Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 327 - Once Upon a Winter's Eve by Tessa Dare, Widow's Island Novella by Kendra Elliot and Melinda Leigh

Once Upon a Winter's Eve (Spindle Cove, #1.5)Once Upon a Winter's Eve by Tessa Dare
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Not my favorite Spindle Cove story. I liked the two main characters but felt that the story moved very slowly and without enough to keep me interested. A nice conclusion to what was keeping the two apart but it could have come around much sooner.


Widow's Island Novella (4 Book Series)Widow's Island Novella by Kendra Elliot
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A nice mystery with interesting characters. Widow's Island is the setting for this introduction to the Widow's Island mystery series. The island seems to call to the main characters offering them a place where they belong. There are two mysteries and only one is solved leaving room for much more action and danger.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 329 - The Valentine's Curse by Jodi Thomas, A Star-Wheeled Sky by Brad R Torgersen

The Valentine's CurseThe Valentine's Curse by Jodi Thomas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the story of two people who are outsiders. One because he is a Yankee in Texas after the Civil War and the other because she has been widowed twice and everyone thinks she is cursed. They meet when he is given the choice of dancing on sitting by to widow at the Valentine's day dance to keep from being fired. The story unwinds from there. This is a arranged marriage leading to love story It is very well done and easy to read. If you are a Jody Thomas fan look before you buy. It was published before as part of a anthology so check to make sure you have not already read it.


A Star-Wheeled SkyA Star-Wheeled Sky by Brad R Torgersen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

There were so many things I did not like about this book. Most of the main characters were killed off leaving only a few to carry on. About carrying on - this just stopped without any resolution to more than one problem. There was a lot of backstory and world building taking up a lot of the book. It was interesting but could have been edited down. At time I had to make myself keep reading. I will watch to see what happens next as this must be the start of a series. Maybe with everything set up the next book will be better.

I received a free copy of the book in return for an honest review.

View all my reviews

Short and Sweet Book Review # 326 - Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

Skyward (Skyward, #1)Skyward by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really loved Spensa (Call Sign Spin) and surprisingly I also identified with her. Why the surprise. Spensa is a teenager and Skyward is a YA book. I am very far from being a teenager; in fact I am almost 60 years away from that age. So why did I identify. Like Spensa I wanted to be a pilot and also like Spensa I was told I could not. The reasons are different. For Spensa it was the action of her Father and for me it was because I was female. The nice thing is that both of us found a way to our dream.

While that was one thing I loved about the book there were others. Mbot (I listened to the book so may be spelling names wrong) was a great comic relief. The Skyward team had an wonderful mix of characters, I really liked JerkFace who had to live with a call sign that he hated. He is much more than he seems at the first. The plot and the back story take several unexpected turns. There is a very nice finish but I was glad to see this is book one as there is a lot of story left to tell.

It was great to know that Spensa will keep flying. I made my living as a pilot but no longer fly. I do still fly in some of my dreams making my call sign Dreamer.

Suzy Jackson does a great job as the voice of a teenager. She brings the story to life.

View all my reviews

Monday, December 10, 2018

Becoming Magic by Michelle Garren Flye - Virtual Tour and Giveaway



Becoming Magic
by Michelle Garren Flye

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

GENRE:   Contemporary Romance

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

BLURB:

Carole Barnes once believed she would make her own way in Hollywood, but those days are long gone, leaving behind only a dark, slimy secret that Carole has never shared with anyone. Now she hides in the bright sunshine of the Crystal Coast of North Carolina. As far away as she can get from Hollywood. But what to do when Hollywood comes knocking in the form of a sexy movie star?

Connor Wallace has everything going for him—looks, talent, a successful career—but what he really wants is to perform magic on stage. His love of magic leads him back to his mentor Walt Bryson. At first, he’s pleased when Walt suggests his assistant Carole produce a documentary of his transformation from movie star to magician. He’s worked with Carole before—but the ambitious girl who had a crush on him is gone now, leaving a beautiful, withdrawn woman.

