A Shattering Glimpse by Nicole Putter | Book Blitz

A Shattering Glimpse
Nicole Putter
Publication date: December 10th 2020
Genres: Adult, Romance, Thriller

The dreams: For years, Claire Baxter has been haunted by ceaseless dreams of an FBI Agent.

The dilemma: She has no idea who he is or if he even exists.

The death: Right before she’s set to graduate from college, a dream reveals him dying in a brutal explosion.

One touch and not-so-normal Portland girl, Claire Baxter, can get a glimpse of your nearby future. She considers nothing about her clairvoyance a gift, it’s a curse, to say the least. Her parents raised her with the rule that she is to keep the secret at all cost, leaving little room for relationships of any kind. As if the burden isn’t enough, FBI agent Byron Black becomes the phantom of a series of sinister dreams.

The night before her final college exam, she has another dream, except in this one, he dies in a nuclear explosion. Does he exist? Will she find him? If so, can she save the countless lives affected by a blast that can crush steel like it’s a piece of paper, or… is this something her lost, psychic mind conjured up?

EXCERPT:

Claire had no sooner ended the call than the fleeting nightmare returned, as tangible as the test she would take in an hour. Her hands started to shake, causing her phone to drop to the floor. Sweat striped the back of her neck. Her phantom was in danger. As she raked her trembling fingers through her blonde curls, she experienced a sense of déjà vu from her 14-year-old self.

30 March 2014

Claire woke in a pool of cold sweat. That was a first. She had always been able to predict the future of those with whom she came into physical contact. Never before had she seen someone without touching them, let alone not knowing them at all. Her visions were subjective. If she warned the receiver of her touch, it could change, though she would never tell. Only her parents and best friend, Brent Lee, knew about her unique gift. They called it a gift, Claire often considered it a damn curse.

The man from her vivid dream was tall, not buff, but rather lean and toned. He was at the beach with his friends: Tanned with dark, ruffled hair and deep, brown eyes above a sharp jawline. A deep scar puckered his left cheekbone.

Attempting to impress some girl, he meandered deeper and deeper into the ocean. Later, he was laboring for breath as the wild rollers clutched at him and the desperate torrent sucked him further and further from the shore. It was a battle of arms, legs, and waves. He coughed and gasped, splashed and jolted, doing everything in his power to stay alive until a coastguard came to his rescue.

Once they reached the safety of the beach, she learnt his name as everyone bustled around to ensure he was okay. He was alive, smiling and called Byron.

That night Claire had met Special Agent Black of the FBI for the first time. He had been the centrepiece of her dreams for the next eight years. Okay, perhaps centrepiece was overdoing it, but he did feature often. Not every night, but at least once a month. Maybe less. Definitely less. The dreams changed. Sometimes they reflected significant instances in his life, like graduation and his sister’s wedding. Other times, she merely saw his face. No sound, just him. She knew a lot about the man of her dreams. Nope, the man from her dreams. Now she even knew how he would die. If he even existed.

I can’t let this happen. She squeezed her eyes shut and flopped back down on to her black-and-white mess of a bed. I must warn him.


Author Bio:

Nicole Putter is the author of the Shattering Series and several short stories. She completed four creative writing and journalism courses with honours between a successful career in finance. When she’s not writing fiction, she blogs about her passion for books and writing. She’s also happily married, and a proud mom of one son and a Jack Russel Terrier named Striker.

Orange Blossoms-Love Blooms by Dalia Dupris | Book Blitz

Orange Blossoms-Love Blooms
Dalia Dupris

(California Hearts, #1)
Published by: The Wild Rose Press
Publication date: October 19th 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Strong-willed Elaine Hart is determined to save Hartland Ranch, her family’s California orange groves. After the recent ending of a turbulent relationship, she vows to keep her professional and personal life separate, even though she’s attracted to the man who holds her family’s fate in the palm of his hands.

Serious-minded banker, David Cole, has two goals- collecting on the delinquent ranch account and resisting his attraction to the unpredictable and beautiful Elaine Cole.

When a series of circumstances brings them together, they must decide if they will continue to suppress their emotions or succumb to passion and take a chance on a forever love.


EXCERPT:

“If I have to wait until Monday for him to repair the car, I’ll need to find a hotel.”

“There’s one inn and one bed and breakfast in town and they’re both completely booked months in advance.” His eyes twinkle and he laughs the deep, echoing laugh that I’m starting to get use to. “I’m not making this up. You can call and check for yourself, if you don’t believe me. Strawberry Festival is a big deal and people travel from out of town to come and enjoy the festivities. You’ll have to spend the night with me.”

The last thing I need right now is to spend the night with David. With the undeniable attraction between the two of us, I know exactly what will happen. My vow to not mix work and my social life has completely gone haywire, because here I am sitting in the cosy intimacy of his car. Betsy is on the way to the mechanic’s garage and I’m stuck in a remote little town that I never knew existed until a week ago. On top of that I’m with the most magnetic man I’ve ever met, who manages to make me feel emotions that are simultaneously new, exciting and frightening.

“I’m okay with that.” He’s the kind of man that I can trust. It’s me I’m more worried about. If we are going to be in close proximity, I’m not certain that I can keep my hands to myself. “Do you have a two-bedroom apartment in Littleton?’ I try to sound nonchalant.

“No, I don’t.” He has a twinkle in his eyes. “I have a one bedroom.”

“Oh,” I sigh, resigned to the fact that this is going to be a super challenging weekend. “We’ll have to make the best of it then, won’t we?”

He throws his head back and lets out a deep, robust laugh.

“What’s so funny?” Here I am getting all sweaty, nervous and yes, even a little aroused, thinking about the possibility of sharing a bed with him and he’s laughing like its a joke.

“Okay.” He gains control of himself—finally, casting a more serious expression in my direction. “You should have seen the look on your face. As if it would be torture to have to share a bed with me.”

“That’s what’s so funny?” I glare at his remarkably even features. If only he knew that I was wondering what kind of underwear he wore, boxers, briefs or God forbid, that the man slept in the nude. “Better that you don’t try to read my mind. Although, I’m glad to see that you have a good sense of humour.”

“Of course I do.” He gives me an odd look, and his words are slightly defensive. “Who doesn’t have a sense of humour?”

“Can we stick to the subject?” I tap my fingers on my leg and l glance at him inquisitively. “So…we’ll be sharing a room, is basically what you’re saying?”


Author Bio:

I’ve always enjoyed reading and writing and grew up surrounded by a wide variety of books, from westerns to romance novels. I love stories–watching them, listening to them, reading them, and writing them. My contemporary novels include complex and diverse characters that grapple with family legacy, love, loss, and laughter as they face the challenges of life. When I’m not working on my next manuscript, you can find me bike riding along the beach with my husband or exploring the mysteries of the universe with my daughter. I enjoy music, dancing, meditation, and long walks.

O Night Divine: A Holiday Collection of Spirited Christmas Tales | Book Blitz

O Night Divine: A Holiday Collection of Spirited Christmas Tales
Publication date: December 17th 2020
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance, Romance

A MASTERPIECE OF HOLIDAY STORYTELLING…

Enjoy this stunning holiday collection from some of your favorite Dragonblade Publishing authors in this collection of never-before published seasonal tales!

Imagine, if you will, that it is Christmas Eve.

The candles are guttered, one by one, and a hush falls over the parlor. The children have gone to bed, and a tall, gloriously decorated Christmas tree looms in the shadows of the hearth’s dying embers. A tattered copy of Charles Dickens’ masterwork, “A Christmas Carol” sits, cold and lonely, upon a table nearby.

A small gust of wind, hurling from the seam of an ill-fitting window, blows the cover open. The first chapter appears… “Marley’s Ghost”…

The clock on the wall chimes midnight.

Now, the magic happens.

From the gaily bedecked halls of Regency England to the cold and crisp air of the Scottish Highlands, and everything in between, enjoy the magic of a holiday collection that has drawn inspiration from Charles Dickens’ most beloved literary works. Where the ghosts of Christmas, the incandescent spirit of a tiny disabled boy, and the joy that is the very heart of the Christmas season come alive.

USA Today and Internationally bestselling authors bring you their version of a Dickens’-inspired holiday in O NIGHT DIVINE.

This collection includes:

Twas the Executioner Knight Before Christmas by Kathryn Le Veque

A medieval version of the Ghost of Christmas Future…

No one survives an Executioner Knight and least of all, Maxton of Loxbeare. But when he married his wife and had children, three little girls right away, Maxton grew a heart. He became a devoted and dedicated father who loved his children dearly. But the Executioner Knight in him still lived. So after a very bad dream, Maxton sees that, for his daughters’ sake, he must change.


The Laird’s Yulebringer by Caroline Lee

The Mackenzies are in mourning… none so much as their laird. Since the loss of his wife, leaving Callan to raise a young son alone, he believes he’s lost his chance at happiness. As his extended family gathers to celebrate the Yule together, they can do naught to raise his spirits… until a midnight visitor—of the ghostly variety—brings him hope for the future.


Making Spirits Bright by Chasity Bowlin

After a lifetime of secrets, scandal, and disappointment… Elizabeth doesn’t believe in happy endings, at least not for herself. But an unconventional nobleman, with the help of a novice Spirit of Christmas, may just change her mind…


The Haunted Scot by Hildie McQueen

The allure of a reformed rake…

She’s as determined to pursue him as he is to keep his distance. After a heartbreaking debacle, Thomas Sullivan decides to give up his roguish ways and considers the priesthood. Unfortunately, the beautiful arrival gives him second thoughts. Mary Asher is not sure why the handsome new driver tries to avoid her at all costs. After being told he follows her every move, Mary decides to test him.


Never Keep a Secret at Christmas by Maggi Andersen

’Tis not the season to be surreptitious…

Alice Dountry’s father has gout, and she must spend Christmas with her sister, Marian, Lady Belfries. Their neighbor, the gruff, bad-tempered Earl of Hawkinge, refuses Marian’s invitation to Christmas dinner.

While chatting with him over the garden wall, Alice suspects something deeper lies beneath his humbug opinion of Christmas. Hawkinge and his grandson, Hugh Gifford, are at odds. Alice writes to Hugh but must keep it a secret from her sister.

When the handsome Lord Gifford arrives, there is an immediate spark between them. But Lord Hawkinge is hardly welcoming, and now, Marian and her husband argue over the secret letter.


Her Star from the East by Mary Lancaster

Miss Emma Sayle has enjoyed two London seasons and rejected many suitors. Her heart was given long ago to an exciting prince of the east, a man of another country and another faith. As Christmas approaches, she daydreams of what her life with him might have been – until his ghost walks out of the freezing fog. But is it the ghost of his past or her future?


The Remembrance of Love by Meara Platt

Hyacinth Farthingale has known and loved Lord Innes Buchan since the day she was born. She is now in her debut season, and as Christmas approaches, it is high time this aloof and lonely lord realized his happiness depends on marrying her.


