New Releases

Blog Tour: When Stars Are Bright by Amber R. Duell @AmberR_Duell @RRBookTours1 #WhenStarsAreBright #YABooks #YAReads #FairyTale #BlogTour #RRBookTours

WhenStarsareBright copy

I’m so excited to share this highly anticipated release with you all today!

When Stars Are Bright is a YA fairy tale retelling of “Thumbelina” by author, Amber R. Duell. Read on for an exclusive excerpt and a chance to win a paperback copy of the book!

WhenStarsAreBright_Cover


When Stars Are Bright
by Amber R. Duell
Publication Date: January 7th, 2020
Genre: Young Adult/ Fairy Tale Retelling
Publisher: Crescent Sea Publishing

For Lina Holt, a Dutch seventeen-year-old with a flair for singing, 1930 is going to be her year. Her long-time boyfriend is about to propose and her mother will finally realize their relationship isn’t a passing phase. But when a stranger snatches her from her backyard, everything changes.

Lina is thrust into the spotlight of a New York vaudeville show where she’s paired with Nik, a mysterious pianist. The two bond during rehearsals and it doesn’t take long before Nik puts himself at risk to confess a hidden truth. Without Lina, the show is in its last season and there’s no way she’ll be allowed to slip through the owner’s fingers. Not when she carries fairy magic in her blood—an gift that turns her song into a dangerously addictive drug.

If Lina ever wants to return home, she must learn who to trust before she’s forced to remain a prisoner on stage forever.

WHEN STARS ARE BRIGHT is a historical Thumbelina retelling with a touch of magic.

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Excerpt

There’s a certain thrill in doing something forbidden. Sneaking out past curfew, dancing freely to a jazz band, stealing kisses in a dark corner. Any one of those things will send my mother into hysterics. I’m not sure what she’ll do if she finds out I’m doing them all at once. When she finds out, because she always does.

But, if I want to see Christian, it’s my only choice.

The band electrifies the air with each note they play. At least fifty strangers twist and turn around us in the empty barn, and the lingering scent of hay tickles my nose. Christian doesn’t seem to notice the lack of marble floors or fancy wall sconces. His eyes haven’t left my face since we got here, except for the kissing.

His arms cocoon me near the wall, and I lean into his chest. He’s warm and sturdy against me, and I close my eyes. The soft thump of his heartbeat beneath my palm dulls the sharp edge of missing him, but it never stops cutting. It won’t as long as we’re forced to sneak around behind our parents’ backs.

“Are you tired, Lina?” Christian twists one of my curls around his finger. “We can go.”

“We’ve only been here an hour.” And there’s no telling how long until we can meet again. I stretch up on my toes, the hem of my yellow skirt tickling the back of my knees, and kiss the fine stubble on his cheek. “Come on. I love this song.”

Pulling Christian behind me, I find a free spot in the middle of the barn. Dozens of worn, dusty boots and Mary Jane’s slam down on the planked floor, sending bits of straw and dirt into the air. The music vibrates against my body, and we join the rhythm.

The band wears worn slacks and checkered shirts like the rest of the crowd. Christian’s the only one here without patched clothes or any idea of the work that will go into filling this barn with hay tomorrow. No one will have the energy for dancing after a day of haying. They’ll be lucky to drag themselves to bed before collapsing, my mother and I included, though it will be a different field we work in the morning.

Sweat trickles down Christian’s temple as we kick up dust of our own, and a wide grin breaks out on my face. I’m not the best swing dancer, far from it, but I don’t care. Giving myself over to the music makes me feel weightless. Free. No one pays attention except Christian, and he’s not much better. When the trombone sounds its last note, I laugh and collapse into his arms, breathless.

“Want to get something to drink?” I ask over the start of the next song.

He nods and leads me back through the crowd. His cotton shirt clings to his skin, showing off the muscles in his arms and back, and gray suspenders hang down from his waist. After more than a year together, it’s the most I’ve seen of him, and it would be a lie to say I’m not enjoying it. If we didn’t have to sneak around, I’d make him go dancing every weekend for the view alone.

“Wait here.” He slips under a slanted support beam at the back of the barn, and kisses me. When he steps away, he keeps hold of my hand until he’s too far to reach. “I’ll be right back.”

I scoot farther under the protection of the beam until it grazes my hair, and watch his head bob above everyone else. A lantern burns beside me, casting a warm glow, and the band plays their own version of Puttin’ on the Ritz. There’s no singer tonight, without a microphone it would be impossible to hear one anyway, but I know the words. I hum along with the smooth sound of the saxophone, my foot tapping in time with the bass and, before I realize it, I’m singing.

It’s a cheery tune, but I keep my voice quiet. My mother is the only one who’s heard me sing since I was little, and she insists I keep it that way. Being known as the infant abandoned in a tulip field, I’m used to whispers behind my back. Going steady with the heir to the Van Buren petroleum fortune only makes things worse. I don’t mind being thought of as an unlovable gold digger—not much anyway—but I’m tired of standing out. I especially have no interest in drawing a crowd tonight like I did when I was five. Twelve years later, I still get chills thinking about the people that closed in on me as I hummed in the marketplace.

