Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Amazon gift card & Dianne Harman's Murder at Le Bijou Bistro

Death by chocolate cake may be involved with this next author...

Dianne Harman draws her stories and characters from a diverse business and personal background. She previously owned a national antique and art appraisal business, and left that industry to open two yoga centers where she taught yoga and certified yoga instructors.

An avid reader, Dianne brings the richness of life experiences to her Coyote Series novels, Blue Coyote Motel, a quarter finalist in Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award contest, a Goodreads Psychological Thriller and e-thriller Book of the Month, Coyote in Provence, and Cornered Coyote.


When the wrong person is murdered at Le Bijou Bistro restaurant, just who was the intended victim of death by chocolate cake? Was it the retired mobster, Al De Duco? Could it have been an act of jealousy by his ex-girlfriend, Kitten Knight, or an act of revenge by Mario Carlucci, a long-time enemy of his from Al’s days with the Mafia in Chicago?

Or was the intended victim Al’s wife of two weeks, Cassie, the very popular food critic who writes the Food Spy column for The Seattle Times? But who would want to murder Cassie? Maybe it was Myles Lambert, the food critic she was filling in for at the Times and who was jealous of her success.

Then there’s the Gourmand’s Guide to Good Eats food blogger, Jessica Simmons, who’d always hated Cassie. Or even the owner of Frogities Restaurant, Jules Moreau, who would love to see the bad publicity resulting from a murder at Le Bijou Bistro.

And what about the kidnapping of Briana, Cassie’s daughter? Join Jake and DeeDee as they search for a motive and a murderer!

Still curious about the author? Time for a Q&A about books with Dianne...

What inspires you to write?
It sounds trite, but I love to tell stories. Fortunately or unfortunately, I'm pretty much what they call a panster. I make about a half a page of notes regarding who is going to get killed and a list of the suspects as well as the venue. From there I read it as I write it, and it's often as if the story is simply unwinding in my head while I'm writing it. For instance, when my son, daughter-in-law, and my husband were on a private wine tour of a winery in Sonoma, the guide mentioned in passing that every year a couple of died when they fell into a wine vat. I immediately thought of a book and it became "Murdered By Wine".

How long does it take you to write a book, on average?
If I'm not editing books, I can usually write one in two weeks. I realize not many authors have the luxury of not having to work outside the home, have children who are no longer living at home, and a very supportive spouse who handles most of the household chores. That is a luxury and allows me to devote my time to writing.

What are you working on right now?
I have one book on pre-order, Murder at the Courthouse, and am writing two others, Murder at the Gallery, and Murdered for Millions (working title).

What's the best writing tip you can offer?
The best writing tip is one I was given when I started. Sit down and write. There will be times you don't want to write, but once you sit down and start writing, the juices begin to flow. If you don't like the first parts of what you've written, get rid of it and keep the good stuff. Secondly, don't try and write and edit at the same time. You're using the left brain when you edit and I believe it stops the creative flow.

What's a book written by another author everyone should read in their lifetime?
If anyone is thinking of becoming a writer, I think Steven King's book, On Writing, is the best. I was one of those who didn't think I could write a book because I'd never attended a writer's conference, didn't think I knew enough about anything to write, yada, yada. He more or less says, "Just do it" and I did and never looked back! As far as other books that should be read---I'm always reading three or four at a time and generally think whatever I'm reading is great, or I would have stopped reading it after I realized I really didn't care what happened!


So who wants to win something?!

Dianne Harman and I have partnered up to give away a few items - three lucky Giveaway Guy readers will win a paperback of Murder at Le Bijou Bistro and another reader will win a $20 Amazon gift card.


Enter to win using the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


This giveaway is open to users in the U.S. only. Four winners will be randomly selected via Rafflecopter, which I will contact by email after entries are verified. The winners will have 24 hours to respond, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
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Amazon gift card & Julien Bradley's Beneath the Bedrock

You might not know it, but this author is the mother of Kimberlee Ann Bastian, another author I've previously featured on the blog. This is the first time I've featured both a mother and daughter!

Julien Bradley is an indie author of Beneath the Bedrock, the first in the Bakken trilogy. She is an adult drama/romance writer with Wise Ink.

Wise Ink is a boutique publishing company created to help passionate authors, like Julien, through the hurdles of publishing. Wise Ink believes in helping writers who seek a purpose-driven, intentional, and informed approach to publishing.


