Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Excerpt & Tour: Storm Raven by K. Hanson

Title: Storm Raven
Author: K. Hanson
Genre/Age: Fantasy/YA
Series: Storm Raven (Book One)
Publisher: Self-published
SynopsisYA Fantasy with Pirates!

Captain Nereyda and her first mate, Brynja, lead a band of pirates as they seek out grand adventures and loot vulnerable merchant ships. However, when they attempt an overly ambitious raid, Nereyda and her crew are captured by Commander Erhan of the Imperial navy and separated. Nereyda is pressed into service aboard a ship to patrol the treacherous waters of the Shattered Sea. Meanwhile, Brynja and the rest of the crew are sent to a life of hellish labor deep in an Imperial mining prison camp.

While serving her sentence, Nereyda is shipwrecked on an unknown island. As she explores it, she stumbles into some ancient ruins and finds…something. Whatever it is, it wakes a part of Nereyda that she had not felt before. Something that could help her free the rest of her crew and return to life on the sea, if only she can learn to control it. Unfortunately, Commander Erhan is also on the island. Nereyda must escape him, get off of the island, and rescue her crew before the commander can stop her and before her crew withers away in the oppressive mines.

Read the first three chapters here: http://www.khansonbooks.com/storm-rav...

The scent of treasure floated in the ocean air as it breezed through Nereyda’s black hair. She gazed across the water at the largest cruise ship she had ever seen, which would be carrying some of the wealthiest lords and merchants from the Empire. She didn’t see any armed passengers aside from the personal bodyguards that were along for the ride. Just as importantly, no cannons were visible. The ship didn’t even have any gun ports. Easy prey.
Pirates never dared strike so close to the mainland. The high level of naval activity, along with a large number of ports from which reinforcements could sail, made it dangerous. However, Nereyda felt confident that they could slip in and hit one ship before escaping into the open ocean.
“Send them a warning,” she said to Brynja, her first mate.
“Aye, aye,” Brynja said as she relayed the order.
It wasn’t even really necessary since the huge ship couldn’t possibly flee or outmaneuver the Storm Raven. Still, they should at least give their target a chance to surrender.
The shot splashed just aft of the cruise ship. A minute later, the cruise ship’s crew had furled their sails and run up a white flag. As they drifted, the Storm Raven pulled alongside them. Nereyda’s crew tossed hooks to link the two vessels. Due to the height of the cruise ship, they extended ladders across the gap.
Nereyda mounted one of the ladders and climbed to the deck of the Luxura, followed by the rest of the boarding party. As she vaulted the railing at the top of the ladder, she looked around the deck. The passengers remained seated at tables strewn about the area, apparently enjoying their afternoon tea. All of them wore terrified expressions. All except for one bodyguard who walked toward her, drawing his sword.
“How dare you interrupt our journey!” he asked, pointing his blade Nereyda. “Get back on your ship and leave at once.”
Nereyda smirked at him. “Or what?”
“I’ll run you through myself,” he threatened.
Nereyda smiled, her amethyst eyes twinkling. “Go ahead,” she said as she drew her own cutlass.
The bodyguard stepped forward with a thrust toward her stomach.
With a swipe of her blade, she knocked his sword to the side. Nereyda stepped forward and struck him in the gut with the pommel of her weapon.
As the guard bent over to clutch his belly, Nereyda knocked the sword out of his hand and kicked it up to her free hand. She pointed both blades at him and said, “Are you finished? Go back to your seat and shake it off.”
“You’re not going to kill me?”
“Is there a reason I should? Sit down like I said, and you’ll get through this just fine.” Nereyda handed the guard’s sword to one of her crew members and patted the guard’s back before she turned back to the travelers. “Anybody else feel like fighting?” She opened her arms in a welcoming gesture.
Nobody stood up. “Now that we’re done with that, surrender any gold, jewelry, or other valuables you have, and we’ll let you keep going on your nice little journey. My friends here have some convenient bags. Just toss your things into them as they come around.”
Her crew scattered about the deck, holding up their canvas sacks as the wealthy passengers surrendered their possessions. As the crew worked on collecting these treasures, Nereyda spotted a table with an open seat where some fluffy-looking merchant or lord or whatever sat with his wife and a young man who appeared to be their son.
“Is this seat taken?” she asked. They just stared at her as she plopped down into the available chair.
“Is now, I guess.” Nereyda reached across the table for the teapot and an empty cup. After she had poured herself some tea, she pushed aside the teapot, leaned back in her chair, then lifted her legs to rest her boots on the table.
“Having a nice trip so far?” she asked in a bright voice, looking around the table.
They gave her no answer other than looking away from her, avoiding eye contact.
“Come now, what happened to all of those manners you rich people spend a fortune to teach your kids? I asked you a question.”
Still no answer from the couple, but the young man leaned forward. “Why should we treat you with any sort of manners?”
“I’m a guest at your table, aren’t I?” Nereyda flashed a smile. “We don’t have to let this be unpleasant.”
The boy’s eyes narrowed as he scowled at her. “You call robbing our ship pleasant?”
“That depends on how you look at it,” she said. “I may be taking some of your things, but you should look on the bright side. You get to leave with your clothes on. I’m not taking your food. And, best of all, you get to sail away from here, alive.” She leaned in. “I’d say that’s a pretty good deal.”
“You talk as if letting us live is some kind of favor.” He jabbed a finger toward her. “I’ve seen what your kind of people do, falling on ships and villages alike, taking what you please and killing whoever gets in your way.”
“You actually missed the part about how we snatch children away in the night to eat them.” She winked at the young man. “Wouldn’t want our reputation to suffer. But really, we’re just making a living like everyone else. May I ask how you earn your place on a ship like this?”
“Lesser people pay us nobles for the privilege of working our land, and we provide them with protection.”
“And what if they stop paying?” Nereyda asked.
He rolled his eyes. “Then we run them off our land and take what they owe us, of course.”
Neryeda tilted her head. “So they’re paying you for protection from…you? At least we’re honest about being criminals.”
“You mock us, wench!” The young man jumped to his feet, knocking aside his chair and sending it clattering to the deck. He drew a sword from his hip and pointed it at Nereyda. “I will not let you leave this ship.”
The pirate captain chuckled. “Tsk, tsk, tsk. You brought a sword to tea? That’s not very gentlemanly. It’s a pity those etiquette lessons didn’t stick.”
“Who are you to talk about etiquette? You sit at our table with your weapons, drink our tea, and laugh at us. Do you even know who my father is?” He glanced over at the older noble at the table. “He’s High Judge Aydin of the Imperial Court.”
Nereyda shrugged. “I’m a pirate. I do what I want. And I don’t particularly care who your dad is.”
“Stand and face me, coward.”
She sighed and rolled her eyes as she lazily eased her feet from the top of the table. With the young man’s blade following her, she pushed herself to her feet and looked into his eyes with her purple gaze, but did not draw her own weapon. “Do you know how to use that thing?”
He drew himself up straight and puffed out his chest. “I’ve had lessons since I was a child. I know what I’m doing.”
“Oh, I’m sure you know how to swing it around with all the right moves. Maybe you even know where to stick it. But have you had to use it for real?” She took a step toward him and held his gaze with her own. “Have you ever had to kill a man?” she asked. “Have you ever been one wrong move from losing your own life or one right one from taking someone else’s?”
His eyes flicked away for a moment. He swallowed but did not respond.
Another step. “Have you ever looked into a man’s eyes as the life flickered out from them, just after you spilled his blood and guts from his belly?”
The blood drained from his face, leaving him pale, and he shifted uncomfortably on his feet, as if he wanted to retreat but held his ground out of pride. His grip loosened slightly, and the sword dipped lower.
A third step, and the tip of his blade pressed against the leather armor over her sternum, resting between her breasts. “Now is your chance. You can get your first taste of blood right here, right now. I’d be honored to be your first,” she said as she stroked the length of his sword with her fingertips. “All it takes is one little thrust or a big one depending on the sword, and you can bring me to my knees. What do you say, boy? I hope you don’t disappoint me.”
The young man dropped his sword arm to his side and slouched his shoulders.
“Don’t worry. Even the best sometimes have trouble keeping it up.”
He looked down at the deck, refusing to make eye contact. “Just take what you want and get out of here.”
“I think my crew is just about done anyway. You’ve been a great date. Thanks for the tea!” Nereyda strutted past him and slid her hand over his shoulder. She looked around and saw that her crew had indeed almost finished collecting the passengers’ valuables.
Nereyda ordered her crew to set about hauling their seized goods from the cruise ship to the hold of the Storm Raven. When all of it had been loaded, the crew of the Raven hauled in the boarding lines and cast off from the cruise ship.

