Thursday, November 30, 2017

Giveaway: Have You Met Nora? by Nicole Blades

Have You Met Nora?
by Nicole Blades
-Women's Fiction
Amazon | Goodreads

First sentence(s):
Nora opened her eyes and stared through the darkness at the ceiling.

She’s blossomed from wealthy surgeon’s beautiful daughter to elegant socialite to being the top fashion stylist in the country. And Nora Mackenzie is only days away from marrying into one of New York’s richest, most powerful families. But her fairy tale rise is rooted in an incredible deception—one scandal away from turning her perfect world to ashes...

What no one knows is that Nora is the biracial daughter of a Caribbean woman and a long-gone white father. Adopted—and abused—by her mother’s employer, then sent to an exclusive boarding school to buy her silence, Nora found that “passing” as a white woman could give her everything she never had. Every golden opportunity she seized and every deception she worked kept that powerless, forgotten girl forever in the past.

Now, an ex-classmate who Nora betrayed many years ago has returned to her life to even the score. She’s a woman who won’t be bought off, reasoned against, or pleaded with. Her machinations are turning Nora’s privilege into one gilded trap after another. Running out of choices, Nora must decide how far she will go to protect a lie or give up and finally face the truth.


Q&A with the author:

What inspired you to write Have You Met Nora? Are there other works of fiction or nonfiction that serve as sources for your inspiration?

I've always been deeply interested in identity, more specifically, how someone organizes their entire spirit around being something and claiming all that goes with it out loud—a chef, an activist, a runner, a writer, a survivor. In so many instances, claiming your title involves a significant moment when it becomes undeniably clear how essential it (running, cooking, writing, etc.) is to who you are and how you want the world to view you. For so many people, that capital-M moment involves stepping out of a comfort zone and putting your faith in this identity, ready to decent it to those who may doubt your assertion, question your selfhood. "I don't care what anyone says, this is me." That—the person who moves through the world with that level of commitment to their identity, to their vocation—that's what intrigues me.

Nor is a flawed heroine. What do you think is her biggest strength?

I like flawed characters. I like digging around their broken parts and trying to trace where the first cracks started. Nora is carrying around all of these shattered pieces, some of them barely held together by string. But as wounded as she is, there is also resilience to her. That she's made it to her late 20s despite everything that happened in her life—both of her making and at the hands of others—shows incredible fortitude. Another strength is her ability to fully give and receive love from her fiancΓ© Fisher Beaumont. Considering her background, there's bravery in that act alone.

Find out more about this book and author:
Amazon
Goodreads
BookExcerpt
Website
Blog
Facebook
Instagram
iTunes
Twitter

--~ Book Giveaway ~--

WIN a review copy of this book!

Open to all.

Offer ends: December 11, 2017

TO DO: (2-parts)

1. ADD this book to your Want To Read list on Goodreads (here).

2. LEAVE a comment.

AND, leave your email.

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Contest has ended - (winner is here)

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Dangerous to Know: featuring Brooke West (Henry Crawford) -with giveaway

Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen's Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues
edited by Christina Boyd
-Historical Romance, Anthology, Jane Austen
Release date: November 15, 2017
Amazon | Goodreads
Playlist | Publisher's Weekly/Book Life

"One has all the goodness, and the other all the appearance of it." --Jane Austen

Jane Austen's masterpieces are littered with unsuitable gentlemen--Willoughby, Wickham, Churchill, Crawford, Tilney, Elliot, et al.--adding color and depth to her plots but often barely sketched. Have you never wondered about the pasts of her rakes, rattles, and gentlemen rogues? Surely, there's more than one side to their stories. It is a universal truth, we are captivated by smoldering looks, daring charms ... a happy-go-lucky, cool confidence. All the while, our loyal confidants are shouting on deaf ears: "He is a cad--a brute--all wrong!" But is that not how tender hearts are broken...by loving the undeserving? How did they become the men Jane Austen created?

In this romance anthology, eleven Austenesque authors expose the histories of Austen's anti-heroes. Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen's Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues is a titillating collection of Georgian era short stories--a backstory or parallel tale off-stage of canon--whilst remaining steadfast to the characters we recognize in Austen's great works. What say you? Everyone may be attracted to a bad boy...even temporarily...but heaven help us if we marry one.


Authors included:
Karen M Cox
J. Marie Croft
Jenetta James
Lona Manning
Christina Morland
Beau North
Katie Oliver
Amy D'Orazio
Sophia Rose
Joana Starnes
Brooke West

Excerpt:

“The Last letter to Mansfield” by Brooke West

SEPTEMBER 1809, THE DARK HORSE, TROWBRIDGE, WILTSHIRE

Henry woke to the sounds of wardrobe doors being flung open and slammed shut. For the first time since spring, he felt a spark of hope. Dragging himself from bed, not even bothering to smooth down his hair or find a shirt—anything to further shock or dismay that woman—he leaned in the doorway between his sleeping room and the suite’s sitting room. Maria, as perfectly put together as ever, was throwing gowns and hats into chests and boxes.

He yawned loudly, stretching his bare arms high above his head. Her head snapped up to glare at him. He knew he cut a fine figure. That Maria’s gaze did not stray from his face told him precisely her state of mind. Any other day, her eyes would roam over the planes of his muscles. The spark of hope grew a bit brighter.

“I am done with this charade!” Every word rang with anger. Her eyes burned. Her face contorted into a scowl the likes of which he had never seen.

At last. Relief flooded him as he recognized in her countenance the same hatred he had felt towards her for weeks. “I trust you’ve enjoyed your holiday.”

Maria cried out sharply, like a startled hen, twisting the silk gown in her hands. Henry laughed out loud at her explosion of fury. She complained nearly daily about the boredom and indignity she endured being sequestered in the inn and would beg often to be taken to Everingham. The society was no better at his Norfolk estate. Indeed, there was even less at his home to keep a young, lively woman entertained. The travelers who came through the inn brought with them their own dramas and histories, and Henry’s only enjoyment in recent weeks came from conversing with them at dinner or around the fire with a brandy. Maria seldom left their rooms.

Henry suspected that it was more the lack of an enviable standing in society that grated on her. Back at Mansfield Park, she held reign over all as the eldest Bertram daughter. As Mrs. Rushworth, she had an idiot husband and household to rule with thousands of pounds at her disposal to convince others of her value in society. But here, in The Dark Horse, Maria’s continued residence only raised questions amongst the locals, forcing her to steep in the scandal she so clearly desired that morning in early May when she appeared on Admiral Crawford’s doorstep demanding to see Henry.

She was not one to suffer consequences with grace, Henry found.

He had no intention of ever allowing Maria Bertram Rushworth to breathe the air at Everingham. Henry had chosen this esteemed, venerable inn in Wiltshire to keep her as far away as possible from his home without having to spend an unbearable amount of time in a carriage with her when they left London. With every complaint, he would point out that she could leave under her own power at any time—to which Maria would spit back that she had nowhere else to go. The satisfaction he drew from seeing her suffer was bitter indeed when coupled with his misery at being in her presence.

Anger colored her cheeks a flattering pink. Her bosom swelled prettily with each quick breath. A single curl had escaped from her loose coiffure as she had tossed her clothing about. It brushed at the gentle curve of her slender shoulder and graceful neck. He stared at that curl, remembering how his lips had been just there when his world tilted, upending his plans and destroying his happiness.

He wondered at what drew him to her so many months ago at Mansfield Park. Henry could not fail to recognize her beauty, even now, but he could no longer help but see past it to the creature beneath: the callous, selfish woman who was incapable—or unwilling—to consider anyone but herself.

Despite what Maria had promised that day at his uncle’s home, there had not been a single happy moment together once they left London. Henry did not intend to be happy with her and would not allow for her happiness with him. He intended for them both to be quite miserable. While all the world would see Henry as the scoundrel who ruined a gently bred woman, Henry could only think of Maria as the vixen who willfully parted him from his love. Many times, he was tempted to saddle a horse and leave her at the inn to find her own way out of the muddle she created. Henry would own a great many failings of character, but he was not so callous as to leave a woman without protection. Until she grew tired of their games and decided to leave, or her family came for her at last, Henry was stuck in this Wiltshire purgatory.

Upon learning that knowledge of his and Maria’s absence was widespread, his first instinct had been to ride immediately to Fanny, to bare all to her, to let her goodness and kindness absolve and cleanse him. Half his impulse, he knew, was to vex Maria and remind her that she was not wanted, not preferred, would not be his wife. He had not smiled at her since she displayed herself in that garish gown at Hill Street in May, when she took away any power he had to free himself from her. He would not take meals with her and seldom returned to the inn before she slept. When he did return to find her awake, he would silently take her to bed—or on the divan, or by the fireplace—wherever he found her. There was no tenderness or passion between them any longer, yet Maria never once turned him away. Henry marveled at her brash hopefulness in those moments when nearly every night he could hear her crying herself to sleep.

Knowing that inconsequence was worse than hatred to Maria, Henry would not let his elation at her imminent removal show. Instead, he affected boredom as he lifted a pastry from the breakfast tray. “When do you leave?”

“Immediately.”

Henry was silent as he stuffed the morsel into his mouth. He watched her as he chewed. For just a moment, her chin quivered, betraying her unreasonably tenacious love for him. His chest tightened for a single heartbeat. Anger he could counter—tears were more difficult to resist. There was no joy for him in hurting another, but he could not soften or she would sense it, and then they would become locked in this cycle of never-ending misery.

He licked the sweetness off his fingers as they watched each other.

“My aunt Norris has arrived for me. She is waiting below.”

Henry wondered that her father or one of her brothers had not come. Lucky break, I suppose. He did not relish the thought of the posturing and accusations that would be involved in a meeting with her male relatives. He had never fought a duel and intended to keep that record clean. Edmund did not worry him, and Tom was not often sober enough to hold a pistol. But he was a gentleman, and Fanny would not like it.

He grabbed two more pastries from the tray. “Give her my best,” he called over his shoulder as he shut the door to his bedroom.

He perched on the edge of his bed, tense, listening to the sounds of her packing. Muffled sobs reached his ears but not his heart. He felt no regret at her leaving, no emptiness at the loss of an admirer. He felt, for once, whole within himself. He was enough and did not yearn for another’s adulation and attention. Awareness crept over him, the understanding of what it means to be a steady man, reliable, and self-possessed. To be the man a woman like Fanny needs and deserves. The irony of his situation was not lost on him.

Henry waited until all noise from the adjoining bedchamber ceased and he was certain Maria was gone, truly gone, before moving to his writing desk.

M—
The pigeon has, at long last, flown with the old crow. I am coming home, my sister.
H.C.


About the author:
BROOKE WEST has always loved the bad boys of literature and thinks the best leading men have the darkest pasts. When she’s not spinning tales of rakish men and daring women, Brooke spends her time in the kitchen baking or at the gym working off all that baking. She lives in South Carolina with her husband and son and their three mischievous cats. Brooke co-authored the novel The Many Lives of Fitzwilliam Darcy and the short story “Holiday Mix Tape,” which appears in the anthology Then Comes Winter.

Find out more about this book and author:
Facebook
Twitter @WordyWest.

--~ Blog Tour Giveaways ~--

Open to all.

Offer ends: December 30, 2017

Winners announced: January 2, 2018


WIN prize pack #1 - 15 paperback books from the authors of this anthology.
To enter for this prize fill out the rafflecopter form (here).


WIN prize pack #2 - #RakesAndGentlemenRogues Pleasures pack includes:

‘Pride & Prejudice’ Print, autographed by Colin Firth & Jennifer Ehle
Bingley’s Teas (Willoughby & The Colonel)
Jane Austen playing cards; set of 6 Austen postcards
‘The Compleat Housewife’ notecards set.

To enter this giveaway leave a comment on the blogs participating in the tour. (All guest comments will be entered in drawing to win. Comment at each site to increase your odds.)


THE #RakesAndGentlemenRogues BLOG TOUR

πŸ’— Monday, November 6: REVIEW: Margie's Must Reads

πŸ’— Thursday, November 9: REVIEW, Obsessed with Mr. Darcy

πŸ’— Monday, November 13: REVIEW, Austenesque Reviews

πŸ’— Tuesday, November 14: REVIEW, Olga of ROSIE AMBER team

πŸ’— Wednesday, November 15: (release day) REVIEW, Just Jane 1813

πŸ’— Thursday, November 16: REVIEW, Diary of an Eccentric

🎩 Monday, November 20: FEATURE w/Katie Oliver (George Wickham), From Pemberley to Milton

🎩 Wednesday, November 22: FEATURE w/Joana Starnes (Willoughby), Babblings of a Bookworm

🎩 Friday, November 24: FEATURE w/Sophia Rose, (General Tilney), Herding Cats & Burning Soup

🎩 Monday, November 27: FEATURE w/Amy D'Orazio (Captain Tilney), My Jane Austen Book Club

🎩 Wednesday, November 29: FEATURE w/Brooke West (Henry Crawford), VVB32 Reads - this post!

🎩 Thursday, November 30: FEATURE w/Lona Manning (Tom Bertram), Lit 4 Ladies

πŸ’— Friday, December 1: REVIEW, Lit 4 Ladies

🎩 Monday, December 4: FEATURE w/Beau North (Colonel Fitzwilliam), Obsessed with Mr. Darcy

🎩 Thursday, December 7: FEATURE w/J. Marie Croft (John Thorpe), Harry Rodell blog/ROSIE AMBER team

πŸ’— Friday, December 8: REVIEW, From Pemberley to Milton

🎩 Monday, December 11: FEATURE w/Jenetta James Hannah McSorley (William Elliot), Austenesque Reviews

🎩 Thursday, December 14: FEATURE w/Karen M Cox (Frank Churchill), Darcyholic Diversions

🎩 Monday, December 17: FEATURE w/Christina Morland (Sir Walter Elliot), Of Pens & Pages

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Happy Release: A Crazy Kind of Love by Mary Ann Marlowe

A Crazy Kind of Love
by Mary Ann Marlowe
-Contemporary Romance
Release date: November 28, 2017
Amazon | Goodreads

In this irresistible new novel by Mary Ann Marlowe, one woman's up-close and sexy encounter with a tabloid sensation reveals the dizzying--and delicious--dilemma of dating in the spotlight . . .

Celebrities hold zero interest for photographer Jo Wilder. That's a problem, since snapping pics of the stars is how the pretty paparazza pays the rent. So when Jo attempts to catch a money shot atop the broad shoulders of a helpful bystander, the only thing she notices about the stranger she straddles is that he's seriously hot. Only later does Jo learn that he's also Micah Sinclair--one of rock's notorious bad boys...

Soon Jo is on the verge of getting fired for missing a Micah Sinclair exclusive. Until she's suddenly being pursued by the heartthrob himself. But how can she be sure the musician's mind-blowing kisses are the real deal? Her colleagues claim he's a media whore, gambling on some free PR. But something has Jo hoping Micah's feeling the same powerful pull that she does. A pull so strong, she can't resist becoming his latest love, even if it means she might become the media's latest victim...


Monday, November 27, 2017

Happy release: Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen's Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues

Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen's Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues
edited by Christina Boyd
-Historical Romance, Anthology, Jane Austen
Release date: November 15, 2017
Amazon | Goodreads

"One has all the goodness, and the other all the appearance of it." --Jane Austen

Jane Austen's masterpieces are littered with unsuitable gentlemen--Willoughby, Wickham, Churchill, Crawford, Tilney, Elliot, et al.--adding color and depth to her plots but often barely sketched. Have you never wondered about the pasts of her rakes, rattles, and gentlemen rogues? Surely, there's more than one side to their stories. It is a universal truth, we are captivated by smoldering looks, daring charms ... a happy-go-lucky, cool confidence. All the while, our loyal confidants are shouting on deaf ears: "He is a cad--a brute--all wrong!" But is that not how tender hearts are broken...by loving the undeserving? How did they become the men Jane Austen created?

In this romance anthology, eleven Austenesque authors expose the histories of Austen's anti-heroes. Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen's Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues is a titillating collection of Georgian era short stories--a backstory or parallel tale off-stage of canon--whilst remaining steadfast to the characters we recognize in Austen's great works. What say you? Everyone may be attracted to a bad boy...even temporarily...but heaven help us if we marry one.


Authors included:
Karen M Cox
J. Marie Croft
Jenetta James
Lona Manning
Christina Morland
Beau North
Katie Oliver
Amy D'Orazio
Sophia Rose
Joana Starnes
Brooke West

Winner for November


Here are the winners for giveaways that
ended November 26, 2017

Thanks to all contestants!

~*~

The Tercentennial Baron
by Will Damron
narrated by Tim Gerard Reynolds
audio version
-Fantasy, YA, Scotland
Amazon | Goodreads | Smashwords | Audible
Giveaway

Winner: Carole Rae of Carole Rae's Random Ramblings


~*~

* I will email winners for mailing address within two weeks.
Winners, feel free to contact me with your info if you don't get my email
or if you are just too darn excited and want to let me know -- like NOW ;-D

* contest policy

* if not this time, maybe next time


Saturday, November 25, 2017

Lovely Books and Things - 11.25.17

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update

Linking up with:
Stacking the Shelves (details)
Sunday Post (details)
Mailbox Monday (details)

~*~

This post that covers the last three weeks as I am doing some catchup after returning from vacation last week. Had a lovely time in Singapore and Bali and picked up some books from each for my souvenirs.

Happy things:

1. Turkey time with friends and family
2. Catching up on sleep
3. Sharing stories

~*~

Bought:

Sugarbread
by Balli Kaur Jaswal
-Contemporary Fiction, Singapore
Amazon | Goodreads

GOT this in Singapore which was recommended at BooksActually bookstore.

Beauty Is A Wound
by Eka Kurniawan
-Historical, Magical Realism, Bali
Amazon | Goodreads

GOT this in Ubud, Bali which was recommended at Periplus bookstore.

Bali Undercover
by Malcolm Scott
-Social conditions, Bali
Amazon | Goodreads

GOT this at the Bali airport which was recommended at Periplus bookstore.

Are You Alive?
My Journey of Hope
by Valerie Barlow
-Memoir
courtesy of the author -Thanks!
Amazon | Goodreads

GOT this as a gift after meeting and lunching with Valerie. She's so cool!


For Review:

Have You Met Nora?
by Nicole Blades
-Women's Fiction
courtesy of Wunderkind -Thanks!
Amazon | Goodreads

The Tercentennial Baron
by Will Damron
narrated by Tim Gerard Reynolds
-Fantasy, YA, Scotland
courtesy of Forte Business Consulting -Thanks!
Amazon | Goodreads | Smashwords | Audible


OTHER things (kinda book-related):

Book Blogger Hop
features a book related question
Sponsored by The Coffee Addicted Writer (details)

This week's prompt: What's your immediate feeling when entering a bookstore, as compared to how you feel when entering a department store?
(submitted by Maria @ A Night's Dream of Books)

LOVE looking at every nook and cranny in a bookstore to see what all it there.


AND watched: on DVD

My Cousin Rachel (2017)
Director/Adaptation: Roger Michell
Based on the novel by: Daphne Du Maurier
Stars: Rachel Weisz, Sam Claflin, Holliday Grainger
-Drama, Mystery, Romance | imdb | my rating: 5

A young Englishman plots revenge against his late cousin's mysterious, beautiful wife, believing her responsible for his death. But his feelings become complicated as he finds himself falling under the beguiling spell of her charms.

For Fall Film challenge bonus round: seven. game of thrones. Iain Glen

Loved the time period and setting is presented. I liked how the cousin Rachel kept me off balance. I gotta re-watch this.

Frank (2014)
Director: Lenny Abrahamson
Screenplay: Jon Ronson, Peter Straughan
Based on news article: Jon Ronson
Starring: Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Fassbender
-Comedy, Drama, Music | imdb | my rating: 4

Jon, a young wanna-be musician, discovers he's bitten off more than he can chew when he joins an eccentric pop band led by the mysterious and enigmatic Frank.

For Fall Film challenge bonus round: twenty. true detective. Travis Hammer

Travis Hammer appears briefly as a tree surgeon. I was not sure what I was getting into with this movie as the big paper-mΓ’chΓ© head gives off a campy vibe. But this was a surprisingly good film. And Michael Fassbender and Maggie Gyllenhaal sing!

American Psycho (2000)
Director/Screenplay: Mary Harron
Screenplay: Guinevere Turner
Based on the novel: Bret Easton Ellis
Starring: Christian Bale, Justin Theroux
-Crime, Drama | imdb | my rating: 5

A wealthy New York investment banking executive, Patrick Bateman, hides his alternate psychopathic ego from his co-workers and friends as he delves deeper into his violent, hedonistic fantasies.

For Fall Film challenge bonus round: thirteen. ally mcbeal. Justin Theroux

Does well in capturing the decadent 80s with a synth and pop soundtrack that buffers the doings of a psycho killer. Ick.

A Knight's Tale (2001)
Director/Writer: Brian Helgeland
Stars: Heath Ledger, Mark Addy, Rufus Sewell
-Action, Adventure, Romance | imdb | my rating: 5

After his master dies, a peasant squire, fueled by his desire for food and glory, creates a new identity for himself as a knight.

For Fall Film challenge bonus round: six. firefly. Alan Tudyk

Renaissance times with a modern beat made this highly entertaining tale.

Drive (2011)
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Screenplay: Hossein Amini
Based on book: James Sallis
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston
-Crime, Drama | imdb | my rating: 5

A mysterious Hollywood stuntman and mechanic moonlights as a getaway driver and finds himself in trouble when he helps out his neighbor.

For Fall Film challenge bonus round: eighteen. rizzoli and isles. Tina Huang

A bit of the gritty side of L.A. that wears you down. Ryan Gosling's character does some fast and fancy driving on L.A. streets - what a concept ;-)


AND watched: on airplane

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
Director/Writer: James Gunn
Based on comic by: Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning
Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana
-Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi | imdb | my rating: 4

The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill's true parentage.

For Fall Film challenge bonus round: eleven. knight rider. David Hasselhoff.

Fun sequel with more backstory. Kid Groot was adorable.


Baby Driver (2017)
Director/Writer: Edgar Wright
Stars: Ansel Elgort, Jon Bernthal, Jon Hamm
-Action, Crime, Music | imdb | my rating: 4

After being coerced into working for a crime boss, a young getaway driver finds himself taking part in a heist doomed to fail.

For Fall Film challenge bonus round: four. downton abbey. Lily James

In for a sweet ride which includes a blaring soundtrack.

Daddy, You, Daughter, Me (2017)
Director: Hyung Hyup Kim
Stars: Je-Moon Yoon, So-Min Jung, Il-hwa Lee
-Comedy, Drama, Family, South Korea | imdb | my rating: 5

In this the daughter used to spend time with her father when she was a child but when she grew up her relation with his father became weak ...suddenly a new twist came in their life which caused them to understand each other again...with this new twist many things happen...

CUTE freaky friday-like family comedy.

Part-time Spy (2017)
Director/Writer: Deok-Soo Kim
Stars: Ye-won Kang, Chae-Ah Han
-Action, Comedy, South Korea | imdb | my rating: 5

Jang Young-Sil (Kang Ye-Won) barely lands a job at the NSA (National Security Agency). She is hired as a contract worker to write positive comments for the NSA. Na Jung-An (Han Chae-Ah) is a detective who often uses foul language. They carry out an infiltration operation to recover money that was stolen from her boss in a voice phishing scheme.

COOL look into the work situation for women in South Korea.

~*~

* comment and TELL me what you have acquired for your shelves recently

:-)

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Tercentennial Baron by Will Damron

The Tercentennial Baron
by Will Damron
narrated by Tim Gerard Reynolds

Find out more about this book and author:
Amazon
Goodreads
Smashwords | Audible
BookExcerpt | Website
Facebook | Twitter

Just released: October 27, 2017
Publisher: Odyssean Studios
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Scotland
audio version
Rating: 5

Bellirolt Chronicles series:
The Tercentennial Baron
book 2 - tba

First sentence(s):
Scotland - the present
The boy scrambled up the rim of the shadowy hill.

A vengeful, wild-eyed warrior, he’s the most sinister figure in Scottish legend. For three centuries, the Tercentennial Baron has fought his way through famous battles—then vanished without a trace. Now he’s reappeared in the quiet town of Bonnybield, where he’s about to be discovered by thirteen-year-old Percival Dunbar…

Armed with a secret stash of books on the supernatural, Percival is the only one to recognize the ghostly signs emerging around his town. When he tries to decipher them, he’s terrified to suddenly find himself face to face with the murderous Tercentennial Baron. However, the Baron reveals he’s come not to attack Bonnybield, but to save it from an ancient, demonic evil.

Through an epic journey from the battlefields of 17th-century Scotland to the underworld of Victorian London and beyond, Percival races to uncover the truth of the Baron’s past—and what it means for his own destiny.


My two-bits:

Got pulled in with the telling of this tale. But confess that the scottish accent was a major draw.

The story is a good start of a series that includes the backstory and beginning of mentor and friendship relations in a paranormal setting.

--~ Audio Giveaway ~--

signup to win this audiobook (here)


~*~

* Listened to audiobook version.

* review copy courtesy of publisher

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Zenka by Alison Brodie

Zenka
by Alison Brodie

Find out more about this book and author:
Amazon
Goodreads
BookExcerpt
Website | Blog
Facebook | Pinterest
Twitter

Just released: November 6, 2017
Publisher: self
Genre: Thriller, Romance
ebook
Rating: 4

First sentence(s):
7 July, 2011
My dearest Alina, Olga Savchukis is a lying bitch.

Devious, ruthless, and loyal.

Zenka is a capricious Hungarian with a dark past.

When cranky London mob boss, Jack Murray, saves her life she vows to become his guardian angel – whether he likes it or not. Happily, she now has easy access to pistols, knives and shotguns.

Jack discovers he has a son, Nicholas, a male nurse with a heart of gold. Problem is, Nicholas is a wimp.

Zenka takes charges. Using her feminine wiles and gangland contacts, she will make Nicholas into the sort of son any self-respecting crime boss would be proud of. And she succeeds!

Nicholas transforms from pussycat to mad dog, falls in love with Zenka, and finds out where the bodies are buried – because he buries them. He’s learning fast that sometimes you have to kill, or be killed.

As his life becomes more terrifying, questions have to be asked: How do you tell a mob boss you don’t want to be his son?

And is Zenka really who she says she is?


My two-bits:

This Cinderella-like story is a fun romp into the London underworld. Surprising twists caused some chuckles and exclamations.

~*~

* review copy courtesy of author

Monday, November 6, 2017

Happy Release: All the Tomorrows by Nillu Nasser

All the Tomorrows
by Nillu Nasser
-Women's Fiction, Marriage, India
Release date: November 6, 2017
Amazon | Goodreads

Sometimes we can't escape the webs we are born into. Sometimes we are the architects of our own fall.

Akash Choudry wants a love for all time, not an arranged marriage. Still, under the weight of parental hopes, he agrees to one. He and Jaya marry in a cloud of colour and spice in Bombay. Their marriage has barely begun when Akash embarks on an affair.

Jaya can't contemplate sharing her husband with another woman, or looking past his indiscretions as her mother suggests. Cornered by sexual politics, she takes her fate into her own hands in the form of a lit match.

Nothing endures fire. As shards of their past threaten their future, will Jaya ever bloom into the woman she can be, and will redemption be within Akash's reach?


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Happy Release: Have You Met Nora? by Nicole Blades

Have You Met Nora?
by Nicole Blades
-Women's Fiction
Release date: October 31, 2017
Amazon | Goodreads

HAVE YOU MET NORA? is a juicy and compelling story about reinvention and the lengths we go to conceal our former selves. Nora’s painful childhood secrets begin to haunt her picture-perfect life as a promising fashion designer and fiance of a privileged, yet loving man. The novel explores how the mistakes of our past can have a significant impact on our future. At the end of the novel, you will be asking yourself, would you do what Nora did to protect her future?

Excerpt:

Chapter 1

Nora opened her eyes and stared through the darkness at the ceiling. Three twenty-eight, she thought, before rolling up off her back a little and craning her neck to look just past Fisher’s shoulders at the blue numbers on the clock by his nightstand. He was dead asleep, the rhythmic flow of his deep breathing like white noise. The numbers gleamed: 03:41 AM. Close enough, she thought, and returned to the ceiling. Although Nora had long been an early riser—she couldn’t remember a time when she had slept later than the sun—this was different.

She eased the covers off and slid out from under Fisher’s muscled arm, moving slow and steady toward the edge of the bed. She hopped down, landing with a soft thud and then froze, shifting her eyes back to Fisher. No change. Not even a break in the beat. Nora grabbed her iPhone and padded along the hall. The moon, pushing through the floor-to-ceiling windows of the penthouse, provided more than enough light for Nora to find the handle to the mini champagne fridge that Fisher bought for her last year. Nora gave the half-drunk bottle of Armand de Brignac—a gift from a client—her deepest bow with prayer hands before grabbing it and shutting the fridge door with her foot. She pulled the orange stopper from the bottle, letting it drop to the floor, and started typing into her phone on her way to the bathroom at the far end of the penthouse. Nora waited until she was inside the empty, freestanding tub before taking her first, long swig from the bottle. She rested her phone on the ledge of the tub and pressed a button on a remote that sent the massive blinds skyward. Nora stayed there in the empty basin, soaking in the city’s glow, and waited.

Her phone buzzed and vibrated against the acrylic. She took another sip before answering it.

“What the hell is wrong with you?” a croaky voice said.

Nora shook her head. “I’m just—”

“Nervous? You’re just nervous, hon. It’s pre-wedding jitters. You’re fixin’ to get married to that gorgeous, big-dicked, super hot bastard in twenty-two—no—twenty-one days and you’re feeling anxious. That’s all. No Biggie Smalls.”

“Jenna, I’m sitting in an empty tub, pounding old champagne straight from the bottle and staring out the fucking window. Do you really think it’s necessary to remind me that there are twenty-two days—”

“Technically it’s twenty-one—”

“Jesus, fine, twenty-one days. It’s twenty-one days before the wedding. I’m aware. My whole entire body is aware. We’re all very aware.”

“Deep breaths, sweetheart. You’re freaking out. This is what freaking out looks like on all normal women,” Jenna said. Her Southern twang, though soft, still tickled Nora. “You’re just different. It’s foreign territory for you.”

Nora stopped mid-swig, her arm wobbling and then dropping with the weight of the bottle into her lap. “What does that mean?” she said, squinting her eyes and bracing her body.

“Nothing, just, I don’t know...I mean you’re always even and calm; it’s preternatural,” Jenna said. “No matter what’s going on, you’re on like perma-chill. It’s automatic for you. No headless chicken stuff.” A chuckle. “It’s why we kept calling you I.Q. when we first met you. Ice Queen.”

Jenna’s full creaky cackle made Nora move the phone away from her ear and level it on the ledge of the tub. She could still hear Jenna from that distance, but pushed speaker anyway and went back to drinking her champagne. Nora reclined, cradling the bottle into her chest. “Ice Queen? Seriously? And here I was thinking you were dazzled by my smarts.”

“Oh, we were. Totally. By your smarts, for sure, and also your long legs, your frat-boy mouth, your perky tits, them Kelly Ripa arms, and your entire wardrobe, espesh the shoes. Plus, you speak fluent French—I mean, fucking French—and you’re the first white girl I’ve ever met who can actually dance. Like, legit, BeyoncΓ©-backup-dancer dance. Need I go on?”

“Yes. You need. Come on, I’m practically perfect,” Nora said, the beginnings of a laugh tickling her throat.

“Practically?” Jenna said, yawning. “Okay, so we’ve thoroughly covered your Boss Bitch status. It’s why Fish is locking you down so fast, while those eggs are still viable.” Nora’s expanding grin disappeared, replaced by a clenched jaw and gnashed teeth. “What I need clarity on is: Why are dry-tub drinking again?”

“How did you know I’m in the tub?”

“Echoes, booby. Also, I’ve got you pretty much figured out. You’re not the QB on this play. What’s the wedding planner’s name again, Gloria? Glenda? Whatever. She’s the quarterback. She’s the one calling all the plays, and you’re watching from the sidelines and it’s driving you bananz”

“First, are you talking sports at me?”

“A little,” Jenna said through her teeth.

“You’re still hooking up with that sports writer guy?”

“A little.”

“Wait, isn’t he the one who sent you the dick pic when you asked to see his new coffee table?”

“Well, it was pretty impressive...the coffee table.”

“Jesus, Jenna. What needs to happen to get you out of these dating app traps? Nothing but dumpster fires on there.”

“Hold up, I met Sports Guy the old school way, my dear: at a bar, not on a dating app,” Jenna said. “You kidding me? My filters are tight. He would’ve never made the cut.”

“What about the one who called you from rehab on what was supposed to be your third date?”

“Oh, that whole thing was about me trying to be charitable. I’m from Texas. It’s how we do.”

“Father-God, you need prayer,” Nora said, closing her eyes and leaning her head back in the tub.

About the author: Nora is your reckless, drunk-texting, gal pal. She’s also your talented colleague with the cute and kind beau. Except Nora Mackenzie has dark childhood secrets she’s too afraid to share even with her best friend Jenna. This contemporary novel tackles the idea of identity and race, facing the wrongs of our past, and fiercely protecting our futures.


 
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