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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Spotlight: Excerpt from Violent Ascension by Giorgia Blake

 


by Giorgia Blake
 
Taken, I’m bound inside the home of a dangerous man. He may have saved me from his sadistic cousin, but it seems I’ve only traded one monster for another. Fans of The Five Families series by Jill Ramsower will love Violent Ascension by Giorgia Blake, a steamy, enemies-to-lovers, forced marriage, mafia romance.
 
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 I’m a Rising Star. A boss. A Real One.
Yet I’m here. Taken and bound inside the home of Alessandro Parisi.
A dangerous man who holds my life and my secrets close to the chest.
He has all the answers but refuses to answer any of my questions.
All he’s told me is that I’m his and the key to his ascension.
He saved me from his sadistic cousin; but it seems I just traded one monster for another.
The first one stalked and taunted me until I was convinced death was around every corner.
This one orders me to cooperate, bend to his touch, and obey.
Too bad obedience isn’t in my nature and sacrifice is my birthright.
We probably won’t make it out of this blood war alive…The likelihood of my heart surviving Alessandro is even less.
Violent Ascension is the first book in the Made Men of Chicago Collection, and can be read as a standalone.It is a forced marriage mafia romance with themes of organized crime, violence, and BDSM. If this is your type of romance, the happily ever after will knock your socks off!
Please read responsibly!
 
  
Excerpt
Copyright 2023 Giorgia Blake
 
I feel her presence the moment Isabella is nearby. That’s the way it's become between us the past few weeks. In Jane Eyre There’s a moment where Mr. Rochester tells Jane that he feels the presence of an invisible string connecting the two beneath his left rib. He claims with fervor that if that tether ever snapped, he’d bleed inwardly while she would forget he ever existed. Rochester was old, hardened by the world, and prone to outbursts of anger; while Jane was young, innocent, and talented. The world before her, his criminal past behind him; if he didn’t protect the frailty of that string with his life, then he would lose her forever.
 
When I first read it, I thought it was sentimental dribble. I saw it as a passage of words to muddle through in order to get to the end of the book. At this moment, I have a different view of that passage. Charlotte Bronte herself must have felt that snap or she was an emotional savant. I feel the snap of the string that kept Isabella in my universe the moment I hear her soft steps turn the corner. She’s holding my mother’s pistol and it seems fitting. I’d want her to have it.
 
My silly, brave and disobedient girl.
 
The betrayal in her eyes lets me know that she heard what the bastard just said and she’s more than pissed. She’s hurt. I lied to her, now she’ll be more determined than ever to escape. aToo bad I’ll never let her go. I need her too much. My need has nothing to do with the Romano Ascension but everything to do with the warmth of her sun. I won’t live in the cold without it.
 
“Father?” Her eyes stay focused on me, and I realize she’s asking me if what she heard is true. Even now, she’s praying I’m not as monstrous as I appear to be. But I am.
 
I’m dismissed before I can even respond.. Her attention turns to Matteo as she closes in on the truth.,
 
“You’re Matteo Ricci?” Her voice is strong and sure. Her chin held high, she faces the man that created and abandoned her.
 
Matteo eyes her carefully. He assesses her with a detached interest. I wonder if she feels it. I pray to God her anger at me does not distort her discernment. That’s a skill I’ve admired her for since we met. She read me like a book within moments of meeting me.
 
“I am. Come closer child. I want to have a good look at you.”
 
“Stay right where you are.” I bark. “Don’t move.”
 
Matteo scowls. “Is this how you’ve been treating my daughter? Like some dog you can call. She’s a Ricci and she should be treated like a queen, something you promised you would do.”
 
His feigned care is starting to really get under my skin. He’s up to something, and I’m not letting Isabella anywhere near him until I know exactly what it is. Matteo is a dangerous and unpredictable man. It was one thing for him to want her back because she’s his. That’s the mafia way. I expect that from a man like him. It’s something else entirely if he attaches value to her. Assets can be traded or sacrificed like pawns on a chessboard.
 
 
About Giorgia Blake
I'm a contemporary romance author dedicated to the dangerously delicious world of Mafia Romance. Every story will dare you to believe in the power of love, even when there doesn't seem to be one sane reason to do so!
 
My stories feature sexy alphas and smart heroines finding love in the most breath stealing of circumstances. If someone can't die at any moment–it's not a Giorgia Blake Romance!
 
Every plot is full of heat, suspense, and steamy passion that would make the Karma Sutra blush.
 
So come join me on this wild ride...you won't regret it!
 
Follow: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | BookBub | Newsletter | Amazon

 This promotional event is brought to you by Indie Pen PR

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Spotlight: Excerpt from The Perfumist of Paris by Alka Joshi

 


Author: Alka Joshi
ISBN: 9780778386148
Publication Date: March 28, 2023
Publisher: MIRA Books
 
Paris, 1974. Radha is now living in Paris with her husband, Pierre, and their two daughters. She still grieves for the baby boy she gave up years ago, when she was only a child herself, but she loves being a mother to her daughters, and she’s finally found her passion—the treasure trove of scents.
She has an exciting and challenging position working for a master perfumer, helping to design completely new fragrances for clients and building her career one scent at a time. She only wishes Pierre could understand her need to work. She feels his frustration, but she can’t give up this thing that drives her.

Tasked with her first major project, Radha travels to India, where she enlists the help of her sister, Lakshmi, and the courtesans of Agra—women who use the power of fragrance to seduce, tease and entice. She’s on the cusp of a breakthrough when she finds out the son she never told her husband about is heading to Paris to find her—upending her carefully managed world and threatening to destroy a vulnerable marriage.

The Jaipur Trilogy
Book 1: The Henna Artist
Book 2: The Secret Keeper of Jaipur
Book 3: The Perfumist of Paris


Paris

September 2, 1974

I pick up on the first ring; I know it’s going to be her. She always calls on his birthday. Not to remind me of the day he came into this world but to let me know I’m not alone in my remembrance.

“Jiji?” I keep my voice low. I don’t want to wake Pierre and the girls.

“Kaisa ho, choti behen?” my sister says. I hear the smile in her voice, and I respond with my own. It’s lovely to hear Lakshmi’s gentle Hindi here in my Paris apartment four thousand miles away. I’d always called her Jiji—big sister—but she hadn’t always called me choti behen. It was Malik who addressed me as little sister when I first met him in Jaipur eighteen years ago, and he wasn’t even related to Jiji and me by blood. He was simply her apprentice. My sister started calling me choti behen later, after everything in Jaipur turned topsy-turvy, forcing us to make a new home in Shimla.

Today, my sister will talk about everything except the reason she’s calling. It’s the only way she’s found to make sure I get out of bed on this particular date, to prevent me from spiraling into darkness every year on the second of September, the day my son, Niki, was born.

She started the tradition the first year I was separated from him, in 1957. I was just fourteen. Jiji arrived at my boarding school with a picnic, having arranged for the headmistress to excuse me from classes. We had recently moved from Jaipur to Shimla, and I was still getting used to our new home. I think Malik was the only one of us who adjusted easily to the cooler temperatures and thinner air of the Himalayan mountains, but I saw less of him now that he was busy with activities at his own school, Bishop Cotton.

I was in history class when Jiji appeared at the door and beckoned me with a smile. As I stepped outside the room, she said, “It’s such a beautiful day, Radha. Shall we take a hike?” I looked down at my wool blazer and skirt, my stiff patent leather shoes, and wondered what had gotten into her. She laughed and told me I could change into the clothes I wore for nature camp, the one our athletics teacher scheduled every month. I’d woken with a heaviness in my chest, and I wanted to say no, but one look at her eager face told me I couldn’t deny her. She’d cooked my favorite foods for the picnic. Makki ki roti dripping with ghee. Palak paneer so creamy I always had to take a second helping. Vegetable korma. And chole, the garbanzo bean curry with plenty of fresh cilantro.

That day, we hiked Jakhu Hill. I told her how I hated math but loved my sweet old teacher. How my roommate, Mathilde, whistled in her sleep. Jiji told me that Madho Singh, Malik’s talking parakeet, was starting to learn Punjabi words. She’d begun taking him to the Community Clinic to amuse the patients while they waited to be seen by her and Dr. Jay. “The hill people have been teaching him the words they use to herd their sheep, and he’s using those same words now to corral patients in the waiting area!” She laughed, and it made me feel lighter. I’ve always loved her laugh; it’s like the temple bells that worshippers ring to receive blessings from Bhagwan.

When we reached the temple at the top of the trail, we stopped to eat and watched the monkeys frolicking in the trees. A few of the bolder macaques eyed our lunch from just a few feet away. As I started to tell her a story about the Shakespeare play we were rehearsing after school, I stopped abruptly, remembering the plays Ravi and I used to rehearse together, the prelude to our lovemaking. When I froze, she knew it was time to steer the conversation into less dangerous territory, and she smoothly transitioned to how many times she’d beat Dr. Jay at backgammon.

“I let Jay think he’s winning until he realizes he isn’t,” Lakshmi grinned.

I liked Dr. Kumar (Dr. Jay to Malik and me), the doctor who looked after me when I was pregnant with Niki—here in Shimla. I’d been the first to notice that he couldn’t take his eyes off Lakshmi, but she’d dismissed it; she merely considered the two of them to be good friends. And here he and my sister have been married now for ten years! He’s been good for her—better than her ex-husband was. He taught her to ride horses. In the beginning, she was scared to be high off the ground (secretly, I think she was afraid of losing control), but now she can’t imagine her life without her favorite gelding, Chandra.

So lost am I in memories of the sharp scents of Shimla’s pines, the fresh hay Chandra enjoys, the fragrance of lime aftershave and antiseptic coming off Dr. Jay’s coat, that I don’t hear Lakshmi’s question. She asks again. My sister knows how to exercise infinite patience—she had to do it often enough with those society ladies in Jaipur whose bodies she spent hours decorating with henna paste.

I look at the clock on my living room wall. “Well, in another hour, I’ll get the girls up and make their breakfast.” I move to the balcony windows to draw back the drapes. It’s overcast today, but a little warmer than yesterday. Down below, a moped winds its way among parked cars on our street. An older gentleman, keys jingling in his palm, unlocks his shop door a few feet from the entrance to our apartment building. “The girls and I may walk a ways before we get on the M├ętro.”

“Won’t the nanny be taking them to school?”

Turning from the window, I explain to Jiji that we had to let our nanny go quite suddenly and the task of taking my daughters to the International School has fallen to me.

“What happened?”

It’s a good thing Jiji can’t see the color rise in my cheeks. It’s embarrassing to admit that Shanti, my nine-year-old daughter, struck her nanny on the arm, and Yasmin did what she would have done to one of her children back in Algeria: she slapped Shanti. Even as I say it, I feel pinpricks of guilt stab the tender skin just under my belly button. What kind of mother raises a child who attacks others? Have I not taught her right from wrong? Is it because I’m neglecting her, preferring the comfort of work to raising a girl who is presenting challenges I’m not sure I can handle? Isn’t that what Pierre has been insinuating? I can almost hear him say, “This is what happens when a mother puts her work before family.” I put a hand on my forehead. Oh, why did he fire Yasmin before talking to me? I didn’t even have a chance to understand what transpired, and now my husband expects me to find a replacement. Why am I the one who must find the solution to a problem I didn’t cause?

My sister asks how my work is going. This is safer ground. My discomfort gives way to excitement. “I’ve been working on a formula for Delphine that she thinks is going to be next season’s favorite fragrance. I’m on round three of the iteration. The way she just knows how to pull back on one ingredient and add barely a drop of another to make the fragrance a success is remarkable, Jiji.”

I can talk forever about fragrances. When I’m mixing a formula, hours can pass before I stop to look around, stretch my neck or step outside the lab for a glass of water and a chat with Celeste, Delphine’s secretary. It’s Celeste who often reminds me that it’s time for me to pick up the girls from school when I’m between nannies. And when I do have someone to look after the girls, Celeste casually asks what I’m serving for dinner, reminding me that I need to stop work and get home in time to feed them. On the days Pierre cooks, I’m only too happy to stay an extra hour before finishing work for the day. It’s peaceful in the lab. And quiet. And the scents—honey and clove and vetiver and jasmine and cedar and myrrh and gardenia and musk—are such comforting companions. They ask nothing of me except the freedom to envelop another world with their essence. My sister understands. She told me once that when she skated a reed dipped in henna paste across the palm, thigh or belly of a client to draw a Turkish fig or a boteh leaf or a sleeping baby, everything fell away—time, responsibilities, worries.

My daughter Asha’s birthday is coming up. She’s turning seven, but I know Jiji won’t bring it up. Today, my sister will refrain from any mention of birthdays, babies or pregnancies because she knows these subjects will inflame my bruised memories. Lakshmi knows how hard I’ve worked to block out the existence of my firstborn, the baby I had to give up for adoption. I’d barely finished grade eight when Jiji told me why my breasts were tender, why I felt vaguely nauseous. I wanted to share the good news with Ravi: we were going to have a baby! I’d been so sure he would marry me when he found out he was going to be a father. But before I could tell him, his parents whisked him away to England to finish high school. I haven’t laid eyes on him since. Did he know we’d had a son? Or that our baby’s name is Nikhil?

I wanted so much to keep my baby, but Jiji said I needed to finish school. At thirteen, I was too young to be a mother. What a relief it was when my sister’s closest friends, Kanta and Manu, agreed to raise the baby as their own and then offered to keep me as his nanny, his ayah. They had the means, the desire and an empty nursery. I could be with Niki all day, rock him, sing him to sleep, kiss his peppercorn toes, pretend he was all mine. It took me only four months to realize that I was doing more harm than good, hurting Kanta and Manu by wanting Niki to love only me.

When I was first separated from my son, I thought about him every hour of every day. The curl on one side of his head that refused to settle down. The way his belly button stuck out. How eagerly his fat fingers grasped the milk bottle I wasn’t supposed to give him. Having lost her own baby, Kanta was happy to feed Niki from her own breast. And that made me jealous—and furious. Why did she get to nurse my baby and pretend he was hers? I knew it was better for him to accept her as his new mother, but still. I hated her for it.

I knew that as long as I stayed in Kanta’s house, I would keep Niki from loving the woman who wanted to nurture him and was capable of caring for him in the long run. Lakshmi saw it, too. But she left the decision to me. So I made the only choice I could. I left him. And I tried my best to pretend he never existed. If I could convince myself that the hours Ravi Singh and I spent rehearsing Shakespeare—coiling our bodies around each other as Othello and Desdemona, devouring each other into exhaustion—had been a dream, surely I could convince myself our baby had been a dream, too.

And it worked. On every day but the second of September.

Ever since I left Jaipur, Kanta has been sending envelopes so thick I know what they contain without opening them: photos of Niki the baby, the toddler, the boy. I return each one, unopened, safe in the knowledge that the past can’t touch me, can’t splice my heart, can’t leave me bleeding.

The last time I saw Jiji in Shimla, she showed me a similar envelope addressed to her. I recognized the blue paper, Kanta’s elegant handwriting—letters like g and y looping gracefully—and shook my head. “When you’re ready, we can look at the photos together,” Jiji said.

But I knew I never would.

Today, I’ll make it through Niki’s seventeenth birthday in a haze, as I always do. I know tomorrow will be better. Tomorrow, I’ll be able to do what I couldn’t today. I’ll seal that memory of my firstborn as tightly as if I were securing the lid of a steel tiffin for my lunch, making sure that not a drop of the masala dal can escape.


Excerpted from The Perfumist of Paris by Alka Joshi © 2023 by Alka Joshi, used with permission from HarperCollins/MIRA Books.




BIO: 
Photo Credit:
Garry Bailey


Born in India and raised in the U.S. since she was nine, Alka Joshi has a BA from Stanford University and an MFA from California College of Arts. Joshi's debut novel, The Henna Artist,  immediately became a NYT bestseller, a Reese Witherspoon Bookclub pick, was Longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, & is in development as a TV series. Her second novel, The Secret Keeper of Jaipur (2021), is followed by The Perfumist of Paris (2023). Find her online at www.alkajoshi.com.
 
SOCIAL:
Author Website: www.alkajoshi.com
TWITTER: @alkajoshi
FB: @alkajoshi2019
Insta: @thealkajoshi
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18257842.Alka_Joshi
 
 

Monday, March 27, 2023

Spotlight: Excerpt from The New One by Evie Green

 
Author: Evie Green 
Publisher: Berkley Trade Paperback Original
Publication date: March 28, 2023

A suspenseful, cutting-edge novel about two parents who finally get the daughter they’ve always wanted—it’s too bad she isn’t real. From the author of We Hear Voices.
 
For Tamsyn and Ed, life is tough. They both work long hours for very little money and come home to their moody, rebellious daughter, Scarlett.
 
After a tragic accident leaves Scarlett comatose and with little chance of recovery, Tamsyn and Ed are out of options until a lifeline emerges in the form of an unusual medical trial. In exchange for the very best treatment for Scarlett, a fully furnished apartment, and a limitless spending account, the family must agree to move to Switzerland and welcome an artificial copy of their daughter into their home.
 
Suddenly their life is transformed. Tamsyn and Ed want for nothing, and the AI replacement, Sophie, makes it feel just like having their daughter back—except without all the bad parts. Sophie is engaged, happy, and actually wants to spend time with her parents.
 
But things take a turn for the worse when Scarlett makes a very real recovery and the family discovers that the forces behind their new life are darker than they ever could have imagined.

 
Enjoy this sneak peek:

THE NEW ONE by Evie Green

Berkley Trade Paperback Original | On sale March 28, 2023

Excerpt

 

PROLOGUE

I listen for a long time before any of the words make sense. When they do, I can grab only a word here or there. Soleil. Le weekend.

I try to hold on to the other words but I can't reach them. Everything comes and goes. I am floating.


After a while I realize I am not floating. I have a body.

I am in a body.

I am a body.

My eyes are closed, and after a long time I think that since I am back in my body, I might try to open them. After some more time, I try. It doesn't work.


I know there is noise, but I can’t make sense of it. My sense of smell seems as if someone switched it on, and it is unbearable. The smells crowd into my head and I want them to go away. It smells like medicine, clean things, chemicals. Not home.


Things hurt. People do things to me. They poke me and move me, and sometimes it hurts and sometimes I don’t feel anything. I sense light outside my eyelids. It goes away and comes back. It gets darker and then lighter. I drift back to my dark place, and I come up again.


One day the sounds start to form shapes and I find that I know a word. I know that it is the word for the person I need, the person who will pull me out of here.


I try to make my mouth say it: “Mum.”

Chapter 1

Five months before

November

She had been daydreaming. The water had evaporated and the cauliflower was sticking to the bottom of the pan and the potatoes were burning, because she'd forgotten all of it. It was salvageable, but she didn't want it.

"Oh, shut up," she told it nonsensically, and turned off the gas ring. Everything annoyed her.

She tried to focus on the television. It was a reality show, one that usually distracted her just enough. Tonight, though, it wasn't working.

Scarlett wasn't missing. She was out. If she hadn't overdone the cover story by throwing in Leanne, it wouldn't have been worrying yet. It was still all right.

She messaged her. Please just send a text. Nothing happened. She messaged again and called her phone and she didn't answer.

She turned the TV off and messaged Ed, hating the fact that she was admitting defeat again. He replied at ten forty-five.

Fuck's sake honey! Again?!????
Yeah, I'll find her.

At least he replied to her when it was about Scarlett. Since he worked late nights and she worked early mornings, they hardly saw each other. That was why they were still together.

She looked at the photo on the wall. They had been happy once.

It was a picture of the three of them taken when Scarlett was about four. They had been on the beach at Perranporth, standing in front of the Atlantic Ocean, the beach wide and sandy around them. Their hair was blowing around and they were laughing. Scarlett stood between them, holding their hands.

They had been happy because Scarlett had been a dreamy child. They had been happy because their relationship was newer, and they weren't ground down by life. Scarlett had been an adorable little girl, always asking questions about everything. They had kept her supplied with books from the library, had tried to find the answers she needed, had done everything they could to help her have a better life than they did.

She had learned to read before she went to school, and together they had all learned a bit of French from an app. Her parents agreed (as all parents probably did) that their daughter was exceptionally bright and brilliant, and as the years went by, they encouraged her to do her homework, to be top of the class, to excel at everything and keep her options wide open.

She was exactly average-sized for her age, which seemed like a good thing: she could never be teased for being too big or too small. She had curly dark hair and intense brown eyes, and she would climb into bed with them at night, cuddling up and whispering, "I love you so much, Mummy." She used to ask for a baby brother. Her favorite color was blue. She wanted to see snow. She wanted to have snowball fights, to climb mountains, to see the pyramids. She wanted to do everything.

She had been the best child ever. And then, a few weeks before she turned thirteen, Scarlett had changed.

 

Excerpted from The New One by Evie Green Copyright © 2023 by Evie Green. Excerpted by permission of Berkley. All rights reserved.



About the Author
Evie Green is a pseudonym for a British author who has written professionally for her entire adult life. She lives by the sea in England with her husband, children, and guinea pigs, and loves writing in the very early morning, fueled by coffee.
 
Praise for We Hear Voices by Evie Green
“Prepare for major goose bumps.”—PopSugar
 
“We Hear Voices is startling in both its prescience and premise. Deliciously chilling, this is also a book filled with heart—the terror experienced by Rachel when she discovers her little boy has survived a terrible virus only to suffer from voice-hearing is breathtaking in its realism. While the plot is perfectly paced and races to a terrifying climax, the relationships between the characters are gorgeous and stay with the reader long after their heart rate returns to normal.”—C. J. Cooke, author of The Nesting
“The must-have for any horror fan.”—Marie Claire
“An electrifying science-fiction thriller.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Friday, March 24, 2023

Review: The Writing Retreat by Julia Bartz

Author: Julia Bartz
Publisher: Atria
Publication date: February 2023

A book deal to die for.
Five attendees are selected for a month-long writing retreat at the remote estate of Roza Vallo, the controversial high priestess of feminist horror. Alex, a struggling writer, is thrilled.

Upon arrival, they discover they must complete an entire novel from scratch, and the best one will receive a seven-figure publishing deal. Alex’s long-extinguished dream now seems within reach.

But then the women begin to die.

Trapped, terrified yet still desperately writing, it is clear there is more than a publishing deal at stake at Blackbriar Estate. Alex must confront her own demons – and finish her novel – to save herself.

This unhinged, propulsive, claustrophobic closed-door thriller will pull you in and spit you out…

The Writing Retreat is a isolation, closed door story about five women who are invited to a month long writing retreat with their favorite female horror author.  The writers each have their own reason for being there and they all hold secrets.  I ended up really enjoying this one.  

This is definitely not what I was expecting, but in a good way. About halfway through the story, it took a very dark turn with a twist that I didn't see coming.  It's kind of hard to describe without giving anything away.  The story is told through Alex's perspective.  I really liked her character and where she ended up at the end of the book.  This is a book where you are better off not knowing much about it before going in, so give it a try.  I highly recommend it.  This is the author's debut novel and I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.




Thursday, March 23, 2023

Spotlight: Peace in the Midst of the Storm by Kaleb Thompson

 



Book Details:

Book Title:  Peace in the Midst of the Storm by Kaleb Thompson
Category:  Adult Non-Fiction (18+), 86 pages
Genre:  Poetry
Publisher:  Wipf and Stock
Release date:   December, 2021
Content RatingG because it provides positive, wholesome content through spiritual poetry that seeks to encourage and inspire others.
Book Description:

Anxiety and fear seek to prey on the damaged and create heavy burdens that scar the soul, being heartless and insensitive to the lost, unkempt, and broken-spirited in a troubled, unwholesome world. However, they do not reign for eternity, as faith, resilience, and empowerment remain planted from within to help overcome pressing obstacles, regardless of how difficult they may be. Peace in the Midst of the Storm primarily focuses on the beauty of positivity, selflessness, and honorable confidence that symbolizes the importance of light being present within darkness. This book also holds accountability in facing the realization that as life may prove frustrating at times, giving up is never an option! This shows that regardless of our mistakes, life does not promise us that we will remain positioned in negativity. What we were in our pasts will not seep into who we have grown to be as positive individuals. What we have now realized is that we often must prepare to speak victory over our storms and, as we continue to encourage ourselves to do that, we will overcome anything.
Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Target
Books-a-Million ~ Walmart ~ BookBub
add to the goodread

Meet the Author:

Kaleb Thompson is a dedicated and optimistic individual who enjoys living life to the fullest. Being a native of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Kaleb received his Bachelor's degree and Master's Degree from Coastal Carolina University where he has valued much of his educational experience and career within the hospitality and tourism industry. He has recently started to write poetry to not only inspire others but to help relieve stress as a whole.

connect to the author: website goodreads


PEACE IN THE MIDST OF THE STORM Spotlight Book Tour Giveaway




Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Spotlight: More Than Cocoa by Christine DePetrillo

 More Than Cocoa by Christine DePetrillo is out now! Check out the gorgeous small town romance be sure to grab your copy today!

Title: More Than Cocoa
Author: Christine DePetrillo
Genre: Small Town Romance

How could he have betrayed his own brother? His identical twin brother. The only true family he’d ever had.
 
Detective Rachel Lorensen has played so many roles in her undercover work with the Boston Police Department that she’s not entirely sure who she is anymore. Taking down the bad guys satisfies her and she loves the thrill of solving difficult cases, but something is missing in her life. Something she thought she had once. Something she wouldn’t mind having again.

Former news anchor Harris Wilder just completed sixteen months in jail for making some bad decisions. Though his brother has offered him a place to crash, he is eager to get his life back on track, but ties to his former journalistic glory have all been cut. He’s facing a complete reinvention of himself and doesn’t know where to start. He’d thought life on the outside would be easier than prison life. Now he isn’t so sure.

When one steamy kiss mistakenly gets Harris involved in Rachel’s latest undercover case, the safety of seventeen missing women is on the line.

So is the mending of two broken hearts.


 
Catching Up with the Series:
More Than Pancakes
More Than Cookies
More Than Rum
More Than Pizza
More Than Cocoa
More Than Peaches
More Than Candy Corn
 

About the Author:
Christine DePetrillo can often be found hugging trees, conversing with dragonflies, and walking barefoot through sun-warmed soil. She finds joy in listening to the wind, bathing in moonlight, and breathing in the fragrances of things that bloom. If she had her way, the sky would be the only roof over her head.
 
Her love of nature seeps into every story she tells. As does her obsession with bearded mountain men who build, often smell like sawdust, and know how to cherish the women they love. Today she writes tales meant to make you laugh, maybe make you sweat, and definitely make you believe in the power of love.
 
She lives in Vermont with her husband and many woodland creatures who defend her fiercely from all evils.
 
Connect with the Author:
Website | Newsletter | Bookbub | Goodreads | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Tiktok
 

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Blog Tour: Excerpt & Giveaway for Timeless and Timeless Encore Duet by Kaylene Winter

 


Timeless: Zane & Fiona
by Kaylene Winter
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
 
Goodreads
 
Purchase:
Amazon

TIMELESS:
A Steamy, Coming-of-Age, Friends-To-Lovers, Rockstar Romance
“I vowed nothing would keep us apart…”
Fiona Reynolds is my other half.
It’s been that way from the day I was born.
I’ve dedicated my life to keep my promise.
Fate just laughs in our face.
She’s always out of reach, this time for good.
I’ll do anything to prove she’s my destiny –
if only she’d trust me one more time.

“After what I’ve done, how can I deserve him?”
Zane Rocks is my everything.
There’s no one I love or trust more than him.
It wasn’t his fault when he left me.
I always knew he’d find his way back.
Fear overwhelmed me, and I broke his heart.
Will the most celebrated musician on the planet,
really give me another chance?

When a rash decision changes their lives forever, hope for their future is all but shattered.
Stakes are high.

But Zane’s determined to prove a love this pure is TIMELESS.

TIMELESS ENCORE:
A steamy, childhood-friends-to-lovers romance between a sexy billionaire rockstar and his plus-size soulmate
“Restraint is not my strong suit.”

I’m finally reunited with the woman I’ve loved since birth.
Why do I feel so untethered?
Fiona’s living her dream and I’m doing my best to support her.
But, with so many dark secrets revealed, my very foundation is rocked to the core.
Will we ever outrun our past to have the life we deserve?

“My lifelong dream blew up in spectacular fashion”
Zane and I overcame many obstacles to achieve our destiny.
We’re best friends and soulmates—with a love life other couples only dream of.
Anxiety and self-doubt still threaten my confidence.
When neither of us have reconciled our past,
Can we find the courage to embrace our future?
Happily ever after can mean so many things.
Life happens.
Faith is tested.
Will Zane and Fiona overcome decades of deception?

Is true love really TIMELESS?

TIMELESS ENCORE is Book 8 in the Less Than Zero Rockstar Romance Series, and is the sequel to TIMELESS
It is strongly recommended you read Books 1-4 before reading any of the “ENCORE” sequels, otherwise you’ll be spoiled
!

 
Here is a sneak peek:

It’s kind of like being suspended in time when you drown.
Slowly you slip down, sinking farther and farther into a vast, aqua-blue ocean. At first, the sun flitters at the surface, making the sea look like glittery, blue diamonds. It’s like heaven. Dreamlike. Floaty. Beautiful.
Once the light begins to dissipate, suddenly your surroundings feel ominous. The water feels heavy, not light. Stifling. Claustrophobic. The sea turns midnight blue. Then it is so dark you can’t even see your hand inches from your face.
That’s when survival instinct kicks in. Arms sluice upward. Your legs scissor and kick in attempt to reach the surface. All you want is to find the light again. Just one more time.
All of this happens in a minute, though it feels like hours. Days. Weeks. Years.
But it’s too late. Your lungs fill. When you try to breathe, all you do is suck water into your windpipe. You panic. Flail. Gasp. Scream. Fight with everything you have, because if you don’t reach the surface…
I shoot up in bed, clutching my chest. Gulping in air. Tears stream down my face. I can’t catch my breath. My heart pounds.
Goddammit.
This sucks so bad. I can’t keep having these drowning dreams. They’re freaking me the fuck out.
I’m pulled from behind into a full-body hug.
“Your doctor said this would pass in another week or two. Stick with it, Fee. Subconsciously you know I’d never let you drown.” He nuzzles my neck with his scruffy face, tickling me a bit.
I lean back against Zane. My best friend. My lover. My everything from the day I was born. “I know you wouldn’t. It’s just a lot freakier than they said it would be. If I’d known it was this hard to wean myself off Xanax, I’d never have started taking it in the first place.”
”You’ve been under tremendous amounts of stress with Mia’s custody stuff for so long, babe.” Zane eases me down so he’s spooning me. “It was either that or not sleeping. Now that Corey-fucking-Johnson is firmly in the rearview mirror, you just need a little recoup time and you’ll be as good as new. The world is ours for the taking. At-fucking-last.”
My entire body relaxes against him. “Yeah, I knew I had to stop when I realized I was taking double my dose. There’s no way I’m going down that path. Obviously.”
Addiction has taken so much away from my man, there’s no way I’d ever do that to him. Not after we’ve overcome so much to have our happily ever after.
 
AUTHOR BIO:

When she was only 15, Kaylene Winter wrote her first rocker romance novel starring a fictionalized version of herself, her friends and their gorgeous rocker boyfriends. After living her own rockstar life as a band manager, music promoter and mover and shaker in Seattle during the early 1990’s, Kaylene became a digital media legal strategist helping bring movies, television and music online. Throughout her busy career, Kaylene lost herself in romance novels across all genres inspiring her to realize her life-long dream to be a published author. She lives in Seattle with her amazing husband and dog. She loves to travel, throw lavish dinner parties and support charitable causes supporting arts and animals.

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Monday, March 20, 2023

Review: Episode Thirteen by Craig DiLouie

Author: Craig DiLouie
Publisher: Redhook 
Publication Date: January 2023

Fade to Black is the newest hit ghost hunting reality TV show. Led by husband and wife team Matt and Claire Kirklin, it delivers weekly hauntings investigated by a dedicated team of ghost hunting experts. Episode Thirteen takes them to every ghost hunter's holy grail: the Paranormal Research Foundation. This brooding, derelict mansion holds secrets and clues about bizarre experiments that took place there in the 1970s. It's also famously haunted, and the team hopes their scientific techniques and high tech gear will prove it. But as the house begins to reveal itself to them, proof of an afterlife might not be everything Matt dreamed of. A story told in broken pieces, in tapes, journals, and correspondence, this is the story of Episode Thirteen -- and how everything went terribly, horribly wrong.

Episode Thirteen is a "found footage" story about a crew of ghost hunters featured on a hit show called Fade to Black.  Married couple, Matt and Claire and their team are having success on the show.  Matt is the believer and Claire is the scientific skeptic.  In the thirteenth episode, they  head to a haunted mansion where a group of scientists disappeared in the 70s.  This is their story.

First, I think best way to consume this book is through audiobook.  It has a full cast of characters and sound effects.  It helped set the atmosphere of the house and the events that happen to the Fade to Black crew. I really enjoyed it. I liked the characters and found myself rooting for all of them. I liked Claire's character the most.  With me being a scientist, I could identify with her skepticism the best. 

The book set up in typical "found footage" form.  Raw video footage and recordings are mixed in with media excerpts and journal entries. The "audience" is left to try to decide if it all really happened or not.  I  am a sucker for found footage movies, so I knew this was right up my alley.   I think this would make a fun movie.  Do they make it out alive?  You'll have to read to find out.  I highly recommend this one.