Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Virtual Tour w/Giveaway: Pure Torture by Tania Sparks

After all, no one else needs to know...

Oblivion on Tour #3
Tania Sparks
Releasing July 29th, 2016

Cody’s the sexy drummer extraordinaire of the hard rock band Oblivion.

Kitty’s the little sister of one of Cody’s band mates and she’s had a secret crush on him for years.

When the band are back home for a few days, the chemistry between them is both unexpected and undeniably off-the-charts.

She quickly realizes that the prospect of having what she’s always fantasized about is a very real possibility.

He quickly realizes that although he feels this mind-blowing attraction towards her, she’s the little sister of one of his band mates - he would get his ass kicked from here to hell if he ever laid a finger on her!

But can Kitty convince him? After all, no one else needs to know, a one-time hook-up might suit both of them…or could it ruin everything?

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Everyone else is already up and they look like they’re just about ready to leave for the day. As soon as I walk into the room mine and Cody’s line of sight connects and we lustfully hold our gazes as I stroll towards the kitchen. He must have just showered too because his hair is still damp. He looks absolutely edible. The electricity between us is definitely still there. In fact my desire has been fueled even further by all the erotic dreams I had last night and now we’re in the same room again my cold shower seems to have been a complete waste of time. By the way he’s looking at me it makes me wonder whether he’s been thinking about me too.

The next thing I know I hear my brother Nikki growling angrily as he stomps towards me pointing at my leg, “What the fuck’s that?” he snarls.

Shit, I’d forgotten about my tattoo. About three months ago I got a colorful tattoo. I think it looks cool and I’m told it’s extremely sexy. I glance down at my leg and then glance back up to Nikki who’s still pointing angrily. I mock surprise by holding my fingers to my lips, widening my eyes and inspecting my thigh as I snark, “Oh my gosh, I think it might be a tattoo! How the hell did that get there!”

Nikki scowls and admonishes, “I know it’s a fucking tattoo Kit but what the hell’s it doing on your thigh?”

Nikki’s attitude annoys me. “Don’t be such a hypocrite Nikki, you’re covered in ink. Anyway, I think it looks sexy.”

Cody gets up from his seat and saunters casually over to me. His eyes run over my leg, carefully inspecting the ink on my thigh. He steps so close to me that we’re almost touching and I can feel the heat of his body radiating off him. He smells divine, fresh from the shower, all musky and clean. I’m struggling to control my urge to reach out and touch him.

He moves his focus to my face and winks at me self-confidently, “Looks as sexy as fuck if you ask me sweetheart.” His fingers gently glide over my thigh, but as quick as he’s there, he’s gone and is strolling back to the other side of the room where he slouches back down into his armchair. My skin tingles at his touch and that small amount of contact definitely leaves me wanting more. I hope like hell I’m not visibly panting!

Nikki scowls at him. “She’s my god-damned little sister Sticks. I don’t want her to look sexy. So keep your opinions to yourself…and your fucking hands for that matter. Don’t think I didn’t see that dickhead.”

Nikki’s comment doesn’t affect Cody in the slightest as he mumbles, “Not my fault she’s scorching hot, I’m just admiring the view and saying it how I see it.”

Q & A with Tania Sparks

What books/authors have influenced your writing?
There are so many, I’m a prolific reader! But my favorites are Olivia Cunning (Sinners On Tour Series), S C Stephens (Thoughtless Series), K Bromberg (Driven Series), Christina Lauren (Beautiful Bastard Series) and Sylvia Day (Crossfire Series). If anyone ever asks me for a recommendation, these are the ones I give. These amazing authors constantly inspire me and are also automatic one-clicks.

