Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Cover Reveal: Taking Chances by Ariadne Wayne

Ariadne Wayne - Taking Chances - Cover Reveal
Contemporary Romance
Date Published: 3/30/2014

Lauren and Mark Burrows lost their parents in a car accident one night. Despite their father being the drunk driver, both struggle with the urge to turn to drink; Lauren most of all. When all they have is each other, Lauren feels lost when Mark falls in love with Cassie Warren and moves out.

Ethan Stone has been alone since his divorce. His ex-wife took him for everything, and he has felt empty for a long time. He's not looking for love, but Lauren brings him back to life. The question is whether she can fight her demons for the man she loves, and if Ethan can handle the wild ride that is life with Lauren.


Ethan leaned over to kiss her. “I’m looking forward to going to bed too. If I’m invited.”
She laughed, slapping his arm. “Are you kidding? After all that fuss at the door, you had better bring your A game tonight, Mister.”
“I don’t know about that, but I could do with loving you some more. We’ll have to leave pretty early. My schedule is full tomorrow.”
“You still came?”
“Lauren, I told you. You’re worth the effort. If I have to look for work down here, I will.”
“I can’t believe anyone would do that for me.”
“I love you. Even if you don’t feel the same way, I’ll be there when you need me.”
She kissed him. This man was special, and he was hers.
“I do feel the same way. My whole life, no-one ever loved me,” she said.
“I bet that’s a lie. You have such a good heart. Anyone who doesn’t love you isn’t worth knowing.”
“Can we skip dinner and get to the bed part?”
Ethan squeezed her hand. “Not after the effort I put in. Maybe afterwards.”
“Well, you can’t wash the dishes. There’s no hot water left.”
“You didn’t leave any for me?”
Lauren draped her arms over Ethan’s shoulders. “No. You should have joined me.”
“Next time, beautiful.”
She looked away, not wanting to meet his gaze. “What is it, Lauren?”
“No-one’s ever called me that before.”
    “Well, get used to it.”
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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Blog Tour: The Lion's Embrace by Marie Laval

Historical Romance
Date Published: 2/2013

Algiers, 1845
Arrogant, selfish and dangerous, Lucas Saintclair is everything Harriet Montague dislikes in a man. He is also the best guide in the whole of the Barbary States, the only man who can rescue her archaeologist father from the gang of Tuareg fighters that has kidnapped him. As Harriet embarks on a perilous journey across Algeria with Saintclair and Archibald Drake, her father’s most trusted friend, she discovers a bewitching but brutal land where nothing is what it seems. Who are these men intent on stealing her father’s ransom? What was her father hoping to find in Tuareg queen Tin Hinan’s tomb? Is Lucas Saintclair really as callous as he claims—or is he a man haunted by a past he cannot forgive? Dangerous passions engulf Harriet’s heart in the heat of the Sahara. Secrets of lost treasures, rebel fighters, and a sinister criminal brotherhood threaten her life and the life of the man she loves.
Does forever lie in the lion’s embrace?


Guest Post

One night in the Sahara with the Tuaregs, or how to set a story in a place you've never been to.

The Lion's Embrace is my second historical romance and is mostly set in North Africa, in Algeria to be exact, in 1845. Lucas Saintclair is hired as a guide by Harriet Montague to rescue her father, a British Museum archaeologist, who she believes was captured by a gang of Tuaregs in the far South of the country.

Writing ‘The Lion’s Embrace’ was a fascinating process, not only because I got to fall in love with my hero (I know, it sounds corny but it’s true!), but also because I discovered the beautiful landscapes Lucas and Harriet travelled through on their way to Tamanrasset, and the culture of the people they encountered. One particular group of people are at the centre of the plot: the Tuaregs, also called ‘The People of the Veil’ or the ‘Blue Men of the Desert’ because of the indigo veil all men wear from around the age of fifteen and never, ever take out.

Having never been there myself, I had to find a way of getting a real ‘feel’ for the place, its people and its history. I surrounded myself with photos and paintings of the Sahara, of oases and ksars (which fortified villages) and the magnificent Hoggar mountain range. There is a wealth of paintings from the early to mid-nineteenth century ‘orientalism’ movement. Among the most famous painters are Eugène Delacroix, Alphonse Etienne Dinet, Eugène Fromentin, to name but a few. They give you a wonderful sense – if a little idealised - of the places and the people.

I also read Tuareg poems, legends and stories, and listened to a lot of music. One song in particular caught my imagination and I played it over and over again as I wrote ‘The Lion’s Embrace’. It’s a modern song and I have no idea what they are singing about, but I find the melody poignant and haunting, especially the monochord violin, the imzad, which can be heard throughout.

The imzad is a traditional Tuareg instrument only played by women. It is at the heart of the Tuareg culture and society because of its link to the Achak, the code of honour every Tuareg must live by. Those who stray from the path and who commit dishonourable acts are said to have lost the ability to ‘hear the imzad’ in their heart and are therefore cast out of their family and their tribe.

Here is the link to the song:

As they travel across the Sahara desert, Lucas Saintclair and Harriet Montague spend a few days with a Tuareg caravan. Every evening, they sit under the stars and listen to musicians playing the imzad and to stories and poems. The story-teller pulls out round pebbles out of his ‘bag of tales’, which is a skin pouch. Each pebble represents a different story and he tells the stories in the order the pebbles were withdrawn from the bag.

This is an excerpt from ‘The Lion’s Embrace’ when Lucas and Harriet are at the Tuareg camp. The tale is based on a real Tuareg story.

The women played their instruments all along, drawing long, monochord sounds that at times sounded almost like laments and perfectly matched the mood of the audience, silent and attentive under the starry sky.
By the end of the evening, Harriet shivered with cold. Lucas wrapped his arm around her shoulders. He rubbed her arm with the palm of his hand to warm her up.
“The brave is reaching the end of his journey,” he translated, his voice low and a little hoarse. “After wandering in the desert for weeks, he finally finds his beloved’s camp, but it is deserted under the stars. There is only the cruel wind to answer his prayers, the cool moonlight to kiss his lips, and the vast, empty spaces full of solitude to chill his heart. So he lies on the sand and waits to die.” He paused. “And that’s love for you. Brings you nothing but pain.”
Despite the slightly mocking tone of his voice, the words made her dreamy.
“It’s beautiful, and so sad.” She found his hand, squeezed a little. “Love isn’t all pain, you know. It can be the most wonderful feeling in the world.”
She should know. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Blog Tour: The Girl by Madhuri Blaylock

Date Published: 11/11/2013

The Sanctum, an all-powerful governing body founded by ten families, entrusted to maintain the peace amongst Magicals and ensure the ignorance of humans, has been corrupted by greed and savagery for generations, but is all Wyatt Clayworth has ever known.

A descendant of one of the Founding Families and Class A Warrior, Wyatt has always believed in the ways of The Sanctum, having grown up in the system and thrived under their leadership. A golden boy, renowned for his prowess and skill in battle, Wyatt has never questioned a mission or kill order until the night he crosses paths with a brutally injured and mysterious girl.

Scouring Central Park with his best friend and fellow Class A Warrior, Ryker Morrison, for the hybrid demon prophesied to bring an end to The Sanctum and destroy the world for Magicals and humans alike, Wyatt instead finds Dev and his whole life turns upside down. Told he was hunting a killing machine, hellbent on wreaking havoc and destruction upon all it encounters, Wyatt instead sees nothing more than a broken girl with haunted eyes and a bit of a death wish.

All Dev wants is for Wyatt to either kill her or leave her alone. When he refuses to do either, she finds herself being pulled into his life while being hunted by warriors everywhere she turns. Drawn to one another for reasons they cannot begin to explain to themselves, much less anyone else, Wyatt is determined to protect Dev and help her realize her mission to avenge the deaths of her family at the hands of The Sanctum. His abdication of his duties and his outright rejection of his responsibilities to The Sanctum create a maelstrom of events beyond anyone’s imagination.

My Review
This is an AMAZING book for the price! This is a Paranormal Novel that takes readers into such a vivid world, you will lose yourself completely in it. I was surprised at the amount of activity that goes on in this book. You will never be bored because there is not one dull moment in the entire thing. 

The atmosphere was so like the human world that it was so fun seeing the little nuances of magic that made it extraordinary.

A wonderful plot and inventive storyline with really likable characters. I am so interested to see if Madhuri Blaylock can continue this magic with the next book.


Add caption
Madhuri Blaylock is a lawyer by day, writer and avid shoe and dress buyer at all other times. She lives in Jersey City, but her heart remains firmly planted in Brooklyn via Snellville, Georgia. Her husband, Henry, is also a lawyer, and only a lawyer because he actually likes being a lawyer (go figure), probably always wanted to be a lawyer and is really, really good at all things lawyerly. He's also pretty hot.

She’s got a big kid, Miss Sydney, and a little kid, the one and only Dash. They're awesome and fierce and supremely cool and able to make her laugh at the strangest things. She would love to add a dog, some chickens, a goat and a burro to this crew. Everyone needs a burro.

Some of her favorites, in no particular order: ice cream, Kill Bill, four-inch heels, Matt Damon, tattoos, Laini Taylor, scotch on the rocks, The Sanctum trilogy, random office supplies, Martha's Vineyard, "The Girl" aka my Mini, Rihanna, Doc Martens, tulips, photo booths and dancing like a fool.

One day she plans to grow up. Right now, she’s enjoying the adventure.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Book Blitz: Stealing Luca's Heart

Stealing Luca's Heart - Week Blitz
By Ellie Lyons
Contemporary Romance
Date Published: 12/30/2013

Just what is going on at the Tetari farm in New Zealand? First her father is injured in a suspicious hunting accident, now someone is after the Tetari family and their land. With the help of charismatic businessman and eldest son, Luca Tetari, Ally Edwards is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery. As passion flares and love blooms, Ally and Luca search for the answers in Ellie Lyons’ romantic suspense novel, Stealing Luca’s Heart, Book 1 of her new, contemporary series.

When Ally Edwards’ father, Cal, is injured in a suspicious hunting accident in New Zealand, she takes leave from her job as a University of Iowa economics instructor to rush down to be at her father’s bedside. When she arrives, she finds herself hosted by her father’s friends, the Tetari family, who welcome her into their home.

Luca Tetari, the eldest son, is not only a businessman in the family corporation, but also the team captain of the All Blacks, New Zealand’s national rugby team. Luca is the consummate player, skillful on the pitch and off, indulging his fans and beguiling everyone around him. But as she gets to know him, Ally discovers that Luca is far deeper as a person than his surface charm would indicate, and soon she finds herself falling in love.

But while Ally and Luca are realizing their new affections, the Tetari family and their land are under attack by unknown assailants. With a new “green” energy project in development, who is trying to take over their property, and how? Does this have anything to do with Cal’s injury? After all, if someone has hurt one person, mightn’t that same individual be willing to injure—or even kill—additional people to achieve his or her goals?

Ellie Lyons

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Blog Tour: Always and Forever by S.P. Cervantes

New Adult Paranormal Romance
Date Published: 11/13/2013

Twin sisters Ava and Hannah were ripped from their peaceful seeming lives into a whirlwind of attacks and war only to learn the real truth about their existence. 
Nothing was as it seemed anymore and may never be again. They had already lost their father in childhood now they have to cope with their mother’s kidnapping as they watch those sworn to protect them risk their lives.

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Connor had interrupted my lesson on levitating objects that day. Levitation lessons were always fun because most of my students were just learning the extent of their powers. Wizards in our coven realize their powers at different ages, and only then are they are invited into our magical society.

As I pointed my wand towards the oversized chair I had floating elegantly over my desk, I felt Connor’s thoughts enter mine.“Dalton, you must come see me right away. It is of the utmost importance. Aiden is coming for you.”

I hated when he did that without warning. My concentration broke sending the chair crashing onto my desk. My students broke out into laughter, not realizing the crypt message that had just unwillingly entered my mind.

“Alright everyone, break into pairs and practice levitation. Start small, like a pencil, and I’ll be back shortly.” I instructed dutifully.

Aiden was waiting for me when I walked out of my classroom. He has been my best friend since I came here. Aiden was also a very powerful wizard who was well respected by all of us. Aiden's tall, muscular build would intimidate most people, let alone wizards. However, it was dwarfed by the strength and power he possessed. When Aiden cast a spell, it would be double the power of any other wizard. Aiden was always on the front lines of any battle because of his thirst for competition and superior skills.

We walked slowly down the long, dim hallway towards Connor’s office; I heard the quiet whispers of Connor and another woman. These are the times that I wished I could enter minds like Connor. The whispering suddenly stopped and I realized Connor knew I had arrived.

Connor’s office in Shadow Hill was covered with magnificent decorations and priceless antiques. It made me nervous just being in there. The walls were covered in artwork all reflecting our history of wizardry. Connor has been Grand Wizard of Shadow Hill for over 230 years. He has taught some of the best wizards. There are many different types of wizards; however, our coven was considered one of the most powerful in the world.

Connor was standing in front of his large picture window that looked upon River Shannon with a startlingly tall woman dressed in a long, silver flowing cloak that brushed upon the deep oak floors. She was an enchanter. I had a sense for those with enchanting abilities; they had a sweet smell that seemed fitting for a talent such as enchantment. Enchanters have the ability to alter the moods and actions of people around them. Most enchanters can affect thoughts of others and use illusions to their advantage. Her golden hair glistened in the sun as she hastily walked past me to shut the heavy doors. She moved with such speed and grace that I hardly realized what she had done.

I looked to Connor and I knew instantly that this was very bad. He walked swiftly to my side. “Dalton, Aiden, thank you for coming so quickly. Sorry about the chair, I’ll have it replaced by the morning.” He said referring to my levitation lesson gone wrong.

“Don’t worry about the chair. What is going on?” I asked scanning both of their faces for answers.

“I don’t have time for proper introductions. My sister-in-law Contessa has arrived from America and alerted me of a serious situation.” Connor turned gesturing to the enchanter besides him. “She has informed me there are girls that are in grave danger. They are my granddaughters and thought to be Chosen Ones, as you are Dalton, but have not yet realized their powers. Their mother, Victoria, was a student here and was married to my son Balthazar.”

Connor motioned for us all to take our seats as he hastily tried to fill us in on a decade of Shadow Hill history.

“The Sabatino coven has somehow been made aware of the girls’ existence and are planning to take them. Contessa is sure their goal is to enchant them to join their coven. This is something they had tried to achieve with my son Balthazar, and that was how we lost him.” Connor’s eyes filled with rage, but his voice remained calm.

“The Sabatino coven only ever has one goal, to become the most strong and powerful coven in the world.” Connor’s explanation concerned me. He rarely worried about our conflicts with the Sabatinos; they were a blip on the screen to him in most situations.

The Sabatino coven was the opposite of ours. They practice black magic and use enchantment to deceive all those they meet. There have been many battles between their groups and ours over the centuries. However a treaty was reached almost 100 years ago that has helped maintain relative peace between covens. This treaty was signed by all covens around the world. Ours and the Sabatinos were the most powerful in number and ability.

Contessa leaned towards both of us and whispered in a voice so soft, it sounded as if she was singing. “Their names are Ava and Hannah Fox. They are identical twins. They seem to only know about Ava. We are not sure of Hannah’s powers, if any, but she will need to be kept safe as well. They look too much alike.”

Connor interjected reassuringly. “You are the only one with the ability to thwart enchanters. I am sure Olivia will be there because she is the strongest known enchanter. They will use her to their advantage in order to quietly take Ava into their coven. They will not want to make it known to other covens that they are breaking The Treaty. With your superior combative abilities and Aiden by your side, I know this can be accomplished safely without incident.”

Missions to protect our coven and the rest of society against the evil was common for Shadow Hill, but Connor rarely had me involved in something so important and secret. Honor and excitement surged through me.

Connor wiped his forehead as if exhausted with worry waiting for my response.

“Say no more you two. This is just the adventure I had been waiting for.” I was filled with pride knowing Connor trusted me enough and thought me powerful enough to help protect our coven’s savior.

S.P Cervantes lives in Orange County, California with her husband and three children, 

where she is a teacher. She enjoys spending time with her family, writing, reading, and 

running, but is always thinking of an idea for her next novel. 

S.P. Cervantes is currently working on a new contemporary romance, while finishing the 

final novel of the Secrets of Shadow Hill series. 

S.P. Cervantes has a B.S. in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Cross Cultural Education.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Cover Reveal: The Transmigration of Cora Riley

Urban Fantasy
Date to be Published: 3/4/2014

Average family. Average job. Average existential crisis.

After thirty boring years, nothing about Cora Riley’s life has measured up to her childhood dreams of being truly extraordinary. It’s too bad that the night she decides to seek out her specialness she crashes on a rural highway.

Cora wakes in the clutches of the Mistress of the underworld who sets her a seemingly impossible quest. If she wants a second chance at life, Cora must find her way through the dozen heavens and return to the castle in three days.

With the help of an unusual guardian angel named Jack and a little boy named Xavier, Cora navigates the afterlife doorfield and quickly learns that gods and monsters are very real indeed. Terrifying and tempting obstacles litter her path; only the power of belief – in the Otherworld, in her companions, and in herself – will return her to the land of the living.


Face hot with anger, Cora takes a few shaky steps forward, looking anywhere but at the eyes that see through her. The orc guards, previously slouching and entertained by the spectacle of her humiliation, become suddenly alert and close rank in front of the dais. The Mistress smirks from behind them, almost daring her to come closer. 

“You know I’m right, my lady,” she says, taking another, more determined step. “The legends are all the same. The ruler of the underworld makes a bargain with the hero, sets him some monumental task in exchange for a second chance, and then has to keep their promise when the hero succeeds.” She takes another step forward. The guards cross their weapons into a barrier between her and the Mistress. Cora just smiles; it widens the split inside her cheek, but she doesn’t care. She holds out her arms and gestures grandly around the throne room. “And since I don’t see anyone else here asking for a ticket back to civilization, I guess that makes me the hero. And you owe me a quest.”

Ellie Di Julio is a nomadic writer currently living in Hamilton, Ontario with her Robert Downey, Jr. lookalike husband and their three cats. Between nerd activities like playing Dungeons & Dragons or watching Top Gear, she enthusiastically destroys the kitchen and tries to figure out what it's all about, when you really get down to it. She also writes urban fantasy novels riddled with pop culture references and sexy secret agents.

Her first novel, Inkchanger, could easily be considered Forgotten Relics #0, and as such, rewards readers of the rest of the series, sort of like watching Thor before The Avengers. Her second novel, Time & Again with Kyeli Smith, has nothing to do with super powers or secret agents but is very cool nonetheless.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Blog Tour: Saying Goodbye by Mahima Martel

Contemporary Romance
Date Published: 9/24/2013

No matter how strong the relationship, or powerful the attraction at some time we all must say goodbye. 

In 1964 the winds of change blows across the Atlantic from England to America and sparks a cultural and social revolution. Traditional values of the past are replaced with more modern attitudes caused by the hottest tunes and the latest dance craze. 

Vivacious Hollywood starlet Frankie Robinson has no romantic expectations when she meets the dark and introspective Alex Rowley, guitarist for one of the hottest British bands—The Dark Knights. During their first dance, they step into each other's rhythm, as though partners in another life. 

For an eager young couple, neither Frankie nor Alex anticipates the scandal their public relationship will cause—reputations must be protected and images need to be maintained. As Frankie and Alex dream of a life together, agents and managers worry of the monies lost and the dangers to their perspective clients. Frankie and Alex are to be kept apart no matter what tragic cost.
Behind the closed curtains of celebrity life, Frank and Alex find a way to keep their private love alive despite all obstacles. 

Mahima Martel - My premierre focus in writing is love within drama, or dramatic love. I am fascinated by the human condition and what drives people to do what they do. Mostly, I have found it is love, or lack of love that motivates people, whether it is to inspire to greatness, or to the depth of depravity. “Saying Goobye, What the World Doesn’t Know,” is based on a true story I uncovered hidden deep within the tabloids of the early 1960’s. I could definately see how the love of these two characters could inspire each other to great heights...and it did so.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

PROMO: After Alex Died by Dakota Madison

After Alex Died - Week Blitz
Dakota Madison
New Adult Romance
Date Published: 11/28/2013

"Don't be someone who defines her life by someone else's death."

Dee Dee DeMarco's brother, Alex, was funny, free-spirited and creative. He was also gay. Tormented by bullies, Alex killed himself on his 15th birthday. 

Two years later, and now in college, Dee Dee believes getting a summer job working with a college-prep program for disadvantaged high school students is a stroke of luck, until she discovers that the guy assigned to co-lead her group is Cameron Connelly, a star basketball player and one of the bullies who tormented her brother to death. How can Dee Dee possibly spend the entire summer working so closely with one of the boys she blames for her brother's death?

I could feel my heartbeat quicken as I entered the auditorium. The kids were talking and messing around as they waited for the class to begin. The other counselors, with the exception of Cameron, were also seated in the audience with the kids. Cameron was standing at the podium with Dr. Jones.
When Cameron saw me walk in, he winked at me. I didn't know whether to slap him or hug him. Therein was the problem. 
Dr. Jones waved her arms to get everyone's attention. "Quiet everyone. We have a special presentation today. Cameron is going to talk to you about bullying and how it impacted his life."
"Who would bully him?" one of the kids cracked and the other kids laughed.
"Enough," Dr. Jones reprimanded. "I expect you to give Cameron your attention and utmost respect."
Cameron took the podium. "Thank you, Dr. Jones. I'm here today to talk about bullying. Not because I was bullied when I was your age but because I was a bully. And it ruined my life."
When I looked out over the sea of faces, all eyes were trained on Cameron.
"I thought I had everything. I was one of the school's first string basketball players. We were all-state champions. I already had a full basketball scholarship to Penn State. I was popular. I had tons of friends. I could get a date with any girl in the school. And I lost it all."

Dakota Madison

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