Monday, June 19, 2017

*Release Blitz* Rise of the Sea Witch by Stacey Rourke

Title: Rise of the Sea Witch
Author: Stacey Rourke
Genre: YA Fantasy/ Fairy Tale and Folklore
Cover Designer: Najla Qamber Designs
Publisher: Anchor Group Publishing
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
Blurb:  Details of the sea witch’s banishment have been exaggerated. The body count that preempted it was not. Once an illustrious princess, her hands and tentacles were stained with the blood of thousands. No one could comprehend how the hooks of madness dragged her down from her life of privilege.  
Born Princess Vanessa of Atlantica, the ambitious young royal was one of two children born to the great King Poseidon. She and her brother, Triton, were groomed from birth to rule. Yet only one would ascend that coveted throne. While carefree Triton flits through his training with a cavalier demeanor and beguiling charm, Vanessa’s hunger for her father’s acceptance drives her to push herself to the limits of magic, and combat to become a leader worthy of her people.   
When war against the humans ravages their once regal kingdom, political sides are chosen. Factions from the seven seas challenge the existing leadership, pitting Vanessa against her brother in a vicious battle for the crown. Traitors are exposed, dark family secrets revealed, and a once strong sibling bond is strained to its breaking point.
Only when the ink black waters from the ultimate betrayal rescind, will the truth be known of how the villainous sea witch rose with one name on her vengeful lips--Triton.


Release Party:
RONE Award Winner for Best YA Paranormal Work of 2012 for Embrace, a Gryphon Series Novel
Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012
Turning Pages Magazine Winner for Best YA book of 2013 & Best Teen Book of 2013 
Stacey Rourke is the author of the award winning YA Gryphon Series, the chillingly suspenseful Legends Saga, and the romantic comedy Adapted for Film. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant dogs. She loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction, and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head. 
Visit her at www.staceyrourke.com
or on Twitter or instagram at Rourkewrites.
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1OJcVNO
Buy Link: Amazon: http://amzn.to/2th8hTW


Prologue
I admit that in the past I was a princess. They weren’t kidding when they called me … well, a spoiled twit.” Tentacles rolling and churning beneath me, I turn to the newest member of my little garden with effortless grace. Arms thrown out wide, I grant the shriveled polyp a beguiling smile. Those around him tremble in fear, pulling as far away from him as their roots deep within the ocean floor will allow. “Through rather unfortunate circumstances it became mandatory I mend my ways. And, yes, some of the techniques I employed earned me the title of villain.”
“Never, my Queen,” Floteson murmurs. Coiling around my upper arm, he drapes himself across my shoulder.
Jetteson’s oily scales lovingly brush my cheek. “Every one of them was deserving of your wrath.”
Shoulders curling in, I pucker my lips which are freshly glossed by a crimson sea-flower and tenderly scratch each of them under their chins. “How horrible can I be to be so adored by such sweet babies?”
“She shows us nothing but love,” my darling zebra sharks chorus.
Their unwavering dedication soothes me, allowing me to expel a calming breath that bubbles in a wreath around my face.
“I am not the horrible beast many think me to be. Yet I feel it is your own misconceptions that brought you here, and led to … well, you know.” Floating passed my ornate vanity mirror, which seems out of place in the dreary cave I call home, I suck in my cheeks. Turning my head one way and then the other, I inspect my reflection. A smug smile curls the corners of my lips. The woman staring back at me is positively voluptuous with power, mayhem swirling within her clay-gray eyes. “Undoubtedly, you’ve heard rumors of my banishment.”
Hitching one eyebrow at my newly planted polyp, I watch him squirm under the weight of my attention.
“Do you even know my true given name, I wonder? Before hateful whisperings from the farthest reaches of the Seven Seas dubbed me The Sea Witch, I went by another name: Princess Vanessa of Atlantica. I harbored dreams of bringing peace and happiness to the kingdom … as their noble queen.”
Jabbing my hands on to my ample hips, I turn in a swirl of black and purple. “I’m not sure if that pitiful pout is caused by your deep longing to hear more, or if you’re mourning the loss of your shriveled limbs. But,” with a theatrical roll of my wrist, I snap my fingers—my cauldron sparks to life, an ethereal green glow simmering from within, “I choose to think the former because it’s about me … and all of my favorite things are.
“It would be predictable for me to say it all began with the death of my mother. Predictable and false.”
Water rushes beneath me with one mighty flap of all my tentacles. The power of the act propels me over to my alchemy shelves, where my fingers flick over the exposed vials. Some days I seek to terrorize my captives, calling out each ingredient or dangling it over their heads before tossing it into my brew.
Tongue of porpoise.
Eye of cuttlefish.
Shell of sea turtle.
I won’t lie and say watching their complexions green and bug eyes bulge isn’t a guilty pleasure of mine. For the moment, however, a wave of generosity—brought on by the mention of my mother—prompts me to toss them in without my usual theatrics. Each is received into the cauldron’s wide-mouth drum with a puff of smoke and spray of sparks.
“As much as I loved my mother, losing her didn’t drive me to madness as some would have you believe.” Hearing the melancholy in my tone, I bristle. “Far from it, in fact. I would have subjected myself to an abysmal existence of the mundane in honor of her memory. No, it was after the black flags of mourning had been strung through the kingdom, after the spectacle of her funeral procession had passed, that my descent began.”
Throwing one final ingredient into the cauldron, a veil of greasy smoke wafts from its rim. Images begin to form within the haze: the king’s regal quarters, and a formidable frame seated in a high-backed chair behind a massive stone desk.
Crouching down, I position myself eye level with the miniscule scene unfolding. My tentacles coil into tight knots beneath me. “This was the night … the night when I was touched by magic for the very first time … and loathed it to my very core.”
Within the ghostly image, the curtain to the king’s quarters is pushed open. A heavy set nursemaid with stripes of gray in the messy twist of her bun swims in. On one hip she balances a cherub-faced baby that’s only two months shy of his second birthday. Blond ringlets halo his head. Both his eyes and cheeks are ruddy from crying. The frazzled servant’s other hand clings to that of a raven-haired princess who rubs at her tired, violet eyes with a chubby, toddler fist.
“If you aren’t following along yet, that princess is me,” I explain to my captive audience. “The maid softly shushing my younger self is Loriana. Oh, how dear she was to me. She was a servant in the castle, tasked with tending to my brother and I. That little sunset orange tail poking out from behind her belongs to her son, Alastor. He was Triton’s best friend and would become much more than that to me ...”
“Sire,” respectfully bowing her head, Loriana readjusted her hold on Prince Triton, “I hate to interrupt.”
My father, King Poseidon, pushed his chair back from the desk in a swirl of water and sand, and rose in greeting. To the rest of the kingdom, he was known as simply the supreme ruler of Atlantica. To me, and my juvenile ignorance, he was the God of the Sea who towered over us all. I envisioned all of his enemies, and anyone that ever wished me harm, falling to their knees and trembling before his commanding presence. His hair and thick beard were the red of Precious Coral. Muscle rippled over every inch of his exposed torso. His narrow waist tapered into an emerald green tail that perfectly matched the shining jewels of his eyes. Countless times I had examined the lines of his face in search of some similarity between the two of us. None could be found. Triton had his smile, and later—when adolescence hit—he would inherit his strong chin. Me? Every inch of me was a lackluster shadow of my mother’s regal beauty. Where her eyes and tail sparkled like freshly polished amethyst, mine seemed dull by comparison. Or, perhaps the lighting from the pedestal I’d built for her in my mind shone for her with a more flattering shimmer.
“The hour is late. I welcome the interruption.” Poseidon set his fish bone quill onto the desk top, and positioned its stone cradle on top of it. “How can I be of service, Loriana?”
