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The Defenders by Rachel Rossano – Book Blitz





Rachel Rossano lives with her husband and three children in the northeastern part of the United States. Homeschooled through high school, she began writing her early teens. She didn’t become serious about pursuing a career as an author until after she had graduated from college and happily married. Then the children came.


Now she spends her days being a wife, mother, teacher, and household manager. Her evenings and free moments are devoted to her other loves, writing and book cover design. Drawing on a lifelong fascination with reading and history, she spends hours creating historical feeling fantasy worlds and populating them with characters who live and breathe on the page. 


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New roles. New rules. No margin for error.


Zezilia Ilar joins the sept son’s entourage as a defender. Her growing Talent ability makes her a target for the Elitists, and her gender makes people question her competence. She must protect the sept son. Any mistake could be fatal.


Hadrian Aleron always knew his beliefs would cause trouble, but he didn’t realize how much. Rebels are rising. He could lose his title, his position, and if he’s not careful, his life. As the assassination attempts grow bolder, Hadrian must rely upon his young defender and their shared faith in the Almighty to keep him from faltering.




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Snippet:

Zezilia

Accusing eyes and a wave of hatred and confusion followed us out the doors of the dining hall. I wanted to put up a stronger shield around Hadrian, but no amount of energy was going to block out the spite behind us. It helped that Hadrian was leading us down the corridor at a pace that kept me trotting to keep up. The farther we were away from that crowd, the better.
Where may I have an hour in private?” Hadrian sent. I was so distracted by the emotion behind us that for a moment I thought he was asking me. Then my brother replied.
Taking a sharp left, Hadrian flung open the next set of double doors and swept into one of the side rooms off the main corridor. With quick orders from Renato, two defenders took up stations on either side of the doors while the remaining four followed us into the room and closed the doors behind us.
“Guard the windows from the outside,” Renato ordered. I heard them obey, but I didn’t see them because my attention was taken up with watching Hadrian.
He had crossed directly to the far wall of the room and sagged against it. His wide shoulders sloped and his head fell forward as though it was too heavy for him to lift. This alone would have concerned me, but the storm of pain, fear, anger, and frustration that warred within him was what tore a cry of help to the Almighty from my heart.
Almighty, help him. Give me wisdom. What can I do to ease his pain? Please, God, give him peace.
“Hadrian?” Renato’s panicked query brought Hadrian eyes to him. “You didn’t eat any of the fruit, right? Do you need a healer?” My brother stepped forward into the sept son’s personal space. “What is wrong?”
Hadrian raised a hand wearily and pushed him back. “I am fine, Renato. Now go fetch Korneli. I have time for him now.”
“Answer my question first.”
Hadrian merely shook his head. “No, I didn’t eat. I am not going to die, Renato. At least, not at this moment. Now go.”
Nodding, Renato turned to me. “Come. Korneli is…”
“No, she stays here.” Both of us turned to regard the sept son. Hadrian had not moved.
“But, Master, you said I was to never leave you and her alone.”
“Send in Plantonio when you leave. He will act as witness. Now go get Korneli before I throw you out.”
“Yes, Master.” Executing a sharp salute, he walked toward the door, sending me a warning look as he passed.
Hadrian did not move as Plantonio appeared, saluted, and then took station near the door. I watched Hadrian carefully, monitoring the emotions that kept flaring from him. Without the life of his dark eyes, his face appeared years older than I knew him to be. Feathered lines radiated from his closed eyes and deep crevices bracketed his mouth. The dark circles under his eyes spoke of hours of lost sleep. A flare of anger distracted me from his face for a moment as I stepped back from the intensity. His eyes flew open and immediately focused on my face.
“How did you know?” he asked. Slowly lifting his head and straightening, he crossed to the nearest chair and sank into it.
“Pardon?”
“How did you know it was poisoned?”
“He intended to kill you.”
“But how did you know? Did you read his thoughts?”
Fear flooded through me. The servant hadn’t been a Talent. To read his thoughts would be worthy of grave punishment. “No, he was projecting the emotions of a man afraid of getting caught. When I saw him exchange the dishes, I knew why.”
He closed his eyes and laid his head against the chair back. Pain washed over me as his forehead tightened.
“Headache?” I asked before thinking.
He smiled bitterly. “The cost of stress and tension.”
“Where does it hurt?”
He sighed wearily. “Are you sure you want details?” He opened one dark brown eye and squinted at me.
“Is there anything I can do to help?”
Hadrian closed his eye. “Yes. Come and sit in the chair across from me, so I don’t have to keep looking up at you.”
I quickly moved to obey, carefully stepping over his sprawled legs to reach the chair. “Does this often happen, Sept Son?”
“What?” He lifted a hand to massage his forehead. “The headaches?”
“No, the attempts on your life.”
“More often than I would like. I haven’t had this close a brush in a while.”
“Who wants you dead?”
He looked at me from beneath the shade of his hand. “The better question is who doesn’t want me dead, Zez. The mesitas, half the kings, and most of the worshipers of the goddess wish me out of the picture permanently.”
I didn’t know what to say. I knew without a doubt that my father was one of the group that wished Hadrian ill. What words does one offer a man who has recently faced death?
“I don’t hold it against you, Zez. Your father’s position has not affected my trust in you or Renato. In fact, Renato’s closeness to me has limited some of the attacks because Ilar doesn’t want to harm his son.” He paused for a few moments. “I am sorry to bring you into the midst of this. This isn’t the place for you.”
I shook my head. He was wrong. “This is where I am supposed to be. If I hadn’t been here, the Almighty wouldn’t have used me to prevent your death.” I shuddered slightly at the thought. “I am the most qualified in many ways, and you are going to teach me so that I can grow even more skilled. He has a purpose for me here.”
He laughed softly. “I can’t argue with that. His purpose is the only thing that keeps me here. Though, I fear at times, Zez, that I am not going to survive this. Each time I face my mortality, I wonder what the Almighty has in store. All it would take is one moment when He decides not to show me grace and stop the assassin’s hand. One time and all I have worked for would be gone.”
“He has promised that what He has purposed will come to pass.” I quoted one of my favorite passages of the Revelation to him. “I shall pray that He will continue to spare you.”
Lowering his hand, Hadrian looked at me and smiled slowly. “Thank you, Zez. Your prayers will guard my soul while your Talent will guard my body. I will do the same for you and, Almighty willing, we shall survive. If not, at least we shall be at peace.” Then he quoted another favorite passage of mine. It spoke of the instantaneous transformation at death when a believer steps from his own body into the presence of the Almighty.



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Secret Admirer by Harlow Layne – Live Now

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  Her love could set me free from the shadows… 

Seeing CoCo Becket for the first time, made my heart start beating again. It changed everything.
Before her I had no purpose, no reason to live.
She was the most beautiful woman I had ever met, I couldn’t help but fantasize about kissing her plump lips or having those sky blue eyes staring back at mine, seeing beyond what I truly was. Broken and ashamed.
My desire for her ran deep, deeper than I expected it too. She was a Goddess and I was simply caught up in her glow, I couldn’t say no. Not to her kindness, and not to my need to be near her.
CoCo was the good in life where I was the bad. She became the sun to my never ending darkness.
When a mysterious situation brings us together,  I discover that I’ll do anything to keep her safe. Even if it means risking my own life, to save hers.
Because before her, lovewas just a word I’d heard in passing…and now I’ll destroy anyone that tries to take her, or that love away from me.

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“I said to get inside,” Bodhi growls from only a few feet away. I’d been so paralyzed by fear I hadn’t been paying attention to my surroundings. It very well could have been someone else who came up on me and not Bodhi. Gently he grabs my arms and pulls me inside the house before closing the door and locking it. Looking down, his gaze is on my phone. “Enable the alarm, Coco.”
“Right. Right,” I shake my head and hit the button to enable the alarm. “Should I call the police?”
“I don’t think that’s necessary. All I found was a—”
“A person!” I say at the same time Bodhi says, “A dead cat.”
I step back and look up at him. “A dead cat?” I ask confused.
His back stiffens and his brows narrow. “What do you mean a person? What did you see, Coco?”
“Just what I said. I was looking out and saw a shadow moving over there,” I point in the direction the shadow man had been. “That’s when I called out for you and you answered…from a different direction.”


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Harlow Layne is a hopeless romantic who writes sweet and sexy alpha males who will make you swoon.
Harlow wrote fanfiction for years before she decided to try her hand at a story that had been swimming in her head for years.
When Harlow’s not writing you’ll find her online shopping on Amazon, Facebook, or Instagram, reading, or hanging out with her family and two dogs.

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The Blue Fin by Author Raymond Lee Hegstad – Excerpt 3

Alaskan action -adventure, danger, romance After some summer employment? Alaska seemed like a nice place for adventure and easy work. As “Stream Guard for Alaska Fish and Game the job looked great. 

Fifteen men lost in the last five years did not frighten these two adventurous souls.They soon learn why living 250 miles and among Alaska’s wildlife could be hazardous to human life. Two visiting young ladies adds a bit of fun, but at a price…what could go wrong? 

Want an Alaskan adventure…try this one!








Raymond Hegsted was Born in Juneau, Alaska and raised by a truck driving Dad. Joined the Army on voluntary draft and served with 4th infantry Regimental Intelligence and Reconnaissance reaching the rank of corporal.

He spent time living and working in Italy where he also got the chance to travel to many other European countries. After returning to America he helped develop a computerized scheduling system for the Oklahoma Scheduling Department.

After ten years of marriage ended in divorce he was sent to Ohio to head up corporate scheduling. Here he married second wife, Dr. Glena Louise Hegstad (A Montessori teacher). He then took early retirement, started and managed 5 different Montessori Daycare Schools (three of them in Flagstaff, Arizona under the name of The GlenMar Corporation).

Raymond wrote his first book at the age of sixty-one.  His wife got her Doctorate in education and he wrote books. He love writing! One of the reasons he decided to write was “I got tired of seeing ever one else on TV; I was vicariously living their life and not my own. Everyone had a story…share yours.” He and his wife and have enjoyed many years with their four+one children…one child adopted them. They have been happily married for many years.

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Excerpt #3
Eric’s eyes flipped opened; outside of his tent he could hear the unmistakable movement of something. Whatever it was, it would come up to the tent flap and then it would retreat. There was not enough moonlight to get a clear picture of what it was but, at least one time, it looked like a bear cub…not good news.
Outside, the figure again moved to the flap-entrance and began to scratch at the canvass.
From the height of the scratches, Eric could tell that the animal was not as small as a squirrel or a large rat. He gripped his revolver and flipped back the cover of his sleeping bag. As quietly as he could, he moved closer to the flap…the animal stopped its movement and began to make an audible sniffing sound. It’s a dog?
Maybe it was a stay wolf or a mad dog looking for a meal…Eric was absolutely torn between concern and terror. He loved dogs, but fully opening the flap was a big risk. Slowly, he began to unzip the flap from the bottom to the top. Abruptly, a nose appeared at the bottom…round and black, and then the whimpering began. Eric couldn’t help himself…he zipped open the flap.

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California Crush by Debbie White – Valentine Countdown Blitz

Debbie currently lives on the west coast with her husband and two dachshund rescues, Dash and Briar. She loves to hike, work in the garden, and on most sunny days you can find her enjoying her backyard with a glass of wine.

She’s an avid supporter of animal rescue, and as a pledge to all animals seeking their forever home, she happily donates a percentage of all book sales to local and national rescue organizations. When you purchase any of her books, you’re also helping animals.

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Breanna Murphy has been planning her wedding for years so when her fiancé runs off with a hula dancer, she is forced to realize her destination wedding is nothing more than an exotic vacation for one.
Trying to escape the embarrassment and disappointment of being jilted at the altar, Breanna answers an ad for a job clear across the country. When the voice on the other end offers her the job, she’s excited about what awaits her in California.
Builder Calvin Comstock must make right on his daughter’s mistake regarding the nationwide advertisement and hiring of Breanna. He doesn’t know what to expect, but when Breanna walks into his office with her infectious smile, peaches and cream complexion not to mention her sexy southern drawl, Calvin is happy for his daughter’s error.
Breanna is drawn to Calvin’s mature movie star good looks, charming personality, soft voice, and strong hands. She’s trying to stay focused on the job and not the overwhelming lure she feels pulling her in to test the waters. But when the two realize the attraction is mutual they throw caution to the wind and give in to the undeniable desire to be together.

Can an ex-wife and a teenage daughter spoil their happiness or will it make them stronger than ever?

Q&A With the Author:
1.     Tell us about things you enjoy — what you do for fun or personal satisfaction besides writing?
I love to read of course! I also love to take long walks, work in my garden and plan vacations!

2.     When did you first realize you were an author?
I guess when I published my first book, lol. I never really set out to be an author, but instead decided to give it a try. I enjoyed the challenge and from there just kept going.

3.     Have you done anything writing-related, but besides actually writing your books, that seemed to get a lot of positive response? Something that encouraged you?
I got great praise for my writing while in college. It stuck in the back of my mind.

4.     What is the thing you struggle with the most while writing? And how do you defeat it?
If it could only just be writing, sigh. The marketing, the newsletter, the promos, it all gets rather overwhelming.

5.     What is the “message” of your writing? 
My message is you can have a romance with strong emotion without all the sex. I don’t like reading books with a lot of description therefore I don’t write them either. I also like my female characters to be strong and independent.

6.     Are your characters/stories/scenes, etc. based on anything in real life?
Absolutely! I always take from my life and add them into my stories. The trick is to figuring out which is real and which is fiction!

7.     What are your future projects?
I’m finishing up book five of the Romance Across State Lines Series. I’ve also been invited to write a Christmas story for a small press. If things work out, I might write more for them. I have a big move coming up in the spring. We’re moving from California to South Carolina to be near our adult children and grandchildren. So, although 2019 promises to be a great year, I probably won’t be as productive in writing as last year. It’s all good though!

To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page Part 1 
and Official Event page Part 2 

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Charlie’s Choice by Zina Abbott – Valentine Countdown Blitz

My name is Robyn Echols. Zina Abbott is the pen I use for my historical novels. I’m a member of Women Writing the West and Western Writers of America. I currently live with my husband in California’s central valley near the “Gateway to Yosemite.”

I love to read, quilt, work with digital images on my photo editing program, and work on my own family history.

I am a blogger. In addition to my own blog, I blog for several group blogs including the Sweet Americana Sweethearts blog, which I started and administer.

Prequel to the Atwell Kin series:

Charlie, it would be easier to stop the flow of the great Missouri and Kansas Rivers than to prevent the Americans from coming to Kansas. 

It is 1856, and the United States opened Kansas Territory to American settlement two years before. Land belonging to the once-powerful Kansa tribe, known to the whites as the Kaw, was sold by treaty to the Americans a generation earlier.

His Kansa mother died from smallpox while Charlie was young. He lives with his American father who owns a trading post in Bonner Springs near the junction of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers. A child of two nations, Charlie learns through harsh experience he is not always accepted, including by the father of the pretty redhead who has caught his eye. The arrival of thousands of white settlers makes matters worse.

Frustrated, Charlie visits his Kansa uncle to learn the tribal ways, travel the Kaw Trail to their buffalo hunting grounds, and become a warrior with a warrior’s name. Once he knows both worlds, he will decide which will best serve him in the future.

Meadowlark’s traditional father wishes her to marry Broken Wing, a highly-respected full-blood Kansa warrior close to his own age. Meadowlark rejects being the junior wife under a dying oldest wife and a wolverine of a second wife. Once she learns her childhood friend who left the tribe years earlier has returned to the Kansa, she seeks him out. Even if he does consider her for a wife, can she persuade her father to allow him enough time to prove himself as a warrior? Will her father accept him for her husband in spite of his mixed ancestry?

Will Charlie decide on a future with the white Americans, or will he fight the coming of the Americans by clinging to the past with the Kansa? Will he try to straddle both worlds? What will Charlie choose?


Q&A With the Author:
1.  Tell us about things you enjoy — what you do for fun or personal satisfaction besides writing?
I have been making lap quilts. I came across my collection of pink cancer ribbon fabric last summer and thought, I need to make a few quilts ahead for friends who end up seriously sick and need a friendship token or something they can wrap around them or look at when they are too sick to do much else. The next thing I knew, I had one friend after another develop serious health issues (a consequence of being older). I’m behind, but enjoying designing the quilts for each recipient. I have yet to use the pink cancer ribbon fabric, but will make at least one quilt using it when I get caught up.
2.  When did you first realize you were an author?
When I was in junior high school, I used to stay in my downstairs bedroom to write short stories instead of watching television with my family. Now, being a PAID author – that took a little longer.
3.  Have you done anything writing-related, but besides actually writing your books, that seemed to get a lot of positive response? Something that encouraged you?
When I worked for the U.S. Postal Service as a rural letter carrier, I also worked many years as a release-time union steward representing many offices in many counties. My ability to research, interview, organize facts, and then write up grievance files and research reports is what helped me succeed. It was more technical/legal writing rather than fiction, but I enjoyed it.
4.  What is the thing you struggle with the most while writing? And how do you defeat it?
I struggle most with everyday life interfering. I struggle with balancing helping others with ending up being the go-fer slave of others to help them accomplish THEIR projects while mine languish.
5.  What is the “message” of your writing?
My historical romances often draw from my genealogical research regarding laws that particularly affected women—their rights, or more to the point, their lack of rights when it came to property, voting, inheritance, etc. Even in the book I’m featuring today, my hero becomes aware of his lack of inheritance rights because of the circumstances of his birth.
6.  Are your characters/stories/scenes, etc. based on anything in real life?
See number five, above. I get annoyed with so-called historical authors who do not do the research and write about contemporary laws, rights and attitudes in historical settings. I try to have my characters either display some of the attitudes of the day, run up against said attitudes in other characters in the story, or realize what they are up against legally. Also, most of my books include actual historical events and even real historical characters.
7.  What are your future projects?
I will be publishing Virginia’s Vocation, which is my next book in the Lockets & Lace multi-author series. It is also my next book in the Atwell Kin after Charlie’s Choice which I’m featuring today. I will be publishing Diantha which is my second book in The Widows of Wildcat Ridge multi-author series. In addition, I have two longer books I wrote two and three years ago. They both need a little fine-tuning research, some revision and copy-editing. I will be working on them, and hope to publish at least one of them before the end of the year.

To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page Part 1 
and Official Event page Part 2