Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Author C.B. Clark


My Favorite Vacation Spot:

My favorite get away is a secret little campsite my husband and I go to that involves a two hour drive along a bumpy, narrow, dusty, winding, gravel logging road. Once we arrive at our small clearing in the woods, we nestle our truck and camper under the trees, set out the lawn chairs, and settle down to enjoy the incredible views of the surrounding mountains and pristine lake. 

This spot has everything we like, and we spend our time fishing for rainbow trout, hiking on the nearby historic trails through verdant forests of towering fir and pine trees, canoeing the still lake waters, and observing the shoreline for otters, beaver, moose, and bear, while bald eagles soar overhead, and a loon’s haunting call echoes across the lake. 

The wilderness, the sheer abundance of nature, and the lack of other campers, soothes my soul, replenishes my spirit, and fills me with hope for the future. Many of my stories incorporate scenes of nature and wilderness. I couldn’t live without my nature fix, and my characters are the same.

 

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Book Blurb:

After five years of hell with an abusive husband, Natasha Hartford vows never to trust another man. Then she stumbles onto a murder scene and meets sexy, stubborn Homicide Detective Chase Brandon, a take-no-prisoners tough guy who’ll settle for nothing less than the truth. Sparks fly, but Chase’s suspicions and Natasha’s innate distrust block the way to happiness.
The detective struggles with his own troubled past and is determined to find the truth behind the shadows dimming Natasha's eyes. As more murders occur and a possible connection to her ex-husband appears, Chase fears her life is in danger. 

Natasha and Chase race to find the killer before he strikes again. Their survival depends on their willingness to overcome their mistrust of one another. Will they overcome their fears and find love again? 

Tag Line: 

After escaping an abusive relationship, can she learn to trust and love again?

Buy Links:

Cover:


Excerpt:

The thick carpet muted the tapping of her high heels as she fled through the reception area and down the hall to the elevators. In spite of her cowardly retreat, she wanted to shout in triumph. She’d been terrified of angering the surly detective, but she’d dragged up her courage and told him what she thought. Blood buzzed through her veins, fueled by the adrenaline rush. Damn. It was good to have her old fire back.
She glanced down a short corridor on her left and stumbled to a stop. How had she missed the ropes of yellow police tape blocking the entry to one of the rooms? Her breath hitched in her throat. That must be where the grisly crime had occurred.
The shocking truth struck her like a blow—Jonas Waverley was dead. Murdered in cold blood. She staggered and grabbed onto the wall.
“Ms. Hartford, wait.”
She glanced back.
Detective Brandon strode along the corridor toward her, his long legs eating up the distance, a determined expression on his face.
Her earlier spurt of courage vanished, and she whirled and dashed toward the bank of elevators. Chest heaving, heart pounding, she hit the button for the elevator, jabbing it again and again.
“Look, I’m sorry,” he said, catching up. “I was hard on you, but I’m just doing my job. A man was murdered.” He rubbed the back of his neck. “I have to examine every possible lead, question every person of interest.”
She shuddered and stabbed the down button again. Person of interest? Her? She was a person of interest in a murder investigation?
“Can we go somewhere and talk?”
She shot him a look, making it clear what she thought of his suggestion.
He lifted one shoulder. “Maybe we could grab a coffee? I have a few more questions I’d like to ask.”
The elevator pinged, and the doors opened with a hiss, revealing a middle-aged man and an elderly woman who stared at them with vague interest.
Natasha stumbled toward the elevator.
Detective Brandon grabbed her arm, holding her back. “Ms. Hartford, wait.”
Warmth from his large tanned hand seeped through the thin material of her raincoat and raised goose bumps on her arm. “Let me go.” Her voice was shrill with rising hysteria. She tugged, but he held on, his grip tightening.


 Author Bio:
C.B. Clark has always loved reading, especially romances, but it wasn’t until she lost her voice for a year that she considered writing her own romantic suspense stories. She grew up in Canada’s Northwest Territories and Yukon. Graduating with a degree in Anthropology and Archaeology, she has worked as an archaeologist and an educator. She enjoys hiking, canoeing, and snowshoeing with her husband and dog near her home in the wilderness of central British Columbia.
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Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Author Kay Phoenix

Every once in awhile I guest post on my own blog.  It feels kinda funny, but hey, I travel too.  I love sharing about my trips, and I love encouraging people to travel and explore places they've never been.

Recently, my son's dad and I took him on a long-overdue trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.  Long overdue because the last time I'd been up there was about 25 years ago. I'd really wanted to go back.

We planned the trip about 6 months in advance  knowing we'd have to get hotels booked fast. It was a good thing we did because hotel rooms were far and few between, even that far in advance.  I'll know better next time.  And if I ever plan to stay inside the park, I should book it out at least a year in advance (and plan to spend a lot).

We decided not to camp because time was important and we didn't want to be bogged down dragging a ton of extra gear with us. The parks are enormous, and we wanted to spend every possible moment enjoying them.

The first couple nights, we stayed in Jackson, Wyoming.  It is such a charming town, and I look forward to exploring it more someday. I'd expected the hotel there to be quite expensive, but it wasn't. And, we got a great room with a giant fireplace. How we managed that perk, I'll never know.  The coolest place we ate in Jackson was the Snake River Brewing Company. Yum!

Grand Teton National Park made for a nice drive on the first day, circling through and heading back to Jackson.  We stopped at the Jenny Lake Lodge for lunch, which was by far my favorite meal of the trip. The view was worth at least ten million dollars or more, but the cheeseburger I had was very reasonably priced.

The next few nights, we stayed in West Yellowstone, which was not as charming as Jackson, and was extremely overpriced. The hotel was mediocre, yet we spent three times as much to stay there as we had in Jackson.  But, if you've ever been to Yellowstone, you know the place is about the size of a state, and location is important when choosing  a hotel.  As we'd planned out our driving routes in advance, we were kind of stuck there. 

My son got lucky and was the only one of the three of us that saw a wild bear.  We weren't looking in the right place, and he saw the bear just as it disappeared into the woods (disappointing a few tourists as it did). We did, however, see two moose, bison, elk, an adorable red fox, and many birds of prey. The most magical experience we had was at the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone, when their wolf pack began to howl.  I closed my eyes to listen to the haunting sound while it wafted through the cold breeze like a spell.  I highly recommend a trip to the Center on your next jaunt to Yellowstone country. 








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NOW in AUDIO


Title: Steele and Stone
Series: The Daring Hearts series, Book 1
Author:  Kay Phoenix

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Date of Publication:  November 2, 2016

ASIN:  B01LYUQ75N

Number of pages: 133

Word Count:  42,000

Blurb:

Elle Thompson was raised in Denver. She paints. She hikes. She knows how to avoid cougar attacks.



The only cougars Michael Williams usually worries about are the ones that wear leopard print leggings on 5th Avenue.

But, when his acquisition firm sets its sights on Elle's family business, his tidy life goes awry. As things unravel, so do all his preconceived notions of love and what makes a perfect partner.




Buy link:



Excerpt:

     “So, how are you feeling today?” a familiar voice asked behind him. He didn’t have to turn to know who it was, but he turned anyway, temporarily forgetting about his sunburn until he saw the shocked expression on her face.
     “Whoa! No sunblock either? I had some, you could have asked,” she giggled. “That’ll peel for sure.”
     Blue! Brilliant, shimmering blue eyes. He hadn’t seen her eyes during their hike, as they’d been hidden behind sunglasses the whole time, and he’d always been a sucker for blue eyes. Her blonde hair hung long, loose and wavy as she leaned casually against the door frame.
     “I see you’ve already made yourself quite at home,” she said. “Randall told me he let you use the conference room.”
     “What are you doing here?” he asked in a tone that sounded a bit too firm.
     “Oh, no ‘How are you?’ or ‘Nice to see you?’” She tilted her head to the side, causing a loose curl to graze her breast.
     He turned back to the coffee. “I didn’t mean to sound rude. You just surprised me.”

Author bio:

Ms. Phoenix is a rare bird herself...a lifelong resident of Las Vegas, Nevada. She belongs to Las Vegas Romance Writers and has served on the board for several years. She is also a member of Romance Writers of America with PAN status.

Prior to writing, Kay was a Graphic Artist for fifteen years in the casino industry and holds degrees in both Graphic Arts and Psychology. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, traveling and photography. She is also involved in several Las Vegas non-profits, and is the current Chairman of a popular, long-running, local art show.

Kay has been blessed to be able to travel many places, which inspired her to host a weekly author spotlight called “Midweek Escapes” on her blog. It features guest author’s favorite vacation destinations, their travel tips, and, of course, information about their book releases and occasional giveaways.



Author website and social media links:

Website:
Facebook:
Twitter:

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Author Clara Winter


Several years ago, inspired by my love of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt, and my general love of all things southern, we planned a short trip to Savannah, Ga.

Although, it was only two days, Savannah stayed with me, becoming the inspired setting of my first novel, Deepest Midnight. We managed to see quite a bit in those two days; I'm famous for squeezing every bit of action I can into our vacations.

Here is a list of what we managed to see. Everything we saw was a hit, and quickly became a "must do" for the next visit.
  • The Mercer Williams House is a must for fans of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Tours are offered and there is a wonderful little gift shop on site. The house is currently owned and occupied by the sister of Jim Williams, Dr. Dorothy Kingery.
  • River Street is a beautiful, historic area. It is a lovely place, bustling with activity. The buildings here were once warehouses for cotton and have since been converted into restaurants, hotels, and gift shops. Savannah’s Candy Kitchen was a favorite with my son.
  • Forsyth Park is a large, 30-acre city park. Here, you will find the famous Forsyth Park Fountain. There are many walking paths, a play area, and even a cafe. Forsyth Park makes for a wonderful afternoon stroll, and figures prominently into my novel.
  • Savannah's Historic Squares There are 22 squares in historic Savannah, lined with stunning historic homes, and businesses. The squares are lush with greenery. There are places to sit and relax, taking in the beauty around you. The below picture was taken in Lafayette Square.

  • Hearse Ghost Ride Hubs and I went on a haunted tour of historic Savannah. I can't emphasize enough how fun this was. The tour took place inside an actual hearse, with a customized open top. Yes, it was super touristy and cheesy, but oh so fun. The stories were fantastic, and there was even an opportunity to go inside one of the buildings on the tour; The Olde Pink House.
  •  The Book Lady Bookstore Obviously, as a writer and avid book nerd, I always take the time to find a local bookstore to peruse. The Book Lady is a charming store that specializes in used, rare, and out of print books. You will find new books, as well.
  •   The Pirate's House This restaurant was a win-win for dinner. My son loved the pirate theme and the adults loved the history. This restaurant has been in operation since 1753, beginning as a meeting place for sailors and pirates! It is also supposedly haunted, which adds to the fun.

There is so much more to do in Savannah. I hope to return, someday soon, and add to this list. The Bonaventure Cemetery was a big miss, we just simply did not have the time. I did, although, pick up my Bird Girl Statuette, which is always displayed in a prominent location. Where is your favorite vacation spot?

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Deepest Midnight
The Immortal Kindred Series
Book One
Clara Winter

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Inkspell Publishing

Date of Publication: June 25, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-945910-64-7

Number of pages: 162
Word Count: 48,903

Tagline: True love never dies

Book Description:

True love never dies. At least it doesn’t for Millicent, a once French noblewoman turned immortal vampire. Her big problem is that the love of her life was murdered before she was granted immortality. Forever is a long time to live in despair. 240 years later, she happens upon an English actor named Jack, who happens to look exactly like her dead lover.

Trying to figure out Jack’s true soul identity becomes complicated by her own uncertainty, Jack’s mortality, and the other man in Millicent’s life. Alexandre, her maker and companion, isn’t going to make it too easy for her. Millicent must decide if she’s going to continue to be led by others or take the reins and drive the outcome of her life.

Deepest Midnight is set in modern day Savannah, Ga with occasional glimpses back to 18th century France.


Amazon     Kobo     BN



Excerpt:

“Go be miserable somewhere else, Millicent,” grumbles Alexandre.
It’s going to be one of those nights. Alexandre pulls me up and hands me my black leather clutch. He steers me toward the darkly stained front door of our antebellum Savannah home. Before opening the door, he bends down to put shoes on my feet, like I’m a child. If he wants me to brood elsewhere, I will. Alexandre appreciates people who are bright and cheery. His reason for tolerating my presence for so long is one of life’s many mysteries.
“We have all lost people we love, Mills. We go on. If you can’t ever learn to do the same, what’s the point?”
“Good question, what is the point?”
“You can choose to be happy again. I’m not sure how much longer I can stand to have you around like this. For tonight, go find something to distract your mind.”
I can’t blame Alexandre for wanting me to disappear this evening. The life of the party tires of the buzz kill. Thankfully, one of the many wonderful things about Savannah is the abundance of mysterious spots, all perfect for sulking. Secluded squares, thick with foliage dripping in Spanish moss, decaying alleyways lined with ancient cobblestone, and hidden stone staircases topped with wrought iron railings, all provide perfect places to hide away. My stormy mood, has long felt at home in this haunted city.


About the Author:

Clara Winter grew up reading Anne of Green Gables, The Secret Garden, and Alice in Wonderland, while watching Buck Rogers, Star Trek, and Doctor Who. Writing her own stories naturally ensued. She is a wife, mother, and former school counselor, with a Master’s Degree in Counseling. Amy is from Colorado Springs, Co and currently resides in Mission Viejo, Ca. 










Enter to win 1 pair of Marie Antoinette Earrings from Dames a la Mode.

Visit Clara's Facebook Page to Enter 



Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Author A.K. Smith


love Mexico. I lived for two years in a charming seaside town called Puerto Penasco on the Sea of Cortez. However, one of my favorite vacation spots in Mexico is the Riveria Maya. Specifically Playa del Carmen and Tulum. White sandy beaches and blue waters, and a pedestrian area called 5th avenue, several miles long and full of shops, cantina’s, restaurants and music.

Outside Tulum, are sacred Mayan Temples and a fasinating wonder of nature, cenotes.
If you've never heard of a cenote, this one's for you. 

Cenote’s are magical underground caves that exist in the Yucatán Peninsula Deep holes under the earth filled with crystal clear fresh water containing minerals found nowhere else in the world. A beautiful sinkhole. The Maya discovered them centuries ago, calling them “dzonot,” translated by the Spaniards to the word “cenote” meaning in Spanish “a deep thing.”

When one steps up to this hole in the ground, it might appear surreal. Gazing at the iridescent clear blue water, one might think, they discovered a secret water ahole in a fantasy novel. That's what happened to me when I first discovered cenotes in the Riviera Maya in Mexico. You can swim in them, snorkel and dive, although most are on private land and off limits to tourists.

Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula does not have many streams or rivers on the surface. But, underneath this flat land are the three longest underground water systems in the world. Thousands of these fresh underwater caves exist in the Yucatan, some not even mapped as of 2018. They are underground, and some Maya thought they were the entrance to the underworld.

Go Pro has an excellent YouTube video series called “Place of Fear: Searching the Maya Underworld."  Go Pro writes this description on YouTube, "On their mission to discover the world's biggest cave, veteran cave explorer Robbie Schmittner and his partner Toddy Waelde pledge to protect this Mecca of diving beneath the Yucatan. Robbie warns against the destructive forces affecting this area. Toddy discovers an unbroken Maya pot that could be thousands of years old." The video was posted on November 29, 2016, and has three parts. I hope there are many more to come-- the filming is amazing. 

My debut suspense novel, A Deep Thing, was born in the Yucatan jungle. The setting of A Deep Thing, will lead you underwater to cenotes in the Yucatan and through the woods of Camp David. It is a suspense novel that will take you on a journey.

If you want to see it, feel it and touch it, get scuba certified (I recommend cave or cavern certification) and plan a vacation to Tulum or Playa Del Carmen. Schedule an epic cave dive in a cenote (my choice Dos Ojos) and contact one of the many dive shops. On my cave dive, I used Diving Cenotes Tulum, Paulo is the owner and was my guide.

Watch this YouTube video before you read the suspense novel, A Deep Thing. (If you can, view it on your television or the largest screen possible!)

I would also like to mention my travel book, #1 Amazon Bestseller:

Travel Secrets:Insider Guide to Planning, Affording and Taking more vacations and my two new releases:

Travel Journal: My Travel Bucket List
Our Travel Bucket List

Great gifts for someone you love, or milestone birthday gifts and engagement gifts.

***

A Deep Thing by A.K. Smith
First Mainstream Thriller Edition, 2017
Print ISBN 978-1-5092-1048-0
Digital ISBN 978-1-5092-1049-7
ASIN - B01MG3FOXS
Theme(s): Conspiracy, Suspense, Beach
SubGenre(s): Contemporary, Adventure, Suspense, Romance
Rating: Spicy (PG-13)
Keywords: Suspense, Mystery, Thriller, Conspiracy, Sea Stories, International, Adventure,  Islands, Fantasy
Page Count: 350
Word Count: 90000
Digital Price: 5.99 on sale for $2.80
Print Price: 16.99



Blurb: Dive into A Deep Thing
A Deep Thing by A.K. Smith is a high concept thriller--think The Da Vinci Code of the deep--that grabs you from the beginning and doesn't let go. A roller coaster ride of romance, suspense, mystery and intrigue,  this page-turner surprises at every turn and offers a stunning ending you'll never suspect.  M. Baron- Author of Stumble Stones: A novel

What was her husband hiding in the jungles of Mexico?

Rocked by her husband's tragic death, Kendall Jackson strives to put her life back together. But Ryder, her nineteen-year-old stepson, is bitter and wants nothing to do with her. And she can't keep the grief at bay. Sometimes, it's so strong, she wonders if life is worth living. A call from a cave diver in Mexico gives her hope of mending the relationship with her stepson. Before his death, her husband arranged a diving expedition as a birthday gift for his son. Kendall persuades Ryder to honor his father's last wish. 

From the campus of Western Maryland College to the woods of Camp David and the caves of the Yucatán, Kendall and Ryder take a journey to discover what her husband worked so hard to hide, and to protect his treasured secrets from falling into the wrong hands. The choices they make will decide their fate and the future of others. Will they risk everything for the truth?



Tagline: What was her husband hiding in the jungles of Mexico? Expect the unexpected.

Short Excerpt:

Harvey next to her, Kendall, sat cross-legged on the bed, staring at her laptop. A glass of white wine, sat untouched on the bedside table. She put her iPod in, selected Jason Mraz and turned it up loud.
She turned off the Wi-Fi. Her mind was battling thoughts of hackers and computer surveillance.
She held the unusual memory stick in her hand before plugging it into the side of her computer. Black rubber surrounded the stick like the rubber on an underwater camera. Here goes. She watched it upload. Let’s see what this is all about.
Ten documents labeled by date flashed on her computer screen. Six documents dated years before Tim and Kendall met; the other four ranged from the beginning of their relationship to one dated three days before Tim died.
Inhaling deeply, she touched her mouse, pulling down to the right and clicking without hesitation on the last icon, a video file. She squeezed her eyes to hold back tears as Tim’s face filled the screen. The background was the upstairs office over the garage. She hit play.
“This message is for my wife. Kendall, if you’re watching this video, I’m so sorry not to be with you. Obviously, something happened to me for you to be hearing this. I know life’s been hard for you. I’m sorry, my love, I’m sorry I kept a secret from you, but I’ve been sworn to secrecy to protect a division of the US government. I hoped they will share this video with you. I can’t disclose the details about my job, but it’s not important to us. Something I did, not who I am. You know who I am, Kendall, you’re the only one who really knew me.” She wiped the tears running off her chin.
“Stay close with Ryder, he’s not your blood, but he is a part of me and I want him in your life. UWMA, Kendall, UWMA I love you, Lambie.”
Her brows furrowed as tears ran down her face and her open mouth. She gasped for air. A division of the US government? Some type of CIA agent? The badge said Navy. UWMA. Was this truly happening?
Book Trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVkF60bSFzA

BUYLINKS:
·         Amazon -http://amzn.to/2f1fVOk
·         Nook- http: //bit.ly/2fa2Lux
·         Google Play - https://play.google.com/store/books/details/A_K_Smith_A_Deep_Thing?id=Rv-yDQAAQBAJ
·         Kobo - https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/a-deep-thing
·         Bookstand http://www.bookstrand.com/a-deep-thing
·         All Romance -
·         The Wild Rose Press http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/4735-a-deep-thing.html

Author Bio:



A.K. Smith is the author of debut novel, "A Deep Thing. She loves all things jungly, beachy and mysterious. Her goal is to write thrillers, suspense, and romance, which have the power to make you stay up late, to reach the ending.

A new scuba diver, she counts diving in a cenote (underwater caves in the Yucatan) and surviving-- one of her biggest achievements. Mexico has a special place in her heart; it’s where she escaped after walking out on Corporate America and where she fell in love on a sailboat. She is a graduate of Shippensburg University (BA) and has a Master of Arts from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She treasures her family, friends, and kindness. Check out her website at www.aksmithauthor.com or find her on Twitter, and Facebook.

Author Links:

Twitter ID @aksmithbook https://twitter.com/aksmithbook

Travel Secrets: Insider Guide to Planning, Affording and Taking more Vacations- My husband and I toll 99 vacations in three years, here’s how to afford it and travel more.

Travel Secrets: Insider Guide to Planning, Affording and Taking More Vacations
2017 Readers Favorite 5 Star Review & #1 Amazon Bestseller
2017 edition. Need a vacation? Who doesn't? Thinking about a place to get away? Let's go!

Use this insider guide to help you create a travel plan to take and afford more vacations.
Two Travel bucket list journals:
Our Travel Bucket List- for couples and families
Travel Journal: My Travel Bucket List- Create your own bucket list.