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Special guest Rohn Federbush author of North Parish with giveaway

Please help me welcome author Rohn Federbush to the blog today. Rohn is here sharing her latest release, a historical, inspirational romance titled North Parish. She’s also offering a wonderful giveaway that you can enter at the end of the post.

Before we dive into Rohn’s gorgeous book cover, blurb and excerpt…let’s learn a bit more about her. She’s written an emotional and inspiring guest post I think you’ll enjoy :)

Take it away Rohn…

Rohn Federbush

Author of

Sally Bianco Mystery Series

Retired and bored with bridge, Sally’s life presents an opportunity to prove a friend is innocent of a murder charge. Once bitten by the investigative bug, murder cases continue to fill the rest of her days.

I lived on farms in Illinois until I was fourteen. Those wind-swept plains can’t compare to the storm-free, surrounding hills of my adopted state of Michigan. I’m dyslexic and uncomfortable in crowds. I’m happier in my old-age than I ever was in the riotous, experimental years of youth. Who hasn’t wanted to know everything about everything?

When I’m not writing, I paint cartoonish pictures in oil and even watercolors. I love the control over colors. I paint in primary colors, heavy on the brush. One sister-in-law thought I might have missed a career as a painter, but she received one of my better oils.

I like being married better than living alone. Of course, I am married to the best     man in the universe. I’m also thankful for moderate good health in old age. My grandchildren are perfect and my children claim every ounce of affection I own. Isn’t this every woman’s dream?

I first realized I wanted to be a writer when I was sixteen. My sister’s baby died after not completing a day of life. So I wrote a poem and eulogized my niece, hooking me forever on the potency of catharsis and the power of adding to the remembrance of a lost child. What gave you your first clue that you were one of us, unable to stop putting words on paper?

My first writing draft is finished in about three months, but the editing takes even longer. When I am in good health, I’m usually at my writing desk by 9:00 in the morning. I outline. I use Elizabeth’s system from “Write Right” and Michael Hauge’s “Six Stage Plot Structure,” which is a furtherance of Debra Dixon’s “Goals, Motivation, and Conflict” structure for characters. I put the finished outline, which includes one-sentence scene descriptions into the body of my manuscript and start writing the Rough Draft. Nothing is ever final, the outline, the sequence of scenes, etc. But the skeleton exists. The next day’s scene can be reviewed before bed and embellished in the morning. If I get stopped, I interview the characters to find out where we’re going.

I try not to stop until I have ten new pages or 4:00 arrives. My completed books are piling up, but I am still happiest and better balanced when new work is created.My ideas for books follow my curiosity.

Hiring my GirlFriday, Florence Price, has saved me from frustrating chores I don’t have the patience to learn. Such as my website design, promotion ideas and an increasing number of tasks I ask her to undertake. My books are on Amazon. I’m on Linkedin, Goodreads and have two Facebook pages. Feel free to contact me at rohn@comcast.net. My website is www.rohnfederbush.com.

Tour-Banner-North-Parish

An Ann Arborite, Professor Silas Douglas, became the first president of Michigan’s Historical Society. He was a teenager who witnessed the 1818 Maumee River treaty signing by seven tribes for President Monroe’s Erie Canal. The names of the tribes and the individual natives have been preserved in the Ann Arbor Public Library.

North Parish follows the diplomats around the Great Lakes.

* * * * *

Parish North is the blonde adopted son of a Huron native, and with his manhood-quest completed in time for his father’s trip with a Jesuit bishop, he’s allowed to participate in the efforts to secure powwow agreements from seven tribes around the Great Lakes for the building of the Erie Canal. During the trip, Parish recognizes his vision temptress in Dorothy Evans.

Hoping to join the delegation, Dorothy Evans dreams of escaping duties as her mother’s cook-helper at Fort Detroit. Exciting windows to the wider world open for the girl in the Fort’s Jesuit library. Two centuries worth of European books convince her everything good and pure comes from nature. And when Dorothy meets the blond native, Parish North, she feels her heart quicken when he smiles in her direction. She’s positive Parish is half of her future.

When a bishop assigned to the trip persuades Dorothy’s mother to allow him to chaperon her intelligent daughter on the trip to facilitate her education, Dorothy’s mother accepts his kind offer with the comforting knowledge that Dorothy is under the protection of a man of the Church. But the Bishop’s intentions may not be as pure as they appear and Dorothy’s virtue is in danger. Will the Bishop’s unholy plan succeed?

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 Chapter 1

Fort Detroit, Fall, 1817

Cheers from the fort’s crowd drew sixteen-year-old Dorothy Evans to the river’s shore. Two high-ended Algonquin canoes from Lake Erie and a smaller French trapper’s canoe advanced toward them on the Detroit River. With each new shout, more yellow aspen leaves tumbled to the ground, crushed under the feet of soldiers and civilians rushing along the riverbank. The sober clothing of the throng clashed with the riotous colors of the maple trees.

A Chippewa runner had arrived the night before to warn, or rather to assemble the fort’s population for Bishop Pascal’s arrival. Father Sebastian, the Jesuit pastor, rose on his tiptoes to peer down river. Dorothy and her mother stood on either side of the nervous priest. Elizabeth’s short, plump figure advertised her success as the rectory’s cook. Dorothy considered herself a competent but reluctant cook’s helper.

Preparations for meals left little time to think, to read, to dream. She hurried through her daily chores to escape into the priest’s extensive library. For more than a hundred years, the Jesuits at Fort Detroit had collected Europe’s finest literature. The tomes whetted her appetite for adventure and romance.

As Dorothy waited for the Bishop, histories of Florence, its free thinkers, faces of popes and red-garbed cardinals swam in her head. The band of young and seasoned soldiers from the fort held no interest. They smelled, and treated her as the stuck-up cook’s daughter. She was only someone to hand out an extra cookie or two when their buddies weren’t around to tease. But in her secret heart, Dorothy was a mysterious spy, an adventurous temptress, a princess waiting to be rescued.

No hint of cardinal reds were in the approaching crafts, only more drab brown and black clothing. Dorothy sighed, breathed in the cool, tannic-scented air and prayed for patience as the ceremonies began. Her chores awaited and her fingers itched to re-open the Italian history she had set aside.

After the first boat emptied its passengers, a sergeant among the troops yelled, “Attention!”

The thirty or so men lined up, tucked in their shirts and squared their shoulders. The newly arrived, tall, mustached officer with soft gray eyes under menacing bushy eyebrows introduced himself to the sloppy, disgraceful bunch. “Lieutenant C. Louis Cass.” He returned their salute and marched past them taking time to point out an unbuttoned tunic, dusty boots, or straighten a jauntily placed cap. “Where is your commanding officer?”

“Abed.” A young private in the rear yelled without fear of detection.

“This way,” Father Sebastian motioned for the Bishop to follow the troops on the half-mile trek back to the fort.

Dorothy’s mother gestured for her to follow, but Dorothy shook her head. Elizabeth delayed and tidied her hair until Dorothy relented and drew closer for what she thought would be a reprimand. Her mother merely whispered. “They’re going to take more land from the natives. Mark my word.”

“Not again. Where will they let them farm now? Is that why the Bishop came?”

“Father says the seven tribes around the Great Lakes will be affected.” Elizabeth tucked a loose black strand of hair behind Dorothy’s ear. “I guess the Bishop thinks a missionary is needed to persuade the tribes to attend the new treaty powwow.”

Dorothy shook her head. “What chance do the natives have to survive, if they disagree?”

“Hurry back to help me.” Her mother scurried away to catch up to Father Sebastian.

Dorothy wandered closer to the river. Dark clouds threatened to stop the sunshine’s play with the sparkling waves. The second smaller canoe purposefully tread water in order not to be drawn ashore. Dorothy examined its crew. A tall, straight-backed Huron sat in the front of the boat. Behind him a younger native caught her eye. The shifting sunbeams highlighted the man’s blond hair. His face seemed lit from within.

His eyes dreamily swept the shoreline past her, then sharply returned as if he had been startled into remembering something. Something important.

Me, Dorothy thought. He’s looking at me. For a moment her breath seemed to stop.

She couldn’t help rushing forward to mingle among the native men helping the two pull the boat onto the sandy shore. The natives nearly bowed before the tall Huron. He spoke kindly to each. Did he personally know their families? Then he introduced the younger man to them, “My favored son.” The older man inclined his head proudly in the direction of the blond young man, whose ethereal bearing evoked the capability of walking on water.

Noticing Dorothy among the group, the older man said, “They call me Ponthe Walker.”

Dorothy nodded but could not keep her face turned away from the infinitely more interesting younger man.

“And my adopted son, Perish North.”

“I’m…I’m,” Dorothy was sure she’d never remember her own name. “Dorothy Evans. My mother is Elizabeth, the rectory cook.”

Perish stepped forward. “A pious believer then?”

Dorothy gained full use of her tongue. “More of a favorite doubter of the Lord’s. Like Saint Thomas? You know the one who had to put his hand in Jesus’ side before he would believe in the resurrection?”

Ponthe seemed to lose interest, but Perish didn’t move.

“I’ve just returned from my vision quest,” he said.

Dorothy believed he grew an inch before her eyes. She slipped a glance down to his boots to see if he’d stretched up on his toes. As she brought her gaze up, she noted his waist adornments, his broad shoulders covered in buckskin. His light blue eyes seemed bleached by the sun, or his vision.

“The manhood rite,” she said, trying not to check. A stiff breeze lifted her hair, cooling the nervous sweat on her brow.

“You’ve heard of the Midewiwins?” Perish took a step closer.

Dorothy could smell a scent of juniper. “I have, but aren’t you too young?”

Perish laughed.

A thrill passed through her at the clear, rich tones of his voice.

When his father began to lead the natives back to the Fort Detroit, Dorothy boldly pulled at Perish’s elbow. “Walk with me.”

Perish slowed to stroll beside her.

Dorothy smiled as winningly as she knew how. “Tell me.”

“I can only share Orenda’s vision message with family.” His face was serious but his eyes were friendly.

“Adopt me,” Dorothy said, then raced ahead of the group. Aware of her silliness, she knew her mother would be needing help.

* * * * *

Perish watched the snowy show of petticoats as the dark-headed girl fled toward the stockade. His nostrils flared catching the scent of lilacs.

His father stopped, waiting for Perish to catch up before they continued to the fort. “Her hair is nearly black.”

“Brown eyes.” Perish pulled on one of his blond braids to anchor himself in a suddenly unknown landscape. “But she wasn’t wearing the red-spotted squaw cape.”

“But was she the girl in your vision?” Ponthe asked.

“The vision was taller, older.” Perish moved his hand above his eye level.

“Could have been floating,” Ponthe said. “You haven’t shared your vision with Renault or Kdahoi yet?”

“No.” Perish was still held in the dream world of the girl’s dark eyes. He shook himself to respond in detail to his father. “I wanted to keep my word to meet you at Fort Detroit, before I met with Mother.” He laughed in relief at his good fortune. “Then I ran across your runner’s path.”

