KINGDOM OF SALT & SIRENS Boxed Set Released TODAY – Blitz Post & Giveaway

Kingdom of Salt & Sirens Boxed Set
Publication date: March 5th 2019
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult

The Little Mermaid but not as you remember it…

Beneath the turbulent seas, beyond the smokey depths, lies a Kingdom that exists in your wildest imagination. A world where mermaids swim, sirens sing and shipwrecks hide mysterious creatures.

Make waves with our 11 magical retellings of the timeless classic, The Little Mermaid.

Dive into a world filled with adventure, love and magic!

One click now for your happily ever after.

Authors include:
J.A Armitage

R. Castro

Jennifer Ellision

Mira Crest

K.M Pyne

Laura Greenwood

Jacque Stevens

Scarlett Kol

Anne Stryker

Nikki Landis

Tracy Korn

Goodreads / Amazon

SNEAK PEEKS:

Balanced Scales by Laura Greenwood:

“What happens at the end of your version of the story?”

I shrugged. “Much the same as in your version, I guess. She falls in love with the Prince, he with her, they get married and live happily ever after.”

Erickson’s face fell. “That’s not the same as our version,” he responded. “Ours is a lot more sinister. She loses her chance to marry the Prince. When her sisters find out, they barter for a dagger. The mermaid could return to the sea if she stabbed the Prince through the heart with it.”

I shuddered. “That’s horrible. Did she do it?” If she had, then maybe it would explain why humans seemed to be so against the mer.

“No. She turned into sea foam and disappeared into the air. Some versions say she’s taken pity on by some sylphs and became one of them.”

“Sylphs?” I’d never heard of them and had no idea what he meant. They certainly weren’t part of the stories I’d been told as a child.

“I don’t know how to explain them. They’re made of air and hang around in the atmosphere.”

“And what do they do to her?”

“I’m not sure. In our version of the story, mermaids don’t have souls. When they die they turn to sea foam and just cease to exist.”

I laughed lightly as we turned down another street. “I can assure you, that’s not what it’s like.”

“I guessed. You can’t have a soul stolen if you didn’t have one to begin with.”

“Which do you think is the true version of the story?” My words came out barely above a whisper. Part of me didn’t want to ask at all. Especially if it would mean he said he thought his version was the right one. If that was true, then how had my people gotten souls to begin with…

“Neither. I think it’s nothing more than a story. Each side will tell it the way that puts their own people in the best light. Just like with every other legend like that.”

“I suppose…” Though I didn’t like to think of the mermaid I’d heard so much about as nothing more than fiction. She’d been an inspiration to so many young mer who wanted adventure. Not so much on land, but out in the open sea.

“You never know, maybe one day they’ll be telling our story like they do hers,” he said jovially.

From The Little Monster by Jennifer Ellision:

“Wait!” The little human lurched forward, a single hand outstretched, the other anchored firmly to the ship’s railing. It swallowed as the little monster raised a brow to her. The hand fell lamely back to her side.

“I… don’t even know your name.”

“Name?”

“What are you called?”

“I don’t understand.” What was she called? She was a predator, a hunter, a Mordgris, a…

“I am a monster,” she said simply.

“You’re all monsters,” the human breathed. “But you’re not quite like the rest. How am I to call you and you alone?”

Her. Alone.

A thrill spiked through the little monster. Why hadn’t she thought of this before? She deserved her own name. She was the best of her kind. There was nothing in the sea that could best her except, perhaps, the sea itself. And that made choosing a name simple.

“You may call me Mara,” she said.

“Mara,” the human repeated slowly. “Mara… for the sea?”

Another thrill surged within her as she nodded, knowing the word belonged only to her. The little human had understood the meaning instantly. In a way that prey was not meant to understand its hunter.

“I am Amista,” she said, lifting her full lower scales to cross the bottoms of her fins and bob on deck. “And it has been a pleasure to meet you, Mara.”

Mara dove back into the cool embrace of the sea, feeling Amista’s eyes on her back as she swam away.

The little monster had become Mara.

The little human had become Amista.

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THE NIGHT DOCKET – New Release Book Blitz and Giveaway

The Night Docket
Michele Lang
Publication date: February 26th 2019
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy

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Praise for author Michele Lang:

“Lang is a writer to watch and is sure to have wide appeal to fans of Jim Butcher, Kat Richardson, and other urban fantasy A-listers.” -Booklist

“A groundbreaking, rich, enthralling series….stakes that couldn’t be higher. A tour de force!” – Rachel Caine, NYT best-selling author of the Morganville Vampire series (for the Lady Lazarus series)

“Michele Lang is a talented writer and gifted storyteller…one of the leading voices in historical urban fantasy.” — D.B. Jackson, author of THIEFTAKER

When you do your part to kill a necromancer, death isn’t the final goodbye.

