Friday, March 24, 2017

Ashes by Steven Manchester Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

Ashes by Steven Manchester on Tour February 19 - April 21, 2017

  Ashes by Steven Manchester
Book Details Genre: Fiction
Published by: The Story Plant
Publication Date: February 21st 2017
Number of Pages: 260
Purchase Links:

Synopsis:

Middle-aged brothers Jason and Tom Prendergast thought they were completely done with each other. Perceived betrayal had burned the bridge between them, tossing them into the icy river of estrangement. But life – and death – has a robust sense of irony, and when they learn that their cruel father has died and made his final request that they travel together across the country to spread his ashes, they have no choice but to spend a long, long car trip in each other's company. It's either that or lose out on the contents of the envelope he's left with his lawyer. The trip will be as gut-wrenching as each expects it to be . . . and revealing in ways neither of them is prepared for.
At turns humorous, biting, poignant, and surprisingly tender, Ashes puts a new spin on family and dysfunction with a story that is at once fresh and timelessly universal.

Read an excerpt:

Tom wheeled his late-model, platinum-colored BMW into Attorney Russell Norman’s freshly paved lot and parked between a brand new Lexus—sporting the license plate JUSTIS4U—and a custom pickup truck. Looks like I’m going after the hillbilly, he thought when he spotted the faded Massachusetts Department of Correction sticker in the rear window. His blood turned cold. “It must be Jason,” he thought aloud. I didn’t think he’d come.
Tom took a few deep breaths, not because he was nervous about his father’s death or talking to any lawyer but because he hadn’t seen his Neanderthal brother—for fifteen years, I think. He paused for a moment to give it more thought. Although their relationship had essentially vaporized in their late teens—the result of a fall out that still haunted his dreams—they’d occasionally wound up in each other’s orbits; weddings, funerals, and the like, enough to remain familiar with each other’s career choices, wives, and children. But even that came to an end fifteen years ago, he confirmed in his aching head before opening the door. While his toothache-induced migraine threatened to blind him, he took one step into the oak-paneled waiting room. His and Jason’s eyes met for the briefest moment. As though they were complete strangers, they both looked away. And here he is, Tom thought, disappointed. This is just great.
Through peripheral vision, Tom noticed that his older brother now wore a scar over his right eye, just above a bushy eyebrow that could have easily belonged to a homeless Scotsman. A jagged ear lobe, a piece clearly torn away, pointed to a crooked nose that sat sideways on his face—all of it rearranged since birth. What a big tub of shit he’s turned into, Tom thought, struggling to ignore his throbbing face and head. He’s as fat as a wood tick now, he thought, grinning, and he looks like he’s ready to pop. Jason looked straight at him, as if reading his mind. Tom immediately looked away, his rapid heartbeat starting to pound in his ears, intensifying his physical pain. Unbelievable, he thought. After all the years and all the distance, his elder brother—by only two years—still scared the hell out of him. He’s just a big asshole, that’s all, he told himself, but he still couldn’t bring himself to rejoin his brother’s penetrating gaze.
The secretary answered her phone before calling out, “Mr. Prendergast . . .”
Both brothers stood.
“Attorney Norman will see you now.”
Tom walked in first, letting the door close behind him—right in Jason’s face.
“Still a weasel,” Jason muttered, loud enough for all to hear.
“What was that?” Tom asked just inside the door.
“Don’t even think about playing with me,” Jason warned as he reopened the door and entered the room, “’cause I have no problem throwing you over my knee and spanking you right in front of this guy.”
I’m fifty years old, for God’s sake, Tom thought, and he thinks he’s going to spank me? I’m surprised the prison even let him out.
The attorney—his hand extended for anyone willing to give it a shake—looked mortified by the childish exchange.
Tom shook the man’s hand before settling into a soft leather wing chair. Jason followed suit.
The room was framed in rich mahogany paneling. The desk could have belonged in the oval office. Beneath a green-glassed banker’s lamp, stacks of file folders took up most of the vast desktop. An American flag stood in one corner, while framed diplomas and certificates, bearing witness to the man’s intelligence and vast education, covered the brown walls.
Attorney Norman wore a pinstriped shirt and pleated, charcoal-colored slacks held up by a pair of black suspenders. He had a bow tie, a receding hairline that begged to be shaved bald, and a pair of eyeglasses that John Lennon would have been proud to call his own. There’s no denying it, Tom thought, trying to ignore his brother’s wheezing beside him, he’s either a lawyer or a banker. He couldn’t be anything else.
While Jason squirmed in his seat, visibly uncomfortable to be sitting in a lawyer’s office, his hands squeezed the arms of the chair. What a chicken shit, Tom thought, trying to make himself feel better. Peering sideways, he noticed that his brother’s knuckles were so swollen with scar tissue they could have belonged to a man who made his living as a bare-knuckle brawler. He’s still an animal too, he decided.
Attorney Norman took a seat, grabbed a manila file from atop the deep stack and cleared his throat. “The reason you’re both here . . .”
“. . . is to make sure the old man’s really dead,” Jason interrupted.
In spite of himself and his harsh feelings for his brother, Tom chuckled—drawing looks from both men.
“The reason we’re all here,” Attorney Norman repeated, “is to read Stuart Prendergast’s last will and testament.” He flipped open the folder.
This ought to be good, Tom thought, while Jason took a deep breath and sighed heavily. Both brothers sat erect in their plush chairs, waiting to hear more.
As if he were Stuart Prendergast sitting there in the flesh, the mouthpiece read, “My final wish is that my two sons, Jason and Thomas, bring my final remains to 1165 Milford Road in Seattle, Washington, where they will spread my ashes.” “Seattle?” Tom blurted, his wagging tongue catching his tooth, making him wince in pain. Quickly concealing his weakness, he slid to the edge of his seat. “Oh, I don’t think so,” he mumbled, careful not to touch the tooth again.
Jason was shaking his head. “Hell no,” he said.
The attorney read on. “I’ve always been afraid to fly, so I’m asking that I not be transported by airplane but driven by car.”
“No way,” Tom instinctively sputtered.
Jason laughed aloud. “This is just great. The old bastard’s dead and he’s still screwing with us.”
The less-than-amused attorney revealed a sealed envelope and continued on. “As my final gift to my sons . . .”
“Only gift,” Tom muttered, feeling a cauldron of bad feelings bubbling in his gut.
“I’m leaving this sealed envelope for them to share, once and only once they’ve taken me to my final resting place.”
“What the fuck!” Jason blurted.
Every cell in Tom’s overloaded brain flashed red. Don’t do it, he thought. You don’t owe that old man a damned thing. But every cell in his body was flooded with curiosity. He looked at Jason, who was no longer shaking his fat head.
“Maybe the bastard finally hit it big at the dog track?” Jason suggested.
Tom nodded in agreement but secretly wondered, Could it be the deed to the land Pop bragged about owning in Maine? He stared at the envelope. For as long as I can remember, he claimed to own forty-plus acres with a brook running straight through it. He stared harder. Could it be? he wondered, wishing he had X-ray vision. A parcel of land in Maine sure would make a nice retirement . . .
“How ’bout we travel separately and meet in Seattle to spread the ashes?” Jason said, interrupting his thoughts.
“Great idea,” Tom said, hoping against all hope that the idea would fly with their father’s lawyer.
Attorney Norman shook his head. “I’m sorry, gentlemen, but your father specifically requested that you travel together with his remains to Seattle. Any deviation from this can and will prohibit you from attaining the sealed envelope.”
There was a long pause, the room blanketed in a heavy silence. Son of a bitch, Tom thought, this couldn’t have come at a worse time. He turned to Jason, who was already looking at him. “What do you say?” he asked, already cursing his inability to curb his curiosity.
Jason shook his head in disgust. “The last thing I want to do is to go on some stupid road trip with you.”
“Trust me, that’s a mutual feeling,” Tom shot back.
“But I don’t think we have a choice,” Jason added. “Our fucked-up father wants to play one last game with us, so to hell with it—let’s play.”
This is insane, but he’s right, Tom thought. With a single nod, Tom stood. “Okay, let’s have the ashes then,” he told the lawyer.
The attorney shook his head. “I don’t have them. They’re currently at a funeral home in Salem.”
“Salem?” Tom squeaked, unhappy that his tone betrayed his distress.
“That’s right. You have to take custody of your father’s remains from the Buffington Funeral Home in Salem, Massachusetts.”
“You must be shitting me.” Jason said.
The attorney smirked. “I shit you not,” he said, throwing the letter onto his desk.
Salem? Tom repeated in his head. Just when I thought Pop couldn’t be a bigger prick . . . The migraine knocked even harder from the inside of his skull, making him feel nauseous. Amid the pain, his synapses fired wildly, considering all this would mean: I’ll have to take bereavement leave from school and find someone to cover my classes. I should probably double my treatment with Dr. Baxter tomorrow. And what about Caleb and Caroline? he asked himself, quickly deciding, They’ll be fine without me for a few days. Then he pictured his wife’s face. And Carmen, she’ll be fine without me for a lot longer than that. The nausea increased. Screw her.
“Are we done here?” Jason asked, obviously itching to leave.
The lawyer nodded. “I’ll need proof in the form of a video or a series of photos that you’ve deposited your father’s remains where he wished. Once I have that, the letter’s all yours.”
“How wonderful,” Jason said sarcastically. He stood, turned on his heels, and headed for the door.
Tom also got to his feet. He looked at the lawyer and, trying to ignore his physical discomfort, he smiled. “Don’t mind him,” he said, shrugging. “That imbecile is exactly what our father trained him to be.”
 

Author Bio:

Steven Manchester

Steven Manchester is the author of the #1 bestsellers Twelve Months, The Rockin’ Chair, Pressed Pennies, and Gooseberry Island as well as the novels Goodnight, Brian and The Changing Season. His work has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s The Early Show, CNN’s American Morning, and BET’s Nightly News. Recently, three of Manchester’s short stories were selected “101 Best” for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.

Find Steven on his Website, on Twitter, & on Facebook!

 My Review:
Steven Manchester is on my must read list. He is an author that gets human emotion. I have read other books by him and have not been disappointed. This book is no different. A bad home life led two brothers on very different paths. They lead different lives and are like night and day. They are your basic siblings. Only they have not talked in over ten years, With their father's will comes an ultimatum. Travel together to spread his ashes or miss out on their inheritance. What happens when they travel together is more important then any thing that could be in their father's possession. They get to talk, To be with each other and to reflect in their pasts. They get to talk as only siblings can. Only they can understand what each other endured. What a nicely written story about brothers and sisters and how we are bonded together. There is also a kind of camaraderie that only siblings share. They way they talked reminded me of my siblings. The ending was great, and I can not wait to read this author's next story. I am giving this book a 5/5. I was given a copy. All opinions are my own.

Tour Host Participants:

Don't miss your chance to learn more about Steven Manchester & his book, Ashes! Visit the tour stops for interviews, guest posts, and lots of reviews!

Don't Miss Your Chance to WIN Ashes!

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Providence Book Promotions for Steven Manchester and The Story Plant. There will be 5 US winners of one (1) PRINT copy of Ashes by Steven Manchester. The giveaway begins on February 18th and runs through April 23rd, 2017.

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Visit Providence Book Promotions for more great reads!

ONE DARK LIE BY CLARE CHASE Giveaway


ONE DARK LIE
BY CLARE CHASE
Genre: Mystery
Release Date: 12 December 2016
Series: London & Cambridge Mysteries #3)
Publisher: Choc Lit Ltd (Death by Choc Lit imprint)

The truth can hurt, and sometimes it leads to murder …

After becoming embroiled in a murder investigation, Nate Bastable and Ruby Fawcett have decided to opt for the quiet life. But crime has a habit of following them around.

When her work dries up, Ruby finds herself accepting a job researching and writing about Diana Patrick-John, a colourful and enigmatic Cambridge academic. Simple enough. But then there’s the small fact that Diana was found dead in suspicious circumstances in her home – the very place where Ruby has now been invited to stay.

As she begins to uncover Diana’s secret life, Ruby’s sleuthing instinct kicks in, leaving her open to danger and retribution. But can she rely on Nate to support her? Especially when his behaviour has become increasingly distant and strange, almost as though he had something to hide …

BUY LINKS



ABOUT CLARE CHASE
Clare Chase writes mysteries set in London and Cambridge featuring crime-solving couples. She fell in love with the capital as a student, living in the rather cushy surroundings of Hampstead in what was then a campus college of London University. (It’s currently being turned into posh flats …)
After graduating in English Literature, she moved to Cambridge and has lived there ever since. She’s fascinated by the city’s contrasts and contradictions, which feed into her writing. She’s worked in diverse settings – from the 800-year-old University to one of the local prisons – and lived everywhere from the house of Lord to a slug-infested flat. The terrace she now occupies presents a good happy medium.
As well as writing, Clare loves family time, art and architecture, cooking, and of course, reading other people’s books.
She lives with her husband and teenage children, and currently works at the Royal Society of Chemistry.
One Dark Lie is her third novel with Choc Lit. Previous titles are You Think You Know Me and A Stranger’s House.

GIVEAWAY!
A fantastic prize going to one winner!!!
1.     paperback copy of A Stranger’s House (the first Ruby Fawcett and Nate Bastable Cambridge mystery),
2.     a sweet treat from Hotel Chocolat and
3.    a Cambridge key ring.


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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Fae Wish by Theresa Oliver Excerpt, Top 10, Giveaway & Teaser

Fae-Wish-by-Theresa-Oliver-BT-Banner

Tiny or tall, brave or smallit is the size of our hearts that matter at all … ★

Con Man by T. Torrest Book Sale, Teaser, Excerpt & Giveaway




Title: Con Man
Author: T. Torrest
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: March 24, 2017



Blurb

Lucas Taggart is the best con man in the business, so to speak.

A former-geek-turned-hottie, Luke is now an image consultant and life coach to the rich and privileged in New York City. His eight-week program is designed to transform ugly ducklings into swans by instilling some much-needed confidence, and hey, a makeover never hurts.

But when Ainsley Carrington signs up as a client, Luke's world is thrown into a tailspin. Ainsley doesn't need an image consultant; her image is already perfect just the way it is. Luke immediately finds himself grappling with his attraction to the introverted beauty as all his old insecurities come bubbling back to the surface.

Thankfully, his new friend Mia is around to help him out. Soon enough, the teacher becomes the student as lines get blurred and professionalism gets thrown out the window.


The thing is, Luke doesn't date his clients. Ever. But fighting his desire is proving more difficult than he ever imagined. Especially since the cocky and arrogant "confidence man" has just completely lost his cool. 

***CON MAN is a romantic comedy novel intended for ages 18+ due to some offensive language and graphic sex/sexual situations.***

READ WHEN YOU'RE IN THE MOOD FOR: cocky, fun, dramatic, insightful, relatable.








Purchase Links

99c release day only price

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU





Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

The gorgeous redhead leaned forward across my favorite table at my favorite restaurant, and from the look in her eyes, I already knew what was coming next.

“So, what do you think?” she asked. “Should we take this conversation back to my hotel room?”

The two of us were seated at a prime patio table at Ocean, a fairly classy restaurant bordering the south end of Central Park. We’d been having a pleasant conversation from our outdoor post, enjoying the mid-summer breeze which was made blessedly cooler from the shade of our umbrella. We’d been planning to indulge in a leisurely meal as we talked, but Charise’s question ensured that this little luncheon was going to be cut rather short.

I eased back in my chair and assessed the fiery-haired bombshell seated across from me. Her invitation was unmistakable, and I found myself letting out with an exasperated breath. “I think there’s been a misunderstanding.”

“Well, maybe I should have been a little clearer,” she purred, sliding a finger to trace along the swell of her ample breast. “I’m hoping you’ll be able to, ah, teach me a thing or two about what a man really wants.”

“That’s not what I do.” I’d encountered this scenario a time or two, and I’d learned it was best to just confront the situation head-on, without mincing words. “Look, Charise, I think you’ve been misinformed about what kind of service I provide. I’m not a sex therapist; I’m an image consultant.”

I’m the founder and CEO of Swan, Inc., New York City’s preeminent makeover service. People who felt stuck in the “ugly duckling” stage of their lives came to me for transformation. My services provided much more than a simple makeover, though. Aside from helping these ladies out with a new hairdo and some clothes, I also offered some intensive remodeling of a client’s self-esteem. Reputedly, these methods helped to unleash a woman’s inner sexpot.

It kinda went with the territory. The sex appeal was simply a happily unexpected side effect of the confidence training I provided.

Charise blinked a few times in my direction, clearly confused. “I was told that you teach women to be absolute maneaters. And after I saw the change in Darla Haagen… I mean, she was positively glowing by the time you got through with her. She said you were a godsend. She said she never experienced a better eight weeks in her entire life. I’m sorry. I guess I just assumed…”




Author Bio


T. Torrest is a fiction writer from the U.S. She has written many books, but prays that only a handful of them will ever see the light of day. Her stories are geared toward readers of any age that know how to enjoy a good laugh and a dreamy romance.

Ms. Torrest was a child of the eighties, but has since traded in her Rubik's cube for a laptop and her Catholic school uniform for a comfy pair of yoga pants. She's a pop-culture junkie, a movie aficionado, and an enthusiast of talking about herself in the third person. A lifelong Jersey girl, she currently resides there with her husband and two sons.

She also really digs it when she hears from readers, and is known to use words like "dig" in a non-sarcastic way. You can find out more about her books at her website: https://www.ttorrest.com/ 

She also LOVES to get friend requests on Goodreads and Facebook, and personal messages from readers via email: ttorrest@optonline.net



Author Links


Giveaway

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Tristan's Lyceum Wolves by Kym Grosso Book Sale



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Charismatic and powerful Lyceum Wolves' Alpha, Tristan Livingston, is out for revenge after a devastating attack on his pack. Not only did he survive a building collapse, he orchestrated the rebuild of his chic, state-of-the-art nightclub within a week. Determined to mete out justice, he rescues a beautiful witness who may be the key to helping him find the perpetrators.
Dr. Kalli Williams, dedicated veterinarian, is hiding a secret that endangers not only her own life but the lives of wolves across the country. After being tortured by a savage vampire, she's reluctantly agrees to help the sexy Alpha in his quest to identify suspects; ones who'd kill her on the spot if they knew she existed. As Kalli places herself in the hands of the dominant wolf, she soon finds she wants nothing more than to submit. Tristan, committed to ruling his pack as a lone wolf, is inexplicably drawn to the mysterious and enticing woman, who seems more than human, but not quite supernatural. As he discovers her secret, he teaches her the meaning of trust, helping her learn how to be true to her nature. After living a lifetime alone, will he succumb to the visceral need to claim her, acknowledging the soul binding connection between an Alpha and his mate? And will he prevail against the menacing enemy who threatens to destroy Lyceum Wolves?
Kade
Kade Dark Embrace (Immortals of New Orleans, Book 1)
Luca
Luca’s Magic Embrace (Immortals of New Orleans, Book 2)
Tristan
Tristan's Lyceum Wolves (Immortals of New Orleans, Book 3)
Logan
Logan’s Acadian Wolves (Immortals of New Orleans, Book 4)
Leopold
Léopold's Wicked Embrace (Immortals of New Orleans, Book 5)
Dimitri
Dimitri (Immortals of New Orleans, Book 6)
Lost Embrace

Lost Embrace (Immortals of New Orleans, Book 6.5)
Jax Webshare Cover
Jax (Immortals of New Orleans, Book 7)

Kym Grosso is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the award-winning paranormal romance series, The Immortals of New Orleans. She also has a new erotic romantic suspense series, Club Altura Romance. In addition to romance novels, Kym has written and published several articles about autism, and is passionate about autism advocacy. She is also a contributing essay author in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Raising Kids on the Spectrum.
Kym enjoys reading, tennis, zumba, traveling and spending time with her husband and children. New Orleans, with its rich culture, history and unique cuisine, is one of her favorite places to visit. Also, she loves traveling just about anywhere that has a beach or snow-covered mountains. On any given night, when not writing her own books, Kym can be found reading her Kindle, which is filled with hundreds of romances.