How to get an Earl of Christmas by Violetta Rand


Yuletide at Gillingham by Alexa Aston

A lonely holiday…

One boy abandoned by a greedy gambling father. Another boy watches his father slowly dying. A lasting friendship that will see them through the hard times—and beyond…

Top of Form

Bottom of Form

Can two lonely boys draw strength from one another during a Yuletide season that only promises heartbreak?


A Thrill of Hope by Anna Markland

Foiling an attempt to assassinate Queen Victoria earns Parker a medal and royal gratitude. The lunatic’s bayonet plunged into his thigh leaves him with a pronounced limp and reassignment to a small constabulary. Particularly trying is having to spend Christmas Day with his

miserly uncle.

During her family’s Yuletide celebrations, Samantha discovers she doesn’t love her straitlaced fiancé. A bleak future looms large.

Neither realize that anarchists are plotting to blow up a newly-constructed railway bridge—although Parker might if he’d heed the mysterious warning voices he hears.

A tale of the eternal struggle between good and evil.


A Gift for Agatha by Anna St. Claire

A visit and a warning…

Years after her husband’s death, Lady Agatha Wendt has become a surly, cold-hearted miser, increasingly left to her own company. Childless and with little family, the wealthy widow fears

falling into poverty and spurns even the smallest gestures of Christmas giving. A determined spirit visits the wealthy widow and warns her change must happen.

Charles Bentley, her butler, sees goodness in her, and finds himself attracted to the real Agatha—despite knowing they could never be.

Can the spirit awaken Agatha to her real fears and help her to overcome them in time to realize the gift she has always wanted?


The Heart is Never Silent by Aubrey Wynne

Miss Etta Rose Comden is desperate to protect her younger sister, Horatia, after the death of their father. When the heir—and Tia’s new guardian—finds out his ward is deaf, he makes plans to send her away and marry Etta. With no one to turn to, the sisters flee in the middle of the night.

Dr. Gus Wharren, disillusioned with his practice in London, retreats to his late grandmother’s estate. Instead of a much-needed respite, he finds two lovely females stranded along the road.

Two sisters on the run. A London physician who has given up on humanity. The spirit of a loving grandmother. The stage is set for a holiday full of coincidence, a little Christmas magic, and a happy ever after.


Of Christmas Past by Charlotte Wren

Pride and promise before forgiveness

At the volatile age of seventeen, Percival Josiah Northcott storms out of Highfield Hall on Christmas Eve, vowing never to return. It is a vow supported solely by pride, which, as the old adage goes, generally comes before a fall.

Five years later, Percival has fallen about as low as a man can get. He secretly longs to return home, but pride and fear stand in his way. That is, until he’s visited by someone from his past, someone who gives him the courage to seek his family’s forgiveness.

But first, he must promise to complete a very special task.


Tidings of Comfort by Elizabeth Ellen Carter

A boy with a remarkable talent…

In the lead up to Christmas, Captain Kit Hardacre is in London looking for his long-lost parents. After a disappointing initial search, he finds himself in the city alone. Bringing him out of his self-pity is a call to help in a search for a missing little boy. But which one of them is more lost?

When Kit finds Pip, he discovers a youngster with a remarkable talent for going directly into the heart of those he meets. After seeing Pip safely returned, Kit’s faith in family is restored and a kind word gives him the courage to continue his search.


A Christmas Miracle by Elizabeth Johns

Alex Hartmere, Duke of Frompton, has endured enough heartache to make any man bitter.

Having lost his wife and child in the war in Canada, he returns to England, only to inherit a dukedom from a father who dies in a scandalous duel soon afterwards.

Repairing to his family estate for Christmas, Alex finds his first love now widowed and penniless. Can a Christmas miracle, in the form of a crippled little girl, bring them the happiness which was once stripped away from them?


Her Christmas White Knight by Elizabeth Keysian

England, Yuletide 1587

The dice have really been loaded against Mistress Julia Wentworth. Little wonder she no longer trusts a soul—except for the urchin she rescued from the poorhouse. Having fallen in love with—and been abandoned by—a murderous traitor, Julia’s been turned out by her family and left to scrape what living she can on the brutal London streets. When a goose strays into her yard, it looks as if she’ll at least have something to feast on at Christmas.

Exploding into her life in pursuit of his goose is Myall Farrar, a scarred nobleman who loathes his miserly father and can’t afford to lose the fowl for which he’s scrimped and saved all year.

Can there be any common ground between the mismatched Myall and Julia? Is there any hope of goodwill within their families? And—perhaps more importantly—will the goose prove itself worth saving from the butcher’s knife?


Always the Mistletoe by Emily E K Murdoch

When a woman loves a man, it’ll take more than a little Scrooge like behavior to stop her standing by him. Her family, on the other hand…


A Libertine’s Christmas Miracle by Emily Royal

Christmas is a time for miracles

Alice and Ross Trelawney are enjoying a quiet Christmas in Cornwall, until their daughter Amelia strays onto the nearby estate of Mr. Scrimgeour, the infamous Beast of Boscarne. When Amelia comes home in tears after a terrifying encounter, Alice resolves to teach the Beast a lesson.

Haunted by his late wife’s ghost and taunted by the locals, Edward Scrimgeour hides away in his crumbling mansion. His peace is shattered when his neighbor’s hellion of a wife storms into his home on Christmas Eve. But she’s no ordinary trespasser. When events threaten to take a tragic turn, Edward is given a chance at salvation, showing that miracles can occur in the unlikeliest of places.


