Monday, September 20, 2021

Blurb Blitz & Giveaway - Sin City Wolf: Hunt by January Bain

 


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. January Bain will be awarding a $50 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

To be chosen is everything.
Billionaires. Scholars. Relic hunters.
Alessandro and Maximus Luceres are a united force and dangerous wolves to cross. Members of the powerful House of Luceres, they have spent their lifetimes searching the world over for the Lupus Sanguis Chalice, the fabled wolf blood chalice reputed to save the life of a human bitten by a werewolf during the first full moon.

But never in all their travels did the twins expect to find their possible Forever Mate, much less discover the beautiful Trinity Wells to be in league with their sworn enemies, the nefarious House of Ribelle, who are seeking the precious chalice by any means necessary and want Trinity to mate with one of their own.

Shockingly, Trinity is bitten by a Nomad wolf, starting the clock ticking down to her possibly fatal transformation and making the discovery of the chalice all that more vital.

Will Trinity survive the change…and unite the pair of brothers rivaling to be her Forever Mates?

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Read an Excerpt:

Three weeks later Alessandro Luceres crept up the steep stone steps of Rocco Maggiore Castle, listening intently. The ancient fortress was built on a rocky promontory, the tower jutting out over the valley below. The image of a great battle filled his mind. It had been between a priest and a suspected werewolf, and the man of God had struck down the beast with a silver crucifix, killing him on the spot. It was a legend not even the townspeople knew of as the priest had also died soon after of his injuries, never to regain consciousness. Their spirits lingered still, linked by mortal combat. He crossed himself, offering a whispered prayer of release in Italian, “Possa la vostra anima trovare rifugio e guarigione in Cielo.”

“I doubt their souls will ever find refuge and healing in heaven, brother,” Maximus said. His twin spared him a backward glance as he climbed the steps two at a time. With their mind connection, he’d caught a glimpse of what Maximus had planned for after the job, which explained his hurried actions. He had his sights focused on a certain female.

“If we find it, there will be more than enough healing to go around,” Alessandro mused. No drawing existed of the Lupus Sanguis Chalice they were hunting. With it made from the bone and blood of the original wolf, its legendary status had kept a handful of treasure hunters fascinated for centuries, the quest handed down from father to son. Could it really do what it was purported to do? Ease the transformation of human to wolf? If so, the House of Luceres stood on the threshold of a brand-new era, unlike any that had come before. Finally, their numbers could grow, giving them increased strength in the modern world…if care was taken in the process.

“Where’s the faith, brother? It could very well be here. The chalice has to be somewhere, right?”

Maximus had always had an excess of confidence. Some might call it hubris. Perhaps his legendary skills at anything he pursued was reason enough. “We can’t be certain. Maybe it was never meant to be found. It will change things—maybe too much. If it ever fell into the wrong hands, think of what might happen?”

Alessandro shivered, imagining a vast horde of werewolves being created and taking over the world. As it stood now, few humans survived a werewolf bite. The majority of the Luceres numbers were from an ancient bloodline from the founding of Rome, and they were blessed with the DNA of the original wolf, guaranteeing a smooth change. They still found one of their original number on occasion, like his alpha and brother’s Forever Mate, Everly Affini. But it happened so rarely now that too many males were without their mate. And moon sickness lurked for those unable to forge a permanent bond.

“Shush, I hear something.”

A slight furtive scratching echoed in the vaulted staircase. Maximus pointed ahead. In the tower. Human. A faint hint of wolf gave him pause. What was this?


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About the Author:
January Bain has wished on every falling star, every blown-out birthday candle, and every coin thrown in a fountain to be a storyteller. To share the tales of high adventure, mysteries, and fast-paced thrillers she has dreamed of all her life. The story you now have in your hands is the compilation of a lot of things manifesting itself for this special series. Hundreds of hours spent researching the unusual and the mundane have come together to create a series that features strong women who don’t take life too seriously, wild adventures full of twists and unforeseen turns, and hot complicated men who aren’t afraid to take risks.

If you are looking for January Bain, you can find her hard at work every morning without fail in her office with two furry babies trying to prove who does a better job of guarding the doorway. And, of course, she’s married to the most romantic man! Who once famously remarked to her inquiry about buying fresh flowers for their home every week, “Give me one good reason why not?” Leaving her speechless and knocking her head against the proverbial wall for being so darn foolish. She loves flowers.

If you wish to connect in the virtual world she is easily found on Facebook, twitter and writes a weekly blog about her journey on Blogger. Oh, and she loves to talk books…

Blog Address: http://januarybainjourney.blogspot.ca
Twitter Name: https://twitter.com/JanuaryBain
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/january.bain
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6437282.January_Bain

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Amazon buy link: https://amzn.to/3l0PXKI

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January Bain will be awarding a $50 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Book Blast & Giveaway - Starting Over in Cedarwood by Megan Slayer

 

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Megan Slayer will be awarding a prize pack featuring a necklace made by the author to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Starting over might just bring them the love they deserve.

Shaun Fallows came to Cedarwood to start over. He wants to be done with dating, but the moment he sees Kevin, the sparks are off the charts. He can't get the sexy man off his mind. So much for not wanting to get involved. Kevin is the man of his dreams. Can he convince Kevin to give him a try or will the romance end before it gets the chance to begin?

Besides, there's the small issue of Kevin's cat...

Kevin Keiser did the dating thing and ended up burned. One of the few bright spots in his life is his cat, Leo. The animal might be a bit prickly, but he's been a good meter for who Kevin should date and who he should avoid. He wants a boyfriend who isn't put off by his pet. Shaun sure seems to fit the bill. Is he just another man or the love Kevin's been waiting for?

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Read an Excerpt:


©2021 MeganSlayer All Rights Reserved

“He doesn’t date anyone who isn’t approved by his cat,” she said. “You hate cats, so you’d better just have one beer with him and cut your losses, now that I think about it.”

“I don’t hate cats.” He hadn’t found one that liked him, but that was beside the point. “Are he and the cat that close?”

“Very.”

Shaun shrugged. Cara was probably exaggerating. She tended to when she discussed something dramatic. The car accident was always the worst she’d ever seen or her kid scoring a goal was always the best goal ever in the history of eighth grade hockey. “I’ll give him a chance.”

“Who?” Warrick found them and sat beside Shaun. “Dave? Don’t date Dave. He’s full of himself. Plus, you’ll smell like you’ve bathed in his cologne.”

Shaun shrugged again. Their co-worker, Dave, did tend to wear his aftershave a bit on the thick side. Everyone who hugged him tended to smell like him.

“Shut up,” Dave said. “I heard our Shaun gave Kevin Keiser his digits.”

“Keiser? He’s so quiet,” Warrick said. “He’s gay? Oh wait. I knew that. He had a guy…Kyle someone or another. I guess they had a falling out.”

“Over the cat,” Cara said.

Shaun gritted his teeth to keep from speaking. Kevin’s personal life wasn’t their business. “You need to leave him alone.”

“Why? He had a fight with a guy over a cat. The critter hated Kyle, I think,” Warrick said. He shrugged, then downed some of his beer. “If I can’t find a woman to get along with Patrice, then it’s a nonstarter.”

“Your dog?” Dave snorted. “It’s just a dog.”

“Might be to you, but she’s a good dog,” Warrick said. “She’s more loyal than you’ve ever been.”

Shaun snorted. “You two.” He ignored the rest of the conversation in favor of the baseball game. “Kevin seemed nice and I went out on a limb. It might not work, but I won’t know unless we go out, so there.”

“You should give him a shot,” Cara said. “You’d be good for him. You’re quiet and smart like him. Maybe you’d bring each other out of your shell.”

“Maybe.” His thoughts turned to Kevin. He hadn’t felt sparks like that in ages and he liked the rush. He missed the delight of being with someone and being wanted. Hell, he liked being part of a relationship.

Besides, he was tired of the one-night stands and pretty boys who only wanted him to pump up their ego or be their sugar daddy. He was only forty-two, but sometimes he felt ancient. He worked hard for his money and the paper. Could Kevin be the one he’d been looking for?

He hoped so.


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About the Author:
Megan Slayer, aka Wendi Zwaduk, is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and published since 2009. Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to LGBTQ and white hot themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been nominated at the LRC for Best Author, Best Contemporary, Best Ménage, Best BDSM and Best Anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on Amazon.com.

When she’s not writing, Megan spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but football is her sport of choice. She’s an active member of the Friends of the Keystone-LaGrange Public library.

Find out more about Megan and Wendi at: http://wendizwaduk.com/indexMegan.htm
Sign up for the newsletter here: http://ymlp.com/xgjmjumygmgj
Website - http://wendizwaduk.com/indexMegan.htm
Blog - https://wendizwaduk.wordpress.com/
Fan Page - https://www.facebook.com/wendizwaduk.meganslayer/
Amazon Author Page - http://www.amazon.com/Megan-Slayer/e/B008BJCFSC
Bookbub - https://www.bookbub.com/authors/megan-slayer
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/wendizwaduk/
Goodreads - http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5330530.Megan_Slayer
Twitter - https://twitter.com/#!/MeganSlayer


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Megan Slayer will be awarding a prize pack featuring a necklace made by the author to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Blurb Blitz & Giveaway - The Lady and the Texan by Bobbi Smith

 

The Lady and the Texan

by Bobbi Smith 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 GENRE: Historical Romance (Sequel to Lady Deception)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

BLURB: 

 

The Lady

 

A firebrand since the day she was born, Amanda Taylor always stood up for what she believed in. Growing up in Texas, she could ride and shoot with the best of the boys before being sent back East for a more refined education. A firm believer in women’s rights, she was not going to let any man control her—especially a man like the rough-and-ready gunslinger Jack Logan, who had been sent by her father to escort her safely back to Texas.

 

The Texan

 

After a deadly run-in with the infamous El Diablo, Jack Logan left the Texas Rangers, no longer able to trust his instincts—or any woman. He knew Dan Taylor’s daughter was trouble, and yet her defiant spirit only spurred his hunger for her. Jack discovered that keeping the dark-haired tigress at bay was a lot harder than outsmarting the outlaws who were after him—and surrendering to the sweet fury in her arms was a heck of a lot riskier. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excerpt: 

Jack Logan was not in the best mood as he stared out the window of his hired carriage. He’d thought it would be simple, traveling to Philadelphia to escort Amanda Taylor back to Texas to her father. He’d made it to the Randall home, but had been informed that Amanda was spending the night at a friend’s home. He’d headed there, only to discover she wasn’t there either. The servant had given him an address where the young women had gone and now as the carriage drew to a stop in front of a bar, Jack shook his head in disbelief. He had no idea what Amanda Taylor would be doing here.

 

There was a crowd gathered, and he could hear shouts coming the bar. He hurried inside. The sight that greeted him left him stunned. Six axe-wielding women were smashing every table, glass and bottle of liquor in the saloon.

 

“Down with demon liquor!” one woman shouted.

 

“What the hell is going on?” the bartender bellowed.

 

“We are here to save souls!” the women of the temperance movement responded.

 

Jack pulled out the tintype Dan had given him of Amanda. If one of these battleaxes was Amanda Taylor, he had to get her out of there fast.

 

The bartender snatched up a bottle of whiskey from the counter when a raven-haired woman confronted him.

 

“Put that bottle down!” she ordered. “We’re here to destroy this blight upon our land!”

 

“You swing that axe and I’m sending for the law!”

 

She did and he did.

 

“You men! Get the constable!”

 

Several men bolted out the door to get help.

 

Jack recognized the woman as Amanda, and he knew he had to make his move now. The last thing he wanted to do was bail her out of jail. True, she was armed and might prove dangerous, but he’d dealt with worse than her before and survived.

 

“I’ll handle her.” Jack’s tone was so deadly and serious, the bartender stopped his advance.

 

Amanda lifted her axe again to shatter another bottle, and Jack made his move. He snared her around the waist and jerked her back against him, twisting the weapon out of her grip.

 

“Unhand me, you fiend!” Amanda cried out in alarm as she found herself pinned against a hard male body in an unyielding grip.

 

“Shut up!” he ground out, tossing her axe aside.

 

Amanda fought him with all her might, but his strength was overpowering.

 

Time was of the essence, so Jack gave up the effort to treat her like a lady. He picked her up and tossed her over his shoulder. She went still, and he smiled grimly as he disappeared out the door with her. He had to get her back to Texas to her father.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

After working as a department manager for Famous-Barr, and briefly as a clerk at a bookstore,

Bobbi gave up on career security and began writing. She sold her first book to Zebra in 1982.

Since then, Bobbi has written over 40 books and 6 novellas. To date, there are more than five

million copies of her novels in print. She has been awarded the prestigious Romantic Times

Storyteller Award and two Career Achievement Awards. Her books have appeared on the New

York Times Best Seller List, the USA Today Best Seller List and the Wal-Mart Best Seller List.

The rights to Ms. Smith’s books have been sold to China, France, Germany, India, Israel,

Russia and Sweden. Bobbi has also written two faith-based contemporary novels – Haven and

Miracles – using the pseudonym Julie Marshall. 

http://www.Bobbismithauthor.com 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B074B4J9ZY/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i27

 

Buy link:  https://amzn.to/3C95tLg 

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GIVEAWAY: 

Bobbi Smith will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.






Monday, September 13, 2021

Excerpt & Giveaway - Parentectomy by Christine Giancarlo

 


Parentectomy: A narrative ethnography of 30 cases of parental alienation and what to do about it

by Christine Giancarlo

 

GENRE: Non-fiction 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 


BLURB: 

When parents separate and divorce, kids come last in family law. Should children's welfare be measured in "billable hours"? Christine Giancarlo thinks kids come first and need both parents. Parentectomy moves us toward that goal... for the sake of the children.

 

Based on Dr. Giancarlo's peer-reviewed research study, Kids Come Last: The Effect of Family Law Involvement in Parental Alienation, this book tells, in their own voices, the stories of thirty loving, capable and dependable parents who, nonetheless, were removed from their children's lives. It is also the author's own journey through the devastation caused by parental alienation.

 

This book sheds light on an urgent social crisis, enabled by a broken family law system. An equitable and just model for eliminating this form of child abuse is proposed with an urgent plea for its implementation.

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EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: 

RUSS 

I have two children: one adopted daughter who was six months old (now 12 years) when I met my second wife and our biological son (now 10 years). I have no children from my first marriage. Let me start at the beginning of my nightmare. My girlfriend (who would become my second ex-wife) and I moved in together in 2000 after a six-month relationship and I bought a house. As soon as I did so, she quit her 4th year of university, stopped taking the Pill without my knowledge, and we became pregnant. I now believe this was a set-up.

 We married in 2002 but it only lasted ten months. She would pick fights with me so she could build an arsenal to use against me. Each time I tried to walk away from the marriage she threatened police action, said she would go to the women’s shelter and I would never see my children again. 

Early on she encouraged me to get a job overseas so we could move there to save money and then move back to Canada. When our son was born in January 2002, I had just started a job in Abu Dhabi. I was to do my first tour of two months and then come back to get her and the kids. We talked by phone every day while I was away. She packed up the house in the meantime but unbeknownst to me separated her stuff from mine. When I got home for a month, we all went camping and took some nice family photos, spent some time together in the U.S. and then came back home a few days before I was due back at work in the U.A.E. 

I thought we were moving there as a family. But my ex had other ideas. She was extremely insecure and had a lawyer friend whose husband had been awarded custody upon their divorce. At our baby shower, I overheard this woman telling my wife that all men are cheaters and instructing my wife on how long she needed to stay in our house before she was entitled to the sole ownership of it. 

We had a third bad argument over nothing, and I chose to sleep on the couch. Every time it should have been a five-minute conversation but turned into a six-hour yelling match. On this occasion the police got involved and so did my mother. My ex walked out of our house with a bag, which appeared to have been pre-packed. The police said they wouldn’t arrest me as there were no grounds and I agreed to go stay at a friend’s. Our kids went to my parents’ house so they were safe. But my ex told the police she was going to the women’s shelter. They asked her why since I was already leaving. She just said she wanted to. By now it was about 5:00 in the morning. The police reported that the whole mess was about money… it was!  

~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

AUTHOR Bio and Links: 

Christine Giancarlo is an applied anthropologist at Mount Royal University since 1992. She holds a Ph.D. in Human Services from Capella University, Minnesota, and an M.A. in Primatology from the University of Calgary, Alberta. Growing up with two loving parents, four brothers and being blessed with her own children, Devon and Carmen, inform her holistic perspective on the family. Christine resides in Calgary with her partner, Bert, and their dog, Gavin. 

CONNECT WITH CHRISTINE:

LINKEDIN:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/christine-giancarlo-a6527b81/?originalSubdomain=ca 

TWITTER:  https://twitter.com/cgiancarlo4 

GOODREADS:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18738260.Christine_Giancarlo 

WEBSITE: http://www.christinegiancarlo.com/

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PURCHASE LINKS:  

 

AMAZON: https://amzn.to/3gVRKiV           

BOOKSHOP: https://bookshop.org/books/parentectomy-a-narrative-ethnography-of-30-cases-of-parental-alienation-and-what-to-do-about-it/9780228808053           

INDIGO CHAPTERS: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/parentectomy-a-narrative-ethnography-of/9780228808053-item.html           

BARNES & NOBLE: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/parentectomy-christine-giancarlo/1130065709           

BOOK DEPOSITORY: https://www.bookdepository.com/Parentectomy-Christine-Giancarlo/9780228808053           

RAKUTEN KOBO: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/parentectomy-2           

SMASHWORDS: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/914786           

APPLE BOOKS: https://books.apple.com/us/book/parentectomy/id1452962594

 

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GIVEAWAY: 

Christine Giancarlo will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter Giveaway




Thursday, September 9, 2021

Spotlight: Beyond the Song by Carol Selick


Beyond the Song
Carol Selick

Genre: Autobiographical Fiction
Publisher: BookBaby
Date of Publication: July 13, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-09838-369-5    
eBook:  978-1-09838-370-1
ASIN: B099GNT5F2
Number of pages: 284
Word Count: 74,000

A classic tale of a girl-gone-wrong-gone right.

Book Description: 

Beyond the Song is an autobiographical novel based on the author's coming of age in the 'sixties and early 'seventies. A singer-songwriter like her alter-ego Carol Marks, Carol Selick begins each chapter with lyrics she wrote and still performs today. Taken together, the songs introduce the themes of her story and trace the development of her character as she rebels against her strict suburban upbringing to join the counter-culture in hopes of fulfilling her dream of making it in the music business

The narrator relates her tale in a warm, vulnerable, and irrepressibly zany voice as Carol goes to school in Washington DC, drops out to take a pilgrimage to Berkeley, and eventually winds up living in New York in pursuit of making it in the music business. Torn between romance and career, she continually wavers. Her quest for freedom lands her in a series of dangerous situations and narrow escapes: she hitchhikes in California at the time of the Manson murders, attends anti-war demonstrations that turn violent, and is nearly arrested when her boyfriend is nabbed in a drug raid. 

Along the way, the narrator also meets two important guides who help her sort her priorities, take herself seriously, and develop her considerable talents: Rose, a pioneering black woman songwriter based on hall-of-famer Rose Marie McCoy, Carol's real-life mentor; and Bruce Pasternak, a fictionalized psychoanalyst who helps her establish the self-assurance to stand on her own two feet at a time when female singer-songwriters had few role models. All inform the heroine's lyrics and narrative voice as she gradually learns to believe in herself, discipline her talent, and turn her heartbreak into song.

Amazon     Bookbaby     BN     BooksAMillion     IndieBound



Excerpt:


CHAPTER ONE
NEW YORK CITY, 1971
 
When I was just a little girl, my Daddy said to me,

“A man’s gonna come and love you some,
That’s your Daddy’s prophecy.”
But it keeps on a-worryin’ me,
Oh Lord, it keeps on a-worryin’ me.

I stood on the corner of 72nd and Columbus Avenue feeling like a human want ad. I had a copy of the Village Voice in one hand and an unlit cigarette in the other. I was out of matches. And then I heard a voice behind me. “Looking for an apartment?”

I turned around. He was older than me and definitely not my type with his professional, straight look and short brown hair. But he had a sweet smile and his round, wire-rimmed glasses revealed soft blue eyes.

“How did you know?”

“I saw the paper. Do you need a place to make some calls? I live right up the street.”

“Why not?”

It wasn’t the first time I’d gone with a stranger to his place, and the July heat of the city was getting to me.

We exchanged names on the way to his apartment. Marvin Silverman—lawyer, liberal, almost thirty and climbing. Linda Marks—hippie, singer, twenty-two and drifting.

“Far out, you have a nice place!” It was on the third floor of a classic brownstone very close to Central Park.

“Thanks. It’s small, but I like the neighborhood.”

I walked toward the bay windows in the living room where a telescope was mounted on a tripod. There were no curtains or blinds. I wondered what that was about, but didn’t want to ask.

“What’s that building across the street?”

“That’s the Dakota. A lot of famous people live there like John and Yoko.

“I love New York! I can’t wait to move here!”

“Where do you live? On the Island?”

“No way! I live in Jersey with my parents, but that’s only temporary.”

I fumbled in my bag for a cigarette and started to feel nervous.

He was pretending to be hipper than he really was. He probably got stoned on the weekend and came to work on Monday wearing a three-piece suit. It’s as if he climbed to thirty and didn’t know whether to lead those behind him or follow those in front. I was glad that I didn’t have an identity problem. I did have an apartment problem, though, and couldn’t get side-tracked by this weekend hippie.

Ten calls and five lewd propositions later, I was still without a place. I thanked Marvin for the use of his phone.

“Next time you’re in the city, give me a call. Maybe we can do something.”

“Sounds good, Marvin.” I knew what “do something” meant. I threw his business card in my bag, the purple woven one I’d bought from a street vendor in Berkeley the day I’d left California, and ran down the stairs to meet my friend. I hoped she’d had better luck than me finding a place.

I rushed to catch the Broadway uptown bus, and by the time I got off at 86th Street, Marvin Silverman had completely left my mind.

I was meeting Nina at Professors, a typical uptown neighborhood bar. People dressed down and the prices climbed up. Its inhabitants were considered native New Yorkers. That meant they’d lived in the city for at least one year, but not necessarily in the same apartment.

“Any luck?” I asked Nina. I knew what her answer would be by her tired look and the pile of cigarette butts in the ashtray. Even her curly red hair looked droopy.

We’d been friends since eighth grade and had managed to stay in touch throughout college.

We’d rebelled in different ways. Nina was very serious when it came to politics. She sometimes asked her friends, “Are you political?” If someone answered, “a little,” she would ask, “Can you be a little pregnant?”

Nina also had a fun side and we laughed a lot. Like the time we were hanging out in my bedroom at my parents’ house and my father knocked on the door. He walked in wearing my mother’s blue and green paisley tent dress. It was 1968, and bell bottoms were all the rage. “Do you see how silly you girls look wearing bell bottoms?” Dad asked with a straight face. “Just as silly as I look wearing a dress.” Nina and I were hysterical. In a couple of years Dad would change his mind about bell bottoms and the Vietnam War.

Three rounds of sodas and one heaping ashtray later, Nina and I headed out of the bar to Port Authority. Sitting on the downtown bus, I remembered meeting Marvin.

“I met a really nice guy today,” I informed Nina.

“Oh yeah?” she kidded me.

No really, he let me use his apartment to make phone calls.”

“I bet that’s not all you made.”

“You have a dirty mind! Look! He gave me his card and asked me to call him the next time I was in the city.” I started digging around in my bag. “I can’t find it!” I exclaimed hopelessly, looking up at Nina sitting by the window, skeptically arching her eyebrow at me. “Hey, wait! This is his street! Let’s get off the bus—let me run up and say hi.”

I recognized the brownstone and ran up the steps leaving Nina waiting on the sidewalk. Why was I even bothering? Was I flattered that an older man had shown interest in me?

When I rang the doorbell Marvin opened the door wearing a half-buttoned shirt and a confused look on his face.

“Gee Marv, I didn’t mean to bother you. It’s just that I lost your card and I was passing by and—”

“Yeah kid, that’s okay. I just can’t talk to you now. Give me your number. I’ll call you up sometime.”

I scribbled my number on the back of a matchbook and caught up with Nina who was already halfway down the block.

“I’ll probably never hear from him again. He wasn’t my type anyway, too straight,” I told her but I secretly wanted him to call.

It seemed like Nina and I were spending most of our time in Port Authority. It was the dirtiest gate to the city, a haven for every degenerate and vagabond. I took a deep breath and boarded the Suburban Transit bus back to the ’burbs.

I was twenty-two, had dropped out of college, moved to California, run out of money, and moved back home. I hated riding on any kind of public transportation. It was sort of a phobia. I had a lot of fears, like being stuck in an elevator—or worse, a subway. Sometimes I had trouble eating in restaurants. But nothing was going to stop me from living in the city. My one goal was to make it in the music business and New York was the place to be. I was taking my music seriously, practicing my songs every day on the French Provincial piano at my parents’ house that I’d unfortunately branded with a cigarette burn. Carole King, Laura Nyro and Carly Simon were my idols and I was determined to follow in their footsteps.

My mother, a junior high social studies teacher, described my life as “the Perils of Pauline.” My father, a self-made business man, just thought I was lazy. Both were relieved I hadn’t found an apartment in the city. They were waiting for the day when I would wake up and come to my senses. They told the relatives that I was finding myself and wondered when they had lost me.

They’d told me many times that I was a follower and that my friends were the reason I’d dropped out of college, wore bell bottoms, smoked cigarettes, and wanted to live in the city with no cross-ventilation in the middle of July.

“Linda, telephone!” I heard my mother shout the next evening. She put her hand over the receiver and whispered, “It’s a boy.”

“Linda, this is Marvin. You know, we met on the corner of 72nd Street?”

“You really did call! I thought you were just giving me the brush.”

“I wouldn’t do that—I’m a lawyer, remember? We always keep our word. What are you doing Friday night? You want to go to dinner and a movie?”

“Are you asking me on a date?”

“No. I don’t go on them anymore. I’m being spontaneous.”

“Far out, Marvin! I’ll be there.”

He was my first older man and I was ready for him! I’d always been drawn to stories like My Fair Lady, Pygmalion and Gigi, where older, more worldly men influenced younger, naïve women and then they fell in love.

Getting ready to go to Marvin’s, I looked in the mirror and ran my fingers through my hair. Nearly black, contrasting sharply with my light, freckled skin, it was long and wavy in winter, but frizzy in summer. I’d given up trying to straighten it and just let it go à la Janis Joplin. I’d read that she ironed her hair on an ironing board. Since I rarely ironed my clothes, I decided that wasn’t an option.

It was liberating not to worry about my hair, and so was not wearing a bra. Liberated women everywhere were giving them up and burning them. Besides, I was thin enough to get away with it. The Indian print tops I wore with my jeans looked fine without one. I felt perky, sexy and hip.
I checked myself out in the mirror. My lips were small and I never bothered with lipstick. I picked up my eyeliner, the one makeup I always used, and underlined my hazel-green eyes with black pencil on the lower lids. One of my college boyfriends had described my eyes as sideways exclamation points. Of course, he was stoned at the time.

“This is the first apartment in New York that hasn’t given me claustrophobia,” I announced, sitting on the couch at Marvin’s. The kitchen was small, but the living room was large with high ceilings and two bay windows. I hadn’t seen the bedroom yet. The telescope was still pointed towards the undraped windows. I had to ask.

“What’s with the telescope, Marv? Are you into astronomy?”

“You might say I’m into sociology. I like to check out the people in the apartments across the street. Everyone does it in New York.”

“Oh. So you let them study you, too? There’s no drapes on your windows.”

“Sometimes. It doesn’t matter. No one knows who I am.”

I tried to hide my nervousness. I was in a strange man’s apartment in the middle of a strange city. I reminded myself it was nothing compared to all the hitchhiking I’d done in California a couple of years ago, back when the Manson murderers were still on the loose.
“I really should be a good boy tonight, Linda.”

“What do you mean, Marv? I thought you were a man.”

“I should take you out to dinner and to a movie.” And then he kissed me.

What happened next was every girl’s fantasy from the first time she practices kissing her favorite movie star’s face in her pillow. The faces change and the movie stars become rock stars and radicals. But the plot is the same and every Gothic novel describes the hero and heroine’s all-consuming passion.

The speed of our attraction felt like two magnets rushing without question to be one. Of course, in Gothic novels, it always took at least half an hour to get your clothes off, thanks to laced corsets and rows and rows of buttons. But it was 1971 and women went braless, men wore no jockey shorts under their jeans, and clothes were meant to be thrown on the floor.

“Oh, Marvin!” I screamed and Marvin exploded in a fit of laughter. We were positioned like two trapeze artists getting ready for the final jump. The bed was not very high but the risk of falling was tremendous.

“Why did you start laughing? I was almost there!” I couldn’t decide if I was hurt or angry.

“That voice! It was so loud it startled me.”

“I told you I was a singer. And I always bring my voice to bed with me.”

“Sorry, Linda.”

But this was no time for talking. We both remounted our imaginary trapezes, took a few low rides, and started pumping.

I could hardly wait to tell my friends all about it. “Nina, it was the best! And he couldn’t believe I’d been celibate for four whole months! I think it did something to his male ego. He’s definitely not my type, but he’s got money and he wants to show me around the city—if we ever get out of bed!”

We were hanging out at our friend Stevie’s college apartment in New Brunswick. Stevie wasn’t her real name, Marilyn was. I never asked her why she picked Stevie for a nickname instead of Mary, but there were a lot of things I didn’t understand about her. Like why she called her latest painting “Early Morning Blues Sculpture.” I never could figure out why she had stopped seeing her cute astrologer boyfriend, the one who told me that I had divine discontent, to be with a married, forty-something professor. Maybe she liked the challenge, or maybe she’d just listened to too much Janis Joplin. With her platinum blonde Marilyn Monroe haircut and blue-violet eyes, she certainly didn’t have any problem attracting men.

I stopped to take a gulp of coffee. This wasn’t the first time I’d sat at Stevie’s old Formica kitchen table swapping stories about the night before. Instead of housewives trading recipes, we were independent women sharing our sex lives. Women our age all over the country were holding their own roundtable discussions. The men we slept with would have blushed if they knew how thoroughly we scrutinized their sex techniques, no pubic hair left unturned.

After a couple of months, our “morning after” coffee klatches started to influence the “night before.” Nina confessed that the last time she’d had sex with her boyfriend she thought she’d heard the sound of coffee percolating. At first, she thought Louie, an ex-acid rock guitarist who had found peace by playing country music, had the hiccups. Then she realized her mind had started editing, rewriting a blow-by-blow account of the evening’s events. She vividly reenacted how he’d screamed her name at the crucial moment, then afterwards denied it, blaming his questionable utterance on a sore throat from smoking too much pot. He said two people had to be very serious before they called out to each other in bed and he was positive that married people stopped using each other’s names after the first year of marriage. By then they were too busy fantasizing.

“He was just getting scared,” I told Nina. I secretly envied her ability to hold on to men for longer than six months. My record was three months, but who was counting?
Marvin and I were meeting spontaneously on a regular basis. We went to the movies and tried going out to dinner, but I was having trouble eating in restaurants again. Most of the time, we ordered Chinese take-out.

Sex was still exciting and he had gotten used to the sound of my orgasm voice. Sometimes we would stand nude together in front of the living room windows and give the neighbors a show. Then one night we were sitting on the couch and he popped the question.

“I’m thinking of taking a few months off and going to California. Do you want to sublet my apartment?”

“Making the pilgrimage to paradise? If I’d found a job there, I would still be in Berkeley.”

“So, do you want the apartment or not?”

“Yes!”

Nina and I still hadn’t found a place and this was the answer to our prayers. I couldn’t wait to tell her the good news.

“Oh, and Linda—you know your eating thing? I have a friend who could help you with that.” Marvin offered. “He’s the best shrink in the city. Here’s his number. When I get back from California, I’m taking you out to dinner.”

“Thanks Marv. Maybe I’ll give him a call.”

My father packed up his station wagon with Nina’s and my things and reluctantly drove us into the city. It was a sweltering hot Sunday in July and no one felt like talking. I knew my father wasn’t happy about the move, but I was twenty-two and desperately seeking my independence. I’d saved enough money working temp jobs to pay my share of the rent for the next few months.

By then, I hoped to have a job in the city. Even if I had to work a day job in an office
We miraculously found a parking spot right in front of the apartment. Everything was going smoothly until I handed my father the key to the front door of the building.

“Are you sure this is the right key, Linda? It won’t open.” Before I could answer, he yelled, “It’s stuck! I think I broke the key!”

I didn’t need a shrink to figure out the symbolism of my father breaking the key that opened the door to my freedom.

I went down to the corner phone booth and called Marvin. He was staying with his mother in Jersey until he left for California the next day. He said he could get to us in under an hour.
When he arrived, Marvin was a perfect gentleman. He managed to get the old key out of the lock and used his spare to unlock the door. He even helped bring some of our things up to the apartment. Before he left, he told my father in his most serious lawyer voice, “I want you to know, Mr. Marks, that I was never ‘romantically involved’ with your daughter” (code for “I never slept with her”). “We just went out a few times.”

My father grabbed his hand and thanked him.

Just before my father left, he handed me an envelope. Inside was a hundred dollars in cash and a handwritten note:

Linda,
Boys must play and grow
Before they fall in love and know
The beauty and the longing theme
Of a girl’s aching heart and dream.
So, my dear Linda, until then,
Until boys learn to be men,
Please accept a father’s love
That’s as old as you and a true love.



About the Author:


Singer-songwriter Carol Selick performs a repertoire of jazz, rhythm and blues, pop, and her own work, and appears as a vocalist with her husband, jazz trumpeter and vocalist Gordon James. A gifted lyricist, she partnered with Hall-of-Famer Rose Marie McCoy, a songwriter for Nat King Cole, Louis Jordan, Maxine Brown, Ike and Tina Turner, and Elvis Presley.  

Carol co-founded and directed The New Jersey Garden State Opry and New Jersey Children’s Opry, where she wrote and performed original songs. She holds a degree in Early Childhood Education and Music from Rutgers, and taught piano and voice for many years.

Her recordings, Life is Believing in You and Just Gonna Think About Today, feature a mix of standards and originals, and she performs the bluesy vocals on James’s 2019 release, Come on Down, praised in Blues Blast as “piping-hot New Orleans fare, satisfying and spicy with just the right amount of sweet dessert!”






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Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Book Blast & Giveaway - Photo Bombed by Daria White

Photo Bombed

by Daria White

When a corpse crashes the party, Bianca is on the case.

Bianca Wallace is a work from home mom raising her teenage daughter as a single parent. She’s determined to stand on her own two feet in Edenville, Texas after her bitter divorce. When the town’s wedding of the year stars her friend as the bride, Bianca can’t wait to celebrate the nuptials. Neither she nor the guests expect a corpse! When the police suspect the bride, Bianca's determined to prove her friend’s innocence.

Lamar Sims, the new police detective in Edenville, is investigating the murder case. Bianca’s “interference” is not helping, but she won't stop when her friend's freedom is on the line. He makes it clear he wants her to let the police do their job, so she has to find ways around him.

No one in Edenville is safe until the killer is behind bars. Bianca won’t let Detective Sims dismiss her hunches. They may have to work together before another dead body shows up.

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Daria White will be awarding a $15 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.


Read an Excerpt:

“Did you feel that way when I got married? That I was leaving you behind in a way?”

“I was happy for you,” her mother said. “I think most parents are, but time goes by so fast. One moment your kids are babies and the next, they’re graduating and off to college.”

Bianca winced. “Don’t remind me, please.”

“See what I mean?” her mother continued. “Alyssa is not too far behind.”

“And now there’s a boy.”

Her mother grinned. “I see. How’s that going?”

Bianca’s eyes widened slightly. “No ‘she’s too young to be dating’? Isn’t that what you said to me at her age?”

Her mother waved off her question. “I’m the grandmother, so I can spoil her. I was only strict with you and Melanie.”

“Traitor.”

Her mother winked at her.

“Well, I want to meet the boy before she goes out with him.”

Her mother bobbed her head. “Now you remind me of your father. That’s exactly what he said when you told us about your crush on Malcom. He wanted to hire a private investigator.”

Bianca’s mouth fell open. “He didn’t.”

“I stopped him,” her mother said. “After I told him I would keep an eye on you two.”

“I still can’t believe you followed us on our first date.” Bianca ran a finger over her eyebrow.

“It was either him or me.” Her mother paused as her fingers drifted to her now bare ring finger. “Sometimes I can still hear him laughing. Even in my dreams, I can see his face. Hear his voice. To think we almost made forty years.”

Bianca touched her mother’s hand. “I miss him.” There’d been terrible beyond health circumstances. If only his heart had been stronger, but it took him away from the family too soon.

Her mother patted her hand. “Me too.”

“Ladies and gentlemen, the bride and groom are heading out!” the DJ announced through his microphone.

Bianca grabbed her small purse and the small drawstring bag that was filled with birdseed. She smiled, knowing her friend didn’t want the birds to choke on rice. She followed along with her mother as they tossed the birdseed at the couple. The limo waited for them, but Chad kissed Nicole one more time before opening the door. The crowd cheered only louder.

Bianca managed one last glance at Jordan, but he slipped away from the crowd. She didn’t blame him for not staying, but since he was Nicole’s best friend, Bianca knew he would show his support. He’d do anything for Nicole.

Tossing more birdseed, family and friends cheered and whistled at the newlywed couple. Bianca’s chest swelled. Her friend’s bouquet was tucked underneath her arm. Would she get married again? Bianca would think about that later. Right now, she wanted to get out of her five-inch pumps. They’d served their purpose, but she was grateful that she had flats in her car.

Chad opened the door for his new wife, only to hear Nicole’s high-pitched scream. Bianca’s instincts kicked in and she scurried to her friend’s side. Nicole’s face paled. Looking inside the limousine, Bianca spotted someone sitting across from where they stood.

She didn’t hesitate to walk to the other side. Bianca gasped at the sight.
 

About the Author:
Daria started writing as a teenager. Since she loves romance novels, she figured why not write them too? She also writes Christian fiction along with cozy mysteries! Daria graduated with a degree in healthcare management, so writing was not in the cards for her. It’s rare that you won’t catch her reading. Aside from that, she loves Turner Classic Movies, painting, Pilates, the piano, and chocolate.

Website: http://www.dariawhite.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Daria_White15
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/dariawhite90


Buy the book:

BN: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/photo-bombed-daria-white/1137390284
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3mYuNPU
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1034594

Other Books by the Author:

The Wedding Report https://books2read.com/u/31Gow6
Christmas Therapy https://books2read.com/u/b5Q1rA
Christmas Connection https://books2read.com/u/bMpYRV
Wish for Love https://books2read.com/u/49oyNd


Daria White will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.