30 June 2022

$200 Summer Giveaway!

Golden Goose Giveaways $200 Summer Giveaway

Welcome to the $200 Summer Giveaway!

~ 1 Winner ~ $200 PayPal Cash Deposit or Amazon Gift Card ~ Open Worldwide

This giveaway is part of our Back to School Gift Guide. Stop by to see all the great giveaways and products!

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Flickering Light by Tricia T. LaRochelle Book Release! @IndiePenPR #FlickeringHeart @TriciaLaRochelle

Timid college girl, Sara, isn’t looking for any complications, but that doesn’t stop her from falling for playboy, Scott. When a stalker shatters their happiness, Sara must fight to save herself and the man she loves. Readers who love Jamie McGuire and Colleen Hoover will enjoy Flickering Heart by Tricia T. LaRochelle, a steamy, opposites attract romance.

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Eighteen-year-old Sara Browne is about to step off a cliff. She is taking a giant leap into the world of college—a normal transition for most—but not for Sara. A car accident that scarred her body and soul—and left her orphaned—has dictated six years of isolation, but that was all in her past. She is ready to leave those dark days behind. Her new goals: make a friend, behave irresponsibly (if she’ll allow herself), and go on an actual date.

The last thing Sara is looking for is a complication, but that is exactly what she finds in the hot, six-foot-three blond named Scott Williams, who she meets at the beginning of the school year. Sara is drawn to Scott in a way that she cannot explain, and he seems just as into her. She wants to trust her heart, but Scott’s promiscuous past keeps creeping into their lives. Jealous ex-girlfriends are one thing, but the stranger who defaces her car, sabotages her laptop, and who sends Sara threatening letters is far worse. Someone is determined to destroy her relationship with Scott and the life Sara is trying so hard to rebuild.

By the time Sara finds out who is behind all the trouble, her life is in shambles and she must fight with every ounce of strength and courage to save herself and the man she loves.

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Excerpt

Copyright 2022 Tricia T. LaRochelle

The following day, I headed to the library to work on a paper I had to write for my Western Civilization class. I needed to use their printer. I passed by Derek and Rick on my way in. They were really chumming it up lately. Rick acted especially happy to see me, but I wasn’t sure why.
“Where are you off to?” Rick asked.
“Oh, hi, Rick. Hey, Derek. Library. I’ve gotta print some stuff off.”
Rick reached into the back pocket of his pastel shorts. “I’ve got a huge credit on my student card if you want to use it.” He opened his wallet.
I put my hand up. “No. That’s okay. I just funded mine ... but thanks anyway.”
He put his wallet back. “I also have a decent printer in my room if you ever need to use it.”
I took a step closer to the library door. “Okay, thanks.”
“I’ll text you and Amy later,” Derek said as the two of them wandered off.
The library housed a small cafĂ© where you could get Starbucks if you wanted. Rachael was standing in line when I passed by. I wasn’t in the mood for one of her snide comments, so I walked fast so she wouldn’t see me.
I found a study area, sat, and opened my laptop. There was another note waiting for me from Scott: “Thinking about you.”
I sent him a quick text. “I got your note. Thinking about you, too, handsome.” If Amy could have a nickname for everyone, so could I. My mother had often referred to my father as handsome, so it seemed fitting.
An hour of writing, and I hadn’t made much progress, although I had at least put together an outline for my paper, which was due on Monday. I chose the topic: Influence of Classical Greece on the Foundation of Western Civilization. Mind blown. History had never been my subject, but it was part of my core curriculum. Scott had bragged about Jason being a history genius, and I wondered if he had any tips that could help me remember this stuff. I took a bottle of water out of my backpack to quench my thirst while thinking about it. I screwed the top back on my water bottle and sent my file to the printer. As I crossed the library, I thought about Rick’s offer. Did he honestly think I would go to his room to print a document? I swiped my student card and then went through the process of printing my stuff.
When I returned to my study area, my laptop was off, the screen blank. It wouldn’t power up, either. Battery? No, I had just charged it right before I left my dorm. My water bottle was three-quarters full when I had left it a few minutes ago. Now it was empty. A few droplets beaded on the keyboard. I picked up the now empty bottle, which was still upright, not tipped over, its cap secured in place. Had someone opened my bottle, tipped it over, and put the cap back on? What the? I looked around. Nothing about this situation made sense.
That night, I walked to my car to do a grocery run. When I got there, my windows were marred with pink marker, the words “Watch your back,” in all caps. The windshield, the side windows, and the back. They were all covered.
Considering my hypersensitivity to dangerous situations, it was like throwing gasoline on the tinderbox that was my PTSD.

