A Wall of Bright Dead Feathers: Author Video

A WALL OF BRIGHT DEAD FEATHERS
By Babette Fraser Hale
Pages: 216
Pub Date: March 1st, 2021
Categories: Short Stories / Literary Fiction

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Most are newcomers to the scenic, rolling countryside of central Texas whose charms they romanticize, even as the troubles they hoped to leave behind persist. Twelve stories highlight “the book’s recurring theme of desire—for freedom, for clarity, for autonomy, and for personal fulfillment…When women are alone, unencumbered and unbeholden to anyone, they engage in intense internal reflection and show reverence for nature—and during these scenes, Hale’s language is luminescent” (Kirkus Reviews).
PRAISE FOR A WALL OF BRIGHT DEAD FEATHERS: 
“Hale shows a great respect for her characters and for the difficulty of their deceptively ordered existence, as well as for the problems they suffer because so much cannot be spoken.” — Francine Prose, on “Silences”

“A vivid set of tales about connection to other people and to the natural world…Hale’s lovely prose shows a keen eye for detail…” 

Kirkus Reviews

Purchase Links: 

Winedale PublishingBrazos Bookstore | Amazon

 

 

Author Babette Fraser Hale introduces, A Wall of Bright Dead Feathers, a new story collection set in central Texas.

Babette Fraser Hale’s fiction has won the Meyerson Award from Southwest Review, a creative artist award from the Cultural Arts Council of Houston, and been recognized among the “other distinguished stories” in Best American Short Stories, 2015. Her story “Drouth” is part of the New York Public Library’s digital collection. Her nonfiction has appeared in Texas Monthly, Houston City, and the Houston Chronicle. She writes a personal essay column for the Fayette County Record.
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TWO WINNERS each receive a signed bookplate

+ $20 Brazos Bookstore Gift Card to buy the book

 (US only. Ends midnight, CDT, 4/2/2021.)

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Click to visit the Lone Star Literary Life Tour Page
for direct links to each post on this tour, updated daily, 
or visit the blogs directly:

3/23/21

Author Video

3/23/21

Excerpt

3/24/21

Review

3/24/21

BONUS Promo

3/25/21

Review

3/25/21

Author Interview

3/26/21

Review

3/26/21

BONUS Promo

3/27/21

Excerpt

3/28/21

Guest Post

3/29/21

Review

3/29/21

Author Interview

3/30/21

Review

3/31/21

Review

3/31/21

Guest Post

4/1/21

Review

4/1/21

Review

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Pudge and Prejudice: Review

PUDGE AND PREJUDICE
by
A.K. PITTMAN
Categories: YA / Clean & Wholesome Romance / ’80s
Publisher: Wander (a division of Tyndale House)
Date of Publication: January 12, 2021
Number of Pages: 352 pages
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A Mixtape of Big ’80s Style, High School Angst, and a Classic Jane Austen Tale

It’s 1984 and after moving to Northenfield, Texas, with her family, Elyse Nebbit faces the challenge of finding her place in a new school, one dominated by social status and Friday night football. When Elyse’s effortlessly beautiful older sister Jayne starts dating golden boy Charlie Bingley, Elyse finds herself curious about Charlie’s popular and brooding best friend, Billy Fitz. Elyse’s body insecurities eventually complicate her relationship with Billy, leaving Jayne and Elyse’s exceedingly blunt friend, Lottie, to step in and help Elyse accept herself for who she is, pant size and all.

PRAISE FOR PUDGE AND PREJUDICE:

Written with wit and considerable insight into the highs and lows of first love, this coming-of-age twist on the Jane Austen classic had me laughing out loud, singing ‘80s lyrics in my head, and cheering on the brilliant, yet self-deprecating heroine. Pudge & Prejudice is a joy to read from beginning to end! Lorie Langdon author of Olivia Twist and the Disney Villains series

Allison Pittman will have readers laughing (and singing) on every page of this delightfully tenderhearted novel for all ages…[She] crafts a particularly savvy character who learns that beauty really is soul-deep…. Julie Cantrell, New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of Perennials

I can’t remember the last time I loved a book as much as I love this one. It’s an instant classic I will return to time after time. Bethany Turner, Award-Winning Author of The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck

CLICK TO PURCHASE!

