Excerpt, Giveaways, Reviews

ARC #Review of Picture Not Perfect (a Not So Reluctant Detective #2) by D.E. Haggerty w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @dehaggerty

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $10 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.

A picture tells a story. But is it the truth?

When the police find pictures of Melanie hanging up at her murdered colleague’s house, they’re convinced he was stalking her. Maybe she even killed him. Melanie was not being stalked! And she certainly didn’t kill her supposed stalker – as if. But Mel – always up for a bit of drama – jumps at the chance to go search for the real killer. When Mel’s ex-boyfriend, Owen, discovers her plans, he pulls out all the stops to ensure she’s safe and to win her back. No matter what happens with the murder investigation, he’s not letting her go. With the police setting their sights on Mel, he may need to jeopardize his own career on the police force to protect her.

Will Mel find the real killer before the detectives arrest her for murder?

Read an Excerpt:

Melanie opened the driver’s door and slipped into her car. She watched in the rearview mirror as Pru climbed into the back seat. The woman who was almost always wearing flowery clothes was now dressed from top to toe in black. Black tights, black long-sleeved t-shirt, and black knit cap.

“What’s with the knit cap? It’s like 60 degrees out. You’re not sick, are you?” Mel didn’t fancy sitting in a car with someone coughing the entire time.

Pru adjusted her cap to ensure her curly red locks were completely covered. “I thought we were doing a stakeout? I didn’t want my hair to give us away.” She held up the bags she’d brought. “I brought snacks and everything.”

“What kind of snacks?”

Before Pru could answer Mel’s question, Terri butted in. “We’re not doing a stakeout!”

Mel ignored Terri. Of course, they were doing a stakeout. She turned back to Pru. “Seriously, what did you bring? Anything good?”

Terri interrupted her again, “Why are we doing this?”

Mel grunted and turned around and started the car. They fell into silence as they drove the ten minutes to the address Ryder had provided.

Pru handed cups of coffee to Terri and Melanie. “Here. What do we do now?”

Mel took a sip of her coffee before answering, “We wait for something to happen.”

“Like what?”

Mel had no answer. She wasn’t exactly an expert on stakeouts. The previous and only other stakeout she’d been on ended quickly when the bad guys tried to ram their car into hers.

“How do you deal with potty breaks? I’ve got a bladder the size of a pea.”

Terri snickered next to her. “I’m sure we can find a bush for you to squat behind.”

“They never get into these details in books,” Pru grumbled before putting her coffee back into the drink tray without taking a sip.

Yall this book.  I couldn’t stop laughing.  It’s a mystery, its a second chance romance, its amateur women sleuths but underneath all of it is a great story that I couldn’t put down.  I have never read anything by Ms. Haggerty but I quickly bought Terri’s book and I can’t wait for Pru’s.  That said, let me tell you about the awesomeness of this book and why I highly recommend it to everyone.

  1.  Mel – She is funny, loyal, honest and I loved the fact that she did have something wrong with her and felt like nobody would love her for it.  Cue…Owen.  I didn’t read Terri’s book so I’m basing her solely on this one.  I loved her.  I wish my school counselor could have been as cool as her.
  2.  Owen – Mel’s boyfriend/cop – Talk about not letting Mel get away with anything.  He fought for her, stood by her and loved her…craziness and all.  He could have baled but love does something to a person.
  3.  Terri – best friend to Mel and school librarian.  OMG!  I would NEVER rearrange a library like her.  Not using the Dewy Decimal system is sacrilege.  But I digress.  I could write a lengthy blog post just on how kids don’t understand a library anymore.  I liked her because she brought Mel back to earth when she needed it.  Loyal, and not wanting to involve her boyfriend Ryder, I could understand.  Of course, I bought her book.  🙂
  4.  Pru – I loved how she just fit right in with Terri and Mel at school and on the mystery.  She brought a lot to the table and I can’t wait for her book next.
  5. The bad guys/girls – I never guessed who it was and I was honestly shocked but I understood the motivation behind it.
  6.  The mystery itself – I loved it.  It was relevant and I liked how it involved a school.  Not a lot of authors use a school as a setting for a book. It was plausible, plus since I work at a school, I could just imagine the places, attitudes, people, etc. that Ms. Haggery was talking about.
  7. Milwaukee – NO ONE ever sets a story in Milwaukee.  Loved it, just loved it.

I would be remiss if I didn’t address the romance in the book.  It’s there but it is not the main focus of the book.  Owen and Mel broke up and they are getting their second chance.  Ms. Haggerty wrote it with some humor but also with real depth and the ending was perfect for me.  Kisses only.

Ms. Haggerty has got a true sense of humor.  I could sit with her and drink a beer or two.  Sorry, no wine.  Her characters are flawed but realistic.  Loyal, smart and don’t sit around to be rescued.

You really need to this book.  I devoured it in an afternoon and I already miss it.

About the Author:

I grew up reading everything I could get my grubby hands on, from my mom’s Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew, to Little Women. When I wasn’t flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although on the odd occasion I did manage to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic before returning to the law. But practicing law really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out running a B&B wasn’t my thing either. I polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before following the husband to Istanbul where I decided to give the whole writer-thing a go. But ten years was too many to stay away from my adopted home. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where, in between tennis matches and failing to save the world, I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.

Picture Not Perfect is my fourteenth novel.

Author links:

Website: http://dehaggerty.wordpress.com
Blog: https://dehaggerty.wordpress.com/category/mymusings/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dehaggerty
Twitter: https://twitter.com/dehaggerty
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dehaggerty/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7210211.D_E_Haggerty
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/D.E.-Haggerty/e/B00ECQBURU/
Newsletter signup: http://eepurl.com/bbmdj9
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+DEHaggerty/posts
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/denahaggerty/
Bookbub author page: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/d-e-haggerty
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/d-e-haggerty-4b49a29/
Email: dena@dehaggerty.com

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Picture-Perfect-Reluctant-Detectives-Book-ebook/dp/B07KG6ZH33/
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/907044
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/nl/en/ebook/picture-not-perfect
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/picture-not-perfect-de-haggerty/1129901203
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42767307-picture-not-perfect

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Excerpt, Giveaways, Reviews

#Review of Midnight Girl by Nora LeDuc w/a rafflecopter giveaway! #RomanticSuspense #Mystery

Midnight Girl

by Nora LeDuc

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GENRE: Mystery/Romantic Suspense

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BLURB:

When a teenager mysteriously disappears in Hawick Falls, New Hampshire, Lisa Raynes fears her kidnapper, who recently escaped from prison, is hunting girls again. She also believes he’s targeted her for his next victim when she receives a threatening message. To add to her problems, her ex-boyfriend Travis Bodell, nephew of her captor, shows up in town. Five years ago, he promised to love Lisa forever, but he left her to start a new life. Trusting him was a mistake she will never repeat.

Bad boy Travis Bodell has a history of run-ins with the law. The police suspect he came back to aid his uncle, not to warn Lisa she’s in danger. With the investigation going nowhere, Travis focuses on Lisa who identifies with the missing teen and wants to find her. To keep Lisa safe, he offers to help her search. She refuses until loving memories of their past surface, and she finally accepts his proposal. Working together arouses strong feelings of attraction that neither will admit.

As time runs out for the kidnap victim, disturbing threats against Midnight Girl, Lisa’s online name, grow. She realizes the only way to stay alive is to open her heart and put her faith in Travis, but can she let go of her doubts and lingering hurt? Can the couple join forces and win against a cunning criminal fueled by hate?

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Excerpt Three:

Lisa parted her lips to say something. Maybe she was going to protest about his wet clothes. No. He’d had enough talking. He bent and touched her mouth. He meant it to be a quick, stolen kiss, but as soon as he tasted her he wanted more. This might be his only chance.

She gripped his shoulders before her arms slid around him, tightening as though afraid he’d disappear. Forever they stood their tongues tangling together until he could take no more of the heat, the urgency. His fingers were entwined in her hair holding on to her. Never letting her go. The need to run his free hand over each part of her body and listen to her gasps grew into full-blown lust.

“Upstairs,” he said, his voice hoarse.

“Three floors?” She tipped her head back and raised her brows.

“Right.” Five years. Five years without her. He fisted the ends of her white button-down shirt in both his hands before whipping it open. Buttons popped off and dinged on the wooden surface. Underneath she wore a blue lacy bra.  

Banks’s entire unit couldn’t stop him now. He yanked off her top, tossed it aside, and swallowed to keep his tongue in his mouth. “Way too far.” He lowered Lisa stared up at him. Her brown eyes were full of questions and a sadness he longed to erase. Had she thought of him much during the years he’d been away?

She parted her lips to say something. Maybe she was going to protest about his wet clothes. No. He’d had enough talking. He bent and touched her mouth. He meant it to be a quick, stolen kiss, but as soon as he tasted her he wanted more. This might be his only chance.

She gripped his shoulders before her arms slid around him, tightening as though afraid he’d disappear. Forever they stood their tongues tangling together until he could take no more of the heat, the urgency. His fingers were entwined in her hair holding on to her. Never letting her go. The need to run his free hand over each part of her body and listen to her gasps grew into full-blown lust.

“Upstairs,” he said, his voice hoarse.

“Three floors?” She tipped her head back and raised her brows.

“Right.” Five years. Five years without her. He fisted the ends of her white button-down shirt in both his hands before whipping it open. Buttons popped off and dinged on the wooden surface. Underneath she wore a blue lacy bra.  

Banks’s entire unit couldn’t stop him now. He yanked off her top, tossed it aside, and swallowed to keep his tongue in his mouth. “Way too far.” He lowered them to the floor.

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Okay, so I lied.  I totally forgot that I had this post to do.  Happy New Year!  So, I read this book over the holidays.  I needed something to cleanse the palette after the holidays.  My holiday was interesting, to say the least, so I need a mystery/suspense book and Ms. LeDuc delivered.  I normally don’t read “mystery” books.  Yes, I don’t read the cozy ones either but I really liked this one.  It had some suspense elements in it, too and don’t worry about the romance taking over.  It doesn’t.  In fact, I worried about a bit that maybe Lisa and Travis wouldn’t get that “second chance” in the romantic department.

You need to go into the book with the mindset that Lisa was extremely tormented when she was kidnapped.  It was horrific and Ms. LeDuc does a great job of letting us know in small doses what happened to her and her recovery from it.  Travis is the misunderstood bad boy that she dated and is now back in her life when her kidnapper escapes.  I really liked both of them, separately and together.  The relationship between is completely understandable and plausible.  Between Travis being snarky know it all to the cops (trust me, its funny at times) and Lisa’s strength, they are great!

The mystery is pretty straightforward when it comes to her captor but Ms. LeDuc throws in a COMPLETELY different spin and I was way off base when I thought I had figured it out.  I can pretty much figure out but this time…nope.  I was dumbfounded but in a good way.  I loved it and it made sense.  What a tool.  The ending is fantastic, too.  Ms. LeDuc throws in some really creepy scenes and her writing flowed like a fog settling in for a spell.

Do yourself a favor and pick this gem of mystery/romantic suspense.  You will love watching Travis and Lisa learn from past mistakes, take a chance on love and come out stronger in the end.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Nora grew up in rural New England and still lives here. She has enjoyed combining my love of true crime shows with her imagination to produce romantic suspense and mysteries that you keep you guessing.

You can find Nora on her website: NoraLeDuc.com,

Facebook: Nora LeDuc-author,

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Nora-LeDuc/e/B001KI084O

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

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

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Excerpt, Giveaways, Interviews, Reviews, TWRP

Author Interview of Peggy Jaeger and #Review of Christmas & Canollis w/a rafflecopter giveaway!

Christmas & Canollis

by Peggy Jaeger

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GENRE: Contemporary Romantic Comedy

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BLURB:

With Christmas season in full swing, baker Regina San Valentino is up to her elbows in cake batter and cookie dough. Between running her own business, filling her bursting holiday order book, and managing her crazy Italian family, she’s got no time to relax, no room for more custom cake orders, and no desire to find love. A failed marriage and a personal tragedy have convinced her she’s better off alone. Then a handsome stranger enters her bakery begging for help. Regina can’t find it in her heart to refuse him.

Connor Gilhooly is in a bind. He needs a specialty cake for an upcoming fundraiser and puts himself—and his company’s reputation—in Regina’s capable hands. What he doesn’t plan on is falling for a woman with heartbreak in her eyes or dealing with a wise-guy father and a disapproving family.

Can Regina lay her past to rest and trust the man who’s awoken her heart?

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Excerpt Three:

My free hand slid up his jacket, basking in the rich texture of the fabric, to skim across the column of his throat and settle against his cheek. His skin was smooth and clean-shaven, warm and velvety soft against my palm. Connor let go of my arm and slipped his hand down my back. With his fingers pressed against the dip in my spine, he pressed me in even closer. His tongue nipped and sipped at my own as his fingers fanned across my back and kneaded.

Mio Dio.

Who knew the small of your back was such an erogenous zone? He must have first-hand knowledge about a particularly sensitive nerve bundle in that region because my thighs started to tremble and a deep-seated liquid warmth, like warm butter melting over hot morning ciabatta rolls, spread throughout my system. A restlessness for more shunted through me from top to bottom, making me fidget and writhe for release. I think I moaned. Or maybe that was Connor. I wasn’t sure, but one thing I was sure of was that in all the time I’d been married, I’d never felt so turned on by a simple kiss before.

Okay, well, it really wasn’t a simple kiss. More a life-changing event.


Welcome PEGGY JAEGER! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.  

 

Thanks and Hi to all!  I write contemporary romance in a few subgenres, Romantic Comedies, and Small town, to be specific. My tagline will tell you that I write about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them. I live in beautiful New England where I get to watch the trees change to glorious colors during my favorite time of year: autumn. I’m 21 years old (plus 37 !) Hee hee and I’ve been married to the love of my life for over 30 years.

Is Christmas and Cannolis a single title, or part of a series?

 

CHRISTMAS AND CANNOLIS, a San Valentino Holiday Romance, is a single title-stand alone book, although various branches of the loud and loving family have starred in 2 previous books, 3 WISHES and A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS. You don’t need to have read the others to understand the plot and the people in this one, but I guarantee that after you meet this branch of the San Valentinos, you’ll want to meet the others.

What were your inspirations for the story?

 

Family is everything to me. As an only child, I always wanted siblings, cousins, aunts, and uncles I could visit, spend time with, and grow up with. I wasn’t afforded that wonderful opportunity, so from a very young age when I started writing stories, I made them about a girl who had that kind of loving, supportive and large family. The desire for a big family etched its way into my grown-up writing as well. After A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS was published, I had a number of readers ask me to write Sonny SanValentino’s story. He was a pivotal secondary character in both the previous books and readers love his wise-guy wannabe persona. I knew I’d need to give him his own big family and a loving, independent and strong wife – because really, who else could put up with him?  Hee Hee. I gave Sonny 4 older sons and a daughter, Regina, who’s the youngest. Because I love to bake so much and have taken courses on how to be a better baker, I gave Regina her own bakery and the story evolved from the heartache she’s suffered during her life. I knew with her supportive and nosy family, she would be able to move beyond her heartache, albeit in comical ways, because we are talking about Sonny, after all. He always knows a guy who knows a guy who can get you whatever you want. His wheeling and dealing are intrinsic to the plot line and his actions cause the black moment in the story.

Please share your setting.

 

Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most? CHRISTMAS AND CANNOLIS takes place on the Upper West side of Manhattan ( New York City) a place I know well. I grew up in New York City and attended Hunter College as an undergraduate. Recently, my daughter lived on the Upper East Side, so the family neighborhoods are near and dear to me.

When did the writing bug first bite?

 

Well, when I was 8 years old I was given my first diary. It was the old-fashioned kind with a lock and key. Instead of filling it up with Dear Diary anecdotes about my days – which were mundane and boring – I filled the pages with stories of independent girls from loving families who went on adventures. I write every single day and have since I first got that diary. You could say I’ve been a lifelong diarist who turned her stories into her livelihood.

Who are your favorite authors, book/series?  

 

Nora Roberts and her doppelganger JD ROBB of the In Death Series. Jill Shalvis and her Lucky Harbor series.

If you could have an author roundtable discussion with any authors, who would you invite?

 

The two ladies mentioned above, plus Sarah Morgan, Sandra Brown, Catherine Bybee and Lauren Layne.

Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time?

 

I cook and bake from scratch most days. Even though it is just my husband and myself at home now, my hubby likes fresh food and home-baked goods and I am thrilled to provide him with both. I have over 130 cookbooks in my home that are dog-eared and well-loved, and I gather most of my recipes from them, then wiggle them a bit to Peggy-ize them.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve heard or seen?

 

I was a nurse in my former life, so I’ve seen and heard plenty of strange things! The oddest mention I can give without breaking any kind of confidentiality is one day when I was floated to the Emergency room to cover sick calls, a man came in with a fishing spear sticking completely through his chest and exiting out his back. By the Grace of God, no organs were hit and his spinal column was unaffected, but he needed eight hours of surgery to remove the thing. I was in charge of getting him prepped for surgery and he was as calm as could be. At the time I thought he was in shock, but his wife assured me he was always that way – quiet, calm, not nervous. She told me he worked for the government oversees for a number of years in the State Dept. and had to learn how to counsel his emotions and reactions. Amazing. P.S. He survived just fine and had a scar that ran from the notch of his collar all the way to the top of his belly button.

What is the one thing that you would tell an inspiring writer to do?

 

Never give up on your dreams. Don’t let anyone else squash them either. Hold them dear and while you are waiting to be published, polish your craft by always learning, writing, and networking with other authors.

 

Peeps, this story is what I needed to read this week.  Funny, light-hearted with a heartbreaking backstory for both Regina and Connor.  Plus, it has baked goods.  And a father that reminded me of anyone in the movie Married to the Mob.  Things falling off a truck.  Knowing a guy, that knew a guy, etc.  The funny moments are definitely there, plus some heartbreaking ones, too.  Regina has the typical Italian family and all the personalities to go with that.  I will admit that I loved her dad way more than her mom.  I felt like her mom was more of window dressing and didn’t much care for the way that Regina was leading her life.  Her dad, however, just wanted the best for his daughter and the hilarity ensues because of it.  Also, the black moment.

Connor is the man of mystery.  I NEVER saw his backstory at all.  It was interesting, heartbreaking and it made him who he is and the motivation to do the fundraiser.  Plus, I just loved how he treated Regina from the beginning.  He never once doubted her, babied her but did take care of her in the end.  Plus, he stood up to her dad without being a douche canoe about it.  He just treated everyone with respect and it showed in the end.

Regina. Man, she went through some awful, just awful stuff but she still believed in love, family and a great cake.  I just loved her from the beginning, too.  What I didn’t like was how she let her family intrude on how she should feel and act when it came to men again.  Yes, I realize that its typical behavior in an Italian family but still.  After everything, they just wouldn’t leave her alone and be her own person again.

This book moves pretty quickly.  Ms. Jaeger writes a very funny but heartfelt book about two people that should have never met but met at just the right time for each other.  Some of the themes are somewhat difficult to read but necessary for Regina to move forward in her relationship with Connor.  Plus, come on.  The book is set in NYC and I suddenly have a craving for NY style pizza and to ride the subway again.

If you are looking for a great Christmas themed book with humor, heart and some smexy times, this is for you.  Just don’t forget that someone knows someone, that knows someone and it “might” have fallen off a truck”.  Just don’t ask.  Because in the end, Sonny, Regina’s father, lets that get the best of him and Regina.   *wink*

 

 

 

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance writer who writes about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them.

Family and food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, Peggy brings all topics of daily life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she has created the families she wanted as that lonely child.

Tying into her love of families, her children’s book, THE KINDNESS TALES, was illustrated by her artist mother-in-law.

Peggy holds a master’s degree in Nursing Administration and first found a publication with several articles she authored on Alzheimer’s Disease during her time running an Alzheimer’s in-patient care unit during the 1990s.

In 2013, she placed first in two categories in the Dixie Kane Memorial Contest: Single Title Contemporary Romance and Short/Long Contemporary Romance.

In 2017 she came in 3rd in the New England Reader’s Choice contest for A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS and was a finalist in the 2017 STILETTO contest for the same title.

In 2018, Peggy was a finalist in the HOLT MEDALLION Award and once again in the 2018 Stiletto Contest.

A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.

Website/Blog: http://peggyjaeger.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/peggy_jaeger

Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00T8E5LN0

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Peggy-Jaeger-Author/825914814095072?  

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/peggyjaeger/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13478796.Peggy_Jaeger

Instagram: https://instagram.com/mmj122687/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/peggy-jaeger

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JF1WQKT/

The Wild Rose Press: https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/6235-christmas-and-cannolis.html

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

Peggy Jaeger will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway