Books + Coffee = Happiness

Book Blog & Reviews

Books + Coffee = Happiness

BOOK TOUR: His Untameable Wickedness by A P Von K’Ory #DarkRomance #EroticRomance @GoddessFish @Apky11162

His Untameable Wickedness

by A P von K’Ory

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

GENRE:   Dark Erotic Romance Suspense

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

BLURB:

LEO

A three-letter word made me a murderess at the age of eight years. But having experienced the curses of that word, I was done with men as I grew up. All men. Except to outplay them in the New York financial arena. Then Crowned Sex enthroned in gorgeous velvet charm and lustful gallantry storms into my life. Spewing volcanic lava on my monumental arctic ice block. With the unapologetic fierceness of a savage god. Wearing crackling thunderbolts straight from the god Zeus. Explosive has nothing on it.

Adrian isn’t hot, he’s fucking hellish. He embarks on melting my ice block at the speed of lightning. But I was done with men. I was done with sex. For ever. I. Was.

ADRIAN

I scented her darkness from the moment I was told about her. The sight of her sealed my decision. She was the woman created for my own darkness. I set off to protect her even from herself. Protect her to claim.

Fuse her darkness with my own. For. Myself. I’d fended women off me with bazookas when I was done but they weren’t. I wasn’t prepared for the battle I soon fought. Not only with her but also with her family. And New York’s billionaire gangsters who own entourages of corrupt cops and politicians. With every battle I won, she started new darker wars around me. You ate or you were eaten. Not even starving was an option.

NOTE: Although the blurb is in the first person, the story of Leo and Adrian is written in the third person. This story contains adult material including explicit sex and violence. You’ve been warned.

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

Excerpt:

He caught both her flying arms, used her momentum to spin her around onto her back on the couch and landed over her.

Smack bang between her legs.

Pinned her hands above her head and every f****** struggle she tried only forced her to rub against his hard body.

Furious, her thighs tensed but with nowhere to go except around his hips. He planned this. She f****** bet he planned this to the last minute detail.

“You double-faced bastard, get off me!”

“No. You put yourself here. Right here under me, Leo.”

“Get the f*** off m—”

He slammed his crotch right against hers and ground in.

 She screamed as some unknown force kindled her center and the sensation rushed simultaneously south to her soles and north to her scalp.

She stiffened, trembling. Then whimpered. Then—

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

GUEST POST:

Behind the Scenes with Adrian Cranford

The maître d’ ushered her into the enclosed niche at Park Chinois restaurant in Mayfair, and the earth juddered as I got up and buttoned my blazer to offer her my hand.

“Ms Boswell, Mr Cranford,” the maître d’ said and the trillion dollar quaking literally thrust him out.

Leontine Nigella Boswell in the flesh. Her mesmerizing turquoise eyes that I’d traced countless times with my fingers on her stunning images now munched my mouth with an intensity that forced me to lick my lips. As if I readied myself to eat her. My own eyes tore off hers and descended on her fuck-me mouth with another planetary jolt that glued them together.

 “Don’t expect anything from me that’ll adequately answer the way you’re looking at me, Adrian Xerxes Cranford.”

Those were the first words she spoke to me. In a voice that made think of taking arms and adorning my military commander uniform to go to war for her. All my adult life I’d fought off women with bazookas when I was done but they weren’t. Now I was ready to go to war for an Adrian goddess I’d worshipped for ever without her proximity.

Bugger me, I thought as her hand left mine, here is magnificent womanhood cloaked in black marble. I felt her darkness claw out of the marble, absorb me and grab inside the even darker abyss within me. Then take root and blossom like a magical flower creating itself for the first time in life’s universe. That darkness slithered into my own darkness and instantly mated. By the time she sat on the chair I held out for her, I knew she was the woman created for my own darkness.

“Give me the inadequate answer, then, Ms Boswell,” I said settling down in my chair opposite her.

“Your uncle, Sir Gordon—”

“Who happens to be your lawyer,” I said to stop that mouth moving for a moment before its movements ruined me. A mistake. Because the planet hadn’t regained its balance yet and forced a gasp from her as she fought not to squirm, her eyes back on my mouth, devouring it.

Watching our mouths in motion was obviously an issue to both of us.

“Yes. He organized this dinner so you can coach me with regard to the City of London. So how many top investors do you know in the World’s Richest Square Mile?”

With every word she spoke, my magical flower opened to full bloom absorbing the blackness in my abyss. Miraculous in its capability to reflect it back. She filled up my inner sight completely with her dazzling darkness. She couldn’t look away, I couldn’t look away, both of our gazes held and locked like two forces with opposing magnets in a tag of war that would never end. Not ever.

“Are you uncomfortable, Leo?” Projection. Fuck, I was uncomfortable and didn’t know where to bloody take it but throw it back at her.

“What?” Her effort to stop our juddering planet brought her eyes back to my mouth. The same omnipotent power slammed my eyes on her mouth.

“That’s not an answer. It’s at best avoidance and therefore an insult to both of us. Since when do you skirt around challenging situations?”

“Fuck you, Mr Cranford.”

“As long as it’s you, Leo, any time.” In my mind’s eye, as I stared at her mouth, I saw her eagerly open it wide for me to fuck it raw and come deep down her throat.

She was too intense to treat this as a quip. I watched her energy whip itself into a coiled tornado speeding towards me, intent on turning me into dust and blowing me off the face of the planet.

“Are you ready for the aperitifs?” the maître d’ asked, back just in time to save my arse.  I’d have preferred to have her blow it to hell just to feel that untameable fury of hers on me.

That first close encounter with the goddess I’d worshipped before clapping my eyes on is forever etched in my memory.

To this day, Leo and I are titanic fire and ice. We burn and freeze each other. We destroy and reconstruct each other. We kill and resurrect each other. We fuck like primal beasts and love like demonic gods. In every mood, location or situation, we’re too extraordinary to ever be normal. We’re irreparably damaged. Our story continues to be written.

Adrian set off to protect Leo even from herself. Protect her to claim. Fuse her darkness with his. I feel totally Adrian. I don’t want whatever Leo and I are to be any other way but as is. Neither do I want our story to end although I know it has to, one day.

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

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

IMG_0342JPG

AP von K’Ory writes the kind of books she herself would like to read and is passionate about, whether romance, psychological thriller or nonfiction. She is the winner of six awards from four continents, the last one being the Achievers Award for Writer of the Year 2013 in the Netherlands. The Selmere Integration Prize was awarded her in 2014 for her engagement in helping African Women in the Diaspora cope with a variety of domestic and social problems. The Proposal, a short story, won the Cook Communications first prize in 2010 and is published in an American anthology Africa 2012. In 2012, she won the Karl Ziegler Prize for her commitment to bring African culture to Western society in various papers, theses, and lectures. Again in 2012, her book Bound to Tradition: The Dream was nominated for the 2012 Caine Prize by the Author-me Group, Sanford, and in 2013 she was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize.

Von K’Ory is married to an aristocrat and politician of Franco-German descent, has a large extended family. She lectures Economics and Sociology in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. She’s migratory and – weather willing – lives in Germany, France, Cyprus, and Greece.

She may be reached at any of the following:

Website: http://www.apvonkory.com/

Sign up for Newsletter: https://apvonkory.com/newsletter/

Sign up for news about me & the family, ARCs & Freebies:

Want to join up and receive ARCs from my next (or current) books? Please join the discerning readers at the link below: https://www.facebook.com/AkinyiReadersReviews/

It would be lovely if you could Like the book page and read the latest interviews and news about Shana and Roman on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Goshanaliterotic

It would be equally wonderful if you could Like my Author page and read more about Shana and Roman new releases, cover reveals and what I’m up to lately on Facebook at:

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAPVonKOry

Follow in Twitter: https://twitter.com/Apky11162

English Book Trailer:     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkGuFzsRgsM

Goodreads Profile: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7063572.A_P_Von_K_Ory

BookBub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/a-p-von-k-ory

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/APvonK’Ory

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/HIS-UNTAMEABLE-WICKEDNESS-VON-KORY-ebook/dp/B09XKL9R6N/

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

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION:

A P von K’Ory will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $15 Amazon/BN GC or a T-shirt and mug prize pack – a Rafflecopter giveaway

BOOK TOUR: Three Small Bones by Jennifer Chase #CrimeThriller @JChaseNovelist

 

Title: Three Small Bones

Author: Jennifer Chase

Publisher: Bookouture

Pages: 358

Genre: Crime Thriller

 

Smoke curls from what’s left of the beautiful family home on the edge of the woods. The heat is unbearable as she descends the stairs to the basement, past a set of bicycles––two big, one small. That’s when she sees three little white bones in the cracked earth at her feet, turning her blood to ice…

When firefighters tackling a blazing house in a quiet suburb of Pine Valley, California discover human remains, Detective Katie Scott races to 717 Maple Street. She calls a halt to the excavations the moment she sees the full number and size of the bones; someone has buried a whole family down here.

Working night and day, it’s up to Katie to prove her theory that the fire was no accident, that someone wanted to expose the secret in the basement. Tiny traces of explosives residue found at the scene is all the proof she needs. But the Cross family have been missing for months––leaving friends and loved ones in agonizing pain––what twisted soul would do this now? And why?

The case takes another heart-shattering turn when Katie’s suspicions over recent renovation work on the house leads to the discovery of more bodies in the back yard: two little girls, buried years apart. What other devastating secrets are hidden in this perfect family home?

It’s a dead end at every turn as Katie tracks down anyone who knew the family. Just when it looks like all hope is lost, reports of the Cross’s landlord harassing the family before they went missing gives Katie a crucial lead. With a menacing grey sedan following her every move, how many more innocent lives will be lost before Katie can dig up the truth?

“Edge-of-your-seat suspense to the very end! … Clear your schedule… you will not want to put it down!” Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

“Love, love, LOVE… I absolutely adore this series!!” Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

“Grabbed me from the very first page! It was so intense, and enthralling. I stayed up until 11pm two nights in a row so I could finish it.” NetGalley reviewer

Book Information

Release Date: September 13, 2022

Publisher:  Bookouture

Soft Cover: ISBN: ‎ 978-1803145945; 329 pages; $11.99; eBook $3.99

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3SQBsZA 

Book Excerpt:

PROLOGUE

Four Years Ago

The heat was even more scorching than usual. It wasn’t a surprise to the special army team whose mission it was to find bombs and insurgents in Afghanistan while keeping civilians safe. It was late afternoon, barely 1700 hours. Still, the temperature raged at one hundred ten degrees and wasn’t showing any remorse.

The assignment was to enter a small village, search it, and maintain a presence while waiting for further orders. They had intelligence information that the enemy had possibly used the village for storing bomb-making paraphernalia. The inhabitants were not known hostiles, merely farmers, and would not pose any type of danger.

Katie Scott took point, which meant she was holding the most exposed position leading her unit. She trudged forward, feeling every muscle ache in her body. Her gear seemed heavier than it had only two hours ago. She adjusted her helmet and, keeping her weapon poised and ready, watched the black German shepherd pad along the roadway. The dog’s posture was almost regal and he was on high alert, ears perked forward as his head moved from side to side catching scents from the open area. Cisco was Katie’s constant companion and partner, one who had alerted her team to danger on several occasions. The dog was invaluable in so many ways, thwarting multiple potential dangers and keeping the team safe.

They finally entered the village. A couple of elderly townspeople acknowledged the American soldiers with a subtle nod but stopped what they were doing immediately to take refuge in their small, makeshift homes. There were supposed to be families with children in the village, but now Katie could only see two young men out and about.

It seemed strange.

Something was out of place.

Katie slowed her pace and her sergeant caught up with her.

“What’s up, Scotty?” he said quietly, still keeping his eyes on any movement around the village.

“I don’t know…” she said softly. “But something is wrong.”

They stopped.

The rest of the team spread out and kept a watchful eye around them.

Cisco stopped too. He stood completely still, taking in the sights and sounds as the hot breeze ruffled his black fur. He growled and turned his attention ahead toward a group of buildings.

“He senses something,” she whispered to her sergeant.

The sergeant gestured for the rest to follow in that direction.

The company moved out. Each soldier had their position, watching for any movement as they covered each other’s backs.

Katie could feel her heart beating hard. She shivered even though the temperature was blistering. Moving cautiously in the direction that Cisco had headed, she brought the dog close by her side. She was ready to return fire or take cover. She took a deep breath to steady her nerves and keep focus. They continued to advance.

A building made of mud bricks and concrete with blocked up windows sat silent. It didn’t appear to be the same structure type as the family homes around it. On one side of the dwelling the windows were crumbling, appearing more ancient than the rest.

Katie watched Cisco slow his pace. His fur bristled down his spine.

The team stopped just before the entrance. There was no visibility as to what was inside.

Under the direction of the sergeant, two team members opened the door and then cleared the entrance, heading farther inside.

Katie heard gasps from her group. She cautiously entered behind them, directing her weapon in front of her. The musty stench hit her first—it was an unmistakable odor. As her vision slowly became accustomed to the dim, dusty lighting, she saw what her teammates had seen. Death.

At first, it appeared to be a large pile of clothes. Katie saw shoes and various materials, but she then realized that the clothes were covering bodies that were by now mostly bones but there were some that were in the first stages of decomposition. There were smaller bones that had been children.

She gulped and took a few steps back. Her mouth went dry and her heart hammered. Her team searched and cleared the building before moving out in formation.

Cisco kept close to her side as Katie tried hard to erase the horrific spectacle from her mind. It had been a massacre. Parents had still had their arms wrapped around their children. She had seen tiny shoes and part of a toy.

Without warning, gunfire bombarded them, peppering off the old clay walls. Smoke filled the air. The team took their positions and returned fire. Katie tucked into a safe place with Cisco next to her. She began to help hold off the ambush attack by firing in the direction of the threat.

Later on, Katie realized that it had been the longest gun battle she had been in, lasting nearly thirty minutes. But the worst part wasn’t the shooting. It was that now she could never forget the image of the town whose inhabitants had been systematically murdered just to keep the enemy’s weapons safe. Something had changed in her perspective that day. The incident fused into her soul, and she would always now carry it with her.

  

About the Author

 

Jennifer Chase is a multi award-winning and USA Today Best Selling crime fiction author, as well as a consulting criminologist. Jennifer holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master’s degree in criminology & criminal justice. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent psychopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling.

Her latest book is the crime thriller, Three Small Bones.You can visit her website at www.AuthorJenniferChase.com or connect with her on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.

BOOK TOUR: A Haunting at Marianwood by E.M. Munsch #mystery

A Haunting at Marianwood

Dash Hammond 
Book Six
E.M. Munsch
 
Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Mystery and Horror, LLC
Date of Publication: October 18, 2022
ASIN: ‎B0BJ4GYGD2
ISBN-10: ‎1949281213
ISBN-13: ‎978-1949281217
Print length: ‎217 pages
 
Book Description: 
 
Life is good for Dash Hammond. He’s recently remarried his childhood sweetheart, Dr. Maevis Summers, and together they’re raising his four-year-old son, T.J. in the Hammond family homestead in Clover Pointe, Ohio. A retired Army colonel, Dash now keeps himself busy fixing everything from a leaky faucet to an unsolved murder.
 
It is no wonder that his cousin Billy McCafferty calls on Dash for a road trip to Kentucky when  his oldest sister is in trouble. The president of a religious order, Sister Miriam Patrice, Miri Pat to those who knew her before she took the veil, has been hearing things, seeing things and misplacing things. A very competent woman, she refuses to accept an unearthly reason for all this.
 
Marianwood, the motherhouse of the Sisters of the Blessed Mother of God, is located on an old plantation thought to be haunted by its original inhabitant, Miss Victoria Harris, who is rumored to prowl the grounds and cemetery in search of her murdered beau. 
 
When the Ohio contingent arrives, they discover that things are not as simple as your ordinary haunting. 
 
In a battle of wits, will the victor be supernatural or a very corporal retired Army colonel?
 
 

Excerpt:

A HAUNTING AT MARIANWOOD

Sister Miriam Patrice slid back from the kneeler. The quiet of the church soothed her as it wrapped its velvet cloak of serenity around her. She sat, hands folded,
once in prayer but now to stop the trembling. Glancing at the sunlight
streaming through the stained-glass windows casting a rainbow on the empty
pews, she drew in deep slow breaths. She looked at the watch pinned to her
tunic. Time to get back to work. She rose to leave the church, her place of
refuge, a place free from the distractions of the running the community and the
new retirement home the sisters established to help make ends meet.

The members of the Sisters of the Blessed Mother of God found their numbers
dwindling. New recruits, as Sister Miriam Patrice called them mimicking her
cousin Dash Hammond’s military jargon, were very rare. The teaching
congregation once had more than a hundred sisters. Vocations, callings to
either the religious or the educational side of the community, had fallen to less
than a handful each year.

As she walked down the aisle to the back of the church, she heard it again. Tap, tap, tap. She stopped to listen, making sure she wasn’t mistaken. That sound
sent shivers down her spine. Squaring her shoulders she walked to the doors
next to the church exit. One led up to the choir loft, the other down to the
cellar. In days past she had gone up the stairs; today she would go down.

Pulling the doorknob, Miriam Patrice met the resistance of a locked door. She pulled out her keys and unlocked it. She struggled with the door, suggesting to her
that no one had gone to the cellar in a while.

The stone steps were worn but sturdy. She moved cautiously into the darkness, one hand on the wall to steady her nervous knees, the other searching for the
handrail. Her hope was that the security guard forgot to close the door one day
and some critter, not two legged, was trapped down here and making the tap,
tap, tap sound. Logically she knew this was wrong, but the alternative could be
worse.

Decades ago they discovered one of the newer buildings constructed during a period of rapid expansion had been built on an underground spring. It wasn’t long before the building tilted, as did their finances. What a waste of time and money.
Fearful that what she would find was a tell-tale pooling or bubbling of water,
she moved forward slowly. She said a silent prayer that she would not stumble
into a puddle, a precursor of the inevitable unwelcome news.

Her trek seemed unnecessarily slow though reason told Miriam Patrice she should alert one of her sisters where she was just in case she lost her footing. But
her reasoning had not been the sharpest of late. She blamed her sleepless
nights, not because of an uneasy conscience but an overabundance of concern for
her congregation and its uncertain future, both financially and individually.

After spending a half an hour poking into the corners, searching for the origin of the sound, Miriam Patrice gave up. She needed a flashlight if she wanted to do
a proper search. Next time she would be prepared. Next time, she told herself,
she would be less skittish, more confident that she could deal with whatever
sprung up from the tap, tap, tap. After deciding this, she nodded to herself.
At least she didn’t hear a drip, drip, drip.

The sound had stopped so she returned to the church. As she locked the door behind her, the tap, tap, tap began again, louder this time. If she permitted herself, she would have said damn.



About the Author:

 
Elaine Munsch is a native of Cleveland, Ohio, but has spent her adult life in Louisville, Kentucky.  She graduated from Nazareth College of Kentucky located outside of Bardstown and attended The Ohio State University for her graduate work. She has been a bookseller for fifty years working in both large and small, chain and independent bookstores. She opened the first Barnes & Noble in Kentucky where she set up a mystery reading group which is still active today. She also taught classes in the mystery genre for the Veritas Society and joined the local chapter of Sisters in Crime.
  
With Susan Bell, she co-edited MYSTERY WITH A SPLASH OF BOURBON, an anthology of bourbon related stories.
 
As E.M. Munsch, she writes the Dash Hammond series set on the shores of Lake Erie. The latest title, A HAUNTING AT MARIANWOOD, is set to be released at the end of October.
 
 
 

BOOK TOUR: The Road to Christmas by Sheila Roberts #HolidayRomance #ContemporaryRomance @_Sheila_Roberts

From USA TODAY bestselling author Sheila Roberts, three generations of travelers embark on a Christmas road trip filled with humor and heart, set against the snowy mountains of Washington State…

By Sheila Roberts

Michelle and Max are not planning on a happy holiday. Their marriage is in shambles and the  D word has entered their vocabulary. But now their youngest daughter, Julia, wants everyone to come to her new house in Idaho for Christmas, and she’s got the guest room all ready for Mom and Dad. Oh, joy.

Their other daughters, Audrey and Shyla, are driving up from California and hoping to meet a sexy rancher for Audrey along the way. What they don’t plan on is getting stranded on a ranch when the car breaks down.

The ones with the shortest drive are Grandma and Grandpa–also known as Hazel and Warren. It’s still a bit of a trek, and Hazel doesn’t like the idea of driving all that way in snow, but Warren knows they’ll have no problem. They have a reliable car–and snow tires and chains if they need them. They’ll be fine.

Surprises lie in store for all three sets of intrepid travelers as they set out on three very different adventures, all leading to one memorable family Christmas.

Book Information

Release Date: January 21, 2021

Publisher:  Harlequin (MIRA)

Soft Cover: ISBN:978-0778386568; 320 pages; $15.29; eBook $11.99

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3BOS5yL 

Walmart: https://bit.ly/3UAwIZs

Book Excerpt

Chapter One

Michelle Turnbull would have two turkeys in her house for Thanksgiving. One would be on the table, the other would be sitting at it.

“I can’t believe he’s still there,” said Ginny, her longtime clerk at the Hallmark store she managed. “You two are splitting so why not pull the bandage off and be done with it?”

Pull the bandage off. There was an interesting metaphor. Pulling off a bandage implied that a wound was healing. The wound that was her marriage wasn’t healing. It was fatal.

She tucked a strand of hair behind her ear and went to unlock the door. “Because I don’t want to ruin the holidays for the girls.”

“You think they aren’t going to figure out what’s going on with you two sleeping in separate bedrooms now? Don’t be naive.” Ginny may have been her subordinate, but that didn’t stop her from acting like Michelle’s mother. A ten year age difference and a long friendship probably contributed to that.

Michelle turned the sign on the door to open. “I’ll tell them he snores.”

“All of a sudden, out of the blue?”

“Sleep apnea. He’s gained some weight.”

Ginny gave a snort. “Not that much. Max may have an inch hanging over the belt line but he’s still in pretty good shape.”

“You don’t have to be overweight to have sleep apnea.”

“I guess,” Ginny said dubiously. “But, Michelle, you guys have been having problems on and off for the last three years. Your girls have to know this is coming so I doubt your sleep apnea excuse is going to fool anyone.”

Probably not. Much as she and Max had tried to keep their troubles from their daughters, bits of bitterness and reproach had leaked out over time in the form of sarcasm and a lack of what Shyla would have referred to as PDA’s. Michelle couldn’t remember the last time they’d held hands or kissed in front of any of their daughters. In fact, it was hard to remember the last time they’d kissed. Period.

“You have my permission to kick him to the curb as of yesterday,” Ginny went on. “If you really want your holidays to be happy get him gone.”

“Oh yeah, that would make for happy holidays,” Michelle said. “Audrey and Shyla would love coming home to find their father moved out just in time for Thanksgiving dinner and their grandparents missing.”

“If you’re getting divorced that’s what they’ll find next year,” Ginny pointed out.

“But at least they’ll have a year to adjust,” Michelle said. “And this is Julia’s first Christmas in her new home and with a baby. I don’t want to take the shine away from that.”

The coming year would put enough stress on them all. She certainly wasn’t going to kick it all off on Thanksgiving. That would make for happy holidays.

Happy holidays. Who was she kidding? The upcoming holidays weren’t going to be happy no matter what.

“Well, I see your point,” said Ginny. “But good luck pulling off the old sleep apnea deception.”

Their first customer of the day came in and that ended all talk of Michelle’s marriage miseries. Which was fine with her.

After work, she stopped at the grocery store and picked up the last of what she needed for Thanksgiving – the whipped cream for the fruit salad and to top the pumpkin and pecan pies, the extra eggnog, for Shyla, her eggnog addict, and Dove dark chocolates for Audrey and Constant Comment tea, which was Hazel’s favorite.

Hazel. World’s best mother-in-law. When she and Max divorced he’d take Hazel and Warren, her second parents, with him. The thought made it hard to force a smile for the checkout clerk. She stepped out of line. She needed one more thing.

She hurried back to the candy aisle and picked up more dark chocolate, this time for her personal stash. She was going to need it.

Hazel and Warren were the first to arrive, coming in the day before Thanksgiving, Hazel bringing pecan pie and the makings for her famous Kahlua yams.

“Hello, darling,” Hazel said, greeting her with a hug. “You look lovely as always. I do wish I had you slender figure,” she added as they stepped inside.

“You look fine just the way you are,” Michelle assured her.

“I swear, the older I get the harder the pounds cling to my hips,” Hazel said.

“You look fine, hon,” said Warren as he gave Michelle one of his big bear hugs. “She’s still as pretty as the day I met her,” he told Michelle.

“Yes, all twenty new wrinkles and five new pounds. On top of the others,” she said with a shake of her head.

“Who notices pounds when they’re looking at your smile?” Michelle said to her. “Here, let me take your coats.”

Hazel set down the shopping bag full of goodies and shrugged out of her coat with the help of her husband. “Where’s our boy?”

Who knew? Who cared?.

“Out running errands,” she said. “I’ll text him that you’re here. First, let’s get you settled.”

“I’m ready for that,” Hazel said. “The drive from Oregon gets longer every time.”

“It’s not that far,” said Warren, and followed her up the stairs.

Half an hour later Max had returned and he and his father were in the living room, the sports channel keeping them company, and the two women were in the kitchen, enjoying a cup of tea. The yams were stored in the fridge and the pecan pie was in its container, resting on the counter next to the pumpkin pie Michelle had taken out of the oven. A large pot of vegetable soup was bubbling on the stove and French bread was warming. It would be a light evening meal to save everyone tummy room for the next day’s feast.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the girls,” Hazel said.

“So am I,” said Michelle.

She hated that all her girls had moved so far away. Not that she minded hopping a plane to see either Audrey or Shyla. It wasn’t a long flight from SeaTac International to either San Francisco International or LAX, but it also wasn’t the same as having them living nearby. Julia wasn’t as easily accessible, which made her absence either harder to take. She’d been the final baby bird to leave the nest, and her departure had been hardest. Perhaps because she was the last. Perhaps because it seemed she grew up and left all in one quick motherly blink – college, the boyfriend, the pregnancy, marriage, then moving. It had been hard to let go of her baby. And even harder with that baby taking the first grandchild with her.

Maybe, in some ways though, it wasn’t a bad thing that her daughters were living in different states because they hadn’t been around that much to see the final deterioration of their parents’ marriage.

Michelle hoped they still wouldn’t see it, hoped like a magician she could use the art of misdirection. She consulted her phone. It was almost time for Audrey’s flight to land. Shyla’s was getting in not long after.

“Audrey’s going to text when they’re here,” she said.

“It will be lovely to all be together again,” said Hazel. “Family is so important.”

Was that some sort of message, a subtle judgement? “How about some more tea?” Michelle suggested. And more chocolate for me.

Another fifteen minutes and Max and Warren were on their way to pick up the girls, and forty minutes after that they were coming through the door, Shyla’s laugh echoing all the way out to the kitchen. “We’re here!” she called.

“Let the fun begin,” said Hazel, and the two women left the kitchen.

They got to the front hall, in time to see her husband heading up the stairs with their suitcases and Warren relieving them of their coats.

“Hi Mom,” said Audrey, and hurried to hug her mother.

Shyla was right behind her.

“Welcome home,” Michelle said to her girls, hugging first one, then the other. “It’s so good to have you home.”

“It’s not like we’ve been in a foreign country,” Shyla teased.

“May as well be,” Michelle said. “And before you remind me how much we text and talk on the phone, it’s much better having you here in person where I can hug you.”

“Hugs are good,” Audrey agreed.

“We brought you chocolate,” Shyla said, handing over a gift bag.

Michelle knew what it was even before she looked inside. Yep, Ghirardelli straight from San Francisco.

“I know you can get it anywhere, but this is right from the source,” said Shyla.

More important, it was right from the heart.

“And you don’t have to share,” Audrey said. “We brought Dad some, too.”

Sharing with Dad. There was little enough she and Max shared anymore. “That was sweet of you.”

“We figured you might need it,” Audrey said.

Was she referring to Michelle’s troubled relationship with their father?

“After last Thanksgiving,” Shyla added.

Michelle breathed a sigh of relief. Of course, they were talking about the power outage, which had ruined both the turkey and the pie she’d been baking.

The girls had loved it, settling in to play cards by candlelight. Michelle had been frustrated. And far from happy with her husband who’d said, “Chill, Chelle. It’s no big deal.”

It had been to her, but she’d eventually adjusted, lit the candles on the table and served peanut butter and jelly sandwiches along with olives and pickles and the fruit salad she’d made. Hazel had declared the meal a success.

“Oh, and this.” Shyla dug in the bag she was still carrying and pulled out a jar of peanut butter. “For just in case we have to eat peanut butter sandwiches again.”

Hazel chuckled. “You girls think of everything.”

“Yes, we do,” Audrey said, and from her capacious purse pulled out a box of crackers. “In case we run out of bread.”

“Now, we’re set,” said Michelle, and smiled. It was the first genuine smile she’d worn since the last time she’d been with the girls. It felt good.

“Oh, and I have something special for you, Gram,” Shyla said to Hazel. “It’s in my suitcase. Come on upstairs.”

And see where the girls were staying and wonder why they were stuffed in the sewing room and not the other guest room. “Why don’t you bring it down here?” Michelle suggested.

“I should stir my stumps,” Hazel said, and followed her up the stairs.

Audrey fell in behind and Michelle trailed after, her stomach starting to squirm. Suddenly she wasn’t so sure about that excuse she’d invented for changing the sleeping arrangements between her husband and herself. Which she was now going to have to do as her daughters’ sleeping arrangements had been changed because of it. Trying to sell their parents’ separate bedrooms to her daughters in front of her mother-in-law. The squirming got worse.

But sharing a bed had become a joke and the joke was over. After their last fight the D word had gone from threat to reality. They were nothing more than roommates – rotten ones at that – and roommates didn’t share a bed.

They passed the first bedroom at the top of the stairs, which had once been Audrey’s and had been serving as a guest room ever since she graduated from college and got her first apartment. It was where Warren and Hazel slept when they came to visit. Then came the second room, which had been Julia’s but was serving as Max’s new bedroom. The door was shut, hiding the evidence. Shyla reached for the doorknob, assuming she’d be sleeping in it as she often did.

“Not that room,” Michelle said quickly. “I have you girls together,” she said, leading to Shyla’s old room, which was serving as the sewing room. It still had a pull-out bed in it for overflow sleeping when Michelle’s brother’s family came to stay. She hurried to open it, revealing the girls’ luggage sitting on the floor.

Audrey looked at Michelle, her brows pulled together. “We’re in the sewing room?”

“You girls don’t mind sharing a room, right?” Michelle said lightly.

“What happened to Julia’s old room?” Shyla asked.

“We’re not using that room for that now,” Michelle hedged.

“More storage?” Shyla moved back down the hall and opened the door. “What the …?”

“Your father’s sleeping there,” Michelle said. Hazel looked at her in surprise, igniting a fire in her cheeks.

“Dad?” Audrey repeated.

“He snores,” said Michelle. “Sleep apnea.”

“Sleep apnea,” Hazel repeated, trying out a foreign and unwanted word.

“Has he done a sleep test?” Audrey asked.

“Not yet,” said Michelle. She smiled, kept her gaze averted from her daughter’s eyes.

“Gosh, Mom, that’s a serious sleep disorder.”

“How come you didn’t tell us?” Shyla wanted to know.

“Has he done a sleep test? Is he getting a CPAP machine?” Audrey sounded ready to panic.

“Don’t worry, everything’s under control,” Michelle lied. Audrey looked ready to keep probing so Michelle hustled to change the subject. “Shyla, what did your bring Gram?”

“Wait ‘til you see it. It’s so cute,” Shyla said, hurrying to unzip her suitcase. “I found it in a thrift shop.”

“Still shopping smart. I’m proud of you,” Hazel said.

“I learned from the best – you and Mom.” She pulled out a little green stuffed felt cactus inserted in a miniature terracotta pot and surrounded by beach glass. “It’s a pin cushion,” she said as she presented it.

“That is darling,” said Hazel.

From where she stood by the doorway Michelle let out a breath then took another. Like a good magician performing sleight of hand, she had directed attention in another direction and pulled off her trick. Now you see trouble, now you don’t.

How long could she keep up the act?

 

Author Interview
I’m sure the readers would love some insight into your writing…
What inspired you to start writing?

You know, it’s hard to point to any one thing that inspired me. I was writing stories when I was a child – probably read my first creation to my fourth grade class. (Captive audience!)

When you’re starting a new book, which comes first – plot or characters?
The idea. Got to have an idea! Then the character, and then slowly but surely the plot comes together.
Describe your writing space.

I have a laptop so my writing space is usually somewhere in our living room. We have a lovely view out our window, so it’s not a chore to go to work. 

Describe your typical writing day.

For me, there is no such thing. I write every day, but the time of day and the number of hours I spend changes, depending on my schedule. I’m involved in a lot of things and am very social, so my writing schedule often revolves around other things in my life. 

How do you cope with writing emotionally charged or stressful scenes?

Thanks to imagination, I think it’s pretty easy for a writer to empathize with what a character is going through… or to draw on emotions if she’s experienced something heartwarming or tragic. For example, having been with my mother when she had a stroke and later when she died it wasn’t hard to remember the emotional upheaval of losing someone. We’ve also lost a child. Frankly, I don’t think I could ever write a scene where a parent loses a child. I’ll have to leave that to other story tellers.

In regards to The Road to Christmas… 
Do you have a favorite character in your latest book?
I love all the story lines in that book, and I’m especially fond of the grandmother, Hazel. But I think my favorite character is one of the sisters – Shyla. She’s funny and fun and I would so hang out with her. 🙂
What inspired the story?

The idea of a road trip appealed to me. Road trips can be such an adventure – add in the holidays and you have all kinds of crazy things that can go wrong … and right!

What were the key challenges you faced while writing this book?

Research – it’s always research. Any time I’m writing about things I don’t know I try to talk to an expert to make sure I get it right. In the case of my character who needs some work done on his heart, that was pretty easy. I, myself, had to get a heart ablation to fix my A-fib, so I sure knew from personal experience what happens when your heart misbehaves.

Do you have any new books planned?

There’s always a new book planned! I’m excited about MERMAID BEACH, which will be out this coming spring. And I’m currently hard at work on next year’s Christmas novel.

Let’s get a little more personal for a moment… 
Do you have a favorite food?

Haha. It’s more like is there any food I don’t like. (Liver. Ick!) Love pizza, anything sweet and, if I get to choose where to go to dinner, it’s always Chinese.

If you could invite one person to dinner, who would it be and why?

Tom Hanks. I really admire his work.

Describe yourself in three words.

Bossy, caring, fun.
And, if I could add one more word: grateful. I’m so happy I get to do what I do for a living. Thank you to all of you who are readers and allow me that privilege!
About the Author

USA Today and Publishers Weekly best-selling author Sheila Roberts
has written over fifty books under various names, ranging from romance
to self-improvement. Over three million books have been sold to date.
Her humor and heart have won her a legion of fans and her novels have
been turned into movies for both the Lifetime and Hallmark channels.
When she’s not out dancing with her husband or hanging out with her
girlfriends, she can be found writing about those things near and dear
to women’s hearts: family, friends and chocolate.

Her latest book is the women’s fiction/romance The Road to Christmas (Harlequin/Mira, September ’22)

Visit her website at http://www.sheilasplace.com. Connect with her at Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Sponsored By:

BOOK TOUR: The Bone Master by Debbie Iancu-Haddad #YAFantasy #OwnVoices #Teens @RRBookTours1 @debbieiancu

Welcome to the book tour for the next instalment in The Sands of Achten Tan series by Debbie Iancu-Haddad, The Bone Master! Read on for more info!

The Bone Master

Publication Date: October 22, 2022

Genre: YA Fantasy/ Own Voices

Kaii Haku has lived his whole life in the shadow of his cruel father’s magic.
Rebelling against his father- the Bone Master- by drinking and sleeping around was Kaii’s main occupation for years.

But when one of his best friends is kidnapped by pirates, Kaii embarks on a perilous rescue mission with two retired pleasure house workers, a shy teen bookworm, and a feisty girl from the pirate crew.
The journey will take Kaii and his allies far from Achten Tan, to a sea ruled by dangerous conditions and ships that travel on the backs of monsters.

For the first time in his life, he has the power to make a difference, but if he wields his emerging bone magic to save the girl he loves, he risks losing himself and becoming like his father – a man who tried to kill him.

Add to Goodreads

Kaii

It’s cold beneath the bones.

I can feel them now, all around me.

When I first got my magic back, this awareness overwhelmed me. Sensing the ancient leviathan bones, the city is carved into, and the bones of its occupants. It took me a while to discern the living, breathing residents from the structures surrounding us. These fleeting specks of existence celebrate life today and are reduced to dust tomorrow.

Morbid, Kaii. Really morbid. Gast me. I’m turning into my dad.

I stride through the Undercity, sensing the vertebrae all around me. Up ahead, I detect two (probably live) bodies before I see them, and one more, further away, the target of my visit.

“Who goes there?”

Long wooden staffs bar my way into the Undercity. Which is really gasting rude, all things considered. The tall sharp-faced elf who spoke is obviously one of Aislinn’s people, the Svaalti elves who moved into the Undercity the day after the cavern gnomes left. The two elves, one male, and one female, regard me with haughty expressions. Sporting long pale hair, braided in intricate patterns, their robes a fine silk rarely seen in Achten Tan. I’m relieved they haven’t replaced the bone weapons my father confiscated the day they arrived, seeking refuge after the destruction of Satama.

“Kaii Haku, to visit Opu Haku.” I state. Not that it’s any of their business. The elves nod and move aside, their expressions still just on the wrong side of respectful. Aislinn and her people have taken control of the Undercity like a rot growing into the marrow. They’ll need to be dealt with eventually, but it’s not my responsibility to do so. At least not yet.

Today I’m here to see my father, though I don’t know why I bother. I can already feel him up ahead. My ability to sense bones doesn’t tell me if he’s dead or alive, but something tells me he still lives. As I enter the passageway below the Undercity, an almost palpable wave of animosity floats my way. It must be my imagination.

Opu Haku hasn’t taken well to his imprisonment. The rock cage at the end of the tunnel is lit only by a flickering torch. The hunched figure in the shadows doesn’t stir as I approach, but I sense a subtle testing of my wards, searching for an opening. If he finds it, he could break my bones, hurl me across the tunnel, try to kill me. Again.

“Still can’t throw me down the hall.” I aim for glib, but my tone misses its mark, sliding off his hunched shoulders to land in a splat at his feet. He can’t attack me with bone magic. I’m shielded by the protection runes tattooed into my skin, so instead, he hurls sharp words, seeking to make a mark.

“Why are you here?” he snarls.

“The usual.” I approach the stone bars and slide the package of food through the narrow gap. Drizko engineered a device that provides a trickle of water. It flows through his cell, washing away waste, and enabling him to drink. The smell down here is foul. Body odor and refuse with a side of dirt and despair. Does he even bother to bathe himself anymore? He’s sunk so low, figuratively and literally. From the top of Chief’s Rib to the deepest hole in the Undercity.

“Any plans of getting me out of here?” he asks. His voice is close. I look up to discover he’s right up against the bars. Grey eyes, the same color as my own, stare me down, and for an instant, I see vulnerability in his granite gaze, but I blink and it’s gone.

“No. Nobody misses you, old man.”

Ok. That was cruel, but the guy tried to kill me, more than once. All my warm fuzzy feelings for him are long gone.

“Then why bother feeding me?” He hurls the package I just passed through at the bars, the loaves of algae bread and dried meat strips scattering on the dirty cell floor. “Why prolong my suffering?”

“Maybe I won’t come back then.” I turn and leave, his eyes stabbing my back like knives.

I don’t mean it. I won’t let my own father starve to death, even if the bastard deserves it. He blames me for his imprisonment, and for my part in the destruction of his bone staff, even though both result from his own actions. But I’m not the one who decided to leave him down here. That was the town council’s decision. Even his toady, Rapaccio Pallor, couldn’t sway them.

As I exit the Undercity, my feet turn right towards Jezebone’s. That’s where I always end up lately. It’s better than going back to my empty rooms.

I’m nursing my second or third drink when a wide smile and an An’cher uniform block my view of the bar.

“What are you drinking?” Kamal swings his large blond frame down onto the bench opposite me, patting the seat at his side for D’or to join him. D’or hesitates a moment, his green eyes swinging from me to Kamal.

“Do you want company?” D’or asks me, shoving back his mess of dark curls.

I wave my hand at his already seated boyfriend. “Sure.” I love being surrounded by sickeningly in-love couples. Nothing better.

“Should you two even be in here?” I toss back the rest of my Xenthalor Venom and motion to the barmaid to hit me again. Hopefully not literally this time.

Kamal scrunches up his pale eyebrows like a confused dasu pup. “First of all, I’m almost seventeen now and I have An’cher privileges… And D’or…” he turns to his boyfriend, “do you get a Tar-tule rider discount?”

I’m just messing with him, anyway. I seriously doubt Jezebone’s gives a gast about a minimum age for drinking or for use of their other services.

“Where have you two been?” I mumble into my empty cup.

They exchange a look. “Oh, we were out of Achten Tan for a few days… Visiting my parents at the caverns,” Kamal responds.

He’s sweet, trying to spare my feelings, but I force the issue, relishing the prickle of discomfort. “Mila and Geb’s ceremony?”

“Yeah.”

I’m not bitter. They invited me and I wanted to go. I was just too busy with my ‘drinking myself stupid’ schedule… I’d built up a rhythm and couldn’t take a break for things like forever ceremonies, especially when it’s the girl who was supposed to be my future.

Kamal and D’or exchange another look.

“Can you two still read each other’s minds? Or mine?” I ask.

I really should have had them sign a non-disclosure agreement before I invited six people into my brain. They know too much. I’d make them disappear, but I kinda like the two brats.

“We can’t read your mind,” D’or says, his green eyes glinting with mischief. “Not since Mila’s mind-reading elixir wore off. And we still have enough material to work through from the night of the heist.”

“That was a long list,” Kamal smirks. The two boys nudge each other, practically giggling. It’s disgusting, in a cute, nauseatingly sweet kinda way.

The barmaid slams my drink down in front of me, sloshing some of the green liquid out of the glass to splash on my hand. I miss Kiva. How was I to know the new girl only tends the bar and doesn’t offer those services? I mean, it’s a pleasure house, for Gast’s sake.

I study my wet hand for a moment before lifting my eyes to her furious black ones and licking my fingers off slowly, one at a time. For a moment it looks like she’s going to hit me again, but then she huffs, throwing her dark tresses over her shoulder and stamping off towards the bar again.

“Actually, we wanted to order a drink…” Kamal calls after her.

D’or sighs and slides out of his seat. “I’ll get it. Your usual, babe?”

Kamal nods and unashamedly watches Do’r’s backside as he moves towards the bar. Not that I blame him. I’d watch too if I wasn’t worried about Kamal thumping me for ogling his boyfriend. Not that I care about being hit, but they are friends, sort of, and I don’t do it with friends. I don’t even think about doing it with friends. I made that mistake before and I’ve learned my lesson.

But as my eyes follow D’or towards the bar, I spot a girl who most certainly is not a friend. In fact, I’ve never seen her before. She’s leaning on the wall by the bar, holding a tankard the size of a pumble and wearing a frown that promises to burn this town to the ground. She’s definitely not from around here. Not to brag, but I’ve slept with every unattached, reasonably young, warm body around these parts, who ISN’T a friend. I’d love to add her to my list.

Her clothes are distinctly foreign and I use the term clothes lightly. Apparently, she thinks knives are a fashion accessory. I’ve counted five from this angle alone and I can only see one side of her. She’s not so much wearing a shirt as a type of leather halter with room for more knives, but it affords a very enticing view of her breasts. Before I think too hard about it, I’m out of my seat and crossing the bar in her direction.

I’m not quite into weaving territory yet, which is good, because this girl looks like she’ll require the use of at least part of my brain, not to mention other parts of me. I wonder if her tongue is as sharp as her knives. Still, I manage to walk a pretty straight line over to the bar, my fresh drink only slightly sloshing over my hand.

She watches me, locking her dark eyes with mine, a smirk lifting one side of her full lips. Challenge accepted. I make it across the room to her side, planting one hand on the wall by her head. Mostly for effect, but also a bit for support.

The girl turns towards me, wiping her luscious lips with the back of her hand, and slaps her tankard back onto the bar.

“Can I get you another?” I ask though I don’t know how she finished the first one.

“I’ll pass.” Her voice is deep and raspy. “It tastes like whale piss.” She scrapes a hand through her hair, pushing the short dark strands back behind her ear. One side is shaved short, while the other brushes her bare tattooed shoulder. Mmmmm, tattoos. No, wait. Tattoos are bad. I’m not into tattoos… anymore. Oh, Gast, who am I kidding?

“Well, if you hate the taste, why did you finish the first one?” Am I imagining it, or is she shifting closer?

She shrugs. “I was thirsty.” Yup, she’s definitely moving closer. Running her hand up my arm, she gives my bicep a squeeze, “but now I’m hungry for something else.” Then she licks those pink lips, my eyes following the motion with fascination.

I’ll admit, this has never worked quite so well on a complete stranger before. Maybe she’s heard about me. I lean in, testing the limits of this arrangement. She doesn’t give an inch, which places us chest to chest, and hers is just as pleasing up close as it was from across the room.

“Are you new in town?” I murmur.

Her dark eyes turn up to mine. I’m half a head taller than her, just the way I like it.

“I’m just passing through. Here today, gone tomorrow. So why don’t you show me a good time while I’m here?” She leans in to speak and her breath whispers along my cheek. Her hand is moving again, sliding across my chest and scraping my jaw. She pushes up on her toes, her mouth hovering close to mine.

“What’s the best view in Achten Tan?” she asks. Her scent is tantalizing. A salty, flowery combination I can’t place. I want to inhale her. Better yet, I want to taste her. I swallow, my mouth suddenly dry, and take the last gulp of my drink. She watches my mouth as I lick my lips, her pink tongue darting out to wet her bottom lip.

“Best view in Achten Tan is from the top of Chief’s Rib, where I live.”

She nods in a type of weird satisfaction, like I got the answer right. I look down again; she’s practically plastered to my front, which is good… or bad… because she’s going to feel…

Her smile widens and her hand is on the move again, sliding down, down, down…

I catch her wrist before her hand can reach its destination. I’d like to continue this, but not in the middle of Jezebone’s. They don’t allow that behavior here unless you’re paying for it.

“How about I give you the tour?” I ask.

“Of your rooms?” I thought she wanted to see the view from my father’s chambers, but apparently, she’s as eager as I am.

“Sure. Of my rooms. This way…” I pause, waiting for her name.

“Tara. Tara Phenix.”

Available on Amazon

Speechless in Achten Tan (The Sands of Achten Tan #1)

Sometimes Magic leaves you…Speechless!

Eighteen-year-old Mila hasn’t spoken in the five years since she became an Onra, a first level Everfall witch. After failing the test to reclaim her voice and control her magic, her mentor sends Mila to Achten Tan – City of Dust – a dangerous desert town, built in the massive ribcage of an extinct leviathan.

To reclaim her power, Mila must steal a magical staff capable of releasing it, from the sky-high lair of the Bone Master, Chief Opu Haku.

Her only resources are the magical luminous elixirs of the cursed caverns where she grew up, and a band of unlikely allies; a quirky inventor, a giant-ant rider, a healer, a librarian’s assistant, a Tar-tule rider and the chief’s playboy son.

But in the City of Bones, enemies & friends are not who they seem and trusting the wrong person can be deadly.

If Mila fails she will never speak again and her bones may be added to the wasteland.

About the Author

Debbie Iancu-Haddad is a Jewish Israeli author living in Meitar in the Negev Desert.

She spends her time taking part in Anthologies (seven to date with two more on the way), writing VSS on Twitter, and buying way too much stuff online. Her goal is to promote body positive characters and include characters dealing with physical challenges. #ownvoices

For her day job, she gives lectures on humor, laughter yoga workshops and chocolate workshops, and sees how often she can make her two teenagers roll their eyes.

Debbie Iancu-Haddad | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Book Tour Organized By:

R&R Book Tours

BOOK TOUR: The Bone Master by Debbie Iancu-Haddad #EpicFantasy @debbieiancu

The Bone Master

Book Two of The Sands of Achten Tan

by Debbie Iancu-Haddad

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Kaii Haku has lived his whole life in the shadow of his cruel father’s magic.
Rebelling against his father- the Bone Master- by drinking and sleeping around was Kaii’s main occupation for years.


But when one of his best friends is kidnapped by pirates, Kaii embarks on a perilous rescue mission with two retired pleasure house workers, a shy teen bookworm, and a feisty girl from the pirate crew.

The journey will take Kaii and his allies far from Achten Tan, to a sea ruled by dangerous conditions and ships that travel on the backs of monsters.


For the first time in his life, he has the power to make a difference, but if he wields his emerging bone magic to save the girl he loves, he risks losing himself and becoming like his father – a man who tried to kill him.

Amazon * Bookbub * Goodreads

Speechless in Achten Tan

Book 1 In The Sands of Achten Tan

Mila hasn’t spoken in the five years since she became an Onra, a first-level Everfall witch. After failing the test to reclaim her voice and control her magic, her mentor sends eighteen-year-old Mila to Achten Tan–City of Dust–a dangerous desert town, built in the massive ribcage of an extinct leviathan.

To reclaim her power, Mila must steal a magical staff capable of releasing it, from Bone Master Opu Haku’s sky-high lair.

Her only resources are the magical luminous elixirs of the cursed caverns where she grew up, and a band of unlikely allies; a quirky inventor, a giant-ant rider, a healer, a librarian’s assistant, a Tar-tule rider, and the chief’s playboy son.

But in the City of Bones, enemies & friends are not who they seem, and trusting the wrong person can be deadly.

If Mila fails, she will never speak again and her bones will be added to the desert.

This book includes a kick-ass tattooed witch who can’t speak, giant ants, first-person present-tense narration, magic, banter, lots of innuendoes, and cute boys kissing.

Amazon * Bookbub * Goodreads

**Don’t miss the FREE prequels!!**

In the Heart of the Storm

A Prequel to the Bone Master

Get it FREE here!

https://dl.bookfunnel.com/1nq9a7j1gb

Pirate in the Desert

An Achten Tan short story

Get it FREE here!

https://dl.bookfunnel.com/nk6rrwcfo5

Debbie Iancu-Haddad is a Jewish Israeli author living in Meitar in the Negev Desert. Author of Speechless in Achten Tan a YA fantasy novel. And The Bone Master, forthcoming.

She spends her time taking part in Anthologies (seven to date with three more on the way), writing VSS on Twitter, and buying way too much stuff online. Her goal is to promote body positive characters and include characters dealing with physical challenges. #ownvoices

For her day job, she gives lectures on humor, laughter yoga workshops, and chocolate workshops, and sees how often she can make her two teenagers roll their eyes.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$10 Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway

BOOK TOUR: Floats the Dark Shadow by Yves Fey #mystery @YvesFey @CathieDunn

Floats the Dark Shadow

by Yves Fey

Young American painter Theodora Faraday struggles to become an artist in Belle Époque Paris. She’s tasted the champagne of success, illustrating poems for the Revenants, a group of poets led by her adored cousin, Averill.

When children she knows vanish mysteriously, Theo confronts Inspecteur Michel Devaux who suspects the Revenants are involved. Theo refuses to believe the killer could be a friend—could be the man she loves. Classic detection and occult revelation lead Michel and Theo through the dark underbelly of Paris, from catacombs to asylums, to the obscene ritual of a Black Mass.

Following the maze of clues they discover the murderer believes he is the reincarnation of the most evil serial killer in the history of France—Gilles de Rais. Once Joan of Arc’s lieutenant, after her death he plunged into an orgy of evil. The Church burned him at the stake for heresy, sorcery, and the depraved murder of hundreds of peasant children.

Whether deranged mind or demonic passion incite him, the killer must be found before he strikes again.

Buy Links:

Universal Link: https://books2read.com/u/3GW2BO

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Floats-Dark-Shadow-mystery-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B0BB88NZLC/

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Floats-Dark-Shadow-mystery-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B0BB88NZLC/

Amazon CA:  https://www.amazon.ca/Floats-Dark-Shadow-mystery-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B0BB88NZLC/

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Floats-Dark-Shadow-mystery-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B0BB88NZLC/

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/floats-the-dark-shadow-yves-fey/1112417004?ean=2940149661459

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/floats-the-dark-shadow

Audio: https://www.audible.com/pd/Floats-the-Dark-Shadow-Livre-Audio/B00IX13DGG

AppleBooks: https://books.apple.com/book/floats-the-dark-shadow/  

Michel Arrests Viperine at Leo Taxil’s Confession-Floats the Dark Shadow

Ignoring both Taxil and his faux monk, Michel turned his attention to Vipèrine, who had chosen a seat very near the podium. …. The diabolist was at least a plausible suspect—quite capable of provoking some drama to put himself center stage—but was he capable of true villainy? There was little information to be had on him before his appearance in Paris five years ago, not even his real name.

….Michel recognized someone else who provoked his curiosity. Theodora Faraday was sitting with the Revenants. He had seen the tall blonde roaming about Montmartre even before he interviewed her. Tonight she wore a gown of midnight blue satin. The deep hue set off her fair skin and pale, gleaming hair. She seemed far too dynamic for most of that coterie, literary aesthetes who lived on their nerves. He had read the premiere issue of their magazine, which had created quite a stir. There were several striking illustrations, but Michel did not remember them being by a woman. He must have assumed Theo to be a man. Or perhaps she assumed a different male nom de plume, as he’d seen her assume male dress. Quite illegal and quite flattering. She had very long legs.

“Assuming the guise of Miss Vaughan,” Taxil exclaimed, “I revealed the existence of secret rooms hidden within the Masonic temple in Charleston, Virginia. In one, a statue of Eve awaits. When a Templar Mistress is especially pleasing to Master Satan, this statue takes on life. Eve becomes the demon Astarte and bestows kisses on the chosen one.”

A tidbit in the grand tradition of Leo Taxil, ecclesiastical pornographer, Michel sneered silently. Lesbian demons on parade.

“Despicable charlatan!” the abbot cried.

“No priest will take your confession!”

Taxil moved on to the infamous forges buried beneath Gibraltar and fed by hellfire, and the outbursts faded. The opposing side brooded silently, which Michel thought boded ill. He quietly rose from his seat and stood against the back wall, free to move fast if there was trouble. His gaze roved over the gathering as Taxil embarked on a new tale of Vatican conspiracy. “After Jeanne d’Arc was burned at the stake, the executioner discovered that the heart of our heroine had not been consumed. He threw more burning pitch and sulphur upon it, but the heart would not burn! Finally, in desperation, Jeanne’s heart was tossed in the Seine.” Taxil raised a pudgy finger to punctuate his words. “Be sure that one day a mysterious angel will carry that heart, not to France, but to Italy, and Jeanne d’Arc will be canonized by the Pope. French pilgrims must henceforth go to Rome to view this miraculously retrieved heart.”

Odd. One of the Revenants had risen and was urged back to his seat by Theodora Faraday. Did the mockery of the Maid anger him? Many who cared nothing for Luciferian plots or Vatican conspiracy might still take offence at having France’s beloved heroine derided.

Enamored of his own voice, Taxil rumbled on, “Alas, the final success of my hoax was endangered by a Mason who declared these bizarre claims must be a Jesuit plot. Unfortunate Jesuits! I had sent them a fragment of Moloch’s tail as evidence of Palladism!”

In spite of himself, Michel’s curiosity was stirred. What had Taxil actually sent—mummified crocodile? Chief Cochefert would be captivated with this morsel. Personally, Michel preferred Taxil’s story of his first malicious prank—false tales of ravenous sharks hiding in sea caves off Marseilles.

“Fearing my magnificent creation would be suffocated by the evil oubliettes of the Vatican, I have chosen to confess.” With a grand gesture, Taxil proclaimed, “I have committed infanticide. Palladism, the child of my mind, is utterly dead. Its father has murdered it.” Taxil finished with a bow. Silence hovered for a moment, then cacophony reigned. Applause, laughter, jeers, hoots, and accusations rose in the air like myriad squawking birds. The abbot stood on his chair, gesturing for all the faithful to gather round, but the noise drowned out whatever he was saying.

Vipèrine rose, his height emphasized by his theatrical robes. The gleam of their gold embroidery caught the light and drew the attention of the audience. He lifted his chin truculently, his blue beard pointing at Taxil. “There is only one hoax—and that hoax is that Satan has no worshippers.”

Weaving through the stream of the infuriated leaving the auditorium, Michel moved swiftly as Taxil called out his answer, “Ah, monsieur, I acknowledge that he has his worshippers. But that does not mean he exists.”

Vipèrine swirled his cape, then flung up his hands. Fire burst from his fingertips. A flaming object winged like a bat sailed to the stage and exploded with spurts of flame and noxious spirals of black and yellow smoke. Screams of panic filled the hall—cries of “Bomb!” and “Fire!” Taxil ducked behind the podium. Gendarmes rushed to guard him. Still twenty feet away, Michel saw that no fire had actually ignited, though the smoke rose in sulphureous plumes.

Chaos reigned as the remaining audience rushed for the doors. Vipèrine raised his arms again, flames flashing from his fingers, and Michel guessed the next smoke cloud would cover his escape. Stepping into range, he aimed a hard lateral kick, driving his heel into Vipèrine’s thigh. Vipèrine reeled back with a snarl of surprise and pain. The chemical ball he held bounced across the floor, hissing loudly and leaking darkness.

“Police,” Michel said. “Surrender yourself.”

No novice to savate, Vipèrine aimed a savage kick at his ribs. Michel blocked and countered with a low undercut to the shins. Vipèrine lurched forward, grabbed a chair for balance, then swung it sideways at Michel’s head. Michel knocked it to the floor, but Vipèrine’s back leg sweep tumbled him. Michel rolled as he hit the floor and came up into a crouch. Vipèrine aimed another kick at his head. Michel dodged sideways, but Vipèrine’s foot grazed his face. A blaze of pain erupted on his cheek. The metallic tang of blood filled his nostrils. Vipèrine had razors set in his shoes. With cold fury, Michel rose and spun into a reverse kick that sent Vipèrine staggering. Another slammed him hard against the wall. Moving in, Michel twisted Vipèrine’s arm behind his back, pinning him in place as he drew his ligote and pulled it tight around Vipèrine’s wrist.

“You are under arrest for inciting a riot and assaulting an officer.” Blood spilled down from his cheek and onto his neck.

“Let me go now,” Vipèrine snarled, “and perhaps I will let you live.”

Disgusted with the melodrama, Michel dragged him up the aisle and into the lobby.

Author Bio:

Yves Fey has MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Oregon, and a BA in Pictorial Arts from UCLA. Yves began drawing as soon as she could hold a crayon and writing at twelve.  

She’s been a tie dye artist, go-go dancer, creator of ceramic beasties, writing teacher, illustrator, and has won prizes for her chocolate desserts. Her current obsession is creating perfumes inspired by her Parisian characters.

Yves lives in Albany with her mystery writer husband and their cats, Charlotte and Emily, the Flying Bronte Sisters.

Social Media Links:

Website: YvesFey.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/YvesFey

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/YvesFey

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gayle-feyrer-366b9832/

Instagram: Gayle Feyrer (@yves_fey) • Instagram photos and videos

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.fr/yvesfey/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Yves-Fey/e/B008VHHPPC

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/499414.Yves_Fey

BOOK TOUR: The Ridders by Lisa Towles #action #thriller #politicalthriller @writertowles

The Ridders

by Lisa Towles

Genre: Political Action Thriller

Brock “BJ” Janoff and his older brother Jonas run a private investigation firm in Venice, CA. BJ is randomly approached by a stranger on the street with a proposition he can’t refuse – one million dollars to deliver a single envelope to a hotel lobby. They pay him up front, which sounds good on the surface, but now BJ’s life is in danger if he doesn’t deliver the envelope in time. Obsessed with the envelope’s contents and the “why me”, BJ follows clues to investigate the players behind what he believes is an organized crime scam. When an act of brilliance changes the balance of power, the safety of everyone he loves is in jeopardy. And the more he digs, the closer he gets to truths he can’t bear to face – about the elusive Bilderberg Group, his missing father, and about the fate of everyone he loves.

**Releases November 30th!!**

Amazon * Apple * B&N * Kobo * Smashwords * Goodreads

Lisa Towles is an award-winning crime novelist and a passionate speaker on the topics of fiction writing, creativity, and Strategic Self Care. Lisa has eight crime novels in print, including Hot House, Ninety-Five, The Unseen, Choke, and under the name Lisa Polisar Escape, The Ghost of Mary Prairie, Blackwater Tango, and Knee Deep. Her next title, Salt Island, is the second book in her E&A thriller series and will be forthcoming in late 2022. Her thriller, Ninety-Five, was released in November 2021 and won a Literary Titan Award for Fiction. Her 2019 thriller, The Unseen, was the Winner of the 2020 NYC Big Book Award in Crime Fiction, and a Finalist in the Thriller category of the Best Book Awards by American Book Fest. Her 2017 thriller, Choke, won a 2017 IPA Award and a 2018 NYC Big Book Award for Thriller. Lisa is an active member and frequent panelist/speaker of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. She has an MBA in IT Management and works fulltime in the tech industry in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * TikTok * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Win a Swag Pack OR $20 Amazon giftcard

– 1 winner each!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

BOOK TOUR: Ghost Witch by Ian Conner #supernatural #horror #ghoststory #horrorcommunity @RRBookTours1

I have the petfect story to curl up with on Halloween! Check out Ian Conner’s Ghost Witch and make sure to leave a light on!

Ghost Witch

Publication Date: June 2nd, 2022

Genre: Supernatural Horror/ Ghost Story, Native American Folklore/ Mythology

The Two Spears and Four Claws clans for generations. Now the evil has returned, once again threatening the lives of a young mother and her twin babies. It is an evil that temporarily killed and banished with fire and magic, but it can never be destroyed. It is a source of great shame for the clans. So much so, that it is never spoken about outside of the tribe.

Carlyle Allen, the wealthy new owner of Haunted Gap, is building his dream home for he and his young bride, Rebecca. Carlyle discovers a hidden room in the basement and comes across the corpse of “The Maiden”, a form the evil entity takes to seduce and trick people into doing its bidding.

A very pregnant Rebecca Allen visits Haunted Gap for the first time. Rebecca becomes exposed to poison from “The Maiden,” leading to a trip to the clinic where she meets Maggie Four Claws and Dr. Sally Manning. Realizing that Rebecca has been marked by the Ghost witch, she contacts her grandmother Opal for help and to alert the clans.

Maggie manages to convince both Rebecca Allen and Dr. Manning that she and the babies are danger, not only from the Ghost Witch, but from her husband Carlyle as well. As Dr. Manning races to get Rebecca to safety, the Ghost Witch causes an accident, allowing Carlyle to kidnap Rebecca in order to sacrifice her and the children to “The Maiden.”

Meanwhile, Maggie Four Claws, Grandma Opal, and the rest of the clans move into action to hunt down and banish the Ghost Witch. But, will they find the evil in time enough to destroy it and save Rebecca and her babies?

Add to Goodreads

Purchase a copy on Amazon!

About the Author

Ian Conner is retired and spent most of his adult life as a Marine and Army Infantry Sergeant. Now living near San Diego California with his wife Bonnie, a cellist, and their two dogs, Cookie and Isabella. Conner spends his days fostering kittens, gardening, crafting beautiful stained glass and creating worlds on the page.

Conner has authored several other novels:

Cooper’s Ridge – Science Fiction

The Long Game – Political Thriller

The Price of Partisanship – Political Thriller

Solaris – Political Thriller

Griffins Perch – Epic Fantasy

Ghost Witch – Horror

After a lifetime of destruction the thought of creating something tangible and lasting holds great appeal. He finds writing a cathartic way to redefine himself both in his eyes and the eyes of others.

Black Raptor Books

Book Blitz Organized By:

R&R Book Tours

BOOK TOUR: That Which Cannot Be Undone (Horror Anthology) #horror @JessLandry28

That Which Cannot Be Undone

An Ohio Horror Anthology

edited by Jess Landry

Beneath Ohio’s congenial midwestern facade lies a dark underbelly of urban legends, cursed sites, and unseen terrors. From a woman drawn to an underwater town haunted by its last resident to a killer desperately seeking to experience new life through the teeth of his victims, these eighteen stories all take place in the Buckeye State, some drawn from already-known accounts of strangeness and infamous settings, others completely the author’s invention.

Edited by Bram Stoker Award-winner Jess Landry, That Which Cannot Be Undone features works from new and established voices in horror, including Bram Stoker Award-winners Gary A. Braunbeck, Tim Waggoner, Lucy A. Snyder, Gwendolyn Kiste, and Kealan Patrick Burke, and New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Megan Hart.

Amazon * Goodreads

The Editor, Jess Landry is a Canadian screenwriter, director, editor, and Bram Stoker Award-winning author. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies, including ALIENS VS PREDATORS: ULTIMATE PREY, and she co-edited the Bram Stoker Award- and British Fantasy Award-nominated anthology, THERE IS NO DEATH, THERE ARE NO DEAD. Find her online at jesslandry.com.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$20 Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Exit mobile version
%%footer%%