#BookBlitz “The Rising” by Kerry L Peresta

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Olivia Callahan Suspense, Book Two

Psychological Suspense / Crime Thriller

Released: March 2022

Publisher: Level Best Books

 

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After an assault that landed her in the hospital as a Jane Doe two years earlier, Olivia Callahan has regained her speech, movement, and much of the memory she lost due to a traumatic brain injury. The media hype about the incident has faded away, and Olivia is ready to rebuild her life, but her therapist insists she must continue to look back in order to move forward.

The only person that can help her recall specifics is her abusive ex-husband, Monty, who is in prison for murder. The thought of talking to Monty makes her skin crawl, but for her daughters’ sake and her own sanity, she must learn more about who she was before the attack.

Just as the pieces of her life start falling into place, she stumbles across the still-warm body of an old friend who has been gruesomely murdered. Her dream of pursuing a peaceful existence is shattered when she learns the killer left evidence behind to implicate her in the murder. The only person that would want to sabotage her is Monty—but he’s in prison! Something sinister is going on, and Olivia is desperate to figure it out before another senseless murder is committed.

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Other books in the Olivia Callahan Series:

The Deadening
Olivia Callahan Suspense, Book One 

Olivia Callahan’s quiet, orderly life is shattered when she regains consciousness in a hospital and discovers she is paralyzed and cannot remember a thing. The fragmented voices she hears around her help her piece together that an apparent assault landed her in the hospital, but nobody knows who attacked her, or why. After a chilling struggle to survive, she awakens from a coma unable to remember what happened to her or anything at all, except she has been told she is an entirely different person. Or is
she?

Now, in spite of a brain injury that has rewired her personality, Olivia is on a mission to reclaim her life. As clarity surfaces and she starts to understand who she was, she is shocked. Had she really been that person? And if so, does she want her old life back?

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Excerpt

My mind stalled. Paranoia curdled in my gut. My fingers clenched the armrests. I eased myself from the chair.

My still-unpredictable brain flipped me back to my hospital room eighteen months prior, where for five weeks I’d counted each step my legs could manage. Mechanically, I started counting. One step. Two steps. Three. Don’t look down! Keep going! Four steps. Almost there! Then you can look down!

 Five. Five. Five…I looked down.

 A scream exploded from my lips and vibrated all the way down to my bones. Automatically, I pulled out my cell to call 911, but…slowly put it back in my purse. I took a deep breath. Just hang on a minute. What would Hunter do?

What should I do?

I made a strangled sound in the back of my throat.

One thing you won’t do, Olivia Callahan, is nothing!

 Earl lay behind his desk, staring at the ceiling. The tears came when I realized that he’d dressed up for me…like I’d dressed up for him. He’d even worn a vest, but his shirt was pulled out and the dark red of his blood had saturated his shirt, the vest, the floor.
“Ohmigod , Earl,” I breathed.

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About the Author

Kerry Peresta is the author of the Olivia Callahan Suspense series. Book One, THE DEADENING, released in 2021 and Book Two, THE RISING, released in 2022, both by Level Best Books. She is currently working on the third, fourth, and fifth books in the series.

Kerry spent thirty years in advertising as an account manager, creative director, copywriter, and editor. She began writing full-time in 2009 as a humor columnist for a daily newspaper, and in 2012, she moved to the Baltimore area and became chapter president of the Maryland Writer’s Association, where she became an active participant in the writing community. After moving to Hilton Head Island, SC in 2015, Kerry joined the Island Writers Network, the Sisters in Crime organization, South Carolina Writers Association, and became a
presenter for the Pat Conroy Literary Center.

Kerry and her husband enjoy their wonderful flock of grandkids, and indulgently endure two annoying cats. Find out more about Kerry at kerryperesta.net.

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#GuestBlogger Behind the Scenes: “Love, Lies and Redemption (A Historical Western Romance)” by Kelli A. Wilkins

This “Behind the Scenes” blog is part of a series examining my romance novels. In each blog, I’ll talk about why I wrote the book, share my thoughts on the plot and/or characters, and reveal what I loved most (or least) about writing the book. Warning: Blogs may contain spoilers.

Hi everyone,

Love, Lies and Redemption is one of my favorite historical romances. Although I have written a lot of historical romances, the time periods are always different. I’ve used Medieval (A Most Unusual Princess), Scottish (The Viking’s Witch) and Colonial (Dangerous Indenture) settings. When I’m writing a historical romance, I never know when (or where) the characters will take me.

