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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Careful

Goddess Fish Promotions is organizing a Virtual Super Book Blast Tour for Careful by Randy Anderson, a YA Fiction book available May 1, 2014. The Super Book Blast Tour will take place on Thursday, May 1, 2014.

Randy will be awarding an eCopy of Careful and a $25 Starbucks GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. So please don't forget to leave a comment!

Blurb

For two decades Tyler Gibbons has been keeping a secret from his family. At the tender age of sixteen, Tyler embarks on a student exchange program. Sent to the Andean city of Ambato, Ecuador, he finds daily adventure as he tries to fit in at school, connect with his host family, and navigate through a world of beaches, volcanoes, and jungles. But tucked deep inside this year are events so profound, so unexpected, they forever shape the man he will become.

Now, 25 years later, his mother pulls these soaring tales from her son, exposing, for the first time, the source of a deep unhappiness. While these memories contain the wounds of an unresolved past, they also possess the power to heal his painful present.

Thoughtfully crafted and boldly told, Tyler’s journey takes the reader on a wild South American adventure, while illuminating a mother’s unyielding power to heal her child.


Excerpt

The terminal was absolute chaos. Luggage was brought in from the plane on carts, and people crowded around them, pushing and shoving to get a look. Suitcases were tossed aside in search of others and people were shouting. The decibel level became unbearable.

I managed to collect my bags without having to push anyone and headed to Immigration, where men in uniforms opened and rifled through all of my belongings. The officers would occasionally ask me a question, but I didn’t understand what they were saying, so I just smiled, nodded my head, and said sí. They could have been asking me if I had a dead body in my luggage, and I’d have said yes.

When the invasive suitcase search was complete, I walked to passport control. Reaching under my shirt, I pulled out my money belt, unzipped it, and found my passport. I was trembling. Both from the excitement of the moment and fear that I’d exposed my secret hiding spot.

I handed the man my passport and my visa paperwork. He quickly read over the documents and pulled out his big stamp. This was the moment I’d been waiting for, the first stamp in my passport. This stamp was going to be proof. Proof that I was here. Proof that I was brave. Proof that I was.

Bam! His stamp came down hard on a randomly selected page in the book. He closed my passport, slapped a flat hand on top, and slid it toward me.

I grabbed it from the table and quickly opened it up to admire my proof. The image was smeared and the ink had bled onto the facing page, but it was legible. Not that I could read it, because it was in Spanish. But it was legible. I held it open to dry as I followed the line of people exiting the terminal.


Author bio and links

Randy Anderson is a novelist and playwright. His first book was published in 2011. On Making Off recounted his adventures running The Beggars Group, a downtown theater company that produced over two dozen productions at the turn of the millennium. He is also the author of several plays including; Kill the President, The Dwelling, and Yippie! Randy currently lives in Brooklyn where he writes, reasons, and reacts. You can contact him at www.onmakingoff.com, or on twitter @onmakingoff

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

An evening of movies and musicals

Last weekend we were in Cardiff, Wales for a short break. Mainly to see this year's edition of A Night Of Movies And Musicals.

We attended last year's performance too and liked it so much we immediately planned our trip when we got a mail to announce the date. Cardiff, by the way, is a nice play to stay. The centre of the town is not too big, but there is enough to see and do. Cardiff has a castle, once belonging to the Marquis of Bute, and also a national gallery which contains the best collection of impressionists outside France. And personally I'd like to recommend The Corner House to lunch or dine. It is a pub, but also an eatery and its chef does know his business! We've eaten there three times by now, and each time the food on our plates was superb.

On Saturday night we went to St. David's Hall where the performance started at 7.30 pm. A symphonic orchestra, a choir of more than 100 people and several main acts. The orchestra played the themes of several well-known movies and of course there were sole performances. The Welsh tenor Wynne Evans sang a couple of songs, so did Nathan James (who was there the last year as well). His rendering of Gethsemane is the best I've ever heard. Other solo's were from Sandra Marvin (who sang songs of The Bodyguard and Ghost) and Sabrina Aloueche (performing from Les Miserables, where she played the role of Eponine).


We had great seats! We were sitting in the first row, centre stage. We could see everything very clearly and the artists also could see us, as we learned after the concert when we were able to have some words with them.

