Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Release Blitz & #Review ~ How to Survive a Modern-Day Fairy Tale by Elle Cruz @ElleCruz #Romance @EntangledPub



How to Survive a Modern-Day Fairy Tale
by Elle Cruz is now live! 




About the Book:

She didn't believe in fairy tales...until Prince Charming found her. 

Claire Ventura is nothing like the poised and perfect heroines she reads about in her favorite romance novels. She's a quirky, people-pleasing bookworm with a loving yet obliviously intrusive family and a passion for cookie decorating—all rolled into a five-foot-two Filipina American fueled by chamomile tea.

Then she meets Nate, billionaire CEO of a global tech company, the modern-day Prince Charming who sweeps her off her feet. Though he does his best to convince Claire that he's genuinely head over heels for her, she knows he'll soon realize she's more underwhelming Plain Jane than jet-setting socialite. And once he meets her family, if their initial questioning doesn't scare him off, then their tendency to decide "what's best for her" certainly will.

Between her whirlwind romance with Nate and her meddlesome family, Claire wishes she had a fairy godmother to guide her. But this is the real world in the twenty-first century, and the only way to get her happily ever after is by grabbing firm hold of what she really wants—and letting her heart be her guide.

My Review:

Sometimes the knight-in-shining-armor you aren't looking for, shows up in the most unlikely place.

How to Survive a Modern-Day Fairy Tale was a great romance with layers, emotions, and insta-love. Claire Ventura is part of a large Filipino-American family. They meddle, they argue, they control, but they also love fiercely. Unfortunately, stuck in the middle of all that meddling, arguing, control and love is Claire. She’s a people pleaser, compassionate, and quirky.

I sometimes felt her family members took advantage of that good heart and people-pleasing personality. Claire has goals, dreams, and wishes but certain family members discount them as silly, hobbies, or no way to survive. Her accidental meeting of Nate Noruta turned her life upside-down. Their whirlwind romance was cute, intense, and steamy. I really found them to click, connect on more than a superficial level.

I loved how Nate brought the best out in Claire. He loved her, encouraged her to follow her dreams, and bent over backwards to be there for her. Yes, he’s a workaholic but he always made as much time for Claire as he could. His character is wonderful and being with Claire just enhanced him and his work-life balance. Unfortunately, Claire continues to get inside her own head. Not a believer in fairy tales, Claire was really hard on herself through the entire book. She questioned by Nate would want to be with her instead of a rich and beautiful socialite.

Nate’s backstory was sparce and he learned all about Claire’s family but never really gave Claire any info about his. When his past is finally revealed, I was disappointed in Nate’s actions, Claire’s actions, and the contribution to their conflict. I wish we would have gotten a more in-depth look at Nate’s family dynamics. I still enjoyed both characters, the story, and the plot.

I felt there was a lot of me in Claire’s character, so I was able to connect with her on many levels in this book. My vibrant, fun, and larger-than-life grandmama spent the last five years of her life with Alzheimer’s disease. I met my husband online, we dated for 1 ½ months before I uprooted my life and moved an hour and a half away to be with him, and we married a couple years later. My personality is similar to Claire’s and I’m a people-pleaser. I loved learning about Claire and watching her evolve throughout the story.

My Rating:


Purchase Links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3lifhwr
Apple Books: https://apple.co/3BE6ASt
Nook: https://bit.ly/3CAbfGH
Kobo: https://bit.ly/2ZLONfe

Add to Goodreads: 

https://bit.ly/3EhC3Md



Meet Elle Cruz:



Elle Cruz is a writer of steamy contemporary romance. When Elle was a kid, she'd get in trouble on purpose to be sent to her room so she could read all day long. She thanks her lucky stars that her parents never thought to take books away from her when she was grounded. In a way, it was mom and dad's fault for unintentionally cultivating a voracious reader and writer.

After earning her English degree from UC Irvine, Elle eventually went back to school to become a nurse. Apparently she couldn't get enough of learning because she went to grad school to earn her doctorate degree.

Elle is the daughter of immigrants. She is fiercely proud of her background as a second-generation Filipino-American. She is dedicated to carving out a permanent place for POC in mainstream publishing by contributing her voice to the growing list of diverse authors.

Elle lives in Southern California with her supportive husband and two wonderful kids. When she's not writing, she likes to keep her body guessing with her two obsessions: cookies and working out.
 
Connect with Elle:

Website | ellecruz.com
Goodreads | https://bit.ly/3mODUSU
Amazon | https://amzn.to/3GOMhG1
Instagram | https://bit.ly/3q9jndA
Twitter | https://bit.ly/3H67YSb

Release Day ~ An Unexpected Distraction (Richter, Book 3) by Catherine Bybee #Montlake

Family secrets and fresh romance collide in this heartpounding Richter series installment 
by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bybee.

About An Unexpected Distraction:

Jacqueline "Jax" Simon knows how to expose secrets: she's a skilled operative with MacBain Security and Solutions. When Jax hears her parents are divorcing, she races to London to find out why. She's determined to learn the truth, especially when her investigation uncovers why her parents sent her to Richter, The German military school that made her a fighter.

Andrew Craig collects Jax at Heathrow Airport as a favor. He's heard she's a handful, but he didn't know she's dangerously gorgeous too. His instant attraction could change his life...or end it.

Jax doesn't want to fall for Andrew, but soon he's worming his way into her life. Together, they infiltrate Richter to discover if it has returned to its covert purpose: training children to be spied and assassins and blackmailing parents to look the other way. As the attraction between the two intensifies, so do the secrets exploding all around them. How deadly those secrets—and who will survive?

Read an Excerpt:

Andrew stood aside, put his beverage down. “I’ll walk you out.”

Outside the bar, the cold, damp London air snapped her spine straight.

“Where is your car?”

Jax pointed across the street and up toward her brother’s place. “I’m capable of getting there on my own.”

“I would suspect anyone who jumps out of airplanes and plays on America’s military bases is capable of more than crossing the street.”

“Then why are you out here?”

The light turned green and they started walking.

“I want to help.”

“Help with what?”

“Your investigation. That’s why Harry asked you to come, isn’t it?”

“Is that what he told you?”

“He told me he needed family reinforcements to get his dad to move out of his flat.”

That sounded like the words her brother would use.

“I have a feeling my father is going to be just as helpful putting this to rest as my mother.”

“He didn’t seem excited to see you.”

“Thank you for pointing that out.”

Andrew paused his step. “I’m sorry. That was insensitive.”

She stopped, turned to look at him. “I’m pretty sure I remember telling you my family was cold. Back when I thought you were a driver who didn’t know them personally.”

“Right. I’m sorry about that, too.”

Jax started walking again. “I tipped you.”

He followed. “I’ll pay you back.”

They crossed another intersection, and she slowed her pace as the rental car came into view.

She wondered if there was a way for Andrew to help her. “Do you work with my dad?”

He shook his head. “No. I’m in finance, but with the private sector. Hedge funds have no appeal to me.”

“There’s more money in it.” Jax stopped at the car.

“And less quality of life. Look at your brother, he doesn’t have any hair left.”

“True.”

Andrew reached out his hand.

She looked at it.

He wiggled his fingers as if asking for something. “Your phone. In case you need backup.”

“There’s an entire team here in London.”

He pointed to his chest. “But only one of me.”

That sounded like a line. But she handed him her phone anyway.

He pressed a button to power it on, then turned it toward her so it would open.

A sly smile sat on his lips as he put in his phone number.

When his phone buzzed, he silenced it quickly, obviously pleased with himself.

“Was this about me getting ahold of you, or you getting ahold of me?”

“Yes.”

Jax narrowed her gaze, saw the same attraction she had the night they’d met. “I’m not here for that.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” His eyes twitched. His smile grew.

Instead of calling him out, she reached for her keys.

He opened the door and waited for her to get behind the wheel “Petrol,” he said.

Jax looked up at him, confused. “What?”

“My last credit card transaction was at the petrol station.”

It was hard not to smile. “You’re an interesting man, Andrew.”

He leaned down with a knowing smile. “You have beautiful legs, Jax.”

She was blushing . . . she could feel the heat in her cheeks.

He closed the door and stepped back.

Jax drove away without saying goodbye, knowing full well she’d see him again.

Purchase Links:

An Unexpected Distraction on Amazon: 

3-book Series on Amazon:

BN:

BAM: 

Book Depository: 

Meet the Author:


Catherine is a #1 Wall Street Journal, Amazon, and Indie Reader bestselling author. In addition, her books have also graced The New York Times and USA Today bestsellers lists. In total she has written thirty-six beloved books that have collectively sold more than 10 million copies and have been translated into more than twenty languages.

Raised in Washington State, Bybee moved to Southern California in the hope of becoming a movie star. After growing bored with waiting tables, she returned to school and became a registered nurse, spending most of her career in urban emergency rooms. She now writes full time and has penned the Not Quite series, The Weekday Brides series, the Most Likely To series, and the First Wives series. Learn more about Catherine and her books at www.catherinebybee.com


New Cozy Mystery Book Release ~ Mimi Lee Cracks the Code (A Sassy Cat Mystery #3) by Jennifer J. Chow @JenJChow @BerkleyMystery #CozyMystery

 


When murder follows Mimi Lee to her romantic island getaway, she puts on her best sleuthing hat with her sassy cat in tow in this adventurous cozy mystery by Jennifer J. Chow.

Mimi Lee just found an extra perk to being a pet groomer at Hollywoof (other than cuddling animals all day long, that is). Pixie St. James, one of Mimi’s clients and the investor behind Hollywoof, has offered her and her boyfriend, Josh, a getaway at her vacation home, nestled on beautiful Catalina Island. With the island just outside of Los Angeles but still far enough from the hustle and bustle, Mimi, Josh, and their cat Marshmallow (who, of course, wouldn’t be caught dead in a dingy pet hotel) are excited for their relaxing stay.

That is, until Pixie’s last renter, Davis D. Argo, turns up dead. Mimi and Josh’s romantic getaway immediately turns into an enormous buzzkill, especially when Pixie asks Mimi for help. The police suspect Pixie, and Mimi knows a thing or two about wrongful allegations. Mimi figures it couldn’t hurt to snoop a little since she’s already there, and soon discovers that a valuable item is missing. Except Pixie isn’t the only one in the neighborhood who has been robbed. There is something strange happening on the island, and Mimi won’t stop until she finds out what it is.

ASIN: ‎ B08XQ2T9BS
Publisher: ‎ Berkley
Publication Date: ‎ November 30, 2021
Paperback: ‎ 288 pages
ISBN-10: ‎ 1984805037
ISBN-13: ‎ 978-1984805034

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3AlOhB6

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57251003-mimi-lee-cracks-the-code

Visit the Author's Website: https://jenniferjchow.com/

Series Spotlight & #Giveaway ~ The Fata Morgana Series by Jo-Anne Blanco #YA #Fantasy



Morgan Le Fay: Small Things and Great
The Fata Morgana Series
Book One
Jo-Anne Blanco

Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Argante Press
Date of Publication: September 2021
ISBN:978-1838489304
ASIN:B09FQDLSSG
Number of pages:295
Word Count: 104,560
Cover Artist: Miriam Soriano

About the Book:

THE CHILD FATED TO SHAPE DESTINIES …

Morgan is a little girl who lives in Tintagel Castle by the sea, loved and sheltered by her noble parents, the Duke and Duchess of Belerion. An extraordinarily clever child, extremely sharp-eyed, exceptionally curious. A little girl unlike other children.

One stormy night a ship is wrecked off the coast, bringing with it new friends – Fleur the princess from a far-off land, Safir the stowaway with a secret, and the mysterious twins Merlin and Ganieda. Morgan’s visions of another world awaken her to the realisation that she can see things others cannot. That she has powers other people do not possess.

Not long afterwards, Morgan encounters Diana, the Moon Huntress, who charges her with a dangerous mission that only she can accomplish. With Merlin by her side and unsure if he is friend or foe, Morgan must venture far from home to enter the realms of the Piskies and the Muryans, warring tribes of faeries who vie for the souls of lost children. There she must summon her magic to fight the most ancient powers in the world, to rescue a young soul destined to be reborn …


Read an Excerpt from Chapter I: The Deluge:

Feeling very alone, Morgan hesitated. If she disobeyed Sebile again, she knew she would be in trouble. She looked up again, but there was still no sign of the Horned Man. Whatever was moving towards her in the sea was coming closer. She had to know what it was. Instinctively, she ran towards the shore and felt her way across the rocks that cut through the beach and the water. There she stood upon a rock as the movement came into focus. Her heart began to race once more and time returned to its normal pace as she looked, astounded, upon a sight she had already seen in her mind.

A little dark-haired boy of about her own age was swimming determinedly towards the rocks. On his back, clinging to him was a little girl, who looked almost exactly like him except for her slightly longer dark hair. The little girl’s eyes were pure white with no colour to their centre, wide-open and watery. She was blind.

Morgan watched the two children with fascinated horror, unable to believe what she was seeing. Were they real, this boy and girl from her dream? How could she have dreamed about them without ever knowing them or seeing them before? The boy’s wet hair was plastered to his head and his face was strained with the effort of swimming to shore while carrying the girl. Morgan remembered how he had refused to take her hand in her dream and how, after his refusal, the sky in her nightmare had rained down blood. She recoiled from the memory and for the first time in her life she hesitated whether to help or not. But then the girl raised her head and her sightless eyes seemed to look directly at Morgan. Still clinging to the boy, she pointed at her. The boy, still swimming, followed the girl’s silent signal and saw Morgan. At once he almost imperceptibly changed direction, swimming straight towards her.

As they came closer, the pain and exhaustion on their faces was too much for Morgan to bear.With the strange sense of having entered her dream and done this before, she stepped to the edge of the rock, went down on her knees and held out her hand. This time, however, the boy did not stop. He swam all the way towards the rock until he reached her.

“Help me with my sister,” was all he managed to gasp. Morgan leaned over, grabbed the little blind girl’s arms and pulled. The boy pushed the girl from the water until between the two of them they got her out. The girl lay on the rock, her sightless eyes staring up into the sky. Morgan then held out her hand to the boy. He didn’t hesitate, but took hold of her hand with one hand and the rock with the other. With Morgan pulling his arm the boy hauled himself up onto the rock and collapsed next to her.

“Are you alright?” Morgan asked them both.

The boy, out of breath, did not answer for a few seconds. “I think so,” he eventually replied.

“What about you?” Morgan asked the girl, who was lying immobile but breathing on the rock.

“She can’t answer you,” the boy said, not looking at his sister. “She doesn’t speak.”

Morgan felt a surge of sadness for the little girl. “I’m sorry.”

The boy looked at Morgan. Morgan felt a cold stab when she saw his dark eyes were exactly as she remembered in the dream. Before she could say anything, the boy said, “I know you.”

“What?” Morgan gasped.

The boy didn’t smile, just stated calmly, “I’ve seen you before.”

“Where? How?” Morgan demanded. The boy said nothing, but merely looked at her.

“Morgan!” came Sebile’s outraged voice.

Morgan started up and cried, “Sebile! I’ve found them! I’ve found the lady’s children!”
“You saw our mother?” the boy asked, frowning. He tried to stand up, but his legs gave way.

Morgan grabbed his arm to stop him from falling. The boy reacted with unexpected violence to her touch, almost as if she had wounded him. He pulled his arm away roughly and took a step back from her, almost cringing. Morgan was startled and hurt.

“She’s alive. They’ve taken her to the castle,” Morgan told him warily. The boy stood looking at Morgan, but this time, oddly, did not look into her eyes. “She asked me to find you,” Morgan went on.

“How did you know it was us?” the boy asked.

“I knew as soon as I saw you,” Morgan said. She couldn’t explain how; she had just known. The boy then looked back at her again, appraisingly and interestedly. This time it was Morgan who looked away.

As Sebile came running up from the beach, Morgan negotiated her way back across the rocks. “It’s them, Sebile!” she said breathlessly. “It’s her children!”

The fury on Sebile’s face subsided when she saw Morgan’s earnest, pleading expression. She looked at the boy standing shakily on the rock and Morgan heard her sharp intake of breath. Sebile then saw the girl lying without moving, made her way across the rocks and picked her up. “Follow me,” Sebile commanded Morgan and the boy, and they obeyed her. Together, Morgan and the boy walked the remaining length of the beach, which was now empty save for a few scattered remains of wreckage and clothing. The survivors and the dead alike were being carried up the cliff path towards Tintagel as the light grew brighter and the wind started to blow itself out.

At the foot of the cliff path, Morgan turned to look back once more at the sea. Like the wind, its anger and force were dissipating. The waves were still high, but not as ferocious as before and not as strong. Morgan thought with a shiver that it was as if the monster that was the sea had eaten until it was full and was now happy with the wreck and its passengers that it had taken that night.

“So you’re Morgan,” the boy said. He had stopped with her and was looking out at the sea as well.

“Yes. My father’s the Duke of Belerion,” Morgan told him.

“I know.”

Morgan could not work out if the words were said with hostility or not. Before she could think of a suitable retort, the boy indicated his sister, who was being carried ahead of them by Sebile.

“That’s Ganieda. She’s my twin.”

“And who are you?” Morgan asked coldly.

The boy looked directly at her and this time she held his gaze. At this, the boy smiled for the first time. “I’m Merlin.”

Morgan Le Fay: Children of this World
The Fata Morgana Series
Book Two
Jo-Anne Blanco

Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Argante Press
Date of Publication: September 2021
ISBN:978-1838489328
ASIN:B09FR1Y8BK
Number of pages:543
Word Count: 193,406
Cover Artist: Miriam Soriano

About the Book:

A STORM IS BREWING …

Brothers Ambrosius and Uther Pendragon have landed in Belerion with an army raised to fight High King Vortigern. Supporters of the High King gather at Tintagel, seat of Morgan’s father the Duke of Belerion, as they prepare for battle. Ominous clouds of war hang over the castle, treachery lurks in the shadows, and rumours abound that Ambrosius is being aided by a powerful dark force from the past …

Since Morgan’s encounter with the Piskies and the Muryans, the faerie tribes have united against her, vowing revenge. Meanwhile, her powers are growing faster and stronger, her dreams and visions more potent. On Samhain night, when the veil between the worlds becomes thin, Morgan resolves to summon Diana the Moon Huntress to her once again, with terrifying and tragic consequences …


Read and Excerpt from Chapter V: Lights in the Dark:

The Jack o’Lantern suddenly went out, plunging them into total darkness. Morgan turned in alarm. A smoke smell trailed into the air. Taliesin had snuffed out the candle.

“What did you do that for?” Morgan hissed.

“Look!”

Down on the beach bobbed another light. It was coming in their direction. Towards Merlin, Morgan thought with a little shiver running down her back.

Adjusting their eyesight to the dark, they gradually saw that behind the light on the beach walked the shadow of a man.

“Myrddin,” Morgan heard Taliesin whisper.

“How did you know he’d be here?” Morgan whispered back.

“I told you. I followed him.”

“But he wasn’t on the path. We couldn’t see him.”

“It’s something Cadwellon’s been teaching me. It’s called sen-sor-y in-vo-ca-tion.” Taliesin enunciated the words carefully, still in a whisper, sounding proud of being able to say such big words. “You focus on someone or something with your mind and you can find it or follow it.

Track it down. That’s how I knew Myrddin had come along the path to this place. I could feel him all along the way.”

Morgan was fascinated and slightly envious, wishing again that she could study with the Druids too. But she didn’t have time to think about that right now.

Taliesin was staring down at the dark cove. “I know this place,” he said. “My father told me about it. He brought me here once. All the fishermen know about it. It’s dangerous.”

“Dangerous? Why?”

The boy pointed out to the black mass of sea. “There are lots of hidden rocks out there. It looks calm because you can’t see them – they’re just under the water. My father says boats get wrecked here in storms, or they’re caught by the currents and run aground. They smash into rocks they don’t know are there. Lots of people have drowned.”

The memory of the big storm and the wreck of the Sea Queen came rushing back into Morgan’s mind. The screaming, drowning people. The bodies strewn on the beach. The groaning, dying ship.

It was hard to imagine anything like that could happen in this quiet-looking bay, its waves softly swooshing under the cover of darkness. She shivered.

“We have to get closer,” she said, trying to brush off her unease.

Taliesin didn’t answer, but nodded in agreement. The two of them grasped each other’s hands and slowly began climbing down the slope, trying hard not to make any noise. It was by no means easy in the dark, with no lantern and almost no moonlight, but they persevered.

Keeping an eye on her footing as they went down, Morgan watched what was happening on the beach. In the dim, distant light of Myrddin’s lantern, Merlin and his Druid Master approached each other. They talked together briefly. Then Merlin lit a second lantern handed to him by Myrddin.

Now there were two lights on the shore. Merlin and Myrddin parted ways and began walking to opposite ends of the beach, each with their own lantern; Merlin walking back towards the slope he had come from.

Towards the very slope Morgan and Taliesin were climbing down.

“He’s coming back this way!” Morgan hissed urgently. “Quick! Lie down!”

She pulled Taliesin to the ground. The two of them lay there still holding hands, flat on their backs against the slope, trying not to breathe. Morgan felt her heart pounding fast. Don’t see us, she thought fiercely again, watching Merlin walking towards them with the lantern.

He didn’t see them. He seemed to be concentrating on the number of steps he took. Finally, he stopped at a certain point on the beach and turned away towards the ocean.

“Ssssssssss.” Something sounding like a whisper wafted through the air. Morgan heard it, but couldn’t understand it. She turned to Taliesin. “What did you say?”

She gasped.

Taliesin had disappeared. There was nothing and no one beside her. Only the stones and shingle on the slope.

But she could still feel his hand in hers.

“Taliesin!” she exclaimed softly. “Where are you?”

“What do you mean?” she heard Taliesin whisper back. “I’m here… what?”

“What do you mean, here? Where?”

“Morgan, where are you?” she heard Taliesin’s panicked voice over hers in a low tone. “I’ve got your hand … but I can’t see you!”

“I can’t see you, either!”

“What? No! What’s going on?”

Morgan wasn’t sure. She let go of Taliesin's hand. As soon as she did so, the boy reappeared next to her, out of the air, as if by magic. Just as he had said she had done back on the path.

“I can see you now!” Morgan exclaimed.

“Well, I can’t see you!” Taliesin sounded really scared. “Morgan, what are you doing?”

“I don’t know.” But she had an idea. Let Taliesin see me, she thought hard.

Taliesin gave a small cry and quickly covered his mouth. Morgan glanced hastily down at the beach. Merlin still had his back to them. He hadn’t heard.

“Can you see me now?” Morgan asked.

Taliesin nodded. Even through the darkness, Morgan could see the normally pallid fair-haired boy was even whiter than usual.

“You were invisible again. You just appeared out of the air.” Abruptly his voice took on an unfriendly note that didn’t sound like him. “How are you doing that?”

“I don’t know.” Morgan said again. She tried to put what she thought was happening into words.

“It’s like … if I think I don’t want someone to see me, they don’t. I can make myself invisible.” She wondered how long she had been invisible before she had met Taliesin on the path. “But I don’t know how. I don’t try to make it happen. It just does.”

Taliesin let out his breath. “It sounds like what Cadwellon says,” he said soberly. “The way he taught me sensory invocation. He says you can’t force it. He’s always telling me you have to focus on the result, not the act itself.” The friendliness crept back into his voice again. “That sounds like what you’re doing.”

“Ssssssshhhhhhhsssssss.”

It was the whisper again. Louder this time, but she still couldn’t understand it.

“Is that you?” Morgan said.

“Is what me?”

“That whisper. Didn’t you hear it?”

“No.” Taliesin sounded puzzled. And wary again. “I didn’t hear anything … Wait, look!”

Down on the beach something was happening. Merlin and Myrddin both held up their lanterns facing out to the ocean. Myrddin was further away from them, standing on a particular point on the other side of the beach.

Morgan watched Merlin with interest. He had taken off his cloak. He held up the lantern in one hand and with the other he used the cloak to cover and uncover the lantern several times.

“What’s he doing?” Taliesin whispered in bewilderment.

It was darker than ever. They could still just see the white-flecked waves rising and falling on the sand, roaring softly as they washed ashore. The sleepy-eye Moon was completely hidden. Only a few pinprick stars pierced the misty black veil of clouds across the sky.

Suddenly Morgan started. She clutched Taliesin’s arm, making him jump.

“Look! Look out there! Can you see it?”

A light appeared out on the night-darkened sea. It bobbed up and down, then disappeared. Then after a few moments it reappeared again. Then it blinked, going out, then flashed again, went out, then reappeared again.

“It’s getting nearer!” Morgan whispered.

Readr“It’s a boat!” Taliesin whispered back. “It has to be. It’s coming in to land! I told you it was dangerous around here with the hidden rocks. They’re using the lanterns to guide it in!”

Morgan Le Fay: Giants in the Earth
The Fata Morgana Series
Book Three 
Jo-Anne Blanco

Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Argante Press
Date of Publication: September 2021
ISBN:978-1838489342
ASIN:B09FT67S4Q
Number of pages:717
Word Count: 258,584
Cover Artist: Miriam Soriano

About the Book:

WHEN MONSTERS COME TO LIFE …

In the aftermath of Ambrosius’ attack on Tintagel Castle, young Morgan is sent away to the fortress of Dimilioc with her family, friends and tutor. But when bandits ambush their party, Morgan gets lost in the forest with nothing but her wits and her magic powers to rely on.

In her battle for survival, Morgan faces a cruel, hostile world that is suspicious, afraid and jealous of her magic. Silver-tongued faeries who are not what they seem. Vengeful Piskies and Muryans holding her friend Ganieda captive, Angry Giants and Spriggans who have awakened in the earth. And the ever-present threat of Ambrosius and his army, waiting to strike again …

To rescue her friends and outwit her enemies, Morgan must draw upon all her gifts, magic and mortal, in a perilous journey that will test her strength, faith and loyalty to the utmost …


Read an Excerpt from Chapter XI: The Treasure of Trecobben:

The Giant’s foot was moving again. Morgan hoisted herself more tightly into his bootlaces so she could ride on his boot without straining her limbs. Trecobben went back into the courtyard and swung the boulder shut behind him with a crash. He tramped back across the castle entrance and down the ramp, striding across his massive columned hall. Janniper and the other woman were scurrying back and forth like mice on the floor, up and down the ladders, throwing the fleeces into the clay pot. They were soaked and stinking with urine, their faces utterly miserable and desperate.

Trecobben ignored them, left the hall, and strode into an immense granite passageway lit with more bone-fire torches. Riding on Trecobben’s boot near the floor, Morgan saw they were going past a series of huge chambers from which she caught glimpses of more carved rock furniture and enormous, coloured tapestries hanging high.

She almost jumped out of her skin. Terrible, ear-splitting roaring was coming from inside one of the chambers. It was hard to tell if it was angry roaring or roars of pain. She heard Gargamotte’s voice, soothing and kind. Did the Giants have some kind of wild animal in the castle? Or animalia? It sounded like more than one.

But Trecobben went straight past without stopping. Soon he was descending another ramp, even narrower than the one at the entrance. He was going further beneath Trencrom Hill, deeper into the earth. After a while the ramp came to a dead end, blocked by a wide stone slab. Trecobben took one of the wall torches from its sconce and with his other hand grabbed the side of the slab, pulling it outwards. As the slab opened, a rush of freezing cold air escaped. Beyond, a dark, high-ceilinged chamber glittered in the torchlight. For a second, Morgan thought it was another crystal cavern, like the Spar-Stone Grave. But this was a different kind of glitter.

Trecobben lit several torches along the walls and the chamber came to life in an astonishing blaze of light.

Everything shone. Tall-as-trees steel swords with gilded hilts, glistening hill-sized silver cauldrons,radiant golden chalices, shimmering embellished scabbards, lustrous silk cloaks laden with sparkling jewels, gleaming bronze shields emblazoned with glittering gemstones – every single object in the chamber dazzled with opulence and light. Piles and piles of small round pieces of metal – gold, silver and bronze – glimmered invitingly, stacked as high as mountains. Resplendent ornate mirrors in all corners of the chamber multiplied the brilliance of all the treasures a hundredfold.Magnificent beams of light danced upon the high ceilinglike rays of sunshine, making the gloomy chamber as bright as day.

The glare was so blinding, the richness and beauty so overwhelming, it was hard for Morgan to take in. What was all this treasure? Where did it come from? Did it all belong to the Giants? Had they made it all themselves? Had they stolen it?

Trecobben was tramping across the chamber all the way to the other side. Morgan ensconced herself tighter into his bootlaces so she wouldn’t fall off. When the Giant stopped moving she looked upwards. Her mouth fell open.

A single, slender, Giant-sized pole was leaning against the far wall. Taller even than the Giant himself, it stood out from all the other treasures in the chamber. Unlike the others, the light that emanated from the pole wasn’t a reflection of the torches. It had its own light, radiating from within. Such a simple, ordinary object, yet breathtaking, beautiful, incandescent; forged from a lucent silver brighter than clear diamond and smoother than still water. A silver that was almost white, like moonlight captured and made solid form.
Morgan struggled to breathe.

She knew what it was. She’d seen it before. Not in life.In dreams.

It was the silver lance of her nightmare long ago. The silver lance that had pierced an ocean full of screaming angels and drowning people, wounding the very sea of life itself, turning water to blood.

It was the silver spear that had hovered in a stormy sky as lightning flashed and thunder crashed, as blood spilled out from the wounded land into the sea. The silver spear that had floated in the air before her, just out of reach. The silver spear that had driven her in her dream to leave the ground and fly after it, but hadn’t allowed her to catch it.

Artemis’ Spear. Diana’s Spear. The Sacred Spear.

The spearhead of which she carried in her satchel.

She heard Wodan’s voice, remembered what the Dark Huntsman had told her. “The spear was but a small thing when compared to what she stole from me. But now it has been stolen from me in return. I held on to the spearhead but the silver shaft was taken.”

And it was here. The silver shaft was here, in Trecobben Castle.And attached to it was a spearhead of a different, darker metal, not the original, the one that was meant to be.

She heard a strange soft humming, felt a buzzing in the satchel across her body. Looking down in alarm, she saw that she and everything on her were still invisible. Everything except the spearhead. It was shining from inside the satchel, breaking through her magic invisibility, seeming to appear from nowhere at the Giant’s foot. In response, the silver spear shaft itself grew even brighter, even more luminous, as if it were answering a call.

“Eh?” Trecobben muttered under his breath. He’d stretched out his hand to take hold of the spear shaft but pulled back as it grew brighter. In a panic, Morgan tried to hide the shining spearhead, but she couldn’t do it with her invisible hand.

“What’s this?” the Giant grunted to himself. Fortunately, he wasn’t looking down at his feet, so intent was he on the spear shaft. “Never liked this thing. Always something funny about it.”

Cautiously he reached out again and took hold of it. After a few seconds, satisfied that it was safe, he picked it up and went back across the chamber. With his other hand he took a torch and marched out of the doorway, slamming the stone slab shut with a whoosh.

In her mind’s eye, Morgan could see all the torches inside instantly blown out by the sudden draught. All of that fabulous treasure, save for the spear, lay underground in total darkness.


Meet the Author:

Jo-Anne Blanco was born in Brazil to an English mother and Spanish father. She graduated from the University of Edinburgh with an MA in languages and from the University of Glasgow with an MPhil in media and culture. As a teacher, she has spent much of her life travelling around the world. Her travels, together with her lifelong passions for reading, writing and storytelling, inspired her to embark upon her epic Fata Morgana series, about the life and adventures of Morgan le Fay. Mythology, fairy tales, and Arthurian legends are all major influences on her work, and her ongoing journeys to countries of great landscapes and folklore are never-ending sources of inspiration.










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(1) print copies of books 1-3 The Fata Morgana Series

(1) print copies of books 1-2 The Fata Morgana Series

(1) print copy of book 1 The Fata Morgana Series


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Teaser Tuesday & #Giveaway ~ Merry Christmas, Eve! by Adam Wallace ~ @RABTBookTours #RABTBookTours #MerryChristmasEve #AdamWallace #ChildrensBook


Merry Christmas, Eve! by Adam Wallace


Children's Picture Book

Date Published: December 4, 2020

Publisher: Krueger Wallace Press & Riven Rock Projects

About the Book:

Christmas is coming and the Christmas spirit is nowhere to be found. There’s only one little elf with the get-up-and-go to find it. Meet Eve . . .


About the Author:

New York Times, Amazon and USA Today Bestselling author who loves writing stories that make children laugh and get excited about reading and drawing and writing. I also love taking naps and listening to music. Not at the same time.

I have over 80 books published and out in the world, and love each one as if it were my child ... except if that child is like really naughty and always breaks my favourite things and writes bad words on the walls of our house.

None of my books are like that.

From How to Catch books to How to Draw books. From gross books to action and adventure books. From inspirational to just plain funny, there's something here for kids of all reading abilities, and all ranges of interests.


Contact Links:

Website

Facebook

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Purchase Link:

Amazon https://amzn.to/3lhF6wH


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Release Blitz ~ Sealed with a Yuletide Kiss by Sophie Barnes @BarnesSophie ~ @BookBuzznet @RABTBookTours #RABTBookTours #SealedwithaYuletideKiss #SophieBarnes #HistoricalRomance #Anthology

 

Sealed with a Yuletide Kiss 

by Sophie Barnes

A Historical Romance Advent Calendar

Historical Romance, Regency Romance, Holiday Romance, Romance Anthology

Date Published: November 30, 2021

Allow yourself to be swept away as you count down to Christmas with this collection of twenty-four romantic short stories. From friends to lovers and instant romance to secret identities and so much more, these treats are sure to fill you with warmth this holiday season. So grab a hot drink, settle into your favorite spot, and indulge in the magic of happily ever afters.


Story Titles:

December 1: A Drunken Christmas Escapade

December 2: A Royal Affair on Christmas Eve

December 3: A Duke Surrenders His Heart on Christmas Eve

December 4: A Highwayman Proposes on Christmas Eve

December 5: Caught in a Snow Storm on Christmas Eve

December 6: Rescued by a Duke before Christmas

December 7: A Kiss for Christmas

December 8: A Christmas House Party

December 9: Underneath the Mistletoe

December 10: Snowed In on Christmas Eve

December 11: An Unexpected Guest Arrives for Christmas

December 12: At the Christmas Ball

December 13: Trapped in a Carriage on Christmas Eve

December 14: By the Stroke of Midnight

December 15: The Duke Proposes on Christmas

December 16: A Scandalous Dare on Christmas Eve

December 17: A Secret Christmas Rendezvous

December 18: Stealing a Yuletide Kiss

December 19: A Shocking Revelation for Christmas

December 20: Stranded at an Inn during Christmas

December 21: An Unexpected Encounter with a Highlander

December 22: Reunited on Christmas Eve

December 23: Only a Duke Will Do for Christmas

December 24: A Christmas Wedding Gone Awry



About the Author:

USA Today Bestselling Author, Sophie Barnes, has spent her youth traveling with her parents to wonderful places all around the world. She's lived in five different countries, on three different continents, and speaks Danish, English, French, Spanish and Romanian with varying degrees of fluency.

She has studied design in Paris and New York and has a bachelor's degree from Parson's School of design, but most impressive of all - she's been married to the same man three times, in three different countries and in three different dresses.

While living in Africa, Sophie turned to her lifelong passion - writing.

When she's not busy, dreaming up her next romance novel, Sophie enjoys spending time with her family. She currently lives on the East Coast.


Contact Links:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

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Purchase Links:

Amazon

B&N

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iBooks

Google Play


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Monday, November 29, 2021

Book Spotlight & #Giveaway ~ The Golden Hook (The Green Sky Series, Book Two) by Jennae Vale @jennaevale

Swashbuckling pirates plus time travel equals adventure and romance on the high seas.


The Golden Hook  
The Green Sky Series, Book Two 
Jennae Vale

Genre: Time Travel Romance
Date of Publication: October 12, 2021
ASIN:B09JB82GG7
Number of pages:190
Word Count: 57,000
Cover Artist: Sheri McGathy

About the Book: 

What happens when a swashbuckling pirate meets a time traveling twenty-first century woman?
 
Edward Sutherland has always been a self-assured and confident man of the sea. He’s spent years alongside his friend and captain Jameson Mackall and until now has only ever wanted to find treasure and retire a wealthy man. He wasn’t expecting to travel through time and he certainly wasn’t expecting to meet a woman who would challenge and impress him at every turn.
 
Susanna Cole has lost her best friend in a boating accident. In a deep state of grief she is about to close her once thriving business when a stranger walks through her door with a letter from her friend. A letter dated 1724. Can she believe this man? Or is he playing some cruel joke?
 
Two strangers with one goal, to get back to the year 1724. There are plans to be made, treasure to be found and most importantly they must locate the one woman who can possibly help them in their quest. The feelings they are developing for one another will be put to the test when history, as it is written, comes into play and the life of Edward Sutherland is on the line.


Read an Excerpt:

Boxes were piled high around the offices of NYC Party Planning, crowding in on the desk where Susanna Cole sat going through emails and messages from friends and business acquaintances.

This had been one of the hardest times of her life.

Life wasn’t the same without Danielle. She’d lost her best friend and business partner. They worked together and lived together. She was completely alone now and more depressed than she’d ever been in her life.

Her head popped up as there was a knock at the door. “Come in.”

The door opened and the sight in front of her was like a slap in the face. Some idiot had decided it would be a good idea to remind her of her loss by showing up in pirate costume. “Was there a costume party someone forgot to tell me about?” she snapped.

“I’m sorry. Costume party?” the man asked.

“I’m not in the mood right now. What can I do for you?” Maybe if she sounded cranky enough he’d just turn around and leave.

“I need your help,” he said, stepping closer.

“You’ve come to the wrong place. I’m no longer accepting new clients. The business is closing for the foreseeable future.” That should do it. There was nothing more to be said. If he was looking for a party planner he was going to have to go elsewhere.

“But this is the right address. You’re Susanna Cole, am I correct?” He raised his eyebrows and offered a questioning gaze.

His surly English accent was not charming her. The more she looked at him the more irritated she became. Seeing him was like rubbing salt into her wound. “Seriously, what’s with the outfit?” Whoever this guy was, he was definitely in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Reaching into his jacket pocket, the man pulled out an envelope and looked at it. “I was directed here by the people on board the ship. This is NYC Party Planning, Brooklyn, New York, isn’t it?” He straightened his coat and stood at attention.

Susanna noted his height. Easily over six feet tall, very handsome and from the way he stood it seemed he might be in the military. No matter. She’d had enough of being toyed with.  “I don’t know what cruel joke you’re playing, but it is not appreciated. My friend recently drowned on a pirate cruise to Bermuda and I’m, I’m…” She wasn’t going to cry. Not in front of this stranger. She took in a deep breath, held her head high and stood up.

“I know the whole of it. Your friend Danielle fell overboard.” His voice was soft and low, filled with understanding.

Was he purposely trying to upset her? How did he know who Danielle was? “I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”

He threw his head back in apparent exasperation before inhaling deeply and looking at her.

“Please don’t. I’m sorry. I understand you’re upset, but do let me finish what I have to say.” He paused, gazing at her with what seemed an impatient glare.

She kept silent.

“Thank you. I’ve a letter here for you from Danielle. It will explain everything.” He held the letter out for her to take.

Susanna’s hands shook as she took it from him. She couldn’t help but feel skeptical. She’d seen Danielle go overboard and disappear beneath the waves. They’d searched for her for days, as had the Coast Guard and they found nothing.

“Did she give this to you before we went on the cruise?” She glanced down at the letter. It was Danielle’s handwriting. There was no mistaking it. Everything down to the little heart she used to dot the letter I.

“No. She gave it to me yesterday morning.” He seemed to be watching and waiting for her reaction.

“This better be good,” she said. At this point, she was ready to throw him out the door and lock it behind him. If that didn’t work, she’d call the police, but her curiosity was piqued. She opened the letter and read.

About the Author:

Jennae Vale is a best selling author of romance with a touch of magic.  As a history buff from an early age, Jennae often found herself day-dreaming in history class and wondering what it would be like to live in the places and time periods she was learning about.  Writing time travel romance has given her an opportunity to take those daydreams and turn them into stories to share with readers everywhere.

Originally from the Boston area, Jennae now lives in the San Francisco Bay area, where some of her characters also reside.  When Jennae isn’t writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and her pets, and daydreaming, of course.










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