Blog Tour, Book Review, Chick - Lit, Contemporary Fiction, Feel Good, Fiction, Literature, Romance, Women's Fiction

Blog Tour: Review – Here Comes The Best Man by Angela Britnell

 

Blog Tour

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Here Comes The Best Man by Angela Britnell

The Blurb!thumbnail_HCTBMCover

Being the best man is a lot to live up to … 

When troubled army veteran and musician Josh Robertson returns home to Nashville to be the best man at his younger brother Chad’s wedding he’s just sure that he’s going to mess it all up somehow.  
 
But when it becomes clear that the wedding might not be going to plan, it’s up to Josh and fellow guest Louise Giles to make sure that Chad and his wife-to-be Maggie get their perfect day.  
 
Can Josh be the best man his brother needs? And is there somebody else who is beginning to realise that Josh could be her ‘best man’ too? 

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07DCDQK6T/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1527549375&sr=8-1&keywords=here+comes+the+best+man+angela+britnell

Amazon US:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DCDQK6T/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1527533459&sr=8-1&keywords=here+comes+the+best+man+angela+britnell

thumbnail_AngelaRONAAwardPubPhotoAuthor Bio – 

Angela grew up in Cornwall, England and returns frequently from her new home in Nashville, Tennessee. A lifelong love of reading turned into a passion for writing contemporary romance and her novels are usually set in the many places she’s visited or lived on her extensive travels. After more than three decades of marriage to her American husband she’s a huge fan of transatlantic romance and always makes sure her characters get their own happy-ever-after. Over the last twelve years she’s published over 20 novels and several short stories for women’s magazines. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Romance Writers of America and the Music City Romance Writers.

Social Media Links – 

www.angelabritnellromance.com

www.facebook.com/angelabritnell

www.twitter.com/angelabritnell

https://www.instagram.com/angelagolleybritnell/ 

My Thoughts!

Well! What can I say about this book. For me this was a last minute addition and I’m so, so glad I got to read it. It did not disappoint at all. If you love your romances and the occasional heart-breaking unearthing of secrets then this is just the book for you!

I am still relatively new to the romance scene of books, as I’ve got older my tastes are changing (must be going soft in my old age!). But they are definitely starting to become a favourite genre of mine. Especially with books like this. This was a lovely quick read and I had it finished in a few days. It was beautifully written and I honestly thought the characters were fantastic.

The instant attractions that happen are electrifying! I think if I was there in the room I’d have felt the electrical charges. Not to mention everything a wedding needs, the meddling mother, the nosy aunt, and the even nosier grandmother. Not to mention a best man that needs to find love and the bride and groom that are made for each other. 

What an electrifying read and I’m giving this book a 4/5 rating.

Please go and check out the other blogs that are involved in this tour! 

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Blog Tour, Book Excerpt, Book Extract, Fiction, Literature, Psychological, Thriller

Blog Tour: Extract – Dortmund Hibernate by C. J. Sutton

Blog Tour Extract

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Dortmund Hibernate by C. J. Sutton

The Blurb! thumbnail_Dortmun-Cover

Psychologist Dr Magnus Paul is tasked with the patients of Dortmund Asylum – nine criminally insane souls hidden from the world due to the extremity of their acts.  
 
Magnus has six weeks to prove them sane for transfer to a maximum-security prison, or label them as incurable and recommend a death sentence under a new government act.  
 
As Magnus delves into the darkness of the incarcerated minds, his own sanity is challenged. Secrets squeeze through the cracks of the asylum, blurring the line between reality and nightmare, urging Magnus towards a new life of crime… 
 
The rural western town of Dortmund and its inhabitants are the backdrop to the mayhem on the hill.  
 
It’s Silence of the Lambs meets Shutter Island in this tale of loss, fear and diminishing hope. 

Purchase Link – http://mybook.to/dortmundhibernate  

thumbnail_Dortmund-cjsuttonAuthor Bio –  

C.J. Sutton is a writer based in Melbourne, Australia. He holds a Master of Communication with majors in journalism and creative writing, and supports the value of study through correspondence. His fictional writing delves into the unpredictability of the human mind and the fears that drive us.  

As a professional writer C.J. Sutton has worked within the hustle and bustle of newsrooms, the competitive offices of advertising and the trenches of marketing. But his interest in creating new characters and worlds has seen a move into fiction, which has always pleaded for complete attention. Dortmund Hibernate is his debut novel.      

Social Media Links –  

https://www.facebook.com/cjsutton.author/ 

https://twitter.com/c_j_sutton 

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/79517906-c-j-sutton 

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The Extract!

