Tuesday, 28 February 2023

Fool Her Once by Joanna Elm

 Book Details:

Book Title Fool Her Once (A Novel) by Joanna Elm
Category:  Adult Fiction (18 +), 416 pages 
Genre:  Thriller
Publisher:  CamCat Books
Release date:   Feb, 2023
Content Rating:  PG-13 + MThere's adultery, language, some sexual content, and violent crime, but no explicit descriptions of the crimes.
Book Description:

Some killers are born. Others are made.

​As a rookie tabloid reporter, Jenna Sinclair made a tragic mistake when she outed Denny Dennison, the illegitimate son of an executed serial killer. So she hid behind her marriage and motherhood. Now, decades later, betrayed by her husband and resented by her teenage daughter, Jenna decides to resurrect her career—and returns to the city she loves.

When her former lover is brutally assaulted outside Jenna’s NYC apartment building, Jenna suspects that Denny has inherited his father’s psychopath gene and is out for revenge. She knows she must track him down before he can harm his next target, her daughter.

Meanwhile, her estranged husband, Zack, fears that her investigative reporting skills will unearth his own devastating secret he’d kept buried in the past.

From New York City to the remote North Fork of Long Island and the murky waters surrounding it, Jenna rushes to uncover the terrible truth about a psychopath and realizes her own investigation may save or destroy her family.

Meet the Author:

Joanna Elm is an author, journalist, blogger, and attorney. Before the publication of her first two suspense novels (Scandal, Tor/Forge 1996); (Delusion, Tor/Forge/1997), she was an investigative journalist on the London Evening News on Fleet Street in the U.K. She also wrote for British magazines like Woman’s Own.

Then, she moved to New York where she worked as a writer/producer for television news and tabloid TV programs like "A Current Affair." She was also the researcher/writer for WNEW-TV’s Emmy-award-winning documentary "Irish Eyes." In 1980, she joined the Star as a reporter, eventually becoming the magazine’s news editor and managing editor before moving to Philadelphia as editor of the news/features section of TV Guide.

After completing her first two novels while living in South Florida, (Nelson DeMille described Scandal as “fresh, original and unpredictable”) Joanna returned to New York, enrolled in law school, graduated summa cum laude, passed the NY Bar exam, and worked as a principal law clerk for an appellate division justice in the prestigious First Department. She has been married to her husband Joe for 35 years and has one son.

connect with the author: website ~ instagram twitter ~ bookbub goodreads

Enter the Giveaway to Win print copies of FOOL HER ONCE by Joanna Elm (2 winners) (USA only) (ends Mar 27)
FOOL HER ONCE Book Tour Giveaway

Monday, 27 February 2023

Five Fortunes by Barbara Venkataraman + Author Interview

Published by Next Chapter on the 1st February 2023.
A Teen and Young Adult novella about friendship.

Synopsis: When five fourteen-year-old girls get their fortunes from an arcade machine just for kicks, it turns their world upside-down and their close-knit group of friends starts to fall apart.

Misunderstandings abound as allegiances shift and outsiders start to come between them. The fortunes seem to be self-fulfilling prophecies - whether the girls believe in them or not.

Do our beliefs color our perception of the world? Do we ever see ourselves the way others see us, and why is change so hard?

Budding romance, angry bees, teenage fashion influencers, and parents who just don't get it make Barbara Venkataraman's 'Five Fortunes' a fun story you won't soon forget.

Buy @ Amazon UK / Amazon US 

Author Interview with Barbara Venkataraman

1) How did you begin your writing career?

I'd always been a voracious reader and would jot down ideas for stories, but the first book I actually finished was written for my two boys in 2010 when they were 9 and 12 years old. They were obsessed with playing video games so I wrote a story where they were sucked into a video game and had to solve puzzles and work with the characters to find their way home. In the end, the answer was in a book--subtle, I know. It became a fun family project.

In 2013, I was learning how to play the didgeridoo when I dropped it and cracked a glass tabletop. I realized that it could be a weapon and the title Death by Didgeridoo (which I read & reviewed here) occurred to me. It made me laugh so I started thinking about writing a cozy mystery with that title, and then I did. After that, I wrote 5 more Jamie Quinn mysteries. I plan to write a 7th one this year.

2) Do you have a dedicated creative space or can you write anywhere?

