Saturday, July 22, 2017

Shadow of the Rose by K.L. Bone - Book Tour + Giveaway






  Title: Shadow of the Rose

Series: The Black Rose Guard Series #4

By: K.L. Bone

Publication Date: July 10, 2017

Genre: Dark Fantasy/Gothic Romance

Cover Designer: Skyla Dawn Cameron

#shadowoftherosetour


If you stay with the Lorcan Guard, you will honor your original vow, it is true. But you shall remain forever a shadow of the rose…

For as long as she could remember, Sarah had wanted to be a knight. One fated evening, a man with dark eyes appeared at her mother’s modest inn, and told her a story of love, loss, loyalty, honor, and a life of which Sarah had only dreamed.

Devastated when the man is condemned to the dungeons by her own father, Sarah was told she would never see him again. She safeguarded his story, and secrets, resigned to them forever being the treasures of her imagination. More than twenty years later, he reappears, offering Sarah an opportunity beyond her wildest dreams.

A half-mortal, illegitimate child of a lesser court, Sarah’s struggle only begins with leaving all she has known. Her hope for a better future, amid the prejudice of those who look down upon her tainted blood, is maintained by a blossoming love, and being personally trained by the court’s captains.

An unexpected turn of events gives Sarah an opportunity to change her fate—a position of leadership in the Black Rose Guard. But to accept will mean abandoning both the man she has come to love, and her vow to Captain Edward.

Loyalty and desire clash in one woman’s quest to find her place in the immortal guard.












Black Rose - Black Rose Series #1

Amazon - http://amzn.to/2ujAo8F







Heart of the Rose - Black Rose Series #2

Amazon - http://amzn.to/2t0q1Tl









 Blood Rose - Black Rose Series #3

















K.L. Bone is a bestselling author of dark fantasy. Her works include the bestselling Black Rose Guard dark fantasy series. The Rise of the Temple Gods fantasy series. And a stand-alone science fiction novel, The Indoctrination.

Bone has a master’s degree in modern literary cultures and is working toward her PhD in literature. She wrote her first short story at the age of fifteen and grew up with an equally great love of both classical literature and speculative fiction. Bone has spent the last few years as a bit of a world traveler, living in California, London, and most recently, Dublin. When not immersed in words, of her own creation or studies, you’ll find her traveling to mythical sites and Game of Thrones filming locations.



Social Media Links





Twitter - @kl_bone















a Rafflecopter giveaway



Love at First Crepe by Heidi Renee Mason - Book Blitz + 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

The Cauldron Stirred by Judith Sterling - Book Blitz + 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.

Guest Post
An Irish Ghost Hunt
            I’d like to share one of my favorite memories from the first time I visited Ireland.  I was eighteen at the time.  It was my first trip overseas with my parents and the perfect opportunity to meet our Irish cousins, who welcomed us with open arms.  The parents were a little older than mine; their five children, about my age.  They lived near Kilkenny, and while their current home was modern, their old residence still stood on the property.  When I say old, I mean centuries old!  My great-grandfather, Michael, had lived in the house before coming to America, and now his progeny explored the abandoned rooms.
            History was alive there, in the people as well as the structure.  My cousins spoke of Oliver Cromwell as though he’d invaded Ireland three weeks (instead of three centuries) before.  I soaked it all up and was eager to learn more about the history of the area.
            On the second day of our visit, my parents and I set out alone for some sightseeing.  We’d driven only a short distance when we noticed a castellated manor house set back from the road in beautifully landscaped, walled grounds.  Ever the intrepid photographer, my dad was determined to get a picture of the place.  A view from the street marred by iron gates wasn’t good enough, so he found a side road and parked the car.  He marched onto the grounds, and my mom and I trailed behind.
            I love my dad, but there are moments when he seems to channel Clark Griswold, Chevy Chase’s character in the Vacation movies.  This was one of those moments.
            He made his way to the front lawn and paused.  Then he lifted the camera and seemed poised to capture the perfect snapshot of the manor’s façade.  All at once, two Dobermans tore around the side of the house.  Snarling like the hounds of hell, they raced toward him.  Dad flinched and assumed a deer-in-the-headlights look, then spun on his heel.
            An abrupt command rang out and stopped the dogs in their tracks.  The homeowner, who strolled around the corner, appeared to be in her early sixties.  With inborn grace, she approached my dad as Mom and I reached the scene.
            Apologies ensued and in the end, the woman invited us to tour her home.  It was originally a medieval manor house but had been rebuilt in 1708.  Decorated with antiques, the structure oozed history.  We admired its elegance, but its owner struck us even more.  She was amiable as could be and deft at handling the large ring of tinkling keys she housed in her pocket.  Handle them she did, for all rooms had to be unlocked before we could enter, which seemed a little strange.  A lot stranger was the fact that she locked the door behind us every time we crossed the threshold, both into and out of each room.
            Of all the rooms, one stood out.  Family portraits—paintings and photographs—covered the walls and adorned every piece of furniture with a flat top.  At first, the owner favored us with stories of her ancestors.  Then she indicated a black and white, circa 1950s picture of her deceased sister on the nearest table.  In both hairstyle and dress, the sister reminded us of Jackie Kennedy.  I made a mental note of the photo before the sound of jingling keys foretold our imminent exit.
            At the end of the tour, we expressed our humble gratitude and returned to our cousins’ company.  They were excited by our recent adventure and divulged that no one except the owner had been in that house for years.  The property had a mysterious past shadowed by ghosts, fairies, and murder.
            Was there a better place to investigate the paranormal?  In our opinion, no.  Were we up for the challenge?  Hell yeah.  Just before midnight, the lot of us set out in two cars for the manor’s extensive grounds.  We had no intention of trespassing; this time, we would stick to the road.
            Absent any street lights, the said road and its environs were only visible by the grace of the moon’s glow.  I was just commenting on the fact when a peculiar sight stopped me in mid-sentence.  Outside the car, to our left, a woman in full riding gear (high boots, tan pants, black coat and hat) urged her horse onward.
            One of my cousins twisted in his seat.  “Why is she out ridin’ in the middle of the night?”
            No one had an answer, so we kept driving.  Farther down the road, we spotted the woman again.  This time, she was on foot, walking her horse in the field.
            We continued on, but as we rounded another bend, my cousin made an odd, strangled sound.  “There’s no sense to it.  How did she get there so fast?”
            I shrugged, then frowned as a new thought struck me.  “Isn’t it dangerous to ride in the dark?”
            Dad hit the brakes.  The second car halted behind us, and everyone hopped out.
            “It isn’t right,” another cousin said.  “How could she be here one minute and there the next?”
            Nonplussed, we peered down the road, seeking a distant outline of both horse and rider, for we’d all seen the same thing.
            “WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?”
            We whirled around and there, not five feet away, was the woman.  The horse was nowhere in sight.
            Our senses reeled.  Her presence seemed impossible, yet there she was.
            Perhaps it was nerves, or the absurdity of the situation, but my dad blurted out the bald truth.  “We’re looking for ghosts.”
            She regarded him for a long moment.  “They say you can spot them sometimes at night.”
            I cleared my throat.  “Have you seen any?”
            The hint of a smile touched her lips.  “No.  But you never can tell.”
            My parents, cousins, and I exchanged glances and awkward giggles.  Then we turned back to the woman.
            She had vanished.  Her entrance and exit were as silent and preternatural as the grave.
            Back at my cousins’ house, we gathered around the large kitchen table and nursed mugs of hot tea between our chilled hands.  Only then did my parents and I recall the manor’s portrait room and the owner’s remembrance of a beloved sister…a sister she had lost.
            Our agreement was instantaneous.  The midnight rider looked exactly like the woman in the picture.
            When it came time to write The Cauldron Stirred, the first book in my Guardians of Erin series, I knew there had to be at least one ghost hunt.  There are three!  I hope you’ll join the Donoghue family in Ireland and follow their adventures, in this world and the Otherworld.
 


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

Greener by Erin Lee - Book Tour + Giveaway





  Title: Greener

Series: Escape From Reality #3


By: Erin Lee


Publication Date: July 15, 2017


Genre: Contemporary Fiction


Cover Designer: Crazy Ink


#greenerblogtour



We all do it.




It’s part of what makes us human. There are names for it – jealousy, envy, and sometimes even greed. We daydream about what someone else has. We convince ourselves that things would be better if we were someone else altogether…The grass is always greener, we believe. Or is it?




For Caroline, being left alone would be everything. She’s had enough of doctors and nurses telling her how to live because of a mistake she made as a kid. The idea of another shrink makes her cringe. Yet, she doesn’t have a choice. Not if she wants to keep living on the outside.




For Nora, being seen would mean the world. It’s been years since she’s had a hot shower without sneaking around but no one notices. No one cares to ask. It’s her job to smile, pretend everything is great and ask them about their days instead. 




And for Dennis, the ability not to care at all would solve his difficulties. If only he could stop worrying about what people thought of him. To live authentically would make things so much easier. He could finally close the door to his past.




Three people with entirely different problems and one thing in common: They are trapped with a need to escape. Ironic, when Escape, Colorado is exactly the place tourists expect to find their own escapes. But then, the tourists are human too…




The grass is always greener.































Caroline






My alarm goes off at 10:21 every day – long after Lori has come and gone. Way past after I know she could be back to bother me. Basically, by the time she’s found other people to bother. I have no idea why I set it this way. I probably figured, close enough. I feel guilty sleeping in past 11 a.m. But, what do I really have to wake up for? Some days, I feel like my mother after James. I don’t have that kind of excuse though. I can’t say that it’s grief. I really don’t know what is wrong with me.


I know I’m depressed. I’ve been through more diagnoses than anyone I know. And I know a lot of crazy people after living at ECH for so long. By the time my alarm goes off, I’ve already been up and back to bed. Every morning, that annoying Lori-witch with her high-pitched laugh comes to wake me to give me my meds. She’s got to be pushing 400 pounds and only wears printed leggings that look like they are going to break at the seams. Still, she has the energy of a ten-year-old – always dancing around and talking about her dogs. “Clean up your house, Caroline. This place is a mess,” she says. “Gotta keep up with your treatment goals! Don’t want anyone thinking you can’t take care of yourself.” Or, “Does Nora know about this? Have you talked to her about your living conditions?” No, but I’m sure you will. And I’m sure she’ll be happy to lecture me. Thanks for asking.


I finally gave her a key to my house so she would cut it out with the doorbell. Before that, she would literally ring it to the tune of “Mary Had A Little Lamb” until I finally answered.


Lovely, huh? I have a stranger in my house—called a Direct Support Provider—who probably steals from me. I try not to think about it because it bothers me. At least she takes me to the grocery store. Most days, I think she actually cares about me. Still, she, and the people she works for, are annoying. They made a back room in my home into a “med” room and it stays locked. I’m not allowed to go in there. Sometimes, Lori disappears for hours “doing paperwork.” (Normally, she sits back there setting up Go-Fund-Me accounts for puppies that didn’t die and don’t need “life-saving” surgeries. Anything for a free ride, but who am I to judge)?


I have no privacy. None. At any time, and for sure twice a day, I have Lori or one of her co-workers here to make sure I take my pills. It has to be this way until I get through the one-year mark and can prove that I’m capable of taking my own medications. These are the things, the frustrations, Nora doesn’t understand. No one tells her how to arrange her house and what to do.


I don’t have to see her today. I’m glad for this. I’m sick of hearing about what I’m not ready for. Maybe that’s because there’s truth to it. Even if Dennis saw me in a romantic way, it’s not like I could bring him home. I can’t see Lori looking fondly on that and, let’s face it, she’d tell Nora.


I drag myself out of bed, stopping to pee and brush my teeth in the bathroom before hitting my final destination – the couch. It sags beneath me, not because I’m heavy, but because I’ve got that couch trained. I sit in the same place all day, every day, until it’s time for appointments. I reach to the edge of the coffee table for my datebook.


People would think I don’t need calendars or a datebook because I really don’t have a life. People would be wrong. Because I’m being watched, I have a list of things I need to do. If I don’t do these things—meet my treatment goals—I’ll be right back where I started on the fourth floor at ECH. Sometimes, the idea of that seems better than journaling about my future goals and plans. Today, on a Tuesday, my datebook reminds me that I have shit to do. Oh my God. Three o’clock! How did I forget? I remind myself to tell Lori the meds are making my brain foggy.




I jump from the couch. Today is Tuesday! Dennis is coming to fix the leak under my sink. I need to clean, shower and get dressed. I toss my datebook to the side. I can write my plan for getting a driver’s license another day. It isn’t due until Friday. Priorities.


















Erin Lee is a freelance writer and therapist chasing a crazy dream one crazy story at a time. She is the author of Crazy Like Me, a novel published in 2015 by Savant Books and Publications, Wave to Papa, 2015, by Limitless Publishing, LLC and Nine Lives (2016). She’s also author of Alters, Host, and Merge of the “Lola, Party of Eight Series,” When I’m Dead, Take Me as I Am, and 99 Bottles. She also penned Her Name Was Sam, an LGBTQ awareness novella and Losing Faith, a novella with Black Rose Writing.



Lee holds a master’s degree in psychology and works with at-risk families and as a court-appointed special advocate. Lately, she’s been dipping her ink in the horror genre. She looks forward to upcoming releases Once Upon a Vow, Just Things, Jimmie’s Ice Cream and Thing Fifteen. She is a co founder of the Escape From Reality Series with authors Sara Schoen and Taylor Henderson.

Erin Lee’s work can be found at:


on Goodreads under Author Erin Lee,


and on Twitter at @Crazylikeme2015.



***

Support this author’s work and win prizes and free books by joining The Outsiders’ Street Team, a group she shares with authors and fellow Escape From Reality Series founders Sara Schoen and Taylor Henderson at https://www.facebook.com/groups/596733930532264/



***



Greener is Book Three of the Escape From Reality Series. For future books in the series, visit the series page at: https://www.facebook.com/EscapeColorado15/