Believing in Bigfoot by JC Miller (Review)

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A never-too-late romance was this week’s read ‘n’ review. Believing in Bigfoot by JC Miller is a heartwarming story of a man and a woman who could have given up/fallen back to old ways and patterns, but they give love a chance. The tour is brought to you by Book Enthusiast Promotions.

My review

An art professor, Ruth has lost the drive both for her art and teaching. Just like her 28-year-old son who drifts in and out of her life, fun and thirst for new things also seem out of reach. Playing along her best friend’s whim to go trekking on the mountains, she has an acutely embarrassing encounter with “Bigfoot” turned rescuer. Shockingly, his fleeting presence becomes creative inspiration.

Isaac has fled his high profile life and his demons. Living like a hermit on the mountain, brings lucidity he never experienced while living on the fast track. But the woman whose friend he is forced to help out, affects him in ways he cannot explain, and she unwillingly forces him to re-enter the world. The catch is that his disappearance didn’t erase his problems and they instantly flood him to the point of choking him. How can he be what Ruth needs when he himself doesn’t know who he is?

Believing in Bigfoot is a lesson in believing in life and love regardless of the stage of life you’re in. Written with surprising attention to detail both in settings and emotions, this novel flows with naturalness as much as it flirts with nature. The author’s loving attention to the minutiae of every day life is charming, and her flexibility and ease in handling complex emotions of characters with huge emotional baggage (remember: this is the opposite of a YA romance) is amazing.

The story is well-paced, and the characters full-fleshed and totally relatable. I was drawn in the story from page one, and that was because the settings were rendered so vividly, I could picture them in amazing clarity! If I have to comment on one thing that would be the lack of a distinct point of reference. A center of gravity, if you may. It wasn’t the romance so much, as Ruth and Isaac share but a few scenes, or the challenges of friendship and motherhood, as the need to re-invent oneself, re-calibrate one’s life at an older age, or maybe the need to let go of excess baggage even when it’s become second skin. I’m having some trouble defining the true essence of the story.

Other than that, this was a book I enjoyed reading and finished in one (and a half) sitting. If you enjoy sweet romances about second chances, Believing in Bigfoot should be your next read.

Scroll down for more details on the book, purchase links and a chance to win two $5 Gift Cards.

Synopsis

Reeling from his failed comeback and ruined marriage, washed-out actor Ian James (née Isaac Janowitz) flees Los Angeles for a two-week respite in Northern California’s remote Marble Mountains—Bigfoot country. His time alone in the wilderness begins to peel away the layers of his Hollywood persona. After a fateful meeting with a beguiling woman, Ian begins to question his heart. In a moment of clarity, Isaac ditches his publicist and finds himself in Redding, living with invisibility at the Vagabond Motel.

Professor Ruth Hill is burnt out teaching photography at Redding’s Shasta College, eager for her upcoming retirement. But for unexplained reasons, despite weekly therapy sessions, her panic attacks have escalated. Her artistic slump persists. Looking back, she regrets a life without risk; looking forward, she dreads a meaningless future. Going over her proof sheets one morning, she stumbles upon a series of striking thumbnails, reigniting her passion and creativity.

Readers will root for Isaac and Ruth as they grapple with their chance encounter on the mountain and search for meaning in their repellent, yet intense attraction. Their paths do cross again, but when confronted with the possibility of enduring love, Ruth’s cynicism creeps in; Isaac’s self-defeating beliefs take hold. For these two damaged souls, it just may be too late.

Meet the Author

JC (Jeanne) Miller, M.A., is an educator and founding member of JAM, an editorial-consultation team. An avid reader, aspiring traveler and table tennis enthusiast, she resides in Northern California.

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Classically beautiful: Beneath the Scars by Melanie Moreland (Review)

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An ocean retreat in Main where the beauty meets the beast and makes him love her. But where love comes easily, trust seems as elusive as a handful of sand…

This review tour is brought to you by Xpresso Book Tours. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a chance to win the following goodies (ends Oct 27):

  • 4 ebooks of Beneath the Scars (INTL)
  • 2 signed Paperbacks of Beneath the Scars (US/Canada only) with book marks
  • 1 package of Into the Storm/Beneath the Scars Paperbacks with bookmarks – both signed (US/Canada only)

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Beneath the Scars
by Melanie Moreland
Publication date: October 14th 2014

Beneath

My Review

Megan’s life has turned into a nightmare. Having her boyfriend humiliate her in such a destructively public way—the person she trusted implicitly—makes her flee Boston. Her friend’s ocean house on Cliff’s Edge in Main is just the place for her to regroup and maybe even start writing again. She is certain she will be left in peace what with her only neighbor being a renowned recluse. Soon, she discovers he’s also a misanthrope. So why is she drawn to him so much?

Zachary’s only companion is his art. And his shaggy golden retriever; the only being he touches anymore. Until the stupid girl next door needs his rescuing. So he is forced not only to touch her but to also hold her, feel her against him. And now all these buried needs rush forward.

With the only currency he was used to dealing in—his face—partially destroyed along with his faith in people and their motives, is there a chance for him and Megan to work out? And when her ex’s deceit spins out of control, and the first thing thing that crashes is their fragile trust, will Megan have the strength to give Zachary a second chance?

This novel starts out in a quiet, lulling manner in sync with the soft waves breaking on the shore—the main setting of the story. The soft, sweet, well-rounded writing reminded me of older romances, and having read lots of choppy, vibrant New Adult stories recently, I was worried my interest might wane. But the plot is surprisingly strong. When the main conflict comes about, I was stunned at the ferocity of the situation and left wondering of how this mess will be resolved.

Zachary’s backstory is well presented, making his disposition plausible and his reaction to events more or less predictable. The good kind of predictable. I also appreciated how Melanie Moreland builds up her story gradually; two thirds into the book and the reader still doesn’t have vital info on both the main characters’ past. Another positive aspect was the slow road to the book’s HEA. The way things turned out, a rushed embrace with the ocean’s horizon as a backdrop would have been eye-roll inducing. But this one takes its time, so the beautiful epilogue is worth the wait.

The only thing that slightly got to me was that Megan is too sweet—bordering on naive. She’s an angel-like character; a somewhat old-fashioned romance heroine. Of course, Zachary makes up for any excess sweetness, so things are nicely balanced. Also, while used to crass language in romances, the F-bombs here seemed a bit forced.

If you enjoy classically romantic stories in an idyllic seascape setting with a strong plot Beneath the Scars is just right for you.

Official synopsis

The sound of the ocean, the crash of the waves as they kick up against the sand and rocks—these are the only sounds Megan Greene wants to hear. She wants to leave the rest of the world behind, and find some peace.

The offer of a private house on the beach, set in a small town in Maine, is perfect. Time to think—to be by herself. It’s all she wants. It’s the escape she needs.

Until she stumbles across the painting that seems to echo her own chaotic mindset.

Until she meets the unfriendly artist behind the stormy painting and discovers his secrets.

All Zachary Adams wants is to be left alone. His canvases, and the unending scope of the ocean and sand, are his life. They direct him—fill his hours. Bring him focus.

Until she enters his life.

She dredges up memories of the past—the haunting images he has hidden for years; the fears he has never shared.

A story he keeps buried below the surface.

Can she make him see what he is missing? Can he trust her enough to believe?

Together they embark on a journey where their pasts collide and threaten to tear them apart.

Will their fragile bond hold or wash away with the ebbing tide?

MelanieAuthorPicAUTHOR BIO

Melanie Moreland lives a happy and content life in a quiet area of Ontario with her husband and fur children. Nothing means more to her than her friends and family, and she cherishes every moment spent with them.

Known as the quiet one with the big laugh, Melanie works for the sporting teams of a local university. Her (box) office job, while demanding, is rewarding as she cheers on her team to victory.

While seriously addicted to coffee, and somewhat challenged with all things computer-related and technical, she relishes baking, cooking, and trying new recipes for people to sample. She loves to throw dinner parties and socialize, and also enjoys travelling, here and abroad, but finds coming home is always the best part of any trip.

Melanie delights in writing a good romance story with some bumps along the way, but is a true believer in happily ever after. When her head isn’t buried in a book, it is bent over a keyboard, furiously typing away as her characters dictate their creative storylines, to her even more inspired tales, for all to enjoy.

Author links:
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Alex by Sawyer Bennett (Review)

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A steamy sports romance, starring a bad-boy NHL star might be just what the doctor ordered for October. This one packs powerful psychological portraits of adults dealing with childhood abuse. Read on for my review and don’t forget to enter the Giveaway for an Alex Crossman/Cold Fury team jersey! This review tour is brought to you by Tasty Book Tours.

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Alex

Cold Fury Hockey # 1
By: Sawyer Bennett
Releasing October 14th, 2014
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My Review

Alex is a machine. He plays hockey like a machine, he beds women like a machine (I used the other word in my Goodreads review) he socializes like a machine–as in not at all. Fans of Cold Fury, his team, love to hate him. He’s the MVP, as in the Most Valuable Prick.

But the team’s management want their star player to work on his social profile. Or else. Alex now has to deal with some social worker on a drug prevention outreach program. Life sucks. But the surprisingly young and beautiful social worker doesn’t, so he decides to show her both spaces he owns: the pitch and the bedroom. He even resorts to showing her his gentleman side: he warns her that he’s going to break her heart. Because that’s all he’s capable of, right?

Sutton Price knows very well what she’s getting herself into. But Alex’s abusive background, bits and pieces of which surface especially during their post-coital bliss, hit very close to home: she’d been there herself, only she chose the path of acceptance and forgiveness, and she wants more than anything to help Alex involve more emotions than anger, hatred and apathy. But when he gets there, fear and insecurity also creep in and mire everything. With his father always devastatingly present in his life, and a career with an expiry date he needs to focus on, how can Alex give Sutton what she needs?

This sports-themed NA romance had some surprising elements. First of all, it offered the male point of view as well. In the case of a damaged, withdrawn hero, especially if he’s in the star (rock or sports) category, it is not often that we get to see his mind at work with extra insight into his childhood; the source of all evil. Usually, his behavioral pattern is explained in the final stages of the plot through dialogue or revelations of a third party. In the case of Alex, however, not only he knew exactly what mindset he was in and what caused it, but we get a front-row seat to vivid scenes of his hair-raising childhood in the hands of a father destroyed by alcohol and his own demons.

The other element I appreciated was the presentation of the two different paths an abused child can follow in life: Sutton shared experiences with Alex, but she embraced her past in an empowering, creative way. But Sutton’s way, although acknowledged by Alex, causes further rift between them, as self-doubt and even envy tipping towards jealousy manage to further distance him from her. These subtle psychological insights made the book stand out from the lot.

The sex scenes are frequent and steamy, but they’re not there just to underline the hero’s prowess; they also help to move the plot forward as that’s where Alex’s psyche is gradually revealed.

Ms Bennett’s writing is efficient, adeptly delving into the characters’ true essence. The only thing that got to me was big chunks of narration revealed in the form of thoughts during an on-going scene, inevitably using past perfect. For example, someone would wake up and start getting ready for the day, thinking about what happened the day before. Quite a number of scenes were presented that way. Other than that, this was a smooth read.

If you enjoy reading sports romances with seriously hot, seriously damaged heroes, but want a deeper portrayal than just of their physical attributes, you should consider picking Alex up—pun intended 🙂

Sawyer BennettAbout the Author

USA Today bestselling author Sawyer Bennett is a snarky Southern woman and reformed trial lawyer who decided to finally start putting on paper all of the stories that were floating in her head. Her husband works for a Fortune 100 company which lets him fly all over the world while she stays at home with their daughter and three big, furry dogs who hog the bed. Sawyer would like to report she doesn’t have many weaknesses but can be bribed with a nominal amount of milk chocolate.

Author Links
Website: http://www.sawyerbennett.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bennettbooks
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/bennettbooks
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6950682.Sawyer_Bennett

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Carina Press Mystery Week Blitz

MysteryWeekBlitzBannerThis fall, cozy up with the four deliciously “mysterious” titles by Carina Press featured in this Blitz organized by Xpresso Book Tours.

If you’re in the US or Canada, make sure you join the Blitz-wide giveaway
  • Digital copy of each book featured in this blitz
  • Murder Mystery Party game
  • Magnifying glass necklace

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Mistress of Lies by Holly West

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Available: September 29, 2014

Format: Ebook

Price: $2.99

Book description:

Book description: London, 1679. Isabel, Lady Wilde, mistress of King Charles II, has made a good living disguised as fortune teller Mistress Ruby, counseling London’s elite. But after the murder of one of her customers, business has taken a downturn, and Isabel is on the verge of accepting the king’s offer to move into the palace.

Isabel’s plans are interrupted when a beggar girl named Susanna shows up at her home, claiming to be her niece. Isabel always believed that her older brother, Adam, died alone during the plague. When Susanna reveals that Adam was actually murdered, Isabel is compelled to take up an impossible task: discover the truth about her brother’s death, twelve years after it happened.

Isabel’s investigation leads her through the gamut of London society, from bear-baiting matches and brothels to the realm of wealthy bankers. But as she uncovers her brother’s dark secrets, Isabel begins to wonder whether the past is better left buried—especially when uncovering the truth could lead to her own funeral.

*Be sure to check out Mistress of Fortune, book #1 in this series by Holly West

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holly_headshot_0214Holly West

Holly West is a crime fiction writer based in Los Angeles. She’s the author of the Mistress of Fortune series, set in late 17th London and featuring amateur sleuth Isabel Wilde, a mistress to King Charles II who secretly makes her living as a fortuneteller. The first in the series, Mistress of Fortune, was published by Harlequin’s Carina Press in February 2014 and its sequel, Mistress of Lies, is forthcoming in Fall 2014. Find her online at hollywest.com.

Murder in Real Time by Julie Ann Lindsay

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Available: September 29, 2014

Format: Ebook

Price: $2.99

Book description:

With the chaos of summer tourists and fall birders out of town, counselor Patience Price is looking forward to the quiet life she remembers. She longs for some peace. And an apple fritter. But the calm is cut short when a reality show sets up camp to film a special about ghosts on her little island. Now fans, reporters and crew have flocked to sleepy Chincoteague. Who knew ghost hunters had an entourage?

When two cast members are killed in a room at the local B&B—a room usually occupied by Patience’s FBI agent boyfriend, Sebastian—she finds herself on the case. Sebastian doesn’t want Patience ruffling any feathers but, as always, she can’t help herself.

Patience promises to let Sebastian handle the investigation—he is FBI, after all—but after a drive-by shooting, her wicked curiosity gets the best of her. And with the TV show forging ahead with filming, the list of suspects (and the line of food trucks) only grows. But has the shooter already flown the coop? And how do you find a killer when you don’t know who the target is?

*Be sure to also check out the first two books in the Patience Price Mysteries series, Murder by the Seaside & Murder Comes Ashore

Buy Links
 

Lindsey_headshotJulie Anne Lindsey

Julie Anne Lindsey is a multi-genre author who writes the stories that keep her up at night. She’s a self-proclaimed nerd with a penchant for words and proclivity for fun. Mother of three, wife to a sane person and Ring Master at the Lindsey Circus, most days you’ll find her online, amped up on caffeine and wielding a book. Julie started writing to make people smile. Someday she plans to change the world.

Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW), Sisters in Crime (SinC) and the Canton Writer’s Guild.
 

Elvis Sightings by Ricardo Sanchez

CARINA_0914_9781426899072_ElvisSightingsAvailable: September 29, 2014

Format: Ebook

Price: $2.99

Book description:

I’m Floyd—no last name needed, thanks—and I’m a P.I. The only other thing you need to know about me is that I’m not an Elvis impersonator. I live my life fast and hard and yes, in sequined jumpsuits, but more importantly I live my life the way Elvis would have wanted me to. Honestly. With integrity.

It was a tip that the King was still alive and living under an assumed name that brought me to Kresge,

Wyoming. But there’s something bigger than Elvis happening out here. I’ve been beaten bloody by an acrobatic bartender, roped into the search for a missing councilman, fallen for a bearded lady, and threatened by men in black who really don’t want me poking my nose into the town’s business. Half of my leads look like dead celebrities. The other half are either refugees from a broken-down circus or spear-holding Viking wannabes.

I’m in Crazytown, USA, but I can’t leave. Not yet. If I don’t find the missing councilman soon, Kresge will be turned into a Danish-themed amusement park. I’ve never been so close to finding Elvis. And I need to know if my new self-appointed sidekick James Morrison is really who he claims to be.…

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Ricardo Sancrsanchez-headshothez

Ricardo is a writer, creator, and T­shirt collector. He’s written for DC Comics, including work on Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, Teen Titans Go! and Resident Evil, among others. His short story Death and Life of the Hero appeared in the Gods of Justice superhero anthology and in 2013 was turned into a successfully funded Kickstarter graphic novel, A Hero’s Death, which will be coming out in fall 2014. He was also the Emmy winning creator of the animated series Re\Visioned: Tomb Raider, which was part of Tomb Raider’s 10th anniversary celebration.

When he’s not writing, Ricardo maintains a vintage toy blog, drives 70’s muscle cars, and shops year round for Halloween decorations for his home in California.

Code Runner by Rosie Claverton

CARINA_0914_9781426899089_CodeRunnerAvailable: September 29, 2014

Format: Ebook

Price: $2.99

Book description:

Ex-con Jason Carr has faced down the toughest thugs in Cardiff, but being assistant to a brilliant, eccentric hacker who hasn’t been outdoors in ten years has its own challenges. Still, he and Amy Lane can solve cases even the cops can’t crack. And when a corpse washes up on a beach, Jason can’t resist chasing the clues—or defying Amy by infiltrating the very gangs he once escaped.

Amy is distraught when Jason’s pursuit gets him framed for murder. He’s thrown back in prison where he’s vulnerable to people who want him dead. He needs Amy to prove his innocence. Fast.

But Amy hasn’t been honest with him—her panic attacks aren’t getting better. And now, with everything that makes her feel safe ripped away, she must stand alone, using her technological skills to expose a baffling conspiracy and a new kind of online crime. Can she clear Jason’s name before danger closes in?

*Be sure to also check out Binary Witness, book #1 in the Amy Lane Mysteries.

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Rosie Claverton

Rosie Claverton, December 2013Rosie Claverton grew up in Devon, daughter to a Sri Lankan father and a Norfolk mother, surrounded by folk mythology and surly sheep. She moved to Cardiff to study Medicine and adopted Wales as her home.

Her first short film Dragon Chasers aired on BBC Wales in Autumn 2012. She co-wrote the ground-breaking series of short films The Underwater Realm. Her debut novel Binary Witness was published by Carina Press in May 2014.

Between writing and medicine, she blogs about psychiatry and psychology for writers in her Freudian Script series, advocating accurate and sensitive portrayals of people with mental health problems in fiction.

Currently exiled to London to train in psychiatry, she lives with her journalist husband and their pet hedgehog.

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Skating On Thin Ice (Book Blast)

 

Professional hockey in Seattle by a bestselling sports romance author? Plus a hot giveaway? Game on! This Book Blast is brought to you by Tasty Book Tours.

 

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$20 Amazon Gift Card, Swag Pack &
Winner’s Choice Backlist Romance

 

 

 

 

Jami Davenport presents Game on in Seattle, a new series featuring Seattle sports teams, hot men, and strong women.

He trusts his gut, she trusts her numbers, and neither trusts the other, as a billionaire’s mission to bring hockey to Seattle clashes with his passion for the woman who holds his heart.

Ethan Parker, a billionaire determined to bring a professional hockey to Seattle, will stop at nothing to realize his dream. After signing an agreement to purchase another city’s team, Ethan is anxious to make the move to Seattle, but a gag order by the League forces him to keep the sale a secret until the season ends, leaving him no choice but to go undercover as a consultant to study his team during the playoffs.

Lauren Schneider, Assistant Director of Player Personnel for the Giants hockey team, gets no respect from the team’s testosterone-loaded staff. When Ethan bursts onto the scene, full of charm and genuinely interested in her opinions, she shares the team’s weaknesses and discovers a weakness of her own–for Ethan. But when his true identity is revealed, and he starts cleaning house based on her unwitting input, his betrayal cuts deeply on both a professional and personal level.

Bound by an employment contract, Lauren reluctantly moves to Seattle to work for the newly christened Seattle Sockeyes and her sexy, infuriating boss. Lauren and Ethan must come to terms with their passions–for the team, for hockey, and for each other.

Will their situation build a frozen wall between them, or will their love burn hot enough to melt the ice shielding their hearts?

 

 

 

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An advocate of happy endings, Jami Davenport writes sexy contemporary and sports romances, including her two new indie endeavors: the Game On in Seattle Series and the Madrona Island Series. Jami lives on a small farm near Puget Sound with her Green Beret-turned-plumber husband, a Newfoundland cross with a tennis ball fetish, a prince disguised as an orange tabby cat, and an opinionated Hanoverian mare. She works in computer support in her day job and juggles too many balls, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.


 
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A heart-warming tale of healing wounds: Leaving Liberty by Virginia Carmichael

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Book & Author details:
Leaving Liberty by Virginia Carmichael
Publication date: July 1st 2013
Genres: Adult, Romance
Purchase link: Amazon

My review

Don’t you just love libraries? You might own a Kindle like me to fix your need for read, but don’t you get that fuzzy, warm feeling blooming in you when you immerse yourself in the dim glow of a true library? The quiet rustling of paper, the smell of leather and old paper? And won’t you get a sense of loss if your favorite library had to close down? Now, imagine this to have been your shelter from an abusive parent, the only place where you’d find peace and a sense of purpose. Wouldn’t you want to defend its existence with everything you’ve got?

That’s the story of Daisy. She returns to her small town and her childhood nightmares to attend the funeral of the elderly librarian: the only person who saw her potential. It’s supposed to be a one-day trip, but the mayor’s plan to demolish the almost condemned library due to lack of restoration funds, makes her reconsider fleeing. The frustratingly calm and handsome Lane, the police officer with the hero complex, messes with her resolution even more, but nothing good can come of their attraction. His heart has already been broken by an out-of-town girl, and she just can’t imagine reliving the terror of being branded as the town drunk’s daughter. He needs her to stay forever, she needs to go for good. Will their pull heal their wounds?

The story has all the nostalgic, heart-warming elements you’d expect to find in a small-town community; beautiful locations, genuine, fleshed-out characters, but its strongest aspect is the writing. Ms Carmichael can really add bold strokes of poignant emotion to a rather sweet, pastel-colored story of pure love, pure characters and reliance on faith. This is a faith-based clean romance, but the writing compensates with spurts of interesting banter and subtle but effective humor. Although too clean for my own taste—slow-building with frequent references to the small-town self-righteousness you either love or hate—it was a story that I enjoyed reading mainly because the writing was solid and surprisingly evocative.

If you enjoy reading sweet romances with a strong religious streak, you won’t want to leave Leaving Liberty.

Make sure you enter the awesome giveaway to grab the goodies listed below (the links will take you to the products in their respective Etsy stores)

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Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)
Awesome swag pack with the following (will be customized with the winner’s preferred name)

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Official Synopsis:

At eighteen, Daisy McConnell left Liberty, Colorado and never looked back. The only bright spot in a childhood of neglect and loneliness was the town librarian, Marie. Now settled as a teacher in sunny Fresno, Daisy does her best to forget everything about Liberty including her drunk father, her MIA mother, and the town she hated with every beat of her heart.
 
Lane Bennett’s life as a small town cop is pretty close to perfect. He’s got his dog, a pretty date when he needs one, and plenty of time to fish on the weekends. No other place can compare to his hometown and he’s happy to devote his life to keeping the folks of Liberty safe. When Marie passes away, Lane knows one of the best parts about living in Liberty is gone, along with the old Carnegie library. It needs repairs the city can’t afford and the city managers won’t pay the new flood insurance. It’s too bad, but safety comes first.

When Daisy comes home for Marie’s funeral and hears the only safe place she knew as a child is going to close, she refuses to let it happen. She hatches a plan to save the old library, run the summer reading program, and keep Marie’s legacy alive.

She once vowed never to come home and he’s vowed never to leave. Daisy and Lane discover together that true love happens when you least expect it and you should never say never in Liberty.
 

AUTHOR BIO

Virginia was born near the Rocky Mountains and although she has traveled around the world, the wilds of Colorado run in her veins. A big fan of the wide open sky and all four seasons, she believes in embracing the small moments of everyday life. A home schooling mom of six young children who rarely wear shoes, those moments usually involve a lot of noise, a lot of mess, or a whole bunch of warm cookies. Virginia holds degrees in Linguistics and Religious Studies from the University of Oregon. She lives with her habanero-eating husband, Crusberto, who is her polar opposite in all things except faith. They’ve learned to speak in short-hand code and look forward to the day they can actually finish a sentence. In the meantime, Virginia thanks God for the laughter and abundance of hugs that fill her day as she plots her next book.
 

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Tour book companies: Host them before you hire them!

Source: depositphotos.com
Source: depositphotos.com

Okay, your manuscript is complete, edited and proofread, and a launching date is dancing in your head. Bravo! In the meantime (hopefully) you’ve spent serious time building your platform. You’ve connected with like-minded authors, hosted them in your blog, made use of “pay it forward” in the most generous way since you still have no wares to hawk, and you know that these kind people will be more than happy to help you when your time in the spotlight comes. But will that spotlight shed enough light on you?

Unless you’ve been extremely lucky to have a big name, same-genre author with a massive following at your beck and call, most likely, you’ve connected with talented but recently published or aspiring authors, who, like you, have been seeking information on how to build an author platform on solid foundation.

I have made wonderful friends these past ten months, and they are more than willing to host the upcoming cover reveal for Fate Accompli, my debut novel, but only two of these nice and generous friends are established romance writers with a specific genre following. How much can I rely on my fantasy/paranormal/thriller/horror friends’ readers taking more than a cursory look at a book that’s been meticulously branded as a contemporary romance?

On the other hand, being active on Goodreads, I know there are dozens of hyper-active bloggers who promote and review books in my genre. But they’re not writers. I can’t say, “Hi! Your book sounds interesting. Hop on my blog for a nice WIP interview,” and connect. I tried connecting through Twitter or Facebook, but this was time consuming, and I didn’t feel it got me anywhere.

Enter virtual book tour companies. These companies thrive on bloggers, and bloggers feast on them. The tour operators need their clients’ book to get as many stops on the tour as possible (or as many as the plan the client has purchased allows) and the bloggers are reading addicts who need tons of books that they couldn’t possibly afford to pay to curb their “need for read”. (I say that in the best possible way as I’m just like that.)

What I suggest, if you’re a blogger/soon-to-be-published writer/reader like me, is to search for book tour companies in your genre and sign up as a blog host before hiring them. Check out the advantages:

  • You instantly become part of their entire bloggers’ network
  • You get easier access to other bloggers’ sites through commenting on posts regarding a book you also hosted
  • Other bloggers, doing the book tour rounds, will stop at your blog and connect.
  • You get more traffic on your own blog.
  • You get to check out soon-to-be-released books of your genre and also gauge the competition.
  • You can get tons of free books that you choose to review or promote on your blog.
  • Through reviewing you connect with same-genre authors (all authors love to connect with readers who spent time reading and reviewing their books).

and last but not least…

  • You evaluate the book tour company’s services (how many bloggers sign up, how responsive they are, the quality of the material sent to you) BEFORE you hand them your good money to promote your book.

I’ve been hosting for some months now, more actively during the summer, and my experience can only be described as positive. First off, I got to read Truly, Ruthie Knox’s new contemporary romance for FREE! (Sorry, that had to top my list as I’m a huge Ruthie Knox fan.) I’ve connected with bloggers, and I feel that when they see me coming out as an author, they’ll be inclined to pick up my book and blog about it. I’ve connected with the book tour operators on a personal level, and I feel more confident approaching them as a client. I read six free books in August alone! Need I say more?

Actually, I do. How do you go about finding virtual book tour companies? Here are some suggestions:

  • Google them. E.g. “science fiction virtual book tours”. You will get results.
  • Ask same-genre authors for suggestions.
  • Join Facebook or Goodreads groups on your genre and ask the members directly.
  • Ask a company that focuses on a different genre to suggest a promoter that accepts yours. They are well connected.

Important notice: Always check a site’s Alexa ranking before doing business with them. For more on that, read Effosyni Moschoudi’s post: Do you check with Alexa before parting with your money? Solid advice there!

If you’re a romance writer, I recommend the following companies for which I’ve hosted (random order).

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Since you’ve come this far, see if these blog posts are helpful:

When beta readers come with an agenda

5 ways new writers can chase away potential readers