Monday, March 22, 2021

Deep River Promise (+ Giveaway)

 I’m delighted to tell you about author Jackie Ashenden’s upcoming release, DEEP RIVER PROMISE.

Deep River Promise
by Jackie Ashenden
Series: Alaska Homecoming #2
Publication Date: 3/30/2021
Genre: Contemporary

Coming home was the easy part. Facing her will take everything he’s got…

Silas Quinn hasn’t been back to Deep River, Alaska, in years, not since he joined the army. He left behind the best friend he’d ever had. But he knew Hope Dawson was meant for bigger things than Deep River—and he—had to offer. What he didn’t know was that when he left, he took Hope’s dreams right along with him…

Then tragedy strikes and sends Silas home, and the entire town is thrown into chaos when they learn what brought him back—he’s inherited ownership of the town and the newly discovered oil reserves under it!

Hope gave up on ever getting out of Deep River. Her mom needed her, then her grandfather died and left her the local hangout to run. Now Si is back in town, stirring up old feelings—including her anger at being left behind. His return brings Hope an offer that can change her life. Love, or adventure, are almost within reach—but she can’t have both…

DEEP RIVER PROMISE is available to purchase on the following sites:







Now here’s an excerpt for your reading pleasure.

Damon Fitzgerald woke with an excruciating headache and the sense that he was being stabbed slowly but relentlessly through one eye. The headache was familiar—usually a sign he’d imbibed a little too heavily the night before—but the stabbing sensation not so much.

Cautiously, he raised one hand to touch the eye currently being stabbed only to encounter his own eyelid. So. Not being stabbed then. That was a relief.

He was still a little disoriented though, and his mouth felt like the bottom of a birdcage, so it took him some time to realize that the stabbing sensation was coming from the sunlight shining through a gap in the curtains and straight into one eye.

Sun. He hadn’t seen the sun for at least three days, due to the weather being crap, which was strange for LA…

Which was when he remembered that he wasn’t in LA. He wasn’t even in Juneau, where he’d been for the last couple for weeks.

No, it was worse than that. Way worse.

He was in a room over the Happy Moose bar in a tiny, privately owned town called Deep River, smack bang in the middle of nowhere, Alaska. And he’d been stuck here for three days because the weather had been so bad he hadn’t been able to fly out.

Damon lay there for a moment as the realization settled through him, trying to reorient himself, because he’d definitely over imbibed the night before and this hangover had teeth. Then with a sudden start, he remembered that sun was a good thing.

Sun meant the weather was better, which in turn meant he could get the hell out of here and back to LA.

Rolling off the bed, he dragged himself over to the french doors that led onto the room’s tiny balcony, shoved them open, and stumbled out onto the balcony itself, just to check that the sun was real.

Sure enough, though it must have been early in the morning, the sun was actually shining, the sky a bright, almost painful blue, making the white caps of the mountains looming on all sides look extra white and extra sharp.

Ahead of him was the deep, rushing green of the river the town was named for. Deep River. It had been settled during the gold rush at the end of the nineteenth century by the West family, who’d bought the land Deep River sat on and leased out bits of it to anyone who wanted a place to call home.

A quirky little town, as Damon had spent the last three days finding out.

Deep River consisted of a ramshackle series of buildings clustered on the side of the river, connected by a boardwalk that projected out over the water and a narrow street that ran behind the buildings on the land side. They were old, those buildings, the paint on them faded, the wood cracked and worn through long exposure to rain and sun and snow. Not as picture-postcard as the ones in Ketchikan to the south, but there was definitely a certain vintage charm to them. Like a group of elderly ladies whose beauty was a little faded and careworn, they still possessed the ghost of their stunning youth, a certain timeless magic that tugged at the heartstrings.

Houses very similar to those at the water’s edge were scattered up the hill behind the town, and there were a few more buildings along from the boardwalk, huddling against the hill’s side.

A set of wooden steps led down from the boardwalk to a dock where several fishing boats and trawlers were tied up, but since it was comparatively empty, most of the boats must have gone up the river to the sea for a day working the nets.

Damon took a deep breath and then another, the fresh bite of the air settling his headache and cooling his skin, waking him up. He wasn’t a small-town kind of guy, but there was something quite majestic about the mountains and the forested hills that loomed above him. Especially now the sun was shining.

He’d complained about the rain the night before to one of the locals, who’d then informed him of Deep River’s average rainfall, which was some horrendous amount that sounded just wrong to someone from LA.

Still, it did explain the solid three-day downpour and made him feel lucky that it was a beautiful day now.

Movement below him caught his eye, and he glanced down at the boardwalk.

The kid was there again, skulking by the big wooden pole stuck in the boardwalk that had “Middle of Nowhere” painted down the side. A tall, gangly teenager dressed in jeans and a black hoodie.

He always seemed to be in Damon’s vicinity, and if Damon didn’t know any better, he’d say he was being followed.

Though surely it was a little too early in the morning for teenagers? Weren’t they supposed to sleep past twelve or something?

The kid was looking straight at him, though he was too far away for Damon to see what expression was on his face. The fixed way the kid was staring was slightly unnerving.

A woman came suddenly into view. She had shoulder-length blond hair, and it was blowing around in the wind, a bright counterpoint to the plain jeans-and-T-shirt-combo she wore, a parka pulled on over the top, and she moved with great purpose to where the kid stood. She spoke to him a second and then turned her head, and Damon found himself under the intense scrutiny of two people.

His skin prickled, cool air moving across it. Moving everywhere across it.

Aw hell. He’d neglected to dress before stumbling out onto the balcony, and since he always slept naked… Yeah, no wonder both the woman and the kid were staring.


Excerpted from Deep River Promise by Jackie Ashenden. © 2021 by Jackie Ashenden. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

Meet the Author

Jackie Ashenden
has been writing fiction since she was eleven years old. She used to balance her writing with the more serious job of librarianship until a chance meeting with another romance writer prompted her to devote herself to the true love of her heart – writing romance. She particularly likes to write dark, emotional stories with alpha heroes and kick-ass heroines. She lives in Auckland, New Zealand.

Now be sure to enter the giveaway below.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Have you ever lived in Alaska or wanted to?

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Thursday, March 18, 2021

Once Upon a Wardrobe Cover Reveal

I'm delighted to share the cover reveal of author Patti Callahan’s newest release, Once Upon a Wardrobe.

The award-winning author of Becoming Mrs. Lewis delivers another enchanting story that pulls back the curtain on the early life of C. S. Lewis, asking the question: “where did Narnia come from?” The answer will change everything. 

Mark your calendars and start planning your holiday reading season early. ONCE UPON A WARDROBE will be in stores everywhere on October 19, 2021 from @Harper Muse Books. Pre-order NOW!

Megs Devonshire’s younger brother George, whom she loves with all her heart, doesn’t have long to live. When George becomes captivated by a brand-new book called The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and begs her to find out where Narnia came from, she can’t refuse. 

Despite her timidity about approaching the famous author, Megs soon finds herself taking tea with the Oxford don. While seeking answers, what she receives instead are more stories, which she brings home to George. The gift she thought she was giving to her brother—the story behind Narnia—turns out to be his gift to her, instead: hope. 

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Sorry the post was a bit later than usual going live but we've had severe storms and tornado warnings all night. Thankfully we are all good and safe. Hope everything else in the area is too. Now, have you ever wondered "where did Narnia come from"?

Monday, March 15, 2021

Summer by the River

I’m delighted today to share with you a new release by author Debbie Burns, SUMMER BY THE RIVER.

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca (March 2, 2021)

Language: English
Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 172821713X
ISBN-13: 978-1728217130

Debbie Burns combines her love for rescue dogs with a compelling woman's journey in her brand-new romantic women's fiction.

Making a fresh start in a new part of the country is challenging, but fate and good fortune lead young single mother Josie Waterhill and her six-year-old daughter to a cozy Midwestern town right on the river. There, Josie can raise Zoe away from the violence of the life she once knew and make a new home in the historic tea house where they've been invited to stay.

The tea house seems too good to be true, until Josie's elderly landlord Myra welcomes more guests―journalist Carter O'Brien and his giant rescue dog, Buttercup. Carter is charming, compassionate...and way too curious. Carter's interest in Josie deepens and he inadvertently stirs up trouble when he uncovers things that Josie would rather not have known. Ready or not, Josie has to let go of her painful past so she can create a glorious future.

Meet the Author

Debbie Burns lives in St. Louis with her family, two phenomenal rescue dogs, and a somewhat tetchy Maine coon cat who everyone loves anyway. Her hobbies include hiking, gardening, and daydreaming, which, of course, always leads to new story ideas.

Debbie's writing commendations include a Starred Review from Publishers Weekly and a Top Pick from RT Book Reviews for A New Leash on Love, as well as first-place awards for short stories, flash fiction, and longer selections. While her books have earned many awards and commendations, her favorite praise is from readers who’ve been inspired to adopt a pet in need from their local shelter.

For more on Debbie and her writing, you can connect with her on the following sites:

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Doesn’t the combination of rescue dogs and romance sound intriguing? Doesn’t living in a historic tea house sound like fun?

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

The Darkest Glare

There has always been something about true crime stories that catch my attention, maybe it has to do with my reporter background. That’s why I’m delighted to share fellow journalist Chip Jacobs’ intriguing true crime tale.

From the most murderous era in American history, a vintage true crime tale set among Los Angeles’ glassy towers and endless ribbons of asphalt. Who could resist that?

The Darkest Glare

A True Story of Murder, Blackmail, and Real Estate Greed in 1979 Los Angeles
By Chip Jacobs

In 1979 the City of Angels had its fair share of devils. Howard Garrett was one of them. His contractor’s license bought him an entrée into a Space Matters, a real estate development company run out of a hip mansion on the edge of LA’s Miracle Mile district. The company’s owners, debonair, slick-talking Richard Kasparov and self-conscious, nerdy Jerry Schneiderman, were L.A.’s Young Turks of interior architecture.

When Richard interviewed the quiet, buzzard-faced Howard, he figured he’d found the perfect supervisor to oversee construction for a firm hungry to expand. What neither he nor his partner Jerry knew was that by hiring Howard, they’d unloosed a monster into their midst.

In The Darkest Glare: A True Story of Murder, Blackmail and Real Estate Greed in 1979 Los Angeles (Rare Bird Books; ISBN 978-1644281918; on sale March 9, 2021; $18.00), author and journalist Chip Jacobs recounts a spectacular, noir true-crime saga from one of the most murderous times in American history.

It’s 1979 and future NBA stars Magic Johnson and Larry Bird are meeting on the court for the first time, Laverne & Shirley is the most watched show on TV, and the Los Angeles murder rate is the highest in recorded history. Even before Howard Garrett entered Richard and Jerry’s lives, he had managed to slither away from a series of brutal crimes unprosecuted.

But if Howard was the violent one of the trio, Richard was its resident grifter. As the firm expanded, Richard figured out ways to bleed the company dry for his own gain, including by hitting up Howard to put up his credit line in service of the company. When Richard’s grift is exposed, Jerry cuts all ties to him while a - by now - enraged Howard loses everything.

Using his steel blue El Camino to stalk his victims and X-ray glower to intimidate everyone, Howard unleashes his blood thirsty vengeance and decides to create a murder-for-hire corporation employing a motley crew of junkies and bottom-scrapers. The first targets: the owners of Space Matters.

But Howard’s band of would-be assassins bungled through his scheme time and again in scenes more reminiscent of The Three Stooges than The Godfather. It took almost a dozen tries to kill the first Space Matters partner, Richard.

Jerry – the surviving partner and unlikely hero of the story – blackmailed and threatened, finds himself in an odyssey of disguises, getting not-so-legal, legal advice from his lawyer while surreptitiously meeting in a graveyard, seeking protection from a charismatic, ex-Israeli mercenary, and being used as bait in a LAPD-orchestrated showdown at the La Brea Tar Pits.  

Whether its stumblebum killers or a mass murder averted by a kid watching Laverne & Shirley, you’ll never read about bloodlust like this. Or see Southern California the same way. 

Chip Jacobs conducted hundreds of hours of interviews and reviewed thousands of pages in Howard Garrett’s case to connect the dots. The resulting book is a feast for true crime lovers as well as for lovers of Los Angeles noir. The Darkest Glare is vintage true crime at its finest.

As a bonus, The Darkest Glare includes an original true crime short also by Chip Jacobs, “Paul & Chuck”. “Paul & Chuck” is the truly terrifying and weird story of crusading Los Angeles attorney Paul Morantz who in the late 1970s went to battle against one of the most dangerous and violent cults America has ever seen: Synanon. It’s story that’s guaranteed to make your skin crawl!

Meet the Author

Chip Jacobs is an author and journalist. His fiction debut, Arroyo, about two parallel lives gravitating around Pasadena, California's Colorado Street Bridge, was a Los Angeles Times bestseller. His other books include the biography Strange As It Seems: the Impossible Life of Gordon Zahler, and the bestselling Smogtown: the Lung-Burning History of Pollution, and its sequel about China, The People’s Republic of Chemicals, the latter two with William J. Kelly.

His reporting has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Daily News, The New York Times, LA Weekly, CNN, and the Pasadena Weekly, among others. Jacobs, a graduate of the University of Southern California, is the recipient of numerous writing awards.

He is at work on his follow up novel, and several non-fiction projects. 

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Are you a fan of true crime stories? Had you ever heard of this killing spree?

Monday, March 8, 2021

The Northern Reach

I’m always delighted to share new book finds with you. This one concerns a heart-wrenching first novel about the power of place and family ties, the weight of the stories we choose to tell, and the burden of those we hide.

For fans of Elizabeth Strout and Ann Patchett comes THE NORTHERN REACH, an evocative and deeply moving multi-generational novel from debut author W. S. Winslow (Flatiron Books; on sale: March 2, 2021).

Frozen in grief after the loss of her son at sea, Edith Baines stares across the water at a schooner, under full sail yet motionless in the winter wind and surging tide of the Northern Reach. Edith seems to be hallucinating. Or is she?

Edith’s boat-watch opens THE NORTHERN REACH, set in the coastal town of Wellbridge, Maine, where townspeople squeeze a living from the perilous bay or scrape by on the largesse of the summer folk and whatever they can cobble together, salvage, or grab.

At the center of town life is the Baines family—land-rich, cash-poor descendants of town founders—along with the ne’er-do-well Moody clan, the Martins of Skunk Pond, and the dirt farming, bootlegging Edgecombs. Over the course of the twentieth century, the families intersect, interact, and intermarry, grappling with secrets and prejudices that span generations, opening new wounds and reckoning with old ghosts.

W. S. Winslow's THE NORTHERN REACH is a breathtaking debut about the complexity of family, the cultural legacy of place, and the people and experiences that shape us.

Meet the Author

W. S. Winslow_credit Jeff Roberts

W. S. Winslow was born and raised in Maine but spent most of her working life in San Francisco and New York in corporate communications and marketing. A ninth-generation Mainer, she now spends most of the year in a small town Downeast.

She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in French from the University of Maine, and an MFA from NYU. Her fiction has been published in Yemassee Journal and Bird's Thumb. The Northern Reach is her first novel.

While the weather is still cool with just hints of spring around the corner, THE NORTHERN REACH is the perfect kind of immersive, atmospheric novel to curl up with on a cozy evening.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Doesn’t that opening have you thinking of all sorts of things that can happen in this book?