It’s the perfect arrangement. Carole knows she can make a success of the movie and Connor wants to work with her. But as they grow closer, Connor determines to find out her secret. Can love overcome the boundaries of fear? Or will Carole’s past return to plague them both?



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

EXCERPT

She reached for a handful of popcorn and her hand brushed his. When she turned her head and met the gaze of the same pair of clear blue eyes as those on the screen, her heart skipped a beat and she froze. For an eternity of a half second, neither of them moved, then he slowly turned his hand over and folded his fingers over hers. “Is this okay?”

“Yes.” She breathed the single word, then added, “And no.”

“No?” He raised his eyebrows.

“I really want some popcorn.” 

“And I still really want to kiss you.” His eyes flickered down to her lips. Then he sighed and released her hand. “I guess one of us should get what they want, huh?”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My Five Go-To Places for Inspiration
By Michelle Garren Flye

Inspiration is hard to come by sometimes, and writers need it all the time, so when writers find those places that do inspire us, we may return often. Here are my top fiveplaces I think of as particularly inspiring to me.

1.    Anywhere on a boat. I took sailing lessons several years ago, and I’ve been on two cruises. The combination has convinced me that if I could have a boat big enough for an office for me, I could write nonstop. Fortunately, I live on the coast of North Carolina, so there’s usually a boat I can hop on for a quick ride, even if it’s just a ferryboat. 
2.    Las Vegas, baby! I would never have believed it, but this city is full of a gritty, neon-kind of magic. It may be the city’s storied history or it may be a kind of show girl glitter, but either way, I love visiting this city, and I usually come away with an idea or two.
3.    Our local community theater. The Masonic Theatre in New Bern, N.C., was first introduced to me by my five-year-old daughter who was a starfish in the play “Little Mermaid, Jr.” Since then, she’s been in several plays there, I’ve been in two with her, and we’ve both gone to see many more. It’s a wonderful, historic, haunted (but not really), magical place and it’s inspired at least one of my books, and will no doubt inspire more. I would love to set up an office backstage or up in the balcony or just in the back row and write away.
4.    The beach. I love walking on the beach with the waves lapping at my feet, whether it’s in June or January. And I can imagine that Blackbeard once trod on those same sands…
5.    My office. Yep. I love to travel, but I also love being at home, and I have a perfect office. I have bookshelves full of my favorite books, from Edgar Allan Poe to Hans Christian Andersen. And a delightful collection of toys and knickknacks that I’ve accumulated over time and from dozens of places. There’s a little china swan from my trip to Germany with my son and all the pictures my family has had made on our trips to Disney World, starting with the one from my honeymoon in 1995. Yes, this office is my haven and it’s full of inspiration for me.


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

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Michelle Garren Flye is an award-winning romance author of eleven novels and counting. Her short stories have been published by the romance anthology Foreign Affairs, Opium.com, SmokelongQuarterly.com and Flashquake.com, among others. She has served on the editorial staffs of Horror Library, Butcher Shop Quartet and Tattered Souls. Michelle has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is the mother of three and lives in North Carolina.

Links:
Blog: BREATHE: http://michellegflye.com

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

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION 

Michelle Garren Flye will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 325 - Wish Upon a Duke by Erica Ridley, Five Planes by Melissa Scott

Wish Upon a Duke (12 Dukes of Christmas, #3)Wish Upon a Duke by Erica Ridley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another addition to this fun series. While the story if full of fun it also addresses a series problem. Gloria Godwin is ruled by her fears. She takes pretend trips but never leaves the safety of her village. Along came Christopher Pringle who is looking for a bride to travel the world at his side. Of course the two fall in love. I liked how Erica Ridley went about finding a solution to the problem the two faced. A fun read and a fun romance.

I received a free copy of the book in return for an honest review.


Five Planes: The Rule of Five Season 1Five Planes: The Rule of Five Season 1 by Melissa Scott
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have to admit - I was confused a lot of the time as I read this. Five Planes are pocket universes that humans have settled. There is travel between the five and each has its own flavor. There is a lot of world building, character development and back story. The story jumps between characters and planes. Most of this is build up to the next book in the series. The story just stops and I was left hanging. I will look for the next book to see just exactly where the plot is leading.

I received a free copy of the book in return for an honest review.

View all my reviews

Friday, December 7, 2018

Assassin's Honor by Gail Z Martin - Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway




Assassin's Honor
by Gail Z. Martin

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

GENRE: Epic Fantasy
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

Buddy flick epic fantasy! Joel Breckenridge and Garrett Kennard are King's Shadows, elite assassins serving the crown of Landria. When a shadowy itinerant holy man starts captivates the nobility with treasonous whispers, Ridge and Rett go rogue to stop the threat, save the kingdom and protect the king--while landing on the 'Most Wanted' list themselves.

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

EXCERPT

Breaking glass and the crack of gunfire were Ridge’s signal to move, as Destwiler’s skull exploded from the matchlock’s shot, spattering the crate of weapons with blood and bone. The boy screamed in terror, a thin, shrill sound.

Ridge spun around, grabbing two throwing knives from the top of the stash in the box and had them hilt-deep in each guard’s ribs before their swords cleared their scabbards. He dropped the heavy crossbar to lock the door to the office, and dodged back to the box of weapons, reclaiming his own array of swords and knives before teasing out a long fuse from the bottom of the crate. Then he strode over to Destwiler’s corpse and pulled the key and its strap around what was left of the man’s head.

Ridge removed the warrant from inside his vest and read out the charges as required by law. “Roan Destwiler. By order of King Kristoph of Landria, you stand condemned of crimes against the kingdom and the throne too numerous to note, but most grievously the kidnapping of Kelvin, son of Thad, Lord of Wendover. You are sentenced to death, summary execution, without notice or reprieve.”

He rolled the warrant up and tucked it into Destwiler’s bloody vest, a formality. Ridge bent down to search Destwiler’s pockets, curling his lip at the still-warm blood that soaked the shoulders and sleeves of the man’s coat. He found a parchment note tucked beneath the vest and took it to read later.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Creating Worlds

By Gail Z. Martin

Assassin’s Honor is the first in the new buddy flick epic fantasy series, Assassins of Landria. It’s my fourth epic fantasy series (Chronicles of the Necromancer, Ascendant Kingdoms, Darkhurst), and each series takes place in a different imagined world, with completely different religions, magical systems, and political/economic structures. 

I also write three urban fantasy series (Deadly Curiosities, Night Vigil, and co-authored with Larry N. Martin, Spells Salt and Steel) and co-author an alternate history series. Then as Morgan Brice, I write two more urban fantasy MM paranormal romance series. Unlike with the epic fantasy series, all of my urban fantasy series exist in the the same shared universe, so the characters interact and the same rules apply to all the series. The alternate history series will have a crossover companion series next year. 

That’s a lot of world building. Fortunately, I think world building is one of the most fun parts of being an author. I don’t write lengthy binders full of minutia, although I do jot notes to myself, and my husband (who is very active behind the scenes and as a frequent co-author) has begun keeping a bare-bones set of series bibles. I do try to make the differences clear, distinguishable and important, because the world building has to serve the story, not the other way around.

So with that in mind, here are my five key elements for effective world building:

#5 — Make changes that matter, not change for the sake of change. Whether the world you’re creating is medieval, modern, Victorian, futuristic or something else, be intentional about what you decide to change. How will those changes affect the characters and the story? How do they affect the way people in that world think about their environment and themselves? How do those changed elements affect the actions people choose to take? If the changes are just window dressing or just showing off clever ideas, it’s a distraction from the actual storytelling.

So in Assassin’s Honor, my main characters are King’s Shadows—elite assassins who deliver the justice of the king against bad guys who haven’t been captured any other way. The how and why Ridge and Rett became assassins and what that means for how they perceive themselves is an important element of the story.

#4–Think about how the world you’ve created shapes your characters. Ask what it would be like to grow up in that world, what options it would make you see or hide from you, who would have an advantage or privilege, and who wouldn’t. 

Ridge and Rett were orphans, for whom going into the military was their only real chance to make a living. Their childhood friendship has created a bond between them that makes them the only two assassins who hunt together—and who have the highest kill record in the corp. Rett’s forbidden magic threatens not only their job as assassins, but could get them killed if the wrong people found out.

#3–Use familiar touchpoints to keep the reader grounded and help them quickly get oriented. In other words, when there isn’t a good reason to make something different, keeping the familiar will help readers not feel lost and overwhelmed. 

Landria has a king and an aristocracy, which by themselves aren’t unusual in any way. What IS unusual is that magic exists but it’s forbidden except to the priests, the King’s Shadows act as the official justice-bearers of the monarch, and that the younger nobles are antsy for more power and excitement, creating an opening for the questionably holy man, Yefim Makary, to exploit. Readers can easily keep up with a few big changes, but if you change too much without good reason, it can be more confusing than enjoyable.

#2–When you create a religion, make sure you understand the ‘mechanics’ of how faith traditions work in the real world. You don’t have to believe in your invented religion or in any religion at all for real, but your worldbuilding will be stronger if you understand how liturgy, luminal spaces, ritual and sacred traditions work so that your created religion will feel authentic.

#1–Magic must always have limits and costs. Familiarizing yourself with the many magical beliefs and traditions in legend and lore will give you plenty to think about when you create your own magical system. But keep your magic user interesting by placing limits on what he/she can do and what price magic requires. That can mean time spent studying, physical limitations, decreased lifespan, owing service to a more powerful entity, or being an outcast, to name a few options, but it keeps your mage from being too powerful, which keeps the story interesting!

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

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Gail Z. Martin writes epic fantasy, urban fantasy and steampunk for Solaris Books, Orbit Books, Falstaff Books, SOL Publishing and Darkwind Press. Vengeance is the second in the new Darkhurst epic fantasy series. Also new is The Dark Road, the second in the Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures series, and Assassin’s Honor (coming, October 2018), the first in the new Assassins of Landria series. 

Her Deadly Curiosities urban fantasy series set in Charleston, SC has a new novel, Tangled Web, and two new collections, Trifles & Folly, and Trifles & Folly 2. 

Other work includes the Chronicles Of The Necromancer series, the Fallen Kings Cycle, the Ascendant Kingdoms series, and the alternate history novel Iron & Blood and the Storm & Fury collection (co-authored with Larry N. Martin) She is also the co-author (with Larry) of the Mark Wojcik monster hunter series (Spells, Salt and Steel) and the upcoming Wasteland Marshals series and the Cauldron/Secret Council series from Falstaff Books.

As Morgan Brice, she writes urban fantasy MM paranormal romance. New and upcoming books include Witchbane, Burn, Dark Rivers, Badlands, and Lucky Town.

Find her at www.GailZMartin.com, on Twitter @GailZMartin, on Facebook.com/WinterKingdoms, at DisquietingVisions.com blog and on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/GailZMartin. She is also the organizer of the #HoldOnToTheLight campaign www.HoldOnToTheLight.com. Join her email update and never miss a new release—plus get great free stories just for signing up! http://eepurl.com/dd5XLj

Buy on Audio, ebook, paperback or free on Kindle Unlimited here: http://a.co/d/aLiSoFi

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
REVIEW

Assassin's Honor is a new fantasy by author Gail Z Martin. This is a fun book from the first page. Our two assassins are Shadows who work as a pair making them very different from most who work solo. This gives them a strength and a weakness. The plot uses all of this to give a exciting ride with interesting characters, a different world, a boat load of tension and danger around every corner. A added plus; this is an epic fantasy without the epic length. There is a solution to part of the danger the two find but the main problem is still around to be dealt with in future books.

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

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION 

Gail Z. Martin will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, December 6, 2018

The Dark Road by Gail Z Martin - Book Blast and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Gail Z. Martin 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.

Jonmarc Vahanian fled from the raiders and monsters that killed his family, but when danger dogs his steps once again, he leaves the traveling caravan that gave him shelter to become a mercenary in nearby Principality. His fighting skills help him rise through the ranks, and draw the attention of a Nargi general—and the general’s undead mage. An old, unsettled score turns deadly, trapping Jonmarc in dangerous intrigue. He can save himself—and betray everything he holds dear—or die a hero as the raider’s curse holds true.

This collection is the second set of short stories and novellas that reveal another phase of Jonmarc’s growth from a blacksmith’s son to becoming one of the greatest warriors in the history of the Winter Kingdoms.

Soldier. Fight slave. Smuggler. Warrior. Brigand Lord. You may have encountered Jonmarc Vahanian in the Chronicles of the Necromancer but you don’t really know him until you walk in his footsteps.

Read an Excerpt

Bad Blood

Sure enough, Peters insisted that the small caravan camp for the night on a field just inside the border of Lord Nemic’s lands.

“It’s still early,” Harrtuck argued. “We could travel another hour, be that much closer to the manor, and arrive before noon.”

“It will do no good for us to arrive exhausted,” Peters sniffed. “We are performers. We must be sufficiently rested. Lord Eston’s orders were clear. We are to provide an excellent performance for Lord Nemic, as befits a gift of this magnitude. We will not drag in like peddlers, half-asleep and unable to give our best showing.”

“We were hired to defend you,” Harrtuck snapped. “And as your guards, I need to warn you that this position is once again too close to the trees and difficult to defend.”

“Deal with it,” Peters replied, eyes narrowing. “We are camping here.”

This time, Harrtuck did not attempt to hide his muttered curses as he stalked away. “Either that man is incredibly stupid, or he wants to be attacked,” he mumbled to Jonmarc when he had returned to where the rest of the War Dogs waited with their horses.

Jonmarc raised an eyebrow. “I’m not questioning his stupidity, but maybe he does want to be attacked—there’s something about this whole thing we don’t know, a piece we’re missing.”

Harrtuck nodded. “Aye. But I can’t figure out what it is.”

About the Author:
Gail Z. Martin writes epic fantasy, urban fantasy and steampunk for Solaris Books, Orbit Books, Falstaff Books, SOL Publishing and Darkwind Press. Vengeance is the second in the new Darkhurst epic fantasy series. Also new is The Dark Road, the second in the Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures series, and Assassin’s Honor (coming, October 2018), the first in the new Assassins of Landria series.

Her Deadly Curiosities urban fantasy series set in Charleston, SC has a new novel, Tangled Web, and two new collections, Trifles & Folly, and Trifles & Folly 2.

Other work includes the Chronicles Of The Necromancer series, the Fallen Kings Cycle, the Ascendant Kingdoms series, and the alternate history novel Iron & Blood and the Storm & Fury collection (co-authored with Larry N. Martin) She is also the co-author (with Larry) of the Mark Wojcik monster hunter series (Spells, Salt and Steel) and the upcoming Wasteland Marshals
series and the Cauldron/Secret Council series from Falstaff Books.

As Morgan Brice, she writes urban fantasy MM paranormal romance. New and upcoming books include Witchbane, Burn, Dark Rivers, Badlands, and Lucky Town.

She is also the organizer of the #HoldOnToTheLight campaign: http://www.HoldOnToTheLight.com.
Join her email update and never miss a new release—plus get great free stories just for signing up! http://eepurl.com/dd5XLj

Website: http://www.GailZMartin.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/GailZMartin
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WinterKingdoms
Blog: http://www.DisquietingVisions.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/GailZMartin

. Buy ebook, paperback or free on Kindle Unlimited here: https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Road-Jonmarc-Vahanian-Collection-ebook/dp/B07H4ZBR1Q/

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

December Books From Netgalley

The Valentine’s Curse by Jodi Thomas 12/18
Not the Duke’s Darling by Elizabeth Hoyt 12/18
Lawman with a Cause by Delores Fossen 12/18
Home to Wind River by Lindsay McKenna  12/18
Out of Time by Monica McCarty 12/31
Unbound by Lance Ertick 12/25
A Moment in Crime by Amanda Allen 12/21

From Edelweiss

A Star-Wheeled Sky by Brad R. Torgeresen 12/04

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Short and Sweet Book # 324 - A Stone Creek Christmas by Linda Lael Miller, Patience fo Christmas by Grace Burrowes

A Stone Creek Christmas  A Cowboy's Wish Upon a Star: An AnthologyA Stone Creek Christmas A Cowboy's Wish Upon a Star: An Anthology by Linda Lael Miller
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A nice story with a twist. Olivia can talk to the animals and her dog often steals the show. This is about family and what is important. Tanner Quinn has faced loss and is trying to keep everything safe. When he arrives in Stone Creek everything changes and he faces what is important and what is not. The romance is at the heart of the story and brings everything into focus.


Patience for ChristmasPatience for Christmas by Grace Burrowes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Patience is a friend of the Windham sisters so there is a tie in to the Windham series. It is set before any of the sisters marry. Patience was ruined and makes her living writing for a local paper. She has an advice column and now there is a compensation between her column and on in another paper. There are two secrets in play and a building romance between the owners of the to columns. I loved how Patience grew and became more independent and how her boss reacted to her growth. A really nice Christmas romance with just a little tension to go with the romance.

I received a free copy of the book in return for an honest review.

View all my reviews

Monday, December 3, 2018

Song of the Boriccua by Olivia Castillo - Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway


Song of the Boricua
by Olivia Castillo

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

GENRE:   Fiction

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

BLURB:


Puerto Rico an island of contradiction, serves as an enchanting backdrop following three generations of women.

Elena:  Resilient and ambitious, but trapped by duty to her children.
Maria:  Passionate and headstrong, but married to a man she does not love. Josephina: Optimistic and romantic, but in love with an alcoholic.
Isabella: Clairvoyant and spiritual, but denies her heritage and roots.

Like the land these women are held hostage, unfulfilled and unable to find their happiness. Each generation like the land is cursed. Can they defy the powerful bond of the curse and free themselves to find love everlasting?

New Author, Olivia Castillo, like the jibaros of the past weaves a tale of sorrow and joy. Castillos' fiction is timely, offering a glimpse into the islands rich history and offering insight into the story that has plagued women for all of time, the search for true love and acceptance of self.


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

EXCERPT

Elena
Bayamón, Puerto Rico, May 1937
During those late-night hours, the old fort was deserted, with the exception of a few amorous couples who embraced in dark corners, not caring if they were seen. From the top of El Morro, she would stare out in awe at the vast, black, beautiful sea, waves breaking along the rocks, stars bright above her.

The melody of the coquí kept her company and she promised herself and God that someday she would finish school. The spirit of her grandmother’s Taino ancestors filled her and she felt at peace, knowing that her grandmother was watching over her. One balmy night as she was coming back from one of these walks, she was startled by a low whistle behind her.

Regretting that she had ignored her mother’s warnings about being out so late, she swiftly removed her shoe to use as a weapon. She spun around to see who the culprit was and what she saw left her speechless.

An older, sophisticated man smiled at her, white teeth flashing in the dim Spanish streetlamp.
He was impeccably groomed, from his black brillian- tine hair and thin, polished mustache down to his shiny black patent-leather shoes. He was dressed in a white suit, with a white fedora cocked down over one eye.

She stood there, dumbfounded. Her experience with men had been limited to her father and a handful of childhood crushes. The man looked her up and down like a cat ready to eat a canary.

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

I asked Olivia  

Where are five places you might visit for inspiration for your books? 

Here are her answers:

I would visit Eze in South of France, Paris, Tuscany, Morocco, and India.

I love to travel. I have been blessed to visit many amazing and beautiful places in the world. Some of the places that I have had the fortune to visit are Eze, Paris, Tuscany, Morocco, and India. The first three I have visited; the last two are still on my bucket list.

Eze is first on my list because it is one of my favorite places in the world. I visited in 2012 with my husband who at the time was my fiancé. 

We had to climb steps to get to our hotel, the Relais and Chateau. It was high on the cliff and ascending up we went through an old medieval, cobblestone village. The day was exceptionally clear and beautiful. When we got to the top it was breathtaking. It felt like a dream with the crisp air and brilliant azure ocean before us. I would have loved to have lived there for a year and do nothing, but write.

Paris would be my next favorite place. It is one of the most romantic places in the world. The streets are filled with festive Parisians everywhere. The arrondissement, Montmartre, was particularly amazing. Music was everywhere, and artists were busily painting and selling their works.

Tuscany is another inspirational place. I stayed in the beautiful town of San Gimignano in Florence, Italy. If I were to go there to write, every morning I would open my wooden shutters and listen to the church bells ringing.

The other two, Morocco and India, sound breathtaking. I’ve read about the lemon scented nights in Morocco and of course in India there is the most romantic palace in the world, the Taj Mahal--the palace made for love, made in love. How can one not be inspired?

These are all the places that would inspire even the least creative person.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~
AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Olivia Castillo is a New York native. After going to the prestigious Fiorello H. Laguardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, she went on to study graphic design at Otis Parson's College in Los Angeles. Along with being an entrepreneur, she is the mother of three children, and grandmother of two. When not writing or spending time with her family, she travels the world and paints. Song of the Boricua is her first novel.

Author website and blog:  www.oliviacastillo.org
Buy on Amazon now:  https://amzn.to/2P63Wh9

The book will be on sale for $0.99.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION 

Olivia Castillo will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 323 - The Duke That I Marry by Kathy Maxwell, The Good, the Bad and the Duke by Janna MacGregor

The Duke That I Marry (Spinster Heiresses, #3)The Duke That I Marry by Cathy Maxwell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It takes time to find out that you are made for each other. Nice ending to the Spinster Heiresses series. Willa wants what her friends have while Matthew needs money to keep his estate going. There was tensions and an added danger to their marriage. A nice mix of romance, misunderstanding and danger keeping the tension high. I liked how both worked to make their marriage work. Each admitting to some mistakes.



The Good, the Bad, and the Duke (The Cavensham Heiresses #4)The Good, the Bad, and the Duke by Janna MacGregor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An interesting play on Home Alone. For these two it means they have time alone. Daphne and Paul have a long history. Unfortunately for Paul it is full of mistakes that have turned friends to enemies. What he does not know is that Daphne sees him in a very different light from the rest of her family. A nice set up for turning Paul from a villain to lover. There is a element of tension and danger in the story leading to the interaction between the two. A fun plot with plenty of romance, tension, danger and great characters to keep the story going.

I received a free copy of the book in return for an honest review.

View all my reviews

Thursday, November 29, 2018

An Alien Exchange by Keri Kruspe - Book Blast and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Keri Kruspe 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.

Aimee Gwiazdowski has a passion for Alien Abduction romance stories. She vicariously lives through the heroines of her books to escape her lonely, loveless life. Until one morning, she wakes up in a strange, white room where an alluring voice invites her to the “Exchange” to find love and adventure in another world. Did she dare believe it? Could she leave everything behind and take a chance to become one of those heroines who finds true love among the stars?

Exiled Prince Qayyum E’etu and commander of the space vessel StarChance has a mission—transport the human women to the Exchange along with an offer he can’t refuse: find evidence against rumored human trafficking connected with the Exchange. If he can successfully bring the traitors back to Zerin for justice, it would give him a chance to return home. How was he supposed to know that meeting a human woman would put everything he was working for in jeopardy?

As unforeseen evil slowly brews discord within the galaxy, it works to tear Aimee and Qay further apart. If they don’t learn to overcome their fears and trust the love they have for each other, the coming cataclysm will devastate not only Zerin, but Earth as well.

An Alien Exchange is the first book in a sci-fi romance that features intergalactic action, engrossing plots, and courageous individuals. If you like fast-paced action, raw emotions, and sexy aliens, you’ll love this new space adventure.

Dedication

I dedicate this book to those who are alone in a crowd. To those who are desperately trying to right a wrong they’ve done in the past. Sometimes taking a chance may seem crazy, but you’ll never know until you try.

Read an Excerpt

Then he did the most unexpected thing. His eyes left hers to fixate on her lips before his mouth covered hers. His tongue stroked over her, gentle and tentative as if asking for permission. Then, a switch flipped, the kiss deepened with bold sweeps in a masculine demand.

What in the world was that flavor? Spicy sweetness, like the tang of nutmeg mixed with an unknown taste of pure masculine bite. Delicious. She opened her mouth and welcomed him in.

It was all the encouragement he needed. His tongue swooped through with masterful determination. His body sidled over her side, his soft linen shirt rubbing enticingly against the naked skin of her stomach.

Lost…she was lost in an overload of sensation. When he pulled back and broke their connection, she whimpered in disappointment.

“Yes, Aimee, give yourself to me—to us.” His husky whisper fueled her passions to a higher level.

Before his words seeped through her befuddled mind, he resumed their mind-blowing kiss. As his tongue lavished over hers, she returned the favor. His mouth was an intoxicating hint of savory goodness and she wanted more. She whimpered as she raised her head to get closer. Stroking, sucking, caressing, and absorbing the rush he gave her.

Her body shivered in reaction. The intense emotion scared her.

She broke away. She couldn’t think. How stupid was she to let this go on? She couldn’t be more embarrassed if she stood in a room full of strangers stark naked.

Review:

What happens when your dream turns into a nightmare. That is what happened to Aimee Gwiazdowski.  Her love of alien abductions stories became a reality and she did meet her mate it just did not go as expected. This turns the alien trope abduction upside down. Aimee has to be very strong and save herself. An Alien Exchange has great characters, is full of danger, tension, romance and many, many misunderstandings. I loved how the Exchange featured as side characters many of the aliens found in science fiction romance books. It added to the flavor of the story. First in a new trilogy I will be looking for the next book in the series.


About the Author:
“Author of otherworldly romantic adventures”

A writer since the age of twelve, Keri Kruspe has always been fascinated with otherworldly stories that end with the dream of Happily Ever After.

A native Nevadan, Keri resides with her family in the wilds of Northwest Michigan where she enjoys the stark change in seasons and the pleasures each one brings. An avid reader, Keri loves an enjoyable bottle of red wine, a variety of delicious foods and watching action/adventure movies…usually at the same time. You can find her most days immersed in her fantasy world on her latest novel while foot tappin’ to classic rock. When not absorbed in her writing, Keri works alongside her husband in building their dream home or discovering intelligent life in America in their RV.

Why I wrote this book

I was reading one of my favorite Sci-fi romances on my electronic reader after watching the latest’s news about computer hacking. It got me thinking…what if aliens hacked into my reading habits to find someone like me who liked alien romances. Wouldn’t that be a perfect way to find women who might be willing to leaving Earth to find love among the stars…

I envisioned Star Wars meets Pretty women. And that, they say, was that. My story “An Alien Exchange” was born.

The book is on sale for $0.99 during the tour.

Buy An Alien Exchange to experience the first installment of this exciting trilogy!

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Alien-Exchange-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B07JDRH6GR/ref=sr_1_1
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/an-alien-exchange-keri-kruspe/1129746931
Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/an-alien-exchange/id1438985680
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/an-alien-exchange

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/klkruspe15
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lakezipper77/
https://www.kerikruspe.com/
https://twitter.com/authorkkruspe
https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/26000075-keri-kruspe

a Rafflecopter giveaway