Tuesday, January 30, 2018
Ms. Paloni writes beautifully. Her descriptions of the town bring it to stunning life. As the seasons pass, the reader is immersed in the crunching of leaves in autumn or mud season in the spring. The close-knit community of the small town is on display as well as the gossip and petty disputes.
Each character has a distinct voice from the twelve-year-old to the grandfather. I enjoyed how the POV changes from the first person to third in each story, depending on the needs of that character's voice. Each character faces a challenge of some sort and as the title suggests, must decide to live with their choice.
This is a collection that readers of Elizabeth Strout or Anne Tyler will greatly enjoy. I heartily recommend it.
Link to Amazon
Thursday, January 25, 2018
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
I very much enjoyed this story. It's one of those tales that make the reader keep going to find out what happens next. Winslow is an intriguing guy, still grieving the loss of his wife Lomahongva and just starting to move on with his life. The secondary characters are also well-drawn; the bad guys are horrific, and young Cassie, the missing daughter, is smart and resourceful despite her plight.
In some ways, this book reminds me of Paul Doiron's Mike Bowditch series (except Mike is a Maine guide). I enjoy those books, partly because I live in Maine, but fans would also like this series. There's a lot of wilderness lore and backwoods knowledge needed to solve the mystery, and Winslow certainly qualifies with his background.
Hopefully, Mr. Curran continues with the series. I can see people getting hooked on Winslow Doyle and wanting to read more about his crime-solving abilities. The Montana backdrop is also engaging; I always like books set in Big Sky country. A great start to the series.
Link to Amazon
Friday, January 19, 2018
Humor / Satire
Date Published: September 2017
What college girl doesn’t dream of meeting Mr. Darcy? Lizzie was certainly no exception. But when Darcy Fitzwilliam comes into her life, he turns out to be every bit as aggravating as Elizabeth Bennett’s Fitzwilliam Darcy. So what’s a modern girl to do?
Jeanette Watts’ satire pokes loving fun at Jane and all of us who worship the characters who shall forever be our romantic ideals.
Well! That was interesting. My roommate invited me along to this frat party she was going to. She went through something called rush week, and she is now pledged to a sorority. She said the frats are less formal than the sororities, and even though I wasn’t a pledge I could go with her. I figured, why not, it should be fun, right?
I got to meet the guy she’s chasing. I couldn’t blame her for being interested. He’s cute, and sweet, and considerate, and a total people-pleaser. One of his parents must be the demanding sort who is never happy.
He introduced us to his friend… whose name is Darcy Fitzwilliam! I wasn’t sure at first that the guy wasn’t just pulling our legs.
“Your mother obviously loves Jane Austen,” I laughed.
“Obviously,” he answered. Not much to go by.
“I love Pride and Prejudice,” I continued.
“I hate Pride and Prejudice,” I can only describe the look he was giving me as hostile.
“I think you will find yourself very much in a minority,” I answered, returning his look with one of my own.
We didn’t talk any more that night. Talk about getting off on the wrong foot!
About the Author
Jeanette Watts had been writing historic fiction when the inspiration for Jane Austen Lied to Me hit her on the drive home from the Jane Austen Festival. The idea was simply irresistible, and she put aside other writing projects in order to focus on writing a satire, thinking it would be a "mental vacation." It turned out to take every bit as much research to write a modern story as it does to write a historical one.
She has written television commercials, marketing newspapers, stage melodramas, four screenplays, three novels, and a textbook on waltzing. When she isn’t writing, she teaches social ballroom dances, refinishes various parts of her house, and sews historical costumes. She has just relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina and is loving her new home town.
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
A Charleston Harbor Novel Book 1
by Debbie White
Genre: Sweet Romance
Real Men Eat Cupcakes
Annie McPherson has had it with all the blind dates her grandmother and auntie set her up with. She just wants to be left alone to run the Sweet Indulgence cupcake bakery – even if it means she’ll remain single forever.
Jack’s just been through a gut-wrenching break-up, and women are the last thing on his mind. Now he’s on a mission to pick up cupcakes for his niece’s birthday party—not a mission to fall in love. Pulled in by Annie’s good looks and witty charm, though, temptation proves too sweet.
But will Annie’s pesky grandmother and auntie welcome Jack as Annie’s choice or will they have him jumping through hoops to prove he’s the one?
Fans of Debbie Macomber, Sherryl Woods, and Susan Wiggs are sure to love Sweet Indulgence, the first sweet romance novel in the Charleston Harbor series.
This book is too sweet to pass up!
Amazon * Apple * B&N * Kobo
Annie retrieved two bottles of ice cold water. She handed Jack one. “Why is the boat in between names?” She took a sip of the water. It felt great on her parched lips, and the cool water quenched her dry throat.
“That’s a long story.” He peered out into the water before them.
She took another gulp of water. It really tasted good. He was right. The heat could really sneak up on you when you’re riding in a boat.
“Well, we have time for long stories, don’t we?” She batted her lashes. She wasn’t letting him off the hook that easy.
“I had a girlfriend.”
“You named your boat after a girlfriend?” Annie frowned.
“She was more than a girlfriend. We were engaged to be married.” His eyes never left the water.
“A fiancée, we call people we are engaged to be married to fiancés.” She giggled.
He turned quickly with furrowed brows then he resumed with eyes steady on the water.
“I’m kidding.” She touched his arm and withdrew it quickly. “Anyway, you named the boat after your fiancée and now you two are no longer a couple, so the boat is nameless,” Annie spoke freely.
“That’s about the size of it.”
“How about you give the boat a name that means something to you that would never change?”
Jack looked back over his shoulder and then turned back around toward the front of the boat. All of a sudden, he cut the engine and they began to drift. He turned and sat down, bringing his bottle of water to his lips and drew in a drink. “I thought about that. But I’m terrible at naming things.”
“Let’s see. I named my dog Buffy because of her color.” Annie searched the boat with her eyes for clues. “How about Lady Luck?”
“I’ve seen a few named that. I want something more original.”
Annie lowered her gaze and stared at her bright pink toe polish. She raised her head quickly. “I know. How about Lady Powell?”
Debbie is a USA Today Bestselling Author. She currently lives in northern California where the hills are dotted with vineyards and the jagged coastline is nearby. Many of her books describe the beautiful area she calls home. She avidly supports animal rescue by donating a percentage of all book sales to rescue groups nationwide! Now here are a few more interesting tidbits of information about her!
1. Her spouse served in the U.S. Air Force for over 20 years. She uses some of her experiences as a military wife in some of her stories.
2. She has two granddaughters and a grandson.
3. She received her degree in Sociology in 2011 and graduated Magna Cum Laude.
4. She hasn't always dreamed of writing, but she's always loved reading and decided she'd give it a try. Her fans love her so much, she's still putting out books three years later.
5. Her very first book, The Salty Dog was an Amazon Best-seller.
6. You can follow all the latest news about releases, book signings and more on her website http://www.authordebbiewhite.com
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!
Thursday, January 11, 2018
Prequel to the Triadine Saga
by Timothy Bond
Genre: Epic Fantasy
"Readers compare him to David Eddings and Brandon Sanderson."
In this prequel to the epic fantasy series The Triadine Saga, we follow the Elven Princess Rozlynn as she struggles with her role in The Prophecy and what she must do to keep the world from falling into darkness.
This is a story of love and conflict, personal growth, and freedom to choose your own destiny. The world of Elves, Dwarves, and humans, is inexorably tied to magic, wizards, and dragons, as the battle of good versus evil, light versus darkness, wages on.
Will Rozlynn make the sacrifices and the choices necessary to ensure that The Prophecy stays on the right path? Will her sister, the Elven Queen, prevent her from making her own choice? Will Rozlynn's love for an Elven Hunter betray her and lead her astray?
Join us and find out this and much more, in Prophecy's Queen.
The Watcher’s Keep
The Triadine Saga Book 1
A thousand years has passed since the war which nearly destroyed the world. Elves, Dwarves and men have become isolated and distrustful of one another. Evil once again grows strong and threatens to send the world into darkness forever.
Are the twins really The Children of Prophecy? Is their quest to recover the Triadine an impossible task? Will the world fall into darkness under the control of the evil wizard Khollaran?
An epic fantasy adventure quest, with world building like Jordan, Goodkind or Eddings. Twists and turns, intrigue and magic, wizards, dragons and more.
The Dragon Rises
The Triadine Saga Book 2
In this continuation of the epic fantasy The Watcher's Keep, the battle between good and evil continues. Goblins are growing in strength and boldness, venturing into the world to battle both men and dwarves. The elves continue to be locked away in seclusion allowing caution and betrayal to guide them to their destiny.
The last dragon grows in power as his ancestral memories awaken, challenging the Dark Wizard for domination over the evil forces in the world, while building his own kingdom and establishing himself as the supreme deity.
The twins — Peter and Alexandra — continue to battle through one challenge after another to understand their role in The Prophecy and assemble the missing pieces of the fabled Triadine, a weapon of unequaled power, which is the only means to defeat the Dark Wizard and his growing army.
Humans continue to be driven by greed and power, fortune and arrogance, and alliances shift with the blowing winds.
Who will come out on top? Will the Children of the Prophecy fulfill their destiny, or will darkness overcome light and plunge the world into a thousand years of pain and suffering.
A Kingdom Fallen
The Triadine Saga Book 3
In this continuation of the epic fantasy series–The Triadine Saga–Peter is desperately in love with the beautiful Lady Olivia. After rescuing her from the Goblins and the Brotherhood of Khall, he is hopeful that she will return his love, though she believes she owes her salvation to another man.
Alexandra has been captured by the Gaerwitch, a Wiccan Sorceress who can be either friend or foe. She was instrumental in assisting Princess Rozlynn in Prophecy’s Queen, which ultimately led to the birth of the twins and the death of Alexandra’s mother.
The separate armies of the Pulat, Al-Ashal and the Dark Wizard grow stronger every day, as the world grows closer to another Great War pitting good versus evil for domination of the world.
The great Dragon Lord Barak wields expanding power over thousands of disciples who wish only to return to a time when the Dragon Lords ruled the world.
As the armies of men come together in the inevitable battle for power between the Kingdom of Aren and the Free Cities, who will prevail?
Will the Children of The Prophecy get the chance to fulfill their destiny, or will evil destroy light and plunge the world into a thousand years of darkness?
I have always had a passion for writing, and a special place in my heart for Epic Fantasy. Inspired by others who have paved the way for this genre, I have many stories to tell, and plan to bring them all to you.
I started going to a fantasy world in my mind many years ago, and the adventures of Peter and Alexandra were my escape from the harsh technical world all around me. The twins were enthusiastic, energetic, eager to go out and explore their world, and willing to take on any challenge necessary. I have often said that I travel to the Upper Aren and come back and write about it, and I really do feel that way at times.
My own eclectic interests fueled the twin's activities, as I have done a little of everything in my life. I suspect it's because of my adult attention deficit disorder, and a need to try everything at least once.
I hope you enjoy the adventures of my characters and they become a part of your lives, as they have long been a part of mine.
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive content and a giveaway!
Wednesday, January 10, 2018
A MEDDLE OF WIZARDS
by Alexandra Rushe
Pub Date: 1/9/2018
Welcome to Tandara, where gods are fickle, nightmares are real, and trolls make excellent bakers . . .
Raine Stewart is convinced she’ll die young and alone in Alabama, the victim of a chronic, mysterious illness. Until a man in a shabby cloak steps out of her mirror and demands her help to defeat a bloodthirsty wizard.
Raine shrugs it off as a hallucination—just one more insult from her failing body—and orders her intruder to take a hike. But the handsome figment of her imagination won’t take no for an answer, and kidnaps her anyway, launching her into a world of utmost danger—and urgent purpose.
Ruled by unpredictable gods and unstable nations, Tandara is a land of shapeshifters and weather-workers, queens and legends. Ravenous monsters and greedy bounty hunters patrol unforgiving mountains. Riverboats pulled by sea-cattle trade down broad waterways. And creatures of nightmare stalk Raine herself, vicious in the pursuit of her blood.
But Raine isn’t helpless or alone. She’s part of a band as resourceful as it is odd: a mage-shy warrior, a tattered wizard, a tenderhearted giant, and a prickly troll sorceress. Her new friends swear she has powers of her own. If she can stay under their protection, she might just live long enough to find out . . .
Alexandra Rushe was born in South Alabama, and grew up climbing trees, searching for sprites and fairies in the nearby woods, and dreaming of other worlds. The daughter of an English teacher and a small-town judge, Rushe developed a love of reading early on, and haunted the school and local libraries, devouring fairy tales, myths, and tales of adventure. In the seventh grade, she stumbled across a worn copy of The Hobbit, and was forever changed. She loves fantasy and paranormal, but only between the pages of a book—the flying monkeys in The Wizard of Oz give her the creeps, and she eschews horror movies. A psychic friend once proclaimed the linen closet in Rushe’s bedroom a portal to another dimension, and she hasn’t slept well since. Rushe is a world-class chicken.
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!
Monday, January 8, 2018
Out of Character
by Molly Zenk
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Inspirational
After the loss of her brother, actress Harmony Jones struggles with daily life. Landing the lead role on the hit faith based living history show, 1700s Life, might be the perfect way to reconnect with her faith and be her big acting break.
Tired of hiding his strong faith and convictions to get secular roles, David Hawkins jumps at the chance to play the curate on 1700s Life. It's the perfect vehicle to spread God’s word.
Elliot Banes’ career needs an image makeover, so he accepts the naval hero role on 1700s Life. Getting away from his overbearing mother is an added bonus. His true hope is to learn to speak his mind instead of always fading into the background.
When a scripted love triangle between Harmony, David, and Elliot becomes a real life love triangle, Harmony must make a difficult decision. . She hoped to find her wavering faith, she didn't count on finding love as well. If that was her only obstacle, the role would be a breeze. Unfortunately, there’s an on-set spy intent on causing drama. Can Harmony see through all the lies and secrets to the truth in her heart, or will she end up falling for the wrong man?
MOLLY ZENK was born in Minnesota, grew up in Florida, lived briefly in Tennessee before finally settling in Colorado. She graduated from Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL with degrees in Secondary Education, English, and Creative Writing. She is married to a Mathmatician/Software Engineer who complains about there not being enough "math" or info about him in her author bio. They live in Arvada, CO with their young daughters, 1 dog, and 1 cat.
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Amazon * Goodreads
Two Years Ago
“So which did you like best?” I ask Patrick as we drive home from college tours. “We probably saw the music and drama departments of every state school this side of the Pacific Ocean. Did any stand out or are you going to let them fight over you some more before officially deciding?”
“Which did you like best?” Patrick asks. His text message alert goes off, but he ignores it. He is always such a careful driver. Mom never worries about us when Patrick is driving. “The most entertaining thing about today was their spiels. I mean, come on, do people actually fall for those sales pitches? ‘You’ve seen the rest, now see the best.’ Who writes this stuff?”
“Really desperate recruiting guys?” I take off my wedge sandals and prop my feet on top of the glove box. That’s the last time I wear new shoes when we’re walking about a million miles. “It’s your fault for being such a catch. Everyone wants the teen violin virtuoso. I’m just window dressing. These places will take me if it means getting to you.”
“You are not riding on my coattails. You’re a fab actress.”
“If I’m so fab, how come I never get any of the parts I audition for?” I rub at an angry red blister on the back of my heel. “I can’t even get a commercial. Remember that Bright Smile toothpaste audition?”
Patrick shrugs. “So you threw up in the trash can after you brushed with it. Big deal. It’s their fault for making such a nasty tasting product. I say you’re doing the toothpaste buying public a favor by exposing the sordid underbelly of Bright Smile.”
“Sordid underbelly?” I laugh. “I’m cutting you off the next time there’s a Mobster Confessions marathon.”
“I could say the same with you and 1700s Life.” Patrick swats at my feet when we stop at a light to get me to move them. I do so… grudgingly. “Between you and Mom that show is on a 24/7 loop. Why don’t you send in an audition tape already? Mom would pee her pants with glee if you land a role on her favorite TV show.”
I shake my head. “They wouldn’t want me. I’m not good enough.”
“What are you talking about?” Patrick scrunches up his face. “They’d be crazy not to want you. You’re going to be famous someday. You’re going to be famous, and I can say I knew you when.”
“Yeah, you knew me when I was headlining at the local dinner theater. Coming to a stage and table near you — Harmony Jones!”
“You’ll make it. You’re too good not to.”
“In LA, it doesn’t matter if you’re good or not. Talent doesn’t matter. Not really. It’s all about who you know and what you’re willing to do to get ahead of every other good, talented actress out there.”
“So jaded for someone so young. What about those open casting call deals?”
I roll my eyes at the thought. “Cattle calls? Please. I’d rather not hang around in some hotel conference room all day just to be told no.”
“It only takes one yes,” Patrick reminds me. “I’m telling you, send in a tape to 1700s Life.”
I shake my head again. “I told you, they wouldn’t want me. I’m a nobody.”
“Every somebody starts out as a nobody, Harmony.”
“Yeah, I know.” I lean forward and fiddle around with the radio dial to try to hide the fact I really, really want to be on 1700s Life but, at the same time, I really, really don’t think I have a shot. The producers always make a big show over asking for auditions tapes from all over, but when it comes down to it, the casting director goes for experience over raw talent. It happens every time. They ask for tapes, I think about sending one in, I don’t want to be rejected, so I watch other people season after season on 1700s Life instead of being on it myself. I even went so far as to make an audition tape after my crazy popular run as Abigal Williams in our high school production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible but chickened out and never sent it in. In drama club, I’m a big fish in a small pond. No matter how much I want to be a real actress on a real show, I don’t know if I’m ready to be a small fish in a big pond. My head shot may be impressive but my resume is not. I have the kind of blonde, blue eyed beauty that is common enough in California. Nothing special there. My supposed beauty landed me some child modeling gigs and beauty pageant crowns, but being the face of Lil’ Junior Miss when I was ten isn’t going to open any doors now.
“What are you thinking about?” Patrick asks.
“That this whole actress thing is just a pipe dream.” I prop my feet up on the dashboard again, but Patrick smacks them down just as quickly. “Maybe I should just accept that I’m never going to be anything more than a high school drama club darling and settle on a major with more market value, like education. Maybe I could teach acting. That sounds like a good plan, right? Or a smart one, at least.”
“And always wonder what could have been? Please. You’re too good to be one of the ‘what could have beens’, Harmony. If you have a dream, chase it. Don’t settle for what could have been.”
“Easy for you to say. You’re, like, guaranteed success. The more you play your violin, the more people love you. Acting doesn’t work like that.”
“Acting works however you want it to,” Patrick says. “If you need to be confident, act confident. If you need to act brave, act brave. Seriously, Harm, you can do anything you set your mind to. Just believe in yourself a little bit more, will ya?”
I kiss my index and middle finger and hold them up to the roof. “From your lips to God’s ears. I think I can do anything as long as you’re with me, Patrick.”
He playfully bumps my shoulder with his. “Good, cause you’re stuck with me.” Patrick motions at the radio. “Hey, turn it up! Nothing says ‘I’m fabulous and I don’t care who knows it’ like a little Kelly Clarkson.”
I crank up the radio. We sing Stronger at the top of our lungs, grooving along to the music, and laughing till there are tears streaming down my cheeks. This is the first day of the rest of our lives. We’re young, we’re free, we’re talented, and we’re invincible. Nothing can stand in our way or tear us apart.
Until it does.
The black pick-up truck slams into the driver’s side door like some linebacker looking to make a tackle, only we aren’t ready for it. How can you be ready for something like that?
I scream. It’s the only thing I seem able to do. I scream over and over and over again.
“Stay calm, Harmony.” Patrick grips the wheel hard and grits his teeth as he tries to take control of the out-of-control car. We pin wheel into the guard rail on the side of the highway. The metal rail twists and bends as if a giant crumbles it in one angry hand and throws our car into the mix.
I brace myself against the passenger side door with my right arm and foot. My stomach feels like it’s in my throat. Throwing up would actually be welcome right now. It would give me something to focus on other than this sickening fear that has my heart in a squeezing death grip and my whole body shaking. I try to calm myself by saying a prayer but all that comes out is “we’re going to die, we’re going to die.” Everything I ever wanted to do but never got to flashes before my eyes. Landing my first big role. Cheering for Patrick when he plays his first concert at Carnegie Hall. Getting married. Having kids. I want to be a good person. I hope I already am a good person, but what will people say about me if I die now? What have I really done with my life?
I clutch at the gold cross necklace around my neck — a present from mom for mine and Patrick’s eighteenth birthday. He has one, too, but he can’t reach for it now. He’s too busy trying to keep us alive. Patrick bites down hard on his lower lip and stares straight ahead through the broken windshield. Blood and glass from the driver’s side window sprinkle his strawberry blond hair but he doesn’t lose focus. Not once. I can count on Patrick to get us through this. He’s never let me down before.
The four points of the cross pendant dig into my palm. I focus on that, and suddenly my mind is clear enough to pray. Dear God, please help us. We need you now more than ever. Get us through this, and I promise to—
I never get to finish my thought. Instead, we slam into a concrete support column and everything goes black.
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!
Thursday, January 4, 2018
The Mer Chronicles Book 1
by Errin M. Stevens
Genre: Paranormal Romantic Suspense
The pleasure cruiser floated on billowing waves a mile off the Atlantic shore, its small group of passengers reclined in various stages of stupor on the modest deck. The sun, white-hot and high in
the June sky, pummeled the seafarers with its heat, penetrating and dulling the attention of even the most preoccupied until all were calm, quiet, and drunk on their own leisure.
To her disappointment, Kate was the only child in the party, but she was used to solitude and entertained herself as she often did with a game of imaginary play. For this interlude, she lay on her stomach, her chin resting on crossed arms as she peered over the boat’s edge into the sapphire water. Her lips moved as she whispered, hoping to conjure a sea turtle or dolphin to play with, although nothing swam her way.
She became hopeful when a long, silvery blue fish appeared. It paused just past the depth where she could determine what, exactly, it was, and it swayed to catch her attention.
It’s teasing me.
At which point, it vanished. Kate strained closer to the ocean.
Too soon a brilliant, turquoise-colored fluke startled her from just below the water’s surface, the body attached to it out of sight under the boat. The tail rippled out and back again, gossamer and fantastic.
Come, it beckoned. Kate reached down to touch it and slid noiselessly into the water.
Her mother told her later she heard her laughing then, and how panicked she was when she realized Kate had fallen overboard. Kate herself was unconcerned, already racing off with her new friend, a
boy named Gabe, caring only for his invitation to play and the adventure he promised if she could escape from her mom. The passengers on the boat appeared impossibly far off, although she heard their shouts to let go of the dolphin, which confused her, since she was holding on to a boy. Her life vest floated, detached, useless, and well out of her reach. She yelled to everyone she would be all
right, that she was swimming to shore.
“But she can’t swim!” her mother cried. Kate disappeared as the boating party scrambled to follow and to call for help.
The Mer Chronicles Book 2
The sirens of Griffins Bay are in trouble, and the recent slew of royal suicides looks to be the least of their worries.
For one, unless a blood relative of the queen shows up, no one's around to staff the monarchy. Well, except for a whack-job bureaucrat and he seriously won't do. Worse is the community unrest threatening siren society, a problem caused by too many humans in the pool, which means Simon and his off-limit girlfriend will have to run and hide if they want to make more of their flirtation...
The solution doesn't inspire confidence at first, but the Blakes have everything at hand to set their world to rights - namely, a hidden queen, a dead prince, and a facility for human manipulation. Once they find their sea legs, they'll restore order, distribute smart phones, and drive that conniving bureaucrat to a grisly, satisfying end.
Errin Stevens writes paranormal fiction and reads practically everything she can get her hands on. She's currently working through the Time 100 with all her rabid reader buddies at Carpe Librum, and will think about posting reviews if she can get to it... Her first novel, Updrift, debuted Nov. 2015; and the sequel, Breakwater, released Nov. 2016.
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!