A heavy man inches along the wall, hunching over to fit beside me. His eyelids droop over dark eyes, and his round face is close enough that I can count the pockmarks. His breath wheezes over the music. “You have a lovely voice. Where did you get it?”

I slam my mouth shut on the last line of the song. Naturally, the one time I sing in public someone’s listening. Though it’s only one person, this is somehow equally unnerving.

“Have you thought about a career?” The strange man leans closer. From his dialect, it’s obvious he’s from a different part of Holland.

“A career?” I shift away, and scan the crowd for Christian. When I don’t see him between here and the water barrel, I step away from the wall.

The man bobs his head up and down, his jowls shaking, swallowing the yellow-stained Marlboro collar. “In show business. With that delicate face of yours, the blond hair and blue eyes, it would be easy to make a name for yourself. I’ve never felt an addictive quality as strong as yours either. Of course it’s rare. Where did you get it?”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“Keep your secrets, little Symric. Fairy folk always do.” He inches closer still. “But what do you say? You want to make it big in America with me?”

My laugh is quick and high-pitched. Where are you, Christian? “No.”

“You should.”

“She should what?” Christian asks from the opposite direction. He steps up beside me without refreshments and wraps an arm around my shoulders. I lean closer.

Review

This book was received from the Author/Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I have never read anything by this author before and now I need to read more.

I am not very familiar with the original story of Thumbelina but I do enjoy a good retelling. And I have never heard of a Thumbelina retelling to date. Which was great since everyone seems to be down the same 2 or 3 stories over and over again.  

The first 130 pages seemed to take me longer to get through than the rest of the book.  Once I got to that point I finished the book in one sitting. I just couldn’t put it down.  I loved the magical aspect in a 1930s setting. Most of the books I have seen seem to be in the 20s so it was great to see a different decade. 

The ending was heartbreaking for me and that epilogue.  I didn’t realize until the end how much I wanted it to go another way for Lena,  but that is how the cookie crumbles. And their song….I will never be able to look at this title and not have some feels.

Available on Amazon

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Author Bio

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Amber R. Duell is an award-winning young adult author, Navy wife, and mom of 2 awesome boys. She has been a #WriteMentor mentor since 2018 and is a co-host on the live broadcast show Young Adult Edition. Red Bull keeps her kicking.

Amber Duell| Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

 

 

Blog Tour

WhenStarsareBright copy

February 17th
Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com
Gwendalyn’s Books (Review) https://gwendalynbooks.blog/
Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/
Tales of Natural Spoonie (Review) https://talesofanaturalspoonie.com/

February 18th
Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com
C Vonzale Lewis (Review) https://cvonzalelewis.com/index.php/blog/
Life’s a Novelty (Review) https://lifesanovelty.blogspot.com/
Once More with Reading (Review) https://oncemorewithreadingx.wixsite.com/welcome
Tranquil Dreams (Review) https://klling.wordpress.com/

February 19th
I Love Books and Stuff (Spotlight) https://ilovebooksandstuffblog.wordpress.com
Cup of Toast Blog (Review) https://cupoftoast.co.uk
Bibliophile Ramblings (Review) http://lego–ergo–sum.blogspot.com/

February 20th
Book Dragons Not Worms (Review) https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/?m=1
Crossroad Reviews (Review) http://www.crossroadreviews.com
Dash Fan Book Reviews (Review) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/
Port Jerricho (Review) http://www.aislynndmerricksson.com
The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

February 21st
Ghoulish Life & Reviews (Review) https://ghoulishspirit.wordpress.com/
Rambling Mads (Review) http://ramblingmads.com
Phantom of the Library (Review) https://phantomofthelibrary.com/
Vick’s Bookish Writing (Review) https://vicksblogcom.home.blog/
Sophril Reads (Review) https://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

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New Releases

Blog Tour: The Celestial Assignment by Theresa Braun @TBraun_Author @RRBookTours1 #WiHM #TheCelestialAssignment #Paranormal #RRBookTours

TheCelestial Assignment

It’s Women in Horror Month, and what better way to celebrate it than to share a new release by a wonderful author! Theresa Braun’s new short story, The Celestial Assignment is available now! Check it out!

The Celestial Assignment
The Celestial Assignment
by Theresa Braun
Publication Date: 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

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 on Amazon!

Review

This book was received from the Author/Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I was actually surprised by this story.  I really wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into with this one.  I also have such a hit and miss relationship with short stories in general.  This story is only 28 pages and when it was over I was felt satisfied by the story I received.

This story focuses on Will who is an Angel in training.  Let’s be honest he was the worst type of guy while he was alive.  So why was he chosen to be a guardian angel is beyond him.  His charge Celeste has a constant guy in her life that is plainly a jerk.  As the story progresses Will begins to realize that he was just like this guy and he begins to reflect on his past.

If you are looking for a quick read you should grab this one.