No, it’s not the end.

Instead, it’s more like pouring gasoline on a dumpster fire…

By day, solo street lawyer Nicole Farmer represents the down and out in the tough town of Amistad, Connecticut. Bankruptcies, divorces, criminal defense, foreclosures…Nicole’s clients are the hardest-luck cases in a hard-luck rustbelt city.

Fighting the good fight, Nicole has to hustle just to make a living. And by night, unquiet spirits call to her on the dream plane, seeking revenge and healing…and demanding that she solve the coldest cases of all.

Powered by coffee and a sparkly pink cell phone with uncanny mojo, Nicole was made for trouble and badassery. But even she can’t go 24/7 without a break. Sooner or later, she knows she will crack.

Everything changes when Evangeline, the spirit of a murdered young woman, invades Nicole’s dreams. Her killer, a power-hungry and psychopathic warlock, wants to strike again.

Nicole commits to hunting Evangeline’s killer…and opening the Night Docket means all hell breaks loose in Amistad.

Attacked by enemies living and undead, Nicole must face her own past, call in all her favors, and find a way to achieve cosmic justice — without losing her own life and soul…

You will love Michele’s new contemporary urban fantasy series! Read it now, and instantly disappear into the otherworldly, dangerous landscape of Amistad and the Afterworld.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

Beware of the dead.

When you have the so-called “gift” of speaking through the veil, you open yourself up to a world of hurt when you dare to listen instead of talk.

I was listening to the girl apologizing to me in the groovy bedroom of death. And she was leading me down the rabbit hole to my own destruction.

The fact she felt bad about it didn’t make the danger any less.

I was a street lawyer, Nicole Farmer, Esq., no-holds-barred fighter for the down and out. That didn’t mean I was a shill for my clients. It just meant I was willing to listen to them.

Even the dead ones.

I took another look around. The room didn’t evaporate under my scrutiny…just like in waking life, the details got sharper the more I focused on them. The bloody handprints on the walls glowed in the weird light of the lava lamp, still erupting by the wrecked murder-scene of a bed. The sickly-sweet smell of death lingered in the air, like a satanic perfume.

“Forget it,” I told her. “You don’t have to apologize.”

The girl visibly relaxed.

“What’s your name?” I asked. “And how old are you, and where is this place? You’re obviously a grown woman, but I keep thinking you’re a girl. And that’s just freaking weird.”

“Well, I am a girl. I’m only, like, twenty-three years old.” She hesitated, for effect. “And my name is Evangeline.”

Evangeline.

The name didn’t sound real, it sounded like a dream name. I wanted to believe all of this was nothing more than a sliver in my brain, a crazy dream. Because if she was real, I was going to be chasing her problems in my dreams for months.

Her voice carried a slight Southern drawl, which surprised me, because I knew I was still in the shithole town of Amistad, Connecticut. I just knew it.

“This apartment is near my office, right?” I asked. “This place must be just down the street…the slant of the light through the window…”

I suddenly realized that it was daylight on the dream plane, and sunshine was streaming from behind the cracked venetian blinds. When it was day in the dream plane, it was night back in my ordinary world.

Looked like noontime here at the murder scene…I guessed it was something like midnight back in my own bed. The girl in black was flooded in light, backlit, and it was hard for me to make out her features.

“I better explain,” Evangeline said. “It’s the least I can do. Yes, this is Amistad, Connecticut. This is my place. The blood is mine. I mean…I didn’t splash it around or anything. I mean…”

I squinted, trying to look into her eyes. Trying to get to the bottom of her little speech.

“You were murdered in this room,” I said. “In 1973.”

She hesitated. “Well, it was almost 1973—really it was late 1972. But close.”

I sighed. Here I went again. “This is one of my serial killer dreams, isn’t it, Evangeline?”

“Well, yeah. But your dreams aren’t dreams.”

Author Bio:

Michele Lang writes fantasy, science fiction, crime, and romance, as well as non-fiction. Her Lady Lazarus WWII historical fantasy series was published by Tor Books, and her short fiction has been published by DAW, PM Press, and WMG Press, among others. Her story “Sucker’s Game” was included in the Anthony Award-nominated anthology, Jewish Noir.

Michele is a recovering lawyer who has practiced the unholy craft of litigation in both New York and Connecticut. She returned to her native New York shortly before 9/11, and now lives in a small town on the North Shore of Long Island with her husband, her sons, and a rotating menagerie of cats, hermit crabs, and butterflies.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

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BOOK OF THE DEAD by Nadine Nightingale COVER REVEAL – A YA Paranormal Masterpiece

Title: BOOK OF THE DEAD

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Author: NADINE NIGHTINGALE

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Series: Gods of Egypt, #2

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Publication date: February 7th 2019

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Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

NISHA

They called me Angel of Death, but I am something else. Someone else. That is, if you believe the Egyptian desert god, Seth, who haunted my dreams since I can think. Sounds crazy, huh?

I, too, thought I was insane.

Broken beyond repair.

But—

When Seth’s followers—the Black Flags—invaded our annual Halloween ball and slaughtered half the town, my nightmares became reality. Those crazy bastards think I’m the reincarnation of Nebt-Het, the Egyptian goddess of protection, that I can help Seth get his immortality back. It’s why they pushed my cousin, Izzy, through a portal to the Underworld, knowing I had no choice but to follow her.

Now, I’m trapped in this godforsaken place, forced to conquer all twelve caverns, with Seth by my side.

BLAZE

I was born into a Traveler clan. Grew up with tales of warriors and magic. I thought it was all bullshit. Fairytales. Until—

Nisha Blake, the girl of my dreams, caused an earth quake.

And an Egyptian God sent his crazy disciples to kill half the town.

I failed to protect Nisha. Couldn’t stop her from going after her cousin, from walking right into hell. Now, she’s in Seth’s world, bound to do what he wishes.

Our only chance, to get the girls back, is to find The Book of the Dead—some long lost magic tome, no one has seen or heard of in ages.

Wish us luck.

We’ll need it.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Nadine aka Dini is a traveler at heart. She considers the world her home and practically lives out of her suitcases. When she’s not glaring at a blank page or abusing her poor keyboard, she spends her time reading, watching movies (preferably horror), pretends to work out, and hangs out with friends and family. Poor girl also suffers from a serious Marvel superhero addiction. So, if you run into her at night, wearing black, know she’s secretly dreaming of being the infamous Black Widow.

Her love for writing started in the sixth grade where she annoyed her classmates with a short story featuring Sailor Moon characters, a cemetery, and creepy ghosts. Yes, she’s always been addicted to the dark side. Nadine writes paranormal romance. Her debut novel “Karma” the first book in her paranormal romance series Drag.Me.To.Hell. is published by the Wild Rose Press.

To learn more about this book and it’s author visit the following links:
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WISHES IN A BOTTLE by Allie McCormack is NOW AVAILABLE – BOOK BLITZ & AWESOME INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY

Title: Wishes in a Bottle

Author: Allie McCormack

Series: Wishes & Dreams #1

Publication date: January 15th 2019

Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

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Centuries ago in plague-struck Italy, Julian DiConti cast a powerful spell in desperation to have the magical power to be able to help his people who were dying in horrific conditions. The spell goes spectacularly awry, leaving Julian enslaved to a Djinn bottle, bound to grant three wishes to each Master of the bottle until the spell can be broken. More than anything, Julian longs for a normal life – for a home, and a family. After six hundred years, however, he has begun to despair of ever being freed from the spell.

Enter Alessandra Taylor, a young woman who has followed her calling to help others, in the face of vociferous disapproval from her family, particularly her controlling father. Working at a shelter for battered women, she’s thrilled to meet the reclusive Julian DiConti, whose collection of garments from third world countries has provided funding for shelters across the country. When Julian turns out to be a Djinn from the old bottle she found in her attic, she hears his story and empathizes with his despair. Although she’s willing to free him, he can’t tell her how. As time goes by, their initial attraction blossoms into a love that both realize is doomed. Once she has made her third wish, the magic of the bottle will whisk Julian away and out of her life forever… unless she can somehow figure out how to free him. But one by one, she’s forced to use the precious wishes to help others.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

“Betty!”

Alessandra burst into the supervisor’s office, bursting with excitement. It was her first day back at work after everything that had happened. Betty looked up from her computer monitor, peering at Alessandra over the top of her reading glasses.

“Welcome back. What’s got you in such a tweak?”

“You’ll never guess who I’ve met.” Alessandra came to perch on the corner of Betty’s desk, nudging a stack of official-looking papers aside with her hip, anticipating Betty’s response.

“Whom,” Betty corrected automatically, taking her glasses off and leaning forward, slender brows raised over grey-blue eyes sparkling with interest. “Don’t keep me in suspense. Tell me.”

Alessandra leaned forward. “Julian,” she spoke the name slowly, enunciating each syllable, “DiConti.”

She enjoyed seeing Betty’s eyes widen, hearing her audible gasp.

“No!”

Alessandra just smiled and nodded.

“Oh my God, Alessandra. How did you meet him? Where? Is he here, in New York?”

“Yes, he’s here. In fact, it turns out he lives here, in the city.”

Alessandra paused for effect, grinning at the growing anticipation on her boss’ face. A thought struck her, and she pondered. Julian’s face arose in her mind’s eye, the clear pleasure on his face when he’d learned that she worked at one of the shelters that had received donations from the fund he’d set up. He would never ask, she thought, to visit the shelter to see for himself. He’d be well aware of the security and anonymity they required. But she would bet her bottom dollar he would love to actually see for himself the difference his Foundation had made for some.

“I wonder,” she said slowly. “I wonder if we might invite him to visit, and see what improvements his donations have made possible.”

“Yes!” Betty shot out of her chair. “Alessandra, this could be wonderful for us.”

“I’ve told him a bit about what we’ve been able to do with the funds we’ve gotten from Uncommon Threads. It turns out that he’s never seen a safe house, and has only the most basic knowledge of what we do here. He told me that he’d never met anyone who’d benefited directly from his Foundation, not here in the States, I mean. I think he’d very much like to see the place, what we’ve been able to do with the extra funding.”

Betty sank back into her chair, staring at Alessandra.

“I can’t believe it. You have met Julian DiConti. You’ve actually spoken to him. Do you know he has only appeared in public once? Once! And that was at the opening of his Uncommon Threads exhibit last year. He’d never been seen before then, has never been seen since. He travels a lot, the papers say,”

Betty seemed to be still lost in amazement. She lowered her voice, leaning forward conspiratorially, “Do you know, no one has ever been able to get a picture of him? He’s never been in the paper or in a magazine, not on the Internet… nothing! Even the paparazzi can’t seem to snap a shot of him.”

Alessandra tucked that away in the back of her mind to ponder. She’d ask Julian about it later. It seemed impossible that journalists, as persistent as they were annoying, would not have gotten some shots of him. A person as wealthy and reclusive as Julian DiConti would draw paparazzi attention like bees to honey. Maybe it was something to do with the Djinn magic. Certainly one could not live for so many hundreds of years and leave a record, something by which one could be recognized, especially now with photography. How embarrassing to have a photograph of one resurface half a century later and you haven’t changed by a whisker.

Betty’s mind was already darting ahead.

“We can invite the Board of Directors, and maybe some of the…”

“No, absolutely not,” Alessandra interrupted hastily. She didn’t have to ask Julian to know what his feelings about that would be. “He wouldn’t like that at all. He’s a very private person. Really, Betty. I think he’d appreciate seeing the positive results of his efforts, to see for himself the difference that is being made. He wouldn’t want publicity, or any grand fuss made, and you know it would be bound to get out, if we told the Board. And, too, you know,” she pressed on, “the residents here wouldn’t like it, either. It would make them uncomfortable. Just being here is hard enough for most of them.”

“Yes,” Betty admitted. “But, at the same time… Mr. DiConti is such a huge contributor. More than half a million dollars, just to us! It seems almost rude not to do everything we can to welcome him.

“Bring out the red carpet and brass band?” Alessandra suggested with a laugh. “Betty, I assure you he would neither expect that, nor want it.”

Betty pursed her lips, thinking this over. “You’re sure?”

“I am.” Alessandra made her answer as firm and authoritative as she could. “I’m very sure, Betty. And I was thinking, you know. We might ask some of the women if they would be willing to talk with him, tell him their stories. He knows the stories of the women he has helped in India, why shouldn’t he hear the stories of the women here? We can let the residents know exactly when he would be here, let them choose to come out to meet him, or not.”

“He’s worth millions, you know. Billions.” Betty’s eyes held a dreamy, far-away expression. “Mostly inherited, but he’s made a pile on his own. That antique shop has been around forever. There was an article on him in People magazine when he first opened Uncommon Threads, and then when it did so well and he sent the collection on tour across America. There was an article on Whimsies, too, in that artsy magazine from the Village. No one really knows much about Julian himself, though.”

“Except that he’s worth a lot of money.” Alessandra laughed, but inside she cringed. Billionaire? Of course, six hundred years was plenty of time for financial planning, but still… It was almost impossible to comprehend. Billions of dollars? And he was living in a little glass bottle on her dresser!

It would have been funny, if it weren’t so sad. Alessandra’s heart ached for Julian. If only there were something she could do for him, some way that she could release him from the spell so that he could really live, could have a real life. She would gladly give all three of her wishes… well, the two she had left… but she would have given all of them to free him.

That spell seemed more like a curse to her. Julian was so desperately unhappy. He never said so, but she could see it in his dark azure eyes, the brooding sadness that never quite left, that lurked behind the charming smile. So many times she had caught the quiet lapses, when he retreated inside himself when he thought she was unaware. It seemed an awful punishment, no matter what he had done. She just wished she could find a way to help him.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Author Bio:

A career medical transcriptionist, Allie McCormack is now writing from home full-time. Allie has traveled quite a bit and lived many places all over the U.S., and also a year in Cairo, Egypt as an exchange student, and a year in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia under contract to a hospital there, plus a short stint with NATO while she was in the Army. As a single mom, she raised a wonderful daughter who’s recently married and there are plans afoot for grandchildren. A disabled veteran, Allie now lives in the beautiful Sorona Desert in southern Arizona with her two rescue cats and writes full-time.

Allie says: “A writer is who and what I am… a romance writer. I write what I know, and what I know is romance. Dozens of story lines and literally hundreds of characters live and breathe within the not-so-narrow confines of my imagination, and it is my joy and privilege to bring them to life, to share them with others by writing their stories.”

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  • an Egyptian blown glass perfume bottle + a bookmark
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ANALIESE RISING by Brenda Drake New Release BOOK BLITZ & GIVEAWAY – WIN A $50 AMAZON GIFT CARD – Open Internationally

Title: Analiese Rising

Author: Brenda Drake

Published by: Entangled Teen

Publication date: January 8th 2019

Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult

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Half-Blood meets Antigoddess in a thrilling, romantic new series from New York Times bestselling author Brenda Drake.

When a stranger gives Analiese Jordan a list of names before he dies, the last thing she expects to see is her own on it. Not. Cool. Her search for answers leads to the man’s grandson, Marek, who has dangerous secrets of his own. Both are determined to unlock the mystery of the list.

But the truth is deadly. Analiese is a descendant of the God of Death, known as a Riser, with the power to raise the dead and control them. Finding out she has hidden powers? Cool. Finding out she turns corpses into killers? No, thank you.

Now the trail plants her and Marek in the middle of a war between gods who apparently want to raise an army of the Risen, and Analiese must figure out how to save the world—from herself.

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EXCERPT:

The classroom smells like a funeral home.

Hushed voices pulse over the pairs of students hunching over trays spaced across the counters. The odor of bodies fresh out of gym class mingles with the scent of formaldehyde.

Hair dampens at my temples. A crematory would be cooler.

Not many have finished their assignments. Only a few overachievers sit in the rows of empty desks on the other side of the room, their tasks completed, proud smiles on their faces.

Mrs. Cryer shuffles around the tables watching over us—a reaper waiting for lost souls, her bony finger pointing out errors. She shuffles around with purpose. She shuffles around without direction. Then she stops at our table, her eyes peering over reading glasses.

“Mr. Bove and Miss Jordan, you two are falling behind,” she says, a disapproving tsk in her voice. She only uses last names when she wants to emphasize her warning. “Best hurry before class ends.”

She continues shuffling around.

Biology is my least favorite class. Mrs. Cryer’s assignments are outdated. It’s her last year teaching, her retirement long overdue. Stern and direct, she’s not the sort of teacher I usually like, but I do. There’s an underlying kindness to Mrs. Cryer. A kindness hiding in her eyes, evident in her actions.

One of the things I like about my school: my brother, Dalton, is in the same grade. We’re not twins or anything. Actually, we’re cousins. His parents adopted me when mine were killed in a boating accident on Lake Como in Italy. I don’t remember them. I was two when that all went down.

The thing I hate about school: Dalton’s in my biology class.

“Come on, Ana.” Dalton slides the dissection tray closer to me. “I did all the setup. Just make the first cut.”

The little green body looks rubbery—almost fake—crucified to the tray with pins as it is. I push strands of dark hair from my face with a latex-gloved hand. I could’ve opted out of this barbaric ritual of separating body parts from an innocent frog.

Why did I even agree to this?

Author Bio:

Brenda Drake is a New York Times bestselling author of young adult fiction. She grew up the youngest of three children, an Air Force brat, and the continual new kid at school. Her fondest memories growing up is of her eccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. So it was only fitting that she would choose to write stories with a bend toward the fantastical. When she’s not writing or hanging out with her family, she haunts libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops, or reads someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).

