Friday, February 22, 2019

Beyond a Veiled Reflection VBT

Blurb:
Prepare for a new world, and a new Dimension.

Dane and Meirah are back, but they are not alone...

An enemy from their past has returned and is determined to get revenge on those he felt betrayed him and destroyed his life, his home. You've seen Mikaire, now enter Almareyah, where even a mere step into a puddle of water can mean torture, agony, and death.

After a fight separates Dane & Meirah, they discover their enemy has survived the death of Mikaire and he is out for revenge. And this time he has powers - wizard powers! Creating his own Dimension in the folds of time, he is unstoppable in his quest to make Meirah his Queen and Dane his blood slave.

Though this is Book Two, there is enough information to understand the plot without having read Book One.



Excerpt:
Prelude

Dane Bainbridge died under the heat of a desert sun. At the moment of death blackness surrounded him and the pain of life vanished. Then came the light. Beautiful azure bound his body-less mind. And everywhere flowed water.

Peace.

All the troubles, tortures, fear and worry drifted away on the tides. He could have remained there forever. But soon there was something else. Red. Just a color, but not a color. Hair. Red hair. A word.

Meirah.

The word drifted through his unconscious mind, but he didn’t know what it meant.

Kaeplan.

Yes, that was a name he knew all too well. Kaeplan had killed him. They’d been fighting for centuries. And it was Dane who lost in the end.

But, if Kaeplan was here, then he must be dead too. But, where were they? Heaven? Hell? Or some other place? Hell. If such a place existed, they both deserved its fiery end.

So, even those from other dimensions went to Hell. But then…what was Hell but another Dimension in the folds of time. Just as Mikaire had been. Just as in Almareyah.

Someone was speaking. He couldn’t yet hear the words. He blinked open his eyes. That’s when he saw it. Just a sliver at first, but it grew into a ball of bright white light. Not Heaven, for if he had landed there, Bruce would be chastising him for his disbelief.

A face came into focus then, blocked out the light. She was beautiful with long brown hair that perfectly framed a sculpted face, high cheekbones and big brown eyes. She drew closer to him, and behind her he saw another. Both scantily clad.

As beautiful women closed in around him, Dane reveled in the paradise of his own thoughts.

A dream.

He tried to move, to reach to them. But the pain returned. His back aflame, his arms ached, legs stiff and sore.

Hell hath no fury… And the blackness returned once again.



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Author Bio and Links: 
Christine Church is the bestselling author of the Fate of the True Vampires series.

Web: www.christinechurch.net
Facebook: www.facebook.com/fatetruevamires
Twitter: www.twitter.com/christinechurch
Blog: www.catonthekeyboard.com
Amazon Author Page:
https://www.amazon.com/Christine-Church/e/B000APHULC

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Millionaire B&B Book Blast

Blurb:
Sadie is a successful romance author. She can write a swoon-worthy man with the best of them but can’t seem to find one for herself. Miles is the cute and wealthy heir to Copeland Press, Sadie’s publishing house. It’s hard to find a woman in his social circle who appreciates a down-to-earth book nerd.

When a twist of fate has Miles and Sadie double booked in the same vacation rental, they decide to share the cabin. Even though Miles isn’t Sadie’s type, she can’t deny the chemistry between them. Sadie’s down for a flirty fling, but Miles has other plans. He’s got a huge crush, and just one week to convince Sadie they were meant for a happily ever after.



Excerpt:
MILES


Chuck grabbed my arm, bringing me to a stop. “I think it’s a great idea.”

“What’s a great idea?” I asked dryly.

“Find Sadie Kent. Ask her out.”

I cocked my head to the side. “And what am I supposed to say? Hi. You don’t know me, but I know all about you. I think you’re awesome and hot, and I’ve been obsessed with you for years. Oh, I’m also your new boss. Want to go out sometime?”

“Exactly!”

“Don’t be dumb.” I jerked out of his grip and pulled the restaurant door open. He walked in ahead of me. “I can’t even say some of that. She’ll think I’m a stalker.”

“You are a stalker,” Chuck stated, rather loudly. The hostess gave us a funny look.

“How many?” she asked.

“Just the two of us,” I replied.

“Would you like a table or a booth?” She smiled sweetly. “We have a nice, cozy spot in the corner. Very private.”

Her implication didn’t register until Chuck jumped away from me. “Gah!”

I laughed and asked, “Can we sit at the bar?” Then I winked for good measure, and she blushed, realizing her mistake.

“Sure. Follow me, please.”

Once seated, Chuck started in again. “I think you should call her.”

“Where am I going to get her number?”

“Ask Madi.”

“No way!”

He picked up a menu and opened it. “As the boss, don’t you have access to Human Resources files?”

“That’s creepy.”

He shrugged. “Hey, you’re the stalker.”



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About the Author:
Robin is an overgrown child who fancies herself a bit of a comedienne. She loves to laugh, crack jokes, create flirty characters, write witty banter and believes in happy endings. Robin lives outside of Phoenix with her wonderful husband, five crazy kids and naughty labradoodle puppy. Millionaire B&B is her first adult rom-com, but she has six YA titles that are equally fun.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Bella Toscana VBT

Blurb:
An explosive yearning that can’t be denied.
Disturbing visions from an ancient past.
A mysterious stranger that somehow feels familiar.

On the night of her fiftieth birthday, the comfortable ride of Toscana’s life takes an alarming plunge. Haunted by seductive visions, she tries to push aside the desire and focus on the husband who adores her. Then she falls for Flynn, a younger man with an eye for adventure and a heart full of romance, who leaves her doubting everything she’s believed about love and passion.

In Atlanta, Rome, and the lush scenery of Tuscany, Toscana searches for answers to the mysteries of her life while she faces her biggest question. If she listens to her feelings will she lose everything she holds dear, or does her heart hold the key to love and joy?



Excerpt:
I loved him before I knew him.

Some people talk of synchronicity. The rhythm of life. I know of rhythm, in the lyricism of words, in music, in the ebb and flow of the ocean, in the monthly cycles of plants and trees. A beautiful orchestration exists in the simplest of nature. But my world operates on logic, practicality, reason. I do not believe in a grand plan. I do not believe in God.

And then he came.

Before him, I had a well-ordered life. Habit and routine carried me through the day, warmth and comfort eased me through the night. There were disappointments. Longings. Not all was perfect. But such is life. If there was no great passion, so be it. Peace is preferable to something wild that soars then fizzles and leaves you with an aching heart. I had a different kind of love—security, respect, admiration, friendship.

He showed me my lies in a slow creep of warmth that grew and teased and eventually began to burn. The thought of him burrowed deep inside me until I could think of nothing but him.

To this day I don’t think he knew what would happen. How do you know what fate has in store for you? They say man has free will to act, to choose, to create whatever he desires. But what of other people’s actions, choices, desires? What if those choices conflict with your own? We tried to resist the seemingly magnetic pull. We did our best to act rationally, to behave with honor and dignity. To be selfless. But love is not selfless.

Love is selfish. Love craves attention. Love needs to be heard, to be felt. Love is a natural disaster.

You may think this is nothing new. We all know stories of love. But this story is different. This story spans over two thousand years. This story began in ancient Rome.

So I beg you, for as long as it takes to read this story, to put aside your beliefs. Something took hold of me, pulled me along. Was it fate? Destiny? Divine intervention?

Look to your own heart for the answers.




The Heart of Rome

Temple of Vesta
When Toscana walks through The Forum on the Via Sacra—the Sacred Way—she sees the ruins of the Temple of Vesta and the Atrium Vestae, the House of Vestals. There is little left of the Temple, merely several pillars and part of the base. Compared with other temples, it was a small, circular building, used for worship that housed the sacred flame. Each Vestal Virgin was chosen by the Pontifex Maximus (high priest) between the ages of 6 and 10 to serve Rome as a priestess for 30 years. The service required chastity and strict observance of rituals.

Vesta was the first of the Greek Olympians and the goddess of the sacred hearth. The hearth was the central area of the Roman home, where people gathered for warmth, food, and shelter. On a family level, her hearth was a sanctuary of protection. On a government level it was much more. The second king of Rome, Numa Pompilius, built a temple that included Vesta’s sacred fire, designed to ensure the safety of the Roman Empire, and the Vestals were looked upon as the guardians of peace. The Vestals and the Temple were looked upon as the heart of Rome. When all was in order, tranquility reigned. But if something upset that balance, chaos could result.

Statue of a Vestal Virgin
It was a great honor to the family for a daughter to be chosen as a Vestal. Any girl considered had to have a perfect body free from any blemish. Imagine a father looking for recognition, for advancement. His beautiful daughter is a perfect fit to serve the goddess. If she’s chosen to serve, the family will be lauded and greatly appreciated. Now imagine a young girl used to being bathed in the warmth of her family, playing with her friends, running free, laughing and dancing and skipping with childish delight. The next moment she is ripped from the warmth of the family that she knows and loves and is forced to make a new home with complete strangers.

Upon entry to their new home, the Pontifex Maximus would say, “I take you this, Amata, as a Vestal priestess, who will perform the rites, which it is right that a Vestal priestess perform on behalf of the Roman people, on the same terms as she who was a Vestal on the best terms.” Those words put the young girl under the protection of the goddess.

Six Vestals lived in the House and served in the Temple. Their duties required them to fetch water from the sacred spring at Camenae to purify the temple, officiate at ceremonies, guard the sacred objects in the Temple, prepare the mola salsa (special flour) for public offerings, and maintain the sacred flame.

In return for their duty and dedication, the Vestals were allowed special rights that most women didn’t have. Rome was a patriarchy where men ruled and women were secondary citizens. But the Vestals were granted certain privileges: they were the only female priests in the religious system; they were transported in a carpentum, a covered two-wheeled carriage, and preceded by a lictor, a guard; they had reserved places of honor at public events; they were free to own property, make a will, and vote; they were entrusted with important wills and documents; they could free condemned prisoners and slaves by touching them.

Do the privileges outweigh the restrictions? Would you be willing to give up 30 years of your life to serve your government? Some people find the idea of a religious life comforting. But each fact that Toscana learns about the Vestals builds upon the previous one and the whole idea makes her shudder. What happened to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?

How do you think she feels when she starts dreaming of being a Vestal?



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Author Bio and Links:
Nanette Littlestone never knew she wanted to be a writer until she was over forty. But once she began, the ideas didn’t stop. Her fascination with relationships, history, and the spiritual path has opened her writing to women's fiction, historical fiction, and inspirational nonfiction.

A native Californian, Nanette lives in Atlanta, Georgia, far from the beach (which she loves) but a place that’s warm with spectacular scenery. On the professional side, she helps entrepreneurial women write and get published with Words of Passion. On the fun side, she takes walks with her husband, cooks, plays with graphic design, and makes origami butterflies. She loves to travel, but she’s waiting for the teleportation machine to whisk her off to Greece or Asia. In the meantime, she’s happy with dark chocolate and romantic movies that make her cry.
  
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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

The Moment Between VBT

Blurb:
After four years of mourning, Doctor Hackett Metzger is determined to stop letting his wife's death control his life. He is finally beginning to live again, but his recovery leads to an unexpected fight for his own survival and startling revelations about what happens to all of us in The Moment Between.

Hackett, a brilliant neurologist, is a skeptic. He doesn't believe he will one day be reunited with Jean, or dwell with God in heaven. What he does believe is that he should have seen the warning signs of her heart attack; he should have saved her. He also cannot accept the possibility that his clinical study of near death experiences could prove the existence of a conscious afterlife. When Hackett falls for the mother of a patient, grief finally begins to fade. But he has no idea his new love is hiding her dangerous past. Will Hackett's damaged spirit endure another heartbreak?



Excerpt:
In those first months, he tortured himself with the notion that Jean’s voice had been real. He was sure that she had been present while he tried to save her. He prayed that she lived on in death, hoped that even as he failed, she had a soft landing on the other side. Her voice became his torture.

And so he understood death as he never had before. He understood grieving and pain. He understood what it meant to miss someone and to know that he would never see that person again. He understood loneliness. Most of all he understood the foolish and painful illusion that life might somehow continue. There was no voice. Jean had not talked to him from beyond. He had tortured himself from within. She was dead. He had learned to accept that cold hard reality. Anger had settled into the dark hole that was his memory of that day, poisoning his spirit. For weeks he stayed home from work, for months the blackness held him captive, until slowly he emerged into the world once more. His sanity hinged on his acceptance that Jean’s voice had been an illusion. Death was just death.





Do you believe in the afterlife?

Polling has consistently shown that about 70% of Americans believe in some sort of afterlife, be it heaven, hell, nirvana or some other spirit world, but would you believe a friend who told you they had died and met God? Far fewer people will go that far. So why is it that so many believe the abstract, but are skeptics about personal experiences?

What about consciousness? What is it? How do we explain our own existence?

Science can describe the physical activities in our brains, but can't explain how conscious thought itself is possible. It might as well be voodoo. The best explanation was presented 400 years ago by Rene Descartes, "I think, there for I am." And that doesn't really tell us anything.

These questions and an unusual Christmas card are the ideas that drove the creation of my novel, The Moment Between.

As Steven King once said, "(The writer's) job isn’t to find ideas but to recognize them when they show up."

My inspiration showed up in the mail when I received that Christmas card from a friend who mentioned the death of her brother-in-law and alluded to his wife being the murderer. A very strange Christmas card, indeed. I couldn't stop thinking about it. When I called my friend and asked what had happened, I found out that, as they say, fact was stranger than fiction. I used the woman in question to create one of my characters. Some people think I created a monster. The truth is, real monsters are often real people.

The Moment Between is a psychological thriller that brings death to life through the story of Doctor Hackett Metzger, a neurosurgeon still recovering from the passing of his wife when he becomes involved in a medical study of near-death experiences, and falls for a woman with a dangerous past. Hackett, a likeable and brilliant doctor, is also a bit of an awkward nerd. He agrees to support the study even though his heart and mind tell him that death is final.


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Author Bio and Links:
Gareth Frank is a former union organizer and administrator. He received a Master's Degree at the University of Wisconsin and later studied at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland. The Moment Between is his first published novel. His short stories have been published in various journals and have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize as well as the Silver Pen Write Well Award.


Monday, February 18, 2019

The Mage Tales Prequels Book Blast

Blurb:

From USA Today bestselling author Ilana Waters:

Vampire. Witch. Hero. Monster.

Titus Aurelius is all of these things. Ever since he rose from the ashes of ancient Pompeii, this former Roman general has fought for survival.

A few millennia later, bloodseeker Titus isn’t looking for trouble—just a quick meal. But when his path crosses the witch Abigail’s, that plan gets shot to Hades. They find out the Paranormal Investigation Agency (PIA) is plotting something monstrous—something that involves exploding gas mains, lethal bird-shifters, and sadistic vampire minions.

Will they uncover the PIA’s murderous secret before every supernatural in its path is destroyed?

And what is Titus and Abigail’s connection to the mage who, almost twenty years later, is exiled to a paranormal boarding school? Can this mage solve a mystery concerning a stolen potion and ghostly figure before students—including him—wind up dead?

Together for the first time, the Mage Tales Prequels: Books 0-II are action-packed, edge-of-your-seat suspense stories shot through with a megadose of snark. If you love authors like Kevin Hearne, Lev Grossman, and Ilona Andrews, give these a try! This box set contains one novella and two full-length novels:

When Darkness Falls
Blood and Magic
Mage Lessons



Excerpt from When Darkness Falls:
I am dying, I thought, in wonder. After all these years . . . this is what it feels like. Pompeii is dying, and she is bringing me with her.

It took all the strength I had just to keep breathing, to draw myself up to the podium, clawing at its sides. Even then, I was too weak to stand. I didn’t know if my feeble grip would hold the chalice. Still, I reached for it with outstretched fingers. One of them hit the cup, and the chalice shook violently. My eyes bulged.

No!

I saw the chalice go over the other side of the podium. I squeezed my eyes shut, and with the last burst of magic I could muster, pulled it back within my grasp. I barely managed to wrap my fingers around the stem. I didn’t so much lift the chalice to my lips as I let the liquid spill over them. I fell backward and onto the floor, the now-empty chalice clattering next to me.

I remember thinking it would taste like wine.

I’m sure you all know how vampirism works by now. A vampire drains your blood and replaces it with their own. Then, you’re essentially immortal—ageless, and frozen in time. Of course, it would have been helpful to have this information before I drank from the chalice.



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About the Author:
Hi! I'm Ilana Waters, USA Today bestselling author of the Mage Tales.

I write urban fantasy for those who like it fast, funny, and fierce. If you're into cross-blended creatures (think witch-vampire hybrids and half-breed mages) and supernatural ass-kicking, I'm all over that. Ditto if your book turn-ons are equal parts creepy and action-packed (think ancient cities and crypts combined with beheadings and bombs).

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Friday, February 15, 2019

Can't Let Go Book Blast

Blurb:
A sweet, yet steamy new adult romance about a girl who's not ready to fall in love and a boy who isn't ready to let her go.

Beau
She is beautiful, probably the most beautiful girl I've ever seen, but she's damaged.
Her a-hole exboyfriend broke her.
I still want her.
I can show her that all men aren't the same
That I'm different.

Mallory
He's everything I need to stay away from, and I try.
I really do, but he's relentless.
So, I give in and let him have me.
All of me.
I should have known better.



Excerpt:
I throw the valet at the Sheraton Hotel my keys and hurry up the steps. A sign in the lobby welcomes guests for the Cross and Doyle wedding.

Doyle.

What kind of last name is that? Tristan Doyle. It’s a stupid name. No hesitations. Placing both hands on the white wooden door, they fly open with a thud that echoes throughout the room.

“Don’t do it!”

At least a hundred eyes turn to me, bride and groom included. It’s then I notice the bride. She’s breathtaking in her big white dress, but she’s not Mallory. Mallory stands beside the bride in a long coral gown. Her jaw is dropped. Face pale. Eyes wide. My stomach sinks to my feet. She’s horrified to see me.

Maybe this was a bad idea.

“Shoot, everyone,” I say, hands up in surrender. “Sorry. I thought Mallory was the one getting married.”

“What the fuck are you doing here, Beau?” Mallory yells from the front of the room.

“Beau?” The groom says. It’s more of a statement than a question. Mallory’s head nods once. I’m not sure if even she knows she did it.

I start up the aisle. It’s a f’ing long aisle. Or at least it feels that way. The groom meets me a few feet from the first row. He has the same dark hair and blue eyes as Mallory. This must be her brother.

He draws back. I know what’s coming. There’s no point in stopping it. I deserve this. I crushed his sister’s heart. I barged into his wedding. My face jolts to the left when his fist connects with my cheek. A sticky liquid leaks from my nose. I wipe it with the back of my hand. Blood. Great.



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Author Bio and Links:
Chrissy Brown is a Contemporary Romance and New Adult Romance author. She lives in Central Florida with her husband, twin girls, two dogs, and the neighborhood cat.

She enjoys the simple things in life, like cuddling on the couch watching movies with her family, reading, Netflix, and beach trips. She reads two to three books a week, but favors stories with strong women, true love, and steamy scenes.

When Chrissy is not sitting at her computer, fantasizing about gorgeous country boys, she is teaching third graders how amazing books are...and writing, and math. She has also been an amateur wedding photographer and a CNA (to which she gives kuddos but says never again.)

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Monday, February 11, 2019

Photo Shoot Review Tour

Blurb:
Michael McLaren returns home from working a cold case in Cumbria to learn that he’s missed his uncle’s wedding in Scotland.  Angry and fearful that his absence has re-opened the family rift just as it’s healed, he drives to the ancestral home, hoping his appearance and explanation will be accepted. He’s more than welcomed. His uncle asks him to investigate the murder of his first

Fiona Lennox was found in a rowboat on a Scottish loch, shot to death during a late night photo shoot. Why would she rent a boat after dark? Did she take it out to photograph the moonlight on the water? She could’ve done, being a professional photographer, but she was also a proponent of civic and environmental causes, which she documented with her camera. Did someone linked to one of her crusades kill her, or was the motive personal?

As McLaren uncovers layers of Fiona’s life and the reason for her nocturnal outing, he and his family are targets of intensifying attacks. But it’s not until he races against a kidnapper’s deadline and the threat of a loved one’s watery death that he realizes who killed Fionaimplications that are as deep and dark as the Scottish loch.



Excerpt:
Water runoff coursed over the stones and soil, throwing back the light from his torch. His shoe came down on a slick patch of moss and he nearly fell. He righted himself and grabbed onto branches and boulders as he pulled himself upward, calling his grandfather’s name. A pine bough bounced as he gripped it, and showered him with its collected raindrops. He shook his head and panned the light along both sides of the trail.

He paused near the summit, and called his grandfather’s name. His breath scratched his throat and exhaled in white puffs that quickly dissipated in the wind. The air held the odors of sodden leaves, pine, and wet stone but brought no sound to him other than the rain striking the ground and the rustle of the trees. Some other day, some other occasion, he would’ve stopped to enjoy it, but this was not the time. He trudged ahead.

As he neared the summit, a flash of lightning pulled the clan monument out of the darkness, silhouetting it against the night sky. He nearly jumped, for he had no idea how far he’d hiked. A second flash seemed to prod him up the last few yards, and he stepped onto the hilltop.

He swung the torch beam over the ground as he walked around the area. He cupped his hands around his mouth and yelled again for his grandfather. A sound answered. McLaren stood still, trying to hear above the thunder and wind.



My Review:
4 stars

While this book is the 9th in the series, it works as a standalone as well, though after reading this one, I want to read the remaining books in the series. 

This was a fun mystery that kept me guessing until the end. I enjoyed the characters, and McLaren in particular was a fun protagonist. In addition, I loved the author’s descriptive writing style. I felt like I was in Scotland while reading this, even though I’ve never been. All in all, if you’re looking for a good mystery read with plenty of intrigue, I recommend giving this series a try.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*



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Author Bio and Links:
A month-long trip to England during her college years introduced Jo to the joys of Things British.  Since then, she has been lured back nearly a dozen times, and lived there during her professional folksinging stint.  This intimate knowledge of Britain forms the backbone of both the Peak District mysteries and the McLaren mystery series.

 Jo’s insistence for accuracy--from police methods and location layout to the general “feel” of the area--has driven her innumerable times to Derbyshire for research.  These explorations and conferences with police friends provide the detail filling the books.

In 1999 Jo returned to Webster University to major in English.  She graduated in 2001 with a BA degree and departmental honors.

Her cat, Tennyson, shares her St. Louis-area home.

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