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Guest Post: Defrosting The eBook by @Sparkes777 : The Agben School blog tour

The Agben School Book Cover The Agben School
The Legend of the Gamesmen #2

Fantasy
Oscar Press
384

Agben had stood for a thousand years. A mysterious school housing more than students, it was the seat of the powerful Women of Agben, and the center for harnessing the potency of herbs. Few knew all that transpired within the walls.

And now Marra stood at its gate.

Friends and support stripped from her, the fragile life she’d built for herself now lay in tatters. And the source of this evil hunted her like a deer culled from the herd.

The gateway before her was her only hope.

For as the city itself crumbled, all depended not on a prince trying to save his people, nor the valiant men who’d brought them this far.

Everything depended on finding a magic powder in the vaults of Agben itself.

Everything depended on her.
For More Information

  • The Agben School is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
  • Read Chapter One here.

Excerpt:

– PROLOGUE –Mik was all of ten years old, and had responsibility.
That’s what his mother had told him this morning, when it was time to open the shop. His grandfather was ill, and needed care from time to time.
“Just keep it closed for the morning,” Father had suggested.
“Not with four ships in port,” Mother had snapped back.
So it was his job to mind the shop.
He’d done everything before, of course. Poured out the herbs, wrapped them in paper. Kept them close to himself until the customer paid in coin. “A poor little Mid Isle shop taking credit would go broke in a month,” his mother smilingly explained to any who asked.
Yes, he’d seen it all and he knew what to do.
Until the pretty girl walked in. Maybe 16 years old, he guessed. Maybe more. Her clothes weren’t as nice as many before her, but nicer than some. She had that desert air about her, down to the sandal shoes, but her hair was long in the Missean fashion, not the short cut of the Flats.
She didn’t seem Agben. But she didn’t seem not Agben, either.
It was a dark red hair, braided down her back. When she turned in the sunlight from the door the red flashed at him. Little wisps escaped and curled around her face, making her seem too soft.
Women of Agben were never soft.
Mik realized that responsibility did indeed have weight, just as his father said. He was feeling that weight on his shoulders this very second.
The girl looked over the shelves carefully, and he didn’t interrupt her.
And then she turned to him, and smiled. The smile alone was almost enough to prove she wasn’t Agben. Almost.
“Illsmith,” she said. “Do you have any?”
Mik nodded. “In the back, Miss. How much do you want?”
“Just a handful, please.” Her eyes were blue, he saw, but not the faded blue of his mother and baby sister. Hers were a deep blue, like the sea’s depths as evening fell.
He hurried to fetch her Illsmith.
“And Musk Oil?” she called after him.
Ahh hah! The pretty girl must be of Agben, Mik realized. Illsmith was a desert plant, and Musk Oil from the Great Continent. Those two went together, he knew, to rub on sore muscles and strained shoulders. He knew because one of the Agben women had told his mother so when his father had hurt himself pulling in the big swoopfish.
Mik grabbed a tiny glass bottle of oil – all of ten copper, he told himself – and then the crock of Illsmith. Returning to the girl, he set both on the counter, and produced a paper for the Illsmith. “Twelve copper,” he told her as plucked out a good handful of the herb and wrapped it proper.
Some people frowned when the price was mentioned, but this girl merely pulled coins from a pocket and counted it out.
Mik stooped low, to open the box his mother had told him he shouldn’t know about, and snatch the pretty bauble inside.
He carefully wrapped it in a soft cloth, the kind used for fragile glass on long trips. And then presented it to the girl.
“What is this?” she asked, starting to lift a wrapped corner.
Mik stopped her as old man Tanner strode into the shop. “Take it,” the boy whispered.
“Mik, my boy,” Tanner grinned, looking around for his mother. The old man always wanted advice on a new ache. “Your mother not here this morning?”
The girl hesitated, still staring at him. He snatched up the coin she’d placed on the counter, and tugged the step ladder over to just beneath the Stomach Cure jar.
“That’s right,” Tanner told him. “Just a swig, my boy. Just a swig.”
Mik felt the pretty girl’s eyes on him. Surely she knew no one else was supposed to see that thing. Surely she knew to stick it in her pocket and pretend it didn’t exist.
The girl gave him a last frown, but said no more. By the time he’d wrangled the tonic down from the shelf, she’d gone.

 

Today’s guest post is one I’m sure many of us can relate to.  I know I can.  I held off purchasing my first Kindle for long time after they came out, but now, I don’t go anywhere without it.

Please welcome author Jo Sparkes today, who is on tour with Pump Up Your Book with her fantasy novel, The Agben School.

guest post

 

Defrosting the eBook

My husband, the tech fanatic, bought himself a kindle. I thought it looked very cold and unfeeling. How could you possibly get much emotion from that?

Truth is, I’m somewhat frugal. Okay, cheap. And those things cost a wad of cash.

Of course, I’d had that sort of reaction to technology before. When smart phones came along, I swore not to allow one near me. A phone was for calls, I scoffed. Why would anyone need all that other stuff when you have a computer on your desk? So much money! But my husband ignored me, as usual, and bought the phones. It wasn’t long until I found myself snapping cute photos of Oscar, our dog, and texting them to appreciative friends.

I couldn’t quite see, however, how an eBook display thingy could brighten the world.

So the husband bought me one in time for our vacation. You see, one of the pleasures of time off is the chance to catch up on my reading. This necessitates carrying an extra large suitcase to hold all the paperbacks – and that meant airline fees. So, reluctantly, I finally accepted the gizmo.
And was hard-pressed not to let the husband see how much I liked it. For at the mere touch of a button, all the books I wished to bring were there, awaiting my command. If my eyes were tired from a long day, or a little fuzzy from my contacts, I could change the font side with impunity.
Most appealing to my frugal soul was discovering a mass of inexpensive eBooks, some even free. The price of paperbacks seemed ever rising, and to suddenly find this cache of cheap entertainment was the cherry on the techie sundae.

“So you agree – these are good things?” my husband nudged me on the plane.

“Still too cold,” I mumbled back. So he bought me a warm leather cover.

“I still draw the line at google glasses,” I told him. After all, we wives must have the last word.

about the author

 

Jo Sparkes A well-known Century City Producer once said that Jo Sparkes “…writes some of the best dialogue I’ve read.” Her body of work includes scripts for Children’s live-action and animated television programs, a direct to video Children’s DVD, commercial work for corporate clients. She won the 2012 Kay Snow award for her screenplay, Frank Retrieval.

She’s written numerous articles for internet sites. As a member of the Pro Football Writer’s Association, she was a contributing writer for the Arizona Sports Fans Network, where she was known for her humorous articles, player interviews and game coverage. Jo was unofficially the first to interview Emmitt Smith when he arrived in Arizona to play for the Cardinals.

She served as an adjunct teacher at the Film School at Scottsdale Community College, and wrote “Feedback How to Give It How to Get It” for writers, actors, and other artists.

Her latest book is the fantasy, The Agben School.
For More Information
• Visit Jo Sparkes’ website.
• Connect with Jo on Twitter and Facebook.
• Become Jo’s friend at Goodreads.
• Visit Jo’s blog.
• More books by Jo Sparkes.
Contact Jo Sparkes.



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Secrets of a Heart by @samgarman #excerpt $50 Amz #giveaway

Secrets Of A Heart Book Cover Secrets Of A Heart

Mystery, Historical Romance
9/26/13
403

London, 1815. At the age of nineteen, Blaine Whitmore loses everything dear to him in a brutal assault on his family line. Left with nothing, he finds himself aboard a merchant ship sailing far from home. Years pass as a boy becomes a man, and yet no amount of time or distance will help Blaine forget all that he has lost. After ten years sailing the high seas, he is finally ready to restore the Whitmore name.

Felicity Canton is as lovely as she is penniless, and has been left to care for her three sisters while attempting to maintain a crumbling estate. With no hope for escape from her predicament, she is resigned to a peasant’s fate. She never anticipates attracting the attention of her wealthy and mysterious new neighbor, nor does she expect him to be her savior.

As Blaine searches for truth and doles out vengeance, he becomes increasingly captivated and distracted by Felicity’s beauty and inner strength. Does he dare confide in her the secrets of his heart? Will his future be as bleak as his past, or will he finally have a chance at happiness?

Excerpt:

The sound of a snapping twig turned her attention, and the object of her thoughts stood a few feet from her, leaning against a huge tree with gnarled roots as if he had all the time in the world.

“I thought I managed to escape without anyone seeing me,” she said in lieu of formal greeting.

“I saw you leave just as my carriage was pulling into your driveway,” he explained. “Why are you here alone?”

“Mr. Fletcher is giving a grand tour of our home to strangers, in hopes that they buy it.” Her tone was acerbic.

His gaze softened, but she thrust out her chin, daring him to offer her sympathy. She changed the subject, unable to dwell on the idea that her childhood home, one that had been in the family for generations, would be sold. “To what do I owe the pleasure of your company?”

“So proper?” Gray asked, moving away from the tree and coming toward her.

“I feel out of sorts today.”

Gray reached out to touch her cheek. “I came to hand deliver an invitation to the masquerade.”

“Oh.” Her brown eyes dropped to his lips. Moving closer, he wrapped his arms around her. “Is this your way of trying to distract me from my woes?” she asked with a smile.

“Is it working?”

“Too soon to tell,” she replied wickedly.

 

Today, I have guest author Samantha Garman  here with her latest novel, Secrets of a Heart. Samantha  will be giving away a $50 Amazon gift card to one lucky reader, enter using the Rafflecopter form found at the end of the post. For more chances to win, you can follow the tour here.


about the author
Author Samantha Garman Samantha Garman currently lives and writes in Brooklyn, NY. She loves Scotch, a great conversation with anyone willing to speak their mind and flannel pajamas. While yearning for a backyard and a dog, she’s decided to stay busy working on her next book, Dandelion Dreams.

Websites: @samgarman

For Facebook they can follow me personally (Samantha Garman Author) or visit my page here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Samantha-Garman-Author/223423047668564?ref=hl

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4859885.Samantha_Garman

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

guest post
Secrets of a Heart did not want to be written. It was painful, labored and there were many times I considered giving up. There’s a mystery in the story line, and the plot holes were so big, I needed a bigger shovel. I also had issues with editors. As an indie author, it’s hard to find an editor that will help make your book stronger instead of just taking your money and adding or deleting a few commas. I didn’t yet know about Stephen King’s rule about cutting 10% of your draft. I sent the editors a manuscript over 100,000 words, realizing I hadn’t done that. But it’s a learning process.

My first book, The Defiant Lady, was my first historical romance novel and that one was a straightforward historical romance. Secrets of a Heart is different. There are pirates, mystery, action, adventure. I was writing about stuff way out of my league, but I’m glad it was such a challenge. It made me realize that writing in a confined box I thought I’d be more commercial or mainstream is no way to go. I had planned to write three more books that tells the other Canton sisters’ stories, and maybe one day I’ll revisit the historical romance genre, but for now, I’m onto other things. I’ve written one contemporary romance, and already I’ve jumped into another genre. That’s the blessing of being an indie author—I don’t have a contract that demands I write nothing but historical romance. I get to choose what I want to write. I don’t want to be pigeon holed and hopefully my readers will take a chance and follow me into new, exciting places.

giveaway

Enter in the rafflecopter for your chance to win a $50 Amazon or BN.com gift card. This giveaway is provided by and the responsibility of the author and Goddess Fish Promotions. Contest ends Aug. 29, 2014.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Heather Cobham, author of Hungry Mother Creek, guests posts on How She Stays Inspired To Write

Hungry Mother Creek Book Cover Hungry Mother Creek

chick-lit, womens fiction
3/10/14
384

To the outside world, it looks like Maya Somers lost everything in Hurricane Katrina, her husband, the bungalow they shared and her job. But inside Maya knows Katrina gave her the gift of a fresh start. She and her yellow lab, Doodle Bug, leave the destruction of the Gulf Coast for North Carolina and settle in Oriental, a quaint fishing village on the Pamlico Sound.

In her new home by the water, Maya begins to rebuild her life. She knows she needs to heal from her abusive marriage and the trauma of Hurricane Katrina but isn’t sure where to start. It isn’t long before teachers appear to help her: Hazel, her elderly but spirited neighbor who has secrets of her own, Travis, a handsome kayak guide to whom she immediately feels a strong attraction, Buster, a crusty old fisherman who always seems to show up just when she needs him, and Bay Witherspoon, the much younger wife of a wealthy attorney who becomes a close friend despite their initial differences. Maya finds the most profound help when she is welcomed into a women’s circle that meets on the banks of Hungry Mother Creek. Gathered with these women, Maya learns that becoming vulnerable and sharing her pain with others is the first step of her healing journey.

But what is the second step? Maya isn’t sure but with the help of her loyal yellow lab, her new friends and the peace of living by the water she stays the course. Ultimately Maya finds the healing journey to be messy, tangled and unpredictable, and the end result is nothing she could have ever imagined.

Excerpt:

 

Maya walked to her small kitchen area just behind the living room. She smiled to herself as she placed the casserole on the bottom shelf and wondered what type of condensed soup Hazel used to make this. She guessed it must be Cream of Mushroom, a southern staple she had used many times while helping her grandmother make Thanksgiving and Christmas meals.

As she turned back towards the living room, Maya’s heart lurched when she saw Hazel was holding the decorative urn she thought had been discretely placed, but it must have caught Hazel’s eye. “Maya, this urn is beautiful. I love the yellows, blues and greens in the pattern. Surely you didn’t find it here in Oriental? It’s so well-made.”

Maya’s pulse quickened and she felt the color drain from her face. She stood frozen not prepared for this discussion and unsure of how much of the truth she wanted to share.

“Maya, are you okay? You look like you might faint.” Hazel placed the urn on the coffee table and hurried to Maya’s side. She placed her hand in the small of Maya’s back and led her over to the couch. Hazel’s hand was small, but very strong and her touch comforted Maya as she lowered herself down to the couch. She had a flash of insight that said she could trust Hazel and as she regained her composure, Maya decided to be truthful.

“Sorry if I scared you, Hazel. It’s just that this urn is much more than a decoration. It contains the ashes of Steven, my husband who died two years ago because of Hurricane Katrina.”

Well, it was a lot easier than Maya thought it would be, sharing this truth, although not the whole truth, with the first person outside her family. It actually wasn’t that hard talking about the ashes. The hard part would be answering the questions that may follow.

“Steven has a brother who wasn’t able to come to Mississippi after his death,” her words tumbled out, “and everything was in such a state of destruction and confusion I didn’t feel right about spreading the ashes in Mississippi. I’ve just kept them with me since then.”

As Maya was speaking, Hazel sat down beside her on the couch, her hands folded neatly in her lap as she listened. Maya and Hazel’s eyes met and Maya could see Hazel’s eyes were moist with emotion. She reached over and took one of Maya’s hands into hers.

“Oh, honey,” Hazel started, her southern accent drawing the syllables out. “I am so sorry. Losing your husband is one of the most difficult things to endure. My husband died when I was just 50 and it took me a while to make sense of my life, not having him in it. At least we’d already had 25 years of marriage and a son. You and Steven still had so much left to do together.” Hazel’s eyes filled again as she squeezed Maya’s hands.

Maya turned her head to look out the creek window. She was embarrassed by her lack of emotion and didn’t want Hazel to see her dry eyes. What was wrong with her? Why couldn’t she even muster up a couple of tears for Steven? When he was alive he made her cry easily. Now a lump did form in Maya’s throat.

She felt his grip tightening on her upper arm as he dragged her out into the parking lot of Sherlock’s, the pub a couple of miles from their house. When they were away from the entrance, he said, “Don’t you tell me I’ve had enough to drink ever again! Do you hear me? You embarrassed me in front of my friends.” He shot the words at her through clenched teeth and she physically recoiled, shrinking as his grip on her arm tightened. He yanked her arm for emphasis and continued, “I can’t help it if your lame ass is wasted after three or four beers but I’m fucking fine so leave me alone. If you can’t hang anymore then maybe you should just go home.”

He released her arm, turned and strode into the pub without looking back. Maya instinctively began rubbing her arm. The emotion she had been holding in her chest erupted and tears rolled down her cheeks. She knew she couldn’t go back inside and since Steven had the car keys, so began the walk home, her body weighted by shame.

Hazel squeezed her hand and Maya turned back to look at her, the urn prominent in her peripheral vision. “Well, at least you found his body and knew for sure what happened to him. I've heard of so many people who are still searching for their loved ones who most likely got washed out to sea.”

Maya’s face flushed knowing she wasn't being fully truthful, but she wasn't ready yet to talk about the real cause of Steven's death. After a few seconds of silence, she said, “Thanks for understanding. You’re the first person I’ve told outside my family.”

“Well, Maya, please know you can talk with me any time about Steven, and for extreme circumstances I can always make you another casserole.” Maya smiled, appreciating Hazel’s humor and the change of topic.

“I know I've already said this, but I’m so happy you decided to rent my boathouse. I grew up here with my mother and grandmother but have been alone for the past fifteen years so it feels good to have another woman on the property.”

“It feels good to be here. When I visited in April something just told me this was the place to come. I’m looking forward to meeting more people, getting a job and creating some happy memories here.” Maya smiled, feeling very comfortable sitting next to Hazel. Maybe one day she would tell Hazel the whole story.

“I better get on my way so you can heat up that casserole for dinner. Good luck with your job search and I’ll let you know if I hear of anything.” Hazel stood and walked to the door, Doodle Bug following at her heels.

Hazel’s hand rested on the doorknob just a millisecond longer than necessary. Maya waited for her to turn back and say something else. Hazel never turned but opened the door and stepped out into the humid early evening. The sound of cicadas filled the air.



Today author Heather Cobham joins me on the blog with a guest post on How She Stays Inspired To Write.  Heather is on tour with Chick-Lit Plus,  for her novel, Hungry Mother Creek.

There’s also a tour-wide giveaway going on for an Amazon gift card, so be sure to check that out at the end of the post.

about the author

Heather W Cobham Heather Cobham grew up in North Carolina and now lives in Oriental with her husband and yellow lab.  Heather has always loved to write and has written poetry and short stories since she was a child.  Seven years ago she consciously created more time and space to write a novel and the publication of Hungry Mother Creek is a dream come true. Heather is a licensed clinical social worker and works as a counselor in a private practice in New Bern, N.C.  She writes on Wednesdays, Fridays and the weekends and is currently working on the sequel to Hungry Mother Creek.  Heather fights writer’s block by running, paddle boarding and kayaking.

Connect with Heather!

www.heathercobham.com

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8056473.Heather_W_Cobham

guest post

 

How I Stay Inspired to Write

     It took six years from the inspiration for Hungry Mother Creek to its publication.  During that time I changed jobs twice and moved from Wake County North Carolina, in the middle of the state with a population of 970,000, to Pamlico County North Carolina, on the coast with a population of 13,000. Of course in addition to these big transitions, I also had the normal challenges of daily life, balancing a full time job with my roles as wife, daughter, sister and friend.

What kept me inspired to continue writing and what motivates me now to write the sequel to Hungry Mother Creek?

  • The Reader – Before I even knew all the twists and turns Hungry Mother Creek would take, I knew I wanted my novel to touch others in a positive way.  I wanted the reader to walk away at the very least entertained, but hopefully with a new perspective on life, a new skill to help them deal with life’s challenges or the inspiration to make a positive change in their life. Wanting to connect Hungry Mother Creek with my readers kept me coming back to my yellow legal pads and writing spot on our deck.
  • Belief in Myself – The reason my manuscript sometimes went untouched for a month at a time was because of self doubt. The thoughts that my writing wasn’t good enough and nobody would want to read my novel took away my inspiration. The longer I worked on Hungry Mother Creek the better I got at ignoring these thoughts. I focused on the reader and the joy I felt from writing and this brought be back to pen and paper. My mantra became, “just keep writing” and I would say this anytime self critical thoughts crept in. I began to pay more attention to the calm and steady inner voice saying I could to this.  As I sit here with my novel in hand and some positive feedback from readers, I see which voice was correct.  Believing in myself allowed me to achieve something I was meant to do.
  • My Setting – I can’t explain why, but the water is a huge inspiration for my writing. My husband and I began coming to Oriental, North Carolina seven years ago.  Until that time I only had a vague sense of wanting to write a novel. Less then a year after buying a small condo on the Neuse River here in Oriental, the framework of the plot for Hungry Mother Creek came to me. Details about my characters and story line revealed themselves while I was out on the water in my kayak or while silently staring at the water from my deck. I’m grateful I now live full time by the water. I can already feel the positive difference this has made in my writing and am excited to continue work on the sequel to Hungry Mother Creek in this beautiful part of the world.

What inspires you?  Are there people, places, activities that prompt you to try something new, follow a dream, or push yourself outside your comfort zone? Please share your sources of inspiration in the comments.

giveaway

 

Everyone who leaves a comment on the tour page will be entered to win a $20 Amazon gift card! Anyone who purchases a copy of Hungry Mother Creek by  August 4 and sends their receipt to Samantha (at) ChickLitPlus.com will receive 10 bonus entries! Visit the tour page here.

 

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Enjoy an #excerpt from The Marquesa’s Necklace, a cozy mystery by @pjmaclayne

The Marquesa's Necklace Book Cover The Marquesa's Necklace
Oak Grove Mysteries Book 1

Cozy Mystery
6/30/14
203

Harmony Duprie enjoyed her well-ordered life in the quiet little town of Oak Grove—until her arrest for drug trafficking. Cleared of all charges, she wants nothing more than to return to the uneventful lifestyle of a historical researcher she once savored.

But when her beloved old car “George” is stolen and explodes into a ball of flames, it sets off a series of events that throws her plans into turmoil. Toss in a police detective that may or may not be interested in her, an attractive but mysterious stranger on her trail, and an ex-boyfriend doing time, and Harmony’s life freefalls into a downward spiral of chaos.

Now she has to use her research skills to figure out who is behind the sinister incidents plaguing her, and why. And she better take it seriously, like her life depends upon finding the right answers.

Because it might.

 

Excerpt:

 

I remembered that night. Jake had taken me to the fanciest restaurant in town, The Grove. Hardly original, but I'm not the one who named it. I wore a long-sleeved, low-cut, silky red dress that clung in all the right places and ended just above my knees. I felt gorgeous in that dress, and from the look in his eyes all night long, he thought so too. The dress hasn't been worn since. I should donate it to a charity.

I'll never wear it again.

That was the night he gave me the necklace. It seemed as if he'd bought it to match the dress. An arrangement of rubies and diamonds mounted in white gold, it was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. When he fastened it around my neck, I felt as if I'd transformed into Old World royalty.

I really hated giving the necklace back to him, but it was far too expensive for me to accept. He got his reward anyway. When we undressed each other before tumbling into bed, he asked me to leave it on, and I did, but took it off before I fell asleep. I suppose he returned the necklace, but I never asked him and he never mentioned it again.

With cell phones everywhere these days, it would have been easy for someone to have snapped a shot of us unnoticed. I don’t remember anyone taking pictures that night, but from the looks on our faces, Jake and I were oblivious to anyone but each other. Jake told me he loved me for the first time during supper. A few weeks later, the cops busted us for suspected drug trafficking.






Today,  author P.J. MacLayne shares a snippit of her novel, The Marquesa’s Necklace with us.

P.J. is also hosting a giveaway for a chance to win a free ecopy of The Marquesa’s Necklace and a $10 Amazon gift card. See the end of the post for details.
about the author

Authorpic_pjmaclayne

P.J. MacLayne is a computer geek by day and a writer by night. She grew up among the rolling hills of Pennsylvania and uses that as the setting for many of her stories. She currently makes her home in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains.

Facebook: https://facebook.com/pjmaclayne

Twitter https://twitter.com/pjmaclayne

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-marquesas-necklace-pj-maclayne/1119886265

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LF11HB4

Inktera: http://www.inktera.com/store/title/8e689860-d163-4a5a-ac42-47ace09b4690

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id894246916

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-marquesa-s-necklace

giveaway
Enter in the rafflecopter for your chance to win an ebook copy of The Marquesa’s Necklace, or a $10 Amazon gift card.. This giveaway is provided by and the responsibility of the author and Goddess Fish Promotions. Contest ends July 30, 2014.

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The Frost of Springtime by @RachelLDemeter #historical #romance #excerpt #giveaway

The Frost of Springtime Book Cover The Frost of Springtime

2/10/14
288

To rescue her was to rescue his own soul.

On a cold Parisian night, Vicomte Aleksender de Lefèvre forges an everlasting bond with a broken girl during her darkest hour, rescuing her from a life of abuse and misery. Tormented by his own demons, he finds his first bit of solace in sheltering little Sofia Rose.

But when Aleksender is drawn away by the Franco-Prussian war, the seasons pass. And in that long year, Sofia matures into a stunning young woman—a dancer with an understanding of devotion and redemption far surpassing her age.

Alongside his closest friend, Aleksender returns home to find that “home” is gone—replaced by revolution, bloodshed, betrayal—and a love always out of reach. Scarred inside and out, he’s thrust into a world of sensuality and violence—a world in which all his hours have now grown dark, and where only Sofia might bring an end to the winter in his heart.

Inspired by the 1871 Paris Commune, The Frost of Springtime is a poignant tale of revolution, redemption, and the healing power of love.

Excerpt:

Sofia saw the memories buried within his eyes. Gunshots. Screams. Rolling cannons and the faded cries of despair. They lodged inside Aleksender, battling for his soul.

Sofia rose from the ground and tentatively crouched behind him. Remaining silent, her hands sunk below the material of his dress shirt and encouraged him with gentle caresses.

“Disease and death were everywhere. Men with boils and rashes the size of saucers. Anyway, we almost managed to escape. It was a good mile away that we were spotted. They were corrupt soldiers, nothing but hungry dogs with a taste for blood-lust. We were tied at the wrists and ankles, crammed inside a tent. Whether it was days or weeks, I cannot say.” Scoffing under his breath, he spat, “The fools demanded answers. They demanded our plans. Strategies. We refused each time. Even so none of us knew anything.”

“Oh, Alek. Why didn’t you tell them? To think you could have avoided so much pain.”

His shoulders lifted into a dry shrug. “I suppose we took a morbid delight in their frustration.” His voice was icy, harsh and void of all emotion. “And besides—it was the prospect of whipping information from our skin that kept us alive. But we were eventually returned to the camp. Bloodied, battered and burned—but alive.” Aleksender passed fingertips through his hairline. “Till this day, I have no idea what changed their minds …” Aleksender sighed and gave an afterthought, “Word had spread of their rather unorthodox methods, so to speak. According to rumor, they’d paid dearly.”

“I pray they burn in hell,” Sofia gasped. “Every last one of them!”

Aleksender laughed, amused by her goodhearted blasphemy. “Ah, Sofia, ma chérie. You do wonders for me.” And then a sudden thought came to his mind. “Christophe was there with me.”

“In the tents?” Sofia murmured, her heart reaching out to both heroes.

Aleksender merely nodded.

Although she’d never had the pleasure of meeting Monsieur Cleef, his name inspired a strange twinge of nostalgia inside her gut. Aleksender had often spoken of his dear friend—a rather admirable man of big ideas and too little restraint. From what she knew of the roguish skirt-chaser, she’d always admired him very much.

“Such wonderfully brave men,” she crooned, caressing one of many scars. “You have a soldier’s heart.”

Cloaked beneath the darkness, Sofia’s fingertips moved over his back in hypnotic motions, not leaving an inch of him unloved. “Do they pain you much?”

“No,” he hoarsely answered, “they are no bother.” His body trembled within her arms. “Not any longer.”

Between tentative kisses and muffled sniffles, she whispered, “To think of the pain you endured. The cruelty—your suffering.”

Aligning their two bodies, Aleksender cradled Sofia’s face between his palms and sweetly stroked her skin. Sofia’s toes curled against the barrier of her slippers. It was intoxicating. By far the sweetest moment in her nineteen years of life. With a last kiss, he whispered into her mouth, “Pain is in the mind. And, in my mind, ma chérie … I was with you.”

 

LINK TO ADDITIONAL EXCERPTS: SAMPLE ADDITIONAL EXCERPTS
http://racheldemeter.net/sample-book-excerpt/

Today I welcome author Rachel Demeter to the blog with her historical fiction novel, The Frost of Springtime.

Rachel will be awarding a $15 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn  winner via rafflecopter during the tour, plus an autographed bookmark will be awarded to 5 randomly drawn winners (US ONLY). See the end of post for entry.

about the author

MEDIA KIT RachelDemeter_portrait

Rachel L. Demeter lives in the beautiful hills of Anaheim, California with Teddy, her goofy lowland sheepdog, and high school sweetheart of ten years. She enjoys writing dark, edgy romances that challenge the reader’s emotions and examine the redeeming power of love.

Imagining stories and characters has been Rachel’s passion for longer than she can remember. Before learning how to read or write, she would dictate stories while her mom would jot them down for her. She has a special affinity for the tortured hero and unconventional romances. Whether sculpting the protagonist or antagonist, she always ensures that every character is given a soul.

Rachel strives to intricately blend elements of romance, suspense, and horror. Some common themes her stories never stray too far from: forbidden romance, soul mates, the power of love to redeem, mend all wounds, and triumph over darkness. Her dream is to move readers and leave an emotional impact through her words.

AUTHOR LINKS

Website http://racheldemeter.net/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/rldemeter

Twitter https://twitter.com/RachelLDemeter

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/RachelLDemeter

Google+ https://plus.google.com/+RachelLDemeter/about

Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/racheldemeter1/

RACHEL L. DEMETER’S NEWSLETTER: http://eepurl.com/LWdD9


MEDIA KIT Teaser 5 I AM YOURS AND YOUR ARE MINE - TEASER QUOTE

giveaway
Enter in the rafflecopter for your chance to win either a $15 Amazon Gift Card or an autographed bookmark . This giveaway is provided by and the responsibility of the author and Goddess Fish Promotions. Contest ends Aug. 9,  2014.

For more chances to enter, follow the tour here.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 


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