Love, Lies and Redemption is set on the Nebraska prairie in 1877 and blends a sensual love story with mystery and danger. Here’s the book summary:

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Love, Lies and Redemption

Shot and left for dead, Sam Hixton stumbles into a general store on the Nebraska prairie and collapses into the arms of Cassie Wilcox.

Cassie’s world is turned upside down when the handsome stranger drops into her life. Sam is another complication she doesn’t need: her business is dying and her trouble with the townspeople is escalating. Yet she’s determined to keep the store open — no matter what the cost.

As Sam recovers from his injuries, he hides the truth about his identity and convinces Cassie to let him work in the store. He’s attracted to her and admires her independent nature, but quickly realizes Cassie’s in way over her head. They fight their growing attraction, and Cassie questions whether she can trust her fragile heart to a mysterious stranger. Will he accept her once he knows about her troubled past?

Cassie resists Sam’s advances and represses her feelings until one fateful night when they give in to their fiery passion. Together, they work out a plan to save the store, but find their efforts are thwarted — and their lives endangered — by the locals.

Sam’s secret returns to haunt him and pulls him away just when Cassie needs him the most. Will he regain her trust when she learns the truth?

Cassie has everything invested in the store — can she save it and find true love with Sam before it’s too late?

LLR

Order Love, Lies and Redemption here:

 Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0849LN73Z

All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/mdzL6W

 

 I had never written a full-fledged western before, but I am a fan of the genre and I’ve seen my share of western movies and tv shows. One thing that always bothered me about westerns is the lack of realism.

In many cases, everyone is too clean and looks too perfect. Life out west was harsh and rugged, and it drives me batty when the women all have perfectly plucked eyebrows, all their body hair has been waxed away, and their clothes never get dirty. The men are all gorgeous and have straight, white, capped teeth and never seem to sweat or smell bad—no matter what chores they’ve been doing or how many horses they’ve been riding.

When I wrote this story, I decided I was going to portray life in the prairie as authentically as I could. I owed it to myself as the author, and I owed it to the characters. Before I started writing, I researched what life was like in the 1870s. Let me tell you, it wasn’t easy.

People died of infections, diseases, and other ailments all the time. If you broke your leg or got a severe cut, there was a good chance you could die. Need an operation? Good luck. Doctors didn’t know (or understand) anything about using sterile surgical instruments or antibiotics, and there was no anesthesia for the patient. I’ve visited recreations of historical towns from the time period, and I have seen actual doctors’ offices and medical equipment—it’s amazing that anyone survived.

And then there was the threat of violence to consider. The west was known for being “lawless” and some people took advantage of the fact that you practically could do whatever you wanted. Banks, stores, and other businesses were always under threat from outlaws and thieves. People had to protect themselves from strangers who might be riding into town looking for trouble.

Life for anyone in the “wild” west was tough. But combine that with the fact that women were considered the property of their husbands and had no rights, and you have the makings for pretty rough times for women.

I incorporated some of these elements into the book. How could I not? The setting and time period have to be realistically represented in a historical romance. Although readers might take issue with including violence in a romance, it has a place in the story (to a degree). If everything was too perfect or too pretty, the book would lose the richness in details that bring it—and the characters—to life.

Authors are always told to make life difficult for the hero and heroine. If there is no conflict or drama, the story becomes dull, and the characters have nothing to strive for and don’t grow. And boy, did I make life hard for these two. Having Sam face the threat of a potentially lethal infection, Cassie trying to help a woman escape a violent marriage, and Sam admitting the horrific truth of his past, all work together to give the book an authentic feel.

When I started writing, the plot unfolded in front of me, almost like I was watching a movie. Opening Scene: A man limping along the prairie. He’s been shot and left for dead. He’s bleeding and hurt bad. And thirsty. So thirsty. It’s hot and he wants to rest, but he knows he has to push on. If he collapses again, he’s not going to get up and he’ll die here. But maybe he’s already dead and this is hell. Or maybe not…

Cut To: A young woman working in a general store. She’s physically and mentally exhausted. She questions why she even bothers keeping the store open and wonders aloud if this is how the rest of her life is going to be… miserable. Then the mysterious stranger stumbles into the store and collapses at her feet.

That was how I introduced readers to Sam and Cassie. The rest of the book also played out like a movie. The supporting cast of Luke, the sheriff, Cassie’s lady friends, and the troublesome townspeople all moved the plot along and added different levels of drama, humor, suspense, and action to this anything-but-boring historical romance.

I really loved creating the secondary characters and drawing readers into this small town setting I invented. The book was a lot of fun to write, and I enjoyed giving Cassie and Sam their happy ending after all the pain and suffering I put them through. Writing the more violent and darker scenes was tough, but again, for realism, they needed to be part of the book.

In the end, it was all for the best. Sam and Cassie overcame their pasts, learned to love and trust again, and have a brand new start together. Readers loved the book as much as I loved writing it. Here are a few kind words:

“4 Stars! From the first page I was hooked! The plot was clever, engaging, and I was full of anticipation for what would happen next since there were several twists and turns. The plot was believable. The author did a good job securing a happy ending for all involved, leaving me feeling justified, vindicated, and with a sweet closure. It was a nicely wrapped happy ending.” – LAS Reviewer

“Kelli A. Wilkins rustles up a thoughtful frontier romance between a grieving shop owner and a wounded stranger who stumbles into her Nebraska dry goods store in1877. Cassie Wilcox is nearly bankrupt from shoplifters, nonpaying customers, and the reverend’s judgmental wife, who has turned the town against her. Cassie’s only friends are the sheriff and the women of the brothel until handsome Sam Hixton staggers into her store, shot and near death, and collapses. Cassie nurses him back to health, unaware that his identity is a sham. Wilkins is adept at tackling serious themes of domestic violence, bereavement, and trust.” – Publisher’s Weekly

 

I hope you enjoyed this look at the making of Love, Lies and Redemption. I welcome comments and questions from readers. Be sure to follow my blog for the latest updates and visit me on social media. You can read more “Behind the Scenes” blogs here: www.KelliWilkins.com/blog

I also made a Facebook page for my historical romances: https://www.facebook.com/Historical-Romances-by-Kelli-A-Wilkins-1703805359922371/

Happy Reading,

Kelli A. Wilkins

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelli A Wilkins

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 20+ romance novels, 7 non-fiction books, and 5 horror ebooks. Her romances span many genres and settings, and she likes to scare readers with her horror stories.

Her latest novel, In Another World, was released in early 2022. This contemporary mystery/romance is set in the world of the paranormal.

She also released two horror shorts, More Than I Bargained For and Silent Sentinel in 2021.

In 2021, Kelli published Journaling Every Week: 52 Topics to Get You Writing. This fun and innovative guide to journaling is filled with hundreds of thought-provoking prompts designed to get you writing about your feelings and emotions.

Kelli posts on her Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins and Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor.

Visit her website/blog www.KelliWilkins.com for a full title list and to find all her social media links.

#5DayMiniBlitz “Underrated” by Morwenna Blackwood

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“I stand as close as I can to the Liver Building without looking proper weird and tip my head back. My eyes can’t focus properly, but I can make out a turquoise shape right at the top, so I mouth ’iya to Bella. I’m a bit soft on the Liver Birds. They’re 300-odd feet up in the air, so they should be able to see everything, but they’re chained down…”

A story of the far-reaching effects of unrequited love and drug (ab)use, Underrated follows five lads who are just trying to make things better for themselves. In Liverpool and on the south Devon coast, their lives entangle as they turn to cocaine.

While some people take drugs to escape their circumstances, others deal drugs to escape theirs. But is escape ever really an option?

Purchase Link – https://mybook.to/underrated

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EXCERPT

Will has rented out the flat above his, to Kayleigh. He’s in love with her, and they’ve hooked up a few times, although she doesn’t feel the same. Will’s fallen into dealing drugs to make ends meet. A new bloke has moved into the building opposite his, and Will has suspicions about him.

I know who shot the crow. It’s that weirdo who lives in the top flat of the building opposite mine. I’ve seen him, up in that protruding attic window, with his binoculars. That’s why I work in the back room, even though it’s dark. He watches Kayleigh. I know he does. I ought to tell the police. I ought to tell the police a lot of things, but if I did, someone would tell them lots of things about me, too, and I can’t have that.

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Morwenna BlackwoodAuthor Bio  

When she was six years old, Morwenna wrote and endless story about a frog, and hasn’t stopped writing since.

She’s the author of bestselling noir psychological thrillers, The (D)Evolution of Us, and Glasshouse, has an MA in Creative Writing, and can usually be found down by the sea. Morwenna’s third novel, Underrated, was published by #darkstroke on Valentine’s Day, 2022, and she has several works in progress.

She often thinks about that frog.

Social Media Links

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Twitter – @MorwennaBlackw1

Instagram – morwennablackwood_

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Giveaway to Win PB copies of The (D)Evolution of Us and Glasshouse by Morwenna Blackwood (Open to UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfillment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.

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