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

 

Blog Tour

February 17th
Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com
Banshee Irish Horror Blog (Spotlight) www.bansheeirishhorrorblog.com
Sophril Reads (Review) https://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

February 18th
The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com
Tales of a Natural Spoonie (Review) https://talesofanaturalspoonie.com/
The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

February 19th
Didi Oviatt (Review) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com
Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/
Vick’s Bookish Writing Blog (Review) https://vicksblogcom.home.blog/

February 20th
Ity Reads Books (Review)  http://www.ityreadsbooks.home.blog
Cup of Books (Review) https://cupofbooksblog.wordpress.com/
My Bookish Bliss (Review) http://www.mybookishbliss.com

February 21st
Scarlett Readz & Runz (Review) https://scarlettreadzandrunz.com/
Phantom of the Library (Review)  https://phantomofthelibrary.com/
Cup of Toast (Review) https://cupoftoast.co.uk
Jaunts & Haunts (Review) https://jonathanpongratz.com/
Entertainingly Nerdy (Review) https://www.entertaininglynerdy.com

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New Releases

Blog Tour: Heir of Lies by Mallory McCartney @MalMcCartney @RRBookTours1 #HeirofLies #Fantasy #YABooks #RRBookTours

HierofLies (1)

Welcome to the blog tour for Heir of Lies, by Mallory McCartney! She’s gearing up to re-release her extremely popular Black Dawn series, starting with this beauty! Read on for an excerpt, tour details, and a chance to win print copies of this book and book #2, Queen to Ashes!

HeirofLies_Huge (1)


Heir of Lies
by Mallory McCartney
(Black Dawn #1)
Re-Release Date: April 20th, 2020
Genre: YA Fantasy/ New Adult Fantasy

“Hope was a dangerous thing. It could consume every dream and make them take flight, becoming wild daydreams in one’s heart and mind. Or hope could incinerate everything you thought you knew, burning you down to your core, leaving you raw and exposed for the world.”

Emory Fae has only known one thing—life at The Academy, a school for those who have special abilities. Following in her parents’ footsteps, the pressure to uphold their dream falls on her and one of her best friends—Adair Stratton. An outcast and feared by most, Adair longs to break away from the expectations dictating his future. With whispers of dark magic spreading across Kiero, Adair starts to doubt The Academy is all it seems.

An unexpected visit ignites new tensions as the roguish king from across the Black Sea, Tadeas Maher of the Shattered Isles, and his heir, Marquis Maher, sail to Kiero. Notorious for their pirating and wrath, for the first time in years, they demand the Faes listen to their proposition for a new treaty. Caught in the middle of politics, Adair and Emory, with the help of their best friends Brokk and Memphis, search for the one thing that matters the most—the truth.

Their world is tipped upside down as unlikely alliances are made, and war ravages Kiero. Through the throes of betrayal, lies, hidden magic, and love, Adair is faced with a life-changing decision. Will he fight or bow to the darkness within?
But, Adair’s decision will change the course of Kiero forever, setting in motion irreversible destinies for everyone at The Academy as Emory Fae rises as heir.

Heir of Lies is the first book in the bestselling Black Dawn series.

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Excerpt

“Hope was a dangerous thing. It could consume every dream and make them take flight, becoming wild daydreams in one’s heart and mind. Or hope could incinerate everything you thought you knew, burning you down to your core, leaving you raw and exposed for the world. As Brokk walked down the hallway, looking for Memphis, his world was ripped apart in a split second. The hallways were quiet, which should have been his first sign that something was off. Class had just ended for the afternoon, and like every other day, Brokk’s blood was boiling after seeing Iasan. His teacher had become predatory toward him, trying to push him to his edge but always in ways only noticed to Brokk, putting on the persona for the other teachers. Iasan was only trying to ensure a bright future, they said. By grooming him into a lethal weapon that would kill on command. Swearing under his breath, Brokk was hoping for the blissful distraction that the hallways of the Academy always provided. His fellow classmates had a flair for the dramatics; it was guaranteed he would be swept away in their display, along with his thoughts. Instead, his footsteps echoed as he continued on, dread pooling in his stomach and making it churn. Turning the corner, he was about to stop and go back when he saw him. Crumpled in the middle of the hallway, his blond hair splayed out around him and his skin drained of any color, he looked dead. Alby’s appearance flickered as he turned invisible in a panic. “What happened?!” Brokk’s voice cracked, as he sprinted, dropping to his best friend’s side in an instant. Alby’s eyes were wide, as he grappled with his words, his mouth opening and closing. Brokk urged, “Alby, what happened?” The doors at the end of the hallway were thrown open, and Brokk stood, slowly taking in the group rushing toward them. Roque stormed down the hall, Nei and Bresslin at his heels, Tadeas and his entourage flanking them. Roque looked at them, narrowing his eyes to slits. “Foster! What are you doing here? I told the teachers to issue a temporary room curfew effective immediately.” Roque’s words were just white noise, as Brokk saw Adair filing slowly in at the end of the hallway, looking like he had just been through a war. “Foster, I suggest you answer the question,” Roque spoke quietly and slowly, and Brokk flicked his gaze up to the man for a second, truly taking him in. And what Brokk saw, for the first time in years, scared him. Rage contorted their leader’s features into one unrecognizable. One that consumed the man and left a person that had nothing left to lose. He took a step back. “I was just looking for Memphis.” Alby cut in, “He did it. Adair used his ability against Memphis.” Brokk barely took in the next couple of seconds. Roque stiffened, turning slowly to look at Adair limping behind them all, his hooded eyes swept down to the floor, not realizing that everyone had focused in on him. He hurt Memphis.”

Available for Pre-Order!

Barnes & Noble | Amazon | Amazon CA | Indigo

Review

This book was received from the Author/Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

By the synopsis, you think you are going to get this story from the perspective of Emory well it took 20 chapters for me to see her PoV. I’m not complaining but it was a waiting game. It took me much longer to read than I thought the percentage bar on my Kindle just didn’t seem to move lol. I might be a tad impatient.

I was entertained by this story. Even though you have multiple PoVs the story flowed seamlessly. When the PoVs switched the timeline continued to flow in one direction and was not broken up by everyone getting their own. Which I really enjoyed because it felt like I had less to track that way.

If you like action this book has a lot of battle scenes they are not gruesome but there are a lot of them.

This is a strong first book in what looks to be a five-book series.

Author Bio

updated headshot

 

Mallory McCartney currently lives in Sarnia, Ontario with her husband and their three dachshunds Link, Lola and Leonard. When she isn’t working on her next novel or reading, she can be found day dreaming about fantasy worlds and hiking. Other favorite pastimes involve reorganizing perpetually overflowing bookshelves and seeking out new coffee and dessert shops.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

 

 

Giveaway: Win print copies of Heir of Lies
and Queen to Ashes! Click the link below to enter!

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Blog Tour

February 10th
Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com
Angela’s Guilty Pleasures (Spotlight) http://angelsguiltypleasures.com
Gwedalyn’s Books (Review) https://gwendalynbooks.blog/

February 11th
The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com
Life’s a Novelty (Review) https://lifesanovelty.blogspot.com/
The Faerie Review (Review)  http://www.thefaeriereview.com

February 12th
I Smell Sheep (Spotlight) http://www.ismellsheep.com/
My Bookish Bliss (Review) http://www.mybookishbliss.com
Sophril Reads (Review)  https://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

February 13th
I Love Books and Stuff (Spotlight) https://ilovebooksandstuffblog.wordpress.com
Phantom of the Library (Review) https://phantomofthelibrary.com/
Vick’s Bookish Writing (Review) https://vicksblogcom.home.blog/

February 14th
Rambling Mads (Spotlight) http://ramblingmads.com
Dash Fan Book Reviews (Review) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/
Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

 

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New Releases

Blog Tour: The Six-Week Solution by Paula Darnell @PaulaJDarnell @RRBookTours1 #HistoricalFiction #RRBookTours

TheSix-WeekSolution (1)

I’m thrilled to share a brand new historical fiction called, The Six-Week Solution by Paula Darnell. I have an excerpt for you to read and a giveaway to enter below!

The Six-Week Solution_bc1b.jpg


The Six-Week Solution
by Paula Darnell
Publication Date: January 1, 2020
Genre: Historical Fiction

Never guessing that their very lives might be in danger, well-to-do women come from all over the country to stay at guest ranches around Reno to establish the six weeks’ residency required for a quickie Nevada divorce in 1955.

When a Circle E Ranch guest dies after her Cadillac plunges off Mount Rose Highway, a mountain road between Lake Tahoe and Reno, Washoe County Deputy Sheriff Ben Cameron is assigned to investigate the accident. His inquiries lead him to question everyone at the Circle E, where he meets Mary, an attractive prospective divorcée from New York, who soon has an accident of her own. In the meantime, Ben’s case takes a turn as twisty as the Mount Rose Highway, and when Mary suffers a second accident, he quickly figures that someone is out to get her. Unless Ben can discover who’s targeting the out-of-towners, some of them won’t live long enough to have their day in court.

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Excerpt

Mary and Shirley, each carrying a couple of large shopping bags, emerged from Gray Reid. Mary hadn’t intended to spend so much on her new swimwear, but Shirley’s infectious enthusiasm had rubbed off on her, and she’d purchased two swimsuits, a flowery cover-up, a wide-brimmed sun hat, a couple of beach towels, a bathing cap, and a large straw beach bag. She rationalized that she’d need some way to keep busy for her six weeks in Nevada, and since the Circle E had a nice pool and Shirley had offered to teach her how to swim, it made sense to buy swimwear.

“All you need now is some suntan lotion,” Shirley said. “We’ll stop at a drug store on our way back to the ranch and pick some up. Right now, I’m starting to feel hungry. Why don’t we stop for lunch at one of the casino restaurants? By the time we get back to the Circle E, lunchtime will be over. It’s usually just soup and sandwiches set out as a buffet at noon anyway. At the ranch, the big meal of the day is always dinner.”

“Casinos have restaurants, too? I thought they were only for gambling.”

“Most of them are hotels as well as casinos, and usually they have at least a couple of restaurants. They have big-name entertainment, too. Frank Sinatra played the Sky Room at the Mapes a couple of months ago, and Tony Bennett sang there just last month. Of course, it’s not New York or L.A., but, for a town this size, it’s something.”

“I didn’t realize that. Every time I’ve heard about Reno, it’s always been in connection with a divorce, and now here I am to get one myself. I can’t quite believe it.”

Shirley and Mary lingered over a long lunch in the bustling coffee shop at the Riverside. Walking through the casino had been like a trip through a foreign land for Mary as she gazed in amazement at the crowd of gamblers playing table games and slot machines. The gambling didn’t stop in the casino, either. It spilled into the coffee shop, too, where patrons could play keno while they were enjoying their meals. Short, stubby pencils and packs of keno forms were on every table in the coffee shop, and keno runners in black and white garb came by the tables periodically to collect the keno forms that customers were going to play or to return them after the numbers had been verified. Shirley, who had played the game before, explained to Mary how it worked. It was as simple as choosing numbers on the form that resembled a bingo card, then hoping that the numbers the house drew matched. Winnings could range from a dollar to several thousand dollars, depending on how many numbers were played and how many numbers matched those that the house drew. In every casino game, losers outnumbered winners, but gamblers’ optimism that they’d beat the house kept the Nevada gaming business healthy.

Shirley lost several dollars before giving up, but Mary won enough to pay for their lunch and leave their waitress a generous tip. Gathering up their shopping bags, they left, satisfied with Mary’s small winnings.

As Mary and Shirley emerged from the Riverside, they were surrounded immediately by a large crowd of tourists who had evidently just arrived by bus. They sidled their way through the crush—they were leaving while the tourists were clamoring to enter the casino. Finally, the tourists all passed, and the two women paused to recover from the jostling for a moment. The onslaught wasn’t over yet, though, as another tourist bus pulled up to the curb, and its passengers began streaming from the bus. Hoping to cross the street to get away from the throng, Shirley and Mary hurried to the corner where they had to wait for the red light to change. Mary turned to look for Shirley, but she didn’t see her new friend. Somehow, they’d become separated when the big group of tourists mingled with the locals outside the casino.

The temperature had risen considerably since Mary and Shirley had left the Circle E in the morning, and Mary thought it must be well above ninety degrees by now. She squirmed in her beige raw silk suit, which was stylish, but too heavy to wear in hot weather. The shopping bags felt like lead weights, and her girdle felt constricting, as beads of sweat popped out on Mary’s forehead. People kept bumping into her, and she began to feel as though the whole world were closing in on her. Assuming that Shirley would catch up to her on the other side of the street, Mary inched her way forward until she stood right on the edge of the curb, and there was nobody between her and the street. Fighting lightheadedness, she took a deep breath. The red light seemed to stay on forever. If only she could reach the other side of the street, if only she could escape from the crowd, if only she could get out of the hot sun. The seconds ticked away, seeming like an eternity to Mary.

Suddenly, she felt a blow on her back, and she pitched forward, into the busy intersection. She heard screams, maybe from herself, maybe from Shirley or other people on the crowded sidewalk as a taxi screeched to a halt just inches from her. People rushed to help. The cab driver leaped from his taxi and picked up the scattered contents of Mary’s shopping bags while Shirley and a couple of cowboys held onto Mary as she struggled to stand. Throbbing scrapes covered her knees and forearms, and she had a large bump on her forehead. Her silk stockings were in shreds.

“Lady, you’re lucky you weren’t killed,” the cabbie said. “I sure burned rubber trying to avoid hitting you.”

Looking as though she might pass out at any moment, Mary moaned and swayed.

“Can she sit down in the cab?” Shirley asked. “She’s about ready to faint.”

“Oh, sure. Sorry, lady.” The cabbie flung open the taxi’s back door, and the cowboys guided Mary onto the seat.

“Lie down, Mary,” Shirley said.“You’ll feel better.”

Shirley turned to thank the two ranch hands who had helped, but they’d already disappeared into the crowd.

“Where you wanna go, lady? It’s on the house,” the cabbie said. “Maybe we should take her to the hospital,” he said to Shirley.

“I’ll be OK,” Mary said. “I felt like I was going to pass out for a few minutes back there, but I’m starting to feel better.”

“Are you sure you don’t want to see a doctor, Mary? You have quite a bump on your head.”

“No, let’s go back to the Circle E. I don’t want to be a bother.”

“All right.” Shirley gave the cab driver directions to her car. When they arrived, she offered to pay him, but he refused to take any money, repeating that the ride was “on the house.”

Shirley’s car felt stuffy, but at least it had been parked in the shade. Shirley and Mary rolled down the windows and enjoyed the rush of air, even though it was hot, as Shirley drove back to the Circle E. She whizzed past a drug store without slowing down before she remembered that she’d intended to stop so that Mary could buy some suntan lotion.

“Oh, shoot. I meant to stop at the drug store. I guess we’ll have to come back tomorrow. You’ll need to get those scrapes cleaned up as soon as we get back, anyway. I bet they really hurt, don’t they?”

“Oh, boy, do they! It reminds me of when I was a kid and fell off a curb while I was roller skating. I was really banged up then, too.”

“I’m sorry our shopping trip came to such a bad end, Mary. We were having fun until you fell and nearly got run over by that taxi.”

“Shopping was fun, but I didn’t fall. I was pushed.”

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Author Bio

PaulaDarnelAuthorPhoto
An instructor at five colleges over the years, Paula Darnell most often taught the dreaded first-year English composition classes, but she’s also been happy to teach some fun classes, such as fashion design, sewing, and jewelry making. Paula has a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, and a Master’s degree in English from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Paula’s interest in DIY craft projects and fashion led to her writing hundreds of articles for print and online national publications. She is the author of Death by Association and Death by Design, both in her cozy series, the DIY Diva Mysteries.

Paula lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, with her husband Gary and their 110-pound dog Rocky, whose favorite pastime is lurking in the kitchen, hoping for a handout.

Paula Darnell | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

The author is giving away 3 print copies of The Six-Week Solution (US)
and 3 digital copies (International). Click the link below!

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Blog Tour

TheSix-WeekSolution (1)

February 10th
Tales of a Natural Spoonie (Review) https://talesofanaturalspoonie.com/
Rambling Mads (Review) http://ramblingmads.com
B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

February 11th
Sophril Reads (Spotlight) https://sophrilreads.wordpress.com
Book Dragons Not Worms (Spotlight) https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/?m=1
Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

February 12th
On the Shelf Reviews (Spotlight) https://ontheshelfreviews.wordpress.com
Cup of Toast (Review) https://cupoftoast.co.uk
I’m All About Books (Spotlight) https://imallaboutbooks.com/
Just 4 My Books (Spotlight) http://www.just4mybooks.wordpress.com

February 13th
My Bookish Bliss (Review) http://www.mybookishbliss.com
The Faerie Review (Spotlight) http://www.thefaeriereview.com
Cocktails & Fairy Tales (Spotlight) https://www.facebook.com/CocktailsFairytales

February 14th
J Bronder Book Reviews (Review) https://jbronderbookreviews.com/
Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

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New Releases

Blog Tour: Subject A36 by Teri Polen @TPolen6 @RRBookTours1 #SubjectA36 #YABooks #YADystopian #Scifi #RRBookTours #BlogTour

SubjectA36 (1)

Welcome to the blog tour for Teri Polen’s upcoming release, Subject A36, the first book in a brand new series called The Colony!

Read on for an exclusive excerpt and a chance to win a signed or digital copy of the book!

a36 cover front only
Subject A36
by Teri Polen
(The Colony #1)
Expected Publication Date: February 13, 2020
Genre: YA Dystopian/ Sci-Fi
Publisher: Black Rose Writing

If genetic engineering could guarantee you and your family perfect health and unparalleled beauty, would you pay top dollar for it? Would you kill for it?

Residents of the Colony would. And do.

Only the Insurgents can stop them.

Asher Solomon is a premier operative with the Insurgents. He and his team have rescued countless hostages, saving them from painful deaths in Colony labs as desirable genetic traits are stripped from their bodies.

He’s also suffered more losses than anyone should have to.

Then Asher gets intel that might give his people the upper hand. The Colony is searching for Subject A36. If the Insurgents determine the subject’s identity first, they might be able to turn the tide of the war.

Asher and his team embark on their riskiest mission ever, and the stakes have never been higher. But even if he survives the physical dangers, the devastating secrets he uncovers might destroy him.

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Excerpt

Untitled design (5)

“Asher!” Mom gripped the porch railing and called for me. Her voice cracked and was laced with tears. Dad vaulted over the porch railing, landed solidly on the grass, and frantically scanned our expansive yard.

My stomach clenched. Something was very wrong. “Over here!”

Dad’s gaze locked on mine. “Code Exodus! Now, Asher. Run!”

Was this another drill? We’d practiced twice a week, the times always unexpected, without fail for as long as I could remember. Drills were a regular part of our life, like eating, sleeping, and homework. Protocol was pounded into our brains. There could be no hesitation.

But this felt different. Dad’s expression was tight and urgent. Tears streamed down Mom’s face, and I knew. This was no drill. It was real this time. We’d been found. Code Tribe—we leave together. Code Exodus—we leave without our parents.

Code Exodus rules.

Grab the backpack.

Leave immediately.

Don’t stop for anything or anyone.

Run to the Wallaces.

When my sisters could no longer keep up, hide them and keep running

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Author Bio

author photo

 

Teri Polen reads and watches horror, sci-fi, and fantasy. The Walking Dead, Harry Potter, and anything Marvel-related are likely to cause fangirl delirium. She lives in Bowling Green, KY with her husband, sons, and black cat. Her first novel, Sarah, a YA horror/thriller, was a horror finalist in the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Visit her online at http://www.teripolen.com

Teri Polen | Facebook | Twitter

Goodreads | Instagram | Pinterest | Book Bub

Giveaway: You can either win a signed copy of the book (US only)
or a digital copy (International)! Click the link below to enter!

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Blog Tour

February 10th
B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com
Sophril Reads (Spotlight) https://sophrilreads.wordpress.com
My Bookish Blitz (Review) http://www.mybookishbliss.com
The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

February 11th
Lunarian Press (Spotlight) https://www.lunarianpress.com/
The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com
Tranquil Dreams (Spotlight) https://klling.wordpress.com/
James J. Cudney (Review) https://thisismytruthnow.com/

February 12th
The Bookworm Drinketh (Spotlight) http://thebookwormdrinketh.wordpress.com/
Didi Oviatt (Spotlights) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com
Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com
Life’s a Novelty (Review) https://lifesanovelty.blogspot.com/

February 13th
Book Dragons Not Worms (Spotlight) https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/?m=1
Misty’s Book Space (Review) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com
Rea’s Reads (Review) https://reasreads.wordpress.com/
On the Shelf Reviews (Spotlight) https://ontheshelfreviews.wordpress.com

February 14th
Reads & Reels (Review) http://readsandreels.com
Port Jerricho (Spotlight) http://www.aislynndmerricksson.com
Cocktails & Fairy Tales (Spotlight) https://www.facebook.com/CocktailsFairytales
Jaunts & Haunts (Review) https://jonathanpongratz.com/
Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

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New Releases

Blog Tour: Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets by Sherrill Joseph @MysteryAuthor7 @RRBookTours1 #Mystery #MG #MiddleGrade

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I’m so pleased to share this long-awaited release with all of you today! Nutmeg: Egyptian Secrets by Sherrill Joseph is the perfect MG mystery for readers! Read on for an exclusive excerpt and a chance to win the most amazing giveaway!

Book Cover


Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets
by Sherrill Joseph
(A Botanic Hill Detectives Mysteries #1)
Publication Date: February 1st, 2020
Genre: MG/ Middle Grade/ Mystery (Ages 9 – 12)

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.

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Excerpt

From Chapter 4

“Here we go again. An aftershock! I’ve been afraid this would happen,” said Dr. Kurtz. She rapidly surveyed the room full of terrariums. “And one of my assistants just called to say he’s found a somewhat hidden but large crack from this morning’s tremor on one of our venomous snake enclosure’s glass panes. It’s a major emergency. Come out with me quickly boys—now! I have to attend to this immediately,” she shouted behind her, as she grabbed her tool bag, yanked open the heavy door, and fled outside and down the breezeway to the enclosure.

Unfortunately, Moki and Lanny weren’t as fast as Dr. Kurtz. The door banged shut in their surprised faces and locked. They were trapped in a windowless room.

As if that weren’t bad enough, the power failed simultaneously, and the room went pitch black. Both boys froze, helplessly surrounded by three walls of venomous snakes they could still hear but no longer see.

Now Available

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Review

This book was received from the Author/Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This was such a fun and easy middle grade read. The four kids who make up the Botanic Hill Detectives are a very diverse group.  So you not only learn about Egyptian Mythology in this story you learn about the other cultures of these kids. It is done in such a way that it is not overwhelming and kids will learn and not even realize how much they are learning.

The mystery was intriguing and I enjoyed watching how the kids came to come of the conclusions and how they were always reminded that they needed facts and they could not just run off with assumptions alone.

The only thing that bothered me was that there were times when the kids read older than they were. I felt like I had to remind myself how old these characters really were.

All in all, this is a great middle grade read for anyone who likes a good mystery.

4.5 stars

Author Bio

photo01
Sherrill Joseph’s debut novel, Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets, had been inside her head for decades. The mystery genre took hold of her as a fifth grader when she discovered Nancy Drew and Phyllis A. Whitney mysteries. Years later, it still hasn’t let go.

After graduating Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in English literature and a master’s in education, Sherrill spent the next thirty-five years as a K-12 literacy teacher. When she retired from teaching in 2013, the Botanic Hill Detectives and their mysteries finally sprang to life.

Forever inspired by her beautiful students in the San Diego public schools, the author has peopled and themed the Botanic Hill Detectives mysteries with children of various abilities, cultures, and interests. She strongly believes that embracing diversity is the key to a better world.

Sherrill is a native San Diegan where she lives in a ninety-year-old house in a historic neighborhood with her bichon frisé-poodle mix, Jimmy Lambchop. In addition to her dog, the city of San Diego, reading and writing, the author loves her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter. She must also include dark chocolate, popcorn, old movies, staircases, the color purple, and daisies. She is a member of SCBWI and the Authors’ Guild and promises many more adventures with the squad to come.

Sherrill Joseph | Newsletter | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Giveaway Time!

US Only: One signed paperback copy of Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets

  • One bookmark
  • One sticker
  • One refrigerator magnet
  • Winner’s choice of either the standing Egyptian goddess Bastet statue or, the reclining Egyptian god Anubis statue

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International Only: One eBook copy of Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets

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Blog Tour

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February 3rd
Reads & Reels (Guest Post) http://readsandreels.com
Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/
The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com
The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

February 4th
A Garden of Books (Review) http://agardenofbooks.com
Life’s a Novelty (Review) https://lifesanovelty.blogspot.com/
Turning the Pages (Review) https://turningthepagesonline.wordpress.com

February 5th
C Vonzale Lewis (Review) https://cvonzalelewis.com/index.php/blog/
Dash Fan Book Reviews (Review) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/
I’m All About Books (Review) https://imallaboutbooks.com/

February 6th
Book Dragons Not Worms (Review) https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/?m=1
LoopyLouLaura (Review) https://www.loopyloulaura.com/
Shalini’s Books & Reviews (Review) https://bookreviewsbyshalini.com/

February 7th
J Bronder Book Reviews (Review) https://jbronderbookreviews.com/
My Bookish Bliss (Review) http://www.mybookishbliss.com
Sophril Reads (Review) https://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

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New Releases

Blog Tour: Eat Happy Too by Anna Vocino @AnnaVocino @KeriBarnum @RRBookTours1 #CookBook #Books #GlutenFree #HealthyEating

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Welcome to the blog tour for a gorgeous cookbook, Eat Happy Too, by Anna Vocino! Check out all 160+ of her delicious recipes! Read on for a sneak peek at one of her tasty recipes and a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

High Res EH2 front cover


Eat Happy Too: 160+ New Gluten Free, Grain Free, Low Carb Recipes for a Joyful Life
by Anna Vocino
Publication Date: September 17th. 2019
Genre: CookBook/ Healthy Eating/ Recipes

Anna Vocino is back with Eat Happy Too: 160+ NEW delicious grain-free, gluten-free, low carb recipes that are also free of processed sugars. Get back to cooking and retrain your taste buds to love food again. You’ll be shocked at how good food can taste!

Eat Happy Too has 160 more starters, mains, sides, soups, casseroles, slow cooker AND Instant Pot recipes, plus breakfast and a chapter to learn how to make sauces and dressings from scratch and not be stuck buying chemical laden versions from the grocery store. There is also a desserts chapter which has some SPLURGE recipes made from the finest ingredients, so that when you have something to celebrate, you can do it with minimal metabolic effect on your body.

Half of the recipes have dairy, half are dairy free, and most of the recipes with dairy can be made dairy free for those who want to limit their dairy intake. The book ends with a few lower carb cocktail recipes for those who want to play mixologist.

Diagnosed with celiac disease in 2002, Anna Vocino struggled to manage the effects of autoimmune disease and middle age weight gain while still being able to eat delicious and satisfying foods. In 2012, she started podcasting with Vinnie Tortorich and changed her way of eating to not only be gluten free, but also grain and sugar free. Her first cookbook, Eat Happy, is an Amazon best seller, and her audience made it very clear MORE RECIPES, PLEASE!

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Excerpt

Roasted Zucchini and Squash Tian

Anna Vocino - Roasted Zucchini and Squash Tian - Pin2

Click here for the full recipe!

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Review

This book was received from the Author/Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Eat Happy Too is the second cookbook by Anna Vocino.  I was so happy to receive a copy for review since this cookbook speaks to my lifestyle being diabetic.

The first thing that really stood out to me was that in the welcome section Anna kept specifying that this is not a diet.  I really liked that since what I am looking for is real food and not low carb diet food.  Yes, trust me there is a huge difference just ask anyone who has a low carb lifestyle vs those just looking to lose a few pounds.

The first thing that I noticed is this book is made very heavy/durable.  Which is great because that means it’s going to last and not fall apart in a few months.  I mean cookbooks take a lot of abuse vs novels so they need to be able to last.  Sadly, I have had this issue in the past. If a cookbook is not made well I just won’t use it because who wants to pick up pages that fall out because of bad binding.

The images in this book are wonderful, looking through the book made me excited to make some of the recipes.  All of the images are hi-res and crisp looking. There are so many low carb foods in here that I have not had in years.  I am so excited.

Which brings me to the best part.  I will be honest I am not the greatest cook and I tend to stick to what I know I can make.  Especially since some recipes are written a little complicated and then I get anxious about messing it up.  I will just be honest I find cooking to be stressful.  So if you feel that way too I have GREAT news for you.  These recipes are written plainly so that anyone no matter your cooking level can read and understand.  So major win for me.  While looking through the book there wasn’t one that I did not think I could tackle.

I have already looked up her first cookbook and added it to my Amazon wishlist.

 

Author Bio

Anna Vocino

 

 

Anna is the author of Eat Happy and Eat Happy Too. Her cookbooks are filled with gluten and grain-free recipes that celebrate her half Southern, half Italian-girl heritage. She hopes you enjoy every tasty recipe from cover to cover.

Anna Vocino | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest| Tumblr| IMDb

Blog Tour

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February 3rd
Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com
I Smell Sheep (Review) http://www.ismellsheep.com/
Vick’s Bookish Writing (Review) https://vicksblogcom.home.blog/

February 4th
The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com
Jessica Belmont (Spotlight) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/
LoopyLouLaura (Review) https://www.loopyloulaura.com/
Scarlett Readz & Runz (Review) https://scarlettreadzandrunz.com/

February 5th
Where Dragons Reside (Spotlight) https://kernerangelina.live/
Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com
Sophril Reads (Review) https://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

February 6th
Dash Fan Book Reviews (Review) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/
My Bookish Bliss (Review) http://www.mybookishbliss.com

February 7th
Cup of Toast (Review) https://cupoftoast.co.uk
Al-Alhambra Book Reviews (Review) https://alalhambrabookreviews.home.blog
The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

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