Favorite Quotes on Books and Reading

"A book is a gift you can open again and again." Garrison Keillor

Literature is a textually transmitted disease, normally contracted in childhood.” Jane Yolen

"It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." Oscar Wilde

"Books have furnished, burnished, and enabled my life." Julia Keller

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Book Showcase: END OF THE ROAD by LS Hawker

End of the Road

by LS Hawker

on Tour January 30th - February 28, 2017



Synopsis:


End of the Road by L.S. Hawker

Great minds can change the world

or leave it in ruins . . .


When tech prodigy Jade Veverka creates a program to communicate with her autistic sister, she's tapped by a startup to explore the potential applications of her technology. But Jade quickly begins to notice some strange things about the small Kansas town just beyond the company's campus—why are there no children anywhere to be seen, and for that matter, anyone over the age of forty? Why do all of the people living here act uncomfortable and jumpy?
On the way home one night, Jade and her co-worker are run off the road, and their lab and living spaces are suddenly overrun with armed guards, purportedly for their safety. Confined to the compound and questioning what her employers might be hiding from her, Jade fears she's losing control not only of her invention, but of her very life. It soon becomes clear that the threat reaches far beyond Jade and her family, and the real danger is much closer than she'd ever imagined.


Book Details:


Genre: Thriller
Published by: Witness Impulse
Publication Date:  January 31st 2017
Number of Pages: 384
ISBN: 006243523X (ISBN13: 9780062435231)
Purchase Links: Amazon  | Barnes & Noble  | Goodreads 




Read an excerpt:



September 7

Jade Veverka unwrapped the frozen bomb pop she'd bought from the gas station on the corner of Main and 3rd and took a bite. She sat gazing at the pile of magazines on the barbershop coffee table while a rhythmic alarm-clock buzz went off in her head. Not an urgent warning, just buzz buzz buzz.
Her friend and coworker Elias Palomo sat in the barber chair, getting his customary fade crew cut, the same one he'd presumably sported since his plebe days at the Naval Academy. So the background to her mental alarm clock was an actual buzzing from the electric razor punctuated now by a sharp yip of pain from Elias.
"Sorry about that," the barber said.
Elias rubbed his ear, and Jade attempted to keep her face neutral, looking at his scowl in the mirror.
Buzz buzz buzz.
She leaned forward and fanned the magazines—Popular Mechanics, Sports Illustrated, ESPN—all this month's issues. Jade took another bite of bomb pop and grinned.
"What are you smiling at?" Elias grumbled, rubbing his nicked ear.
"I don't know how to tell you this," Jade said, "but you are not the center of my universe. I do occasionally react to things outside of you. I know it comes as a shock."
"Shut up," he said, his dark eyes flashing.
Jade stared now in fascination as the razor tracked upwards on Elias's skull, his glossy black hair—or what was left of it—uneven, his scalp an angry pink. This guy was the worst hair dresser Jade had ever seen. And the least talkative. In her experience, growing up in rural Ephesus, Kansas, barbers had always fit the stereotype—gregarious and gossipy.
Elias was the shop's lone customer, and only a few folks walked by outside the window, through which Jade could see the hardware store and the occasional slow passing car.
Buzz buzz buzz.
It struck Jade now that this was less a barbershop than what amounted to a barbershop museum, complete with an actor playing the part of the barber. She wanted to point this out to Elias, but it would mean nothing to him. He'd grown up in Reno, Nevada, a vast metropolis compared to Jade's 1200-population hometown an hour southeast of this one, which was called Miranda, Kansas.
Not only was this man not a barber, he wasn't a Kansan either, Jade would have bet money.
"Hey," she said to him. "What's your name?"
The man went on butchering as if she hadn't spoken. Elias's eyes met Jade's in the mirror, and his dark thick brows met on either side of a vertical crease, his WTF? wrinkle. He leaned his head away from the razor, finally making the barber pay attention.
"The lady asked you a question," Elias said.
Jade had to hold in a guffaw. This never failed to tickle her, him referring to her as a lady. No one other than him had ever done that before. Plus she loved the authoritative rumble of his voice, a trait he'd probably developed at Annapolis.
The barber froze, his eyes locked with Elias's. Weird.
"Need a prompt?" Elias said. "Your name."
The man cleared his throat.
"Is it classified?"
Jade did guffaw this time, and she watched the barber's jaw muscles compress as she clapped a hand over her mouth.
"My name's Richard."
"Hello, Richard, I'm Elias. This is Jade. We work out at SiPraTech."
Jade could see from Richard's face he knew very well where they worked. He nodded and got back to destroying the remains of Elias's hair.
"Whereabouts you from, Richard?" Jade said.
He pulled the razor away from Elias's head and blinked at her.
What in the world was this guy's problem?
Buzz buzz buzz.
Elias emitted a loud sigh, clearly exasperated by the guy's reticence, and waved a hand as if to say, "Carry on, barber-not-barber."
Jade laughed again.
"Here," Richard mumbled. "I'm from here."
Like hell. What was he, in the witness protection program or something?
And then it hit her. The magazines, every last one of them, was a current issue. In a barbershop. The place where back issues of magazines go to die.
She'd worked for SiPraTech just over three months now, and Miranda, the closest town, had always given her an itch. Something about it was slightly off, but she couldn't say what. She'd brought it up to her team members—Elias, Berko Deloatch, and Olivia Harman, and each of them had looked at her like she was schitzy. They all came from big cities, so Miranda struck them as weird in general.
Buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz.
As if drawn by static electricity, her eyes tracked to the window where a man in mirrored shades peered into the barbershop. The man had a dark mustache and wore a blue baseball cap pulled low over the sunglasses.
What was he staring at? She glanced behind her, but there was nothing to see but a white wall. When she turned back, the man mouthed something at her, his exaggerated soundless enunciation wringing a sharp intake of breath from her.
"What?" Elias said in response to her gasp.
Was it her imagination, or did this man she'd never seen before say her name?
Jade Veverka.
She looked at Elias, and said, "There's a man out there—"


Author Bio:


LS HAWKER
LS HAWKER grew up in suburban Denver, indulging her worrisome obsession with true-crime books, and writing stories about anthropomorphic fruit and juvenile delinquents. She wrote her first novel at 14.

Armed with a B.S. in journalism from the University of Kansas, she had a radio show called "People Are So Stupid," edited a trade magazine and worked as a traveling Kmart portrait photographer, but never lost her passion for fiction writing.

She's got a hilarious, supportive husband, two brilliant daughters, and a massive music collection. She lives in Colorado but considers Kansas her spiritual homeland. She is the author of The Drowning Game, a USA Today Bestseller, and Body and Bone.

Visit Ms. Hawker's Website , her Twitter Feed , & her Facebook Page .




Tour Participants:

Visit the other tour participants for interviews, guest posts, reviews, & more great giveaways!







Check Out This Awesome Giveaway:



This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for LS Hawker and William Morrow. There will be 3 US winners of one (1) eBook Coupon for End of the Road by LS Hawker. The giveaway begins on January 24th and runs through March 2nd, 2017.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Book Blast: REVEALING NICOLA by Sam Cheever

Revealing Nicola by Sam Cheever Tour Banner

Revealing Nicola

by Sam Cheever

February 21, 2017 Book Blast



Revealing Nicola by Sam Cheever

Synopsis:



She has to overcome a lifetime of secrets…the shock of discovery.
He must protect a treasure that has turned passion to hate…reason to incoherence.
Poisoned by danger, intrigue, lust, and greed…their very survival is in the balance.
Can they endure the conspiracy and find love? And if they do…will it be enough?



Book Details:


Genre:Romantic Suspense, Thriller
Published by: Electric Prose Publications
Publication Date: February 7, 2017
Number of Pages: 183
ISBN: 978-1-63587-971-1
Series: La Fortuna DeVitis #1
Purchase Links: Amazon  | Barnes & Noble  | iTunes  | Goodreads 


Read an excerpt:



