Saturday, August 12, 2017

XPresso Book Tours Presents: Christina Lay's Symphony of Ruin


Symphony of Ruin
Christina Lay
Publication date: July 25th 2017
Genres: Dark Fantasy, Fantasy
Death is stalking The City. From out of the catacombs, a deadly monster has arisen. Unfortunately for alchemist’s apprentice Remy the Rat Boy, his master is away and it’s up to Remy to discover the nature of the monster and put an end to its killing rampage. His search for answers takes him high into the elegant chambers of the city’s elite, and down into long forgotten ruins, into depths untraveled and unimagined for centuries. Lost in the ancient ruins with only ghosts and creatures of the darkness for companionship, Remy must use every ounce of wit and conjure every scrap of magic at his disposal in order to survive the labyrinth and save The City from its shadow self.

A magical and thrilling journey by award-winning author Christina Lay, inspired by the game and artwork of Dungeon Solitaire: Labyrinth of Souls. For more information on the Labyrinth of Souls fiction project, visit shadowspinnerspress.com
EXCERPT:
Death made its nightly rounds of the old quarter. Skeletal toes scraped the cobblestones and bones rattled in the keening wind blowing down from the steppes. The scythe of oblivion spared no one; man, woman or child might be snatched. This alone was reason enough to raid Master Marek’s pantry and Remy could think of several others as he cleared a space on the long table against the wall. He placed one knee on the well-worn surface and tested its strength. The table wobbled only slightly on uneven legs.
“Are you sure this is a good idea?” his friend Glyn asked from behind him.
“Not only is it good, it is excellent. Top notch. One of the best I’ve ever had.” Remy grabbed at the row of shelves to steady himself as he climbed up. The collection of bottles and jars rattled alarmingly. He paused as they settled. Nothing fell except a tuft of what looked like dried moss.
When he’d first moved in, Remy would have needed to use a footstool to reach the tabletop and he’d have to stand on the rickety table to reach Marek’s stash of quality liquor. Now if he stretched full length, he could finger the row of colored glass bottles on the top shelf while still on his knees.
Some of the bottles were filled with dyed water. He knew this because he was the one who’d drained and refilled them. His master never noticed because Marek rarely partook of the odd offerings of beet brandy, moss wine, crabapple cider and so on that his clients sometimes paid him with. No, Marek reserved his imbibing for the good stuff in the cut crystal decanter, an amber brandy he shared with Remy on Winter’s solstice, and then only by the wee thimble full.
Remy remembered its heat coating his throat, the flavors of caramel, loam and wealth, and the comforting affect a mere sip had on his state of mind. That was what he needed now—comfort. Glyn had just brought him the news of their mate Abernath’s death. Abernath, a robust young man of seventeen years—the same age as Remy and Glyn—had been found dead in an alley the night before without a fresh mark on him.
Remy’s long fingers tweezed the decanter toward the edge of the shelf. Glyn took an audible breath, sucking air out of the room in the process, braced to flee at the first hint of disaster. Glyn would rather face death than Master Marek in a rage.
“Marek is in the Giant Mountains,” Remy assured him, voice a little pinched from the effort of stretching to his full length and a tiny bit beyond. “I’ve had no word from him for weeks. He’s not about to pop up in the middle of the night with no notice. He likes his fire to be lit and his supper warm when he returns from a long trip.” The decanter tipped forward and Remy caught it with his other hand. As he eased back his sleeve caught on a jutting handle and brought a little pot thudding to the tabletop. The pottery cracked. Something black and viscous oozed out.
“Ox balls,” Remy muttered, and clambered down from the table.
“What is that?” Glyn backed up as if a jinn might spring forth from the ooze.
“Nothing to worry about,” Remy said. He gave the scratch marks on the lid a closer look. Ox balls and a pig’s poker to boot. “Nothing to worry about immediately anyway. Come on. Where’s your cup?”


Author Bio:
Christina Lay is primarily a writer of fantastical fiction, with frequent forays into mystery and mainstream. Many of her short stories have been published in anthologies, magazines and online. She's won five awards for her short fiction, including second place in the Writers' Digest Short Fiction competition in 2003. Her novels have also won awards, including first place in the Rupert Hughes Writing Competition at the Maui Writers Conference, First Place in the Journey Conference Novel competition, and she was a finalist in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association competition. Death is a Star, her first novel to be published, was released in February 2013.
Christina was born in Eugene, Oregon and graduated from the University of Oregon in 1988 with a degree in Sociology and a minor in Political Science. She's worked a wide variety of jobs, from pastry shop clerk to computer software support to cost accounting and bookkeeping for nonprofits. Her favorite job so far has been administrative assistant in a Victorian House Museum. The goal is always to spend as much time as possible writing. For fun she likes to study languages through poetry, take way too many pictures with digital cameras, and be herded by her border collie, Lazlo.