I can certainly recommend this concert. If you have a chance to see it anywhere else (they also do performances in Edinburgh, London and Dublin), buy a ticket and you're in for an evening of good music and song.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Finding Her Dream

Allow me to introduce you to Jennah Scott, author of Finding Her Dream. This is a work of erotical western fiction. Jennah is doing a promotional tour to promote her book today and will be giving away a $10 GC (winner’s choice of e-book retailer) to a randomly drawn commenter.

So please, leave as many comments as you like but make sure to use this Rafflecopter code: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/72b0e127/

Blurb

It wasn't until she watched her best friend find the man of her dreams that RayAnne Hill realized there was a part of her missing. She knows the empty space can only be filled by finding her own true love, complete with kids and the white picket fence. Fear of letting someone in stops her cold, and it's much bigger than just finding Mr. Right.

James Shaw moved away from Kentucky and the family business to chase his own goals, settling in the small town of Kimmswick, Missouri. His business is succeeding, now he's ready to complete his life with a wife and kids. One night, one look and he's found her. RayAnne is everything he's been searching for.

As hard as James has fallen for RayAnne, can he be enough to help her overcome her worst nightmare? Or will he decide he can't wait forever, and walk away to find happiness?


Excerpt
Well, wasn’t that just the crap on the cake. Selfish. Once again, Ray was thinking of herself before she found out the whole story. James wasn’t ditching her.

“You know, you could have called and rescheduled. I would have understood.” She wouldn’t have liked it, but she knew about having a business and needing to be there. It was the same way with her dad, and for a while, herself.

“I didn’t want to miss our date. You’re a beautiful woman, giving me a chance and I’m messing it all up with my mare. Besides, Doc told me if I didn’t get some food then I’d never make it through the night. I really don’t want to screw this up.”

“Hey. Don’t worry about it. I understand. We’ll enjoy whatever time we have.” Not that the hurt faded completely. There was still a pang in her chest knowing the date was a failure. “Do you want to order something and if necessary, I can bring it out to the ranch? You’ve got to eat.”

He ran his hand down her cheek. Ray leaned into his touch. This was what she wanted. She breathed a sigh of relief when the legs of the chair closest to her scraped against the floor as he pulled it out and then sat down. He was turned slightly toward the table, his shoulders turned to face her.

“You’re such a sweetheart. Thank you. I don’t know how long she’s going to be.” James leaned over, brushed his lips across hers.

Author bio and links

Born and raised in Texas, Jennah is a transplant to Missouri long enough ago she should probably consider that her hometown. But she will forever be a Texan. She loves to write any story that will make a reader smile, laugh, and maybe even cry (although you won't ever hear her admit that she cries). Whether the next story she writes is contemporary, urban fantasy, LGBT, or whatever other crazy idea she comes up with, there will always be love and romance in the midst of trials and turmoil.
When she's not writing you can find her on Twitter, with her family, or buried in a book trying to escape reality for just a minute.







Buy Links:





Thursday, April 24, 2014

Rogue Phoenix's Facebook party

Rogue Phoenix Press reaches its 6th birthday, and therefore organises a party on Facebook. Everyone is kindly invited, of course.


What's this? Well, during two full days, various authors will be available to talk about their work and you can ask them questions. There will be scavenger hunts too, and lots of prizes to be won.

Here's the announcement:

Rogue Phoenix Press Facebook party. Come join us April 25th - April 26th to celebrate six years of publishing. Prizes - kindles - books- and more! Scavenger hunts and questions to answer, leave a comment for a chance to win.
https://www.facebook.com/RoguePhoenixPress

I'll be there as well, between 9 and 10 a.m. our local time. Hope to meet some of you there!


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Singing can save your life!

Literally! The item that caught my attention in this morning's newspaper was the story about a six-year-old American boy, who was kidnapped.

The (so far unknown) kidnapper pushed the boy out of his car after three hours.... because the kid kept on singing a gospel song. Obviously not a fan of good music! On hearing about this event, the writer and composer of the song visited the boy to congratulate him.

I know about the strenght of good music. I don't claim I can sing, but I guess I do well enough (especially under the shower). Some years ago, we had the worst possible neighbors. We own a flat on the top floor but underneath is another flat of course. These people - which we called 'The Vampires' lived during the night. They did not only stay awake (which I can't be bothered with, everyone does what he or she wants) but they took part in orgies and produced a terrible lot of noise.

We asked them politely to keep in mind they were not alone in the building, but that didn't help. Threatening with the police and a courtcase neither. They just laughed in our face.

But at last we found the remedy. After a night of carousing, we opened our windows at eight o'clock in the morning and sang as loud as we could 'Tiritomba' or 'Funiculi Funicula'. Well, that worked on their nerves! With a loud bang they shut their windows and we were glad they would not sleep as well.


They moved at long last. Now there is no more trouble as the new owners are normal people who sleep at night.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Novels from the 1950's - and earlier

I am a child of the fifties. I was born in 1956 and grew up reading and loving the works of what are now considered the classics.

I already told you I was very fond of adventure novels, but as I grew up I also discovered romance. Well, what was considered romance in those days. I began to read the novels of Victoria Holt, Catherine Gaskin, Phyllis A. Whitney and so many others.

Some of their titles (Mistress of Mellyn, Fiona, A Falcon For A Queen, ...) I read over and over - until the library 'lost' the books. Another of my favorites was Mara, Daughter of the Nile.

Times changed and younger people did not like this kind of story anymore, or so it seemed. Romance changed too. More sex in the scenes, alpha males. Though some of these stories are well-written I don't like them as much as the old ones. For me sex scenes need not be to described in every last detail to make me use my fantasy. You can suppose the hero and heroine will go to bed, but all those pages of how they make love... Thanks, not for me.

So I was very glad when Amazon finally began to sell Kindle editions of my old favorites. Now I have Georgette Heyer on my Kindle, Victoria Holt, Laurie McBain, Kathleen Woodiwiss - and more recently Dorothy Eden.

It has been ages since I last read Winterwood. And while some of the above mentioned works are somewhat outdated in style, there is nothing 'old' about the style and storytelling of Dorothy Eden. It was such a treat to read that novel about Lavinia Hurst (who becomes the governess of Flora, a child who is in a wheelchair) once more!

Are there others around who also love these novels? If so, please leave a comment and tell my why.

Monday, April 21, 2014

In for a long, hot summer???

Since the beginning of March the weather has made a turn for the better. We were blessed with lots of sunny days and the temperatures reached up onto 18° Celsius. That is already quite warm, because often in summer it is less warm than that!

The past Easter holiday was also a sunny one. The temperatures now go up to 21° and promise to remain this way for the rest of the week.

That makes us wonder if we are heading towards a warm and sunny summer. From my past experience (I keep stats from all the summers past, until 1993 when I began with my observations) I know this scenario can work two ways.

Either we're in for a warm spring and then comes July we get back into autumn (like most of the summers in the 2000's) or otherwise we keep on to this kind of weather (like in 2003). And let's not forget that wonderful summer of 1976.


As the song says, that summer began in May and ended at the end of September. I remember the temperatures at the end of June being well in the 30's. I was doing my exams at uni then, studied down in the cellar to get some cool (feet into a bowl of water) and felt ever so relieved when the exams were finally over and I could join my family at the coast - where there was a light breeze! Btw, I did well on those exams, but then I always did.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Permanent wave

I know, it's a bit old-fashioned, but I can still laugh at this Easter joke! Hope you can as well.


A man was driving along the highway, when he saw the Easter Bunny hopping across the middle of the road. He swerved to avoid hitting the Bunny, but unfortunately the rabbit jumped in front of his car and was hit. The basket of eggs went flying all over the place. Candy, too.

The driver, being a sensitive man as well as an animal lover, pulled over to the side of the road, and got out to see what had become of the Bunny carrying the basket. Much to his dismay, the colorful Bunny was dead.

The driver felt guilty and began to cry. A woman driving down the same highway saw the man crying on the side of the road and pulled over. She stepped out of her car and asked the man what was wrong.

"I feel terrible,"  he explained. "I accidentally hit the Easter Bunny and killed it. What should I do?"

The woman told the man not to worry. She knew exactly what to do. She went to her car trunk, and pulled out a spray can. She walked over to the limp, dead Bunny and sprayed the entire contents of the can onto the little furry animal.

Miraculously, the Easter Bunny came back to life, jumped up, picked up the spilled eggs and candy, waved its paw at the two humans and hopped on down the road. Fifty yards away the Easter Bunny stopped, turned around, waved and hopped on down the road another fifty yars, turned, waved, hopped another fifty yards and waved again!

