Tuesday, October 25, 2016

"Samantha" by Andrea Kane

(Barrett Family Series Book 2)
by Andrea Kane

Samantha is the second book in the Barrett Family Series by Andrea Kane. Also available: My Heart's Desire (read my blog post).

Samantha is currently on tour with Providence Book Promotions. The tour stops here today for an excerpt and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

For another book by this author, please check out my blog post on The Murder That Never Was.

New York Times bestselling author Andrea Kane has thrilled readers with her poignant, sensual love stories. Affaire de Coeur said, "Andrea Kane's talent knows no bounds." Now she brings us a captivating story of a young lady whose romantic fancies are about to come true.
Lady Samantha Barrett is determined to find the man of her dreams. Of course, he must be devastatingly handsome and just a bit dangerous. Now, her coach is filled with a collection of gothic novels and her head with romantic notions as she eagerly leaves her brother's country estate for her first London Season. Still unsophisticated and too innocent by far, Samantha is ill prepared for the hypocrisy of the ton or for the formidable stranger who crosses her path - a stranger she is sure must be her long awaited hero.
Remington Worth, the Earl of Gresham, is reputed to be anything but a hero. He is, however, intrigued by the fresh, young Lady Samantha. At sea, Remington had been a brilliant captain. To help save his country, he has become the Crown's most deadly and dedicated covert agent, posing as a notorious womanizer and blackmailer. His latest orders are to investigate the mysterious disappearances of England's prized merchant vessels. He would allow no one to get in his way or touch his heart - until Samantha.

In walked the man of her dreams.
Samantha stared, transfixed, as the vision stepped directly from the pages of her latest gothic romance into the noisy, smoke-filled tavern.
He had arrived… her long-awaited hero.
It mattered not that he was a total stranger to her… nor that he patronized so seedy an establishment as this… nor that he pointedly displayed an ominous-looking knife handle from the top of one muddied Hessian boot. All that mattered was his towering height, his thick black hair, his uncompromising jaw, his piercing gray eyes. And that dimple… it was just where she’d always known it would be; in his left cheek. It flashed briefly as he nodded a greeting to someone, then vanished into the taut lines of his face.
Yes, it was irrefutably he… the hero of all her fantasies.
Breathless and eager, Samantha watched as he carelessly swung off his great coat, shaking rivulets of rain from it with swift, purposeful strokes. Simultaneously, he surveyed the room, his cool gaze taking in the shoddy furnishings and seedy occupants in one enveloping glance.
He moved forward, commanding and sure, coming closer to where Sammy sat… close enough so she could see the drops of water glistening in his raven-black hair, causing the ends to curl a bit at the nape. He seemed to be looking for someone.
Instead, he found her.
Dark brows raised, not with instantaneous, adoring surrender, but with decided, disapproving surprise.
Without hesitating, Sammy flashed him a smile, drinking in his splendid, chiseled features and exciting, leashed power. He was just as she had imagined him… no, better.
Her heart tightened in her chest as he approached her.
“What despicable cad deserted you here, little one?”
“Pardon me?” Sammy blinked in confusion.
With apparent disgust, her hero scanned the room. “You needn’t feel ashamed. Just tell me what unscrupulous blackguard accompanied you to such a place, then abandoned you.”
“Oh, nothing like that, sir.” Sammy assured him brightly. “Actually, it was I who spotted this establishment from my carriage window and chose to stop here. Given the circumstances, it seemed the best place…”
“The best place… to what?” He looked censuring now, his gray eyes chilling, stormier than the skies that heralded tonight’s downpour. “Is this your idea of an evening adventure? If so, you’ve either lost your way or your mind! Tell me, have you looked about you? I seriously doubt that you have, else you would have bolted. And, thankfully, it seems that these low-lifes have yet to spot you as prey. Had they done so, I assure you that your elegant gown would have long since been tossed up over your foolish, beautiful head!”
Sammy sucked in her breath. This wasn’t at all the way she’d envisioned their first meeting.
Following her hero’s icy, pointed gaze, she surveyed the dimly lit tavern, trying to see what was upsetting him so. True, the tables were a bit shabby, even broken in spots, and the pungent smell of gin… mixed with some other, unrecognizable foul odor… permeated the room. And, she had to admit, the occupants of the tavern did need to shave… as well as to bathe. Still, they’d shown no signs of harming or even approaching her; so why was her hero hinting at violence?
“I don’t know what you mean, sir,” she confessed, bewildered. “Despite their rather coarse attire and unpolished manners, the gentlemen here have made no improper advances toward me. They are merely enjoying their spirits and each other’s company.”
The stranger gaped in utter disbelief.
“Gentlemen?” he managed. Leaning forward, he lowered his voice to a muffled hiss. “Sheltered innocent, what you see are pickpockets, highwaymen and drunks… and an occasional murderer or two.” He straightened, emphatic and fierce. “This is Boydry’s… as unsavory a pub as they come… not the bloody Clarendon Hotel!”
“Really?” Samantha was finding it very difficult to share the intensity of his tirade. She was too busy drowning in the hypnotic spell of his towering presence. And, after all, he was only trying to protect her… the foremost duty of a true hero.
“If such is the case, then why are you here?” she asked, half-tempted to stroke the hard, uncompromising line of his jaw. “You don’t appear unsavory to me.”
His dimple flickered in response. “Don’t I? That is only because you don’t know me.”
“No… but I’d like to.”
He blinked. “You’d like to…”
“Oh yes. Don’t you see?” Sammy leaned forward, making an animated sweep with her hands. “It’s as if Mrs. Radcliffe had penned it; a young woman alone… darkness… danger.” A pause. “Of course I would have preferred a castle turret to a tavern…” she gave a philosophical shrug, “… nevertheless, you’ve arrived… and you’re exactly as I pictured you.”
“You have lost your mind,” he muttered.

Praise for the Book
"Samantha is the second in the Barrett Family series and tells the story of Drake Barrett's younger sister who we met in My Heart's Desire. Like that book this publication celebrates the 25th anniversary of Samantha 's first release and includes tidbits from the author about writing it all those years ago. [...] Samantha is a high spirited happy novel. Samantha is steadfast in her faith in her hero and shows a dogged determination to make him hers. However, she has no intention of merely allowing him to be her hero. She must also be his heroine and will do whatever it takes to save him as well. It's this balance of equality that makes me appreciate this novel even more. Samantha is not some simpering miss in need of a husband and protector. She is a woman with a good mind who is looking for a partner to love and share her live. Indeed, Samantha will save Rem just as he saves her. [...] Samantha is a fun romantic read with plenty of adventure as well as humor that had me quickly turning its pages to devour the story." ~ Cozy Up With Kathy
"No one does reformed rake and guileless heroine better than Andrea Kane. The follow up to My Heart's Desire, Andrea Kane delivers Sammy's long-awaited happy ending in an exciting tale of passion and intrigue set against the backdrop of the 19th century shipping industry. And, I suspect any woman who grew up reading romance novels voraciously and dreaming of happily-ever-after will see a glimpse of herself in Sammy. A fantastic read - I highly recommend!" ~ Janelle Fluharty

About the Author
Andrea Kane is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-seven novels, including thirteen psychological thrillers and fourteen historical romantic suspense titles.
With her signature style, Kane creates unforgettable characters and confronts them with life-threatening danger. As a master of suspense, she weaves them into exciting, carefully-researched stories, pushing them to the edge - and keeping her readers up all night.
Kane’s beloved historical romantic suspense novels include My Heart’s Desire, Samantha, The Last Duke, and Wishes in the Wind.
With a worldwide following of passionate readers, her books have been published in more than twenty languages.
Kane lives in New Jersey with her husband and family. She’s an avid crossword puzzle solver and a diehard Yankees fan. Otherwise, she’s either writing or playing with her Pomeranian, Mischief, who does his best to keep her from writing.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win one of five ebook copies of Samantha by Andrea Kane (US only).


"See Me" by H. R. Hobbs

ON SALE for $0.99
See Me
(Breaking the Rules Book 1)
by H. R. Hobbs

See Me is the first book in the new Breaking the Rules series by H. R. Hobbs. The book is ON SALE for $0.99 (save $2.00) to 27 October. The author stops by today to share an excerpt. Keep an eye out for my review, coming soon.

Hannah follows the rules, always. The rules at school. The rules at home. But what people don't know is that Hannah has her own rules. They protect her. Keep her invisible.
And they work-until Chip Cavanagh arrives at her school. Chip doesn't have rules. Hannah soon learns that being friends with Chip means she can't be invisible any longer.

Chapter 1
No! No! No! Not behind me. Anywhere but behind me, I thought to myself, keeping my eyes firmly on my desk, trying to be invisible. My shoulders lifted and I tucked my chin to my chest to make myself as small as possible. Disappear, I thought, don’t let them see you.
Mrs. Barkowski stood at the front of the room with what appeared to be our newest classmate. I quickly glanced over Brandon’s shoulder and saw him standing in front of Mrs. Barkowski’s desk, shifting his weight from one foot to the other as if he had to pee. His dirty blond hair was cut short on the sides, the top longer and hanging over one eye. He was dressed in worn jeans and a T-shirt with Darth Vader on it. Both had seen better days. Mrs. Barkowski’s hand crept like a claw around his shoulders, making him appear even more uncomfortable. His body stiffened like a board and he eyed her hand distastefully. I could tell he didn’t like people touching him. Strange.
Mrs. Barkowski appeared oblivious to his reaction as she introduced him to the class.
“Class, this is our newest member, Toby Cavanagh. Toby has just moved here from Leduc. Please be sure to show him around and make him feel welcome.”
 Twenty-four sets of eyes stared at Toby—all but mine. I kept my eyes firmly planted on my math notebook in front of me, and I imagined myself sinking through the floor.
I heard Toby say to Mrs. Barkowski, “Call me Chip.”
“Why would I call you that?” Mrs. Barkowski said, and I looked up despite myself. Her fists sat on her ample hips and her eyebrowsdisappeared into her curly brown bangs.
“That’s what everyone calls me,” he replied, a look of determination on his face.
This wasn’t going to go well, I could tell.
Mrs. Barkowski’s face mirrored Toby’s, staring right back at him. “Well, Toby, in this class we go by our given names. You may take the seat behind Hannah.”
So much for being invisible.
“Awesome,” Toby mumbled, in a way that said he didn’t think it was awesome at all. He moved down the aisle with his hands in his pockets and his feet scuffing theworn linoleum floor. He sat down behind me and I knew he was slouched in his seat because I felt his feet make contact with mine underneath my desk. I immediately moved my own feet forward.
“All right, class, let’s turn to page forty-three of our textbooks and look at multiplication of decimals,” Mrs. Barkowski instructed.
A textbook suddenly appeared before me and I looked up to see the back of Brandon’s large, brown head with his hand behind it holding a textbook. He gave it a shake and I realized he wanted me to take it—it must have been for Toby. I took it and passed it to him.
“Thanks,” he muttered, opening it.
Mrs. Barkowski began her lesson on multiplying decimals, writing examples on the board that we diligently copied into our notebooks and solved. We were on the fourth example when I felt a finger poke between my shoulder blades. I didn’t move.
A few seconds later, there was another poke, harder this time, and a whispered “Hey.”
Still I faced forward and tried to concentrate on the next example—both basic tactics for staying invisible in the seventh grade.
The third poke to my back came with a “You got a pencil and a piece of paper?” from behind me. This was a little louder than the first “Hey,” and a couple of my classmates seated close to us sent disapproving glances in our direction.
As quietly as possible, I took a spare pencil from my pencil case and a piece of paper from my notebook and handed them back over my shoulder.
“Thanks,” Toby muttered again.
Five minutes later, Mrs. Barkowski gave us our assignment and the class began working quietly.
Again a poke to my back, this time with a pencil.
“What’s your name?” came from behind me.
I ignored it and continued working on question number four.
“Hey, tell me your name.”
Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Trudy Hartford give us both a look that clearly said, “You’re disturbing me and my brilliance, quit talking so I can get my work done.” Her contemptuous look made me uncomfortable. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up and my face heated with a flush of red. She continued to stare for a moment and then flicked her brown, shiny hair over her shoulder and bent her head back to her book.
I quickly turned in my seat before he could poke me in the back or talk again and hissed, as quietly as possible, “It’s Hannah. Now do your work and leave me alone!”
“I’m done,” he replied.
I stared at him. His brown eyes met mine and he tilted his head at the same time, quirking up one eyebrow.
“What?” he said.
“You’re done? How is that possible? Mrs. Barkowski assigned us twenty questions barely five minutes ago,” I whispered incredulously.
“They were easy and math is kinda my thing, so it only took me a couple of minutes,” he said, louder yet, and shrugged his skinny shoulders.
“Look, I’m glad you’re done, but I’m not and Mrs. Barkowski doesn’t tolerate any talking during work time, so save us both from getting in trouble and be quiet!”
Toby looked down at his paper. I whirled around to face forward in my desk, hopeful that he’d take my advice. I didn’t hear another sound out of him for the rest of the class.
When the bell rang, Toby followed me out of the classroom. I turned right and headed down the hallway to the stairs. I could sense him behind me and I quickened my steps, my sneakers slapping the floor, to avoid any more conversation. I liked to be invisible at school and having the new boy in class talk to me would draw attention that I didn’t want—no one here saw me and that was how I wanted it to stay. He didn’t know this, but right now I didn’t have the time or patience to fill him in. I nearly made it to the stairs when a hand touched my arm. I froze.
“Hannah, my next class is Science. Can you tell me where the lab is?”
I looked at Chip’s fingers on my arm and weighed the pros and cons of helping him. On the pro side, he might leave me alone once I helped him. On the con side, he might see it as encouraging—and then I’d never get rid of him. I sighed. The lesser of two evils was to help him now and ditch him at the first opportunity.
“I’m headed there. Follow me,” I said without looking at him.
As we made our way down the stairway to the next floor, Toby walked beside me calling out and waving to various students: “Hey, how’s it goin’?” or “Hi!” I kept my head down and powerwalked to the end of the hallway, turning left into the science lab.
As I passed Trudy filing her nails at the front bench I heard her stage-whisper to Anne, her lab partner, “Looks like Hannah has a new friend.”
Anne snorted and said, “Well, at least she has one,” and they both collapsed into giggles.
Toby heard the comment and quickly replied: “Yep, and that’s all she needs.”
As I made my way to the bench at the back of the room, Toby followed me and plopped himself down beside me.
“Thanks,” I said, “but you didn’t have to do that.”
“Oh, yes, I did.”
“Well, I know I need a friend if I’m going to make it here, and it looks like you do, too.” He stuck out his hand. “Let’s start over,” he said. “I’m Chip. Nice to meet you.”
I studied his hand in front of me and then slowly reached up and grasped it.
“Hi, Chip. I’m Hannah.” As our hands moved up and down, I glanced up to find a goofy grin pasted on Chip’s face.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
"This was a touching story about a girl named Hannah. In Heather Hobbs first book we follow Hannah as she navigates, school, home, a new friendship, and her budding autonomy. This well written book has a good message about finding an inner strength that you didn't know was there." ~ James F. Boley
"Many middle years kids (ages 11-14 and beyond) will make connections to the school scenarios and characters and there are plenty of opportunities for readers' reactions, class discussions, and personal reflections and writing. Students will be hooked! Bravo HR Hobbs on your premiere novel in a highly anticipated series!!" ~ Grant Marit
"See Me is the start to a great series for children. I believe that having children's literature that deals with such important topics as bullying, self-esteem, alcohol, abuse, and friendship is vital to help teach kids how to handle issues in their personal lives. And Hannah and Chip, the two main characters of this series, do exactly that. This is an incredible debut by new author H.R. Hobbs, and I look forward to future installments. Do yourself a favor and pick See Me up! This is a wonderful read for both children and adults." ~ Spencer Borup
"I thoroughly enjoyed this novel aimed at middle years readers. With its very relatable characters mixed in with my own personal memories of those sometimes confusing and difficult years, I wish I had been given a book to read like this back then! It was fast-paced just enough to keep me hooked and looking forward to picking up where I left off the day before. I felt I was pulled into Hannah's world by the author's knack for good story telling. Ultimately this is a story of triumph over one's self that we experience through Hannah, which makes for quite a powerful read. The few loose ends will undoubtedly be resolved in book two of the series, which I am looking forward to reading already." ~ G dos Anjos

About the Author
See Me is the debut novel of H. R. Hobbs. An educator for nearly thirty years, she began teaching with the goal of sharing her love of books with her students. A mother to three grown sons and grandmother to two little darlings, she resides with her husband in the small prairie town where she was born and raised.


Monday, October 24, 2016

"Scooter Nation" by A. B. Funkhauser

Scooter Nation
(Unapologetic Lives Book 2)
by A. B. Funkhauser

Scooter Nation is the second book in the Unapologetic Lives series by A. B. Funkhauser. Also available: Heuer Lost and Found (read my blog post).

Scooter Nation 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.

Aging managing director Charlie Forsythe begins his work day with a phone call to Jocasta Binns, the unacknowledged illegitimate daughter of Weibigand Funeral Home founder Karl Heinz Sr. Alma Wurtz, a scooter bound sextenarian, community activist, and neighborhood pain in the ass is emptying her urine into the flower beds, killing the petunias. Jocasta cuts him off, reminding him that a staff meeting has been called. Charlie, silenced, is taken aback: he has had no prior input into the meeting and that, on its own, makes it sinister.
The second novel in the Unapologetic Lives series, Scooter Nation takes place two years after Heuer Lost and Found. This time, funeral directors Scooter Creighton and Carla Moretto Salinger Blue take center stage as they battle conflicting values, draconian city by-laws, a mendacious neighborhood gang bent on havoc, and a self-absorbed fitness guru whose presence shines an unwanted light on their quiet Michigan neighborhood.

Book Video

The old humpback with the cloudy eye and Orwellian proletarian attitude pushed past the young embalmer with a curt “Entschuldigen Sie bitte!—Excuse me!” That Charles E. Forsythe, bespectacled and too tall for his own good, didn’t speak a word of German was incidental. The man grunting at him, or, more accurately, through him was Weibigand senior embalmer Heino Schade, who’d been gossiped about often enough at Charlie’s previous place of employ: “Weibigand’s,” the hairdresser had winked knowingly, “is like a Stalag. God only knows where the lampshades come from.”
Whether she was referring to Schade specifically or the Weibigand’s generally didn’t matter. What he gleaned from the talk and what he took with him when he left to go work for them was that he was not expected to understand, only to follow orders.
Schade, muttering over a cosmetic pot that wouldn’t open, suddenly tossed it; the airborne projectile missing Charlie’s black curls by inches. Jumping out of the way, he wondered what to do next.
Newly arrived from Seltenheit and Sons, his new master’s most capricious competitor, expectations that he perform beyond the norm were high. Trading tit for tat, his old boss Hartmut Fläche had fought and lost battles with Karl Heinz Senior since 1937, and wasn’t about to abandon the bad feeling, even as he approached his ninetieth year. That his star apprentice had left under a tenacious cloud to go work for the enemy would no doubt hasten old Harty’s resolve to plot every last Weibigand into the ground before he got there first.
It was incumbent upon Charlie, therefore, to dish some dirt hopefully juicy enough to shutter Seltenheit and Son’s for good.
Stories of the two funeral directors’ acrimony were legend: late night calls to G-men during the war asserting that Weibigand was a Nazi; anonymous reports to the Board of Mortuary Science that Fläche reused caskets; hints at felonious gambling; price-fixing; liquor-making; tax evading; wife swapping; cross dressing; pet embalming; covert sausage making; smokehouses; whore houses; Commie-loving; Semite-hating; and drug using sexual merry-making of an unwholesomeness so heinous as to not be spoken of, but merely communicated through raised eyebrows, was just a scratch.
Ducking under the low rise water pipes that bisected Weibigand’s ceiling in the lower service hall, Charlie shuddered with the thought of retributive action, if only because old men were scary and he was still young. At twenty, he had finished his requisite course requirements, albeit at an advanced age. A lot of the guys were finishing at seventeen, only to be packed off to Vietnam. But Charlie had been delayed by way of the family pig farm which in many ways, could save his hide in a pinch. As the eldest male in a houseful of women, running the farm made him essential if the Draft ever became an issue. It hadn’t so far—he was too old, the 1950 and up birthdates pulled by lot would never include his. Yet he was haunted by the prospect of a violent end.
His mother—a gentle soul who knew the Old Testament chapter and verse—never missed an opportunity to discourage his dreams for a life in the city. This only aggravated matters. He was different, and he knew it. For that reason, he had to leave.
“You’ll wind up in hell if you try,” she said fondly, every time he negotiated the subject. In the end, it was a kick in the ass from the toothless old neighbor that sent him running far and fast off the front porch: “Yer not like the others, are ya sweetie?”
“Don’t expect an easy time from the Missus,” Heino Schade said offhandedly from his vantage over a pasty deceased.
“Mrs. Weibigand?” Charlie asked, noting that the old man used Madame Dubarry commercial cosmetic in place of the heavy pancake Seltenheit’s favored.
“You assisted her out of a particularly difficult situation. She will expect more as a show of your constant devotion.” He knocked his glass eye back into place with a long spring forceps.
Charlie understood. He hadn’t expected a call from the Lodge that infamous night, but then, it wasn’t every day that a good friend of the Potentate was found dead in a hotel room under a hooker.
“In flagrante delicto,” Schade continued ominously in what appeared to be Latin.
“Indeed,” Charlie said, faking a working knowledge of the dead language; the unfamiliar term, he guessed, having more to do with what Karl Heinz Weibigand was doing with a woman in a seedy hotel room, than his desire to ask Schade how he made his dead look so dewy.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
"I came into this novel expecting something on par with its predecessor, and was not disappointed in the least. The characters who were so full-fledged and rich grow and develop by leaps and bounds, especially when pushed to their boundaries. Funkhauser digs down deep into each character and shatters the lines of morality, showing us the darkness and light within all of them... and forcing us to take a good, hard, look at it ourselves as we decide, as readers, who we should really be cheering for. It is a difficult decision, in the end, and I think a second read is in order to really decide." ~ A. DOnofirio
"If you ever wondered what went on behind the closed doors of a mortuary, then this books for you. It’s filled with lying, cheating, despicable characters who keep you interested throughout as to what they are going to do next and what their end game really is. There are some people to root for as well though the diabolical ones steal the show. Funkhauser must have extensive knowledge of the mortuary business from the décor to the embalming process because the detail was exemplary. It is clear the writer knows their facts. The images were so precise that you felt you were in the scene with the characters. The book may be a little macabre for some people’s tastes but I for one found it a refreshing change from the usual dramas. [...] In short, read this book. It is a great read that will keep you guessing throughout." ~ T Th
"Funkhauser's second book is an easier read than the first and equally funny. The mixture of comedy and drama and realism made it a real page turner that can be read in one sitting. I'm looking forward to the next one." ~ Eleanor Lecker

Guest Post by the Author
Life and Humor as a Funeral Director or Humor in a Tough Spot
Requirements for admission into mortuary school varies from country to country. Here in Canada, in the province of Ontario, potential candidates must first complete a supervised forty-hour "try out" at a funeral home before even writing the admission’s test. There are some very good reasons behind the forty-hour observation, chief among them being the measure of a candidate’s suitability as seen through the eyes of a seasoned professional. The other big reason is for the direct benefit of the candidates themselves: Is the job really what they think it is?
Nine times out of ten, it isn’t. Funeral directing is (unexpectedly) very physical, requiring a strong body core, good knees and an iron grasp. Access to a large bottle of aspirin after a long day is recommended along with a few rigorous stretching exercises to ensure an easier vault out of bed when the alarm goes off at 4 a.m. Wine is optional, but not recommended if working the next day. And a degree of tolerance must be struck with the snow shovel (in northern climes) because it’s the first thing an intern sees before the vacuum and the toilet brush.
While many larger establishments employ cleaning staff, smaller independent family-runs more often do not, relying on the staff to see to building maintenance much like firefighters do at the fire hall between calls. The bonds of camaraderie are strengthened while washing the hearse, pruning the garden, or tidying up in Room 4. It is this type of interaction that gets the most traction in my fiction.
Funeral directing is often misunderstood owing to the breadth of fiction out there on the page and on film. Loopy, goofy, drunk and sinister are the more common traits shown. As designated health care professionals, our only recourse to counter these impressions is to serve our client families well, be the best people we can be, and fiercely maintain that level of confidentiality required of us by law and by a code of ethics as old as the profession itself.

While it’s tough to defend ourselves through closed mouths, it is easier to shine a light on the "good", the "sweet", "bittersweet", and even humorous aspects of the work through word-of-mouth, or, in my case humorous fiction. Funeral directors, like everybody else, can catch the flu, slip and fall, crash the car, lose the flowers, forget to order the food, fall in love, get divorced, or find a bottle when they get sad. They can also laugh - with each other, or with colleagues at the coroner’s office or local hospital - over last night’s sports scores, Bill Maher, or the price of gas.
Readers will find a mix of light and dark in Heuer Lost and Found (my first) and Scooter Nation for the real reason that we cannot appreciate the "laugh" without the serious bedrock that anchors it. Like all fiction, humorous fiction must make sense in order to fly, must dwell in a place that is relatable to the audience. It’s tough to do, particularly with "mirth" always sitting on my shoulder. But I try.

With a wink and big bottle of aspirin,
I am A.B. Funkhauser,
Mother. Mortician. Monkey.

About the Author
Toronto born author A. B. Funkhauser is a funeral director, classic car nut and wildlife enthusiast living in Ontario, Canada. Like most funeral directors, she is governed by a strong sense of altruism fueled by the belief that life chooses us and we not it.
Her debut novel Heuer Lost and Found, released in April 2015, examines the day to day workings of a funeral home and the people who staff it. Winner of the Preditors and Editors Reader’s Poll for Best Horror 2015, and the New Apple EBook Award 2016 for Horror, Heuer Lost and Found is the first installment in Funkhauser’s Unapologetic Lives series. Her sophomore effort, Scooter Nation, released March 11, 2016 through Solstice Publishing. Winner of the New Apple Ebook Award 2016 for Humor, and Winner Best Humor Summer Indie Book Awards 2016, Metamorph Publishing, Scooter picks up where Heuer left off, this time with the lens on the funeral home as it falls into the hands of a woeful sybarite.
A devotee of the gonzo style pioneered by the late Hunter S. Thompson, Funkhauser attempts to shine a light on difficult subjects by aid of humorous storytelling. "In gonzo, characters operate without filters which means they say and do the kinds of things we cannot in an ordered society. Results are often comic but, hopefully, instructive."
Funkhauser is currently working on Shell Game, a subversive feline "whodunit" begun during NaNoWriMo 2015.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win one of five print copies of Scooter Nation by A. B. Funkhauser (open internationally).