reviews, books, blog tour

Blog Tour: Tiding – Siân Collins

December 1962. EleanorO’Dowd, a middle-aged piano teacher, is found stabbed and bludgeoned to death. As the Great Freeze of 1963 takes hold, local vicar’s daughter Daphne Morgan finds herself forced to navigate the confusing currents of the adult world, where she must face up to her own crimes and what she knows about the murder. A novel about memory and the power of the imagination…

SiânCollins was born in Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire. An Edinburgh graduate, she taught Anglo Saxon and Medieval Literature in South Africa, worked as an assistant editor on The Lancet, and ran English and Drama departments in several well-known London secondary schools. She returned to Carmarthenshire to teach, write, and relish life in the beautiful Tywi Valley. Her debut novel, Unleaving, was published in 2019.

My thoughts: seen through the eyes of a child, following the murder of her much disliked piano teacher, this charts the life of a small Welsh town, reeling from the tragedy. The police are convinced a local man – deaf mute Johnny – is their perpetrator, and his inability to communicate makes it all too easy to point the finger at him. But Daphne knows that’s not true, she saw something, or did she?

Meanwhile she and her school friends have worries of their own, have they been cursed? Are they responsible for the village’s recent troubles?

Told with a kind tone and full of the misunderstandings and tiny concerns of children, as well as the growing awareness of the unfairness of life, this is a gentle but moving story of a place and its people.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Blog Tour: The House That Made Us – Alice Cavanagh

One Day meets UpThe House That Made Us is a love story – and a life story – told through a series of photographs and inspired by a true story

When Mac and Marie marry and find a home of their own, Mac takes a snap of them outside their newbuild bungalow, the garden bare and the paint on the front door still wet. It becomes a tradition, this snap, and slowly the photographs build into an album of a fifty-year relationship.

Every year they take a photo and though things change around them – the garden matures, the fashions change, they grow older – the one constant is their love. Every year, come rain, come shine, from the Seventies through the decades, every photo tells the story of their love. But life never travels the path you expect it to, though they know that a life with love is a life lived to the full.

Now, in the present day, the photo album belongs to someone who doesn’t know the people in its pages. As they watch the lives from the past unfold, will the truth of their love story be told…?

A heart-breaking story about life and love for readers who love Holly Miller, Jojo Moyes and Hazel Prior.

My thoughts: this was a moving and heartfelt book about love, family and the bonds that hold us to one another. Every week our narrator visits an elderly woman and they look at a photo album, a yearly picture of a couple (and then a varying number of children and pets) each year taken in front of their house.

Who they are, and indeed who our narrator and his listener are, is slowly revealed through the pictures and the story behind them. The story of Mac and Marie, and their home.

At times very sad, and at others laugh out loud funny, the ups and downs of the couple and their extended family is a true celebration of what it is to build a life and make a house a home.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Cover Reveal: A Kingdom of Death and Despair – Whitney Dean

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Every cover in The Four Kingdoms series have been gorgeous but I think this may be our favorite yet! Make sure you pre-order this beauty today!

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A Kingdom of Death and Despair (The Four Kingdoms #3)

Expected Publication Date: June 27th, 2023

Genre: Dark Fantasy/ Romance

Publisher: Phantom House Press

Darkness doesn’t die.

Once upon a time, there was a half-witch of three who walked on the land where creatures roamed free.

Once upon a time, there was a prince of one who danced with the waves under the sun.

Once upon a time, there was a prince of two who hid amongst the shadows where fear only grew.

But when time became impatient, a prophecy was conceived of twins born of darkness, who would live their lives aggrieved but coupled with their misery was the answer all sought but the question remained, which one would be left to rot?

Pre-order Here

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A Kingdom of Frost and Fear (The Four Kingdoms #2)

Publication Date: December 6, 2022

Genre: Dark Fantasy/ Romance

Tropes: Arranged Marriage, Forced Proximity, Hidden Identity, Chosen Family, Dark Magic, Grumpy/Sunshine, Dual POV

After years of wondering where she came from and what her story was, Raven received the answers she had been craving: she has a family and is the true heir to the throne of Seolia. But the answers she so hopelessly sought only bred more questions. As she digs deeper into her past, she wonders if maybe she should have stayed hidden in the shadows, safe from the pain and agony of knowing her happily ever after may not be so happy after all.

Zeke had been right all along: she hates him for what he’d hidden from her. Now, with Raven desperate to learn who she is, he’s desperate to win her back. But while still holding secrets of his own, doing so will come at a price he may not be able to pay.

And all the while, magic is slowly reawakening in the realm of The Four Kingdoms and not a soul is prepared for the new black magic Raven is now in possession of.

This is book two of an epic dark fantasy adventure series and contains scenes of graphic and mature content. Reader discretion is advised.

Amazon

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A Kingdom of Flame and Fury (The Four Kingdoms #1)

Publication Date: May 26th, 2022

Genre: Dark Fantasy/ Dark Romance

At ten years old, Raven was mysteriously willed to be the next ruler of Seolia, a kingdom nestled within the realm of The Four Kingdoms. Orphaned as a baby, she has spent fifteen years ruling over a kingdom she believes she did not earn all while hiding secrets: she possesses dark magic and she thirsts for blood. Now at almost twenty-five years old and with a sudden addiction to stealing life, Raven must fight through her new procured darkness to save her soul, but when a mysterious stranger arrives in her kingdom, she starts experiencing vivid dreams that detail who she truly is. As she slowly starts to unravel her story, what she uncovers at the end of the spool will change the course of her life and her kingdom forever.

Amazon

About the Author

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Whitney was born in Fayetteville, Arkansas and raised in Allen, Texas. She resides in a quaint little town in Arkansas with her husband and two children, along with her labradoodle, Simba.

Her love of reading came from the Harry Potter series when she was seven years old, and frequent trips to the most magical place on earth. Because of it, the fantasy realm has taken up residence in her brain for a very long time.

While her writings include real-life pain and angst, she is a fan of happily-ever-after’s and always strives to bring that forth in her stories.

Whitney Dean | Instagram | Facebook | Amazon | Linktree

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Blog Tour: Jet – Anna Fury

We are celebrating the release of Jet (Temple Maze #2) by Anna Fury! This beauty has not one but TWO covers for readers to choose from! Make sure you follow along to see which cover our hosts are revealing this week!

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Jet (Temple Maze #2)

Expected Publication date: February 28, 2023

Genre: Dark Shifter Romance

Escape from the Temple Maze was only the beginning…

Jet

A psychopath tried to break me, and nothing will ever put me back together. I’m detoxing, pissed off and determined to rescue my baby brother before she breaks him too. There’s just one problem—Achaia. The voluptuous human’s sea-green gaze sets my body on fire. She’s a distraction I can’t afford, no matter how hot I burn for her. My only priority is rescuing my brother—everything else is a distant second.

Renze

How lucky I am to have two delicious mates—the hulking direwolf, Jet, and his exquisitely beautiful neighbor, Achaia. I simply need them to yield to my blood bond. Unfortunately, duty calls. A maniacal villainess hurt Jet, and that sin will not go unpunished. Lives hang in the balance.

Achaia

I have no memory of who I am. Maybe I’m a nobody. Maybe I’m a monster. Anything is possible. It doesn’t stop the sensual vampiri next door from declaring that Jet and I are his. Renze alone is intoxicating, but the monstrous duo together are impossible to refuse. When circumstances send them on a journey in search of allies, I leap at the chance to find my own answers. Renze wants to claim me. Jet can’t stop staring at me. And I just need to find myself.

Can we save Jet’s brother and free an entire continent from a madwoman without losing our heads in the process?

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Available on Amazon

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Noire (Temple Maze #1)

Publication Date: July 9, 2022

Genre: Dark Shifter Romance

Welcome to the Temple, the brutal maze where a cunning warlord rules over imprisoned monsters, bending and using them according to her whims. The maze is a dumping ground for souls in need of snuffing out. Got a relative you dislike? Send them in for prompt dispatch. Perhaps a political rival is a thorn in your side? For a price, you can have Rama’s psycho pets kill them for you. Happy hunting.

DIANA

I crossed a ruthless woman, and my punishment? Death within the walls of her Temple Maze. The murderous beasts trapped in these dark halls have only one job tonight–to take my life.

The maze is a game, one where the house always wins. But I’ve got a few secrets of my own. The key to my plan is unleashing the maze’s most dangerous monster–Noire. I know what he wants most of all, and I’ll offer it in exchange for revenge, something only he is capable of exacting.

NOIRE

Marks will say anything to save their skins. I’ve heard every possible lie when they’re begging for their lives.

But tonight’s hunt is different. When I reach my mark, I find a stunning woman. Diana’s body calls to mine, creating a blistering, blinding need that compels me. Her offer is even more enticing: freedom in exchange for exacting vengeance on the woman behind the maze’s creation. The woman I hate with every dark and twisted fiber of my being.

Can I keep Diana safe long enough to get us out? Or will the maze destroy us as we risk everything for our freedom?

CW:

nonconsensual sex

reference to past SA

ptsd

knife and blood play

gore

vampirism

choking

primal chasing

bondage

light torture (if torture can be light)

About the Author

headshot-01 copy

Anna Fury is a North Carolina native, fluent in snark and sarcasm, tiki decor, and an aficionado of phallic plants. Visit her on Instagram for a glimpse into the sexiest wiener wallpaper you’ve ever seen. #ifyouknowyouknow

She writes any time she has a free minute – walking the dog, in the shower, ON THE TOILET. The voices in her head wait for no one. When she’s not furiously hen-pecking at her computer, she loves to hike and bike and get out in nature.

