A a story of family, friendship, love and perseverance... A Heart of Gold by Stacy Henrie (Review & #Giveaway)



Welcome to my tour stop! Check out my review and enter the giveaway below...

A Heart of Gold
By Stacy Henrie
Christian Historical Romance, Western
Paperback & ebook, 250 Pages
September 15th 2020 by Mirror Press

Summary

They'll have to conquer more than the Klondike Trail to reach her father in time; they'll have to overcome their past too.

After months of silence from her father in the Klondike, Tava Rutherford finally receives word from him. Only the outdated letter reveals that her father is ill and may be dying. Desperate to discover his fate, Tava resolves to make the journey to the wilds of northwestern Canada. But Jess Lawmen, her ranch foreman and the man who broke her heart, insists she doesn't go alone. Jess intends to keep his promise to look out for her—even if that means traveling thousands of miles with Tava, the woman he claims to feel just friendship for but has never stopped loving.

With their own ragtag group of travelers in tow, Tava and Jess confront one challenge after another as they join the hundreds of stampeders scrambling to reach the goldfields. But as the two of them come face to face with their past hurts and mistakes in their race to reach Tava’s father, they will have to decide whether to cling to safety or risk their hearts for something even greater.

(Affiliate links included.)

My Review

HEART OF GOLD is a story of family, friendship, love and perseverance. Endearing characters, an adventurous journey, and sweet romance will keep readers entertained from beginning to end. Recommended to fans of the author and Christian historical romance.

I really liked both Tava and Jess. Jess is a bit more world weary, but he's Tava's rock as they travel to find her father. Tava has been somewhat sheltered so she doesn't always think before she acts, but her heart is in the right place. I liked the other characters who end up joining their party and learning about the trek gold hunters had to take to get to the Klondike. There are moments of faith and a theme of not only forgiving others, but also yourself. I also loved the friendship between Tava and Jess and that their love stemmed from years of that friendship. I did get a bit frustrated with the back and forth, waiting for them to figure things out. The ending, however, more than made up for it.

I think my one disappointment from the story was that I expected to feel more immersed in this story and journey than I did. Some places were a bit glossed over while other scenes felt superfluous. I also felt like for the historical period, some things were off. I think I just wanted more and since I'm a fan of the author, had high expectations. Regardless, it was a very enjoyable read.

In the end, was it what I wished for? I enjoyed journeying along with these characters as they face the challenging Klondike Trail and figure out their relationship. Fans of historical romance will enjoy getting to know these characters and cheering them on to the very end.

Content: Clean
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author


USA Today bestselling author Stacy Henrie is the author of western romances and the Of Love and War series, which includes Hope at Dawn, a 2015 RITA Award finalist for excellence in romance. She was born and raised in the West, where she currently resides with her family. She enjoys reading, road trips, interior decorating, chocolate, and most of all, laughing with her husband and kids.


Tour Schedule
 
Tour-Wide Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you read any of this author's other books? Will you be reading this one?

A perfect read for Regency romance fans... The Promise of Miss Spencer by Sarah L. McConkie (Review)

The Promise of Miss Spencer
(Pure Romance)
By Sarah L. McConkie
Adult Historical Romance
Paperback, Audiobook & ebook, 210 Pages
March 10th 2020 by Cedar Fort, Inc.

Summary

MISS SUZANNA SPENCER has successfully avoided marriage, waiting for love and equality in a husband of her choice.

Yet when her father suddenly becomes ill, she agrees to his dying wish—to marry Mr. Lacy and secure her future. Cast suddenly into a mourning period, Suzanna and Mr. Lacy agree to keep their engagement a secret until the proper six months have passed. But when Suzanna and Mr. Lacy find themselves thrown together with Miss Grysham and her handsome uncle Lord Haversley, everything becomes complicated. If only Lord Haversley didn’t expose his true bravery.

If only there wasn’t so much more to him than a gaudy Lord in Parliament. If only he would leave Suzanna alone. As the threat of smallpox looms close, all four friends must work together—and apart—to save the lives of those they love. Forced into keeping a promise, or securing the promise of her future, Suzanna must reconcile her obligations with her heart as she searches for a love she never had.

(Affiliate links included.)

My Review

THE PROMISE OF MISS SPENCER is a book with likable characters, great dialogue, sweet romance, and a heartfelt story. Recommended to sweet romance fans.

I really liked these characters. Miss Spencer's father had let her enjoy her life as she'd liked, but then exacts a promise of her that she wasn't ready to give. She wants to do her duty, but finds her heart resists. It was a bit of a predicament. Then Lord Haversley comes on the scene and causes more problems. I found much of their association to be humorous as they are at odds with each other. As the story unfolds, they find they have a lot more in common than they thought. I enjoyed the tension that you could feel between them that I knew could turn into something a bit more pleasant if they would be open to it. Lord Haversley's family and Mr. Lacy all have their roles to play and I especially enjoyed Lord Haversley's sister and her friendship with Suzanna. 

There was an interesting aspect of this story involving vaccinations. Parts were quite intriguing, and others heartbreaking. It's not a subject I've read much about in other books, if at all. I think some parts of the story needed a bit more development to avoid some lulls, but otherwise, I felt it was well written.

In the end, was it what I wished for? I enjoyed this story. It's steadily-paced with characters I liked, a sweet romance, and a story that will tug on the heart. I'm looking forward to reading more books from this author!

Content: Clean
Source: Borrowed through KindleUnlimited

Have you read this or any of this author's other books?

A Ranger for the Twins by Tanya Agler (Tour Launch Interview & #Giveaway) #RFTPrism @prismbooktours @harlequinbooks

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Author Interview

What inspired you to write A RANGER FOR THE TWINS?

When I started plotting the prequel, The Sheriff’s Second Chance, Georgie Bennett was an independent heroine who needed friends. Immediately, Lucie Appleby Decker leapt into mind as Georgie’s opposite: a woman who embraces happiness and loves frills but who has experienced the betrayal of her ex-husband who stole money from people Lucie loves. I knew then I wanted Lucie to have a happy ending of her own.

A Ranger for the Twins then started out with Lucie and her road to redemption as she feels she has to win back the respect of the residents in Hollydale, a town set in the Great Smoky Mountains area of North Carolina, a place I love visiting. After her ex-husband embezzled money from some of the town residents, Lucie wants to rebuild relationships and is thrilled at the chance of reconnecting with an old friend, one of the few who looked past her image to the person underneath. Caleb comes to Hollydale in search of the truth about what happened to his parents’ money and finds the truth isn’t what he expected, just like Lucie’s life isn’t anything like he expected. They come together for her new business but find they have more in common than they ever expected. They find unexpected treasures can emerge where you least expect to find them.

If you could sum the book up in one sentence, what would you say?

The road to redemption might be rocky, but love will always help you find your way home in the end.

What is your favorite part of this story?

One of my favorite scenes occurs near the end, but I don’t want to spoil any parts of the book. I love, though, how Lucie creates a support system with her close friends, family, and pets. Her menagerie of pets is one of my favorite parts of the story as I think pets become part of our family, and so too did Lucie’s pets become part of her family when many people disassociated themselves from her because of her ex-husband’s Ponzi scheme. Her pets include two dogs, a cat, three bunnies, and a pair of miniature pigs, all of whom were strays that found their way into her household. There’s a scene where Lucie introduces Caleb to Fred and Ethel, the miniature pigs. Ethel immediately takes to Caleb and jumps on the dilapidated couch next to him, much to Caleb’s surprise. He discovers Lucie has poured out the love and trust in her heart to those around her, and this helps him realize everything he’s heard about her part in the scheme might not be true after all.

Which character do you most relate to and why?

Lucie Decker and I are both moms of twins! But the reason I relate to Lucie goes deeper than that. She’s been through some difficult situations yet still wants to believe in the magic of love. With her strong ties to her friends and her pets and her family, Lucie looks a little messy on the outside but inside she’s aware of what’s important and what counts in life. I hope I have some of those same qualities.

What do you hope readers will take with them after they’ve read it?

I hope readers will take away that love and relationships provide the biggest treasure of our lives. Rather than locking love away to keep it hidden, sharing it is one of the hardest, but most worthwhile, aspects of life. Sometimes we have to look within and accept ourselves in those relationships, but acceptance can come where we least expect it, even from those we least expect it. In Caleb’s case, he finds love and acceptance for the real Caleb at Lucie’s house, from Ethel the pig to Lucie herself. For Lucie, redemption started with accepting herself and not letting her inner self stay hidden forever.

What is something about you that is unique or we may not know?

I am deaf in my left ear. I try to walk on other people’s left side and sit at booths so my right ear will be turned toward the waiter or waitress. My daughter didn’t realize she always walks on people’s right side until someone asked her why she always moves to someone’s right side. I have a hard time knowing what direction sounds come from, but most people are helpful once they find out and do little things to help me, like nudge me politely if I don’t know someone’s talking to me or let me try to read their lips if we’re in a crowded area.

A Ranger for the Twins
By Tanya Agler
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 Pages
October 6, 2020 by Harlequin Heartwarming

She fell from grace…

Before falling for him

When her husband defrauded the town of Hollydale, now-divorced mom Lucie Decker went from being the town darling to total pariah. Now she’s launching a new business and needs ranger Caleb Spindler’s help. And her twins adore Caleb. After all, he’s a genuine hero—even if he is hiding a secret. But while Lucie’s heart has forgotten how to trust, it still remembers how to fall in love…

(Affiliate links included.)

Tour Schedule

September 21st:
September 22nd:
September 23rd:
September 24th:
September 25th:
September 28th:
September 29th:
September 30th:
October 1st:
October 2nd:
October 3rd:

Bookstagram Tour


Check out the Bookstagram Tour here, which has its own giveaway!

September 28th: @suziewaltner
September 29th: @jypsylynn
September 30th: @laurenspageturnerz
October 1st: @jhannabass
October 2nd: @h.szott

Other Books in the Series

The Sheriff's Second Chance
By Tanya Agler
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 368 Pages
January 1, 2020 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Broken things can’t be fixed…

Or can they?

Officer and single dad Mike Harrison doesn’t believe in second chances. Ever. That is, until he learns that his former best friend—gorgeous green-eyed car mechanic Georgie Bennett—is back in town. Unfortunately, she’s also a suspect in a recent break-in! But it’ll take an old classic car to show Mike and Georgie that almost anything can be restored with a little patience…and a whole lot of love.

(Affiliate links included.)

About the Author


An award-winning author, Tanya Agler moved often during her childhood and settled in Georgia where she writes sweet contemporary romance novels, which feature small towns, family and pets, and themes of second chances and hope. Her debut, The Sheriff’s Second Chance, is a January of 2020 Harlequin Heartwarming release. The sequel, A Ranger for the Twins, will be released in Oct. 2020. A graduate of the University of Georgia with degrees in journalism and law, she lives with her wonderful husband, their four children, and a lovable Basset, who really rules the roost. Represented by Dawn Dowdle and the Blue Ridge Literary Agency, she’s currently at work on the sequels to her debut. When she’s not writing, Tanya loves classic movies, walking, and a good cup of tea.


Tour Giveaway


One winner will receive a tote bag, $10 Amazon gift card, signed print copy of The Sheriff's Second Chance and a pen (US only)
Ends October 7, 2020

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Weekly Update #385, our new modified normal...


Welcome to my Weekly Update where I share what's been going on and what's coming up!

I'm linking up to The Sunday Post, hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

It was another busy week with the kids doing this year's version of school, sports practices, and annual doctor appointments. Next week will be just as busy. We are starting to settle into a bit of routine, which is good. And I have my computer back so I can actually be a bit more productive on it and then have time to do things around the house and with the kids. It's a modified normal, but we'll take it. I have been getting some reading in and am looking forward to sharing some reviews this week.

This Week


Last Week

New Releases/#Free & Bargain Books for September 14th - September 20th #freebook #booksale #booklinkup #booklinky


Here are the New Releases / Free & Bargain Books, hosted by
Sharon over at Beck Valley Books, for this week! Check it all out below...

Authors please feel free to add your own books.
Readers please free to add your own finds.
(any genre except erotica welcome)

This weekly link up is hosted by Beck Valley Books & these awesome book loving blogs...

For Pre-orders post - PRE-ORDER / genre / title /author
For New Releases post - NEW / genre / title / author
For Free Books post - FREE / genre / title / author / end date 
For Bargain Books post - SALE / price / genre / title / author / end date
(Strictly no Erotica please.  Steamy romance is fine but watch those covers people, incase any underage child is viewing it!)

Here is this weeks awesome selection!


By adding your link, you acknowledge that the information you provide will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy and transmitted to Inlinkz in accordance with their Privacy Policy.

Would you like to share our linkup on your site? click here
Would you like to become a weekly host? sign up here

Come back and check out the new selection every week!

Check out the beginning of this #yalit #fairytale... The Evil Queen by Gena Showalter for First Line Fridays @InkyardPress


I'm joining in First Line Fridays today, hosted by Hoarding Books.

The Evil Queen
(The Forest of Good and Evil #1)
By Gena Showalter
YA Fantasy, Fairy Tale, Retelling
Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook & ebook, 576 Pages
June 25th 2019 by Inkyard Press

Summary

Once Upon a Time meets Game of Thrones in New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter’s magical, romantic dark fantasy series, in which the fairy tales we know and love are prophecies of the future.

Welcome to the Forest of Good and Evil, where villains may be heroes and heroes may be villains…it all depends on who you ask.

In the realm of Enchantia, creatures of legend still exist, magic is the norm, and fairy tales are real.

Raised in the human world, Everly Morrow has no idea she’s a fairy-tale princess―until she begins to commune with mirrors. Soon, a horrifying truth is revealed. She is fated to be Snow White’s greatest enemy, the Evil Queen.

With powers beyond her imagination or control, Everly returns to the land of her birth. There, she meets Roth Charmaine, the supposed Prince Charming. Their attraction is undeniable, but their relationship is doomed. As Everly faces disasters and betrayals, giving in to her dark side proves more tempting. Can she resist, or will she become the villain she was born to be?

(Affiliate links included.)

First Line

Once upon a time in the magical land of Enchantia, a queen sat in her turret, dreaming of a new life.

I love fairy tale retellings and twists and somehow missed this series until I saw book two coming out, so I'll be reading them both. Does this first line grab you? Is this book on your list to read or have you already read it?

A story to fall in love with... To Love a Prince by Rachel Hauck (Review & #Giveaway) @Celebrate_Lit


Welcome to my tour stop! Read my review of this newest royal
romance from Rachel Hauck and enter the giveaway below...

To Love A Prince
(True Blue Royal #1)
By Rachel Hauck
Christian Contemporary Royal Romance
Paperback, Audiobook & ebook, 350 Pages
August 11, 2020 by Hauck House

Summary

An enchanting new royal romance from NYT bestselling author Rachel Hauck.

Daffodil Caron is not a princess, even though she once dreamed of being one. After all, she grew up as a playmate to royal princes, running through the halls of Perrigwynn Palace in the North Sea’s Lauchtenland. But the day she stumbled upon a royal secret, everything changed.

Flash forward eighteen years, and Daffy’s living a sweet, non-royal life. A skilled art curator for the Royal Trust, she has friends, a flat in the heart of the capital city, and a handsome, successful boyfriend. The last person on her mind is Gus, the prince she once called her best mate.

HRH Prince Augustus is no longer “Prince Pudgy,” as caricatured by the press—he’s charming and gorgeous, possessing a world-famous smile. But after he’s jilted at the altar, then dumped by his second fianceĆ©, the spare heir to Lauchtenland’s ancient House of Blue finds solace on a Florida beach.

A year as a regular bloke allows him to rethink his purpose. He’s half decided his calling is to pour pints at a tiki bar rather than serve his country and the Family.

But a wild Frisbee toss down the beach changes his destiny.

Despite his long hair and beard, Daffy recognizes her prince. She reminds Gus of his heritage and assures him that he’s needed in Lauchtenland.

When Daffy and Gus find themselves on assignment at Hadsby Castle in preparation for his brother’s wedding ball, their friendship blooms into affection.

Then secrets are exposed, and Gus must choose between his past hurts and his future hope. And Daffy must trust her heart to forever love a prince.

To Love a Prince is breathtaking and enchanting! Rachel Hauck is the queen of inspirational royal romance.” – Teri Wilson, bestselling author of Unleashing Mr. Darcy and Christmas Charms

(Affiliate links included.)

My Review

TO LOVE A PRINCE is another story with Hauck's trademark royal romance and a few side characters with their own divine purposes. It's about second chances, reclaimed dreams, and sacrifice. More than that, it's about these characters coming into their own, finding faith, and fighting for love. Fans of the author and genre will fall in love with this one!

I loved these characters! Prince Gus is just this super charismatic guy who has a huge heart. He's a great friend, willing to get his hands dirty with hard work, is loyal to his family, and has a backbone when he needs it. Daffy is just super sweet, very loyal, and would do anything for anyone. I did want her to have a bit more of a backbone, but she does eventually get there. I loved, loved the friendship between Daffy and Gus and the banter that so easily comes between them. There were so many sweet, swoon-worthy moments, but also moments of laughter and contemplative ones. There were also heartbreaking moments that made me want to cry. The inspirational element was woven through really well in this story and on the lighter side. Both Gus and Daffy each had their own vulnerabilities and things they had to work on before they could move on and I really enjoyed going along on the journey with them.

The only thing that marred this story for me were some of the situations with Daffy's supposed friends. One friend breaks the rules of friendship over and over again and puts her career over everyone else. I was ready for Daffy to drop her quite early on in the story. I also didn't like another aspect where again, Daffy lets friends off really easily and I really had a tough time with the situation. I do believe in forgiveness, but that doesn't mean you have to be friends or continue to let people walk all over you. I felt like it was something a bit forced in this story and didn't need to be one of the things tied up all pretty. 

In the end, was it what I wished for? If you've enjoyed Haruck's previous royal romances, then you'll definitely enjoy this one! It's full of great characters, plenty of heart, lots of memorable moments, a bit of faith-fueled inspiration, and sweet romance. I can't wait for the next book in the series! Definitely recommended!

Content: Some references to cheating.
Source: I received a complimentary copy through Celebrate Lit, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author


Rachel Hauck is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA TODAY bestselling author of The Wedding Dress, which was also named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times and was a RITA finalist. Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and pet and writes from her ivory tower.

Her book, Once Upon A Prince, first in the Royal Wedding Series, was filmed for an Original Hallmark movie.

Rachel has been awarded the prestigious Career Achievement Award for her body of original work by Romantic Times Book Reviews.

A member of the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers, she teaches workshops and leads worship at the annual conference. She is a past Mentor of The Year.

At home, she’s a wife, writer, worship leader and works out at the gym semi-enthusiastically.

A graduate of Ohio State University (Go Bucks!) with a degree in Journalism, she’s a former sorority girl and a devoted Ohio State football fan. Her bucket list is to stand on the sidelines with Ryan Day.

She lives in sunny central Florida with her husband and ornery cat.


More from Rachel

Hello Royal Rockstar Readers!

I’m thrilled to share To Love A Prince with you. So many of you who loved the Royal Wedding Series have asked for more royals so as I noodled over new story ideas, my thoughts drifted toward princes and princesses. What’s more romantic than a royal wedding?

This royal story, the first book in a new series, True Blue Royal, is set in a new fictional country, Lauchtenland, in the North Sea. I’m really squeezing all those oil wells currently occupying that body of water.

The beauty of royal stories is they remind us of who we really are: princes and princesses. There is always a point in the story where the royal character, as well as the commoner, must come to grips with his and her true identity! Who God says we are!

Stories are a powerful reflection of life and it’s fun to insert ourselves into the tale. While fiction employs a lot of hyperbole we can find ourselves on the page somewhere, somehow.

Thanks for going on this little tour with me and To Love A Prince. You are so vital to my story as an author. Thank you!

Yours,
Rachel

Tour Schedule

Worthy2Read, September 10
Genesis 5020, September 10
Novels Corner, September 10
Connect in Fiction, September 11
deb’s Book Review, September 11
Remembrancy, September 12
Breny and books, September 12
Texas Book-aholic, September 12
Inklings and notions, September 12
For Him and My Family, September 13
Artistic Nobody, September 13 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
The Book Chic Blog, September 13
Among the Reads, September 14
Soulfully Romantic, September 14
Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 14
Sara Jane Jacobs, September 14
lakesidelivingsite, September 15
All-of-a-kind Mom, September 15
Betti Mace, September 16
She Lives To Read, September 17
Wishful Endings, September 17
Life of Literature, September 17
Life, Love, Writing, September 17
Book Love, September 18 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)
Maureen Timerman, September 18
Batya’s Bits, September 18
Labor Not in Vain, September 18
Bigreadersite, September 19
Hallie Reads, September 19
Jeanette’s Thoughts, September 19
Splashes of Joy, September 19
Christian Bookaholic, September 20
Inside the Wong Mind, September 21
By The Book, September 21
Mary Hake, September 21
Godly Book Reviews, September 21
Hebrews 12 Endurance, September 22
Livin’ Lit, September 22
Simple Harvest Reads, September 23 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Mamma Loves Books, September 23
Daysong Reflections, September 23

Tour-Wide Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away a royal gift box of Pampering Princess items that includes bath balms, tea, tiara and other surprises!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


Are you a Rachel Hauck fan or do you like reading royal romances? Will you be reading this one?

Check out an excerpt from this new romantic comedy mystery... Against My Better Judgment by B.T. Polcari (Excerpt & #Giveaway) #AJBlitz @prismbooktours

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Against My Better Judgment
(Mauzzy and Me Mystery, #1)
By B.T. Polcari
New Adult Contemporary Mystery, Romantic Comedy
Paperback & ebook, 298 Pages
September 16th 2020 by The Wild Rose Press

When freshman year at the University of Alabama draws to a close, Sara Donovan finds herself grappling with the same old question—listen to her head or follow her heart. What she ends up doing is purchasing an Egyptian souvenir funerary mask, and after a mysterious phone call, she's certain a ring of antiquities smugglers are operating in Tuscaloosa.

With finals never far from her mind and her return to 'Bama hanging in the balance, she should be studying. Instead she launches her own investigation to prove her mask is indeed a stolen artifact, and not a cheap trinket. When it comes time to snoop, Sara is more than ready, or at least she was until a hot new teaching assistant moves in next door.

Suddenly she learns things are never as they seem. Ever.

(Affiliate links included.)

Excerpt

I waited another ten seconds, straining to hear anything that would give away the intruder’s location.

Still nothing.

I forged ahead, the snail’s pace turning my ankles into jelly.

One more step to go.

I stopped and crouched up against the inside wall of the staircase. Just earsplitting silence. Gathering myself, I summoned whatever semblance of courage remained in my trembling body.

A second later, my brain issued the command. Okay—it’s go time.

I lunged up toward the last stair, propelling myself into the loft.

At least that was the plan.

My leading foot caught the lip of the top stair, sending me crashing down. The pepper spray sailed across the room as the elbow of my outstretched arm slammed into the wood floor. I didn’t hear the dispenser hit anything, so either the killer caught it, or it landed in the pile of clean clothes on the floor. Either way, not good. Worse yet, the raised bat fell backward, its barrel cracking me on the back of the head before bouncing and rolling down the stairs.

Disarmed and face down, I lay sprawled between the top step and the floor of the room. Before the killer could react, I scrambled to my feet and hit the light switch.

And there he was, his intensity palpable.

I stared into his piercing eyes.

About the Author


Ever wonder what retired business executives do after they have put in years of effort for society and decide it is time to hang up their hat? Perhaps strolling along the country club’s fairway, or lounging on a 50-foot yacht?

Alas, B. T. Polcari is unlike your typical retired executive. Empty nester and Scarlett Knights alum, Polcari is still learning the meaning of “retired” while feverishly typing away on the next new book idea, smashing the fuzz off the little green tennis ball, or blasting bowling pins for a perfect game. Yes there is a boat, but not one that comes with its own crew; this retiree prefers to bustle along a serene lake in a quaint single seat Sunfish sailboat.

Perhaps the only time BTP can be found in a quiet moment is while enjoying the morning company of two family dachshunds over a newspaper and cup of coffee. B. T. Polcari currently resides in Chattanooga, TN and is thrilled to be fulfilling a childhood dream of becoming a published author.


Blitz Giveaway


One winner will receive a print copy of The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez

Open to US and internationally to those who receive free shipping through the Book Depository
Ends September 20, 2020

ENTER HERE
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I Can't Wait for... The Camelot Betrayal by Kiersten White (Can't-Wait Wednesday/Waiting on Wednesday) #CWW #WOW #YALit


Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted here, at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. If you're continuing with WOW, feel free to link those up as well! Find out more here.

I love all things King Arthur and Merlin and have been so intrigued by White's newest adaptation with plenty of magical aspects. I have the first book yet to read, but I'm still very much looking forward to book two. It's my pick this week...

The Camelot Betrayal
(Camelot Rising Trilogy #2)
By Kiersten White
YA Fantasy
Hardcover, Audiobook & ebook, 384 Pages
November 10, 2020 by Delacorte Press

Summary

The second book in a new fantasy trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White, exploring the nature of self, the inevitable cost of progress, and, of course, magic and romance and betrayal so epic Queen Guinevere remains the most famous queen who never lived.

EVERYTHING IS AS IT SHOULD BE IN CAMELOT: King Arthur is expanding his kingdom's influence with Queen Guinevere at his side. Yet every night, dreams of darkness and unknowable power plague her.

Guinevere might have accepted her role, but she still cannot find a place for herself in all of it. The closer she gets to the people around her--Brangien, pining for her lost love Isolde; Lancelot, fighting to prove her worth as Queen's knight; and Arthur, everything to everyone and thus never quite enough for Guinevere--the more she realizes how empty she is. She has no sense of who she truly was before she was Guinevere. The more she tries to claim herself as queen, the more she wonders if Mordred was right: she doesn't belong. She never will.

When a rescue goes awry and results in the death of something precious, a devastated Guinevere returns to Camelot to find the greatest threat yet has arrived. Not in the form of the Dark Queen or an invading army, but in the form of the real Guinevere's younger sister. Is her deception at an end? And who is she really deceiving--Camelot, or herself?

(Affiliate links included.)


Will you be reading this one?

If you're a fan of Teen Titans... Teen Titans: Beast Boy by Kami Garcia, illustrated by Gabriel Picolo (Review) #DCComics! #TeenTitansBeastBoy @dccomics

Teen Titans: Beast Boy
By Kami Garcia
Illustrated by Gabriel Picolo
YA Comic, Super Hero
Paperback & ebook, 208 Pages
September 1, 2020 by DC Ink

Summary

#1 New York Times bestselling author Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures) and artist Gabriel Picolo, the creative duo behind the smash hit Teen Titans: Raven, take you on a journey of self-discovery and acceptance, while reminding us the value of true friendship--especially when life gets wild.

Garfield Logan has spent his entire life being overlooked. Even in a small town like Eden, Georgia, the 17-year-old with green streaks in his hair can't find a way to stand out--and the clock is ticking. Senior year is almost over. If Gar doesn't find a way to impress the Chosen Ones--the social elite at Bull Creek High School--he will never know what it's like to matter. Gar's best friends, Stella and Tank, don't understand why he cares what other people think. They miss their funny, pizza-loving, video game-obsessed best friend.

Then Gar accepts a wild dare out of the blue. It impresses the Chosen Ones and his social status soars. But other things are changing, too. Gar grows six inches overnight. His voice drops and, suddenly, he's stronger and faster. He's finally getting everything he wanted, but his newfound popularity comes at a price. Gar has to work harder to impress his new friends. The dares keep getting bigger and the stakes keep getting higher.

When Gar realizes the extent of his physical changes, he has to dig deep and face the truth about himself--and the people who truly matter--before his life spirals out of control.

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My Review

TEEN TITANS: BEAST BOY tells the story of a guy who just wants to feel like he's accepted. He's got two best friends and is dealing with the usual challenges of going through high school. Those who are fans of TEEN TITANS will find much to love here.

Let me start off by saying that the illustrations are fantastic! I definitely am now a fan of Picolo's illustration style. I've been a fan of the Kami Garcia for a while, since her Beautiful Creatures days, so there definitely is a lot going for me for this series. I really liked the characters and I liked the overall message of fitting in and being comfortable in your own skin. That is definitely something Beast Boy or Gar will find still challenging in the future. This first book is the beginning of his story and I'm definitely curious to see what happens when he meets up with Raven in the next book.

I also was looking for something more from this, not that I can exactly define what more I wanted. I think just a bit more depth. I didn't like the absentee parent feeling. I also didn't like the crude language during some of the high school scenes, although not unexpected. Otherwise, I enjoyed reading this.

In the end, was it what I wished for? This is an overall quick read with fantastic illustrations and likable characters. Fans of TEEN TITANS will definitely be interested. This series has a promising future with more titans' stories to unfold.

Content: Some swearing and crude language.
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Other Books in the Series

Teen Titans: Raven
By Kami Garcia
Illustrated by Gabriel Picolo
YA Comic, Super Hero
Hardcover, Paperback & ebook, 184 Pages
July 2, 2019 by DC Ink

Summary

New York Times bestseller!

USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestseller!


When a tragic accident takes the life of 17-year-old Raven Roth's foster mom--and Raven's memory--she moves to New Orleans to recover and finish her senior year of high school.

Starting over isn't easy. Raven remembers everyday stuff like how to solve math equations and make pasta, but she can't remember her favorite song or who she was before the accident. And when impossible things start happening, Raven begins to think it might even be better not to know who she was before.

But as she grows closer to her new friends, her foster sister, Max, and Tommy Torres, a guy who accepts her for who she is now, Raven has to decide if she's ready to face what's buried in the past...and the darkness building inside her.

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Kami Garcia and first-time graphic novel artist Gabriel Picolo comes this riveting tale of finding the strength to face who you are and learning to trust others--and yourself.

(Affiliate links included.)

And now available for pre-order...

Teen Titans: Beast Boy Loves Raven
By Kami Garcia
Illustrated by Gabriel Picolo
YA Comic, Super Hero
Hardcover, Paperback & ebook, 208 Pages
February 23, 2021 by DC Ink

Summary

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures) and artist Gabriel Picolo, the creative duo behind the New York Times bestselling graphic novel Teen Titans: Raven, comes the romantic meetup we have all been waiting for!

It seems like years, but it’s only been a few days since Raven Roth recovered her memories; trapped her demon father, Trigon, in her amulet; and had her heart broken for the first time. But she doesn’t have time to think about the past…she has to focus on finding a way to get rid of Trigon for good.

Garfield Logan still can’t believe he has powers that allow him to change into different animals, but the price of knowing that his parents kept this secret hidden from him just feels too high. And what’s more, his difficulty controlling these abilities could have unexpected consequences.

Both are seeking answers from the one person who seems to have them all figured out: Slade Wilson.

When their paths converge in Nashville, Raven and Gar can’t help but feel a connection, despite the secrets they both try to hide. It will take a great amount of trust and courage to overcome the wounds of their pasts. But can they find acceptance for the darkest part of themselves? Or maybe even love?

(Affiliate links included.)

You can go check out the trailer for Teen Titans: Beast Boy here. Are you a Teen Titans fan/ Will you be reading these comics?

Read an excerpt from The Legend of Akikumo by Dani Hoots (Excerpt & #Giveaway) @danihootsauthor @yaboundtourspr #yalit #yafantasy


Welcome to my tour stop! Read an excerpt and enter the tour giveaway below...

The Legend of Akikumo
By Dani Hoots
YA Fantasy, Japanese
Hardcover, Paperback & ebook, 314 Pages
September 15, 2020 by FoxTales Press

Summary

Ketsueki would give anything to find out why her mentor Akikumo, the last wolf in Japan, abandoned her. He left her with other kitsune at the Inari Shrine, but she doesn’t fit in. And now the other kitsune are bullying her and saying Akikumo is dead.

After causing trouble for the hundredth time, the Inari, instead of punishing her, has given Ketsueki a task: she must find out what happened to Akikumo. She quickly agrees, not realizing the delinquent son of the shrine’s head priest must accompany her.

Will Ketsueki be able to make peace with a human? Or will her years of resentment make this partnership impossible?

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Excerpt


Chapter 1

My seven tails dangled off the edge of the red torii, swishing back and forth, dancing to the warm summer breeze that flowed through the air. Inhaling deeply, I breathed in the sweet scent of the maple trees. I rubbed the deep blue magatama pendant I wore around my neck to pass the time as I awaited my next victim. My ears twitched at the footsteps coming up the path leading up the mountain.

I cocked my head, my long black and red hair tossing to the side, to peer down at four teenagers giggling as they held two lanterns to light the way. It was well past midnight, so these couples were out on a dare. The warm summer nights caused many teens to come up from the city for what they called a “romantic challenge” among the serene landscape. There were rumors of ghosts playing tricks on this mountain. I had never seen a ghost here, but I had seen my fair share of terrified humans.

This time it was two couples. Usually a larger group showed up, and they would take turns going up the mountain, seeing who would chicken out and come down first. It made no sense to me, but that didn’t matter—I enjoyed playing tricks on them either way.

The couples parted ways at the fork, and I followed the boy and girl on the right first. I noted their clothes as human teens were always wearing similar outfits these days. They both wore a blue blazer, but the girl was wearing a green-and-blue plaid skirt while the boy wore blue pants. Both had a green piece of fabric around their necks, but they tied them differently. Why did so many teens want to match clothes? One of the other kitsune had explained it was what they wore to school every day, but I didn’t believe him. Then again, I didn’t care for human culture anyway.

I hopped to the ground, landing silently on my geta, which took a lot of skill to do. Normally the wood hitting the concrete made a loud noise. It took me a few years to master, but it was useful, not only for scaring humans but to sneak past Ichika when she was looking for me. She didn’t care for my antics, and if it weren’t for the fact I was the last kitsune born in Japan, she would have kicked me out by now for quite a few different reasons.

These humans weren’t patrons though—they wanted me to terrify them.

I stayed in my natural form—half fox, half human—as it scared the teens the best. If I turned into a fox, they confused me with the other foxes that lived in the forest and would comment on how cute I was. Kids these days. And if I stayed as a human, they wouldn’t even care. But when I was half-and-half, they screamed and panicked as they realized the tales of old were true and that the monstrous kitsune exist. Then they would tell their friends, who would decide to go out on the dare days later. The cycle never ended, and I felt as if it were my duty to keep it going.

The girl hung on to the boy’s arm as if scared for dear life, but it was an act. Taking in a deep breath, I noted no scent of fear was coming off either of them. This couple must not have believed the stories their friends had told them about this place. They were playing the part in order to hold on to one another.

These two were in for an enormous surprise.

As silent as an autumn breeze, I followed, watching as the girl kept clinging to the boy’s arm, giggling, blind to what was going on around her.

“Don’t you think this place is spooky?” the girl asked. “I can’t believe Yuki-san was the one who came up with this dare.”

“Don’t worry—you have nothing to fear with me here. I’ve been to this shrine many times, and it’s not scary.”

The boy was full of himself. There were things to fear in these woods as I had lived here all my life. He lied or only visited in the daytime. During the day, the creatures of the shadows, us yokai, hid from humans. During the night, however, was a different story.

They used to dread us, and I wasn’t sure if the modern ignorance or past fear was better. Now humans expanded, not caring if they were in the yokais’ territory, but at least we weren’t being persecuted any longer.

I shook my head, pushing away those memories. Humans once hunted me, but now things had changed. I was the predator, and I could seek my revenge by scaring these kids.

“Besides,” the boy kept talking. “Yuki-san just suggested this so she could hold on tight to Shigure-kun.”

The girl laughed. “Well, I can’t say I blame her.”

“What? You want to hang on to Shigure-kun as well?”

“No, I meant so I could hang on to you.”

