Sunday, June 16, 2019

SPOTLIGHT: Detour to Paradise by River Ames @ERomNews #Giveaway #SweetContemporary @river_ames #Excerpt


Detour to Paradise
by River Ames
Genre: Sweet Contemporary Romance 

Lucas Rockworth—a hard-driving force of nature has been ordered by his doctor to take some time off and get his blood pressure under control. You would think buying a cabin in the natural splendor known as Gray Horse Lake, Idaho, would do the trick. All that mountain greenery, crystal blue lakes and rivers, and nature-run-amok had to be exactly what the doctor had ordered.


Enter Sarah Burke… The innocently enticing young entrepreneur who’s opening an equestrian camp for children with handicaps.

Her initial impression of him is clearly wrong. For some reason, known to the reader but unknown to him, Sarah mistakenly believes that Lucas Rockworth is a shy, sensitive man. After having to deal a lifetime with a dominating older brother and controlling father, she finds these traits very appealing.

Her recent breakup with someone who could best be described as a bully has Sarah longing for a kinder, gentler man in her life.

Lucas tells himself that, since he makes his living as a general contractor, he has the hands-on experience to make himself into anything Miss Sarah Burke is looking for.

It shouldn’t be that great a stretch to become a modern, sensitive kind of guy, should it? She wants Mr. Rogers… Well, darn, he can manage that for the short time he’s in Idaho.

How hard can it be to tame his darker, more cynical side?

As for Sarah Burke? She thinks she’s met a real life version of Mr. Rogers. But, the reader knows its Rambo who’s come a’courting.

Would the real Lucas Rockworth care to step forward?



Sarah backed slowly away from the doorway. If she hadn’t heard Lucas with her own ears, she would not have believed him capable of such brutal toughness. She had heard him, and she still couldn’t come to terms with the fact that her tender, gentle lover-to-be was... Why he was Rambo, after all!
She turned from the cabin and followed the path back to the motorhome. Over and over she replayed the fierce confrontation she’d heard. It didn’t make sense. How could she have thought Lucas was a gentle, caring man—a man incapable of the bullying tactics she’d come to associate with her brother?
Sarah could feel the burning pressure of tears fill her eyes. She’d only just realized she was in love. She brushed at the falling tears with the back of her hand and looked around.
Dusk had come.
Dusk had come, and she’d discovered the man she was in love with didn’t exist.
Sweet, gentle Lucas Rockworth simply was not. She had given her heart and planned on giving her body to a phantom, a creature of her own imagination.
Creature was an excellent word, she thought, her tears drying. There was no way she could have been so mistaken about Lucas Rockworth without him deliberately misleading her. She remembered one of their first conversations. He’d asked her straight out: Who appealed to her more? Rambo or Mr. Rogers?
She’s picked Mr. Rogers and voila! He had appeared. Shy. Sweet. Sensitive.
The dirty rat!
He’d done it on purpose, played the role of a modern, tender man. Good grief, if she’d picked Rambo, he probably would have greased up his body, looped ammo belts around his neck and stuck a butcher knife between his teeth.
She’d had him writing poetry!
Sarah, where are you going? What happened?”
Deborah’s worried voice penetrated Sarah’s dazed thoughts. She’d almost passed her friend on the path to the motorhome.
Sarah turned around. “You were right.”
About what? Sarah, what’s wrong? You look like you’re in shock.”
I probably am.”
My Lord, did they actually get into a brawl? What happened?”
There was no fight. You were right. Lucas was perfectly capable of handling Ryan.”
But—”
Don’t worry about it. Ryan’s fine. Lucas is fine. Actually, I think they have the makings of a solid friendship.”
What?”
They have so much in common, you know—my welfare.”
That doesn’t surprise me,” Deborah said.
And then, there’s the fact that they’re two liked-minded bullies. When you get right down to it, you could almost call them blood- brothers. They both look at the world in the same way—as predators.” Sarah started walking again.
Where are you going?”
To change my clothes.”



River Ames spent the first eighteen years of her life in Southern California. Here is a partial list of some of the cities in which she lived: Pasadena, South Pasadena, Duarte, El Monte, Arcadia La Puente, Lomita, West Covina, Pacifica, Santa Monica, Palmdale, and Hacienda Heights. In some of those cities, she lived at six different addresses. In the city of La Puente, River's family lived in four different houses on the same street. The non-glamorous reason for all the moves was habitual eviction necessitated for non-payment of rent. It was an interesting way to grow up.

River attended twenty-six different elementary schools, two different junior high schools and four different high schools. In one elementary school, she was a student for only three days.

Perhaps, because she was so frequently identified as the "new girl," the pattern of River being an observer instead of a participant in the interactions going on around her seemed a logical fit for her personality.

When she was thirteen, River read "Gone with the Wind." She skipped three days of school in order to finish the book in one sitting. Disappointed in Rhett for "not giving a damn," River wrote her own sequel--in long hand, on three-hole punch, notebook paper. The opening line? "Tomorrow dawned bright and fair." In less than fifty pages, Scarlett had been transformed into Jane Eyre and Rhett had fallen in love with her all over again.

After Southern California, River has spent the next part of her life living in the semi-rural town of Idaho Falls, Idaho. She is a graduate of Idaho State University, majoring in Health Education Sciences and Addiction Counseling. She's worked the past ten years at a Behavioral Health Center where she assisted children, teenagers, and adults committed in a 24/7 secured facility because of mental health challenges they are experiencing.

River's books celebrate the good-natured humor that lays at the heart of most of our human predicaments. The conflicts are significant, yet it is her characters and their quirky (yet somehow universally relatable) thoughts, words, and choices that reflect a light-hearted peek into a world we wish was real. The amazing thing is that these worlds are real to readers for the time they visit there.

Readers have said: "In a River Ames book, one minute I'm laughing out loud, and the next I have a lump in my throat."

River is currently readying a historical novel, "Gideon's Justice." This three-part novel is Book I in a three volume western series set in the Colorado Territory.




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Tuesday, June 11, 2019

SPOTLIGHT: Crepe Expectations by Sarah Fox #Giveaway #CozyMystery @lyricalpress @ERomNews @TheWriteFox


Crepe Expectations
The Pancake House Mysteries #5
by Sarah Fox
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pub Date: 5/28/2019

When a murder case from the past heats up again, it’s up to Marley McKinney to sort through a tall stack of suspects in the latest Pancake House Mystery. . .
Although it’s a soggy start to spring in Wildwood Cove, the weather clears up just in time for the town to host an amateur chef competition. Marley McKinney, owner of the Flip Side pancake house, already signed up to volunteer, and chef Ivan Kaminski is one of the judges. But when Marley visits her landscaper boyfriend Brett at the site of the Victorian mansion that’s being restored as the Wildwood Inn, she discovers something else pushing up daisies: human remains.
The skeleton on the riverbank washed out by the early-spring floodwaters belonged to eighteen-year-old Demetra Kozani, who vanished a decade earlier. While the cold case is reopened, Marley must step in when some of the cook-off contestants fall suspiciously ill. Stuck in a syrupy mess of sabotage and blackmail, it falls to Marley to stop a killer from crêping up on another victim. . .



The last diners of the day left the restaurant shortly after two o’clock, and I locked the door behind them, flipping the “opensign to “closed.” Leigh Hunter, The Flip Side’s full-time waitress, untied her red apron from around her waist. Patricia Murray’s daughter, Sienna, did the same with her apron. Sienna was seventeen and still in school, but she worked at the pancake house on the weekends.
“Did you know that Logan’s entering the amateur chef competition?” I asked Sienna.
“Yep. He’s a really good cook. He got into watching cooking shows about three years ago, and now he can make some really amazing stuff.”
“I hope he does well in the competition,” Leigh said.
“He will,” Sienna said with confidence. “My friend Ellie Shaw’s entering too. She didn’t really want to, but her mom thought she should.”
“Why didn’t she want to?” I asked.
“She’s kind of shy. I don’t think she likes the idea of cooking in front of an audience.”
“Maybe she’ll forget anyone’s watching once she gets cooking,” Leigh said.
“I hope so. She’s really talented, especially with desserts.” Sienna headed for the break room to fetch her jacket, and soon she and Leigh had left the pancake house for the day.
Talking about cooking made me wonder if Brett would be finished work by dinnertime. I sent him a text message asking him how things were going. I tidied up the pancake house while waiting for his response. It came about half an hour later. He figured he’d have to work until six o’clock, but he hoped he wouldn’t have to stay at the inn any longer than that.
Hungry? I wrote in another text. I can bring you a snack.
I love you, was his quick response.
Smiling, I finished up my remaining tasks and grabbed a can of soda from the kitchen before heading out. I walked to Marielle’s Bakery and picked up two doughnuts and half a dozen chocolate chip cookies. From there, I set a course for home. The Wildwood Inn sat on the outskirts of town, and making the trip on foot would have taken a while, so I decided to make a quick stop at home to pick up my car.
After checking on my cat, Flapjack, and Brett’s dog, Bentley, I set off in my hatchback. When I reached my destination, I followed a long driveway toward the beautiful white Victorian mansion and continued along the branch that led around the house to the large detached garage, built in the same style as the inn. I parked my blue hatchback next to the cube van Brett used for his lawn and garden business.
With the paper bakery bag and soda can in hand, I wandered around the garage until I could see clear to the back of the inn’s property. An expanse of green lawn stretched from the mansion to a white gazebo—a
new addition, Brett had told me. Beyond the gazebo, flagstone pathways wandered around numerous flower beds. Brett had been working hard to add some color before the garden party. He’d already transplanted numerous types of flowers in a variety of hues and would add more over the coming days. Some of the flower beds farther back in the garden were home to recently planted rosebushes, which would bloom in a few weeks’ time.
As soon as I started across the lawn, I spotted Brett near the back of the property, working away at one of the last flower beds, only a stone’s throw from the woods that bordered the garden. There was a small cottage in the back corner of the lot, but I couldn’t see anyone else around. The garden was peaceful, the only sound the chirping of birds in the trees.
I followed the flagstone pathway past the flower beds, raising a hand in greeting when Brett looked up and saw me approaching.
“I come bearing food,” I said as I reached him.
He grinned and drove the spade he was holding into the soil so it would stand upright on its own. “Best news I’ve heard all day.”
I glanced around the garden. “You’ve made a lot of progress since the last time I was here. It looks great.”
“I need to work at a couple of other sites this week, but hopefully this job will be done in the next two weeks.” He pulled off his work gloves and tucked them into the back pocket of his jeans. “How was your day?”
“Great. Everything went well at The Flip Side. A lot of people were talking about the garden party. They’re going to love what you’ve done here.”
“Hopefully Lonny and Hope will love it too,” he said.
“They will,” I said without any doubt. “They like what you’ve done so far, right?”
“So far so good,” he confirmed.
I held up the paper bag and can of soda. “Your snack.”
“Thank you. You’re the best.”
“I can’t say I was disappointed to have a chance to see you before tonight.”
He grinned. “I’m definitely not disappointed either.”
He led me to a stone bench at the end of the garden that faced the flower beds, the mansion visible in the distance. I sat with him and snacked on one of the doughnuts while he devoured the other one along with a couple of the cookies. When I’d finished eating, I rested my head against his shoulder.
“It’s so peaceful here,” I said, listening to the birdsong coming from the woods behind us.
Brett took a long drink of his soda. “It’s definitely a nice place to work.”
I raised my head. “Speaking of which, I should probably let you get back to it.”
He eyed the rosebushes sitting in pots near one of the flower beds, waiting to be transplanted. “Another two hours or so and then I’ll be heading home.”
I got to my feet and set the paper bag on the bench. “I’ll leave these here in case you want more.”
Brett set down his soda can as he stood up. He took my hands, pulling me in close. “Thanks for stopping by, Marley.”
He gave me a lingering kiss that I reluctantly pulled away from.
“See you later.”
I was about to set off along the garden path when something small and black streaked toward the tree line. I spun around to follow its progress.
“A kitten!” I exclaimed. “Did you see that?”
The tiny black cat paused at the edge of the woods, its green eyes wide, one ear twitching while the rest of its body remained frozen.
“Does it belong to Lonny and Hope?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” Brett said. “I caught a brief glimpse of it earlier today, but that’s the first time I’ve seen a cat around here.”
I took a careful step toward the kitten. It dashed beneath a bushy fern and hunkered down, out of sight except for the tip of one black ear.
“It looks way too tiny to be out here on its own,” I said.
            “We can take it up to the house and see if that’s where it belongs. If we can catch it, that is.”
As if it had heard Brett’s words, the little kitten darted out from its hiding place and zipped away, deeper into the woods.
“Catching it might not be possible, but I don’t want to leave it in the woods. Maybe we can at least get it to run back this way.”
“We can try,” Brett agreed.
We moved off in opposite directions, planning to circle around into the woods and hopefully herd the kitten back to the garden. I tried to move quietly as I entered the woods, not wanting to scare the cat farther into the forest. Despite my efforts, twigs still snapped under my feet and the underbrush rustled as I picked my way through the trees.
I could hear rushing water somewhere nearby and realized we were close to the Wildwood River. My concern for the kitten shot up. Although the water level was on its way down now, the river was still higher than usual and could be dangerous for anyone who got too close to the slippery, unstable banks. I didn’t want the kitten going anywhere near the water.
As I moved deeper into the forest, the dirt beneath my feet became soggier. Through the trees, I caught sight of the river, still swollen and muddy, hurtling its way toward the ocean. I swept my gaze from left to right, desperately seeking out any sign of the kitten.
“Can you see it?” I called out to Brett when he came into view. We were almost to the river now, and I had to talk over the sound of the rushing water.
“Not yet,” Brett called back.
At the sound of his voice, something moved slightly a few feet away. I peered at a small, hollowed-out cavity at the base of an old tree. It was dark inside the hole, but I was certain I’d seen movement. I crept closer
to the tree, moving slowly and cautiously.
I was about to crouch down in front of the hole when the kitten darted out of the hollow tree. I dropped to my knees and grabbed at the kitten, ending up flat on my stomach, my arms outstretched ahead of me. A fallen tree branch poked at my ribs, cold moisture was seeping through my jeans, and I had a face full of ferns, but I also had a wriggling kitten in my grasp.
“Are you okay?” Brett asked as he hurried over to me.
“I caught it!” I said through the ferns.
I couldn’t see too well, but I heard Brett reach my side. One of his hands brushed against mine.
“I’ve got it. You can let go now.”
I released my firm but gentle hold on the cat and climbed to my feet, brushing pine needles and clumps of mud from my clothes. I smiled at the sight of Brett holding the little kitten against his chest, but when I reached down to brush a clod of mud from my knee, my smile slipped away.
“Brett…”
“Are you hurt?” he asked with concern.
I shook my head and stepped back before pointing at the ground.

Next to the patch of ferns I’d landed in, a partial human skull poked out through the mud.

Sarah Fox is the author of the Music Lover's Mystery series and the USA Today bestselling Pancake House Mystery series. When not writing novels or working as a legal writer, she can often be found reading her way through a stack of books or spending time outdoors with her English Springer Spaniel. Sarah lives in British Columbia and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada. Visit her online at AuthorSarahFox.com.



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Monday, June 10, 2019

SPOTLIGHT: Unplanned Love by Sharon C. Cooper #ContemporaryRomance @ERomNews #Giveaway @Sharon_Cooper1


Unplanned Love
Jenkins & Sons Construction Book 4
by Sharon C. Cooper
Genre: Contemporary Romance 

Fate has a way of changing a perfect plan.

Liam Jenkins hasn’t given up on the idea of marriage. However, he’s closed his heart to his impulsive, force of nature, ex-fiancée. He’s moved on. But Charlee Fenlon is kryptonite to his common sense, and his resolve is no match for the explosive passion that still brews between them.

Liam, the stable, overprotective, loving man is everything Charlee wants in a husband. Yet, years ago she sacrificed his love for her career and a shot at becoming the CEO of her father’s company. But she’s still in love with Liam. And when a twist of fate leads to a second chance, Charlee’s going for broke to win him back.

**read as a standalone!**


A slow smile spread across Charlee’s mouth. Surely, he knew telling her to stop doing something was like telling her to go for it. Most people would be sympathetic to the apparent battle going on inside of him. She wasn’t most people. Happiness bubbled inside of her at the thought that she was making him crazy.
Served him right. The way she’d been missing him had been just as much torture, and she was glad he’d been experiencing it, too. Heck, she was so elated, a happy dance on top of the counter in only her underwear seemed in order. But she wouldn’t. At least not today.
“Okay, now that we got that out in the open, let’s talk.”
He whipped his head around so fast it was a wonder it didn’t roll off of his neck.
“Are you kidding me? We just talked. I just talked.”
Charlee burst out laughing. She laughed even harder when he rolled his eyes and poured himself another cup of coffee. If it was left up to Liam, he’d probably never talk.
“Okay, okay, I’ll do the talking and you’ll listen, something you’re really good at anyway. But there’s just one thing.”
Just as he brought the mug up to his lips, Charlee took it from him and set it on the counter next to the stove. She tugged on the front of his shirt, and Liam lifted a questioning brow but allowed her to pull him closer. His dark, piercing eyes met hers.
They wanted the same thing.
Her body hummed with need and her nipples tightened at the burning desire illuminating in his eyes. When his gaze volleyed from her eyes to her mouth, Charlee couldn’t resist any longer. She raised up on tiptoe and gently pressed her lips to his, anxious to see if that spark that they once shared was still there.
A jolt of electricity raced over her skin and excitement pulsed through her veins as her senses leaped to life.
Yep, that spark is still there.
She might’ve started the kiss, but Liam quickly took over. One of his strong arms encircled her waist and he pulled her tight against his body while his other hand gripped the back of her neck. His tongue swept into her mouth with a soul-reaching urgency that had Charlee gripping the back of his shirt, holding on for dear life.
She wasn’t surprised by her own eager response. Each time she’d seen him, she’d wanted to kiss him, taste him, be reminded of how perfect his mouth felt against hers. She wanted to be locked in his arms again and finally, finally she was right where she wanted to be if only for a minute.
When the kiss ended, a whoosh of air burst from her lungs and Charlee steadied herself, trying to exude some level of coolness. She didn’t want him to see how much the kiss affected her.
The left corner of his juicy lips quirked up. “I wondered if you’d taste the same,” he said huskily.
“Well, did I?” she asked, her voice shakier than she would’ve preferred.

His gaze lowered to her mouth and settled there for a while before reaching her eyes again. “I think I need another sample before I can form an official answer.

Award-winning and bestselling author, Sharon C. Cooper, is a romance-a-holic - loving anything that involves romance with a happily-ever-after, whether in books, movies, or real life. Sharon writes contemporary romance, as well as romantic suspense and enjoys rainy days, carpet picnics, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. She’s been nominated for numerous awards and is the recipient of an Emma Award for Romantic Suspense of the Year 2015 (Truth or Consequences), Emma Award - Interracial Romance of the Year 2015 (All You’ll Ever Need), and BRAB (book club) Award -Breakout Author of the Year 2014. When Sharon is not writing or working, she’s hanging out with her amazing husband, doing volunteer work or reading a good book (a romance of course). To read more about Sharon and her novels, www.sharoncooper.net




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Saturday, June 8, 2019

SPOTLIGHT: Rebekah's Quit by Sara Harris #Historical #Amish @ERomNews #Giveaway @SaraHarrisBooks


Rebekah's Quilt
by Sara Harris
Genre: Historical Amish Romance 

Who can Rebekah trust when the line between English and Amish becomes blurred?

An Amish Settlement. An English stranger. The Blizzard of 1888.

Rebekah's mother, Elnora Stoll, is the finest quilter in all of Gasthof Village but it seems Rebekah has inherited none of her skill. A sweet and gentle love blossoms between Rebekah Stoll and her childhood friend Joseph Graber, despite attempts by her saucy nemesis, Katie Knepp, to sway the young man's affections her way. When Joseph hints at the promise of forever, Rebekah is positive she should say yes to his proposal - until a mysterious English stranger shows up at her homestead and sets everything she thought she knew about her world on end.


Goodreads * Amazon

Ma?”
Rebekah slid her legs over the side of her bed, easing them down until her feet met the hardwood floor. Her father had laid this floor expertly in just a few days’ time, or so she’d heard tale.
Shards of pain sparked up her leg from her bad foot, making her stomach turn over. She choked on the yell that strangled in her throat as the rest of her body joined her feet on the floor. Tears blurred her wobbly vision.
A strained groan came from the direction of her parent’s room.
Rebekah shook the foggy stars from her head.
Standing up isn’t really an option,” she reasoned as she sat on the chilled floor that had moments before been her ally. She flexed her multi-hued ankle. “Nope, certainly not an option.”
A series of pants echoed in the dark hallway.
I’m coming, Ma.”
Ignoring the seeping dankness, she stretched out on the floor in her thin nightgown, Rebekah pulling herself along the smooth boards with her hands. She slithered to the doorway like a snake through the grass.
Rebekah managed to navigate around the doorframe only to knock her head on something stationary that shouldn’t be there. “Ow!”
Her mother’s labored breathing drew Rebekah’s attention from her own sudden pain.
Rebekah,” she rasped. She seemed completely oblivious to the fact that Rebekah’s head just met her nose. Hard.
Ma, are you okay?” The absurdity of that question filled the air. Of course her pregnant mother, lying here alone in the early morning darkness, was not okay.
The baby,” she started.
Rebekah didn’t wait for her to finish. She scurried to her mother’s feet and paled at what she saw.
By muted moonlight, it was obvious that the dark pool beneath her mother was blood.
Mrs. Yoder said the baby wouldn’t be coming for a while,” Rebekah stammered. She chewed the inside of her lip as the sea of churning thoughts attempted to push a coherent solution to this predicament into the forefront of her mind. It wasn’t working.
Clear fluid puddled around her mother in stark contrast to the crimson stains. “Ahh,” Elnora gasped.
Something’s wrong,” Elnora said, the tension causing her words to break in unnatural places. “With the baby, something’s wrong.”
The tears sprang up in Rebekah’s eyes without warning. “What Ma, tell me what’s wrong.” Rebekah swiped at her face with the back of her hand. “Tell me what’s wrong and I’ll fix it!”
A grunt from Elnora gave her pause. “I have to push!”
Fumbling with her mother’s nightgown, she sucked in a hard breath. “Ma, I see feet.”
Elnora stopped panting. “Feet?” She began to shake her head in tiny little shakes. “Oh Rebekah, no. No!”
What do I do?” The hysteria was rising in her throat, pinging the ends of her words.
Turn him. Turn the baby.”
The sea of thoughts began to churn again in Rebekah’s mind, this time vicious and wild.
Ma,” she began. The icy fingers of fear clenched tight her throat. A very real pain seared there, just beneath her chin. “I don’t know what to do.”
Dear Father,” Elnora prayed, oblivious to Rebekah’s plight, “Please turn the baby or he’ll die.”
Rebekah placed her hands alongside the tense bulge on Elnora’s stomach. “Please Father; help me save my little brother or sister.”





Sara is a mother of four, animal lover and advocate, and conservationist. Little House on the Prairie, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, and Lonesome Dove are among her favorite shows/movies and books. Sara holds her B.A. in History and is the author of the historical romance series, An Everlasting Heart, from 5 Prince Publishing and recently debuted into the children's book realm with Chunky Sugars (5 Prince Kids), written for her own chunky baby.






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