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Alien Minds by Christina Bauer

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Title: Alien Minds
Series: Dimension Drift, #1
Author: Christina Bauer
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication date: November 27th 2018
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

Meimi Archer is living the perfect life. Too bad it isn’t hers.

On my seventeenth birthday, I wake up in the hospital to find I just survived a sketchy but terrible accident. My parents stand by my bedside—both are beautiful, wealthy, and super-nice. They tell me that once I leave the hospital, I’ll attend the prestigious ECHO Academy, where I’ll churn out equations for the government along with my mega-smart peers.

So, I’m living the perfect life.

Then why does everything feel all wrong?

My parents, my house and even ECHO Academy…none of it fits. Plus, what’s up with Thorne, my brooding yet yummy classmate who keeps telling me I need to remember my true past, which seems to have included a lot of us kissing? That’s one thing I’d really like to remember, except for the fact that I’m pretty sure Thorne is hiding a ton of nasty secrets of his own, including the fact that he may not be from this world. But considering how my own past seems alien to me, it’s not like I can judge. Plus, Thorne has dimples. That’s a problem.

And worst of all, why does it feel so yucky to work on these calculations for the government? It’s all supposed to be part of ECHO, but my heart tells me that I’m helping something truly terrible come to pass. Thorne seems to think that kissing him again will release my real memories.

Maybe it’s time to pucker up.

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Author Bio:

AB-Christina-Bauer-picChristina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers.

Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press.

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.

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Deck The Malls With Purple Peacocks by Amy Gettinger

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Title: Deck The Malls with Purple Peacocks
Series: Alice Chronicles #2
Author: Amy Gettinger
Genre: Chick-lit/ Women’s Fiction/ Sweet Romance
Age category: Adult
Release Date: November 18, 2017

 
Deck the Malls with Purple PeacocksIt’s Christmas in Orange County, California, and the mall is full of purple peacock decorations, large and small. Department store employee Aracely Martinez has a goofy Cuban friend, Quito (who’s awfully cute in his mall Santa suit), distracting her from her night-shift restocking job. But Aracely has a long-held secret, which her supervisor at the store, Jacob Thinnes, is holding over her head to make her do his bidding.

Which is too much bidding.

Enter Aracely’s oldest friends: Alice Chalmers, Georgette Jones and Julie Bowers. The group’s “Venus Warrior” bond from the 2003 production of The Venus Monologues at Garden Beach Community College is still very strong, and these women are ready, willing, and able to kick some butt to help Aracely out of her difficult bind. Join Aracely’s “Three Wise Women” plus her ever-present trickster hunk, Quito, in one adventure after another as they work against the odds to give Aracely a fabulous, nearly impossible Christmas gift: the life of her dreams.

 

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Excerpt:

      Astonished, Aracely ran to the other side of the table. “What’s this?”
      “Just what it says, Hun. Get Aracely a Green Card.” Georgette ran her magenta-nailed finger down the list under that promising heading. “I emailed my friend Buddy, the immigration lawyer, and he says there are over 11,000,000 people in your boat—living here without documents, but paying taxes and wanting to be legal. So here are your options.”
      Aracely’s heart swelled. “You did this for me?” she asked as Alice chimed in, “Yeah. Easiest: Have a business sponsor you. What do you think? Maybe Richandowe’s will take pity on you and provide a sponsorship. Huh?”
      Aracely shook her head. “No. I’ve only worked for them a few weeks. But I worked for Shiny Zone for eleven years.”
      “Okay. We’ll ask Shiny Zone.” Georgette made a notation on the poster.
      Julie pointed at the poster. “Second possibility: start a business that employs Americans, but that’s for entrepreneurs. Oh, wow. That costs a lot of money.”
      “Yeah, I’m sure Aracely’s gotten rich cleaning houses.” Alice mused, “Hmm. Third one here is an amnesty—I guess like a personal one. Oh, crap. You have to apply for that in your first year here.”
      Julie stood and swung her arms in a big arc, whacking Alice with one, making Alice yelp.
      Aracely bit her lip trying not to laugh.
      Julie went on, enthusiastically, “Look here. A related U.S. citizen could petition for you. Do you have any relatives who are citizens?”
      Aracely shook her head. “My uncle and cousin died. My cousin Veronica got a green card, but I don’t know where she is. She took off a long time ago to get away from Jorge Lopez.” She cringed, just saying the man’s name.
      The Three Wise Women nodded sagely. They knew Veronica’s abusive husband—too well.
      “I don’t blame her. What a scumbag,” Georgette said. “Anyway, that route to citizenship takes many years. Not the best for you, Hun.”
      Julie said, “Right. But look here. Under the provisional unlawful presence waiver, any U.S. citizen can claim they can’t live without you and get you a green card.”
      From the kitchen, Alice yelled, “That would be me! I need her badly!”
      A burst of warmth flooded Aracely, who had to blink to hold the tears back. Good old Alice had saved her once before, and was willing to do it again. Why had she lost touch with Alice for all these years?
      Georgette looked glum. “Unfortunately, this one seems to many like an immigration trap. You’d have to return to Mexico, first, and maybe have to stay for good.”
      Aracely shook her head. “Oh, no. I have to go back? I spent my whole adult life here. I don’t even know how life is there now.”
      Alice nodded and patted her hand. “Sorry.”
      Georgette said, “Jeez. This next one. I’m really not sure I can sanction you getting abused, battered, sexually violated or harassed just for a green card.”
      Everyone said, “What?”
      Georgette huffed. “It says right here if an illegal alien is a victim of trauma and can afford to sue the perpetrator, the government hands out automatic green cards. Jeez Louise.”
      “Ugh.” Alice sat down with her coffee. “So for a normal, healthy, untraumatized Mexican person, getting a green card …”
      “… requires help from the angels.” Georgette stood and started undoing Aracely’s slept-on braids.
      “Or Three Wise Women like you,” Aracely said, making six wise eyes roll.
      Alice asked, “Georgette, could what Jacob did to Aracely qualify under this one? He did harass her, and it made her sick.”
      “Maybe. I’ll talk to the lawyer.” Georgette shook her head. “Man, look. This is harsh. You can’t even get legal by marrying an American anymore.”
      Julie shrugged. “Too bad. I had some cute, single babes in my classes this fall.”
      Aracely cocked her head in consternation. “You have babies in your college class?”
      “Not babies, Aracely. Babes. Dudes. Handsome guys.” Alice laughed at Aracely’s fearful face. “Don’t worry. We won’t marry you off. No one deplores a bad marriage to a handsome idiot as much as me.”

 

About the Author:

Amy GettingerAmy Gettinger, once a community college ESL instructor, now writes novels and reader’s theater plays and coaches Reader’s Theater for Seniors. She’s a member of the Los Angeles Poets and Writers Collective. She lives in Orange County, California underneath a eucalyptus windrow full of parrots and crows. For fun, she walks the local beach cliff path with her husband and dogs–and thinks up perfectly ridiculous characters and crimes to write about.

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This is my stop during the book blitz for Deck The Malls with Purple Peacocks by Amy Gettinger.
I hope you enjoyed reading.

The book blitz runs from 7 till 20 December.
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Christmas Secrets by Donna Hatch

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ChristmasSecrets_LargeWebHolly’s two Christmas wishes this year are to finally win her mother’s approval by gaining the notice of a handsome earl, and discovering the identity of the stranger who gave her a heart-shattering kiss…even if that mystery kisser is the resident Christmas ghost.

