Monday, August 10, 2020

#Excerpt: MORNING STAR by Charlotte Hubbard

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Charlotte Hubbard will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

When four maidels join forces to turn an abandoned barn into an Amish marketplace, the unmarried women have community in mind. But their fledgling enterprise promises to reap surprising rewards for each in turn, including the gift of unexpected love . . .

For Regina Miller, the new Morning Star Marketplace is a chance to share her secret work with the world—without revealing herself. Old Order Amish forbid the creation of art without purpose, but without a husband, Regina has been free to explore the joy of painting in her attic.
Yet when Gabe Flaud’s curiosity leads him to speculate that Regina herself is the painter, the full weight of their community’s judgement falls on her shoulders. When Gabe stands up to defend Regina, questioning the Order’s restrictions, he reveals his own guilty secret and is shunned along with her. Forced to turn to each other for companionship, the young couple must learn to balance their own needs with their deep faith … and a love that will show them all things are possible.


Regina entered her bedroom, stepped onto her large wooden trunk, and then opened the short, narrow door in the wall so she could climb the wooden stairs to the attic.

What if nobody wants my paintings, or worse yet, ridicules them? And what if folks figure out that I’m the artist—and that I’ve been living a lie for years? Best to nip this in the bud before I have to tell any more whoppers and get caught in them.

And yet, as Regina stood in the center of her secret studio, something deep inside her longed to display the work that so satisfied her soul. Nearly every evening, after a day of staining furniture, she spent a few hours in her hideaway, painting nature scenes.

Regina needed to paint the way most folks needed to eat and breathe. Her schoolteacher had complimented her artwork when she’d been young—and her parents had allowed her to take a short watercolor class at Koenig’s Krafts when she’d entered rumspringa. Dat’s brother Clarence was a preacher, however, so he’d been adamant about Regina joining the church at an early age. She’d secured her salvation at seventeen by being baptized, but she’d forfeited her innermost soul: in the Morning Star district, members were forbidden to create art for art’s sake because it was considered worldly and it called attention to the artist.

Regina had obediently tucked her paints and brushes into her wooden trunk, but she’d felt the loss of her art acutely. After her parents had died when a train collided with the bus they were all riding home from a wedding, Regina had kept herself sane by taking up her paints again, setting up her easel in the attic—out of sight when anyone came to visit. At twenty-two, she’d been rather young to live alone on her family’s small acreage but moving in with Uncle Clarence, Aunt Clara, and their young daughters would’ve killed her spirit forever.

Bishop Jeremiah had taken her side and had dropped in on her often until she’d gotten a little older. Martin Flaud had hired her because her father had been one of his finest craftsmen—and because Regina had proven herself to be more meticulous at staining and finishing than any of his male employees. She’d survived the rough, lonely times by working hard at the factory, and by surrounding herself with the quilts and curtains Mamm had made and the furniture Dat had built for their cozy home.

And so the last ten years had passed . . .

Regina had willingly given up any chance for marriage—because she couldn’t reveal her sinful pastime to a husband.

Gazing at the nature paintings that surrounded her on that Sunday afternoon, Regina felt torn. Why had God given her a keen eye and the talent to render woodland scenes, flowers, and wild creatures on paper if He wouldn’t allow her to paint pictures of His creation openly and without guilt?

About the Author:

In 1983, Charlotte Hubbard sold her first story to True Story. She wrote around 70 of those confession stories, and she’s sold more than 50 books to traditional or online publishers. 

A longtime resident of Missouri, she’s currently writing Amish romances set in imaginary Missouri towns for Kensington. She now lives in Omaha, NE with her husband of 40+ years and their Border collie, Vera.


Buy links:

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New Zealand Apple:
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Order Print
Zebra Books
July 28, 2020
ISBN-13: 9781420145120
ISBN-10: 1420145126

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Friday, August 7, 2020

#SALE .99 LOVE BY SECRETS by Debra Elizabeth

Book 1, Age of Innocence Series
Eighteen-year-old Emily Stanton is excited to attend this season's society balls and begin her search for a husband. She is thrilled when the dashing and handsome Connor Preston begins to show her more attention. After each ball, Emily finds a love note in her drawstring reticule, and she expects a marriage proposal from Connor any day.

When her father objects and forces Emily to accept the proposal from Lady Tisbury's shy nephew, Ethan Richardson instead, her heart is broken. How can she love her new husband when her heart belongs to the man who wrote her such beautiful love letters?
LOVE BY SECRETS is a novel. (214 pages)

Read for FREE with KindleUnlimited.

Reviewers Comments:

"As a fan of the incredible Jane Austen ... this novella was a real treat for me to read. The author does a wonderful job with descriptions, such as when she describes Emily's first ball as a kaleidoscope of colors as the couples dance the night away." 
"Love by Secrets is a sweet, bite-size love story. ... I really liked the time period the book was set in. It reminded me of Pride & Prejudice in that regard." 
 "The story was captivating, truly well-written.....Overall, Love by Secrets was an enjoyable, quick read. The author did a good job in conveying all the right elements of a sweet historical romance and I look forward to continuing the series, as well as read her other works. I recommend giving this one a try. 
Read the first 3 books in this omnibus:
Read for FREE with KindleUnlimited
Enjoy three full-length sweet regency romances in Age of Innocence series.
Eighteen-year-old Emily Stanton is excited to attend this Season’s balls and begin her search for a husband. She is thrilled when the dashing and handsome Connor Preston begins to court her. After each ball, Emily finds a love note in her drawstring reticule, and she expects a marriage proposal from Connor any day.

When her father objects and forces Emily to accept the proposal from Lady Tisbury's shy nephew, Ethan Richardson instead, her heart is broken. How can she love her new husband when her heart belongs to the man who wrote her such beautiful love letters?
Content with her life as a lady's maid, Isabel Knott learns the father she never knew has left her a fortune. The news comes with one restriction--she can never reveal his name. Isabel falls in love with Colby Tisbury, but with her nonexistent pedigree his father, Lord Tisbury, will never accept her as his daughter-in-law.

Colby Tisbury must marry, and soon. If he doesn't find a bride before the end of the Season, his father will supply one. Then Colby meets sassy Isabel Knott, and everything changes--but can he go against his father's wishes and marry a girl utterly lacking in family and connections? Isabel is forced to make an impossible choice - reveal her secret identity and bring shame to her true father or lose Colby forever.
Miss Hannah Richardson is enjoying a Season in London. She's not looking for a husband, at least not this Season. She wants to enjoy herself before settling down to married life. All that changes, however, when she sees the Duke of Wetherby. He's tall, dark and impossibly handsome and someone Hannah wants to get to know better.

Camden Darkin, the Duke of Wetherby, is not fond of attending soirees, dinners or balls, but his latest mission for the Crown demands he mingle with the ton. He has vowed not to marry because of his dangerous work and the constant bevy of beauties anxious mothers throw into his path is not tempting him in the least. That is, until he meets Hannah Richardson, a young woman unlike any other he's ever met. Can he learn to love or will his hardened heart rob him of the very thing he needs the most?


N N's Book Heaven BINGE WORTHY BOOK FESTIVAL: The Duke's Forbidden Love by Debra Elizabeth

I'm thrilled to be a part of this promotion. My book is THE DUKE'S FORBIDDEN LOVE and I'm keeping the price at .99 for a while longer.


Miss Amelia Beckwith should be over the moon with happiness when the Earl of Lincoln proposes. Unfortunately, the handsome earl is not who he appears to be in public. She is desperate to escape Lincoln’s cruelty and has only one option left to leave the nightmare behind—RUN.

Racing back to his estate during a horrific thunderstorm, James Harlow, the Duke of Warwick, spots a young woman walking along the road when a bolt of lightning startles her. She tumbles down the ravine and lays like a broken doll at the bottom. Warwick rescues her and with the help of his staff, and nurses her back to health. There’s only one problem—the woman who has captivated his heart has lost her memory and cannot tell him who she is or where she comes from. Can he find out the identity of this delicate beauty before fate steps in and ruins everything he loves?

Buy link:

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Enter to win a $10 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card

Be sure to check this website for a all of the binge worthy books that will be featured in August.

#NEW Romance Release: LAST CHANCE BEACH by various authors

Genre: Contemporary romance
By: 14 members of the Romance Gems
Release August 4, 2020 – Preorder now

Only 99 cents and only for a limited time!





Box Set Blurbs
LAST CHANCE BEACH is the island paradise where dreams go to live again and wishes may come true. It’s Summer’s End on the island, and the cottages, condos, hotels, and bungalows are filled to capacity. Where is LAST CHANCE BEACH? The island is just off the mainland—wherever you want it to be.
Let your imagination carry you to the island!
There’s still plenty of time to find summer fun and summer love, new romances and second chances, hot alpha males and heartwarming heroes, beach bunnies, dudes, and romance popping up when you least expect it.
Throw a log on the beach bonfire tonight and celebrate LAST CHANCE BEACH: Summer’s End, a special collection of 14 short stories from bestselling authors—all new, never published before—that will thrill the hopeful romantic in you. Some stories are sweet; some are sizzling hot. All will touch your heart and make you want to book a vacation to LAST CHANCE BEACH.
Hot August Night by Joan Reeves, NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author
Can a chef and a hot dog loving cop resist desire when they’re forced to share the same overbooked beach cottage?
Something New by Liz Flaherty, USA Today Bestselling Author
Their lives are all planned out—until they're not.
I Do…Again by Nancy Fraser, Amazon Top 100 Author
Can they re-ignite what they once had and take a last chance on love?
The Man in Gull Cottage by Caroline Clemmons, Amazon Top 100 Author
Will the solution to her dilemma drive them apart or into one another's arms?
That One Summer by Maddie James, Amazon Top 100 Author
He's the one who got away. She's the one who couldn't commit.
Romancing the Spouse by Jan Scarbrough, Amazon Bestselling Author
Can she turn back the clock to save her marriage?
Blue Sky Summer by Kathleen Lawless, Amazon Bestselling Author
Of all the beaches on the coast, who does she see again? Him!
Hangover Husband by Bonnie Edwards, Amazon Bestselling Author
What happens in Vegas doesn't always stay there
One Last Shot by Marcia King-Gamble, National Bestselling Author
She can run, but can she hide?  Will love still find her?
Secondhand Hearts by Kathryn Hills, Award Winning Author
Life takes you down many winding paths. Will theirs lead to love on Last Chance Beach?
Paradise Perfume by Connie Vines, Award Winning Author
Fragrance and love cannot be hidden.
Dreams of the Past by Laura Hunsaker, Award Winning Author
Can dreams of the future erase her nightmares of the past?
Beach Kisses & Sunset Wishes by Nora LeDuc
She wants someone interested in a fling. He wants someone interested in a ring.
Can't Buy Me Love by Hannah Rowan
Things aren't always what they seem.
He cleared his throat. “This part of the beach is private.”
She paused and stared at him. “What part?”
He jerked a thumb in the direction from which she’d come. “See the three round wooden pillars? That’s where my land starts.”
She turned and shielded her eyes with her hand. “Oh, I thought those were to keep people from driving their cars on the sand.”
“That, too, but one has a large sign that says Gull Cottage and Private Beach. That should have been a clue.”
She held up a kid’s plastic sand pail. “Are you saying I should return these shells I’ve collected for my niece?”
“I’m saying you’re on private property. I don’t care if you collect sea shells, but I’d appreciate you not disturbing anything else.”
“Like what? You think I’m coming up to rob your house? Wait, what if I took a clump of sea oats? Or a handful of your sand? Are you patrolling?”
He extended his hand palm out. “Don’t get mad at me when you’re the one trespassing. I meant collecting drift wood and sea glass or destroying sand dunes. I’m simply out here walking on my beach.”
She straightened her shoulders and looked at the barrier. “Well, see that you don’t walk on that side of those posts.”
“Ah, but I will and I can do so legally.” He gestured broadly. “The beach where you’re staying is public. This part is private. See the difference?”
“No, I don’t see the difference. It’s the same sand.”

Thursday, August 6, 2020

#Review: A SECRET SURRENDER by Darcy Burke

4 of 5 stars

Selina Blackwell has learned to do anything she can to survive, and lately she's posing as the fortune-teller Madame Sybila in order to fleece the ton's wealthy. She needs the money so she can provide a Season for her sister. In order to chaperone her sister, she also becomes the very proper Lady Gresham. But when a Bow Street Runner Harry Sheffield takes too much of an interest in her business, her schemes could start to unravel. The more time Selina spends in Harry's company, the more she's attracted to him. Can she balance her life of crime with her growing feelings for Harry?

I really enjoyed this story especially since it didn't all unfold amidst glittering Society balls. I loved Harry. He was so honorable and a perfect hero. I felt bad for him when he was so spectacularly betrayed by those closest to him. Ms. Burke makes Selina a likable character even though she was a criminal. Without any spoils in this review, I was pleasantly surprised by how all the different plot lines were tied up. I love stories about Bow Street Runners and this one was an excellent start to a new series from Ms. Burke.

I voluntarily read the advanced reader copy and all opinions are my own.

#Review: ALWAYS THE WALLFLOWER by Emily EK Murdoch

  2 of 5 stars

Lady Letitia Cavendish is twenty-two and still painfully shy. She secretly harbors a crush on Edward, Viscount Wynn, a rake recently returned to Town. Letitia never likes any attention on her and the only time she actually dances with Edward, he insults her and she storms off the dance floor. Now Edward is more determined than ever to find out why Letitia is not throwing herself at him the way all the other ladies do and he wants to win her over. Letitia wants nothing to do with Edward now, but he is persistent in his pursuit of her. Can she overcome her initial dislike of him and fall in love?

The premise of this book was very good and I was hoping there would be lots of witty banter before the happily ever after, but that was not the case. I did love that Letitia finally did stand up for herself, but I thought Edward was a jerk and wasn't ready to give up his rakish ways. I felt that Letitia forgives him way too fast. In the end I was hoping for a reformed rake and didn't really believe that Edward had accomplished that.

I voluntarily read an advanced reader copy and all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Interview with Christina Bauer, PIXIELAND DIARIES: CALLA

Christina Bauer is launching CALLA, Book 2 in her Pixieland Diaries series. She stopped by to answer some questions for us as part of her tour; take a look below…

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
CALLA is book 3 in my Pixieland Diaries series. These books are like the movie FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF combined with traditional fairy tales.

Do you have a favorite character?
No, that’s like picking a favorite child!! I love each of them in a unique way, and I’m not just saying that. I even adore the bad guys. I especially adore the bad guys, in fact. They’re more fun to write.

Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all?
In CALLA, there is an object called the Scepter of Summer which was supposed to be, well, just a thing. As I wrote the story, the scepter (which the main character Calla calls Sammy) took on a life of his own! Fun!

Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
Oh, yes. For years. It wasn’t a fit for me for a pair of reasons. One, they all said no (at first anyway); and two, I’ve developed into a bit of a control freak. More on that later!

How long before you got your offer of representation/your first contract? Was it for your first novel?
I’ve gotten two offers of representation so far, mostly recently. Neither have been a fit. I’m open to it, though!

What factors influenced your decision to go with a particular agent or publisher?
By the time agents reached out, I had my own business set up and running well. No need to break what’s working!

Are you currently under a traditional publishing contract for future books or do you have manuscripts that you will self-publish? Are you doing both?
Only self-publishing right now. I release at least five new novels each year, so I’ve got a tough set of goals!

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish your book(s)?
At first, it was my only option. Now I’ve got things working and I’m not sure I want to monkey with stuff. In particular, I have set processes for my sales and marketing. It would be hard to hand that off and just hope it’s done correctly!

If you used a graphic designer/publisher’s designer, how involved were you during the creative process for your cover?
I’m very hands-on in choosing good design and editing talent. I can’t emphasize enough how important this is.

What’s next for you?
My next release in this series is DARE (Book 3 in the Pixieland Diaries Series) and it launches in the spring of 2021!

Thanks for having me stop by! I enjoyed answering these questions and hope to return on a future tour!

Christina Bauer
(Pixieland Diaries #2)
Publication date: July 28th 2020
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult

Book 2 of the Pixieland Diaries
Big news in Pixieland! The Blue Fairy is sending our fave pixie, Calla, and her crush, Dare, on a mini-quest. Unfortunately it’s an adventure that requires a lot of togetherness. We’re talking tons of touching, people.
Blue believes that since Calla and Dare are just friends, this situation shouldn’t be awkward.
It’s totally awkward.
***A 30,000+ word diary written by Calla***
“I absolutely love Christina Bauer’s style, full of action, intense scenes, and characters that will test one’s imaginations to the max!”Tome Tender Book Blog
1. Pixieland Diaries
2. Calla
3. Dare

Author Bio:
Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers. The first three books in the series are now available as audiobooks on Audible and iTunes.
Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press.
Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.
Stalk Christina On Social Media – She Loves It!

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Monday, August 3, 2020

#Excerpt: BORN TO BLUSH by Fran Connor

Born to Blush 
by Fran Connor 
Genre: Historical Romantic Adventure 

When she finds honest and paid employment far away from the Victorian Workhouse where she grew up, Mary leaves with hope and sadness in her heart.

Her future looks secure; that is the hope but she must leave behind a childhood friend, the son of a wealthy local family with whom she managed to cross the social divide; that is the sadness. 

Not all employers in 1850s England are bad and young Mary works her way up the servants' ladder to become lady's maid to a kind aristocrat. She grows into an attractive young woman which does not go unnoticed by her employer's lascivious husband. 

When her Ladyship unexpectedly dies, the husband makes unwelcome advances towards Mary. 

Her defiance of his carnal desires sets in motion a series of adventures and catastrophes. 

This thrilling romantic adventure follows the plucky Mary on her journey into the depths of Dickensian England where she encounters a myriad of odd characters some of whom mean her harm while others strive to help her. 

When someone from her past reappears, her joy is tinged with fear. Much has happened to her since last they met. To cross the social divide as adults is far more difficult than in childhood and romance instead of friendship complicates it even further. 

Mary has a secret. Should it be discovered it will have her transported as a felon to Australia. 

If you love your historical romantic fiction to have a gutsy heroine, this is the novel for you. 

Mary met Johnny at the usual time and place on Sunday. They headed for the wood and the tree trunk that had become their secret place.
Johnny seemed quieter than usual as they sat talking about her new job as lady’s maid.
He seemed preoccupied. It began to worry Mary. “Is everything all right?”
Johnny nodded. “I don’t want to upset you or alarm you but. . .”
Mary’s tummy turned over. What was wrong? Would this be where he told her he couldn’t meet her again?”
“Mary. . .” He took hold of her hand. “Mary, please forgive me if this offends you
but may I kiss you?”
Mary blinked and felt a surge of relief that shyness troubled him not something more serious. This was their fifth meeting and they hadn’t even held hands though she had wanted
to from the first time they came into the wood.
He leaned forward. On her lips she felt his, at first as light as a feather and then a little stronger. With neither moving the kiss lasted for over two minutes. Mary pulled back only because she needed to take a breath though she didn’t want to stop. Her cheeks turned the colour of roses in the greenhouse. Johnny’s eyes fixed on hers, her beating heart and butterflies in her tummy told her she was in love. But it was a love that could never be. Not with her a lady’s maid and him an eligible bachelor, soldier, and heir to a fortune. Mary
would give up everything and happily live with him in penury but that could never be.
“What’s wrong? I’m sorry if I was too forward,” said Johnny taking hold of her hand.
“No, not at all. It’s just that it seems so unfair. We can never be together; our backgrounds are too different. You couldn’t be seen with me, a maid.”
“That’s how society works. We can still meet in secret if you don’t mind.”
“Johnny, of course I don’t mind but how long will this go on for? We can’t spend the rest of our lives seeing each other in the woods.”
“I have some leave coming up. Do you think you could persuade Lady Eleanor to let you take some time off and we could perhaps go somewhere and be together? Oh, I didn’t mean to shock you. I’m sorry if that offends. I would not make any improper advances towards you er. . .beyond what you found acceptable.”
Mary pondered for a moment. What is he suggesting? Are we to go to some sordid seaside hotel and book in as man and wife where he would make love to me? I hope that’s what he means.
“Lady Eleanor did say I could take some leave. I’ll ask. Where would we go?”
“I visited Lyme Regis as a child. It’s a pretty little town by the sea where nobody will know us.”

Fran now lives in SW France with his wife Viv after serving thirty three years in a UK police force retiring with the rank of Chief Inspector. He doesn’t do cop stories. He says he’s seen enough of the real thing. He enjoyed his time in the police during which he met many odd characters some of whom creep into his novels in very different circumstances. 

Without wandering into the political minefield of today’s policing issues, he’s saddened by the current events. 

He’s the author of nine novels and nine novellas published in his name and a host of others that he has ghostwritten. 

Although he doesn’t restrict himself to a particular genre, the two he likes to work on most are Historical Romance with a large dose of Adventure and Contemporary Thrillers. Most but not all of his protagonists are female. Women in his opinion make more interesting characters as they are more complex and often need to think their way out of jeopardy rather than bash their way out. 

He does do ‘steamy’ in some novels but not violence against women. It’s anathema to him after his service. If a woman is in a tight corner she gets out of it before anything serious happens to her. 

Born to Blush falls in the Historical Romance genre. 

When not writing, Fran keeps himself fit by walking Molly, a Griffon Nivernais dog who is the real boss of the house, tending his large garden and keeping his old farmhouse from falling down. Set in the French countryside surrounded by vineyards, orchards and ancient hilltop villages he finds it inspires his stories. 

If you enjoy Born to Blush you may like two of his other Historical Romance novels “Passarinho and the Highlander” and “Honourable Lies”. 

$50 Amazon gift card 

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!