Friday, July 31, 2015

Virtual Tour for The Color of Our Sky by Amita Trasi

Welcome to my stop on the Virtual Tour, presented by Pump Up Your Book, for The Color of Our Sky by Amita Trasi.  Please leave a comment or question for Amita to let her know you stopped by.  You can follow all of the stops on her tour by clicking on the banner above.

Why My First Novel Is About The Devdasi Cult That Exists in India despite The Law By Amita Trasi

Thanks for hosting me today.

When I set out to write this novel, I only ever intended to write about the friendship between two girls—Tara of privileged upbringing like many girls in India’s cities and Mukta, a poor village girl who doesn’t really land the luck of the draw. Initially, I hadn’t imagined Mukta to be born into a family of temple prostitutes. But as I wrote, the characters took on a life of their own and led me to places that I honestly didn’t think I would ever research or write about.

THE COLOR OF OUR SKY brings to light an outdated tradition— that of the DEVDASIS. Centuries ago, this tradition began as a way for some women to practice their devotion towards the temple Goddess, Yellamma. A ceremony (similar to a wedding) was performed where these girls/women dedicated their lives in the service of the temple. They would dance in temples, earning the title ‘dancing girls’.

Today, this tradition has devolved into prostitution with young girls being efficiently exploited by pimps in the human trafficking business.  This is the story of one such girl—Mukta—who is sacrificed at the altar of the Devdasi tradition that still torment some villages in India (even though there is a law against it.)

My novel is an intersection of two voices—Tara and Mukta—two girls from two different castes who form an unlikely friendship which endures the worst. For me, the Tara who returns to India seeking redemption represents hope for a better tomorrow for girls like Mukta. Mukta is a representation of a life wrought in the ugliness of the world. In their friendship I find a light—a hope—that for every girl like Mukta, there will be a friend and savior like Tara.

The Color of Our Sky
By Amita Trasi

Publisher: Bloomhill Books
Release Date:  June 30, 2015
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Suspense
Length: 304 Pages (5105 KB)
Format: Paperback/Kindle

About the book; 

A sweeping, emotional journey of two childhood friends—one struggling to survive the human slave trade and the other on a mission to save her—two girls whose lives converge only to change one fateful night in 1993.

India, 1986: Mukta, a ten-year-old girl from the lower caste Yellamma cult of temple prostitutes has come of age to fulfill her destiny of becoming a temple prostitute. In an attempt to escape this legacy that binds her, Mukta is transported to a foster family in Bombay. There she discovers a friend in the high spirited eight-year-old Tara, the tomboyish daughter of the family, who helps her recover from the wounds of her past.

Tara introduces Mukta to a different world—ice cream and sweets, poems and stories, and a friendship the likes of which she has never experienced before. In 1993, Mukta is kidnapped from Tara’s room. 

Eleven years later, Tara who blames herself for what happened, embarks on an emotional journey to search for the kidnapped Mukta only to uncover long buried secrets in her own family.

Moving from a remote village in India to the bustling metropolis of Bombay, to Los Angeles and back again, amidst the brutal world of human trafficking, this is a heartbreaking and beautiful portrait of an unlikely friendship—a story of love, betrayal, and redemption—which ultimately withstands the true test of time.

For More Information
The Color of Our Sky is available at Amazon.
Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Read Chapter One here.

The memory of that moment hit me like a surging ocean wave—drawing me into it—the sour smell of darkness, those sobs erupting like an echo from a bottomless pit. I had tried to break away from it for so long I had forgotten that places can have memories too. I stood in the dimly lit corridor outside my childhood home and tried to unlock the door. The keys rattled in my hand and fell to the floor. This was proving to be more difficult than I had thought. One deep breath and you will find the courage Papa used to tell me when I was a child. Now, in my mid-twenties, here I was, standing outside this locked door, feeling like a child once again.

I picked up the keys and tried again. The doors creaked as I managed to push them open. The apartment was dark. Outside, the sky thundered and rain rammed the rooftops. A stray slant of sunlight fell on furniture that had gathered dust over the years, and I stood in that unlit room looking at the old cobwebs crowding the corners of what had once been my home. I switched on the lights and wiped the dust off my writing desk with a smooth stroke of my hand. It is just an apartment, I told myself. But there were so many things from my childhood here—my writing desk where Papa had sat down next to me, teaching me how to write, and the couch where we had watched television together as a family.

In my bedroom, my bed stood neatly covered, just the way I had left it.  I could hear the sound of our laughter, smell my childhood—the food Aai used to cook and lovingly feed me—that wafting floral smell of saffron in the pulao, turmeric perfumed dal, the sweet rasgullas. There wasn’t any such smell of course, not anymore. All that was left was just a musty odor from closed doors, from buried secrets.

A cloud of dust erupted as I parted the curtains. Outside, the rain was falling softly, leaves cradling the raindrops. The scene was still the same as when Papa and I had moved away to Los Angeles eleven years ago: the zooming in and out of traffic, the honking of rickshaws and cars, the distant barking of stray dogs, the sprawled slums in the distance. Standing here, my suitcases lonely in the doorway, I understood why Papa had never tried to sell or rent this apartment. After making a home in America for eleven years, he had hoped to return one day to search for Mukta. After all, this was where she was kidnapped.

It is said that time heals everything. I don’t think that’s true. As the years have gone by, I’ve found it odd how simple things can still remind you of those terrible times or how the moment you try so hard to forget becomes your sharpest memory.

I stepped out of my apartment that day determined to find answers. The taxi drivers stood in a queue, waiting, hoping, begging you to take a ride from them.

There was something about this city that I would never forget. I could see it everywhere, smell it, hear it—the dreams that lingered on people’s faces, the smell of sweat and grime, the sound of distant chaos in the air. This was where it had happened—where walls had blown apart, vehicles had blown away, simple shards of glass had splintered lives, and our loved ones had become memories.

Standing here, an image of Aai floated before my eyes, waiting for me somewhere, her kohl-lined eyes tearing up as she took me in her arms. It was different before the blasts had come and taken her away.

“Madam, I taking you anywhere you wanting to go,” a taxi driver called out.

“No here, here . . .” another taxi driver waved.

I nodded to one of them and he hurriedly got behind the wheel. It began drizzling as I stepped inside. The rain fell softly around us.

“Take me to the police station in Dadar,” I told him.

“Madam, you coming from foreign, no? I understanding from the way you speaking. I taking you to the bestest hotels in Mumbai. You will—”

“Take me to the police station,” I repeated, sternly.

The driver was quiet the rest of the way, humming quietly to the tune of Bollywood music roaring through the speakers in his taxi.

Outside, the slum dwellers and street children picking through garbage rolled past us. Heat hovered over the city despite the drizzle, and the wind smelled of smoke, curry, and drains. People still walked dangerously close to the speeding traffic, rickshaws sputtered alongside, and beggars knocked on my taxi window asking for money. The footpaths still housed many of the poor who lived in makeshift tents, women haggled with hawkers in the bazaars, and men loitered in corners giving vacant stares. Behind them, Bollywood movie posters on walls announced the latest movies.

When I was a child, Papa had taken me for a walk on these very streets. Once I had accompanied Aai to the bazaars and haggled with shopkeepers alongside her. And there was a time I had sat in the backseat of a taxi with Mukta next to me while Papa had taken us to the Asiatic library. How excitedly I had shown her the sea, the garden, and introduced her to my world. How many times had she walked with me to my school, carrying my schoolbag, or sat with me on the park bench slurping iced golas? Now, sitting in the backseat of this taxi, my stomach churned. These moments seemed to paralyze me; I was unable to breathe, as if the crime I had committed was slowly strangling me. I pressed my face closer to the open window and forced myself to breathe.

“Here madam, that’s the police station,” the driver announced as he pulled over.

It was raining very hard when the taxi came to a stop, the wipers whipping wildly against the windshield. I stepped into ankle-deep water as I got down, the rain beating against my umbrella. I paid the taxi driver. In the distance, near the garbage cans, children in raincoats splashed water on each other, their giggles coming in waves.

At the station, I found a place on the bench in the corner and dropped my purse in my lap. Eleven years ago Papa and I had sat on one such bench in this police station, waiting for hours, to understand what had happened to us, trying to make sense of it all. Now, as I sat straight, sandwiched between strangers waiting their turn, I wished Papa were sitting beside me. In a way, I still carried him with me—his remains—his ashes, capped tightly in a bottle in my purse. I had brought them here to disperse in the river, something I needed to do, something that was in accordance with his last wishes.