I'm a creature of habit and can only write at my desk, typing on my computer--but that doesn't mean I do all my thinking there. Inspiration can strike anywhere and I often have an epiphany while floating in the tub or pool. There's something about being immersed in water....If I have a thorny plot problem when I go to bed, I may wake up with the solution and that's always nice. As for character interactions, conversations can pop into my brain at any time, even while waiting in line for a taco. When that happens I have to quickly write it down so it doesn't disappear forever.

3) What inspired you to write Five Fortunes?

My 10-year-old niece and I wanted to write a story together so we came up with the idea of 5 friends getting their fortunes and how it would affect them. There's no magic involved, just self-fulfilling predictions and seeing what you want to see. Or don't want to see. We came up with the backstory for each girl and we cut pictures out of magazines for each one. We wrote two chapters together and then life got in the way. Eight years later, I decided to finish it myself. I wanted to write a story about teenage friendship and how to be there for each other, but I also wanted it to be fun and light.

4) Which of the five girls did you connect most strongly with?

Well, each girl is my alter ego in some way and I've felt all the emotions they feel, but Megan is the protagonist and I spent the most time with her in my head and on the page.

5) What do you hope readers will take away from this novel? 

It's a story about discovering not only who you are, but also who you can become.

Meet the Author

Award-winning author Barbara Venkataraman is an attorney and mediator specializing in family law and debt collection. 

She is the author of the Jamie Quinn Cozy Mystery series, as well as: Teatime with Mrs. Grammar Person; The Fight for Magicallus; If You'd Just Listened to Me in the First Place; Quirky Essays for Quirky People; and the Flash Fiction Shorts series.

She has won the Indie Book of the Day award twice, the Book of the Day Award, a gold medal for memoir in the Readers' Favorite Competition, was a finalist in the Kindle Book Awards twice, and won first place in the Amateur Detective category of the Chanticleer Murder & Mayhem Mystery Writing Competition.

Her popular Jamie Quinn Cozy Mystery Series includes: Death by Didgeridoo, The Case of the Killer Divorce, Peril in the Park, Engaged in Danger, Jeopardy in July, and Malice in Miami.

Her non-fiction: Accidental Activist: Justice for the Groveland Four, is a memoir she co-authored with her son about lessons he learned while working to exonerate four men falsely accused of a terrible crime in the Jim Crow South.

Visit Barbara's Goodreads Blog and her Amazon Author Page

Enter the Giveaway

Win an ebook copy of Five Fortunes courtesy of the book's author, Barbara Venkataraman. Open internationally until the 10th March. Enter through the Gleam widget below.

Five Fortunes by Barbara Venkataraman giveaway

Friday, 24 February 2023

Annalisse Series by Marlene M. Bell

Book Details:

Book Title:  Copper Waters - A New Zealand Mystery (Annalisse Series Book 4) by Marlene M. Bell
Category: Adult Fiction (18 +), 340 pages 
Genre: Mystery-Suspense
Publisher:  Ewephoric Publishing
Release date:   October, 2022
Content Rating:  G. Book is for general audiences. No profanity. No graphic scenes. Crimes described briefly after-the-fact. Mild and limited romance

Book Description:

Annalisse Drury and Alec Zavos find themselves on opposing sides when an ex-lover from Alec’s past introduces him to his alleged son. With Alec distracted and their future engagement in limbo, Annalisse accepts a key to her dream cottage—situated on a picturesque sheep station on South Island, New Zealand—only this time, she travels alone.

But not long after her arrival she’s confronted by two peculiar deaths—either accidental, or the deliberate acts of a psychopath.

Local investigators are closing the cases too quickly and want Annalisse to exit the country before she reveals the town’s darkest secrets.

Will she return to Alec, or sacrifice their future together to expose it all?


Tuesday, 21 February 2023

When the Smoke Cleared by Bill Powers + Author Interview


Book Details:

Book Title When the Smoke Cleared (A Murder Mystery in Malden) by Bill Powers
Category:  Adult Non-Fiction (18 +),  400 pages
Genre:  True Crime
Publisher:  PowersCourt Press
Release date:  Oct, 2022
Content Rating:  PG-13 Some violence some profanity
Book Description:

There is no greater distinction or responsibility for a law enforcement officer than to be selected to investigate homicides. The same is true for a prosecutor. It is analogous to a call up to the big leagues where the curveballs or slapshots are frequent and more challenging, the lights are brighter, the audience larger and louder, and the scrutiny and demand for perfection can at times be a bit overwhelming.

