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The Wars Between Us

 
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The Wars Between Us (The Olason Chronicles) by J.A. Boulet
 
Publication Date: June 18th, 2021
Genre: Historical Fiction/ Historical Romance
 
Meet Zachary Olason, a bad boy struggling on the brink of alcoholism. During the Great Depression, Zack loses himself and spirals into nights of debauchery, riots and drunkenness. His twin brother, Adam, thinks lowly of him as his entire family struggles to help him.
 
But Zack is determined to make a mess of his life.
 
Until he meets a beautiful petite woman, half Cree and part British, who helps him to grow into a better version of himself.
 
Then just as he thinks life is getting better, he sinks to the bottom of hell. Will he survive from his own self-destruction?
 
The only way he sees out is to join the Canadian Navy.
 
The Battle of the Atlantic will either teach him or break him.
 
 
THE WARS BETWEEN US
 
With action packed adrenaline and steamy love scenes, The Wars Between Us will keep you gripped to your seat on a ride of addiction, unwavering love and the fight to stay alive during WWII.
 
Twitter Tags: @love_walk_life @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours
IG Tags: @jabouletauthor @shannon_rrbooktours #thewarsbetweenus #rrbooktours
 
 
About the Author
 
 

J A Boulet was born and raised in Western Canada. Both her parents were landed immigrants from Hungary, a direct result of the mass emigration during the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. J A Boulet was born many years later as a Generation Xer and, more importantly, a first-generation Canadian.

She started writing poetry at the age of five. As she grew older, her high school teachers; noticing her talent, strongly encouraged her to write. She began writing short stories and astonished her teachers. During high school, she was intensely interested in Shakespeare and was often found reading with a book always in her hands.

Many years later, she finished writing several poetry collections, with romantic and major life event themes. She soon won poetry contests, participating in several poet strolls and was published in numerous poetry anthologies.

J A Boulet later wrote her first historical fiction novel, based in Budapest during WWII. She finished and copyrighted this rough first novel. It wasn’t perfect but the seeds of history were planted.

J A Boulet is currently active with several writer’s groups and colleges. She attended Photojournalism at Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Calgary, Alberta.

Recently, she has published her newest historical fiction novel in The Olason Chronicles series, The Strong Amongst Us, an epic story beginning in 1875 following Icelandic explorers in Canada. The sequel, The Strong Within Us, is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2020.

J A Boulet lives in Canada with her two teenage sons and a crested gecko named Mossio. They spend their summers at their cottage on Lake Winnipeg, the area that inspired J A Boulet to write her two most recent novels. 

Follow her on Twitter, Reddit and Instagram for random excerpts and posts on history, love, fitness and relationships. Her Amazon author page can be found at Amazon Author Page Subscribe here for updates and special book offers.

 
I would like to thank R&R Book Tours for the opportunity to share this book.
 

YA Paranormal Mystery

Date Published: May 25, 2021

Publisher: Fire & Ice Young Adult & New Adult Books

 

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When Meghan’s mother suddenly disappears without a trace, she and her two little sisters are the first to notice, and the only ones who seem to care…

The problem, of course, is that her mother likes to party, so when she goes missing, Meghan not only has to take care of everything at home, but she also has to search for her, because her mom has a bad habit of disappearing, so no one else is officially looking. That is until Meghan begins to receive mysterious messages, almost as if someone or something is guiding her to a haunted hotel in Manhattan, where people say an elevator game will take riders to the mysterious 13th floor. Some say it’s an entrance to hell, others a portal to another dimension. Either way, Meghan must brave the game in hopes of discovering the truth behind her mother’s disappearance.

Purchase Links

Amazon     Barnes and Noble     Kobo     Smashwords

iBooks     Google Play     Goodreads     Scribd

About the Author

Winter is an award-winning author who lives in the moment and loves nothing more than being surrounded by her family, her fur-babies, and a ton of great reads! When she doesn’t have her nose stuck in a book, she’s usually thinking up far away, fantastical worlds or she’s cooking up a storm in the kitchen!

Because of her love for all things literary, Winter pursued a Master of Arts degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. Professionally, she is a manuscript editor and, in her spare time, she enjoys posting book and movie reviews.

In her private time, she is an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, and paranormal romances, and one day she hopes to inspire young readers in the same way her favorite authors continue to inspire her today.

Contact Links

Amazon Author Central     Facebook     Goodreads     Instagram     NetGalley

Pinterest     Twitter     Website     YouTube Channel

My Review

4 stars

Meghan Martin has just sworn into the Air Force. She has found her way out of her little town. But she is worried for her two younger sisters. Meghan’s mother has some issues and the main one is wasting money, addiction, and guys. This has led to Meghan stepping up and taking care of her sisters and running the house.

This also means that only Meghan will go looking for her. What she finds is the Bowery Hotel and a secret elevator game that will take you to the 13th floor. But the 13th floor is not what she expected, and she may not be able to save her mom this time.

I liked this story. There were a couple times the pace slowed and I found myself wandering. But I like the mystery and the ending was a good twist. I felt for Meghan and how she was wanting to escape her current life. Although tough, the path to find her mother was one heck of a ride.

I think that anyone that likes mysteries with a paranormal twist will like this book. It is the first book I have read by Winter Lawrence but it will definitely not be my last.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

Enter HERE for your chance to win an eBook copy of The Message on the 13th Floor.

RABT Book Tours & PR
I would like to thank RABT Book Tours and PR for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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Champion’s Quest: The Die of Destiny

Publication Date: 8/3/21
Hardcover

ISBN: 978-1-62972-850-6

Retail Price: $17.99

Page Count: 304

Juvenile Fiction / Fantasy & Magic

Cover Illustration: Owen Richardson

Book Design: © Shadow Mountain

Art Direction: Richard Erickson

Design: Sheryl Dickert Smith

 

Synopsis:

Opportunity will always be within reach for those clever enough to claim it.