A coughing sound engaged Franco's training and he had her on the ground beneath him before the second shot was fired.
The roast chicken exploded, sending shredded meat across the table and raining over them.
Nici's eyes were wide with fear. "What?"
"Stay down. Don't move."
He crawled off her, reaching for his piece as he positioned himself between the car and the table. From the trajectory of the shots, Franco figured the shooter had gone high, probably sitting in a tree to the south of their position. If Nic stayed down on the ground between the table and the Jeep she should be out of his range. But he had no intention of leaving her there.
He needed to get her into the car and out of that park as fast as he could.
Another shot sighed past, hitting the side of the car. Behind him, Nic yelped and he was afraid she'd been hit. "You all right?"
"Other than peeing myself? I'm just dandy. You need to get down, Franco. You're going to get shot."
He couldn't help smiling as his gaze slid slowly along the perimeter. "I'm the bodyguard, remember? I'm the one who's supposed to get shot."
"Don't even joke about that."
There! A dark form shifted between the branches of a tree, seventy-five yards away. Franco dived to the ground as three rounds peppered the table, spewing food in a messy arc around them. "Damn! This guy's good."
"Well yeah, I can see he's really pissed off at that potato salad."
Franco barked out a laugh. "Keep it down back there. I'm trying to concentrate."
"Well can you hurry? I really do have to pee and I'm thinking you don't want me to squat right here."
The words were light but her voice quavered with fear. He nodded. "You're right. Let's quit screwing around with these jerks. When I say 'go', I want you to roll over to the car and slide underneath it. Move as quickly as you can to the other side and climb in. Keep your head down."
"What about you?"
"I'll be right behind you."
"Okay."
Franco lifted his head so he could see the guy in the tree. He hadn't moved. He scanned the roads around the park and saw they were empty. Then he checked his magazine and found it half full. Hopefully it would be enough because his spare ammo was in the canvas bag in the back of the Jeep. He'd beat himself up for his carelessness later. At the moment he had bigger problems.
The SUV he'd seen driving past had pulled into position on the opposite side of the park, pinning them in.
"Franco?"
He slid back down, assessing his options. "No good. They've got the other side of the car covered now."
She sighed so long and hard he glanced her way. She was glaring at him. "I told you I needed my gun."
He shook his head, thinking fast. There had to be some way… Franco shoved at the picnic table but it was bolted down. Too bad, he thought, it would have made a good shield while they climbed into the car. His gaze caught on the trash can beside the table. It was metal, hopefully filled with a nice depth of neutralizing trash. It wasn't much but it was the best chance they had. "Okay, new plan. I'm going to lay down cover fire while you climb into the Jeep on this side. Lie down on the floor in the back."
"Then how are you going to get in?"
"I'm going to use that trash can as a shield."
Silence met his statement. "While shooting, opening the car door, and driving away?"
"I didn't say it was a good plan."
"Here's a better one. Give me the gun. I'll provide cover while you grab the can and we can both use it to get into the car."
"Not a chance."
"Dammit, Franco! What's the point in my having all this self-defense training if nobody will let me use it?"
"That's a last ditch plan."
"This is about as last ditch as it gets, homey."
He scrubbed a hand over his face. "I just gained new respect for your brother. If I was him I'd have introduced you to the nuclear wedgie at an early age."
"Give me the gun, Franco."
He would have liked to blow a hole in her plan. Unfortunately it was better than his. Dammit! "Okay. But try not to shoot me with it."
She took the gun, ejected the mag like an expert, checked the rounds and slammed it back home. Then she sat up and slid across the grass to the table, peering over it. "That's the shooter up there?"
"Yeah. You won't be able to hit him but…"
Nic settled the muzzle of the gun onto the table and closed one eye.
"You shouldn't close your eye…"
"Shut up, this works for me."
"Okay, whatever, shoot the bad guy in the tree. Not the good guy sprinting toward the can. Got it?"
"Shoot the mouthy bodynapper with the can and gain myself some peace and quiet. Got it."
"Lord help me."
"Just go already, before these guys get restless."
Right on cue, the Jeep jerked under a fresh round of bullets from the SUV. Franco glanced over the hood and saw that they were on the move. "The SUV's coming on. We've got to do this now."
"That's what I said," Nic murmured. She fired into the tree and Franco took off running.
Several more rounds sizzled through the air as he threw himself to the ground behind the can, some of them heading for him.
The can jerked under a couple of rounds, one of which went in high and passed straight through. There was a yelp behind him. Panic flared. "Nic?"
"I'm fine. He just stomped on my last nerve."
Franco grabbed the can and hunkered behind it as a fresh round of bullets slammed through the air toward the shooter in the tree. There was a yelp and a rifle pinwheeled through the air to the ground, followed by the darkly clad shooter.
"Well, damn."
"Lose the can, Martin. Here come the bad guys."
She opened the door and threw herself inside as the SUV barreled toward them, a gun sticking out of the front passenger side window. Franco flung himself into the Jeep, trying to keep low as he clambered into the driver's seat, and turned the key, gunning it forward as soon as the engine caught. Bullets continued to ping off the metal sides and back. A back window shattered and glass sprayed over them.
Franco headed for a copse of massive evergreens, figuring the guys in the SUV would have a harder time hitting them with a bunch of trees around. They slipped under the drooping branches and the shower of bullets stopped as they barreled across a thick carpet of dried needles. The sharp tang of evergreen filled the car as he took a turn on two wheels and headed toward the back of the park, keeping sight of the SUV driving alongside the thicket. The big car was managing to stay even with them and the occasional tree trunk exploded under a wayward bullet.
Nici's head popped up.
"Stay down."
"Hit the street, there's a delivery truck backing out of that driveway there."
She was right. If they could tuck in behind the truck…
"Hold on!" He jerked the wheel hard right and the passenger side door squealed as it scraped along a row of trunks with prickly branches. They emerged from the evergreen copse and hit a sidewalk, heading straight for a hydrant.
"Franco!"
He jumped as she squealed. "Stop that! You scared the crap out of me." He jerked the wheel and the car missed the hydrant by inches, heading for a fat gray squirrel holding an acorn, its shiny brown eyes wide.
"Franco!"
"Oh for god sakes!" He jerked the wheel again, barely missing the stupid rodent, and they dropped with a bang of tortured suspension into the street just as the boxy white truck started toward the intersection. Franco tucked the Jeep in on the opposite side of it, blocking them from the SUV's view, and took the first turn into a large subdivision as the truck lumbered on down the street.
A few quick turns later brought them out of the subdivision and Franco headed for the highway, the SUV nowhere in sight.


Excerpt from Revealing Nicola by Sam Cheever.  
Copyright © 2017 by Sam Cheever. 
Reproduced with permission from Sam Cheever. 
All rights reserved.



Author Bio:


Sam Cheever
USA Today Bestselling Author Sam Cheever writes romantic paranormal/fantasy and mystery/suspense, creating stories that celebrate the joy of love in all its forms. Known for writing great characters, snappy dialogue, and unique and exhilarating stories, Sam is the award-winning author of 50+ books and has been writing for over a decade under several noms de plume.

If you haven't already connected, Sam would love it if you Liked/Followed her wherever you enjoy hanging out online. Here are her online haunts:


Newsletter: http://www.samcheever.com/newsletter.html Subscribe to Sam's newsletter and win a free copy of the fun and sexy Honeybun Fever Box Set
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Website: www.SamCheever.com
Blog: http://samcheever.com/blog/
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/samcheever
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SamCheeverAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/samcheever
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/samcheever1/
Instagram: https://instagram.com/samcheever/



Blast Participants:







Don't Miss Your Chance to WIN!



This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Sam Cheever. There will be 1 winner of one (1) $20 Amazon.com gift card. The giveaway begins on February 19th and runs through February 27th, 2017.

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Monday, February 20, 2017

Book Showcase: CARDIAC by Jeffrey Monaghan

Cardiac by Jeffrey Monaghan Tour Banner

Cardiac

by Jeffrey Monaghan

on Tour February 1-28, 2017



Synopsis:



Cardiac by Jeffrey Monaghan
Embattled CEO Jack Getty is nervous. This is his final chance to save his company. He is announcing his firm's breakthrough discovery at the world's largest annual biotech conference. A discovery that trials show will extend human life by 75%. But as Jack approaches the podium, he suffers a major heart attack and collapses on the stage, stunning the conference attendees.

Jack is rushed to the emergency room where surgeons implant the latest Wi-Fi enabled pacemaker, saving his life in the process. What Jack doesn't know, however, is that an underground hacking group has its sights set on manipulating his "secure" pacemaker to get information only he can provide. Despite the hackers unrelenting terror, Jack refuses to give them what they want and soon starts to uncover the true motives of this mysterious and powerful group.



Book Details:


Genre: Thriller
Publication Date: May 2016
Number of Pages: 230
ISBN: 1533641463
Purchase Links: Amazon  | Goodreads 




Read an excerpt:

(Mild profanity alert.)


Chapter 1


Jack dropped his cell phone into his pocket, took a deep breath and focused on the moment at hand. The lights on stage were intense, their heat radiating to the dark spot where he stood just behind a thick, dark curtain off stage. A deep, musty odor floated off. A smell that reminded him of his grandmother's sewing room. It was comforting during such an anxiety filled moment. He leaned closer, unaware, and took a deep breath. Then the stage exploded with light.
The energy and murmurs of the enormous crowd filled the auditorium. Jack's heart began to race with a nervous excitement. He had done this a dozen times, but this time he was literally going to change the world, and hopefully save his company at the same time. He closed his eyes and took a deep, slow breath. Deep inhale. Deep exhale. And again. Slow, deep inhale. Slow, deep exhale, pushing the recent phone conversation to the back of his mind. The moisture on his palms felt cool and the tips of his fingers, cold.
He concentrated on the moment as thoughts of his pending presentation repeated in his head. Introduction...industry direction...announce test results of groundbreaking new drug...then Algen's plans for the future...closing. Introduction...industry direction...announce DD13...Algen's plans for the future...closing. With this announcement, he was about to push his company to the forefront of the biotech industry, and garner worldwide recognition and influence for himself and Algen.
The waiting was the torturous part. Once he started speaking it always came together. In fact, once he began, he usually slipped his notes into his pocket after the first few minutes. It was a rush having the attention of thousands waiting on every word. In fact, he enjoyed speaking in front of large crowds far more than speaking in small groups. He could avoid questions in a large crowd by simply not asking for them. He could just keep speaking. Small groups were more intimate and Jack was not good at small talk. He did his best to avoid talking to others about his personal life.
The announcer's voice reverberated through the vast hall, "Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to thank you all for attending our 10th Annual ASR International Life Sciences and Biotechnology Conference." Jack rubbed his palms on his pants, standing just out of reach of the bright lights.
"As many of you know, this is a very exciting time in our industry. A time that has shown extraordinary advancement in our understanding of the fundamental biological mechanisms of human life. A time when major discoveries are coming at an increasingly accelerated rate. And a time that will be looked back on as the dawning of a new age in meeting the needs of patients and doctors across the globe."
Jack fiddled with the knot in his tie, wiggling it to make sure it was straight. He ran his palms down the front of his suit and tugged at the bottom of his jacket to eliminate imaginary creases. He stood waiting for his cue. As he waited, two sharp buzzes stung his thigh. He fumbled for the phone in his pocket.
"Crap!"
He slid the cool metal phone from his pocket and braced for more bad news. Instead, it was a text from his wife.
'Are you free? I have more questions about Miller'
'can't right now. about to go on stage'
'OK. Good luck. You'll do great.'
'will call you later'
Jack grinned and wished he could talk to his wife now, but there wasn't time. He allowed himself a moment. A moment to remember how lucky he was. His heart rate slowed and he felt calm. He reread the exchange with Cynthia as he noticed the subtle aroma of the stage curtains again. His eyes closed and he tipped his head back. She had always believed in him. Even when he told her about the times when he drank too much and ended up on the streets. Even when he didn't believe in himself. She was the talented one, an amazing writer. But it was always she that insisted he was the one who capable of doing big things. Jack was not so sure back then. But here he was, about to do something unimaginable.
A light tap on the shoulder startled Jack. A thin, dark-haired young man stood beside him. A large identification badge hanging around his neck. He looked like a local college kid, called to work at the convention center whenever there was a big conference in town. He wore the basic conference employee uniform. A black t-shirt and khakis. The name tag hanging from his neck read Zachary Dietrich, 10th Annual ASR Conference Employee.
"Don't forget this, Mr. Getty. You know how to use it, right?" The young man handed Jack a small remote that would allow him to change the slides in his presentation.
"Oh shoot, thank you..." Jack looked at the employee's name tag, "...Zachary. That would have been a little embarrassing getting stuck on the first slide."
"I'm sure you would have figured something out, sir."
"Well, I appreciate the thought, but you can't always save someone from themselves."
The young man smiled. "Is there anything else I can get for you, Mr. Getty? Would you like some water?"
"I think I'm good for now, thank you."
"I don't mean to be pushy, sir, but I highly recommend at least one drink." Zachary lifted a steel thermos. "It's warm water with a little lemon. My public speaking professor recommends it. It helps with dry mouth and cuts through any mucus buildup in your throat. It's awesome."
"Well, okay, just a quick sip."
The young stagehand unscrewed the top and handed the thermos to Jack. Jack took it and tipped it to his lips. The young man was right. The warm, slightly sour water provided immediate relief to his parched mouth. Jack took a second drink.
"Thank you, Zachary," Jack said as he handed the thermos back to the stage hand. "I appreciate your help."
"No problem, Mr. Getty. Good luck, you're going to do great," replied the youthful man, visibly pleased that he was able to help the man of the hour. Jack smiled as he watched the young, go-getter scurry off to attend to other business. He turned his attention back to the stage.
"And we are so thankful to the city of Baltimore for making us feel so welcome." The speaker clapped in appreciation and the crowd joined him with pleasant applause. Without thinking, Jack applauded as well.