The man was astonished. He said to the woman: "What in heaven's name is in your spray can?"

The woman turned the can around so that the man could read the label. It said: Hair Spray. Restores life to dead hair.  Adds permanent wave.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Robin Cousins' Ice

The past couple of days we've been away to Manchester (or rather, to Salford which is better known as Media City UK). We have been there last August too, and it's quite a nice place. Lots of canals and loads of opportunity to walk.

On Thursday we went to see Robin Cousin's Ice. For those who don't know Robin Cousins, he was one of Britain's best skaters in the 1980s. He won various medals at the championships and even the Gold Medal at the Olympics of Lake Placid. He is also the main judge of Dancing on Ice.

Later on Robin went to Holiday on Ice and he also made lots of choreographies for it. He started up his own company and has created beautiful shows on ice.


It's been since my childhood days I saw such a figure skating show once more. When I was not even ten years old, we often went to Antwerp to see Holiday on Ice shows in the Sportpaleis arena. A cousin and her husband picked us up at the railroad station and then we went together to see the show.

As kids we loved skating and we couldn't wait until the brooks froze over to bind on our skates. In those days, in Belgium there were no skate rinks (there aren't much now, either). So we had to wait until it froze to get on the ice. Luckily we have lots of streams and pools. In our neighborhood there we plenty of opportunity to go skating. The best places were those where you could not fall into deep water. In those days they allowed fields to be flooded, so the kids could skate when it became colder. And it was quite safe too.

But this being said, I just loved the show in Salford! It is really something I can advise, when you love skating.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Carpe Diem

For those who don't know Latin, this means: Seize the Day.

We live by that saying. We enjoy every moment to the fullest, because we know well enough it could be the last time. And it doesn't have to be anything expensive. I can enjoy the sun that shines after some days of rain, a nice sight, a striking painting in a museum, a good meal shared with friends, ... Of course I also like things that are expensive, like diamonds (although I don't own any, too expensive for my purse). No cars though, I haven't had one for over 10 years. My eyes are not good enough, even with glasses. I can't distinguish distance. This is not bad in ordiary life, but it would be dangerous when driving a car.

So whenever the opportunity arises, we are off on a trip somewhere to see a performance (or just do some shopping!) or go to see a collection at a museum. Soon we'll be away to Manchester, Cardiff and London - all this in good five weeks' time. We are going to see iceskating (Robing Cousin's Ice), War Horse, Miss Saigon and a Night of Film and Musical.

Hopefully the weather will remain as fine as it has been up to now. These last few weeks have been warm and sunny and we've never had such warm weather so early before. Having been at the seaside we already have some tan, just like we would have had after the summer months.

How do you live? We of course don't have any children and no family to leave things to. So we treat ourselves to specials frequently. We don't save up our money, as we find the best insurance is owning a house (and we have two). We'll manage well enough on our pensions later on.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Accidents do happen

About two years ago, a bus full of schoolchildren returning from a ski trip in Switzerland, left the road for an unexplained reason and hit the wall of a tunnel near Sierre. Several children died, along with some teachers and the busdriver.


A sad accident. The Swiss police did a thorough investigation and came to the conclusion it was only that: an accident.

But some of the parents can't accept this. They want to put the blame on someone - by preference, on the busdriver. This man had had a depression - of which he had recovered - and had taken some medicine in the past. The group of parents now wants to prove these medicines had an after effect and made the man commit suicide.

I know it's hard to lose someone you love. My own parents died way too early. My father was working in the garden when he had a heart attack and died instantly. Hard to accept as well, but we managed and we never put the blame on his employer, National Rail. He worked irregular hours, day and night, so he could well have developed this heart condition by doing it.

You have to ask yourself: how important is it to know what happened? What will it change? Dead is dead, unfortunately. By putting the blame elsewhere you don't bring back those who have deceased.

Isn't it better to remember the good times? We often mention our mum or dad, or our grandmother or grandfather. They are somewhat alive in our memory. I also often dream of them.

I hope these parents find it in their hearts to leave things be and not put the blame on a man who - most likely - only did his job. For all we know their own kids are to blame. You know how it goes with school trips. Kids run up and down to ask if the driver can play their DVD's or CD's. One second of not keeping your eye on the road is enough.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Paris-Roubaix

Today Paris-Roubaix was the topic of the day. This world-famous cyclist tour is known for its tricky parcours - at its best when it is raining.


Now personally I don't have a lot of interest for cycling. I ride a bike, but it's quite a normal one, without 12 or more gears (just the three of them, and I always put it on 2). I enjoy making trips on bike, but never try to be the fastest.

But a lot of young guys are attracted to this sport because you can make good money doing it. I've had a couple of cyclists in the classes I taught. Some of them rather good ones.

My late mother loved to watch the cyclist competition, but then she was half an invalid and she liked to see others fall from their bike... She always felt better after having watched an afternoon of cycling!

Doping is a big issue in this sport. I think they have to look far for a cyclist who NEVER takes anything to boost his achievements. And most of them lie about taking it.

Where is the time of the village competitions? All young guys who competed for a bunch of flowers and a kiss from a little girl (me, in this case). They ate a bunch of spaghetti before the competition and just did their best. That is sports in my eyes. Not for the money, but for the glory.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Easter at the seaside

For my sister and I time spent at the seaside is always a bit of holiday. We've had our flat since 1993, but before that we always rented an apartment during the month of July. Our dad wasn't always there, because he liked to use his free days to go travelling, but our mother and grandmother were with us, and sometimes a cousin or two.


We know this place - Knokke-Heist - even better than our place of birth (which is Dendermonde). We know every street, every venue. We also know more people here. Which is not so surprising because we tend to spend our free time here. We also plan to come living here once we're both pensioned.

As pensioners, your income is not the same anymore but more importantly, I don't see us maintaining two homes at our old age. One is more than enough. The flat here is not too big, but it has everything we need. We only have one bedroom, the right size for two beds and a (self-made) dressing along the longest wall. We have a small living room which holds our books and our collection of CD's and DVD's. We also have a kitchen with everything we need: a good oven, a cooking range, enough cupboards, a dishwasher and a washing machine, ...  A bathroom with shower only, but that is better for older people.

However, the biggest asset of our flat is the large roof terrace we have. We can really have a party going there. In summer, it's the place to barbecue, to eat outdoors, to enjoy the sun. We seldom go to the beach when the sun is out. It's much easier to arrange the chairs and put up the umbrella to enjoy the sun without getting too much of it.

Yes, being here always feels like being away (which it is)!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Tinkering away

We're in the middle of the Easter holidays, and traditionally we do some chores in the house this time of year.

Remember I told you time ago about the shelves nearly falling on our heads? Well, we did some repair during the previous holiday but now we have more time to find a more lasting solution.

So this afternoon we tinkered away. My sister sawed planks to the right size and I helped to screw them into the wall.We created a dressing of which NOTHING will drop on our head anymore. Every hook and cranny is solid and won't loosen. Problem are the walls in our bedroom. Three of them are not solid enough to carry weight. The only good wall is the outer wall and now we have made a dressing the whole lenght of this wall. there is enough space for the beds and we can stow away an awful lot.

We do plan on living here once we are pensioned, so we need enough room to put away all our things.

They predict morre nice weather for tomorrow, so we will make a beach walk for a change.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Second Chance Bride

Goddess Fish Promotions is organizing a Virtual Super Book Blast Tour for Second Chance Bride by Trish Morey, a Contemporary Romance available April 8, 2014 from Tule Publishing. The Super Book Blast Tour will take place from April 8 - 11, 2014.

 The author and publisher will be awarding a $20 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.


Blurb

Scarlett Buck has always been flaky in comparison to her sensible twin sister Tara, so nobody is really surprised when Scarlett spends all her money on a one way ticket to Australia to be with the man she’s met on the Net. But she hasn’t reckoned on the guy already being married, or her mom getting sick, and now she needs money for a flight home to Marietta, MT—quick. Signing on with Bella's Belles in Kalgoorlie isn't be the proudest moment in her life but it will get her home fast. After all, it's just sex.

Or is it?

Mitch Bannister's ex is about to marry his best friend, and he could really do with a cold beer and a hot woman. But the cowgirl he takes a shine to at Bella's is surprisingly skittish, and in the end he leaves without hooking up.

