Author ~

PhotoofKaren

Karen Tjebben lives in central North Carolina with her wonderful husband, twin daughters, and two hamsters. When her girls left for kindergarten, Karen discovered that she needed to fill her days with something, and that was the beginning of her writing career. She loves to create worlds filled with unique characters that she hopes will delight and raise goose bumps on her readers. In her free time, she enjoys traveling with her husband and seeing the world through her daughters’ eyes.

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Promo Blitz! Patriot’s Passing, a Hawg Heaven Cozy Culinary Mystery #cozymystery from @SummerPrescott1 #giveaway

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Title: Patriot’s Passing

Author: Summer Prescott

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Date Published:  October 2016

Synopsis

The indomitable widow of a Marine sniper is faced with the reality of starting a new life with her teenage son, after hearing the awful news that her loving and brave husband was killed in the line of duty. Drawn back to her childhood home, Rossalyn Channing meets up with old friends and begins her healing process, safe in the loving company of her parents.

Irresistibly drawn to a mysterious little building in a small town, Rossie impulsively buys it and makes big plans for an eatery that her late husband would have loved. Things are not always as they seem in quaint small towns, however, and she begins to wonder if the challenges that she faces are insurmountable. The determination of the fearless military wife is strong, but will she prevail as a stranger in a strange land?

Add to the mix a body found on her property, and scary strangers randomly appearing to torment her, and you set the stage for the first book in the Hawg Heaven Cozy Culinary Series. This poignant tale of courage in the midst of adversity will inspire you, and leave you hungry for more.

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Other Books in the Hawg Heaven Cozy Culinary Mysteries Series:

Baby Back Murder

Baby Back Murder

Hawg Heaven Cozy Mysteries, Book 2

Published: December 2016

Rossalyn Channing’s savory new bacon-heavy business in a small town is booming, and she, along with son Ryan, is settling in quite well, until one of her favorite television shows comes to town wanting to film nearby. Rossie directs them to a place that she knows and is dismayed when her location turns out to be tragic. Sinister character emerge on all sides, and Rossalyn fears for her life and Ryan’s safety. With the help of some unexpected friends, will she manage to solve the murder before it’s too late? Find out in this next exciting installment of the Hawg Heaven Cozy Culinary Series!

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  macho usual cover

Nacho Usual Murder

Hawg Heaven Cozy Culinary Mysteries, Book 3

Published: January 2017

Rossalyn Channing’s world is rocked when a stalker gets up close and personal. She receives surprises visits and surprise bouquets from a would-be suitor who was recently released from jail. Things take a dramatic turn for the worse as she becomes the suspect in a local murder, and everything turns upside down when a close ally seems to suddenly be acting suspiciously. Will the events that occur be enough to drive the newcomer Rossalyn, and her son Ryan out of their small town? Or will Rossie figure out who’s been lurking in the shadows, before it’s too late?

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Hawgs, Dogs, and Murder

Hawg Heaven Cozy Culinary Mysteries, Book 4

Published: April 2017

 Rossie’s accountant confesses a possible connection to the untimely demise of her coworker, and Rossie fears that the woman’s life might be in danger. Meanwhile, the single mom wonders if she’s losing her mind, or if there really is a stranger lurking about. Throw in a heaping helping of Jose’s amazing cooking, and a love triangle that just might be the end of her, and you have a hearty recipe for a good old-fashioned mystery, filled with action, drama, and suspense.

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 About the Author

 author pic

Summer Prescott is a best-selling Cozy Mystery author. Her highly regarded INNcredibly Sweet series continues to be a reader favorite, and The Hawg Heaven series has been tremendously well-received. The author spends her days creating new and inventive ways for her characters to solve crimes and save the day.

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What makes the perfect beach book? @djwilliams316, author of Waking Lazarus, divulges

I’ve got a treat for you today. D.J. Williams, the author of Waking Lazarus, reveals what makes the perfect beach book:

When summer rolls around we’re ready for long vacations, blue skies, sparkling oceans, and sand wedged between our toes. It’s that time of year where we escape the day-to-day routine, recharge our batteries, and catch up on the stories we’ve been wanting to read. Now, all we have to do is pick where to start.

So, what makes for a great summer read?

I’ve found that I’m drawn to characters who are compelling and entertaining. I’m always on the hunt for characters that grab and pull me into their world. And when I find those characters, I’m hooked. I’ll read day and night while the waves crash against the rocks, or roll up on the shore. I think of characters like Harry Bosch, Jack Reacher, Harry Potter, Jason Bourne, and others who captured my attention from the first page.

Some might think carrying a Harry Potter book to the beach is like carrying a brick in your carry-on, but that’s why we love ebooks, right? Believe me, I’ve carried a Harry Potter book in my carry-on, and it resulted in airport security scanning my bag for an explosive device, as the book was tucked next to my cell phone and watch. But with ebooks, we can take an entire library with us on vacation without risking being held in an interrogation room.

Now, once the character grabs me and I’m on the journey, I’m searching for a plot that keeps me flipping through the pages. Mystery. Suspense. Plenty of twists and turns. I’m a sucker for the writing style of James Patterson, who writes each chapter like a scene in a film so the chapters are short. Especially when I’m on vacation, shorter chapters keep me engaged. If the plot is a page-turner, I’ll be obsessed with finding out how the story ends.

I also look for stories that are an escape from the world around me. I want to be taken to another place much like the worlds of Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, or the Narnia novels. And I’m especially captured by stories that have messages woven within that open my eyes to a greater cause, whether that be the fight against slavery, the forgotten in the world, or political issues that blur the lines between reality and fiction.

When I’m headed off for summer vacation, I’ll search for novels set in the place where I’m traveling or even places where I’ve been. Location. Location. Location. I love finding mystery and suspense stories where I’m walking alongside the characters on the streets of Paris, dark alleys of London, slums of the Far East, and even behind the Hollywood curtain. I’ve always believed that locations in a story are a character unto themselves.

Characters. Plot. Location.

It’s the trifecta for a great summer read.

Get the #1 Beach Read for Summer 2017 – Waking Lazarus ($14.99) by D.J. Williams.

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~ Synopsis ~

Jake Harris’ life hasn’t turned out the way he planned. Battling his addictions, and the shattered pieces of his family, he is hired to ghostwrite a memoir. From the 1920’s story of a controversial evangelist, to the present day mystery of a former District Attorney, everything changes when his search for the truth leads to an atrocity hidden from history. With a past he can’t remember, he begins to discover that he is not the person he believed himself to be. Rather, he is a threat to a secret society that has remained in the shadows for nearly a century. Jake is drawn deep inside a world he never knew existed that brings him closer to his own extraordinary destiny.

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 Read the first 10 Chapters for free by subscribing: http://bit.ly/No1beachread.

~ About the Author ~

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With the DNA of a world traveler, D.J. Williams was born and raised in Hong Kong, has ventured into the jungles of the Amazon, the bush of Africa, and the slums of the Far East. His global travels have engrossed him in a myriad of cultures, and provided him with a unique perspective that has fueled his creativity over the course of a twenty year career in both the entertainment industry and nonprofit sector.

In this latest novel, Williams has written an epic global adventure filled with riveting characters and page turning twists and turns. Think Jason Bourne meets Homeland. It is a brilliant follow up to his previous novel, The Disillusioned, that garnered the praise of Hollywood’s elite, including Judith McCreary, Co-EP, Law & Order: SVU, Criminal Minds, and CSI, who said, “The Disillusioned is a fast-paced mystery…you won’t put it down until you’ve unlocked the secrets and lies to find the truth.”

With the release of Waking Lazarus, Williams is once again capturing the attention of industry veterans including Peter Anderson (Oscar Winner, Cinematographer), who has already endorsed this latest adventure, “Waking Lazarus is a captivating visual story with a colorful narrative. Once I started reading, it was hard to put down.”

