Tag Archives: blog

Blog Tour–Eternal Mercury by Elaine Pinter. $25 Giveaway

12 Jul

 

Eternal Mercury

Eternal Mercury by Elaine Pinter

Chelsee Taylor has been in love with her boyfriend, Max, since they started kindergarten together. She has no idea that high school graduation will be the last perfect day of her life. After a tragic car accident, she refuses to accept Max’s death because she can still feel his presence. No one believes her and she is completely alone. But all of that changes the moment she meets Blake Andersen. It’s not just that he believes her . . . or even just that he’s so understanding . . . but why is Max’s presence so strong when she’s with Blake?

Eternal Mercury is two intertwined books in one. Book one follows Chelsee’s bittersweet journey and book two uncovers Blake’s story of redemption. In the end, it is Max who will inspire them both to trust fate, live life, and finish well.

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Praise for Eternal Mercury

“Overall, this novel made me really think about how life can change so completely in the blink of an eye. It was an amazing, life altering story.”

“I loved this book. It made me laugh and cry but most of all it made me feel like there is always hope in this world.”

“I could not put this down. What an amazing story of love, tragedy, strength, triumph, and family.”

Guest Post: Eternal Mercury, Organ Donation, and Cellular Memory

When I first realized that I wanted to write a book, I knew that I wanted it to be different. Shortly after I began brainstorming for that unique idea, a car-crash scene on a mountain highway started playing in my head. Not only was I looking for a unique story idea, but I was also looking for a positive message. I began to wonder if, instead of something scary like a ghost, could something good be left after someone died? The answer became clear to me: organ donation. What could be more beautiful than that? And what could be more romantic than true love that could survive the boundaries of death? To my surprise, the idea turned out to be more realistic than I expected. Through research I discovered the phenomenon of cellular memory. Cellular memory is when people who receive transplants take on traits of people whose organs they receive. It’s rare, but when it does happen, it can come in the form of food cravings, changes in musical taste or hobbies, and sometimes even glimpses at other things about the donor.

Although the level of cellular memory I portrayed in Eternal Mercury is fictional, the need for organs definitely isn’t. It’s hard to think about death, and the common misconceptions about organ donation don’t help. But by understanding the facts and then making your decision known, you just might be able to bring something good out of the bad. That part of Eternal Mercury isn’t based on fiction.

Here are the facts:

Over 100,000 people, including kids, are in need of transplants. Over 20 of them die waiting each day.

One person can save up to seven lives by donating their heart, liver, kidneys, lungs, pancreas, and small intestine. That same person can improve the lives of many others through the donation of tissues such corneas, skin, veins, tendons, ligaments, and bones.

You won’t receive less medical care if you decide to become a donor. Doctors and nurses make every possible effort to save their patients’ lives and will not even consider organ donation unless a person dies.

Income, social status, and race are not factors in deciding who receives organ transplants. You’ll be helping people who need it the most and your family will not be charged for the procedure.

Most major religions support organ donation. I’m not sure that there could be a more loving or selfless gift, but don’t be afraid to check with your spiritual advisor.

Almost anyone can be an organ donor. Age and/or medical history don’t necessarily disqualify you.

The most important thing you can do is let your family know whether or not you want to be an organ donor. No matter what you decide, telling your family will save them from the pain of trying to guess your wishes at a time when that’s the last thing they need. And if the choice is right for you, to let someone else continue on when you’ve reached the end down here, don’t think about what it means for you; instead think of the incredible gratitude you’d feel if someone did it for you or someone you love.

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ElaineAuthor Elaine Pinter

Elaine Pinter lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband and son. When she’s not hanging out with them, she’s jotting down ideas for her next novel in the tattered notebook she carries everywhere.

Her writing journey began in June of 2012 when a reading spree set off an unexpected chain of events. After poring over the pages, her own ideas began to appear and she found herself glued to her laptop after her family went to bed every evening. The late nights continued until her first two YA romance novels, Eternal Mercury and Between the Starlight, were published.

She’s one of those hopeless romantics who believes love always wins and that the best stories are the ones that drag you through the tears and reward you with a smile when all the pieces fit together perfectly in the end.

Website * Facebook * Twitter

Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 7/26/16

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Summer Dreaming–$250 Cash Giveaway

21 Jun

Summer Dreaming Cash

Summer Dreaming

$250 Cash Giveaway

June 21st to July 15th

An awesome group of bloggers and authors have joined with me to bring you one fabulous prize!

