Thursday, May 24, 2018

#Vote for Heart of Frankenstein by Lexi Post ~ @LexiPost



In D'Tale magazine has nominated Lexi Post for a RONE Award in the Fantasy Romance category for her paranormal romance Heart of Frankenstein.

Have you voted yet? If not I hope you will consider voting for Lexi. I always enjoy her books and know she truly deserves this award. VOTE HERE

You do have to register there for your vote to count. It only takes just a few moments and it very easy. Voting for this category closes on the May 27th. 

Check out my reviews of Lexi Post's work here

Monday, May 21, 2018

#Interview ~ The King's Swordswoman By Toni V. Sweeney ~ @ToniVSweeney

The King's Swordswoman

Lovers of Leonesse Book 2
By Toni V. Sweeney 


Interview with Toni V. Sweeney:

Crystal: Today I have the pleasure of hosting Toni V. Sweeney. Welcome Toni! I'm so excited to have you here today. Would you share a little bit about yourself with us today?

Toni: How about some lines from my “Professional” biography?

Toni V. Sweeney has lived 30 years in the South, a score in the Middle West, and a decade on the Pacific Coast and now she’s trying for her second 30 on the Great Plains.

Since the publication of her first novel in 1989, Toni divides her time between writing SF/Fantasy under her own name and romances under her pseudonym Icy Snow Blackstone. In March, 2013, she became publicity manager for Class Act Books (US). She is also on the review staff of the New York Journal of Books and the Paranormal Romance Guild. In 2016, she was named a Professional Reader by netgalley.com.
She is an Amazon reviewer, is in the 1% of reviewers for Goodreads, and in 2015 and 2016 was voted one of the Top 10 authors of those years by Preditors & Editors Readers Poll. In 2013, the Paranormal Romance Guild’s Reviewer’s Choice voted The kan Ingan Archives (Part Two of the Arcanian Chronicles) a Special Mention, and the following year, named the individual novels The Man from Cymene, and Space Studs, from the same series two of the Top 8 SF/fantasy novels of 2014.

Crystal: Do you have a favorite scene you would like to share with us?

Toni: Please see the excerpt below.

Crystal: Where did you come up with the idea for your latest release?

Toni: I wanted to write something different, where the main male character was helpless and the main female character was the strong one, not only strong-willed but also physically. Having my hero a naïve sickly prince and his bodyguard a female warrior fit the bill exactly. Reversing their roles also let me do a great deal of satire of the usual situations between the characters, also. It was also fun to make the prince the “shrinking violet” and his bodyguard the worldly one.

I enjoyed it so much, The King’s Swordswoman became the first in a trilogy about the people of the kingdom of Leonesse, entitled The Lovers of Leonesse.

Crystal: What are you currently working on?

Toni: I’m currently working on a Gothic horror novel asset in the South about a haunted house and the people affected by its secrets.

Crystal: Do you have any special routine that you follow when you are writing?

Toni: I simply put myself in front of the computer keyboard, and type, type, type. I keep a cup of coffee handy and always filled, too.

Crystal: Did you have to do a lot of research for this book or any other? If so do you have a fascinating fact that you have learned you would like to share with us?

Toni: For The King’s Swordswoman, since this was to be a medieval milieu, I started scouring reference books for information on medieval life—marriage customs, clothing, the training and duties of knights, gods, religion, food—you name it. I learned a typical set of armor weight 25+ pounds and that a broadsword could be over five feet long. Those usually had a handgrip for two hands, to wield it better. I also learned that the shorter swords, those we usually see in movies, where the opponents hold it on one hand was called a bastard sword, though no reasons was given for that name. The most interesting I learned was that young men often braided their hair into dozens of tight pigtails before going to bed so that in the morning when unbraided, they would be blessed with curling, waving locks. The procedure was called wearing the hair in press.

Crystal: Who are some of your favorite authors that you like to read?

Toni: I like JD Robb, and two new writers I’ve discovered through reviewing their books, Michael McBride and Bill Schweigart. They both write horror novels. Mike writes horror thrillers and Bill’s stories are based on Native American mythology.

Crystal: Is there a genre you haven't written that you would like to try?

Toni: I’ve never tried to write a real mystery. I don’t think I’m devious enough. The reader would probably figure it out within the first paragraph!

Crystal: Thanks for visiting. It has been a pleasure having you visit today. Can you think of anything else you would like to share with us today?

Toni: Thanks for having me. I’d like to share my answer to question #2, in this excerpt from The King’s Swordswoman.
~*~*~*~*~*~
EXCERPT:
“So you’ve finally arrived,” Carel greeted his brother brusquely. He flicked a glance at me. “And is this the Lady Comaunder’s choice?” He sounded as if he couldn’t believe it.

“Linus, who is this person?” Lady Mathilde didn’t give her next-to-youngest a chance to answer his brother.

“This is the soldier Comaunder Mariah sent to guard Crispin,” Carel answered for Linus.

“He seems young.” Standing, she bustled over to me, peering into my face. Abruptly, she recoiled. “Carel, this is a girl!”

“Astute of you to notice, Mother.” Carel didn’t attempt to keep his answer respectful.
“Comaunder Mariah’s daughter, as a matter of fact,” he went on.

Lady Mathilde stared at her eldest, plainly upset, more than a little angry. “She can’t guard His Majesty,” she stated, in a don’t argue-with-me tone.

“Why not?” Linus spoke up, doing just that.

“She’s a female—” Lady Mathilde began, giving him a glare saying much about a son daring to question his mother’s opinions.

“So?” Carel interrupted. Not letting his mother finish a sentence earned him a scowl.

“Crispin’s guard has to be with him every minute of the day and night. This girl can’t possibly sleep in the same room with His Majesty. It wouldn’t be proper.”

“Janel’s a devotee of the goddess, Madame.” Carel’s reply was clipped as if attempting to control his anger. A faint rose fragrance hovered in the air. “DeOsse requires chastity of her followers. You needn’t worry about her climbing into bed with him.”

Linus stifled a chuckle.

“Nevertheless…”

“Nevertheless, nothing! I asked the Comaunder for her best soldier and Janel’s her choice. She stays.”

There was a sigh and a creaking of the leather straps supporting the mattress. A sleepy murmur, sudden movement from the bed, a body straightening and rolling over.

“M-Mother?” The voice was so shaky and hollow it sounded like an old man rather than a seventeen-year-old boy.

“Yes, my angel.” Mathilde was distracted from further argument as she rushed back to the bedside.

“W-we have a v-visitor?” It was asked breathlessly.

Crispin sounded as if he’d run a race and couldn’t get his wind. Oh, goddess, and he stutters, too. I felt my heart dip with pity.

He leaned forward slightly. “Who are you, soldier?”

“The guard sent from Sword Squad,” Carel began.

I started to supply my name.

“—A female,” Mathilde didn’t let either of us finish. “I’ve told him she isn’t acceptable.”

Oh no. She’s going to talk him out of it. For some reason, the Queen Mother didn’t want her son to have a guard. I imagined she had enough influence with him to have me
sent away. Well, that’d be no reflection on me or my abilities, but it would be an insult. To myself as well as to the Lady Comaunder, my mother, for her choice.

“Why not?” It was the whining query of a child being told he couldn’t do something.

“See? Even His Majesty sees there’s no problem,” Carel pointed out, not trying to hide how this pleased him.

Mathilde ignored him, turning back to the bed. “Because your guard must be here at all times. Think about that. You don’t want a female here while you’re being bathed, do you?
Seeing you naked? Or watching you relieve yourself into a chamber?”

Crispin cringed. There was no other way to describe the sudden movement the figure behind the
draperies made.

“She wouldn’t look…” His voice went up so quickly it became a squeak. There was a loud gulp as he attempted to return it to a more kingly timbre. The shadowy head turned in his elder brother’s direction. “Carel, s-surely she wouldn’t…”

“Of course not. Whenever you’re being bathed, Janel will turn her back. And she’ll never be in your company when you perform your other functions. Will you, Prive?” He directed this last question at me so suddenly I nearly jumped.

“C-certainly not, Sire.” I grimaced at that brief tremble in my voice. I hoped no one thought I
was mocking my king’s stammer. “I swear His Majesty’ll have privacy.”

“Come closer, Prive.” A hand wavered through the draperies. It was waxen-pale, large but bony, almost as white as the lawn sleeve covering it. “What are your orders concerning us?”

I stepped forward and seized Crispin’s hand. It was as chill as a piece of alabaster, not like a living thing at all. Dropping to one knee, I pressed the cold fingers to my forehead. “I’m to
protect you, Your Majesty, and keep your enemies at bay.”

The hand withdrew, pulling me to my feet as it disappeared back inside the sanctuary of the bed. “Then it’s all right. She can s-stay, Mother.”

~*~*~*~*~*~
Blurb:

The King is dead; How Long will the New King Live?
Invalid Crispin of Leonesse isn’t expected to long survive his coronation…and then Swordswoman Janel Redhu becomes his bodyguard.
Smothered by the Queen Mother and his Physician, Crispin is an odd combination of feeble body, rebellious spirit, and frightened child. In spite of that, king and guard have become close friends. When Janel overhears what she thinks is a conspiracy by Crispin’s brothers to seize the Throne, she does the only thing she can.
She carries her sovereign to safety in the neutral country of Sudelain.
When the two runaways come across an enemy scouting party, Janel believes Crispin is killed, and lets herself be captured as punishment for failing to protect him.
What follows is a tale of suffering and love as a boy transforms into manhood and a young woman helps him meet his planned destiny.

Buy Links:
Paperback from the publisher’s website: http://classactbooks.com/cat-romance/cat-fantasy/the-king-s-swordswoman-57-detail
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2IxnzPQ

Learn more about Toni at:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tvsweeney
Amazon Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002BLQBB8
Twitter: @ToniVSweeney

Sunday, May 20, 2018

#NewRelease ~ RUMOR HAS IT By Jessica Lemmon ~ @lemmony


RUMOR HAS IT
By Jessica Lemmon
  
 About Rumor Has It:
This is one bad boy who’s fit to print. A notorious jock tackles life—and love—after football with a type-A journalist in this sexy standalone from the author of Eye Candy.

Barrett: As a former pro football star, I’m used to playing the field. After injuries cut my NFL career short, my second act as a broadcaster ended on live television when a hot mic picked up a little verbal . . . indiscretion. But this latest publicity stunt might just land me back on top—much to the chagrin of Catarina Everhart, the prissy, beautiful journalist who’s been assigned to date a bad boy (i.e., me) and write about it. Catarina swears I’ll never touch her, let alone kiss those full lips of hers. Based on our chemistry, I’m not buying it. . . .

Catarina: Barrett Fox seems to be doing everything in his power to make me hate him. The cocky egomaniac is infamous for his bad behavior, and now, thanks to my boss’s harebrained schemes, he’s apparently my problem. As one fake date leads to another, I start to see a different side of Barrett. He’s close with his family. He does volunteer work. And, okay, he kisses like a dream. Am I really dating Barrett Fox? Or is he playing me? Because suddenly I’m risking my reputation—and my heart.

Ballantine Group; Loveswept
 On Sale: May 15th, 2018 
 ISBN: 9781101969472
Pages 212 
Price: $4.99 
Excerpt:

“Your cohort will be writing from his own POV on what it’s like to be the bad boy who’s committed to dating. It’s a dash of fiction, a dash of romance, and a dash of what you’re best at writing: relationships.”
“Who is it?” Nanci asks, excitement rounding her blue eyes. I’m not there yet. I’m still in shock.
“Me,” a rough voice announces from the doorway behind me.
I turn my head to look over my shoulder, stunned further into silence by the sheer attractiveness of the man standing there. He’s so good-looking it’s criminal. But then, he is—
“Barrett Fox!” Nanci says and then bursts into a series of nervous giggles.
“In the flesh.” He bends at the waist to place a kiss on Mia’s temple. “Sorry I’m late.”
“I’d expect no less,” Mia says with a smile that—yeah, is a little gooey. She bats her un-mascaraed lashes while she’s at it.
Who knew my boss had a sexual bone in her body? I thought she was made of steel beams and asbestos.
Everyone at the conference room table, save me, stands as one and moves to Barrett Fox like he has his own orbit. Mia shushes the chatter around us.
“Okay, all right. Now that you all have your assignments, let’s leave Barrett and Catarina to theirs.” She makes a shooing motion and everyone shuffles reluctantly out the door.
I slide a derisive glance to my new “co-worker” and wonder what I did to Mia to make her stick me with this assignment. Except I know exactly why she did it. Mia’s work ethic can be described in two words: bottom line. She knows a prime opportunity to bring money to this paper when she sees it.
She flips to another sheet in her yellow pad and tears it out, laying it in front of me.
“I’ll let you hash out the details.” Before she shuts the door, she adds, “Barrett. You know where to find me.”
“Sure do, doll.” He winks then takes her chair at the head of the table, leaning back and kicking up his feet.
I recoil from the blatant rudeness of that move, but I shouldn’t be surprised. Barrett Fox is known for his rude antics, and this one is tame by comparison. Unlike the photos of him I’ve seen online: sweaty, streaked in dirt, or even dressed in a suit making lewd gestures at the camera.
There’s no way to escape the popularity of the local OSU football player who went pro, especially in Columbus. This paper was built on a foundation of footballs.
He wears a crisp, white shirt tucked into dark pants, black leather shoes, and because he kicked his feet up and crossed them at the ankles, I also notice a pair of red socks with white polka dots.
“What’s your name, gorgeous?”
I reroute my gaze to his face. Sharp, angular, a deep dent in his chin. His eyelids are narrowed in assessment, but I know under those red-brown eyelashes his irises are so blue they border on turquoise.
Nanci had a calendar of him last year. I’ve seen this guy in every pose from decked out in full gear to shirtless, to the one where he’s lying on a beach, his shorts pulled past his ass crack.
He’s long and lean, and I might have had a passing appreciation for how attractive he is if I didn’t know so much about him.
“What if I called you Ginger? Would that upset you?” I ask tartly, referring to the perfectly coiffed reddish hair on top of his head. He’s good with gel, or has his own stylist. Or maybe he’s sleeping with a stylist.
He grins at my question—straight white teeth he didn’t lose any of playing ball for eight years—and props his hands behind his head.
His shirtsleeves are uncuffed and rolled to the elbows, the scruff on his face two days past clean-shaven.
“Apologies, beautiful, but you know my name. I don’t know yours.”
“You mean Mia didn’t tell you my name when she threw me to the wolves?” I snap. I have a momentary fantasy where I talk Mia into reassigning this puff piece to Nanci, but she won’t. Nanci mostly helps out with articles. She hasn’t honed her journalistic skills well enough to be entrusted with a column.
When ad dollars are involved, Mia’s focus is ensuring a climb in readership. Not to brag, but that’s the reason I’m in charge of the relationships section. I’m good. Not because of some magic fairy dust but because I work my ass off.
Still, it would have been nice to write a commentary about how to date a real man instead of this one. A man who knows how to properly wear a button-down shirt, for example. Like North.
“Ouch. I’m guessing you’re not a fan?”
“Of you? I barely know who you are, Mr. Fox.”
“You seem to know plenty. I can read it in the pleat between those two perfect eyebrows.” He runs those blue eyes over my face, down my blouse and lingers at my breasts.
I lift the paper Mia left behind in front of my chest to avoid further scrutiny.
“Catarina Everhart,” I say as I read over the sheet of paper in my hand. Mia’s shorthand is atrocious but after five years of practice, I can read her hieroglyphics without any problem.
“Do you go by Cat?”
“No. I don’t. Do you go by Bare?”
“Sometimes.” He shrugs, lowers his feet to the floor, and leans over the table. He flicks the back of the paper I’m using as a shield.
“Is this what ‘dating you’ is going to be like?” I sneer.
“Close.” His lips twitch at the corner. “Add in a few slow, long, wet kisses that’ll curl your toes and a little under the shirt/over the bra action, and you’re there.”
About the Author: 
  
A former job-hopper, Jessica Lemmon resides in Ohio with her husband and rescue dog. She holds a degree in graphic design currently gathering dust in an impressive frame. When she’s not writing about super-sexy heroes, she can be found cooking, drawing, drinking coffee (okay, wine), and eating potato chips. She firmly believes God gifts us with talents for a purpose, and with His help, you can create the life you want.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

#GiveAway ~ 30 Noodles by Raw Munchies ~ Reut Barak


 30 Noodles
 by Raw Munchies (Reut Barak)


Reut will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here. 

BLURB:

Join the fun!

This book is all about the warm crunch: pesto,

fettuccine, pad thai, and even coconut chicken, all in their raw vegan version. It’s a great way to have a quick, impressive healthy meal.

30 recipes for 30 days of a spiralizing adventure. It’s a whole new way of cooking!

“It’s always great to share food with the people we love, and Raw Munchies book series is all about making something special to have together. It could be an exotic smoothie, a healthy spaghetti, or a portobello mushroom steak. It’s been my greatest challenge and joy to create this book series and open up to this new art: to bring popular and gourmet recipes from around the world to the raw vegan table.” Reut Barak

GENRE:  Non-Fiction, Cookbook

~*~*~*~*~*~
Youtube vid for this week:

1. Get free giveaways:

Anyone purchasing the book on the launch date, May 18, 2018 will receive:

  • A free copy of the eBook 12 Vegetarian Sauces: A mini- cookbook (see it on Amazon)
  • An easy organizer for daily and weekly meal plans and shopping lists
  • A cute fridge list 6 steps to RawVolutionize the Kitchen
  • 3 Free recipes from the next book in the series: 50 Salads

To participate: send the order number or copy of the receipt and the title "giveaway" to: 30noodles@gmail.com

2. Join a free Webinar on Launch day, May 18 at 12:00 EST, with a Vip List:

Webinar:
To join the VIP for the webinar: send questions to 30webinar@gmail.com, with the title "VIP" by 17th of May and join the Vip list!

Webinar link and instructions: http://rawmunchies.org/30-noodles-webinar/

3. Win a free signed copy of 30 Noodles!
Ask a burning question on the raw vegan diet at:


The best burning question wins!



4. Learn about the diet on the 5-18 of May blog
The free blog runs during the 2 weeks of the launch: 5-18 of May - One question a day:

  • What is raw vegan?
  • Do you loose weight on a Raw Vegan Diet?
  • What are the most healthy supplements?
  • Can you name some raw vegan celebrities?
  • Does the raw vegan diet anti-age? Do you actually become younger?
  • Can we get some free Noodles Tricks?
  • What is the healthiest Exercise?
  • What if I don’t have time to cook?
  • What about the protein on a raw vegan diet?
  • How do I eat out when I’m raw vegan?
  • How do I impress my friends on a raw vegan diet?
  • 2 Dinner Ideas for entertaining friends
  • Why is raw vegan so healthy? My personal story
  • How do you work on self image and confidence?

~*~*~*~*~*~
Excerpt:

MEAT BALLS

An impressive bonus, to add to every recipe

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Waiting time: 4-6 hours
Serves Two

MEAT

1 cup walnuts
1½ tablespoons cold-pressed olive oil
1 teaspoon coconut aminos
½ teaspoon rosemary
½ teaspoon Chicken Curry Masala (herbal
poultry seasoning)
½ teaspoon paprika
a few drops Nama Shoyu or tamari
pinch salt
pinch pepper

VEGETABLES

¼ cup chives
1-2 mushrooms
1 tablespoon parsley
1 tablespoon red bell pepper

This is recipe 31... it's a bit of a bonus, because you can always add meat balls...

Meat

In a food processor or high-speed blender, blend the Meat ingredients until smooth.

Vegetables

In a food processor or high-speed blender, blend the Vegetables ingredients to a rough mix.

Mix Vegetables with Meat and create small balls.

Dehydrate on a stainless steel or mesh sheet at 108 degrees Fahrenheit (42 degrees Celsius), for 4–6 hours.

Serve with your favorite Noodle recipe!

Youtube Video for this recipe: https://youtu.be/rn518tSlKZI

Page 20
~*~*~*~*~*~
About the Author: 
RawMunchies.org is a raw vegan website dedicated to making healthy, gluten free recipes, that are delicious, easy and great for detox.

Reut Barak has been an online influencer in the Raw Vegan world since her transformation in 2015, “I started cooking when I was 7, on my own making Challah bread. I was brave. The result was what could only be described as beginners luck.I have since had every possible failure in the book (and some of my own).

But I always succeeded in the end, and over the 25 years in the kitchen I mastered cooking. I could make anything I wanted to make. Until I went raw.

A chance night of late Googling on May 25, 2015 exposed me to this new great challenge and I learn new things every single day. Join me! Love, Reut”

#Review ~ Stripped by Tara Wyatt ~ @taradwyatt

Stripped (Blue HEAT) by [Wyatt, Tara]
Are you looking for a story that is going to keep you on the edge of your seat with drama and warm up your cool spring night with some incredibly hot and steamy scenes? I have the perfect book for you, Stripped by Tara Wyatt. I was hooked on this book from the very first page and it held me captivated all the way to the end. 

Detective Sawyer Matthews has lost his best friend and his partner in the line of duty. He has one thing on his mind and that is getting the man that killed his friend and taking him and his crew down! 

Brooke Simmons has finally gotten the job that she has wanted for so long. She wants to be a detective and take out the bad guys. She's thrilled when she gets to fill the job opening on the HEAT division. She knows it's not going to be easy because she will be stepping into the shoes of a team member that has been killed in the line of duty. It's going to be a tough assignment but she's up for. 

The really fun and oh so steaming hot part of this story is that  Brooke and Sawyer met at a hotel and shared a night steaming passion as an ONE night stand only. When Brooke is introduced to her new team she's shocked to see the incredibly hot man that she spent that oh so HOT night with. 

Brooke is one awesome detective she knows what she is doing and she's ready to kick rear ends and take names later. I found an instant connection to Brooke and I loved her kick butt attitude along with her fun and sassy attitude at times. 

Sawyer is one of the good guys. He has his team members' backs and he's ready to tackle the gang that took out his friend. He wants justice and he's going to get it. 

I loved watching Brooke and Swayer work together. Oh my, the steam and spunk between these two are full of fireworks. Their passion is so hot for each other but they're trying to keep things between them just business and no funny business going on in the closet or under the sheets. 

There is plenty of action and drama that kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next and just how in the world were they going to get out of the situations they found themselves in.

If you like plenty of steam with an incredible act packed, drama filled storyline with well-written characters, this is the book you are looking for. I found Tara Wyatt to have a nice writing voice and am anxious to read more of her work soon. I can't wait to see what she might have in store for the next book in the Blue HEAT series.

I was given the opportunity to read this great story and it has been my pleasure to share my thoughts with you.

Amazon Buy Link

Monday, May 14, 2018

#Review ~ Harry: Life, Loss, and Love by Katie Nicholl ~ @SarahBurningham,



Harry: Life, Loss, and Love by [Nicholl, Katie]Normally I'm not a huge biography fan but I do enjoy reading books outside of my comfort zone from time to time. I also like to read about the Royal family. I remember the boys being so young when they lost their mother and my heart went out to them both. It's been so nice to that William has such a wonderful family and I'm so happy to see that Harry has found someone to spend his life with.

Harry. Life, Loss, and Love is one of those books that I could not put down. I was fascinated to read about Harry's life and all he has been through. From the loss of his Mom to his time served in the armed services and how they had to do so many things to keep him safe and the people around him safe. It was also interesting to see what his friends and the ladies in his life have gone through. 

I love that Harry has found Megan and that their relationship is going to make it. You can see and hear their love for each other in the pages of this book and in the pictures. I think Megan is strong enough to support what Harry needs and withstand what the world throws at them. I enjoyed reading how they met and what they went through and how they have gotten to such a grand phase in their lives. 


Harry certainly was a party playboy but wasn't really enjoying his lifestyle. He really needed a nice lady to enhance his life and to settle down with and start his own family. I think he has found the perfect mate in Megan. I'm anxious to watch their life together and their family as it grows in the years to come. 


Overall I just loved this book. I felt like I learned a lot about Harry and what all this poor Prince has gone through over the years. Katie Nicholl has done a fabulous job of putting together a very fascinating story with the sources to point out the different things in Harry's life. Ms. Nicholl has a lovely writing style that was extremely easy to read and held my attention from the first page all the way to the end. If you enjoy reading about the Royal family and their lives you are going to enjoy this book. I know that I certainly did. 


I was given the opportunity to read this great story and it has been my pleasure to share my thoughts with you. 


Amazon Buy Link 

#NewRelease ~ THE SUGARHOUSE BLUES By Mariah Stewart ~


THE SUGARHOUSE BLUES
The Hudson Sisters series, Book 2
By Mariah Stewart 


Book description:
Allie, Des, and Cara, each having her own reasons for wanting a share of their father's estate, meet in the grand Victorian home in which he grew up, only to be greeted by another secret he purposely hid from them: his sister Bonnie. The women reluctantly band together to take on Fritz's challenge, working with a local contractor to begin the renovations financed by an account Fritz had set up for the task. While the restoration appears to go smoothly at first, it soon becomes apparent that the work will be more extensive than originally thought, and Des, elected to handle the money, needs to find ways to stretch out the remaining savings while searching for new sources of funding.

As strangers linked only by their DNA try to become a family, the Hudson sisters also try to come to terms with the father they only thought they knew. In the process, each woman discovers her own capacity for understanding, forgiveness, love, and the true meaning of family.

On sale May 15, 2018
Trade Paperback • Price: $16.00 • ISBN: 9781501144929
eBook • Price: $7.99 • ISBN: 9781501144967

*****Note from Crystal: I am reading this right now and it is awesome. Stay tuned for a review really soon :) *****
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Excerpt:
Dad was the late Franklin—Fritz—Hudson, Hollywood agent and father to Des and her sister, Allie, via their mother, Honora—Nora—Hudson, the actress, who’d died four years earlier. Unbeknownst to them until recently, he’d also been father to Cara, whose mother, Susa, may or may not have been Fritz’s legal wife. Things were a bit fuzzy where his marriages were concerned. Had he divorced Nora before marrying Susa? The paper trail was spotty, and Fritz’s best friend and attorney, Pete Wheeler, hadn’t been able to shed any light on the situation when it came time to sort out the legalities. After Fritz died, it had fallen to Pete to introduce Des, Allie, and Cara to each other, and to break the news to all three daughters about their father’s dual families. Once the shock had begun to subside, Pete’d dropped the other shoe: To inherit Fritz’s estate, the three women had to live together in their father’s family home in Hidden Falls, Pennsylvania, until they completed the restoration of the family’s boarded up, run-down theater. If any one of the three refused or left before the restoration was complete, the entire estate would be donated to a charity of Pete’s choice. Since Fritz’s daughters each had her own reason for needing the money, they’d agreed to the absurd terms.
But it turned out that Fritz had kept other secrets.
There was that little matter of Fritz’s sister, Bonnie—known to everyone in Hidden Falls as Barney—who’d been living in the Hudson family home. While Fritz’d never told  his daughters about her, Barney had known all about them and the terms of her late brother’s will, and was waiting for them with open arms when they arrived. It had been impossible not to love Barney, and they’d all taken to her immediately. Barney was not only smart, she was wise, loving, and had a heart of gold. She’d cheerfully filled in her nieces on the family history their father had neglected to share. Des knew her life was so much richer for having Barney in it.
And the more Des got to know Cara, the more she cared about this half sister who was down-to-earth and fun, and had been blessed with common sense, a logical mind, and an abundance of heart. She and Des even looked a little alike, both having the same curly auburn hair and heart-shaped face. Together they’d studied the family portraits displayed in Barney’s front hall, trying to figure out which ancestor they resembled.
Cara was easy to get along with, certainly more so than Allie, who was the oldest of the three, and the tallest. She was slim, and her blond hair was long and straight. She had cheek bones that a model would envy, and features that guaranteed that more often than not, she’d be the most beautiful woman in the room. Allie had an innate sense of style that Des admittedly lacked. And while as a child Des had been the star of her own TV show, Des Does It All, she’d always felt invisible when Allie was around.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ 
About the author:
Mariah Stewart is the award-winning New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of numerous novels and several novellas and short stories. A native of Hightstown, New Jersey, she lives with her husband and two rambunctious rescue dogs amid the rolling hills of Chester County, Pennsylvania, where she savors country life and tends her gardens while she works on her next novel. Visit her website at MariahStewart.com, like her on Facebook at Facebook.com/AuthorMariahStewart, and follow her on Instagram @Mariah_Stewart_Books.


#Interview ~ Runaway Brother By Icy Snow Blackstone

Runaway Brother
By Icy Snow Blackstone

Interview with Icy Snow Blackstone:

Crystal: Today I have the pleasure of hosting Icy Snow Blackstone. Welcome! I'm so happy to have you here today.  Would you share a little bit about yourself with us today?

Icy Snow: Here’s what the promotions manager at Class Act Books thought up:

Icy Snow Blackstone was born in 1802, in northern Georgia where her father, the Reverend John Blackstone, was prominent in local politics. She married a minister, raised seven children, and lived there all her life.

Two hundred and five years later, her great-great-great-great-granddaughter began using her name as a pseudonym for her romance novels. The present Icy Snow Blackstone lives far from her Southern roots in Lancaster County, Nebraska, where she continues to write romances.

As of 2017, Icy Snow has eleven novels published by Class Act Books. Her contemporary romance, Tuesday’s Child, was given the Paranormal Romance Guild’s Reviewers Choice award for Best Contemporary Novel of 2014. A SciFi romance, Earthman’s Bride and Vietnam-era romance Jericho Road, have also received awards.

Crystal: Do you have a favorite scene you would like to share with us?

Icy Snow: Just see below for a blurb and an excerpt of Runaway Brother.

Crystal: Where did you come up with the idea for your latest release?

Icy Snow: There was an old movie on TVB, Sullivan’s Travels, about a millionaire who goes on a road trip to see how the “other half” lives. It was during the depression and he got his eyes opened and fell in love, too. I decided to update it a bit and have him be runaway from family responsibilities and traveling through the South, to dispel a few clichés about that section of the country.

Crystal: What are you currently working on?

Icy Snow: Currently, I’m taking a little vacation from writing to concentrate on doing publicity for the novels I’ve already written.

Crystal: Do you have any special routine that you follow when you are writing?

Icy Snow: Not really. I usually write from 1 to 4 in the afternoon, reserving mornings for errands and evenings for a little entertainment such as going to a movie, reading a book, or watching TV.

Crystal: Did you have to do a lot of research for this book or any other? If so do you have a fascinating fact that you have learned you would like to share with us?

Icy Snow: For Runaway Brother, I did a great deal of research on horse shows, especially showing Arabian horses, and that included the costume the rider usually wears. I also did a lot of search on the history of the Arabian.

I found there are some legends about how the mares becoming the mothers of the Arabian breed were chosen. The most interesting one is: The Prophet penned together one hundred mares, he kept them without water and then freed them. All ran to drink and then he blew his war bugle. Only five had stopped and returned to him, and those were the chosen ones.

Crystal: Who are some of your favorite authors that you like to read?

Icy SnowI like Norah Roberts and Irish Johansen. Good plots with romance and adventure, and good characters.

Crystal: Is there a genre you haven't written that you would like to try?

Icy Snow: I’ve never written a political thriller. I don’t think I’d have the finesse to pull it off.

Crystal: Thanks for visiting. It has been a pleasure having you visit today. Can you think of anything else you would like to share with us today?

Icy Snow: I appreciate the opportunity to be here. Here’s that excerpt I promised:

~*~*~*~*~*~*~
EXCERPT:

The track was getting narrower, barely two ruts now with a width of slender, wiry grass separating them. He slowed the bike. Don’t want to get that stuff caught in the spokes and stall the engine.
Nick raised his head, looking around, then gave a loud sigh of exasperation. Okay! So I’m lost! He’d just follow the road to wherever it went, probably to some farmer’s front yard. When he got there, he’d apologize, turn around and get himself back to the main drag. If he could find it.
A broken branch loomed ahead, and he turned his attention to it, guiding the bike around it.
A second branch and several twigs littered the roadway. Nick was so concerned with maneuvering around them he didn’t see the horse sail over the fence, wasn’t even aware it was there until he looked up and found the white shape almost directly in front of him.
He jerked the wheel to the right, forgetting to apply the rear brakes first. The bike skidded, its back wheel rising off the ground as the front one stopped rolling. He had a brief vision of the animal leaping forward, its rider clinging to its back, wide, frightened blue eyes, flying blonde hair...
The motorcycle went off the road, sliding into the ditch and running up the other side, the front fender striking one of the fence posts. It bounced and rebounded, and Nick went flying over the handlebars, flipping in mid-air and hitting the same post with his back. The bike wavered a moment, then toppled onto its side. Nick slid down the post, landing upside down in the ditch, his shoulders crushing coffeeweed into an aromatic mass.
The pounding hooves stopped. He heard running footsteps, opened his eyes and saw someone running toward him. He closed them again.
“Are you hurt?”
This time when he opened his eyes, he was staring at the upside-down face of a very pretty girl, at least she’d have been pretty if her face wasn’t screwed up into such a dismayed scowl.
“Am I hurt?” He managed a growl as he slid further into the weeds and rolled over. “I just hit a fence and got tossed into a ditch! What do you think?” Clambering to his knees, while she plucked ineffectually at one arm, he jerked out of her grasp. “I can get up by my— Ow!”
He’d gotten upright, took a step, and his leg buckled, turning at the ankle “Here.” She slid into the ditch, offering a hand. Reluctantly he took it, being careful not to put too much weight behind it as he let her pull him to his feet. He could see she was worried and he really wasn’t hurt all that bad, but he was angry because she’d been so reckless.
“What the Hell’s the matter with you? Jumping in front of me like that! If I’d hit that horse—”
“What are you doing riding this road? This is private property.”
She was too pretty for him to pretend to stay angry at, so he toned it down, answering her question. “I got lost. I only wanted to find the end of the road and turn around.”
“You have a way to go. The house is about a quarter of a mile that way.” She nodded toward a group of pines thrust into the road, hiding the rest of it from sight. Nick looked in that direction, then back at her. She, in turn, looked at the motorcycle, still on its side in the weeds. “You seem okay. Is that hurt?”
Nick got down on one knee, feeling under the bike. His hand came away wet. He sniffed at his fingers.
Gasoline. He pulled off one glove, exploring gingerly. Something had punched a hole in the gas tank and gasoline was pouring into the grass. He had no idea how, but it didn’t matter. What did was that he wasn’t going anywhere as long as that hole was there.
“Well?” She appeared to be awaiting his diagnosis.
He wiped his fingers on the seat of his jeans. “Gas tank’s got a hole in it, clutch cable’s severed. Is there a motorcycle shop around here anywhere?”
“No, but Marshall’s in town can probably repair it. He does everything from lawn mowers to farm machinery.”
Oh Lord, deliver me from small town handymen! He was about to tell her he didn’t want Marshall touching his bike when he realized, What else am I going to do? Do you have a better idea, Mr. Runaway?
“So which way is town?” He straightened, looked around as if expecting to see the city limits a few feet away.
“Too far for you to push that thing,” she answered, gesturing at the front wheel. “Not with it twisted like that.”
“What do I do then, Miss Not-So-Helpful? Since this is your fault—”
“My fault?” Hands went to her hips. And deliciously slim ones they were, too. Nick had a moment to think she looked anything but angry, though it was apparent she thought she did. Cute, maybe. Hell, he might even say adorable with those blonde wisps floating around her face, but angry? Nope! “Who’s the trespasser? Who had his head down, studying the ground when he should’ve been looking straight ahead?”
“You weren’t ahead of me,” he countered. “You and that white tank of yours jumped a fence and came in from the side.”
“Never mind. Just let me get the bike upright and point me in the right direction, and—”
“I’ll do no such thing.” That made him stare at her, wondering if she was going to walk away, mount her white steed, and leave him stranded knee-deep in Kudzu or whatever-the-Hell these weeds were. “I’ll ride back to the house and get my grandpa’s truck. We”ll put the motorcycle in it.”
She clambered up the bank, running toward the horse now was grazing on the other side of the road. Catching the reins and a handful of mane, she swung into the horse’s back—very gracefully, he noted—then turned the animal’s head and trotted it back to him.
“You stay right there,” she told him. “I’ll be back in a jif!” She kicked the horse in the ribs and sent it galloping down the road.
Nick turned his attention back to the V-Rod. It hadn’t moved. Did he expect it to get up and limp over to him like a dog with a hurt paw, whimpering for sympathy? Shaking his head, he leaned against the edge of the ditch, back against a fencepost.
Welcome South, Brother!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Blurb for Runaway Brother:

At the age of twenty-two, newly-graduated Nicolo Liguori is forced by his three brothers to become care-giver for his father, who suffered multiple strokes. For the next ten years, Nick gives up his own ambitions , working during the day in the family jewelry business in Vanderhoek, New York, and returning to the Liguori mansion every night, to be at his father’s beck-and-call. Then Papa dies and Nick is free…or is he? Carlo, Marco, and Pietro expect him to continue life as usual, but Nick has other ideas. Secretly buying a motorcycle, he starts to work one day and… disappears.

Nick gets as far as the southern coast of Georgia before an accident disables his bike. Stranded, with no idea of the South except what he’s seen on TV, Nick isn’t certain what kind of reception he’s going to get. Then, a pretty Southern miss and a white tank disguised as a temperamental horse named Shazam change his life as they and the citizens of Oceano teach a runaway Yankee about life and love in a small Georgia town.

Buy Links:

Paperback from the publisher’s website: http://www.classactbooks.com/index.php/component/virtuemart/cat-contemporary/runaway-brother-342013-04-29-03-29-06-detail?Itemid=0

e-Books/Kindle from Amazon: https://amzn.to/2jTNdj1