BOOK BLITZ! 
Against My Better Judgment
by B.T. Polcari
Genre: Mystery, Cozy Mystery, YA Fiction, NA Fiction
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
 
 
 
 

Blurb:

When freshman year at the University of Alabama draws to a close, Sara Donovan finds herself grappling with the same old question—listen to her head or follow her heart. What she ends up doing is purchasing an Egyptian souvenir funerary mask, and after a mysterious phone call, she’s certain a ring of antiquities smugglers are operating in Tuscaloosa.
With finals never far from her mind and her return to ‘Bama hanging in the balance, she should be studying. Instead she launches her own investigation to prove her mask is indeed a stolen artifact, and not a cheap trinket. When it comes time to snoop, Sara is more than ready, or at least she was until a hot new teaching assistant moves in next door.
Suddenly she learns things are never as they seem. Ever.
 
 
 
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Hidden Mask excerpt

I replaced the mask in the void, bolted the tire back in place, and activated the alarm. With a quick glance over each shoulder, I hustled back into the cottage. That was a great snap decision to hide it this morning before leaving for the gym. Normally, my snap decisions are not the best. Things were on the upswing. Although now I had a smuggling ring after me.

Author Info:

Ever wonder what retired business executives do after they have put in years of effort for society and decide it is time to hang up their hat? Perhaps strolling along the country club’s fairway, or lounging on a 50-foot yacht?

 

Alas, B. T. Polcari is unlike your typical retired executive. Empty nester and Scarlett Knights alum, Polcari is still learning the meaning of “retired” while feverishly typing away on the next new book idea, smashing the fuzz off the little green tennis ball, or blasting bowling pins for a perfect game. Yes there is a boat, but not one that comes with its own crew; this retiree prefers to bustle along a serene lake in a quaint single seat Sunfish sailboat.

 

Perhaps the only time BTP can be found in a quiet moment is while enjoying the morning company of two family dachshunds over a newspaper and cup of coffee. B. T. Polcari currently resides in Chattanooga, TN and is thrilled to be fulfilling a childhood dream of becoming a published author.

 

 

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Until I Find You

by Rea Frey

April 26 – May 21, 2021 Tour

Synopsis:

Until I Find You by Rea Frey

The Set-Up

Soon, Rebecca Gray won’t be able to see. Diagnosed in her twenties with a degenerative eye disease, each day her world grows a little darker. She’s moved to the suburbs to raise her son, Jackson. In the wake of her husband\’s death, it should be a quieter, easier way of life. It won’t be.

The Moment That Changes Everything

When Bec awakes after fainting in the park, she makes promises to start taking better care of herself. When her son begins to cry, she approaches the crib. Reaches in. Picks him up. But he’s not her son.

The Search

There’s nothing Bec won’t do to find Jackson. But she’s a blind woman in a world where seeing is believing. The police think she’s confused. Her friends don’t see any differences. Relying on the conviction of her instinct and the power of a mother’s love, Bec must push the limits of her world to uncover what happened to her baby boy…and bring him home for good.

Book Details:

Genre: Domestic Suspense
Published by: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: August 11th 2020
Number of Pages: 320
ISBN: 1250241588 (ISBN13: 9781250241580)
Series: Until I Find You is not a part of a series.
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

1
BEC

Someone’s coming.

I push the stroller. My feet expertly navigate the familiar path toward the park without my cane. Footsteps advance behind me. The swish of fabric between hurried thighs. The clop of a shoe on pavement. Measured, but gaining with every step. Blood whooshes through my ears, a distraction.

One more block until the park’s entrance. My world blots behind my sunglasses, smeared and dreamy. A few errant hairs whip across my face. My toe catches a crack, and my ankle painfully twists.

No time to stop.

My thighs burn. A few more steps. Finally, I make a sharp left into the park’s entrance. Jackson’s anklet jingles from the blistering pace.

“Hang on, sweet boy. Almost there. Almost.” The relentless August sun sizzles in the sky, and I adjust my ball cap with a trembling hand. Uncertain, I stop and wait for either the rush of footsteps to pass, or to approach and attack. Instead, nothing.

I lick my dry lips and half turn, one hand still securely fastened on my son’s stroller. “Hello?” The wind stalls. The hairs bristle on the back of my neck. My world goes unnaturally still, until I choke on my own warped breath.

I waver on the sidewalk and then lunge toward the entrance toWilder. The stroller is my guide as I half walk, half jog, knowing precisely how many steps I must take to reach the other side of the gate.

Twenty.

My heart thumps, a manic metronome. Jackson squeals and kicks his foot. The bells again.

Ten.

The footsteps echo in my ears. The stroller rams an obstacle in the way and flattens it. I swerve and cry out in surprise.

Five.

I reach the gate, hurtle through to a din of voices. Somewhere in the distance, a lawn mower stutters then chugs to life.

Safe.

I slide toward the ground and drop my head between my knees. My ears prick for the stranger behind me, but all is lost. A plane roars overhead, probably heading for Chicago. Birds aggressively chirp as the sun continues to crisp my already pink shoulders. A car horn honks on the parallel street. Someone blows a whistle. My body shudders from the surge of adrenaline. I sit until I regain my composure and then push to shaky legs.

I check Jackson, dragging my hands over the length of his body— his strong little fingers, his plump thighs, and perpetually kicking feet—and blot my face with his spit-up blanket. Just when I think I’m safe, a hand encircles my wrist.

“Miss?”

I jerk back and suck a surprised breath.

The hand drops. “I’m sorry,” a woman’s voice says. “I didn’t mean to scare you. You dropped this.” Something jingles and lands in my upturned palm: Jackson’s anklet.

I smooth my fingers over the bells. “Thanks.” I bend over the stroller, grip his ankle, and reattach them. I tickle the bottom of his foot, and he murmurs.

“Are the bells so you can hear him?” the woman asks. “Are you . . . ?”

“Blind? Yes.” I straighten. “I am.”

“That’s cool. I’ve never seen that before.”

I assume she means the bells. I almost make a joke—neither have I!—but instead, I smile. “It’s a little early for him to wear them,” I explain.

“They’re more for when he becomes mobile, but I want him to get used to them.”

“That’s smart.”

I’m not sure if she’s waiting for me to say something else. “Thanks again,” I offer.

“No problem. Have a good day.”

She leaves. My hands clamp around the stroller’s handle. Was she the one behind me? I stall at the gate and wonder if I should just go back home. I remind myself where I am—in one of the safest suburbs outside of Chicago—not in some sketchy place. I’m not being followed.

It’s fine.

To prove it, I remove my cane, unfold it, and brace it on the path. I maneuver Jackson’s stroller behind and sweep my cane in front, searching for more obstacles or unsuspecting feet.

I weave toward Cottage Hill and pass the wedding garden, the Wilder Mansion, and the art museum. Finally, I wind around the arboretum. I leave the conservatory for last, pulling Jackson through colorful flower breeds, active butterflies, and rows of green. My heart still betrays my calm exterior, but whoever was there is gone.

I whisk my T-shirt from my body. Jackson babbles and then lets out a sharp cry. I adjust the brim of his stroller so his eyes aren’t directly hit by the sun. I lower my baseball cap and head toward the play-ground. The rubber flooring shifts beneath my cane.

Wilder Park is packed with last-minute late-summer activity. I do a lap around the playground and then angle my cane toward a bench to check for occupants. Once I confirm it’s empty, I settle and park the stroller beside me. I keep my ears alert for Jess or Beth. I think about calling Crystal to join us, but then remember she has an interior design job today.

I place my hand on Jackson’s leg, the small jingle of his anklet a comfort. Suddenly, I am overcome with hunger. I rummage in the diaper bag for a banana, peel it, and reach again for Jackson, who is playing with his pacifier. He furiously sucks then knocks it out of his mouth. He giggles every time I hand it back to him.

I replay what just happened. If someone had attacked me, I wouldn’t have been able to defend myself or identify the perpetrator. A shiver courses the length of my spine. Though Jackson is technically easy—healthy, no colic, a decent sleeper—this stage of life is not. Chris died a year ago, and though it’s been twelve months since the accident, sometimes it feels like it’s been twelve days.

Jackson’s life flashes before me. Not the happy baby playing in his stroller, but the other parts. The first time he gets really sick. The first time he has to go to the emergency room, and I’m all alone. The first time I don’t know what to do when something is wrong. The first time he runs away from me in public and isn’t wearing bells to alert me to his location.

