Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Sudetenland by George T. Chronis Excerpt & Giveaway


BLURB:
Sudetenland© is the premiere novel by author George T. Chronis. The book delivers suspenseful and sweeping historical fiction set against Central European intrigue during the late 1930s leading up to 1938′s Munich Conference. The characters are the smart and sometimes wise-cracking men and women of this era – the foreign correspondents, intelligence officers, diplomats and career military – who are on the front lines of that decade’s most dangerous political crisis. With three million ethnic Germans in Bohemia at stake, Adolph Hitler’s unshakeable will demands that the Sudetenland be ripped from Czechoslovakia and joined with Germany. The novel takes readers behind the scenes into the deliberations and high drama taking place within the major capitals of Europe as the continent hurtles toward the crucible of a shooting war.

EXCERPT:
Ros strutted into Lasky's office, coming to a dead end in front of the wood desk that was as long as Rhode Island. She tapped the sole of her shoe on the floor impatiently while Lasky bellowed at someone else in the newsroom. At least the afternoon view over Manhattan was pleasing. Blowing in like a foul wind, Lasky slammed the door and walked right past her.

"Boss, I'm sorry to run a little fast with your image back there," Ros offered up in appeasement.
Still rounding his desk, Lasky shook her off with a wave of his hand. "Forget it. That's not why you're here. I have a job for you."

Wondering whether she should be concerned or happy, Ros decided to play along. "What kind of job?"

Sitting down, Lasky rifled through some paperwork until he found the document he was looking for.

"Yeah, go find this guy Lester downstairs, he'll get you all set up. Lodging, fares, advances, the whole low-down," Lasky finished, handing her the form.

"Who's Lester? What are you talking about? Where am I going?" she blurted out before taking a wild glance at the paperwork.

Lasky thought if he could keep Ros distracted, maybe he could get the problem child on the boat before she could cry about needing a raise. He reached out and grabbed the form back. Throwing it on the desktop, Lasky signed the paper with his fountain pen.

Done, he thrust the page back at Ros. "Paris. I'm sending you to Paris."

Ros looked down at the form, then at Lasky, then back at the form. "I'm going to Paris? When did someone around here start liking me?"

"Stop dreaming, no one around here likes you," Lasky taunted her while he walked back around to the front of his desk. "That screwy Miranda just stabbed me in the back. She found herself some guy over there, got married, and now she's running off to some French island in the Caribbean. I need someone to pick up the pieces in Paris. That's you."

"Just slow down. Miranda got hitched?" all of the angles weren't coming together in Ros' head.
"Yeah, nice announcement: Hi Harry, I got married, and I quit," Lasky mimicked a feminine voice. These damn ditzy broads were always letting him down. But Ros showed promise.

Pointing his finger repeatedly at her nose, he continued his rant. "Miranda left me high and dry, so I'm sending you to pick up the pieces. You, I don't have to worry about. With that mouth, no one is going to be marrying you."

"Harry!" Ros yelled indignantly. "You're not painting a very enticing picture for me here. What if I don't want to go to Paris?"

Lasky stared at her incredulously. "Who doesn't want to go to Paris? Any one of those stooges out there would kill to go to Paris but none of them have what you've got."

With her natural skepticism starting to boil over, Ros leaned in closer and started jabbing Lasky in the shoulder with two fingers, slowly backing him up against the desk.

"I know what you're up to Harry," her tone low and threatening. "Miranda was on a fashion beat. That means to you the only thing I got that those mugs out there don't have, is boobs. It's another glorified gossip beat, you rat!"

"It's Paris! C'mon, every woman wants to go to Paris," Lasky shouted in his defense.

"That's not the point," Ros continued poking him. "I'm tired of going to county fairs. I'm tired of the only labor unrest stories coming my way having to be in washing machine factories. I'm tired of reporting on this ditzy socialite, and that boring dolt of a millionaire. I want a real beat like a real reporter, Harry. I can do the job just as good, or better, as those guys out there and I cost less."

"Stop trying to get on my good side," Lasky retorted, readying his counter attack. He hadn't expected this much of a fight. But he needed her and he couldn't run the risk of her bolting.

"Listen, give me a chance here. You're the only person I've got who can jump in and take over for Miranda. But you're also a hell of a lot better than she is... err, was. You won't have to work as hard to cover her beat. In case you haven't noticed, between the Nazis and Mussolini, there's one crisis after another going on over in Europe. I'm sure there's going to be some important stories Walter and our boys won't be able to get to. What you do with your free time is up to you."