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Read the first chapter of Poppy’s Proposal, a #chicklit novel from @gavinough1

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Title: Poppy’s Proposal

Series: Old Hampton Tales

Author: G. Ough

Genre: Chick Lit

Published: April 13, 2017

Synopsis

With a handful of crap GCSE’s under her belt, Poppy’s resigned to her life in the small Cornish resort of Old Hampton. Her house mate, Rhea, seems to have it all together but for Poppy, life’s not quite what she wants it to be. Until Andrew Castleton enters her life. Tall, handsome and sexy as hell, could Andrew be the turning point in Poppy’s life? Or could it be surf instructor and tanned God Aussie Greg? Torn between rich and handsome Andrew or muscled and handsome Greg, Poppy stumbles upon a unique proposal. But the course of love never runs smooth in Old Hampton and even Rhea’s plans for global domination appear to be going awry. So what’s a girl to do? Find out in the funny debut novel from G. Ough

 Grab a copy!

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 Excerpt

Chapter 1

“Is there any chance we can book in today, Poppy?” The diminutive, red-faced man demanded. I took in his balding head, the angry set of his mouth, the bored looking, overdressed wife behind him and his glare which had been directed at my breasts.

Typical of the summer guests who booked into the Helmsman, this couple was middle-aged and miserable. They came to Old Hampton in droves to lie on the golden sands, go as red as boiled lobster, spend most of their holiday drunk, try out a swingers party or two and either go home better for it or separately.

“Yes, of course, sir,” I said in my most obsequious, subservient voice. “If you would be so kind as to write your name and address down here, I can find your booking,” I added, watching the sweat break out on his forehead and balding pate. He snatched the Bic from my hand and scribbled something barely legible on a piece of card. “Please feel free to relax in the hotel bar…” he cut me off with an angry grunt.

“Oh I see how it is, Poppy. You can’t find,” he twitched his fingers in air quotes, “our reservation but we can go and spend money in the bar.”

“Where I’ll arrange some complimentary refreshments,” I said, making him look and probably feel stupid. “Feel free to leave your luggage, it’ll be perfectly safe here.”

The pair strode off with the wife falling obediently into step behind her husband who stamped off like a toddler throwing a tantrum.

“No, thank you, sir,” I whispered as they disappeared through the lounge doors. Grabbing the phone I called the barman who I was disappointed to find wasn’t Aussie Greg.

“Awright Pops?” Jimbo Danes’ Cockney accent crashed into my ear. “Whachoo after?”

“Don’t call me Pops, Jimbo,” I said. “It makes me feel like I’m in an American sitcom. I’ve got a heads up for ya,” I warned him. “I’ve just sent you a pair of morky buggers for some freebies while I get Techno Alan to fix the PC again.”

“Cheers, dorlin,” Jimbo said.

I tapped a couple of keys on the old phone and called Techno Alan. He answered on the third ring.

“Miss Peters, I assume,” he said in his high-pitched, feminine voice. Alan was so familiar with the Helmsman’s number and who was on reception by now he knew it’d be me.

“Morning Alan, you’ll never guess what?” I said in a falsely chipper voice.

“Don’t tell me,” Alan said, playing along. “You won the lottery, bought the hotel and you’re going to knock the place down to make room for your new meditation centre?”

“Shockingly not,” I said. “Can you come and rescue me, Alan?” I whined. He laughed.

“You know I’m only sitting here waiting for your call, Poppy, gimme a sec and I’ll be round.” I hung up, thanking the Gods of PC World that Alan only lived about five minutes down the road.

As I was flicking through the frayed pages of an antique book, attempting to decipher the scrawled hieroglyphics misery-guts gave me in the vain hope someone actually wrote down the booking, I heard the falsely cheerful voice of Sheila Masters.

“Morning Poppy.”

