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Susanna Calkins is Visiting! [Tour Stop]

The Masque of a Murderer

“The Masque of a Murderer” (A Lucy Campion Mystery, #3) by Susanna Calkins

Published as… Historical Mystery

A Chat with…Lucy Campion

Bella: What is the name of the book where we’ll find you? Can you tell us a little about it?
Lucy Campion: I have appeared in three books so far— all a rather odd chronicling of my life in 1660s London. The titles come from tracts I wrote, describing some strange events that have transpired around me: A MURDER AT ROSAMUND’S GATE, FROM THE CHARRED REMAINS, and THE MASQUE OF A MURDERER.

Bella: Tell us a little about yourself. Where do you fit into the story? What should we know about you?
Lucy Campion: Several years ago, when I was sixteen I joined Master Hargrave’s household as a chambermaid. He’s a magistrate, and never beat me like most masters will do. For a long time, my life was just an endless repetition of emptying pots, stoking fires, and laundering clothes. I did learn to read though, listening to the tutors brought to teach Master Hargrave’s daughter from behind a curtain. Everything changed when my best friend—another servant—was killed and my brother Will was accused of her murder. That was bad enough. But the world completely overturned when the plague struck, and then a Great Fire ravaged London. After that I had to do something different with my life, and somehow I finagled an apprenticeship with a master printer. Now, I spend my days setting type, running presses and selling books on street corners. I also am being wooed by two men, Adam Hargrave the magistrate’s son, and Jeb Duncan, a constable. I thought I was in love with Adam, but I wonder now whether I could ever fit into his social circle. Sometimes I am not even sure if I want to marry, since I rather like making books and selling them, and could not well do that with young ones hanging onto my skirts.

Bella: What do you think of the author? Be honest. We won’t tell.
Lucy Campion: There is a madness to your question. I know that someone else, Susanna Calkins, claims to have written these stories, but I can assure you that I am the author. I know that women are not supposed to write books, especially about such indelicate topics as murder. Which is why I write my tracts as Anonymous, or with my initials, L.C. Master Aubrey, my master, has several of my works good enough to print. I have written several tracts now, but the ones about murder sell the best. I can always get a good crowd. But sometimes that’s a problem. When I first started to sell FROM THE CHARRED REMAINS, in which I wrote about a body that had been found murdered after the Great Fire, the murderer heard my story and came after me. It was quite terrifying, I can assure you. Maybe I should let people think Susanna is truly the author; madmen and lunatics might stop pursuing me.

Bella: How do you feel about the story you’re in?
Lucy Campion: Even though my life is hard, I truly enjoy being a printer’s apprentice and a bookseller. Somehow I always seem to stumble across puzzles and secrets too, which makes life interesting. But it is never easy to see someone die, and death is ever present in my world. As I explain in THE MASQUE OF A MURDERER, I was even brought to record the last dying words of a man run over by a cart and horse. Before he died, he told me he had been pushed, and that his murderer was someone he knew. I have seen several murderers brought to justice though, and that is a reward that I will treasure.

Bella: How do you see your future? Without giving anything away about the story, naturally.
Lucy Campion: I do not know what divine providence has in store for me, but if I had my druthers, I would set up my own printing press, and be the master of my own trade. Somehow I think though, that even if that wondrous thing should come to occur, that murders and secrets will still find me…

Bella: What do you know about your author’s plans? Can we expect to see you in any future stories?
Lucy Campion: I am currently writing another of my stories, based on a true but strange tale that I recently experienced. Early one morning, as I was walking near Holborn Bridge, I discovered a young woman, distraught and clad only in her nightdress, which was covered in blood. She knew not her name, but I realized very early on that she was a noblewoman and needed to be tended to. I have called this story, A DEATH ALONG THE RIVER FLEET, which Master Aubrey will print and I will hawk next April (the year of our Lord, 2016).

Bella: Let’s say they make a movie about this book. Who do you want to play you, and why?
Lucy Campion: I have heard tell of this devilish thing—“the movie—which seems to be strange and wonderful. I do not wish to point to a player with my likeness, however, for fear that she would be strung up as a witch for cavorting about in such an unnatural way. So I shall keep such speculation to myself. I wish you a very good day and farewell.

About the Book

In Susanna Calkins’ next richly drawn mystery set in 17th century England, Lucy Campion, formerly a ladies’ maid in the local magistrate’s household, has now found gainful employment as a printer’s apprentice. On a freezing winter afternoon in 1667, she accompanies the magistrate’s daughter, Sarah, to the home of a severely injured Quaker man to record his dying words, a common practice of the time. The man, having been trampled by a horse and cart the night before, only has a few hours left to live. Lucy scribbles down the Quaker man’s last utterances, but she’s unprepared for what he reveals to her—that someone deliberately pushed him into the path of the horse, because of a secret he had recently uncovered.

Fearful that Sarah might be traveling in the company of a murderer, Lucy feels compelled to seek the truth, with the help of the magistrate’s son, Adam, and the local constable. But delving into the dead man’s background might prove more dangerous than any of them had imagined.

In The Masque of a Murderer, Susanna Calkins has once again combined finely wrought characters, a richly detailed historical atmosphere, and a tightly-plotted mystery into a compelling read.

Buy the Book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository or iTunes

About the Author

Susanna Calkins Author Photo
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Susanna Calkins lives in Highland Park, Illinois with her husband and two sons, where she is an educator at Northwestern University. With a PhD in history, her historical mysteries feature Lucy Campion, a 17th century chambermaid-turned-printer’s apprentice. Her first novel, A Murder at Rosamund’s Gate, was a finalist for the Sue Feder Historical Mystery Award (Macavity). The second in this series, From the Charred Remains, is currently a finalist for the Bruce Alexander Historical Mystery Award. Her third, The Masque of a Murderer, will be released in April 2015.

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Review: “Bad for Me” by Codi Gary [Tour Stop]

“Bad for Me” by Codi Gary

Available from: Avon Romance, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks or Kobo
To Be Released on: 6 April 2015
I received this book free in exchange for an honest review, as part of this book’s blog tour.

Description: Callie Jacobsen isn’t about to open her heart to just anyone. Not so very long ago, trusting someone changed her life forever—and not in a fun way. Now she’s better off focusing on her career, her friends, and her dog. So when former Marine Everett Silverton takes an interest in her, Callie’s more than a little wary. No matter how charming he is, men are a bad idea. In fact, she’s got the scars to prove it. But Everett isn’t convinced Callie should shut everyone out—especially not him. He may be a hero to the people of Rock Canyon, but he’s got his own demons, and he bets they’re not that different from Callie’s. Still, he knows it’s going to take more than chemistry to get her to let her guard down. Everett will do whatever it takes to show her she’s safe with him. All she has to do is take a chance, take a step…and take his hand.

Review: Who lives a life without scars? Not Everett Silverton, the male lead in this story is well written, daring, heroic, understanding and hot. And not Callie Jacobsen, the female lead is tragic and torn, a sweet heart with the inability to accept others into her life due to her past. Their romance is not easy, not is it gentle, as much as Everett tried to make it so. It felt each chapter was him offering all he was and her throwing it back at him through reactions and fear, and if there was ever a man to root for in a romance it was him.

Callie is a DJ with a crush on a male caller, Everett (or Rhett) is infatuated by the woman he hears every morning. Slowly they talk through his calls to her show and make a connection, then one morning he ups the ante and offers to meet her. Callie freezes and then fate (or author’s device) kicks in and suddenly they are bumping into one another at every turn, sometimes literally. Their lives are already so enmeshed that it is almost a surprise they hadn’t met. She was DJ’ing his brother’s wedding, she is an AA sponsor for his father, her friend ran the bookstore he spent so much time in, a small town in which lives usually mix had left these two never meeting until that day he asked her out.

It takes time for him to admit to her that he was her morning caller, and when he does she reacts badly. Her ability to trust had been ripped so thoroughly from her that all he did was being judged and weighed on a scale that he could not begin to see or imagine. From the beginning he was fighting a losing battle as her past was too unsettled to allow for the future to begin. It was clear she could not love or trust as she deserved to be able to until she allowed all the healing processes to work their way through her life. Hiding and dealing with the past as best as you can is not the same as healing.

I struggled with this book because some pieces didn’t fit, minor things really, but enough that I was questioning their place. Callie is an AA sponsor, but then admits she never took the full process of the steps to heart and healed herself through them as they are meant to be, this was one of my main struggles outside of struggling to like Callie. To me addiction recovery like that is an almost sacred trust and being someone’s sponsor when you never gave your all to the program yourself seems hypocritical. Everett hit every key in me that makes me enjoy a good male lead. Callie, on the other hand, had me banging my head on the wall chapter after chapter, making me want to stand up and defend Everett to her over and over and make her get the help she needed to be able to move forward with her life, and their life together. Also, I felt something interesting that could have been used to greater purpose was the original communication in the story, the couple had their first connection through the radio and that line of their relationship just stopped once they met in person. I loved that between them and wished Rhett had kept calling each morning, showing her he still cared about that woman he first began to fall for.

