Thursday, February 21, 2019

"The Woman America Loves a Latte" by Holly Tierney-Bedord

The Woman America Loves a Latte
by Holly Tierney-Bedord

The Woman America Loves a Latte by Holly Tierney-Bedord

The Woman America Loves a Latte by Holly Tierney-Bedord is currently on tour with Silver Dagger Book Tours. The tour stops here today for an excerpt and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

Orphaned as a teen, Veloura has never stood a chance. Spending her days sprucing up the shack of a has-been bull rider and washing hair down at the local beauty salon, she's settled for a life of low expectations.
When it turns out her fiancé doesn't have her best interests at heart, she's forced to come up with a new plan for herself.
An opportunity to be the spokesperson for a coffee chain means a bright future could be hers, if only she can stay ahead of her dark past.

“Suzie,” Vee was saying, “my life is finally coming together. Can you believe I’ve got a wedding to plan?”
Suzie wrapped her finger through the phone cord in her kitchen a couple of times. Her two-year-old daughter Britney was sick with the flu, down for a nap, so she’d taken personal days from both her jobs. Unfortunately, she still had to pay the daycare center, but it was nice to be home on a Monday.
“No, Vee, I can’t believe it. Have you totally given up on that guy who works at RadioShack?”
“God, yes, I’ve totally given up on him.”
“What about the guy at the frozen yogurt place? Or maybe just try being single for a while.”
“I can’t be single. Where would I live? Back in some rooming house with twenty other people?”
“I thought you liked New Horizons?”
“It was a halfway house, Suzie, which would have been okay, but when you’re the only person not recovering from an addiction, everyone gives you the coldest shoulder.”
“I guess you could stay here with us,” Suzie said. She held her breath, hoping Vee would say no.
“No, no. Don’t be crazy. I’ve got everything with Thunder. He’s a man. He owns his own home.”
“I hope you’re not marrying him for his dinky little house.”
“Gimme a break. I’m not that materialistic. I would never marry some guy for his house,” said Vee. “I’m just trying to tell you that, unlike every other guy I’ve ever dated, he’s an honest-to-goodness adultwith things like a bad back and real pots and pans. I need this kind of stability and support. Doesn’t everyone deserve that?”
“Yes, but I thought you said he stays out all night? How does that feel stable to you?”
“I think you get that with all guys, at least early on before they’re fully committed.”
“No, Vee, not all men are like that,” said Suzie.
“Anyway,” said Vee. “Let’s focus on the positive. Like how fast Thunder’s trying to make it all happen.”
“Really?” said Suzie. She was still doubtful whether Vee and Thunder were even engaged or if this was some kind of massive misunderstanding on the part of her friend.
“Really!” said Vee. “I asked him about an engagement ring on Monday—the day after he proposed, you know, wondering when we might want to go to the mall and try some on, and just like that, he disappeared. Left the house. Drove away. I was like, ‘Hey! Where’d he go?’ I thought maybe he was going to bail on me! But then later that same day he showed back up and gave me a ring! Can you believe it?”
“Barely,” said Suzie.
“I can’t believe you haven’t seen it yet. I’ve had it a whole week. It’s a little loose, but I figure I can wear it on my middle finger instead.”
“You could get it resized, you know,” said Suzie.
“Yeah, that costs money. So, on Tuesday I told Thunder I want to go dress shopping with you. And guess what?”
“He presented you with your wedding dress,” Suzie guessed. She lit a cigarette—one of her few guilty pleasures—and blew the smoke out the open window so it wouldn’t drift back to Britney’s room.
“Close,” said Vee, “and I’m going to ignore the sarcasm in your voice.”
“Okay, I give up. What happened next?” asked Suzie, feeling a little guilty that she wasn’t even faking being enthusiastic about any of this.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
“Great plot with unexpected forays into areas that capture imagination in a delightful way. Would love to read more by this author....” ~ Kindle Customer
“I really enjoyed this book. The author presents an indomitable heroine and knows how to throw in a good plot twist. The book is slightly reminiscent of something Fannie Flagg (one of my favorite authors) might write, but more complex. I think this book would lend itself well to being read and discussed by book clubs. I highly recommend it.” ~ Nancy Hamel
“When I first started reading this book I wasn't sure I was going to like it, but then once I started I couldn't stop. […] The ending was amazing! I never would have guessed how Vee turned out!” ~ Krista Beck
“This was really a great book with believable, usually, characters! I thought the name of the book was kind of strange - until I began reading it. It definitely is worth the read. I have read four of Holly's books now and I think she is wonderful writer. There's always a surprise with her books! Looking forward to the next one!” ~ S Spahn

About the Author
Holly Tierney-Bedord
Holly Tierney-Bedord is the author of several novels and novellas including Sweet Hollow Women, The Woman America Loves a Latte, The Port Elspeth Jewelry Making Club, and Surviving Valencia. She's also an artist and miniaturist, creator of the mid-century dollhouse restoration blog Flip this (Mini) House, and the author of several non-fiction books about creating miniatures. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card or a print copy of The Woman America Loves a Latte by Holly Tierney-Bedord.

Amazon (Kindle Unlimited)

Books featured in this post:

Romance is in the Air featuring Camille Peters

(Kingdom Chronicles Book 1)
by Camille Peters

Pathways (Kingdom Chronicles Book 1) by Camille Peters

This book blast and giveaway is hosted by Clean Wholesome Romance.

Eileen has never been interested in love. Ever since her father’s abandonment, she’s vowed to never experience such pain again. But the enchanted forest has different ideas. When the continuously shifting pathways lead her to a mysterious stranger, Eileen finds her promise to fiercely guard her heart increasingly difficult to keep.
One night when she becomes lost in a storm, the enchanted forest’s pathways lead her to the castle, home to the kingdom’s Dark Prince, where Eileen finds herself entangled in what many consider an opportunity but which Eileen believes to be a curse: competing for the Dark Prince’s hand through a series of tests that judge one’s royal worth. Eileen is neither royal nor interested in becoming a princess. But the mysterious stranger she met in the woods has his own reasons for helping her succeed, but the cost of his assistance may be too high: that of Eileen’s heart, the one thing she’s vowed never to give.
Inspired by “The Princess and the Pea”.

A knock sounded on the door. I bit back a sigh, both of impatience and relief. “Come in.” 
I gasped as the door swung open, for it wasn’t Alaina who stood there but—“Aiden?” 
He beamed, his eyes lighting up as they settled on my face. Warmth seeped over me to see him again after all these weeks, and my heart performed several cartwheels as he stared at me, his expression tender. 
“Aiden!” I fell into his arms, burrowing myself against him. 
He nestled against my hair. “It’s wonderful to see you. I admit I thought it’d be much longer before our paths crossed again, and I’m pleased that’s not the case.” 
I tipped my head back to gape up at him. “Wait, what are you doing here?” 
“An excellent question; one I was about to ask you. May I come in?” 
I slowly nodded. He shut the door behind him, his eyes never once leaving my face. The shock of seeing him at the palace of all places slowly subsided and I tentatively smiled. “I can’t believe you’re here. I never thought I’d see you again.” 
He returned my smile with a lopsided one of his own and my insides fluttered. “I promised we’d see each other again. How are you?” 
I sighed. “I’m in a bit of a predicament.” 
He raised an eyebrow. “Indeed. So you’re a secret princess keen on trying to persuade the prince to marry you?” 
I pulled a face. “No, this is all some horrible misunderstanding.” 
“Is it?” He folded his arms and leaned against my bedpost. “And how did a common girl end up in such a plight?” 
I narrowed my eyes at him. A secret danced within his dark eyes, taunting me. “You don’t happen to know the answer, do you?” 
He chuckled, and the warm sound I’d fiercely missed washed over me. “I do, actually.” His smile widened. “I’ve really missed you, Eileen. I’m so glad you’re here.” 
“Why am I here?” I pressed my hands on my hips and glared at him, demanding he answer me. 
He straightened and came over until he stood directly in front of me, enveloping me in his warmth and causing the strange sensations that only came from him to fill my heart. “It so happened I witnessed your unexpected arrival last night.” 
“What are you even doing here?” 
“Isn’t it obvious? I’m a member of the court.” 
My brow furrowed. “I don’t understand. How does your being a member of the court explain why I now find myself trapped here?” 
“Because thanks to my position, it wasn’t difficult to convince the guards that you’re one of the princesses come here to woo the prince.” He winked. 
I gaped at him, my heart pounding furiously. With each beat my insides burned, my anger searing and poisonous. “You told them what?” 
He frowned. “I told the guards that you’re a princess.” 
“You mean to tell me,” I hissed through gritted teeth, “that it’s your fault I’m tangled in this dangerous mess?” 
Perplexity twisted his expression. “Mess? It’s an opportunity.” 
“An opportunity for what, exactly? To be executed?” 
He rolled his eyes. “Why so dramatic?” 
My fists tightened. “If I’m caught posing as a royal, what do you think will happen? You think the royal family will merely have a good laugh before releasing me? No, they’ll send me to the gallows.” My blood chilled. I needed to escape. I stomped to the door, but Aiden blocked my exit. 
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
“This was SUCH a cute book! The characters were very well developed …The supporting characters were just as endearing … as the main characters. The descriptions of surroundings were impeccable, I could just see the environment and feel the feelings that were invoked by them. The plot was really well thought out, the ideas were super creative, and I love the general fairy tale feel … I couldn’t put it down, I just fell in love with the characters and I can’t WAIT for the next one!” ~ Emma Miller
“I ADORE the creativity in this book! The forest is so magical and has so many enchanting moments throughout the story. I loved being transported into a fairy tale theme as I read; it was a perfect escape into a sweet and charming era! I absolutely loved the direction the story went and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the adventure Eileen stumbled upon. There are so many fun characters in the story, each with unique personalities! This is such a darling story about loyalty, romance, friendship and all with a fairytale feeling!” ~ Stephanie
“This is a delightful story of romance and adventure, centered near a magical forest that guides its travelers to discover not only its own enchantments, but also to find true love along the way. It is also a story of growth and overcoming one’s weaknesses, and of going forward despite one’s fears. Both of those things are inspirational to me, and I found myself relating to the characters and hoping for their success. An enjoyable journey to give hope to your heart!” ~ William
“I really enjoyed this story. The characters are fun and delightful and they were well developed. I liked that it was only loosely based on an existing fairy tale and branch out in interesting ways to create romance and drama. I get really bored with the same re-telling over and over and this was fresh and new.” ~ Charla

About the Author
Camille Peters
Camille Peters was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she grew up surrounded by books. As a child, she spent every spare moment reading and writing her own stories on every scrap of paper she could find. Becoming an author was always more than a childhood dream; it was a certainty.
Her love of writing grew alongside her as she took local writing classes in her teens, spent a year studying Creative Writing at the English University of Northampton, and graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in English and History. She’s now blessed to be a full-time author.
When she’s not writing she’s thinking about writing, and when’s she’s not thinking about writing she’s … all right, she’s always thinking about writing, but she can also be found reading, playing board games with her family and friends, or taking long, bare-foot walks as she lives inside her imagination and brainstorms more tales.

Enter the blast-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash.

Amazon (Kindle Unlimited)

Books featured in this post:

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

"The Sacred Artifact" by Caldric Blackwell

The Sacred Artifact
(The Young Alchemist Book 2)
by Caldric Blackwell

The Sacred Artifact (The Young Alchemist Book 2) by Caldric Blackwell

Author Caldric Blackwell stops by today for an interview and to share an excerpt from The Sacred Artifact, the second book in The Young Alchemist. This middle grade fantasy will appeal to young readers who enjoy a side of action and adventure with their fantasy. Also available: The Missing Alchemist.

The Missing Alchemist by Caldric Blackwell

Determined to uncover the secrets of a mysterious artifact, fourteen-year-old alchemy student Craig Pike and his teacher, Cornelius, journey to the birthplace of alchemy to seek the advice of a wise, ancient alchemist named Quintus. With the help of a witty archer, Audrey Clife, they trek across dangerous lands, compete in a cutthroat tournament, and reunite with old friends. They soon find out the artifact is more powerful than anticipated, and they aren’t the only ones seeking to discover its secrets ...

Under the faint light of a sliver of a moon, fourteen-year-old Craig walked through the forest with his heart pounding. Although he was armed with his alchemist’s staff and sword, every time he heard a noise, whether it was a rustling leaf or a snapping twig, he scrambled for cover.
He wondered why he had agreed to this.
“Be cautious; the scarecrows are ferocious,” Cornelius, his teacher, had said. “The challenge is worth it, though. You’ll be an expert at the Ventus spell by the time you finish.”
“That’s assuming I finish,” Craig thought.
Craig was in a training exercise that required him to use the Ventus spell to destroy a dozen enchanted scarecrows wandering one square mile of forest.
As a student of alchemy, Craig learned how to manipulate elements using spells, potions, and other techniques. Although he had been training for years with Cornelius, he still had a lot to learn.
Sweat beaded on his forehead as he thought about his recent lesson on wind alchemy. He wondered if he could deliver the powerful jet of air needed to destroy the scarecrows.
A thin strip of luminescent ground, glittering like powdered gold, appeared in the distance.
“That must be the perimeter of the exercise,” Craig thought.
He decided to walk along the perimeter, hoping to herd the scarecrows toward the center of the training exercise’s area. As he walked, he couldn’t help but get the feeling the scarecrows were stalking him like lions following a wounded wildebeest.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
“Snagged a copy of the first book in this serious to read with my little brother and we both loved it! So naturally I snapped this puppy up the second it came out. And boy does it not disappoint! Blazed right through it. What I really love is that the author grew their book with the audience, as there are more mature themes throughout this installment. They did a great job really fleshing out their world, as well. If you're looking for a fun read with your younger family members then you need to pick this book up.” ~ Jonathan
“What an extremely talented author! Very creative author that has a knack for creating engaging children's books. Definitely a wonderful read for all ages. Highly recommended!” ~ Gary Wilson

Interview With the Author
Author Caldric Blackwell joins us today to discuss his new book, The Sacred Artifact.
For what age group do you recommend your book?
Ages ten to fourteen, although younger and older readers can certainly enjoy it, too.
What sparked the idea for this book?
The idea for the protagonist, Craig Pike, an alchemy student, is what came to me first. The plot just grew from the idea of him. I toyed with a couple of different ideas, eventually coming up with the idea present in my middle grade fantasy series The Young Alchemist.
What was the hardest part to write in this book?
Because it's a middle grade fantasy novel, I had to make the fantasy element approachable. It was tough making the fantasy element, particularly the alchemy, digestible yet complete.
How do you hope this book affects its readers?
I want readers to have a positive experience when reading my middle grade fantasy, The Sacred Artifact. This can mean a variety of things, from getting inspired by the story or just using it as an escape. Or perhaps they relate to a character and find a sense of comfort in knowing that there are other people like them. Maybe they read The Sacred Artifact and decide to write a story of their own – that’s great, too. Even if they just read my books and think it’s a fun way to pass the time, I’m happy.
How long did it take you to write this book?
It took about two years to finish the first draft - then there was lots and lots of editing.
What is your writing routine?
I like to write for short periods of time in the evening.
How did you get your book published?
Lots of letters and emails to agents and publishers.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
Don't give up!
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Jiu jitsu, read, hike, play music.
What does your family think of your writing?
They are big supporters of it!
Did you like to read when you were a child?
Yes, I was always reading!
Thanks so much for stopping by today, Caldric. Anything else you would like to add?
If anyone is interested in middle grade fantasy, give my new book, The Sacred Artifact, a look!

About the Author
Caldric Blackwell
Caldric Blackwell realized he loved reading when he read about a bunch of people (with single-syllable names) and their pets (also with single-syllable names) in kindergarten. Exposure to a host of great authors during his college years inspired him to begin writing.
He currently resides in central California, where he writes, gardens, and plays a variety of string instruments.

Amazon (Kindle Unlimited)

Books featured in this post: