Friday, February 26, 2021

The Cyan Huntress by Krystal Pena

Welcome to the Book Blitz for The Cyan Huntress by Krystal Pena! 

The Cyan Huntress 
(Prophecy of Caerleon 1)
by: USA Today Bestselling Author, Krystal Pena! 
Genre: YA Fantasy 
Release Date: June 29th 2021

She will avenge her husband’s death, even if she must kill every knight in Caerleon to learn who betrayed him.

Anwyn thought she would finally enjoy comfort and happiness when she married a traveling psychic--that is, until Uthyr Pendragon unleashed a war on all magic-users and had her new husband burned alive.

She’s determined to wreak her revenge, until a Druid boy’s prophecy convinces her to put aside her personal vendetta and learn to hunt the ones who want her dead--harder to do when she’s captured and taken to Caerleon to be tried as a sorceress.

Now, if she can escape with the help of Caradoc, a man whose secrets rival Anwyn’s, she will have to fulfill her vow of revenge while on the run and attempting to find the one leader who can unite three broken kingdoms under a single banner.

Assuming, of course, she can protect herself from burning at the stake, safeguard her heart from the enigmatic Caradoc, and complete her training as the Cyan Huntress.

Fans of Jeffe Kennedy, Grace Draven, and Laura Thalassa will love the blend of Arthurian legend and exciting action in this romantic fantasy adventure!

Buy Links:

Amazon *  Apple BooksNook * Kobo 

(affiliate link included)

Author Bio:

USA Today bestselling author Krystal Pena resides with her four children near Boston, MA. She writes paranormal romance, urban fantasy and fantasy, and enjoys writing stories about strong women who overcome the greatest obstacles to achieve their dreams or goals. Many of her characters reflect her and the adversities she has overcome, which she wants to relay in her writing to empower the young women of generations to come. Many of her stories have roots in ancient ideals and folklore, and she loves hiding alternate meanings or symbolism in her writing.

Aside from writing, Krystal enjoys photography, archery, horseback riding and MMA. She loves history and art, and frequents historical sites and art galleries in her spare time. Above all else, she loves being at home, baking and cooking with her children, visiting her family and reading bedtime stories.

She works as a personal assistant to other authors by day and writes late into the night, a strong cup of coffee always within reach. 

Krystal is also one-half of USA Today bestseller KM McKenna, which she shares with New York Times bestselling author Margo Bond Collins in writing YA/NA fantasy. She enjoys working alongside Margo as both co-author and PA. 

Author Links:





Amazon Author: 


Blitz created by YA Bound Book Tours 

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Murder With Strings Attached by Mark Reutlinger


I love reading mysteries, especially those with a touch of humor in them. This one looks like it is going to be a lot of fun! Read an excerpt today and then stay tuned, because I will be reviewing it here later! Make sure you follow the rest of the tour to read more and to make comments and leave questions for the author! Best of luck in the giveaway!

Sometimes even the most carefully conceived burglary can take an unexpected turn. Florence Palmer has her eye on concert violinist Aaron Levy's priceless violin. Unfortunately, she finds it's already been stolen. Her surprise doubles when the virtuoso she'd planned to burgle offers to hire her to help him steal it back. But they're not the only ones looking for the missing violin. When Flo inadvertently becomes the prime suspect in a case of murder, she and Aaron need to clear her name. Will they find the real killer and get the violin back to its rightful owner without anyone else, especially themselves, being killed?

Read an excerpt:

I was going to use my “one phone call” (assuming a person really gets one and that’s not just something they say in the movies) to call Aaron, but I didn’t have to bother. Almost as soon as I arrived at the police station, Aaron, who obviously had been watching developments and following the police car I was in, walked in and inquired how I might be released. Given the relatively minor nature of the charge, despite what they might actually suspect, and my clean record, despite all the burglaries they were thankfully unaware of, bail was set according to a standard schedule rather than my having to wait to see a judge the next day.

