Friday, December 9, 2016

Book Review: A Toxic Trousseau (A Witchcraft Mystery, Book 8) by Juliet Blackwell #CozyMystery


From the Back Cover of the Paperback:

Vintage boutique owner and gifted witch Lily Ivory cracks open a Pandora’s box when she investigates some alarming apparel...

Even the most skilled sorceress can’t ward off a lawsuit, and Lily is not at her enchanting best with her hands full as the temporary leader of San Francisco's magical community. So after her potbellied pig Oscar head-butts rival clothier Autumn Jennings, Lily tries to make peace without a costly personal injury case.

But any hope of a quiet resolution is shattered when Autumn turns up dead. As one of the prime suspects, Lily searches for a way to clear her name and discovers a cursed trousseau among Autumn’s recently acquired inventory. Lily must deal with a mysterious dogwalker and spend the night in a haunted house as she delves into the trunk’s treacherous past. She’s got to figure out who wanted to harm Autumn fast, before the curse claims another victim…

Book Details:

Series: Witchcraft Mystery (Book 8)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: NAL 
Publish Date; July 5, 2016
ISBN-10: 0451465792
ISBN-13: 978-0451465795

Goodreads Link:


Amazon Link:


My reviews of other books in the series can be found here:


My Review of A Toxic  Trousseau:

Oscar has caused a bit of trouble for Aunt Cora's Closet when he bumps a rude customer, causing her to fall.  When a lawsuit is slapped on Lily unexpectedly, she tries to smooth things over by meeting with the plaintiff, Autumn, face-to-face.  Unfortunately, the meeting goes south when bizarre behavior leaves Autumn dead.  With Lily having the best established motive, she has to work quickly to clear her name.

When Lily's investigation leads to knowledge of Autumn's recent acquisition of a presumed cursed trousseau, a new layer is added to the mystery.  Include a local dog walker acting strangely and various residents who frequent the dog park and Lily has her work cut out for her.  There also may be a link between Autumn, the trunk, and a local haunted house.  In the end, was it the cursed trunk that killed Autumn or something more sinister?

A Toxic Trousseau is another great book in Juliet Blackwell's Witchcraft Mystery series.  The cozy mystery is fast paced, engaging, and full of excitement.  There isn't a dull moment or lull in the story from start to finish.  Lily continues to evolve and open up to those closest to her.  She's a very different person now than she was at the beginning of the series.  The author has done a fantastic job developing Lily's character, along with the characters that Lily spends the most time with.  

The Witchcraft Mysteries is one of my favorite cozy series'.  Each story develops nicely and takes the reader on a brand new adventure in the world of the paranormal. The novels are suitable for anyone who wants to read them, as they are clean reads- no sex or swearing.

If you're looking for your next cozy series then I highly recommend Juliet Blackwell's Witchcraft Mysteries. They are written well, have great storylines, solid plots, and easy-to-like characters. The dialogue between all characters is smooth and understandable and the novel is an easy, relaxing read.  I highly suggest your start with book 1 in the series.

I purchased this book myself.

My Rating:



I am part of the Craving for Cozies Challenge 2016.

See my list of Cozies here:


Thursday, December 8, 2016

Book Tour & #Giveaway ~ Bounty Huntress~Sleepy Hollow Hunter, Book One (A Hotel Paranormal Story) a Sheri Queen ~ Paranormal Romance


Bounty Huntress

Sleepy Hollow Hunter

Book One

A Hotel Paranormal Story

Sheri Queen



Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Wilda Press

Date of Publication: November 9, 2016

ISBN: ISBN-13: 978-0692803370
ISBN-10: 0692803378
ASIN: B01M226DL7

Number of pages: 163
Word Count: 40,422

Cover Artist: Kelley York, X-Potion Designs

About the Book:

Janda Gray’s a Lykoi—part werecat, part wolf—shunned by both sides of her lineage.

She yearns for the day when she can escape the disdainful glances and leave her home on the outskirts of Sleepy Hollow, NY. When she lands a lucrative bounty hunter contract, she thinks her life is finally turning around. All she has to do is lure her werecat target from the safety of the Hotel Paranormal.

Then she meets a werepanther. Her life will never be the same.

Alexander Holden, second-in-command of a powerful werecat clan, is accused of murdering the woman he was to marry. He must find the real killer to clear his name or spend the rest of his supernaturally long life on the run.

Complications arise after Janda falls for the man she’s supposed to be capturing.

Now she must decide if following her heart is worth risking everything, including the love they’ve found in each other’s embrace.

Love is about making sacrifices. Saving him is all that matters.

Bounty Huntress is the introduction to the Sleepy Hollow Hunter series, as well as a Hotel Paranormal story.

The Hotel Paranormal is THE place for supernatural beings looking to get away from it all. Beings like werewolves, vampires, elves, sprites, djinn and more check in from all over the world for business and for pleasure—and sometimes for both.

More Info:

Hotel Paranormal

Purchase Links:

Amazon iBooks BN

Read an Excerpt:

Half a block stood between me and my future happiness, but it might as well have been a mile for all the good it would do me. From the alley to the bar there was no cover, no shadows to absorb my presence. I’d scoured the surrounding area for another entry point to no avail. Barred windows and a padlocked backdoor thwarted me. I had one shot at getting inside before anyone could stop me, and that meant waiting until the barkeep kicked the last of his patrons out at closing time. While they were busy getting on their bikes, I’d make a mad dash to the front door. I was grateful the street was deserted at this hour, but it was almost too quiet. One stupid move on my part could mean disaster.

I calculated the distance from where I stood, hidden in the alley, to the bar’s entrance and figured I’d probably be fast enough to make it as long as the wolves were so drunk they wouldn’t notice me until it was too late. It was a long shot, but the only one I had. Wolves were quick, even inebriated ones. Their metabolism burned off alcohol within minutes of downing it, which meant my window of opportunity was about the size of a mouse hole. In my Lykoi state I was faster than a wolf—I’d honed that particular skill long ago with all the times I’d been chased—but I couldn’t go Lykoi. Paws didn’t lend themselves to turning doorknobs, so I’d have to do this the hard way. Nothing new there.

I leaned against the brick wall and let the cool autumn air soothe my restless body. My calf muscles twitched, and my stomach rumbled. It was tempting to give in to the urge to transform and run through the woods I’d passed on the way into town. Maybe even hunt a bit of rabbit. I let out a slow breath and resisted my primal desires.

I counted four bikes outside the bar. Mutther’s might be a neutral, no-colors establishment, but I still had to get past the owners of those bikes. Four big-ass obstacles between me and the portal to the Hotel Paranormal. I knew portals existed in most major cities—definitely in Manhattan—but, of course, my only way into the hotel would be through a wolf biker bar. My luck ranged from bad to stinking bad. I was long overdue for a bit of good luck, but I didn’t look for that to happen tonight. My usual mode of blending into the background to avoid attracting attention wasn’t going to work here. There were no crowds to lose myself in, and the glaring neon sign covering three quarters of the bar’s facade was a beacon spreading a swath of red across the sidewalk. Anyone wishing to enter the bar would be doused in light. This had to be the hotel’s idea of a joke—or a test.

About the Author:



Sheri Queen received her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She grew up in the Hudson Valley region of New York—an area she loves to depict as a backdrop for her stories—and enjoys traveling to new places where she is constantly discovering inspirations for her writing. In particular, she loves visiting old graveyards.

Website: www.sheriqueen.com

Twitter: @SWQueenFlemming

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SheriQueenAuthor/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15964216.Sheri_Queen

Amazon author: https://www.amazon.com/Sheri-Queen/e/B01MEDJ1UP/

Tour Giveaway:

2 Packages of Swag - Each will contain the following:

1 Digital copy of Bounty Huntress to be emailed to the winner, (2) standard bookmarks, (2) cover art business cards, (2)button pins, (1) two-inch Hershey Kiss with custom sticker on lid, (4) additional stickers, (1) cover art stickie note pad, (1) custom beaded bookmark, (2) custom wine charms, (1) pair of custom earrings

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Tea Leaf Tales: Which Yule Tree Will Pick Me? ~ Fantasy Flash Fiction by Marsha A. Moore, Author of Blood Ice and Oak Moon (Coon Hollow CovenTales, Book Three) #PNR


Tea Leaf Tales: Which Yule Tree Will Pick Me?

Fantasy Flash Fiction by Marsha A. Moore


I suck in a gulp of thick, pine-scented air, faced with the difficult question—which one. I tick through the usual criteria—fullness, tightly attached needles, correct height. Beyond that the trouble begins for me when I consider needle length, color, tightness of branches.
Needles crunch under the soles of my shoes as I slowly pass down the row, hoping one tree chooses me. Those I don’t give a full inspection slyly begin to stretch their postures more erect before I turn completely away. If I pause to admire one, branches brush past the backs of my legs until I turn around and give that tree a careful look.

Ahead in the center of the display, I hear voices in foreign languages—hurried bits of anxious dialog that quiet as I grow near.

One small blue spruce tries his best to stretch taller but cannot reach up to his neighbors, so I lean in and whisper, “If you talk to me, I’ll take you home.”

I wait, determined, and the nearby treetops bend over the tiny spruce until finally a gentle tinkling begins deep inside at its trunk, radiating to the tips of the boughs at my side. I caress the singing branch, then wave an arm to the shop owner.

Tea Leaf Tales is a series of original ten-sentence short stories by Marsha A. Moore, relating to photos/scenes that resonate with her.  Read more Tea Leaf Tales archived in Marsha’s Mercantile of Tea Leaf Tales.


Blood Ice and Oak Moon

Coon Hollow Coven Tales, Book Three

Marsha A Moore

Print Length: 211 pages

Publication Date: October 3, 2016

ASIN: B01LWS4V2G

Genre: PNR

About the Book:

Esme Underhill is about to discover a darkness hidden inside her that could destroy her chance for independence and possibly kill her.

Esme’s mother took her young daughter away from Southern Indiana’s Coon Hollow Coven to prevent her from learning about the unusual witchcraft she had inherited. When Esme is twenty-seven, her beloved Grammy Flora passes away and leaves her property in the Hollow to her granddaughter. With this opportunity to remake her life and gain independence, Esme attempts to emulate Grammy Flora as a wildwood mystic who relies on the hedge world of faeries to locate healing herbs. But fae are shrewd traders. When they open their world to her, she must meet the unknown malevolence of her birthright.

Thayne, the handsome king of the fae Winter Court, faces his own struggle to establish autonomy as a new regent. He is swept into the tempest of Esme’s unfolding powers, a dangerous threat to his court. His sworn duty is to protect his people, despite Esme’s beauty and allure, which tear at his resolve.

Both Esme’s and Thayne’s dreams of personal freedom are lost…unless they can trust each other and overcome surmounting dangers.


Read an Excerpt from Chapter One: Winter Began

Dear Miss Rebecca Esmeralda Underhill,

Please accept our deepest sympathies concerning the loss of your grandmother, Flora Esmeralda Freestone. She was much loved and well-respected in our community.

As per her documented wishes, the ownership of her property on 10510 East Lost Branch Run passes to you. This transfer has been filed in our office. At the request of High Priest Logan Dennehy, all council members have voted to reinstate you as a member of Coon Hollow Coven after your absence of twenty years.

However, despite Coon Hollow Coven being your birthplace, a majority indicated the lapsed time was sufficient cause to withhold transfer of Ms. Freestone’s ceremonial standing to you, which customarily would accompany a property transference to blood kin of adult age. For explanation of how you may attain ceremonial approval in your name, please visit the council office at 50013 Owls Tail Creek Road.

Enclosed, please find pamphlets describing the expected dress and personal property code of our coven, which adheres to the time period in which the coven was founded in 1935. This is to best protect our witchcraft traditions.

Sincerely,
Nathan Wells
Coon Hollow Coven Council, secretary

Esme’s gaze fixed on the words that acknowledged her as the property owner. She’d never lived alone. First her mom, then a roommate and finally Doug. Esme’s shoulders straightened and chest lifted with strength and independence at the thought of owning her own place. But, why wasn’t she approved for ceremonial status? Her hands gripped the edge of the table, knuckles whitening, and her heart raced. It’s not fair. I won’t be accepted as a healer. Only children not yet graduated from the coven’s secondary school were kept from participating fully in ceremonies. Esme loved learning the ways of a hedge witch and helped Gram every summer from grade school through college. Fascinated with tending Gram’s plants, Esme even studied botany in college.

The research company she worked for had already accepted her request to work offsite and study mystic plants…at the stipulation she be reduced to part-time. She needed work here as a healer to supplement her income. She’d assumed incorrectly that her experience with Gram and college studies would’ve qualified her as an accepted healer. Her standing in the coven would be important to patrons, all except Gram’s closest friends who knew Esme well. An attempt at independence seemed bound to fail before she started.

Her gaze drifted to the name used in the letter’s greeting. She hadn’t seen her full name in print for decades. It didn’t even appear on her birth certificate, which labeled her as Rebecca E. Underhill, one of the many things her mother insisted upon. Mother wanted nothing to do with the coven or witchcraft and said, “Esmeralda sounds too much like a witch. No need to encourage the darkness out.” Grudgingly, she accepted her own mother’s middle name for her child to uphold custom. Esme never understood Mother’s view since Gram was well-respected for her kind and gentle strength by all who knew her.

To Esme’s Indianapolis friends, she was Becky. Only her mother addressed her as Rebecca. But inside, she was Esme. Gram had always called her that, or Esmeray in carefree moments. Her middle name suited the mystic inside Esme, something Gram must have known. If only Esme could use Gram’s last name Freestone. Underhill felt like a lead weight.

Esme set the letter aside and paced the length of the rag runner through the small kitchen. Frustration wound her along a circular track through the sitting room, to her closet-sized guest room, and back. The space was too small to work answers out of her tangled mind. On the second pass, she sank onto the goose down comforter of Gram’s iron bed. Billowing fluff sheltered her from the problems. Gram’s linens, scented with homegrown lavender and rose sleep liniment, comforted Esme and tugged on her eyelids.

She forced her eyes open and pushed herself up and off the bed. Hiding wasn’t the way to begin this fresh start in life. She’d done enough kowtowing to stronger wills, letting Doug and her mother run over her. At the back door, she paused long enough to grab a rain parka and pulled it on as she strode outside.

Gram’s cat, Dove, zipped alongside with a sharp meow, slipping out before the door closed. Esme smiled, grateful the tomcat kept Gram company during her illness. She’ doted on the smoky blue stray that happened into her garden one early fall afternoon and never left. Gram swore he was an omen and chose his name ‘cause of his white-winged breast patch. She used to say, “One day soon my spirit will fly on those outspread wings, and together Dove and me we’ll roam the wooded hills.” Gram loved those hills. Thinking about the hills drew Esme to gather Dove and head outside.

Ice still peppered down, adding more layers to the spiky crystalline grass blades. A breeze blew at Esme’s back. She allowed the wind to guide her toward the woods behind the cabin. At the trailhead, ice coating the bittersweet vine berries glistened the same shade of blue she’d rubbed from Dove’s coat. Alert to the strange color, she followed a line of branches dangling sky blue icicles, each one more fanciful and richer in hue than the last. A beautiful play of light, ranging from cerulean to ultramarine. Even worth the chill at her ankles, which were bare in her cropped jeans.

Whenever Esme paused to marvel at the colored icicles, Dove pawed them and then dodged when they dropped.

Minutes later and deeper in the forest, the ice pelted heavier, and Esme reached for the hood of her raincoat. Strands of hair fell forward, woven with frozen ultramarine threads. The same purplish tint coated twigs along the path. Light from the sky reached this far into the woods since all but the oak trees had lost their leaves. The unusual color couldn’t be caused by light refraction. She’d never seen any rain, sleet, or snow like this, not even in the Hollow. Grammy had taught her a little about omens. Was this a sign?

Esme scurried along the trail, sliding at times and spotting richer and deeper shades of purple and red-violets. At the far side of the woodlot, iris-hued spider webs clung to berry brambles. She gasped at the beauty. Tempted to touch, she extended a hand but at the last instant resisted.

A deep groan echoed from the adjoining property ahead.

She snatched her hand back and scanned for some god of nature angry at her ruinous attempt. Grappling for Dove, Esme crouched behind a thicket.

The cat gave a single hiss, then clung to her leg.

In the distance, a big middle-aged man, both tall and wide, staggered behind a shed, dragging a long, clumsy load wrapped and tied into a blanket. His balding head snapped in her direction, eyes wide and face blanched gray-white. “Who’s there?” His booming voice sliced the delicate webs from their branches. Crimson freezing rain assaulted both trail and yard.

Esme froze, afraid to move and attract his attention. Her heart, drumming against her ribs, threatened to give her away. She wanted to run home. But if the colored ice omen was meant for her, she needed to stay and learn its meaning. Could the man see the omen?

Thankfully, her cover must’ve fooled Baldy. He resumed lugging the limp bundle, and didn’t seem affected by the magical ice.

From between the tangle of branches, Esme studied him.

His wet, black shirt clung to his round belly. Blood-red ice coated his load, tracing the outline of a human body. Smaller than his, probably a female. Was she dead? Of natural causes? Or had he murdered her? The thought wrapped around Esme’s breath and trapped it deep in her lungs. Her legs twitched. Gaze riveted on Baldy, she positioned to bolt from potential danger.

He rolled the body into a depression Esme couldn’t see.

She leaned to one side, bracing herself with a hand on the ground.

Over what looked like a freshly dug grave, Baldy grunted as he shoveled and kicked dirt and large rocks. Clumps of red clung to long strands of his comb-over, now hanging along one ear. Was it ice or real blood?

Dove huddled closer, and Gram’s voice from years ago spoke in Esme’s mind. “Blood ice is stained with revenge.”

Crimson liquid dripped from the man’s eyes and fell from grimacing jowls. The face of a demon

© Copyright 2016 Marsha A. Moore. All rights reserved.

Meet the Author:



Marsha A. Moore loves to write fantasy and paranormal romance. Much of her life feeds the creative flow she uses to weave highly imaginative tales.

The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing, as well as other pursuits of watercolor painting and drawing. She’s been a yoga enthusiast for over a decade and is a registered yoga teacher. Her practice helps weave the mystical into her writing. After a move from Toledo to Tampa in 2008, she’s happily transformed into a Floridian, in love with the outdoors where she’s always on the lookout for portals to other worlds. Marsha is crazy about cycling. She lives with her husband on a large saltwater lagoon, where taking her kayak out is a real treat. She never has enough days spent at the beach, usually scribbling away at stories with toes wiggling in the sand. Every day at the beach is magical!
Mailing list: http://bit.ly/MarshaAMooreList

Website: http://MarshaAMoore.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/marshaamooreauthorpage

Twitter: http://twitter.com/MarshaAMoore

Google +: http://google.com/+MarshaAMoore

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/marshaamoore/

Amazon author page: www.amazon.com/author/marshaamoore

Goodreads author page http://www.goodreads.com/marshaamoore

Holiday Giveaway:

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Promo Blitz: The First Few Steps by Kelli Hackett


The First Few Steps
Kelli Hackett
Non-fiction, Self-Improvement
Date Published: October 27, 2016


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About the Book:

In her debut non-fiction title, Kelli Hackett delivers a simple, no-nonsense guide to nourishing the soul. The First Few Steps: A Beginner's Guide to Practical Soul Care describes the action steps she took in her own life to revive a spirit illness she didn't even know she had... until it became too painful to ignore.

This guide aggregates several major recovery tools and principles into a quick, easy-to-read, how-to manual in healing the spirit. Offering a fresh perspective on how to prevent death of the spirit, this book includes techniques in NLP and meditation, borrows from 12-step recovery principles, incorporates the work of leading healers, and draws from the author's personal experience.

After practicing each Action Step, you will know how to:

* Put yourself and your health first
* Keep moving forward, no matter what
* Remove negativity from your life
* Find a mentor
* Enjoy the present moment
* Discover the lesson in everything
* Start healing your inner child
* Depend on your inner spiritual strength
* Begin a meditation practice
* Live and let live

Using the tools laid out neatly in this guide, you can tap into an internal source of power that will enliven your spirit and give you a life of wisdom, purpose, and peace.

Read an Excerpt:

Distance Yourself from Negativity

“You are an average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn

Think about this for a moment.  If you are watching the news every morning and every night before bed, you are bookending your day with negativity. The news is designed to instill fear in its audience. The media hooks us in and creates a desire in us to watch more. Social media is not much better. We constantly sit at our computers or on our phones and get caught up. We look at a few articles or catch up with an old friend, and suddenly we have fallen down a two-hour  long rabbit hole of the political and social ranting of “friends”. Even the office isn’t safe. We go to the break room to get a coffee, and the next thing you know we are engaged in water cooler gossip about the receptionist’s bad haircut or the boss who’s cheating on his wife. Even our private social lives can be a hotbed  for negativity. Our best friends tell us how terrible their marriages are, and we quickly find ourselves comparing stories about whose spouse is the most awful.

If we surround ourselves with negativity, it seems to seep into our spirits by osmosis. Soon, we let the uncontrollable events on the morning news run our emotions for the entire day. We feel we have to out- do our friends’ negativity with the negativity of our own. We get sucked into gossip and social media,and let other people’s problems affect our personal peace.

I remember watching a news story several years ago about the Chinese stock markets falling. The newscaster was in a panic, and so were the people he was interviewing.  They were predicting  major international fallout from this one-day drop. I took that panic with me to work that day. I was anxious, irritable, and short-tempered. Finally, a co-worker asked me what was wrong. I answered that the Chinese stocks had crashed, and our economy was going to take a punch  for it. He laughed. It pissed me off, actually. I asked how he could be laughing when the economy was going to shit.

He asked, “Kelli, do you own Chinese stock?” I said I didn’t. He asked me, “Is this going to affect you directly?” After thinking about it, I said it probably would not. Then he smiled and asked, “Can you control any of this?” He was right. I laughed, then, too.  I realized in that moment how worked up I had gotten over a fear-induced news story. None of it mattered. In the bigger picture of life, family, love, and all things important to me, the Chinese stocks falling for one day didn’t matter one bit. After taking back control over my own thoughts, my day turned out to be much better.

We can’t let people steal our happiness. People in this case include the media, our friends, coworkers, neighbors, social media, family, etc. Joy is a precious thing, and if you find yours being threatened by certain people or things, take a good  look at where it is coming from and make the necessary adjustments. Decrease the time you spend with negative friends, cut back or eliminate the news you ingest, leave the room when the conversation turns to gossip, limit social media, and unsubscribe from negative news feeds. In general, eliminate the things that produce fear, judgment, or insecurity in you.

Action Steps

Try something different. Eliminate or severely limit your intake of negative people, news, social media, and gossip for the next several days, and see how  you feel. I stopped watching the news completely in early 2015, and I have not regretted that decision. If you can’t stay away, deactivate your social media accounts for a while.

Replace the negative with positive. Hang around more positive people over the next few days. Read only positive news stories. Read inspirational quotes and books. Print out spiritual passages or write out uplifting quotes (Pinterest is a great source for inspiration), and put them on your walls, desk, or your screensaver. Surround yourself with positive people, places, and things.

Determine if the event that has you concerned is something you can control. If the situation is something you can control, then take the small steps necessary to make the change. If it’s something you can influence, talk to the right people or do what you can to influence the situation. Take the first step, and do something. If you decide it is something you can’t control, do your best to acknowledge your lack of control over the situation, accept the situation as it is in this moment, and let go of the worry around it.

Over the next few days, listen to the words you speak and the stories you tell. Are they mostly negative? Mostly positive? Become aware of which group you fall into. Are you the negative person in the group or on social media? Are you the one bringing negativity into the office? If so, realize this and make adjustments to stop spreading negative energy.

Amazon Link:

http://amzn.to/2gWKGof

Meet the Author:

Kelli Hackett is the author of the suspense novel Defending Wellton and the contemporary fiction trilogy Something Perfect. The First Few Steps: A Beginner's Guide to Practical Soul Care is her first self-improvement publication. Kelli holds a BA in Psychology and is a certified Spiritual Life Coach. She is also a certified practitioner of Reiki, meditation, and neurolinguistic programming (NLP). Her passion is helping others see their own potential and grow to radical levels of self-love, while reminding them of their connection to Spirit. For more information about spiritual coaching, meditation classes, Reiki and NLP services, or workshops, visit kellihackett.com.

Social Media Links:

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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Bewitching Holiday Extravaganza ~ Nuttycracker Sweet by Megan O’Russell ~ Author Feature #Giveaway


Nuttycracker Sweet

Megan O’Russell

Genre: Sweet Romance

Publisher: Fiery Seas Publishing


Date of Publication: 12/08/2015

ISBN: 978-0-9904757-8-1
ASIN: B018DDKLR2

Number of pages: 64
Word Count: 17,000

Cover Artist: Jess Small

About the Book:

Pointe shoes, tutus, and a snowy road trip with the man she hates. What could possibly go wrong?

The plan was simple. Get to Portland, dance The Nutcracker, and don’t murder your dance partner. And most definitely, do not, under any circumstances, fall in love with him.

A snowy road trip strands Elle Grant in a tiny cabin better suited for serial killings than rehearsals for two professional ballet dancers. With no one but the incredibly talented, excruciatingly handsome, and notoriously terrible Zachary Benson and a few taxidermy woodland creatures for company, Elle’s Christmas plans are officially ruined. Can she and Zach learn to like each other enough to dance together? And can Elle get home without losing her heart to the Christmas Cavalier?

Watch the Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/JtCwOu8QT58



I’ve been an elf, a tap dancing reindeer, a teddy bear, a showgirl, the Virgin Mary, and Mrs. Cratchit. All for the joy of Christmas onstage.

I’ve spent my entire life onstage. Not like every moment of every day, but it’s how I spent all my free time as a child and how I’ve made my living as an adult. The stage is my home, the lights are my sunshine, and the cast is my family, even if only for the run of the show. 

Life under the stage lights is glamorous but hard. And it gets hardest around the holidays. 

Just like retail workers and plenty of other professions, the holiday season is crunch time for performers. I’ve performed on Thanksgiving for I don’t remember how many years, and on Christmas Day for five out of the past nine years, and always far away from home. Don’t get me wrong. I love it. I spend my Christmas Day performing for either people who have nowhere else to go or who have theatre for Christmas ingrained in their holiday traditions. (Thanks for keeping me employed, theatregoers!)

But when you go to the Nutcracker and see a performer from New York City that is there to lead the local ballet company, that means that performer packed up her life, braved the elements, and is trusting in the world that the show will turn out well. That her dance partner won’t be a terrible human, and that when it’s all over the paycheck will clear. It’s a life of tiny Christmas trees in hotel rooms, hoping you get to see your family before New Year’s, and finding someone nearby to make your Christmas merry and bright. No one wants to be alone for the holidays, even those of us who live our lives with dance shoes and glitter. 

And that is where the holiday showmance comes into the picture.

In case you’ve never heard the term “showmance,” it’s a romance that happens during the run of a show. You’re away from home, living and working with the same people, in a profession where you are meant to touch your co-workers, and emotions are bared under the spotlights. It happens all the time. Two people come into a show, play love interests, get close in cast housing, and fall madly in love.

Sometimes they end up married. Sometime there’s drinking and sobbing when they break up on closing night. Sometimes the rest of the cast takes bets to see which way a showmance will go. 

But add in the romance of the holidays—fireplaces, snow, and warm fuzzy feelings—toss in a dash of the normal human desire to be with those you care for the most for Christmas, and you just might have the makings of a Christmas romance. Or devastating heartbreak. 

From tap dancing soldiers to beautiful Christmas ballerinas, whomever you watch on stage this Christmas just remember they are far from home for the holidays so they can bring joy to their audiences. But don’t worry. It is, in fact, a glamourous life, and while the stage lights bring warmth and beauty to the show, they can also bring a little holiday romance along with them.

Meet the Author:


Megan O’Russell is the author of the young adult fantasy series The Tethering, and Nuttycracker Sweet, a Christmas novella. Megan’s short stories can also be found in several anthologies, including Athena’s Daughters 2, featuring women in speculative fiction. Megan is a professional performer who has spent time on stages across the country and is the lyrist for Second Chances: The Thrift Shop Musical, which received it’s world premier in 2015. When not on stage or behind a computer, Megan can usually be found playing her ukulele or climbing a mountain with her fantastic husband.




https://meganorussell.com/

Tour Giveaway:

1 paperback copy of The Tethering, 1 paperback copy The Siren’s Realm 1 paperback copy Girl of Glass. Shipping restriction U.S. only. 5 eBook copies of Nuttycracker Sweet

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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Now Scheduling - Review Only Tour for The Amaranthine Chronicles Box Set by Tiffany Shand (Jan. 25-Feb. 1, 2017) #UF


Title: The Amaranthine Chronicles Box Set (3 Novellas)

Author Name: Tiffany Shand

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Release Date: January 25, 2017

Page Count: 203


The Novellas in the Box Set:

Betrayed by Blook

Dark Revenge

The Final Battle

See sign up form below for information about each novella.


Tour Details:

Your post for this tour does not have to be top or only post but please have it live on your social media outlet(s) of choice by 8:00am EST.

I'm scheduling for January 25 - February 1, 2017 (no weekends).

Please sign up on the embedded form below:

Read an Excerpt from Michele Summers' Sweet Southern Bad Boy (Harmony Homecomings, #3) and Enter to #Win a Paperback Copy (US only)


Title: Sweet Southern Bad Boy

Series: Harmony Homecomings, #3

Author: Michele Summers

Pub Date: December 6, 2016

ISBN: 9781402293610



About the Book:

HE’S GOT SOMETHING SHE WANTS

When Katie McKnight gets lost location-scouting for her father’s TV studio, she stumbles upon the perfect setting for their angsty new teen vampire series—a remote barn house unfortunately occupied by a grouchy, disheveled, and incredibly sexy man who instantly mistakes her for the new nanny. Should Katie tell him the truth, or get her foot in the door?

SHE’S GOT EVERYTHING HE NEEDS

Bestselling author Vance Kerner doesn’t just have writer’s block—he’s been run ragged ever since he was saddled with taking care of his brother’s three kids, an adopted kitten, and a runaway mutt. The last thing he needs is a teen drama defiling his property, but with fascinating and unconventional Katie underfoot charming the entire Kerner household, Vance is finding it harder and harder to say no.

Meet the Author:

MICHELE SUMMERS writes about small-town life with a Southern flair, and has her own interior design business in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Miami, Florida. Both professions feed her creative appetite and provide a daily dose of humor.

Buy Links:

Amazon

Books-A-Million

Barnes & Noble

Chapters

iBooks

Indiebound

Read an Excerpt:

Katie settled on the porch swing next to Vance Kerner, New York Times best-selling author. Yes, she knew who he was and what he wrote…thriller stories about war. But she didn’t feel compelled to fuel his already egoistical head with any more compliments.

He kept finding ways to make contact like when his fingers brushed hers as he reached for the wine glass. Katie knew his game. She’d been around enough slick Hollywood types to know when someone was pulling a fast one. And Vance Kerner was a slick as a whistle.

“Cheers. To crazy days and lazy nights.” Vance clicked his glass against hers.

Katie sipped her wine. The smells of spring hugged the air. Different from California. Here the earthy pungency mixed with honeysuckle, and spring blossoms created a sweet aroma in the simple darkness.

“Better?” Vance’s voice mimicked the calm surroundings. But she knew better than to be lulled into a false sense of complacency. His sexy voice be damned. This was

war.

“I’ll be better when you agree to let me use your house.” She met his gaze, catching him off guard.

The Prince of Darkness heaved a huge sigh and leaned back, rocking the swing. “Okay. Lay it on me.”

“Don’t sound so excited. I wouldn’t want you to burst anything.”

“Now there’s a phrase. Just what exactly are you referring to my bursting, oh, Kat of mine?”

Katie bristled. His familiarity and sly smile unsettled her. “Don’t call me Kat and I’m certainly not yours.” Her voice sounded prim and starchy to her own ears. Vance’s sly smile grew wider. She gulped her wine for courage. Now or never, Katie McKnight. Make your dad proud.

“Your house and property are the perfect location for my dad’s new miniseries. As soon as you give your permission, I can FedEx the contracts back to California and the crews can get started on transforming the place.”

Vance took a long, slow sip of his wine, never breaking eye contact. Katie was no mind reader, but she sensed his dark, narrowed look didn’t bode well. “And this is the show about teenage vampires on a killing spree?” His silky smooth voice got even silkier.

“Sorta. It’s about this teenage girl named Alexis who discovers she has unusual powers and she’s being chased by the Zombies of Squirrel Hollow”—she gestured to the front yard—“your lawn would make the perfect Squirrel Hollow.” Vance continued to study her as she spoke, giving nothing away. “Uh, we would need access to the house and grounds to create their spooky world.” Katie glanced at the dark oaks lining the driveway. “They might have to cut down a tree or two because we need room for trailers, but they’ll replant as soon as they’re done filming.” She pointed to the closed front door with the bunny knocker. “And we’ll have to paint the door blood red and change the knocker…things like that, but again, all that will be fixed when we finish.”

For a solid minute, Vance didn’t move a muscle. Katie began to fidget, waiting for his reaction. The longer he took, the more nervous she became.

Finally, he placed his empty wine glass down. “Aw, fuck no.”

Okay, not exactly what she wanted to hear. “That’s just a quick overview. The rest is spelled out in the contract along with how much you’ll be paid for leasing your property.” Vance pushed his long fingers through his thick, wild hair. “Um, it’s really a lot of money. McKnight Studios pays well on location,” she said, hoping to sweeten the pot and remove the appalled look from his chiseled features.

“You’ve got to be kidding me. No freakin’ way anyone is cutting down one-hundred-year-old oak trees on my property.” His voice was gruff and irritated.

Obviously a deal breaker. “Well, there’s certainly room for negotiations. Why don’t you have your attorney look it over and you can discuss it with the McKnight’s team.” Katie was scrambling for ways to make this deal appeal to Vance.

“Kat, you appear to be a nice, sweet girl and I’d love to do this for you because, well, you’ve been great and the kids seem to love you, but holy shit…I can’t wrap my head around a team of movie makers tromping all over my grounds, cutting down trees and painting my door blood red.”

Katie jumped up from the swing and paced the length of the porch. “I’m sure if you specify no trees are to be touched, they won’t touch them.” She really had no idea. She was grasping at straws.

Vance rose slowly as if his back ached. “Look, Katie, here’s the thing. I’ve got four weeks to finish three quarters of my next manuscripts to meet my deadline or my agent, not to mention, my editor are going to rip me a new one. And I’ve got three monkeys posing as kids sleeping upstairs who will be awake”—he glanced at his black watch—“in less than nine hours, which means my day will careen straight to hell from there. Just like every day for the last five weeks. In other words, the creek’s rising and I’m up to my ass in alligators. I don’t have time to babysit kids and a movie crew at the same time.”

“What will it take for you to agree?” Katie blurted without thinking.

Sparks shone in Vance’s inky dark eyes and he shoved his fisted hands in his jean pockets. “Aw, Kat. You don’t want to know what it will take. And quite frankly, once I started, I’m not sure I’d be able to stop…with you,” he rumbled low.

Enter the Giveaway:

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Promo Blitz ~ Hard to Regret (Scarlet Bay Romance, Book 1) by Kris Pearson @Krispiewrites


Hard to Regret
Kris Pearson
Sexy Contemporary Romance
Date Published:  November 4, 2016


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About the Book:

Heiress Anna Wynn is hiding a secret – a secret that has blighted half her life and forced her to become an unfulfilled over-achiever. Even preparing for her wealthy family’s summer break in their idyllic New Zealand holiday house, Anna has to be all business and is strung tight as piano wire. Finding her bedroom appropriated by an over-muscled, overbearing, testosterone-soaked tower of annoyance is the final straw.

Dragged up under the callused thumb of his dirt-poor father, Jason Jones regrets his choice of security over his dream. His ambition to work as a freelance photographer has been ruthlessly suppressed in favor of setting up his own construction company. He has a pre-Christmas deadline looming on the current project, and the last thing he needs is constant surveillance by the owner’s sharp-tongued daughter – or the lure of her hot body and big blue eyes.

Forced to endure each other’s company in the small-town beach house, mutual frustration and undeniable chemistry pull Anna and Jason together for a few stolen days. Enemies become lovers – but how long before secrets are revealed that will change everything?

HARD TO REGRET is the first in Kris Pearson’s new Scarlet Bay series of sexy, funny and heart-warming romance novels and is intended for mature readers.

Read an Excerpt:

CHAPTER 1 – SAUSAGE ON A FORK

“I’ll do it,” Annaliese Wynn said, heaving her travel bag from the back of the taxi to save the overweight driver waddling out. Finally she’d be swapping her stilettos for summer sandals and solitude, and hopefully winding down from the everlasting treadmill of her life.

As she listened to the waves crashing on the shore of Scarlet Bay, she drew a deep satisfied breath and discovered the delicious aroma of grilling meat wafting on the warm breeze. She glanced at her watch. Someone was barbecuing. At ten-fifteen? She inhaled again. Her tummy gave an unladylike gurgle. The barbecue smelled amazing after her hasty early breakfast of a fresh pear.

Sighing, Anna clicked the bag handle up into place and rolled the case over the cracked concrete path to the old shorefront cottage. This would be her last holiday here before it was demolished to make way for a new, much larger dwelling for her extended family to share. She unlocked the front door and stepped back into her childhood. Faded Indian cotton curtains, Great-aunt Emily's fussy watercolours (also fading) and… the back door at the end of the hallway swinging wide open!

She stood stock-still, like a cat transfixed by a bird that had just landed unwisely close. Loud masculine laughter billowed in and echoed around the high-ceilinged space.

“Shit, no…” someone said.

“Totally crappy luck,” another man agreed.

“And probably a spoiled little bitch,” a deeper voice added.

Anna released her bag, set down her laptop, and crept the length of the old house on tiptoe, trying to stop her high heels from echoing on the varnished hardwood floor. “What do you think you’re doing?” she demanded, bursting through the doorway.

Four pairs of eyes swivelled in her direction. Three men stuffed meat into their mouths and chewed.

“Ms Wynn?” the deeper voice asked. The attached male raised a can of cola and took a leisurely swig. Dark eyes locked with hers over the shining can, and she watched his tanned throat constrict as he swallowed. He lowered the drink and wiped the back of his hand over his mouth.

“Anna Wynn. Why are you all here?”

Plainly they were the crew from the almost finished house through the hedge. Why weren’t they there instead? And how had they opened the door?

Three sets of teeth continued to chomp. Three pairs of eyes shifted away. The other man set the cola can down with no haste, and stood.

Up and up.

Anna had to tilt her head back to keep eye contact.

He thrust out a large hand as though he expected her to shake it. “Jason Jones,” he said.

He blocked out the light, stole her breath, irritated her far beyond anything that was reasonable.

“We’re having breakfast,” he added in that gritty velvet voice that had queried her name with unmistakeable amusement.

She inspected his fingers for cleanliness before extending her own. His boots were caked with mud, his long, powerful legs were smeared with dust, his khaki shorts had the zipper at half-mast, and there was sawdust all over his garish orange visibility vest. She tried not to ogle his arms and shoulders.

“Breakfast?” She found her fingers enclosed in firm warmth and then held captive.

“Or brunch, if you want to be fancy.” A faint grin teased the corners of his mouth.

Suddenly Anna’s choice of high heels and tailored black silk crepe pants felt ridiculous. Why hadn’t she worn jeans?

She tried to retrieve her hand and he tightened his grip, allowing her no escape.

“We’re on the job by seven in weather like this, and we work hard. We’re ready for more than a sandwich by now. You want a sausage?” Without waiting for a reply he reached sideways with his other hand, speared one from the barbecue on a bent and tarnished fork, and passed it to her.

Of course she didn’t. Nothing was further from her mind. A sausage with a gang of rough builders who had no business intruding into the house? From this over-muscled, overbearing, testosterone-soaked tower of annoyance?

 Her traitorous stomach chose that moment to give another loud gurgle, and she gave in to the inevitable, trying to accept the fork without touching him any further. She took a cautious nibble and closed her eyes. She possibly moaned. God, it was good!

“Ketchup with that?” the velvet voice asked, stroking every one of Anna’s nerve endings exactly the wrong way.

Snorts of amusement exploded from the other men and he threw a sharp, “Shut it,” in their direction.
 She opened her mouth wider and took a more ravenous bite.

“Go for it…” the youngest man encouraged.

“Shut it, Hoolie,” Jason Jones repeated.  He turned to Anna. “Doesn’t take much to amuse someone with no brain.”

Anna glared at them all. The youngest one grinned from ear to ear, the other two tried to stifle their laughter, and even Jason Jones had the faintest twitch at one end of his surprisingly gorgeous mouth. No prizes for guessing what they were imagining.