K lives in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where he works as a software developer. In his spare time, when he isn’t writing, he enjoys reading, working out, playing video games, and spending time with his wonderful fiancee, Bobbi. Some of his favorite authors are Tom Clancy, George R. R. Martin, and Sarah Maas.

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Monday, March 19, 2018

Promo & Tour: To Catch a Thief by Nan Dixon

Title: To Catch a Thief
Author: Nan Dixon
Genre/Age: Contemporary Romance/Adult
Series: Fitzgerald House (Book Six)
Publisher: Harlequin Books
SynopsisWhat would you do for your family?

When Carolina Castillo's once vivacious mother becomes ill, she gives up her singing dreams and comes home to Savannah. She'd do anything for her Mam+, even work at Fitzgerald House for the family she should have been part of. She'd even steal.

Carolina's decisions make perfect sense until she comes up against the immovable rock that is gorgeous FBI agent Sage Cornell. The honorable cop sees the world in black-and-white. He would never understand the difficult choices she's had to make, the secrets she's been forced to keep close. And he could never love a woman like her. Or could he?

A woman with gorgeous black hair had her head down on her arms. Beyond her was a small bench. Sage passed behind her, not wanting to disturb her nap.

Shoving her chair back, she slammed it into him. He went down like a roped calf.

“Oh, my God!” the woman cried.

His head rang. Pain stabbed behind his eyes.

“Are you okay?” She snatched his hand, trying to pull him to his feet.

“Wait.” He would fall over or faint if he moved too soon. “Wait.”

She crouched next to him. “I didn’t mean to knock you down.”

“S’okay.” He took deep breaths. “I just need…”

“What? How can I help?”

He tried to get his feet under him but stumbled.

“Let me.” She supported his elbow.

He clawed his way to his feet and finally looked at the woman who’d knocked him down like he was a bowling pin.

She was beautiful. Her dark blue eyes looked almost black and her skin was a luscious golden-olive color. And her hair? Black, curly and long enough to play peekaboo with her breasts. He swiped at his chin to make sure he wasn’t drooling.

“I’m so sorry.” She led him to the chair she’d abandoned. “I wasn’t paying any attention.”

“I thought you were sleeping.” A shard of pain slammed into him. He grasped his head and couldn’t contain the groan.

“You hurt your head.” Her fingers explored his skull.

The bump she was going to find was old, but her touch was cool and soothing.

“Is this the spot?” she asked.

“Yeah, but you didn’t cause it.” He swallowed back the nausea that always accompanied his headaches. “I was hurt a—” he couldn’t remember how long ago he’d been hurt “—while ago. I get headaches.”

“So does my mother.” She kneaded his shoulders, working her fingers up the tendons of his neck. “Does this help?”

“Yes.” He groaned. “That’s…good.”

Five Favorite Movie Scenes
by Nan Dixon

Thanks for having me! Oh wow. You’re testing my movie memory! 