Lucas Silver’s life is about to change. He thinks it’s because he’s made plans to escape from his foster home and make his way to New York, but then he and some unlikely friends find Hob and Bogie’s Curiosity Shoppe and agree to play a game of Champion’s Quest.

When the four kids walk out the front door of the Curiosity Shoppe, they immediately discover they’re no longer in West Virginia, but transported into the game and a wild fantasy world of dangerous goblins, brutish ogres, and a powerful witch.

They must work together as a team, overcome their real-world weaknesses, and believe in themselves and each other if they are to outwit, outplay, and survive their foes in this ultimate quest to defeat a treacherous monster.

Amazon     Barnes and Noble     Goodreads

About the Author

FRANK L. COLE was born into a family of southern storytellers and wrote his first book at age eight. Some of his favorite stories involve ghosts and Bigfoot. Currently, along with his wife and three children,  he resides in the shadow of a majestic western mountain range. The Die of Destiny is Frank’s thirteenth published book.

He’s an active promoter of reading and using imagination and has presented to more than 250 schools nationwide. As part of his research for Champion’s Quest, he has acquired hundreds of role-playing campaign modules and loves immersing himself in those worlds.

Website     Facebook     Twitter

For author interview requests, please contact Callie Hansen at chansen@shadowmountain.com

Advanced Praise:

 The Die of Destiny may be one of my favorite reads of the year. I was hooked from page one. With adventure, humor, friendship, and courage, readers will love this middle grade fantasy! By the end, my only question, was ‘Where’s the next book?’”

—Jennifer Nielsen, New York Times best-selling author

My Review

5 stars

Lucas Silver has had enough of foster homes and plans on escaping and heading to New York. But he is not alone, Miles, Jasmine and Vanessa go along with him. As they start their adventure, they find themselves in Hob and Bogies Curiosity Shoppe. There they agree to join a game of Champions Quest. When they group go to leave the curiosity shop, they find themselves in a real-life game of Champion Quest.

Lucas, Vanessa, Miles, and Jasmine are a group of kids that have nothing in common except they find themselves fighting goblins and witches. Lucas and Miles are from the foster home and are best friends and must work through their lack of self-confidence and other issues. Vanessa’s parents own the foster home and has a serious chip on her shoulder. Jasmine is the new girl in school.

The back of the book has a note about it being a combination of Jumanji and D&D, this is a perfect description of this book. I can’t blame the kids for wanting to escape their current situations, I would want to escape myself. Each kid has their own things going on in their lives and I just love watching them come together as a little family throughout their adventures.

This is a great story and I think kids of all ages will enjoy it. I hope they find a little of themselves in at least one of the characters and find an adventure to escape their own world for a while.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Shadow Mountain Publishing for the opportunity to read and share this book.

Cat Walk

catwalk

I’m thrilled to share this new book with you all today! Catwalk is a coming-of-age NA (Mature YA) novel by Nicole Gabor! Read on for more details and a chance to win a signed copy of the book AND a $25 Amazon e-Gift Card!

Catwalk_EbookCoverCatwalk

Publication Date: July 6th, 2021

Genre: YA/ NA Contemporary/ Fashion/ Modeling/ Coming-of-Age

Eighteen-year-old, shy, suburban aspiring model Cat Watson suddenly has it all as the New York fashion world’s new “It” girl and she thinks she has everything she ever dreamed of—until she realizes be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.

Leaving her good-girl image behind, Cat quickly learns things aren’t always what they seem on the catwalk, and she’s faced with a decision that will change her life forever.

WILMINGTON, Delaware, April 2021

When 18-year-old Catherine Watson disobeys her parents and ditches her Ivy-league acceptance to start fresh as an aspiring model in New York City, a chance encounter with fashion world bigwigs gives her a world-class agent plus a boyfriend she only dreamed about. But as she navigates the fickle world of modeling, she realizes that to get ahead, she’ll have to leave herself behind—but is it worth it? Catwalk is an expertly written tale of first love, coming of age, and high-fashion, from award-winning author and editor Nicole Gabor, inspired by her own experiences as a runway model.

In her suburban hometown, Catherine had what most would consider a charmed life: a 4.0 GPA, a good-guy boyfriend who had his whole life planned out down to the two kids, two dogs, two-car garage—and it scared her to death. She wasn’t ready to follow a traditional path to a paint-by-numbers existence. She longed for adventure, for a life less…ordinary. When Catherine moves away to pursue her modeling dream in New York City and moves in with Jon-Michelle “Jonnie” who tackles the newly-named “Cat” as “her next project,” she revels in her newfound career, thinking “this is what it’s like to be young and beautiful in the greatest city in the world.”

“At that moment, it hit me. I was a mere mortal in a room full of demigods: actors, actresses, bygone legends of the stage and screen; men and women who had traipsed down red carpets all of their lives, whom the rest of the country, no, the world, had pined for, had paid to know the secrets of. Here I was standing among them, cavorting with twenty-first century royals.”

Cat meets Seth, a beautiful and kind but troubled New York scenester, the son of a ‘70s fashion model icon who fatally overdosed during her prime, and she feels strangely protective. She wants to save him like he saved her on her first night out on the town in New York City’s gritty yet swanky meatpacking district club scene.

When Cat is “discovered” by the one and only Philippe Borghetta, the hottest fashion designer in the pages of Vogue magazine, she thinks she has it all. Her life is thrust into an alternate universe, where star-studded cocktail parties, casting calls, go-sees, and nightclub openings revolve around her like constellations. She tries to play the part. Her former self, “Catherine,” was now a shadow of who she was and what she was becoming.

Cat thinks she’s finally gotten what she wanted all along—a chance to start over, a redo, a refresh. But as the lines blur between who she once was and who she wants to be, she’s reminded of her mother’s words, “Sometimes the things that are most worth fighting for are the things you already have.” Cat finds she has to make a decision that will change her life—and possibly the modeling world—forever.

Drawing on her own experiences in the fast-paced fashion model industry, former model and author of more than twenty children’s books, Nicole Gabor masterfully weaves a timeless story of self-discovery, coming of age, and the heartache of first loves. Catwalk is her debut young adult/new adult novel, available in Summer 2021 wherever books are sold.

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Excerpt

“She was discovered! Discovered by Philippe!” Clive, my new agent (yes, agent!) at Icon, chimed into the phone as I walked into his office to get my daily appointments in late-September.

“Yes, she is booked for the spring show and Philippe’s fall print campaign … Fashion week? Booked solid!” he said, winking at me. “Sorry, honey, she’s in high demand. But for you, maybe we could work something out. Say, time and a half?”

Time and a half? Ohmigod. I still couldn’t believe the turn of events here. This man was talking about me, Catherine Watson, and not some other incredibly fortunate girl.

Pinch me. Smack me. Punch me!

“Oh, she can’t walk out of the house for twice that! … I know, I know, but I’m telling you, she’s gonna be huge! Remember Fosgate?”

The last three weeks had thrust me into an alternate universe, where star-studded cocktail parties, casting calls, go-sees, and nightclub openings revolved around me like constellations. I tried to play along and not think about the catalyst of this sudden success — that fact that I was running around with the son of the dead woman I supposedly resembled. Given its Freudian implications, it wasn’t something I really wanted to dwell on.

Sitting there, waiting for Clive to get off the phone (yes, Clive of the “we have no place for you here” notoriety), I let my mind wander, reimaging for the three-hundredth time the scene in the Icon offices when, weeks earlier, Philippe’s personal assistant called up to ask if I was available for the showing of his spring collection at Fashion Week.

Jaws dropped, eyebrows arched, and coffee cups tumbled, no doubt. Wasn’t I that forgettable girl they had dared to take a chance on to appease their star, Jonnie, only days earlier? My god, yes.

Then miraculously and all at once, as if a fairy godmother had sprinkled dewdrops and glitter into the eyes of all who gazed upon me, I became the most enchanting creature, one worthy of the Icon name. Before I could ask for it, I had a portfolio with my name emblazoned on the cover, a new iPhone filled with go-see appointments, blond highlights framing my face, and hair extensions that would make the Kardashians jealous. I, Catherine Watson, had been “made.” AGH!

But perhaps most unbelievable of all, I had a new name: Cat.

“It’s hip, modern,” Clive had said.

Catherine, on the other hand, was what he called “stuffy, boring, old,” a person his mother would watch on PBS. There’s no denying that. In junior high, I tried shortening my name to Cate, but at the time Cate Winters (the most popular girl in 8th grade) was already a Cate with a “C” and there was no way a peon like me was going to steal her nickname. So, since Cate with a “C” was ruined for me, “Cat” seemed a welcome change.

It was all part of the branding process, Clive said. “Babe, you exude youth and innocence. It’s refreshing! I can read the headlines now: ‘Plucked from Obscurity!'”

Not completely true, but evidently we weren’t going for truth here.

“We’re gonna make you the girl next door, the one out in hicksville driving all the boys crazy with her kitty cat eyes …”

I was excited, but somehow listening to a balding, fat man say “kitty cat eyes” made me want to puke.

“So, I know you’ve got the good girl thing down pat, but you’re going to have to get a little naughty.”

“Naughty?” I said, hoping I misheard him and this wasn’t really the premise for a Hallmark movie.

“Step it up a bit,” he said. “Nice girls with no edge get nowhere in fashion.”

He handed over the contract — about 10 pages of tiny text. I flipped through it, trying to absorb all the information in the five-minute window he had allotted for this purpose.

“It’s standard,” he said. “We get a cut from each job you take, you take home the rest.”

I’d never had to sign something so official-looking before.

“Is it nonbinding?” I asked, having heard my father talk about contracts before and trying to appear in the know.

“Look, it’s what all our girls sign,” he said, slightly annoyed by my dilly-dallying. “Do you need more time? ‘Cause you gotta run if you’re going to make your go-sees in Midtown.”

A part of me wanted to hold back. I knew I should go over the contract with my father, but Clive wouldn’t have gone for that. That was part of the “little girl” mentality I was going to have to shed. I held my breath and signed on the dotted line.

Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | Target

About the Author

PIC.Gabor

Nicole is a published author of more than twenty children’s picture books and an award-winning health writer and editor. Her debut young adult/new adult fiction novel Catwalk, is inspired by her experiences living and working in New York City as a model. Nicole is also a contributor at Highlights for Children and a senior editor at KidsHealth.org, the Web’s most-visited site for children’s health. She lives in Delaware with her husband, three young children, and their Goldendoodle named Ginger.