Somewhere in there were a couple of compliments, but she wasn't going to let him twist free that easily. Paris did sound kind of nice, and he was throwing her a bone in the way of real work, but Ros was sure the beat would take up more time than Lasky was promising, and she wanted something else from him... for pride, and because she could.  So Ros just silently stared Lasky down, daring him to add one more carrot to get her to sign on.

"Okay, and I'll throw in a raise," Lasky conceded after a long standoff.

"Done!" Ros threw her arm out to shake hands with Lasky to seal the deal.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:
After years as a journalist and magazine editor, George T. Chronis decided to return to his lifelong passion, storytelling. A lover of both 1930s cinema and world history, Chronis is now devoted to bringing life to the mid-20th Century fictional narratives that have been in his thoughts for years. Sudetenland© is his first novel. Taking place during turbulent times in Central Europe during the 1930s, the book took eight years to research and write. The author is already hard at work on his second novel.

Chronis is married with two daughters, and lives with his wife in a Southern California mountain community.

Links

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GIVEAWAY:
George T. Chronis will be awarding $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn host. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:  http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2014/10/blurb-blitz-sudetenland-by-george-t.html
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Dark Wolf Enterprises by A. M. Griffin Excerpt & Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The big break Trudy Hollander’s small accounting firm needs has finally arrived, but unfortunately it comes with murder, mayhem and Kristof Farkas, a man she just can’t seem to resist. Even worse, Kristof is the CFO of Dark Wolf Enterprises—the one person who can pull the plug on the job that will take her company to the next level.

And then there are the assassins who can jump from three stories up and still be able to run away…

Kristof has no intention of giving in to his inner wolf and claiming Trudy. She’s human. Too fragile to withstand being a shifter’s mate. But the need to protect her is stronger than his resolve, and his desire is more powerful yet. He’ll fight with everything he has to keep her safe, both from those who would hurt her, and from himself.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Kristof leaned back against the car as the police vehicles came to a screeching halt not too far from him. Two officers jumped from the vehicle with guns drawn and trained on him and Lajos.

“Don’t make a move! Put your hands up where I can see them!”

“Aw, this is just great,” Lajos said.

Kristof put his hands up and clasped them behind his head. “Do as the nice humans have asked,” he whispered.

“Are you the punks that broke into the house?” one of the officers asked, as he looked down the barrel of the gun.

“No officer. My brother and I have an appointment with Gertrude Hollander. When we arrived we noticed her kitchen window had been broken. We looked through the window and saw some men trying to break down one of the doors inside.” Kristof tilted his head toward Lajos. “This is my brother Lajos. He broke the front door down to try to capture them while I went to the back to head them off.”

“Uh huh, so where did these other men go?”

“They got away sir.”

“Sure they did,” the officer said, not too convinced.

Kristof resisted the urge to glare at the human. “We just flew in from Michigan. I have my wallet in my pocket. If you’ll allow me, I’ll retrieve it for you.”

“Sure, and while you’re getting your wallet you can also get out your gun.” Both officers laughed. “Keep your hands up. My partner will get your wallets. One move and I’ll make your night.”

At that, Kristof did glare. But he stood still as he was patted down and his wallet removed. After the officer finished with Lajos, with wallets in hand, he went back to his partner. “Their ID says who they say they are.”

His gaze flickered to two women, one holding a dog, the other in curlers, and a man walking toward them. Although the dog no longer barked, he recognized them both instantly. The wolf in him stirred.

She drew closer and stood behind the officers. He didn’t have enough time to appreciate her before, but now there was no mistaking. Gertrude Hollander was beautiful. She was taller than most human females and had a shape he could appreciate. She didn’t look like one of those starving female models that human men seemed to fawn over. No, she had curves—nice curves.

“Ma’am, are you the one who called the police?” The police officer asked.

“Yes, Officer.”

“Are those the men who tried to attack you?”

When her gaze rested on him, he saw that her eyes were the prettiest green he’d even seen. Then she looked to Lajos and then back to him. “N-no.”

“Take a good look. Are you sure?”

“I’m sure. The other guys were the same ones that broke into my business yesterday. They were paler than these two, bigger and had on all black. Their hair was longer too.”

“These two say they had an appointment with you, is this true?”

Her eyes instantly brightened. “Oh my God!”

She rushed forward and his wolf sniffed the air that she stirred. His wolf pushed forward. Kristof closed his eyes to control the shift. Not now.

About the Author:A. M. Griffin is a wife who rarely cooks, mother of three, dog owner (and sometimes dog owned), a daughter, sister, aunt and friend. She’s a hard worker whose two favorite outlets are reading and writing. She enjoys reading everything from mystery novels to historical romances and of course fantasy romance. She is a believer in the unbelievable, open to all possibilities from mermaids in our oceans and seas, angels in the skies and intelligent life forms in distant galaxies.

Where you can find me:

Website: http://www.amgriffinbooks.com/
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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

In Deep and In Deeper by Kella McKinnon On Alpha Males & Giveaway


BLURB:
“I never thought it would go this far… that a man with such terrible secrets would steal my heart and make me want him so much, when his life of danger and lies should have made me want nothing more than to turn and run. I understood him, you see. I knew that beneath all of that money and power, and yes… violence, was a man in desperate need of love. So desperate that he took from me something I wasn’t ready to give: my future.”

Brielle Dalton thought the few months in Vegas she needed to finish her dissertation would also be a chance to have some fun before ‘real life’ took over. But she never counted on meeting Cristos Vicario, the irresistible but troubled owner of the Adagio casino. The attraction was instant and all-consuming, but in the beginning neither knew that their lives had crossed before, and the result had been nothing short of tragedy. By the time Brielle discovers who Cristos really is, and what he has done in a reckless attempt to keep her, it’s too late. She’s already in too deep.

On Alpha Males… by Kella McKinnon
Women love alpha males, myself included.  I probably wouldn’t want to have to deal with one in my everyday life (okay, I know I wouldn’t), but in my personal fantasies and my favorite romance reads, yeah, Alphas reign supreme.

In my newest novel “In Deep”, the heroine is an anthropologist, and she acknowledges that although she’s a modern, liberated woman, she still swoons for a powerful, take-charge kind of guy, and she attributes her reaction to biology.  More specifically, the biology we’ve inherited from our distant ancestors, who lived when life wasn’t quite so easy as it is now, and the only career path for men or women was basically to do whatever it took to survive another day.  In all of those thousands of years before grocery stores and the criminal justice system, what kind of man would a woman be looking for? 

I’ll tell you what I’d be looking for… the biggest, baddest guy around.  The one that could ward off an attack from a rival tribe and still bring home a nice juicy slab of meat for dinner.  He would do anything to protect his woman, because he recognized her value as his mate and the mother of his children: the next generation.  Sound familiar?

Now, we women are more empowered than ever.  We don’t need a man to protect us or hunt for our dinner. But there’s still a little part of us that appreciates the alpha male.  We can’t help it; it’s in our DNA.  Is that why we love those domineering, take-charge, possessive heroes?  I think so…


EXCERPT:
In Deep

I turned to Cristos and offered him a casual smile.  He was watching me, his expression unreadable at the moment, which bothered me.  I’m usually very good at reading people.  It’s second nature to me, so much so that I often don’t even know how I do it, so I felt a little bit blind when it came to this man.  And of course when people are very hard to read, they usually have something to hide.  His stoic silence was making me squirm, so I made an attempt at conversation.
               
“Thank you… for taking me to dinner.  Where are we going?”
               
His expression relaxed into a devilish smile.  “My pleasure, Brielle.  And it’s a surprise.”
               
He shifted his body a little so that the length of his thigh was pressing against mine.  A jolt of heat raced through me at the contact, but when I looked up again, he was gazing past me and out the window, so I couldn’t tell if he’d done it on purpose.  I had the sudden, disconcerting urge to crawl into his lap and rub up against him.  Just thinking about it was making my heart beat faster.
              
“We’re almost there”, he said.
                
“Already?”
               
He laughed.  “Vegas is a small city.  Were you hoping the ride would last longer?”  He pressed just a little bit closer, and I tried to scoot a bit farther away so that I didn’t suddenly lose my mind and actually crawl onto his lap.  The way my body was reacting to him, it was a distinct possibility, and I needed to be careful or I was going to end up looking like either a slut or an idiot, neither of which was flattering.
               
His hand came down gently on my thigh and my breath hitched in my throat.  “Are you sure you’re not afraid of me, CariƱo?”
               
He was looking at me with those sexy eyes again, and I felt like I could fly.  “No.  I’m not afraid of you,” I said with a little laugh.
                
“Good.  If it’s not fear I’m sensing from you, then it must be desire.”  His voice was deep and just a little husky.  He was so near, so real, so hedonistically male.
               
I could only stare at him for a long moment, during which Dante opened the partition to announce our arrival, breaking the spell I had apparently fallen under.  Be careful, Brie, or you’ll end up hitching a ride home with his personal assistant later.
               
