Monday, February 19, 2018

Book Tour and Excerpt: The War Queen by J.M. Robison




New Adult Fantasy Romance
Date Published: October 2016
Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing

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How do you dethrone a heart when its owner has stolen your kingdom?

Altarn is used to tolerating the biases of men. It comes with being the first female to secure the political State Head of Blindvar. But Kaelin, the State Head of Ruidenthall, crosses the line when he proposes a merger of their two states. Altarn has reason to believe this is Kaelin’s attempt to make himself king of both. Believing it’s her responsibility to “dethrone” him, she rides to her last ally to ask for aid.

While on the road, she’s kidnapped and taken to Ruidenthall. She wakes from a drug-induced sleep to hear about a foreign army marching upon Blindvar, and Kaelin capitalizing on her kidnap to make himself king. He threatens her life if she tells anyone, but she will suffer tyranny under a king if she does not.

When the final battle forces her hand, she has but one choice: to save Kaelin’s life or let him die. She never expected to dethrone his heart instead.


Excerpt:

“And what do you think I lack?” she dared ask him, though she feared the answer because her void was empty and he looked sincere enough to fill it.
“Respect,” he said. “Respect is earned. They love you for sure, they trust you for sure…They love you because you smiled at them once, they trust you because their tax money goes right where you say it will, but you have not commanded respect and that is what your nation needs right now.
“Knowing you the short time I have,” he somehow made that statement sound like that time started this morning, “it appears you wield your emotions like a weapon and people have to back away or be stabbed. I don’t think it’s so much a fear of having a female in charge, it’s…having you in charge, and so people make that one and the same.”
The daggered truth stabbed her. She sucked in a sharp breath, which left little room for words to defend herself. His apologetic eyes made it worse, like he was being truthful though she wished he’d said it just to be ugly. She didn’t know how to defend against the truth.
“I fail to see why you care,” she snarled. Her exposed weakness left her more nervous about leading an army, and the bucket of white paint became so obvious now and Japheron’s comment about it laid her entire self open, naked and ready for Kaelin to dress her as he pleased.
“I care,” he said, lifting a finger as if he could shove the understanding into her skull, “because you showed up to a war council in a dress.”
She laughed at the ridiculousness of his concern, but his eyes didn’t change.
“You’ve never had a dress in a war council, so I can see how it would appear odd to you.” He pressed his lips together, and Altarn wished the real concern she saw in his expression wasn’t so earnest. “You’ve never been to a war council, have you?”
“I don’t see how the proceedings are any different than a regular court session where other problems with equal importance are discussed. I have been doing that for a year.”
He exhaled and leaned back, crossing a boot over one knee. “It’s different for Ruids. We discuss war plans every week because of our pirate problem. The mood is different, the light in our eyes is different. It’s life and death we speak of, and that holds a special kind of ceremony we honor in our speech, in our manners, and our dress.”
“Why would my dress not honor this ceremony?”
“It might…except you look like a damn princess. I don’t know about Blindvar, but we killed our princesses long ago. Your people don’t want a princess. They want a war queen. A princess can’t handle the emotional responsibility of sending people off to their deaths, but a war queen can.
“You’d be surprised how willing your soldiers would be to die for you, so long as you did it without crying as they march away. They need to be reassured you’ll hold your ground when they cannot.”
The image he put in her head gave her pause. She wanted to buck his advice— advice he’d earned through years with boots on the ground in a real fight. But he saw through her. She wasn’t trained on how to earn the respect he spoke of, and to ignore advice from someone who did would stunt her growth as a leader, even if that advice came from the man who expected Blindvar as payment for his services.
“I think you could use advice, too, Kaelin.”
He stood, folding his naked arms. The busy lacework tattoo almost made his other arm invisible. “Enlighten me.”
“I suggest when you send a man to stage an assault on me, you don’t send one who breaks so easily. Turns out, he needed saving.”
He unfolded his arms. “That’s off topic.”
“Brilliant, really, staging those two attacks on me. The Lord of Ruidenthall rushing in at the right time and saving the Lady of Blindvar is quite romantic, going so far as to complete the rescue with a kiss.” She watched that familiar twitch in his jaw, the debate dancing behind blue eyes.
He ducked his head, spinning around to leave the room.
Altarn laughed after him, reveling in her small victory of chasing him out of his own garden. If she had nothing else, she had blackmail since he had just admitted his attempts to woo her on their way to Athenya embarrassed him to the core.



About the Author


J.M. Robison is a fantasy historian who chronicles the events which force heroes to reveal their  mistakes, lead rebellions to dethrone tyranny, and unearth ancient secrets to free the oppressed. She's quested over lands with the U.S. Army and now works for the king under the honorable title of Deputy Sheriff. She makes her own shampoo, lotions, laundry soap, face wash, and toothpaste. Some day she'll pack the wagon and roam the mountains in search of dragons.



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Sunday, February 18, 2018

Cover Reveal and PreOrder: The Shades of Winter by Morgan Smith

An aging band of sea raiders set out on one last voyage of revenge, and get a whole lot more than they bargained for.

Tam Isliefsdottir wasn’t planning to end her life in a futile attempt for vengeance, but when your brothers- and sisters-in-arms need you, what can you do? Leaving her son and her granddaughter behind and sailing to the shadowy island of Alvandir, she expected to die gloriously for the sake of her country, her king, and her own reputation.

Nothing is as it is supposed to be, however, and it hasn’t been for the last twenty years. Tam and her Kyndred are in for the surprise of their lives.

Link to Amazon

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Book Review: By Gaslight by Steven Price

William Pinkerton, son of the founder of the famous Pinkerton Detective Agency, is in London in
1885  hunting for a man his father never managed to find. Edward Shade is a famous thief but virtually undetectable, never having been caught. William has a lead through Shade's one-time lover, Charlotte Reckitt, but Charlotte eludes him by jumping into the Thames River. When her body turns up in multiple pieces in various parts of London, Pinkerton thinks all is lost. Then Adam Foole who wants to find Charlotte's killer contacts him and the two men pair up though neither trusts the other. Foole is as much a thief and conman as Shade ever was.
The main story follows the murder of Charlotte and the subsequent happenings but meanders back and forth in time with vignettes of both Pinkerton and Foole. Much of Pinkerton's story is based on history though the rest is fiction. The author captures the time period well. The action moves from London, South Africa, Chicago, the Wild West, and the Civil War. Edward Shade, the man Pinkerton is chasing, was once a member of his father, Allan Pinkerton's, force in the American Civil War. Both the son William and Edward Shade are greatly impacted by the elder Pinkerton's views toward them and what each of them subsequently thinks of each other.
The author is an acclaimed poet in Canada, and his writing definitely displays a lyric flow of words. This is a long book, over 600 pages, but the writing is brilliant. I did think some of it could have been cut out, but then later I'd find why that piece was needed to make the story whole. It's a complex story, peopled with a diverse cast of characters. Each is fascinating in their own way and add much to the book.
The author made a stylistic choice to use minimal punctuation. Dialog is not set off by quotes, for example. It took me a while to get used to, and I'm not sure I was ever really comfortable with it. It's a conceit that didn't aid reading in my opinion; I can only imagine it had something to do with his style of poetry.
Still, this is a masterwork. In some ways, it reminded me of Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin without the fantastical elements. I'd take a half star off just because of the punctuation choices, but this is a book I'll think about for a long time.

Link to Amazon

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Book Review: The Plunge by Jane Thornley

Phoebe McCabe hasn't heard from Noel, her boyfriend, and her brother for a few months and she's are art thieves who steal art and return it to the rightful owners, though Interpol and other assorted gangs don't agree with their methods. So Phoebe and Max, her godfather, decide to find Noel and Tobias with the help of Sir Rupert Fox, Phoebe's knitting companion, and others.
getting worried. The pair
This is such a great series. This book was on my reader this morning and I've just kept reading, anxious to see what happens next. It's an action-packed ride, and now that I've finished, I feel I can finally let my breath out. The story goes from London to Rome to Jamaica. Poor Phoebe has been battered in some of the previous books, and while she takes a share of bumps and bruises here, she's a much stronger woman in a lot of ways. It hasn't been easy for her to have her brother and boyfriend as criminals. She's gone through some hoops to justify their 'Robin Hood' crimes, and it all comes to a head here.
As always, the supplementary characters add a lot to the story. Peaches is a great new addition, and I love the glimpses of Serafina's various abilities. Foxy and his knitting are always welcome. As a knitter myself, I love how Ms. Thornley makes it such an integral part of the story for Phoebe and Foxy. I feared for Phoebe's well-worn knitting bag which is such a part of her character.
I can't wait to see what happens next for Phoebe, Noel, and the rest of the gang. Fingers crossed, but I expect Phoebe will somehow get in more trouble.

Link to Amazon

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Cover Reveal and Giveaway: Bloom by Nikki Rae



Bloom
The Order Series 1
by Nikki Rae
Genre: Adult Dark Contemporary Romance

Given to The Grimm Order as an infant, Fawn was raised in a world shaped by the rich and powerful. When she was sold at the age of nine to a Suitor, Fawn believed he would protect her from the “Mainworld”, where those who know nothing about the Order live. Living with the cruel man who bought her freedom, she finds just what the Order is about: money, control, and status for the Owner and humiliation and abuse for those they own. 

Unwilling to accept the expectations of being Owned, Fawn goes from golden girl to maid, content to live in the shadows of the Order as long as she isn’t Owned again.

It’s been ten years since she disgraced her former Owner’s name, and now the brooding Frenchman Elliot Lyon wants her. Master Lyon is kind, smart, and unlike any man she’s met. She doesn’t want to admit it to herself, but Fawn is drawn to him despite constantly planning her next escape. 

Even the prettiest flowers have thorns, and Master Lyon is hiding secrets that will uproot everything she thinks she knows about him. 




Nikki Rae is an independent author who lives in New Jersey. She explores human nature through fiction, concentrating on making the imaginary as real as possible. Her genres of choice are mainly dark, scary, romantic tales, but she’ll try anything once. When she is not writing, reading, or thinking, you can find her spending time with animals, drawing in a quiet corner, or studying people. Closely. 










Valentine's Day Romance Book Blast & Giveaway!


RABT Book Tours & PR's Featured Romance Novels this Valentine's Day!

Click on any of the below book covers to be taken to the page that has more information on the novel as well as the Buy Links!

Before you leave, don't forget to enter the Giveaway!







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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Book Review: Monstrous Little Voices collection

Monstrous Little Voices is a collection of short stories written in a Shakespearean style that utilizes characters from his plays. The stories are written in Acts like his plays and are an elaborate form of fan fiction.
Characters from A Midsummer's Night Dream, Twelfth Night, Macbeth, The Tempest, Much Ado About Nothing, and others are skillfully woven into a series of stories that the final story 'On the Twelfth Night' uses to explain them all.
I especially enjoyed 'Coral Bones' and 'The Course of True Love', but all of the stories are wonderful. Shakespeare fans will enjoy this great collection.

Link to Amazon

Friday, February 9, 2018

Book Tour, Giveaway, and Excerpt: Insatiable Darkness by L.M. Preston






Urban Fantasy, YA, Romance, Novella
Date Published: March 2nd, 2018
Publisher: Phenomenal One Press

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EmVee didn’t know what to think about this new town her father’s passion for boxing lured them. It was an unlikely location for her to pursue her dream of going semi-pro. Just when she started getting used to the school with gorgeous jocks and strange cheerleaders, the depth of the danger her father’s choices dangled them in front of became clear. EmVee hoped Silas and Kayson will be able to help her uncover the mystery identity of the person who is threatening her family. The question is, will she survive to expose the mystery.

Excerpt:

“Psst!” the red-haired girl next to her called.
            EmVee ignored her.
            “I’m Megan.”
            EmVee nodded. What her problem was she didn’t know. EmVee didn’t like her. The girl seemed a bit ‘extra’.
            “I heard you are new here. You didn’t ride the bus, but I saw you coming from the block next to mine.”
            “Oh-kay.” EmVee trained her eyes on the teacher, hoping the girl would get the hint.
            “I’m Megan by the way. The only vacant house on that street is haunted. So, I guess your family was the lucky ones to move in.” The girl smacked her teeth. “After they cleaned it up.”
            EmVee almost choked on her tongue at that last comment but decided to keep up the nonchalant act so the girl would be quiet.
            EmVee stretched and skipped her gaze around the class for anyone who could be a distraction. Or another seat she could move to, but the other students snickered at her and turned away. Just great; no wonder no one else was sitting beside the Megan mouth.
            “I knew the girl who lived there before you did.”
The desk next to her squeaked as EmVee swore the girl was moving closer to her.
“So?” EmVee rolled her eyes. Was this girl for real? Obviously, she didn’t read body language well.
“She left in a hurry, there was blood all over the house, and the news reported possible murder, but they found no bodies.”


[Prequel, Vigilant Series, Caged Fire Book 1: Coming Fall 2018]




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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Preorder and Blog Post: Common by Laurie Lucking

Only one person knows of the plot against the royal family and cares enough to try to stop it—the servant girl they banished.
Leah spends her days scrubbing floors, polishing silver, and meekly curtsying to nobility. Nothing distinguishes her from the other commoners serving at the palace, except her red hair.
And her secret friendship with Rafe, the Crown Prince of Imperia.
But Leah’s safe, ordinary world begins to splinter. Rafe’s parents announce his betrothal to a foreign princess, and she unearths a plot to overthrow the royal family. When she reports it without proof, her life shatters completely when the queen banishes her for treason.
Harbored by an unusual group of nuns, Leah must secure Rafe’s safety before it’s too late. But her quest reveals a villain far more sinister than an ambitious nobleman with his eye on the throne.
Can a common maidservant summon the courage to fight for her dearest friend?





The World of Common – Servants

In Common, Leah is the daughter of a palace seamstress and is herself a chambermaid, so not
surprisingly, she spends a lot of time with her fellow servants! I enjoyed imagining what their lives might be like when not in the presence of royalty, and while the actual tasks of rug-beating and mucking out stables are likely pretty far-removed from the experience of a modern teenager, their interactions aren’t as different as you might expect!

Maids: Chambermaids work hard sweeping, dusting, polishing silver, and undertaking a number of other tasks required to keep a large castle spotless and impressive for nobility.

Leah: Shy, dedicated, and rational, Leah would never place herself as the heroine of a fantasy adventure. But her loyal friendship for the prince and circumstances beyond her control may dictate otherwise… :)

Gretchen: Though her opposite in personality, Gretchen is one of Leah’s closest friends. Outgoing, dramatic, and a bit of a flirt, she keeps Leah’s life interesting and ensures her quiet friend has a little fun!

Therese (Ma): Leah’s ma, Therese, is one of the best seamstresses in the palace. Her kindness and generosity make her an ideal role model, but her desire to protect Leah sometimes prevents her from sharing openly with her daughter.

Stable: Leah isn’t a big fan of horses and dislikes the smell of the stables, but on occasion Gretchen manages to drag her there to visit a few certain stable hands…

Sam: Sam rarely calls Leah anything but “Red” and takes great pleasure in teasing her. His boisterous nature and over-the-top flirtations are a bit much for Leah, but his friend Ned is always entertained.

Ned: Wherever Sam goes, you’re almost guaranteed to find Ned at his side. While Ned is definitely the more subdued of the two, he’s always quick to join in his best friend’s antics.

Despite the monotony of their jobs, I did my best to put a lot of fun and interest into the servants’ personalities and conversations! To meet all these servants (and more!) and to get a better feel for their community and relationships, you’ll just have to dive into the pages of Common :)

Thank you so much for inviting me to stop by!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Book Review and Giveaway: Rainbows in the Moonlight by Ryan Jo Summers





Romance/ Christian
Date Published: December 20, 2017
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing

A Southern romance about family, forgiveness, starting over, and love.

Koda Jacobs urgently needs a nanny--right now. Fresh from prison, Dalton Clayton needs a job--and just about anything will do.

Divine Intervention steps in and tosses Koda and Dalton together. Koda struggles with the conflicts of her impulsive decision to leave her babies with an unknown, convicted felon. That just can't be wise, can it? But she can't help but see how quickly the children bonded to him and trust him. Or the reassuring sense that this is just right. Meanwhile, Dalton stumbles through the spills and thrills of two young children, and his growing interest in their mother. A chance meeting brings him back to his estranged family as well.

Over time mutual attraction forms between  Koda and Dalton as the bond between Dalton and the children deepens. A sweet, southern romance full of forgiveness, second chances, and fun kids.

Review:
When Dalton Colton helps Koda Jacobs with a flat tire, he also find a job, maybe not the one he was looking for, but it'll do for now. Koda needs a nanny for her two children desperately though she has a few qualms when she finds out Colton has just come from prison. Still, she believes in God's plan for her and her family,  so she puts her faith in Dalton.


This is a sweet easy read. There's a growing attraction between Dalton and Koda as well as the dynamics of family intertwined in the story. Dalton not only becomes a part of Koda's small family but also reunites with his own. Their Christian faith sustains them and is also a great part of this tender romance.

Author Bio:
Ryan Jo Summers writes mashed romances. Sweet love stories that include any combination of contemporary theme: Christian, humor, mystery, paranormal, shape shifting, suspense, or time travel. She writes non-fiction pieces for various magazines. In addition to a full time job, and a full time writing career, she also has a pet sitting business. She comes from a family of wordsmiths, with members who have been song writers and poets.

In her limited free time, she likes to read, escape to the wilderness and rivers, visit with friends and family, or just hang with her pets. She enjoys chess, crafts, painting, poetry, and word find puzzles. She lives in a century-old mountain cottage in North Carolina with a menagerie of rescued animals and way too many house plants. 

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Signed, print copy of my backlist Christian romance novel

Link:
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/NDA4MjY0MDFhMDY3NGJmNzk2NDA5M2VhM2I4M2I2OjcyOA==/?