Share a funny incident in your life.
I was on holiday with my family on the Gold Coast of Australia. We had decided to spend the day at one of the theme parks. We arrived early and as soon as the gates opened we ran to one of the more popular roller coaster rides called Lethal Weapon (the name should have clued me into what to expect!) We were almost at the front of the line so we managed to get the first ride of the day. We all jumped on and got strapped in. The ride started…the climb up was high and slow…and I was just starting to think that this wasn’t too bad after all…then we got to the top…suddenly the ride catapulted us around twists and turns, up and down, upside down and around and around…I screamed at the top of my lungs like a freaking crazy person the whole entire ride. When it finally stopped I was so thankful that the terror ride from hell had ended. Unfortunately my kids couldn’t stop laughing at me for my wild screaming…I’ve never lived it down and whenever family discussions turn to roller coasters or holidays, the story is always repeated about how ‘remember that time when crazy Mom screamed the whole way around’.

Have you ever had one character you wanted to go one way with but after the book was done the character was totally different.
My characters always develop as I write and sometimes the things they end up saying and doing even surprise me! Both Cody andKitty in Pure Torture definitely change as the story develops, their vulnerabilities and personal insecurities were quite a surprise as they reacted to the situations I put them in.

What’s you next project?

I’m currently working on Book 4 in the Oblivion on Tour Series which is Scott’s story. Scott’s the lead singer of Oblivion and I’m loving his cocky, sometimes quite arrogant but sexy as hell attitude!

Your favorite book by you or another author
It would have to be Backstage Pass by Olivia Cunning. She writes fantastic characters that develop well and are hot hot hot!

When you are in writer mode, music or no music? If music do you have a playlist
I listen to music when I’m doing prep work or wasting too much time on Facebook! But once I actually start writing, I find music too distracting, I end up listening to the music instead of writing! Yes I do have a playlist for Pure Torture – you can find it on YouTube -
I also have play lists for my other books, they’re also on YouTube.

Clean shaven, scruff, beard, or mustache. Ink or nay?

Definitely scruff and ink! I think it’s the whole bad-boy image that I find really hot. Besides, what rock stars don’t have tats?…I can just imagine running my fingers over those intricate designs…

Don't miss any of the OBLIVION ON TOUR Series

Tania Sparks is a romantic at heart who genuinely believes in true love and soul mates. She met her husband while still at school, she was sixteen, he was seventeen. They are high school sweethearts who more than twenty five years later are still very much in love and are happily married with two beautiful daughters.

Tania does have a full time job, but in her spare minutes enjoys spending time with her family, cooking and reading. She's an avid reader who tends to chomp through a large volume of books, mainly in the romance genre. Her other major 'hobby' is writing steamy rock star erotic romances!

In 2014, after finding herself constantly being inspired by numerous romance novels, she decided to try her hand at writing. After penning her first scene she discovered that she enjoyed it immensely and so resolved to continue with the rest of the story that was swirling in her imagination. That story resulted in her first novel, Heaven Sent which is the first book in her Oblivion on Tour Series. This was soon followed by Bolt From The Blue and Pure Torture. Each book in the series is a stand-alone story which follows a different band member from a hard rock group called Oblivion - and of course the feisty ladies that steal their hearts! The other books in the series are at various stages of completion.

Now-a-days Tania finds it very difficult to control her imagination and swears that her rock stars are constantly chanting their stories in her head. She can't wait to share them with you...

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EskieMama Reads Midweek Spotlight w/Giveaway: Nashville SEAL: Jameson by Sharon Hamilton

Welcome to EskieMama Reads Midweek Spotlight!
Today we are spotlighting Sharon Hamilton's 
Nashville SEAL: Jameson

Enter below to win a copy of NASHVILLE SEAL: JAMESON, 
as well as the prequel novella, NASHVILLE SEAL from Sharon Hamilton

Jameson & Lizzie's story continues in 
Nashville SEAL: Jameson

Jameson and Lizzie's story continues with their beautiful wine country wedding, and the journey to becoming a new family with Charlotte. A final farewell to Nashville and Jameson's singing career nearly topples everything as Lizzie has to weather the long goodbye when Jameson deploys for his first dangerous mission. But there is perhaps greater danger at home for the SEAL families while the men are away.

Grab your copy TODAY!!!

