Monday, May 10, 2021

A Fairy's Quest by Maya Tyler, (Spotlight, excerpt, review, and GIVEAWAY) GFT ADULT tile

 


 

 

A Fairy's Quest

ADULT title

by 

Maya Tyler

 

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GENRE: Paranormal Romance

 

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BLURB:

 

A century ago, the fairy crown was stolen from Alina Lehrer's clan, but now the usurper is dead and it's time to reclaim what's theirs. Rylan Jackson, codename Orion, is The Court's most trusted assassin who always gets the job done. Until his target is Alina, the one woman he can’t resist. Fate has placed them on opposing sides for the crown, but Alina soon learns Fate isn't set in stone.

 

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EXCERPT

 

 

 

I’m going to Paris, the city of love. Maybe I’ll even have a passionate love affair.

 

“Bonsoir.”

 

Alina jerked her head up at the sound of the stranger’s lilting French accent. “Hello.” Hello, handsome. Did my imagination conjure this hunk?

 

“First trip to Paris?” His pronunciation of “pah-rhee” rolled off his tongue like honey.

 

“Yes.” Alina twisted in her seat to get a better look. Her perceptive eyes sized up her companion. He was a gorgeous specimen of a man. Dark brown, shaggy hair. Hypnotic brown eyes. Strong jawline. Just a hint of stubble, like he had shaved that morning. Stop staring. “What gave it away?”

 

“The guidebook in your tote?”

 

“Yeah. That’ll do it.”

 

“Business or pleasure?”

 

Alina flashed him a suspicious “you’re a stranger, I’m not telling you anything” look.

 

He threw his arms up in mock defeat. “I am Rylan Jackson.” He extended his hand.

 

“A—” Wait a minute. I don’t need to give him a real name. It’s a good time as any to try on a new persona. “Allie.” She picked an alias, not so different than her real name, before reaching out to shake his hand. His hand was warm, rough, like he used his hands to make a living. Touching him sent a buzz of awareness swirling through her body.

 

“Now, we are friends, oui?”

 

His sultry smile disarmed her objections to the friendly conversation. It can’t hurt to flirt a little while I wait for my flight. It’ll be good practice.

 

 

Buy Links:

 Tirgearr Publishing

A Vampire’s Tale

A Wizard’s Choice

A Fairy’s Quest

 

Amazon link for A Fairy's Quest 

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 


Maya Tyler is a multi-published author of paranormal romance novels and blogger at Maya’s Musings (https://mayatylerauthor.blogspot.com/). An avid reader, Maya writes the books she loves to read—romances! Her paranormal romances come with complex plot twists and happily-ever-afters.

 

When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, listening to music (alternative rock, especially from the 1990s), practicing yoga, and watching movies and TV.

 

Contact

 

Maya loves to hear from fellow authors and readers! Please connect with her through social media (see links below).

 

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Pinterest

Instagram

 

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GIVEAWAY

 

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

The tour dates can be found here

 

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My review:

 

3.5 out of 5 stars

 

A Fairy’s Quest by Maya Tyler is part of ‘The Magicals’ series and centers on Alina Lehrer, who is struggling to restore her family to their rightful place as fairy royalty. Unfortunately, there are multiple obstacles, including an assassin who has been tasked with eliminating her…despite his inclinations to the contrary.

 

This adult paranormal romance has an interesting twist on the relationship between fairies and wizards (non-congenial) and a bit of a mystery. I think it would have been better to have familiarity with the previous stories in the series because there are a lot of dangling threads that are woven together which refer to prior events.

 

There are a lot of introspective thoughts, flashbacks, and historical events experienced, so things get a bit confusing at times as Alina pursues the goal that has been emphasized for all of her life, and sometimes the pace of the story was a bit jerky for me. I did enjoy the glimpse of Paris and the connection that Alina forms with Rylan, but I think it would be nice to get a little more depth for all of the characters. I also appreciate the nod to the importance of getting professional help to deal with trauma.

 

 

A copy of this title was provided for review

 

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Turnabout by Laurel Greer (Spotlight, excerpt, and review) ADULT title






 

Turnabout

ADULT title

by

Laurel Greer

(Vino and Veritas series)

 

 

 

"Auden and Carter are the swoony heroes I didn't know I needed in my life! Turnabout is spectacular, and everyone should read it." USA Today bestselling author Sarina Bowen

 

I don’t have time for an unplanned visit home to help out in my father’s struggling letterpress shop. My stint in Vermont will have to be short, for a couple of reasons: 

One, I’m a busy executive trying to climb the corporate ladder.

Two, my ex is still my dad’s right-hand man in the shop. And I am not over him.

Nothing has changed at the Burlington shop. Auden still has his infuriatingly sexy Scottish accent. He’s still hot, and still stubborn. Between operating the antique press with his shirtsleeves rolled up, and moonlighting at Burlington’s hottest inclusive wine bar, he pushes every one of my attraction buttons.

My falling-in-love-again buttons, too. Except I’m his polar opposite. I love change, and taking chances. Everything he avoids in life. 

So why am I trying to convince him to reach for more than we’ve ever dreamed of—the possibility of forever?

Turnabout is a second-chance romance with interfering family, groveling, and a large helping of artisan stationery geekery.

 

 


 

 

 

Excerpt:

He lifts a dark eyebrow. “I said, I want to work with someone willing to wallow with paper and design. Tease out the one-of-a-kind magic.”

His voice is quiet, soothing. It demands I take a deep breath and get out of my feelings.

“I’ve been reminded of how much of an art it is,” I say. “And that I can get by, but you—you have a gift.”

Rosy splotches bloom on his cheeks. “You know what you’re doing, too.”

“I don’t have the rhythm of it like you do. The innate… mastery, I guess. The relationship.”

Auden tilts his head and looks out the front window.

“What?” I ask. “He’s not coming back.”

“I know, but hearing the words rhythm and mastery and relationship when it comes to using a press... I'm looking for locusts, frogs, horsemen—any sign of the apocalypse.”

“Fuck off,” I mutter.

Rhythm, mastery.

When he repeats the words like that, I’m not thinking of cast iron machines—I’m thinking about sex.

I can’t believe he didn’t call me on how filthy that sounded.

He’s biting his lip, still a little pink in the face.

Okay, maybe he’s thinking it, at least.

“I could show you,” he says.

Meeting his gaze is like swimming in a lake, when you dive down, down on a bright day, and you have the dark depths below, and the streams of light from above, and it blends around you like you’re wearing a crown of green water and sunlight.

Holy fuck. He’s too much sometimes.

“Come here.” He crooks a finger for me to meet him at the Chandler and Price.

Definitely too much.

I join him anyway.

He takes my left hand and places it on the small shelf on the front of the press where we’d normally collect the cards during a run. The wood is smooth. And it would feel exactly like palming a flat piece of wood always does, except his big hand covers mine.

“Artisanry demands that relationship.” His voice is insanely low, but he’s only inches from me, so I don’t miss a syllable.

“I’m not an—”

“You have the artistic talent. You just need a little patience.” He puts his other hand on my right hip and positions me square to the press. He taps his toe against my heel, a silent command to put my foot on the treadle.

“We’re missing some parts.” Paper. Ink. The frame. Everything that actually turns into a product.

“We’re not making anything.” He’s at an angle to me. If he leaned forward three inches, his dick would be pressed into my hip. His left hand is still holding mine to the shelf. The other is a heavy weight just below my waist.

“I don’t understand,” I say.

“Just watch it, Carter.” He sounds amused. “You want to know every quirk. And not to try to learn when you’re rushing through eight jobs at once. When you have time to go easy.”

“Really.”

“Really,” he says. “Grip the wood with your other hand, too.”

“Grip the wood? You’re fucking with me.”

“A little.” I can’t see his face from where he is behind me, but I hear his smirk.

A little? A lot. I grab hold of the shelf anyway.

“Just work the treadle,” he says.

I press my toe into the pedal, making the flywheel whir.

“And listen,” he says. “Watch.”

I do that, too.

I’ve been so damn busy since I got here—paper in, paper out, paper in, paper out—I haven’t actually watched anything I’ve done.

The rollers, mesmerizing as they glide over the circular, iron platen.

“What color’s the ink?” Auden’s hand tightens on my hip. His breath tickles the side of my neck.

There is no ink.

“Green,” I say. I can’t get that sunlit lake off my mind.

(I don’t want to. Ever.)

My tie… Why am I wearing something meant to restrict my airflow? I want to loosen it, but Auden told me to keep my hands on the shelf, so I’m keeping my hands on the goddamn shelf.

“Hear anything in the flywheel?” he says.

Just the whir and clicks and whuffs it normally makes. “Should I be?”

“Nothing unusual, but the more you know the sounds of it, the more you know exactly when to feed the paper.” He taps the top of my hand once. Twice. Again. Matching it up to some sensory memory that’s so ingrained in him, he probably dreams in that rhythm.

Anchored by his touch, I’m the one who leans in the three inches. My shoulder, touching his chest. His breath, much more than a tickle. A caress.

“It’s a pulse,” he murmurs, so gruff, the consonants and vowels mix together. His fingers brush the hollow above my shirt collar. My knees wobble.

“A pulse.” I tilt my head to the side, exposing my neck.

“Aye.” Bending his head, his lips land on the same sensitive spot.

My head’s turning faster than the flywheel.

“Auden.”

“See? You know the rhythm.”

Oh god, I don’t know anything right now.

 

Amazon link

 


Add to Goodreads
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All the links in one spot


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My review:


3.75 stars

 

 

Turnabout by Laurel Greer is part of the ‘Vino and Veritas’ series and centers around Carter Prescott, who’s a success in his professional life, but has never felt appreciated by his father. Ironically, his father’s emergency request for help at his artisan printing shop forces Carter to not only evaluate his career choices but also to deal with his painful past with his ex, Auden Macarthur. Each man has to learn how to establish priorities and determine what is truly important in his life.

 

This adult contemporary gay romance provides a fascinating glimpse into the world of printing and evokes the joy and fascination of fine writing materials and the care that goes into producing custom stationery. I could practically smell the expensive cardstock and visualize the brilliant inks and fancy pens even as I watched the give and take of not only the main couple but other connected folks and their relationships.

 

The story is told in alternating first person points of view so that one can see how the relationship imploded from both viewpoints, and how their fractured relationship needs to be realigned. Each of these guys come from a dysfunctional family, and it is lovely to watch them navigate around their challenges and remember why they formed a connection in the first place. I had trouble warming to each man at first, but I was relieved to see that they were capable of maturing. I enjoyed the story (and who can resist a Scot in a kilt?), and now I need to go shopping for some pretty stationery and fancy pens, lol.

 

A copy of this title was provided for review


 

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Zebra's Day Out by Susan Polites and Gabrielle Scully (Spotlight, review, and GIVEAWAY) GFT

 


 

Zebra's Day Out

by 

Susan Polites and Gabrielle Scully 

 

Illustrated by Rex Patrick

 

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GENRE:   Children's

 

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BLURB:

 

Zebra is excited when he hears that he will be going out to the cafe with Gabrielle and Gran. But there is a lot that Zebra still has to learn about days out. Is a cafe anything like the circus in the picture book? Will he like the food there? Will there be playing?

 

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EXCERPT

 

 

Zebra sprang from his seat and snatched the glass that the waiter was about to put on the table. After all, the waiter was holding out the glass towards him.

 

“Come back, you naughty Zebra!” shouted Gabrielle.

 

Everyone in the café turned and stared. Zebra threw the glass in the air. The waiter caught it again, just in time. He gave Zebra a very cross look. Zebra didn’t know why. He looked at his milkshake and wondered what it would taste like. He took a sip – quite nice at first – YUK! Zebra spat his mouthful across the room.

 

“I do NOT like milkshake!” he shouted. “And I don’t like coffee. Or muffins. All I want is grass!”

 

The café owner turned red with anger. Gran turned red with embarrassment. She quickly paid, and marched everyone out before the café owner could say anything. She looked very cross.

 

 

 

PURCHASE LINKS             

 

AMAZON.COM

 

AMAZON.CA

 

BOOKSHOP

 

INDIGO CHAPTERS

 

BARNES & NOBLE

 

BOOK DEPOSITORY

 

 

 

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Susan Polites is a freelance story-writer, and her ten-year-old granddaughter Gabrielle Scully likes writing stories too. When they spend days together they often share in the adventures of Gabrielle's toy-friends. During the pandemic lockdown in Melbourne they were unable to meet in person, so they decided to work together remotely and write down some of the toy-friends' adventures. Gabrielle's great-grandfather Rex Patrick, an architect and artist, had done a series of illustrations when he first heard about the adventures, and Gabrielle added some of her own drawings to make the story into an early-childhood picture book, and a family project.

 


 

 

 


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 GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

The tour dates can be found here

 

 

 


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My review:

 

3.5 out of 5 stars

 

 

Zebra’s Day Out by Susan Polites and Gabrielle Scully is a whimsical children’s story about an outing that Grandma and Gabrielle went on, acccompanied by Zebra, Rainbow, and Lucy. Zebra was a bit naughty, but Gabrielle worked out a compromise so that everyone was happy.

 

The illustrations are vibrant, but an unusual combination of realistic-looking objects and impressionistic characters, and the story makes me think it’s an ongoing tale and this is just a quick snapshot of an adventure this group had together. I love that this book is a family collaboration and I think this book will help stimulate the imaginations of small children.

 

 

A copy of this title was provided for review

 

 

Friday, April 30, 2021

Dragon Queen by Rod Marsden (VBB, excerpt, and GIVEAWAY) GFT



Dragon Queen

by

Rod Marsden


 

Mixing with your betters can get you killed. Dragons know this as does a certain maverick pilot and his researcher wife. It is possible to get thrown into events not of your own making in which you must do your best to survive. Meanwhile, somewhere not far from mainland Tasmania, there is an island named Green Maiden’s Folly. What’s it like? Is it paradise, or has it been made over into a worse destination hellhole than Devil’s Island used to be like in the 19th and 20th Centuries? On Green Maiden’s Folly, the destiny of the dragon is revealed.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpt

Elanora’s black scales shone in the early morning light. She smiled at the effect the sun had on her spiked tail and also her legs, arms, and claws. The sun came up over the silvery sea. It was always a welcome sight, the start of a new day on her island. In the distance, waves rose and crashed before they could get to shore. A breeze touched her all too human nose, lips, and ears. It should have been unpleasant, but it wasn’t. She found the smell of salt in the air invigorating.

Lizards were bothered by the cold, but despite her lacertilian features, Elanora wasn’t a reptile. She was a dragon, and regardless of the plume of white coming from her mouth, she wasn’t shivering. In fact, she preferred a cool climate. She looked around for company because it was the loneliness that got to her, not the near frozen air.

She picked up a stick and drew a rectangle in the sand. A small blackish-grey crab came out of the rolling surf, and with its eyes on stalks, looked up at her. “These are the dragons,” she told the creature. “They are on the bottom. That’s not a good place to be. They’re mutants like me, but I’m special because I’m a female, and I’m not supposed to exist.”

 Amazon (e-book)

Amazon (print)

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About the Author:

 

Author Rod Marsden was born in Sydney, Australia. He has three degrees, all related to writing and history. He spent nine and a half years as a civilian clerk with the Royal Australian Navy. His proudest moments there were in the publications area.

He enjoys wildlife photography and in recent years, joined Illawarra Birders. He went on a birding expedition to the main north island of New Zealand, where he came upon wildlife unique to that country. There he also met up for the first time with correspondent, friend, and novelist Lyn McConchie. He shares his fascination with nature with his entire family, including his niece Jasmine Perala. Her pet, Kiki, is a young, female eclectus parrot and, soggy from a recent shower, is featured on Rod Marsden’s shoulder on the back cover of this book.

His stories have been published in Australia, England, Russia, the USA, and Canada. He has work in the Australian anthology Small Suburban Crimes, the American anthology Cats Do it Better, the American steampunk anthology Break Time, the Canadian anthology Morbid Metamorphosis, and in the Canadian anthology Grey Matter Monsters – Takers of Souls.

Many of his short stories, including “The Antarctic Pineapple,” have been published in Night to Dawn magazine. Undead Reb Down Under and Other Vampire Stories is a collection of his early short fiction on vampirism. Disco Evil is his first venture into the vampire novel. Ghost Dance is his first undertaking into dark fantasy involving a quest plus secret agents out to prevent demonic takeover. It has been reprinted with a new cover. Desk Job is his salute to Lewis Carroll.

His short plays, Zombie Vision, Hyde and Seek, and Smarty were well received at Cronulla Arts Theatre, south coast, New South Wales, Australia. Both his plays Smarty and Hyde and Seek made it into Sydney’s Short and Sweet contest.

He has a short story in The Twofer Compendium edited by Ruth Littner and Ann Stolinsky (2020) in which he mentions the Berry Celtic Festival, which took place every May in a farming community on the south coast of New South Wales, Australia. It is a festival that, unfortunately, had to be cancelled in 2020 because of the coronavirus but will hopefully resume in May 2021.

Website
Facebook


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GIVEAWAY

 

 Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Additional stops on the tour can be found here 

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

The Most Eligible Viscount in London by Ella Quinn (VBT, excerpt, and GIVEAWAY) GFT

by

Ella Quinn

 

 

In bestselling author Ella Quinn’s intriguing new Regency trilogy, a dashing suitor must decide if love and marriage are mutually exclusive . . .


Viscount Gavin Turley is convinced that love matches cause nothing but trouble. Still, after months of courting, he’s fallen for Miss Georgie Featherton. He’s passionate about her, in fact. But words of love are not an indulgence he will allow himself. When he presents Georgie with his marriage proposal, he will lead with his head—not his heart. His qualifications as a husband are excellent, after all. What could go wrong?

No sooner does Gavin kneel on one knee than Georgie’s heart goes aflutter with joy. Finally, the proposal she longed for had arrived. Yet Gavin seemed to be listing his credentials for a business partnership, not a romantic union. Without a declaration of love, Georgie can only reject his offer—unless the ladies of the ton, and Georgie’s grandmamma, have anything to do with it. For sometimes it takes a wiser eye to see the love behind a guarded heart—and a clever scheme to bring it out of hiding . . .






 
 
 
 
 Excerpt

A light tap sounded on the door to Georgie’s parlor. Smith opened it and stood aside as Adeline swept into the room.

“I did not think you would be resting.” She sounded pleased to have been right. “How are you doing?”

Georgie shrugged. “I wish I knew.”

“I can tell you that he does want very much to marry you.” Georgie pulled a face. “Yet he is still haunted by his father.”

In an attempt to help, Littleton had told Adeline who in turn told Georgie about the mess the former Lord Turley had made of everything after his wife had died. “I understand why he thinks he should not love his wife, but I do not understand how one can stop oneself from falling in love.” And that was the essence of the matter. Georgie firmly believed that love was the thing that held two people together during difficult times. She began pacing the room again, changing directions so as not to wear a path in the rug. “Do I give him another chance? Or would I be wasting my time? If he is so certain he will not love his wife, I do not see what I can do to change his mind.”

Adeline’s forehead creased in thought. “Allowing him until the end of the month to convince you would still give you time to go back to Town before the Season ends, and it would answer your questions.”

“I suppose you are correct.” Georgie stopped pacing. Why was this so hard? She closed her eyes and reached deep into her heart. There was a chance that there might be another gentleman out there who was even more perfect for her than Lord Turley only because this unknown gentleman loved her. But until she knew for certain that Turley would never love her, she would give him an opportunity to prove himself. “I shall give him one more chance.”

“I need to tell you one more bit of information.” This time her friend had a wicked grin on her face. “Your grandmother and her friend the duchess arrive tomorrow. They are staying with Mama-in-law.”

“And Turley.” Georgie felt her eyes widen. “Oh my. That will be interesting. What I would not give to hear what they have to say to him.”

“That is exactly what I thought,” her friend agreed. “Frits has suggested that he be allowed to come here as often as he wishes in order to court you. Do you have any objections?”

Georgie began pacing again. For some reason, she could not remain still. Littlewood really was the perfect place for a courtship. Other than the house party entertainments, they could spend time out of the eyes of the ton. It would give her—them—both the opportunity to attempt to resolve the differences in what they each wanted in a marriage. “No.” She wondered what role her grandmother and the duchess would play. “No. I have no objections.” Having a course of action would, at the very least, help her shake off the malaise she had been experiencing. “In fact, I believe I am looking forward to seeing how he intends to convince me I should enter into a loveless marriage.” 
 
 
 
 
Buy Links:

Amazon (e-book)
 
 
Audiobook narrated by Rachael Beresford

Audible
Amazon Audio
iTunes

 
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About the Author:
 
USA Today bestselling author Ella Quinn's studies and other jobs have always been on the serious side. Reading historical romances, especially Regencies, were her escape. Eventually her love of historical novels led her to start writing them.

She is married to her wonderful husband of over thirty years. They have a son and two beautiful granddaughters, and a Great Dane. After living in the South Pacific, Central America, North Africa, England and Europe, she and her husband decided to make their dreams come true and are now living on a sailboat. After cruising the Caribbean and North America, she completed a transatlantic crossing from St. Martin to Southern Europe. She's currently living in Germany, happily writing while her husband is back at work, recovering from retirement.

 
 
Ella loves when readers connect with her.

Website

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GIVEAWAY
 
 
 
The tour dates can be found here
 

Monday, April 26, 2021

Where Your Treasure Is by M. C. Bunn (VBT, guest post, excerpt, and GIVEAWAY) GFT



 
It is my pleasure to share a guest post by author M.C. Bunn, who answers my question...

 

 

What was the most difficult thing to overcome on your path to becoming a published author and how did you conquer it?

 

MCB: Multiple difficulties face aspiring writers. Getting published is only one of them. My breakthrough was a combination of factors, the most important of which was finding the right reader.

 

I began to write Where Your Treasure Is in 2011 while I was teaching high school and helping my mother, so an immediate challenge was time management. I rose early and stayed up late. Because I wrote for pleasure, this wasn’t a chore. Nights when my husband worked, I rushed from my mother’s house to my manuscript, as eager for the next installment of Winifred and Court’s romance and adventures as I had been for episodes of Masterpiece Theatre or Mystery when I was a girl. It was only after I’d finished the draft and a few people read it that I realized it might have potential. The manuscript was far from being in shape, so I set it aside and began another book.

 

I also began investigating online writing journals, and was overwhelmed by the abundant advice. I continued writing—for six more years and several more books, only dipping into the swiftly-changing currents of publishing from time to time. On the one hand I wrote for myself, and on the other, tried to incorporate what I’d learned about genres and marketing without letting all of that derail what I wanted to express.

 

Almost no one knew I wrote, but a friend who did introduced me to a writer who agreed to read Treasure, which was by then on its third draft. After contacting many editors, I realized it was a long book for a first-time author. Could I cut it in half and make two books? In publishing’s early days, novels were often released in multiple volumes (think of Little Women), but I knew this wouldn’t work for Treasure’s plot. The editors hadn’t read my manuscript. They made their suggestion based on the page-by-page cost of reading and putting a long book through various editorial stages. They were trying to help me save money.

 

Cost is an issue all writers must consider. Many first-time authors with Big 5 publishers will have to finance and implement at least part of their publicity campaigns. Writers part ways with publishers and are sometimes dropped. Books may not sell enough copies to make it to the back lists and go out of print. Small and hybrid presses (such as Bellastoria), self-publishing—all these options require writers’ time and money. Publishing always has.

 

Two instances may provide comfort: Samuel Richardson and Jane Austen. Richardson, a master printer, self-published Clarissa (970,000 words; two volumes) in 1747. It became an international best-seller and one of the most influential novels of all time. Austen used her limited funds to pay for Sense and Sensibility to be published on commission. She would share the profits if it sold and bear the loss if it didn’t. You know the rest of that story!

 

The wonderful part of current publishing is the variety of ways to print. Someone wants to read your manuscript, perhaps for pay, but maybe for free. Decide why you write; define your goals; then think about your audience. Investigate the expense and plan for it. Most of all, work at your craft and share it. Writing’s your gift, and there’s someone out there who will treasure your words.

 

 


 
 
 
by
M.C. Bunn
 
Publisher: Bellastoria Press
Publication Date: April 23, 2021
Print Length: 466 pages
Genre: Historical Romance
 
 
 
 
 
 
Blurb:
 
Feisty, independent heiress Winifred de la Coeur has never wanted to live according to someone else’s rules—but even she didn’t plan on falling in love with a bank robber.

Winifred is a wealthy, nontraditional beauty who bridles against the strict rules and conventions of Victorian London society. When she gets caught up in the chaos of a bungled bank robbery, she is thrust unwillingly into an encounter with Court Furor, a reluctant getaway driver and prizefighter. In the bitter cold of a bleak London winter, sparks fly.

Winifred and Court are two misfits in their own circumscribed worlds—the fashionable beau monde with its rigorously upheld rules, and the gritty demimonde, where survival often means life-or-death choices.

Despite their conflicting backgrounds, they fall desperately in love while acknowledging the impossibility of remaining together. Returning to their own worlds, they try to make peace with their lives until a moment of unrestrained honesty and defiance threatens to topple the deceptions they have carefully constructed to protect each other.

A story of the overlapping entanglements of Victorian London’s social classes, the strength of family bonds and true friendship, and the power of love to heal a broken spirit.
 
 
 
Excerpt:
 
Note from ELF: I had technical difficulties earlier, so I have changed the excerpt while I was updating the post, because several of the other stops on the tour presented that one and I wanted to provide more variety to potential fans of this story. Sorry for any confusion.

Chapter 2

A Fool and His Money Are Soon Parted

 

Approaching the right turn that would take him to Swift Street and the Royal Empire Bank, Court Furor concentrated on traffic. Cold bit his cheeks and hunger gnawed his belly, but he ignored both through force of habit. The soles of his boots were thin and his gloves pointless…No point worrying about what the day would bring, never mind the next one…He was a man of no prospects and no property but preferred to think of it as freedom from responsibility…It was no secret he fancied himself a bit of a lad though he wasn’t overly tempted by long, romantic entanglements. An hour or two with a willing girl would suit…

 

He directed the horse to a slow walk, trying to secure a place in the queue for the curb. In the gleaming brougham beside him sat a woman, her face hidden under an enormous, bright green hat trimmed with black ostrich feathers. Her driver signaled, and Court tugged his reins…Though a thick veil covered her face, Court caught a glimpse of golden hair, coiled in heavy masses on her shoulders. The wind lifted the edge of her mantle, and he was briefly amazed by the brilliant green of her dress…She’d obviously never missed a meal in her life.

 

********

 

Suddenly Geoff and a woman appeared at the bottom of the stairs…Their progress was impeded by the woman’s wildly kicking little boots. Her struggles and the flashes of her bright green and purple silks made her look like an exotic bird thrashing in Geoff’s arms….

 

Geoff…thrust the woman at him…the woman struggled and kicked…and cried for help. Involuntarily, he clapped his hand over her mouth. She only screamed louder.

 

“Shut up, you fat sow!” Geoff swatted her across the temple….

 

The woman’s eyes rolled and she went limp.

 

 Court howled in dismay and caught her… In his arms, she was a mountain of soft cashmere and folds of velvet. Her mantle fell open, and her scent hit him. Lilies and some dark, exotic spice. It was so unexpected and heavenly that the alley and the hackney disappeared. Even his panic was gone.

 

“…We can’t take ’er!”

 

Geoff clicked off the safety and waved the pistol under Court’s nose. When Court did not let go of the woman, he pointed the pistol at her head. “I ain’t arguin’! Drive!” He slammed the cab door…

 

His heart hammering, his head whirling, Court untied the horse, swung up onto the box, and grabbed the reins. As he turned the cab into the street behind the bank, yet another fire truck raced past. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! They were in for it now.

 

 

 


 

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Author info and links:


M. C. Bunn is a writer of Victorian romance and historical romance novels, a singer (in the indie rock band Mister Felix), and a songwriter. She holds an English degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and a master’s in English from North Carolina State University.

"I've always loved writing. It's a joy to do what makes me happy and to share it.

“My father was a great story-teller. He read to us at the dinner table and passed on his love of history. He’d haul me out of bed in the middle of the night if there was a great old movie on the late show, and family trips always included visits to historic sites. His father was born in 1888, and I have Granddaddy's letters to his bride-to-be in my dresser. I'm working on the story of Daddy's first ancestor in America. It's set in Jamestown, 1690. My mother's grandmother was placed in an orphanage after the Civil War because her father died on the way home, so I always felt that connection to and had a curiosity about the past. Both of my parents read to me before I could walk. Daddy gave me Dickens, Twain, and Stevenson. Mama put the dictionary in my hands and let me watch I, Claudius and Shoulder to Shoulder when they first aired on Masterpiece Theatre. She told me I'd be a writer one day.”

Acting was another girlhood passion. “I wanted to play all the characters in the books I'd read, or in the stories I made up, like Dickens and Louisa May Alcott did. I also wanted to be an archaeologist because we knew one who worked on digs in Israel. There was never a time when I wasn't making up a story, and it was always set 'a long time ago.' What I really wished for was the car in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, so I could fly back in time and see what it was actually like for women in Victorian and Edwardian England.”

When she's not writing, she loves reading long old books. "I love Anthony Trollope's series, and Anna Karenina. Of more recent vintage, I really enjoyed The Forsyte Saga and The Raj Quartet."

Her idea of a well-appointed room includes multiple bookshelves, a full pot of coffee, and a place to lie down and read. To feed her soul, she takes a walk or makes music with friends. "I try to remember to look up at the sky and take some time each day to be thankful."

She lives in North Carolina with her husband and their dog. Where Your Treasure Is is her first published novel.

 
 
 
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