The Diplomat’s Daughter (Virtual Tour)

The Diplomat’s Daughter

by Karin Tanabe

Genre: Historical Fiction

Author Karin Tanabe’s Japanese father was three years old when the firebombing of Tokyo and Yokohama occurred in May of 1945—his very first memory was seeing his city on fire and hearing the cries of babies on the shore, where they had been carried for safety. While many Americans associate World War II with a parent or grandparent who fought bravely in Europe, Karin’s understanding of the war started with her father being attacked by American bombs.

 

These memories, as well as those of a family friend whose own wife and family were interned in a war relocation center, and additional friends who were born in captivity, piqued Karin’s curiosity, and spurred her to write a love story born out of one of the most unlikely places: a mixed-race internment camp. THE DIPLOMAT’S DAUGHTER is a captivating and informed tale of three young people divided by the horrors of World War II and their journey back to one another.

An Excerpt from The Diplomat’s Daughter

A week later, Helene started to feel the baby kick. Christian was walking back from his second day at the German school when he saw his mother approaching. She had a smile on her face that belied her dismal surroundings. Christian had planned to tell her how his German abilities did not extend to writing essays in the language, but when he saw her happiness, he decided to delay the bad news. Within just a few days of his arrival, he’d learned why he couldn’t attend the American school. The elected spokesman for their side of the camp was intensely pro-German

and anyone who sent their children to the American-style Federal School was deemed a traitor. There were whispers that one family’s food had been withheld for several days because their daughter, who spoke no German, enrolled there.

“Put your hand here,” Helene said when she’d reached Christian. She placed his right hand on the top of her stomach. She was wearing the dress that was given to women when they arrived, and Christian thought it made her look plain and homespun, definitely more Mrs. Tomato Soup than Mrs. Country Club.

They waited a few minutes, but nothing happened. Christian started to fidget, and his mother laughed at him. “Do you have somewhere to be? Wait to feel the baby.”

So they waited. Mothers walked by them and smiled, teenagers coming out of school slowed down and whispered, and finally, when Christian was about to pull his hand away, embarrassed, the baby kicked.

“I felt it!” he said, pressing his hand harder against his mother’s belly.

“I told you it would be worth the wait,” said Helene, her voice full of delight.

Christian thought of the tiny body inside his mother bursting with life. He imagined the growing organs, the heartbeat, the developing brain and he felt sorry for it. He wished it could be born far from loaded guns and barbed wire. At least it would have love, he thought, looking at his mother’s joyful face.

Helene kissed her son’s hand and walked off, letting him catch up to the other boys who were making their way from the school to the German mess hall, where they worked prepping the next day’s milk delivery. Internees in the camp woke up to a bottle of fresh milk on their stoop every day, one of the measures that the camp’s warden took to show that he was going well beyond the laws of the Geneva Convention.

The camp, it was whispered among the internees, was one President Roosevelt took great pride in, and the guards didn’t want any suicides or fence jumpers to ruin his vision. “They want happy prisoners,” his father had told him. “So just remember, it could be much worse.”

For Christian, sharing seven hundred square feet with another family and sleeping on floors with scorpions did not make for a happy prisoner. The view of miles of barbed-wire fencing him in did not help, either. The orphanage had changed him—he felt it in his newfound patience. Even gentleness. The way he felt toward Inge, had guarded her on the train, he was sure the old Christian would not have been as kind. But it didn’t mean he was elated about his circumstances.

Then there was the camp’s segregation. In two days, Christian had learned how bad it was. Though he had seen the large group of Japanese internees when he came in, invisible lines kept them apart inside. The Germans and Japanese, despite being allies in the war, occupied separate sections of the camp, ate in separate facilities, worked different jobs, and played different sports. The only places where they mixed were the hospital—as illness never discriminated—and the swimming pool. The few Italians were sprinkled among the Germans, but they kept to themselves, too.

About Karin Tanabe

Karin Tanabe is the author of The Gilded Years, The Price of Inheritance, and The List. A former Politico reporter, her writing has also appeared in the Miami Herald, Chicago Tribune, Newsday, and The Washington Post. She has made frequent appearances as a celebrity and politics expert on Entertainment Tonight, CNN, and The CBS Early Show. A graduate of Vassar College, Karin lives in Washington, DC. To learn more visit KarinTanabe.com and @KarinTanabe.

Buy links:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-diplomats-daughter-karin-tanabe/1124863895

GIveaway!

Karin Tanabe will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $15 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Billionaire Ever After (Book Blast Tour)

Billionaire Ever After

by Mary Hughes,Victoria Pinder Arabpour, Tia Morris, Courtney Runion Hunt, Ann Omasta, Christine Kingsley, Traci E Hall, Rossie Cortes, Margo Bond Collins,  A.E .Easterlin Elayne Cox, Blaire Edens Lateia Elam Sandifer , Tierney O’Malley, Cheryl Phipps, Michele De Winton, K.L. Brady, Talia Hunter, Allison Gatta, Debbie White, Stephanie Queen, Caitlyn Lynch Catherine Bilson, Cristiane Serruya

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Feel the sparks fly off the hot romance and action-driven pages of these EXCLUSIVE TITLES—unavailable separately in ebook format anywhere else!

 

From sweet to sensual, they’ll satisfy your most indulgent fantasies as you fall in love with an array of billionaire beaus in this contemporary romance collection by some of today’s hottest New York Times, USA Today, and International bestselling authors.

 

Quench your book-boyfriend addiction with page-turning stories overflowing with decadent luxury, heart-warming love, heated adventure, steamy scenes, and happily-ever-afters.

 

Featuring billionaires from bad boys to Marines and CEOs to cowboys, this set will take you around the country and jet-setting around the globe with intense, passionate men who always get what they want and fulfill the desires of the women they crave.

 

Relish each journey in this LIMITED-TIME collection PACKED with novels and novellas that will provide over one hundred hours of reading.

 

Grab your copy today before these hot billionaires fly off into the sunset!

Buy today for only $0.99

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Billionaire-Ever-After-Margo-Collins-ebook/dp/B072DY3HR4/ref=sr_1_1

BN:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/billionaire-ever-after-margo-bond-collins/1126311172?ean=9781537897288

Here’s a sneak peak of what’s included in this jam-packed anthology:

A Bridesmaid for the Billionaire by Courtney Runion Hunt

Being a bridesmaid in her best friend’s wedding means Jenny Malone will have to face her college sweetheart. Finn Jones shattered her heart when he left her behind on graduation day. Over the years since Jenny and Finn parted, he’s grown up and made himself a billionaire in the process. When they help their best friend elope in the islands, will Jenny and Finn find their second chance at love or will it be just another island fling?

Excerpt

“I want a billionaire too.” A bedraggled Jenny Malone greeted her best friend when she opened the front door of her penthouse in Thorne Tower. Pausing in the glorious marble entryway, perfumed with the rich scent of lilies and roses from the enormous display centered on a carved wood table near the elevator, Jenny tossed her sodden cheap black umbrella into the stand by the door and slipped off her soaked pumps. When her bare feet pressed against the chilled marble floor, she shivered. Even though it was only early October, the Manhattan night outside pelted down cold rain from an indifferent sky. She’d gotten soaked on her dash from the subway.

“Bad date with your tinderfella?” Callie Matthews led her friend into the sumptuously decorated penthouse that was now her home. In June, just as school ended for the year, Ashton Thorne hired Callie to care for his son, Oliver, over the summer. As a struggling kindergarten teacher with space in both her schedule and her bank account, Callie accepted the challenge. Within just a few weeks, Ash and Callie fell madly in love. Now, her friend and former co-worker lived in the lap of luxury with a diamond that cost more than Jenny’s outstanding student loans winking on her finger.

Jenny wasn’t jealous or even envious. She loved Callie like the sister she’d never had. But, there was a tiny part of Jenny that wished it was her getting breakfast served on silver platters instead of grabbing a stale bagel at the local bodega. Or being driven around Manhattan in a climate-controlled private limo instead of taking the crowded subway to work, smashed in with the other bleary-eyed commuters. And, of course, Jenny would love for a hot, handsome, sexy guy to look at her the way Ash looked at Callie. If he happened to be ridiculously wealthy, so much the better.

And why not wish for the moon while she was at it?

https://www.facebook.com/Romanceauthorcourtneyhunt/

http://courtney-hunt.com/

www.twitter.com/courtneyhunt71

Rafflecopter Giveaway

The authors will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Click on the tour banner at the top of this post to visit the other tour stops and enter for more chances to win.

Carolina Romance Writers Sip & Sign with Christie Craig

I have some exciting news about an exciting event (if you’re local or even semi-local to the greater Charlotte area).

Carolina Romance Writers Sip & Sign is a super fun book signing. Our mission is to bring romance authors and readers together for a couple of hours of fun over good food and fun beverages.

I’ll be at the Carolina Romance Writers Sip & Sign at Texas Land & Cattle, 7779 Lyles Lane, Concord, North Carolina on September 9, 2017 from 5:30 – 7:30. Christie Craig and several other romance authors will be joining me. If you love any genre of romance this is the place for you!

Come by, say hi, grab a drink, and a book or three.

And an awesomesauce bonus for Sweet Somethings fans – THE ONE I’M WITH will be out in print on October 12th, and is currently available for pre-order. But if you’d like to get your hands on a (signed) copy BEFORE October 12th, I will have some on hand at the September 9th Sip & Sign event!

So if you love romance, plan to join us on September 9th! Can’t wait to see you there!

Lessons from RWA’s National Conference

This past month has been a whirlwind of activity – professional development, a family wedding, Babycakes’s third birthday…

Oh yeah, and a trip to Disney World for RWA2017 (AKA National).

About five years ago, I informed my husband that I was going to the National Conference in 2017 – yes, because it was being held in Disney World. Plans to attend the 2014 conference in San Antonio were scuttled because I would be eminently due to give birth. NYC in 2015 didn’t happen because we’d just moved to Charlotte, and 2016 in San Diego wasn’t doable for a variety of reasons.

So not only was attending this year sort of a goal-met moment for me, it was being held in the Happiest Place on Earth and we could roll a fun family vacay into the whole deal.

I cannot express what it felt like to walk into the conference center. The energy was through the roof – inescapable when so many creative minds gather under that roof. Because of said family vacation (I mean, I didn’t want to miss ALL the magic of Babycakes experiencing Disney for the first time), I gave myself Thursday and Friday, the two “full” days of the conference. And I jammed them full.

Prior to leaving for Florida, I read the very wise advice of fellow Soul Mate author Rebecca Heflin, regarding the challenge introverts face at writers’ conferences. I can’t say I followed her advice well, but I definitely learned some lessons for myself – and maybe for others – that I can take to heart the next time I have the opportunity to attend RWA National.

  • Do not try to do everything. I planned to attend three sessions each day, plus the Golden Heart and Keynote Luncheons. By the end of the second day, my head was pounding. Not sure if it was from being inside all day or from the sheer amount of fantastic information I’d been digesting. But if I had to do it again, I’d pace myself better. Many of the handouts/resources are available at RWA.org, as are the recordings (for a price).
  • Stay hydrated. I brought a water bottle with me, knowing the importance of fluids during a marathon day. I consistently forgot to drink from it, and by the end of the day I was definitely feeling it.
  • Bring snacks. The luncheons were a fabulous way to meet other authors and editors, and snag a “free” meal (technically I paid for it with my registration). But I should have brought some things to munch between sessions.
  • Decide on one method to take notes, if any at all. I tend to be one of those note takers who can jot down a few key phrases and then just magically remember what the presenter said about those phrases. The first day I lugged around a spiral notebook, the second day I used a small pocket notebook, and all the while I thought about how much easier it would have been to just bring my Surface and type. I can’t read my chicken scratch anyway.
  • Get people’s names and contact info. I was fortunate enough to run into several colleagues and friends, but I also met some new people. At my first session, I sat beside a woman who also worked in education. I remember she lives in Houston, but that’s it. I wish I’d gotten her name, or at least given her my card. We could have connected on multiple levels.
  • Coordinate with people you know, so you aren’t alone (applies mostly to introverts). I am a painful introvert in new situations, especially when surrounded by a LOT of people. It was really hard for me to introduce myself, even if I got into small-talk convos. And after running into several colleagues from my local RWA chapters, I felt like an idiot for not coordinating better with them to meet up. I think when you’re with people you know, as an introvert, it’s less scary to be introduced to someone new.
  • Just make it be about the conference. While I wouldn’t give up Babycakes’ first trip to Disney for anything, it was hard not being immersed in the conference full time. I mean, there was a write-in! People were meeting up for dinner! I totally skipped the RITAs in favor of a little couple time with my Romantic Hero of a Husband out at the parks. I did tell the hubs that the next conference, I should really just go on my own and do the conference properly. Stay at the conference site, with other conference goers, and be immersed in the amazing experience that is RWA.

If you’re not an introvert like me, maybe these lessons don’t apply to you. We all have different professional needs, and finding your stride, figuring out what your conference mojo looks like, is valuable.

The Perils of Ignoring Self-Care

So it turns out burning the candle at both ends is really, really, REALLY bad for your well-being. We’re talking physical, mental, emotional burnout.

I thought summer break would be a chance to recharge, as it always has in the past, but it’s turning out not to be the case. You see, I recognized around mid-March that I was dangerously close to hitting the proverbial wall. At some point shortly thereafter, I apparently decided to haul myself and the metaphorical 50-pound pack-of-everything over that wall, instead of admitting to myself that it was time to take a true break.

In years past, I always made a point of doing little things for myself. Having a mini-spa day. Sleeping in. Watching a movie or seven that I’ve seen a billion times over. Reading a book in close to one sitting. Playing the piano. Wandering around the house singing at the top of my lungs. Exercising, even if I hated every second of it and only kept going because, yes, there is that euphoria when you finish.

Now, working full time and having a small child, I realize that a lot of that stuff isn’t going to happen much anymore, and I have an amazing support system. But the problem is that, in the past couple years, it’s not even so much that I don’t do the things that replenish me, it’s that I, somewhere along the line, apparently convinced myself that it wasn’t necessary for me to do them anymore.

There’s a lot of research out there on the importance of self-care.  Self-care is, in fact, so important and so often ignored that Ted-Ed actually has a whole series of TedTalks about it! I need to start figuring out a way to build it back into my life. Without it, I’m finding myself short-tempered, easily irritated, overly sensitive, constantly exhausted, and continually struggling to remain focused and effective in my work (both the teaching and the writing).

Ignoring self-care has affected my relationships, how I behave as a wife and a mother. It has affected me physically, as I haven’t managed to get myself back into an effective workout routine to maintain my weight and fitness. I’ve become a stress eater for the first time EVER, when stress used to make me lose my appetite. My skin has gone crazy in ways it hasn’t since I was a teenager, and even then I’m not sure it went this crazy. I continue to have flare ups of postpartum anxiety (something I struggled to identify at all for months before finally seeing a therapist).

And I’ll be perfectly honest – the current events we’ve seen since the start of 2017 have not helped. It’s been a real challenge to not only maintain a sense of sanity as I try to keep up with those current events – being a world history teacher to students who also see this stuff and constantly ask “WHY?”, I don’t have the luxury of ignoring them or even just perusing a shortlist of what’s happening around our planet. I actually ended up taking an unintentional media fast during the last couple weeks of school, and when I finally resurfaced I felt like I’d missed a boatload of imperative information that just stressed me out more. The kicker with keeping up with those current events is that needing to know, and the inundation of constant “what NOW?” moments, almost kept me from completing the first draft of HE TAKES THE CAKE.

It’s incredibly hard to write lighthearted romantic comedy when you feel like the country and the world is falling down around your ears, and your anxiety is on overdrive because of stuff you have absolutely no control over.

I digress – a little – but the point in this ever-lengthening venting session is that one day, I looked in the mirror and realized how ignoring my own self-care has slowly whittled me down. My willpower, my self-image, my confidence, my energy level, my ability to be present to the people who need me to be present.

Now to come up with a plan…

And the Winners Are…

I’m pleased to announce the winners of the HE TAKES THE CAKE Release Day Giveaway!

Sometimes it just takes a little spark to reignite an old flame…

Grand Prize Winner of the $25 Amazon Gift Card is: JANE BASSETT-NELSON

And the winners of a copy of HE TAKES THE CAKE for Kindle are:

  • Amber Ag
  • Gabrielle Smith
  • Ally Swanson
  • David Holder
  • Gina Marie

All winners have been notified. Thanks, everyone, for entering the giveaway!

And remember, if you’ve read BETTER THAN CHOCOLATE, WHEN IN ROME,  and/or THE ONE I’M WITH, please don’t forget to leave some reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, and of course tell your friends!

If you would like to stay in the know about future giveaways, releases, and other announcements, remember to sign up for my email newsletter, and follow me on my socials, Goodreads, and my Amazon Author page!

HE TAKES THE CAKE – Meet the Main Characters

It’s been about a week now since HE TAKES THE CAKE hit Kindles. There are still a couple days left to enter my Release Day Giveaway, for a chance to win a $25  Amazon Gift Card or a Kindle copy of HE TAKES THE CAKE.

If you haven’t had a chance to read Tess and Ty’s story, here’s a little intro to our main characters.

Meet Tess Gardiner

Baking has been important in Tess Gardiner’s life since she was a child. But until her college years rolled around, she never considered making a living by doing what she loves most. Between her business degree and a baking certification course, she soon turned her love of confectionery into a thriving bakery and cafe in her hometown of Savannah, Georgia.

 

 

With her focus on local and regional success, Tess doesn’t have much time to pursue romance. She’s content in her corner of the world, surrounded by friends and family who support and love her. Tess’s ambitions have never been about far-flung fame, but she’s worked hard to gain recognition. If there’s one thing she can’t stand, it’s feeling left in the shadows when she deserves a share in the accolades.

Unfortunately, that’s what ultimately led to her parting ways with the person who convinced her to pursue culinary arts in the first place…

Meet Tyler Brinks

Tyler worked hard his entire life to achieve his goals. First culinary arts school, then Le Cordon Bleu. Now, between his two restaurants in Charleston and Hilton Head, South Carolina, he’s become something of a regional celebrity. Charismatic, well-liked, and talented as can be, Ty is always on the lookout for a challenge and new opportunities.

Success has come easily for Ty, and has given him the chance to hone his skills in countless ways. But if Ty has one regret, it’s the way his relationship with Tess ended after they graduated from college. She remains the one who got away, and he’d give anything to at least figure out what went wrong.

HE TAKES THE CAKE is now available for Kindle!

Sometimes it just takes a little spark to reignite an old flame…