Thursday, July 31, 2014

Blog Tour: Suburban Terrors By Pauline Montagna @PaulineMontagna @MkgConnections




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Suburban Terrors
By Pauline Montagna

Blurb:

Do we really know what secrets lurk behind the tall fences and locked doors of our city's suburbs?

Here are twelve stories that delve into that mysterious realm. You'll find a few thrills, a touch of horror, a ghost or two… and much more.

' …these stories are all entertaining, compelling, and enjoyable, making this the perfect book for bedtime or public transport reading. It's a great book to have in your bag, ready for the next break in the day. Georgina Laidlaw, Australian Reader

Where to Buy the Book

As an eBook for $2.99

Author's website
Smashwords

As a Paperback for $12.79

Lulu



Sample Story

The Dognappers

It was all Dave's idea, I swear. He figured it was easy money. Grab a dog (you had to make sure it was well looked after, no use picking a stray) ring the owners and demand a ransom. Easy. I mean it's not like you're grabbing a kid or anything. We just needed some quick cash, just to see us through 'til the crop headed.

But it was me that found the dog. A little black thing it was. Just a puppy really. Dave said it looked like a big black rat. I thought it might be a fox terrier, or maybe a cross, part labrador or something. Anyhow, it came to me when I called it, all trusting and wagging its little tail and looking at me with its big black eyes, while Dave jumped on it from behind with this sack. It struggled a bit when we shoved it in the car, but it didn't make a sound.

When we got it home we took it out to the backyard. I had this old lead from when we had a dog, a big pit bull terrier, but someone came over the back fence and poisoned it and stole our crop. Dave wanted to get another one, but I couldn't stand it. I loved that old terrier. Maxy, his name was. Anyhow, we had this old lead, so I used it to tie the dog to the clothesline. Used one of those really good knots I learned in the boy scouts so it wouldn't get loose.

The dog had a collar with the owners' phone number, but no name. I asked Dave if we should ring the owners straight away, but he said wait a bit and let them stew. He said they'd pay more that way.

So we left the dog and went to the pub.

We got home pretty late because Dave was meeting this bloke he knew who was selling us one of those big plasma TVs off the back of a truck. He was only asking $500. Dave loves his footy and I don't mind a good flick now and then, you know, one with a good car chase. So we had to wait 'til well after dark for him to turn up and then we had to have a couple of drinks with him. He was trying to sell Dave an indoor gym as well. He had to be joking. Anyhow, Dave was trying to put him off without admitting he didn't have any more money. Once we'd got home and brought the telly inside it was well after midnight before we remembered to feed the dog.

When I saw the mess I just swore to buggery. You should've seen it. Chewed up marijuana plants thrown around all over the lawn. And they were just about to head, too. Dave came racing out. When he saw it he roared. 'Where's that fucking dog? I'll kill the fucking cunt.'

I got to the dog first. I could've killed it myself. When it saw me it got up, wagging its little tail and looking at it me with its big black eyes. I'll give you wagging your little tail I was thinking, but then I saw it couldn't've been the dog. It was still tied to the clothesline just as we'd left it, same knot tied in the same way and all. I showed it to Dave. He was still so angry he'd've given the dog a good kicking anyway, but I made him see sense. Whatever the little mongrel had done, it meant money to us, money we'd need more than ever now. Dave gave the shed door a good thumping instead.

The next morning I cleaned up the mess, but it wasn't 'til I went to feed the birds that I saw the worst of the damage. They were all lying still in the bottom of the aviary, their little claws stuck up in the air. And there wasn't a mark on them.

That night Dave rang the owner while I listened on the extension. A woman answered. Dave put on this really tough deep voice. 'We've got your dog. It'll be five thousand dollars if you ever want to see it again.' Dave reckoned that was fair compensation for losing the crop.

There was nothing for a moment on the other end, then she said, 'Is the dog all right?' She sounded worried, but pretty calm.

'For now,' Dave said.

'I'm just a pensioner,' she said. 'I can't pay five thousand dollars.'

'You will if you want your dog back in one piece.'

'You won't hurt the dog, will you?'

