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#BookBlitz ~ Sugar, We’re Going Down by @MHSoars #Giveaway @XpressoTours

 

 

Sugar, We’re Going Down
M.H. Soars
(Love Me, I’m Famous #2)
Publication date: March 20th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

EMOTIONAL. CAPTIVATING. SEXY.

The long-awaited story of the incorrigible bad boy rockstar and the feisty woman who brought him down to his knees.

They say nothing compares to the first kiss. That sentence needs to be amended. Nothing compares to the first kiss from Oliver Best. I knew in the moment our lips touched that the cocky rockstar would be forever imprinted in my mind. I also knew that loving him would be my destruction. And yet, love him I did.

Oliver Best, former rockstar, heir to one of the largest fortunes in Great Britain, and the country’s most infamous bad boy.

Saylor Blue Carter, college drop-out, lead singer of a struggling band, not a penny to her name.

When they met, it was hate at first sight. Oliver was an arrogant ass. Saylor was a cold hearted bitch. These were the thoughts they had for each other. Until that kiss. That life altering, earth shattering, nuclear kiss. They knew what that kiss meant. They knew anything between them would be explosive and without hope for a happily ever after. So they vowed to forget, they tried to stay away. But now with their best friends’ wedding approaching, all bets are off.

*This is Part One of a 3-Part story.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

I brace myself for the impact, but as soon as Oliver turns around and my gaze collides with his electric blue eyes, I know I’ll have to bring my A-game if I’m to survive being near him. I haven’t seen the man in six months, but just being under his scorching gaze is enough to make me relive our fiery kiss and crave for more. I’ve never felt this crazy fixation for anyone before. It’s like an ice cold fever that won’t quit, a yearning that makes by body tingle all over in anticipation.

Oliver’s gaze skates over my body deliberately slowly, and a satisfied grin is plastered on his smug face when he focuses on my eyes again.

“Hello, there,” he says.

“What are you doing here?” I snap and my rude reply earns me a frown from Sebastian. Shit, I really need to work on tempering my bitchiness when I’m nervous.

Oliver chuckles. “I see you’re still mad at me. I’m kind of honored.”

I cross my arms in front of my chest and bite my tongue to keep from saying anything else that will give away how much Oliver is affecting me.

Someone touches my arm and with a side glance I see it’s Liv. “Be nice, Blue. I can’t have my maid of honor bickering with the best man.”

My shoulders sag as I let out a heavy sigh. I’ve never been part of a wedding party before so I have no idea how much interaction there is between the maid of honor and the best man. I hope it’s minimal. Oliver keeps staring at me like he can read my mind. It’s unnerving.

“I gotta make a call.” I turn on my heel and walk away, trying to keep my steps slow and relaxed. But all I want to do is sprint back to the house. That’s how badly Oliver’s presence is turning my head around. I hate this.

Once inside, I veer to the powder room. The make-a-call excuse is terrible, but I need a moment to recover. Inside the small room, I stare at my reflection in the mirror and count to ten in my head. I tell my heart to calm the fuck down and to stop galloping at full speed. I feel like a teenager suffering from her first crush and that’s not an emotional state I want to revisit.

I splash cold water on my flushed face and redo my loose braid. After taking a couple of deep breaths and squaring my shoulders, I can almost pretend I’m ready to go back out. I refuse to let Oliver’s presence keep me from spending quality time with my best friend.

I place one foot out of the door when his voice startles me. “How was that call?”

I jump on the spot, placing a hand over my chest. “Jesus. Did you follow me?”

Oliver is leaning nonchalantly against the wall with his arms crossed. I notice for the first time what he’s wearing, a black T-shirt that highlights his muscled chest and arms. He is also blonder than I remember. But it’s his devious mouth that makes me lose the ability to form coherent thoughts. God, I want to kiss him again.

He pushes himself off of the wall and moves closer. I hold my ground, feigning a pissed off stance. He can’t know how much I crave his nearness.

“What if I did?” he whispers in my ear, making my skin break out in goose bumps.

“I’d say I don’t appreciate stalkers.”

Oliver takes a step back and stares at me. I wish I knew what he is thinking.

“You’ve changed your hair. I kind of liked the mermaid colors.”

I touch my white blonde locks before narrowing my eyes at Oliver. “Did you just follow me to comment on my hair?”

“I want to clear the air around us. I know that we started on the wrong foot—”

“You don’t say,” I cut him off and Oliver flattens his lips.

“But we’ve ended on a very interesting note,” he finishes his sentence with a smirk.

I cross my arms and keep on glaring at the infuriating man. “Don’t get any fancy ideas. That kiss meant nothing and there won’t be a repeat.”

He steps into my personal space again. “Are you sure? I thought that was a wicked kiss. It’s definitely worth an encore.”

I push him away. “It’s been months. Get over yourself. Don’t you have a line of ravenous groupies dying for your attention?”

“Ravenous groupies?” He chuckles. “The images you paint in my head, Saylor. Then you blame me for getting fancy ideas.”

“Listen, Oliver. I don’t know how long you’re in town for, but I would like for us to try to act amicable whenever we’re forced together thanks to our friends’ wedding. So you’d better quit with the sexual innuendo.”

Oliver sighs loudly like what I just asked him is a huge, inconvenient favor. “You’re killing me here, Saylor. Do you know how hard it will be for me to look at you and not want you?”

I suck in a breath as my heart lurches in my chest. It takes me a moment to find my ground again and answer him.

“Try your best,” I say, my voice thin and without substance.

Oliver reaches out and takes a strand of my hair, letting it slide through his fingers. I remain frozen on the spot.

“Maddening, but I will.” He drops my hair and takes a couple of steps back. “And since I’m being completely honest here, I’m seriously considering making California home.”

Oliver goes back to the party outside, leaving me alone to digest the news. Why does it bother me so much that he wants to move to the same state as me? It’s not like we’ll ever see each other besides when we’re doing wedding stuff. What annoys me the most is how my heart hasn’t gotten the memo yet that Oliver is a bad idea. It celebrates furiously in my chest, like it has just discovered how to beat.

 

Author Bio:

M. H. Soars always knew creative arts were her calling but not in a million years did she think she would become an author. With a background in fashion design she thought she would follow that path. But one day, out of the blue, she had an idea for a book. One page turned into ten pages, ten pages turned into a hundred, and before she knew, her first novel, The Prophecy of Arcadia, was born.

M. H. Soars resides in Florida with her husband and baby daughter. She is currently working on the Arcadian Wars series, and the Love Me, I’m Famous series.

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#BookBlitz ~ Rough by @SybilBartel #Giveaway @XpressoTours

 

 

Rough
Sybil Bartel
(Thrust, #2)
Publication date: March 20th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Jared

I’m not your boyfriend. I’m not the guy next door. I don’t even play nice.

My hands twisting in your hair, my whispered demand in your ear—I’m the fantasy you’ll wish you never had.

When I’m through with you, every inch of your body will know where I’ve been. You won’t crave more, you’ll beg for it. Because I’m not just the cocky smile with military hardened muscles you paid five grand for—I’m the experience you’ll never forget.

One night with me and you’ll know exactly why women pay me to be rough.

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EXCERPT:

Desire hit me in the chest like a blast wave, then shot south. “You shouldn’t be here.” She didn’t look like she’d sounded on the phone.

“I’m sorry.” Breathy, her voice wavered. “I thought you said—”

“I know what I said.” I’d replayed every second of our conversation earlier. I’d fixated on it because this woman wasn’t like any other client I’d ever spoken to. She didn’t flirt or make one suggestive remark. She was exactly how she was now. But a hundred times more innocent.

She drew in a breath through her sexy full lips, then straightened. “Okay, well, you said we should meet. We did. Thank you for your time.” Slim fingers reached behind her and she fumbled with the handle of the front door.

I stared at her sweet mouth. “You know what I think?”

“I’m sure you have many thoughts, Mr. Brandt.”

My name on her lips sounded too damn polite. “Only two right now that matter.” I stepped closer, wondering why the hell I’d told her my last name.

She pulled the handle, the door opened a few inches and she stumbled.

“Careful.” I caught her arm and her hand landed on my stomach.

She sucked in a surprised breath. “I’m so sorry.” She bit her bottom lip and pressed her legs together as she stared at her hand. “It was, um, the door.” She flexed her fingers over my abs.

I leaned closer. “Do you know what separates fear from desire?”

Her chest rapidly rose and fell, but she didn’t take her hand off me. “I believe those are two terms that should be mutually exclusive.”

Hard and fast, I slapped my palm loudly against the door, slamming it shut. Perversely getting off on her startled reaction, I bit out two words, “That’s fear.” Calculated, slow, I dragged a finger a few inches up her bare thigh, then I cupped her face. She shivered and I dropped my voice. “But this?” I stroked her bottom lip as I stared at the thousand shades of fuck-my-life-up green in her eyes. “Biting your lip, pressing your thighs together—that’s desire.”

Her hand fisted, gripping a handful of my shirt, but she didn’t say a word.

Still holding on to her, wishing like hell I wasn’t about to let her go, I calmly shifted her to the side. Opening the door, I removed all threat from my tone. “Fear is triggered. Desire is provoked. Leave.” I told myself not to say the next line. “Or stay and get what you came for.”

 

Author Bio:

Sybil Bartel grew up in Northern California with her head in a book and her feet in the sand. She dreamt of becoming a painter but the heady scent of libraries with their shelves full of books drew her into the world of storytelling. She loves the New Adult genre, but any story about a love so desperately wrong and impossibly beautiful makes her swoon.

Sybil now resides in Southern Florida and while she doesn’t get to read as much as she likes, she still buries her toes in the sand. If she isn’t writing or fighting to contain the banana plantation in her backyard, you can find her spending time with her handsomely tattooed husband, her brilliantly practical son and a mischievous miniature boxer…

But Seriously?

Here are ten things you probably really want to know about Sybil.

She grew up a faculty brat. She can swear like a sailor. She loves men in uniform. She hates being told what to do. She can do your taxes (but don’t ask). The Bird Market in Hong Kong freaks her out. Her favorite word is desperate…or dirty, or both—she can’t decide. She has a thing for muscle cars. But never reply on her for driving directions, ever. And she has a new book boyfriend every week—don’t tell her husband.

To find out more about Sybil Bartel, be sure to follow her on Twitter (she loves to hear about your favorite book boyfriend!), visit her website, like her on Facebook or join her Facebook group Book Boyfriend Heroes for exclusive excerpts and giveaways.

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#SaleBlitz ~ Risky Business by @Campbellauthor ~ @RABTBookTours

Women’s Fiction
$.99 Until March 30th
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Doggedly determined, Risky Williston strives to rescue every homeless dog in Simi Valley and beyond. Her small house and yard bursts at the seams with dogs of all breeds, some her personal pets and some waiting for her to find homes for them.
Disciplined, neat and orderly, Chet Jensen desires Risky, but can he cope with her bizarre and disorganized lifestyle?
Chet stirs old fears Risky has spent a lifetime repressing. She doesn’t want to confront them, to face them again.
Is it possible for two people with such diverse values to have a lasting relationship?
About the Author

 

Patricia Campbell turned life altering events into an opportunity to change direction, and reinvented herself as an author of women’s fiction and romance novels.
It’s never too late to realize your dreams.
Contact Links
Purchase Links
 $0.99 Til End of March 

 

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#BlogTour #GuestPost ~ Burden of Truth by @peterbestauthor #BlogHounds @Bloodhoundbook

I’m thrilled to be kicking off the blog tour today .. Peter has kindly written a guest post below, read on to find out more about this book and author.

Egocentric Brent Sandler knows he needs to change his life for the better. He’s hit rock bottom, penniless and in deep trouble as he discovers an awful tragedy lying in wait. The problem is, he knows this tragedy is all down to him and his past actions. Now he’s determined to put things right as the consequences of these actions are rapidly making their mark.

Meanwhile in Bodhgaya India, Peter Cannon has just made a shocking discovery that will change his life forever. Like Brent, he must come to terms with his guilt. But his past, his secret and the woman he loves are slowly hunting him down.

And if they find him, questions will be asked.

The tale of The Burden of Truth is a suspenseful thriller of how these two men are pulled apart and then drawn together as each man tries to fulfil his own quest for happiness. But they are soon to find out this quest is thwart with love, as well as danger, and both are lurking just around the corner.

Purchase Here

About the Author

Peter Best was born in North Shields in the North East of England in the beginning of the sixties. Albeit the son of a shipyard worker, Peter was brought up in a mining community until the age of eight when for some reason or another somebody made the decision that the community should be uprooted and moved to a place called Cramlington New Town on the outskirts of Newcastle.

After his time in school he served an apprenticeship working mainly on building sites working as an electrician, which he hated by the way! However, as Peter always looks on the positive side of things, he was pleased he did, as it was on these building sites where he came across many different characters who he was pleased to call his friends. “Real people,” he called them. And so it turned out that many of these so called real people, and others of course, featured quite strongly in his novels.

Of course it was not just the people he met on the sites; Peter has over the years come across many different characters on his travels who have all played their part in working their way into his mind.

In 1996 he married for the second time to a young German girl and soon after moved to the south of England. Soon after that he upped sticks again and moved to Wiesbaden in Germany to help support his wife as she pushed at her career as a doctor.