Past, Present, Future by Lynne Connolly

Rhona sent the love of her life away once, but now Frederick is back. He doesn’t care that she’s a housekeeper, and he’s a wounded soldier and the brother of a duke. For the three nights of Christmas, he’ll give her three gifts; wooden figures he carved for her in the long nights before his last battle. They represent their past, their present, and what they could have in the future. If she doesn’t accept his love this time, he’ll leave for good.


A Yuletide Yearning by Maeve Greyson

Regret is a sly enemy…

Captain Tait Mackenzie doesn’t regret a life of pirating, but it’s Christmas and he’s lonely. Thoughts of dying alone trouble him. What woman would settle for a life with a pirate lord?

If wishes and dreams were oceans and streams, she’d sail her way to happiness…

Ellie has always loved Tait, but he politely ignores her. She intends to change that with a little help from the North Star.

Can three pirate ghosts on Christmas Eve scare some sense into a Scottish rogue and make him see that the love he needs has been right in front of him all along?


A Strange Christmas Game by Whitney Blake

Mr. Charles Mason doesn’t expect a December summons to end in his own love story…

First Lines Monday

First Lines Monday is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words.  I found this post on Becky’s Book Blog and I loved it so much I decided to try it out. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author, or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  1. Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  2. Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  3. Finally… reveal the book!

Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I rarely left the house, spent quite a lot of time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a bit of my abundant free time to thinking about death.

Despite the tumour-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heart-breaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

Better Late Than Never by Ada Austen | Book Blitz

Better Late Than Never
Ada Austen
Publication date: October 20th 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Better Late Than Never – A Second Chance Seasoned (over 30) Romance set on the Beaches and Boardwalks of the New Jersey Shore.

Checklist for Best Romance Novel Ever

✓ BFF does not get left behind!

✓ A dress with working pockets!

✓ Toast to Girls Night Out!

✓ Toast to Damn the Patriarchy!

Checklist for Best Couple Ever

✓ He’s kind, compassionate and patient.

✓ He’s sexy, ripped and funny.

✓ She’s loud, bold and strong.

✓ She’s devoted to her BFF and her Art.

✓ They’re working together to raise their teenager.

Checklist for Best Hero Ever

✓ He makes a gift for her BFF!

✓ He’s sweet at that Time of the Month!

✓ He buys her a Romance Novel!

✓ He’s a Devoted Dad!

✓ He takes as long as she needs!

♥ ♥ ♥ LOVE FAMILY HOME ♥ ♥ ♥

Carrie’s a passionate artist and a Jersey Girl with seawater in her veins. She makes her art from the treasures she collects each day, walking the beaches of the New Jersey Shore.

Manny’s an architect and college professor. An Apache Native from New Mexico, he’s more at home in the mountains, but he moves to the Jersey Shore to be a better Dad to their teenage daughter.

Carrie’s Jersey. She doesn’t do calm. Manny’s quiet and takes his time to react. They were college sweethearts. Now, they’re strangers, each remembering the past differently.

Manny discovers his new boss wants to tear down Carrie’s house. Carrie will blow the roof off herself if she finds out. Manny must keep it from her, but there’s another secret that she’s been keeping from him. What will it take for them to learn to trust each other?

Together they will redefine the meaning of love, family and home.

A feel-good standalone story of multicultural romance with adult sex, realistic cursing, a bitch of a heroine, Jersey sarcasm and your next book boyfriend!

Content Warning: There is mention of a sexual assault.


EXCERPT:

She needed coffee. She needed coffee bad. The sun was pouring into the windows, way too bright and cheerful. Carrie heard no sound of Manny, so she put on a robe and crept into the kitchen, as quiet as possible. She could see the couch from her little kitchen. She tried hard not to stare, but the sight of his bare chest above the sheet, his long black hair hanging down across it, made her gasp. It was just a tiny gasp. She hoped he hadn’t heard it. That chest! She turned around and measured the coffee grounds, her hands shaking slightly. There were tattoos on that chest she had never seen. She turned around and took another peek. He was stirring. She looked away again, back to the coffee. Oh, that chest! It needed careful study. There was just so much more of him now. He was so filled out, so much a man. That chest needed to be above her while she studied it. She wanted to feel him against her. She would press her face above his heart.

His hands on her shoulders made her jump and cry out.

He laughed. “Sorry,” he said, letting go as she spun around. “I was just going to say good morning.”

He stopped smiling when he saw her face. She knew she was staring. She knew she was probably, as Emily would put it, pathetic looking, staring at that broad chest, so close to her, she could smell his scent. Pathetic in her flimsy, old ragged torn lace robe, full of holes. Pathetic, because she knew he could see her nipples beneath the lace. Pathetic because she could not stop her hand from reaching out to trace the lines of his bare tats. His skin was hot. So hot, so warm from sleep.


Author Bio:

Please visit my website http://www.AdaAusten.com for the latest updates and to join my mailing list.
My novels are all full stand-alone with beginning, middle and end, (no cliff-hangers). I believe in Happy Ever After endings.
Ada Austen was born a Jersey Girl. She has lived in Monmouth County, NJ beach towns from Atlantic Highlands to Belmar. She currently lives in a small coastal city on the New Jersey shore called Asbury Park, and never plans to leave. ​She walks daily at the ocean, collecting shells, beachglass and stories.
Ada’s first novel, Helping Each Other, was published in October 2016. It is no longer in print, but she plans to release a revised edition someday. Her second novel, Better Late Than Never, is targeted for October 2020 release. She’s now working on her third novel, Boardwalk Ice which is set in Asbury Park. She’s targeting a 2021 release.

