Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Read an Excerpt from The Magnolia Inn by Carolyn Brown ~ #Giveaway ~ Meet Dotty Beauchamp as She Welcomes You to The Magnolia Inn #MontlakeRomance


Hello, folks, I’m Dotty Beauchamp—half Texan, half Louisianan and all sass. I own the Tipsy Gater bar that sets right on the Big Cypress Bayou near Jefferson, Texas. When my good friend, Sugar, told me that she was going to give half of The MagnoliaInn, the bed and breakfast that her family had owned for generations, to her niece, Jolene, I thought she was bat crap crazy. When she said that her husband, Jasper, was giving the other half to his wimpy nephew, Reuben—well, I figured Reuben would sell his half the minute the ink dried on the papers. 

I was right! The little weasel sold out his part of the inn to Tucker Malone. We—that would be Lucy and Flossie and me since Sugar was already off in that big ass RV touring the United States—had heard that he was a tortured soul. And dear hearts, we damn sure believed the rumor. He was the best of the best when it came to carpentry work, and from what we heard he only hit the bottle on weekends, but still we didn’t want our precious Jolene in living in that inn with him.

I really didn’t want to hire Jolene when she came to the bar looking for work, but I needed help and she sure enough needed a job. I figured I’d take some flack for it from Sugar, Lucy and Flossie, and I did—believe me I did. But Jolene and I both lived through it.

When we met Tucker for the first time, we were sure that the rumors had been right. His wife had died in an automobile accident a few years back. She’d gone to our church so we all knew her very well, and we’d met Tucker a few times when he showed up at church with her. When she died, he turned to the bottle and lost his important job on the police force over in Dallas. It was rumored that he came to our part of the world to be near her grave site. Poor man, he wore the guilt like a heavy shroud and just couldn’t seem to get past it.

But I’m digressing. When we met him we found out that he was also a Prince Charming. He didn’t have a white horse or a white cowboy hat, or a crown, but he was so sweet and kind, and he had such a sweet nature, that pretty soon, we fell in love with him as much as—well, she didn’t know it then, being as how she had plenty of baggage of her own—but as much as Jolene could it they’d could get past all the obstacles life kept throwing at them.

I see that my time is up. So let me thank you again for inviting me sit a spell and visit with all y’all. And if you’re ever in Jefferson, Texas, come on down to the Tipsy Gater and I’ll give you a free drink if you tell me that you’ve read The Magnolia Inn.


Book Details:

Title: The Magnolia Inn
Author: Carolyn Brown
Release Date: January 15, 2019
Publisher: Montlake Romance

About the Book:

Inheriting the Magnolia Inn, a Victorian home nestled in the East Texas pines, is a fantasy come true for Jolene Broussard. After living with the guilt of failing to rescue her self-destructive mother, Jolene knows her aunt and uncle’s B&B is the perfect jump start for a new life and a comforting place to call home. There’s just one hitch: stubborn and moody carpenter Tucker Malone. He’s got a half interest in the Magnolia Inn, and he’s planting his dusty cowboy boots squarely in the middle of her dream.

Ever since his wife’s death, Tucker’s own guilt and demons have left him as guarded as Jolene. The last thing he expects is for his new partner to stir something inside him he thought was gone forever. And as wary as Jolene is, she may have found a kindred spirit—someone she can help, and someone she can hold on to.

Restoring the Magnolia Inn is the first step toward restoring their hearts. Will they be able to let go of the past and trust each other to do it together?

Read an Excerpt from The Magnolia Inn by Carolyn Brown:

“Why is Tucker a tortured soul?”

“He lost his wife, Melanie, a couple of years ago. She was his whole life,” Lucy whispered. She clucked like an old hen gathering in her baby chickens. “I just can’t believe he bought half interest in this place. It takes a people person to operate a B&B, and from what I hear, Tucker is almost a hermit.”

“I guess we’ve all got our own emotional baggage,” Jolene said.

“Wait until he hauls his damn sorry ass home drunk and you’ve got guests in the place,” Lucy declared.

“She loves Jesus, but she still cusses a little,” Dotty said with a wicked grin.

“He’s a fantastic carpenter. He’s got money to put into the inn. And I’ll cross the drinkin’ bridge when it happens. And . . .” She glanced over at Dotty, who shrugged and winked.

“And just so y’all know.” Jolene took a deep breath. “I’ll be working at the Gator starting Friday night.”

“Lord have mercy,” Lucy groaned. “Have you talked to Sugar about this?”

“Visited with her last night and was going to tell her, but . . .”

Lucy threw a hand over her forehead in a dramatic gesture and then shook a fist at Dotty. “You’re leading our sweet girl down the path of unrighteousness. Jolene, I’ll give you a job in my place of business. Full-time with benefits if you’ll quit the Gator right now.”

“I know bartending, and I can only handle part-time work with the inn, but thank you,” Jolene said and tried to change the subject. “Do I have the recipe for these cookies in Aunt Sugar’s files?”

“I’m sure you do, chère,” Dotty said. “But now let’s talk about the Easter Tour of Homes. Surely Sugar mentioned it?”

“Oh, that.” Jolene was glad Dotty had changed the subject. “She always wanted to be included in it but figured the Magnolia was too far out of town.”

“It might be, but we want to add it this year,” Lucy said.

“It’s, what, like three months from now?” Jolene asked.

“Yes,” Tucker said from the doorway. “We’ll have it ready by then.”

Jolene felt heat rising from her neck to her cheeks. How much had he heard? She motioned to the coffeepot and then to the cookies. “Come on in and meet my friends.”

