Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Book Tour & Giveaway ~ Cruising the Ice - Palmer City Voltage by Kerry Evelyn

 

 


Cruising on Ice

Palmer City Voltage Book 1

by Kerry Evelyn

Genre: Sweet Friends-to-Lovers Hockey Romance



It’s true that hockey players break hearts.
Sometimes, it’s their own.

Taylor Ranford has three immediate goals: have a blast on her birthday cruise with her sister, help Team USA win the international cheerleading title, and earn enough money to put her through grad school. Not part of the plan: her sister getting sick and sending her best friend—and Taylor’s longtime crush—in her place. She can't face the only guy she’s ever had feelings for treating her like she's his little sister when she really wants so much more.

After a big blow to his career—and his ego—and with no immediate plans for the next season, Kingston Brewer jumps at the opportunity to go on a last-minute cruise with the bouncy-ponytailed cheerleading coach. Taylor had always been there when he needed her most, and he holds a soft spot for her in his heart. But after a few days on the ship, Kingston begins to see Taylor as more than just his best friend’s little sister.

Just when he thinks they can explore a future together, Kingston gets THE call from his agent. Now he has to make one of the most difficult choices in his personal and professional life. Will he give up the professional chance of a lifetime for a chance with the girl he’s fallen head-over-skates for?



 

Kerry Evelyn is a native of the Massachusetts SouthCoast. She loves God, books of all kinds, traveling, taking selfies, sweet drinks, boy bands, and escaping into her imagination, where every child is happy and healthy, every house has a library, and her hubby wears coattails and a top hat 24/7.She is an instructor, mentor, and speaker, author of the Crane’s Cove series, small town romance set in Downeast Maine a Guest Author for the Cat's Paw Cove Romance world, and several short stories.


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Book Tour & Giveaway ~ A Cat for Troy - Wishes & Dreams Series by Allie McCormack

 



 Wishes & Dreams Series

Paranormal Romance

Date Published: 03-04-2021



Veterinarian Troy Shelton has no idea what he's letting himself in for when he rescues a friend's cat from the shelter after a dog attack. The friendly but demanding calico soon has Troy and his pregnant collie wrapped around her furry paw. But strange things begin happening in Troy's home when he’s away, and he could almost think someone else was living there besides him.

Torn and hurting, Katerina appreciates Troy's gentle care. She also appreciates his strong form and handsome face as much as the way he cuddles her. She's trapped in her cat form until her wounds heal, but once she's well again she finds herself oddly reluctant to resume her human form and life away from Troy. But someone else is interested in Troy, and that someone else has already tried to kill Cat once.



About the Author

Allie McCormack is a disabled U.S. military veteran, now pursuing her life-long dream of being a writer. Allie has traveled quite a bit and lived many places all over the U.S., as well as a year in Cairo, Egypt as an exchange student, and a year in Saudi Arabia under contract to a hospital in Riyadh. Allie now lives in wine country in beautiful southern California with her family and two rescue cats.

Allie says: "A writer is who and what I am... a romance writer. I write what I know, and what I know is romance. Dozens of story lines and literally hundreds of characters live and breathe within the not-so-narrow confines of my imagination, and it is my joy and privilege to bring them to life, to share them with others by writing their stories."


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Excerpt:

Troy paused, standing stock still, watching in amazement as Cherie greeted Katerina with the enthusiasm of an old friend, her whole hind end wagging along with her plumed tail. “Well, I’ll be darned.” Katerina leaned down to pet the collie’s head. Cherie took advantage of the moment, and swiped at Katerina’s cheek with her tongue. Oh, yuck! She’d swear Cherie was grinning at her. She was so going to get that dog. “That’s amazing,” Troy told her. “I never saw Cherie take to someone so quickly.” Katerina hid a smile, fondling the collie. “She knows an animal person when she sees one, don’t you, Cherie?” Jacinth seemed to be having spasms in the background, and as Troy turned away to unlatch the door of the horse trailer, Katerina crossed her eyes and stuck her tongue out at the unrepentant Djinn. Benny came bouncing up to them, wide-eyed with excitement. “Hi, Miss Kat,” he said respectfully. He then stood staring at her until she sighed, leaning down close to the boy's ear. “Stop that,” she whispered. “Or I’ll sharpen my claws on your pool raft next time I’m at your house.” His eyes rounded, impressed at the awesomeness of the threat. “Would you really?” Katerina ruffled his hair. “No, but you have to be good and keep my secret, okay?” “Yeah, I know. I won’t tell anyone, Miss Kat. I promise.” “There’s a good boy. Now, Troy’s got the ramp down, why don’t you go help get Ladybug out of the trailer?” “Oh, yeah!” He ran off. A small hand slipped into Katerina’s. Surprised, she looked down to see Molly at her side. “Well, hi, sweetie,” she said. “I like you,” Molly announced, the innocent blue eyes solemn as she gazed at Katerina. “Umm... thank you.” Katerina looked at the little girl helplessly. She’d never had anything to do with children before, except in her cat form. And then she’d never had to do anything but let them pet her, and purr. “Up?” Molly lifted chubby little arms. “Sure.” She bent down, and the arms wound themselves around her neck, and a somewhat wet kiss was placed on her cheek as she straightened, the little girl carefully balanced on one hip. “Shall we go see them put Firefly and Ladybug in their new home?” “Uh-huh. I’m going to ride Ladybug.” “Are you? How nice. Not today, I hope.” “No. She’s too little,” Molly informed her. “I have to wait til she grows up.”


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Release Boost ~ Crossing the Line - Whitecap Series by Jessica Prince

 

 

Title: Crossing The Line
Author: Jessica Prince
Series: Whitecap


Contemporary Romance; Small Town Romance; Single Mom Romance





Some lines are meant to be crossed.

Trent Montgomery knew all about loyalty and responsibility. Tracking down his friend’s long-lost sister and making sure she was safe was just another job, a favor from someone he cared about. He wasn’t supposed to get attached. But when he started to fall for the woman who had been hiding from the world, things got a lot more complicated than he ever expected.

Cheyanne Knightly knew all about living in fear. The life she’d made for her and her daughter was as stable as a house of cards. One stiff breeze could send her whole world crumbling. But when a new guy blew into her small town, stirring up Whitecap’s rumor mill, she found herself drawn to him in a way she never expected.

Lies were told. Secrets were uncovered. Lines were crossed. When the truth finally came out, Trent had to find a way to protect the woman who stole his heart while he tried to earn her trust back.

 

**The Whitecap series is a brand new series of interconnected, standalone, small town romances.**


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Born and raised around Houston Texas, Jessica spent most of her life complaining about the heat, humidity, and all around pain in the ass weather. It was only as an adult that she quickly realized the cost of living in Houston made up for not being able to breathe when she stepped outside. That’s why God created central air, after all.

Jessica is the mother of a perfect little boy–she refuses to accept that he inherited her attitude and sarcastic nature no matter what her husband says.

In addition to being a wife and mom, she’s also a wino, a coffee addict, and an avid lover of all types of books–romances still being her all time favs. Her husband likes to claim that reading is her obsession but she just says it’s a passion…there’s a difference. Not that she’d expect a boy to understand.

Jessica has been writing since she was a little girl, but thankfully grew out of drawing her own pictures for her stories before ever publishing her first book. Because an artist she is not.

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Book Blitz ~ Super Beast - Monster Hunter For Hire by L. West

 

Monster Hunter for Hire: Super Beast
L. West
Publication date: September 18th 2021
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy

After a run-in with the Sebring Beach police department where a vampire’s servant ended up dead, Helena Graves is offered two choices – help the local PD chase down wanted monsters or spend the next ten years in prison.

Since she has a teenage daughter to raise, it was an easy decision for her to make.

Between running a somewhat controversial business, tense teacher conferences, and killer supernaturals on the loose, there’s never a dull moment in Sebring Beach or Helena’s life.

And for the first time in decades, her love life is about to get very interesting.

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Monster Hunter for Hire: Filthy Creatures,
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EXCERPT:

“Someone in your pack is rabid?” Henry asks, his face and Amos’s both equally horrified.

“Yes,” I answer for Calvin when he turns away to wipe his damp face with the collar of his tee.

“Is the pack going to put him down?” Amos questions Calvin, who shakes his head. “Why the hell not?” he grumbles.

“We voted on it, and almost everyone said no, to leave it up to someone else. Right or wrong, whoever ends his life will be shunned in the pack by the rest of the wolves. They may as well put the gun to their head when it’s over!”

Henry is already shaking his head when he gets to his feet. “No, Lena!” I take a step back as he comes closer. Frowning after I retreated from him, he stops advancing. “You have to let someone else go after the wolf!”

“I didn’t take the job,” I assure him. “His parents came to me tonight. They want me to track him down so they can see if the vaccine is working.”

“Nothing will save him now, not even a vaccine,” Amos says gravely. “Sorry, Calvin, but a quick death is the best the wolves can hope for now. That’s the only option before he infects other shifters and starts killing humans.”

“You’re sure?” I ask him.

“Yes!” Henry and Amos both adamantly agree.

“Well, who is going to be able to handle taking on something like this?” I ask the shifters. “The police sure as hell can’t.”

“I honestly don’t know,” Henry replies, hands on his hips in thought, drawing my attention to the scratches again. “Maybe I can talk to my dad about getting a bounty hunter from out of town to come in and track him. It’ll need to be a sniper, though, someone who doesn’t have to get close to kill him.”

I wince as I glance over at the still-pale Calvin, who walks out of the locker room without another word.

“You guys could be a little more sympathetic around him,” I tell the alphas as I start to back away. “What if it was someone in your pride, Henry, or your sleuth, Amos?”

“Sorry, Helena,” Amos mutters.

“Yeah, I’m sorry too, Lena,” Henry agrees. “But this isn’t your problem. The shifters will handle it. A rabid wolf would tear you into pieces, sweetheart.”

Author Bio:

L. West is the pseudonym of husband and wife writing duo, Lane Hart and D.B. West.

They're excited to invite you into their supernatural world in the new Monster Hunter for Hire series!

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Book Blitz ~ Time-Lapse - Moments Series by JB Heller

 

Time-Lapse
JB Heller
(Moments, #1)
Publication date: September 16th 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

She is my biggest mistake and greatest regret…

I shouldn’t have let her in.
But she got under my skin and branded herself on my soul.
She gave me her light, her passion, her fire.
And I took it knowing I was going to leave her, and never come back.

I never thought I’d see her again.
But there she is, standing in front of me after five long years.
My biggest mistake and my only regret.
I thought leaving her was the hardest thing I’d ever do.
But that’s nothing compared to what it’ll take to win her back.

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EXCERPT:

The uncertainty in Eliza’s gaze made me feel like a fucking asshole. I’d done that. I’d dimmed the sparkle in her eyes that was there this morning as she sang into her hairbrush. I had to fix it, and I had to keep my distance. But I didn’t know how to do both.

I’d grinned and sent her a wink, and thanked God when her smile emerged. Her real smile. Seeing it lifted the weight that had settled on my shoulders the moment I realized I had to keep a distance between us.

I want her—there’s no doubt about that in my mind. But I also know if I let myself get too much closer, it will only make it that much harder for me to leave.

If anyone had asked me a few weeks ago if anything could keep me here, I’d have said hell no. But I’m beginning to doubt that. And I can’t. This has always been my plan, I can’t deviate now. No matter how much she makes me want to.

I’m walking down the embankment to my tree when something shoves into my back, making me stumble forward and almost lose my footing. I swing around, ready to give the person a piece of my mind, but I come face-to-face with a head of messy brown waves. My fingers instantly itch to push her hair away from her pretty face.

A coy smile lifts her lips. “Oh my God, I’m so sorry! I tripped over my own feet.”

I haven’t got a clue what she’s doing, but I play along. “Yeah, well, watch it next time,” I smirk.

Her eyes sparkle with mischief. “Trust me, I wouldn’t touch you by choice.”

My brows jump, and I close in on her. “Oh, really?” I watch her chest rise and fall with her excited breaths. “You should be so lucky.”

Eliza licks her lips quickly. “Oh, honey, you actually think a girl like me would be lucky to have you? That’s cute.”

I narrow my eyes on her. “Any girl would be lucky to get with me. If only you knew what I could do to you. To that prim-and-proper exterior you parade around with.” I step so close our chests are nearly touching. I drop my mouth and whisper in her ear, “I’d love to mess up that queen bee persona you’ve got going on, but you couldn’t handle me, princess.”

Then I leave her standing there, glaring, panting, and looking so damn hot I want to drag her back to her car so I can fuck that look right off her face.

She is clearly turned on right now, and knowing that I got her so worked up with nothing but my words … I shake my head and blow out a big breath, I’m in so much fucking trouble with this girl.


Author Bio:

JB Heller is an average Aussie housewife and Mumma in her early 30’s. She lives on a mini farm with her family and a few cows, Eclectus parrots, cats, fish, dogs, and a butt load of chickens. It's JB's dream to one day add a llama to the mix and an alpaca or two. Oh and some mini goats.

She writes across several genres including Rom Com, Contemporary Romance, and Romantic Suspense. You can always expect a healthy dose of heat, intrigue, and wit in her stories.

Monday to Friday you can find JB glued to her laptop weaving words or cruising Pinterest for her next potential muse. Come the weekend, it's family time. (And of course lots of reading and Netflix binges.)

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Book Blitz ~ Beneath the Destiny Stone by Sarah Charles

 

Beneath the Destiny Stone
Sarah Charles
Publication date: September 6th 2021
Genres: Adult, Time-Travel

A medieval Scottish blacksmith and a millennial from Detroit walk into a bar…

By the age of six, Fiona could sink a bank shot.

By eight she could mix a perfect Manhattan.

By twenty-two, she had a business degree and a concrete plan to save her grandfather’s failing bar.

Then she was pushed through a time-portal.

Now Fiona is stuck in fourteenth-century Scotland with no way home. There’s a good chance time-soldiers are after her. And Henry, the guy she’s shacked up with, is a grumpy son-of-a-bitch who doesn’t get her at all.

He is hot, though.

And brave.

And most definitely the love of her life.

If the two of them can stop bickering long enough, Fiona just might be able to have it all—the tavern of her dreams and the first man who can actually keep up with her. That is, if they can survive the battles, murder, and mayhem of the Middle Ages and the time-soldiers who have a hand in it all.

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**10% of book sale profits and 100% book merchandise profits go to The Three Penny Project, Sarah’s charity working to plant food-bearing, perennial plants throughout Toledo!

EXCERPT:

My granda once met the devil himself.

At least, that was the story he was telling his friends. They sat at their usual corner table of the Caledonia Club—Old John, William, Robert, and Granda. Above them, an olive-green lamp illuminated a haze of cigar smoke and dust motes. A Scottish flag hung behind their heads, and on a pedestal in the corner sat a bust of Robert Burns, there to remind them what becomes of the best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men.

His voice carried across the club to my spot behind the bar, and I smiled to myself. Of all Granda’s stories, I loved this one most.

“There I was, storming the shores of Normandy, gunfire blazing on all sides.” He paused for dramatic effect. “But it wasna the bullets I feared. Nay. It was the man standing before me with fire in his eyes.” He stared each of his friends in the eye. “Auld Clootie.”

Jones, the Caledonia Club’s shift manager and sometimes cook, laughed beside me as he counted out cash for the till. “What the fuck is a clootie?”

I gave the bar a final wipe and tossed the rag into sanitizing solution. “It’s a Scottish thing. They don’t like to say devil, so they’ve got a bunch of nicknames for him.”

Jones smirked. “You sure they’re not talking about their Depends? I bet John’s wearing an old clootie right now.”

I laughed despite myself. “Don’t start. It’s already bad enough I have to deal with that lot.”

As if to punctuate my point, William knocked over his drink, and the rest of the table hooted and hollered.

Jones jotted down the register balance in an old-fashioned paper ledger and bumped the drawer closed with his hip. He raised an eyebrow. “You sure you want to do this now?”

I glanced at the old men and sighed. “Better now than after they’ve cashed that bottle of Glen Livet.”

He put a hand to my shoulder. “I have complete and utter faith in you. You’ve got this!” He yanked his phone from his pocket. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m just going to check out some job sites for completely unrelated reasons…”

I flicked him in the forehead and snickered. “Dick.” He handed me the ledger, and I headed from the bar to join the old men.

“…so, I shot off his horns and shamed him back to hell,” Granda finished with a grin. The old men laughed and nodded in approval.

“It takes bigger stones than Auld Clootie’s to take on a Highlander,” said Old John.

“Aye. Aye. True enough.” William nodded.

I pulled a chair from a neighboring table and squeezed in next to Granda. He flashed me a wide grin. “Ah, Fiona, love. I was just tellin’ the lads about the time—”

I gave him a quick peck on the forehead. “I heard you, Granda.”

He patted my cheek. “Such a bonnie lass.” He beamed at his friends. “Isna my granddaughter the bonniest lass ye’ve ever seen?”

Robert raised his glass in salute. “Stunning.”

William winked. “Like a young Audrey Hepburn.”

I rolled my eyes. Sure, I looked exactly like Audrey Hepburn, except for my face full of freckles and head full of curls. I supposed we were both brunettes, though, so there was that.

“Oi, Poof.” Old John waved an empty whisky bottle at Jones. “We need another.”

I grimaced at John’s words snatched the bottle from his hand. “What did I tell you?”

His brows crinkled. “What? I just said—”

I glared down the bridge of my nose at him. “Do I have to call your wife and make her come get your old homophobic ass?”

Jones sauntered to the table with a fresh bottle. “It’s all right. We all know why he likes to suck on them cigars all day.” He winked at Old John and set the bottle in front of him.

Everybody burst out laughing, except for Old John who flushed purple. I slid the ledger in front of Granda.

He held it at arm’s length and squinted at the numbers. “What am I lookin’ at?”

I gnawed on my cheek. “We didn’t break even this month.”

He gave a half-hearted shrug. “Aye, well…business’ll pick up.”

I took a deep breath. “No, it won’t. We have three customers, and they’re all at this table.”

William lit a cigar. “Aye, but Robert drinks as much as five men.”

“Used to say the same o’ your mum,” Robert shot back, and the old men cackled.

I looked Granda in the eye. “We need to bring in a younger crowd.”

“How should we do that? Turn the place into a disco?” Granda gestured around the empty bar. “Bring in a few go-go dancers?” The old men laughed.

I narrowed my eyes. “Be serious.”

Author Bio:

Sarah Charles is the author of Beneath the Destiny Stone, a book she wrote to keep from going insane while recovering from a spinal injury. (It mostly worked). A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, Sarah graduated suma cum laude with degrees in Psychology and German. Since then, she’s worked in the mental health field, owned a custom cake business, and given birth to three future super villains. She currently spends her days writing and working to bring food forests to Toledo through her charity The Three Penny Project. In her rare moments of free-time, Sarah dabbles in all things craftsy. She particularly enjoys wood-burning, rehabilitating old furniture, gardening, baking, and playing with clay.

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Book Blitz ~ The Omicron 6 - A Novel by Endy Wright

 

 

YA Sci-fi Adventure, Young Adult, YA Sci-fi, Paranormal

Publisher: Koehler Books



"Cooper stretched his arm over on top of Coupe to quiet him and hold him down. He then reached into Coupe's mind and urged him to sleep, told him to sleep, that he was safe and could sleep the night through without worrying about those . . . things that came to him. Coupe's thrashing began to subside. He did not scream at all. He returned to a peaceful sleep."

Cooper Callister cannot speak. Coupe Daschelete is the victim of horrible abuse. No one would expect them to possess superhuman powers. But they do. When a fight in the woods forces them to reveal themselves to each other, they start a journey together that leads them to discover power they never expected, power they were never intended to have. To unlock those powers and fully understand them, they must follow a difficult and dangerous path of self-discovery and self-revelation. Cooper is forced to face the isolation of his silence. Coupe must confront the demons that haunt his dreams, planted there by those who have abused him and broken his mind. Alone they could not do it. Only together do they have the strength to conquer their challenges.

The threats they confront force them once again to evolve into something new, this time to face a new enemy with deadly intent. But is the world ready to accept what they have become?



Excerpt

Do you have a library card for the public library here in town?” Everett asked.

No, sir. I’m, uh, not welcome in there.”

Everett’s brow furrowed. “Why not? I would think they’d love a bookworm like you.”

I think they did, to start. But they caught me trying to sleep in there a couple of times and the last time I was told I could not come back.” Coupe looked up at Everett a little defensively. “I wasn’t stealing anything if that’s what you were thinking. It’s just it was wintertime and it was cold. I couldn’t go down to the river then and I… well, I didn’t want to go home either.”

Everett felt a wave of sympathy for the boy. He was still going to be stacking firewood, though. “I didn’t think you were stealing.” He paused, thinking. “Coupe I wish I had known of you back then. We would have helped.”

I know you would have. Well, I know that now.” Now it was Coupe’s turn to think. “In a way it turned out to be a good thing that my mother dumped me when she did.”

I expect that’s a tough thing to deal with either way, Coupe, but yeah, that’s a good way to look at it, I suppose. We’re happy to have you.”

Thanks.”

No more fighting though, okay? You come to me or Evelyn. You don’t want to have the police involved.”

Yes, sir.”

They were passing the public library as they drove home. Everett slowed and pulled into the parking lot.

C’mon, Coupe, let’s see if we can get your reading privileges back.”

Coupe brightened. “You think so?”

No harm in trying,” he replied as he parked.

The two got out and walked into the library. As they approached the circulation desk a woman looked up at them both, then she recognized Coupe and a stern look came across her face. Before she could speak, Everett started to plead Coupe’s case.

Hi, I’m Everett Callister. I think you know this young man. I wanted to see if I could get him his library card back. You see, he’s living with us now. I’m his foster dad. He told me why he was not allowed back in here. I think you should know his circumstances were pretty rough back then. But he’s with us now. He’s a good kid and he loves reading. Is there any way he could start borrowing books again?”

The librarian looked at Everett as if sizing him up. “Did he tell you we found him sleeping in the back of the non-fiction section…on more than one occasion?”

He did. It was pretty cold out. Did he tell you he had nowhere else to go?”

The librarian’s face softened. “He did not.” She thought for a moment. “I suppose if he is always supervised by you while he is here he can start coming back in…on a probationary basis to start with.”

Excellent.”

They left the library with a brand-new card and five more books. Coupe was positively beaming. Everett had insisted he got one on the basics of small engine repairs. He was hoping Coupe might be able to help him with some…projects.


About the Author

Endy Wright received his undergraduate degree in English literature from Grinnell College and his juris doctorate from the University of New Hampshire School of Law. Before becoming an attorney, he was a counselor for at-risk children in New Hampshire, and, a cross-community worker in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He was also previously a research assistant in the House of Commons in London, England. As a trial attorney, he discovered that writing was a useful outlet for the stress that came along with his profession. His first book was a collection of short stories, entitled The Garden Plot Diaries. The Omicron Six is his first novel.


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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Book Tour & Giveaway ~ We Never Knew Just What it Was... The Story of the Chad Mitchell Trio by Mike Murphey, Mike Kobluk & Chad Mitchell

 



The Story of the Chad Mitchell Trio

Non-Fiction

Date to be Published: August 11th

Publisher: Acorn Publishing



Of all the groups to emerge during the folk era of the 1960’s, first the Chad Mitchell Trio and later The Mitchell Trio were unequivocally the best. Their complex harmonies, sense of comedic timing and stage presence were unique to the folk movement. They didn’t enjoy the commercial success of other groups because their material made political and social statements that radio and television refused to play. They were wildly popular, though, on college campuses throughout the country during this turbulent time and fostered political and social awareness among thousands of young men and women as they faced the challenging era ahead.

But as Mike, Chad and Joe Frazier raced along a frantic treadmill of rehearsals, recording sessions, nightclubs and concerts, Mike and Chad began to realize the demand for musical perfection was the only thing they had in common. Their personalities were and remain polar opposites. When Chad left in 1965, neither mourned the parting. John Denver replaced Chad. Two years later, Joe’s demons caught up to him forcing Mike and John to fire Joe.

When folk reunions became popular, fans and folk historians agreed that The Trio was the one group that would never take the stage again. Their schism was just too great.

Mike and Chad and Joe hadn’t spoken in twenty years. Then came a call. I will if he will. Their mentor and music director Milt Okun worried they were making a mistake. They couldn’t possibly be as good as their fans remembered.

They were. Mike and Chad kept their day jobs, and their distance. But once again, they shared the music.


— CHAPTER ONE —

A trio is the worst combination you can have.
When there’s three of you,
it always ends up being two against one.

—Chad Mitchell

OCTOBER 2007

Spokane, Washington

T

he last time The Chad Mitchell Trio performed before their hometown crowd—summer of 1964—a reviewer for a local newspaper called them “depressing.” While allowing they were “fine sounding and fine-looking young men,” Ed Costello bemoaned their choice of material. Making fun of Nazis and the John Birch Society, he said, were examples of something new being called a “social and political conscience,” which, he intimated, had no place in popular entertainment.

Forty-three years later, Chad stood in the dark, off-stage wings at Spokane’s Opera House and smiled at Tom Paxton’s lyrics. Tom, who had written so much of their material, served as opening act this evening for The Trio’s long-belated return to Spokane.

As Tom took his bows, a towering screen at center stage came to life with clips of a Chad Mitchell Trio appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1963. While the Opera House sound system detailed every nuance of exquisite harmony from those twenty-year-old voices, Mike Kobluk stepped to Chad’s side, resting a hand on his shoulder.

“Damn, we were good,” Chad said, gesturing to the screen. “Can we still do this? Are we making a mistake?”

Mike laughed. “I guess we’ll find out.”

Chad glanced to Mike and could only imagine what emotions were shuttered behind his calm stoicism—what this performance must mean. When Mike turned The Mitchell Trio over to John Denver in 1968, he found his way back to Spokane and became entertainment director for Expo ’74, the city’s version of a World’s Fair. He parlayed that gig into a three-decade run as Spokane’s manager of entertainment facilities.

Now, finally, Mike would perform here.

Mike seldom shared his feelings, but Chad wanted to know.

“This crowd is mostly here for you, Mike,” he said. “You ran this building. They all remember that.”

“They’re here for The Trio,” Mike said.

“You’re the one who came back. You’re this town’s real anchor to who we were. Come on. Haven’t you thought about performing here?”

Granted, this wasn’t Carnegie Hall, where they’d sung on four different occasions. Still . . .

Chad and Mike exchanged a long glance—even after all these years, in many ways they remained strangers.

Of course, Mike had thought of performing here. A few days ago, Mike—who retired in 2000 after twenty years of managing this building—told Chad that the people he worked with here knew few details of what he’d done before he’d finished his degree at Gonzaga and gone to work for the city.

“A few weeks ago,” Mike said, “I visited the Opera House to see the promotional posters for our concert being installed and a janitor, who I’d known for years, approached me.”

“That’s you in that picture,” the janitor said, pointing to a poster.

“Yes, it is.”

“But why? What are you doing in a concert advertisement?”

“Those other guys are Chad Mitchell and Joe Frazier. We used to sing together. We’re doing a concert.”

The janitor regarded Mike quizzically for a few moments. “Yeah. But really. Why are you in that picture?”

Chad smiled as he glimpsed row after row filling with people, the crowd extending into the balcony. Among them were other curious people who came to see why their old boss or friend or neighbor was in this picture.

Chad thought of all the artists Mike had ushered to this stage. From Van Cliburn to Isaac Stern to Ella Fitzgerald. Harry Belafonte. Peter, Paul and Mary. Folk to rock to classical to opera. Hal Holbrook doing Mark Twain Tonight. Broadway shows. Every significant performer in America for the past thirty years.

Chad prodded him again. “Really, how can this be just another show for you?”

Mike shook his head and took a breath. “Back when I was booking this building for Expo ’74, when the Opera House was brand new, Bing Crosby came to see what the Expo development was doing to his home­town. He wasn’t performing, but he wanted a tour. So, I showed him around. We walked to the stage in this empty building and he stood right over there.” Mike pointed to place just beyond the curtain.

“And he crooned this too-raloo-raloora thing in that Crosby voice that rang through the auditorium, then turned to me and said, ‘Boy, the acoustics in this place are great. Is this where Hope will perform?’

“I told him no. I said Bob Hope was scheduled to play the Coliseum, because we had more seating available there. Bing said, ‘Good. This place is way too classy for Hope.’”

Chad smiled at the story.

“So, yes,” Mike said. “I’ve thought about singing with The Trio on this stage more than once.”

On a huge screen above the stage, Mike, who was raised in a rock-solid immigrant family in Trail, British Columbia, stood tallest of the three. Mike and Joe, both handsome and solidly built, had dark hair. While Mike had chiseled facial features, Joe radiated a more subtle hardness, drawn by childhood in a Pennsylvania coal town.

A year older than his compatriots, born in 1936, a young Chad Mitchell seen on the big screen still had to produce ID at liquor counters. Smaller and slight of build, with blondest of blond hair and an almost cherubic visage, he would have fit seamlessly on the set of Leave It to Beaver.

Back in 1960, he offered reassurance to mothers across America who might be otherwise concerned about their daughters getting mixed up with all this coffee house, beatnik, folk music stuff. The product of a single-parent home, raised by his mother in a blue-collar Spokane neighbor­hood, he might have looked like a choir boy. His childhood, though, was much more complex than that.

Then, as always, audience eyes and ears found Chad first.

All three were gifted choral singers. Joe offered a classically trained baritone voice with both range and power to slip down to bass or sneak up toward tenor. Milt Okun, The Trio’s musical director, mentor and guardian, found Mike’s voice most difficult to pin down. While as harmonically adept as his partners, Mike added a unique, lower-register smoky tone to their vocal blends. Milt described it as “this lovely low, rich, informal, untrained sound.”

Just as his appearance stood in contrast to Mike and Joe, so did Chad’s vocal instrument. He could rein in a powerful tenor to meld seamlessly with the others—always on perfect pitch—but Milt’s direction frequently sent it soaring above Mike and Joe’s harmonies during a song’s final stanza with a commanding, almost operatic, descant melody that no other folkies could begin to approach.

The Trio’s genuine vocal distinctiveness, though, was their ability to blend. While Milt spent hours using studio tricks to achieve the right vocal mix for Peter, Paul and Mary, that was never the case with Joe, Mike and Chad.

“They were so good, their harmonies so intricate. And they measured their own voices against each other,” Milt recalled wistfully during an interview related to an earlier reunion performance. “They almost mixed themselves.” When a recording session occasionally failed to produce a good separation of the three individual tracks, Milt said, “I could take the initial mono track, and it would be as good as if I’d mixed it.”

 

 

About The Author

Mike Murphey is a native of New Mexico and spent almost thirty years as an award-winning newspaper journalist in the Southwest and Pacific Northwest. Following his retirement, he enjoyed a seventeen-year partnership with the late Dave Henderson, all-star Major League outfielder. Their company produced the Oakland A’s and Seattle Mariners adult baseball Fantasy Camps. He is author of the award-winning novels Section Roads and The Conman… a Baseball Odyssey along with his Physics, Lust and Greed time travel series. We Never Knew Just What it Was is his first effort at non-fiction. Mike loves books, cats, baseball and sailing. He splits his time between Spokane, Washington, and Phoenix, Arizona where he enjoys life as a writer and old-man baseball player.


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Release Blitz ~ Curse of the Gods - Warrior of the Isles: Book One by R. L. McIntyre

 

 

YA Historical Fantasy

Date Published: 09-21-2021



Dare to defy the Gods?

The Gods demand absolutes, absolute devotion to a prophecy Seanait wishes wasn't real. Ever since her riastrad awoke she has trained for her seventeenth birthday and the beginning of her destiny. With only a few months left, she is ready to return home to Ulster but when Romans invade Caledonia she can't leave the land defenseless. Taking up arms next to her best friend Eion she is ready to defy the Gods and save lives. A chance encounter with the seventh fae prince of Amanthia, Cillian, awakens a dream that could change everything.

Cillian has spent nearly a year running from the trials for the crown of Amanthia. He wants nothing to do with the faelands who see him as a monster because of his Primal magic. He's determined to never return but when Gods meddle in the fates of fae and humans alike everything will not go to plan. In order to survive the war with the Romans and their own destinies, Seanait and Cillian must depend on the one thing pulling them closer, their uncertain hearts.

This is YA historical fantasy series based on the Irish myth of Cu Chulainn.


About the Author

I am a new author who started my self-publishing journey this year in 2021. Curse of the Gods will be my fourth book this year but not my last. I live in the Philadelphia area with a house full of crazy cats you can see on my Instagram or website. I'm a long-time reader and fantasy fan. Anything with strong female protagonists pulls me in.


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