BLOG TOUR | Touch of Smoke – Karissa Laurel

Hi everyone!

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Touch of Smoke!


Touch of Smoke
Publication Date: February 12th, 2019
Publisher: Red Adept Publishing ( https://redadeptpublishing.com/)
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Three years ago, Rikki Albemarle watched her best friend die at the hands of a supernatural evil. Certain she was slated to be the next victim, Rikki fled her small Smoky Mountain hometown, vowing to never come back. Plagued by nightmares and knowing she’s the only one who believes Mina’s death was no accident, Rikki returns with hopes of finding answers and holding the killer accountable.

Rikki is convinced the key to unlocking the secret of Mina’s death lies with Owen Amir, the alluring young army vet who once claimed her heart. But the deeper Rikki digs into Owen’s past, the more she’s torn between the urgings of her heart and her memories of him on the night Mina died.

After falling further into the rabbit hole, Rikki lands at the feet of an ancient and powerful evil determined to finish what it started years before. To survive, she’ll have to make a decision: believe Owen is the monster she always feared he might be or trust him enough to stay and fight for a second chance at love.

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Kobo |Apple | Google Books

Review:

I can’t remember the last time a character made me swoon, but Owen is just…WOW. I love everything about his character. Rikki is also fantastic. The romance aspect of Touch of Smoke is everything I wanted it to be. What I loved most about it was that while the romance is really well developed there is so much more to this story.

This book has everything. Layers of twists throughout the entire book. The mystery was so well crafted that I had no idea what was going on until it was finally revealed.

Touch Of Smoke is fabulous. The characters are really well developed and loveable, the mystery was deep and complex, and the writing was wonderful. I want more of this world. I’m a fan! Highly recommended!

Rating:

5/5☆


Excerpt:

Owen huffed and shook his head but fished in his pocket until he found a small key ring. He selected an old brass one that he jiggled into the bolt lock over the warehouse’s rusty door handle. “Would have told you to put on jeans and boots if I’d known you wanted to go inside.”

Glancing at my shredded jean shorts and low-cut Chuck Taylors, I thanked Jesus I’d recently boosted my tetanus shot. “Not asking for a grand tour. Show me what you can from the threshold.”

Owen shook his head again, but he shoved his shoulder against the heavy door. It squealed as it gave way, swinging open on rusted hinges. I pushed past him, stepping farther into the room, but stopped at the edge of the small illuminated square thrown by Dolly’s headlights. “Just give me the general idea.”

His boot steps echoed in the open space as he moved behind me. Taking my shoulders, he shifted me until I faced the warehouse’s rear, where the light failed to reach. “The back wall there”—he pointed, leaning over my shoulder—“will be where we’ll line up the distilling tanks.” He wrapped an arm around my waist and spun us around like partners in a slow dance. A warm thrill raced through me as his lips brushed my ear. “And over there will be the café.”
My pulse throbbed in my ears, my chest, my lips. It wouldn’t be enough, these limited touches, these coy games, this not-so-subtle flirtation. With Owen, my options were sink or swim, and no matter how much reason and logic urged me to do otherwise, I was sinking, utterly drowning in him. I stumbled back and fought for a breath to clear my head, but my heel connected with an obstacle hidden in the shadows. I lost my footing and squeaked a feeble protest as gravity waged war against my balance.
The moment I was certain I would hit the floor and smash my tailbone, Owen grabbed my arm and yanked. Still off balance but with the added element of momentum, I plowed into him, tackling him to the floor.

Or that was what should have happened.
Instead, the world jumped up and swirled around me in a blur of blue sparks and shadows, air roaring in my ears like a tornado. I blinked, and the impression of someone—or something—huge, dark, and beastly burned behind my eyelids. When the dizzy moment passed, I found myself back on my feet, upright, and firmly wrapped in Owen’s arms. His heat blazed against me, filling my head with his smoky scent until I felt drunk and woozy.

“What…?” I shook my head and cleared my throat, but the intoxicating sensation remained. “What just happened?”

“You stumbled. I caught you.”

“No.” I squirmed, and he dropped his arms, releasing me. A thousand minuscule candles seemed to flicker in his eyes, giving them an otherworldly aura. I inched back, my steps wobbly. “We were falling. We should have hit the floor.”

His lips twitched. “I’m quick on my feet, Rikki. Give me some credit.”

Squinting, I studied him, his wide stance and the set of his jaw, full of self-confidence. He rolled his broad shoulders and grinned, obviously enjoying my scrutiny. Again, his presence seemed larger than the mere height and width of his physical body. Like a cowl and cape, dense shadows draped over him, and they seemed tangible enough to touch. When I reached out to stroke them, Owen drew back.

The shadows fled.

I shivered.

With no better explanation than to assume an overdose of adrenaline and desire had colored my perception, I dismissed my concerns and shrugged, heading for the door. “You’re not quick on your feet. You’re The Flash on steroids.”

His laughter followed me into the parking lot, but it was callous and more than a little cold.

The drive to my house was quiet, the atmosphere between us thick. If humans had animal instincts, then the wild creature inside me was insisting the man sitting in the passenger seat was more predator than appearance suggested. Something about Owen had changed. He was a tiger, I was his mouse, and I should run before he swallowed me whole. When I caught him staring at me, the dark look on his face implied he might do that very thing, given the chance.


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Blog Tour Schedule

March 11th
Reads & Reels (Review) http://www.readsandreels.com
Where Dragons Reside (Excerpt) https://kernerangelina.live/
Crystal’s Book World (Excerpt) http://crystalsbookworld.wordpress.com
The Writer’s Alley (Review) https://www.jacobrundle.com

March 12th
The Most Sublime (Review) https://themostsublime.com
Breakeven Books (Excerpt) https://breakevenbooks.com

March 13th
SnoopyDoo’s Book Reviews (Excerpt) http://snoopydoosbookreviews.com/

March 14th
Bobo’s Book Bank (Excerpt) http://bobosbookbank.com
J Bronder Book Reviews (Review) https://jbronderbookreviews.com/
Jessica Rachow (Review) https://jessicarachow.wordpress.com

March 15th
Misty’s Book Space (Excerpt) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com
The Hufflepuff Nerdette (Review) https://thehufflepuffnerdette.wordpress.com/


Karissa lives in North Carolina with her kid, her husband, the occasional in-law, and a very hairy husky. Some of her favorite things are coffee, chocolate, and super heroes. She can quote Princess Bride verbatim. She loves to read and has a sweet tooth for fantasy, sci-fi, and anything in between. In the summer, she loves to be on the water, on the boat or in her kayak. When it snows, you’ll find her on the slopes.

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BLOG TOUR | Beware the Night – Jessika Fleck

Hi everyone,

Today is my stop on the Beware the Night blog tour!


Beware the Night
by Jessika Fleck
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: March 12th 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

On the island of Bellona, they worship the sun. Seventeen-year-old Veda understands that keeping the sun content ensures plentiful crops, peace and harmony, and a thriving economy. But as a member of the Basso class, she never reaps those benefits.

Life as a Basso is one fraught with back-breaking work and imposing rules. Her close friendship with Nico is Veda’s one saving grace in a cruel world where the division between her people and the ruling Dogio is as wide and winding as the canals that snake through their island.

But when Veda’s grandfather is chosen as the next sacrificial offering to keep the sun’s favor, Veda is forced to see the injustice of her world. Turning away from the sun means she must join the night—and an underground revolution she’s been taught to fear all her life.

Goodreads |Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

Review:

Beware The Night is a bit of a slow burn, so you need to bare with the book on the beginning. Good stuff is coming, but it’s a bit slow to start.

There is some beautiful world building here, and Jessika Fleck has the ability to fill her writing with rich imagery that paints a beautiful world. The downside to this is that there are quite a few descriptions, but it is necessary to understand where the story is taking place. It provides backstory, history and gives the reader an idea of how the world works.

I like Veda. She is down-to-earth, and well rounded. I read I Reviews criticizing the “chosen one” trope, but I don’t really mind it. Honestly, I just read to get lost in a story. It’s worth mentioning though.

Overall, this is a good start to a series I would like to continue reading. I recommend checking it out, because I think the story line is only going to get better from here!

Rating:

4/5☆


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Jessika Fleck is an author, unapologetic coffee drinker, and knitter — she sincerely hopes to one day discover a way to do all three at once. Until then, she continues collecting vintage typewriters and hourglasses, dreaming of an Ireland getaway, and convincing her husband they NEED more kittens. Her YA debut, THE CASTAWAYS (Entangled TEEN), is now available. Her next YA novel, BEWARE THE NIGHT (Swoon Reads/Macmillan) releases March 12, 2019. More at www.jessikafleck.com

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BOOK BLITZ | The Onyx Crown – Alan Hurst

The Onyx Crown #1

Publication Date: January 27th, 2019
Genre: Fantasy/ Adventure

The Onyx Crown is an exciting foray into the world of African fantasy. From the searing heat of the desert to the vastness of the savannah, it tells the story of three children–Sania, Gesi, and Jorann who grow up in a pre-medieval era of wars and successions, not fifteen years after the greatest king in the history of the continent has been deposed and assassinated. They must overcome the traumatic circumstances of their birth as well as many dangerous trials to fulfill the destiny bestowed upon them as infants. Can mere children use their courage, wits, and uncanny abilities to defeat legendary warriors, entire tribes, provinces, and kingdoms–allowing them to lead the worthy to the greatest prize of all, the Onyx Crown?

Goodreads | Amazon | Nook

For the next few days, the three of them did virtually everything together, including games, horse riding, and spear training with the First Knight, who seemed to be getting sterner and tougher on them with every lesson. The First Knight, whose given name was Jorell Boro, was famed throughout the fourteen provinces as one of the best living warriors of all time. He’d made his name fighting for the upstart Regent Okon in his war of usurpation against the High King Toloron.

After Toloron was defeated, the regent rewarded Boro with the titles of First Knight of the Crown, Protector of the House of the First Prince, and the moniker “the Bloodless Death,” because supposedly his bladed spear could kill a person so quickly and with such precision that they would be dead before any blood was even visible.

Okon, along with the ruling conclave, also granted a treaty to Pala Jorell’s home kingdom of East Rhydor, including a guarantee that no Numerian troops would invade as long as the East Rhydor king or his son, the prince, were in power.
The First Prince had asked Pala Jorell to begin instructing Zadeemo in the ways of knighthood, and also Gesemni himself, most likely reasoning that Zadeemo would need a sparring partner when the First Prince was absent.

The First Knight had been reluctant to train a “commoner” in the higher arts of warfare but, at the insistence of both the First Prince and Zadeemo, had relented. Still, one could tell he took The Onyx Crown -26- great pains to make sure that Zadeemo understood some of the finer points of the moves he instructed, while not deigning to help Gesi.

Luckily for Gesi, he had tremendous aptitude and seemingly a womb-borne comprehension of instinctual combat. As such, he rarely needed the extra tutoring that Zadeemo couldn’t seem to do without. On this day, the two of them were instructed for quite some time on hand-spear counters, an ancient method of grappling that involved an unarmed warrior wresting the control of spears and other long objects away from their adversary. It was an extremely rough and unpolished method of fighting, and the First Knight took the better part of the morning explaining it to them.

Finally, the paladin suggested they work the puzzling elements out with a few rounds of sparring. Boro handed him a bladed spear and marked out a circle four en-yawo in diameter with his carving knife. Zadeemo was given a pair of lyocell gloves, which felt like silk but were made from the toughest fibers in existence. These were to be used to protect his hands from blade cuts.

Gesi shifted nervously. Always when they’d fought before they’d both been armed. Oddly, there’s a certain amount of safety involved when two weapons compete against each other. But with Zadeemo being unarmed, Gesi felt he’d have to be very careful. He was also very conscious of Zoe sitting on her tilbury, watching them both amusedly.

“Engage!” The First Knight’s voice rang out through the square as the boys stepped into the circle. Zadeemo immediately lowered his stance, thrusting the heel of his boot inside Gesi’s left calf to disrupt his balance, simultaneously snatching at the bladed spear handle.

Shuffle-stepping to counter, Gesi twisted the blade ninety degrees, forcing Zadeemo to withdraw his hands. He knew he was supposed to be nothing more than a punching target for Zadeemo, but in situations like this, his stubborn, competitive imoya always got in the way of things, and yes…he also wanted to show off a bit in front of Zoe.
Surprisingly, Zadeemo must’ve anticipated his counter because he nimbly moved to his left, crashing his knee into Gesi’s right thigh and causing him to grimace. Ducking underneath the spear, Zadeemo swung his right elbow fiercely into Gesi’s solar plexus. The few servants and townspeople who were looking on cheered loudly, including Zoe.

At that second, he felt like he was going to black out. Zadeemo may have been slower than a stuck rhino, but he had strength far beyond what most twelve-year-olds could muster.

Instinctively, he twisted his bladed spear to block the next grasping move he felt was coming, slid his left knee under Zadeemo’s right, and reverse-swung the spear in a sweeping arc toward Zadeemo’s chest. The cheering stopped, followed by a deathly silence as Zadeemo crashed down to the dirt awkwardly. Everyone was staring at Gesi. Some looked angry, some fearful, some puzzled. Even he didn’t know how he’d won.

Copyright © Alan Hurst, 2017

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning, or otherwise without written permission from the publisher. It is illegal to copy this book, post it to a website, or distribute it by any other means without permission.

First Edition


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Alan Hurst is an author and entrepeneur. Hurst who spent most of his childhood reading Asian wuxia fiction, Marvel comics and encyclopedias is delving into trilogy territory with THE ONYX CROWN. He briefly studied religion at Harvard. Later, he settled in Washington, DC where he founded a software consulting firm, hosted the Urban Nation Radio podcast, and occasionally played the World Series of Poker. When not writing or enjoying time with his family, he prefers to take his Ducati motorcycle out for the occasional spin!

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BLOG TOUR | Out of the Darkness – Darcia Helle

Hi everyone!

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Out of the Darkness.


Out of the Darkness

by Darcia Helle

on Tour March 1-31, 2019

Synopsis:

Out of the Darkness by Darcia Helle

Gus wakes up in a dark void with no memory and no body. Screaming and cursing does him no good. He’s trapped, until he learns about one man who can help.

Joe Cavelli is a PI who hears ghosts, solves their murders, and sometimes fixes their personal problems. Now he finds himself pestered by an invisible, impatient, and brash amnesiac.

Solving cases for ghosts comes with a unique set of circumstances. This time, Joe can’t even claim to be investigating a murder, since Gus’s body is nowhere to be found. Together, Joe and Gus delve into Gus’s past, uncovering clues that lead to a startling conclusion.

Book Details:

Genre: Paranormal Suspense
Published by: Indie
Publication Date: February 12, 2019
Number of Pages: 300
ASIN: B07KJGZY9F
Series: Joe Cavelli, Paranormal PI Book 2
Purchase Links: Amazon |Goodreads


Review:

I’ve been so excited to read Out of the Darkness since I read the first novel. Darcia Helle’s writing is just as fantastic as it was the first time around, and she’s crafted another unique story that still has the familiar vibe she created in Into the Light.

Joe is back and his character has grown. I absolutely love his development along the way and he feels like an old friend.

The adventure Joe and Gus depart on is fast-paced and thrilling. It’s everything I’d hoped it would be. I highly recommend checking this one out!

Rating:

5/5☆


Read an excerpt:

Joe put the few dishes in the dishwasher, made himself another cup of strong coffee, and said, “Okay, Gus. Let’s see if we can figure this out.”

He walked out of the kitchen, Gus’s voice trailing after him. “Where are we going?”

“My office.”

Joe stepped into the room that was the smaller of the two spare bedrooms. He crossed over to his desk, opened his laptop, and switched it on.

“This is your office?”

Joe sat in his padded leather chair. “My home office. I have another, professional place, with an assistant. No need to go there, though, particularly since she doesn’t know about—” He waved his hand in Gus’s general direction. “—you. This.”

“She doesn’t know you talk to ghosts, is what you’re saying?”

“Right.”

“Afraid she’d think you’re crazy?”

“No. It’s just not something I feel like sharing.”

“You banging her?”

“Jesus. No.”

“Huh. I thought all guys banged their secretaries.”

Joe heard the dry humor in Gus’s tone, though the statement still irritated him. “No, all guys don’t. And I said assistant, not secretary.”

“Same thing, isn’t it?”

“No. But it doesn’t matter anyway. I’m a one-woman man.”

Joe opened a browser page, then the Tampa Bay Times website. He typed ‘Angus Smith’ into the search bar and clicked the Enter key.

“What are you doing?”

Gus had a gruff way of asking a question that made it sound more like an accusation. One minute Joe felt bad for Gus, and the next he wanted to punch Gus in the face. If he could see Gus’s face.

If Gus even had a face. Did ghosts have faces, or were they just invisible blobs of energy? Joe was too tired to deal with this.

“I’m trying to find out how you died,” Joe said.

“Why?”

“I don’t know, Gus. Because it’s a place to start? Figure out how you died and maybe I’ll figure out why you’re stuck in the dark? Unless you have a better idea?”

A huff, then, “No. I got nothing.”

Gus kept silent while Joe scrolled down and clicked a link. Gus’s photo stared back at him from the screen. Seeing the person for the first time was always an odd experience. He couldn’t help but form a picture of each ghost in his mind, based solely on the voice and the little he knew about who he or she had been. Sometimes he was way off. Other times, like now, he was pretty close.

“That’s a crapass picture of me,” Gus said.

Joe studied the grainy image accompanying the article. Buzzcut. Deep brown eyes. Tattoo snaking down the side of his neck, disappearing into his shirt. He seemed to be snarling at the camera. The article put him at 6’3”, 230 pounds, and Joe could see it was all muscle.

He didn’t address the quality of the photo, ignoring Gus while he read through the article. He double-checked the date on the article, then said, “You’re missing.”

“What d’you mean, I’m missing? I’m right here.”

“I mean, you were reported missing. Last Friday, so three days ago.”

“Missing? That makes no sense, since I’m dead.”

“No one appears to know you’re dead.”

“Huh.”

“Do you remember where you were when you died?”

“No.”

“Were you sick? In an accident? Traveling somewhere?”

“I don’t know!”

Joe leaned back and closed his eyes. He forced himself not to react to Gus’s abrupt tone. The guy had every reason to be upset, though this mess sure as hell wasn’t Joe’s fault.

“Who reported me missing?”

Joe opened his eyes and scanned the article. “Cat Loring.”

Silence. Joe waited a moment before adding, “Says she’s your live-in girlfriend.”

“Yeah.”

“Do you remember the last time you saw her?” Joe felt a cool wall of air pressing around him.

“Are you leaning on me?”

“I’m trying to read the article.”

Joe suppressed a shudder—barely. “It doesn’t say much. You left the house at your usual time on Thursday morning. You’re not answering your cell phone, and no one has seen you since.”

“I don’t remember.”

“What’s the last thing you remember?”

Silence.

“Gus?”

“The very last thing? Hell, I don’t know. I might’ve been at a bar with some buddies. I might’ve been driving my truck. Or having sex. It’s all a jumble.”

“Did you and Cat fight the last time you saw her?”

“I don’t know. I don’t think so. Maybe.”

“Could she have killed you?”

Gus snorted a laugh. “Cat? Kill me? That’s funny, Mr. Detective.”

“Yeah? Why is it so funny?”

“She just wouldn’t.”

Joe rubbed at his burning eyes. “Tell me about your relationship.”

“Why?”

“Maybe it’ll trigger a memory. Help me figure out where your body might be.”

“Well, shit.”

***

Excerpt from Out of the Darkness by Darcia Helle. Copyright © 2019 by Darcia Helle. Reproduced with permission from Darcia Helle. All rights reserved.


Darcia Helle

Darcia Helle is a Massachusetts native, who escaped the New England winters to write in the Florida sunshine. She lives with her husband in a home full of spoiled rescue animals and an occasional stray lizard. She writes because the characters trespassing through her mind leave her no alternative.

Catch Up With Ms. Helle On:
darciahelle.com, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!


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BLOG TOUR | The Princess and the Peacock – C. S. Johnson

Hi everyone!

Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Princess and the Peacock!


The Princess and the Peacock (Birds of Fae #1)
Publication Date: January 25th, 2019
Genre: Fantasy/ Fairy Tale Retelling

The first time I fell in love with Princess Mele was when I saw her smile, and I fell in love with her the second time the moment I heard her sing.
Two memories burn within Kaipo’s heart — the death of his mother, which left him alone to die, and the arrival of Princess Mele, which gave him a new reason to live. Together with his adopted brother, Kaipo seeks out Jaya, the Fae Queen who lives on the Forbidden Mountain, in order to gain the beauty he requires to win Mele’s heart. But Jaya has other plans for the scarred outcast who climbs up her mountain …

The Princess and the Peacock is the first in Birds of Fae, a fantasy fairy tale novella series from C. S. Johnson.

Goodreads | Amazon

Review:

C.S. Johnson is a fabulous writer and I have not yet read a book by her that I didn’t absolutely love. Fairytale retellings can be so fun if done properly, and it is no surprise that C.S. Johnson did this one right.

This novella was done the way a novella should be. The characters were well developed, relatable and dynamic in a short amount of words. The plot was perfectly packed to keep me invested in the world. I was highly impressed with this one.

I can’t wait to see where this series goes. If you haven’t checked out a C.S. Johnson novel yet, you’re missing out. Highly recommended!

Rating:

5/5☆


C. S. Johnson is the award-winning, genre-hopping author of several novels, including young adult sci-fi and fantasy adventures such as the Starlight Chronicles, the Once Upon a Princess saga, and the Divine Space Pirates trilogy. With a gift for sarcasm and an apologetic heart, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family.

Find out more at http://www.csjohnson.me

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Mini Blog Tour Schedule

March 4th
Reads & Reels (Excerpt) http://www.readsandreels.com
Port Jerricho (Review) http://www.aislynndmerricksson.com
I Smell Sheep (Excerpt) http://www.ismellsheep.com/
Tsarina Press (Excerpt) https://www.tsarinapress.com

March 5th
Didi Oviatt (Review) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com
Stacy is Reading (Review) https://stacyisreading.blogspot.com/?m=0
Tranquil Dreams (Review) http://klling.wordpress.com

March 6th
Life at 17 (Review) https://lifeat17.wordpress.com
Breakeven Books (Review) https://breakevenbooks.com
Jessica Rachow (Review) https://jessicarachow.wordpress.com
Reading Nook (Excerpt) http://readingnook84.wordpress.com

March 7th
J Bronder Reviews (Review) https://jbronderbookreviews.com/
The Return Cart (Review) http://thereturncart.com
March 8th
Mermaid Reading (Review) https://darquedreamerreads.wordpress.com
The Genre Minx Reviews (Excerpt) http://www.thegenreminx.com/


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BLOG TOUR | One Flew Through the Dragon Heart – C.S. Johnson

Hi everyone!

I’m pleased to share this new book with you all today! One Flew Through the Dragon Heart is the first book in a new steampunk series by C.S. Johnson. Today I have my review, an exclusive excerpt for you to read, and a chance to win a paperback copy of the book!


One Flew Through the Dragon Heart

Publication Date: December 21st, 2018
Genre: Steampunk/ Fantasy

A Chinese Legend. A British Secret. Star-Crossed Lovers with Incompatible Magic.

Brixton Flew works as a professor of wielder instruction at Rembrandt Academy, hoping to erase the regrets of his youth along with the resulting debt. But when he comes face to face with his biggest regret—the woman who broke his heart, Adelaide Favan—Brixton soon realizes his troubles have only begun.

Unable to control her magic, Adelaide knew leaving Brixton was the only way to protect him when they were younger. Now she discovers he is the key to recovering the Dragon Eyes, a legendary treasure connected to her magic and her family’s disgraced legacy—and she knows the risk is great, to both his life and her heart.

With others seeking the power of the Dragon Eyes, Brixton and Adelaide must outwit their foes and face down their families to save London from an ancient legend that sleeps beneath the magic portal in their city.

But the renewed passion growing between them may prove to be the greater peril …

One Flew Through the Dragon Heart is the first book in a new steampunk series by C.S. Johnson, blending together history, romance, mecha-dragons and magic against the glittering backdrop of 1880’s Victorian London.

Amazon | Goodreads

Review:

Oh, how I love books by C.S. Johnson. This is my second read from her and once again she’s blown me away. I absolutely love steampunk when done correctly, and One Flew Through The Dragon’s Heart was captivating.

The romance between Adelaide and Brix is messy and beautiful. Everything I hoped for when I started reading this one. The characters are so relatable, they feel real. Their relationship feels real and it really makes this story that much more enjoyable.

I’m a huge fan of world building and it is done so well here. Elaborate descriptions of Gothic and Baroque cityscapes mixed with magic and danger! The plot was engaging and I had trouble putting this down.

I highly recommend checking One Flew Through The Dragon’s Heart out!

Rating:

5/5☆


Excerpt:

“Brixton.”

His sixteen-year-old self was scurrying past the materials room when he heard his name spoken with a soft, foreign lilt. The sound broke through him like a magic spell, disrupting his intellectual musings and forcing him into an uncomfortable position.

He was in a hurry; his professor would be upset if he was late for class. As a star pupil, Brixton knew he had a certain reputation to live up to, and he had learned well not to call any negative attention to himself.

But at the sound of Adelaide Favan calling for him, he felt helpless—helplessly nervous and helplessly intrigued. It was almost as if some part of him had been waiting for her to call, and he had been more than ready to answer.

Out of guilt, if nothing else.

He nearly lost his grip on the stack of books he carried as he stumbled to a stop and glanced back at the doorway to the materials room. He could see a slim shadow at the back, where her dark skirts whipped around as she moved between stations, pulling out supplies and looking for spare coils, cogs, or anything else she decided she needed.

He did not have the faintest notion why she would be calling him. Adelaide never seemed to talk to anyone unless it was out of necessity.

“Are you coming in or not?” Adelaide straightened, looking up at him from behind a thick pair of black-rimmed goggles, the kind that magnified her eyes behind the protective glass.

Brixton felt a quick twinge of regret. She always wore them when she was working on something. He had a sinking feeling he was going to be late for class—but he stepped into the room regardless.

“I’m surprised,” she said as he tentatively approached her.

“Why? You were the one who called me.”

“Is that what I need to do to get your attention?” Adelaide put her hands on her hips as she stepped back from the table, where a box full of wires and screws and other various building materials winked up at him.

Brixton felt his face turn red. “If you’re talking about earlier, I—”

“I don’t want to talk about earlier,” Adelaide said. “You know who my father is. Do you think your friends are the first people to make fun of me because of my family?”

“They’re not my friends. Not exactly.” Brixton sighed. “They’re just people we go to school with. You don’t have to be friends with them. You just have to get along with them until we graduate.”

“Is that your plan?”

He shifted his feet as the clocks chimed loudly, the pleasant ringing turning sour in his ears. He was officially late for class. Brixton glanced back at the door.

Adelaide did not pay attention to the clock. She saw to her work, fiddling with one of the gearshifts. Brixton noticed she was also still wearing her workshop gloves. Along with her goggles, they were a semi-permanent part of her wardrobe. They were thick and black, going up past her elbows. The school issued them as part of the engineering department; Brixton hated wearing them, since the synthetic material of the gloves interfered with his ability to use magic. Adelaide was the only one who consistently wore them.

“It’s mostly my plan,” he said, finally answering her.

“Seems like a silly plan, especially for the next four years.”

“Earlier, when those girls were picking on you, I didn’t say anything—”

“I said I didn’t want to talk about earlier. People have made comments about me all my life. Getting accepted into Rembrandt two years earlier than everyone else is merely another unearned privilege in their eyes.”

Her voice was calm, but Brixton saw that her fingers, even buried in her large gloves, shook ever so slightly.

“I don’t presume—”

“But you do.” Adelaide pushed up her goggles onto her forehead again, brushing back her long black hair.

Brixton hated how he stared at her. Up close, her eyes were cloudy gray, speckled over with a silver lining. He noticed they were slanted, ever so slightly; along with her flattened nose and full lips, there were plenty of hints at her Chinese heritage. He had heard the whispers of her family, especially her father, the famous Captain Favan who led Her Royal Majesty’s Airship Force.

That was one of the main reasons he had tried to befriend her before. Brixton had approached her when she was first introduced to their class, eager to talk about her father’s legacy and how it was his dream to be in the Airship Force one day, too. Adelaide had ignored him then, brushing off his introduction.

Remembering that, he frowned. She has some nerve, admonishing me for poor manners.

He cleared his throat to give himself a moment to recover. “You should know you’re presuming that I’m presuming something. I don’t know you well enough to presume anything.”

For the first time, Adelaide softened her expression. Brixton briefly wondered if he had hurt her feelings, or if it was possible he had successfully pointed out her double standards.

She tugged the goggles down over her eyes a moment later, returning to the project before her. She said nothing as she picked up a suturing iron and began to burn a twisted bunch of wires together.

For a long moment, Brixton watched her. Despite her gloves, her movements were very precise—so precise that they almost seemed awkward.

Just like the rest of her, he thought with a small smile.

Adelaide was fourteen years old, two years younger than everyone else at Rembrandt. She had transferred into the school during the middle of their second semester, and ever since their failed first meeting, Brixton kept his distance from her, even if he continued to watch her out of the corner of his eye. He knew the others in his class teased her for her youth, her connections, and her ancestry.

He could sympathize with her some in that regard, given he received plenty of his own mockery. He was only at Rembrandt because of his scholarship. Most of the students were from the aristocracy, and the idea of rich merchants or lower-class workers—such as his parents—sending their children to Rembrandt was nothing short of scandalous.

He easily dismissed those who badgered him; he was here for an education, and nothing more.

But as Brixton gazed down at Adelaide, he suddenly wondered if she was able to do the same.

She was such a small thing. She was not only two years his junior, but she was also at least a foot shorter. The Rembrandt Academy uniform nearly swallowed up her body. He could see her vest was pinned in the back, and her long skirt was clearly hemmed. Brixton had a feeling she liked to wear the goggles on her forehead if for no other reason than they lent her another two inches in height.

“Why did you call me?” Brixton asked, daring himself to speak again.

Adelaide bit her lip, and Brixton found himself staring again.

Finally, she sighed. “I need you.”

His breath caught and his body went still. He was only able to move after she added, “I need your help.”

The words came out with a ripe bitterness in each syllable, and Brixton almost laughed at her discomfort. It was clear she never asked for help if she could avoid it.

He cleared this throat again, swallowing the last of his laughter, and nodded. “Tell me what it is.”

“I need help assembling this,” Adelaide said, pointing to the neat array of metal scraps and parts before her.

“What is it?”

“A dragon heart.”

“Beg pardon?” Brixton dropped his books, missing the table and causing them to clatter to the floor. He was certain he had misheard her as he bent to pick them up, but he was even more surprised when she laughed.

Her eyes were pushed back into slits behind her goggles, giving her a wizened, animated look as her smile widened. Brixton stared at her as he picked up his books and stacked them neatly beside hers.

“I’m only kidding,” Adelaide said, before she arched her brow. “Or maybe I’m not. Either way, I need your help with this part.”

She opened the top panel and pointed to a small knot of wires lined with alloy and copper. “This is an energy loop I’ve been working on. It’s a special type of power source. The Board wants to develop more efficient batteries, especially since the Edison Project has shown promise. Now they want to see what the wielders can do to improve it.”

“I talked with Professor Ohm about this,” Brixton said. “He wanted to find a way to generate perpetual energy. He thought electricity could possibly be infused with magic.”

“I know. I overheard your conversation after class a few days ago.”

“You did?” Brixton took the suturing iron out of her hand.

“He was dismissive of the idea as an alternative life source, but he was interested in seeing if you could figure out how to make his own theories work.”

He bit down on his cheek. He knew which conversation Adelaide was referring to, and it was one where Professor Ohm spent several minutes admonishing him for his eclectic reading tastes.

“What?” Adelaide asked.

“It’s rude to eavesdrop.”

She jutted her chin forward. “It’s also rude to ignore people who need help.”

“I don’t know if you’re saying that to make me feel bad about before, or if it’s just to make sure I stay here and help you,” Brixton muttered. “Do you care to tell me which?”

“I have an extra pair of gloves if you need them,” Adelaide offered.

He rolled his eyes as she sidestepped his question. “I don’t use them if I can help it.” He called up the power that resided inside of him. He could feel it flowing from his heart down to his fingertips, filling his palm. “I like working with my hands better. It’s easier to conjure up my talent. That’s my magic, as you might have known already. I can build things. Anything, really.”

“Well, no wonder you’re so good at this.” Adelaide pouted as Brixton undid her work. “You’re using magic.”

“And you don’t? Why are you in school to be an engineering wielder if you’re not using magic?”

“I like working with machinery,” Adelaide said. “I’m here because Rembrandt produces the best engineers in London. The fact that it’s a magical school does nothing for me.”

“Do you even have magic at all? I thought that was a requirement for coming here.”

“It is.” Adelaide went silent, and for the first time, Brixton saw her blush. With the small patch of red on her cheeks, he could just make out a light trail of freckles across her nose.

“Ouch.” He flinched as the suturing iron slipped across his fingers.

“Pay attention to what you’re doing. You don’t have to worry about my talent right now. All you need to know is that it’s not helping me fix this.” She crossed her arms and looked away.

“Right.” Brixton turned back to the item in front of him.


C. S. Johnson is the award-winning, genre-hopping author of several novels, including young adult sci-fi and fantasy adventures such as the Starlight Chronicles, the Once Upon a Princess saga, and the Divine Space Pirates trilogy. With a gift for sarcasm and an apologetic heart, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family. Find out more at http://www.csjohnson.me

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

🧡🧡🧡Giveaway🧡🧡🧡

One lucky winner has a chance to win a paperback copy of One Flew Through the Dragon Heart, You just need to click HERE to enter! Good luck!


Mini Tour Schedule

Feb. 25th
Reads & Reels (Excerpt) http://readsandreels.com
Jessica Rachow (Review) https://jessicarachow.wordpress.com
Tranquil Dreams (Review) http://klling.wordpress.com
Love Books Group (Interview) https://lovebooksgroup.com/

Feb. 26th
The Bookworm Drinketh (Review) http://thebookwormdrinketh.wordpress.com/
Valerie’s Musings (Review) http://valeriesmusings76.wordpress.com
The Cozy Pages (Excerpt) http://thecozypages.wordpress.com/

Feb. 27th
Reading Nook (Excerpt) http://readingnook84.wordpress.com
Sammie Reads Books (Review) https://sammiereadsbook.wordpress.com
The Genre Minx Book Reviews (Review) http://www.thegenreminx.com/

Feb. 28th
Where Dragons Reside (Review) https://kernerangelina.live/

Feb. 29th
The Eclectic Review (Review) https://eclecticreview.com/


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BLOG TOUR.| The Seidr Cycle – Angela B. Chrysler

Hi everyone,

Today is my stop on The Seidr Cycle blog tour.


Dolor and Shadow
The Seidr Cycle Book 1
by Angela B. Chrysler
Genre: High Epic Fantasy

A great power has awakened within Princess Kallan.

To keep the princess hidden, she is taken to Alfheim; her abilities suppressed and her memory erased.

Years later, Kallan inherits her father’s war, and vows revenge on the one man she believes is responsible: Rune, King of Gunir. But soon, a twist of fate puts Kallan in protection of the man she has sworn to kill, and Rune in possession of powers he does not understand.

Lost in the world of Men, the two must form an unlikely alliance to make their way home and solve the mystery of their past – and of the Shadow that hunts them both.

Praise for Dolor and Shadow:

…a sweeping, epic novel… highly recommend it to all fantasy lovers.” – Erin S. Riley, author of Odin’s Shadow

Angela B. Chrysler has brought world building to breathtaking heights with ‘Dolor and Shadow’” – Jay Norry, Amazon Review

This is book one in a set that has the potential to become timeless” – Timothy Bateson, Amazon Review

Goodreads | Amazon | Video Trailer
Review:

Two words: World building. Oh my goodness, Angela B. Chrysler knows how to world build. Dolor and Shadow is the first book on the Tales of Drui saga, and it starts readers off in what is to be an incredible fantasy series.

The world is complex and compelling. It is everything a fantasy lover wants in a story. Philosophy, religion, geography, architecture, weapons, mythology…beautiful writing that drew me into this world and let me vividly imagine being there.

The characters are also so very well written. They were each so detailed andcompelling, that I would read a book dedicated to each one of them. That’s when you know an author has crafted realistic characters.

I can’t recommend this book enough. It has everything I could ask for in a fantasy novel and is definitely going on my list of favorites for 2019!

Rating:
5/5☆


Fire and Lies
The Seidr Cycle Book 2

War rips across the land of Alfheim.

As the Fae gods draw near, Queen Kallan’s strength is tested.

She follows King Rune, but the Shadow Beast caged within Rune’s body is writhing in hunger. Kallan’s newest companion, Bergen – the legendary Berserk – is determined to end the conflict in her life.

As the three come together, the truth buried in the past resurfaces. Now, Kallan must master a dormant power… or watch her kingdom fall to the Fae, who will stop at nothing to keep their lies.

Goodreads | Amazon | Video Trailer
Review:

Just when I thought I couldn’t love a book more than Dolor and Shadow, I read Fire and Lies. Angela B. Chrysler is remarkable at world building and she continues that in this novel. She creates this wonderful atmosphere and I just wanted to stay lost in this story.

The characters grew immensely in this second novel. They were already so compelling, but just continued to get more compelling as I read this novel.

I absolutely recommend Fire and Lies. It is also going on my favorite reads of 2019!

Rating:
5/5☆


Angela B. Chrysler is a writer, logician, philosopher, and die-hard nerd who studies theology, historical linguistics, music composition, and medieval European history in New York with a dry sense of humor and an unusual sense of sarcasm. She lives in a garden with her family and cats.

In 2014, Ms. Chrysler founded Brain to Books and the virtual trade show, Brain to Books Cyber Convention. A passionate gardener and incurable cat lover, Ms. Chrysler spends her days drinking coffee and writing beside a volume of Edgar Allan Poe who strongly influences her style to this day. When Ms. Chrysler is not writing, she enables her addictions to all things nerdy, and reads everything she can get her hands on no matter the genre. Occasionally, she finds time to mother her three children and debate with her life-long friend who she eventually married. Her writing is often compared to Tad Williams. Her influences are Edgar Allan Poe, The Phantom of the Opera, and Frankenstein.

Angela also loves writing, cats, reading, knitting, gardening, Tai Chi, Yoga, meditation, coffee, BBC, baking, cooking, dancing, singing, anime, and smiling.

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🌟🌟🌟Giveaway🌟🌟🌟

$20 Amazon, Signed copy of Dolor and Shadow

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive content and a giveaway!


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BLOG TOUR | Kingdom if Ash and Soot – C. S. Johnson

Hi everyone!

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Kingdom if Ash and Soot!


Kingdom of Ash and Soot (The Order of the Crystal Daggers #1)
Publication Date: July 3rd, 2018
Genre: YA/ Historical Fiction/ Adventure

“I want to be free.” The words came rushing out of me before I could think through their implications and consequences.

“There are two things you need to know about yourself if you want to be free—what you stand for, and what you stand against.” Lady Penelope held up her hands, brandishing a pair of daggers that had been hidden in her skirts. “This world lives enslaved to its destruction, and so long as you are living, as long as you are fighting, you will be free.”

I gazed at the daggers, transfixed. Each blade was clothed in a leather scabbard, but the silver and obsidian of the daggers’ hilts winked at me, as though it was calling for me.
PRAGUE, 1870.

For the last ten years, nineteen-year-old Eleanora Svobodová has worked as a servant in her stepmother’s household. Along with her older brother, she dreams of the day they will be free to live life on their own terms.

But everything changes when their estranged grandmother comes to Prague on behalf of Queen Victoria. Throughout Bohemia, a string of murders and secret whispers hint at a larger coup. As the leader of the Order of the Crystal Daggers, an ancient order of spies and soldiers that protect kingdoms and their rulers, Lady Penelope is determined to mete out the perpetrators. Now, Eleanora must make the choice between a life of intrigue and saving the lives of others.

Can Eleanora find a way do the right thing and still find freedom?

With a fun blend of historical fiction, true love, castle intrigue, and family dysfunction, The Order of the Crystal Daggers is the latest adventure series from C. S. Johnson.

Goodreads | Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Kobo | Indigo | Barnes & Nobel | Nook

Review:

Kingdom of Ash and Soot has shot right into my favorite reads of 2019! This is a fantasy first novel in a historical fiction series that takes the reader on a thrilling journey from beginning to end.

I love the political, romance and mystery entertwined in this novel. It is incredibly well written, with fabulous characters and an intriguing plot.

I love Eleonora. She is strong and feisty, and she dreams of a life of freedom. She is such a relatable and likable heroine. A strong female lead is always fun to read.

I can’t wait to read more of this series. I highly recommend checking it out!

Rating:

5/5☆


Excerpt:

“What is it?” I asked him, noticing that he was staring back at me. “It seems you have remembered your dancing quite well,” he said, and I shook my head at once, keeping my forced smile steady as we passed by Lady POW.

“The practice helps,” I replied neutrally. “And it did help that Karl was a good dancer last night. Some of the others I danced with were not as good, but fortunately they blamed it on their own poor performance.”

“They were likely distracted by your beauty.”

“You don’t have to talk to me like that.” I rolled my eyes. “Be- sides, you might distract me now with your false flattery.”

“Flattery is always false, mademoiselle. I was speaking truth.”

Amir smiled. “You may have that problem in the future, when other men are dancing with you.”

“I can learn to handle it later, then.”

“You can also learn it now. There is nothing efficient about wasting time, after all.”

“I’d rather not, thank you very much. There is no need for you to continue talking to me.” My tone was frosty and bitter, every part a perfect complement to the kindness in his eyes. “Unless, of course, you’d like to tell me why you stole my father’s book from me when we unfortunately met?”

“I would not say it was unfortunate.” “What would you say it was, then?”

Amir’s mustache curled around the corners of his mouth. “God’s humor at work.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” I asked, frustrated and infuriated. “Are you insulting me?”

“Never, mademoiselle.”

Before I could accuse him of lying in addition to insulting me, or before I could “accidentally” begin stepping on his toes, Lady POW began calling out instructions, making me feel even more insulted and infuriated—and even worse, isolated, and unable to do anything to escape.

“Hands up, Eleanora,” she called. “Yes, take a step closer. Now, remember to smile. Watch your timing; men are supposed to lead. And show your interest. Pretend you are dancing with a prince!”

Between Amir’s dancing and Lady Penelope’s snappy judgements, I felt trapped in a world of soft tyranny. It was a world where the truth was too impolite to be spoken, and even if it had to be, it had to be dressed up in clothes as strange and as ornate as the ones I was wearing, and it was likely as unrecognizable as I was in the end.

I certainly felt nothing like my usual self.

The others did not seem to believe it was me, either.

Amir held me at a polite distance as we danced, but I was still close enough I could see the pained delight in his eyes as he watched me, and recalling Lady POW’s earlier mistake of calling me by my mother’s name, I suddenly wondered if he was thinking of her, too.

The last note of the waltz rang out, and we finally slowed to a stop.

“Why did you take my father’s book?” This time, my question

was quiet but harsh against the growing silence. Amir seemed surprised, but he did not refrain from responding.

“It was not your father’s book, mademoiselle.”

I slowly dropped my hands from his. Already, I knew what he was going to say.

“When I saw you, it was like falling into a portal to the past, twenty-six years ago. I saw the book, and I knew it could only belong to my Naděžda.”

“You knew my mother.” The words were chunky and foreign to me as they came out of my mouth. I knew I had no reason to accuse him of something I already knew to be true.

“Yes. She was my dearest friend for many years before … ” Amir said quietly. I saw his gaze lower to the scar on his right hand. “And when she … left … I was angry.”

It plagued me, knowing that Lady POW was not the only one who seemed to prefer my mother to me.

“When she left the Order, you mean?”

“She did not leave the Order,” Amir whispered. “She left me.”

It took me a long moment to process everything. Amir and I were still standing in the middle of the room. Somewhere, a thousand moments and a million miles away, Lady POW clapped and praised us, telling us I was already much better at the waltz than before. She was calling for another song, but I barely heard any of it, as I watched while Amir’s eyes swam over with memories and emotion.

There was suddenly no denying the full truth of the matter. Amir had been in love with my mother.


C. S. Johnson is the award-winning, genre-hopping author of several novels, including young adult sci-fi and fantasy adventures such as the Starlight Chronicles series, the Once Upon a Princess saga, and the Divine Space Pirates trilogy. With a gift for sarcasm and an apologetic heart, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family. Find out more at http://www.csjohnson.me.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

⭐⭐⭐Giveaway⭐⭐⭐

I have an amazing giveaway for you all today! The author is giving away a print copy of each book in her new Order of the Crystal Daggers series, including a brand new companion novella about some of the other characters. A prequel to this book! Just click HERE to enter!


Blog Tour Schedule

Feb. 18th
Reads & Reels (Promo) http://readsandreels.com
Splashes into Books (Interview) http://splashesintobooks.wordpress.com
The Writer’s Alley (Review) https://www.jacobrundle.com
Christine’s Book Corner (Promo) https://christinesbookcorner.wordpress.com/
Tsarina Press (Promo) https://www.tsarinapress.com
Books, Teacup and Reviews (Promo) https://booksteacupnreviews.wordpress.com/

Feb. 19th
Adventures Thru Wonderland (Review) http://adventuresthruwonderland.blogspot.com/
Jessica Rachow (Review) https://jessicarachow.wordpress.com
Scarlett Readz and Runz (Review) https://scarlettreadzandrunz.com/
Dash Fan Book Reviews (Promo) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/

Feb. 20th
I Smell Sheep (Promo) http://www.ismellsheep.com/
Banshee Irish Horror Blog (Promo) http://www.bansheeirishhorrorblog.com
Valerie’s Musings (Promo) http://valeriesmusings76.wordpress.com

Feb. 21st
The Bibliophagist (Review) http://thebibliophagist.blog/
Bobo’s Book Bank (Promo) http://bobosbookbank.com
Didi Oviatt (Promo) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

Feb. 22nd
The Invisible Moth (Review) https://daleydowning.wordpress.com
J Bronder Book Reviews (Review) https://jbronderbookreviews.com/
Cats Luv Coffee (Promo) https://catsluvcoffeez.blogspot.com


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BLOG TOUR | Consuming Fire – Catherine Fearns

Hi everyone!

Yesterday was my stop on the blog tour for Consuming Fire. My apologies to the author and Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for being a day late!


What Has Been Seen Cannot Be Unseen…

Liverpool is in the grip of an intense heatwave, and strange things are happening.

A woman dies in an apparent case of Spontaneous Human Combustion; a truck explodes on the dock road; the charred corpses of pets litter the city; forest fires ravage the pinewoods…and there are birds everywhere, silent flocks drawing in ominously.

Detective Inspector Darren Swift thinks there are connections, and his investigation delves into the worlds of football, nightclubs and organised crime. But is he imagining things?

Dr. Helen Hope doesn’t think so. And she believes the key lies in a mysterious seventeenth-century occult book which has gone missing from Liverpool Library.

In the blistering sequel to Reprobation, DI Swift is forced to confront some inconvenient ghosts from his past, as a terrifying shadow lies over his city’s reality….

Purchaase Link

Review:

The writing of Consuming Fire is absolutely breathtaking. It’s beautiful and poetic, and makes this novel strange and unique. I’m honestly in awe.

I was immediately drawn into the story and I was taken on a journey that is gripping and addictive. The characters make this novel even better as they are so authentic and relatable.

I did not read the first novel, Reprobation, but I felt Consuming Fire could be read as a standalone. However, because I am just so impressed with Catherine Fearns’ writing, I am totally picking up the first read. Consuming Fire has taken a spot in my top reads of 2019 for sure.

Rating:

5/5☆


Catherine Fearns is from Liverpool, UK. In previous incarnations she was a financial analyst, a cocktail pianist and a breastfeeding counsellor, but nowadays she likes to write. Her first novel, Reprobation, was published by Crooked Cat Books in October 2018 and quickly became an Amazon bestseller in several categories. The follow-up, Consuming Fire, is currently on pre-order and will be available in early 2019.

Catherine writes for music website Pure Grain Audio, and her music journalism has also appeared in Broken Amp and Noisey. Her short fiction and non-fiction pieces have been published in Here Comes Everyone, Toasted Cheese, Offshoots & Metal Music Studies. She holds a degree in History from Oxford University, a Masters from the London School of Economics, and is a member of the Crime Writers’ Association.

When Catherine is not writing, she plays guitar in a heavy metal band, mainly to annoy her four children.

Twitter

⭐⭐⭐Giveaway⭐⭐⭐

Win a signed copy of Consuming Fire, Consuming Fire stationery, and a cuddly peacock! (Open Internationally)

Click HERE to enter!

*Terms and Conditions – Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.


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BLOG TOUR | Into The Light – Darcia Helle

Hi everyone!

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Into The Light by Darcia Helle.


Into the Light

by Darcia Helle

on Tour February 1-28, 2019

Into the Light by Darcia Helle

Max Paddington refuses to go into the light until he finds his killer. This presents a dilemma, since Max is even less competent as a spirit than he was as a live person. No one sees or hears him and he can’t manage to get anywhere or do anything on his own.

Joe Cavelli is a private investigator, living an ordinary life. Then one day he walks across a parking lot, gets yelled at by a ghost, and his life only gets stranger from there.

Max and Joe team up to find Max’s killer. In the process, they form an unlikely friendship and change each other’s lives in ways they never expected.

Book Details:

Genre: Paranormal Suspense

Published by: Indie

Publication Date: July 14th 2011

Number of Pages: 250

ISBN: 146364020X (ISBN13: 9781463640200)

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | Audible

Review:

I really loved Into The Light. It was a really hmph mix of paranormal and mystery, which is also a good recipe for an entertaining read.

The characters in this novel are so well done. Max Paddington is one unlucky dude. His wife asks for a divorce, and only a short while later, he is shot and killed. Then to top it off, he becomes a ghost who can’t move into the light until he solves his death mystery.

Joe Cavelli is a private investigator who had imaginary friends when he was younger…or were they ghosts? He becomes friends with Max, and the two set out to solve the mystery of Max’s murder.

The unlikely friendship is such an intriguing thing to read about. There’s a ton of character growth as the two become closer and it absolutely made this book a joy to read.

This book was fantastic and I highly recommend checking it out. It is a well crafted mix of paranormal and mystery, with humor, love, and friendship.

Rating:

4/5☆


Read an excerpt:

Chapter 1

Divorce. She slid the word across the table like it was part of his breakfast. Here’s your toast and coffee and I want a divorce.
Max Paddington stared into his wife’s clear brown eyes and said the only thing that came to mind. “What?”
“I want a divorce,” Rachel repeated.
At least she’d left out the toast and coffee bit. Divorce hadn’t been a side order, after all. “Are you still mad about the golf clubs?” he asked. “I’ll take them back if it’s that big of a deal.”
“Max…”
Rachel said his name as if it left a sour taste on her tongue. Max swiped a hand through his damp hair. He’d been awake less than a half hour and already his day had turned to shit. Rachel, his wife of fourteen years—no, it was fifteen now—stood in front of him with her arms folded over her breasts. She wore a black camisole, pantyhose, and three-inch heels. And he was supposed to take her seriously?
“Rach,” he said. “You want to get divorced over golf clubs?”
“It’s not the golf clubs, Max.”
“Well, what the hell?”
“I need to finish getting dressed or I’ll be late for work.”
“So be late! You can’t tell me you want a divorce, like you’re telling me the weather for the day, then walk out the door.”
“I can’t be late today.”
“Or what? The world will implode because you don’t serve your boss’s coffee on time?”
Rachel glared. “I do not serve my boss coffee. I only did that for you and I won’t be doing it anymore.”
“I’m sorry, okay?” Max pushed his coffee mug aside, the object having suddenly become an obstacle between them. “I didn’t mean that. It’s just that you dumped this bombshell on me and you won’t even talk to me about it.”
“I don’t understand why you’re so surprised.”
“What? I should have been expecting a divorce with my breakfast?”
“Think about it, Max.”
With that, she turned and strode from the room. He watched her ass, naked beneath the pantyhose. Divorce. What the hell?
~ ~ ~
Max took his miserable attitude to work at the local Publix, where he’d been assistant manager for nearly five years. Before that, he’d been the assistant manager at Winn-Dixie. Always the assistant. Never the boss. And now his wife wanted a divorce because he’d bought expensive golf clubs. How had he managed to earn such a low rank in life?
He took his misery out on the new stock boy, a skinny sixteen-year-old with pockmarked skin and the grace of a five-thousand-pound elephant. The kid was close to tears by the time Dan, the manager, caught wind of the bad karma in the air. Max muttered an apology to his boss, said he was having a bad day, and wandered out to the stockroom. While sorting through overstock, he knocked an open case of olives onto the floor. The green ones in the glass jars. Four of the jars shattered. Little green eyeballs rolled in a puddle around his feet. One of the stockers helped him clean the mess with only a minimal of razzing.
Max hid his embarrassment behind a gruff attitude, then ducked into his office. He poured himself a cup of coffee and promptly spilled some on his tie. Next, he slipped on a newly waxed section of floor and did a fancy skid that landed him on his ass in the middle of the aisle. After that, he gave up on even pretending to work and managed to steer clear of everyone until quitting time.
He cursed his Honda Civic for not being a Mercedes, then cursed the traffic for getting in his way. His house mocked him with its dark silence. The coffeemaker mocked him from its place on the counter. Would you like a divorce with your morning coffee? A sweep of his arm sent the machine and its glass carafe sailing across the room. Leftover coffee exploded with the glass.
Was Rachel even coming home? Max watched the coffee form a river between the floor tiles. He cursed at the mess on the floor and the mess that was his life. Think about it, she’d told him. As if he could think about anything else!
He grabbed his keys and slammed out the door. Stupid to sit around sulking on the off chance that Rachel would come home soon. She was probably humping her boss on his fancy desk in his cavernous office. Damn lawyers. If the guy wasn’t overweight and bald, that thought would bother him a lot more.
Max brought his attitude to Chili’s, where he ate a burger and drank two large Cokes. Rather than one of the cute waitresses, he got stuck with a twenty-something waiter with a hundred-watt smile and perfect hair. The kind of guy who got threesomes on a regular basis. The kid’s name was Carlos and Max hated him on sight.
The noise level in the place had Max chewing on the edge of his glass. An entire building full of couples and families, all talking to each other, smiling and happy. He sat alone, being waited on by the pinup boy for Playgirl, looking like the true loser he’d become.
Would you like a divorce with your order?
Max left Carlos what was likely the worst tip the kid had ever received and stomped back out to his car. He’d been forced to park in the bank’s lot next door. That should have been a sign for him to stay out of the place. The food, liquor, noise and Carlos’s perfect white teeth only managed to further sour his mood.
Maybe Rachel would be home by now and be willing to talk. As he yanked his door open, it occurred to him that he should have gotten her some food. What if she hadn’t been avoiding him and had only worked late? What if she was waiting for him now, in their kitchen with the glass and the coffee river?
He spotted someone standing in the shadows, twenty feet from his car. A thin man, maybe a woman. Couldn’t tell with that stupid ball cap pulled low, half hidden behind the palm trees where no lights fell. Why the hell was the guy standing there in the dark? That was the thought Max had when the bullet ripped through his left eye, tore through his brain, and exploded out the back of his skull.

***
Excerpt from Into the Light by Darcia Helle. Copyright © 2019 by Darcia Helle. Reproduced with permission from Darcia Helle. All rights reserved.


Darcia Helle

Darcia Helle is a Massachusetts native, who escaped the New England winters to write in the Florida sunshine. She lives with her husband in a home full of spoiled rescue animals and an occasional stray lizard. She writes because the characters trespassing through her mind leave her no alternative.

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