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Hello, my name is Valorie. I have a Master's Degree in History and a license to teach-- I have been both university professor and public school teacher. Currently, I am a middle school social studies teacher. I love horror movies and spooky things. Every day is Halloween. I am also a passionate book blogger.

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Book Review: Fairly Certain by Deborah Ann Davis

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Promo Blitz: New Caledonia by William D. McEachern








Historical Fiction




Date Published: August 2016

Publisher: AuthorHouse

By the author of the critically acclaimed novel, Casting Lots, New Caledonia: A Song of America is William D. McEachern’s third historical novel and the second in the Caledonia series. The first novel in the series, Caledonia: A Song of Scotland, told the story of James MacEachern fighting for Bonnie Prince Charles. New Caledonia: A Song of America continues the epic tale of James, as he emigrates from Scotland in 1750, fleeing the Duke of Cumberland’s ruthless assassin, Captain David Angus Campbell. Sailing to America, James walks the Great Wagon Trail from Philadelphia to Winchester, where he meets Daniel Morgan, who becomes a lifelong friend. Swirling events embroil Daniel and James as wagoners hauling freight for the British Army in the French and Indian War. On the road to the Battle of the Monongahela, James learns that Captain David Campbell is their commanding officer. For a minor infraction, Captain David Campbell whips Daniel Morgan nearly to death. The story of James, Daniel Morgan, and Captain David Campbell is played out over the course of two wars, the French and Indian War and the American Revolution, in battles such as Monongahela, King’s Mountain, and Cowpens. Who will survive?



Other books in the Caledonia Series:

Caledonia: A Song of Scotland
Published: September 2015

By the author of the critically acclaimed novel, Casting Lots, William D. McEachern, Caledonia: A Song of Scotland is his second historical novel. Caledonia is the epic tale of Scotland’s struggle to become an independent nation. In the process, the story of Scotland is revealed in its people, the Picts, the Irish Missionaries, the Norsemen, and the Highland Clans. All the natural beauty and wonder that is Scotland are captured for the reader’s enjoyment, from the wind-swept Isle of Skye through the Highlands with its towering bens, with numerous waterfalls, across the moors, purple with heather, and dotted with sheep and the lowing, ruddy Highland cattle, to the reflecting waters of the lochs, some mysterious and mist-laden, like Loch Ness, or picturesque, like Loch Lomond. Told from the viewpoint of one clan-the MacDonalds of Clanranald-the reader is swept along through the major events in the history of Scotland, from the writing of the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320, the Massacre at Glencoe by the Campbells, the MacDonalds greatest enemy, through the Rising of 1745 under Bonnie Prince Charles’ to the decisive defeat at The Battle of Culloden and the bloody Highland Clearances under William, the Duke of Cumberland. Caledonia acquaints the reader with why so deeply ingrained in Scotland’s national psyche is its fight for freedom, both political and religious. Caledonia is the first novel in the series which will tell the story of the Scots not only in Scotland, but also in America.

About the Author





William D. McEachern lives in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, with his wife. He is a father and a grandfather. Mr. McEachern graduated from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, with a B.A. in Psychology and Religion, his Juris Doctor Degree was from Fordham University School of Law in New York City and his Master’s in Law Degree in Taxation was from New York University School of Law. He practiced trusts and estates and tax law for nearly 40 years, before becoming a full time historian writing novels of historical fiction. An avid reader of history, he thoroughly researches and travels extensively to lend authenticity and realism to his works. To write New Caledonia: A Song of America, Mr. McEachern travelled both Braddock’s Road and the Great Wagon Road and visited, among other battlefields, King’s Mountain and Cowpens. His areas of expertise include the Roman Empire, Early Christianity, Scotland, and United States History with a particular emphasis on the American Revolution and the Civil War. Mr. McEachern’s first novel, Casting Lots, which is the life story of the Centurion who presided over the Crucifixion, garnered excellent reviews. His second novel, Caledonia: A Song of Scotland, explored Scottish history up to the Battle of Culloden and the beginning of the Highland Clearances. New Caledonia: A Song of America, the second novel in the Caledonia series, follows the Scots migration from Scotland to America, as they walk the Great Wagon Road and finally settle in North and South Carolina during the era of the French and Indian War and the America Revolution.




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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Cover Reveal: A Veil of Shadows (The Shadow Gate Chronicles, #2) by Michael W. Garza




A Veil of Shadows (The Shadow Gate Chronicles #2)
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: September 22nd 2017
NeverHaven Press

Summary:

A desperate search leads to a new world

Naomi and Gavin are on the run. Having narrowly escaped Azzmon’s clutches, they find themselves hunted by Malick, another Shade Lord. He has amassed an army of foul creatures, and the city-state of Tarravale stands on the brink of chaos. Naomi’s ability to open Shadow Gates makes her an alluring target, and the Shade Lord will stop at nothing to possess her. The children must find a way to escape before their new world is buried in an unwinnable war.

Previous Book in the Series (click on image for Goodreads link):

FAQ:
Where did the idea for The Last Shadow Gate come from?
This series was in the draft phase for over a decade. I based the characters on my kids and as they grew and developed their own personalities I allowed the characters in the book to do the same. It’s been a labor of love and seeing it finally in print has been a wonderful experience. Every time I read through it I see my daughter and son on every page.
Where do you get your ideas?
Ideas for stories come from the strangest places. I never sit down and say ‘let’s write a book’ there’s usually a spark that comes out of nowhere. It’s the littlest things that lead to the big ideas for me. I’m never in a hurry when it comes to writing so I’ll sit on something for quite a while and let it build until I can see an entire adventure from beginning to end. In that way, by the time I sit down to write I usually know exactly where I’m going.

How do you find the time to write?
As a father of three, time is always a challenge. Writing is a hobby for me. It’s something I’m passionate about but my focus is usually needed elsewhere. A majority of my writing is done in the quiet of a late night when everyone else is in bed. I take my shots whenever I can get them. I’ve been known to disappear for a short time here and there if I see an opening for a writing opportunity but a majority of the good stuff I get down on paper is done long after everyone else is snoring.

About the Author
Michael W. Garza often finds himself wondering where his inspiration will come from next and in what form his imagination will bring it to life. The outcomes regularly surprise him and it’s always his ambition to amaze those curious enough to follow him and take in those results. He hopes everyone will find something that frightens, surprises, or simply astonishes them.







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Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Rose De Muerte by Natalie Bennett



Title: Rose De Muerte
Author: Natalie Bennett
Genre: Dark Erotic Romance
Release Date: October 16, 2017
Covers by: Covers by Combs



NOTE: Only available during PreOrder on Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and ITunes





Roselynn ‘Rose' Morgue is in love. 

That sounds good on the surface, but nothing about Rose’s life is ever simple. 

The object of her affection is not only her stalker, he’s also supposed to be dead, and that little fact throws a wrench in her plan to reinvent herself. 

You see, Rose is far more twisted than anyone would ever believe, and will do whatever it takes to ensure no one ever finds out the truth about her past. But when a series of murders begin, Rose’s secrets rise to the surface, and one extremely pissed off secret can’t wait for her to get what she deserves. 

*Trigger Warning* 
Bad Sh*t happens. 
This book will not entice warm fuzzy feelings. 
(This book is a standalone prequel that sets the stage for Pernicious Red)






Natalie Bennett is the creator of erotic stories that always come with a warning label. She writes about depraved alpha a**holes and women that love to hate them. Her books don't follow any specific tropes, have no set word counts, and tend to deviate from traditional HEA's.


When she isn't in front of her computer she's spending time with her husband and their three little boys.

Natalie is an avid fan of caramel frappes, horror movies, Shameless, and of course, reading.

You can find Natalie on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.



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Monday, July 24, 2017

Promo Blitz: Going Down & Man Candy (Five Wishes, #1) by Elise Sax






Romantic Comedy
Date Published: June 2017

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Five Wishes Series, Books 1 & 2
The Five Wishes Series: Novellas about wishes that go terribly wrong…fortunately. Five Wishes...A happy ending is just a coin toss away. Each novella is approximately 100 pages with NO cliffhanger.

Book 1: Going Down:
Marion MacAlister wants to nail her audition, not get nailed. Truly. Honestly. All right...maybe she does want to get nailed, but that's just because her hottie landlord and local diner owner Mack Ryan is confusing her. Can friends become lovers? Especially friends who might not even be friends in the first place?

Book 2: Man Candy:
Raine Harper is in love with Wade Gates. But Wade likes women who are model thin, and Raine is model thin plus a whole lot of pounds. Desperate to make him love her, she trains just a little too hard and passes out in the arms of superstar movie star Dirk Adams. Dirk thinks Raine’s junk in the trunk is perfect and proposes to make Wade jealous by becoming her pretend boyfriend. Pretend soon seems very real. Is Dirk a great actor, or is something really developing between Raine and the movie star?

Praise for Author Elise Sax

“Elise Sax will win your heart.”—NYT bestelling author Jill Shalvis
"Elise Sax will make you laugh. Her larger-than-life characters jump off the page and make crazy seem like a fun place to hang out."--Christie Craig, New York Times bestselling author of Texas Hold 'Em
“Elise Sax belongs on every bookshelf." -- Melissa Foster, New York Times Bestselling Author


About the Author




Elise Sax worked as a journalist for fifteen years, mostly in Paris, France. She took a detour from journalism and became a private investigator before writing her first novel. She lives in Southern California with her two sons. She loves to hear from her readers.
Don’t hesitate to contact her at elisesax@gmail.com, and sign up for her newsletter at http://elisesax.com/mailing-list.php to get notifications of new releases and sales.





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FREE at Amazon



Reading Addiction Blog Tours

Cover Reveal: Absinthe by Winter Renshaw



The name on the screen was “Absinthe.”

I knew her as the sultry voice blowing up my phone for late night chats about Proust and Hemingway interspersed between the best phone sex I never knew I could have.

We’d never met.

Until the day she walked into my office, her cherry lips wrapped around a candy apple sucker and an all too familiar voice that said, “They said you wanted to see me, Principal Hawthorne?”


Coming August 8th





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Wall Street Journal and #1 Amazon bestselling author Winter Renshaw is a bona fide daydream believer. She lives somewhere in the middle of the USA and can rarely be seen without her trusty Mead notebook and ultra portable laptop. When she’s not writing, she’s living the American dream with her husband, three kids, and the laziest puggle this side of the Mississippi.


And if you'd like to be the first to know when a new book is coming out, please sign up for her private mailing list here ---> http://eepurl.com/bfQU2j



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Book Review: Fairly Certain by Deborah Ann Davis





About Fairly Certain

Young Adult Romantic Suspense
Date Published: September 2015
Publisher: D&D Universe, llc

What happens when a Computer Geek challenges a Medieval Outlaw?

PETIR TAKES A ROUGH TUMBLE IN THE CONNECTICUT WOODS, and awakens in the middle of old England. His instinct to freak out is tempered by the arrival of a fair maiden wearing a bow… and arrow. In his college world, fair maiden types don’t ordinarily go for computer geek types, but for some reason he is no longer in his world. Petir is fairly certain he can try whatever he wants without consequence.

WITH THE CONFLICT BETWEEN THE ROYALS ESCALATING, MAID RIANNE has joined the outlaws hiding in the woods, outwardly defying the handsome and accomplished knight to whom she is promised. She is fairly certain she is simply flattered by Lord Petir’s uncensored admiration of her skills with the staff and bow, the same unmaidenly pursuits disdained by her knight. But, that does not explain her reaction to Lord Petir’s unguarded gaze.

TO PETIR’S DELIGHT, AND MAID RIANNE’S DISMAY, the outlaws invite him to join their merry band. What better way to get close to her? Throwing caution to the wind, Petir decides he has nothing to lose by pursuing Maid Rianne, until she is captured by the enemy. Now, a geek with no ability to defend himself must find a way to rescue the fair maiden.

About Fairly Safe

Young Adult Romantic Suspense 
Date Published: August 2016
Publisher: D&D Universe, llc

When Mistaken Identity collides with Secret Identity, who wins?

JACOB HAS COME A LONG WAY FOR AN ORPHANED KID. He has a mentor, a great job, and has finally fallen in love. Granted, she mistook him for a stalker when they met, but every relationship has its little problems. Unfortunately, for the past few years, as the object of his affection pops in and out of his life, she has refused to share any personal info, like where she’s from…or her real name. Regardless, Jacob is ready to take their relationship to the next level. Now, if only he can locate her so he can tell her.

CASEY’S FAMILY IS IN THE WITNESS PROTECTION program. Safety has to be their only priority. Their cover has been blown before, so Casey knows at any given time they could be forced to disappear again. Obviously, a shy young man with hopeful eyes cannot possibly be added to the mix. Now, if only she can stop thinking about him.

JACOB’S AND CASEY’S WORLDS UNEXPECTEDLY COLLIDE when Jacob inadvertently helps hide her family. Exposed to their 24/7 vigilance, Jacob realizes he must come up with a plan to keep them out of harm’s way, because this time if Casey disappears, she will be taking with her Jacob’s heart, and his hopes of finally having a family of his own.


Review of Fairly Certain
Petir is just your average young man who takes a solo trip to go geocaching. An unfortunate fall from the tree finds him in medieval England, the unwitting companion of a Robin Hood band of folks, but Robin Hood with a twist. There’s Friar Tuck, who is not a Franciscan friar but rather a cook, and no Robin Hood, but rather Maid Rianne. The story is very similar: they dislike the policies of the ruler Prince John and his Sheriff, supporting the good King Robert, who is away at war, and his claim to the throne.

Maid Rianne struggles against the confinement of the “woman’s place,” as she is a skill warrior who leads the band of “merry men.” Petir is just a normal modern boy with absolutely no idea how to fight. But he goes along with being captured and taught the various ways of hidden outlaws. Even though fighting is not his strong point. But one thing is sure: he is smitten with Maid Rianne. And she is rather taken with him, too, though she is engaged to a noble named Lord Robert, who she takes two issues with. The first, he doesn’t value her warrior skill, and two, he supports the Sheriff and Prince John. However, Rianne is a woman of honor and is not so ready to betray her betrothed. Robert, however, takes no qualm with betraying her for favor with the corrupt, tyrannical court.

Half of the book is about Petir learning the various ways of the outlaws: their rules, their food, their customs, even their eating. And let’s not forget, swooning over Maid Rianne. Then large seconds dedicated to Maid Rianne swooning over Petir. You’re pretty much rooting for them and it seems obvious to the reader that the two of them will end up together, though how that will work when time travel is involved is a mystery.

But there is a clever surprise waiting at the end that will leave you laughing and smiling, and ultimately happy for all of the characters involved.

I thought this story was charming and well thought out. It’s good to read a story that takes a traditional tale and gives it a little bit of a twist. The details of the book wee cleverly thought out, and the fusion of lore with modern convention really worked in such a way that they wove a charming story. It’s a lighthearted romance with a happy ending, and who doesn’t love a story that leaves you feeling warm and satisfied?

Excerpt From Fairly Certain:
Maid Rianne leaned over and rested a cool hand on his brow. Petir’s mouth went dry.

“Does your head pain thee, m’lord?” she asked, her face troubled.

“A little. I…uh, not much. I mean, it was, but now it...it’s....” Maid Rianne squatted next to him and gently ran her fingers through his hair. That had never happened to him before.

“Enough talk, m’lord,” she instructed. “You should rest.”

Whatever you want, Maid Rianne. Petir fell silent, relishing her touch. It was glorious. This was turning out to be an excellent dream. He felt wonderful. He felt bewitched. He felt—

“Yow!” he yelped. “What was that?”

“M’lord, you have quite a bump here, but no bleeding. You must have hit your head when you fell.”
Jeez. That really hurt. He winced as he inspected the site himself.

Maid Rianne put her palms on either side of his face and turned him to look at her. Petir froze. A patch of sunlight beamed down between the trees behind her, creating a halo effect around her face. She moved her head slowly side to side, allowing the sun to splash across his face as she moved. She stared long and searchingly into his eyes. He stopped breathing, his pain unceremoniously shoved to the back seat.

She cleared her throat and released his face. “Your eyes show no ill effects from the blow, m’lord.” She held up three fingers. “How many do you see?”

She was only checking his vitals? He almost laughed aloud at his mistaken read of her actions.

“M’lord?”

“Oh! Uh, three.”

“All appears well, m’lord, but you should be watched ‘til the next dawn.”

“Who...” Petir licked his dry lips and tried to swallow in his dry throat. “Who will watch me?”

“The ’ealer, of course, yer lordship,” piped up the redheaded boy.

What the hell is an eeler?

“Hey, Red, what’s your name?” Petir asked.

The kid gave Petir a cheeky grin. “They call me Cord, m’lord.”

“Okay, Cord, what’s an eeler?”

“Why, a person who tends to wounds and ’eals the sick, sir.”

“Okay, wait. Do you mean a healer?”

“‘Tis what I said, sir.”

“Yea, verily,” said Maid Rianne, smoothly standing while rubbing her hands on her pants.

I hope my hair’s clean. Petir touched the lump on his skull as he watched Maid Rianne rejoin the boys. Baggy clothes or not, she was kicking the warrior maiden thing.

A stretcher with a yoke took shape under the boys’ industrious hands. Using vines, they secured the smaller branches between two larger limbs. A third ran perpendicular to the first two. They worked quickly, speaking in hushed tones, occasionally glancing over their shoulders into the forest, as if dreading unwanted company. Petir followed their gazes, wondering what caused their concern. Should he be worrying, too?

Eventually they lifted the stretcher and carried it to Petir. It looked uncomfortable and unstable.
“I’m not getting on that.”

“Oh, but you are, m’lord.” Maid Rianne’s voice was calm but firm. “Consider your limited options.” She began counting on her hand. “You may get on, be blindfolded, and be carried to our camp. Or,” her sarcastic words belied her sweet smile, “you can try to walk to the camp blindfolded, which I do not recommend.”

“Or you can find your own way back from whence you came.” She paused, solemnly gazing at him over three fingertips. “Tell me, m’lord. Do you know where you are?” She arched her brows at his frown. “I thought not.” She folded down one of her fingers with feigned politeness.

“I know where I am. I’m in a damn nightmare,” he growled. Hottie or not, she was beginning to piss him off.

“Or, m’lord, you could simply remain here until you heal, then leave on your own accord.” The finger reappeared while she regretfully feigned a sigh. “Such a difficult decision is yours.”

The boys giggled, not the least bit cowed by Petir’s glare.

“Your decision, sir?” Maid Rianne asked, her features schooled into exaggerated patience.

“Fine!” snapped Petir. “I’ll ride that thing, but I am not wearing a blindfold.”

“No blindfold? As you wish, m’lord.” Maid Rianne lowered two fingers. “However, that reduces your choices by more than half. Shall ye be spending the night here, or making your way back?”

That was cold. He looked at the boys, who were now avoiding his gaze. The smallest kid was actually wringing his hands while he looked back and forth between Petir and Maid Rianne.

Petir’s head resumed its pounding in double time. Perhaps he needed to rethink his stance. After all, if this was a dream, it didn’t matter if he went or not. Refusing the blindfold, however, could result in Maid Hottie exiting the dream permanently. That would suck. Unless another hot maiden put in an appearance.

But, what if it wasn’t a dream? He still didn’t know where he was, and unless some bars magically appeared on his cell phone, he was going to end up sitting on his butt in the woods another night. Not to mention, he didn’t know where his cell had gone.

On the other hand, maybe these kids came from some kind of psycho cult and were hiding out. The deranged always acted suspicious in the movies. “Nope. I’m not wearing the blindfold. I don’t know you people. For all I know, you could-”

“Oh, please, sir! Accept the blindfold!” cried the small boy.

Petir blinked, his unease growing. The boy’s angst was contagious. Cord touched Maid Rianne’s arm. “Please, mistress, we cannot leave him here.”

“We can, and we will,” she replied, shaking him off. “I, for one, am not willing to betray our cause simply because a stranger refuses a blindfold. Are you?” She leaned forward. “And what if this is nothing more than an elaborate plot to reveal our whereabouts? Men, women, and babes—all sacrificed for a moment of kindness. Your family. Their families….”

The boy’s head dropped as he stepped away from her and closer to Petir. “’Tis not right, mistress. It is just not right,” he muttered.

Maid Rianne straightened. “May I suggest ye head back to the camp and ask for a volunteer to help bring this stranger to the nearest town? Perchance there be one who is willing to risk capture and spending the remainder of his days as a guest of the sheriff. But not I.” She strode to Petir. “Your final decision, yer lordship?”

“Please, m’lord.” Cord ran over and squatted next to him. “Ye be better off with us. I will not let any harm come to ye.”

Petir closed his mouth, which had somehow started hanging open again, and regarded the distraught young face. This kid was going to protect him? He probably didn’t even reach Petir’s shoulder.

About the Author

I currently reside in lovely Connecticut where I enjoy dabbling with living a sustainable life, developing my Girl’s Guide To Good Guys: The Power of Being Patient & Picky program to promote an empowering way for teenage girls to see themselves, writing novels for my Love of Fairs series (Fairly Obvious will be out in 2017), dancing, playing outside, and laughing really hard every day. I promote increasing the amount of movement throughout your day via Wiggle Writer posts on my blog, Merry Meddling, and on Twitter @WiggleWriter and @DeborahAnnDavis.









Contact Information
Website: http://deborahanndavis.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DeborahAnnDavisAuthor/
Twitter: @WiggleWriter and @DeborahAnnDavis.
Blog: http://deborahanndavis.com/merry-meddling/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/WiggleWriter/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9220018.Deborah_Ann_Davis
Author on GoRead.com: https://www.goread.com/buzz/deborah-ann/

Fairly Certain Purchase Links
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Fairly-Certain-Fairs-Deborah-Davis-ebook/dp/B01AOMUNM8/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1480353208&sr=8-2
Barnes and Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fairly-certain-deborah-ann-davis/1120492765?ean=9781942009030
Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/fairly-certain
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/fairly-certain/id953643118?mt=11

Fairly Safe Purchase Links
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Fairly-Safe-Deborah-Ann-Davis/dp/1942009054/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1480351529&sr=8-1&keywords=fairly+safe
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fairly-safe-deborah-ann-davis/1123106502?ean=2940152504552
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/fairly-safe
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/fairly-safe/id1146967326?mt=11