A constable sat at a table nearby, his head behind a mountain of files; another sat behind him at another table, listening to complaints and noting them in a register, while yet another sat on a chair not far away, his head buried in a newspaper. A chaiwala rushed past us carrying chai, placing the glasses of brown liquid on every table. Outside, police sirens pierced the air, and the policemen dragged two handcuffed men inside.
The woman before me sobbed and urged the constable to find her missing son. He yawned, scribbled something in the register, and then shooed her away.

When it was my turn, I sat in front of him. He rubbed his eyes. “What is your complaint now?” he asked, sounding bored.

“I want to speak to your senior inspector.”

He looked up from his register and narrowed his eyes, “About what, madam?”

The wooden board behind him had a chart of the number of murders and kidnappings this year and the cases they had solved.

“It is about a kidnapping that happened eleven years ago. A girl was kidnapped. My father filed a report then.”

“Eleven years?” The constable raised his eyebrows. “And you want to search for her now?”

I nodded.

He looked at me curiously and sighed. “Okay, you wait,” he said, then walked to a closed room and knocked on the door. An inspector opened the door; the constable pointed to me and whispered something. The inspector gave me a glance and then walked toward me.

“Inspector Pravin Godbole,” he said, shaking my hand and introducing himself as the senior inspector of the station.

“I have . . . I am . . . looking for a girl who was kidnapped. Please, you have to help me. I-I just arrived after a long flight from America.”

“Give me a few minutes please; I have someone in my office. I can review your case after that.”

The constable escorted me to his office after some time. Inspector Godbole had sharp, intelligent eyes that I hoped would be able to see what others had been unable to see. He asked me to take a seat. His hat with the emblem Satyamev Jayate—truth alone triumphs—sat on the desk.

“What can I do for you?”

I sat down, opened my wallet, and teased out the photograph. How young we looked then—Mukta and I—standing outside the Asiatic library. He took it from my hand and looked at the photograph.

“I am looking for her, for the girl in the photograph,” I said.

“Which one?” he asked, squinting at the photograph.

“The one on the right, that’s me. The other one—she was kidnapped eleven years ago.”

His eyebrows angled upward. “Eleven years ago?”

“Uh . . . yes. She was kidnapped from our home just after the 1993 bomb blasts. I was in the room with her when it happened.”

“So you saw the kidnapper?”

I paused.

“No . . . not really,” I lied.

The inspector nodded.

“Her name was . . . is Mukta. She was a girl . . . an orphan my parents fostered.” I explained, “My Papa was a kind man. He used to work with many NGOs and orphanages in his spare time to find a home for abandoned children. Sometimes he brought them back to our apartment. He rescued street children or poor kids from villages—one or two at a time—and let them stay in our home. They slept in the kitchen, ate food Aai made, and then in a few days Papa found them a place at one orphanage or another. Papa did good any opportunity he got. With Mukta . . . he tried so hard. Something happened to her back in her village. She just didn’t speak for a long time. She—”

“I see, I see,” he interrupted. “We’ll try to find her.”

I wanted to tell him that, unlike the other kids who had lived with us for barely a week or two, Mukta had been with us for five years. And that she was a good friend. I wanted to tell him how she liked reading poems and was afraid of the rain . . . and that we had wanted to grow up together.

“Ms. Tara?”

“My . . . my father had filed an FIR back then . . . of . . . of the kidnapping.”

The inspector took a deep breath, scratched the stubble on his chin, and brought the photograph close to his face, staring at the picture. The photograph was worn out and wrinkled by age like a precious memory frozen in time, both of us smiling at the camera.

“Ms. Tara, this was such a long time ago. She will be . . . older now. And we don’t have a recent picture. It will be very difficult to search for someone without a recent picture. But let me have a look at her file. I will have to contact the missing person’s bureau. Why look for a poor village child after all these years? Has she stolen something precious from your home? Like an heirloom or something?”

“No. No . . . it’s just . . . Papa worked so hard to give the other children a home.

I suppose Papa thought Mukta was the only one who slipped through the cracks . . . someone he couldn’t protect. He never forgave himself for that. At the time the police told us they had searched for her. Papa told me she was dead.

Maybe a police inspector told him that. I don’t know. Papa took me to America after that. 

I . . . I didn’t know she was alive. I found some documents in his drawer after his death. He had been searching for her. And all this time he had been looking for her, I thought she was dead.”

“Nobody looks for such children who have disappeared madam. Look at all the children living in the slums—there is no one to take proper care of them, let alone worry how they are doing if they disappear.”

I looked at him, not saying anything. There hasn’t been a moment in the last eleven years that I haven’t wanted to wander back to that summer night, to that split second when I could have done something to stop it. I knew who the kidnapper was; I had always known. I had planned it after all. But I didn’t tell the inspector this, I couldn’t. There would be way more things I would have to reveal than just that.

He flicked the photograph in his hand and sighed loudly. “Give me a few days. I will look through the files. We are backlogged with many cases now. You can give the constable all the details.” He signaled to him and asked him to escort me outside.

“Thank you very much,” I said, standing up.

At the door I turned to him again. “It would be great if you can help me find her.” He lifted his head momentarily and gave me a slight nod before going back to his work. It took the constable a few minutes to take down the details.

I left the station and stood on the porch watching the police jeeps parked outside, constables carrying files, people waiting impatiently, and suddenly it seemed futile to have come to this place, to have asked for their help.

They hadn’t even asked the right questions: Did I remember the day when it happened? What were the sounds I heard before I knew what was happening? The exact time on the bedroom clock? Why did the kidnapper not kidnap me instead? Why did I not scream? Why did I not wake up Papa who was sleeping in the next room? If they had asked me those questions, I was afraid the truth would come spilling out of me. 

Amita Trasi was born and raised in Mumbai, India. She has an MBA in Human Resource Management and has worked with various International corporations for seven years. She currently lives in Houston with her husband and two cats. TheColor of Our Sky is her first novel.  

For More Information
Visit Amita Trasi’s website.
Connect with Amita on Facebook and Twitter.
Contact Amita.

Book Blast for Hilary Rhodes' The Lion and the Rose & The Outlander King

03_Book One_William Rising

The Lion and the Rose (Book One: William Rising)

Publication Date: June 18, 2014 
eBook; 338 Pages 
Genre: Historical Fiction
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The Lion and the Rose, Part One:

William Rising is the first book in an epic historical saga from debut author Hilary Rhodes.

Extensively researched and compellingly told, it introduces us to the passionate drama and violent upheaval of eleventh-century Europe.

The world as we know it, and the English language, would have been vastly different were it not for the driving ambition of one man: William the Conqueror. But conquerors are made, not born, and William was made in fire and blood.

How does a boy become a man, surviving a tumultuous and terrifying childhood? And how does that man become a legend?

William Rising plunges us into this world of danger and betrayal, of choosing sides and dying for absolutes. It follows the creation of a conqueror, as he grows up abandoned, learns to fight at an early age for anything he hopes to keep, and is sculpted into a remorseless, far-sighted, ruthlessly efficient soldier and statesman.

From his origins as an orphaned, penniless bastard boy, to his personal and political trials by fire, to the climactic battle with his rebellious barons where he finally comes of age, the young duke increasingly establishes himself as a force to be reckoned with. But as the shadowy intrigues of English politics, and the all-consuming question of an heir for a childless king, begin to draw him into their web, it may just be that William of Normandy has a destiny far greater than even he has ever dreamed.


03_Book Two_The Gathering Storm

The Lion and the Rose (Book Two: The Gathering Storm)

Publication Date: September 29, 2014 
eBook; 294 Pages 
 Genre: Historical Fiction
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The Lion and the Rose:

William Rising introduced us to the young William, Duke of Normandy, and his treacherous and terrible childhood, beset by battles, betrayals, and heartbreak, as he fought his own barons to survive and claim his birthright.

The Gathering Storm plunges us even deeper into the violent upheaval and passionate drama of his unfolding story.

Now twenty-two, William has won his most pivotal battle and taken control of his inheritance, but impossible struggles loom as he fights to put Normandy back together -- and very few of his enemies are actually defeated.

Furthermore, across the Channel, the question of an heir for a childless king begins to loom large, and the ruthless and scheming Godwin, Earl of Wessex, will stop at nothing to claim it for his family.

Written with the same meticulous historical research and flair by debut author Hilary Rhodes, The Gathering Storm raises the stakes to the utmost level, and a crown and a kingdom hang in the balance.

In these pages, lords rise and fall, England and Normandy are drawn into a perilous collision course, bishops, barons, dukes, queens, and earls play a dangerous game of power and glory, and those who are not strong enough are trampled underfoot. The crows circle and the banners are raised, and the last Saxon king and the greatest Norman duke are destined to face each other in a battle that will change the course of history.


04_The Outlander King

The Outlander King (The Aetheling's Bride, Book One)

Publication Date: June 1, 2015 
eBook; 476 Pages 
 Genre: Historical Fiction
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The story of The Lion and the Rose and the Norman Conquest continues in this spellbinding new historical fiction series from author Hilary Rhodes, pulling back the curtain on the lives of two remarkable women connected across centuries: Aislinn, a seventeen-year-old English girl caught up in the advancing army of the “outlander king,” the man who will become known to history as William the Conqueror. Thrust into the center of the new Norman court and a dizzying web of political intrigue and plotting princes, she must choose her alliances carefully in a game of thrones where the stakes are unimaginably high. Embroiled in rebellions and betrayals, Aislinn learns the price of loyalty, struggles to find her home, and save those she loves – and, perhaps, her own soul as well.

Almost nine hundred years later in 1987, Selma Murray, an American graduate student at Oxford University, is researching the mysterious “Aethelinga” manuscript, as Aislinn’s chronicle has come to be known. Trying to work out the riddles of someone else’s past is a way for Selma to dodge her own troubling ghosts – yet the two are becoming inextricably intertwined. She must face her own demons, answer Aislinn’s questions, and find forgiveness – for herself and others – in this epically scaled but intimately examined, extensively researched look at the creation of history, the universality of humanity, and the many faces it has worn no matter the century: loss, grief, guilt, redemption, and love.



02_Author Hilary Rhodes

Hilary Rhodes is a scholar, author, blogger, and all-around geek who fell in love with medieval England while spending a year abroad at Oxford University. She holds a B.A. and M.A. in history, and is currently preparing for doctoral studies at the University of Leeds, fulfilling a years-long dream to return to the UK. In what little spare time she has, she enjoys reading, blogging about her favorite TV shows, movies, and books, music, and traveling. For more information please visit Hilary Rhodes' blog.


Monday, July 27
Kinx's Book Nook

Tuesday, July 28
Book Nerd What Is That Book About

Wednesday, July 29
The Never-Ending Book
To Read, Or Not to Read

Thursday, July 30
Books and Benches
Historical Fiction Connection

Friday, July 31
The Lit Bitch
Queen of All She Reads

Sunday, August 2
Genre Queen

Monday, August 3
The Maiden's Court

Tuesday, August 4
Room With Books
Passages to the Past

Wednesday, August 5
100 Pages a Day
The True Book Addict

Thursday, August 6
A Book Geek
Boom Baby Reviews

Friday, August 7
CelticLady's Reviews
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Kindle Kandy - Friday, July 31, 2015

Kindle Kandy is a Friday weekly bookish feature hosted by The Book Dame. We scan our shelves and e-readers to rediscover books we own that have not yet been read,  and have thus far been little more than shelf or Kindle Kandy. Too many books…too little time…..and all that jazz.  Please list one or two of your Kindle Kandy books in the comments or leave a link to your Kindle Kandy post below.  Don’t forget to link up at The Book Dame so you can check out all of the Kindle Kandy participants. 

Only You (An Angel Ridge Novel)
Deborah Grace Staley
Pub: June 1, 2004

A charming romance about the lives and loves of people in a small Tennessee town.  In the tradition of Debbie Macomber.

"Hey, ya'll. Dixie Ferguson here. I run Ferguson's Diner in Angel Ridge, Tennessee. Population three hundred forty-five.
It's a picturesque town in the valley of the Little Tennessee River, established in 1785. In the early days, its first families--the McKays, the Wallaces, the Houstons, the Joneses, and, of course, the Craigs--staked their claims on hundreds of acres of the richest bottom land anyone had ever seen. After all the years I've spent behind the counter at Ferguson's, I could probably tell ya'll a story about near everyone in town. But we only have so much time, so I'll narrow it down to just two for now.

This is a story about coming home. It's also a story about acceptin' folks for who they are. You could say it's a story about Josie Allen, a librarian, and Cole Craig, a handyman, but I say it's a story about finding love where you'd least expect to."
I purchased this book on October 5, 2010 because I fell in love with the cover and the description of the book.  I have always known it's on my kindle but just haven't made the time to read it - something I really need to do because I still really want to read it. 

The Iron Duke (A Novel of the Iron Seas)
by Meljean Brooks
Pub: October 5, 2010

First in an all-new series where seductive danger and steampunk adventure abound in the gritty world of the Iron Seas.

After the Iron Duke freed England from Horde control, he instantly became a national hero. Now Rhys Trahaearn has built a merchant empire on the power-and fear-of his name. And when a dead body is dropped from an airship onto his doorstep, bringing Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth into his dangerous world, he intends to make her his next possession.

But when Mina uncovers the victim's identity, she stumbles upon a conspiracy that threatens the lives of everyone in England. To save them, Mina and Rhys must race across zombie-infested wastelands and treacherous oceans-and Mina discovers the danger is not only to her countrymen, as she finds herself tempted to give up everything to the Iron Duke.
I bought this on October 19, 2010, right after it first came out.  There was a tremendous amount of buzz about the book so of course I just had to have it. Plus I had just started reading steampunk novels.  I of course promptly forgot about it being on my kindle because it got buried by the new "must have" or need to review books.  Oy!

Have you read either of these books?  If so, what did you think? 

Don't forget to list your Kindle Kandy and link up!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Spotlight & #Giveaway for The Great Estate by Sherri Browning

The Great Estate
By Sherri Browning
Thornbrook Park, Book 3

Publisher:  Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: August 4th, 2015
Genre:  Historical Romance
Format:  ebook/Print
Length:  352 Pages (1237 KB)
ISBN: 978-1-402286858


Buy Links:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BAM | iTunes | Chapters | IndieBound  

About the book:

Pulled apart by past mistakes. Driven by a passion neither could deny.

Sophia Thorne was young and inexperienced when she married the dashing Earl of Averford…and through dark and troubled times, their relationship nearly came to an end. Now she’s determined to transform herself into the fiery, ardent lover she always wanted to be, giving them a second chance at love… before they’re lost to each other forever.

It took nearly losing Sophia for Gabriel to realize he had allowed his love for his great estate to distract him from his beautiful wife. But that time is over. Despite all the obstacles standing in their way, Gabriel vows to teach Sophia what it is to truly love…and to be loved by a husband devoted heart and soul to her every desire.

Sherri Browning writes historical and contemporary romance fiction, sometimes with a paranormal twist. She is the author of critically acclaimed classic mash-ups Jane Slayre and Grave Expectations. A graduate of Mount Holyoke College, Sherri has lived in western Massachusetts and Greater Detroit Michigan, but is now settled with her family in Simsbury, Connecticut. Find her online at

Perfect for fans of Downton Abbey, the third in Sherri Browning’s Thornbrook Park series, The Great Estate, comes out this August! To celebrate her new release, Sherri’s agreed to answer a question for us about herself and her career as an author.  

If time travel existed, which of the many characters you've written would you like to visit and why?

I would have tea with Aunt Agatha and convince her to regale me with stories from her shocking past. I don’t believe she has had a chance to reveal everything. Plus, I’m curious to know what wild ensemble she would wear, and if I could see the legendary Miss Puss.

An Excerpt

Thornbrook Park. A warm wave of pride filled him at the sight as Dale drove them up the winding way. The chimneys appeared first over the crest of the hill, followed by the slate roof, and finally the rose stone facade. How could he have stayed away so long?  

Sophia wouldn’t be expecting him. He planned to surprise her, perhaps persuade Finch not to even announce his return. He would simply appear at the dinner hour, dressed to the nines, and act as if he had been there the entire time. Darling, I believe the quail is cooked perfectly, but not quite the same as when I shoot it myself… No, it wouldn’t do. She hated it when he left her alone to go off hunting. He’d always known it, but he couldn’t seem to give it up. Old habits. In truth, he couldn’t wait to get his boots on, the good English ones he’d left behind, take up his rifle, and stomp off into the woods. His woods. Alas, there would be no more hunting. At least, not as frequently, and certainly not right away. Not until he was certain that he wouldn’t upset Sophia further. Not until she forgave him.

Perhaps he could suggest other activities that they could do together? His brow shot up. He knew just what activities he had in mind, but they would have to work up to that. Slowly. He meant to court her properly, one step at a time.

“Now, Dale, I don’t want a fuss,” he said. “It’s good to be home but no need for a celebration. I mean to slip in quietly.” 

To enter the tour wide giveaway, please fill out the Rafflecopter form below.  Please be sure to check back this weekend for when I post my review of The Great Estate.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Release Blast & #Giveaway for Lucky's Choice by Jamie Begley

Welcome to my stop on the Release Blast, presented by Tasty Book Tours, for Lucky's Choice by Jamie Begley.  Please leave a comment or question for Jamie to let her know you stopped by.  You can enter her tour wide giveaway, for a Custom LAST RIDERS T-Shirt & Mug, $25.00 Amazon eGift Card and Signed Copy of SHADE'S FALL, by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.  You can follow all of the stops on Jamie's tour by clicking on the banner above.  The more stops you visit, the better your chances of winning.  

The Last Riders #7
Jamie Begley
Releasing July 29th, 2015
Young Ink Press

Life dealt him a dead man’s hand.

Lucky had always led a life of service, always putting his life on the line for someone else, managing to survive by pure luck and skill. After bringing an end to a multi-state drug ring, he was finally able to live the life he had wanted as a Last Rider.

A good man would walk away and not touch the curvy woman who had been tugging on his heartstrings. Lucky wasn’t a good man. Therefore, the bad-ass biker in him had a choice: once again become the man he had pretended to be and stake his claim or take the devil’s highway.

Some girls had all the luck.

Willa wasn’t one of them. All she wanted to do was give a home to the children she had made orphans. Instead, she found herself needing help from the man who had left the pulpit behind to embrace a life of sin.

Painfully shy and withdrawn, she wanted a quiet life, a simple man, and well-behaved children. The last thing she had ever expected was for Lucky to want her size twenty body and show her a passion that would lead her straight to hell. 


“Did you see who did this?” Lucky heard the accusation in his own voice, but it was too late to regain his temper as Willa paled. He was having a shit time with women so far today.

Willa walked toward him, the five children following behind her.

“Is something wrong …?” Her words trailed off as her eyes caught sight of his bike.

“We just came outside. Chrissy and Caroline saw a stray cat when they were playing outside earlier. They wanted to feed it…”

Lucky’s eyes went to the tabby cat at the side of Willa’s house that was contentedly eating tuna from a can. Then he studied the children. “Are you sure you didn’t hear or see anything?”

“Jenna’s house is closer to your bike. It would be easily seen from her living room window. If you didn’t see anything, why would we?” Willa said.

Lucky’s face turned red in embarrassment and anger at her logic. “Because I’m not the one who’s constantly looking out the window.”

Once again, Willa was the one turning bright red. “I’ll go get something to clean the paint off.”

She hurried inside her house, leaving him alone with five kids staring at him with varying expressions—from the overtly hostile glares of the two older girls to the three younger ones scowling at him.

“We didn’t see who touched your bike,” Leanne stated, staring him directly in the eyes.

Lucky knew the children fairly well from when he had been undercover as pastor. Leanne and Sissy were sisters; their mother Georgia had been a member of his congregation who had recently been killed when she was incarcerated for setting a fire in The Last Rider’s clubhouse. Shade and his wife Lily could have easily died if not for the precautions that Viper, the club president, had taken.

“I just asked if anyone had seen anything, Leanne. Maybe one of you put the other up to doing it?”

A firestorm was unleashed at his words.

“We don’t put each other up to doing stuff that will get us in trouble!” Sissy snapped. The oldest girl, at seventeen, had been hit the hardest by her mother’s death.

Lucky guiltily admitted to himself that he was wrong. This wasn’t a prank a kid would play.

“What does the word mean?” Charlie, the eight-year-old, questioned as he held his younger sister Caroline’s hand while his other sister, Chrissy, stared at him, sucking her thumb.

The three younger children Willa was fostering were Lewis’s, Georgia’s brother, who had also been raising his nieces after her death. Lewis had been determined to marry Willa to help care for his large family. The sick bastard had gotten his wish; he just wasn’t around to benefit from it. Willa had shot and killed him when he had come to her house in a rage and attacked not only her but also Rachel, who had tried to help her.

“It means that Pastor Dean isn’t acting like a pastor anymore.” Sissy smirked at him.

Lucky knew her age and recent difficulties were responsible for her attitude, but it didn’t keep him from snarling back at her. “You have a problem with me, Sissy?”

“I have a problem with you treating Willa the way you just did.”

“Willa needs to learn to take up for herself. She doesn’t need another person taking up for her. Certainly not a seventeen-year-old.”

