Monthly Archives: February 2017

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Author Showcase – Sandra Nikolai (Dark Deeds: Megan Scott/Michael Elliott Mystery, Book 4)

~~ CAN BE READ AS A STANDALONE ~~ 

 

“Where evil lurks, no one is safe.”

The suspicious fire that destroyed the shed exposes a surprise corpse—not what ghostwriter Megan Scott and investigative reporter Michael Elliott expected when they reserved a cabin at their friends’ lakeside resort in rural Ontario.

Fear overshadows their visit like a looming storm. Their friends are receiving anonymous threatening letters. An elderly resident is reported missing. Locals are wary. They aren’t used to outsiders snooping around town, asking questions.

When Michael makes a connection to a cold case, evidence points to an ex-convict looking for revenge. He’s had reconstructive surgery. He could be anyone.

Terror blankets the town as the body count mounts. The killer is playing dangerous mind games with everyone—especially with Megan. If she doesn’t find him first, she could well become his next victim.

 

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Excerpt from Dark Deeds by Sandra Nikolai

 

Madame Ora stood five feet tall and wore a red polka dot wrap dress that resembled something I’d once seen in a 1940s movie. Her wispy white hair stood on end and looked as if it had gone through dozens of perms. She beckoned me into a tiny room at the rear. A thick curtain separated it from the rest of the shop. Without a word, she motioned for me to sit down at a round café table and took a seat opposite me.

“Please do not ask me any questions until I have completed my reading.” Her voice was thick with a foreign accent—maybe Polish. She closed her eyes and mumbled words I couldn’t understand, then opened her eyes. “Please show me your hands.”

I extended both hands as requested.

Madame Ora peered at my palms, squinting as if she were trying to decipher coded messages. “My dear, you have suffered a deep loss, but things will change for the better.”

It was a pretty general statement.

“Your loss had to do with a man—a man who shared a deep bond with you.”

My late husband. Good guess.

“This man died suddenly and tragically.”

Okay, this was getting creepy.

“You have since moved on. Another man has entered your life. He is a very brave man.”

I swallowed hard.

Madame Ora continued. “On this particular journey, you are in grave danger, but you are surrounded by protection.”

Grave danger? Protection?

She looked up at me, her eyes staring at the space above my head. “The white feather will protect you. Keep it with you at all times.”

Goose bumps rose along my arms. While she closed her eyes and mumbled the same incoherent words as before, I reached into my handbag and rubbed the tiny white feather between my thumb and forefinger. It seemed beyond coincidental.

Madame Ora opened her eyes. “You may now ask me two questions.”

My practical side told me the simple white feather in my handbag would never protect me from any kind of danger. Regardless, the fact she had mentioned it intrigued me. “Can you be more specific about the grave danger you mentioned?”

She closed her eyes. “You are involved in matters concerning death. I see three dead spirits around you—spirits that have met with unexpected death. Take caution. Not everyone is to be trusted.” She opened her eyes. “Next question.”

Was she kidding? A dozen questions had popped into my head.

I thought of Michael. “Will the man in my life be safe too?”

“He has tempted fate many times and succeeded.”

“What you mean?”

Madame Ora pushed back her chair and rose. “I’m sorry, I have already answered your two questions.”

 

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CLICK ON THE BOOK TITLES TO BE REDIRECTED TO AMAZON!

FYI –> THESE CAN BE READ AS  STANDALONE. 😀 

 

BOOK ONE: FALSE IMPRESSIONS

BOOK TWO: FATAL WHISPERS

(Short Story): TIMELY ESCAPE

BOOK THREE: ICY SILENCE

 

 

Sandra Nikolai is the author of the Megan Scott/Michael Elliott Mystery series. In addition to her novels, Sandra has published a string of short crime stories, garnering awards along the way.

Sandra held jobs in sales, finance, and high tech before leaving the corporate world to pursue a career in writing. She likes to think that plotting a whodunit reveals the lighter—yet more mysterious—side of her persona.

Visit Sandra’s website and sign up to receive her latest book news. Follow her on Twitter: @SandraNikolai or connect with her on Goodreads or Facebook .

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Author Showcase – Jan Romes (Wine and Sweat Pants Series)

~~ BOOK ONE ~~

Suddenly single, in her forties, and eager to do what it takes to start over, Elaina Samuels meets three women with similar circumstances at a cash-for-gold event. They quickly become friends and form the No Sweat Pants Allowed – Wine Club. This newly found alliance brings about some humorous escapades, a few tears, and a bond so strong no man can break as they try to cling to the past and finally step out of their comfort zones to find a happiness they thought they’d never feel again. Discover Elaina Samuels, Tawny Westerfield, Stephanie Mathews, and Grace Cordray.

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~~ BOOK TWO~~

Recently single, Elaina Samuels could’ve never imagined such an amazing six months. She’d met Tawny Westerfield, Stephanie Mathews, and Grace Cordray, at a cash-for-gold event. Individually they were there to trade in their wedding rings to get a fresh start. Little did they know that fate would step in and put them together – first in the jewelry store and then to share their stories over wine in the bar across the street. They clicked from the get-go and a few weeks later, Elaina made an offer for them to move in to share expenses. Best. Decision. Ever. Join Elaina, Tawny, Steph, and Grace as they continue their journeys to get life right-side-up and embrace the next six months with energy, mischief, chaos, fun, and a few tears.

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~~ OUT NOW –> BOOK THREE ~~

Sometimes the only way to truly start over is to move. That’s exactly what Elaina Samuels and her unruly band of cohorts decided to do. Elaina, Tawny, Grace, and Steph bought a bed and breakfast in Maine. The trip from Cherry Ridge, Ohio to Portland is a wild and crazy ride, filled with things they never could have foreseen. In this adventure there’s laughter, tears, doubt, and a little danger thrown in to keep them on their toes. Will this relocation to the northeast be the key to real happiness? Or will it test their friendship to the breaking point?  

 

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Could the day get any stranger? First, the guy in the Mercedes; now Frank and Bax.

The unspoken question answered itself.

An old gal with powder-white hair and glasses came up to Elaina. “Four Sassy Chicks. That describes us to a tee. Isn’t that right, Flora, Hazel, and Josie?”

Accompanying the short, tiny-framed woman were three carbon copies. The four women were dressed in the same fake fur coats and floral bandanas.

The carbon copies nodded.

“We’re in our eighties but we can be a bit cheeky.” The leader of the pack smiled so big her eyes went closed. “I’m Adelaide. We’ve come from Tennessee to stay at your bed and breakfast. Sorry it took so long for us to get to baggage claim. We’re not as spry as we used to be. The airline offered to cart us with one of those fancy four-wheelers.”

One of the carbon copies spoke up. “They’re not four-wheelers, Addie. I believe they call them shuttles.”

Another of the four women winced. “A lot you know. They’re called courtesy transports.”

“That’s our know-it-all sister, Hazel. What she doesn’t know isn’t worth knowing.” Adelaide broke into a cackle that turned into a loose cough.

“I never claimed to know everything; although I do have more upstairs than the other three put together.”

“You wish. I’m Flora, dear.”

Elaina nodded. “Nice to meet you, Flora.”

“I’m, Josephine, the prettiest of the Turlington sisters.” She put her dentures together in a silly grin. “Boom.”

Did she really say boom? Elaina kept her expression even. Inside she was jiggling with a laugh. She had a feeling it would be a fun few days. “I’m Elaina. Welcome to Maine.”

Adelaide leaned into Elaina. “Several years ago we decided to vacation in every state before we kick the bucket. We’re proud to say this is the fiftieth. Right, girls?”

Their heads wobbled when they nodded.  

“How exciting! I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of great things in your travels.”

Flora shook her head. “Not really. We don’t get around so good, so we usually don’t venture out.”

“You don’t leave the hotel or bed and breakfast?”  

Hazel didn’t hedge on the truth. “Nope. We play cards and drink wine.” She made a weird noise that could’ve been a laugh. It was hard to tell. “When we get home we brag to our card club that we visited another state.”

“That’s remarkable.”

“Oh it is.” Flora winked. “I want you to know ahead of time that we collect those little bars of soap and bottles of shampoo. Some people collect trinkets. We collect toiletries.”

“Collect?” Josephine scoffed. “We steal them.”

Hazel set the record straight. “They think they’re getting away with something.”

Adelaide rebuffed her sister. “It’s thievery all right. If you don’t use it, you’re not supposed to take it.”

Elaina looked from woman to woman. “Are you ready to discover the Four Sassy Chicks Bed and Breakfast?”

“Can we make a stop?” Flora inquired.

“I’ll bet she forgot to bring her Depends,” Hazel said under her breath.

Flora leveled a scowl at her sister. She couldn’t maintain it. An evil grin splashed across her weathered face. “You’re just jealous that you have to use the bathroom when you have to pee. I never have to leave the card game.”

Adelaide rushed to deny Flora’s boasting. “She’s teasing. Flora, tell this sweet lady you’re teasing.”

“Nope. I pee wherever and whenever I want. I’m peeing right now.”

Hazel lifted her eyes in embarrassment. “Sorry about that, miss. I could blame it on her age, but age doesn’t excuse everything.”

“Booyah.” Flora blew on her fingernails like she’d one-upped her sisters.

Elaina smiled at each Turlington sibling. “You remind me of my friends. Wait until you meet them. You’ll see what I mean.” Her cell phone chimed with an incoming text message. She ignored it to remain professional.

Her cell phone rang shortly after the text. Again, she ignored it.

Elaina addressed Flora. “Where would you like me to make a stop?”

“Wherever they sell wine.”

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BUY ALL THREE NOW WITH THIS

——> 1-CLICK LINK <—–

 

 

Jan Romes is a hopeless romantic who grew up in northwest Ohio with eight zany siblings. Married to her high school sweetheart for more years than seems possible, she is also a proud mom, mother-in-law, and grandmother. She likes to read all genres, writes witty contemporary romance and women’s fiction, enjoys finding new ways to stay fit and gardens even though she doesn’t claim to have a green thumb.

 

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Review of “Bet Me: A Romantic Comedy” – Lila Monroe

What happens when your sex strike goes viral — and suddenly every man in town has their eye on your prize?

All I wanted was little old-fashioned romance. After a parade of Tinder disasters who think chivalry is giving me a pearl necklace on the first date, I made a pledge: until guys step up their game, this girl is off the market.

But one bottle of chardonnay later, and my drunken rant has gone viral. I’m the most famous person NOT having sex since the Jonas Brothers put on their purity rings. A men’s magazine has even put a bounty on my (ahem) maidenhead: fifty Gs to whoever makes me break the drought.

Be careful what you wish for…

Now my office looks like an explosion in a Hallmark factory, I’ve got guys lining up to sweep me off my feet – and the one man I want is most definitely off-limits. Jake Weston is a player through and through. He’s also the only one who sees through the mayhem to the real me, but how can I trust he’s not just out to claim the glory?

And how will I make it through the strike without scratching the itch – especially when that itch looks so damn good out of his suit? The thrill of the chaste has never been so sexy in Lila Monroe’s hilarious, hot new romantic read!

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Lila showed men and women at their highest and lowest points. Yes, both genders can and will excel and falter in showing their love, romantic side, and take for granted their lover, boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, or wife.  Whatever label you are using, the end result should be the same. Want to keep a good man or woman? Then, kiss them. Not because you want sex but because you want them to feel loved and appreciated. Don’t allow your significant other do all the cooking, cleaning, chores, and so forth. PUT IN AN EFFORT! Oh and I firmly believe you should do small things every chance you get and not wait until Valentine’s Day. 

Lila Monroe made sure readers understood that to keep your sweetums happy, don’t let the romance die because if you do your sex life (relationship) will feel the strain.

Men, you know stroking it gets old. Fake holes aren’t the same as the real deal.

Women, self pleasure isn’t always so fulfilling at the end of the day.

So heed Lila’s words and go give your man or woman some attention. Not because you want sex — expect it. No, give them it because you’re honored and amazed they chose you as their partner. 

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤1/2

 

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Author Showcase – Susanne Leist (The Dead Game)

 

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~~ EXCERPT ~~

 

Linda was passing the empty tables by the tall windows when she felt her arm being tugged—very hard. Before she could react, she found herself being forcibly dragged through the open patio doors and onto the isolated garden path. She came face to face with the mighty Wolf and his trusted companion, Hayden. The grounds were deserted. Everyone had left the gardens and she was all alone with the two wicked vampires.

Wolf glared at Hayden. “Please let go of her arm; we are not animals. We never force ourselves on women.”

“Chivalry among demons—I’m very impressed. Too bad your table manners and choice of dishes leave a lot to be desired,” Linda said. Her hatred of Wolf had just caused her to forget her low position in the food chain; she closed her mouth to stop herself from talking. In the future, she must remember that he was a vampire—the strongest one in the world—and that he could easily destroy her at any time.

Wolf didn’t seem the least bit focused on her. “I didn’t come here to play parlor games with you. I need you to convince Todd to join with us. He can never be human or will ever be accepted by them. He belongs with us. He must stick with his own kind.”

“He’s not like you in any way at all: he cares too deeply for people and is loyal to his friends. On the other hand, you and your kind enjoy killing too much and have no feelings whatsoever.”

“Todd will never be accepted by humans or by his own kind. He will be an outcast with nowhere to go. He must join with us.”

“Todd is human and will always be accepted by humans.”

“Let’s kill her now, boss. She’s going to be trouble. I could take her away and no one will ever see her again,” Hayden said, grabbing hold of her arm again.

Oops, she did it again. Her big mouth had now sealed her fate. She had to learn how to be more assertive without getting herself into trouble.

Wolf strolled over to her with a wicked gleam surfacing in his eyes.

“I have a much better use for her in the future. When she finally comes to her senses, she’ll realize that she will be better off with a real vampire with limitless powers than with a pathetic human. She’ll learn about intoxicating love and passion—not the games that humans play that pale in comparison.

Here comes the human. Let her go for now.”

Linda was horrified to find herself wrapped in Wolf’s strong, muscular arms. She became hypnotized by his black eyes and tempted by his deep voice. He seemed perfect in every way. She only wanted to be with him.

“I’ll be back for you.” Wolf held her tight against his body and whispered in her ear. “I love the way you stand up to me with your flashing blue eyes. Soon you’ll be mine, my beautiful ice queen.”

Linda couldn’t move her body. She was stuck in some kind of trance…she couldn’t leave; didn’t want to leave if given the choice. His voice soothed her and made her think of love, passion, and great need: a need that could be satisfied only by him with his expert hands and mouth. She knew that one day she was going to be with him, to be joined with him.

He lowered his mouth onto hers and drew her into a swirling haze of unexpected feelings and desires. His mouth fully covering hers introduced her to a new realm of pure pleasure. His powerful form enveloped her, making her feel feelings that were foreign and untried for her. She couldn’t get enough of him. She tentatively began touching his face and then his body with an eager and unrelenting hunger. She didn’t know what she needed, but she knew that she wanted and desired this beautiful man standing right before her. Her past life was washed out of her mind, never to be considered again. She begged him to take her with him tonight. In response, Wolf lifted her in his arms, as if she weighed nothing, and turned to leave the party. His beautiful face looked victorious and happy. His black eyes filled with passion. She hoped that it was because of her. He looked down into her small face and gave a hearty roar.

While Wolf carried her in his powerful arms, a dark shadow swooped out of the house and flew directly at them. Linda was knocked out of his arms, and Wolf was thrown across the patio.

She looked up to see who had attacked them. It was Todd, his eyes a deadly shade of green, standing there panting.

Linda backed away in horror. Todd’s eyes cleared and returned to their original dark color. Then he looked at her. “Don’t ever be afraid of me. I’m here to protect you.”

Then he was struck down by Wolf.

They began circling each other like two wild animals. Todd thrust his body at Wolf, causing Wolf to lose his balance, and they crashed together to the ground. Wolf pushed Todd aside and stood back up. He lunged at Todd, who sidestepped his maneuver. Todd retaliated by lifting him high up in the air and flinging him through one of the glass doors to the house. Wolf rose up and dusted glass off his clothing.

He said to Todd, who stood before him, “We are not anywhere near finished, my dear friend. The next battle between us will be more private—without so many witnesses. If I were you, I would watch your back…and your pretty little girlfriend.” Wolf stalked away with Hayden following close behind. Todd quickly followed.

Linda was left standing alone outside. She felt bereft without the touch of Wolf’s lips on hers and the solid strength of his arms holding her. She had felt the unmistakable pull by him on all her senses. In his arms, she’d felt weak and needy—as if she needed him to live. Todd and Wolf were extremely powerful and both had taken hold of her senses.

 

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If I had known it was going to be so hard,

 involving computer skills to the extreme,

 I might have thought twice about it,

 thought twice about writing my book.

 Writers must write each and every day.

 We must promote our books daily.

 We must post on our blogs each day.

 But there’s not enough hours in a day.

 How do other writers accomplish all this?

 How do they leave free time for their families?

 They must be expert jugglers.

 Experts at writing, blogging, and juggling.

 I must learn this dance,

 this high-wire walk,

 this never-ending battle.

 I must learn to juggle.

 I will do it.

 I will do it all.

 Just give me the chance.

 Book two is being written.

 I feel free.

 I feel empowered.

 I will survive.

 James Patterson, eat my dust.

 

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AND HERE ARE MY BLOGS:

Website

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