Friday, April 16, 2021

Dragon Queen by Rod Marsden

 


If you're a fan of futuristic science fiction, then this is one book you need to check out. Read an excerpt and then follow the tour for more. Let the author know your thoughts and comments along the way. Best of luck entering the giveaway!



Mixing with your betters can get you killed. Dragons know this as does a certain maverick pilot and his researcher wife. It is possible to get thrown into events not of your own making in which you must do your best to survive. Meanwhile, somewhere not far from mainland Tasmania, there is an island named Green Maiden’s Folly. What’s it like? Is it paradise, or has it been made over into a worse destination hellhole than Devil’s Island used to be like in the 19th and 20th Centuries? On Green Maiden’s Folly, the destiny of the dragon is revealed.

Read an excerpt:
Elanora, Ronald, and Don hid behind shelving as the two robots, with their maiden officer, entered the premises. Then Elanora shook up a fire extinguisher, pressed a button, and let fly the foam directly at the face of a robot, covering the red, blinking eyes with the stuff. Ronald and Don did likewise to the other robot with astonishing results. Blinded by the foam continually being sprayed at its face, one of the machines closed down. The other, also blinded by the foam, listened for movement and took out its gun. Once the weapon was out, Elanora, Ronald, and Don were still, hoping not to be fired upon. This was not true of the maiden officer.

She knocked a fire extinguisher away from one of her mobile robots and tried to wipe the foam from its eyes. This was a bad mistake.

The robot fired and blew apart her head. Elanora and Ronald watched, mesmerized, as chunks of the maiden’s brain and skull landed on the floor, and blood spurted from where her head should have been.

Ronald was momentarily reminded of the horrors of the arena in May and so was sickened by what had happened. He moaned gently to himself. After seeing the worst of it, he lowered his eyes and shook his head to clear it. Elanora, after she had gotten over the shock of witnessing the maiden officer in such a state, also shook her head to clear it so she could continue with the mission. All this happened in a matter of seconds, but the awfulness of it would stay with Elanora, Ronald and Don a long time.


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Author Rod Marsden was born in Sydney, Australia. He has three degrees, all related to writing and history. He spent nine and a half years as a civilian clerk with the Royal Australian Navy. His proudest moments there were in the publications area.

He enjoys wildlife photography and in recent years, joined Illawarra Birders. He went on a birding expedition to the main north island of New Zealand, where he came upon wildlife unique to that country. There he also met up for the first time with correspondent, friend, and novelist Lyn McConchie. He shares his fascination with nature with his entire family, including his niece Jasmine Perala. Her pet, Kiki, is a young, female eclectus parrot and, soggy from a recent shower, is featured on Rod Marsden’s shoulder on the back cover of this book.

His stories have been published in Australia, England, Russia, the USA, and Canada. He has work in the Australian anthology Small Suburban Crimes, the American anthology Cats Do it Better, the American steampunk anthology Break Time, the Canadian anthology Morbid Metamorphosis, and in the Canadian anthology Grey Matter Monsters – Takers of Souls.

Many of his short stories, including “The Antarctic Pineapple,” have been published in Night to Dawn magazine. Undead Reb Down Under and Other Vampire Stories is a collection of his early short fiction on vampirism. Disco Evil is his first venture into the vampire novel. Ghost Dance is his first undertaking into dark fantasy involving a quest plus secret agents out to prevent demonic takeover. It has been reprinted with a new cover. Desk Job is his salute to Lewis Carroll.

His short plays, Zombie Vision, Hyde and Seek, and Smarty were well received at Cronulla Arts Theatre, south coast, New South Wales, Australia. Both his plays Smarty and Hyde and Seek made it into Sydney’s Short and Sweet contest.

He has a short story in The Twofer Compendium edited by Ruth Littner and Ann Stolinsky (2020) in which he mentions the Berry Celtic Festival, which took place every May in a farming community on the south coast of New South Wales, Australia. It is a festival that, unfortunately, had to be cancelled in 2020 because of the coronavirus but will hopefully resume in May 2021.

Website: http://rod-marsden.id.au/



Night to Dawn Magazine & Books LLC will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn commenter. Follow the tour for more chances to win!

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Thursday, April 15, 2021

Forging Monsters, Part 1 by Annie James

 


If you like monsters and thrillers, you need to check out this excerpt from Forging Monsters by Annie James. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for even more! And best of luck entering the giveaway at the end.



A modern and beautiful Frankenstein's Monster fights for the right to carve her own destiny in the human world of New York City.

A talented young dancer tired of witnessing violent crimes against women go unpunished and takes matters into her own hands.

A young woman tries to escape her past in the anonymity of New York but finds out that she cannot escape the scars on her soul, which drives her to shocking acts of violence.

Watch for Forging Monsters Part 2, coming soon.


Read an excerpt:
“This body looks as if it has been chewed on--the edges of the throat lacerations are ragged and similar to a previous body that was brought in bearing the same type of teeth marks. A computer 3D model of the wounds on the second body, in front of me, determined the wounds to be made by the teeth of a large canine. However, The DNA test of the saliva left behind has been inconclusive.”

Dr. Violetta paused the tape recorder. “I have never seen anything like it,” she said to her assistant Andrew. “Take a look at the slide I have on the microscope. You’ll see.”

Andrew studied the cells on the microscope and wrote some notes in his typical scrawl that only he could read while Dr. Violetta started recording again.

“Cells separated from a human body die in moments. These cells scraped from the saliva on this body’s wounds have continued to divide and multiply, indicating that the cells are still living. Also, the DNA strands continually rearrange their structure without any outside influence. This is why it has proved impossible to conclusively determine which type of animal caused the damage to this body.” She stopped the recorder.

“This has to be kept out of the media,” she whispered, shaking her head in horrified disbelief.

"Where did this one come from?" Andrew asked, looking up from the microscope.

"He was found in Central Park."

Buy Links
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Annie is the author of the Tales of Origen series and several short stories. She lives in Kentucky with her husband and two fun-loving cats who inspired the feline characters Dirtbag and Scumbucket. She has an adult daughter who is also a writer, and a grandson. Her influences and favorite writers include:

Frank Peretti
Mary Wollencroft Shelley
Apryl Baker
Dean Koontz
Alexandre Dumas
Linda Joyce
Mary Ramsey
Lance Sheridan poetry

She has lived in New York and Louisiana and loves Cajun cooking. She has had several people tell her that she should open a restaurant, but she loves writing too much to make time for it—running a restaurant is a TON of work. She has an associate degree in Administrative Assistance, majoring in writing, and business administration.


Social media links
Website: https://anniejamesauthor.com/home
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/charmony777
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Annie will award a $15 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Follow the tour for more chances to win!

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Review of A Marriage of Inconvenience by Amy Vastine

On Tour with Prism Book Tours


Welcome to the book tour for A Marriage of Inconvenience by Amy Vastine! This one gives you a unique "Meet Cute" and doesn't skimp on the romantic feels. My full book review is below. Be sure to also follow the rest of the tour for more, including an excerpt later this week at my site Candrel's Crafts, Cooks, and Characters. There's also a great giveaway at the end!


A Marriage of Inconvenience
(Stop the Wedding! #3)
By Amy Vastine
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 213 Pages
April 1, 2021 by Harlequin Heartwarming

She’s met the perfect man…
But he’s engaged!

Wedding planner Sophia Reed never imagined she’d meet her perfect man during a bank robbery. Evan Anderson is handsome and funny and makes Sophia believe in love at first sight. There’s only one small hitch—he’s engaged to someone else, and Sophia is planning his wedding! But Evan’s wedding is purely a business arrangement…and true love might just turn this almost-perfect wedding into a beautiful catastrophe!

USA TODAY Bestselling Author

Stop the Wedding!

Book 1: A Bridesmaid to Remember
Book 2: His Brother’s Bride
Book 3: A Marriage of Inconvenience



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**My thoughts**
Of all of the Meet Cutes I've ever read, I can't say that a bank robbery has ever been on that list. But Sophie and Evan meet while facedown on the floor while the bank they are in is robbed. That afternoon, they talk for a while, exchanging numbers, and having a great text exchange.

And then comes the next day, when Sophie is preparing for a meeting to plan the biggest wedding of her career - only to find out that Evan is the groom to be.

Now, as the reader, I already knew this, of course. But I had also started to develop a crush on Mr. Anderson, so I really felt Sophie's disappointment. And I was really not a fan of Jamie at the start because she seemed too bossy and unflinching. I admit that I did later come around, but I can't get into that in the review without spoilers.

Evan just gets more lovable as the book goes on. His relationship with Zeke is what completely did me in, though. Zeke has Down syndrome, and anyone who can so willingly sacrifice for his special needs brother (and not feel like he is sacrificing) is amazing. Plus I just adore Zeke. And I felt like the author really captured those special traits that have endeared individuals with Down syndrome to me throughout my work and personal life.

And then we have poor Sophie. I say poor Sophie, but she is amazingly strong. She is in love with Evan, and yet, is dedicated to fulfilling her duty. She is a very loyal person, which we also see played out in her relationship with her large family, especially her Yaya. She is also spectacular at her job. She is the kind of person I would want to have for a close friend.

The attraction between Evan and Sophie is absolutely undeniable. You're begging them to figure how to make it work out in a way that will not cost all of them their goals and reputation. 

I have read others of Amy's books, and just like those, this one did not disappoint. This will definitely be reread.

I requested and received a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


Other Books in the Series

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About the Author


Amy Vastine has been plotting stories in her head for as long as she can remember. An eternal optimist, she studied social work, hoping to teach others how to find their silver lining. Now, she enjoys creating happily ever afters for all to read. Amy lives outside Chicago with her high school sweetheart husband, three teenagers who keep her on her toes, and their two sweet but mischievous pups.


Tour Schedule


Tour Giveaway


One winner will receive (US only):
- $25 Amazon gift card
- “I love you to the bookstore and back” book bag filled with several of my favorite Heartwarming books
- Blackwell Sisters cleaning cloth
- Bookmark

Three additional winners will receive an ebook of the first book in the Stop the Wedding Series, A Bridesmaid to Remember (open internationally)

Ends April 28, 2021

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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Once Upon a Princess Trio by Deborah A. Bailey


 Please give a warm welcome to Deborah A. Bailey back to the blog as we feature her Once Upon a Princess Trio. You can read an excerpt from the collection as well as Deborah's "Top 10 Things I Like About Fairy Tales." Be sure to check out the rest of the tour for even more. Best of luck entering the giveaway!


Formula for Fairy Tale Love:
1 adventurous Heroine + 1 tortured-but-noble Hero = Happily-Ever-After

For all the innate complications involved in finding the secret to blissful fairy-tale love with shape-shifters, three wise and discerning princesses trust their hearts instead of their eyes and fall in love with the unlikeliest of princes.

"Heart of Stone:" Leesa trespasses into a haunted palace, where she meets a gargoyle. Breaking the spell that cursed him may carry a price steeper than she's able…or willing…to pay.

"Beauty & the Faun:" Kayla flees an arranged marriage and falls for a faun shifter instead. But how can she ignore her duty by refusing to marry a prince?

"Land of Dreams:" Cicely knows she possesses magical ability. Falling in love with the courageous, self-sacrificing Willem may be the key to her awakening…or may unleash forces that will separate them forever. (Sequel to Heart of Stone)

Box set includes books 1-3 of the Once Upon A Princess paranormal fairy-tale inspired romance novellas.

Read an excerpt:
Heart of Stone:

Leesa headed up the stairs and stopped at the 2nd floor landing. Eduardo and Erokan's rooms had been on this floor. Dust was everywhere, but otherwise the furnishings were just as they'd been left. Varmont's bedroom, private study and library were on the 3rd floor. Most likely he would've hidden some of his valuables there. She went upstairs to check. The doors to the Duke's room, study and library were open. But the fourth door was closed. The treasure room, perhaps?

She opened the door and stepped inside. Strangely, this room wasn't as dusty as the others. The air was heavy with perfume. Across from the door was a folding screen decorated with blue and yellow flowers. Behind it she could make out the base of a claw-foot tub.

To her surprise, the entire room had a feminine feeling, from the huge bed covered with blush pink coverlets and plush furs to the gold-trimmed white furniture. Even the jewel-encrusted skylight above her had its own beauty, reflecting colorful sprinkles of light over the pale stone walls.

A white cabinet with glass doors caught her attention. The shelves held glass bottles of different shapes and sizes. Some had liquids inside, others were empty. What were these? Perfumes? Or maybe potions.

The Duke used magic. Maybe this was where he'd kept his enchantments. Would they be worth anything? Possibly. But just as Leesa reached out to open the cabinet, the door slammed behind her.

Startled, she spun around. She was alone. Who had closed it? Leesa ran to the door and gripped the handle, expecting the door to open as easily as it had when she'd come in. But it didn't. She pulled and banged on it, but it wouldn't budge.

She was locked in.

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Top 10 Things I Like About Fairy Tales

1. There are lessons to be learned – Fairy tales can warn us about the perils of being self-centered or cruel to others. Or they can be stories showing us how good can triumph and bad things can be overcome. They teach lessons about getting along in the world.

2. They have magic – That's one of the best parts! There's usually an enchantment, a curse, or some sort of spell at the center of the story. This adds an element of uncertainty and imagination – what will happen when the normal, everyday rules no longer apply?

3. Royalty – Not to say that every fairy tale has a royal family, but they are part of many of the favorite ones. And of course, that means that a Prince (or Princess) Charming will enter into the events at some point.

4. Imperfect characters – In fairy tales it's okay if the characters make mistakes or aren’t perfect people when they start out. Maybe Sleeping Beauty's parents should've invited all the fairies to the castle after their daughter's birth. And maybe Jack could've behaved a bit better after climbing the beanstalk. But without those conflicts there would be no story.

5. They're for children and adults – Fairy tales are popular books to read to children, but adults love them too – which is why retellings are so popular. They are timeless stories that you can read at any age and still enjoy the experience.

6. They describe journeys – Often the main character is invited to take some sort of journey – whether it's into the forest or to a world much different than their own. Journeys are key for characters to learn and grow, which is essential for the character arc.

7. Transformation – Usually characters will have a transformation of some kind. Like when the beast becomes a man, or the heroine transforms from mermaid to human - they move from one form to another. And in their new form they may have a chance for the life they've always desired.

8. They can have different meanings for different people – When I was researching fairy tales for my novellas, I was surprised to learn the origins of Beauty and the Beast. One version was written in France in the 1700's and was said to reflect the anxieties of young women who might not know what to expect in marriage. Would their betrothed be a beast or a charming hero? These stories can be interpreted in many ways depending on the reader.

9. They're popular all over the world – Another good thing about writing a fairy tale retelling is that the basis of the story is known to most people. No matter the culture or the country, there probably is a similar story that the reader knows. You don’t have to do a lot of explaining because the characters are like old friends (even the not-so-nice characters) and readers enjoy meeting them again and again.

10. The HEA – True, not all fairy tales end with a "happy ever after," but it's nice when it happens. For me that is the best part – knowing that whatever the characters have endured, they will have their deepest desires come true. In the Once Upon A Princess novellas, the characters find true love and can finally be happy.

That's why fairy tales are tales worth telling. We can be certain that things will work out in the end and we can share in the happy ever after.


Deborah A Bailey's Science Fiction & Paranormal Romance novels include suspense, a bit of mystery and a lot of romantic heat. Her books include the Hathor Legacy science fiction romance series and the Family Pride and Once Upon A Princess shapeshifter paranormal romance series.

Her short stories have won awards from the Philadelphia Writers' Conference and have been published in US1 Magazine and the Sun and are included in, Electric Dreams: Seven Futuristic Tales. She's the author of non-fiction books, and articles for various online publications.

Visit her site https://dbaileycoach.com/brightbooks for more information and subscribe to the newsletter here: https://eepurl.com/bokGdX so you'll be the first to find out about giveaways, book launches and sneak peeks.

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Amazon Author Page: https://amazon.com/author/deborahannbailey

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Deborah A. Bailey will be awarding a $40 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Tiger Stripes by Hannah Renae

 


Welcome to the book blast for Tiger Stripes, an intriguing memoir and important discussion tool about the oft-overlooked topic of women's mental health from Hannah Renae. You can read an excerpt here before downloading your copy and then follow the tour for more, plus leave questions and comments along the way. Best of luck entering the great giveaway at the end!



Four psychiatric wards

Three rehabs

Two jail cells

And a suicide attempt...

Hannah was told she would not make it to 25 with the way she was living. She had struggled with mental illness her entire life, but at 22 her demons came to a head at the grips of severe substance abuse, life-changing trauma, and two major deaths in her life.

Hannah's struggles land her places no one ever hopes to grace; jail and psych wards lead her to the brink of death. Running out of options she's left with two choices: live or die. This heart-wrenching memoir combines recovery with bittersweet romance told in a raw presentation that immerses the reader into the author's dark state-of-mind in every page.

Tiger Stripes is going to add a valuable voice to the conversation about women's mental health issues.


Read an excerpt:
THE LETTER H

October 7, 2019

“HENRY! HENRY! HENNN-RYYYY!!!!”

I am screaming at the top of my lungs and can feel my throat tearing, becoming raw. I don’t know how many times I have said his name now, but it is all I know how to do because nothing is making any sense.

I am in a locked room and flashes of images are going through my head, but there is only one thing, one thought that I can focus on, that is pounding through my brain throughout this confusion and that is pouring out of my lungs to the point that my chest feels like it is going to rip.

“HENRY!” I choke on his name and a sob.

He cannot hear me, and he is not coming. He doesn’t know where I am and I don’t know where I am, but I know I am not supposed to be here—and I have to get out.

I beat at the metal door that barricades me from something unknown and choke on words that begin with H.

“HENRY!” “

“HELP!”

“HENRY!”

“HELP!”

I repeat these words for what feels like a lifetime, until I forget how to speak and my begging turns to carnal screaming—shrieking.

No one comes. No one answers. I wait for footsteps, for the sound of the door unlocking, but all I can hear is the sound of my frantic breaths and the echoes of a lamentation that is anything but human.

I look down at my body. My feet are bare against the concrete floor; I cannot feel them. The jean shorts I am wearing show off my slender, scratched legs and remind me that I am small and feeble at this moment, but in an act of desperation, I put all of my faith in the power of momentum and I run. I fucking run as fast as I can from the three paces it takes to get from the wall to the ominous looming, locked door and attack it with my entire being, letting out my most vicious battle cry as I fumble towards it.

The door wins.

I try again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

I am degraded to a crumbling, bruised ball of flesh.

I can barely speak, my throat reduced to sandpaper.

Everything hurts and I can taste the bitterness of blood in my mouth. The floor is like ice against my bare legs. Through the tears in my eyes I see the moon shining through a window at the top of the room. It is full and brilliant and illuminates the white of the brick walls that surround me. I realize that there is writing on them. People have been here before me. People will be here after me. Why am I here though? I should not be.

I should be home, where I belong. In bed, with him. Safe. I feel anything but that word in this moment, as terror sweeps through every single one of my nerves.

I whisper in one last futile attempt:

“Henry?”

But there is silence. Horrible, deafening, fatal silence.

And it seems to last forever, until I hear it, or think I do. A click, the door unlocking, and the small room is suddenly filled with light. Fluorescence suffocates me.

When I dare to open my eyes, they do not find Henry. Instead I find a police officer looking back at me. He wears broad, black framed glasses that are too big for his face and he looks eerily familiar. A sudden memory of lying in a hospital bed comes to me but does not fully resonate. His face is forlorn and almost disappointed, as if he expected more out of me.

“I thought you were going to hurt yourself,” he tells me. “Promise you’ll stay calm and you can come out for a bit. We’ve got to get you fingerprinted.”

It’s then that I have the shattering realization that I am drunk and in a holding cell at a police station. The reason why escapes me though, as I try to grab onto flashes of sober memories but drown in my current state-of-mind.

I try to breathe with intent as I remember every single arrest-clich├ę in the book, and I cling to the fact that I am going to get my phone call. They will probably let me go—they have to. If anything, they will make me stay the night at the most.

I remember the silent promise I had once made myself—that the moment I got a DUI that I would put down the bottle for good. Jail was the worst it could get. It had been my crowning achievement at my last three rehabs that I had never graced the inside of a jail cell and I never planned to.

“Continue down the path you have been,” one of the staff members at my second treatment center had told me after sharing her own story about prison, “and jail is a guarantee.”

And here I am. Her words have come to pass, as promised.

I then remember what else she told me as we talked over a pack of Marlboro Reds on a warm Orange County night.

“Finish the 90 days,” she had said, “Or you will not make it and there will come a day where you will no longer be able to cry out ‘I’m a good person!’. You will lie. You will steal. You will become someone and something else. You will hurt everyone you love. You will lose everything, and just when you think you have lost it all, you will lose something else.”


Buy Links:
Amazon *  B&N *  Kobo *  Apple Books *  Book Depository  
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If there is anything Hannah believes in, it’s hope, but that wasn’t always the case. For a long time, chaos was comfortable for Hannah, but at just 22 she would have to make her hardest decision yet: was life really worth living? Since picking up a pen Hannah has had a love for writing, and as an adult it would become her greatest tool in healing from an almost decade-long battle with severe mental illness and substance abuse. Her first book, Tiger Stripes, is a harrowing, raw telling of her year in and out of hospitals, treatment centers, and jail that finally led her on the road to recovery and freedom.

Hannah was born in Orange County, CA but has lived in the Los Angeles area for several years. She now lives in West L.A. with her boyfriend. When she is not writing she can be found reading, running, cooking, or finding the best vegan eats in L.A.!

Author Links: Website - http://hannahrenaeauthor.com/

Twitter - https://twitter.com/byhannahrenae

Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/hannahrenae/

Pinterest - https://www.pinterest.com/hurnpublications/tiger-stripes/

Book Landing Page - https://hurnpublications.com/tiger-stripes/


Hannah Renae will be awarding a $100 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Monday, April 12, 2021

Review of The Anti-Cinderella by Tawdra Kandle

 


How many girls can say their first kiss was with a prince in the British royal family?

I was fourteen and he was sixteen, and yes, it was magical. But that kiss didn't exactly change my life. To tell you the truth, I didn't even think about it-or Nicky Windsor-for the next ten years . . . until fate, in the guise of my grandparents, brought us back together again.

Now everything has spun out of control. I'm ducking reporters and photographers when I try to leave home. My friends act as if I'm someone they don't know anymore. The whole world seems to be watching me, wanting to see some kind of modern Cinderella story.

But trust me, I'm no man's princess. I'm more comfortable in tennis shoes than in a tiara, more likely to rock a bucket than a ball gown, and more liable to fall on my face than to pull off a graceful wave.

The only thing that keeps me from running away and hiding is Nicky. He's all I've ever wanted in a man: hot, hunky and head-over-heels in love with me. I think I feel the same way. I think I want to be with him forever.

But the idea of life with the royal family terrifies me. Even if I have found my one and only, can I handle what comes after our happy ending?


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**My thoughts**
I have lost track of how many times I have read this book, because it is my all-time favorite book by Tawdra Kandle. It came out around the time that Harry and Meghan announced their engagement. I picked it up to reread the other morning, only to later read the announcement that Prince Philip had passed in his sleep. It seemed meant to be to be revisiting this world. And then I realized I had never posted a review. Shame on me!

This is the first in a set of three books about an American girl named Kyra (pronounced k-eye-rah] Duncan and her childhood summertime beach playmate Nicky Windsor. The rest of the world knows him as Prince Nicholas.

The beauty of childhood is that royalty and celebrity don't mean much. What is more important is who can build the better sandcastle, chasing the waves, and eating ice cream cones, all while trading barbs, having fun, and creating those beautiful memories of friendship. Of course, after 10 years, children grow up and boys and girls see each other in a different light. Royal life doesn't necessarily get in the way for most of us who had these friends, but even general life can. So I think a lot of us can relate to the nostalgia.

Fast forward 10 more years and now Kyra and Kicky are grown. Though their worlds are vastly different, they have still pursued similar goals in their respective careers. This, plus an attraction that never really went away, sets the stage for a transcontinental romance that is based on more than just physical attraction, but is guaranteed to make you swoon.

A relationship with a royal [or any celebrity] is not going to be easy. Every aspect of your life is now on display. But the right match can make it all worth it.

Dubbing Kyra as the Anti-Cinderella is perfect, because nowadays, I don't think many woman really want that kind of a fairytale that we grew up with in the older princesses. Kyra is strong, determined, and real. That is why Nicky falls in love with her. That's why when you read this, you want her to be your best friend. And Nicky is amazingly down-to-earth and wonderful.

Many of us have had some kind of a celebrity romance fantasy at one point, royal or otherwise. This light story captures the pros and cons of such, without losing focus on the romance. That's why I have read it so many times. I hope you will enjoy it.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

In Your Eyes by Jayne Townsley

On Tour with Prism Book Tours


Welcome to the book tour for In Your Eyes by Jayne Townsley! Read on to find more about the book and then follow the rest of the tour for even more including excerpts and reviews!


In Your Eyes
(Seasons of Love #2)
By Jayne Townsley
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 127 Pages
January 5, 2021

Crystal Davis got her wish for the Crew’s long-awaited post-graduation trip. Sun and fun before focusing on her new career as a pediatric RN at St. Francis’ Children’s Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was just what she needed. Bonus? She met Troy Bennett, and she realized she wanted less frivolity in her life and a little more serious.

Troy Bennett is a man fighting the demons who tell him he is worthless every day of his life. Demons his mother conjured. He quiets them with alcohol and casual relationships, never allowing any woman to get close enough to him so he will never have to disappoint one. Then on the spur of the moment trip to Panama City Beach with his Ranger buddies, he sees the future he’s always been afraid to pursue exit a Jeep Wrangler at a local donut shop.

Just as Troy and Crystal are finding their footing, she gets the call she never thought she would earn: Crystal Davis is going to Hollywood to be a contestant on America’s Next Chart Topper. What started as a way to honor her murdered friend has now become her dream. Chasing her dream means leaving Troy behind for a bit, and she wonders if her absence will cause what they’ve built so far to come crashing down.

Chasing her dream also means she’s put herself in a place where she’s vulnerable to the side of Hollywood that no one wants to acknowledge. A place where people only care about her and Troy’s story for the audience while behind the scenes, evil, selfish people work to tear them apart.

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Other Books in the Series

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About the Author


Jayne Townsley lives with her multi-generational family in Northeast Oklahoma's aptly named Green Country. A transplanted Okie from the Chicago suburbs, she has grown to love this state and its people with a passion, happily calling it home for the past 15 years.

Jayne shares her home with a rescued Shollie named Maui and two cats called Gamora and Nebula. 

Jayne enjoys old-fashioned road trips and is in the process of planning one to tour Oklahoma's Route 66. 

She is also something of a Disney World addict.


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Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Review of Three Makes a Family by Cari Lynn Webb

On Tour with Prism Book Tours


Welcome to the book tour for Three Makes a Family by Cari Lynn Webb! I've been enjoying this series and have my thoughts for you below. Stay tuned to my other site, Candrel's Crafts, Cooks, and Characters later this week for an excerpt as well!


Three Makes a Family
(City by the Bay Stories #7)
By Cari Lynn Webb
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 223 Pages
April 1, 2021 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Can love for a child…
Make them a family?

Lawyer Molly McKinney needs to be the best—now more than ever. Relocating to San Francisco means a chance to provide a stable income and home for her nine-month-old daughter. And defending former rival Drew Harrington against charges of witness tampering will boost her reputation. As they work to clear Drew’s name, their feelings grow. But does Molly have room in her life for love?

USA TODAY Bestselling Author

City by the Bay Stories
Book 1: The Charm Offensive
Book 2: The Doctor’s Recovery
Book 3: Ava’s Prize
Book 4: Single Dad to the Rescue
Book 5: In Love by Christmas
Book 6: Her Surprise Engagement
Book 7: Three Makes a Family



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**My thoughts**
I've had the opportunity to read several books in Cari Lynn Webb's City by the Bay series, and I have to say that this one was my favorite so far. Molly and Drew are old friends and fate seems to have brought them together again, as Molly has moved back to the area with her daughter and Drew is in need of a good lawyer to help him clear his name. You can tell that they go way back and were close back in the day. Molly is a strong, independent woman who is doing the best that she can with her baby, since her ex has washed his hands of them both. I fell in love with Drew immediately, especially because of the way that he took to Molly's baby, Hazel. (And I just love that name!) You cannot resist a man who loves and does well with children.

[And I'm not one to often comment on covers, but this is the most precious cover I've seen in a long time!]

Add in the drama and mystery of trying to clear Drew's name of witness tampering charges, and you have enough lawyer action to be reminiscent of a good John Grisham novel from back in the day, with plenty of romance to fill your heart. We get to see plenty of characters from previous novels, and you have to love the friendship that all of them have maintained and how seamlessly they embrace new people into their fold. 

I think the only thing that tripped me up was at one point, Molly was getting into more detail about her childhood with Drew, and how that shaped her and her dreams in life. I feel like that was more for the reader's benefit, and Drew would have already known these things about Molly, considering their previous friendship. Or perhaps he was completely clueless or she just didn't want to get into all of that back then. I guess in the grand scheme of things, it isn't that big of a deal.

This book definitely works as a standalone, though I do recommend the other books in the series as well. I hope we have more books in this series so that I can check in on these two!

I received a requested review copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


Other Books in the Series

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About the Author


Cari Lynn Webb lives in South Carolina with her husband, daughters and assorted four-legged family members. She's been blessed to see the power of true love in her grandparent's 70 year marriage and her parent's marriage of over 50 years. She knows love isn't always sweet and perfect, it can be challenging, complicated and risky. But she believes happily-ever-afters are worth fighting for. She loves to connect with readers. Visit her at her website.


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Monday, April 5, 2021

A Day in the Life of a Writer...Or This Writer by Susan Merson, author of Oh Good Now This

 


Welcome to the Name Before the Masses Tour for Oh Good Now This, a women's literary fiction novel from Susan Merson. Today she's sharing with us an excerpt from her book, plus her story about how she became a writer. Be sure to follow the tour for even more and leave comments and questions along the way. Best of luck entering the giveaway!



Starting over is hard enough but when ghosts decide to hitch a ride into the future—things can get complicated.

Widowed Vivi leaves California for a new start back east landing in a college town near her old friend Vikram, now the local ‘spiritual’ leader and disappointing lover. But the two have old business which leads them to uncovering the ghosts they conjured long before and the ones that are haunting them now. Vivi reclaims her life, -- with the help of a couple different dimensions-- saying hi to the ghosts who choose to hang around, and growing a new garden and a new life.


Read an excerpt:
They have settled into their chairs and Tara is tossing some cards, shuffling them and getting a feel. She flips over three cards.

“Oh, my dear. Some bleak times, past, yes?”

Vivi is startled by this pronouncement. “Well, it’s been a time of change, I’d say.”

“Change?” says Tara. “You betcha. This Tower card is about the whole thing coming crashing down. But it’s in the past position. See here? This is the present,” she shows Vivi the 7 of cups. It’s a picture of a man taking a look at a whole gallery of possibilities. “Look at him”, Tara says. “He’s got lots of things to choose from.”

“Well, that sounds good,” says Vivi tentatively.

“Not bad. Don’t get over infatuated with the possibilities. And the last one… here. The Hermit. Yep.”

“What’s that mean?”

“Oh it’s fine. Just a time to go inside and let things percolate. Inner wisdom and all that. Not a bad sentence!” Tara laughs again. “Now. Anything specific on your mind?” Tara continues to flip cards. “So,” she says. “Who is this guy? This King keeps showing up. King of Cups? He fell out of the deck twice while I was shuffling. “Who is this guy who won’t leave you alone?”

Vivi is mystified. “How did you…?’

“Oh, it’s not magic. The cards just know, that’s all. They pick up what you bring. Who is this guy?”

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DAY IN THE LIFE OF A WRITER….. OR THIS WRITER.

Well, sometimes I wish I was a snappier writer, a snappier person. But I’m not.

I lived in the land of Let’s Make a Deal for too long and saw what so many writers looked like; tongues hanging out, eyes glazed from being put in ”turnaround”, the specter of the next sale leading them forward like dogs panting after bones. Sorry, it’s just not for me.

I’m an old fashioned type. I’m an artist. Not an entertainer and not a content provider. This may damn me to the nether regions of popularity, commercial fame and reward, but there’s just no other honest way I can move ahead. I write what I feel no one else is seeing, what no one else with my point of view really sees.

There are certain stories we have been given to write, to tell, to embody. We need to figure out how to do that. Maybe it’s in genre fiction, maybe it’s in poetry or maybe it’s in a secret journal that never sees the light of day. That’s what I do most days. I ponder how I tell the story that has been given to me.

I believe the process of writing a book, or anything really, is what changes the writer, and the eventual reader, as well. The real clear energetic brought down to create a book, or any work of art, is weird alchemy but, it’s what is really real and truly true.

My day as a writer is scooping up what comes down through my brain, through my fingers and my heart onto the page. It changes me. And if it changes you, the reader, the bonus is so much more grand.

Call me a hunter- gatherer. That’s what I do with my days. I hunt, gather and archive what the Universe has given me that day, to translate, soften, polish and make beautiful. And drink lots of tea and don’t walk around the block often enough.



Susan Merson began her career as an actress on and off Broadway, in television and film. Co-founding the LA Writers Bloc in 1985 with award winning writer Jane Anderson, she has mentored writers through the Bloc and through her private and university classes in Playwriting, Life Stories, Writing as a Spiritual Practice, Tarot for Writers and the popular VOICING Series. Her short fiction has been featured in The Jew in America, Nice Jewish Girls (Penguin), The Worcester Review, the Chicken Soup series and several other online platforms. As a playwright, her award-winning plays have been performed internationally, including her 8 solo plays featured and used as example in YOUT NAME HERE: An Actor Writers Guide to Solo Performance. (Amazon). Long form fiction available on Amazon is her award-winning blog, WHEN THEY GO AND YOU DO NOT and her first novel DREAMING IN DAYLIGHT. OH GOOD NOW THIS, her newest novel launches 12/1/21. She is a tarot reader and counselor, a maker of quilts, clothing and whimsy. Susan is a humble mother and a proud resident of New York City. www.susanmerson.com

FACEBOOK: SUSAN MERSON AUTHOR: https://www.facebook.com/susanmersonauthor

WEBSITE: http://www.susanmerson.com


The author has also done a series of five videos regarding the use of Tarot for writers (for more information, visit her website):

1: Author/ teacher Susan Merson (OH GOOD NOW THIS/ Amazon) explores Tarot to jump start your writing. TAROT FOR WRITERS #1: INTRODUCTION

An introduction to using your own intuitive powers to tap into the resonance of Tarot images, packed with archetypes and symbols, to jumpstart inspiration for your artistic projects.

**CORRECTION: The Raziel Tarot Deck is designed by artist Robert Place with commentary by Rachel Pollack. https://youtu.be/LGONsfOayJg

2: Author/teacher Susan Merson (OH GOOD NOW THIS/Amazon), explores TAROT cards to jumpstart your writing, TAROT FOR WRITERS #2: LANDSCAPE

Explore the landscape of story. Entering the world of the card offers visceral clues to the landscape of your writing. https://youtu.be/Mwq9x-I9oQE

3: Author/ teacher Susan Merson (OH GOOD NOW THIS/ Amazon) explores TAROT cards to jump start your writing. TAROT FOR WRITERS #3: CHARACTER.

A brief exploration of character and how to find their first basic journey. Look deeply at the character clues in the cards and throw three cards to begin their adventure. https://youtu.be/CuovTNQ5ztk

4: Author/teacher Susan Merson (OH GOOD NOW THIS/AMAZON) explores TAROT cards to jump start your writing. TAROT FOR WRITERS #4: WHAT STORY SHOULD I WRITE TODAY

On pulling cards to intuitively discover the story, the genre, the themes and the major turning points of a new story. https://youtu.be/eHm0mVSNaPo

5: Author/teacher Susan Merson (OH GOOD NOW THIS/AMAZON) explores TAROT to jumpstart your writing. TAROT FOR WRITERS/ #5 TIMELINES AND DEEPER DIVE INTO RELATIONSHIPS

Timelines and going deeper into relationships with pro and antagonists. The more cards you draw the more information you can gather. https://youtu.be/EClPq0e-H70



Susan Merson will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Too Young to Die in the Garden of Syn by Michael Seidelman


Welcome to the Book Tour! 
Too Young to Die in the Garden of Syn
by: Michael Seidelman

Too Young to Die in the Garden of Syn
(Garden of Syn Book #3)
by: Michael Seidelman
YA Fantasy
Chewed Pencil Press 
Release Date: March 30, 2021


Summary:
The stakes could not be higher in the epic conclusion of The Garden of Syn trilogy.

Synthia (Syn) Wade discovered a secret world known as the Garden, where illness and death do not exist. Because of the tragic events that occurred in the Garden, Syn vowed never to return, even as cystic fibrosis threatened her young life. But when Syn faces the ultimate betrayal and a malicious adversary closes in, she is forced to escape her world and reluctantly return to the Garden.

However, her ruthless foe is not easily thwarted. Flanked by a deadly army, this dark force manipulates its way into the Garden with the goal of ultimate destruction. Facing great adversity, Syn must risk her life to protect the Garden and all those living within its borders.

Will Syn save the Garden and those she holds dear from the storm cloud of evil? Or will she discover that no one is Too Young to Die in the Garden of Syn?



Buy Links: 



Giveaway! 

$25 Amazon Gift Card

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author:

When Michael Seidelman was growing up, his passions were reading, watching movies, enjoying nature and creative writing. Not much has changed since then.

Working in Online Marketing for over ten years, Michael felt it was time to pursue his passion and began writing The Garden of Syn trilogy.

Michael is excited about the upcoming release of the third and final book in The Garden of Syn series and beyond the trilogy, he has more books in the works that he can’t wait to share with the world!

Michael was born in Vancouver, BC Canada where he continues to reside.






Tour Created by YA Bound Book Tours