“Always ready for cookies and coffee. I’m Tucker Malone.” He stuck his hand out toward Lucy.

Her expression said that she’d rather be sticking her hand in a rattlesnake pit, but she put her frail hand in his. “You probably don’t remember us, but we remember you from when you used to come to church with your wife. I’m Lucy Rogers. I own Attic Treasures, an antique store in Jefferson.”

“Jolene told me that a couple of you ladies own antique shops. That’s wonderful.” Tucker brought her hand to his lips and kissed her knuckles. “I’m right glad to make your acquaintance, ma’am. I hope to do some business with y’all as we work on this place. We’d like to keep the antique ambience but use modern things like tubs and showers to make things nice for our guests.”

From Lucy’s expression, Jolene could’ve sworn she’d rather have been shaking hands with the devil. “Well, I’ll be sure to give you a real good price on anything that you can use.”

He turned to settle his crystal-clear blue eyes on Flossie.

“I’m Flossie Simmons, and I own Mama’s Place in Jefferson. My antiques are better than Lucy’s.” She winked. “And since Jolene is like a daughter to all of us, I can beat any deal Lucy would give you.”

“And I’m Dotty Beauchamp.” Dotty’s southern accent thickened. “I’m a Louisiana girl from the other side of the Big Cypress Bayou, and I own the Tipsy Gator. I’ve seen you a few times in my bar. You always sit on the last stool in the shadows, right, chère?”

“Yes, ma’am, I sure do,” Tucker said.

Jolene was totally blown away. One minute they were ready to crucify her for letting Tucker live there, and the next they were flirting with him. Good glory! They had to be seventy or older, and he wasn’t a day over thirty-seven.

“We should let you two get back to work,” Dotty said with a broad wink toward Jolene. “And since you’re going to be out of pocket on Friday night, then Sunday afternoon will be our meetin’ time.”

They pushed their chairs back and paraded toward the foyer. Lucy stopped at the hall tree for her coat, and Tucker hurried over to help her into it. “Thank you for the cookies.”

“You’re welcome. Good luck with all this remodeling.” Flossie gave Jolene a quick hug and whispered, “I hope you know what you’re doin’.”

Tucker picked up the last coat from the hall tree and held it out to Dotty. “It’s been a real pleasure to meet you ladies.”

Jolene sank down on the bottom step of the stairs and sighed when Tucker shut the door behind the ladies. Tucker sat down beside her and propped his forearms on his knees. “So you work in a bar?”

“Ever since I was twenty-one. Until then I did waitress work,” she answered. “How much did you hear?”

“I got there when Lucy was offering you a job to quit working in a bar,” he answered.

“Sounds like you heard most of it, then. I’ll be working at a bar on Friday and Saturday nights. I understand that you drink a little on weekends.”

He got to his feet. “I’m going to get a couple more cookies and another cup of coffee to take upstairs with me. And, honey, I drink a lot on Saturday nights.”

“Just so long as we understand each other.” Jolene stood up and headed toward the kitchen. “Right now we could take fifteen minutes off and call it a midmorning snack.”

“Got chocolate syrup?” He followed her into the kitchen. “For the cookies, the coffee, or the milk?”

“Milk, and then I dip my cookies in it,” he answered.

The ladies had called him a tortured soul. Jolene stole glances at him as she got out the chocolate syrup. It was a shame that he’d lost his wife so suddenly. He might never get over it, but she sure wasn’t looking forward to dealing with another weekend drunk—like her mother or that last worthless boyfriend.

Amazon

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Meet the Author:

Carolyn Brown is a New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author and a RITA finalist with more than ninety published books, which include women’s fiction and historical, contemporary, and cowboys-and-country-music romance. She and her husband live in the small town of Davis, Oklahoma, where everyone knows everyone else and knows what they’re doing and when. And they read the local newspaper on Wednesday to see who got caught. They have three grown children and enough grandchildren to keep them young. Visit Carolyn at www.carolynbrownbooks.com.

Social Media Links:

Website: https://www.carolynbrownbooks.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carolynbrownbooks
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13554.Carolyn_Brown

Enter the Giveaway:

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Book Review & #Giveaway: The Plunge (An Aggie Mundeen Lake Mystery, Book 1) by Nancy G. West ~ #CozyMystery @NancyGWest_


The Plunge
An Aggie Mundeen Lake Mystery, Book 1 
by Nancy G. West

 

Book Details:

Cozy Mystery 
Spin-Off of previous series with this character
Wildside Press 
October 9, 2018
Paperback: 136 pages 
ISBN-10: 1479449326 
ISBN-13: 978-1479449323 
Digital ASIN: B07J5K8DDG

 

About the Book:

When Aggie Mundeen accompanies San Antonio Detective Sam Vanderhoven on a weekend getaway to Lake Placid, she thinks it’s going to be fun in the sun. What could be better than caretaking a friend’s cottage on the Guadalupe River in Central Texas? Never mind that Sam intends to discretely investigate the theft of that friend’s boat... Unfortunately, the weather has plans of its own. Buckets of rain and gusting winds roil the lake, turning the peaceful Guadalupe into an angry, raging river. As darkness descends, lightning reveals two people arguing on a dock across the river. When lightning flashes again, they are gone. Did Aggie and Sam witness an accident? A drowning? A murder? The Plunge sweeps readers along with the threat of looming disaster, helpless before an untamable force, where sleuthing takes a back seat to survival...

Read My Review Here:


About the Author:


Nancy G. West is the author of award-winning suspense and the Aggie Mundeen Mystery Series. Each book in the series has either won or been nominated for an award. The Plunge, Lake Mystery #1, takes Aggie in a new direction. 

Chat with Aggie and Nancy on their blog: www.stayyoungwithaggie.wordress.com

Author’s Webpage: http://www.nancygwest.com/ 
Purchase Link - Amazon  

TOUR PARTICIPANTS:

January 7 - Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
January 7 - Cassidy's Bookshelves – REVIEW 
January 8 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW 
January 9 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 
January 9 – Maureen’s Musings – REVIEW 
January 10 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW 
January 10 – Books, Dreams, Life – SPOTLIGHT 
January 11 – Mallory Heart's Cozies – REVIEW 
January 12 – Here's How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT 
January 13 – Handcrafted Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 
January 14 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT 
January 14 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT 
January 15 – Sapphyria's Books – REVIEW 
January 16 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW 

Enter the Giveaway:

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Read an Excerpt from A Merciful Fate by @KendraElliot ~ #Giveaway #MontlakeRomance


Book Details:

Title: A Merciful Fate
Author: Kendra Elliot
Release Date: January 15, 2019
Publisher: Montlake Romance

About the Book:

Raised by preppers, survivalist and FBI agent Mercy Kilpatrick has a deep-rooted need for a safe place. Her getaway in the Cascade Foothills is her secret. But when skeletal remains are unearthed—those of a murdered man linked to a notorious heist—Mercy realizes she isn’t the only one with something to hide.

Thirty years ago, an armored-car robbery turned deadly. The mastermind was captured. Four conspirators vanished with a fortune. One of them, it appears, never made it out of the woods alive. For Mercy and her fiancé, Police Chief Truman Daly, their investigation opens old wounds in Eagle’s Nest that cut deeper than they imagined. Especially when a reckless tabloid reporter draws fresh blood. It’s clear to Mercy that somebody in this close-knit community is not who they seem to be.

Some are still shattered by the heist. Some still have reason to be afraid. But which one will kill again and again to hide three decades of secrets? To land this case, it’s up to Mercy to unmask a familiar stranger before someone else dies.

Read an Excerpt:

“Sit.”

Mercy sat on a stool that was too high for the makeshift table. She didn’t care. They could sit on the ground and she’d be happy with Truman. Currently the home had plywood subfloors and open framing, but part of Mercy loved the empty, bare look; it promised that something fabulous was coming.

Fabulous and practical.

Truman leaned over and poured red wine in the plastic cup by her paper plate. She sighed and buried her nose in her cup. The fragrance was deep and bold, with hints of plum and smoke.

“Italy,” she mumbled into the wine.

“What?” asked Truman.

“I want to visit Italy. How does a honeymoon in Italy sound?”

A grin filled his face, and the sensation of butterflies fluttered up her spine.

Or maybe it’s the wine.

She took a sip of her wine as she studied his face. So familiar and dear to her.

A smile to stop traffic. Eyes that crinkled in happiness. Several scars that testified to his love of law enforcement. Her attraction to him was more than skin deep. She was in love with the person he was. He was a natural leader and easily commanded respect. His people turned to him, followed him, admired him. His natural sense of honor was a magnet for her.

No. It’s not the wine.

He gets me.

He understood how her mind worked, and they fit together like a couple of complicated puzzle pieces. She’d been painfully aware of her missing puzzle piece when he’d been taken away, chained by men planning to kill him, and then rescued thanks to Ollie. The two weeks when no one knew his fate had been the worst of her life. When he’d been returned to her, she’d known she couldn’t waste any more time.

He’d been of the same mind-set and had proposed.

“I’ll try Italy.” He dished spaghetti carbonara onto their plates.

“And what’s on your agenda for tomorrow?” he asked over the rim of his plastic cup. She perked up. “The bank confirmed the money bags are from the Gamble-Helmet Heist. And I have the go-ahead to visit Shane Gamble at the Two Rivers prison tomorrow.”

“What are your thoughts on the remains?” Truman asked. “Did the medical examiner get to them yet?”

“Yes. They spent the afternoon removing the remains, and Dr. Lockhart was going to start an examination tonight. The woman never takes time off.”

“Same could be said for you.”

“Only when I’m deep in a case.”

“I guess this means your weekends are booked for a while?”

Mercy sighed. “I know. The two of us are supposed to be working on the interior of this place … We’ll get it done at some point. It’ll have to wait awhile.”

A grin filled his face.

“What?” she asked.

“You’re not the same person I met last fall. Back then, if the cabin had been in the half-completed state it is now, you’d be climbing the walls with anxiety because your safety net wasn’t perfect.”

“You’re right,” she agreed. “I had a similar thought earlier, but nearly all my supplies are still intact, so it’d be rough living but doable. I can temporarily live with that for now. Especially with this case to distract me.”

His lips twisted.

“Jealous?” she asked with a grin. “It’s an amazing case, isn’t it?”

“It is. Considering there have been no leads for decades, and the robbery is practically modern folklore. It’s like a buried treasure hunt, and Ollie found the first clue.”

“Is Ollie okay after his morning?” she asked with a small wince. She’d nearly forgotten the teen had made the grisly discovery.

“He’s okay. I spent some time with him and he was very quiet, but I could tell he was processing it. He’s dealt with death before.”

“He’s been through a lot,” sympathized Mercy.

They silently ate for a few moments until he glanced up and caught her staring at him. Longing shone in his eyes, an appetite and craving that had nothing to do with food, and she struggled to find her breath.

How does he do that to me?

“You know,” he said, his voice low and tempting, “this place hasn’t been christened yet.”

Mercy blinked. “People do that to homes?”

Patience filled his features. “That’s not what I meant.” His brown gaze held hers.

“Ohhh,” she breathed as heat flashed through her.

“Dessert.” His smile was sinful, and energy pulsed between them.

She melted. “Yes. Dessert.”

About the Author:



Kendra Elliot has landed on the Wall Street Journal bestseller list multiple times and is the award-winning author of the Bone Secrets and Callahan & McLane series, as well as the Mercy Kilpatrick novels: A Merciful Death, A Merciful Truth, and A Merciful Secret. Kendra is a three-time winner of the Daphne du Maurier Award, an International Thriller Writers finalist, and an RT Award finalist. She has always been a voracious reader, cutting her teeth on classic female heroines such as Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, and Laura Ingalls. She was born, raised, and still lives in the rainy Pacific Northwest with her husband and three daughters, but she looks forward to the day she can live in flip-flops. Visit her at www.kendraelliot.com.

Social Media Links:

Website: https://www.kendraelliot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKendraElliot

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KendraElliot

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6150778.Kendra_Elliot

Enter the Giveaway:

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Book Review: The Plunge (An Aggie Mundeen Lake Mystery, Book 1) by Nancy G. West ~ #CozyMystery @NancyGWest_

The Plunge
An Aggie Mundeen Lake Mystery, Book 1 
by Nancy G. West

 

Book Details:

Cozy Mystery 
Spin-Off of previous series with this character
Wildside Press 
October 9, 2018
Paperback: 136 pages 
ISBN-10: 1479449326 
ISBN-13: 978-1479449323 
Digital ASIN: B07J5K8DDG

 

About the Book:

When Aggie Mundeen accompanies San Antonio Detective Sam Vanderhoven on a weekend getaway to Lake Placid, she thinks it’s going to be fun in the sun. What could be better than caretaking a friend’s cottage on the Guadalupe River in Central Texas? Never mind that Sam intends to discretely investigate the theft of that friend’s boat... Unfortunately, the weather has plans of its own. Buckets of rain and gusting winds roil the lake, turning the peaceful Guadalupe into an angry, raging river. As darkness descends, lightning reveals two people arguing on a dock across the river. When lightning flashes again, they are gone. Did Aggie and Sam witness an accident? A drowning? A murder? The Plunge sweeps readers along with the threat of looming disaster, helpless before an untamable force, where sleuthing takes a back seat to survival...

My Review:

The Plunge

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am so happy Aggie and Sam are back. I love the original Aggie Mundeen mysteries and am glad the author is working on a spin-off. As with all of Aggie's stories I was drawn in and fully engaged in the story from the beginning. I love Aggie and Sam. Their chemistry is undeniable.

The author does a wonderful job with the world building. I felt like I was in the middle of the flood, trapped, part of the clean up, or involved in the rescues as the story played out. The descriptive scenes, smells, and auditory cues are spot on and the book draws the reader right into the book. The book describes the tragedy that occurred in 1998 Texas and pairs it with a theft and a murder.

The Plunge is a novella and is a quick and easy read. The book flows well and the pacing is perfect. I got lost in the story and was sad to see it come to an end. The Plunge is another wonder story starring Aggie Mundeen and her beau, Sam Vanderhoven.


I was provided a copy of the is story to read.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Cover Reveal ~ Hardest Fall (Dominion, #2) by Juliette Cross


Title/Author: HARDEST FALL by Juliette Cross
Release Date: February 25, 2019


About Hardest Fall: 

The tattooed demoness, Bone, doesn’t like anything except the magical weapons she makes. But she has hidden talents few know about. When I was brought to her near death, she used her Seraph song to manipulate flesh and bone to save me. But she wasn’t happy about it.

Now I must return the favor. Even though she refuses to take sides in the apocalypse, there’s one job she’s not willing to do for the demon prince Rook. If she doesn’t, her head will end up on a spike. Of course, but I will do anything to protect this fierce woman—and not just because she saved me.

So now we’re both off to kill a demon—or three—and possibly save the world.

Are You Ready for the Cover??
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Teaser Quote:

But this former angel, who wielded her voice like a weapon and walked this earth like a queen, who’d mended my heart with little more than a breath and a song, had sunk her claws in deep.

Book Spotlight & #Giveaway ~ Misfit’s Rise (Alpha, Book 1) by Sara E. Tall ~ #YA #Fantasy @SaraEatough

A Half-Fae misfit returns to the Magical Realm of her birth to discover it’s far 
from the fairy tale she imagined.


Misfit’s Rise
Alpha, Book 1
Sara E. Tall


Genre: YA Fantasy

Date of Publication: November 29, 2018

ISBN: 9780359258277

Number of pages: 268
Word Count: 82, 527

Cover Artist: Sara Eatough



About the Book:

A century after the Mages of Earth found sanctuary in an underground Realm, those whose magic is sub-par or whose half-breed heritage leaves them powerless and forced into exile back on Earth. They can’t have them tainting the magic of the others, after all. 

As a Fae/Human hybrid, Billie should fit right in. Except, she’s anything but powerless, making her a misfit among misfits. When her powers nearly destroy a human home, she's given a chance to return. Returning to the Realm has always been Billie’s dream, but the Realm is anything but a fairy tale.

Despite its claims of acceptance and equality, ancient rivalries between the Realm’s magical species are threatening to rip it apart. Billie somehow manages to land herself in the middle, a dangerous place for an outcast to be. What’s more, the powerful magic that brought her there suddenly vanishes, leaving her vulnerable to the attacks of those who think a misfit doesn’t belong in the Realm.

Staying in the Realm is her only chance to live life as a true Mage, but it could cost her life.

Purchase Links:

Lulu Paperback     iBooks  Amazon

Read an Excerpt:

“There’s the little fire freak.” My eyes shot open. Standing before me was Tanya with her usual wannabes. She was dressed in her predictable mixture of bad-girl-meets-prep, wearing the pigtails only she could pull off as chic and not goody two-shoes.
“What’s the matter? Nothing to say to me?” She stepped forward. “Not even an apology for blowing up my house?”
“Not really.” People always said if you didn’t let bullies get to you, they’d get bored and move on. It was time to put that to the test.
“When did you become an arsonist, anyway?” she took another step. “Was it to deal with your dad leaving you in that ghetto with all the other freaks?”
“My father didn’t leave,” I snapped before I could stop myself. “He’s dead.”
“Oh, I’m sure that’s what your mom told you.” She was right in front of my face now. “But we all know if your daddy was dead, you would have gotten a nice life insurance check and you wouldn’t be so dirt poor.”
At different time I might have laughed at that. I guess it didn’t occur to Tanya not everyone could afford a life insurance policy.
“You don’t know what you’re talking about,” I said as I leapt off the bench and shoved my way past her.
“I’m trying to help you, Billie,” she said from behind me. “You and your friends. I know it can be hard coming from nothing.”
Even though I knew I should just keep walking, I whirled around. “You don’t know a thing about us.”
“You know what the number one profession is for girls from low-income neighborhoods?”
The people around us gasped, though the ones trying to look cool laughed. I was almost impressed with Tanya for being that subtle.
I glanced at her Prada bag, my hand twitching. It would be so easy to just rip that thing open. And it would be a lot better than she deserved. But the Officials had told me not to use magic, and I had a feeling my ability to follow their order would affect whether they sent me to the Academy, or to a containment facility.
Slowly, I turned around again. “I’m not listening to you.”
“You and tall-chick might be able to make it, but the chubby one? What guy would pay for a night with that?” 
There was more laughter, but I barely heard it as I whirled around and screamed, “Shut up!”
Everything happened too fast. All I knew was that one moment I was glaring at Tanya, breathing hard while she folded her arms and smirked; and the next second the tall, marble centerpiece from the fountain was hurtling toward Tanya’s head.
She screamed and ducked, and the marble spiral crashed down just behind her shoulder. Even though it missed her, it still drenched her and her bag with a splash of murky, icy water.
For a second nobody moved, as everyone’s eyes moved from Tanya, to the wrecked fountain, to me.

Meet the Author:

Sara's enjoyed creating fantastic stories since she was old enough to hold a play sword, around the time she learned how to walk. Gradually she learned to direct her creative energy into writing, and it’s been a downward spiral ever since then. When she's not writing she’s probably either dancing or reading random wikipedia pages. She also enjoys spending time in her part-time home away from home, Yellowstone National Park, which is the most fantastical land she's ever been too.



Pinterest board: https://www.pinterest.com/saraeatough/alpha-misfits-rise/


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Friday, January 11, 2019

Set New Writing Goals for the New Year by Author Kelli A. Wilkins #AmWriting #AmReading #TeachingCourse


Set New Writing Goals for the New Year
by Author Kelli A. Wilkins 

Happy New Year!

It’s January and everyone is talking about making changes and setting goals for themselves. And why not? We have brand-new calendars hanging on our walls that are filled with unexplored days yet to come.

But do you find yourself gazing at your new calendar and wondering, “How is it 2019? Where did last year go? I had all those plans…”

If so, don’t stress out. Not everyone accomplishes every goal they set for themselves. Take some time to look back at what you achieved last year and start thinking about this year. Evaluating your writing goals and setting reasonable action steps now will help you get on target for 2019.

Perhaps you took time off from writing and want to get back in the swing of things. Maybe your writing muse went on vacation to Hawaii and hasn’t come back yet. That’s okay. It’s fine to take a break from writing for a while—but not too long. (If you rest too long, you’ll rust!) Writing exercises, journaling, and freewriting story ideas are great ways to revive your motivation.

Keep in mind that everyone’s writing career and writing goals are different. Think about what you want for you. Do you want to finish the novel you started last year (or haven’t started yet)? Send out a dozen short stories? Enter a contest?

If you write magazine articles, are there any major publications you’re targeting? Start brainstorming ideas now, make a list of places to send queries, and check out potential markets for their latest submission guidelines. (It’s also time to be thinking 3 to 6 months ahead and plan those spring and summer articles.)

Write fiction? Have you found any new markets? Signed up for online market newsletters? If you’re published in one genre (say, romance or horror), are you going to expand your horizons and write a different type of story this year?

Is the writing part going fine, but you need to develop (or enhance) your online profile and/or marketing? Explore writing-related websites and blogs, Yahoo Groups, social media groups, and advertising opportunities for your work. Are your blog, website, and author page(s) up-to-date? Should they get a refresh (or a major overhaul) for the new year?

Make a list of all you want to accomplish in the next few weeks and months. Having a list of projects and priorities will help keep your writing objectives on track. For example, if you want to explore new markets for your short story, put “find new markets” on your list.

If you’re determined to write a new book, make a timeline for research, character development, plotting, etc. Give yourself a deadline for when you want to start writing and stick to it. Decide how many pages or chapters you want to finish each day/week/month. Little by little, your book will take shape, and you’ll be amazed at your progress.

No matter what your writing goals are, a little pre-planning will help you focus and allow you to flow from one writing project to another. Preparation also keeps you motivated and fends off writer’s block, because you always have “the next thing” to work on.

When you write down your goals, start your sentences with a positive statement, such as: “I will finish the rough draft of my novel by June 1” or “I will submit six articles to magazines.” After you’ve made the list, note what you need to do to get started. This could include setting aside specific times to write each day, getting writer’s guidelines, or sending out query letters. Then, pick one project (the most time-sensitive one, or your personal favorite), and get to work. Spend time targeting your goals now, and you’ll be on your way to success!

But keep a balance. Don’t let yourself become so goal oriented that you burn yourself out, stress yourself half to death, and let the writing life take the place of your real life. (Believe me, I’ve been there and I’ve learned.)

Family, friends, pets, neighbors, and having fun are all important parts of being alive. Make time for your writing, but also make time for yourself and those you love. (Yes, it’s perfectly okay to leave the husband parked in front of a movie and go write for two hours. But make sure when you turn the computer off, you focus on the present moment.)

Every new day is bursting with hope, possibilities, and opportunities to make this year really great. Set some goals for yourself. Write as much as you need to (or want to), and then sit in the yard and watch the world go by for an hour. You’re worth it!

If you’re interested in learning more about the writing process and want expert tips and writing advice, why not check out my online writing course? Fiction Writing for Beginners is designed for anyone who is interested in writing and needs practical advice on how to get started, PLUS motivation and encouragement to keep writing.

Thirteen easy-to-follow classes cover the writing process from start to finish. You’ll learn where writers get ideas, how to create characters, get expert tips on writing your story, and find out how to submit it for publication. Everything you need to know to start writing is wrapped up in this comprehensive and fun course.

Each class is self-contained and self-directed. This way, you can learn about a specific topic at your own pace, and not worry about completing the class by a certain deadline. Short writing exercises at the end of each class highlight the subject matter and get you writing.

If you’ve always wanted to write, Fiction Writing for Beginners will get you started. Visit the course page to learn more and enroll: https://kelliwilkins.teachable.com/

Enjoy 2019!

Kelli A. Wilkins

Meet the Author:

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 19 romance novels, and 5 non-fiction books. Her romances span many genres and heat levels, and she’s also been known to scare readers with her horror stories.

October 2018, Kelli published Cupid’s Schemes, Volume 1 – a collection of sweet mini-romances. (Look for Volume 2 coming in 2019!)

She also released her first online writing course, Fiction Writing for Beginners, through Teachable. This course is perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to write. Visit: https://kelliwilkins.teachable.com/ for more details.

Kelli’s historical romance, Redemption from a Dark Past, was published in 2018. This full-length Gothic novel is set in the kingdom of Hungary in 1723 and blends a sensual romance with mystery and suspense.

If you like horror fiction, don’t miss her latest novella, Nightmare in the North.

Kelli posts on her Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins and Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor.

Visit her website www.KelliWilkins.com and blog http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/ to learn more about all of her writings.

Catch up with Kelli:

Here’s a full list of where you can find Kelli on the web.

Website: http://www.KelliWilkins.com

Blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/

Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/kelliwilkins

Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins

Facebook Historical Romances: https://www.facebook.com/Historical-Romances-by-Kelli-A-Wilkins-1703805359922371/

Facebook Contemporary Romances: https://www.facebook.com/Contemporary-Romances-by-Kelli-A-Wilkins-1965702023664339/

Facebook Gay Romances: https://www.facebook.com/GayRomancesbyKelliAWilkins/

FREE READS: http://www.manicreaders.com/KelliAWilkins/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kelliwilkins2/

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/kelli-a-wilkins

Books2Read: https://www.books2read.com/ap/nkvddR/Kelli-A-Wilkins

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/KWilkinsAuthor/

Shutterstock: https://www.shutterstock.com/g/kelli+wilkins

iStock: https://www.istockphoto.com/portfolio/kelliwilkins

Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb

Teachable Online Writing Course: https://kelliwilkins.teachable.com/

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Book Spotlight, Review, & #Giveaway ~ Grimoires, Spas & Chocolate Straws (A Spells & Caramels Cozy Witch Mystery, Book 8) by Erin Johnson


Grimoires, Spas & Chocolate Straws 
A Spells & Caramels Cozy Witch Mystery, Book 8
by Erin Johnson

About the Book:



A Spells & Caramels Cozy Witch Mystery, Book 8

Cozy Mystery 

Self Published 

December 29, 2018 

Paperback: 332 pages 

ISBN-10: 1792728727 

ISBN-13: 978-1792728723 

Digital ASIN: B07LB49VBR


About the Book:

Sandy slaughter. An enchanting suspect. Can a magical baker protect her friends from a dangerous paradise?

Stranded on Badlands Island, Imogen Banks is driving herself crazy looking for her brother. So when the spell-casting baker's friends suggest they escape for a luxurious dragon spa treatment, she doesn't need a second invitation. But her hopes for coastal romance with Hank fall flat when a resort guest turns up roasted in the sand.

Suspecting murder, Imogen zeroes in on the town's rumored "black widow" as a possible culprit. But when her friend falls for the beautiful woman despite the deadly track record, Imogen fears he'll be the next victim to stay buried.

Can Imogen sift through the clues before the killer gives her one final treatment?

Grimoires, Spas and Chocolate Straws is the eighth book in the Spells and Caramels delightful paranormal cozy mystery series. If you like endearing heroines, a touch of romance, and unexpected twists, then you’ll love Erin Johnson’s magical whodunit.

Buy Grimoires, Spas & Chocolate Straws to massage a new mystery today!

Read My Review Here:


Meet the Author: 


Erin Johnson is a native of Tempe, Arizona, Erin spends her time crafting mysterious, magical, romance-filled stories that’ll hopefully make you laugh. In between, she’s traveling, napping with her dogs, eating with her friends and family, and teaching Pilates (to allow her to eat more). 

Twitter:@EJohnsonWrites

Purchase Link – Amazon

TOUR PARTICIPANTS:

January 8 – Valerie's Musings – REVIEW
January 8 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
January 9 – Laura`s Interests – REVIEW
January 9 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 10 – Sapphyria's Books – REVIEW
January 10 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
January 11 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
January 11 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
January 12 – This Is My Truth Now – REVIEW
January 12 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW
January 13 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
January 14 – Carla Loves To Read - REVIEW
January 14 – Cozy Up With Kathy – SPOTLIGHT
January 15 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW
January 15 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 16 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
January 16 – Celticlady's Reviews - SPOTLIGHT
January 17 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
January 17 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

Enter the Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Series Box Set Exclusive Excerpt & #Giveaway ~ Fey Guardian Box Set by Tiffany Shand ~ Urban Fantasy #UF @TiffanyShand


Welcome to the Virtual Book Tour for Tiffany Shand's Fey Guardian Series Box Set.

About the Box Set:

Our memories are who we are.

But for Zoe Finn, it’s all a blur. She has no memory of the first ten years of her life. The world around her is shrinking as she’s pushed up against her own inner demons. It’s a daily struggle just to breathe – until a handsome stranger enters her life.

Nick Trevelyan can help Zoe put her life together. As the last guardian, he enforces the law of The Circle, the council of races. With him by Zoe’s side, there’s no telling what they’ll discover. And as Zoe investigates the mysterious deaths of psychics, the truth about her own past slowly crawls into the light. As her unusual abilities come into focus, Zoe learns more about herself than she ever thought possible.

Will she succeed in unraveling her mysterious past? Or will this cruel world keep her shrouded in darkness?

Books in the Box Set:

Memories Lost, Book 1
Memories Awakened, Book 2
Memories Found, Book 3

Box Set Details:

Print Length: 333 pages
Publisher: Tiffany Shand
Publication Date: January 7, 2019
ASIN: B07L7BP8H4

Read an Excerpt:

Zoe Finn pulled her leather jacket tighter around her and shivered against the cool air. She glanced over at Nick Trevelyan, a private investigator, friend, and all-around pain in the arse.
“Remind me why we’re hanging out in a graveyard at 2AM?”
She hated graveyards—they always seemed creepy. But she wanted to keep busy instead of moping around blaming herself for what had happened to Carmel, her foster mum. After their last encounter with the supernatural, Carmel had been possessed by a strange entity. She’d wound up in a coma and hadn’t regained consciousness.
“Because we’re watching for signs of vampires,” he muttered.
“Right. That.” She snorted. After all the things she’d seen and experienced over the past few months, Zoe wasn’t too surprised to learn vampires were real too. “So, guardians kill vamps too?”
“Vamps are a type of under fey. They’re more like zombies as opposed to the walking dead. And they don’t glitter either.”
She laughed. “Good thing I’m not a Twilight fan.” Zoe pushed her long brown hair off her face. She’d lost her hair band again and had nothing else to tie it back with. She rummaged through her pockets in search of one but found only a small compact mirror. When she used her phone’s light to check her face, she noticed her dark eyes had black circles under them.
“Remember the part about being quiet on stakeouts?” Nick said as he turned his attention back to the silent tombstones. His piercing blue eyes looked black in the darkness as he ran a hand through his short tousled black hair.
Zoe rolled her eyes. You’d be bored without me. Staring at tombstones seemed just as creepy as being near graves. She half-expected the graves’ occupants to come jumping up out of the ground at any second.
I’d probably get a lot more done! Nick said in thought.
She gave him a playful shove. Ha, you like having me close by, admit it! I’m the only other guardian around aside from you, she pointed out. Plus, you don’t have to keep watching over me so much now. I can take care of myself.
I still have orders to watch over you, Nick reminded her. 

Purchase Your Copy from Amazon

Add the Box Set to Your Shelf on Goodreads

Tour Schedule:

https://saphsbookpromotions.blogspot.com/2019/01/book-tour-schedule-fey-guardian-box-set.html

Meet the Author:


Tiffany Shand is a writing mentor, professionally trained copy editor and copy writer who has been writing stories for as long as she can remember. Born in East Anglia, Tiffany still lives in the area, constantly guarding her work space from the two cats which she shares her home with.

She began using her pets as a writing inspiration when she was a child, before moving on to write her first novel after successful completion of a creative writing course. Nowadays, Tiffany writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance, as well as nonfiction books for other writers, all available through Amazon and on her own website.

Tiffany’s favourite quote is ‘writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go’ and it is armed with this that she hopes to be able to help, inspire and mentor many more aspiring authors.

When she has time to unwind, Tiffany enjoys photography, reading and watching endless box sets. She also loves to get out and visit the vast number of castles and historic houses that England has to offer.

You can contact Tiffany Shand, or just see what she is writing about at:

Tiffany’s Website

Tiffany’s Blog

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Fey Guardian Box Set

Enter the Giveaway:


Book Review ~ Grimoires, Spas & Chocolate Straws (A Spells & Caramels Cozy Witch Mystery, Book 8) by Erin Johnson

Grimoires, Spas & Chocolate Straws 
A Spells & Caramels Cozy Witch Mystery, Book 8
by Erin Johnson

About the Book:



A Spells & Caramels Cozy Witch Mystery, Book 8

Cozy Mystery 

Self Published 

December 29, 2018 

Paperback: 332 pages 

ISBN-10: 1792728727 

ISBN-13: 978-1792728723 

Digital ASIN: B07LB49VBR

Amazon


About the Book:

Sandy slaughter. An enchanting suspect. Can a magical baker protect her friends from a dangerous paradise?

Stranded on Badlands Island, Imogen Banks is driving herself crazy looking for her brother. So when the spell-casting baker's friends suggest they escape for a luxurious dragon spa treatment, she doesn't need a second invitation. But her hopes for coastal romance with Hank fall flat when a resort guest turns up roasted in the sand.

Suspecting murder, Imogen zeroes in on the town's rumored "black widow" as a possible culprit. But when her friend falls for the beautiful woman despite the deadly track record, Imogen fears he'll be the next victim to stay buried.

Can Imogen sift through the clues before the killer gives her one final treatment?

Grimoires, Spas and Chocolate Straws is the eighth book in the Spells and Caramels delightful paranormal cozy mystery series. If you like endearing heroines, a touch of romance, and unexpected twists, then you’ll love Erin Johnson’s magical whodunit.

Buy Grimoires, Spas & Chocolate Straws to massage a new mystery today!

My Review:

Grimoires, Spas & Chocolate Straws (Spells & Caramels, #8)Grimoires, Spas & Chocolate Straws by Erin Johnson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Imogen and her friends are going to be on Badlands Island for the foreseeable future. To keep from going crazy, Imogen friends agree to go with the guards to a resort town to help distribute tea to the locals while the guards protect the fishermen. When a man indulging in a signature spa treatment is found dead and the owner of the spa is Sara, the infamous black widow, Imogen can’t help but get involved, especially since her friend Yann shows an interest in Sara.

Grimoires, Spas, and Chocolate Straws was a little bit slow for me at the beginning. It wasn’t until after they reached the resort town and the death occurs that the pacing of the book picked up. The characters are delightful as ever and we get to meet new people and get reacquainted with Horace. His conversation with Imogen is pretty sad and I felt really bad for the life he’s had to live for so long.

Spells and Caramels is a really enjoyable cozy mystery series. There are now eight books and the author still manages to keep things fresh and interesting. Imogene, Hank, Maple, and Sam, along with all the others, are well developed characters. They aren't flawless characters but that's what helps give them, and the story, so much charm. The continued world building describes scenes very well and the continues character development helps the reader develop deeper connections with the characters.

Imogen's character is fun and caring with a bit of emotional baggage making her a very realistic, likable, and interesting character. She has embraced the magic she was born into and she's continually trying to harness and use the magic. Imogen and Maple are wonderful, and I love their friendship. Iggy the flame is the best! He's mouthy but Iggy and Imogen have a great relationship. Hank and Imogen’s relationship continues to grow and strengthen even though they are far from home. I look forward to more of their antics in the next book.

I was provided a copy of this book to review.

View all my reviews

Monday, January 7, 2019

Book Spotlight & #Giveaway ~ A Spell of Murder (Witch Cats of Cambridge, Book 1) by Clea Simon ~ @Clea_Simon #CozyMystery @SDSXXTours

 
A Spell of Murder

Witch Cats of Cambridge, Book 1

Clea Simon


Genre: Cozy Mystery 


“It’s Harriet’s fault. It’s always her fault, not that she’ll ever admit it.” So begins A Spell of Murder: A Witch Cats of Cambridge mystery, the first in a new cozy series that mixes feline fiction with a touch of the paranormal, and a little romance as well.

Becca, newly single and newly unemployed, wants to believe she has psychic powers. With nothing but time – and a desire for empowerment – she’s studying to become a witch. What she doesn’t know is that her three cats – Harriet, Laurel, and Clara – are the ones with the real power. And when Harriet – “a cream-colored longhair with more fur than commonsense” – conjures a pillow for her own comfort, Becca believes her spells are finally working. Could that be why Trent, the coven’s devilishly handsome leader, has been showing her special attention? Or why Suzanne, a longtime coven member, draws her aside to share a secret – a confidence that may lead to murder? 

Add to Your Shelf Goodreads

Purchase from Amazon



Clea Simon is the author of "A Spell of Murder," the first in her new "Witch Cats of Cambridge" series. She is also the author of "World Enough," a rock 'n' roll noir, as well as the Blackie and Care series (most recently "Cross My Path") chronicling the adventures of the pink-haired Care and the black feral cat who loves her. In addition to these darker books, she is also the author of the Dulcie Schwartz feline mysteries, the Pru Marlowe pet noir mysteries, and the Theda Krakow mysteries, as well as three nonfiction books, including The Feline Mystique: On the Mysterious Connection Between Women and Cats. 

The recipient of multiple honors, including the Cat Writers Associations Presidents Award, she lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, with her husband, Jon Garelick, and their cat, Musetta. 



Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!