One lucky winner will receive…

$250 Amazon.com Gift Code or $250 in Paypal Cash

Thanks to these fabulous Sponsors!!

I Am A Reader
Suzi Love
Kimber Leigh Wheaton
Glistering Bs Blog
Lori’s Reading Corner
Bonnie Blythe Faith Based Romance
Bella Street Time Travel Romance
Laurie Here – Cont Fiction and More
KellysLuckyYou
Deb Atwood Author
Kindle and Me
Melanie McFarlane, YA Author
Heather Gray, Author
Everly Frost, YA Author
Author Pauline Creeden
Subtitled Books
The Page Unbound
LeahSay’s Views
Joshua David Bellin
Crystal Marcos
The Candid Cover
LOVE. WITHOUT YOU
Here We Go Again…Ready?
Helen Smith
Jennifer Faye ~ Romance Author
B. Kristin McMichael
Cool Cat Mysteries
The Lovely Books
Author Elisa Dane
Simple Wyrdings
D.E. Haggerty, author
Why Not? Because I Said So! (Sheila Staley)
Diana’s Book Reviews
Stones of Gilgal Novels
AuggieTalk
Author Dorothy Dreyer

Giveaway Details

$250 in Paypal Cash or a $250 Amazon.com eGift Card

Ends 7/15/16

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the authors, bloggers and publishers on the sponsor list. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Book Blast–Next Door to a Star by Krysten Lindsay Hager

10 Nov

Next door to a starNext Door to a Star by Krysten Lindsay Hager

Hadley Daniels is tired of feeling invisible.

After Hadley’s best friend moves away and she gets on the bad side of some girls at school, she goes to spend the summer with her grandparents in the Lake Michigan resort town of Grand Haven. Her next door neighbor is none other than teen TV star Simone Hendrickson, who is everything Hadley longs to be—pretty, popular, and famous—and she’s thrilled when Simone treats her like a friend.

Being popular is a lot harder than it looks.

It’s fun and flattering when Simone includes her in her circle, though Hadley is puzzled about why her new friend refuses to discuss her former Hollywood life. Caught up with Simone, Hadley finds herself ignoring her quiet, steadfast friend, Charlotte.

To make things even more complicated, along comes Nick Jenkins…

He’s sweet, good-looking, and Hadley can be herself around him without all the fake drama. However, the mean girls have other ideas and they fill Nick’s head with lies about Hadley, sending him running back to his ex-girlfriend and leaving Hadley heartbroken.

So when her parents decide to relocate to Grand Haven, Hadley hopes things will change when school starts…only to be disappointed once again.

Cliques.

Back-stabbing.

Love gone bad.

Is this really what it’s like to live…

Next Door To A Star?

 

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Kobo

Excerpt
The school year should end right after spring break, because all anyone can focus on is summer vacation. You can’t learn anything new, because all you can think about is all the fun stuff you’re going to do once you don’t have to get up at the butt crack of dawn. Summer always seems full of possibilities.
Nothing exciting ever happens during the school year, but maybe, during summer vacation, you could run into a hot celebrity and he’d decide to put you in his next music video. Okay, it wasn’t like I knew anybody that happened to, but my grandparents did live next door to a former TV star, Simone Hendrickson, and Simone was discovered in an ice cream parlor one summer. Of course, she lived in L.A. at the time and was already doing plays and commercials, so the guy who discovered her had already seen her perform. But hey, it was summer, she got discovered, and that was all that mattered.
Amazing stuff didn’t happen to me. You know what happened to me last summer? I stepped on a bee and had to go to the emergency room. They’re not going to make an E! True Hollywood Story out of my life. I didn’t go on exotic vacations—like today, I was being dragged along with my parents to my cousin’s graduation party. Most people waited until at least the end of May before having a grad party, but Charisma was having hers early because she was leaving on a trip to Spain. I was dreading this party because I didn’t want to listen to everybody talk about how smart and talented Charisma was—making me feel like a blob in comparison—but my mom RSVP’d even though I said I’d rather die than go. My death threats meant nothing. But still, for some strange reason, I had a feeling this summer was going to be different.

 

Praise for Next Door to a Star:
From Readers’ Favorite:
Next Door to a Star by Krysten Lindsay Hager is a heart wrenching tale of a young girl growing into her teen years….Hager’s main character is representative of every teenage girl. The author really nailed the reality of a young girl’s early high school years. I think this is a valuable read for girls ages 12-18.
From Kelly Smith Reviews:
Hager wrote from a teen’s perspective, and it gave the book a very authentic feel. She has a real gift for that, something many YA writers lack these days. She reminds me a lot of a modern Ann M. Martin or Judy Blume.
From Author Erin Fanning:
If you, like me, have a soft spot for young adult novels then author Krysten Lindsay Hager should have a place on your bookshelf. Ms. Hager brings the teen years to life with absolute perfection in Next Door to a Star. Handling multiple plotlines with an expert touch, she’s crafted a young adult dramedy that on the top layer is a story about Hadley Daniels, an average teen whose only ambition is to fit in, have a few friends, and find her place in the world.

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Krysten LAuthor Krysten Lindsay Hager
Krysten Lindsay Hager is an obsessive reader and has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and humor essayist, and writes for teens, tweens, and adults. She is also the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series (True Colors, Best Friends…Forever?, and the soon to be released, Landry in Like) and her work has been featured in USA Today and named as Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Teen & Young Adult Values and Virtues Fiction and Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Children’s Books on Values. She’s originally from Michigan and has lived in South Dakota, Portugal, and southwestern Ohio. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Pinterest * Instagram

 

 

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$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 12/2/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Muses Fall Carnival Blog Hop– $70 gift card and many more prizes!

23 Oct

I took the liberty to steal a post from my dear author friends at the Muses’ blog. Why would I do that? Well, for many reasons, but the most important is because together we came up with the idea of a fantastic giveaway. Did I get your attention? I hope so!

With Fall officially here even for us in Arizona (yeah, we do get a break from the heat, but not from the sun–thank goodness) we’ve organized a Fall Carnival Blog Hop sharing prizes and fun.

Aside from the Muses blog’s grand prize which is a $70 Amazon gift card I added my own prize: electronic copies of all my books: Hidden Heart, A World Apart, Me Tarzan–You Jane, Born in Vengeance and Born In Sin. To win these copies all you have to do is become a fan of yours truly on Facebook. 

To enter to win the $70 gift card, simply subscribe to the Muses Blog. All subscribers between today and October 30th will be entered. However, if you want a greater chance of winning the gift card, you can visit each author’s website and enter their contest for their own individual giveaways. We will announce the winners on this blog on November 6.

Below are links to our Carnival Author blogs with details on their giveaways!

Camelia Miron Skiba

Mimi Sebastian

Shanyn Hosier

Anne Wilson

Jennifer Windrow

Sandy Wright

Leslie Jones

Hop on board and have fun!

Fellow Writer James Moushon stops by!

21 Jul

About two years ago when I went to the Tucson Festival of Books I met James Moushon, a fellow writer whose interest in other writers’ works blew me away. For two days he buzzed through the tents in search for other writers and their books and made tons of connections. This year once again he stopped by and I was excited to reconnect.

Soon afterward James invited me for an interview on his blog. For more about on that you can click here.

As a thank you for his kindness and efforts I invited James over to my blog with an introduction about his work and an excerpt. James’ the stage is all yours!

I spend a lot of time writing my novels and my blogs. I’m at that time in my career that giving back and helping other authors has taken top priority.

This morning I’m sitting here with two sets of short-stories being edited, a novel rewrite I am working on and a new novel that needs to be typed. And what do I do, I spend the first three hours of my day blogging about other authors and their new books. Rewards are in the eye of the beholder.

My Latest Book is Game of Fire. It reached Number Two on Amazon during a promotion in the Mystery Espionage category.

moushon1-gamefire325

Blurb:

An explosion and fire rocks a Southern California mall and it is quickly determined it is arson. The timing of the incident is special because it interrupts the Tet New Year’s Festival and Parade in Little Saigon, an area just east of Long Beach.

Had the old wounds of Vietnam been opened again or was there a different game being played?

Enter veteran CIA Agent Jonathon Stone. Already in pursuit of the gun-running Minh family, he connects with a special FBI task force to assist in the investigation of the explosion and Minh quickly becomes their number one suspect.

Stone teams up with FBI Agent Jodi Shannon to pursue the people behind the arson fire. Jodi is a serious, no nonsense agent who leads the FBI Arson Task Force. While she fights to solve the mystery, she also fights Stone’s advances. As always, he tries to mix business with pleasure.

As the game takes its twists and turns, Stone’s assignment leads to a shootout in Las Vegas and a car chase down the coast of Southern California.

Jonathon Stone battles his love for gambling and drinking and the ladies to help solve the Mystery of the Game of Fire.

Game Of Fire is the third book in the Jonathon Stone Mystery Series.

Excerpt 

I started reading the front page. A large picture of a fire jumped out at me. Now I know why the television was turned loud this morning. I turned my attention to the TV in the front of the room. I watched the fire scene as the firemen sprayed the structure with large hoses. That looked bad.

I stood and walked closer to the TV. I knew the area of the fire. I recognized it from the large mall sign in the parking lot in front of the complex. We had closed a surveillance op there just five months ago.

I returned to my table and started reading the paper.

2/18/2007, Orange County Daily News

FIRE MARS TET FESTIVAL IN GARDEN GROVE

Last night at around ten o’clock, a fire broke out in the Le Hi Shopping Mall on Bolsa Ave. in Garden Grove and quickly went out of control, completely destroying the complex. Hours earlier the street in front of the Mall was filled with party-goers celebrating the Annual Tet Festival Parade. There were thousands of people along the parade route in the Little Saigon area during the day….

I got up and moved closer to the TV again. A fire chief was giving a briefing.

“Good morning. I am Eddie Lam, Garden Grove Fire Chief. I am here to report on the fire last night at the Le Hi Shopping Mall. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation. It appears that something exploded or caught on fire which immediately hit the gas line and spread rapidly through the complex. Multiple fire departments responded, but there was little they could do, but contain the fire from spreading to surrounding structures and neighborhoods. We were lucky that the crowd from the parade had dispersed already.”

“Was anyone hurt?” one of the reporters asked.

Fire Chief Lam continued, “There was one casualty reported. The victim was a male, but at this time he has not been identified.”

“How many fire departments responded?” another reporter asked.

“Fire and police units from Garden Grove, Westminster, Huntington Beach and Long Beach responded to the three alarm fire. One final note. It is expected that the area will be cleared for tonight’s Chinese New Year parade. The Westminster Parade is scheduled to start at 6 PM today. I need to go. We will try to keep you updated as much as we can.”

The fire chief turned and disappeared into the crowd.

There was a video store in the mall that the Agency had been watching for over a year. Our group had been waiting for an international terrorist named Tay Minh to show up. We had shut down the surveillance when chatter had placed him living and operating in Hong Kong.

About the same time our CIA undercover operation in downtown Long Beach had been compromised and the staff was scattered to the wind. I had stayed in the area and become an at-large asset.

Since then I had caught a couple overnighters as we call them. It had been about six months since my last full assignment. That was okay with me, but I did miss the action. At least I got to do some gambling and continue my drinking and running around with my on-again, off-again girlfriend, Jill. She was a cocktail waitress at the Ocean Queen Casino which seemed to make things more complicated at times. She still bought my cover as a freelance writer, but she didn’t understand why I was always carrying a gun.

moushon1-image400

Author Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers

Website: James Moushon – Mystery Writer

Twitter: @jimhbs

E-Mail: jim@jamesmoushon.com

Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads

Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Pinterest: Check Out Pinterest

Author’s Blogs:

eBook Author’s Corner

eBook Author’s Corner

Mystery Reader’s Circle

Author Description: I am a published writer in the electronic document field.
Starting over 20 years ago, I helped lead the startup of the electronic forms industry in the creation, conversion and usage of electronic forms by supplying that industry with a continuing source of published literature, software products and training seminars.
In 2003, I changed my focus to ebooks and their development.

I am the author of the Jonathon Stone Mystery Novels. I have published three books: ‘Call Off the Dogs’, ‘Black Mountain Secrets’ and ‘Game of Fire’.
I am currently wearing Two Hats. I am a mystery writer and book publishing blogger. I have spent the majority of my adult life developing computer systems and thinking about writing mysteries.

HBS Author’s Spotlight

The blog’s purpose is to help authors get exposure in the book publishing industry. He has interviewed and showcased over 450 authors to date.

HBS Mystery Reader’s Circle

The HBS Mystery Reader’s Circle provides information about the latest novels and what is coming next from a collection of Bestselling and Outstanding Authors in the Mystery, Thrillers, Historical Fiction and Crime genre.

eBook Author’s Corner

The Corner is a collection of Author advice and studies including Marketing, Social Media and other major topics created to help writers in today’s ever changing world of book publishing.

Blog Tour–Hidden Identities Sweet & Sassy Anthology. $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

16 Jun

Hidden Identities

Blog Tour Schedule

Hidden Identities

Sweet & Sassy Anthology: Hidden Identities

Readers will be delighted with nine sweet, contemporary romance novelettes in Sweet & Sassy: Hidden Identities. In this charming anthology, you will fall in love again and again.

THE BEST OF ME by Paige Timothy
Becky is a cancer survivor who has been blogging about her journey. She’s shocked to find that Josh, her one-time love and now-famous oncologist, is the main speaker at the symposium she’s been asked to attend. Has fate given them a second chance at a future together, or just a shot at miserably ever after?

SECOND-HAND HEARTS by Jo Noelle
When Elena sees Chase for the first time, his turquoise eyes and tousled blond hair convince her that she might believe in insta-love. Just in time, her brain takes over, reminding her that her business is in trouble, making the future uncertain—not a good time for love. But being with Chase is as easy as following her heart, until she finds he has a secret big enough to break it.

FIRST LOVE, SECOND CHOICE by Lindzee Armstrong
When wedding planner Keslee gets asked on a date by her long-lost high school crush, Bryce, everything should be perfect. But Bryce mistakes Keslee for her deceased twin sister, Jadyn. And she doesn’t correct him. Now they’re unexpectedly working together. Keslee knows the charade can’t last much longer, and fears she’ll lose Bryce forever when she tells him the truth.

HACKED by Stephanie Connelley Worlton
NSA data analyst Samantha Perry never being an introverted computer geek could get dangerous until she digs a little too deep into a greedy blackhat’s business, forcing her to change her identity and relocate. As She risks everything to try to close the case, but may end up putting a nail in her own casket. And if she doesn’t, Seth, her hot new neighbor, just might.

TO LOVE AND PROTECT by Ruth Roberts
First Son Daxon Hayward has refused a secret service detail since the day his father was elected President. This time the threat against Daxon is very real, and his father plants an undercover agent to protect him, Lorelei Davis who is capable and beautiful. She’s received her assignment: Protect the First Son, don’t let him know she is an agent, and don’t fall in love.

CLOSING TIME by Candice N. Toone
Chef Will Morrison can’t help himself after watching Kelsey sit alone at a table waiting for a blind date. When he steps in to save her from being stood up, he expects to exchange dull first-date pleasantries, but finds himself drawn in by her quick wit and spunk. Will hears himself confirming plans for a second date only to realize that she still believes he’s someone else.

SINK OR SWIM by Laura D. Bastian
Shelly can’t believe she’s fallen for another cheater. The last few weeks at the gym swimming next to Brandon had almost convinced her she could date again. Brandon’s excited to be back home with a career that can finally hold a candle to his twin brother’s success. When Shelly suddenly turns cold, Brandon can’t help wondering if it has something to do with his brother.

WRITE AND WRONG by Kaye P. Clark
Jon Patterson is burned out. After publishing a series of blockbuster novels under his pen name, he’s hit a brick wall. He escapes to a rural town in Idaho where he meets Abby, the local librarian. She ignites his imagination and quickens his heart. Without the pressure of his pen name, Jon is free to be himself. But will he lose Abby when she learns his secret?

UNDERCOVER LOVER by James C. Duckett
Agent Johnny Anderson is struggling with an investigation that could make or break his career. However, it’s love at first sight when beautiful and witty Hannah moves into the neighborhood. Will Johnny lose Hannah when she finds out his cover story is a façade? As things get hotter between them, his love for her might endanger her life.

99 cents

Purchase on AMAZON

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Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 6/25/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Book Tour–With No Regrets by Julie N. Ford. $25 Giveaway

9 Jun

With No Regrets
Blog Tour Schedule

With No Regrets Cover

With No Regrets by Julie N. Ford

Living With No Regrets Is Harder Than It Seems

Finley isn’t exactly sure when her life began to feel unfamiliar. She suspects the transformation started long before she caught her husband and fellow garden club member doing the white-trash-two-step on her new Bernhardt sofa. Now free from the shackles of a loveless marriage, and with her children off to college, she’s finally able to go searching for the missing pieces of her heart.

Finley’s best friend, Cathyanne, is already working hard to ensure that Finley finds true love this time around. But when Finley is unwittingly tossed into the arms of two men—their sexy trainer and her neighbor, a popular country star—Cathyanne fears finding the right guy will be more complicated than she ever could have imagined.

For Finley, building a new life feels as impossible as flying a paper airplane to the moon. But maybe, just maybe, with the right help, she will find her whole heart—even if it’s in the very last place she thinks to look.

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Praise for With No Regrets

“The imagery is beautiful, the romance very well done and realistic.” Rachel Ann Nunes.

Finley is a spunky and snarky Southern woman with a lot of sass! The romance is swoon-worthy and satisfying. And underneath it all, it’s got a great message. Definitely worth a read!

Excerpt

“All right, I think we’ve given Finley enough food for thought on her first day.” Careen waved her arms in a settle-down motion. “As I explained earlier, each week we focus on one step, and then at the following meeting report on the progress we’ve made toward completing that step,” she explained. “So for the benefit of our newest member, how ’bout we recite the ‘Five Steps to a New Beginning’ before moving on.” She pointed to a rolling chalkboard. “All together now.”
“Number one: Subjugate fear,” she started, and the rest of the group joined in. “Take chances. Learn from and consent to the unexpected.”
“Number two: Defy the rules, embrace the guidelines. Rules emphasize the result. Guidelines focus on the journey.
“Number three: Smash the box. Look outside your comfort zone for the best answers and the greatest opportunity for growth.
“Number four: Brimful heart. If one’s heart is hollow, one’s actions are hollow.
“Number five: Letitgo. Leave the past, live the future.”
Following along with the words scrawled onto the powder-smeared chalkboard, Finley felt a cool sweat breaking out on her forehead. Only five goals, but each one felt like one gaping pit of quicksand after another.
Take chances and defy rules? Smash the box? Letitgo? What did any of that even mean? Brimful heart. Finley pressed the heel of her palm to the center of her chest and felt nothing, nothing but an empty hole where her heart should be. Just because she hadn’t been particularly sad to see Roy pack his things and go, didn’t mean his absence hadn’t left a gap in her life. His leaving had been like pulling a random peg from a Jenga tower, only to find that it was the last piece still holding the structure together.
Careen said, “I know these goals can seem overwhelming at first, but taking the first step is the hardest part.”
“Amen to that,” Burlie-Jean agreed.
“Though some of us are further along than others, we’re all on the same path,” Careen went on. “Everyone progresses at his or her own pace. One step at a time, one week at a time until we find our new normal,” she said, then zeroed in on Finley. “So start with number one, only number one . . .”
Finley watched Careen’s lips spill words of hope and encouragement. If only she could bathe in the completeness each syllable offered until the possibility adhered to her skin, remolding her, body and soul, into the kind of woman who knew what it meant to be happy, one who refused to settle for anything less—
“Finley?” Careen said, causing Finley to start. “This coming week, your first task is to identify a fear and then make an attempt to overcome that fear. Do you think you can do that?”
Having already put too much of herself on display for these strangers’ entertainment, what Finley really wanted to do was leave and never set foot inside this circle again. “I’ll surely give it a try,” she promised, though, obviously, she had no intention of doing any such thing.
“Good.” Careen appeared cautiously optimistic. “Okay, who wants to share next?”

 

Julie

Author Julie N. Ford

A graduate from San Diego State University with a BA in Political Science, Julie N. Ford also earned a Masters in Social Work from the University of Alabama, which has only made her better able to recognize the unhealthy, codependent relationship she has with writing. Professionally, she has worked in teaching and as a marriage and family counselor. She is the author of six women’s fiction novels, including Count Down to Love, a 2011 Whitney Award finalist. When she’s not writing, she entertains delusions of being a master gardener, that is, when she’s not killing the unsuspecting plants in her yard with her good intentions. She lives outside of Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband, two daughters, and the cutest Scottish fold cat you’ve ever seen. She loves to chat with readers.

Website * Twitter * Facebook * Instagram

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Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 6/28/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
a Rafflecopter giveaway