Will I be able to keep him safe, to protect him?

I will the dark cloud away, but uneasiness pierces my skin like a warning. I fan my shirt, swallow, close my eyes behind my sunglasses, and adjust my ball cap.

The world shrinks. I try to swallow, but my throat constricts. I claw air.

I can’t breathe. I’m drowning. My heart is going to explode. I’m going to die.

I lurch off the bench and walk a few paces, churning my arms toward my chest to produce air. I gasp, tell myself to breathe, tell myself to do something.

When I think I’m going to faint, I exhale completely, then sip in a shallow breath. I veer toward a tree, fingers grasping, and reach its chalky bark. In, out. In, out. Breathe, Rebecca. Breathe.

Concerned whispers crescendo around me while I remember how to breathe. I mentally force my limbs to relax, soften my jaw, and count to ten. After a few toxic moments, I retrace my steps back to the bench.

I just left my baby alone.

Jackson’s right foot twitches and jingles from the stroller; he’s bliss- fully unaware that his mother just had a panic attack. I calm myself, but my heart continues to knock around my chest like a pinball. I open a bottle of water and lift it to my lips with trembling hands. I exhale and massage my chest. The footsteps. The panic attack. These recurring fears . . .

“Hey, lady. Fancy meeting you here.” Jess leans down and delivers a kiss to my cheek. Her scent—sweet, like honey crisp apples—does little to dissuade my terrified mood.

“Hi. Sit, sit.” I rearrange my voice to neutral and move the diaper bag to make room.

Jess positions her stroller beside mine. Beth sits next to her, her three-month-old baby, Trevor, always in a ring sling or strapped to her chest.

“How’s the morning?” Beth asks.

I tell them both about the footsteps and the woman who returned the bells, but conveniently leave out the part about the panic attack.

Beth leans closer. “Scary. Who do you think was following you?”

“I’m not sure,” I say.

“You should have called,” Jess says. “I’m always happy to walk with you.”

“That’s not exactly on your way.”

“Oh, please. I could use the extra exercise.”

I roll my eyes at her disparaging comment, because Beth and I both know she loves her curves.

“Anyway, it’s sleep deprivation,” Jess continues. “Makes you hallucinate. I remember when Baxter was Jackson’s age and waking up every two hours, I literally thought I was going to lose my mind. I would put things in odd places. I was even convinced Rob was cheating.”

I laugh. “Rob would never cheat on you.”

“Exactly my point.” She turns to me. “Have you thought about hiring a nanny?”

“Yeah,” Beth adds. “Especially with everything you’ve been through.”

My stomach clenches at those words: everything you’ve been through.

After Chris died, I moved in with my mother so she could essentially become Jackson’s nanny. And then, just two months ago, she died too. Though her death wasn’t a surprise due to her lifelong heart condition, no one is ever prepared to lose a parent. “I can’t afford it.”

“Like I’ve said before, Rob and I are happy to pitch in—”

I lift my hand to stop her. “And I appreciate it. I really do. But I’m not ready to have someone in my space when I’m just getting used to it being empty. I need to get comfortable taking care of Jackson on my own.”

“That makes sense,” Beth assures me.

“It does.” Jess pats my thigh. “But you’re not a martyr, okay? Everyone needs help.”

“I know.” I adjust my sunglasses and rearrange my face in hopes of hiding the real emotions I feel. “What’s new with both of you?”

“Can I vent for a second?” Beth asks. She situates closer to us on the bench. Thanks to the visual Jess supplied, I know Beth is blond, petite, and impossibly fit—and is perpetually in a state of crisis. She’s practicing attachment parenting, which, in her mind, keeps her glued to her son twenty-four hours a day. I’ve never even held him.

“Vent away,” I say.

“Okay.” She drops her voice. “Like, I love this little guy, truly. But sometimes, when it’s just the two of us in the house all day, I fantasize about just running away somewhere. Or going out to take a walk. I’d never do it, of course,” she rushes to add. “But I just have this feeling like . . . I’m never going to be alone again.”

“Nanny,” Jess trills. “I’m telling you. Quit this attachment parenting crap and get yourself a nanny. And if she’s hot, she can even occupy your husband so you don’t have to.”

I slap Jess’s arm. “Don’t say that. You’d be totally devastated if Rob ever did cheat.”

***

Excerpt from Until I Find You by Rea Frey. Copyright 2020 by Rea Frey. Reproduced with permission from Rea Frey. All rights reserved.

 

Author Bio:

Rea Frey

REA FREY is the multi-published, award-winning bestselling author of three suspense novels and four nonfiction books. She’s been featured in US Weekly, Entertainment Weekly, Glamour, Popsugar, Hello Sunshine, Marie Claire, Parade, Shape, Hello Giggles, CrimeReads, Writer’s Digest, WGN, Fox News, Today in Nashville, Talk of the Town, and more. She is also the CEO and Founder of Writeway, where aspiring writers become published authors.

To learn more, visit reafrey.com or writewayco.com.

 

 

Catch Up With Rea Frey:
ReaFrey.com
Goodreads
BookBub – @ReaFreyAuthor
Instagram – @reafrey
Twitter – #ReaFrey
Facebook – @reafrey

 

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!


04/26 Guest post @ Novels Alive
04/27 Showcase @ Books, Ramblings, and Tea
04/28 Interview/showcase @ CMash Reads
04/29 Review @ Book Reviews From an Avid Reader
04/29 Showcase @ The Reading Frenzy
04/30 Showcase @ Nesies Place
05/01 Review @ The World As I See It
05/02 Showcase @ EienCafe
05/02 Showcase @ Im Into Books
05/03 Showcase @ Celticladys Reviews
05/04 Review @ amandainpa
05/05 Showcase @ 411 ON BOOKS, AUTHORS, AND PUBLISHING NEWS
05/05 Showcase @ nanasbookreviews
05/07 Interview @ BooksChatter
05/11 Review @ Sunny Island Breezes
05/12 Review @ Booked on a Feeling
05/12 Review @ Jane Pettit Reviews
05/13 Review @ Wall-to-wall Books
05/13 Showcase @ The Bookwyrm
05/14 Review @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews
05/15 Review @ Pat Fayo Reviews
05/16 Review @ Nikki H. Rose | Bookstagram
05/17 Guest post @ Colloquium
05/17 Review @ Author Elena Taylors Blog
05/18 Showcase @ Brooke Blogs
05/19 Review @ A Room Without Books is Empty
05/20 Review @ Colloquium
08/18 Interview Podcast @ Blogtalk Radio
08/18 Review @ Just Reviews

Enter To Win!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Rea Frey. There will be three (3) winners who will each receive one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on April 26, 2021 and ends on May 23, 2021. Void where prohibited.

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1. Tell me about your writing process? Do you have the story mapped out in your mind or on paper before writing? Or are you a “pantser,” making it up as you move along?

I definitely get an idea for a story quite vividly. It’s usually the characters that come to me first, the scenery/location and the ‘tone’ of their story they want me to tell. From there, it really just evolves. I hadn’t really mapped out my story until this Arthur Academy series, because there are so many moving parts and intertwined stories developing that I definitely had to ‘nut it out’ to make sure I hadn’t missed anything. Whilst writing though, the actual ‘story’ itself does go in its own direction sometimes, which for me, is quite organic and natural as the characters sometimes tell you during the writing process where they want to go 😊

2. About how long did it take you to write the book?

I can write a book quite fast if I spend the time, so it does vary. But Broken Wing probably took a solid 3-4 months to get the full story down on paper. Golden Crown (which is the second book in this duet and series), has been about the same as well.

3. What was your inspiration for this book? What gave you the idea to write it?

I’m always inspired by characters, I myself, would love to read about. I love, LOVE multi-layered characters so you will find all of my books have quite layered, flawed characters with a strong ‘mis-understood’ hero. Being an Aussie, I do love the American colleges and the entire collegiate world that is so different to what we have here so that’s definitely inspired my last two series. I’ve spent years researching them by travelling to the states many times over the last ten years, visiting campuses across the East and West coasts, and have been pretty obsessed!

4. Do you have any other books in the works?

Always! 😊 For me though, it’s finding the time to get them on paper! Currently, I have Golden Crown (the second book in the Arthur Academy series), and the third book in my Lake Shore Uni series in the works. I also have a draft of a paranormal romance as well, which I have been so keen to write for a looooong time! I love paranormal romance novels too 😉

5. Will this be a stand-alone, or do you have a series in mind for this book?

It’s definitely a series. Broken Wing and Golden Crown, are Hendrix and Paxtons story, with another book after that for Austin (who I adore) as well!

6. If you had to compare this to any book out there, what would you say this like? Or is it a combination of a few books? Or is it like nothing we may have read before?

I guess on the surface you could say it’s similar to many other academy romances out there right now, but I do like to think you know when you are reading a ‘Kathleen Maree’’ novel. I really like to focus on character development and a solid plot, to make it an engaging read, and ofcourse the slow-burn romance is my go-to as well. Many books in the new adult category are quite heavy on the steam, but I’m definitely not a ‘full-steam’ writer!

7. Do you have any interesting facts or anything about your book (or the writing process) that you want us to know about?

Some of the storyline that I’m ‘laying’ for my future books was really pulling my attention away from Hendrix and Paxtons story at times. I definitely had moments where I had to steer myself back to them, but it does excite me for the future of the Arthur Academy and what Austin, Banks and River all get up to!

Something extra: If anyone who reads this interview on your blog would like me to gift them a free book of mine to read – please ask them to email me kathleen.maree@yahoo.com.au

Broken Wing
Kathleen Mare’e
(Arthur Academy, #1)
Publication date: April 26th 2021
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult

Hendrix:

It’s funny the things you notice as a child.

Like the way people uneasily glance away from me whenever I catch their eye.

Or the way a stranger seems to smile happily at other children, but when I say hello, their smile looks more uneasy than warm.

But as I approach the steel gates to the elite Arthur Academy, I can’t help but take a long-awaited breath towards my freedom. Finally, I have the chance to build the life I want. A future. Something that gives me more to live for than the daily beatings my childhood only knew. The girl I used to be doesn’t exist here. But even as the confidence grows about a life I now have control over, I can’t help but feel there could be something else waiting for me here. Something I’ve never faced before.

And it isn’t something I could prepare for.

And preparation is what got me out. It got me here.

I can’t afford to lose this opportunity, because if I lose this hand, it’s more than just a loss.
It’s like not being able to breathe. Not being able to fly.
It’s like, having a broken wing.
And without it, I lose my control. My freedom.

Paxton:
I grip the leather ball in my hand, finally feeling the weight of the year pressing down on me. If it was just football, I could deal, but with my last name – it’s everything else that suffocates me. The Arthur Elite is what they call us, and we each have our roles to play. But my fathers given me the next two years to do what the hell I want without his interference, before he’ll own me to be his pawn.
Two years. After that, when college is done, I dread the life I’ll have to lead. The role I’ll have to play.
It should be simple. Just stroll through the steel gates and be the crown they all see; but I can’t help but feel there is something lurking beneath the surface. There is something different about this year that I sense inside my dark soul.
And it isn’t something I am prepared for; even when staying ahead is the one thing that ensures my next breath.

Because when I lose a hand, it’s more than just a loss.

It’s like losing a limb. A bird breaking its wing.

And without that – I can’t fly toward freedom.

And my freedom right now, is all I have to hold onto.

Goodreads / Amazon

Author Bio:

Kathleen grew up in the south-western suburbs of Sydney, where family holidays by the beach and tormenting her two younger brothers, was how she spent her early years. But at the young age of 11, when she submitted a short story to a talented writing competition through the NSW schools program, not only did she win it, but she quickly found a love for it as well.

Throughout her schooling, writing was a hobby, along with sketching and various sports. But fast forward to her adult years when she moved to Europe to follow her husbands field hockey dream, and her love for writing surged to the surface.
Her debut story, Cut, was penned over two years where her hobby seemed to lead to the completion of Pennys’ world. The rest of the series came the following year.

Kathleen enjoys writing stories full of self-discovery, emotional journeys and of course, love.
Something else she loves is hearing from her readers, so feel free to follow her blog or drop her an email.

For signed copies of her novels, more information about upcoming stories, or to follow her blog, please visit her website http://www.kathleenmaree.weebly.com

Dream often. Believe always.

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