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Cast of Characters:

  • Holly Grey
  • Her mother and father Mr. and Mrs. Grey
  • Her sister, Ivy Chestnut
  • Her brother-in-law, Joseph Chestnut and heir to the viscouncy
  • Grandfather, the viscount of de Bell, Lord de Bell
  • Will Berry, the parish vicar and school friend of Joseph Chestnut
  • Lord Bradbury, Joseph Chestnut’s friend
  • Phoebe Flitter, a girl Will is courting, her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Flitter, her younger brother, Rudolph
  • Joseph’s older brother and wife were unable to come until later due to road conditions and heavy snow. They bring unnamed children.
  • Mr. Appleby, village rector
  • The church, St. Nicholas

 

 
Author Bio:

Donna HatchDonna Hatch is the author of the best-selling “Rogue Hearts Series,” and a winner of writing awards such as The Golden Quill and the International Digital Award. A hopeless romantic and adventurer at heart, she discovered her writing passion at the tender age of 8 and has been listening to those voices ever since. She has become a sought-after workshop presenter, and also juggles freelance editing, multiple volunteer positions, and most of all, her six children (seven, counting her husband). A native of Arizona who recently transplanted to the Pacific Northwest, she and her husband of over twenty years are living proof that there really is a happily ever after.

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Christmas in Atlantis by Alyssa Day

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Title: Christmas in Atlantis
Series: Poseidon’s Warriors
Author: Alyssa Day
Publication date: December 4th 2017
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

The Gift of the Magi…in Atlantis

 
Christmas-Atlantis-FINAL-750A tortured warrior…

Warrior-turned-pirate Dare is the black sheep of all Atlantis. He enraged Poseidon, the sea god, so much that Dare had to forfeit his ship and the water spirit who inhabits it. For Dare, being denied the ocean is worse than death…until he comes home to a woman who drowns him in waves of hunger more powerful than the sea. But black sheep and scoundrels can never deserve love, even during the magic of the first Christmas in Atlantis.

An artist who sees the world through song…

After the accident that killed her parents and blinded her, Lyric discovered she had a special gift—that of song sight. She now sees the world in her own unique way, and her paintings are full of light and magic. When the Atlantean warrior she’s fallen in love with takes her to his home in Atlantis, she finds a rare magical artifact that could change her world forever. Or it could deliver to Dare the thing he most desires.

Atlantis’s first Christmas is coming…

It’s the season of miracles in Atlantis. A chance to make wishes come true. And when Lyric tells her new Atlantean friends O Henry’s story The Gift of the Magi, the world—and Lyric and Dare—may never be the same.

*Warning: This book contains magic, song sight, Atlantis, Poseidon, the gift of the magi, pirates, a king and queen, sibling rivalry, a black sheep, bad boys, warriors, paranormal romance, fantasy, Christmas decorations, holiday spiked eggnog, smugglers, ancient artifacts, romance, kisses, and a happily ever after. Read at your own risk!

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Excerpt:

“Time to close up shop.” Lyric turned toward the door, but before she even took a first step, it crashed open.

“I think I need your help,”

It was Dare; she knew him instantly. She could smell the sharp sent of wind and sky and saltwater that was uniquely his; she could pick his voice out of a thousand others.

“Dare?” She started toward him. “Are you–“

“I think I need –”

A heavy thud was the only conclusion to his sentence. He’d collapsed. She rushed over and knelt down beside him. She reached for his pulse, her fingers finding their way to the spot. His pulse was there; strong and reassuring. He was soaking wet, though; his skin was icy cold and he was shivering violently.

“Dare? Dare? What happened?”

He didn’t answer. Maybe he couldn’t answer. And of course she couldn’t see him, so she couldn’t even guess how badly he was hurt.

She pulled her phone out of her pocket and told it to call Dr. Miller.

No. She pressed END CALL.

“Call 911.”

No pirates were going to die on her watch.

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Praise for the Poseidon’s Warriors Series:

“Alyssa Day creates an amazing and astonishing world…you’ll want to visit again and again…romantic, sexy and utterly compelling. I loved it!”
—New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan

“There’s nothing more evocative than the world of Atlantis. Alyssa Day has penned a white-hot winner!”
—Gena Showalter, author of The Nymph King

“An amazing new world you don’t want to miss, and you won’t want to leave! Alyssa Day delivers chills, thrills, and your fill of sexy Poseidon Warriors!”
—USA Today bestselling author Kerrelyn Sparks

 

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Original music video, based on the series, filmed in historic St. Augustine, Florida

 
Author Bio:

AlyssaAlyssa Day is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than forty novels filled with kissing, laughter, mystery and magic. Alyssa’s paranormal series include the Poseidon’s Warriors and Cardinal Witches paranormal romances and the Tiger’s Eye Mysteries paranormal mysteries.

Her many awards include Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA award for outstanding romance fiction, and the RT Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Paranormal Romance novel of 2012. Her books have been translated into a zillion languages, but she’s still holding out for Klingon.

You can hang out with her on Facebook and Twitter where she talks about her rescue dogs and her future pug ranch, and her blog, where she talks openly about her struggles with depression and hosts Mental Health Check In Fridays ().

She currently lives somewhere near an ocean with her Navy Guy husband, two kids, and any number of rescue dogs.

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Heartbeat by Belinda Williams

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Title: Heartbeat
Series: Hollywood Hearts Book 3
Author: Belinda Williams @bwilliamsbooks
Genre: Contemporary Romance/ Romantic Suspense
Release Date: December 4, 2017
Cover Designer: BWrite

GOOD GIRLS DON’T KISS AND TELL. UNLESS THEY’RE CAUGHT IN THE ACT…

HeartbeatTwenty-one-year-old Chloe Kemp knows it’s not easy growing up in the celebrity spotlight. Unlike other child actors, Chloe’s determined to hold onto her squeaky clean reputation. So far that’s been easy because she really is as sweet and innocent as the media portrays.

Until a video of her in bed with the lead singer of a famous rock band is released online. Only nothing happened. Not that anyone will believe her…

Nor will anyone believe she was in bed with the wrong rock star. Chloe’s fallen for drummer, Gabriel da Silva, and she’s heartbroken she’s ruined her chances with him. Or is it possible he’s fallen for Chloe’s sweetness?

When Chloe is sent incriminating images, it becomes apparent someone is following her with the intention of ruining her reputation as well as her relationship with Gabe. If Chloe wants her career to survive, and a shot with Gabe, is it time she grows up and trusts her heart?
 

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We lay back and I listened to the water lapping at the hull as we floated along. The yacht tipped as we were pulled down gently into the swell and the motion caused me to slide toward Gabe. As we bobbed up again I realized we were so close that all I had to do was reach out my pinky to stroke the back of his hand. I lay there paralyzed, my heart in my throat, while I willed myself to have the courage to reach out that fraction of an inch to touch him.

Then, in a movement so smooth it felt like it was the most natural thing in the world, Gabe twined his fingers through mine.


“Do you like it out here?” he asked.


I nodded, trying to ignore the way my fingers tingled and my hand throbbed from our contact. “I love the sense of freedom,” I managed.


“Tell me about it. All those hours I clocked up? Coming out here was like therapy when the band made it big.”


The yacht rolled over another large swell and shifted us so we were pressed together. “You don’t like the fame?” I asked casually, even though my arm against his made it feel like my whole body was on fire.


Gabe put his other hand behind his head and I did my best to avert my eyes when his T-shirt rode up and revealed a tanned, taut strip of his abdomen.


“Do you?”


His question caught me off guard. “Huh?”


His mouth quirked like he knew what I’d been thinking. “Do you like the fame?”


“I wouldn’t say I like it, but I’m used to it. You’re not, are you?”


“A bit more now. At first, being out here on this yacht was the only place I still felt like myself.”


“Gypsy Hour’s popularity happened quickly, didn’t it?”


“Not according to Levi and Johnnie. They were doing gigs and cutting singles for almost seven years before I met them.”


“Hang on. Weren’t you always in the band?”


“Nope. And I thought you were a fan.” He nudged me gently with his shoulder.

“Levi approached me one night when I was playing at a gig. Back then I was in a few different bands and played around LA regularly. He told me their drummer had just left. Something about a difference of opinions with Johnnie if you can imagine that.” His wry grin told me he could imagine exactly that. “Anyway, a few months later one of our singles made it big and I was officially in a famous rock band.”

“Wow. I had no idea it was like that for you.”


“Right place, right time.”


“It’s always like that with fame,” I told him. “Too often success comes down to that one lucky moment.”


Gabe propped himself up on his elbow but didn’t let go of my hand. Those beautiful gray eyes regarded me seriously. “You really believe that?”


“Absolutely.”


“But you’ve been working at acting since you were a kid.”


“Yes, I have, and I’ll keep working hard, but the thing I learned early on was luck plays a huge part. Mama’s connections got me started easier than most. It allowed me to pick up a few commercials when I was kid. What people didn’t see were the hundreds of auditions I went to for television pilots that I didn’t get. And the one I did get? I got the part on School Daze because the director had been on the crew for one of the commercials I’d done. Simple as that. I wasn’t necessarily more talented, cuter, or more professional. I was just lucky.”

“That doesn’t bother you?”

“No, why would it?”


“Because don’t you want it to be your hard work that got you there?”


I looked down at our hands and my pale skin against his tanned complexion. We were so different, in more than just our looks. Fame had always been part of my life but it was new to Gabe and I sensed in him an unease that I was only just beginning to understand.


“When Gypsy Hour made it big you didn’t feel like you deserved to be there, did you?” I asked him.


Gabe shrugged and cast his eyes to the horizon. “Maybe.”


“But you had been working hard—in other bands. If you hadn’t, Levi wouldn’t have seen you and approached you.”


He let out a deep sigh. “Yeah, that’s true, I guess.”


I took in his profile. He had a regal quality that I liked. Unlike Johnnie, who was all bravado, Gabe’s confidence was quiet, but maybe a little less self-assured than I had first thought.


“How old are you?” I asked.


My question seemed to break Gabe out of his reverie and he met my eyes. “Twenty-eight. Why?”


“And how long have you been drumming?”


“Since I was eleven.”


“So you’ve been playing drums for . . . ” I did the math in my head. “Seventeen years. I’d say that makes you very experienced.”


“More experienced than you.”


Oh boy. Those few words changed the tone of our easy conversation into something a whole lot less easy, and I swallowed.

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Other books in the Hollywood Hearts series:

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Book 1

Heartbreaker

Book 2

 

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Meet The Author:

Belinda Williams authorBelinda Williams is a marketing communications specialist and copywriter who allowed an addiction to romance to get the better of her. Her other addictions include music and fast cars. Her writing hasn’t paid for a Lamborghini just yet, so she’ll have to settle for her son’s Hot Wheels collection and writing hot male leads with sports cars. Belinda lives in Sydney, Australia.

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Smothered by M.C. Hall

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Title: Smothered
Author: M.C. Hall
Publication date: December 1st 2017
Genres: Adult, Mystery

SmotheredFifteen years ago, Kitty Holbrooke was set to be the greatest child star since Shirley Temple. Days after completing her debut film, the young girl was kidnapped from her home in the middle of the night. The next day, a rambling ransom note appeared in the family’s mailbox, but as the family scrambled to gather the money, police discovered Kitty’s body. Due to the media circus surrounding the case, changing testimony from key witnesses, and police missteps, lead detective Andrea Bennett was never able to bring Kitty’s killer to justice, and the case that rocked a nation went cold.

Today, an online tabloid has uncovered Kitty Holbrooke’s shocking case files including never-before-seen police interviews, confidential emails, secret text messages, and sealed grand jury transcripts. The Internet explodes as fans devour and comment on each piece of new evidence, desperately hoping that they, too, can help solve the mystery.

Loosely inspired by the Jon Benet Ramsey case, this unique, thrilling mystery is told through police transcripts and documents, and will keep readers guessing until the very end.

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Excerpt:

Interview: Katherine Holbrooke, January 26, 2002

Katherine Holbrooke: Did you need a picture? The other detective said you needed a recent photo. I hope these are acceptable. I also have two headshots, but in those, she has stage makeup on, and since she still has her baby fat, the headshots have been Photoshopped to make her look a bit thinner. This one is from a week ago. I printed it out for you. She looks so precious, doesn’t she? I hope we find her soon. [Cries]

Lieutenant Andrea Bennett: For the record, this is Lieutenant Andrea Bennett. I’m here talking to Katherine Holbrook. It is 11:28 in the morning on January 26th. Katherine’s nine-year-old daughter Katherine Holbrooke Jr., also known as Kitty, was discovered missing just over an hour ago.

Thank you, Mrs. Holbrooke. I’m sure these pictures will help. We’re doing a search of the neighborhood now, but we’ve put out an Amber Alert and the media will be on top of the story soon enough. They’ll want the description and the photos.

Katherine Holbrooke: The media. [Blows her nose] Do you think that’s really necessary? Ryan thinks she just wandered away somewhere. He said the other officer told him that’s probably what happened.

Lieutenant Bennett: The other officer said that? Son of a [Inaudible] I don’t know. She might have gone somewhere without letting you know. Lord knows, my own kids have done that enough times to drive me crazy. But we don’t want to jump to any conclusions. Her disappearance could be something else. Does she have a history of running away, or “wandering off,” as you put it?

Katherine Holbrooke: No. She’s never done this before. She’s such an intelligent little girl. I don’t know that she would… [Pauses]

What should I wear? Should I change now or wait?

Lieutenant Bennett: Excuse me?

Katherine Holbrooke: You said the media would be called in. I know how these things go, especially in California. They care more about appearances than they do about people. They wouldn’t give a damn about Kitty if we looked like you…

Lieutenant Bennett: If you looked like me? You mean if you were black? What exactly are you trying to say, Mrs. Holbrooke?

Katherine Holbrooke: No! Goodness no. That’s not what I meant at all. It’s just that you’re in uniform and you are sort of… Well, you have quite a natural look don’t you, and those shoes…

Lieutenant Bennett: These shoes are police issued, ma’am, and trust me, if I have to run after a suspect in this case, you’ll be glad I’m wearing them.

Katherine Holbrooke: [Sighs] Now I’m afraid I’ve offended you. All I’m trying to say is we don’t want to look like ragamuffins on TV. If Kitty’s really missing and the press are called in, I should try to look my best, shouldn’t I? Appearances matter. Thank goodness, she is… [Trails off]

Lieutenant Bennett: Thank goodness, she’s what?

Katherine Holbrooke: Nothing. Well, I only mean to say that she’s a very attractive girl. She’s famous, or she will be soon, anyhow. That should help, shouldn’t it?

Lieutenant Bennett: I see.

Katherine Holbrooke: I didn’t mean anything by it, Lieutenant. Only if she is missing, well, you know what people in Hollywood are like. God, listen to me. I don’t know what I’m saying or what I’m talking about. I must be in complete shock. God. My God! Who took my baby? Where is she? Why isn’t she in her bed? [Cries]

Lieutenant Bennett: You didn’t offend me, Mrs. Holbrooke. It’s understandable. You want to do whatever you can to find your child. You’re not wrong about the media, either. I might not care as much, but I would probably want to look my best too, if it were me.

Please stop crying, ma’am. I know this is upsetting, but it would help if you could try to calm down. Can you give me a description of the events leading up to the moment you realized your daughter Katherine had disappeared? Where were you yesterday?

Katherine Holbrooke: Yesterday? Yesterday, I woke the girls at around 7:00, their usual wake-up time. Then, we dropped off Ally at the middle school. Kitty and I went to her school. We got there around 8:00. I waited there while she completed her lessons for the day, and then at 12:30, I took her to the salon. She had an audition later that afternoon, and they wanted her to have a tan. Skin cancer causes wrinkles, especially if you start tanning when you’re young. So, we went to Sally’s over on fifth for the works—spray tan, leg waxing, eye lash extensions, and eyebrow plucking.

Lieutenant Bennett: Let me break in, just to get this straight. She was only in school from 8 in the morning to just after noon?

Katherine Holbrooke: Yes. [Sniffles] That’s correct. Don’t judge me, Lieutenant. I care hear the doubt in your voice.

I’m a good mother. Kitty was a child star. She has classes half days only. She misses a lot of school because of filming, not to mention auditions, and classes for acting, singing, and dance. Oh, and she has gymnastics. She goes to a highly recognized private school and she has a tutor on set when she’s filming. Her education is a top priority.

 

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Author Bio:

MCHall_Megan Cassidy Hall writes books for adults under the name MC Hall, and writes books for children and young adults under the name Megan E. Cassidy. In addition to writing, Megan works as an English professor teaching a variety of courses including Creative Writing and Children and Young Adult Literature. Megan’s novels include Always, Jessie, The Misadventures of Marvin Miller, and Smothered. Her poetry and short stories have been featured in numerous publications including Bete Noire, Pilcrow & Dagger, and Centum Press’s 100 Voices.

All of her short work can be found on her website.

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In 2016, Megan co-founded 50/50 Press with her husband Stephen Hall. You can visit their website or follow them on Twitter.

 

Guest Post by M.C. Hall:

Inspired By vs. Based On

 
When I was doing research for my novel Smothered, I came across an article by Lauren Bradford entitled “My Family was Traumatized First by a Murder and then by the TV Serialization.” In the article, Bradford describes her experiences with the media after her mother was murdered by her father and his mistress. In addition to living through the trauma of her mother’s death and her father’s imprisonment, Bradford also had to endure the publication of a book written about the case and a TV drama based on the book.
 
Both the book and television depiction were filled with errors. Bradford writes, “In the midst of trying to come to terms with the imminent release of the drama, our family endured the PR and social media build-up with sleepless nights and tearful days, while those responsible were being congratulated for a ‘brilliant’ production.”
 
It was articles like these that made me carefully consider how I wrote my novel. The murder case in my book involves a young girl who goes missing. A ransom note is sent to police, but a few days later, her body is found hidden in a shed on the corner of her family’s property. Because the book is set fifteen years after the murder, all of these details are given in the first five pages of the book.
 
Because of the premise of my novel, I’ve had several people ask me, “Is the book based on the JonBenét Ramsey case?” My answer is always, “No. Absolutely not.” I will admit that parts of the book were inspired by that case, particularly the detail of the ransom note I mentioned above. But other pieces of the novel were inspired by different cases throughout history, including the trials of Lizzie Borden, the Menendez brothers, OJ Simpson, and Casey Anthony.
 
As the victim in Smothered was a young actor, I also was also inspired by stories of various child stars such as Shirley Temple, Jackie Coogan, Drew Barrymore, Brooke Shields, and Lindsay Lohan.
 
But taking inspiration from real life is incredibly different than basing a novel on one person’s story. Books and movies “based on” true stories are often only thinly-veiled fictionalizations, sometimes changing only the names and a few small details, while keeping the rest of the case intact.
 
In contrast, in novels of films that are “inspired by”, the writer may take an idea from an actual event, but the rest is fiction. Nothing in the book or movie happened, and the writer does not claim, “this is what could have happened.”
 
In this way, the murder mystery I wrote isn’t that much different from my other novels. My first book, Always Jessie was inspired by my own struggle recovering from eating disorders. I wanted to depict a girl going through a recovery process that was similar to mine, but Jessie is nothing like I was at sixteen, and her story was not based on my own. My second book, a middle grade novel called The Misadventures of Marvin Miller was inspired by some of the humorous stories my father told me about his childhood. Again, Marvin is his own person and things like my father’s “fireworks story” took on a life of its own.
 
Similarly, in Smothered, I started with an idea, and then created wholly fictional characters and a plot that didn’t follow any actual events. I didn’t want Kitty Holbrooke to be just like Jon JonBenét Ramsey, Charles Lindbergh Jr., or Caylee Anthony. I wanted to start with an idea, ask “what if,” and let the characters dictate where the story went from there. I hope that’s what I accomplished, and I hope people enjoy the book as a fictional story that has just a few hints of real life.

 

Rescuing Prince Charming by Edward Hoornaert

Rescuing Prince Charming banner

 
Title:
Rescuing Prince Charming
Series: Alien Contact for Idiots #4
Author:  Edward Hoornaert
Genre: Science Fiction Romance
Age category: Adult
Release Date: 4 December, 2017

 

Rescuing Prince CharmingDusty Johnson, a self-styled ordinary, everyday woman, responds with extraordinary heroism to saboteurs trying to bomb the prototype of Earth’s first starship. She wants to return to anonymity, but her moment of courage propels her ever deeper into danger that tears the scabs off her dark past—and thrusts her into the arms of the unattainable man of her dreams.

Reese Eaglesbrood, an alien prince, yearns to restore his tattered reputation by guiding the starship project to completion, but his fascination with the unassuming heroine threatens to undermine his fragile authority. Shunning Dusty is necessary, yet unthinkable—and when the saboteurs strike again, she may be his only ally against Earth’s darkest enemies.

Introduction price!
For a limited time only Rescuing Prince Charming is available to purchase for only 1.99!

 

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Excerpt:

      Somehow she climbed the steep ramp to the landing and gazed out over three-hundred faces, avoiding one in particular: Reese’s. At the moment she was only half sure she wanted to see him again, but completely certain she didn’t want an audience for the reunion.
      “Quiet down,” Insook said. No one paid attention—but when Reese thrust both arms in the air and yelled, “Silence!” the crowd quieted.
      Insook wrapped a burly arm around Dusty’s shoulders and squeezed hard. “Desdemona has our undying gratitude. Our thanks will, I’m sure, find a tangible form. For now, we shall settle for a celebration tomorrow afternoon in honor of Ms. Johnson and our new project leader.”
      Shocked that the duke hadn’t mentioned Reese’s role, Dusty turned to him. He said nothing, and his face gave no clue how he felt about the slight. Maybe anger kept his face blank. Insook was a duke, and Reese might not feel a commoner could correct him.
      But giving him no credit was just plain wrong.
      “Wait a minute,” she cried. Her voice had none of the Kwadrans’ carrying power, yet the crowd quieted, eager to hear her. She extricated herself from Insook’s arm to point at Reese. “I wasn’t the first person to find that bomb, and I certainly couldn’t have disposed of it alone. This brave man did as much as I. More. Tell them, Reese.”
      “I assisted.”
      “No, no. He’s more of a hero than I am. I’d be dead without Reese…” Pausing, she turned toward him. “What’s your last name?”
      He dipped his chin as though apologizing. “Eaglesbrood,” he whispered to her alone.
      “Eaglesbrood,” she repeated for the crowd to hear. For a nanosecond, the name meant nothing.
      Then it meant everything. All of it bad.
      “Oh, my God,” she whispered.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter the giveaway for a chance to win:

– Grand prize: e-book copies of the other three books in this series: Alien Contact for Idiots, Alien Contact for Kid Sisters and Newborn
– 2 winners win an e-book of their choice from any of the following three books: Alien Contact for Idiots, Alien Contact for Kid Sisters and Newborn

 
About the Author:

Ed HoornaertWhat kind of guy writes romance? A guy who married his high school sweetheart a week after graduation and still lives the HEA decades later. A guy who’s a certifiable Harlequin hero—he inspired Vicki Lewis Thompson’s Rita Award finalist Mr. Valentine, which is dedicated to him.

Ed started out writing contemporary romances for Silhouette Books, but these days he concentrates on science fiction romance. He’s been a teacher, principal, technical writer, salesman, janitor, and symphonic oboist. He and wife Judi live in Tucson, Arizona. They have three sons, a daughter, a mutt, and the galaxy’s most adorable grandson.

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• • •

This is my stop during the book blitz for Rescuing Prince Charming by Edward Hoornaert.
I hope you enjoyed reading.

The book blitz runs from 19 till 25 October.
See the tour schedule

This book blitz is organized by: