Friday, April 19, 2024

A Twinkle of Trouble (A Fairy Garden Mystery) by Daryl Wood Gerber ~ #cozymystery #Review #Thereisagiveaway


A Twinkle of Trouble (A Fairy Garden Mystery) by Daryl Wood Gerber

About A Twinkle of Trouble:


A Twinkle of Trouble (A Fairy Garden Mystery)

Cozy Mystery

5th in Series

Setting - California

Publisher: ‎ Kensington Cozies (April 23, 2024)

Paperback: ‎ 304 pages

ISBN-10: ‎ 1496744934

ISBN-13: ‎ 978-1496744937

Kindle ASIN: ‎ B0CFGF36NM

Carmel-by-the-Sea garden shop owner Courtney Kelly sees things others can’t—like fairies, and hidden motives for murder . . .

Courtney is delighted when her tiny friend Fiona returns from the fairy realm, appearing at the base of a Cypress tree. When her Ragdoll cat, Pixie, emerges from her own portal—aka the cat door—the three set off for a busy day. Busier than usual, since Courtney has rented a small plot of land at the Flower Farm, where she hopes to grow her own supplies for her fairy-garden business. Plus, the annual Summer Blooms Festival is coming up, and Courtney has booked a booth . . .

But the murder of Courtney’s friend, Genevieve, casts a pall over the festival. Ever since Genevieve sold her floral business, she’d been building a career as an influencer. She was perennially opinionated—but in her new role she’d become surprisingly vicious, dissing local entrepreneurs with nasty posts and unwarranted bad reviews. That’s landed a couple of Courtney’s other friends on the suspect list—including Flower Farm owner Daphne Flores. And when a second victim is discovered, seeds of doubt about Daphne’s innocence sprout in Courtney’s mind. With only a germ of a clue, Courtney will have to overturn every rock to get the dirt on the real killer . . .

My Review:

A Twinkle of Trouble is the fifth book in the Fairy Garden Mystery series. Featuring fairies, cats, and a wonderful cast of characters, A Twinkle of Trouble is another slam dunk cozy mystery.

Courtney Kelly's fairy garden shop is booming. Between walk-in private lessons, group lessons, and individual sales, Open Your Imagination has become a popular destination for both believers and non-believers. Courtney even hosts fairy garden parties.

Courtney's fairy friend has returned from the fairy realm. Fiona had been gone a month, much to Courtney and her feline companion Pixie's dismay. Life can now get back to normal, and Courtney can focus on the Summer Blooms Festival and her quarter-acre of land at the Flower Farm. Except, the death of Courtney's friend Genevieve dims the happiness and excitement of the festival and farm.

This is a very unique story with unique elements. I enjoyed the fairy garden shop setting, complete with a live fairy. The characters are fun and exciting. I enjoyed Courtney's character. Her business is successful and thriving. She cares about her friends and citizens in Carmel-by-the-Sea and makes it her mission to help solve the crime, even when a couple of her friends appear as suspects. The author delivers several suspects with means and motive, and figuring out who committed the crime was difficult. There are twists and turns and red herrings, and while I may have suspected who committed the crime, I never was really sure until the end.

I was provided a copy of this book to read.

My Rating:

About Daryl Wood Gerber:


Agatha Award-winning author Daryl Wood Gerber is best known for her nationally bestselling mysteries, including the Fairy Garden Mysteries and Cookbook Nook Mysteries. As Avery Aames, she penned the popular Cheese Shop Mysteries. In addition, Daryl writes suspense including the well received The Son’s Secret, Girl on the Run, and the popular Aspen Adams series. Recently Daryl, who loves a challenge, published a Christmas romance, Hope for the Holidays. Fun Tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote.” She loves to cook, garden, read, and walk her frisky Goldendoodle. Also she has been known to jump out of a perfectly good airplane. You can learn more on her website:

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April 15 – Maureen's Musings – SPOTLIGHT
April 15 – Teatime and Books – SPOTLIGHT
April 16 – Mystery, Thrillers, and Suspense – SPOTLIGHT
April 16 – Sneaky the Library Cat's Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 16 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
April 17 – Christy's Cozy Corners – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 17 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
April 18 – Celticlady's Reviews – RECIPE
April 18 – The Mystery Section – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT
April 18 – Angel's Book Nook – SPOTLIGHT
April 19 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
April 19 – Sapphyria's Book Reviews – REVIEW
April 20 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW
April 20 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
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Her Dark Salvation by Katelyn Brehm ~ Paranormal Romance #PNR @KatBrehmWrites @NazareaAndrews @InkSlingerPR

We are so excited about sharing the cover of Katelyn Behm’s HER DARK SALVATION, a steamy paranormal romance we are so excited to share!

Title: Her Dark Salvation

Author: Katelyn Brehm

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Release Date: July 18th

About Her Dark Salvation:


A made man in the Italian Mafia. An immortal blood demon. I never imagined he’d become my dark salvation. 

My midlife awakening wasn’t going as planned. I’d wanted to prove I was more than a mousey professor, that I could handle life outside the walls of academia. Turns out, I’d underestimated the real world. 

My new boss was arrogant, domineering, and dangerous, and he turned me into a live wire that sparked under his thirsty stare. But he wasn’t just thirsty for my body. He craved my blood. 

I should have quit, should have run away screaming. Instead, I ran right into Marco DeVita’s arms. 


Heritage. Family. Blood. The bonds that had tied me to the Boston underworld for almost a century were unbreakable. Or so I thought. 

Someone in my crew had been stealing from me, had betrayed our family. But to ferret out the snake, I’d needed an expert to find proof. 

Anna Barone was a distraction I couldn’t afford. Her brilliant mind, hot temper, and even hotter body made my fangs ache with need.

I was trapped between my desire and my duty to protect. Because in my world, everything comes at a price. 


HER DARK SALVATION is the first book in the Bonded in Blood series. Each book is an interconnected, standalone Paranormal Mafia Romance with a guaranteed HEA.

Pre-Order Your Copy!

About the Author:

Katelyn Brehm writes steamy Contemporary Paranormal Romance and Mafia Romance with mature characters. She is an associate member of SFWA, the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association, and one of the volunteer event organizers for the Nebulas Conference. Kat is a second-generation German-American and native of Milwaukee, WI. When she's not reading and writing Romance, she works as an aerospace engineer at NASA's JPL. Kat lives in Pasadena, CA with her husband and two cats, Mini Wheat and Pepper.  

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Book Blitz ~ Arcane Kiss by Angela Knight ~ @AngelaKnight @RABTBookTours #RABTBookTours #ArcaneKiss #AngelaKnight #Paranormal


Arcane Kiss by Angela Knight

Alternative Universe, Paranormal Women’s Fiction

Date Published: Apri 12, 2024



Kurt Briggs has a spirit link to a tiger Familiar that gives him superhuman abilities, but when his father is murdered, the military veteran becomes a target for terrorist sorcerers. Alone, Kurt finds he's no match for the witch and her shape-shifting polar bear. He turns to Arcanist Genevieve Reyes for help in fighting the killers' spells.

As Genevieve and Kurt hunt the terrorists, shared danger leads to shared desire. But they soon realize Kurt's passion for Gen weakens his control over his cat. The consequences could be deadly for them both. Genevieve is attracted to Kurt's animal sensuality, but she knows she may be in as much danger from his tiger as she is from the terrorists.

Even if Kurt and Gen manage to stop the terrorists, their evil sorcery may trigger a witch hunt that could mean the destruction of everyone with magical Talent -- including Kurt and Genevieve.

Read an Excerpt:

The tiger bounded toward him in a blur of striped fur and powerful muscle. Kurt Briggs braced himself as the big cat reared to thump huge paws down on his shoulders. Somehow he managed not to fall on his ass, though eight feet of cat made an awkward dance partner. Rumbling, the beast touched a cool, damp nose to Kurt’s.

“Hi to you, too, Stoli.” Kurt dug his fingers in thick reddish gold fur to give his Familiar a scratch.

Golden eyes narrowed in feline ecstasy and Stoli chuffed a greeting. The tiger dropped to all fours again, and turned toward the lake with a flick of his striped tail. Kurt strolled after him across the thick grass.

Through the trees ahead Kurt spotted the flickering glint of afternoon sunlight on water -- the spring-fed lake that lay at the heart of Briggs Feral Sanctuary. Another tiger lounged in the shallows, six hundred pounds of stripes, attitude and luminous golden eyes.

Dave gave them a lazy blink, indolent as a pasha. And like a pasha, he apparently had a harem -- or at least a gang of devoted fans. Ten female volunteers clustered just outside the enclosure fence as close as they dared get. Dressed in shorts, hats and T-shirts with the BFS lion logo, they all wore grins of anticipation as they waited for him to do something amazing. Or, knowing Dave, inappropriate.

Stoli catapulted off the bank, sailed through the air, and landed on the other cat with a huge splash. The volunteers fled the arcing water, yelping and laughing.

Dave roared, batting at Stoli’s nose with sheathed claws. “Back off, Tigger! Do I look like fuckin’ Pooh Bear to you?”

Stoli raced off, chuffing like a giggling ten-year-old who’d pranked his brother. Which was exactly what he was. The two cats had been littermates before they’d melded with their human partners. Otherwise they couldn’t have shared an enclosure. Their fights would have been real.

“You’d better run, asshole! I’ll turn you into a rug!” Dave flopped back down in the water with a huff of feline disdain. “The crap I put up with.”

Kurt’s grin faded. Dave did indeed put up with a hell of a lot. A year ago he’d been Dave Frost, a member of Kurt’s Arcane Corps unit -- a tall, lanky blond with a wicked sense of humor. But that was before Dave had died, leaving his soul trapped in the body of Smilodon, his Familiar.

Another man might have surrendered to bitterness and grief for his lost humanity. Dave taught himself to talk by making the air vibrate with magic instead of human vocal cords. Now he was building a thriving career as a YouTube smartass.

“You got me all wet,” a blonde volunteer complained, pretending to pout as she pulled at her soaked shirt.

The tiger gave her a toothy grin. “My pleasure.”

“Ladies, quit flirting with the wildlife and finish cleaning the enclosures.” Kurt put a little subsonic rumble in his voice. Dave wasn’t the only one who could manipulate sound with his magic. “We don’t want BFS to smell like the world’s biggest litter box.”

“Killjoy,” Dave complained.

“You heard the man.” Karla Morgen, the volunteer coordinator, made a shooing gesture at the women. “The poop won’t scoop itself.”

“You know,” Kurt told Dave as the volunteers scattered, “you couldn’t be any more a ham if you were Porky Pig.”

“How else would I bring home the bacon?” Dave flicked a paw, and an invisible snare drum banged out a rimshot.

Kurt laughed. “You’re getting scary with the magical sound effects.”

“I live to terrify. Speaking of performances, how many tickets did we sell last night? Looked like every inch of the arena bleachers had somebody’s butt on it.”

“Pretty much.” BFS’s Feral 101 show was designed to educate sanctuary visitors about big cats. They’d livened it up with a demonstration of Feral abilities, but the material had still been as dry as sawdust -- until Dave had taken the emcee job in his capable paws. “We brought in five thousand in ticket sales and donations, plus another thousand for selfies and souvenirs.”

And they needed every dime. Keeping fifty-nine exotic cats fed and healthy wasn’t something you did on a shoestring.

Dave gave him a smug smile. “I has skillz. I also has half a million followers.”

“You’re just lucky they don’t know what an asshole you are.”

“I’m a tiger. We’re supposed to be assholes.”

Movement across the lake drew Kurt’s attention. In the next enclosure, a lion came to the water’s edge, accompanied by his two lionesses. Staring at the tigers, the Familiar roared.

 About the Author:

New York Times best-selling author Angela Knight has written and published more than sixty novels, novellas, and ebooks, including the Mageverse and Merlin’s Legacy series. With a career spanning more than two decades, Romantic Times Bookclub Magazine has awarded her their Career Achievement award in Paranormal Romance, as well as two Reviewers’ Choice awards for Best Erotic Romance and Best Werewolf Romance.

Angela is currently a writer, editor, and cover artist for Changeling Press LLC. She also teaches online writing courses. Besides her fiction work, Angela’s writing career includes a decade as an award-winning South Carolina newspaper reporter. She lives in South Carolina with her husband, Michael, a thirty-year police veteran and detective with a local police department.

 Contact Links:

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Release Blitz ~ Return of the Shadowlord by John Gorman ~ @Wonderboy33 @RABTBookTours #RABTBookTours #ReturnoftheShadowlord #JohnGorman #Fantasy


Orb Of Zorn, Book #2

Return of the Shadowlord 

by John Gorman


Date Published: 04-19-2024


About the Book:

When the Shadowlord steals part of the orb of eternity, his power surges. He has unleashed a mighty host of orcs and trolls and acquires an invaluable new henchman in Borg Bearslayer. Young Elcon goes through a battery of new trials and tribulations and is tested by powers he never imagined. Only by forging an alliance with the gray elf, Rowena Ravenwill, the brash dwarf Brom, and the last of the great swordsmen of the western realms does he stand a chance against the Shadowlord.

In this sequel to The Heir Apparent, a gloomier dawn emerges, and stakes are much higher for the young mage. The boundaries are blurred even further when the Walszman encounters the witch-like Lef Sagori. Will he succumb to the dark side of magic or will Elcon add great new deeds to his Van Zorn legacy?

About the Author:

Before his words found their way into print, John snapped the Eyesore of the Week for the Queens Ledger. His stories, essays, and articles have appeared in over 50 journals worldwide. His newest book Return Of The Shadowlord (Orb Of Zorn #2) is AVAILABLE for PRE-ORDER. John is also the author of the novels, The Heir Apparent (Orb Of Zorn #1), The Acolyte And The Amulet (Nebilon #1), Quest For The Hope Box (Nebilon #2), Beyond The Vicious Vortex, Shades of Luz, Disposable Heroes, and From Here To Burmidia.


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Instagram: @johngorman12


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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Hott Take by Serena Bell (Hott Springs Eternal, #2) ~ Comedy, Contemporary, Romance, RomCom ~ @serenabellbooks @XpressoTours

Hott Take
Serena Bell
(Hott Springs Eternal, #2)
Publication date: April 16th 2024
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance, RomCom

The hard part isn’t acting like we’re falling for each other. It’s pretending we’re not.

About the Book:

Shane: My grandfather’s will has me between a rock and a Hott place. If I don’t score a celebrity wedding, my sister will lose her wedding planning business—and our family’s land. As a playboy movie star, I know Hollywood’s ins and outs. But finding two celebrities in love is tougher than it looks.

Enter Ivy Scofield—the beautiful star of one of TV’s most beloved failures. She’s hiding from her past in Rush Creek, running a community theater for troubled kids. She needs my family’s wedding barn to save her program. So we make a deal: I give her the barn—she gives me her hand in fake marriage. Lights, camera, action—and cut—right?

Not so fast. Planning our fake wedding is way more personal than I was expecting. I’m learning Ivy’s quirks, preferences, and pet peeves—and that’s before I walk in on her enjoying my most infamous on-camera scene. Plus she’s slowly peeling back my layers—the ones I’ve built up to protect myself. If someone doesn’t do something soon, we might discover that the only thing fake about this wedding is the way we keep pushing each other away.

A spicy, movie star, marriage of convenience, fake relationship standalone romantic comedy set in the beloved small town of Rush Creek.

Add to Goodreads 

Purchase from Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

Read an Excerpt:

After Nia told me that Shane Hott is an actor, I watched the first Crown of Spires movies, Lord of Every Sky. It was full of scenes where he was shirtless, badass, and bossy. He’s basically the villain of the first movie—although I get the sense that he’s going to be redeemed later from the way the camera lingers on his…assets.

Even as I watched, I questioned my life choices. I wasn’t at all sure watching the movie was a good idea because in a town as small as Rush Creek, Shane and I were bound to cross paths.

After I watched him in Lord of Every Sky, I wanted to build a small monument to his torso and worship it…with my tongue.

And now, encountering him in the hallway outside of Hanna’s office, my knees feel less solid than I would ideally like.

Never trust a guy so good looking he makes you stupid.

So I do what any self-respecting woman would do in that situation.

I pretend I have no idea who he is.

I can tell he’s waiting for me to recognize him, giving me a beat to say, Holy crap, Shane Hott!

After he got on Bridge and turned into a household name, Anthony used to do the same thing.

Seeing echoes of Anthony in this guy makes me even less inclined to give him what he wants. Another Hollywood fuckboy hopped up on fan worship. It’s the last thing my life needs.

“Nice to meet you. I’m Ivy Scofield,” I say, cool and low key, like I’m introducing myself to the manager at the bank.

Surprise flickers behind his eyes, but he hides it, extending his hand. I take it. It’s big, warm, and dry and, unfortunately for my equilibrium, attached to a toned, muscular forearm below a rolled shirt sleeve. The shirt itself is a soft-looking blue gray that clings in all the right places to his movie star–worthy shoulders, pecs, and abs. He has long-lashed dark brown eyes paired with a blade of a nose, square jaw, and lush mouth. Against my will, I admit that he’s gorgeous.

I thought I had permanently rid myself of men who were too good looking to be believed, but apparently not.

“I think we can help each other out,” he says. Actually, he whispers it. “You, um, mind walking with me?” He gestures toward the exit.

“Should I be worried that you’re a serial killer?”

The corner of his mouth turns up. “I’m not a serial killer. I’m an actor.”

“Even worse.”

He laughs, which is terrible because it makes him even better looking, all eye crinkles and white teeth and genuine amusement. Then he stops—because I wasn’t joking and he seems to intuit that.

“Even so,” he says, more seriously. “Please. Just…let me walk you out and tell you what I’m thinking.”

I give him a shrug-nod, and we walk out of Hott Springs together to the parking lot. Now I know who owns the Aston Martin Vanquish I parked next to. I know nothing about cars…but Anthony coveted that car: fast, expensive, and—his words—a dream to drive.

As we draw even with his car, Shane says, “I know you need our barn.”

I flick him a quick, confused glance as hope buys real estate in my chest. It sounds like he’s implying that it still might be possible. I will do anything to save our theater—not just for me, but for the kids. I know Nia feels the same way.

“I can get the barn for you.”

“Hanna said—”

“Hanna wasn’t looking at the whole picture,” he tells me. “I am.”

I raise an eyebrow.

“You need the barn, and I need you to marry me.”

His too-pretty-for-real-life face is deadly serious now. My mouth falls open.

Meet the Author:

USA Today bestselling author Serena Bell writes contemporary romance with heat, heart, and humor. A former journalist, Serena has always believed that everyone has an amazing story to tell if you listen carefully, and you can often find her scribbling in her tiny garret office, mainlining chocolate and bringing to life the tales in her head.

Serena’s books have earned many honors, including an RT Reviewers’ Choice Award, Apple Books Best Book of the Month, and Amazon Best Book of the Year for Romance.

When not writing, Serena loves to spend time with her college-sweetheart husband and two hilarious kiddos—all of whom are incredibly tolerant not just of Serena’s imaginary friends but also of how often she changes her hobbies and how passionately she embraces the new ones. These days, it’s stand-up paddle boarding, board-gaming, meditation, and long walks with good friends.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook Page / Facebook Group / Twitter / Instagram / Newsletter

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Sleeping Dragon by Stephanie Burke ~ @Flashycat @RABTBookTours #RABTBookTours #SleepingDragon #StephanieBurke #ParanormalRomance #LGBTQ


Sleeping Dragon 

by Stephanie Burke

Dark Fantasy, Paranormal Women’s Fiction, LGBTQ

Date Published: April 19, 2024


About the Book:

Youltan lives a life of obligation and service, a slave to the desires of others, harnessing the strange and powerful chaotic energies known as Ice Magic. After a final betrayal by the people he protects, he finds himself transported to the one being who holds the key to his freedom.

The wards tattooed across Garyn's back ensure his total compliance, trapping him in his own form of slavery, until one of the traitorous Mages, the kind that devised this tortuous penance, is placed in his prison. Now manipulating his way to freedom rules the sex-shifting dragon's mind.

Garyn never expects Youltan to willingly sacrifice so much for a person he barely knows. Nor does he expect to find the a core of passionate heat that exists deep within Youltan's soul. The fight for survival takes on new dimensions and strains the very threads of their honor and morality.

But what would you expect....when you prod a Sleeping Dragon?


Read an Excerpt: 

Feet braced apart, arms extended to their maximum length, he stood and waited. There was nothing in his mind; his world was a blank slate, waiting to be filled, waiting for the agonizing pleasure… and the horrific pain.

Slowly, it began, drawing its energy from the very earth on which he stood. Pulsing writhing ropes of energy, of magic, of power, twined around themselves as they sought a rod, a bearer for their might.

Around his ankles they looped, slowly, like some starving creature seeking sustenance. And what they found seemed to please them, for they began to roll up the length of his body. Faster and faster they twined, their colors the brilliant blue that exists in the heart of every fire, the icy white of the coldest glacier, a sharp glaze of power blinding all who dared watch this spectacle.

Up around his knees they crept, gaining confidence and speed with every second. On and on, around his waist, over his chest, across his shoulders until his head jerked back as if snapped by some unknown entity.

Blood-red lips parted, a scream locked within a frozen throat, and a fall of silver white hair blew madly around his form in a wind created by power and magic. Bright lavender eyes snapped open to reveal luminescent sparks of pure white that illuminated those strange orbs, the eyes of an alien-one, and the eyes of the demented.

Then the power seemed to lash out at its conduit, raising him to his toes as wave after wave of pure energy penetrated his body, gained a purpose, grew in its strength.

His body arched, his arms flying above his head as the sheer strength of the thing that possessed him brought him to his toes, building and building until his whole person was one shining, glowing being that seemed almost too beautiful to view, yet too sinister and compelling to look away from.

Suddenly, a cry erupted from his throat, loud, agonized. The cry echoed over the land as the very earth began to quake beneath his feet.

His piercing scream startled the onlookers, the curious who had gathered to view this unusual feat, to watch what both heaven and hell had wrought and then left to travel this land that they called their own.

But they were too stunned to look away, transfixed.

As he continued to scream, cry after cry of ecstatic pain, the energy that converged on his body began to coagulate, to meld into one large beam of power.

Still screaming, he forced his arms toward the pulsing dome that surrounded the land, the thing that honor and history demanded he tend to, no matter the cost.

His sudden silence was almost as unnerving as his screams had been, as the world seemed to hold its breath in anticipation, as the tension built around the young man, as the very gods seemed to tremble in fear.

Then, as the tension built to a plateau, then nothing. Soon the people began to breathe easy, thinking the show was over, then one final high-pitched scream exploded from his mouth.

And with that cry, a monstrous beam of light and power leapt from his body. Blue, silver, white, it all mended and swirled as warring colors shot from his body, his eyes, his mouth, following its given path, striking the shields with an audible crash that almost sounded like the shrieking cry of pure crystal shattering.

His body gave way in the face of such a massive energy burst, but the power would not let his body fall. It supported him, swirled around him almost lovingly, then began to drain the very life force from his body.

Head tossed back to its farthest, hair whipping around that face, obscuring its near beauty from the frightened yet silent watchers, his body bowed and his knees bent as he fought to retain some of himself from the hungry energies that sought to leach his very essence from his body.

Trembling and panting, he whimpered once as the beam began to lose its brilliant illumination, then faded altogether, growing weaker and weaker as the conduit struggled to reclaim part of himself from the massive outpouring of power.

Then, suddenly, almost as if it had never been, the beam of light dispersed, exploded into a million glittering sparkles, before disappearing cleanly from sight.

With a groan, the conduit dropped to his knees, his body falling backwards as all the energy seemed to leave with the passing of the beam.

He knelt there, supple body bent backwards, breath struggling in his chest, as his strange, lavender eyes drifted shut.

Then, as he took his first full breath, the watchers were amazed to see a shadowy mist exhaled into the brilliant heat of the day, a breath that seemed as cold as the arctic islands they once harnessed to create that shield that protected them from the evils of the outside world.

Then his whole body began to spasm.

About the Author:

Stephanie is a USA Today Best Selling, multi published, multi award-winning author, Master Costumer, handicapped, wife and mother of two.

From sex-shifting, shape-shifting dragons to undersea worlds, sexually confused elemental Fey and homo-erotic mysteries, all the way to pastel-challenged urban sprites, Stephanie has done it all, and hopes to do more.

Stephanie is an orator on her favorite subjects of writing and world-building, a sometime teacher when you feed her enough tea and donuts, an anime nut, a costumer, and a frequent guest of various sci-fi and writing cons where she can be found leading panel discussions or researching varied legends and theories to improve her writing skills.

Stephanie is known for her love of the outrageous, strong female characters, believable worlds, male characters filled with depth, and multi-cultural stories that make the reader sit up and take notice.


Contact Links:

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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Book Blitz ~ Last Seen in Havana by Teresa Dovalpage (A Havana Mystery, #4) ~ #Mystery, #Thriller @XpressoTours

Last Seen in Havana
Teresa Dovalpage
(A Havana Mystery, #4)
Publication date: February 6th 2024
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Thriller

A Cuban American woman searches for her long-lost mother and fights to restore a beautiful but crumbling Art Deco home in the heart of Havana in this moving, immersive new mystery, perfect for fans of Of Women and Salt.

About the Book:

Newly widowed baker Mercedes Spivey flies from Miami to her native Cuba in 2019 to care for her ailing paternal grandmother. Mercedes’s life has been shaped by loss, beginning with the mysterious unsolved disappearance of her mother when Mercedes was a little girl. Returning to Cuba revives Mercedes’s hopes of finding her mother as she attempts to piece together the few scraps of information she has. Could her mother still be alive?

Thirty-three years earlier, in 1986, an American college student with endless political optimism falls deliriously in love with a handsome Cuban soldier while on a spontaneous visit to the island. She decides to stay permanently, but soon discovers that nothing is as it seems in Havana.

The two women’s stories proceed in parallel as Mercedes gets closer to the truth about her mother, uncovering shocking family secrets in the process . . .

Add to Goodreads 

Purchase from Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

Read an Excerpt:

Sarah stood under a blue pendant lamp in the middle of a huge living room. The faded grandeur of the place still impressed her as it had the first day. She approached an upright piano and played the first chords of “London Bridge.”

Though the piano needed tuning, it had a rich, warm sound. There was a blue vase on top, next to the portrait of a dark-haired woman with a pearl necklace. The frame, heavy and ornate, looked like tarnished silver. The wall behind the piano was covered in paintings. The landscapes of marinas and countryside scenes didn’t impress the blonde, but she examined the portraits trying to discover a resemblance between their faces and Joaquín’s. If there was any, it eluded her.

Through the picture window, she saw people waiting in line across the street—the same people who had stared at her when she passed them. Her new neighbors. In due time she would join them at the grocery store queue, and they would get to know her.

She smiled and two dimples appeared on her cheeks. How fast things had moved! Less than a month ago she had been a guest at Hotel Colina in El Vedado, thinking of the handsome lieutenant who had swept her off her feet after the Triumph of the Revolution parade on January first, but not believing that their relationship (if you could call it a relationship) had any future. After all, she was an American—a “Yankee,” as they said here—who had come to Havana for eight days. But the days had turned into weeks. And the weeks would turn, hopefully, into months, and the months into years . . .

The sound of footsteps downstairs made her jump. She ran down the marble staircase, being more careful this time.


A tall man with angular features, almond eyes and a big smile had just come into the living room. He was wearing the green olive uniform of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, which, in Sarah’s opinion, fit him amazingly well. The fact that she had fallen for a military guy still surprised her. Her father, with whom she had argued for years about everything under the sun, from politics to fashion, had been in the Navy, and she thought that was why he was so pig-headed. But she loved him and was closer to him than to her mother.

“¡Mi amor!”

Joaquín handed her a bouquet of white lilies, mariposas, which by now Sarah knew were the Cuban national flower. They hugged each other and kissed so passionately that a few mariposas were crushed in the process.

“They smell amazing!” Sarah said, pressing the bouquet against her face. “Thanks!”

“And here’s this too.” He offered her a small package wrapped in fancy tissue paper.

She tore it open and discovered a perfume bottle with the cap shaped like a dome. When she opened it, the scent of bergamot blended with the mariposa fragrance. She tried to decipher the name, written in Cyrillic characters.

“It’s called Red Moscow,” Joaquín said.

“It’s lovely! But you didn’t need to—”

“Don’t you know what day is today?”

She did. She had thought of it early in the morning, but he hadn’t mention it. She assumed Cubans didn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day because that would imply a religious reference to Saint Valentine. Joaquín had told her that religion was considered an “ideological deviation.” It made sense to her. The opiate of the masses and all that.

El Día de los Enamorados,” he said.

A day for lovers. Sarah liked that. She was enamorada, no question about it. And so was he. No, wait, he was enamorado—she still, sometimes, got her endings mixed up. They laughed, embraced again and hurried to the second floor. The mariposa bouquet and the Red Moscow bottle were left on top of the piano, between the blue vase and the silver-framed portrait.

A truck drove at high speed in front of the house. The piano shook slightly, and the ghost of a melody came from under the closed lid. The vase and the portrait stayed put, but the perfume bottle fell to the floor and shattered. A potent aroma filled the room and snuck upstairs, passed by the master bedroom and reached the library, where the lady in the painting wore an expression of disgust.

Meet the Author:

Teresa Dovalpage was born in Havana and now lives in Hobbs, where she is a college professor at New Mexico Junior College. She has a PhD in Hispanic Literature from the University of New Mexico with a specialization in Latin American literature.

She has published twelve novels and three collections of short stories. Her Havana Mystery series published by Soho Crime started with the culinary mystery Death Comes in through the Kitchen (2018), set in Havana and featuring Padrino, a santero-detective. It is loaded with authentic Cuban recipes like arroz con pollo (rice with chicken) and caldosa (a yummy stew). The second novel, Queen of Bones (2019) was chosen by NBC News as one of the top 10 books by and about Latinos in 2019. The third is Death of a Telenovela Star (2020). Set on a Caribbean cruise, it showcases the dark—sometimes deadly—side of celebrity, as well as the shenanigans that often happen abroad a cruise ship. Death under the Perseids (2021) also happens on a cruise ship, at first, and later in Havana, taking readers from the streets of La Habana Vieja to the botanical garden La Quinta de los Molinos. Upcoming is Last Seen in Havana, a sequel to Death under the Perseids.

She also wrote A Girl like Che Guevara (Soho Press, 2004) and Habanera, a Portrait of a Cuban Family (Floricanto Press, 2010).

In her native Spanish she has authored the novels Muerte de un murciano en La Habana (Death of a Murcian in Havana, Anagrama, 2006, a runner-up for the Herralde Award in Spain), El difunto Fidel (The Late Fidel, Renacimiento, 2011, which won the Rincon de la Victoria Award in Spain in 2009), Posesas de La Habana (Haunted ladies of Havana, PurePlay Press, 2004), La Regenta en La Habana (Edebe Group, Spain, 2012), Orfeo en el Caribe (Atmósfera Literaria, Spain, 2013), and El retorno de la expatriada (The Expat’s Return, Egales, Spain, 2014).

Her short story collections are The Astral Plane, Stories of Cuba, the Southwest and Beyond (University of New Orleans Press, 2012), Llevarás luto por Franco (Atmósfera Literaria, 2012) and Por culpa de Candela (Floricanto Press, May 2009).

Website / Goodreads

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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

#Review ~ Deadly. Set. Vegas. (A Vegas Victory FC Novel, Book 1) by Vanessa M. Knight ~ Romantic Mystery #Mystery @GoddessFish


Vanessa M. Knight


Romantic Mystery

About the Book:

Kennedy Romero is not a murderer. Why is she the only one who believes that? Well, her and her best friend believe it. And, yes, she knows it’s a little coincidental that she arrived in Vegas the same day her best friend’s husband was killed. But she swears she had nothing to do with it.

Unfortunately, Vegas Metro has other ideas—and they all lead to Kennedy. So instead of enjoying her vacation in Las Vegas, she’s stuck smack-dab in the middle of a murder investigation.

What she would give for an all-you-can-eat buffet and watching her best friend's soccer team play a match. But no. Instead of hitting the casinos, she’s trying to interview the players of the Vegas Victory FC and wishing she wasn’t the main suspect.

The body is growing as cold as the trail of the murderer. But if she doesn’t find the killer soon, Metro will be giving her a red card and she’ll be sitting in jail. Permanently.

My Review:

Deadly. Set. Vegas. is a fantastic murder mystery. Kennedy is a Chicago cop assigned to desk duty and mandatory AA meetings - you do the math. She finds herself in Vegas to support her bestie, Darcy Perrault, who is receiving an award. On the same day Kennedy arrives in Vegas, her bestie's husband, Chuck Perrault, is found dead in a VIP box at the stadium he owns. Since there's no love lost between Kennedy and Chuck, and her unfortunate and coincidental arrival, Kennedy shoots to the top of the suspect list, right next to Darcy. Knowing she didn't do it and neither did Darcy, Kennedy uses her training to dig up clues to exonerate them both. If only Detective Pagonis was easier to work with on this case.

I really enjoyed this mystery. There were twists and turns throughout. The sheer amount of betrayal put a couple of people at the top of my list. I was completely engaged in this story and surprised at who the murderer turned out to be at the end.

The characters are all flawed - significantly, making them more realistic. Kennedy is a great heroine and I enjoyed her encounters with Detective Pagonis. While Kennedy was a thorn in Pagonis's side, she ultimately was a great unofficial sidekick.

This book is so good I read it in one sitting.

I was provided a copy of this book.

My Rating:

Read an Excerpt:

A set of automatic doors let Kennedy out onto an enclosed path leading to an empty platform, with glass doors between her and the tram tracks. Back in Chicago, five PM was prime rush hour. Here, not so much. At least not today.

Five long, drawn-out minutes passed. She checked her phone for messages. Ten minutes passed. Well, maybe it was only seven minutes, but it felt like seventy, so there was that.

She tried to look down the tracks for an incoming train, but palm trees and the building next door blocked the view. Then she checked the website to see if the tram was running today. Nothing indicated it was down.

As if she willed them, the glass tram doors opened. Finally.

She took a step back, waiting for the tram to pull up to the platform. No tram. Maybe she was missing something. She leaned past the doors. Nothing. No tram was in sight.

A shove at her back and she fell forward—toward the tracks. Her arms flailed. She was falling. And there was nothing she could do about it.




Her knee bent, banging into a metal rail. Her hands shot forward, her palms smacking into the other rail. Her forehead thumped against metal. Everything rocked with darkness.

Raw pain burned along her palms. Not to mention the throbbing in her knee. She swore she heard voices yelling behind her. Maybe the person who pushed her. Maybe she was hearing things. Her head was ringing. The whoosh in her ears was so loud, she might be mishearing the ringing in her ears as voices.

Maybe she finally lost her marbles and the marbles were actually talking. Who knew.

Her body vibrated. Two sets of hands wrapped around her upper arms. The tracks disappeared, replaced by a blur of palm trees and sky. She flopped like a rag doll as a silver wall flashed by. Two men stood over her. “Are you okay?”

She wanted to say yes—because she was pretty sure the men were talking to her—but her mouth wouldn’t move. Her body just shut down.

Meet the Author:

Who is Vanessa M. Knight? Well, I’m an author. Wow. After years and years of wanting to use those words, that is fun to say. It’s almost as fun as supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Did I spell that right?

I write contemporary romantic suspense.

I live in Chicagoland with my family and menagerie of four-legged friends. In my mind, these lovely animals do everything as they should. I’m the alpha, keeping peace and harmony amongst my humble servants. In real life, they own me. I’m the maid, here for their feeding pleasure. Well, that and to clean up their messes.

When not catering to the needs of adorably-furry faces, I slug through the nine to five grind and head home so I can write. Of course, that’s after I make dinner and clean the house and all the other tasks that go into family life. So really, I work, cater to animals and my family… and then, if I don’t fall face first into bed, I write. I love putting my characters into crazy situations and watching how they react. I hope you love reading about them.

I love to hear from fans. I can be found on Facebook at VanessaMKnight and at



Amazon Author page LINK:


Buy Links:

Deadly. Set. Vegas.







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The Fallenwood Chronicles by Leslie D. Soule ~ @Fallenwood1 @GoddessFish ~ #Fantasy

The Fallenwood Chronicles

Leslie D. Soule



About The Fallenwood Chronicles:

The Fallenwood Chronicles is the ongoing story of Ash Kensington, a young woman who finds herself transported into a fantasy world, where she must take up arms in a battle of Good vs. Evil, against the Dark Lord Malegaunt. Tragedy strikes her life in the real world, but she finds friends in Fallenwood, like her mentor Will Everett, a talking cat named Greymalkin, and a court jester named Terces. Working together, they battle against the odds as Ash faces attacks from the world and from within. Eventually Ash finds the strength within herself, to attempt the fight against Malegaunt, against overwhelming odds, come what may.

“A dark, difficult, dangerous path lies before you, Ash Kensington.” Ash’s heart grew heavy. In truth, she knew that she was destined to some terrible, dark fate. For so long, her life was filled with sadness and doubt, and one horrible thing after another. What else can I hope for? “But Ash, you must not lose hope. Our world needs you, and you must learn to be strong, so you can find the power within yourself to change things for the better. Prove that you are stronger than your Fate. Prove that you are worthy of this life that you have been given. William Everett has agreed to guide you, and there will be others in this realm that you must learn from. But your future, your life—everything from this point on is up to you. For you have been granted a precious gift—to return to the place and time you left in coming here, once your quest is through.”

Meet the Author:

Leslie D. Soule received her M.A. in English from National University. She is a scholar, artist, citizen journalist, and martial artist. She has been an established writer for a decade, and has novels published by Melange Books, Terror House Press, Gypsy Shadow Publishing, and Nat 1 Publishing. The Fallenwood Chronicles is her 4-book fantasy series and features the novels Fallenwood, Forgetting Fallenwood, Betrayer, and Retribution.

Twitter handle: @Fallenwood1

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Axel by Jamie Targaet ~ @RABTBookTours #RABTBookTours #AxelHoundsofHellMC #JamieTargaet #MotorcycleClubRomance


Hounds of Hell MC, Book 3

Axel by Jamie Targaet

Motorcycle Club Romance, Suspense

Date Published: April 19, 2024



About the Book:

Sadie -- I finally found the courage to escape my abusive boyfriend, but I didn’t make it far. I’m holed up in a small Virginia town called Mercy. There will be no mercy for me if my ex finds me. Thanks to Axel, the gorgeous biker who towed my car to his garage, I have a place to stay and a job at the town’s greenhouse. I also have the hope that I might have a second chance at love one day, with Axel.

Axel -- When I got called to tow a broken-down car to my garage, I found the beaten and battered angel who owns it on the run from the devil. Here in Mercy, with me, she’s healing and learning to live again. When her ex figures out Sadie’s here, even his mafia ties can’t protect him from me. His entire mafia family can’t take back what’s mine and there’s going to be hell to pay when they try.

Read an Excerpt:



It was a cold February morning. Alexander Harper had just sat down with his first cup of coffee when his phone hummed in his pocket. When he pulled it out and looked at the screen, he saw the call was from Cowboy Pete’s, a local gas station just off the interstate.

“This is Axel,” he said, using the road name he’d been given by Razor when he’d been a prospect.

“Hey, hon. How are you?” He recognized Elsie Damron’s voice. She’d worked at the gas station since he was a kid.

“Cold,” he said. “What can I do for you today?”

“A young lady stopped for gas a little while ago,” Elsie explained. “She filled it up but now her car won’t start.”

“You give her bad gas?” Axel asked, grinning.

“No,” Elsie said. “Well, I hope not. There’s smoke rolling out from under the hood. Looks like it’s overheating to me. Can you come take a look at it?”

“Yeah.” Axel knew the quiet morning was too good to be true. Putting the call on speaker, he placed his phone on his desk, grabbing a tie from his desk drawer to pull his hair back from his face. “Did you already call Tyler? I appreciate the business, but it would be a lot closer, and cheaper, to tow it to his place.”

“Yeah, I know,” Elsie said, her voice dropping to a loud stage whisper. “But I think you would be better for this particular situation.”

“Okay, I’ll head that way,” he told her. “What’s she driving?”

“He’s going to come get you,” Elsie said to someone there with her. To Axel, she said, “Yeah, it’s an older sedan. A Lincoln, I think. What model year is your car?”

Axel couldn’t make out what the other person said.

“It’s a 2002 model,” Elsie told him.

“Give me thirty minutes,” Axel said, ending the call.

Taking his coffee with him, Axel headed back into the shop. His twin brother Ryder was working on an SUV brought in yesterday. Ryder looked up when he saw Axel approach.

“Where you off to?” Ryder asked.

“Got to tow someone in,” Axel told him. “I’ll be back.”

When Axel reached Cowboy Pete’s with the tow truck, there were several cars there. They had a halfway decent grill inside the station, and it was a popular breakfast stop for town regulars and travelers alike. He pulled into the lot and parked, heading in to have Elsie point out the lady and her car.

Elsie grinned when she saw him at the counter. “Thanks for coming, hon. She’s a couple of spaces down from where you parked. The black Lincoln.”

“You bet,” he told her, seeing it in the window behind the counter where the older lady stood.

“Axel?” Elsie called as he headed for the door.


“If I can do anything for her, you let me know, okay?” And the kind older woman meant it.

“Will do,” he told her, curious now about what he was walking into.

Axel returned to the tow truck, spotting the black Lincoln that was just three spaces to the right of him with no cars parked in between. It looked like someone was sitting in the driver’s seat. Walking up to the car, Axel tapped on the driver’s window. The lady jumped in the seat, startled. Axel saw a flash of red curls before she peered up at him through the window.

Now Elsie’s words made sense. The young woman’s left eye was black and almost swollen shut. Her nose was swollen and bruised, her lip split. Someone had beat the fuck out of this little lady. Slowly, she opened the door and got out of her car. Her careful movements told him her face wasn’t the only thing that hurt her this morning. Axel stepped back to give her room as she closed the door and leaned back against it.

The way she wrapped her arms protectively around herself and the fear in her green-eyed gaze had him pausing. Now he knew why Elsie called their garage. Tyler wasn’t a bad guy, but he was gruff and lacking in most social niceties.

This young woman before him looked like she’d been through hell and was expecting more.

“Hi there,” Axel said. “Elsie called me to come look at your car. What’s going on?”

“It overheated I think,” she said quietly. “I was okay for a couple of hours. But then it would heat up and it would start smoking. I would stop and let it cool off. I stopped here to get gas and let it cool off again. When I tried to restart it this time, it wouldn’t.”

“Would you pop the hood for me?” Axel asked.

She scrambled back into the driver’s seat, searching for the lever to do that. Just when he was about to offer to do it for her, she found it.

Axel lifted the hood and removed the radiator cap. Walking back around to where she sat behind the wheel with the driver-side door open, he said, “Try starting it.”

It did start but looking into the radiator, he saw the coolant start to bubble up like a milkshake. Walking back toward her, he saw white smoke coming out of the tailpipe in the rear. Well, that wasn’t good news.

“Turn it off,” he told her.

She did as he said, climbing back out of the car.

“Yeah, that’s a blown head gasket,” Axel explained. “The smoke coming out of the back is coolant getting into your exhaust system. It’s not supposed to do that.”

“Can you fix it?” she asked. “H-how long will it take?”

“I can fix it,” he said. “How long it will take depends on a couple of things. I need to find a replacement for the head gasket and if there’s any damage to the engine, we might need parts for that too. Once we have the parts we need, I can have it fixed in two or three days.”

Axel could tell that wasn’t the answer she was hoping to get. It was probably a good idea to get all the bad news out at once.

“It’s also going to be expensive,” Axel told her. “You’re probably looking at two to three thousand dollars to fix it.”

Those big green eyes were getting shiny with tears and Axel felt a tiny bit of panic creeping in. He was no damn good with tears. Never had been. He had to find some way to make the situation the little lady was in less terrible.

“Where are you headed?” he asked. “Do you have any friends or family we can call that will come help you out?”

Dropping her gaze, she shook her head.

“Where are you heading?” Axel tried again.

She shrugged for an answer.

“Do you know if your insurance covers towing?” he asked. If nothing else, it looked like he was going to be towing her back to his garage.

She shook her head. Pretty red curls swung with her movements.

“Do you have your insurance information in the car? We could call,” he offered.

“I don’t have it,” she told him.

Didn’t have a destination. Didn’t have insurance information? What the hell was the situation here? When he gave her the cost of towing the car, she reached into the pocket of her coat, pulled out a credit card, and handed it to him. It was brand-new and shiny. Axel doubted it had ever been used.

“Thank you,” he said. “I’m going to run this, and we’ll be on our way.”

She scrambled back into her car like a scared mouse. Axel shook his head as he headed back to his tow truck, reaching in to get the card reader they used for payments. The name on the card was Sadie Downing.

What the hell happened to Sadie?

He ran the card. The transaction went through which surprised him. He walked back to her car, tapping on the window to return her card. Again, she scrambled out of her car, looking around nervously.

Axel just had to ask. “Are you okay? The local hospital is on the way back to the garage.”

“I’m fine,” she said a little too quickly.

“Okay.” He would leave it at that. “Why don’t you go ahead and climb in the tow truck? I’ll get your car hooked up and we’ll get going.”

“Thank you,” she said quickly before making a beeline for the truck, hastily climbing into the cab.

It didn’t take Axel long to hook up her car and get them on the road. Sadie, if that was her name, huddled quietly in the far corner of the cabin with her head leaning on the window. While he normally appreciated the silence, just now it was awkward. He really wanted to ask her what happened. Who did that to her face?

One thing was pretty certain. She was on the run, and she was afraid. Looking at her, he understood why.


About the Author

Jamie Targaet is the author of the Hounds of Hell MC. She's anxious to introduce you to this club of gorgeous, dominant men and the lucky women who surrender to them. The ride is going to get wild at times, not going to lie. But there's thrilling action, scorching hot sex scenes, and all the feels. 

Jamie writes erotic romance for Changeling Press, a little fanfiction on the side, and she's an aspiring horror writer in another life. She enjoys time with her family (including the fur babies). She likes good horror movies and shows, emo metal and classic rock, and time spent in other worlds writing and reading. She loves hearing from readers and is looking forward to hearing from you.


Contact Links:

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Author’s Website


 Publisher on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok: @changelingpress



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