I rolled my eyes. The scent of teenage pheromones filled my nose, making me want to vomit. They were way too lovey-dovey for me. I wanted to add a little excitement in their lives and get them to see each other’s true selves.
Running around the torii and through the woods, I stood behind the red lacquered wood a few meters in front of them. As they stepped closer, I let my tails appear from behind the torii.

“What’s that?” the girl squeaked.

I moved my tails back and forth.

“I think it’s just a fox.” The boy shrugged. “They are active in these parts because of the Inari shrine.”
“Is it going to hurt us?”

“No. Foxes are harmless. We will scare it away.”

I grinned. Although he acted fine, I smelled the tangy fear coming off his body. It tasted as tantalizing as cold sake on a warm summer night.

I hid behind the torii and jumped up on top of it as the kids passed underneath me. They did not understand what horrors stood above them. Such naive creatures.

Leaping forward, torii after torii, I peered down to find the couple starting to calm down. Now for the next part of my plan.

Using my powers, I summoned a small kitsunebi to appear in the middle of the pathway.

“Ara ma!” the girl screamed. “What is that light?”

“It’s just a firefly.”

“During this time of year? That’s not possible. It looks like… It looks like a blue flame!”

“I… I don’t know.”

“Maybe we should turn back…”

The boy shook his head. “No. We are supposed to meet the others at the top of this mountain.”

“Text them!”

“But we will lose! It’s just an illusion. We should keep going.”

That was my cue. I jumped down, igniting dozens of more little kitsunebi, giving a faint blue light around the couple and me. I smiled, exposing my fangs, and swayed my seven tails.

The boy and girl screamed, and I wasn’t sure which one had a higher pitch. They both spun around and started running, no longer arm in arm.

I, however, was much faster than them.

I ran around and stood in front of them, laughing. Screams and cries filled the once silent air as the couple tried to figure out what to do next. They turned to run up the mountain, but I ran in front of them again. This time I surrounded them with my blue kitsunebi so they had nowhere else to go.

They both stopped and fell to the cement, crying in each other’s arms. I raised my hand, creating a big kitsunebi. They shut their eyes as tight as possible.

I disappeared, jumped up on the torii, and watched.

It was a pleasant couple of moments until one of them opened an eye to see why I hadn’t killed them yet. Scared, they picked themselves up, looking for any sign of me. I gave none. Before anything else could happen, they ran down the mountain, tears still falling from their eyes and fear emanating from them like an aroma coming off a grill. I took a big whiff of it and licked my lips. This was the life.

Now to terrorize the other two.

“Tsuki Ketsueki!” I heard a voice call.

Kuso. I was in trouble now. I straightened my red kimono and black obi and turned to find Yamato standing under the torii I was on, her nine orange tails swishing every which way. Her auburn hair was pulled back in a bun. To most it appeared as if she dyed it, but it was her natural color. She folded her arms and pursed her lips into a tight line.

“Ichika-sama, what are you doing up?” I jumped to the ground as I gave her my most innocent smile.

“Don’t even try, Tsuki-san. You are in a lot of trouble. What did I tell you about messing with our parishioners?”
“But they aren’t parishioners—they are here on a dare.”

“I don’t care. This is sacred land, and we must keep everyone on it safe no matter why they are here. Over a century has passed and you still haven’t learned that.”

I bowed my head a little as my ears folded down. “I’m sorry, Ichika-sama. I wanted to give those kids a good story to tell their friends.”

She sighed as she flipped open her black fan, which was decorated with gold butterflies that matched her formal kimono. She waved it at herself as the summer nights were rather warm this year and because it was the way she dealt with her pent-up rage against me. She stared me straight in the eyes with her own blue eyes.

“I don’t know what to do with you, Tsuki-san. We took you in because Akikumo-sama was the one who brought you to us. But that was a long time ago, and you still don’t fit in. You are the last kitsune ever to be born. Why don’t you behave?”

I said nothing as memories of Akikumo came back to me, causing tears to form in my eyes. I grabbed the magatama and closed my eyes for a moment. It had been over a century since I last saw him. He disappeared without a trace, and I still hadn’t forgiven him for that.

“How about you go back to the shrine and get some sleep? Tomorrow I will have a lengthy conversation with Inari-sama. Then you and I will discuss what to do next.”

Bowing, I did as she ordered and wondered what I would do without this place. I had never been on my own. I traveled with Akikumo for hundreds of years until he brought me to this place. What would I do if I had to leave?

About the Author


Dani Hoots is a science fiction, fantasy, romance, and young adult author who loves anything with a story. She has a B.S. in Anthropology, a Masters of Urban and Environmental Planning, a Certificate in Novel Writing from Arizona State University, and a BS in Herbal Science from Bastyr University.

Currently she is working on a YA urban fantasy series called Daughter of Hades, a YA urban fantasy series called The Wonderland Chronicles, a historic fantasy vampire series called A World of Vampires, and a YA sci-fi series called Sanshlian Series. She has also started up an indie publishing company called FoxTales Press. She also works with Anthill Studios in creating comics through Antik Comics.

Her hobbies include reading, watching anime, cooking, studying different languages, wire walking, hula hoop, and working with plants. She is also an herbalist and sells her concoctions on FoxCraft Apothecary. She lives in Phoenix with her husband and visits Seattle often.


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