Category Archives: Book Events

COVER REVEAL: She’s The One Who Scares Us All by S.R. Cronin

So happy to share this wonderful cover reveal for author S.R. Cronin’s “She’s The One Who Scares Us All”.

She's the One Who Scares Us All - S.R. Cronin

S.R. Cronin has a new historical fantasy coming out (The War Stories of the Seven Troublesome Sisters book 7), and we have the cover reveal: She’s the One Who Scares Us All.

Plus there’s a giveaway!

Iolite, the youngest of seven sisters, was born a frundle, a rare condition that makes her both shunned and feared in Ilari. This has made her family doubly protective of her, even though she only wants to live a normal life and have the sorts of adventures her sisters do.

Although frundles suffer from some physical and emotional challenges, they also have valuable powers that no one discusses. Iolite learns more when she forges a connection with a roving army on horseback from far away Mongolia. She soon learns that the adventure-loving men she enjoys riding with in her visions are planning to invade her homeland.

When the Mongols send envoys to discuss terms of surrender, Iolite goes into a trance and serves as translator. Her family fears for her, knowing such trances can damage a frundle’s health. But her own people become a more serious threat to her when a secret cabal inside of Ilari’s army contrives to imprison Iolite and force her to become on ongoing source of information.

How much does a daughter of the realm owe her country? Iolite has plenty of time to ponder the question trapped in her cold dark cell.

What she does once she is freed will determine the fate of her people.

Universal Buy Link

About the Series

The War Stories of the Seven Troublesome Sisters consists of seven short companion novels. Each tells the personal story and perspective of one of seven radically different sisters in the 1200s as they prepare for an invasion of their realm. While these historical fantasy/alternate history books can be enjoyed as stand-alone novels, together they tell the full story of how Ilari survived.

Which sister saved the realm? That will depend on whose story you are reading.

How do they do it? Each sister offers surprise information on why this didn’t go as anyone planned.


Giveaway

S.R. is giving away a $10 Amazon or B&N gift card (winners choice) with this tour:

a Rafflecopter giveawayhttps://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d47231/?


Excerpt

“What’s your name?”

I didn’t know whether to answer the stranger or not. We seemed to both be in jail, yet I had no idea why. He wore well-tailored clothes on his tall, thin frame, so other than looking like he could use a good meal or two, he appeared refined.

“What are we doing in here?” I said.

“Ah, yes. That is the question. You’ll figure it out in time.”

We stared at each other between the thick metal bars. Me annoyed. Him amused.

“Iolite. My name is Iolite.”

“Really? Another one named for a stone? Your parents certainly lacked imagination, didn’t they?”

I said nothing. I’d learned long ago that engaging in meaningful conversation with the people in these dreams was pointless. I avoided it.

I already knew I’d meet this man eventually. If my previous dreams were any indication, he’d look the way he did here but he’d speak for himself, not echo my thoughts. We might find ourselves in jail when it happened, but more likely it would just feel like a jail to me. I’d probably meet him at a time when I felt confined by circumstances. Sadly, my dreams conveyed more about my future emotions than they did about any future reality, making their information hard to use.

“I’ve had enough of this,” I said to him. “I’m going to wake up.”

He shrugged. “Suit yourself.” Then he chuckled. “See you around.”

He kept laughing at his own witticism until he went into a fit of coughing and I woke up grateful to be in my small cot. Many of the girls at the school shared rooms with others, but I was allowed to sleep alone. At times like this, it was a blessing.

I pulled the blankets closer around my body trying to stay warm, thinking I didn’t mind the physical oddities life thrust upon me when it made me a frundle. Okay, my short stature was sometimes a nuisance but I rather liked my silver hair. I found my purple eyes attractive, too, though plenty of others averted their gaze rather than look into them. I always wondered what they feared.

My dreams, however, did present an actual problem. They had started a year ago, and happened more often now, leaving me wide awake in the middle of the night filled with questions. I kept both the dreams and the questions to myself. I knew people didn’t mind frundles, as long as they stayed in the background and caused no trouble.

The only troublesome ones were the ones who had the dreams. Or worse yet, the dreams and episodes.

But I wasn’t that kind. Not yet. Not as far as anyone knew.

Because I’d never had a single episode. For you can hide the dreams, but there is no way to hide that.


Author Bio

S.R. Cronin

Sherrie Cronin is the author of a collection of six speculative fiction novels known as 46. Ascending and now writes a historical fantasy series called The War Stories of the Seven Troublesome Sisters. The synopses of her books makes it obvious she is fascinated by people achieving the astonishing by developing abilities they barely knew they had.

She’s made a lot of stops along the way. She’s lived in seven cities, visited forty-six countries, and worked as a waitress, technical writer, and geophysicist. She’s lost several cats but acquired a husband who still loves her and three kids who’ve grown up fine, both despite how odd she is.

These days she lives in the mountains of Western North Carolina, where she also answers a hot-line, does things to improve her writing, and volunteers for the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA) of which she’ s proud member.

It is her life’s dream to tell these kinds of stories or be Chief Science Officer on the Starship Enterprise. She admits to occasionally checking her phone for a message from Captain Picard, just in case.

Author Website: https://troublesome7sisters.xyz/

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/46Ascending

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/cinnabar01

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/s.r.cronin/

Author Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/5805814.Sherrie_Cronin

Author Amazon: www.amazon.com/Sherrie-Cronin/e/B007FRMO9Q

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Anticipated Angel Blog Tour

Anticipated Angel - Laura Navarre

Laura Navarre has a new erotic MM sci-fi romance out – Anticipated Angel (Prequel to the Astral Heat Romance). And there’s a giveaway!

On an alien world that crucifies men for prohibited desires, two boyhood best friends risk the ultimate punishment to explore a forbidden passion.

Nero: He’s the most intimidating guy at our intergalactic next-gen leaders’ camp, and his psycho galactic tyrant of a dad has a crucifixion fetish. Our two races are deadly enemies, but Dex was my boyhood best friend. Suddenly this summer, he’s all grown up—and suddenly he can’t seem to stop staring at me. I don’t know whether to be afraid that it’s all a figment of my telepathic imagination…or that every dangerous desire we’re forbidden to acknowledge is searingly real.

Dex: I’m one combat-to-the-death away from the imperial command I’ve devoted my life to achieve. All I need to do is keep my dick in my pants. Besides, Ben Nero’s my oathsworn brother. Not to mention the most gorgeous, most maddeningly unattainable, most sought-after guy at leaders’ camp. There’s no way he’d ever look twice at a buttoned-tight, hyper-competitive, compulsive overachiever like me.

Until the night I blundered in on Nero in the shower. Which was a total catastrophic mistake. Because now I’ve seen what he looks like naked…now I’ve heard the way he sounds when he’s moaning my name…how in blazes do I keep him at arms’ length? Because my father crucifies men for loving men.

Which means letting Ben Nero in close, the way I’m burning to do, means risking the ultimate punishment.

For both of us.

Anticipated Angel is a steamy, angsty, friends-to-lovers MM new adult sci fi romance novella and the standalone prequel to the award-winning Astral Heat Romance Series.

Amazon | Universal Buy Link

About the Series:

The Astral Heat Romance Series is a steamy, angsty, enemies-to-lovers MMMF poly sci fi action romance series with M/M. Perfect for fans of Tymber Dalton, Kathryn Moon, Ariana Nash, and Pippa DaCosta. Here’s what early reviewers are saying about this category bestselling LGBTQ+ sci fi erotic romance series:

“Fast-paced, erotic, and brutal.” – Library Journal

“Intense and incendiary! This is hot stuff not for the faint of heart.” – Viragos Reading Odyssey

“This book just grabs and doesn’t let go….One of the steamiest books I’ve ever read.” – Amazon reviewer

“Astronomically out of this world action suspense drama, topped off with XXX sizzle! …Hang on to your space helmet, this is one wild ride!” – Goodreads reviewer

“This swashbuckling reverse harem Roman Empire in space saga turns up the heat to incendiary…a pulse racing read…Fabulous fun! I loved it!” – Alicia on Amazon and Goodreads

This award-winning series has notched contest wins in the RWA Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal On the Far Side Contest (speculative romance) and the 2021 Chesapeake Romance Writers’ Rudy Contest (erotic romance).

