Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Others Series by Anne Bishop

I'm currently reading The Others Series by Anne Bishop. I am really enjoying this books. They are urban fantasy, fast-paced and fun to read. There are five books in the series:

Written in Red
Murder of Crows
Vision in Silver
Marked in Flesh
Etched in Bone.
I highly recommend them if you like urban fantasy. Here’s the link to the books on Amazon.


Sunday, March 19, 2017

EVANTHIA’S GIFT by Effie Kammenou


Blurb:
In the year 1956, Anastacia Fotopoulos finds herself pregnant and betrayed, fleeing from a bad marriage. With the love and support of her dear friends Stavros and Soula Papadakis, Ana is able to face the challenges of single motherhood. Left with emotional wounds, she resists her growing affection for Alexandros Giannakos, an old acquaintance. But his persistence and unconditional love for Ana and her child is eventually rewarded and his love is returned. In a misguided, but well-intentioned effort to protect the ones they love, both Ana and Alex keep secrets - ones that could threaten the delicate balance of their family.

The story continues in the 1970’s as Dean and Demi Papadakis, and Sophia Giannakos attempt to negotiate between two cultures. Now Greek-American teenagers, Sophia and Dean, who have shared a special connection since childhood, become lovers. Sophia is shattered when Dean rebels against the pressure his father places on him to uphold his Greek heritage and hides his feelings for her. When he pulls away from his family, culture and ultimately his love for her, Sophia is left with no choice but to find a life different from the one she’d hoped for.

EVANTHIA’S GIFT is a multigenerational love story spanning fifty years and crossing two continents, chronicling the lives that unify two families.

EXCERPT:
November 1955

The air was unusually chilled for early November in NYC, but despite the dropping temperature, sweat trickled down the back of Anastacia’s neck. Unable to wish away the nausea that was taking hold of her and too ill to sit through her last class, she’d left the NYU campus, hopping on an uptown subway to return home for the day. She’d been lightheaded and queasy the past few days, but nothing as violent as what she was currently feeling. Waiting at the crosswalk, the aroma of garlic and cheese permeating from a nearby café antagonized the volcano that was about to erupt in her belly, and she prayed she would get home without incident.
At last, Anastacia ducked into her apartment building, closing her eyes, and offering a silent thank you to the heavens for the safety and comfort of her home. Once inside her foyer, she removed her coat, hung it in the closet and glimpsed herself in the mirror hanging over the Bombay Chest. Pale skin and sunken eyes replaced her usual olive complexion and healthy glow.
I just need to sleep off whatever this is.
Her husband, Jimmy, was not expected home from work for several hours, and she hoped to be feeling better by then.
Suddenly, the sound of voices startled her. She walked through the living room, following the noise. She almost forgot the motion sickness that forced her home earlier than usual as the guttural sound of rhythmic moans grew louder, interrupted only by a woman’s shrill laughter. Anastacia forced her legs to follow the cacophony and found herself at the doorway of her bedroom. She stood there frozen. Seeing, but not believing. Tears sprang to her eyes and dripped down her cheeks, and she began to shake uncontrollably. Anastacia attempted to speak, but bile rose to her throat, rendering her incapable of uttering a word. Then, a cry that seemed to escape from her very soul, revealed her presence.
In that second, they knew she’d witnessed their betrayal. Anastacia was taken aback by the look of pure satisfaction that flashed across the naked woman’s face. A face that held not even a hint of guilt or remorse.
Her husband’s face told a different story. Shock, fear, maybe regret. For getting caught. It couldn’t have been more than a few seconds, but so many thoughts bombarded her mind that it was as though she were moving in slow motion. But then, the impact of it all slammed into her, and she ran.
Jimmy jumped up, wrapping himself in a bed sheet.
“Ana! Wait!” He pushed the woman off him. “Get off me! Move! Get out of here.”
Barely making it to the bathroom, Anastacia leaned over the toilet, expelling the contents of her stomach.
“Ana,” Jimmy pleaded, coming up beside her.
“Get away from me.” She wiped her mouth with a towel, straightened up and gathered all her strength to push past him.
Jimmy blocked the doorway.
“Ana mou, I’m sorry. Please. Let me explain. Sagapo. I love-”
“Don’t touch me or ever say that to me. You’re disgusting. You both are.” She ducked under his arm, but he grabbed her wrist.
His touch seared her to the bone and she pulled away. She was shamed, shaken—broken, but there was no way she was going to let him see it.
“I said don’t touch me. Never come near me again.”
“It’s not what it looks like. She… it was all her. I never meant to… Ana, please.”
“It looked like it was both of you. Now let me pass,” she spat. He lifted his hands in surrender and stepped aside as she pushed her way past him through the narrow bathroom doorway.
In the hallway, the woman stood, watching, gloating. Although she and Anastacia both had dark brown hair and similar Mediterranean features, she lacked the poise and grace that Anastacia exuded.
“Get out of my home,” Ana ordered her. “I never want to see you again.” Anastacia stormed out her front door, slamming it behind her. Doubling over, she thought she might heave again, but she drew in a deep breath and continued down the hall to Soula’s apartment. She frantically knocked on the door. When she opened it, Soula took one look at her best friend and she hugged her.
“Ana mou, what is it?
Between gasps and cries, Anastacia relayed the entire humiliating scene, as well as Jimmy’s despicable attempt to explain the unforgivable.
“What do I do now?”
“We go upstairs and talk to your uncle,” Soula said. “He will know how to handle this.”
“How can I tell him? What will my parents say? How could I be so stupid? What will Uncle Tasso think?”
“Of you? Nothing different than before. Of them? They will get what they deserve. Come. We will go together. I will tell your uncle if you cannot.”

Purchase Links
Evanthia’s Gift on Amazon:
Waiting For Aegina on Amazon:

Both Books on Amazon:
Both Books on Barnes and Noble:

About the Author:
Effie Kammenou is a believer that it is never too late to chase your dreams, follow your heart or change your career. She is proof of that. At one time, long ago, she'd thought that, by her age, she would have had an Oscar in her hand after a successful career as an actor. Instead, she worked in the optical field for 40 years and is the proud mother of two accomplished young women.

Her debut novel, Evanthia’s Gift, is a women’s fiction multigenerational love story and family saga, influenced by her Greek heritage, and the many real life accounts that have been passed down. She continues to pick her father’s brain for stories of his family’s life in Lesvos, Greece, and their journey to America. Her interview with him was published in a nationally circulated magazine.

Evanthia’s Gift: Book One in The Gift Saga was a 2016 award finalist in the Readers Favorite Awards in the Women’s Fiction category.  Waiting for Aegina: Book Two in The Gift Saga is Kammenou’s latest release.

Effie Kammenou is a first generation Greek-American who lives on Long Island with her husband and two daughters. When she’s not writing, or posting recipes on her food blog, cheffieskitchen.wordpress.com, you can find her cooking for her family and friends.
As an avid cook and baker, a skill she learned from watching her Athenian mother, she incorporated traditional Greek family recipes throughout the books. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theater Arts from Hofstra University.



Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Lost Spaniel

I’m working on the next novella in the Lost and Found Pets series. I hope to have it available for pre-order by the end of the month. Here’s an excerpt:

The phone on my desk rang, startling me so much I actually jumped. Glaring at it, I heard Claire snickered so I transferred my glare toward her. We had been getting calls all morning, and she was currently on hold with one of the local shelters which left me to answer the phone.
My agency, Lost and Found Pets, is a private investigation firm specializing in finding lost animals and reuniting them with their owners. Our business is usually steady, averaging ten to eleven cases a week. We are busiest in the summer and a little slower the rest of the year. But last week, I had recovered a lost Savannah cat for a wealthy family who lived in the Highlands community. Grace Carmichael, my client, had spread the word about our agency over the weekend. We were now busier than we had ever been. We had four new cases in the two hours since we opened, and I had turned down two others.
So the ringing of the phone shouldn’t have startled me, but I had been concentrating so hard that I still jumped.
“Answer it,” Claire said with an encouraging nod. Claire is everything I’m not. She is sweet, kind, and supportive. She has long blond hair, blue eyes, and a bubbly personality. She is also really good with our clients which is why she usually answers the phone. “And, Alex, try to sound friendly and helpful.”
My social skills are not the best. I tend to be blunt and short with people, having little patience with small talk and chitchat. I can play the game if needed. I just don’t see the point. Claire says I do it on purpose. I glanced at her and then back at the phone before picking it up.
“Lost and Found Pets,” I said in the most monotone and dismissive manner I could muster. Claire sighed and rolled her eyes. This time I snickered, and a grin started forming on my face causing Claire to laugh.
“Alex,” said a gruff voice. My grin widened.
“Eddie. What’s up?”
Eddie Hill is my former boss and mentor. He had hired me years ago as a part-time employee at his private investigative agency. Working for Eddie had allowed me to learn the trade and get my own private investigator’s license. He had also taught me more than anyone else. It hadn’t taken me long to realize I didn’t want to spy on people or take pictures of cheating spouses so I decided to open my own agency with a twist. This also gave me the control I needed to set my own hours and limit the number of cases I took during a time when I needed to be with my aunt.
Nora Prescott-Northup had been recently widowed and newly diagnosed with cancer when I arrived in her life at the precocious age of thirteen. My mother, Nora’s much younger sister, had just died from a drug overdose, and I was all alone. Nora had taken one look at me and welcomed me into her home. The cancer went into remission for a while, and I graduated from high school and headed off to college. But the cancer came back. I returned home to do what I could to help. Working private investigation gave me flexibility, and when Nora’s health deteriorated even further, I opened my own agency in the dining room of our home. Without Eddie, none of this would have been possible.
“Alex, girl,” Eddie said. “I need your help.”
I held back a sigh and closed my eyes a moment. Four new cases meant a lot of work. We seldom had more than two in one day, and it wasn’t even noon yet. Claire could make the calls and post the information on social media, but someone needed to do the physical searches. And two of the clients had requested Hero.
My agency offers two types of searches. A basic search and an advanced search. The basic search is when we call vets, shelters, and rescue groups, post on social media, and create a flyer campaign if needed. We also physically canvass the neighborhood. The advanced search is when we do all that and bring in Hero, my search-and-rescue dog. For the basic search, we charge one hundred dollars an hour with a two hundred dollar non-refundable deposit. For the advanced search, we charge triple that. Two advanced searches in one day would do a lot for the agency’s bottom line. However, they would have to wait if Eddie needed me.
“Anything, Eddie. What do you need?”
“Daisy is missing.”

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

February Lyrical Press Romances - Puppy Love by Kelly Moran - Giveaway


BLURB:
After a passionless marriage under the scrutiny of high society, Avery Stowe is taking back her life. All she wants is a little privacy and a quiet place to raise her autistic daughter, Hailey. Redwood Ridge, Oregon, seems to offer all the right ingredients. Except for the problem of the local sexy veterinarian. The last thing she needs in her life is to fall for his irresistible allure, even if he is a nice guy who keeps doing her favors. But the well-meaning patrons of her new hometown have other ideas, and it appears playing Cupid is one of them.

Cade O’Grady has never met a woman he couldn't handle, but when Avery Stowe walks into his office late one night cradling an injured puppy, he’s struck stupid. Which might explain her total lack of interest in him. But now that she’s working for his family’s clinic, he doesn't have to lust from a distance. He might just have a chance at convincing Avery—and her too-guarded heart—that falling for the right man isn't a mistake . . .

