Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Guest Post & Book Feature - The Case of the Bygone Brother by Diane Burton


A Woman in a Man’s World by Diane Burton

When I was growing up, my mother determined there were girls’ chores and boys’ chores. My two sisters and I remember well how ours never ended—all the household chores plus planting and weeding the large vegetable garden. Our four brothers also worked in the garden plus cut the grass on our two-plus acre lot. No riding lawnmowers in those days. They also worked on the cars. Somehow, their big (time-wise) jobs were supposed to equal ours. Never did. My mom’s attitude was typical of the time. Because of what I perceived as inequity in my childhood, I was determined my children rotated chores. My son loaded/emptied the dishwasher and my daughter cut the grass.

Like many women my age, I’m a product of the women’s movement. While I didn’t burn my bra, I heartily supported equal rights. I taught my daughter that she could be/do anything she wanted, that her career options weren’t limited to being a teacher, nurse, secretary, or phone operator—my choices after high school.

Despite the years of advancement in equal rights for women, there are inequities with regard to pay and acceptance in certain fields. The old boys’ network is still in play, especially in certain occupations. Like private investigation, as the main character in my Alex O’Hara novels can tell you. She shortened her name Alexandra to Alex so she wouldn’t immediately be dismissed because she’s a woman.

Alex is a combination of all the female detectives I’ve read. She’s more Stephanie Plum than Jessica Fletcher with a little Nora Charles thrown in. I hope you enjoy Alex’s adventures.

About the Book:
The Case of the Bygone Brother (An Alex O'Hara Novel)
by Diane Burton
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo Books | Smashwords
Genre: Humorous Romantic Suspense
Release Date: October 29, 2014
Length: 281 Pages

Alex O’Hara finally gets a case that will give her bottom line a much needed boost. She might even be able to change her diet from ramen noodles to prime rib. All she has to do is track down a man who’s been missing for over ten years. Piece of cake . . . until an old flame arrives and a mugger roughs her up with orders to back off.


Excerpt:
“Hello, gorgeous.”

I whacked my head on the display shelf. 

Well, what would you do if you were lying across the top of a four-drawer lateral file cabinet, and your arm—yardstick attached—was wedged between the wall and the cabinet, trying to retrieve the license renewal application that if you mangled, crushed or couldn’t get would mean the end of your business, and the ex-love-of-your-life stood in the doorway looking at your butt?

The shelf shook on its braces from contact with my head. Never mind that the encounter didn’t do much for the aforementioned body part. The Fair Haven Chamber of Commerce awards rattled, and signed Detroit Tigers baseballs pelted my head, shoulders, and the back of my thigh. I dropped the yardstick and swore.

“I thought you promised your mother you wouldn’t swear anymore.” He would remind me of that vow.

“Relapse,” I muttered as I looked over my shoulder.

In that loose-limbed, cocky manner I once thought scary, sexy, and so cool, Nick Palzetti stood in the doorway to the spare office. He even dressed the same in a black leather jacket, black knit shirt, and jeans that molded his hips. Lordy, he could still make my mouth go dry.

As I wiggled back and sideways across the long cabinet, I felt my skirt ride up. Of all days to wear a skirt. With my foot, I searched for the desk chair I’d climbed to get on top of the cabinet. I’d kicked off my high heels before standing on the chair, probably the only smart thing I’d done so far.

“Red panties, you naughty girl.”

About the Author:
I grew up in the Detroit-area and have lived in Portage (MI), Sedalia (MO) as well as a brief stint in Chicago-land.  I've been a Parks & Recreation supervisor, an inventory clerk for a flute store, and a long-time volunteer for Girl Scouts. My last job was for an oil and gas exploration company where I discovered the cure for insomnia—reading oil and gas leases.  My longest-running gig was as a teacher where I taught elementary kids for over 10 years.  I am a member of Romance Writers of America and the Mid-Michigan and Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal chapters of RWA. I met my own hero on a blind date. It was love at first sight--for me. It took him a little longer. We currently reside in West Michigan and have two grown children and three delightful grandchildren.