Julien Bradley's debut novel is Beneath the Bedrock. Set in the oilfields of North Dakota, the book is a timely romance and inter-generational inquiry into ownership, loyalty, and love.

Beneath the Bedrock is an adult family drama/romance set in modern time, about a middle age woman and her struggle coping with the untimely death of both her husband and father. Will she carry on each man’s legacy or choose to live a life of her own design?

Newly widowed, Ramona Brady Strong finds herself grieving doubly when her beloved father dies. After traveling back home to Williston, North Dakota to attend the funeral, she is caught up in a rekindled old romance while having to deal with pressures unique to an oilfield boomtown.

Ramona has inherited of one of the richest untapped oil fields in the region. But the son of an oil tycoon is threatening to usurp the mineral rights of the estate, and the only way to secure her family's legacy is to drill for oil.

Surrounded by family and friends, Williston begins to feel more and more like home. But as a web of deeply-held secrets begin to emerge, Ramona must decide whether to take control of the family oil business, or sell it all to the highest bidder.

Still curious about the author? Time for a Q&A about books with Julien...

What inspires you to write?
Reading! I read all kinds of genre, but I love contemporary romance, especially when it has a story line that's relatable. Unfortunately, I've noticed most stories lack two of my favorite topics. The first, there is a gross under-representation for the largest demographic group in the country, which is women over 50. Geesh, you'd think we stop living or something. And second, stories that take place in the Midwest (and I don't mean Chicago.) These two subjects are either misrepresented or not spoken of at all. I wanted to give voice to these two near and dear topics. The world of romance needs to know, not everyone lives in an apartment in New York, or a high rise in Seattle, and things do happen outside a big city. Of the second, I've worked as a nurse going on 38 years and I can tell you, the need for human intimacy doesn't end at 50. With the mass of baby boomers getting ready to, or have already retired, we need to have stories that represent an honest look at what's going on in our life. We're experiencing a rapid fire of life changing event ranging from cancer, widowhood, loss of a parent, reentering the dating pool or abuse survival. I wanted to be the author writing these stories. I want my fellow AARP members to know ROMANCE IS NOT DEAD!

How long does it take you to write a book, on average?
I've only written and published one so far. My debut novel, Beneath the Bedrock took me a summer to write and was about 1,110 pages long before the final print. (Imagine the editing on that one!) My second book, has taken me about a year to complete and is not quite as long.

What are you working on right now?
I've just turned into my editor the second book in the Bakken series- working title, Fracture Lines, which will pick up six months from where I left off in the first book. It is the classic “getting the band back together,” sequence after parting ways in the first.

What's the best writing tip you can offer?
I find writing is such a cathartic process. Much like journaling, so much personal growth and self-awareness comes from my ability to express myself in writing. It's like when I was a certified CPR instructor. At first, it was very intimidating, but after awhile, I become an expert on the subject, and performed the task like it was second nature. It’s very satisfying to be good at something that is important to you. My best tip would be to write for your own personal growth. Sure, we'd all like to see return on investment someday, (and I still hope to) but as an indie author, without a big company to back me or promote my work, I've accepted that my greatest payback is the satisfaction that I have accomplished something that most people could never do.

What's a book written by another author everyone should read in their lifetime?
Well, of course you know Seth, my daughter Kimberlee Ann Bastian is an Indie author and I'm tempted to say, The Breedling in the City of the Garden, the first in the Element Odysseys series. But if I had to choose a story not written by a family member, I would say, Ordinary Grace, by William Kent Kruger. What is the story setting you ask? You guessed it, rural Minnesota. Time period, the 60's. It's not a romance, per se, but it is romantic in it's narrative. It's a bittersweet coming of age story with characters I think people will find, very relatable.


So who wants to win something?! Julien Bradley and I have partnered up to give away a couple items - one lucky Giveaway Guy reader will win a paperback of Beneath the Bedrock and another reader will win a $20 Amazon gift card.


Enter to win using the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


This giveaway is open to users in the U.S. only. Two winners will be randomly selected via Rafflecopter, which I will contact by email after entries are verified. The winners will have 24 hours to respond, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
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Amazon gift card & Ines Johnson's Spear of Destiny

Chivalrous? Nah.

Ines Johnson writes books for strong women who suck at love. If you rocked out to the twisted triangle of Jem, Jericha, and Rio as a girl; if you were slayed by vampires with souls alongside Buffy; if you need your scandalous fix from Olivia Pope each week, then you’ll love her books!

