Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Case of the Sexy Shakespearean by Tara Lain (Release day blitz and review) VEB

A cozy mystery with a tongue-tied nerd of a history professor tempted by a gorgeous graduate student and millions of dollars if he can solve one of history's greatest mysteries -- who was Shakespeare really?


 Tara Lain


Dr. Llewellyn Lewis leads a double life, as both an awkward but distinguished history professor and the more flamboyant Ramon Rondell, infamous writer of sensational historical theories. It's Ramon who first sets eyes on a gorgeous young man dancing in a club, but Llewellyn who meets teaching assistant Blaise Arthur formally at an event held for wealthy socialite Anne de Vere, descendant of Edward de Vere, seventeenth Earl of Oxford-who some believe was the real Shakespeare. Anne wants Llewellyn to prove that claim, even though many have tried and failed. And she's willing to offer a hefty donation to the university if he succeeds.

It also means a chance for Llewellyn to get to know Blaise much better.

Not everyone thinks Llewellyn should take the case-or the money. Between feuding siblings, rival patrons, jealous colleagues, and greedy administrators, almost anyone could be trying to thwart his work... and one of them is willing to kill to do it.

When Anne de Vere turns up dead, the police believe Blaise is the murderer. Only the shy, stuttering professor who has won his heart can prove otherwise...

Available for purchase at


Goose bumps on top of goose bumps.
Tingles traveled out along his nerves from the soothing touch of Blaise’s hand until the hairs on his arm weren’t the only things standing up. Why did Blaise just turn his whole existence upside down? When Blaise was around, Llewellyn wanted things it was stupid for him to want. Things that only happened to the special, lucky guys. Forever things.
In spite of himself, he sighed and slowly lowered his head to Blaise’s shoulder.
Blaise dropped his cheek against Llewellyn’s hair. For minutes they just sat like that, their beer bottles dripping on the coffee table. Weirdly, it was the most peaceful moment Llewellyn had experienced in… at least days. Since that fateful night when he’d first seen Blaise dancing.
Gently, Blaise slipped a hand under Llewellyn’s chin and turned his head toward him. Almost like he was stealing his breath, he moved his lips ever so slowly toward Llewellyn’s, pausing a half inch away. Llewellyn’s lips quivered, the scent of the beer they’d both drunk filling his head. Dear God, could he climax just from the anticipation of kissing Blaise?
Finally, finally their lips touched. Softer than Marie’s fur.
And bam! Blaise grabbed Llewellyn’s head and devoured his mouth like a five-course banquet menu.
The silly analogy used in novels, that people went up in flames—not silly anymore. Llewellyn’s nervous system overloaded before Blaise’s tongue had even explored the deeper recesses in his mouth. He heard himself moaning and whimpering. Embarrassing, but he couldn’t stop.
His brain knew there was something off about Blaise. Some truth that needed exploring. He didn’t care. He wanted to delude himself all the way to the bedroom. He’d trade his greed to know the answers for a night in Blaise’s arms.

About the Author

Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Erotic Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance,  Best Gay Characters, and more. Readers often call her books “sweet,” even with all that hawt sex, because Tara believes in love and her books deliver on happily-ever-after. In addition to writing dozens and dozens of romance novels,  Tara also owns an advertising and public relations firm. Her love of creating book titles comes from years of manifesting ad headlines for everything from analytical instruments to semiconductors. She does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft. Together with her soulmate husband and her soulmate Dog, she recently realized a vision to live where there were a lot more trees and a lot fewer cars by moving to Ashland, Oregon. She hasn’t stopped smiling since. 

You can find Tara at Lain


My review:

4 out of 5 stars

The Case of the Sexy Shakespearean by Tara Lain is an adult m/m cozy mystery that features Dr. Llewellyn Lewis, who gets caught up in a very lucrative research proposition. His alter-ego only gets a brief cameo but definitely is enchanted by the man who turns out to be a new teaching assistant at Llewellyn’s university. The prospect of proving someone else wrote the works attributed to Shakespeare is sweetened with a significant financial incentive, but the search may prove deadly.

