Friday, June 28, 2019

Beneath Black Clouds and White

Accompanied by his wife to Flanders, Josiah Tenterchilt meets a man who could not be more different from him: an apprentice surgeon named Henry Fotherby. As these two men pursue their own actions, fate and the careful connivance of a mysterious individual will push them together for the rest of their lives.

But it is a tumultuous time, and the French revolutionaries are not the only ones who pose a threat. The two gentlemen must find their place in a world where the constraints of social class are inescapable, and ‘slavery or abolition’ are the words on everyone’s lips.

Beneath Black Clouds and White is the prequel to Day's Dying Glory.

“Henry, you saved so many lives, but some men are beyond curing.”

“No, it was not that.” He turned to face his uncle once more. “He was court martialled and shot.”

“Good lord, Henry,” he said quickly. “Whatever for?”


“And you defended him?” His uncle scowled up at him and shook his head. “Do you want the revolution here in England? King George may struggle with himself but that is no reason to guillotine him.”

“I defended him because he was wronged,” Fotherby replied, as calmly as he could. “He was not able to consider his actions.”

“You cannot do it, Henry.”

“Do what?”

“Bring that into Wanderford Hall.”

“What do you mean?” Fotherby whispered, staring at the man before him.

“I tolerated your engagement to a woman of no birth and no money. I accepted her and her father into this house. But you cannot take the daughter of such a man and make her the mistress of Wanderford Hall.”

“It is not your house to tell me what I can and cannot do. I say that Miss Simmons shall be a fine mistress of Wanderford Hall. How can you judge a woman on the actions of her father? I should not care to think that I were judged on your actions simply because I am your nephew.”

Virginia, thanks so much for stopping by. Tell us a little about yourself.
First of all, thank you for inviting me to share a few thoughts and ideas on my writing and books.  I’m a private music teacher who, from time to time, moonlights as an author!  I live in the far north of Scotland where I soak up the inspiration from the beautiful landscape and the steady pace of life.

How did you get started writing?
I attribute my writing to two factors.  I grew up surrounded by some of the most awesome – like, actually AWEsome – landscape in the whole world.  It was easy to write about the connection of land and man, or those who recognised the beauty of all things around them when the view from your bedroom window was of a mountain rising from the sea.  The hypnotic rhythm of the lighthouse, the sound of the gulls and no traffic, and the sharp wind carrying a tangy salt spray everywhere you went.  I grew up in Orkney before the cruise ships arrived, and it was incredible.

Secondly, and most significantly of all, I have been encouraged from before I held a pen to create stories.  My family have been tirelessly supportive of my writing and, as every single one of them except Dad are writers, there’s no wonder! And Dad reads more than Austen’s Mr Bennett.

What was the inspiration for your book?
This is a tough question because there have been so many influences.  Amongst them was our own family history research.  Ancestry has become very important to me, and it’s opened up my eyes to events I’d never really thought about.  Knowing that my ancestors were present at the D-Day landings, in the two Boer War, and even – yes that’s right! – as far back as the tide-turning events of 1066 at the Battle of Hastings, gave me a real fascination about military history.  But I wanted to convey not only the emotions of those who fought, but the feelings and fear of those who stayed behind and waited for them.  Wars in history have been fought by soldiers, but they were felt as keenly by the people who stayed at home.  I wanted to convey the battles which were faced both at home and abroad, because the battle for Abolition (which is the root of Beneath Black Clouds and White) was not defined by rank or class, but by everyone across society.  I like to think my ancestors were pro-abolition, but I don’t know.  Writing this book allowed me to project how the topic might have been received by them.

What’s a genre you haven’t written in yet that you’d like to?
Years ago I wrote a crime story which was a great plot but exceptionally shoddily written! I’d quite like to go back to it now that I have a better grasp of language.  I’d also love to feel confident writing for children.

Are there any genres you won’t read or write in? Why?
Being quintessentially British I can’t bring myself to write or read erotica.
I’d never write science fiction either because, quite honestly, I’m just not clever enough.

What are you up to now? Do you have any releases planned, or are you still writing?
At the moment, all my writing endeavours are linked to my MLitt dissertation, but there are two more books to appear with these characters over the next few years.  They follow the Tenterchilt and the Fotherby families into the 1850s, where there’s a logical conclusion for them.  But families never end, so perhaps they’ll be more to come..?

The next of my writings to make an appearance, though, is quite different! Before the end of this year I am having an historical fantasy book serialised. It takes place in the aftermath of Culloden but has its roots much further back in time… Watch this space!

Alright, now for some random, fun questions. Favorite color?
Yellow all the way! There’s no colour to match it for benefit and cheerfulness. I’ve had a yellow room now for the past twenty years!

Favorite movie?    
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves – so many memories, so many heroics, so much fun.

Book that inspired you to become an author?
Eeek! I’m not sure there was a single book which led me to write my own.  One thing I do know is that I decided I wanted to be an author like G. P. Taylor, who is always accessible to his fans.  I remember contacting him and Philip Pullman’s agent concerning my undergraduate dissertation years ago.  I got a lovely, supportive reply back from G. P. Taylor and heard absolutely nothing from Philip Pullman.  So I make sure I have a contact email address at the front of my books which I use solely for my writing, so that I’ll never miss a message from a fan.  Go on, drop me an email!  I love getting feedback and I always try to answer any book related questions.

You have one superpower. What is it?
Time travel.  Even sticking to that golden rule of never interacting with the people of the time, I’d love to be able to see what made people do the things they did.  Also, I’ve fallen into the web of genealogy – if I’d known how addictive it was, I’d never have started! We’ve got so many “brick walls” in our family tree research, I’d quite like to be able to knock them down.  So, I’d travel back and fill in a few blanks.  I’m really interested in the unreported lives of everyday heroes, lives which have been lost in the retelling of written history, simply because those around these individuals couldn’t write.

You can have dinner with any 3 people, dead, alive, fictitious, etc. Who are they?
The temptation is to say Lord Byron, who I find absolutely fascinating and inspirational.  But I’m just not sure I would trust him after the meal!  So I’ll go for:
1.     Robin Hood – because there is so much I would want to know.  Was it true?  Who was he first of all?  Why did he really do it?
2.    Janet Mackintosh Cayley – the chief “brick wall” in our family tree, who’s been driving me mad for about eight years, now!
3.    Athos – Because I’m convinced he is my perfect man!

Last question: Which of your characters are you most like and how/why?
Oh my goodness, this is a tricky one!  So many of my characters possess certain attributes of my personality.  To pick out one single character is a bit like picking out one facial feature with makes you look like the person you see in the mirror.  They’re all so excitingly multifaceted, and only part of them is anything like me!

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Author Bio and Links:
Virginia grew up in Orkney, using the breath-taking scenery to fuel her imagination and the writing fire within her. Her favourite genres to write are fantasy and historical fiction, sometimes mixing the two together such as her soon-to-be-serialised books "Caledon". She enjoys swashbuckling stories such as the Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas and is still waiting for a screen adaption that lives up to the film!

When she's not writing, Virginia is a music teacher in Caithness. She believes wholeheartedly in the power of music, especially as a tool of inspiration. She also helps out with the John o' Groats Book Festival which has just celebrated its 2nd year. Hopefully they'll be plenty more to come!

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Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The Perfect Lap VBT

His job is to drive fast. Hers is to put the brakes on him. When sparks fly, will love cross the finish line?

AJ Ryan is a publicity nightmare. After a questionable photo surfaces and his biggest sponsor threatens to pull out, the NASCAR champion admits it might be time to hit the brakes. Thankfully, his new no-nonsense image consultant knows just where to start… too bad she revs his engine so loudly he can barely think straight.

Ella Fisher’s career is a welcome distraction from her poor taste in men. Fresh off another easily avoidable heartbreak, rehabbing AJ’s career is just the diversion she needs. But when the pulse-pounding client actually listens to her advice, Ella wonders if there’s more to the man behind the hot mess.

When Ella is granted guardianship of three boisterous children under the misconception that she and AJ are a couple, AJ surprises her by going along with the charade. Before long they find themselves in a make-shift family that feels more real than pretend.

As their professional relationship takes a hard turn for the personal, a single overheard conversation could make it all go up in flames. Will Ella and AJ’s romance hit the wall, or will love take the checkered flag?

The Perfect Lap is the second standalone novel in the Racing Hearts of Serenity romance series. If you like bad boys with a heart of gold, strong women, and love stories with a new age twist, then you’ll adore Sedona Hutton’s fun, sexy tale.

“I bet you have a beautiful smile,” he drawled, then lowered his mouth to hers.

She should have pulled away—she didn’t know this man from Adam. But everything inside her protested. After gazing into each other’s eyes, she felt like she knew him intimately.

His lips were warm and tingly, his kiss pure perfection…and he drew back way too quickly. He blinked those deep blue eyes and gave her a lazy grin. “I knew it.” He rubbed the pad of his thumb over her lower lip. “Beautiful.”

That’s when she realized she was smiling.

He rose, and she gave him a quick once over, taking in the sexy stubble on his face, the taut muscles of his chest, his lean physique. As good old-fashioned lust rolled through her like a quick-moving thunderstorm, she silently bemoaned her situation. This was a hell of a time to have a newly implemented man-ban.

“Keep smiling.” Stuffing his hands in his pockets, he winked at her. “It suits you,” he added in that low, sexy drawl. Then he sauntered off.

Her breath caught as she spun around to gape at him. He’d just kissed her and now he was leaving? She contemplated calling him back, then reconsidered. She had other fish to fry.

Even so, she couldn’t stop herself from tracking his every move as he swaggered toward the party, his backside looking every bit as fine as the rest of him. Pressing a hand to her chest, she let out a slow exhale. Even though she was one-hundred percent committed to her man-ban, she could admit—at least to herself—that the sexy, charming stranger had intrigued her.

Any weird things you do when you’re alone?
I sing to my dog…and trust me, no one else wants to hear it (other than Milkduds!)

What is your favorite quote and why?
My favorite quote is from Mother Teresa: “Kind words are short and easy to speak, but their echoes are endless.” I love this quote because I believe kindness really does matter, and it’s the small acts of compassion (kind words, a smile, a helping hand) that make the greatest impact in people’s lives.

Who is your favorite author and why?
There are so many amazing authors that it’s hard to pick just one. Since The Alchemist is one of my favorite books, I’d have to say Paul Coelho. I love the inspiring messages in his stories and his uplifting blog.  His writing career also inspires me. Coelho initially had The Alchemist published through a small press who ran 900 copies and then decided not to reprint it. Over five years later, HarperCollins published the book and it went on to sell millions and become an international bestseller.

What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
Deep characterization, and creating solid GMC (goals, motivation, and conflicts) for all major characters. For my stories, I also come up with the spiritual/new age themes I may want to include. In my experience, if those aspects are well developed, the story flows effortlessly.

Where did you get the idea for this book?
I’m a NASCAR fan…(Go Martin Truex Jr and Chase Elliott!)…so I thought it would be fun to write a romance series with race car drivers. When I wrote Nora’s Promise, the first story in my Racing Hearts in Serenity series, I wasn’t sure whether I would write a series or just one NASCAR story and then move on to something else. As I wrote Nora’s Promise, AJ Ryan took on a larger role than I had initially anticipated. As I further developed his character, I knew I had to write his story next! I’m currently working on the third and final story in this series, CC Clark’s story, Restart in Bristol.

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Author Bio and Links:
Author Sedona Hutton finds inspiration in the beautiful Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, where she lives with her husband and curly-coated retriever. In addition to writing, she’s a Reiki Master and a certified Chopra Center Meditation instructor. She enjoys reading, yoga, gardening, and experiencing the great outdoors on boats, motorcycles, and Jeeps. Sedona pens a “Peace, Love, & Joy” blog on her website. Visit her at the following links:
 Website    |    Blog    |    Twitter
Facebook    |    Instagram    |    Amazon Page    |    Goodreads

Sedona’s debut novel, Cloud Whispers, was a Finalist in the 2018 Readers’ Favorite Contest, an Official Selection in the 2018 Summer eBook Awards for New Apple Literary, and Shortlisted for the Books Go Social Best Book of 2018.

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Monday, June 24, 2019

The Burn Blurb Blitz

Leon, a fallen angel cursed to exist as a vampire, has waited for his mate for centuries when Shana shows up on his dance floor wreaking havoc with the other immortals in his club. Embittered by the deaths of her angelic parents, Shana denies Leon. She wants nothing to do with vampires, and walks away only to put both of their lives in danger. Compassion brings Shana back to Leon's side only to find him hovering close to death. Love grows until they are both encompassed by The Burn. Together they battle dark spirits and Lucifer himself, all the while falling deeper in love.

Leon studied her and cautiously moved closer. Her baby-blue eyes immediately darted to his face as her light bore into his body. He clenched his jaws against the pain and raised his hands, palms up, as a symbol of peace, but her aura grew brighter forcing him to step back. Leon watched her for a few moments as he tried to decide what to do. If she could track his movements, then she could communicate. “I don’t even know your name, angel.”

Her face dropped down to look at him directly. The light from her eyes settled into a golden glow and brightly illuminated the space around him. “I am the inner soul you awakened with the blood. I am the one who resides in this body. I am the energy that guards and that is known as Shana. I am her soul. Who are you to approach me?”

Leon hesitantly took one step forward again. “You know me by the blood you took. I am the other half and the only one who can help you. You will die without me and I without you. Your essence flows in my veins now. We must complete The Burn, or we will both lose our souls.”

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About the Author:
Kristal Dawn Harris is an American author, born in Middletown, Ohio, on August 16, 1970. She currently resides in Ohio with her husband. Kristal has been married for 27 years and has two children. She graduated from Carlisle High School in 1988, then furthered her education at Miami University. She has a business degree in Accounting Technology. Kristal spent twenty years working as an Office Coordinator in the hospital until she released her debut novel, “The Rings of Faolan-Emeralds,” through The Wild Rose Press.

In 1999, Kristal suffered a debilitating disease called “Guillain-Barre Syndrome.” This rare disease damaged the nerves in her body requiring the use of drop-foot braces in order to walk. Kristal considers herself a survivor and encourages anyone with a disability to follow their dreams.

Kristal has one more book contracted with The Wild Rose Press which will release in 2019. She is considered a hybrid author since she published “Hand-Carved Wolf” on her own. Kristal is an avid reader who enjoys romance from all genres, but paranormal is her favorite.

The Rings of Faolan-Emeralds
Hand-Carved Wolf
The Rings of Faolan-Rubies
The Burn
The Red Heart

Red Snowflakes

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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Knightmare Arcanist Book Blast

Magic. Sailing. A murderer among heroes.

Gravedigger Volke Savan wants nothing more than to be like his hero, the legendary magical swashbuckler, Gregory Ruma. First he needs to become an arcanist, someone capable of wielding magic, which requires bonding with a mythical creature. And he’ll take anything—a pegasus, a griffin, a ravenous hydra—maybe even a leviathan, like Ruma.

So when Volke stumbles across a knightmare, a creature made of shadow and terror, he has no reservations. But the knightmare knows a terrible secret: Ruma is a murderer out to spread corrupted magic throughout their island nation. He’s already killed a population of phoenixes and he intends to kill even more.

In order to protect his home, his adopted sister, and the girl he admires from afar, Volke will need to confront his hero, the Master Arcanist Gregory Ruma.

A fast-paced flintlock fantasy for those who enjoy How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell, Unsouled (Cradle Series) by Will Wight, and Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan.

I outlined a fresh grave for the cemetery as bells rang from the isle’s tower, signifying the start of the celebrations. The soil reeked of ammonia and rot, but the crisp morning breeze washed the scent away, dispersing it over the ocean. I removed my shirt, allowing the wind to cool me while I worked.

Every ten years, the people on the Isle of Ruma gathered to watch the fledgling phoenixes bond with a few chosen mortals. Lamplighters did their duty despite the glorious sunshine, each lamp’s fire representing the flames of phoenixes. Merchants cleared their horses and carts from the main road in anticipation of the crowds.

This was my second Day of Phoenixes. A decade ago, on my fifth birthday, I missed the bonding ceremony to attend my father’s trial. He was convicted of murder, but because he hadn’t been born on the island, he was taken to the mainland for final judgement. That was the last time I saw him.

Although the last Day of Phoenixes had been inauspicious, I intended to change that. Once I had finished digging a shallow grave, I would make my way into town.

I slammed the shovel’s head into the dirt and scooped deep. The cemetery sat near the edge of the island, far from those gathering to observe the hopeful students trying to win the favor of the phoenixes.

Tradition stated that anyone who handled sewage, waste, and dead bodies wasn’t allowed to attend the bonding ceremony, which was just my luck. After my father was sent away, I could’ve been given to any profession for apprenticeship. I could’ve gone to the carpenter and learned the craft of woodworking, or I could’ve gone to the silversmith and learned the art of fine metal work, but misfortune hounded me like a shadow. I was given to the gravekeeper, slated to dig corpse-holes until the end of time, forever exiled from the festivities.

I still intended to go. Even if it meant ignoring the traditions of the isle—something unheard of on our tiny spit of land—no one could stop me from proving myself to a phoenix. No one.

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About the Author:
Shami Stovall relies on her BA in History and Juris Doctorate to make her living as an author and history professor in the central valley of California. She writes in a wide range of fiction, from crime thrillers to fantasy to science-fiction. Stovall loves reading, playing video games, entertaining others with stories, and writing about herself in the third person.

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Monday, June 17, 2019

Lacewood Book Blast

Thrust together by chance. Bound together by destiny. A disillusioned socialite and a special operations veteran find a way to save a small town while healing themselves. A haunting read about the journey to restore an abandoned 200-year-old mansion and the secrets it reveals about a long-lost love.

Turning in a circle, Katie studied the room again. Faded wallpaper curled and peeled above the dusty wainscoting, but the walls themselves appeared sturdy. On the far side of the entryway, and dominating the wall, stood a mammoth fireplace with an ornately carved hearth. Her attention was immediately drawn to a painting of a woman in nineteenth century dress that hung prominently over the mantel.

“Who is she?”

The sheriff turned to the dusty, sun-bleached portrait in the heavy carved guilt frame. “One of the previous owners, they say.” He shrugged. “The family history kind of got lost with the house. Everyone around here calls her the Widow of Lacewood.”

Katie stood spellbound. The woman was clothed completely in black, but the magnificence of the gown gave the impression of sophistication and class. Her chin was slightly elevated as if to project strength, yet there was more than a hint of sorrow and pain in her eyes.

“She looks so sad.” Katie spoke without removing her gaze. “And so young. How could she be a widow?”

The sheriff had already started to walk away, but he turned back and glanced at the painting. “Not sure, but they say she never remarried.”

Katie’s heart suddenly struggled to beat. The anguish in the woman’s eyes kept her riveted. She could see the pain. Feel a heart ripped apart. Something was missing that could never be replaced. Katie had felt such loss before. In a way that’s why she was here.

“You coming?”

Katie heard the sheriff calling from the next room, and turned to follow. With one quick glance back, she noticed particles of dust now swirled and danced in a shaft of light, almost like a living thing. Her breath caught in her throat as the dust seemed to materialize into the form of a woman, her eyes dull with the same tortured despair and disbelief as the one in the portrait.

Katie jerked her head around for a closer look and blinked. The woman was gone.

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Author Bio and Links:
Jessica James believes in honor, duty, and true love—and that’s what she writes about in her award-winning novels that span the ages from the Revolutionary War to modern day.

She is a two-time winner of the John Esten Cooke Award for Southern Fiction, and has won more than a dozen other literary awards, including a Readers' Favorite International Book Award and a Gold Medal from the Military Writers Society of America. Her novels have been used in schools and are available in hundreds of libraries including Harvard and the U.S. Naval Academy.

James is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the Historical Novel Society, and the Independent Book Publishers Association.

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Friday, June 14, 2019

Sassing Saul Blurb Blitz

Annie used to believe in all that happily ever after crap, until the day she found out her Prince Charming husband was a conman with a wandering eye. On the same day she booted him to the curb, an alien fleet double-parked over Earth and life as she knew it ended. To survive she joined a militia unit and used her unique physic powers to fight off the alien invaders. She was so successful she earned the swell nickname of the Grim Reaper. Now she must fight for her own freedom because Saul Jones, a Coletti-hybrid warlord, has decided she’s his and he won’t stop until he possesses her.

General Saul Jones has his hands full. Not only is he a four-star Marine general, he’s also a Coletti warlord. To complicate matters, he’s the Coletti Overlord’s liaison to Earth and one of the patriarchs of “the” Jones clan. Raising his blood pressure even more is his teenage psychic daughter who has found her mate before she’s of legal age. Can you say raging hormones? Not to mention the headaches of dealing with all the interspecies head-butting and Central Command. He has a million and one things needing his attention and at long last he discovers the other half of his soul. Annie Russell aka the Grim Reaper. Instead of running into his arms, Annie’s running as far and fast as she can.

A shuttle flew over the canyon.

I smiled. The General had arrived without any backup. The cocky guy thought he would block my stun grenades and simply overpower me. I was about to show him the error of his plan.

“You’re trapped. There’s no way out of the canyon.”

“Okay. Is this where I’m supposed to start pleading for mercy?”

“A smart woman would start apologizing.” There was a note of anger in the General’s voice.

“For what?”

“You’ve broken numerous laws and you had those blasted birds shit on me.”

“I did and I’m not apologizing for it.”

“Most people fear Coletti warlords,” the General snapped. 

“News flash. I don’t find you that scary. Did you flunk the “How to be a Big, Bad Warlord” course?” I swatted at a bee buzzing around my head.

“Your husband turned you into an angry, bitter woman,” General Jones stated grimly.

I flinched. He was right. Annie, the romantic, was dead and buried. “Hell, my prick of a husband, taught me that love is an illusion and to never, ever trust a man. In the end he will betray you and all you have left are the ashes of your dreams.”

“I’m sorry, darlin’.”

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Author Bio and Links:
I was a 9-1-1 dispatcher for the Glendale Police Department and to keep from going totally bonkers – I mean people have no idea what a real emergency is. Take this for example: I answered, “9-1-1 emergency, what’s your emergency?” And this hysterical woman yelled, “My bird is in a tree.” Sometimes I really couldn’t help myself, so I said, “Birds have a tendency to do that, ma’am.” The woman screeched, “No! You don’t understand. My pet parakeet is in the tree. I’ve just got to get him down.” Like I said, not a clue. “I’m sorry ma’am but we don’t get birds out of trees.” The woman then cried, “But… What about my husband? He’s up there, too.” See what I had to deal with? To keep from hitting myself repeatedly in the head with my phone I took up writing.

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