Aside from being a writer, professional reader, and teacher, Ines is a very bad Buddhist. I'm also very bad, but Buddhism intrigues me. Ines sits in sangha each week, and while others are meditating and getting their zen on, she’s contemplating how to use the teachings to strengthen her plots and character motivations.


Loren Van Alst is an independent, twenty-first-century woman, an accused forger, a suspected thief, and the last descendant of Sir Galahad of the Arthurian court. To claim her seat at the Round Table and protect her newly found family of modern-day witches, she’ll need to convince the current Arthur and his knights to let a woman take the knights’ trials. But things go sideways when a crazed wizard goes on the loose with a magical spear that can strip a witch of her powers. As if that weren’t enough, the clique of mean girls from middle school arrives in Camelot and turn out to be witch hunters.

To safeguard a future she never knew she wanted, Loren will have to evade the hunters, defeat the wizard, capture the spear, and pass her trials. No one ever said becoming a kick-ass heroine would be easy!

Still curious about the author? Time for a Q&A about books with Ines...

What inspires you to write?
I come from a family of storytellers. My mother would talk your ears off for hours and my father is a songwriter. I began my storytelling career in television, where I still dabble from time to time. A few years ago I’d written a script that I thought would make an excellent book, only I didn’t know how to write a book. So I took a couple of classes and started querying. I never received a single rejection letter. Instead, I got no responses at all in the beginning! But I never gave up and I never stopped writing. Wait, isn’t the the definition of insanity?

How long does it take you to write a book, on average?
The first time I tried to write a book it took me one year to write the first three chapters because I agonized over each word choice. Now, I believe in fast drafting. Vomit the story onto the page without a care for comma placement. All told, it takes me about six months from the first drafted word to the final polished manuscript.

I take three to four weeks for the first draft, which I call The Dirty. I let The Dirty breath for as long as I am able to be parted with it -usually a week or two. Then I come back and Sweep up the grammar and plot holes, which usually takes another three to four weeks.

Next I send The Swept draft out to my trusted critique partners. When it comes back I Clean it up for another three weeks focusing on my weaknesses which is setting. Finally, I send The Clean manuscript off to the copyeditor for two to three weeks. When it comes back I Polish up all the commas and rethink my overused words. Then I hit publish, and start all over again!


What are you working on right now?
Right now I'm working on the next Misadventures of Loren book which is entitled "The Hammer of God." This time Loren goes up against the Norse God, Odin, and his Valkyrie daughters.

What's the best writing tip you can offer?
If you’re serious, you’re only allowed one day off a week. And on your day off you should be plotting in your head.

What's a book written by another author everyone should read in their lifetime?
That's a hard question. But I can tell you what I'm reading right now. I’m reading a nonfiction book called “Sperm Wars: The Science of Sex” by Robin Baker. The title reveals the subject matter. It's about what goes on inside a fertile woman’s body. Did you know that less than 1% of sperm is designed for fertilization of the egg? There are Terminator sperm that engage in warfare with enemy sperm from the Part-Time Lover. It's fascinating! It's research for my current WIP.


So who wants to win something?!

Ines Johnson and I have partnered up to give away a couple items - one lucky Giveaway Guy reader will win an ebook of Spear of Destiny and another reader will win a $20 Amazon gift card.


Enter to win using the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


This giveaway is open to users worldwide. Two winners will be randomly selected via Rafflecopter, which I will contact by email after entries are verified. The winners will have 24 hours to respond, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
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Saturday, January 13, 2018

$50 Amazon gift card and fantasy author Kellie McAllen

They're powerless without her; she's powerless to resist.

Kellie McAllen is a bibliophile! She's had a lifelong love affair with books. She love the fantasy and romance of immersing herself in a great story, so it was inevitable that she take the next step and become a writer.

When Kellie isn't reading or writing, she's usually baking cupcakes, obsessively decorating and redecorating her home, or watching dancing shows on TV.


Flightless Bird is the first book of four in The Caged series. If you like young adult romance books by authors such as CL Stone, Amy Bartol, or JL Weil, you'll love Flightless Bird!

Book #1 is a reverse harem paranormal romance series appropriate for ages 13+.

The list of reasons why Lexus Wren is the last girl any guy would be interested in is mercilessly long:
Her dad’s in prison for murder, her mom drowns her sorrows every night at Dave’s Dive, and Lexus is just trying to survive the cruelties of high school as a painfully shy bookworm with a bad wardrobe and a collection of nervous habits. Never in a million years did Lexus expect to draw the eyes of two hunky transfer students, Phoenix and Griffin Easton.

The troubled brothers are haunted by their own demons and don’t seem bothered by Lexus’ tarnished reputation. They’re too busy trying to figure out why touching her makes them feel like electricity is frying their insides and why they're compelled to obey her every command.

You’d think having two hot guys vying for her would improve her reputation, but the bullying at home and school only gets worse. When Lexus’ problems reach a critical tipping point, the boys are drawn to protect her, and the truth about their powerful connection is revealed in an explosive confrontation that will astound them all.


And now, the moment you've been waiting for. Kellie McAllen and I have partnered up to give away a $50 Amazon gift card to one lucky Giveaway Guy reader!


Enter to win using the Rafflecopter form below. By entering, you agree to have your email address added to author Kellie McAllen's mailing list at the end of the giveaway. You may unsubscribe at any time.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


This giveaway is open to users worldwide. One winner will be randomly selected via Rafflecopter, which I will contact by email after entries are verified. The winner will have 24 hours to respond, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
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Amazon gift card and mystery author Willow Rose

Ever heard of Slenderman?

Willow Rose is the Queen of Scream and an Amazon best-selling author. She writes mystery, suspense, horror, paranormal romance, and fantasy.

She is inspired by authors like James Patterson, Agatha Christie, Stephen King, Anne Rice, and Isabel Allende. If you enjoy reading any of these authors you may enjoy Willow's books too!

She lives on Florida's Space Coast with her husband and two daughters. I was just in Florida a few weeks ago... oh, how I wish I were still there. When Willow isn't writing or reading, you'll find her surfing and watching the dolphins play in the waves of the Atlantic Ocean.


Willow's books are fast-paced, nail-biting page-turners. Slenderman is a spine-chilling mystery, the ninth novel in the Emma Frost series.

They say he is always there. They say he is always watching. A tall guy in a suit and tie, with no face, and arms like tentacles.

Some say he is an online myth; others will go very far to prove he is real, so far that they might even kill for him.

Fanoe Island is busy with the mayoral election coming up when suddenly, the sitting mayor is found killed. Rumors tell that a faceless man dressed in a suit and tie did it.

In Emma Frost’s house that she inherited from her grandmother, a box of letters is found that tells a story from a long time ago. A terrifying story is revealing a painful chapter in the life of her own family half a century ago.


So who wants to win something?! Willow Rose and I have partnered up to give away a few items - one lucky Giveaway Guy reader will win a paperback copy of Slenderman and another reader will win a $20 Amazon gift card.


Enter to win using the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


This giveaway is open to users in the U.S. only. Two winners will be randomly selected via Rafflecopter, which I will contact by email after entries are verified. The winners will have 24 hours to respond, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
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Amazon gift card and the return of fantasy romance author Laxmi Hariharan

He lost her once, never again.

Laxmi Hariharan, who I've previously featured, is a New York Times bestselling author of paranormal and urban fantasy romance. She loves to dig deep and write about relationships. Married to a film maker and fellow author, she lives in London, UK.

You'll enjoy Laxmi's books if you love kick ass heroines who go toe to toe with sexy shifters, charismatic vampires, and immortal warriors.


Taken is the second of five books in the Many Lives series. Maya finds out her life has been a lie, and her mother leads her to find what she needs to find what she's looking for, and to know who she truly is.

Luke and Jai are the beginning and ending of Maya's life, leading Maya to come full circle to where she has always belonged.

JAI
Everything in my life has led up to this moment.
Everyone is counting on me, but all I see is her.
When they took her from me, they set me on this path.
Now, I will do anything to get her back.
Even if it means leaving my city unprotected
Even...breaking the vow made to my mother
Saving Aria is all that matters. She is my world.
Which will break first?
The promise to save my city or my heart?


So who wants a book or something?!

Laxmi Hariharan and I have partnered up to give away a couple things - one lucky Giveaway Guy reader will win a signed copy of Taken and another reader will win a $20 Amazon gift card.


Enter to win using the Rafflecopter form below. You must download the free book in order to enter this giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


This giveaway is open to users in the U.S. only. Two winners will be randomly selected via Rafflecopter, which I will contact by email after entries are verified. The winners will have 24 hours to respond, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
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Mission Belt has new stylin' canvas belts [giveaway]

Have some cash from the holidays left over? Get yourself a canvas belt from Mission Belt.

When you buy one of their belts you become part of a great philanthropic effort - they call it "the mission." Mission Belt wants you to look good and feel good. That's why a dollar from every belt goes to fight hunger and poverty worldwide.

Mission Belt has a variety of colors for their new canvas belt collection, so check it out. The material is unlike that of your typical leather belt. Every time you put on your belt and hear the ‘click click’ of the perfect fit, you can remember that you too are a part of the mission.

One of the new canvas belts

Behold a belt with fierce power and a voice that will charm your socks off! Mission Belt will also keep your pants on.

The Battleship belt in gray (what I'm wearing below) is the steely and sleek guardsman helping you from one pants-on battle to another.

The Battleship gray belt can go with just about anything

I can attest that it's classy, comfortable, and snugly fits to your waist size whether you just had a big holiday dinner or you're feelin' slim. There are no holes.

So how does it work without holes? There's a hidden track on the backside of the belt and a release tab on the underside of the buckle which allows you to easily make adjustments. At first it took me a couple attempts to get used to the little release thing, but I picked up on it pretty quick.

Nice packaging from a previous order

Again, there are awesome colors canvas belt collection, so check it out and browse around. You can go casual or dressy with the entire collection of belts.

So who wants to win a belt?! Just like last year, the folks at Mission Belt are graciously offering a canvas belt of your choice to one lucky Giveaway Guy reader.


Enter to win using the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


This giveaway is open to users in the U.S. only. One winner will be randomly selected via Rafflecopter, which I will contact by email after entries are verified. The winner will have 24 hours to respond, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

Disclosure: I was provided a complimentary product in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.
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Sunday, January 7, 2018

Valentine's Day is coming! A Kore Essentials belt is great for the guys [giveaway]

At a loss for what to get the man in your life with Valentine's Day around the corner?

You can't go wrong with a belt from Kore Essentials. Kore calls it a must-have gift, and I think it's a great idea. Forget sweaters and socks - give the best fitting, most comfortable belt.


Pictured above is one of the fashion belts, and I think it's pretty slick. If you like to dress in dark colors, this is a good accessory.

Smooth fashion belts are constructed using top-grain leather (1-3/8” / 35 mm wide) with no visible stitching. Virtually indestructible, the hidden track provides 40+ sizing positions so you can adjust in small 1/4” increments.

I also own the Evolve belt in brown. My old belt got so worn out, mostly in the holes, that it became raggedy and a bit of a sore sight. Kore's belts, however, don't have holes so there's no chance of wear and making holes bigger!

Kore Essentials brown leather belt

Behold the belt of the future! Kore's trakline belts use a sleek, spring-loaded caliber mechanism in the stainless buckle. This way, it offers a comfortable fit that snugs to your exact waist size since there aren't any holes.


Did you just have a big dinner? Loosen that buckle up. The release tab under the buckle allows you to easily make adjustments.

There are some cool buckles in the shop, so check it out and browse around. You can go casual or dressy with the entire collection of belts. All products have a one-year warranty.

So who wants a trakline belt?! The folks at Kore Essentials are graciously offering your choice of fashion belt to one lucky Giveaway Guy reader.

Enter to win using the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


This giveaway is open to users in the U.S. only. One winner will be randomly selected via Rafflecopter, which I will contact by email after entries are verified. The winner will have 24 hours to respond, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

Disclosure: I was provided a complimentary product in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.
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January is National Hot Tea Month! [giveaway]

I came back from vacation in sunny Florida a week ago and was welcomed to a blizzard with 16 inches of snow in my town.

I'm already stressed out from the cold weather and hustling at work. I'm freaking out, man!

One of the things I like to do to relax is drink hot tea. Yogi tea, if you haven't heard of it, is pretty darn good and I've tried a few different blends.

The Stress Relief blend in particular (herbal and caffeine-free) is well-received by a lot of Amazon tea drinkers.


Oh, and this month is also National Hot Tea Month believe it or not.

So in celebration of hot tea and kicking cold weather to the curb, I'm going to give away this stress relief Yogi tea to TWO lucky Giveaway Guy readers.

I also have a bunch of other giveaways going on so check 'em out if you haven't already!

Enter to win using the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


This giveaway is open to users worldwide. Two winners will be randomly selected via Rafflecopter, which I will contact by email after entries are verified. The winners will have 24 hours to respond, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Yogi.
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About Me

I'm Seth, owner of the Giveaway Guy blog. I live in the suburbs outside of Boston with my wife and have a career in SEO. I enjoy writing reviews and entering giveaways in my spare time.
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