About Tricia T. LaRochelle

Since she was a little girl, Tricia T. LaRochelle has been obsessed with tragic love stories. No beach reads for her. Bring on the grit with a double side of turmoil. She likes to feel the character’s anguish as they fight to overcome obstacles to be together. Growing up in central Vermont, she has seen her share of tragedy but remains a hopeful romantic. She now lives in central Virginia where she continues to foster the possibilities of how love can conquer all.

Flickering Heart is the first book in the Sara Browne Series. Stay tuned for updates and announcements on Instagram, Twitter, or sign up for her email list at TriciaLaRochelle.com.

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Book 6 in the Popov Bratva series by Leslie Georgeson Book Blitz and Giveaway! #LeslieGeorgeson #Thief #XpressoTours @XpressoTours

 

Thief
Leslie Georgeson


(Popov Bratva, #4)
Publication date: June 14th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Mafia, Romance, Suspense

I live by one simple rule.

Do not get attached.

Feelings are a weakness that I can’t allow.

It’s an easy rule to abide by. Keep everyone at a distance.

Then a sassy, smart-mouthed redhead interferes in my heist. For the first time in my life, I botch the job.

If I let her go, she’ll turn me in. I have no choice other than to take her hostage.

Too late, I learn she’s a celebrity. Her disappearance will make the headlines and lead back to me. She’s nothing but trouble in a tight, sexy body.

Can I strike a deal with a woman who challenges me at every turn?

Then I discover she has secrets that could ruin her. Now I have the upper hand. I plan to use it to my advantage.

She has more to lose than I do. Or so I think.

I am about to learn that some rules are meant to be broken.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

My stomach dropped. Had I seriously lost my wallet? This was not good. I needed to go back to the store before they closed and see if I could find it.

It was ten-thirty at night. The store closed at eleven. I needed to hurry.

There might be a slim chance someone had found my wallet and turned it in to someone at the store. It was also possible I’d dropped it somewhere and it still lay where it had fallen. If I hurried, I might actually get lucky and find it before someone picked it up.

The paparazzi should be long gone by now.

Snatching up my purse, I tossed my phone inside and headed for the garage. I’d never lost my wallet before. I wouldn’t feel better until I had it back in my possession.

Snagging a hoodie from the coat rack by the back door, I slipped it over my head. Moments later, I was in my Audi R8 and pulling out of the garage. I’d fallen in car lust the moment I’d seen the sleek and sexy convertible at the car dealership last year. Melanie called it a “dickmobile” and I loved the description with its intended pun. The sports car had cost me over a hundred and fifty grand. It was one of my few splurges. Mostly, I was careful with my money, investing over half of it for the future. I was smart enough to know I wouldn’t be on top forever. Everyone’s career had its ups and downs. Considering where I’d come from, I wasn’t about to be too confident. Today I might have it all, but tomorrow I might have squat.

I took nothing for granted.

Ten minutes later, I reached the store. 10:45 p.m. I still had fifteen minutes until closing.

The parking lot was nearly empty now. Only a few cars remaining. A sleek black Escalade. A beat-up blue Honda. A nondescript gray sedan.