I give this book 3.5 Fireballs because of the details above and because I really struggled to finish the book as I could not bring myself to like Callie. I felt for her, but being empathetic and actually enjoying a character are two different things. Scars can be on the inside or outside, and these characters have both types. Through the book the details of their lives unfold and you see both characters and all their flaws, or the flaws they perceive in themselves. The romance is interesting, the sex scenes are well written, if too few. Codi Gary wove a story of people that both deserve a forever kind of love, and all the struggles that deserving that kind of love brings.

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M. J. Rose is Visiting! [Tour Stop]

The With of Painted Sorrows

“The Witch of Painted Sorrows” by M. J. Rose

Published as… Historical Mystery

About the Book

Possession. Power. Passion. International bestselling novelist M.J. Rose creates her most provocative and magical spellbinder yet in this erotic, gothic novel set against the lavish spectacle of 1890s Belle Époque Paris.

Sandrine Salome runs away to her grandmother’s Parisian mansion to escape her dangerous husband, but what she finds is even more menacing. The house, famous for its lavish art collection and elegant salons, is mysteriously closed up. Although her grandmother insits it’s dangerous for Sandrine to visit, she defies her and meets Julien Duplessi, a mesmerizing young architect. Together they explore the hidden night world of Paris, the forbidden occult underground and Sandrine’s deepest desires.

Among the bohemians and the demi-monde, Sandrine discovers her erotic nature as a lover and painter. Then darker influences threaten – her cold and cruel husband is tracking her down and something sinister is taking hold, changing Sandrine, altering her. She’s become possessed by La Lune: A witch, a legend and a sixteenth-century courtesan, who opens up her life to a darkness that may become a gift or a curse.

This is Sandrine’s “wild night of the soul,” her odyssey in the magnificent city of Paris, of art, love and witchery.

Buy the Book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks or IndieBound

About the Author

M. J. Rose Author Photo
M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother’s favorite books before she was allowed.

She is the author of more than a dozen novels, the co-president and founding board member of International Thriller Writers and the founder of the first marketing company for authors: AuthorBuzz.com. She lives in Greenwich, Connecticut.

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Stephen Whitfield is Visiting! [Tour Stop]

Omari and the People

“Omari and the People” by Stephen Whitfield

Published as… Historical Adventure

Stephen Whitfield’s Excerpt

As was his way, bin Aswad took no part in the celebration, and actually enjoyed his time alone as everyone else danced, sang and ate. Indeed, he had always found great pleasure in his love of numbers – calculating expenses, inventories and ultimately, profits. Despite Omari’s warnings about making money from the needs of others, bin Aswad had found it profitable to provide specialty clothing for those who could afford it. He found that some people paid well for themselves and or their family to look good in new clothing, and he was very clever in the re-use of old clothes to make new garments, as his cloth supply dwindled. Instead of being rich in coin, he now had more than his share of food, water, tools and other valuables.

He was happily humming a tuneless melody while he sat counting a number of small gems, when his tent flap flew open. A stunning young woman moved in quickly and stood over him. Astonished, he scrambled backwards with his eyes and mouth wide open, spilling the gems onto the tent floor.

“Ho, bin Aswad. Easy,” said the woman in a husky voice, and a bright smile that revealed white, even teeth. “I wish you no harm.” She raised her palms to calm his fright and sat down. “In fact, I believe I might be of some service to you. My name is Saba Khan. Did you drop something?”

No longer terrified, bin Aswad was still too surprised and embarrassed to form any reply, except to start picking up his gems while glancing up at the stranger. At first glance, Saba Khan possessed what might be called an extraordinary beauty – enough to turn heads, and very pleasing to the eye. In bin Aswad’s lamplight, her complexion was a satiny smooth, golden brown that seemed to blend into the darkness. Her finely sculpted face framed dark amber, almond-shaped eyes, which made him pause. For the brief moment he held her gaze, he was so struck by their sheer intensity, intelligence and perceptiveness that he stopped picking up his gems. His attitude changed to awe and he was willing, even eager to hear what she had to say.

“How do you know my name?” he mumbled, too awestruck to ask all the questions in his mind.

“You are well-known, bin Aswad. You have many customers—people you talk to and trade with. Some of the things you receive in trade are precious gems, such as that one you missed, just there.” She pointed a slender finger at a ruby behind him.

