Friday, May 24, 2019

Linda Bennett Pennell Author Spotlight Tour and Giveaway


Al Capone at the Blanche Hotel
by Linda Bennett Pennell
Genre: Historical, Contemporary Suspense 

Al Capone at the Blanche Hotel tells a story of lives unfolding in different centuries, but linked and irrevocably altered by a series of murders in 1930.

Lake City, Florida, June, 1930: Al Capone checks in for an unusually long stay at the Blanche Hotel, a nice enough joint for an insignificant little whistle stop. The following night, young Jack Blevins witnesses a body being dumped heralding the summer of violence to come. One-by-one, people controlling county vice activities swing from KKK ropes. No moonshine distributor, gaming operator, or brothel madam, black or white, is safe from the Klan's self-righteous vigilantism. Jack's older sister Meg, a waitress at the Blanche, and her fiancĂ©, a sheriff's deputy, discover reasons to believe the lynchings are cover for a much larger ambition than simply ridding the county of vice. Someone, possibly backed by Capone, has secret plans for filling the voids created by the killings. But as the body count grows and crosses burn, they come to realize this knowledge may get all of them killed.


Gainesville, Florida, August, 2011: Liz Reams, an up and coming young academic specializing in the history of American crime, impulsively moves across the continent to follow a man who convinces her of his devotion yet refuses to say the three simple words “I love you”. Despite the entreaties of friends and family, she is attracted to edginess and a certain type of glamour in her men, both living and historical. Her personal life is an emotional roller coaster, but her career options suddenly blossom beyond all expectation, creating a very different type of stress. To deal with it all, Liz loses herself in her professional passion, original research into the life and times of her favorite bad boy, Al Capone. What she discovers about 1930's summer of violence, and herself in the process, leaves her reeling at first and then changed forever.





CHAPTER ONE
Saturday
June 14, 1930
O’Leno, Florida

Jack jammed a finger into each ear and swallowed hard. Any other time, he wouldn’t even notice the stupid sound. The river always sorta slurped just before it pulled stuff underground.
His stomach heaved again. Maybe he shouldn’t look either, but he couldn’t tear his eyes away from the circling current. When the head slipped under the water, the toe end lifted up. Slowly the tarpaulin wrapped body, at least that’s what it sure looked like, went completely vertical. It bobbed around a few times and finally gurgled its way down the sinkhole. Then everything went quiet . . . peaceful . . . crazily normal. Crickets sawed away again. An ole granddaddy bullfrog croaked his lonesomeness into the sultry midnight air.
Crouched in the shelter of a large palmetto clump, Jack’s muscles quivered and sweat rolled into his eyes, but he remained stock-still. His heart hammered like he had just finished the fifty yard dash, but that was nothing to what Zeke was probably feeling. He was still just a little kid in lots of ways.
When creeping damp warmed the soles of Jack’s bare feet, he grimaced and glanced sideways. Zeke looked back with eyes the size of saucers and mouthed the words I’m sorry. Jack shook his head then wrinkled his nose as the odor of ammonia and damp earth drifted up. He’d always heard that fear produced its own peculiar odor, but nobody ever said how close you had to be to actually smell it. He prayed you had to be real close; otherwise, he and Zeke were in big trouble.  
The stranger standing on the riverbank stared out over the water for so long Jack wondered if the man thought the body might suddenly come flying up out of the sinkhole and float back upriver against the current. Funny, the things that popped into your head when you were scared witless.
The man removed a rag from his pocket and mopped his face. He paused, looked upstream, then turned and stared into the surrounding forest. As his gaze swept over their hiding place, Jack held his breath and prayed, but he could feel Zeke’s chest rising and falling in ragged jerks so he slipped his hand onto Zeke’s arm. Under the gentle pressure of Jack’s fingers, Zeke’s muscles trembled and jumped beneath his soft ebony skin. When Zeke licked his lips and parted them like he was about to yell out, Jack clapped a hand over the open mouth and wrapped his other arm around Zeke’s upper body, pulling him close and holding him tight. Zeke’s heart pounded against the bib of his overalls like it might jump clean out of his chest. 
With one final look ‘round at the river and forest, the stranger strode to the hand crank of a Model T. The engine caught momentarily, then spluttered and died. A stream of profanity split the quiet night. The crank handle jerked from its shaft and slammed back into place. More grinding and more swearing followed until the thing finally coughed to life for good and a car door slammed. Only then did Jack relax his hold on Zeke.
“I want outta here. I wanna go home,” Zeke whispered hoarsely.
Lucky Zeke. Before Meg left home to move into town, Jack would have felt the same way. Now he didn’t care if he ever went home.  
Jack cocked an ear in the Ford’s direction. “Hush so I can listen. I think he’s gone, but we’re gonna belly crawl in the opposite direction just to be sure we ain’t seen.”
“Through that briar patch?  I ain’t got on no shoes or shirt.”
“Me neither. Come on. Don’t be such a baby.”
“I ain’t no baby,” Zeke hissed as he scrambled after Jack.
When the pine forest thinned out, Jack raised up on his knees for a look around. Without a word, Zeke jumped to his feet and started toward the road. Jack grabbed a strap on Zeke’s overalls and snatched him back onto his bottom.
“You taken complete leave of your senses?” Wiping sweat out of his eyes, Jack pushed his shaggy blonde hair to one side. “Check it out before you go bustin’ into the open.”
“Why you so bossy all the time? I ain’t stupid, ya know. Just cause you turned twelve don’t make you all growed up.”
Zeke’s lower lip stuck out, trembling a little. Whether it was from fear or anger, Jack wasn’t sure. Probably both. Peering into the night, he strained for the flash of headlights. Nothing but bright moonlight illuminated the road’s deep white sand. Finally confident that no vehicles were abroad, he grabbed Zeke’s hand and pulled him to his feet. With one final glance left, then right, they leapt onto the single lane track and ran like the devil was on their tails.  

Miami Days, Havana Nights
by Linda Bennett Pennell
Genre: Historical, Contemporary Suspense 

A follow up to Al Capone at the Blanche Hotel, Miami Days Havana Nights tells the story of 1920-1960's gangsters and the young female history professor determined to suss out their secrets.

Sometimes our biggest debts have nothing to do with money.


1926. When seventeen-year-old Sam Ackerman witnesses a mob hit, he is hustled out of New York under the protection of Moshe Toblinsky, A.K.A., the mob’s bookkeeper. Arriving in Miami with no money, no friends, and no place to hide, Sam’s only choice is to do as the gangster demands. Forced into bootlegging, Sam’s misery is compounded when he falls in love. Amazingly, the beautiful, devout Rebecca wants only him, but he cannot give her the life she deserves. When Prohibition ends, Sam begs the mobster to set him free. The price? A debt, as Toblinsky puts it, of friendship. A debt that will one day come due.

Present Day. History of American Crime professor Liz Reams has it all—early success, a tantalizing lead on new info about Moshe Toblinsky, and a wonderful man to love. Life is perfect. So what’s keeping her from accepting her guy’s marriage proposals? Confronting a long-standing personal debt sets her on a journey of self-discovery. While she delves ever deeper into Sam’s and Toblinsky’s relationship, her understanding of her own relationships increases as well, but the revelations come at a price. The emotional and physical dangers of her dual journeys may prove too big to handle.




Chapter 1
May 18, 1926
105 South Street
New York City

Knocking - sharp, loud, rapid - echoed through the empty speakeasy. Sam froze, the notes of a tune stuck in the roof of his mouth. He glanced at the entrance and leaned the handle of his push broom against his shoulder. Puffs of dust settled on the floorboards around his feet while he remained motionless.
It was late, too late, to be admitting customers, even for the city's illegal watering holes and gambling joints. Although a thick crossbar and several stout locks protected the heavy iron door, an uneasy feeling crawled down Sam's spine. Growing tension over control of the Fulton Fish Market, in fact the entire South Street area, was making a lot of people jumpy, including him.
Several seconds passed without noise from the other side of the door. Sam let out his breath and laughed at himself. Working at the fish market in the afternoon then staying up half the night at the speakeasy didn't leave much time for sleep. It kept him on edge. All the rumors and threats floating around these days weren't helping either. Inclining his ear and hearing nothing, he relaxed and gave his broom a shove.
Bam, bam, bam.
Sam's heart jumped into his throat.
"Open up, Monza. I know you're in there." The shout, colored by an Irish lilt, came from the second floor landing accompanied by renewed pounding. "I come to talk with ya. We need to settle this business. I got a proposition for ya."
Sam's breathing kicked up a notch as he looked over his shoulder toward the office. The boss didn't like to be disturbed when he was meeting with his guys. The pounding from outside in the hall returned in earnest, but the office door remained fixed.
"You gonna open this damned door or do I break it down?" The doorknob rattled and jerked.
Behind Sam, the office door clicked open an inch. He watched in the mirror over the bar as the muzzle of a .38 Special emerged from the opening, its nickel-plated barrel glittering in the overhead lights. One of the gangsters stepped into the room, met Sam's eye in the mirror, and jerked his head, then the room went dark. Sam dropped his broom and backed into an alcove next to the bar. The office door opened wider. Several shadows scurried across the floor. Metal locks and bolts snapped and clanked, then the entrance door swung inward……



I have been in love with the past for as long as I can remember. Anything with a history, whether shabby or majestic, recent or ancient, instantly draws me in. I suppose it comes from being part of a large extended family that spanned several generations. Long summer afternoons on my grandmother's porch or winter evenings gathered around her fireplace were filled with stories both entertaining and poignant. Of course being set in the American South, those stories were also peopled by some very interesting characters, some of whom have found their way into my work.

As for my venture in writing, it has allowed me to reinvent myself. We humans are truly multifaceted creatures, but unfortunately we tend to sort and categorize each other into neat, easily understood packages that rarely reveal the whole person. Perhaps you, too, want to step out of the box in which you find yourself. I encourage you to look at the possibilities and imagine. Be filled with childlike wonder in your mental wanderings. Envision what might be, not simply what is. Let us never forget, all good fiction begins when someone says to her or himself, "Let's pretend." 

I reside in the Houston area with one sweet husband and one adorable German Shorthaired Pointer who is quite certain she’s a little girl.

"History is filled with the sound of silken slippers going downstairs and wooden shoes coming up." Voltaire




Follow the tour HERE for exclusive content and a giveaway!







Author Spotlight: Cheryl Holloway Tour and Giveaway


June's Double Rainbow
by Cheryl Holloway
Genre: Contemporary Romance 

When love and monogamy fail…Her fiancĂ© breaks off the engagement.


At first, June is stunned, but then, she is determined to move on to better things…like an unplanned trip to Paris for her job—where she falls deeply in love with a man from another part of the world. He wines and dines June; sweeps her off her feet; and ultimately, wins her heart. Their short romance echoes an endearing love. When she returns to the US, he calls her faithfully every day. Then suddenly, no call…

Can their love survive on different continents?

"An engaging story with beautiful imagery!"

In this heartwarming romance, June learns to embrace each challenge and wait for a transformation in her life.

This beautifully written romance is complete escapism. Each of the characters has been well developed, considering the length of the story, and the dialogue revealed a great deal about their personalities. ~ Lesley Jones for READERS FAVORITE

A Quick Romantic Read…This is a nice story for someone looking for love. Everything happens for a reason. Love comes when you least expect it. ~G. Littlejohn for Philadelphia Publishing House 
Readers, this is a quick read; yet, an epic romance. If you’re a fan of Debbie Macomber, you’ll soon be a fan of Cheryl Holloway!




**Get it FREE!!**


The Proposal: A Leap of Faith
by Cheryl Holloway
Genre: Contemporary Romance 

Cheryl Holloway’s knack of presenting an in-depth love story is remarkable. The detail in each page enabled me to connect with the characters like I was holding Carol’s hand each step of the way. –5 Star Readers’ Favorite


If you love contemporary romance with real-life events…

Carol and Marvin love each other and have dated off and on for over ten years; however…Carol becomes jaded about the relationship when Marvin won’t ask her to marry him. Marvin's commitment to the relationship never waivers despite being afraid to commit to marriage. Finally, he wants to move their relationship to the next level—on Valentine’s Day. After a heartbreaking event and crying for days, Carol is ready and at last she thinks he is, too. Will he ask her to marry him or does he have something else on the agenda? Will commitment-phobic Marvin take the plunge…

Smart and sophisticated, with a plot twist that will give the reader a jolt!

Similar to books written by Shirley Wine and Becky Wade.

Cheryl Holloway’s The Proposal: A Leap of Faith is inspired by a real-life women and real-life events.





Loves Ride
The Struggle Book 1
by Cheryl Holloway
Genre: Contemporary Romance 

Love makes the ride worthwhile…or does it?


Bob is ready to take the next step in his relationship, and he wants to marry Ava, the woman of his dreams. He’s been secretly saving up money for the “special” ring that she wants. To quicken the process, he gets a part-time job as a Ryde driver, but…Bob stumbles upon Ava’s secret. The struggle begins.

Can their relationship withstand secrets and cheating?

Love’s Ride is a literary roller-coaster ride that will make you happy, scared, excited, angry, hopeful, and more—not necessarily in that order.






