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All reviews and opinions shared on The Faerie Review are mine alone. I review books of my own accord. All books reviewed on this blog are e...

Friday, July 20, 2018

Sweet Love at Bayside / Sweet Passions at Bayside



Two BRAND NEW Addison Cole sweet romance releases!

Sweet Love at Bayside (Sweet with Heat: Bayside Summers Book 1) by [Cole, Addison]
NEW RELEASE........ 

Fall in love at Bayside, where sandy beaches, good friends, and true love come together in the sweet small towns of Cape Cod. Bayside Summers is a series of standalone romance novels featuring fiercely loyal heroes and sassy, empowered women. They're fun, flirty, flawed, and easy to relate to.

In Sweet Love at Bayside…
As the co-owner of Bayside Resorts, Rick Savage has a fabulous job working with his best friends and brother, and a thriving business in Washington, DC, which he'll be returning to at the end of the summer. Spending time with his family is great, but being back on Cape Cod has unearthed painful memories. When sweet, smart, and overly cautious Desiree Cleary moves in next door, Rick is drawn to the sexy preschool teacher, and she just might prove to be the perfect distraction.

Running an art gallery was not in preschool teacher Desiree Cleary's plans, but after being tricked into coming to her impetuous, unreliable mother's aid, she's stuck spending the summer with the rebellious half sister she barely knows and a misbehaving dog. If that's not frustrating enough, she can't escape the sparks igniting with her strikingly handsome and pushy neighbor, Rick, who makes all her warning bells go off.


Passion ignites as Desiree and Rick spend long summer nights sharing heartfelt confessions and steamy kisses. For the first time in years Rick is enjoying life again instead of hiding behind mounds of work miles away from his family. Desiree has touched him in a way that makes him want to slow down. Only slowing down means dealing with his demons, and he isn't sure who he'll be when he comes out the other side.


About SWEET WITH HEAT novels... 
Sweet with Heat books are the sweet editions of the Love in Bloom steamy romance novels by New York Times bestselling author Melissa Foster. Sweet with Heat books convey all of the passion you expect between two people in love, without any explicit scenes or harsh language.


Rating: 5 out of 5 fairies

Review: I loved the steamy version of this book by Melissa Foster. The sweet version did not disappoint! Perfect for a sunny summer day, Sweet Love at Bayside will give you butterflies. A preschool teacher and a successful businessman are worlds apart until fate pushes them together, and the sparks start to fly. The weather isn't the only thing heating up as they wrestle with demons past and present, hoping to come together for something that lasts longer than summer vacation. Rick will leave you all smiles, and Desiree's predicament will have you giggling. A must read!

Available to buy from ...

Sweet Love at Bayside (Sweet with Heat: Bayside Summers Book 1) by [Cole, Addison]
NEW RELEASE........ 

Fall in love at Bayside, where sandy beaches, good friends, and true love come together in the sweet small towns of Cape Cod. Bayside Summers is a series of standalone romance novels featuring fiercely loyal heroes and sassy, empowered women. They're fun, flirty, flawed, and easy to relate to.

In Sweet Passions at Bayside… 
When Emery Andrews's best friend, Desiree, moves away, falls in love, and opens an inn all in one summer, she feels her absence like a missing limb. Until she visits over the holidays and meets sinfully hot Dean Masters, who's as easy on the eyes as he is to talk to. After returning home, what starts as a flurry of late-night flirtations quickly turns into a deep connection and unexpected friendship. Now, months later, Desiree offers Emery a job teaching yoga at the inn. Adventurous Emery jumps at the chance and heads for Wellfleet, Massachusetts, to reunite with her BFF and her new close friend, Dean.

After months of sharing their lives, and their secrets, over video chats and phone calls, Dean's ready to move things to the next level. The fact that Emery seems oblivious to the sparks between them and has recently put her foot down about dating friends just means he'll have to bide his time.

When Emery finds a man in her kitchen the first morning she's there, Dean doesn't hesitate to move her into his guest room. Maybe now Emery will see what's right before her eyes-although that guy she's got a date with might be a problem.

About SWEET WITH HEAT novels... 
Sweet with Heat books are the sweet editions of the Love in Bloom steamy romance novels by New York Times bestselling author Melissa Foster. Sweet with Heat books convey all of the passion you expect between two people in love, without any explicit scenes or harsh language.


Rating: 5 out of 5 fairies

Review: I was so excited to read Emery's story after being introduced to her in Sweet Love at Bayside. What can be better than a summer connection that lasts year round and miles apart? Emery might be in denial, but Dean isn't about to back down from what he knows must be mutual attraction, with the sparks that are flying. But can Dean break past Emery's fear of ruining a good friendship and ending up with the wrong guy before it's too late? The perfect read for a lazy summer day.

Available to buy from ...


Also available in the Sweet with Heat: Bayside Summers Series 
Sweet Heat at Bayside (Releasing August 8th) 
 Sweet Escape at Bayside (Releasing February 6th, 2019)

More from Addison Cole!
Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers Series

About the author
SIGN UP for ADDISON'S Sweet with Heat newsletter. Fun, flirty romance with a dash of heat. www.AddisonCole.com/Newsletter

DOWNLOAD the first book in Addison's Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers series free: READ, WRITE, LOVE AT SEASIDE

Addison Cole is the sweet alter ego of New York Times and USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Melissa Foster. She writes humorous and emotional sweet contemporary romance. Her books do not include explicit sex scenes or harsh language. Addison spends her summers on Cape Cod, where she dreams up wonderful love stories in her house overlooking Cape Cod Bay.

Addison is proud to be part of the Main Street Romance family, a partnership with bestselling authors Nancy Naigle, RaeAnne Thayne, and Chris Keniston, bringing sweet happy-ever-after love stories to the Main Street Romance community. Join them at www.MainStreetRomance.com ~ open 24/7 just for you.

Addison enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups and welcomes an invitation to your event.

Addison’s books are available in paperback, digital, and audio formats.

Find Addison on the following sites....
Website   Newsletter   Facebook   Twitter   Google+   Pinterest   Goodreads   Bookbub   Amazon Author Page




Follow the Book Tour

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I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.

NOW FOR THE AUTHOR'S GIVEAWAY !!
Nights at Seaside (Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers Book 6) by [Cole, Addison]
Win Nights at Seaside ebook (2 winners)
Ending on Sunday 5th August at 11.59pm EST
Open Worldwide

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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Back AT You

NEW RELEASE....
The voice was disguised.… 

The agonizing message was not. 

Alex gets a call no parent should ever receive. It's a dagger to her heart. But she can't afford to stop.

Forced to carry out the wishes of the captors, Alex is threatened at every turn. It defiles her, but she'll do anything to get her daughter back. Will it work?

The treacherous journey is never-ending. Her life is threatened, but she brushes it off. The connection to her family member is still strong. But will she ever see her again?

An Amber Alert in San Antonio -- and Ivy Nash intercepts the assailant. But the story behind the story grabs her by the throat. Would a mother actually do such a thing, or is this simply a custody issue?

Two paths intersect, and neither Alex nor Ivy will back down. They must save the lives of these young girls.

The opioid crisis devours people by the thousands. And those behind it slither around like snakes, using the addicted like they're animals on the end of a leash. Can anyone stop the cycle of abuse?

It all has to stop. One life at a time. One daughter at a time. Alex and Ivy will either succeed or die in the process.

Who will make it out alive?

But in the end, could there be one shining moment?

Get Back AT You now! 

Rating: 5 out of 5 fairies

Review: I absolutely LOVE the redemption series, but this may just be my favorite book yet. Alex and Ivy are two very passionate, determined women, and when it comes to saving the innocent, they'll stop at nothing, whether its family or a little girl caught up in evil. It's a race against the clock and some of the evilest persons either has ever faced as they try to rescue the girls before its too late. Not even threats to their lives will stop these everyday heroes from pursuing the villains.

Available to buy from....
Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk    Paperback

Redemption Thriller Series
*Suggested to read the books in the following order:

Books in the Alex Troutt Thrillers:
AT Bay
AT Large
AT Once
AT Dawn
AT Dusk
AT Last
Books in the Ivy Nash Thrillers:
IN Defiance
IN Pursuit
IN Doubt
Break IN
IN Control
IN The End

Books in the Ozzie Novak Thrillers
ON Edge 
Game ON  
ON The Rocks  
Shame ON You 
ON Fire  
ON The Run 

  
Books in the Alex Troutt Thrillers:
AT Stake
AT Any Costs
Back AT You
AT Every Turn
AT Death's Door
AT Full Tilt

The Scoop 
By now you're probably aware that the Alex Troutt thrillers, Ivy Nash thrillers, and the Ozzie Novak thrillers are all under the same Redemption Thriller Series umbrella. Why? Because, ultimately, they all connect -- Alex, Ivy, Ozzie. How? That's part of the mystery that I'm slowly unveiling throughout the Redemption Thriller Series.

Through each sub-series, characters from different books appear in the other novels. If it adds suspense, intrigue, or even a good laugh, I've included a cross-over character -- it's a lot more fun that way. Plus -- and here's the real kicker -- the final six novels will bring all of the major characters together -- Alex, Ivy, Ozzie. It will be explosive and gut-wrenching…in a way that will leave you breathless.

About the Author
Amazon #1 Bestselling Author, #2 bestselling author on Barnes and Noble, and a Readers' Favorite Gold Medal winner.

John W. Mefford has been writing his debut novel since he first entered the work force almost thirty years ago, although he never put words on paper until 2009. Once he started writing, however, he couldn't stop. Many readers ask John from where he gets his ideas. Well, he's a veteran of the corporate rat-race, a former journalist, and he's always been an astute observer of human and social behavior. On top of that, he's really good at embellishing.

A member of International Thriller Writers, John writes novels full of electrifying suspense -- the same types of books he has loved to read since before he could shave.

When he’s not writing, he chases his youth on bike or a basketball court, all while making mental notes of people and societies across the land.

Find the author on the following sites...
 Website   Facebook   Twitter   Google+   Goodreads   Bookbub   Amazon Author Page


Follow the tour

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I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.

NOW FOR THE AUTHOR'S GIVEAWAY
Win Back AT You by John W Mefford ebook
3 Winners!!
Ending on Sunday 29th July at 11.59pm CST
Open Worldwide

Enter HERE

Good Luck !!

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Thursday, July 12, 2018

Into the Woods




Into the Woods is the title and theme for this assortment of short stories, poems, essays, music, and one walking meditation. Each piece is unique in tone and genre and the result is that the collection captures the fascinating, frightening, fun, healing, and fantastical wonder of time spent in the woods. The twenty-six contributors who attend Mindful Writers Retreats in the mountains of Ligonier, Pennsylvania, are donating one hundred percent of the proceeds to support the research and work of The Children’s Heart Foundation.

Available at....








Rating: 5 out of 5 fairies

Review: A great collection of stories supporting a wonderful cause. Although there is a common theme, the styles and genres range across the board, making this eclectic tome one that can touch the hearts of all who roam its pages. From the fantastical to the all too real, words flit across the mind of the reader like a bird between the trees, weaving stories like a spider it's web high in the branches. Where will you go when you step into the woods? 