Peter feel in love with the culture of his new surroundings, especially the culture of one of his neighbouring counties Bavaria. However as they say all good things come to an end and he moved back to England. It was at this time when his writing started to come together. Over the next few years Peter started to string together his thoughts and ideas for The Burden of Truth and its sequel. (The name remains a secret for now.)

He now lives with his wife and daughter in a small seaside town in Essex called Frinton on Sea. Frinton, along with its neighbouring town, Walton on the Naze, both feature in his novel, The Burden of Truth.

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Guest Post

What will The Burden of Truth give me if I were to read it?

Someone asked me a question quite a bit back now that was brought up in conversation. If I were to read The Burden of Truth what would it give to me?

So here’s my answer what I gave back then and I feel it’s still relevant today.

Really the first thing I should say about this question is that it is very difficult for me to answer! The reason being; we all know that every person who enjoys reading has their own personal preferences when it comes to picking a book. Some readers love getting to grips with a good plot whilst others fall in love with certain characters, other love great settings. The point is; all readers look for, and get different things out of books.

So! If I can’t answer what a reader will get of this book, the best I can do is re-phrase the question to… What can I hope, The Burden of Truth will give to a reader.

First thing I would hope for, of course would be that the reader would receive many hours of entertainment and enjoy the book. Now I’m not trying to be boastful but I have been told by others that my novel is, ‘Well paced with interesting characters. I have also been told it has an interesting plot with more than its fair share of twists and turns, dramatic and full of suspense.’ As I said this is what has been said to me in the past.

When I first set out to write The Burden of Truth I wanted more than just a story. I wanted more than readers to read it and say, ‘Hey, good book, interesting plot.’ Then leave it at that.

What I really hoped for, was for the reader to think about this book for a long time after finishing it. I really wanted this novel to get under their skin so much they think about its contents for a long time after they put it back on their bookshelves. That’s why there’s nothing that pleases me more when other readers go just that little deeper and tell me other aspects to The Burden of Truth they loved.

So, to answer the question further. What else do I hope will the reader get out of my novel?

Well, really it depends on how far the reader wants to delve into the book. If the reader wants to delve a little deeper and finds and understands the message of the story then obviously I hope the reader may get a bit more out of it.

Let me explain.

There are many messages within the book, that is plain to see when you start getting into the nitty gritty of it. Some, I must say are hidden between the lines. Okay, I admit there’re not very well hidden as really I don’t want the reader to work that hard. I’d rather have the reader enjoying the book instead of working through the book trying to analyse every page looking for a remote message.

Now then, if the reader does wish to delve into the book and does discover some of the messages this would lead onto my next hope.

This hope is that the reader understands them, and to a certain degree acts on them; possibly he or she may well gain something just that little extra out of the story. It could be that this little extra may be that the reader may just get that little more out of life itself! Perhaps; perhaps not only time will tell on this one.

To explain this a little further, I’ll tell you a little about the book. Hopefully, I don’t think I will spoil the plot so much if I tell you one of the characters gets into a bit of trouble right at the start of the book. Later when things have died down a bit he decides to look at his life and with this new outlook he starts trying to live his life to the full. As the story moves on, hopefully you will be dragged into his thoughts and actions towards his quest. He learns many lessons of life from others he meets on his way. Some wise, others not so.

So perhaps this is the answer to the question! What do I hope readers will gain from reading The Burden of Truth? A few lessons about life!

Be sure to follow all the other stops on the tour 🙂

#BookTour #Spotlight ~ Barry by @lmpruitt ~ @RoxanneRhoads

 


Barry
Winged
Book 14
L.M. Pruitt
Print Length: 186 pages
Publisher: SP Press
Publication Date: January 14, 2017
ASIN: B01N22VUWH
A standalone novel in the world of the international bestselling WINGED series… a glimpse in to one man’s past….
It was supposed to be a simple dinner. The repayment of a debt.
I should have known Lilith would find a way to make things difficult.
Three favors. Three stories of lovers past. As Lilith said, an easy task.
I remember them all.
WARNING: THIS BOOK CONTAINS GRAPHIC LANGUAGE AND GRAPHIC SEX SCENES. READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED
Excerpt:
I leaned back, unfolding my napkin and draping it over my lap. “So, what sort of delicacy is on the menu this evening?”
“Oh, who knows.
I leave those sort of things to the kitchen.” Lilith waved a hand absently, brushing the question aside as if it was no more than a fly. “It’s time for you to pay your debt.”
“And I’m here.”
“Baraquel.” Her smile was the sort usually reserved for cute animals and slow adults. “Did you really think a simple dinner would be all the repayment I required?”
“Not really but I was foolish enough to hope.” Sighing, I pulled a cigar from my coat pocket and examined the tip. “How, then, am I supposed to repay you?”
“Three favors, correct?” Her smile grew when I nodded. “Wonderful. Three stories, then.”
“I beg your pardon?” I winced, shaking my head as she laughed. “Remind me to limit my time around Joanne. I’m picking up too many of her verbal ticks for my liking.”
“If it helps, think of this as more of a series of lectures on the right and wrong way to conduct relationships.” She propped her elbows on the table, steepling her fingers as she stared at me with the sort of fascination I’d seen on cats in the instant before they pounced. “After all, you have so much advice to offer.
It would be a shame to let it go to waste.”
“My personal life is my own.” I set the cigar down, hating the stiffness in my voice and yet unable to do anything to correct it. “You’ve known me long enough to know that.”
“And I’m not asking for a rundown of every person you’ve fucked in the last few millennia.”
Her smile widened, the edges turning cruel. “Besides, even if I did, I doubt you could provide one.”
“I remember.”
“Do you?”
“Yes.” I clenched my fist in my lap. “I remember them all.”
“Good.” She tapped her fingers on her lower lip. “Then tell me a story.”

 

About the Author:
 
L.M. Pruitt has been reading and writing for as long as she can remember. A native of Florida with a love of New Orleans, she has the uncanny ability to find humor in most things and would probably kill a plastic plant. She knows this because she’s killed bamboo. Twice.  She is the author of the Winged series, the Plaisir Coupable series, Jude Magdalyn series, the Moon Rising series, and Taken: A Frankie Post Novel.
 
 
 
 
 

#BookBlitz ~ Echo by @NanaMalone #Giveaway @XpressoTours

 

 

Echo
Nana Malone
(The Player #3)
Publication date: March 21st 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Sports

Money, power, prestige…freedom. Echo Coulter is—The Player.

You are a Coulter. You will be perfect. That’s what Echo has been told every day of her life. As the only girl in the Coulter clan, she knows it’s her job to be the glue of the family. But with the Olympics looming, the last thing she wants is to follow the rules. She wants to break free, and she knows just the guy to help her.

Cole Atkins has no interest in spoiled little rich girls. Besides, he’s got the job of a lifetime and just met the girl of his dreams…That is, until she ditches him under the cover of darkness. He can put her out of his head and deal with a spoiled princess for a couple of months right?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

He knew where his mind should be. But that didn’t matter because right now it was filled with her, and how the scent of her clung to his skin. Someone that was supposed to be a one-night stand had somehow burrowed her way into his mind. Fine, whatever. He’d figure it out. He could find her again. How hard could it be?

Pulling on a pair of boxers, he looked around his apartment for any trace of her, but found nothing. No excuse to look her up to return something she forgot. If he wanted to see her again, he’d have to find her. And he was surprised by how strong that impulse was.

He’d hooked up a lot, but he’d never had a one-night stand that had gone quite like that. But then, he rarely woke during the night, and so he’d never taken the time to talk, like he had with Cece. Or maybe they’d overshared. He wondered if that was what had run her off so easily. He shook his head to force the thought aside. Not with what had happened between them after their little talk. He wouldn’t believe that they’d been able to connect so strongly physically, if the personal things they shared were what had made her run.

He’d never felt a connection like that before. Maybe her friend had dropped digits. If he couldn’t find her, that was it, he’d let it go. But he at least had to try.

 

Author Bio:

USA Today Best Seller, Nana Malone’s love of all things romance and adventure started with a tattered romantic suspense she “borrowed” from her cousin.

It was a sultry summer afternoon in Ghana, and Nana was a precocious thirteen. She’s been in love with kick butt heroines ever since. With her overactive imagination, and channeling her inner Buffy, it was only a matter a time before she started creating her own characters.

While she waits for her chance at a job as a ninja assassin, in the meantime Nana works out her drama, passion and sass with fictional characters every bit as sassy and kick butt as she thinks she is.

Want to know when the next book is coming? Hit up her Newsletter. You’ll only get updated when there is a new release or a special promotion for her Sexy, Sassy Readers Here

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#PromoBlitz ~ Rolling Thunder by #MarkBerent ~ @RABTBookTours

Historical Fiction/Military Fiction
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Rolling Thunder is an historical novel about the decisive role politics played during the Vietnam War. Its characters range from men in the field to the Pentagon and the White House. Fighter pilots and Special Forces warriors try to do their best but are hampered by President Johnson, Secretary of Defense McNamara, and their staff members who despise the military. Only one aging USAF general, who fought in Korea and WWII, is on their side. His clashes with his Commander in Chief, Lyndon Johnson, are epic in proportion and startling in content.
In Rolling Thunder, the time is late 1965 and 1966 in war zone places such as Saigon, Hanoi, Bien Hoa, Da Nang, and Tahkli. While back in Washington, LBJ sits over lunch and personally picks bombing targets in an attempt to fight a limited war. In Vietnam the war knows no limits.
There, as the hostilities escalate, the fates of three men intertwine: USAF Captain Court Bannister, overshadowed by a famous movie star father who fought in WWII as a B-17 gunner, driven to confront missiles, MiGs, and nerve-grinding bombing raids in order to prove his worth to his comrades — and to himself…Air Force First Lieutenant Toby Parker, fresh from the States, who hooks up with an intelligence unit for a lark, and quickly finds his innocence buried away by the lessons of war…and Special Forces Colonel Wolf Lochert, who ventures deep into the jungle to rescue a downed pilot — only to discover a face of the enemy for which he is unprepared.
Four airline stewardesses, who fly the civilian MAC contract flights that bring American soldiers to and from the war zone in Vietnam, have difficult love affairs with G.I.s and fighter pilots. After one flight they come under attack while on an airbase.
Young American G.I.s are cursed and taunted as they return to the United States.
Through their eyes, and those of many others — pilots, soldiers, lovers, enemy agents, commanders, politicians, profiteers — Rolling Thunder shows us Vietnam as few other books have, or can. Berent captures all the intensity and drama of that searing war, and more, penetrates to the heart and soul of those who fought it. Rolling Thunder rings with authenticity.
 