I don’t know how much it cost Aaron to bail me out, but of course whatever it was, he could well afford it; and besides, he owed it to me. After all, I was really just his employee, and surely posting bail is a standard employee benefit.

When all the necessary papers had been signed and funds transferred, Aaron and I walked out into the sunshine that I’d been afraid I wouldn’t be seeing for quite a while.

On the way to Aaron’s car, I gave him a hug and a little kiss on the cheek and thanked him for extricating me from the pokey and doing it so quickly. He looked a bit embarrassed by that, but he cleared his throat and said in his best businesslike manner:

“Okay, so why’d you shoot him, and where’d you put the violin?”

Buy on Amazon or Barnes & Noble

(affiliate link included)

MARK REUTLINGER is an attorney and former law professor. He now writes novels in which the law is frequently broken, including his “Mrs. Kaplan” cozy mystery series (MRS. KAPLAN AND THE MATZOH BALL OF DEATH and A PAIN IN THE TUCHIS) and the political thrillers MADE IN CHINA and SISTER-IN-LAW: VIOLATION, SEDUCTION, AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (under the pen name M. R. Morgan). MURDER WITH STRINGS ATTACHED is his latest novel. He is also a reviewer for the New York Journal of Books.

Mark and his wife Analee live in University Place, Washington, where in addition to reading and writing he plays clarinet with the Tacoma Concert Band and enjoys tennis, biking, exotic cars, model railroading, and various arts and crafts. He has no idea where he finds the time for it all.

Visit Mark at and



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

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Friday, February 19, 2021

Cheryl Holt, author of A Summer Wedding at Cross Creek Inn on her journey to becoming a writer


Not every author shares the same path to becoming a writer. Today, Cheryl Holt, author of A Summer Wedding at Cross Creek Inn, share her journey and an excerpt from the book. Be sure to follow the tour for even more! Best of luck entering the giveaway.

From New York Times bestselling author, Cheryl Holt, comes a sparkling, fast-paced novel about the complexity of family—and all the ways they can drive us crazy.

The lavish Layton-Benjamin wedding promises to be an event to remember, and the groom’s wealthy parents have spared no expense to impress their guests by hosting it at the exclusive Cross Creek Inn, a private mountain retreat tucked away in the heart of the Colorado Rockies. But the bride and groom are from completely different backgrounds, and they’ve only known each other for a few months, so it’s been a ‘hurry-up’ engagement that has everyone worried.

When the groom arrives late and tempers start to flare, it’s clear the wedding is a minefield that has to be carefully navigated. As parents and friends begin taking bets over whether the happy couple will make it to the altar, secrets are revealed, new loves emerge, and true happiness is finally found.

Book your visit to the Cross Creek Inn! A witty, fun summertime story about family, friendship, and finding out what matters most—that only Cheryl Holt could tell.

* * * *

An Amazon ‘Top-100’ Bestselling Author…

* * * *

Read an excerpt:

The view out the window of her suite was spectacular, and Sharon was trying to enjoy it. She was surrounded by thick, verdant woods, and off in the distance, stark mountain peaks rose, seemingly to the stratosphere. Even though it was mid-July, they were dotted with snow.

She’d never been what might be described as a mountain person. Being a typical Californian, one who’d been born and raised in Los Angeles, she’d had her auras read and her chakras aligned and her pores opened. She was a water person, and she lived on the beach in Malibu where she could stare out at the ocean.

Still though, the Colorado scenery was beautiful, and she had to remember that it was and focus on that fact. It was awfully quiet though, and the silence would take some getting used to. In Malibu, with its lone highway that was constantly clogged with cars, there was always a hum of traffic. It was a regular drone that never ended.

She wondered if the serenity and isolation might gradually drive her crazy, but then, she was staying in Colorado for four short days. She could endure any torment for four days. Couldn’t she?

On Sunday morning, after Eric and Jennifer departed on their honeymoon, she would head back to California, and the appalling weekend would be over.