The Astral Heat Romance Series contains explicit M/M, M/F, and MMMF encounters.


Giveaway

Laura is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card with this 3 day blast:

a Rafflecopter giveawayhttps://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d47229/?


Excerpt

Anticipated Angel Meme 2

Still damp and dripping under the tunic and breeches he’d dragged over his desperately aroused body, breathless and panting from pounding through the jungle after his frenzied best friend, Ben Nero stood on the step outside Dex’s dormitory cabin and glared at the locked door.

Dex never locked his door. They’d been coming and going from each other’s dorms day and night for three summers straight.

Sure, Dex was arrogant, aggressive, pigheaded, surly, introverted, hypercompetitive, a compulsive overachiever. The golden boy at leaders’ camp. In other words, a typical Mogadon.

Nero had hated him on sight. Until everything changed.

Since the night Dex waded into battle to defend him, Nero had been secretly crushing on the guy.

Now—this summer—their final summer when they both gained their majority and left leaders’ camp behind forever, the sexual dynamic between them had torqued so much tighter. Their unspoken chemistry had condensed into an alchemical compound so volatile it was practically pyrophoric. With Dex grown into something between a deadly predator and a tawny god, Nero knew his secret summer crush stood in acute danger of developing into a connection fathoms deeper.

And far more lethal to his guarded heart.

But given Dex’s inherited battery of hang-ups and all that sexual baggage his best friend was carting around, the state of his heart was one secret Nero fully intended to keep.

Until tonight. Cat’s out of the cave now. Of all the possible, gods-cursed times for Dex to show up for a late-night shower…

For at least the twentieth time, he cursed his own rotten timing. Wryly he admitted the inferno of heat glowing in his chest and scorching his face had less to do with exertion than sheer embarrassment.

No use pretending it didn’t happen. Dex has been pushing me away all summer. What he just saw me doing while I moaned his name will probably finish the job and end our friendship for good.

Especially with their rival planets poised on the brink of war. Nero huffed out a breath harsh with frustration.

The next time I encounter Dex Draven after summer camp will probably be in deep space at the wrong end of a solar cannon.

Grimly Nero jabbed a finger at the entry button—for the third farking time. The chime caroled away like his whole world wasn’t imploding around him. Beyond that door, his psychic senses whispered, Dex was pacing his cabin’s spartan confines, wearing a path in the silica floor.

Staring at his own locked door, heart slamming against his sternum like a meteor bombardment. If he didn’t open it…if he didn’t answer…

Nero shoved a mental barrier between them to give the guy a little privacy as a basic matter of telepath ethics. Same way he’d been doing all summer. Fighting like hell to do the decent thing and respect his best friend’s boundaries and stay out of his head.

Now he scowled at the stubborn silence but held tight to his temper.

“Dex?” He pitched his voice to carry. “Let me in. We need to talk. Anyway, you, uh, left your blaster in the shower house.”

The silence stretched between them. A silence tighter than a pressurized airlock, shredded by the shrill scream of a hunting panther. Intuition told him the critter was on the prowl, hunting for blood and savage with hunger. If the cat tracked him to Dex’s doorstep, Nero would have to defend himself. Not with Dex’s blaster, which he’d buckled around his own hips, but with the psi fire he was learning to channel as he honed his rapidly expanding arsenal of psychic powers.

Doggedly he pounded on the door. “Come on, Dex. I know you’re in there. I could feel you fulminating halfway down the path. Open up.”

“No bloody talking. I’m not in the mood.” Dex’s muffled voice sounded surly. And more than a little desperate. “For gods’ sake, Ben, it’s after midnight. Go away.”

Nero squared his shoulders and hardened his voice. “Open this door or I’ll open it for you.”

Violet sparks flared at his fingertips. Fiercely he reeled in the billowing surge of psi fire sizzling through his channels before he lost control and blew Dex’s door through the opposite wall. Tonight he wanted to talk to Dex, not fight him. And a full-out assault would only trigger all those primitive Mogadon instincts Dex was always striving to suppress.

Apparently some god with a fondness for bisexual adolescent telepaths decided to take pity on Nero’s awkward dilemma and whisper a word of reason in Dex’s ear. With a chirp, the maglock released and the door swung wide.

“Finally.” Pushing out a breath, Nero strode into the moonlit darkness. “What the hells, Dex…”

His words stuttered to a stop.

In the narrow confines of the shadowy cabin whose angles and corners he knew by heart, Dex stood silhouetted against the viewport. Wearing nothing but an insubstantial pair of sleeping trousers that clung to his supple hips and spectacular ass.

The light of Paragon’s three moons limned his broad shoulders and corded back and bulging triceps in a way that made Nero burn to sink his teeth in and just nibble his way down the guy’s body. Starlight flamed in Dex’s cropped golden hair and caressed the sun-bronzed skin Nero longed to trace with his tongue.

Nero sucked in a hit of oxygen to clear his damn head and felt his senses spin. He was already half-drunk on lotus pollen, a seductive sweetness like spicy sugar tickling the back of his throat. Now his head was reeling with the potent kick of Dex’s scent—that heady whiff of pheromones Mogadon males exuded that telegraphed aggression, territoriality, or arousal.

Nero ached to know which of those stimuli was driving Dex tonight.

Ferociously he fought back the temptation to shove aside his inconvenient ethics, peek inside Dex’s brain, and find out for himself. And screw his farking ethics and screw his best friend’s privacy.


Author Bio

Laura Navarre

A long time ago in a galaxy far away, Laura Navarre was an award-winning dark historical romance author for Harlequin, while her diabolical twin Nikki Navarre wrote sexy spy romance. In a daring bid to escape a global pandemic, armed only with an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction and a professional background in weapons of mass destruction, Laura voyaged through a wormhole to an alternate universe where she crafts turbocharged, epic, hyper-erotic poly science fiction romance starring three sexy bi heroes, one seriously kickass heroine, and plenty of sizzling outer space action.

Interstellar Angel is a steamy, angsty, enemies-to-lovers MMMF poly sci fi action romance and your gateway to the Astral Heat universe, where Star Wars meets 50 Shades by way of The Hunger Games. Outer space adventure just got a whole lot hotter!

Author Website: https://www.LauraNavarreSciFi.com

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.Facebook.com/LauraNavarreAuthor

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.Facebook.com/LauraNavarreInterstellarRomance

Author Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/LauraNavarre

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/LauraNavarreAuthor

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/LauraNavarre

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/laura-navarre/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Laura-Navarre/e/B004NG6CTK/

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COVER REVEAL: Anticipated Angel by Laura Navarre

Anticipated Angel - Laura Navarre

Laura Navarre has a new erotic MM sci-fi romance coming out in April – Anticipated Angel (Prequel to the Astral Heat Romance) – and we have the cover reveal. And there’s a giveaway!

On an alien world that crucifies men for prohibited desires, two boyhood best friends risk the ultimate punishment to explore a forbidden passion.

Nero: He’s the most intimidating guy at our intergalactic next-gen leaders’ camp, and his psycho galactic tyrant of a dad has a crucifixion fetish. Our two races are deadly enemies, but Dex was my boyhood best friend. Suddenly this summer, he’s all grown up—and suddenly he can’t seem to stop staring at me. I don’t know whether to be afraid that it’s all a figment of my telepathic imagination…or that every dangerous desire we’re forbidden to acknowledge is searingly real.

Dex: I’m one combat-to-the-death away from the imperial command I’ve devoted my life to achieve. All I need to do is keep my dick in my pants. Besides, Ben Nero’s my oathsworn brother. Not to mention the most gorgeous, most maddeningly unattainable, most sought-after guy at leaders’ camp. There’s no way he’d ever look twice at a buttoned-tight, hyper-competitive, compulsive overachiever like me.

Until the night I blundered in on Nero in the shower. Which was a total catastrophic mistake. Because now I’ve seen what he looks like naked…now I’ve heard the way he sounds when he’s moaning my name…how in blazes do I keep him at arms’ length? Because my father crucifies men for loving men.

Which means letting Ben Nero in close, the way I’m burning to do, means risking the ultimate punishment.

For both of us.