Other Books in the Wings of War Series
Five months after we left them in Rolling Thunder, Steel Tiger brings back USAF Major Court Bannister, Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel Wolf Lochert, and USAF First Lieutenant Toby Parker, now scattered to their new posts: Bannister in Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base in California, Wolf Lochert at Lang Tri, Republic of Vietnam, carrying out covert operations in Laos, and Toby Parker, in the pilot training program at Randolph Air Force Base in Texas. Soon their diverse paths will lead all three men back to Vietnam for a second tour of duty — in the very heart of the conflict.
In Phantom Leader (May 9, 1991) Berent, himself a highly decorated Air Force Pilot, once again captures the intensity of the most controversial war in modern history. Phantom Leader shows readers exactly what it was like to be a pilot caught between the immediate reality of death and the distant decisions of Washington.
In Eagle Station (June 8, 1992) the newest installment in his Vietnam War series, Berent puts on the heat and raises the stakes, creating his most electrifying tale of war to date. Beginning with a hair-raising cliff side helicopter rescue under heavy fire, and racing toward a climactic ground battle played out in the dark of night, engaging top secret USAF first special operations gun ships, Eagle Station is filled with adventure and acts of daring, woven into a compelling and powerful plot.
Storm Flight, (Book Five of Five) the intense conclusion to his saga, the action is touched off by a daring raid on the Son Tay prisoner-of-war camp that reveals some startling information. With American prisoners in terrible jeopardy and crucial national secrets in danger of being discovered, the characters we have met in Berent’s earlier books are put to the ultimate test. They must call upon all their skill, leadership, guts, and strength to complete their missions.
As always, Berent highlights his knowledge of little known facts about the war, and his keen insight into the minds of members of the fighting forces. In one exhilarating sequence, Parker and his instructor pilot Ken Tanaka each shoot down two MiGs in the course of one fight, involving four MiGs and an unarmed transport. Despite the chewing out that they receive later from their superior officer, the two fighter pilots refuse to shoot down the transport. Ironically, that decision was the one that saved the life of one of their strongest critics, Jane Fonda, who had once called fighter pilots “professional killers.” (This incident is based on a true story.) Parker later makes “ace,” a title given to the rare fighter pilot who shoots down five MiGs.
Excerpt
CHAPTER ONE
1320 Hours Local, 17 December 1965
Airborne in an F-100D near
Bien Hoa Air Base, Republic of Vietnam
Precisely how a crashing jet fighter breaks up is a function of its speed, of its angle of impact, and of the topography of the ground it strikes. A high speed impact at a ninety degree angle ensures small pieces mashed into a neat circular hole with narrow wing trenches extending from each side. Depending on soil consistency, the engine can burrow down 30 feet and be compressed from twelve feet in length to three. Lesser angles of impact splash the wreckage in the direction of flight. A near-zero glide angle on smooth terrain is another matter entirely. Unless the air­craft cartwheels, which it often does if one of the landing gear collapses, the wings will usually remain intact al­though probably separate from the aircraft. Large sections of the tail assembly and fuselage usually remain. If the pilot is not killed upon impact, he may survive if the wreck doesn’t burn. Usually they burn.
USAF Captain Courtland EdM. Bannister knew all this as he delicately babied his shotup F-100D Super Sabre jet fighter toward his home base of Bien Hoa located 15 miles northeast of Saigon in III Corps, South Vietnam. There were six half-inch holes in his airplane, two nearly lethal.
Less than an hour earlier, Bannister and his flight leader, Paul Austin, had been scrambled from runway Alert to aid an American Special Forces unit in trouble up near Loc Ninh in War Zone C. In pairs, Bien Hoa F-100 pilots pulled three types of Alert: runway, cockpit, and standby. Each flight of two could be airborne streaking toward a target in one minute, five minutes, or 20 minutes.
Almost all Bien Hoa missions, whether scrambled from or scheduled the night before on the Frag Order, were air-to-ground doing what the USAF had been sent to Vietnam to do; support U.S. or Vietnamese troops in battle. The weapons hung under their wings were a mixture of bombs, rockets, napalm, and cluster bomb units known as CBU. Each carried 800 rounds of ammo for the four 20mm cannons mounted internally under the scoop nose of the fighter.
A radar controller in a small dark room had Bannister on his scope.
“Ramrod Four One, I have you twelve miles out on the 275 radial of Tacan Channel 73. Squawk Three Four, acknowledge, Bien Hoa.” To ‘squawk,’ a pilot toggled a switch to send a burst of energy to the radar scope.
“Bien Hoa, Four One, squawking Three Four. I have a situation here. I need a straight-in. I’m leaking bad; gas and, ah, hydraulic fluid. Get me down quick, you copy Four One?”
“Roger, Four One, GCA copies.”
The Ground Control Approach controller had picked up Ramrod Four One from Bien Hoa Approach Control who advised him the pilot had declared an emergency due to battle damage and low fuel. Bannister had not mentioned he was bleeding. Approach Control also said they had no contact with Ramrod Four Zero, Bannister’s flight leader.
As the controller prepared to transmit, another voice broke in. It was neither as low pitched as that of the GCA controller nor as calm.
“Four One, this is Ramrod Two speaking, Ramrod Two. You got gear? You got three good ones down? How about flaps? You got flaps? Where’s your flight leader?” Ramrod Two, Bannister’s operations officer and immediate commander, had channeled into the conversation using the squadron radio.
Bannister didn’t have time to answer his nearly hysterical operations officer. He was busy keeping his crippled airplane aloft. Suddenly, a red warning signal lit up drawing his attention to a small hydraulic gauge on a lower panel in his cockpit. The needle of the gauge bobbled twice, then yielded up the few remaining pounds of utility hydraulic pressure as the main pump ground to a halt, then violently broke up deep inside the big fighter. Bannister thought he could feel the grinding. He quickly raised his eyes out of the cockpit to see if he could spot the runway. He had to squint and to blink away blood. All he could see was the jungle canopy a thousand feet below stretching out for miles into a reddish haze.
Several slugs from a big quad-barrel Russian ZSU-4 12.7mm antiaircraft gun had stitched his Super Sabre from scoop shovel nose to just short of the tail section. They had punctured and ripped tubing and control lines causing a loss of hydraulic fluid which required Bannister to engage his emergency flight control system. That system was powered by a Ram Air Turbine called RAT by its acronym. The engine itself was untouched. One slug, however, had ripped a small hole in the belly fuel cell allowing fuel to stream out behind the F-100 like a smoke trail.
Another slug had crashed through the starboard quarter panel glass of the windscreen, smashing the gunsight, zinging fragments of metal and glass into Bannister’s face. His helmet and oxygen mask protected all but the area around his eyes and forehead. He wore no sunglasses and had not lowered either the sun visor or the clear plastic visor mounted on his helmet. The fragments had etched a few minor lacerations above Bannister’s right eye. While neither particularly painful nor disabling, the wounds produced prodigious capillary bleeding effectively causing Bannister to lose the sight of his right eye. Wiping with his gloved hand smeared it worse. Bannister unhooked his blood-filled oxygen mask and let it dangle. Pooled blood splashed down the front of his parachute harness and survival vest and mingled with his sweat. He heard the measured cadence of the controller through the headset in his helmet.
“Ramrod Four One, check gear down. Prepare for descent in one mile.”
Bannister cupped the mask to his face with his right hand, bracketed the control stick with his knees, and pushed the trans­mit button on the throttle with his left hand. He countered a right wing drop with a leftward motion of his knees pressing on the stick.
“Bien Hoa, my situation is a bit worse. No Utility pressure, Flight One is out, Flight Two is going, and I’m not getting much RAT pressure, flight controls stiffening. Yeah, and I only got about 100 pounds of fuel.” Bannister still didn’t mention the blood. He did not consider himself wounded, merely inconvenienced at a rather harrowing time.
“Where’s your leader, where’s Four Zero? Ramrod Four One answer me.”
“Get off the air, Ramrod Two,” the GCA controller broke in, “there’s an emergency in progress and I’ve got it.” His voice was brittle, not the calming one he used with Ramrod Four One.
Bannister shoved down a lever with a replica of a wheel on it. The lever released the lock pins allowing the gear doors to open and the heavy wheels and struts to fall free. Then he pulled the lanyard that shunted emergency hydraulic fluid into the last two feet of hydraulic lines locking the nose and left main gear into place. The right main didn’t lock causing its cockpit indicator light to remain red. Bannister pushed to test the green indicator bulb. It worked. He already knew his flaps wouldn’t go down; he had tried them at a higher altitude doing a damage check. His flight leader was not there to assist him and report whatever damage Bannister could not see.
“Ah, Bien Hoa, the right main is still red. I don’t think it’s locked in place. And this will be a no-flap landing. Put the barrier up, I’ve got to make an approach-end engagement.” Without flaps he had to bring his plane in fifteen knots faster. Bannister didn’t intend to eject unless the engine quit.
He punched a button activating a solenoid that released a heavy steel bar with a hook on the end which extended under the aft section of his plane. If he touched down in the right place, the hook would snatch the cable stretched across the approach end of the runway and yank him to a stop in a few hundred feet, exactly the way a Navy fighter engages a cable during an aircraft carrier landing.
“Roger, Ramrod Four One, Bien Hoa copies. Barrier crew noti­fied. This is your final controller, how do you read?”
“Loud and clear,” Bannister yelled into his dangling mask. From here on he needed his right hand on the control stick, his left on the throttle.
“Ramrod Four One, you need not acknowledge further trans­missions. Steer right Two Six Five degrees and start your descent…now.”
The controller frequently released his mike button for an instant in case Ramrod Four One had to make a transmission that his emergency was worsening.
Bannister concentrated on his heading, but did not start the standard 600 feet per minute rate of descent that would give him a smooth 3 degree descent angle to the runway. He needed to hold his altitude until the last minute in case his engine quit from fuel starvation. Then he would decide if he was close enough to glide in or if he would be forced to eject. He rapidly blinked his eyes as he scanned his instruments every few seconds while simultaneously searching forward for the runway. His right eye cleared. When he finally spotted the white concrete landing strip he started to breathe more rapidly as he estimated altitude and distance to the point of touchdown. His airspeed gauge indicated two hundred knots. He was flying into a five knot headwind giving him a speed over the ground of 230 miles per hour or 338 feet per second. In 23 seconds he would be on the ground, one way or another.
The controller’s voice faded for Bannister as he concentrated on aligning his craft and deciding when to start his last minute descent. If he was too late, his steep descent angle would cause him to overshoot the runway which would force him to bailout or crash, since he did not have enough fuel to go-around and try again. If he started too soon and the engine quit, he would also have to bail out or crash short of the runway.
One mile from the runway Bannister decided it looked right and started an abnormally high rate of descent. He could see the crash crew lined up along the side of the runway; red foam trucks, a yellow wrecker, and a blue ambulance. At 800 feet above the ground and 4000 feet from the end of the runway his engine sucked up the last drops of JP-4 jet fuel and quickly unwound.
“Flameout,” Bannister yelled into his mask.
The big plane wanted to quit flying but Bannister held his speed by shoving the control stick forward which forced the nose down more. His rate of descent increased to 1000 feet per minute. Airspeed had to be high to spin the RAT and give him hydraulic pressure to work the flight controls. He would need a lot of control response to break the glide and flare for touchdown. Though Bannister’s heart rate went up another notch, he felt confident he could make it. All the numbers were right. He calculated he had enough altitude to trade for airspeed to make the touchdown point where his hook would grab the cable. The camouflaged airplane plunged closer to the jungle, barely topped the palm trees, streaked across the half-mile clearing before the concrete, then flared smoothly as Bannister applied enough back pressure on the control stick to break the rapid descent but still make a firm touchdown so the hook wouldn’t bounce over the barrier.
It all worked. The hook snatched the cable with the immense force generated by 17 tons of mass in motion at 300 feet per second. The four-foot brake drums on each side of the runway feeding out cable screamed and smoked, absorbing kinetic energy as they decelerated the big fighter. The jet slewed sharply left, then, at 100 knots, the right main gear collapsed, slamming the right wing to the ground and starting a cartwheel.
Bannister’s head banged against the canopy as the wing hit the ground. He grunted as he pushed without results on the now frozen control stick and rudder pedal to counter the violent movement that would end in a fireball. Of the three remaining forces acting on the plane, forward momentum, right roll, and hook deceleration, the hold-back by the hook was the most powerful and won out. The left wing rose ten feet off the ground, the plane pivoted thirty degrees on the crushed right wing tip, the hook held and slammed the flat-bottomed airplane back onto the concrete runway. Bannister’s seat survival pack absorbed most of the impact for him but his head, weighted by the three-pound helmet, thudded down on his chest harness so hard the metal snap gashed his chin. The violent impact dazed him. For an instant he was on the edge of consciousness.
The fire trucks and crash crew surrounded the wreck almost before it settled. They shot great streams of sticky white foam over and under the plane, around the hot engine and aft section. Without fuel there was little chance of a fire. Four firemen in aluminum suits, looking like bulky astronauts, ran to the airplane, two to each side. One jerked the external lanyard blowing the canopy off while the others positioned a ladder and ran up to get Bannister, who was rapidly coming around and able to undo his own helmet, harness, G-suit, and oxygen connections. The years of programming himself to instinctively perform all the ground emergency egress actions were paying off.
 The fireman at the top of the ladder on the right side thought so much blood in the cockpit was unusual. Usually a guy hit this bad wouldn’t make it back. He passed Bannister’s helmet to another fireman, who, facing aft toward the open cockpit, was straddling the nose of the aircraft like a horseback rider. “Are you okay, Sir?” the closest fireman asked through his helmet faceplate.
 “Yeah, Chief, fine, thanks. How about fire? We got any fire?” Bannister, thinking the plane would blow up, was struggling to get out.
“No, no fire. No sweat, Sir, just hang on a minute.” The firemen gently placed his gloved hand on Bannister’s shoulder. He held the groggy pilot down until the Flight Surgeon from the ambulance could climb up the ladder and check his condition.
“Hey Court, how ya doing? Where ya hit?” Major Conrad Russell, MD, asked as he leaned over Bannister to wipe away blood and assess damage. He saw the facial rips and tears where the blood had already clotted. He thumbed up Bannister’s right eyelid and noted that the eyeball looked intact and functional. The nick in the chin was barely oozing.
“No place. I’m not hit. Just some junk in my face. Is my right eye okay?” Bannister asked. He looked up at Russell, squinting his gray-blue eyes as much from the residual blood as from the sun behind Russell’s back. Bannister’s brown hair, released from the confines of his helmet, soaked with sweat and plastered against his head, was trimmed almost to crew-cut length. His close-shaved sideburns ended at mid-ear. His face was square, his jaw line strong. Bannister was six foot two and normally trimmed out at 190. Vietnam heat and O’ Club food had dropped him to a dehydrated 170. He was 30 and had been a USAF fighter pilot for ten years. This was his first crash.
Major Russell, his preliminary check complete, said, “Come on, let’s get out of here. We gotta clear the runway. Other guys want to land too, you know. Your eye will be fine.” He tugged at Bannister to get up and climb down the ladder.
The Flight Surgeon started to smile and hum as he moved his bulky figure down the ladder, accepting the helping hand of a nearby fireman. Doc Russell was doing what he loved best. He wore standard Shade 45 USAF blue two-piece fatigues which were now smelly and stained badly by the foam. His name, rank, and Flight Surgeon wings were embossed on a piece of leather stitched to his left breast. Russell was overweight, rotund in fact. His round, young-looking face vaguely resembled that of Baby Huey, the cartoon character. The fighter pilots at Bien Hoa, particularly those of the 531st, the squadron he was responsible for, quickly gave him that nickname. Russell, a 34 year old major, would have been a pilot were it not for optic problems so bad that his eyes tended to cross whenever he was tired.
He walked Bannister to the ambulance. The letters and devices on the leather nametag on the pilot’s left breast stated he was Courtland EdM. Bannister, Capt., USAF. A star above his pilot’s wings indicated he had flown at least seven years and had amassed 2000 flying hours and was rated a senior pilot. Below his pilot’s wings were the parachutist’s wings he had been awarded after training with the Special Forces in Germany. Bannister still wore his G-suit and survival vest, and carried an olive-green bag stuffed with his helmet, kneeboard, and maps. On his feet he wore Army issue jungle boots which were perfectly suited for tropical wear but would provide no ankle support in a parachute landing.
Standing next to the squadron jeep edged up to the blue USAF ambulance, watching them approach, was Ramrod Two, Major Harold Rawson, five-ten, black hair combed straight back, a pencil-thin mustache over his thin upper lip. He looked the type who missed the days of puttees and riding britches. He wore, instead, the standard K-2B cotton one-piece green flight suit with the standard thirteen zippers. On his head was a regulation USAF blue flight cap with silver officer piping on the rim and the gold oak leaves of a major pinned front right. Rawson was the operations officer of the 531st Tactical Fighter Squadron, second in command to the squadron commander and responsible for day-to-day fighter operation. The commander, Lieutenant Colonel Peter Warton, was back in the States on emergency furlough leaving Rawson in charge. He felt burdened with the unexpected responsibility.
Rawson watched Bannister and Russell approach, barely resisting the temptation to run up to Bannister crying “What in hell did you do?” Instead he waited until the two men drew closer.
“Where’s Four Zero?” he asked. Then, unable to contain himself, “How could you lose your leader?”
Before Bannister could answer, Russell shoved him toward the ambulance and said to Rawson, “Look, Harry, I’ve got to check this guy out before you or anybody from Intel gets to talk to him. Now back off.”
Bannister’s face colored. He seriously considered slamming his fist into Rawson’s small, turned down mouth which seemed to perpetually sneer whenever its owner spoke.
“I didn’t lose anybody, Goddammit. Austin got hit and went straight in,” Bannister said in a tight voice over his shoulder as he climbed into the back of the ambulance. As the double doors swung shut he turned to see Rawson struggling with only limited success to control himself.
In the coolness of one of the nested trailers that served as a hospital on the Bien Hoa Air Base, Russell remained silent until he had finished swabbing the cuts on Bannister’s face. They would not require stitching and would heal quickly if kept clean.
“Well,” he said straightening up, “all that blood and these cuts are worth a Purple Heart.”
Bannister stood up and walked to one of the small sliding windows that looked out. He had taken off his G-suit and dark green net survival vest. The sweat beneath was crusted white with salt and starting to dry on his flight suit. He dug a crushed pack of Luckies from his zippered left sleeve pocket and lit one before he answered. The Zippo he used had a thick rubber band around it. He had learned that trick from his Special Forces buddies at Bien Hoa to both keep the lighter from slipping out of a pocket as well as prevent it from clicking on another metal object.
“Forget it.” He inhaled deeply, held it, and blew the smoke out in a long sigh. He could still see the fireball that Major Paul Austin’s plane made after it hit the ground.
 “Why?” Russell asked after a minute.
“Too piddly.”
“Well,” Doc Russell said, “I guess I understand that.” He stood up. “At any rate, Paul Austin will get one.” He was silent for a moment. “Hell of a way to earn it, though.”
After another pause he added, “Isn’t his dad a general in the Pentagon?” He nodded to himself. “Sure he is, a three-star. So that’s why Harry Rawson is so distraught.” He looked to Bannister for corroboration.
“That’s the one,” Bannister said. He hoisted his gear and started for the door. “I’ve got to go debrief. There’s big stuff going on up there near Loc Ninh. We stumbled into something hot and I don’t mean just gun barrels.”
“Okay,” Russell said, nodding. “Keep your dirty mitts off those cuts. Maybe I’ll see you tonight at the club.”
Bannister walked out the door thinking about the intelligence debriefing session he was about to face in the wing headquarters building. He knew he could convince the lower ranking Intel people that something was up at Loc Ninh, but he wasn’t at all sure whether the high level ones at Saigon would agree. They had their own concepts and didn’t like input that upset them. That was one problem he could probably deal with. He wasn’t so sure about the other.
What weighed on Bannister’s mind far more than the Loc Ninh buildup was the lie he planned to tell the Flying Safety Officer about why Paul Austin crashed.
About the Author

