Sunday, July 23, 2017

Book Tour: Dead Storage by Mary Feliz #cozy #mystery #series #giveaway


DEAD STORAGE
by Mary Feliz

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pub Date: 7/18/2017




As a professional organizer, Maggie McDonald brings order to messy situations. But when a good friend becomes a murder suspect, surviving the chaos is one tall task . . .

Despite a looming deadline, Maggie thinks she has what it takes to help friends Jason and Stephen unclutter their large Victorian in time for its scheduled renovation. But before she can fill a single bin with unused junk, Jason leaves for Texas on an emergency business trip, Stephen’s injured mastiff limps home—and Stephen himself lands in jail for murder. Someone killed the owner of a local Chinese restaurant and stuffed him in the freezer. Stephen, caught at the crime scene covered in blood, is the number one suspect. Now Maggie must devise a strategy to sort through secrets and set him free—before she’s tossed into permanent storage next . . .

Mary Feliz has lived in five states and two countries but calls Silicon Valley home. Traveling to other areas of the United States, she’s frequently reminded that what seems normal in the high-tech heartland can seem decidedly odd to the rest of the country. A big fan of irony, serendipity, diversity, and quirky intelligence tempered with gentle humor, Mary strives to bring these elements into her writing, although her characters tend to take these elements to a whole new level. She’s a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and National Association of Professional Organizers. Mary is a Smith College graduate with a degree in Sociology. She lives in Northern California with her husband, near the homes of their two adult offspring.


Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!





Book Blast: An Epiphany In Lilacs by Iris Dorbian #historical #fiction #YA #wwii #giveaway

An Epiphany in Lilacs by Iris Dorbian

Publication Date: January 1, 2017
Mazo Publishers
eBook & Papberback; 180 Pages
Genre: Young Adult/Historical Fiction/World War II


An Epiphany In Lilacs is a young adult novel set in a DP camp outside Hamburg, Germany following the end of World War II. The author, Iris Dorbian, captures in this story a unique glimpse into the period after the Holocaust when survivors had to deal with their new realities for living, based on her father's personal experience. After liberation in May 1945, Daniel, a 14-year-old Latvian Jew, is treated in a field hospital in the British zone of partitioned Germany. A survivor of various concentration camps, Daniel fights to recover from starvation and disease. Racked by nightmares, a nearly nightly occurrence, Daniel finds sleep almost impossible. Through his love of nature, and pre-war memories, Daniel struggles to find comfort. He forms an intriguing bond with an older German gentile, another survivor. Later on, as he joins a theater troupe, Daniel tries to move on with his life, yet still searching for the whereabouts of his mother and two sisters. Poised on the cusp of a new life, young Daniel makes his way to the country that will become his new home.

"Rich with powerful and piercing historical references, An Epiphany in Lilacs: In the Aftermath of the Camps by Iris Dorbian captures thereality of Jews who survived the Holocaust, the inner scars and the struggles with uncertainty, incessant nightmares, and fitting into the day-to-day lifestyle of ordinary people. It is a heart-wrenching story,told in excellent prose and in the author's unique style. I have been a huge fan of Holocaust literature, starting with Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl, and have always felt appalled by man's cruelty to fellow man. In this new book, the author explores the terrible effects of a fragment of history on the life of a little boy. This is a story to read and share, a powerful story about freedom and the perils of war.Well-crafted with compelling characters and interesting themes." - Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite

"This was a lovely and inspiring read about survival after the war. The fact that this is based on the author's personal accounts made this absolutely mesmerizing. This was such a tragic and heartbreaking time in our history, so to be able to read a story like this was like none other. Iris really captures this time period quite well through her father. The connection Daniel finds with the older German (another survivor of the war) and his story about rebuilding his life in the country while searching for his family makes it impossible to put book down." -Rainy Day Reviews/Bookjunkie Mom Blog

Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Paperback) | Barnes & Noble (Paperback) | IndieBound (Paperback)

About the Author

Iris Dorbian is a business and arts journalist whose articles have appeared in a wide number of outlets that include the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Venture Capital Journal, Buyouts, Investopedia, DMNews, Jerusalem Report, the Forward, Playbill, Backstage, Theatermania, Live Design, Media Industry Newsletter and PR News. From 1999 to 2007, Iris was the editor-in-chief of Stage Directions. She is the author of "Great Producers: Visionaries of the American Theater," which was published by Allworth Press in August 2008. Her personal essays have been published in Blue Lyra Review, B O D Y, Embodied Effigies, Jewish Literary Journal, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Adanna Literary Journal, ThisSpace.org, Skirt! and Gothesque Magazine. A New Jersey native, Iris has a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.

 For more information, please visit Iris Dorbian's website.
 You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Book Blast Schedule

Monday, July 17 Just One More Chapter 
  Tuesday, July 18 Book Nerd / To Read, Or Not to Read 
  Wednesday, July 19 Faery Tales Are Real 
  Thursday, July 20 T's Stuff 
  Saturday, July 22 Laura's Interests 
  Sunday, July 23 Must Read Faster 
  Tuesday, July 25 WS Momma Readers Nook 
Wednesday, July 26 100 Pages a Day 
  Friday, July 28 Passages to the Past

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we are giving away a signed copy of An Epiphany in Lilacs to one lucky winner! To enter please see the Gleam form below. 
  Giveaway Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on July 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY. – Only one entry per household. – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. – Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen. 

Book Blitz: The Cauldron Stirred by Judith Sterling #fantasy #paranormal #ya #giveaway


The Cauldron Stirred
Judith Sterling
(Guardians of Erin, #1)
Publication date: July 21st 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
Ashling Donoghue never dreamed moving to Ireland would rock her perception of reality and plunge her into a mystery that brings legend to life.
At seventeen, she’s never had a boyfriend, but she feels an immediate connection to Aengus Breasal, the son of the wealthy Irishman who’s invited her family to stay at his Killarney estate. For the first time in her life, a guy she likes seems attracted to her.
But Aengus is secretive, with good reason. He and his family are the Tuatha Dé Danann, ageless, mythical guardians adept at shifting between this reality and the magical dimension known as the Otherworld. Evil forces from that world threaten the Breasals, the Donoghues, and all of Ireland. Ashling must open her heart, face her fears, and embrace a destiny greater than she could ever have imagined.
EXCERPT:
The night air was deliciously cool. Moonlight and darkness held equal sway over the backyard thanks to the shifting clouds. I dashed across the lawn and halted in the exact spot where Aengus had stood. Panting, I looked around, willing some kind of clue to materialize.
The ruins in front of me darkened as large, heavy clouds swallowed the moon whole. The wind tugged at my long, loose hair and pajamas. Tiny raindrops spattered on my nose and cheeks. I turned my palms to the sky, and cold rain pelted them.
“Great.” Intending to return to the house, I swiveled around.
I gasped. My right hand flew to my chest. “Aengus?!”
The man himself stood an arm’s length in front of me. “Why are you here?”
“You scared the crap out of me!”
“Whisht!”
“What?”
“Shush!”
Pop!
The strident sound came from the ruins. I whirled around and stared at the dark keep.
Aengus grabbed me from behind. He pulled me to him and wrapped his arms around me. I reveled in the feel of his taut body, of his warm flesh against mine.
Suddenly, everything changed. The rain stopped. The wind died. The entire landscape was bathed in the soft hue of twilight. Breasal Castle looked brand spanking new, just as it had during the bizarre dream in which I brought Aengus to the cottage. But this time, I knew I was awake.
Dumbfounded, I gawked at the medieval magnificence before me. I had no idea what had happened and no desire to pull away from his embrace.
His lips brushed my right ear, sending a shiver down my spine. “This way.”
His right arm released me, and his left slid down to my waist. Maintaining body contact the entire time, he steered me toward the stand of oaks on our right.
Once sheltered by the trees, he turned us around so we faced the castle.
“Are we hiding?” I whispered.
“We are.”
“Why? And what just happened?”
“I can’t say.”
“Can’t or won’t?”
“Both.”
Until that moment, I’d forgotten I wore pajamas. Now I was acutely aware of it. Satin was pleasing to the touch, but something told me my attire had nothing to do with his grip on me.
I looked up at him. “Not that I mind, but why are you holding me so close?”
His hand tightened on my waist. “It’s necessary.”
“I don’t suppose you can explain that, either.”
With his gaze locked on the castle, he shook his head. He pressed his right forefinger against his mouth in a silencing gesture. Then he pointed up at the keep.
High on the battlements, the black-haired woman from my dream—and from Branna’s painting—paced back and forth. Her hair whipped about her pale face and slender frame.
She paused beside a gap in the crenelated wall and glared down at the fairy mound. Her colorless lips curled into a sneer. Then her human form morphed into a dark shadow, which fragmented into what seemed a million black particles. They swarmed into the air and shot across the twilit sky, disappearing into the distance.
I took a deep breath. “So she’s real.”
He nodded. “She’s real, to be sure. Come.” With his arm still hooked around me, he led me out of the woods and toward the fairy mound.


Author Bio:
Judith Sterling's love of history and passion for the paranormal infuse everything she writes. Flight of the Raven and Soul of the Wolf are part of her medieval romance series, The Novels of Ravenwood. The Cauldron Stirred is the first book in her YA paranormal fantasy series, Guardians of Erin. Written under Judith Marshall, her nonfiction books--My Conversations with Angels and Past Lives, Present Stories--have been translated into multiple languages. She has an MA in linguistics and a BA in history, with a minor in British Studies. Born in that sauna called Florida, she craved cooler climes, and once the travel bug bit, she lived in England, Scotland, Sweden, Wisconsin, Virginia, and on the island of Nantucket. She currently lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and their identical twin sons.

XBTBanner1

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Release Day: Love at First Crepe by Heidi Renee Mason #romantic #mystery #humor #giveaway

HAPPY RELEASE DAY
Who knew a delicious crepe, a kung fu attack, and an unexpected love could create such mayhem?
Love At First Crepe
LOVE AT FIRST CREPE
Heidi Renee Mason
Genre: Humorous Romantic Mystery
Publisher: Hot Tree Publishing
Publication Date: July 22, 2017
In Heidi Renee Mason's humorous romantic mystery, an easygoing chef soon discovers life can become complicated when you're falling in lust and foiling murder plots.
Born into the wealthy Simpson family, free-spirited, accident-prone Willow is determined to make her own way in life. Her greatest joy is her food truck, The Dancing Crêpe. Baking is her one true passion, and she is content to keep it that way. Love and romance have never been on her agenda, but she suddenly finds herself in the middle of a deliciously decadent love triangle. With two gorgeous men vying for her attention, she vows to keep her distance from both of them, but the tantalizing chemistry is hard to ignore.
Willow would be living the sweet life if it weren’t for her young, beautiful, gold-digging stepmother, Elizabeth, who is nothing but a nagging thorn in her side. She is determined to save her oblivious father from his bad choices, and hopes to add Elizabeth to the long line of ex-step-mothers. Unfortunately, it seems that someone wants to get rid of Willow instead. One crazy night changes everything, and Willow’s life is turned upside down. Between thwarting her own murder plot, keeping her divinely tasty admirers at bay, and trying to stay on the good side of her finicky cat, Omelet, Willow’s plate is full. With far too many cooks in the kitchen, will she be able to stay alive long enough to figure out who wants to kill her?

Purchase Links

Available now. Grab your copy today.
Love At First Crepe Teaser

An Excerpt from the Book

Take an inside look at Love At First Crepe. Read this sizzling excerpt from the book.
Unfortunately, my sense of self-preservation seemed to be on vacation. I was completely frozen in fear, unable to move for what seemed like years. The giant didn’t move either, and I wondered why. Strangely enough, he seemed just as surprised as I was that he was in my living room. We looked at each other, his beady eyes visible through the holes of his ski mask. The synapses in my brain finally began to fire, and I jumped into action, kicking the intruder as hard as I could in the groin. He groaned in pain and clumsily took a swipe at me with the knife as he sank to his knees.
I rolled out of his path and jumped swiftly to my feet. Unfortunately, the maneuver didn’t work exactly as I planned. I lost my towel in the process and was startled to remember that I was completely naked underneath. My lack of clothing was the least of my worries. I had far bigger fish to fry.
I darted into the kitchen and ducked behind the counter. He rose slowly and lumbered toward me. Think, Willow, think!
The man was huge, larger than any human I’d ever seen. I made a quick mental note that his terrifying size might also work against him. Conversely, I was small and quick, and I was determined to use these things to my advantage. I didn’t have much else. As he drew close to me, I sprinted back into the living room. Until I figured out what to do next, I had to stay out of his way.
To be honest, I didn’t have much to offer in the strength department, and I fleetingly wished that I would have paid more attention to weight training at some point in my life. There was no time for regrets at that moment though, so I took quick stock of what I could use to fight back. There was a large paperweight on the table in the foyer. If I could get to that, I could smash him in the head with it. Of course, if I managed to get that far, I’d be better off running out the front door. I thought about my ballet classes and made a list of moves I could use for self-defense. Granted, it wasn’t much, but it was all I had.
A grand battement might do the trick. I could bring my foot right up to his face and take him out, with my toes perfectly pointed of course. Given his size though, I doubted if my foot would reach that far. I groaned, wishing I had some martial arts experience instead. Ballet wasn’t exactly famous for its self-defense tactics, but it would have to do. Rich girls weren’t brought up to fight intruders. That’s what Dad paid the bodyguards to do.
I jumped behind the couch, thankful that there was at least a large piece of furniture between me and the colossus. I was hopeful that one of my neighbors might overhear the altercation, although I knew that was a long shot. I could die there and no one would know until some unlucky neighbor smelled my rotting flesh from the hallway.

Giveaway

WIN $10 GC AND MORE!
Love At First Crepe Giveaway Graphic
Prizes up for grabs:
$10 Amazon Gift Card
Love at First Crepe (eBook Copy)
Contest runs from July 22 - 28, 2017.

About Heidi Renee Mason

Heidi Renee Mason
Heidi Renee Mason is an Ohio girl transplanted into the Pacific Northwest. She is a home schooling mom of three daughters, wife of one mail man, and a people-watching introvert who can be found hiding in the nearest corner. She is an Amazon International Best-selling author and writer of your next happily ever after.
Connect with Heidi Renee Mason on social media:
Love At First Crepe Tour Graphic
For more information, visit the Love At First Crepe Book Page at Book Unleashed.

In partnership with
Book Unleashed Logo

Spotlight and Guest Post: Benediction Denied by Elizabeth Engstrom #fantasy #epic #guestpost #giveaway


Benediction Denied
A Labyrinth of Souls Novel
by Elizabeth Engstrom
Genre: Epic Fantasy

While hydrologist Adam Swan is engaged in humanitarian efforts to bring water to a small, isolated village in the Congo, he is kidnapped by rebel thugs and thrown into a makeshift prison. He is left to die—or worse—if his ransom is not paid. In a surprising series of events, Adam escapes his brutal captors into an underground labyrinth where reality and sanity no longer rule.
Armed with a limited amount of magic which he does not understand, he survives by employing it boldly, recklessly, desperate to return to the village above, homesick for Minnesota and normal life with his wife and daughters.
Tested to the extreme limits of his endurance, Adam navigates the labyrinth with only the company of his past behavior, the baffling magic, and the seductive temptation to succumb to the mysterious and merciless gods of the underworld. The consequences of his actions, past present, and future, take him to the brink of death—and beyond.
A fun, fast, thrilling ride by veteran author Elizabeth Engstrom, inspired by Matthew Lowes’ Dungeon Solitaire: Labyrinth of Souls card game.


--If you buy the paperback, you will receive the ebook free!--



Elizabeth Engstrom is the author of fourteen books and has over 250 short stories, articles, and essays in print. She is a sought-after teacher and keynote speaker at writing conferences, conventions, and seminars around the world. She has a BA in Literature/Creative Writing, and an MA in Applied

Theology, both from Marylhurst University. Her most recent nonfiction book is How to Write a Sizzling Sex Scene, and her most recent novel is Baggage Check, a thriller. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her fisherman-husband and their dog where she is on the board of directors for Wordcrafters in Eugene. She teaches the occasional writing class, puts her pen to use for social justice, and is always working on her next book.



Guest Post: 

My process for writing a book is a simple one. I’ve refined it over the years, and as I always tell my students: If you don’t have a process, adopt mine and then massage it until it works for you. There are as many ways to write a book as there are writers.

The first thing I know is the ending. Seriously. I hear writers say they never know where the book ends until they get there. I find that highly suspicious. I’m not going to get on an airplane without knowing where it is going to land, and I am certainly not going to devote 9-12 months of my life on a story that has no discernible ending. I might change my mind midway, but at least I have a point toward which I write. This ending is not set in stone, as the characters will have a say in it once they get their personalities revved into action. But I have a basic understanding of how the book ends.

Then I start at the beginning. Good fiction is circular in nature; the ending echoes the beginning. So if you don’t know your ending, look for it in the beginning. By the same token, if you know your ending, you can find your beginning therein. 

Then write it. My daily process is to write 5, 7, 10 pages and then go do something quiet while I think about what I’ve just written. The next day I do a little light editing on yesterday’s work and then get on with the day’s pages. That procedure continues all the way to the end. I never go back and fix something once it has been written, except for that next day. I keep a legal pad of notes of things that need to be fixed, but that happens in the second draft. 

My first drafts are ugly, messy, hairy, misshapen things, but that’s where all the hard work is. When the first draft is finished, I let it cool for two weeks, and then tackle the second draft, rearranging chapters, changing characters, making sure the story works. My whole purpose for a first draft is story. My whole purpose of the second draft is also story. By the end of the second draft, I am confident in my story, and then after a cooling period, the third draft is about fixing all the little things that make a reader stumble. I want the end result to read like the wind. 

And then it goes out to agent and/or editor, and I try to forget it and get on with the next project.




Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!






Book Blitz: Veritas by Quinn Coleridge #adult #fantasy #historical #giveaway


Veritas
Quinn Coleridge
Publication date: July 13th 2017
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Historical
The ghosts are angry, thinking I’ve neglected them.
Do not forget us, they call out from the grave.
I won’t, I promise them. Upon my life, I won’t.

Being a demigoddess in 1892 Stonehenge, Colorado isn’t all one might suppose, especially when the dead are involved. Yet as Veritas of the Rocky Mountain sovereignty, it is Hester Grayson’s calling to help restless spirits cross over by bringing their killers to justice. Blind and pale as an albino, she dwells on the fringes of the nouveau riche, working with her telepathic beau Tom Craddock to catch the guilty.
When a young woman is brutally murdered, Hester and Tom are determined to solve the case as they have every other. But this one demands more. The killer wears many faces and wields greater magic than even Hester possesses. All sleuthing stops, however, when Tom is gravely wounded, and Hester is cast out of her parent’s mansion into the brutal squalor of an asylum.
At the mercy of an insane doctor, surrounded by agitated ghosts, Hester fights to maintain her own sanity by planning her escape and the downfall of her enemies. Can she achieve her goal and expose the madman who sent her to hell? Or will he continue his bloody reign in Stonehenge?
EXCERPT:
My prayer for relief goes unanswered, and faces flash through my mind. Those I saw in my last vision, the one initiated when the doctor touched my skin. Men, women, old, young—they appear and blur a moment later, shifting into the next person. All of Faust’s victims are deep-branded inside me. They are angry, thinking I’ve neglected them.
Do not forget us, they call out from the grave. I won’t, I promise them. Upon my life, I won’t.
The ghosts tell me to find the Book and steal it. Escape the asylum and expose Faust to the world. Let him answer for every crime, they say, condemned by his own words. If only these spirits could be a bit more specific. How exactly do I escape to do their bidding? Have they any suggestions? But the dead only wail and cry for justice. Blasted ghosts always leave the finer points of the plan for me to figure out.
Further enraged by my hesitation, they cause me to burn hotter. All right, all right, I reply through my psyche. As you wish, I so promise. Truth vibrates through the Pit, and the dead finally set my body free. They have accepted my vow, for the moment, but might be less forgiving tomorrow if I don’t take action. I work for a very impatient crowd.
Most people belong to another in some capacity, as a daughter or son, a sister, spouse, or neighbor, but the inmates of this place have been forgotten. They have no one to speak for them, or to avenge their wrongs. And so I’m here, dumb and blind, to serve as the mouthpiece of the wretched, whether I like it or not. That brazen hussy Fate does love a paradox.
Ironically, serving the dead gives me a reason to live, to go on breathing each day. It answers Hamlet’s eternal question of whether to be or not to be with an affirmative. That is why I crawl about the Pit on my knees, searching for a palm-sized piece of metal. It has been hidden and used many times by the inmates before me. I find the broken iron strip and turn toward the northern wall. The rough surface is covered with spider webs and dirt, but something else as well.
Words.
Hundreds of them have been scratched into the crumbling stone with this strip of iron. I trace the curves and the straight lines of the letters, as I did with my alphabet stencils at home. Of sound mind, one inmate wrote, never insane. In another place, I find Hungry, God Sees, and Died Alone. I scrape the iron against rock. Over and over, until each letter is formed, perfect and smooth. Wiping the sweat from my brow, I blow the dust away from my masterpiece, my call to arms.
LEX TALIONIS
YOUR DAY OF RECKONING AWAITS, FAUST


XBTBanner1

Friday, July 21, 2017

#24in48 Starts Now! Let's do this thang!

I'm doing a read-a-thon inception this weekend! I'm participating in the 24 in 48 thon that starts momentarily (if I'm awake!)

Click on the button up top to find out more and sign up! You know you miss the thrill of Dewey's, but in this case the 24 hours is broken up into 48 hours, so you can read in bursts just as long as you aim to read for a total of 24 hours this weekend.

My selections:



Not gonna make it through them all, but I'mma do mah best!


  1. Where in the world are you reading from this weekend? Alabama-specifically my sofa. :) 
  2. Have you done the 24in48 readathon before? Nope, this is my first time attempting this readathon! 
  3. Where did you hear about the readathon, if it is your first? Facebook I think? Probably Twitter too. 
  4. What book are you most excited about reading this weekend? ALL of them are so interesting sounding, so I can't really pick! 
  5. Tell us something about yourself. I'm on a serious business history kick, especially tudor/medieval history. 
  6. Remind us where to find you online this weekend. Twitter: @lexley Instagram: @coraelle and Facebook: Lexley/Melissa Caldwell