Tuesday, September 25, 2018

3 Tips for a Cheaper Hawaiian Vacation

Posted by Susan J Berger on 1:12:00 AM with 3 comments

Full Harvest Moon from our vacation rental







Tip #1
Our Hawaii home. Two blocks from Kailua Beach on Oahu
 Kay's vacation Rentals https://www.kaysaliivacationrental.com/alii.html

Tip# 2 Kailua Beach has shade trees, soft sand and the occasional turtle. It;s not on the tour bus route.
Tip frrom the local residents: never leave anything valuable in your car interior or in your trunk. That makes me sad, but it's still a beautiful local beach. Kailua is where Presisent Obama and his family used to come visit. One of the  great local places is Island Snow. A snow cone delight.
 Kailua has a Thursday evening Farmers Market in the parking lot behind Long's drugs. Wonderful food there. I have to go to buy my favorite specialty jams. Best cheap local plate lunch is Oneava Market. https://www.yelp.com/biz/oneawa-market-kailua
Then there's Zippys for a traditional Hawaian plate lunch, or Portugese bean soup or some fun pastrys, http://zippys.com/kailua/


Tip#3 If you want to find great cheap Hawaiian clothes, try Savers Thrift shop. You can go there right after you pick up your rental car. Last time I was here my wasband, Barry Corbin was working on Anger Management with Charlie Sheen. He asked me to bring him back a couple of Hawaiian shirts to out-shine Charlie's. I found them at Savers. I love that place. there were racks of Hawaiian shirts - color coded. https://stores.savers.com/hi/honolulu/savers-thrift-store-1046.html
I'm going back to what I do best. Lying in the shade of an ironwood tree. In a minute I'll get out a book. Happy reading.

To enter to win a 5.00 Amazon gift card, leave a comment with your email address.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

RaeAnne Thayne's Season of Wonder Review and giveaway.

Posted by Susan J Berger on 3:00:00 AM with 3 comments

One of my early Christmas gifts is getting to review a RaeAnne Thayne Christmas novel. And because all things Christmas are better shared, I am gifting one of you with the ARC. Season of Wonder will be released on September 25th and is available for pre-order on Amazon.

Newly graduated veterinarian Dani Capelli is great with animals, but leary of people. As a child, she was thrown into the foster system. Her teen marriage to the wrong boy gifted her with two beautiful daughters and a sense of shame that she’d given them a criminal for a father.

When Haven Point’s veterinarian Dr. Morales offers her a job and a chance to buy his practice, Dani moves her family to the small Idaho town, knowing this is the life she wants for herself and her daughters. Things were finally looking up…until her ex-husband became her late husband, in the most notorious way possible.

Now Dani’s afraid to make friends, afraid the town will judge her on her ex’s terrible crime. And her thirteen-year-old daughter Silver has begun to act out all her own pain and anger.

Deputy Sheriff Ruben Morales has had his eyes on Dani ever since she moved to town. He’s attracted by this independent, secretive woman even though he’s not sure of why a big city woman would settle in a small town.

When Silver gets into trouble and Ruben catches her, he decides to help Silver atone for her acts. Watching Ruben interact with her daughters Dani knows this gorgeous deputy is everything she’s secretly wanted—and everything she can’t bear to risk loving…and losing.

RaeAnne weaves the magical web of secrets, pain, laughter, children, family, falling in love, and Christmas as only she can do. Haven Point is the perfect place to spend a few snowy hours and get into the Christmas Spirit. RaeAnne reminds me that Christmas truly is a season of wonder. She is one of my happy places.
The Rafflecopter is US Only, but you can pre-order the book right now. Here's the Goodreads link because it will take you to any of the major vendors and libraries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Bombshell! Knockout! 99 cent Benefit and Pamela Fagin Hutchins

Posted by Susan J Berger on 3:00:00 AM with No comments
Meet Pamela Fagan Hutchins, prolific Indy author who is part of a new romantic suspense box set Love Under Fire which you can pre-order now for a mere 99 cents. That's right, ninety-nine cents for  21 romantic suspense stories. All bound together to benefit a cause, Pets For Vets


Pamela is the author of the Ava trilogy and many others. I read Bombshell earlier this year and loved it. My review: 
Ava's got a new Fan! Did you ever meet a character so intriguing that you HAD to read more? That's how I feel about Ava. I became totally immersed in Ava's world and character. Eccentric, cranky, sexy, brilliantly talented, with a heart big enough to fill an island all by herself. I rooted for her every step of the way and I want to know what happens next.
Knockout is the third book in Ava’s trilogy within the What Doesn’t Kill You romantic mystery saga. If you like strong single mothers, glamorous celebrity lifestyles, and hard-hitting whodunits, then you’ll love Pamela Fagan Hutchins’ award-winning series. 



Pamela, tell us a little about yourself.
I write overly long e-mails and the What Doesn't Kill You romantic mystery trilogies from deep in the heart of Nowheresville, TX and way up in the frozen north of Snowheresville, WY. I’m passionate about hiking with my hunky husband and pack of rescue dogs (and an occasional goat and donkey), riding our gigantic horses, and experimenting with my Keurig.

If it isn’t too nosy, tell us about the first time you kissed your true love?
After working together as frenemies for four years, he asked me on a “sort of” date. When he was going to end the night without kissing me, I told him that there was a time to overthink and a time to be spontaneous, and challenged him to be spontaneous. I got my kiss, and a marriage proposal.

Other than your own, who are your favorite (heroes/heroines/writers) in your genre?
I consider myself a cross-genre writer, so this is especially hard. But I’ll have to stick with mystery and pick Craig Johnson, for his wonderful Longmire books.

What is the most exciting moment, so far, in your writing career?
Winning the 2017 Silver Falchion for Best Adult Mystery against a field of writers far better and more successful than me for my Fighting for Anna.

What is your favorite pastime, other than writing?

Riding my Percheron mare, with my husband Eric on his big Shire gelding, especially in the Bighorn mountains of Wyoming.

How do you motivate yourself when inspiration takes a vacation?

I skip forward and write whatever part of a book most intrigues me, then work my way backwards. And I write outside. That always helps me. As does working to a schedule. I find that inspiration most often occurs when I have my butt in a chair and am putting in the work.


Any advice for new writers just starting out?
Write. Write more. Rewrite. Understand that writing is rewriting. Then write some more.

Tell us about Knockout 

Knockout is the 3rd and final romantic mystery in my Ava trilogy.
A controversial tourist resort. An unsolved beachside murder. Does she have the pipes to blow the whistle on a deadly conspiracy?
Everyone wants a piece of Ava’s skyrocketing star power… including her serious boyfriend and her deadbeat baby daddy. But when she visits the future site of a controversial resort and stumbles upon a dead body, Ava thinks she’s finally found a worthy cause for her newfound celebrity. Determined to catch the killer and stop the construction of the eco-unfriendly tourist trap, she plans to put her sex symbol status to good use.
Infiltrating the resort chain gala’s celebrity guest list, she teams up with a heavyweight boxer to dig up dirt on the investors. But her investigation takes a critical hit when her ex sues for full custody. Faced with the possibility of losing her daughter, she may have to give up the flirty persona she’s put to good use in wheeling out secrets from under the noses of corrupt investors.
To solve the murder and save her career, Ava must find a new way to take down the multi-million-dollar nest of corruption before her dead body joins the construction heap.
Buy Knockout to step into the spotlight for a star-studded mystery today! 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39652354-knockout

What’s your current WIP?
I’m working on a romantic mystery trilogy featuring my train wreck of a former alt-country star-turned-junker, Maggie Killian, whose old flame shows up and turns her re-claimed life upside down. The mysteries are named Live Wire, Sick Puppy, and Dead Pile. Great titles.

And finally, where can we find you?
http://pamelafaganhutchins.com will lead you to my Amazon, Goodreads, BookBub, and Facebook pages
Get free exclusives from me at https://www.subscribepage.com/PFHSuperstars , when you sign up for my newsletter.
Thank you for being here, Pamela. I checked out your website and I'm now a subscriber. 
Dear ones, don't forget to check out Amazon's #1 title in short stories Love Under Fire. Pre-order now and it will be delivered on November 13th to your reading app. Your 99 cents will benefit Pets for Vets.
Happy Reading.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Meet Fantasy and Time Travel author Susan Royal #giveaway

Posted by Susan J Berger on 3:00:00 AM with 3 comments

Meet Susan Royal.
Born in West Texas and raised in south Texas, Susan shares a 100-year-old farmhouse in a small east Texas town with a ghost who harmonizes with her son when he plays guitar. 
She is a mother of three and grandmother of six unique and special children. Her family is rich with characters, both past, and present. Susan’s grandmother shared stories of living on a farm in Oklahoma Territory and working as a telephone operator in the early 20th century. She learned all about growing up in the depression from her father and experienced being a teenager during WWII through her mother’s eyes. With that bio, I want to read her books. And luckily for me and you, she' s giving one away. Reader's choice. 
Rafflecopter at the end of the post.
  Susan loves taking her readers through all kinds of adventures. So far, she’s written two books in her It’s About Time series, Not Long Ago and From Now On, and is working on book three. They are time travel adventures about two people who fall in love despite the fact they come from very different worlds. In My Own Shadow is a Fantasy adventure/romance. Xander's Tangled Web is a YA fantasy with romance.
     Want to know more? Visit susanaroyal.wordpress.com for a peek inside this writer’s mind and see what she’s up to. You never know what new world she’s going to visit next.

Susan, what’s your current WIP?  I'm currently writing a young adult urban fantasy. 
Mere is an 18-year-old girl who lives in a charming little town in east Texas. Titusville sits smack dab in the middle of Ferry Woods. A place filled with pine trees, Spanish moss, and creepiness where strange things happen. Mere’s practical side says they’re only stories. But she can't shake the feeling there's more to it than that.
 Maybe it has something to do with her unique ability. The one she's tried to ignore since she was a child. All she’s ever wanted was a normal life. To be accepted. Blend in. A difficult task when you live in an extraordinary family like hers.  But after everything that's happened, she’s not sure that’s what she wants anymore.
Who are your favorite (heroes/heroines/writers) in your genre?  That's a no-brainer for me. James Malcomb Alexander MacKenzie Fraser and Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser from Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. I read the first book over twenty years ago. Checked it out from the library. Fell in love with the story. How could I not? A woman goes back in time to Scotland, meets and falls in love with a handsome young Scotsman, a man who loves her as much as she loves him? And then she goes back to her time and they're separated by 200 years?? When I finished it I searched frantically for another book, hoping to find out it was a series. How could the author leave her readers hanging? Years later, my daughter-in-law mentioned she was reading a wonderful series and I jumped for joy. They're both human, they both make mistakes, they both disappoint each other, but Jamie and Claire never let go. Agree. It's a wonderful series.

If it isn’t too nosy. How about the first time you kissed your true love? 
What a lovely memory it is. Picture the beautiful grounds adjacent to a historic church in San Antonio, Texas. On our first date, he took me there to show me how beautiful it was at sunset. Not to mention romantic. We went for a walk, and of course, he kissed me. When we did, I heard the church bells ringing. It was a sign. I'd found my true love. I love it!



Blurb
 Talk about the worst day ever! Lara lets her friend Carrie talk her into a blind date, only it turns out the handsome stranger waiting for Lara after work isn’t Carrie’s cousin after all. And, when they’re chased through a portal to another world, Lara realizes Rhys really is out of this world.
     Lyra, her alternate in another dimension, has left clues to the whereabouts of the Book of Secrets explaining the mystery of time travel in Lara’s subconscious.  Or so Rhys thinks. Power-hungry telepaths who pursue them will stop at nothing to get it, even if it means breaking Lara’s will. To complicate matters, Lara gets tangled up in her feelings for Rhys while exploring her connection with Lyra.
     With Rhys as her guardian, a bear of a man named Azle to guide her, and the spirit of Lyra haunting her dreams, Lara must find the Book of Secrets before it falls into the hands of those who want its power.  Only then can she return to her world safely.
Sample Chapter.
A frantic sprint down the hall from my office brought me skidding to a stop in front of the elevator doors just as they whispered shut. The clock on the wall read half past five. Damn. Too much time spent in the restroom trying to make myself presentable. All because Carrie had conned me into another one of her blind dates. And with her cousin, no less.  Why today of all days? I’d overslept and come to work resembling the undead from a zombie apocalypse movie. Tension knotted in my stomach. I punched the button beside the stainless steel doors and paced, remembering my conversation with her over lunch.
 “I know losing your dad has been awful,” she’d said. “But, maybe it’s time you started moving on with your life.” Carrie couldn’t possibly have understood the burden of guilt that seemed to grow heavier every day. Dad and I had a terrible argument just before he died, one we never had the chance to resolve, and it still ate at me. Carrie hadn’t given up until I’d agreed to meet her cousin in the lobby after work, a decision that plagued me for the rest of the afternoon.
What was the guy’s name again? I couldn’t even remember.
When the doors finally opened to an empty elevator, I hurried inside, pulled out my cell, and stared at the screen. Carrie hadn’t returned any of my calls. She probably didn’t want to give me the chance to back out. My friend knew me only too well. Unlike her, I was no good at small talk. What if her cousin wasn’t either? My stomach twisted even tighter. If that’s all we have in common, it’s going to be a long evening. By the time I got to the ground floor, I’d chewed my bottom lip raw.  
The lobby was empty, and my heels echoed against the marble tiles. Her cousin must have gotten tired of waiting and left. I squeezed my eyes shut and pinched the bridge of my nose. Carrie’s going to kill me. She’d never believe I hadn’t done this on purpose just so I wouldn’t have to go out with her cousin.
Someone coughed. I jerked my head around to see a man standing near the reception area, a canvas duffel bag at his feet.  That’s got to be him.
My heart thudded with relief. “Sorry I’m late. I hope you haven’t been waiting long.” I motioned toward the rain spattering against the windows. “This weather is awful, isn’t it?”
The man watched me with a self-assured air that left me feeling like an awkward teenager.
So much for witty conversation.  At least Carrie hadn’t exaggerated when she said he was good looking. His sensitive mouth held the only trace of softness in a finely chiseled face. Broad shoulders and powerful hands. He would have been right at home on the cover of a sports magazine. Was I drooling? “Umm…” His intense stare made me squirm. “I should introduce myself. I’m—”
 “Lara. My name is Rhys.” We shook hands briefly while his eyes flickered over me. My height intimidated some men, but it didn’t seem to bother him. “I never imagined you’d be so—”
“Don’t bother with flattery. Surely Carrie told you I’m immune.” The grin across my face was so he would know it was a joke, but his stern expression remained unchanged.
Doesn’t this guy know how to smile? “Umm…My car’s across the street. We really should go before it starts pouring again.”
Without a word, he grabbed his bag and followed me through the big glass doors. The wind had picked up, and thunder rumbled in the distance. Streetlights flickered on, a halo of light crowning each pole. We crossed the street and hurried toward my car parked beneath one of the lights in the middle of the empty lot.
  I stuck my umbrella under my arm and dug in my purse for the keys. “Do you like Italian food?”
Rhys drew his eyebrows together and frowned slightly.
Doesn’t he understand plain English? Funny how Carrie never mentioned he was the silent, brooding type.  I’d get even with her for this. “Okay, what about Chinese? There’s this great little place not too far from here…”
He jerked his gaze away from mine and stared into the darkness behind me.
A finger of cold traced its way along my spine. “Did you hear something?” We were alone in an empty city parking lot after dark. Not the safest place in the world.
  He grabbed my arm. “Quiet.”
I flinched in surprise and pulled away. Rhys was beginning to give me the creeps. “What is it? Did you hear something?”
  He pointed toward the back of the parking lot where lightning flashed, touched the ground and disappeared. Two dark shapes burst from the shadows and advanced across the asphalt without a sound.
Rhys dropped his bag and stepped in front of me. Chills raced across my arms. I backed into my car with a thud and gripped my umbrella so tight it made my hands hurt. No time to call for help. We’d have to defend ourselves. But how?
One of the men threw a punch at Rhys, who caught it with his open hand. He used the momentum to throw his attacker off balance and slammed him against the car beside me. Before the guy hit the ground, Rhys whirled to face ninja number two, who charged. With his left forearm, Rhys blocked and returned his kick. The man sidestepped, and Rhys’ foot missed the mark.
By this time the first guy had stumbled to his feet. He staggered over to Rhys and grabbed him from behind, pinning his arms to his sides. The other guy slammed his fists into Rhys’ stomach, making him double over and gasp for breath.
 It was up to me to do something fast, or Rhys was going down. With my heart pounding in my ears, I darted behind the guy holding him and kicked him in the back of the knees. He buckled and released his grip on Rhys. Before his attacker realized what had happened, Rhys had grabbed him by his collar and head-butted him with a sickening crunch. The man howled, blood spurting from his nose.
Both men turned and fled back into the darkness. My umbrella slipped from my shaking hands and clattered to the pavement. Who were these men with strange tattoos covering their faces? Gang members? Muggers?
  This time it was me that grabbed Rhys’ arm. “Are you all right?”
  “Don’t worry about me. Let’s go.”
  After I fumbled with the keys and unlocked the car, he yanked the passenger door open, threw his bag in the back seat and jumped inside. The automatic locks clicked while the engine coughed and sputtered to a start. With my hands in a death grip on the steering wheel, I drove through the entrance and made a hard right, my rear tire rolling over the curb.
A few blocks away I tried to hand Rhys my cell phone, but he wouldn’t take it. “Didn’t you see those guys?” They had eyes like sharks, their pupils almost completely dilated. “They must have been on something. We need to call the police.”
He shook his head.
“What, then? Have you got a better idea?”
“Drive to your place.”
He didn’t get any argument −something totally out of character for me. Shock, maybe? Everything had happened so fast, it almost didn’t seem real. Accelerating, I switched lanes to pass a slow driver and watched my passenger from the corner of my eye. He should have been breathing hard after being punched in the stomach, but he wasn’t even winded. And he didn’t seem upset or surprised by anything that had happened. He only stared through the car windows, focusing on the darkness around us.
Carrie, you’ve got one strange cousin.
* * * *
We rushed inside my apartment. I slammed the front door and twisted the deadbolt, listening to its comforting click. The shadowy apartment was filled with normal noises like the hum of the refrigerator, water dripping from a faucet and the furnace running. I flattened a hand against my chest as my thudding heartbeat slowed to normal.
Home safe. Everything’s okay.
Someone pounded the front door three times, rattling the hinges. Every nerve in my body hummed with electricity. I tiptoed closer, placing a cautious eye against the peephole. A man well over six feet tall stared back, his pale skin a contrast to the wild, dark hair falling past his shoulders. Wide shoulders under black leather gave the man a lean look. He had classic features and a narrow face. Very handsome, except for eyes that glittered with something cold and unyielding. Shivers began at the nape of my neck and traveled over my entire body.
“Lara, let me in. I must speak with you,” he said, but the words didn’t come from his mouth. They came from within my own mind.
I gasped and turned to Rhys. “H-he’s talking to me…from inside my head.”
“Block him.” Rhys dug his fingers into my shoulder. “The longer you allow him access to your mind, the more dangerous it becomes.”
“Is that you, Guardian?” The man’s mouth split into an evil grin, revealing blinding, white teeth. “Are you taking up new duties these days?”
“Leave her alone.” Muscles bunched along Rhys’ jaw. “She doesn’t know anything.”
The man’s chuckle seemed to vibrate from somewhere deep inside his chest. “If that is true, then why are you protecting her?”
I narrowed my eyes at Rhys. “What the hell’s he talking about? Is he high on something?”
“Ignore him.” Rhys grabbed my arm and pulled me into the kitchen.
Inside my head, the oily voice took on a coaxing tone. “Rhys is being overprotective. He takes things far too seriously. I mean you no harm, Lara. All I need is a little information.”
Rhys stretched out his hand. An orange dot appeared and hovered above his palm. In an instant, it became a streaking light, burning into my refrigerator and creating a jagged hole. “My God, this can’t be real.” I gasped and moved closer, staring. “W-what’s going on?”
My visitor hammered at the door once again, so loud my temples throbbed with the sound. This time, the distraction was welcome, because it helped drive the sound of his voice from my mind and served another purpose as well. I lived in a quiet, respectable part of town. Surely one of my neighbors had already called the police. All we had to do was hold off a little longer.
  Only Rhys had other ideas. He shouldered his bag and made his way toward the gaping hole he’d somehow created. Just before he passed through, he turned. “Give me your hand.”
I hesitated and raised my eyes to his. Let’s face it. Just the idea of stepping through my refrigerator made my heart bounce like a yo-yo.
“Come on. He isn’t going to leave until he gets what he wants.”
What does he want?”
Rhys clamped his fingers around my wrist. He bent his head as though moving against a hurricane force wind and dragged me through the opening. I struggled for air, but none of it reached my lungs. This must be what it feels like to drown. My heart accelerated, one beat at a time, and my vision clouded with spots.
No more than a few seconds could have passed before we burst through to the other side and stumbled across a thick carpet of leaves. Behind me, my kitchen wavered like a mirage, its familiar colors fading to gray. The tear Rhys had made grew smaller, shrinking until it disappeared and left me staring at a dense wall of foliage.
With my first few gasps, my lungs had felt like they were on fire, but at least I could breathe again. After being deprived of oxygen, the fresh air made my vision swim. My knees buckled and I would have fallen if Rhys hadn’t grabbed my arm.
“Relax. It only makes things worse if you fight it.”
“You’ve done this before?”
“Yes.”
“Do you ever get used to it?”
“Sooner or later.”
 Unsure whether to puke or pass out, I leaned over and braced my hands on my legs, waiting for the nausea to subside. After a few breaths, the dizziness cleared enough for me to raise my head. We were standing in a grassy clearing alongside a meandering gravel path that disappeared into shadows in both directions. Dense woods shrouded in darkness crowded the other side of the path.

We weren’t outside my apartment.  
Great sample. Thank you for being here, Susan.
Links to Susan's other books:
The It's About Time series Not Long Ago and From Now On
and her YA book. Xander's Tangled Web
If you would like to win a book from Susan, please enter below. Happy Reading.

a Rafflecopter giveaway