“That gets people’s attention. Some of the things you’ve said are bound to get even more attention – such as the fact that you are unhappy with Master Omari’s leadership.” She leaned forward and opened her eyes wide. “Allow me to offer you some free advice – trade your gems away and keep your opinions to yourself.”

Bin Aswad noticed the hilt of a dagger in her waistband. As the idea of danger began to form in his mind, beads of sweat broke out on his upper lip. “That’s some strong advice,” he said, in an effort to sound self-assured. “What do you have to do with my opinions or my gems?”

Saba Khan chuckled. “I’m not here to harm you, bin Aswad. I’m here to suggest that I might be able to help you solve your problem with Master Omari…for the cost of some of your gems.” She raised her brow and tilted her head to the side. “Are you interested in seeing someone else in charge of the caravan? Someone more sensitive to your business interests?”

He frowned and leaned forward. “And how would you…”

“You don’t need to know that,” she said. “All you need to know is if you pay my price, your satisfaction is guaranteed.”

He stared at the woman in amazement. “What do you do? Are you some kind of killer? I don’t want to kill anyone.”

“I make things happen,” she replied. “And don’t worry; you don’t have enough gems for anyone to be killed. Not even that great blue jewel you have hidden in your robe.”

Bin Aswad’s eyes widened again. “You know about the jewel?”

“That is why I’m here,” she said in a low voice. “Remember my first advice? You’re not going to be able to hang onto such a stone much longer anyway. Too many people know about it. Right now, all you have to do is say ‘yes’ to the deal. If you do, I will give you more details later. Of course, whether you agree or not, I must refer you back to the second advice – keep your business to yourself. Now, do we have a deal?” She leaned forward and smiled as if she knew the answer.

About the Book

In an ancient time, a people made homeless by a devastating fire are led across a treacherous desert by a thrill-seeking thief, to a land he doesn’t believe exists – and he started the fire.

In a squalid ancient city on the edge of a desert (based on descriptions of the African Sahara’s Empty Quarter,) a weary, thrill-seeking thief named Omari sets his home on fire to start anew and cover his many crimes. When the entire city is unintentionally destroyed by the flames, the cornered thief tells the displaced people a lie about a better place to which only he can lead them, across the desert. With the help of an aged, mysterious woman who knows a better place actually does exist, they set out. The disparate people must come together to fight their way through bandits, storms, epidemics, and more. As a result of Omari’s involvement with Saba, a fiercely independent woman who is out to break him in the pay of a merchant whom he has offended, his ability to lead – his very life – is jeopardized.

Buy the Book at Amazon or Barnes & Noble

About the Author

Stephen Whitfield Author Photo
Chicago-born Stephen Whitfield began writing as a Marine Corps print journalist. His writing has appeared in military publications, as well as the Kansas City Star and the Jersey Journal. He holds degrees from from Loyola University Chicago, Chicago Theological Seminary, and Indiana University. Stephen currently resides near Orlando, Florida.

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Codi Gary is Visiting! [Tour Stop]

Bad for Me

“Bad for Me” (Rock Canyon Romance, #5) by Codi Gary

Published as… Contemporary Romance

Cody Gary’s Excerpt

“I’ve almost got it.”

“Thank you. This was really nice of you, especially when I haven’t given you a reason to be.”

Everett looked up at her, wiping the rain off his face so he could meet her gaze. “You seem to assume that just because people are kind to you, they want something. Sometimes people help because it’s the right thing to do.”

Her gaze shifted away, and he went back to tightening the nuts on the wheel. He’d said his piece, but knew he wasn’t going to convince Callie with words that his intentions were honorable.

He had to prove it to her.

When he finished, he released the jack and gathered up all the tools, sliding them back in the spare tire kit. “I’ll put this and the new tire in the back, and you’ll be good to go. I’ll haul this one off to the dump for you.”

She knelt down next to him and took the kit from him, their fingers brushing. Despite the chill of their skin, heat sizzled between them, sending a shot of awareness down his throat. Her blonde curls were wet and falling out of her messy top knot, and drops of rain were clinging to her cheeks. Before he could stop himself, he traced the pad of his thumb across one, catching the cool droplet on his skin. Her amber eyes widened, and he dropped his hand, cursing his impulse.

“Sorry. You had something on your cheek.”

Callie cleared her throat and stood up. “It’s okay.”

He climbed to his feet and couldn’t help wondering if she’d felt something too. Was that why she kept pulling away?

But if she didn’t want him, why was he pushing?

Because she doesn’t treat you like a defective puppy she’d have to fix.

Grabbing her spare tire from the back of his truck, he slid it into the back of her Jeep. She stood back as he closed the door, and he could tell she was nervous—her hands kept twisting.

“Well, you’re all set. You should get home and change out of those wet clothes. If you get sick, I’ll have to listen to one of those ridiculous weekend deejays, and they play nothing but crap.”

Everett started to head back to his truck, but she caught his hand. “Hey.”

Just the touch of her hand sent his heart from a trot to a gallop. He loved the way her soft skin wrapped around his.

Facing her, he waited, afraid to move a muscle and scare her off.

But she moved so fast, he wasn’t prepared when her lips brushed the scarred side of his face. He stiffened as the warmth seeped through his cheek, his stomach twisting up as a thousand thoughts and insecurities made him wince. Had the roughness repelled her? Why hadn’t she picked the untouched side?

“Thank you. For being kind.”

Callie dropped his hand and ran to her car, as if afraid he would come after her. As she started it and pulled forward, he was finally able to move again, backing up a ways to watch her disappear down the road.

Everett’s hand came up to rest against his cheek, and he realized that he’d lied to Callie when he said he didn’t want anything from her.

He wanted everything.

About the Book

Callie Jacobsen isn’t about to open her heart to just anyone. Not so very long ago, trusting someone changed her life forever—and not in a fun way. Now she’s better off focusing on her career, her friends, and her dog. So when former Marine Everett Silverton takes an interest in her, Callie’s more than a little wary. No matter how charming he is, men are a bad idea. In fact, she’s got the scars to prove it. But Everett isn’t convinced Callie should shut everyone out—especially not him. He may be a hero to the people of Rock Canyon, but he’s got his own demons, and he bets they’re not that different from Callie’s. Still, he knows it’s going to take more than chemistry to get her to let her guard down. Everett will do whatever it takes to show her she’s safe with him. All she has to do is take a chance, take a step…and take his hand.

Buy the Book at Avon Romance, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks or Kobo

About the Author

Codi Gary Author Photo
An obsessive bookworm, Codi Gary likes to write sexy small-town contemporary romances with humor, grand gestures, and blush-worthy moments. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading her favorite authors, squealing over her must-watch shows, and playing with her children. She lives in Idaho with her family.

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David Morrell is Visiting! [Tour Stop]

Inspector of the Dead

“Inspector of the Dead” by David Morrell

Published as… Historical Mystery

David Morrell’s Excerpt

As the gentleman continued up Constitution Hill, his watch now showed eight minutes past five. The watches of his associates—also synchronized with the Greenwich Royal Observatory—would display the same time. Everything remained on schedule.

At Piccadilly, he turned right toward one of London’s most respectable districts: Mayfair. He had waited what seemed an eternity for what he was about to enjoy. He had suffered unimaginably to prepare for it. Despite his fierce emotions, he kept a measured pace, determined not to blunt his satisfaction by hurrying.

Even in the fog, he had no trouble finding his way. This was a route that he had followed many times in his memory. It was the same route that he had taken fifteen years earlier when, as a desperate boy, he had raced to the right along Piccadilly, then to the left along Half Moon Street, then left again onto Curzon Street, this way and that, begging.

Please, sir, I need your help!

Get away from me, you filthy vermin!

The echoes of that hateful time reverberated in his memory as he came to the street known as Chesterfield Hill. He paused where a gas lamp showed an iron railing beyond which five stone steps led up to an oak door. The knocker had the shape of a heraldic lion’s head.

The steps were freshly scrubbed. Noting a boot scraper built into the railing, he applied his soles to it so that he wouldn’t leave evidence. He clutched his walking stick, opened the gate, and climbed the steps. The impact of the knocker echoed within the house.

He heard someone on the opposite side of the door. For a moment, his anticipation made it seem that the world outside the fog no longer existed, that he was in a closet of the universe, that time had stopped. As a hand freed a bolt and the door opened, he readied his cane with its silver knob.

A butler looked puzzled. “His Lordship isn’t expecting visitors.”

The gentleman struck with all his might, impacting the man’s head, knocking him onto a marbled floor. Heartbeat thundering with satisfaction, he entered and shut the door. A few quick steps took him into a spacious hall.

A maid paused at the bottom of an ornate staircase, frowning, obviously puzzled why the butler hadn’t accompanied the visitor. In a rage, the gentleman swung the cane, feeling its knob crack the maid’s skull. With a dying moan, she collapsed to the floor.

Without the disguise of his beard, the gentleman had been to this house on several occasions. He knew its layout and would need little time to eliminate the remaining servants. Then his satisfaction could begin as he devoted his attention to their masters. Clutching his cane, he proceeded with his great work.

