19 January 2018

Tour & Giveaway: Finding Beauty in the Beast by Jessilyn Stewart Peaslee



Finding Beauty in the Beast by Jessilyn Stewart Peaslee.
Audience/Genre: Historical Fiction, Retellings.
Publication: January 9th 2018 by Sweetwater Books.
Corbin's simple rose was supposed to drive the princess away. He never wanted herto choose his gift—or him. After all, no one would choose to marry a beast. With herfiery temper, though, Princess Rose isn't so perfect herself. Corbin and Rose might bestuck living with each other, but no one can force them to fall in love.


A beast. That was what they called her.When she was in a good temper, Princess Rose's face was deceptively sweet, evenbeautiful. Her large emerald eyes could appear tender, her rosebud lips touched withsoftness. There was a time, some would say, that her voice was warm and full of lifeand, though no one believed it, that she used to laugh.But today, there was no hint of softness, no trace of tenderness. Her eyes blazed likegreen fire and she pursed her lips until they became indistinguishable from her paleskin. The freckles she painstakingly tried to hide glared angrily across her nose andcheeks—cheeks deep crimson from humiliation. No tears would escape her eyes, noquivering would touch her lips. She sat—cold and aloof—her gaze fixed straight ahead,glaring at the opposite wall of the swaying carriage.

Reviewed by Kelly.

What a delightful and refreshing book! A different take on Beauty and the Beast! We all have a little bit of the Beast in us! But it is what we do with it is what I came away with from the story.

In this story, it is Rose, the Princess, who is the Beast. She is beautiful. But everyone avoids her. Because she is a beast. She is mean. She is unfair and spiteful. Her once fiance broke off his engagement and decided to have a ball in his own kingdom and chose a commoner for his wife. Rose became enraged and decided to do the same. But her way of doing it threw just about every eligible male in the dungeon before Corbin. She had every eligible male bring her a gift and she would chose a male who brought her the best gift. Well, for one these were poor people. What did she expect!?!

Corbin had just come there from the very kingdom of Rose’s ex-fiance and after that very same ball he threw. Corbin also had a fiance of his own until she decided that perhaps the prince might choose her for a wife. That woke Corbin up to the fact that perhaps she didn’t really love him well enough! So he fled to Rose’s kingdom that night of the ball because he heard that they needed a blacksmith. And since he was a blacksmith and he was an orphan, who was adopted by a loving family from Rose’s Kingdom he decided to start over there. He wanted to see where his roots were and maybe find out who his real family was. He was a kind man. He just never expected to be forced the very next day to try to win the hand of a royal like his ex fiance had just tried.

Anyway, he came with practically nothing except his trade tools which would not make a good gift to a princess. And after some other things happen he rushes to find something at the last minute and finds a single beautiful rose to give her. As he watches all the men before him get thrown into a cage to be taken to the dungeon and one man’s terrible attempt make a terrible ruckus and cause everyone to run away. He just walks forward to her anyway and presents her with his rose. He could have tried to run too. He could have waited till things calmed down but he didn’t. Why? Well it is part of who he is and you will have to read the book to read more about this good and honorable man! Again though, remember we all have a little bit of the beast in us all! Hehe that is all I am going to say about that!

“We all have little beasts inside of us. Sometimes we let them grow into huge, frightening beasts, but that doesn’t mean we can’t beat them back down. And usually, it’s because of fear that we allow our beasts to grow. Do you think I avoided you for all those weeks because I’m really a childish, unhappy, brooding person? No, I was afraid. I was afraid of this new life and the expectations.”


Rose choses him. And the wedding is utterly unromantic and ridiculous! He is also deemed a prince prior to being married even though he doesn’t believe it should be that way. He wasn’t born that way or deserve it. Then from then on, he asks her why she chose him. He asks her often. She doesn’t tell him until near the end. That brings me to tears!

Corbin was afraid to tell Rose that he couldn't read. He was afraid she would ridicule him. Yet, he tells her and instead of belittling him, she teaches him to read. Then he reads to her. Ugh! It was so beautiful!

“Awake my fairest, my espoused, my latest found, Heaven’s last best gift, my every delight. Awake, the morning shines…’”


The things Corbin does for her and around the Castle shows that he is not a lazy man and that he wants to be productive and he wants to help her if she will ever let him in. That does happen but very slowly and Cobin also learns how to be a husband as well very slowly too! I loved every minute of this book. I also loved seeing Will and Ella from the author’s prior books! I loved the last paragraph. It just tied the book it so beautifully!

If you love retellings, falling in love, being productive, doing what is right, helping others, finding your birth family, overcoming your fears, defending all that is yours, symbolism, being happy then this might be for you



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Jessilyn Stewart Peaslee was born the fourth of seven children into a family of avidreaders, music lovers, movie quoters, and sports fans. Jessilyn graduated fromBrigham Young University with a BA in English. She loves going on dates with herhusband and playing with her five adorable, rambunctious boys. Jessilyn grew up inthe beautiful high desert of Southern California and now resides in the shadow of theRocky Mountains. As you read this, she is probably folding laundry . . . or should be.Current Residence: Saratoga Springs, UT





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18 January 2018

First Look & Giveaway: Web of Frost (Saints of Russalka #1) by Lindsay Smith

Web of Frost (Saints of Russalka #1) by Lindsay Smith.
Audience/Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy.
Publication: February 13th 2018 by Eventide Press.
The saints of Russalka work their blessings in mysterious ways, allowing the royal family to perform miracles for their people. But the young princess Katza fears her powers. She’s seen grave visions of her bloodied hands destroying her family’s empire. When her older brother succumbs to illness, leaving her next in line for the throne, Katza turns to a young rebellious prophet named Ravin who promises to teach her how to control her gift. As unrest grows in Russalka and a foreign monarchy threatens, Ravin understands Katza's fears and helps her find confidence in her gift, and her own heart. Under Ravin’s unorthodox training, Katza learns to hear the saints once more—until revolutionaries claim her father’s life.

Reeling and desperate, Katza draws upon darker and darker powers to stop the revolutionaries, the foreign invaders, and the members of her own court who would see her fail. But the more Ravin whispers in her ear, the more Katza questions whether he—and the saints—have her best interests at heart. She must choose between her love of Ravin and her love of Russalka itself—and decide whether her empire might not be better off without her.

“An incredible show of power,” Ravin said. “But you are capable of even more.” He paused, and turned his head, almost peering back at her over his shoulder. Again her gaze was drawn to the sharp line of his forehead, his nose beneath a dark sheaf of his hair where it had fallen across his brow. “Show me.”
Katza rolled her shoulders back. She had never before prayed to Saint Morozov; she’d never had reason to. She scanned the icons in the sanctuary, looking for his face—the blue eyes piercing with ice, the gray pallor of his skin as flecks of frost wreathed him. But all the colors were washed out on the ancient icons—he was hard to find. Saint Morozov. Her lips worked as she sought him out. Saint Morozov. Grant me the chill in your bones . . .
“No, no.” Ravin stalked toward her, shoulders bristling with cold fury. “You don’t need to focus on his icon. You must be able to draw the power anywhere. Anytime. Morozov is only a filter for turning the raw power into ice. You must reach past him.” He trembled with intensity. “Seize the power for yourself. It’s already there, just waiting for you to grasp it.”
“I—I’m sorry.” Katza bit her lower lip and looked down. Morozov. Let your cold envelop me . . .
And then she felt it, crawling inside her skin—the faintest threads of ice. If the saints were filters for Boj’s raw power, then Katza imagined herself reaching through that filter to grasp it at the source. Her breath crystallized before her as she exhaled, then twinkled like glass as it fell to the floor. Frost coated her hands, her face, and yet the cold was soothing, hardening around her like a shelter . . .
No. Like a tomb.
Katza thrashed, panicking as her skin became solid, stiff with cold. “O, Boj,” she cried. “I can’t—”
“You have to release it,” Ravin shouted. “Don’t keep it trapped inside you!”
Katza’s throat was closing up, turning into a block of ice. She tried to scream. Tried to move her arms—she had to force the cold away from her—
She flung her arms out wide.
Frost shot out from all around her, spinning fine as a spider’s web. It spread up the chapel walls, crunching and cracking as it went, riming the icons and choking the candles Ravin had lit. Katza’s breathing eased and she felt a tide surging through her. She was one with the ice, letting it into her as she spun it from her, a perfect symbiosis.
Katza’s chest rose and fell as she admired the ice thickening into columns and pillars and intricate lacework all around them. With a command, she could pull it all away. But she wouldn’t. She had made this, and she was in control, and everything was beautiful.
A voice inside her sighed happily and whispered in her ear, Yes.
“Incredible.” Ravin was breathing heavily too as he approached her once more, stepping around a pillar of ice. His dark eyes danced, reflecting the sunlight-kissed frost. “You are truly in control of it.”
Katza tested, fingers twitching; a column of ice thinned, melting, then thickened again at her command. “I am. I can feel that power you were talking about, that well. It’s just below the surface. But it’s rolling through me, a give and take . . .”
“Yes. You are in control of your power. But I, too, am blessed by Saint Morozov.” He drew closer and raised his palm. Ice sheathed his fingers, glinting with the menace of steel. “Can you stop it when someone else is using that blessing? Can you melt it all away?”
Katza staggered back from him, but backed into one of the columns of ice. She tried to melt it, but it was one he’d created—she had no power over it. Frost fringed onto her clothing, her hair, her neck, as if the column were consuming her, swallowing her up. Again she felt that burn in her chest, crystals sprouting and slicing her up, but it wasn’t in her control. She couldn’t push it away.
“Careful, tsarechka.” Ravin laughed behind pressed lips. “Or I’ll make a martyr of you.”
Panic spiked through her, a shard of ice in the warmth of the saints’ gifts. “Please, stop!”
His face loomed before hers. Gray washed over his features; his lips were deathly blue. “You must stop me.”
Katza swallowed. She couldn’t. She would never be strong enough—but she had to. It was what Russalka needed.
It was what she’d been craving, all along.


Enter the Giveaway!

1 winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card and 3 runners up will receive 1 ebook from Lindsay Smith’s backlist (winner’s choice).
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Lindsay is the author of the young adult novels Sekret, Dreamstrider, and A Darkly Beating Heart, and is the showrunner and lead writer for Serial Box's The Witch Who Came In From the Cold. Her work has appeared on Tor.com and in the anthologies A Tyranny of Petticoats, Strange Romance Vol. 3, and Toil & Trouble, and she has written for Green Ronin Publishing's RPG properties. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband and dog





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17 January 2018

Cover Reveal: Memphis by Ginger Scott

Memphis by Ginger Scott.
Audience/Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance.
Publication: February 23rd 2018.
My mom always said it was just something about the way he moved.
The same swagger Archie Valentine wore in the ring when he took his opponents down followed him like a halo everywhere he went. But make no mistake about it—he was no angel. He was like a drug. My mother was his addict.

I never understood it…how love could make you blind and convince you to drink the poison. Not until I met Memphis Delaney.

At first, it was the familiar form. He’s a fighter, built like a god from the past, the kind of man the universe doesn’t make anymore. His eyes hide a story, and every time I’m in his presence I want to keep reading him until I get to the end. And then…there’s the way he moves. His boxing is violent but beautiful, and his body is a seductive weapon. When he’s in the ring, he wears the stare of a man committed to the battle until his very last breath.

He could end me; turn me into her. Too much of him will leave me as a shadow, and I’ve lost so much of myself already.

But I have discipline. It came the hard way. Lessons learned, scars left behind, and trust stripped away from life.

I will breathe his air, but I won’t fall for a man like him. The only boxer who’s ever going to break my heart is the one who gave me my name.




Ginger Scott is an Amazon-bestselling and Goodreads Choice Award-nominated author of several young and new adult romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, Going Long, Blindness, How We Deal With Gravity, This Is Falling, You and Everything After, The Girl I Was Before, Wild Reckless, Wicked Restless, In Your Dreams, The Hard Count, Hold My Breath, A Boy Like You and A Girl Like Me.

A sucker for a good romance, Ginger’s other passion is sports, and she often blends the two in her stories. (She’s also a sucker for a hot quarterback, catcher, pitcher, point guard…the list goes on.) Ginger has been writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and blogs for more than 15 years. She has told the stories of Olympians, politicians, actors, scientists, cowboys, criminals and towns. For more on her and her work, visit her website at http://www.littlemisswrite.com.

When she's not writing, the odds are high that she's somewhere near a baseball diamond, either watching her son field pop flies like Bryce Harper or cheering on her favorite baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ginger lives in Arizona and is married to her college sweetheart whom she met at ASU (fork 'em, Devils).





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15 January 2018

Tour & Giveaway: Deadly Sweet (The Spellwork Syndicate #1) by Lola Dodge


Tour Schedule


Deadly Sweet
Lola Dodge
(Spellwork Syndicate #1)
Published by: Ink Monster LLC
Publication date: January 16th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult

For fans of Hex Hall, The Magicians, Practical Magic, and Food Wars!

Anise Wise loves three things: baking, potion making, and reading her spellbooks in blissful silence. She might not be the most powerful witch, but enchantment is a rare skill, and her ability to bake with magic is even rarer. Too bad one wants witchcraft on their campus. Anise’s dream of attending pastry school crumbles with rejection letter after rejection letter.

Desperate to escape her dead-end future, Anise contacts the long-lost relative she’s not supposed to know about. Great Aunt Agatha owns the only magic bakery in the US, and she suddenly needs a new apprentice. Anise is so excited she books it to New Mexico without thinking to ask what happened to the last girl.

The Spellwork Syndicate rules the local witches in Taos, but as “accidents” turn into full-out attacks on Anise’s life, their promises to keep her safe are less and less reassuring. Her cranky bodyguard is doing his best, but it’s hard to fight back when she has no idea who’s the enemy. Or why she became their target.

If Anise can’t find and stop whoever wants her dead, she’ll be more toasted than a crème brûlée.

Who knew baking cakes could be so life or death?

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Guest Post: Playlist

When I make playlists for my books, they're usually eclectic. This one swings mostly toward K-pop because the brightness and whimsy fit so well with the themes in Deadly Sweet. Sometimes I pick tracks because they represent a character or a certain moment in the plot. Other times the vibe just matches.
For this book, I listened to so much Red Velvet. If the Spellwork Syndicate ever has its own movie, I will fly to Seoul and camp outside SM's offices if that's what it takes to get them on a track!
 
1) Trauma - SEVENTEEN

2) That's Not My Name - The Ting Tings

3) Fire - BTS

4) Ice Cream Cake - Red Velvet

5) Sleepyhead - Passion Pit

6) Dumb Dumb - Red Velvet

7) A Good Idea At The Time - Ok Go

8) Hellevator - Stray Kids

9) Peek A Boo - Red Velvet
Totally the theme song of the book!!

10) Save Me - BTS

11) Timebomb - Tove Lo

Honorable Mention:
12) Mic Drop (Steve Aoki remix) - BTS
Blasting this on repeat helped me survive the last few days of revision.

Hope you found some new songs to love! Cannot wait to share this story with you.
<3 Lola

GIVEAWAY!

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Author Bio:

Lola Dodge is a compulsive traveler, baker, and procrastinator. She earned her BA in English from Stonehill College and MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University–and hasn’t stopped moving since. When she’s not on the road, Lola spends her time indoors where the sunlight can’t melt her, writing or bingeing on anime and cherry soda. She can be summoned in a ritual involving curry, Hello Kitty idols, and a solid chocolate pentagram.

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12 January 2018

Tour & Giveaway: Heart of the West by Carolyn Twede Frank



Heart of the West by Carolyn Twede Frank.
Audience/Genre: Historical Romance, Fiction.
Publication: January 1st 2018 by Covenant Communications.
Independent-minded women are considered highly unsuitable in Kate Donahue’s wealthy Long Island society. Yes, Kate would lead a proper life should she marry, but her dream of practicing medicine would surely be thwarted by her domineering fiancé. To follow her dream, she must take dramatic measures. So when she reads a newspaper ad seeking a qualified small-town physician, Kate embarks on a new life in the Wild West.

Upon her arrival in the rugged settlement of Craig, Colorado, Kate is disappointed to discover that even in the West, no one wants a woman doctor. As she struggles to establish her practice, she is kept busy fending off the unwanted attentions of a local rancher, a man unnervingly reminiscent of the ex-fiancé she left behind in New York. Romantic entanglements are the last thing on Kate’s mind. That is, until she meets Lucas McCurdy, an Irish immigrant with whom she feels an undeniable connection. But when their relationship inflames a dangerous land battle, Kate and Lucas find themselves defenseless in a lawless town—a perilous position that may cost them everything.

Reviewed by Kelly.

Kate Daniels is a 21st Century girl living in the late 19th century! She is still a proper girl though and minds her etiquette! She wants to do what is right and wants to help people! So she became a doctor. Then when she realizes that her fiance never really loved her and her parents expected her to marry him and forget about her medical degree she just worked so hard for, she packed up, took $1000 of her savings, and left for the Wild West where there was an opening for a doctor.

