Spotlight & Excerpt: Dahlia + Giveaway

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Dahlia:
The Velvet Witch and Her Dark Spirit
by David Minutillo
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Romantic Thriller

 


Making a pact with the underworld isn’t a problem …
but change the deal and hell breaks loose.

Dahlia’s world was turned upside down as a child and her innocence taken. But she chose to fight back with her own blend of magical mayhem. Levi has been let down by every person he’s ever loved. He’s betrayed, lost and about to end it all.

London, 2019. Our star-crossed lovers meet at a tattoo festival on the Thames. Big Ben might look the same, but magic is spilling onto the streets as Dahlia’s dark spirit begs for blood. Can she keep her raging orbit in check long enough to survive? Are they doomed? Or can Levi save them both?

You’ll love this paranormal thrill-ride of beauty, chaos and despair which will keep you guessing until the bitter end.

** Only .99 cents!!**
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dahlia vw- excerpt

We bounce from tent to tent, gawking at the wondrous displays on show. The buzz of tattoo guns is thick in the air, along with the smell of sterilised steel and ink. Only in a hospital would you find more bloodied body parts.
We stop to watch a lady have her inner thigh carved up with a vibrating weapon. Between the way the artist has her positioned and her very short skirt, nothing’s left to the imagination. But it’s his design that really has us drooling.

This festival is about so much more than tattoos. It represents an entire subset of society, the counterculture movement, those that choose not to conform and are proud of the fact. If it’s considered taboo, you’ll find it here. Each stand is an ode to the odd. One heavy-set man is flogging body rings and offering to, “throw the piercing in for free”. A husband-and-wife team stand behind a pyramid of homemade soap, each block coming with precise instructions on how to scrub your soul clean. Another display is merely hundreds of stacked plastic cages filled with docile rodents being cared for by a boy who barely looks thirteen.

We wander on, pushing each other and giggling like idiots. We’re riding high from our earlier escape and the cocktail of additives in our systems. The drugs are working nicely now. Our minds are on a spicy teapot ride. We stare endlessly at everything and focus on nothing. People’s faces roll in and out of our gaze and one lady even bothers to ask, “Are you two alright?” Probably not, but God, don’t it feel good.




A small travel journal on a family holiday to Italy in 2005 would become the catalyst for my first book. After bad weather forced us inside, I found myself scribing a story about a fictional character named, Lucca from Portofino. Balcony Nights – Tales of a Moonlit Guitarist was born, and for the next year, my keyboard took a beating as my imagination leapt into print.

But my downfall was self-belief. And eventually, niggling inadequacy won the battle, and I shelved the project. Over the next decade, I would get random hot flushes of enthusiasm and open the manuscript from time to time. Though inevitably, after a day’s tinkering, I would see a complete rewrite was in order and quietly back away from the near finished draft.

Ironically, another holiday would change all that, when I read The War of Art by Steven Pressfield (the Holy Bible for anyone suffering with procrastination). It was time to kick my own ass into submission and get a book finished. The idea for Dahlia came into my head a few days later, and once again, I spent morning and night, before and after long days of work, bashing away at the keys. One day I looked up and there it was. A 120,000 word, completed manuscript.

Not long after, came the redundancy call from Egan. And just like that, I was a full-time writer. It’s now been a year and change since that day, and I couldn’t be prouder of sticking to my guns and working my ass off to make this dream come true. In that time, I’ve started and finished a novella called Travel Infinity, completed a second, 100K manuscript called Scarecrow and have just published my first novel called Dahlia – The Velvet Witch and Her Dark Spirit on all major sites.

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Spotlight & Excerpt: {This Tale is True} + Giveaway

this tale is true

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Deborah Adams will be awarding a $25 Visa gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

{This Tale is True}
by Deborah Adams
Genre: Fantasy

They don’t make goddesses like they used to….

For eons they ruled, but modern times have been rough on the ancient deities— their temples collapsed, their worshippers wandered off, and their purposes were made redundant by industry and technology. And the Fates aren’t finished with them yet.

Mere days before the annual renewal of their immortality is to occur, the goddess of youth disappears. Without her and her restorative nectar, time and age will catch up with the goddesses. In the blink of an eye, they will shrivel and die, leaving the world to fend for itself, unless a skeptical mortal can find a way to save both worlds.

combines the humor one expects from Adams with magical realism and a dash of literary fiction, resulting in a boisterous read that pushes back against the boundaries of genre.

“Deborah Adams offers goddesses in peril and a protagonist who dares all to save the immortals in a wild, wacky, and wonderful romp. Imaginative, creative, fabulous fiction.” ~ Carolyn Hart, author of the otherworldly Bailey Ruth series

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Read an Excerpt

“A squirrel in the toilet is not an omen.” Cybil felt this bore repeating. “It’s just a rodent whose curiosity proved to be more than it could handle.”

Evie, her roommate and current audience, unlocked their apartment door and stepped inside, then closed the door and engaged the deadbolt as soon as Cybil had joined her. Pre-emptive security was important to Cybil, and she’d worked hard to instill good habits in her new roommate. Despite her trusting nature, Evie tried to comply with Cybil’s insistent rule about staying safe, although Evie was certain that the real dangers in this world could not be restrained by man-made mechanisms.

“I never said the squirrel was an omen,” Evie insisted.

“You didn’t disagree when the wacky witches were putting forth that very notion,” Cybil reminded her. “If you don’t speak out against the nonsense, you are in tacit agreement.”

“They have a right to believe whatever they like.” Pushing back the hood of her purple velvet cloak, Evie ran the fingers of one hand through her nut-brown hair. “And surely you can see why they thought it had meaning. It’s hard to believe the squirrel just happened to pop up in Belinda’s toilet at the very moment we invoked the Great Goddess.”

“It’s harder to believe that a goddess of Hera’s standing would send her RSVP through a bushy-tailed rat.”

“You never know,” Evie said with sincerity. “Goddesses don’t think or act like mortals.”

“I daresay you’re right about that,” Cybil conceded.

About the Author:

Deborah Zenha Adams, recipient of the Macavity and Flair Awards, is an author, a naturalist, and a yoga educator. In {This Tale Is True}, a work of magical realism, she unveils the fate of ancient Roman goddesses as they struggle to survive in the 21st century.

The seven novels in her Jesus Creek mystery series were published under her own name, and other works appear under a variety of pseudonyms. She is also the author of numerous short stories and essays.

She has been a guest lecturer at numerous events, including Southern Festival of Books, Appalachian Studies Conference, Warioto Regional Library Board of Trustees Conference, Southeastern Booksellers Association, Georgia Library Association Convention, Emory University, East Tennessee State University Writers Program, and many others. She is a lifetime member of the Southern Literary Coalition.

Deborah-Zenha is available for interviews, speaking, and author events. Her signature workshops include Write Your Memoir (even if you aren’t a writer) and Write Your Yoga Memoir.

Learn more about the author and her books on her website.

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Book Blitz & Excerpt: Rounding the Bases + Giveaway

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Rounding the Bases by Jaqueline Snowe

Book 3 in the Out of the Park series

Word Count: 68,681
Book Length: NOVEL
Pages: 269

Genres:

CONTEMPORARY
EROTIC ROMANCE
SPORTS ROMANCE

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Book Description

What happens when a summer fling doesn’t end with the season?

Sarah Blue has one dream—to open her own pet boarding business. When she receives an offer to spend three months in a penthouse looking after two dogs, she intends to do the best dog-sitting job possible, and focus on her business plan. What she didn’t expect was to run into a stranger so handsome that she could barely put two words together at the sight of him.

And she certainly didn’t expect him to live across the hall and befriend her.

Brigham Monaghan’s reputation is on the line. After an arrest that went very public, his future as an outfielder with Los Soles isn’t guaranteed. With his life a total mess, he welcomes the distraction from the blue-haired girl across the hall who not only doesn’t know his name, but hates sports. It’s the perfect situation.

But things get complicated when what was supposed to be summer fun and flirting turns into something more. Sarah’s business takes off, where Brigham’s future is barely hanging on by a thread. With the odds stacking up against Brigham, Sarah can’t help questioning his motives. Did he fall hard for her, like she did him, or is it just a PR ploy?

Either way, he’s going to break her heart…

Excerpt

The constant battle of how mature to act raged inside me. Yes, I could flip off my parents, but what good would it do? They’d scoff and pretend they had never in their wildest dreams raised a daughter with the audacity to do such a thing. Flipping them off would feel good for three seconds before the regret would sink in and I’d drink about it later.

So I did the adult thing and kept my big mouth shut.

“We don’t want to discourage you from pursuing…your dreams.” My dear mother choked on her words and I swore my dad’s face turned even redder. “But is this really a way to make a living?”

Maturity is important. I tapped my rainbow-colored nails—because Pride week was soon and I was absolutely an ally—and forced a tight smile. “I appreciate your concern, but I happen to love my plan.”

“It’s not beneath you?” my dad asked, looking around us in the café like his uptight friends would jump out and laugh at his offspring. “Pet sitting?”

“I don’t have the patience for vet school and I love animals. It pays pretty well and I’m off your payroll, so why do you care? I’m saving up to open up my dream business. I have a plan, if you cared to ask about it.”

Oh, I was feeling ballsy. My best friends Megan and Ethan would cheer me on if they could have witnessed this exchange. I got a little thrill at rebelling when they got more flustered.

“It is just not a sturdy profession, Sarah Belle.”

The first and middle name. They might as well cut me out of the will now. I sighed and made sure to cause a real scene by flipping my bright blonde hair with blue tips over my shoulder. “It’s decent and I’m busy. But more importantly, I’m happy. H-a-double p-y.”

I did not mention my almost near-zero bank account. Nope. I’d rather shove the entire fork into my mouth than admit that money wasn’t rolling in like I’d hoped. Sure, Megs said my life was too boring because I only focused on opening this business, but I ignored her truth bombs. My dating life might have been boring, but my hope for the future sure wasn’t.

“Your attitude doesn’t suit you, dear.” My mother pursed her lips, and if she wore a pearl necklace, she would’ve clutched it. “How long do you plan on taking a break from schooling?”

“For…ever?”

She clicked her tongue just as my alarm went off and I sent a prayer to whoever was listening. “Gotta run. Meeting a new client. Bye!”

They stood up as I left the table. I didn’t humor them by trying to hug goodbye. We didn’t express genuine emotion when it was positive. Guilt and shame? Oh, we did that in spades. I’d have a doctorate in shaming if it were possible. I would at least have a degree then, and my parents would get off my back.

I snorted at my own joke, earning a confused look from the poor guy walking past me. Phoenix in the summer was way too damn hot and the fact that I wasn’t the only person outside saddened me. The sun burned the asphalt to the point it smelled weird and I hurried my short walk to the building where my next job might be. Three months, dog sitting, in a penthouse.

Thousands of dollars.

College wouldn’t pay me that well, would it, parents?

I stopped after I entered the luxurious swanky building and groaned as the air conditioning hit my face. Heaven.

“Ma’am, may I help you?” a tall, old gentleman with a large mustache asked. He wore a green coat and I groaned. He had to be super-hot with all the clothes.

“Hello…” I eyed his name tag. “Ferdinand. Do you go by Fernie?”

“No.” He somehow stood taller at my question. “What are you doing here?” He scanned my outfit and I waited until he met my eyes again. “You might be in the wrong place, dear.”

My light blue dress had tiny straps on my shoulders and fit my curves very well. It made me feel confident and it was the best one to wear when it was one-hundred-and-fifteen outside. Fernie would not judge me. “I’m exactly where I want to be. Thank you. Now, excuse me.”

“You cannot just enter this building,” he said, his eyes widening and his mouth falling open when I barged past him to the elevator. It couldn’t be too hard to find the penthouse. Highest floor, right?

“It seems I just did, good sir.” I pressed the Up button and blew a large bubble when Fernie blinked fast and put his hand on my elbow. I yanked out of his grip. “Oy! Watch it.”

“I will call the police if you do not leave right now!”

I was about to tell him all the ways he could kiss my ass when the elevator doors opened and the most handsome man I had ever seen in my twenty-three years stood there, looking way too good for rational thoughts to form. Perfection.

The hair. The eyes. The beard. The shoulders.

My saliva evaporated from pure lust and wouldn’t return unless he kissed me. It was the only way.

“Nando,” the man said, sparing me a quick glance. “Harassing guests again?”

“She waltzed in here and disobeyed protocol!” he hissed, and that snapped me from my lusty funk.

“Okay, settle down, Fernie. There were no rules posted.”

One side of the handsome man’s lips quirked up and I swore I felt that gesture as if he’d caressed my entire body. Shivers. “Fernie. I like it.”

“He looks like one, right? Maybe it’s the stern nose or the stick up his ass. I can’t decide.”

Ferdinand looked affronted and I held up my hands as the stranger laughed, a deep, rich, beautiful chuckle that made me dizzy. “Security. I will call them.”

“I’m not trespassing.” I held up my phone. “I was invited here. To the penthouse, actually.”

Whatever I said made Fernie’s lip twitch, and I did not like that one bit. Nope. He grabbed my wrist again and before I could yell at him for manhandling me, the perfect specimen of a man took a step toward us, looking pissed off. “Don’t put your hands on her. She’s done nothing wrong.”

“Mr. Alexandre is not here. He won’t be for quite some time.” He practically giggled. “So your excuse for being here doesn’t work.”

“Wrong again, Fernie. But don’t worry, I won’t hold it against you if we are blessed to meet again.” I rubbed my wrist where his fingers touched and I gave a smile of thanks to the stranger, only putting a hint of take me now into it. “Here. Why don’t I clear this up?”

I dialed the number from the app and waited until a rough voice answered. “Hi, Mr. Alexandre, it’s Sarah Blue. Would you be so kind as to retrieve me from the foyer, as your bellhop is channeling his inner Paul Blart.”

“Your reference makes no sense, but I’ll be down.”

“Great. Thank you so much.” I grinned as large as I could and crossed my arms, tapping my foot on the polished floor, making Ferdinand glare at me. “Your I’m wrong face is great.”

He blustered a bit and I used the time to study the other, gorgeous man staring at me. He wore joggers and a black T-shirt that had to be sewn onto his tan skin. Delicious. There was no other way to describe him.

If anyone asked what my type was ever again, I would say him.

He seemed to be studying me too and I blushed head to toe when he gave me a hint of a smirk. “How do you know Alexandre?”

“How do you?” I fired back. He liked my answer. He cackled and leaned on the doorframe instead of exiting. “Two can play your game.”

His amusement pleased me. I wasn’t a huge hit with guys when it came to first impressions. I was loud, spoke my mind, called out things that upset me and never put out. Sure, I flirted when I wanted to, but no one really stood out to star in my spank bank. But this guy. Yup. His face was enough.

“Sarah Blue.” He repeated my name and I bit down on my knuckle and groaned. “What?”

“You’re too good-looking for your own good. I shouldn’t stare at you.” I turned around and almost smacked my forehead for being an idiot. I couldn’t help myself. My parents had raised me to be seen, not heard, and the second I got out from their rule, I flourished into being who I wanted to be—not quiet, always seen and always heard.

The stranger didn’t get a chance to respond before the elevator door opened again and a very well-dressed man appeared. He had to be ten years older than me, maybe more, and he looked like he should be on a runway. His face was all angles and jawline and the suit looked like it cost more than my parents’ house. “Sarah Blue?”

“Mr. Alexandre,” I said, and he nodded. I took a guess that this was the man I was supposed to meet and I felt smug as hell. I wiggled my fingers at Ferdinand in a super not mature way. It was worth it though to see his appalled expression of paled cheeks and wide eyes.

“Ms. Blue, please, come with me.” Mr. Alexandre crooked his fingers at me and I obeyed, damn well knowing he was more terrifying than Ferdinand. It wasn’t unusual for me to meet new clients in their homes, especially if I was watching their animals, and I trusted my gut. While I feared Mr. Alexandre more than I liked, it wasn’t a creepy vibe he gave off. It was authoritative.

I waltzed into the elevator and felt the weight of the handsome stranger’s stare as the doors closed. If there was such a thing as second-hand lust syndrome, I had it. Bad.

Mr. Alexandre remained quiet the entire ride until the doors opened on the top floor. There were just two doors at the end of the hallway and he went to the right. “Are you ready to meet them?”

‘Them’ meaning his two King Charles Spaniels, Pico and Cassandra. “I’d love to meet your fur-children.”

My comment pleased him and he typed five numbers onto a pad before the large black door swung. His room was like a hotel I had only witnessed in movies. Glorious. Open. Beautiful. He had a couch that was at least the size of my old dorm room and it was covered in plush pillows. Oh, I wanted to fall face first onto that couch for a day. “This is beautiful.”

“Thank you. I had it designed for me.” His boots clicked on the…while marble? Quartz? Diamond? Floor. It was too pretty for my eyes and I pretended I hadn’t stepped in melted gum on the walk here. “Pico! Cassandra! Where are you, lovelies?”

I couldn’t stop my lips from curving up. People were weird about their pets. Nicknames and routines and boundaries, and the fierce love they had for their mammals. He wasn’t on the far end of the insane scale of clients I had worked with, but he wasn’t in the middle. If he had a—

He did.

He returned from a room just beyond his kitchen with a decked-out gray and black stroller. There was no baby in there. Just two dogs with sparkly blue and purple collars. “Here are my babies. Ms. Blue, Pico and Cassie.”

“Why, hello!” I crouched forward and spoke in a high voice, foregoing all sense of dignity. “Aren’t you both adorable? You two spoiled?” I held out my hand and let them both sniff it for a full thirty seconds before I attempted to pet them. Pico, who had deep brown and black fur, wagged his tail so loud a soft thud kept repeating. “Happy boy. May I?” I gestured to pick him up and Mr. Alexandre nodded.

Pico licked my entire face and I laughed. He was a cutie and we’d get along fine. But he wasn’t the alpha of the house. Cassie was and she gave me the stink eye. “You are a gem, Pico. We’ll be buds. Now, Ms. Cassie, what can I do to win you over?”

She eyed me. She was different from Pico. She had white, brown and black fur and almost had freckles on her face. She was gorgeous but not friendly. She held her nose high in the air and I went from petting her back to her bum, and bam. Her tail wagged.

Damn, it felt good to get along so well with dogs. Humans weren’t as cute.

“She likes you,” he said, his voice rising in clear disbelief.

“I must smell like bacon from lunch,” I said, hoping to ease his mind. That was the trick of pet sitting for people. Their babies couldn’t like me more than they did them, but they had to like me enough to trust me. It was a thin line and I rocked it. “Shall we do a practice if you need to run an errand?”

“No. They don’t like humans much.” He crossed his arms and blinked a lot. “Let’s talk availability.”

“Let’s.” I kissed the top of Pico’s head and followed Mr. Alexandre toward a small glass table overlooking a patio that had the absolute best view of Camelback Mountain. “God, this view. I could die here.”

“I hope you don’t. My babies need love and attention while I’m away.” He pulled out a couple of sheets of paper and a pen. “Your application said you do stay-ins, overnights. How long?”

“It depends on the client. Currently, I have about twenty stops a week that will keep me away roughly the same as work hours. Six hours a day, typically.”

“Where do you live?”

“I won’t take them out of your place besides walks, sir. I assure you.”

“No.” He waved his hand like I’d insulted him. “I meant, can you break your lease if you are renting? I can pay the fee. If you take this job, you will need to be here three months.”

July, August, September. Damn. But I kept my poker face strong. “That is a long time, sir. The cost will be high.”

“I’ll give you twenty thousand dollars, but I must have daily photos and a video chat every other day. They require two walks a day and the best raw food.” He continued talking, but his voice faded as the price kept echoing in my head.

Twenty thousand.

“That’s…that’s…” I mumbled, but he paid me no attention. He brought out a notebook with tabs and slid it across the table. “Sir, please.”

“I will not negotiate. Pico and Cassie are my joys and you are ranked as one of the best at this. Please, Sarah, take care of them. I wish I did not have to travel, but I do.” He sighed and a sad, resigned look took over his face. “This is a lovely place to live.”

“Even with Ferdinand?” I joked, earning a slight smile. “He won’t try to kick me out?”

“He is protective of the tenants. Just don’t bother the door across the hall. He likes his privacy. And do not ruin this place. I will deduct any damages from your payment.”

I gulped and nodded, unable to do much more. Those rules were simple enough for that much money. God, no rent, no school… I could save most of it. “Thank you, sir. I will not let you down.”

“Good.”

He shook my hand and eyed the pen. “Sign and it’ll be official. Can you start tomorrow?”

“Tomorrow?” I repeated, dumbfounded at the quickness. “I don’t… I need to get my stuff.”

“Take today and tomorrow morning. But noon, be here.” He rose and left me at the table with a contract and a check for ten thousand dollars. Half now, half later.

And I could only stare at it.

“Better get started on getting your stuff, dear Sarah,” he said, his retreating back not exactly friendly.

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About the Author

Jaqueline Snowe

Jaqueline Snowe lives in Arizona where the ‘dry heat’ really isn’t that bad. She enjoys making lists with colorful Post-it notes and sipping coffee all day. She has been a custodian, a waitress, a landscaper, a coach and a teacher. Her life revolves around binge-watching Netflix, her two dogs who don’t realize they aren’t humans and her wonderful baseball-loving husband.

You can take a look at Jaqueline’s Website and Blog and you can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Giveaway

Enter for your chance to win a fabulous gift package from romance author Jaqueline Snowe and get a FREE eBook from the author!

Jaqueline Snowe Rounding the Bases Giveaway

JAQUELINE SNOWE IS GIVING AWAY THIS FABULOUS PRIZE TO ONE LUCKY WINNER. ENTER HERE FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN AND GET A FREE EBOOK FROM THE AUTHOR! Notice: This competition ends on 25TH May 2021 at 5pm GMT. Competition hosted by Totally Entwined Group.

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