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HOLLI’S HELLFIRE by Tish Thawed RELEASED TODAY – Blog Blitz and GIVEAWAY

Title: Holli’s Hellfire

Author: Tish Thawer

Series: The Women of Purgatory #3

Published by: Amber Leaf Publishing

Publication date: January 15th 2019

Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Will she choose to stay the Reaper she is, or become the Goddess she was?

Holli’s memories of her life as the Goddess Hel are starting to resurface, and the timing can’t be a coincidence.

Her father’s quest continues to threaten Purgatory, and her decision to embrace her past has the potential to save or destroy it all.

Find out in the exciting conclusion to The Women of Purgatory trilogy.

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Author Bio:

2017 – #1 Bestseller in Historical Fiction (Witches of BlackBrook)

2017 – Top 100 Bestselling in Paid Kindle Store (Witches of Blackbrook)

2015 – Best Cover – Penned Con (The Witches of BlackBrook)

2015 – Readers Choice Award – My New Favorite Book Awards (The Witches of BlackBrook)

Bestselling and Award Winning Author, Tish Thawer, writes paranormal romances for all ages. From her first paranormal cartoon, Isis, to the Twilight phenomenon, myth, magic, and superpowers have always held a special place in her heart.

Tish is known for her detailed world-building and magic-laced stories. Her work has been compared to Nora Roberts, Sam Cheever, and Charlaine Harris. She has received a RONE Award nomination (Reward of Novel Excellence), as well as nominations for Best Cover, Reader’s Choice, and Author of the Year (Fantasy, Dystopian, Mystery).

Tish has worked as a computer consultant, photographer, and graphic designer, and is a columnist for Gliterary Girl media and has bylines in RT Magazine and Literary Lunes Magazine. She resides in Arizona with her husband and three wonderful children and is represented by Gandolfo, Helin, and Fountain Literary Management.

You can find Tish on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AuthorTishThawer

A common FAQ: “How do you pronounce her last name?”

Answer: Think “Bower” or “Thow-er”. It’s Persian!

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GRIM LOVELIES by Young Adult Bestselling Author Megan Shepherd is sure to enchant teens and adults alike. 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Title: GRIM LOVELIES

Author: MEGAN SHEPHERD

Genre: YOUNG ADULT FICTION, FANTASY FICTION

Length: 384 PAGES

Publisher: HMH TEEN – HOUGHTON MIFFLIN HARCOURT BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS

Received From: HMH TEEN INSTAGRAM GIVEAWAY

Release Date: OCTOBER 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-328-80918-6 (Hardcover)

ISBN: 978-1-328-80962-9 (eBook)

Price: $17.99 USD HARDCOVER

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:

Seventeen-year-old Anouk envies the human world, where people known as Pretties lavish themselves in fast cars, high fashion, and have the freedom to fall in love.

But Anouk can never have those things, because she is not really human.

Enchanted from animal to human girl and forbidden to venture beyond her familiar Parisian prison, Anouk is a Beastie: destined for a life surrounded by dust bunnies and cinders serving Mada Vittoria, the evil witch who spelled her into existence.

That is, until one day she finds her mistress murdered in a pool of blood – and Anouk is accused of the crime.

Now, the world she always dreamed of is rife with danger. Pursued through Paris by the underground magical society known as the Haute, Anouk and her fellow Beasties only have three days to find the real killer before the spell keeping them human fades away.

If they fail, they will lose the only lives they’ve ever known… but if they succeed, they could be more powerful than anyone ever bargained for.

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MY REVIEW:

Inventive and dazzling, with a host of characters readers will be unable and unwilling to forget.

With a diverse cast, this book has everything required to become an instant Young Adult Best-Seller. Having just been released a little over two months ago, it is already trending on social media, and, if I have my way, it will trend even more after I post this review.

I love that the Author chose animals turned into humans as her main characters. I love that she chose the city of Paris as the headquarters of the Royals who reign over all magical beings. There has always been something alluring and mysterious about the historic city of Paris, especially to those of us in North America. With the millions of bones in the city’s catacombs, Paris also has a barely hidden sinister air.

Best-Selling Author Megan Shepherd has created a magical world that secretly exists alongside our own. Of course, we humans, or “Pretties” as the witches call us, are completely oblivious to the magic surrounding us.

Within this world there are “Beasties;” animals and birds who have had spells cast on them to change them into humans (sort of like the mice in the tale of Cinderella, except the change is permanent.) Anouk is one such Beastie. She is a year and a half old which is the equivalent of being a seventeen year old girl. For the entirety of her human existence, she has not been allowed to leave the house she was “born” in. It is the home of Mada Vittoria, the witch who changed Anouk from animal to human.

This imaginative tale, filled with magic, mystery and mayhem is perfect for today’s Young Adult audience. Readers of all types, and of all ages will be able to find a character to relate to.

There is a theme of good vs. evil in this book, but what, or who is deemed evil is often in the eye of the beholder.

GRIM LOVELIES is also a unique Coming-Of-Age tale in which Anouk realizes that her captivity at the hands of Mada (Witch) Vittoria, has resulted in her knowing very little about either the Pretties world, or the magical world of the Haute.

GRIM LOVELIES and the world of the Haute would make for a terrific and visually stunning movie. I very much hope to see this series become optioned for film.

I rate GRIM LOVELIES as a 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Young Adult novel and am excited to read more about Anouk and her other “Beastie” friends in the next installment of this wonderous tale.

***Thank you to HMH Teen for hosting the Instagram contest in which I won a Grim Lovelies prize pack. ***

MY FAVORITE QUOTES FROM THE BOOK:

*

“Everything had a darker side, magic most of all.”

*

“He was a twat and she’d sooner kiss a frog, but even frogs deserved little moments of joy.”

*

“Even if we can find someone to recast our spell, I’m afraid that a spell alone can’t make us human. TRULY human. Only actions make a person human, not magic.”

*

“I’m not a bird with broken wings… I don’t need to be sheltered.”

*

“Through all this darkness, you’ve held on to love and hope, and that’s true strength.”

*
*

THE CHARACTERS:

A

BOUT THE AUTHOR:

MEGAN SHEPHERD – New York Times bestselling author Megan Shepherd grew up in her family’s independent bookstore in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

She is the author of several young adult and middle grade novels. She now lives and writes on a 125-year-old farm outside Asheville, North Carolina, with her husband, two cats, and an especially scruffy dog.

To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GOODREADS

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

TWITTER

AMAZON

CHAPTERS

MORE BOOKS BY MEGAN:

*** Leave a comment and let me know if you have read any of Megan’s books?

And if so, which was/is your favorite? Why?

“STRAY MAGIC” AUDIOBOOK REVIEW – A fairy tale for all those of us who love dogs and who dream about happy endings.

Title: STRAY MAGIC

Author: JACKIE BOUCHARD

Narrator: AISLING GRAY

Genre: FICTION, WOMEN’S FICTION, CONTEMPORARY FANTASY

Length: 9 HOURS, 1 Minute

Publisher: JACKIE BOUCHARD

Type of Book: AUDIOBOOK

Received From: THE NARRATOR – AISLING GRAY

Release Date: MARCH 26, 2018

Price on Audible: $13.67 USD

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

Cara Snow is newly divorced, stuck working for a jerky boss at a pet boutique, and dreading her soon-to-be-empty nest with only her beloved corgi for company. Worse still, her ex just got engaged. Doesn’t she deserve some romance, too? Or, at least a date for the Fur Ball. She’s always enjoyed the annual pet rescue gala, but this year her ex will be there with his fiancée. Meanwhile, Cara hasn’t met anyone- other than the irresistible dogs at the boutique’s adoption events.

Cara is shocked when her wish to fall for a man as easily as she does for those mutts summons Vincent. His velour track suit, paunchy belly, and tough-guy accent don’t exactly fit her childhood image of a fairy godfather. Not exactly on top of his game, he admits to being twenty-five years late. (Her daughter Winnie is convinced he must be there for her!) Vincent does his best and casts a spell “guaranteed” to help Cara find the One. But when she actually starts meeting men, none of them are her type. If only they were as perfect for her as the dogs they adopt. Did her screw-up fairy godfather botch the spell? If so, what will it mean not only for Cara but Vincent as well?

MY REVIEW:

The description of this story states: it is loosely based on “Cinderella,” and I agree that it is VERY LOOSELY based on the classic fairytale. I enjoyed this book much more than I did the fairytale version.

Why? Well, let’s start with the main character, Cara. She is not a doe-eyed innocent. Cara is a grown woman, with a grown daughter who is about to go off to college. To top it off, she has also just gone through a divorce which hit her self-esteem pretty hard. But, like many women, she did not allow herself to wallow in despair, she just moved on with her life the best she could. Sometimes it takes an exceptional amount of courage just to put one foot in front of the other.

Cara may not think of herself as courageous, but that is how I saw her right from the beginning. As the story progresses, her actions, her attitudes and even her angst all solidified my belief in her courageous spirit.

The introduction of a magical fairy godfather was hilarious. The author nailed this character. From his physical appearance to the clothes he chooses to wear, Cara’s Fairy Godfather is a hoot. And of course, Cara, like any other sane person, reacts to his appearance and his pronouncement of his Fairy Godfather status by thinking he must be an escapee from an insane asylum.

Cara works in a pet store and has a beagle as well who plays a prominent role in the story. Then of course there’s the hunky guy from Cara’s past.

There are lots of laughs in this audiobook as well as lots of tender moments. In fact, this book will constantly put a smile on the listeners face. What more could you want?

I loved the characters, I loved the setting, I love dogs as much as the protagonist does, I am also around her age, and my kids have left home to go to college as well. So, suffice it to say that I very much relate to the book’s central character.

This book is a great read, but I have to say that I firmly believe that narrator Aisling Gray’s performance is so perfect that it makes listening to the audiobook preferable over reading the paperback or eBook version of “Stray Magic.” I rate the narration as 5 out of 5 Stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I also rate the story as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ I highly recommend this Audiobook to anyone who is in the mood for a light-hearted listening experience. I also recommend this audiobook to anyone and everyone who loves dogs.

*Thank you to Aisling Gray for providing me with a free copy of this audiobook. The fact that I received this audiobook free of charge has in no way impacted my review. I only review books and audiobooks 100% honestly and anyone sending me a book or audiobook agrees that my honest opinion will be posted – sometimes good, sometimes not so good.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jackie Bouchard, a USA Today bestselling author, writes what she calls Fido-friendly fiction – humorous and heart-warming stories about women and the dogs that profoundly impact their lives.

She spent a long time as a creative soul trapped in the body of a practical person. When she was bitten by the writing bug, she managed to leap free of the hamster wheel of corporate America, and now spends her days walking her dog, talking to her dog, and listening for the voices in her head that want their stories told. When the voices don’t talk to her, she can often be found staring into the refrigerator.

After growing up in Southern California, Jackie moved to Bermuda, where she met her husband. Now back in San Diego, American Jackie, her Canadian hubby, and her Mexican rescue mutt form their own happy little United Nations. Jackie’s novels include STRAY MAGIC, HOUSE TRAINED, the Readers’ Favorite gold-medal winning RESCUE ME, MAYBE, and WHAT THE DOG ATE.

To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

BLOG

AUDIBLE

GOODREADS

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

AMAZON

CHAPTERS

ABOUT THE NARRATOR:

AISLING GRAY started doing voice work in 2005 with commercial narration and voice acting, but her love of reading lead her to branch into audiobook narration.

Aisling grew up moving all over the world and has lived in the U.K., Costa Rica, Ghana, Sudan, Jamaica, Peru, the U.S., India, Poland, Azerbaijan, and Mexico — all the while learning languages, so she have a knack for accents.

Listeners have praised her clear, engaging, and versatile narrating as well as her comedic delivery. She loves to bring great writing to life.

To learn more about this Narrator, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

AUDIBLE

ACX

GOODREADS

FACEBOOK

LINKEDIN

RITE TO REIGN PRE-ORDER BLITZ – ONLY 99 Cents for a Limited Time for this massive collection with something for everyone

Title: Rite to Reign
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy
Publication Date: December 11th, 2018
Blurb:
Something wicked this way comes…
>Willful witches, supernatural sorcerers, cruel queens, and powerful priestesses fall out of favor and rise to rule in this highly sought-after collection of spellbinding stories!
More than 20 award-winning and bestselling authors have come together to curate this bewitching boxed set collection of the best PARANORMAL ROMANCE and URBAN FANTASY books in the genre, each brimming with stories of royal magic.
Journey through worlds of danger and mayhem, where witches and warlocks battle for influence and wizards fight for unrestricted power.
But reader beware: the highly addictive stories in RITE TO REIGN will put you under their spell. One click to secure your limited edition copy today!
Buy Links:
Participating Authors:
Heather Marie Adkins
Teresa Roman
JJ King & Candace Osmond
SJ Davis & P. Mattern
Scott Hungerford
Shawna Romkey
Ash Krafton
Christine Ashworth
Anna Santos
Melissa Winters
Colleen S. Myers
Andie M. Long
Alex H. Singh
Sabrina Ramoth
L.C. Ireland
Louisa Bacio
Grace White
Helen Scott
Carma Haley Shoemaker
Kyndra Hatch
Mirren Hogan & Stephanie Barr
E.B. Black
Elle Middaugh
Kat Parrish
Tanya Dawson
Buy Links: