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Friday, September 18, 2020

Book Blitz: The Vicar's Daughter by Blair Bancroft #promo #gothic #regencyromance #bookbuzz @blairbancroft @BookBuzznet


Gothic Regency Romance

Released: August 2020

Publisher: Kone Enterprises


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Independent and capable Prudence Wedderburn, daughter of a vicar, is a woman before her time. She not only manages the parish duties usually performed by a vicar's wife, she has learned the art of healing, and during her father's final illness, she also assumes some of his religious duties—all actions welcomed by her village until her father's death abruptly ends her life as First Lady of Kenner's Cove, Kent.

Well aware she must curb her independence—even learn to practice subservience, a quality entirely unknown to her—Prudence accepts a position as governess to a five-year-old girl in Cornwall. Where, alas, rumors of her activities in Kent plunge her into difficulties with the church, she clashes with her pupil's father (an earl), finds herself hip-deep in smugglers and Cornish legends, is befriended by a 500-year-old cat, and discovers that someone—several someones?—want to kill her. Finding a happy ending in a deluge of disasters will be the vicar's daughter's greatest challenge.


 

 


 

About the Author

My mother was a highly successful author of children's books, and for many years it never occurred to me it was possible to have two authors in the same family. I pursued a career in music, as teacher and performer, touring in the first National Company of The Sound of Music. But only when my children were off to college did I seriously consider trying my own hand at writing. And discovered I loved it. To be able to create people, even whole worlds from the imagination is a never-ending joy.

I was fortunate enough to win a number of writing awards, but after nine print books, in 2011 I plunged into the world of e-books and never looked back. It offers a level of creative freedom not to be found anywhere else. As Blair Bancroft, I have become best known for books set in the Regency period (early 19th c.)—Regency Gothics, Regency Historicals, Traditional Regencies, and a series that reveals the darker side of the Regency era (The Aphrodite Academy). I also write SciFi/Fantasy/Paranormal, Romantic Suspense, and Mystery, with a Medieval Young Adult and a Steampunk thrown in for good measure. (I do enjoy experimenting with new genres.)

I now have more than forty books available through online vendors, including a non-fiction compilation of all the Writing and Editing tips posted to my blog since 2011 (Making Magic with Words).

I am an outspoken advocate of "out of the mist" writing. One of my favorite sayings: I can hardly wait to sit down to my computer each morning and find out what my characters are going to do today.

 

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RABT Book Tours & PR

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Release Blitz: The White Field by Douglas Cole #promo #releaseday #crime #urban #noir #fiction #bookbuzz #rabtbooktours @BookBuzznet @TheShadow_man

 

Crime Fiction, Urban Fiction, Noir, Drama

Release Date: September 18, 2020

Publisher: TouchPoint Press


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The White Field is a fast-paced journey of a man, Tom, fresh out of prison and trying desperately to rebuild his life. But he is caught by mysterious, unseen forces beyond his knowledge or control. After his release from prison, he is dropped back into the world in the wastelands of the city. In the menial work afforded the underclass, he begins his new life among characters at the edges of society, dwellers of the netherworld such as Raphael, a former cop from Mexicali singing Spanish arias in the mists of the industrial night among drug addicts and crooked cops; Tony, a stoner scholar with an encyclopedic knowledge of history based solely on the intricate study of rock and roll; and Larry, the bloated, abusive manager trapped as much as his workers in a world of tedium and repetition and machines. Think, The Three Stooges on acid. Unable to reconnect with what’s left of his family, Tom embarks on a criminal path more harrowing than the one that led him to prison in the first place. Lured in by the nefarious, Thane, he slips into a plan that will leave him with no way back. And with no place left in this world to go but prison, he makes one last run for freedom. Will he escape?

 

Praise for The White Field:

 

“The White Field is a rabid yet tender odyssey into the oscillating abyss of an ex- convict degenerating into redemption. Cole writes with haunting splendor, illuminating the dreams of the doomed.” —Matthew Dexter, author of The Ritalin Orgy

 

“Author Douglas Cole’s breakneck prose places us squarely in the hectic mind of a man influenced from all sides, seeking a life free from fear. The result is a stunning narrative that is simultaneously frightening and familiar.” —Kerri Farrell Foley, Managing Editor Crack The Spine.


 

 

 Excerpt

 

I walked into the sun. It seared the road and the rooftops, intense, blinding. I went up Eighty-Eighth Street through the homes and the old elms with their heavy summer growth and darkness along their limbs, light strobing through the shadows. I knew someone might recognize me. They might even call the police. But I couldn’t resist. I was free, now. Nobody could touch me.

Only those who cared, and by now there were none, would have known my release date. My wife may have known. At one time, I imagined her writing it on a wall calendar, marking off each day leading up to it with a big, black X. But I knew I’d fallen far from her thoughts.

I couldn’t be sure of my children, though. They were so young when I went in they could have forgotten all about me. My wife had remarried. Very likely they called her new husband daddy. Very likely, they thought he was. Events had erased me. After all, I’d made no contact. And while I had no idea what my wife might have told them, unless she’d changed in ways I couldn’t foresee, I knew she’d tell them the truth if they asked and say nothing if they didn’t. At worst, they believed I was dead.

And that life seemed like something unreal. There were no traces of it around here. But my sense of time was way off. From counting, literally, minutes as they passed, I went into a vast timeless trancezone where whole years vanished. In the midst of this, I reemerged from time to time to peer into my little cell of life with seconds hanging like drops of water on a window ledge and refusing to fall. But now, walking this street, I was the last person anyone around here was expecting to see.

So, as I went up Eighty-Eighth to the old house, I had this strange feeling that I was invisible. In the dusk light, I saw the windows of the houses blazing. Commuters on their way home shot by and curved around the meridians in the intersections, their faces steel traps that snapped and flashed mirror eyes and grim lips and frenzy, frenzy for home, motion so fast they blurred into tracer ribbons. And the sun only cloaked me that much more. Even my shadow was a rail.

And I heard it, that high tension ping, like my own past ringing from the driveway and those days when I was a kid, too, playing into evening as our faces disappeared in the darkness with only the square of the backboard above and the black sphere of the ball and the heat and breath of the other players around me. Then I saw them, three boys playing basketball in the driveway. One was a tall gangly kid with long black hair and ripped jeans and a T-shirt with the word ENEMY printed on it. Another kid stood beside him, but the light made it hard to see his features. Then, the ball landed on the rim, bounced up, arced over to the other side of the rim, hung there suspended in the net for a moment and then dropped through. The third boy stood back from his shot with his hands on his hips, breathing hard, turning his head slowly as I saw, I swear, my own face there in front of me.

With a brow of concentration like a hawk’s predatory gaze, he looked at me as our eyes locked for an eternal moment that I thought carried some recognition, but the moment changed before I could read it.

Then, I was passing on, and my son returned to his game.


About the Author

Douglas Cole has published six collections of poetry, a novella and has a novel, The White Field, coming out in September with Touchpoint Press. His work has appeared in several anthologies as well as The Chicago Quarterly Review, The Galway Review, Bitter Oleander, Louisiana Literature and Slipstream. He has been nominated twice for a Pushcart and Best of the Net and received the Leslie Hunt Memorial Prize in Poetry. He lives and teaches in Seattle. His website is https://douglastcole.com/.

 

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RABT Book Tours & PR

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Release Blitz: Conversations With the Past by Aura Imbarus, Ph.D. #promo #releaseday #nonfiction #selfhelp #giveaway #rabtbooktours @AuraImbarus


 How to Let Go of the Past, Redefine Your Present, and Create a Positive Future

Non Fiction / Self-help

Date Published: Sept 17

Publisher: Rainbow Ridge


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There are no accidents in this life—and the more aware we become, the more we’re able discover the patterns that challenge, elevate, and enlighten us. In "Conversations with the Past," Dr. Aura Imbarus delves into many of the profound experiences she’s had over the years—from emotional breakdowns to spiritually elevated states—in order to help people discover and understand their own purpose in life. Through this exploration, we will all be inspired to examine our own lives and take the necessary steps to enhance our happiness and well-being.

Emotional, physical, and spiritual experiences are all part of the intricate, interwoven tapestry of existence. And though it may sometimes feel like finding our life’s purpose is difficult and elusive, Dr. Imbarus demonstrates how it can, and will, be revealed to the curious mind and willing hear.

 

 About the Author

Dr. Aura Imbarus is an awarded educator, freelance journalist, motivational speaker, and author of the critically acclaimed Amazon best-seller and Pulitzer Prize entry, Out of the Transylvania Night: A Story of Tyranny, Freedom, Love and Identity (Bettie Youngs Books, 2010), a memoir detailing her life in Romania during the Communist regime and an upcoming self-help book, Conversations with the Past: A Journey Home (Rainbow Ridge Books, August 2020).

She is also the President and Founder of See Beyond Media, a company focusing on adolescents’ challenges in the 21st century, having as its launching platform See Beyond Magazine (www.seebeyondmag.com).  See Beyond Media also offers life coaching and author coaching (www.seebeyondmedia.com).

Dr. Imbarus has a BA in Foreign Languages; MA in American and British Studies and a PhD in World Humanities. Since 1998, she has been teaching high school and college level classes in So. Cal. Dr. Imbarus is a licensed hypnotherapist, having trained with Dr. Brian Weiss and Dr. Wanita Holmes.

She was featured on NBC, ABC, CNBC, Good Morning San Diego, Forbes Romania, etc.

In 2019, she received President’s Volunteer Service Award signed by President Donald Trump.

Aura Imbarus is the President and Co-Founder of RAPN – Romanian American Professional Network and one of the founding members of RACC – Romanian-American Chamber of Commerce, Los Angeles Chapter. She sits on the Advisory Council of CA Ballet, is a member of Royal Society of St. George, SACC – Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce. She was a mentor for Scott L. Schwartz Children’s Foundation, a non-profit and professional organization whose mission is to help children with disabilities, and she sat on the Board of Wesley Foundation UCLA and Blue Heron Foundation.

She writes for Palos Verdes Pulse, The Global Woman Magazine (London); Elephant Journal, Beverly Hills Times Magazine, The Immigrant, Hermannstader Zeitung in Transylvania and also works as a freelance journalist for Entertainment and Sports Today.

In her free time she likes to go dancing, hiking, skiing, yoga, gym, sailing; she loves traveling.


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Release Blitz: Starfighter Rising by Daniel Seegmiller #promo #releaseday #sciencefiction #scifi #giveaway #rabtbooktours @DanSeegWrites


 Science Fiction

Date Published: 9/17/2020


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The enemy wanted him. The galaxy needed him.

Sixty years ago Nolvarics nearly conquered the solar system. They were defeated by starfighters.

Konran dreamed of becoming a starfighter, but he blew his one shot five years ago. Now his life is stuck in neutral as a glorified rock hauler.

He didn’t expect to find Nolvarics lurking within the solar system. They didn’t expect him to survive the confrontation.

Now all eyes are on Konran as he is plunged into a whirlwind of space battles, peril, and conspiracy. The Nolvarics will stop at nothing to catch him, dead or alive.

Can Konran rise up and claim his destiny, or will the galaxy fall?

 


Excerpt


Finally, his target comes into view. Barely visible despite the sparkling backdrop of one hundred million Milky Way stars, an icy, gravitationally bonded cluster of space rocks emerges through the inky darkness of deep space: one of a hundred Nolvaric operating bases lurking out here in the Kuiper Belt.

Some of the ice rocks loom large with the diameter of Neptune’s Nereid. Others glisten like meteors, swirling dangerously throughout the chaotic cluster on rapid, angular orbits. Ambient light is scarce at 5.9 billion kilometers from the sun, but Konran has no trouble seeing. Holographic overlays enhance his vision, displaying the objects teeming about by rendering their infrared emissions and quantum gravity distortions. Augmented so, the scene almost looks like a video game from the ’80s—the 2180s, to be precise.

Nolvaric starfighters converge on Konran like bloodthirsty mosquitos at sunset. With four wings like crab legs, pointed fuselages like herons’ beaks, and shark-fin masts protruding from the top and bottom, the enemy starfighters glint like demon spiders against the galactic backdrop. Known as Askeras, these are the nimblest, nastiest, most infamous of all Nolvaric starfighters. No longer able to ignore the escalating starfighter threat, Konran’s plasma cannons unleash upon his foe. Mounted in rotating turrets at his Sparrowhawk’s wingtips and nose, the cannons gyrate like shoulders in sockets, auto-tracking Nolvaric targets and spraying plasmic death in all directions. Enemies surround him, and Konran jolts and jags through their ranks. Askeras explode like firecrackers as he evades their return fire.

Passing through their midst, he stabilizes his trajectory and slows down just enough, letting them get close. The Askeras flock behind him, closing in as if for the kill.

Works every time, he thinks with a grin.

Konran inverts his Sparrowhawk, and his cockpit and craft reorient in an instant, flipping his point of view toward his aft thruster. In the same instant, his wingtip and nose-tip plasma cannons transmute from guns to gravito-nuclear rocket engines, providing him maneuvering capability as his formerly aft thruster assumes the role of megacannon.

Konran’s fingers find the targeting solution before his computer signals a lock.

He pulls the trigger, unleashing a concentrated kiloton blast of plasmic devastation from what moments before had been his backside. Fifteen Askeras disintegrate as forty more scatter. Konran reverts his Sparrowhawk, his weapons and propulsion systems resume their standard roles, and he rockets once more toward the gravitationally bonded cluster of chaos that was the Nolvaric operating base.

His Sparrowhawk careens around the diameter of an ice-encrusted, Texas-size rock, skirting no more than a dozen meters above its surface. More crablike Askeras descend upon him, and he releases his orbit, quickly dodging through a cloud of man-size space debris before losing the Askeras between a scattering of larger space rocks.

Gravity switches constantly within the agitated anarchy of asteroids, but Konran adjusts effortlessly, surfing the gravitational gradients like he was born for this kind of action. His guns tear through another pack of Askeras as he winds around an oblong icicle half the size of Portugal. And then there it is: a glowing, pulsating ice rock at the center of the swirling chaos—the heart of the Nolvaric operating base.

It rotates there, seemingly slower than the surrounding bedlam. It beckons to Konran, washing his cockpit in an ethereal, incandescent green. More Askeras focus on him, and he diverts all power to his aft thruster, jetting forward on the power of a thousand sequential gravito-nuclear explosions.

This will be the only attack run, the one chance to win or die.

Konran inverts his Sparrowhawk. His cockpit flips and his craft reorients in preparation for the killing stroke. A green light appears at the edge of the energy source, then another and another, revealing the deadliest of the Nolvaric defenses: concentrated plasmic energy bundles propelled like cannonballs from the heart itself. The green plasma balls fill the vacuous space before him, each trying to end him. They destabilize as they get close, exploding with vicious stored energy and rocking his Sparrowhawk with relentless plasmic shockwaves. Konran dodges one, then ten, then fifty of the blasts, intent on his target.

His megacannon comes within range, and he depresses the trigger.

A column of orange plasma leaps from his Sparrowhawk: a kiloton of destruction inbound on the target as if someone had just hooked a firehose up to a hurricane and funneled in all the lightning at once. The green Nolvaric heart shudders, wracking and cracking beneath the blast. Konran’s sensor displays indicate massive fissures forming within the glowing green asteroid—but it isn’t dead yet. His trigger finger itches as his megacannon cycles and he dances between waves of green plasma balls.

One more well-placed shot will complete the job.

Konran knows the spot, feeling it more than seeing it within the monstrosity of a space rock. He takes aim, angling slightly with a careful boost from his dual nose-tip cannons—which, inverted so, are presently providing propulsion to his Sparrowhawk.

He squeezes the trigger.

And with an enormous green flash, a Nolvaric plasma ball smashes straight into his cockpit. And everything goes black.



About the Author

Daniel Seegmiller grew up loving Star Wars, Mech Warriors, and all things sports. He started out as an English major before switching to his other love, science. He has an MS in mechanical engineering and has worked on everything from biomechanics, to machine learning, to defense technology.

Daniel loves dreaming up awesome adventures…like, literally, he wakes up in the middle of the night with the best ideas. Most of the stories he writes are for his kids. Starfighter Rising is his debut novel.

He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico with his wife and three squirrelly children. 

 

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RABT Book Tours & PR

Release Blitz: Hollywood Player by Alexa Aston #promo #releaseday #romance #bookbuzz #rabtbooktours @BookBuzznet @AlexaAston


Hollywood Name Game, Book 3

Contemporary Romance

Date Published: September 17, 2020


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She has zero friends . . . and is wary of men, living life as a recluse.

His only friend is 90 and when she dies, he’s adrift.

Can a dyslexic actor and a shy loner find happiness together?

Famous from the time she was fourteen, London Russell lands the cover of Sports Illustrated to cap off her modeling career. Leaving the fashion world behind, she follows her dream of becoming a singer-songwriter. Thanks to an ex-boyfriend’s vicious attack on her, London becomes a recluse who turns out hits but never tours—and can’t trust a man. Her life changes course when she encounters a Hollywood screenwriter and director and agrees to write the theme song for their next movie.

Knox Monroe grew up as America’s darling, a child actor featured on several popular television series. After his mother’s betrayal, Knox drops out of sight, returning years later to make the successful transition to adult roles. A known womanizer and loner, Knox meets London by chance. Through her connections, he winds up with the lead role in a new movie.

Will London be able to open her heart and move past Knox’s player reputation? And will Knox knock down the emotional fortress that he’s built around his heart?

In Hollywood, anything’s possible. . .

Hollywood Player is the third book in the Hollywood Name Game series. Each book in the series is a standalone story that can be enjoyed out of order.

 

 

Other Books in the Hollywood Name Game Series:

 

Hollywood Heartbreaker

Hollywood Name Game, Book 1

Release Date: August 6, 2020


From internationally bestselling romance author Alexa Aston comes a stunning new Contemporary Romance series. Book One in the exciting Hollywood Name Game series has arrived. Read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited!

 

Being late to an interview lands her the biggest job opportunity of her life.

He may be rich and successful—but he’s just this side of miserable.

Can a wannabe be The One for the biggest star in Hollywood?

Cassie Carroll came to Hollywood with big dreams that never materialized. Acting isn’t even on the back burner anymore—it’s completely off the stove. Working for a third-rate agent, Cassie hopes to land a new job that will give her credibility, as well as help pay the rent. Late to her interview, she swerves to avoid hitting a dog—and totals the car of Hollywood’s leading action superstar. Surprisingly, she walks away from their encounter with a job—as the sexiest man alive’s personal assistant.

Rhett Corrigan is bored with the movies he makes and the drop-dead gorgeous model he’s dating. He’s afraid that Hollywood has typecast him—and that he’ll never be able to break out of his action mold and try new acting challenges. When Cassie Carroll literally slams into his life, she brings a breath of fresh air and common sense to his world. She pushes him to be a better actor and a better man

Can these friends become lovers—and can their love survive—in a tabloid-happy town that thrives on rumors and backstabbing?

 

Read Free with Kindle Unlimited

 

 

 

Hollywood Flirt

Hollywood Name Game, Book 2

Release Date: August 27, 2020

 

From internationally bestselling romance author Alexa Aston – Book Two in the exciting Hollywood Name Game – a stunning new contemporary romance series. Read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited!

 

She’s Hollywood royalty whose trail vanished a dozen years ago.

He doesn’t do relationships and thinks commitment is a four-letter word.

They Google each other . . . and sparks fly . . .

Sydney Revere, the daughter of a famous movie couple, left Hollywood behind over a decade ago. Christened The Wild Child by the media, she reinvents herself as a serious student who becomes an attorney and marries a safe, predictable man. When her husband cheats on her and the law loses its glitter, Sydney returns to Hollywood. Her father hires her to storyboard his upcoming movie, No Regrets—and then stuns Sydney when he offers her the job as his assistant director.

Dash DeLauria is a rising actor who hasn’t trusted a woman since his mother left. He’s now the guardian of his mentally-challenged brother. Dash is looking to grow professionally and after he wins the lead in No Regrets, he finds he’s lost his heart and soul to Sydney. With both their careers on the upswing, life is sweet.

But Sydney’s ex-husband isn’t finished with her yet. Discovering who she really is—and that she’s wealthy—he tracks her to California, ready to start over with her again.

No matter what it takes . . .

Hollywood Flirt is the second book in the Hollywood Name Game series. Each book in the series is a standalone story that can be enjoyed out of order.

 

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Coming Soon:

Book 4 – Hollywood Double

Book 5 – Hollywood Enigma

 

 


 

Excerpt


“Bunker!”

London looked up and saw a dog bounding her way. Before she could react, the golden flash crashed into her table, spilling her glass of tea everywhere. She opened her mouth to speak and the dog jammed his nose into her crotch. Mortified, London tried to push it away. 

“Bunker!” she heard a second time. Looking up, London saw Seth Walker dashing toward her, a leash with a dangling collar in one hand. No, not Seth Walker. The actor who played Seth Walker in her favorite movie franchise.

The one whose name escaped her as he arrived at her table.

His cobalt blue eyes looked even bluer against his tanned face and sun-kissed blond hair. If Adonis had come to life, he would be this man.

“I’m going to kill you,” the actor growled, frowning at the dog. “I mean it.”

The golden retriever buried his nose against her leg.

London burst out laughing.

“I apologize for my dog’s lack of manners.” He reach to latch onto the dog but Bunker was having none of it. He wriggled even closer to London, mashing her skirt against her. The man’s hands froze. She knew he hesitated because it might be hard to get a decent grip on the dog without invading London’s very personal space.

“I give up,” he said in frustration. “Do you think you could help me out?”

“It’s my favorite thing in life to help a man in need.”

Wait . . . was she flirting? She never flirted. Ever. Ever. Ever.

He smiled then, exposing even, white teeth against his tan. Amusement lit his eyes.

“Hand it over.” She reached out and he surrendered the collar, still attached to the leash.

She pried the dog’s nose away from her and looped an arm about him as she slid the collar over his head and lowered it to where it sat loosely around his neck.

Bunker’s owner knelt and tightened the collar. “I won’t fall for that look again,” he told the dog.

“What look is that?” she asked.

He grinned. “The pathetic one that tells me his collar is too tight. The one that got me to loosen it up, which was all the invitation he needed to slip out of it and make his way lightning fast to the most beautiful girl on the block.”

London sensed the blush creeping up her neck. To distract herself, she reached out to pet the dog. Her fingers glided through his silky, golden fur.

“Mind if I sit?” the handsome actor asked.

“Be my guest.”

He sank into the chair next to her and ran a hand through his thick hair. London suddenly wanted to run her fingers through his hair and not Bunker’s. She averted her eyes and focused on the dog again.

“I owe you a drink. At the least. For Bunker’s impertinence. And for making this mess.” He glanced at his watch. “I guess it’s too early for a glass of wine.”

She grinned. “It’s never too early for wine. I spent a lot of years in Tuscany. I’m surprised my father didn’t give me wine in a sippy cup for breakfast.”

He laughed and she liked how his eyes crinkled up when he did. How the smile touched his mouth as much as his eyes. Seth Walker didn’t smile much on screen but this actor did in real life. It made her pulse quicken. Suddenly, she recalled his name. Knox. Knox Monroe.

“Then wine it is. Anything in particular strike your fancy in the middle of the afternoon?”

“I love a good red. No matter what time it is.”

He gave her an appreciative nod. “A good red for a beautiful redhead. I like it.”


 

About the Author

Award-winning and internationally bestselling author Alexa Aston lives with her husband in a Dallas suburb, where she eats her fair share of dark chocolate and plots out stories while she walks every morning. She’s a binge fiend (The Crown and Ozark are favorites) who enjoys travel, sports, and time with her family.

Her historical romances bring to life loveable rogues and dashing knights, while her contemporary romances are light and flirty and sometimes contain a bit of suspense.

 

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RABT Book Tours & PR

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Release Blitz: Against My Better Judgement by B.T. Polcari #promo #releaseday #mystery #newadult #youngadult #rabtbooktours @btpolcari


Mauzzy and Me Mystery, Book 1

Mystery, New Adult, Young Adult

Date Published: September 16, 2020

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press


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When freshman year at the University of Alabama draws to a close, Sara Donovan finds herself grappling with the same old question—listen to her head or follow her heart. What she ends up doing is purchasing an Egyptian

souvenir funerary mask, and after a mysterious phone call, she's certain a ring of antiquities smugglers are operating in Tuscaloosa.

With finals never far from her mind and her return to 'Bama hanging in the balance, she should be studying. Instead she launches her own investigation to prove her mask is indeed a stolen artifact, and not a cheap trinket. When it comes time to snoop, Sara is more than ready, or at least she was until a hot new teaching assistant moves in next door.

Suddenly she learns things are never as they seem. Ever.


About the Author

After a long career as a business executive, B.T. Polcari tried to retire. Spoiler alert: he's really bad at retirement. Bowling, tennis, and sailing can only keep you busy for so long, so B.T. is now pursuing his childhood dream of becoming a published author.

 

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Monday, September 14, 2020

Release Blitz: Pairs with Life by John Taylor #promo #releaseday #humor #fiction #romanticcomedy #giveaway #hurnpublications #rabtbooktours @JATauthor

 

Humorous Fiction, Romantic Comedy 

Date Published: September 15, 2020

Publisher: Hurn Publications


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 Forty-eight-year-old Corbett Thomas, a one-hit wonder of the 90s, now works as the lead sommelier at Napa Valley’s hippest restaurant. Set to become one of the few Master Sommeliers in the world, Corbett self-destructs during his final exam, ruining his last chance at capturing the stardom and adoration he got a taste for in his youth.

When billionaire game designer, Brogan Prescott, asks Corbett to consult on a major vineyard acquisition, Corbett sees it as a shot at redemption, until he learns of Brogan’s ridiculous vision of a virtual-reality, Woke Ant Colony Winery. Disgusted, Corbett decides to buy the vineyard himself and preserve its magic and history. Cashless, clueless, and with his reputation in tatters, Corbett enlists the help of his bass-player-turned-lawyer Seamus O’Flaherty, who may have finally lost his stomach for Corbett’s bad ideas; his uber-rational daughter Remy, who wants Corbett to uncork some family secrets he’d rather leave in the cellar; and Sydney Cameron, whose sudden appearance in Corbett’s life may repair his heart or shatter it forever.

With their help-and sometimes despite it-Corbett discovers what Brogan has known all along: a four-billion-dollar gold deposit lies beneath the vineyard. If Brogan acquires the property, the ensuing gold rush will destroy Napa Valley.

But if Corbett can get out of his own way long enough to purchase the vineyard first, he’ll be faced with the hardest decision of his life: take the fame and fortune he desperately craves, or save the soul of the valley he loves so much.


 


Excerpt

 

Let’s get one thing clear - I won that bet fair and square, even though I cheated.

I blame the whole thing on Rick Dornin, who was being particularly douchey that night. I used to be able to choose whichever party I wanted to serve without question. That is, until Dornin arrived at Appellation with his anal-retentive online calendar and industrial-grade Napoleon complex.

Yes, that Appellation. The most coveted dining experience in all of Napa Valley, and one of only nine restaurants in America awarded three Michelin stars. It took a DNA sample and a copy of your credit report to get a table, and then you’d better be ready to cash in your 401(k) when the bill came.

The evening started out normally enough. I arrived at the restaurant an hour before my shift to check reservations, talk to Chef Dan about the evening’s specials, and think of pairings for the prix fixe. Dornin was in his office—a modified broom closet next to the staff bathroom that looked like a hoarder’s den with one, tiny deer trail leading to his desk. In fact, he was always in his office, even when service was slammed, which drove me batshit crazy. I don’t care if you’re General Manager or General Patton—when it’s time to schlep a plate or buff a glass, you step up and do it.

Anyway, I poked my head through the doorway and said, “Hey, Rick,” trying to keep things light and cheery. “What do you know about this Harrison party at eight?”

“Whales,” he replied, not bothering to look up from his purchase orders. “Big whales, like Moby Dick whales.”

“Sweet!” Visions of stockbrokers trying to one-up each other with bottles of Screaming Eagle at five thousand bucks a pop danced in my head. Tips so big they come in a brown paper bag.

“Yes.” Dornin finally looked up at me and grinned like he learned how to do it from an infomercial. “They’ll be in the Veraison Room. With Andrew.”

“What?” I lunged into the tiny office, nearly tripping over a carton of water glasses. “You can’t give it to Andrew!”

“I can give it to whoever I want.” He went back to his purchase orders, feigning a nonchalance that made me want to smack him. “If I want to move Felipe off of bussing and let him pop some corks, I could do that, too.”

Time for a different tack—one that wouldn’t involve me going full-on Hannibal Lecter. “I’m just saying that a party like that comes to a restaurant like this to experience the highest level of service in the world. I’m the guy they’re coming for, not Andrew. I sit for my Master Somm next week, and—”

 “You know what you are, Corbett? You’re an overpaid bartender.” Dornin had thin lips and an Adam’s apple the size of Detroit, and it bugged me. “You trained for twenty years to learn how to pull a cork from a bottle and tell people that red wine goes with steak. Whoop-tee-freaking-do. You’ll work the floor tonight, and you can have the Jansen party on the terrace at seven-thirty.”

My left eyebrow started twitching, which happens when I get stressed out. Apparently, no one can see it, but to me, it feels like a two-year-old is digging tiny fingers into my face and stretching it like saltwater taffy. I considered trying the No One Has Experience At Up-Selling Like I Do approach, but this was the third time in as many weeks I’d had such a run-in with Dornin.

I was done.

It was time to talk to Chef Dan.

Most people remember Chef Daniel Foyer from his five seasons on Elite Chef, The Food Channel’s number one show from 1998 to 2002. With a chin so chiseled it could slice a burnt chuck steak and blue eyes that screamed, “Come taste this gazpacho in my bedroom,” he was the prototype celebrity chef. But Father Time had been most inhospitable to Chef Dan, and for the past couple of years the poor soul tried to counteract a rapid aging process by dunking his scalp and Sam Elliott-sized mustache in a fifty-gallon drum of jet-black hair dye. The net effect was so incongruous with the rest of his wrinkled face that I could barely look at him without drowning in the shore break of cognitive dissonance.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved the guy. He was a loyal and trusted friend, and straight-up the most amazing culinary artist of my generation. But if I’d had any money, I would have bought stock in Just For Men and eventually retire on my Chef Dan profits alone.


About the Author

John Taylor has been writing about wine since 2012, but his meanderings on life began way before that. Born and raised in San Diego, California, John moved to Los Angeles in 1982 to pursue dreams of screenwriting and filmmaking. He attended the University of Southern California, where he majored in Shattered Dreams and False Hopes, with a minor in Getting Gut Punched By Reality. After being handed a degree in Journalism in 1987 as a consolation prize, John dove into a career in music. Because getting gut-punched just isn’t painful enough.

By 1996, John and his band, The Uninvited, had produced four independent albums and became one of the most popular acts in the western United States. This lead to a deal on Atlantic Records, which released the band’s self-titled debut album in 1997. The band had two Top 100 hits, and toured nationally with Dave Matthews, Blues Traveller, Third Eye Blind and many other acts. Their music appeared in the TV shows Beverly Hills 90210 and Party of Five, and in the motion pictures The Commandments and North Beach. The band can also be heard in several HBO Documentaries, video games and on that annoying “One Hit Wonders of The 90’s” station your co-worker always plays on Spotify.

In 2001, John’s vast experience in shattered dreams was once again called into play as the band hung up their touring shoes for good. After a brief but horrifying career in real estate, John got wise and made a career out of his favorite hobby – wine – and has held various sales & marketing positions in Napa Valley since 2011. John’s writing career started in earnest at this point, with blogs, essays and short stories appearing in various publications. John is the author of three novels, including the aptly-titled Pairs With: Life, which will be released by Hurn Publications in September 2020.

 

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