Tamara Philip, Author

Where Love blossoms…


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BPIC Promos presents the Release Blitz of Donna June Cooper’s Making Magic (Book 3 of the Kindling Series)

 

Making Magic
by Donna June Cooper
Series: Books of the Kindling, #3Publisher: Samhain PublishingCover Designer: Kanaxa
Genre: Contemporary Romance with a touch of Magic
Release Date: January 20, 2015

 

 

Books of the Kindling, Book 3

Sticks and stones may threaten bones, but her words can conquer both body and soul.

During his law enforcement career, Sheriff Jake Moser has been called to Woodruff Mountain a few times to deal with some rather weird situations. Now, recovering from a bullet wound that should have killed him and fending off his mother’s ravings about the evil that lurks on the mountain, he’s making alternate career plans.

Just as those plans begin to take shape, someone starts kidnapping newborn babies, then returning them unharmed. To make things even more interesting, an irritating adversary from his past has returned to bedevil him in a whole new, delightful way.

After her erratic psychic gift forced her to abandon her home and a promising musical career, Thea Woodruff has spent years trying, unsuccessfully, to atone for the death of Becca Moser, Jake’s sister. Once she has mourned those she’s lost and apologized to those she’s failed, she intends to flee her mountain once again.

Jake would rather she stay to compose a new tune—with him. But their complicated harmony reveals a guilty secret that threatens not only their future, but their lives…

Warning: A temperamental flute-player returns to torment an old flame, but he has other ideas, and the music they make together is combustible—and magical.

 

 

Thea caught movement at the edge of her vision and braced herself for another automobile groupie, but it was only a dirty mop head lying on the ground next to the wall. In her exhausted state,shemust’ve imagined it. She opened the door and put her bags on the console. Before she put the coffee in the drink holder, she took a long sip of the scalding brew. It wasn’t too bad, but it made her eyes water. She blinked when she saw the mop head move again. Probably a rat or raccoon under there.Then the mop head lifted its ears and gazed at her with big dark eyes.She gasped and spilled yet more coffee on her blouse.A dog.A horribly-matted, filthy gray dog thatmight’ve once been white pushed up on skinny legs and backed against the wall, watching her with suspicion. Then she saw the battered aluminum pan and cracked bowl full of water beside it. Someone was feeding the poor thing, but not really taking ownership.A stray. Like her.

She almost took a step towards the pitiful creature, but what would she do with a dog?

Thea hadn’t thought much beyond getting home for the wedding, except that she couldn’t stay. Grace had a husband now, a baby on the way and probably planned to fill the house up with children. Daniel was moving into the old Taggart place with his new bride. And she needed to follow her plan to go off and teach music somewhere. There was no room for the prodigal daughter on the mountain, much less a grimy, smelly dog. She looked down at herself and smiled. They were a matched set, weren’t they?

The dirty mop blinked at her as she sipped her coffee.

“What’s your name, pooch?” she asked.

The head cocked sideways and one eye disappeared behind its unkempt hair. The other eye glared at her as the dog tried to sink back into the wall.

She thought of the interstate and the busy highway only yards away and shuddered. The poor thing had probably been left behind by some traveling family or a trucker. At least someone here was feeding it. She wondered how long it had been here, waiting for its owner to return. Her heart clenched. Swallowing hard, she shut the car door, walking back into the truck stop.

The woman who had waited on her before looked up and smiled. “Back for a refill, hon?”

“No, ma’am.” Her voice felt rusty, as if she hadn’t used it in a long time. “I was wondering about the dog out in the parking lot.”

The woman frowned. “Poor thing. Someone dumped her here a couple of months back.”

Months would feel like years to a little one like that. Years waiting for someone to take you home. Years waiting to go home. Thea felt tears threatening at the symmetry.

“No one came for it? No one here wants to take it home?”

“Hey, we tried. She won’t come and no one can catch her. Sly little thing. We figure she’s holding out for her real owner.”

“How do you know it’s female?”

The woman, whose nametag said “Jenny”, leaned over conspiratorially. “The way she pees, but we might be wrong. The boys do that sometimes too.”

Thea mulled it over. Surely Grace had room for another dog. Or maybe Daniel would take her. Someone would.

She reached for her wallet and pulled out one of her cards. “Do you have a pen?” Carefully scratching out her business number, she wrote her cell number on the card in its place and handed it over.  “If her owner comes back, you call me.”

Jenny looked at the card and gave her an assessing look.  She could imagine how she appeared to the woman—pencil thin skirt, stained silk blouse and expensive heels.

“Oh, hon. You ain’t gonna catch her.”

Thea smiled. I just gave a powerful multinational the one finger salute. I can save an abandoned dog. “Watch me. I’ll have an order of bacon to go, please.”

Jenny shook her head, but went back to the kitchen and brought back a napkin wrapped around several pieces of bacon. “On the house. If you can catch Bailey, I’ll give you a hamburger for her lunch. And one for yours as well.”

“Bailey? After Baileyton?”

The woman nodded.  “Works for a girl or a boy, I say.”

The name fit. Taking the bacon, she walked back out front with Jenny close on her heels only to find Bailey gone.

“She’s probably out raiding the garbage. She hides out back there under the skips sometimes. But you’ll never be able to get to her.”

Thea handed Jenny her coffee. “If I do, I want another hot cup to go instead of that second burger. I’m a vegetarian.”

The woman laughed and followed her, carrying the coffee. “This I gotta see.”

Sure enough, they spotted the walking mop sniffing around one of the garbage skips at the back of the building, far enough back to make it impossible to reach her.

Thea got as close to the skip as she could get without going under it, then squatted down, or rather tried to. She finally gave up, hiked up her skirt and knelt on the dirty pavement.

“Here, Bailey girl!” She leaned in under the skip and held out a piece of bacon. “Come on, baby girl,” she cooed.

The dog crouched in the shadows, her ears back and her tail tucked under, growling.

It was a good thing Thea’s nose was stopped up. What little she could smell was bad enough.

“What’s goin’ on back here?” came a man’s voice. Thea jumped, whacking her head on the side of the skip.

“This lady’s trying to get Bailey,” Jenny said.

“Like that’s gonna happen. You’re the one with that red Beemer from Pennsylvania, ain’t ya?”

Thea looked over her shoulder at a man in a white apron who had leaned down to grin at her. He said every single syllable of Penn-syl-va-ni-a, as if it were an unpronounceable contagious disease. And his eyes spent far too much time lingering on her rear end, which was sticking up in the air at the moment.

She felt her temper start to rise. She hated it when people, especially men, tried to tell her what she could and couldn’t do.

“Damn it, Bailey,” she hissed. But those big eyes looked terrified and the dog had cringed even closer to the pavement.

Crap. “Bailey, come here,” she said quietly, but the voice rang off the metal of the skip.

Bailey immediately crawled forward, right onto her lap. Thea slid sideways and heard her skirt rip at the kick pleat as she turned to sit beside the garbage skip with the filthy dog in her arms.

“Well I’ll be,” Jenny exclaimed, clapping her hands.

The man seemed to be reassessing his opinion of Thea. “Shit. You some kinda dog whisperer or somethin’?”

Thea smiled. “Or something.” She looked at Jenny. “Now, how about that hamburger for my friend here?” She broke off little pieces of bacon and fed them to Bailey.

“Oh you bet, honey. And I’ll get you some wipes for your hands and—” Jenny looked Thea over and sniffed, “—for your hands.” She ran back into the restaurant.

“Hell, I’d say both you and the dog need to use the showers, but we don’t let no dogs in there,” the man said. “You need me to help you up, honey?”

Thea smirked at him and put Bailey down at her feet. “Stay.” Bailey waited, motionless, as Thea stood then reached down to scoop her back up.

“That’s weird,” the man said. “Spooky, even.”

Thea was tempted to make him do something embarrassing, to get back at him for the shower comment, but her head was already aching. Besides, she did need a shower. She bit her lip and marched past him around the side of the building with Bailey in her arms.

Lovely. Now she had an audience. They seemed to be the regulars, truckers mostly and some staff, standing outside the doors watching as she carried the dog to her car. One of the waitresses started clapping. Then the rest joined in, until even the grumpy cook cheered the little dog’s rescue.

Smiling at them, Thea lifted Bailey’s paw to wave goodbye to them and opened the car door to slide in, dog and all.  She shut it firmly and quickly pushed the button to start the car, struggled to fasten her seat belt under the dog and wondered if she should fasten it over the dog instead. She knew next to nothing about dogs.

Jenny came running out with a sack and a cup, grinning.  When Thea rolled down the window, she leaned in. “Here you go. Fresh coffee, a nice hamburger for Bailey and some hashbrowns for you. There’s utensils and hand wipes. Don’t take this the wrong way, but I think what both of you’ll need is a long hot soak. And you need some meat on your bones if you’re going to keep up with this ‘un.” She cautiously stroked Bailey’s ears and Thea noticed a glint in her eyes. Jenny was probably the person who’d been feeding the poor thing. “She’d never let me touch her.”

Thea tensed when Bailey turned and licked her cheek. She could not get attached to a dog she had just met. “Do you want to keep her?” she asked.

“Oh, my. No! My Larry would have my hide. I already have four at home. One more and I end up in the pound. No, I think our Bailey’s real owner finally showed up.” She sniffed. “You come back and visit us, baby doll,” she said to Bailey. “I want to see you all cleaned up and pretty.”

“Cleaned up, we can do. Not so sure about pretty,” Thea said, unable to picture Bailey as anything but a mop.

“Here.” Jenny pulled the white towel off her shoulder and handed it to Thea. “Make her a place over there next to you. You don’t wanna drive with her in your lap like that.”

Thea braced her flute case against the passenger door and pushed the junk on the passenger seat around to make a nest.  She curled the towel in the seat and sat Bailey on it.

Bailey immediately walked back across and lay on Thea’s lap again.

Jenny gave Bailey’s head one more stroke. “Definitely found her real owner.”

Thea’s smiled. “Thanks, Jenny. You were a good foster mom.”

Jenny nodded and backed away, wiping at her eyes, then waved as Thea drove out of the parking lot.

 

I LOVED this book. My favorite of the series SO Far! the author has done it again: created extremely likeable characters and placed them in a page turning plot. Jake Moser, otherwise known as the sheriff from the previous books, is the male lead with Thea Woodruff as the heroine with a compelling voice. In this book, i felt that the plot was more organic because Jake and Thea were basically attempting to live their lives and reunite and boom intrigue smacks them in the face.  The author introduces a new overarching plot device (no spoilers) in a vague enough way that it will feel fresh when she expands upon it in her next book. Definitely would read again and definitely will recommend to anyone who enjoys books with well developed characters in page turning storylines with more than a hint of magic.

 

Book 3: Making Magic

 

Book 1: More Than Magic

Amazon US ~ Amazon UK ~ Amazon CA ~ Amazon AU

 

Book 2: Mostly Magic

 

 

When she’s not being dragged down the sidewalk by her Jack Russell (if you know Jacks, you understand), Donna June Cooper is belly dancing (shiny!), reading (three books at once), writing (of course!) or complaining about the heat (no matter the temperature). A child of the Appalachians who was transplanted to Texas by her Italian husband, Donna returns to her mountain roots as often as possible, and takes her readers with her in her Books of the Kindling.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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An Interview with Ian Probert, author of Johnny Nothing + review

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I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed reading Johnny Nothing! I giggled, laughed out loud, chuckled the entire book through. and still I felt sad, and touched in others. If you loved Lemony Snickett-type stories then please, I beg you read this book.
I even read some of it out loud to my fiance and he snorted with laughter too. I wish there were more books like this when I was a kid!
It was snarky, funny, oddly realistic at times, and it didn’t promise the most perfect ending ever but the bad guys got their just desserts and the good guys came out smelling like roses. I still want to adopt poor Johnny though!!
If there is a print copy I think I know my niece and nephews are totally getting one come birthday pressie time!!!

Buy the Book Now!

Amazon

Amazon UK

 

The first ten readers who answer the following question will also receive a signed print of one of the book’s illustrations.

Q: What is the tattoo on Ben’s arm?

Send your answers to truth42@icloud.com

Author biography

Ian Probert has been scribbling down words ever since he learned to spell the phrase: ‘Once upon a time…’. He is the author of Internet Spy, Rope Burns and a bunch of other titles. Internet Spy was a bestseller in the US and made into a TV film. Rope Burns is a book about why books shouldn’t be written about boxing. Ian has also written things for a shed load of newspapers and magazines. When Ian was a student he used to write lots of letters to the bank manager.

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INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR

1-In less than 30 words, tell us about your book

Johnny Nothing’s psychopathic mother is stealing his inheritance. Learn why solicitors like handbags, why dead people are windier than the North Sea and what happens to you after you die.

2-How long did it take you to write it?
It took about four months. One month to actually write it and three to correct all the spelling mistakes. I’m a pretty fast writer. Years ago I locked myself away for a month and produced a 120,000 word novel. I didn’t leave the house and smoked millions of roll-ups. Of course, fast doesn’t necessarily indicate good. Neither does slow.

3-why did you write it? or better yet where did the plot idea come from?
It’s a long story. I was ill for probably 15 years and lost the ability to… Um… What’s the word? Concentrate. That’s it. Concentrate. I stopped writing and got very depressed and starting thinking a lot about death and the nature of the universe. Eventually people noticed I wasn’t myself and I found a doctor who was able to work out what was wrong with me. So after years of inactivity I was suddenly brimming with ideas. I wrote Johnny Nothing to amuse my 10-year-old daughter. I wanted to create someone that you could care about while still being able to laugh about his predicament. He’s probably me. Everybody I write about is probably me.

4-If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?
After the drugs and debauchery I’d probably buy several million copies of Johnny Nothing to get it into an unassailable position in the Amazon charts. A bit like Charles Saatchi tried to do with his book. Allegedly. You have to say allegedly a lot these days whenever you write about anyone else online. I’d also hire an expensive lawyer so that I could make a certain person’s life a misery (you know who you are, you noxious little creep).

5-When did you realize that you wanted to be a writer professionally
My road to Damascus moment came during a hiking holiday in Damascus. Not really. It was a slow process. I wrote a lot at school and then after art college I became a sports and music journalist, as you do. I began to write longer and longer articles until eventually I realised they had grown into books. I’m afraid that everything came to me ridiculously easy: I got an agent straight away, a publisher came soon afterwards. It’s only as I’ve gotten older that I’ve realised how lucky I was. I think the older you get the harder it is to achieve any degree of success.

6-How did you come up with the title?
Do you know, I really have no idea whatsoever. I can’t even put my memory loss down to drugs or alcohol as I’m a completely clean bunny these days. Let’s say it came in a fit of perspiration.

7- Where can fans contact you/Are you on facebook or twitter?/Do you have a website?
I’m a good boy. I do everything they tell you to do. I have a website. I have a WordPress blog. I tweet. I Facebook. I (occasionally) Instagram. I Pin. I’m all over the shop, me. Although I never answer the phone and I don’t do selfies. I’m far too ugly.

8-If you could only pick two people, living or dead, famous or not, to read your book, who would they be and why?
Probably my dad. He died last year and as far as I know he never read anything I wrote, even though he gets a couple of chapters to himself in ‘Rope Burns’. We didn’t get on but for all his imperfections he had a staggeringly impressive persona. I’m like everyone else. I’m a middle-aged man who still wants to impress his dad. Except I never will now, which makes me immensely sad. I can’t tell you how much. The other person would have to be the devil. If you can make the devil laugh then you must be doing something right.

9- In one sentence, what advice would you give to an aspiring author?
Its ideas not words that make a good writer.

10-What would you name the autobiography of your life?
I’ve already written it! Rope Burns. (http://amzn.to/1zpTNkR – buy it now kids!). I was 37 when I wrote it. How arrogant is that? The autobiography of a guy who has done literally nothing whatsoever with his life.

Buy Johnny Nothing on Kindle and Paperback

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Diverse Book Tours presents my review of Thelonious Legend’s Sins of the Father

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This was going to be a special year for the Parker sisters. Eve was going to dominate in the classroom and on the basketball court.

Gwen was going to make the starting five and go down in history as the greatest prankster ever. Ana was going to do as little as possible.

But without warning, all three sisters gain extraordinary abilities that defy science… powers that come with a cost. Now all they want to do is make it through the school year without drawing any undue attention, while racing to find a cure before the side effects of their new abilities kill them. Eve’s temperament, Gwen’s fondness for pranks, and Ana’s predilection for money, however, are challenges they must overcome to achieve their goals. Because if they can’t, they’re dead…


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BUY THE BOOK HERE

My Review

So I literally just finished reading this book, not even an hour ago so everything is very fresh in my mind.Therefore I may have to come back and change somethings once I’ve had time to truly mull this amazing book over.

This is the authors debut novel and WOW he comes straight out of the gate rearing to go.It was fast paced, energetic drama from the first page to the last and I know the rest of the series will only get better as Thelonious Legend’s writing style improves and evolves.

I loved that the 3 sisters were so popular, despite some of their claims. I mean they had tons of friends, and were part of so much after school sports groups that I felt a little jealous!  I’m not a sports person so I didn’t know what most of the stuff was regarding Basketball, Football, Tae Kwon Do and I swear there was more! I think the author could go ahead and skimp on those details next time LOL.

Messing around with all those school kids took time away from the insanely interesting plot going on. which I felt was sometimes rushed because of the time skips. I wanted to know how the girls found out about Dave, or how they would have reacted to their father (first hand) when they found out, how their parents worked it out because that was such a huge breach of trust on Barry’s side, I wanted to know more about Elizabeth’s situation, lots more should have been devoted to Ana since she was the brains of the outfit and I felt Eve was too limiting because she was so self involved. Also the girls did not talk like middle schoolers, they were high schoolish and I think I would have believed it more if they had been. They were so much more advanced in many aspects. I definitely wanted to read more about the baddies and the reasoning behind their mindsets and Dave’s reasoning for stealing it in the first place and so much more, hopefully that will be in the rest of the series that I can’t wait to read!!

So I guess I did enjoy reading about all of the characters and their backstories because it was wonderfully diverse and well written. It was all the sports talk that kept dragging me back out of the story while I clung onto the plot for dear life. I also loved the book cover and I think this book would be a fantastic tv series especially on Nick Teens or the Disney Channel.

Great Job, Thelonious!

 

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Book Links

Amazon: Purchase Link

Barnes & Noble: Purchase Link

Goodreads: Connect about it on Goodreads!

Book Depository: Pick up internationally!

sins-karatepunch

 

Author Information

DiverseAuthorShot Thelonious Legend

Biography

 

IT Professional by day, but by night I use my pen and pad as a canvas to explore questions of race, identity, privilege and class in a science fiction setting. Eclectic reader with a fondness for the classics and first generation Hip Hop snob. Don’t start none won’t be none! Philadelphia Eagles football fanatic and I also enjoy MMA from the safety of my couch. On the weekends you can find me wine drinking, rock climbing, fishing, or being an unpaid chauffeur to my daughters’ activities. Also I’m a snark purveyor and been making with the funny since it was called the ‘Dozens’. Get at me!

 

Author Links

Website: Official Blog

Facebook: Sins of The Father Page

Twitter: @TheLegendBooks

Goodreads: Author Profile

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BPIC Promos presents the release of Shanna Hatfield’s Crumpets and Cowpies

Crumpets and Cowpies
by Shanna Hatfield
Series: Baker City Brides, #1
Genre: Historical/Western Romance
Release Date: January 15, 2015

Rancher Thane Jordan reluctantly travels to England to settle his brother’s estate only to find he’s inherited much more than he could possibly have imagined.

Lady Jemma Bryan has no desire to spend a single minute in Thane Jordan’s insufferable presence much less live under the same roof with the handsome, arrogant American. Forced to choose between poverty or marriage to the man, she finds herself traveling across an ocean and America to reach his ranch in Oregon.

“I agree, Weston. The longer we wrangle with this won’t make it any easier.” Thane looked to Jemma and she gave an almost imperceptible nod for him to continue. “I’ve taken into consideration Henry’s wishes, the needs of the children, and what would be most beneficial to all parties involved.”

When Thane paused, Jemma leaned forward, waiting. “And…?”

“I think Weston’s idea holds merit. In the vein of doing what is best for the children, I’m requesting the honor of your hand in marriage, Miss Bryan.”

“You are what?” Jemma rocked back so hard in her chair, it nearly tipped over. A most unladylike grab for the edge of the table is all that kept her upright. “How could I possibly marry you? I don’t love you. I can’t even claim to like you, Mr. Jordan. You are quite possibly the most maddening man I’ve ever met.”

“Don’t flatter yourself, honey. I sure didn’t take one gander at you and fall madly in love. You’re the most opinionated, obstinate, razor-tongued woman I’ve had the misfortune of encountering.” Thane held up a hand to silence her when she opened her mouth in rebuttal. “However, you love my brother’s children with a fierce devotion and I don’t want to take them away from you. What I propose is a marriage of convenience, in name only. Your sterling reputation will remain untarnished. As my wife, I’d provide for you, protect you, and share whatever I have with you. Everything except my bed.”

Jemma drew a deep breath, prepared to lambast him, but Thane’s stoney glare held a warning.

“Before you insult me further or push my patience beyond endurance, I encourage you to think over your next words very carefully. If you need time to consider my offer, I plan to spend the day at Henry’s office, going over his accounts. You can give me your answer this evening.”

Without waiting for her response, Thane rose from the table and strode from the room.

A hopeless romantic with a bit of sarcasm thrown in for good measure, Shanna Hatfield is a best-selling author of clean romantic fiction written with a healthy dose of humor. In addition to blogging and eating too much chocolate, she is completely smitten with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.

Shanna creates character-driven romances with realistic heroes and heroines. Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.”

She is a member of Western Writers of America, Women Writing the West, and Romance Writers of America.




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Diverse Book Tour Presents Thelonious Legend’s Sins of The Father Mini Tour

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sins-karatepunch

Sins of The Father

Plot Summary:

This was going to be a special year for the Parker sisters. Eve was going to dominate in the classroom and on the basketball court.

Gwen was going to make the starting five and go down in history as the greatest prankster ever. Ana was going to do as little as possible.

But without warning, all three sisters gain extraordinary abilities that defy science… powers that come with a cost. Now all they want to do is make it through the school year without drawing any undue attention, while racing to find a cure before the side effects of their new abilities kill them. Eve’s temperament, Gwen’s fondness for pranks, and Ana’s predilection for money, however, are challenges they must overcome to achieve their goals. Because if they can’t, they’re dead…


BUY THE BOOK HERE

Book Links

Amazon: Purchase Link

Barnes & Noble: Purchase Link

Goodreads: Connect about it on Goodreads!

Book Depository: Pick up internationally!

sins-karatepunch

 

Author Information

DiverseAuthorShot Thelonious Legend

Biography

 

IT Professional by day, but by night I use my pen and pad as a canvas to explore questions of race, identity, privilege and class in a science fiction setting. Eclectic reader with a fondness for the classics and first generation Hip Hop snob. Don’t start none won’t be none! Philadelphia Eagles football fanatic and I also enjoy MMA from the safety of my couch. On the weekends you can find me wine drinking, rock climbing, fishing, or being an unpaid chauffeur to my daughters’ activities. Also I’m a snark purveyor and been making with the funny since it was called the ‘Dozens’. Get at me!

 

Author Links

Website: Official Blog

Facebook: Sins of The Father Page

Twitter: @TheLegendBooks

Goodreads: Author Profile

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BPIC Promos presents my review of Donna June Cooper’s Mostly Magic (Book 2 of the Kindling series)

by Donna June Cooper
Series: Books of the Kindling, #2

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Cover Designer: Kanaxa

Genre: Contemporary Romance with a touch of Magic
Release Date: June 3, 2014

Books of the Kindling, Book 2

One terrifying premonition brings them together. Another will threaten their future.

Do dreams come true? Dr. Daniel Woodruff hopes they don’t, because his dreams predict a devastating future for him, for those he loves—and for the planet.

His latest premonition, which blows a huge crater in his eroding sanity, holds a singular horror—the loss of a wife and unborn child. Yet another reason he can let no one into his chaotic life, least of all a perky, persistent investigative reporter he finds simultaneously frustrating and fascinating.

Mel Noblett leaves no stone unturned in her one-woman crusade to save the environment. When a whistleblower in Italy proves too frightened to talk, Mel turns to a fall-back lead, an extremely eccentric, beekeeping professor who might just make the trip worthwhile.

Despite their instant attraction, Mel is relieved when Daniel keeps her at arm’s length. After all, she has a secret of her own—one that makes her preternaturally good at her job. And, when Daniel’s terrifying visions prove cannily accurate and begin to revolve around Mel—it is a gift that could put her life in danger.

Warning: Reluctant seer of a bleak future meets petite force of nature who lights up the heart of his darkness. Where there’s smoke, there could be an unpredictable blaze of passion, but the rewards are oh, so sweet…

Mel’s fingers flew as she folded the green origami paper and counted the children in the crowd. She needed two more frogs, in case they were all brave enough to approach Missy Twist for a souvenir.“And at last, the handsome prince deigned to kiss the rather homely-looking frog,” Cornelius Twist pronounced, not quite putting his lips on the very real, and very bored, amphibian in the bottom of the man-size cabinet. He then shut the doors with a dramatic flourish and turned the cabinet all the way around.

“What do you think happened to the frog?” her dad asked the audience.

A number of voices clamored for his attention, most of them children shouting that the frog turned into a beautiful princess of course, but one little girl insisted, rather loudly and as the other voices died down, that it turned into a prince.

Cornelius waggled his eyebrows at the crowd. “Not in this state, my lovely lady!” he quipped, and the adults in the crowd laughed. “No, this frog turned into a beautiful princess.” He swung open the door of the cabinet, and Heather emerged, looking rather like a bedraggled Snow White in her tattered red and gold outfit trimmed with bells and beads.

Perched on her head, which was already adorned with feathers and ribbons, was a rather lopsided and well-worn tiara with a few glass jewels missing.

Heather extended her hand regally, and he bowed to her as he helped her to the stage.

Mel laughed and clapped from her perch next to the stage, widening her eyes in excitement at the children in the crowd and then pointing to herself and nodding proudly, miming placing the tiara on her head as if she could be a princess too. It was all part of the show.

Heather’s outfit had been modeled after Mel’s, only where Mel’s was blue and silver to match her coloring, Heather’s dramatic black hair and pale skin had demanded the red and gold.

Heather hadn’t taken up the stage name that Mel had used—Missy Twist, daughter of Cornelius Twist. Mel’s dad had told Mel with a smirk that the name Heather used instead, Feather Head, suited her perfectly. But she was petite, flexible, coordinated and wonderful with the kids.

A little girl wandered up the aisle to where Mel sat on the steps leading to the stage, and Mel took one of the green origami frogs and hopped it toward her. It landed in the grass at the tot’s feet, and she scooped it up and carried it to her father, who was already en route to retrieve the brave explorer.

As the little girl waved goodbye, Mel hunched her shoulders and wiggled her fingers under her chin in her trademark “Missy” wave and was startled by a sudden emotional surge from somewhere in the audience.

Love.

Oh, it was much more than that. Amusement. Relief. Excitement. Pleasure. The zing of arousal, and the first tentative stirrings of love. Someone out there was falling in love right this minute, and once she recovered from the initial rush, Mel let the emotions seep into her. What a wonderful feeling: that first swell of realization, when you look into someone’s eyes and suddenly know.

She looked up and saw a familiar pair of chocolate-brown eyes.

Daniel stood at the rear of the audience, leaning against a support post with his arms folded, watching the show—smiling with that beautiful, warm grin of his.

When he realized she’d spotted him, he held up a gloved hand.

Something tingled through her and curled up in her middle, bubbling happily. He’d followed her. All the way down here.

A warm flush heated her cheeks. Surely that surge of emotion couldn’t have come from him. The audience was packed after all. But he had followed her.

She scooped up her basket of origami frogs and flounced up the stairs, dashing over to Heather, who was still showing off for the kids, and grabbing the tiara off her head. Heather shrieked in dismay as Mel jammed it on her own head, stuck out her tongue, twirled and dashed backstage with Heather trailing feathers in pursuit.