"We have a number of excellent speakers over the next few days. And I will get to those in a few moments. But first, I'd like to introduce one of the top leaders in our industry. He's a true innovator and respected member of our community. His company, Algen Incorporated, is leading the way in minimizing and reversing the effects of Alzheimer's and other age related diseases. Please help me welcome the CEO of Algen, Mister Jack Getty!" The speaker reached his hand out towards the side of the stage, inviting Jack to come out and join him. Jack put on a smile and headed out into the lights; confident, adrenaline pumping through his veins and heart pounding in his chest. He was about to shock the world.
The crowd stood and cheered. Jack raised his right hand in acknowledgement, "thank you" he mouthed, walking onto the stage. The spotlights caused him to squint as the crowd roared in the darkness just beyond their hot, white brilliance. Jack turned back towards the speaker and continued walking, hand extended for a firm handshake. As he moved across the stage, his vision blurred. He opened his eyes wide and then squeezed them closed for a moment.
"What the..." Jack murmured.
When he opened them the speaker split in two, then four, then dozens of images swirled in front of him. Another step and now his chest began to tighten. Jack moaned, putting both hands on his chest. He blinked again. His vision began to fade and the muscles in his chest squeezed ever tighter. A heaviness pulled him towards the floor. Gasping for air, Jack struggled to keep his balance.
His next step became a lunge and he felt himself falling, unsure of when and what he would hit. A desperate reach for the shape of a podium turned into a vain attempt to catch himself. His left hand grasped for the microphone, snagged it with two fingers, and pulled the entire podium to the floor as he fell. It smashed on the stage, breaking into large pieces. The squeal of feedback ripped through the auditorium speakers. Jack slammed into the floor next to the podium with a heavy thud. His vision focused long enough to catch a glimpse of a woman in the front row, hands over her ears grimacing at the screeching microphone. He heard screams in the distance.
A hushed murmur fell over the crowd. Jack fought to stay conscious; the heaviness in his chest forced the air from his lungs. The lights above flooded into his spinning vision. He lay flat on his back, struggling to fight off the darkness that threatened to consume him.
"Someone call an ambulance!"
The pain in Jack's chest shot down his left arm. I'm dying!
The silhouette of a person appeared above him and blocked out the light. "Jack, can you hear me? Jack? Shit!" Jack wanted to respond but couldn't. He was directing every effort to staying conscious.
"Shit, shit, shit," Jack heard the frantic, trembling voice say. There was a firm tugging around his neck and a second voice broke into the chaos.
"Loosen it as much as you can. And unbutton his shirt. Make sure he can breathe."
"I'm trying. Shit! Come on, Jack. Keep breathing." The tugging at his neck became more frenzied. The voices started to fade and Jack could feel himself losing awareness.
"We're losing him! We're losing him! Someone please..."
He could hold on no longer. Jack willingly gave in to the darkness that was pulling him away from the voices. His body relaxed and he felt at peace. He saw his oldest son as a toddler, football grasped with both hands and that lopsided smile that warmed his heart. He saw his youngest son putting on his baseball uniform for the first time. And a vision of his wife on their wedding day pulled him deeper into his memories and away from the desperate voices.
All the commotion provided a distraction for a young, red-headed man seated at the end of the aisle. He was thirty rows back near one of the exits.
"Everyone, please remain seated," came an announcement over the loudspeakers. The man ignored the instructions. He rose from his seat, doing his best not to draw attention. "Mr. Getty is getting the necessary medical assistance and will be okay." The red-headed man knew this wasn't true, at least not the part about Jack being okay. He slipped out the side doors and onto the busy streets of downtown Baltimore, anxious to blend in with the pedestrians. As he walked, he turned on his cell phone. He fought against his shaking fingers as he dialed. The phone rang.
"Yes, it's done...yes I'm sure...I saw him hit the stage...I don't know...they were tending to him as I left....I said I don't know...sorry, I'm not going back in there...no way...I don't care. I did what you asked and now I'm done."
The man ended the call, slid the phone back into his pocket, and looked around to see if anyone had listened to his conversation, still disturbed by what had taken place. The people on the street had more important concerns than eavesdropping on a conservatively-dressed college type, so he vanished into the afternoon sun.
After a few blocks, a park appeared on the opposite side of the street. The man looked both ways and careened across the street, horns honking at him as he went. His stomach churned with anxiety and he was not completely aware of his surroundings, focused on creating as much distance as possible between him and the conference hall. He needed to find a calm, secluded place to sit and catch his breath; and his sanity.
He entered the park and saw a worn, stone bench under a large elm tree about fifty yards away. He turned to see if anyone had followed him, then made his way to the tree and settled on the hard, cool bench. He took a deep breath. His right leg bounced, quick and uncontrollable.
"Son of a bitch..."
The man ran his hand up his forehead and grasped a handful of hair between his fingers in a tight fist. He breathed again. His leg stopped bouncing and he began to relax. Then, just as he had begun to calm down, his phone buzzed in his pocket.
"Hello...sorry, I didn't mean to hang up on you...the whole thing freaked me out. I've never seen anything like that in person. There's a big difference between seeing Darth Vader choke out Admiral Motti and seeing a real human being hit the ground like that. I had to get out of there...yes, I know. All I can tell you is that it worked. I'm guessing we'll be able to find out by the end of the day...Will do."
The red-headed man dropped his head, slumped his shoulders, and rested his elbows on his knees. A pleasant breeze rustled the leaves in the tree above.


Jeffrey MonaghanAuthor Bio:


Jeffrey Monaghan is a Silicon Valley executive with an unhealthy obsession for technology. He grew up in Southern California and currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife and two children. Cardiac is his debut novel.

Catch Up with Jeffrey Monaghan on Facebook !





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Check out the participants on this tour! Visit their sites for giveaways, reviews, interviews, guest posts, & excerpts!






Don't Miss Your Chance to WIN!



This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for Jeffrey Monaghan. There will be 5 US winners of one (1) eBook copy of Cardiac by Jeffrey Monaghan. The giveaway begins on January 31st and runs through March 3rd, 2017.

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Friday, February 17, 2017

Book Showcase: THE PIPER by Charles Todd

The Piper

by Charles Todd

on Tour February 1-28, 2017



Synopsis:


The Piper by Charles Todd
Scotland Yard inspector Ian Rutledge returns shell shocked from the trenches of World War I, tormented by the spirit of Hamish MacLeod, the young soldier he executed on the battlefield. Now, Charles Todd features Hamish himself in this compelling, stand-alone short story.
Before the Great War, Hamish is farmer in the Scottish Highlands, living in a small house on the hillside and caring for a flock of sheep he inherited from his grandmother. When one spring evening he hears a faint cry ringing across the glen, Hamish sets out in the dark to find the source. Near the edge of the loch he spots a young boy laying wounded, a piper’s bag beside him. Hamish brings the piper to his home to stay the night and tends to his head wound, but by the time Hamish wakes the boy has fled. He tracks the footsteps in pursuit of the injured lad and finds him again collapsed in the grasses—now dead.
Who was the mysterious piper, and who was seeking his death? As Hamish scours the countryside for answers, he finds that few of his neighbors are as honest as he, and that until he uncovers a motive, everyone, including Hamish, is a suspect.



