Wednesday, April 17, 2024

The Christopher Books Series Tour With Interview #GayBookPromotions

SERIES TOUR 

THE CHRISTOPHER BOOKS

by

Stephen G Hardy

Follow Christopher as he explores various types of relationships and the impact he has on the lives of others.

The books need to be read in order.

Overall Heat Rating for the series: 1 flame

BOOK DETAILS

BOOK 1

Book Title:  Search for Complete

Cover Artist: Ryan Mulford

Length: 80 127 words /335 pages

Release Date: June 4, 2023

Genres:  Contemporary LGBTQ+ Fiction with speculative elements.

Tropes: Friends to Platonic lovers

Themes:  Interpersonal relationships, Conversations as Catalyst for Change

It is a standalone story and does not end on a cliffhanger.

Goodreads

Buy Links - Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US   |  Amazon UK

Blurb

“Why do I get the feeling that Christopher is the type of man that would make the perfect husband for any woman and, at the same time, the perfect wife for any man?” Laura says shortly after Christopher begins his new job at the TV station. Laura’s statement would turn out to hold more truth than she could imagine. No one who meets Christopher, especially not Laura, as well as David, a gay man he meets at a party, understands what it is about him that draws them to him. They also don’t realize that Christopher is searching for something, a search complicated by their desires for him.

BOOK 2

Book Title: The Price of Happiness

Length:  84 447words/330 pages

Release Date: November 24, 2023

Genres: LGBTQ+ Contemporary Literary Fiction

Tropes: Love and loss

Themes: Parenthood, interpersonal relationships, finding oneself.

It is not a standalone story and end on a cliffhanger.

Goodreads

Buy Links - Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US   |  Amazon UK

Blurb

As Search for Complete left off, the birth of his twins had just completed Christopher. However, though he has what he had searched so long for, he now must deal with the associated costs, namely the unraveling of his relationship with Laura, the mother of his twins. The birth of the twins should have brought Laura joy, yet, instead, she finds herself on an intense emotional rollercoaster. Laura resents Christopher's happiness—resents that he is a better mother than she is. But most of all, Laura resents that the twins are Christopher's spitting image—nowhere does she see herself in them. Christopher fears his happiness in becoming a father has become Laura’s undoing. As he tries to help her adjust to the reality of their situation, Laura struggles to find herself in the tangled mess of their relationship.

In The Price of Happiness, Stephen Hardy has created a profound and moving novel on the themes of parenthood, identity, love and loss—and the cost of getting what we want.

BOOK 3

Book Title: When the Sun and Moon Touch

Length:  87 639 words/353 Pages

Release Date: March 29, 2024

Genres: LGBTQ+ Contemporary Literary Fiction

Tropes: M2M relationships

Themes: Finding oneself, forgiveness, love

The stories need to be read in order. This  book does not end on a cliffhanger.

Buy Links - Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US   |  Amazon UK

Blurb

Christopher has settled into life as a single father to his twins, Loren and Christine. Content with his life, he is contemplating the imminent return of their mother Laura, who has been traveling through Europe for nearly a year, when he meets Benjamin, a direct descendant of the sun. Suddenly, his contentment is upended as he tries to understand the reason for their meeting. Despite what Benjamin says, that they are meant to be together, Christopher initially tries to hold

Benjamin at arm's length, believing that he is only to be for Benjamin what Joseph was to him—a friend and mentor.

Excerpt from Book 1

I began to question accepting Laura’s invitation when I heard the noise coming from the backyard as we approached the house. I disliked crowds, and it sounded like an immense crowd was on the other side of the gate.

People were everywhere—seated on lounge chairs scattered around the patio or at the rectangular dining table or milling about in various groups—talking loudly over the blaring music. Laura’s voice broke through the noise.

“I don’t see Peter anywhere. He might be inside. Shall we find him?”

“By all means. I would feel uncomfortable attending his party without meeting him.”

I followed Laura into the house. As we passed through the living room, my eyes fell on a few framed photos of a handsome couple on the wall.

In the kitchen, a solitary male figure was removing a tray of croissants from the oven.

“Hello, Peter.”

As he turned around, I recognized Peter as one of the men in the photos. Tall and slender, with dark hair and a mustache waxed into handlebars, there was a dapperness to him that I found pleasing.

“Hey, Laura. Lovely to see you!”

After setting the hot tray down, Peter hugged her.

“Peter, I want you to meet Christopher. He just moved here from Seattle and works with me at the station.”

“How do you do, Peter?“

Having grown used to the reaction my presence caused, I smiled patiently as Peter, unable to speak right away, shook my offered hand.

“I hope you do not mind my crashing your party. Laura assured me that you would not object to her bringing me.”

“No, of course, I don’t mind.”

The words tumbled out one on top of the other.

“Is there anything we can do to assist you?”

“No, I have it all under control, thanks. Please help yourself to the food and drinks out on the patio.”

“We will. Thanks,” Laura said, taking my arm and steering me back through the living room.

“Peter is very nice,” I commented as we stepped through the doors and headed towards the drinks table. “Can I make you something?”

“A mimosa, thanks. Yes, Peter’s a sweetie.”

We stood sipping our drinks as I scanned the crowd of mostly men, a mix of young and old, before Laura took me around, introducing me to the people she knew.

I instinctively searched their eyes for the essence of another while ignoring Laura’s scrutinizing gaze.

Laura needed to use the bathroom, so she left me standing under the large Ficus tree where we had sought shade from the sun. Within minutes of her departure, I was surrounded by a large group of people vying for my attention. Carrying on multiple conversations was challenging, but I did my best to make each person feel they had my full attention.

He caught my attention on the periphery of my vision: tall and well-built, resembling the small statue of the god Mars that sat on the table in Joseph’s shop. Our eyes met, and I felt my heart skip a beat, seeing something flash in his eyes. Smiling hopefully, I extended my hand to him.

“Hello, my name is Christopher Dunn.”

As he shook my hand, I took the opportunity to search his golden-brown eyes. My initial hope turned to disappointment, for while something was there, it was not another’s essence. Though disappointed, I was intrigued.

“Davidmartelli.”

He slurred the two names into one in his haste to get the words out.

As I gazed into his eyes, the feeling of a purpose to our meeting appeared—first Laura and now David.

“It is a pleasure to meet you, David Martelli,” I said, saying his name distinctly.

David blushed attractively, causing a twinge in my heart.

“Can I get you a drink?”

He looked so crestfallen when I held up my cup that I was tempted to down my drink and ask him for another.

“Oh, you have one.”

 “I do, but I appreciate you asking.”

I gave him a smile to back up my words. It was apparent that David was struggling to find something to say, the frustration evident in his handsome features. I wanted to get him away from the people surrounding us and talk to him alone, but I did not see how I could do so without offending everyone else.

Conscious of the eyes watching us, David blushed again and backed away.

For some reason, I knew that this behavior was out of character for him. Watching him walk away, I hoped we would meet again as I wanted to discover what I saw in his eyes.

About the Author 

Stephen Hardy was born in the San Francisco Bay Area but grew up in the Pacific Northwest. His career as a fashion designer took him back to San Francisco before he headed to New York City, where he met his husband of twenty years. Tiring of the hectic pace of the fashion industry, Stephen gave up his career to become a stay-at-home dad for his and his husband’s two adopted sons and a quiet life in Connecticut. Now residing in Phoenix, Arizona, and with the kids grown, Stephen returned to university, where he rediscovered his love for writing. His focus is on contemporary fiction, examining social issues regarding gender, sexuality, and relationships. Search for Complete is his first novel.

Author Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook  |  Instagram

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

AUTHOR NAME: Stephen G Hardy

Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born in the San Francisco Bay Area but grew up in the Pacific Northwest in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue, Washington. While working as a clothing designer, I lived in Seattle, San Francisco, and New York. I now live with my husband and two cats in a high-rise condo in downtown Phoenix. I love the big open sky and desert scenery, and the proximity to San Diego, where my trilogy is set.

What would people be most surprised to know about you?

You wouldn’t know it now, but as a child and teenager, I was extremely introverted and shy.

Do you have a favorite quote (either from your own books or ones you’ve read)?

It is more important to be a person who does a good thing than to be a good person.

How long have you been writing, and what made you fall in love with writing?

I began my writing career four and a half years ago. Search for Complete was my first novel, and initially, I planned on it being a stand-alone novel. However, upon completion, I realized that there was more to tell. So, I wrote two more books to make the Christopher Trilogy. I enjoyed every moment of the process, other than querying agents and getting rejected. This is why I opted to self-publish. Working with my designer on the cover designs has been the most thrilling part of the process, other than holding a physical copy of the books—that feeling is priceless.

Did you always want to be a writer?

I think I always knew I wanted to write a novel, but it wasn’t until I was inspired by a conversation with friends over brunch that I sat down to write a novel. I worked as a clothing designer for over 20 years and then became a stay-at-home dad when my husband and I adopted our two sons in 2008. I only had an associate's degree in fashion design, which had been enough for my career choice, but I always wanted to get my bachelor's degree. In 2017 I enrolled at Arizona State University and got my B.A. degree in Fashion Design with a minor in History. I think it was writing so many essays and research papers that brought back my love for writing and made my jump into writing my first novel that much easier.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?

To say I didn’t want to be a best-selling novelist someday would be a lie, but my greatest ambition as a writer is to provide my readers with a new way of looking at their world and themselves. Anything I write must have a purpose or reason for being, and I want my readers to understand that purpose.

Tell us about your writing style.

My stories are dialogue-heavy. I love conversations, and the three books in the series are all about conversations and how they can be a catalyst for change. It is my way of getting into my character’s heads and for my readers to understand them better.

What does your writing process look like?

In general, I prefer to write when I know I will have little to no interruptions or chores. I need to have at least 5 or more hours available to me, though I may not always write during the whole time. I play music reflective of the mood I am creating and work at my mid-century desk on my laptop. At other times, I do like to take my laptop to a coffee house where other writers are working, pop in my airbuds, and write for hours.

When I am editing a first draft, I prefer to go away for a long weekend somewhere up north, like Flagstaff or Sedona, and hunker down to focus only on the editing.

Why did you choose to write LGBT romance/fiction?

Though I think my books have universal appeal, my being a gay man is the reason why I wrote LGBTQ+ fiction. That is my perspective on life. But I have gay, straight, bi, asexual, and transgender characters in my books, and I hope that they have their own distinct voices.

Do you write any other genre?

I am currently writing a novel that is Literary Fiction. It is a prequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, featuring Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley, looking at their unlikely friendship, something that I had always questioned. I am attempting to write in Austen’s vernacular, which is challenging but fun.

Describe a scene in your writing that has made you laugh or cry?

There is a scene in When the Sun and Moon Touch that I found very moving. Benjamin has had a turbulent relationship with his dad and hates him. When his dad, Elijah, is in hospital, dying from liver disease brought on by his drinking, Christopher tells Benjamin that it is imperative that he sees his father; otherwise, he will regret the lost opportunity to forgive him. When Benjamin and Christopher find out from Benjamin’s mother that her husband has lived his whole life as a closeted gay man, hating his son for being gay while also jealous of his son living his life as he is and regretting the waste of his own life, Christopher is even more sure of his insistence that Benjamin has closure with his dad.

Christopher and Benjamin enter the room where Elijah is lying. Elijah initially lashes out, calling Christopher a faggot like his son. Christopher, unperturbed, approaches Elijah.

Leaning over him, he speaks to him gently, “…Just like you, I deserve to be treated with respect and kindness, as I intend to do with you. At this point in your life, it is important to let out what you have been hiding away. After all, where has doing so got you?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Elijah said, not meeting my eyes.

“Elijah, you do, and it is important that you make peace with yourself. But I will not press you further other than to say that I see you.”

At that, Elijah met my gaze, and his eyes widened.

To be seen is what everyone wants in life.

Give us a little insight into your main characters. Who are they?

In books 1 & 2, the main characters are:

Christopher Dunn is a young man in his late 20s who possesses the essence of both a male and female. He identifies as male but sees the world with the eyes of both sexes. He is also asexual. Christopher has auburn hair, hazel eyes, pale-complexioned and breathtakingly beautiful.

Laura Chasen is a woman in her early 30s, straight and desperately wanting a husband. She is a brunette with blue eyes and a plump, attractive figure, though she thinks she’s fat.

In book 3 we meet:

  • Benjamin Johnson is a few years older than Christopher. He is African American and possesses two male essences. He identifies as a gay male and is also asexual.

Will we be seeing these characters again? Is this book part of a series?

When the Sun and Moon Touch is the third and final book in the series. However, I am considering developing a spin-off novel where we would see Christopher and Benjamin in minor roles.

What genre/s do you enjoy reading in your free time?

I enjoy reading biographies of historical figures and events, Victorian Literary Fiction, especially Anthony Trollop, and Golden Age Mystery writers such as Christie and Sayers.

How do you relax?

My husband and I support the Arts in Phoenix and attend many events, including live theatre, ballet, and opera. While to some, this may seem like an activity, I find it very relaxing. In addition, I enjoy watching historical documentaries.

What hobbies do you have outside of writing?

I am not sure it counts as a hobby, but I am a board member for Ballet Arizona and am involved in promoting and fundraising.

THANK YOU




Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Axel Teaser Tuesday #rabtbooktours

 

Hounds of Hell MC, Book 3


Motorcycle Club Romance, Suspense

Date Published: April 19, 2024

 

 

Sadie -- I finally found the courage to escape my abusive boyfriend, but I didn’t make it far. I’m holed up in a small Virginia town called Mercy. There will be no mercy for me if my ex finds me. Thanks to Axel, the gorgeous biker who towed my car to his garage, I have a place to stay and a job at the town’s greenhouse. I also have the hope that I might have a second chance at love one day, with Axel.

Axel -- When I got called to tow a broken-down car to my garage, I found the beaten and battered angel who owns it on the run from the devil. Here in Mercy, with me, she’s healing and learning to live again. When her ex figures out Sadie’s here, even his mafia ties can’t protect him from me. His entire mafia family can’t take back what’s mine and there’s going to be hell to pay when they try.



EXCERPT


Axel

 

It was a cold February morning. Alexander Harper had just sat down with his first cup of coffee when his phone hummed in his pocket. When he pulled it out and looked at the screen, he saw the call was from Cowboy Pete’s, a local gas station just off the interstate.

“This is Axel,” he said, using the road name he’d been given by Razor when he’d been a prospect.

“Hey, hon. How are you?” He recognized Elsie Damron’s voice. She’d worked at the gas station since he was a kid.

“Cold,” he said. “What can I do for you today?”

“A young lady stopped for gas a little while ago,” Elsie explained. “She filled it up but now her car won’t start.”

“You give her bad gas?” Axel asked, grinning.

“No,” Elsie said. “Well, I hope not. There’s smoke rolling out from under the hood. Looks like it’s overheating to me. Can you come take a look at it?”

“Yeah.” Axel knew the quiet morning was too good to be true. Putting the call on speaker, he placed his phone on his desk, grabbing a tie from his desk drawer to pull his hair back from his face. “Did you already call Tyler? I appreciate the business, but it would be a lot closer, and cheaper, to tow it to his place.”

“Yeah, I know,” Elsie said, her voice dropping to a loud stage whisper. “But I think you would be better for this particular situation.”

“Okay, I’ll head that way,” he told her. “What’s she driving?”

“He’s going to come get you,” Elsie said to someone there with her. To Axel, she said, “Yeah, it’s an older sedan. A Lincoln, I think. What model year is your car?”

Axel couldn’t make out what the other person said.

“It’s a 2002 model,” Elsie told him.

“Give me thirty minutes,” Axel said, ending the call.

Taking his coffee with him, Axel headed back into the shop. His twin brother Ryder was working on an SUV brought in yesterday. Ryder looked up when he saw Axel approach.

“Where you off to?” Ryder asked.

“Got to tow someone in,” Axel told him. “I’ll be back.”

When Axel reached Cowboy Pete’s with the tow truck, there were several cars there. They had a halfway decent grill inside the station, and it was a popular breakfast stop for town regulars and travelers alike. He pulled into the lot and parked, heading in to have Elsie point out the lady and her car.

Elsie grinned when she saw him at the counter. “Thanks for coming, hon. She’s a couple of spaces down from where you parked. The black Lincoln.”

“You bet,” he told her, seeing it in the window behind the counter where the older lady stood.

“Axel?” Elsie called as he headed for the door.

“Yeah?”

“If I can do anything for her, you let me know, okay?” And the kind older woman meant it.

“Will do,” he told her, curious now about what he was walking into.

Axel returned to the tow truck, spotting the black Lincoln that was just three spaces to the right of him with no cars parked in between. It looked like someone was sitting in the driver’s seat. Walking up to the car, Axel tapped on the driver’s window. The lady jumped in the seat, startled. Axel saw a flash of red curls before she peered up at him through the window.

Now Elsie’s words made sense. The young woman’s left eye was black and almost swollen shut. Her nose was swollen and bruised, her lip split. Someone had beat the fuck out of this little lady. Slowly, she opened the door and got out of her car. Her careful movements told him her face wasn’t the only thing that hurt her this morning. Axel stepped back to give her room as she closed the door and leaned back against it.

The way she wrapped her arms protectively around herself and the fear in her green-eyed gaze had him pausing. Now he knew why Elsie called their garage. Tyler wasn’t a bad guy, but he was gruff and lacking in most social niceties.

This young woman before him looked like she’d been through hell and was expecting more.

“Hi there,” Axel said. “Elsie called me to come look at your car. What’s going on?”

“It overheated I think,” she said quietly. “I was okay for a couple of hours. But then it would heat up and it would start smoking. I would stop and let it cool off. I stopped here to get gas and let it cool off again. When I tried to restart it this time, it wouldn’t.”

“Would you pop the hood for me?” Axel asked.

She scrambled back into the driver’s seat, searching for the lever to do that. Just when he was about to offer to do it for her, she found it.

Axel lifted the hood and removed the radiator cap. Walking back around to where she sat behind the wheel with the driver-side door open, he said, “Try starting it.”

It did start but looking into the radiator, he saw the coolant start to bubble up like a milkshake. Walking back toward her, he saw white smoke coming out of the tailpipe in the rear. Well, that wasn’t good news.

“Turn it off,” he told her.

She did as he said, climbing back out of the car.

“Yeah, that’s a blown head gasket,” Axel explained. “The smoke coming out of the back is coolant getting into your exhaust system. It’s not supposed to do that.”

“Can you fix it?” she asked. “H-how long will it take?”

“I can fix it,” he said. “How long it will take depends on a couple of things. I need to find a replacement for the head gasket and if there’s any damage to the engine, we might need parts for that too. Once we have the parts we need, I can have it fixed in two or three days.”

Axel could tell that wasn’t the answer she was hoping to get. It was probably a good idea to get all the bad news out at once.

“It’s also going to be expensive,” Axel told her. “You’re probably looking at two to three thousand dollars to fix it.”

Those big green eyes were getting shiny with tears and Axel felt a tiny bit of panic creeping in. He was no damn good with tears. Never had been. He had to find some way to make the situation the little lady was in less terrible.

“Where are you headed?” he asked. “Do you have any friends or family we can call that will come help you out?”

Dropping her gaze, she shook her head.

“Where are you heading?” Axel tried again.

She shrugged for an answer.

“Do you know if your insurance covers towing?” he asked. If nothing else, it looked like he was going to be towing her back to his garage.

She shook her head. Pretty red curls swung with her movements.

“Do you have your insurance information in the car? We could call,” he offered.

“I don’t have it,” she told him.

Didn’t have a destination. Didn’t have insurance information? What the hell was the situation here? When he gave her the cost of towing the car, she reached into the pocket of her coat, pulled out a credit card, and handed it to him. It was brand-new and shiny. Axel doubted it had ever been used.

“Thank you,” he said. “I’m going to run this, and we’ll be on our way.”

She scrambled back into her car like a scared mouse. Axel shook his head as he headed back to his tow truck, reaching in to get the card reader they used for payments. The name on the card was Sadie Downing.

What the hell happened to Sadie?

He ran the card. The transaction went through which surprised him. He walked back to her car, tapping on the window to return her card. Again, she scrambled out of her car, looking around nervously.

Axel just had to ask. “Are you okay? The local hospital is on the way back to the garage.”

“I’m fine,” she said a little too quickly.

“Okay.” He would leave it at that. “Why don’t you go ahead and climb in the tow truck? I’ll get your car hooked up and we’ll get going.”

“Thank you,” she said quickly before making a beeline for the truck, hastily climbing into the cab.

It didn’t take Axel long to hook up her car and get them on the road. Sadie, if that was her name, huddled quietly in the far corner of the cabin with her head leaning on the window. While he normally appreciated the silence, just now it was awkward. He really wanted to ask her what happened. Who did that to her face?