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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Xpresso Book Tours Presents: Swept Away by S. McPherson


Swept Away
S. McPherson
(The Water Rushes #3)
Publication date: August 1st 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Elev nos senaremdos: Live on in memories
Milo is gone and Vladimir and the others plan to go after him before he gets himself killed…if it isn’t already too late. But they have no way of making the gethadrox and they are not all working as together as they think.
Secrets hushed and secrets kept are soon revealed when Dezaray gets a package that leads to her taking matters into her own hands and following a path that leads to the unimaginable.
Only Lexovia and a small band of misfits stay behind in an attempt to save the world and Lexovia soon finds herself in a position of power she never truly wanted.
Dive deeper into worlds & war in this thrilling third installment of an epic fantasy. Loved by fans of Cassandra Clare and Sarah J Maas.
EXCERPT:
It’s bloody freezing in the cell they throw me into and they seem in no hurry to bring me that extra blanket I’d asked for. It seems Tinfoil was right. Last night I was free, tonight I am caged. What’s worse, they’ve tossed me into the same cell as some kooky old lady who keeps eyeballing me from her corner.
‘Can I help you?’ I ask impatiently.
‘Come into the light,’ she croaks. That’s a laugh. There’s hardly any light in this place.
‘I’m quite comfortable here thanks.’
‘Come into the light,’ she croaks a little more loudly, causing her to cough. Not wanting her to suffer a heart attack on my account, I reluctantly stroll over to the bars of the cell to be nearer the flickering florescent lights in the corridor
‘Lexovia?’ she says. ‘You are the Elentrice, Lexovia.’
‘No.’ Poor old lady. ‘I am Dezaray Storm.’
She chuckles. ‘You were always such a kidder. You are going to be in a world of trouble once they find you missing from Coldivor. Best you get back to the portal.’
I am about to disagree with this senile old woman but the mention of the portal captures my attention.
‘I am honestly not Lexovino, or whoever you think I am,’ I state, braving a few steps towards her, ‘but perhaps you can tell me more about her, Coldivor and this,’ I shrug, ‘this portal?’


Author Bio:
USA Today Bestselling Author & a citizen of the world; S. McPherson was born in England, moved to Saudi Arabia when she was five then on to Dubai at the age of seven. S. McPherson briefly lived in Scotland, she is originally from Jamaica and her mind is often far, far away in lands people have never heard of.
S. McPherson has always loved writing in all its forms and at the tender age of eight, she dreamt of being a member of the next big pop group where she could sing and write songs all day. When that inexplicably fell through (how could she not be the next Beyonce??), she moved on to poems, scripts and eventually novels.
Having met many different people - imaginary and real - along her travels, S. McPherson has a vast array of characters buzzing in her head bursting to be let loose on a page or two of fantasy.

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Monday, August 7, 2017

XPresso Book Tours Presents: Dragon Rebel by Ophelia Bell


Dragon Rebel
Ophelia Bell
(Immortal Dragons, #4)
Publication date: August 1st 2017
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance
If Assana looked up the word “nymphomaniac” in the dictionary, she might expect to find her own image in place of the definition, especially after meeting the immortal red dragon, Gavra. The timing couldn’t be worse for her to discover the mate that Fate intended—the one she’d be willing to let go of her tightly bound hold on her deepest sexual desires for—the one who literally drives her mad with lust. Now that she needs her sanity more than anything to regain control of her race’s home from her own insane mother, she’s faced with the inconvenient desire to lose control and be that primal nymph she keeps locked inside.
Thank Gaia for Silas. The handsome young ursa male is blessed with magic that can calm the lust-filled madness threatening to consume Assana’s mind. She needs him more than ever now that she has no choice but to spend her days in close proximity to the dragon she desires more than anything… yet doesn’t dare touch lest she give in to that ancient, primal need all nymphaea are born with.
For red dragon Gavra, he can only put off having the beautiful nymph maiden for so long, or the ursa male who Fate has promised him. Once Assana’s crazy mother is out of the way, nothing will stop Gavra from claiming and marking them both as his.
EXCERPT:
“Well that was fun.”
Gavra spun around at the sound of the deep, familiar voice that had so recently been speaking inside his head. His brother stood in the center of his room, his arms crossed and a grim smile on his face.
“Aodh,” he said, unable to mask the utter relief he felt at seeing his white-haired brother whole and in the flesh. He pulled the other man into a fierce embrace that was returned in kind, releasing him when Aodh stiffened.
Gavra looked back in the direction of his brother’s gaze and saw Vrishti standing with an excited look about to breach the barrier into his room.
“No!” Aodh said. “Please stay where you are, love.”
“She wants to see you,” Gavra said. “Surely you won’t deny her a proper greeting.”
Aodh shook his head. “A proper greeting? She’s not ready, brother. Perhaps it’s fine for you and Silas to tangle before you’ve marked him. We can’t risk her reputation while she’s still learning about her kind.” Turning to Vrishti, he said, “After we’ve settled these issues with the Haven, love. I promise you no prison can keep me from you then.”
Vrishti dropped the hand she had been about to push past the barrier and nodded. Her eyes grew glassy and she took a shaky breath. “I’ll be ready for you, I promise,” she said. “I can’t stand to see you trapped like this… I’m sorry. Be safe. Keep him safe…” She directed the last comment to Gavra and Assana, who both nodded.
Gavra gave Assana a perplexed look. “Why didn’t you drift into the room with him?”
Assana carefully avoided his gaze as she hugged Vrishti farewell and watched the other female go, then she glanced at Silas, a look of pure gratitude on her lovely face. The big ursa male moved closer to her, wrapped an arm around her and held her. Gavra’s chest felt leaden at the way the pair looked at each other – like they belonged in each other’s arms. They were kindred elements, both Gaia’s children, and made sense together more than Gavra himself made sense with either of them. The way he and Silas crashed together with such fiery, explosive force felt right to him, but it was not easy, or pretty – it was passionate, volatile, and destructive.
“He calms my primal spirit,” Assana said softly. “I’m afraid to come closer to you because you only make the madness claw at my mind more. I allowed Aodh to take control of his own drift once he promised to go where I asked. I couldn’t be in the same room with you for fear of losing control. I’m sorry, Gavra… I can’t let myself lose control, not when my entire home, my family’s well being is at stake. Please understand.”
He wanted to roar in protest, to breathe flames at the barrier and pull her inside, show her how right it would be to let go and be her true self – the wild nymph he sensed glimmers of beneath the surface whenever their eyes met. The insatiable creature who haunted his dreams, responding to his heat so perfectly.
Aodh’s hand rested on his shoulder and gave him a comforting squeeze.
Gavra swallowed the molten lump in his throat and nodded. Finding his voice, he said, “I want you wild, Assana. The first time I’m inside you, you can be damn sure control will be the last thing on anyone’s minds.”
Silas tightened his hold on Assana protectively, though his aura flared bright red in response to Gavra’s promise. She closed her eyes and took a long, slow breath as though fortifying herself before opening her eyes.
Her hypnotic, whirlpool gaze met his through the barrier. “I want that, too. To share my primal essence with you both, to taste yours when we’re thrice melded and feel your heat deep inside my mind. To feel you etch your mark on my skin. Gaia save me, I would take that now, but I can’t risk losing myself to that need. There is too much at stake. Please understand… I need Silas to keep my own nymphaea madness in check, but I promise you the first time you’re inside me will be the first time my quim is filled by any male’s seed.”
Gavra groaned at the promise, forcing himself to pull his gaze away from her or else risk burning down the entire Sanctuary to get to her.
“It looks like Silas is going to have his hands full sating us both separately then,” he said, staring heatedly at the big ursa male. “Can you handle that?”
Silas gave him a lazy smile. “I welcome it.”


Author Bio:
Ophelia Bell loves a good bad-boy and especially strong women in her stories. Women who aren't apologetic about enjoying sex and bad boys who don't mind being with a woman who's in charge, at least on the surface, because pretty much anything goes in the bedroom.
Ophelia grew up on a rural farm in North Carolina and now lives in Los Angeles with her own tattooed bad-boy husband and four attention-whoring cats.
If you'd like to receive regular updates on Ophelia's publications, freebies, and discounts, please subscribe to her mailing list: http://opheliabell.com/subscribe/

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Thursday, August 3, 2017

Book Review: The Atlantis Code by Charles Brokaw

The Atlantis Code is an action/adventure/historical novel about a professor who is asked to identify an ancient language on a musical instrument found in Egypt for a TV show.  He meets the TV show host in Alexandria and then examines the artifact in question.  Before long, the ancient cymbal is stolen by a group of killers.  The chase begins.  The professor, the TV host, the camera man, and eventually a beautiful cop from Russia hunt for more musical instruments that have something to do with Atlantis.  They aren't the only ones looking for the instruments.  The Catholic Church has been digging in Cadiz, Spain.  Their crew found a network of caves that appear to be Atlantis.  A cardinal who leads a secret society has other ideas for all of these discoveries.

My Review: This book reminded me a great deal of Dan Brown.  Lots of history, lots of action, and not much character development.  I loved it.  Charles Brokaw made the list of my favorite authors.  I will be reading more of his work.  I really enjoyed the research he put into the novel as well as his imagination.  I liked how he incorporated Atlantis into modern archeology.  The characters were a little one dimensional, but so were Dan Brown's characters.  The story was too good to get hung up on all of their back-stories.  This book entertained and informed.  5/5 Stars.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Goddess Fish Tours Presents: His to Have by Devon Birchley

His To Have
by Devon Birchley


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GENRE:   New Adult Romance

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BLURB:

His to Have is a very steamy new adult romance with a perfect HEA.

“Fifty Shades of Grey for the Girls generation.”

Reagan

There’s a whole bunch of things I need right now—to feel at home in this big, lonely city. To stop working my ass off. To find myself a nice, normal guy. One thing I sure as hell don’t need is Adler Montgomery crashing into my world and telling me what I need.

Cock-sure, tattooed, moneyed, too sexy for his own good. Not my type, at all. And yet…

When his hand tightens in my hair, suddenly, all I need is him.

He opens my eyes to a whole new world, possesses me in every possible way, sets me on fire with his sweet, filthy words. And then he pushes me away. I know I should run, keep my heart safe, but that turns out to be the hardest thing of all.

Adler

She thought I was giving her a line. And that’s probably for the best, because the truth is dangerous. No-one’s eyes have ever looked so vulnerable, made me want to break all my rules. They make me chase her when I know I shouldn’t. They make me cruel; they make me soft. But more than that, they make me feel. And I don’t like that. 

I tell myself she’s only a sub, that I’m helping her to discover her dark side. But the more I listen to her smart, feisty voice and the more I see she doesn’t take any crap from anyone, the deeper I fall. I’ve never met anyone like Reagan Lockhart before, but letting her in could mean ruin for both of us.

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Excerpt:

For once in my life, I’m stuck for words. And then my anger flares. “Who are you, and what the hell do you think gives you the right to pass judgment on me?” I snap. “You know nothing about me.” I’m speaking loudly, but he seems unabashed.

“Nothing? Well, let me see… you’re at the biggest sex exhibition in the northeast in a provocative outfit, and you’re caressing a whip. And you have very vulnerable eyes.”

I scowl. I’ve been told often that my eyes look innocent, and I don’t like it.

“I’m just working here, helping a friend out, and I got bored waiting for her.”

He reaches into his back pocket and pulls out one of Dominique’s flyers. “This friend?”

I fight to keep my expression blank. “Have you been watching me?”

“What if I have?” His face displays such evident enjoyment that I want to slap him.

“You’re a freak.”

He takes a half step closer, and his smile doesn’t falter. “If I am, then so are you,” he says in an undertone. “But seriously, you don’t need any of this crap.”

I fold my arms. At this point, I don’t even know why I’m continuing to stand here and give him an audience, but I can never back away from confrontation. “No? What do I need?”

“You need a man whose breath in your ear is enough to make you yield all control.” Again, I can feel his breath, and its warmth makes me shiver, all the way to my nipples, which instantly tighten. Then he straightens up and, without another word, turns around and walks away from me.


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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Devon Birchley writes wild romances with a dirty twist. Her stories are full of sexy, dominant men, forbidden adventures, guilty pleasures and spine-tingling happily ever afters!

Subscribe to Devon’s mailing list and be the first to know about new releases, promotions and giveaways. http://eepurl.com/cSebqD

Devon loves to hear from readers – please connect with her here:

Buy Links:


His to Have will be $0.99 during the tour.
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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION:

Devon Birchley will be awarding a $30 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Friday, July 21, 2017

Xpresso Tours Presents: Witchbreed by R.L. Martinez


In the Blood
R.L. Martinez
(The Witchbreed Series #1)
Published by: Lakewater Press
Publication date: March 21st 2016
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
A snake. A lion. A return.
In a time when magic is feared, Lady Oriabel Dominax has no choice but to conceal her healing powers while she cares for her father’s struggling estate. One touch of the Witch’s Tree shows her visions of witches hung and burned at the very hands of the people for whom she cares, the people who love her. But with the arrival of a new lord, a man hiding secrets of his own, falling in love might be one wrong move too many.
Incarcerated for an unspeakable crime, fearless warrior Lady Ottilde Dominax is plagued by mysterious dreams of her sister’s death. When a hooded figure offers her the chance of escape, although untrusting, she does not hesitate. Racing across nations to reach Oriabel, her journey is cut short by an encounter with a wedowyn, a formidable beast which she has no chance to overpower alone. Though it is not death that greets her, but something far worse.
Blackmail, betrayal, and murder are only the beginning as a darker magic is awakened. And someone has plans for the Dominax twins, plans more terrifying than anything they could ever imagine.
--

Beneath the Skin
R.L. Martinez
(The Witchbreed Series #2)
Published by: Lakewater Press
Publication date: July 21st 2017
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Abandoned, betrayed, and wanted for murder, Lady Oriabel Dominax is a witch on the run. The deadly magic now awakened inside her is hungry, and it is all Oriabel can do to control it. With no choice but to trust strangers as her guardians, she quickly discovers not everyone is who they say they are and the very magic she fears might be her only weapon to protect those she loves.
Since rescuing her sister from certain death, Lady Ottilde Dominax’s only goal is to keep Oriabel safe and alive. Not an easy task when both the enemy and their so-called allies are hunting them. Placing all her trust in the very man who held her prisoner, Ottilde must open her heart and mind to a future she could never have predicted, a future guided only by love and survival.
Life, death, and tragedy lie ahead as the Dominax twins set out on a perilous journey to safety. But knowing they are mere pawns in someone else’s game means fighting for family is all they have left.


Author Bio:
Being a stay-at-home mom is probably the hardest job Robin’s ever had (and that’s after working at places like Goodwill, MCL Cafeteria, and Captain D’s). Her house is never clean! No matter how many dishes she does or toys she picks up, her two little ones come right behind her and make a whole new mess. Anyway, this is the first time she hasn’t had some sort of job outside the home since she was fifteen. Kinda scary!
Now that her kids have both started all-day school, she can fling herself into the stories that constantly swirl inside her head. One of the main reasons she writes is to read books that she wishes other people were writing. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband, two small sons, two naughty canines, and a mouse-killing cat.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Movie Review: Cure for Wellness

The Cure for Wellness is a horror/sci-fi flick that takes place at a sanitarium in the Swiss Alps.  A young stockbroker is somewhat blackmailed into getting his colleague Pembrooke back from Switzerland and to New York City in order to sign off on a lucrative deal.  The young man is given the run-around from the moment he gets to the Swiss hospital.  

The young stock broker leaves the hospital and then returns after getting into a car crash. His leg is broken and he is forced to stay at the sanitarium for a few days.  He also needs to take Pembroke back with him.  There is (of course) no usage of cell phones and the Internet.  The hospital looks like a spa for rich, eccentric people.  The stockbroker soon learns there is much more going on.  The patients are being used as some kind of an experiment that involves water.  The hospital has an urban haunted legend that goes with it-a baron who marries his sister.  Soon the stockbroker figures out that he is more of a prisoner than a patient.
My Review: This movie wasn't exactly scary.  It was more of a slow-drip kind of uncomfortable creepy.  I loved the dental procedure the stock broker had to go through.  The music was haunting.  The acting by the entire cast made my skin crawl.  But the real star of the movie was the plot.  Great story telling through the script and the camera shots.  I loved everything, especially the eels.  It worked on every level.  I paid 6.99 for on-demand, but would have gladly been content if I had to pay the full 10.00 ticket price at the theaters.  This is a real treat for horror-lite/sci-fi fans.  5/5 Stars

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Book Review: Brad Meltzer's House of Secrets


I bought this book because I like Brad Meltzer's TV show and thought I would like his novels.  House of Secrets is about Jack Nash who hosts a TV show much like Brad's-a documentary style investigation about conspiracy theories and historical mysteries. Jack recruits his seven year old son, Skip, to co-star on the show after the ratings start to tank.  
As the years roll on, Skip and his sister, Hazel, lose their father in a deadly car accident.  They begin to suspect foul play.  A mystery involving Benedict Arnold and his Bible comes into play.  Hazel, who was in the car with her father, cannot remember anything due to a mild form of amnesia.  Clue by clue she unlocks her old memories as well as her dad's secret past.

My Review: Meltzer has a page-turning style that sucked me in right away.  I really liked the history about Benedict Arnold.  I also liked his tongue and cheek style about the main character's TV show.  The irony is not lost.  
For the most part, the story meshed.  There were a few moments that confused me, but then I tend to read at night and then fall asleep.  I recommend this book to all history and mystery lovers.  I will definitely be buying another Meltzer book.  4/5 Stars

Goddess Fish Presents: The Reluctant Debutante by Wendy May Andrews

The Reluctant Debutante
by Wendy May Andrews


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GENRE: Historical Romance (Regency)

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BLURB:


The Duke of Wychwood seeks retribution from the Earl of Pickering. When he finds out the earl has a beautiful young niece, the duke thinks to involve her in his feud, but is shocked to discover he is attracted to her.

The orphaned niece of the earl, Lady Victoria, serves as governess to four of his children and is made to feel like an interloper in her own home. A chance encounter with the duke affords her the opportunity to enter Society, but to take it means risking what little security she has.

Revenge and love don't sit well together, to have a future can they learn to give up the past?


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Excerpt One:


Opening page – first time hero sees heroine

“Who is that ravishing creature entering the devil’s lair?” Bryghton Alcott, the fifth Duke of Wychwood, asked his friend, his gaze arrested by the slender figure climbing the stairs to a midsize townhouse as they rode past.

Turning in his saddle to gape at the young woman, Lord Lynster grinned, thrilled to know something his powerful friend did not. He turned back to face the duke. “You don’t know who that is?”

“Would I be asking you if I knew?” Bryghton said, with a wry twist to his lips.

His left eyebrow tilted at a somewhat haughty angle, the young baron finally answered with a touch of dramatic flair, “That, my good fellow, is the devil’s niece, Lady Victoria Bartley.”

“Really?” the duke asked, incredulity now echoed in his voice. “How did I not know that the devil had a niece? Surely this information could be used to my advantage.”

“I have no idea how you could have researched your enemy so thoroughly and yet not know that he is living in his niece’s house. I never thought to mention it since it seemed to be a matter of common knowledge. Of course, the lady was a child when the devil inherited her father’s title, so I suppose you took no note of her existence.”

Alcott’s face held a far-away expression for a few moments before his gaze sharpened on his friend’s face. “You said the devil is living in her house. What do you mean?”

“The earl only inherited what was entailed. The previous earl doted on his only child and left everything that was unentailed to his daughter, including the London townhouse we just rode past. The new earl, the young lady’s uncle, is her guardian until she gains control of her own fortune. As such, he and his family live with Lady Victoria when they are in Town. She lives with them in her former home when they are in the country.” Alfred, Lord Lynster, “Fred” to his friends, looked at Bryghton with a touch of anxiety, unsure of how his friend would use this information to his advantage. “The young woman faced much tragedy at a tender age, losing both her parents in that terrible carriage accident that made the devil the earl.”

“Yes, and no doubt she could use a friend, being stuck in the same house with Bartley and his family as she is,” concurred the duke, his handsome face darkened by a sinister cast.



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AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Best-selling author, Wendy May Andrews, has been in love with the written word since she learned to read at the age of five. She has been writing for almost as long but it took her some time before she was willing to share her stories with anyone other than her mother.
Wendy can be found with her nose in a book in a cozy corner of downtown Toronto. She is happily married to her own real-life hero, who is also her best friend and favourite travel companion. Being a firm believer that every life experience contributes to the writing process, Wendy is off planning her next trip.
She loves to hear from her readers and can be found at her website (wendymayandrews.com), on twitter, Instagram or Facebook.


Website & Blog:  http://wendymayandrews.com
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/WendyMayAndrews
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/WendyMayAndrews

Buy Link:


Giveaway: 



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Monday, June 26, 2017

Goddess Fish Presents: Harper's Place by Sheryl Winters

Harper’s Place
by Sheryl Winters


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GENRE: Romance

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BLURB:

Harper Grey is fed up with over-bearing men. Her father wants to sell the family hamburger joint to her brother because a woman could never make it successful.

Harper knows she has the same flair for business as her mother, and sexy Navy SEAL Patrick O’Brien dares her to prove it to the world.

When duty calls and Patrick must leave her side, will Harper be strong enough to make her dream a reality?
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Excerpt:


Aunt Adelina’s dining room hasn’t changed in years. The same flower embroidered tablecloth adorns the long, low kitchen table. The material is only slightly yellow with age and protected by a heavy plastic covering. The hard, low-backed captain chairs have me squirming in my seat. Across the table from me, Tony and Dad shovel Aunt Adelina’s spinach lasagna into their mouths as if this were their last meal.

“So how’s the job hunt going?” Tony smirks. “I sent you that link for the secretarial position at my company didn’t I?”

I am here only for Aunt Adelina and her free food, I remind myself even as I twist the bread on my plate into tiny pieces onto my plate. “Was that the email I deleted?” I reply in a voice as sweet as maple syrup. I also blocked your fool-ass account.

“Now Slugger,” Dad says with a heavy frown. “I know Tony meant well. He tells me things have been rough since you quit Just Burgers.”

That is so not how I remember it. “My life isn’t rough. It’s gotten considerably better, and I didn’t quit, you fired me so you could shut down Just Burgers instead of letting your daughter run it remember?” I drawl out the ‘r.’

Uncomfortable silence reigns at the table, only broken by the crunching of a dinner roll by Aunt Adelina. In contrast, Uncle Ed’s hand is extended in the air with a roll clutched tight in his fist.

Dad clears his throat but not before shooting a dagger-filled look at me. “Harper, about that. I counted on you to help me with the cleaning of the store. You know my arthritis acts up in the winter and—”

I leap to my feet. “Yes, and I expected to be treated as part of the family and not just a helper when it’s convenient.”

“Who wants another garlic roll? Here, pass this around.” Aunt Adelina thrusts the basket into my hands. The basket has traveled the table so many times tonight I’m amazed it doesn’t have its own airline miles.

“It’s a good thing you closed the store, Dad.” Tony shoots a sly glance in my direction. “It was more than time for you to get out of that money pit. Wintering in Florida will be the best thing that ever happened to you.”

Tony shovels another piece of lasagna onto his plate, and I fist my hands at my side.

“Tony, are you sure you want that big of a piece?” The words erupt from my lips before I can stop them. “You’re getting kinda chunky, especially around the middle.”

“What?” Tony’s head jerks up. He straightens and sucks in his breath as if it will make his beer gut disappear.

“That’s one thing I admire about Patrick. He works out every day. My boyfriend picked an active job.” I glance at Tony’s midsection. “And you. You picked a job where you will get progressively fatter. By the time you’re forty-five, we’ll be picking out your coffin.”

Aunt Adelina coughs into her napkin. 

“Listen, Harper, just because I finally got Dad to see reason, doesn’t mean that you need to take it out on us. Dad closing down shop and not selling to you was for your own good, you know,” Tony says. “We thought about it carefully, weighed the pros and cons.”

“My own good! You are a sneaky toad of a brother. You have no clue what’s for my own good because you take the safe road, always! I’ve got half a mind to—”

“Enough arguing.” Aunt Adelina’s thundering voice has the entire table turning toward her. “It’s time for pie.” She grabs my arm and tugs me toward the kitchen. “Young lady, you will help me.”

“I’m not serving Tony. He’s fat enough,” I say over my shoulder loud enough that the sneaky toad will hear me.

“Harper Elizabeth Gray! Enough squabbling with your brother.” Auntie releases my arm and grabs up a pie knife, pointing its blunt end at me. “You will pretend to be nice if it kills you. We are a family and we will act like it.” She slices into the lemon meringue while I continue to stew. “Now give this to Tony.” Aunt Adelina slaps a full plate of pie into my hand and pushes me toward the dining room.

“Fine.” I hesitate, turn and grab another plate she’s dished up, and slide that pie on top of Tony’s. Grinning, I scoop up an extra spoon of whipped cream, smothering both pieces. Ooo… With my free hand, I locate auntie’s secret stash of chocolate chips and sprinkle some on top just for the hell of it. What is it about Tony that makes me feel like a ten-year-old again?

Aunt Adelina groans. “Child, you’ll be the death of me.”  

Tony accepts his piece, but not after giving me a pointed sneer. I pat my much slimmer stomach and smile as wide as I can.

I no sooner reach the kitchen than another slice of pie is shoved into my hand. Dutifully, I begin passing plates around the table again. When everyone has been served, I clear the table of dishes and escape to the quiet of the kitchen. The silence of the small room is a pointed relief. Twenty more minutes to the gift opening. Five minutes of Dad and Tony glaring at me over matching pink bow ties. Fifteen more minutes to clean up the living room and say my goodbyes. One hour to the subway and I’ll be home by midnight.

I can do this!

Filled with irrational anger, I begin scrubbing away at the plates. Stupid men and their inability to do any amount of dishes.

“Well, now, little girl. It’s not like you to slam things and run away.” Aunt Adelina drops an empty pie plate on the counter. “You want to tell me what’s going on? You didn’t break up with that nice young soldier of yours did you?”

The bitterness I’ve been keeping inside, the many days of stomping the pavement looking for a backer, the many nights of trying to come up with just the right words to convince bankers to loan me cash crashes down on me. “How come you’re not mad because they let Just Burgers go instead of helping me buy it?”

“Oh, honey.” She picks up a dish towel and dries off the plate I hand her. “Why should we be mad? It’s just the way the world is.”

“Chauvinistic you mean?”

“This whole thing reminds me of when your mom and dad started that damned money pit of a restaurant. Elizabeth had her heart set on some name and your father just wouldn’t give in. He was like that over the salad bar she wanted so bad. She would have been so ahead of her time.” Aunt Adelina pats me on the shoulder. “Your father loves you, baby girl, don’t ever forget that. It’s not his fault that he could never see the forest for the trees. Some men are like that. So damn fool stubborn they just can’t admit when they are wrong.” She dumps the empty ham platter into the soapy water. “So are you still committed to this dream of yours?”

I lift my chin. “I need time to regroup. I know what you’re thinking, that I’m wasting my time at the corner station, but it’s money coming in. I’ve been turning in resumes on my days off. I was told I needed experience, a backer, and capital.” Thank you, Mrs. Anderson. “I plan on working on one thing at a time.”

Can she hear the desperation in my voice?

Aunt Adelina sighs as she puts a plate into the cupboard over her head. “Well, the gas station is good honest work. That reminds me, I found something of your grandmother’s that I wanted you to have.” She peers around the corner, lifting up piles of mail off the counter. “Now where did I put my handbag?” She leaves the room and comes back a few moments later, her large black purse swinging from her arm. “I have to remember to clean this out. Do you remember that house Grandma Alicia lived in? That big rambling structure?”

“Yes.” Mom hated having to sell the house after Grandma died. She and Aunt Adelina split the profits in half. And Dad and Mom used her share to start Just Burgers. Aunt Adelina used hers to buy her home.

Aunt Adelina pulls out a photograph and hands it to me. It’s the three of them standing in front of that old house. Aunt Adelina, Mom, and Grandma, three of the toughest, hardest working women I know.

“Put that on the mantle.” She pats me on the shoulder. “Then you look at it every day. That’s a picture of women who know what good, hard drudgery is. You work at your gas station if you have to, to make ends meet, but don’t you dare ever give up.”

I finger the photograph. These women would never give up, but this is so hard. “I’m scared I’ll never get a loan.”

“You’ll get it, Harper. You just need faith. Mountains aren’t moved in a day. You just keep trying and I’ll just keep being proud of you.”

The photo bends in my hand and I carefully smooth it out. “Aren’t you afraid I’ll fail? What if no one ever believes in me the way you do, what if—”

The palm of her hand shushes me with one movement. She pulls me in by the shoulders with a gentle squeeze. “Enough. You are Harper Gray. The strongest, smartest kid I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing. You come from a long line of strong women. Now hand me that dish. We’ve got to get these done or we’ll never get to opening those presents.”

Breathe Harper, remember you are a professional. You meet hot guys every day.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

I never set out to be an author. Only a storyteller. Some days I succeed better than others.

Links:

Website: http://sherylwinters.weebly.com/
Blog: http://sherylwinters.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sherylwinters123
Twitter:https://twitter.com/WintersSheryl

Buy Links:

Roane Publishing: https://www.roanepublishing.com/product-p/hp-01.htm
Amazon  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XT6VPHK
Amazon (UK)  https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XT6VPHK
Barnes and Noble  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1126040154
Kobo Books  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/harper-s-place
Smashwords  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/713416
Bookstrand  http://www.bookstrand.com/harpers-place

~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Sheryl will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, June 23, 2017

Review: Wonder Woman

The Wonder Woman movie begins with a young Diana who lives on an island of all women.  Her mother is a queen and she gets trained to fight.  Later on, she is told that she needs to fight Ares, the god of war.  After saving a man whose plane crashes on her island, Diana brings him back to England and then sets out to fight during World War I.

My Review:  The first half of this movie was excellent.  I found Diana Prince's childhood very entertaining.  There were many references to Greek mythology that drew me in.  I also liked the scenes of Diana and the soldier she saved returning to England and getting ready to find Ares at the heart of the war.  The movie fizzles out a little towards the end when Wonder Woman fights Ares during the war.  I also didn't understand why a Native American Indian was in the cast when it took place in France.  Wonder Woman's outfit was not like the one Linda Carter wore back in the day.  The new Wonder Woman has a gold German eagle that is sewn on the top of the costume.  Someone got the symbolism wrong.  The special effects were great and the actress was gorgeous.  There were a lot of spectacular action scenes.  I recommend watching this in a theater.  4/5 Stars

Thursday, June 22, 2017

XPresso Tours Presents: Shades of the Gods by Erin Hayes


Shades of the Gods
Erin Hayes
(Elysium Legacies #1)
Publication date: September 27th 2013
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Mythology
Caught between life and death, all Callie wants is to live again.
Homicide detective Callie Saunders knows that death isn’t all pearly gates and angels. After being hit by a bus, she finds that it’s the ancient gods and goddesses of Greek mythology who are in charge of everything.
So when Hades offers her a deal, she accepts. If she wants to be brought back to life, she’ll have to figure out who is trying to kill his son. But if she fails, both her soul and the world will be destroyed.
With the odds mounting against her, it’ll take everything she has within her to wake up from death. But the rules are constantly changing. And someone wants her to stay dead.
(This book was formerly titled Death is but a Dream. The covers and titles have changed for The Elysium Legacies, but the content is still the same.)
99¢ for a limited time only!
EXCERPT:
“You’re blackmailing me,” I sneered at him, fury raging within me at the realization. “You want me to do something in return before you allow me to wake up.”
He raised his hand in a gesture of supplication. “Not blackmail,” he assured. “I’m looking to employ you for a time.”
I recoiled. “Employ me? As what? Muscle? Is this the Underworld’s version of the Mafia?” Now that I thought about it, Hades did remind me of a mob boss. He even looked like some I knew. “I don’t play that, sorry.”
Hades grinned. “I want to make a deal with you, Callista. You find out who is trying to kill my son. Give me a name and a motive. And I’ll restore you to life.”


Author Bio:
Sci-fi junkie, video game nerd, and wannabe manga artist Erin Hayes writes a lot of things. Sometimes she writes books.
She works as an advertising copywriter by day, and she's an award-winning New York Times Bestselling Author by night. She has lived in New Zealand, Hawaii, Texas, Alabama, and now San Francisco with her husband, cat, and a growing collection of geek paraphernalia.
You can reach her at erinhayesbooks@gmail.com and she’ll be happy to chat. Especially if you want to debate Star Wars.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

XPresso Tours Presents: The Amethyst Bride by Kelsey McNight


The Amethyst Bride
Kelsey McKnight
Published by: Limitless Publishing
Publication date: June 20th 2017
Genres: Adult, Historical
British heiress Penelope Elmsly always thought she’d marry young and settle down to a life of domestic bliss. But her perfect plan may come unraveled, along with her corset strings, when two men vie for her hand.
One is a wealthy businessman who offers her the financial stability and social standing she always held dear. The other is a rugged Scottish highlander who gives her passion she never knew she desired.
With two amethyst rings upon her finger, Penelope has a choice to make, and she can’t afford to choose wrong, especially when more than just her livelihood is at stake.
Will she walk down the aisle into a life of luxury, leaving her heart in Scotland? Or will she choose to save her fortune, and her reputation?
Book trailer:


Author Bio:
Kelsey McKnight is a university-educated historian from southern New Jersey. She has married her great loves of romance, history, and literature to create her newly finished works. Her first books, "The Scottish Stone Series", are coming in April of 2017 by Limitless Publishing. Book one is titled "Queen of Emeralds", and is available now. "The Scottish Stone Series" take readers on a journey through the bustling streets of Victorian London and into the lush hills of the Scottish Highlands. Her second book, a contemporary romance titled "The Non-Disclosure Agreement", will also be available in May of 2017 and feature a bad boy politician and the small town girl that could change his ways. When she’s not writing, Kelsey can be found reading, drinking too much coffee, spending time with her family, and working on two nonprofits.

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XPresso Book Tours Presents: Christina Lay's Symphony of Ruin

Symphony of Ruin Christina Lay Publication date: July 25th 2017 Genres: Dark Fantasy, Fantasy Death is stalking The City. From out ...