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Cheers to the end of summer!

Welcome to Lyndi’s Adventurous Friend Addison Brae!

Many people are looking forward to wrapping up summer 2021 by spending a long weekend with family, friends, or just taking downtime to relax. Food, football, and a dip in the pool can add more fun. There’s nothing better to cool you down and cheer you up than a cocktail and a thrilling book.

Anyone who enjoys a classic Old Fashioned, will find the Pinkie’s variation tasty and refreshing. If you’re a Cosmopolitan fan, you will enjoy the spicy and sweet Cajun Cosmopolitan. Gillian, the heroine in Becker Circle and Dark Energy, started out tending bar part-time and ended up managing a new restaurant and got pretty good at coming up with her own creative cocktails. She created these recipes to serve her friends outside of work.

Cajun Cosmopolitan

2 oz. Deep Eddy Orange vodka

1 oz. Cointreau

1 oz. pineapple juice

½ oz. lime juice

Shake with ice. Dip part of a chilled martini glass rim in Tony Chachete’s Original Creole seasoning. Strain into glass. Garnish with an orange peel.

Pinkie’s Old Fashioned

1 oz. Hennessey cognac

1 oz. bourbon

1-2 teaspoons agave nectar

1 teaspoon orange bitters

Stir in lowball glass. Add ice. Garnish with an orange wedge and cherry.

Gather some friends, play bartender and try these. After they leave, curl up with your favorite novel and have another.

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Links

Connect with Addison on her website, Tirgearr Publishing, Amazon, BookBub, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Text “AddisonBrae” to 888.431.1137 or visit addisonbrae.com/contact and be the first to receive a text message (no more than 1 per month) on book launches, appearances, and book sales.

You can find Dark Energy (Return to Becker Circle) on Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia, Smashwords, Apple Books, Kobo, and B&N Nook.

Bio

Addison Brae lives in Dallas, Texas on the edge of downtown. She has been writing since childhood and continues today with articles, video scripts and other content as an independent marketing consultant. She writes romantic suspense and contemporary young adult fiction. When she’s not writing, Addison spends her time traveling the world, collecting interesting cocktail recipes and hosting parties. She’s still addicted to reading and enjoys jogging in her neighborhood park, sipping red wine, binge-watching TV series, vintage clothing and hanging out with her artistic other half and their neurotic cat Lucy. 

Title/genre:  Dark Energy (Return to Becker Circle), contemporary romantic suspense

Blurb: Cybercrime doesn’t talk. It creeps in and destroys lives right under Gillian’s nose when a cryptojacking scheme lands her boss, Pinkie, in jail. Gillian had just started over with a new career, boyfriend, and confidence after escaping a vicious murder investigation that shattered her ability to trust. Then Pinkie’s arrest leaves her struggling to run his two bars while also unraveling the conspiracy.

Gillian will not let her mentor and friend go down for something he didn’t do. Neither will Jon, the most talented musician on the bar’s stage and the perfect boyfriend…until his good fortune sends her reeling. Gillian forces herself to trust the cops, people who hurt her, and known criminals. Will it be enough to free Pinkie and save her life?

Excerpt

I flip the switch, illuminating the first bar I’ve ever managed. Rainbows of color dance through the full bottles lining the glass shelves. Glasses are stocked. Floors spotless. A chance to begin again after a not-so-perfect fresh start.

The new crew worked their butts off learning menus and setting up for today’s opening. They’re trained and ready for anything. Not sure about me, though. I’m a fast learner, a CPA, and have been a bartender. But that doesn’t mean I can run a bar. Pinkie makes it appear easy. He believes in me, and that’s more than I’ve gotten from most people in my life.

Out of the corner of my eye, I spot a note written in large block letters.

Welcome, Gillian! Breakfast in the bar fridge. You can’t start your first day as manager hungry. –Pinkie

“What?” My voice echoes in the empty room. Pinkie said he was right behind me before I left after midnight last night. When did he have time to cook? Inside the refrigerator is a container with my name written across it. I peek inside. “He remembered!” Sausage and grits, the first of his cooking I ever ate. Besides being an amazing chef, he’s been such a great mentor since I moved here, helped me survive some major screw-ups. I won’t get involved with the wrong people again.

Pinkie’s been more of a dad than my real father. If he hadn’t believed in me to run his new bar, I’d be working at another accounting job I hate instead of my dream job. Luck or not, after everything Pinkie’s done for me, I’ll never let him down.

Life Mirrors the Cosmos

Welcome to Lyndi’s Adventurous Friends author Addison Brae!

Do you know people who always get the short end? The poor souls who are as careful and as nice as humanly possible but bad luck finds them anyway? Why does this happen?

My theory is based on one of the great mysteries of the cosmos. Dark matter, scientists believe, brings planets and stars together while dark energy pushes them apart and destroys things to create massive voids. Astronomers speculate 96 percent of our universe is composed of dark matter and dark energy. But no one has ever seen these dark substances, and they only have theories as to what are.

To take the theory further, I see a parallel between karma and dark matter and dark energy. Some astronomers believe dark energy will eventually destroy our universe. This is similar to how karma can destroy lives—deserved or undeserved; explainable or not. The dark energy theory—or bad karma—is what continues to happen to Gillian, the smart, badass heroine of Dark Energy, Return to Becker Circle who never breaks her word. And she believes her boss/mentor serves as her dark matter.

Do you have people in your life who connect people to create bonds and shape things for the better like dark matter? And alternatively, people who always seem to be victims of back luck—or dark energy? It takes many dark matter people to resist dark energy—the empty space that slips into our lives’ voids to disrupt. Like dark energy, karma is random. If there is logic to karma, why do bad things happen to good people?

Links

Read more about Addison Brae on her website, Tirgearr Publishing, Amazon, and BookBub.

Connect with Addison Brae on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

You can find Dark Energy (Return to Becker Circle) on Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia, Smashwords (50% off through July), Apple Books, Kobo, and B&N Nook. A portion of the author proceeds will go to Staff Meal to help provide meals and other aid to restaurant workers in need during the pandemic.

Title/genre:  Dark Energy (Return to Becker Circle), contemporary romantic suspense

 

Bio

Addison Brae lives in Dallas, Texas on the edge of downtown. She has been writing since childhood and continues today with articles, video scripts and other content as an independent marketing consultant. She writes romantic suspense and contemporary young adult fiction. When she’s not writing, Addison spends her time traveling the world, collecting interesting cocktail recipes and hosting parties. She’s still addicted to reading and enjoys jogging in her neighborhood park, sipping red wine, binge-watching TV series, vintage clothing and hanging out with her artistic other half and their neurotic cat Lucy.

 

Blurb: Cybercrime doesn’t talk. It creeps in and destroys lives right under Gillian’s nose when a cryptojacking scheme lands her boss, Pinkie, in jail. Gillian had just started over with a new career, boyfriend, and confidence after escaping a vicious murder investigation that shattered her ability to trust. Then Pinkie’s arrest leaves her struggling to run his two bars while also unraveling the conspiracy.

Gillian will not let her mentor and friend go down for something he didn’t do. Neither will Jon, the most talented musician on the bar’s stage and the perfect boyfriend…until his good fortune sends her reeling. Gillian forces herself to trust the cops, people who hurt her, and known criminals. Will it be enough to free Pinkie and save her life?

Excerpt – Chapter Two

Car traffic and jets stir me awake. I stretch and don’t open my eyes since I haven’t slept enough after such a long, incredible day. Then I remember restaurant reviews may be out. Slivers of the May morning sunlight make stripes across my soft grey and yellow comforter. I grab my phone and open the news feed, page through the day’s headlines. Do I want to know?

A headline jumps out at me—New Uptown Bar Opens to Sell-out Lunch Crowd. It must be us, and most definitely not PinHead Preston’s review.

Uptown’s newest place to be seen is Pinkie’s Too, the satellite site to its sister bar in Becker Circle.

Yes! It’s a good one!

The trendy but chill invitation-only crowd lunched on a full menu with Creole cuisine and pizza as the bar’s specialties. The cocktail menu is creative but non-pretentious with options including the Creole Cosmo and Pinkie’s Old Fashioned.

As a Dallas cultural history buff, the most unique Pinkie’s Too feature is the tables—each custom designed to commemorate a musician with Dallas roots who carved notches in music history. Some of the tables I could inspect without interrupting patrons’ meals were dedicated to Lisa Loeb, Erykah Badu, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Demi Lovato, Edie Brickell, Michael Nesmith, Boz Scaggs, LeAnn Rimes, Steve Miller, and even Meat Loaf—the musician, not the food.

 It’s a great reminder of Dallas’ diverse, deep music culture.

Today’s soft opening only covered lunch. Friday is the true grand overture with the doors unlocking in time for happy hour with an appetizer menu from open until last call. The highlight will be one of Dallas’ up-and-coming bands, ShowStoppers. Come back to the website this weekend for my review of the nighttime experience.

I point and flex both feet, doing my under-cover happy dance and continue flipping through other news. No sign of a Dallas Daily News review from Don Preston yet until I choke on my own breath. Doctors Clear Accused Murderer for Trial. My happy feet halt.

