Book Spotlight: Of Grief, Garlic and Gratitude

I’m pleased to share this touching memoir about grief, loss, and ultimately, love! Read on for more details and a chance to win a signed copy of Of Grief, Garlic and Gratitude, by Kris Francoeur and a $20 Amazon gift card!

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Of Grief, Garlic and Gratitude

Publication Date: May 21st, 2019

Genre: Non-Fiction/ Memoir/ Grief

Publisher: Morgan James Publishing

When your life is shattered in an instant, can conscious and deliberate gratitude and connection to nature help you find joy and hope again?

Of Grief, Garlic and Gratitude follows the first thirty months after Sam Francoeur’s death from an accidental opiate (prescription) overdose. His mother, Kris Francoeur, shares her journey from the first crushing days to her eventually being able to find light, joy, and hope again through the practices of conscious and deliberate gratitude, unconditional acceptance of others, and making strong connections to the natural world. Her story helps grieving families feel that hope and joy will return, no matter how devastating and permanent the loss. Of Grief, Garlic and Gratitude approaches grief with both a very clear understanding of the realities of the process, and also shares a very personal and honest account of living with grief. It presents healing and hope without relying on religion, formal psychotherapy, or pharmaceutical resources. Kris’s story reminds readers that even as people struggle with mental health issues and addiction, they can still bring joy and love to the world, and everyone is worthy of love and acceptance.

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Purchase Links

Kris Fancoeur | Amazon (Paperback) | Amazon (Kindle)

About the Author

author-photo

My name is Kris Francoeur, and I am an author, educator, speaker, wife, mom, grandmother, and farmer living in Vermont. I love to spend time with my family, travel, hike, kayak, knit, spin (fiber), garden, cook, and love time with my bees, alpacas and chickens.

Currently, I have published three romance novels with Solstice Publishing, and have one that will be released by Willow River Press in January 2020. My first three romances are written under the pen name of Anna Belle Rose, and they can be purchased in paperback format through my Book Store page on this website, or in e-book or paperback on Amazon.

Kris Francoeur | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

Giveaway: For a chance to win a signed copy of the book and a $20 Amazon gift card, click the link below!

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Book Blitz Organized By:

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Check out this book called Dork by my author friend Will Winkle about a guy trying to get his crush’s attention while navigating his life as part of a fraternity house!

His book can be found on Amazon, Goodreads, and his website: WillWinkle.com.

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Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

Is anyone participating in the Magical Readathon this month? I am super excited to try and achieve the career of Hogwart’s Professor! Check out which books I will be reading for this readathon in this video!

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Book Spotlight: That Night

Great news Demon Hunter fans! Azaaa Davis is getting ready to release the third installment in her Nadira Holden, Demon Hunter series! If you haven’t read book #2 That Night yet, you still have time! Read on for details and a chance to win a fabulous giveaway!

That-Night-Kindle

That Night

Publication Date: April 23rd 2019

Genre: New Adult Fantasy/ Urban Fantasy/ Paranormal

All Nadira Holden wants is to preserve the last of her soul and create a new life free of magic, demons, and war.

Her involuntary bond with a succubus makes her desires impossible. The threat of this disgruntled demon possessing her urges Nadira to find the succubus’s missing body.

Nadira’s only hope of avoiding demonic possession lies with Derek, the only demon she can tolerate without slaying. Except, his hands are full trying to secure his recently-inherited title of prince. Desperate, Nadira agrees to help Derek secure his title by experimenting with the deadly magic they once generated in exchange for his aid in her investigation.

To untangle herself from the evil that surrounds her, Nadira must be willing to betray her friends and get cozy with her enemies. She may even have to do the unthinkable: break the peace treaty that allows demons and humans to coexist. If she can’t toss aside her scruples, Nadira may not make it out of this ordeal with her soul intact.

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Excerpt from This Night (Book #1)

Chapter One

NADIRA WOKE UP ENCOMPASSED IN EMPTINESS. It was as if she were in a void with no light or sound to give her a clue about her location. The air was musty, and her throat was scratchy. Nadira coughed.

“Hello?” she croaked, triggering more dry coughing. She cleared her throat and tried again. “Hey! Can anyone hear me?”

Nadira felt a solid surface along her back and behind her head and legs. She understood she was lying somewhere. Nadira tried to touch her surroundings and could barely move her arms before they hit the cushioned ceiling mere inches above her. As she continued to move, her elbows hit the cushioned sides, and her knees hit the ceiling. Feeling surrounded, Nadira realized she was in an enclosed space. Taking a deep breath, she tasted stale air. Some kind of crawlspace or trunk was her best guess.

After a long night of sleep, Nadira expected to feel ready to tackle another day. Summer was the peak of training season, and Nadira was looking forward to a few weeks of scrimmages that would allow her hunters to show off and make her look good as team leader. Instead of feeling refreshed, her body was sore, her head ached, and her stomach was empty. She felt a weakness and discomfort that only happened when she mistakenly slept for far too long. But, what am I doing here?

She tried to keep her breathing even and decided to feel around with her hands for a doorknob or latch. Behind the cushion that surrounded her on all sides, she felt a more solid barrier, like wood. Was someone playing a cruel trick on her? Nadira’s racing mind landed on Melissa—the girl that hated her success in class and on the training mat. Nadira usually ignored her, and all the other annoying cohorts. But, that didn’t stop them from whispering about her and occasionally playing pranks.

“Let me out!” she screamed with all her might. The sound was hoarse, almost a growl. Nadira hit the wooden ceiling as hard as she could. No response. No one ran away in fear or came closer to open this padded, wooden cage. Her breathing was no longer controlled. She practically hissed, her breathing was so rapid and shallow. Breathe deep, Nadira commanded.

This couldn’t be Melissa’s doing. It wasn’t her style. Besides, Melissa was preoccupied lately with Devon, her new boyfriend. One of Melissa’s flaws was that she couldn’t multitask, especial when a guy was involved. After ruling Melissa out, Nadira asked herself if this was a training exercise. Countless times, Nadira and her team experienced grueling trails designed to test a hunter’s lethal effectiveness against monsters. But, she was far beyond her student days of trick interrogations and unexplained battle simulations. At the very least, there would have been some whisper about her team getting tested. Nadira concluded that this couldn’t be a training exercise either.

Her shallow breathing was the only sound she could hear. It caused the air to become hot. Her heart raced again as she considered the awful possibility that an enemy captured her overnight. Although she should, she didn’t remember going to bed last night. Actually, she didn’t remember anything . . . Nadira’s hands started to shake. Cold sweat made the fabric of her nightgown stick. She felt like a disgusting mess. She was never a mess. She was strong and focused. She was a warrior.

Think, Nadira commanded herself. Someone has you trapped in a cold, dark place. For a second, she considered staying put and waiting for a rescue. That second passed quickly. Nadira preferred to rescue herself. She also considered preparing for the next time her enemy came to check in on her. Once, she escaped from a car trunk by fighting her way out when the vehicle stopped. The trick was to listen for your moment, and time it just right. Yet, somehow, she didn’t think she had enough air to wait around for anything other than death.

She was not afraid to die, no demon hunter was, but she wasn’t ready either. It was simply not her time. With that thought, Nadira ripped and tore at the ceiling of her confinement. Self-discipline and skill helped, but her genetic makeup—unique to Children of Orion—gave her the brute strength needed to destroy her cell. Silky cushy fabric gave way to wood. Wood chips, chunks, and splinters finally gave way to solid dirt.

She was panting, already exhausted. She wasn’t sure how many minutes went by, but the solid dirt indicated that she still had a long way to go. She couldn’t see her hands in front of her, but she could feel the cuts and bruises she was inflicting on herself in her effort to escape. Nadira’s hands were bloody and cramping from the repeated motion. She kept digging. Ignoring pain and discomfort was something that all demon hunters were taught. I can do this.

She took a moment to pull her nightgown over her face as a makeshift mask. With her eyes closed, she kept at it. As the hole got bigger, more dirt slid into the box she was in. The weight of the loose soil on her face, chest and upper body was suffocating in its heaviness. She was at the point of no return now that the last of her air was escaping. Yet, Nadira didn’t give in to panic. Focused, she kept digging and pulling herself upward while breathing as best she could with her face covered.

Nadira lost track of time—not that she knew what time it was when she woke up in this nightmare. Her mind was buzzing with a single thought. Survive. Nadira chanted to herself in an endless loop. She got sloppy with her arm movements, with her pulling and wiggling. However long she’d been clawing her way to freedom was too long. She paused, taking a few more shallow breaths through the cloth that was acting as a mask. She wanted to stop, to regain her strength, but she ignored her fatigue. Reaching up yet again, she pulled more dirt down. This time she felt nothing around her fingertips. Finally, there was space!

With renewed determination, Nadira pried and hoisted herself up, kicking her legs as if she was swimming through the soil. Her hands first, then forearms. Next, her head, and lastly her shoulders escaped imprisonment. Immediately, she ripped her nightgown away from her face and took deep breaths of the fresh, crisp air. With a bit of tugging and wiggling, Nadira’s waist, then her hips, her legs, and lastly her feet became unburied. She collapsed next to the hole she crawled out of and looked at the night sky. In the cool wind, fallen leaves rustled gently all around Nadira. She was panting and filthy, covered in dirt from head to toe. But, she was free.

Only when her breathing was back to normal did she move. Sitting up, she was reintroduced to her headache. It forced her to move at an even slower pace. She noticed her hands first. They were a bloody mess. Great. She won’t be holding a weapon anytime soon. The second thing she noticed was the long, soft pink dress she was wearing. It was far from the sports bras and shorts she normally wore to bed. She was filthy, homeless looking, but all in one piece and healthy enough. No time to wonder who changed her clothes, or who bothered to style her dreadlocks—formed by constantly twisting her naturally curly hair until the thick twists became permanent—with white ribbons.

Looking around, she saw that she was in a cemetery. Her sigh of relief was shushed by the wind carrying the sound away. Nadira felt safe for now, knowing she was free and unguarded. Of all the awful ways to kill an enemy, why this horrible yet passive method? To bury someone alive was a sadistic, cowardly and lacking in honor. Only one answer came to mind.

“Demons,” she growled.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

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Azaaa Davis is an American author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance novels.

She fell in love with reading as a high school freshman and continues to read, write, and draw today. Her background in social work helps her portray realistic characters in otherworldly–and sometimes terrifying–situations. A New York native, Azaaa currently lives in New Hampshire (USA) with her husband and daughters.

She debuted with This Time, A Nadira Holden Novel, in 2018 about demon hunters, family ties and the magic of love. Azaaa is working diligently to finish writing more fantasy novels while raising her daughters. Thank you for showing an interest in her stories!

Azaaa Davis | Goodreads | Facebook

Twitter | Instagram | Bookbub

This-Time-Kindle

This Time (Nadira Holden, Demon Hunter #1)

Resurrected into present-day New York, Nadira Holden is asked to save the world … again.

Nadira achieved legendary status when she gave her life to protect humans from the demons. To her, it was yesterday. To the rest of the world, it was twenty years ago.

People have made peace with the demons, worshipping them like celebrities. No one wants to believe that the beautiful creatures who brought magic to humans could be causing the disappearance of so many. When Nadira’s father goes missing, she refuses to play nice. Gloves off. She has to do what she does best. Fight.

Experience why not even death can stop her.

Nadira Holden, Demon Hunter is a fresh urban fantasy series from Azaaa Davis that combines monster-slaying action, family drama, and simmering romance.

Fans of Vampire Hunter Anita Blake, Succubus Georgina Kincaid, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and Vampire Death Dealer Selene are enthralled and eagerly awaiting the next Nadira Holden novel.

Goodreads

Review copies of both books are available through R&R Book Tours in exchance for honest reviews!

Giveaway: For you chance to win a Fantasy bundle by all-female indie authors of colour, click the Rafflecopter link below!

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Check out this book called Dork by my author friend Will Winkle about a guy trying to get his crush’s attention while navigating his life as part of a fraternity house!

His book can be found on Amazon, Goodreads, and his website: WillWinkle.com.

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Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

If any of you out there like Brandon Sanderson, then you should check out my latest video. It is a reading vlog of his book Skyward and I had quite a time reading this one!

Book Spotlight: Constable Outreach 35

Welcome to the blog tour for Constable Outreach 35 by Jay Cadmus! Read on for book details, and a guest post from the author!

Book CoverConstable Outreach 35

Publication Date: April 2018

Genre: Historical Fiction/ Thriller

Insurgency forces build against the Sandinista Government of Nicaragua. Story opens in Tegucigalpa during Contra War in 1985.
A covert airdrop malfunction leaves C-123 Loadmaster in Sandinista territory. Troop supply by air delivery the next phase in this operation. Agency Operations Manager uses all available resources in locating…setting scenes of interaction between unlikely partners. Opposition forces appear as foreign ideologues and members within the U. S. Administration they serve. A little used document is constructed to reset international and regional diplomacy. The downed American flyer – and other human assets – become pawns in a war of ideology. Some characters find themselves imprisoned within the ideology they serve. Personalities fall and rise. Knights surface in seeking to serve the White House. Others fall as a normal course by their purging. Quote: “In honor or disgrace, death of my adversary is with me forever.”

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Guest Post

The Premise for Constable Outreach 35

“…U. S. agency operates an aviation unit from Honduras during the Contra Revolution in 1985. While on an inaugural mission, a flyer – loadmaster designated a “kicker” – is swept from C-123 Provider aircraft.

The incident occurred during an insurgent re-supply mission. Falling from the aircraft left no time for a parachute to open. His fall cushioned by the freight being supplied to the insurgents. His body mangled and mind unconscious. Sandinista citizen-soldiers lead by a battle-hardened guerilla capture the American.

Initially, he is taken to a farm outside the Nicaraguan town of Jalapa. A Cuban military advisor comes on scene through association with Juanita Maria Perez-Velasquez. Reluctantly, she allows the enemy soldier in her home temporarily. Sandinista ranking officers interrogate their prisoner.

Parallel and intersecting stories unfold with all primary characters in this slice of history story presented in a fictional frame. As he is nurtured back into consciousness, clashes occur between diplomatic partners.

Juanita Perez is further drawn into this historical international thriller. Her son is ‘kidnapped’ by unknown forces. As each character arc is provided, a human-asset trade becomes a necessity. The captured-asset trade is arranged through a Diplomatic Memorandum of Understanding. Its agreement also resets the sides in their military-economic quest for control of the region.

War takes on many faces as countries thrust and parry. All parties finding themselves imprisoned in the ideologies they serve.”

– Jay Cadmus

About the Author

Head Shot Fllt Jax 1

Jay Cadmus is the author of novels “Anger’s Journey” and “Constable Outreach 35.” He has been a trucker, a teacher, a serviceman, and a salesman.

He is a decorated Combat Airborne Infantry Vietnam veteran, and a veteran Desert Storm Flight Engineer with Air Medal for combat sorties. He has worked as a C-141 Loadmaster in the U.S. Air Force and for three different commercial airlines. He has instructed flight engineers in the Air Force Reserve, in classroom and on aircraft. He has conducted classroom and live fire training in a Combat Arms Unit. He has hauled household goods and taught moving techniques for a major moving company. He has sold real estate and new cars and has written for community newspapers. That diverse experience fuels his singular voice.

“I hope that by writing stories based on history and modified incidents, the reader stops in the middle of reading to ponder. Thinking of what they would have done.

“Learning from my own writing experience, I know the story is given to me to tell. As is true in life, a writer gains more from his mistakes. From that, I know that I can start anew tomorrow. That is, until my tomorrows don’t come anymore.”

Written by Steve Miller, News Writer, New York State

Jay Cadmus | Facebook

Twitter | Linkedin | Constable Outreach 35

ConstableOutreach

Mini Tour Schedule

March 23rd

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

March 24th

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

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

March 25th

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

March 26th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels@gmail.com

March 27th

Kim Knight (Spotlight) http://kimknightauthor.wordpress.com

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Check out this book called Dork by my author friend Will Winkle about a guy trying to get his crush’s attention while navigating his life as part of a fraternity house!