Little did she know how rough it would be compared to her life of luxury and plumbing and servants back east! But Kate, er Dr Daniels, was determined to do it. And by golly, she did! She was a breath of fresh air to these people. She was kind and helpful and just wasn't going to tolerate bullying! There were men who wanted to date her. Many who thought her being a doctor was for a man but not the women of the area. No, they were happy she was there. Especially those who were pregnant. But these people didn’t have a lot of money to pay and they paid with goods which wouldn’t help Kate to survive long term either.

Kate becomes good friends with two girls. One is the brother of the villain of the story, who I will tell you about in the next paragraph, her name is Susannah. The other is a cowgirl, another misfit, named Rosie. I am hoping there will be stories about them too.

So the villain is Stanley Jones. He is the heir to a ranch that has been around for awhile. He is a bully. He also wants Kate for himself. And when Kate sees him for what he is and turns him down flat at every corner he takes his anger out on the one person that means something to her. This person that even Kate refuses to acknowledge that he means something to her. She doesn’t want to marry now. She wants to be a doctor. She wants to help people. Anyway, she is the only one who is denying it. Everyone else in town sees it. So Stanley takes his anger out on Lucas, the sheep farmer. Lucas is a good man. He is patient and turns the other cheek. Literally, he turns the other cheek! He loves Kate.

I love those moments where Kate learns to live the life there. Where she is determined to ride a horse. The rest of this scene cracked me up...
“Don’t worry, Miss Kate,” Douglas stopped petting the horse and looked at her. “Daisy, here she won’t buck you off. Grandpa says she’s a kid’s horse, that she don’t care who her rider is or how stupid they are. She’s who I always ride when I go out to the ranch.”
“Thank you, Douglas, I appreciate your information.” Kate hoped it was accurate and ignored that he’d just insinuated she was stupid.

The rest of that scene had me in stitches! You have got to read this book people!!

Or when Kate needs help and she equates the help to a, err , well uhm….

Kate stomped out of the land office. Mr Forbes had been about as much help as a hemorrhoid.

Or how they settle disputes in those times. I’m glad I don’t live then, thank you very much!

“This is the West, Irishman. If you want to settle a dispute, it’s best you go buy yourself a gun to wear on your hip.”

I love how she loves the people there and she takes care of those who are in need. Those moments where Lucas and Kate are thrown together due to circumstances beyond their control and they are so perfect for each other. They are the other’s helpmeet! Neither is in charge of the other. They make decisions together.

There is a whole lot more to the story. A lot of people in the story to love and enjoy. Watch how a whole town stomps out bullying! How the women learn to do more than take care of the house and children and become happier. I loved every minute of this book!

If you like stories of the Wild West, women of the West, finding your help meet, fighting bullying, laughter, medicine, broken bones (yes, I said bones as in plural), stories that keep you reading until the wee hours of the morning, then this might be for you!



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I grew up in Payson, Utah. Ever since elementary school I have loved to write. In junior high and high school I was on the newspaper staff. My senior year, I even had my own column: Carolyn’s Corner. While attending USU as a freshman, my journalism teacher, in an effort to “prepare me for the real world of writing," tore down my work to the point that I gave up, dropped my minor of journalism, and concentrated on my other love—biology. I graduated with a BS in Horticulture and an MS in Botany and went on to start my own business in a totally unrelated field: manufacturing puppets. Six years ago, after having raised my five kids and growing my business to a point of being viable to sell, I rediscovered my love of writing. I have since sold my manufacturing business, retaining a small division of it that I can operate out of my home and I spend the rest of my spare time writing. I now live in Kaysville, Utah.
​Oh, and I love the color yellow





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Tour Schedule
*Jan 8th: https://www.rockinbookreviews.com, http://mybookaday.blogspot.com, http://ldswritermom.blogspot.com

*Jan 9th: http://heidi-reads.blogspot.com, http://empowermoms.net, http://empowermoms.net

*Jan 10th: http://literarytimeout.blogspot.com, http://literarytimeout.blogspot.com, http://thethingsilovemost.com

*Jan 11th: https://ldsandlovinit.blogspot.com, http://katiescleanbookcollection.blogspot.com, https://www.singinglibrarianbooks.com, http://lisaisabookworm.blogspot.com, http://gettingyourreadonaimeebrown.blogspot.com

*Jan 12th: http://reviewsfromtheheart.blogspot.com, http://www.wishfulendings.com, http://www.kindleandme.com, http://booksaresanity.blogspot.com, http://fireandicereads.com