Later, when Mitch spies the cowgirl in the local pub begging for a job, he shrinks into the shadows--he's not looking for complications, and something tells him that Scarlett Buck is a whole handful of them.  But soon it's clear she's not just trouble, she's in trouble, and like it or not, he's not about to turn his back on this stray from the States. Especially if she can do him a favor in return. After all, it's just a helping hand.


Or is it?

Excerpt

“You look amazing,” he said, and it wasn’t his words that warmed her through and through, it was the husky quality to his Aussie drawl and the raw heat in his eyes. If she’d had any qualms that he was dressing her to make his ex feel bad, they were banished before they could take root. He was dressing her for him.

She’d never thought blue was a warm color, not until now, not until she’d felt this slow, warm glide of his eyes over her form leaving a smoking trail of heat.

So sex wasn’t part of this deal?

Didn’t mean it wasn’t going to happen.

Shoes and accessories were next. He took his time, not rushing and not checking out the sale items like she was, but going for top shelf every time.

She wondered whether he was as attentive a lover as he was a shopper.

And then she remembered that first encounter in Bella’s, and the hot stroke of his tongue against her breast.

Oh yeah!


Author bio and links

USA Today Bestselling Author, Trish Morey has written thirty romances for the internationally bestselling Harlequin Presents line and her stories have been published in more than 25 languages in 40 countries worldwide, including being published in Manga comic book form in Japan, and as Trish Moreyova in the Czech Republic. Trish was awarded Romance Writers of Australia’s Romantic Book of the Year Award (the Ruby) for short, sexy romance In 2006 and again in 2009, as well as being a finalist in the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA Awards in 2012.

A qualified Chartered Accountant by trade, Trish was employed as financial manager at a major business school prior to her first sale.

Trish lives with her husband, 4 daughters and assorted menagerie in the beautiful Adelaide Hills.


Author links:



Tule Publishing page: http://tulepublishing.com/product/second-chance-bride/

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sweet Callahan Homecoming

Goddess Fish Promotions is organizing a Virtual Super Book Blast Tour for Sweet Callahan Homecoming by Tina Leonard, a Contemporary Romance available April 1, 2014 from Harlequin Publishing. The Super Book Blast Tour will take place on Monday, April 7, 2014 

Tina will be awarding $25 Amazon e-certs to TWO randomly drawn commenters during the tour. So don't forget to leave a comment!!!

Blurb

Will Ashlyn Callahan finally find her magic?  The last Callahan rides in the exciting conclusion to the bestselling series, The Callahan Cowobys!

Four Babies—and Her Whole Family—to Protect

Ashlyn Callahan has always known that her fate can only bring danger to those she loves. That's why she flees Rancho Diablo—and the ornery cowboy she loves—to hide out in Texas Hill Country. But all hell breaks loose when Xavier Phillips finds her…and her four newborn babies.


Xav finally tracks down his warrior woman—only to discover she's the mother of two perfect little boys and two perfect little girls. And he's the father! Now Ash has to marry him. With the future of Ash's entire clan at stake, Xav is ready to lay his life on the line to safeguard the family legacy. Not to mention create a homecoming—and a wedding!—worthy of his Chacon Callahan bride!


Excerpt

Ash Callahan wasn’t easy to track. She used only cash. There were no phone calls, no computer emails to track. It was as if she’d disappeared—which she’d obviously intended to do.

In the end, he’d gone to Running Bear for direction, only to be amazed that Running Bear hadn’t heard from Ash, either. Those two shared the same untamed spirit.

But Xav got a pointer or two from Running Bear that sent him on a path to find her. Now he shifted on the white-painted porch, hearing footsteps inside, hoping his journey wasn’t a dead end. It had been too many months since he’d held the love of his life in his arms.

A middle-aged woman opened the door, a questioning frown on her face. “Yes?”

“Hi.” He gave her his most friendly smile. “I’m Xav Phillips, from Diablo, New Mexico. I’m looking for a woman named Ashlyn Callahan.”

The woman shook her head, glancing over her shoulder when a baby’s cry burst in the background. “I’m sorry, no. I’ve never heard of her.”

He couldn’t say what made him linger on the porch. Maybe it was because he’d come so far and was so disappointed to find his search turning up a dead end again. Another baby’s cries joined the first, sending up a wail of epic proportions between them, which made the woman anxiously begin to back away.

“Excuse me,” she said, “good luck finding whomever you’re looking for.”

She closed the door. Xav hesitated, then leaned his ear against the wood. He heard soft voices inside comforting the babies, and then unbelievably, he heard a voice he’d know any day, any night, whether he was awake, asleep or even in a coma.

“Sweet baby, don’t fuss. My little prince,” he heard Ash say, and in a flash, he slid over to the enormous glass window framing the Christmas tree so he could peer cautiously inside the house.

Behind the large, ruffle-branched Christmas tree, four white bassinets lay together in a room decorated for the holidays amid beautifully wrapped gifts. He held his breath, watching Ash comfort a tiny infant boy. Ash’s shock of pale hair had grown into a waterfall of silver liquid she wore in a ponytail. Xav grew warm all over despite the cold, and Cupid’s arrow shot right into his heart, the same way it had every time he’d ever gotten within two miles of her.

He was head over heels in love with her, and nine long months apart had done nothing to diminish those emotions. The ring in his pocket practically burned, reminding him how long he’d waited to ask her to marry him.

She put the baby down and picked up another, a sweet, pink-pajamaed little girl, and Xav’s heart felt like it splatted on the ground. She acted as if these were her children, so loving and gentle was she as she held them. Xav was poleaxed with new thoughts of making Ash a mother. Motherhood and Ash weren’t a combination he’d ever really put together in his head, but watching her with these children made him realize his original proposal wasn’t the one he wanted to offer her.

He didn’t want to fall back on a business arrangement to save his ego.

No, he was going all in. He was going to tell her the truth about the shot she’d allegedly fired at Wolf, because clearly that was why she was hiding out here, helping the older lady babysit her family’s babies. Or maybe she ran a babysitting service. It didn’t matter. The point was, Ash was in hiding and he was going to tell her the truth: She was not the hunted one. She was not destined to bring destruction to Rancho Diablo and her family.

And then he was going to ask her to be his wife.


Author bio and links

USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Tina Leonard writes with humor, sexiness, and fun. With nearly three million books sold, she plans to keep writing the stories readers enjoy. Her schedule keeps her very busy creating independent heroines and the irresistible heroes who love them. Visit Tina at www.tinaleonard.com, www.twitter.com/Tina_Leonard, www.facebook.com/authortinaleonard, and www.pinterest.com/tinaleonard1.





Friday, April 4, 2014

Dreams of Perfection

Goddess Fish Promotions is organizing a Cover Reveal Book Blast Tour for Dreams of Perfection by Rebecca Heflin, a Contemporary Romance available Spring 2014 from Soul Mate Publishing.

Rebecca will award an ebook copy of Dreams of Perfection to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Please use this Rafflecopter code:   http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/96cd074/


Blurb


Best-selling romance writer, Darcy Butler, is holding out for perfection in the form of her own carefully-crafted heroes. Once blissfully engaged to be married, Darcy’s post-traumatic commitment phobia is depriving her of the very thing she wants most: her very own happily-ever-after. Now, here she is just six months shy of her thirtieth birthday, and not a Prince Charming in sight. 

Successful lawyer, Josh Ryan, is the boy-next-door with a soft spot for the less fortunate, and Darcy’s best friend without benefits. Darcy often comes to him lamenting her love-life, or the lack thereof, whereupon Josh patiently doles out his sage advice. Problem is Josh is in love with Darcy. 


But when Darcy finds herself looking into the handsome face of the man who graces the cover of her soon-to-be-released novel, she’s convinced her dreams of perfection have come true. Or have they?


Author bio and links

Rebecca Heflin is an award-winning author who has dreamed of writing romantic fiction since she was fifteen and her older sister snuck a copy of Kathleen Woodiwiss' Shanna to her and told her to read it. Rebecca writes women's fiction and contemporary romance. When not passionately pursuing her dream, Rebecca is busy with her day-job as a practicing attorney.

Rebecca is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), Florida Romance Writers, RWA Contemporary Romance, and Florida Writers Association. She and her mountain-climbing husband live at sea level in sunny Florida.

Awards:

2013 Florida Writers Association Royal Palm Literary Award Finalist (Rescuing Lacey)
2013 Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence Winner (Rescuing Lacey)
2013 Virginia Romance Writers Holt Medallion Award of Merit (Rescuing Lacey)
2013 Georgia Romance Writers Published Maggie Finalist (Rescuing Lacey)
2013 Shooting Star Award (Rescuing Lacey)
2013 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Finalist (Rescuing Lacey)
2013 Wisconsin Romance Writers Write Touch Readers' Awards Finalist (The Promise of Change)
2011 Royal Palm Literary Awards Finalist (The Promise of Change)



Twitter: @RebeccaHeflin

Thursday, April 3, 2014

New York City founded by the Belgians?

Those who are acquainted with history will have learned that the city of New York was founded by the Dutch.


Pierre Minuit bought the island of Manhattan from the indians for the small sum of 60 florins (now about 900 US dollar). He became the first governor of the republic of New Holland, which was later to become the city of New York.

According to a (Belgian) historicus, Pierre Minuit was born in Wallony, which is part of Belgium and his compatriots joined him in coming to the new land. The first settlers would thus have been Belgians.

Of course here everyone believes what Vander Cruyssen is saying. But the Dutch are more sceptic. They don't want to share the glory with us, it seems. They say the West-Indian Company was a multinational and the identity of its CEO is not important...

But all the Belgian media took over this newsfact as the truth and somewhere in New York there is also a memorial that quotes the Walloons who founded the city.

This tidbit was brought up again by a quiz at our local TV station. The public had to guess whether this statement was true or false.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

What A Bride Wants

Goddess Fish Promotions is organizing a Virtual Super Book Blast Tour for What a Bride Wants by Kelly Hunter, a Contemporary Romance available April 1, 2014 from Tule Publishing. The Super Book Blast Tour will take place from April 1 - 4, 2014.

 The author and publisher will be awarding a $20 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.


Blurb

What a bride wants…

Ella Grace Emerson adores her father, but he keeps trying to marry her off to every eligible rancher in Montana. When he puts an ad in the paper on her behalf – for a docile house-husband – Ella retaliates with one of her own, pinned to the noticeboard of the local saloon. No husband required, housebroken or otherwise. What she wants is the perfect lover.

What a bride needs…

Newcomer Cam Sawyer is perfectly willing to tear up the sheets with Ella and be her partner in chaos. She wants a bad boy and he’s had experience aplenty. But what she really needs is a strong and loving partner, and until Sawyer stops running from his past he can never be that.


Sawyer’s the one Ella wants. But can he be the man she needs?

Excerpt

“Yes, I know he’s perfectly presentable and possibly a very nice person. Second-born son from a good ranching family. All good things. It’s just that when he looks at me he sees Emerson Holdings and award-winning bloodlines – money on the hoof. He doesn’t see me.”

Ella Grace Emerson leaned against the walnut desk and watched with fond exasperation as her father paced the length of his study. He stopped and stooped to add another block of wood to the fire that sat snug within the stonework of the study’s western wall. A huge picture window took up most of another wall and in the distance loomed the soaring, snow-clad Crazy Mountains of Montana.

The charity dinner they’d just returned from had dragged on late into the evening. They’d been seated at a table of eight that had included Joe Carter and his middle son Max, and the blatant matchmaking efforts of both fathers had been enough to set Ella’s teeth on edge.

Max’s half-baked interest in her good-self had done the rest.

“It was worth a try,” her father argued. “You and Max have similar social status, similar interests. It could have worked well.”

“That’s what you always say. And it never does. Daddy, I am not a cow to be bred. You need to let me find my own man.”

“But you don’t.” Samuel T. Emerson threw up his hands.


Author bio and links

Accidentally educated in the sciences, Kelly Hunter didn't think to start writing romances until she was surrounded by the jungles of Malaysia for a year and didn't have anything to read. Eventually she decided that writing romance suited her far better than throwing sterile screw-worm flies out of airplane windows, and changed careers.

Kelly now lives in Australia, surrounded by lush farmland and family, 2 dogs, 3 miniature cows, a miniature pig, a 3-legged cat and a small flock of curious chickens. There are still flies, but their maggots don’t feed on flesh. Bargain.

Kelly is a USA Today bestselling author, a three time Romance Writers of America RITA finalist and loves writing to the short contemporary romance form.

Visit her at www.kellyhunter.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kelly.hunter.73307?ref=tn_tnmn
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KellyHunterova


Barnes and Noble author page: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/kelly-hunter