Day of the Horn by Chris J Edwards | Book Blitz

Day of the Horn
Chris J Edwards
Publication date: October 15th 2020
Genres: Fantasy

A kidnapped princess.

A reluctant mercenary.

A shamed prince.

Far in the west, isolated from the weary world beyond, lies the sylfolk kingdom of Céin Urthia – a woodland realm of ancient forests and sunlit meadows. But this kingdom cannot remain secluded forever; for Princess Dawn, heiress to the throne, has been

mysteriously abducted. Not even her kidnapper, a mercenary battle-mage, knows who ordered it – or

why. A fevered pursuit begins as the High King commands every servant of the crown to rescue

her, even the disgraced and imprisoned Herace the Shamed. But even as he and his companions follow in wild pursuit, Princess Dawn herself must decide – does she even want to be saved?

Meanwhile, powers beyond the sight of the court plot under cover of darkness – for not all wish

to see the princess safely home…

As civil war darkens the horizon, will Princess Dawn save her beloved home, or will unseen enemies win the day?

EXCERPT:

Gentle sunlight glowed upon the faun’s face. Willow branches cast their slender shadows onto the grassy banks of the spring, shading us from the gilded morning light.

She looked peaceful there as I knelt over her; she was asleep, head nestled in the dewy grass. I had heard so much about this Princess Dawn – and now I was finally seeing her.

I had heard she lived in a secluded kingdom, somewhere bright and beautiful. A realm of vibrant flowers and alluring aromas, quiet green places latticed by cool, meandering streams. A perfect place, as perfect in its natural beauty as it was in its isolation.

And I heard that, on a perfectly calm morning in this perfectly nestled kingdom, the child that would be called Dawn was born in the idyllic splendour of the realm’s very heart. That she was raised in seclusion, away from the evil and want and sadness of the world beyond that verdant countryside.

I heard that her parents, the rightful king and queen, ensured she live a honeyed life. That Dawn would never have to experience the meanness, the savagery, the brutality of the world beyond. That hers was a youth of sweet smells and pleasant breezes and laughter under the greenest bowers of the kingdom of Céin Urthia.

One could certainly envy Dawn, her happy youth, her blessed inheritance, the Sacred ground of which she was one day to be sovereign.

I, however, did not envy her.

I did not envy Princess Dawn. Not as I knelt over her, not as she lay enchanted beside her private spring, beneath the sightless gaze of the royal keep.

I looked up to the surrounding garden and waved my riders over; as silent as prowling cats the uyrguks slunk out from the brush. I gestured to the sleeping princess. Wordlessly they bound her, picked her up.

I cast a gaze up to the keep. No curtains in the windows stirred; no guards looked down from the battlements. There was nothing to fear; Naraya was safe. Naraya was the capital. And the princess could look after herself.

I smiled. My, had they been wrong.

The uyrguks carried the princess through the garden and slung her over the back of my horse. Then, after a moment lingering in the garden as all was still and the sun was rising, I followed after them.

Steam plumed from the horses’ nostrils in the cool spring air. I was cold too; my clothes were damp from the morning dew. It had been a long, long night of lying in wait.

I mounted up and my riders did the same. I surveyed the garden, the private spring, the imposing shoulders of the royal keep. Still no one stirred; clearly my careful preparation was paying off. No guards, no handmaidens, no attendants… the perfect kidnapping.

I looked back at Princess Dawn, slung like a slain deer behind me, antlers and all. The perfect kidnapping.

I smiled to myself, relieved that my task was coming to fruition, my debts that much closer to absolution.

Then I looked up to the sun crawling steadily over the teeth of faraway mountains.

The princess was mine. It was almost all over. The cool sense of relief that washed through me matched the crisp spring breeze.

I spurred my horse and rode away.


Author Bio:

Chris J Edwards is a Canadian author of fantasy novels. Formally educated in history, informally educated in poetry, Chris now spends time writing fiction.

The Magic Ingredient by Lindy Miller | Blog Tour & Author Interview

Book Name: The Magic Ingredient (A Bar Harbor Holiday Novel)
Author: Lindy Miller
Genres:
 Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Published by: Rosewind Books
Publication date: October 13th, 2020

Synopsis:

The end of summer is approaching, but even at the height of Bar Harbor’s tourist season, Eve Silver is having a hard time keeping enough money in the bank to sustain the family business. Her only hope of paying past due bills is to win the catering bid for the town’s upcoming Harvest Happening Festival. Otherwise, it’ll be lights out for Mount Desserts & Tea by Christmas.

Widower Jeff Parish is moving with his twelve-year-old daughter, Candy, from Manhattan to Maine with one goal: starting over. When sparks fly between Jeff and Eve as the town readies for the annual harvest festival, Candy wishes she had a love potion to help her dad fall in love again.

Will Eve be able to save Mount Desserts & Tea—and open her heart to Jeff—by the most bewitching night of the year? It’ll take a lot of love, a little bit of luck … and just a pinch of magic.


My Interview:

  • What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

I had been playing with the idea of writing a story set in my former hometown of Bar Harbor for some time, but had never settled on the right hook. After years of going back every summer to visit old friends and familiar places, I realized how much like home Bar Harbor still felt, even though I didn’t live there anymore. There is such an incredible sense of community there—a feeling of belonging that never goes away and, when you leave, is always quick to welcome you back. I wanted to write a story where everyone—readers and characters—found their own special home in Bar Harbor, and that developed into the growing universe in the Bar Harbor Holiday Series with Rosewind Books, starting with The Magic Ingredient.