I always look forward to devouring a new story by this talented author because I like her characters and their ability to overcome their obstacles and find someone who embraces them for who they are. I enjoyed watching the personable professor work his way through the minefield of his job and personal preferences. I would have liked a little more of Rondell’s personality to be displayed and I’m not quite sure I like or forgive Blaise yet but hopefully he will continue to redeem himself. There were great twists to the mystery and I enjoyed Llewellyn’s self-deprecation and humility that mask his incisive mind and skill. I look forward to meeting more of this author’s “beautiful boys” and watching them solve more mysteries.

A copy of this title was provided to me for review


Monday, July 30, 2018

K Street Killing by Colleen J. Shogan (Spotlight, excerpt, review, and GIVEAWAY) GFT

Colleen J. Shogan


GENRE: Mystery



At a fancy Washington political fundraiser for Congresswoman Maeve Dixon, Kit and her best pal Meg do their best to woo wealthy lobbyists for campaign donations. When a powerful K Street tycoon mysteriously tumbles off the rooftop, Kit must spring into action to discover who killed the notorious Van Parker before Dixon's candidacy sputters.



Inside the elevator, I checked the time. It was eight o’clock. Final votes were starting. I doubted Maeve needed any help, but I flipped my phone off silent mode, so I could hear it ping in case she texted me.

I could either walk two blocks to Union Station or catch an Uber home. My mind shuffled through the cost benefit analysis. I’d shelled out more cash this summer for late night rides home than I cared to remember. On the other hand, the subway was slow and unpredictable. Years of mismanagement, safety violations, and inadequate funding had made the Metro the bane of every Washingtonian’s existence. Remembering that Doug wanted to talk to me about something, I opened the Uber app. My ride was scheduled to arrive in three minutes at the corner of First and Louisiana.

I caught up with today’s news as I waited. Finally, a Camry arrived with the license plate matching my driver’s car. He slowed as I waved him down. As I opened the rear passenger door, I heard spine-tingling screams behind me. My hand froze on the door handle. Without thinking, I spun around. Two older women were standing at the entrance of a narrow passageway that separated Charlie Palmer’s from the building directly behind it. I didn’t have to move to figure out the source of their bloodcurdling cries. Near the far end of the alley, a body was sprawled on the pavement.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Colleen J. Shogan has been reading mysteries since the age of six. She writes the Washington Whodunit series published by Camel Press and Harlequin. A political scientist by training, Colleen has taught American politics at Yale, George Mason University, Georgetown, and Penn. She previously worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative staffer in the United States Senate and is currently a senior executive at the Library of Congress, working on great programs such as the National Book Festival. Colleen won the Next Generation Indie Award for Best Mystery for her first novel, Stabbing in the Senate. She lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband Rob and their beagle mutt Conan.

Twitter:  @cshogan276



a Rafflecopter giveaway

The tour dates can be found here


My review:

4 out of 5 stars

K Street Killing by Colleen J. Shogan is part of the ‘Washington Whodunnit’ series that features Kit Marshall, whose duties as chief of staff for a Congressional Representative from North Carolina suddenly expand to include the need to solve a mysterious death. As if that isn’t enough, her home life is threatening to go through upheaval when a job opportunity opens up in another state, prompting even more conflict between her husband of a few months and her best friend since childhood.

This delightful cozy mystery is a bit different since it is set in the political world of Washington, DC rather than a small whimsical town, but it definitely has an interesting cast. Although this is part of a series, I had no trouble connecting with the characters and getting intrigued by the story. It was fascinating to learn about the maneuverings and legalities involved with fundraising and lobbyists and I obtained a new perspective and new knowledge about the roles various folks play and some of the lines that theoretically regulate their duties and actions. I love Clarence and his foibles and I enjoyed the glimpse of a world that is entirely foreign to me. There were some aspects of the mystery that were a bit predictable, but it was still entertaining to watch the case unfold and I would happily read more stories in this series.

A copy of this title was provided to me for review

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Bluebonnet Ballerina by Carol Kilgore (VBB, excerpt, and GIVEAWAY) GFT

Carol Kilgore

Gracie Hofner returns, and chaos reigns—including a couple of ghosts trying to save their granddaughter. But as Gracie dances from problem to problem, she’s unaware the music has been orchestrated into a murderous symphony.

When a different melody reaches Gracie’s ears from a guitar played by the new tenant living in her garage apartment, her tension vanishes. She listens unseen, cocooned in the shadows on her patio, and wonders who he’s longing for—and how it would feel for someone to crave her that much.

She can’t dwell on those thoughts, however. Problems of murder and missing prisoners abound. To say nothing of the ghosts. No one ever said being a law enforcement consultant would be easy.

Bluebonnet Ballerina follows Jalapeno Cupcake Wench and is the second book in The Amazing Gracie Trilogy.


Twenty minutes later, Gracie parked at Papito’s. It was mid-afternoon and not many cars were in the lot. Two servers were working, neither of them Dee Shepherd. The bartender looked lonely, so Gracie went over and sat on a stool.

He smiled. One of his front teeth was chipped, and it gave him a watch-this-y’all look. “What can I get for you?”

“Guacamole and a club soda with lime.” She’d never noticed him before, but she and Nick, her former SAPD partner, never sat at the bar, either.

“Coming up.” He entered her order on the register and placed the ticket face down in front of her. A few seconds later, he returned with her club soda.

She raised the clear plastic bubble-filled glass. “Cheers.”

He grinned. “Wish all my customers were as easy as you.”

“I’m not always easy. You just caught me on a good day.”

“I’ll remember that.”

Someone from the kitchen wearing a paper hat and an apron brought her guacamole.


He nodded and beat a hasty retreat, but not before she saw the prison ink on his hand and arm. The barkeep sliced limes about a foot from her food. They smelled delicious.

Gracie stuck her fork into the guacamole, her mouth already watering. “You know this is some of the best guac around, right?”

“That’s what I hear. I don’t really like avocados, so I haven’t tried it.”

“You should. It’s good enough to change your mind.”

“I’ll remember that, too.”


About the Author:
Carol Kilgore is the award-winning author of The Amazing Gracie Trilogy. In addition, she is the author of In Name Only, Solomon’s Compass, and Secrets of Honor , three standalone romantic suspense novels set along the Texas Gulf Coast.

She and her husband live in San Antonio, the setting for the Amazing Gracie books, with two quirky herding dogs who still require help opening the food bin and the door.

You can learn more about Carol and be the first to know when the third book in the Amazing Gracie Trilogy will be released by visiting her website and subscribing to her newsletter or connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Amazon author page

Carol is a member of Romance Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime.



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Wet Work by Donald J. Bingle (Spotlight, guest post, excerpt, and GIVEAWAY) LTP

I have the pleasure of sharing a guest post by author Donald J. Bingle, who explains...

You Might be Blocked Because You've Written Yourself into a Corner
Donald J. Bingle

I confess, I'm not much of a believer in writer's block as an affliction in the same vein as contagious diseases or forces of nature. Most of the time, I believe that what people think of as writer's block is not a disease or an Act of God, but rather a symptom of other problems:

One possibility, of course, is that you aren't writing because you simply don't want to write. (You might, instead, simply want to have written.) Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those people who say you must write so many words every single day. I certainly don't. I don't write every day. I don't write every week or, sometimes, every month. I get that writing often is good discipline and helps train your mind to efficiently get into "writer mode." But it's not the only possible approach out there. Instead of writing a little every day, I tend to write a LOT when I do sit down to write, regularly completing short stories at a single sitting and doing thousands of words at a time on longer pieces (occasionally over 10,000 words on a book if I put in a long day). Deadlines help (external deadlines, especially, as I am a responsible person, but self-imposed deadlines are helpful, too). Two other things help this burst-writing approach. One, I tend to fill the time between bursts with research relevant to the upcoming section. Sure, I know where I am headed from the get go, but fine-tuning details about weaponry (not something I know from real life) or locale or whatever means that when I next write, I don't get off-track (out of "writer mode") by stopping to grab some detail or distracted by a bracketed [insert geographical details here] in the midst of my flowing prose. Second, I try not to stop writing when at the end of a scene or chapter. Instead I write the first sentence or three of whatever is coming up next. If doing that inspires me, I may just keep on writing, but if it doesn't, it means my mind is geared up to subconsciously work on the problem of what comes next while I am goofing off and not writing.

Another possibility for not writing is simply that writing is hard. Parts are fun, but parts of it are a slog you have to power through to keep going. Writing can be especially hard if you don't know if what you are writing will ever be published or read by anyone. I tend to write much more quickly and easily for anthologies I have been asked to write for, than when writing for open calls. Worse yet is writing on spec, when I know I may spend hours and hours finding an appropriate market for the topic, tone, and length of whatever I am writing. Poor payment prospects don't help, either. It's hard to make money writing, but I won't (and you shouldn't) write for free. Knowing that self-publishing is a viable option these days helps, but then there is a marketing hurdle. Writing is like acting or direct sales--there's a lot of rejection and odds are you will never get rich or famous from doing it. Is it any wonder that motivation is sometimes lacking?

The most likely possibility for writer's block, however, is that you can't think of what to write next because you have a basic problem with what you have already written. Sure, this could be a character problem or even a tone or voice problem, but nine times out of ten, this is a plot problem. You've put your protagonist into a situation he or she doesn't have the skills to get out of or which can't be gotten out of because you, in your infinite and wily cleverness, have boxed her or him in without room to maneuver, much less escape, so you are left with cheesy deus ex machina solutions or fortuitous, helpful interlopers. You can't move forward because you have to move back. You have to look at how your character got into this situation and change something: ratchet down the difficulty (especially in the earlier parts of the story/book); give the bad guy or gal a failing that makes them overlook a way out or leave a way out to taunt the protagonist; give the protagonist some skill or arcane knowledge that will be not only useful but interesting to the reader; add a secondary character who can help; etc.).

I've found that two things (aside from better planning) can help me avoid or get out of these plot problems. First, I control my narrative. What do I mean by that? Well, I don't let my characters control my plot. I tend to snarl when someone says they create characters, then just listen to the voices in their head and write what the characters tell them. Not only do I find that somewhat bizarre, I think it disrespects what an author does--we don't transcribe, we create. But, more importantly for today's essay, it relinquishes control of the storyline to fictional characters who don't know what the storyline is and don't care whether the readers are interested in continuing to read more. I'm a control freak; I control what happens to my characters and what happens in the story or book I am writing. And, to create something which propels the reader to read more, you have to care about tension, pace, suspense, and variety--things that characters care nothing about.

Of course, I know the importance of characters and staying in character. I was the world's top-ranked player of classic roleplaying game tournaments for the last fifteen years of the last century. I've played over 600 different characters (men, women, animals, robots, sentient weapons, dwarves, elves, orcs, rangers, princesses, starship captains, cowboys, monsters, dragons, gangsters, cub reporters, and more) in a bunch of different settings in my roleplaying tournament days, so I completely understand getting into character and finding innovative solutions which are based in the character's personality and skills. I understand how letting a character do what they would do is important, but that doesn't mean the characters dictate plot. In fact, one of the skills I learned in writing tournament adventures was to create a plot and then fashion characters who would have, if well-played, the skills, abilities, attributes, attitudes, and cohesiveness necessary to work together to accomplish the tasks which make up the plot.

The second trick which helps me avoid getting stuck on minor plot obstacles is to keep my roleplaying experience in mind when a problem arises. In a roleplaying game, if the gamemaster asks you what your character does and you don't have a response, you don't get to take an action--which is invariably bad. To dither is to die. So, when I get into that kind of situation when writing, I ask myself what I would do if I were playing that character in a roleplaying game and the gamemaster asked me what my next move was. I wouldn't dither; I would try something. It might be stupid or brave, or stupid and brave, or clever or ineffective, but I would do something. And sometimes finding out what doesn't work may lead to thoughts about why it doesn't work, which in turn leads to thoughts about what might work or what needs to change about the situation to make it work. And suddenly, I have a solution. It may mean I need to go back and fix something to go forward, but it means I can once again go forward.

In real life, they say you shouldn't look back too much, because nothing ever changes there. But in writing, looking back can be the only way to go forward, because you can make things change back there. It's your world, your plot, your book. If you can't go forward, it's probably your fault.

You can find out more about me and my writing or check out my blog, where I sometimes pontificate about writing topics, at www.donaldjbingle.com.


Dick Thornby is not Hollywood's idea of a spy.

He's not a supercool guy in a tuxedo or a crazed loner who does nothing but kill and drive fast. He's just a regular guy with some skills for a job that needs doing. He also has a wife, a teenaged kid, a mortgage, and all the mundane problems associated with life. His friends from the New Jersey subdivision where he lives all think he is a wastewater treatment consultant. But instead of dealing with the dirty job of processing sewage in third world countries, he is really on missions, some mundane and dirty, others of vital importance and even dirtier.

After taking personal revenge on the criminal behind both his son’s injuries and the continued disintegration of his marriage, Dick Thornby is teamed with Acacia (“Ace”) Zyreb, a young, female agent from the East European office of the Subsidiary, to deal with the mystery behind coordinated hacking of the braking systems of several car models.
Doing his best to maintain his vows to his wife, Dick struggles to deal with the inexperience and provocative attitude of Ace on her first non-European mission. Their somewhat combative investigation takes a left turn by uncovering a much more sinister threat to the world and to Dick’s family. He’s willing to risk his job, his partner, and his life to eliminate the threat, but the clock is ticking.

Says author and award-winning editor John Helfers: “Dick Thornby would be the first person to tell you he’s no James Bond. And that’s a relief, because he’s something even better in the world of slick, breathless thrillers with superhuman protagonists—Dick is a real person. Whether he’s bending the rules of the super-secret spy agency in an effort to hold his rocky marriage together or breaking in an assistant who’s just as acerbic and to the point as he is …  Dick is a fully-realized, living, breathing person with hopes, dreams, and fears, all of which he juggles while trying to save millions of lives. Don Bingle’s written a taut, gripping spy thriller, and with Agent Thornby at the center of it, you’re in for a wild ride.”

Genre: Mystery/suspense
  • Print Length: 283 pages
  • Publisher: 54-40′ Orphyte, Inc. (June 11, 2018)
  • Publication Date: June 11, 2018
  • Language: English


The lava here was fresher and, thus, more barren. The din of Uncle Robert’s party quickly faded as they walked along the desolate flow as twilight gave way to full night. Surprisingly, the lava field was dotted with a smattering of shacks, tents, and even a full-blown house or two, though Ace couldn’t imagine how the squatting residents managed to haul water, food, supplies, or lumber, much less biological waste, across the broken gullies and sharp cracks of the lava field or why they would even want to do such a thing.
Before long the noise of the crowd fell away completely and the darkness deepened until there was nothing but black lava below and black sky above bedazzled with more stars than Ace had ever imagined, featuring a broad, bulging band of glittering light extending at an angle almost from horizon to horizon. She couldn’t help but stop to gaze at the spectacle.
Sakra!” she whispered in awe.
“Damn impressive, isn’t it?” said Dick. “Most people who grow up anywhere near a big city have never even seen the Milky Way, much less the bright, expansive version you can see from the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Puts things in perspective, I guess.”
Ace responded without looking at Dick. She couldn’t draw her eyes away from the heavens. “You mean it makes you feel small and insignificant, like nothing you do here has any real impact on the universe?”
She heard her companion give out a short huff. “Some people see it that way. Me, I think that if ... just possibly, mind you ... if we’re the only intelligent life in the big, wide universe of which the Milky Way is only an infinitesimal fraction, then keeping the world safe and its inhabitants as happy and healthy as possible is the most important, most monumental, and most sacred task in the universe.” He paused. “And, I think I’d damn well better not screw it up.”
Ty jseš debil!” She turned to look at him in the dim light. “You are such a fucking idiot! The happiness of the entire universe doesn’t rest on your shoulders.” She shook her head violently and looked back to the heavens with a muttered: “Men! Everything’s always about you.”
Her accusation hung in the air for a few moments before Dick replied, his voice soft. “Maybe. But I’d rather believe my life matters and try to live up to the calling that implies, than decide nothing I can ever do will make a difference and prove the point by only fulfilling that potential.”
     Ace wanted to believe him, to believe her life mattered, that she could make a difference, but so far her life ... and this mission ... seemed trivial in the grand scheme of things. And with the weight of the darkness enveloping her while the stars above twinkled at her from billions of light years away, feeling important was nigh impossible.

Purchase at:
Wet Work, Amazon
Wet Work, Nook
Wet Work, Kobo
Wet Work, PRINT

Donald J. Bingle is the author of five books and more than fifty shorter tales in the science fiction, fantasy, thriller, horror, mystery, steampunk, romance, comedy, and memoir genres.

Random true facts about Donald J. Bingle:
  • He was the Keeper of the World’s Largest Kazoo.
  • He made up the science of Neo-PsychoPhysics for a time travel roleplaying game.
  • He is a member of The International Thriller Writers.
  • He once successfully limboed under a pole only nineteen inches off the ground.
  • He has written short stories about killer bunnies, civil war soldiers, detectives, Renaissance Faire orcs, giant battling robots, demons, cats, werewolves, time travelers, ghosts, time-traveling ghosts, spies, barbarians, a husband accused of murdering his wife, dogs, horses, gamers, soldiers, Neanderthals, commuters, kender, Victorian adventurers, lawyers, and serial killers (note the serial comma). Of those subjects, he has occasional contact in real life only with dogs, cats, gamers, lawyers, and commuters (unless some of those are, unknown to him, really time travelers, ghosts, demons, serial killers, spies, or murder suspects).
  • He prefers gamers to commuters.


Let’s Talk! Promotions is thrilled to announce Donald J. Bingle’s Blog Tour. The tour runs July 23rd thru August 6th. Follow tour stops below to check out the reviews, guest posts, Q&As, excerpts, and to enter the giveaway!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


7/23:  Disquieting Visions (with Gail Z. Martin). (Guest post).
7/24:  The Reading Addict  (Guest post, excerpt).
7/26:  Book Junkie Reviews   (Excerpt).
7/27:  Faith Hunter’s Blog  (Guest post).
7/29:  Writers Spark
7/30:  GirlZombieAuthors  (Q and A, excerpt).
8/1:     Ken Schrader   (Q and A, excerpt).
8/2:    Words About Words (with Jean Rabe).  (Q and A with Agent Dick Thornby, excerpt).
8/4:    JBronder Book Reviews  (Review).
8/5:    The Million Words   (Q and A, excerpt).

Monday, July 23, 2018

A Promise Remembered by Erin S. Riley (Spotlight, excerpt, review, and GIVEAWAY) ADULT title GFT

by Erin S. Riley
ADULT title

GENRE:   Fantasy



Two souls entangled in an eternal echo of true love…

Rowan and James have been drawn together in every existence since the beginning of time. But love's sweet promise is cut short after an unthinkable tragedy strikes two young families, shattering the bond in this lifetime.
Is love stronger than death? Can Rowan and James find another way to each other? Against all odds, a forgotten promise is remembered and kept, reuniting two souls destined to be together.



Rowan opened the closet door, jumping back as the hinges squeaked, and gazed around the empty space. It was an old fashioned small closet with a single hanging bar and a shelf on top. There were no visible signs of rodents.

Scratch, scratch, scratch.

The sound was coming from under the floor, it seemed. She knelt carefully, keeping her can of compressed air at the ready, as she examined the wooden floorboards. Looking closer, she furrowed her brow. The blemish was nearly seamless, but she could tell the floorboards had been cut. Despite her fear of the rodents, her curiosity was piqued. Was there actually a secret compartment hidden in the closet floor?

Rowan used her fingernails to pry up the end of one of the floorboards, peering down warily in case the mouse decided to jump out at her. After removing two more boards, she used the flashlight on her phone to examine the dark hole. No beady red eyes stared back her. The secret compartment in the floor contained only what appeared to be a dusty shoebox.

Rowan sprayed some compressed air around to be safe, then pulled it out the box marked Airwalks, men’s size twelve. Carrying it closer to the window, she sat down on the floor to lift the lid.

There wasn’t much in it. A crumpled pack of Marlboros, so old the tobacco had fallen out of the cigarettes. A lighter. Several baseball cards. A pencil drawing of a large tree, drawn by someone who was by no means an artist. A well-worn Playboy magazine with Pamela Anderson on the cover. Rowan glanced at the date—1997.

A wave of sadness washed over her. She must have found the secret stash of Bella’s long-dead brother. Poor kid. It seemed oddly intrusive touching the private things of a dead boy, and Rowan hastened to put everything back where she found it. But the sound of something rolling in the box caught her attention, and she peered in.

A stick? A small twig half the size of her pinkie was in the bottom of the shoebox. Why had the dead boy put a stick in his secret shoebox? Despite herself, she reached in to pick it up.

A wave of energy prickled through her body, like a shot of expresso, quickening her pulse and her breathing. She heard a noise behind her that sounded like a gasp of surprise, and turned sharply to find she was no longer alone in her bedroom. Rowan screamed as she leapt to her feet.

A man stood in the middle of her bedroom, blocking her only exit. Tall, dark haired, lean yet muscular, he was nearly naked, wearing what appeared to be bicycle shorts. How had he gotten in her room? What was he going to do to her? With a sick sense of panic, Rowan remembered Bella saying her ex had been a crazy stalker. Had he returned to kill them both?

“What the . . .?” The man’s voice was deep and grumbling as he glared at her with displeasure. “How the hell did you get in my house, Rowan?”

Rowan backed up, still gripping the stick, and desperately looked around for a weapon. “How do you know my name?” she squeaked.

He stepped closer, his broad shoulders and naked chest now very close to her face. She got a whiff of aftershave as she peered up into angry green eyes that seemed startlingly familiar. Blinking in confusion, she dropped her gaze for a moment, which unfortunately landed on his ripped abs and the trail of fine hair that lead down toward the low waistband of his bike shorts.

Oh, they weren’t shorts. They were underwear. An angry man who somehow knew her name was standing in her bedroom wearing nothing but a tight pair of boxer briefs.

“How do I know your name?” he echoed unbelievingly. “Are you on something?” Confusion lanced his face as he looked around the room. “What did you do to my bedroom?”

He took another step in her direction, reaching out as though to touch her. Rowan screamed, dropping the stick, and bent to pick up the discarded can of compressed air with the intention of bashing him in the face with it. But when she looked up, he was gone.

Buy links:

Barnes and Noble

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Erin S. Riley has an undergraduate degree in psychology, a graduate degree in clinical counseling, and is a board-certified lactation consultant. Since Erin was a child, she has been fascinated with human nature and what motivates behavior. She enjoys writing suspenseful, complicated love stories that take the reader on an emotional journey and end in happy tears. Erin is the author of the Sons of Odin Series: Odin’s Shadow; A Flame Put Out; and Oath Breaker; as well as a paranormal romance, A Promise Remembered.

Amazon author page
@erinsriley1 (twitter)



a Rafflecopter giveaway

The tour dates can be found here


4 out of 5 stars

A Promise Remembered by Erin S. Riley is part of ‘The Soul Mate Tree’ series and features Rowan Findlay, who has never quite recovered from the traumatic events during her childhood. Her fortuitous encounter with a charismatic woman who has her own painful past leads Rowan into an adventure that allows her to meet an irresistible man named James. Their connection forces them both to find out if love can transcend apparently insurmountable obstacles.

This paranormal romance provides a great twist on the premise of a mysterious tree helping soul mates find each other. The author weaves a compelling tale that has intriguing twists and turns and beautifully romantic scenes. The shifts are a little disconcerting to absorb at first and my brain started to boggle at trying to keep the two different versions of things straight but I love the connections that form between the main characters. There are sobering topics addressed including guilt and coping methods such as anorexia, but they were integral to the story rather than didactic, and there are elements of humor to keep the tone from becoming too weighty. I was unaware of one of the possible side effects of anorexia and I definitely was anxious about how that was going to affect the outcome. For me, a couple of things are glossed over a bit and I felt sorry for two of the characters and wondered about Bella’s future, but I definitely enjoyed the story and will be looking for more tales by this author.

A copy of this title was provided for review