Sweet and complicated high school. I don’t miss it.

Pudge and Prejudice is a spunky tribute to Pride and Prejudice. As the many many maaany people who have seen the movies and less many that have read the book, I can say this book does an excellent job of reviving its classic tale in eighties gear. Elyse is a quirky lead character, whose narrative will keep you entertained, chuckling, and really wishing for her self confidence to grow. It’s a main theme in the book that Elyse is somehow ‘less than’ when it comes to her weight. Her mother’s comments, the school population, even a little ‘monster’ named Caroline continue to mention it. She’s compared to her sisters and what her weight will even mean for her future. Elyse mentions it nearly in every chapter and despite all of her many good qualities, it holds her back from enjoying things completely. Honestly, it was difficult to read at times because I went through a similar experience. I was happy to see Elyse starting to feel more comfortable with her body, with wanting to be seen and not feeling like she shouldn’t explore who she is beyond reader, sister, and smart girl with a weight issue.

“My size, my face, my hair-we were all well on our way to becoming friends with each other. That misdirected pride I’d carried for so long, the one that led me to hide behind an almost aggressively plain appearance, was being chipped away with every bit of color I allowed in my wardrobe, my accessories, my tinted lip gloss. I was finally comfortable enough with myself to highlight myself. Like in the books I love.”

It irks me to think of any young girl growing up and thinking their weight is an issue at all. Skinny, not skinny, or absolutely and completely good the way they are. I’ll stop ranting at this point and say that the topic itself and clever way Pittman integrates the classic with her own story was well done. The characters are well written and comical in their own eighties flair. Pittman has lots of great references to the era and the music choices were great. I found myself listening to music while reading for most of the book. Eighty percent at least.

I also definitely pictured everyone in the most colorful outfits I could imagine.

While I’m not sure it was intentional, I enjoyed the way Elyse would goodheartedly make fun of herself. Mainly in the way she drew out her phrases or used words that no one else seemed to use in high school.

“A note. Upon close inspection-like, by picking it up-I realized there was more than one sheet of paper here, Two or three, at least.”

I thought it was a smart way of keeping the humor in the story and making it more down to earth for the reader. I enjoyed the additional depth Pittman added to each character and the struggles they are facing in life as well.

Since I could go on for a while, here are some parts I enjoyed that may appeal to you as a reader: redeemable characters, breaking stereotypes, the love interest based off Darcy is named Billy Fitz, eighties throwback, football mentioned seriously but not taken seriously, Lottie reminding me more and more of Regina George, and puns.

I hoped you enjoyed this review as I enjoyed the book. I hope it’s piqued your interest and you take a look for yourself. I also hope you’re staying healthy and happy!

Allison Pittman is an award-winning author of thirteen novels, including the Christy-nominated Sister Wife series and the critically acclaimed The Seamstress. An enthusiast for all of the writing world, Allison holds active leadership in her local American Christian Fiction Writers chapter, and she heads up a thriving critique group in the San Antonio area. When not writing, Allison teaches middle school English, working as a conduit to introduce her students to new, fresh literature. You can follow her around on Instagram or Twitter and keep up with her writing news on her Allison Pittman Author Facebook page. Here you’ll learn what’s going on with new books, next books, and day-to-day life with Allison and her husband, Mikey. You’ll also get a peek at Snax, the world’s worst dog.

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THREE WINNERS
Each winner receives a SIGNED COPY of the book,
a hair scrunchie, and a $25 Visa Gift Card
Giveaway ends Midnight, CST, 2/13/2021
FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY,
or visit the blogs directly:
2/3/21 Review The Page Unbound
2/3/21 Review Missus Gonzo
2/4/21 Review All the Ups and Downs
2/5/21 Review Carpe Diem Chronicles
2/5/21 Review That’s What She’s Reading
2/6/21 Review The Adventures of a Travelers Wife
2/7/21 Review Rebecca R. Cahill, Author
2/8/21 Review Nerd Narration
2/8/21 Review Rainy Days with Amanda
2/9/21 Review Story Schmoozing Book Reviews
2/10/21 Review StoreyBook Reviews
2/10/21 Review Momma on the Rocks
2/11/21 Review Book Fidelity
2/11/21 BONUS Promo Hall Ways Blog
2/12/21 Review Librariel Book Adventures
2/12/21 Review Jennifer Silverwood
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Soul’s Day: Blitz

Soul’s Day Boxset: Horror and Paranormal Halloween Theme
Published by: Fire Quill Publishing
Publication date: October 20th 2020
Genres: Adult, Horror, Paranormal

Old Hallows Eve, when things go bump in the night,
Children come to play, and the witches provide the fright.
For 19 authors, USA Today and international bestselling,
The Halloween tales become more than this foretelling.
In the Soul’s Day Boxset, a mansion feeds on souls,
A gargoyle captures them, and a demon dungeon master makes the calls,
Campers gets picked off one by one,
The Karnaval’s corn dogs are less than fun,
Ghosts lurking around every bend,
‘I do’ at the wedding is the very end.
A boxset of chills and thrills to keep you up at night,
One-click pre-order to snap your copy filled with fright.

On old Hallow’s eve when creatures come to play,
With this spine chilling pages, it’s where you’ll want to stay.

AUTHOR LINE UP:

Erin Lee – USA TODAY BESTSELLING
Kristin Ping w/a Judith Holstrom – USA TODAY BESTSELLING
Amber Garr – AWARD AND INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING
Ashlee Sinn – AWARD AND INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING
L.L. Hunter – AWARD AND INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING
Monique Singleton – INTE

RNATIONAL BESTSELLING
Majanka Verstraete – INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING
Aubrey Wynne – INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING
Stephanie Ayers – INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING
DM Wolfenden – INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING
Maggie Tideswell – INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING
Sian B. Claven – AWARD WINNING AUTHOR
Kayla Krantz
Yvette Bostic
Brandy Nacole
Jennifer Fish-Ferguson
Lea Cherry

Scarlet Le Clair

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Nothing Short of Wondrous: Scrapbook Page and Giveaway


NOTHING SHORT OF WONDROUS
(American Wonders Collection, Book Two)
by
REGINA SCOTT
   
Genre: Historical Fiction / Christian Romance 
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: October 20, 2020
Number of Pages: 336

Scroll down for the giveaway!


In 1886, the U.S. government gave control of Yellowstone, the country’s first national park, to the cavalry to stop predation by poachers, hunters, and vandals. Mrs. Kate Tremaine is all for the change. The young widow and her late husband held the lease to operate one of the hotels in the park. She has raised her six-year-old son among God’s wonders and knows every inch of the mountainous park like the back of her hand. It is her home, and she has vowed to protect it.

Lieutenant William Prescott needs someone of Kate’s caliber more than he knows. Congress has appropriated funds for only one guide, who is required elsewhere in the park, and the cavalryman is having some trouble finding his way around much less tracking down the troublemakers. As Kate and her son help him, he doesn’t dare give in to the tender feelings she raises in him. A tragic mistake eight years ago nearly derailed his career and made him question his own abilities. Not even Kate’s encouragement or God’s forgiveness can blot out the stain on his conscience.

When Kate’s son disappears, Will and Kate must work together to rescue the boy and protect the park. In doing so, they may just find that two wounded hearts can lead to one powerful love when God is in control.
CLICK TO PURCHASE








Regina Scott’s Inspiration Scrapbook for Nothing Short of Wondrous




Click the image to enlarge


Regina Scott is the author of fifty works of warm, witty historical romance, including A Distance Too Grand. She was twice awarded the prestigious RT Book Reviews best book of the year in her category. A devotee of history, she has learned to fence, driven four-in-hand, and sailed on a tall ship, all in the name of research. She and her husband of thirty years live south of Tacoma, Washington, on the way to Mt. Rainier.


WebsiteFacebook ⬥ Blog ⬥ Pinterest  



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THREE WINNERS! FIRST PRIZE: Both books in the American Wonders collection, tote bag, book swag, and $25 B&N gift card; SECOND & THIRD PRIZES: Copy of Nothing Short of Wondrous and book swag. 
October 13-October 23, 2020
(U.S. Only)

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FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY. 
Or, visit the blogs directly:

10/13/20

Notable Quotables

Forgotten Winds

10/13/20

BONUS post

Hall Ways Blog

10/14/20

Excerpt

Chapter Break Book Blog

10/15/20

Review

The Adventures of a Travelers Wife

10/16/20

Review

Book Bustle

10/17/20

Excerpt

Story Schmoozing Book Reviews

10/18/20

Scrapbook Page

The Page Unbound

10/19/20

Review

Momma on the Rocks

10/20/20

Review

It’s Not All Gravy

10/21/20

Series Spotlight

All the Ups and Downs

10/22/20

Review

StoreyBook Reviews



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Resistor: Blitz

Resistor
C.E. Clayton
(An Eerden Novel (Eerden 1, Ellinor, 1))
Publication date: October 1st 2020
Genres: Cyberpunk, Fantasy, New Adult

Ellinor Rask has wanted one thing for the past eight years: vengeance. But when Ellinor is captured, she finds herself dragged back into the world she walked away from, entangled once more with friends she would rather forget.

As if that weren’t humiliating enough, Ellinor learns first hand that her magic can be stripped away by a piece of bio-tech—and her ex-boss is happy to leash her with the technology in order to get what he wants. If Ellinor behaves, the device will be removed. All she has to do is deliver a package. One containing a creature created from raw magical energy and discarded technology. Simple, right?

But when her goals start getting people murdered, Ellinor has to decide if the year’s planning, her honor, and even her own magic, are worth the lives it’s costing. Dodging ruthless gangsters, she finds herself on the run with a creature of immeasurable magical abilities alongside her one-time friends. Now, Ellinor must relearn to trust the people she once abandoned. She must put her faith in technology, and her life in the hands of independent contractors, all while racing to deliver the package before it gets taken by force, or worse, the creature decides to make an appearance itself.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

THIS WAS not the first time Ellinor Olysha Rask found herself bound and chained, and she very much doubted it would be her last. This was the longest she had ever been incarcerated, however.

Ellinor leaned back against the wall and closed her eyes, though it made no difference in the pitch black. She wiggled against the rough wall, never getting comfortable. The restraints clamped over her wrists chaffed at her skin. She lost count of the days she’d been locked in the rank cell, but she supposed it didn’t actually matter how long she’d been there, only how much longer she’d be staying.

She sighed loudly, her patience long gone. Not that she had been blessed with an abundance of composure to begin with, but her restraint had diminished considerably since Misho’s death.

Heaviness settled on her chest and shoulders as she imagined Misho’s disapproving tsk at her current predicament, and her chin started to quiver. Gritting her teeth, she knocked her head against the bumpy wall to focus her thoughts. She always lost control when she thought about Misho Shimizu, and she didn’t want to lose what little control she had left. She needed to conserve her energy.

For what? There’s no telling how long I’ve been here, or who took me. Time to stop waiting.

She hadn’t recognized who grabbed her, or how they had gotten the drop on her. She had been drinking, of course, but no more than usual. One minute, Ellinor was meeting with a contact who had information about the Ashlings she was hunting. Ashlings who needed to answer for what was done to Misho. The next? She couldn’t remember. The air—her own power!—had betrayed her. Everything went white and hazy, and a fog rolled over her memories.

She sat up straighter against the wall, breathing deeply, ignoring the aches and pains of her cramped muscles. Whatever had happened, poisoning or a knock over the head, had left her weak. Concentrating had been a chore, let alone summoning her magic. She knew she wasn’t at full strength, but better to do something than continue to wait around for whoever had nabbed her to remember they had her locked away.

Ellinor had heard of humani, beings like her, who were strong enough in air magic to blow apart buildings, and who had the skill to dismantle the most intricate of machines without destroying any of the delicate parts. Ellinor had never been that strong, nor that finessed with her talents. She had enough of the talent to make her someone most would shy away from, and it had been more than enough for her job. Using the air, she could turn otherwise fatal blows from knives or projectiles away, and coupled with her own abilities for creating mayhem, her magic had served her well, or well enough, until Misho died.

Then her power turned her into someone, something, most didn’t want to talk about. Someone the remainder of her family distanced themselves from. She lived only to avenge Misho.

The seersha, though . . . now they would have no trouble using wind to blow apart this cell, no matter how far underground they’d have to pull the air. They’d be able to use that same current to wrap themselves in an impenetrable force field then simply sail away like some cocky bird.

That didn’t mean she couldn’t cause some trouble, though.

Author Bio:

C. E. Clayton was born and raised in the greater Los Angeles area. After going the traditional career route and becoming restless, she went back to her first love–writing–and hasn’t stopped. She is the author of young adult fantasy series, “The Monster of Selkirk”, the creator of the cyberpunk Eerden Novels, and her horror short stories have appeared in anthologies across the country. When she’s not writing you can find her treating her fur-babies like humans, constantly drinking tea, and trying to convince her husband to go to more concerts. And reading. She does read quite a bit. More about C.E. Clayton, including her blog, book reviews, social media presence, and newsletter, can be found on her website: https://www.ceclayton.com/

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Last Pick: Review

Last Pick (Last Pick #1)

By Jason Walz

Genre: YA Graphic Novel

Release Date: October 2018

Macmillan/FirstSecond Books

 

Summary:
 
Three years ago, aliens invaded Earth and abducted everyone they deemed useful. The only ones spared were those too young, too old, or too “disabled” to be of value. Living on Earth under the aliens’ harsh authoritarian rule, humanity’s rejects do their best to survive. Their captors never considered them a threat—until now.

Twins Sam and Wyatt are ready to chuck their labels and start a revolution. It’s time for the kids last picked to step into the game.

In this first volume of Jason Walz’s dystopian graphic novel trilogy, the kids last picked are humanity’s last hope.
 

Purchase Links:

 

BOOK TRAILER:

 

Review

Last Pick centers on the journey of twins, Wyatt and Sam, alone after the aliens invade the planet and take everyone between 16 and 65. Both are determined to find out more about the aliens and why they took their parents. However, soon after turning 16 themselves, the aliens that took their parents return. Can they survive knowing that they might be taken this time?

I really enjoyed this graphic novel. I choose to review this because it had been way too long since I’ve read a graphic novel outside the usual Marvel comics. I was not disappointed. The art is bold and direct for the reader, easily pushing the story along. I liked the bits of humor throughout as well. Even with the rather grim plotline. The story really grabs you and allows you to notice things for yourself before setting more reveals later on.

I think this is great for young readers that like adventure and humor. Wyatt and Sam are twins but still very different. Additionally, it brings to focus the narrow-minded view of people unable to care for themselves if they’re young, older, or have a disability. These twins and the characters left behind will prove just the opposite.

Part Two of my review continues below!

Born to Run (Last Pick #2)
Release Date: October 2020
Summary:
Four years ago, aliens kidnapped most of mankind, leaving behind those they deemed unworthy—the “last picked.”
 
The future for Sam is bleak and unthinkable. A galaxy away from her twin brother, she is a pawn in the aliens’ bloody civil war. But with her new friend Mia, Sam has found a way to resist her captors and hold onto her humanity.
Back on Earth, Sam’s twin, Wyatt, is leading a resistance of his own. With a ragtag army of the old, the young, and the disabled, he has a plan to bring the fight to his alien captors. But to defeat the aliens, Wyatt may need to befriend one.

 

Purchase Links:

BOOK TRAILER:

Review

Last Pick left off on a bit of a cliffhanger, with Sam being taken by the aliens and Wyatt alone to run their resistance. Both of them are tested in this sequel with Wyatt leading and Sam finding news ways to fight back against the aliens.

This sequel is even better than the first. There are small stylistic changes that I noticed and thought were great to move the plot along. The aliens, while gross, are really creative in their design. I really enjoyed the new characters introduced as well! It was great to see the inclusivity of the first graphic novel continue with Harper and other characters.
All in all, this sequel moves pretty fast and establishes more in the world building. The next installment, which is the conclusion, is coming out soon and I look forward to reading it!
Coming October 2020 – The final book in the Last Pick trilogy!
BOOK TRAILER:

About the Author
Jason Walz is comic and graphic novel creator living in Minneapolis. He is the author of several comics and graphic novels, including the LAST PICK trilogy and the Eisner nominated graphic novel HOMESICK.

A Dog’s Day: Scrapbook Page

I AM JAX, 
PROTECTOR OF THE RANCH 
and 
I AM AVA, 
SEEKER IN THE SNOW
A Dog’s Day Series, Books 1 and 2
By CATHERINE STIER
Illustrated by Francesca Rosa
 
Animals / Adventure / Farm Life / Ranch Life / Chapter Books 
Date of Publication: April 1, 2020
Number of Pages: 96
 
Scroll down for the giveaway!

Spend a day in the life of a livestock guardian dog! Jax the Great Pyrenees has a big job. After the Texas sun goes down, it’s up to him and two other LGDs to protect their ranch from predators. But when the lead dog gets hurt, Jax and a
young pup are the only ones left to protect the flock through the night. Told from the dog’s perspective, this story also includes back matter about the breed and role of the working dog.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Spend a day in the life of an avalanche rescue dog! Ava is a chocolate Labrador retriever with a big job. She and her handler have trained for years to be ready to help people at their ski resort if an unexpected avalanche hits. But Ava quickly finds out there’s much more to being an avy dog than daring rescues. Told from the dog’s perspective, this riveting story also includes back matter about the breed and the role of the working dog.
 

 

 

 

I Am Ava, Seeker in the Snow

Scrapbook Page by Catherine Stier

Catherine Stier, a former Midwesterner, now lives deep in the heart of Southwest Texas, on the edge of the beautiful Hill Country. Her children’s books have received honors and awards from the Society of School Librarians International, the International Reading Association, and the Bank Street College of Education.

Stier has served as a frequent contributor to Woman’s Day Magazine and as a newspaper columnist. Her work has also appeared in Highlights for Children, My Friend, Child Life, and several newspapers, including the Chicago Sun-Times and the San Antonio Express-News.

Stier’s lively and interactive Author’s Visit programs have entertained, educated, and inspired thousands of children. Visit Catherine Stier’s website at www.catherinestier.com for more information, activities, and free curriculum guides.

 
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ONE WINNER: Hardcover copy of I Am Jax, Protector of the Ranch (Book 1), hardcover copy of I Am Ava, Seeker in the Snow (Book 2), $15 gift card to The Twig Book Shop, stuffed animal – adorable “Ava” Lab dog toy, dog stickers, dog socks.  
September 17-27, 2020 
(US ONLY)
 
CLICK TO VISIT THE LONE STAR LITERARY LIFE TOUR PAGE FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY, 

or visit the blogs directly:

9/17/20
BONUS Post
9/17/20
Review Jax
9/18/20
Character Interview
9/19/20
Review Ava + BONUS Jax Review
9/20/20
Jax Scrapbook
9/21/20
Ava Scrapbook
9/22/20
Review Jax
9/23/20
Review Ava
9/24/20
Sneak Peek Jax
9/25/20
Review Jax
9/26/20
Review Ava
 
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The People We Meet Along the Way: Blitz

The People We Meet Along The Way
Beth Rinyu
Publication date: September 17th 2020
Genres: Romance, Women’s Fiction

Would you be able to grant the same forgiveness to someone else that you’re so desperately seeking yourself?

Jillian O’Rourke’s marriage died long before her husband’s tragic accident. Years of battling with infertility and demanding careers melted their once solid relationship. Bearing the burden of guilt over his death, Jillian gets lost in despair and a series of what ifs. But one chance encounter with a stranger, changes everything. Now being faced with newfound knowledge and a painful decision, Jillian must push past her anger, learn to forgive and open her heart in ways she never could’ve imagined. As she comes to grips with the devastation of her past, she learns to embrace the possibility of a future she never thought possible. A bittersweet story of love, forgiveness, and the unexpected destiny that is sometimes handed to us in life from the people we meet along the way.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

“I just wish you didn’t hate me so much.” I concentrated on the coffee in my cup as I swirled the wooden stirrer round and round.

“I don’t hate you,” I said, focusing my attention back to him. “I hate what we did. I hate that I let it define who I was for so long, and I hate that I hurt someone I cared about so much because of it. But I don’t hate you—you were just one of the many cracks in my life.”

He creased his forehead. “I don’t understand.”

I gazed at him long and hard, finally fearless of the shame the man staring back at me conjured up inside of me. He held no control over me, and he never had. I stood up and pushed my chair in as he sat there waiting for an explanation. “And I wouldn’t have expected you to. Goodbye, Jonathan.”

Author Bio:

Ever since I can remember, I have always enjoyed Creative Writing. There was always something about being able to travel to a different place or become a different person with just the stroke of a pen – or in today’s world a touch of the keyboard. I love creating deep characters who you will love or love to hate.

My life is not as interesting as my books or the characters in them, but then again whose life is? My happy place is a seat by the ocean with my feet in the sand or on the busy streets of New York City. You will more than likely find one of these places as the setting for most of my books.

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Beginning’s End: Blitz

Beginning’s End
M. Dalto
(The Empire Saga #3)
Published by: Parliament House
Publication date: September 8th 2020
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult

Ever since her unexpected return to the Empire, all Queen Empress Alexstrayna wanted was to protect her family. Despite of the life-altering events that occurred within the Borderlands, her family – those that remained- were all she had left, and as Empress is was her predestined duty to protect the while ensuring the safety of the Empire.

But when the ever-threatening forces from the Borderlands challenge all she has worked towards to maintain that peace, she must search within herself to discover a new magic stronger than anything the Annals have foretold before.

Goodreads / Amazon

Previous books in the series:

EXCERPT:

The lords from the outlying territories began arriving a week later.

Alex and Reylor had made the decision together that the lords would be called to the palace as soon as Alex was well enough to receive them. Rumors spread since the incident within the Borderlands, with some even questioning the health and well-being of the Queen Empress. That Alex had returned was one thing—it was as if the lords flocked to them only to see her in the flesh, living and breathing, to decide if she was truly capable of leading them.

War was coming.

There was nothing Alex could do to stop it. She knew she needed lords on her side, to believe her position, and to listen to her when the Empire needed them the most.

She had taken up residence in the rooms that once belonged to Reylor. They were a few of the only rooms that hadn’t been affected by the library’s explosion, and therefore were not disturbed by the ongoing efforts to stabilize the palace and return it to its former glory. She had initially insisted Reylor have his own rooms back, but he refused to have her reside anywhere else, and instead he took up residence in the Council’s chambers; the proper place for the Lord Steward, he told her.

One benefit of her title Alex did not reinstitute were her Mistresses.

With two of them dead, and the third dismissed for her own safety before she left the Empire, she didn’t have it in her to petition any more innocents to wait on her when there was too much at stake being a member of her inner circle. She looked after herself—dressing herself, doing her own hair. It was no different than when she was on her own in Boston, and she appreciated the time alone when she had it.

She had just finished donning her dress—simple yet elegant enough the lords wouldn’t question her level of formality when she greeted them. Her jewelry and crown and all other frivolous items were lost when the palace collapsed and she was in no state to replace them.

Wartime was not a time for embellishment.

She assessed her reflection in the mirror in passing as she grabbed her hairbrush. Alex had lost weight—she had been bedridden for a week and never regained any of it back. She ate, but nowhere near enough; nothing satisfied her. Yet, by some magic of the Empire, she looked…beautiful. As if her perfect hair, bright eyes, and flawless skin was enough of a mask to hide the destruction beneath.

Alex was a mess, but the power of the Empire refused to show the truth behind the mask.

She hated it.

She wasn’t sure she would ever be how she was supposed to be. She knew Reylor tried to keep her mind from drifting—the constant stares, taunts, dinner invitations. Perhaps he thought it would keep her preoccupied, but it wasn’t working. Or it hadn’t been working. More recently, she found herself thinking about his invitations…for no other reason than she was lonely.

A mess.

A desperate mess.

Author Bio:

M. Dalto is a bestselling New Adult author of adventurous romantic fantasy stories, having won a Watty award for excellence in digital storytelling for her debut novel, Two Thousand Years, in 2016. She spends her days as a full-time residential real estate paralegal, using her evenings to pursue her literary agenda, and when she’s not writing, she enjoys reading fantasy novels, playing video games, and drinking coffee. She currently lives in Massachusetts with her husband, their daughter, and their corgi named Loki.

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