Q & A with Sharon Hamilton about Nashville SEAL: Jameson

Tell us about Nashville SEAL: Jameson
Jameson is exceeding good looking and has enjoyed being a CW star, playing music in larger and larger venues to adoring fans of mostly lovely women. As a single performer, he’s enjoyed all the benefits that come with this: women throwing themselves at him, showing up in his motel rooms and following him home. Along the way, he’s run across several really nice women, one in particular, but he’s not ready to settle down.

But lately, the night life and constant bedding has gotten him feeling like a piece of meat, although his best friend, an older singer and his song co-writer, Thomas, is still envious and can’t figure out why Jameson would ever want more.

His hand is forced when one of those special someones come back to him, and he discovers he’s a father to a beautiful little three year old girl.

He searches his heart and decides to pursue a life in the military, become a Navy SEAL after befriending a group of them at a concert. Wheels are set in motion. The more he’s drawn to the SEALs and to Lizzie Reeder, the mother of his child, the more he decides to leave Nashville behind.

Until one lapse in judgment, one desire to sing in the limelight again nearly ends his marriage and perhaps his career as a SEAL.

We continue, as we will over the course of the next SEAL books, to show the men in Kyle’s squad on SEAL Team 3, as they transition out of the Teams and “Trade their bullets for bottles.” When a terrorist cell stages a very ghastly attack on a group of school children, though they are not on deployment, the SEALs do their part to protect the innocent and save the day.

What initially inspired you to write Nashville SEAL: Jameson
I was given permission by my narrator, actor and voiceover artist as well as world class narrator, to write a story based in part on his early life as a single country western star. He has performed all over the world. I embellished the story, of course, and added elements of Sonoma County wine country so I could continue with this series and write about the region I live in.

I wrote a novella as a Christmas present to my readers last year. This is the continuation of this story.

Tell us little about the characters in this book.
Jameson Daniels is the CW star. Isn’t it interesting his initials are JD?
Lizzie Reeder is a part-time school teacher. She and Jameson meet three years prior after a concert. She invites him to her parent’s horse farm in North Carolina, where they spend five glorious days. After that, they go their separate ways. But of course Lizzie finds out she’s pregnant, and waits to tell him. My story starts there.
We have some of the usual cast of characters: Kyle Lansdowne, the LPO for SEAL Team 3, Calvin Cooper, Fredo, Malcolm Jones, Danny Begay, their chief, Collins, Lucas, Alex, Zak and Amy, Nick and Devon. Nick and Devon have a new baby in this book.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?
I didn’t want to sugarcoat what I do believe is a very real threat to people in this country from our enemies. I don’t get into politics or religion, but I portray these “creatures” as wanting to take down our way of life. The SEALs are the guys who can do just about anything if they’re able to work together. So, Jameson goes from being a ladies man and country singer to an elite killer, marksman and SEAL Team member.

Showing the carnage and result of devastation when the characters least expect it - in the States and not overseas, was hard for me to show every time I do it. I keep telling this message so that people will be vigilant, observant, and take charge for some of their own safety instead of being lambs led to the slaughter. But there are days when I wish I didn’t have to write that.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

I loved writing little precocious Charlotte. I enjoyed the “underwear show and tell” when the men showed off their boxers during their deployment. I enjoyed writing about the larger-than-life movie director and winery owner next door, Marco Zapparelli, and his interesting winery with costumes and artifacts from his movies. I loved writing the sex scenes in this one, and there are a few more than other books.

What are your future project(s)?
Similar to what I did with Nashville SEAL, I have a full length book about Fredo, called Fredo’s Dream. The novella also was released last Christmas as a present for my readers. Fredo and Mia are desperately trying to have a child (and not from lack of trying). In the novella, when he gets checked out he finds out, “my sperm have dented heads and don’t move.”

He decides to keep this fact from Mia, hopefully convincing her to adopt. But something very interesting happens in Fredo’s Dream, which is a followup to this story. I think you’ll like what I have cooked up. This book should come out in late September.
I have at least one more Bachelor SEAL, and then a paranormal I’ve been dying to finish.

Is there anything else you would like to tell the readers about this book/series?
I’ve evolved as a writer. I wrote the first four books in the SEAL Brotherhood series: Accidental SEAL, Fallen SEAL Legacy, SEAL Under Covers and SEAL The Deal to be read in order. When Cruisin for a SEAL was being written (book 5 and yes, written on a cruise from Italy to Brazil), I realized I needed to make them more stand alone. So, Cruisin For a SEAL, SEAL My Destiny and SEAL of My Heart are stand alones, but will be enhanced by reading some of the earlier books. Starting with the Bad Boys, the books can be read in any order. That holds true for Band of Bachelors. True Navy Blue and True Blue SEALs: Zak are about what happens when a SEAL is delivered a career ending injury on his first deployment.

Now I will also have SEALs in wine country, and I’m thinking of a snappy name for that series.

Now an exciting excerpt from Nashville SEAL: Jameson
But there was no denying he was mad. It was like how he felt if he gave a bad performance. He’d wind up back at the motel room, alone and feeling sorry for himself, in a rotten mood until that knock on the door. Some angel would come and be his temporary lifeline, breathe the life back into him with her body, with her kisses, with all the magic and allure those groupie kittens could provide him. He needed that tonight. 
Except tonight he was with his lovely new bride. His blushing bride. On the first night of their marriage. When he should be the prince charming and end her Cinderella day with the bedding of a lifetime. With a night she’d remember her whole life. That’s what Lizzie deserved. Could he pretend enough to give that to her? What did that make him then? Did he deserve her? 

Thank you Jara for the speedy reading on Monday to give us this fabulous review for today

5 stars

As always Sharon Hamilton has hit the mark. Jameson and Lizzie's story continues in this book, and what a story, from a fairy wedding, to a concert that almost ends up ruining things for the love birds, to a mission and then coming home and facing more troubles. The story kept me glued page after page to find out what happened, and was not disappointed, great story was weaved into the pages. Look forward to more of her stories. Thank you so very much Sharon.

Sharon Hamilton is a NYT and USA/Today bestselling author most known for her SEAL Brotherhood series. All of Sharon’s books are available on eBooks (most formats), print and Audible. A lifelong organic gardener, Sharon lives with her husband in the Wine Country of Northern California, where most of her stories take place. When she’s not writing, she’s getting verra verra dirty in the mud, or wandering Farmer’s Markets looking for new Heirloom varieties of vegetables and flowers.

Connect with Sharon: Website Facebook Twitter Pinterest Youtube
Amazon Google+ Goodreads Soundcloud

Nashville SEAL:Jameson

Virtual Tour w/Giveaway: Sweet Carolina Morning by Susan Schild

Life down South just got a whole lot sweeter...

Willow Hill #2
Susan Schild
Releasing Aug 2nd, 2016
Lyrical Press

Life down South just got a whole lot sweeter in Susan Schild’s new novel about a woman whose happily-ever-after is about to begin…whether she’s ready for it or not. 

Finally, just shy of forty years old, Linny Taylor is living the life of her dreams in her charming hometown of Willow Hill, North Carolina. The past few years have been anything but a fairy tale: Left broke by her con man late-husband, Linny has struggled to rebuild her life from scratch. Then she met Jack Avery, the town’s much-adored veterinarian. And she’s marrying him.

Everything should be coming up roses for Linny. So why does she have such a serious case of pre-wedding jitters? It could be because Jack’s prosperous family doesn’t approve of her rough-and-tumble background. Or that his ex-wife is suddenly back on the scene. Or that Linny has yet to win over his son’s heart. All these obstacles—not to mention what she should wear when she walks down the aisle—are taking the joy out of planning her wedding. Linny better find a way to trust love again, or she might risk losing the one man she wants to be with—forever…

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from Chapter 1: Trouble in the Stepmother Hood
Though it was February, the galley kitchen at her future husband’s old farmhouse was steamy and hot, but Linny hardly noticed. Peering at the pages on the counter, she pushed back up her nose the reading glasses she'd had to borrow from Jack and double-checked to make sure she’d not left out any key ingredients. Why had she printed the recipe in ten-point font?
Tonight’s menu came from a website she’d found called Recipes for Picky Eaters, and she hoped it was a winner. She shook her head, chagrined at Jack’s reaction to the first possible menu she’d suggested. He’d kept that pleasant smile on his handsome face, but his eyebrows had shot up. Once they’d come back down to normal, his veto had been so diplomatic. “Darlin’, the mountain trout, braised Brussels sprouts, and beet salad sounds tasty, and I hope you cook them for me real soon, but eleven-year-old boys’ tastes tend to be more… well, mainstream.”
Blowing back a stray lock of hair, she turned on the oven light and peeked inside. The neat rows of crusted chicken breasts were browning nicely in their casserole dish home. The side dishes—creamy-looking mac and cheese and green bean casserole topped with onion rings—were both bubbling gently. She breathed in cooking smells and was transported back to Sunday suppers at the farm when Nana and Paw-Paw were still alive. Sighing, she felt a wash of safety, contentment, belonging. Those were just the feelings she wanted to infuse in this new little family.
Sliding into the chair, Linny admired the old kitchen table and touched the swirls of the tiger oak. It felt warm, solid. How many other families had sat around it and shared their lives over meals? She pictured her and her two men gathered around like in a scene from the Hallmark Channel, talking and laughing about their day. Jack and Neal would lavishly compliment her on her cooking, she’d blush, wave them off, and act as though it was no big deal. “I just threw the meal together,” she’d trill.
Trouble was, it was a big deal, and not just because Linny was just learning to cook. She rubbed her chin and thought about it. This morning, Jack had sat his son down after they’d cleaned up from their pancake breakfast and told him that he and Linny were marrying in the summer. Linny had just sat beside Jack and let him do the talking but felt a stab of sadness as she saw Neal’s face fall. Forlorn. He looked forlorn. When he asked in a trembling voice, “So, you and Mom aren’t ever getting back together?” she thought her heart might break. He still held out hope for his family to be whole again, the way it used to be. Never mind that Neal’s mother, Vera, had already remarried the year before. Though Linny and Jack had been dating officially since October, she’d only just started spending a lot of time with the two of them. Jack hadn’t wanted to introduce her to his son until they knew they were serious, so Linny was only just getting to know the young man.
Linny got a nervous flip in her stomach when she thought about becoming a stepmother. She’d gone thirty-eight years without children, and in a few short months, she’d be slipping into this new role without even a course or certificate. Linny got up and made herself a mug of Chamomile tea. Calming, the label said. She sat back down and blew on the tea to cool it and tried to quell the thrum of the squadron of butterflies that was revving up in the pit of her stomach.
Staring out the window, she thought of the other scenarios she’d been imagining, in living color and the minutest detail. If she messed up in this new job, he’d be that troubled teen with the shaved head who sold pot and lived in their basement after he dropped out of school in tenth grade. Neal would end up being the inebriated driver of a speeding car full of kids who drove them into a tree after leaving an unchaperoned party. Her heart banged as she tried to obliterate the image she’d seen in this morning’s News and Clarion -the mangled wreckage of a barely recognizable car driven by a teen going the wrong way on I-40. He’d killed himself and badly injured a whole vanload of kids on the way home late from a church youth group retreat. Pulling out her phone, she scrolled through her emails as the good smells wafted from the oven and felt her shoulders relax as she reread Mary Catherine's note. Nice to have a best friend who practiced family law.
Under the subject line, Impending Stepmother Hood, her friend wrote:
You asked for advice on your new parenting gig. Remember, a lot of divorced couples and blended families don’t talk civilly and don't act in the best interests of children. In my practice, we serve more of the send-the-kids-home-dirty and talk-trash-about-the-stepmother crowd. What not to do may be more useful than what to do.
Another disclaimer: I’m no expert on teenage boys just because I had one. Remember just a few months back, my nineteen-year-old almost got a DUI on a bike. Boys are knuckleheads between the ages of eleven and twenty-four. Your nerves will fray no matter how hard you try to be a good mother—or, harder yet, stepmother—but I will tell you what I know.
Meet me for a quick breakfast 7:00 a.m. Wednesday at Jumpin’ Joe’s Bean House?
Blowing out a sigh of relief, Linny replied, Perfect. She let herself sink back into the chair for a moment. Thank goodness for Mary Catherine.
Glancing at the clock, she rose and fretted as she checked the timer. Last weekend’s cookout at her place had been a bust. Neal had picked at his food, claiming he “'just wasn’t hungry.”' What American boy didn’t like grilled hamburgers and French fries made from scratch—from the actual potato? Could it be that he didn’t like her? She tried to dismiss the thought. How could he not like her when she was already so fond of him? He was whip smart, mostly well mannered, sensitive, and had an offbeat sense of humor that would catch her when she wasn’t expecting it and make her burst out laughing.
Tonight would be different, she decided, setting flatware firmly at the three places at the table. After grilling Jack extensively about his son’s food likes and dislikes, she’d scoured the internet for the perfect menu. If she was finally going to embark on this mother thing, she sure as heck was going to excel at it. She’d do the whole shebang: soccer weekends, volunteering on field trips, deep talks about life. She’d waited long enough for this little family, and now that she’d got it, dang it, she was going to do it right. The water glasses spilled over as she set them too firmly down on the table.
Jack and Neal were still at the barn with the mare that was about to foal. She picked up the walkie-talkie and pressed the button. “Supper’s ready, men.”
The line crackled. “Be right up,” Jack said cheerfully. “I’m hungry as a bear.”
She’d just finished putting on a slick of lip gloss as they clattered into the room, bringing with them a wash of fresh February air. Her heart still skipped a beat when Jack gave her a boyish grin, and she longed for a kiss, but there was sweet-faced Neal, right on his heels. She felt a pang of regret. She and Jack had talked about it and agreed on the rule of no smooching or PDAs in front of the boy right on the brink of becoming a man. She felt wistful. Leaning against the stove, she smiled as she took them in, amazed at how much commotion the two could make just walking into a room, with their thudding boots, unzippering coats, biceps punching, and easy laughter. Linny raked back her hair with her fingers. Man, her too quiet life had sure changed.

Q & A with Susan Schild

What books/authors have influenced your writing?
Mary Kay Andrews, Dorothea Benton Frank, and Jan Karon are some of my favorites for the Southern settings, believable plots and quirky characters. On a non-Southern note, I love Katie Fforde, Jenny Colgan and Sarah Jio for their sweet and funny stories and endearing characters. I love Susan Mallery and Jo Ann Mapson for their portrayals of small town life and engaging characters.

Share a funny incident in your life. 
I must have a certain kind of face, but people tend to come up to me and just tell me things. I was browsing in a store and a women came up to me and said, “I’m looking for a new husband.” Hard to know exactly where to go with that. I think I said something encouraging like, “Well, good for you.”

When you are in writer mode, music or no music? If music do you have a playlist?
I can’t concentrate with music. In school when I had a paper to write or was studying for an exam, I was the one running the box fan on high so I could concentrate.

Have you ever had one character you wanted to go one way with but after the book was done the character was totally different?
Yes! In Sweet Carolina Morning, readers start to see a change in Diamond, the whip smart attorney with the haystack hairdo, swoopy eyeliner and apparent aversion to work. I won’t spoil the story, but let’s just say under that flibberty jibbet exterior and gadabout lifestyle, there are unplumbed depths. You will be reading more about her in future books, mainly because I liked her so much that I didn’t want to let her go. And it’s fun to write about an epiphany.

What’s you next project?
Sweet Southern Hearts is the third book in the Willow Hill series that will be released in January 10th, and is available for pre-order now. Here is the blurb from the cover:
Susan Schild welcomes you back to the offbeat Southern town of Willow Hill, North Carolina, for a humorous, heartwarming story of new beginnings, do-overs, and self-discovery…

When it comes to marriage, third time’s the charm for Linny Taylor. She’s thrilled to be on her honeymoon with Jack Avery, Willow Hill’s handsome veterinarian. But just like the hair-raising white water rafting trip Jack persuades her to take, newlywed life has plenty of dips and bumps.

Jack’s twelve-year-old son is resisting all Linny’s efforts to be the perfect stepmother, while her own mother, Dottie, begs her to tag along on the first week of a free-wheeling RV adventure. Who knew women “of a certain age” could drum up so much trouble? No sooner is Linny sighing with relief at being back home than she’s helping her frazzled sister with a new baby…and dealing with an unexpected legacy from her late ex. Life is fuller—and richer—than she ever imagined, but if there’s one thing Linny’s learned by now, it’s that there’s always room for another sweet surprise…

Your favorite book by you or another author.
Right now because I’m knee deep in it, my favorite book is my next book Sweet Southern Hearts. This book was a ton of fun to write, and involves women of a certain age rambling in a motor home, a trip to Dollywood and Graceland, several sweet surprises, and an I do…or two!

Clean shaven, Scruff, beard, or mustache. Ink or Nay?
Clean shaven and no ink, but that’s just me. Scruff, beard, tattoos, etc – whatever makes you happy. Or, as Linny’s metaphor mixing mama would say, “For every lid, there’s a pot.”

Start the Willow Hill Series at the beginning!

Susan Schild writes wholesome and sunny Southern fiction. She likes stories about charming men, missing money, adventuresome women, sweet dogs, and happily ever afters at any age. 

Susan is a wife and a stepmother. She enjoys rummaging through thrift store for treasures like four dollar cashmere sweaters and amateur watercolor paintings. She likes taking walks with her Lab mix, Tucker, and his buddies. She and her family live in North Carolina.

Susan has used her professional background as a psychotherapist and a management consultant to add authenticity to her characters.

SWEET SOUTHERN HEARTS, the final book in the Willow Hill series, will be released in January of 2017. Readers can look forward to more adventures, new beaus, sinister ministers, lovebirds over fifty, a road trip for Mama and her pals, and maybe even an “I Do”...or two.

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Blog Tour w/Giveaway: Here and Now by Cheryl Etchison

The Rangers of the 1st/75th fight hard, train hard and play hard. They are physically strong and mentally tough, disciplined and courageous. But all their military training hasn't prepared them for falling in love.

Former Ranger Medic Lucky James feels right at home working long night shifts in the ER, but less so during the day, when his college classes are filled with flirtatious co-eds. When his 19-year-old chem lab partner shows up at his work with dinner for “her Lucky,” he quickly enlists the help of Rachel Dellinger, a nurse and fellow third shift vampire.

Rachel is a people pleaser at heart, but she’s finally decided enough is enough when it comes to her on-again, off-again boyfriend. When Lucky begs Rachel to help him ward off the advances of his teenager pursuer, she blackmails him into helping move her things out of the apartment she shared with her ex into a place all her own.

From there a friendship is born between two people just trying to make it through the night. Neither are living in the past or planning for the future. Until one day changes everything.

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June 2006

Even though he knew it was coming, Lucky James flinched at the first volley of gunfire. He remained steady for the next two volleys, the loud crack giving way to the mournful sound of the bugle.

During his five years with the 75th Ranger Regiment, he’d never attended a stateside service for a fallen soldier. He’d stood at attention on a tarmac halfway around the world as the American flag was lowered to half-staff and “Taps” blared from loudspeakers. He’d carried flag-draped metal coffins holding the remains of his brothers-in-arms up the ramp of the C-130 that would deliver them home. He’d knelt beside many of those coffins, placed his hand atop them, silently begging forgiveness for failing them. After all, as a Ranger medic, his number one priority was to return his fellow soldiers home to their loved ones safe and sound. Not in a box. Never in a box.