EXCERPT:
Avery wiped her hands on a dish towel and went to answer the incessant knocking. Hoping it was the moving van, she pulled the door open to find Seraph’s vet. “Oh.” She took a step back and blinked. “It’s you.”

The Jerk, she’d begun to call him in her head.

Looking just as attractive as he had the night before, sans the irritation, his hands framed the doorway as he leaned into them, taking up the whole space. Sandy blond hair, a little on the longish side, curled around his ears and nape. Blue eyes damn near the color of the Pacific in June warily stared at her. A little gray mixed in to keep them from being too potent.

His jaw had a day’s worth of scruff and the man rocked a set of powder blue scrubs under an open leather coat.

God. He was an eye-gasm if she ever saw one.

When he didn’t say anything, her heart started to pound. “Oh, no. Is…Seraph all right?” She turned to peek at Hailey, who was doing a numbers app game on the iPad at the kitchen table.

“He’s doing fine. Recuperating very well.”

His voice had her pausing, just like the night before, but today it wasn’t as angry. It wasn’t quite coarse or too deep, but there was a melodic rhythm when he spoke. Great. So his voice was an ear-gasm on top of his too handsome looks. Crap on a cracker.

She caught herself wrapping the towel around her hand in nervousness and stopped. “Then why are you here?”

Pushing off the frame, he towered over her five-six height to what had to be six feet. “I came to apologize. May I come in?”

“Um, sure.” She held the door open wider and glanced at Hailey. If he got upset again or had a naturally loud voice, it could upset her. “Sweetie, why don’t you do that in your bedroom for a few minutes? I’ll be in soon.”

Hailey grabbed her device and headed down the hall.

“She doesn’t talk much, does she? For a girl, I mean. Thought they were all chatter boxes.” He laughed uncomfortably and rubbed his neck.

The guy had adorable charm in spades.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Bestselling author Kelly Moran says she gets her ideas from everyone and everything around her and there’s always a book playing out in her head. No one who knows her bats an eyelash when she talks to herself, and no one is safe from becoming her next fictional character. She is a Catherine Award-Winner, Readers Choice Finalist, Holt Medallion Finalist, and earned one of the 10 Best Reads by USA Today's HEA. She is also a Romance Writers of America member. Her interests include: sappy movies, MLB, NFL, driving others insane, and sleeping when she can. She is a closet caffeine junkie and chocoholic, but don’t tell anyone. She resides in Wisconsin with her husband, three sons, and two dogs. Most of her family lives in the Carolinas, so she spends a lot of time there as well. She loves hearing from her readers.


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Sunday, March 5, 2017

Personal Note

I have mentioned that I love to travel. Last year, I was able to travel to Iceland with a friend. It was a fun trip. The landscape was unexpected. I’m not sure exactly what I had been expecting, but it was a lot browner than I thought it would be. There were some beautiful places and the people were really nice. Here is a picture of my favorite stop on the trip – Gullfoss.


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

A Shot in the Dark by J.G. Sumner


Blurb
A motorcycle crash forces Skyler Smith into Laney Pearson’s hospital, barely clinging to life…

As a trauma nurse, Laney works with surgeon Josh Stone to bring Skyler back from the brink of death and toward recovery. But what initially looks like nothing more than a freak accident may turn out to be much more dangerous—and maybe even deadly.

In the years they’ve worked together, Laney has never given Josh the time of day…

She thinks he’s nothing more than a pompous doctor looking for another notch to add to his belt. But caring for Skyler brings the pair closer, and Laney lets down her guard, allowing them the chance to find happiness together in the midst of so much destruction. But someone doesn’t want them to be happy. Someone wants Laney gone.

Threats might derail their love before it really starts…

As the couple tries to build their budding relationship, Laney begins to receive menacing messages. And when she and Josh learn that Skyler’s accident is anything but unintentional, they fight to balance finding the would-be killer with keeping keep Laney safe from her stalker. But each wild turn takes them further away from the truth…and each other.

Can Laney and Josh discover who is behind the violent acts, or is each guess they make nothing more than a shot in the dark?

Some accidents aren’t accidental…

Excerpt:
“Officer, do you have a minute?” Stephen turned toward Josh.
“Yes, of course. How can I help you?”
Josh got up from the desk and motioned for the police officer to follow him around the corner. Once they got out of earshot, Josh spoke. “Has Laney called you today?”
Officer Miller looked slightly perplexed. “Laney… You mean the nurse in the emergency department?”
Josh had to keep from rolling his eyes. “Yes.”
“No, I haven’t heard from her. Why?”
“Apparently, someone has been leaving her flowers and notes on her doorstep for a few days. She didn’t think anything of it and actually thought they were from me. I found the most recent one this morning when I was leaving. This one had two dead roses and the note was threatening.”
“So, you and Laney are an item.” Officer Miller seemed surprised. “What did the note say?”
Josh was grinning like a little schoolboy. The officer now knew he and Laney were an item. “It was juvenile. But it said, ‘Roses are red, violets are blue, and that other man can never be with you.’ ”
“It sounds to me like it is a threat more toward you and not her.”
“If it’s a threat toward me, why would that person leave them on her doorstep?”
“Perhaps so you will find them and stay away from her. Do you know what the other notes said?”
“Yeah.” Josh recited the poems.
“It sounds to me like this person knows Laney and, quite frankly, has a fascination with her. Does she have any idea who would be sending these?”
“She claims she has no idea. She says she hasn’t even dated anyone in several months and has never even brought a guy to the apartment she’s living in right now.”
“So that means this person has been following her.”
“That’s my feeling exactly.”
“Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot I can do about it. The guy hasn’t threatened any harm to her. What area does she live in?”
Of course he couldn’t help; this was a waste of Josh’s time. “She lives in the Sabre Springs area.”
“That’s out of my jurisdiction. She would need to file a report with San Diego Police Department. Then at least there would be a paper trail started if things continued to escalate. They can also increase surveillance in that area and maybe catch the person.”
“Do you have any contacts with San Diego PD we could talk to?”
“Actually, I do have a friend who would probably help her out. Call the department and ask for Ed Neal. He’s a detective. I don’t know the next day he’s working, but I’ll give him a call too so that he can have a heads up.”
“Thank you. I really appreciate it.” Maybe Stephen wasn’t so bad after all.
“No problem. I’d advise Laney to keep her doors and windows locked and try not to go out at night by herself.”
“Well, I told her not to go anywhere by herself. Who knows what this guy is capable of.”
“Does Laney live by herself or does she have a roommate?”
“She lives alone. I’m going to have her stay with me tonight.”
“That’s not a bad idea. Let me know if there’s anything else I can do to assist you. I’m sorry I can’t be more help.”
“No, I really appreciate your advice. We’ll definitely call your friend in the department.”
“Sounds good.” Stephen began to walk away and then turned back. “Take care of her. You’ve got a good one.” He smiled at Josh.
“Don’t I know it,” Josh mumbled as he turned to go round on his other patients.

Purchase Links

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
JG Sumner is a Registered Nurse who went rogue. As good as she was at starting IV's, she enjoys writing the down the stories in her head even more. Most of the time the characters won't stop pestering her until she has them down on paper.

JG can often be found with a glass of red wine or prosecco in front of her computer. When she's not creating, she enjoys the outdoors hiking, bike riding, snowboarding, and camping.

JG has a very dry sense of humor, and should never be taken too seriously. She loves to hear from her fans, and even those who aren't and would love to hear your opinion on her books.

JG writes romantic suspense/thrillers including: A Shot in the Dark, Into the Light, The Surrender Trilogy including Surrender, Shattered, and Saved which will be available through Limitless Publishing soon.

Contact Information
Twitter: @jg_sumner

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