Tuesday 31 July 2018

Between Silk and Sand #Excerpt #Interview

Between Silk and Sand 

The best-laid plans, even of princesses, can go awry...very, very awry.

Seventeen-year-old Saraid of Thekla is on her way to marry the ruler of far-off Mauburni. But she’s not sobbing into her silk-curtained litter at the thought of leaving home, because she has plans—and The Book. She’s studied this ancient treatise on the art of kingship for months to make herself the ideal queen for her adopted country. Once her new husband sees that, he’ll fall madly in love with her. It will all be perfect. She knows it.

But The Book is silent on what to do when one’s journey across a cursed desert wasteland is halted by a mysterious young warlord. Cadel has plans of his own—plans that don’t include her going to Mauburni. As she begins to unravel his secrets, Saraid will have to lay aside The Book and trust her own wisdom—and her heart—to navigate the treacherous shoals of politics and power and become the queen she yearns to be.
ebook, 314 pages

Expected publication: July 31st 2018 by Book View Cafe 


Kayn told her, too, about the few—very few—plants and animals they encountered, and a few she was glad they didn’t. Like the scorpion rat, which had scales instead of fur and the female of which had a bite that could be lethal, and the sahrr vine of the northern Adaiha that grew longer than twenty man-lengths and could coil around an unsuspecting victim with stealthy, frightening speed. They discussed books—for someone who had spent his life in the Adaiha, he seemed remarkably well-read. And of course they talked about The Book. He seemed amused by how well she knew it, and liked to test her memory on quotations from it. After a few nights, Saraid realized she’d not felt homesick at all; Kayn’s conversation kept her from missing Thekla too much.
       And then eventually they talked about other things.

Saraid wasn’t quite sure how he did it, but something about Kayn—the way he looked at her? his expression?—made her want to tell him all sorts of things. Not specific details about her life, of course, like being the younger daughter of the king of Thekla. But plenty of other things, big and little: from how she missed Mama and what her sister was like, down to hating spiders but liking snakes and going barefooted whenever she could. There was an almost-contradictory freedom in her disguise: Kayn didn’t know who she was, so it felt safe to tell him things that she never told anyone else.

And no one had ever listened to her the way he did, seriously and thoughtfully, as if what she said truly mattered to him. She hadn’t realized how much she’d needed…well, a friend. She certainly couldn’t talk to Talnith or to Captain Zamas the way she could talk to Kayn. Keranieth, she’d barely talked to her sister the way she talked to him. And to her joy, he sometimes teased her—gently and humorously—and she was learning how to tease him back.
Once, a few nights after they’d left the oasis, she’d been seized by doubt. “I’m not boring you, am I?” she asked suddenly, after she’d been talking for rather a long time about Thekla. The Book said that too much speech about oneself was one of the worst forms of selfishness, and she didn’t want Kayn to think her self-absorbed. “I should not talk so much of myself.”
“You are anything but boring me.” He smiled, but there was no laughter in his voice. “I want you to talk of yourself. I want to know everything about Nin trel-Zamas of Thekla. You are exploring my country. Why can’t I explore you?”
She felt sudden heat in her cheeks. “There’s not much to know, despite how much I’ve been talking.”
“I disagree. I think there’s a great deal to know.”
An odd note in his voice made her look up at him. He was frowning at his horse’s ears, an abstracted look on his face. She felt a frisson of fear. He hadn’t guessed, had he? Despite all her talking, she’d been very careful not to give away any clues.
“Why would you possibly want to know everything about me?” She strove to make her tone light.
“‘In learning about others, we learn about ourselves.’” He raised an eyebrow.
She nodded appreciatively. “Beginning of chapter two.”
“Correct. I am learning a great deal about myself, talking to you.”
“Good or bad?”
“Let us say…unexpected. It serves me right, too,” he added under his breath. “Just when I was sure everything was under control…”
She was about to ask him what he meant, but he still wore that abstracted look. Then he looked up at her and smiled, a real smile this time, and it was as if morning had come early. She could almost feel herself melting under the force of that smile, and felt something else inside her, some emotion she wasn’t sure of, burst open like a seedling’s leaves unfurling and breaking through the soil.

My Review:

What a delight! Loved it. Between Silk and Sand for me has the right amount of everything like the perfect ice-cream Sundae; not too sweet, lots of sprinkles and a little surprise in the centre.

Saraid is a travelling princess. She has left her family home and going to her intended. She is the youngest daughter of the king and is travelling to her future husband. She is doing her duty to help join two nations and bring more prosperity to her people. She even has a book to aid her becoming a perfect wife.

She is travelling across the desert with a small team. A captain, her maid and a small number of soldiers. Unfortunately, the captain doesn't know the land as well as he thought. Luckily they manage to find a guide, a young man by the name of Kayn. Princess Saraid is drawn to him and can't help but get close. He finds her interesting and she likes the attention. Of course, she doesn't tell him who she really is but neither does he.

Saraid's character starts as a naive girl and what she becomes is so much more. She uncovers truths that are both right and wrong. She begins to see colour in a world she saw as black and white.

Kayn is such a loveable character. When Saraid first meets him she sees this, but because of his half-truths, it takes longer for her to see the good in him. There are also some great side characters in this book and even though it's a full story there is potential for more.

I'll be honest when I first read the synopsis and title for this book I thought it was going to be a predictable, easy read with a sweet ending. To an extent it was but it was also so much more. I cared about the characters. I couldn't put the book down and the romance had me swooning. Between silk and sand is well written and has a great storyline.

Highly recommended. 5 stars out of 5. Sign me up for the next one!

*I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Interview with the Author 

Question One: What was your inspiration behind this book? 
The original inspiration for this story was part of a dream, originally. I don't think any part of the actual dream remains in the story, but it served to kick the whole concept off. I keep a dream journal as well as pen and paper beside my bed at all times, because this isn't the only book I've written that traces its origin to a dream.

Question Two: We first spoke about your book last year and I've read your comments in the acknowledgement section at the back of the book. What took so long for you to write Between Silk and Sand?
It didn't actually take me all that long to write it, originally...but it took years to rewrite, mostly because I was working on other books in the intervening years

Question Three: There are so many great characters in this book. I like the fact everyone has a reason for being where they are. Who is your favourite character and why?
Hmm...I have a couple of favorites. I think Cadel is probably my favorite male character/hero/love interest of everything I've written (barring one other, but his story is still being written so we're not gonna talk about him yet)--I love that he's held onto his essentially sunny nature despite all he's lived through, and I love that he's so darned good at everything, especially being a leader, without ever venturing into hairy-chested, over-bearing, alpha male territory.  I also love Perrin, I think for a lot of the similar reasons--she sees everything so clearly.

Question Four: Can you tell us a little about the geographical difference between Thekla, Mauburi and Adaiha?
Sure--fun question! Thekla is green--a little flat and uninteresting, but full of amazingly bounteous farmland that grows grain and flowers and the trees that support its silk industry. To its east lies the Adaiha, originally a higher plateau region of grassy rolling hills, not as rich and verdant as Thekla but great for grazing animals...until the sand came, turning it into desert with great sandy dunes interspersed with rockier basins. On its eastern border and sloping downward to the sea,  Mauburni is a long, narrow land, and its focus has always been seaward--fishing and trading are its lifeblood.

Question Five: Saraid has a guide book, The flower of Royalty Blossom'd which she refers to throughout the story. What was the idea behind this guide?
There isn't any real-life model for The Book--mostly, it was a way to show Saraid's growth as she went from trying to do everything "by the book" (so to speak) to understanding that while The Book was a useful teacher, she can't rely on it to run her life--that at some point, she has to make her own decisions based on her own experience and observations and circumstances...which can be hard to do.

