BLOG TOUR with #Giveaway and #Review~ Baron~ Joanna Shupe…

One pragmatic industrialist is about to learn 
that a man may make his own destiny, 
but love is a matter of fortune . . .

 

BARON
The Knickerbocker Club #2
Joanna Shupe
Releasing Oct 25th, 2016
Kensington Zebra
New York
City’s Gilded Age shines as bright as the power-wielding men of the
Knickerbocker Club. And one pragmatic industrialist is about to learn that a
man may make his own destiny, but love is a matter of fortune . . .
 
Born into one of New York’s most
respected families, William Sloane is a railroad baron who has all the right
friends in all the right places. But no matter how much success he achieves, he
always wants more. Having secured his place atop the city’s highest echelons of
society, he’s now setting his sights on a political run. Nothing can distract
him from his next pursuit—except, perhaps, the enchanting con artist he never
saw coming . . .
Ava Jones has eked out a living the
only way she knows how. As “Madame Zolikoff,” she hoodwinks gullible audiences
into believing she can communicate with the spirit world. But her carefully
crafted persona is nearly destroyed when Will Sloane walks into her life—and
lays bare her latest scheme. The charlatan is certain she can seduce the
handsome millionaire into keeping her secret and using her skills for his
campaign—unless he’s the one who’s already put a spell on her . . .
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Award-winning author JOANNA SHUPE has always loved history, ever since
she saw her first Schoolhouse Rock cartoon. While in college, Joanna read every
romance she could get her hands on and soon started crafting her own racy
historical novels. She now lives in New Jersey with her two spirited daughters
and dashing husband.

excerpt-banner 

 

baron_coverWilliam Sloane did not believe in the ability to commune with the spirit world. Hell, he didn’t even believe there was a spirit world.

Yet here he sat, inside a ramshackle theater in the Tenderloin district, watching this audacious spectacle. Madam Zolikoff, she called herself. The mystifying medium who could commune with spirits and perform extraordinary feats. The woman was the worst actress he’d ever seen—and Will had seen plenty.

Eyes closed, she swayed and waved her hands, all while chanting. The man across from her, one she’d pulled up onstage, stared, enthralled, as Madam attempted to speak to his dead mother. The electric lights overhead flickered, and the audience tittered.

“Ah! I think we are close!” she announced loudly in an appalling Russian accent.

Will nearly rolled his eyes. Was anyone really buying this charade?

Shifting in his uncomfortable seat, he took in the meager audience. About twenty men and women, all average-looking, a far cry from the extravagant crowd he usually associated with. No diamond tiaras or ostrich feathers here, just derby hats and plain bonnets. But every pair of eyes was trained on the young woman working the stage.

She was attractive, he supposed, if one preferred liars and cheats, which he most definitely did not. Still, her pale blond hair showed off her striking light brown eyes. Straight, delicate nose. High cheekbones. Arching brows. Full lips painted a scandalous red.

He liked those lips. Quite a lot, in fact. If he were dead, those lips alone might bring him back.

“I hear her!” A steady rapping reverberated around the room. An accomplice, no doubt, yet the audience gasped.

“Mr. Fox, your mother is here with us now. What would you like to ask her?”

The man onstage asked simple questions for the next fifteen minutes, with Madam Zolikoff “interpreting” the dead mother’s answers. Will absently rubbed his stomach, anger burning over this performance, that she would take advantage of someone’s grief in such a profoundly fraudulent way. When Will’s own mother had died, he’d fervently wished for something—anything—to bring her back. Nothing had, however, and he’d been left in a cold house with an even colder man.

Madam Zolikoff prattled on, regaining his attention. Had this woman no shame? No empathy for the heartbreak that went along with losing a loved one? For the first time since he sat down, he looked forward to the confrontation with her.

He planned to shut the medium down. Run her out of Manhattan, if necessary, because she was standing in the way of something greater, a different sort of power than he possessed now, but one of greater import. A power he would not fall short of achieving.

John Bennett, a former New York State senator and current gubernatorial candidate, had asked Will to partner on the ticket as lieutenant governor. It was something Will’s father had always wanted, to wield political influence, yet he’d died before his political career could take wing. Now Will would be the Sloane achieving that goal—and dancing on his father’s grave after he and Bennett won.

But John Bennett had a weakness, one by the name of Madam Zolikoff. Seemed the madam had dug her hooks into Bennett, and the candidate would not listen to reason regarding the dangers this presented. But Will wasn’t about to allow her to jeopardize Bennett’s political career—or his own. They could not afford a scandal six months before the election.

When the performance finally ended, Will didn’t bother clapping or stamping his feet like the other patrons. He rose, turned on his heel, and headed straight for the door he’d learned would take him backstage.

No one stopped him. More than a few curious glances were thrown his way and he tugged his derby lower to obscure his face. He’d run Northeast Railroad for the last thirteen years and came from one of the most prominent families in New York. The name Sloane was as well known as Astor, Stuyvesant, and Van Rensselaer. Consequently, Will had never shied from public attention, but he’d rather not be recognized here.

For several minutes, he cut through the long hallways in the bowels of the theater. Now at the door to her dressing room, he knocked. A slide of a lock and then the door opened to reveal a brunette woman in a black shirtwaist and skirt, the same costume she’d worn on stage. Her lips were still painted a deep red. He inclined his head ever so slightly. “Madam Zolikoff.”

“Come in, please.” Her voice was deep and husky, a sultry tone more suited to a bedroom than a stage. Thankfully, there was no trace of that ludicrous Russian accent she’d used in front of the crowd. Perhaps this conversation would not be as difficult as he’d feared.

She stepped aside. “I’ve been expecting you, Mr. Sloane.”

No surprise she knew his face, but had she noticed him in the audience? Three steps brought him inside her dressing room, if one could call a space no bigger than a cupboard a “room.” Not enough square footage existed here to allow for more than the small table and chair already in place. A mirror hung on the wall above the table, and a blond wig rested on a stand atop said table. With nowhere to go, he folded his hands behind his back.

She glided around him and lowered into the sole chair, facing away from him, and reached for a cloth. He watched in the mirror as she slowly swiped the cloth over her mouth to remove the lip color. She didn’t rush and Will had plenty of time to study her mouth. He highly suspected the display another type of performance, one designed to throw him off balance.

“Is there another name I may call you, other than your stage name?”

“No.”

“I feel ridiculous calling you Madam Zolikoff.”

“That is your problem, not mine.” Finished with her cloth, she dropped the scrap to the table and caught his gaze in the mirror. “We are not friends, Mr. Sloane, so let’s not pretend otherwise. I know why you are here.”

“Is that so?” He hadn’t expected her to be so forthright. In his mind, she’d been meek and frightened, concerned over the unpleasantness a man in his position could bring down on a woman in her position. But this woman seemed neither meek nor frightened. “And why am I here?”

“You want to scare me away from John. Get him away from my evil clutches.” She wriggled her fingers menacingly on this last sentence. “How’s that?”

“Good. This saves us both time. Now you may agree to never see Bennett again, stop bilking him out of hundreds of dollars, and stay out of his life forever.”

“Bilking him?” Her lip curled, drawing Will’s attention back to her mouth, damn it. “I’ve got news for you, mugwump, I’ve earned every dollar providing services to your friend—and not those kind of services, either. John and I are strictly business.”

Will smirked. He’d never met an unmarried man and woman who spent hours together with money exchanged who were “strictly business.” “Miss whomever you are, I don’t care what kind of lies you’re shoveling out there to audiences, but I’m not some rube fresh off the farm. I know what you’re about, and all of it stinks.”

“Oh, indeed? So what am I about, then?”

“Blackmail. And if he doesn’t pay, you’ll take whatever personal details you’ve learned about him to the papers and turn him into a laughingstock. I will not let that happen.”

She rose, and, because of the tight space, this put her close enough to where he could see the hazel flecks in her brown eyes. Were those freckles on her nose? “I don’t care who you are or what you think of me. If you think I’m going to let some stuffed, pompous railroad man scare me away from my best client, you are dead wrong.”

 

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MY THOUGHTS:

Baron by Joanna Shupe is an exciting Victorian Historical Romance. “The Knickerbocker Club”, Book 2, in a three book series,  but can be read as a stand alone. What a great series! Powerful, sensual and compelling!

Follow, wealthy railroad baron, William Sloane, and Ava Jones, a feisty, street savvy young woman who earns her living as a medium, known as “Madam Zolikoff”, on their captivating and complicated journey.  Set in New York City during the Gilded Age.

Steady paced, powerful, sensual, captivating and politics, all in one fantastic read! Will has definitely meet his match with Ava. She is street savvy, feisty and determined to protect her family. Will, likes his way and is trying to live up to his father’s reputation.

Can Will and Ava, come to grips with their attraction and find their HEA? Will, Will lose his run for political  office?  Can Ava beat Will with seduction and keep Will  from laying bare her secrets or will they both lose all?

“Baron” is a must read! Fans of the Gilded Age, high society, New York City’s elite, Mediums, con artist,  sensual and captivating Historical Romance reads, will enjoy “Baron”. A fantastic love story. I  would also recommend reading Book 1, “Magnate”, not necessary but will worth the time to read.

Ms. Shupe is a talented storyteller. She draws the reader into her story and holds them in awe.

I received a complimentary copy.

Rating: 4

Heat rating: Hot

Reviewed by: AprilR, courtesy of My Book Addiction and More

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~GIVEAWAY AND Q&A WITH TRACY KAUFFMAN~ SOUTHERN ATTRACTION…

IT IS OUR HONOR AND PLEASURE TO WELCOME…

**CHRISTIAN YA ROMANCE AUTHOR**

TRACY KAUFFMAN 

SO WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, LET’S GIVE TRACY A BIG MBA&M WELCOME!

WELCOME TRACY!!

MBA&M: Please tell our readers a little about Tracy Kauffman?
TRACY: I am from North Alabama.  I have a type A personality which means I am too high strung to sit still.  I  work a nursing job part time when needed and the rest of the time I am either writing, reading, marketing or hanging out with my family.
MB&AM: What is the allure of YA romance?
TRACY: Who doesn’t love romance and well I thought this would be a great genre to write for. 
MBA&M: What drawn you to write “Southern Attraction”?
TRACY: I like stories about the south and use them in most of my writing.  So I had already wrote one called Southern Adventures, so this one being romance, the name came natural.
MBA&M: After seeing the destruction of tornadoes that torn through Alabama in 2011,can you tell our readers some of the devastation you seen,and how that influenced you to write “Southern  Attraction”?
TRACY: My town was not directly hit but all the towns around us were.  Power lines were down for a week.  Do you know how hard it is to cook without power.  How drinking water doesn’t taste as good not being cold.  No power no refrigerator.  Walmart had to close their doors.  Food was spoiled.  Taking ice cold baths wasn’t fun either.  As a nurse, I worked at a hospital where I helped out in the ER.  I had never worked in the ER before so it made it even more crazy.  Had to hold pressure on wounds.  People couldn’t find family members.  Kids without parents, parents without kids.  People trapped in their basements.  One lady had her chimney set upon her and the rest of the house was gone.  Houses were wiped clean of their cement foundations.  Whole towns completely wiped off the map.  A huge tornado that was over a mile wide just kept going and going and going  destroying everything in its path.  People were finding pictures of other people and putting them on facebook so they would have something to remember their past by.  There is so much more I can say but it would take a while. 

 

MBA&M: What three words would you use to describe “Southern Attraction”?
TRACY: romance, discovery, grief
MBA&M: What author do you feel influenced your writing the most?
TRACY: I get asked this a lot.  There are so many to name.  Writers I grew up reading were Mark Twain, William Shakespeare, Judy Blume, Lewis Carroll, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Charles Dickens etc… They all influenced me.
MBA&M: Who do you credit your love of  writing to?Why?
TRACY: I guess I take after my dad.  He loves books and I guess that is why I love writing, because of my love for books.
MBA&M: What was the hardest scene to write in “Southern  Attraction”?
TRACY: The tornado scene.  It brought back memories and I wanted to let the reader feel what I felt.
MBA&M: I has been a pleasure to have you visit with us and our readers today. Tracy, please tell our readers where to connect with you and where they may purchase “Southern Attraction”?
My website is: http://Tracykauffman.com. My Twitter page is: https://twitter.com/KauffmanTracy.  My facebook fanpage is: http://on.fb.me/10u7fNK
My Amazon page: http://amzn.to/ZXZLCW



Tracy, have you anything else to add?
Thanks for the interview.  I know you’ll love this book and I appreciate all my fans.
Thank you, Tracy, for taking a few moments of your time to visit with us and our readers today!
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Blurb :


Southern Attraction is a young adult romance book about a girl who loses her parents and is forced to live with a redneck uncle from Alabama. There she has to choose between two young men that she likes. Will she choose true love or a lifestyle that she is accustomed to.


Heather has everything she ever wanted; money, clothes, friends, popularity and parents that adored her.  Until one terrible day, she loses it all.  She is uprooted from a place she loves to a small town in Alabama with a uncle she doesn’t know.  The  small town of  Huckleburg was nothing like Manhattan.  Country rednecks owned the town and no one accepted Yankees from New York.  Heather didn’t think things could get worse until a  tornado comes and blast through the small town.  Heather has to lose herself to rediscover what life is all about.  She meets two guys that she can’t decide between who she really wants.  Join Heather as she discovers that there is more to life than money and fame.  Will Heather ever fit in and find true love or will she stay an outsider living in the south. 




Southern Attraction Book Trailer here:  http://youtu.be/Vlro6z76yrg
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My Bio:
Tracy Kauffman is a Christian fiction author of Young Adult and Children Stories.  She grew up in North Alabama, where she still resides with her husband and daughter.  She loves taking cruises and traveling with her family.  Her favorite place that she has been to is the Grand Canyon.  
Tracy has  an  associates degree in Nursing.  She is a registered nurse and works part time in a local nursing home.  The rest of the time she spends her time writing books and marketing  them.  Her titles include: Gwendolyn’s Wish, Southern Adventures, Richard the Lionheart, My Boyfriend the Squire and Captain Honey Bear Saves Goldie Locks.
Tracy started writing poetry at a small age and won the title of editor in her school newspaper, when she was in second grade.  She had her first poem published in a online writing contest called, The Cosmetology Student.  She decided to write her first book, Southern Adventures, when her son left home for the Air Force.
She loves writing and hopes to be able to inspire her readers into living a happy healthier life.  She feels like  her own  life experiences have made her a better writer.  Learn more about her by visiting her website or blog.


My website is http://tracykauffman.com 
My blog:   http://tracykauffman.blogspot.com  andhttp://tracykauffman.wordpress.com
My twitter handle: @Kauffmantracy
My Facebook fanpage is:  https://www.facebook.com/TracyKauffmanFictionAuthor?ref=hl


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Check out “My Thoughts” on this title:
http://mybookaddictionreviews.com/2013/07/11/southern-attraction-by-tracy-kauffman/
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~GIVEAWAY ALERT~
(Sponsored by the author)
Thanks to Tracy, we are offering 1 lucky commenter a digital copy of “Southern Attraction”. This will be in a PDF format only! Open Internationally! Giveaway will run from July 13 until July 20,2013.
GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!
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Thanks for stopping by and spending time with our guest today!

 

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