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Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Alive review and Tour





In death she found life.


Florence Sterling should be perfectly happy. She’s been given a second chance at life with her beloved husband. But all is not well. She yearns for more children, even though Alex is reluctant. Memories of the day she and her baby were murdered still haunt her. And she can’t shake the feeling she will be separated from Alex again.

As if in confirmation of her premonition, Alex is called on a dangerous mission to enlist America’s aid in WWII. Trying to distract herself, Florence investigates what really happened when her son died. As she searches, she becomes convinced her son is alive, although witnesses say otherwise. And with each clue she discovers, she unwittingly draws closer to her old enemy—the deranged woman who will stop at nothing to destroy her.

When Alex goes missing in action, Florence must reach deeply into her faith as she faces her greatest fears. If Alex is lost to the war, will she allow herself to love another man and fulfill her desire to have a family? Or will she remain alone the rest of her life? 

Book one in this series WON the bronze medal with the Readers' Favorite International competition
in the historical-mystery category!!! 
Make sure you Check out both books in this series!






Marcia was born and raised in Argentina during the military regime which ended with the loss of many young lives in the invasion of the Falkland Islands. Amidst the devastating effects of military government and war, reading and writing became a passion which expanded and transported her imagination with the possibility of a brighter future.
At the age of eighteen, she moved to the United States, where she studied English and started her own family. She soon discovered that the love she has for her husband and children would naturally unfold towards her European roots, leading her to become a genealogist and family historian. A decade of searching, compiling, and learning the stories of thousands of people has instilled in her a profound gratitude for the strong ties that can be achieved in families through personal sacrifice.

So it is that through fiction, Shadows of Time duology (Awaken, Shadows of a Forgotten Past and Alive, Shadows of a Living Past) explores and exposes the characteristics of true love and loyalty in times of fear, war, and finally, death. But perhaps the most captivating element in the story is the battle within the souls of the main characters as they search to know who they really are and how they are connected.




I first saw the book AWAKE on a book blitz event earlier this year and it looked interesting to me. I had no idea it had won an award but I agree it should have. It's a wonderful book and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Author Marcia Maidana's writing is engaging and her story is unique and captivating. It was easy to read and easy to not put down. I finished it quickly and absolutely enjoyed it. I was eager to get my hands on the second book.
With the book ALIVE I was also not disappointed. Great story, wonderful characters, and a joy to read. The author did it again and I have no doubt this book could easily win an award as well. I found myself invested in the characters, in their story, in their feelings and thoughts. It was a great journey and I highly recommend these books to anyone!






To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page 




Saturday, December 22, 2018

Christmas Countdown Day 18



HEATHER TULLIS has been reading romance for as long as she can remember and has been publishing in the genre since 2009. She has published more than twenty books. 

When she’s not dreaming up new stories to write, or helping out with her community garden, she enjoys playing with her dogs and cat, cake decorating, trying new jewelry designs, inventing new ways to eat chocolate, and hanging out with her husband. 

Learn more about her and sign up for her newsletter on her website.






Jonah Owens thought moving to Echo Ridge to open his art gallery would solve all of his problems. The need to sell his grandma's house adds an unexpected complication. It would be easier if his neighbor didn't have all those farm animals.

 Kaya Feidler's family has owned their land for nearly a hundred years--long before the neighbors were there. There's no way she's giving up the animal therapy business she's been struggling to make profitable. She gets a temp job helping Jonah in the gallery. 

Spending time together is a recipe for romance, but can they overcome their own hangups to be more than friends?





Snippet:

Jonah picked at a piece of shredded lettuce on his sandwich. “I'd do anything for my grandma. Besides, I love it here, and I was ready for a change. A complete change.” He'd been dragging around trying to paint post-Janet. This was a fresh start in many ways.
“She said you haven't painted anything in a long time.” Kaya's words were hesitant, as though she wanted to ask, but didn't want to pry.
“I hit a wall.” He paused. It felt wrong to gloss it over with Kaya, though he didn't know why. He went with the impulse. “I was dating someone seriously. When it ended, I found I could only paint dark stuff. Stuff I wouldn't buy or hang, and definitely wouldn’t sell. I tried working through it, but I tried so hard to paint things I wasn't feeling that I ended up not being able to paint at all. Nothing remotely good, anyway. Technically correct, but not emotionally true at all, so I had to stop. The gallery is sort of my backup plan.” It had taken a long time for him to admit it was what he had to do.
“That seems to have changed.”
“What do you mean?”

“I saw the painting of Shyanne this morning; it's nearly done, right? It's beautiful. It takes my breath away, actually.”  





To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page
    




Friday, December 21, 2018

Christmas Countdown Day 17



Jennifer lives in Arizona where she writes escapist fiction she calls "Cotton Candy for the Soul."






He needs this job to honor his late wife.
 She needs to complete her late fiancĂ©’s bucket list to be free.

Former action-movie star Chet has counted the days since he lost his wife last New Year’s Eve almost a year ago. When he’s given a shot at starring in a reboot of her favorite TV show, he jumps at it. But there’s a catch: the producers won’t hire him unless he can prove he’s regained emotional stability—by bringing a steady girlfriend to his five auditions.

Which means: five mandatory dates for this bereft widower.

Social worker Holly lost her fiancĂ© to war. With his good life snuffed out too soon, she feels compelled to finish his bucket list of unselfish deeds. But four years later, several remain, and they’re ridiculously impossible. Until she accomplishes her soldier’s dreams, she can’t even consider moving on with her life.

When they meet on the beach at Getaway Bay, what she doesn’t know is homeless-looking mourner Chet is actually Colt Winchester, screen star and fashion icon. What he doesn’t know is that he’s a means to an end.

When their walls start to crumble on their Christmas season dates, can these two find love again, or will they forever be chasing ghosts?"



Snippet:

“Excuse me.” A server approached with a silver platter covered with frosted sugar cookies. “Would you care for a cookie?”
“Who says no to a sugar cookie?” Holly took two—a star and a snowman. “Thank you.” One bite of the star’s vanilla-almond buttercream frosting sent her mouth into ecstasy.
“These are good,” Chet ate his green-frosted Christmas tree in two bites.
“Did you try the snowman?” The frosting of her second cookie melted into a sweet coconutty heaven on her tongue. “Mmm. It’s childhood in a sugary bite.”
“Do you bake?” He spoke through a mouthful. “Mmm. Cookies are love.”
Chet caught Holly off guard. He hadn’t seemed like the type to make such a tender analogy.
“Ah, sometimes. And you’re right. Especially sugar cookies. They require so many steps I always just buy them.” She never made them. Not even for Rick. “The only thing that could motivate a person to make them is love of the recipients of the cookies.”
“That,” Chet said, “or a deep love of sugar cookies.”
“Gluttony could also be a motivator.”
“Where’s that platter? We should get more of those.” Spoken like a true hungry person.
Holly had never experienced true hunger, at least not physical hunger. Maybe Chet needed more cookies.
“If we walk around, we might run into the sugar cookie person again.” Or someone with another kind of food, if Chet needed it. However, tonight, Chet seemed a lot less like a guy who needed to fish to feed himself than he had the other day.
They walked toward a table with chairs and sat down. Chet reached across the table and took her by both hands. “I think girlfriend is right for now.”
Girlfriend. Holly stared down at their clasped hands atop the green velvet tablecloth. His were rough, like they’d held a fishing rod in the sun for a lot of hours, day after day. She’d seen him on the shore.
“So that makes you my boyfriend.” The word sounded younger than she felt. The last four years had aged her. Against her collarbone, Rick’s unused wedding ring heated up again. “You work fast.”

“Not usually.”





To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page
    




Thursday, December 20, 2018

Christmas Countdown Day 16






R. William (Bill) Bennett is the author of Jacob T. Marley, The Christmas Gift, and a new Christmas novel being published by a major publisher for Christmas, 2019



 ~ Website ~
  




"Marley was dead to begin with . . . "

These chillingly familiar words begin the classic Christmas tale of remorse and redemption in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. 


But, what about Jacob Marley?  And why hadn't he been given the same final chance of redemption as Ebenezer Scrooge?



Or had he?









Snippet:

-From a scene in which unbeknownst to Scrooge, Marley's spirit has accompanied Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Present to the marketplace: 

At that moment, an urchin of no more than five stood before the trio. Whether she could not see Marley and Scrooge, or whether she simply paid them no mind, it could not be discerned, but there was no question she saw the ghost, as she surveyed his entire wardrobe and stared with delight into his face. The spirit smiled down at her. He took his cornucopia torch and tipped it above her head, which caused a soundless waterfall of glistening sparkles, like a thousand miniature sprites, that seemed to flow into the girl as they touched her. 
“Spirit,” asked Jacob, “why does she see you?” 
“I cannot stop her. It is not that I choose to reveal myself to her, but I am revealed by her purity. She sees me because her eyes are not shrouded with doubt or hate, fear or selfishness or greed. Her heart is innocent, and her eyes are an extension of that heart. My mission is the goodness of man in this season, and I cannot keep it from her.” 
“Do all the children see you?” 
“No, just the ones whose spirits are so remarkable, they tend to live in both worlds.” 
“And what is that with which you christened her?” 
“Joy, that it might fill her needs a bit.” 
Marley seemed troubled. “She does not look like she needs joy. I think she needs food—and clothing.” 
“Look about you,” said the spirit more sternly. “Do you see food?” 
Marley again took in the array of fruits and vegetables and nuts and plants of all kinds. “I do, Spirit. So much that to feed this little one even all she could swallow would not make a noticeable scratch on this abundance.” 
“And do you see people?” There were men and women and children bustling about, wishing each other the greatest merriment of the day and generally enjoying the morning. 
“I do, Spirit, many.” 
“And what number of that many are stooping down to offer one bite, or perhaps an old shawl they would never miss, to this poor girl?” 
Jacob noticed that the crowds seemed completely oblivious to the child, walking around her and even bumping her at times, looking down only to see what inconvenience they had stepped on and, upon finding it to be only an urchin girl, looking back up to continue their conversations, never missing a word. “None,” Jacob confessed. “Not one seems to notice her.” 
“They all could, Jacob, if they chose. But they seem not to care. So, in this, I provide a little to give her what they may not.” 
“But if she is hungry, why not give her all she needs?” 
“Do not think that a spirit does not have a kind heart! For we do. I ache for her needs. But if I were to give her food and clothing and a home, what would be required of you?” 







To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page
    




Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Christmas Countdown Day 15




Stephanie Worlton is an author, designer, gabber, and sugar addict! She was raised in the suburbs of Salt Lake City where she developed a passion for the creation of space, color, and design. Her love of design drove her to pursue a degree in architecture. Her love of family pulled her home to be a mom.  She enjoys hanging out with her family, reading, writing, making massive project lists, doing remodeling and building projects, playing in the dirt, and snuggling with her dogs. She collects power tools, camera equipment, shoes (though barefoot is always best!), and books.







Ali Cross, the award-winning author of the Desolation Series, has always had a flare for the dramatic. As a child she organized backyard performances of classic plays and musicals and hosted tea parties for invisible friends and pets dressed in doll clothes. Her teens were a haze of boys, drama (of the real life variety), and music. So it really didn’t come as a surprise to anyone that the girl her family called a dreamer, ended up writing drama—with angels, demons, and other supernatural creatures thrown in for fun.

After university, Ali traveled from the Great White North to the Utah desert for love and now entertains her devoted husband, almost-grown twin sons and adorable yorkies with her wacky song renditions and random movie lines. As the only female in the house she considers this her right and her duty.

Never one to conform to expectations, Ali enjoys writing in multiple genres:

Ali Cross books for young adult paranormal romance; Ali Banks Cross books for middle grade adventures; and Ali M. Cross for inspirational romance. She promises to entertain you no matter which of her books you pick up.





TARA C. ALLRED
Award-winning Author

I had lots of imaginary friends when I was five years old, and I guess you could say some of those friends never left me. In fact along the way, I picked up some more imaginary friends who have had lots to say.

I love watching stories unfold. And some of those stories seem worth sharing with you.

So, I have written a few books. And have several more in the works.

Meanwhile, some of my books have won some awards. And even more importantly, my books have made friends with some wonderful and supportive readers. I absolutely love it when a reader connects with one of my stories.


Stacy Lynn Carroll has always loved telling stories. She started out at Utah State University where she pursued a degree in English, learned how to western swing, and watched as many of her fellow students became ‘True Aggies’.  She then finished her BA at the University of Utah where she got an emphasis in creative writing.  

After college she worked as an administrative assistant, where she continued to write stories for the amusement of her co-workers. When her first daughter was born, and with the encouragement of a fortune cookie, she quit her job and became a full-time mommy and writer. 

Eight books and four small kids later, Stacy has truly learned the necessary skills of balance and time management. Dr. Pepper and chocolate also help. She and her husband live in Utah with their four children and three dogs. Bear Lake is her favorite place to write.






Are you ready to fall in love? 