Question Six: Who would you recommend your story to?
I'm no good at questions like this! Umm, probably people who like a mix of elements in their fantasy--coming of age and romance and new worlds, or people who like fantasy without a lot of overt magical elements controlling the plot? What do you think?

Question Seven: Can we expect a sequel and how long do you think we will have to wait.
Yes, there's definitely a sequel planned--I don't think Saraid could stand it if her story got left without resolving the bigger issues!  As to when--I honestly don't know. I've got a lot of pots simmering on the stove right now. If I hear from a lot of readers wanting to know what happens next, then I'll move this particular pot to a front burner. I have the general story outlined, but stories do have a way of grabbing the steering wheel at times... :)

Finders, Not Keepers #TeaserTuesday

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Finders, Not Keepers (The Not So Reluctant Detectives, #1)


Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Romantic Suspense
Date Published: August 20, 2018

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What do you do with a diamond no one wants? You can’t keep it. Or can you?

While cleaning her ex-husband’s effects out of the attic, Terri finds an exquisite diamond pendant necklace. She’s determined to return the necklace to its proper owner, but the owner was brutally killed, a murder which remains unsolved, and her heirs want nothing to do with the diamond. Terri embarks upon a journey researching charities to which she can donate the diamond. When her research becomes dangerous, Terri contemplates solving the murder herself. Her best friend, Melanie, jumps feet first into investigating the murder, but her neighbor, Ryder, doesn’t want Terri exposed to any danger. Ryder, to Terri’s surprise, also wants to be more than neighbors with Terri. Luckily, he’s prepared to take any measure necessary to keep her safe because someone is determined to stop her inquiries.  

Join Terri on her quest to find a home for the diamond, which may result in the unveiling of a murderer – if she survives long enough.


“How are we going to solve the murder if we don’t even know where it happened?” 

“We are not solving the murder! How many times do I have to explain myself? I’m only trying to honor Jessica’s last wishes by finding somewhere to donate the necklace in her memory.”

“We are totally solving this murder.”

“Did you not read the part where she was shot to death! And the police have no fricking idea what happened?”

Melanie shrugged as if she knew people who were shot to death all the time. “We’ll be fine.”

“We? We are not doing anything. I’m the one who is doing this. We are not doing anything.”

“Fine. Fine. So, Ms. Patterson, what are you going to do next, hmm?” She raised an eyebrow, crossed her arms over her chest, and leaned back in her chair.

“I’m not sure.” Terri tapped her fingers on the table. There was a long pause before she suddenly sat up straight. “Where did the obit say donations were to be sent?”

Melissa pulled the obit up on her tablet. “Westside Soup Kitchen.”

“That’s it!” She snapped her fingers. “I’ve volunteered at that soup kitchen several times. I’ll just go check it out. See if they are a good candidate for receiving the necklace.”

“You volunteered at the same soup kitchen as Jessica? Maybe you met her and don’t remember?”

“No.” Terri shook her head. “I saw a picture of her at the Collins’ house. There’s no way I would have forgotten meeting her.”

“Maybe some of the other volunteers or even the homeless people will remember Jessica. You could ask them about her.”

“Stop trying to solve the murder!”

Melanie readily agreed she wouldn’t get involved in investigating the murder, but Terri knew better than to believe her.

About the Author

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I grew up reading everything I could get my grubby hands on, from my mom's Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew, to Little Women. When I wasn't flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although on the odd occasion I did manage to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. But being a lawyer really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out being a B&B owner wasn’t my thing either. I polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before following the husband to Istanbul where I decided to give the whole writer-thing a go. But ten years was too many to stay away from my adopted home. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.

Finders, Not Keepers is my thirteenth book.

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Haka Ever After ♥ Tour and Giveaway ♥

Haka Ever After
The Sin Bin #7
by Dahlia Donovan
Genre: M/M/ Contemporary Romance

You are cordially invited to the Sin Bin wedding of the year—kilts required, undergarments optional.
Taine Afoa has faced opponents on the rugby pitch without an ounce of fear.  He hopes to find the same courage when asking the love of his life to marry him. First, though, he has to ask Freddie’s fathers for their blessing.
If Taine survives, popping the question should be a breeze.
Freddie Whittle knows Taine has something up his sleeve. A yes forms on his lips before the question is even asked. But can they survive the madness of friends and family, all wanting to help plan their wedding?
As their May-December romance tumbles into happily ever after, one surprise after the other brings them more joy than they ever imagined possible.
The short story Haka Ever After is the seventh (and last) book in Dahlia Donovan’s international bestselling gay romance series, The Sin Bin. Each one features hot rugby players and the men who steal their hearts.

Amazon * Apple * B&N * Kobo
Amazon Uk


“Will you stop laughing? How am I supposed to keep an erection when you’re giggling like a mad hyena?” Taine Afoa sounded serious for all of five seconds before he broke out laughing along with his lover, Freddie Whittle. “Shite. Untie me before I hurt myself.”
The two men had been together for a while now. They were opposites in size; Taine was practically a giant compared to the slight Freddie, a young nurse who’d fallen head over heels in lust and then love with the Māori-Scottish former rugby player.
Freddie tried. He really did. If he could’ve stopped laughing, he might’ve managed to do more than lie on the floor trying to recall how to breathe normally. “Coc y gath.”
“Don’t say I told you so—and stop calling me a sheep’s willy.” Taine ground out the words after several minutes of breathless mirth. “Bollocks.”
It had been his idea.
Why don’t you try tying me up?
Aren’t you curious?
Truth be told, Freddie wasn’t all that curious to have the restrained shoe on the other foot, but no matter how much he tried to convince Taine, they still wound up trying it anyway. A memorable mistake that he wished he’d gotten a video of it.
It started fine. Taine got up on the bed and rested on his knees. With quite a bit of fumbling, Freddie managed to get the larger man’s wrists and ankles secured. He’d stepped back to survey his work, and the fit of giggles had hit him almost instantly.
Why is this so funny?
Freddie had no idea what set him off. The giggling eventually morphed into full belly-shaking laughter. He ended up on the floor with his arm clutching his waist.
“Are you going to untie me?” Taine asked patiently. “Can you manage the knots?”
Freddie dragged himself up off the floor and began to slowly undo the knots to release Taine. “Uhm.”
“What’ve you done?” Taine craned his head around as far as the position would allow. “You bollocksed up the knots, didn’t you?”
“Maybe?” Freddie blushed from the tip of his toes all the way up to his ears. “Let me grab a pair of scissors.”

Dahlia Donovan wrote her first romance series after a crazy dream about shifters and damsels in distress. She prefers irreverent humour and unconventional characters. An autistic and occasional hermit, her life wouldn’t be complete without her husband and her massive collection of books and video games.

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive content and a giveaway!

Lux ♥ Tour and Giveaway ♥ KindleUnlimited

The Veritas Series Book 1
by MJ Vieira
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Paranormal

After being found, inexplicably, standing over a brutal scene involving a pair of recent murder victims, Jade comes to in a hospital with limited memories. Labeled as paranoid by the seedy medical team and locked up, she seems more a victim than a deviant. Promptly drugged and plunged into sleep, she is submerged into a chronic dreamland that seems controlled by another, she soon gives in to a lavish life with a Malum who seems all too eager to see to her every desire. She awakes in yet another reality with no memories of her past, or even herself. Something is making her forget... and just like that she steps into her new life.

Malum is deeply in love with Jade and is only agenda is to give her the world... Or so he claims. Blindly followed by his people, the Luxans, he works tirelessly to keep them safe from the Rebels, with Jade by his side. Surely his motives are pure... yet, the more time Jade spends with him, the further she seems to fall from herself.

All the while, Jade is plagued by vivid dreams of another life... one she struggles to understand while Malum works to make her forget. As Jade struggles to hold onto her soul and discover her past, Malum seeks to possess all that she is.

I sense Malum before he speaks, and I can’t help stiffening at his presence. Despite my best efforts, my dreams still cling to me like spider webs — a most unwelcome feeling. “I am relieved to see you awake, Pet,” his voice rumbles from the far side of the bed. His tone matches the floor: icy. I keep my focus on the windowpane opposite me. I am too far away to truly see my reflection or his. But I don’t need to see him to picture the expression on his face —an arrogant mask of indifference. His eyes are always his tell. They will be flashing periodically with anger, lightning to match the thunder in his speech. I let the seconds tick by to see if he continues his lecture, but he says no more. Without warning, he appears out of thin air, before me. From where I sit, my eyes rest on his sculpted chest, but I can see that he is dressed in form-fitting black pants and nothing else. Malum’s bronzed skin glistens with sweat, which is another surprise. We hadn’t been having sex. At least not that I remember. Why on earth is he sweating? Running and training aren’t things he participates in. I allow my crawl up, tracing the lines of his muscles, until I meet his eyes. As expected, his expression is haughty and tight. Anger crackles about him, and I know I must tread carefully. The problem is that I don’t know the exact reason for his anger. My failed mission? Losing to Jager? Visiting the dream reality? I highly doubted he was concerned for my wellbeing. I train my features to stay as neutral as I can make them and wait for the tirade to begin.
Hindsight is twenty-twenty, but little good that does me. Looking back on the situation, I realize it wouldn’t have mattered how I looked at my master.

My punishment is at hand either way. Malum is going to teach me a lesson, a painful one. A lesson I’d never recover from. If I’d just said that one word sooner, I could have avoided the entire situation. But stubbornness and pride got the better of me. Sinner to the core, in more ways than one.
“You failed, Pet.” A clawed hand reaches and gently tucks a stray strand behind my ear. My breath catches in my throat. A clawed hand? My eyes slide sideways to look at the unnatural black claws that are protruding out of my lover’s fingers. I rack my brain for any memory of claws, and none present themselves. Black eyes? Yes. Knives for hands? No. I plead with my heart to calm its frantic pumping, but it does not listen.

“I told you to bring Jager to me. I told you exactly where he would be and how many would be there. I provided you with everything, and yet you come back to me poisoned and delirious. I sucked your poison out, Jade, took it into myself.” Malum hisses the last words, and I dare to glance back at his face. The demon’s eyes are black as I’d seen them while we came together, but now thin lines of crimson trickle throughout. They resemble a field of lava that has partially cooled and hardened. The surface is black, but cracks show where the boiling magma still lies, waiting to be released. I know that once the inferno bubbling within Malum is released, I will be incinerated. Only this time, there will be no pleasure with it. Malum trails his index claw along the side of my face. Applying slight pressure, he forces me to lift my chin as high as I can to keep from being sliced by the razor-sharp talon.

“You’ve ruined my plans and allowed the Rebels to go unscathed with their charge. I needed it killed, Pet. We needed it killed.” He allows his dagger like appendage to rest just under my jaw, at the softest point, where it could sever my flesh easily. “I cannot allow this to go unpunished, Jade, unless you will finally accept my offer.” There it is, the crux of his irritation with me lately. I’d denied him at every turn, and thus far, Malum had been forgiving. I can tell he won’t be any longer.
MJ Vieira resides in Southern Maine with her husband, Alan, son, AJ, and their St. Bernard, Roxy. As a child, she traveled around the state with her parents, seeing the vast history the New England state had to offer as well as touring the nation while showing her American Quarter Horse. While traveling, she read many of the great authors of the time including JRR Tolkien, Stephen King, CS Lewis and Ann Rice. It is these writers combined with power of music, mainly hard rock and folk, MJ draws her inspiration. 

In between writing, MJ enjoys reading, collecting music and attending concerts. Lux is the first installment in the Veritas series which is MJ's first published work.