Dave just laughed. 'We'll give you another ring soon. You think about it.'

'I'll call the police.'

'No you won't, love. Not if you ever want to see your dog alive, you won't.'

Dave gave me a grin as he hung up. 'She'll pay.'

Dave had bought another plant from a mate, just for our personal use, so we decided to put the dog to bed in the outside laundry, just in case. I tied it up to the pipes with a good strong knot. We left it sitting on top of the washing machine and bolted the door. We didn't hear a peep all night.

The next morning I got up and went outside for a piss. I thought I might check up on the dog, give it a drink of water or something, when I saw all this water coming from under the door. I unbolted the door and jumped back. It opened by itself and all this filthy water came pouring out. I thought the dog must've drowned, but when I looked in it was sitting on the washing machine, just where we left it the night before. The taps were running and the trough had overflowed. I rushed in and turned off the taps and then looked around. It was a bloody fright. All the dirty clothes we'd left in the washing machine were torn up and thrown all over the place. There were even bits hanging from the rafters. Everything was covered in soap powder, and all the bottles were open and the stuff inside emptied out all over the place making this sticky goo. But when I checked out the dog it was completely clean and dry and when he stood up you could see the spot under him was clean, too.

We rang the owner again that afternoon. I'd managed to clean up most of the mess before Dave got up, but I had to tell him what happened. He wasn't too happy, but the old woman wouldn't budge. 'I still can't pay you,' she told us.

'Look, lady,' Dave said, 'you've got a nice little dog there. You wouldn't want to see it come to any harm, would you? There are places that'd pay good money to get their hands on a healthy specimen like him. Would you like that?'

'No, I wouldn't,' she said, 'but I just don't have the money.'

'All right,' Dave said. 'What about two thousand dollars? You think about that and we'll call you tomorrow.'

That night we emptied everything out of the old broom cupboard off the kitchen and put the dog in there. Dave screwed a huge bolt to the door and we even wedged a chair under the door handle. There was no way he was going to get into any mischief in there.

But the next morning I was woken up by Dave bellowing like a wounded bull. I rushed out to see what was wrong. There were broken CDs and DVDs all over the living room. The videos had all been unwound and the tapes were all tangled up together. And the brand new plasma TV was lying smashed up on the floor. Screaming like a banshee, Dave ran out to the kitchen and pulled the carving knife out of the drawer. 'Where's that fucking dog?' he yelled. 'I'm going to kill it.'

He pulled the chair away from the cupboard door and unbolted it. I stood back (I'm not good with blood) but Dave stopped in his tracks, the knife still in midair. I peaked over his shoulder. The dog was still tied up inside, wagging its tail and looking at us with its big black eyes.

Dave backed out and turned and looked at me like he was in shock or something. I sat him in a chair and took the knife off him. I made him a cup of coffee and sat down with him, but we had nothing to say to each other.

That day, I talked to the dog's owner. 'Look, lady, we know you don't have much money, so we'll do a deal with you. We can give you the dog for a thousand dollars.'

But she wasn't ready to deal. 'I'm sorry,' she said. 'That's still too much.' And she hung up on us.

We put the dog in the aviary that night. We tied it up with two strong ropes so it could barely move. We locked the door and tied it shut with another strong rope, making sure the knot was well out of reach. And they were good knots too, the strongest ones I'd learnt in the boy scouts. There was no way it could get out of there. Then we went inside and locked all the doors and shut all the windows.

But I tossed and turned all night. I kept having these dreams about the little dog sneaking around the house, looking for some more mischief. I finally fell into a deep sleep in the early hours of the morning, so I didn't wake up until late. Still pretty groggy, I went to the kitchen to make some coffee and found Dave lying unconscious on the floor. One leg and an arm were lying at funny angles and he was bleeding and bruised all over. While I was waiting for the ambulance, he came to. He couldn't tell me what happened, just that he'd got up in the night to get a drink of water and fell over something. He said it was something warm and moving.

After the ambulance took Dave to the hospital, I went out to look at the dog. It was sitting, just as we left it, tied up in the aviary, looking at me with its big black eyes.