“Dorothy Evans might have been less welcoming if she’d seen you when you came into the Bishop’s camp.”

“True.” Perish hadn’t washed for a fortnight and his hair had been dank with sweat and grime. “I hadn’t considered the Bishop’s idea of bathing of much worth, until now.”

“Beauty’s going to have a heyday with your vision.” Ponthe shook his head.

Perish was surprised that even now his father doubted the Great Spirit’s way. “It seems you have a bond with Dorothy Evans.”

“Can’t help liking her courage.” Ponthe said. “Not many parishioners under Jesuit rule voice their doubts in public.”

“She’s still a child.” Perish tried to dismiss his attraction to her bright eyes, her pert smile, that dance of energy.

Ponthe said not a word, only nodded.

“Father.” Perish stopped walking. His stomach attacked him with a great qualm, “I need to see Kdahoi.”

“Of course,” Ponthe said. “Your mother will be waiting. Tell Beauty I will meet with her when she comes to the fort. I’ll make your excuses here.”

Without another word, Perish ran down to the beach and launched his canoe.

* * * * *

Raisin River Camp

An evil wind seemed destined to slow his trip down to the Raisin River’s mouth to his mother’s village. The trip was difficult in the canoe meant for river use instead of slicing the storm waves on Lake Erie.

At the Raisin River camp, the moon’s position told Perish he’d reached Beauty’s isolated wigwam close to midnight. Perish smiled. If need be, he’d be able to find his home blindfolded. He wrapped himself in his blanket outside the entrance and waited for dawn.

“Perish,” Beauty scolded in the morning. “I nearly broke my neck falling over your lazy carcass.”

Perish had missed her laughter. He bowed as men did to their mothers. “I had a vision.”

“I see. First coffee, then symbols.”

After his mother’s breakfast of corn flapjacks, Perish realized a certain tension had left his body. Across the river the Potawatomi village was coming to life. Dogs were barking and familiar cooking sounds marked the morning. “Why is it I can only relax here?”

“You’ve been safe here for many years.” Beauty said. “The world outside is filled with tales of violence.”

“Is it true you told Governor Hull to abandon the fort or you would scalp him yourself?”

“Renault told you that nonsense.” Beauty smoothed her plaited hair down, in her habitual show of vanity, the only one Perish could recall.

“My Copper Harbor dream was a peaceful one.”

“I’m glad.” Beauty cleared away the remnants of their morning meal.

“I stayed in the cleft of rock, where some men leave pictures of their vision guides.” Perish recalled his heightened awareness. “A lightning storm from the west rolled past me but I could still see the islands in Lake Superior. I was wet with the rain, hungry, and cold. Then someone lifted my chin, or I looked up into the pelting rain to the tops of the cliff. A woman in a red-spotted cape drifted on the wind. We were eye-to-eye when she spoke.”

“What did she say?” Beauty couldn’t hold back her curiosity, but she kept her head bowed away from Perish.

Perish tugged on his mother’s buckskin skirt as he had as a child. Still Beauty wouldn’t meet his eyes, so he told her. “She asked me how many generations of children we would beget.”

“Beget?”

“A Biblical phrase. To give birth.” As Perish explained the word, his body remembered his initial visceral response to his dream girl at Copper Harbor, which matched his reaction to Dorothy’s appearance at Fort Detroit. Was she the one, his intended mate? He prayed the Lord’s will would be accomplished.

“That was all?” Beauty seemed disappointed. Her green eyes were full upon him now.

Perish dug into his memory to find something more for her. “Hmm. I think I fell asleep then. When I woke up the sun was shining and even my clothes had dried. I must have slept through an entire day.” Perish stood up and stretched as if refreshed from that long nap. “I have enough energy to run all the way to Fort Detroit.”

Beauty insisted he give her more details. “What did she look like? Was she a white-haired, old witch? A young woman? Smiling?”

Perish attended to his bedroll. “I met her at the fort.”

Beauty dropped the coffee pot. “Already?”

The campfire sputtered, too.

“I hope so.” Perish frowned. What if Dorothy wasn’t the same woman as his vision? Where would he start his future if Dorothy wasn’t his intended mate? “Her hair was nearly black and her eyes a dark brown.”

“A native.” Beauty seemed satisfied.

“No.” Perish watched his mother sit down too hard. “Her name is Dorothy Evans. Her mother is the Jesuits’ cook.”

Beauty held her head with both hands. “I know of them. I’ll have to meditate on this. I’ll make more coffee. Did you bring any tobacco?”

Perish was embarrassed now. “Sorry, Mother.” He began to gather the rest of his belongings. “I can barter for some at the fort.”

“Don’t go on my account. ” Beauty flashed angry green eyes at him. “Renault will be here tomorrow.”

“Should I wait to tell him about my vision?” Perish decided to stay with his mother until then. He loved the quietness of their home camp. “I could help you get ready for winter.”

“Will you be gone?” Beauty seemed worried.

“You’ve been without me for three winters now.” Perish accompanied Ponthe when he tended his fur traps throughout the last few winters. The landscape was safer because fewer white men ventured out in the heavy snows.

“I’m getting older.” His mother straightened her back as if a kink had suddenly caused a pain. Not one year of age showed on her face, her eyes were clear, her teeth sound.

“I could bring Dorothy here for you to meet.” Perish refused to think of Beauty as an aging woman. “Or, you can visit with her when we join Ponthe at the fort.”

A bright smile flickered for a second across his mother’s face. “Yes,” she said. “We’ll wait for Renault to join us.”

Beauty retreated into her wigwam and Perish laid down resting his head on his bedroll. “Now that I’m a man, Mother.” Perish tried to choose his words carefully but there was no gracious way of asking. “Where do your green eyes come from?”

“A Chinaman,” she called from inside the wigwam, and then laughed.

The old answer kept its secrets.

Perish said, “I wish you could have seen Ponthe with President Monroe.”

“I know Ponthe was taller.” Beauty exited her rounded abode, straightening from her bowed position. She handed Perish a new porcupine-quill vest. “Why do the whites need more land?”

“White men want to carve a new river out of dry land.” Perish stood and Beauty placed the vest over his head, helping him tie the side trusses. “Wagons will float farther west for settlers to claim more of our land. “Mother, the vest is beautiful.”

Perish picked at one of the beads on his vest.

Beauty slapped at his hand. “Careful you’ll undo a whole string.”

Perish knew the land-grab story was old, only the excuse was new. “They call the new river they want to build the Erie Canal.”

* * * * *

When Ed Renault arrived the next day, his canoe wasn’t filled with beaver pelts. Perish remembered Renault’s stories of when he first came to the new world as a young trapper, when the land was still thick with beaver. The deer hides and a few fox furs bore witness to Renault’s honed and deft trapping skills. In the weeks since he delivered Perish to Copper Harbor, the man had plied his trade well.

At times Perish speculated Renault might be a relative of his mother’s, but she denied any family link other than a long affiliation with their French trapper friend.

Renault’s hair was streaked with gray. Perish couldn’t recollect the gray when they had parted at the slip of the new moon. Had he been so wrapped-up in his own adventure not to notice signs of aging?

“Hard trip, friend?” Perish asked, helping to beach the loaded canoe.

“A bear tried to talk me out of life.” Renault drew up his shirt, where the claw marks of the beast still showed red, ugly welts.

Perish forgot his upbringing and drew the big trapper’s head down in a manly hug. “I’m glad he changed his mind.”

Renault grinned from ear to ear. “Me, too.”

“A few salves will erase most.” Beauty had caught sight of Renault’s raked chest before he could lower his rough blouse. She shook the trapper’s hand, a rare occurrence for them.

A glint of moisture shimmered in the old man’s eyes before Renault’s booming voice told them of other fights with Indians and settlers. The trapper was a peaceful man and Perish chalked up most of the stories to historic bravado in the face of the bear disaster.

Renault finished off another story with a cup of Beauty’s coffee, before asking Perish, “So you’re a man now?”

“And he’s met the woman of his vision.” Beauty teased him. “At the fort, a white girl.”

“When do we leave?” Renault laughed. “Have to check out a new member of this tribe.”

“I’m not sure she was the girl, Mother.” Perish could feel a blush rising as his body started to come alive again. Now that he was a man, he’d hoped to control at least this reddening of face.

* * * * *

Fort Detroit

Later that week Dorothy’s mother was too busy ordering her helpers around the kitchen to be bothered. So, Dorothy was trapped into taking Bishop Pascal and Father Sebastian a decanter of sherry and glasses into the rectory library. She sat the tray down safely, but her curtsy to the Bishop was clumsy. If she had been more graceful, she could have disappeared without them noticing.

“Bella parva,” Bishop Pascal said.

“Dorothy, let me introduce you.” Father Sebastian pushed her forward. “She has read nearly every book in the library.”

“Lovely,” the Bishop said. “What do you think of Saint Augustine’s conversion?”

“Silly,” she said without thinking.

“I beg your pardon,” the clerics said together.

Dorothy collected her wits. “St. Augustine based his conversion on his mother’s natural worry about his future.” The sober pair remained unconvinced. “On a laundry day among the drying linens.”

“I don’t remember that,” Father Sebastian said.

“Never happened,” Bishop Pascal declared.

Dorothy nodded believing the whole thing was made up so the saint could paint himself as a devoted sinner in order to relive the deeds. “Don’t you think he dwelt on his errors more than he needed to?” It seemed an innocent question to her.

“Of course not.” Bishop Pascal was obviously scandalized. “Father, I think you need to review the studies of your pupil more closely.”

Father Sebastian scratched the remaining hair on his balding head. “She reads Latin and has read the Old Testament four times, the New Testament eight.” He turned to Dorothy a proud smile on his face. “Isn’t that true?”

“Yes,” she said. “Every morning I wake with a hundred doubts, read all day and put them to rest before I can sleep.”

“Doubts?” the Bishop asked in a warning tone.

Undeterred, Dorothy continued. “I think the book of Ecclesiastes says it best when it rightly names belief in a Supreme Being as our vanity’s willingness to find the best in ourselves.”

“Dorothy!” Father Sebastian seemed embarrassed.

“A lot of work is needed, Father.” The Bishop ignored Dorothy so she slipped out into the hall, careful to eavesdrop. “That child could infect a whole nation of natives. Correct her before it’s too late.”

“She reads everything,” Father Sebastian tried to explain.

“Lock this room up and allow her only texts that will illuminate her belief.”

“But the Bible?”

“Needs careful interpretation.” Bishop Pascal raised his voice to stop further debate. “The laity is ill-equipped.”

“I can see that.” Father Sebastian acquiesced to his superior. “I’ll make sure she is forbidden to enter the room.”

Dorothy was devastated. The library was lost to her? Life wouldn’t be worth living. Where would her mind go to find solace? Her stomach hurt and angry tears burned her cheeks. She ran to the kitchen. Mother would fix it.

 

Rohn-Federbush-500-224x300

Rohn Federbush retired as an administrator from the University of Michigan in 1999. She received a Masters of Arts in Creative Writing in 1995 from Eastern Michigan University. Frederick Busch of Colgate granted a 1997 summer stipend for her ghost-story collection. Michael Joyce of Vassar encouraged earlier writing at Jackson Community College, Jackson, Michigan in 1981. Rohn has completed fourteen novels, with an additional mystery nearly finished, 120 short stories and 150 poems to date.

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Posted by on April 15, 2014 in Book Excerpts

 

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RELEASE DAY BLAST ~ California Thyme by Casey Dawes and Gift Card giveaway

Release Blast

Blurb

Caterer Mandy Parker doesn’t want to turn out like her mother, an aging bi-polar actress desperate for the love. Avoiding anything Hollywood-related is vital for Mandy’s sanity. Her ideal man has a nine-to-five job and coaches Little League—someone true to her and to their family, unlike her philandering Hollywood producer father. But when waitress shifts at Costanoa Grill are cut, she’s forced to find additional work as a movie caterer.

Since the woman he’d loved had married his best friend, movie set location manager James Lubbock has put women far behind advancing in his career. The assistant caterer is attractive, but he’s more focused on figuring out who was sabotaging his set. If he can’t determine the culprit, he’ll lose everything he’s worked for over the last five years.

Sparks fly between Mandy and James, but can they overcome their painful pasts to risk a chance on each other?

 

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20897434-california-thyme?from_search=true

 

 Cover

Excerpt

Mandy glanced at the man seated at table nine. His lean profile and square jaw were classically handsome.

If I were in the market for a man, this one would do just fine.

Plucking a sweating water pitcher from the tray, she made her way through the scattered tables to a two-seater by the window. As she picked up his glass to fill it, she smiled at him and said, “Hi, I’m Mandy, and I’ll be your server this evening. Would you like anything to drink besides water?”

His lips curled into a grin, revealing the straight white teeth of a Hollywood smile, a smile that went all the way to his sea-green eyes. The wrap-around sunglasses perched on his sun-blond hair gave him a casual elegance belied by the Rolex on his tan wrist.

Her heart beat a little faster.

Good thing I’m a professional.

She put the water glass down without spilling a drop. “We have an excellent wine list if you’d like to see it.”

“How do you know I’m a wine connoisseur and not a Bud man?” he challenged.

She gestured to his pressed short-sleeve shirt. “A Bud man wouldn’t be caught dead in that.”

He laughed. “You’re right about that!”

Heat rose in her cheeks. “I’ll get you that list.” She brought the water pitcher back to its tray, hoping her face cooled on the way.

Moments later she was back with the thick, imitation-leather-bound book. “I don’t know if you realize this, but you’re at the edge of one of the oldest wine regions in California. We have a nice selection of local beverages on our menu. The Santa Cruz Mountains appellation is particularly known for Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs, although there are a few outstanding Cabernet vineyards, too.”

She snapped her mouth shut, wishing she could cut down on her ability to over-share.

“Glad to see your enthusiasm for your job.” He gestured to the purple streak in her hair. “Neat color.”

“Thank you. I’ll return in a few minutes.”

She checked in with her other diners, all the while trying to squash her awareness of the masculine vibe emanating from table nine.

He was exactly the type of man she wanted to avoid—too handsome, self-important, and probably involved in a career that would expose him to women who had no care for the feelings of wives. The same type of man her father had been.

Not the kind she wanted at all. Her ideal was a man with a nine-to-five job, who coached Little League in the summers—a man who’d be true to her and to their family.

The memory of her mother’s tears as she told Mandy of her father’s final infidelity pained her. How could men be so unfeeling? This table nine guy was probably the same as every other man with money and power. Thought he could do anything he wanted.

By the time she got back to the table, she’d worked herself into a solid anger. How dare some Southern California snob come into her restaurant and sit at her table?

“What can I get you?”

Her indignation must have seeped into her voice, because he frowned before answering.

There goes my tip.

“I’ll have the Ridge Cabernet,” he said.

Might as well get dinner started, so he’d finish and leave, and she could begin again.

“Are you ready to order or do you need a few more minutes to decide?”

“Have I done something to offend you?” he asked.

“No. The specials are—” She rattled them off, then waited a few seconds, tapping her pen against the bill folder. “Well?”

She internally winced at the snippy tone in her voice. He didn’t deserve this—seemed like a nice-enough guy. Once again she was letting her anger over her past control her present.

He set down the menu and held out his hand. “We seem to have gotten off on the wrong foot here, although for the life of me, I don’t understand why. I’m James Lubbock.”

Automatically, she shook his hand, and electricity raced up and down her spine. He had the strong grip of a man in charge. For a moment she wasn’t sure she’d be able to breathe again.

This was so not good.

She jerked her hand back. “What can I get you, James?”

“Was it the hair?”

“What?”

“Was it the remark I made about your hair that got you so mad?”

“No. No. It has nothing to do with you.” Her behavior shamed her. “What brings you to Costanoa?” She made an effort to add warmth to her voice.

He grinned at her. His damn teeth sparkled so much she expected a flash, like she’d seen in commercials for whitening strips.

“I’m an assistant locations manager. I’m working for a company filming a movie up toward Davenport,” he said.

Yep. She’d been right. He was a Hollywood guy. Just like dear old dad. “Oh.” She warred with her returning displeasure.

 

Buy Links

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/california-thyme

B&N:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/california-thyme-casey-dawes/1118895464?ean=9781440580925

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/california-thyme/id836804836?mt=11

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/California-Thyme-Crimson-Romance-Casey-ebook/dp/B00IV3Q81S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1396210078&sr=8-1&keywords=california+thyme

 

 

Link to Follow Tour: http://tastybooktours.blogspot.com/2014/02/now-booking-release-day-tasty-book_14.html

Casey Dawes

Author Info

Casey Dawes has lived a varied life–some by choice, some by circumstance. Her master’s degree in theater didn’t prepare her for anything practical, so she’s been a teacher, stage hand, secretary, database guru, manager in Corporate America, business coach, and writer.

With a few marriages, two sons, and three step-children, her personal life was a challenge when she met and married her current husband who has proved to be the love of her life. They reside in Montana where she quilts, writes, and coaches on the banks of the Clark Fork River. The couple has been adopted by two gently used cats.

 

Author Links

Website/Blog: www.stories-about-love.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Casey.Stories.About.Love
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CaseyDawesAutho
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~~GIVEAWAY~~~GIVEAWAY~~~GIVEAWAY~~~GIVEAWAY~~~

Casey is giving away a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card and $10.00 Donation to FISHER HOUSE in the Winner’s Name

***CLICK HERE TO ENTER***

 

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What to Read Wednesday with USA Today best selling author Julie Anne Long with giveaway

HI! Thank you for joining me for What to Read Wednesday :) Today we have Avon author Julie Anne Long visiting. She’s sharing a secret, but you’ll have to check out her guest post to discover what it’s all about. Afterward please check out her release BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND IAN EVERSEA and don’t forget to enter her giveaway!!!

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I’ll tell you a secret: The cover of BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND IAN EVERSEA provides an important clue to our hero’s destiny. It’s not the minxy blond wearing the supremely confident smile (though she’s clearly pretty important, too).
It’s the window itself. Because for better or worse, windows have always changed Ian’s life.
Beginning with WHAT I DID FOR A DUKE (where readers first spent quality time with our inveterate rogues): one he scaled a tree to the window of the bedroom occupied the Duke of Falconbridge’s erstwhile fiancee, and was ignominiously ushered out again a mere few minutes later at gunpoint, naked, by said duke.
And in BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND IAN EVERSEA, Tansy Danforth gets her first accidental glimpse of our hero when she peers out her window early in the morning, and notices a BARE MAN on the balcony adjoining hers:

He was standing on the little balcony next to hers, just feet away.
She ducked back into her room and dragged the curtain over her face, leaving just her eyes exposed, like a harem girl, and leaned forward for a better look. She could only see his back: A glorious burnished expanse of shoulders, a lovely trench of sorts along his spine, dividing two ridges of hard muscle, all of that narrowing into a taut waist.
Suddenly he thrust his arms up into the air, arched backward as though he’d been struck my lightning, and made a sort of roaring sound, like a pagan god calling down the morning. Though she doubted whether a god would sport fluffy black hair in his armpits.
He promptly disappeared back into his room, just as though he’d been a cuckoo popping out of a clock to announce the time.

And Ian, who has met Tansy and summarily summed up and dismissed Tansy as young, feckless, shallow, innocent and (to him) uninteresting, even as she goes about captivating every other man in town, gets his first clue that there may be more to Tansy than he realized when he peers out his own window:

Her chin was propped on her fists, and she was gazing out over the Eversea grounds, which from her vantage point rolled almost as far as the eye could see. She looked smaller than usual, rather slumped in a manner that was almost defeated. For the first time it occurred to him that the sparkle she seemed to bring everywhere with her resulted from some effort, rather than some supernatural source of charm allotted to her in exchange for selling her soul to the devil.

The fascination, along with the mystification, increases each time he catches a glimpse of her:

Miss Danforth was out on the balcony, and her blonde hair down about her shoulders—good Lord, she had miles of it— almost created its own light, so brilliant was it beneath the half moon. Soothing stuff. His hands flexed absently as he imagined drawing his fingers through it.
He watched, mystified, as she leaned slowly forward and assumed something like an awkward arabesque. Her nightrail filled like a sail in a passing breeze, and he was treated to a glimpse of very fine white calf before it deflated. She tilted her head at an impossible angle, and her hair fell in a great sheet down her back. Soothing as watching a river move.
But what the devil was she doing? Perhaps it was some sort of interpretive dance? Was she bowing toward America the way Muslims bowed in the direction of Mecca?
He winced as she gracelessly righted herself again, her arms see-sawing. He could rule out dancer.

In fact, these stealthy, stolen glimpses from their adjacent windows parallel the developing relationship between Ian and Tansy—each incident offers increasingly tantalizing clues about each other, which appall and fascinate them, and which they at first misinterpret. But little by little, it’s the mystery and intrigue of these window glimpses that pull them inexorably together.
And when Tansy finally learns the real reason Ian stretches and roars out on his balcony every morning, her heart is lost. And when Ian learns why Tansy is leaning awkwardly over the edge of her balcony, craning her head, searching the sky for something, it’s the beginning of the end for our inveterate rogue: she’s the first woman to manage to kick open the locked gates of his heart.
And maybe that’s why Tansy looks so satisfied on the cover of the book. She knows windows are going to seal Ian’s fate, and that fate is a happily ever after with her.

Cover

Blurb

She might look like an angel…

The moment orphaned American heiress Titania “Tansy” Danforth arrives on English shores she cuts a swath through Sussex, enslaving hearts and stealing beaux. She knows she’s destined for a spectacular titled marriage—but the only man who fascinates her couldn’t be more infamous…or less interested.

…but it takes a devil to know one…

A hardened veteran of war, inveterate rogue Ian Eversea keeps women enthralled, his heart guarded and his options open: why should he succumb to the shackles of marriage when devastating good looks and Eversea charm make seduction so easy?

…and Heaven has never been hotter.

When Ian is forced to call her on her game, he never dreams the unmasked Tansy—vulnerable, brave, achingly sensual—will tempt him beyond endurance. And fight as he will, this notorious bachelor who stood down enemies on a battlefield might finally surrender his heart…and be brought to his knees by love.

Link to Pennyroyal Green Series at Goodreads, https://www.goodreads.com/series/45155-pennyroyal-green

Buy Links
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DKZAVPG/ref=cm_sw_su_dp?tag=avonromancehc-20
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/between-the-devil-and-ian-eversea-julie-anne-long/1115558939?cm_mmc=affiliates-_-linkshare-_-mdxm68jzjz8-_-10%3a1&ean=9780062118134&isbn=9780062118134&r=1
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/between-devil-ian-eversea/id666055417?mt=11

Link to Follow Tour: http://tastybooktours.blogspot.com/2014/01/now-booking-tasty-virtual-tour-for_292.html

JulieAnneLong

Author Info
The author of five popular novels from Warner and eight from Avon, Julie Anne Long lives in California with a fat orange cat (little known fact: they issue you a cat the moment you become a romance novelist).

Author Links
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20987.Julie_Anne_Long
Website: http://www.julieannelong.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JulieAnneLong
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJulieAnneLong

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

**Avon is hosting a TOUR WIDE Rafflecopter Commenter Giveaway for A Print Copy of IT HAPPENED ONE MIDNIGHT, Book Eight in the Pennyroyal Green Series**

###Click HERE to enter###

 

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BOOK COVER TOUR ~ Voluptuous Vindication by Rose Wynters ~ Paranormal Romance

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Voluptuous Vindication Cover

The most explosive book in this series…

Once upon a time, the world was just a black void. Then one day man came, but he wasn’t alone. He was followed by an ancient evil, a scourge determined to steal his soul. Centuries passed. Humanity did all it could to protect itself against the evil ones, but they weren’t equipped to fight this battle. Instead, all they could do was pray that Hell didn’t set its eyes upon them.

It got to be too much. Something had to be done.

Born out of desperate need, warriors were chosen. Immortality was granted to those strong enough to fight the battle that would never end. No longer mortal, these men have stood in the path of dark and horrifying evil, bearing the load when there was nobody else that could.

It’s all coming to an end. Time has run out for humanity…

No good deed goes unpunished…

Ian Bauer was the Endurer that had it all. With great looks and plenty of money, he had never regretted his immortality… But fate had other plans for him.

Reeling from a tragic event, he’s forced back into the fight between good and evil when demons set their sights on a mortal angel. He has to keep her alive for four weeks, something easier said than done.

Ian never counted on the wicked attraction that flares up between them.

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EXCERPT

That night Sara dreamed of Ian, her body responding in a way her conscious mind wouldn’t have allowed. He stopped by her bed, wearing a black silk robe. It was short in length, the front left wide open to reveal a chiseled, smooth chest. Underneath it he wore a pair of matching black boxers. The front was tented out, the fabric straining to contain the sheer size of the erection underneath.

They failed. The boxers obviously weren’t designed for a well-endowed man like him in mind. His erection pushed past the waist band, the crown wide in girth. Sara’s body lit up like a match thrown on paper. Even in her sleep, she could feel the heat spreading across her skin.

“I want you, Sara,” he told her, pulling her pajama shirt off and letting it fall to the ground. “And I mean to have you, right here, right now.”

The bed moved as he lowered his powerful frame down onto its surface. Ian slid between her quivering thighs, leaning over her until their bodies pressed together. Supporting his weight on his elbows, he smoothed the hair back from her face, his lips only inches from hers. “I’m going to devour you, Angel.”

The firm lips so close to hers were a temptation she didn’t have the strength to resist. Pushing up, she pressed her mouth against his, her ankles hooking over the back of his legs. At the first taste, she was lost. Sara felt as if she’d waited a lifetime for him.

Ian’s tongue darted boldly against the seam of her lips. Without any hesitation she opened them, eager to experience the feel of his tongue inside of her. He groaned at her surrender, mastering her mouth as he took control of the kiss.

His hardness was pressed against the center of her body, so large against her untried, feminine core. It had taken thousands of years, but she’d finally met a temptation she couldn’t resist.

AUTHOR BIO

I’m just your average, everyday female that loves to write about passionate love affairs and the the ups and downs of falling in love with extremely hot, alpha, supernatural men that push all the boundaries when it comes to sex.

I’ve always loved romance, starting with books from my childhood like Cinderella or Snow White and Rose Red. As the years passed, I developed an interest in the paranormal and supernatural. My love of romance continued to grow stronger, prompting me to write books about what women really want. There really is magic in the pages, and what red-blooded woman doesn’t want a gorgeous man willing to do everything it takes to claim her?

 

 

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What to Read Wednesday with Allison Merritt

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Welcome to What to Read Wednesday! Please help me welcome Allison Merritt to the blog today! She’s sharing her latest release WILDWOOD SPRING. Don’t you love the cover? Gorgeous :)

Allison is also telling us 5 of her favorite lines from Wildwood Spring. Enjoy…

My Top 5 Favorite Lines from Wildwood Spring

An author can’t help picking some of her favorite parts of a book. Here a couple of mine. It sure wasn’t easy to decide!