When the bugler finished, the honor guard lifted the American flag from Ethan Dellinger’s casket and began the ceremonial folding. Everyone watched in silence as the soldiers worked in tandem, pulling the fabric taught, smoothing each crease, making each fold with precision. It had been years since he’d last seen Ethan; his last memories of him were as a chatty middle schooler who invited himself to shoot hoops with Lucky at a nearby playground one day. Over the course of the next few years, Ethan would show up out of the blue and follow Lucky around as he worked on his car, mowed the yard, whatever he was doing. Right up until the day Lucky left for basic training.

To be completely honest, Lucky hadn’t given much thought to Ethan during the past five years. After all, he was just a kid he once knew. He hadn’t even known Ethan had joined the army immediately following his high school graduation. Only after arriving home on leave the day before had Lucky learned from his father that “the youngest Dellinger boy” had been killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq.

Barely three weeks into his very first deployment, Army Pfc. Ethan Dellinger died two months shy of his nineteenth birthday.

His immediate family assembled only feet away from his casket with the remaining friends and family forming a semicircle around the grave site. From where Lucky stood at the back, he could see each of their faces. Ethan’s mother and father sat side by side on small folding chairs with elderly relatives, grandparents perhaps, seated next to them. The youngest of four children, Ethan’s immediate family was large to begin with, and when in-laws, nieces, and nephews were thrown into the mix, it grew to massive proportions.

Despite the large gathering, his eyes were drawn to Ethan’s sister, Rachel. She stood out even among her own siblings with her fiery red hair and bright blue eyes.
She and Lucky were of the same age, had attended the same schools from the time Lucky and his father moved to Durant, Oklahoma, in the middle of seventh grade. In all that time, he’d never spoken more to her than the occasional hello, goodbye, or single-word answer. And for as long as he could remember, while she’d never paid any mind to him, she’d always had his attention, despite the fact they traveled in different social circles.

But what stood out about her today he found upsetting. There she was, surrounded by all these people, all family or friends of her brother, and she stood completely alone. With her arms wrapped tight around her middle, Rachel comforted herself at a time when no one else seemed to notice or care.

It took every bit of self-restraint for him to not make a scene, march over to where she stood, and pull her into his arms. He was on the verge of saying to hell with being polite when the service ended and the crowd began to disperse. Everyone except him. He remained right where he stood, watching Rachel as she walked over to Ethan’s casket, pressed a kiss to her fingertips, and laid her hand upon the polished wood.

He had only taken a few steps in her direction when her head lifted and she caught sight of him. Much to his surprise, she stepped away from Ethan’s casket and walked toward him. Her blue eyes were red and swollen, her face tearstained.

“Rachel,” he began the moment she was in earshot. “I’m very sorry about Ethan. He was a great—”

Before he could finish his condolences, her palm met his cheek with a resounding crack.

“How dare you come here,” she said bitterly.

The tears fell freely down her face now. Her hands shook and her body vibrated with restrained fury.

He apologized a second time for reasons unknown even to him. But judging from the expression on her face and the hurt in her eyes, the words needed to be said.

“This is your fault,” she said, pointing to the hole where her brother’s casket would be lowered and the adjacent pile of red dirt that would bury him deep beneath the earth’s surface. “Ethan idolized you. Wanted to be you. He joined the army in hopes of following in your footsteps. Except he didn’t score high enough to be a medic. Wasn’t fit enough to be a Ranger. I hope you’re happy.”

Stunned into silence, he could do little more than watch as Rachel Dellinger turned her back on him and walked away.

Cheryl Etchison graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in journalism and news communications and has worked as a newspaper reporter, marketing coordinator and in public relations for a MLB and NHL team. Currently, she lives in Austin, Texas and is a stay at home mom to three girls. ONCE AND FOR ALL is her first novel.

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