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Author Archives: ChristineWarner

What to Read Wednesday with Amy Reade and giveaway

Happy Wednesday! Today on What to Read Wednesday we have author Amy Reade visiting. She’s written a fabulous guest post about author’s who inspire and is sharing her first novel release Secrets of Hallstead House. Don’t you love the cover? It fits perfectly with her blurb :)

She’s also offering up an awesome giveaway that you can enter to win at the end of the post….you won’t want to miss this one :)

Take it away Amy…

Secrets-of-Hallstead-House-Amy-M

Authors Who Inspire Me

by Amy M. Reade

 

I’m often asked, “Who’s your favorite author?”

I must admit that I don’t have one single favorite, but there are several authors whose entire collections fill up my bookshelves. They are, in no particular order, Ernest Hemingway, Jane Austen, and Phyllis A. Whitney.

Their works are wildly different, I know. But I like to read lots of different kinds of books. I suppose it would be impossible for me to have just one favorite.

I love Hemingway because his writing is so crisp and evocative without being wordy. The emotion that he is able to convey in just a few words has never failed to astonish me. Rumor has it that Hemingway once bet that he could write a story in less than ten words. Though it is unverified, the story certainly seems like one he could have crafted. It goes like this: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” Take a minute to let that sink in…I’ll wait.

I don’t write like Hemingway. As beautiful as it is, I find some of his work disturbing. He writes about uncomfortable things, heart-wrenching things. I write stories that are happier, lighter. If I had written A Farewell to Arms, Frederic and Catherine would have lived happily ever after and their baby would have lived, too.

I love Jane Austen because she’s got a sharp, sly wit that makes me laugh out loud when I’m reading her books. Her stories are engaging and fun, and I love that the language is so different from what we are used to reading today. Her stories transcend time; they don’t have to take place in the nineteenth century- they could just as easily take place in the twenty-first century.

My favorite book by Jane Austen is Pride and Prejudice, as I will tell anyone who is willing to listen. The story is perfect, from its preoccupation with marriage and manners to its happy ending for Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. If I’m looking for a familiar, comfortable read that I know by heart, I reach for Pride and Prejudice.

Phyllis A. Whitney was an author of romantic suspense who died in 2008 at the age of 104. She published her last book when she was 94 years old. That is the kind of writer I strive to be.

Ms. Whitney’s appeal, besides the suspense she wove like tapestry, lay in her ability to describe places both near and far. Her books were set everywhere from Chicago to Norway, from Long Island to Turkey. I ended up wanting to visit each and every place she set her stories; I’m sure she would have considered that high praise.

And speaking of high praise, my first novel, Secrets of Hallstead House, has been compared to her works by two reviewers who received advance reader copies of the book from my publisher (their reviews can be found on Goodreads.com). The comparisons to Phyllis Whitney were the best compliments I could have received.

My preferred authors may change from time to time depending on what book I’m enjoying on any particular day, but my favorites remain constant. They wrote the books I read over and over- the ones I reach for when I already know I’m going to love the story.

Secrets Of Hallstead House (eBook)

Blurb

Macy Stoddard had hoped to ease the grief of losing her parents in a fiery car crash by accepting a job as a private nurse to the wealthy and widowed Alexandria Hallstead. But her first sight of Summerplace is of a dark and forbidding home. She quickly finds its winding halls and shadowy rooms filled with secrets and suspicions.
Alex seems happy to have Macy’s help, but others on the island, including Alex’s sinister servants and hostile relatives, are far less welcoming. Watching eyes, veiled threats…slowly, surely, the menacing spirit of Hallstead Island closes in around Macy. And she can only wonder if her story will become just one of the many secrets of Hallstead House…

Link to Follow Tour: http://tastybooktours.blogspot.com/2014/04/now-booking-tasty-virtual-tour-for_1091.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22044772-secrets-of-hallstead-house?from_search=true

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Hallstead-House-Amy-Reade-ebook/dp/B00IO3QR70/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1397586321&sr=8-1&keywords=secrets+of+hallstead+house
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/secrets-of-hallstead-house-amy-reade/1118882335?ean=9781601832993
Kensington: http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/book.aspx/28628

Author Info

Amy M. Reade is a debut author of romantic suspense. A native of upstate New York, she grew up in the Thousand Islands region and was inspired by the natural beauty of that area to write her first novel, Secrets of Hallstead House. She now lives in New Jersey with her husband, three children, a Bouvier des Flandres named Orly, and two rescued cats who refuse to answer to their names of Porthos and Athos.
Upon graduation from Cornell University and Indiana University School of Law, Amy practiced law in New York City, but soon discovered that her dream job was writing. In addition to volunteering with school, church, and community groups, Amy is currently working on her second novel, set in the area around Charleston, South Carolina.
Though Amy lives within sight of the Atlantic Ocean, she is partial to the blue waters of the Pacific and spends as much time as possible on the Big Island of Hawaii, which is the setting of her as-yet-unwritten third novel.

Amy

Author Links

http://www.amymreade.com/

https://twitter.com/readeandwrite

https://www.facebook.com/amreadeauthor

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8189243.Amy_M_Reade

~~~GIVEAWAY~~~GIVEAWAY~~~GIVEAWAY~~~

*Kensington is hosting a Giveaway of TWO Ebook Copies of SECRETS OF HALLSTEAD HOUSE at EACH Tour Stop.*

***COMMENT FOR A CHANCE TO WIN…yep, it’s as easy as that***

 

 
10 Comments

Posted by on July 30, 2014 in What to Read Wednesday

 

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BOOK BLAST ~ From Indiana With Love by Sandra Sookoo ~ Giveaway

From-Indiana-With-Love-Sandra-Sookoo

 

Blurb

Being embroiled in an FBI sting isn’t exactly conducive for book research or warm fuzzies—or is it?

Samantha Arnold, prep cook and struggling romance novelist, believes adventure is right around the corner. Trouble is, nothing exciting happens in the small town of Newburg, Indiana. When a routine trip to pick up chicken results in meeting a guy too well-dressed to be a farmer, she can’t help but hope things are about to turn.

Special Agent Patton Mitchell isn’t exactly enjoying his stint in the farming community. The property he’s using as a home base adjoins that of his mark, and it also connects him with meek and mild Samantha. Her questionable Internet search history has triggered a visit from the NSA, which means him, and he’s not above a little flirting to get his answers.

Suddenly, small town life explodes into a story right out of Sam’s imagination, with intrigue, guns and betrayal to boot. What she thinks of as a madcap caper is a fight for life or death in Mitchell’s book. Between dodging bullets, chasing a would-be terrorist and dealing with drop-in relatives, there might just be a shot at romance—if the bad guys don’t get them first.

From Indiana With Love

Link to Follow Tour: http://tastybooktours.blogspot.com/2014/06/now-booking-tasty-virtual-tour-for-from.html

 

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Indiana-Love-Unlikely-Partners-Book-ebook/dp/B00LFOJ4YS/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1404227192&sr=8-12&keywords=sandra+sookoo

Publisher: http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/unlikely-partners-book-one-from-indiana-with-love-epub/

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/from-indiana-with-love-sandra-sookoo/1119886294?ean=2940149757886

All Romance ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-fromindianawithlove-1559691-149.html

 

Author Info

Sandra is a writer of romantic fiction. Her portfolio includes historical, contemporary, sci-fi, and paranormal romances in full-length books as well as shorts and novellas. No matter if the heat level is spicy or sweet, she loves to blend genres and oftentimes will add humor to the mix.

When not immersed in creating new worlds and engaging characters, Sandra likes to read, bake, taste new teas, watch The Big Bang Theory, and Psych as well as Finding Bigfoot and travel. Her favorite place to spend vacation hours is Walt Disney World: it’s where dreams come true and the soul can play. When she’s not writing, she’s keeping things interesting at her Believing is Seeing blog or spending time with her husband, who patiently answers questions she has about men, sci-fi-related subjects, and the odd “what if”.

Sandra loves to hear from her readers. You can write to her at sandrasookoo@yahoo.com, visit her website at www.sandrasookoo.com, or look her up on Facebook and Twitter. All links are provided on the front page of her website.

 

Author Links

http://www.sandrasookoo.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sandra-Sookoo-author/149098339126

https://twitter.com/SandraSookoo

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2931453.Sandra_Sookoo

http://sandrasookoo.wordpress.com/

~~~GIVEAWAY~~~GIVEAWAY~~~GIVEAWAY~~~GIVEAWAY~~~

*Sandra is hosting a TOUR WIDE Rafflecopter Giveaway for a $5.00 Amazon Gift Card*

**CLICK HERE TO ENTER**

 
2 Comments

Posted by on July 29, 2014 in Blitz/Bonanza Spotlights

 

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Secret Love is on tour this week…

Hey wonderful readers! I am making the rounds and spreading the word about my first novella…SECRET LOVE, which is a sweet romance set in small town America 1955. I hope you’ll join me on some of the blogs I’ll be visiting over the next 3 days and enter for a chance to win a $10 Amazon or B&N gift card, and if you haven’t had a chance to check out Secret Love, grab a copy for only .99.

secret-love-christine-warner

BLURB

Saranac, Michigan

March 1955

Lizzie Tarleton has always done things her own way—including the time at the tender age of thirteen when she confessed to her brother’s best friend she loved him. But now she’s a new teacher at the local high school, and independent enough to know that you can’t force love. She’ll find love when the time is right—even though her parents are adamant the time is now. The only downfall to her idyllic life is the fact that her childhood crush—who broke her heart—is now her boss. If only she could stop daydreaming about him.

Wayne Whitmore grew up on the wrong side of the tracks and worked hard to get where he’s at in life. Even though he enjoys being principal at the small town high school, he dreams of coaching baseball. When his best friend asks him to watch over his little sister at her new job at Wayne’s school, he agrees. What he doesn’t count on is how she’s grown from the pig tailed kid who told him she loved him, to the woman who breaks his concentration with her beauty and smile. Unable to get over his fascination, and afraid he’ll ruin his friend’s trust, Wayne applies for his dream job—one that will take him far away.

One night while decorating the school gymnasium for an upcoming sock hop, Lizzie and Wayne find themselves alone. They share a kiss and Lizzie realizes her childhood crush for Wayne has never died. Wayne decides he doesn’t want to let Lizzie get away.

Can they come to terms with their secret love and then overcome the other secrets they are hiding in order to get what they each want? Or is their timing for love still off?

BUY LINKS FOR SECRET LOVE

Barnes & Noble Amazon

SL 200 x 300

Here’s the blogs I’m guesting on….stop by and say “hi” and don’t forget to enter for a chance to win my giveaway!

July 28th
 
July 29th
 
July 30th

 
2 Comments

Posted by on July 28, 2014 in Blitz/Bonanza Spotlights

 

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BOOK COVER TOUR ~ Girl in the Middle by Christine Bailey ~ Giveaway

Tour-Banner-Girl-in-the-Middle

BLURB

Fifteen-year-old Skye, the middle child, finds herself wishing for a new life-one that doesn’t include daily harassment from the in-crowd at Highland Creek High School. Skye barely survived freshman year. She only did because her best friend, Goose, a semi-popular fellow band geek, was by her side. But when their sophomore year starts, Goose ditches Skye for a new crowd.

Cast into a lone existence at Highland Creek, Skye wishes for a touch of extraordinary that everyone, except her, seems to have. Her older sister, Sara Elizabeth, has it. Goose is getting close to it, and even her little sister is wildly popular in junior high. Skye would do almost anything to cast off her ordinary life…but at what price?

When her older sister goes missing without a trace, Skye gets her wish…but it’s not exactly what she had in mind. And when she questions Bryan, the senior class renegade and also the last person to be seen with her sister, she finds something she never quite expected.

Girl-in-the-Middle

EXCERPT

After the bell, I headed to Ms. Stone’s classroom for lunch. It had become my usual place for dining since Lauren and I were so on-again, off-again. I really had no other place to go. But when I walked in, I found the principal and the school counselor—always a bad combination—sitting with Ms. Stone. My gut lurched.

The principal, Mr. Jones, was sitting on the corner of Ms. Stone’s desk with a roll of fat spilling over his belted pants. Mr. Munsey and Ms. Stone sat close to him. They all turned to me, and I began to inch backwards. The room was still. I fixated on the literature posters on the wall. William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, and Charles Dickens stared at me. Ms. Stone eased toward me. I sighed slowly through my nostrils. My heart raced, and everything felt like it was moving in slow motion. All I could think was: what have I done? Then I thought, someone’s dead. I was quickly assured that I was not in trouble, that they just wanted to talk to me for a few minutes. I tried to think of something questionable that I had done. Ms. Stone informed me that she had read my latest paper.

“Which one?” I asked. I tried to figure out which paper she was talking about.

“The one on Romeo and Juliet?” Then it hit me.

“I didn’t plagiarize,” I said.

“No, the one you turned in a couple of days ago.” I shrugged.

“Your essay was a little disturbing to Ms. Stone,” said Mr. Munsey. “She asked me to read it and give her my thoughts. That’s why I’m here.” Mr. Munsey, a large and bushy-haired man, looked about the same age as Ms. Stone, like around thirty-something probably. He had the mountain-man look—okay on a movie star, but not so much on Mr. Munsey.

“I don’t even remember what it was about. I wrote it last week when I had my migraine.”

“A story about ‘offing the populars,’ as you put it,” Mr. Jones said.

I slumped into a chair and said, “Oh. My short story.”

“Skye, we’re just concerned…” Mr. Munsey said. “About you being bullied.” He really dragged out the word concerned.

“I’m fine, and the story was not a hit list or plan or anything. I was just having a bad day and wrote a stupid story. It was like therapy. It was supposed to be funny, actually.”

“Well, it’s enough to make us question you,” Mr. Munsey said.

“It’s not a journal entry,” I said. “It’s not a cry for help or anything. I was just writing. It’s a fictional story about a school with no populars. No hierarchy. No Queen Bees or loud-mouthed jocks.”

The counselor pointed out a specific passage. He said, “Skye, it’s just realistic, and it concerns me.” That word again. “See, right here where you say, ‘The cheerleader, wide-eyed and gasping for air, clutched her bleeding stomach. She lifted her fingers and studied the warm liquid that had painted them a deep red, almost dark as night. She looked up into the eyes of her enemy…’”

“I have an active imagination.” Pause. Shrill laughs filtered in from the hallway. I even recognized one of the chicken laughs as Lauren’s. “I watch too much TV?” Pause. The chicken clucked again.

“You can’t write about ways to eliminate popular kids—or anyone for that matter. You watch the news. You know what’s going on in the world today. It’s a scary place,” Mr. Munsey said. He looked at me over his thickly rimmed glasses. I realized in that moment, standing before the jury and still hearing the chicken laugh from the hall, that I was in trouble.

“I was just writing a story…that’s all,” I said. I volunteered myself for any kind of test or evaluation to prove I was not crazy. Big mistake. They jumped on it.

Mr. Munsey wiped his glasses on a handkerchief (those disgusting, snot-holders should be outlawed, by the way). The trio exchanged looks, and then Mr. Jones and Mr. Munsey stood up. Their chairs scraped against the tiled floor. Before filing out of the room, Mr. Munsey said he’d be in touch about starting “sessions” with me or something. They left me alone with Ms. Stone.

“I’m so sorry, Skye, but I did this out of concern for you. I’ve been worried, and then this paper…”

“Wow, do I really look that pathetic and sad?” We stood looking at each other. The blue-gray circles under her eyes became sharper under the fluorescent lights. The window facing the quad outside caught my attention and pulled me away from Ms. Stone’s face. The quad was filled with activity. I saw blurs of color flash in front of me. Pink, wind-chapped faces, blue varsity jackets, white-blonde hair. I closed my eyes and shut everything out. “Can I leave?” I asked.

“I would still like to talk, Skye.”

“Maybe later, if that’s okay,” I opened my eyes and stared at her. She had betrayed me. “Can I leave?” I said again.

“Sure.”

I flew to the bathroom. My make-up had run in places from the tears. I haphazardly reapplied some make-up to my blotchy cheeks and chin. Then I smoothed it in slowly, covering the little bumps on my face with the foundation. I squeezed on berry-flavored lip gloss for good measure. Though it didn’t do much to help, the berry taste was a tiny comfort. Then I went and hid in the library. It was just a stupid story. I played the conversation over and over in my mind. The bell rang for fourth period and then for fifth. I was numb and couldn’t move from the hard, cold chair. The smooth surface of the table felt good against my face, too. At one point, I saw Ms. Stone through my hair that had fallen across my eyes, but I didn’t acknowledge her. Eventually she left.

Finally, I mustered up enough strength and took out a small mirror from my bag. I cringed at the streaks of mascara on my face. I tried to rub them away, but my face was a wreck. I glanced down at my watch and freaked. I had been hiding out in the library for over two hours. I had twenty minutes to pull myself together before last bell. I gathered up my stuff and snuck out of the library, straight to the math hall for a more obscure bathroom. I did not want to chance it by going to the one in the main hall. My instincts were good. It was empty. I dumped my purse out into the sink and began my patchwork. That’s when it went from bad to worse.

Zoë, with her perfect looks and ego the size of New York City, pranced in with her royal court in tow. I didn’t look up. I was told to never ever make eye contact with the enemy.

“Hello, Skye.”

“Hi,” I said and looked up stupidly. She smiled at me with her perfectly straight, perfectly white, and perfectly over-sized horse teeth. Her mouth, too big for her face, overwhelmed her eyes and pointed nose that tipped slightly upward.

“We were just talking about you.” She looked over at her minions and breathed a laugh through her nose.

“Oh yeah?” I said. Trapped in the smallest bathroom in the school, with only two stalls and one long sink, I shared the space with unfriendly forces. I swallowed hard and nearly choked on my saliva. I glanced at the girl standing beside Zoë and realized we used to be friends. Shelby and I played soccer together in the sixth grade.

“So, Skye, I heard a little rumor about you,” Zoë said.

“Okay.”

“Aren’t you a little bit curious?”

“No. Not really.”

“Oh, come on. You have to be.”

“What is it, Zoë?”

“I heard you wrote a story about being bullied. Poor baby, you’re not gonna go psycho, are you?”

“What?”

“My source overheard Ms. Stone and another teacher talking about it.”

“Whatever. They were probably talking about me winning that writing contest. Yeah, first place. Pretty awesome, huh?” I had been kicked in the gut. Well, not literally, but that’s what it felt like having these girls corner me. Everything went numb, except my brain. I couldn’t imagine how they found out. I looked at Shelby for help, but she was more interested in biting her fingernail. I threw my stuff back in my purse and reached for the door, but Zoë pushed me aside and hurried in front of me.

With a quick snap of her ponytail, she glanced back at me and said,“Whatever.”

I waited it out for a few minutes in the bathroom. The call for bus riders filtered through the intercom, and I finally poked my head out just as last bell rang and made a dash for it. I fought my way through the crowd that had begun to fill the hallways and ran to my locker. I noticed Zoë’s handiwork immediately. On my locker: a post-it note with the word “LOSER” in nice, big block letters and a picture of a stick figure with a huge head. It had curly hair and glasses, and it was crying. Great Sharpie skills. I grabbed it and crumpled it in my hand. The sharp little edges poked my palm.

 

AUTHOR INFO

Christine H. Bailey teaches Creative Writing and Written Composition at a private university in Tennessee. Before teaching English, Bailey worked as a journalist, a marketing/public relations writer, and a freelance editor.

Girl in the Middle is Bailey’s debut novel. To learn more about this author and her work, visit her online at www.cibailey.com.

Author-Picture-Christine-Bailey-300x284

~~~GIVEAWAY~~~GIVEAWAY~~~GIVEAWAY~~~GIVEAWAY~~~

Christine is giving away a $5 Amazon or Barnes & Noble Gift Card

***CLICK HERE TO ENTER***

 

 
 

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BOOK BLAST ~ Only with You by Lauren Layne ~ Giveaway

Only-With-You-Lauren-Layne

Blurb

Love is the Biggest Gamble of All . . .
Cocktail waitress Sophie Dalton doesn’t exactly have a life plan. She’s perfectly happy being everyone’s favorite party girl. But when a Las Vegas bachelorette party goes awry and an uptight businessman mistakes Sophie for a prostitute . . . well, Sophie wonders if it’s time to reevaluate her priorities. Swearing off her thigh-high boots for good, Sophie slinks back home with damaged pride-and a jackpot of a hangover.
Yet what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay there. On a trip to Seattle to open a new office, Grayson Wyatt meets his latest employee-who turns out to be the same woman he recently called a hooker. Wealthy and gorgeous, Gray is a man used to getting what he wants. And it doesn’t take long to figure out that smart, sassy, sexy Sophie is everything he’s been looking for. As their late nights at the office turn into hot morning-afters, they realize their Vegas misunderstanding may lead to the real thing . . .

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17860968-only-with-you?ac=1

Link to Follow Tour: http://tastybooktours.blogspot.com/2014/05/now-booking-tasty-virtual-tour-for-only.html

Only With You

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Only-You-The-Best-Mistake/dp/1455546070
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/only-with-you-lauren-layne/1115218445?ean=9781455546084
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/only-with-you/id642507798?mt=11

Author Info

Lauren Layne is a snarky cynic with a serious weakness for happily ever afters.
Marrying her high school sweetheart was a good start. *cue Disney soundtrack.*
But Lauren wanted all romance, all the time.
Now she writes fictional happy endings, and considers her job done well if you swoon while reading her books. Don’t worry. You will.
Once upon a time she lived in a Manhattan high-rise, but now she’s on the laid-back train in the Seattle area. If you ever find yourself in Issaquah, she’ll probably buy you a drink. Maybe.
Connect with Lauren: Facebook | Twitter | Website

Lauren Layne

Author links

http://laurenlayne.com/

https://www.facebook.com/LaurenLayneAuthor

https://twitter.com/_LaurenLayne

~~~GIVEAWAY~~~GIVEAWAY~~~GIVEAWAY~~~GIVEAWAY~~~

**CLICK HERE TO ENTER**

 
2 Comments

Posted by on July 25, 2014 in Blitz/Bonanza Spotlights

 

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