Mark Berent is admirably suited to have written his historical fiction five-book Vietnam Wings of War series for he lived each story. He served four years and one day in the Vietnam War during the period from November 1965 until August 1973.
When asked why he kept going back, he replied: “A lot of reasons; because it was there, because I wanted a MiG, because when the threat goes up the paperwork goes down and the weinies run for cover, but mostly because the guys were still fighting. Everyday I’d pick up a paper and find another buddy KIA, MIA, or POW. I just couldn’t stay on the beach.”
Now he writes about these men. He has five books in print and Ebooks; Rolling Thunder, Steel Tiger, Phantom Leader, Eagle Station, and Storm Flight. Although historical fiction, the books are about the men and women who gave everything they had in a war they weren’t allowed to win. FAC pilots, Phantom crews, Thud, Hun, and Buff crews, gunship pilots and gunners, green berets, grunts, carrier jocks, MAC contract stews, boomers and tankers, from corporals to colonels; the whole nine yards about the day-to-day heroism and heroes we all know and loved . . . and some we hated. By way of contrast, LBJ in the Oval Office and McNamara in the Pentagon E Ring are included and the words they spoke as they picked strike targets over lunch are included in great detail, yes indeed. As are those of Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden.
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#BookBlitz ~ A Star to Steer Her By @1bethannemiller #Giveaway @XpressoTours

 

 

A Star to Steer Her By
Beth Anne Miller
Published by: Entangled Embrace
Publication date: March 20th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance

I’m scarred. Broken. I’ll never be the same.

But I will take this journey.

Ever since my last dive ended in bloodshed, I’ve been terrified to go back into the water. But the opportunity to spend a semester at sea is too good to pass up. I need to get my life back.

I never expected to love it this much. And I never expected Tristan MacDougall.

Rugged, strong, and with demons of his own, Tristan helps me find the courage I thought I had lost and heals me with every stolen moment we share. But the rules of the ship mean we can’t be together.

When a dive excursion goes terribly wrong, our only hope for survival is each other.

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EXCERPT:

I was standing alone at the helm, under full sails and a glittering sky, guiding the ship unerringly across the endless black sea with only the stars to guide me, like the sailors of old. It was amazing. This was why I was here, why I’d gone ahead with this semester at sea, even after everything that had happened. Because I loved the sea, and wanted it to be a part of my life.

I returned my gaze upward, focusing on my guide star.

“‘And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by.’”

The low voice came out of nowhere. I spun to the right, where I could just make out the vague outline of someone leaning against the stanchion that held Speedy the motorboat suspended at the stern.

“Tristan?” As soon as the question left my mouth, I rolled my eyes in the darkness. Of course it was him.

“Aye, it’s me.”

“How long have you been standing there?” I hissed. “And where the hell did you come from?” I’d been at the helm for at least half an hour, and I knew he hadn’t been there the whole time.

There was a flash of white in the darkness as he grinned. “I’ve been here for about five minutes. You were so focused on staring up at the stars that you didn’t see me. I didn’t want to disturb you.”

“So instead, you just lurked in the dark until you could scare the hell out of me. Makes sense,” I muttered, trying not to be too thrilled that he’d chosen to hang out up here with me. “What was it that you said, anyway?”

“It’s from a poem. The full verse is:

“‘I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,

And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,

And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,

And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.’”

His lilting accent gave the lines a musical quality, and a shiver ran down my spine. “It’s beautiful,” I said, “and perfectly describes the way I feel. You didn’t write that, did you?” Because it would be supremely unfair for him to be kind, gorgeous, athletic, musically brilliant, and a poet, too.

 

Author Bio:

My first book, written in elementary school, was bound in pink fabric and was about—what else?—a girl and her horse. I soon began cheating on horses with the sea, becoming an open water scuba diver at age 14. That love of the sea led me to a college semester aboard a schooner. I returned with fond memories of the exhilaration of being on a ship under full sail, less fond memories of hurling over the leeward rail on a daily basis, and a sailing bug I couldn’t quite shake.

In addition to horses and the sea, I have a fascination for all things Scottish (including, but not limited to, men in kilts), which I explored with my first novel, INTO THE SCOTTISH MIST (The Wild Rose Press, 2011), and carried into my new novel, A STAR TO STEER HER BY (Entangled Embrace, 2017). A native New Yorker, I work in the publishing industry and am always looking ahead to my next voyage, whether a short one on a dive boat or whale watch, or, with luck, a longer one on a tall ship.

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#BookBlitz ~ The Supernatural Pet Sitter by @DianeMoatAuthor #Giveaway @XpressoTours

 

 

The Supernatural Pet Sitter
Diane Moat
(The Magic Thief, #1)
Publication date: March 5th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Middle-Grade

Every animal can talk to you. You just have to know how to listen.

Pepper Neely is better at this than most, especially because she is in charge of pet sitting all the familiars in her neighborhood. A familiar is a pet magically linked to a witch or warlock. As a gnome, Pepper is no stranger to spells and sorcery. She also knows that, despite their special name, familiars aren’t all that different from regular animals. They get anxious when separated from their people, so Pepper uses her special gnome powers to calm them down. She watches Cranky the high-strung ferret, Frank the laid-back parrot, King Arthur the elderly tortoise, and many others.

Then, something terrible begins happening to the familiars. Someone is stealing their magic! It not only prevents Pepper from communicating with them but breaks their magical connection with their people. When King Arthur’s magic is stolen, his owner’s powers stop working too. Pepper can sense that the tortoise is very scared.

In order to protect the animal’s magic, Pepper decides to track down the culprit. With the help of her best friend, Luna, and her brother, Jax, Pepper fights to protect all of the special pets.

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EXCERPT:

Familiars don’t do well when they are separated from their witches. That was how Pepper got into the business of pet sitting. Gnomes have a low-level connection with all supernatural animals. Gnomes are kind of like the Dog Whisperer, except that they communicate well with Familiars, basilisks (a magical lizard), unicorns and so on, rather than the more usual “pets”.

Pepper’s business of helping witches by taking care of their Familiars had boomed over the past year. Thank goodness she wasn’t sitting for the McCrorys last month when “it” happened.

Mr. McCrory was an accountant and Mrs. McCrory worked part-time at the downtown Dewitt Mall. Their two kids lived away at college. Mrs. M’s Familiar was a huge, bright-green-and-blue parrot named Frank. Pepper had only checked on the parrot once when the McCrorys drove their kids to their out-of-state campus several months earlier. Frank didn’t cause any trouble, so the job was easy money.

Supposedly, Mrs. M was at work one day last month when she had a “bad feeling” that prompted her to go home to check on Frank. The house seemed undisturbed, and everything looked fine at first. But when Mrs. M went to Frank’s cage, she found him looking away from her. He wouldn’t even turn around when she called his name. When she walked around the cage to greet Frank face-to-face, he had only ducked and bobbed his head the way a normal parrot would. But Frank wasn’t normal.

Next, Mrs. M had reached out to the Familiar with her magic, but got no response from him. Not only that, but she said she had trouble focusing, and even her own magic had felt weak. With hands trembling, she had picked up Frank to try again. Nothing. Since that day, Frank’s magic was gone, and Mrs. M’s magic was broken.

 

 

Author Bio:

Diane is a Tennessee transplant, animal rescuer, and nurse. Dog Gone is her debut novel, born from years of hearing animal rescuers say about animal abusers, “If only I could get my hands on that person…” Diane is assisted by her many rescue dogs.

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#PromoBlitz ~ Games of Mind by @AuthorDQuiles ~ @RABTBookTours

Political Thriller/Suspense
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When former naval intelligence officer Jack Steele opens a letter from his aunt, he makes an immediate decision to head to Nome, Alaska. Although he hasn’t seen Marie in twenty years, he’s concerned when she tells him her husband, Uncle Jimmy, is in trouble. From the moment Jack picks up that envelope, he knows he’s about to enter a situation better left alone. But loyalty to family is stronger than a gut feeling.
Jack, a private investigator with Connor, Steele & Harrison Private Investigation Agency lands in Nome and discovers that Lindberg Research Corporation has been using the people of that city as guinea pigs to perfect mind-control research. He has stumbled onto a massive conspiracy that has held hostage the noble people of Nome. The plot threatens America’s way of life, the life of the vice president of the United States, and Jack’s own survival.
Alone and without his usual resources and special equipment, Jack is over matched and is nearly killed before he can even scratch the surface of what’s really taking place in Nome. Jack must elude an ex-Special Forces Green Beret—a man who has sworn over his dead son to kill Jack—and work around local law enforcement and other mysterious forces in order to save the people of Nome and the vice president of the United States.
About the Author
Dennis Quiles earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s degree in business administration. A US military veteran and a veteran of the protection business, he is the director of global security services for one of the world’s largest multinational corporations. Quiles and his wife have three children and currently live in Illinois.
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