Showing posts with label hops and giveaways. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hops and giveaways. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

A Queen’s Pride by N.D. Jones

A Queen’s Pride

Feline Nation

Book One

N.D. Jones

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Kuumba Publishing

Date of Publication: June 26, 2020


Number of pages: 220

Word Count: 71,524 (appx)

Cover Artist: Ravenborn Covers

Tagline: Revenge Is Best Taken with Claws

Book Description:

Lies. Murder. Vengeance.

For centuries, humans descended on shifters' lands, killing and claiming. They devoured all in their path--gold, God, and glory their battle cries. From the flames of destruction on the Zafeo continent, two nations emerged--the human territory of Vumaris and the feline nation of Shona.

No more wars.

No more bloodshed.

Eight decades of peace.

For eighteen-year-old Asha, traveling to Vumaris with her parents, lion alphas of the Kingdom of Shona, should've been a simple matter. Recommitting to an eighty-year-old peace treaty between their countries should've been easier still. Yet, greed and corruption know no boundaries of time and place. So when a group of mercenaries converges on Sanctum Hotel, hellbent on kidnapping Asha and assassinating her parents, her family trip turns into the bloodiest night of her life.

Will Asha lose those closest to her heart--her parents and Ekon, a young bodyguard she loves. If so, will she forgive her enemies or seek divine retribution?

Only time will tell, and it's running out for Princess Asha of the Kingdom of Shona.

Asha flipped
from one television station to the next, her mind more on the way Ekon had made
her body feel than on finding a show for them to watch before Mafdet took over
the post and sent Ekon to his suite. While Zarina had raised Asha to speak her
mind, she had also taught her to do so with forethought and care. Zarina may
have a tendency to shock people, but it wasn’t because she hadn’t calculated
the impact of her words before uttering them. But her mother had yet to teach
her how to curb her thoughts when her body wanted to do the talking for her.
Foregoing the
television, she clicked it off and dropped the remote control onto the couch
cushion beside her. She ached in places she wanted Ekon to touch. If she were
alone in the suite and in her bed, she’d close her eyes, slip her hand inside
her panties and—
Knock. Knock.
Opening eyes
that had closed of their own volition and dropping the hem of her dress she
hadn’t consciously lifted, Asha sat up—embarrassed and breathless.
The knock came again.
Asha stood.
Waited. A Shieldmane would announce himself, even Mafdet who had a key to the
suite. Her parents would call, if they required something of her, expecting
Asha to come to them, not the other way around.
By the time the
third round of knocking sounded, Asha had moved closer to the door, scenting
more than the human on the other side.
“Miss. Miss. Are
you inside? We have an emergency. We need to evacuate this floor.”
The man knocked
again--hard and urgent.
Peering through
the peephole, she saw a tall man dressed in the same uniform she’d seen the
front desk workers wear. He appeared both anxious and impatient. If there was a
fire or gas leak, the man’s emotions were justified. Asha and Ekon needed to
get out of there.
She unlocked and
opened the door. Mistake. Asha stepped backward, and the human stepped forward,
shutting the door behind him.
A gun she hadn’t
seen through the peephole pointed at her.
“Don’t scream.
Don’t fight. If you follow my directions, you won’t get hurt.”
If he didn’t have
a gun leveled at her stomach, Asha could’ve misinterpreted his smile as a sign
of kindness.
“You’re making a
“No, I’m making
the world better for humans.” Gun hand steady, the man who clearly wasn’t a
hotel employee, scanned the outer room of the suite. “Is someone in here with
you? A guard?” Green eyes tracked up and down her body. “Yeah, as pretty as you
are, there has to be a guard nearby. Where? Bedroom? Bathroom?”
Asha wouldn’t
tell a lie, only to be caught in one, but she also wouldn’t reward the human’s
threat of violence with the truth.
“Fine. I’ll take
your silence as a yes.” He drew closer, blond hair pulled back in a
shoulder-length ponytail Asha would rip from his scalp if given an opportunity
to strike. “We’ll just wait right here for whoever is in that other room to
come out.”
They waited. It
didn’t take long since Ekon had already been in the ensuite for five minutes.
Asha knew why he’d made a quick escape. She hadn’t been toying with him when
she’d asked to see him naked. She’d very much wanted to feast upon his body …
and with more than her eyes.
The door to the
ensuite creaked open.
The human shoved
the barrel of the gun against her ribs, his breath smelling of cigarettes when
he whispered in her ear. “I knew someone was in here with you. You’re too
important to be left alone. But didn’t your parents ever warn you about opening
doors to strangers?” His other hand found one of Asha’s curls and twisted it
around his finger. “I told them I could get you to open the door for me. It was
the uniform, wasn’t it? No need to answer, little girl. Now, let’s see who came
to play.”
Ekon appeared in
the living room, having reached them on soundless feet. If not for the creaking
door, the human would’ve never known he approached. As it was, though, it was
Ekon who was taken by surprise.
Asha saw the
moment her gentle boyfriend morphed into her deadly Shieldmane. His eyes
darkened, eye teeth lengthened, sharpened, and his fingernails transformed into
long, curved claws.
Ekon stalked
toward Asha, his focus on the gunman.
In a swift
upward movement, the human pointed his handgun at Asha’s head. “Calm down,
kitty, or I’ll splatter her brains all over this white carpet.”
Ekon halted.
“That’s good.
Real good. Put those fangs and claws away, friend.”
“I’m not your
friend. If you want to make it out of this room alive, you need to get that gun
away from her and leave.”
“Yeah, no,
that’s not going to happen. She’s why we’re here. Where we go, she goes. You’re
the one I don’t need.”
A lion roared,
and Asha had never heard a more beautiful sound.
“That would be
my father.”
The roar was
followed by gunfire, then what sounded like all-out war in the hall.
“Fuck! Fuck!
What in the hell are those guys doing?”
fighting my parents, which means they’re dying. If you give Ekon your gun, you
won’t have to die with them.”

About the Author:

N. D. Jones, Ed.D. is a USA Today bestselling author who lives in Maryland with her husband and two children. In her desire to see more novels with positive, sexy, and three-dimensional African American characters as soul mates, friends, and lovers, she took on that challenge herself. Along with the fantasy romance series Forever Yours, and a contemporary romance trilogy, The Styles of Love, she has authored three paranormal romance series: Winged Warriors, Death and Destiny, and Dragon Shifter Romance.

Guest post by N.D. Jones
Title: A Hero's Guide to Making His Heroine's First Time Special 
By N. D. Jones, USA Today Bestselling Author

My name is Ekon Ptah. I’m twenty-one-years old and bodyguard to Asha, heir to the Kingdom of Shona. At eighteen, Asha is not only untried as a political leader, but she has also never taken a lover. I won’t lie, while my experience isn’t much, I’m glad Asha has never been with someone else. However, Asha has made it known she wants me to become her lover. The thought thrills yet frightens me. Claiming the virginity of a young woman is a responsibility I do not take lightly. 
I want to guarantee Asha’s first time is special. So, I did what any intelligent hero would. I asked for help from bestselling paranormal romance authors. Instead of giving me a tome to read, which I feared they would because. . . well, they’re authors with a lot to say about love and sex, they narrowed their suggestions to ten helpful tips. Asha is going through a lot right now, so there hasn’t been time for sex and romance, although my love for her has never been greater. When she’s ready—truly ready—to take our relationship to the next level, I’ll make her first time as special as it deserves to be—as special as the woman. The queen of our fierce pride of lions.

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Nightmasters by Loran Holt

Doubles Talk Book 1
General Fantasy
Date Published: June 30
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
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Kelgan Defthand is used to being top dog at the Academy of Magic where he
is Senior Apprentice Mage. Compared to his peers, he’s faster, more
skillful, and well aware of it, but when he finds himself beset by fearful
voices that come in the night, his confidence is shaken.
Adding to his worries, Kelgan is summoned to the headmaster, Sargal’s
presence; it looks like he’s really in trouble. But to his
bewilderment, he finds he’s being sent on a “mission” with
two very hostile-seeming aristocratic twins, Neroma and Nevander Di
Upon embarking on this mission with the twins, Kelgan soon realizes the
world outside the cloistered Academy is a bit different than he imagined.
First of all, there seems to be women doing magic! Secondly, he’s not
the only one hearing voices.
Following a strange compulsion, Kelgan and the Di Nerrills find themselves
seeking out the source of the voices, hoping to put an end to it.
The fateful journey tests Kelgan’s underdeveloped skills to the
limit, and could come at an unbearable cost to both to him and his
companions. Once Kelgan accepts the challenge of Magehood, there’s no
going back.


The work went swiftly. Two flame-throwers—in spite of the concerned voices, Ezrael insisted on being one of the carriers. “Cain’t do better, I jes’ stand and let ’er rip.”

And two drones. Cal looked far from satisfied, but Kelgan assured him they would work for recon, as well as something else. He refused to explain the something.

“Crows, you want to use crows?”

“They’re smart, and I’ve placed a homing spell on them.”

“What’s the plan?”

“Don’t have one.”

Cal groaned. “It’s going to be like the tavern owner. We just walk in and say, ‘We’re back to save the world.’”



Cal shook his head in wonder. “They even shook our hands.”

Kelgan repressed a giggle. “Just a touch of persuasion.”

“You spelled them.”

“As I said, just a touch.”

“I keep forgetting you’re not me.”

Kelgan eyed him quizzically. “That was an ‘interesting’ thing to say.”

Cal shifted his feet, looking uncomfortable. “Let’s get busy.”

Laden with their hastily assembled equipment, they rejoined the rest of the group, who paid them no attention. So busy with their toys, the two had completely missed the combined outward gaze of the others. Turning their heads, they followed the line of sight and drew in simultaneous breaths. The enemy, who had evidently watched all, was well ahead of them. The red-and-black army stood at the ready—seeming to number in the thousands. Knowing that could simply be illusion did not reassure them. At the forefront hovered the sorcerers, wearing robes that trailed off behind them into mist and gave them the appearance of black thunderclouds. Kelgan was sure that was no illusion.

“Uh,” he said stupidly.

Only Neroma responded, swinging her head in their direction just a bit. “They wait.”

The fur of her voice blanketed him for a moment, leaving him short of breath.

He shook his head to clear it, saying, “Well, let’s not disappoint them.”

Without another word, he directed a concentrated blast of energy to the first rows of the army. Those turned out to be real, at least, as they transmogrified into twinkling atoms, which then fell like raindrops onto the now-scorched earth.

A gasp arose from the facing soldiers. For a moment, they quailed visibly. The brief flash of triumph Kelgan allowed himself was cut short by the nearly instantaneous return blast from the younger sorcerer.

Even aided by Neroma and Nevander, Kelgan barely managed to divert the energy back onto the facing army, thereby taking out another two or three rows.

No time to be cocky, he thought, that was nearly fatal.

He fired off another blast. This time the opposition was ready—as one, the soldiers dropped to their knees, and the energy sailed over their heads to knock off a corner of the gloomy castle.

However, they failed to notice Cal, who was now in command of his deadly flamethrower. A low charge, directed just above the ground, caught the red-and-blackers by another unpleasant surprise. Closing his eyes to the charred corpses that now littered the ground, he paused only when he had to refuel.

Too easy, again, too easy, too easy, beat in Kelgan’s head like a drum solo. He glanced behind him. Ez was slumped over the now empty goat-cart, and Teri was staring in horror at the now empty uniform of her sister, Cenci.

 About the Author

Recently retired from a job as a university professor, and looking for a
diversion in sunny Southern California, Loran Holt did what any Southern
California does – took up writing, of course. Feeling that sword and
sorcery fitted her personality admirably, she set her sights on that genre.
Nightmasters is the result, and her first work of published fiction, but she
is already the published author of two books on the Silent Film era, with a
third on the way. Recently

Contact Links

Purchase Links

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RABT Book Tours & PR

Monday, June 29, 2020

Bound: A Daughter, a Domme, and an End-of-Life Story by Elizabeth Anne Wood

Join us for this tour from June 24 to July 10, 2020!

Book Details:
Book Title:  Bound: A Daughter, a Domme, and an End-of-Life Story by Elizabeth Anne Wood

Category:  Adult non-fiction 18 yrs +,  296 pages

Genre:  Memoir

Publisher:  She Writes Press.