She managed to swallow the mouthful without choking, took a step backward in case it made him look less impressive, and pinned him with her best ‘you’re-an-insect-beneath-my-notice’ gaze. “And I’ll ask you again; what exactly are you doing here? This is my family’s home. I’m staying to do some work for a few days, and I’m not expecting, or wanting, company.”

Jason Jones folded his tall frame down onto a battered white plastic chair and glanced toward the open back porch of the old house. “I arranged with your uncle for us to use the… facilities… there.  But some big rocks slid down the hill and bashed the wall in a couple of days ago.”

“No more facilities,” young Hoolie explained helpfully. “No bog, broken basin, only half a shower.”
Anna flicked her gaze into the damaged porch, bared her teeth, and took another bite of sausage - a really savage one - while looking Hoolie in the eye. Her action had the intended effect, and she had the great satisfaction of seeing him flinch.

She tried to suppress a smirk as she chewed and swallowed. “You’ll have to get a Porta-loo then. I don’t want you in the house. How did you get the door open?”

A big hand rummaged in the pocket of the khaki shorts. Anna glimpsed lime green undies through the gaping fly. Lime green? Did the man have no class?

He pulled out a key on a twist of string. James’s key. The little white lighthouse on the end of the string was a souvenir she’d given him on a long-ago holiday.

He swung it to and fro. “Your uncle gave me this in case I wanted to stay over. There have been burglaries from the other house. Boxes of tiles, appliances - and I don’t need any here at mine.”

Why don’t they lock things up more securely?

“So you’re the foreman?”

“Project manager.”

This brought a ‘yeah, right’ from Hoolie, and a tightening of Jason Jones’ features. He glared at the offender and said, “Hoolie’s not worth meeting until he grows up a bit, but the rest of my men are.” He waved an arm in their direction, and the sun glinted on gilded skin and bulging muscle. “Brett Lambourne and Eric Hansen.”

“Pleased to meetcha,” the younger Brett said.

“Yeah, gidday,” balding Eric added, wiping his lips with a crumpled handkerchief and stuffing it back into the pocket of his shorts.

“But…” Anna said. This was absolutely not what she wanted. She shook her head. “I don’t want to share my bathroom with a crowd of men.”

Jason leaned back in the chair and drew a deep breath. Anna found it hard not to stare as his chest expanded, and saw from the set of his jaw that he was making quite an effort to stay polite.

“There are only four of us,” he said in a tone suitable for explaining quantum physics to young children. “And I’ve been telling them to take their boots off. But okay, I’ll order a Porta-loo. I can’t guarantee they’ll have it here before Monday though. Not with the big surf carnival over the weekend.”

“Every bog’ll be busy,” Hoolie contributed.

“Oh, for heaven’s sake!” Annaliese snapped. She took the last bite of sausage and wondered what to do with the fork. A big hand on the end of a long arm closed around it and she let go in a hurry.
“Thank you,” she added, a few seconds too late, turning and flouncing back into the house.

“Yep - spoiled little bitch”, she heard Jason say just before the door swung closed. So it was her he’d been talking about as she arrived? He’d already known she’d be staying? She nearly whirled around and gave him another earful, but what would that achieve? It wouldn’t do to make an enemy of the builder. Keeping out of each other’s way would surely be the wisest course.

She inspected the bathroom as she returned down the hallway. Men! Four empty toilet roll inners sat along the windowsill… the tap wasn’t properly turned off… and very dirty handprints decorated the pale blue towel.

Oh well, at least they washed their hands to some degree, and from the lack of mud on the floor they were indeed kicking their filthy boots off before they came inside.

She tried to be pleased about that as she collected her bag and pulled it into the front bedroom - the one with the best and biggest bed.

Someone had been sleeping in it. The cover had been tossed back and the pillow held the unmistakable indentation of a head. A half empty water bottle and an electric shaver sat on the chest beside it.

Jason Jones’ firm, clean-shaven jaw came immediately to mind, and for some reason his gorgeous mouth, and she just knew it would be him. Turning on her heel she clattered back along the hallway and flung the door open again.

“Who’s been sleeping in my bed?” she demanded.

“Big bad bear?” Hoolie suggested.

Brett Lambourne grinned. “Don’t you know your fairy stories, boy? Big bad wolf.”

Eric Hansen threw back his head and managed a passable howl.

“Hell,” Jason muttered. “It was the longest bed.”

“Well, will you move please? It sounded like you knew the ‘spoiled little bitch’ was coming to stay.”

Jason drew another of those devastating, chest-expanding breaths. “Your hearing’s a bit too good, eh? Sorry about that.” He set his can of cola aside and stood. Anna was almost willing to believe he was blushing under his tan.

“Move your stuff out at the end of the day,” she said. “I wouldn’t want to stop you working.” This time she slammed the door behind her so she wouldn’t hear any more smart comments.

Meet the Author:

New Zealander Kris Pearson was born to write - at twelve she completed her autobiography – an easy subject which required no research. It filled a whole school exercise book! 

Her first proper job was as a radio copywriter. After living in Italy and London she returned to the capital city of Wellington and worked in TV, radio again, several advertising agencies, and then spent many happy years as a retail ad manager. Totally hooked on fabrics, she followed this by going into business with her husband as a curtain installer. It was finally time to write fiction. In sixteen years she hasn’t fallen off her ladder once through drifting off into romantic dreams.

She writes sizzling contemporary romance, pure and simple. Well, maybe not that pure! They're sexy stories about modern couples who fall in love and into bed along the way, just like real people do. She’s the author of fourteen novels, three of which were finalists in New Zealand’s Clendon Award. Four have been translated into Spanish.

The most widely distributed is 'The Boat Builder's Bed'. She gave away more than two million ebook copies of this to kick-start sales of all her others. Did it work? Beyond her wildest dreams. See them all on her website - http://www.krispearson.com

Contact Links

Twitter: @Krispiewrites

Purchase Links


Giveaway
3 ebook copies of Hard to Regret


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