I’ve been a reader all my life, and I love movies, especially action adventure, mysteries, science fiction, and romantic comedy. Castle, Firefly, and NCIS are my favorite TV shows. So is it any wonder that I write science fiction romance and romantic suspense, both with comedic elements?

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads Amazon Author Page
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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Book Feature & Guest Post - The Protector by Diane Burton


Human Trafficking by Diane Burton

Did you know that people are bought, sold, and smuggled like modern day slaves here in the U.S.? Oh, you thought that only happened in Third World countries? Nope. Victims are beaten, starved, and tortured into submission, sold into prostitution or forced to work as migrants, domestics, in restaurants or sweatshops with little or no pay. They do not choose that way of life.

They are enslaved.

Why should we care? Besides the human suffering? Because it’s a $32 billion global industry for organized crime and terrorists. Here are some other statistics:

- 40% of human trafficking cases involved sexual exploitation of a child

- The average age of victims of sexual exploitation is between 11 and 14

- 76% of sex transactions with underage girls begins on the internet

- Approximately 17,500 foreign nationals are trafficked into the U.S. every year; most are women and girls from Central America and Asia

- Not all victims are imported; American runaways are targeted, fed crack cocaine until addicted, then forced to work as prostitutes

When I started writing THE PROTECTOR, I had no idea how pervasive trafficking is. I knew it was a problem here and now, so I figured why not in the future? I set out to write a story about a woman who’d lost her baby to traffickers. Though she searched extensively for years with no success, she still worries about her child’s fate. Was she sold to rich people who couldn’t have children? Or sold into slavery or prostitution? Worse is her guilt. Had she not left the baby with a sitter, had she been home instead, she could have saved her child. Not likely, as the hero points out. They probably would have killed her.

She’s given a chance to make up for not protecting her own child when she rescues two girls from a slave ship. When she tries to engage the colony to stop traffickers from capturing any more children, she’s met with disbelief and/or apathy. But some colonists are willing to help.

Organizing them, spearheading the campaign against traffickers puts her in danger of losing everything she holds dear, including her life.

My main character knew firsthand the devastation caused by those in the slave trade. But how alert are we to trafficking? We read about it in the news, but it’s always someplace else—not in my backyard. A case in point is the man in Cleveland who held women hostage in his home and his family had no idea.

Being aware is the first help for victims of trafficking or abuse. Being aware and alerting authorities. If you believe someone you know might be a victim, contact your local FBI office or the Department of Justice trafficking hotline at 1-888-428-7581.

About the Book:
The Protector (An Outer Rim Novel)
by Diane Burton
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo Books | Smashwords
Genre: Romantic Adventure/Science Fiction
Release Date: July 24, 2015
Length: 370 Pages

After tavern owner Rissa Dix rescues two girls from a slave ship, she must rally the townsfolk to prevent traffickers from raiding the frontier colony. She’s met with apathy and disbelief. Because she lost her own baby to traffickers, she’s determined that no other mother will suffer the same heartache.

Industrialist heir Dillan Rusteran aids her in rescuing more children. Little do they know they’re about to tangle with a trafficking ring that puts Rissa in danger. Dillan’s loved her for years despite her claim she’s too old for him. As they fight the traffickers, will she finally see him in a new light?

Excerpt:
When she heard the rustle, Rissa stopped in the middle of the sanitary. “Whoever you are, come out. Right now.”

Another rustle then the sound of feet lightly hitting the floor. The lock slid open then slowly the door moved.

“Please,” a soft voice whispered. “Don’t hurt us.”

That sounded like a young girl. 

“Come out where I can see you.” Rissa, too, whispered.

A tall, dark-haired teen stepped out, followed by a smaller girl with light brown hair. They both looked terrified. Their hair was matted and dirt smudged their faces. Their clothes were filthy. The smells emanating from them contributed to the general san-fac odors. Rissa did her best not to react.

Holding the other girl behind her, the tall one stepped forward, jutting out her chin. “We are not going back.”

“O-kay. Back where?”

“You can’t make us. We’ll escape again.”

Rissa had to admire her bravado. “You escaped? From where?”

“Did they send you in here to get us?”

Since the taller one seemed to be the spokesperson, Rissa kept her eyes on her. Something about her was compelling. Rissa could be looking at herself at the same age. Then it hit her hard, like a blow to the stomach. That was what Miri would have looked like at that age. Same strong Traishan features—olive skin, dark hair and eyes. Same strong will.

Rissa took a deep breath to steady herself before locking the outer door. “Nobody sent me. You asked for help. What can I do?”

“Get us out of here before they discover we’re gone.” Despite the strength in the tall girl’s voice, she worked hard to keep her chin from wobbling.

“Who?” Rissa was afraid she knew.

“Those men. The Chellians. We can’t go back. We won’t.”

By the Matriarch, traffickers. 

Her lungs seized, her heart hurt so badly Rissa clutched her chest. Be strong, she told herself. Pull yourself together. No traffickers had ever come to Astron Colony before. Or even to Galeriana. She had to help the girls get away.

She glanced at the window on the far wall.

“We couldn’t open it,” the smaller girl sobbed. “We were trying when you came in. We thought you were them.”

Since Rissa was taller, she could easily reach the window. With a shove, she got it open. “Come.” She motioned to the tall girl. “You first. You can catch your friend. She’s too small to catch you.”

She cupped her hands for the girl’s foot. “Hide outside. I’ll come around and take you somewhere safe.” At the girls’ wary looks, she added, “I promise. Now go before someone comes looking for us.”

Rissa boosted her up to the open window. The tall girl hoisted herself through, disappeared for a moment then stuck her head inside.

“The ground is higher out here. Come, Anaris.” She held out her arms.

The small girl, Anaris, gave Rissa a panicked look. “You’ll come for us?”

The door rattled. “Hey,” a male yelled. “Open up.”

Anaris gave her a panicked look.

“Gimme a min,” Rissa yelled back.

“I promise to come for you,” Rissa whispered then gave her a boost. Like the tall girl, Anaris disappeared through the window. 

As Rissa reached to close it, the tall girl was there about to do the same. “Thank you.” She shut the window and ducked out of sight.

Hoping they would wait for her, Rissa walked out of the san-fac. A mech glared at her. “Whadda mean by locking the door?”

“Didn’t want you walking in on me.” She glanced over at a commotion near the freighter where she’d delivered the supplies. “What’s going?”

The pilot was yelling and his two crewmen were darting between ships, searching. 

“Damn offworlder.” The mech brushed past her into the san-fac.

When the pilot saw her, he yelled, “What did you do with them?”

Rissa looked around to see who he was shouting at. 

“You there.” He stormed up to her. “Where are those two girls?”

She affected a confused expression. “What girls?”

“My cargo, I mean passengers. Damn you to Lexol’s Fire. How did you get them out?”

The pilot’s slip confirmed what Rissa feared. The girls she helped escape had been cargo. The pilot and crew were slavers, bastards who trafficked in children. A primal urge swept through her. Kill them. Kill them now. 


About the Author:
I grew up in the Detroit-area and have lived in Portage (MI), Sedalia (MO) as well as a brief stint in Chicago-land.  I've been a Parks & Recreation supervisor, an inventory clerk for a flute store, and a long-time volunteer for Girl Scouts. My last job was for an oil and gas exploration company where I discovered the cure for insomnia—reading oil and gas leases.  My longest-running gig was as a teacher where I taught elementary kids for over 10 years.  I am a member of Romance Writers of America and the Mid-Michigan and Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal chapters of RWA. I met my own hero on a blind date. It was love at first sight--for me. It took him a little longer. We currently reside in West Michigan and have two grown children and three delightful grandchildren.

I’ve been a reader all my life, and I love movies, especially action adventure, mysteries, science fiction, and romantic comedy. CastleFirefly, and NCIS are my favorite TV shows. So is it any wonder that I write science fiction romance and romantic suspense, both with comedic elements?


Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads Amazon Author Page

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Monday, August 17, 2015

Cover Reveal - Clouded by M.S. Kaye

Clouded
By M.S. Kaye

A Sumerian water and sky god myth collides with a modern high school.
Ayanna is a math nerd, logical and rational, even cold, but Calder makes her feel things she never had before. Somehow, she’s able to accept it when she discovers he’s a reincarnated Sumerian water god. Will she be able to accept the full truth, that the story of Enki and Inanna has been reborn in a modern Ohio high school?



Release Date: 9/12/15
Inkspell Publishing

About the Author:
M.S. Kaye has several published books under her black belt. A transplant from Ohio, she resides with her husband Corey in Jacksonville, Florida, where she tries not to melt in the sun. Find suspense and the unusual at www.BooksByMSK.com.

To receive news on upcoming releases, sign up for email updates on her website.

Contact M. S. Kaye at:

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Google+  ~  Goodreads  ~ Amazon ~ Tsu ~ Pinterest ~ LinkedIn

Friday, August 14, 2015

Book Feature - A Sanguine Gem by Dawn Bower

Blurb:
Lady Gemma Kemsley is in dire straits. Her cousin Alfie inherited her father's estate upon his death. He quickly bled it dry of funds and is turning his lecherous intentions toward her. Alfie wants to have complete control over her inheritance. Without Alfie's approval she can't marry. 

She has one option—run away and live with her best friend in America. When his sister begs Liam Marsden to help Gemma he reluctantly agrees. He has a past with Gemma he'd rather forget—involving a failed attempt at betrothal and her professed love. When he sees Gemma again he realizes he can't ever let her go. Instead of sending her to America he uses the old betrothal agreement to marry her. 

Gemma doubts Liam truly loves her. Can he convince her of the veracity of his love or will he lose her forever?

Excerpt: 
Liam stepped toward her and caressed her cheek with the tips of his fingers. Her gaze locked with his. Her breathing became ragged as she gulped in air in short fast bursts.

"What are you doing?"

Instead of answering, Liam leaned down and placed a soft kiss on her lips. Her mouth opened up as she gasped. It gave him an advantage, and he saw no reason not to take it. The tip of his tongue touched hers as he pulled her tighter in his embrace. Liam coaxed her with his mouth—wanting to fill her with every inch of desire coursing through his veins. She needed to be with him every step of the way. This was only the beginning of his fight to own all of her soul. Her body relaxed against him, and he took it as a sign. She wasn't as immune to him as she wanted him to believe. Gemma still wanted him. He could use that and he would.


Liam took a step back, pleased with what he saw. Gemma's eyelids were closed, her lips slightly parted and moist, and her cheeks a pretty pink. Her eyelashes fluttered up, and irises of green fire met his—she looked both a little dazed and well pleasured. They could move forward now. He'd  managed to get her exactly where he wanted her—he’d built a craving in her she’d never experienced before. Soon, he’d make sure she got a taste of it all. 

"The carriage awaits us outside. I think it is time for us to depart."

Gemma cleared her throat and sook her head. She looked up at him and nodded. "Very well."

Liam hooked her arm over his and for the first time that evening believed that they may have a chance. She hadn't once snapped at him since she walked down the stairs.

"You look lovely, by the way. I love the color green on you."

About the Author:
Dawn Brower holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, a Master of Arts in Education, and is currently working on a Master of Arts in Liberal Arts with concentrations in Literature, History, and Sociology. She works as a substitute teacher and enjoys the flexibility it gives her to concentrate on her other endeavors. 

Growing up she was the only girl out of six children. She is a single mother of two teenage boys; there is never a dull moment in her life. Reading books is her favorite hobby. There is nothing like a nice glass of wine and a good book to relax with at the end of the day.

There are always stories inside her head; she just never thought she could make them come to life. That creativity has finally found an outlet. Visit www.authordawnbrower.com for more information.

Social Media Links:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/DawnMarieBrower
Twitter: www.twitter.com/dawnab33
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8062943.Dawn_Brower
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dawn-Brower/e/B00KBBRW5E/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1422936275&sr=8-1
Newsletter: http://www.authordawnbrower.com/newsletter.html
Blog: https://dawnbrower.wordpress.com/

Get it at: 
Amazon: hyperurl.co/ntklt0
BN: hyperurl.co/htc8k2
Kobo: hyperurl.co/ziyfxp
All Romance: hyperurl.co/b2ygqg
iTunes: hyperurl.co/5x0vno

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Book Feature - Already Home a Maguire's Corner Novel by Heather M. Gardner



Already Home (A Maguire's Corner Novel - Book 1)
by Heather M. Gardner
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo Books | All Romance Books
Published by: InkSpell Publishing
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Re-Release Date: May 30, 2015
Length: 176 Pages

Coffee shop owner Maggie Maguire doesn’t trust the new police chief her father hired to protect Maguire’s Corner. He’s a stranger, cold, bossy and annoyingly handsome. But, Maggie’s witnessed a serious crime and now someone’s trying to kill her. The man that aggravates her most might be the only one that can help her.

Police Chief Jack Munro likes his new job and his new town, and unfortunately he also likes the stubborn but beautiful town sweetheart. His self-imposed hands-off Maggie policy is about to be put to the ultimate test when he must keep her close to protect her while he tracks down a ruthless killer.

Determined to ignore Jack’s charms, Maggie attempts to help him unravel the mystery but when their lives hang in the balance she must decide how much she’s willing to risk to save the man she suddenly can’t resist.

Excerpt:
Moving back he caged her against the wall with his arms and body. Leaning in, his lips hovering over hers, he stopped.

“What are we doing?” he asked, his voice hushed.

“I don’t know.”

“Tell me you want this.”

Kate shrugged. “You think I’m complicated.”

“You are complicated. This whole thing is complicated. It doesn’t mean I don’t want it.”

Rhys lifted one hand from the wall and placed his palm on her chest, over her heart, which tripled in speed under the warmth and weight of it.

“Mac.”

“No,” he said, “You never call me Mac.”

“Rhys.”

“Better.”

Kate licked her lips, enjoying the way Rhys’s gaze followed the movement of her tongue. “Everyone calls you Mac.”

“You never do.”

“I didn’t know you noticed.”

“I’ve noticed lots of things.” Rhys closed the gap between them, kissing the corner of her mouth.

“Like what?”

“You taste amazing.” He kissed her lips lightly, drawing the bottom one between his own before releasing it. “Your eyes glitter in the sun.” His lips glided along her jaw. “You’re vulnerable right here.” He found the spot on her neck that had her holding her breath and biting down on her own lip.


One Good Catch (A Maguire's Corner Novel - Book 2)
by Heather M. Gardner
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo Books | All Romance Books
Published by: InkSpell Publishing
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: March 11, 2015
Length: 173 Pages

Ignoring a recent trauma that affects her everyday life, ER Doctor Kate Maguire engages in some high risk activities, but these situations aren’t enough to feed her edginess. She needs something more. When her brother’s high school best friend comes back to town, it’s her chance for a ‘no strings attached’ fling with the man who still headlines all her best dreams.

Rhys MacGrath’s days of one-night-stands are long over. The pro-football player might be side-lined at rehab for a shoulder injury, but that doesn’t mean he can’t admire and desire the all-grown-up, so-damn-hot, version of the tomboy he once knew. His sudden interest in Kate might aggravate his best friend, but it’s her indifference that drives Rhys crazy.

Everything heats up when Kate’s nosy nature puts her in the line of fire of an arsonist forcing Kate and Rhys to deal with more than just the sparks igniting between them.

About the Author:
Heather M. Gardner's love of books began on the hand-woven rugs of her small town library where her mother worked. There she had a never-ending supply of stories to read at her fingertips. As a teen, her favorite genres to curl up with were romance and mysteries. When she started to create her own stories, they were the perfect fit.

Heather resides in New York with her best friend who is also her husband, plus her talented and handsome son. She is currently owned by four stray cats. Heather's a full-time mom, works part-time from home, a chocolate enthusiast, coffee junkie, cat addict, book hoarder and fluent in sarcasm.

Heather's Media Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Google+ | Pinterest | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

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