Image result for hidden figures al katherine gif
I have fallen in love with HIDDEN FIGURES. There are so many wonderful scenes in the movie, but my favorite is when Al Harrison (Kevin Kostner) wants to know where Katherine Johnson (Taraji Henson) has been. And she confronts him about NASA’s segregation. It’s fantastic. I love it when heroines stand up for themselves and injustice. 

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HUNGER GAMES. When Katniss volunteers for her sister. When I read the book, I sobbed. Also, in CATCHING FIRE when Katniss and Peta are sitting on the beach and Peta says “no one needs me.” And she says. “I do. I need you.” Sigh….. and of course they kiss.

Image result for australia hugh jackman wet gif
I just watched AUSTRALIA. So the scene that stuck with me—Hugh Jackman all wet. I can’t even remember if there was rain or what. Just…Hugh Jackman. Do I need any other reason to love that scene?

BRIGADOON. I love musicals. I was in lots of musicals when I was performing. I played Bonnie Jean, the girl who gets married and the dancing lead, in a production that was a benefit for a hospital in the town where I grew up. Heady stuff when I was in high school and most of the cast was in college or older. I love any scene with Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse. The choreography is incredible and the chemistry between them wonderful.

And another Gene Kelly movie—AN AMERICAN IN PARIS. I love Leslie Caron and Gene Kelly in the ballet in the movie. It’s incredible. Seventeen wonderful minutes of dance, music and love. And the Gershwin music is so memorable. Again, there is chemistry and such fabulous dancing and choreography. Gene Kelly was the choreographer. And a lovely happily-ever-after. This is only a short segment. Dancing in a fountain. Again….sigh…. 

Award winning author Nan Dixon spent her formative years as an actress, singer, dancer and competitive golfer. But the need to eat had her studying accounting in college. Unfortunately, being a successful financial executive didn’t feed her passion to perform. When the pharmaceutical company she worked for was purchased, Nan got the chance of a lifetime—the opportunity to pursue a writing career. She’s a five-time Golden Heart® finalist, lives in the Midwest and is active in her local RWA chapter and on the board of a dance company. She has five children, three sons-in-law, two granddaughters, one grandson and one neurotic cat. 


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Sunday, March 18, 2018

Excerpt & Tour: Lady in Waiting by Marie Tremayne

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Excerpt & Tour: The Most Special Chosen by Rachel de la Fuente

The Most Special Chosen

This is my stop during the blog tour for The Most Special Chosen by Rachel de la Fuente. This blog tour is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. Read the whole post to discover more about this book, find some links to some character interviews, some video teasers and there are two giveaways! The blog tour runs from 5 till 18 March. See the tour schedule here.

The Most Special Chosen
The Most Special Chosen 

(Exalted Bloodlines #1)
By Rachel de la Fuente

Genre: Paranormal Drama/ Paranormal Romance
Age category: New Adult/ Adult
Release Date: March 3, 2018

Elysabeth Vance is so determined not to be lost in her obsession that she refuses to see what's right in front of her.

Damien is so afraid of ruining his only chance at happiness that he's blind to Elysabeth's obsession.

Once they open their eyes to what they have, nearly incomprehensible secrets will be revealed. After all, fate happens, even if you don't believe in it.

You can find The Most Special Chosen on Goodreads

You can buy The Most Special Chosen on Amazon

Meet the characters!
The author did some character interviews with her characters on her blog, check them out:
- Selene Delanciennes
- Shawn Dooley
- Damien Delanciennes
- Elysabeth Vance

Video Teasers
And check out these two video teasers on YouTube:
- Video teaser #1
- Video teaser #2

Shawn's waiting for me.
"I don't remember you wearing a skirt when you left." His tone is deceptively calm.
"I bought it at the market he took me to. Isn't it cute?" I twirl around, hoping he'll drop whatever's coming next.
"I bet if you bend over even an inch you'd be showing everyone your butt." His voice is nearly monotone.
"Shawn! That's ridiculous!" I scoff. "It's halfway down my thighs. What's gotten into you?"
"You act differently with him, Lys. You..." He motions with his hands, like he's trying to pick the right word out of the air. "Flaunt yourself."
"Flaunt myself? I don't flaunt myself. I found a skirt I liked, and I bought it."
"Fine, whatever." He turns to walk away, dismissing me, and my legendary temper flares up.
"I'll have you know he was a perfect gentleman!"
He whirls around to face me again, eyes narrowed. "Isn't that how they always start?" he spits out.
"How dare you, Shawn?" I say, my voice dangerously low. "Damien isn't Zane. He isn't you!"
Calm yourself.
The voice is stronger, clearer even, and it surprises me from my anger.
Despite the hurt that flares in his eyes, Shawn plods along with his argument. "I don't want to see you hurt, Lys. I think you're putting too much into this far too quickly."
"What's that supposed to mean?" I ask angrily.
"This was only your first date," he responds evenly. "Every other first date you've ever been on has been short and informal. A couple hours, tops. This time you were gone all day. And look at you!" His voice rises. "You've never worn anything like this. Let's face it, you're in a revealing interpretation of a gothic outfit."
My cheeks heat. "Shawn, there's nothing wrong with wearing something different, revealing or otherwise."
His eyes narrow. "You're right. But this isn't about something different, is it? This is for him." My entire face heats at being so easily read. "This is just another dip into your obsession, isn't it?" he asks accusingly, eyes narrowed. "For all your interest in vampires, I've never seen you like this. What's next, a leather trench coat? I know how much you want one. How about some f —"
"STOP!" I shout, cutting him off. "You promised!"
"I did, but I can see what you're doing, even if you don't. This isn't right. It's not fair to you or him!" Well, that's surprising, I assumed he hated Damien, maybe I'm wrong.
"I'm not doing anything!" I hate how whiney I sound. "It's not what you think. He's a great guy, and I really like him. I'm perfectly aware that he's just as human as I am, thank you very much."
"Are you, Lys?" He eyes me over the top of his glasses, one eyebrow raised.
"Yes, of course!"
"So you've kept him out of those vampire fantasies of yours?" His tone is sharp and bites into me. I look away, unable to answer in the negative. "Just as I thought. If you let this keep going, one of you will get hurt."
I'm not willing to accept the truth to his words. "Look, this is ridiculous. I love you, Shawn, you're like my brother, but stop giving me all this crap! I'm going to bed."

Rachel de la FuenteAbout the Author:
Rachel de la Fuente (meaning of the fountain) lives in Maryland with the love of her life and two furry children that meow. The Most Special Chosen is her first novel, but it's hardly her first story. She's been writing since elementary school, and telling stories since she could speak. She is an avid fountain pen enthusiast with a bit of an ink problem, and often writes book notes and sections of stories by hand.

Rachel was born and raised in southern California, but spent many summers with family in Mexico. Her parents loved traveling, so she also spent many vacations in various locations, soaking up foreign cultures and sights. She still loves to travel, and is committed to crossing all of the locations off her bucket list.

Rachel is a proud Slytherin, and when not writing, spends much of her free time reading, cross stitching, and watching documentaries.

You can find and contact Rachel de la Fuente here:
- Website
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Goodreads
- Instagram
- YouTube
- Newsletter

There are two giveaways during the blog tour for The Most Special Chosen! One of the giveaways is US Only and the other one is open International.

US Giveaway
One winner wins the following prizes:
• A signed copy of The Most Special Chosen
• An eBook copy of The Most Special Chosen
• A sheet of Exalted Bloodlines series round stickers
• An Exalted Bloodlines logo cutout sticker
• An eBook copy of Elysabeth and Shawn, the Prequel Series
• A bookmark with The Most Special Chosen tagline

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
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International Giveaway
One winner wins the following Prizes:
• An eBook copy of The Most Special Chosen
• An eBook copy of Elysabeth and Shawn, the Prequel Series

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
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