Memories needed to be prodded.

Punishment needed to be inflicted.

About the Book

David Morrell’s MURDER AS A FINE ART was a publishing event. Acclaimed by critics, it made readers feel that they were actually on the fogbound streets of Victorian London. Now the harrowing journey continues in INSPECTOR OF THE DEAD.

Thomas De Quincey, infamous for his Confessions of an Opium-Eater,confronts London’s harrowing streets to thwart the assassination of Queen Victoria.
The year is 1855. The Crimean War is raging. The incompetence of British commanders causes the fall of the English government. The Empire teeters.

Amid this crisis comes opium-eater Thomas De Quincey, one of the most notorious and brilliant personalities of Victorian England. Along with his irrepressible daughter, Emily, and their Scotland Yard companions, Ryan and Becker, De Quincey finds himself confronted by an adversary who threatens the heart of the nation.

This killer targets members of the upper echelons of British society, leaving with each corpse the name of someone who previously attempted to kill Queen Victoria. The evidence indicates that the ultimate victim will be Victoria herself. As De Quincey and Emily race to protect the queen, they uncover long-buried secrets and the heartbreaking past of a man whose lust for revenge has destroyed his soul.

Brilliantly merging historical fact with fiction, Inspector of the Dead is based on actual attempts to assassinate Queen Victoria.

Buy the Book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, iBooks, IndieBound or Kobo

About the Author

David Morrell Author Photo
David Morrell is an Edgar, Nero, Anthony, and Macavity nominee as well as a recipient of the prestigious career-achievement Thriller Master away from the International Thriller Writers. His numerous New York Times bestsellers include the classic espionage novel. The Brotherhood of the Rose, the basis for the only television mini-series to be broadcast after a Super Bowl. A former literature professor at the University of Iowa, Morrell has a PhD from Pennsylvania State University. His latest novel is INSPECTOR OF THE DEAD, a sequel to his highly acclaimed Victorian mystery/thriller, Murder as a Fine Art, which Publishers Weekly called ”one of the top ten mystery/thrillers of 2013.”

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BR Kingsolver is Visiting! [Tour Stop]

I’ll Sing for my Dinner

“I’ll Sing for my Dinner” by BR Kingsolver

Published on… 1 April 2015
Published as… Romantic Suspense

About the Book

When Cecily Buchanan walks into the Roadhouse Bar and Grill and offers to sing for a meal, ex Marine Jake McGarrity can’t say no. Some say Jake is too soft hearted for his own good. But letting the waif with the cover girl face and the voice of an angel walk away would be more than he could stand.

Cecily’s sweet nature, bubbly personality and obvious talent endear her to everyone she meets, and Jake soon knows his heart is lost.

Cecily has secrets and won’t talk about her past, one so dark that she has nightmares and clutches a knife while she sleeps.

When those who are chasing her close in, she faces the decision of whether to run again or to trust her life to the cowboy angel who has taught her the meaning of love.

“Shocking, but oh, so sweet.”

About the Author

BR grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, among writers, artists and weird Hispanic and Native American myths and folklore. BR has lived all over the U.S. and earned a living doing everything from making silver and turquoise jewelry, to construction to computers. BR currently splits time between Baltimore and Albuquerque.

BR made silver and turquoise jewelry for almost a decade, ended up in nursing school, then took a master’s in business. Along the way, BR worked in construction, as a newspaper editor, and somehow found a career working with computers.

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Stephanie Erickson is Visiting! [Tour Stop]

The Dead Room

“The Dead Room” by Stephanie Erickson

Published as… Post-Apocalyptic

Stephanie Erickson’s Boom Baby Blast

1. One Random Fact: I love McDonalds.  Like, love it.  I could eat there not daily, but pretty regularly if I had the option, and I didn’t care if I was 600lbs.

2. Fictional Character You’d Really Like to Be: Hermione Granger.  Even in her lowest of lows, she attacks her life with grace and dignity.

3. Your Authorial Theme Song: Shake it Off, Taylor Swift.  Bad review? Shake it off!  Writer’s block? Shake it off!  Character that won’t cooperate?  Shake it off!

4. Favorite Part of Being a Writer: Writing!  I love creating worlds and characters and seeing how they work through their problems.  I even love typing.  The sound of the keys makes me happy.  #weirdo

5. Name of Your First Pet (Can include family or significant others…): Christy was my first.  She was a cocker spaniel who died when I was 4.  Because I was so little, most of my memories are of her being right in my face.  I always thought cockers were giant dogs because of that.  When I saw one as an adult, I asked my mom if Christy was a giant breed or something.  After she stopped laughing, she explained that I was just little.

6. Music, Television or Silence While Writing: Silence

7. Early Riser or Night Owl: I’m really neither of these.  I need sleep, lol.  If I can I go to bed early and get up around 8:30.

8. Favorite Season: Fall and Spring.  I love having the windows open!

9. Did You Always Want to be a Writer: Yes. Since I read Matilda in third grade. I wanted to be able to make readers laugh out loud, and have real emotional responses to my writing the way Roald Dahl did for me.

Thank you so much for having me on your blog! It’s been so fun! :)

About the Book

322 years after the apocalypse, the world has changed, but her people have not. Secrets, lies, and manipulations endure among a small group of survivors taking refuge on an island in the Northern Pacific.

No one knows what claimed so many lives over three centuries ago, and no one asks, except Ashley Wortham. She can feel the secrets all around her, begging to be uncovered.

But the nine elders who govern the island guard their secrets jealously. They believe the islanders know what they need to, and they hide their secrets behind a ruse of peace. But when Ashley, and her best friend Mason, go down the rabbit hole, no one is prepared for truths they uncover. What will they do when they discover the downfall of humanity lies within their own island, deep inside the dead room?

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About the Author

Stephanie Erickson Author Photo
Stephanie Erickson has always had a passion for the written word. She pursued her love of literature at Flagler College, in St. Augustine, FL, where she graduated with a BA in English. She has received several honors in her writing career, including recognition in the 72nd Annual Writer’s Digest Competition.

After graduation, she married and followed her husband in pursuit of his dream. The Cure and The Blackout were written to reignite Stephanie’s passion, when she found the time. Now that he is settled in his career, it’s her turn to devote more time and energy into writing.

Stephanie currently has 4 projects planned for 2015. Her latest release, The Dead Room, is a post apocalyptic set on a lonely island 300 years in the future.

Stephanie, of course, loves to read and write. She also enjoys living on the beach on the Florida’s Treasure Coast. Most of all, she and her husband are in love with their baby girl.

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Ichabod Temperance is Visiting! [Tour Stop]

A Matter of Temperance

“A Matter of Temperance” (The Adventures of Ichabod Temperance #1) by Ichabod Temperance

Published as… Steampunk Action-Adventure

A Chat with…Persephone Plumtartt

Bella: What is the name of the book where we’ll find you? Can you tell us a little about it?
Persephone: Good afternoon, my dear, and may I first say, I am so happy to be here with you today. The book in question is ‘A Matter of Temperance’. This is a frightful tale of outlandish fiends bent on turning our beloved planet Earth over to inter-dimensional, world-devouring horrors. Yes, quite so. Though many of the harrowing ordeals endured within are at times terrifically violent, and at others, of an unseemly sordid nature, I am happy to report that Mr. Temperance has refrained from describing such in a morbid, or graphic manner. No, rather, he tends to bring a comical tone to the affair. Might I add, the boy is a rather naïve sort of chap, and occasionally sprinkles a bit of mild, suggestive, innuendo throughout, though he is unaware of doing such.

Bella: Tell us a little about yourself. Where do you fit into the story? What should we know about you?
Persephone: My name is Plumtartt, Miss Persephone Plumtart. The tragic accounts are instigated by my own father’s brilliant, though ill-fated research. The Plumtartt lineage carries with it a legendary burden. My father toiled to formulate a process of tapping into the power of the Sun itself, but alas, he succumbed to the temptation of using the very knowledge that he had forsworn to protect. Shortening his route to success with the help of unclean magic, this tampering has cost him his life. Alien forces now have a portal into this world and hideous terrors beset me!

Bella: What do you think of the author? Be honest. We won’t tell.
Persephone: Eh hem, yes, well I do confess, my first impression of the young man was not immediately favourable. He is a rather homely little chap, with an expression that puts me in my mind the image of a turtle that has just awoken, and is not quite sure of his surroundings. Nevertheless, he has shown himself to possess a raw-boned strength in his wiry frame, and a tenacious, loyalty that endears him to me.

Bella: How do you feel about the story you’re in?
Persephone: With full disclosure, I confess, I had thought myself a mature woman when this story begins, however, I find that I grow in many ways that I could not have foreseen.

Bella: Do you like being a character in the book?
Persephone: I do not feel as if ‘like’ is the correct adjective for my role. No, my dear, I think it is more of a responsibility. I owe it to my beloved planet Earth to do all I can to save her. Moreover, there is a sense of Destiny that I feel supersedes that of liking my part.