As the mother of the groom, she should have been more excited, but she couldn’t muster the necessary enthusiasm. Initially, she’d decided she wouldn’t attend, but friends had nagged until she’d changed her mind. So…here she was, but she wasn’t glad about it, and she had to alter her mood, bury her misgivings, and forge on with a positive attitude.

Available on Amazon
(affiliate link)

Please tell us about your journey to becoming a writer…

I had two kids back-to-back when I was 38 and 40 years old, so my husband and I decided I would stay home with them. It meant we lost my income, so I needed to do something at home where I could begin earning money. I’ve always been a very clueless person, and I had always wanted to write a novel. I thought I would have plenty of “free” time while I was loafing at home with two little babies and that it would be the perfect time to begin writing.

I jumped into the world of publishing, working at it in between nap time and play time and in the evenings after my kids were in bed. I didn’t know anything about how to write a commercial novel. I didn’t know anything about the publishing industry or how it worked. I didn’t know how to find an agent or a publisher. I didn’t know anything about genres or subgenres, royalties, or print runs. But I’ve always been a driven and stubborn person, and I just assumed I would eventually figure it out.

I spent four years lurching around and struggling to learn how to put a manuscript together. I’m a lawyer, so I wanted to be a suspense writer, and my early attempts were all suspense manuscripts. But that market is extremely competitive, and I didn’t know what I was doing, so my writing was pretty awful. (I didn’t know it was awful!) When I hadn’t sold anything after four solid years of constantly working at it, I decided I had to try something different, and I switched to romance. It’s a massive market, and the contemporary end of it is really hot, but I’m a historical fiction fan, so I was drawn to the historical end of it, which has a much smaller audience.

I wrote a historical romance, and I marketed it myself, without an agent. (Entry-level romance writers don’t get paid much money, so agents aren’t interested in authors when they’re new. Lots or romance writers begin without an agent.) I didn’t know much about the romance market, but I read a bunch of historicals, then I sat down and wrote one of my own.

All of a sudden, a dam seemed to burst. It turns out I have a great knack for writing love stories. Who knew? I sold 5 books on my own—in a little more than a year—to a major New York publisher that specialized in romance. I thought I was set, that I had finally “made it.” But before the first book was out of production and ready for sale, the publisher decided to shut down the line I was writing for, and I was dropped. I talked to my editor and said, “But my first book isn’t even out yet. Can’t you wait to see how it does?” And she said, “We don’t need to wait. We know how it’s going to do.”

By then, I actually had an agent. (When you sell your own books to get yourself started, agents are always interested in you then.) He said my historical career was over, that my publisher had dumped several hundred historical romance writers out on the market, and I wouldn’t be able to find a new spot with another company. This was in 2000, and he advised me that there was a new trend starting. It was being called ‘erotic historical romance’. Apparently, the books were hard to write, but all the publishers were looking for them. If I could write a hot, sexy love story, we’d have a hot property to offer.

Without much thought, I agreed to try, and I penned what would become my signature novel that was titled, LOVE LESSONS. After a year of trying, and dozens of companies considering and rejecting it, we sold it to a big NY publisher. It was a life changing event for me, and I wrote thirteen erotics for them. I actually became known as, “The Queen of Erotic Romance.” My agent had been correct that it would be a hot market trend. It’s still going strong today in 2021. I didn’t like writing them though. As the years rolled along, as writers pushed the envelope, the subgenre grew very pornographic and the books were no longer simply sexy, fun love stories.

My publisher wouldn’t let me write anything else though, or tone down the temperature, so I left them and went to another NY publisher. They promised to let me go back to writing historical love stories. It’s what I love to do and where I’m strongest. I delivered the first book, of what was supposed to be a 3-book deal, but my editor hated Book #1 and I could never rewrite it sufficiently to get her to accept it and send it into production. After a year of trying, I withdrew it, and the contract was terminated.

This was autumn 2008. The next morning, I got up, and the world economy was collapsing. And I didn’t have a publisher. I had another agent by then, and she was able to wedge me in with my fourth NY publisher. We signed a three-book contract in January of 2009, and they paid me a price that was appropriate for 2007 books. Yet as we moved through 2009, and I was writing the novels, the publishing industry collapsed and all of the bookstores closed. When the books came out in 2010, all of the mall stores like Waldenbooks, where my paperbacks were sold, had closed. My publisher took a huge loss on the books, wrote them off as a loss, and I was let go yet again.

I took the economic collapse personally. I felt as if the universe had crashed the whole world just to force me to admit I would never succeed at writing. I quit for two years. I took down my web page and shut off my email. In 2010, I worked for the Census. Then, in 2011, I was mentoring a guy who was aghast to hear that I had quit writing. Amazon had started self-publishing, and many other on-line booksellers were doing the same. He offered to design a cover for me if I would start over, and after months of nagging, he dragged me, kicking and screaming, into publishing my own novels.

In 2012, I released my “Lord Trent” trilogy. The books are LOVE’S PROMISE, LOVE’S PRICE, and LOVE’S PERIL. They are my bestselling books so far, and they pushed me into the Amazon “Top 100” bestseller list. So…

I kept self-publishing. I do it all myself now, and I have been doing it for nine years. I wrote 24 novels for the NY publishers, and now, I’ve published 36 on my own. My new contemporary novel, A Summer Wedding at Cross Creek Inn, is available now, and I’ll have another 3-book historical romance trilogy out in August, 2021.

Every day of it has been hard. When I was dealing with those big NY companies, I suffered some of the most traumatic days a human being could suffer. But I persevered, and I kept writing. I always knew, deep down, that I was a really good writer. Sometimes, I lost sight of that fact, but I never quit. And now, every time I release a new book, I am reminded that I am the walking-talking example of an American success story. If you haven’t ever tried one of my books, I hope you will!

CHERYL HOLT is a New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon “Top 100” bestselling author who has published over fifty novels.

She’s also a lawyer and mom, and at age forty, with two babies at home, she started a new career as a commercial fiction writer. She’d hoped to be a suspense novelist, but couldn’t sell any of her manuscripts, so she ended up taking a detour into romance where she was stunned to discover that she has a knack for writing some of the world’s greatest love stories.

Her books have been released to wide acclaim, and she has won or been nominated for many national awards. She is considered to be one of the masters of the romance genre. For many years, she was hailed as “The Queen of Erotic Romance”, and she’s also revered as “The International Queen of Villains.” She is particularly proud to have been named “Best Storyteller of the Year” by the trade magazine Romantic Times BOOK Reviews.

She lives and writes in Hollywood, California, and she loves to hear from fans. Visit her website at


Cheryl Holt will be awarding an autographed print copy of the book (US ONLY) to 10 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Thursday, February 18, 2021

Review of "The War of the Squirrels" by Kirsten Weiss


Welcome to the book blast for War of the Squirrels by Kirsten Weiss! I had the opportunity to review this quirky cozy mystery and invite you to check out both my review and an excerpt! Follow the tour to see what other people had to say as well. I also have another excerpt posted over at Candrel's Crafts, Cooks, and Characters. Best of luck entering the giveaway!

Helicopter parents, suspicious squirrels… and murder.

All Susan wants is to get through this visit from her controlling parents without tumbling down a black hole of despair. But galactic forces are colliding at her whimsical B&B, Wits’ End, and her parents have plans of their own.

When two men die on the same day, both mysterious deaths are tied to her mom and dad. Meanwhile, a squirrel scofflaw is riling up the tiny mountain town of Doyle, and Susan realizes she’s the only person who can stop the madness. And if this B&B owner can’t put these crimes to rest fast, her carefully organized life may come crashing to earth.

This fast-paced and funny cozy mystery is book four in the Wits’ End series. Packed with quirky characters, small town charm, and murder, it’s perfect for fans of Jana Deleon, Tricia O’Malley, and Charlaine Harris.

Buy War of the Squirrels and start this hilarious caper today.

Read an excerpt:
As if my fingers were far, far away, I felt my hands loosen. I dimly heard my cleaning bucket of brushes and other supplies thud to the carpet in room seven.

Bailey howled and raced from the room, his ears flapping. And who could blame him? The room itself seemed to revolt at the scene. Even the faked pie-tin UFO photo hung at an awkward angle above the rumpled bed.

Early evening shadows knifed across my mother’s sensible shoes. She sat in a vintage wing chair in one corner of the room. “Shut the door,” she commanded and removed the clip from a Russian pistol.

Automatically, I obeyed.

Mouth slack, I backed against the door. “You... That’s...” My breath came in quick gasps. Dots swam in front of my eyes. This wasn’t my first body in the B&B. But…

The leg slipped in my father’s grip, the shoe inching closer to his shoulder.

Briefly, I wondered if this was what lost time felt like, this sense of being out of phase, outside ordinary reality. Unthinking, I groped for my day planner. But of course it wasn’t there. I didn’t carry it around when I cleaned.

Should I?

Available on Amazon
(affiliate link)

**My thoughts**
"If there's anything worse than walking in on your parents in the throes of disposing of a body, I don't want to know what it is.

But I'm getting ahead of myself."

They say that the opening lines of your book can make or break it. With these words, I knew I was in for a zany ride and then couldn't put the book down for the rest of the night.

Quirky characters can also make or break your book. I've read other cozies that had some quirky characters that just fell short of the mark for me. But I was completely dedicated to this crazy cast. Susan's parents have just arrived at her B&B, which has a UFO theme to it, making it its own quirky character. They are spies and are adept at eliminating people who are a threat. Susan walks in on the one and then her parents are also suspects in another murder that happened in her little town of Doyle. 

Her mother is one of those controlling mothers who is constantly fussing over everything her daughter says, does, wears, etc., and her dad just kind of stays back and lets it all happen. They're completely eccentric, too, of course, being spies who have murdered someone and are still waiting for the "cleanup crew" to come take it away. I actually like them in spite of disliking them, if that makes any sense.

So as we get to know them, we better understand why Susan is rather neurotic about her planner, obsessively writing in it and planning every aspect of her day down to the minute. She has to be able to control something in her life, right? But as she notes, that detail-oriented mind actually benefits her in her unofficial career of being a sleuth.

Sticking by her side is her beloved significant other, Arsen. He also has a knack for questioning and is always supportive of Susan, embracing her and her planner. Wouldn't we all love to have someone like that?

Rounding out the crew are all of the suspects, including the children of the deceased and their spouses, and of course, the butler, plus some UFO-obsessed tourists, Susan's cousin Dixie who is apathetic towards everything, and the ever-suspicious sheriff. 

The situations they find themselves in are completely out-of-this-world and I want to see this played out on a screen somewhere. It's just that much fun.

This book is the fourth in the Wits' End cozy mystery series, but definitely works as a standalone. There are enough references, though, to previous installments that I am finding myself wanting to go back and read the full stories. Well done!

Thank you to Goddess Fish and the author for providing me with a requested review copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

About the Author:

Kirsten Weiss has never met a dessert she didn’t like, and her guilty pleasures are watching Ghost Whisperer re-runs and drinking red wine. The latter gives her heartburn, but she drinks it anyway.

Now based in Colorado Springs, CO, she writes genre-blending cozy mystery, supernatural and steampunk suspense, mixing her experiences and imagination to create vivid worlds of fun and enchantment.

If you like funny cozy mysteries, check out her Pie Town -, Tea and Tarot - , Paranormal Museum - and Wits’ End - books.

If you’re looking for some magic with your mystery, give the Witches of Doyle -, Riga Hayworth - and Rocky Bridges - books a try.

And if you like steampunk, the Sensibility Grey - series might be for you.

Kirsten sends out original short stories of mystery and magic to her mailing list. If you’d like to get them delivered straight to your inbox, make sure to sign up for her newsletter at

Feel free to follow her on Pinterest at KirstenWeiss, or on Bookbub -, get in touch on Facebook -, post a picture of this book to Instagram - and tag her @kirstenweissauthor, or send her an email. She’ll answer you personally…which may be a good or a bad thing, depending on your perspective.

Instagram: @KirstenWeissAuthor

Book Series: Sensibility Grey Steampunk Suspense -, Tea and Tarot cozy mysteries -, the Pie Town cozy mysteries -, the Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum cozy mysteries -, the Doyle Witch - and Doyle Cozy - mystery novels, the Riga Hayworth - paranormal mysteries.

Kirsten Weiss will be awarding a signed, paperback copy of War of the Squirrels, an "Ever Vigilant" squirrel notepad, a squirrel wish bracelet, and a squirrel baseball cap (black) (US ONLY) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blast Courageous Birth by Dr. Laura Sims


Mothers-to-be have a lot of options available to them for pregnancy and birth. It's important to know about all of your options to help you make the best decision for you, your baby, and your family. Dr. Laura Sims shares her experiences and useful information here. Read an excerpt from Courageous Birth and then follow the tour for more. Be sure to also check out the giveaway!

In building her family, Dr. Laura Sims has experienced joy and loss. This is a mother who has been through the worst and best of pregnancy, birth and family life and she won’t shy away from telling the truth of it.

Dr. Sims shows that, as the mother, you have the first say in how your pregnancy and the birth goes. You get to decide how you want to bring your baby into the world. Home births are rising and there is more and more understanding of how putting the mother’s comfort first results in better birthing experiences. Within days of knowing she was pregnant for the first time, Dr. Sims knew she wanted a home water birth. She took the reins right from the start, but was disappointed in the lack of literature available to her about the kind of pregnancy and birth she wanted. Courageous Birth is her offering to women like her, women who want to know the truth of the experience and who want someone to show them what is possible for them in pregnancy, birth, and post-natal life. Dr. Laura Sims opens up her family’s joys, losses and hopes for mothers looking to understand. With an intimate and honest window into her life, Dr. Sims empowers expecting mothers and post-birth mothers to find what’s best for them and their babies.

Read an excerpt:
Being a professional and having a new baby is possible. I dedicated an entire chapter to this because I feel it’s an important part of my life and I know that many times, a person’s career can get in the way of having children or vice versa. I’m a driven person by nature, however, I know many men and women who have a baby and become even more motivated to succeed and provide. With conceiving Grace and starting our business simultaneously, we were taking the leap in all regards. We dove all in. Ready to do whatever it took to make it work in as smooth and effortless a way as possible. Given that I felt so amazing immediately after birth, I got right back into being a chiropractor, working side by side with my husband while Grace was in the baby sling. She was constantly attached to me or her daddy. There were little if any times she was not in contact with us—unless our patients were holding her. She was in the office whenever we were. There were many benefits to having her there, as well as some challenges.

I encourage you to discover what works best for your situation. This is my experience and what worked for our family. It may look completely different for you. The main thing here, is that it is possible and you can do it!

Buy on Amazon

(affiliate link)

Dr. Laura Sims has been helping people reach optimal health since 2006. Along with her husband, they founded 2 of the largest chiropractic practices on the western slope of Colorado.

She believes the body is capable of healing itself when free from nerve interference. In 2019, she completed a 2-year Master's class in Soul-Centered Living from the University of Santa Monica.

It is her heartfelt mission for everyone to step more fully into their courageousness and trust their inner knowing!




Dr. Laura Sims will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Decide to Live by Shirley Anne Edwards


Welcome to the Book Blitz for  
Decide to Live
By: Shirley Anne Edwards

Genre: YA, Horror, Paranormal
Release Date: Feb. 14, 2021 


When it hurts too much to live, how does one find the strength to stay alive and find hope again?

Reiko Nakano has a charmed life. Not only does the twenty-three-old come from a life of luxury because of her celebrity parents and supermodel sister, she’s best friends with the biggest brother and sister pop duo in the world- Gio and Gem Grove. But what the public assumes is wrong different because of what Reiko suffers in private. She feels she’s an outcast in her own family because of her ptosis and her social anxiety. She then makes the biggest mistake of her life and tries to turn her lifelong crush on Gio into something more. His cruel rejection after she lets him take her virginity leaves her heartbroken.

Reiko hides in the least likely of places- the small town of Albee, Pennsylvania. There she enjoys her anonymity and enrolls in summer classes at Maison University. She hopes she can fit in as a student, but life continues to play tricks on her when she’s hit in the face by a football from one of the most popular boys on campus, Will Forest. But this accidental but memorial meeting will help heal her fragile emotions because Will shows her how special she is to those she meets, including him.

She isn’t sure what to make of Will. He’s too nice and sweet, and treats her like gold. She accepts his attempts at romance even though it’s only temporary. But as the summer flies by, she doesn’t want to give Will up, who doesn’t know the truth about her “vacation”. And when Gio arrives in town, and threatens to out Reiko, she has some hard choices to make. Does she come clean to Will so she can decide to finally live on her own terms and embrace the amazing woman Will thinks her to be?


Buy Links:

(affiliate link included)

About the Author: 

Shirley Anne Edwards is a Northeast girl who first found her love for books when she read Nancy Drew’s The Secret of the Old Clock Tower at thirteen. Shirley found her love for writing at a very young age, and since then has let her imagination run wild by creating quirky characters and vast worlds in her head.

Shirley lives in New Jersey and works in the entertainment industry in New York City.

In the immortal words of Mark Twain: “Life is short, Break the Rules. Forgive quickly, Kiss SLOWLY. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably and never regret ANYTHING That makes you smile.”

Author Links:







This tour created by YA Bound Book Tours 

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Luba Lesychyn, author of Theft Between the Rains, on A Writer's Journey of a Different Kind


International art theft mysteries are always absolutely fascinating. And so are author's stories about how they got to where they are today! Luba Lesychyn tells us about her writer's journey and shares an excerpt from Theft Between the Rains. Be sure to follow the tour for even more! And best of luck entering the giveaway.

What would you do if you worked at a reputable international museum and art works listed as still missing since WWII began showing up on your doorstep?

That’s the substance of the newest urban art theft thriller Theft Between the Rains by Luba Lesychyn.

Drawing on her more than 20 years at Canada’s largest museum, Luba reintroduces many of the affable and quirky characters from the prequel, Theft By Chocolate. Also resurrected is the malicious art thief who has been on the world’s most wanted criminal list for decades.

Theft Between the Rains takes readers behind the scenes at museums and to parts unknown of Toronto. And with water being a character unto its own, Luba uses both humor and thriller elements to weave a page-turning story while simultaneously illustrating how changing weather patterns and flash flooding are impacting metropolitan centers globally.

Read an excerpt:
Lying slumped back in a chair, my body felt as though a truck had dumped a load of concrete over me. I mustered enough energy to crank my head upwards, but my brain was foggy, punch-drunk, as if I’d overdosed on gluten. In a mirror on the opposite wall, I caught a glimpse of my reflection. What was that dark mark on my throat, small and round? My head drooped downwards, and I noticed the door swelling open, incrementally, a sliver of light growing by millimeters. And then…a leg came into view. And, another. Where was I? Who was this coming in? Was I asleep, having one of those 3:00 am witching hour anxiety dreams? Should I get up? I couldn’t get up. Neurons were misfiring. I knew that person at the door. He was saying something to me…but the words seemed out of sync with what I was hearing.

Why did this guy sound like Johnny Cash…singing “Hurt”? Oh my god, it was Marco Zeffirelli, and now he seemed to be screaming at me, but it sounded as though he was underwater.

“Huh, what’s going on?” I said. Was I on some kind of drug trip? I didn’t do drugs. Did someone drug me?

Marco’s hands came towards the sides of my face, tugged at something, and the music stopped. Oh, right. It was all coming back to me. I had been listening to my iPod while working at my desk.

(affiliate link)

A Writer’s Journey of a Different Kind

I spent the greater part of my career working in an administrative capacity at Canada’s largest museum, the Royal Ontario Museum, and one of my most exciting jobs was in its Programs Department where I had the privilege of meeting writers like Kathy Reichs, Jean Auel, and Umberto Eco. I was always fascinated by their personal stories, but after dealing with literary stars such as these, I wondered if there was any hope for someone like me to ever write a book. As it turns out, there was, and I have two humorous art theft thrillers under my belt, Theft By Chocolate and Theft Between the Rains.

I did not begin writing at an early age, nor did I journal. Instead, my first foray into writing was in university where I did a graduate degree and wrote a thesis. Academic writing is definitely a different animal compared to fiction, but it did involve doing copious research and I realized later that I had already proven to myself I was capable of writing something as long as a novel. And the project taught me valuable skills like consistency, carrying threads of thought through to the end, and story arcs.

After university I was fortunate to get a job at an international museum, but I was always taking courses and at one point enrolled in a Magazine Journalism program. But upon completing it, I realized that wasn’t the world for me, but I did learn substantially more about writing.

And then enters my passion for film. I’ve been a guerilla Toronto International Film Fester for decades (seeing 50 films during the ten-day fest). But when the friend who introduced me to the fest moved overseas, I kept her in the loop by sending daily emails about the films and my capricious experiences, such as stalking Irish actor Gabriel Byrne after spotting him on the street. Word got out about these emails and my distribution list expanded and the next thing I knew, I had an international readership. This was a time when the term blogging wasn’t in our vocabulary, but eventually I had my own website and my emails turned into official blogs.

The writing bug tugged at me harder and harder as time progressed and I decided to try screenwriting and thereby marry my passions for film and writing. I quite enjoyed it, but it’s a more impressionistic kind of craft. And it didn’t take long to recognize that the odds of having a screenplay turned into a film are minimal, especially these days when many directors are writing their own stories.

So, I eventually pivoted and decided to try my hand at writing a novel and, perhaps, develop a wider readership. I enrolled in a summer writing workshop, followed it with a course on ‘How to Write A Novel’ and left the museum to do a creative writing program where I completed the first draft of Theft By Chocolate, about a woman looking for chocolate, love and an international art thief in all the wrong places.

The publishing journey was another marathon and the road to writing my second book was a bumpy ride. Theft Between the Rains is a sequel to the first book and finds my lead character, Kalena Boyko, in a conundrum when stolen art work listed as still missing since the Second World War starts landing on her doorstep. But as someone recently pointed out to me, writing is not my hobby, it’s my profession. And seeing that I have written two books and am currently developing two books, I would say they were right!

Luba Lesychyn is a popular Toronto-based mystery writer, a graduate of the Humber School for Writers, and a respected author in the library readings and events circuit.

In her two books, she draws from her more than 20 years of work experiences at the Royal Ontario Museum (Canada’s largest museum), and her time working for a private museum consulting firm to write humorous, international art theft thrillers featuring amateur sleuth Kalena Boyko. Her newest book, Theft Between the Rains, is a sequel to Theft By Chocolate (about a woman looking for chocolate, love and an international art thief in all the wrong places) published in 2012 by Attica Books and launched in Canada and the UK.

Luba currently spends her time writing and virtually touring Theft Between the Rains in which lead character Kalena Boyko returns to find herself pulled into international art theft intrigue when masterpieces missing since WWII start appearing on her doorstep.


Luba Lesychyn will be awarding a print copy of Theft Between the Rains to a randomly drawn winner (US or Canada ONLY) via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway