A Gentleman and a Rogue

Friday, April 18, 2014

Goddess Fish Book Blast: A Baby for Easter by Noelle Adams #blogtour



BLURB:


Alice Grantham lost her fiancé and her job, so she’s had to come home to Willow Park to live with her parents. To recover some sense of independence and security, she’s cobbled together different part-time jobs, including one as assistant to the pastor of her hometown church. Nothing seems to be going right for her. Even Micah, the pastor’s brother and the first boy she ever loved, is standoffish with her now.

Micah has always been a prodigal son, but now he’s trying to put that lifestyle behind him. Then a five-month-old daughter he never knew existed is dropped on his doorstep, the result of one of his many one-night stands. He needs help from Alice to care for his daughter, but he can’t let himself hope for anything more from her than that. He can’t help but want it, though…

ENJOY THIS EXCERPT: 

“Well, how is it supposed to go?” Micah demanded. “Don’t you know how to work a car seat?”

“Why would I know? I’ve never had a baby. You’re the one who’s supposed to be mechanically inclined. Why can’t you figure it out?”

“I sure wouldn’t have designed this ridiculous contraption in a way that’s impossible to hook in the car.”

“Oh, wait,” Alice gasped, remembering something she should have recalled earlier. “I think it’s supposed to face the other way.”

“That can’t be right.” Micah turned the carrier as she’d indicated. He was bending over into the car, and he looked just as hot and frustrated as she felt. “Why would they make the poor babies look at nothing but the back of the seat?”

“I don’t know. Maybe it’s safer or something. Let’s just try it. Maybe the belt goes through like this.”

Micah fed the belt through the grooves, and the buckle got stuck at one point. “Shit,” he muttered, trying to free the belt. “Shit.” Then he glanced up at her. “Sorry.”

“You don’t have to keep saying sorry,” she replied, slightly snippy. “I’ve heard worse, you know.”

“I know that. But do you really think I should be teaching her bad language this early?”

“She can’t even talk yet.”

“Well, she can hear.”

“Fine,” Alice grumbled, tilting the carrier slightly to make room for Micah’s run of the belt. “Watch your language then.”

He gave her a cool glare, but it changed when Alice was able to snap the seatbelt closed.

They both tested the carrier to make sure it was stable, but they couldn’t get it to move more than an inch, no matter how they tugged on it, so they assumed it would do for the short ride to Micah’s house.

Alice sighed in relief as she finally climbed out of the car and walked around to the driver’s side.

Micah was leaning against the car, wiping sweat from his forehead with the back of his hand. He looked exhausted, defeated somehow.

Despite her annoyance just the moment before, she felt another pull of sympathy. She reached out to put a hand on his shoulder. “It’s going to be all right.”

“Is it?” he asked, opening his eyes to meet hers.

“Yeah. We’ll figure this out. We don’t know anything yet.”

“But what if she’s mine? What if her mom really doesn’t want her? What if I’m the only parent she has? I can’t even manage to get her strapped into the car.”

THE GIVEAWAY:

Noelle will be awarding prizes via Rafflecopter as follows:

* One winner will receive a $25 GC to Amazon or BN
* Two winners will receive signed paperbacks of Married for Christmas and A Baby for Easter
* Ten winners will receive their choice of ebook of any title from Noelle’s backlist.

One randomly drawn host will win a $10 Amazon or BN GC. href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/23775a4/">Win a $25 Amazon/BN GC, books and more! – A Rafflecopter Giveaway

I'd like to encourage you to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:  http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2014/03/sbb-baby-for-easter-by-noelle-adams.html 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Noelle handwrote her first romance novel in a spiral-bound notebook when she was twelve, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. She has lived in eight different states and currently resides in Virginia, where she teaches English, reads any book she can get her hands on, and offers tribute to a very spoiled cocker spaniel.

She loves travel, art, history, and ice cream. After spending far too many years of her life in graduate school, she has decided to reorient her priorities and focus on writing contemporary romances.

Social Media:

Book Trailer for A Baby for Easter:

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Buy links:




A Baby for Easter will be offered at a special release price of $.99 through Easter day! Regularly priced at $2.99.





Thursday, April 17, 2014

Goddess Fish Super Book Blast: Almost a Bride by Sarah Mayberry #blogtour #goddessfish



BLURB:

Tara Buck has always been the good sister, level-headed by comparison to Scarlett, her flaky, impulsive twin. But when Tara learns her fiancé has been cheating on her with one of his school students, the orderly world she’s created for herself suddenly feels as if it’s falling apart. For years she chose the safe option, but from now on she’s going to live a little, stretch her wings…be a little daring. And if that means acting on the long-suppressed feelings she’s always had for Reid Dalton, then so be it!

Reid has wanted Tara from the moment he met her, but she’s always been out of bounds. Not only is she his patrol partner at the Bozeman PD, she’s also engaged. But then her relationship blows up, and Reid finds himself battling his own instinct to stake his claim with the finest, hottest woman he’s ever known.

Even if anything did happen between them, it would only ever be temporary - Reid’s a born wanderer, while Tara’s roots run deep in Marietta. So even if things are good between them, it seems their romance is destined to be short and sweet...

Tara’s twin sister, Scarlett, also has a Spring Brides story: look out for Second Chance Bride by Trish Morey. Details from montanabornbooks.com

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

ENJOY THIS EXCERPT: 

            Reid Dalton pumped gas into his GMC pickup, one ear tuned to the conversation going on between his friends inside the truck. Grant was giving Brett a hard time for missing an easy layup during the basketball game they’d just finished, and Brett was serving it straight back at him with both barrels. 

            Reid grinned to himself, feeling pleasantly tired after an hour of charging up and down the court, trouncing the Bozeman Fire Department team. The informal competition between the police department and the firefighters had become a regular thing over the past few months. Reid wasn’t sure which part of their weekly matchups he enjoyed the most—the rapid-fire pace of the game itself, or the inevitable shit giving and taking that occurred afterward.

            “You want to know my opinion?” he asked as the pump clicked off, signaling the tank was full.

            “Not particularly,” Brett said, which earned him a guffaw from Grant.

            “You both need to lift your games. Drink less beer, run a few more miles,” Reid said.

             Grant made a rude noise, while Brett gave him a one-fingered salute. Reid was still laughing as he headed into the gas station to pay the cashier.

            Then he saw the couple exiting the motel next door to the Gas-And-Go Mart and his step faltered.

            The girl he didn’t recognize, but she was young and blonde and clinging to her man as though her very life depended on it. Reid watched as Simon Garfield said something before kissing her in a way that left no doubt whatsoever as to the nature of their relationship.

            Damn. 

            Just... damn.

            Tara would be devastated.

            For a moment he was frozen as he absorbed all the implications of what he’d just witnessed. Tara had been planning the wedding for the past few months and as her patrol partner, there was precious little Reid wasn’t privy to. Like the fact that Tara and Simon planned on having the reception at Le Petit Chateau in Bozeman, and that Tara was limiting her attendants to just her twin, Scarlett, and that today she had an appointment at Marietta’s one and only bridal salon to pick out her wedding dress...

            Belatedly he glanced back at the car, hoping the other guys hadn’t seen, but they were both frowning, staring out the windshield at the sordid little drama unfolding in the parking lot next door. There wasn’t a doubt in Reid’s mind that they recognized Tara’s fiancé. They’d all attended the engagement party Tara and Simon held back in February.    

            Reid mouthed a four-letter word.  

            What a nightmare.

THE GIVEAWAY: 
Sarah will be awarding a digital copy of Almost a Bride to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.  Feel free to follow the tour and comment on the blogs. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. You can find the tour dates here:   http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2014/04/sbb-almost-bride-by-sarah-mayberry.html

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

AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Sarah Mayberry is the award-winning, best selling author of more than 30 novels. She was born in Melbourne, Australia, and is the middle of three children. Sarah picked up a love of romance novels from both her grandmothers and has always wanted to be a writer. In line with this ambition, she completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Professional Writing and Literature. It took her ten years and multiple attempts before her first book was accepted. During that time, Sarah worked in magazine publishing and the television industry, contributing to the internationally known Australian serial drama “Neighbours” and co-creating teen drama series “Karaoke High”. Sarah currently splits her time between writing for television and writing novels.

She lives in Melbourne by the bay with her husband and a small, furry Cavoodle called Max. When she isn’t writing, she loves reading, cooking, going to the movies and buying shoes.

www.sarahmayberry.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SarahMayberryAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MayberrySarah

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sarah-Mayberry/e/B001HMOSEY/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1397177563&sr=1-2-ent

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/sarah-mayberry

Tule Publishing: http://tulepublishing.com/product-category/sarah-may

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Welcome Guest Poet - Melissa Keir #poetrymonth



About Melissa: 
As a writer, Melissa likes to keep current on topics of interest in the world of writing.  She’s a member of the Romance Writers of America, the Mid Michigan chapter of the RWA, and EPIC.  Melissa is always interested in improving her writing through classes and seminars.  She also believes in helping other authors and features authors and their books on her blog.

Melissa doesn’t believe in down time.  She’s always keeping busy.  Melissa is a wife and mother, an elementary school teacher, a book reviewer, co-owner of a publishing company as well as an author. Her home blends two families and is a lot like the Brady Bunch, without Alice- a large grocery bill, tons of dirty dishes and a mound of laundry. She loves to write stories that feature “happy endings” and is often found plotting her next story.


STEPH: How long have you been writing poetry?

MELISSA: I began writing poetry in junior high. I loved using the creative words to express my feelings. Of course being a teenager, feelings were the focus of my life. I have a huge number of my sappy love poems from that time. They all had rhymes and were mostly about lost or unrequited love as well as my feelings.

I left poetry for many years as I became a wife and mother. Finally, I went back to college when my children were both in elementary school. I was fortunate to have some wonderful instructors who breathed new life into my poetry (and reading) experiences.

STEPH: What your favorite style of poetry?

MELISSA: My favorite style of poetry is the free verse that evokes either feelings or thoughts by the reader.

STEPH: Who is your favorite poet?

MELISSA: This was a challenge. I love so many different poets but my two favorite poets are Langston Hughes and Margaret Atwood. I was given both of these authors in college for assignments. I really hadn’t known anything about them until I was *forced* to write about them and analyze their work. Now I can’t imagine life without their works.

STEPH: What's their favorite poem that they wrote?

MELISSA: I highly recommend Margaret Atwood’s short book “Good Bones and Simple Murders”. It has not only poetry but a unique look at life. One of my favorite pieces by her is “Gertrude Talks Back” where Hamlet’s mother basically gives him some advice.
Helen of Troy Does Countertop Dancing
The world is full of women
who'd tell me I should be ashamed of myself
if they had the chance. Quit dancing.
Get some self-respect
and a day job.
Right. And minimum wage,
and varicose veins, just standing
in one place for eight hours
behind a glass counter
bundled up to the neck, instead of
naked as a meat sandwich.
Selling gloves, or something.
Instead of what I do sell.
You have to have talent
to peddle a thing so nebulous
and without material form.
Exploited, they'd say. Yes, any way
you cut it, but I've a choice
of how, and I'll take the money.

I do give value.
Like preachers, I sell vision,
like perfume ads, desire
or its facsimile. Like jokes
or war, it's all in the timing.
I sell men back their worse suspicions:
that everything's for sale,
and piecemeal. They gaze at me and see
a chain-saw murder just before it happens,
when thigh, ass, inkblot, crevice, tit, and nipple
are still connected.
Such hatred leaps in them,
my beery worshippers! That, or a bleary
hopeless love. Seeing the rows of heads
and upturned eyes, imploring
but ready to snap at my ankles,
I understand floods and earthquakes, and the urge
to step on ants. I keep the beat,
and dance for them because
they can't. The music smells like foxes,
crisp as heated metal
searing the nostrils
or humid as August, hazy and languorous
as a looted city the day after,
when all the rape's been done
already, and the killing,
and the survivors wander around
looking for garbage
to eat, and there's only a bleak exhaustion.
Speaking of which, it's the smiling
tires me out the most.
This, and the pretence
that I can't hear them.
And I can't, because I'm after all
a foreigner to them.
The speech here is all warty gutturals,
obvious as a slab of ham,
but I come from the province of the gods
where meanings are lilting and oblique.
I don't let on to everyone,
but lean close, and I'll whisper:
My mother was raped by a holy swan.
You believe that? You can take me out to dinner.
That's what we tell all the husbands.
There sure are a lot of dangerous birds around.

Not that anyone here
but you would understand.
The rest of them would like to watch me
and feel nothing. Reduce me to components
as in a clock factory or abattoir.
Crush out the mystery.
Wall me up alive
in my own body.
They'd like to see through me,
but nothing is more opaque
than absolute transparency.
Look--my feet don't hit the marble!
Like breath or a balloon, I'm rising,
I hover six inches in the air
in my blazing swan-egg of light.
You think I'm not a goddess?
Try me.
This is a torch song.
Touch me and you'll burn. 
Margaret Atwood
Langston Hughes had an amazing life with two parents who basically didn’t want to raise him. His poetry opened up discussions about race and helped bring about the equal rights movement.

Genius Child
This is a song for the genius child.
Sing it softly, for the song is wild.
Sing it softly as ever you can -
Lest the song get out of hand.

Nobody loves a genius child.

Can you love an eagle,
Tame or wild?
Can you love an eagle,
Wild or tame?
Can you love a monster
Of frightening name?

Nobody loves a genius child.

Kill him - and let his soul run wild. 
Langston Hughes

STEPH: What inspired your poem?

MELISSA: My poetry is inspired by taking a unique look at the fairy tales and stories we heard growing up. I have poetry that focuses on the part Disney played in our life as well as how media’s emphasis on looks has warped our images.


A Twisted Fairy Tale
By Melissa Keir

Little Red Riding Hood?
Boy, they got that all wrong.
She was hot, you know, what a looker-
Not at all little, nicely rounded.
And she had hair to match that temper
like the sun, all fiery and golden.
After looking at her,
I never even noticed
a basket of goodies.

She walked in the woods everyday
with that wiggle and bounce in her step,
Trying to get my attention.
But I was too busy
with my work, and couldn’t
stop for her.

One day last week, maybe Tuesday?
She gave me that smile, you know the one.
And asked for my help picking
flowers for her sick Grandma.
Just the thought of her sick Grandma,
I had to help.

Then it happened-
As we were picking flowers,
She laid her cape on the grass-
She was all over me
like a treat to a starving man.
She was like an animal.

But when her boyfriend,
the Big Bad Hunter saw us,
She freaked- And blamed me.
She called me a Wolf
and said that I was after her basket of goodies.

So that’s the story, officer.
I’m innocent, not an animal
just misunderstood.
It’s girls like her who give
Fairy Tales a bad name.

FIND MELISSA AT:





Tuesday, April 15, 2014

It's National Dispatcher's Week! Hug a Dispatcher :) #ndw



Dispatchers are always heard, never seen. They're hard workers and the unsung heroes of police, fire, and first responders. If you have an opportunity, tour a PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point) where dispatchers work, offer them a hung, or just say "thank you." It means a lot.

Surprisingly, 911 is only 46 years old. Bob Fitzgerald first implemented it in 1968 in Haleyville, Alabama. Since then, it took until about the mid 1980's for the system to be implemented nationwide.

Patricia Anderson out of Contra Costa County, CA, Sheriff's Dept. in 1982, conceived national Dispatchers week. In 1991, Congress first declared National Dispatcher and President George H.W. Bush signed the first proclamation.

For the most part, I enjoy being a dispatcher and assisting people get the help they need. Dispatchers are staffed 24/7 and I've worked all watches. That can take a lot out of you physically (especially your sleep) and mentally. I've heard all kinds of calls, so I thought I'd share a few with you:

NOTE: Before you call 911, keep this mind: does my issue warrant a 911 call and a police response? Remember 911 is for emergencies, not your loud party.

Drumroll please….

Don't call the police if you want a refund from your drug dealer. (yes, I've gotten several calls like this)

Don't call if you're lonely.

Don't call to complain about your parents (not letting you leave the house) or on your kids 12 and under who are refusing to listen to you.

Don't call to say you locked yourself in your car.

Don't call to complain about your fast food order, sandwich, nuggets, or coffee. Instead complain to the company's district manager, cooperate headquarters, or better business bureau.

I found a great dispatcher's board on Pinterest I thought I'd share: Dispatcher's Rule the World.



Have a good chuckle over some of the things people call 911 for, but if you have a chance, thank a dispatcher this week, offer them a hung, or send your nearest dispatch center a card. It means a lot.

Question for you: Have you ever called 911?


Author Bio: Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. She's also a published author with Desert Breeze Publishing, 4RV Publishing, and Victory Tales Press. She enjoys chocolate, adores coffee and likes taking long walks. Currently, she's signed up to Walk for Alzheimer's on 20 SEP in Santa Clarita, CA. If you'd like to donate visit http://act.alz.org/site/TR/Walk2014/CA-CaliforniaSouthland?team_id=204372&pg=team&fr_id=4950



DARK SHADOW: Set in the distant future, can Helios save the Borealis from a deadly biological weapon or will Vivian get in his way?


ENJOY THIS EXCERPT:
Helios drew close. Impulse took over. His lips skirted hers. His warm breath and spicy scent made her feel protected. Vivian leaned against him. Her lips brushed against his. He tasted of honey and berries -- and chocolate. The seductive sample he offered fueled her body, urging her to savor and enjoy.
She placed her palms flat against his muscled chest and her heart skipped a beat. She never felt so safe, so wanted.
Then reality struck. This was only a moment. She wasn't TPP or a rebel. Her home was here with Sally and Korn. Adonis sounded like he wanted more than she could offer, and Benares was not going to ruin her life again.


Reviews:
B+, Words of Wisdom from the Scarf Princess
"Ms. Burkhart vividly depicts this gritty sci-fi world and all its wonders."  

4 Stars, Rose, Long & Short Reviews
"The characters are well drawn and likeable. I especially liked Sally the Spine cat."

"Full of action from the very beginning." Brooke Blogs

"Well written." Wicked Readings by Tawania

BUY LINKS FOR THE DARK SHADOW:
PUBLISHER'S SITE
http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/borealis-xiv-dark-shadows/

AMAZON KINDLE:
http://amzn.com/B00GTB9C3A

BARNES & NOBLE NOOK:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/borealis-xiv-stephanie-burkhart/1117477623?ean=2940148841265

ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS:
https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-borealisxivdarkshadow-1352200-148.html


SONY EBOOKS:


Monday, April 14, 2014

Welcome to National Library Week! #nlw14 #liveschange

My selfie at the library


When I was a kid growing up in the '70's, I loved going to the Library. The Manchester (NH) Library had 3 or 4 floors and not just books, but albums, paintings, and flags. My favorite books had to do with space, dinosaurs, or the Hardy Boys. Years later, I still love libraries, but I find I'm hanging at the Castaic, CA Library with my boys.

14-18 APR 2014 is National Library Week this year. The week was first sponsored in 1958 by the ALA (American Library Association) because young kids back then were listening to too much radio, watching too much TV, and playing musical instruments. Go figure! (Those young people are probably our grandparents, now) I chuckle because you could say the same things today.
 
Judy Blume
This year's honorary chair was one of my favorite authors growing up: Judy Blume. My favorite book of hers was "Are You There, God, it's me, Margaret," and the book was so timely, dealing with issues I was struggling with, too. It's a book that still appeals to young readers today because the same pre-teen issues are still there. I loved how easy Blume's books were easy to read, too. Her writing is crisp, concise, and honest.

This year's theme is "Lives Change @ Your Library." And they do. Learning is knowledge and knowledge is empowers the reader to forge a better life for themselves.

Libraries have changed since the '70's. They offer ebooks, audio books, and DVD's. They still have books and magazines, but most of the card catalogs are gone, replaced with computers that can look up books in a flash. Libraries still host author readings, but now offer arts and crafts, games, and science shows.

A great online place to discover library activities is here: http://www.pinterest.com/librarygirl6/school-library-activities/
In fact Pinterest has several boards that feature library activities.  

When I was a kid, I had a paper with a metallic insert as my library card. Now my boys have a plastic card! Libraries will always be needed – the challenge is their ability to change and adapt to modern technology.


So, how has the library changed my life? I got to visit space, discover the past, and solve mysteries with the Hardy Boys. I had the opportunity to explore different places without ever leaving living room. Reading books from the library expanded my mind and made me believe I could do anything I set my mind to. The library nurtured my love of culture and of different cultures. It taught me to respect others and take responsibility for my books. The library made me believe I could write my own books.

My co-worker, Amy Tariq is a big supporter of libraries.  This is what she had to say:

I was raised by books and by extension, libraries. This really isn’t an overstatement. One of my earliest memories is of visiting the Los Angeles Central Library (before the 1986 fire) and reading a biography of Marie Curie, narrated by a talking test tube.
Amy Tariq
School breaks were spent in various local libraries watching movies, making arts and crafts, and reading. Libraries taught me about worlds far away from my home, stretched my imagination, and indulged all manner of questions. I checked out dozens of Babysitters’ Club and Sweet Valley Twins books, needlework books written by hippies, historical fiction, and genetics textbooks. The library didn’t judge.
After the rebuilding of the Central Library, I found cozy nooks all over the place. There’s a magazine just about chili peppers! Who knew? Audio tapes for actors to learn foreign accents beckoned to me as I passed to get to the sci-fi. And there was a new space called TeenScape.
TeenScape was designed for teens with multiple copies of LA Unified School District required reading, scholarship guides, Clifs Notes, graphic novels, and computers with internet access! In 1994! The librarians were kind and kept children and adults out. There was a weekly improvisational acting workshop run by one of the librarian’s husbands. A small group of us promptly moved in, took over the computer sign in sheet and started kicking the little kids back to the children’s dept across the hall ourselves. I spent more waking hours at TeenScape than at my house that summer. I also met my current fiancé. We’re getting married at the Los Angeles Central Library, in front of TeenScape.
Over the years, as adult responsibilities and the event of e-readers, I’ve declined my library usage, but I am a huge cheerleader for libraries against the constant threat of budget cuts. My best friend is a librarian. I’ve visited local libraries when traveling. I proudly carry a library card and always will.
Steph: That is so cool that you and your fiancé are getting married at the library! Thanks for sharing your story, Sweetie. 

QUESTION FOR ALL:  Do you still go to your library? Give your library a shout out and tell me what you like about it! What was the last book you got at the library?

For more about National Library Week visit:

Author Bio: Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 Dispatcher for LAPD. She's published with Desert Breeze, 4RV Publishing and Victory Tales Press. She adores chocolate, loves coffee, and is never without a book.

WEBSITE:

TWITTER:

FACEBOOK:
https://www.facebook.com/StephanieBurkhartAuthor

GOOD READS:

YOU TUBE CHANNEL:

PINTEREST:
http://pinterest.com/sgburkhart/