“What’s up?” Heather asked without missing a beat. They had done that routine before, but it had been a while.

“Are you doing ‘Assistant’s Revenge’ for the closing?”

Heather nodded, looking over to where the cabinet for that illusion stood.

“I’m going to join you guys for this one, the way we did it a couple of years ago, remember?” Mel placed a black velvet cape on a hook next to the stage entrance.

Heather nodded.

“I have a friend in the audience I want to surprise. Can you hand out the frogs and tell Dad…tell him my prince just showed up?”

Heather blinked, then smiled. “Sure, hon. You don’t know how much I appreciate you rushing down here in case I couldn’t make it. I am so sorry for the trouble.”

Mel waved her off. “Actually, I think you did me a favor.” He followed me!

Her dad didn’t seem surprised when she pushed the appliance onto the stage for the final illusion, the ratty tiara still on her head and a mischievous expression on her face. The audience loved it as he went through the long, exaggerated routine of persuading her to stop showing off and climb into the device, then chaining her in and putting her head and arms into a wooden stock.

The story involved how he was locking her, his innocent but rather rebellious daughter, away to keep her safe. She gave him a hard time about the whole thing, pointing out that other fathers didn’t lock up their daughters, especially princesses, to which he responded that other fathers turned their daughters into frogs every night, especially the ones who went about stealing tiaras.

Usually the assistant and magician changed places as the magician pulled a curtain all the way around the device, but this time, as her dad pulled the curtain, she slipped out past Heather, who took over pulling the curtain as her dad took her place in the device. It was all accomplished so smoothly that the curtain kept moving the entire time they changed positions. The audience was surprised when Heather appeared pulling the curtain, and her father appeared chained and padlocked in the device.

Mel threw on the hooded black velvet cape and sprinted out, then walked sedately among the passersby in the lane to the rear of the audience, so no one would notice her.

“Who did this to me?” her dad yelled, rattling the chains and making the padlocks jump in the stocks.

“Not I, oh wonderful Master Cornelius,” Heather said sweetly, waving the skeleton key in front of her where Master Cornelius couldn’t see it but the audience could. They laughed and snickered in reaction. “I would never lock you up and throw away the key. Even though you have folded me into a tiny box, and stabbed me with swords, and cut me in half, and—” as the list grew longer, Heather began to lose the sweet tone in her voice and sound like an angry harridan, “—stretched me, and twisted me. But maybe I should have.”

Mel stepped behind Daniel and pulled off her cape, tossing it over his shoulder as the laughter died down.

“Hold this for me, please, sir?” she said as he spun around.

“How do you do that?” he asked, laughing.

“Mostly magic,” she whispered, wiggling her fingers under her chin and stepping out from behind him.

I devoured Mostly Magic within 2 days!! I couldn’t stop reading it! then I was sad when it was over too fast for my liking:(. Daniel and Mel’s relationship, like Nick and Grace’s in the first book, was believable, sweet, and fairly well developed. But the best part of the book is the PLOT! The plot and the way it developed and was resolved was extremely well done by the author. Considering the premise- scientist who dreams the future sees an apocalyptic future awaiting mankind- the plot does NOT meander, it remains steady, true, and strong. I’m trying not to give any spoilers but there is a big reveal that’s NOT a flaky tying up loose ends that weakens the writing that comes before it! The reveal connects the wider mankind dooming vision with the smaller (emotional and individual) visions that were scattered throughout.
I also enjoyed how the familial relationship between Grace and Daniel stayed true as well the friendly brotherly bantering between Nick and Daniel. While I personally would have preferred Jamie, the neighbor and all-around Woodruff assistant introduced in the first book, to remain gender-neutral, the author didn’t change the character with no explanation instead she explained the change as a.product of growing up and having different goals.
I also enjoyed how characters introduced in the first book grew and were expanded in this book and new characters introduced were not caricatures or slap-dash. World-building was also well done as more books in the series could definitely be written without succumbing to triteness at cliches.
In conclusion,5 stars. Would definitely re-read and recommend!
Book 1: More Than Magic

Amazon US ~ Amazon UK ~ Amazon CA ~ Amazon AU

Pre-Order Book 3: Making Magic

When she’s not being dragged down the sidewalk by her Jack Russell (if you know Jacks, you understand), Donna June Cooper is belly dancing (shiny!), reading (three books at once), writing (of course!) or complaining about the heat (no matter the temperature). A child of the Appalachians who was transplanted to Texas by her Italian husband, Donna returns to her mountain roots as often as possible, and takes her readers with her in her Books of the Kindling.


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Lola’s Blog Tours presents my review of Sahar Sabati’s Chills:A Short Story Collection

chills coverChills: a short story collection
by Sahar Sabati

Genre: Suspense
Age Category: Adult
Release Date: 17 October 2013

Blurb:
The same people are impossibly spotted in two different places at once; a man considers murdering the husband of a woman he loves; while driving home very early in the morning, a driverless car appears out of the fog and follows two sisters home. Fear of the unknown, emotional intensity, and plain old creepiness will give you chills long after you have finished reading the seven stories in this collection.

You can find Chills on Goodreads

You can buy Chills here:
Amazon
Kobo
B&N
Itunes

My Review

The short stories in this collection were really well written and I truly enjoyed reading each of them. Some of them were heartbreaking as in the case with Karma, but each were thought provoking and might not give you a horror movie type chill but it did make you think or raised the little hairs on the back of your neck after you from overthinking. It was very Bradbury-esque. One or 2 of them might even keep you up late at night as you let it simmer in your pysche but every single one of the short stories in Sahar Sabati’s Chills was a pleasure to read. I would definitely recommend.

Profile Picture - MediumAbout the author:
The author of Spirit Within Club and Chills: A Short Story Collection, Sahar was born the first of three siblings and the first of eight cousins who grew up together. Thrust in the role of head of the brood at a very early age, she honed her imagination by creating stories and plotlines the eight of them could play to all summer long. But soon, her interest in the paranormal took its toll on said brood. Worried on the long-term effects (as well as potential therapy costs) of this continual exposure to increasingly scary stories her oldest was (too) expertly weaving for their terrified ears, her mother gave her a typewriter – and a writer was born. Many books, a couple of screenplays, countless short stories, numerous essays, two blogs, and one Facebook page later, Sahar joined the ranks of Blogcritics, delving into the world of reviews.

You can find and contact Sahar here:
Author website
Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram


Lola's Blog Tours


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BPIC Promos presents New Cover Re-reveals for Rebecca York’s Book Series

The Decorah Security Series

and The Off-World Series

by Rebecca York
 
 
 
 
 
The Off-World Series
 
 
 
 
The Off-World Series
Assignment Danger
Available 1/26!
Off World Collection

A New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly best-selling and award-winning author, Rebecca has written over 145 books and novellas. In 2011 she became the dozenth author to receive the Romance Writers of America Centennial Award for having written 100 romantic novels. Her Killing Moon was a launch title for Berkley’s Sensation imprint in June 2003. Five more books in the series have followed.

Rebecca has authored or co-authored over 65 romantic thrillers, many for Harlequin Intrigue’s very popular 43 Light Street series, set in Baltimore, and many with paranormal elements.

Her many awards include two Rita finalist books. She has two Career Achievement awards from Romantic Times: for Series Romantic Suspense and for Series Romantic Mystery. And her Peregrine Connection series won a Lifetime Achievement Award for Romantic Suspense Series.

So which was your favorite cover? 
Fill out the entries in the rafflecopter to vote for your favorite and be entered to win a $25 Gift Card!


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BPIC Promos presents Donna June Cooper’s More than Magic Book Blitz + Review

by Donna June Cooper

Series: Books of the Kindling, #1

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Cover Designer: Kanaxa

Genre: Contemporary Romance with a touch of Magic
Release Date: February 4, 2014

A malignant secret could turn her mountain sanctuary into their tomb.

DEA agent Nick McKenzie is sure magic exists—a dangerous drug called Smoky Mountain Magic that’s wreaking havoc on the streets of Atlanta. He’s also sure that locating and eliminating the source could mean his death.

When he arrives undercover on Woodruff Mountain, the beautiful owner’s anxious attempts to scare him off tell him something’s afoot, and it’s not her secret patch of a rare, ancient species of ginseng.
As her dream of seeking medicinal plants in the Amazon fades into the distance, Grace Woodruff struggles to come to terms with an inherited magical gift she didn’t want, and searches desperately for the meaning behind her late grandfather’s final, cryptic message.

The last thing she needs underfoot is a handsome, enigmatic writer recovering from a recent illness. Until an accidental touch unleashes a stunning mystical force and Grace senses the wrath of a malicious blight at the heart of the mountain. Now she must choose between her need to hide her gift from the world…and her desire to save Nick’s life.

Warning: This book contains a fiery redhead whose magic cannot be contained and a handsome DEA agent whose final case might give him a second chance at life.

“So—Granny Lily?” he asked again.Grace took a deep breath. “Granny Lily was a healer—an Appalachian Granny Woman. A witch.”

“Witch?” he paused a moment, digesting the word. “You’re kidding, right?”

Grace shook her head and started walking away from the cemetery and back into the meadow. “Granny Witches weren’t witches in the sense we think of today. They were the midwives and healers of the community. For folks isolated up in these mountains with no medical care, they were the doctors.”

Nick followed behind, taking a quick sip of his champagne. “Witch doctor?”

She grinned at him. “Well, yes. In the sense that a witch doctor is the healer in their community. The shaman. The expert in herbal medicine.”

“Witch doctor,” he repeated.

“It’s a tradition that’s passed down in families. In this case from mother to daughter to granddaughter. One woman per generation,” Grace went on. “Some claim it goes back to ancient times.”

Nick stopped. “So, are you—”

She faced him. “What?”

“A witch?”

Nick watched Grace smile and hold out her glass. “Hang on to this for me.”

Nick stared at it for a moment, wondering why she didn’t just answer “no”. Then he took it carefully, holding the bottle under his arm.

Shaking out the blanket, Grace laid it on the grass and knelt down, holding her hands up for her glass and the bottle, which he handed over.

“Sit,” she said smiling up at him. “Pretend it’s a picnic.”

As if on cue, Pooka ran to see what they were up to. When he realized no food was involved, he resumed scouting the edges of the meadow.

Nick paused, wondering if he should make a dash for his SUV and get off this mountain while he still could. But something made him sit.

“So,” he took a deep breath, as if he was about to set foot on some strange new world he didn’t understand. “Witch?”

She twisted sideways, managing to sit gracefully on the blanket without spilling a drop of champagne. He was beginning to wonder if she had faked being tipsy.

“Remember, I said not in the ‘double, double toil and trouble’ kind of way.”

“So, no cauldrons or eye-of-newt things going on?”

“Well, actually, the old cauldron you see in the front yard of a lot of Southern homes used to mean there was a Granny Witch in the house, but—”

“Don’t you have one of those in your garden? Full of flowers?”

She smiled. “You noticed! Yes. Like that. But no evil spells or hexes.”

“So you are a witch?”

“Well, no. I was talking about Granny Lily. I’m—” She stopped, suddenly thoughtful.

“So, you’re not a witch?”

“You know, I’m not sure.”

Nick frowned and drained the rest of his champagne, holding out his glass. She poured it full and sat the bottle on the ground beside the blanket.

“I would think you would notice something like that,” he said. Of course she’s a witch McKenzie, she’s had you under her spell since she met you.

“Look, I probably shouldn’t have used that word. People don’t know about the Granny Witch tradition at all, and they automatically think black cats and broomsticks and pointy hats. It was mostly about herbal medicine and midwifery.”

“Can you deliver a baby?” he asked.

“Well, certainly.”

“And you practice herbal medicine.”

“Yes.”

“Sounds like you’re qualified. Maybe over qualified.”

“It’s not that simple. Some of them did divination and water dowsing. It’s a tradition requiring training and practice. The Granny Witch passes down all her lore to her designated successor and teaches her everything she knows.”

Grace looked off toward the cemetery and he followed her gaze. The headstones were just distant shapes in the moonlight.

“So your mother— No, that’s your father’s side of the family.”

“Exactly. And anyway, the tradition stopped with Granny Lily. She quit practicing and didn’t pass it on to any other female relative.”

“But you said she’s been wandering into your dreams. Does she wander anywhere else?” He looked around them at the silvered meadow and the dark trees, but nothing seemed menacing—just the opposite.

“No. Only in my rather intense dreams. And I’m honestly not sure what she’s trying to tell me.”

He tried to figure out where she was going with all this. Maybe it was the wine. “Well, it sounds like it might be a good thing for your bottom line. You could get additional business these days just by saying you were the descendant of a shaman or medicine woman. I wouldn’t use the word ‘witch’ though, even if they don’t burn them anymore.”

“Why did you say that?” she asked in a sharp tone. In the moonlight, her eyes shimmered green and her pale face was almost translucent, surrounded by flyaway tendrils of dark red. She might be a witch, but she was the most captivating witch he had ever seen.

“What? What did I say?”

“About burning?”

“Well, they used to— Didn’t they? I mean—”

“That was in a completely different culture. Here the Granny Witch was essential in the community. The people of these mountains were nothing like that. Granny Lily was burned accidentally.”

“She was— What?”

Grace picked up the bottle and poured her glass full, then downed it without ceremony and was about to pour another.

“Whoa. Slow down there.” He took the bottle and her glass gently and set them both in the grass. “Now, what’s this about burning? Your granny was burned?”

Grace let out a long breath. “Great-great-great. And yes. Accidentally. In a fire.”

“She wasn’t killed though. The headstone said—”

“No. Badly burned. Disfigured. She lived a long life.”

“A very long life, if I read the stone right.” He connected some dots and took a guess. “This was the fire that started that feud you were talking about, with your neighbors.”

“Yes. But it was an accident. A bunch of Taggarts and other people were gathered outside the cabin and things got out of hand. One of the Taggarts threw a rock at my Grandpa Zach. It broke a window, and knocked over an oil lamp onto Granny Lily’s dress.”

“An oil lamp.”

“It was terrible. It didn’t destroy the cabin, but she was horribly burned. Everyone thought she wouldn’t make it, but she recovered. Only, after that, she was rarely seen by anyone outside of the family. And when she was, she was covered head to toe, even wearing gloves on the hottest summer days. We have a family portrait with her in it, but only half of her face is showing.”

“That is tragic. What started the rock throwing?”

“A misunderstanding.”

“About?”

“A patient.”

“Someone died?”

“No. Someone lived.”

More than Magic, The first book in the Kindling series was HIGHLY enjoyable.
A small cast of characters made it easy to get familiar with the world and invested in their fates. I really liked Nick and Grace and their interactions were believable and well written.The real gem is Jamie- as a spare character she was well Developed and the little bit of social commentary was completely relevant and necessary- its sometimes easier to be a smart boy than a smart girl.

The novel was also wonderfully descriptive re: nature scenes without getting too bogged with excessive or unnecessary details. Also I loved that the author didn’t put too much slang/dialect for the mountain folk.
Without giving any spoilers, I can tell you that the real antagonist was a major surprise.
In conclusion, I would give the novel 5 stars, would recommend, and would read again.

Book 2: Mostly Magic
Pre-Order Book 3: Making Magic

Barnes & Noble ~ iTunes ~ Kobo ~ Google Play Books

All Romance ~ Samhain

When she’s not being dragged down the sidewalk by her Jack Russell (if you know Jacks, you understand), Donna June Cooper is belly dancing (shiny!), reading (three books at once), writing (of course!) or complaining about the heat (no matter the temperature). A child of the Appalachians who was transplanted to Texas by her Italian husband, Donna returns to her mountain roots as often as possible, and takes her readers with her in her Books of the Kindling.


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BPIC Promos presents the bookcover reveal of Kate Moretti’s BINDS THAT TIE

Binds That Tie
by Kate Moretti
Genre: Suspense, Women’s Fiction
Release Date: March 2014

Love ties. Murder binds.

Maggie never felt as though she belonged until Chris Stevens showed her what true happiness meant. Ten years into their marriage, miscarriages and infidelities have scarred them both. Despite their perfect-couple image, Maggie can’t look at Chris with anything but resentment. When a charismatic stranger offers the opportunity for a little harmless flirtation, she jumps into the game.

But charm soon turns to malice, and a deadly split-second decision forces Maggie and Chris onto a dangerous path fraught with secrets, lies, and guilt. With no one else to turn to—no one she dares trust—Maggie will ultimately learn just how binding marital ties can be.

to read an excerpt from Binds That Tie

New York Times Bestselling Author Kate Moretti lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids, and a dog. She’s worked in the pharmaceutical industry for ten years as a scientist, and has been an avid fiction reader her entire life.

She enjoys traveling and cooking, although with two kids, a day job, and writing, she doesn’t get to do those things as much as she’d like.

Her lifelong dream is to buy an old house with a secret passageway.