1. A problem with squirrels: The last time the blasted bell had started ringing with so much force a pair of squirrels had been courting in the tower. Turner Wildwood didn’t think rodents were to blame this time.

2. A hopeful wish: Celia paused for a moment, watching the small ripples glide across the water’s surface. If this didn’t work, she knew she’d tried everything in her power to help her mother. She had braved her worst fears and come out the other side.

3. A snarky employee: “Benson, you’re not dim by any means. You remember which horse won the Belmont Stakes in 1867. Why are you worried about titles?”

“Ruthless,” Benson announced. “A filly sired by Eclipse out of Barbarity.”

4. A first kiss: He liked the sound of his name on her lips. Under the layers he wore against the cold, he felt overly warm. Bathed in moonlight, Celia’s features were darker than usual, as though someone had drawn her in ink. He saw the curve of her lips with perfect clarity.

Kiss her.

5. A nighttime raid: Light bloomed over them, revealing the rough burlap masks or bandanas they wore to conceal their features. He kicked the horse’s sides and set off at a gallop with the others on his heels. They screamed like banshees, ripping through the night with fire streaming beside them.

Blurb:

When they face their fears, they’ll find the path to love.

No one goes to Wildwood Manor—a hulking stone house on a hill outside town. Legend has it crazy old man Wildwood owes his life to the magical water of the spring at the back of the property. Celia Landry needs that water to save her mother, and she’ll brave anything to get it.

Turner Wildwood, the son of the house’s eccentric builder, is growing as reclusive as his father. When Celia turns up at his door, he’s drawn by her beauty and bravery. Wary of strangers, he doesn’t reveal his identity, but agrees to her request. When she returns to Wildwood in wake of personal tragedy, he’s waiting there with a stunning change in his heart. He knows he should tell her the truth, but he doesn’t want to ruin their budding friendship.

Celia’s curiosity leads her to part of the frightening answers hidden behind Wildwood’s doors, but her own troubled past may lead Turner into danger neither of them suspected.

Excerpt:

“Would you like to dance?” Mischief sparkled in his blue eyes. “This is one of my favorite songs. Despite my almost solitary upbringing, dance was part of my education.”

She felt heat scorch her cheeks. “Not part of mine, I’m afraid.”

“I’ll teach you.” He faced her, putting one hand on her waist and taking her hand in his. “Do the opposite of what I do. I’ll count.”

He counted in fours, moving in time with the music. Celia stumbled, but after a few moments, she caught on. Turner led her around the room as they spun in circles. She laughed, forgetting her worries. It wasn’t a ball and they were both in their nightclothes, but it was as elegant a dance as she could hope for.

Turner grinned as he pulled her a little closer. Their bodies came together, fitting perfectly. He dropped her hand, wrapping both arms around her waist. They stopped moving, standing in the shadow of the mastodon. Dark blond hair fell over his forehead, but it didn’t hide the desire on his face.

“Turner?”

“Yes, Celia.”

Her name was a delicate breath of air, and he clung to her as though afraid she was a dream. She was too wide awake to believe that. Her senses seemed sharper than ever. He smelled of the lemony soap Mrs. Southard used for washing the sheets and the coffee he’d had at supper. Even in the muted firelight, she saw him clearly, his golden hair bright as sunbeams, his blue eyes the color of the sky after a storm.

She’d never been a romantic, knowing all too well she’d either be a spinster or a housewife too busy with chores and children to consider stolen kisses. She’d never imagined a man would want to show her stars, or dance with her around the skeleton of an ancient beast. These were moments she could cherish forever, think of when her world came back into focus.

It all had to end.

He lifted his hand to her face, pushing a strand of hair over her ear. “You look upset.”

“I’m grateful.” She forced the words out. “It’s not every day I get escorted around a ballroom.”

“You mean it might never happen again.” He looked somber. “You’ll return to the kind of life you led before we met. One where you’re often hungry, alone, and overworked.”

She glanced away, hating the truth of his words. “It isn’t that bad.”

“Somehow I don’t believe you.”

He wouldn’t, not after the way she’d reacted to everything he’d shown her in his life. They were from different places and he could never understand how she’d lived before. She couldn’t explain it without risking his pity.

“You could always stay. I’ll find something for you to do in the manor. Official book reader. In the evenings you could recount all my favorites and the new ones I don’t have time for.”

His breath stirred the hair near her ear, tickling her skin.

“I think I prefer the title of cookie sampler. Who wouldn’t want to sit in Finny’s kitchen all day tasting the items he draws out of the oven.” She pressed her cheek against his velvet lapel and closed her eyes. “You should have taken me back to town when you found me at the spring.”

“I couldn’t do that.” There was the slightest hitch in his voice, as though the idea caused him pain.

“I’ll be ruined for life outside of Wildwood.”

“Good. Then you’ll have to come back.”

authorphotocrop

Author bio:

 A love of reading turned Allison Merritt into an author who writes historical, paranormal and fantasy romances, often combining the sub-genres. She graduated college with a B.A. in mass communications that’s gathering dust after it was determined that she’s better at writing fluff than hard news.

She lives in a small town in the Ozark Mountains with her husband and dogs. When she’s not writing or reading, she hikes in national parks and conservation areas.

Buy links:

Breathless Press – http://bit.ly/OfxF7J

Social media:

Blog – http://havenovelwilledit.blogspot.com

Facebook – http://facebook.com/allisonmwrites

Twitter – http://twitter.com/allison_merritt

G+ – http://gplus.to/allisonmerritt

Goodreads – http://goodreads.com/AllisonMWrites

Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/allisonmwrites/

 

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