One thing was pretty certain. She was on the run, and she was afraid. Looking at her, he understood why.


About the Author

Jamie Targaet is the author of the Hounds of Hell MC. She's anxious to introduce you to this club of gorgeous, dominant men and the lucky women who surrender to them. The ride is going to get wild at times, not going to lie. But there's thrilling action, scorching hot sex scenes, and all the feels. 

Jamie writes erotic romance for Changeling Press, a little fanfiction on the side, and she's an aspiring horror writer in another life. She enjoys time with her family (including the fur babies). She likes good horror movies and shows, emo metal and classic rock, and time spent in other worlds writing and reading. She loves hearing from readers and is looking forward to hearing from you.

 

Contact Links

Author on Facebook

Author on Amazon

Author’s Website

 

 Publisher on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok: @changelingpress

 

 

Pre-Order Today


RABT Book Tours & PR

Quantum Consequence Teaser Tuesday #rabtbooktours

 

Physic, Lust and Greed Series, Book 5

 

Sci-Fi

Date Published: 05-16-2024

Publisher: Acorn Publishing


 

After foiling the political ambitions of a would-be American dictator, time-traveling lovers Marta Hamilton and Marshall Grissom return to their life in the Caribbean only to confront the murder of a friend and inherit responsibility for a gutsy 10-year old boy. Throughout their unlikely and tumultuous relationship, Marta has harbored suspicions that her time-traveling companion is not being honest with her. Is Marshall really the bumbling, good-hearted klutz she has come to love and trust? Or is he the cunning, cold-blooded assassin Gillis Kerg suspects him to be? In this fifth tale of physics, lust and greed, a bizarre parallel universe and a monstrous product of artificial intelligence will impose a costly consequence requiring both Marta and Marshall to face the truth of her most haunting question:  “Who are you, Marshall Grissom?”


Excerpt

 

Everyone familiar with Marshall Grissom and Marta Hamilton knew Marta was the scary one.

Marshall towered six foot seven and was as wispy as a soda straw. Clumsy, self-effacing and kind. In contrast, Marta stood barely five feet, sinewy, built like a marathoner. Although her romantic liaison with Marshall had softened some of her bristles, she could be as mean as a mamba snake and unforgiving as a loan shark.

Once she’d allowed someone to pick their way through her tangled emotional defenses, though, her loyalty was fierce. Which was why she was quick to respond when she heard a man yelling from the dock beside Cecil’s boat, Somewhere Over China.

“Come on, old man! Come out here!”

Marta scrambled to the deck of Dontchaknow—a thirty-two-foot Bavaria tied bow to stern with Cecil’s ketch-rigged Tayana in Grenada’s Prickly Bay Marina. On the dock a hulking man, his belly peeking out from under a Tshirt that strained to contain beefy biceps, swayed a little, like a long-distance sailor who hadnt quite found his land legs.

“Come out, you, and bring Baptiste! His mama want him home right now,” Cecil’s would-be assailant bellowed in a Caribbean-Creole accent.

Cecil emerged onto his boat’s deck, brandishing a speargun.

“Stop right there, Ignace Aguillard,” Cecil said. “Baptiste doesn’t have to go anywhere with you. You hit this boy. Go away, or we’ll call the constable.”

“I’m da only father he got,” Aguillard answered. “Boy sass me, need to get hit. Boys gotta learn respect. Put down that toothpick you holdin’, you, or I come up there and stick it up your ass.”

Marshall clambered up on deck after Marta. “What’s going—‍

The question died on his lips as Baptiste peeked from behind Cecil, revealing a black and purple shiner that closed his left eye.

“Marshall,” Marta said, “go below and get the flare gun.”

Instead, Marshall vaulted over Dontchaknow’s lifelines, landing with surprising agility onto the narrow dock.

“Marshall, no!” Marta called.

Aguillard turned to confront this new threat.

“Now you in trouble, you!” Baptiste shouted with all the venom a ten-year-old could muster. “Dis da one I tell you about. He a famous killer, not afraid a’ da likes a’ you.”

Aguillard glanced at Cecil, still pointing his speargun, then back to Marshall. He laughed. “You who dis boy been yappin’ about? I break you like a stick.”

Marshall looked around, blinking, as if surprised to find himself in the middle of this confrontation but quickly collected himself. “You hurt Baptiste? He’s just a little boy.”

“Believe me,” Aguillard said, “gonna hurt you a lot worse.”

Aguillard took a step forward.

Bugger, thought Marta. Her only weapon, a flare gun, was below deck. She saw Cecil lean forward, the speargun steady in his hands.

“What are you doing, Marshall?” she said. “You can’t—‍

Aguillard charged with Marshall dead in his sights.

“Run, Marshall!” she yelled.

Marshall appeared frozen, paralyzed with fear.

“Oh no!” Cecil called, tracking Aguillard with his speargun, finger on the trigger.

Marshall flinched but stood his ground as Aguillard gathered momentum.

Marta wondered if Marshall wanted flowers at his funeral.

At the last instant before impact, though, Marshall stood tall—almost on tiptoe—and executed an elegant spin, like a matador’s pase natural, allowing Aguillard to brush past him, only a whisper of space between them. As he passed, Marshall gave Aguillard a backhanded nudge with just enough pressure to alter the big man’s trajectory.

Aguillard careened off the dock into fifteen feet of warm, green water, then came up sputtering and cursing. Marta appeared at Marshall’s side, carrying an aluminum dinghy oar. Aguillard swallowed a mouthful of seawater and gagged. Marta swung the oar with all her might, striking him on the head.

Baptiste had leapt onto the dock and stood beside Marshall and Marta as they watched Aguillard sink. Bubbles drifted to the surface, their wet little pops waning in frequency.

Eventually, Baptiste said, “Somebody don’t do somethin’, he gonna drown.”

“Yeah, well . . .” Marta said.

Cecil joined them. They regarded her with imploring eyes.

“Oh, all right,” she said. “Marshall, go to the beach.”

Marta dove in, grabbed Aguillard by his hair and kicked toward shore.

Marshall helped haul him onto the gleaming sand where Aguillard lay unmoving, turning a curious shade of blue.

“Um . . . shouldn’t we, you know . . . do mouth-to-mouth or something?” Marshall asked.

“Not my mouth,” said Marta. “And not yours either, if you want it to have anything to do with mine.”

“We can’t just let him—‍

“Oh, I suppose not,” Marta said.

She jumped into the air, then using her whole weight, slammed her elbow onto Aguillard’s chest, which made a cracking sound. Water spewed from his mouth as he gagged and gasped.

“Roll him onto his side,” Marta said.

“Okay, now what?” Marshall asked.

“If he doesn’t get up and walk away in an hour, we’ll call someone to haul him off.”

“I think,” Marshall said, “the tide’s coming in.”

“Then I guess he’d better hurry.”


About the Author

Mike Murphey is a native of eastern New Mexico and spent almost thirty years as an award-winning newspaper journalist in the Southwest and Pacific Northwest. His debut novel, Section Roads, has been recognized by Indie Reader Discovery Awards, Reader Views Reviewers Choice Awards, The IAN Book of the Year Awards, the Somerset Contemporary Fiction Awards, and the Independent Publishers Book Awards. His novel, The Conman has been recognized by the International Book Awards, the eLit Awards and the Manhattan Book Awards. His award-winning Physics, Lust and Greed Series includes Taking Time,  Wasting Time, Killing Time and  The Outlaw Gillis Kerg. “We Never Knew Just What It Was… The Story of the Chad Mitchell Trio” is his first non-fiction work. Mike loves fiction, cats, baseball and sailing. He splits his time between Spokane, Washington, and Phoenix, Arizona.

 

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Shaloha Gems Reveal #rabtbooktours

 


Jewish Fiction/Humorous Fiction

Date Published: July 9th, 2024

Publisher: Acorn Publishing


Abe Goldstein’s life is speeding downhill faster than a Coney Island roller coaster. 

His Manhattan diamond company is on life support. Crime is so bad that muggers are mugging other muggers. And his overbearing mother has gone behind his back and posted his profile on a Jewish dating site. Now, Abe’s phone is blowing up with messages from women who want to marry him. 

At the advice of his accountant, Abe flees to Honolulu and cuts a deal with an Okinawan family to buy their diamond ring business. The owner’s beautiful daughter Kiyoko stays on as a consultant, and Abe finds himself falling hard for her.

But there’s trouble in paradise. Abe’s meddlesome mother hires an unscrupulous matchmaker to break the pair up and find a nice Jewish girl for him instead. To make matters worse, a rival diamond firm connected to Japanese organized crime is bent on destroying Abe’s fledgling business, Shaloha Gems.

As Abe navigates the twists and turns of his unconventional island life, everything he values is in jeopardy. He may be willing to damage his relationship with his mother to preserve his romantic relationship. But will he crumble under the pressure if he loses his reputation and his budding diamond empire too? Or will a discovery that leads back to the darkest days of World War II open an unexpected door to a brighter future?

 

About the Author

Born and raised in New Jersey, Terry Chodosh earned his MS in criminology from Florida State University. Terry began his twenty-eight-year career with the United States Secret Service (USSS) in NYC and fulfilled assignments in the San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Honolulu field offices as well as in the Gerald Ford protective detail.

While assigned to the Honolulu office, Terry traveled extensively in Asia, conducting complex financial crime investigations and providing executive protection for US government officials, including the president and vice president of the United States. After retirement, Terry wanted to tap into his humorous and creative side, which was often restrained throughout his career, so he began writing his novel Shaloha Gems.

Terry lives with his wife and son in Honolulu, Hawaii. He enjoys distance swimming in the ocean and outrigger canoe paddling, and he strives to stay one step ahead of skin cancer and tiger sharks.


RABT Book Tours & PR

Monday, April 15, 2024

High Tea At the Beach House Hotel Release Blitz #rabtbooktours


The Beach House Hotel, Book 8


Women’s Fiction with Romantic Elements

Date Published: April 15, 2024


 

Guests can be surprising…


Ann and Rhonda continue their work at The Beach House Hotel, always striving to make their upscale property the best on the Gulf Coast of Florida. As they’ve learned, not all guests are easy. When they receive a request from Hilda Hassel, a member of the Bavarian royal family, for a two-week stay at the hotel in January, demanding the best room and high tea every afternoon, Ann is uneasy. Other Hassel family members cancelled a large, fancy wedding at the last moment leaving a mess behind. But Rhonda convinces Ann that having a royal guest could increase important European business, and Ann agrees.

After deciding to give Hilda the Presidential Suite for two weeks during their high season and welcoming her to the hotel, Ann and Rhonda are left to wonder if they’ve made the biggest mistake of their lives when Hilda arrives with her “nephew” and strange things begin to happen.


Another of Judith Keim’s series books celebrating love and families, strong women meeting challenges, and clean women’s fiction with a touch of romance—beach reads for all ages with a touch of humor, satisfying twists, and happy endings


 About the Author

Judith Keim, A USA Today Best Selling Author, is a hybrid author who both has a publisher and self-publishes. Ms. Keim writes heart-warming novels about women who face unexpected challenges, meet them with strength, and find love and happiness along the way, stories with heart. Her best-selling books are based, in part, on many of the places she's lived or visited and on the interesting people she's met, creating believable characters and realistic settings her many loyal readers love.

She enjoyed her childhood and young-adult years in Elmira, New York, and now makes her home in Boise, Idaho, with her husband and their adorable dachshund, Wally, and other members of her family. While growing up, she was drawn to the idea of writing stories from a young age. Books were always present, being read, ready to go back to the library, or about to be discovered. All in her family shared information from the books in general conversation, giving them a wealth of knowledge and vivid imaginations.

Ms. Keim loves to hear from her readers and appreciates their enthusiasm for her stories.


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The Sower of the Black Field Book Blitz #rabtbooktours

 

Inspired by the True Story of an American in Nazi Germany


Historical Fiction

Date Published: April 15, 2024

 

INSPIRED BY TRUE EVENTS


Throughout the Third Reich, millions of Germans pledged allegiance to Adolf Hitler. In the Bavarian village of Schwarzenfeld, they followed an American citizen.


As he struggles to rekindle the faith of a guilt-ridden Wehrmacht veteran, a morose widow, and her grieving teenage son, Fr. Viktor Koch, C.P. is haunted by self-doubt. What is driving him to stay in the Third Reich? Is he following a higher plan, or the mystic compulsion of his German heritage? Exposed to American ideals, his parishioners grow restless under Nazi rule. Relying upon his ingenuity to keep them out of prison, Fr. Viktor solicits aid from an unlikely intercessor—the Nazi charity worker who confiscated his monastery for state purposes.

In April 1945, American liberators make a gruesome discovery: the SS have left a mass grave of concentration camp victims on Schwarzenfeld’s borders. Enraged by the sight, the infantry commander orders the townspeople to disinter 140 corpses, construct coffins despite material shortages, dig a grave trench, and hold a funeral ceremony—all in 24 hours. If they fail to fulfill this ultimatum, he vows to execute all German men in town.

Fr. Viktor has to pull off a miracle: he must convince his countrymen that his followers are not the enemy. Their humanity is intact. And most of all, they are innocent.


About the Author

Katherine Koch is a renaissance woman from San Antonio, Texas. By day she is a professional web administrator, digital marketing specialist, and graphic designer. By night she is an independent scholar, historian, and writer. She is captivated by stories of the Passionist missionaries in her family, all of whom have a peculiar knack for tumbling into harm’s way during history’s most fascinating time periods.

 

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RABT Book Tours & PR

The Cyclopes' Eye Review #IndiGo

Title:  The Cyclopes’ Eye

Series: The Cyclopes’ Eye, Book One

Author: Jeffrey Haskey-Valerius

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: 04/09/2024

Heat Level: 1 - No Sex

Pairing: No Romance

Length: 103000

Genre: Science Fiction, Lit/genre, young adult, sci-fi, family-drama, dystopian, medical procedures, twins, eyes, medical research, conspiracy

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Description

First, they came for his sister’s eye. Now they’re coming for his—and what’s even worse is he deserves it.

Henry has never had anything good happen to him, period. That’s why, after school, he’s going to put on his big-boy pants and confess his love to his best friend—because the universe owes him one, dammit, and he needs a win.

But maybe it wasn’t the best idea to do it on Drill Day—the one day a month that healthcare conglomerate Axiom infiltrates schools across America to select a new candidate to give up one of their eyes, for… research? When the new candidate is selected, Henry’s plans go awry, and he and his friends must figure out how to escape from Axiom. But when the past threatens to eat him alive, things aren’t as easy as they seem.

Excerpt

The Cyclopes’ Eye
Jeffrey Haskey-Valerius © 2024
All Rights Reserved

This isn’t what I signed up for, but that seems to be a common thread in my life these days. So, sure, universe, you do you. Pile something else on top of the mess.

I can’t see straight, for starters. I’m on a bus from hell, and everything’s a blur, and I don’t know what’s worse—keeping my eyes open to watch the world zip by, or squeezing them shut and letting my stupid, stupid imagination do the work. When I close them, every bump in the road feels like I’m being launched into space, so maybe for now I’ll keep them open. But both options are awful. Both are making me sick.

I’ve been on the verge of puking all morning, and nothing seems to help. Especially not this driver. Some tragic car accident blocked the route we normally take, so we had to go on a long detour. And now that we’re running behind, the driver’s been speeding and turning corners like this is a rollercoaster and not a school bus.

Oh god, do not think about rollercoasters right now, Henry.

No, this is just a bus. A bus. Sure, we’re going well above the speed limit, but at least not, like, a thousand miles an hour.

Okay, calm down. What are the facts? Think of what’s around you. The bus is almost at full capacity today, with only one person missing: Judith, who’s been home from school. So, if she’s not here, that means there are eighty-eight people around you.

God, that’s so many.

No, that’s not so many. That’s a normal amount, Henry!

Okay, eighty-eight people, plus me, is eighty-nine. Double that, and we get—take your time, Hen; use your fingers if you have to—a hundred seventy-eight. There should be a hundred and seventy-eight eyeballs on this bus…except we know there are five patched kids on our route this year—six if we count…well, no, she’s not here. A hundred and seventy-eight, minus five stolen eyes, equals a hundred and seventy-three.

Wait, what about the driver? Is that why he’s driving so crazy, because he’s an eye short?

I glance up to the mirror above him to double check—only I can’t tell because he’s wearing sunglasses. Even at six thirty a.m., the California sun is blinding. But that’s all right; I don’t need to know.

A hundred and seventy-three. That’s how many eyes are on this bus.

One.

Seven.

Three.

Slowly, the breaths come. My lungs expand, and the nausea begins to fade. It helps, knowing a simple statistic like that. But it’s weird, and if people knew I counted eyeballs in my head, I would die. Actually curl up and die.

Or maybe everyone does that in secret. Maybe everyone is a secret freak like me.

A loud screech. My head plows into the seat in front of me. Ow!

The driver slammed on his brakes! As soon as I realize what’s happened, anger builds in my chest. What in the actual fuck is this fucking driver doing? He’s trying to kill us! I want to scream my head off, scream until the windows shatter. Until this guy’s ears explode, because screw him!

But I won’t. I never scream when I want to. Not anymore. Instead, I sit on my hands and start to count eyes again, while I let the world shift back into place.

All around me, people are moaning and groaning.

“Dude, what the hell?” someone shouts.

I look over, and the girl across the aisle is rubbing her neck, her eyes closed and mouth downturned in obvious pain. The girl next to her has her head between her legs. At first, I think she must be as sick as I was feeling, but she starts searching around for something on the floor and finally retrieves her phone. When the screen lights up, there’s a giant spiderweb of cracks across it.

Slowly, the bus lurches forward, and I no longer feel like screaming. The anger is abating, and it morphs into something closer to pity as I remember for the hundredth time what today is: Drill Day. If the driver doesn’t get us to school on time, he’ll be accused of trying to help us escape. He’ll get his eye taken out.

I can’t be mad at him for saving his own ass, even if it means ushering me to what very well might be my own demise.

Oh god. I feel a gurgle deep in my stomach. And so it begins. Again.

Image by Eden Moon from Pixabay

Ornery Owl's Review

Rating:
Four out of Five Stars

This overall well-written dystopian novel is not an easy read. Henry is a troubled young man growing up in a society where there is very little freedom of choice. At any time, Henry or one of his fellow students could be selected to "donate" an eye to a corporation called Axiom to further their research. Axiom claims the eyes they take will help them find cures for vision problems, but there is very little evidence to support this assertion.

Henry's family is impoverished. He and his twin sister, Judith, are malnourished and have very few clothes. The utilities are often turned off. Their mother was imprisoned years ago for trying to kill their abusive father. Judith's father agreed that Axiom could take his daughter's eye in exchange for an opulent new house that will be theirs for a lifetime.

When Axiom also wants to take Henry's eye, he rebels. In a fit of rage, he beats his father nearly to death. When Judith and Henry are brought to the hospital along with their badly wounded father, Henry learns just how sinister Axiom's mysterious motives are and how much danger they present.

The story is compelling and I had no trouble following along with it. Although the book is in the young adult genre, I would not recommend it to readers younger than their late teens. There is a great deal of violence in the narrative. While the violent narrative fits the story, it could be disturbing for younger or more sensitive readers. 

Although I tend to be reasonably desensitized to gruesome depictions, I am never keen on descriptions of animal abuse. Although the narrative fits with Henry's troubled character, the description of him pulling the legs of Daddy Longlegs spiders bothered me and made me less kindly disposed to him. I wonder if it was really necessary to include this scene, and I feel the book would have been just as gritty and impactful without it.

I found Henry's switching back and forth between referring to one of the major antagonists in the story as Madame Berenice and "my nurse" distracting. It was already established that he knew her as Madame Berenice. It only needed to be mentioned once that she was acting in the capacity of his nurse at the hospital. He didn't need to keep referring to her as "my nurse" to reinforce this. 

Fair warning to those who prefer a clear ending when reading a book: this story ends on a cliffhanger that promises future books in this series. Other issues to be aware of include self-harm, suicide ideation, and body horror. 

I recommend this book for mature readers who enjoy gritty, dystopian fiction and who aren't put off by sometimes graphic depictions of violence. 

Purchase

NineStar Press | Books2Read

Meet the Author

Jeffrey Haskey-Valerius rarely knows what’s happening. He works in healthcare by day and writes weird fiction and poetry by night. His shorter work has been featured in numerous literary journals and has been nominated for prizes, including Best of the Net. He currently lives in the Midwest with his unbelievably handsome and perfect dog, and also a human whom he loves. The Cyclopes’ Eye is his debut novel.

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Giveaway

One lucky winner will receive a $50.00 NineStar Press Gift Code! 


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