Tuesday, October 20, 2020

#Review: A DUKE FOR MISS TOWNSBRIDGE by Sophie Barnes

 


4 of 5 stars 
 

Matthew Donovan, Duke of Brunswick, has been searching for a wife for 2 years and has set his cap at Miss Sarah Townsbridge even though he's never been introduced to her. When he shows up unexpectedly at a Townsbridge house party and with no preamble proposes to Sarah. She's shocked, but soon recovers enough to reject the duke's offer. Sarah is humiliated when all the other men at the party distance from her. She's furious at Brunswick until she learns his back story and decides that she can help him overcome a childhood trauma.


I enjoyed this story and loved Sarah. I was glad to see that Sarah stand her ground and not kowtow to the duke. She was generous and compassionate as she agrees to a plan to get to know him. I felt bad for Brunswick, but his treatment of Sarah was appalling. Through her patience and compassion, Brunswick will finally learn to open his heart to love.

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

 


 

 

Interview with P.D. Alleva, THE ROSE


What are four things you can’t live without?
Well, I have four kids so it would be them but let’s toss them to the side for now. I do believe I’d have a lot of trouble if I wasn’t able to read, so books would be #1. Music a very close second. I couldn’t imagine not listening to music. Movies would be a third, however, if I had books I’d be able to let this one go. Air would be something I couldn’t live without. And for amusement sake, laughter. Couldn’t imagine a life where laughter was spooned out of the human psyche. Oh wait, imagination and free thought, forgot about those, so for the final list: 1. Books 2. Music 3. Imagination 4. Free thought although I’d give them all up for my babies. 
 
What is your favorite television show?
Ozark and Ancient Aliens. I’ll admit I don’t watch a lot of television; I’m more of a movie guy. The last show I was all die hard about was True Blood, especially after the second season. A friend recommended Ozark (as friends often do, can’t tell you how many times I heard someone say, “You’ve never seen…You would love it.”) and since my wife loves Jason Bateman we gave it a try. Best show out there IMO, although I don’t watch a lot of television so my opinion doesn’t matter too much on the topic. Of course Ancient Aliens is on top of my list but that’s not really a show although it is very entertaining. 
 
If you could be any character, from any literary work, who would you choose to be? Why?
The time traveler in H.G. Wells’ classic novel The Time Machine, one of my earliest scifi infatuations. Why? Well, because he can travel through time, something I would love to personally witness. If Marty Mcfly can do it why can’t I?
 
What have you got coming soon for us to look out for?
I’ve got a few books in the pipeline. My current writing in progress is titled Jigglyspot and the Zero Intellect: A Truly Offensive Grindhouse Novel. Carnivals, Cannibals, and Clowns. Oh My! Not sure if I can use the term Grindhouse though, I’ll need to check into any trademark or copyright on that word prior to publication. 
 
Next up is Golem, a horror thriller, currently in the content editing phase of publishing. One of my favorite silent horror films is The Golem, and for those who don’t know a Golem is based on Jewish folklore and is a spirit that incarnates inside of a statue, usually clay, although I used marble in the novel. The story setting is late 1940’s to early 1950’s New York City and follows the young and naive John Ashton after he receives a promotion to be a detective in the departments missing persons unit. His first assignment is a cold case (not that cold really, just a few years) that involves the new district attorneys missing daughter. Unfortunately for John his only lead is Alena Francon, a high society New York socialite, artist, and sculptor who has been a resident at Bellevue’s’ Psychiatric facility for the last six months. Alena filed a report indicating that she knows the whereabouts of the DA’s daughter and when Ashton arrives to question her about the claim, she tells him the story of Golem, a demonic presence from the far reaches of the universe, a hellish place of damnation called Xibalba. Alena admits to incarnating Golem into a statue she sculpted from marble in late 1947, and he’s causing havoc among the social elite while infiltrating every aspect of New York’s infrastructure. He also uses orphans to help take control, sending them out to homes as the Black Eyed Kids in an effort to indoctrinate and possess those who hold power in the city.
 
Both Jigglyspot and Golem are part of my horror and dark fiction series of stand alone novels, Beyond the Chamber Door. Books one and two are already published, Twisted Tales of Deceit and Presenting the Marriage of Kelli Anne & Gerri Denemer respectively.

But of course we are here to discuss my new dystopian science fiction novel, and the first book in a planned series, The Rose Vol. 1.

The Rose is a dystopian science fiction thriller inspired by an obsession with conspiracy theories, ancient aliens, and alien lore. The book features a sophisticated race of alien vampires who live in middle earth and have conspired with elite human beings and grey aliens to turn the human population into easily controlled zombies in an effort to achieve planetary and interstellar domination. The story begins directly after the end of World War 3 in an underground medical complex where human beings are subjected to genetic experimentation. The plot revolves around an unsuspecting WW3 safety camp survivor, Sandy Cox, who has been thrown in the middle of a mysterious human rebellion against the aliens and elite humans. The book features concepts found in alien lore and ancient aliens, including the Akashic Record and Robert Morningstar papers, to name a few. The book can be described as The Matrix with Ancient Aliens or Star Wars in The Hunger Games. I developed a martial arts practice I refer to as The Blades for one on one fighting scenes along with multiple surprise aliens and genetically mutated humans. The book is an action adventure thriller from start to finish.

What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?
I’m going to keep this answer to books since the author part of this question comes up so often. Some of the books (and there has been a lot) that have most influenced my writing are: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury; The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving; A Tell Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe; Frankenstein by Mary Shelley; I am legend by Richard Matheson; The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson; The Devil and Tom Walker by Washington Irving; The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand; The Damnation Game by Clive Barker; The Shining by Stephen King (a true masterpiece); Dracula by Bram Stoker; Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte; Others by James Herbert; Time and Again by Jack Finney; A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway; Dark Matter and Recursion by Blake Crouch; Vicious and Vengeful by VE Schwab; The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown; and John Connolly’s Charlie Parker series, to name a few. I can go all day with this one. 
 

BLURB:
A masterful, dystopian science fiction thriller of underground genetic experiments, telepathic evil greys, mysterious rebellion, conspiracy, martial arts, and Alien Vampires.

Sandy Cox believed WW3 was over. But for those Alien Vampires, War Has Just Begun.

Forty-eight hours after a World War III treaty is signed Sandy Cox awakens in an underground compound unable to move. Tied to machines she screams for help but no one answers. At least NO ONE HUMAN.

And they’ve taken her unborn child.

Enter Phil, a rebel freedom fighter who has had more than his share of Alien Vampires. Armed with THE BLADES, a sacred alien martial art, he enters the compound on a mission to find Sandy. But as he battles his way through the compound, Phil discovers Sandy has her own agenda. Finding her stolen child is all that matters.

But the vampires have their own plan and Sandy’s baby is at the heart of their diabolical plot. Joined by a crew of rogue soldiers, they must navigate the underground compound, battling genetically mutated humans, aliens and monsters.

When battling Alien Vampires, one thing is certain…Get Ready To Bleed!

Fans of The Hunger Games, George RR Martin, VE Schwab, Star Wars and Ancient Aliens will be fascinated by this high-powered, intelligent, edge of your seat dystopian sci-fi action thriller.

Buy links:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
PD Alleva is an alternative fiction author. His novels cross genres, blending mystery, conspiracy, psychology, and action with horror and dystopian science fiction. Alternative fiction is PD's attempt at describing what readers uncover in any one of his books, a new discovery towards mainstream storytelling. He's been writing since childhood, creating and developing stories with brash and impactful concepts that he would describe are metaphors for the shifting energies that exist in the universe. PD exists inside of his own universe, working diligently on The Rose Vol. II and exceptional horror novels. Be prepared for Golem, PD’s upcoming horror thriller. 

Social Media Info:
Website/Newsletter www.pdalleva.com
Facebook Page: @pdallevaauthor
Twitter: @PdallevaAuthor
Instagram: pdalleva_author

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Monday, October 19, 2020

#Excerpt: MISTLETOE, MOBSTERS AND MOZZARELLA by Peggy Jaeger


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Peggy Jaeger will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Finding a body in the freezer of the family deli isn’t the way Madonna San Valentino planned to start her day.

Adding insult to injury, the investigating detective is the one guy she’s never been able to forget. After seven minutes of heaven in the back seat of his car when they were teenagers, Tony Roma skipped town without so much as a thanks for the memory.

Just when Madonna thinks the present situation can’t get any worse, Tony is ordered to go undercover at the deli to ferret out a killer. Forced to work together, she vows to keep their relationship cool and professional. But with the sexy, longing looks he tosses her at every turn, Madonna’s resolve is weakening.

With Christmas drawing closer and Tony’s investigation taking an unexpected turn, Madonna is at her wit’s end. Can she really be falling for him again? And will he wind up leaving her broken hearted and alone like the last time?
Excerpt:

One look in the den and I felt like history was repeating itself because Giacomo’s twins were face down on the carpet, lying on top of one another, their limbs all twined together, grunting baby noises coming from deep down in their little bodies. Rocco, or maybe Carlo, was on top, unintentionally smothering his brother whose face he was sitting on, smashed flat into the carpet and making breathing impossible.

My brothers, engrossed in the game playing on television, were clueless to the potential disaster right in front of them.

I’d learned long ago yelling at them served no purpose. They were all masters at the art of ignoring me.

I made my way to the babies and, silently, lifted Rocco – or maybe Carlo – off his brother with one hand, the other flipping Carlo – or maybe Rocco – so he was supine. His little face was pale, his lips ringed with blue, but he took a huge breath, startled once, and then let out a bloodcurdling screech sounding remarkably like the wail his father had made back in his own baby days.

All five pair of male eyes turned to me at the sound. Not one of them moved from their comfy positions.

“Hey, Donna,” Giacomo said. “Everything okay?”

“Marvy,” I mumbled, hoisting a boy onto each hip, one of them silent, the other screaming like he was spewing out a lung or being dismembered. “I’m bringing the boys to their mother,” I said, wincing from the earsplitting shrieking. I wouldn’t be surprised if my left ear went deaf before the night ended.

Giacomo toasted me with his beer and said, “Thanks, sis,” his attention already focused back on the game.

In the kitchen I handed the screaming baby over to his mother and told her how I’d found her sons. It wasn’t my job any longer to discipline or try to guide my brothers. They had wives for that now. And from the look of abject fury on Margaret Rose’s face I knew Giacomo would be getting his comeuppance later on when they were home.

I didn’t feel an iota of pity for him.

With the fratricidal wannabe glued to my hip, I went back to the dining room and finally opened the wine bottle single handedly.

About the Author:
Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance writer who writes Romantic Comedies about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them. If she can make you cry on one page and bring you out of tears rolling with laughter the next, she’s done her job as a writer!

Family and food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, she brings all topics of daily life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she’s created the families she wanted as that lonely child.

When she’s not writing Peggy is usually painting, crafting, scrapbooking or decoupaging old steamer trunks she finds at rummage stores and garage sales.

A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, Peggy is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.

As a lifelong diarist, she caught the blogging bug early on, and you can visit her at peggyjaeger.com where she blogs daily about life, writing, and stuff that makes her go "What??!"

Social Media links:

Website and blog: http://peggyjaeger.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Peggy-Jaeger-Author/825914814095072
Twitter: https://twitter.com/peggy_jaeger
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13478796.Peggy_Jaeger,br> BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/peggy-jaeger
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDR8RRIlssIyS0FYZWeGqsg
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/peggyjaeger_author/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/peggyjaeger/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/peggy-jaeger-296ab878/
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00T8E5LN0
Authors database: https://authorsdb.com/community/15814-peggy-jaeger
Triberr: https://triberr.com/tribe/strong-women--loving-men

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Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Interview with Sarah Lampkin, REAP THE SPIRIT


Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?

TO REAP THE SPIRIT is the third installment of the Dead Dreamer series surrounding Brenna Whit as she deals with college, chaos, and death. Although Brenna’s journey through Nephesburg College hasn’t been easy in the slightest, her junior year takes the kick. Only enemies resurface, her soul rebels, and death haunts the campus of Nephesburg, leaving everyone in shock and horror. Brenna must do all she can to save those she cares about, but at the same time, she has to keep her wits about her…or else Maura will consume her forever. 

 

Do you have a favorite character?

Lara and Leon are my absolute favorites in this series. They made their first appearance in TO WAKE THE DEAD (Dead Dreamer Book 2) and they’ve always been my pride and joy. Are they insane? Yes. Are they power hungry? Yes. But I just can’t help it. Knowing their full history (that only I know…for now), I understand why they are the way that they are. Things are not black and white in the Dead Dreamer universe and that goes for all of my characters. No one is inherently evil or pure and good. Everyone is the way they are for a reason…its up to you to keep reading and find out the truth behind everything. 

 

Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all?

In a way, yes. Considering I originally wrote the first three books back in 2009-2011, things have evolved and changed drastically. A character that was only mentioned in TO DREAM IS TO DIE (Dead Dreamer Book 1), has now joined the cast a serious threat and I’m so excited to see where this will go.

 

Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?

Originally yes. For years, I attempted to query agents and publishers, anyone I could find. But this was over ten years ago. The world has changed a lot since then and so has my writing. I now understand why my work was originally rejected. It took time but going back to put the work in rewriting the series was the best thing I could have ever done for myself.

 

How long before you got your offer of representation/your first contract? Was it for your first novel?

It took a long time, but in 2018, I officially signed with Parliament House Press. I’m so grateful they were willing to take a chance on my Dead series considering no one else had. But they gave me the chance and the time I needed to change the story and improve it. Officially, TO DREAM IS TO DIE (Dead Dreamer Book 1) was my first published novel. 

 

What factors influenced your decision to go with a particular agent or publisher?

Circumstances, honestly. At the time, I was laid off from my first big girl job and I was in a deep depression. But some friends encouraged me to submit to Parliament, not only because they wanted to encourage my writing, but also because I had known the owner for a long time. It was worth a shot. And it worked.

 

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?

Currently, I am under a traditional contract for one more book for the Dead Dreamer series. As for future work, I’m uncertain where life will take me. We’ll have to see!

 

If you used a graphic designer/publisher’s designer, how involved were you during the creative process for your cover?

Shayne from Parliament created the original covers for my Dead Dreamer series. But we are working together to create new covers once all of the books are completed and published. I’ve been working with an artist on Instagram who has been AMAZING at sending me artwork to go with my series, so I hope to incorporate some of those as well. 

 

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?

Music. I always need music. I have a couple playlists that I usually work with, but there is one called Epic Writing and that one gives me goosebumps every time. 

 

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?

I’m a pantser. Being a chaotic writing, I just open Word and start writing. I love it. I watch my character move in my head and all I can do is record what they do. I have zero control.

 

To Reap the Spirit
Sarah Lampkin
(Dead Dreamer, #3)
Published by: Parliament House
Publication date: October 13th 2020
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal

The third installment in the haunting Dead Dreamer series.

Somehow Brenna Whit has survived to her junior year at Nephesburg College. Despite all odds, she’s fought against the Gatekeepers and lived. But the battle for the Fade has only just begun.

New pieces have been added to the board.

The Fade opens to the Veil.

And a Shade from the past returns.

With Brenna’s secret out, everyone is after her: dead and living alike. Those from across the sea have come and they’re determined regain control of their broken faction.

Questions will be answers
Fires will be lit
Chaos will reign

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo


Author Bio:

Sarah Lampkin is a New Adult/Young Adult fiction author from Southern Virginia. She currently resides in Northern Virginia with her cat, Fox (who is practically a dog). When she’s not writing, she’s playing video games, rock climbing, or getting ready for hunting season. Sarah began writing over a decade ago with her first novella called Angels: Moon and Sun, which is now being rewritten as Tainted Wings on Wattpad. She draws inspiration from Celtic mythology in her stories and aims to create unique worlds following strong female protagonist. In 2015, Sarah was able to utilize her Dead Dreamer series in her graduate program and graduate with an MA in English.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram


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Tuesday, October 13, 2020

#Review: A PRINCESS BY CHRISTMAS by Julia London


4 of 5 stars

Hollis Honeycutt feels adrift, not even her beloved Gazette holds her attention anymore. Her friends are all moving forward with their lives and Hollis is still mourning her husband's untimely death four years later. When she stumbles upon a plot against visiting royalty purely by accident, she can't seem to let it go. Marek Brendan is trying his best to blend into the background while keeping an eye on his king while visiting London for the peace process. Unfortunately for him, Hollis has him in her sights and she won't stop until she unravels all his secrets.

It took a little bit to get into this book with all of Hollis's rambling chatter, but once I got used to that, it was enjoyable. I especially liked the mystery surrounding Marek and it was good to see Marek finally open up to having someone "see" him.
 

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





#Review: THE REDEMPTION OF A ROGUE by Jess Michaels

 

  3 of 5 stars
 

I usually enjoy Ms. Michaels' books, but this one spent too much time on the sex scenes. I get it that Oscar Fitzhugh is dark and dangerous who exerts control over every aspect of his life, that is, until Imogen Huxley literally falls into his arms. She's running because she witnessed a murder by an important earl at a brothel. Oscar decides to protect Imogen because she could be at the center of solving a murder of his former mistress. Imogen has fallen far when her husbands dies and his family rejects her and the only reason why she was at the brothel at all. Oscar offers her safe haven which includes sexual relations.

 

If you took out all the dominating sex scenes, this book would be a lot shorter. I don't mind them, but it seemed that's all there was to this. I just skipping large sections of the book to get to the end and find out if they could trap the earl into confessing. Ms. Michaels is a talented storyteller, but this book was not one of my favorites.

 

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

 


 

#Review: THE LIGHT AT WYNDCLIFF by Sarah E Ladd


  3 of 5 stars

I have not read the other books in this series, but I was able to delve into this story and not feel lost. Liam Twethewey has inherited Wyndcliff Hall in Pevlyn, Cornwall, and he plans to make the estate profitable by following his great uncle's plan and develop the china clay pits. What he doesn't expect is to run into a sinister plot revolving around shipwrecks in his cove. He also didn't expect to meet blonde beauty Evelyn Bray, the granddaughter of the current stewart. Evelyn experiences an undeniable attraction when she meets Liam, but never expects her grandfather to oppose the match.

This story had all the elements for a suspenseful and exciting story. While the plot involving the shipwrecks and the rescue of a young woman and her daughter kept my interest, the budding romance between Liam and Evelyn fell flat for me. There was not enough interactions or dialogue between them to convey their growing feelings for each other. While I enjoy a slow build up of romance, this story had virtually none before the final chapters. The book would easily have been 4 stars if the romance between Liam and Evelyn had been more compelling.

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


Monday, October 12, 2020

#Excerpt: THE REVENGE by J.A. Jackson



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. J. A. Jackson will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC and 10 Kindle copy of Lovers, Players, Seducers Book III: The Betrayal of Nicholas LaCour to randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Last time, in J. A. Jackson’s steamy, romantic thriller Lovers, Players and The Seducer, the storm came…and went. Back then, Nicholas La Cour played a very dangerous game of cat and mouse; one in which he involved his childhood friends, Kienan Egan and Quinn Rolandis. Even worse, he put his own sister, Lacey La Cour, right in the middle of that storm. Everyone got swept away in the torrent of greed, lust and ruthless ambition. All except two ratchet lovers… Discover as one ratchet lover determined to put the past behind her, believes she’s found true love only to be catapulted into an intriguing world that threatens her life and may shatter her heart. Another storm is coming, but will the two ratchet lovers survive it?

 

 

The book will be on sale for $0.99.

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/book-ii-lovers-players-the-seducer-the-revenge-j-a-jackson/1134054120
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2eks6Us
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/985752
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/book-ii-lovers-players-the-seducer-the-revenge
iBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/book-ii-lovers-players-the-seducer-the-revenge/id1483314767

Excerpt:

“Greeting,” the old woman called out to them standing just to the side of the road. She wore a man’s military jacket over an old torn pink satin cocktail dress. “Lord, have mercy, you all caught a load of fish!”

The first thing Maëlle noticed about the old woman was that she had a clairvoyant air about her.

The old woman didn’t wait for an acknowledgement as she walked directly toward Maëlle singling her out. “Young woman, might I have a word with you?”

Maëlle’s head jerked up in surprise, when the old clairvoyant looking woman singled her out. She almost jumped out of her skin, at the sound of the soft sweet voice with a lifting southern drawl, that left an in indelibly imprint on the brain. She was sure that the old woman’s voice was surely capable of casting a spell.

“Menfolk have no need of my fortune telling,” the old woman said in her sweet voice, glancing at the men.

About the Author:

 

J.A. Jackson is the pseudonym for an author, who loves to write deliciously sultry adult romantic, suspenseful, entertaining novels with a unique twist. She lives in an enchanted little house she calls home in the Northern California foothills. Her love for cooking and writing come from her Southern roots of Louisiana and Arkansas. She isa member of South Bay Writers Association, Yosemite Romance Writers and Romance Writers of America (RWA).

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jerreece
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jerreece-Ann-Jackson/204377496289139
Blog: http://jerreeceannjackson.blogspot.com
Author Central: https://www.amazon.com/author/jajackson
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jerreece1/boards/
Instragram: https://www.instagram.com/jerreece4559/
Unsplashe: https://unsplash.com/@j_a_jackson_author
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7515379.J_A_Jackson
Medium: https://medium.com/@jerreecejackson
Mailchimp: https://mailchi.mp/1be4f2939d63/author-j-a-jackson-aka-jerreece
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jerreece-jackson-1657853/
Instragram: https://www.instagram.com/jerreece4559/

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Friday, October 9, 2020

#Excerpt: THE MAGIC INGREDIENT by Lindy Miller

The Magic Ingredient
Lindy Miller
(A Bar Harbor Holiday Novel)
Published by: Rosewind Books
Publication date: October 13th 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

The end of summer is approaching, but even at the height of Bar Harbor’s tourist season, Eve Silver is having a hard time keeping enough money in the bank to sustain the family business. Her only hope of paying past due bills is to win the catering bid for the town’s upcoming Harvest Happening Festival. Otherwise, it’ll be lights out for Mount Desserts & Tea by Christmas.

Widower Jeff Parish is moving with his twelve-year-old daughter, Candy, from Manhattan to Maine with one goal: starting over. When sparks fly between Jeff and Eve as the town readies for the annual harvest festival, Candy wishes she had a love potion to help her dad fall in love again.

Will Eve be able to save Mount Desserts & Tea—and open her heart to Jeff—by the most bewitching night of the year? It’ll take a lot of love, a little bit of luck … and just a pinch of magic.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Part of eating a cupcake was the experience, and in Eve’s opinion, a little extra frosting on your face made it all the more gratifying. Her mouth filled with the taste of vanilla, chocolate, and marshmallow, all of the flavors intermingling just as she’d planned. Still, something seemed off. It wasn’t enough to toss the batch out, but in Eve’s opinion, the recipe hadn’t quite reached perfection.

Eve swallowed, wiping away the frosting from her nose. “It’s not perfect.”

“It’s incredible,” Jeff countered before he shoved the rest of the cupcake into his mouth.

He had a dollop of frosting on his nose, which made Eve smile despite her frustration at the recipe. “I don’t know if I believe your verdict, but at least you didn’t call it glitzy.”

Jeff mumbled something that sounded like idtellinguidperfek around the mouthful of pastry.

“Something is missing. Something small, a flavor that isn’t quite there. It’s not major, but enough that I notice.” Eve wiped her hands on a dishcloth and leaned against the counter, crossing her arms over her chest in frustration. “I don’t know why I can’t get it right. Maybe I’m not as great a baker as I think I am. It shouldn’t take so many tries to get a recipe correct. Not if you know what you’re doing.”

Jeff wiped his face and leveled his gaze at Eve as he stepped closer. “I don’t think that’s true at all. You’re a fantastic baker. You’re a fantastic lot of things.”

He was so close now Eve could smell his scent—musky and warm, with notes of pine and sandalwood. An inviting smell. Eve wondered how she’d never noticed it before. Then again, the more she felt drawn to Jeff the more she’d tried to keep her distance, kind of like reaching her goal—one step forward, two back.

“Really?” she asked, hoping she sounded interested and not incredulous. She didn’t want to offend someone offering her a compliment, even if she didn’t believe it. “I try so hard and I feel like I come up short.”

“Doing everything on your own isn’t easy, and I can see how you might think that you’re failing, but you’re looking at the situation the wrong way.”

Eve shook her head and kept her eyes downcast, even when Jeff’s hand found her shoulder, sliding down to cup her upper arm. His touch sent a tingle down her flesh and she resisted the urge to look up.

“Is there another way?”

“Instead of focusing on what you’re not doing well, think of all the things you are amazing at. Try to see yourself as …”

He paused.

Eve wondered if he’d changed his mind about whatever it was he was going to say.

Jeff cleared his throat and started over. “Try to see yourself the way I see you. Like Candy does, and Doris and Annie. And Bapo, for what it’s worth.”

Eve snickered, despite herself. “You’re never going to get tired of ribbing him, are you?”

“Never.” Jeff’s hand slid further down her arm to rest on her elbow. “My point remains.”

The place where Jeff’s hand rested on her arm pulsed. “How do you all see me?”

“We see someone who works hard every single day, around the clock, never taking any time for herself. Who gives her all to everything she does, even when it seems impossible, and who makes everyone feel needed and wanted when she’s around simply by being there.” Jeff stepped in closer. His heat brushed up against her chest. “It isn’t about finding the perfect recipe for a new confection or keeping the family business around for another generation, Eve. It’s about you. You make Mount Desserts worth saving. And I believe in you. We all do, even if you don’t believe in yourself.”

When Eve finally looked up, she found herself staring into Jeff’s eyes. They were warmer and sweeter than any chocolate ganache she’d ever made.

His free hand found its way to her other elbow and she allowed herself to be drawn from the counter. Jeff pulled her into his embrace, his hands releasing her elbows to slide around the small of her back, holding her close.

There was no denying the butterflies now.


Author Bio:

Lindy Miller is an author of feel-good love stories that are full of sweet moments and happy endings. She believes the best time to fall in love is during the holidays, preferably over a cup of warm tea or a delicious vegan pastry - two things she can't get enough of.

A free spirit, Lindy loves to travel and has a soft spot for Bar Harbor, Maine though she grew up at home in the South. She is married to her childhood sweetheart and bakes as often as she can for her husband, son, and pets - especially her golden retriever, Finn, who has a tendency to show up in her stories (and her Instagram!)

Lindy is represented by Gandolfo Helin & Fountain Literary Management and supported by Smith Publicity.

Member Romantic Novelist Association (RNA).

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram


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#Review: ONE NIGHT WITH THE DUKE by Erica Ridley

 

  5 of 5 stars

 

I love this series and was thrilled with another romance from Cressmouth! Jonathan MacLean has never felt wanted in his life and so keeps moving never visiting the same location twice. When he's snowbound in the tiny village of Cressmouth, he meets jeweler Angelica Parker. He's immediately smitten with the young woman, but Angelica has no time to entertain the handsome Scot. She's working toward her goal of independence and will let nothing deter her. Can these two move past their rigid viewpoints and enjoy their time together.

 

This was such an entertaining book featuring a black heroine. I loved how Ms. Ridley teased out some of the history of blacks in England. Even though this is a quick read, I was wholly satisfied with the character development. I'm looking forward to the next book.

 

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

 


 

Interview with Bryon Vaughn, NEUROGARDEN

If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be?
I would say telekinesis. The idea of being able to just reach out and grab something with my mind makes the inner lazy bum in me giddy. But I have so many questions about this ability? Would I be limited to the strength of my body when moving things with my mind? For example, could I lift a building, or only another person? Would I get tired just as when I’m lifting at the gym? Would it hurt like it did for Charlie in Stephen King’s Firestarter, or worse cause nosebleeds. I can’t stand seeing my own blood.

What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to learn about you?
Whenever I meet somebody new they are always surprised by my age. I’m older than I look, or so I’m told. When they hear I have two grown children, both out of college, they are shocked. I always tell them that I have a portrait in my attic that looks horrific like Dorian Gray, only nerdy.

When writing descriptions of your hero/ine, what feature do you start with?
Descriptions of characters are difficult for me to envision in the beginning, so I usually start with a familiar personality or somebody I know and work from there. For example, I started with a picture in my head of the antagonist in Neurogarden looking like Natascha McElhone, and it was much easier to get her onto the page from there.

Actually writing out the description, I nearly always start with the eyes. So much can be revealed through the eyes, and it is a perfect metaphor for capturing what is seen and what is hidden within.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I start with every intent of being a plotter. I get the idea of the story nailed down. I pick out my characters, write up bios, outline the main elements of the plot, all of that so I can feel like I have enough of a story to start the arduous task of writing a novel. As soon as I have that, and I’m confident that I have what I need, I get started and it pretty much all goes out the window. The story and characters take their own paths, and I am just the conduit to get them out there.
I guess you could call me prepared pantser, at least until the editing phase, when the plotter returns to rein in some of the shenanigans that my characters get up to.

Did you learn anything from writing this book? If so, what?
While I have always respected novelists for the sheer willpower to get their work written, polished, completed, I don’t think I really understood the work that it takes to write a full novel. My previous work was exclusively short stories. I never felt I had a story that needed 60,000 words or more to tell, but when I had that story in Neurogarden, it was a lot of work to get it done.
I learned to be diligent, and to make time everyday to get the work done. I learned that no matter how much I dread a particular scene that is causing me difficulty, for whatever reason, I need to push through or the story will never be told, and with so much already completed, I want to know how it ends so there is no turning back.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

Where can you run when there is no place to hide?

Brenna Patrick is a brilliant technologist specializing in neural-cognitive functions and AI. She has cracked the code to solve one of the most troublesome problems in the field, and turned that into the multi-billion dollar NeuralTech Corporation.

Working quietly with the U.S. Department of Defense, NeuralTech is poised to leapfrog the competition with a revolutionary system for tracking people, starting with the world’s most wanted terrorists. But there are only so many terrorists in the world, so who’s next?

When a pair of Columbia graduate students, Jenny and Leo, stumble on the dark secret of NeuralTech’s success, it kicks off a tense game of cat and mouse. As they fight to defeat the powerful forces arrayed against them, nothing less than the fate of humanity hangs in the balance…

NEUROGARDEN is a roller-coaster ride of a thriller, one that will have readers pondering the nature of memory, and of reality, long after they've read the last page.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Ever since reading Douglas Adams back in my formative years, I have had an interesting relationship with humor, science fiction, and technology. My first computer was a TI-99/4A, so yeah, I’m old, but only until scientists have cracked the code on transplanting our brains into shiny new vessels.

My body may be showing signs of wear, but I’m keeping my brain tight.

When I am not dreaming of far off worlds and writing, I am living a semi-normal life working in New York City, and watching movies with my wife and her spastic cat, Moss.

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