Welcome to my stop for the April = Showers Book Tour for

The Weather Girl
by Amy Vastine

Katie’s Clean Book Collection
Letters from Annie Douglass Lima
The Written Adventure

Paulette’s Papers
Reviews By Molly
Library of a Book Witch

The Wonderings of One Person 
My Love for Reading Keeps Growing 
I Am A Reader

Lola’s Reviews
Deal Sharing Aunt

5/4 – Grand Finale

The Weather Girl
The Weather Girl
by Amy Vastine
Clean Adult Contemporary Romance
January 1st 2014 by Harlequin

Turbulence is in their forecast

Summer Raines knows when it’s going to rain. She can feel it. That’s why the local weather girl’s so good at her job. Too bad she couldn’t have foreseen the tumultuous arrival of Travis Lockwood, everybody’s favorite star NFL quarterback. Make that former star NFL quarterback. Sidelined back to Texas after an injury, the golden boy is trying to steal her precious on-air time. Summer is reduced to reporting from…football games. It’s enough to make her quit and become a storm-chaser like her parents. She’s stuck with a career that’s going nowhere and a man who delights in her refusal to be charmed. Falling in love isn’t nearly as easy as predicting the weather.

Amazon *  Barnes & NobleHarlequin

“So it sounds like sports reporting has become something you want to do now,” Summer said, the menu blocking her beautiful blues from his.

“The better I get, the more I like it. Maybe ESPN will come knocking soon and Ill be off to New Yorkor wherever their studio is.”

The menu she was using as a shield tipped down just enough for her eyes to meet his. “Is that so?”
He shook his head, grinning. “Like you said, theres nothing wrong with working here in Abilene.”
“Great. Im never going to get my thirty seconds back. Im not sure Ill survive.
“Youll survive.” Travis loved that she didnt shy away from teasing him. The waitress arrived with their waters and took their orders. When they were alone and she had no menu to hide behind, Travis continued, with his dimples in full effect. “I think youve finally stopped hating me.”
“I never hated you. I tried to hate you, but youre too likable.” He liked that answer. He liked that answer a lot. “I am, am I?” “Less and less by the minute.”
He wasnt buying it. “Admit it. You like me.”
I don’t know. You never return the things you borrow, you drive a pretentious car. The list of reasons not to like you goes on and on.”
“Your umbrella is sitting right by my front door. I never remember it because it hasnt rained in weeks.”

“Dont make me come get it,” she warned.

He laughed. “You arent as scary as you used to be, Weather Girl.”

Poor Summer looked so flustered he half expected to hear all about typhoons or the average number of lightning strikes in a Texas thunderstorm. Summer managed to keep the weather facts at bay.

“Country-fried steak with mashed potatoes, pork chops with the vegetable medley and an extra side of french fries,” the waitress said as she set the plates in front of Travis. “And the half turkey sandwich on sourdough and a chicken noodle soup for the lady. Is there anything else I can get you?”

“Is there anything left back there?” Summer asked, staring wide-eyed at her dinner companion, who was already shoveling in a mouthful.
“What?” he mumbled around a bite of his pork.

“How is it humanly possible for one man to eat all of that?”

“I work hard, I play hard, I have an appetite. You should have seen me when I played ball. I could eat twice this much.

Her giggle was better than the food. Travis finished off one plate and started on the other.

“Youre going to be five hundred pounds soon if you arent careful,” she said, shaking her head.

“You offering to help me work it off?”

Summer set her sandwich down. “If I remember correctly, the last time I took you running, you nearly passed out.” “I remember watching you get drenched by the sprinklers, loving every second of it. Like you were dancing in the rain. You looked beautiful.” Seeing her like that had stirred feelings he wasnt ready to deal with then, but he was prepared to try now.

“Stop. Whats gotten into you tonight?” The corner of her mouth twitched, dying to give in to a smile.

“You say stop, but you dont mean it,” he said before popping a giant piece of broccoli into his mouth.

“I do. I mean it,” she asserted, keeping her eyes everywhere but on him.

Travis set down his fork and slid out of his seat. Summers brow furrowed until he planted himself next to her. He pushed some hair back so he could see her face. “Tell me theres nothing I can do to make something happen between me and you.”

Summers breathing changed, almost stopped. Her spoon fell into her soup. “Theres nothing you can do,” she said, her voice wavering.
Something was already happening. She could lie to herself, but not to him. Travis leaned in, his nose almost touching the shell of her ear as he brought his mouth closer. “Nothing? You havent once wondered what it would be like to kiss me?”
He could feel the heat coming off her now. Her skin turned red. She swallowed hard and her teeth bit into her bottom lip. “Dont kiss me.” It came out like a desperate plea. As if kissing her would break her in two.
I wont. I promise.” He sat back, giving her a reprieve, then went back to his own side. She watched him pick up his fork and fill his mouth with some french fries. Summer grabbed her water and drank until the ice cubes were all that was left.

She was going to kiss him. Not today, not tomorrow. But she was going to kiss him. Travis had no doubt. “Ill wait for you to kiss me. Someday soon, Summer Raines, youre going to want to kiss me.”

Amy VastineAmy Vastine has been plotting stories in her head for as long as she can remember. An eternal optimist, she studied social work, hoping to teach others how to find their silver lining. Now, she enjoys creating happily ever afters for all to read.
In September of 2012, she saw a tweet about Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write contest. She entered, hoping for nothing more than a little feedback from some people in the business. Amazingly, The Weather Girl made it into the semi-finals, thanks to the many wonderful voters out there! The manuscript didn’t make it to the finals, but the editors over Harlequin were still interested. A few revisions later and The Weather Girl was contacted for publication with Harlequin Heartwarming – a dream come true!
Amy lives outside Chicago with her high school sweetheart-turned-husband, three fun-loving children, and their sweet but mischievous puppy dog.
Website * Goodreads * Facebook * Twitter

Tour-Wide Giveaway

– Grand Prize: $25 Amazon gift card, red umbrella, signed copy of THE WEATHER GIRL, umbrella bookmark, and decorative box (US Only)
– 5 ebooks of The Weather Girl (INT)
– April 21 – May 11

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The following scene is an excerpt from my novel Prince of Malorn, scheduled to be released on Amazon on May 16th.
Korram saw the snowcat shift a little on the rock.  Is it getting ready to spring?  His heart pounding anew, he took a quiet step forward, and then another.  He had to get closer, just in case.
Now he stood right at the bank of the stream, only about ten feet behind the creature.  It was perched out in the middle of the water, maybe eight feet from the edge.  What was he supposed to do?  He supposed he could wade out to the rock it was on, but he didn’t fancy battling a powerful animal in the middle of a river, let alone at the brink of a waterfall.  That scenario didn’t seem likely to end well.
The snowcat shifted again, gathering its hind legs under its body.  Its tail, stretched out behind, twitched a little.  Korram had seen Sir Fluffle gather himself just like that before he lunged at a squirrel in the palace garden. 
This is it, he thought desperately.  I have to do something nowBut he wouldn’t panic and throw his spear this time.  Gripping the weapon with his right hand, he snatched up a loose pebble with his left and flung it at the cat, yelling, “Over here!”
The snowcat turned its head, saw him, and bared long gleaming teeth in a snarl.  Korram felt a stab of guilt at the glimpse of a red stain on its chest, and knew the cat was indeed angry and in pain.  He gripped the spear in a two-handed stance as he had seen Ernth do, bracing his feet.  “All right, come on!  Over here!  Let’s get this over with.”  He wasn’t at all sure which of them would survive the encounter, but he couldn’t think of anything else to do.
But the snowcat did not leap across the water to attack him.  It turned its head once more to stare over the cliff, and Korram saw its muscles bunch and ripple as it shifted position again.  It was going to leap over the waterfall!  Ernth had said snowcats were clever.  Apparently it had made the choice between the enemy who was ready for him and the one who was not.
“Hey!  Hey!  Over here!” Korram yelled again, dashing forward along the bank and waving his arms.  But the beast paid him no attention, and Korram knew there was only one remaining course of action, one chance he had to save Ernth’s life.  Without pausing to consider the consequences, he leaped into the water and splashed his way toward the rock where the creature crouched. 
The streambed was slippery underfoot, and icy water rushed into his deerskin boots, filling them and slowing him down.  The current was stronger than he had expected, and for a moment Korram was afraid he would be swept off his feet and over the falls.  Desperately he braced himself against the force of the water and lunged forward.
He was only one step away from the rock when the snowcat sprang.  Everything seemed to happen in slow motion as Korram saw its body lengthen, its forelegs reaching out and over.  Desperate, he leaped too, spear extended.  His other arm stretched out in a frantic attempt to grab, to hold the creature back, to slow it down, to somehow stop what could no longer be stopped.  He felt the tip of his weapon strike flesh as he seized a handful of thick fur.  The animal was still leaping, pulling him forward with it, but he was half on top of it now, and he could feel the bulging muscles of its haunches rippling beneath his chest. 
It gave a strangled cry, half snarl, half scream, and whirled around, flailing its claws at him.  Korram struck out with his spear again, still clutching a handful of fur.  Then he felt his ribs hit the edge of the rock, and he realized that his head was lower than the rest of him and that the snowcat’s momentum was pulling them both over the edge.
He had a quick glimpse of Ernth balancing on a boulder at the foot of the falls, poking his spear through the curtain of water, and of the astonished expression on his face as he caught sight of Korram and the snowcat toppling over the edge toward him.  Then there was no time to notice anything else before Korram felt himself tumbling through the air, still clutching the writhing animal, a curtain of water shimmering all around them.  
Click here for more information about Prince of Malorn, including “interviews” with some of the characters.
Prayers of a Mother’s Heart: For a Chosen GenerationBy Amy von Borstel

About the Book:

If you knew that your prayers could change the lives and futures of your children or grandchildren, would you pray regularly? Prayers of a Mother’s Heart: For a Chosen Generation is a hope-filled resource for those desiring a life of prayer and for those seeking God for miracles. In the Prayers of a Mother’s Heart eBook, there are several personal stories that reveal the power of prayer, a collection of heartfelt prayers that address a wide range of concerns many mothers have for their children, along with over ninety-five Scriptures, simple guidelines for preparing the heart for prayer, a chapter on prayer journals, and a chapter on the importance of generational blessings. Be inspired by Prayers of a Mother’s Heart to begin trusting that Jesus truly holds the answers to the challenges in your children’s lives. Jesus promised He would do the impossible if only we would believe (Mark 9:23).


Amy 2014
Amy von Borstel is a passionate follower of Christ, a wife and mother of two—one adult child and one teen. She attributes her twenty-eight year marriage and happy home to the love of God and living a life of faith-filled prayer. She’s been a writer since she was a little girl, writing poetry and keeping journals as a way to find peace and rest in her soul. Her first published short story, A Divine Hair Appointment, was released in the 2013 Thomas Nelson book, When God Makes Lemonade. She is passionate about helping orphans and seeing people find abundance through an intimate relationship with Christ.

Follow Amy von Borstel
Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Enter below to enter a $50 Amazon gift card, sponsored by author Amy von Borstel! a Rafflecopter giveaway This book blast is hosted by Crossreads. We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!

Well, Floyd and I just enjoyed three days’ vacation on Green Island in a hotel we were not planning on staying at.
We got lost a couple of times getting from Kaohsiung (southern Taiwan) to the harbor in Taitung (eastern Taiwan), but that’s another story.  Finally we found the right place to catch the boat to Green Island, and we managed to buy our round-trip tickets with no problem.

