Category Archives: reviews

TimeLab Episode 1: San Francisco by Jackiem Joyner Review

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

Two men ridiculed and persecuted for their scientific pursuits yet separated by time find themselves forced to work together to stop a brutal invasion in a forgotten time in author Jackiem Joyner’s “TimeLab Episode 1: San Francisco”. 

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The Synopsis

Two Scientists. One from long ago. The other from modern day 2018.

Both on the precipice of greatness.

Both met with disdain, and in one case, branded a witch.

Sir Bernard, a seasoned and trusted scientist, living in the time of King Caesar, is lauded by many… until his invention sparks rage and fear among the people. When they brand him as a witch, practicing dark magic, he makes a daring escape via his time machine.

He finds himself in San Francisco, 2000 years in the future. There, he befriends Kyle, a young, talented physics student, whose brilliance also sparks distrust, and in some cases, maltreatment.

Together, the two scientists are a formidable force, but there are barriers that prevent them from making good use of their scientific theories.

Sir Bernard’s homeland is on the brink of war. To save his people, he must go back in time, but first he’ll need a new, more powerful time machine.

Kyle has struggles of his own. His brain puts him ahead of the class, but he has trepidation about his mother’s legacy. He wants to clear her name and prove that she didn’t intentionally detonate a scientific lab, killing everyone, including herself.

Two scientists from vastly different worlds fight to erase the past. Can they prove their theories are real and can they save lives and reputations, including their own?

Find out in Episode 1 of this adrenaline-rushing science fiction novel, featuring time-traveling scientists! Scroll and click Buy-with-1-click today!

The Review

This was such a fun and fast-paced sci-fi thriller! The story does a fantastic job of packing a punch and hitting readers with a large sense of world-building in such a short amount of time. The imagery and mythos that the author layers into the narrative are both unique and fascinating to behold, giving readers just enough of a hook to keep them invested while also ending the story on a cliffhanger to keep the reader captivated.

The character building was great to read. While Kyle and his tragic backstory are alluded to, it is Bernard’s story that really propels the mythology to the story’s stratosphere, infusing both sci-fi and fantasy elements into the narrative and keeping readers entertained. The episodic format of the story is also quite unique, making the story feel like a television show that keeps the reader hanging off of the author’s every word and eager to binge the next book in the series.

The Verdict

Thoughtful, fast-paced, and engaging, author Jackiem Joyner’s “TimeLab Episode 1: San Francisco” is a must-read sci-fi story! The brilliant world-building and mythology the author integrated into these two relatable and passionate protagonists and the cliffhanger of an ending will have readers eager to devour more of the author’s work. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Jackiem Joyner has loved Science Fiction ever since he was a child, fascinated by all the stories and imaginations of futuristic worlds. But it wasn’t until later in his life, after experiencing huge success in the recording business, that he decided to put pen to paper – the result of which is his debut novel, Zarya.

Gathering from his experiences traveling the world as a recording artist, he developed a knack for good science fiction stories after reading several books a month. Having used and operated many devices from the future, he incorporated exciting equipment and imaginary scientific ideas into dramatic thrillers that are sure to keep readers on edge.

Jackiem was born in Norfolk, Virginia and spent most of his young adult life in Syracuse New York before moving to Los Angeles, California where he currently resides. In addition to writing fun stories, Jackiem Joyner has experienced huge success as a recording artist, with multiple songs peaking at number 1 on the billboard charts and 5 international records released.

https://joynerbookclub.com/

Destiny of Avalon (Awakenings Book 3) by J. Lynn Else Review

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

A young group of heroes faces their most challenging journey yet when their parents and a close ally are taken by a vengeful djinn who plans to unleash a powerful djinn army in author J. Lynn Else’s “Destiny of Avalon”, the third book in the Awakenings series. 

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The Synopsis

A djinn banished long ago has found his way back into Avalon, and he’s taken Genie’s, Whit’s, Mei’s, and Beth’s parents hostage. In exchange for their lives, he wants an ancient artifact. With it, he’ll conjure a spell that will destroy all of time as we know it in order to restore something that was taken from him centuries in the past. Then, before anyone knows what’s happening, he snatches Mei, whose ancestral ties can help him unlock his palace and its sinister secrets on Bottle Isle.

With the lives of their parents and Mei on the line, Beth, Whit, and Genie will need to split up in hopes of retrieving the artifact while also finding a way to set a trap for the evil djinn. Queens Guinevere and Nimue, along with Whit and Beth, will travel to the land of the dead on an ancient Egyptian solar barge. Meanwhile at the Library of Ancients, as Genie is investigating ways to foil the djinn’s plans, something strange begins to happen to her. She’s aging rapidly and losing strength with each passing day. While Morgana searches for a cure for Genie, Viviane must try to unlock the djinn’s final secret: his true name. If they can discover that, they can destroy his power.

However, there’s one final task that only Genie can complete. If they’re to stand a chance against the djinn army to free their parents and Mei from captivity, Genie must find a way to awaken the land of Avalon.

The Review

This was such a thrilling and heart-pounding conclusion to a multi-mythological baring fantasy series! The deep-seated lore the author has crafted from both original storytelling and existing mythos from various cultures was incredible to see. The addition of Egyptian mythology in particular in this story, from the Egyptian afterlife to gods and goddesses, was so creatively inspiring, especially considering the overall Arthurian mythos that has defined this narrative for so long.

The emotional and captivating journey this main cast of characters goes through is so investing to behold as a reader and fan of this series. Mei and Genie in particular have truly powerful stories unfold, both enduring the most challenging aspects of this magical adventure yet as they both attack the new threat from two very different places. The expansion of this world and the connection that it has to Earth’s own mythology and connection to magic was perfectly brought to life by these characters and made for a truly entertaining read.

The Verdict

Engaging, captivating, and brilliantly written, author J. Lynn Else’s “Destiny of Avalon” is the brilliant final chapter of the Awakenings series. While the world-building and mythos the author introduces leave plenty of room for the author to revisit in future stories, the main tale and its conclusion felt so satisfying and did the characters justice in the end. The climactic final battle with this ancient evil and the emotional final chapter that shows the path these four friends end up taking made this such a beautiful story to behold and captured the magic that defined the narrative for so long. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

J. LYNN ELSE is an award-winning author from Minnesota who’s self-published two historical fiction novels set in ancient Egypt, “The Forgotten: Aten’s Last Queen (2013),” which was named an Indie Editor’s Choice book for 2016 by the Historical Novel Society, and “The Forgotten: Heir of the Heretic (2016)” as well as a sci fi novella “Strangely Constructed Souls (2018).” Through Inklings Publishing, she’s authored an Arthurian-influenced, female-driven fantasy trilogy, “Descendants of Avalon” (2018), “Lost Daughters of Avalon” (2019), and “Prophecy of Avalon” (2021).” Her short story “The Girl from the Haunted Woods,” won 2nd place in the “Journey into the Fantastical” Anthology contest. In 2021, she became the Indie Reviews Editor for the Historical Novel Society. She believes in unicorns and practicing random acts of awesome.

https://www.teasippinnerdymom.com/

The Cell (The World of Morphea) by Ralph Srouji Review

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

An advanced society that long ago shed the needs of the physical form finds its society on the verge of collapse in author Ralph Srouji’s “The Cell”.

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The Synopsis

After the climate catastrophe known as the Burn, the last surviving humans moved underground into old mines converted into subcities.

Cut off from one another, the subterranean societies collapsed and chaos nearly ruled supreme. Only the civilization of Rockys was spared that fate. Its tenacious people, led by wise and visionary Administrators, started rebuilding a new stable and prosperous society.

In due time, Rockys’ drills pierced through the Earth’s crust and reconnected all the known subcities under one civilization.

During this golden age of advancement and progress, Casper Vandee built the first Morphea, a realistic metaverse that would go on to change the course of the whole species.

Gradually liberated from their physical needs thanks to Morphea, humans went on exploring the extent of their creativity and freedom.

More than forty thousand years later, Cosmic Morphea, the giant planet housing quadrillions of humans, sits in space, bathing peacefully and discreetly around Sagittarius A*, the black hole at the center of the Milky Way.

As the last mysteries of the universe unravel, and the species reaches the highest levels of civilization, one where they are able to spawn new universes, the last unanswered question, what’s next, still eludes the Morpheans.

Gradually and inconspicuously, the longest human society starts to crack and fissure, hassled by various crisis that end up threatening Morphea and the future of the species…

The Review

The author did such an amazing job of balancing the sci-fi elements of the narrative with larger-than-life world-building and mythos development. The unique nature of the metaverse and humanity’s dependence on the unique world of Morphea was truly fascinating to read, as was the deep history of the planet Earth that fueled history and our own world’s events perfectly to make this narrative feel alive and realistic at times.

The themes explored in this novel were quite powerful. The exploration of humanity’s impact on the world, how technology and both augmented and virtual reality impact us, and the cost of evolution and advancements in technology and physiology all played out spectacularly in this novel. The author’s ability to pair these important themes with entertaining narratives and well-developed characters made this novel shine brightly.

The Verdict

Engaging, thought-provoking, and fast-paced, author Ralph Srouji’s “The Cell” is a must-read sci-fi epic. The rich and layered world-building blended with the brilliant mythos the author develops will have readers instantly glued to the pages of this novel, and the exciting and thoughtful conclusion to this story will leave readers eager for more of the author’s unique vision and writing style. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Ralph Srouji was born in Beirut in 1977 during the civil war. Books, especially fictional books, provided him with the escape he needed during that uncertain time. Through the refuge of books, he discovered that we live in two realities; one where bombs can fall from the sky, and another where the mind can travel further than the borders of the universe.

He plans to continue the story of The Cell through the World of Morphea, a universe of various works that delves into the secrets of the metaverse. Discover more at www.morphea.world.

Cover Reveal of “Bed of Rose and Thorns“ by Lee Hunt.

Bed of Rose and Thorns - Lee Hunt

Lee Hunt has a new dark fantasy/fairy tale out: Bed of Rose and Thorns, and we have the cover reveal! There’s a giveaway too.

Sir Ezra is an Elysian Bell; he has a frightening potential that he keeps hidden deep beneath tight layers of steel armor. He secretly loves a dark Queen whose touch would mean his death.

Banished for brutally slaughtering the Prince of Erle and husband to the Queen, Sir Ezra can only dream of seeing her again. Every night, his soul travels to distant lands, remembering the Queen, her deep convictions, brilliant mind, unending work, hidden loneliness, and a single night of horrific bloodshed.

Recalled to the Queendom after eleven years, Ezra hopes to catch at least a fleeting glimpse of the woman he was sacrificed for. Instead, he finds a nation in rebellion and the Queen to be an elusive phantom. His only friend, Sir Marigold, challenges his presence and tells him that he is not needed in the capitol. Looking for both the truth and the absent Queen, Ezra finds only more secrets and enemies.

Ezra’s armor is dented, scarred, and ruined by friend and enemy alike; his secret potential is about to become unbound.

Amazon | Universal Buy Link


Giveaway

Lee is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour:

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

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d47239/?


Excerpt

Bed of Rose and Thorns meme

A man alone, thirsty, falls asleep.

***

“Where am I?” asks the man. He seems to be bobbing high in clear aquamarine water. All he can see is a vast expanse of ocean and a clear crystalline structure that floats nearby. Something seems familiar. He had been in a desert, travelling with friends, but now he swims upon an endless ocean.

“Have I been here before?” he asks. The tug of oceanic currents and the endless blue horizon pull on some memory . . . something important.

“You are in the sea of Eydos,” says the crystalline structure. It has been floating toward him, quietly, its approach, until then, unnoticed.

“And you are an iceberg,” the man says, smiling, unconcerned, unsurprised by the nearness of the mountainous structure. He does not know what Eydos is, but he thinks he may recognize this vast icy creature. Something tells him that he may have seen her before, though his memory is as difficult to make out as a words written on water.

The iceberg shakes from side to side, creating little ripples and dancing waves. “I suppose that I am.”

“Your sides are so smooth,” says the man. “I like you.”

The iceberg shakes again and glides right up beside the man. He floats high enough in the water that her ripples of laughter do not threaten to drown him. “You are brave, aren’t you?”

“I am not afraid to look upon that which I like. And say so.”

“Look down then, man, and tell me what you see.”

The man dives down a few body lengths, searching. When he resurfaces, he is smiling even more widely than before. “You go down and down, out of sight, beyond light and reckoning.” He shakes his head at her. “Most of you is down below, unknowable. How vast are you?”

“Never ask a lady her size,” the iceberg says, creating even bigger waves as she shakes the waters, laughing. “My size is my depth, and my depth is my size.”

“Well, I like it. I am just a man. Not vast or mysterious like an iceberg.”

“An amusing man, I think,” replies the berg.

The man asks, “Where are you going?”

“On currents that are my own, on purposes that are my own, for reasons that are my own.”

“I don’t know what I am doing here or where I am going,” says the man.

“Typical,” replies the iceberg lightly. “Most do not.”

The man, swimming hard beside her, says, “You are certainly moving fast through this ocean.”

“Indeed,” says the iceberg. “I am an agent of my own destiny.” After a moment, she adds, “If you come around back and swim in my eddy, you will be pulled along. You can rest while we talk.”

The man looks at the smooth surface of the iceberg. “Can I not just slide up onto you and rest there?”

“No!” says the iceberg, firm. “I am hard and cold. I would burn you. If you touch me, you will be undone.” Her voice softens as she adds, “It is nice in my eddy. Swim there, man.”

He shrugs and does as she says.

“Oh, this is nice,” says the man. “I can look at you and talk at the same time.”

“Glad to help you do two things at once,” giggles the iceberg, making tears of water jiggle and parade.

And they talk on through the day, the man endlessly curious about the magnificent creature of the waters.

***

“I love you, iceberg,” declares the man.

“That’s nice, but you don’t even know a tenth of me.”

“Good point,” laughs the man. “I need to dive deeper.” He takes a deep breath and dives into the dark again.

Missing completely the iceberg’s cry of “No!”

The water starts at a clear color, or is it green? Then it turns light blue, and then to deeper and darker shades. The man pushes and kicks, fighting his buoyancy, feeling the weight of water build and build, following the clean lines of ice down into oblivion.

Heavy, crushing pressure begins to squeeze him. It is like the weight of memory, everywhere pushing, everywhere trying to change and deform him from his human shape, trying to make his courage fail and shatter his hope. But he loves the iceberg and he needs to follow her down.

At the utmost point of indigo darkness, he finds a new light. It shines from a clear chamber in the ice where a figure waits. Lungs bursting, he pushes deeper, drawing level to the translucent walls and the woman who lies inside.

She is naked but for her long, tawny hair. Like a lion’s mane, it frames her long, pure face and spills over her delicate, perfect shoulders. She looks at peace. Her eyes are closed, but she is smiling.

This is the heart of the iceberg, the man thinks, in the crushing pressure of the deep. So beautiful.

Then he sees that she rests upon a bed of long, sharp thorns.


Author Bio

Lee Hunt

Born with only one working lung and having had the last rights read to him and dying of an influenza related viral pneumonia, 25-year-old geophysicist Lee Hunt experienced several near-death dreams. The power of communication and the need to both understand and be understood was at the heart of each. He had already found that nothing was more important than being able to cross the distance between people.

Lee’s interests are eclectic. He is an Ironman Triathlete, hiker, traveler, and an enthusiastic sport rock climber. Lee also continues to work as a geophysicist on Carbon Capture and Sequestration projects, and is a writer for BIG-Media.ca.

The dream of understanding and being understood has never left his mind, and Lee continues that in his works of fiction through metaphor. His works include The Dynamicist Trilogy, Last Worst Hopes and Bed of Rose and Thorns.

Author Website: https://www.leehunt.org/

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100052376555360

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

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1196106.Lee_Hunt

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

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Lee-Hunt/e/B082YFTMCK

 

Other Worlds Ink logo

Lucky Ride by Terry Tierney

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

A man looking for a fresh start after his wife’s affair finds himself on a wild ride of discovery across America during the Vietnam War era in author Terry Tierney’s “Lucky Ride”.

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The Synopsis

Set in the Vietnam era, Lucky Ride tells the story of a recent veteran, an unraveling marriage, and a hitchhiking trip steeped in hippie optimism, post-war skepticism, and drug-induced fantasy 

When his friend Rick shows up in Binghamton, New York, with an interstate weed delivery, Flash jumps at the chance to escape his wife Ronnie’s affair with her middle-aged boss. Joining Rick on a speed-fueled drive to Fort Worth, Flash dodges a highway stalker and recalls his military service on Adak, a desolate cold war outpost where Seabees bravely defended their country with marijuana and LSD. Hitchhiking west from Fort Worth, Flash confronts Texas Rangers, amorous witches, armed felons, and good Samaritans, all offering advice and misdirection. But his dreams of starting fresh in California recede like a spent wave, his money gone and no chance of a job. Ronnie offers reconciliation and Flash must decide how much he still trusts the seductive pull of the irresistible campus radical he married before the draft descended on their lives.

The Review

The author did a truly wonderful job of capturing the uncertainty and chaos of the Vietnam War era in the United States of America. The drug culture and the impact the war had on veterans, in particular, were looked at extensively, and the very natural pacing of the novel’s events was perfectly timed, not feeling too rushed or overextended in its delivery. 

The novel itself was definitely very character-driven. The protagonist in particular represented the confusion and soul-searching that so many people undertook in that era. The age of hitchhiking and travel along America’s highways showed both the main character’s experiences and emotional development throughout the narrative but highlighted how the highways themselves almost became characters in the story, the settings so vital and so detailed that readers could almost feel the atmosphere the author was developing throughout the narrative.

The Verdict

Personal, heartfelt, and entertaining, author Terry Tierney’s “Lucky Ride” is a brilliant and captivating read. The exploration of self-discovery, relationships, and the impact of war on those vets and their loved ones in the wake of the Vietnam War was an inspired road to explore in this novel and gave readers a protagonist and narrative to really sink their teeth into and feel compelled forward into the author’s world he developed. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Terry was born in South Dakota and raised in Minneapolis and Cleveland. After serving in the Seabees, he received a BA and MA in English from Binghamton University and a PhD in Victorian Literature from Emory University. He taught college composition and creative writing, and he later survived several Silicon Valley startups as a software engineering manager. His stories and poems have appeared in over forty literary magazines, and his novel Lucky Ride, an irreverent Vietnam era road novel, will be published by Unsolicited Press in 2022. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, a Librarian from the University of California, their son, and their goofy Golden Retriever. Terry’s website is http://terrytierney.com.

Purchase Links

https://www.unsolicitedpress.com/store/p285/luckyride.html

https://bookshop.org/books/lucky-ride-9781950730933

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lucky-ride-terry-tierney/1139820900

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1122846

Social Media Links

https://www.facebook.com/poetsgarage/

Savoring the Camino de Santiago: It’s the Pilgrimage, Not the Hike by Julie Gianelloni Connor Review

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

Author Julie Gianelloni Connor takes readers along her personal journey along an ancient pilgrimage and the road to discovery it brought her in the book “Savoring the Camino de Santiago: It’s the Pilgrimage, Not the Hike”.

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The Synopsis

“Savoring the Camino de Santiago: It’s the Pilgrimage, Not the Hike” is the first book by author Julie Gianelloni Connor. The book focus on the Camino de Santiago, an ancient pilgrimage trail that began around 820 AD. A resurrection of interest in the Camino since the 1970s has meant that more than 300,000 individuals are nowadays undertaking the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela each year. The author made the pilgrimage in 2016 via the French route from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in France to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, a journey of some 500 miles. Her book incorporates a blog and travel journal she kept during that pilgrimage. The book is also a memoir, with Ms. Connor explaining how and why she decided to make the pilgrimage.

Savoring the Camino is also a practical guide to the Camino for those interested in it. While the prevailing culture of the Camino is to walk the route, Ms. Connor believes that walking is not the only way to undertake the Camino. Taking buses, taxis, or even driving are also valid ways to experience the Camino, in her opinion. She advocates for pilgrims to slow down and savor the pilgrimage by stopping in churches, cathedrals, museums, and interesting towns and cities along the route. Not everyone experiences spiritual or personal growth through the act of walking; Ms. Connor urges pilgrims to take the trip in the manner that will most connect them with their spiritual, religious, and transcendent well springs.

After completing the pilgrimage, the author journeyed on to Madrid and Toledo, and there are chapters in the book covering those visits. Ms. Connor also recounts activities following the journey related to the Camino, such as writing an open letter to relevant governmental authorities in Spain and hosting a thank-you dinner in Houston for those who helped her plan and organize her pilgrimage.

The book also includes a useful chapter on resources as well as an index.

The Review

The heart and honesty with which the author writes was an immediate stand out to me as a reader. The reader quickly discovers that the author’s motivations for the journey this book is centered around are both painful and heartbreaking, and yet the author’s strength and courage to overcome the defining moments of her life were inspiring as she undertook this pilgrimage. The book as a whole felt like a great mixture of a history lecture meets a travel guide meets an honest and open conversation with the author herself.

The balance the author struck between the Travel, Memoir, and historical genres of nonfiction books was amazing to behold. The author’s ability to bring the emotional component of her own journey in one sentence and then effortlessly shift into the history of Camino de Santiago and the significance of the trail is spot on and does an incredible job of tapping into the imagery that illuminates this author’s writing style. 

The Verdict

Engaging, thoughtful, and inspiring, author Julie Gianelloni Connor’s “Savoring the Camino de Santiago: It’s the Pilgrimage, Not the Hike” is a must-read nonfiction book. The history and culture that the author brings to the journey and the emotional impact of the author’s personal journey perfectly mirror one another and keep readers invested in the author’s story perfectly. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Julie Gianelloni Connor’s book, Savoring the Camino de Santiago: It’s the Pilgrimage, Not the Hike, won a silver medal in the 2020 national eLit competition, was a finalist in the annual Self-Publishing Review competition, earned a gold star for its cover, and topped its category in the annual awards given by the Texas Authors Institute of History. Her book also garnered No. 1 status on Amazon in two categories: new books on hiking and walking and new books on Spain and Portugal. It is both a memoir and a guide to traveling the Camino through Spain. Julie’s author website is JulieConnorAuthor.com. Julie also writes a blog (CaminoForBoomers.com) focusing on the Camino de Santiago; the blog complements her book. 

She is the owner and editor of Bayou City Press in Houston, Texas, which specializes in travel writing, Houston, and international affairs. The Bayou City Press website (BayouCityPress.com)carries columns on travel and on Houston. 

Julie founded Bayou City Press after spending 33 years as a diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service, first with the U.S. Information Agency and later with the U.S. Department of State. She had nine overseas assignments in seven different countries: Israel (twice),Paraguay, Guatemala, Indonesia, Colombia (twice), Malaysia, and Chile. In Washington, DC, Julie worked on a variety of areas, ranging from nuclear non-proliferation to international women’s issues. 

Julie received a B.A. from Rice University (English and History), an M.A. from the University of Houston(Creative Writing), and an M.S. from the National War College (National Security Strategy). She also studied journalism at LSU. 

Before joining the Foreign Service, Julie worked overseas in Portugal, Spain, and England, teaching English as a second language. 

She has one son, James, and two cats, Halloween and Mimi.

Kwelengsen Dawn: Logan’s World Book Two by David M. Kelly Review

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

After losing his world, one man must fight his way off of Earth and venture forth into the unknown to save those left behind in author David M. Kelly’s “Kwelengsen Dawn”, the second book in the Logan’s World Series.

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The Synopsis

When you lose everything you love, the whole world becomes the enemy.

After his planet was invaded by ruthless Corporate forces, engineer Logan Twofeathers is trapped on Earth by the authorities, who are more afraid of starting a war than helping their people. He may be safe, but many others are still missing.

When security tries to arrest him on trumped-up charges, he must find his own way to return to Kwelengsen. His only option is to seek out someone from his past–a borderline psychotic, who might just be crazy enough to help.

Now, he must draw on all his strength and resilience as he undertakes a precarious and violent journey into the unknown, with enemies lurking in every shadow. The outlook is bleak, and all he has is his grit and sense of honor. Will that be enough?

The battle is over. But the war is about to begin.

The Review

This was such a brilliant spectacle and action-packed sci-fi story. The gritty nature of the world the author has built and the brutality for which the action takes the cast of characters made this story so visceral and really highlighted the author’s use of imagery in his writing. With the shocking betrayal of Earth’s security and the settings that Earth’s streets take the reader felt alive on the page.

The development of the mythos and characters in this book were the heart of the narrative. The desperation and heartbreak that the protagonist exudes as he seeks to find his love and the fight he takes to make it a reality is something that speaks to the humanity of the protagonist, and is something readers will identify with immediately. Exploring Earth and the hierarchy of the security forces was also interesting, exploring how this world’s version of Earth has evolved over time.

The Verdict

Thoughtful, exhilarating, and adrenaline-fueled, author David M. Kelly’s “Kwelengsen Dawn” is the upcoming must-read sci-fi novel of 2022 and the perfect next book in the Logan’s World Series. The brilliant storytelling the author utilizes here and engaging world-building will draw readers in, and the shocking twist on the final pages of this novel will have readers anxious to learn more about a must-have third book in this series. If you haven’t yet, be sure to preorder your copy today or grab your copy on June 7th, 2022!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

David M. Kelly writes fast-paced, near-future sci-fi thrillers with engaging characters, cynical humor, and (mostly!) plausible science. He is the author of the Joe Ballen series (Mathematics of Eternity, Perimeter, Transformation Protocol, and Intersection), the Logan’s World series, and the Hyperia Jones sci-fi humor series.
David’s interest in science and technology began early. At the age of six his parents allowed him to stay up late into the night to watch the television broadcast of Neil Armstrong stepping on to the surface of the moon. From that day he was hooked on everything related to science and space.

An avid reader, he worked his way through the contents of the mobile library that visited his street, progressing through YA titles (or ‘juveniles’ as they were known back then) on to the classics of Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and Harry Harrison.
David worked for many years in project management and software development. Along the way his interests have included IPSC combat (target) pistol shooting, crew chief on a drag racing team, and several years as bass player/vocalist in a heavy rock band. He also managed to fit in some real work in manual jobs from digging ditches and work on production lines to loading trucks in a haulage company.

Originally from the wild and woolly region of Yorkshire, England, David emigrated to Canada in 2005 and settled in Northern Ontario with his patient and supportive wife, Hilary. Foot surgery in 2014 temporarily curtailed many of his favourite activities – hiking, camping, piloting his own personal starfighter (otherwise known as a Corvette ZR-1). But on the plus side, it meant a transition from the world of IT into life as a full-time writer—an opportunity he grasped enthusiastically.

David is passionate about science, especially astronomy and physics, and is a rabid science news follower. Never short of an opinion, David writes about science and technology on his blog davidmkelly.net. He has supported various charity projects such as the Smithsonian’s Reboot The Suit and the Lowell Observatory Pluto Telescope Restoration. He also contributes to citizen science projects such as SETI@home.

https://davidmkelly.net/

Waterbury Winter by Linda Stewart Henley Review

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

A widower seeking a fresh start in life must confront loss, and discover the means of finding a community and career that is truly his in author Linda Stewart Henley’s “Waterbury Winter”.

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The Synopsis

Barnaby Brown has had enough of freezing winters, insurmountable debt, a dead-end job, and his solitary life as a young widower with no one but his beloved parrot Popsicle. He yearns to move to California and reawaken his long-lost early life as an artist. But new troubles come in threes. His ancient car crashes into a snowbank. Popsicle escapes through a window carelessly left open. A New York gallery owner offers to represent Barnaby’s paintings—but is he on the up-and-up? All of it serves to shock Barnaby into confronting how low he has sunk, and he vows—again and again—to change. He has a few obstacles, starting with his heavy drinking and long-term neglect of his ancestral home. As he takes steps toward a better life, he re-discovers the value of old friendships and latent talents seen in new light, and finds the courage to consider a second chance at love. Rejoining the mainstream of life presents several startling mysteries he must unravel, with a few mortifying but enlightening stumbles. 

 A heart-warming novel about ordinary people reclaiming their dormant potential, Waterbury Winter celebrates the restorative value of art and the joy to be found in keeping promises.

The Review

This is such a powerful and moving story. The pain of loss can be truly debilitating and takes on so many different forms. From the loss of a dream or the loss of a loved one, people can find themselves lost and stuck in the past by the pain of that loss. The author’s ability to navigate these complex emotions and craft a narrative that felt realistic and alive on the page was truly incredible to read.

The balance of character growth and imagery throughout the author’s writing was so profound. The setting and imagery presented both through the author’s words and described in the protagonist’s artwork were creative in their approach, as even the local haunt O’Malley’s felt alive and captivating to behold. Barnaby’s evolution as a character was both heartbreaking and heartwarming, as the pain of his loss and how it kept him from his pursuits in life both professionally and personally is something so many people can identify with, and yet his hope stirred by one loss too many is so inspiring and the path he goes on is something readers will instantly connect with. 

The Verdict

Haunting, emotional, and engaging, author Linda Stewart Henley’s “Waterbury Winter” is a must-read novel. The perfect drama and a great way of studying the evolution of friendship and relationships as a whole, readers will be amazed at the authors’ creativity and entertaining way of bringing true heart and passion into a realistic and honest yet fictional world. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Linda Stewart Henley is the author of Estelle: A Novel. Among other honors, it won Silver in the Independent Publisher Book Awards for Historical Fiction and was a finalist for The Eric Hoffer Book Awards as well as for the 2021 Nancy Pearl Award. She lives in Anacortes, Washington, with her husband. Waterbury Winter is her second novel.

Find out more about Waterbury Winter by visiting GoodReads or the author’s website. You can also purchase it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Bookshop.org.

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Blog Tour Calendar

May 2nd @ The Muffin

Join us as we celebrate the launch of Waterbury Winter by Linda Stewart Henley. We interview the author about her book and also give away a copy to one lucky reader.

https://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com

May 3rd @ Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews Blog

Stop by Lisa’s blog today and read an interview with author Linda Stewart Henley.

https://lisahaselton.com/blog/

May 3rd @ Fiona Ingram’s Blog

Visit Fiona’s blog and read Linda Stewart Henley’s guest post about writing historical fiction.

https://fionaingramauthor.blogspot.com/

May 5th @ Amanda Diaries

Visit Amanda’s blog and read her interview with author Linda Stewart Henley.

https://amandadiaries.com/

May 7th @ Boots, Shoes and Fashion

Join Linda as she interviews Linda Stewart Henley about her book Waterbury Winter.

https://bootsshoesandfashion.com/

May 8th @ What is That Book About?

Michelle spotlights Linda Stewart Henley’s book Waterbury Winter.

https://www.whatisthatbookabout.com/

May 9th @ Mindy McGinnis

Join Mindy as she features Linda Stewart Henley’s guest post about mixed genres in writing.

https://www.mindymcginnis.com/blog

May 12th @ Knotty Needle

Visit Judy’s blog today and read her review of Waterbury Winter by Linda Stewart Henley.

https://knottyneedle.blogspot.com/

May 13th @ CK Sorens’ Blog

Visit Carrie’s blog and read Linda Stewart Henley’s guest post about the importance of setting.

https://www.cksorens.com/blog

May 15th @ Choices

Visit Madeline’s blog and read Linda Stewart Henley’s guest post about what a difference an editor makes.

http://madelinesharples.com/

May 18th @ Beverley A. Baird

Visit Beverley’s blog and her review of Waterbury Winter by Linda Stewart Henley.

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

May 19th @ Reading Is My Remedy

Join Chelsie over at her Instagram page today where she shares her review of Waterbury Winter by Linda Stewart Henley.

https://www.instagram.com/reading_is_my_remedy/

May 21st @ Bring on Lemons

Crystal shares her thoughts about the charming Waterbury Winter by Linda Stewart Henley. 

http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

May 24th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Make sure to visit Anthony’s blog and read his review of Linda Stewart Henley’s book Waterbury Winter.

http://www.authoranthonyavinablog.com

May 25th @ Beverley A. Baird

Join Beverley again as she features Linda Stewart Henley’s post about inspiration in art.

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

May 26th @ The Frugalista Mom

Visit Roselyn’s blog as she reviews Waterbury Winter by Linda Stewart Henley. 

https://thefrugalistamom.com/

May 27th @ A Storybook World

Deirdra’s blog features Waterbury Winter by Linda Stewart Henley.

https://www.astorybookworld.com/

May 30th @ Liberate and Lather

Stop by Angela’s blog today and read her thoughts about Waterbury Winter by Linda Stewart Henley. 

http://liberateandlather.com/

May 31st @ The Faerie Review

Lily spotlights Waterbury Winter by Linda Stewart Henley. 

https://www.thefaeriereview.com/

June 2nd @ Pages & Paws

Join Pages and Paws for their review of Waterbury Winter by Linda Stewart Henley. 

https://pagesandpaws.com/

June 4th @ World of My Imagination

Nicole reviews Waterbury Winter by Linda Stewart Henley. 

https://worldofmyimagination.com/

June 5th @ Jill Sheets Blog

Visit Jill as she interviews author Linda Stewart Henley.

http://jillsheets.blogspot.com/

Guest Post: Rose Symbolism in Literature by Author Audry Fryer

I am so honored to be sharing author Audry Fryer’s latest guest post on Rose Symbolism in Literature for Women on Writing Blog Tours. I hope you will all enjoy this wonderfully written post.


Rose Symbolism in Literature

Known for their beauty, fragrance, and as a symbol of love, roses are one of the most popular flowers. So, of course, they’re often featured in literature. 

The mention of a rose in literature often adds a symbolic element of love, romance, and femininity. The word “rose” often appears in titles.  And many books’ covers feature roses or rose gardens. 

The cover of my book, Until Next Sunday, features a single red rose. Besides adding a pop of color, the red rose offers a clue to the reader that my book contains a love story. It’s also a nod to the many moments a rose or roses are mentioned, including in the main character’s name, Rosina.

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A Brief History of Roses

Scientific evidence reveals roses were among the first flowers to bloom on this Earth. Fossil records indicate that roses are estimated to be 35 million years old.

The cultivation of roses dates back over 5,000 years in Asia. Chinese philosopher Confucius wrote about roses in the Imperial Gardens around 500 B.C.

In Greek mythology, when Aphrodite found her lover, Adonis, wounded by a wild boar, her tears mixing with his red blood are said to have created the first roses. 

When Egyptian queen Cleopatra endeavored to romance Roman general Mark Antony, she had all her fountains filled with rose water and her chamber carpeted with rose petals. 

Later, Emperors in the Roman Empire would lavish their guests with rose petals. They hung roses from the ceilings in banquet halls, known as the term “sub-rosa” or under the rose. In this case, roses symbolized secrecy and confidentiality.

In 15th Century England, roses played a role in the civil war between the House of Lancaster, symbolized by the red rose, and the House of York, represented by the white rose. Playwright William Shakespeare penned, “That which we call a rose, by any other name, would smell as sweet,” in the play Romeo and Juliet. And King Henry VII declared the rose England’s national flower in 1485.

In the United States, in 1986, then-President Ronald Reagan held a ceremony at the White House Rose Garden to sign a proclamation certifying the rose as the national flower. 

What do roses symbolize?

Rose symbolism in literature directly relates to rose symbolism in everyday life. However, it may vary on an individual book’s historical or cultural setting. 

To learn what roses symbolize, consider their botanical features, color, and the number of roses in a bouquet. 

There are over 150 species of roses, with most varieties containing thorny stems. Persevering past the thorns to the beautiful, fragrant blossom relates to the symbolism of overcoming difficulty to find reward and happiness.

The vast majority of rose symbolism relies on color

  • Red Rose – deep passionate love, romance, and desire. It’s best suited to couples.
  • White Rose – purity,  youthful innocence, and spiritual ceremonies, including weddings, baptisms, and funerals.
  • Yellow Rose – friendship, warmth, and new beginnings. However, in the Victorian era, the yellow rose represented infidelity and jealousy. 
  • Pink Rose – gratitude, joy, friendship, or young love. Light pink can express either admiration or sympathy. 
  • Orange Rose – energy, sensuality, enthusiasm, and celebrations, including birthdays, anniversaries, and achievements
  • Lavender Rose – appreciation, adoration, enchantment, and love.
  • Green Rose – hope, fertility, rejuvenation. Ideal for a new baby. However, green roses can be associated with envy.
  • Blue Rose – achieving the impossible, mystery, or something desired but attained. Blue roses are either a result of placing cut roses in dye or genetic engineering. 
  • Black Rose – death, sorrow, mourning, tradegy, or sophistication. Also, a symbol of power and strength in Ancient Greece and Rome. Black roses tend to be deep red, deep purple, or enhanced by a florist with dye. 

The number of roses holds considerable significance:

  • One Rose – love at first sight
  • Two Roses – deep love
  • Three Roses – for the three words, “I love you.”
  • Six Roses – for six words, “I love you. I miss you.” 
  • Seven Roses – infatuation or new love
  • Nine Roses – eternal love
  • Twelve Roses – a perfect love

12 Rose Literary Quotes

While hundreds of literary quotes mention a rose (too many to list in this post), selecting a dozen rose literary quotes seemed appropriate. Enjoy these notable quotes from well-known authors, poets, and writers. 

“Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose. Loveliness extreme. Extra gaiters, Loveliness extreme. Sweetest ice-cream. Pages ages page ages page ages.” – Gertrude Stein

“Wild roses are fairest, and nature a better gardener than art.” – Louisa May Alcott

“But he that dares not grasp the thorn should never crave the rose.” – Anne Bronte

“That afternoon my mother had brought me the roses. ‘Save them for my funeral,’ I’d said.”         – Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

“It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.”

― Alphonse Karr, A Tour Round My Garden

“Love is like the wild rose-briar; Friendship like the holly-tree. The holly is dark when the rose-briar blooms, but which will bloom most constantly?” – Emily Brontë, The Complete Poems

“Of all the flowers, me thinks a rose is best.” – William Shakespeare.

“True love is like little roses, sweet, fragrant in small doses.” – Ana Claudia Antunes, Pierrot & Columbine

“The more you love roses the more you must bear with thorns.” – Matshona Dhliwayo

“The pink roses are love hopeful and expectant. White roses are love dead or forsaken–but the red roses–ah, Leslie, what are the red roses? Love triumphant.” – Lucy Maud Montgomery.

“A rose dreams of enjoying the company of bees, but none appears. The sun asks: Aren’t you tired of waiting? Yes, but if I close my petals, I will wither and die.” – Paulo Coelho.

Final Thoughts: Rose Symbolism in Literature

Throughout history and across cultures, the rose has held many different meanings, from playing a role in love affairs to civil wars and national symbols. In literature, roses have powerful symbolism representing love, desire, romance, passion, friendship, infidelity, and envy. A rose is so much more than what meets the eye, from its thorny stems to its fragrant petals.

Author Bio

Audry Fryer is an author and professional freelance writer from Pennsylvania. Formerly a teacher, Audry wrote her first novel while her toddler son and twin babies napped. As her children have grown into teenagers, she has expanded her writing career. Audry lives with her family and two pugs in a quiet corner of Southeastern PA. To learn more about Audry, please visit her website at www.audryfryer.com.

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I’m excited to announce the WOW! Women on Writing book blog tour with author and Audry Fryer and her book Until Next Sunday. 

This book is written with so much heart – you can’t help but fall in love with the characters from this historical romance! 

Here’s a bit about the book:

 After bravely leaving the life she knew to come to America, 
illness threatens Rosina’s happily ever after. 
When separated, will letters keep their love alive? 


Rosina leaves Italy to build a better life, but the reality in America is nothing like the dream. She is far from the Italian countryside and the beautiful olive groves where she grew up. Here the work is endless, and the winters are cold and desolate. She never expects to find love in such a place. 

Then she met him. Gianni, the shoemaker’s apprentice, is gentle, handsome, and everything she never knew she needed in her life. 

But when Rosina falls ill and is quarantined, their future is at stake. All she can do is cling to the beautiful letters Gianni writes. Each week she tries to survive the long, lonely days until next Sunday for his brief visit. 

Will fate bring Rosina and Gianni together once more? Or are they destined to remain star-crossed forever? 

Until Next Sunday is a sweet Historical Romance inspired by a true story. It is based on actual Italian love letters which were discovered a century after they were written (some of which are contained in this book.) It is a portrait of the times, and a true immigrant experience. Feel the force with which these two lives find love, against all odds.

Purchase your own copy on: Smashwords, Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, or Kobo!

About the Author





Audry Fryer is an author and professional freelance writer from Pennsylvania. Formerly a teacher, Audry wrote her first novel while her toddler son and twin babies napped. As her children have grown into teenagers, she has expanded her writing career. Audry lives with her family and two pugs in a quiet corner of Southeastern PA. To learn more about Audry, please visit her website at www.audryfryer.com

Social Media Links:

#untilnextsunday




– Blog Tour Calendar

May 9th @ The Muffin
Join us as we celebrate the launch of Until Next Sunday by Audry Fryer. We interview the author about her book and also give away a copy to one lucky reader.

May 10th @ Create Write Now 
Today’s guest post at Create Write Now comes from Audry Fryer as she pens an article titled: “The Importance of a Talented Editor”. Hear from Audry on this important topic and find out more about her latest work: Until Next Sunday.

May 11th @ Pages & Paws 
Kristine from Pages and Paws reviews Until Next Sunday by Audry Fryer. This historical romance is delighting readers – find out what Kristine thinks!

May 13th @ Rebecca J. Whitman
Audry Fryer pens today’s travel inspired guest post on Rebecca J. Whitman’s blog. Find out more about Fryer’s book Until Next Sunday and the region of Italy featured in the book.

May 16th @ What is that Book About
Today’s book spotlight at What is that Book About is none other than Audry Fryer’s latest Until Next Sunday. Readers will want to add this gem to their TBR pile right away!

May 16th @ Rebecca J. Whitman
Don’t miss today’s podcast with Rebecca J. Whitman as she features Audry Fryer and Audry’s latest book Until Next Sunday.

May 17th @ Beverley A. Baird
Beverley A. Baird welcomes Audry Fryer to her blog today. Stop by and learn more about Fryer’s latest book Until Next Sunday and find out the inside story about “How 100 Love Letters Became a Novel”

May 18th @ Linda Appleman Shapiro
Behavioral Psychotherapist, Linda Appleman Shapiro, reviews and shares her thoughts after reading Until Next Sunday by Audry Fryer. Don’t miss Shapiro’s insight on this beautiful historical romance.

May 19th @ A Storybook World
A StoryBook World welcomes Audry Fryer and Until Next Sunday to the spotlight today! Stop by and find out more about the historical romance everyone is talking about!

May 20th @ Rebecca J. Whitman
Rebecca J. Whitman reviews Audry Fryer’s Until Next Sunday and shares her thoughts with readers on her blog; don’t miss a chance to learn more about this historical romance that is delighting readers young and old!

May 20th @ Word Magic
Readers at Fiona Ingram’s blog will hear from Audry Fryer today as she writes about the difference between historical romance and historical fiction. Is there a difference? Find out today and learn more about Fryer’s latest work Until Next Sunday.

May 24th @ Mindy McGinnis
Readers at Mindy McGinnis’ blog will hear from Audry Fryer today as she writes about how to create a book club kit for your readers. Sop by and learn more about Fryer’s latest work Until Next Sunday.

May 24th @ Author Anthony Avina
Readers at Anthony Avina’s blog will hear from Audry Fryer today as she writes about Roses and what they symbolize in books. Stop by today and learn more about Fryer’s latest work Until Next Sunday.

May 25th @ Choices with Madeline Sharples
Fellow author Madeline Sharples has Audry Fryer and Until Next Sunday in the spotlight at her blog today! Stop by and see what all the fuss is about!

May 30th @ Bring on Lemons with High School Student, Carmen Otto
Teenager Carmen Otto offers her 5 star review of Audry Fryer’s Until Next Sunday. Otto can’t wait for her school library to add this gem to their collection! Read more from Carmen about this historical romance today!

May 31st @ Reading is My Remedy
Chelsie Stanford of Reading is My Remedy offers her review of Audry Fryer’s Until Next Sunday – find out what Chelsie has to say about this historical romance and it’s talented author!

June 1st @ Lisa’s Reading
Lisa from Lisa’s Reading has Audry Fryer’s Until Next Sunday in the spotlight today! Stop by and see the historical romance everyone is talking about!

June 2nd @ KnottyNeedle Creative
Judy from the Knotty Needle offers her review of Audry Fryer’s Until Next Sunday for readers of her blog. This is a delightful historical romance and readers will want to hear what Judy has to say!

June 2nd @ Beverley A. Baird
Beverley A. Baird reviews Until Next Sunday by Audry Fryer. This historical romance is getting lots of attention – find out what Beverley thinks!

June 3rd @ Author Anthony Avina
Author Anthony Avina reviews fellow author Audry Fryer’s latest historical romance, Until Next Sunday. Find out from one author to another what Anthony thinks of this book!

June 4th @ Boots, Shoes and Fashion
Linda of Boots Shoes & Fashion interviews Audry Fryer about her latest historical fiction, Until Next Sunday; don’t miss this insightful interview!
https://bootsshoesandfashion.com/

June 5th @ Choices with Madeline Sharples
Madeline Sharples welcomes a guest author to her blog – today, readers will hear from Audry Fryer about Until Next Sunday as well as learning what Audry has to say about Top Strong Female Characters in Literature.

June 9th @ The Frugalista Mom
The Fruglista Mom, Rozelyn, shares her review of Until Next Sunday by Audry Fryer! This is a book and review you won’t want to miss!

June 10th @ World of My Imagination
WOW! Blog Tour Manager Nicole Pyles shares her review of Until Next Sunday by Audry Fryer. Nicole’s review wraps up the book blog tour for this historical romance – find out what Nicole has to say about this beautiful story!