This story follows an extraordinary murder investigation from the crime scene through to the arrest and into the courtroom. It is narrated by retired Detective Lieutenant Bill Powers, the former commander of the State Police Detective Unit for the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts: 

"When the smoke from the fire cleared and the water level receded, it was visually evident that a violent struggle, quite possibly a homicide, had preceded the fire. But where was the victim? The waterlogged bloodstains in the function room told us it wasn’t likely they stood up and walked out the door. We were confronted with an unusual dilemma. We not only had to investigate what happened and develop probable cause to make an arrest, but we also had to locate the poor soul who had spilled so much of their blood.”

​Walk the path of the investigation with Bill and his team, and then follow in ADA Adrienne Lynch’s footsteps as she guides the trial from opening statements through to the final verdict; a truly unique accounting with a bird’s eye view.

Beyond a police and courtroom procedural, this story is about the personal struggles in the victim’s life and how her death impacted her family’s lives in ways no one could have foreseen. It is a love story that grew from unspeakable tragedy.

​Bill Powers writes from the heart because he spent twenty years living the life of a homicide investigator. He went to literally hundreds of death scenes and, while each made its mark, none had more of a personal effect on him than this case.
Buy the Book:
add to goodreads

Author Interview with Bill Powers
What makes this book different from others in the True Crime genre?
The book is written in my voice and from my vantage point because I was an active participant from the early stages of the investigation through the trial.  I know the facts, I know the players, and as the case progressed, I experienced the rhythm that develops and expands as a case moves forward from the crime scene to the courtroom and beyond. I am confident that anyone who reads the story will be completely absorbed in it.
The overwhelming majority of true crime stories I have read are written from the perspectives of folks who observed and listened from the other side of the crime scene tape or the back bench of a courtroom. All too often their storylines are spiced with a bit of revisionist history and/or some imaginary characterization of the people and the events.

Why did you pick this genre?
I believe an authors’ best work emerges when they write about what they know and have experienced. As a police investigator and supervisor, with well over a hundred homicide cases in my file drawer, I can write from a perspective and with a base of knowledge and authority that others cannot. To qualify as an expert witness in a court of law, a person must have the education, training and experience that allows them to offer their opinion on matters where others lack the credentials and competency. As a police officer, attorney, and lecturer with decades of practical participation in the criminal justice system, I know I pass the test in all three areas.

Who is your target audience?
Undoubtedly, the largest audience would be the folks that enjoy True Crime stories, particularly ones with storylines that incorporate police and courtroom procedurals. Beyond restating the facts of the case, the book dives deeply into the behind-the-scenes activities and offers great explanations about the process of investigating and prosecuting a murder case.
Additionally, and I think just as importantly, this book belongs on lists of recommended reads for high school and college programs that are filled with students interested in pursuing careers as police officers, lawyers, and forensic scientists. Students studying sociology and psychology would also benefit from this thorough coverage of a criminal mindset.

How long did it take to write your book?
That is a short question with an extended answer. I wanted to start writing about the case shortly after the trial concluded. I recognized that I lacked the skills and knowledge to do it justice. So, I took writing classes at a local college and added a few others at an adult education program in Cambridge. Then the necessities of family life and work put things on hold for more than a decade. Time passed, but the desire to write the story never waned. Seven years ago I engaged with a coach who took me from writing in “just the facts” style of police reporting to creating a story with a narrative voice, descriptive dialogue, and thorough character development. I often felt she was guiding me through a dark and cluttered forest and into daylight and open fields. The entire writing process with editing, beta-reads and multiple re-writes took six years to complete. It was long and tedious, but in the end as complete and rewarding as I ever could have hoped.  

If you could go back in time and share a drink and conversation with someone, who would it be?
Without hesitation; President John Adams. He was an extremely fair and humble man with a keen legal mind. He represented the common man in his political life and in the courtrooms of Massachusetts. He stood for what he believed to be right and always had the courage of his convictions. He was a primary author of both the Massachusetts and the U.S. Constitutions. 
I’d want to listen to his views and comments about the tumultuous political atmosphere of that era and how he and his compatriots were able to shape the U.S. Constitution with language and purpose that gained general acceptance by all of the colonies. I would then present him with a breakdown of today’s widely differing political  thoughts and agendas, constitutional interpretations and personal opinions of the words he wrote almost two-and-a-half centuries ago. Then I would sit back in my chair and listen, learn, and be utterly rivetted by his responses.
Our meeting would definitely require more than one night and one drink.

Meet the Author:

Bill Powers has been active in the Massachusetts law enforcement community since he joined the Massachusetts State Police in 1974. Over time he rose through the ranks and was promoted to the rank of Detective Lieutenant. He commanded the State Police Detective Units (SPDU) in both Middlesex and Suffolk Counties, where he had direct oversight and involvement in more than one hundred homicides. His State Police career came full circle when he was named Commandant of the Recruit Training Academy. He retired as the director of the Media Relations Section. Following his retirement, Bill was appointed as an Assistant Professor in the graduate program for forensic sciences at the Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM). For the next seven years he lectured on criminal investigation and expert testimony to the graduate students. In addition, he produced training seminars for police investigators covering a wide variety of topics. Following his tenure at the BUSM he returned to the law enforcement profession as the Director of Public Safety at Wentworth Institute in Boston. Bill earned an undergraduate degree from Northeastern University with a major in Criminal Justice and a Juris Doctorate degree from the New England School of Law.

He resides South of Boston with his wife Jane. Their two daughters and their families live nearby. He has been blessed with five remarkable grandchildren who sparkle like bright stars in the night sky.

connect with the author: website ~ facebook goodreads
Enter the Giveaway to Win a $25 Starbucks Gift Card courtesy of the author of WHEN THE SMOKE CLEARED (A Murder Mystery in Malden) (one winner) (ends Mar 17)
WHEN THE SMOKE CLEARED by Bill Powers Book Tour Giveaway

Thursday, 9 February 2023

Love is In the Air (Adventures in Harmony series) by Karen M. Bobos


Book Details:

Book Title:  Love is In the Air (Adventures in Harmony series) by Karen M. Bobos
Category:  Children's Fiction (Ages 3-7),  44 pages
Genre:  Valentine's Day Fairy Tale
Publisher:  Bobos Babes, Ltd.
Release date:   Jan 2023
Content Rating:  G for children ages 3 to 10 
Book Description:

It's Valentine's Day, and the magical sisters and their favorite babysitter accidentally put a love spell on the kingdom. They must stop the enchantment before it's too late!

It's Valentine's Day in the enchanted land of Harmony and the kingdom and all its magical creatures are abuzz celebrating. When the King and Queen leave their three daughters-Angel Scarlet, Princess Daphne, and Fairy Cora-with Ali the Alligator, so they can spend a romantic dinner together, the sisters are excited for a fun night with their favorite babysitter.

​Ali and the girls decide to make a love perfume in the castle's garden. But when Angel Scarlett wants to use her wand to help stir the ingredients, an enchantment of love mistakenly wafts over the kingdom and all its inhabitants. Can the girls stop the enchantment before it's too late? Or maybe it is just what the creatures needed, after all.
Buy the Book:

Author Interview with Karen M Bobos
 Who is your favorite character in Love is in the Air?
Oh, that’s simple. It’s Ali the Alligator of course. She is the best. I’m sure all parents can appreciate being able to trust someone with their children, so they can have a quality time together. It was fun creating her with Jazinel, my illustrator. The real Ali gave her feedback too, which was so appreciated.

If you could put yourself as a character in your book, who would you be?
The Queen, of course. She is supposed to be “me.” I wasn’t going to include my husband and myself in my books until I started writing my Christmas book, which will be out this Christmas (2023). It didn’t feel like a magical and amazing world for my daughters without their mom and dad on Christmas. My daughters insisted that we were the King and Queen, and they were our royal daughters.

Who is the little squirrel who makes an appearance in some of your books?
I love when readers notice the little details in my books. The little squirrel often is scene in the beginning of my books getting picked on by a fox or a porcupine. Princess Daphne has the special gift to bring comfort to a creature in need and help creatures get along. The squirrel in this book is getting a hug at the end by the fox. I felt like it went well with the theme to spread a little love for Valentine’s Day.

