Sunday, November 23, 2014

Grand Finale: Christmas Actually by Adams, Stewart & Curtis #Tourataglance #MistletoeKisses #PrismBookTours

A themed tour through Prism Book Tours.

It's the MISTLETOE KISSES TOUR Grand Finale for
Christmas, Actually
By Anna Adams, Anna J. Stewart, and Melinda Curtis
Three Harlequin Heartwarming novellas, where a sweet kiss takes place under the mistletoe.

Did you miss any of the excerpts, guest post, or reviews on the tour?
Feel free to go back and check out all the stops now!

Launch - Intro to the Collection
Christmas, Actually – three holiday stories about three siblings living in Christmas Town, Maine, where tradition has it that a kiss on Christmas Eve in the town square gazebo will lead to wedding bells in the new year!

Christy's Cozy Corners - An Interview with Anna Adams
How was it decided that the story would take place in Christmas Town, Maine?
We were looking for a setting that spoke of the holidays, and I’d lived in Maine in a town that decorated the green for Christmas. I described it, and someone suggested Christmas Town as a name for our fictional village.

Coffee Books & Art - Excerpt
Snowflakes hit the windshield and splayed into star shapes while Bing Crosby crooned his dreams of a white Christmas. Sophie Palmer tried to sing along, but her mind was already racing up the icy interstate to Christmas Town, Maine, where the father of her unborn child now lived. 

christmasTown2
The Book Lovers' Lounge - Christmas Town by Anna Adams
And I imagined my own broken hero, Jack Banning, watching from the sidewalk, there in the town, but watching from the boundaries because he doesn’t belong any more.

Getting Your Read On - Review
"Yeah, I really loved my time in Christmas Town with the Banning family.  Each story was unique and romantic.  I loved all the characters.  They were real and identifiable.  It is the perfect book to curl up with as the days get colder and we get closer to Christmas."

Colorimetry - The Power of a First Kiss by Anna Adams
Hes at her house, killing time because he cant go home and face his brothers happiness when another friend calls to offer him an investment opportunity. Mary is leaning against George, also listening on the phone, when finally, he admits to his feelings. He takes her in his arms for a kiss he clearly doesnt want even as he desires nothing in the whole wide world more than the hometown love of his life. 

Southern Chelle - Review
"I don’t think I’ve read anything by any of these authors before, but these novellas have me falling hard for their work! I used to receive the Harlequin Heartwarming books monthly, but I didn’t have room for anymore paperback books in my house and had to give it up. I’m so glad they’ve continued these offerings!"

Kelly P's Blog - An Interview with Anna J. Stewart
5. What do you hope readers will take with them after reading your story?
There's nothing better than a happily ever after--that's why I write (and read) romance, but that's kind of the easy answer. I think at its core, the story is about learning how to be open with others, to tell them how you're really feeling about situations that are emotionally damaging them.  Dean, Callie and Eliza all have to do this at some point during the story and once they do, the happily ever after is possible.

My Love for Reading Keeps Growing - Excerpt
     “Is this a bad time?” The combination of sympathy and amusement shining in green eyes, along with the tamed Irish lilt, called to mind fields of clover dotting rolling hills. She’d spent many a night and more than a few days dreaming of traveling to the Emerald Isle. Now it seemed as if Ireland had come to her.
     Shoulder-length, golden-streaked hair brushed the worn leather of the bomber jacket he wore over snug jeans, the hint of a plain white T-shirt peeking from under the collar.

Dean Inspired PhotoThe Wonderings Of One Person - Dream Cast for The Christmas Wish
There are some actors who just “hit” from the second I lay eyes on them. When looking for images of my Dean, I did not have to look much further than Chris Hemsworth.
Callie Inspired Photo
Casting my heroines has always been problematic for me. Typically, I use another medium for inspiration (I’m a doll collector), but when I saw this picture of Nina Dobrev (Vampire Diaries), I knew that was Callie.

"The Christmas Date: The instant I started reading this story, I knew I was going to love it. There's just something about those You've Got Mail-esque stories that I love. Nick and Gina are both so likeable, and their chemistry lept off the page. This was easily my favorite of the three stories!"

Bookworm Lisa - Review
     "Each of the author's did a great job in telling their story. I liked the descriptions and the characters.
     This book is a fun way to get into the holiday season and find a little clean Christmas romance."

fundinmental - My Top Ten Christmas Traditions by Anna J. Stewart
I LOVE Christmas time. Truly, from about Halloween on, I’m all about the tinsel, the trees and the music (why do they have to stop the Xmas carols on the 26th?!). For years now it’s just been my mom and me during the holiday season, but we’ve got our traditions…and they start early…even before we carve the Thanksgiving turkey.

Beck Valley Books - An Interview with Malinda Curtis
What’s your favorite aspect of the story?
One of my favorite aspects is Gina's parents. They've tried for years to do what they thought was right and it strained their character and their relationship. This year, they rejoin the pageant and the town's festivities in a very public way. It's a small part of the story, but a set of vignettes that I love.

Mel's Shelves - Review
"I loved seeing the siblings in each other's stories and enjoyed getting to know them. These stories are quick, easy reads which are perfect to get you in the mood for Christmas. I love that they're all clean so I can recommend it to everyone! Christmas Town was a fun place to visit!"

Painted Words - Review
"But what I truly loved about this book was that it didn't feel at all repetitive which can be a big hindrance to books like this especially if written by multiple authors. It was an absolutely beautiful story, one that I look forward to reading again next year at this time and it was the perfect way to start off the season." 

jellominisI Am A Reader - Melinda Curtis’s Favorite Treat at Christmas Time (with recipe)
My mom is a fan of Jell-o salad.  At Christmas, she’d serve us a slice of Jello salad on a leaf of lettuce with a dollop of mayonnaise on top.  The first time Mr. Curtis had this dish, he happily took a big bite, expecting it to be whipped cream on top.  Kudos to him for keeping his disappointment to himself. 

Deal Sharing Aunt - Excerpt
In the wee hours of Christmas Eve morning, Gina stood at the edge of the town square and traced the deep, jagged scar that ran from her left temple to her jawline with the tip of a gloved finger, as if her touch could erase the past. The small ball of worry, the one that hadn’t let her sleep last night, expanded like bread dough in her chest, pressing against her lungs.
I should have told him.

Wishful Endings - Excerpt (4-star review here)
“Are you kidding? You’re beautiful. Why would he do that?
“You have to say that. You’re standing in my kitchen.” With me practically in your arms. Nevertheless, she hugged his words to her heart. No one had ever called her beautiful before.

JoJo's Corner - 10 Gifts Ideas for Your Teen/Young Adult & Review
I'm a little bit anal about the holidays.  I have a basic list I work from that my kids will enjoy or find useful.  They're all in college now, but that doesn't mean they want a package of socks for Christmas.  Here's a list of 10 suggested gift giving categories for your teen/young adult...

Review: "Christmas, Actually is the perfect collection of stories to cuddle up and enjoy on a cold wintry night!"

"Three stories in one book, a great way to start the Christmas season off! Anna Adams takes you on three separate journeys in the life of Jack, Callie, and Gina as each tells their own story. The plot is good in each one."

What a fun story! The reader is taken on a journey through Christmas Town, Maine and we get to see snippets of what makes this town special through the eyes of three different characters.

Christmas, Actually
Christmas, Actually
by Anna Adams, Anna J. Stewart, & Melinda Curtis
Clean Contemporary Romance
Paperback & Ebook, 202 pages
November 1st 2014 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Discover the magic of Christmas Town, Maine!

Three lonely strangers come to Christmas Town, Maine, and find love with three Banning siblings in the town that celebrates the holidays by decorating its square with lights and ribbons and a holiday pageant on Christmas Eve. Tradition has it that a kiss beneath the mistletoe that night means marriage for the couple in the new year.

The Christmas Gift by Anna Adams:
Jack Banning promised to support the mother of his unborn child… But she doesn't need money, she only needs him.

The Christmas Wish by Anna J. Stewart:
Callie Banning's student has declared war on Christmas, so it's up to her to help the little girl—and her widowed father—believe again.

The Christmas Date by Melinda Curtis:
Gina Vernay is about to meet her online mystery date…and she's in for the surprise of a lifetime!


About the Authors

Photo 34
Anna Adams wrote her first romance in wet sand. The Atlantic Ocean washed it away, but Anna kept going. Her stories are of love, like the proverbial stone in a lake, making ripples that spread and contract and involve. From Iceland to Hawaii, and points in between, Anna and her own hero share with children and family and friends who’ve become family. All this living and loving gives Anna plenty of fodder for stories of love set in real life. Come along and live them with her!


Anna J. Stewart can't remember a time she didn't have a book in her hand or a story in her head and credits her mother never saying no to a book for turning her into a writer. Anna lives in Northern California with an overly attentive cat named Snickers and is happiest when setting her heroes and heroines on their road to happily ever after amidst family, fun and laughter.


Melinda Curtis
Melinda Curtis grew up on an isolated sheep ranch, where mountain lions had been seen and yet she roamed unaccompanied. Being a rather optimistic, clueless of danger, sort she took to playing "what if" games that led her to become an author. She spends days trying to figure out new ways to say "He made her heart pound." That might sound boring, but the challenge keeps her mentally ahead of her 3 kids and college sweetheart husband.




