Wednesday, September 20, 2017

"The Reminisce" by H. L. Cherryholmes

The Reminisce
by H. L. Cherryholmes

The Reminisce by H. L. Cherryholmes

The Reminisce by H. L. Cherryholmes is currently on tour with Bewitching Book Tours. The tour stops here today for a guest post by the author, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

A detour down memory lane wakes up the ghosts.
Curtis Aisling has literally dodged a bullet. At least he thinks he has. But he wonders whether that bullet still has it out for him when he leaves his ex-fiancé and Los Angeles behind for Coronado, New Mexico to borrow some much-needed money from his sister.
The small dilapidated desert town of Coronado has exactly one mansion, belonging to 92-year-old Veronica Meeks. Curtis’s sister, Dia, and her partner, Araceli, are Veronica’s live-in caretakers and while they are delighted to have a visitor, Veronica doesn’t even know he’s there.
In the final stages of what the locals call "the reminisce", she is no longer aware of her surroundings. But when Curtis starts seeing things that no one else does, he’s not convinced that the old, unresponsive woman is as disconnected as everyone thinks. At times what should be empty rooms within the huge house appear filled with furniture, and music emanates from a dusty radio that has been packed away for ages. Tales of Veronica’s associations and connections with the occult lead Curtis to believe she is causing the ghostly occurrences.
But when people begin to appear in those phantom rooms - people from her past including Veronica herself - he’s no longer certain it is her doing. Each vision pulls Curtis further and further back, each one detailing a consequential moment in Veronica’s long life, until he begins to fear he could become lost in her past. And then there’s that bullet ...

Dia returned her attention to the old woman and took her bony, veiny hand. “Veronica, honey, this is my brother Curtis. You’ve seen his picture in our bedroom, remember? He came for a visit.” She looked up at Curtis. “Veronica was quite smitten with you the first time she saw your picture. Couldn’t take her eyes off it and she would just smile and smile.”
Curtis knelt next to his sister. Greeting the old woman seemed pointless, since it was obvious by her vacant stare that she wasn’t aware of her surroundings. But his sister was right; introducing himself was the proper way to behave regardless of her condition. “Hello, Miss Meeks. I’m Curtis Aisling.”
The old woman’s wispy gray hair was short and pulled back by small butterfly barrettes. Her thin face was pinkish-white, wrinkled, and haloed with brown age spots. The eyes that seemed to be looking at something no one else could see were a cloudy gray-blue. Her small frame was covered in a clean pink nightgown and she wore blue slippers.
“How old is she?” Curtis asked.
Dia stood up to help Araceli gather the tray with Veronica’s barely touched lunch on it. “Ninety-two.”
Remaining crouched before her, Curtis continued to look at the old woman. He found it difficult to imagine that the slack face in front of him had once been young, but he searched for signs of it anyhow. If there was life in her dull gaze, Curtis was sure he would find it there. A strong hot breeze rattling the palm fronds behind the gazebo hit him in the back. That’s when Veronica blinked and looked right at him.
“Finally,” she whispered.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
"What I enjoyed most about this book was the mystery. [...] Besides that, I enjoyed the people portrayed in its pages. They feel real, their interactions are natural [...] I really enjoyed the book. I’d recommend it to folks who enjoy historical fiction with a bit of the occult." ~ Trish (I read too much!)

Guest Post by the Author
Sense Memories
Sense memories. Those moments when someone walks by and a waft of their cologne reminds you of the time your dad took your mom out for their anniversary and he said you were finally old enough not to need a babysitter; or your hand glides over a piece of fine silk and you recall that special night at a fancy hotel. The most common sense memory, though, is aural. Everyone has heard a song that instantly takes them back to a specific time in a specific place: your first dance, your graduation, a baby shower, a baseball game when your team finally won! When I sat down to write The Reminisce, I knew that sensory memory - or cued recall, something that triggers a memory - would play a very important part.
When the protagonist, Curtis Aisling, comes in contact with the elderly Veronica Meeks, who has, what the locals call, the reminisce, she is no longer aware of her surroundings. Even so, Curtis seems to have a strange connection with her because he begins seeing very specific episodes from her past. These "visions" as he comes to think of them, are always accompanied by a certain song. And it is the songs that Curtis hears first, before he sees what the music ushers in.
The first song is "Green Onions" an instrumental by Book T. & the McG’s, written in 1962. The second is "Somebody Else is Taking My Place" made famous by Benny Goodman in 1942. And the third is from 1922, "Toot Toot Tootsie" by Kahn, Erdman, and Russo. Only Curtis can hear each of these and when he does, it is all that he hears. His senses seem to have been overtaken by Veronica’s sense memories.
I don’t want to give any more away. It’s my hope for the readers that these moments - these songs and sensations - will become sensory memories for them as well, triggering the feelings they had as they joined Curtis and Veronica on their journey.

