Monday, August 2, 2021

Dead as a Duck by Colleen J. Shogan (Spotlight, excerpt, review, and GIVEAWAY) GFT

 


 

Dead as a Duck

by 

Colleen J. Shogan

 

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GENRE: Mystery/cozy mystery

 

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BLURB:

 

Congressional staffer Kit Marshall is looking forward to a much-deserved summer vacation in the Outer Banks. When the mayor of the beach town turns up dead, Kit and her friends need to put their fun and relaxation on hold to help solve the crime.

 

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EXCERPT

 


 

 

Before I could answer, Tobias spoke up. “The mayor got clobbered, at least politically speaking. It was a real mess. Lots of people were yelling, including her brother.” He pointed at me again.

 

Gomez turned to me. “Is your brother still in town?”

 

“Yes, we’re on vacation together. We’ve rented a beach house in Duck for the week,” I said.

 

“Sebastian is my significant other,” said Lisa. “That’s how Kit and I know each other.”

 

Gomez chewed on the end of her pen. “That’s enough for now. Wait over there until I tell you otherwise.”

 

We walked back to our original location. “If Ronan was murdered, it probably happened sometime last night, don’t you think?”

 

“The medical examiner should be able to figure that out,” she said. “But yes, I would assume that would be the case. There’s a lot of people on this boardwalk when the restaurants and businesses are open. If someone tossed a body into the sound, someone would notice.”

 

“Then we don’t have anything to worry about.” I sighed in deep relief. “If it happened in the middle of the night, you can serve as Sebastian’s alibi.”

 

Lisa shifted from one foot to the other. “That’s going to be a problem.”

 

“What do you mean, Lisa?” I asked in a shaky voice.

 

“I woke up in the middle of the night and Sebastian wasn’t there,” said Lisa. “I don’t know where he went, but he wasn’t with me.”

 

 

Purchase Links:

 

Amazon

 

Barnes and Noble

 

Indigo

 

Apple books

 

Target

 

 

 

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

 

Colleen J. Shogan has been reading mysteries since the age of six. A political scientist by training, Colleen has taught American politics at several universities and previously worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative staffer in the United States Senate and as a senior executive at the Library of Congress. She is currently the Senior Vice President of the White House Historical Association.

Colleen is a member of Sisters in Crime. 

 

"Stabbing in the Senate" was awarded the Next Generation Indie prize for Best Mystery in 2016. "Homicide in the House" was a 2017 finalist for the RONE Award for Best Mystery. “Calamity at the Continental Club” was a 2018 finalist in the “best cozy mystery” at Killer Nashville. She splits her time between Arlington, Virginia and Duck, NC in the Outer Banks with her husband Rob and beagle mutt Conan.

 

 

 

Facebook

 

Twitter

 

Website

 

Goodreads

 

 

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GIVEAWAY


a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

The tour dates can be found here





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My review:

 

3.75 stars

 

 

Dead as a Duck by Colleen J. Shogan is part of the ‘Washington Whodunit’ series and features the adventures of Kit Marshall, chief of staff for representative Maeve Dixon, and amateur sleuth. A “feeling out” stop for the congresswoman that is supposed to morph into a well-deserved vacation for Kit and her cohorts is complicated when her brother gets implicated in…what else? A murder!

 

This cozy mystery provides an armchair visit to a quaint seaside town in North Carolina named Duck. Glimpses of the fun activities to be had on a vacation that includes canines (despite one’s disappointing antipathy toward the beach) are interspersed with persistent investigation into the most recent murder to impact Kit and her crew. It’s fun to see Kit’s husband get more immersed in her propensity to solve murders, and I wholeheartedly approve of his decision about the subject of his next book.

 

I didn’t feel much connection to the secondary characters, but I had met several of them in previous stories, so it was good to get an update on where they were in their lives. I think this would be a perfect quick beach read for anyone who likes cozy mysteries and small-town stories.

 

 

A copy was provided for review






Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Accidental Homecoming by Sabrina York (Spotlight and review)

 

 

 

Accidental Homecoming

The Stirling Ranch series

ADULT title

by

Sabrina York



New York Times bestselling author Sabrina York kicks off her brand-new Stirling Ranch miniseries by asking does blood make you family?

It’s time to face the past he’s been running from.

Danny Diem’s life is upended when he inherits a small-town ranch. But learning he has a daughter in need of lifesaving surgery is his biggest shock yet. He'd never gotten over telling his ex Lizzie Michaels that he wasn’t the marrying kind. But her loving strength for their little girl tugs at his heartstrings—and makes him wonder if he’s ready to embrace the role he’s always run from: father.

From Harlequin Special Edition: Believe in love. Overcome obstacles. Find happiness.

The Stirling Ranch

Book 1: Accidental Homecoming
Book 2: Recipe for a Homecoming
 
 
 
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My review:
 

4 stars

 

Danny Diem didn't have a good role model in his parents and therefore shunned responsibility and destroyed his relationship with his high school sweetheart. The shock of being called to the reading of a will for someone he's never heard of is compounded when his ex, Lizzie, tells him they have a child who's very ill. Danny has to figure out if he's ready to have a family, before it's too late.

 

This contemporary romance is a beautiful introduction to a complicated family. There are definitely heart-tugging moments, and young Emma steals the show. Danny's history (and near-history) is very painful and I'm reminded of my philosophy that we are who we are because of what we lived through. I love that he finds a way to work through his insecurities and I am delighted by the family that develops and look forward to learning more about all of them.









 


Monday, July 26, 2021

The Adversary by Thea Harrison (Spotlight and review)


 

The Adversary

The Chronicles of Rhyacia

 

ADULT title

by

Thea Harrison

 

 

From NYT bestselling author Thea Harrison comes the explosive conclusion to The Unseen!


Blurb:


When Dragos and Pia move to the Other land of Rhyacia, they hope starting a new life will bring safety and freedom to their family, especially their young baby, Niall. And at first their new home seems perfect… but looks are deceiving.



Beneath Rhyacia’s idyllic fa├žade an ancient, malevolent force lurks, waiting for the right opportunity to break free of its cage. When that opportunity comes, it strikes with devastating accuracy.



While Dragos has never backed down from a fight, he’s also never encountered an enemy like this one before. How can he fight a foe who doesn’t have a body? A foe who can invade and turn his own mind against him?



How can Dragos protect his family, when at any moment one of them may become the enemy?



As Dragos and Pia race against time to fight this unseen menace, they must also acknowledge a terrifying truth—when anyone can become the enemy, no one can be trusted.



An adversary who can trap the dragon poses a threat to everyone in Rhyacia, and that means no one is safe…



***This book does NOT end on a cliffhanger***
 

 

 

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My review:

 

4.25 out of 5 stars

 

 

The Adversary by Thea Harrison is the second book in ‘Chronicles of Rhyacia’ series that features the Other land that Dragos and Pia and their associates are colonizing. The story begins immediately after the events in “The Unseen” as the desperate struggle to evict the being that has taken over Dragos’s body continues.

 

This story underscores the ruthlessness of the Wyr, and the cunning and intelligence that accompanies their athleticism and arcane powers. The heartbreaking elements shake their world to its foundation, and I suspect the repercussions will be ongoing, despite the temporary bandage that’s been applied.

 

Great cameos by multiple beings who have populated the various series in this universe. Not only did this story prompt me to go back and reread the prequel, “The Unseen,” but I am tempted to renew my acquaintance with many of the other stories set in this well-built universe. As always, the characters are both charismatic and memorable, and have unexpected depths and facets that continue to intrigue. I definitely hope that there are still many stories to come featuring some of my favorite characters of all time.

 

 

A copy was provided for review

 

********************

 

 Previous book in the series:

 


My review:


4.25 stars

 

 

The Unseen by Thea Harrison is the first in the quartet of novellas (edit: this is now a 2-book series) that continues the saga of Dragos and Pia and their growing family. It starts after the events depicted in “Planet Dragos” as Dragos and Pia relocate their home base to the Other land Dragos has named Rhyacia. All of the challenges of establishing an eco-friendly existence with none of the anticipated peace and quiet, as feverish construction efforts run into quite a few snags…some of which reveal significant peril.

 

This delightful addition to the Elder Races stories highlights what I enjoy most about these paranormal romance tales—deliciously fantastical characters, snarky dialogue, romance, danger, and great world-building. Pay attention to the warnings…this DOES end in a cliffhanger. Of course, it made me realize I had missed a story in Pia and Dragos’ life before this, and reminded me how much I loved the little novellas that popped up with new characters, particularly “Natural Evil,” which is one of my favorites. The wonderful cameos by most of the significant cast in the ‘Elder Races’ series was a delightful surprise.

 

Pia has definitely developed a feisty personality and this story reflects the adage, “that which does not kill us makes us stronger.” Her new baby, Niall, is definitely keeping everyone busy, and the rescue of a dog provides great comic relief as Dragos comes to terms with adding a “rejected snack” to his dependents. The eerie events that lead to the breathtaking climax are vividly depicted, and, impatient person that I am, made me search for and reread several of the connecting novellas while I strive to patiently await the next episode in the adventures of the Cuelebre family. Those new to these stories should definitely read some of the preceding stories in order to better appreciate the nuances and those who are fans already will enjoy re-immersing themselves in this wonderfully creative universe.

 

 

A copy of this story was provided for review

 

 

 







Monday, July 12, 2021

The Lady Who Knew Too Much by Alyson Chase (VBB, excerpt, and GIVEAWAY) GFT ADULT title


The Lady Who Knew Too Much

ADULT title

by

Alyson Chase


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He’s an ex-boxer. She sips tea at philosophical salons. And when these two opposites meet, their lives will never be the same.

Lady Juliana knows someone is trying to kill her father. The problem is getting anyone to believe her. Her father thinks she’s imagining things. Her brother that she’s seeking attention. And the man her brother hired to bring her back home…well, he thinks nothing much of her at all.

Brogan Duffy has clawed his way up from the streets to become the lead investigator on his very first inquiry case. The fact that it is to retrieve a spoiled aristocrat playing at intrigue is of no consequence. Nor is the fact that she beguiles him like no other woman. He has a job to do, and he won’t let anything stand in his way, not even this illogical attraction.

But Juliana might not be imagining the threat. And when it’s her life that’s on the line, Brogan has to decide to what lengths he’ll go to keep her safe. Because in order to resolve this make-or-break case in his career, Brogan might have to hazard more than his heart. And with some gambles, there’s no going back…


 

*******************

 

Excerpt

She rose and faced her friend’s floor-length mirror. She imagined a tall, burly figure, and dipped a deep curtsy. “Why yes, I would love to dance.”

A hard blue gaze flashed across her imagination. Those eyes belonged to someone completely inappropriate, but this was her fantasy, so she let them linger in her mind. She closed her own eyes and began to sway to the music. She raised her arms, as though holding her imaginary man, and fell into the rhythm of the dance.

The hem of her skirts whisked across the carpet. She hummed along with the music and wondered what it would feel like to have such strong arms wrapped around her body. The men of her acquaintance were all slender and sensitive.

Perhaps she should expand her acquaintance beyond philosophical societies. The male members were all kind and intelligent, but none of them sent a shiver straight down her spine with merely one glance. Perhaps—

One thick band, hard as iron, wrapped around her waist. One rough hand gripped her own, engulfing it.

Her eyes flew open.

The pair of piercing blue from her imagination met her gaze.

A shiver raced down her spine.

“My lady.” Mr. Brogan Duffy, inquiry agent and the man featured much too prominently in her dreams, inclined his head. “I’ll take this dance.”

 

 Amazon buy link

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About the Author: 

 

Alyson Chase lives in Colorado. A former attorney, she happily ditched those suits and now works in her pajamas writing about men’s briefs instead of legal briefs. When she’s not writing, she’s probably engaged in one of her favorite hobbies: napping, eating, or martial arts. (That last one almost makes up for the first two, right?) She also writes humorous, small-town, contemporary romance novels under the name Allyson Charles, and paranormal romances as A. Caprice.

Website 

Facebook 

Twitter  

YouTube  

Pinterest 

BookBub


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GIVEAWAY

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

The tour dates can be found here

 

  

Saturday, July 3, 2021

A little more about me...Author D.V. Stone interviews me

 


 

 

 

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by one of my delightful authors. I’ve worked with D.V. on an exciting romantic suspense, Rock House Grill, that frequently made me hungry while I was editing, lol, and the sweet novella, Rainbow Sprinkles, which I adore because it has older main characters. Please drop by D.V.’s blog and say hello!

Link to D.V.'s Campfire Blog

 

 

D.V. Stone's delightful stories:

 

          

Blurb:

Aden House, successful but driven chef and TV personality, refuses to slow down. His life implodes one night, damaging him both physically and emotionally. He's rescued by a woman he thinks of as his angel.Shay McDowell has rebuilt her life after her divorce. She juggles volunteer EMT duties and her job, while dreaming of becoming a chef. She finds her way to Rock House Grill and back into the life of the man she helped save.Can love be the ingredient needed to survive the many obstacles they face?

Amazon link


 

Blurb:

Retired and widowed Gloriana Jones is forging on with the plans she and her late husband dreamed of—bringing joy and happiness, one ice cream cone at a time, to Lake Unami. But bad weather is drowning her dream.
A trip to Upstate NY is bittersweet for Nathan James. He is excited to see his first granddaughter but without his wife he's lonely. When his car breaks down, he heads to the only light he can see, an ice cream shop.
With aid from a heavenly source, electricity sparks, but will the two weather the summer storms and find love a second time? Or will their hopes and dreams melt away?

Amazon link

 

 

 

 

 


 

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Up North by Allison Temple (Cover Reveal) GRR

Up North Banner

Cover Reveal, Excerpt & Giveaway:
Up North By Allison Temple

Up north Ebook

 

Up North


Compass Stars series

ADULT Title
by
Allison Temple

 

 

Releasing July 26th

The last thing Jack Spencer wants to be is a fishing guide for rich tourists. But with a sister in need of help and nothing but a rusty fishing boat to his name, he takes a job at The Wild Eagle Lodge, Alaska’s newest luxury resort.

When a scandal rocks his career, movie star Damian Marshall feels like the whole world is watching his every move. That is, until he meets a gruff fishing guide who doesn’t seem to know who he is. Desperate for escape, Damian grabs at the chance for anonymity with both hands.

Away from the pressure of studios and the media, Damian and Jack grow closer. But as sparks fly and scandal follows Damian north, Jack will need to decide if he can love a man he hardly knows, or if this brush with fame is too hot to handle.

Up North is a 77k contemporary MM romance novel. It features a movie star on the run, a fishing guide who has never been anywhere, and bears of all sorts. HEA guaranteed.

Add on Goodreads

IG Senses




Excerpt:

“I’m sending you to Alaska.”

The next morning, Roberta glares at me from behind her desk. The expression is one hundred percent do not fuck with me, and I resent it to the core of my being. If anyone’s been fucked with, it’s me.

“Alaska?”

“You’re lucky it’s not somewhere farther,” she says. “After your outburst last night, the studio is very unhappy. A bar fight with your director is not the kind of publicity they want right now.”

“It wasn’t a bar fight. He was being a drama queen. And I’m not exactly tap dancing for joy either.” In fact, I’m pacing on the rug. Sitting still is impossible. My whole body feels electric with anxiety.

“Yes, but you don’t stand to lose three hundred million dollars when this film flops. The premiere weekend box office numbers aren’t good.”

“That’s not my fault. If they hired someone who knew how to write dialogue better than a middle schooler, we’d be in much better shape.”

“That may be.” She knows as well as I do the script for Shadow League 4 was written and rewritten by no less than nine people over the last two years. Over the course of a bloated nearly-three-hour final cut, my character, supposedly a mafia son out for revenge, had done everything from drive a tank through the jungle to perform open-heart surgery on his assassin girlfriend while they were hiding out from the bad guys on a glacier. It was nonsensical. “But you calling your director a—” She glances down at a legal pad on her desk. “—talentless prick jockey in front of the entire world means it’s easy enough to pin the failure on you. And then you decide to pick a fight with him at a dive bar.”

“How many times do I have to tell you it wasn’t a fight? He made it—"

She cuts me off. “And that, in turn, will make it very difficult for you to work on any future franchises at this level again. How badly do you want to keep your job, Damian?”

She’s right. It’s already starting. The headlines this morning when I checked them still included recaps from the Cannes incident, but also featured new eye-catching questions like Damian Marshall in Barroom Brawl and Is it Time to Cancel Damian Marshall?

I sink into a chair. “Hawaii is farther. I could go to Hawaii.”

Unfortunately, though, Roberta is bulletproof. She’s been around the block too many times to be swayed by my appeal. Instead of melting and booking me a jet to Honolulu, she arches a perfectly plucked eyebrow—quite the feat considering Roberta’s face hasn’t moved in at least the last thirty years—and says, “Would you rather it be North Dakota?”

I cross my arms over my chest. “No need to say hurtful things like that. I thought we were friends.”

“I’m never friendly with the talent. Wouldn’t want you to get the wrong idea about how this relationship works.”

Pre-Order Universal Link

 

IG Puddle



 

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Allison-Temple-Final_T7A1362-Web

About the Author:

Whether she knew it then or not, Allison has been a writer since the second grade, when she wrote a short story about a girl and her horse. Her grandmother typed it out for her and said she’d never seen so many quotation marks from a seven-year-old before. Allison took that as a challenge and has tried to break that record in all the stories she’s taken on since then. It’s good to have goals, right?

Allison lives in Toronto with her very patient husband and the world’s cutest team of rescue pets. She tries to split her time between writing, community theater stage management, and traveling anywhere that has good wine. Tragically, this leaves no time to clean the house.

Connect with Allison:

Website
Facebook
Instagram
BookBub

 

 *******************

 

Enter the Giveaway:

To celebrate the steamy cover reveal of Up North, Allison is giving away 3 advanced e-copies!

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/cc0f2a57234/?

 


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Saturday, June 26, 2021

Beyond the Ruby River by Lee Colgin (Release blitz, excerpt, review, and GIVEAWAY) GBP, ADULT title (updated)


Beyond the Ruby River 

ADULT title

by

Lee Colgin

 

 

 

Publisher:  Colgin Enterprise

Cover Artist:  Natasha Snow

Release Date: June 17, 2021

Genres: M/M Historical Romance, M/M Paranormal/Fantasy Romance,

Tropes:  Mixed species, second chance romance 

Themes:  Longing, betrayal, forgiveness, grief, reunion

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 72 000 words/ 260 pages   

It’s the third in a series but can be read as a standalone.

Add on Goodreads

When an incubus half-breed falls for a mortal Egyptian man, will their love span centuries or are they destined to pine for each other for all eternity?

Blurb  

In Ancient Egypt when the pharaohs ruled the banks of the Nile, Mahu led a simple, if somewhat melancholy, life. Making papyrus filled his days. His needs were provided for, but deep in his soul, Mahu longed for companionship.

Dakarai, born of a demon mother and a human father, craved independence. A young incubus constantly in the shadows of his full-blooded siblings, Daka set out for a new city and a life of his own. 

While a starving Daka roams the streets hunting for a meal, the sight of a beautiful man walking alone stops him in his tracks. The handsome stranger is just what he needs to quench his spiraling thirst.

But Mahu turns out to be more than Daka bargained for, and his heart falls for the lonely man.

What betrayal shatters their foundation, can Daka and Mahu find their way back to each other, or is each soul destined to long for the other for all eternity?

Beyond the Ruby River is an MM Paranormal Romance featuring a steamy love story, a second chance romance, and the mysteries of an ancient world. This is book three of a series and can be read as a standalone with its own HEA and satisfying conclusion.

Excerpt

Dakarai 

Hunger stirred deep in Daka’s core, an emptiness with claws and teeth demanding to be filled. It was his first night in Naukratis, and already he wondered if he’d

made a mistake abandoning the safe cocoon of his family. Though eager for a taste of independence, Daka’s nerves flut‐ tered with unease as he stalked the unfamiliar streets.

With only a warm sea breeze for company, Daka let loose his extra sense, the one that would lead him to a meal. Entering the wide market square, he cast his gaze over dozens of stalls, their colorful awnings muted in the evening light. Laborers celerated the end of a day’s work with beer, bread, and conversa‐ tion. Street vendors peddled their offerings. Naukratis smelled of fresh spiced fish, baking bread, and candied nuts—all of which appealed to him, but none that would quench this particular hunger.

What Daka needed would be found past the town’s main market, perhaps down a side street or along a narrow alley. Inhaling through his nose, sorting the myriad array of scents, he searched for the alluring aroma of pleasure. A brothel would suit perfectly.

Daka’s intuition guided him forward, but before he could cut south to chase the divine smell of arousal around the corner, his gaze landed on an elegant man and refused to budge. His eyes possessed a will of their own, such was the man’s appeal.

He was taller than Daka’s average height, long of limb with wide shoulders and perfect posture. He wore cornflower blue linen, belted at his narrow waist, skirt hanging to a svelte pair of thighs. Dark onyx tresses hung past his chin, straight and prob‐ ably silken to the touch. Daka couldn’t be sure of the texture at this distance and it was suddenly of the utmost importance to find out.

Though brothel workers would make for an easier target, Daka veered off course to pursue the handsome man instead. To seduce him and touch his lovely hair for himself. He followed through the square—dodging people and slinking amongst the crowd, stealthy as a cat and just as light on his feet—until he was no more than ten paces from his quarry.

This close, Daka could pick up the scent lingering in the man’s wake. Earthen and woody, like the papyrus that grew in the marshy lands nearby. He inhaled greedily. What would he smell like aroused? Daka had to know.

The man left the busy center of town, turned west, and continued between rows of mud brick houses, his pace steady as a pulsing heart. He had the stride of a man to a purpose. Daka’s curiosity grew with each step. Instead of catching up to begin the seduction, Daka shoved his appetite aside in favor of learning the man’s destination.

They walked for another quarter hour until the chirps of bugs overtook the noise from town and houses gave way to farmland. Daka spotted the neat rows of tumuli leading to an ancient mastaba, and their endpoint became clear.

The man had led him to the final resting place of Naukratis’ dead.

Well-maintained burial mounds, with funerary gardens throughout, lined the landscape. Daka hung back so as not to be noticed or to disturb this man in his grief. The perfect posture he’d noted earlier began to sag, shoulders drooping forward, head bowed as he knelt by a triad of graves. He sat back on his heels, long thighs stretched thin, the blue linen of his skirt revealing smooth bronzed skin.

Daka could not help his appetite, inappropriate as it may be, though he would strive to contain it. This man was in no mood for the sort of amorous encounter an incubus like himself fed on. He needed a warm, familial embrace, not the frenzied release Daka itched to provide.

He slunk back into the shadows to watch from under a sweet-smelling date palm. The man sat with the dead. Daka sat by himself, wondering who the man had lost.

Daka’s family possessed immortality. At least, his mother and siblings did. His father was human, but Daka had never met him. As a half-blooded demon, he’d staked claim to immortality but not to all the gifts that came with it. His powers of sway and persuasion were paltry in comparison to his full-blooded brethren. Unable to bend people to his will, Daka could only nudge. He might never develop the skill of astral projection. But he would live forever, a feat which seemed unfathomable at only twenty-two years into eternity.

The man bent over the graves had a decade or so on Daka in age, perhaps more. Maybe thirty-five or forty, Daka couldn’t tell. A man in his prime but worn around the edges with the melancholy that loss thrusts upon the living.

 

 

 

About the Author 

Lee Colgin has loved vampires since she read Dracula on a hot, sunny beach at 13 years old. She lives in North Carolina with lots of dogs and her husband. No, he's not a vampire, but she loves him anyway. Lee likes to workout so she can eat the maximum amount of cookies with her pizza. Ask her how much she can bench press.

Social Media Links

Blog/Website   |  Facebook Group  |  Twitter

Newsletter Sign-up  |  BookBub

Giveaway 

Rafflecopter Giveaway

A chance to win:

 

a $10 Amazon gift card

a direct-to-kindle copy of Beneath the Opal Arc

and a direct-to-kindle copy of Across the Sapphire Sea

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

 

 
 
 
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My review:

4 out of 5 stars

 

 

Beyond the Ruby River by Lee Colgin centers around a half-incubus named Dakarai, who has never quite felt in sync with his family of immortals. His connection with a mortal widower, Mahu, leads him to believe that he can find love, but it can only be fleeting because humans have such a short lifespan. Finding a way to maintain a relationship may require a price neither is willing to pay.

 

This adult historical gay paranormal romance gives an intriguing and vivid glimpse of life in ancient Egypt and provides several thought-provoking conundrums. There is the conflict of being a demon and entirely outside of the other person’s religious beliefs, Mahu’s faith that he will rejoin his family in the afterlife that Daka doesn’t believe in, the punishment for making a significant decision without permission, and the challenge of immortality and its effect on decisions, to name a few.

 

Although this story is part of the ‘Immortal Jewels’ series, there is no problem reading it as a stand-alone tale. I suspect that one of the secondary characters had a major role in a previous story, but, although I am curious, I had no problem understanding his concerns and motivations. I liked the way the relationship unfolded for the first part of the story, but I was disappointed by the way things unfolded for the second half, even though I could understand the reasoning. I can’t help thinking that one of the pair deserved better, even though he did commit a pretty egregious error. This left me feeling vaguely dissatisfied, even though the story ultimately did meet the criteria of a romance. The bonus story did help and makes me hopeful that there will be a tale featuring yet another unique being. Now I need to read the previous stories in the series!

 

A copy of this title was provided for review

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Bake Believe by Cori Cooper (Spotlight, excerpt, review, and GIVEAWAY) GFT

 


Bake Believe

by 

Cori Cooper

 

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GENRE: Teen/YA

 

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BLURB:

 

Cat Anderson doesn't want much out of life. Give her a circle of friends to giggle with, a few boys to flirt with, a cute outfit, and she is good to go! She especially could care less about food.

 

But food, it turns out, is a very big deal.

 

In Cat's family there is a secret too fantastic to be real. Something happens when Cat bakes.

 

Something amazing.

 

Something impossible.

 

Can it be true? Or is it Bake Believe?

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

EXCERPT

 

 

Excerpt

 

“Hey, Pen.” I step into the room and shut the door softly behind me.

 

“Hey.” She doesn’t turn away from the mirror. Her face is all scrunched up in concentration.

 

“You look good, you don’t even wobble when you hold that pose anymore.”

 

Penny grunts instead of responding with words. I know this is not the best time to bother her, but I also know she will feel much better if she eats one of these cookies.

 

“I made something for you.”

 

I hold up the plate of cookies with a huge grin, but she just sniffs. “Cookies? I can’t eat those before an audition. I will barf all over the floor.”

 

My smile drops. What will I do if she won’t try one? I chew my bottom lip, “Um, these are special cookies.” I wiggle the plate around while I use my best mystical, magical voice, like Robyn did.

 

Penny raises her eyebrows. “Do you think I’m four?”

 

I slump forward in defeat, “Come on Penny, just eat one. I’ll give you a dollar.”

 

“What?” She steps back, away from me, “You want to pay me? Why? What did you do to them?”

 

“Nothing,” I say, but the word comes out too stretched and kind of uncertain.

 

Penny crosses her arms and stares.

 

“Okay, fine, here’s the thing.” I jump off the bed, leaving the cookies behind, and proceed to tell Penny the entire story about our family legacy. She doesn’t say anything, just taps her toes like I am keeping her from her warmup.

 

Which, I am, actually.

 

“This isn’t a joke, Pen. It’s for reals.”

 

After a long pause Penny unfolds her arms to move them to her hips. “Really? That’s the truth? It sounds like make believe.”

 

“That’s what I thought too,” I place my hand flat on my heart, “But, it’s the total, honest truth.”

 

 

Amazon

Immortal Works Press

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

 

Since I was six years old I wanted to be a published Author. I still have all my early manuscripts, but don't ask to see them - my spelling was atrocious!

 

I'm a mama of four witty, movie quoting, awesome sauce kids - three teens and one preteen. Yes, they end up in my novels! Don't worry, names are changed to protect the innocent and everything is always GREATLY exaggerated! That's my super power.

 

I'm also wife to the cutest guy in the whole world. It's true! I'm not bias at all, really. We met in Middle School and got married after he served a mission for our Church. It's been a wild ride, but I wouldn't miss it for a plate full of Cinnamon Rolls.

 

Or anything else, actually!

 

I hope you have as much fun reading my stuff as I have writing it. The creative process is so fantastic, I just love every part of it!

 

 

Website

 

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The tour dates can be found here

 

 

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4 out of 5 stars

 

Bake Believe by Cori Cooper tells the story of Cat, a young eighth grader who discovers the joys…and perils…of baking. She and her cousin Robyn learn family secrets that may not only change their relationships with their respective mothers but may have profound effects on their peers as well.

 

This charming young-adult fantasy story provides a new twist on the challenges of being a young teen. Although Cat has a close-knit family, she discovers that there’s a sobering reason for her mother’s eccentricities and that an amazing ability comes with significant consequences.

 

When I started reading, I was a little concerned by the sheer enthusiasm bubbling over as Cat faced the last day of summer, worried about looking good at the pool, and met a new boy. The wacky commentary she provides reminded me that it had been a very long time since I was her age, and I wondered if I could stand to continue to read the story, but I became drawn in as the events progressed. I had to laugh at the dramatics of worrying about the tardy bell and the fear of having to enter a classroom late, and the frantic search for a class that didn’t exist.

 

I love the family connections and closeness, and the descriptions of the various desserts that Cat prepares. Each chapter is titled with a different dish and the recipes make me think that even I can prepare these items, lol. There are cute tips in the recipes that make them fun to read even as they encourage anyone to try them, although they do assume that everyone has a stand mixer. The story gets more and more wacky, and although some things are resolved, there are definite indications that a sequel should be in the works.

 

I think this is a fun story for young adults and for budding cooks and I’m definitely in the mood for dessert!

 

 

A copy of this title was provided for review