The car pulled to a stop at the curb, and Dante came around to open the door for us.  Criss got out and then reached for my hand.  I slipped mine into his and that same thrill went through me at the contact.  His grip tightened.  I stepped out onto the curb, and was shocked to see several people with cameras raised in our direction.  Dante stepped protectively between us and the crowd, and Criss took my arm.
               
“Ignore them, Brie.  Just keep walking.”
               
I did, and within moments we were inside a posh looking restaurant, and being shown to our table as Dante disappeared toward the car.
               
Once we were comfortably seated at an intimate corner table, I leaned closer.
               
“Does that happen all the time?  The photographers?”
               
He shrugged as he opened the wine list and perused the pages.  “Sometimes.  Other times I manage not to be noticed.  It just goes with the territory.”
               
“Oh…”
               
His eyes flicked up to mine.  “Don’t worry, Dante will keep them from bothering us during dinner.”
               
He signaled the waiter, who hurried over to our table.  “A bottle of your best red, please.  And ask the chef to prepare something special for us tonight.”
               
The waiter’s eyes practically sparkled as he gave a little bow and headed for the kitchen. No doubt he was anticipating a rather large tip.

Criss turned his full attention to me, leaning his elbows on the table and casually running one finger over his full bottom lip.  “Alexis tells me you’re a student in anthropology.”

His eyes, god… they burned right through me.  I had to clear my throat a little.  “Yes, I’m just finishing up my Ph.D., which of course is why I’m here in Vegas.”

“Why anthropology?  It’s kind of unusual, isn’t it?”

I smiled, my love for the subject undoubtedly shining through.  “It just comes naturally to me, I suppose.  I’ve always loved to study people, figure them out, their motives and interactions.  I sort of have a knack for understanding all that on a really basic level that most people never see.  It’s fascinating to me, always has been.”

He leaned closer and gave me a dark smile, his lips curving up dangerously.  “And are you going to figure me out, Brielle?”

“I don’t know”, I said quite honestly.  It was already obvious to me that the man ran pretty deep, and I had a very hard time reading him.  The one thing I did know for sure is that if I let him have the upper hand with me, this spark we seemed to have would go nowhere.  If I fell into the mold he made for me, I was certain he would use me up and then walk away.  He would probably do that anyway. That must be the way he had always managed to avoid relationships, because women tried so hard to become what he wanted them to be.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:               
Hello everyone!  Let me introduce myself.  Though I used to work in Boston in the biotech industry, I’m now loving life on a small farm in New England where my husband and I are raising our three children and lots of animals.  Between taking care of chickens and goats and shuttling the kids to dance class and piano lessons, I find the time to pursue my own interest: writing.  I relish creating stories and bringing my characters to life on the written page, and each book is a labor of love.  

I’m passionate about the romance genre because of the emotional journey a well-written novel can take the reader on, and my goal with each of my books is to do the same for my readers.  I would love to hear from you at kellamckinnon.com, or kellamckinnon@gmail.com.






GIVEAWAY:
Prizes for the tour are as follows:
• One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.
• One randomly chosen host will receive a $25 Amazon/BN.com gift card.
 The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, December 29, 2014

Purely Professional By Elia Winters The Reality of Being an Author & Giveaway


BLURB:
Columnist Bridget Hartwell agrees to write about BDSM to impress her new executive editor at Sultry, the “sex-positive magazine for sex-positive women.” Unfortunately, it’s a topic she knows absolutely nothing about…but if she ever wants that promotion, she’ll need to learn the ropes, fast.

English professor Max Harlow is active in the Dom/sub scene, but only for casual play—he’s never found his ideal partner: a woman who is his equal, but sexually submissive. When he’s asked to explain the lifestyle to his cute but obviously inexperienced neighbor, Max is certain it’s best to approach it academically—to keep things purely professional.

Until Bridget’s first article is a huge hit, giving her the perfect excuse to delve deeper into the naturally submissive side of her sexuality. But as their encounters intensify and each of her boundaries is skillfully pushed, Bridget must decide what this all means… for her identity, her career, and, most importantly, her future with Max.

My Crazy-Busy Writing Life: The Reality of Being an Author

I used to think my life was going to change when I got published. Those were the dark days when I wasn’t even sending out query letters - I was too afraid to send out query letters, so I just thought about sending out query letters. And sometimes I would send a few, and they’d come back rejected, and I’d think longingly of that day in the future when I would have an agent and get published and everything would be so much easier. In the meantime, I kept writing, and eventually I wrote enough crap that I started to write things that were actually pretty good, and then I landed an agent and signed a book contract and now I’m retired and I sit on the beach sipping margaritas and typing all day.

Except that isn’t at all what happened.