The 50-minute boat ride was really fun for me – lots of big billows, and my stomach quite frequently did that going-down-a-drop-on-a-roller-coaster plunge.  Wheee!  Floyd didn’t find it quite as fun as I did, but he had Dramamine, and he and his stomach somehow hung in there.
Well, we disembarked on Green Island with our duffel bag, two backpacks, the laptop in its case, my purse, Floyd’s satchel, a second duffel bag with two foam pads in case the hotel mattress was hard (as many of them tend to be here), and the address of our hotel written in Chinese.  (We didn’t know the name of the hotel in either language.)  I should mention here that a friend had recommended the hotel to us as one that she had stayed in, and she’d emailed us its Chinese address and the phone number.  A different friend had helped us call the number and make a reservation (in Chinese) for the two nights we planned to stay.
So we lugged all our luggage (I guess that’s why they call it that, huh?) away from the busy port area to a quieter street to figure out what to do next and where to go.  Several enthusiastic locals came over to see if we wanted help (I assume they work for tour companies or hotels and were trying to get our business, though we couldn’t understand them).  One little old lady on a scooter was very persistent, so finally we showed her the hotel address to see if she could help us get there (and to show her that we didn’t need her help figuring out where to stay on the island).  She read the characters and looked perplexed, and I understood her when she pointed at the first two characters and told us the address was in Taitung.  Actually, I could read those particular characters too, though it hadn’t occurred to me to look closely or think about them before.  Wait – could our reservation actually be for a hotel back in Taitung and not on Green Island?  Surely not!
We didn’t have the phone numbers of either of our helpful friends, but we did have our other friend Clive’s number.  Floyd called him and explained the situation – and long story short, after about ten minutes and several separate calls and the little old lady hanging around and trying to talk to us and ask us what was going on, we determined that our reservation was indeed in Taitung.  Oh no!  Here we were in Green Island with tickets to return the day after tomorrow, and no hotel reservation.  Thankfully we hadn’t actually paid in advance for our other hotel! 

Well, Clive is bilingual, so we passed the phone to our kind old lady, and the two of them had quite a conversation.  A couple of times she passed it back to Floyd so Clive could update him what they’d been saying, and then it went back to the lady again.  (But we still didn’t really have a very clear picture of what they were figuring out for us.)  Finally the lady hung up, passed the phone back to Floyd, and gestured for me to get on the back of her scooter.  What else could I do?  I grabbed my purse and the laptop case, waved goodbye to Floyd, and got on behind her.

We drove a little way down the street and stopped where – thank goodness – another lady was waiting who spoke some English.  (I should mention that the little old lady had made a few phone calls on her own phone a little earlier too.)  The new lady asked me if my husband and I wanted to rent a scooter for one, two, or three days; and I told her I wasn’t sure we wanted to rent one at all.  Maybe a bike?  She spoke to someone who might have been her daughter, who disappeared down the street and came back riding a bike.  They insisted I try it out, and I mentioned we had heard there were electric bikes for rent here.  Back went the daughter and brought me an electric bike to test ride.  They wanted an answer right then, but Floyd and I hadn’t really decided anything, and I didn’t want to sign anything without him there, and where was he anyway?
About that time some man drove up on a scooter with Floyd riding on the back.  Most of our luggage was nowhere in sight.  After a quick discussion and two test rides, we decided to rent a scooter.  Neither of us has a scooter license, and I don’t even have a Taiwan driver’s license, but they assured us that was no problem and we could both legally drive this 50 cc one and be covered by their insurance in case of accident.  I had never actually driven a scooter before, but the lady gave me a quick lesson then and there and I discovered it wasn’t too hard.  We had to pay in advance and leave Floyd’s license with her, which we’re still a little nervous about, but she seemed very friendly ….

 So Floyd got on the scooter, I hopped on behind him (still clutching the purse and laptop), and our little old lady friend got on her own scooter and gestured for us to follow.  We had no idea where we were going, but she led the way back toward the dock, where we found the rest of our luggage sitting quietly off to one side, waiting for us unattended.  A man who had come with us on a third scooter picked up the pieces we weren’t already carrying and somehow balanced them on his scooter (the little old lady helped). 
On we drove, and eventually ended up at a humble little hotel.  It was run by the same company (Chung Hwa Telecom – the phone company) as the one we were supposed to stay in, so maybe they were able to somehow transfer our reservation.
Our little old lady friend waved goodbye and drove away before we could think of some culturally appropriate way to express our deep gratitude for her help.  I shudder to think how we would have coped with the situation without such a Good Samaritan there to assist!  All I can say is, I hope she got paid some sort of commission from the hotel or the scooter company, because she didn’t ask for or seem to expect anything from us.
Well, the hotel lady welcomed us in and helped us get our luggage to our room, and we proceeded to have an interesting conversation with the help of her iPhone.  She gave us a brochure with a map of the island and touristy spots labeled in both English and Chinese, and  recommended certain sites and answered our questions.  But she spoke almost no English, and our Chinese certainly doesn’t take us very far.  So she would type something into her phone, pull up the English translation, and let us read it on the screen.  It worked!

Anyway, we were glad to be able to relax in our room and sort through and unpack our luggage.  From the first moment I sat down on the bed, I could tell we would most definitely be thankful for those foam pads (and sure enough, we were)!

  But “thankful” really is the theme of  the afternoon.  We’re thankful there was good phone reception here, thankful we could get ahold of Clive, thankful he was willing to help us, thankful for the little old Taiwanese lady who may just have been an angel in disguise, thankful that it worked out to rent a scooter that we can both legally drive, thankful we didn’t lose any money with the hotel problem, thankful all our luggage rejoined us intact, thankful there was a room available here for us for two nights at a very reasonable rate, and thankful for the technology that helped us work everything out!  Thank you, Lord!

Tomorrow we hope to drive our rented scooter around the island, following the map we were given, and stop to see and do various things along the way.  Stay tuned for another update – but hopefully this one will be much tamer!

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The Geography of You and Me
by Jennifer E. Smith

The Geography of You and MeThe Geography of You and Me
by Jennifer E. Smith
YA Contemporary Romance
April 15th 2014 by Little, Brown for Young Readers

Lucy and Owen meet somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they’re rescued, they spend a single night together, wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is restored, so is reality. Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father.

Lucy and Owen’s relationship plays out across the globe as they stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and — finally — a reunion in the city where they first met.

A carefully charted map of a long-distance relationship, Jennifer E. Smith’s new novel shows that the center of the world isn’t necessarily a place. It can be a person, too.

Did you miss any of the excerpts we shared on our tour? 
You can go back and read chapter one in its entirety, but here are some snippets:
Tour Launch

The two main characters, Lucy and Owen, from The Geography of You and Me first meet in New York, but then keep in contact from different places around the world before meeting up in New York again.

The author, Jennifer E. Smith, shared some of her favorite places in the world in preparation of Geography’s release. We’d like to re-share them with you!

A Backwards Story – Chapter One, Part 1

On the first day of September, the world went dark.
But from where she stood in the blackness, her back pressed against the brassy wall of an elevator, Lucy Patterson had no way of knowing the scope of it yet.

Literary Meanderings – Chapter One, Part 2

When the elevator had wrenched to a stop, their eyes met, and in spite of the situation, she’d found herself wondering—ridiculously—whether he recognized her, too. But then the lights above them had snapped off, and they were both left blinking into the darkness, the floor still quivering beneath them. There were a few metallic sounds from above—two loud clanks followed by a sharp bang—and then something seemed to settle, and except for the faint beat of his music, it was silent.

Book Briefs – Chapter One, Part 3

The boy turned to face her, and though it was still too dark for details, she could see him more clearly with each minute that passed. She was reminded of a science experiment her class did in fifth grade, where the teacher dropped a mint into each of the students’ cupped palms, then switched off the lights and told them to bite down hard, and a series of tiny sparks lit up the room. This was how he seemed to her now: his teeth flashing when he spoke, the whites of his eyes bright against the blackness.

A Life Bound By Books – Chapter One, Part 4

“I think we’ll be fine,” he said, his voice reassuring; then, with a hint of amusement, he added: “Unless, of course, you’re afraid of the dark.”

“I’m okay,” she said, sliding down the wall until she was sitting on the floor, her elbows resting on her knees. She attempted a smile, which emerged a little wobbly. “I’ve heard monsters prefer closets to elevators.”

The Reading Diaries – Chapter One, Part 5

This time she laughed. “What’s up there, anyway?”

“The sky.”

“You’ve got keys to the sky?” she said, and he knitted his fingers together, lifting his arms above his head in a stretch.

“It’s how I impress all the girls I meet in the elevator.”

Colorimetry – Chapter One, Part 6

“I know. Hard to believe school starts tomorrow.”

“Yeah, for me, too,” he said. “Assuming we ever get out of here.”

“Where do you go?”

“Probably not the same place as you.”

“Well, I hope not,” she said with a grin. “Mine’s all girls.”

The Wonderings of One Person – Chapter One, Part 7

He considered this a moment. “Yup,” he said finally. “That pretty much sums up my feelings about New York.”

Lucy nodded. “You would prefer not to,” she said. “But that’s just because it’s new. Once you get to know it more, I have a feeling you’ll like it here.”

“Is this the part where you insist on taking me on a tour of the city, and we laugh and point at all the famous sights, and then I buy an I ♥ NY T-shirt and live happily ever after?”

“The T-shirt is optional,” she told him.

Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf – Chapter One, Part 8

His eyes caught hers through the darkness, and the elevator felt suddenly smaller than it had just minutes before. Lucy thought of all the other times she’d been crammed in here over the years: with women in fur coats and men in expensive suits; with little white dogs on pink leashes and doormen wheeling heavy boxes on luggage carts. She’d once spilled an entire container of orange juice on the carpet right where Owen was sitting, which had made the whole place stink for days, and another time, when she was little, she’d drawn her name in green marker on the wall, much to her mother’s dismay.

I Am A Reader – Chapter One, Part 9

Across the elevator, Owen rested his head against the wall. “It is what it is…” he murmured, letting the words trail off at the end.

“I hate that expression,” Lucy said, a bit more forcefully than intended. “Nothing is what it is. Things are always changing. They can always get better.”

Bookfever – Chapter One, Part 10

“It won’t help anything,” she said. “Worrying.”

“Exactly,” he said. “It is what it is.”

“Nope,” she said. “Nothing is what it is.”

“Fine,” he said. “It’s not what it isn’t.”

Lucy gave him a long look. “I have no idea what you’re saying.”

“Or maybe you’d just prefer not to,” he said, sitting forward, and they both laughed. The darkness between them felt suddenly thin, flimsy as tissue paper and even less substantial. His eyes shone through the blackness as the silence stretched between them, and when he finally broke it, his voice was choked.

You’ll have to find out what happens between Lucy and Owen by grabbing a copy.

Jennifer E. Smith is the author of This Is What Happy Looks Like, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, The Storm Makers, You Are Here, and The Comeback Season. She earned a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and currently works as an editor in New York City. Her work has been translated into 27 languages, and her next young adult novel, The Geography of You and Me, will be out in Spring 2014.

Website * Goodreads * Twitter * Tumblr
Tour-Wide Giveaway
– Hardcover copy of The Geography of You and Me
– ebook copy of The Geography of You and Me
– Open internationally
– April 8 – 22

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Are you a blogger and want to receive information about new tours? Go HERE.
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A themed tour with Prism Book Tours

The Rock Star Tour Grand Finale for

What Goes on Tour
By Claire Boston

There’s still time to check out the tour stops, download What Goes on Tour 
for a discounted price, and enter the giveaways. Check it all out below!

What Goes on TourWhat Goes on Tour
by Claire Boston
Adult Contemporary 
Ebook, 282 pages
February 11th 2014 by Momentum Moonlight

What goes on tour, stays on tour … or does it?
Few people know that socially awkward Adrian Hart is actually rock god Kent Downer, and that’s the way Adrian likes it. His privacy is essential, especially now that he has guardianship of his orphaned, ten-year-old niece, Kate. But when the nanny quits in the middle of his tour Adrian finds himself in a bind.

Until Libby Myles walks into his life.
Libby has only ever wanted to become a full-time author and prove to her parents that she can make it on her own. On the surface, the temporary job as the nanny for Kent Downer’s niece looks perfect—the pay is fabulous, the hours are short and Kate is a big fan—it’s the rock star that’s the issue.
Arrogant and way too attractive for anyone’s good, Kent Downer has enough swagger to power a small city. But when he’s out of costume he’s different—shy and uncertain. For Libby it’s a far harder combination to resist. She needs to find a balance between work, writing and ignoring her attraction to the rock star, because if she falls for him, it could mean the end of her dream.
But when a horrible scandal is unleashed—putting young Kate in danger—there’s more heat between Libby and Adrian than just sexual attraction. Libby must figure out if Adrian ever cared for her, or if it was all just part of the show …
SALE! What Goes on Tour for $2 (50% off)!!
Purchase through Momentum’s store from April 8-15.
Click on the “Buy Direct” button and use this coupon code:
Tour Launch

What did author, Claire Boston, say about what she hopes readers take away with them after they’ve read What Goes on Tour?

I’d love it if readers enjoyed the novel and maybe took with them that people are often different from their public persona.

Coffee & Books & Art – Excerpt

Nerves clenched in a death grip in Libby’s stomach. She ignored them, taking some more chocolate, then shifted her weight, lifting her knee so she was sitting sideways on the couch.

All the better to observe the rock star. She needed the distraction. He was attractive, if you went for the bad boy type, with his designer stubble and dark brooding eyes. Libby imagined some women would get a thrill to have those eyes focused on them, even for a moment.

The Written Adventure – Author Interview

7) Which of your characters do you favorite and why?

That’s like asking a mother who their favourite child is! There are things I love about each of them but I guess if I had to choose, Adrian would be my favourite in What Goes on Tour. He was such an interesting character to get to know and I liked working through his issues with him.

All That’s Written – Guest Post: Research & Review

…I also contacted my favourite talk show and asked what happens behind the scenes, before the show is aired. Were there rehearsals? How much makeup had to be applied? What happened after the show? Again there was a really useful response, explaining everything that happened and I realised I had to make a couple of adjustments to my story to incorporate them.

“Well done. No, very well done. It’s not often I find a romance that captures me like this. This is romance in its purest form without being mushy.”

The Wonderings of One Person – Author Interview

What was the inspiration for What Goes On Tour?

The question should probably be who was the inspiration for What Goes on Tour and the answer is Marilyn Manson. I was watching a music video show on television and Marilyn Manson appeared. I wondered what made him create his persona and from there my mind drifted off into a series of ‘what ifs’ and day dreams. It only took about five minutes sitting on the couch to come up with Adrian/Kent and the story progressed from there.

Christy’s Cozy Corners – Guest Post: The Writing Process

Each writer has their own process, their own way of building a story and it can evolve over time. I have friends who plot everything and those who plot nothing and both work for them. And that’s what it’s about. You have to find a process that works for you. I’ll still try out different methods when I hear about them to see if they can work for me and sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t.

But no matter what my writing process involves, one thing remains constant – the love of writing itself.

Kelly P’s Blog – Author Interview

What are you working on right now?

I’ve just finished the dirty draft of a contemporary romance. It’s based around childhood sweethearts who split up just after high school and have just been reunited.

Angels With Attitude Book Reviews – Author Interview

What would you have done differently if you were the main character of your book?

That’s a tricky question because when I’m writing, I constantly fight the urge to make the situation too easy for my character or to have them act like I would act. If I was Libby I would have stood up for myself a lot quicker than she does.

Deal Sharing Aunt – Guest Post: The Path to Publication

If I had to give one piece of advice to aspiring authors it would be to never give up. Nothing happens quickly in this industry and you need to learn your craft before you get to the submission stage. Even after that, it’s very subjective so you need to persevere until you get your manuscript in front of the right person.

C&F: Contests & Freebies – Guest Post: Inspiration

Who is he? Marilyn Manson. 

I was watching one of those music video shows and he came on screen with his dark hair, pale skin and dark makeup and I wondered what made him make up the persona of Marilyn Manson. My brain spiralled through a range of what ifs: 
  • What if it was the only way he could perform in front of people? 
  • What if he was nothing like the character he portrayed? 
  • What if he was the exact opposite? 
  • What if it was his way of hiding from the world? 
And so the character of Adrian/Kent was born…

Tressa’s Wishful Endings – Review

“It is well written with fully-fledged characters, and a happily-ever-after ending. I would recommend this to those who enjoy Adult Romance.”

Bajgajka Loves Books And Giveaways – Excerpt
Libby shifted in her chair and his intense brown eyes met hers. Her heart jolted. He looked slightly horrified, though much friendlier than the cheetah last night.

Though he barely resembled the rock star, Libby was sure it was him. “Hello, Kent.”
The surprise was a shooting star across his face.

“You recognized him!” the girl said as she handed back the notebook. “No one does when he’s not in costume.”

Colorimetry – Playlist

I’ll admit I don’t listen to music when I’m writing. I find it distracting and if I’m having a particularly difficult writing day then I find myself singing along to the songs rather than thinking up what should happen next. Having said that, songs often inspire ideas or help me set the mood for a scene, so I will listen to playlists to help me stay in the mood.

My Love for Reading Keeps Growing – Playlist

When What Goes on Tour first came out I decided to have a book launch. It was reasonably low key, at the local library, with about 70 friends, family and writing and reading enthusiasts attending. . . . wouldn’t it be great if we could get a real rock star to play as people arrived (because a rock star would really love to perform for free at a debut author’s small book launch!). . . . instead I put together a playlist of rock tunes to set the mood of the night. . .
MI Bookshelf – Excerpt

Libby was just Libby, interesting and kind.

And that was another problem. He couldn’t deny he was attracted to her and he had to add that to the equation. The nanny he hired had to be the best for Kate’s well being and nothing to do with him. He’d promised himself he wouldn’t hire anyone he was attracted to. But he also didn’t have a lot of choice.

New Syndrome Book – Excerpt

Libby stood up. She should go. This was their time together and she’d be back in a couple of hours when Adrian had to go to work. “I’ll leave you two and come back in time to make dinner.”

“Stay.” Adrian and Kate spoke simultaneously and then grinned at each other and said, “Jinx!”

Adrian turned to Libby and was more hesitant. “That is, if you don’t have any work of your own.” His gaze was sincere.

“She doesn’t. She’s already halfway through her edits,” Kate said. “You could play a game with us. Uncle Ade said we could play the dancing game today.” She jumped up and snatched the computer game cover. “There are lots of songs to choose from.”

Creating Serenity – Guest Post: Adrian/Kent
The first time Libby meets Adrian, he’s dressed as his alter-ego Kent and this is what she sees.

The other red couch had a single occupant. Not the kind of person you wanted to meet in a dark alley, late at night. 

Kent Downer stared straight at Libby, one hand in his lap, the other over the top of the couch, his long, rangy legs crossed at the ankles. She smiled, but he didn’t respond, staring but not seeing, his attention somewhere far more interesting than these four walls. She took the opportunity to study him. Short, spikey black faux-hawk, pale skin and the thickest black eyeliner she’d ever seen on a man. His clothes were black too. Skinny-leg jeans, plain, fitted T-shirt and a waistcoat that hung unbuttoned at the sides. Stereotypical rock star. She’d never be able to use him in one of her books – she’d have to make him different in some way. Otherwise she’d get the comment from her editor – “Don’t make him a cardboard cut-out.”

When she meets him again, as Adrian, this is her impression.

He was the same height and build as the rock star but that was where the resemblance ended. His dark hair was combed flat, and his white muscle T-shirt and blue jeans made him look like the boy next door.

Mel’s Shelves – Review & Excerpt

“The plot was more complex than I originally thought it would be and I enjoyed it. There were some twists and turns and I knew how I wanted it to end, but wasn’t sure if it would turn in that direction. . . . If you enjoy contemporary rock ‘n roll adult romance, this is the book for you!”

He got her so flustered, being so close. She turned to put some distance between them but stopped as he took her hand.

Heat rushed up her arms. Adrian drew her closer to him.

Her heart slowed and beat heavily in her chest.

“You’ve helped me a lot in these few short days.” He took her other hand so she was facing him directly.
What was he doing? She had to stop this.
Brooke Blogs – Guest Post: Libby

When Kent has an anxiety attack, he uses the image of Libby to help calm himself.

“Kent closed his eyes and focused on the sensation, visualizing her face; her emerald green eyes, her small nose, her hesitant smile and the straight, chocolate brown hair that fell past her shoulders.
She was attractive, in an unassuming way, and he concentrated on that hum of attraction he’d felt when he’d first noticed her in the green room.”

Then a little later in the story he sees her again, in a far different light.

“She was wearing a black leather jacket and green top that made her eyes more emerald, but it was the skinny-leg jeans and high heels that attracted his attention. Where the heck had those legs come from? They went on and on and the jeans clung to them like a second skin.

Platypire Reviews – Review

Within the first two chapters of What Goes on Tour, I was hooked. It was interesting to see how Adrian/Kent’s and Libby’s relationship unfolded, and because it wasn’t rushed, it felt believable. I think that’s a contributing factor of why I liked both characters.

Dividing by Zero – Review & Interview

This novel was well-written – the plot was interesting and entertaining; the characters were by and large believable. . . . I kept turning the pages even when I should have gone to bed, because bedtime came around just as I was reaching the part where the scandal subplot was unfolding, and I had to keep reading to find out what would happen next. This being the author’s debut novel, I’m doubly impressed with it, and can’t wait to read her next book!

If you were to adapt this book for the big screen, who would be in your dream cast?

I’ve been asked this question a few times and every time I come up with a different answer! There are so many talented actors and actresses out there. For Adrian I’d probably go with Benedict Cumberbatch; for Libby, Rose Byrne; and for Kate, Annie Rose Buckley.

Claire Boston was a voracious reader as a child, devouring anything by Enid Blyton as well as series such as Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, The Baby-sitters Club and Sweet Valley High. Then one school holidays when she’d run out of books to read her mother handed her ‘Hot Ice’ by Nora Roberts and Claire instantly fell in love with romance novels.

The love of reading soon turned to a love of writing and she struggled to keep within the 1500 word limit set by her teachers for her creative writing assignments. When she finally decided to become serious about her stories she joined Romance Writers of Australia, found her wonderful critique group and hasn’t looked back.

When Claire’s not reading or writing she can be found in the garden attempting to grow vegetables, or racing around a vintage motocross track. If she can convince anyone to play with her, she also enjoys cards and board games.

Claire lives in Western Australia, just south of Perth with her husband, who loves even her most annoying quirks, and her two grubby, but adorable Australian bulldogs.

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With my third novel, Prince of Malorn, ready to publish by the middle of May, I’m conducting a series of “interviews” with my characters.  This one is the seventh.  Enjoy!

I meet Sergeant Sanjik on a hillside just out of sight of the Mountain Folk army camp, and we sit down on a pair of boulders to talk.  Snow robes the nearby mountain peaks, and although none has fallen at this elevation, the winter breeze makes us shiver. 
“I’m sorry we have to meet here,” Sanjik apologizes, wrapping his coat more tightly around himself, “but for security reasons no visitors are allowed in the camp.”
I assure him I understand and pull out my list of questions.
How would you most like to spend a day off?
“With my family.  I have a wife and two young children, whom I haven’t seen since I came up here last month.  I miss them, but it will most likely be weeks until I see them again – months, even, perhaps.  Of course, depending on how things turn out, I might very well not return alive; and if we don’t defeat Rampus, my life won’t be worth much even if I survive the battle.  That worries me for my family’s sake more than my own.  I would hate to see my son and my little daughter grow up without their father, but unfortunately that’s the way it sometimes happens in war.”
What motivates you?
“The prince’s safety.  I had a lot of respect for his father, the late King Kerman, and I’ve always wondered if I could somehow have prevented his death.  It’s worried me to see the way Regent Rampus has been gaining power, and I’m certain Prince Korram is next on his list of people to eliminate.  As a palace guard, it would be my responsibility to protect him in any case.  But now that he’s given me the charge of training his personal troops, I have the even greater responsibility of helping him gain victory over the regent.”
Do you have any siblings?  How did you get along with them when you were growing up?
“I have a brother and two sisters.  We got along all right, though I was so much younger than any of them that we never really played together.  My brother Ebbrem is fourteen years my elder.  He was always at the top of his class at school and better than anyone else at everything he did – or at least that’s the way it appeared to me as a child.  I looked up to him, but at the same time, I resented the fact that everyone expected me to look up to him, to try to model my life after his.  And so I purposely did things my own way and chose not to follow in his footsteps.  We both liked sword fighting, for example, but rather than use his old weapon, I saved up to buy my own and had it made in a slightly different style.  I arranged to take lessons from a family friend instead of letting him teach me.  I was interested in being a soldier, but after he joined the military, I made up my mind that I never would.  So I ended up on the palace guard instead, and I’ve been quite content there for over a decade.  Look at me now, though.”  Sanjik chuckles.  “Here I am in a position I never dreamed of: in command of Prince Korram’s private army.  My title hasn’t officially changed, but in a way, I’m serving as a general.  Ebbrem doesn’t know about any of this yet, but I can imagine his surprise if he were to find out that for all practical purposes, I outrank him.”
What is your greatest fear?
Sanjik turns sober again.  “I’d never actually trained anyone until the prince gave me this mission – not from scratch, anyway.   I mean, I helped lead training exercises for the new guard recruits, but that’s not the same.  They come in knowing how to fight already, and many of them have been in the military.  Anyway, it’s the captain’s job to really get them in shape and make sure they know the ropes.  Here, I’m the ranking officer, and everything about the soldiers’ training is my responsibility.  I keep thinking how much better Ebbrem would be at this and trying to remember what I’ve heard from him about training soldiers.  I’m doing my best, but I’m constantly worried that it won’t be good enough.  If and when these men and women meet up with Rampus’s troops, then we’ll see whether my training has been sufficient.  I try not to let the soldiers see, but I’m worried that it will all have been for nothing and we’ll just be slaughtered.”  He sighs, staring up the slope toward where I know his soldiers are camped.  “And I worry that we’ll have to fight against my brother.  He’s loyal to Prince Korram and won’t knowingly turn against him, but if I know the regent, he’ll make sure none of the soldiers realize who they’re really fighting against until it’s too late.”
What do you imagine your brother would think of the job you’ve done training Prince Korram’s army?
Sanjik grins.  “I’d like to think he’d be proud of me, but probably his first reaction would be to laugh.  I haven’t exactly followed any normal training procedures, because the Mountain Folk are so different than Lowlanders.  Besides, we don’t have the same resources up here.  There are no uniforms, for example, and I don’t suppose anyone could get the Mountain Folk to wear them even if there were.  I don’t have a trumpet or a trumpeter to play it, so I use a homemade whistle and a series of codes that I made up.  And we don’t have swords, so we’re using their traditional weapons, spears.  I first had to get them to teach me to use one myself, and then I had to think up specific combat techniques and names for them.  It wasn’t easy to teach these things to a peaceful culture that uses their weapons mainly as tools to fish or herd goats.  Most of them had never fought against another person before, or only with their fists, if anything.  The whole idea of being soldiers was foreign to them – I mean, they had no concept of marching and no clue what it meant to stay in formation or stand at attention.  At first they resented being required to do things so contrary to their culture, especially by an outsider.  But they’ve accepted me now and are a lot better at following orders.  Still, I daresay this is the most unusual army Malorn has ever seen.”
What annoys you the most?
“Being compared to my brother.  I’ve chosen my own path in life, and though some would say he’s more successful than I, I wouldn’t trade our positions if I had the choice.  No, I don’t wish I were in the army.  No, I don’t regret not having been promoted as quickly or frequently as he has been.  No, I don’t wish I had as many medals as he’s earned.  No, I’m not jealous of the fact that he’s a captain and I’m only a sergeant.  Things work differently in the palace, and I’m content with the life I have.”
What’s your secret to getting along with the Mountain Folk when so many people look down on them and claim that they’re vicious, uncivilized brutes?
“Those who claim that have certainly never known any personally.  For one thing, they’re definitely not vicious.  They’d be a lot easier to train into soldiers if they were!  And they may be uncivilized, at least by our standards, but they aren’t brutes by any means.  Now that I’ve gotten to know them, I can tell you that they have just as much intelligence, creativity, compassion, and just as good a sense of humor as the average Lowlander.  And when it comes to loyalty and determination, I think most of them are ahead of us.  The thing is, not many Malornians really know much about them, because the Mountain Folk seldom leave the Impassables.  So all we hear in the city are stories from farmers in the foothills, and we’re only getting one side of those stories.  It’s true that the Mountain Folk steal crops, for example, but they don’t think of it as stealing, just picking what they find available.  And I’ve heard stories from them about farmers stealing their goats and horses, cheating them in trade, injuring and even sometimes killing them.  So of course the Mountain Folk resent our people and are less than friendly toward us!  The problem doesn’t lie with the Mountain Folk themselves as much as it does in the misunderstandings between our culture and theirs.  Prince Korram realizes that, and he is determined to change things on both sides once he takes the throne.  Assuming his army and I can help keep him alive long enough to do it, of course.”

Click here to find out about Prince of Malorn, the third book in the Annals of Alasia, and read more interviews with the characters in it.

Click here to read my interviews with characters from my book In the Enemy’s Service.

We are giving away 2 Kindles!! The first one is available via the rafflecopter below. The 2nd is available only to bloggers who post about this giveaway. You can find info on how to enter in the rafflecopter.

  Kindle Fire HDX March

Win a Kindle Fire HDX, Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash ($229 value)

Bloggers & Authors have joined together and each chipped in a little money towards a Kindle Fire HDX 7″.

All New Kindle Fire HDX 7″ Giveaway

The winner will have the option of receiving a 7″ Kindle Fire HDX (US Only – $229 Value)

  Or $229 Amazon.com Gift Card (International)

  Or $229 in Paypal Cash (International)

    Giveaway Sponsors: I Am A ReaderFeed Your ReaderInspired KathyRipple Effect Romance SeriesAuthor M.A. GeorgeThe (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Something year Old GirlMeredith & Jennifer’s MusingsOwl Always Be ReadingAuthor Jennifer LaurensBonnie Blythe’s Pure RomanceBella Street’s Weird RomanceAuthor Jennifer FayeGood Choice ReadingReviews from a BookwormBarbara SilkstoneRae Z. Ryans, AuthorThe Stubby PencilAuthor David PandolfeHallowed Ink PressAuthor Louise CaiolaThe Reporter and The GirlMore Than a ReviewKathryn JonesOnce Upon a TwilightAuthor Jason ParentAuthor Amanda TruAuthor Cidney SwansonPaige W. PendletonClaudia BurgoaP.M. Richter – authorRoAnna SylverTigris EdenThe Bloggers NestJ.L. WeilThe Cheap EbookLuthando CoeurAuthor Mary Ting/M. ClarkeAuthor Alecia StoneKellysLuckyYouRebecca TalleyAuthor Kimber Leigh WheatonSimple WyrdingsTressa’s Wishful EndingsParanormal book Club (PBC)Author Stephanie FarisAuthor Inger IversenAuthor Theresa DaLayneWhere The Broken Lie by Derek RempferBound 4 EscapeAuthor Laura Diamond   Sign up to sponsor the next Kindle Giveaway here: http://www.iamareader.com/category/kindle-giveaway-sign-ups   Giveaway Details 1 winner will receive their choice of an all new Kindle Fire 7″ HDX (US Only – $229 value), $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash (International). There is a second separate giveaway for bloggers who post this giveaway on their blog. See details in the rafflecopter on how to enter to win the 2nd Kindle Fire HDX 7″. Ends 3/31/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

It’s my pleasure to welcome guest author Valerie Howard to my blog today.  She’ll be sharing about her fantasy novel Avalon.  Be sure to check it out and visit her online through the links at the bottom!

Book Blurb:

Avalon is an allegorical novella, written to emphasize and magnify the story of salvation. It is my story of God’s forgiveness of my sins, as it is every Christian’s story of how Christ saved them and will someday bring them home.
The main character is a young woman named Mara — she is a rebel prisoner sentenced to slave labor until the day of her execution arrives. When Prince Justinius arrives at the slave yard one morning, Mara is convinced her life is about to come to an abrupt end. But the Prince has different plans. Will Mara side with her enemies to save her life? Or will she cling to her rebel cause and risk losing everything?

Author Bio:

Valerie Howard is a pastor’s wife and a stay-at-home-mom from Maine who writes novels in her “spare time”. (When her son decides to nap.) She graduated from Piedmont Baptist College with a degree in Missions, and is joining her husband in a church planting ministry in New England in the near future. She is the author of 15 books and plays for ages 4 and  up. Valerie enjoys wearing flip-flops and eating chocolate, preferably at the same time.


Website: www.ValerieHowardBooks.com
Blog: www.PenHelp.wordpress.com
Facebook Fan Page: www.Facebook.com/ValerieHowardBooks
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PenHelp
Link to buy on Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00GAMSVIK

Friendship – Four Week Mini Bible Study By Ashley Ferris

About the Book:

Let’s explore the gift of friendship- what a devoted friendship looks like, how to handle the waiting period, and how to deepen current, valued friendships. If you are in a season where you find yourself light on friends, I want this study to be an encouragement that this season will have an expiration date. If you are in a place where you feel you have many friends, I hope you can use this study to evaluate the depth and purpose of those friendships. It may spur you to take risks to deepen some already beautiful friendships. It may also help you see that there are some unhealthy ties that may need to be prayed over and potentially ended. Finally, if you have friendships that are deep, but you tend to pull away when you are confronted, I hope you will see the value that lies before you. I pray that you will endure uncomfortable conversations with deep friends (that you know have your best interests at heart) in order to grow in friendship and as a daughter of the King.

Connect with author Ashley Ferris here:Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


We are so excited to celebrate this Kindle new release with you by hosting a giveaway! Just enter for your chance to win a Kindle copy of Friendship – Four Week Mini Bible Study and a $50 Amazon gift card! a Rafflecopter giveaway Disclosure: Some affiliate links have been used within this post! This giveaway is sponsored by the Becoming Press Book Launch Bloggers.