January 17, 2018

Book Unleashed : Heavenly Pleasures by Isla Dennes

*** PRE-ORDER ALERT ***
Releasing January 30, 2018
Heavenly Pleasures Tour Graphic
HEAVENLY PLEASURES
Isla Dennes
Heavenly Pleasures
Series: For Heaven's Sake Book
Genre: Chick Lit, Comedy, Romance
Publisher: Totally Bound
Publication Date: January 30, 2018
At Heavenly Pleasures, quite a lot of things are possible…
Meet Brooke, a self-confessed shopaholic turned reluctant brothel receptionist, as she stumbles through life, trying to live up to her parents’ and fiancé’s high expectations—at the cost of her now low self-esteem.
Who would have thought a group of working girls would help her rediscover her inner strength and finally tackle her personal demons? But at Heavenly Pleasures, the rules are made to be broken and new opportunities are just around the corner…
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Excerpt

“What the hell is wrong with you?” Scarlett asked, taking in my pale face and trembling hands.
“Some bloke just walked in here and asked me to have sex with him!”
Uggh! And he’d been all greasy black hair, gold fillings and overgrown ’tache, like an aging porn star. I stifled the urge to throw up.
Shaking her head in disgust, Scarlett rolled her eyes. “Hate to break it to you, precious, but you are working in a brothel, you know.”
“But—”
“But nothing. What the hell did you expect him to ask for, a burger and fries?”
“I kept telling him I was only the receptionist, but he didn’t seem to care. He told me he’d pay extra if he had to.” I fought to calm my racing heart and queasy stomach.
Scarlett’s eyes narrowed. She didn’t look happy. It occurred to me that maybe I should have kept my mouth shut.
“What do you mean extra? How much extra?”
“Um…” I swallowed hard. “Three hundred dollars.”
The temperature in the room plummeted as a blast of ice-cold fury filled the air.
What!” she screeched. “And you turned him down?
“But—”
“Jesus Christ!” she hissed and bolted over to the waiting room. “Shit, where the hell is he now?”
My glance flickered toward the door. Scarlett’s followed. For the briefest of moments, I thought she was going to drag him back in and make him apologize for being an insensitive bastard.
Instead her eyes widened in shock. “What! You let him walk out of here? You selfish fucking cow. You mightn’t have wanted him, but what about the rest of us girls? Three hundred bucks and you just let him walk out of here? Jesus! Prue is going to go off her nut when she hears about this.”
Prue was the Madame and owner of Heavenly Pleasures. An outwardly serene woman with immaculate hair, but nonetheless seriously scary with a sinister reputation, not unlike Cruella DeVille on a bad day, and therefore someone I did not want to cross.
“Oh, please don’t say anything,” I begged, on the verge of tears. “Look, I promise if he comes back in, I’ll call you out straight away—before JoJo. Just don’t mention it to Prue. I was just a bit taken aback, that’s all, and didn’t know what to do.”
This part was true. Haggling for sex wasn’t something we’d covered in secretarial college. Maybe it was the look of pure terror on my face or possibly Scarlett was in a rare compassionate mood, but after a moment’s hesitation she stopped scowling, her expression softening in what could well have been pity.
“Okay. I won’t say anything—this time,” came with reluctance. “But of course I’ll expect some more bookings, if you get my meaning.”
Yes—her meaning was loud and clear. She was blackmailing me, but I was in no position to protest. I nodded.
Her mood lightened. “Hey, cheer up, will you? So what if some ugly punter wanted a poke? Jeez, you’re not the first one to have the hard word put on them by some tosser, believe me. Guys come in here, think they’re God’s gift to women and although they know you’re not a worker, it gives them a sick thrill to think they can convince you to drop to your knees for a blow job—even if it is for three hundred dollars.” She threw me a disgusted look and shook her head in disbelief. “I reckon in their pathetic little minds they’re convinced they’ve seduced you with their hot looks and charm. Losers, that’s what they are. Anyway, I suppose it’s probably just as well you didn’t take him up on it.”
“Really?” I brightened, seeing it as a sign I was forgiven.
“Yeah, the girls would have flattened you if you had.”
Oh, God. I felt ill. What on earth had happened to my perfect life?
Two months ago, I had never met or even spoken to a prostitute. Two months ago, I’d had no idea brothels even existed outside the red light district of King’s Cross. Two months ago, I’d thought French, Spanish and Greek were southern Europeans rather than hooker code for certain sexual practices. And two months ago, I’d been happily looking forward to marrying my fiancé, Brad, an up-and-coming lawyer who planned to be the youngest junior partner in the law firm where he worked.
Yes, two months ago my life had all been mapped out before me.
But that was before a day out in the city to catch up with an old friend triggered a series of events that would ultimately bring about my downfall. Yep, it was at that point I can honestly say my life had bit the big one, nose-diving to newly discovered depths of desperation and despair. I was completely screwed and I didn’t have anyone to blame but myself…

Pre-order your copy today!

About Isla Dennes

Isla Dennes
Married, mother of one son and three daughters, Isla Dennes developed a love for writing while employed in her dream job as the owner of a book shop situated in a seaside resort town in NSW, Australia. Not content in simply reading every book in the store, she found herself compelled to create novels of her own.
Had she concentrated more on sales and less on writing she might well have retired a wealthy woman, but writing won out in the end, with the result being a lifelong passion for creative writing across a number of genres, including a brief but regrettable sojourn into horribly sentimental New-aged poetry which is best forgotten.
Social Media Links: Facebook | Twitter

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January 14, 2018

Lone Star Book Blog Tours : Palo Duro by Max L. Knight

PALO DURO
by
MAX L. KNIGHT

  Genre: Historical Fiction / Western
Publisher: Page Publishing, Inc.
Date of Publication: September 2, 2017
Number of Pages: 226

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Westward expansion following the civil war ushered in an era of increased conflict between the Southern Plains Indians and white settlers. Peace treaties offered temporary suspension of hostilities, but more often than not resulted in broken promises as the two cultures clashed over land. The construction of frontier forts and towns, the decimation of the buffalo herds, the movement of cattle through Indian lands to burgeoning western markets, – all of these forces threatened a way of life that had existed for centuries.
The Comanche, the Southern Cheyenne, the Kiowa, the Apache all fought to protect their customs and homelands. The clashes were characterized by savagery on both sides - Indian and white. However, finite numbers and options would ensure the tribes’ defeat; they faced certain death or forced relocation and their days were numbered.
Though the Indian wars are the focus of Palo Duro, the novel also captures the spirit of the “Old West” with its depiction of the great cattle drives from Texas into Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado and Montana, the cattle barons and the trail blazers, the outlaws and gunslingers, the lawmen and Texas Rangers, and the settlers and entrepreneurs who built this country. It chronicles an era characterized by heroism, brutality, and bold ventures while paying tribute to a genre that is fading from public consciousness – the western. It is the story of the Southwest United States towards the end of the nineteenth century and the rugged individualism that forged a nation.

5 STAR PRAISE FOR PALO DURO:

This book captured Central Texas in the post-Civil War era better than any other book I’ve read. It was well researched, well written, and easy to read. I enjoyed this book more than Empire of the Summer Moon, the standard setter. I recommend this to readers of any level, even if you dislike history, as this book is that good. 
– Jeffrey R. Murray, Amazon review

Max Knight brought to life the saga of how Texas tamed their frontier. He presents a colorful experience with characters effectively placed throughout his story. If you have any interest in Texas history this book is a must read. – AmazonJacki, Amazon review

Palo Duro is an exceptional novel, well researched; a must read. 
– Chuck B., Amazon review

Reading this book is a great way to deepen and appreciate one’s Texas roots – or if you are not a Texan to understand and enjoy what makes Texas, well, Texas! I found this novel to be especially entertaining as well as informative. Made me want to go back and read Lonesome Dove again! – Michael P., Amazon review

In the spirit of the old Western genre of Zane Grey and L’amour, Max Knight pays homage to our national heritage with this fictional but historically accurate labor of love that warms the heart with his vivid imagery and authentic tone of America’s illustrious and sometimes brutal past. – Chester Sosinski, Amazon review

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Palo Duro is the story of not just Palo Duro, the place, but of the people that made the entire area around it famous! The book is a fast paced read with tons of real-life action from the 1860s to the late 1880s. I do have to warn you: it does get graphic with the violence that was known during that time of the Great Plains Indian Wars, so prepare yourself for it -- but don't let it distract you from the great stories that are told in this book.

The moment that Quanah Parker's name appeared in the book was the moment that it had me fully hooked! Even though Palo Duro is a fast read, it covers stories of the Indian Wars that I have never read about and what really happened during that time of violent history. The thing that I found was very cool was the deal that Charles Goodnight made with Quanah. But y'all just have to read this book to see what I'm talking about!

If you are into history but most importantly, history set in the Texas Panhandle and Oklahoma, you have to read this book. I had it read in under two hours and then ready to get online to find out more about these very famous men who changed everything about the wild, wild west!

Thank you to Max L. Knight for writing this awesome book that stays with you long after finishing it!


I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book from Lone Star Book Blog Tours!




Max L. Knight was born in Panama in 1949, and was raised both in the Canal Zone and in San Antonio, Texas where he now resides with his wife, Janet "Gray." A proud member of the Corps of Cadets and graduate of Texas A&M University (Class of '73), he received a bachelor’s degree in English and a Regular Army commission and served the next twenty-four years as an Air Defense and Foreign Area Officer before retiring in 1997 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. After leaving the Army, Max spent the next five years working for RCI Technologies of San Antonio, becoming its Director of Internal Operations. Separating from the company in 2002, he volunteered to be the first docent at the Alamo working within its Education Department before once again serving his country as a Counterintelligence Specialist in Europe, Central America, Asia and the Middle East through 2013. Max speaks several languages including Greek and Spanish. He also holds a Master of Science degree in government from Campbell University. He has written and published two books to date: Silver Taps, a personal memoir of his relationship with his father and a tribute to his alma mater, and Palo Duro, a novel focusing on the Indian wars in the southwestern United States at the end of the nineteenth century.

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January 9, 2018

The Crown Prince's Bride by Donna Alward
















Published Date : January 9, 2018
Publisher : Swerve
Series : Royal Duology / Book 2
Genre : Fiction / Romance

LINKS

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

WHERE TO BUY

Amazon / B&N / Google Play








ABOUT THE BOOK!

A Crown Prince gets a second chance at love with the woman who’s always been there - in the next book in the prince duology from Donna Alward!

The Crown Prince of Marazur is suffering from a broken heart. After losing his wife and future queen, he knows he’ll never find love again with a partner as wonderful as her. He’s thrown himself into his duties and is trying to be a better father to his two children, but he’s lonely. Even though falling in love seems impossible, so does spending the rest of his life alone. 

Stephani has been Raoul’s assistant for years. Smart, loyal, and discreet, Stephani is fantastic at her job. Except for the fact that she’s been in love with her boss since her first week of employment, not that she would ever act on it. Besides, Raoul is first in line to the throne and she’s his assistant. If Raoul ever marries again, it’ll be with someone who can be a future queen. Not someone like Stephani. 

When Raoul’s date for a state dinner is unable to attend, he invites Stephani. She’s well-versed on the issues and castle protocol, and Raoul’s always been comfortable with her. But when Stephani arrives, Raoul hardly recognizes her. Is this stunning woman the same one who’s run his office for years?

The Crown Prince’s Bride is the ultimate fairytale for readers looking for Cinderella to get her prince—and be able to keep him past midnight.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR!


A busy wife and mother of three (two daughters plus the family dog), Donna Alward believes hers is the best job in the world: a combination of stay-at-home mom and romance novelist. Donna loves being back on the East Coast of Canada after nearly twelve years in Alberta where her romance career began, writing about cowboys and the west. She is the author of Somebody Like You, Somebody's Baby, and Someone to Love.

January 8, 2018

Book Unleashed : The Siege by Marilyn Baron

The Siege: A Novel Tour Graphic
THE SIEGE: A NOVEL
Award Winning Author Marilyn Baron
The Siege: A Novel
Genre: Contemporary, Women's Fiction, Romantic Suspense, Mystery, Historical
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Publication Date: January 8, 2018
A journey of self-discovery leads to love and passion in the search for a family’s hidden past...
Artist Theia Constas receives a tour of Italy from her grandmother as a college graduation present. Before she departs, her ya-ya’s deathbed revelation of a cache of WW II photographs and love letters extends Theia’s itinerary to Crete in search of her unknown grandfather, a promising artist who studied under Chagall but didn’t survive the war.
Wade Bingham, an actuary who always follows the rules and calculates the odds, finds himself alone on his honeymoon trip, wondering why his fiancée jilted him at the last minute.
In the wrong place at the wrong time when their hotel in Florence, Italy, is besieged by terrorists, the two strangers find themselves thrust together in Wade’s honeymoon suite. Immediately attracted to each other, Wade conducts a siege of his own to win Theia’s heart.

Excerpt

“Go back to your room,” the American tour director ordered, shouting at the woman.
“I can’t get the door to open,” Theia protested, thrusting her key card at him in frustration.
The tour director hurriedly took the proffered card in sweaty hands and tried the lock, which didn’t click. He jammed the key card into the slot again, to no avail.
A man opened the door and stuck his head out of the room. “What’s wrong? Is this some kind of a fire drill?”
“It’s no drill. Get back in your room and shelter in place until I give the all-clear. Don’t open the door to anyone.”
The tour director returned Theia’s card. “Get back in your room with your husband.”
“This is my room, but he’s not my husband,” Theia insisted.
“There must be some kind of mistake,” the man in the room announced. “This is my room.”
The tour director grabbed the woman’s key card again and examined the key holder. He shook his head, rolled his eyes, and looked at Theia like she was a recalcitrant child. “You’re on the wrong floor, miss. This is Room 515. You’re in Room 415.”
“I’m sorry.” Theia blew out a breath and turned to leave. The tour director blocked her way.
“Excuse me, but I need to get back to my room.” Tears of exhaustion pooled in her eyes. She wanted to scream.
“I’m afraid you can’t go anywhere. We’ve disabled the elevators for your safety, and hotel security is blocking the stairs, for now.” He ushered her into Room 515 and pushed her into the arms of the man standing at the door.

About Marilyn Baron

Marilyn Baron
Marilyn Baron writes in a variety of genres, from women’s fiction to historical romantic thrillers and romantic suspense to paranormal/fantasy. Her latest book, The Siege: A Novel, a mainstream women’s fiction set in Italy and Greece, released January 8, 2018, is her 14th novel with The Wild Rose Press, Inc. and her 23rd work of fiction. AmazonEncore republished her psychic suspense novel Sixth Sense in 2015. She is also one of six authors of Love Around the Table, a short story anthology published November 1, 2017. She’s published five short stories with TWB Press.
She’s received writing awards in Single Title, Suspense Romance, Novel With Strong Romantic Elements and Paranormal//Fantasy Romance. She is The 2017 Finalist for the Georgia Author of the Year Awards in the Romance Category for Stumble Stones: A Novel.
A public relations consultant in Atlanta, Marilyn graduated with a BS in Journalism (Public Relations) and a minor in English (Creative Writing) from the University of Florida. She worked in Public Relations for AT&T in Atlanta for 13 years before starting her own PR firm.
She serves on the 2017-2018 Roswell Reads Steering Committee and the Atlanta Authors committee and she presented on an Atlanta Writers Club panel at the 2017 AJC-Decatur Book Festival.
Read more about Marilyn’s books, short stories, and other works of fiction at http://www.marilynbaron.com.
Official website: http://www.marilynbaron.com
To receive regular updates from the author, join Marilyn Baron's newsletter.
Connect with Marilyn Baron on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

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Prizes up for grabs:
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2) The Alibi eBook copy
3) Signed Print of Amelia Marsh by Sharon Goldman
Contest runs from January 8 - 14, 2018.

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January 5, 2018

Lone Star Book Blog Tours : Anahuac by William D. Darling

ANAHUAC
A Texas Story (Volume 2)
by
WILLIAM D. DARLING

  Genre: Historical Fiction / Thriller
Publisher: Canned Peas Productions
Date of Publication: October 3, 2017
Number of Pages: 244


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The Anahuac of 1972 is more than just an isolated outpost on Texas’s Trinity Bay – it’s a place where greed and justice uncomfortably intermingle, where the evangelical fervor of charismatic preachers resonate, where blacks and whites navigate a fragile co-existence, and where a murder leads to even darker mysteries than murder. 
Jim Ward, introduced in Morgan’s Point as a young, idealistic Houston prosecutor, returns in Anahuac as an older, more conflicted, more complicated man, coming to Anahuac to defend a man who appears guilty of a horrible crime. His discoveries lead to entanglements in the very nature of good and evil, in a town that is at once of its time and timeless, steeped in a history that is unexpectedly but definitively drawing Ward in its narrative web.




 
PRAISE FOR ANAHUAC: 



"Austin writer William D. Darling’s second novel, Anahuac, is an entertaining, engrossing legal thriller that offers both darkly humorous and good-natured thrusts at life, love, and law . . . first-rate reading, especially for readers who enjoy legal thrillers, lawyer procedurals, suspense, Texas settings, and characters who live large." - Lone Star Literary Life


"Darling draws vivid portraits of his setting while also bringing in historical currents like women’s liberation, the growth of container shipping, and the rise of the prosperity gospel, adding interest to what’s otherwise a fairly simple courtroom drama." Kirkus Reviews


I'm a Texan originally from the east coast who's had occasion to meet some of these characters from another planet. Darling weaves us through the minds of lawyers with jealousies, insecurities, questions of faith, honor, and guilt as they tackle the case of a horrible crime that has the potential to put a man of God away forever. I held on tight as we went through the engrossing trial, which did not disappoint! If you love history, crime, passion, religion, and suspense, this is a must read! Kristy Recker (an Amazon reviewer)




How has being a Texan influenced your writing?

Texas is like the Old Testament. There are villains, heroes, mistakes and mysteries enough to keep a writer busy.

Why did you choose to write historical fiction?

As I looked back to the way things were in Texas in the 20th century, I realized that I had a special vantage point to those times. Telling fictional stories about the mid-century times allowed me to provide context to those readers who weren’t alive. I am not defending the way things were, only hoping to give readers a perspective.

Where did your love of books come from?

I had books from the earliest time I can remember. They seemed magical to me. My mother read to me often and once I learned to read, I never stopped. I was one of those kids with a flashlight under the covers reading when I was supposed to be asleep. I read When Worlds Collide and After Worlds Collide in Middle School. It was about eight hundred pages. It was all I cared about while I was reading it.

How does Anahuac relate to your faith?

Anahuac let me explore an era when the Prosperity Gospel was first widely preached. The advent of television evangelists brought dramatic changes to the way the gospels were interpreted. I don’t see my writing as primarily about religion, but about predestination, free will, sin and its reward. Jim Ward (lead character and voice of the series) is still tormented as an adult by the deaths of two young girls whose deaths he witnessed but was unable to prevent. He was fourteen years old at the time. If you view the world as being preordained, it leads to further confusion about concepts of right and wrong. If the mysteries of life are about religion, then I guess you can say that my writing relates to faith.

What character from Anahuac are you least like?

That is pretty easy for me. The Reverend Randall Clay is so damned sure of his interpretation of the Bible. In a way, I guess I envy him. He was willing to bet it all on his faith. It sounds like a good idea, but I’m not sure I’m there yet.

What is the hardest part of writing a book?

To stop trying to write and listen to those wonderful stories that the people in my head will tell me if I just listen. I sold a house two years ago and could not move into the condo I had purchased because it wasn’t finished. I moved to various temporary places while construction was delayed. I quit writing Anahuac for a period of two months. An important character in Anahuac is Sarita Jo Franklin. Sarita Jo’s part in of the story lay fallow. One morning as I lay in bed in a drowsy state, her voice erupted in my head. “Sonny,” she growled, “I gave you a hell of a story. If you don’t want to write it, I’ll find someone else who will.”
I jumped out of bed and worked three days to finish her part in the tale of Anahuac. Sarita Jo is not someone to be ignored. An interesting twist to this story is that I am now writing a prequel to Anahuac to tell Sarita Jo’s life story and how she got to where she is in Anahuac. Her story has led me to do serious research on POW camps in Texas (they were all over the U.S. during WWII) where large numbers of Rommel’s Afrika Korps was interned during the war. Sarita Jo told me to go research the story of these camps. I had never heard of them before. In short, the hardest thing for me to do is listen closely to those voices in my head and quit trying to be a writer.

What do you want your tombstone to say?

I am tempted to make a joke such as “See, I told you I was hurting!” I read an obituary about two years ago that said, “He never finished his book.” I guarantee you that motivated me to finish Morgan’s Point. Maybe I could settle for “an author who finished the series A Texas Story.”







William D. Darling is a lifelong storyteller and very nearly a native Texan, arriving in his beloved state as an infant in 1942. His first novel, Morgan’s Point, introduced readers to both the mid-‘60s rough-and-tumble world of the Houston courts where Darling came of age, and the Galveston Bay region that has long fascinated him. His latest novel Anahuac, serves as a sequel to Morgan’s Point as well as its own fascinating tale.
Darling, who has lived within the legislative bustle of Washington, D.C. and in the beauty of a Central Texas ranch, currently resides in Austin, where he and his wife have built a longstanding law practice.

UPCOMING AUTHOR APPEARANCES:

January 12, 2018, 7:00PM
Anahuac Reading; Signing Deep Vellum Books, 3000 Commerce Street, Dallas, TX, US

January 20, 2018, 10:00AM

Anahuac Reading in Anahuac William D. Darling brings it on home! He'll read from Anahuac in the city where the new novel is set for the first time ever.
Chambers County Library202 Cummings StreetAnahuacTXUS

February 17, 2018, 4:30PM

Anahuac Houston Release Event William D. Darling will sign and read from Anahuac, celebrating the release of the book with friends and well-wishers in the city he once called home, as part of a multi-author event. 
Murder by the Books2342 BissonnetHoustonTXUS 
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THREE WINNERS EACH WIN A COPY OF ANAHUAC + $10 Amazon Gift Card January 5-January 14, 2018

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