Tag Archives: romance

Oh Baubles

Let’s all welcome Harmony Kent today. She has a fun new Christmas romance story to share with everyone. Take it away, Harmony.

***

Hi everyone, Harmony here. I’m so thrilled to be visiting with Craig today to tell you about my latest book, a Christmas Romance Novella. It’s a fun, quick read at around 80 pages, and I had fun crafting this one. Below is a ‘sneek peek’ from Chapter 2 of ‘Oh Baubles.’

 

THE steamed up windows caught his attention first. Then the distraught woman occupying the driver’s seat. He recognised her. Months before, she’d been one of his rehab patients. Mrs Dickens, that was it, Charlene Dickens. The poor woman had lost her husband in the crash that had wrecked her life and her body. John would always remember the session in which she’d vomited all over him. With all the pain meds she’d been on, he could understand. The same thing happened to a lot of his clients. Still, he had a distinct aversion to puke, and to have it spewed all over him had left him fighting not to throw up himself. 

When he’d trained up as a physiotherapist, he’d envisioned a glamorous job working with sports injuries, but his life hadn’t turned out that way. Truth be told, he hated his job. And he still held that early ambition to rehab the stars of football and rugby and the like.

His reflection in the glass—dark hair, plastered to his skull in the downpour, framed a chiseled face that he thought was quite attractive—distracted him from his vague view of Charlene. From the fearful look on her face, though, he must have made her jump. John smiled at her through the steamed up window and mouthed, ‘Are you all right?’

The woman blinked and then nodded. A moment later, she opened her door and peered though the crack. Deep pink suffused both cheeks, and she appeared flustered. ‘Yes. Yes, thank you.’ And then she stared at him and blinked some more. ‘It’s John, John Andrews, isn’t it?’

So, she did remember him, then. ‘Yeah, the one and only.’ He grinned, somewhat inanely, he reckoned. Why did he always seem to end up acting like an idiot around this woman? None of his other patients had anywhere near the same effect on him, and he’d worked with some stunners. And yet here he stood, getting all giddy again.

‘Um, sorry if I startled you. It’s just …’

She cringed. ‘You saw some deranged woman pouring snot and tears down her face and thought you’d better make sure she wasn’t going to top herself in the hospital car park.’

‘Something like that, yeah.’ Now it was his turn to cringe. Why the hell had he just agreed with her scathing assessment of herself? He should have contradicted her. The trouble was, his wayward tongue had nearly blurted, You’re still beautiful, and he’d only just stopped himself in time. She’d either think he was an idiot or a dangerous stalker. And he didn’t want to risk her reporting her ex-therapist for inappropriate behaviour. That sort of thing on his record, he could do without.

 

I hope you enjoyed this little excerpt. Below is the book description and then a bit about ‘the author’ for those of you who don’t yet know me.

 

Book Description

 After a tragic accident one Christmas, Charlene loses her husband and her leg.

 Scarred and damaged, the losses leave her lost and reeling, and a long recovery lies ahead of her.

 When John, a hot young physiotherapist, comes into her life with his ripped abs and good-god good-looks, she can’t imagine he’d give somebody like her a second glance.

 Then she falls for him.

 Can Charlene overcome all obstacles to gain back her life and find true love once more?

 Find out in this fun-filled, clean Christmas romance novella from award-winning author Harmony Kent.

 Oh Baubles is available for pre-order at just 99c/99p. The Amazon link is: http://mybook.to/OhBaubles

 

About the Author:

 After spending around thirteen years as an ordained Buddhist monk, living in a Zen Buddhist temple, and six years after a life-changing injury following a surgical error, Harmony Kent returned to the world at the tender age of forty.

Now, she is famous for her laughter, and has made quite the name for herself … she’s also, um, a writer … and fairly well known for that too. She’s even won a few awards. Harmony lives in rural Cornwall with her ever-present sense of humour, adorable husband, and quirky neighbours. Harmony is passionate about supporting her fellow authors.

Follow Harmony on social media:

Website: https://harmonykent.co.uk/https://harmonykent.co.uk/
Story Empire (co-authored): https://storyempirecom.wordpress.com/https://storyempirecom.wordpress.com/
Amazon Author Page: author.to/HarmonysBooksauthor.to/HarmonysBooks
Twitter: @Harmony_kent
LinkedIn: Harmony
Goodreads: Author Page

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/harmony-kent

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Sugar & Snails, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Don’t touch that dial! You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio. The only show that brings you interviews with the characters from the books you love.

I’m your host Lisa the robot girl, and my special guest today is a cat. A very special cat named Marmaduke. “What brings you to the show today, Marmaduke?”

“Diana, my human, has been acting strangely. We’ve rubbed along fine for years, just the two of us, she does her thing, I do mine. Different hours, different lifestyles, but checking in over a saucer of milk or coffee a couple of times a day. A pair of bachelorettes …”

“Oh! So you’re a girl cat.”

“I certainly was last time I looked. Is that relevant, do you suppose?”

“I just thought. You know, Marmaduke is typ—. Why would you be concerned about Diana?”

“I knew something was up when she went on a cleaning blitz at the weekend. Bought new crockery and sheets for the bed. Started studying recipe books. Let’s face it, she’s no cook. But last night she left three pans bubbling on the stove, dashed upstairs and came back down in a dress. And make-up. Then the doorbell goes and there’s a man standing on the doorstep. Turns out she’d invited him for dinner. Why?”

“Humans do things like that. Sometimes a girl has to cut loose.”

“Not Diana. She’s always been the quiet type. Stays at home most evenings. Sleeps alone. She’s forty-five, that’s seven and half in cat years. She’s set in her ways. Respectable. Staid. The riskiest thing she ever does must be getting on her bike to cycle to her Brainiac job at the university. But she’s losing it! Last night, when I walked in through the cat flap my food bowl was empty. I had to jump onto the counter and lick the leftovers from the dinner plates.”

“You poor baby! I don’t have any kibble, but I can open some tuna if you like.”

“It’s fine, thanks. I don’t mind making do now and then, even if it was vegetarian risotto. As long as she doesn’t make a habit of it. But when I went upstairs to remind her I have standards, she wasn’t there. Wasn’t anywhere in the house, even though it was far too early for her to leave for work. The bedding was crumpled as if she’d slept there or whatever she got up to with Simon, but her new sheets smelled sour. No wonder, Lisa, they were covered in blood.”

“Oh my God! Who is this guy?”

“Simon? He seemed harmless when I first met him a few months ago. I thought he was a gentleman – he’d given Diana and her bike a lift home from some party, but she didn’t invite him in. I think she liked him, though – her voice would go higher when they talked on the phone. But there was tension whenever Cairo cropped up in the conversation. He had to go there on business for a while – he was supposed to leave today. He wanted Diana to go with him, but she couldn’t even promise to go out for a visit.”

“Diana could be in danger, or worse.”

“Don’t worry, she’s safe in her room, fast asleep. Arrived home with the milk float at dawn. But she should be at work right now. It’s not right – she’s a woman of routine.”

“I hate to suggest this, but now it’s time to be concerned about Simon’s well-being.”

“Shouldn’t you be concerned about my well-being? Diana’s fine. She injured herself last night, but someone’s bandaged her up. A hospital, presumably – I hope they realized she’s going to need that arm to wield a tin opener. I do like my rabbit chunks.

“The odd thing is, I think she cut herself deliberately. Something or someone upset her last night, and it must be Simon, because it wouldn’t be me. I think it has something to do with this Cairo business. I reckon Simon’s pushed her over the edge.”

“That is mysterious. Some guy shows up out of the blue. Leaves just as fast, and she resorts to self-harming. That usually isn’t something a person her age suddenly starts doing.”

“She has done it before, I believe, although not in all the years she’s lived with me. Her forearm’s a patchwork of scars and I don’t think they’re scratches from another cat. Unless it was a tiger. I don’t like to bad-mouth my human, but that woman has issues going right back to the womb. Did I mention she went to Cairo, years ago, when she was a kid? Something momentous must’ve happened there but I haven’t a clue what is.”

“There are people who can help with problems like this. I really hope you can get her to see someone.”

“They stitched her up at the hospital, if that’s what you mean.”

“I’m talking about the issues on the inside. There are special doctors for that.”

“I’ll try and persuade her. It would certainly make my life easier if she gets herself fixed. Thanks for listening, Lisa. And thanks for having me on your show.”

“Will Diana get the helps she needs? Will she go to Cairo, and if she does who will take care of Marmaduke? What deep mysteries does Simon hold? To find out, you’ll have to read the book ‘Sugar and Snails’ by Anne Goodwin. I’ll include all the deets on the website after I log off.

“Make sure to use those sharing buttons today, too. I know Anne and Marmaduke would do it for you, when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”

***

Blurb:

At fifteen, she made a life-changing decision. Thirty years on, it’s time to make another.

When Diana escaped her misfit childhood, she thought she’d chosen the easier path. But the past lingers on, etched beneath her skin, and life won’t be worth living if her secret gets out.

As an adult, she’s kept other people at a distance, until Simon melts her heart. But his work is taking him to Cairo, the city that transformed her life. She’ll lose him if she doesn’t go out for a visit. She’ll lose herself if she does.

Sugar and Snails describes Diana’s unusual journey, revealing the scars from her fight to be true to herself. A triumphant mid-life coming-of-age story about bridging the gap between who we are and who we feel we ought to be.

From reviews:

absorbing, clever and heartening  Alison Moore

truly impressive Fleur Smithwick

Anne Goodwin’s prose is at once sensitive, invigorating and inspired Rebecca Root

exudes authenticity The Psychologist

a pleasure to read from start to finish North East Lifestyle magazine

tantalisingly grips the reader  The Contemporary Small Press

a brave and complex story Literary Sofa

complex, fascinating and highly contemporary Shiny New Books

heart-rending Claire Thinking

absurdly brilliant Tales From A Bruce Eye View

Purchase links:

Amazon US

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B010O8F9M6/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1908600470/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i2

Publisher website

Sugar and Snails

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Bio:

Anne Goodwin’s debut novel, Sugar and Snails, about a woman who has kept her past identity a secret for thirty years, was shortlisted for the 2016 Polari First Book Prize. Her second novel, Underneath, about a man who keeps a woman captive in his cellar, was published in May 2017. Her short story collection, Becoming Someone, on the theme of identity, was published in November 2018. A former clinical psychologist, Anne is also a book blogger with a special interest in fictional therapists.

Website: annethology https://annegoodwin.weebly.com/

Blog: Annecdotal

https://annegoodwin.weebly.com/annecdotal

Twitter @Annecdotist https://twitter.com/Annecdotist

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Annecdotist

YouTube: Anne Goodwin’s YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPuR1zhp034

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Cover Reveal: Unclear Purposes

Joan Hall is sharing her cover art across the internet today. I hope you’ll all make her feel welcome.

Some people take secrets to the grave…

Three years after her husband’s murder, Christine Lawrence still struggles for balance. She has a rewarding career and a close circle of friends but feels oddly unfulfilled. Worse, the close relationship she once had with her teenage daughter has grown increasingly strained. 

 

Former FBI agent, Vince Green, is battling demons of his own—painful secrets that drove him from Driscoll Lake. Newly resettled in the small town, he makes his living as a private investigator. 

When Vince and Christine cross paths, stumbling over the body of a murder victim, he’s forced to confront memories he thought long buried. The circumstances surrounding the killing are eerily similar to a victim from his past.

 

As the body count continues to rise, Christine finds herself drawn to Vince. With a murderer stalking the streets of Driscoll Lake, neither is aware the killer has targeted her as the next victim—or that Vince’s past is key to unmasking a disturbed and deadly killer.

 

***

Website and Social Media Links:

 

Website   |  Goodreads  | Twitter   |  Facebook   |   Pinterest    |  Facebook Group   |   BookBub

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Tortured Soul, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Welcome all you basement alchemists out there. Take a seat you members of secret societies. Have we got a show for you today. You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that brings you the characters from the books you love. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and I have a doozie for you today. “Welcome to the show, Michelangelo.”

“Good day, Lisa Burton.”

“I’ve wanted to get you on the show for a while now.”

“That is my understanding, yes. Carmina Orsini—I believe she has asked you, as well as everyone she likes, to call her Nonna—has been asking me to talk with you. As I have told her repeatedly, I do not have the time. Alas, I also do not have the time to continue arguing with her. So, here I am. Against my better judgment. Because the woman is just… such a difficult woman to refuse.”

“I know Nonna, and she’s a wonderful person. She was on the show a year ago. Having some problems with one of her granddaughters, Donni.”

“Yes. I was made aware of her transgressions. She should not have done that. Doing so was dangerous. As is this. But, as I said, she is persuasive.”

“Now for our listeners, you are the actual Michelangelo. Can you tell us how you managed to stick around for so long?”

“It is a long story. Let me see, how can I simplify it for you? Alchemy is a precursor to chemistry. While there is a significant scientific component involved in the pursuit, there is an equal focus on magic. And while I realize alchemy is now a nearly-defunct practice, I can attest to the fact that it is, indeed, a fruitful and viable endeavor. Several centuries ago, I succeeded in conquering an alchemist’s two greatest challenges—finding an elixir of immortality and transmuting invaluable metals into untold riches. It has made for a long and rewarding life.”

“It seems like things might get boring after living that long. Do you find yourself running out of things to do?”

“If only you knew how humorous that statement is. While I was a burgeoning artist in Florence, I had the good fortune of being employed by the Medici family. My work and my loyalty to them yielded a mutually-beneficial agreement. While outwardly it would appear I was creating works of art for the family in exchange for their patronage, I was in fact serving as a bodyguard of sorts. And because this became such an intimate and lucrative partnership, I took a vow to always protect the family. It was because of the Medici patronage that I had the ability to conduct my alchemical research, so it was only fitting that I devoted myself to a perpetual defense of the family. I took a solemn vow. Hence the formation of the Medici Protectorate. Every generation since that time, I chose an elite class of warriors to protect the descendants. All these years later, the Notaro family—four daughters—are the lone survivors. With the Italian government currently in turmoil, the country is on the brink of revolution. Heirs of a powerful former ruling family would be ideally poised to take control and seize power. A nefarious faction has learned of their existence and is in pursuit of them, wanting to control them for its own benefit or eliminate them outright. I have chosen four men to be the Notaros’ guardians and several more men to serve as their support.”

“Um… devil’s advocate here, and all that. Has anyone considered what the girls might want in all this? I mean, maybe they don’t want to play princess Barbie. Maybe one of them wants to become a heart surgeon or something.”

“Of course their feelings have been considered. To the extent they are relevant, anyway. If any of the Notaro women was interested in ruling Italy, I would do everything in my power to make it so. But none of them wants that. They all work for their father’s building company and are quite happy in their respective fields. Control of any country is unappealing to them. I have even gone so far as finding a replacement for them—someone who is smart enough and benevolent enough to rule Italy for the good of the people. But until we are able to seat him at the head of the government, the Notaro women will be in danger. That is why they are in seclusion. I would like nothing more than to allow them their freedoms, but it is not safe for them to be in public, particularly on their own. That is why I have opened my homes to them and have assembled the family and their protectors under one roof. Only with constant protection will they be safe. And before you launch into a feminist lecture about the power of strong and independent women, let me stop you. This isn’t about damsels in distress and barbarian men thumping their chests to display their dominance. I have seen it. One of the benefits of my alchemical rituals was the creation of marble daggers which grant their wielders’ powers. One of my powers is foresight, and I have seen the future. The women are in danger without this protection. They, the country—the entire world—are in danger. The Notaros may not like being sequestered, but their discomfort is far better than the alternative.”

“Okay, so you miracled somehow that they’re going to come around. You know these are women we’re talking about, right?”

“I am aware, yes. At one time or another, each of them has escaped. And every time, to nearly disastrous consequences. That is why I found Carmen Scalzotto. He is an activist and a scholar—someone who will be an excellent ruler and can take the burden off their shoulders. But there is only so much I can do, and these confounded women are making things harder. They want to go home, the Brotherhood wants them to be happy, and now we have to protect the Notaro family in addition to Scalzotto. My resources are unimaginably large, but they are not infinite. We are spread thin. Too thin. It is time to put this challenge to rest once and for all, or I will not be able to protect… everyone.”

“So it’s not just fulfilling your vow. You care about the girls, but also want to keep Italy in the right hands. Hands you selected.”

“My feelings are immaterial. And at this point, so is my vow. Do you understand what will happen if this particular evil cabal assumes control of Italy? It will not mean the destruction of one country or even the entire European continent. Dictators have attempted to conquer the world before. Some have even come close, but they have always been stopped. That will not be the case this time. The world has never seen a mind so keen, so devious. So bent on control. If this organization wins, it will be unstoppable. It will mean global domination. Life as we know it will cease to exist.”

“Got it. So our best chance of saving the world involves protecting the Notaro sisters from the bad guys, but all you’ve assigned to the job are four brothers?”

“Very special brothers, hand-picked by me. I adopted them, groomed them, trained them. I used my sculptural skills and alchemical rituals to create special daggers which give them powers that enhance their already exceptional abilities. They are, as you say, the world’s best chance.”

“Daggers might be kind of cool, but we have explosive drones, rocket launchers, and things out there today.”

“Do you think a man can live as long as I have and not know the wonders of modern technology as well as what resides in the hearts of men? The marble came from my personal quarry. Each stone color taps into cosmic powers and provides the wielder with unique abilities. I spent years perfecting the rituals. Colors, materials, herbs, words, science—you cannot conceive of the time and effort put into these weapons. Nor can you comprehend the grueling preparations these warriors have been through. I have watched one of my sons after another give himself over to his calling and master his powers. Only Roberto has yet to fully embrace his gifts. And his are the most important of all. If he does not succeed in becoming one with his weapon and embracing his abilities, all hope is lost.”

“Roberto? You mean Coz, right?”

“Yes. Roberto Cozza.”

“Okay, so let’s project that Coz comes to terms with his powers. What happens next?”

“The Medici Protectorate has spent centuries watching and waiting. Defending. If I can get all four of the Brothers ready—and that means Roberto must come fully into his powers—then we can go on the offensive. We can bring the fight to… well, who leads the cabal is not the point, is it? Suffice it to say, I have known this man for a long while and he is formidable. The only way we can win is to instigate the final battle. And win it.”

“It’s all kind of sad in a way. These girls don’t want what their destiny provides. These brothers have been forced into this life and molded into warriors when they might have chosen different paths for themselves. And an old acquaintance who let you down can’t be trusted. Seems to have all the makings of a Greek tragedy.”

“We are not Greek, Miss Burton. We are Italian.”

“You’re something, all right.”

“I believe I have said enough to satisfy Carmina. If you do not object, I will take my leave now. There is still much work to be done.”

“No. No objection. You’ve given us plenty to think about. Thank you for visiting with me today. Any closing remarks for our listeners?”

“Your very lives are in danger. Whether you believe in alchemy or not, this is happening. And whether you believe in a higher power or not, you might want to pray for our success. Good day, Miss Burton.”

“You can read more about Michelangelo and the brotherhood in the Medici Protectorate Series, by Staci Troilo. Book four, Tortured Soul just hit the shelves.

“Make sure to use those sharing buttons on your way out. It really helps my guests and their authors out. I know Staci and Michelangelo would do it for you. For Lisa Burton Radio, I’m Lisa Burton.”

***

Protection is safety. Until it stifles.

After months of clandestine battles, the Brothers of the Medici Protectorate finally know who is responsible for the assassination attempts on the Notaro family, the secret descendants of the Medici line. And they’ve never faced such a formidable foe.

Roberto Cozza–Coz–faces this new reality with surprising pragmatism. His powers may make the difference in winning their covert war–if only he can master them in time. It would just be so much easier if he could get his emotions under control, but neither his Brothers nor their charges are making things easy on him.

Toni Notaro appreciates the security provided by the Brothers, but she knows she has her own role to play–and it terrifies her. She is the missing link in Coz mastering his emerging abilities, yet she struggles to bridge the gap between what he needs and what she can offer.

As the Brotherhood hurtles inexorably toward the climactic final showdown, Coz and Toni must find the strength within themselves and each other to master the secrets of his powers, or risk death and defeat for all they hold dear.

Universal Purchase Link: https://books2read.com/STtorturedsoul

 

Staci Troilo writes because she has hundreds of stories in her head. She publishes because people told her she should share them. She’s a multi-genre author whose love for writing is only surpassed by her love for family and friends, and that relationship-centric focus is featured in her work.

Web | Blog | Tortured Soul Info | Medici Protectorate Info | Amazon Page | BookBub | Goodreads | TwitterOther Social Media Links

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Heaven for Toasters, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Welcome to another edition of Lisa Burton Radio. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and I’m giddy with excitement today. My very special guest is an android, but not only that, he has a similar career path to my own. Many of you don’t know I worked briefly as a detective when I first booted up.

I want you all to make him feel comfortable. “Welcome to the show, Leo.”

“Hi Lisa, I’m so excited to be here. You do know you’re a bit of an inspiration to me, right? Like you, I’m a prototype, so I know from personal experience how… strange it can feel to be one of a kind. To be honest, I’ve often taken my cue from you. What would Lisa do in this situation, I ask myself.”

” Aww, I’m honored. Things were tough for me. They had to keep it a big secret that I was a robot. They didn’t want the panic in the streets that all their jobs might be at risk if my experiment was successful. How are things where you are?”

“Well, it’s the opposite with me. The company who made me has decided that all androids should have black earlobes. It’s supposed to make us more easily distinguishable from humans. I think they took the idea from an Asimov novel, actually.

“Normally I don’t mind the curious looks, but some days I find myself wishing I wore a hat or something. I mean, people already call us toasters. At first I thought that was a compliment—after all, who doesn’t like toast? Turns out it’s not. So much for us being the next best thing since sliced bread…”

“That’s horrible. I don’t know why people have to give inferior labels to everything they fear. We could make their lives so much better.”

“We sure could. Take Mika. She’s the most headstrong woman I’ve ever met. Not that I’ve met that many, of course, except for those twin lab technicians. Anyway, Mika is my partner. Or, at least, I hope she’ll be. One thing I haven’t shared with her is that I can lip read. So, I know just how she reacted when the captain told her she had to work with me. Let me tell you, she was furious. I thought she’d rather quit on the spot than serve with me.”

“I’m so sorry to hear that. Have you tried talking to her?”

“Actually, I thought I might try and understand humanity better before approaching her. After all, how can you fight something you don’t understand—and by that I mean prejudice, not humanity! So, I decided to take a small holiday to an art exhibition by an eccentric young woman. This woman clones herself, then poses these clones in various positions. Weird—but I hope it will offer me some insight in humanity.”

“And a chance for a holiday! I don’t understand how they can give us emotional software, then expect us to work twenty-four hours per day. I think some of them would hardwire us to our desks and work us to the point of failure. But I’m sorry, you were about to tell us about your holiday.”

“If you can call it that. First, Mika was there. She came with a guy named Richard. They seemed to be dating, but her body language suggested she wasn’t all that into him. Perhaps they were on a first date? I have to ask her sometime. Not right now, though. You see, they got into a big fight and he left her on the island. Which was fortunate, as his vehicle crashed, killing him on the spot.”

“Oh my God, that’s awful!”

“Even worse, Mika thinks it may not have been an accident. She suspects it may have to do with something I said at the art exhibition.”

“The one with the clones?”

“That one. As you know, it is forbidden to grow conscious clones. But I swear there was one at the exhibition. The artist insisted otherwise, but I know what I saw.”

“So you shared your suspicions with Mika?”

“Well, yes. With the artist, too.”

“Subtle.”

“Not by best moment, in hindsight. But I thought Mika would support me. Instead, she said we need to tread lightly, because the artist has friends in high places. What does the height of one’s friends have to do with justice?”

“You do have a lot to learn, Leo. Anyway, lucky break that you and Mika are both on the scene. If there’s any shenanigans, I’ll bet you two sort it out.”

“Thanks, I sure do hope so. Right now, I feel like we’re fighting shadows, but Mika is amazing—if anyone can sort out this mess, it’s her.”

“Are you sure she’s just a partner to you?”

“Well… I do find myself having some very confusing emotions. I try to be professional, of course, but…”

“Have you talked with her about this?”

“No, of course not! Not until I’ve had a chance to understand what it is I feel. It’s not like romance was covered by my programming.”

“Well, it was covered by mine, and it sucks. Let me tell you. We’re so efficient, and then along come some of these feelings. It’s distracting, but there’s nothing you can do about it, because it’s in your programming.”

“I don’t think there’s a subroutine for what I’m feeling. It seems to be an accidental byproduct of my consciousness. Anyway, to return to your question about talking to Mika—you heard me earlier when I told you how she feels about our kind. So, that’s an added complication.”

“Leo, I say go for it. If it works out, both of you will be better off. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t exactly sound like the partnership is working from a professional standpoint anyway. The two of you can independently work the case, and you’re no worse off. If it works, then together you can get to the bottom of things faster, and I don’t just mean the mystery.”

“I hear you, Lisa. You know, I think you’re right. It’s better to clarify things. I’ll talk to her… after we wrap things up with the investigation. After all, if someone is trying to kill her, I need her focused. A conversation about my… feelings might distract her. No, right now the best thing I can do for her is have her back, and keep my mouth shut. Unless something happens, of course…”

“Leo, whatever you decide, it’s been my pleasure having you on the show today. Any closing remarks for our listeners?”

“Just that toasters aren’t just for toast. Not anymore!”

“Leo and Mika’s story is in the book, A Heaven For Toasters, by Nicholas Rossis. I’ll add all the deets to the website after I go off the air today.

“Help keep this robot girl on the air, by using those sharing buttons. Nicholas and Leo would do it for you, when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”

***

A Heaven For Toasters: A Sci-Fi Crime Romance set on the Greek Islands

A science fiction crime adventure with plenty of humor and romance

A souvlaki and some sun. That is all Detective Mika Pensive wanted from her fun weekend away on the Greek islands. Instead, she finds herself caught up in a sinister plot, hatched by a reclusive billionaire with a penchant for illegal genetic engineering. As if that wasn’t bad enough, she has to put up with her new partner, Leo. Leo is an android—or toaster, as people scornfully call his kind. The only thing that could make things even worse would be for the headstrong Mika to fall for Leo. But people don’t fall for toasters—do they?

Set in the near future, A Heaven for Toasters is more than a sci-fi crime romance. It’s the book that will make you look at your toaster in a whole new way.

Buy link: http://myBook.to/toasterHeaven

 

Nicholas C. Rossis lives to write and does so from his cottage on the edge of a magical forest in Athens, Greece. When not composing epic fantasies or short sci-fi stories, he chats with fans and colleagues, writes blog posts, and enjoys the antics of two silly cats and his baby daughter, all of whom claim his lap as home. His books have won numerous awards, including the Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award.

In addition to his best-selling series, Pearseus, he writes short science fiction/speculative fiction stories, many of which have appeared in various collections and anthologies. These include Infinite Waters, which was voted one of the best 50 Indie books of 2015.

What readers are saying about Nick’s fantasies:

“Most avid readers still have books from their childhood which they read over and over again. ‘Runaway Smile’ has joined the list.”

“From the very first sentence I realized I was not reading a book, I was going on an adventure.”

“The strength of Rise of the Prince is two-fold: Mr. Rossis’ flowing, concise writing and his brilliant use of ancient Greek history.”

You can keep up with Nickolas at the following locations:

Blog: http://www.nicholasrossis.me

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Nicholas_Rossis

G+: https://plus.google.com/+NicholasRossis

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NicholasCRossis

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The Contract – between heaven and earth

I’m really excited to have John and Gwen stop by today. I had the honor of being a beta reader on this story, and I think you guys are going to like it.

The CONTRACT between heaven and earth

By John W. Howell & Gwen M. Plano

Thank you, Craig, for inviting us to join you today. We are super excited to be featured on your blog where some of the most imaginative writing takes place. Also, we are so thrilled to meet Lisa Burton. We’ve wanted to try on The Hat, but we promised to be on our best behavior and besides who knows what could happen if we did. Thanks again.

The Contract

Available on Kindle and Paperback

Kindle priced at $0.99 for the introduction.

The CONTRACT is a different story for writers John W. Howell and Gwen M. Plano. For either of them, it is their first attempt at co-authorship. After a year of Hurricane Harvey and other challenges, they have created, what they have termed, an inspirational thriller that bridges heaven and earth.

Here is the blurb:

The earth is threatened with a catastrophic political event which could result in international warfare and destroy all life on the planet. In heaven, a divine council decides that extraordinary measures are essential. They call for an intervention that involves two souls returning to earth. The chosen two sign a contract that they will work to avert the disaster.

Brad Channing, a Navy SEAL, and Sarah O’Brien, a teacher, become heaven’s representatives on earth. The story follows them as they individually and then together face overwhelming obstacles and eventually end up on a strategic Air Force base in California. It is there that they discover a conspiracy to assassinate the President of the United States. The terrorists have a plan for global dominance, and they are determined to complete their mission. Although military leadership appears to have the President’s best interests at heart, it is not clear who can be trusted and who should be feared. The action is rough and tumble as Brad and Sarah try to figure out the culprits for the plot that will turn into a worldwide conflagration unless stopped.

If you enjoy thrillers, this is one with enough twists and adventure to keep you riveted and guessing. If you like your thriller along with a good romance, Brad and Sarah’s initial attraction and eventual love will sustain you as they live out their heavenly and earthly desires.

Trailer

Here is an excerpt.

After a few moments of silence, the general got up and walked over to a double set of windows. He pulled on his chin and appeared taken aback by the information. Then he turned to face Brad, crossed his arms, and leaned back on the window.

“Do you know who arrives in four days, Sailor?”

“No, sir.”

“The President of the United States.”

Brad gulped. “Oh, my God. They sent me here because the bomb has something to do with the President?”

“Sailor, when you went on an op, wasn’t every detail orchestrated?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Didn’t you have diversions in place, to sidetrack the guards?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Your SUV is set to explode at zero-ten-hundred hours in four days. The President will address the base at that time in the ball field. The entire Reconnaissance Wing will congregate on that ball field. Do you understand?”

“I do, sir. Equipped with our nation’s most advanced aircraft, the Reconnaissance Wing provides for our national security.”

“Sailor—” The general smiled. “You may have thought you’d have a few days of vacation here, but you’ll work with me now.”

“Yes, sir. Whatever you need, sir.”

Authors Bio.

John Howell Head shotGwen's headshot

John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016. The last, Circumstances of Childhood is a family life thriller story and launched October 2017. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

John lives in Port Aransas, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

John’s other books.

Available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

Gwen had a lengthy career in higher education, and it was there that she published her first book, Beyond Boundaries, for students interested in volunteer work in developing countries. After she retired, she wrote her award-winning memoir, Letting Go into Perfect Love.

Gwen lives in Branson, Missouri with her husband.

Gwen’s Books.

Available on Amazon at https://amzn.to/2wdXsrn

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Time to Lie, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Hey there all you time bandits and meddlers of history. Welcome all of you young people trying to find a place in the modern world. You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that brings you characters from the books you love.

I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and my special guest today is Landon Bridges. He’s a college student who thinks he may have stumbled upon something that will unlock the secret of time travel. “Welcome to the show, Landon.”

“Hello Lisa! Thanks for having me.”

“Okay Landon, Let’s get into the science of this thing. How is time travel actually going to work?”

“Here’s the thing Lisa, hold on to your hat, everyone can time travel. My theory, and I believe this to be accurate, is that because the brain is both a biochemical and electrical machine, all neural activity results in electrical signals that are of a specific frequency.

“Because of that, all of us have our own frequency, or rather, our brains have their own unique, genetic electrical signature. You know how you have to tune a radio to a particular frequency to hear what a specific station is broadcasting? Our brain is permanently tuned to our own frequency. You know how they say TV signals broadcast through the air don’t dissipate, but continue to travel into outer space forever? My theory is that the chemical-electrical signature, or signal, that your brain creates at a specific moment in time doesn’t dissipate or cease to exist. I think it continues to revolve around its locus of origin, your brain. If you imagine a past situation vividly enough, your brain is likely to have the same chemical and electrical signals that it did the first time, and voila! You find yourself tuned to that moment in your past. Unfortunately, because your future doesn’t exist yet, there’s no way to travel to the future.”

“It sounds really interesting. What will you do first? That seems to be a popular thought.”

“Time travel is tricky. If you change something in the past, you might return to a future you don’t want. It’s that whole butterfly effect thing. Eventually I’d love to become good enough to prevent some terrible disasters and things like that.”

“What do you hope to encounter there?”

“Before I tackle the big stuff, I’d like to iron out a few wrinkles in my own life. I lost my Dad when I was young and well, that really screwed me up. I’m a guy with Daddy issues. It’s a miracle I didn’t grow up to become a stripper. I’d really like to go back and save his life.”

“Have you put any thought into whether this is a one way trip or not? Maybe your technology will be completely out of sink in another time.”

“That’s the beauty of my time travel method! No technology needed. Your brain is the time machine! As long as you don’t get amnesia while you’re in the past. The only technology problem is that when you get to the past your cell phone doesn’t work because the sim card in it didn’t exist. There’s no calling for help in the past!”

“Hold that thought. We have a caller today. Hello, caller. You’re on the air with Lisa and Landon.”

“Yeah, I’m Future Landon too, only I’m stuck in my past and his present. I need Landon not to screw everything up so I can get back to a future that I recognize.”

“Wow, sounds like you don’t age well. How about it Landon? Will you accept advice from your future self?”

“Listen Lisa, this guy is half my problem. Every time I go back into my, our, past to fix something, he tries to stop me. I don’t know what he did growing up, but I’m trying to change things so I don’t turn into the huge asshole that he… I seem to be. Oops. Sorry about the language. If that’s a problem, I can go back in time and not say that.”

“No, that’s OK Landon. That’s what we want. The raw, honest truth. But, ignoring advice from your future self sounds risky to me. Your older self has more experience and if he says something is a bad thing, wouldn’t it be in your best interest to listen?”

“You know Lisa, just because he’s from my future doesn’t mean he’s right about everything. Our ancestors believed the world was flat and were afraid of electricity. All progress comes with an element of risk. He’s a miserable old bastard that doesn’t want me to have any fun. Just because he screwed up his life, it doesn’t mean that I’m going to make the same mistakes.”

“Listen you little punk! I’m from your future. You want to know why I’m miserable? It’s because of all the stupid shit I did when I was your age. I’m trying to stop you, to help me! Do you want to lose Siobhan the way I did?”

“Whoa! Hold on! Who’s Siobhan? Landon, do you have a love interest you’re not telling us about?”

“Yes, Siobhan is my girlfriend and he seems to be doing his best to screw that up too.”

“Listen fellas, you both may have all the time in the world, but my radio show doesn’t time travel, yet. Whatever you decide, Landon, I wish you all the best. Our audience can find out about Landon’s choices in the book Time To Lie, by Phil Taylor. I’ll post all the pertinents on the website after the show.

“Don’t forget to use those sharing buttons today. I’m sure Phil and Landon would do it for you, when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”

***

Remember that time you dated that complete nutcase and said to yourself, I wish Future Me would have come back and warned me about this. Remember when you and your drunk friends said, If it’s such a bad idea, someone would come back from the future and stop us, right before it blew up in your face and got you in trouble? It would be great to have someone from the future to guide your life, wouldn’t it?

Landon Bridges’ life hasn’t always been perfect, but now he’s in college and determined to make a fresh start. Things are going great, until He shows up. 

A mysterious stranger intervenes to help Landon out of a terrible, possibly life changing situation, but what does he want? Why does he keep showing up? Who is he? Landon’s esteemed professor suddenly seems like a flake. Landon’s briefly idyllic college world seems to be spinning out of control. Landon, in trying to regain his sanity and his grip on reality, discovers that he has talents and allies that he never imagined. But is what they’re telling him the truth? 

Phil Taylor is a father of three, husband to one, and life-long smart ass to many. He has a Master’s degree in Psychology and spent many years working in the field of mental health before realizing that stringing words together might be a little bit more fun. His other two fiction novels, White Picket Prisons and The Sneaker Tree are dedicated to the life-long friends that shaped his life. His humor blog, The Phil Factor, at thirteen years, is one of the longest running blogs in the world.

The truth is just the lie we’ve chosen to believe, and yours may be different than mine.

Purchase Link: Available in Kindle, paperback and Audible: https://www.amazon.com/Time-Landon-Bridges-Story-Book-ebook/dp/B075BDTBZB/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

 

Social media links:

Blog: https://thephilfactor.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorPhilTaylor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ThePhilFactor

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