A HIGHLANDER WALKS INTO A BAR by Laura Trentham – Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway

A Highlander cover photo

A HIGHLANDER WALKS INTO A BAR

by

Laura Trentham

 

SYNOPSIS

Copy of A Highlander Walks Into a Bar Cover Image

The timeless romance, soaring passion—and gorgeous men—of Scotland comes to modern-day America. And the rules of love will never be the same…

Isabel Buchanan is fiery, funny, and never at a loss for words. But she is struck speechless when her mother returns from a trip to Scotland with a six-foot-tall, very handsome souvenir. Izzy’s mother is so infatuated by the fellow that Izzy has to plan their annual Highland Games all by herself. Well, not completely by herself. The Highlander’s strapping young nephew has come looking for his uncle…

Alasdair Blackmoor has never seen a place as friendly as this small Georgia town—or a girl as brilliant and beguiling as Izzy. Instead of saving his uncle, who seems to be having a lovely time, Alasdair decides he’d rather help Izzy with the Highland Games. Show her how to dance like a Highlander. Drink like a Highlander. And maybe, just maybe, fall in love with a Highlander. But when the games are over, where do they go from here?

Buy-book link: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250315021

 

ABOUT LAURA

Trentham Author PhotoLaura Trentham is an award-winning author of contemporary and historical romance, including Then He Kissed Me and The Military Wife. She is a member of RWA, and has been a finalist multiple times in the Golden Heart competition. A chemical engineer by training and a lover of books by nature, she lives in South Carolina.

 

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REVIEW

A Highlander Walks Into A Bar is a fun, light double romance I thoroughly enjoyed for its themes of family, friendship, and community.

The main characters Isabel and Alasdair are well-suited to each other with similar caring for their respective parents and uncertainties about their careers despite their different backgrounds. I like the slow build-up of their romance through proximity and their quick acknowledgment of their mutual attraction. There was no push-and-pull that usually ticks me off.

I also appreciate that the deceptions (Gareth’s hiding of his title for self-protection and Alasdair’s mistake on getting his loathsome co-worker and boss interested in the Buchanan’s property) didn’t play out too long and after a proper grovel, especially on Alasdair’s part, Izzy and her mother Rose forgave their men.

I adore the idea of a small town where people work together to embrace and celebrate their cultural heritage. As an immigrant, I relate to this incredibly well. Highland, Georgia sounds like a fun place to visit during the games as described in this book.

Well-balanced story telling, likable secondary characters (especially Anna and Holt) who were interesting enough without overpowering the leads, smooth pacing, and  an intriguing tease for the next book are the reasons I’m giving this book four stars.

4 out of 5 stars

 

GIVEAWAY

One US reader will receive a paperback copy of A Highlander Walks Into A Bar from St. Martin’s Press. To enter, like the post and leave a comment below. I will draw a winner on Tuesday, August 6, at 12 noon Central time.

 

 

 

 

GOOD GUY by Kate Meader – Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway

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GOOD GUY

by

Kate Meader

 

SYNOPSIS

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He’s a Special Forces veteran making his pro hockey debut. She’s a dogged sports reporter determined to get a scoop. She’s also his best friend’s widow . . .

Fans can’t get enough of Levi Hunt, the Special Forces veteran who put his NHL career on hold to serve his country and fight the bad guys. So when his new Chicago Rebels bosses tell him to cooperate with the press on a profile, he’s ready to do his duty. Until he finds out who he has to work with: flame-haired, freckle-splashed, impossibly perky Jordan Cooke.

Also known as the woman he should not have kissed the night she buried her husband, Levi’s best friend in the service.

Hockey-stick-up-his-butt-serious Levi Hunt might despise Jordan for reasons she can’t fathom—okay, it’s to do with kissing—but her future in the cutthroat world of sports reporting hangs on delivering the goods on the league’s hottest, grumpiest rookie. So what if he’s not interested in having his life plated up for public consumption. Too bad. Jordan will have to play dirty to get her scoop and even dirtier to get her man. Only in winning the story, she might just lose her heart . . .

In this standalone romance set in the Chicago Rebels world, a new generation of players take to the ice and learn that all’s fair in love and hockey.

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B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/good-guy-kate-meader/1131474287
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Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=NcefDwAAQBAJ

 

ABOUT KATE

Kate-Meader-e1434416954712

USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR

Originally from Ireland, Kate cut her romance reader teeth on Maeve Binchy and Jilly Cooper novels, with some Harlequins thrown in for variety. Give her tales about brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron or a fire hose, and she’s there. Now based in Chicago, she writes sexy contemporary romance with alpha heroes and strong heroines who can match their men quip for quip.

 

Author links:
https://www.katemeader.com/
https://www.facebook.com/authorkatemeader
https://www.instagram.com/katemeader/
https://twitter.com/kittymeader
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6551743.Kate_Meader
https://www.bookbub.com/profile/kate-meader
https://www.amazon.com/Kate-Meader/e/B00AQLO4EG

 

REVIEW

I adore Kate Meader’s Chicago Rebels series so much I cried when it ended with Hooked On You. I thought I’d never see those beloved characters again and so when Kate announced this spin-off with the Rookie Rebels, I jumped at the chance to read an advance copy of Good Guy.

It did not disappoint. This was zing-y, quip-py, and full of heart and social relevance like the original series. Everyone’s back. Remy and Harper, Vadim and Isobel, Dante and Cade, Bren and Violet, plus cameos by Kinsey and Luke from another fantastic KM series – Hot in Chicago. More importantly, I already love the “rookies” who are introduced here and I’m looking forward to their books, especially Theo’s and, dare I hope, Elle’s.

Good Guy is Levi Hunt’s story and what a great story it is. Grumpy, close-mouthed, big-hearted, incredibly humble, super sexy (of course), and slightly insecure. He kept mentioning impostor syndrome and, oh boy, I could relate. His pining for Jordan, his care for Elle and Theo, and concern for Joe, his integrity, his drive to improve his skills made me love him. If this review is all about Levi, Good Guy will receive five stars.

But, it also includes Jordan Cooke – ambitious sports reporter, irresponsible journalist, undeserving object of Levi’s affection, and cause of lower rating. Kate may have tried to do too much with her as a symbol of gender inequality and sexual harassment in the (sports and media) workplace and it created an imbalance in her personality versus Levi’s more heroic characterization. I didn’t take too well to her and placing her beside Harper didn’t do Jordan any justice. As a military spouse who had to make adjustments in terms of career choices, I can relate somehow. But, the way she accomplished her goals could have been done differently, in my opinion.

Kate’s writing is superb and I trust her to tell great stories. Even though there were aspects of Good Guy that didn’t satisfy, I’m still very excited about this new series. Can’t wait for the next book!

Three-half-stars

 

GIVEAWAY

Kate is giving away $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner. Open internationally. Ends on August 8.

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CHASING HOPE by Dana Wayne – Book Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway

Chasing Hope Tour Cover

CHASING HOPE

by

DANA WAYNE

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Book Liftoff
Date of Publication: June 10, 2019
Number of Pages: 295

Scroll down for giveaway!

 

Synopsis

Chasing Hope Book Cover

Max Logan longs for the joys of home and family he missed growing up in foster care. He fills that emotional void by becoming a kick-ass Marine, and for eighteen years, led his band of brothers from one hellhole to another…until the one that nearly destroyed him. Sixteen months of therapy and rehab put his body back together, but some wounds can’t be seen. Some can’t be healed.

Skylar Ward dreams of a life that includes someone beside her. Someone to share her life with, to be a father to her young daughter. But if she learned anything from her failed marriage it was that you don’t rush into a relationship. Options in her small town are limited, and those who approach her lack appeal. Only Max Logan sparks her interest. But the handsome, brooding war hero remains aloof.

Intelligent and intuitive, seven-year-old Maddie overhears a neighbor tell her mother she needs a male companion, so she Google’s it to see what it means. Convinced her mom needs a boyfriend and Max needs a girlfriend, Maddie sets out to make it happen. He needs a family. They need him. If she can make them see that.

Can one precocious child be the catalyst that heals a wounded warrior’s soul and brings joy back into her mom’s heart?

Or will ashes of the past bury hope once and for all?

PRAISE FOR CHASING HOPE:

“The pace was fast, the love was simple yet energetic, and the dialogues were lively enough to make me want to know more about the characters. To say that I loved this novel is not enough! Absolutely beautiful. It deserves these 5 stars.” – Readers’ Favorite

“I could not put Chasing Hope down! From the first few sentences, I was hooked and read over half of it the first night finishing it the following night. The main characters, Sky and Max, intrigued me right off the bat but feisty little Maddie wormed her way into my heart immediately! What a breath of fresh air.” – Mary McCormack, ARC reader

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As a reader who has a close connection with the US Armed Forces (Air Force husband, Marine Corps father-in-law), I can be quite critical of military romantic fiction. Errors in terminologies and ranks and exaggeration of the protagonists’ abilities peeve me. With Dana Wayne’s Chasing Hope, I found nothing to annoy me and everything to love. The story of how wounded Marine veteran Max, struggling single mother Skylar, and adorably precocious Maddie became a family is truly heartwarming. It’s an affecting and satisfying read. I smiled, teared-up, and loved along with these sympathetic characters as they slowly drew close to one another with the help, and sometimes hindrance, of the members of their small community.

Chasing Hope TeaserMax and Sky are easy to root for because they are regular people with real-life problems, who deserve their happily ever after. Maddie is a star. She’s the little cupid who brought her mother and their next-door neighbor together. I love the parts she played in making sure Max and Sky address their feelings honestly and clear up their misunderstandings right away. I also love the other secondary characters like Big John and Ruby, Logan and Anna. I even appreciate Cade for providing the conflict that tests Max and Sky’s developing relationship.

If I have a favorite quote, it’s this: “Blood doesn’t make a family. Love does.”

Excellent writing, fantastic story, snappy dialogue, involving characters. I enjoyed Chasing Hope so much, I’m giving it five hope-filled stars. I won’t hesitate to say, “Buy this book!” Buy it now.

5 stars

 

AboutTheAuthor

Dana Wayne

Dana Wayne is an award-winning author and 6th generation Texan. She resides in East Texas with her husband (and biggest fan) along with a Calico cat named Katie, three children, and four grandchildren. She routinely speaks to books clubs, services organizations, writers’ groups, and other organizations on writing and publishing, and is a frequent guest on numerous writing blogs.

“I grew up listening to my father read passages from the stack of paperback westerns beside his chair. I was fascinated at how someone could paint a picture with words so vivid, I saw it in my mind. That’s when I knew that one day I would be a writer. It wasn’t until I retired in late 2013 that I was able to devote the necessary time to achieving my goal. I published my first book in 2016 and never looked back. My stories are heartwarming, a little spicy, and all about the romance because I believe romance is more about emotion than sex, and the journey is more important than the destination.”

A staunch supporter of new authors, she is a member of Romance Writers of America, Texas Association of Authors, and Writers League of Texas as well as several local writers’ groups.

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CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

7/9/19 		Notable Quotable 	That's What She's Reading 
7/9/19 		Notable Quotable 	Kelly Well Read 
7/9/19 		BONUS post 		Hall Ways Blog 
7/10/19 	Review 			Reading by Moonlight 
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7/11/19 	Excerpt 		The Page Unbound 
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7/13/19 	Review 			Rebecca R. Cahill, Author 
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7/15/19 	Review 			The Clueless Gent 
7/16/19 	Teaser 			Nerd Narration 
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JACKSON by Emily March – Blog Tour: Review

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Jackson

by

EMILY MARCH

SYNOPSIS

Copy of Jackson cover

Sometimes it takes a new beginning

Caroline Carruthers thinks she buried her dreams along with the love of her life … until a stranger named Celeste dares her to chase a dream all on her own. Moving to Redemption, Texas, is chapter one in Caroline’s new life story. Opening a bookstore is the next. Finding love is the last thing on her mind as she settles into this new place called home. But when she meets a handsome, soulful man who’s also starting over, all bets are off.

to reach a happily-ever-after

Jackson McBride came to Redemption looking only to find himself, not someone to love. Ever since his marriage ended, he’s been bitter. Sure, he used to believe in love—he even has the old song lyrics to prove it—but the Jackson of today is all business. That is, until a beautiful young widow who’s moved to town inspires a change of heart. Could it be that the myth of Redemption’s healing magic is true … and Jackson and Caroline can find a second chance at a happy ending after all?

Buy-Book Link:
Jackson by Emily March

 

ABOUT EMILY

Copy of Emily March

 

Emily March is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the heartwarming Eternity Springs series. A graduate of Texas A&M University, Emily is an avid fan of Aggie sports and her recipe for jalapeño relish has made her a tailgating legend.

 

REVIEW

Whenever I come across a romance novel set in Texas, especially in the areas I’m familiar with, I jump at the chance to review it. Emily March’s Redemption seems to me inspired by Fredericksburg from the description of the German establishments, the distance to Austin, and the beautiful land around it. For me, the setting played a big part in making me enjoy this book as much as the development of the relationship between Jackson and Caroline.

I very much liked the flow of this story. From their first meeting, which was somehow orchestrated by Celeste, to a year later when their second chance at love started to bloom. There wasn’t much back story to trudge through as the reader is a witness to the events as they unfold.

I also appreciate the characterization of Jackson and Caroline. There’s a realism to their thoughts, actions, and words that makes one relate to them somehow. Jackson’s despondency at the prolonged separation with his daughter and Caroline’s grief over her husband’s illness and subsequent death rang true for me, as well as their friendship turning into love as they got to know each other better. It took them a while, but when they fell, they only had the utmost support of one another.

I absolutely love that both of them build something from scratch in their new hometown. Caroline’s bookstore The Next Chapter is the realization of my dream, I completely felt her emotions when she opened it.

There’s a lot of named characters. It got unwieldy at times, particularly when the horde from Eternity Springs came for the opening of the B&B Jackson and his cousins own. I also resented the scenes in the book that happened outside of Redemption. Apart from those things, I really enjoyed Jackson and I’m looking forward to reading the next installment in the series.

4 out of 5 stars

 

THE LITTLE TEASHOP ON MAIN by Jodi Thomas – Book Blog Tour Giveaway

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THE LITTLE TEASHOP ON MAIN

by

Jodi Thomas

Genre: Contemporary Literary Fiction / Coming of Age
Publisher: HQN
Publication Date: May 7, 2019
Number of Pages: 336 pages

Scroll down for the giveaway!

Synopsis

Little Teashop Book Cover

A rainy-day ritual—a tea party between three little girls—becomes the framework of not only their friendship, but their lives.
Blonde, curly-haired Zoe is openhearted, kind and free-spirited, and dreams of becoming a famous actor in New York City. Shy Emily struggles with mental health but has the heart and soul of a writer. And Shannon—tall, athletic, strong—has a deep sense of loyalty that will serve her well when she heads off to military college.
As Zoe, Emily, and Shannon grow into women—forging careers, following dreams, and finding love—they’ll learn that life doesn’t always unfold the way they want it to, but through it all, the one constant is each other and their regular tea parties. And when the unthinkable happens, the girls must come together to face the greatest test of all.

A deeply moving novel about the family that raises us, the hearts that nurture us, and the great friendships that define our lives.

 

PRAISE FOR THE LITTLE TEASHOP ON MAIN:

“Heart-wrenching as well as heartwarming, the book reflects the experiences of these seven multifaceted and compelling characters as they journey through challenging years together.” — NY Journal of Books

“A comforting treasure for regular Thomas readers who enjoy the easy flow of her writing, a little steamy romance to spice things up, and the development of vulnerable, realistic characters.” — Booklist

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AboutTheAuthor

Author Pic ThomasWith millions of books in print, Jodi Thomas is both a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 45 novels and 14 short story collections. Her stories travel through the past and present days of Texas and draw readers from around the world.

In July 2006, Jodi was the 11th writer to be inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. With five RITA’s to her credit, along with National Readers’ Choice Awards and Booksellers’ Best Awards, Thomas has proven her skill as a master storyteller.

Honored in 2002 as a Distinguished Alumni by Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, Thomas enjoys interacting with students at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas, where she currently serves as Writer in Residence.

When not working on a novel, or inspiring students to pursue writing careers, Thomas enjoys traveling with her husband, renovating an historic home, and “checking up” on their grown sons and four grandchildren.

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5/13/19 	Excerpt 		StoreyBook Reviews 
5/13/19 	Author Interview 	Kelly Well Read 
5/14/19 	Review 			All the Ups and Downs 
5/15/19 	Excerpt 		Rainy Days with Amanda 
5/15/19 	Review 			Bibliotica 
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SAVING THE MAIL ORDER BRIDE by Linda Broday – Book Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway

STMOB Blog Tour

SAVING THE
MAIL ORDER BRIDE
Outlaw’s Mail Order Bride,
Book Two

by

LINDA BRODAY

Genre: Historical Western Romance
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: April 30, 2019
Number of Pages: 384 pages

SCROLL DOWN FOR THE GIVEAWAY!

 

Synopsis

STMOB 3D

 

He may have a high price on his head, but all outlaw Jack Bowdre ever desired was a second chance. Now he’s been arrested and on his way to jail, completely unaware that his unexpected —and unexpectedly beautiful— traveling companion is none other than Nora Kane…his mail order bride.

It’s too bad Nora doesn’t know Jack is her groom-to-be. All she sees is a scoundrel. But when their stagecoach crashes, they’re suddenly handcuffed together and running for their lives with nothing but the clothes on their backs. A posse behind and unforgiving terrain ahead, how long can they survive? Hounded by desperate men bent on stopping them by any means necessary, Nora and Jack find the love they both desperately want. But the question remains: will they have a chance to claim it?

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Just when I thought I had Linda Broday pegged, she goes and reveals another wonderful facet of her amazing talent as a writer. While the first book in this series (The Outlaw’s Mail Order Bride) had me almost in despair for Clay and Tally’s chances in making it through their challenges–spoiler alert: they did–Saving the Mail Order Bride assured me of Jack and Nora’s happy-ever-after right from the start of their action-packed escape adventure. That’s because Ms. Broday infused this book with light humor and boundless optimism rather than angst and incessant suffering.

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I loved that Jack and Nora’s objective changed while on the run. Instead of getting away from enemies, it had become more about reaching a specific destination: Hope’s Crossing. Because in that place was community, support, and love.

I adore that during their journey, they managed to acquire an entire family. A family that’s formed from tragedy and abuse with a promise of a better future for the children.

I enjoyed how Jack and Nora always worked together to escape, evade, provide for one another, face their adversaries, and plan a course of action. I really appreciate how strongly the characters were drawn with admirable qualities and all-too-human weaknesses. Despite the title, it wasn’t only Jack who was saving the mail order bride, it was also Nora saving the outlaw.

20190416_195355501_iOSAt the beginning of the book, Linda Broday wrote a letter saying she hopes the readers are entertained by this story and that we’re left wanting to know more about the characters from Hope’s Crossing.

Well, this reader is happily entertained and is looking forward to reading more about these outlaws and the community they’re building from nothing. Bring on Ridge’s story please, Linda. I can’t wait for more.

 

PRAISE FOR SAVING THE MAIL ORDER BRIDE:

“Broday continues her Outlaw Mail Order Brides historical Western romance series with an interesting premise…” — Kirkus

“The adventure and dangers kept the pages turning – delivering quite a few surprises and heart-pounding moments. And generously balanced in were moments of peace and beauty.” — Sunshine Lake Reviews

“I loved every deep ravine-gun blazing-twist of this book.”
Glenda (Goodreads reviewer)

“Linda Broday has spun another great adventure that is full of surprises, has you rooting for the outlaws and people of Hope’s Crossing, and wanting some ‘lawmen,’ ‘businessmen,’ and other ‘questionable men’ to find their deaths. It’ll make you question who should be called an outlaw in this period of time.”
Stephanie (Goodreads reviewer)

 

STMOB Meme 1

 

AboutTheAuthor

tomob linda brodayI’m a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty historical western romance novels and short stories. I reside in the Texas Panhandle on land the American Indian and Comancheros once roamed, and at times if the breeze is just right, I can hear their voices whispering in the wind. Texas’ rich history is one reason I set all my stories here where cowboys are still caretakers of the land. I’m inspired every day by their immense dedication and love for the wide-open spaces.

When I’m not writing, I collect old coins and I’ve also been accused (quite unfairly I might add) of making a nuisance of myself at museums, libraries, and historical places. I’m also a movie buff and love sitting in a dark theater, watching the magic unfold on the screen. As long as I’m confessing…chocolate is my best friend. It just soothes my soul.

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VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

5/7/19 		Character Interview 	All the Ups and Downs 
5/7/19 		BONUS Post 		Hall Ways Blog 
5/8/19 		Review 			Book Fidelity 
5/9/19 		Excerpt 		StoreyBook Reviews 
5/10/19 	Review 			Carpe Diem Chronicles 
5/11/19 	Guest Post 		The Clueless Gent 
5/12/19 	Review 			Reading by Moonlight 
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LIVE WIRE by Pamela Fagan Hutchins: Book Blog Tour – Guest Post and Giveaway

Live Wire blog cover

LIVE WIRE

(Maggie, Book One)
A What Doesn’t Kill You
World Romantic Mystery

by

PAMELA FAGAN HUTCHINS

Genre: Romantic Mystery
Publisher: SkipJack Publishing
Date of Publication: March 6, 2019
Number of Pages: 270

Scroll down for giveaway!

 

Synopsis

A hook-up turned lethal. A spurned, angry cowboy. Can rebel Maggie turn the tables before a killer adds her to the list of lost causes?

Live Wire book cover

Washed-up alt-country rocker-turned-junker Maggie Killian is pulled to Wyoming by an irresistible force . . . former bull rider Hank Sibley, the man who broke her heart fifteen years before. When she unexpectedly meets his Sunday school-teaching girlfriend at a saloon, Maggie seeks liquor-fueled oblivion between the sheets of a younger man’s bed. But after her beloved vintage truck breaks down and leaves her stranded in the Cowboy State, she learns her hook-up died minutes after leaving their rendezvous. Suddenly surrounded by men with questionable motives, Maggie searches for the murderer while fighting the electricity between herself and her old beau, and her new penchant for local whiskey.

When the police zero in on Maggie despite a disturbing series of break-ins at her guest cabin, she realizes she’s got no one to rely on but herself. To keep herself happily in bars instead of behind them, she must stop the killer before the cops realize the man she really suspects is a jealous, angry Hank.

Live Wire is the first standalone book in a trilogy featuring sharp-tongued protagonist Maggie Killian from the addictive What Doesn’t Kill You romantic mystery series. If you like nerve-racking suspense, electric characters and relationships, and juicy plot twists, then you’ll love USA Today best seller Pamela Fagan Hutchins’ Silver Falchion award-winning series.

 

“Maggie is irresistible.”
Robert Dugoni, #1 Amazon bestselling author of My Sister’s Grave

 

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My Life and Privacy as Novel Fodder:
The Story Behind the Story of LIVE WIRE
By Pamela Fagan Hutchins
(originally posted on the author’s blog)

In the winter and spring of 2017, I learned the hard way to trust what my animals were telling me. I had a stalker. And one day I walked in on him in my house.
I should have known better. My gut had been telling me for months that something was wrong, but, since my husband Eric was traveling all the time, I worked hard at justifying away my paranoia. I didn’t want anything to steal my peace.

My dogs told me. They would bark like crazy when the guy would show up and hide out to watch me. I ignored them.

My common sense told me. I found food wrappers and fast food cups in odd places in the private, remote forest outside our bathroom window. I didn’t want to believe it, so I let my husband come up with alternative explanations, ones that wouldn’t confirm I was being watched.

My horse told me. Katniss used to snort and jump sideways when we passed his hiding place. I ignored her.

I ignored everything and everyone until I opened the back door to my house one day to find him inside and running out the front door. He ripped up the electric tape grazing fence in his haste to get out of there, then left footprints all around our property until they disappeared into the woods about half a mile from the little nest he had cleared by the picture window to the bathtub.

The deputies were nice when I called, but they didn’t believe me at first. I didn’t have a name, I didn’t see the guy’s face, I didn’t have my back door dead bolted (although I did have the front, his exit, dead bolted), or use an alarm system. It’s the country, y’all. We don’t worry about security. So they didn’t fingerprint. They did encourage me to do a lot of target shooting, keep my dogs with me, and let them do drive-through welfare checks for the next few weeks (which they did).

My husband went on a ninja reconnaissance of the neighborhood, dressed in camo, toting his shotgun. But the guy was “long gone.”

Except that he wasn’t. Not from how I felt (violated; see self therapy anthem above) or in actual real life either. He lived up the street. How did we know this, besides the fact that it was clear from the footprints that he lived or parked a car close to our remote, rural little ranch?

It comes back to my horse.

A week before the incident, Eric and I were out riding. A weird neighbor guy waylaid us, getting right in front of Katniss and putting his hands on her face. Now, you just don’t approach a horse and rider and put your hands on that horse, especially the face. And Katniss is a snotty girl. She doesn’t like anyone but Eric and me touching her face, and only then if we have treats to put in the mouth end of it. But this creeper put both his hands on her face, and she let him. He proceeded to talk at a dizzying speed for half an hour, without ever acknowledging Eric, and repeatedly telling me that if I ever saw him in the woods in the area, it was just because he was care taking for neighbors when they were out of town.

OKAAAAAYYYY.

We put up game cameras and security cameras everywhere after the incident. At the point where the guy’s boot prints disappeared from our property, we caught Katniss on camera two nights in a row at five am standing for 45 minutes with her head over the fence. She had no reason to be there. There was no gate. The only reason she comes to the gate by our house (half a mile away) is for food. And it hit us: she was waiting for food. Someone was feeding her there. At five am. Repeatedly. The same person she’d let touch her face?????

We asked all the neighbors whether they used this guy for care taking. The answer came back a 100% resounding “never.” I ran criminal background checks on every male neighbor within two miles. One came back as a multiple felon for breaking and entering, and for drug crimes: yep—the weird guy. We ran into him at a restaurant. Suddenly, he wouldn’t look at me at all, after having all but spirited me away a week earlier.

Fast forward to a week after the incident. Eric walked into a local gas station. The same creeper was there, talking to someone at the counter. He looked up and saw Eric and dropped what he was holding and ran out the back door of the station.

If we weren’t sure before, that did it for us. We called the deputy. Told him about my horse and the other incidents. He was a country boy, so he “got it” about Katniss. We identified the guy, but while I now knew for sure it was him, I could not lie and say I saw his face. The deputy offered to charge him with criminal trespass. But what good would that do? He’d be out of the slammer in a hot minute, if he was convicted. And he’d be pissed. I declined.

So, yeah, that’s the incident that inspired LIVE WIRE, which comes out March 6th. You can preorder now. In it, you’ll see my experience woven into the plot, if you look closely.
As for me, I practice my shooting a lot. I keep my dogs with me. I lock my doors now, and we use an alarm system. Weird things have happened since. I won’t elaborate, because we’re hoping someday to nail him on all of them. And I’m still waiting for next time. Because when it happens, he’s going back to jail for a long, long time.

Live Wire series

AboutTheAuthor

Pamela Fagan Hutchins

Pamela Fagan Hutchins is a USA Today best seller. She writes award-winning romantic mysteries from deep in the heart of Nowheresville, Texas and way up in the frozen north of Snowheresville, Wyoming. She is passionate about long hikes with her hunky husband and pack of rescue dogs and riding her gigantic horses.

If you’d like Pamela to speak to your book club, women’s club, class, or writers’ group, by Skype or in person, shoot her an e-mail. She’s very likely to say yes. Connect with Pamela on the web.

 

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Praise for Pamela Fagan Hutchins

2018 USA Today Best Seller
2017 WINNER Silver Falchion Award, Best Mystery
2016 WINNER USA Best Book Award, Cross Genre Fiction
2015 WINNER USA Best Book Award, Cross Genre Fiction
2014 USA Best Book Award Finalist, Cross Genre Fiction
2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-finalist, Romance
2013 USA Best Book Award Finalist, Business: Publishing
2012 Winner of the Houston Writers Guild Ghost Story Contest
2012 WINNER USA Best Book Award, Parenting: Divorce
2011 Winner of the Houston Writers Guild Novel Contest, Mainstream
2010 Winner of the Writers League of Texas Manuscript Contest, Romance

 

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