What advice would you give budding writers?
Don’t give up. Write about something that you are passionate about. Edit your work repeatedly. Ignore the negative people out there. Everyone has an opinion. Never stop writing. The more you write, the better you write.

If there is one thing you want readers to remember about you, what would it be?
I am madly in love with my husband, daughters, and dog. They truly make my world go around. If anything, I hope they can at least look back at my books and have them as a memory of how much their mother loved them and the people who were a significant part of our lives.

Meet the Author:

Karen M. Bobos is the multi-award-winning author of the Adventures in Harmony series, which was created in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic. While living in a city of unrest, her family left Chicago to stay with her mother in Northwest Indiana for several months. She and her husband were determined to keep life filled with wonder and magic for their three daughters, Scarlett (6), Daphne (5), and Cora (3). The Adventures in Harmony series was created to entertain her daughters during their stay at Gigi’s home and is filled with characters from the sisters’ world. Everyone deserves to escape to a land filled with love and adventure where creatures co-exist and happiness awaits.

connect with the author: website ~ facebook ~ instagram ~ goodreads
Enter the Giveaway:

Win a signed hardback copy of Love is In the Air (Adventures in Harmony series) (one winner) (USA only) (ends Feb 17)

Love is In the Air (Adventures in Harmony series) by Karen Bobos Book Tour Giveaway

Wednesday, 8 February 2023

Two Floors Above Grief by Kevin M. O'Connor + Guest Post


Book Details:

​Book Title:  Two Floors Above Grief: A Memoir of Two Families in the Unique Place We Called Home by Kevin M. O'Connor
Category:  Adult Non-Fiction (18+),  318 pages
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Publisher:  18th Floor Publishing
Release date:  November  2022
Content Rating:  PG for two languages use and use of F-word.   
Book Description:

As a child in the 1950s, Kevin O’Connor knew his house was different than those of his friends. A stately, three-story, nineteenth century Victorian. His bed tucked next to a stage in a former ballroom. His uncle and aunt lived with their three daughters on the floor below. A large electric organ stood stately in a corner of the first-floor mortuary business. Stacked caskets and an embalming room filled the basement.

Nobody had a house like his.

​Set from the 1920s to ‘80s, Two Floors Above Grief is full of fascinating details and anecdotes about his upbringing as a funeral home child, brought to vivid life through a compelling collection of letters written by various family members who lived and worked together at the O’Connor Funeral Home in Elgin, Illinois. Blending the twenty-four-hour business of death and its constantly ringing phone with joy experienced through music, radios, pets, backyard basketball games, co-parenting, faith, and celebrations, O’Connor offers a reflective tale affirming the love of family and embracing life.
Guest Post by Kevin M O'Connor
Birth and Death Occur Simultaneously in a Funeral Home Owner’s Family
In the funeral home vernacular, “death call” refers to the time a funeral home director goes to the place where a person has died. Dad went to St. Joseph Hospital for a death call on May 6, 1963. When Dad arrived, he realized he needed assistance because of the weight of the deceased. No one was available at the hospital to help. He knew my brother Barrett was at the hospital. Before Dad’s departure, Barrett had called to tell him he and his wife, Pat were on their way to the hospital for the birth of one of their first child. In the 1960s, fathers waited in a waiting room, not allowed to be part of the delivery process.
Dad was in a bind. My brother a person with body removal experience in the maternity waiting room. Did he dare ask him for help? Of course, he did. Dad opened the door to the waiting room and saw Barrett in a chair, reading the newspaper.
“Psst. Barrett.”
Barrett raised his eyes and looked at Dad. Grandpas in the waiting room? Unheard of.
“Dad, what are you doing here?
“How’s it going?” Dad asked.
“No news. I’m surprised to see you here.”
“Hey, I need your help. I need to lift a body onto the gurney. I can’t do it alone. Do you think you might be able to sneak away for a few minutes?”
“It will just take a few minutes, right?”
“Yeah. Come with me.”
Barrett was no stranger to death calls but not concurrent with his first child’s awaited birth. Nevertheless, he knew what had to be done. He followed Dad down the hall to the room in a nearby section of the hospital. He helped Dad lift the body to the gurney, closed the zipper on the body bag, and walked into the hall with Dad. They escorted the gurney with the body to the service elevator. He rode with Dad to the lower level and walked to the entrance where the hearse was waiting. He helped load the gurney. They said a quick goodbye.
“Thanks so much. I’m looking forward to your news,” Dad said. “Get on back upstairs. Love ya.”
Living in a funeral home, the connection between death and life was undeniably present. Dad drove back home and learned he was a grandfather. New life.

Meet the Author:

Kevin O’Connor enjoys chronicling the stories of families and friends through tracing genealogical histories and writing. His prior writing includes a dissertation, personal letters, articles, anthologies, and presentations delivered at conferences, seminars, and webinars. He brings people together personally and professionally. Collaborating with friends and relatives, he plans family and class reunions.

He sings and performs in theaters and is active with SMART Ride, a bicycling group that rides annually from Miami to Key West, raising funds for HIV awareness, treatment, and education. Kevin was an elementary teacher, principal, professor, and curriculum coordinator in California, Illinois, and Florida from 1973 to 2020. He authored content and provided training in areas including support for substitute teachers, LGBTQ advocacy, and Sexual Health/Family Life.

Kevin resides in Ft. Lauderdale with his husband, Leon. Their family includes five sons and seven granddaughters.

connect with the author: website facebook ~ instagram linkedin ~ goodreads 

Enter the Giveaway!

Win signed copy of Two Floors Above Grief: A Memoir of Two Families in the Unique Place We Called Home by Kevin M. O'Connor (one winner) (USA only) (ends Mar 3)


Two Floors Above Grief by Kevin M. O'Connor Book Tour Giveaway

Tuesday, 7 February 2023

Standing Strong by Tina Brandau + Author Interview

Book Details:
Book Title:  Standing Strong: The Real Life Story of Overcoming Adversity and Becoming Unstoppable in Life and Business by Tina Brandau
CategoryAdult Non-Fiction (18+), 154 pages
GenreMemoir / Self-Help / Inspirational
Publisher: Red Sky Publishing
Publication Date: May 3, 2022
Content Rating: G: no bad language no sex etc
Book Description:

Is it possible to stand strong regardless of what life throws at you?

Standing Strong is a vulnerable, candid, and dramatic look into a forty-year-old woman’s journey when she found herself in the midst of a long healing process after a sudden and unimaginable accident. The doctors said she would never again function beyond that of a young child. Tina shares the story, the steps she took, and the life lessons she learned, including the unique view of the world she experienced along the way. No one gets out of this life unscathed, everyone faces stresses, challenges, setbacks, and adversity. Can you stand strong regardless of what life throws at you? Yes! Let Tina Brandau share with you the system, principles, and practices she used to help you see that anything is possible.

​Become unstoppable . . . and stand strong!

add to goodreads
Author Interview with Tina Brandau
There are many books out there about personal growth, resilience, hope, grit, Standing Strong and Becoming Unstoppable. What makes yours different?   
It's simple, it’s a story of a unique and unimageable accident that happened when I was 40-years-old. The accident left me with the functioning of a young child and at the bottom of a very long recovery journey. The story is about what happened to me but it also highlights so much of life everyone can see themselves in it. It also shares the way I saw the world as an adult looking through the eyes of young child giving you new and interesting insights.  
In your book you state that adults are really complicated, why is that? 
After my accident, I had to relearn how to learn, think, walk, pretty much everything. Watching people was all that I could do for some time. It would allow me to gain some of my most treasured insights into human behavior. In my childlike state, I simply processed like a child while other adults made things so hard for themselves. I share story after story of where this happened. And don’t tell everyone, let it be just amongst us, but it is one of my favorite parts of the book because it has helped open people’s eyes in new ways.  
Do you have another profession besides writing? 
Yes, several others! Since my accident I returned to being a C-Suite Executive and later started my own Coaching business. I shifted from Aspiring myself to Inspiring others. And I am anxiously awaiting a new role in just a few weeks, that of Nana.   
How long have you been writing? 
I have love writing since I was a young child. It is my happy place. Well, that and the ocean. This is my first published work. I have a dozen or so other e-books in my collection, have written several case studies, research studies, and more proposals, papers, and plans than I care to think about. This is by far my favorite and as I get feedback on what my readers want next, I will begin anew.  
What most helped you finish your book?
One person! This book was written to help one person. I said from the beginning, if it helped one person it would all be worth it. The accident, the healing, the journey, the writing, the design, all of it, worth it. Keeping the one in mind, knowing with a fire in my soul that I needed to finish this for them, made it move forward inch by inch. The book was officially launched on the 15th anniversary of my accident. It has impacted far more than the one person – and all of it was worth it. 

Meet the Author:

Tina Brandau is the premier life, leadership, and business “Success Coach.” She is an author, international speaker, coach, and founder of Success Coaching Solutions as well as a business executive of thirty years, wife, mom, lifelong learner, and serial entrepreneur. She believes the biggest challenge in life is to become all that you have the possibility of becoming.

For Free Tools visit www.livestandingstrong.com

connect with the author: website goodreads

Enter the Giveaway!
Win a $20 Starbucks Gift Card courtesy of the author of Standing Strong: The Real Life Story of Overcoming Adversity and Becoming Unstoppable in Life and Business (one winner) (USA only) (ends Mar 3)
STANDING STRONG Book Tour Giveaway

Saturday, 4 February 2023

The Worst Woman in London by Julia Bennet + Excerpt

The Worst Woman in London
Julia Bennet
Publication date: February 2nd 2023
Genres: Adult, Historical, Historical Romance

A defiant Victorian wife fights to escape a bad marriage but her love for a forbidden man jeopardizes her chance at freedom.

James Standish knows how to play society’s game. He’ll follow the rules, marry a virginal debutante, and inherit a massive fortune. At least, that’s the plan until he meets Francesca Thorne. She’s not the sort of woman a respectable gentleman like James could ever marry—not least because, strictly speaking, she’s married already.

Francesca is determined to flout convention and divorce her philandering husband. When James sweet talks his way into her life tasked with convincing her to abandon her dream of freedom, she’s unprepared for the passion that flares between them.

Torn apart by conflicting desires, James and Francesca must choose whether to keep chasing the lives they’ve always wanted or take a chance on a new and forbidden love.

Goodreads / Amazon


Ten minutes before intermission, Francesca entered the crush room and found James asleep in his chair.

He looked different in repose, gentle and unguarded. Faint laugh lines marked the corner of each eye and, underneath, light shadows. What had put them there? Not worry, surely. Too many late nights, perhaps? His lips, so often curled sardonically, looked different too—softer, capable of compassion as well as teasing.

Ah, she’d seen his compassion. The remembrance made her want to smooth the hair from his brow.

The stray impulse took her by surprise. He didn’t need her tenderness. He was an English gentleman of means. Problems melted away before the bright rays of his wealth and breeding. She’d long lost her tendency to romanticize men of his type, or so she’d thought. Yet here she was again.

His breaths grew shallower. Soon he would open his eyes and they’d exchange awkward greetings. His duty to Edward discharged, he’d have nothing left to say, and, anyway, how did one behave toward a man who’d seen one fall apart? If only she’d waited for the end of the act, Caroline would be here now and this whole encounter with James could’ve been avoided. But, even though Edward had stopped pawing Mrs. Kirkpatrick, Francesca had wanted to escape. Fleeing from trouble; a worrying tendency she needed to check.

Just when she’d decided to back away slowly, James opened one eye. He smiled up at her and shut it again before she had a chance to speak. Since he made no effort to hide a broad grin, she knew he wasn’t still sleepy. What did he mean by it?

“Jemmy, are you perchance a little the worse for drink?” she asked, escape plan forgotten.

“Certainly not, you rude girl,” he said, though his eyes remained closed.

Laughter welled up in her chest, but she held it in check. “Then perhaps you’re feeling unwell?”

“I’m never unwell.” How he managed to convey urbane insouciance while sprawled in a chair she’d never know. “This is the crush room, is it not?”

“Of course it is.”

“Well, there you are, then. I slipped in early to avoid the crush.”

How provoking he was when not comforting crying women. She waited, but he didn’t speak. “You were sleeping,” she informed him.

“Nonsense, I was resting my eyes.”

“That’s what all the old men say.”

At last, both eyes snapped open. “Has anyone ever told you that you have a forked tongue?”

Author Bio:

Julia writes historical romance with passion, intrigue, dark humor and the occasional animal sidekick. A tea-sodden English woman, she’s the only girl in a house of boys and yearns for all things pink and fluffy. If she isn’t writing, she’s probably reading everything she can get her hands on, spending time with her boys or procrastinating on the internet.

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