One half of the Laurel and Hardy duo that owned the Helmsman, Sheila was, unfortunately, Oliver. Short and round with a ruddy complexion and one of those bottoms that stuck out, almost at right angles, making it look like she was wearing Victorian skirts.

“Computer’s packed up, again,” I said to her uninterested face.

“Call Alan!” Sheila said as she whisked past the reception desk in a cloud of Avon Rose perfume.

Christ did she buy it in bulk?

“Already have!” I said in the same high-pitched voice Sheila used.

Wordlessly she closed the door, sealing herself in her little cocoon of Vogue and Cosmopolitan, Heat and Hello magazines. I felt a sigh explode from me and wondered why Sheila even bothered coming in when all she did was hide in the office all day. The other owner, Jonathan Green had only ever made one appearance during my whole tenure of five years.

True to his word Techno Alan – all six and a half feet of him – slunk through the front door. Wraith-thin with a pale complexion and protruding Adams Apple, I thought he’d probably been called beanpole or something like it at school, kids being as inventive as they are. Acne scars marred his cheeks and chin making his face look a lot like the surface of the moon. Square-framed glasses and wild eyes completed his look and he smiled nervously as he almost tiptoed across to where I waited.

“Morning Poppy, did you wind the mainspring?” Techno Alan asked, tittering at his standard joke. I must have heard it thirty, forty times and been unamused from the first but Alan still snickered every time.

“You know it, Alan,” I said distractedly still flicking through the guest book for misery-guts’ booking.

Techno Alan slipped behind the desk and tapped the keyboard a few times, reset the system and generally fiddled with stuff. Afterwards he dropped to his knees and dragged the sepia toned, dusty tower system from under my desk. I stepped back a few paces, seemingly to give him room to work but actually because now he was knelt down, Techno Alan was at groin level with me.

I sat on my little chair and carried on searching for misery-guts’ booking. Eventually I saw something that looked a bit like what he’d scribbled. I grabbed the phone immediately and with PC guts around my feet, called Clive the Gopher.

“Yo!” He answered his little phone. “You on board with the Clive-ster, whaddup home-girl?” I smiled in spite of the stupid, faux-American voice he put on.

“I’ve got some bags need taking to room two-oh-four, Clive-ster,”

“And what about their luggage?” He asked laughing like like a sea-lion mating. “Be down in two shakes,” he said. I waited for the obligatory addition. “And more than two shakes is a wa…” I hung up.

Clive the Gopher did anything and everything round here. All the shitty jobs no one else wanted to tackle as well as repairs, portering and rolling the stinky bins out when they were due to be emptied, but he was always happy and joking. Just turned twenty, he lived with his parents and hadn’t really shaken off his teenage years yet so this was where he was stuck until he matured a bit. I couldn’t talk, I’d been here five years and there wasn’t much hope of anything else.

I called Cockney Jimbo to tell him he could send the miserable couple back through whenever they were ready.

“She’s a goner this time,” Techno Alan said from my crotch. I looked down into his eyes as he shook his head. “It’s a new base unit or nothing unfortunately,” he actually looked sad that his techno-savantism or wizardry had failed and he had to admit defeat.

“I’m in awe you managed to keep it going this long,” I said, trying to make him feel a bit better as the lift doors opened and Clive the Gopher appeared.

He had on painting overalls, white dungarees splashed with every colour the Helmsman was coated with and a grey t-shirt underneath which might actually have read ’Pornstar in Training.’ Thank God the dungarees covered most of the words, Sheila would have gone mad if she caught sight of it. Clive made some hand-gestures at me which I thought were supposed to be gangsta and pointed to the only luggage in the foyer with a questioning eyebrow. I nodded as Techno Alan started harvesting bits of green board up into a bag like he was picking Minecraft lettuce. Clive roughly handled the miseries luggage into the lift, kicking one of the bags so hard I heard it smack off the back wall. The doors closed and he was gone.

“I can’t understand why you’ve never given Sheila a quote for a new system, Alan,” I said.

“I did, about six months ago, cheapest price I could do on a year old base unit and installation. She said it wasn’t cost effective.” I shook my head.

No but spending all day sat on your big ass reading about celebrities is?

“The stupid thing about it is, I’ve charged more in those six months, repairing this old thing, than the other one would have cost,” he shrugged. “But you can’t tell some people.”

“Are you going to tell Sheila we need a new one?” A wicked little grin spread across Techno Alan’s face and with his proximity to my privates, something odd shot up through my belly.

WTF? Techno Alan!

“My pleasure, Poppy,” he grunted, unfolding himself from the floor like a six foot pen knife. Knocking on the office door, Techno Alan let himself in and I prepared for the histrionic attack Sheila was about to throw.

A door opened to my left and the rotund, balding Mr Enthiss emerged still red faced, but with alcohol now, his wife in tow.

“Jimbo told us we could check in,” he said to me in a much nicer tone.

Thanks Jimbo, you always manage to diffuse the live ones.

“Certainly, sir,” I completed the registration and handed over the keys, telling them their luggage had already been taken up and how to get to their room. They both lumbered off towards the lift and disappeared into the upper levels of the Helmsman.

I spent the rest of the day fielding calls, trying to figure out who was supposed to be checking in to where and greeting guests. Techno Alan emerged from the office and gave me a thumbs up before grabbing the remains of the computer and telling me he’d try and dump the data from the hard drive but not to get my hopes up – whatever all that meant.

On time as usual, evening receptionist Lisa Clarke strode in, all model looks and perfect hair. Why she worked here was a mystery, apart from it giving her the opportunity to lounge around on the beach all day checking out the men who strutted about her in Speedo’s to display their wares.

“Hi Lisa,” I greeted her. “You’re in for some fun today, the PC’s gone,” Lisa made her way round the reception desk and gazed down at the gaping hole left by the computer’s absence, screwing up her face.

“You’ve had Techno Alan down there sniffing your frou-frou all day then?” She asked with a shudder. “He creeps me out.”

“Lisa!” I gasped but had to giggle at her turn of phrase. “He’s not that bad,” she grimaced and shivered again. “Taxi Dave outside?” I asked.

“Taxi Dave’s outside,” she confirmed.

Taxi Dave was like a big brother to me. A big, stocky, square-jawed rugby player of a man with short brown hair and green eyes. In a deal with the Helmsman, Taxi Dave had agreed to ferry some of the girls to and from work for free in exchange for us recommending him to guests. His big Mercedes was luxurious and comfy, like a living room on wheels.

“Hi Dave,” I dropped into the passenger seat, belting in.

“Poppy!” He said as if he hadn’t seen me for ages. He’d only dropped me off that morning. “Good day?” I grunted and regaled him with my day as we sailed through Old Hampton’s streets.

“What about you, Dave, anything exciting happen?” He laughed.

“What, driving round these harrowing streets?” His Welsh accent came through strongly as he talked. “No, nothing exciting. I had egg and cress salad for lunch, though.”

“Careful Dave, living on the edge like that,” I said as he pulled up outside my house. “See you,” I said. He winked at me.

“Bye, love,” Taxi Dave said before driving off.

Up the two steps and in through the front door. The scent of baking bread made my stomach growl. My house mate, Rhea, liked to bake and cook, so I counted myself lucky there was always a meal on the table – or near it at least.

“What you making?” I asked without saying anything else. We’d known each other since school so Rhea knew I needed feeding before I made any kind of sense.

“New lasagne recipe, babes and some French bread to mop up the juice.”

I started salivating like Pavlov’s German shepherds before I even got to the kitchen.

There she stood, petite and dark haired, which earned her the nickname Pixie at school. Rhea was in her element in the kitchen, the oven glowed and I could see the dish inside with short loaves underneath. Her plan was to buy her own restaurant so she was always coming up with some new version of classic dishes to serve there. Of course that meant she needed a taste tester which is where I came in. I was bravely resigned to the fact I would just have to take one for the team.

The downside of eating Rhea’s delights was that I had to do all the washing up while she relaxed with a glass of chilled wine behind me. I was up to my elbows in yellow Marigolds and soap suds as she interrogated me about the Techno Alan incident.

“What,” Rhea said in her deep, sexy voice. “He was down on his knees and all he did was grin and you…?”

“Yes,” I squeaked, so embarrassed I couldn’t turn round.

“Techno Alan?”

“Mm-hmm…”

“Are you gonna…?”

“Hell no!” I shouted. “Techno Alan? He’s a nice enough guy but no thanks,” I finished the dishes and dumped my gloves, poured myself a glass of wine, watching the last few drips land in my glass like sad tears. “Where’s all that gone?” I cried holding up the bottle. Rhea shrugged innocently.

“Evaporated?” She asked flippantly. I pursed my lips. “Rob’s coming over later,” Rhea said. “Is that okay?” I fixed her with a look.

“You’ve already arranged it and now you’re asking?” She grinned at me impudently. “Yes. Yes, it’s fine with me for you to get it on while I remain celibate,” I threw my hand up in front of her as soon as I heard her take a deep breath. “And don’t start about Techno Alan.” Rhea laughed her filthy chuckle as I escaped to the shower.

***

“Hi, Poppy.” Rob greeted me later. “How’s things?”

“All right I suppose. You?” I was comfortable with Rob. He’d been with Rhea for what seemed like forever so answering the door in my pyjamas was no problem.

“Same old, same old, you know,” he said, following me in.

“Your woman’s ready and waiting in her room, you know the way.”

Rob grinned and made his way upstairs. I cranked the telly up to drown out the sound of their antics. A sad twinge of jealousy cut through me at the thought of what they shared. It wasn’t that I fancied Rob or wanted to keep Rhea for myself, I just wanted a bit of what they had. There had been a few hints they might be talking about getting a place together too and a finger of fright crept into my chest when I thought about having to either move out or find someone else to share with.

About the Author

 Ough 2

Ough spent decades cutting grass and cleaning toilets before deciding to follow his passion of writing fantasy. From there he discovered a passion and talent for writing chick lit and romantic comedy. He lives in Herne Bay, U.K. with his gorgeous wife and three incredible daughters. A Yorkshire Terrier with personality problems, a slightly soppy chocolate Labrador and four cats that think he’s about to attack them at any given moment. In addition to writing Ough likes woodturning on his Arundel lathe, playing video games with his youngest daughter and attempting to draw – badly!

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E-mail: gavin.ough@yahoo.com

Goodreads – here you can read all about me, almost the same as here really, there are links to my book, The Spaces in Between and the opportunity to ask me a question.

Facebook – Needless to say you can connect with me here.

Pinterest – I’ve just signed up to this too, it’s great!

Now on Twitter too.

 

What should you do about a 1-star review that has NOTHING to do with your book? #WriterWednesday #BookReviews

It happens. It is – in fact – almost guaranteed to happen. If you’ve written more than a handful of books and it hasn’t happened yet, it will – probably soon. What am I talking about? The dreaded one-star review. Just writing the words makes me angry and hurts my teeth (probably because I automatically start grinding them).

I don’t need to tell you not to engage with negative reviewers. We all know that nothing good will come from begging a reviewer to reconsider (and it’s kind of pathetic). You also risk getting a bad reputation amongst the blogger community and let me tell you that’s not something you want. The book blogging community is incredibly helpful to a writer. Getting on their bad side will help no one.

But what about a review that contains obvious falsehoods or is obvious bullying? Can you engage then? Or maybe contact Goodreads or Amazon to deal with the issue? This is painful, but the truth of the matter is this: there’s nothing you can do. Let me re-phrase that – there’s nothing you can do that will get that review deleted. (This is my personal experience, if someone has had a different experience, please let me know!)

1 starLet’s start with obvious falsehoods and Amazon. I received a one-star review for my bundle The Gray-Haired Knitting Detectives. Naturally, that can happen. Readers are allowed to absolutely hate my novels no matter how much pain that causes me. But this review – titled Smut on Parade – was even more painful because it was full of lies! The reviewer claims there is a sexual act in the first paragraph (the first paragraph is a diatribe about women over forty getting chin hair). The reviewer even claims the price of the book cost 20% more than it actually does (twenty percent doesn’t sound like much but I put a lot of thought into how I price my books).

1 star 4Obviously, this reviewer was bullying me was my thought. I immediately contacted Amazon and asked that they remove the review due to misrepresentations in the review. After all, there is that little box with ‘report abuse’ on it! They didn’t even bother to get back to me. There’s no way in hell I’m contacting the reviewer myself. So, what’s left to do? Well, not much. The only thing I have done is vote her review unhelpful. Go me! That’ll show her.

Unfortunately, that’s not the only one-star review I’ve received. On Goodreads, I have a ‘follower’ who gives all my books one star. Even books that have not yet been released! When she one-starred a book not yet released, I thought “A-ha! I’ve got you now”. Goodreads didn’t agree. They did respond to my email, but the response was not what I expected (let alone what I hoped for). They told me that they do not review the content of reviews as everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But the book wasn’t released yet! No matter.

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If you were hoping to find some magically solution to dealing with one-star reviews in this blog article, I’m sorry to have disappointed. As I’ve pointed out above, there’s pretty much nothing you can do about these reviews – even when they have obviously nothing to do with your book. The only thing I can say that may take away just a little of the pain is this – You are not alone. Even the greats receive one-star reviews.

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Read an excerpt of Talen, new #paranormalromance from @RebeccaZanetti #giveaway @SDSXXTours

Talen_400x600Title: TALEN

Author: Rebecca Zanetti

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Published: 6/6/17

~ Synopsis ~

She’ll love him forever . . . but he can’t make her obey . . .

The war is over. Danger has passed. Cara Kayrs is healed after decades of illness and ready for a break.

Too bad her brooding, alpha vampire husband can’t seem to change gears. In their twenty-five years together Talen Kayrs has learned to sense every shiver of her body, to ignite her desire with a word or a look. She would think he could learn she’s not some fragile damsel in distress.

But Talen is on edge, watching their backs, treating her like she’s made of glass. Like there’s something following them, a deadly threat that somehow none of their intelligence has uncovered. It’s enough to drive a woman crazy, and Talen has plenty of those tendencies already.

But what’s even more maddening is that he seems to be right . . .

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~ Excerpt ~

“I was fairly certain I tamed you way back when,” he said thoughtfully.

Red infused her face. “I’m about to kick your ass, Kayrs.”

Maybe not. Interesting. At the thought, his entire body tightened, and his cock started to throb. “Cara.”

Her shiver enticed him. “What?”

“I strongly advise you not to push me.” It was only fair to warn her, and he went on instinct. After nearly dying when the war had ended, he’d been restless since. For so many years, he’d treated his mate with more gentleness than he would’ve thought possible as she’d endured the virus. Now that she was healthy, a primal part of him, one much closer to the surface than he liked, wanted to claim her again with all the dominance that was inherent to his species. “Okay?”

She breathed out. “Oh, mate. You’re the one who needs to stop pushing.”

~ About the Author ~

Zanetti, Rebecca

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Rebecca Zanetti has worked as an art curator, Senate aide, lawyer, college professor, and a hearing examiner – only to culminate it all in stories about Alpha males and the women who claim them. She writes contemporary romances, dark paranormal romances, and romantic suspense novels.

Growing up amid the glorious backdrops and winter wonderlands of the Pacific Northwest has given Rebecca fantastic scenery and adventures to weave into her stories. She resides in the wild north with her husband, children, and extended family who inspire her every day—or at the very least give her plenty of characters to write about.

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Website * Twitter * Facebook * Amazon * Goodreads

~ Giveaway ~

Win a Print copy of the book!

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Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

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