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive content and a giveaway!

The Connelly Boys #CoverReveal

The Connelly Boys
Lily Velez
(Celtic Witches, #1)
Publication date: September 13th 2018
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
The Connelly boys are practically royalty at St. Andrew’s Prep. Popular, wealthy, and devastatingly beautiful, the four brothers have long cast a spell over their classmates and over the sleepy seaport town of Rosalyn Bay, Ireland.
There’s only one problem: they’re also cursed.
…Or so the rumors say.
Seventeen-year-old newcomer Scarlet Monroe has never been one for rumors, but when she inadvertently banishes a demon while trying to help eldest brother Jack Connelly, the most breathtaking of the boys and the one to whom she feels inexplicably drawn, she quickly discovers there may be more to the local superstitions and folklore than she originally thought.
Before long, she’s pulled into a dark and mysterious world filled with ancient magic, powerful spells, kidnapped souls, and deadly enemies. But none of it compares to discovering the truth of who she really is…or what she’ll have to become to defeat a rising evil older than humankind itself before she loses everyone she loves—that is, of course, if she can survive the world of the Connellys long enough.
Don’t miss this first installment in the new dark fantasy series by Lily Velez, which features Irish folklore, Celtic mythology, mystery and light romance, and an engrossing world of witches and magic that will keep you reading long into the night!

Author Bio:
Lily Velez has been writing stories since she was six years old. Not much has changed since then. She still prefers the written word and her overactive imagination over the ‘real world’ (though to be fair, her stories no longer feature talking dinosaurs). A graduate of Rollins College and a Florida native, when she's not reading or writing, she spends most of her days wrangling up her pit bulls Noah and Luna, planning exciting travel adventures, and nursing her addiction to cheese. All this when she isn’t participating in the extreme sport known as napping. You can learn more about Lily and her books at www.lilyvelezbooks.com.


Sunday 29 July 2018

MisGiving Hearts ♥ Tour and Giveaway ♥

MisGiving Hearts
by J.Haney & S.I. Hayes
Genre: Interracial Romantic Suspense 

They thought they were safe in their elite little world. They couldn’t have been more wrong.

When Charity Daniels was seventeen she fell in love with Literature, and a man who taught it. Their forbidden love was held back until graduation, until legally she could be his.

Flash forward three years, Charity is studying at Yale and still in love with her Princeton Man.

Quinn (Q) Everett is on scholarship at Yale, and finds himself inexplicably in Charity’s path. He tries to stay away, but his mouthy best friend thinks he knows better. Suddenly it’s lunches and crashing private plans for the duo just to see her.

But their flirtations do not go unseen, and Logan’s love turns and goes from jealousy to murderous intent.

Can these unproven lovers stay the course and avoid the devious plot of a scorn man or will everything crash and burn?
*Trigger warning: Violence
**Strong Sexual Situations

**Only .99 cents!!**

J. Haney was born and raised in Kentucky, currently residing in Greenup County, Kentucky with her family, where she is the proud mamma to Jessalyn Kristine and co-owner to Proud Momma Designs, which she runs with her amazing Momma. J. Haney’s work tends to lean toward sweet and sexy, with suspenseful undertones giving her readers something to hold onto. It’s what she calls Real Life Romance.

S.I. Hayes was born and bred in New England, currently living in Ohio. Running around Connecticut, she used all of her family and friends as inspiration for her many novels. When not writing Paranormal Drama or Erotic Romance she can be found drawing one of many fabulous book covers or teasers, to see them check out her web site.

The pair met while working for a previous publisher and became fast friends, their split dynamics and views on life, family and love in general led to the idea of A County Fair Romance and A Sex, Drugs and Rock Romance adding to it Working Class Beauties and soon Kincaid Falls. Along with various Standalone novels. So, keep your eyes open and a fresh pair of panties close by, you know just in case.

Where to find J. Haney

Where to find S.I. Hayes

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive content and a giveaway!