Monday, February 17, 2020

The Great Witches Baking Show

The Great Witches Baking Show by Nancy Warren Banner

 

 

The Great Witches Baking Show

by Nancy Warren

on Tour February 1-29, 2019

Synopsis:

The Great Witches Baking Contest by Nancy Warren
A baker with secrets
Witches in trouble
The cameras are rolling
Ready, set, die.

Poppy Wilkinson is thrilled to be chosen as a contestant on The Great British Baking Contest. As an American with English roots, winning the crown as Britain’s Best Baker would open doors she’s dreamed of. In more ways than one. Appearing on the reality show is her chance to get into Broomewode Hall and uncover the secrets of her past.

But strange things are happening on the show’s set: accusations of sabotage, a black cat that shadows Poppy, suspiciously unsociable residents at Broomewode Hall—and the judges can be real witches.

There are murmurs that Broomewode is an energy vortex. It certainly makes Poppy see and do things that aren’t exactly normal, and seems to draw interesting characters to the neighborhood.

When a fellow contestant dies in mysterious circumstances, Poppy has more to worry about than burned pies and cakes that won’t rise. There’s a murderer on the loose and it’s up to Poppy and her new friends to solve the crime before it becomes a real show-stopper.

From USA Today Bestselling Author Nancy Warren, this delicious series of cozy paranormal mysteries will have you guessing until the end. Includes recipes.


MY REVIEW:

Being dropped off at a bakery as a baby and growing up with good parents is a good thing. Not knowing who your original parents are could be a bad thing to some or maybe just a niggling bother. Poppy has that little niggling question and plus who wouldn’t want to be in a baking contest? Specially if a ghost taught you to bake. What? Believe it or not the very black and white thinker writing this review enjoyed this ghost-seeing baker cozy more than you can imagine.

This is easy to read with characters you can’t help but like, like Poppy for example. Even some of Poppy’s ghosts are fun and all the baking contestants have their own personalities. In fact, this sounds like a lot of characters and a lot of characters in a story can be confusing. That didn’t happen here. I think it’s because Nancy Warren seemed to be so good at giving each their own feel; their own eccentricities. You had a feeling you knew who was speaking even before you read his or her name. His or her or a ghost for that matter. It sounds like I’m making a little fun here but only because of the fun of this story. It was humorous, made me laugh, and made me like reading it. That’s what good stories are right?


Book Details:

Genre: Culinary Cozy

Published by: Ambleside Publishing

Publication Date: January 15th 2020

Number of Pages: 250

ASIN: B07ZL472PK

Series: Culinary Cozy #1

Purchase Links: Amazon | Goodreads



Read an excerpt:

CHAPTER ONE

As life-changing moments go, getting the call that I’d been chosen to compete in The Great British Baking Contest was right up there. I’d practiced, auditioned and practiced some more. I was a decent home baker, but was I really the best in Britain? Probably not. But I didn’t have to be.
The contest was my way of getting into Broomewode Hall, where the show was filmed. I had my own reasons for going there that had nothing to do with baking.
Still, it hadn’t been easy to be chosen. There were thousands of applicants every year and then an excruciating selection process, where the show’s producers chose twelve from the short list and made us bake on camera. Some people went to pieces; some were just really boring. They randomly selected bakers off the short list and tried out different combinations of personalities, a bit like baking, really, seeing which ingredients created the most interesting results. I quickly learned that the trick was to be a good character, try to be funny, be a good sport, pretend you didn’t notice that cameras were on you and a clock was ticking down the minutes, and still turn out a decent jam tart.
Easy peasy! Not.
One of the reasons they chose me for the show, I think, was that while I was British, I’d grown up in the States, which was kind of fun, as the show had become a huge hit in America. I’d also started life in a bakery. Or, more accurately, in a cardboard box outside a bakery in Norton St. Philip, a charming village near Bath in Somerset.
I like to think my mother, whoever she was, chose the bakery so she knew I’d be warm and, since bakers start work so early, I’d be found. And I was. When Gareth Philpott came to work that morning, he said he looked into the box and found me wide-awake, staring up at him. Not crying, not fussing, just staring as though I’d expected him. They named me Poppy. The Philpotts would have kept me if they could have. They’re a nice family, but they already had three children, and the authorities don’t just give a family a baby because they happened to stumble across one. First they tried to find my mother or any information at all about my origins. When that proved impossible, I was adopted by Agatha and Leland Wilson, and they became my parents.
They were both teachers. They’d tried for years to have their own children, and their delight in getting me was reflected in the way they pretty much turned their lives around to give me the best upbringing they could. They were loving parents, kind and patient. Strict when they had to be. We lived in Bath for the first eight years of my life, and then my dad was offered a teaching job in Seattle.
I grew up there, mostly, lost the British accent, became a typical American teenager, and then when I finished high school, my folks retired and moved back to the UK. I could have stayed in Seattle. I had friends, and I could’ve gone to college there, but I chose to come back to England. I think, deep down, it’s always felt like home. Besides, like a lot of adopted kids, the mystery of my beginnings haunts me.
Soon after returning to England, my folks moved to the south of France to bask in warmer weather, grow lavender and cook gourmet meals. My dad, who taught history, was writing a book. My mom was learning French.
They’d saved up a nice chunk of change for me to go to college but, in spite of having teachers as parents, I never felt the urge. I was always more artistic than intellectual, so I went to an art and design college for two years, and they let me use the rest of the money toward buying a tiny cottage in Norton St. Philip. It’s probably crazy, and nobody even thinks my mother was from there, but I started my life in that village and so it pulled me back. The Philpotts still ran the bakery and were my second family. I guess you’ll always have a bond with the person who picked you up off the street as a newborn. Besides, growing up as an only child, I was fascinated by their sprawling, noisy family.
I became a freelance graphic designer, which allowed me to work from home.

Gina Philpott was my age and my best friend. She was also the only one who knew why I really wanted to get on that show.

It went all the way back to when I was just a baby in that cardboard box. I’d been wrapped in a curious blanket.
I saw my baby blanket one day when I was watching The Great British Baking Contest. They always filmed at Broomewode Hall, a Georgian manor house that wasn’t open to the public. Broomewode Hall was the seat of the Earl of Frome, Robert Champney and his family. During one of the behind-the-scenes segments on the show, Lady Frome, showed them around her home.
As the camera panned around the great dining hall I was instantly transfixed by a woman in an oil painting who seemed to be wearing my baby blanket! I saw now that, in fact, it was a shawl. But the pattern was the same. I was certain of it.
And from that very moment, I began my quest to find out more about Broomewode Hall. Lord and Lady Frome guarded their privacy tenaciously, and it was impossible to get access to them and their family home. Besides, what would I say? “I think one of your ancestors once wore my baby blanket? The best way I could think of to spend time there was to qualify as a baker on The Great British Baking Contest.
I’d done it. Against incredible odds, I’d been chosen as one of twelve bakers. It was one step toward finding how who I really was. All I had to do now was figure out how to get the rest of the way.
***
Excerpt from The Great Witches Baking Show by Nancy Warren. Copyright 2019 by Nancy Warren. Reproduced with permission from Nancy Warren. All rights reserved.





Author Bio:

Nancy Warren
Nancy Warren is the USA Today bestselling author of more than seventy novels, including the best selling Vampire Knitting Club series and the Toni Diamond mysteries. She's from Vancouver, though she tends to wander. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa university, appeared on the front page of the New York Times when her book Speed Dating launched the Harlequin/Nascar series. She was also the answer to a clue in a crossword puzzle in Canada's National Post newspaper.

Catch Up With Our Author On:

NancyWarren.net, Goodreads, BookBub, Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook!





Tour Participants:

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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Nancy Warren. There will be 2 winners of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card each. The giveaway begins on February 1, 2020 and runs through March 2, 2020. Void where prohibited.
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Thursday, February 13, 2020

Gouster Girl

Young Adult
This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions

David E. Cumpert will be awarding a $25 gift card to Garrett Popcorn, then a Water bottle with Chicago flag for a second winner, and a Mug with Chicago flag for a third winner all to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. 
See below to sign up for the Giveaway



Gouster Girl is the coming of age, risky affair between Valerie Davis a cute black girl from the South Side of Chicago and nerdy white Jeffrey Stark.

While the two are somewhat smitten they are late to realize that falling in love on Chicago’s South Side in 1963 is a highly risky business for an interracial couple.


Opportunities arise for both of them to help one another out of tough fixes—he saves her from attack at an all-white amusement park and she saves him from injury in a racial brawl at their high school. But as their romance becomes more serious, so do the racial dangers. White police target Valerie as a prostitute and black gang members see Jeffrey as trying to sexually exploit a black girl. Seemingly inevitably, the blossoming romance collides head on with the realities of Northern-style racism one hot summer afternoon at one of Chicago’s most beautiful Lake Michigan beaches, when a racial protest turns ugly, confronting the couple with terrible choices.




Read an excerpt...
My opportunity to finally approach Valerie came unexpectedly on a Monday, when I received an official note in home room that I was being penalized with two extra study periods that week for “creating a disturbance in the hallway.” That meant I would have to stay at school for an extra fifty minutes on two days, sitting in a room with similar “problem” students.

At first I was upset—I’d never been punished this way, and I was afraid it might affect my college application process, due to begin the following fall.

It was clear at the first study hall that these penalty periods were gouster affairs. I was the only white student of the maybe twenty-five present. Booker sat near the back, looking as sullen and distant as in gym. Near the front was Valerie, the only Ivy Leaguer I could identify, and one of just three or four girls.

It didn’t make sense that she was being penalized, since she was the one who saved the event from becoming a catastrophe. How did her involvement in the fight even get noticed?

My upset turned to nervousness as it dawned on me that this was my big chance to make a move on Valerie. I sat about halfway back in the room of mobile wooden desk chairs, at the end of a row, with Valerie in the front and Booker in the back. Valerie was a study in concentration as I watched her from a side angle, intently focusing on some homework, not glancing up or around. The air was heavy, stale, from the dozens of students who had been in and out of the classroom over the course of the day, and she looked as tired as the room felt, her normally buoyant wavy hair limp, and nearly drooping. She didn’t look like she welcomed contact with anyone.

I pulled out a notebook with blank 81/2 x 11-inch sheets of white paper. I had homework as well—a few geometry problems, some reading about World War I for social studies, and an English composition essay to write based on readings we had been doing about Ralph Waldo Emerson. But instead, I retrieved some colored pencils from a case and began sketching Valerie’s profile.

About David E. Gumpert...


David E. Gumpert grew up on the South Side of Chicago, in South Shore and Hyde Park. In the years since graduating from the University of Chicago, he has attended Columbia Journalism School and worked as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal and an editor for the Harvard Business Review and Inc. magazine. He has also authored ten nonfiction books on a variety of subjects—from entrepreneurship and small business management to food politics. His most prominent titles include How to Really Create a Successful Business Plan (from Inc. Publishing); How to Really Start Your Own Business (Inc. Publishing); Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Food Rights (Chelsea Green Publishing), and The Raw Milk Answer Book (Lauson Publishing).

He spent ten years in the 1990s and early 2000s researching his family's history during the Holocaust. The result was a book co-authored with his deceased aunt Inge Belier: Inge: A Girl’s Journey Through Nazi Europe (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing).

He spent much of the last half-dozen years going back to his own roots in Chicago to research and write the historical novel, Gouster Girl. While some of it stems from his own experiences growing up in South Shore and Hyde Park, he also conducted significant additional research to complete the book in late 2019.

Author website

Twitter: @davidgumpert

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Restart in Bristol



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Sedona Hutton will be awarding a $25 or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.



He’s a hot mess. She wants stability. Will these childhood sweethearts risk another pass at love?

Veterinarian Holly Nicholson longs to put down roots. And with a growing practice and pending nuptials to a handsome doctor, her dream future is finally within reach. But when her NASCAR racing high-school steady rolls into town, Holly’s heart takes an off-track excursion.

Curtis “CC” Clark burned out from life in the fast lane. Switching gears, he moves to a small town in search of some cosmic signpost to reveal his destiny and crosses paths with the only girl he’s ever loved. But he’s worried fate sent him into the pits when he finds out she’s engaged.

Between working at the same animal shelter and her engagement crumbling, Holly can feel old desires stirring. But before they can pick up speed, CC gets his big chance for a high-profile comeback. And returning to the road may mean giving up his beloved forever.

Can CC and Holly find common ground and take their love across the finish line?

Restart in Bristol is the third standalone novel in the Racing Hearts in Serenity contemporary romance series. If you like bad boys with a heart of gold, strong women, and a touch of new age spirituality, then you’ll adore Sedona Hutton’s fun, sexy romance.


Read an Excerpt

Curtis rested his forehead against Holly’s, and her heart decided. She nodded in agreement.

“Is that a yes?” he asked, his voice low and husky.

“Yes.” Her response came out breathy, which didn’t surprise her. Whenever she was around Curtis, she felt like a breathless teenage girl.

“You won’t be sorry.” He brushed a hand through her hair. “Damn, you’re beautiful.”

She let out a nervous laugh. It was so dark that all she could make out were shadowy images. His words were sweet, but that didn’t stop the insecurity from poking at her insides. She didn’t look anything like the stunning women she’d seen him with over the years.

“That, coming from you.” She shook her head. “You’ve always seemed to have a steady stream of gorgeous women.”

“You can’t believe everything you read.”

Maybe she shouldn’t, but she’d read the articles and she’d seen the pictures. She wondered if any of those women had meant anything to him and if he’d found love over the last decade. She didn’t want to ask, but she needed to know. “What was your longest relationship?” she asked, scuffing her sandal on the floor.

He ran a hand through his hair. Maybe it had only been a few weeks, which is what the Internet had led her to believe.

“Over six months,” he said, surprising her.

She tilted her head. “Why did you break up?”

His pause was long, but she held the silence, determined to wait him out. After what felt like an hour, he finally responded. “Georgiana thought I was still hung up on you.”


About the Author:



Author Sedona Hutton finds inspiration in the beautiful Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, where she lives with her husband and curly-coated retriever. In addition to writing, she’s a Reiki Master and a certified Chopra Center Meditation instructor. She enjoys reading, yoga, gardening, and experiencing the great outdoors on boats, motorcycles, and Jeeps. Sedona pens a “Peace, Love, &  Joy” blog on her website.

Sedona’s novel, Cloud Whispers, was a Finalist in the 2018 Readers’ Favorite Contest, an Official Selection in the 2018 Summer eBook Awards for New Apple Literary, Shortlisted for the Books Go Social Best Indie Book of 2018, and a Bronze winner in the 2019 Independent Publisher Book Awards. Nora’s Promise was awarded the Bronze medal in the 2019 Reader’s Favorite Contemporary Romance category and was a Finalist in the 2019 NIEA contest. The Perfect Lap was the 2019 Reader’s Favorite Contemporary Romance Finalist.





Website: https://www.sedonahutton.com/

Blog: https://www.sedonahutton.com/blog

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SedonaHutton


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


Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sedonahutton

Amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/author/sedonahutton


Goodreads Author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17837575.Sedona_Hutton



Here's a pre-order link. Release date of 2/14. 





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Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Finding Frances

Contemporary YA


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kelly Vincent will be awarding a $40 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.



Retta Brooks thinks her life is on track after convincing her overprotective mom to stop home-schooling her and allow her go to Buckley High. She comes home from a night out with friends to find that her whole world has changed, and she has extremely hard decisions to make. Not to mention finding the answers to questions some people would rather she not know. Is she strong enough for what lies ahead?


Read an Excerpt

“Did he just hit us?” I asked, turning around. I couldn’t see anything behind us except the vague shape of a car with a silhouetted driver—it was so close the headlights weren’t visible.

“Yes!”

We were speeding up, already going way too fast for this road, but the car was still right on the truck’s bumper.

I clutched the dashboard as Jack tried zig-zagging a bit to shake the guy, but it didn’t work. Then the truck accelerated, and finally the guy fell back. Jack hit the brakes pretty hard, and I hit the door and was jerked to the floor as we took a corner sharply.

“Retta!” Jack yelled. “Are you okay?” He leaned over and gripped my arm, helping me back into the seat before speeding back up.

I put the seatbelt on before stealing a glance behind us. “I don’t see him.”

“No, I think he might not have made that corner. It’s what I was trying to do, but I never would have if I’d realized you didn’t have a seatbelt on!”

“I’m okay, it’s fine.” I shook my head, having to extricate myself from the top half of the seatbelt to pick up the phone off the floor.


About the Author:



Kelly Vincent wrangles data weekdays and spends the rest of her time playing with words. She grew up in Oklahoma but has moved around quite a bit, with Glasgow, Scotland being her favorite stop. She now lives near Seattle with three cats who definitely help her write her stories. She’s also working toward the Red Earth Master of Fine Arts in creative writing at Oklahoma City University.



Website: http://www.kellyvincent.net

Blog: http://www.kellyvincent.net/blog

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/kvbooks

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/kvbooks



Buy Links:



Amazon: https://smile.amazon.com/Finding-Frances-Kelly-Vincent/dp/1509229035

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/finding-frances-kelly-vincent/1135861073?ean=9781509229031



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Tuesday, February 11, 2020

The Adults in the Room


A Tim Hall Mystery
Mystery, Thriller
Published: June 2019
Publisher: The Good As Gone Group

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Retired CIA officer Tim Hall drinks heavily to forget the few troubles he can actually remember. Still suffering from the car crash that killed his wife and stole his memories, he volunteers for a medical trial to recover the mysteries of his past. But after he wakes from a blackout lasting days, he’s convinced two sinister men are hunting him down…

Relieved by the familiar face of his biker girlfriend, he’s shocked to learn her true identity and the devastating secrets about his accident. And soon he’s swept up in a deadly mission that could decimate American politics. But unsure if can trust his own mind, his dangerous new role may be patriotic—or treasonous.

Can Hall fill in the blanks of his fractured memory before his choices turn fatal?

The Adults in the Room is the first book in the high-octane Tim Hall Mystery series. If you like stunning revelations, deep state conspiracies, and a touch of romance, then you’ll love Jeffrey Mechling’s mind-bending thriller!

Buy The Adults in the Room to fire up an electrifying adventure today!



About the Author


Jeffrey Mechling was born in Alexandria Virginia to a family full of secrets. His maternal grandfather was thought to be an original member of the OSS [The Office of Strategic Services].

Other members of the Mechling and Emerson families, as well as family friends, lived within the shadowy world of espionage and would only revealed that they "worked for the government".

Mr. Mechling himself has worked as a Financial Economist and Operations Research Analyst with a not too secret government agency.

Jeff has written two novels - The Adults in the Room and The Safe House. Both feature super spy couple Tim Hall and Mary Ann Wilson. He is currently writing a third Tim Hall and Mary Ann Wilson adventure.

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Waiting for Grace


FICTION / Visionary & Metaphysical
FICTION / Thriller
FICTION / Psychological
Date Published: February 4, 2020
Publisher: Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing

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Eli Cranston, an attorney who himself suffered from the broken legal system and moreso from the loss of his wife and daughter, flees Los Angeles to a place that might hold – should he let it – forgiveness, redemption, and purpose: Bar Harbor, Maine. There, in a small white farm cottage by the sea, Eli launches a new career with Forward-Life Progression, a program that helps clients work past trauma and addiction to built a resilient new life. He finds Hope, cares for rescue horses and a pregnant cat. He is drawn to Rebecca, a farmer at the Farmer’s Market, and forges a revelatory relationship with Dr. Otto Gunther, a Holocaust survivor. With unopened boxes and a pile of letters marked “Return to Sender,” Eli can’t hide his secrets much longer. Is this his second chance? 

Read an excerpt...
“Oh my God I am going to need a new kitchen. Good thing Clem is already planning for  it.” Eli backed away from the stove with his hands in the air.

Hope quietly giggled, “I know. I can’t believe we are actually doing this.”

The pot of softly bubbling wax beckoned the first pinecone to dare  take a dip as the smell of honey filled the kitchen. Hope looked over her shoulder and said, “Remember, this was your idea.”

“Wait a minute here. I’m not sure it was a hundred percent my idea, young lady.”

 Eli had been trying hard not to react to the devastating blow, one of many, in Hope’s short life. He wanted to be a confidant and safe haven but he also knew it wasn’t his place to try to be her father. Rebecca suggested he strive for funcle. “You know, fun uncle,” she told him. As with most ideas she had, Eli thought it rather brilliant.

“Oh, yes it was a hundred percent your idea.” Hope carefully wrapped a piece of wick around the top third of the pinecone, picked it up with salad tongs and gently dipped it into the bubbling beeswax fondue. She let it sit for a few moments, turning it side to side as if she were toasting s’mores. “Oh shoot, get the waxed paper! We forgot the waxed paper!” Her voice held the energy of a rollercoaster virgin- nervous anticipation with a smidge of fear.
Eli jumped into action and grabbed the roll of Cut-Rite on the counter and tore off a piece. He smoothed it out on the cookie sheet next to the stove. “Okay, careful now, that is very hot stuff.” He watched as she gingerly guided the dripping pinecone to its destination. The waxy sheen quickly cooled to an opaque pale yellow and made the pinecone look like a chubby snowman. “So cool!” Hope was ecstatic. “We are going to sell so many of these!”

“Um, how many coats of wax do they need?” Eli held the Pinterest image on his laptop close to the experimental firestarter for comparison.

Hope said, with conviction, “Two to three. But I think two will do it.”

“Okay, well we have a ton of beeswax and Becca has a lot more if we need it. Might need to go pinecone hunting later.”

“How much should we sell them for? I’ve never sold anything before.”
           
“Well, we will have to see what the market calls for - supply and demand. But I was thinking $.60 each, two for a dollar.  The ones I saw at L.L. Bean were way more so I think it’ll be all about the presentation. Maybe we’ll get little boxes or something.”

            Hope placed the second firestarter on the paper, little drops of wax falling onto the floor and  stepstool on which she was perched. “Oh, I know, maybe like, some ribbon or something, make it fancy.”

            Eli looked at his email.

Dr. Corcoran following up regarding their Skype session last month. This will be interesting!

Kate with good news about a job and possible apartment. That a girl!
Home Depot reminding him of items in his cart he hasn’t yet purchased. I know, I know, waiting on Clem.

Rebecca forwarding a link to the Office of Child and Family Services. She didn’t waste any time.
           
            Clem walked down the stairs, one at a time, Eli could hear. “Hey Fella. That plumbing is brandy new and if yah know what kinda commode yah want I can swing ovah to Home Cheapo and pick it up fah ya.” He looked over at Hope. “Hey kid, whatcha got cookin?”

            Hope held up the first and coolest wax concoction and said, “Firestarters. We’re going to sell them on the last two farmer’s market days.”

            Clem stepped closer. “Oh would ya look at that? I could use those up ta camp. We get that fire goin’ every night. I’ll take a handful of ‘em when they’re ready. Jack likes to use cowboy juice but yah eveh get caught, yah get yerself in a jam fah sure.”

            Eli shook his head, “What on earth is cowboy juice?”
            Hope giggled. Clem said, “Oh it’s nothin’. Just a little gasoline, kerosene or chah-coal lightah. Hee heee! It sure does get it goin, no fah-tin’ around waitin’. But that’s why Jack has no eyebrows either.”

            Hope looked over her shoulder and exchanged an “Oh my God” with Eli.
            “So ah, Clem, you still on the fence about bringing a guest to Thanksgiving this year?”

            “Just give me the kinda terlet seat yah want, Fella, before I just install a five gallon bucket. They got nice ah-range ones at the sto-ah.”
           
            Eli wrote down the stock number for the toilet, pedestal sink, and faucet he wanted and sent Clem on his way.

            Hope carefully added more beeswax and wiped her brow, “He cracks me up.”

            Eli laughed, “He cracks me up, too. But he’s a really good guy. You know, not everyone you meet in life can go through tough things and still be a good person. He’s one that can. People like that are worth more than gold.”


            He waited to see if Hope wanted to add to the sentiment but she didn’t. She just quietly added to the pot little bits of wax, like a worker bee herself, contributing something seemingly insignificant, not realizing that without her, the honeycomb wouldn’t be complete. 
Little did she know that there were those who believed she ought to be treated like the queen.


About the Author

In addition to being a critically-acclaimed author, Caroline Zani is an intuitive medium and a teacher. Left-handed, Aquarius, middle-child, introvert, and empath, she absorbs everything around her which informs her storytelling and writing. Zani teaches others to develop their own intuition. Believing life is about balance and our bodies are where our souls live, she also teaches health, wellness, and stress management classes. She has contributed to articles on Bustle and Boston Voyager and has been a guest on many radio programs. She has one daughter, Amanda, and lives with husband Brian, puppy Tulip, and her soulmate Herm├ęs the Siamese cat, on the hill, under the willows.

Contact Links



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Monday, February 10, 2020

The Kronicles of Korthlundia


Epic Fantasy
This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jamie Marchant will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. See below to sign up for the Giveaway




“Magic, love, hate, torture, heroes, and a story that will never stop blowing your mind!”  Cheree~For Love of Books

The three volumes of The Kronicles of Korthlundia plus The Ghost in Exile: A Korthlundian Kronicle brought together for one low price. In addition to the novels, the collection features several bonus short stories, previously available only to members of my readers’ club.

The Goddess’s Choice--In a world where the corrupt church hides the truth about magic, the fate of the joined kingdom falls on the shoulders of two young people from opposite ends of the social hierarchy.

Crown Princess Samantha’s life begins to fall apart when she starts seeing strange colors around her potential suitors. She fears that she’s going insane--or worse that she’s defying the Goddess’s will. Robrek is a lowly farm boy with incredible magical powers. He has been biding his time waiting to get revenge on those who call him a demon.

Thrown together by chance, they must overcome their differences to fight their common enemy Duke Argblutal, who, with dark magic, is slowly poisoning the king’s mind and turning him against his own daughter. Time is running out for those chosen by the Goddess to prevent the power mad duke from usurping the throne and plunging the joined kingdoms into civil war.

The Soul Stone-- A match made by the goddess is threatened by an Ancient Evil.

As Samantha and Robrek prepare for their marriage and coronation, they are met with opposition on all sides. Not all believe that the peasant sorcerer is worthy to be king, and the young couple must perform delicate political maneuvers to prevent the joined kingdoms from breaking apart.

As the church splits over opposition to their union, an unseen force is poised to release an ancient evil that was last defeated a thousand years ago. When the Soul Stone is broken free of its bonds, all life in its path succumbs to its power. How much will the new royal couple have to sacrifice to free the joined kingdoms of its evil?

The Ghost in Exile—A special Kronicle outside of the series that tells the story of Darhour. The novel takes place at the same time as The Soul Stone. The Ghost is going to hell. Not even the goddess can forgive his sins: assassin, oath-breaker, traitor (an affair with the queen earned him that title). No one can ever learn the princess is his daughter. To keep this secret, he flees to the land that turned him from a simple stable groom into an infamous killer.

His mission now? To find evildoers and take them to hell with him. But when an impulsive act of heroism saddles him with a damsel who refuses to be distressed, her resilience forces him to question why he really ran from his daughter.

The Shattered Throne-- Queen Samantha’s spirit brightens as the festival of renewal approaches. The Ancient Evil that drained life from the land has been destroyed, and life is returning to the joined kingdoms. The birth of her heir gives her even more reason to celebrate. But a coup orchestrated by the unlikely alliance between a freedom-loving count and a fanatical church shatters both her plans and the ancient throne itself.

With her infant daughter missing and death and destruction spreading, Samantha finds herself faced with an impossible choice: save her daughter or her people. Already torn between a mother’s love and her duties as a queen, Samantha learns that an even greater danger threatens: the goddess herself is fading. What sacrifices will Samantha have to make to stop an evil god from taking Sulis’s place?



Read an excerpt...
At bedtime, Alvabane sat at her dressing table brushing her long hair. It had once been a bright, rich red, but it had dulled with age and was now mostly grey with only a few strands of color to remind her of what once had been. It seemed a metaphor for her life—small flashes of color to remind her of her once bright purpose.


One of those flashes, Erick, set her nightly goblet of fortified wine next to her hand. She needed the strong alcohol to dull the pain of her joints so she could sleep. She turned to thank him, but the words died on her lips as she saw the reproach in his eyes. Alvabane turned back to her mirror. Tonight was the night of the new moon. She should have been preparing to perform the rites of the dark gods, not preparing for bed. “They have forgotten us,” Alvabane said. “The Soul Stone does not live.”

Erick made a mewing sound, reminding her what he’d sacrificed to serve her and the dark gods. She herself had cut his tongue from his mouth when he came to her as a ten-year-old child. He had surrendered it stoically.

“Do you think you have sacrificed more than I?” She turned to face him. “I performed the rites faithfully every new moon for decades. And for what, I ask you? The power of the Stone remains trapped behind the shield the demon Armunn created from his own soul. That shield can’t be destroyed. The Soul Stone won’t live again!

About Jamie Marchant...

Does this book have a special meaning to you? i.e. where you found the idea, its symbolism, its meaning, who you dedicated it to, what made you want to write it?
The Goddess's Choice, the first novel in The Kronicles of Korthlundia, originates deep within my childhood. My sister Jalane--she is ten years older than me--told me stories, fairy tales mostly:  "Midas and His Golden Touch," "Little Red Riding Hood," "Hansel and Gretel." But my favorite was always "The Princess and the Glass Hill" or "The Glass Mountain" as my sister titled it. I had her tell that story over and over again. I was captivated by the bold hero on his magical horses of bronze, silver, and gold.
When I had a child of my own, I wanted to pass that fairy tale on. My son, Jesse, loved it every bit as much as I had. One day after telling it to him, it came to me that the story could be so much more than five pages and sparse details. For this reason, the book is dedicated to my sister and my son. The dedication reads:
To my sister Jalane, who told me the story of the glass mountain
and my son Jesse, who brought the mountain to life for me once more
However, don’t expect a children’s story. I upped the dramatic tension, villainy, and sexuality of the piece to create something far different than the original fairy tale. The Goddess’s Choice is intended for an adult audience.

Where do you get your storylines from?
As I stated above, the first novel came from a fairytale. However, when I finished The Goddess’s Choice, the characters let me know that their story was far from done. It’s hard to say where I got the inspiration for the later volumes in the series, except that the characters themselves told me how to continue their tales.

Do you only write one genre?
So far, yes, all my published fiction has been fantasy. It is my favorite genre to read and one that, I believe, allows for an in depth portrayal of what it means to be human. I do have a combined memoir/historical fiction idea that I’ve been researching, but it will likely be quite awhile before it comes to life.

Give us a picture of where you write, where you compose these words…is it Starbucks, a den, a garden…we want to know your inner sanctum?
I write most often lying back on the living room couch with my laptop propped up on my lap. As I write, I have five cats, three of them kittens, who romp around the room and frequently plop themselves on top of me. The coffee table next to me is covered with the ubiquitous coffee mugs and sometimes brain snacks. My living room has large windows that let in a lot of light and look out on my tree covered back yard.

And finally, of course…was there any specific event or circumstance that made you want to be a writer?
Being born, I guess. I never remember wanting to be anything other than a writer. Stories needing to be let out have always lived in my head. I start writing stories about the man from Mars for my older sister when I was about six. Writing is in my blood, encoded in my DNA.

Jamie...
began writing stories about the man from Mars when she was six, and she never remembers wanting to be anything other than a writer. Everyone told her she needed a back up plan, so she pursued a Ph.D. in American literature, which she received in 1998. She started teaching writing and literature at Auburn University. One day in the midst of writing a piece of literary criticism, she realized she’d put her true passion on the backburner and neglected her muse. The literary article went into the trash, and she began the book that was to become The Goddess’s Choice, which was published in April 2012. Her other novels include The Soul Stone, The Ghost in Exile, The Shattered Throne, and The Bull Riding Witch. In addition, she has published a novella, Demons in the Big Easy, and a collection of short stories, Blood Cursed and Other Tales of the Fantastic. Her short fiction has also appeared in the anthologies Urban Fantasy, Of Dragons & Magic: Tales of the Lost Worlds, and Waiting for a Kiss. She claims she writes about the fantastic . . . and the tortured soul. Her poor characters have hard lives. She lives in Auburn, Alabama, with her husband and five cats, which (or so she’s been told) officially makes her a cat lady.  She still teaches writing and literature at Auburn University. She is the mother of a grown son.








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