New Releases

Cover Reveal: The Celestial Assignment by Theresa Braun @TBraun_Author @RRBookTours1 #CoverReveal #ShortStory #Paranormal #UrbanFantasy

Theresa Braun has a new short story coming out called, The Celestial Assignment. Here’s a sneak peek at the cover, and an excerpt from the book!

The Celestial Assignment


The Celestial Assignment
by Theresa Braun
Expected Publication: February 14th, 2020
Genre: Short Story/ Urban Fantasy/ Paranormal

After a sudden death, Will, a misguided angel, is tasked with protecting a baby girl. Watching over her as she grows up and navigates the world appears a harsh punishment for his past failings. Can he redeem himself, or will he fall further from grace?

“I devoured this phenomenal sorrow-filled piece in one sitting, but Braun left me with so many questions I had to think about. She creates a world that’s vivid, lush and visceral, while setting the reader up for heartbreak and despair. Amazing read, can’t recommend ‘The Celestial Assignment’ enough.” –Steve Stred, author of Ritual

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Excerpt

You know that meme of the angel statue, its face in its hands, with the caption: “This is probably what my guardian angel looks like”? Well, that’s the only thing on the wall in this stark room meant for some 12-step spiritual garbage.

I was mystified as fuck the first time I sat here. The last thing I’d remembered was having a beer with one of my side pieces before witnessing her chuck my body into an unmarked grave. The bitch walked right through me as I grilled her about what she’d done.

Next thing I know, I transported into this very chair. Looking around the circle, I noted everyone’s arms tattooed with wings in shades matching their clothing.

“What am I doing here?” I asked, studying the new gray markings growing iridescent on my skin.

“You’re getting a new assignment,” said someone with platinum hair. His wings were the real deal, tucked at his back, and he wore a white T-shirt and white jeans.

“As opposed to what?”

“Going back to earth. That hasn’t been working.” He stared at me with his unnaturally light blue eyes. “Don’t worry, there’s a manual under your seat.”

That’s when I zoned out. The rest of them yammered on as I frantically retraced my memory for clues to why I was here. What kind of demented lunatic would make me an angel, if that’s what I was? I hadn’t even stepped one foot in a church, at least in my most recent life. That’s when it hit me I’d had more than one incarnation on earth. The mere vocabulary of it made me shiver.

***

With a jolt, my feet landed on slick linoleum, the burning odor of disinfectant and stale medicine in the air. A woman screamed in a hospital bed, her legs pried open with a sheet over them. Ugh. I’d never liked babies and had zero fatherly instincts. As the infant cried and was handed to the mother, the dad busy snapping Polaroids, I heard a whisper: “She’s your responsibility now.”

As my questions flooded in, that damned manual appeared in my hand. Annoyed the heavenly head honchos hadn’t downloaded the content into my brain, I held onto it, lest I be struck by lightning.

“Hello, Celeste,” the mother cooed to the baby.

I tapped my foot.

The irony of the name irked the shit out of me.

As a reluctant guardian angel, I figured my job involved keeping this pipsqueak’s hand off the hot stove, and her mouth away from poisons in the cabinets. Most of the time, I yawned in the periphery, especially since I was trapped in this fucking hick town somewhere in the middle of Wisconsin. Countless Crayon doodles and finger paintings were the extent of my excitement. Eventually, I rejoiced when of a few close calls at the wheel of her parents’ car gave me something to do. But then there was her painfully awkward discovery of boys. Once she inadvertently brushed this dude’s junk at a dance. Her first kiss was lame as shit. It was like being tuned into the Nickelodeon Channel. Her interactions with a new boy made me gag—they’d finish each other’s sentences and giggle like idiots. What did I do to deserve this?

Available Soon on Amazon!

Author Bio

theresa-braun

Hmmm. What’s this? Looks like Ms. Braun left her computer on and her Goodreads bio open.

This should be fun.

What can we say about Theresa? I mean other than the fact that she’s weirdly obsessed with smiley faces :-). Like, seriously obsessed >:-*. It’s kinda scary :-O.

I think she thinks she’s from Renaissance England or Venice or something. I never could figure out which one it was. (She’s really bad at doing accents.)

She likes romance novels and crime TV, which are pretty much the same thing when you think about it. Ha! Am I right?

She has a hell of a singing voice. Seriously. It’s, like, seventh circle of hell bad.

She likes editing. A lot. Just wait till she get’s a load a this.

Cats. Shoes. Chips and salsa. In that order.

Yeah, that last part didn’t make sense to me either.

Theresa Braun | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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Reviews

Review: Lusus Naturae: A Lord Carlston Story by Alison Goodman

Book Review

Lusus Naturae A Lord Carlston Story
Lusus Naturae: A Lord Carlston Story
by Alison Goodman
(Lady Helen #1.5)
Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical, Regency
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Synopsis
This novella is from Lord Carlston’s perspective and starts at the point in The Dark Days Club when he and Lady Helen meet for the first time.

What I thought
I didn’t know this existed until I was looking up my list of series I want to work on this year. I was so excited to find it and even better, it was free. This novella is from Lord Carlston’s perspective and starts at the point in The Dark Days Club when he and Lady Helen meet for the first time. I really enjoyed seeing the same interaction from his point of view.

Reading this short story reminded me how much I enjoyed the first book and now I really need to pick up the next one.

My Rating: /5

5 Stars

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New Releases

Waiting On Wednesday: Belle Révolte by Linsey Miller

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday was a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. Each Wednesday you got to highlight a book that you were really looking forward to. Unfortunately, the original creator is no longer able to host the meme and it has now linked up with Can’t Wait Wednesday over at Wishful Endings.

This week I’ve chosen:  Belle Révolte by Linsey Miller

Belle Révolte
Belle Révolte
by Linsey Miller
Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical

Emilie des Marais is more at home holding scalpels than embroidery needles and is desperate to escape her noble roots to serve her country as a physician. But society dictates a noble lady cannot perform such gruesome wor.

Annette Boucher, overlooked and overworked by her family, wants more from life than her humble beginnings and is desperate to be trained in magic. So when a strange noble girl offers Annette the chance of a lifetime, she accepts.

Emilie and Annette swap lives—Annette attends finishing school as a noble lady to be trained in the ways of divination, while Emilie enrolls to be a physician’s assistant, using her natural magical talent to save lives.

But when their nation instigates a frivolous war, Emilie and Annette must work together to help the rebellion end a war that is based on lies.

Expected publication:  February 1, 2020

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Memes

Top 5 Tuesday – Top 5 reason I rate a book 5 Stars

Top 5 Tuesday

Top 5 Tuesday is hosted by Shanah @ Bionic Book Worm. It’s a weekly meme where you pick your top 5 books for a given topic.

This week’s topic is Top 5 reason I rate a book 5 Stars

This was a really hard one for me because I am a mood reader so I also rate books based on how they make me feel.  Do be forewarned I have no formula where I score the plot, writing style, and so on.

  1. It leaves me wanting more in a good way,
  2. It checks off my boxes,
  3. I enjoy reading it,
  4. I stay up all night reading the book (I am normally in bed by 10pm),
  5. When I feel really connected to the characters.

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Memes · TBR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? January 20, 2020

It's Monday What are you reading.png

Good Morning!

It’s the start of another week. It’s Monday! What are you Reading is hosted by Kathryn from Book Date, this is a weekly event to share what we’ve read in the past week and what we hope to read, plus whatever else comes to mind.

Recent Books
Kiss of the Spindle
Kiss of the Spindle
by Nancy Campbell Allen
(Steampunk Proper Romance #2)
Steampunk, Proper Romance, Retelling
4 Stars
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A steampunk Sleeping Beauty story from the author of Beauty and the Clockwork Beast.

Doctor Isla Cooper is cursed. Literally. Each night, at the stroke of midnight she falls into a death-like sleep from which she cannot be awakened for six hours. To make it worse, the curse has an expiration date—after a year, it becomes permanent. And the year is almost up.

In a desperate attempt to find Malette—the witch who cursed her—Isla blackmails her way onto Daniel Pickett’s private airship bound for the Caribbean, only to discover she’s traveling with three illegal shapeshifters and the despicable Nigel Crowe, a government official determined to hunt down and exterminate every shapeshifter in England. Isla and Daniel must work together to keep the identities of the shapeshifters hidden while coming to terms with their own hidden secrets, and their blossoming attraction to each other.

Filled with suspense, intrigue, and plenty of romance, Kiss of the Spindle is steampunk Sleeping Beauty story. It is a race against the clock as Isla and Daniel try to hunt down the elusive Malette before Isla’s death-like sleep becomes permanent.

Lusus Naturae A Lord Carlston Story

 

Lusus Naturae: A Lord Carlston Story by Alison Goodman
(Lady Helen #1.5)
Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical, Regency
5 Stars
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This novella is from Lord Carlston’s perspective and starts at the point in The Dark Days Club when he and Lady Helen meet for the first time.

 


Current Reads:
Nutmeg Street Egyptian Secrets
Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets
by Sherrill Joseph
(A Botanic Hill Detectives Mystery, #1)
Middle Grade, Mystery
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World-famous Egyptologist Dr. Winston Thornsley died suddenly two months ago in disgrace. His widow, Ida Thornsley, remains convinced her husband was falsely accused of stealing an ancient burial urn he discovered in Egypt last summer, but local and federal law enforcement officers are stumped.

Mrs. Thornsley, desperate for answers, calls in her thirteen-year-old neighbors, the Botanic Hill Detectives—twins Lanny and Lexi Wyatt, Moki Kalani, and Rani Kumar. Their exciting mission? To find the urn and its real thief, bring the criminal to justice, and exonerate Dr. Thornsley so his spotless reputation can be restored.

A roomful of venomous snakes, the poisoned Egyptian pond, and Dragon Pit Man are just a few of the tests awaiting the four tech-savvy teenagers. As the detectives begin to unravel the sinister plot, the mystery takes a dangerous turn. Answers are at their fingertips—if they can only convince their parents to let them solve the case.

Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors
Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors
by Sonali Dev
(The Rajes #1)
Romance, Retelling
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It is a truth universally acknowledged that only in an overachieving Indian American family can a genius daughter be considered a black sheep.

Dr. Trisha Raje is San Francisco’s most acclaimed neurosurgeon. But that’s not enough for the Rajes, her influential immigrant family who’s achieved power by making its own non-negotiable rules:

  • Never trust an outsider
  • Never do anything to jeopardize your brother’s political aspirations
  • And never, ever, defy your family

Trisha is guilty of breaking all three rules. But now she has a chance to redeem herself. So long as she doesn’t repeat old mistakes.

Up-and-coming chef DJ Caine has known people like Trisha before, people who judge him by his rough beginnings and place pedigree above character. He needs the lucrative job the Rajes offer, but he values his pride too much to indulge Trisha’s arrogance. And then he discovers that she’s the only surgeon who can save his sister’s life.

As the two clash, their assumptions crumble like the spun sugar on one of DJ’s stunning desserts. But before a future can be savored there’s a past to be reckoned with…

A family trying to build home in a new land.

A man who has never felt at home anywhere.

And a choice to be made between the two.

What are your reading plans this week?

Let’s chat in the comments below!

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New Releases

Blog Tour: The Weighing of the Heart by Paul Tudor Owen @PaulTOwen @RRBookTours1 @ObliteratiPress #BlogTour #LitFiction #RRBookTours

TheweighingHeart

Welcome to the blog tour for The Weighing of the Heart by Paul Tudor Owen. Read on for more details from this exceptional debut, and enter for your chance to win one of three signed copies of the book!

WOTHCoverfront
The Weighing of the Heart
by Paul Tudor Owen
Publication Date: March 22, 2019 (Obliterati Press)
Genre: Literary Fiction

Following a sudden break-up, Englishman in New York Nick Braeburn takes a room with the elderly Peacock sisters in their lavish Upper East Side apartment, and finds himself increasingly drawn to the priceless piece of Egyptian art on their study wall – and to Lydia, the beautiful Portuguese artist who lives across the roof garden.

But as Nick draws Lydia into a crime he hopes will bring them together, they both begin to unravel, and each find that the other is not quite who they seem.

Paul Tudor Owen’s intriguing debut novel brilliantly evokes the New York of Paul Auster and Joseph O’Neill.

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Excerpt

Sooner or later, everybody comes to New York, and I was no exception. For me it was art school that brought me over, and I left behind the brash primary colours of late-90s London gladly and without remorse. Here I could reinvent myself, as others had before me, among the shining slabs of a city that seemed to have scale where others only had size, where history was measured in the minutes rather than the centuries, and where each of its ten million inhabitants began their lives anew each morning when they awoke and pulled up the blinds. After college I did everything I could to remain, winning a job and the work permit that came with it at the Bougainville Gallery in Chelsea, and spending the next few years living in a tiny apartment in Greenpoint with my girlfriend Hannah, working together at the gallery each day and growing gradually further and further apart.

In early spring in 2011, things finally came to a head, and I moved out, for reasons I don’t really want to go into here. I left, and went to stay on the couch of a former colleague in whom I’d increasingly been confiding. His name was not Jeff, but I have to give him a name and Jeff will do as well as any other. Hannah’s name wasn’t really Hannah either.

Jeff had two aunts who lived uptown in one of those huge late-nineteenth-century apartment blocks where wealthy families often take up a whole floor. Their apartment was enormous, sprawling, Jeff said, with an elegant roof garden looking out in a wide panorama over Central Park. But it was also ragged and unloved, and slowly rotting away; his aunts only lived there two days a week, spending the rest of their time at their other home on Long Island. To make sure the place didn’t collapse completely they usually took in a lodger, and as luck would have it, Jeff told me, they needed one right now. Since I was desperate to find somewhere to live, he would take me round to meet them and we could see whether we hit it off.Far from being desperate to find somewhere to live, I was in fact quite enjoying my evenings in his apartment in Clinton Hill watching reality TV with his witty and outspoken girlfriend Severin, whose parents had named her after the character in the Velvet Underground song Venus in Furs. But I am a very suggestible person, and I must admit that as Jeff and I talked about it more I found myself drifting off into an agreeable fantasy about life in that cavernous apartment a stone’s throw from Central Park – the white whorl of the Guggenheim visible from the living room window, MoMA, the Met – and I began to feel really quite excited about the whole idea. For the five days each week when the Peacock sisters would be away I would have the whole palatial penthouse to myself, and it was pleasant to feel even in a vague and materialistic sense that I would be making some progress in my life after my break-up with Hannah, which I felt had set me back a step as the rest of my friends busied themselves getting married, getting pregnant, getting comfortably settled in for the next stage of life.So I went up there with Jeff and Severin after work the next Wednesday, Severin boasting during the subway ride that the sisters viewed her as “the daughter they never had”, and they introduced me to Marie and Rose Peacock. We all had a glass of California red, and Marie and Rose took me on a quick whirl around the apartment – including the small bedroom beside the roof garden that would be mine. Then it was time for the Peacocks to leave for the theatre and we all took the lift down to the street. As Jeff flagged them down a cab, Marie Peacock asked me a few questions about my job, tugged thoughtfully at her coat cuffs, peered into my eyes, and abruptly proposed rent of a hundred dollars a week, a sum so minuscule for the Upper East Side she might as well have made it one peppercorn. I couldn’t shake her hand fast enough.“We’ve been looking for a lodger for a while now,” she told me, as we sheltered from the spring breeze under the building’s awning.“A year or two, off and on, since the last one,” put in Rose.“We like to have someone we know…” continued Marie.“Someone we know, or a friend of a friend…”“Or a friend of a nephew!” said Marie, waving a gloved hand in Jeff’s direction. “So it often takes us a while to find the right person.”“The last young man painted the bedroom walls green,” Rose recalled mournfully.“I think we’ll say no painting the walls this time,” decided Marie. “Is that all right, young man?”“Of course,” I said.“You can move in tomorrow if you like,” added Rose, as Jeff held open the cab door.So I did.

Obliterati | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Author Bio

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Paul Tudor Owen was born in Manchester in 1978, and was educated at the University of Sheffield, the University of Pittsburgh, and the London School of Economics.

He began his career as a local newspaper reporter in north-west London, and currently works at the Guardian, where he spent three years as deputy head of US news at the paper’s New York office.

His debut novel, The Weighing of the Heart, was shortlisted for the People’s Book Prize 2019 and longlisted for Not the Booker Prize 2019.

Paul Tudor Owen | Twitter | Instagram

Giveaway: For your chance to win a signed copy of Paul’s book, click the link below!

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Blog Tour

TheweighingHeart

North American Blog Tour Schedule

January 13th
Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com
Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com
Vick’s Bookish Writing (Review) https://vicksblogcom.home.blog/
Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com
Misty’s Book Space (Spotlight) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com

January 14th
The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Guest Post) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com
Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com
Kristin’s Novel Café (Spotlight) https://knovelcafe.wordpress.com/

January 15th
Viviana MacKade (Guest Post) https://viviana-mackade.blog/
Rambling Mads (Review) http://ramblingmads.com
The Bookworm Drinketh (Review) http://thebookwormdrinketh.wordpress.com/
Entertainingly Nerdy (Spotlight) https://www.entertaininglynerdy.com

January 16th
Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/
My Bookish Review (Review) http://www.mybookishbliss.com
Life’s a Novelty (Review) https://lifesanovelty.blogspot.com/
The Bibliophagist (Spotlight) http://thebibliophagist.blog/

January 17th
Port Jerricho (Spotlight – Review to Follow) http://www.aislynndmerricksson.com
Dash Fan Book Reviews (Spotlight) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/
Tranquil Dreams (Review) https://klling.wordpress.com/
Sophril Reads (Spotlight) https://sophrilreads.com/

Blog Tour Organized By:

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Reviews

Review: The Magpie Lord by K.J. Charles

Book Review

The Magpie Lord
The Magpie Lord
by K.J. Charles
(A Charm of Magpies #1)
Historical, Fantasy, Romance
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Synopsis
A lord in danger. A magician in turmoil. A snowball in hell. Exiled to China for twenty years, Lucien Vaudrey never planned to return to England. But with the mysterious deaths of his father and brother, it seems the new Lord Crane has inherited an earldom. He’s also inherited his family’s enemies. He needs magical assistance, fast. He doesn’t expect it to turn up angry. Magician Stephen Day has good reason to hate Crane’s family. Unfortunately, it’s his job to deal with supernatural threats. Besides, the earl is unlike any aristocrat he’s ever met, with the tattoos, the attitude… and the way Crane seems determined to get him into bed. That’s definitely unusual. Soon Stephen is falling hard for the worst possible man, at the worst possible time. But Crane’s dangerous appeal isn’t the only thing rendering Stephen powerless. Evil pervades the house, a web of plots is closing round Crane, and if Stephen can’t find a way through it-they’re both going to die.

What I thought
The Magpie Lord is the first book of a six-book series.  This book is a Victorian gothic fantasy that really appealed to me and I wanted so much to love it.  After a few days, I realized that for me it turned out to be just an okay read. I really enjoyed the setting and the mystery in the book, and this still holds true even after a few days of reflection. However, if I am being completely honest I did not like Lucien our MC.  I found him to be an arrogant arse with very little redeeming qualities. The only thing that I really liked about Lucien was the description of his tattoo, I would love to see a rendering of it.

The opening scene really caught me off guard. I had to go back and read that first page again to see if I was really reading what I thought I was.  This book opens with a suicide attempt. So be forewarned if this might trigger you.

I have requested the second book from my library and I guess that will be my determining factor if I continue on with this series.

My Rating: /5

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