Wednesday, May 31, 2017

"Defensive Mindset" by Wendy Temple

Defensive Mindset
by Wendy Temple

Defensive Mindset by Wendy Temple

Defensive Mindset by Wendy Temple is currently on tour with Bewitching Book Tours. The tour stops here today for a guest post by the author and an excerpt. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

Star footballer and successful businesswoman Jessie Grainger has her life set, and doesn’t need anything getting in the way. That includes rebellious rival player Fran Docherty, a burnt-out barmaid with a past as messed up as her attitude. So when the clashing pair find themselves on the same Edinburgh women’s football team, how will they survive each other, let alone play to win?

Click below to read an excerpt.

Praise for the Book
"Not a cookie cut out of the usual lesfic romance fair, I know this one will stick out as one to remember." ~ Shabba
"I loved the story of Jessie and Fran." ~ Sandra
"Fran is one of the most memorable and unique heroines in recent memory - tattooed, pierced, brusque - so indifferently talented, so emotionally damaged. The novel's strength is the slow-burn way in which two people, opposites in almost every way, slip past formidable walls to fall in love despite everything. It was enthralling to see Jessie, the ultimate color-between-the-lines person, helpless against her feelings for Fran, and likewise for Fran, who, in an attempt to hide away from the world, discovers herself in Jessie. This is not a glossy, superficial romance; but I think that the rich characterization makes the ending all the more resonant." ~ MW
"Where to start! I guess I'll start with Fran, my heart broke for her and all that she's had to endure in such a young life. I really applaud Wendy Temple for being able to capture that raw emotion that rages through Fran in her daily struggles with addiction too. I also loved that Jessie stuck by her and didn't take the easy way out by walking away. This is the first time I've read a book by Wendy Temple but I can't wait to read more." ~ Ozgrl
"Wendy Temple has written a fantastic story that deals with a relationship full of difficulties and turmoil but she also managed to make it joyful and incredibly sexy too. Jessie’s life is safe and ordered and meeting Fran has made her re-evaluate all she thought she knew. Fran is a complicated and apparently anti-social individual. Once we delve into her background we realise there is so much more to her and I really grew to admire her. The setting of Portobello in Edinburgh was interesting and I even found myself rooting for their team. I highly recommend it." ~ Kitty Kat

Guest Post by the Author
Check out this guest post by the author on the Ylva Publishing website: Playing Like a Girl - Breaking Down Barriers in Women's Football.

About the Author
Wendy Temple
Wendy Temple’s first love has always been sport. She kicked a football as soon as she could walk. At school, girls weren’t allowed to play football, so she played hockey instead. Hockey became her go-to sport for many years, but she played five a side football as often as she could/was permitted!
Wendy also loves music and from a young age got into punk. She remembers watching the Sex Pistols on the BBC news and her mum and granny being appalled. Wendy was ten and thought they were amazing.
Wendy believes that sport and a good family saved her from a life on the fringes of society. At age fifteen she was experimenting with drugs and skipping school. She failed all her exams apart from English. It was her love of sport that had her returning to school to re-sit exams and try again.
Upon leaving school Wendy studied physical and community education. After college she became a youth worker, running sports clubs, after school clubs and youth clubs. Working for an orthotics company inspired her to go to university to study Occupational Therapy – providing invaluable insight into physical and mental health, including addiction, which is one of the major themes in Defensive Mindset.
Wendy has spent most of her life in Edinburgh bar a couple of months in London. For her, Edinburgh is a city that can feel like a town: "It’s cosmopolitan, quaint and steeped in history, an ideal setting for any story," says Wendy, which explains why Defensive Mindset is based in Portobello, Edinburgh!


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

"Last Semester" by Corine Mekaouche

Last Semester
by Corine Mekaouche

Last Semester by Corine Mekaouche

Last Semester by Corine Mekaouche is currently on tour with Silver Dagger Book Tours. The tour stops here today for an excerpt and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

College. Party. Drama. Life.
When Johanna ‘Jo’ Gold, witty college life blogger and senior at Rutan University, decides to move in with three male strangers her last semester of school, her life unexpectedly turns upside down. While dealing with her new roommates, A.J., the pompous rich kid who feels trapped in following his father’s footsteps; Rob, the prematurely engaged former womanizer who tries to force Jo out of the house at all costs; and Drew, the 21-year-old virgin genius whose encounters with women have been more than limited, Jo learns that change isn't always easy and it's up to her to learn how to survive the remainder of her time at Rutan the best that she can. Along with searching for her missing mother, figuring out a clever way to pay for school tuition on her own, and dealing with the childish pranks brought on by a certain roommate, Jo’s issues seem more complicated than the average 21-year-old. Can Jo endure the dramatic perils of college while planning for life after graduation?
Navigating through college isn’t easy especially when you don’t know what the future holds, but Jo is determined to conquer her present even if it means figuring out what being an adult is all about. With graduation around the corner, Jo and her roommates have some growing up to do and the last semester is all they have.
College is complicated.
Partying is a necessity.
Drama is guaranteed.
Life is just beginning.

“Breathe, Rob! Just breathe!” I demand in a panicky voice from the back seat as we swiftly pull up to the entrance of the hospital. Clutching his chest in pain next to me, he heaves out a few spouts of air, but it’s not enough to help him.
I watch my roommate Rob’s cheeks turn from a shade of deep pink to a dark crimson red. “A.J.! He’s getting worse!” I yell to my other roommate in the driver’s seat. He rolls his eyes then turns around.
“Calm down, Jo!” he exclaims. “I can’t think when you’re yelling like this!”
Drew, our other roommate, and usually the voice of reason, says nothing as he quickly jumps out of the Range Rover and runs into the hospital entrance.
“Can’t. Breathe,” Rob manages to force out of his mouth, then before I know it, his body falls limp and his head somehow ends up on my lap. His eyes roll to the back of his head.
“I think he’s dying!” I whine and suddenly I’m losing my breath.
Releasing a loud groan, A.J. climbs out of the SUV and casually walks into the hospital as if nothing is wrong.
Why is he so calm and I’m flipping the hell out?
I begin to shake Rob’s shoulders but he doesn’t respond and I’m almost positive that he’s not breathing at all now.
It’s official.
I killed my roommate.
Okay, maybe he’s not dead yet, but if death was a road, he just made a left turn for the worse then ran over a few annoying potholes and some week old roadkill...and probably drove off a cliff or something...
Ugh! I don’t even know what I’m saying anymore! I feel guilty for doing this to him and I feel even more guilty because I kinda hate his arrogant, smug ass, but just because someone is an asshole doesn’t mean that they deserve to die, does it?
The back door opens and I see A.J. and Drew standing outside with a wheelchair. A.J. roughly wraps his arms around Rob’s body and begins to pull him out of the car. “Fuck! He’s like the size of an ogre,” he complains as he struggles to get Rob into the wheelchair. The fact that Rob is as useless as a wet noodle right now makes it difficult for A.J. to adjust Rob’s body in the chair. I cringe just watching it.
“I knew this was going to happen one day,” Drew says shaking his head. “The inevitable always happens.”
Shooting Drew a snarling glare, A.J. grits his teeth. “Just roll the goddamn chair into the hospital,” he instructs. Drew turns the chair around and begins to jog into the emergency room with Rob’s body leaning to one side. A.J. looks at me in the SUV, annoyed. “Well, are you coming?” he asks and I just freeze.
Do I stay? Do I go? I don’t know what to do with myself!
Taking a quick yet deep breath, I climb out of the SUV, shut the door and join A.J. on the other side of the vehicle.
“I’m horrible,” I blurt out and I can feel wetness welling in my eyes. “I’m a horrible person.”
“Dammit, Jo! I hate it when girls cry,” he complains as he shuts the other back door and begins to walk into the hospital. He pauses in his tracks when he notices that I’m not following him.
I’m frozen.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
"If you're looking for a new adult novel that's not all about romance, Last Semester would be the one to read. It was fun, fresh and contained a ton of character growth." ~ D. Hite
"While this book was definitely different than I had anticipated, I found I really enjoyed it. Last Semester was full of complex and compelling characters all going through one of the most pivotal moments of their lives, and growing to become responsible(-ish) adults. The author could have easily turned this book into an overdramatic, angsty romance, but instead wrote a believable coming-of-age story, which I really appreciated. Each storyline was engaging, and overall, entertaining. I would definitely recommend this book, and will absolutely read more from the author." ~ Nicki K.
"The writer creates the prefect college setting with the usual group of friends with each character sharing their own coming to age story. I really like how these characters seem like any other college student. The setting helps to add to the complex story line. I feel like you can easily relate to one or more. This book was a fun read for me that I really enjoyed." ~ Lovely Loveday
"I really related with Jo, and I think that is why I enjoyed this novel so much. She is going through the stress of College and graduation and what to do afterwards. It's definitely a scary time in anyone's life, and I would high recommend this novel to anyone entering college/university or about to graduate because it will definitely help you de-stress a bit, and it's a very quick read!" ~ Nicole
"The book made me laugh at the crazy antics the four characters got into in a short period of time. The characters started off with problems they didn’t know how to solve and as the story progressed, they were able to solve the problems they had. Each character matured and were able to face head on the uncertainty they would have in the future. They were able to form a strong bond between each other without having any romantic feelings for each other which is a great breath from the hundreds of NA books that focuses too much on romance." ~ Alia Therese Lazo

About the Author
The geek and the dreamer, Corine Mekaouche has always had the vision of becoming a writer. While growing up in the New Jersey suburbs, Corine spent her childhood immersed in music, novels, and writing. To her, the arts was the best escape ever. For college, she attended Rutgers University majoring in English and minoring in Theatre Arts. Somehow, Corine survived the college experience and became somewhat of a grown-up yet still kept the vision of being a writer alive because it may be all she’s qualified for. So, she wrote and wrote until Last Semester, a new adult novel about college life and growing up, was born. Currently, she is writing other novels and plays for future release. When she’s not writing, loudly singing to songs in her car or dancing in random places for no apparent reason, Corine is being an awesome wife and a mom residing outside of the wonderfully flawed New York City.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card.


Monday, May 29, 2017

"Watching the Detectives" by Julie Mulhern

Watching the Detectives
(The Country Club Murders Book 5)
by Julie Mulhern

Watching the Detectives is the fifth book in Julie Mulhern's Country Club Murders series set in the 1970s. Also available: The Deep End (read my blog post), Guaranteed to Bleed, Clouds in My Coffee, and Send in the Clowns.

Watching the Detectives is currently on tour with Great Escapes 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.

Ellison Russell wanted a decorator, not a corpse. Too bad she finds Mrs. White in the study killed with a revolver. Things go from bad to worse when she finds Mr. White in the dining room killed with a candlestick. With so many bodies, is it any wonder Detective Anarchy Jones’ new partner considers Ellison a suspect?
With the country club gossips talking a mile a minute, an unexpected cocktail party, a visit from Aunt Sis, and a romantic decision, Ellison hardly has time to think about murder. Unfortunately, the killer has plenty of time to think about her.

Click below to read an excerpt.

Praise for the Book
"The story is well-paced and the characters keep it moving." ~ Christa Reads and Writes
"Pretty much every new Country Club Murder mystery I read I proclaim my new favorite and Watching the Detectives is no different! Right from the beginning I was completely sucked in." ~ I Wish I Lived In a Library
"Watching the Detectives is a must read for anyone who loves a little 'meat' to their cozy mystery and a good dose of humor and wit to boot." ~ A Cozy Experience
"Good mystery and well written. Enjoyable read! Great book for fans of fun cozy mysteries!" ~ MysteriesEtc

Guest Post by the Author
Why I Set The Country Club Murders in the 70s
I’m often asked, "You could have set The Country Club Murders in almost any era, why the 70s?"
Here’s my answer ...
When I was a little girl, my parents offered me and my sister a choice. They could join a country club or buy a place in the country. The country came with ponies.
We picked ponies.
The place they bought was probably no more than an hour away from Kansas City, but to a girl in the backseat of an Olds station wagon, it seemed much farther. There was a pond, a river, woods, a pony named Pistol, a horse named King, more fireflies than a city girl had ever seen, and an enormous vegetable garden.
There was also one radio station, no television, and no access to other kids.
Those summers, I learned to entertain myself.
I read. Everything I brought with me - Nancy Drews, The Phantom Tollbooth, Watership Down, and countless Agatha Christies. And when I ran out of kids’ books, I read my parents’ books. Pearl S. Buck’s novel about the Empress Cixi [Imperial Woman], Michener, and Ludlum.
We swam in the pond, went fishing, took long horseback rides, and gazed at the stars.
I brought watercolor paper and paints and painted.
Sitting on the screen porch with the view of the pasture, I "helped" my father finish crossword puzzles.
When I turned twelve, my parents added the country club.
Sunburned noses, tennis in the heat of the day, junior golf, lounging in the snack bar with a Tab and lime, dinners on the terrace, and being the kid with the worst tan because laying out was boring.
Summers in the city, I played kick-the-can with neighborhood friends till our mothers called us in for the night. I thought I was incredibly grown up when I walked to Brookside, bought penny candy at the Dime Store, and an ice cream cone (daiquiri ice in a sugar cone) at Topsy’s.
1976. The parades. The national pride. The fire hydrants painted to look like founding fathers.
Winters ... colder and darker, but the snow lingered and we went sledding at Suicide Hill every chance we got.
When it comes to the 1970s, my memories are gilded and my glasses are rose-colored. Which is why, when it came to picking a time period for The Country Club Murders, the decision was easy.

About the Author
Julie Mulhern is the USA Today bestselling author of The Country Club Murders. She is a Kansas City native who grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie. She spends her spare time whipping up gourmet meals for her family, working out at the gym and finding new ways to keep her house spotlessly clean - and she's got an active imagination. Truth is - she's an expert at calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog, and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions.

Enter the giveaway for a chance to win one of five ebook copies of Watching the Detectives by Julie Mulhern (US only).


Saturday, May 27, 2017

This Week on Books Direct - 27 May 2017

This Week on Books Direct -
27 May 2017

Here's a list of some great articles you may have missed this week. Enjoy!

Write About What Scares the Crap Out of You by Bryan Hutchinson for Positive Writer

Write About What Scares the Crap Out of You by Bryan Hutchinson for Positive Writer

14 Twitter Apps and Tools for Writers by Frances Caballo on Social Media Just for Writers

14 Twitter Apps and Tools for Writers by Frances Caballo on Social Media Just for Writers

Find Your Book’s Best Market And Sell MoreBooks by Chris Syme on Smart Marketing for Authors

Find Your Book’s Best Market And Sell MoreBooks by Chris Syme on Smart Marketing for Authors

Why You Should Have a Professional Author Photo by D. E. Haggerty on My Musings

Why You Should Have a Professional Author Photo by D. E. Haggerty on My Musings

What New Book Should You Read This Summer? by Jarry Lee for BuzzFeed

How Do You BlogConsistently When You Have Very Little Time? by Ali Luke for ProBlogger

If you enjoyed this blog post, please visit the other This Week posts for links to more great articles.