Take the chill out of winter with four new multi-genre romances from best-selling and award-winning authors Tara C. Allred, Stacy Lynn Carroll, Ali M. Cross, and Stephanie Connelley Worlton. 

From heart-warming traditions to heart-pounding suspense, this cozy collection of toe-tingling first kisses set in Utah’s North Pole (aka Bear Lake) will leave you feeling cheerful and bright.















Snippet from 
Stolen Kisses by Ali M. Cross:



He was right—her hair was dark. Nearly black, actually. She was white, but there was a slight warmth to her skin and with her coal-dark eyes, straight black hair and long, straight nose, he was pretty sure she might be part Native American. She was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.
“You guys can hang your coats up there,” the petite girl said, pointing to the coat rack by the door. “Your timing is perfect. We were just getting started.”
“Glad to see you made it to your destination safely,” Bent said, offering the girl what he hoped would be a kind smile. There was something about her, something wild but skittish. He’d never been around horses or anything, but she made him think of wild horses. Curious, but scared, too. “I’m Bentley. But everyone calls me Bent.”
“I’m—”
“Mel. I remember. Is that short for Melanie?”
She shrugged and threw him a coy glance. “Call me Mel. But why do you go by Bent?”
Bent chuckled. “I’m Bentley Brown.” He leaned over the couch that stood between them and offered his hand. “And yes, I’m named after the car.”
She shook his hand. He liked the press of her small, warm palm against his and he was disappointed when she broke the contact.
“I like Bentleys.”
Oh, she could flirt, could she? Bent took off his coat and hung it up without taking his eyes off Mel. “Mel suits you. It’s tough. Like you.”
She laughed and looked down, shaking her head. “Oh, I’m anything but tough.”
He looked at her sideways. “You sure about that?”


Q&A With Ali M. Cross: 

1.  Describe yourself in 50 words or less.
Quirky and fun (or dorky and lame, but I'm going with "quirky and fun"). Sun worshipper, happiness enthusiast, believer in hope and magic. Devoted mom to twin 18yo sons and two adorable yorkies, and happy wife to the love of my life. 

2. What do you love most in the world?
God and my family.

3. What inspired you to become an Author?
Stories that moved me and inspired me. I wanted to be a part of that.

4. What is your favorite Winter / Holiday tradition?
My favorite Christmas tradition is we have a little basket we set on the mantel along with some yarn strips to represent "hay". For every good turn during the holiday season (from Thanksgiving to Christmas), we each fill the basket or "creche" with yarn until by Christmas Eve, we have a nice soft bed ready for Jesus. Before we go to sleep, we gather around and sing "Silent Night." I'll put out the porcelain Jesus in his bed, then on Christmas morning, before we open presents, we'll sing "Oh Come, All Ye Faithful". Helps us to slow down a little bit and remember the "reason for the season." ❤️ 

5. What is your trick for getting past writer's block? And what advice do you have for other authors who are struggling to tell their story?
My trick is to keep on writing! I'll literally write "blah blah blah" or just free write--in my MS--until the words pick up the story again. OR, I'll jump ahead to a part of the story I DO feel inspired to write. If neither of those tactics work, then I'll for a walk, or do something else that fills my creative well. My best advice is to not be overly hard on yourself if the words won't flow…but also to give yourself a chance to open that spigot by sitting down and writing ANY words, even if they aren't the right ones.

6. Now that we've gotten to know each other, tell me a story. It can be long or short. From your childhood or last week. Funny, sad, or somewhere in between. Just make sure it's yours. What's your story?

My parents divorced when I was four years old. I remember one Christmas Eve when Daddy was coming to see me, AND I was singing a solo in the Christmas Eve mass that night. I wanted my mom and dad to come hear me sing as I'd never done a solo before and even my mom had never heard me. I think I was about ten. I sang "O Come, O Come, Emanuel", and I remember how, standing in the choir box, my voice carried across the cathedral and the elegance of the procession beneath me. It was a powerful moment in my little life. A real "core memory". I discovered my sister had come to hear me, but no one else. We rushed home because Dad was there--only to find that he had come and gone. He hadn't wanted to hear me sing, or to even stay and see me. Everyone else got to see him except for me. And Mom was crying. It was another core memory. These two extremes on one night had a powerful impact on me. Now, I try very hard to always let my sons know that they are loved and that what's important to them is important to me. That night was bittersweet for sure, but it hasn't dulled my love for Christmas, only reminded me that I have the power now to help it shine--for myself and my family.







To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page