The following excerpt from Dortmund Hibernate sees psychologist Dr Magnus Paul listening to the story of Donnie ‘Digits’ Wright, an accountant who killed a group of office staff after a life of normality. Here he presents his story to our protagonist in full detail. Magnus has been tasked with recommending either a transfer to maximum-security prison or a death sentence under a new government act for each of the nine inmates in the Asylum, so he is analysing each case to determine their current state. Donnie presents to Magnus in a calm manner and recites the details of his murders meticulously.  

“I killed my boss with a laptop. Can anyone else say that?”  

Magnus had requested a chair for this case, not wanting to fall to the floor in the face of an inmate again. The letter had confirmed the importance of his task. 

“The guy I had lunch with for three years, every day, had the QWERTY keys from my keyboard embedded in his forehead.” 

Donnie Wright, otherwise known as Digits, was seated cross-legged in his cell, looking up to and nodding at Magnus Paul. His uniform was crisp and neat, no tears or holes in tattered form like that of Chaos. The cell had no inner damage, and the plate Donnie ate off was clean and placed in a container that would be passed to the guards. He even had a plastic fork – a privilege. 

“Rough day then?” asked Magnus, assessing the man. He was in his thirties, wearing a pair of wide-rimmed cheap glasses and nodding as he thought back to the day. His sickness engulfed him. 

“No more than the 3,000 before it. My 3,000th day at Stamps Accounting: 3,000 days of entering the building at 8:55am, lunch in the cafeteria at 12pm, turning off my computer at 4:55pm and making my way down the elevator to catch the 5:21pm train from the station. Same faces, same conversations, same greetings, same work. It was the day job of doom, where the stalking killer was boredom; my life wasting away in that group of cubicles. Typing…letters and numbers were my assistants, pressed and pressed and pressed until Father Time gave them respite. I knew I hated the job…I knew I needed to leave…but I gave in and assumed that my role until retirement was to push those keys for seven hours per day, plus one served at lunch listening to more chatter of work, work, work. One minute I’m doing this, watching the black type fly across the screen into assets and expenses of a client I’d never met, and the next I’ve shoved an Apple mouse down the throat of the guy in the cubicle next to me. He’s choking, his face turning black before anyone really lifts their faces from the monitors that hold them prisoner. To tell you the truth…it was my escape. I’d never thought about killing someone before, but somehow it released me from that hell and put me here…” 

Please do go and check out the other blogs that are holding a tour for Dortmund Hibernate! 

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Blog Tour, Book Excerpt, Book Extract, Erotica, Thriller

Blog Tour: Extract – Unfinished Business by S. C. Cunningham

Blog Tour Extractthumbnail_UnfinishedBusiness

Unfinished Business by S C Cunningham

The Blurb!thumbnail_UnfinishedBusiness-Ebook

He loved being him… he got away with murder. 

She loved being her… until she met him. 
 
The steamy roller coaster ride of psychotic David’s obsession with his childhood sweetheart, a skilled mix of fuelled tension, dark humour and pulsating sex scenes. 
 
With the help of her gutsy friends, fun-loving city girl Tara Warr is the only victim to survive David Howard’s death list. Whilst lounging in prison the hypnotic sexual tour de force enlists an eager recruit, seduces a prison warden and relocates to the sunnier climes of Mexico, a freedom short-lived when his charred remains are found in the fire of a plastic surgeon’s clinic. The police cease their search, finally Tara and her friends can relax, David is dead.  
 
Laughter soon turns to fear when he communicates via Tara’s laptop that he is very much alive, knows their every move and is ready to finish what he started. He is among them, but who? He has a brand new face.  

Tara has had enough, time to turn the tables and make him suffer.  A woman unafraid of death is a dangerous thing. Has David finally met his match? 

Purchase from Amazon   

USA     

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Unfinished-Business-David-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B00B623ABC/ 

UK          

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Unfinished-Business-David-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B00B623ABC/ 

thumbnail_UnfinishedBusinessAuthorPocAbout The Author 

British Author S C Cunningham (The Penance List, Unfinished Business and The Deal) creates psychological and paranormal thrillers with a skilled mix of fueled tension, dark humor, and pulsating sex scenes. Her works offer a fresh level of sincerity and authority, rare in fiction. 