Tour-Wide Giveaway

- Gift Card Prize Pack: $20 Amazon gift card and ebook of Christmas, Actually (open internationally)
- US Prize Pack: Paperback of Christmas, Actually and three Christmas ornaments (US only)
- 3 ebooks of Christmas, Actually (open internationally)
Ends November 30th

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Prism Book Tours

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Interview with Elizabeth Haydon on #TheTreeofWaterTour @PRbythebook @TorTeen @BurgandyIce

Win a print copy of the book by Tweeting! See info below...

The Tree of Water (The Lost Journals of Ven Polypheme, #4)
The Tree of Water 
by Elizabeth Haydon
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published October 28th 2014 by Starscape

The epic voyages continue in The Tree of Water, the fourth adventure in bestselling author Elizabeth Haydon’s acclaimed fantasy series for young readers, The Lost Journals of Ven Polypheme.

As Royal Reporter of the land of Serendair, it is the duty of young Charles Magnus "Ven" Polypheme to travel the world and seek out magic hiding in plain sight. But Ven needs to escape the clutches of the nefarious Thief Queen, ruler of the Gated City, whose minions are hunting for him. His friend, the merrow Amariel, has the perfect solution to his dilemma: Ven and Char will join her to explore the world beneath the sea.

As they journey through the sea, Ven finds himself surrounded by wonders greater than he could have ever imagined. But the beauty of the ocean is more than matched by the dangers lurking within its depths, and Ven and his friends soon realize that in order to save thousands of innocent lives, they may have to sacrifice their own. For everything in the ocean needs to eat…

“A delightful epic fantasy that will attract a readership both older and younger than the target audience.” —Booklist (starred review) on The Floating Island

TO WIN A PRINT COPY of The Tree of Water (USA & Canada only):  To win, Tweet this post or a promotional tweet of your own!  Be sure to include @BurgandyIce so I know you're entering this drawing!! Also include #TreeofWaterTour @Torbooks @Torteen and @PRbythebook.

You can use this Rafflecopter with a prepared tweet to enter. Tweets that are not entered in the rafflecopter are also eligible to win. You only need to TWEET!!  Follow and retweet #TheTreeofWaterTour and enter up to once/day... only don't forget to include me to win this copy!! You MUST include @BurgandyIce to enter this drawing.

Enter from November 18 - November 25, 2014.

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Interview with Elizabeth Haydon,
documentarian, archanologist and translator of Ven’s
journals, including The Tree of Water

Little is known for sure about reclusive documentarian and archanologist Elizabeth Haydon. She is an expert in dead languages and holds advanced degrees in Nain Studies from Arcana College and Lirin History from the University of Rigamarole. Her fluency in those languages [Nain and Lirin] has led some to speculate that she may be descended of one of those races herself. It should be noted that no one knows this for sure. Being an archanologist, she is also an expert in ancient magic because, well, that’s what an archanologist is.

Being a documentarian means she works with old maps, books and manuscripts, and so it is believed that her house is very dusty and smells like ink, but there is no actual proof of this suspicion. On the rare occasions of sightings of Ms. Haydon, it has been reported that she herself has smelled like lemonade, soap, vinegar, freshly-washed babies and pine cones.

She is currently translating and compiling the fifth of the recently-discovered Lost Journals when she is not napping, or attempting to break the world’s record for the longest braid of dental floss.

We had the chance to ask her some questions about the latest of Ven’s journals, The Tree of Water. Here is what she shared.

1. Dr. Haydon, can you give us a brief summary of The Tree of Water?

Certainly. Ven Polypheme, who wrote the, er, Lost Journals of Ven Polypheme, lived long ago in the Second Age of history, when magic was much more alive and visible in the world than it is now. His journals are very important finds, because they tell the story of ancient magic and where it still may be found in the world today.

In the first three journals we saw how Ven came to the mystical island of Serendair and was given the job of Royal Reporter by the king of the island, a young man named Vandemere. The Royal Reporter was supposed to find magic that was hiding in plain sight in the world and report back about it to the king. As you can imagine, this could be a fun but dangerous job, and at the beginning of The Tree of Water, we see that Ven and his friends are hiding from the evil Thief  Queen, who is looking to find and kill him. 

Amariel, a merrow [humans call these ‘mermaids,’ but we know that’s the wrong  word] who saved Ven when the first ship he sailed on sank, has been asking Ven  to come and explore the wonders of the Deep, her world in the sea. Deciding that this could be a great way to find hidden magic as well as hide from the evil Thief Queen, Ven and his best friend, Char, follow her into the Deep. The sea, as you know, is one of the most magical places in the world—but sometimes that magic, and that place, can be deadly.

The book tells of mysterious places, and interesting creatures, and wondrous things that have never been seen in the dry world, and tales from the very bottom of the sea.

2. The main character in The Lost Journals of Ven Polypheme series is Charles Magnus "Ven" Polypheme. Tell us about him.

Ven was an interesting person, but he really didn’t think so. He and his family were of a different race than the humans who made up most of the population where he lived, the race of the Nain. Nain are an old race, a little shorter and stockier than most humans, with a tendency to be on the grumpy side. They live about four times as long as humans, are very proud of their beards, which they believe tell their life stories, don’t like to swim or travel, and prefer to live deep in the mountains.

Ven was nothing like the majority of Nain. He was very curious, loved to travel, could swim, and longed to see the world. He was actually a pretty nice kid most of the time. He had the equivalent of a baby face because only three whiskers of his beard had grown in by the time The Tree of Water took place, when he was fifty years old [around twelve in Nain years]. He had a great group of friends, including the merrow and Char, who were mentioned earlier. It is believed that his journals were the original research documents for two of the most important books of all time, The Book of All Human Knowledge and All the World’s Magic.

The only copies of these two volumes were lost at sea centuries ago, so finding the Lost Journals is the only way to recover this important information.


3. What kind of research do you do for the series?

I go to places where Ven went and try to find relics he left behind. Usually this is with an expedition of archaeologists and historians. I am an expert in ancient magic [an archanologist] so I don’t usually lead the expeditions, I’m just a consultant. It gives me the chance to learn a lot about magic and lets me work on my suntan at the same time, so it’s good.

4. What is/are the most difficult part or parts of writing/restoring the Lost Journals?

Here’s the list, mostly from the archaeological digs where the journals have been found:
1] Cannibals
2] Crocodiles
3] Sunburn
4] Sand flies
5] Dry, easily cracking parchment pages
6] The horrible smell of long-dead seaweed
7] Grumpy members of the archaeological expedition [I could name names, but I won’t]
8] Expedition food [when finding and retrieving the journal for The Tree of Water, we ate nothing but peanut butter and raisin sandwiches, olives and yellow tea for six months straight]
9] When salt water gets into your favorite fountain pen and clogs it up. This is very sad.
10] Unintentionally misspelling a word in the Nain language that turns out to be embarrassing [the word for “jelly” is one letter different from the word for “diarrhea,” which caused a number of my Nain friends to ask me what on earth I thought Ven was spreading on his toast.]


5. What do you enjoy about this series that cannot be found in any of your other books? 

Getting to write about a lot of cool magic stuff that used to exist in our world, but doesn’t anymore. And getting to travel to interesting places in the world to see if maybe some of it still does exist. Also getting to show the difference between merrows, which are real, interesting creatures, and mermaids, which are just silly.

6. What do you hope readers take away from this book? 

I hope, in general, that it will open their eyes to the wonder of the sea, which takes up the majority of our planet, but we really don’t know that much about it down deep. There is a great deal of magic in the sea, and I hope that if and when people become aware of it, they will help take care of it and not throw garbage and other bad stuff into it. I have a serious dislike for garbage-throwing.

Probably the most useful secret I learned that I hope will be of use to readers is about thrum. Thrum is the way the creatures and plants that live in the ocean communicate with each other through vibration and thought. As Ven and his friends learn, this can be a problem if you think about something you don’t want anyone to know about when you are standing in a sunshadow, because everyone gets to see a picture of what’s on your mind. Imagine how embarrassing that could be.


7. Are there more books coming in this series?

Well, at least one. In the archaeological dig site where The Tree of Water was found was another journal, a notebook that Ven called The Star of the Sea. We are still working on restoring it, but it looks like there are many new adventures and different kinds of magic in it. The problem is that it might have been buried in the sand with an ancient bottle of magical sun tan lotion, which seems to have leaked onto some of the journal’s pages. This is a very sad event in archaeology, but we are working hard to restore it.

As for other books, it’s not like we just write them out of nowhere. If we haven’t found one of Ven’s journals, there can’t be another book, now, can there? We are always looking, however. We’ve learned so much about ancient magic from the journals we have found so far.


8. You are a best-selling author with other books and series for adults. What made you want to write books for young readers?

I like young readers better than adults. Everyone who is reading a book like mine has at one time or another been a young reader, but not everyone has been an adult yet. Young readers have more imagination and their brains are more flexible—they can understand magical concepts a lot better than a lot of adults, who have to deal with car payments and work and budget balancing and all sorts of non-magical things in the course of their days.

Besides, many adults scare me. But that’s not their fault. I’m just weird like that.

I think if more adults read like young readers, the world would be a happier place.


9. Tell us where we can find your book and more information about where you are these days.

You can find The Tree of Water anywhere books are sold, online and in bookstores. There are several copies in my steamer trunk and I believe the palace in Serendair also has one. I also sent one to Bruno Mars because I like his name.

At the moment, I am on the beautiful island of J’ha-ha, searching for a very unique and magical flower. Thank you for asking these interview questions—it has improved my mood, since I have only found weeds so far today. I am hoping for better luck after lunch, which, sadly, is peanut butter and raisin sandwiches, olives, and yellow tea again.

All the best,

Dr. Elizabeth Haydon, PhD, D’Arc

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Grand Finale #TourAtAGlance Arcana by Jessica Leake #PrismBookTours

A themed tour through Prism Book Tours.

It's the GRAND FINALE for
Arcana by Jessica Leake
To be released November 18th.

This was a fabulous tour! The book was set in a beautiful historical world with a little bit of magic and a good dose of romance. If you didn't get a chance to read the reviews, learn more about the author, or find out more about the setting and this book, feel free to go back and check out each stop. We've summarized them for you here as well...

Share something about you that is unique - maybe about how/where you write... or favorite snack foods... or a favorite hobby? 
Before I made writing my career, I was a psychotherapist in a psychiatric hospital. Writing was already a big part of my life, and I found a background in psychology is wonderful for characterization! I'm also a stay-at-home mom to three little ones, all preschool age and younger.

MI Bookshelf - Excerpt
The horse’s hooves thunder across the hillside, and my heart pounds with each bunching of his muscles. My hair breaks free of its pins, pale strands sweeping across my cheek. Though the wind breaks through the thin barrier of my breeches and tall boots, the smile never leaves my face. Mild discomfort is a small price to pay for a journey unhindered by the heavy skirts of my riding habit.

Coffee Books & Art - Excerpt
“It only reveals a page at a time, so it may not say anything,” I warn as I open it. For an instant, the light shines as brightly as the sun reflecting off water and then it fades away. 

Pieces of Whimsy - Review & Interview
"I love historical romance and I love fantasy, in fact these are probably my two favourite book genres, and I will read almost anything these genres have to offer. Arcana is a brilliant mix of both these genres. The setting is wonderful, as are the characters, and the magic just adds that fun, exciting element to the story."

What was the best part about writing Arcana?
The research! Endless Downton Abbey marathons, anyone? ;). I also loved all the world-building required by the Sylvan realm and Katherine’s arcana. It was so much fun to imagine what the Sylvan realm might look like—especially the spirit fox J.

Kelly P's Blog - Things Lord Thornewood Noticed about Katherine...
3. Our sharp banter was the highlight of my miserable week. It was no secret that I vastly preferred my country estate to my cold, dreary London townhouse, and the constant harassment by scheming mothers had made me consider abandoning my promise to Lord Sinclair on more than one occasion. If Katherine heard my complaints on the subject, I have no doubt she'd say, "Oh yes, how trying it must be for you to be introduced to so many beautiful young women." And that is one of the many reasons I love her.

Lilac Reviews - Review
"I liked how smoothly this author worked in things about the characters, the culture of the time and the mystery behind Arcana. . . . Between the love story, the Arcana conflict and the colorful characters there was much to keep your interest. I hope there will be a sequel."

Typical Distractions - Review
"Arcana is able to couple the fantasy with romance and history in such a way that it creates greater depth. As the reader you cannot help but be drawn into the world of the London high society and irresistible magic. This story left me smiling. Jessica Leake has raised the bar for historical fantasy fiction and I am excited to see what she has in store for us next. Arcana is an incredibly written and fascinating debut that has put Jessica on the list of authors you need to know!"

A Thousand Words A Million Books - Review
"And the book itself? If the five star rating didn't give it away- absolutely 100% BRILLIANT! . . . Needless to say, for fans of the YA genre, the Adult one, The Historical Romance one or the Paranormal one- Arcana is THE book for you!"

Colorimetry - Excerpt
    Katherine, it whispers in my mind.
    With a jerk, I take my finger from the rune, and the lovely vision fades.

My Life, Loves and Passion - Review
"Historical books are some of my favorites right along with fantasy. This story was a great mix. You felt like you were being transported back in time. It was so well explained. The magical part was there but did not overtake the book."

Wishful Endings - 10 (Mostly Random) Facts about the Edwardian Era
1. The fashion at the time? S-bend corsets

The Wonderings of One Person - Interview
How has this story touched your life?
At its core, Arcana is a story about family—something that is extremely important to me. I admire Katherine’s willingness to be self-sacrificing and do what she needs to do to protect her brother and sister.

SBM Book Obsession - The Cover Process
I've had so many compliments and interest on the cover of Arcana. It was a surprisingly hands-on process for me, which is pretty unusual in the publishing world.

My Love for Reading Keeps Growing - Review
"There are so many great characters in this book. Both main and secondary. I loved them all. Well, some were more slimy than others, but they were all great characters. I truly love it when an author makes me interested in more than just the "main" characters. It really makes the story come more alive for me."

The Book Lovers' Lounge - Review
"I really had a great time reading this book. . . . Another thing I love about Arcana is the strong personality that is Katherine, which shows even right at the very beginning of the story."

100 Pages A Day - Review
"I loved the premise of this book, a girl born with magic fueled by the sun who must be careful with how she practices her magic, or be called a witch.  Katherine, or Wren, is a great character."

The Written Adventure - Debuting in the Edwardian Era
One of the central events in Arcana is Katherine's debut into high society. During the Edwardian Era, this meant being summoned to the Court of King Edward and Queen Alexandra.

Beck Valley Books - Excerpt
Mama, lend me your grace, I think like a prayer. I close my eyes for a moment, and I can almost hear her voice, telling me, as she always did, that there was always strength within me if I would but reach for it.
The queue of debutantes moves forward until I stand at the threshold of the Throne Room. Royal guards in scarlet line one side of the room, prominent members of the Court on the other. At the end of the long room are the king and queen, seated upon their thrones, but I try not to focus on anything but the veil of the girl in front of me.

"While this is a historical fantasy novel, not all the details are thrown at you at once.  It makes it much more interesting." 

My Devotional Thoughts - Excerpt

     “My lord,” I say through clenched teeth as I tug my hand free, “I didn’t say yes.”
     “You didn’t say no, either,” he says and takes his position beside me.
     Leaving him on the dance floor, though satisfying, would only cause a bigger scene. I sigh as I go through the steps of the waltz.

Avid Reviews - Review
"I was pleasantly surprised by how easily this novel captured my attention and ignited my imagination.  Arcana is a story that both emotionally involves the reader and contains a thrilling plot.  In addition, Katherine is an incredibly sympathetic protagonist, and a refreshingly strong female character."

Into the Written Word & Welcome to Book City - Review
     "The speech is quite fantastic. It seems right for the time period. It’s proper and a bit verbose. Exactly how I imagine London all those years ago.
     I also like the magic. It was nice. A bit confusing on what arcana was exactly. But still pretty fascinating."

Book Enthralled - Review
"I enjoyed this, the magic was interesting, it was beautifully written and the characters were well drawn out. I really enjoyed the romance and I remember myself saying “now that was a make out scene!” I also really like the historical side of things, the coming out, the balls, the parties etc. I would really like to read more from Jessica Leake in the future."

Arcana
by Jessica Leake
Adult Historical Fantasy
Hardcover, 288 pages
November 18th 2014 by Talos


Amid the sumptuous backdrop of the London Season in 1905, headstrong Katherine Sinclair must join the ranks of debutantes vying for suitors. Unfortunately for Katherine, she cannot imagine anything more loathsome – or dangerous. Through her late mother’s enchanted journal, Katherine receives warning to keep hidden her otherworldly ability to perform Arcana, a magic fueled by the power of the sun. The machinations of the fashionably elite are a constant threat, but worse still are those who covet Katherine’s Arcana, seeking the power of her birthright. They could be hiding behind the fa├žade of every suitor, even the darkly handsome Earl of Thornewood. With so much danger and suspicion, can she give her heart to the one who captivates her, or is he just another after her power?

Purchase a special personalized/autographed copy of Arcana from Fiction Addiction HEREor at one of the following sellers:

About Jessica Leake

I’m a stay-at-home mom of three beautiful children (two toddlers and a newborn, in fact, so I think you can begin to see why my blog may be a bit neglected) and author of Arcana: A Novel (Skyhorse/Talos, November 4, 2014), my debut historical fantasy with a heavy dose of romance. I have a particular obsession with blending different genres, but almost everything I write has an element of fantasy and romance. I’ve been in love with historical England ever since my first literary crush: Mr. Darcy (I can’t even count the number of times I watched Pride & Prejudice–the A&E version, of course!!) I’m represented by the fabulous Brianne Johnson of Writers House, and I live in Greenville, SC.

Before I was a writer, I worked as a psychotherapist. I spent several years working at a psychiatric hospital in Birmingham, AL, but after my husband graduated as a pharmacist, we moved back to Greenville. I claim Greenville as my hometown now since I spent most of my childhood here, and I’m a proud alumna of St. Joseph’s Catholic School and Winthrop University.


Tour-Wide Giveaway

- $25 Amazon gift card & personalized hardcover of Arcana (INT)
- Two personalized hardcovers of Arcana + swag (US only)
- One ebook of Arcana (INT - Mobi or Epub)
Ends November 23rd

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Prism Book Tours

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Release Day! Flury by Tony Bertauski #GiftCardGiveaway #AbominableSnowman #PrismBookTours


We're celebrating the RELEASE of
Flury: Journey of a Snowman
By Tony Bertauski

An Introduction to Flury

     Frosty had a magic hat.
     There was no explanation, just a special hat that turned a pile of snow into a walking, talking best friend. Flury is more than that. And doesn’t smoke.
     Born on the North Pole, Flury was created by an ancient race of elven that evolved during the Ice Age and continues to live in the polar ice today. Technologically advanced, they sustain themselves with innovation and wisdom. But even the most peaceful settlements encounter danger, such as polar bears. That’s why they invented abominables.
     What we call snowmen.
     The life of an abominable doesn’t magically spring from a top hat. The heart of an abominable is a metal orb—an intricately carved sphere that generates an electromagnetic field and builds a body of snow around it. Abominables are intimidating and selfless. They run, they fly. Above all else, they protect.
     In the late 1800s, Malcolm Toye was part of an arctic voyage that ended in disaster. The survivors of the expedition never saw him again. Malcolm had wandered into the snowy landscape to be saved by a patrolling abominable he would come to know as Flury.
     His rescue, however, became more of a curse than a blessing when the elven refused to allow him safe passage back home, insisting they remain secret from humanity. Malcolm was destined to live out his days among the elven, pining for home.
     Longing for his wife.
     Malcolm escaped by stealing the metal orb of Flury. Quietly, he arrived back in the United States to settle down and resume a normal life. But there was nothing normal about it. As the years went by, his estate becomes shrouded in mystery and rumors.
     A hundred years will go by before the mystery is solved.
     Oliver Toye, a teenage type 1 diabetic, will discover the magic hidden on his grandmother’s property. He’ll read about Malcolm Toye’s journey when he finds a set of leather bound journals. He’ll see the snowman trapped on the property, and the other things that haunt the forest. Most importantly, he’ll uncover Malcolm Toye’s master plan to harm others. And why he wants to.
     Flury will come to Oliver’s rescue more than once.


Flury: Journey of a SnowmanFlury: Journey of a Snowman
(Claus #3)
by Tony Bertauski
YA Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Holiday

Life hasn’t been kind to Oliver Toye.

As if juvenile diabetes isn’t enough, he’s forced to live with his tyrannical grandmother in a snow-bound house. He spends his days doing chores and the nights listening to the forest rumble.

But when he discovers the first leather-bound journal, the family secrets begin to surface. The mystery of his great-grandfather’s voyage to the North Pole is revealed. That’s when the snowman appears.

Magical and mysterious, the snowman will save Oliver more than once. But when the time comes for Oliver to discover the truth, will he have the courage? When Flury needs him, will he have the strength? When believing isn’t enough, will he save the snowman from melting away?

Because sometimes even magic needs a little help.


About Tony Bertauski

During the day, I'm a horticulturist. While I've spent much of my career designing landscapes or diagnosing dying plants, I've always been a storyteller. My writing career began with magazine columns, landscape design textbooks, and a gardening column at the Post and Courier (Charleston, SC). However, I've always fancied fiction.

My grandpa never graduated high school. He retired from a steel mill in the mid-70s. He was uneducated, but he was a voracious reader. I remember going through his bookshelves of paperback sci-fi novels, smelling musty old paper, pulling Piers Anthony and Isaac Asimov off shelf and promising to bring them back. I was fascinated by robots that could think and act like people. What happened when they died?

I'm a cynical reader. I demand the writer sweep me into his/her story and carry me to the end. I'd rather sail a boat than climb a mountain. That's the sort of stuff I want to write, not the assigned reading we got in school. I want to create stories that kept you up late.

Having a story unfold inside your head is an experience different than reading. You connect with characters in a deeper, more meaningful way. You feel them, empathize with them, cheer for them and even mourn. The challenge is to get the reader to experience the same thing, even if it's only a fraction of what the writer feels. Not so easy.

In 2008, I won the South Carolina Fiction Open with Four Letter Words, a short story inspired by my grandfather and Alzheimer's Disease. My first step as a novelist began when I developed a story to encourage my young son to read. This story became The Socket Greeny Saga. Socket tapped into my lifetime fascination with consciousness and identity, but this character does it from a young adult's struggle with his place in the world.

After Socket, I thought I was done with fiction. But then the ideas kept coming, and I kept writing. Most of my work investigates the human condition and the meaning of life, but not in ordinary fashion. About half of my work is Young Adult (Socket Greeny, Claus, Foreverland) because it speaks to that age of indecision and the struggle with identity. But I like to venture into adult fiction (Halfskin, Drayton) so I can cuss. Either way, I like to be entertaining.

And I'm a big fan of plot twists.


Blitz Giveaway

- $25 Amazon gift card and ebook of Flury: Journey of a Snowman (open internationally)
Ends November 22nd

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Prism Book Tours

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Power of a First Kiss by authors of Christmas Actually #PrismBookTours #GuestPost

A themed tour through Prism Book Tours.

Christmas, Actually
Christmas, Actually
by Anna Adams, Anna J. Stewart, & Melinda Curtis
Clean Contemporary Romance
Paperback & Ebook, 202 pages
November 1st 2014 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Discover the magic of Christmas Town, Maine!

Three lonely strangers come to Christmas Town, Maine, and find love with three Banning siblings in the town that celebrates the holidays by decorating its square with lights and ribbons and a holiday pageant on Christmas Eve. Tradition has it that a kiss beneath the mistletoe that night means marriage for the couple in the new year.

The Christmas Gift by Anna Adams:
Jack Banning promised to support the mother of his unborn child… But she doesn't need money, she only needs him.

The Christmas Wish by Anna J. Stewart:
Callie Banning's student has declared war on Christmas, so it's up to her to help the little girl—and her widowed father—believe again.

The Christmas Date by Melinda Curtis:
Gina Vernay is about to meet her online mystery date…and she's in for the surprise of a lifetime!



The Power of a First Kiss

I write sweet romance. Christmas, Actually, an anthology I wrote with Melinda Curtis and Anna J. Stewart is filled with brave heroes and heroines facing lifes most difficult decisions. They have children and pasts and each couple has a future to choose.

Dont let the sweet descriptor fool you. Youll find a passion for living, for change, for wanting more, in these stories.

Im drawn to Heartwarmings stories like Im drawn to my favorite movies, emotional, black and white, vintage Hollywood films.

Remember another holiday story? Its a Wonderful Life. The first time I saw it, a gazillion years ago, I thought, oh, noclassic tragedy of a guy who wants to explore the world and his place in it, except he cant break out of his home towna prison and a heaven at the same time--formed by responsibility and emotional bonds. The first bond forms when George (Jimmy Stewart) decides to stay in town so his newlywed brother can leave. Mary (Donna Reed), whose dreams are all centered at home, is the girl George finds he cannot leave. Shes loved George since childhood, but hes had his eyes focused on farther horizons.

Hes at her house, killing time because he cant go home and face his brothers happiness when another friend calls to offer him an investment opportunity. Mary is leaning against George, also listening on the phone, when finally, he admits to his feelings. He takes her in his arms for a kiss he clearly doesnt want even as he desires nothing in the whole wide world more than the hometown love of his life. 


His voice breaks. His eyes break my heat. His touch is gentle, and she comforts him.

That moment won me over. I want George to have everything. I want to write like that.


About the Authors

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Anna Adams wrote her first romance in wet sand. The Atlantic Ocean washed it away, but Anna kept going. Her stories are of love, like the proverbial stone in a lake, making ripples that spread and contract and involve. From Iceland to Hawaii, and points in between, Anna and her own hero share with children and family and friends who’ve become family. All this living and loving gives Anna plenty of fodder for stories of love set in real life. Come along and live them with her!


Anna J. Stewart can't remember a time she didn't have a book in her hand or a story in her head and credits her mother never saying no to a book for turning her into a writer. Anna lives in Northern California with an overly attentive cat named Snickers and is happiest when setting her heroes and heroines on their road to happily ever after amidst family, fun and laughter.


Melinda Curtis
Melinda Curtis grew up on an isolated sheep ranch, where mountain lions had been seen and yet she roamed unaccompanied. Being a rather optimistic, clueless of danger, sort she took to playing "what if" games that led her to become an author. She spends days trying to figure out new ways to say "He made her heart pound." That might sound boring, but the challenge keeps her mentally ahead of her 3 kids and college sweetheart husband.




Tour-Wide Giveaway

- Gift Card Prize Pack: $20 Amazon gift card and ebook of Christmas, Actually (open internationally)
- US Prize Pack: Paperback of Christmas, Actually and three Christmas ornaments (US only)
- 3 ebooks of Christmas, Actually (open internationally)
Ends November 30th

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