Nicole Gabor | Twitter | Instagram

catwalk

Book Tour Schedule

July 12th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight)

@books_n_yogapants (Review)

@isbn_reading (Review)

Gina Rae Mitchell (Spotlight)

July 13th

Nesie’s Place (Spotlight)

B is for Book Review (Spotlight)

@bookloverleah (Review)

Banshee Irish Horror Blog (Review)

July 14th

The Faerie Review (Spotlight)

@princessreadsalot (Review)

Breakeven Books (Spotlight)

July 15th

@tiny.bibliophile (Review)

Rambling Mads (Spotlight)

Sophril Reads (Spotlight)

@booknerdkat (Review)

@booklymatters (Review)

July 16th

J Bronder Book Reviews (Spotlight)

 @bookishqueendom (Spotlight)

Liliyana Shadowlyn (Review)

Misty’s Book Space (Review)

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International Giveaway: Signed Copy of Catwalk & a $25 Amazon e-Gift Card

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Book Tour Organized By:

R&R Button

I would like to thank R&R Book Tours for the opportunity to share this book.

Grace in Hollywood

Join us for this tour from June 22 to July 19, 2021!

Book Details:   

Book Title:  Grace in Hollywood – A Grace Michelle Mystery by Kari Bovee
CategoryAdult Fiction (18 +), 336 pages
GenreHistorical Mystery
Publisher:  Bosque Publishing
Release date:   May 25, 2021
Content Rating PG + MBook has mature themes; adultery, murder, bigamy, but there is no bad language.

Book Description:

All that glitters… is sometimes blood. With her golden ticket buried in the ground, can she save a wrongly accused teen from the gallows?
Hollywood, 1924. Promoted to lead costume designer of a star-studded film, Grace Michelle should be on top of the world. But between her husband’s debt, her sister’s recent death, and the troubled teenaged girl she’s fostering, she’s struggling to please everyone and still keep a smile on her face. And when a Tinseltown shindig turns deadly, Grace is horrified to discover her young charge unconscious alongside the director’s grisly corpse.

Determined to prove the girl’s innocence, Grace’s own haunted past fills her sleep with prophetic nightmares. And no sooner has she sought clarity from a medium than a second body lands the scared teenager in the slammer.

Can Grace turn the camera on the real culprit before another victim ends up on the cutting room floor?

Grace in Hollywood is the second book in the riveting A Grace Michelle Mystery historical series. If you like fiercely loyal heroines, thrilling whodunits, and the magic of old cinema, then you’ll love Kari Bovee’s enthralling tale.

BUY THE BOOK:
Amazon
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Also Available for Your Mystery-Reading Pleasure: 

 

Book Details:

Book Title: Grace in the Wings – A Grace Michelle Mystery by Kari Bovee
CategoryAdult Fiction (18 +), 340
Genre
Historical Mystery
Publisher:  Bosque Publishing
Release date:   September 19, 2019
Format available for review e-book (mobi file (for Kindle), ePub, )
Will send print books out:  USA
Content Rating PG + MBook has mature themes; adultery, murder, bigamy, but there is no bad language. 


Book Description:
 

A ghost from her past. Her sister murdered. Can Grace slay her demons and find the killer before she ends up dead?
New York City, 1920. Grace Michelle has everything she wants: a home, a family, and a future career as a costume designer for famed showman Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr.’s Ziegfeld Follies. Pretty good for a girl who once lived on the streets of New York City. But when her sister, Sophia, the star of the show, is murdered, Grace’s safe and protected life is shattered.

Battle-scarred by the war and emotionally scarred by his past, Chet Riker has made it a practice to keep his distance from others; love, after all, leads only to pain. But Chet has a problem—a big one: he’s become indebted to mob-boss Joe Marciano in an attempt to save his estranged mother’s life, and Marciano wants him to pay up or else. Desperate to get the money, he contacts former client Florenz Ziegfeld for work.

Soon, Chet finds himself playing bodyguard for introverted Grace, who has reluctantly agreed to be Ziegfeld’s new leading lady—on the condition that Ziegfeld promises to find Sophia’s killer. Upon meeting Grace, Chet quickly finds his hardened theory that love equals pain tested. Grace, meanwhile, is swept up in a life she never wanted as the Follies’ star, and as the pawn in a series of publicity stunts during a transcontinental train trip to California that puts her life at risk. Who would want her and Sophia dead? Together, she and Chet must confront publicity-hungry Florenz Ziegfeld, power-driven Joe Marciano, and their own pasts to find Sophia’s killer—and let themselves love once again.

BUY THE BOOK:
Amazon
Add to Goodreads

Meet the Author:

When she’s not on a horse, or walking along the beautiful cottonwood-laden acequias of Corrales, New Mexico; or basking on white sand beaches under the Big Island Hawaiian sun, Kari Bovee is escaping into the past—scheming murder and mayhem for her characters both real and imagined, and helping them to find order in the chaos of her action-packed novels.

An award-winning author, Bovée was honored with the 2019 NM/AZ Book Awards Hillerman Award for Southwestern Fiction for her novel Girl with a Gun. The novel also received First Place in the 2019 NM/AZ Book Awards in the Mystery/Crime category, and won First in Category in the International Chanticleer Murder & Mayhem Awards. It was also a finalist in the 2019 Next Generation Indie Awards. Her novel Grace in the Wings won First in Category for the 2019 International Chanticleer Chatelaine Awards. Peccadillo at the Palace won Grand Prize in the 2019 Goethe Awards, and was a finalist in the 2019 Best Book Awards Historical Fiction category.

Bovée has worked as a technical writer for a Fortune 500 Company, has written non-fiction for magazines and newsletters, and has worked in the education field as a teacher and educational consultant.

Connect with the author:  Website ~ Goodreads ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Instagram ~ Pinterest


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My Review
5 Stars

Grace Michelle is a costume designer in 1924 Hollywood. She also owns a ranch with her husband and rescues racehorses and troubled children. Although she tries to keep the kids separate from her work, she finds herself hosting a Hollywood even for the director, Edward Travis, of the movie she is working on. Unfortunately, at the dinner the Travis is found dead and Lizzy, one of her wards, is blamed.

But there is so much more going on with the story. Travis had a second wife and many dalliances. Lizzy and her sister Margaret are having a fight and Lizzy finds herself being charged with her murder too. Grace is trying to find a way to clear Lizzy of the charges, but it seems the harder she tries to help the more tangled this mystery becomes.

I have not read the first book in this series, but I had no problem hopping into this story. Grace has some issues, but she is trying her hardest at work, on the ranch, and with her husband and kids. I instantly liked her and felt heartbroken for what she was going through.

I love how she just kept fighting to prove that Lizzy was innocent and get to the bottom of the mystery. I couldn’t read fast enough to learn what happens next and had a hard time putting the book down. I never expected the ending and I just loved how it wrapped everything up.

If you are looking for a great mystery, I recommend checking out Grace in Hollywood. I can’t wait to go back and catch up on what I missed with Grave in the Wings.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

Tour Schedule:
June 22 – Working Mommy Journal – book review / giveaway
June 22 – Cover Lover Book Review – book spotlight / giveaway
June 23 – Books Lattes & Tiaras – book review
June 24 – JB’s Bookworms with Brandy Mulder – book spotlight / giveaway
June 25 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review / giveaway
June 28 – Rajiv’s Reviews – book review
June 29 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – book spotlight / giveaway
June 30 – Lisa Everyday Reads – book spotlight / author interview
June 30 – Olio by Marilyn – book review of GRACE IN THE WINGS / giveaway
July 1 – Sadie’s Spotlight – book spotlight / author interview
July 2 – She Just Loves Books – book review
July 2 – PuzzlePaws Blog – book review of GRACE IN THE WINGS / giveaway
July 6 – @twilight_reader – book review
July 7 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
July 7 – I Read What You Write – book review / author interview / giveaway
July 8 – Splashes of Joy – book review / author interview / giveaway
July 9 –Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
July 9 – Olio by Marilyn – book review / giveaway
July 12 –Bigreadersite – book review / giveaway
July 12 – PuzzlePaws Blog – book review / giveaway
July 13 – Wickedly Romance – book review / author interview / giveaway
July 14 – Celticlady’s Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
July 15 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
July 16 – Mystery Suspense Reviews – book review / author interview / giveaway

July 16 – JBronder Book Reviews – book review / giveaway
July 19 – Books for Books – book review
July 19 – Adventurous Jessy – book review / giveaway
Giveaway 4
Enter the Giveaway:

Enter to win one signed copy each of Grace in the Wings and Grace in Hollywood, a completed and framed (8.5 x 11) diamond painting of a flapper, an art deco mousepad, a small art deco notepad and pen, an art deco tote bag, and an Amazon gift card for $50! (one winner) (USA only)

GRACE IN HOLLYWOOD (Grace Michelle Mystery) Book Tour Giveaway

I would like to thank iRead Book Tours for the opportunity to read and share this book.

The Wizards

TheWizards

Welcome to the tour for The Wizards by Louis Corsair! Read on for details and a chance to win a $50 Amazon e-Gift Card!!!

wizards_full

The Wizards

Publication Date: October 4th, 2020

Genre: Urban Fantasy

At the end of the original Absolution, the Executor went back in Time and altered Reality, setting in motion a plan that will destroy him, along with all of Creation. It is a titanic crime that does not go unnoticed. There are some who discovered the crime in the Past, and are trying to do something in the Present to prevent an unimaginable Future. And these men and women are, were, will be the Wizards.

The Wizards is more than just a collection of short stories. It is a multigenerational composite novel that delves into the lives of the Wendells, a patchwork family of orphans brought together by Wendell the Great. These too-human men and women struggle with mastering the Power as much as they do with one another and the landscape of Southern California. From the 1940s to the Present, The Wizards goes back and forth across Time to tell its story.

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Excerpt

In the Beginning

Let us imagine a period sometime in the Past. Yes. Many years in the Past, but not so many that I cannot remember it. And let us imagine men and women with… with… well, see, this is a point we could not agree on. The things my siblings and I could do, can still do, they could be called “talents,” like Mozart’s talent. Yet, that implies biology, which hardly influences the extent and potency of our abilities.

Our Father, a man I will later call Wendell, and Anita, who I came to love as a Mother, called it, “the Power.” I suppose now you are wondering why we can wield such might.

Indeed, for what purpose are humans born who can wield the Power? Ah, but that mystery is at the heart of our story. We never figured out why. And so, we are the burdened. Regardless of the why, let us consider the who.

Who are these men and women, you ask? Well, during my childhood in El Salvador, we called them los magos del oeste. Ah, but that is an inadequate title for my tale, for it was the silliness of childhood. Here in America, there are many names for these individuals, thanks to mythology and literature. Let us pick one.

How about wizard? I have always been fond of that title, though it belongs in the realm of fantasy and myth, now inherited by popular culture. The nomenclature is important to me because it was the name that Isis picked for our little gang. She called us the Wizards. Do not worry about Isis now; I will soon introduce her.

In the beginning–that glorious beginning!–there were three of these Wizards. The first was the man who rescued me from the conscript army in El Salvador. I knew him as Wendell, a name that served “both for Christian and surname,” as EB might have said. He was a statuesque African, for it was easy to tell when he spoke that he was from that continent.

Let us go now to a specific place in the beginning, to the first time I entered Anita’s home in Beverly Hills. Up until then, I had been constantly awake with worry as we traveled through different cities, always looking, looking. And finally worry became wonder as we entered this great metropolis. Drinking up the lights of Los Angeles in great gulps. Drowning in its people. Every sight mesmerized me.

“Now, Quique,” he said to me in broken Spanish when we reached Anita’s door. I had not yet mastered the English language. “I will speak with my colleagues about you. But I am confident we will find you a place.”

This was a sentiment that bothered me. I still had family in El Salvador, my mother and sister. At that juncture, I feared for their safety. The civil war was brutal, you see, and casualties were plenty. I let Wendell know this and he gave me that potent smile that could convince you to take his side.

“They are well.”

That was all he said regarding their fate, and I believed him at once. He was a man who used words to shape truth. It was a skill I often tried to emulate with poor results. Wendell’s words could take physical shape too when performing magic. The mechanism for this art he took with him, for it was missing from his many lessons.

Ah, Wendell! That cloud of mystery never left you while I was under your care.

With my heart easier knowing my family was well, I followed him into the house. And there I met his associates. One man. One woman.

The house belonged to the woman, who was White and Wendell’s senior by more than twenty years, or so I heard. But Wendell made up for that gap in height; she hardly reached his chest. This was Anita Sendler, a Jew who had survived the Holocaust. The experience served to strengthen her, though; she was hardly a victim. Anita noticed me first and like a hawk blocked our way in.

I am unsure of what passed between the two. My understanding of English prevented me from keeping up with their debate. What I was sure of, then and now, was that Anita was upset that Wendell had brought me, all willy nilly (as some might say).

My childish scorn for her amuses me now, as it did the other man in the room. He was a carbon copy of Wendell, for they were brothers. This was Gathii Ra, a title he had given himself.

Gathii Ra smiled when he saw my frown. He said something to the two and then went up to me. After messing up my hair, a behavior that became a habit with him, he stomped the floor with his heavy foot.

This created some effect I hardly understood, but could hear. Gathii Ra’s words had become soothing, pleading, asking all of us to use our better judgment.

¡Mago! ¡Mago!” I cried. Quickly, I ran behind Wendell’s legs.

And while I hid, too scared to open my eyes, I saw… It was my first memory of the Stream. The glowing Anima of Gathii Ra ventured from his body and approached me. Scared out of my wits, I screamed and covered my face with my arms. But…that did something. I heard the adults gasp. Uncovering my face, I opened my eyes and saw that Gathii Ra and his Anima had been re-joined. I had banished it!

Anita’s hard face pruned and her lips formed a crooked smile, eyeing me differently. Gathii Ra laid a rough hand on Wendell’s shoulder, laughing all the while. It was enough to break the tension and give them a chance to speak.

And they did. For hours. At the end of that conversation, the three came together in a circle and shook hands. Something had been decided. Something important.

Anita offered me a simple meal of milk and some cake. The adults, all the while, drank wine and danced to some music, she taking turns with each of the brothers. After an hour of this, she caressed my cheek. And it was a happy time, one of my most cherished memories. The energy in that room, my friend, crackled.

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About the Author

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Louis Corsair is an eight-year veteran of the United States Army. Currently living in Los Angeles, California, he spends his time reading books, going on walks, writing, and enjoying the occasional visit to the beach–while trying to earn an honest buck. As a Los Angeles writer, he feels the weight of famous Los Angeles novelists, like Raymond Chandler, John Fante, Nina Revoyr, among others.

In 2021, he hopes to finish the Elohim Trilogy and its connected novels, including The Wizards Collide, and Apotheosis: Book Three of the Elohim Trilogy.

Louis Corsair

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TheGirlintheTriangle

Congratulations to author Joyana Peters on the release of her romantic historical fiction, The Girl in the Triangle!

Read on for details and a chance to win a signed copy of the book!

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Publication Date: July 12th, 2021

Genre: Historical Fiction

When your dreams finally seem to be coming true, it’s hard to trust them.

It’s been four years since seventeen-year-old Ruth set eyes on her fiance. After surviving near-starvation, revolution and a long trip across the stormy ocean, she can’t help but wonder: Will Abraham still love her? Or has America changed him?

Nowhere’s as full of change as 1909 New York. From moving pictures to daring clothes to the ultra-modern Triangle Shirtwaist Factory where she gets a job, everything exhilarates Ruth. When the New World even seems to rejuvenate her bond with Abraham, she is filled with hope for their prospects and the future of their war-torn families.

But when she makes friends and joins the labor movement—fighting for rights of the mostly female workers against the powerful factory owners—something happens she never expected. She realizes she might be the one America is changing. And she just might be leaving Abraham behind.

The Girl in the Triangle is an immigration story that will appeal to fans of Brooklyn by Colm Toibin and The Queen of the Big Time by Adriana Trigiani. It questions what it means to be an American, and what is the true meaning of strength.

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Excerpt

He stood outside the dressing room with his arms crossed. “I was starting to fear I’d need to send in a search party.”

“I’m sorry,” Ruth said. “I met the sister of one of your friends.”

“Chayele,” Abraham chuckled. “That explains it. That girl could talk the hind legs off a donkey.”

He steered her to the line for the stairs and gestured for her to open her bag to be examined. “They fear people stealing scraps for sewing at home.”

Ruth held her bag open wide as the guard poked through. Eventually he nodded, and they exited through the door to the stairs.

“Chayele seemed really nice. She introduced me to her friends as well. She said you were good friends with her brother?”

“Yankel,” Abraham nodded. “He’s good folk. He took me under his wing when I got here. Makes me get out and have some fun from time to time.”

Ruth pondered that for a moment and considered Chayele’s painted face. “She’s not a—what do you call it? Floopsy, is she?”

Abraham laughed. “No, Chayele’s not a floozy, though she might be the center of any party. She’s just been here awhile and has embraced America.”

“America encourages painted faces?”

Abraham tilted his head and thought before answering. “America encourages fun, at least in your free time. Not like in Russia where you just go to work and come home.”

“How do you spend your free time?”

Abraham turned to face her with a twinkle in his eye. “All kinds of ways. Seeing performers singing in shows, going to the circus, heading out to Luna Park.”

“What’s Luna Park?”

“An amusement park in West Brighton Beach. You can ride a roller coaster and see recreations of villages from all over the world—it’s amazing. I’ll take you one weekend.”

Ruth mulled over this new word, weekend. She had no clue what a roller coaster was, but it sounded exciting. Everything Abraham mentioned was foreign and strange. They’d sung as a family around the piano or even in the street with neighbors on holidays. But shows? Performers? These were novel ideas.

Abraham glanced over at her with a mischievous smile. “Still love running?”

Ruth smiled.

“Race you home!” he shouted and took off ahead.

“You gonif! You still cheat!” she shouted and took off after him.

His laughter floated back to her as she ran. The cityscape flew by as she weaved in and out of people on the sidewalk, some shouting insults in response. They rolled right off Ruth. Her exhaustion evaporated, the caress of cool air on her face sweeping away her lethargy. She dug deep to run faster, her competitive instincts kicking in. She’d never felt so happy and free.

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About the Author

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Growing up in New York, she always loved exploring the city, particularly the Lower East Side. This led to her discovery of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire and the stories it holds.

She currently lives in Northern Virginia where she takes in the sights of DC with her two kids and husband.

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Legend of the Dragon Slayer: The Origin Story of Dragonwatch

by Brandon Mull & Brandon Dorman

In ancient times, dragons posed the ultimate threat to the rest of the magical world. During the Dragon War, a group of specially trained Dragon Slayers banded together to stand against the onslaught. They called themselves Dragonwatch, and they succeeded in confining the majority of dragons to sanctuaries. Legend of the Dragon Slayer is the illustrated story of the very first Dragon Slayer who took to battle.

As the legend tells it, powerful monsters terrorized the kingdom of Selona on all sides. An unlikely hero named Konrad, the cobbler’s son, accepts the king’s challenge to defeat the monsters: fierce yeti, a merciless vampire, a dangerous gorgon, and a deadly phoenix. But Selona’s biggest threat will come from the Dragon, and it will take every ounce of wit and experience that Konrad has acquired to stand a chance against such a formidable foe.

Legend of the Dragon Slayer features a never-before-published catalog of Dragon Slayers, a detailed map of the kingdom of Selona, and lavish full-color illustrations. Fantasy fans will love this stand-alone tale of valor, destiny, and magic.

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Brandon Mull

About the Author – Brandon Mull

Brandon Mull resides in a happy little valley near the mouth of a canyon with his wife and three children. He spent two years living in the Atacama Desert of Northern Chile where he learned Spanish and juggling. He once won a pudding eating contest in the park behind his grandma’s house, earning a gold medal. Brandon is the author of the New York Times bestselling Fablehaven series and The Candy Shop War.

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About the Author – Brandon Dorman

The illustrator of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Wizard, written by Jack Prelutsky, as well as Halloween Night, by Marjorie Dennis Murray, and his own Pirates of the Sea! and Santa’s Stowaway. He received a degree in fine arts from Bringham Young University–Idaho.

My Review

5 stars

If you have read Mr. Mull’s Dragonwatch series, there has been a question of where the Dragonwatch originated. Wonder no more, here is their origin story!

The kingdom of Selona is surrounded by dangerous creatures something has to be done to expand so the people are not so crowded. The king submits a challenge for those that are brave enough to face the creatures and win, they will be richly rewarded.

No one answers the challenge, no knights, no warriors, but a cobbler’s son, Konrad steps up. He faces a gorgon, yeti, a vampire, and a phoenix. But his biggest challenge will come when he is king of Selona and has to face the Dragon.

I loved this book. It is filled with beautiful artwork and the monsters are fantastic. Konrad shows that you don’t have to be big and strong to defeat those around you. Although we do learn some surprising facts later on.

I love how the story ended and how it wrapped up as a great introduction for the Dragonwatch series. This would be a great introduction for children to start reading this series and even just a good bedtime story. This is one that you definitely want to add to your child’s bookshelf.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Shadow Mountain Publishing for the opportunity to read and share this book.

Wyrd Gods

Author: Susana Imaginário

Narrator: Sarah Kempton

Length: 11 hours 36 minutes

Series: Timelessness, Book 1

Publisher: Susana Imaginário

Released: Apr. 30, 2020

Genre: Fantasy

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The Bookminder Series

Bookminder Series

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The Bookminder (Book 1)

Istria, 1679 A.D.

Sired by magick and violence, sixteen-year-old Liara is found guilty of witchcraft and banished from her tiny village by the very priest who raised, then betrayed her. However, a mysterious mage steps forward to assume custody of her: Nagarath, the Wizard of Parentino, whose secret spellwork has long protected both Liara and Dvigrad from the ravages of war.

Despite Liara’s best hopes, Nagarath refuses to apprentice her to his craft but tasks her instead with the restoration of his neglected library. Liara gleans magickal knowledge on the sly, but her stolen spells renew an evil wizard’s interest in the people of the Limska Draga valley.

Only by tapping Liara’s inherent magick and joining it with his own can Nagarath protect Parentino from suffering a horrible fate. However, her discovery of his secrets destroys their fragile trust and ignites the darker tendencies of her gift. Now, he must rescue her from the influence of his mortal enemy before their powerful new alliance destroys them all.

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Cat 4

My Review

3 stars

Liara was born of magic and has been treated horribly for most of her life by the people of the village of Dvigrad. She has been living at the church until it is discovered that she has been stealing from people and using magic. She is banished but saved by the mage Nagarath but Nagarath makes it clear that he is not going to teach her magic.

They live at the crumbling castle Parentino which has its own secrets. Nagarath comes to care for Liara and starts teaching her a little magic. But someone is determined to find both of them, a powerful mage that is determined to use Liara’s power for his own good.

Liara has been looked down on her most of her sixteen years of her life. Because of this she tends to be aloof and on her own but is driven to learn magic for revenge. It’s a little hard to like Liara because of her constant whining and her focus. She constantly complains and at some parts I was about done with her.

Nagarath has his own secrets but is eaten by guilt over something that happened in the past. I commend him for taking on Liara when he wasn’t really planning on it. He has more patience than I do. But I was getting frustrated when he is trying to protect both of them but refusing to explain.

This is a rough start to the series, but I do see the potential in it. I am excited to start The Kithseeker. I think having Liara and Nagarath work together is going to be the glue to the loose ends.

The-Kithseeker-Wiseman

The Kithseeker (Book 2)

France, 1680 A.D.

Liara’s defense of the Wizard Nagarath has rendered Anisthe incantate—bereft of all magick—but even this has failed to guarantee Liara’s safety. The death of the war mage would seal Liara’s own fate, and so the wizard and his bookminder must keep him in their sites and yet as far away from themselves as possible.

With nothing but a storybook and a hunch, Anisthe has set off on a journey across Europe, aided by his half-fey manservant, in search of a legendary mirror that contains the most powerful magick ever known. Although the stuff of fairytales, the merest possibility of its truth embarks Nagarath and Liara on a race to discover the mirror before it falls into the hands of Nagarath’s lifelong foe. Both know should he lay claim to that power, Liara would be at the mercy of her father-in-magick and his lust for power, and not even Nagarath could save her.

Thus, the pair find themselves at the court of the Sun King, a world hostile to magick users, hopelessly surrounded by agents whose sole purpose is destroy them. Uncertain whom is friend or foe, with Anisthe nipping at their heels, they must unearth the mirror before its evil is released, or worse, lays claim to Liara’s magick as well and brings doom upon them all.

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My Review

4 stars

After his battle with Nagarath and Liara, Anisthe has decided to travel to France. It seems he is in possession of a magical mirror that is supposed to hold the magic of famed wizard Khariton. When Nagarath and Liara learn of this it becomes a race to get to the mirror first.

Along the way we also meet the third student that Nagarth and Anisthe trained with, Amsalla. She has a habit of being in the middle of everything and is the king’s wizard. She meets up with Nagarath and Liara and it’s clear that she wants to start some trouble between the two. She is also watching Anisthe but doesn’t realize that his assistant, Domagoj has got her in his sights too.

Everyone is trying to get to the mirror first and no one can be trusted. It feels like everyone is out to get each other and poor Liara doesn’t understand the fight she finds herself in. I feel bad for her but at the same time I understand how far she has come since her life in Dvigrad.

I liked this story better than the Bookminder because we started meeting more people and exploring the country. Amsalla just irritated me and there were times that I wanted to slap Nagarath upside the head for his actions/thoughts.

I’m curious to see how things are going to transpire in The Fatewreaker. Thank goodness I have everything ready to hop into it.

The-Fatewreaker-Wiseman

The Fatewreaker (Book 3)

England, 1680 A. D.

Liara and Nagarath’s enemy has unexpectedly come to their aid, surrendering to the magick-suppressing forces of the king of France so as to buy time for their escape. But that doesn’t necessarily mean Anisthe is on their side. Vrsar’s war mage, Liara’s father-in-magick, has never been a man do to things for others. And he has always has plans within plans.

In fleeing to England with his apprentice, the Wizard Nagarath realizes that Liara’s power is no longer her own to command. With the shattering of Khariton’s magick mirror in the Palace of Versailles, the young woman has become trapped in an alliance with the ancient and evil mage. What is more, at eighteen-years-old, her life remains tied to Anisthe’s for another two years per the Laws of Magick. Anisthe, who is now imprisoned for having helped them evade the king’s spellpiercers.

Forced to revisit his own past, Nagarath is finally learning that there are some histories you cannot outrun. As for Liara, the darkness within her heart is greater than she ever could have imagined. This after Dvigrad’s orphaned magpie having finally learned to love. For, in the words of Khariton himself, “In magick you can never have friends. Only rivals.”

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Cat 6

My Review

4 stars

Liara has freed Khariton from his mirror and is now his vessel. He is intent on using her power to destroy the world. She is heartbroken because she was trying to help him and doesn’t want the war he is going to cause. Nagarath decides to take her to his home in England to try to help her. But learns that the possession is worse than he feared.

At the same time, we find Kresimir who was sent to Merlin by Nagarath. Merlin may have been cursed but is still alive and is trying to fulfill a prophecy about Nagarath and Liara. But when Liara shows up on his doorstop for help he realizes that he might not be a match for Khariton anymore and might not be able to help.

I love how Liara and Nagarath have finally realized their feelings for each other, but Liara can’t have that with how fast Khariton is taking control. Nagarath has taken just to try to help Liara and it looks like he might not recover from his actions. But I hoped that he could break Liara’s spell in time or at the very least save her.

I like how this wrapped everything together and I loved the ending. This has been a good read and recommend this series. I think the reader will enjoy the journey. I will be keeping my eyes open for other books from M.K. Wiseman.

 

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Author Bio

M. K. Wiseman has degrees in Interarts & Technology and Library & Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her office, therefore, is a curious mix of storyboards and reference materials. Both help immensely in the writing of historical novels. She currently resides in Cedarburg, Wisconsin.

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I would like to thank Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to read and share this series.