Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Release Day Blitz & Giveaway ~ Chain Reaction (Bodyguard #3) by Tara Wyatt



Chain Reaction
Author: Tara Wyatt
Series: Bodyguard #3
On Sale: February 28, 2017
Publisher: Forever
Formats: Mass Market
Price: $7.99 (mass market)

SHE NEEDS A LOVER AND A FIGHTER

Blonde. Beautiful. Talented. Alexa Fairfax is practically Hollywood royalty. But growing up in a family of legendary movie stars also puts her in the spotlight for danger. And after she discovers a plot more deadly than any movie script, Alexa desperately needs a bodyguard. A man like Zack De Luca. A true friend with a good heart, a protective nature-and the hard, chiseled muscles to back it up.

 Zack has always been wildly attracted to Alexa. But since he's training day and night to be an MMA fighter, he's afraid his gorgeous friend will only distract him from his goal. Indescribably sweet and irresistibly sexy, Alexa needs Zack to pretend to be her boyfriend after her life is threatened. Now this fighter-in-training will have to fight his own intense feelings-to keep their little charade from turning into a major disaster . . .


She leaned her back against the door and shut her eyes, her face ghostly white. Her hands shook as she adjusted the strap of her purse on her shoulder.
Frowning, Zack shoved his hands into the pockets of his jeans and headed toward her. She smiled weakly when she saw him, her lips twitching up for a second, but the smile didn’t reach her eyes. Her fingers curled around the strap of her purse, her knuckles going the same shade of white as her face. Something hot and protective tightened his chest, and for a crazy second, he wanted to reach out and pull her into his arms, to promise her that, whatever it was, she’d be okay.
Instead he stopped a few feet in front of her, his hands still in his pockets. “Alexa? You okay?”
Her eyes met his, and she sucked in a shaky breath. “I...Oh God.” She pressed her hands to her face and let out a soft sob, her shoulders trembling.
Zack yanked his hands from his pockets and pulled Alexa into his arms, cradling her against his chest. She felt so tiny, so vulnerable. She barely reached his shoulder despite the fact that she had heels on.
“What happened? Did someone hurt you?” he whispered into her light-blond hair, so fine and soft under his fingers as he stroked the back of her head. So help him God, if someone had hurt her, he would make them bleed.
She pulled back, just enough to look up at him, and he noticed the mascara smudged under her eye. He left his arms around her. It would’ve felt wrong to take them away.
She shook her head slowly, her bottom lip caught between her teeth. “I...don’t think...I can’t.”
“Do you want to go outside? Get some fresh air?” Maybe if she calmed down a little, she’d be able to tell him what the hell had her so...It was more than upset.
The poor girl was fucking spooked.
She hesitated a second before nodding. Without a word he tucked her under his arm, shielding her from the view of the other party guests. He led her down a hallway off the foyer and into the garage, where a side door led into the quiet, dark backyard. The noise from the party filtered out through the open windows, mingling with the soft gurgle of water from the pool. A cool spring breeze rustled the palm fronds and teased Alexa’s shoulder-length hair around her jaw. She brushed it aside as he led her to a stone bench off to the right, their backs to the house.
For several moments they just sat, Alexa sniffling and staring blankly at the still water of the pool. Zack stroked a hand up and down her back, hoping to comfort her in some way. He’d spent the past year as a bodyguard honing his protective instincts, and they now came to life, alarm bells ringing through his skull. Something was very, very wrong.
When she finally spoke, she surprised him with her question. “Who’s the party for? Sierra was cagey about it on the phone earlier.”
Zack glanced back at the house. “Oh. Uh, for Taylor and Colt. They got married in Vegas last weekend.”
Alexa’s head whipped around. “What? But didn’t they just get together?”
“Yeah.”
“They’re crazy.” She shook her head, but he could hear the smile in her voice.
“That’s what I said.”
Gently, she laid a hand on his arm, the tips of her fingers warm against his skin. “Are you okay?”
Fuck, she was so sweet. He was supposed to be comforting her and finding out why she’d suddenly burst into tears, and she was worried about him because his ex-girlfriend had eloped.
He laid a hand over hers, allowing himself the luxury of tracing his thumb over her delicate knuckles. “I’m fine. Just surprised, like everyone, I think. You gonna tell me what’s wrong?”
She sighed heavily. “I don’t even know where to start.” “Beginning’s usually a good place.”
She scoffed out a laugh. “That would take too long.”
He turned to face her. “Did someone hurt you? What happened, Alexa?”A tremble coursed through her, and he wished he were wearing more than a T-shirt and jeans so that he had a jacket or a sweater to offer her. But he didnt, so instead he pulled her close and tucked her against him. “Please tell me. I want to help.”
She swallowed thickly and looked up at him, meeting his gaze. “I...I think my dad’s a murderer and that I might be in a lot of trouble.”

Excerpted from CHAIN REACTION by Tara Wyatt. Copyright © 2017 by Tara Wyatt. Reprinted with permission of Forever. All rights reserved.   


BODYGUARD SERIES 
Necessary Risk (Bodyguard, #1)
Primal Instinct (Bodyguard #2)
Chain Reaction (Bodyguard, #3)




Tara Wyatt has been making up love stories ever since she fell head over heels for the Backstreet Boys almost twenty years ago. Winner of the Unpublished Winter Rose Award, Linda Howard Award of Excellence and the Heart of the West Award, Tara lives in Hamilton, Ontario with the cutest dog in the world and a husband that makes all of her heroes look like chumps.



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Release Day Celebration & Giveaway ~ Of the Trees by E.M. Fitch


I am so excited that OF THE TREES by E.M. Fitch releases today and that I get to share the news!
If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author E.M. Fitch, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a $25 Fandango Gift Card, US Only courtesy of Month9Books. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.




OF THE TREES
Author: E.M. Fitch
Pub. Date: February 28, 2017
Publisher: Month9Books
Format: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 345
Cassie and Laney fancy themselves amateur ghost hunters. When a carnival comes to town, Cassie embraces the chance to try something new.

Carnival workers watch the girls with a collective gaze that ignites in Laney a dark and dangerous fascination, leaving Cassie unnerved.

It's not just their age or the unsettling way they stare. There is something in the shifting of their skin and the way their features seem to change in the shadows.

Cassie can's shake this sickening feeling that there's more to the carnival than meets the eye.

When townspeople suddenly start dying and bloody warnings appear around town, Cassie is lured into a nightmare where trees whisper and strange, shape-shifting men haunt the backwoods she once hunted for ghosts with her best friend.

Then Laney goes missing, and only Cassie can get her back. But the creatures of the trees aren't simply going to hand Laney over to Cassie without getting something in return.


He didn't hesitate, didn't speak. His hands raked up from her hips, settling warmly on her waist, and he brought his lips purposely to hers, pressing her hard back into the tree. She squeaked, surprised and shocked at his directness—and more shocked at her response.

She didn't protest, and he took full advantage of the gasp she emitted as he nipped at her lower lip. The unnatural heat that had been plaguing her flared into life, searing her insides. He wasn't gentle, and he wasn't slow; he angled against her, his whole body pressing to hers. His mouth slid open, coaxing hers to do the same, and his tongue slid along her own. She felt muddled, confused. It was delusive, fast, and unexpected. She was frozen.

But he wasn't. His hands came around her, stroking under her jacket and up her back, his fingers dancing lightly as he drew them down her sides. His kisses were heady, more intoxicating than the beer she had, and her brain shut down. She kissed him back, hard and without thought. He pulled back from her mouth, trailing his lips over her jaw and to her neck, tracing the bounding lines of her arteries with the tip of his tongue. A sigh escaped without her permission, and she felt his lips curl into a lazy smile before he dragged them up to seal over her own again.

Her mind was hazy, but through the haze came a burst of noise. A moan, loud and distinct cut through the silence of the forest. She started, stiffening in his arms. He ignored it, his hands tracing up her body and landing on her neck. His fingertips traced intricate patterns on her skin as he angled her head into the kiss. She felt weak, unable to stand on her own, but his body kept her securely pinned to the tree, and she didn't move.

Someone, someone nearby, whimpered. Cassie's eyes flew open. She didn't even remember closing them. Her breath came sharp and fast; she was gasping into the kiss. He broke free again, bending back to the column of her throat, his fingers leaving her neck and trailing slowly and seductively down her front. Her head fell back to the tree, and she was blinking fast. It was unreal. It felt so unreal. He was everywhere, surrounding her. Her mind was clouded and her thoughts scattered. There was nothing, nothing at all but his lips and his body and his warm, warm hands. She shuddered underneath him, and he stooped lower, yanking the edge of her jacket back and trailing his tongue over her exposed collarbone.

E.M. Fitch is an author who loves scary stories, chocolate, and tall trees. When not dreaming up new ways to torture characters, she is usually corralling her four children or thinking of ways to tire them out so she can get an hour of peace at night. She lives in Connecticut, surrounded by chaos, which she manages (somewhat successfully) with her husband, Marc.


1 winner will receive a $25 Fandango Gift Card, US Only.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 27, 2017

Blog Tour & Giveaway ~ THE BASTARD BILLIONAIRE (Billionaire Bad Boys #3) by Jessica Lemmon




THE BASTARD BILLIONAIRE
Author: Jessica Lemmon
Series: Billionaire Bad Boys, #3
On Sale: February 28, 2017
Publisher: Forever
Mass Market: $7.99 USD
eBook: $6.99 USD

Beauty and the Beastly Billionaire . . .

Eli Crane is one tough bastard. After an explosion left him injured and honorably discharged from the Marines, all he wants is to be left alone. Yet his brothers insist he take a greater role in the family business. They've hired him ten personal assistants—and Eli sent each one packing as fast as possible. But when beautiful number eleven walks through the door, Eli will do anything to make her stay.

Isabella Sawyer's employment agency can't afford to lose Eli Crane's business. Her plan: to personally take on the role of his PA, and secure her reputation with the wealthy elite in Chicago. But this beauty and her hot billionaire bad boy soon find themselves mixing business with pleasure in the most delicious ways. And passionate, stubborn Isabella won't rest until she tames this wicked beast . . .

Standing, she smoothed her hands down her pants and flipped her hair. She had planned to quietly finish her work and leave without seeing him again. No such luck. And no hiding that she was heading his way when her heels clicked along the concrete floor.
Well.
The kiss had happened. The button incident had happened. There was no taking it back. Regardless of how either of them felt about it, she was going to continue working here. So. She would deal with the here and now.
Since the sun was shining, Eli’s lair was welcome instead of foreboding. No fire cracked in the hearth today. Also unlike his usual, he wasn’t at his desk. He was at the printer.
“This yours?” He offered a sheet of paper.
“Yes.” She couldn’t keep from explaining. “Pressed the Print button by accident.”
Mi printer es su printer.”
Isa accepted the document and Eli sank his hands into his jeans pockets, his forearms flexing with the movement.
“I wasn’t—”
“I shouldn’t—” they said at the same time.
He pursed his lips and she looked at her shoes. “Go ahead.” She was going to say, I wasn’t offended when you kissed me, but now that she’d had a millisecond to think it through, maybe she should pretend the kiss hadn’t happened. Which was . . . impossible. Standing this close to him, it’s all she could think about.
“I shouldn’t have ruined your shirt,” he said.
“I dared you to.”
“Why?” His eyebrows compressed along with his lips.
“Because you have accepted the role of beast, but I don’t believe that’s who you are.” She let her gaze linger on his face before tracking down his body. “And because I like a challenge.”
“Do you?” He took a wide step toward her.
She matched his move and took one step closer to him. “Yes. I don’t wilt easily.”
He threaded her hair between his fingers, a look of longing and hurt mingling in his eyes. “I was about to lie and say I shouldn’t have kissed you.”
Shivers climbed her spine as she remembered how firm his lips felt against hers. “Maybe . . . you shouldn’t have stopped.”





THE BILLIONAIRE BAD BOYS SERIES
The Billionaire Bachelor, #1
The Billionaire Next Door, #2
The Bastard Billionaire, #3


A former job-hopper, Jessica Lemmon resides in Ohio with her husband and rescue dog. She holds a degree in graphic design currently gathering dust in an impressive frame. When she's not writing super-sexy heroes, she can be found cooking, drawing, drinking coffee (okay, wine), and eating potato chips. She firmly believes God gifts us with talents for a purpose, and with His help, you can create the life you want.



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Friday, February 24, 2017

Book Tour ~ The Healing of Howard Brown by Jeb Stewart Harrison

Healing of Howard Brown by Jeb Stewart Harrison

Healing of Howard Brown by Jeb Stewart Harrison

Healing of Howard Brown 
by Jeb Stewart Harrison
Publisher:  Create Space (August 16, 2016)
Category: Literary Fiction; Contemporary Fiction; Family Saga
Tour Date: January & February, 2017
ISBN: 978-1530900282
Available in: Print & ebook,  336 Pages

"This is your last chance to do something right, son. Don't screw it up."

With these words ringing in his 60-year old ears, Howard Brown, Jr., sets out from Kentfield, California to find his wayward and possibly psychotic sister and return her to their dying father's bedside. The search leads him to the Brown family's ancestral home near St. Francisville, Louisiana, where his Southern cousins have apparently conspired with his sister to bilk him out his inherited, potentially oil-rich property. At the same time, he discovers that a long dormant birthmark in his sternum is a portal to the land of the dead. His consciousness is suddenly inundated with terrifying visitations from a rogue's gallery of twisted ancestors, until he fears that he is just as crazy as his sister and everybody else in their labyrinthine family. Wounded to his core, doped up and strung out, Howard discovers that his salvation is beating loud and clear within his own weary heart, and that all he has to do is listen.

The Healing of Howard Brown is a capacious and energetic narrative of self-discovery, delivered with an authentic voice that is supple, smart, somber, witty, ironic, self-revealing, self-doubting, and wonderfully lyrical. Themes of family, trust and responsibility to others, the national as well as personal past, and the life of the spirit resound throughout, with a cultural resonance involving class and race, the North and the South, the definition of masculine identity, and, centrally, the nature of mature love in a multitude of relationships-husband-wife, brother-sister, father-son- in the face of a debilitating mental illness that runs like a poison vein through the family tree.


Praise for Healing of Howard Brown by Jeb Stewart Harrison

"If you enjoy beautiful prose, complex themes of family and race, and a refreshingly original narrator, this book is for you. Harrison is among the select few contemporary fiction writers who still write for serious readers." - Jim Heynen, author, best known for The One Room Schoolhouse , The Boys' HouseYou Know What is Right , The Man Who Kept Cigars in His Cap and many more.

“This book starts off with a bang and keeps on going. Howard is a character with a specific voice and story. I'm sure you'll be provoked and entertained.”- Jessica Barksdale Inclan, author of The Believe TrilogyThe Being Trilogy, and many more. 

“Jeb Stewart Harrison is an original writer and a multitalented creative person. I enjoy his unique and often innovative narrative structure. His books are thoughtfully written and a pleasure to read and savor. While you turn future pages in your life reread this inspiring story. As time goes by—(when you’re older and hopefully ‘wiser’) you’ll feel new motivation with each visit into Howard’s inimitable life.”- Paul C. Steffy, author, The Good Soldier—based on his Infantry year in Vietnam. 

“An ambitious story that navigates themes of family, redemption and even metaphysics, in a thought-provoking, humorous way. Harrison clearly has a deep affection for Howard and the myriad of colorful folk who make up his complex, often crazy life. A book any reader will continue thinking about long after putting it down.”- NW Bookman, Amazon Reviewer




17 My Soul Hole
            
The buzzing in my birthmark – the strange hole in the center of my sternum that, by the time I turned 60, was a discolored depression about the size of a thumbtack ­– started that night. I was lying on my back in bed, still bundled up in my Velcro rig and all abuzz with narcotics, when I got the feeling that someone had attached an electrical stim node to the hole in my chest and turned the juice up to ten. The label that had been unofficially assigned to my deformity – Chown Hoon Dong ­– surged into my addled consciousness, and I was presented with the kind of vivid memory that is usually reserved for dreams. 
I was just a baby, probably no more than a year old, and I was being studied intently by the man whom I would recognize later as the proprietor of the local Chinese laundry in Larkspur. He looked like a Chinaman from a children’s storybook: The Five Chinese Brothers or perhaps Ping, the Duck. A silvery mustache like gossamer threads fell from the corners of his leathery lips, tickling my bare chest as he peered through thick spectacles at the hole there. He oohed and ahhed, while he circled my birthmark with a long yellowed fingernail. “Your son,” he finally said, “He is very special.”
My mother, who I somehow knew was tempted to snatch me up from the laundry counter and run, said in a shaky voice: “How so? Does he have some kind of curse?”
The laundry man laughed and bared his tobacco-stained teeth. “In China, the Chown Hoon Dong is great honor.”
“Chow what?” my mother cried.
“Chown Hoon Dong. It is the soul hole. A conduit to the afterlife.”
Lying there in bed, I remembered the feeling of having unique, super-secret powers that were mine and mine alone. It was a feeling that had manifested periodically in dreams throughout my life, and had without fail boosted me out of whatever blue funk I might have been in. But this time it was accompanied with a powerful sense of foreboding, along with the palpable buzzing/tickling/burning sensation on my skin.
Soon enough I learned that the buzzing was, quite literally, a signal, a warning of sorts that either my father had a message for me, or that I was in the presence of ancestral ghosts. At first it was just a voice in my head; the visions didn’t come until later. When I told Sandy about it, not long after the old man’s final exit, she called her “intuitive,” a woman most folks would refer to as a “psychic” (and that I referred to as a “psycho”). After Sandy put me on the phone with her for a few minutes – I was not to speak – she informed me that my dead father had taken up residence in my third chakra, and my third chakra had been wired to my soul hole. Hence the buzzing. Hello? This is Howard. Please leave a message at the beep.
I had heard of chakras and energy healing – hard to avoid in Marin County – but wasn’t aware that the spirits of the recently deceased, unwilling to depart their earthly domain, could hole up in the third chakra, which I pictured to be somewhere near my large colon. The psycho intuitive told me that I had to command my father to leave; cast him out like a demon, without sympathy or compassion for his bodiless state. But what was I supposed to say?
I considered going to a Western doctor about the buzzing in my soul hole, thinking perhaps there was some sort of electrical imbalance that might throw my heart out of whack. But there was something about the psychic’s interpretation that appealed to me, if only because I figured that two could play at this “telephone” game, and here was my chance to set a few things in the family record straight without fear of retribution, before my father left the physical world altogether and I lost contact. It was also an excellent, even if totally lame, rationale for the aberrant behavior that came later.
The problem with this arrangement was that the dead man, as I imagined, could now monitor our execution of his last will and testament. Such documents often abound with various challenges and tests of mettle that must be successfully completed before the treasure is released: precarious rope bridges over rocky chasms and rivers boiling with ferocious piranha and razor-toothed crocodiles; perilous climbs up sheer granite cliffs crawling with rattlers, tarantulas, and scorpions; treacherous expeditions into the burning molten bowels of the earth to battle beasts unknown to man or God – who knows what parents might require in a will to ensure their progeny is worthy of their hard-earned inheritance?
It also meant that I was still on the hook to locate Sisi, since dividing up his estate according to his wishes meant that we, brother and sister, had to actually work together and come to an agreement on a wide variety of gifts, most notably a 100-acre tract in the woods of Laurel Hill, Louisiana, on what was once the Briarwood plantation. Dividing it up, selling it, keeping it – all this could be worked out in due time once my sister had decided to make herself available for such discussions. Trouble was nobody had a clue where she’d gone. And I wasn’t entirely sure I had the will or the energy to go looking for her. She would have to turn up, eventually. Or leave her inheritance to me.
It was an apocryphal phone call, just a week or so after my father’s death, that set our future in motion. Sandy and I had just returned home after collecting our son in Bolinas for an extended visit. Meanwhile Elke, tired of Mr. Road Rage’s daily harassment, took Odo to visit some friends in Nevada City. When we arrived back in Sleepy Hollow, there was a message on the voice mail that, to put it bluntly, took everything I thought was true about my sister and our family, threw it all onto the roulette wheel and with one sweep of a mighty cosmic hand let it spin. 


Healing of Howard Brown by Jeb Stewart Harrison
Jeb Stewart Harrison is a freelance writer, songwriter, musician and painter in Stinson Beach, California. After many years as an ad agency copywriter, writer/producer, creative director, and director of marketing communications, Jeb now writes fiction and creative non-fiction, along with commercial works for hire. Jeb’s debut novel, Hack, was published by Harper Davis Publishers in August 2012. In 2015 he received his MFA from Pacific Lutheran University at the tender age of 60, and followed up with the publication of "The Healing of Howard Brown" in August, 2016. He also records and plays electric bass guitar with the popular instrumental combo The Treble Makers, as well as Bay Area favorites Call Me Bwana. Jeb was born and raised in Kentfield, California, and has lived in Boulder, CO; Missoula, MT; Hollywood, CA; Scottsdale, AZ; Indianapolis, IN and Ridgefield, CT.



Thursday, February 23, 2017

Book Review ~ Jorie and the Gold Key A.H. Richardson

Jorie and the Gold Key
by A.H. Richardson

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When Jorie and Rufus planned another summer of adventuring, they didn’t plan on sharing it with a snooty, stuck-up, bossy 10-year-old Nigel. When the Wizard Grootmonya calls on Jorie to remedy another disaster in Cabrynthius — the theft of the Magic Stones, Jorie grabs the Gold Key and the three children descend to the enchanted land beneath the Tarn. There they find more extraordinary adventures that bring them face to face again with the wicked Lord Fodomalk and his evil butterfly. Their troubles grow as the fiendish dragon not only snatches Nigel, but confines him to a cold dank cell with the illusive Professor Schrinch (yes, he’s still alive and as sneaky as ever). Jorie and Rufus — and the persnickety Nigel — are joined by all their old friends in this rollicking tale of magic, strange impersonations, and hair-raising exploits. They help Master Nigel with his confusion of the world beneath the Tarn and discover strengths in their new friend that even he didn’t know he had. Aside from spurts of jealousy from Rufus and impatience from Jorie, Nigel learns about bravery and friendship as he struggles with belief and enchantment. Follow this feisty threesome back to the evil, dark world of Shyloxia and the beautiful, bright world of Cabrynthius, where live all manner of creatures, naughty and nice. Do they recover the Magic Stones? What does that Gold Key open for them? Do they survive the shadowy world of nasty characters? Do Jorie and Rufus accept Nigel into their world? And what about Chook — that beloved baby dragon? And if you want to know how Jorie and Rufus survived their first summer adventures, pick up your copy of Jorie and the Magic Stones


Before I begin, I just want to give kudos to the Cover Designer, Jeff Preston, for creating the perfect depiction of Lord Fodomalk’s lair in Shyloxia.  In the first book, Jorie and the Magic Stones, I imagined it to be a dark, uninviting, and dreary world and the cover for Jorie and the Gold Key matched my visualization 100%.

Jorie and the Gold Key was such an enjoyable book to read!  Once again, Ms. Richardson has written an adorable story filled with magical creatures and an action-filled plot that kept me captivated throughout.  With her ability to provide the reader with vibrant imagery and a story line that flowed with ease, truly demonstrates what an incredible story teller Ms. Richardson is.  I found myself deeply engaged in this story, not wanting to put it down even for a second!  I hope that the author continues this series, as I enjoy the adventures and want to read more.

I would highly recommend this book (and series) to young readers who delight in tales of fantasy and know that they will truly enjoy this unique and entertaining story.


4 stars

A. H. Richardson was born in London England and is the daughter of famous pianist and composer Clive Richardson. She studied drama and acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. She was an actress, a musician, a painter and sculptor, and now an Author.


She published her first book, Jorie and the Magic Stones, in December 2014, and has written a sequel to it titled Jorie and the Gold Key at the request of those who loved the first ‘Jorie’ story. She is currently working on the third book in the series.

She is also the author of Murder in Little Shendon, a thriller murder mystery which takes place in a quaint little village in England after World War Two, and introduces two sleuths, Sir Victor Hazlitt and his sidekick,  Beresford Brandon, a noted Shakespearian actor. She has more ‘who-dun-its’ planned for this clever and interesting duo… watch for them!

A. H. Richardson lives happily in East Tennessee, her adopted state, and has three sons, three grandchildren, and two pugs. She speaks four languages and loves to do voiceovers. She plans on writing many more books and hopes to delight her readers further with her British twist, which all her books have.

Readers can connect with Angela on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.


To learn more, go to https://ahrichardson.com/