About the Author
H. L. Cherryholmes
H. L. Cherryholmes, author of The Lizard Queen series, The Reminisce, Come Back for Me, and A Slight Touch, was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, but has spent most of his adult life in California. He has a BFA from University of New Mexico and a Master's degree in Playwriting from the University of California, Los Angeles. Currently, he lives in Southern California with his husband, Ron Cogan.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to one of five ebook copies of The Reminisce by H. L. Cherryholmes.


"The Wondrous World of Violet Barnaby" by Jenny Lundquist

The Wondrous World of Violet Barnaby
(Izzy Malone Book 2)
by Jenny Lundquist

The Wondrous World of Violet Barnaby (Izzy Malone Book 2) by Jenny Lundquist

The Wondrous World of Violet Barnaby is the second book in the Izzy Malone series by Jenny Lundquist. Also available: The Charming Life of Izzy Malone.

The Charming Life of Izzy Malone by Jenny Lundquist

This book blast and giveaway is brought to you by I Am A Reader.

Violet Barnaby searches for the joy in life after losing her mother in this sweet and funny follow-up to The Charming Life of Izzy Malone.
Violet Barnaby is a having a blue Christmas. She’s still grieving the loss of her mother, and to make things worse, her dad has just married Melanie Harmer, a.k.a. the meanest teacher at Dandelion Hollow Middle School. But on the day Violet and her dad are packing up and moving into the new house they’ll share with Melanie and Melanie’s two children, Violet finds a letter her mother wrote to her before she died, asking Violet to enjoy Christmas, along with a Christmas Wish List - things her mom wants her to do during the holiday season. On the list are exactly the kinds of things Violet doesn’t want to do this year, like Be Someone’s Secret Santa; Give Someone the Gift of Your Time: Volunteer; and Bake Christmas Cookies.
Violet shows the letter to her friend Izzy’s Aunt Mildred, who calls a meeting of the Charm Girls, a club Izzy and Violet belong to along with their friends, Daisy and Sophia. Aunt Mildred decides she will give them each a charm to put on their bracelet if they do all of the tasks on the Christmas Wish List, which Violet is not too happy about. She’d rather forget about the list completely, but feels compelled to honor her mother’s wishes.
And when Izzy’s crush confides a big secret to Violet, Violet feels like she is stuck between her best friend and the boy who she just might have a crush on, too ...

Click below to read an excerpt.

Praise for the Book
"[an] emotionally perceptive novel of grief and recovery." ~ Kirkus
"I loved the small town community and the close knit relationship between the girls and their families. Violet's processing of her mother's death is realistic, as is her budding relationship with Austin. I thought the use of text messages in this was done particularly well." ~ Mrs. Yingling
"Violet's father has remarried and she's dealing with the challenges of integrating into a stepfamily, as well as her first crush on a boy her friend used to like. You'll fall in love with Violet and love every minute of living in her wondrous world!" ~ Stephanie Faris

About the Author
Jenny Lundquist
Jenny Lundquist was born and raised in Huntington Beach, California, where she spent her time unsuccessfully learning how to surf. When she was younger, she wanted to be either a rock star or a published author. After she taped herself singing and listened to it on playback she decided she’d better opt for the writing route. Jenny is the author of multiple YA and Middle Grade titles including Seeing Cinderella, The Charming Life of Izzy Malone, The Wondrous World of Violet Barnaby, and the forthcoming The Carnival of Wishes and Dreams (2019).

Enter the blast-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash.


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

"The Story of Jax and Dylan" by Jamie Dean

The Story of Jax and Dylan
by Jamie Dean

The Story of Jax and Dylan by Jamie Dean

Author Jamie Dean stops by today to share an excerpt from The Story of Jax and Dylan.

Dylan and Jax were typical best friends, until Dylan fell for Jax and kissed him the night before senior prom. Dylan had to move away before they could talk about it, so he has spent ten years thinking Jax hated him for that kiss.
Reconnecting on Facebook allows them to meet again, and they quickly become as close as ever, spending most of their free time together. Dylan falls for Jax a second time, even though Jax has a girlfriend and appears to be straight.
Important secrets about Jax may lie hidden in the books he's written, but Jax has asked Dylan not to read them, and Dylan refuses to break his promise. When the truth finally surfaces, their lives will never be the same.