I rang the owner again that afternoon. I couldn't let Dave down altogether so I asked for five hundred dollars.

'I'm sorry,' she said, really cool like. 'I've already told you. I'm a pensioner.'

There was no use carrying on so I asked her for her address and said I'd bring the dog round to her. I thought maybe she'd give me something for my trouble, but she refused to tell me and hung up on me.

I was at home all alone with the dog that night. I put it back in the aviary and tied it up. I locked and tied the aviary up. Then I took all the heavy things I could find in the shed and the backyard and put them in front of the door and all around it. I locked all the doors and windows in the house. I went to my room, locked the door and moved a chest of drawers in front of it. But I still didn't feel safe. I sat up all night, and all night I could hear something outside my bedroom door, scratching and knocking.

In the morning the noises had stopped, but I was still too scared to go out. I called the owner on my mobile. I begged her to come and get the dog. I swore I wouldn't hurt either of them.

She didn't say anything for a while, then she said, 'All right. Tell me your address. But if there's any trouble I'll call the police.'

Quarter of an hour later, I opened the door to this really weird looking woman. She was tall and sort of elegant, pretty young looking for a pensioner, except that she had this really long white hair. She was wearing a long black dress with all these symbols sewn on it in red. And she had these really blue eyes that looked right through you.

'I've come for the dog,' she said, 'and no funny business.'

I wasn't going to give her any trouble.

I took her out to the backyard and let the dog out. It jumped straight into her arms and licked her all over. She laughed and kissed it back, talking baby talk to it.

As I took her back through the house to the front door she looked around and said, 'Where's your friend? I thought there were two of you.'

I told her he was in hospital.

She gave this cold, cruel smile and said, 'Well, he should be safe there.'

I opened the front door to see her out. Ours is only a short street and I know everyone's car. There were no strange cars in the street. Where we'd picked up the dog was at least an hour's drive away, and I knew she lived in the same area because of her phone number. I couldn't help asking, 'How did you get here?'

She gave me a knowing grin that gave me this cold feeling.

Before I knew it I was shoving a hundred dollars into her hand for a taxi.

'That's very generous of you,' she said with that same grin, stuffing the note down her dress. She looked around for the dog. It had gone exploring up and down the street. 'Here, Satan,' she called to him, 'let's go home.'



About the Author:

Pauline Montagna was born into an Italian family in Melbourne, Australia. After obtaining a BA in French, Italian and History, she indulged her artistic interests through amateur theatre, while developing her accounting skills through a wide variety of workplaces culminating in the Australian film industry. In her mid-thirties, Pauline returned to university and qualified as a teacher of English as Second Language, a profession she pursued while completing a Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing. She has now retired from teaching to concentrate on her writing. She has published two books, The Slave, an historical romance set in Medieval Italy and Suburban Terrors, a short story collection.

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Giveaway:

eBook of Suburban Terrors

Book Blitz: Let's Get Lost By Adi Alsaid @AdiAlsaid @harlequinteen #letsgetlost @NereydaG1003 #giveaway




Cover Reveal: The Right Chord By RoseAnn DeFranco @radefranco @SparkleBookTour




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cover reveal


covergifTitle: The Right Chord
Series: Brothers of Audubon Springs # 3
Author: RoseAnn DeFranco
Audience: Adult
Genre: Romance
Formats: E- Book & Paperback
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Cover by: Debbie Taylor
Editor: DJ Hendrickson
Pages: 258 pages
Expected Date of Publishing: August 6, 2014
 





blurb


Years in the cutthroat L.A. music industry have Kit Maggio yearning for love and acceptance in her hometown, Audubon Springs. Her position as a Theater Arts professor doesn't erase years of being shoved aside by her family. Her baby sister is getting married, and her high school sweetheart doesn't recognize her. Will she ever find what she needs?
Vince Iuliano never imagined he'd be a single dad. Vowing no woman will ever again break his daughter's heart, he focuses on providing a happy and stable home. But when the love of his life rents the house next door, can he take a chance on happiness?
Vince never forgot Kit. Setting out to earn her forgiveness, they fall back into the rhythm of love and heat, much like the songs they wrote as teens. When L.A. calls, will Kit go, or stay and write her greatest love song?


excerpt

Kit rubbed her eyes and swung the door open to find a bright-eyed Vince Iuliano holding a box of doughnuts.
"What are you doing ringing my doorbell?" She hissed and stepped through the door, pushing him out onto the porch in the process.
"I thought you ladies might need these." He held up the box of doughnuts.
"Is it Advil?" Katelyn appeared at the door. "Isn't that the guy you kissed last night?"
"No, it is not." She shooed her away and shut the door.
"I think you forgot something at the bar," Vince said.
"What's that?"
"Your dignity?"
"Look, it was a dare! I had to kiss the next guy who walked through the door. I took one for the team."
He stared for a long moment then reached out and touched her sticky hair. "The party continue here last night?"
"You have a lot of nerve ringing my doorbell when you know what kind of shape I'm in right now." Vince smiled. "Jerk. Are those for me?" She nodded to the doughnuts.
"They might be."
"If you're here for an apology, forget it. I'm not going to apologize."
"Good. Did it seem like I was complaining?"
A rush of heat on her skin against the brisk morning air caused goose bumps to rise on her skin. Dear God in heaven, he was flirting. "I'm not sure. I can't remember." It was a lie. Even through her drunken haze and fuzzy memory, she recalled with startling clarity the sizzling chemistry of that kiss. It was an experience she wanted to repeat over and over again but wouldn't. "So, what, you tracked me down to bring me hangover doughnuts?"
"No, consider them a welcome to the neighborhood present."
"What do you mean?"
"I'm your landlord, and your soon to be neighbor." He motioned to the house next door where several guys unloaded windows from a truck.
"You're joking."
"No, it needs some work before we move in, but it shouldn't take too long."
"I dealt with a woman for the lease to this house. Annie O'Malley."
"Annie O'Malley Iuliano, my sister-in-law."
She stared, mouth gaping. "Here you go." He handed her the doughnuts. "I don't know how many women are passed out inside, so if it's not enough, just let us know and we'll get you more. Oh, and the carpet is new so if there's any damage, please take care of it right away. Management frowns on that stuff."
"Anything else?"
"Yeah. I'll see you at the wedding." He flashed a smile, his dimples winking wickedly managed to make her throat grow dry.
"Figured that out, did you?"
"Just, make sure to save a dance for me."
"In your dreams."
 
 
ReturntoAudubonSprings_8071_750Title: Return To Audubon Springs
Series: Brothers of Audubon Springs # 1
Pages: 248 pages
ISNB: 978-1-62830-101-4 D
ASIN: B00FDSL792
Date Published: 3 January 2014


blurb

When Emma Grant returns to her family's Audubon Springs beach house to fulfill the stipulations of her father's will, she has every intention of forcing her former lover out of the house for good. She's never fit into her wealthy family and would prefer avoiding her past, but with her brother threatening to reveal her young daughter, she has no choice.
Rafe Iuliano has other plans. The wealthy Grants tried to bribe him out of Emma's life years ago, but he's determined to prove once and for all that a master carpenter is worthy of Emma and the house.
Their ridiculous and steamy battle for the house reignites the love and passion that bloomed between them years ago. But when Rafe discovers she's kept their daughter a secret for two years, can he overcome anger and pride to claim his family and the love of his life, or will the deception drive a final wedge between them?


book links


 
 
SecondhandRomance_w7433_750
Title: Secondhand Romance
Series: Brothers of Audubon Springs # 2
Pages: 248 pages
ISNB: 978-1-62830-173-1
ASIN: B00HKRNUE4
Date Published: 9 April 2014

blurb

Annie O'Malley's dream of owning a secondhand bookstore in tight-knit Audubon Springs is coming true. Still reeling from her parents' sudden deaths, she believes that signs or messages can be found within the pages of books. She loves her job and has made plenty of friends but longs for the acceptance only love and a family can provide.
Tony Iuliano is there to fix the wiring in her shop. He doesn't believe in fate, magic, or the power of a good book. All this combined with his sexy-as-sin presence and all-knowing attitude infuriates Annie. The quirky bookworm intrigues him enough to accept her bet to read a book from her shop. When he discovers a stack of fifty-year-old love letters in the book, he wants to leave the past alone, but seeing it as a sign, Annie challenges him to read the letters and search for the long-lost lovers or lose the bet.
While shaking the dust off several ill-fated romances and fighting their attraction at every turn, the pair soon become the town gossip daily special. If they can stop arguing long enough, they may just discover this particular sign was meant for them all along.

book links


about the author
clip_image008RoseAnn DeFranco grew up in upstate NY with her nose in a book and a song in her heart. Following the pursuit of a musical theatre career in NYC, she turned her creative energy to writing funny, steamy romance with heart. A NJ shore transplant, she enjoys time spent at the beach with her family and would love to one day live in a quaint shore town like the fictional town from her BROTHERS OF AUDUBON SPRINGS series. More information about these Humorous Contemporary Romances can be found at radefranco.com.
 



 
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Niecey Roy's Blog - http://www.nieceyroy.com/blog/
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Blushing Divas Book Reviews - http://www.blushingdivasbookreviews.com
Booky Ramblings of a Neurotic Mom - http://bookyramblingsofaneuroticmom.blogspot.co.uk/
Clarissa Wild's Blog - http://clarissawild.blogspot.com
Portals to new Worlds - http://authorkarenswart.blogspot.com

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Review: I Can See You By Joss Landry @josslandry @DarkWorldBooks #Giveaway




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I Can See You
Emma Willis
By Joss Landry

Blurb-

"Emma stuck her face to the window to watch the rain. Lightning in the background drew a fiery specter in the sky while her eyes traced the water droplets running down the pane like tears." Emma Willis is ten years old and has a secret. She not only inherited her grandmother's power of sight, she can accomplish much more. Like most children without siblings growing up amongst adults, she is precocious yet at times lonely. When a murderer is loose in Newark, a maniac with a thirst for killing little girls, she begins to understand why her Granny Dottie called her sight a curse. She will need all her powers to catch a killer and help the people in her life: Detective Hank Apple, her teacher Christina Tyler, and her little family of three. Only … the madman knows who she is!

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Excerpt-

Christina is waiting for Hank who is gone to the precinct and had Emma call to tell her. She hopes he will not shy away from confiding in her this time.

Christina simply thanked Emma for calling her and letting her know she was home and safe. She was not about to ask for drawn out explanations at this late hour. She wondered why Hank had asked Emma to call her.

Sitting in the chair by her bed with the room plunged in darkness she recalled the kiss they shared before Abigail's phone call, tender and passionate, not the embrace of a man just looking for sex. She was well acquainted with Hank, enough to realize he not only wanted her, he also loved her-his touch so emotionally charged nerve endings in her neck and all the way down her spine still tingled from evoking the memory.

She got up and pushed the curtain back to glance at the street below her eyes sweeping past the empty vast expanse of school yard, familiar yet resembling a huge patch of ink at this time of night when the city dimmed the yard's perimeter lights.

Though her heart went out to Emma, the poor little rich girl, rich on talents yet poor on happiness, she prayed Hank would remember the promise he'd made to her between the sheets, to be open and above board with her during a crisis rather than letting the walls close in behind him. She kept her fingers crossed he would call her to confide about the heavy burden obviously weighing on him right now.

She glanced at the portable phone perched in its berth on her night stand and found it impossible to pick up. She'd promised Hank she would not put her pride before her love for him. What welled up insider her was not pride, more like a voice of reason stating Hank needed to make the first step.



My Review-

I received a free copy of the book from the author for my honest opinion.

Emma Willis is a ten year old who has special abilities she inherited from her Grandmother Dottie; her father's mother. Emma can see things that have not happened yet and she can also see the past. Emma is very talented and powerful but her father told her a long time ago that she has to keep her abilities to herself. She is not allowed to talk about or tell anyone what she is can do. He has no idea what Emma goes through day after day; things that a child should never have to live through. Emma has no idea how to use her powers or what all she can do. Emma has to live with her secret and she has to keep it all bottled up inside. If it were not for her Grandmother's dairy or book of shadows that has been passed down from generation to generation that explains how to use her powers then she would not have a clue as to how to control her powers or what to do with them.

Someone is going around killing little girls in Emma's town and she knows who it is. When the killer learns that she can identify him, he stops looking for other little girls to kill. Now he is always hot on her tail. He has to get to her and kill her before she can find out who exactly he is and then tell the police. Emma is lucky that her teacher over hears a conversation between Emma and one of her best friends Tommy. Her teacher steps up to the home plate to help Emma to stay safe. Her teacher once dated a detective who works at the police department downtown. Emma learns that she can trust her teacher and the detective and knows that they will help her find who is after her. Both of them have promised Emma that they will not tell her father that she is helping them to find who is killing the little girls. Hopefully they will find and arrest the killer before it is too late.

Emma is a very smart and mature for a ten year old. But I guess if all ten years olds had experienced what she has then they would probably mature early as well. But Emma does still acts her age at times which is not a bad thing. No it is a good thing, I mean when she acts her age she is still a very kind and loving person.

There is so much in I Can See You that I can relate to. Some with Emma and some with other characters in the book. There is so many twist and turns that at times you don't know which way is up. Joss Landry takes you on the ride of your life with I Can See You. You get a whole lot of mystery, romance, friendship and family time too. Even Emma has a boyfriend well Tommy is not exactly her boyfriend but he is her friend and he is a boy. Little Emma is a very couragous little girl. She stands tall and brave when she gets herself into a little trouble sometimes.



About the Author-

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Joss Landry

With a degree in commerce, Joss has worked as a consultant for more than twenty years, writing copy for marketing firms and assisting start-up companies launch their business. She recently made the switch from composing copy and promos, to writing fiction and prose. She is developing her style through courses and the support of other writers. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and is presently working on honing three other novels for publication. Blessed with four children and five grandchildren, she resides in Montreal with her husband, a staunch supporter, and enjoys spending time biking, rollerblading, playing tennis, and swimming. She loves creating stories as she says they fulfill her need to think outside the box.

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Giveaway-



Cover Reveal: Louder Than Words By Iris St. Clair @Iris_St_Clair @NereydaG1003




Louder Than Words
Release Date: 09/16/14
Swoon Romance

Summary from Goodreads:
Disappointment has been on speed dial in Ellen Grayson's life lately. Her dad's dead, her mom is numbing the grief with drugs and alcohol, and her so-called friends are slowly abandoning her. Trusting a popular teacher with her troubles should have been safe, shouldn't have led to an unwelcome seduction attempt, shouldn't have sent her running to the girls' bathroom for the final moments of her Junior year. Lesson learned. Best to keep all the sordid details of her life to herself.


Enter Rex Jacobi, a cocky teen recently transplanted from New York and fellow summer camp employee. Though his quick wit and confidence draws her in, she's not letting him get too close, not til she's sure she can trust him. By the time Rex's charming persistence wears down her resistance, it's too late. He's put Ellen on the perma-pal shelf and shifted his romantic attentions to her arch-rival. Even worse, the teacher who tried to seduce her is still misbehaving with impunity.

With her ability to trust as shaky as a chastity vow on prom night, Ellen must decide if she has enough remaining courage to speak up about her teacher and risk retribution, to tell Rex how she feels and risk heartbreak, or hold all her secrets inside, the only safe place she knows.


About the Author
Iris St. Clair is the pen name for a long-suffering cubicle worker by day, a Walter Mitty-like dreamer by night. (Her alter ego Tatiana Ivanadance also choreographs gravity-defying routines in those fantasies, but that's another bio.)
No matter what genre she writes, she prefers witty, insecure heroines and kind, persistent heroes able to break through to the gooey heart inside.
In high school she was voted most likely to win at Monopoly and Clue, but least likely to throw a ball anywhere near a target. Thank goodness writing requires less hand-eye coordination, punctuation errors notwithstanding.

Iris believes in the two-year "fish or cut bait" dating rule and has a 20+ year marriage and two teenaged sons as proof of concept. She lives, writes, dreams and dances in the rainy Portland, OR area.

Author Links:
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