 “It’s the children, Your Highness.” Her face a mask of maternal sorrow, Loriana gave my hand a quick pulse of comfort. “This is the first night they have ever tried to go to sleep without a lullaby from their dear mother. I’m afraid I can’t seem to calm their troubled little hearts.”
Poseidon’s broad chest expanded with a deep inhalation, and tipping his head he exhaled a flurry of rushing water and bubbles. “This is a troubling time for us all,” he agreed. Crossing the room with one stroke of his tail, he extended his hands to receive Triton. My brother waved his arms in eager delight, wriggling into the security of Father’s strong embrace. Inching forward, I blinked up at the mighty king. He floated past without so much as ruffling my hair. “I’m afraid I don’t have your mother’s gift of song, but perhaps we could sit a spell and find peace in our togetherness.”
Honoring her position outside of the room, Loriana gave me a gentle push forward to follow my father. Casting a tentative glance over my shoulder, I did just that. Poseidon swirled Triton around, eliciting a giggle that crinkled the corners of his ocean blue eyes, before the king collapsed on the sea sponge sofa with his darling son on his lap. I perched on the very edge of the far cushion, uninvited and unnoticed.
Before that moment our father had been more of a … hmm, how to put this delicately? A figurehead in our lives. We knew of him and regarded him fondly, but unfortunately his kingly duties allowed our primary interactions to be those staged for political potency. Our mother, the lovely Queen Titonis, spent her days caring for my brother and I with only Loriana to aid her. Now, Poseidon had no choice but to pick up the yolk. For Triton this transition seemed to be going swimmingly. I, however, was getting as much attention as the Orca-bone end table.
Hands under the little prince’s pits, Poseidon turned Triton to face him. “I was so proud of how you behaved during the processional today,” he gushed. “You honored not only me, but your mother’s memory when you clasped your tiny fist over your heart and held your head high as her carriage passed.”
“Follow Nessa.” Triton looked to me with love, his tailfin a muted clap when connecting with Father’s lap.
“Your sister has two whole years of further training and experience than you, my boy.” Poseidon’s shoulders raised, his voice dropping to a conspiratorial whisper. “You exhibited the poise of a true leader.”
My lips clamped shut to stifle a sob, his words stinging like a slap. I had just as much right to the throne as Triton, but this was the first moment I became painfully aware of who he longed to see succeed him. It would not be the last … or the most painful.
“She held her curtsy so long, merfolk threw flowers!” Alastor, a year and a half older and far more eloquent than Triton, darted into the room to brazenly interject. Mahogany waves curled over his earlobes, adding dimension to his round little face that resembled a bubble. The boldness of his gesture quickly shriveled under Father’s menacing glare.
“The son of a servant entering the king’s quarters?” Father boomed, one eyebrow raising in question. “One might question your upbringing, lad.”
“A thousand apologies, Your Majesty!” Loriana blushed from her neck clear up to her earlobes and snapped her fingers at her wandering boy. “Alastor, come here at once!”
Shoulders sagging like a stone cast to the depths, Alastor returned to his rightful place in the hall. The heat of his topaz stare bore into me as he paddled along, searching for even the slightest acknowledgement of his noble deed.
I had none to offer.
My own gaze had drawn away from my brother, laughing while Father tickled his cheeks with his beard, to scan the items neatly arranged on father’s desk. Inanimate objects which earned his attentions daily just by being. On the right side, closest to his scrawling hand, sat the quill. Its fat little ink pot was perfectly positioned perpendicular beside it. In the center of the desk, weighted by stones carved with the royal crest, rested a stack of scrolls awaiting the king’s notice. On the left-hand corner, Poseidon’s late night snacking needs were met by a plate of rolled and seasoned seaweed puffs.
The ink pot lured my attention back as if calling to me.
I had never had to work for attention in any capacity. My mother had always given it freely, and in limitless supply. Since she had been taken from me, I had unquenched needs: hugs, stories, and all of that … drivel. So, yes, I thought about acting out. I toyed with the idea of knocking over that little clay pot and letting the ink flow to ruin the staged perfection of father’s space. More than that, I wanted to. I wanted to hear him shout out my name in his menacing vibrato, because at least then he would have to acknowledge me. While my hands stayed folded neatly in my lap, as the good little mergirl I was, something within me I had never felt before reached out. Palpable energy, only I seemed privy to, crackled through the water to cradle the pot in its hold. I could feel it, poised and ready, awaiting my command. Biting my lower lip to fend off a threatening grin, my essence gave barely a nudge and the ink pot tumbled. A thick black cloud exploded over my father’s desk, staining the scrolls and ruining the once delectable wraps.
“Vanessa!” thundered my father, rocketing off the sofa. “Look what you’ve done!”
I turned toward him with feigned remorse … and screamed. The howl of terror tore from my chest until my gills ached and my throat was raw.
There was a buzz of activity: Poseidon calling to the nursemaid, Loriana swimming in as fast as her fins could carry her, Triton wailing in fear, Alastor trying to shush his friend from the doorway to which he’d been banished. I neither saw nor heard any of this.
Floating in the center of the room, bobbing with the current, was my mother.
Not the serene vision of loveliness I had known her to be that was full of life and love. Heck, I even would’ve happily settled for the slumbering beauty she appeared to be during her funeral. In vast contrast, the entity hovering before me had chunks of flesh gnawed away by assorted sea beasts. Cracked, ashen lips curled into a snarl. Black ooze bubbled through her teeth, dripping from her chin and clouding the water. My scream reached a fevered pitch, spots dancing before my eyes. The ghoul, who in life sang me to sleep, reached for me with one hand that had been gnawed to bone.
You see, by using magic I opened a door and allowed the darkness in. The cost being more than I could bear, I vowed to myself—as my consciousness waned—never, ever to dabble with such things again.
Oh, the lies we tell ourselves …


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Weekly Wrap-Up 6-18-17

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Sunday Post

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

mailboxes
Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.
LAST WEEK ON THE BLOG
THIS WEEK ON THE BLOG
  • discussion post 
  • (hopefully) lots of TBR reviews for the challenges I'm participating in 
BOOKS IN MY MAILBOX
Won (Kindle)
35150954

OFF THE BLOG
This has been a pretty quiet week.  Nothing much happened.  We're just trying to get into our new routine since my husband recently started a new job and has had a complete change in his schedule. It's a chance for the good though, so we're all pretty excited about it.  

The boys and I ventured out to a new park this week.  It's about 30 minutes away but was totally worth the drive.  There are so many cool things to do there.  Once I get my van straightened out (I'm having to shell out $250 to get it fixed) we are going to go back.  One of our favorite parts of the park is the huge tree house they have set up there.  Part of the top floor of the tree house is nothing but netting.  All of the kids were jumping into it.  Logan did that and about gave me a heart-attack lol.  
Image may contain: one or more people, people sitting and outdoor

On Friday, my mom surprised me with this ring.  It was my grandmother's wedding ring and now she is passing it down to me. 
Image may contain: one or more people and closeup

Yesterday we took the boys to Toys R Us for the Pokemon Trade event they were having.  It's where you can bring your Pokemon cards to trade with other people.  We sat and waited for a long time but nobody was showing up so the employee running the event brought out his cards and traded with Chris and Logan.  He took the time to explain the card game to them, told them about what Pokemon was like when he was little, and all kinds of other neat things.  I thought it was really sweet that he took the time to do that and make sure that they still had fun.  Finally, about 30 minutes before the event ended, a few more kids showed up but only one of them wanted to trade, so after that, we decided to walk around the store to see if Chris and Logan could find anything they wanted to spend their money on.  They both bought a plush Pokemon, a pack of Pokemon cards, and a fidgit spinner. Those things are actually pretty fun.  We had a lot of fun playing with them last night.  

Today is mine and my husband's 12th wedding anniversary and Wednesday is my birthday.  We're a little short on money right now since my van needs to be fixed, but as soon as we get paid again, we'll go out to dinner to celebrate or something.  

Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful dads out there!  
WEEKLY FUNNY
This made me LOL
Ha!  This made me laugh so hard and reminds me of my dog, Killian.  He is SO dramatic.  I have no doubt this would be him.  

Thursday, June 15, 2017

*Cover Reveal* Shaded with Love vol 3


Title: Shaded with Love ~ Volume 3 ~ A Coloring Book For A Cause
Author: Jessica Hildreth
Release Date: July 1st, 2017
Genre: Adult Coloring Book



  

Join us in the fight against Suicide! Shaded with Love ~ Volume 3 is a special multi author, blogger and photographer collaboration. This adult coloring book includes a unique page designed just for each participant!

Enjoy pages by your favorite authors, blogs and photographers...or maybe find someone who is new to you!

100% of proceeds from this book will be donated The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to help fund the battle against Suicide.
Participants include (in alphabetical order):
A.M. Johnson, Amanda Lanclos, Amanda Leigh, Amanda Renee "Anastasia Marie", Angie M. Brashears, Anna Erishkigal, Anne Mercier, Aurelia Fray, Avery Hart, B.L. Berry, Beantown Bitches Book Page, Belinda Boring, Books and Boys Book Blog, Brandy Ayers, C.M. Steele, Charlie Lee, Chelle C. Craze, Christine Hughes, Courtney Shockey, Darlene Tallman, Diana Marie DuBois, Diva Does 4 Good, Drew Elyse, Elizabeth York, Em Frances, Erin Lee, For the Love of Books & Alcohol, For the Love of Books & Author Events, Ginger Ring, Gwyn McNamee, Heather Anne, Heidi McLaughlin, HJ Bellus, Hollis Canon, Hot Books & Sassy Girls Book Blog, Imy Santiago, Isabella Rose Norton, Isabelle Peterson, J. L. Perry, J.C. Valentine, J.L. Drake, Jaci Wheeler, Jacquelyn Ayres, JaM Book Blog, Jamie Garrett, Jasmine Carolina, JC Santo, Jennifers Taking A Break, Jillian Anselmi, K. Renee, Kate Benson, Kate Lynne, Katharina LeBoeuf, Kay Thorn, Kiarra M. Taylor 
Kirsty-Anne Still, Kristine Dugger, Lauren Firminger, Leigh Ann Lunsford, Little Shop of Readers, LK Collins, Loves Great Reads, Lynnette Brisia, M.C. Webb, M.L. Steinbrunn, M.S. L.R., Maria Vickers, MariaLisa deMora
Marie Skye, Mary B Moore, Mia Kayla, Mignon Mykel, ML Preston, ML Rodriguez, Muriel Garcia, Nicki Rae, Nikki Sparxx, PJ Fiala, Reading by the Book, Reading AfteR Dark, Olivia Savage, Roux Cantrell, Ruthie Henrick, S. Van Horne, Sam Destiny, Shane Robert, Skye Turner, Stacey Johnston, Steph Nuss, Stephanie Rose, Susan’s Books I Like, Sweet & Spicy Reads, T.K. Leigh, Terri E. Laine, The world was hers for the reading, Theresa Hissong, Thia Finn, TJ Penn, Tracy Millosovich, Twinsie Talk Book Reviews, Verlene Landon, Vicki Green, Winter Travers, Zach chopchinski
  

   

Jessica is the creative mind behind Potty Mouth, the best coloring book you will ever get your hands on. She is the visual book cover genius behind many of the bestselling books on the market today.

When she isn't creating mind blowing graphic arts, you can find her at local coffee shops, tattoo parlors or more often than not, at home being mommy to the 6 kids she shares with her husband Scott.






Wednesday, June 14, 2017

*Review* The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan

561456


Synopsis:
IT'S NOT EVERYDAY YOU FIND YOURSELF IN COMBAT WITH A HALF-LION, HALF-HUMAN.

But when you're the son of a Greek god, it happens. And now my friend Annabeth is missing, a goddess is in chains and only five half-blood heroes can join the quest to defeat the doomsday monster.

Oh, and guess what? The Oracle has predicted that not all of us will survive...


My Review:
4 out of 5 stars
★★★★☆

Things moved pretty slowly in this book until about the halfway point, so it took me a little longer than usual to get through this one and found it hard to stay focused on the story. I kept putting the book down and coming back to it later. After things started happening and coming together though, my attention was on the book 100 percent. 

I can't really say much without spoiling things from previous books. I will say that I absolutely cannot stand Luke. It's been a long time since I've disliked a character this much. One of the deaths in this book really hit me hard. I had tears streaming down my face. 

I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

*Book Tour + Guest Post* Fat Girl Begone by D.E Haggerty


Fat Girl Begone by D.E. Haggerty

 
Romantic Comedy
Self Published
Print Length: 235 pages
Publication Date: May 1, 2017
ASIN: B06XTSHJHB

I’m a total mess. My boyfriend dumped me – get this – because I diet too much. Not because I’m fat, mind you. Of course, this spurs me into the diet-fitness-revenge-plan of the century, which leads me to the gym and a scorching hot personal trainer. I even manage to make some cool new friends, including a millionaire if you can believe it. Things are looking up! Naturally, that’s the moment my ex decides he wants me back, the personal trainer asks me out, and my millionaire male buddy decides to throw his hat in the ring. But that’s not enough drama. No, not for me. Because I’ve also lost my job and decided to start my own business. Just call me Ms. Drama.
Warning: Bad language, bumpy roads, and embarrassing moments ahead. But there’s also more than a bit of romance and even, if we’re lucky, love. Fingers crossed.
Not endorsed by or affiliated with any brand of tequila.
******************************************************
Guest Post
How Fat Girl Begone! inspired me
D.E. Haggerty
Authors are always asked about what inspired them to write a particular book or poem or short story. But there’s another story. The story of how a book or character a writer has created can inspire that writer. Fat Girl Begone! is the story of a woman’s struggle with her weight and self-image. There’s also a whole bunch on romance and embarrassing antics, but let’s stick to the weight loss struggle for now.
I’ve always struggled with my weight and self-image. Well, except for those five years in the U.S. Army, but – as you can imagine – I had other issues to occupy my mind then. I’m a total yo-yo dieter. I’m fairly certain the term was actually invented for me. Up, down, half-way up, all the way down, up higher than ever, quarter-way down. My weight yo-yoing up and down did my head in.
When I sat down to write Fat Girl Begone!, I had just moved to The Hague after a 10-year hiatus from the country. I spent over seven years in Germany setting up and then running a Bed & Breakfast. I quickly discovered that wasn’t my thing. When the hubby got a job offer in Turkey, I jumped on the opportunity to go with him. Like, literally, I jumped up and down and then got the move arranged before he could blink.
Living in Istanbul, Turkey was my first experience being a ‘real’ expat. For me that meant a whole lot of eating out and drinking an overabundance of adult beverages. As you can imagine, the string on my yo-yo nearly snapped. Along with a general excitement at being back in a country I now consider home, I was all fired up to get fit and lose weight upon my move to The Hague.
Oh sure, I made some progress. I joined a bunch of tennis groups and a gym and started working out on a regular basis. But when I finally sat down to write Fat Girl Begone! four months after my return, I’d only managed to lose about 10 pounds. I was beyond frustrated as, even with losing 10 pounds, I was still heavier than my previous ‘heaviest weight ever’-amount. That darn yo-yo was taunting me!
That’s where the heroine of Fat Girl Begone!, Everly, came in. I was writing about how Everly needed to stop whining and stick with the program for at least a month. Something clicked in my head. Darn it! I realized I wasn’t listening to my own advice. Once again, I was letting work, volunteer obligations, and my social life get in the way of sticking with my own program.
That’s when I decided to keep up with my diet and fitness regime for as long as I was writing Everly’s story. So, from December 19th until the week before I handed the manuscript off to the editor in March, that’s what I did. I didn’t lose tons of weight, but I am down a total of 22 pounds since last August when I arrived in The Hague. My tennis game has also improved, which makes me super-duper happy. Even more exciting? I pulled my summer clothes out of the closet and they fit. Some are even loose.
Yeah, I still have a ways to go. (Which is why I’ve gone completely nutso and signed up for a 10-kilometer urban run in which we run through the buildings of the downtown of The Hague including up and down stairs.) But I’m getting there. I feel better. I think I look better. And it’s at least partially thanks to Everly. Everly may have never really been a fat girl, but I don’t plan on being one ever again.  

 ******************************************************
Excerpt
Carter is changed into street clothes by the time I join him at the entrance to the gym. He’s wearing jeans with more holes than material and a Star Wars t-shirt with a picture of a storm trooper and the words ‘Chicks dig the uniform’ printed underneath.
“In case anyone was confused about whether you’re a geek or not?” I raise an eyebrow at him as I try not to laugh out loud. Or at least not too loud.
He shrugs. “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
“Okay. A well-rounded geek who can quote Oscar Wilde.”
“That’s Oscar Wilde?” He winks. “Come on. There’s a little bar next door.”
We quickly walk to the bar where I am obviously not the only person enjoying the pleasure of athleisure apparel. “Someone took the whole location, location, location advice and ran with it.” The place is the standard model of a sports bar except it’s not full of men getting off work and catching a game on the big screen. Nope. The place is packed with people telling themselves that the calories in the beer don’t count if they worked out first. At least that’s what I plan on telling myself.
Carter puts his hand on the small of my back and gently leads me to a small high table to the side of the bar. “Tequila?”
I shake my head. “Not unless you want to find out if this high table can support my weight when I decide to dance on it.”
He looks under the table and studies the joints. “Looks like it can take it.”
“Are you an engineer as well as Star Wars aficionado?”
He shrugs. “Does software engineer count?” I ignore his question and ask for a beer.   
“So,” Carter starts as he sets down two extra-large frosty mugs of beer. “What’s going on?”
I shrug and take a long pull on my beer. “It’s just been a really tough week.”
“You looked pretty happy when you finished with your personal trainer on Wednesday.” Is that a jealous tone I detect? I study Carter’s face, but he keeps his expression neutral as he takes a drink from his mug.
“Just some issues at work.”
“Anything I can help with?”
I bark out a laugh. “Not unless you have $150,000 you can part with.”
“I can loan you the money if you like.” He says the words as if it’s no big deal to have access to that kind of money. Who is this guy?
“Do you really have that kind of money?” I slap my hand over my mouth when I realize what I just asked. “Forget I said that. I’m sorry.”
Carter shrugs. “I’m not. It’s no secret that I have some money. If you need it, all you have to do is ask.”
I lean forward and study his face for signs he’s pulling my leg. “Oh my god, you’re not kidding. You do have the money.”
He raises an eyebrow at me. “You really don’t know who I am?”
Is that some kind of trick question? “You’re Carter.” I point to his t-shirt. “Lover of Star Wars. I’m still in suspense about whether you love Star Trek as well.”
“You’ll just have to wait to find out.” He winks before leaning back. He stares at me and remains quiet for longer than is comfortable. Finally, he shrugs. “You may have heard of my company. Carter Enterprises.”
“So, you do love Star Trek!”

About The Author
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I grew-up reading everything I could get my grubby hands on from my mom's Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew to Little Women. When I wasn't flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although on the odd occasion I did manage to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. But being a lawyer really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out being a B&B owner wasn’t my thing either. I polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before deciding to follow the husband to Istanbul where I decided to give the whole writer-thing a go. But ten years was too many to stay away from adopted home. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.
Fat girl Begone! is my eleventh book.

Website: http://dehaggerty.wordpress.com
Blog: https://dehaggerty.wordpress.com/category/mymusings/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dehaggerty
Twitter: https://twitter.com/denaehaggerty
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Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/D.E.-Haggerty/e/B00ECQBURU/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_5?qid=1438239628&sr=8-5
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Purchase Links
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2oK3cly
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/714063
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fat-girl-begone-de-haggerty/1126081046?ean=2940154089385
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/nl/en/ebook/fat-girl-begone
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/fat-girl-begone/id1221566707?mt=11
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34683994-fat-girl-begone


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Monday, June 12, 2017

*Book Blitz* Amnesia by Cambria Hebert


Amnesia
Cambria Hebert
Publication date: June 12th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

I washed ashore in a little lake town.
A place where everyone knows everyone, yet…
No one knows me.
I don’t know me.
If a woman doesn’t know her own name, does she really exist?
I don’t know my natural hair color, my birthdate, or where I live.
I am invisible.
To everyone, to everything, even to myself.
Except to him.
I see the recognition deep in his stare, the way it lingers on my face as if I’m a puzzle he’s desperate to put together.
I just want answers, the truth… knowledge.
His lips are sealed. Still, his eyes beguile me.
I can’t trust anyone, not even myself. Someone wants me dead, the same someone who tried to bury me in a watery grave.
They’ll come for me again… I won’t know their face.
I don’t even know mine.
I am amnesia.

EXCERPT:
Slivers of light pricked my eyelids, which up until this moment seemed far too heavy to lift. As I lay against something soft at my back, thought and awareness barely registered.
The gritty feeling as I struggled to raise my eyelids scraped and burned over my eyeballs as if warning me it wasn’t a good idea. Swallowing past the sandpaper in my throat, I stopped working and lay still. Cognizance slowly came forward in the form of something weighing me down and the echo of footsteps nearby.
Adrenaline jackknifed through me, and my body arched upward with the force of my gasp. The weight of whatever held me caused severe panic to fill me, and I began to fight against it.
“No!” I screamed, flailing about, trying to escape the binds. “Let me go!”
High-pitched beeping filled my ears, and the footsteps I’d heard grew more insistent and much closer.
He was coming!
“No!” I screamed.
Strong hands grabbed my arms and pinned me down. I tried to fight back, but they were much stronger than me. Kicking my legs, I tried to free them, but even more weight came down, holding them still until I was gasping for breath and ready to beg.
“Please!” I pleaded as wetness coated my cheeks. It made me realize the grittiness under my lids was rinsed away, and my eyes sprang open.
A man was leaning over me. He had graying hair and wore some kind of white shirt. The scream that ripped right out of me scared us both.
More hands and voices came out of nowhere, and I thrashed around again.
“Miss!” the man yelled. “Miss, calm down.”
“Get away from me!” I screamed again.
“Miss!” another voice yelled, a woman this time. Turning in her direction, I saw a pair of kind brown eyes staring at me. “We aren’t trying to hurt you.”
I calmed some, but the thundering of my heart made me feel as if I might spiral out of control. “You aren’t?”
“No.” The woman, who was also dressed in white, spoke. “You’re at a hospital. You were in an accident.”
“W-what?” I stammered, collapsing back against the bed, no longer straining against the binds.
“You’re at a hospital.”
“You’re trying to hold me down!” I accused.
“We don’t want you to hurt yourself.” the woman explained. The hands, even the man’s, remained.
“I don’t like it,” I admitted, recoiling.
The man straightened, stepping back. The nurse was slower to withdraw, but she did so after a few seconds.
“My legs,” I rasped. Suddenly, my throat hurt.
“It’s just the blankets.”
A quick glance down proved I was covered with blankets. Between suspicious glances at the people crowding my room (there were four), I gazed around, concluding I was in fact in a hospital.
“I don’t understand,” I admitted, all my weight pressing into the bed.
“It’s okay,” the man replied. He was a doctor, with a name badge and a stethoscope. “It’s completely normal and expected to be confused after the ordeal you’ve been through.”
“What ordeal?” I asked instantly, anxiety pressing in on my ribcage.
“We were hoping you could tell us,” the doctor said.
“What?” My brows furrowed.
The nurse leaned close, over the side of the bed. I noticed the railings were pulled up on each side. It made me feel as if I were in jail. Instantly, I hated it and began shoving at the bars, trying to push them down.
“Okay, hang on,” the nurse said and put the rails down. Once it was done, she pinned me with an insistent stare. “You have to stay still. You can’t thrash around. You’ll rip out your IV and reinjure yourself.”
“What happened to me?” I asked for what felt like the fifteenth time. I looked around at the four people in the room, hoping one of them would just spit it out.
The doctor motioned to two of the nurses and then quietly left the room.
I glanced back at the nurse. “Can you tell us your name?” she asked.
“My name?” I nodded once, then opened my mouth… only nothing came out.
Anxiety spiked in me again; I started to become agitated. “I… don’t know.”
“Calm down.” The nurse reminded me.
How dare she tell me to calm down? I couldn’t even remember my name.
Oh my God, I didn’t know my own name!
“I don’t remember!” I gasped, jerking up into a sitting position. “Why can’t I remember?”
Before I could fling the covers off and jump out of bed, the doctor was there, pinning me back down. “If you don’t calm down, we’ll have to sedate you. I don’t want to do that. You’ve been out long enough.”
I stilled. “How long?”
“A while.” The nurse hedged.
I ignored her. She was terrible with questions. “How long?” I demanded.
“A little over two months,” the doctor replied.
I gasped. “What’s my name?” I yelled.
I’d been here for two months and they were asking for my name? Shouldn’t they know it?
The doctor wasn’t looking at me; he was looking at the nurse, giving her a curt nod. She rushed out of the room.
“No!” I shouted. “No drugs! Please! Tell me my name. I just want to know my name.”
“You need to calm down. You’ve had a great deal of trauma, miss.”
I dropped back against the pillow, boneless. He called me miss. “You don’t know my name, do you?” I asked, meek.
Sensing all my energy was drained away, he moved back. A frown pulled at his lips. “You were brought in with no identification.” He began.
Fear unlike anything I’d ever felt wrapped around my heart and squeezed. I searched every corner of my mind for something. Anything.
There was nothing.
“I don’t remember…” I whispered.
The doctor seemed to soften. “I know this must be very scary, to wake up and be so disoriented.”
I laughed, but it wasn’t a humorous sound. I wished I were disoriented right then.
“You’ve been through a lot. Give it a few days. Now that you’re awake, your mind will catch up and you will remember.”
“I will?” I asked.
“There’s a good chance.”
Disappointment speared me. “If I don’t?”
“Let’s take it one day at a time.” He placated me.
“Easy for you to say. You know your name.”
A ghost of a smile appeared on his face. “Time.” He reminded me.
The nurse came through the door, holding a syringe, and I cringed away.
“I don’t think we’re going to need that,” the doctor told her.
I let out an audible sigh.
He glanced around again. “Now that you’re awake, I’ll get you down for testing.”
“What kind of testing?” I asked.
“Routine stuff for someone who’s been in a coma.”
Nothing about this was routine. I was in coma… for two months. And I didn’t even know my name.
When both the nurse and doctor were gone and I was alone, my eyes overflowed with tears and a formidable feeling of dread crowded inside me. The doctor said there was “a good chance” I would remember my name very soon.
The problem was it wasn’t just my name I needed to remember…
It was everything.




Author Bio:
Cambria Hebert is an award winning, bestselling novelist of more than twenty books. She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major, and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair.
Besides writing, Cambria loves a caramel latte, staying up late, sleeping in, and watching movies. She considers math human torture and has an irrational fear of chickens (yes, chickens). You can often find her running on the treadmill (she’d rather be eating a donut), painting her toenails (because she bites her fingernails), or walking her chorkie (the real boss of the house).
Cambria has written within the young adult and new adult genres, penning many paranormal and contemporary titles. Her favorite genre to read and write is romantic suspense. A few of her most recognized titles are: The Hashtag Series, Text, Torch, and Tattoo.
Cambria Hebert owns and operates Cambria Hebert Books, LLC.



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