  • Are any characters based on real people you know?

Some, like Eve’s best friends Annie and Allie, are very much based on my two best friends from Bar Harbor, Annie and Amilie, who—like Janae with Candy—took me in when I first moved to Bar Harbor. Others, like Bapo and Doris, remind me of my grandparents and family friends: people who you love dearly even if they sometimes drive you a little batty.

  • What made you start writing? 

I’ve always felt the call to write—be it poetry, stories, or sometimes just research or the random thoughts drifting around in my mind. Writing full-time was a bit of a progression, and I’m very much still a “WIP”, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

  • What is your writing routine like? Any tips that you would like to share?

I try to write every day, even if it’s just a few hundred words, but other than that I’m kind of all over the place. The one top I would share is to write when you’re inspired, and find what inspiration looks like for you. When writing The Magic Ingredient—and now its upcoming sequel in the Bar Harbor Holiday Series—I basically sat down in front of The Great British Baking Show and wrote. Writing alongside those wonderful bakers, Paul, Prue, Sandy, and Noel was like writing inside a warm hug, and it really helped me get into the mindset of community and friendship that runs through The Magic Ingredient.

  • What is your favourite book genre?   

I read a lot, and pretty indiscriminately. I also tend to read seasonally—ramping up on sweet things in spring, historical fantasy and women’s fic through summer and into fall, then progressively more speculative and spooky through Halloween. I’ve even be known to tuck into the pages of a mystery or two in the coldest days of winter. There are things to love about every genre, though I do have a soft spot for historical fantasy and nostalgic horror, as well as any storyline that has a strong female protagonist and a good sense of humour!

  • If you could date any character from the book, who would it be and why? 

Oh, goodness. It would have to be Bapo. I know he’s got a few years on me, but is there a limit on age to a guy who loves sweets as much as I do and can make me laugh? I think not.

  • If you were in a boat with all the characters from the book, and you could save only 1, who would it be and why? 

First of all, if I was on a boat with all the characters from the book, I am pretty sure Doris Hammond would already have a plan to get us all safely back on land. If I truly was forced to save just one… gosh, I don’t know. I love them all. Could we all just stand in solidarity and go down together?

  • Are there any new books that you are working on?

I am always working on something! Currently I am working on the sequel to The Magic Ingredient, as well as a new collaboration project with a New York Times best-selling author, and a few book-to-film seasonal project. I do like to keep busy!


Author Bio:

Lindy Miller is an author of feel-good love stories that are full of sweet moments and happy endings. She believes the best time to fall in love is during the holidays, preferably over a cup of warm tea or a delicious vegan pastry – two things she can’t get enough of.

A free spirit, Lindy loves to travel and has a soft spot for Bar Harbor, Maine though she grew up at home in the South. She is married to her childhood sweetheart and bakes as often as she can for her husband, son, and pets – especially her golden retriever, Finn, who has a tendency to show up in her stories (and her Instagram!)

Lindy is represented by Gandolfo Helin & Fountain Literary Management and supported by Smith Publicity.

Member Romantic Novelist Association (RNA).

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Guardian of the Sky Realms by Gerry Huntman | Blog Tour & Author Interview

Book Name: Guardian of the Sky Realms
Author: Gerry Huntman
Genres: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
Publication date: September 1st, 2020
Published By: Meerkat Press
Book Acquired: ARC, Publisher
Ratings: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Synopsis:

Maree Webster—an “almost-emo” from the western suburbs of Sydney—hates school, has few friends, and is obsessed with angels and fallen angel stories. Life is boring until she decides to steal a famous painting from a small art gallery that has been haunting her dreams: swirling reds, grays and oranges of barely discernible winged figures. There, she meets a stranger who claims to know her and stumbles into a world where cities float in the sky, and daemons roam the barren, magma-spewing crags of the land far below. And all is not well—Maree is turning into something she loves but at the same time, fears. Most fearful of all is the prospect of losing her identity—what makes her Maree, and more importantly, what makes her human. Guardian of the Sky Realms takes the reader on a journey through exotic fantasy lands, as well as across the globe, from Sydney to Paris, from the Himalayas to Manhattan. At its heart, it is a novel about transformation. Book two of the series will be released in 2021.

My Interview with the Author:

1) Tell us something about yourself that no one knows. A funny secret perhaps?

I’ve been on this planet long enough to have done some silly and stupid things, and have had the odd moment of bad luck. More the former, mind you. While my youth was not entirely misspent, I can give you a little story from when I was about 20. Christmas Eve, going with the boys out for some partying and (insensibly) heavy drinking. At that time scotch and sodas were my preference. Knowing that the bar we went to would close around midnight, I gave the bartender a bottle of whisky to look after for me, and to hand over when I left. This worked perfectly, and instead of being moderate, youthful male silliness took over and in the next half hour I glugged half the bottle. Messed up. Big time. Somehow, I ended up sleeping on the lounge room floor of one of my friend’s (read: his parents’) home. The parents didn’t know I was there, and when they saw me the next morning, and my colour (bluey-white, apparently), they called an ambulance thinking I had died. I was just fast asleep. It took quite a while to shrug off this event among my friends, and to get over the embarrassment with my friend’s parents.

2) When did you start writing?

I actually had the creative urge when I was about 11 or 12 years old. So much so, that I insidiously wrote creative writing stories for some of my friends at school, passing them off as theirs. I also remember, again around that age, sending several short stories (typed and snail-mailed) to a publisher, and receiving a reply (a rejection that very kindly said that they loved the stories and look forward to seeing more work when I was older). When I was in my teens I moved my creative urge to role-playing, and was very active in the field for many years, writing scenarios for conventions and publications. While not ‘writing’ per se, it was a very good apprenticeship, building many of the skills that I use today. I only seriously pursued writing as an adult about 15 years ago.

3) What was the source of inspiration for this book?

Guardian of the Sky Realms is an outlier for me, as I don’t often write juvenile fiction. I was in a fantastic writers group for a number of years and we had a weekly challenge, where each of us took turns setting up challenges to write short stories or vignettes. We could set a task specifically, or ask everyone to write a story based on a photograph, or art piece, or even a song. One such challenge was an abstract painting by a very talented Californian artist, and it instantly inspired me to write a story about a teenage girl who was obsessed with that same painting (albeit in a fictional setting). It was a short piece, and ended with the girl entering an amazing world, through the painting that acted as a portal. It was inspiring enough for me to fairly rapidly convert it into a book.

4) If given a chance to co-author a book with another author, who would it be and why?

I have many author-friends and it makes sense, if I were to imagine a co-operate effort, to consider one of them. One such friend is Jack Dann, who is a giant in the speculative fiction field, and you could say that we are very good pals. I would absolutely love to collaborate with him, and it would definitely be a mature reading piece.

5) If you could be any character from Guardian of the Sky Realms, who would you be and why?

It’s hard to bypass the main protagonist of Guardian of the Sky Realms, Maree. The story is really about her, and she gets the greatest challenges, and is key to these challenges being overcome. This is a middle grade book, focused on adventure, and she is the adventure. By being Maree, I would witness almost the entire tableaux of the story, dive into the moments of sadness and despair, and soar with her successes.

6) Do you prefer hard copies or soft copies while reading?

I prefer hard copies when I read. I really can’t tell you if it is largely related to my generation or not, but I can say that when I read I love holding the entire story in my hands, and being able to read easily lying down, sitting, and so forth.

7) What is your favourite scene from the book?

My favourite scene from Guardian of the Sky Realms is the one that usually makes me a bit teary. Without wanting to give too much away, there is a scene where an important character dies, and another character, a French-speaking gargoyle, sticks with this dying person until the end, despite putting his life at risk. The whole point of this scene, aside from the sad ending and sacrifice of a character, is the point that love is the most important motivator of all. The gargoyle loved this character, and would never abandon a true friend.

8) Your ultimate top 5 books.

Gosh, the toughest question, and always has been. I’ll answer in the context of different periods of my life, to reflect how they influenced me, and my further reading and writing.

  1. The Adventure series by Willard Price – my first exposure to non-graphical stories, and full of escapism and adventure. Written in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s in the main, they were also products of their time – very much boy’s own adventures. South Seas Adventure was by far the best. This catalyzed my love for reading.
  2. The Lensmen series by E.E. ‘Doc’ Smith – again, old stuff but resurrected in the 70’s with the pulp fiction boom, and amazing, cosmic space opera. I read this stuff in my early teens and just lapped it up, and it consolidated my love for speculative fiction and escapism. The first book Triplanetary, is noteworthy.
  3. The Forever War by Joe Haldeman was the first speculative fiction piece I read (sci-fi to be exact) that didn’t just draw me into the story, but made me think beyond the plot to the extent that I wanted to write like that. I was still in my teens when I read this, and I have a special place in my heart for the novel. A few years ago I had the pleasure of having dinner with Joe and his wife (among others) in Baltimore and had the opportunity to talk about it with him. 
  4. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkein. Well, I’m probably not alone, but through my teen years and even into adulthood, this book transported me more effectively into another, imaginary world more than any other. I have read this trilogy more times than any other book or set of books, by a long shot.
  5. I’m very conscious of the lack of female writers in the list thus far, and certainly the first two or three were a product of my environment in the seventies. It’d be wrong, however, to say that I didn’t read superb female writers and many were among my favourites throughout my life, if not, in fact, taking on the greater number of, say, my top 200. Ursula LeGuin, Shirley Jackson, N. K. Jemesin, Katherine Kerr, and the list goes on. All contributed to my enjoyment of this wonderful field. However, if I were to look back at a book or series that, again, had more of an influence on my life than most, and that can be added to the ‘top 5’, I would say the Saga of Pliocene Exile by Julian May fits the bill, and most notably The Many-Colored Land.

9) Are you working on any new projects? When will we see them?

Since becoming a full time writer, my output and my list of projects have grown. Aside from keeping my short story writing simmering on an ongoing basis, the next manuscript I’m due to complete is the sequel to Guardian of the Sky Realms (titled Champion of the Sky Realms) which will be released by Meerkat Press in 2021. I have a mature-reader Fantasy novel near completed, but needing a lot of revision, and I have plans for a science fiction/horror piece which will require a lot of research before the word production can commence. My goal is to see a title come out a year from 2020 onward.

10) Do you have a routine that motivates you? Can you share it with our readers?

I’m answering this question during Stage 4 lock down in the city that I live in, due to COVID-19. It does change routines and it coincided with me turning to full-time writing and publishing. Nevertheless, I have a framework that works for me, and I know will settle better once we are over the pandemic hump. For me, writing every week morning – putting in a good 4 or 5 hours each time, is the backbone of my routine, and generally I will do my publishing work in the afternoons. Weekends are normally set aside for non-professional activities, including the most important family time. When the inspiration in my writing runs hot, then the rules can be broken, but it is a case of making it the exception rather than the rule. 


Author Bio:

Gerry Huntman is  a writer and publisher based in Melbourne Australia, living with his wife and young daughter. He has sold over 50 short fiction pieces, most of which are dark and for mature audiences, but he also has a love for middle grade fiction. He loves travel and gets many of his story ideas from distant lands and culture, but is equally happy with the cafe set in his hometown.

The Name of Red by Beena Khan| Blog Tour

Book Name: The Name of Red
Author: Beena Khan
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Literary Fiction, Romance
Publication date: May 15th, 2020
Book Acquired: ARC, Xpresso Book Tours
Ratings: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Synopsis:

Two strangers on the same path.

Survivors. Companions.

They will be each other’s salvation.

On a rainy, winter night, a mysterious woman in a red dress seeking shelter comes inside the restaurant Kabir was busy working in —primarily the bar— and night after night, drink after drink, she comes back to the same spot. That is where he sees her for the first time.

Hundreds of patrons around her try to speak with her daily, but she dismisses them. It appears she wants to remain in a blissful peace alone with her booze and books. After seeing the mysterious woman reading a book, and because of his shy nature, Kabir gains entrance into her life by anonymously leaving books with notes for her.

The Name of Red is the story of two strangers, two different personalities who meet on a winter, rainy night who challenge each other. They have a connection which blossoms into a friendship due to their fondness of books. But they both have secrets that can bind them together or threaten their newfound relationship forever.


My Review:

To be really honest, I felt really happy signing up for this blog tour as it’s written by a South Asian writer. Being a South Asian myself, I was super excited to read this book. I love the Asian names and the culture that the author has used. Something that is very relatable for me.

The beginning of the book had me intrigued from the moment I started reading. The entrance of Red was very well written and the mystery that came with it, made me want to read the book asap. What I loved more, is that romance was found in the midst of book exchanges.

The interesting way in which Kabir get’s Red’s attention is a dream for all book lovers. Oh, how I wish that I got a secret book recommendation too! What started as being complete strangers, book exchangers to friends, and then close friends seem like a perfect relatable love story that is very enjoyable to read.

The author has brought on a lot of topics on the table that are well introduced in the book and are given justice with how they make every character’s life more tangible. It not only shows us that there can be change but the whole story revolves around second chances and how important it is to grab it when it comes our way.

I loved the structure of the book and the third person narration gives a perfect view into every characters life. The details are immaculate and captivating to read. I yearned to read what happened next to Kabir and Red and for that, the suspense and mystery that the author builds around Red had me at the edge of my seat.

Overall, the shy boy meets the mystery girl and falls in love was very entertaining to read. The various topics of assault, alcoholism, and mental illness is spoken about very skillfully. I definitely recommend this book to those who want to read a romantic story as this one has a different style to it.


Beena Khan lives in a suburb in Queens, New York in her apartment. She’s a Literary Fiction Novelist and Poetess. She is 27 years old and from Azad Kashmir, Pakistan. She’s an immigrant who moved to New York when she was five years old. She currently holds a Masters Degree in Developmental Psychology from Cuny School of Professional Sciences. She enjoys reading, writing, and Netflixing.

The Name of Red is her debut novel.

Her website is http://www.beenakhan.com.

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Tribulation by Jaydeep Shah| Blog Tour

Book Name: Tribulation (Cops Planet #1)
Author: Jaydeep Shah
Genres: Adult, Suspense, Thriller
Publication date: June 15th, 2020
Book Source: ARC, Xpresso Book Tours
Ratings: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Synopsis:

When a couple celebrates their eleventh marriage anniversary at their old mansion far from the city of Naples, Florida, they begin experiencing paranormal events. While trying to find out the truth of what’s happening, they encounter a girl wandering in the mansion.

She is the girl whom the couple never wanted to see again in their life.

Surrounded by their sinful past and the girl’s deathly traps, the couple tries hard to escape the mansion. But they are stuck. There is no way out of the mansion. Every second, they approach their end.

There are many secrets buried in the mansion—about the girl, about the couple, and about their past.

Tribulation is a masterpiece of suspense, a thriller with some mild elements of horror from the imagination of Jaydeep Shah.

My Review:

What happens when a murderer gets murdered by the person they tried to murder? Did you get it? If not, please read Tribulation by Jaydeep Shah so everything makes sense and you’ll know what I’m talking about. 

The story is fast-paced, and every chapter shows a new edge to the story. All the characters are shown to do their job well and play out in the most captivating way. We learn about Alex and Casie, as a couple who are celebrating their marriage anniversary at their mansion when things start going wrong. At first, I didn’t understand what was happening and got pretty spooked with the beginning itself. But what everyone thinks is a joke, turns out to be more important and spooky by the chapter. 

Ana, the murderee is back for revenge and is going all out to get what she wants. She wants to see Alex and Casie fall. For a while we see Ana winning and then Alex has control but then Emily enters and it is chaotic but intriguing to read. 

Although the book was a short page-turner, I would have enjoyed a more detailed run-through. I couldn’t connect with the characters and I wish there was more depth to their backstory. The author sticks to the plot and doesn’t deviate from it to give us any details. I’m someone who enjoys her fair share of descriptive books and this one got over too soon. This is something that can be seen as a pro and con whichever way you want to take it. 

The cliff-hanger at the end, is definitely not what I expected and now I’m eager to read the next book in the series. Excuse me, I need more answers! If you like a short, suspense book with good plot twists and appreciable cliff-hangers, then this book is for you!