Excerpt, Giveaways, New Release, Spotlight

Excerpt from The American Crusade by Mark Spivak w/a rafflecopter giveaway! #politicalthriller @eatdrinkjourney

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Mark Spivak will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

A power-hungry vice president, a bad batch of shady intelligence, and a sinister plot to destroy Western civilization.
Just another day in America.

On May 1, 2001, a group of radical Islamic terrorists crash a Boeing 737 jet airliner into the Mall of America—and Vice President Robert Hornsby knows his moment is coming.

The attack kills three thousand American citizens and throws an entire nation into a panic, but all Hornsby sees is an opportunity, a chance to imprint his fanatical values on the soul of the country he loves and become the most powerful vice president in American history.

With the aid of his affable but ineffectual president; the reluctant, conscience-stricken secretary of defense; and a preening, foppish faith leader with more than a few skeletons in his closet; Hornsby declares war on terror—and anyone who stands in his way. But as media scrutiny of the administration’s actions overseas intensifies, Hornby’s one-man campaign against evil begins to unravel—with striking parallels to the thirteenth century’s doomed Fourth Crusade—and sends the nation spiraling toward another deadly tragedy.

The American Crusade paints a grim and often cynical picture of America’s recent past, reflecting the attitudes, politics, and fears that shaped our nation in the new millennium. By sampling the contemporaneous French text on the Fourth Crusade, On the Conquest of Constantinople, author Mark Spivak reminds us of that ever-vital adage: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Fans of The Castle by Jack Pinter, The President Is Missing by Bill Clinton and James Patterson, House of Cards by Michael Dobbs, The Whistler by John Grisham, and the Aaron Sorkin–penned TV drama The West Wing will love this book.

Read an Excerpt

The lights from the lanterns flickered against the walls of the cave. It was nearing midnight on May 1 in the tribal areas of Kabulistan, the mountainous and impenetrable regions high up near the Persepostan border. Salman Al-Akbar sat on a cushion, surrounded by his inner circle. Fazil Ahmadi, his director of operations, had just finished briefing him on the aftermath of the Mall of America attack and the subsequent suicide missions around the United States.

“Allah be praised!” Al-Akbar’s normally sad eyes were bright and jubilant. “We have succeeded beyond our wildest expectations, beyond the reach of our dreams. Allah is most with us.”

“This is so,” said Fazil Ahmadi. “Had we dreamed it, it could not have gone better.”

“What time is it now in Washington?”

“Four-thirty in the afternoon, sir.”

“And where is the young American President now?”

“We have no knowledge of his whereabouts, sir. He is in hiding.”

“Hiding?” Al-Akbar’s eyebrows arched toward the ceiling of the cave, and his normally expressionless face was close to registering hilarity. “From whom is he hiding? Robert Hornsby?”

“He has been removed from sight, sir. We suspect they took him to one of their nuclear installations.”

“Do they actually think we are in possession of nuclear weapons?”

“We believe it is a precaution on their part, sir.”

“Allah be praised!” Al-Akbar clapped his hands in glee. “This is beyond our imagining. Everything has gone off perfectly, with synchronized precision.”

“They will most certainly retaliate, sir.”

“Against whom?” asked Al-Akbar with contempt. “Our forces are safe. The loyalty of the warlords is secure, and they will not betray us.”

“We believe their most likely target will be the Dua Khamail. They will wage war against them and will surely defeat them. Then, they will restore Selim Hanjuk to power.”

“Let them have the Dua Khamail.” Al-Akbar shrugged. “To us, it matters not who is the ruler of Kabulistan. Any war they wage against the innocent population can only help us. It will bring more recruits to our side.”

“This is true.”

“One thing I will guarantee you. They may topple the government of Kabulistan, or all of the governments of the earth, but they will never be at peace again. As they fall off to sleep, they will see us in their nightmares.”

“Yes, sir. Our position is strong, and the Americans can only immerse themselves in quicksand by invading Kabulistan. They will never find us, much less defeat us.”

“Their memories are short,” mused Al-Akbar. “They forget that the Russians tried and failed. It was their Vietnam. And the Americans are far weaker than the Russians. They do not have the will for a prolonged conflict.”

“Let us not underestimate their military strength, sir.”

“These infidels are like the Crusaders of old.” Al-Akbar’s fingers worked prayer beads in the darkness of the cave. “They have many troops, they have excellent weapons, and they have knowledge of warfare. But they lack the fire of belief, as well as the support of their people. And they do not have Allah on their side.” He smiled approvingly at his lieutenant. “You have done well today. And soon we will do better still. Today is the beginning of the great Jihad. Nearly eight hundred years ago, the East was ruled by Saladin and the true believers were victorious. That day will come again.”

About the Author:

In the realm of non-fiction, award-winning author Mark Spivak focuses on wine, spirits, food, restaurants and culinary travel. His first book, Iconic Spirits: An Intoxicating History, was published by Lyons Press in 2012. He followed this with Moonshine Nation (Lyons Press, 2014), hailed as the definitive book on illegal corn whiskey in America. From 1994-1999 he was the wine writer for the Palm Beach Post, and was honored for excellence in wine criticism “in a graceful and approachable style.” Since 2001 he has been the Wine & Spirits Editor for the Palm Beach Media Group, and contributes to a number of national magazines. He is also the holder of the Certificate and Advanced Diplomas from the Court of Master Sommeliers.

Mark’s first novel, Friend of the Devil, was published by Black Opal Books in May 2016. Set in Palm Beach in 1990, it tells the story of America’s most famous chef, who has sold his soul to the Devil for fame and fortune.

Mark also has an endless fascination with the American political system and is an avid follower of Washington politics. His second novel, The American Crusade (a gripping political thriller set during the invasion of Iraq, which dips into the shadowy world of government conspiracy and political sabotage), will be released by TCK Publishing on April 4. He is currently at work on Impeachment, the sequel to The American Crusade.

Pre-order The American Crusade on Amazon:

https://geni.us/americancrusade


Visit Mark’s website at http://www.markspivakbooks.com, and sign up for his free newsletter and political blog: http://

www.markspivakbooks.com/free

Amazon buy link: https://www.amazon.com/American-Crusade-Political-Thriller/dp/1631610708/

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Excerpt, Giveaways, New Release, Reviews

#Review of Heart of a Highlander (a Real Men Wear Kilts novel) by Maxine Mansfield w/a rafflecopter giveaway! #timetravel #romance @LeekyShortz @WildRosePress

Heart of a Highlander

by Maxine Mansfield

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GENRE: Time Travel/Romance

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BLURB:

Staff Sergeant Ian Mackay didn’t care if he lived or died. He’d left what really mattered strewn across Afghanistan three years ago. All the self-help groups and doctors in the world couldn’t assuage his guilt. But when an accident takes his life and Fate steps in with an offer to fix what was once unfixable, he jumps at the second chance to save his men. Now he’s stuck in a strange land, in an even stranger time, and expected to bed his equally strange but desirable new bride. Healer Aila Gordan of the Sutherland clan thought her betrothed dead, had even seen his lifeless body the night before their wedding. Why then is her sworn enemy, Ian Mackay, standing before the priest, waiting for her to repeat the vows that would make her his wife? The fairies must have possessed his body, a frightening notion, indeed. But marriage to the handsome laird, possessed or otherwise, couldn’t be any worse than living in her brother’s castle where, like all women in 1643 Scotland, she has no freedom. And if the kiss at the altar is any indication, she could just steal the heart of a highlander.

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Excerpt Three:

“I’m from the future, Aila,” he spat out. “Almost four hundred years from now to be exact. But I’m not from this body you now see me in. You were right. The original Ian Mackay was dead that night you found him. He was one of my ancestors, you see, and we shared the same name and linage. When I died in an accident—in the future—Fate himself sent me back into the past and into this Ian Mackay’s body to correct a mistake that should never have happened in the first place.”

“What should nae have happened, Ian?” she asked.

He gulped. “Your death, Aila.”

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Yall this book.  I love a good time travel and this one is the best I’ve read.  There were things that I wasn’t expecting at all.  Let me explain if I can.

Fate is hilarious.  Great characterization and I felt the frustration that Ian had whenever he was trying to talk to Fate.  There is a saying that Karma is a fickle bitch, well, Fate at least has a sense of humor.  I loved how Ms. Mansfield used Fate to flesh out Ian’s backstory and his motivation to get back to his own time.

Ian is one of those characters that you just love from the first page.  He means well and has a heart of gold.  His issues with PTSD are real and are dealt with honestly.  He really did feel bad and thought they only way to help was to go back in time.  Little did he know how much Aila would change his life for the good.  I especially loved how Ms. Mansfield shaped their relationship as equals based on his parent’s relationship in the past.  Most often, historical writers still have their women as fragile women that can’t handle much on their own.

Which brings me to Aila as the heroine.  She was strong, smart and funny all at the same time.  Her belief that Ian was a fairy is hilarious.  The Scots are very religious and believe the legends that are passed on.  (Watch Brave, you’ll understand what I mean)  But what really stood out with me was her ability to believe Ian in the end and loving him no matter what.  Now her brother, Fergus was a tool in the beginning but towards the end, he ended up being a great character for both Ian and Aila.

But folks, this book is set in the Northern Highlands so some of the dialogue is Celtic (LOVE), and their way of life is brilliantly played out.  Ms. Mansfiled did her research and it shows.  She also doesn’t weigh the book down with all the very small details that some authors do when writing this time period.  She has a very deft hand and knows when to back off and just let her characters tell the story.

Again, this book.  It’s spicy and I love how Ms. Mansfield lets the characters own it.  It feels natural and not rushed.  Pick up this book and read it.  The ending is beautiful.  I wasn’t expecting it and I sighed and swooned in the end.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Hi, my name is Maxine Mansfield and I write erotic romance, be it Fantasy or Time travel from my easy chair in the great state of Alaska. A magical place where the summer days are long and bright, and the winter nights even longer.

Web site: www.maxinemansfield.com

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Time-Highlander-Real-Wear-Kilts/dp/B07HFHGHMG/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/maxine.mansfield.9

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

Maxine Mansfield will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Excerpt, Giveaways, New Release, Reviews

#Review of The Virgin Club by Kayley Wood w/a rafflecopter giveaway! #contemporaryromance

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kayley Wood will be awarding a $50 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Challenge: Lose my virginity before my 24th birthday. Time Left: 23 days.

Appletinis, a semi-meltdown, and a ‘Lose My Virginity Challenge’ post. That’s all it took for my little blog to go viral.

I’m going to be fine. I’m anonymous. I can just delete the post and pretend it never happened. No big deal, right?

Wrong!

My co-worker crush, Logan—gorgeous, yummy and out of my league—found out about my secret deadline-driven cherry popping quest.

Humiliated would be an understatement.

Fortunately, my besties come to the rescue with a brilliant plan that involves my trending blog. If all went smoothly, I’d not only win over the untouchable Logan but also live my dream of becoming a full-time writer.

The plan isn’t just brilliant, it’s perfect… until my new boss, Alexander Freeman comes into the picture with his Brooks Brothers suit and Tom Ford briefcase.

So what if the Stiff is hot? I will not ruin my one chance with Logan or my dream career.

But I’m in more trouble than I originally thought.

Turns out Alex has a few intentions of his own and a huge secret I’m totally unprepared for.

Read an Excerpt

Group Text
To: Jada, Lauren
From: Emma

E: Logan knows I’m the author of The Virgin Club which means he knows about my stupid Virgin Challenge!!!

E: He was working at Freeman Foxx when I broke my nose. I told him it was me and I totally forgot I wrote a post about it.

L: OMG

J: Wow!

E: Yeah, been through that stage already. What the hell do I do now??? How can I go into work tomorrow and face him? That’s it. I’m quitting my job. Hey Lauren, if I lose my apartment can I take your spare room?

L: Of course you can.

J: You’re not quitting your job or moving out! Take a deep breath and let’s take this one step at a time.

E: Ok. I’m semi-calm now. So what’s the first step?

J: Are you sure he knows it’s you?

E: Yes, he sent me a message. It was definitely him and he obviously found the blog because my dumb Virgin Challenge post is trending.

L: Was his message flirty?

E: Yes, like he was teasing me with it.

J: Is he still with that obnoxious girl who needed a smack upside the head?

E: No. They broke up a few weeks ago.

J: Well this is interesting news 🙂

L: I can almost see the light bulb going on in your head lol.

E: Oh no. What?

J: Confession time. Do you still like Logan?

E: I’ve already been there. I’m not embarrassing myself again. Logan knowing I’m a virgin is bad enough.

J: Answer the question, Emma. Do you like him or not?

E: Yes.

J: Enough that you would welcome him “taking on your over-expired V-card”?

E: Yes, but I obviously suck at reading signals. I don’t even know if he’s interested, single or not.

J: There are ways to get around that and they start with your blog.

E: My blog? No. Absolutely not.

J: FaceTime me. I think once you hear my plan, you’ll change your mind 🙂

L: Count me in too! I am NOT missing this.

E: Ok, but it better be good.

J: It’s not good. It’s brilliant.

New author to Harlie and boy, I’m a glad that I read this book.  I know that this book is not listed, per se, as a contemporary romance (at least on Amazon) but I would definitely put it in the categories of a rom-com, New Adult and maybe, chick lit.  This book is a lot of things and as an older woman, it resounded with me.  I understood why Emma thought that she HAD to lose her virginity.  Society has a way of saying that you have to lose it before a certain age and that’s just wrong.  Having sex is a very personal thing that NO ONE should tell you when it’s okay to do.  I lost mine early in high school and actually went through a Born Again time period before I met my husband.  Do I regret my choices?  No, but I’m from a completely different era.

That said, watching Emma with her friends find love is tough.  I’ve been there and the t-shirt is a rag but through that, I found myself and learning to love yourself first is more important than finding the “one”.  But Harlie will get off her soapbox right now and tell you why I loved this book.

  1.  Emma – is stronger than she thinks.  Sure, she is young and naive but once she figures out what she really wants, she goes for it.  I loved at the end of the book when she finally has enough with the villains and lays into them.  Girl power!
  2.   Alex – is a dream.  I could totally understand him and why he kept Emma at arms lengths at times.  It made sense and I applaud him for his choices.  Plus, his secret is one of those moments that defined not just him but his relationship with Emma in the end.  Plus, putting his heart out there, in the end, is heartbreaking but also took courage.  And then his brother stepping up for him.  Alex wasn’t as damaged as he thought he was.
  3.  Logan – is a douche but he is crucial to the relationship of Emma and Alex.  You just have to read the book to understand.
  4.  Claire – we have all worked with a Claire.  Again, read the book to understand.
  5.  Jada, Lauren, Rachel, and Vin – friends to the end.  The group texts and times that they are together are gold.  You can never have too many friends like them.
  6.  Emma’s mom – oh my.  She is all kinds of awesome and doesn’t ever make Emma feel like a child.  She helps her see her ways and is there for her no matter what.

Ms. Wood has a written a wonderful book about friendships, finding true love and working with people that are just flat out awful.  The work scenes are well written and bring back some pleasant and not so pleasant moments.  At times, the book can be cringe-worthy but other times, swoon-worthy.  Ms. Wood writes her characters with true flair and an understanding of what young adults yearn for and what they go through.

If you want to know if Emma loses the v-card, you will have to read the book.  The ending is sweet and I actually sighed out loud when I finished.  Do yourself a favor and read this book.  You won’t be sorry.

About the Author:

Kayley has three simple rules in life:

1. Surround yourself with some incredible, kick-ass women you call friends.

2. Don’t worry about failure or mistakes. It’s how you respond to them that makes all the difference.

3. An appletini is never complete without two cherries.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44301055-the-virgin-club

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18941724.Kayley_Wood

https://www.kayleywood.com/

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PHC354J

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