Cheryl Holloway is a contemporary romance author, journalist and award-winning editor. She has eBooks, The Cougar Tales Series, Book 1: Father and Son; Book 2: The Italian Basketball Player; Book 3: Jamaican Love; Cougar Tales Box Set (Books 1-3); The Bane Bath Salts, (Teen Drug Prevention); The Proposal: A Leap of Faith; A Sisterhood of Women Living Life: A Short Story Collection Book 1; and June's Double Rainbow available on Amazon.com and Smashwords.com. Cheryl's blog is where an author writes information about writing, literary events, books, and her writing journey. She pays-it-forward to other authors with Guest Author Interviews. You can visit the blog at: www.CherylHolloway.net/blog




Follow the tour HERE for exclusive content and a giveaway!







Pre-Order Blitz of THE EARL NEXT DOOR by Amelia Grey

The Earl Next Door Tour Graphic
The Earl Next Door
Series: First Comes Love # 1
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: May 28, 2019
One fiercely independent widow.
One honest proposal.
One unconventional game of love.
When Adeline, Dowager Countess of Wake, learns of her husband's sudden death, she realizes she's free. At last, she can do, go, and be as she pleases. Finally, she can have the life she has always dreamed of. She doesn't need, or want, to remarry. Especially not the supremely dashing Earl of Lyonwood, who makes Adeline yearn for his desire . . .
Lord Lyonwood, son of a philandering marquis, will not be like his father. He wants to run his estates and watch them flourish - and find a wife who brings love to his life. When he meets spirited and self-reliant Adeline in a case of near-scandalous mistaken identity, Lyon feels he's met his match. But Adeline isn't interested in a marriage proposal. She will only accept becoming his lover - and Lyon finds it hard to refuse. Unless the fire of his passion can melt Adeline's resolve . . .

Excerpt

“You’re much younger than I assumed the owner of this establishment would be,” Lyon confessed. “And as beautiful as you are in your crimson and gold, and in any other circumstances, or another location, I would be happy to pay whatever fee you charge to fulfill my needs. However, this is a respectable neighborhood and I cannot and will not sit by and allow a madam to move in and set up her business here.”
A trio of thumps resounded in Adeline’s chest and then a few more. The pendulum on the clock must have ticked a half dozen times. Her brain seemed to freeze before the air swooshed out of her lungs. Shock roared through her. Her whole body stiffened before she felt her eyes narrow in outrage.
“Just where do you think you are, sir?”
“A house of pleasure, Madam.”
Outrage quickly morphed to fury which flowed hot and fast, consuming her. Oh yes, she knew about such disgraceful, secret places. She’d overheard her late husband and his small group of gentlemen friends talk about visiting them. And this man thought her house was one of them
Adeline was skilled at holding in her emotions but this stranger had gone too far. With only one step she stood toe-to-toe with him. Lifting her face, she rose up on the ball of her feet and edged her nose closer to his. “You think this is one of the many private underground brothels hidden from all but Society’s most elite gentlemen?”
“Isn’t it?” he asked huskily.
There was no time to consider what her next move should be. Stiffening her spine and taking a step back, she proclaimed, “I am the Dowager Countess of Wake and you have trespassed too far. How dare you burst into my house and speak to me the way you have. You, sir, are an abomination to the term gentleman.”
She fought to regain every ounce of her normal calm, her abiding restraint, her guiding sense of decorum in any unpleasant circumstance. But then she accidentally looked at his mouth, felt that long suppressed surge of yearning. Adeline didn’t want this unusual mix of longing and angry dizziness to control her. She hated the truth of how womanly and desirable it made her feel to see hunger for her in his eyes. Hated the truth of how she was presented.
And then, in a moment of insanity, she thought of the very real possibility of those full lips on hers stirring with passion, and reason was gone.
Unable to do anything else before she lost herself completely, she drew back her hand and struck him soundly across the face. It was that, or kiss him.
Perhaps she chose the wrong one.

About Amelia Grey

Amelia Grey
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Amelia Grey read her first romance book when she was thirteen. She’s been a devoted reader of love stories ever since.
Amelia has been happily married to her high school sweetheart for over thirty-five years and she lives on the beautiful gulf coast of Northwest Florida.
She is a two-time winner of the prestigious Booksellers Best Award, and she has also won the Aspen Gold, and the Golden Quill awards. Writing as Gloria Dale Skinner, she won the coveted Romantic Times Award for Love and Laughter and the Maggie Award. Amelia’s books have been published in Europe, Indonesia, Turkey, Russia, and Japan. Several of her books have been featured in Doubleday and Rhapsody Book Clubs.
You can email Amelia at AmeliaGrey@comcast.net.
Follow her on FaceBook at https://www.FaceBook.com/AmeliaGreybooks, or visit her website at https://www.AmeliaGrey.com
Be sure to sign up to Amelia's newsletter here.