Caroline’s foot kicked out, striking him in the leg.

“Stop it!” Lucky had long since lost control of the embarrassing situation. 

"I was born in a small town in Kentucky. My family began poor, but worked their way to owning a restaurant. My mother was one of the best cooks I have ever known, and she instilled in all her children the value of hard work, and education.
Taking after my mother, I've always love to cook, and became pretty good if I do say so myself. I love to experiment and my unfortunate family has suffered through many. They now have learned to steer clear of those dishes. I absolutely love the holidays and my family puts up with my zany decorations.
For now, my days are spent writing, writing, and writing. I have two children who both graduated this year from college. My daughter does my book covers, and my son just tries not to blush when someone asks him about my books.
Currently I am writing five series of books- The Last Riders, The VIP Room, Predators MC, Biker Bitches, and The Dark Souls.
All my books are written for one purpose- the enjoyment others find in them, and the expectations of my fans that inspire me to give it my best.”

Virtual Tour for Angels, Angels, Everywhere by Michelle Beber

Welcome to my stop on the Virtual Tour, presented by Pump Up Your Book, for Angels, Angels, Everywhere by Michelle Beber.  Please leave a comment or question for Michelle to let her know you stopped by.  You can follow all of the stops on Michelle’s tour by clicking on the banner above. 

 Angels, Angels, Everywhere
by Michelle Beber

Publisher: Balboa Press
Pages: 30
Genre: Juvenile Fiction/Children’s Picture Book
Format: Paperback/Kindle/Nook

About the book:

Angels, Angels, Everywhere is a non-denominational, multiracial book written in delightful rhythm and rhyme and accompanied by charming illustrations.  The themes of constant support and unconditional love are designed to help children deal with everyday experiences in life.

By developing children’s faith in knowing that they are not alone and building their trust that they are consistently watched over, cared for, and loved, children will become empowered to deal with life’s challenges.  The book also lets children know that angels are there in good times as well, sharing in their joy.

For More Information
Angels, Angels, Everywhere is available at Amazon.
Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
The book can also be purchased at Balboa Press.
Visit the book’s official Facebook page.
Watch the book trailer at YouTube.
Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Book Excerpt:

When things go wrong,
Just stop and pray,
And angels come
To save the day.

 About the Author

Michelle Beber has certifications as an Angel Intuitive and Angel Oracle Card Reader from renowned "angel lady," Doreen Virtue, as well as certifications as a Spiritual Teacher and Archangel Life Coach from Doreen's son, Charles Virtue.

In 2008, Michelle's life changed when she attended a spiritual retreat and learned about angels and how they communicate through repetitive number sequences known as "angel numbers." Little did she know that this insight would lead her on an amazing spiritual journey that would directly connect her with angels and result in the discovery of her life purpose.

Always grateful for the spiritual guidance she has received, Michelle looks forward to sharing the knowledge she has gained to inspire others, especially children. Michelle is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).
Her latest book is the juvenile fiction/children’s picture book, Angels, Angels, Everywhere.

For More Information
Visit Michelle Beber’s website.
Connect with Michelle on Facebook and Twitter.
Find out more about Michelle at Goodreads.
Visit Michelle’s blog.
Contact Michelle.

I don’t normally review too many children’s books so I’ll just try to go over my general thoughts of the book, the graphics/art work and the appropriate age group.

First I have to say that I really like the art work/graphics used in this book.  The colors are bold, bright and the images are well drawn.  The children represent multiple races/ethnicity, which I found refreshing as our world is not made up of one race but multiple races.  I think in print form this would probably be an excellent book – I don’t think the graphics will come through on a regular Kindle or Nook but they should look good on a tablet, Kindle Fire or Nook Color. 

I think the age group is probably mid to late grade school, probably about a 3rd to 5th or 6th grader at the eldest because of the simplicity of the prose and the complexity of the message.  While I have no problem with Ms. Beber’s message overall, I do think that Angels are God’s creations and used to assist us, there are some Christians who might object to the idea of praying directly to an angel instead of praying to God to have the angels/guardian’s assist us, or who limit what types of tasks angels are allowed to intervene.  This of course is a theological issue that a parent will have to decide for themselves and discuss with their child.

Overall I think this would be an entertaining book for a young child and the graphics are superb.

My Rating:  4 out of 5 Crowns