She currently lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with her Mr. Right, a five year old tornado and one lovely old dog. Anna LOVES to connect with readers, so visit her on social or email her at author@annafury.com

Anna Fury

Book Tour Schedule

January 23rd

R&R Book Tours (Kick-Off) http://rrbooktours.com

@thelibrocubicularista (Review) https://www.instagram.com/thelibrocubicularista/

Riss Reviews (Review) https://rissreviewsx.wixsite.com/website

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

@kat_deeann (Review) https://www.instagram.com/kat_deeann/?igshid=MWI4MTIyMDE%3D

@takealookatmybookshelf (Review) https://www.instagram.com/takealookatmybookshelf/

Bunny’s Reviews (Review) https://bookwormbunnyreviews.blogspot.com/

Stine Writing (Review) https://christinebialczak.com/

@afantaseaofbooks (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/afantaseaofbooks/

 January 24th

@disneyallthe_way (Review) https://www.instagram.com/disneyallthe_way/

Cheryl’s Book Nook (Review)           https://cherylsbooknook.blogspot.com/

@fathomsamidstthelines (Review) https://www.instagram.com/fathomsamidstthelines/

@br0kebookaddict (Review) https://www.instagram.com/br0kebookaddict/

@through_the_booking_glass (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/through_the_booking_glass

January 25th

@books.and.salt (Review) https://www.instagram.com/books.and.salt/

@margiebythebookcase (Review) https://www.instagram.com/margiebythebookcase/

@commamirandabooknerd (Review) https://www.instagram.com/commamirandabooknerd/

@thebiblioaddict (Review) https://www.tiktok.com/@thebiblioaddict?_t=8XUwgIVt2NO&_r=1

@readwritefantasy (Review) https://www.instagram.com/readwritefantasy/

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

January 26th

@acupofteaandabookplease (Review) https://www.instagram.com/acupofteaandabookplease/

@creepylilbookworm (Review) https://www.instagram.com/creepylilbookworm/

@_kellymariewrites (Review) https://www.instagram.com/_kellymariewrites/

@fargoanbookmoth (Review) https://www.instagram.com/fargoanbookmoth/

@tm_ghent (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/tm_ghent/

I Smell Sheep (Spotlight) http://www.ismellsheep.com/

@bookishlyrieka (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/bookishlyrieka/

January 27th

@amber.bunch_author (Review) https://www.instagram.com/amber.bunch_author/

@bayyyansbooks (Review) https://www.instagram.com/bayyyansbooks/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y%3D

@hazels_bookstagram (Review) https://www.instagram.com/hazels_bookstagram/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y%3D

@crazybookloverz (Review) https://www.instagram.com/crazybookloverz/

@mels_booksandhooks (Review) https://www.instagram.com/mels_booksandhooks/

@_toris.thoughts_ (Review) https://www.instagram.com/_toris.thoughts_/

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Blog Tour: Unanimity – Alexandra Almeida

Welcome to the book tour for Unanimity, the first book in the Spiral Worlds series by Alexandra Almeida. Read on for more details and get yourself a copy today!

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Unanimity (Spiral Worlds Book #1)

Publication Date: October 18, 2022

Genre: Science Fiction/ Sci-Fi Fantasy/ LGBTQ2
The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Shadow is a reluctant god with a broken mind and a death wish. He used to be Thomas Astley-Byron, an affluent young screenwriter whose creativity and idealism saved a world from the brink of collapse. Together with Henry Nowak, an AI expert, Tom created heaven on earth by inventing a Jungian simulated reality that helps humans confront their dark sides. The benevolent manipulation platform turned the two unelected leaders into beloved gods, but now everything is failing. The worlds suffer as a sentimental Tom descends into his own personal hell, becoming the embodiment of everything he despises and a shadow of his former self.

His journey from an optimistic, joyful Tom to a gloomy Shadow is paved with heartache and sinister interference from emerging technology. Humans and bots fight for his heart, but their aims differ: some want to own it, some to dissect it, and others to end its foolish beat. Estranged from the love of his life—the activist poet Nathan Storm—Tom fails to realize the biggest threat comes from within. None of the sticky stories that steer his life end well.

Now, a young goddess—Estelle Ngoie—has been appointed to replace him, and unlike Shadow, Stella takes no prisoners, and her heart bleeds for no one.

Who’s pulling on Shadow’s heartstrings? Are their intentions malign or benign? It’s all a matter of perspective, and Shadow has none left.
The Series Themes

An epic tale spanning across six days—one per book—and forty past decades of life lived across ten worlds and two universes.

Weaving sci-fi elements with social commentary and queer romantic suspense, Spiral Worlds explores the nature of consciousness and how it’s connected to a not-so-secret ingredient—story. As software consumes the world, intelligence is nothing but the appetizer; the human heart is the main course.

“I adored this work by Alexandra Almeida from cover to cover for its modern take on fantasy and the subversion of so many typical themes and ideas that have become tired and overdone in the genre.” “The queer storytelling elements are included beautifully and never made into a gimmick or overdone for the sake of themselves, and as such, they flow naturally with the fantasy and emotional elements of the narrative. I would not hesitate to recommend Unanimity as a sensational opening novel to a very promising series.”

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About the Author

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Alexandra Almeida has over 25 years of experience in technology, strategy, and innovation. In her role as Chief Transformation Officer, she acts as a senior advisor to enterprise executives. Alexandra is an experienced speaker at events such as SXSW, Gartner Symposium, and the Women in Tech Series.

For the time being, and to protect her creative freedoms, Alexandra prefers to write using a number of pen names.

Her debut fantasy novel, released under another pen name, has received the following awards and recognition:
– Reader’s Favorite Awards – Gold Medal Winner – Young Adult – Fantasy – Epic
– Reader Views Awards – 1st Place – Fantasy
– CIPA EVVY Book Awards – 2nd Place – Fiction – Mythology
– B.R.A.G. Medallion Recipient
– Eric Hoffer’s Da Vinci Eye Awards Finalist for Best Cover Artwork
– The Wishing Shelf Book Awards Finalist – Books for Adults
– Awesome Indies Approved

Spiral Worlds

Book Tour Schedule

Book Tour Schedule

January 23rd

R&R Book Tours (Kick-Off) http://rrbooktours.com

Cheryl’s Book Nook (Spotlight) https://cherylsbooknook.blogspot.com/

Riss Reviews (Review) https://rissreviewsx.wixsite.com/website

@caffeinatedbibliophilia (Review) https://www.instagram.com/caffeinatedbibliophilia/

I Love Books & Stuff (Spotlight) https://ilovebooksandstuffblog.wordpress.com

I Smell Sheep (Spotlight) http://www.ismellsheep.com/

Rambling Mads (Spotlight) http://ramblingmads.com

January 24th

Lecari’s Live Journal (Review) http://www.lecari.co.uk

@takealookatmybookshelf (Review) https://www.instagram.com/takealookatmybookshelf/

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

@bookishfeatures_ (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/bookishfeatures_/

@wolves_perception (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/wolves_perception/

@latishaslowkeylife (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/latishaslowkeylife/

Books Blog (Spotlight) https://www.booksblog.co.uk/

January 25th

@amber.bunch_author (Review) https://www.instagram.com/amber.bunch_author/

Read Write Run (Review) http://readwriterun.ca/

@read_write_run_ – https://instagram.com/read_write_run_?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

@readwritefantasy (Review) https://www.instagram.com/readwritefantasy

@vinamkent_author (Review) https://www.instagram.com/vinamkent_author/

@through_the_booking_glass (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/through_the_booking_glass/

@tinabyer (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/tinabyer/

Liliyana Shadowlyn (Spotlight) https://lshadowlynauthor.com

January 26th

@its_b.e.l.l.e (Review) https://www.instagram.com/its_b.e.l.l.e/

@moonlightalesbooks (Review) https://www.instagram.com/moonlightalesbooks/

Liliyana Shadowlyn (Review) https://lshadowlynauthor.com/

@fathomsamidstthelines (Review) https://www.instagram.com/fathomsamidstthelines/

Not Another Bunny Blog (Review) https://notanybunny.wordpress.com/blog

@marie.sinadjan – https://www.instagram.com/marie.sinadjan/

Stine Writing (Spotlight) https://christinebialczak.com/

January 27th

Emerald Reviews (Spotlight) https://www.emeraldreviews.co.uk/

@thelibrocubicularista (Review) https://www.instagram.com/thelibrocubicularista/

@my_fair_fiction (Review) https://www.instagram.com/my_fair_fiction/

@booksreadbytracy (Review) https://www.instagram.com/booksreadbytracy/?hl=en

@tm_ghent (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/tm_ghent/

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Blog Tour: Strays – Janeen Leese-Taylor

A murder without evidence, a secret that could topple society and a cop with a bit of a coffee habit!

Three things were certain in the mind of Officer Theodore Night:
One: There’s a serial killer loose in Portstewart
Two: His new friend is a werewolf
Three: He’s in way over his head

When bloody paw prints at a crime scene leads Officer Night to consider the impossible, he must rely not only on his years of investigative experience, but on the local werewolf pack, for help.
An unlikely friendship gives Night the edge he needs to prevent an all-out war. Has Blair, the mysterious barista from Bean and Gone, caused him to bite off more than he can chew?

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Janeen is an Irish author born and raised on the scenic Causeway Coast. Curious, and with a great love for adventure, Jan spent her childhood climbing trees and talking to her imaginary friends, many of whom have now found a home in her writing.

She has a bachelor’s degree in advertising and works for gaming companies around the world. She is a lover of all things fantasy and aims to bring some magic to the places that she visits in her writing. Portstewart, Dublin and Chester City each feature prominently in both her travels and her writing, and her stories often draw from real life places that have captured her heart.

As an ultramarathon runner, Jan often writes on the go, using her trusty phone and stylus to craft scenes that come to her after hours on her feet. 

She lives with her husband, Liam, their Border Collie-Cross, Zarya, and their Guinea Pig, (Peek-A) Boo, who they all fear will one day take over the world!

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My thoughts: when a series of brutal family killings has PSNI stumped, with the strange wolf prints (in a country where wolves have long been wiped out) that no one can identify, Officer Theo Night, K9 trainer and owner of 7 dogs (I love that a corgi cross called Flump is the pack leader) discovers that well, werewolves are real, living in Northern Ireland (and elsewhere) and yes, their killer may well be one.

Teaming up with reluctant lycanthrope and barista Blair to investigate the killings, Theo gets a crash course in werewolf history and politics, going toe to toe with Alphas, determined to find the killer and his pack, and put a stop to the reign of terror.

This was a lot of fun, and I want more. Ireland has a hugely rich mythology, with creatures found nowhere else and a lot of them are pretty scary. I have a book of Irish fairy tales and some are nightmare inducing. I’d love Blair and Theo to become like The X-Files or Wellington Paranormal of Northern Ireland. That would be great. The ending hints at such a possibility, so fingers crossed.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Blog Tour: Woodborn – Heather Nix

Woodborn by Heather Nix is finally on tour and we’re thrilled to share it today! Read on for details and be sure to enter the giveaway at the end – A book box containing the book and other bookish goodies!

Cover

Woodborn (Song of Gods #1)

Expected Publication Date: January 21, 2023

Genre: Sapphic Fantasy/ High Fantasy

“I do not know how I lived in darkness for so many years with this bright world just waiting for me to grasp it.”

Maelwen is a young witch trapped in a harsh and unforgiving life. Friendless and alone, she endures terrible abuse in order to survive in the desolate land of Iowain.

Across the continent, Cicerine, a virtuous young faun, lives in the idyllic glade of Kanitosh Woods. Alongside her mother and closest friend, she is raised with dutiful reverence for the god, Idyth—led by the mysterious Father Farragen.

After escaping her tormentor and seeking a new life of her own, Maelwen finds a fresh start in the seedy trade city of Konidas. Meanwhile, a terrible tragedy befalls the glade, and Cicerine must flee to the same seaside town, leaving behind all she has ever known.

As a dark and menacing force spreads across Idythia, can Maelwen’s gifts and Cicerine’s developing power stand against the threat which faces them all? Alongside found family, new friends, and a crew of sapphic pirates, the line between good and evil is tested as the continent prepares for an epic battle.

CW: This is a sapphic fantasy novel, featuring a great deal of blood. Full list here

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Excerpt

My bare feet pad along the floor of my small apartment as I head toward the bedroom. The desolate and stark journey from Iowain to Konidas took three days’ time, and I arrived two months ago today. I slept on the open ground, wrapped in my cloak beneath the wide sky, full of stars. I did not encounter a single living creature as I flew. The nights were silent but for the whistle of the wind and the soft rustle of my cloak, becoming as familiar to me as a part of my ‌body. Tiny pinprick scars now run along my arms and back from wrist to wrist, where it stitches to my skin for flight, looking like a seam pulled undone. They are the only wounds which my body has not healed. It feels odd, like finding something I did not know belonged to me. The cloak currently lies draped over a chair in my sitting room, humming softly to me as I sit on my bed. Months ago, I only dreamed of freedom. Now, I have it.

This apartment sits over a tavern in Konidas. The owners are human, plump, and kind-hearted. The night I arrived here, the tavern was the first open business I found, and I shook off the chill at a barstool with a tankard of frothy ale. The barkeep made small talk, and after the ale loosened my tongue, I let slip that I had just arrived and had made no arrangements for housing. I had planned on renting a room at the inn by the docks, despite the cost—rooms were rented by the day or the hour, not monthly. Without renting one of the rickety, dilapidated homes in town or an apartment above one of the small businesses, the cost of living in a transient city like Konidas is high. However, by the end of the night, I had made my first friend, the barkeep, Shell. She is the daughter of the tavern owners who coincidentally, and conveniently, had an empty apartment upstairs. I can’t help but feel like this is all too easy, too good. I have never had a home or a friend, and this comfort is unnerving. Some god or goddess must have been on my shoulder, guiding me toward complete strangers who somehow trusted me enough to offer up an apartment within hours of my arrival. I would say thanks if we still recalled the names of the gods. I paid them upfront for three months, a show of good faith that I can at least be counted on in that regard. I am not a friendly face, but money is just as good when it comes to trust. For the second time today, I pull out my sack of coin from beneath my mattress and count it. Jarrus’s savings and my meager hoard made a fair sum, and I have a decent amount left, but soon I will need to come up with a way to make more. I slide beneath my blankets and with a small smile allow myself to drift to sleep—almost happy for the first time in my life.

I wake with the dawn, the pale pink light of sunrise filtering through my small window. There is a marked quiet to the morning and my brow furrows as I look around. My cloak has gone quiet. The persistent hum has stopped, and my senses feel dulled. I am tired, despite my night of sleep, and my body aches. Hunger grabs onto the pit of my stomach with a twisting cramp and I stand, unsteady on my feet. I dress in a pair of charcoal gray pants and a silk blouse, and I pull my long hair back into a leather tie. The staircase down to the tavern seems to shift beneath my feet, and I grip the railing to keep from falling. Shell is busy wiping down the bar, and I can smell something cooking in the kitchen, but it makes my stomach turn. Nearly gagging, I push my way through the door and out into the morning bustle.

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*Cover Art by Anna Doušová

About the Author

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Heather Nix is the debut author of Woodborn, the first book in the Song of Gods series. Born and raised in sunny San Diego, CA she longs to return to the forests of the Pacific Northwest. She is the mother of two human and three cat children, and enjoys tattoos, tabletop RPGs, and creating feminist art in her limited spare time. Heather is passionate about writing queer fantasy and strives to create nuanced characters who resonate with underserved communities.

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My thoughts: you know when you’re really enjoying a book and then it ends and you’re annoyed? This book did that. I need book 2 now, I need to know my weird gang of lesbians (who are variously a witch, a faun, a nereid and pirates) are all ok, and the rest of the crew too! Is Shell’s tavern in one piece? Did the cat make it?

This starts off with each of the key characters separate but slowly brings them together as they learn who and what they are, what powers they possess, oh and get sexy too!

If the rest of the series is this good, I will be unavailable for the foreseeable as I’ll be busy reading it.

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Book Tour Schedule

January 16th

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@afantaseaofbooks (Review) https://www.instagram.com/afantaseaofbooks/

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January 17th

@fantastic__fiction (Review) https://www.tiktok.com/@fantastic__fiction

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I Love Books & Stuff (Spotlight) https://ilovebooksandstuffblog.wordpress.com

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Stine Writing (Spotlight) https://christinebialczak.com/

January 18th

@amber.bunch_author (Review) https://www.instagram.com/amber.bunch_author/

@margiebythebookcase (Review) https://www.instagram.com/margiebythebookcase/

Bunny’s Reviews (Review) https://bookwormbunnyreviews.blogspot.com/

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

Lady Hawkeye (Spotlight) https://www.ladyhawkeye.com/

@kellyatx (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/kellyatx/

January 19th

@crazybookloverz (Review) https://www.instagram.com/crazybookloverz/

@laras.litreads (Review) https://www.tiktok.com/@laras.litreads

@littlebonelibrary (Review) https://www.instagram.com/littlebonelibrary/

@r.c.thomson (Review) https://www.instagram.com/r.c.thomson/

@vinamkent_author (Review) https://www.instagram.com/vinamkent_author/

January 20th

@thelibrocubicularista (Review) https://www.instagram.com/thelibrocubicularista/

@mels_booksandhooks (Review) https://www.instagram.com/mels_booksandhooks/

Rambling Mads (Review) http://ramblingmads.com

@elinasbookstagram (Review) https://www.instagram.com/elinasbookstagram/

@booksdogsandcoffee (Review) https://www.tiktok.com/@booksdogsandcoffee

@the_princess_library (Review) https://www.instagram.com/the_princess_library/

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Blog Tour: Copper Waters – Marlene M. Bell

CopperWaters copy

Welcome to the tour for Copper Waters: A New Zealand Cottage Mystery by Marlene M. Bell. Be sure to enter the giveway below!

Giveway Bundle ($225 Value)

  1.  William Morris Design Tapestry Throw – Acanthus Leaves   Made in USA
  2.  34 oz. Hammered Copper Water Bottle
  3.   5×7 Handcrafted Suede Journal (blank pages)
  4.   $50 VISA Gift Card
  5.   Autographed Copper Waters

COPPER WATERS _E Book

Copper Waters: A New Zealand Cottage Mystery

Publication Date: December 7, 2022

Genre: Mystery/ Suspense/ Light Romance

Antiquities expert Annalisse Drury and tycoon Alec Zavos are at an impasse in their relationship when Alec refuses to clear up a paternity issue with an ex-lover.

Frustrated with his avoidance when their future is at stake, Annalisse accepts an invitation from an acquaintance to fly to New Zealand—hoping to escape the recent turbulence in her life.

But even Annalisse’s cottage idyll on the family sheep farm isn’t immune to intrigue.

Alec sends a mutual friend and detective, Bill Drake, to follow her, and a local resident who accompanies them from the Christchurch airport dies mysteriously soon after. A second violent death finds Annalisse and Bill at odds with the official investigations.

The local police want to close both cases as quickly as possible—without unearthing the town’s dirty secrets.

As she and Bill pursue their own leads at serious cost, the dual mysteries force Annalisse to question everything she thought she knew about family ties, politics, and the art of small-town betrayal.

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Excerpt

“Nothing’s sinking in.” I pass the note to Alec and prepare myself. “Would you mind reading it aloud?”

“She and Ethan traveled together.” He gazes at me.

“Okay, we’d considered that.”

“Kate has business to conclude in New Zealand before she returns to New York. She asks me not to mention this to you until she arrives in the States but didn’t give a reason. Kate says she’ll meet you in person when she’s ready.”

“Seriously? Where does she plan to live? With me in Greenwich? The Goshen farm could be sold by now. Does she mention Jeremy finding her another place?”

Alec scans the page randomly. “No, she didn’t.”

I scratch my scalp and shake my head. “Then my sheep station trip to New Zealand is perfect timing. I have to leave now and see if I can catch her before she skips out. Ethan must know where Kate is. If it’s all the same, we’ll hang on to the tickets for our April trip, and I’ll buy my own way for this flight.” Tugging at my sweatshirt with clammy hands, I take the note from Alec and sail it into the flames, watching paper crinkle and burn on the log.

He steps forward, his chiseled profile gawking at the fire in disbelief.

“Were you ever going to tell me about Kate’s message?” A sob chokes my windpipe. “If it weren’t for Ethan’s invite, I doubt that we’d be talking about Kate.”

“Babe, I thought by staying neutral…” He twists his lips and looks at his shoes. “Seeing your reaction now; it was a mistake not to tell you.”

“That totally blows.” I ball my hands into fists. “More like you were afraid that I’d run down there to find her.” I’m mad enough to send smoke signals, so I take slower, calming breaths.

“If I’d told you… Yeah, I worried you’d run off. The ordeal in Italy, then Peter Gregory terrorizing you, and Helga has had barely enough time to settle around here. Your safety doesn’t include encouraging you to hop on a plane to another country so soon after a trauma like that. Waiting for Kate’s return felt right to me. At some point, I hope you’ll see things from my side. Kate put me in the middle, but it’s you I worry about.”

Willing myself to relax, I take his hand to get him to focus on me instead of the floor. “I know that.”

Peter Gregory, an old coworker from my past job at another gallery, is responsible for a young woman’s murder in Lecce, near the Mediterranean Sea on Italy’s eastern shore. Alec and I went to Southern Italy for a working vacation that spun us into solving more than one homicide in order for Alec to sell his dad’s Signorile Corporation, a sports car company.

“After a shower, I’ll give your mom a call from the car on the way home. I might have trouble getting a flight out on the spur of the moment, but if I do, I hope you’ll help me.”

“Anna, we should discuss this.” He catches my wrist. “I’d like to go along. Say the word, and I’m on that plane with you. Allow what’s happened with Kate to simmer. You might feel differently in the morning.”

Grasping Kate’s locket beneath my shirt, I slide the chain over my head and cup Alec’s hand, dropping the necklace there.

“Hold on to my locket while I’m gone. It’s the most precious thing I own. That way, you’ll know I’m coming back to you.” On my tiptoes, our salty kiss calls a loneliness— In a flash, two people are about to have a hemisphere drifting between them from outside influences that want to manipulate us. “Gen will be here to see Noah in a few hours, and you have him until Sunday. Let me go, Alec, and please wait for me at Brookehaven. I have to make this trip by myself. If there’s the slightest chance that Kate’s with Ethan or he knows where she is, I have to go. I’ve already lost precious time.” I start for the drawing room doors and remember something left undone. “Oh, and sorry for the sticky mess in your stable office.”

In a dead run, I’m biting a quivering lip. On the way to Alec’s bedroom suite, I send Chase a text to hold Ethan’s box and note for me at the gallery. True to form, Kate shoves us all out of our comfort zones, where I’m certain to find a disaster waiting for me to book a ticket to New Zealand in a mad rush.

Available on Amazon & Barnes & Noble

About the Author

Marlene M. Bell is an eclectic mystery writer, artist, photographer, and she raises sheep in beautiful East Texas with her husband, Gregg, three cats and a flock of horned Dorset sheep.

The Annalisse series has received numerous honors including the Independent Press Award for Best Mystery (Spent Identity,) and FAPA— Florida Author’s President’s Gold Award for two other installments, (Stolen Obsession and Scattered Legacy.) Her mysteries with a touch of romance are found at marlenembell.com. She also offers the first of her children’s picture books, Mia and Nattie: One Great Team! Based on true events from the Bell’s ranch. The simple text and illustrations are a touching tribute of compassion and love between a little girl and her lamb.

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Book Tour Schedule

Jan 16th

R&R Book Tours (Kick-Off) http://rrbooktours.com

Scarlett Readz and Runz (Review) https://scarlettreadzandrunz.com/

@fathomsamidstthelines (Review) https://www.instagram.com/fathomsamidstthelines/

Timeless Romance Blog (Spotlight) https://aubreywynne.com/

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January 17th

@hazels_bookstagram (Review) https://www.instagram.com/hazels_bookstagram/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y%3D

@books.and.salt (Review) https://www.instagram.com/books.and.salt/

Kam’s Place (Review) https://www.superkambrook.com/

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January 18th

@chloereadsalot (Review) https://www.instagram.com/chloereadsalot/

@takealookatmybookshelf (Review) https://www.instagram.com/takealookatmybookshelf/

@bonggirlinabookworld (Review) https://www.instagram.com/bonggirlinabookworld/

@better_0ff_read (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/better_0ff_read/

Stine Writing (Spotlight) https://christinebialczak.com/

January 19th

@adlynsreadingcorner (Review) https://www.instagram.com/adlynsreadingcorner/

@bayyyansbooks (Review) https://www.instagram.com/bayyyansbooks/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y%3D

@the_princess_library (Review) https://www.instagram.com/the_princess_library/

January 20th

@amber.bunch_author (Review) https://www.instagram.com/amber.bunch_author/

@littlebonelibrary (Review) https://www.instagram.com/littlebonelibrary/

@obsessive_bibliomaniac (Review) https://www.instagram.com/obsessive_bibliomaniac/

@vinamkent_author (Review) https://www.instagram.com/vinamkent_author/

Lady Hawkeye (Spotlight) https://www.ladyhawkeye.com/

Liliyana Shadowlyn (Spotlight) https://lshadowlynauthor.com/

@kellyatx (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/kellyatx/

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Blog Tour: Death at Crookham Hall – Michelle Salter

A fatal jump. A missing suffragette. An inexplicable murder.
London, 1920. When she catches news of a big story, reporter Iris Woodmore rushes to the House of Commons. But it’s a place that holds painful memories. In 1914, her mother died there when she fell into the River Thames during a daring suffragette protest. But in the shadow of Big Ben, a waterman tells Iris her mother didn’t fall – she jumped.
Iris discovers that the suffragette with her mother that fateful day has been missing for years, disappearing just after the protest. Desperate to know the truth behind the fatal jump, Iris’s investigation leads her to Crookham Hall, an ancestral home where secrets and lies lead to murder…
Purchase

Michelle Salter is a historical crime fiction writer based in northeast Hampshire. Many local locations appear in her mystery novels. She’s also a copywriter and has written features for national
magazines. When she’s not writing, Michelle can be found knee-deep in mud at her local nature reserve. She enjoys working with a team of volunteers undertaking conservation activities.

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My thoughts: this was a very enjoyable historical crime thriller. Iris is trying to cover a story but the one she really wants answers to is that of her mother’s terrible death, falling into the Thames. But now she has new evidence from a witness – her mother jumped, but why? And where did the other woman, a fellow suffragette, disappear to? Iris is determined to get answers, even if they’re painful to hear.

Two women are contesting an MP’s seat, for the first time and one of them knew her mother. But there’s a lot more going on in this electoral race. Digging into a complicated nest of secrets gives Iris the truth and plenty to cover too. A great start to a new series.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Blog Tour: Dirt – Sarah Sultoon

THIS IS NO UTOPIA…

1996. Northern Israel. Lola leaves an unhappy home life in England for the fabled utopian life of a kibbutz, but this heavily guarded farming community on the Arab-Israeli border isn’t the idyll it seems, and tensions are festering.

Hundreds of miles away, in the Jerusalem offices of the International Tribune newspaper, all eyes are on Israel’s response to a spate of rocket attacks from Lebanon, until cub reporter Jonny Murphy gets a tip from a mysterious source that sends him straight into the danger zone.

When the body of an Arab worker is discovered in the dirt of the kibbutz chicken house, it triggers a series of events that puts Lola and the whole community in jeopardy, and Jonny begins to uncover a series of secrets that put everything at risk, as he starts to realise just how far some people will go to belong…

Sarah Sultoon is a journalist and writer, whose work as an international news executive at CNN has taken her all over the world, from the seats of power in both Westminster and Washington to the frontlines of Iraq and Afghanistan. Of Jewish and Indian descent, she has extensive experience in conflict zones, winning three Peabody awards for her work on the war in Syria, an Emmy for her contribution to the coverage of Europe’s migrant crisis in 2015, and a number of Royal Television Society gongs. When not reading or writing she can usually be found somewhere outside, either running, swimming or throwing a ball for her three children and dog while she imagines what might happen if… Her debut thriller The Source is currently in production with Lime Pictures, was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger, won the Crime Fiction Lover Debut Thriller Award, was a Capital Crime Book Club pick and a number-one bestseller on Kindle.

My thoughts: my mum stayed on a kibbutz many years ago (she was a teenager) with her Israeli friend and the most outrageous thing was the fact that a man called Jesus used to do the washing up in the nude! She worked in the kitchens and claims the worst bit was the early mornings. No terrible murders there.

But the kibbutz at the heart of the cracking read is riddled with secrets, lies and death. Not exactly the utopia community that the media tries to portray them as to lure in volunteers. Lola is a Londoner, a gentile, the ultimate outsider here, but she has secrets too and they might just be dangerous. Johnny Murphy’s mother was Israeli, his father Irish, and they met on the kibbutz. But a chance to blow open the murder in the International Tribune and stake his journalistic career means he’s there too, trying to find out what’s going on.

The closed community, the claustrophobia of sharing living spaces with strangers, the isolation of this particular kibbutz, the proximity of the border with Lebanon, all serve to heighten the tension as events spiral and paranoia grows. Really, really good stuff.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.