Thursday, May 16, 2024

Excerpt: The Golden Manuscripts by Evy Journey


The Golden Manuscripts is inspired by the real-life theft of medieval manuscript illuminations during World War II.


A young woman of Asian/American parentage has lived in seven different countries and is anxious to find a place she could call home. An unusual sale of rare medieval manuscripts sends her and Nathan—an art journalist who moonlights as a doctor—on a quest into the dark world of stolen art.  For Clarissa, these ancient manuscripts elicit cherished memories of children’s picture books her mother read to her, nourishing a passion for art.  When their earnest search for clues whisper of old thieves and lead to the unexpected, they raise more questions about an esoteric sometimes unscrupulous art world that defy easy answers.   Will this quest reward Clarissa with the sense of home she longs for? This cross-genre literary tale of self-discovery, art mystery, travel, and love is based on the actual theft by an American soldier of illuminated manuscripts during World War II.

Buy Links:

Book Excerpt:

November 2000

Rare Manuscripts

I sometimes wish I was your girl next door. The pretty one who listens to you and sympathizes. Doesn’t ask questions you can’t or don’t want to answer. Comes when you need to talk. 

She’s sweet, gracious, respectful, and sincere. An open book. Everybody’s ideal American girl. 

At other times, I wish I was the beautiful girl with creamy skin, come-hither eyes, and curvy lines every guy drools over. The one you can’t have, unless you’re a hunk of an athlete, or the most popular hunk around. Or you have a hunk of money.

But I’m afraid the image I project is that of a brain with meager social skills. The one you believe can outsmart you in so many ways that you keep out of her way—you know the type. Or at least you think you do. Just as you think you know the other two.

I want to believe I’m smart, though I know I can be dumb. I’m not an expert on anything. So, please wait to pass judgement until you get to know us better—all three of us. 

Who am I then? 

I’m not quite sure yet. I’m the one who’s still searching for where she belongs. 

I’m not a typical American girl. Dad is Asian and Mom is white. I was born into two different cultures, neither of which dug their roots into me. But you’ll see my heritage imprinted all over me—on beige skin with an olive undertone; big grey eyes, double-lidded but not deep-set; a small nose with a pronounced narrow bridge; thick, dark straight hair like Dad’s that glints with bronze under the sun, courtesy of Mom’s genes. 

I have a family: Mom, Dad, Brother. Sadly, we’re no longer one unit. Mom and Dad are about ten thousand miles apart. And my brother and I are somewhere in between.

I have no one I call friend. Except myself, of course. That part of me who perceives my actions for what they are. My inner voice. My constant companion and occasional nemesis. Moving often and developing friendships lasting three years at most, I’ve learned to turn inward. 

And then there’s Arthur, my beautiful brother. Though we were raised apart, we’ve become close. Like me, he was born in the US. But he grew up in my father’s home city where his friends call him Tisoy, a diminutive for Mestizo that sometimes hints at admiration, sometimes at mockery. Locals use the label for anyone with an obvious mix of Asian and Caucasian features. We share a few features, but he’s inherited a little more from Mom. Arthur has brown wavy hair and green eyes that invite remarks from new acquaintances. 

Little Arthur, not so little anymore. Taller than me now, in fact, by two inches. We’ve always gotten along quite well. Except the few times we were together when we were children and he’d keep trailing me, like a puppy, mimicking what I did until I got annoyed. I’d scowl at him, run away so fast he couldn’t catch up. Then I’d close my bedroom door on him. Sometimes I wondered if he annoyed me on purpose so that later he could hug me and say, “I love you” to soften me up. It always worked.

I love Arthur not only because we have some genes in common. He has genuinely lovable qualities—and I’m sure people can’t always say that of their siblings. He’s caring and loyal, and I trust him to be there through thick and thin. I also believe he’s better put together than I am, he whom my parents were too busy to raise. 

I am certain of only one thing about myself: I occupy time and space like everyone. My tiny space no one else can claim on this planet, in this new century. But I still do not have a place where I would choose to spend and end my days. I’m a citizen of a country, though. The country where I was born. And yet I can’t call that country home. I don’t know it much. But worse than that, I do not have much of a history there. 

Before today, I trudged around the globe for two decades. Cursed and blessed by having been born to a father who was a career diplomat sent on assignments to different countries, I’ve lived in different cities since I was born, usually for three to four years at a time. 

Those years of inhabiting different cities in Europe and Asia whizzed by. You could say I hardly noticed them because it was the way of life I was born into. But each of those cities must have left some lasting mark on me that goes into the sum of who I am. And yet, I’m still struggling to form a clear idea of the person that is Me. This Me can’t be whole until I single out a place to call home. 

Everyone has a home they’ve set roots in. We may not be aware of it, but a significant part of who we think we are—who others think we are—depends on where we’ve lived. The place we call home. A place I don’t have. Not yet. But I will.

I was three when I left this city. Having recently come back as an adult, I can’t tell whether, or for how long, I’m going to stay. You may wonder why, having lived in different places, I would choose to seek a home in this city—this country as alien to me as any other town or city I’ve passed through. 

By the end of my last school year at the Sorbonne, I was convinced that if I were to find a home, my birthplace might be my best choice. I was born here. In a country where I can claim citizenship. Where the primary language is English. My choice avoids language problems and pesky legal residency issues. Practical and logical reasons, I think.

About the Author

Evy Journey writes. Stories and blog posts. Novels that tend to cross genres. She’s also a wannabe artist, and a flâneuse. Evy studied psychology (M.A., University of Hawaii; Ph.D. University of Illinois). So her fiction spins tales about nuanced characters dealing with contemporary life issues and problems. She believes in love and its many faces. Her one ungranted wish: To live in Paris where art is everywhere and people have honed aimless roaming to an art form. She has visited and stayed a few months at a time.

Author Links  

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads


Evy Journey will giving away nine $25 Amazon Gift Cards & nine boxed sets of the last 3 books in the series, Between Two Worlds! This is the way it works. Evy is touring for 6 months. At the end of each 2 month period she will be giving away 3 $25 Amazon Gift Cards and 3 boxed sets of the last 3 books in the series, Between Two Worlds. You will have a chance to win 3 times during her tour!

Terms & Conditions:

  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • Nine winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a boxed set of the last 3 books in the series, Between Two Worlds.
  • This giveaway starts February 5 and ends July 30.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on March 28, May 31 and July 30.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

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Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Interview with Bethany Rosa, PURSUIT OF INNOCENCE

If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have?

It’s not mythical, but I would love to have a bobcat as a pet. Really, though, I don’t want any more pets. After raising four daughters, I've decided that I don’t have any desire to be needed around the clock by an animal.


How do you keep your writing different from all the others that write in this particular genre?

That’s an interesting question because I don’t think you should be too different in the romance genre. It’s sort of what got me to start writing. I kept looking for what I liked and wasn’t finding it. I kept coming across these books that were so out there, and all I wanted was my virgin discovering passion and an alpha male discovering love. I adore that storyline and could read it repeatedly with different characters and circumstances. So that’s basically what I did. I realize I have to be a bit different in my future books, but starting with the basics was good for me. I think what sets a book apart is the author’s voice. Their writing style. The settings and characters, along with side plots, along with the basic romance formula. Some readers like what they like and gravitate toward other books with similar styles, and that’s okay.


What are the best and worst pieces of writing advice you ever received?

I can’t say I’ve received any bad advice. Everything is helpful in some kind of way, whether you apply it or not. The best advice I’ve received is to set an attainable minimum goal each day. I’m hard on myself; it comes with having a type A personality, so lowering my standards is hard, but it sure makes me feel better some days.


Are the experiences in this book based on someone you know or events in your own life?

Of course, I get asked this question a lot! Everyone wants to know if the passionate scenes are from my own experience. From now on, I’ve decided to respond, “No, I’m saving my personal life for my murder mystery novel.” All joking aside, I use a lot of my childhood in the books. It’s unavoidable, it’s easy, and I know it. So, there is a bit of me in there, and it’s not in only one character. Lily has many of my traits, but Sebastian also has sailing experience with his dad from me. And getting back to the passion, no, it’s not personal. It’s from the hundreds of books I’ve read and what does it for me when I’m reading.






“I’m done waiting around. You’re mine. No more games or pining over someone else when it’s me you want. You won’t remember his name after I get through with you.”


Lily knows exactly what she wants in life. To graduate, land a high-paying job, and forge her own way. Nothing will distract her. Until the ultimate playboy, billionaire Sebastian Dubree, barges in. Not to be overlooked, Lily’s longtime crush, Jackson, decides she’s worth the fight.

Reluctant to succumb to either, she quickly becomes a challenge to conquer.

Lily must decide between the familiarity of her childhood longing or the newly discovered  passion ignited by the dominant CEO. But can she surrender without losing herself in the process, or will someone take matters into his own hands?

Boundaries blur between desire and resistance in this gripping coming-of-age romance, leaving readers yearning for more.

Amazon Buy Link:



Excerpt :

“So, do you take all your new hires to lunch?” she asks in jest.

“Only the ones I’m trying to date.”

“You do this often, then. Oh wait, you don’t date. You’re a one-and-done kind of guy.” Ah, the feistiness I’ve come to look forward to.

“Exactly, so I guess you could say you’re my first… pursuit, that is. See, we each have firsts to give each other.” The look on her face is priceless. I think I just stunned her into silence, but alas, I should know better.

“Oh no, you can give me all the firsts you want, but you won’t be getting mine.”

“I intend to claim them all, Lily. Whether you’ve come to that realization is irrelevant because I plan to start soon.”



AUTHOR Bio and Links: 

Bethany Rosa raised four amazing daughters before fulfilling her dream to become a writer. Her goal is to ignite passion in readers through her erotically charged stories. When not immersed in writing, Bethany finds joy in life traveling the world alongside her husband of 25 years. Home is divided between the mountains of Montana and the Arizona sunshine.






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Tuesday, April 30, 2024

#Review: WHEN THE BARON BROODS by Darcy Burke


3.5 of 5 stars

I'm a fan of Ms. Burke, and her stories are always enjoyable. This one didn't quite give me the same warm feelings as some of her previous books though. Tasmin was a sweet, eternally happy young woman, although her happy personality seemed a little over the top at times. She suffered a great deal in her young life but chose not to dwell on the fact that her mother abandoned her. That seemed counterproductive to me, and it should have caused her "forever" happiness to fade a bit. She was entitled to be angry, and it would have made her seem more real if the author had let her show her unhappiness at times.

As for Isaac, at first I felt bad for the guilt he carried around. Denying himself any sort of pleasure for the past ten years seems a bit extreme. I understand that the incident with Mary happened when he was still very young, but as he got older, he could have fought harder to find out what happened to her instead of just forcing himself into a gloomy existence because of his guilt. It seemed an extreme reaction to an unpleasant and unsettling experience.

I did like the interactions with Tasmin and Isaac once they were married. The fact that he finally confessed to her his deepest, dark secret relieved him somewhat of the guilt he'd carried for so long. They were sweet together, and I'm glad they finally got their HEA.

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

#Excerpt: DARKNESS FALLS by A.E. Faulkner

Darkness Falls
A.E. Faulkner
(Nature’s Fury, #1)
Publication date: March 31st 2019
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult

Our family trip to the beach ended before it even began. Mother Nature made sure of that.

Our parents…gone in an instant. It’s just me and my sister. 100 miles from home. No car. No phones. No money. Down to our last crumbs of food.

But just when we figure out what to do, she vanishes.

Mother Nature reached her breaking point and everyone’s paying the price. I have a feeling she isn’t done just yet.

But guess what? Neither am I.

Can Quinn survive the dark side of humanity and outrun nature’s fury? Click Buy Now to find out.

Goodreads / Amazon


“Aidan, man, we should probably get going soon,” Jeff says, pulling me away from the threatening spiral of memories. His interruption is a welcome distraction.

“You’re right,” Aidan says, his eyes locked with mine. “But before we go, Quinn, you need to know, you’re not safe here. Do you have somewhere else to go?”

“What are you talking about?” My head volleys back and forth between the guys. Jeff runs a hand through his short brown hair and exhales a sigh. He leans in conspiratorially and says in a hushed voice, “Look, we’ve been checking out the unoccupied homes around here. You know, just borrowing things to help us get by. But one of the trailers we went to, we thought it was empty…”

Aidan finishes for him. “Quinn, one of your neighbors is dead. We thought the trailer was vacant, so we went inside. We grabbed some canned food and other stuff from the kitchen and then we went to the bedroom to see if there were any blankets and pillows.”

Tag-teaming again, Jeff continues. “We thought the smell was some food rotting. But… we found her just lying there on the bed, lifeless. Looked like she was stabbed. There was blood on the sheets and blanket.” He pauses momentarily before breaking the silence. “We would have helped her if we could, but she was gone.”

I raise a hand to cover my gaping mouth. The scream I heard the other night. That must have been it. Why didn’t I think to go see what was happening? Maybe I could have helped her. Maybe I could have stopped it.

“Guys, which trailer? Where did you see this?” I don’t know many of the permanent residents, and if it was someone who is only here for vacations, there’s no chance I know her.

Aidan steps to the edge of the porch and points, “Two homes down in that direction. The one with the wishing well in the front yard.” I wrap my arms around myself to contain the shiver running through me. The guys exchange a look and I know what’s coming next.

“Look, we gotta go,” Aidan says. “How about we check on you tomorrow? Would that be okay? Just make sure you’re alright.” Before I can filter my thoughts, they escape my lips. “That would be really nice. Yeah, I’d like that.”

“Okay,” Jeff says, nodding. The guys eye each other, silently communicating. They hesitate for just a moment and then Aidan speaks again. “Quinn, just keep a low profile, okay? Try to keep yourself hidden. We’ll come back tomorrow night after it gets dark and we can talk more then.”

“Okay,” I say. “Thanks. I’ll see you tomorrow. Or, today I guess.” The guys watch me head inside the trailer. I lock the door and peer out the window, watching them leave. I barely know them, but I sense they’re like me and Riley—good people trying to navigate their way through a bad situation.

As I tiptoe back to the bedroom and settle under the covers, I vow to tell Riley everything. She deserves to know we could be in danger here and she needs to meet Aidan and Jeff. Maybe they are our ticket out of here.

Author Bio:

A. E. Faulkner was born and raised in Pennsylvania. When she’s not lost in a book, she loves spending time with her husband and two sons, especially while hiking, biking, or exploring nature. She loves almost everything about nature—ticks excluded, and one of her biggest fears is the repercussions we will face when nature can no longer tolerate human destruction. As such, she never tires of reading dystopian-themed tales. Stories about the end of the world absolutely fascinate her.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / TikTok

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Monday, April 22, 2024

#Excerpt: A CURE FOR SPRING FEVER by Barbara Robinson

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will award a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

For centuries, Gamekeepers have used their magical abilities to create a buffer between the creatures who dwell in the enchanted forest and the sleepy coastal town that sits in its shadow. When Gamekeeper Stan Ross’s magic begins to fail, he must find out what went wrong, then fix it before the two worlds collide. His hit or miss magic has already led to a few close calls so he journeys to the Sacred Isle searching for answers and advice. Finding a cure proves elusive—until Stan encounters a kitchen witch who captivates him body and soul. Lynnette Peters is healing from her own wounds, however, and it isn’t clear whether she’s ready to open herself to the possibility—or the peril—of love.


An as-you-live-and-breathe troll was her MysticMingle match for the evening.

Troll-kin or not, she did her best to engage her date in conversation, but her ‘date’ seemed incapable of responding with anything more than one-word answers and occasional grunts. When the server returned to take their order, it was almost a relief.

“I’ve heard the gumbo is good here,” Lynnette said. “But the roasted vegetable ragout sounds delicious—root vegetables, garlic, lemongrass and spring chives, all served with lashings of butter. I’ll go with that, I think.”

The waitress jotted down her order and turned expectantly to her companion.

“Svith,” he grunted.

The waitress wrinkled her nose. “I’m not sure if that is something Chef can prepare.”

“Svith,” her companion insisted, slapping a crooked-knuckled hand on the table.

“Okay,” she replied, holding up a hand. “I’ll ask him to make it just for you.”

Unfamiliar with the dish, Lynnette asked her date—who had introduced himself by slapping his chest and saying Stink Foot with a discernable note of pride—about it while they waited for their food to arrive.

“Svith good,” he said, but didn’t elaborate.

She had to wait until a large platter was set in front of him to understand what the fuss was about. The dish consisted of half a boiled sheep’s head, the hair singed off, floating in a greasy broth. Watching her date tuck into his svith was enough to turn Lynnette off her ragout, but she struggled through a few tentative bites.

Then he scooped the eye out of its socket with a spoon and presented it to her. “Try svith?”

About the Author: Barbara Robinson is an author of contemporary and historical romance set against a backdrop of magical realism. She is a deep thinker and tea drinker who finds inspiration in myths and folktales, poems and ballads, and academic writing on a variety of subjects. Diagnosed with autism and giftedness as an adult, she enjoys exploring themes of neurodiversity and opposing character perspectives in her writing.

She is an avid gardener and lover of nature who works out plot lines and character sketches while nurturing her garden, walking in the woods, or sitting by the shoreline watching waves. She is known for world building that features rich and immersive detail, supported by meticulous research and careful observation.

Barbara lives in Nova Scotia, Canada, in the shadow of ancient mountains that lie along the Bay of Fundy coast. These rugged vistas shape her story settings, while providing the perfect backdrop for life with her husband, her hounds and her dragon (Pogona Vitticeps). She has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of King’s College and a Master of Arts at Dalhousie University, and she recently completed a Graduate Certificate in Creative Writing from the Humber School for Writers (Humber College, Toronto).



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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Interview with Dana King, OFF THE BOOKS

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?

Off the Books is my sixth novel to feature Chicago-based private detective Nick Forte; he also appears in two of my Penns River police procedurals. In Off the Books Forte is hired by a wealthy businessman whose wife witnessed a fender-bender in a small Illinois town while visiting their grandchildren. Nothing special there except that the driver who rear-ended the car in front of her was obviously drunk and came out of the car brandishing a weapon; the client wants to know why the local police aren’t doing anything about it. Forte quickly finds his client has not been straight with him and there’s a lot more wrong in Lundy, Illinois than sloppy police work. 


What factors influenced your decision to self-publish your book(s)?

I’m in my late 60s and decided after eight or nine years with a publisher I wanted more freedom and control over what would be left of my career. By self-publishing I can set my own release schedule and marketing plan (such as it is) without worrying if I’m doing right by my publishing partner.


If you used a graphic designer/publisher’s designer, how involved were you during the creative process for your cover?

This is a good story. The seventh novel in my Penns River series, White Out, was ready to go out  for blurbs before we had a cover. The Beloved Spouse™, who is a wizard with Photoshop, dummied up a placeholder in black and white that was supposed to be only for the ARCs, but we liked it so much we kept it for the general release. “Branding” is a big deal these days and it occurred to us we could use the simple, stark covers as a kind of logo for my books. The Nick Forte novels now all look like what you see here and the Penns River books will be re-covered over the next year so they’ll all look like White Out. My two standalones will be similar but different enough so folks will know they are not part of either series.


What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?

I was a professional musician until I was about 35, so the problem for me with having music around when I write is my mind tends to focus too much on the music and not enough on the writing, so I now write in silence. Or at least without music; background noise doesn’t bother me much.


My process varies from draft to draft as I refine the work. The first draft is two or three sessions of 500 words each; the goal is to get the story on the hard drive. Parts may even look like a screenplay, as dialog tends to come easier to me than action, so I sometimes put a slug in place to remind myself what has to go there and will tidy it up on the second draft.


The second draft is a true re-write, where I type everything out again., Substantial changes, additions, and deletions can be made. Authors are taught to “kill your darlings” when editing. I have found it’s easier to leave them along the side of the road and just not type them in again.


The next draft is the hard core editing. I like to think the book is essentially done when this is finished.


Last I have a three-step process:

Day 1: Read a chapter or two. Just read them. Nothing else.

Day 2: Edit what I read on Day 1. Read the next chapter or two.

Day 3: Have Word read back to me what I edited yesterday to make sure it’s right. Edit what I read on Day 1. Read the next chapter or two.

Then repeat until I’m done.


I think of each draft like this:

Draft 1: Producing  the raw materials.

Draft 2: Refining the iron ore from the bauxite.

Draft 3: Turning it into steel.

Draft 4: Tempering the steel.


This process is a little different every time, but after sixteen books it’s now pretty well set.


Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?

Outline, though usually little more than a sentence or fragment to remind me what needs to happen in each scene. How it happens is a game time decision, and those decisions sometimes force me to revise the rest of the outline.


I tried to write a couple of books without an outline and ended up throwing away 25,000 and 35,000 words. I’m one of those writers who needs to know the story before I do it justice, almost as if I’m reporting on things that have actually happened. 


Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?

Yes. Chris Rhatigan has been my primary editor for years and he never fails to improve the books.


A word of advice about editors: Make sure you have one who shares your vision for the book and isn’t going to remake it into something they think will be better. Maybe they will; then again, maybe they won’t. In the end, it’s your name on the cover, and you’re paying the freight, so make sure you get someone you’re comfortable working with. That doesn’t mean you’ll always agree. You want an editor’s suggestions, not your mother’s.


Is your book(s) in Kindle Unlimited or is it wide? What percentage of royalties does page reads represent if in KU?

All the Nick Fortes are now Kindle Unlimited, mainly because I lack the energy and discipline to regularly keep up with multiple markets. I honestly do not know what percentage comes from KU page reads, as the book only came out a couple of weeks ago.


What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?

Make sure you’ve written the best book you can before you start worrying about formatting or marketing. You only get one chance to make a first impression with readers, so you want them to see the best you got. Marketing might sell this book, but it’s not going to generate repeat business.


Also, be meticulous about the formatting, by which I mean how the book looks on the page, to include pagination, typos, margins, paragraph indentations, and all the other things we take for granted when buying a professionally-published book. Get a proof and compare it to a book on your shelf. It doesn’t have to be as polished, but you also don’t want anything to scream, “I don’t know what I’m doing!” The key is to present yourself as a professional.


Some fun facts about you, which do you prefer – dogs or cats? Chocolate or vanilla? Coffee or Tea? Talk or Text? Day or Night?

Dogs, no question. Cats are assholes.

Chocolate. I love French vanilla ice cream, but with chocolate syrup.

Tea. I’ve had two cups of coffee in my life. The first was such a bitter disappointment I knew I wasn’t going to like the second before I even tasted it. This post is already longer than I planned, so if anyone wants to know about that first cup, ask me in the comments section.

Talk. Interactions are too slow and clumsy in texts. I’m also a lousy typist.

Day. There are few things I enjoy more than being outside on a beautiful day. I’, also more productive during the daylight hours. To me, nights are for winding down to prepare for the next day.


What’s next for you?

Lunch. After that I’ll move things along in Phase 4 of my first Western, which I hope to have finished by the time this interview appears in print. After that I plan to move right into the next Nick Forte novel; the outline is already 95% finished.






Nick Forte has lost his detective agency and makes ends meet doing background checks and other paperwork. He pays for everything else through jobs he takes for cash and without any written contract. What starts out as a simple investigation into a traffic accident exposes Forte to people who have truly lost everything and have no viable hope of reclaiming their lives. That doesn’t sit well with Forte, leading him and his friend Goose Satterwhite to take action that ends more violently than anyone expected.


“The return of Chicago private detective Nick Forte, the tough protagonist of two Shamus Award nominated novels, is well worth the wait. Nick’s latest escapade Off The Books—the first in nearly six years—will surely earn additional praise for the acclaimed series.”

-J.L .Abramo, Shamus Award-winning author of Chasing Charlie Chan.


"Nick Forte reminds me of Robert B. Parker's Spenser: a PI with a finely tuned sense of justice who doesn't take anyone's s***. Any fan of hardboiled detective fiction is in for a helluva ride."

--Chris Rhatigan, former publisher of All Due Respect Books





AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Off the Books is Dana King’s sixth Nick Forte private investigator novel. Two of the earlier books (A Small Sacrifice and The Man in the Window) received Shamus Award nominations from the Private Eye Writers of America. Dana also writes the Penns River series of police procedurals set in a small Western Pennsylvania town, as well as one standalone novel, Wild Bill, which is not a Western. His short fiction appears in numerous anthologies and web sites. He is a frequent panelist at conferences and reads at Noirs at Bars from New York to North Carolina. 





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Wednesday, April 10, 2024

#Excerpt: IN THE SHADOW OF THE TRUTH by Maci Aurora

In the Shadow of the Truth
Maci Aurora
(Fareview Fairytale, #3.5)
Publication date: April 9th 2024
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance

The secrets Scarlett Fareview has hidden from her family are finally out in the open, but not without consequences. Alienating everyone she loves, she must face the hurt and betrayal she wrought with her duplicity. And the cost is high. In this series of novellas, the Fareveiws deal with the aftermath of Scarlett’s deception. Scarlett must face Tomas and her children, Brinna must determine if she and Luc can forge a future, and Auri and Nix face the next obstacle to their forever. Along with many other familiar characters, these stories bridge the gap between the end of In the Shadow of a Dream and the final book in the Fareview saga, In the Shadow of an Obsession.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo


From In the Shadow of a Vow Novella

When Tomas returned from the barn that afternoon, the sound of his boots on the floor captured her attention as she stood at the kitchen counter he’d made for her. His form in the doorway—wide and encompassing—was at first a buoying relief then a crushing disappointment.

She’d failed him.

He stalled, assessing, his eyes dragging along the countertop where she stood amidst a haphazard wreck of herbs—her supplies for making tinctures and medicines she took on calls and sold at the market.

“Did you mean to leave all your tools in the garden?” he asked. There wasn’t any accusation in his tone, only curiosity. “And the laundry undone in the wash basin?”

When she didn’t answer—because she couldn’t seem to align the words with meaning—he asked, “What’s going on here?”

Scarlett looked down at the mess she’d made, opened her mouth to tell him what she was doing, but her mind went blank. She couldn’t remember what she’d been doing. She didn’t know what she was doing anymore. The longer she looked at the greens, the pestle and mortar, the boiling pot, the less sense any of the disarray made.

“It’s chaos, Scar,” he said quietly next to her. “Unlike you.”

She looked up from the mess to his face, to his kind eyes shaped with concern.

Scar. She’d always loved the way he shortened her name, the only one who ever did.

Then without warning, she burst into tears, pressing the towel in her hands against her face as her grief, pain, worry, regret, disappointment wrenched out of her with horrific gasp. She’d ruined everything.

Tomas gathered her into his arms with soothing sounds. “Hush,” he whispered, his wide, heavy hand on the back of her head.

“I’m so sorry,” she sobbed, grasping hold of his shirt, her face pressed into the strength of his chest.

He held her.

“They’re gone,” she sobbed. “I failed.”

His arms squeezed her a touch tighter, and when his face pressed into the place between her neck and shoulder, Scarlett wrapped her arms around his neck, drawing up onto her toes, needing to be closer to his comfort.

“I failed too,” he whispered, his lips against her skin. “We both have.”

She shook her head. “Not you, Tomas.” She drew back to look at him.

Raising his head, his eyes connected with hers, the sadness a deep, evergreen forest swirling inside them where he was lost. And it was her fault. She knew this. Had pushed him to go against his nature by keeping her secrets, securing the spells.

Unsure about anything but the tumult of emotions she couldn’t seem to harness, Scarlett reached for comfort she knew he provided, a comfort she could reciprocate.

She kissed him, her hands framing his face, his beard soft against her palms.

He froze, tension tightening his shoulders.

And she thought he might pull away, but suddenly he was kissing her back, capitulating, needing, seeking. His tongue sought entrance, and she granted it. It was hungry, two souls on the periphery of starvation, finding one another in the darkness.

Author Bio:

Romance author.

Lover of stories.

Maci Aurora has been writing stories since she was a child. When she was eleven, she fell in love with reading Sunfire Historical Romances about girls who made a difference in their lives and still fell in love. In high school, a friend introduced her to Lavyrle Spencer and Judith McNaught, and from there, her writing journey was cemented in telling stories about love. Having already published many novels (all of which are threaded with romance as upper YA and New Adult titles) under the pen name, CL Walters, Maci Aurora wanted to write stories that offered the same attention to story and characters but with additional steam.

Maci writes in Hawaiʻi where she lives with her husband, their children, and their fur-babies.

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