Giveaway

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Release Blitz for Ring around the Rosey by L.A. Fiore & Anthony Dwayne




Title: Ring around the Rosey
Authors: L.A. Fiore & Anthony Dwayne
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 24, 2019



Blurb

After tragedy rocks the small town of Danville Creek, best friends Emma Blake and Branch McKenna are ripped from the only homes they’ve ever known.

Twenty years later, they are called back to… Rosey Plantation.
A getaway shared by their parents and... the place they were all found dead.

As they get the house ready to sell, they uncover clues to a game—a handcuff key in a trinket box, eye bolts anchored into the basement wall, silk bindings in unusual places—and discover it wasn’t a retreat but a place to play.

While Emma and Branch find solace in one another, and explore some of their own dark fantasies, mysterious things start happening. Convinced they need to play the erotic game, or end up like their parents, their lives start to unravel.

Some say ghosts can haunt, but when the danger becomes real, they find themselves racing against the clock to find the killer among friends before history repeats itself.

Are you ready to play, Ring around the Rosey?

They all fall down.







Purchase Links

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

Free in Kindle Unlimited






L.A. Fiore

LA Fiore is a hybrid author of thirteen novels. She believes in a happily ever after, but she likes to make her readers work for it. When she's not writing, she can usually be found in the garden or hanging on the deck with her family and friends. She lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania with her husband and two kids and their four fur babies.


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Anthony Dwayne

Anthony started writing years ago as a hobby, but it quickly turned into a passion. He first began publishing under the name, Kane Caldwell, but has since changed the name he will continue publishing under. He is the epitome of a country boy with jeans, t-shirt, hat (No, not a cowboy hat. Lol), scruffy face, work boots on, driving his truck and definitely not a guy you'd picture writing romance. Anthony works in the construction business where he runs his own crew. He has two awesome boys, and an amazing woman that keeps him on the edge. He drinks way too much coffee and probably curses in one day what others curse in their lifetime. Lol! Anthony resides in the south where the weather is warm but most times sweltering hot. During down time, he loves to be surrounded by family, friends, great food, or engrossed in a good book. And of course, putting his imagination to work, where reality and fantasy collide.


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✱✱Book Review✱✱ Ghost by Janie Crouch


Ghost
A Linear Tactical Romantic Suspense Standalone
by Janie Crouch


Dorian Lindstrom, codename Ghost, knows everyone breaks under torture. 

His five weeks in an enemy prison taught him that with unmerciful precision. He's put his life back together as best he can with the help from his brothers at Linear Tactical.

But he's never gotten over his love for Grace Brandt, her part in his capture, or the fact that she died. 

But sometimes the dead don't stay that way. 

Grace knows her past can’t be forgiven. She's stayed hidden as long as she could, but now the secrets slowly suffocating her won’t stay buried any longer. 

And the man she helped break, the man she’s always loved, is the only one who can stop this nightmare. 

She'll need a Ghost to fight her demons, and he’s more than willing to prove she's worth the fight. 

The Ghost will rise.






Momma Says: 5 stars⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Every once in a while a book grabs hold so tightly that you just can put it down, Ghost is one of those books. I went into this one with the intention of taking it slow and savoring the story of Ghost and the woman capable of capturing his heart. Instead, I literally devoured it. Dorian piqued my interest from his very first appearance in the Linear Tactical series, and he certainly doesn't disappoint here. Ghost is, by far, the most emotional book in the series, and there were times that I really didn't like Grace, but in the end I knew she was exactly what Dorian needed. Even when this pair was making me a little crazy, it was obvious that they were meant for each other. Add in the danger and intrigue that Janie Crouch does so well, and this is one thrilling read from cover to cover. The Linear Tactical series is made up of standalones, and Ghost is no different, but they are all set in the same world and revolve around the wonderful characters that make up this family. Once you've met them, you'll want to know more of their stories. I love that even when there are some loose ends from one book to the next, everything is explained wonderfully to catch the reader up and maintain the standalone stories. For me, this crazy bunch of characters who would do anything for each other have become a little like family, and I can't wait to see what's next for them.

❃❃ARC provided by the author


Linda Bennett Pennell Author Spotlight Tour and Giveaway

Al Capone at the Blanche Hotel by Linda Bennett Pennell Genre: Historical, Contemporary Suspense  Al Capone at the Blanc...