Book Details:


Genre: Mystery
Published by: Witness Impulse
Publication Date: January 10th 2017
Number of Pages: 100
ISBN:  0062678094 (ISBN13: 9780062678096)
Series: Inspector Ian Rutledge #19.5

Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗
| Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗



Charles Todd

Author Bio:



Charles Todd is the New York Times bestselling author of the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries, the Bess Crawford mysteries, and two stand-alone novels. A mother-and-son writing team, they live on the East Coast.



Catch Up with the latest Charles Todd news on their Website
,  Twitter & Facebook


Tour Participants:

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

2017 Book #46: THE ORPHAN'S TALE by Pam Jenoff

The Orphan's Tale by Pam Jenoff 
ISBN: 9780778330639 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9780778319818 (trade paperback)
ISBN: 9781460396421 (ebook)
ASIN: B01HB9Q7CW (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Harlequin/MIRA 
Publication Date: February 21, 2016

A powerful novel of friendship set in a traveling circus during World War II, The Orphan's Tale introduces two extraordinary women and their harrowing stories of sacrifice and survival
Sixteen-year-old Noa has been cast out in disgrace after becoming pregnant by a Nazi soldier and being forced to give up her baby. She lives above a small rail station, which she cleans in order to earn her keep. When Noa discovers a boxcar containing dozens of Jewish infants bound for a concentration camp, she is reminded of the child that was taken from her. And in a moment that will change the course of her life, she snatches one of the babies and flees into the snowy night.
Noa finds refuge with a German circus, but she must learn the flying trapeze act so she can blend in undetected, spurning the resentment of the lead aerialist, Astrid. At first rivals, Noa and Astrid soon forge a powerful bond. But as the facade that protects them proves increasingly tenuous, Noa and Astrid must decide whether their friendship is enough to save one another or if the secrets that burn between them will destroy everything.


Noa Weil is a sixteen-year-old that was forced from home due to a pregnancy. Her child was taken away from her by the Nazis and she's forced to find the only job she can, cleaning at a small out of the way train station. When Noa comes upon a seemingly abandoned train car filled with infants, she's horrified as most of these babies are dead...all but one. Noa grabs the infant and runs from the only safety she knows, determined to save this child at all costs. Fortunately for Noa, after collapsing in the snow with the infant, she is found and incorporated into a nearby circus. 

Ingrid Klemt Sorrell aka Astrid Sorrell is a former circus aerialist that was married to a German Nazi officer. Her married life was good until the day her husband came home and stated he was divorcing her because she was Jewish. Unsure of what to do, Ingrid returns to her family's home only to find it abandoned. With nowhere else to turn, Ingrid approaches a neighbor and rival circus owner for advice. She quickly becomes Astrid Sorrell, the lead aerialist and trapeze artist for the Neuhoff circus. Over time, Astrid meets and falls in love with a fellow circus performer, Peter Moskowicz. Astrid and Noa are from very different backgrounds and have had very different lives, but both find refuge in the circus. Constantly on guard against Nazis, collaborators, and the SS, Noa and Astrid do all they can to protect one another and their secrets. 

Before I go any further, let me just say that I loved The Orphan's Tale by Pam Jenoff. This was an incredibly fast-paced read that kept me enthralled from the first few pages until the very last. The Orphan's Tale is not just a story about two women and their friendship, it's a story about sacrifice, survival, love, and hope. This story was heartwarming as well as heart-wrenching. It takes place during World War II so you know there's going to be drama, tragedy, intrigue, and sadness. Even with all of the despair of the times, Ms. Jenoff imbues this story with an overriding sense of hope. The story is told in the alternating voices and perspectives of Noa and Astrid. The characters are well-developed, the settings are quite realistic, and the story is compelling. If you enjoy reading historical fiction, books about World War II, or just want something a little different to read, then I strongly encourage you to grab a copy of The Orphan's Tale to read. This is another must-read fiction recommendation. I look forward to reading more from Pam Jenoff in the future.

Disclaimer: I received a free digital advanced reader copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes via Edelweiss. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."