DYLAN WASN’T sure about this whole Facebook thing. He used the Internet for work and to play the occasional mind-numbing game before bed, but he wasn’t much of a computer guy. He didn’t like people knowing his business. On the other hand, now that Tom lived several states away, his younger brother had assured him that this was an easier way to keep in touch than plain old e-mails and phone calls and texting.
Dylan wasn’t convinced, but he figured it was worth a shot. Besides, Tom had also said it was a great way to reconnect with old friends, and there were a couple of people Dylan wouldn’t mind looking up. He wasn’t a reunion guy, but there were one or two individuals he’d like to know what happened to.
He got his profile set up and did a search for Tom. Tom had walked him through that much, but Dylan didn’t put up a picture yet. He thought he’d lurk for a little bit before he went putting the aged version of himself out there for others to see. He wanted to see how others had fared first. For the time being, his page only said “Dylan Holt” with the default silhouette picture.
Once he found Tom and sent the friendship request, he took a little while to browse. Then he clicked into the search bar one more time, to look up the name he most wanted to find. There was only one result, which wasn’t that surprising. There was also no picture, which was disappointing since Dylan really wanted to see if those eyes were the same blue-gray as he remembered and whether that thick dark-brown hair was still a perpetual mess. Dylan sat and stared at the name for a long time before he clicked it.
Jaxon Luther had been Dylan’s best friend for all four years of high school. They’d spent countless nights in each other’s rooms, in Dylan’s old convertible Dart GTS, or hanging out at the pool hall with Donny and the rest of their crowd. It had all been amazing until the night before senior prom, when Dylan got wasted and did something stupid. Mom had packed up him and Tom the day after graduation, two weeks later, and he and Jax hadn’t spoken since.
Dylan had never had another friend quite like Jax. He scrolled through what little there was to see on Jax’s page. There were a few pictures of places he’d been and some inspirational images, but there was virtually no personal information. Still no pictures of Jax, with his full lips and strong chin, either. He hadn’t listed a job or a relationship or anything like that. Guy hadn’t even put down his birthday—though Dylan remembered it anyway. To this day on November 16, he still got a little bit sad.
His finger hovered over the mouse, leaving the cursor over the friend request button for a long time. He had decided not to click it, unsure of the welcome he was likely to get. Right before he slid the mouse away, his phone rang with a ringtone he’d never heard before. It startled him so badly his finger pressed the button and the damage was done.
“Dammit!” he swore at the screen before he picked up the phone. “Thomas, I thought the whole point of the Facebook thing was so I didn’t have to talk to you,” he snapped.
“What, and miss out on knowing my ringtone scared the crap out of you?”
“Yeah, and I ended up sending a friend request when I didn’t want to, so thanks for that.”
Tom must have heard something in Dylan’s voice, because all teasing was gone from his when he asked, “Friend request to who?”
Dylan sighed. “To Jax.”
“Oh. Shit, I’m really sorry, man. But hey, maybe it won’t be so bad. He could accept, you know. It’s not outside the realm of possibility. High school was a long time ago.”
“Yeah. I guess. Not like it matters anyway, right? Long time ago, like you said. Sent one to Donny too.”
“Cool. Oh, hey, fair warning? Garrett is on Facebook, so… you know he’ll see your name when I accept your request unless you block him.”
Dylan contemplated the idea for about fifteen seconds before saying, “Nah, I kinda miss the little dude. He was weird, but he meant well.”
“Yeah, he’s a good guy. Um… so are you gonna add Melissa on there?”
“Uh, that’d be a no. I don’t think friending my ex-wife on Facebook is a thing I’m gonna do.”
“Okay, just asking. Some people do that, you know. I’m kinda, you know, friends with her already.”
Dylan sighed again. “Of course you are. Still no, though. Did you need anything, or were you only calling to—” Dylan cut himself off as a little red one appeared at the top of the page. “What’s the little globe mean?”
“Those are your notifications, like when someone accepts your friend request or likes something you posted.”
Dylan clicked the button, and his heart started pounding.
Jaxon Luther has accepted your friend request.
“He, uh… he accepted. Jax. Jax did. The, uh, the friend thing.”
“Oh, yeah? Well, all right, man. See? That’s great. Oh, hey, uh, I got another call. Can I call you back?”
“Sure thing, Tom. Later. Love you.” Dylan was barely paying attention at that point, though.
He clicked Jax’s page again, but there was nothing more showing than there had been before. That was weird, right? Or maybe he was new to this like Dylan was. From the pictures he had posted, it looked like maybe that was the case. They’d all been put up within the last few weeks.
He debated sending a message. Tom had explained to him that there was a chat feature, but Dylan thought a regular message would be fine. He clicked the button and typed a brief missive.
Hey, man! Wasn’t sure you would accept. Glad you did. Long time no talk, huh? How are things?
To Dylan’s surprise, when he hit send, a message box popped up in the bottom corner, indicating that he had started a chat conversation. He briefly scanned the chat sidebar, and it showed that Jax was actually online. His heartbeat spiked again at the thought that they might actually have a live chat, after all these years of radio silence. Adrenaline shot through him when he heard the noise indicating he’d gotten a reply.
>Hello, Dylan. It has been a long time. Things are good. How are you?
Dylan sat there for a long moment, considering. Jax hadn’t mentioned the stuff from back then, and Dylan wasn’t sure if he should. Maybe it was time to try apologizing again. Jax hadn’t accepted his apologies at the time, but maybe he’d had time to forgive. If he was talking to him now, surely that was the case.
I’m pretty good, Jax. Can’t complain. Listen, about what happened back then… I’m sorry. I should’ve known better. It wasn’t my finest moment.
Dylan bit his thumbnail as he waited for a response. Tom hadn’t mentioned how nerve-wracking “instant” communication was, especially when you could see the other person type and then stop and type again.
>Nor mine, Dylan. It’s fine. I’m sorry too. I overreacted. I realize now that you were confused. Weren’t we all? :)
Man, I’m glad to hear you say that. It’s bothered me all these years. Especially since we moved right after and never got to work it all out, you know? You were the best friend I ever had.
>I’ve felt the same! But let’s talk about better things. Tell me what you’ve been doing with your life all these years. I am going to presume you did not become the rock god you always dreamed of being or I’d have heard about you :)
Dylan laughed out loud at that. He’d almost forgotten about that particular dream.
Nah, turns out it helps to be able to sing and/or play an instrument. Who knew? Ha-ha.
I do classic car restoration, actually. I’m sorta famous in those circles, though. Remember my old Dodge Dart? I still have it. Other than that, I was married for a while, but that didn’t work out. No kids or anything. How about you? I assume no great American novel or I’d have heard about YOU. :)
>LOL I have heard those talents help in the music business, yes. Glad you’re doing something you love, though. Sorry to hear that marriage didn’t suit you. And actually, I am a writer, I simply use a pseudonym. :P
You write books? What books? I wanna read ’em!
>Ha-ha… no. I write under a pseudonym for a reason. :P
Seriously? Are they books I’d have heard of, at least?
>Possibly. My first one was rather… controversial. Most of my work is… strictly for adults, so they don’t exactly make the bestseller list.
Jax writes porn! HA-HA-HA. Man, that is too awesome!!
>I am so glad you approve. ;) Listen, I have to go, my editor is calling. I hope we’ll talk again?
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
"A fantastic slow build romance. Dialogue and relationships were believable and interesting, emotionally compelling.[...] Loved the sweet friendships between all the men. Just a really fun, lovely story with a heartwarming ending (complete with fabulous sex scenes). Definitely give it a go!" ~ Melissa C. Swanson
"Jamie Dean wrote about Jax and Dylan with engaging intimacy so they were not just characters, but real people. No matter what sexual orientation you are, this book is five star. I especially liked the way the guys talked a lot, swam every chance they got, and ate more steak than any female woman ever would have. And their intimacy was sweet, sensitive, and - well - hot." ~ Sally Haverlock
"It took most of the book for our main characters to find each other. However, the way it finally happened is one of my favorite scenes that I have read this year. The Story of Jax and Dylan by Jamie Dean is a beautiful love story you won’t want to miss. I just implore you to be patient. The payoff is more than worth it." ~ PrismBookAlliance
"I recommend reading this book, learning to love the characters and when you finish the book you'll know what I'm talking about! New favorite adult author!" ~ Mrs. Product Pundit
"Jamie Dean has you rooting for Jax and Dylan even if they're hesitant to root for themselves. I was enthralled as their friendship from high school reignited and, slowly, secrets from those days and times since began to slowly come to light. The build is slow, and the climax of the story hits like lightning. Then the fun part begins ..." ~ MoniJune

About the Author
Jamie Dean lives in the southwestern US with a long-time domestic partner, three dogs, two cats, and a variety of outdoor lizards. Writing is a way of life, inspiration is everywhere, and sometimes Jamie can't sleep for all the ideas fighting for attention. Jamie Dean is an activist, a feminist, a pansexual, and just generally a pain in the ass.
Dean has published three well-reviewed erotic gay romances, The Story of Jax and Dylan, The Art of Survival, and Not Just Passing Through.


"My Image of You" by Melanie Moreland

My Image of You
by Melanie Moreland

My Image of You by Melanie Moreland

This release day blitz and giveaway for My Image of You by Melanie Moreland is brought to you by Promo Stars Services. Please be sure to visit of the other participating blogs as well.

For more books by this author, please check out my blog post on Into the Storm, my blog post on Beneath the Scars, and my blog post on It Started with a Kiss.

A globe-trotting bad boy chases the one that got away in this addictive novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Contract.
My name is Adam Kincaid, and I’m the best at what I do. After losing my parents, I decided to follow in their footsteps, and now I’m the most daring freelance photographer in the world.
Maybe some think I’m a loner, but I don’t care. All that matters is the shot: braving danger and devastation in search of a single image with the power to tell someone’s story. But as good as I am, accidents happen - and thank god for that, because it’s what leads me to her ...
Alexandra Robbins. My nurse. My savior.
With her fiery red hair and crystal-clear blue eyes, the camera loves her ... and I have to have her. We soon find that we’re perfect together. We just fit, physically and emotionally. And yet something isn’t right. Something from her past is haunting her, and no matter what I do to help her break free, I lose her.
Today is the day I try to win her back. Not only do I need an explanation, I need her in my bed once again. I don’t just want a damn picture - I want her. Because what we have is a love that never fades away ...

“There are so many things I want to do with you,” I assured her, and licked my lips as I stared at her, my voice husky. “To you.”
“Tell me,” she insisted, her fingers curled into fists at her sides.
I stepped behind her, wrapping my arm around her waist and pulling her to my chest. I smoothed my fingers up her arm, trailing them along her skin. Small goose bumps broke out, pebbling the surface as I dropped my head down into her neck, kissing and swirling my tongue. “I’m going to explore you—everywhere. I’ll touch and discover every part of you. I want to know what makes you gasp, what drives you to distraction. I’ll find out what I can do to make you groan and beg me to take you. I’ll know your body better than you do.” I drew her skin between my teeth, biting and sucking. “I want to kiss you . . . taste you everywhere.” I slipped my hands under her shirt, teasing the softness of her stomach and side, stroking upward until my hand cupped her breast lightly. “I bet you taste different all over. Sweet some places”—I dropped my hand down, running it along the edge of her waistband—“musky and tangy others.”

Praise for the Book
"An emotional, captivating romance with twists and angst, heart and humor." ~ USA Today bestselling author Daisy Prescott
"My Image of You is a sweet, soulful romance. Beauty, heart and breathtaking passion all come together to deliver a brilliant read." ~ Lauren Rowe, USA Today bestselling author of The Club Series
"Epic tale of soulmates fighting for their HEA. You will cheer for Adam and Alex, you will pray for their happy ending and you will allow their love story to consume you. A gripping and emotional story of two lovers whose broken halves make each other whole." ~ E. S. Carter, author of the Love by Numbers series
"Melanie Moreland delivers an enchanting story that is also complex, surprising and deeply heartfelt. Five stars." ~ Claudia Burgoa, author of Until I Fall
"I devoured this book in one satisfying sitting. Five stars!" ~ Suzanne Carroll, author of Over the Edge

About the Author
Melanie Moreland
New York Times/USA Today bestselling author Melanie Moreland, lives a happy and content life in a quiet area of Ontario with her beloved husband of twenty-seven-plus years and their rescue cat, Amber. Nothing means more to her than her friends and family, and she cherishes every moment spent with them.
While seriously addicted to coffee, and highly challenged with all things computer-related and technical, she relishes baking, cooking, and trying new recipes for people to sample. She loves to throw dinner parties, and also enjoys travelling, here and abroad, but finds coming home is always the best part of any trip.
Melanie delights in a good romance story with some bumps along the way, but is a true believer in happily ever after. When her head isn’t buried in a book, it is bent over a keyboard, furiously typing away as her characters dictate their creative storylines to her, often with a large glass of wine keeping her company.

Enter the blitz-wide giveaway for your chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card or an ebook copy of My Image of You by Melanie Moreland.