Anticipated Angel is a steamy, angsty, friends-to-lovers MM new adult sci fi romance novella and the standalone prequel to the award-winning Astral Heat Romance Series.

Amazon | Universal Buy Link

About the Series:

The Astral Heat Romance Series is a steamy, angsty, enemies-to-lovers MMMF poly sci fi action romance series with M/M. Perfect for fans of Tymber Dalton, Kathryn Moon, Ariana Nash, and Pippa DaCosta. Here’s what early reviewers are saying about this category bestselling LGBTQ+ sci fi erotic romance series:

“Fast-paced, erotic, and brutal.” – Library Journal

“Intense and incendiary! This is hot stuff not for the faint of heart.” – Viragos Reading Odyssey

“This book just grabs and doesn’t let go….One of the steamiest books I’ve ever read.” – Amazon reviewer

“Astronomically out of this world action suspense drama, topped off with XXX sizzle! …Hang on to your space helmet, this is one wild ride!” – Goodreads reviewer

“This swashbuckling reverse harem Roman Empire in space saga turns up the heat to incendiary…a pulse racing read…Fabulous fun! I loved it!” – Alicia on Amazon and Goodreads

This award-winning series has notched contest wins in the RWA Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal On the Far Side Contest (speculative romance) and the 2021 Chesapeake Romance Writers’ Rudy Contest (erotic romance).

The Astral Heat Romance Series contains explicit M/M, M/F, and MMMF encounters.


Giveaway

Laura is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card with this reveal:

a Rafflecopter giveawayhttps://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d47225/?


Excerpt

Anticipated Angel meme

Still damp and dripping under the tunic and breeches he’d dragged over his desperately aroused body, breathless and panting from pounding through the jungle after his frenzied best friend, Ben Nero stood on the step outside Dex’s dormitory cabin and glared at the locked door.

Dex never locked his door. They’d been coming and going from each other’s dorms day and night for three summers straight.

Sure, Dex was arrogant, aggressive, pigheaded, surly, introverted, hypercompetitive, a compulsive overachiever. The golden boy at leaders’ camp. In other words, a typical Mogadon.

Nero had hated him on sight. Until everything changed.

Since the night Dex waded into battle to defend him, Nero had been secretly crushing on the guy.

Now—this summer—their final summer when they both gained their majority and left leaders’ camp behind forever, the sexual dynamic between them had torqued so much tighter. Their unspoken chemistry had condensed into an alchemical compound so volatile it was practically pyrophoric. With Dex grown into something between a deadly predator and a tawny god, Nero knew his secret summer crush stood in acute danger of developing into a connection fathoms deeper.

And far more lethal to his guarded heart.

But given Dex’s inherited battery of hang-ups and all that sexual baggage his best friend was carting around, the state of his heart was one secret Nero fully intended to keep.

Until tonight. Cat’s out of the cave now. Of all the possible, gods-cursed times for Dex to show up for a late-night shower…

For at least the twentieth time, he cursed his own rotten timing. Wryly he admitted the inferno of heat glowing in his chest and scorching his face had less to do with exertion than sheer embarrassment.

No use pretending it didn’t happen. Dex has been pushing me away all summer. What he just saw me doing while I moaned his name will probably finish the job and end our friendship for good.

Especially with their rival planets poised on the brink of war. Nero huffed out a breath harsh with frustration.

The next time I encounter Dex Draven after summer camp will probably be in deep space at the wrong end of a solar cannon.

Grimly Nero jabbed a finger at the entry button—for the third farking time. The chime caroled away like his whole world wasn’t imploding around him. Beyond that door, his psychic senses whispered, Dex was pacing his cabin’s spartan confines, wearing a path in the silica floor.

Staring at his own locked door, heart slamming against his sternum like a meteor bombardment. If he didn’t open it…if he didn’t answer…

Nero shoved a mental barrier between them to give the guy a little privacy as a basic matter of telepath ethics. Same way he’d been doing all summer. Fighting like hell to do the decent thing and respect his best friend’s boundaries and stay out of his head.

Now he scowled at the stubborn silence but held tight to his temper.

“Dex?” He pitched his voice to carry. “Let me in. We need to talk. Anyway, you, uh, left your blaster in the shower house.”

The silence stretched between them. A silence tighter than a pressurized airlock, shredded by the shrill scream of a hunting panther. Intuition told him the critter was on the prowl, hunting for blood and savage with hunger. If the cat tracked him to Dex’s doorstep, Nero would have to defend himself. Not with Dex’s blaster, which he’d buckled around his own hips, but with the psi fire he was learning to channel as he honed his rapidly expanding arsenal of psychic powers.

Doggedly he pounded on the door. “Come on, Dex. I know you’re in there. I could feel you fulminating halfway down the path. Open up.”

“No bloody talking. I’m not in the mood.” Dex’s muffled voice sounded surly. And more than a little desperate. “For gods’ sake, Ben, it’s after midnight. Go away.”

Nero squared his shoulders and hardened his voice. “Open this door or I’ll open it for you.”

Violet sparks flared at his fingertips. Fiercely he reeled in the billowing surge of psi fire sizzling through his channels before he lost control and blew Dex’s door through the opposite wall. Tonight he wanted to talk to Dex, not fight him. And a full-out assault would only trigger all those primitive Mogadon instincts Dex was always striving to suppress.

Apparently some god with a fondness for bisexual adolescent telepaths decided to take pity on Nero’s awkward dilemma and whisper a word of reason in Dex’s ear. With a chirp, the maglock released and the door swung wide.

“Finally.” Pushing out a breath, Nero strode into the moonlit darkness. “What the hells, Dex…”

His words stuttered to a stop.

In the narrow confines of the shadowy cabin whose angles and corners he knew by heart, Dex stood silhouetted against the viewport. Wearing nothing but an insubstantial pair of sleeping trousers that clung to his supple hips and spectacular ass.

The light of Paragon’s three moons limned his broad shoulders and corded back and bulging triceps in a way that made Nero burn to sink his teeth in and just nibble his way down the guy’s body. Starlight flamed in Dex’s cropped golden hair and caressed the sun-bronzed skin Nero longed to trace with his tongue.

Nero sucked in a hit of oxygen to clear his damn head and felt his senses spin. He was already half-drunk on lotus pollen, a seductive sweetness like spicy sugar tickling the back of his throat. Now his head was reeling with the potent kick of Dex’s scent—that heady whiff of pheromones Mogadon males exuded that telegraphed aggression, territoriality, or arousal.

Nero ached to know which of those stimuli was driving Dex tonight.

Ferociously he fought back the temptation to shove aside his inconvenient ethics, peek inside Dex’s brain, and find out for himself. And screw his farking ethics and screw his best friend’s privacy.


Author Bio

Laura Navarre

A long time ago in a galaxy far away, Laura Navarre was an award-winning dark historical romance author for Harlequin, while her diabolical twin Nikki Navarre wrote sexy spy romance. In a daring bid to escape a global pandemic, armed only with an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction and a professional background in weapons of mass destruction, Laura voyaged through a wormhole to an alternate universe where she crafts turbocharged, epic, hyper-erotic poly science fiction romance starring three sexy bi heroes, one seriously kickass heroine, and plenty of sizzling outer space action.

Interstellar Angel is a steamy, angsty, enemies-to-lovers MMMF poly sci fi action romance and your gateway to the Astral Heat universe, where Star Wars meets 50 Shades by way of The Hunger Games. Outer space adventure just got a whole lot hotter!

Author Website: https://www.LauraNavarreSciFi.com

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.Facebook.com/LauraNavarreAuthor

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.Facebook.com/LauraNavarreInterstellarRomance

Author Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/LauraNavarre

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/LauraNavarreAuthor

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/LauraNavarre

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/laura-navarre/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Laura-Navarre/e/B004NG6CTK/

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One Must Tell the Bees: Abraham Lincoln and the Final Education of Sherlock Holmes by J. Lawrence Matthews Audiobook Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

The secret history of the infamous detective of Baker Street comes to center stage as his first case centers around the assassination of a US President, the protection of his son, and the hunt for a ruthless assassin in author J. Lawrence Matthew’s audiobook, “One Must Tell the Bees: Abraham Lincoln and the Finale Education of Sherlock Holmes”. 

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The Synopsis

“What do you get when you cross Abraham Lincoln with Sherlock Holmes? The alchemy of creative genius. Matthews brings us to the intersection of history and fiction in this beautifully written epic full of unfathomable twists and turns. It’s elementary: this book is sensational.” (Jim Campbell, syndicated radio host and author of Madoff Talks: Uncovering the Untold Story Behind the Most Notorious Ponzi Scheme in History)

“President Lincoln is assassinated in his private box at Ford’s!”

When those harrowing words ring out during a children’s entertainment in Washington on the evening of April 14, 1865, a quick-thinking young chemist from England named Johnnie Holmes grabs the 12-year-old son of the dying president, races the boy to safety, and soon finds himself enlisted in the most infamous manhunt in history.

One Must Tell the Bees is the untold story of Sherlock Holmes’ journey from the streets of London to the White House of Abraham Lincoln and, in company with a freed slave named after the dead president, their breathtaking pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth. It is the very first case of the man who would become known to the world as Sherlock Holmes, and as listeners will discover, it will haunt him until his very last.

At a time when Western history is being reexamined and retold, old heroes cast aside and statues torn down, and even the legacy of Abraham Lincoln, “the Great Emancipator”, is questioned, One Must Tell the Bees is a timely reminder that our history deserves to be understood before it is entirely undone.

©2021 J. Lawrence Matthews (P)2021 J. Lawrence Matthews

The Review

Such an incredible story! The combination of the author’s ability to capture the tone and writing style of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the narrator’s fluid and thematic speaking voice helped to draw the reader into the narrative. It was incredible how the author was able to bring to life the style of the original Sherlock Holmes novels that made him such an iconic literary figure. The amount of detail and precision that the author put not only in the narrative but into the dialogue of Sherlock Holmes himself was fascinating to read and watch unfold. The narrator was superb, really bringing that nineteenth-century English accent into the story and capturing the emotions and nostalgia that these characters and stories held for so many over the years.

The narrative itself was such a great story. The author found the perfect way to pay tribute to the original Sherlock Holmes stories through tone and atmosphere while shaking things up by exploring a young Sherlock Holmes and giving an alternate history that shows the famed London Detective taking to the streets of Washington DC and more. The addition of the detective’s hero being revealed as a Pinkerton agent was fascinating as well and allowed readers to get a glimpse into the formation of who Holmes would become known as in his future career. 

The Verdict

Nostalgic, entertaining, and thought-provoking, author J. Lawrence Matthews’s “One Must Tell the Bees” is a must-read historical fiction mystery novel! The audiobook version really created the theatrical nature of the setting and the narrative harnessed that classic literature style that really made this feel like an authentic Sherlock Holmes read. The captivating addition of this time period and the era of American History being so influential on the foundation of Holmes and his career in the future was brilliantly told, and if you haven’t yet, you need to grab your copy of this incredible audiobook today!

Rating: 10/10

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Author: J. Lawrence Matthews

Narrator: Thomas Judd

Length: 19 hours 13 minutes

Publisher: East Dean Press

Released: Oct. 1, 2021

Genre: Mystery

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Guest Blog Post with Author and Poet Louise Bélanger

I am so happy to share this heartfelt guest post from author and poet Louise Bélanger for her poetry book tour, Your Words Your World, available now. I hope you will enjoy this post and be sure to grab your copy of the book today.


Let me start by thanking you, Anthony Avina, for being part of Your Words Your World ’s blog tour. And a big round of applause for Serena at Poetic Book Tours who organized such a brilliant one, a wonderful opportunity for me and my new poetry book.

Your Words Your World is a beautiful inspiring collection of poems with nature photographs.

You will read poems about God, having a relationship with Him, various life subjects, and lovely stories.

What inspires me? What triggers the writing? 

Each poem is an idea or a story I want to tell, a point I want to make, an emotion I want to pour on paper. It can come from something I just read or heard. Something from my past or something that just happened. Other times, it’s the result of the thought process where one thought makes room for another, and so on, till it lands on something clever. Lastly, it can be an image that only “lives” in my imagination that I want to describe.

Contrary to a novel, per example, where, I would think, the author decides beforehand the main lines of the story, for me, I search for each topic. No, that is the wrong word, I focus my mind to be aware, to find ideas. Ideas worth writing about. I never know in advance what my next poem’s topic will be.

Let’s visit a few.

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I was always a bit reserve as a child as far as clowns where concern. Something false about them. They have a painted smile on their face but maybe they feel something else inside. This became part of a poem, simply call Clowns…it takes the reader…well, let’s not spoil it. I will let you discover the meaning when you have the pleasure of reading it.

My faith-based poetry is inspired by my relationship with God, my experience with Him, the books I read and teachings I listen to. On a particular Sunday, a Bible passage was brought to my attention. That became the base for More than just…as music shares the stage.

A storm was raging one Saturday morning, a fierce wind against my window and I surprised myself thinking, wow, sounds like the wind is banging on the window: “Let me in, I don’t want to be outside in this nasty weather.” Oh! That is so good. That afternoon, A war erupted made its appearance on the page.

And my photos? They are from places I visited or traveled to. I photograph the beauty I see, what catches my attention. It’s everywhere, from my neighborhood where I take walks, to cities across the country, even further, from previous travel destinations. 

All my writing is done first, then, I look through my large collection of photographs to choose the ones that would complement the poetry. The selection is not random, there is always a connection between the poem and the photograph next to it, I hope you will see it. 

Most of them were taken before I became a poet, an author with already two poetry books and a third one on the way. I never thought the photos I was taking would end up in beautiful books, books written by myself. That makes me smile, a huge smile.

So here you have it, my inspiration comes from many places. Each poem is unique, same for the photographs. 

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Thank you for your time, thank you for reading my poetry. I invite you to visit my author’s website: Louise Bélanger – Author (louisebelangerauthor.com) . I hope you will enjoy Your Words Your World and will find a favorite poem or two or more. 

Louise Bélanger 

January 12, 2021

Cherish (The Valespian Pact Book 4) by Lexi Ander

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

TRIGGER WARNING: violence, captivity, experimentation/not shown, physical trauma, death of unnamed character/not shown, talk of suicide, suicide not on page, death of chicks when eggs go cold

The history of Destin and the GyrFalconi Society are explored as fans of The Valespian Pact series are sent over a century into the past in author Lexi Ander’s “Cherish”, the fourth book in this sci-fi romance series.

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The Synopsis

Saving a life can change the course of history.

Destin is torn away from his chicks and his bonded when the Terrens invade Aries 7. Experimented on in Terren labs, and made to work their mines, the GyrFalconi struggle to survive. Destin becomes their caretaker, endeavoring to save as many as possible, despite the emotional toll. Amidst the battle for survival, the universe shines on him and he bonds with not one but four people who give him a reason to keep fighting. When Valespia sends its Legions to the GyrFalconi’s aid, Destin and his bonded are eventually freed, only to face new cruelties from their own people.

Freedom comes with its own trials, though, as a divide forms in GyrFalconi society between the winged and the wingless. Destin and his bonded are given a chance at true happiness and they keep what they claim, no matter what.

Tags: The Twenty-Year War where Terrens really mucked things up, so many hatchlings, Love not Lust (yes, using caps there seemed necessary), survivors, bisexual characters, all the cute hatchlings, talking to spirits, low heat, protective chantelle, evil empress, courageous stags, polyamorous, Destin keeps collecting bonded, avian species screech… a lot, non-human ace spectrum characters, found family, underestimated batore, so many stags, Mar’Sani mentor, did I mention the cutest chicks ever?

CHERISH is the fourth book in the award-winning Valespian Pact series. Trigger warnings can be found in the Author’s Note. Please download a sample of this book or use the Look Inside feature. 196,000 words.

The Review

This was such an emotional and tumultuous roller-coaster of emotions as a reader. The author did such an amazing job of delving into the depths of the soul and exploring both the best and worst life has to offer. The world-building and vast amount of cultural development the author deployed into this narrative was astounding, really fleshing out the history of series-established characters like Destin and finally witnessing events hinted at in the series. Now I definitely think readers will be better off having read previous entries into the series so that these events and characters are better understood in the context of this fictional universe. However, the author did an amazing job conveying enough emotion and storytelling for these characters to make the reader feel invested in their journeys. 

While this novel definitely starts out as a slow-burn kind of storytelling, the second half of the novel ramps up the twists and turns that allow readers to suddenly sit up in their seats and do a double-take, as the connection with these characters becomes more gripping as the plot thickens. As seen at the beginning of this review, there are some hard subject lines in this novel, but the author does a great job of handling them with care and showing the importance of these issues without being too graphic in detail, striking an important balance between a story’s theme and narrative that is so important and found often in the sci-fi romance genre.

The Verdict

A memorable, heartfelt, and engaging sci-fi romance, author Lexi Ander’s “Cherish” is a must-read novel. The mythos and LGBTQ-driven character development, along with truly important themes and explorations of finding hope and family in the darkest of times is something truly special, and readers will not be able to put this book down once they really sit down and get into it. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

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Now here is an exclusive guest post from author Lexi Ander on the tropes found in “Cherish”

Thank you for having me today! I’m absolutely thrilled about Cherish’s release. I was asked about what tropes Cherish used and I blanked for a moment because I don’t intentionally write to cover specific tropes. I actually had to look for a list of tropes to see which ones were in Cherish because I could only come up with Found Family.

I seem to write a lot about found family. Zeus’s attachment to the crew of the Oethra 7 is found family. He wanted to keep them with him and ended up finding a way for most of them to return with him to Atlainticia. Sohm’lan has parents who love him, but the Vondorians also claim his love and loyalty. Destin finds part of his future family in captivity. This finding people to love is something I write into most if not all my stories. For me, it’s just a part of life and living—though Destin does seem to collect more people than any other person I have written about. He has a big heart and a lot of love to give.

What are some other tropes found in Cherish? Big Character / Little Character. Batores are shorter/smaller than chantelle and stags. Second Chances is another trope that can be found in the book. This is a pretty strong theme throughout the story that touches several different situations. Egg-preg (an Mpreg trope) is also in the book but it’s not the same thing that you find in a lot of shifter/omegaverse stories. It’s very different and isn’t typical of the stories that use this particular trope. Forbidden Love… GyrFalconi have very traditional ideas of what a family nest looks like, and Cherish breaks down the boundaries because the survivors no longer care about society’s expectations. The Badass Hero trope. You know, I really like writing some variation of that trope. Sohm’lan really fits that trope, but in Cherish, the badass heroes were more subtle. It was the ‘small’ things they did that made them heroes and not because they were swashbuckling their way through the plot. 🙂 The Families/Raising Kids trope. It’s sort of hard to have the egg-preg trope and not have the Family/kids trope. They usually go hand-in-hand. And I think that is all the tropes you can find in Cherish. I might have missed one though. LOL

Reading-wise, I like to read Friends-to-Lovers, Arranged Marriages/Marriage of Convenience, Mpreg outside the omegaverse especially if its tipped on its head, and I always love a Badass Hero… oh, there’s a new trope that I heard about, the Badass Cinnamon Roll. I really like that one because I love sweet characters and when they get all protective and growly it’s the cutest thing ever, in my opinion. 

I hope you found this interesting! This is a bit of geeky-fun for me. Check out Cherish and don’t forget to enter the giveaway. 

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Cherish - Lexi Ander

Lexi Ander has a new LGBTQ+ space opera out, The Valespian Pact book 4 (Ace, Demi, Bi, Poly): Cherish. And there’s a great giveaway!

Saving a life can change the course of history.

Destin is torn away from his chicks and his bonded when the Terrens invade Aries 7. Experimented on in Terren labs, and made to work their mines, the GyrFalconi struggle to survive. Destin becomes their caretaker, endeavoring to save as many as possible, despite the emotional toll. Amidst the battle for survival, the universe shines on him and he bonds with not one but four people who give him a reason to keep fighting. When Valespia sends its Legions to the GyrFalconi’s aid, Destin and his bonded are eventually freed, only to face new cruelties from their own people.

Freedom comes with its own trials, though, as a divide forms in GyrFalconi society between the winged and the wingless. Destin and his bonded are given a chance at true happiness and they keep what they claim, no matter what.

Warnings: violence, captivity, experimentation/not shown, physical trauma, death of unnamed character/not shown, talk of suicide, suicide not on page, death of chicks when eggs go cold.

Amazon | Tolino | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | QueeRomance Ink | Liminal Fiction | Smashwords


Giveaway

Lexi is giving away three $20 Amazon gift cards with this tour:

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Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d47219/?


Excerpt

Cherish meme

Dashing tears from his eyes, he finished packing a small but heavy satchel. Alaina and Paxx waited for him in the receiving room holding large, overstuffed bags. At least they were not flying any great distance. The door was open to the balcony and the sight beyond confirmed their reality like nothing else could. Transports large and small zipped between the tall spires of this residential quarter of Skylight. The buildings were hundreds of floors tall with every roost boasting a balcony or three for landing. Usually, municipal transports flew above the spires, but these originated from the base of the buildings where the personal transports were stored.

The aircraft were not the only traffic. GyrFalconi flew everywhere, either singly or in small flocks, and there was a lot of swerving and near collisions, the people too panicked to pay attention. A lead weight formed in Destin’s stomach and a sense of urgency whispered that they needed to hurry. At least his parents’ rookery was only a couple spires over.

“Stay close to me,” he warned. The fledglings’ eyes were round with dawning fear as they observed the chaos. Paxx and Alaina nodded vigorously.

Clutching the pack to his chest, Destin sprinted and leaped off the balcony, his wings spread as he tested the air for a wind to glide on while he waited for his fledglings to catch up. They carried more, so they dropped quicker and had to flap hard to reach him, their burdens clutched to their chests. Destin spiraled down to the building’s lower floors, hoping that the air there would be less travelled, and he was right. As long as they stayed above the storage levels, they would not cross many individual flyers.

A few minutes later, they reached his parents’ building. Destin searched for his mahen’s storage garage where she and his dahen would be waiting. All the bay doors were open and the interiors empty. He did not need to read the labels, since his mahen, Akela de la Zudora, stood in the opening to her bay watching for them. Her golden-brown feathers were streaked with a darker brown that made her look severe when her feathers were clapped tight to her crown. Her brown-ringed black eyes held a wealth of worry as well as a touch of fear, which abated when her gaze landed on them.

Destin circled around behind his fledglings and made them land first. Both immediately went to Akela when their feet touched the floor. She wrapped them in a calming embrace as she clicked her nose-plate to theirs. His dahen, Imrie, rushed from the transport when Destin set down. Imrie’s long, sweeping gray-tipped pink feathers were ruffled in the strong breeze that pushed into the bay. The pink contrasted beautifully with his ebony skin. Of all the Aries collectives, Destin thought his dahen’s feather coloring the prettiest. His own were red feathers dusted with the broody black of Aries 1. When he was much younger, he’d wished he had the pretty pinks of Aries 4 like his da. Destin had outgrown such vanities and he was content with his coloring, though he still thought the red and black was somber.

Imrie grabbed his face and clicked his hard yellow nose-plate against Destin’s. “Where is Dena?” he asked softly enough that the chicks did not hear.

Destin refused to answer, not wanting to bring to the fledglings’ attention that he and their mahen were at odds. Imrie’s blue eyes narrowed with comprehension, and Destin did not envy the dressing down that his dahen would give Dena when he saw her next.

His parents’ personal transport was a modest five-person pipit. Glancing inside, food stores were crammed into every available space, leaving just enough room in the back for Destin’s fledglings. They would be holding their overstuffed burdens in their laps since there was no other room to store the bags.

“I think we can make room for you,” Mahen said, coming up behind him. But they could not and still eat. There were questions about whether the sky-cities receiving refugees would have enough foodstuff to feed everyone. Destin would not have his family going hungry when there was a seat for him on another transport.

“Dena made arrangements for me,” he replied. Akela pursed her lips, sweeping her gaze over him and the fledglings as if to say, ‘yes, my son, I can see the accommodations your bonded has made.’ He forged on. “Speaking of, they are waiting on me. I am already several minutes late.”

His chicks made frantic noises. They were all talk about building a nest of their own, but here they were, not wanting to be separated from him. It warmed Destin’s heart more than it should have. Perhaps Dena was correct, and he was holding onto the fledglings too tightly. He wrapped each chick in his arms, reminded of how much larger they were when he tilted his head up so they could click their nose-plates against his.

“Do what you are told and help your granden and granhen with what they need. They will rendezvous with your bondeds’ families. Together, they will all work to keep you safe.” Destin waited for them to nod before he stepped away.

“When will you and Dena be joining us?” Mahen asked, pushing the fledglings toward the transport.

“The de la Bao flock are meeting up with some of their extended family. I will make my way to you once we stop,” he replied, hoping that the fledglings did not notice he said nothing about their mahen. The fact was that he did not know what her plans were, especially after their argument.

Imrie pulled out his data pad and demanded Destin give him the location where he would end up.

“I will come and get you myself once we have settled Alaina and Paxx,” Akela stated, her expression telling him not to argue with her. Destin nodded, saying hurried farewells to his parents before sprinting to the open bay door and leaping into flight.

He was not exaggerating when he said he was late. He owed the neighbors many apologies when he arrived. They were kind, patient people but the stress of fleeing to safety could make anyone terse, especially when waiting on someone who delayed their safe departure.

The weight of his bag seemed heavier than before, which Destin was sure it was just in his mind. There were more individual fliers clogging the airways. With great care, he dodged a couple of near collisions before reaching the correct building. The bay door was open, and Destin pulled up from his dive to land on the edge… of an empty storage slot. He double checked the name and number to make sure he had arrived at the correct place. This was where he was supposed to meet up with the neighbors.

Destin stared at the bare floor, his mind stalled for a few precious seconds as he tried to comprehend what it meant. Again, he double checked the ID to make sure he was at the right location, and he was, but they were gone. They had left. He was only a few minutes late, but the bay was not even warm from the aircraft’s engine, so they had been gone much longer than he was late.

Had Dena cancelled his seat, thinking he would be travelling with her? He could not imagine the neighbors leaving without him. They were close friends of Destin’s and if they were leaving, they would have contacted him, and there were no waiting messages on the data pad. If Dena told them he did not need the seat, then why did she not say something to him? Did she forget since they had fought? Was—

Destin shook his head, trying to clear his mind. This was not the time to allow emotional turmoil to take over. He would broach the questions with her later, after he reached safety. He considered flying back to his parents’ bay, but they were probably gone already, and he could not waste the time. He would have to fly.


Author Bio

Lexi Ander

A two-time Rainbow Award recipient, Lexi has always been an avid reader and started reading (secretly) her mother’s romances (the ones she was told not to touch) at a young age. She was the only teenager she knew of who would be grounded from reading. Later, with a pencil and a notebook, she wrote her own stories and shared them with friends because she loved to see their reactions. A Texas transplant, Lexi now kicks her boots up in North Carolina with her Yankee husband and her 80-pound puppy named after a vacuum cleaner.

Author Website: http://www.lexiander.com

Author Facebook (Personal): http://www.facebook.com/lexi.ander.9

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/Lexi-Ander-1808012509319412/

Author Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/LexiAnder1

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lexi.ander.9/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6521302.Lexi_Ander

Author Liminal Fiction (LimFic.com): https://www.limfic.com/mbm-book-author/lexi-ander/

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/lexi-ander/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Lexi-Ander/e/B009PT22GM/

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Breaking the Silence by Author Nancy King Spotlight

Breaking the Silence by Author Nancy King Spotlight

I am so happy to share my special spotlight for author Nancy King’s memoir, “Breaking the Silence”. I will be sharing my review of this book soon, but I wanted to share more about this book and what it’s about.


About Breaking the Silence:

Secrets. Lies. Silences. Stories told by parents and their families to protect themselves. A father who defends his wife despite her damage to their daughter’s health and welfare. A mother, shielded by her husband, who perpetuates murderous acts of violence against the daughter, and keeps secret her husband’s sexual “play” with the young girl.

And yet … Nancy King, determined to learn the truth of her childhood and the heartbreaking effects it has had on her adult life, uncovers the secrets. Sees through the lies. Breaks the silence.

Empowered by the stories she told herself as a child, she learns to use stories as part of her work as a university professor teaching theater, drama, world literature, and creative expression. Gradually, with the help of body work and therapy, she finds her voice. Says no to abuse and abusers. Reclaims herself and life. Writes a memoir.

She climbs mountains. Weaves tapestries. Writes books. Makes friends. Creates a meaningful life.

This is her story.

Purchase your copy now available on Amazon. Make sure to add it to your GoodReads reading list too.

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About Author Nancy King from the author herself!

I was born in Brooklyn, NYC. From the time I was 8 years old, until I left for college at 17, I traveled by myself into Manhattan to take a dance, theatre, or music lesson. After class I was free to wander about the City until I had to leave for home at 4:30. I ate in small Mom & Pop ethnic restaurants, savoring food I could neither spell nor pronounce. Theatre and dance tickets in the balconies were cheap and museums were free. All I needed were two nickels for the train rides, a nickel in case I had to make a phone call, and a quarter for lunch. The City was mine to explore. These years made an indelible impression on me in many ways: I enjoyed being with a diverse group of people, attending a variety of arts performances, and making my way in unfamiliar worlds with confidence and curiosity.

Early experiences with abuse both at home and school led me to becoming a teacher, writer, playwright, and essayist, always focusing on issues of empowerment. I have taught creative writing, storymaking, drama, and literacy workshops in schools, universities, professional development programs, prisons, Head Start, mental hospitals, recreational centers, programs for children and adults with learning differences, and older adult programs in the US and abroad.

In 1985 I was diagnosed with a rare and anomalous form of leukemia. When treatment allowed me to think in terms of years rather than months, and ten years after becoming a full professor at the University of Delaware, I received my PhD, in multi-disciplinary studies focusing on literature, psychology, and philosophy.

As an award-winning author of seven books of nonfiction, my focus has always been on developing creative expression, arts-based approaches to learning, and student-centered learning. I have also written five novels, one of which, The Stones Speak, has been optioned for a movie. The focus in all of my writing and teaching has always been on empowerment. My newest book, a memoir, Breaking the Silence, is about the healing power of stories.  

Follow the author online on her website.

— Blog Tour Calendar

November 29th @ The Muffin    

Join us at The Muffin for an author interview, giveaway, and blog tour launch post for Nancy King’s Memoir “Breaking the Silence”

https://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/

November 30th @ Mindy McGinnis

Mindy McGinnis interviews Nancy King about her recently published memoir “Breaking the Silence”. Don’t miss this engaging interview! 

https://www.mindymcginnis.com/blog

December 8th @ Lost Wisp of Cosmic Dust

Sreevarsha Sreejith shares her review of Nancy King’s memoir “Breaking the Silence”. Stop by Instagram to learn more! 

https://www.instagram.com/lostwispofcosmicdust/

December 9th @ KnottyNeedle Creative

Judy reviews and shares her thoughts after reading “Breaking the Silence” by Nancy King. Find out what she thinks about this recently released memoir.

https://bootsshoesandfashion.com/

December 10th @ Madeline Sharples Choices

Fellow memoirist Madeline Sharples spotlights Nancy King’s “Breaking the Silence” on her blog today. Readers will be inspired by this newly released memoir!

http://madelinesharples.com/

December 13th @ Lisa Haselton Reviews and Interviews

Lisa Haselton reviews memoirist Nancy King about her recently released “Breaking the Silence”. Readers won’t want to miss this opportunity to be inspired! 

https://lisahaselton.com/blog/

December 16th @ Word Magic: All About Books

Today’s book spotlight at Word Magic is Nancy King’s memoir “Breaking the Silence”. Readers will also hear from Wisconsin student Carmen Otto as she shares her thoughts after reading this insightful story.

http://fionaingramauthor.blogspot.com/

December 17th @ Bring on Lemons with Crystal Otto 

WOW!’s very own Crystal Otto shares her insight into the beautiful and inspiring memoir, “Breaking the Silence” by Nancy King.

http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

December 20th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Author Anthony Avina spotlight’s the newly released memoir “Breaking the Silence” by Nancy King. Find out more about this moving memoir and it’s inspiring author today!

December 24th @ The Faerie Review

Lily at the Faerie Review shares her book review of “Breaking the Silence” by Nancy King. This is a memoir about a mountain climbing author who has inspired many (despite all odds)! 

https://www.thefaeriereview.com/

December 26th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Author Anthony Avina reviews “Breaking the Silence” by Nancy King. Find out more about this moving memoir and Anthony’s thoughts after reading it! 

December 27th @ Christy Flutterby 

Fellow author Christy O’Callaghan reviews Nancy King’s “Breaking the Silence” and shares her thoughts with readers on her blog. Find out more about this moving memoir and it’s resilient author! 

https://christyflutterby.com/

December 28th @ Bring on Lemons with Michelle DelPonte

Wisconsin mother and healthcare worker Michelle DelPonte couldn’t wait to get her hands on Nancy King’s memoir “Breaking the Silence”. Today Michelle will share her review of this touching memoir. Stop at Bring on Lemons to learn more!

http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

January 1st @ Boots Shoes and Fashion

Readers at Boots Shoes and Fashion will be enlightened as Linda interviews Nancy King about her newly released memoir “Breaking the Silence”. Don’t miss an opportunity to learn from someone who has overcome the odds! 

https://bootsshoesandfashion.com/

January 2nd @ Linda Appleman Shapiro

Fellow memoirist Linda Appleman Shapiro hosts Nancy King and “Breaking the Silence” as today’s feature book on her blog! 

http://applemanshapiro.com/category/book-reviews/

Forever Home by Elysia Whisler Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A retired Marine hoping to see her dreams of owning a motorcycle repair and sales garage finds her late father’s motorcycle stolen from her shop, and the detective who has found himself enamored with her goes to work to solve the crime in author Elysia Whisler’s “Forever Home”.

The Synopsis

If home is where the heart is, Dogwood County may have just what Delaney Monroe needs.

Newly retired from the Marine Corps, Delaney is looking for somewhere to start over. It’s not going to be easy, but when she finds the perfect place to open her dream motorcycle shop, she goes for it. What she doesn’t expect is an abandoned pit bull to come with the building. The shy pup is slow to trust, but Delaney is determined to win it over.

Detective Sean Callahan is smitten from the moment he sees Delaney, but her cool demeanor throws him off his game. When her late father’s vintage motorcycle is stolen from Delaney’s shop, Sean gets to turn up in his element: chasing the bad guy and showing his best self to a woman who’s gotten under his skin in a bad way.

Delaney isn’t used to lasting relationships, but letting love in – both human and canine – helps her see that she may have found a place she belongs, forever.

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The Review

This is such a well-balanced and engaging story. The way the author is able to weave themes of PTSD, how military service impacts those who come home, loss and opening ourselves up to the possibility of love into this narrative set against the backdrop of a crime mystery and a slow-burn romance was truly entertaining. The vibrant yet muted imagery of the story’s setting really felt cinematic in its delivery, making this such an incredible read.

What was so mesmerizing was the character’s arcs in this narrative. The heavy exploration of romance between the two protagonists felt so realistic to real life. I’ve always felt there is a time and place for both magical-inspired fairytale romances and real-world, gritty romances that take time to build, and that’s what makes this novel shine so brightly. The strength and courage these two find in one another, both in challenging each other and then in working together, was inspired to see, and how each helped the other overcome past pains were so fun to watch come together in this novel.

The Verdict

A memorable, emotional, and gripping romance, author Elysia Whisler’s “Forever Home” is such a unique and entertaining women’s fiction and contemporary romance read. A true one-of-a-kind read that shows romance in an entirely new setting and creates a love that feels very real and relatable all at once, this is one novel you will not want to miss. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Elysia Whisler was raised in Texas, Italy, Alaska, Mississippi, Nebraska, Hawaii, and Virginia, in true military fashion. If she’s not writing she’s probably working out, coaching, or massaging at her CrossFit gym. She lives in Virginia with her family, including her large brood of cat and dog rescues, who vastly outnumber the humans.

Buy Links: 

BookShop.org

Harlequin 

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

Books-A-Million

Powell’s 

Social Links:

Author Website

Twitter: @ElysiaWhisler

Facebook: @ElysiaWhisler

Instagram: @Elysiawhisler

Goodreads

Here is an Excerpt From Forever Home

ONE

Three Rebels Street.

Delaney should’ve known that this was where she’d end up. This was the kind of street a woman went down when all the big changes in her life were happening at once. You simply couldn’t hit a retirement ceremony, the road and a funeral all in one week and not end up on Three Rebels Street.

Small is not the right word. I prefer quaint.” The real estate agent, Ronnie, gazed around the studio apartment situated on Three Rebels Street, and nodded her head in approval. “You said it was just for you, right? Which means it’s the perfect size.”

Stop trying to sell me on the apartment. Ronnie had described it as an “alcove studio”—not just a studio—because even though the living room and kitchen were all in one large space, the bedroom was situated in a little nook, with its own door. Delaney didn’t care. The living quarters didn’t really matter. Right now the place was dumpy. Dust everywhere, the ceiling fan hanging crooked with exposed wires, and debris in the corners, like the previous tenants hadn’t taken care of the place and then left in a hurry.

“We didn’t have a chance to get this cleaned before your showing,” Ronnie said, following Delaney’s gaze. “Remember, I suggested waiting until Friday.”

But Delaney hadn’t been able to wait.

Ronnie lowered her voice to a near whisper. “They were evicted. But this place cleans up nice, I promise.”

“Can we go back down to the shop?” Delaney ran her hands through her hair, rubbing the weariness from her scalp. Ronnie had whisked them through the front bay door and up the stairs, like the apartment was the prize inside the cereal box. And Delaney supposed it was—small, an add-on, not really the point. For Delaney, the shop downstairs was the entire point.

“Of course.” Ronnie’s voice was bright, forced, like she didn’t give two shits. This was probably her last showing of the day and she wanted to get home, into a hot bath with a glass of red as soon as possible. She clacked down the stairs in her high heels.

Delaney followed, the earthy clunk of her motorcycle boots the bass drum in the cacophony of their feet.

“The shop.” Ronnie swept out her arm. “Look how much space.” There was no enthusiasm in her voice. Ronnie, who probably did mostly living spaces, had no idea how to sell the garage.

Didn’t matter. Delaney sized up the shop herself: concrete floor, perfect for working on bikes. It was kind of dinged up, but that was okay, she was already envisioning painting it beige with nonslip floor paint. Modern fluorescent lighting. Large bay door, wide-open to the cool air, excellent for ventilation. A countertop with a register. Empty shelves on one side for parts and motor clothes. Showroom space for custom bikes, and enough room for at least two workspaces out front. The rest, Delaney would provide. Hydraulic lifts. Workbench. Parts tank. Tools. Parts. Bikes.

She wanted to pinch herself, but chose a poker face. Ronnie stood in the center of the floor, like she was trying to avoid touching anything, to avoid getting any grease or oil on her smart red suit. The shop was in better condition than the apartment, but it still looked like the last occupants had left quickly—or, if they’d truly been evicted, perhaps reluctantly was a better word. Nothing important remained, but the place hadn’t been swept or washed or readied for sale in any manner.

“I’ll consider this.” Delaney rubbed her chin as she strode through the shop. “It’s a little small.” It was actually larger than she’d expected. “Light’s good, but might get a little cold in the winter.” It was winter now, technically. Mid-March. Delaney loved this time of year, when winter and spring intersected, like lovers making up after a nasty fight, the weather edgy and unpredictable.

“There’s a lot of interest in this space.” Ronnie clutched her clipboard to her chest as she looked around. She could be looking at the inside of a spaceship and hold that same expression.

Motorcycle shops were going out of business, all over the place, including the one that had recently vacated. After suddenly finding herself on Three Rebels Street last week, in front of a shop-apartment combo for sale, Delaney had done her research. The previous tenants, who she now knew had been evicted, were brothers who ran a shop by day and lived upstairs by night. They sold mostly new bikes and motorcycle gear. Repairs and maintenance were basic. Their website was still up, despite the fact that Dude’s Bikes had closed. Dude’s appeared to focus mostly on male riders, leaving Delaney to wonder if Dude’s was just about dudes or if one of the owners was, indeed, named Dude. 

“What’s the story on this place?”

Ronnie glanced at her clipboard. “The owner wants to sell. After the last renters’ lease ran out, they were given the option of buying or moving. I don’t think their shop was doing well, because they couldn’t afford to buy. They weren’t even paying their rent. And they weren’t quick about moving. The rest, as they say, is history.”

If the last motorcycle shop had failed, buying would be a gamble. But any business venture was a gamble.

Life was a gamble.

“There are a couple of people looking, after you.” Ronnie continued, “About five.”

Delaney could respect white lies in the sales biz but seriously? Five? Five or so people were waiting to check out the bike shop with an overhead apartment suitable for one small, low-maintenance tenant? She had no idea how two brothers had managed up there.

She strolled through the space, wanting a good feel. She needed to touch things, inhale the shop, draw its molecules into her lungs and taste its history before she could decide on the symbiosis of her dream space. Triple M Classics—short for Martin Monroe’s Motorcycles, named after her father—would own her as much as she would it, so this relationship was going to be deep and mutual. Through the front window, she could see the parkway that ran the length of the county. At just past eighteen-hundred hours, rush hour was a jam of red taillights in the waning daylight. No amount of time would erase Delaney’s memory of her last tour here, when she had to commute to work every day. Pure hell. It would be nice to go right upstairs to her cozy little apartment after closing, rather than having to sit in that mess.

Across the street was a row of shops, including a grocery story and an Italian restaurant. Food. Check. 

On the south side, the shop butted up to the woods, which had a downward slope of grass and weeds that led to the trees. Privacy. Double check. Plus, Delaney figured if there was a tornado, that slope could count as a ditch, and would probably be the safest place to run. She laughed at herself. This wasn’t Omaha. Virginia tornado season consisted of a few warnings that rarely panned out.

Delaney withdrew the listing, printed from the internet, from her back pocket, crammed together with a grocery receipt for extra firm tofu, Tater Tots and Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia. “This is the price, right?” She handed over the paper. Money would be tight, but Delaney should be able to manage for a little while until things got going.

That is, if she was going to do this.

Was she really going to do this?

All her adult life Delaney had moved around, from station to station. Forts, camps, bases. Not shops. Not homes. She’d never put down roots. Never had anything permanent other than her childhood home with Dad. Never owned a thing she couldn’t cram into a duffel bag.

Ronnie looked at the paper. “No.” She sniffed. “There’s a newer listing.” She flipped through her clipboard, laid it on the counter and pointed. “Here we go.”

Delaney looked at the asking price, choked a little bit, almost thanked Ronnie for her time and left. That would be the smart thing to do. Sometimes childhood dreams just needed to stay dreams.

She strode around once more, mentally saying goodbye to everything that she’d never even made hers. Even though all of this had been a panster move, it felt like all the blood in her veins had been replaced with disappointment. She stopped by the far wall, where a ratty piece of paper hung by a sliver 

of tape. Delaney smoothed out the curled edges and read the flyer.

Fiftieth Annual Classic Motorcycle Show.

Dogwood County Fairgrounds.

The event was in July. There was a contest, including prizes. The grand prize for the winning classic cycle was five grand plus a feature article in Ride magazine.

The disappointment started to drain away. Five grand wouldn’t pay all the bills, but exposure in a major motorcycle magazine would be a boon for business. Plus, there was something about that poster, just hanging there like that.

It seemed like a sign.

Excerpted from Forever Home by Elysia Whisler, Copyright © 2021 by Elysia Whisler. Published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.

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Q&A with Elysia Whisler

Q: This is the second book in a series? Do you have plans to write more books in this series?

A: Yes! “Becoming Family” is Book 3 in the Dogwood County series. It will be out in August of 2022. I have hopes for a couple more books in the series after that, too!

Q: What should the reader know if they have not read the first book in the series?

A: So far, the early readers think Forever Home does really well as a standalone if you have not read Book 1. The only thing I’d add, if you have not read Book 1, be prepared that I always have 3 points of view. Some traditional romance readers like to see the POV go between two love interests but I always have a third POV that typically sets up the next book. This third POV does not get as much space as the other two but just be prepared for it. I know it’s unusual but I’m okay with that. 

Q: Where do you get your story ideas from?

A: My stories usually start with a single scene or idea that I build around. With Rescue You I worked around the idea of how everyone (human or animal, male or female)  can be either the hero or the saved in life, depending on the situation. With Forever Home, I wanted a super strong female lead to match up for my detective character from Book 1. My teen daughter had just finished getting her motorcycle license and it hit me … my heroine was going to be a badass biker chick. We see so many guys on motorcycles in romance and the women are always on the back. I wanted a heroine who drove her own bike and a man strong enough to love that.

Q: Are you a plotter or pantser when it comes to writing?

A: Mostly a pantster. I usually have a broad concept of the story, have a beginning and an end and usually a midpoint idea. Then I start writing and once I’ve got the opening (first 30-50) I’ll go back and outline a little more. Then write. Then outline. Etc.

Q: What is a fun fact about you?

A: I love to read horror, especially literary horror. I read everything — I don’t care about genre, only good storytelling and solid writing — but 75% of my TBR pile is horror/thriller/mystery. 

Q: You grew up in the military and moved around quite a bit. Did you enjoy this? How do you think it has affected the stories you write?

A: Moving around was a mixed bag. I loved getting to travel and go to new places. I actually adored the traveling part — by plane, train, car. I made up stories in my head about being a fugitive running off to new lands. I’d spend a lot of plane/car time writing by hand. The hard part was getting to the new places and having to establish all new friendships and schools. I barely ever got to see extended family (grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins). I never had that community of people I grew up with. That said, I wouldn’t trade my life for anyone’s. I got to experience so many different lands, cultures, climates. Living in Alaska at a young age in particular instilled in me a great love for the natural world that I’m grateful for to this day. All of that informed my writing in a big way. There’s definitely something to be said for seeing the world, getting outside your bubble and having that experience. The best compliments I get are on my characters being complex and real and I credit that directly to all the moving around I did. When you’re always new you have to be quiet, pay attention, watch and understand. You learn a lot that way.

Harlequin Series Winter Tour Special Posts: Opening His Holiday Heart by Renee Ryan

Hello everyone! Throughout the next month, I am honored to be sharing some special posts sharing an upcoming holiday or winter-themed reads from Harlequin Books as part of the Harlequin Series Winter Tour 2021. Each of these posts will have this intro, followed by a prepared post featuring info on the latest book on this tour and where you can find it. I hope you will check out this amazing tour and support the authors and Harlequin Books, who I have thoroughly enjoyed working with these last couple of years and can’t wait to continue reading their amazing catalog of authors. Enjoy this next selection.

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OPENING HIS HOLIDAY HEART by Renee Ryan (on-sale Nov.30, Love Inspired): With a little boy’s help, can he let go of painful memories? Casey Evans wants no part in the holidays, which is a major problem for Mayor Sutton Wentworth. Sutton has her heart set on their town winning a national Christmas contest, and Casey’s refusal to decorate his coffee shop could ruin everything. Thankfully, her precious son has worked his charms on Casey. But can one little boy—and his mother—change the mind of the local grinch?

About Renee Ryan: Renee Ryan grew up in a Florida beach town outside Jacksonville, FL.  Armed with a degree in Economics and Religion from Florida State University, she explored various career opportunities, including stints at a Florida theme park and a modeling agency. She currently lives in Savannah, Georgia with her husband and a large, fluffy cat many have mistaken for a small bear.  Renee can be contacted through her website at www.reneeryan.com

Amazon: https://www.amazon.ca/Opening-His-Holiday-Heart-Inspirational-ebook/dp/B095M3R8XQ/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=OPENING+HIS+HOLIDAY+HEART+by+Renee+Ryan&qid=1637073717&sr=8-1 

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/opening-his-holiday-heart-renee-ryan/1139540765?ean=9781335758958 

Harlequin.com: https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781335758958_opening-his-holiday-heart.html