Book Excerpts
Short Story
TRAIN WRECK
by Kathleen Shoop

Ellie Trumbull squinted out the window of the Uber, gripping the door handle. The car swerved and bounced up the long driveway leading to the retreat center where the courts had sent Ellie for punishment. She grabbed her stomach to stave off nausea, but when it began to launch itself she smacked the driver’s arm. He slowed and stopped. Ellie pulled the handle, and tumbled out of the door onto all fours, heaving.
She gasped for breath, dizzied. Voices sounded as she struggled to stand. She focused on the group heading toward her: two women, a man, and several children who simply bolted past her, their squealing laughter filling the air.
A graceful woman with gray, bunned hair and dark skin approached. She took Ellie’s arm and pulled her close, leading her into a building. “Welcome. I’m Vera.”
“I’m Alice.” A stout woman with platinum spiked hair followed along.
A lanky man with hair so perfect it looked plastic picked up Ellie’s duffel bag. “I’m Brandon. Your husband’ll send the rest of your luggage shortly.”
Ellie grunted. They led her upstairs. Brandon rushed ahead to open a door. Ellie shuffled inside.
“Your room,” he said. “I’ll set your bag here.”
Ellie looked over her shoulder to see him smiling, as he’d been doing since she arrived. “Thanks, Guy Smiley.”
“What?”
She ignored his question, held onto one of the top bunks and surveyed the space. Three large windows at the end of the room and three sets of bunks with plastic mattresses belted the perimeter.
Ellie collapsed onto a bed.
“Plastic makes it easy to clean,” Vera said.
“Shut those.” Ellie shook her hand at the windows.
The woman sighed, closed the curtains and lowered the blind that covered the center pane. She lifted Ellie’s feet off the floor and swung them onto the bed. “Housekeeping’ll make up the bed in a little bit.”
“Fine,” Ellie groaned.
Vera loosened Ellie’s shoelaces.
Ellie snatched her feet away. “I’m fine.”
Vera backed away, her large hands flailing for a moment before she tucked them against her belly. “Our healing circle begins in an hour.”
Ellie turned away and balled up. Leave me alone.
And a few seconds later the door clicked shut.
***
Giggling children and the sound of feet running down the hallway outside Room 2 woke Ellie. Her mouth was desert dry, so she headed downstairs to the great room where she saw a kitchen area. With the kids gone, the silence felt good.
Ellie startled at the sight of Alice, Vera, and Guy Smiley sitting around an island. Guy Smiley poured coffee. Healing circle.
“Ellie,” he said. “Welcome.”
Vera sliced banana bread. The scent threatened Ellie’s stoic facade. A smile tugged her lips, but she tucked away the fleeting happy sensation, hid it where it wouldn’t remind her how Maggie’s face would light up when she bit into her favorite treat.
Alice clomped her feet onto the coffee table. Vera batted them away and pushed the banana bread toward Ellie.
She looked away.
“I’ll take hers,” said Alice.
“I’d like to begin,” Vera said, her voice gentle and melodic. “The healing circle guides us into continued acceptance and strengthens our endurance as we grow through the pain that comes with losing a child. Each of us understands the daily shock of waking and realizing our lives will never be the same. So how do we go on?”
Guy Smiley sipped coffee. “Feels good to be with everyone.”
“Each time we meet I do better back home,” Vera said.
“Same,” Alice said.
“We hope you’ll find our group helpful, Ellie,” Vera said.
When Ellie didn’t respond the others went around describing how they lost their child. Ellie blocked out every word, rubbing her temples. Her own pain was enough. She wasn’t about to invite theirs inside. Her gaze strayed to the kids outside, the game of tag that left them breathless, rolling down the hill and out of sight. How lucky they were.
“Ellie?” Alice asked. Ellie turned her gaze back to see Alice glaring.
“It’ll help,” sweet Vera said. “To share.”
Guy Smiley slid forward in his seat, fingers steepled. “Change brings…blah, blah … comfort, healing…” He droned on and on and finally Ellie’s mind snapped back to what he first said.
Change?” Ellie said.
He nodded. They all did.
Ellie’s anger surged. She wiped spittle from her lip. “I don’twantchange. I feel Maggie more now than I ever did… before she died I couldn’t wait to get to work, or girls’ night out or go away with my husband. My daughter… difficult from the day she was born… is dead. I’ll never sit with you people thinking about change and eating stinking banana bread.”
She stood and stomped away.
“She don’t want help,” Alice said.
“But her husband…” Brandon said.
Ellie got farther away, unable to hear what they said. Her husband? He was finished with her. She jogged to her room and crashed onto the mattress that housekeeping hadn’t yet returned to make. She covered her face and held back tears. With balled fists she tried to resist.
But she couldn’t.
Up off the bed, Ellie dug through her duffel and found it. Vodka. Cap unscrewed, she gulped, washing away the scent of banana bread, the thought that she’d never again see Maggie’s smile when she took a bite of it.

***
Short Story
EIRA
by Wende Dikec

The lights went out, and Eira held her breath, waiting for the emergency generator to work. It started with a shudder and a horrific crunching noise, but at least it continued to function.
She closed her eyes, feeling the fear in her chest ease when she heard the comforting sound of the humming engine. She couldn’t bear the thought of being left cold and alone in the dark.
Tugging her pale, blond hair into a ponytail, she pulled her ragged wool cardigan tightly across her body and walked over to the window of Alexander House, a grand name for such a Spartan hunting cabin, to peek outside. She waited for the sun to come up, looking out the dirty glass pane, and continued to stare out the window long after the sun rose in the sky. She didn’t know why she bothered. She saw nothing outside except the same white expanse she’d seen every day for the last five lonely months.
Eira opened the door to grab some wood from the pile for her fire, her body flinching from the chill of the icy wind. She had enough wood to last a few more weeks, and then she’d have to make the dangerous trip into the forest to chop more. She dreaded it, but not as much as she dreaded living without the generator. If she rationed carefully, she’d have enough fuel for another month, but she wasn’t sure what she’d do after that. She hadn’t planned on being stranded for such a long time. Spring should have arrived almost two months ago.
She blinked in surprise when she saw a figure moving toward her house, struggling in the waist deep snow. Eira squinted against the harsh sunlight reflecting off the white landscape, trying to make out if the approaching form was human or animal, friend or foe, but she could see very little at this distance. She stumbled back into her warm little house, and reached for her heavy coat. She quickly slipped on her snowshoes before grabbing her gun, a nervous sense of excitement building inside her. If it was a person, it would be the first human being she’d seen in months. If it was an animal, she’d shoot it and have food for a week. And if it was one of the strange ones, the creatures that were no longer human yet not completely animal, she’d kill it without remorse and leave its carcass for the hungry bears to find.
She waited on her front porch, her gun ready as it came closer. It looked human, bundled under layers of heavy clothing, but she wasn’t taking any chances.
“Who are you?” she asked, her voice echoing in the quiet wilderness.
The figure stopped moving and looked directly at her. She could see a dark beard covering the skin exposed beneath protective ski goggles. It was a man.
“My name is Ben,” he said, his voice sounding scratchy and strange, as if it hadn’t been used in a long time. “I saw the smoke from your fire. Can I come in and warm up?”
Eira paused, considering his request. He seemed human enough, but it was a risk. He could steal her food, hurt her, or take her precious fuel. She weighed her options quickly. Loneliness won out over caution, but she wasn’t stupid. She clenched her gun as she waved him in.


***
Poem
FOREST BATHING
by Martha Swiss

I am alone in this place that is alive, anticipating the gift before me.
I open it slowly, with grateful breath, footsteps and heartbeats,
then thankfully sink into the purifying molecules of chlorophyll and humus.
I bask, now able to sense the purpose of ferns, snakeroot, noble trees and the creek that tumbles past my feet.

Crayfish pay me no mind in their muddy caverns.
Trees skyrocket overhead, on a mission.
Chipmunks skitter through leaf litter
and a kingfisher pounds its teal wings heading upstream.
I am dwarfed by the hillside vaulting from the floodplain. Boulders and saplings cling to its spine.

I am free to bathe here in clarified cells of cambium, xylem and phloem.
I wring my sponge in the generosity of flora.
The stream’s effervescence cleanses the tangled energy seeping from my pores.

I celebrate my fresh spirit with a confetti of scarlet, orange and yellow leaves that bob on the breast of the creek
as silently,
the trees disrobe.

***
Short Story
LIGHT OF THE MOON
by Ramona DeFelice Long

After three weeks in jail, Mama asked me to talk to Judge Rousseau about getting her some decent food to eat.
Mon Dieu,I am wasting away,” Mama said from her cell. Behind her, the narrow cot was covered with a quilt from home, and on top of the wooden crate she used as a table was a kerosene lamp on a doily. She’d left a half played game of solitaire spread over the doily. Where she got playing cards, I didn’t know. The Bible that had been on the pillow was nowhere to be seen.
She showed me her bowl of half-eaten stew. I think it was stew. “That old cow Lorraine Badeaux is poisoning me.”
“Hush, Mama,” I said. “Mrs. Badeaux is doing no such thing.”
Mama pressed her face between the bars. Her eyebrows and cheeks lifted up. That, plus the pounds she’d lost eating jail food and all the naps she took out of boredom, made her look as young as me. Trust Mama to turn getting arrested into getting prettier.
“Geneva,cher, just go ask him,” Mama wheedled. “That sheriff can hardly look at this slop. He passes me my plate and runs away. Or maybe he believes I’ll bewitch him, too.”
I begged her not to joke about that.
She narrowed her eyes at me. “And pour l’amour de Dieu, when you go see the judge, don’t wear what you got on. You look like a blind nun dressed you.”
“Mama—”
“Your hair’s all right, but get you some lipstick and rouge and use it. Judge Rousseau is old, but he ain’t dead.”
No, he wasn’t, but his brother-in-law was, and that’s why Mama’s bail was set high as the moon. But explaining that to her was like talking to a tree stump.
I said I had to leave. I was Mama’s only visitor, and she was bitter. Where was our family? Where were her friends? She was lonely and felt forsaken. I never told her that, at home, nobody came to visit me either, and I had not even murdered anybody.
Most days she begged me to stay, but tonight she told me to get on home. I suppose she thought I had a busy evening ahead tarting myself up before going to see the judge.
***
When the young deputy was on duty, he sat in a chair five feet away from Mama’s cell, as if he thought I’d help my mother escape by slipping a bolt cutter under my dress—a dress fit for a convent, indeed, because my teacher contract said I had to “act and keep my person modestly.” I worried every day I’d be fired over Mama’s scandal.
Sheriff Reyes usually sat in his office up front and read the newspaper. When my visiting time was over, he always asked, “Things all right, Miss Geneva?”
I answered, “Yes, Sheriff, thank you,” except for the time or two when Mama asked for a warmer shawl or the quilt off her bed.
Once, horrifyingly, I had to say I needed to come right back; when he frowned, I whispered that Mama needed some womanly things. He let me into her cell with a paper sack that he did not inspect. Had I been wily, I could have slipped her anything—a pistol, liquor, tonic from Madame Velda—but wily was Mama’s way, not mine. The sheriff trusted me. If you can’t trust a twenty-year-old spinster schoolteacher who dresses as modestly as a nun, you have faith in no one.
Tonight, Sheriff Reyes stood at the window. The kerosene lamp on his desk lit him up from behind: tall, broad-shouldered, brown hair cut short but still wavy. On one of those shoulders was the scar from a shell that blew him out of the sniper’s nest he’d sat in for three days, picking off Germans but never giving away his position. I’d read that in the Bossier City newspaper, when he’d come home a hero after the war ended.
He turned around and said, “Your mother’s right. Mrs. Badeaux can’t cook.”
I didn’t speak; he was also very handsome.


***

into the woods SQ teaser


Mindful Writers Retreat Authors 
Many of the writers who contributed to the anthology. 
The retreats happen at Ligonier camp and conference center in Ligonier, PA. Tenth retreat is coming up this fall!


Twenty-six Mindful Writers Retreat Authors contributed to Into the Woods. The group consists of bestsellers, award-winners, first-time authors, seasoned veterans, poets, memoirists, essayists, musicians, journalists, novelists, and short story writers who are traditionally, self and hybrid published. At Mindful Writers Retreats the labels don’t create a hierarchy, but instead reveal the richness of those who attend. Every single writer contributes to the magic and the fun that results from meditation, walking in the woods, and hour upon hour of mindful writing.

Authors in alphabetical order:
Lorraine Bonzelet
Wende Dikec
Teresa Futrick
Selah Gray
Hilary Hauck
Michele Zirkle
Eileen Enwright Hodgetts
Larry Ivkovich
Lori M. Jones
Kimberly Kurth-Gray
Laura Lovic-Lindsay
Ramona DeFelice Long
MaryAlice Meli
Gail Oare Sher Pensiero
Kim Pierson
Cara Reinard
James Robinson, Jr.
Larry Schardt
Linda K. Schmitmeyer
Carol Schoenig
Kathleen Shoop
Martha Swiss
Amy Walter
Madhu Bazaz Wangu
Denise Weaver

Many of the writers who contributed to the anthology. 
The retreats happen at Ligonier camp and conference center in Ligonier, PA. Tenth retreat is coming up this fall!

Find the Mindful Writers Retreat Series on Facebook HERE

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I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.

NOW FOR THE AUTHOR'S GIVEAWAY
1st Prize 
$50 Amazon GC and a copy of into the woods 
2nd Prize 
$25 Amazon GC and a copy of into the woods
Open Worldwide
Ending on Sunday 5th August at 11.59pm EST


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Monday, July 9, 2018

Blitz: Nectar and Ambrosia


Title:  Nectar and Ambrosia
Series: Amaranthine Inheritance #1
Author: E.M. Hamill
Publisher:  Star Bard Books
Release Date: June 30, 2018
Heat Level: 1 - No Sex
Pairing: Male/Female, Male/Male
Length: 81576
Genre: Fantasy, urban/mythical

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Synopsis

Callie, a Classics major, flees home to protect her family from a monster straight out of mythology.  Visions lead her to Nectar and Ambrosia: the weirdest pub on Earth, where inter-dimensional travelers with attention seeking issues get drunk in between the A-list celebrity lives they create. They can't pretend to be gods anymore—not since a treaty with the current Supreme Deity promising they won't intervene in human affairs. The Doorkeeper of this threshold, Florian, rides herd on the rowdy Amaranthine and offers her shelter and a job. Callie likes the lonely, mysterious bartender more than she should. For Florian, her presence is a ray of light in the gray monotony of his sentence behind the bar, but he keeps a cautious distance—the truth of how he became Doorkeeper could change Callie's perception of him forever.  When angels show up for a war council over Zeus's irrational mutters about a comeback, Callie has uncontrolled visions of an apocalypse.  Ex-gods realize she’s the first Oracle Priestess in generations. All Callie wanted was keep her parents safe, and now it seems she must sacrifice her future to keep the rest of humanity safe, too. Ambrosia could be the key to harnessing her visions— or it could cost her life. War is coming. The threshold between worlds has never been more fragile. Callie must discover who is pulling Zeus's strings and avert the final battle—before the immortal vying to become the next Supreme Deity kills her first.

Excerpt

Callie turned away, trying to decide if Florian and all his clientele were delusional or if it was some kind of big role-playing game for rich people. Folks could have a thing about dressing up in furry animal costumes. She supposed they could pretend to be gods and goddesses too. If it was a mythology RPG, they weren't concerned with the classical part, except for the guy she saw yesterday afternoon. She was relieved to have a rational explanation for the horns. Something moved outside the glass front door. Her heart seized in momentary panic. What if the monster still lurked out there? Strange, visible turbulence seemed to ripple the panes. Callie squeezed her eyes shut to clear her sight and prayed it wasn’t the aura of an oncoming seizure. Cool relief extinguished the rising sparks of panic as the effect dissipated. The door opened and revealed a spiky-haired, punk rock kid years too young to be in any bar. Callie was forced to squint in order see him clearly as he strode in, his outlines strangely blurred and soft. Sullen teenaged fluidity rolled in every line of his body. He surveyed the bar, narrow kohl-ringed eyes settling on the heavily intoxicated Zeus. A sneer comprised of equal parts contempt and satisfaction flickered over his mouth. "There he is, the great king of the gods," he muttered. He moved toward the bar, a glare of disdain sweeping over the other patrons. His eyes widened in appreciation as they passed over Callie, a little smirk growing as his gaze lingered too long on the front of her college t-shirt. Despite her confusion on how he'd arrived, she gave him a thin smile and a cool nod, crossing her arms over her chest. He stopped short, an expression of shock on his face. Then a quick, sunny grin took over. His blurry outlines sharpened as he drew closer and she relaxed her squinted eyes, no longer struggling to focus on him. She decided it was a trick of the neon-tinted lights hanging in garish advertisement on the walls of the bar. "My, my, my. Who have we here?" His voice, thick with Cockney vowels, dipped to an intimate tone as he approached. His body language changed to something more unsettlingly mature. He was older than he appeared. "Who do you belong to?" "I'm Callie. I don't belong to anybody, but I work for Florian," she corrected him politely. "Can I get you something?" "Well, for starters, tequila." He smirked suggestively. "And your undivided attention." Callie resisted the urge to roll her eyes. No matter where she worked, the pickup lines were the same. "I'm sorry, I'm busy working. I'll ask Florian for your tequila. On the rocks, or a shot?" "On the rocks, love." "I’ll need to see some ID first." "You are new here, aren’t you?" He flipped two fingers out, a driver’s license between them.  She took it. No stranger to fake ID’s, this one appeared to be real, and passed him as twenty-one. Still... "John Smith, huh?" He captured Callie's fingers as she returned the license and kissed the back of her hand in old-fashioned courtliness, sea-colored eyes glinting in mischief. An odd, visceral twinge from her early warning system made her startle as his lips touched her skin. Goose bumps flecked her arms. A totally alien sensation overwhelmed her senses: it was as if something crawled off her skin toward his mouth. She shivered in response and tried to pull her hand away. His grin widened as he tightened his grip, apparently delighted by her discomfiture. "Oh, ho. That’s a lovely surprise. Don't mind me. I'm incorrigible. Call me Puck." He scribed an expansive circular gesture with his free hand. "Welcome to the watering hole of the damned bored." Callie forced a smile. "Thank you. Now, if you'll let go of my hand, I'll get your drink." Puck made a mocking bow over her hand and released it, smirking again as he backed away, still admiring her in undisguised interest. Between them, a well-dressed man stepped directly into Callie's path. He swerved with a graceful spin and apologized as Callie’s sneakers squeaked to an abrupt halt on the concrete floor. "Sorry, hon. Good evening, gods and goddesses!" "Herm!" came a shouted group greeting from the room at large. "And fairies," the man belatedly added, nodding at the punk rocker. Puck offered him an extended middle finger and a dangerous smile. Callie’s mouth fell open, recognizing the Armani-suited guy from the previous afternoon. "Jeeze, homophobic much?" she muttered. "Trust me love, I am all fairy and he is far from homophobic. Sexual orientation has nothing to do with him being a prick." Puck glared at the man’s back with undisguised hatred before another lightning-quick mood change and a devilish grin took over. "Make that tequila a double." He winked at her, eyes making another head to toe rake of her body before he disappeared into the clump of huge Scandinavian-looking, Corona-swilling dart players. Callie's hair still prickled on the back of her neck even after Puck left, and she rubbed it, troubled. She turned back to the room, stopped short, and stared. More customers sat at tables and in the shadows of the booths, each group just a little stranger than the last. None of them used the door. And the Armani guy—he’d stepped into her path. Right out of the air. Something intensely freaky was happening that she couldn’t rationalize away, no matter how hard she tried. Was Florian telling the truth? Instead of fear, a deep, visceral excitement flip-flopped in her abdomen, butterflies on steroids. She never pinpointed exactly when wonder began to crowd out her reservations. Rushing between the cooler and the tables, she caught snatches of conversation and shouted greetings when others appeared. Having to bite back questions when she delivered their beverages replaced the urge to roll her eyes. She fought to keep a professional demeanor rather than fangirl all over herself when Florian introduced the Armani guy to her as Hermes. Hermes! One of her favorite characters in Greek mythology. Three hours into the shift, she took a quick bathroom break. Her back against the door, Callie put her hands over her mouth and muffled something that sounded suspiciously like a shriek. Whether it was fear or excitement, she couldn’t quite say. Her breath came fast and short until she got dizzy. She spun the tap on the sink and the shock of cold water on her face helped bring her back down. "What the hell, Callie? Are you really going to believe this?" she muttered to herself in the mirror. She grabbed a paper towel to blot the moisture away and waded back out into the crowded bar.

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Meet the Author

Elisabeth "E.M." Hamill is a nurse by day, unabashed geek, chocoholic, sci fi and fantasy novelist by nights, weekends, and wherever she can steal quality time with her laptop. She lives with her family, a dog, and a cat in the wilds of eastern suburban Kansas, where they fend off flying monkey attacks and prep for the zombie apocalypse.

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