Two photos appear underneath the headline—one shows a dark-haired man with a deep tan teeing off at a charity golf tournament. A chill runs through as it all floods back. The other is a mug shot, the usual sparkling dark eyes now chilling and full of hatred. The same hate I saw in Kyle’s eyes that night when he held the sharp, cold blade to my neck. The photos capture two of Kyle’s opposing sides.

I pull the covers tighter and squeeze my eyes closed to erase the vision.

Shattering glass.

The ear-splintering ring of the 9mm round going off outside my bathroom.

Kyle folding on the floor. Blood oozing from his shoulder.

My arms extended in front of me with my fingers frozen around the gun.

My resolve for no one to control me again. Ever.

The news brief says the judge threw out the venue change request. It also says the Dallas district attorney is withholding charging him for the attempted murder of his ex-wife and aggravated assault of another Dallas woman pending the trial outcome.

The “another Dallas woman” reference is me. It still seems like it was a different Gillian.

Paranormal mystery has romance and secrets at heart #MFRWBookHooks

A bad divorce, a broken heart, a need to begin again.LoveMeKissMeKillMe_Final_small2

These three things propel reporter Sara Woods to leave the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and take a job as the new reporter for small-town Ohio’s Ralston Courier. Ralston is a sleepy little town that doesn’t seem to have much to offer this big-city girl, but her very first assignment is to investigate a dead body, a young woman found half-frozen on the side of a country road. As more bodies are discovered, the only common link seems to be that they’re all young women Sara’s age.

Still recovering from a previous auto accident and struggling with chronic pain, she becomes a patient at the Goldstone Clinic, a local mecca of healing.

But all is not as it seems at the Goldstone. Patients at the clinic first seem to get better, then they deteriorate. Sara enlists the help of Dr. Rick Paulsen, a doctor at the city hospital who shares her concern about the deaths of the young women, one of whom was his own patient. He teaches her through Eastern techniques how to access her internal power, skills she never knew she had, revealing secrets from her past.

Police officer Brendon Zale also takes an interest in Sara, but he stalks her, watching her every move, and he won’t leave her alone. He always turns up at the most suspicious times, especially where the dead bodies are found. What’s his interest in Sara?

Sara continues to dig deeper into the story, and tries to choose allies wisely, but not till the last confrontation does she discover the identity of her true enemy.

By then, it’s too late.

Where to buy Love Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me

Publisher http://www.hydrapublications.com/

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GJBD1U0

Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-me-kiss-me-kill-me-lyndi-alexander/1112464898

EXCERPT:

Gloria kept me on a full round of assignments, though I still didn’t have a regular beat. I interviewed farmers, called state legislators on budget talks, and wrote obituaries. But I found that whenever I asked for time to do further investigation about Lily and the others, Gloria bent over backward to make it happen for me.

While I was grateful, I thought it was unlike the hard-bitten editor to allow such devotion to a cause that had been shelved by the police and everyone else. She certainly didn’t seem to give others that leeway. After several days, I found myself alone with her by the coffeepot in the hallway between the news and sports departments, a pencil stuck behind one ear, looking very intellectual in the tortoise shell glasses. Her movements were stiff, caused by arthritis, according to newsroom scuttlebutt, but she refused any medication and denied any disability. I asked her about Lily.mfrw-book-hooks400

“Gloria, I get the feeling you should be telling me to get over this case and move on. But you don’t.”

“No.” She poured a tall mug of black coffee.

I waited for more of an explanation, but she didn’t elaborate. I shoved several quarters in the snack machine for some cheesy crackers. “So you think it’s worthwhile.”

“Yes.” Gloria stared out the window, jaw set.

She was as stubborn as I. A little smile inched across my lips. “Because?” I said pointedly.

She looked up and down the hall, and started to speak, but bit her lip instead. “Come to my office,” she said, and marched away. After a moment of stunned silence, I followed her. She waited till I was inside, then shut the door. She turned on her radio, loud. National Public Radio’s Fresh Air and Terry Gross boomed forth, interviewing a movie director about independent film making. Gloria gestured at the chair next to the desk, and I took it, but she sat on the counter under the window, cranked it open so she could smoke.

She took her time, burning up half the cigarette before she finally turned to me. “I want you to get them.”

“Them who?”

“The people who are killing all these women. Because there’s more than four. There’s more than the ones you pulled from O’Neal’s files. By my informal count, there’s at least 17.”

“What?” My voice, tight with surprise, got almost shrill.

She glanced at the radio, then at the door, then at me.

“Sorry,” I said, much more softly. “Where does that number come from?”

“Several people have taken notice of the deaths, the pattern, the statistics. We’ve compared notes and done what we can, but the authorities were less then helpful.”

“Good thing that’s changed,” I said with a heavy helping of sarcasm.

She smiled without warmth. “Cops are cops. They’ll never change.” She tossed the cigarette butt out the window. “When you’re ready, I will give you my contacts. Because I want you to nail the bastards. They killed my baby sister.”

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Inherit the Stars–with Laurie A. Green

2011 Rita & Golden Heart AwardsWelcome today to my Science Fiction Romance Brigade sister LAURIE A. GREEN! Thanks for being with us today.

First, would you tell us a bit about yourself? What area of the country do you live in, do you have a family, pets, etc. Are you a coffee fiend, or do you have another “addiction” you must have on your desk at all times? What’s your education, if it’s relevant to your writing, and how does that education help you/or do you find that you can write well even without the diploma others might think they must have?

Thanks for inviting me to your blog today! I’m Laurie A. Green and I live in the great state of New Mexico, though I’m a native Michigander. My husband and I own a small ranch, so yes, we have the usual menagerie of critters—dogs, cats, horses.

As far as addictions (assuming the internet doesn’t count), I generally can’t function before I’ve had my two cups of coffee in the morning—and on really rough days I need an afternoon booster from Starbucks. I’m also a peppermint chain-popper, especially the soft puffy variety. Did you know peppermint is a natural antacid? Works wonders.

I don’t have a degree though I have quite a bit of unfinished business at various colleges. I’ve worked for 20 years as a military budget director, so the lack of a degree hasn’t hindered me and likewise, I don’t feel it’s had any adverse effect on my writing career.

Inherit_the_Stars_Complete_NovelTell us about your most recent publication. 

I just became a debut author in January with a novelette, Farewell Andromeda, but my first novel, Inherit the Stars, launched in February. (It actually had two debuts—first as a serialized novel in three parts, and again as a complete novel in one volume.) Both titles are part of a Science Fiction Romance series. It’s now available in print, too!

What inspired you to write this story? What interesting thing did you learn or research to write it that you didn’t know before?

The core idea for Inherit the Stars came to me in a dream. It’s about one man’s attempt to escape enslavement by a galactic superpower. To evade his captors, he strikes a desperate deal with the female captain of a prototype starship, and soon finds himself not only emotionally connected but fatefully entangled in her destiny–a course that will take him full circle to face the very evil he most fears.

I have to avoid spoilery here, but I can say I did quite a bit of research on theories surrounding dark energy, camouflage capabilities in space, and high tech communications, and then let my imagination take the reins. Writing is an education in and of itself. I always learn new things when I’m researching a novel.

Sounds fascinating! How would you best describe your books?

Unapologetically Science Fiction Romance with a side of high adventure. Most of my novels include military elements in some form, which seems to flow naturally from my long career in military in civilian support. Honor and duty are themes readers will see often in my work, and a love vs. duty scenario can lead to some powerful emotional conflicts.

What is your favorite genre to write? To read?

Oh, it’s SFR on both counts, but I do have one slipstream SFR/Paranormal manuscript completed and I do occasionally read outside the genre.

What would you write if you could write anything you wanted to write?

New Mexico picIt would still be Science Fiction Romance, but I have to confess…I do have a family saga Historical on slow simmer in the back of my mind. It takes place in Spain, Mexico and the colonial Southwest (New Mexico) in the 1600-1700s. Maybe when I’m retired and have the time to do all the necessary research, I’ll see where it leads. It would be an ode to my adopted state.

When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

I’ve written stories ever since I learned how to scrawl words out on paper. Just wired that way, I guess. I was a very shy, quiet kid, and it was about my only outlet for self-expression. I think I have to credit my dream to become an author to a junior high English teacher who gave me a ton of encouragement and once told me to never stop writing. Someday I’d like to be able to tell her, “Thank you, Ms. Phillips. I never did.” I’m sure she has no idea what a huge impact her words had on me.

What do you love most about writing and what do you not like?

I love everything about writing. I totally get lost in the stories and the world when I’m in the zone. A whole day can pass in a blink. What I don’t enjoy is trying to juggle the time I want to spend on writing with all the other priorities in my life—the promotional duties, professional job and household chores all add up to a lot of demands on my time. If I had my druthers, I’d spend that time at the keyboard.

sfr

Is there any special music you like to listen to while writing? How does it inspire you?

I’m one of those who can’t listen to music while I’m in the process of creating the story. I need absolute quiet for that. But I do listen to music when I’m plotting or brainstorming. I do a lot of that on my two-hours commute to and from work and it helps set the mood or tone for the story. I prefer soft and classic rock—America, John Denver, ELO, John Mayer and Moody Blues are some of my faves. I have “soundtracks” on my iPod for my various novels.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Are there any writing websites you find particularly useful?

Yes, I’m a member of RWA, LERA (Land of Enchantment Romance Authors), FF&P (Futuristic, Fantasy and Paranormal), and The Golden Network local chapters, CritiqueCircle, and the SFR Brigade.

CritiqueCircle.com was a huge find for me. I joined in 2007 and I made more progress in that first year than I had in the previous ten! I learned oodles about the craft through the critiques, and three of the novels that went through the CC queues went on to final in the RWA Golden Heart Awards. I also developed bonds with a large group of peers who have since become published authors—Barbara Elsborg, Arlene Webb, D.L. Jackson and Liana Brooks, to name just a few.

I know I love my critique group. You do learn so much!  Do you belong to a critique group? What do you find most valuable about the experience? 

I think having a critique group is an essential tool for a writer. I have a pool of writers and authors that I exchange critiques with, many of whom I met on CritiqueCircle. Most of the writers on our joint blog—Spacefreighters Lounge—are close peers that I can count on to critique or beta-read my work or just help me hash out a new idea. I also have a couple of local peers I work with for face-to-face critiques. It’s more time consuming, but it can be really energizing to get that direct, immediate feedback.

I believe critiques are essential. No writer can work in a vacuum. You need to get your work in front of others’ eyes so they can point out issues or problems you may not see because you’re too close to your work. It has to be a peer you can trust to give you solid advice. Critiqueing is an art form in itself. Not everyone makes a good critique partner.

Tell us a little about your path to publication. How many books have you published? How many books did you write before selling one?

This is actually the second go-round for me. I was ardently pursuing a career in publishing back in the mid-1990s when I got so discouraged that I stopped writing for a decade. When I decided to reboot and take another shot at it in 2007 (I credit that inspiration to a Halloween eve movie marathon of the Lord of the Rings trilogy), I’d lost a lot of time but I was twice as determined.

Four years later in 2011, I was named a double finalist in the RWA Golden Heart Awards and then became a single finalist again in 2012 with three separate novels. (One of them was Inherit the Stars, under its original title P2PC.) I found my agent, Amanda Luedeke of MacGregor Literary Agency, during that time after a peer read a guest blog she wrote and urged me to query her. Over the next two years we knocked on a lot of doors, but Science Fiction Romance just wasn’t getting any takers. We decided to forego the traditional path last September, and we co-published my first two works in January and February. C0-publishing is the term I use for being published via my agent.

Farewell_Andromeda-FinalHow did you find a publisher? How did you receive the Call?

As per the above, I’m co-published through my agent—I call it “Indie with benefits”—so when I talk about “the call” it was the one I received from Amanda when I first queried her, and she emailed to say “we should talk.” I was so nervous before we had that first telephone conversation, pretty much scared to death we wouldn’t click. Not to worry! We ended up chatting for hours about my work, my plans and the industry in general. Then she made her official offer to represent me. I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to find someone so enthusiastic and excited about my work and who wanted to be my agent.

What’s your favorite thing about the book featured here today? Any special memories you have in the creation of it?

Inherit the Stars was a very different experience from all my other novels because the idea hit so hard and the scenes unfolded so fast when I began writing that I blasted out the first draft in six weeks. I mentioned the original inspiration came from the remnants of a dream, but the story that unfolded from that single idea was like a driving force. My muse seemed to be on auto-pilot! And this novel is no lightweight, it weighs in at around 112,000 words.

What are you writing now? What’s next for you—will you be making personal appearances anywhere our readers can find you? 

Right now, I’m working on shining up the next novel in my series, The Outer Planets, for a fall release, and that will be followed in the Spring of 2016 with the third novel, also complete but in need of a good spit and polish. The next three books haven’t been written yet, but I’ll be retiring from my day job next February so I can devote more time to getting those wrapped up.

I’ll be attending the RT Booklovers Convention in Dallas from May 12th-17th. This is my first RT, so I’m really looking forward to the experience. Next year, I hope to get to several more conferences and events.

What would you like to tell readers?

If you’re the sort who loves a good romance and feels a real sense of wonder when you gaze up at the stars, you’d probably enjoy my work. After all, space is the final Romance frontier.

If you’d like to learn more about my books, please visit my website: http://www.laurieagreen.com

Best wishes with your release!

 

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