Cunningham writes what she knows. Abducted as a child, she survived; and every night for months afterward, she prayed to God, asking for a deal. This personal journey sparked the fuse behind the intriguing and riveting fictional world she portrays in The Deal, the first in the Fallen Angel Series. Twenty years later she crossed paths with a violent serial attacker, thus sowing the seed for her thrillers The Penance List and Unfinished Business part of The David Trilogy. She is currently working on Book III For My Sins. 

An ex-model, British born of Irish roots, she married a rock musician and has worked in the exciting worlds of rock music, film, sports celebrity management and as a Crime Investigator for the Police – Wanted & Absconder Unit, Intelligence Analyst, Major Crime Team, Investigations Hub.  

Having worked in the music to film industry, she writes with film in mind. The Penance List has been adapted to film screenplay. 

Social Media Links –  

Website        – http://www.sccunningham.com/ 

Twitter         – https://twitter.com/SCCunningham8 

Facebook     – https://www.facebook.com/pg/sccunningham8/ 

Instagram    – https://www.instagram.com/siobhancunningham8/ 

LinkedIn     – https://www.linkedin.com/in/sccunningham/ 

Google+      – https://plus.google.com/+SCCunninghamAuthor 

Amazon Author Page USA – https://www.amazon.com/S-C-Cunningham/e/B002L3ZC2U/ 

Amazon Author Page UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/S-C-Cunningham/e/B002L3ZC2U/ 

Giveaway – Win a signed copy of Unfinished Business (Open Internationally) 

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize. 

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494103/?  

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The Extract!

THE DAVID TRILOGY 

by S C Cunningham 

‘THE PENANCE LIST’, ‘UNFINISHED BUSINESS’, ‘FOR MY SINS’. 

The Story So Far; 

THE PENANCE LIST 

by S C Cunningham 

He’d waited long enough; it was now her turn to die. He hadn’t always been evil; the grown-ups made him this way. 

Beautiful, fun-loving career girl, Tara Warr, and her glamorous, racy girlfriends Helen and Josie, meet regularly for mischievous lunches, dissecting disastrous love affairs and the complicated science of men. If they looked out the window of their restaurant, they would see a menacing camera lens focused on their every move. 

Click, clickClick, click. 

They have no idea that Tara is on a revenge list, that her irreverent world of fun is about to be shattered, they are far too busy juggling messy private lives to notice her stalker. 

Tara works in advertising with old school friend and talented fashion photographer Seb Maloney, she is having an illicit affair with high profile client, aristocratic Italian football star, Franco Rossellini.  Her best friend, and Seb’s ex, heiress Helen Howard, is a dangerous mix of low self-esteem, boredom and wealth; she is running out of control, searching for love, affirmation shagging anything with a pulse. And girlfriend Josie James is not the successful-something-in-the-city she would have her friends believe, but a high class hooker exhausted with the lies, sleaze and shame of her double-life.  

Flashback twenty years; Helen was always jealous of her younger brother David, he was beautiful and clearly their mothers favourite, she bullied him mercilessly. Her best friend Tara, would often find herself stepping in to defend the little waif of a boy.  

At the age of seven David attended a boarding school, but his beauty and vulnerability were a curse, he became the Headmasters ‘special one’,  everybody wanted a piece of the cute little choirboy, he was vulnerable, easy prey. 

To survive the abuse he fantasised that Tara was his guardian angel, that one day they would be together. He found solace in planning their future. To get away from the Headmaster he would often hide in the science lab, learning how to use a scalpel and perfect the dissection of small creatures, the God-like power eased his shame and gave him back control. 

One day, he plucked up courage and wrote to Tara declaring his undying love. She saw him as ‘just’ her best friends little brother. She didn’t feel the same way and politely spurned his advances.  

He received her devastating refusal letter on the day he learned of his mother’s death, a car crash. Afraid and alone, losing the only two people in the world that cared for him, he finally cracked. Forming a hard scarab shell he turned inward, losing all form of empathy and right or wrong.  He wrote a revenge list and vowed that when he was big enough, old enough, he would take the lives of all those that had hurt him. The Penance List kept him strong throughout the years of abuse – a killer was formed.  

Years later, all grown up into a tall, dark, stunningly handsome bisexual tour de force, he uses inherited monies, stealth-like cunning and a vivid imagination to keep one step ahead of the police and hunt down his tormentors. We understand the boy, but fear the man. 

Tara is the last name on the list, he still loves her dearly so lets her live, for now. She becomes a part of his life. Unbeknownst to her, he moves into the apartment above hers and sets up cameras and microphones to spy on her.  He stalks her every move, collects pictures of her, visits her at night, drugs her and makes love to her. She has no idea, she doesn’t even remember the little boy from school, and Helen never mentions him, which is no surprise as they never did get on. 

 When Tara meets Franco, she falls in love. David realises that he has lost her for good, but if he can’t have her, no one can, it is time for her to die. He will make her beg, feel humiliation and loss as he did all those years ago.  

He sends intimate images of the couple viral, ruining the advertising campaign they are working on and angering her bosses, she loses her job, her relationship and her confidence; he swoops in for the kill.  

 Gullible Seb has always had a crush on David, from school. David seduces him and uses him as bait to trap Tara. She falls for his plan; he locks her up for three drug hazed days, just long enough to ‘break’ her spirit. He wines and dines her, makes love to her, instils a mix of fear and lust, she becomes his adoring puppet.As he cleans his scalpels and prepares to take her life, her brave, bumbling friends, led by Franco’s ex SAS chauffer, Michael, burst into his apartment thwarting his plans. David is arrested and sent to Belmarsh Prison. Tara ends up in hospital. As she sleeps off the drugs, best friend Helen walks around her hospital bed to whisper close into her ear. ‘Next time we’ll get you, BITCH’.

Please do head on over to the other blogs that are hosting this tour!

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ARC, Blog Tour, Book Review, Chick - Lit, Fiction, Romance, Women's Fiction, Young Adult

Blog Tour: Review – The Guilt of a Sparrow by Jess B. Moore

Blog Tour

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The Guilt of a Sparrow by Jess B Moore

The Blurb!thumbnail_TheGuiltofaSparrow_cover

Magnolia Porter has spent the entirety of her twenty-four years satisfying her mother’s guilt. She was the good girl to her trouble making brother, Lucian – the one left behind to hold her mother together after he died. She is an invisible girl in a small town carrying the burden of her family’s loss and pain. Maggie was nobody trying desperately to be somebody.   

Cotton MacKenna is the one with the temper. Of the five MacKenna boys, he’s the one most likely to throw the first punch. Never mind all those fights were a decade ago, all in an attempt to save a sweet girl from her bullying older brother. Now, Cotton has grown up, with his own photography business, yet as the fourth in the line of MacKennas, he would only ever be known for his past. Time for a change.   

Maggie and Cotton are more than the labels placed on them, put there by their families, the town, and themselves.   

A meddling best friend. Bluegrass jams. Small town gossiping. Love, loss, and family ties. Learning how to be who you are outside of who you were told to be. With humor and plenty of romance, of course. 

Purchase Link – http://mybook.to/guiltsparrow

thumbnail_fullsizeoutput_b4aaAuthor Bio –
Jess B Moore is a writer of love stories.  When she’s not writing, she’s busy mothering her talented and stubborn children, reading obscene numbers of books, and knitting scarves she’ll likely never finish.

Jess lives in small town North Carolina with her bluegrass obsessed family.  She takes too many pictures of her cat, thinking the Internet loves him as much as she does.  She is a firm believer of swapping stories over coffee or wine, and that there should always be dark chocolate involved.

The Guilt of a Sparrow is her debut novel combining her interests in family, music, and small towns into a thoughtful tale of growing up and falling in love.  Her second book, Fierce Grace, follows similar themes in a whole new way, and will be available later in 2018.

Please leave a review to tell other readers what you thought.  Reviews are everything for writers!

Social Media Links –
Website:  https://jessbmoore.com
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/authorjessb
Twitter:  http://twitter.com/authorjessb
Instagram:  http://instagram.com/authorjessb 

My Thoughts!

Magnolia Porter really had been living in the shadow of her brother. She didn’t know how to become her own person, That is until the MacKenna brothers brought her out of her shell. They helped her to bring down her barriers. I loved this book and the way in which it was written. Going back and forth between Magnolia and Cotton. Letting the readers know what they were both feeling and why they were feeling it.

The friendship that sparked and blossomed between Magnolia and Dominic was beautiful. He was there for her no matter what. A bit like her guardian angel.

I love how this is about relabelling who you are and getting rid of the opinions of a small town community and the past. This is heart felt, fun, vibrant and sexy. Did I mention the heat between Magnolia and Cotton? Wow!!! I could of hit Cotton a few times (trust me).

I think my favourite character has to be Dominic MacKenna though. He knew what they both and forced them to go for it. No matter the consequences.

I’m giving this book a firm 4/5 rating.

Please head on over to the other blogs that are hosting this blog tour!

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Blog Tour, Crime, Promo

Blog Tour: Promo – Riding Shotgun by Andy Rausch

Blog Tour (1)

RidingShotgunRiding Shotgun: And Other American Cruelties by Andy Rausch

The Blurb!shotguncover2

RIDING SHOTGUN AND OTHER AMERICAN CRUELTIES is a unique collection of quirky, Tarantinoesque crime novellas, representing three very different sub-genres. In the first story, “Easy-Peezy,” a band of elderly Old West bank robbers return to their wicked ways robbing banks in the 1930s John Dillinger era. The second story, “Riding Shotgun,” is a bitter tale about a man pushed to the limits of human endurance and forced to take up arms to protect those he loves. The third tale, “$crilla,” is an urban crime fantasy in which a fledgling hip-hop group kidnaps a record mogul in the hopes of finally making the kind of loot they’ve always dreamed of. 

Purchase Links: 

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/Riding-Shotgun-Other-American-Cruelties-ebook/dp/B073RT1353/
Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Riding-Shotgun-Other-American-Cruelties-ebook/dp/B073RT1353/

Author Bio photome

Andy Rausch is a freelance film journalist, author, and celebrity interviewer. He has published more than twenty books on the subject of popular culture, including The Films of Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro, Making Movies with Orson Welles (with Gary Graver), and The Cinematic Misadventures of Ed Wood (with Charles E. Pratt, Jr.). His work has appeared in Shock Cinema, both Screem and Scream magazines, Senses of Cinema, Diabolique, Creative Screenwriting, Film Threat, Bright Lights Film Journal, and Images: A Journal of Film and Popular Culture. He has written several works of fiction including Mad World, Elvis Presley: CIA Assassin, Riding Shotgun and Other American Cruelties, and the short story collection Death Rattles. He has also worked as a screenwriter, producer, and actor on numerous straight-to-video horror films.

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/writerrausch1

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Blog Tour, Book Excerpt, Book Extract, Crime, Fiction, Psychological, Thriller, Trigger Warnings

Blog Tour: Extract – Through Hollowed Lands by Thomas Paul Burgess

Blog Tour Extract

Through Hollowed Lands by Thomas Paul Burgess

The Blurb!38372459

Set in the US on 11th September 2001, Through Hollow Lands tells the story of George Bailey, a charming but feckless opportunist who finds himself trapped in the seeming purgatory of Las Vegas. He is followed there by Lou Plutus – his boss and a paedophile pornographer – from whom he has stolen a ‘Kompromat’ video of great importance to the Russian mafia. George un-expectantly encounters Jaffé Losoko there, a naïve, young Ethiopian woman whom he had got pregnant some six years before and arranged for an abortion. She now works in the Vegas sex trade.To escape, George must face his Russian pursuers – the terrifying ‘Triptych’ – head on and make amends to Jaffé. Beset by angels and demons, truth-tellers and liars, he must pay for the sins of his past in order to find salvation beyond Vegas.The book explores the trauma visited upon the American psyche in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. Through Hollow Lands is the author’s compelling second novel, following the critically acclaimed White Church, Black Mountain.

Purchase Link

Amazon UK Link – Here

1063650Author Bio 

Dr. Thomas Paul Burgess holds degrees from the University of Ulster, Cork and Oxford and has been published widely in the areas of cultural identity and community. He is a songwriter with his critically acclaimed band, Ruefrex. He has worked as a commentator for a number of national newspaper publications and broadcasters and is currently a senior lecturer at University College, Cork, Ireland.

Twitter : https://twitter.com/PolBrugha

The Extract!

George Bailey lobbed the tightly crumpled ball of paper at the wastebasket again. It ran around the rim and bounced back out, rolling across the road maps and flight tickets strewn around

the floor and came to rest at his foot.

He stared at it with a mixture of malice and regret, then nudged it a little with his instep, before bringing the full weight of his suede loafer down on it. It disappeared underfoot, only to spring up again when he released it. It looked no different than it had when she’d first balled it and bounced it off his forehead in exasperated rage.

He sighed heavily for the umpteenth time in the two hours since she had left. Sitting on the edge of the bed, head propped in one hand, he reached down and picked up the offending item. He smoothed the wrinkled page out on his knee and read aloud the words – printed in an elaborate serif font – that he now knew off by heart.

Because I reached deep down inside you,

and struggled with the lock on the flimsy picket fence, 

that separates your passion from your will, you ran away from me.

And running still, you gulp,

the oxygen of common sense and reason. Reasoning for the best.

That gate’s now firmly shut.

Be careful that the hinges do not rust.

It  was supposed to be a love poem, something with which to  win her back, something that showed off his new sensitive side. Something he hoped Beatrice would embrace, along with the flight itinerary and the hotel reservations. A trip out West and the promise of a new beginning for them. Love lost, love found.

It had completely the opposite effect.

The lesbian chick, Kim, the flat-chested girl with retainers  and piercings who worked weekends with him at Lou’s Video Emporium, thought George’s idea to write a poem was ‘like, sooooo romantic’. He was a little weirded out by Kim: she had a tattoo of a naked Madonna on her thigh but puzzlingly always covered up the singer’s breasts with a flesh-toned sticking plaster. She was studying literature at college and had loaned him some books – W. B. Yeats, Shelley, and John Donne – but it was Kim who ended up writing most of his poem under his tentative, awkward instruction, drawing on some past heartbreak of her own involving a married woman.

As George read the poem again, he began to understand why it had been so spectacularly counterproductive. He could see more of his own hand in it than he’d intended. Had it all really just slipped in there subliminally? The veiled threat, the implication that he was stronger than her, that he could survive a separation better than her. That she was the lucky one to have him. But wasn’t that the truth? Hadn’t she always signalled her acquiescence with silence and tears?

The TV in the Comfort Inn Motel room blared on. Pyramids of tanned, leggy teens, toothy and blond, extolling the virtues of The Southern Star Cheerleaders Boot Camp in Alabama. Some podgy, balding instructors with whistles and clipboards leering and clapping from the sidelines. Nice work if you could get it, George thought.

Beatrice was from Alabama, of Sunday go-to-meeting Baptist stock, father an industrial shelving salesman, mother a home- and baby-maker. Bee had five siblings who lived within a loud holler of their mother’s voice. George had taken her away from all of that. He had played on her conventional upbringing and strong family values to lead her on a wild goose chase across seven towns and six states in as many years.

She had variously stood by her man in Little Rock, Georgia; Jackson, Tennessee; Gainesville, Florida; and now New York, New York as George meandered from one dark night of the soul to the next, seeking personal redemption by taking half-baked shots at some kind of career – film school, creative writing school, dolphin trainer school, bereavement counselling college. They’d all seemed like great ideas at the time.

It was Beatrice who held down temping jobs in dead-end secretarial positions and managed the bills so his tuition fees could be met, Beatrice who stocked the refrigerator and paid the rent. She’d taken to her bed in their apartment since their break- up the day before. That was why George was holed up in a motel – giving her her ‘space’ like she asked – but he’d persuaded her to come see him for one last stab at a reconciliation.

The cleaning cart rumbled by the window again. He heard a sigh and the sound of sucking teeth. The maid was clearly becoming annoyed at the ‘Do not disturb’ sign that still hung on George’s door. It was 4:37 p.m. and his blinds remained drawn.

The high-pressure shower was beating off the plastic bathroom curtain. He’d turned it on twenty minutes earlier but couldn’t convince his hungover bones to stand beneath the stinging needles of water. The sound made him smile. He associated it with Beatrice crooning Elvis songs in her Southern drawl while she soaped and shampooed for what seemed like an eternity, oblivious to all but her happy ablutions. He would stand by the bathroom door waiting to hear her attempts to affect the King’s distinctive riff – ‘uh-huh-huh’ – it made him laugh out loud every goddamn time.

Another jet on approach to Newark Airport rattled the window frame.

George slid onto the floor, his back against the bed, and began to sob. He didn’t know why. Deep inhalations of breath, gagging occasionally – a sound that no one would hear. He pulled the tickets closer to him with an outstretched foot: George Bailey, Beatrice Hatcher, United Airlines, Flight 93, Newark to San Francisco, departing 8:40 a.m., September 11th, 2001.

He flipped through the flight boarding cards and the car hire vouchers for the road trip down the Pacific Coast highway to LA, then on into Vegas. It was meant to be a surprise for Beatrice – the trip of a lifetime, finishing up in the city of second chances – all paid for online with her Visa and American Express cards. That would be a surprise to her too. He’d thought he could maybe pay it off by winning at the tables or roulette wheels. Besides, they’d be back home before the credit card bills arrived. And she’d have forgiven him by then for borrowing her cards; she always forgave him.

Except this time, it seemed. This time there was the not inconsiderable matter of Jaffé Losoko, the young African student whom George had befriended, fucked and left with child. This time, it felt very different.

Jaffé Losoko was a strikingly attractive young Ethiopian woman who had moved into their apartment block when they lived in Florida some years back. At the time, George, as always between jobs, spent his days in the cinema at the nearby mall or aimlessly browsing the internet at home.

He had established, through casual conversation with Jaffé, that she was claiming political asylum in the US while studying here. Her only contact with her family back in Africa was via the internet.

George liked Jaffé. Her sunny disposition, flawless ebony skin and perfect bone structure, her killer smile and broken English caused him to feel somewhat protective toward her, an unusual sentiment for him. That feeling deepened when she confided that a return to her country would mean certain imprisonment, rape and possibly death due to the political activities of her two older brothers.

Like most Americans, George engaged with Jaffé’s plight, albeit superficially, on an uninformed, wholly personal dimension. The fact that latent or open hostilities affected many African nations was of little or no interest to him. It didn’t take long, however, before he was offering the young woman access to the computer in their apartment rather than have her pay for it at the mall.

He began to take an interest in her appearance, suggesting  that she abandon her long-sleeved, ankle-length dresses for more suggestive figure-hugging attire. Jaffé explained that her Muslim beliefs forbade the exposure of her perfect skin. But George waxed lyrical for an hour about how American women were graceful, distinctive, enlightened and self-regulating in these matters. Besides, how could she stand the Floridian heat in get-ups that looked like they’d been cut from old curtains?

In bed, Jaffé was tentative but trusting, naive but willing, shy but emboldened.

‘Teach me things,’ she pleaded, and lifted the duvet with one arm to invite him under.

He still sometimes thought about the shiny ebony of her long firm legs, her full breasts and hard nipples, the whites of her eyes and her white teeth standing out against the black of her skin, the elaborate cascade of her coiled and braided hair as it framed her face and fell around her shoulders. She was shaved smooth.

He had abandoned all previous boudoir conventions with Jaffé. She neither wanted nor required them. She identified early on what she liked and, after three or four afternoon ‘fact-finding’ sessions, she would roll onto her front, arch her beautifully smooth, rounded ass-cheeks toward him and smile over her shoulder. That smile. Pitched somewhere between  innocence and awakening.

‘It’s sweet,’ she would moan, her intonation emerging from the dark continent in breathless discovery. ‘It’s sweet!’ Her full lips would part in pleasure and the tip of her tongue poke out, pink, between her perfect teeth.

When he’d looked at her lying asleep beside him, so young and blameless, he had almost believed they might have a life together, that their diametrically opposed worlds might be joined in an idyll of him teaching her and her soaking it all up. He would provide, nourish and stimulate her; she would care for him. No complicated power relationships, no emasculating; gender equality, man and woman. Simple.

This delusion lasted for as long as it took George to drunkenly boast of his conquest to some casual acquaintances in the local sports bar.

‘You ol’ dawg! How old did you say she was?’

‘You know what they say, Georgie – once ya have black, ya can never go back.’

‘Mick Jagger says “Black girls just wanna get fucked all night. I just don’t have that much jam.” You got that kinda jam, Georgie?’ It wasn’t long before he’d stopped using condoms, trying – at first desperately, then carelessly – to pull out in time, the danger making it hotter. And it was so very hot to be inside her: she was hotter than anything he’d ever known, as searing as sub-Saharan

Africa.

Four months later, a noticeably crestfallen Jaffé  informed him that, although she was some weeks late with her period,  she had enrolled in a regime of vigorous physical exercise at the local gym and was confident this would alleviate the problem. George, horrified, told her that he wasn’t so sure her proposed course of action would work. So she sought to reassure him by cataloguing a list of barbaric schemes, each more extreme than the next, that might be brought into play to dislodge the … inconvenience.

He just couldn’t allow her to take such drastic measures. Even for him, amoral and without scruples, what she was suggesting seemed an altogether different class of indiscretion, beyond the pale. Abortion. Termination. Even when it was done legally it was still baby-killing. His gut ached with the worry of it, but he had to go along with what Jaffé wanted.

That evening he had borrowed Beatrice’s car and drove it to an almost-empty multistorey parking lot. There, buckled in tight, he threw the VW into reverse and slammed the rear end into   the nearest concrete pillar. Then, having psyched himself up on the way home to give the performance of his life, George ranted convincingly to Beatrice about the motherfucking asshole who had rammed into her parked car and left the scene of the crime without detection. He went so far as to report the incident, within earshot of Beatrice, to the speaking clock.

By next morning, he had a cheque made out to cash and a grateful Beatrice who, as she ran out to catch the bus for work, thanked him for taking care of the repairs.

Jaffé met him at a bohemian coffee bar near the university.  George was at once both dismayed and relieved to find that she was having second thoughts. Perhaps she could have the child after all and George could help raise it by providing funds, she suggested. Or maybe she could go back to Africa clandestinely, where her family might help out.

This presented George with a new dilemma. Quite prepared  to pay the bill fiscally, if not morally or emotionally, he was now being asked to decide upon the life and death of his unborn child and its mother. His emotions swung backwards and forwards like a pendulum. It was more responsibility in his adult life than he could ever have imagined and it petrified him.

He had waxed lyrical for an hour on how American women were strong, individualistic, liberated and independent. He spoke of the promising career she had in front of her and how this would be put in jeopardy by the responsibilities of motherhood. He reminded her of the high expectations of her parents back in the Third World. But, he said, he didn’t want to sway her – oh no, this must be her call.

When he had finished, Jaffé agreed that this was indeed her decision and her decision alone. George felt better about that, as if it partially exonerated him from what was going to happen next. His alma mater, St Augustine’s, cast a long shadow. The Catholic- schooled George believed that if he died with venial sins on his soul, then he would only go to purgatory. But a mortal sin such as abortion? Well, it was straight to eternal damnation, do not pass Go, do not collect $200.

He knew this wasn’t the end of it. Not by a long shot. Somehow, somewhere, there would have to be atonement, restitution made,

penance endured, in this life or the next. But this did not prevent him from suggesting to Jaffé that they do it bareback, just one last time. After all, with her already being pregnant and all … well, what was there to lose? He would, of course, provide the money for the termination – he pushed a brown manila envelope across the Formica table – but he couldn’t be responsible for the outcome. That was important to him.

She decided there and then to attend a local clinic she had found in the Yellow Pages, and within three weeks had left the apartment block and disappeared, much to George’s guilty but considerable relief.

A legacy of the whole sorry episode was that George would never again eat shrimp salad, the crustaceans resembling too closely, in his mind, small foetuses.

Beatrice drove her car around for months afterwards, a piece of string holding down the flapping, clunking trunk door.

‘Goddamn mechanics … buncha crooks. You shoulda heard what they wanted to charge,’ he told her. ‘I won’t pay that price … I simply won’t pay it on principle.’

The question of the return of Beatrice’s repair money never came up again.

George threw the tickets onto the table, dried his eyes with a sleeve and lay on top of the bed. How had it come to this?

Please do go and take a look at all the other blogs hosting this tour throughout the week.

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Adult Romance, Blog Tour, Contemporary Fiction, Literature, Promo

Blog Tour: Promo – Greek Millionaire, Unruly Wife by Sun Chara

Blog Tour (1)

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Greek Millionaire, Unruly Wife by Sun Chara

The Blurb! thumbnail_GreekMillionaireHR

A tempestuous fling…a marriage…a betrayal? 

When Michalis Leonadis’ bride jumps ship at the first sign of rough waters, he’s annoyed. When she costs him a marriage and a billion-dollar deal, he’s furious; but when he discovers she ditched him whilst harboring a secret…he’s out for revenge. 

Ex-model, Julia Armstrong gave up everything for Michalis but when she catches him with another woman, crushed, she jets out of his life. The proud Greek blasts back into her world seeking retribution—in exchange for a divorce, he demands she relinquish the one thing she cannot. Her daughter. Only one other bargaining chip remains…Julia herself. 

Purchase Link – http://hyperurl.co/a5rm8c 

thumbnail_Sunphoto-1Author Bio –  Sun Chara, an Amazon top 100 bestseller, writes sexy, hip ‘n fun contemporary romance for HarperImpulse. JABBIC winner, Manhattan Millionaire’s Cinderella launched her writing career, spinning the ‘global millionaires’ series’. She makes her home in southern California, and has appeared on stage/film to rave reviews in How the Other Half Loves, General Hospital, and McGee and Me. With a Masters Degree in Education, and membership in SAG/AFTRA and Romance Writers of America, she enjoys sipping Frappuccinos topped with whipped cream/sprinkles, and dancing on the beach…making everyday a celebration!  

Social Media Links –  

https://facebook.com/suncharaauthorpage  https://twitter.com/sunchara3                                                                                      

Giveaway – Win an e-copy of Greek Millionaire, Unruly Wife and a Greek style bracelet (Open Internationally) 

The design of bracelet will vary depending on where in the world you live.  But both are beautiful nonetheless.

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize. 

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494100/?  

Be sure to go and check out the other blog tour posts on the other blogs! 

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