It’s true, a few things have changed since I went from “writer” to “author.” First off, I never get tired of using the words “my agent,” and I giggle every time because who am I, a Hollywood starlet? That’s been pretty awesome. And I definitely have more confidence in my writing now, since people wiser than me tell me it’s good and then help me make it better. But the general, day-to-day part of being “one who writes books” hasn’t changed. It turns out the reality of being a published author is pretty similar to the reality of being an unpublished author, except with more deadlines. I manage my busy schedule through two key actions: 1) paying attention to the seasons of busyness for each activity, and 2) being a judicious steward of my time.

Regarding seasons of busyness: not every task I do is full-throttle all the time. During research paper grading time, Drama production week, right before the yearbook deadline, final paper season for my graduate coursework - these are the times when I put aside what’s not immediately pressing. If everything is a priority, nothing is a priority, and so I carefully cultivate what I’m not going to focus on. For someone like me who’s a recovering perfectionist, this is difficult every single time.

The other key has been learning to be a judicious steward of my time. This is an ongoing challenge, but I’ve become much better at it than in years past. When I’m working on something, I just work on that one thing, whether it’s grading papers, reading a novel, or writing/editing my own work. Then I set a limit on each task: I’m going to grade 8 papers, or read 5 chapters, or write for one hour. Dividing my work into manageable doses makes it sustainable for me.

The reality of being an author is that I don’t have any more hours in the day than I did when I was just writing for myself, and if I don’t prioritize my writing, it doesn’t happen. The other reality of being an author is that if I’m not diligent with myself, I fall into some unproductive patterns. When I’m working under deadlines, I give myself no wiggle room and I’m incredibly prolific. But when I’m between projects, I languish. I recently finished revisions of Combustion, a Steampunk erotic romance, and that marks the last novel I have in the publishing pipeline right now. In addition to Purely Professional that came out earlier this year, I have Playing Knotty releasing in March and Combustion releasing in May. But I have three more first drafts - not even first drafts, zero drafts, because they aren’t good enough to be called first drafts yet - sitting on my hard drive, untouched. I need to get the first of those polished up and sent to my agent to keep the publication wheels turning, so before the new year I’m going to crack open the dusty hard drive annals and launch into revisions.

It may not be beaches and margaritas, but it’s still all part of the job, and I absolutely love it.

EXCERPT:
“What about your fantasies?”

Bridget hesitated.

“What? What is it?” Catching her hesitation, Max looked up from the Scrabble board.

“It’s just...” She paused and took a swig of beer. “I’ve had a lot of crushes on men in positions of power. My volleyball coach back in high school, my internship coordinator in college, a few professors...” Realizing he was grinning, she blushed, remembering he was a professor. “Right. Anyway, I never acted on any of them.”

“And yet you complain that you date weak men.” He swirled the beer around in his bottle and held it up to the light, his gaze thoughtful and distant.

“Well, I don’t want some guy to boss me around.” To hide the discomfort she suddenly felt, Bridget looked down at the board. She played reach off the H in hinder and fumbled as she chose four new tiles.

“I think we both know that’s a lie.“ Max said smoothly, and he drank his beer. “I’ll bet you’re just afraid of what kind of woman you would be if you gave in to those urges.” He rubbed a tile between a thumb and forefinger, then set it back on his shelf. “I’ve been doing this a long time, Bridget. You responded today like a natural submissive. You liked more than just the sex. You liked all of it.”

She set down her beer and looked at him. “All right.” She tried not to sound defensive. “So what does that mean?”

“It doesn’t have to mean anything.” Max shrugged. “Maybe this afternoon, I just want to play some Scrabble with you and order a pizza. But when we’re done with all this experimenting, you’re going to have a lot to write about.”


AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Elia Winters has always been a New England girl, despite having spent much of her childhood in Florida. She holds a degree in English Literature and teaches at a small rural high school where she runs too many extracurricular activities. She balances her love of the outdoors with a  bottomless well of geekiness.

Elia dabbles in many genres, but erotic romance has been one of her favorites since she first began sneaking her mother’s romance novels. In high school, she kept her friends entertained with a steady stream of naughty stories and somehow never got caught passing them around. Her erotic fiction and poetry have been published online at Clean Sheets and Scarlet Letters under a different name. Elia currently lives in New England with her loving husband and their odd assortment of pets.

Elia’s virtual life is as busy as her real life. In addition to her website, http://eliawinters.com/, you can also find her on:






Purely Professional is available from:




and other ebook retailers.


GIVEAWAY:Elia will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn host. 
The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 
a Rafflecopter giveaway