His book can be found on Amazon, Goodreads, and his website: WillWinkle.com.

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Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

If any of you out there like Brandon Sanderson, then you should check out my latest video. It is a reading vlog of his book Skyward and I had quite a time reading this one!

Book Spotlight: Hidden Magic

Welcome to the blog tour for Fantasy anthology, Hidden Magic. We’re celebrating its release with two fantastic giveaways and an exclusive excerpt to read!

Hidden Magic

Hidden Magic

Expected Publication Date: March 10th, 2020

Genre: Anthology/ Fantasy

Publisher: Magical Mayhem Press

Synopsis:

No matter the world, life can be dangerous. Be they wizards and shamans, assassins, or everyday people, Hidden Magic tells their stories about escape, consequences, and most of all, magic.

From Earth cities and fantastical new worlds comes twenty-three stories where heroes grapple with the seen and unseen in order to save themselves, their families, and often the world. This collection features:

  • Elderly antiques experts interacting with souls
  • Shamans growing outlawed magic
  • Baby chimeras battling for their lives
  • Children sprouting fluffy tails
  • A king’s boat thrown off-course
  • A perfect life coming at a not-so-perfect cost
  • Vikings defending a village against the unseen
  • A lone shifter atoning for his past mistakes
  • Trolls and pixies tumbling through the doorway to another world
  • And more!

Fans of Patricia Briggs and Tamsyn Muir will love Hidden Magic, first of the Magic Underground trilogy of anthologies… Get it today!

Authors in this anthology include: USA Today Bestseller Joynell Schultz, L.C. Ireland, USA Today Bestseller Melinda Kucsera, Seattle Times regional bestseller & multi-international award winner Raven Oak, Tiffany Shand, Alesha Escobar, USA Today Bestseller Lee French & Erik Kort, H.B. Lyne, Anela Deen, Majanka Verstraete, Krista Ames, C.K. Rieke, Devorah Fox, Leah W. Van Dinther, C.S. Johnson, Barbara Letson, Toasha Jiordano, Gwendolyn Woodschild, H.M. Jones, Stephen Wallace, AR Johnston, and William C. Cronk.

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“Mail Order Witch”

It didn’t take long for the word of an enchanted item shop to spread throughout Watersedge like a fire in a used bookstore. Gawkers walked slowly by the front window during the month it took me to enchant supplies and set up the shop, staring inside like I was on display at a zoo. What kind of animal did they think I looked like? A flamingo with my long legs and too-short body? A black panther with my dark hair? Or maybe I looked like a pig—I mean I could devour the aforementioned pumpkin pie almost as quickly as my sister.

Or was I just a perfect specimen of a witch, with the natural blue highlights in my hair that I refused to cover like so many witches did?

Available on Amazon

Magical Mayhem Press

Giveaway: For a chance to win a paperback copy of Hidden Magic click the link below!

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For a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card, enter HERE!

Authors

Melinda Kucsera (Author), Joynell Schultz (Author), Lee French (Author), H.B. Lyne (Author), Raven Oak (Author), L.C. Ireland (Author), Alesha Escobar (Author), Tiffany Shand (Author), C.S. Johnson (Author), Anela Deen (Author), Erik Kort (Author), Devorah Fox (Author), Stephen Wallace (Author), Gwendolyn Woodschild (Author), Leah W. Van Dinther (Author), Barbara Letson (Author), C.K. Rieke (Author), William C. Cronk (Author), Majanka Verstraete (Author), Toasha Jiordano (Author), H.M. Jones (Author), Krista Ames (Author), AR Johnston (Author)

HiddenMagic

Blog Tour Schedule

March 9th

The Book Lyst (Review) http://booklyst.home.blog

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

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

March 10th

Turning the Pages (Review) https://turningthepagesonline.wordpress.com

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

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

March 11th

Lunarian Press (Spotlight) https://www.lunarianpress.com/

Phantom of the Library (Review) https://phantomofthelibrary.com/

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

March 12th

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

Viviana MacKade (Spotlight) https://viviana-mackade.blog/

Crossroad Reviews (Spotlight) http://www.crossroadreviews.com

The Reading Chemist (Spotlight) https://thereadingchemist.com/

March 13th

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

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

Just 4 My Books (Spotlight) http://www.just4mybooks.wordpress.com

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Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

If you are interested, I had the opportunity to make an unboxing video for Bookishly which is a UK based book subscription box service. Check out all the cool stuff in this Wizard of Oz themed box!

Book Spotlight: Tomorrow and Yesterday

Welcome to the blog tour for Tomorrow and Yesterday, by Kris Francoeur! Read on for a sneak peek from the book and a chance to win a signed copy, plus a $20 Amazon gift card!

Tomorrow and Yesterday

Publication Date: January 28th, 2020

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Publisher: Willow River Press

The air was so cold, it was hard for her to breathe. Who was she kidding? It could have been a balmy, sunny day, and she still would have felt the clogging tightness of her throat, air barely able to get through to her lungs…

Delaney Adams isn’t hiding from her past. She doesn’t have a past, at least as far as anyone currently in her life knows. She has a great job, a small but supportive group of friends, and absolutely no romantic life at all. Her life is just the way she wants it. When she meets artist James McDaniels, she is caught between her attraction to him, her distrust of men, and the fear that he will reject her if he ever learns who she really is. But her past secretly stalks Delaney, and eventually it catches up to her. When it all explodes into her current life, will she have the strength to fight for what she has.

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Excerpt

Later, Delaney awoke covered in cold sweat, her heart pounding. Would the nightmares never stop? Lately, they had been less frequent but still happened fairly often. How long would she have to relive that night? Were dreams of that hell the only way she could see Jake and her mother in her mind? In the light of day, she could barely remember what they looked like, but at night, the images were so vivid…

Available on Amazon!

For your chance to win a signed copy of Tomorrow and Yesterday PLUS a $20 Amazon Gift Card, click the link below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

author-photo

My name is Kris Francoeur, and I am an author, educator, speaker, wife, mom, grandmother, and farmer living in Vermont. I love to spend time with my family, travel, hike, kayak, knit, spin (fiber), garden, cook, and love time with my bees, alpacas and chickens.

Currently, I have published three romance novels with Solstice Publishing, and have one that will be released by Willow River Press in January 2020. My first three romances are written under the pen name of Anna Belle Rose, and they can be purchased in paperback format through my Book Store page on this website, or in e-book or paperback on Amazon.

Kris Francoeur | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

TomorrowandYesterday

Blog Tour Schedule

March 9th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Shalini’s Books & Reviews (Spotlight) https://bookreviewsbyshalini.com/

Viviana MacKade (Spotlight) https://viviana-mackade.blog/

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

March 10th

I’m into Books (Spotlight) https://imintobooks.com

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

The Reading Chemist (Spotlight) https://thereadingchemist.com/

March 11th

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

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

Books, Teacup, & Reviews (Spotlight) https://booksteacupnreviews.wordpress.com/

March 12th

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

Just 4 My Books (Spotlight) http://www.just4mybooks.wordpress.com

My Bookish Bliss (Review) http://www.mybookishbliss.com

Book Dragons Not Worms (Review) https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/?m=1

March 13th

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

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

Kim Knight (Review) http://kimknightauthor.wordpress.com

Tales of a Natural Spoonie (Review) https://talesofanaturalspoonie.com/

Blog Tour Organized By:

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Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

If you are interested, I have this video detailing my opinions on the books that I read in February. Check it out if you want to see me talk about the books rather than read a review.

Book Spotlight: Venators by Devri Walls

THE DARK UNKNOWN BECKONS

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Welcome to Eon. An alternate dimension where fantasy and paranormal is reality, and humans sit at the bottom of the food chain. In this world of unadulterated power and ability, the innocent suffer greatly. The ruling council of Eon has selected two humans, born of the Venator bloodline, and brought them through the gate—wishing to manipulate their strength and special abilities for the council’s corrupt purposes. But, Grey and Rune have very different ideas.

When their college dorm is infiltrated by creatures from another realm, Rune Jenkins, her twin brother Ryker, and old friend Grey Malteer are thrown into unexpected, twisted chaos. While Rune and Gray are able to escape, Ryker is kidnapped away to Eon, the alternate world from whence these dark beings came.

With the help of a supernatural guide, Rune and Gray must now travel to Eon to save Ryker, and discover the illuminating truth about their ancestry. In this new world of fae, vampires, werewolves, and wizards, power is abundant and always in flux. Rune and Grey are being set up as pawns in a very dangerous game and must find their way through – and out of – Eon before it consumes them.

Fast-paced and supernaturally entertaining. It will leave you hungry for more!” –Addison Moore, New York Times bestselling author of the Celestra series

What an original and captivating fantasy! Venators: Magic Unleashed will suck you in, keep you guessing, and leave you breathless for more. I can’t wait for the next book!” –Chelsea Fine, bestselling author of the Archers of Avalon series

About the Author

devri

Devri Walls is an international best selling author. She lives in Meridian, Idaho with her husband, two children and one adorable little mutt. Writing in all things fantasy, she would do just about anything for a working magic wand.

Mostly because she’s a walking disaster and a wand would be of enormous help…although she’d probably trip and break it. So, there’s that.

She graduated with a degree in theater and has studied vocal performance most of her life. She now teaches voice lessons when she’s not writing novels, cooking dinner, playing taxi, spending time with her amazingly supportive husband or trying to read.

Author website: https://www.devriwalls.com


Author Q & A

What motivated you to begin crafting your own YA stories? I was a theater major and a singer and had taken a break from everything while I was raising my children, but it left massive creative holes in my heart. I was desperately searching for something to fill it. In a strange series of events that are entirely too long to add here, I had the undeniable and unexplainable urge to write a book. It seemed insane at the time. But when I couldn’t ignore it any longer, I started my first project. Turns out, not only could I write; but, writing filled those creative voids better than anything else I’d ever dabbled in. I found my life’s calling completely on accident.

What—or who—inspired Grey, your Venators hero? Oh, Grey. Grey was a very important character to me. I envisioned him, trudging with his head down, letting his hair fall to cover his features, hunkering down in that trench coat—hiding from the world. And I knew that he had suffered at the hands of abuse. Grey has endured sexual abuse from a young age. It was very important to me that the character in the book dealing with sexual abuse be Grey. It’s a topic not covered nearly enough. There has to be examples for people to read about that tell male victims of sexual abuse that they’re going to be all right. That they are not weak, or dirty or broken or less of a male because of it. The thing that I love the most about Grey is that he doesn’t allow this abuse to define or destroy him. It affects his life in so many ways, but it hasn’t darkened his heart or inhibited his kindness. In fact, it has fed his charity and created a true hero as one who seeks out the broken, the lost and downtrodden. Grey may feel broken and lost; but, he lifts everyone around him.

What—or who—inspired Rune, your Venators heroine? Rune was the opposite side of Grey’s coin. In this story Grey came first, he was my original muse. And Rune was everything he once thought he wanted—athletic, popular, came from a wealthy family and your typical, “appears to have it all” kid we all knew in high school. But Grey saw, as we soon do, that her life is not nearly as perfect as it appeared. I wanted a woman who suffers from toxic perfectionism that was forced on her. A girl who was drowning under expectations and responsibilities. It’s such a problem among so many women and the human population in general.

What do you wish you’d known earlier in your career as an author, and what key piece(s) of advice do you have for other aspiring writers? Honestly? I don’t think I would’ve given myself any more knowledge than what I had. Ignorance kept me going too many times. HA! But I would probably tell myself to relax a little bit more and enjoy the journey. Advice for others… Understand that writing and being a writer as your job are very different things. If you have no desire to ever have a bad review written, to spend time promoting yourself on social media, to help with marketing and working when you don’t want to, then being an employed writer is maybe not for you. But by all means, keep creating stories! You are no less a writer for choosing that path. If you really can’t imagine doing anything else and will pay the price for your career, then go for it.

What influenced your approach to building the book’s otherworldly realm? Books like Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. Although Venators is very different than both of these examples, both books built something enormous. Stories with vastly different cultures and geographic features spread across the land. They widened my mental horizons and said, yes—this can be done.

How would you describe your creative process overall? A hot mess. Wait… am I allowed to say that? Probably ill advised, but I’m sticking with it. I am very much a “build as I go” kind of writer. This often leaves me with a very messy draft that I loathe. I should point out that it’s very difficult to work on something you hate. I have to go over my stories again and again, adding and tweaking as necessary until I’ve polished it into something beautiful. I’m reasonably sure this is the most painful way to create art, but it’s the only way I’ve found that allows my creativity to remain as unleashed as possible. With the high fantasy and fantasy blends that I write, being totally free in my imagination, has always lead to the most beautiful scenes in the end.

Both on and off the page, you’re passionate about empowering other women; how has that mission informed the characters you create? I’m so excited to watch Rune on her journey as she tries to shed this old shell and learns to embrace who she really is. For the first time in her life, Rune will have to start making choices for herself. She will trudge through triumph, grief, guilt and pride, then roll over to do it again. I want to write REAL women. There was a trend in literature for a while to write more women, which was fantastic! But the pendulum swung a little too far the other direction. We started seeing book after book of “kick-butt women” which translated into, invincible, power-hungry, emotionless women. They weren’t the greatest role models as no one besides an AI can actually BE all of those things. I strive to write women who are strong yet flawed. Determined, yet emotional. Capable in some areas and weak in others. Because really, what is the point of reading about a fantastic female character you could never emulate or learn from? It’s like our world trying to actually become that Phototshopped, curated version of the pictures in magazines. But reading about a woman who struggles and gets back up again. Now that is inspiring.

What can fans expect next from the Venators series? Oh. My. Gosh. You can expect everything!!! This series is going to just keep getting bigger and better as Rune and Grey venture deeper into Eon. Book two will deliver big time on what the fans have been begging for and that is more Beltran! We also get a twisted look into Queen Feena’s Fae garden that has Grey a little “wrapped up”, while Rune is forced to embrace a side of herself she’s not quite ready for. And book three?? Well, let’s just say the games will be of epic proportions!



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Time to show off what I am reading in March!! I’m getting more ambitious each month. Soon I will be reading 10 books a month (haha yea right). What are you guys reading?

Book Spotlight: The Wrongful Death

How exciting! We’re now on book #3 of The Great Devil War multi-book tour — The Wrongful Death by Kenneth B. Andersen. Let’s see what epic adventure Philip embarks on in this exciting instalment!

The Wrongful Death Cover - Book 3

The Wrongful Death (The Great Devil War #3)

Publication Date: April 19th, 2019

Genre: YA Fantasy

An unfortunate chain of events makes Philip responsible for the untimely death of the school bully Sam—the Devil’s original choice for an heir. Philip must return to Hell to find Sam and bring him back to life, so that fate can be restored. But trouble is stirring in Lucifer’s kingdom and not even Philip can imagine the strange and dark journey that awaits him. A journey that will take him through ancient underworlds and all the way to Paradise.

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Excerpt

The Garden of Eden

The darkness of night turned into the light of morning, and although Philip did what Lucifer recommended and pulled his hood over his eyes, he was momentarily dazzled by the light. Slowly his eyes grew accustomed to the change, and out of the blinding whiteness, the Garden of Eden emerged in all its splendor.

Philip felt something pulling at his soul, even though all he saw was an ordinary forest. That’s because it wasn’t just an ordinary forest.

Not at all.

First of all there were the colors. The green moss that lay like a thick carpet on the floor. The blooming flowers. The luscious tree canopy overhead and fruits hanging in bunches. The sky that was more blue than Philip had ever seen. The sunlight that fell between the leaves in warm streams of gold.

Secondly there were the smells. So many, and so clear, that Philip became dizzy and had to hold onto Satina so he didn’t stumble.

Then there were the sounds. A storm of bird songs, monkey cries, and distant, thundering waterfalls, and yet… quiet, so quiet.

Then, to top it off, the atmosphere—the feeling of the place… It carried him off his feet. The forest, the air, it inspired a feeling of pure joy that Philip had never known before. It made the hair on his arms rise with delight and made his heart, yes, his very soul, feel like laughing. It felt like… Well, like he was in Heaven.

“Horrible place, right?” Lucifer said, closing the door to the rock wall. “Too cold and much too bright in my opinion. Come on, it’s this way.”

Philip and Satina followed the Devil, who with long, decisive steps led them through the summer forest.

“We’re in Heaven,” Philip whispered as he heard the mild breeze softly stirring the leaves in the canopies overhead. “I can’t believe it. We’re in Heaven!”

“Not quite,” Lucifer corrected. “It’s merely the earthly Paradise that lies between Earth and Heaven. This is where the saved souls go after they die. They help tend the garden.”

Between Earth and Heaven?” Philip said, confused. “I thought you went to Heaven when you died. If you’re good, that is.”

“No. You get this far and no farther. I realize a lot of people think that, Philip. There are even more who think Paradise is about lying in a hammock all day and letting God’s angels attend to your every need. But it’s never been like that. It would quickly lead to many of the seven deadly sins—laziness, gluttony, and greed, just to name a few—and that doesn’t exactly harmonize well with this place. No, living in Paradise means hard work. Of course, it’s nothing compared to working conditions down where we are.”

“What is Heaven, then?”

“Heaven is home to Jehovah and the angels. The angels come to Paradise, but they don’t live there. They live in Empyrean, the city of light. It’s even worse than this place. It makes my eyes itch and my nose starts running like a faucet. I’m definitely more comfortable here.” Lucifer plucked a flame-red rose, and it immediately lost its color and shriveled up. He smelled it and tossed it aside, the now metallic-gray flower disintegrating to ash as it hit the ground. “I have some good memories from this place.”

There was a subtle snap on their right as something in the forest stepped on a branch.

Philip turned his head and froze in his tracks.

It was a tiger. It ran toward them, its giant paws soundlessly bounding through the forest, and its amber eyes locked on Satina, who hadn’t noticed the wild animal.

Watch out!” Philip shouted and pulled her toward him as the animal came bursting out of the brush, a cascade of yellow and black and teeth and claws.

“Philip, take it easy!” Beyond the rush of blood roaring in his ears, he heard Lucifer laughing. “It wouldn’t harm a fly.”

Fear turned into confusion and then amazement when he saw the tiger had stopped and just stood there, curiously watching them. Curious and…friendly?

“It won’t?” he muttered and let go of Satina. “Sorry, but I thought… Are you okay?”

She nodded.

“That’s what I’m saying, Philip. Paradise is a gruesome place. So sad and boring. Just look at this guy.” Lucifer walked over to the tiger and patted him on the back. “Tame as a lamb. Wild animals aren’t even wild here. In the afterlife they peacefully coexist.” The Devil sadly shook his head. “I get nauseous just thinking about it.”

Available on Amazon!

About the Author

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I WAS BORN IN DENMARK ON A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT IN NOVEMBER 1976 …

… and I began writing when I was a teenager. My first book was a really awful horror novel titled Nidhug’s Slaves. It didn’t get published. Luckily.

During the next 7 years, I wrote nearly 20 novels–all of which were rejected–while working as a school teacher. The rest of the time I spent writing.

In 2000 I published my debut fantasy book, The Battle of Caïssa, and that’s when things really took off. Since then I’ve published more than thirty-five books for children and young adults in genres ranging from fantasy to horror and science fiction.

My books have been translated into more than 15 languages and my series about the superhero Antboy has been adapted for film, which is available on Netflix. An animated tv series is currently in development.

A musical of The Devil’s Apprentice opened in the fall 2018 and the movie rights for the series have also been optioned.

I live in Copenhagen with my wife, two boys, a dog named Milo and spiders in the basement.

About THE GREAT DEVIL WAR: The Great Devil War was published in Denmark from 2005-2016, beginning with The Devil’s Apprentice.

Even though the story (mostly) takes place in Hell and deals with themes like evil, death and free will, it is also a humoristic tale about good and evil seen from a different perspective. A tale that hopefully will make the reader – young or old, boy or girl – laugh and think.

Welcome to the other side!

Kenneth B. Andersen | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Giveaway: Digital copy of The Wrongful Death! Enter below!

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Blog Tour Schedule

February 24th

Reads & Reels (Review) http://readsandreels.com

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

Turning the Pages (Review) https://turningthepagesonline.wordpress.com

February 25th

Didi Oviatt (Review) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

Crossroad Reviews (Spotlight) http://www.crossroadreviews.com

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Review) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

February 26th

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

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

Phantom of the Library (Review) https://phantomofthelibrary.com/

February 27th

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

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

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

Life’s a Novelty (Review) https://lifesanovelty.blogspot.com/

February 28th

I’m into Books (Spotlight) https://imintobooks.com

Entertainingly Nerdy (Review) https://www.entertaininglynerdy.com

Misty’s Book Space (Review) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com


Blog Tour Organized By:

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Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

I was tagged to do the Books and Bakes Tag !! It was so much fun and be prepared for all the randomness that is me 😜

Book Spotlight: Steel Reign

Hey Sci-Fi fans!

I have a new release you’re going to want to check out! Read on for an excerpt from new release, Steel Reign: Flight of the Starship Concord by Braxton A. Cosby!

Steel Reign CoverSteel Reign: Flight of the Starship Concord

Publication Date: February 2nd, 2020

Genre: Science Fiction

A Thief turned Spy, turned Bounty Hunter, turned Hero!

After surviving an all-out implosion of catastrophic proportions following the failed fusion of twin stars Mira A and B in a class B Supernova, the people of galaxy Proxima Centauri have pressed forward with dreams and hopes of finally living in peace. But for Bounty Hunter Steel Reign, the clock of destiny is speeding ahead at a steadfast pace as he desires to hunt down a group of rogue super-soldiers before they can plot against King William Derry and his kingdom on planet Fabricius.

Consistent work as a Hunter in Proxima Centauri has always been a feast or famine occupation, and when the flow of credits slow to a snail’s pace, Reign must find a secondary means of funding to finance his seek and destroy assignment by way of scalping a precious artifact on the open Black Market. That is, until his supplier comes up short, forcing him to pump the brakes and fall back to Plan B: finding his long lost sister Olia who was captured by the space pirate Forge, and forced to compete in a deadly game of chance aboard the Eclipse. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the stakes have just been raised when he discovers that she is the only source of an antibody that can offer a cure for the deadly, venomous DX virus lurking in his blood, just waiting to consume him.

To survive, Reign will have to test not only his skills as a legendary assassin, but also his patience, as he takes on a rogue band of misfits to steal and crew the prototype starship Concord to thwart Forge’s plans once and for all.

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Excerpt

Escaping that day was the easiest part of the gig, as I accessed the ventilation shaft and weaved my way to the docking bay before anyone could lock down the vessel. I buried the memory deep within my psyche and promised to never unearth it again.

That is until I met Serias. I don’t remember how long it took for her to work it outta me, but somehow, she did. It was the last time I can recall shedding tears for anyone, and Serias told me that I never would again. That she would carry the pain in her heart for me. She vowed that no soul would ever be able to hurt me like that and if they did, she’d send them to the gods faster than light speed.

It’s those memories that burn more now than ever before. The betrayal she must feel for me when I left her all alone back on Delvis Chong, never to return. But I did it all for her…at least that’s what I told myself. What I convinced myself of. ‘The worst lie you could ever believe is the 1 you tell yourself,’ I recall Tannan telling me on the first day of Spy Guild training. And it rings true to this day.

Seeing Serias here, now, makes everything more complicated than ever before. I could give it all up, possibly tell her the truth and pray she’d take me back. But what would I ransom in return? Olia’s life for my happiness? As I mull this decision over while I stand in line for interview registration, I catch a glimpse of Serias strolling by in my periphery. She’s still as stunning as the day I laid eyes on her. I watch and wait, hopeful that she’ll turn and give me a look. Some flicker that I still haunt her memories as much as she does mine.

“You, step up,” a voice grumbles before me. I shake from my daydream and approach the table, holding out my ID card. A man reaches forward and takes the card from me, scans it 1 time and then hands it back. He points to a row of chairs to my right and flicks his wrist, ushering me over. Only 1 other person is seated. “Have a seat over there and wait quietly. You’re next. The proctor will call you when ready.”

I nod and take the ID card back. And as I step out of line, I look back, hopeful of finding Serias, but she is nowhere to be found.

Now Available on Amazon!

About the Author

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Multi-Award Winning and #1 Amazon Bestselling author Braxton A. Cosby is a dreamer who transitioned his ideas on pen and paper to pixels and keyboards. He has penned over 16 novels and written several screenplays; many based on his own works. He tells stories that evoke emotions and stimulate thought. THE STARCROSSED SAGA and THE CAPE are currently Young Adult and Superhero series he created, with spins offs for INFINITY 7: GODS AMONG MEN and his latest Bounty Hunter, scifi release, STEEL REIGN: FLIGHT OF THE STARSHIP CONCORD. THE STARCROSSED SAGA has won multiple science fiction and young adult awards, while THE CAPE has also earned recognition for it’s prowess as a literary fiction series. Braxton is the CEO of Cosby Media Productions and lives in Georgia with his amazing wife and a highly energetic Morkie named StarKozy.

Cosby Media Productions | Braxton Cosby | The Red Gemini Chronicles



Blitz Participants

February 24th

Reads & Reels – http://readsandreels.com

Lunarian Press – https://www.lunarianpress.com/

February 25th

Breakeven Books – https://breakevenbooks.com

The Magic of Wor(l)ds – http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

February 26th

The Faerie Review – http://www.thefaeriereview.com

Books Teacup n’ Reviews – https://booksteacupnreviews.wordpress.com/

February 27th

Didi Oviatt – https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

Jessica Belmont – https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

My Bookish Bliss – http://www.mybookishbliss.com

Tsarina Press – https://www.tsarinapress.com

February 28th

Port Jerricho – http://www.aislynndmerricksson.com

Cocktails & Fairy Tales – https://www.facebook.com/CocktailsFairytales

Book Blitz Organized By:

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Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

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I was tagged to do the Books and Bakes Tag !! It was so much fun and be prepared for all the randomness that is me 😜

Book Blitz: X-Rated

Happy publication day to author Bridget Beasley! Today marks the release of her hilarious book, X-Rated! I have the first chapter for you to read AND the most amazing giveaway– A chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card and a digital copy of the book!

Book Tour Cover Photo

X-Rated: A virgin. A porn star. A comedy.

Publication Date: February 21st, 2020 (Today 🎉)

Genre: Romcom/ Comedy

Bailey Finch is twenty-four, living in LA, and working for a trendy Sex & Relationships magazine as their entry-level Calendar Editor.

She’s also painfully body-conscious, clinically anxious, and still a virgin.

When Bailey lands the chance to interview Elijah Mattox – coined the Ryan Reynolds of Porn Stars – she seizes the opportunity to befriend the man behind over three-thousand BDSM films, with popular titles such as The Domination of Elia Rose, Dungeon Sluts and Whores of Riverdale County.

As she delves deeper into Eli’s world, and their relationship takes an unexpected romantic turn, she realizes that this piece couldn’t possibly be just an interview. There was something much bigger yet to come. No pun intended.

X-Rated: A virgin. A porn star. A comedy.

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Excerpt

Chapter One – The Dick Cake Guy

Cue: Darude – Sandstorm.

Wait. 99 Luftballons. That’s a much better intro song.

No. That’s not how I want to start this shit show. Or is this supposed to be a romantic comedy? You know, happy ending, lots of tissues, laugh-out-loud dialogue. Brilliant and sweet, with well fleshed-out, dynamic characters. Because that’s usually a thing, isn’t it?

And I’m already rambling.

How the hell do I start this? I’m twenty-four. Name’s Bailey Finch. Yeah, that’s a good name – it’s not just my actual name, but it also looks damn good in print. A good, solid protagonist name.

And the guy? There’s always a guy. I know you’re waiting for the guy.

Well, what to say: Tall? Check. Muscles? Sorta-check. Tattoos? Check. Wry grin and one of those devious smiles akin to Ian Somerhalder? Check and check. One-thousand checks.

His name is Elijah Mattox. He’s twenty-eight years old. Favorite things that I’ve scrounged up so far include Asian-fusion cuisine, Single Malt Scotch, and perfecting his purposely tousled hairstyle. He’s an actor, trying to break into main-stream, silver screen, accolades and Oscars.

As for now, well – he’s only the most renowned Porn Star in the country. Over three-thousand films. Yeah, no kidding.

And here I am, sitting at my desk, pen in hand, trying to conjure up some questions to ask him that don’t consist of how many tits he’s seen and what his thoughts are on the real-to-saline ratio. How many times could he climax in one session? Was his relationship with sex boring now? What is sex like once you’ve made a career out of using your cock?

Was he worried that working in porn might affect his career as a mainstream actor? This isn’t some one-time Kardashian sex tape. Even though I’m sure he’s got one of those floating around somewhere. The guy has history.

Then again, I’ve never actually seen his stuff. Never been much into porn. Even the soft-core variety. I mean, I’ve done a few Google searches in my time. I technically know what a penis looks like. One time in fourth grade, me and my old best friend, Ginny Weirkowitz, looked up Two Girls One Cup, and refused to eat for the rest of the day. Whatever you do, don’t do it. Don’t Google it. My eyes went to hell.

But IRL, I’ve never seen the real thing. I’m a virgin. And I don’t say that to sound interesting, either: I’ve wanted to get laid more times than I could count. I have a vibrator, thank you very much. Have you ever used a Hitachi Magic Wand? Let me tell you…

I’ve just, you know, never had a real dick. I’ve never made love, had intercourse, fucked. Real hands, rough, desperate, passionate. Body-crushing. Mouth-on-mouth action. My only real kiss was Sophomore year of high school, on a dare, and that same guy ended up pouring an open container of spaghetti into my backpack after I reminded our Geometry teacher that he had forgotten to collect our homework.

I tapped my pen against the edge of my desk, glancing around the office: large windows, exposed brick walls, and blown-up copies of magazine covers from over the years, largely featuring notable men and women of the celebrity variety.

This was Come’s first porn-star. Clever magazine name, I know. Come as in, welcome, enter. Come as in…orgasm.

We were known for our sex tips and relationship advice. That said, it’s been agreed upon that fucking in the shower just doesn’t really work. I’ve never even fucked a guy before, and even I can tell you that I know for a fact, unless maybe you’ve got one of those shower-bath combos or a seat in your shower, it’s freaking impossible. I’d like to put out a request: if you’re a woman who has had mind-blowing shower-sex while standing up, please write to me.

I grinned unabashedly, outwardly, probably looking ridiculous. I hadn’t accomplished a lick of work in the past two hours. I couldn’t concentrate. I was hungry: one of those gripping, all-consuming, carb-salt-sugar craving hungers. I wanted a pretzel, doughnut, and Diet Coke, stat.

What do you ask a porn, star, though? What are the questions?

I don’t know, Bailey. Maybe treat him like a normal human male. Like a person. Like you.

I flushed at the thought. Like me, a virgin. A big-mouthed mope of a virgin, with brown hair that was frizzy on good days and unhinged on bad days. Shoulder-length. I wore loafers and slacks to work, button-downs with quirky designs. Today was yellow ducks. But Bailey Finch, as a whole, was painfully unquirky. I was a poser. Inauthentic. Maybe a little too self-deprecating. I was most authentic at home, in bed with my laptop, wearing a hooded sweatshirt, leggings, and cabin socks. The fluffier the socks, the better.

I wondered briefly what Elijah would think of me in comparison to the girls he’d been with on-screen. Did that even matter? No, of course not.

Still, I wondered. Maybe I should flat-iron my hair, or wear shoes with wedges. Lip-gloss vs. lip balm.

Procrastination: I typed out on the keyboard. Failure to concentrate. Here are some random facts: Scotland has 421 words for ‘snow’. Elephants are the only mammals that can’t jump. The first oranges weren’t actually orange. The most common name is Mohammed. Cats can hear ultrasound. Children grow faster in the springtime. Karaoke means ’empty orchestra’ in Japanese.

Delete. Roll eyes. Sigh heavily.

As I sat there, staring at a blank Word document, my boss Deborah – a tall, all-limbs woman, popped her head into my cubicle.

“How are the interview questions going?”

Her expression was vaguely fatigued despite remaining without a single crease or line; her face was elongated, elegant. She had the most delicate bird-face. Long, a pointed nose, elven cheek-bones. Her eyes, two silver buttons, were wide, perpetually surprised. Her foundation was light enough that I could still see the subtle, natural gloss of oil on her forehead. She was, all said, pretty in a pained sort of way. Her ash-blond hair was always styled as if she were ready to step out onto a runway. She wore Louis Vuitton stilettos and a tailored houndstooth-print suit.

“Excellent,” I lied. “I’m wrapping them up now, actually. I’ll email them to you in a minute.”

I’ll email them to you in a minute. Panic. My heart jumped. Why did I always do this? I was a people-pleaser to my core, and it always, always ended up biting me in the ass. I lived in constant pause-or-panic.

“Awesome,” she was indeed pleased. Her smile showed a bit of rose-pink lipstick on her front tooth. “Don’t feel the need to get too detailed with them. Let him lead the interview, if you can. He seems talkative enough in past interviews. He did a very informative interview with Cosmopolitan last fall – we want to go deeper than that. Deeper than male skincare, workout regimens and how to maintain an erection, at least.”

“Do you want me to confirm how many inches he is, exactly?” I inquired.

Deborah laughed.

“These are the imperative questions,” she said. “Yeah. If you can get his favorite lay, too, there’s a good one. Best orgasm story.”

“I doubt his best orgasm has been on-film,” I quipped. “I mean, porn is technically work.”

“Then in a relationship! I don’t really care. I just want the details and we can Jane Doe or John Smith the rest.”

“Gotcha,” I nodded. “I’ll keep it professional. I’ll keep it sexy.”

While still focusing on the fact that he was now looking to step away from the Adult Industry. Maybe he wouldn’t want to talk about anything sexual. He possibly wouldn’t. Maybe he’d find it offensive – like a strain on his shirt that he was hoping nobody would notice, or an unruly cowlick.

Deborah scurried off in the direction of her next to-do, and I shook my head, a common mind-reset practice of mine. Like one of those Etch-A-Sketches.

Elijah Mattox, who are you, sir?

My fingers lingered on the keyboard, hesitant. I pressed my lips together, gave another heavy sigh, and then began typing. Twenty-minutes later, I had produced something palatable. Questions sure to please Deborah, keeping it sexy, keeping it professional, keeping it to the point: Elijah, the whole person. Not just the lead in I Didn’t Know She Was Your Mom: Anal Edition.

I sent the email off. As soon as I hit send, my pocket vibrated. It was also a known fact about myself that I wore pants loose enough to permit for large pockets. I hated purses. I had one, of course, but it contained mostly my wallet, a few old receipts, loose change and three Chap Sticks. I hated fishing for my phone, or taking the time to search for anything, really. Pockets simplify. It’s a beautiful thing.

The text was from Charlie, my roommate.

Charlie: Important. Come to the shop immediately. Consider this urgent.

The shop, as it were, was the bakery Charlie worked at. It was infamous for its cupcakes and house-brew. It also offered a wide array of customized-confectionary.

I clicked my tongue, typing out a response.

Me: At work. Will stop by after.

Charlie’s reply was instant.

Charlie: THERE’S A DICK CAKE HERE. YOU NEED TO SEE THIS.

Charlie: BAILEY.

Charlie: I KNOW YOU AREN’T WORKING. YOU HAVE THE WORST WORK ETHIC OF ANYONE I KNOW. HOW DID YOU EVEN GET THAT JOB?

Calendar Editor, and through an excellent referral at university. It was more of an administrative role, entry-level, truth be told. I worked on the weekly calendar of events for the publisher. This was, officially, my first stint doing an actual interview. My first written-piece, scored through the fact that I just so happened to be replacing the original auteur, who was on Maternity Leave. Everyone else was swamped. This was my one chance, and it had to be good.

My phone vibrated again.

Charlie: THAT WAS MEAN. I LOVE YOU.

I tossed the phone into my purse with a soft thud, forgetting my pocket sentiments. Somewhere out there – that somewhere actually being a bakery in East LA – a Dick Cake existed, which apparently was a must-see. Akin to the Seven Wonders of the World. The Pyramids, or Stonehenge. A Dick Cake. Enough said.

The bakery smelled like burnt blueberry scones and buttercream. Baristas were pouring coffee from French Presses, their hair in updos – even the guys. Long hair was a thing here. They served pastries on small ceramic plates depicting clever quotes and tiny paintings of animals or flora, and espresso, tea, coffee from plain paper cups. No lids. Names were scribbled on the side hastily in black ink. One time I was Bali. Another time I was Bobby. I’ve been Bailie, Baley, and SO CLOSE – Baile.

Charlie was at the counter, grinning ear-to-ear.

“You best not be wasting my time,” I told him. “I’ve got an interview to prep for.”

“Oh, since when do you prepare for anything?” his tone was joking. He was an asshole, but a loving one. “I’ve got a date I should be grooming for, but I’m here, slaving away for the corporate giants.”

“This place is a family-owned. There is literally no other Pastries & Coffee in Los Angeles, or anywhere for that matter. Also, great business name. To the point.”

“Whatever. My pubes look like my dick has a bad perm.”

I shot a quick look over my shoulder to make sure he wasn’t blabbering to listening-ears. Etiquette Police. The shop was quiet, with only a few sitting by the windows, lightly chatting, drinking their drinks and eating their croissants or danishes or tiny, adorable tea cakes.

“Who is it this time?” I asked. “Also, where is this aforementioned Dick Cake that you insisted I come here and see?”

He motioned for me to follow him behind the counter, into a small back-room. The counter was covered in frosting (I might have tasted it – vanilla marscapone) and cake scraps. A squat fridge sat in the corner, holding the awaiting custom orders.

I stole a cake scrap and popped it into my mouth. Ginger-lemon. Score.

Charlie carefully pulled the cake from the fridge, resting it on the counter. We both took a step back, just looking at it. Taking it all in.

There it was. Indeed a cake, shaped like a giant dick. Pubes and all.

“Well, shit, you weren’t kidding,” I muttered, candidly in awe. “Who is this for?”

Charlie shrugged. “Don’t know. But the inside is almond and there’s a chocolate-ganache filling. I wouldn’t mind a slice of that D.”

“You are the worst,” I said. He slid the cake back into the fridge, and we walked back out to the storefront. “I’ll take a coffee, black, and a Bear Claw. And tell me about this date.”

“Their name is Sacha. Pronoun: they. Likes watercolor, wearing combat boots, and The Aquabats. Most importantly, DTF.”

“DTF,” I said. “What, are we still in high-school?”

“They literally said it,” Charlie said defensively, whipping out his phone. There it was, a text from Sacha, reading: whatever you want to do. I’m DTF. “Besides, I’m not expecting anything. Just hopeful. Really hopeful. If not, we’ll enjoy the extended version of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King celibately, and I’ll enjoy my blue balls.”

“Follow your bliss,” I told him, taking my coffee and pastry. “Just be safe about it.”

“And you watch out for tall men in sunglasses,” he replied. “Behind you, Bailey. Oh God.”

I turned, completely oblivious, and knocked straight into said Tall Man in Sunglasses.

The sharp sunlight cast shards through the window, and in the brightness I couldn’t really make out his face, but I knew he was grinning. Grinning and soaked in hot coffee. Hot coffee that I had spilled, all over him, because of course I did.

“Ohmygod,” one word. I chocked. “I’m so sorry! Do you want a napkin? No, a towel. I could get you a towel.”

Charlie tossed a rag over the counter, and Tall Man grabbed it with an acknowledging nod.

“It’s fine,” he said, blotting the fabric. “Trust me. It’s a shirt. I have others. Besides, this isn’t the first time I’ve dealt with a spill.”

“Oh.”

Great reply, Bailey.

“Me either,” I stuttered. “I spill stuff all the time. I’m pretty much a walking mess.”

He laughed. I tried to find his eyes behind the sunglasses, but I couldn’t.

“You’re a little weird, aren’t you?” he said, placing the rag on the counter. “Like one of those girls who wasn’t very popular in high-school because they preferred wearing a Harry Potter house robe instead of normal clothes, and hung out in the teacher’s lounge, and watched BBC at home with your cat.”

“What the fuck kind of person says that to a complete stranger?” I snapped. “You don’t know me, dude.”

Tall man laughed.

“You’re right, dude,” he said. “So tell me, what house are you?”

“Hufflepuff.”

“Of course you are,” he said, and then: “I’m a Slytherin.”

“Bullshit.”

“I have a Sorting Hat on my keychain. Here, look:” he pulled his keys out of his pocket, and there it was. It glinted in the sunlight. “See? Guys can watch BBC at home with their pets, too.”

I studied him. Dark hair, obviously fit. Even though it was a wretchedly hot day outside, he wore a black T-shirt and gray hooded sweatshirt, so I couldn’t quite see his body. I tried to fill in the spotty imagery in with my imagination: sinewy, strong, not an ounce of fat. He didn’t look like a guy that ate carbs. No bagels. No muffins. No Bear Claws, obviously. What a miserable life.

His smile was coy. His lips pulled at the corners teasingly. From over the counter, Charlie was on his phone, unphased. The shop had emptied; the afternoon lunch drizzle having dried up.

“Enjoy your afternoon,” he said. There was a distinct conclusion to his tone. The conversation was over. A sense of tension hung in the air; I was intrigued at how someone, with a simple three words, could be so commanding and yet apparently had a nerdy streak.

How nerdy? I wondered briefly. Like, cosplay nerdy?

“You too,” was all I could say. I didn’t bother asking for another coffee. I could feel the paper bag wrinkle in my fist, still holding my pastry. My stomach grumbled. “See you around.”

I wouldn’t, of course. He was just a passerby. I decided it was best to leave.

From behind me, as my hand touched the door, I could hear his brief banter with Charlie: light, nonchalant. And then, as if by some stroke off magic, he said:

“Just here to pick up an order. I’m the Dick Cake Guy.”

I smiled inwardly, pure satisfaction: like the first pop of a pretzel bite into your mouth. Buttery, delicious, so unhealthy but oh-so good.

See you never, Dick Cake Guy.

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I was tagged to do the Books and Bakes Tag !! It was so much fun and be prepared for all the randomness that is me 😜

Book Spotlight: Heir Of Lies

Welcome to the blog tour for Heir of Lies, by Mallory McCartney! She’s gearing up to re-release her extremely popular Black Dawn series, starting with this beauty! Read on for an excerpt, tour details, and a chance to win print copies of this book and book #2, Queen to Ashes!

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Heir of Lies (Black Dawn #1)

Re-Release Date: April 20th, 2020

Genre: YA Fantasy/ New Adult Fantasy

“Hope was a dangerous thing. It could consume every dream and make them take flight, becoming wild daydreams in one’s heart and mind. Or hope could incinerate everything you thought you knew, burning you down to your core, leaving you raw and exposed for the world.”

Emory Fae has only known one thing—life at The Academy, a school for those who have special abilities. Following in her parents’ footsteps, the pressure to uphold their dream falls on her and one of her best friends—Adair Stratton. An outcast and feared by most, Adair longs to break away from the expectations dictating his future. With whispers of dark magic spreading across Kiero, Adair starts to doubt The Academy is all it seems.

An unexpected visit ignites new tensions as the roguish king from across the Black Sea, Tadeas Maher of the Shattered Isles, and his heir, Marquis Maher, sail to Kiero. Notorious for their pirating and wrath, for the first time in years, they demand the Faes listen to their proposition for a new treaty. Caught in the middle of politics, Adair and Emory, with the help of their best friends Brokk and Memphis, search for the one thing that matters the most—the truth.

Their world is tipped upside down as unlikely alliances are made, and war ravages Kiero. Through the throes of betrayal, lies, hidden magic, and love, Adair is faced with a life changing decision. Will he fight or bow to the darkness within?
But, Adair’s decision will change the course of Kiero forever, setting in motion irreversible destinies for everyone at The Academy as Emory Fae rises as heir.

Heir of Lies is the first book in the bestselling Black Dawn series.

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Excerpt

“Hope was a dangerous thing. It could consume every dream and make them take flight, becoming wild daydreams in one’s heart and mind. Or hope could incinerate everything you thought you knew, burning you down to your core, leaving you raw and exposed for the world. As Brokk walked down the hallway, looking for Memphis, his world was ripped apart in a split second. The hallways were quiet, which should have been his first sign that something was off. Class had just ended for the afternoon, and like every other day, Brokk’s blood was boiling after seeing Iasan. His teacher had become predatory toward him, trying to push him to his edge but always in ways only noticed to Brokk, putting on the persona for the other teachers. Iasan was only trying to ensure a bright future, they said. By grooming him into a lethal weapon that would kill on command. Swearing under his breath, Brokk was hoping for the blissful distraction that the hallways of the Academy always provided. His fellow classmates had a flair for the dramatics; it was guaranteed he would be swept away in their display, along with his thoughts. Instead, his footsteps echoed as he continued on, dread pooling in his stomach and making it churn. Turning the corner, he was about to stop and go back when he saw him. Crumpled in the middle of the hallway, his blond hair splayed out around him and his skin drained of any color, he looked dead. Alby’s appearance flickered as he turned invisible in a panic. “What happened?!” Brokk’s voice cracked, as he sprinted, dropping to his best friend’s side in an instant. Alby’s eyes were wide, as he grappled with his words, his mouth opening and closing. Brokk urged, “Alby, what happened?” The doors at the end of the hallway were thrown open, and Brokk stood, slowly taking in the group rushing toward them. Roque stormed down the hall, Nei and Bresslin at his heels, Tadeas and his entourage flanking them. Roque looked at them, narrowing his eyes to slits. “Foster! What are you doing here? I told the teachers to issue a temporary room curfew effective immediately.” Roque’s words were just white noise, as Brokk saw Adair filing slowly in at the end of the hallway, looking like he had just been through a war. “Foster, I suggest you answer the question,” Roque spoke quietly and slowly, and Brokk flicked his gaze up to the man for a second, truly taking him in. And what Brokk saw, for the first time in years, scared him. Rage contorted their leader’s features into one unrecognizable. One that consumed the man and left a person that had nothing left to lose. He took a step back. “I was just looking for Memphis.” Alby cut in, “He did it. Adair used his ability against Memphis.” Brokk barely took in the next couple of seconds. Roque stiffened, turning slowly to look at Adair limping behind them all, his hooded eyes swept down to the floor, not realizing that everyone had focused in on him. He hurt Memphis.”

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About the Author

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Mallory McCartney currently lives in Sarnia, Ontario with her husband and their three dachshunds Link, Lola and Leonard. When she isn’t working on her next novel or reading, she can be found day dreaming about fantasy worlds and hiking. Other favorite pastimes involve reorganizing perpetually overflowing bookshelves and seeking out new coffee and dessert shops.

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This video was so much fun to film! It’s the book version of “Kiss, Marry, Kill”. If you haven’t done this yet, I suggest you try. It was hard! So many books I love. It was like The Hunger Games book edition LOL.