Assuming the owner of the Escalade was wealthy, probably a celebrity and unlikely to care if he or she spotted another celebrity, I parked next to it. Plus, I felt safer parking near another expensive car. People with nice cars were less likely to ding your vehicle with their doors.

Pulling the hoodie up over my head to hide my face and stuffing a pepper spray in the pocket for my safety—a girl could never be too cautious—I exited the car and hurried toward the south entrance where Gus had picked us up earlier. If I couldn’t find my wallet on the ground, then I would go inside and ask the store clerk if someone had turned it in.

I’d only taken about eight or nine steps across the parking lot when I sensed a movement behind me.

My skin prickling, I whirled around.

A man dressed all in black slipped out of the back of the Escalade and rushed around to the driver’s side of my Audi, his face hidden beneath a black balaclava.

My mouth dropped open.

Are you kidding me?

Frozen with shock and cursing my dumb luck and the decision to park near the SUV, I could only stare as my car bleeped, the lights flashing as it unlocked, and the man slipped behind the wheel. Of my car. How the hell did he unlock it?

What I did next was probably the stupidest thing I’ve ever done in my life. But I wasn’t about to lose my precious Audi in addition to my wallet.

Pulling the pepper spray from the pocket of my hoodie, I raced back to my car just as the engine fired up.

Oh, no, you don’t, asshole!

Yanking the passenger’s side door open, I leaped into the vehicle just as it started to move forward.

The man jerked toward me in surprise.

I aimed the pepper spray at his face.

And pressed the trigger.


Leslie Georgeson writes romance and suspense, sometimes with a dash of sci-fi or paranormal tossed in to make things more interesting. She is the author of the popular military romantic suspense series, THE DREGS, which was nominated for the 2018 TopShelf Indie Book Awards. Her other titles include the UNLIKELY HEROES series, the UNDERNEATH series, the standalone romantic mystery, NO SON OF MINE, and the newly released romantic suspense duet, THE PACT. Book one, The Mocking Man, is now available on Amazon.

Leslie lives with her husband and daughter on a quiet country acreage in Idaho. She is currently working on The Honest Liar, the second book in THE PACT, and anticipates an early May 2020 release.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Newsletter


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The Kite by @nrwalkerauthor Book Tour and Giveaway! #nrwalker #TheKite #XpressoTours⁣ @XpressoTours⁣ #EnemiesToLovers #GayAssassins #UsAgainstThem

 

The Kite
N.R. Walker


Publication date: June 28th 2022
Genres: Adult, LGBTQ+, Romance, Suspense

Ex-Australian Specialist Response Group, Tim “Harry” Harrigan, has been running covert ops for almost a decade. A lone wolf, he’s single-handedly taken down terrorists and national security threats, or so he thinks. He’s been in the game far too long, and when he sees a familiar threat, he knows his time is up.

Asher Garin is a dangerous man. A man without loyalty, a man without a nationality, without a country, or a home. He’s also a mercenary for hire to the highest bidder. His next job is a face he recognises, and after a tip-off, he learns he too is a marked man.

It’s a different game now, and Harry and Asher have a better chance at surviving if they stick together. But it’s not just the game or the rules that have changed. The stakes have too.

Because on their own, they had nothing to lose. Together, they do.

~

#EnemiesToLovers #GayAssassins #UsAgainstThem

Caution: on-page physical and gun violence. Reader discretion advised.

Goodreads / Purchase

EXCERPT:

Harry crossed the street. No one crossed after him, but whoever was after him was closer now.

He could feel it.

That cold stab of dread, sixth sense, gut feeling. Like icy fingers down his skin.

And if someone was after Harry, it wasn’t good. He was the hunter, never the hunted. If he was the mark . . .

Christ. He was the mark.

Harry ducked past two women, slipping through a narrow utility alley, and he ran. He was being chased now, silent and fast. At the end of the alley, he turned left and went through an open door, up a set of stairs to the roof, his heart hammering.

He ran along the roofline, exposed but faster than on the street. He heard footsteps chasing behind him but didn’t dare turn around, and as the muted whirr of a bullet pinged past his head, he jumped.

He knew the sound of that gun. It was a SIG Pro 9mm with a suppressor.

French special forces, standard issue.

He landed on a first-floor balcony, using his momentum to leap again, this time to the ground. Pain shot through his ankle but he kept moving, down another alley, and through an open door and into a darkened hall.

Hands grabbed him, spun him and pinned his back against the wall as the door closed behind him. In half a disorienting second, Harry pulled his gun to his assailant’s head at the same time he realised he had a pistol pressed against his.

Eyes flashed in the dark, familiar and close. A man’s body pressed him hard to the wall, their chests heaving. A hand covered his mouth.

“Shh.”

Harry didn’t dare breathe, his finger on the trigger, still aimed at the man’s head. The cold press of metal against Harry’s temple told him to wait.

The sound of feet outside came running. The crackle of a radio, a French voice just outside the door. “I’ve lost him.” The footsteps faded, and only after a long moment did the man move his hand from Harry’s mouth.

Harry could see then who it was.

Asher Garin.

Asher fucking Garin.

Adrenaline exploded through Harry’s veins and he started, pushing his pistol harder into Asher’s temple. Asher gnashed his teeth. Anger and defiance flashed in his eyes. “Keep quiet or you’ll kill us both,” Asher hissed, barely a whisper.

His words didn’t make sense.

Asher had saved him?

If there was anyone on the planet sent to kill Harry, it would be Asher. He was the only other man good enough. They were the top two government assassins in the world. Yet Asher had just saved him from the French?

Keep quiet or you’ll kill us both.

Both?

After an eternity, Asher released him, though he kept his pistol aimed at Harry’s head. “We need to get out of here,” he murmured.

Harry’s heart was thundering. His finger itched to pull the trigger. Itched. “The fuck?”

Asher held up his phone to show Harry the screen. “Sent to all agencies.” An assignment, just like any other. Just like any of the thousand he’d received in the last decade. Locations, dates, names, and photographs.

Two photographs.

Harry’s blood ran cold, and his eyes met Asher’s.

Asher nodded, his stare intense. “You and me; double hit. They want us dead. You’re a kite, and your government just cut you loose.”

Harry grappled with his fight or flight instinct, his heart hammering, his ankle throbbing. But given two men had just tried to kill him and the fact Asher hadn’t killed him—and the assignment on his phone screen—Harry could assume what Asher said was true.

Asher must have seen the realisation in Harry’s eyes because he slowly lowered his gun. Just an inch. “We need to trust each other,” he whispered. “The only chance we have is if we stick together. Can you do that?”

Trusting any other person went against every cell in Harry’s body, but what choice did he have? If he said no, one or both of them died right here. If the assignment was sent to all agencies, there wasn’t a country or government anywhere in the world that could protect them.

Harry had no choice.

Answering without a word, he took his finger off the trigger.


N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance. She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn’t have it any other way.

She is many things: a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who live in her head, who don’t let her sleep at night unless she gives them life with words.

She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things… but likes it even more when they fall in love.

She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.

She’s been writing ever since…

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Bookbub


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Leningrad: The People’s War (Leningrad, Book 1) By Rachel R. Heil Blog Tour! @HeilRachelR @maryanneyarde @rachelrheil @coffeepotbookclub #HistoricalFiction #WorldWarII #Leningrad #BlogTour #CoffeePotBookClub

 


Book Title: Leningrad: The Peoples War

Series: (Leningrad, Book 1)

Author: Rachel R. Heil

Publication Date: February 5, 2021

Publisher: Independently Published

Page Length: 326 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance 



Leningrad, 1941. As Europe crumbles under the German war machine, the people of the Soviet Union watch. There are whispers of war but not loud enough for the civilians of Leningrad to notice. Instead, they keep their heads down and try to avoid the ever-watching eyes of their own oppressive government.


University student Tatiana Ivankova tries to look ahead to the future after a family tragedy that characterizes life under the brutal regime. But, when the rumors that have been circulating the country become a terrifying reality, Tatiana realizes that the greatest fear may not be the enemy but what her fellow citizens are prepared to do to each other to survive. 


As his men plow through the Russian countryside, Heinrich Nottebohm is told to follow orders and ask no questions, even if such commands go against his own principles. His superiors hold over him a past event that continues to destroy him with every day that passes. But, when given the opportunity to take an act of defiance, Heinrich will jump at the chance, ignoring what the end results could be. 


Leningrad: The Peoples War tells the harrowing beginning of a war that forever changed the landscape of a city, told through the eyes of both sides in a tale of courage, love, and sacrifice. 

 

This novel is available on #KindleUnlimited.


Universal Link: mybook.to/LeningradWar

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08PMM3NX6

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08PMM3NX6

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B08PMM3NX6

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B08PMM3NX6


 

Rachel R. Heil is a historical fiction writer who always dreamed of being an author. After years of dreaming, she finally decided to turn this dream into a reality with her first novel, and series, Behind the Darkened Glass. Rachel is an avid history fan, primarily focused on twentieth century history and particularly World War Two-era events. In addition to her love for history, Rachel loves following the British Royal Family and traveling the world, which only opens the door to learning more about a country's history. Rachel resides in Wisconsin.


Twitter: https://twitter.com/HeilRachelR 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RachelRHeil 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rachel-heil-90bbb6119/ 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rachelrheil/ 

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/rachel-r-heil 

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Rachel-R-Heil/e/B07MY8DZT8

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18802162.Rachel_R_Heil 





Turtle Bay Series: Tides of Change, Book Two by John Patrick Book Release and Giveaway! @ninestarpress @indigomarketingdesign #LGBTQIA+

 

Title: Turtle Bay

Series: Tides of Change, Book Two

Author: John Patrick

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 06/28/2022

Heat Level: 1 - No Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 85400

Genre: Historical, LGBTQIA+, gender-bending, cross-dressing, businessman, humor, law enforcement, political, PTSD, Postwar America, sexual discovery

Add to Goodreads


Description

It’s 1947, and New York City is awaiting the construction of the new United Nations building, the FBI is actively pursuing Communists and Soviet spies as the Cold War begins to build, and homosexual men have even more reasons to hide who they are.

Uptight FBI Agent Arthur Mason is so deep in the closet he doesn’t even realize he’s in one. Clueless about his own sexuality, he’s surprised at his reaction to both Hans Schmidt and his twin sister, Ada. Under pressure from work, Mason investigates Hans and his boarders, including the highly suspicious Hank Mannix, a known member of the Communist Party. Though Mason can’t seem to locate Ada, he can’t stop thinking about Hans and keeps going back to visit.

Hans Schmidt is a cross-dressing German immigrant running a boarding house for “a certain type of man,” and he wants nothing to do with Agent Mason and his ill-fitting suits and bad haircut. Until he begins to see Mason more as a man and less as a government official.

Hans enjoys dressing as a woman from time to time, and once his feelings for Arthur begin to change, he realizes he needs to share his Ada persona if they are to have a future together.

Secrets on both sides must be revealed and cherished beliefs challenged if these two men are to find the love and happiness they deserve.

This story can be read on its own; however, characters from book one, Dublin Bay, play a prominent role as secondary characters, so it’s recommended to read that first.

Excerpt

Turtle Bay
John Patrick © 2022
All Rights Reserved

Hans

Even after five years in America, Hans still startled every time the telephone rang—an abrupt, clanging sound insisting on attention. Why couldn’t a country capable of producing an atomic bomb be able to create a more discreet way of letting a person know about an incoming call? He vaguely remembered the phones in Ireland giving a soft chime first, before beginning to ring in earnest, but his time there had been short and chaotic, always one step ahead of capture, so he couldn’t be sure.

He didn’t remember the sound of telephones in Germany at all, even though he knew one hung on the wall in the university’s administration office. He pictured it there next to the corkboard but couldn’t reconstruct its sound.

He hoped the new dial telephone would have a more melodious tone. Assuming the phone company ever got around to swapping out his candlestick model for something more modern as they had been promising for months.

The telephone sat atop the counter in the small reception hallway. Hans swiveled his stool and picked up the entire device, bringing the mouthpiece forward and lifting the receiver close to his ear. He was surprised a call had even come through; most of the operators had gone out on strike.

“Schmidt’s Boarding House, Hans Schmidt speaking.”

“Hans, old boy! It’s Wally, up in Albany.”

“Oh, Wally, so good to hear from you. Is this business or pleasure?”

“Business, I’m afraid. I have a live one for you. And don’t forget I’m still on a party line here.”

That was code for anyone could be listening. Hans appreciated the reminder. The boarding house had its own private line, and he sometimes forgot most people outside the city still used party lines. As if to prove the point, Hans heard muffled soft breathing in the background.

He sighed and glanced at the wall clock, mentally rearranging his calendar for the afternoon. “Hold on.” He placed the transmitter back on the desk, switched the receiver to his left hand, and pulled a pad and pencil out of the drawer. He leaned closer to the mouthpiece so he could still be heard. “A day or two’s notice would make a nice change. But go on.”

“Sorry, there was no advance notice this time. He came right up to the counter and said, ‘One-way ticket to New York City, please, next available bus.’ You’ve got two more hours. I’m certain of this one, Hans. We served together.”

“Oh, were you…?”

“No. Nothing like that,” Wally responded. “But I knew, of course.”

“I understand. Greyhound?” Hans asked.

“Yes, arrives at three thirty.”

That was good news at least. The Greyhound terminal was next to Penn Station, which was only a half-hour walk if he hurried.

“Would you recommend Ada or Hans?”

“Oh, Ada for sure, dear boy. This one seems quite skittish. A direct approach won’t do. He needs to see what’s possible,” Wally replied. “He’s a good kid, Hans. Don’t let him get swallowed up by the Y.”

“Understood, and thanks for the tip. What will he be wearing?”

Wally laughed, and the connection broke up a bit. “Oh, not to worry. You can’t miss him.” Hans heard a click as someone hung up, or perhaps someone else picked up to check if the line was available.

“Will you be coming down yourself anytime soon?” Hans asked. “You absolutely must see David Brooks in Brigadoon. He’s in a kilt most of the time. We could make a weekend of it.”

“That sounds grand! Maybe next month.”

They exchanged a few additional pleasantries and ended the call.

Hans needed at least an hour to get Ada ready, and he was thankful he hadn’t yet put on cologne. He’d planned a shopping trip this afternoon to resupply a few staples—coffee, tea, and biscuits for the ladies’ reception parlor—but that could be rescheduled. But he couldn’t put it off for too long; the ladies did not like to run out of biscuits during their social hour.

As he descended the stairs to Ada’s room on the garden level—a New York euphemism for below ground—he was reminded how much easier things were for men. He wore a simple gray suit with a narrow navy tie, appropriate for all seasons and conservatively bland. Why, a fellow could disappear into any crowd wearing such an outfit.

Ada, though—she had a much tougher go of it. It was spring, technically, but still quite chilly. She’d need something…delightful. Yes, Hans thought, that was the right word. Not too frivolous, but sufficiently feminine to show the world there was still joy in beauty. But she’d also need to wear an outercoat and sensible enough shoes for a bit of a walk. She wouldn’t want to invite scrutiny, but she’d want people to see her and appreciate the effort she’d made.

Hans stepped into Ada’s room and opened the closet. He considered his options. He’d have to use last spring’s coat; he hadn’t had the time or funds to completely reoutfit this season. But it would do the job. It was robin’s-egg blue with a fitted waist rather than a belt. Five oversized white buttons ran down its length. Sadly, American fashion houses continued to insist on outrageously padded shoulders even now, nearly two years after the war’s end.

A thrill ran through Hans as he stood in front of Ada’s closet. It always did, right before the transformation.

He eyed the spring dress he’d bought two weeks ago and knew it would be perfect. He took it out of the closet and laid it flat on the bed. It was a creamy off-white cotton, with a hint of pink. It dropped to midcalf and had a layer of tulle underneath the skirt—an extravagant use of material that would have been unthinkable only a year ago, when rationing and scarcity were just starting to give way. Large red cherries created a pattern, and a back zipper allowed for a smooth, uninterrupted front.

Hans removed his suit and his baggy, shapeless boxers, making a mental note to remember to take the clothes back to his own room, behind the kitchen. He spent the next half hour on underclothing and shapewear, then makeup, and finally a softly curling blonde wig that matched his natural hair color.

Hans was more comfortable dressed as a woman than he was dressed as a man. He always had been; it’s what got him in trouble back in Germany.

Dressed as a woman, Hans absolutely sparkled. His slight frame and delicate features fit Ada better than they fit Hans, and more than once he wondered what it would have been like to have been born as Ada. He’d met men who claimed to actually be women, deep inside, but he didn’t fully grasp that. At the heart of it, Hans liked being a man and being attracted to other men. He just liked dressing and acting like a woman sometimes.

It was enough for him.

The dress itself—the item everyone saw—was the easiest part but for the back zipper, which he managed eventually.

He slipped on square-heeled navy shoes, tied a gauzy pink scarf around his hair as protection against the breeze, and then headed out the door.

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NineStar Press | Books2Read

Author John Patrick is a Lambda Literary Award finalist living in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts, where he is supported in his writing by his husband and their terrier, who is convinced he could do battle with the bears that come through the woods on occasion (the terrier, that is, not the husband). An introvert, John can often be found doing introverted things like reading or writing, cooking, and thinking deep, contemplative thoughts (his husband might call this napping). He loves to spend time in nature—“forest bathing” is the Japanese term for it—feeling connected with the universe. But he also loathes heat and humidity, bugs of any sort, and unsteady footing in the form of rocks, mud, tree roots, snow, or ice. So his love of nature is tempered—he’s complicated that way. 

John and his husband enjoy traveling and have visited over a dozen countries, meeting new people, exploring new cultures, and—most importantly—discovering new foods.

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Belinda by Mark Zvonkovic Book Tour! Review and Interview! #Belinda #bookstagram #NewFiction #Baja #Houston #legalthriller #thriller and #PRbytheBookVBT #MarkZvonkovic

 




Set in the conference rooms of a white-shoe Houston law firm and the stunning coastline of Baja California, Belinda is the story of a woman’s bravery and resourcefulness at the end of her brilliant career. Her decision to fight her firm’s men in suits who demand her retirement is called into question when a man once her lover appears after a long unexplained absence. Against a backdrop of romance and legal drama, the novel explores questions about love, the law, and the anxious precipice of life change. Is it ever too late to be swept away by romance? Can true justice ever be attained when the law’s practitioners are corrupt? And when your work is what defines you, what’s left after retirement? During a week of surprises and abstruse events, Belinda sees the once presumed greatness of her life flicker as she forces the moment for her decision to a crisis.

Interview

What was the inspiration for this book?

Character development is a focus of all of my writing. I think every person is a story of sorts, and I enjoy telling the story. I practiced law for thirty five years so I had a lot of material to use in the creation of the stories of the characters in Belinda. It was like combining all the ingredients in a very complicated recipe.

And what about Belinda Larkin? Is there a real life version of her?

Oh no! She is an amalgam of many peoples I’ve known, some for many years and some only casually. Many of them weren’t even lawyers. But that’s how all of my characters are created. They start as fused together impressions and evolve with their story into people. And, of course, sometimes creative license leads to exaggeration. I mean, could a man, even a lawyer, be as entirely despicable as Patrick Brashner? But Belinda Larkin is a modern woman who is not going to make a life transition on account of anyone telling her what to do.

How long did it take you to write Belinda?

A little more than two years. But I was wading my way through being a recovering lawyer during that time. I worked with an excellent editor for most of that time. At one point the novel was twice as long as it turned out. That was how I learned about the principal characters, by writing much more background material about them than was needed in the end.

Where can readers find out more about you?

Information about me and my earlier novels can be found at www.markzvonkovic.com. The site also contains book reviews I have written, most of which have been published in Midwest Book Review. I have an author’s page on Facebook and also one on Goodreads.

How did your past as a lawyer affect your writing of Belinda?

Primarily it was a hindrance. My editor said more times than I can remember, Stop Writing Like a Lawyer. Exactitude was definitely not my friend. It wasn’t always necessary to say how many coffee spoons were on the table. And I certainly didn’t approach it like I was writing a contract. One thing I never did as a lawyer was put my head back, close my eyes, and imagine dialogue. Perhaps, if I had, I might have been a better negotiator?

What do you like most about your novels?

What keeps me writing is my love of making up characters that I hope readers will connect with. I want my characters, like Belinda Larkin, Raymond Hatcher and Larry Brown in my three novels, to move readers and get invested in what they think and feel. It’s a reason why some of these characters appear in several novels. None of the novels is meant to be a sequel of another, except to the extent that a reader is granted access to more about the lives of the characters who reappear. 

Do you have a favorite character?

My favorite character changes when my curiosity leads me back to their personalities and life events. Obviously, Raymond Hatcher is the one I’ve thought about the most. He is the common element across the novels. But I’ve been thinking a lot about Larry Brown lately, as well as Vera, the young Croatian woman who was Raymond’s first love. In everybody’s life feelings and past events come to the surface, and the insights that accompany them can be both exhilarating and painful



Mark Zvonkovic is a writer who lives in Rosarito Beach, Baja California Mexico with his wife Nancy and their two dogs. Finn and Cooper. He has written three novels, and he also writes book reviews and essays that appear in online publications. Before retiring to Mexico, Mark practiced law for thirty five years at three multinational law firms in Houston, Texas and New York City. He attended college at Southern Methodist University and Boston University, and his law degree is from SMU School of Law. Mark grew up as an oil company brat and lived in Latin America, Texas and New York.

My Thoughts

Belinda by Mark Zvonkovic is a story of Belinda, a lawyer who will most likely be asked to retire as she is of a certain age from her law firm in Houston, Texas. She is not happy with that as the law is what she knows and enjoys it. As she contemplates what this means for her, she hopes to rekindle a past relationship with a former coworker, Jay Jackson.
Jay is a former spy with the CIA but is now a rancher and has property in Baja California. He has some baggage as his best friend and mentor, Raymond Hatcher, and his wife were killed by one bullet. Was it an assassination, Jay seems to think so. He travels to France to confront the person who he thinks is the murderer.

Belinda, Lyn, is involved in a high-stakes case and is contacted by Jay after 2 years. He invites her to Baja, Mexico to rekindle their relationship. She accepts and spends an idyllic weekend where they pick up where they left off. After Lyn leaves to go back to Houston, Jay is kidnapped and there is a demand for money. He escapes and turns the table on his kidnappers.

The story is full of egotistical men, misogynist men who will stop at nothing to get what they want, including rape. Men in power take advantage of other people, especially women. I love a story about strong women and this one has a few.
This story started out a bit slow until all the pieces fit together to tell an exciting tale of back-door dealings, corporate greed, and corruption from the top.

The ending left me wanting more and I hope that there is another story to add. I enjoyed it and read it in a few sittings. I give it 4 stars!





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