Bella: How do you see your future? Without giving anything away about the story, naturally.
Persephone: Quite frankly, for there to be a future, Mr. Temperance and I must fulfil a near impossible task. The dire consequences of our mission cannot be overstated.

Bella: What do you know about your author’s plans? Can we expect to see you in any future stories?
Persephone: As mentioned earlier, Mr. Temperance has shown a dogged loyalty to me, and I in turn, find it difficult to resist his bashful charm. Some may see the two of us as an odd pairing, that is, my own British background of aristocracy and extensive schooling, to his rural Alabama upbringing, yet somehow, the two of us manage to complement each other rather nicely, I must say. Yes, I do, in fact, see us continuing with an adventurous agenda for some time. Eh hem, yes, quite so.

Bella: Let’s say they make a movie about this book. Who do you want to play you, and why?
Persephone: Mr. Temperance has spoken of this medium of entertainment that you speak, these, movies. He describes them as a photographer rapidly taking one photograph after another and when shown in sequence as projected against a silvered sheet, the approximation of movement is produced. Were the unlikelihood of such an occurrence coming to be should come to pass, the actress selected to portray me must be youthful, vital, brilliant, attractive, appropriately shapely, hyper-intelligent, and of the highest breeding. I suggest Merle Oberon, at nineteen years of age and her hair dyed the correct Auburn colour. If she could be persuaded to be just a few inches shorter, that would be greatly appreciated.

Tata!

About the Book

In 1869, the Earth experiences the close pass of a new comet. In its wake, thousands of Terra’s inhabitants find themselves strangely changed. Among humanity, many find that any talent they may naturally possess has been elevated to an astounding degree. Likewise, a number of animals become self-aware and intelligent. A young “comet prodigy” from humble beginnings, Ichabod Temperance, has become one of the world’s foremost inventors in this age of prolific genius. Traveling to England to deliver his latest brilliant device to a famous explorer, the young tinker is unexpectedly struck by the fearsome hand of fate. Meanwhile, a lovely young aristocrat, Miss Persephone Plumtartt, survives an experimental accident only to find herself imbued with a power she can neither understand nor control, while dark forces and malevolent creatures pursue her, leaving a gruesome wake of death.

Yet, worse is to come. The naïve young inventor and the lovely intellectual find themselves fighting not only to save their own lives, while concurrently coming to terms with their own budding romance, but to prevent the destruction of all life on Earth in this humorously told and poignant steampunk adventure!

This is the first book in the series, ‘The Adventures of Ichabod Temperance’. There are six books. Though in a series, each book is a stand-alone adventure.

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About the Author

Ichabod Temperance Author Photo
Ichabod Temperance is a silly little fellow living in picturesque Irondale Alabama, USA, with his lovely, gracious and kind muse, Miss Persephone Plumtartt and their furry pack family.

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Review: “Slice of Life” by Ellie Ann & Others

“Slice of Life” by Ellie Ann & Others

Available from: Amazon or Barnes & Noble
Released on: 12 January 2015
I received this book free in exchange for an honest review, as part of this book’s blog tour.

Description: “This was no longer her world against the queen. It was the queen’s world against her.”

The Queen wants to destroy the life force of earth and has destroyed the last being that can stop her. Or so she thinks . . .

The last powerful mage in the world, Princess Aura, is the sole witness to the nefarious plot. The good news is she knows how to stop it. The bad news? She can’t do it alone.

Aura must summon someone she hoped never to see again. Saint George, her lover who left five years ago for another woman. And another. And another.

Can they work together long enough to defeat the queen and save the world?

Told collectively by a troupe of digital artists, Slice of Life employs every medium available: prose, pictures, poetry, illustration, audio scenes, and music, to provide an immersive and exciting reading experience.

Review: I was first drawn to this book for the intriguing “multi-media” concept, as I had not read a story comprised of narrative, illustrations, with a “saga” and music and audio scenes that you could listen along with. So for all that, it was fun. (Although the narrators didn’t quite click with me.)

The story itself was interesting too, taking a whole bunch of fairy tales and tossing them on their ear, while still being a standard fairy tale in many ways.

Unfortunately, this story lacked something for me to really be drawn in. Maybe it really did try to do too much and in too small a span to really feel it all. Some parts were very rushed and so you couldn’t quite hook into the story, and the characters didn’t have as much development since they were so busy rushing through the plot.

Still, it was fun and different and interesting. 3.5 Fireballs.

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