Release date:   August 2019

Content Rating:  PG-13 + M. In addition to its primary
focus on confronting terminal illness in the context of a complex
mother-daughter relationship, this book addresses mature themes of
sexuality (specifically BDSM), death, and illness. Conversations about
sexuality are related, sex toys and body parts are mentioned by name,
but there are no actual erotic sex scenes. There are healthcare scenes
that describe procedures and bodily functions and fluids. There is a
fair amount of poop in some scenes. The F-word appears once, on page
167, used in an expletive sense. The word "shit" appears twice, once as
an expletive on p. 51 and once in reference to bodily waste and also

 Book Description:

What happens when a forty-something, community college sociology
professor learns that her mother―a charming, passive-aggressive, and
needy woman who hasn’t had a lover in decades―has started seeing men who
want to be bound, whipped, and sexually dominated? What happens when
that same mother, shortly after diving into her newly discovered
sexuality, develops a cancer that forces her to accept radical changes
to her body, and then another that forces her, and everyone around her,
to confront her mortality? In Bound, Elizabeth Anne Wood addresses these
questions as she chronicles the last eight months of her mother’s
life―a period she comes to see, over the course of months, as a
maternity leave in reverse: she is carrying her mother as she dies.
Throughout their journey, Wood uses her notebook as a shield to keep
unruly emotions at bay, often taking comfort in her role as advocate and
forgetting to “be the daughter,” as one doctor reminds her to do.
Meanwhile, her mother’s penchant for denial and her childlike tendency
toward magical thinking lead to moments of humor even as Wood battles
the red tape of hospital bureaucracies, the frustration of planning in
the midst of an unpredictable illness, and the unintentional inhumanity
of a health care system that too often fails to see the person behind
the medical chart.

In honor of her mother's birthday, Dr. Wood has arranged to the price of the e-book to $0.99 for the length of this tour (June 24, 2020 to July 10, 2020)
* Kew and Willow is Dr. Wood's local indie bookstore. If you
put a comment in the order form saying that you want a signed copy,
they'll call the author to come down and sign your book. They also do a
lovely wrapping job.

Meet the Author:

Elizabeth Anne Wood is Professor of Sociology and Chair of the
Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work at Nassau
Community College in Garden City, NY. She is also Senior Strategist for
Woodhull Freedom Foundation, the nation’s only human rights organization
working full time to protect sexual freedom as a fundamental human
right. She earned her PhD at Brandeis University in 1999 and has written
critically about sexuality and society ever since. Born on an Army base
in Kentucky, Wood grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and now
divides her time between Queens, New York and Jamaica Plain, Boston. She
is a devoted fan of Amtrak and an avowed cat person.

Connect with the author:  Website  ~  Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

Interview with Dr. Elizabeth Anne Wood

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing since I was a child. I still have my copy of Dr. Seuss’s My Book About Me, which I filled in happily and with help when I was about 5 years old. Not long after that I wrote a short book of words to help teach my sister how to read. It was written with crayon on construction paper. I also have the first book I ever wrote and “published,” when I was in 5th grade. The book is called The Adventures of Mina the Monkey and I wrote it for our school’s Young Author’s contest. Mina was a misfit monkey who preferred lettuce to bananas and could never manage to stay with the group. We wrote these with pen and ink, and even had templates to use so we could keep our lines straight, and we learned how to bind them with oaktag covers and cloth bindings. In Bound there’s a scene where I remember the way I used to talk to myself as a kid walking home from the bus stop - like Mina, I was a misfit - and one of the things I would do was pretend I was being interviewed about some new novel I’d just published. I didn’t realize it would take until I was in my late 40s before I’d publish a real-live-sold-in-bookstores kind of book.

What advice do you have for budding writers? 

Tell the stories that feel real and vivid and true. Write the stories you want to read. Write because you’re driven to, because the ideas in your head need an outlet. Worry less about marketing than about the quality of your story. Lots of bestsellers lack the insight and literary quality of many books that sell fewer copies. 

Embrace revision. Listen to criticism and to praise with equal eagerness. Be willing to tear your work apart and rebuild it. Writing is not a linear process. It’s a process of accretion. Oh, and keep all the scraps. You never known when you’ll need them!

One of the main themes in Bound is the difficulty people have talking about sex and death. Why do you think it’s so hard for doctors in particular to talk to patients about sex or death?

I think it’s fascinating that sex and death remain hard to talk about despite how pervasive the representations of them are in our media. Game of Thrones comes to mind immediately! But very few of our media representations of sex and death depict the most common experiences of these facets of our lives. Nor do we see enough thoughtful conversations about them. So that’s one thing: at least in the dominant culture we don’t have a lot of modeling of these things. 

Specifically related to medicine: doctors don’t typically get much training in talking about sex with their patients, or even in sexuality in general. And death is hard for many doctors to talk about because so many are trained to see death as a failure of treatment. The focus is on healing, not on creating the best death possible for a person.

You use Buffy, the Vampire Slayer as a touchstone throughout the book. Why is she so important to you?

I first encountered Buffy at a point in my life when I was pretty depressed and trying to get over a terrible break up. It was so easy to see bits of myself in each of the main characters, and so comforting to see them all fighting demons and preventing the apocalypse together. 

Many adult children of alcoholics will recognize the tendency to be hypervigilant, to have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility. “She alone will stand against the forces of darkness,” and all that. As I was growing up, and as an adult child, I often saw myself as a person helping my mother fight her demons. Buffy gave me a metaphor for that. When my mother was sick, the Buffy metaphors became all the more vivid. I took on different roles (Buffy, Willow, Giles, Xander), terminal illness was the hellmouth, and the cancer symptoms, chemo side effects, and resulting infections were the demons that needed to be battled back. 

Buffy was a source of comfort and a way for me to make sense of what was, ultimately, an incredibly difficult and painful experience.

Tour Schedule:

June 24 – Working Mommy Journal – book review / giveaway

June 25 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway

June 25 - Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway

June 26 – Books for Books – book review

June 29 – I'm Into Books – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway

June 29 - T's Stuff – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway

June 30 –Pen Possessed - book spotlight / giveaway

July 1 – Svetlanas reads and views – book review / guest post

July 1 - Lamon Reviews - book spotlight / author interview

July 2 – Leels Loves Books – book review / giveaway

July 5 – Cheryl's Book Nook – book review / giveaway

July 7 – Sefina Hawke's Books – book spotlight / giveaway

July 8 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book review / giveaway

July 10 - Adventurous Jessy - book review / giveaway

Enter the Giveaway:

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Volley by Lynn Michaels

by Lynn Michaels 
Genre: M/M Sports Romance 

Can they handle the competition?

Getting down and dirty in the sand is all in a day’s work for pro-volleyball digger, Robby Gilcrest, but a new doubles partner has him competing both on and off the court.

Ace Henderson comes from the wrong side of the tracks and has worked for every success in his life. Why should he think his relationship with Robby would be any different?

But he’s not losing to Morgan. Robby is his, right?

Beach volleyball and fouled emotions will bring them together or tear them apart--right on time for these Olympic hopefuls.

A sweet MM romance with an established couple and plenty of balls.

#sweet heat
#sports romance 

Lynn Michaels lives and writes in Tampa, Florida where the sun is hot and the Sangria is cold. When she's not writing she's kayaking, hanging with her husband, or reading by the pool. Lynn writes Male/Male romance because she believes everyone deserves a happy ending and the dynamics of male characters can be intriguing, vulnerable, and exciting. She has both contemporary and paranormal titles and has been writing since 2014. Her stories don't follow any set guidelines or ideas, but come from her heart and contain love in many forms. 

$10 Amazon 

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway! 

False Front by Debbie Baldwin

False Front 
Bishop Security Series Book 1 
by Debbie Baldwin 
Genre: Romantic Suspense 

• a steamy romantic thriller
• a fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat suspense novel
• a timeless romance

Emma Porter is not real. She is an accomplished young woman, living a fulfilling life in New York City, working for an online news agency, and striving toward normalcy. The truth, however, is something else. She was once Emily Webster, a child of privilege, and the twenty-first century Lindbergh Baby. Her high-profile, unexplained abduction and subsequent rescue led to a childhood of paranoia and preparedness, as her kidnapper remained at large and still on the hunt. With her father’s guidance and resources, Emily became Emma Porter, living each day in her new identity, vigilant and unattached. Unattached but for the seemingly unbreakable tether that connects her to the man who, as a young boy, lived next door.

Like Emma, Nathan Bishop is not what he seems. Preparing to helm his family’s defense contracting company, Nathan is better known for his womanizing and reckless behavior than his business acumen. His striking image peppers the pages of society tabloids and police blotters, but beneath the facade of a rake, lurks a warrior. When an arms dealer procures a lethal bioweapon and is rumored to be selling it on U.S. soil, Nathan and his team must use every resource at their disposal to stop the threat.

With danger closing in, fate, once again, puts Emma in Nathan’s path, and the two must determine if the weathered bond between them is enough to find the truth behind their false fronts.

Fans of Nora Roberts, Linda Howard, and Jayne Ann Krentz will love False Front.

Be advised: this story contains scenes of violence equivalent to an R-rated movie and explicit sexual situations. 

Debbie Baldwin is a successful print media and television writer. She is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of Virginia School of Law. 

Debbie and her husband live in Saint Louis, Missouri with their puggle, Pebbles. They have three children in college. False Front is her first novel. 

$100 Amazon gift card 

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway! 

A Glint in Her Ice by Janice Detrie

A Glint in Her Ice

Gaston the Poodle Mystery

Book Two

Janice Detrie

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Publisher: Janice Detrie
Date of Publication: April 7, 2020
ISBN: 978-0-9987342-1-7978-0-9987342-1-7
ASIN:   0998734217
Number of pages: 231
Word Count:  78,683
Cover Artist:  Eric Labacz

Tagline:  Vlad Chomsky invites his new love Beatrice on a romantic river cruise, but his eccentric landlady, Sandra Tooksbury, and her ill-tempered poodle, Gaston, finagle their way on board and embroil him in a jewel heist.

Book Description:

Professor Vlad Chomsky needs a break after saving the town of Crawford, Wisconsin from terrorists, and he knows exactly how to get the rest and relaxation he needs—a romantic Rhine River cruise with the lovely librarian Beatrice Krup.

Vlad imagines sharing his passion for history with Beatrice as they tour the castles, museums, and cathedrals of Germany, while spending warm spring evenings together watching the river glide by—without his ex-wife and kids, and especially without his elderly landlady Sandra Tooksbury, her friend and handyman Norm, and her feisty toy poodle,  Gaston. Yes, Gaston helped Vlad save Crawford, but he doesn’t need a crowd watching—and offering advice—as he takes his relationship to Beatrice “to the next level.”

But Vlad has forgotten Norm and Sandra’s ability to show up just when they aren’t wanted and is dismayed when Sandra hoodwinks her way on board the cruise, Norm and Gaston in tow.

When Norm becomes the prime suspect in a diamond heist, Vlad’s hopes for a quite, romantic cruise are shattered. Will Gaston and the gang discover the real thief in time? And will finally have a chance to “pop the question” to Beatrice?

This is the second adventure of Vlad, Gaston the Poodle, and all of their friends. You can find out more about them in Jan Detrie’s first book, The Seven Ten Split.


It couldn’t be!”
Vlad exclaimed, and he pushed himself into the crowd. But it was.
Below him,
Sandra Tooksbury in the aged flesh pointed to the crumpled vest adorning Gaston
with bold lettering. The overweight poodle with the dingy white fur wagged his
tail but showed no sign of retreating from the gangplank.
“Can’t you read,
young man? It says ‘Service Dog’ on his harness. This dog is a highly trained
service dog. MY service dog,” she declared. “He accompanies me wherever I go
because of my disability.”
The attendant
grew flushed but said firmly, “Like I said, madam, no dogs are allowed on board
the ship.”
“I was told by
the young man who made my reservation that service dogs were allowed on board
“That dog
doesn’t look like any service dog I’ve ever seen,” sneered the older crewmember
manning the gangplank. “He looks like a clown dog escaped from the circus.”
“I’ll have you know,
young man, I’m prone to having seizures, and this service dog warns me and my
traveling companion when I’m about to lose consciousness,” Sandra said
“Your traveling
companion? Who might that be?” asked the crewmember.
Vlad groaned as
Norm pushed his way through the throng bottlenecked at the gangplank and
planted himself next to Sandra, resting his fists on his hips.
“I’m her
traveling companion. I’m trained in first aid procedures, and I know what to do
when her service dog gives the warning,” he declared.
“If that fat
mongrel is a service dog, then I’m Angela Merkel,” snorted the older man.
“You don’t know
who you’re dealing with, sir. I’ve long retired from show business but I still
have friends in high places. You don’t want to tangle with talk show stars.
They’ll smear your cruise line all over the Internet,” Sandra threatened.
“Check me out on YouTube. My dog and I are celebrities.”
Sandra opened
her purse and began rummaging through its contents, scattering used tissues, a
half-eaten Mars bar, and several restaurant receipts on the ground. “Here it
is. The headline story from The New York Times. ‘Dog Brings Down Terrorist.’”
She thrust the
Crawford Daily Gazette in the crewmember’s face.
“Madam, this is
not The New York Times,” he said. “It’s some small-town paper.”
“Don’t you get
smart with me. The New York paper ran the story, too. It was all over the
country. My dog is famous.”
“I don’t dispute
that, madam, but famous or not, I can’t go against the ship’s policy.” said the
man, running a meaty hand through his thinning hair. “I could lose my job.”
“Then I demand
to talk to your captain. You can check with Laurant in reservations. He told me
my service dog was allowed on board with me.”
Just then Vlad
felt a burly man in an immaculate white uniform push past him, captain insignia
“What seems to
be the problem, Seaman Klaus?” he growled.
“This elderly
lady wants to bring her dog on board, and I told her that’s not possible,” his
voice rose to a whine.
“He’s a service
dog, Captain. I need him to warn Norm here when I’m about to have a seizure. I
was informed service dogs are allowed.” Sandra thrust out her chin defiantly.
The captain
scratched his head before he spoke.
“I’ll check with headquarters, madam, if you’ll just step aside and let
the other guests through.” He looked at the disgruntled passengers behind her
and Norm.
Vlad saw Sandra
flick her index finger at Gaston. Immediately, he began to bark loudly. Not
just loud but frenzied barking, so extreme that his body shook, belly fat
undulating like waves on the nearby river. He jumped on Norm, grabbing his pant
leg with his teeth and dragging him close to Sandra.
As if on cue,
Sandra emitted a loud moan. She jerked her head backwards, and her body went
rigid. She toppled like a Northern Pine felled by a lumberjack straight into
Norm’s outstretched arms.
“She’s having
one of her attacks!” Norm shouted. “Stand back. Give her some air.” He gently
lowered her onto the grassy bank alongside the ship and began wildly waving his
Green Bay Packers cap in front of her face.
A lady shrieked,
“Is there a doctor here?”
Gaston’s barks
turned into pitiful howls as he sat on his haunches next to her.
“I’m her
guardian! Let me through!” Vlad exclaimed as he pushed through the crowd and rushed
down the gangplank. He knelt beside her and reached for her wrist. He could see
the blue veins standing out in her frail arm, a tangled network, and felt for
her artery with his fingertips. Her pulse felt strong, and he let out a sigh of
“She’s had a
mild heart attack before, but her pulse seems all right.” he said to the
captain standing nearby.
Sandra let out
another little moan, and her eyes fluttered open. “Where am I?” she mumbled.
“What happened?” Then she closed them again.
“Ya had another
one of yer spells,’’ Norm said. “But yer all right. Gaston let me know just in
time to catch you.” The dog’s howls changed to a whine as he stuck his head
under her limp hand.
Another moan and
then her blue eyes opened wide. “My goodness, Vlad, is that you?” She struggled
to sit up.
 “What are you doing here? The last thing I
remember is some rude fellow arguing with me about boarding the ship. Then
everything went dark. I must have had a seizure.”
Every eye in the
gathering crowd now turned to the reddening crewmember and glared at him.

About the Author:

Janice Detrie lives in Watertown, Wisconsin, with her husband Michael and her cat who thinks he’s a dog. A former literacy coordinator, her reading tastes are eclectic, everything from biography to mystery to the classics to nonfiction. She enjoys traveling and theater. She has two children and two grandchildren. A Glint in Her Ice is her second book featuring Vlad and Gaston.

Interview with Janice Detrie
Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
My best writing happens when the characters take over the action and I ‘channel’ their thoughts and feelings. Suddenly I’m watching their antics and recording in print the movie in my mind. This leads to some surprising plot twists and interesting character developments.
Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
Do you want an escape from current reality? My book is guaranteed to make you laugh out loud. Laughter becomes a symbol of hope and one of our greatest needs in life. So my book ranks right up there with hand sanitizer and bathroom tissue.
Have you written any other books that are not published?
Yes. I wrote realistic novel about abuse in a rural setting, a historical fiction about the Pestigo fire in 1871 which killed more people than the Chicago fire, and a juvenile fantasy based on the discovery of the city of Akrotiri buried under volcanic ash on the Greek island of Santorini.
Pen or type writer or computer?
I still keep a journal in which I write in pen, but I write my novels on the computer. It’s so easy to make revisions on a computer and sometimes I need to revise a lot!
Anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?

I hope you enjoy the humanity of my characters, with all their flaws and quirks. Mrs. Tooksbury embodies the indomitable spirit of an elderly woman who doesn't let old age keep her down, like my mom before Alzheimer’s. Vlad’s naiveté leads him into awkward situations but his integrity shines through in this mystery with a message. Who can resist Gaston, a bad tempered dog that’s more perceptive than his humans?

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