Blood Numbers ~ giveaway

Blood Numbers by C.F. Kreitzer
Genre: YA Dystopian

There are only two kinds of people left on the earth: Donors and Recipients.

Sixteen-year-old Aston Vazeto hates the idea of selling her blood for money and is determined to be the first Donor in New World history to never donate.

But after a suspicious accident at her father’s power plant leaves her family diving deeper into poverty, Aston has no other choice except to enter the annual blood auctions, where Recipients bid on the richest blood. With the highest test results ever seen, Aston’s blood becomes the most sought-after in history, and will likely bring a large price at auctions.

When her friends are caught tampering with their donations, they are arrested and tortured. Knowing she puts her family’s safety and income at risk Aston takes advantage of an opportunity to escape donation facility drugs meant to keep Donors complacent. Free to feel and free to love she is caught between Gannet, a kind facility technician, and Marcus, a sarcastic rebel like herself. Dancing at Blood Auction Balls and kissing a donor in coat closets under the stairs has Aston confused between joining the uprising she hears rumors about or merely following the life her blood was meant to lead.

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I grew up with a pretty normal childhood, running barefoot in the Appalachian mountains, playing with turtles and innocently killing them by leaving them on their backs so I could play house with them again the next day. I don’t think  I always dreamed of being an author. It was just something I did. I made up stories about my dead turtles. I named my fingers and let them battle out family feuds. I wrote about myself in my journal when what I wished would happen was better than what actually did (sorry, Mom for the scare. I still promise I never really snuck over to a party and kissed my brothers friend). What a wonderful surprise when something “I just did” suddenly became something others enjoyed. I’m so forever grateful to my publisher for giving me a chance to share my not-so-normal stories with the whole world.

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Giveaway Swag!!!

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

What is something unique/quirky about you?

I can whistle like a cricket? Lol.

Tell us something really interesting that’s happened to you!

I was born with a blood disorder called polycythemia which means my blood is too thick. It’s possibly why I’m so fascinated by blood. I’ve never been able to donate blood or plasma. I found out recently I also have a blood disorder called Von Willebrands, which means I bleed easily so maybe that balances out the thick blood, I don’t know. When I was born doctors wanted to do a complete blood transfusion. My dad refused, and a team of nurses stayed with me overnight. Somehow things worked out, and now here I am writing books about donors and blood banks.

Where were you born/grew up at?

A tiny town in the Appalachian Mountains called Low Moor, VA

What kind of world ruler would you be?

Probably a very inconsistent one. I’m no good at keeping up with schedules or routines. I’m a “live by the seat of my pants” kind of person, and it drives my husband crazy. But we get a lot of things done and have a ton of amazing adventures.

What are you passionate about these days?

Right now I’m super into magic books. I just finished a contemporary magic book and then watched the Witcher on Netflix. Now I want to write a full-on dark fantasy novel.

What do you do to unwind and relax?

We may have just moved solely for the purpose of having a bigger bathtub. A hot bath with a fun Netflix show or good book is my favorite thing to do.

How to find time to write as a parent?

 I think I’ve gotten really good at just zoning things out. Daniel Tiger no longer phases me. I also am a crossing guard, so five times a day I get to sit in my car, watch for kids coming to cross the road, and think all about my books. I’d say about 40% of my books are written on my phone in the car.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I wrote my first book. I typed “The End” and felt so much accomplishment. Writing a novel was so exhilarating and exciting to know all the in’s and outs and the behind-the-scenes parts of a story was so much more fun than reading. I got addicted pretty quickly. I wrote five full-length novels, six picture books, 3 short stories (one that won Silver Honorable Mention in the Writers of the Future contest), and won a few flash fiction contests all in the first two years after writing that first book. I’ve discovered that writing is everything that has made me weird my whole life. Now in the writing world I’m suddenly completely normal.

Do you have a favorite movie?

While You Were Sleeping” is one of my all time favorite movies, but “Labyrinth” is a close second. If I could combine those two that’d be a super cool story.

Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?

All of them. This dystopian I think would be a cool Netflix series. After everything we’re going through now with COVID-19, my story is super relevant.

As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

Oh that’s a hard one. I love frogs, and collect little trinkets of them, but I don’t know if I’d consider myself one. I also love owls. I collect those too. As a writer I’m probably something that hibernates. Like a bear. Mostly because I can’t stay consistent with my writing. I’ll go weeks without turning my computer on and then sit down and write 40,000 words in a week.

What inspired you to write this book?

Well first off, like I said, I’ve always had a fascination with blood and donations, since it’s something I have no experience in. But the idea for this specific story started when my husband decided to donate plasma one year in order to have a little extra Christmas money. He saw other fellow teachers there, and it made me a little sad that they were making so little that they had to risk their health in order to afford things for their families. And then he got sick, and my husband never gets sick. Anyone who’s ever been in a plasma facility knows what I’m talking about when I say they’re a little trippy. Poster children on every wall and weird messages talking about how your donations save people are all over the place. The idea of a society separated by the need for blood formed, and the donors were patterned off my poor husband who gave so much for us to have a great Christmas one year.

What can we expect from you in the future?

I have lots of ideas all over the place, but something that seems to stay consistent is my angsty romance that I just can’t get enough of. I am querying a science fiction suicide story right now that has a lot of magical realism, and I’m sending in book two of this series to my editor next week. Lots of exciting things happening that I’m super stoked about.

Do you have any “side stories” about the characters?

Yeah. Originally the best friend, Lazuli ( pronounced La – zoo- ligh) wasn’t supposed to be a main part of the story. As it evolved, though, she became a huge component to several plot points and subplots. I have lots of small stories that were her version of the story that I’ll probably put up somewhere sometime for fun.

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Blood Numbers?

Oh man, I really got to know and love these characters. It’s weird when critique partners would give suggestions, and I knew my fake people so well I could say “nah, they would never say that.”

My main character is Aston. She’s a 16 year old donor who, as the fourth daughter of a man who wanted sons, was raised with strong opinions about their government. She is an artist. She’s impulsive and very naïve. She’s a bit selfish but has good intentions which is part of her story arc. She doesn’t want to admit it but she has a thing for her technician, Gannet. He’s got a pretty face but is clearly a robot to the system because of the drugs given to donors. When Aston finds a way to avoid the drugs, she doesn’t think she could ever be with someone so robotically happy all the time. Which is what makes Marcus so appealing even if a bit annoying. He’s rugged and sickly but free to do as he pleases. His determination and zeal draws her in even though her parents would never approve of a low-numbered sickly donor.

How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book? 

I knew I wanted a society divided by blood, the infected on one side of the wall that bid on healthy donors’ blood in order to be cured, and donors on the other side who are so poor they’re willing to donate themselves to death. But the idea for the characters came actually from watching Aladdin with my kids. Telling too much about that though would give too much away so you’ll have to just read the book:) * wink wink*

Where did you come up with the names in the story?

My husband is a birder. I think without realizing it I patterned Aston’s father after my husband. I love the kind of Dad he is and he loves birds, so I put a lot of the names of birds that we joked about naming our kids. Gannets are sea birds; Lazuli Buntings are beautiful blue birds, and Aston- well that’s not a bird. I actually took a job working at an apartment complex called “The Aston” the day I started plotting the concept in my head. It only seemed fitting.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

The surprises. I always knew the basic skeleton of the  story. I knew I needed to get from one plot point to the next, but the way I would get there sometimes was so exciting. “Yes, a ball! And at the ball there will be this crazy awesome thing that happens that leads us right to this ridiculous conflict!”

How did you come up with the title of your first novel?

Um, my husband, the Biologist, helped me come up with it, but I always thought it sounded kinda cheesy. I originally wanted Book One to be called “Donors”, and Book Two would be “Recipients”, and who knows what Book Three would be. But my husband kept insisting and then my critique group too. Then when the publisher took over they also agreed that they liked it more.

Who designed your book covers?

Ashley Litersky with Immortal Works Press.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Actually, yeah there’s a couple things. Now that I’m writing the third book there are a few ideas that come up that would have been really cool to put some foreshadowing about in book one.

Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?

Aston calls her mother Mam and she is sort of the villain of book one. It was actually one of the characters that was the most fun to write. I kept having to call my own Mom though and make sure she knew I wasn’t writing about her, haha. I knew she would be concerned about what others thought about my relationship with her and so let me take this opportunity to say: my mom is one of my best friends. Mam however is an awfully nasty product of the system. She is patterned after the mother in Pride and Prejudice. I took all the rude and awful things about Mrs. Bennet and magnified them. She was the one voice in my head that was louder and more obnoxious sounding than Aston’s.

What is your favorite part of this book and why?

Weirdly enough it’s a torture scene. It’s a moment when Aston learns to have compassion on her own mother from seeing another mom get tortured. It helps her understand a little about why her mom is the way she is, and I cried through the whole thing. Mrs. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, after all, was only trying to get her girls married in a society where that was the only prospect they had. Would she have been a different kind of mother if they lived today where girls are free to grow up and be astronauts and presidents of companies?

If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?

I actually found Gannet to be a much more interesting character than I originally realized. He felt so mysterious even to me. I think I’d pick him and want him to just show me his childhood home and tell me about his story. He’s one I’d love to write a backstory for as well even though I know the basics of it in my head.

Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?

I have the reins but my characters definitely are vocal. Most of the time they were the ones leading from plot point to plot point. Lazuli wasn’t really unpredictable but just kept popping up as the solution to certain plot predicaments. She was somehow always the answer for how to answer certain needs for conflict. I put the poor girl through a lot, the poor thing.

Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.

One of the things that makes my book super interesting now is how relevant it is to our times. A society that recovers from biological warfare after viruses spread through and killed a third of the earth population? A new government that separates and quarantines society based on health? A system that is organized to take plasma from the recovered and inject it into the sick in order to save them? This is what we are experiencing now with COVID-19! The American Red Cross has agreed to team up with me and I’m holding a national blood drive on May the 4th and will be at the Provo Utah Library to help American Red Cross! They are asking for anyone who has recovered from COVID-19 to please donate plasma. The very first patient that received this treatment recovered in record time. It’s so crazy to read headlines that I made up in my novel. Even if you haven’t had COVID-19 please consider donating blood. The American Red Cross helps save lives everyday but their blood bank has dwindled significantly with the shut down. Use the link and enter your zip code to find your nearest blood drive. Using hashtag: #BloodNumbersDrive share a picture proving your donation whether a sticker saying you gave blood or a picture of you donating on any social media and be entered for extra chances to win Blood Numbers t-shirts, tattoos, and pens.

What did you edit out of this book?

There was a dream sequence that gives a huge foreshadowing of the end but the editor didn’t think it was super necessary. I love reading that kind of thing the second time through though once you know the ending and can say “Oh my gosh it totally told me right here and I didn’t even notice!”

Is there a writer which brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?

Stephenie Meyer. I know she gets a lot of flak in the writing world, but no matter what you want to say about her writing she is an amazing story teller. She’s also who really opened up the world to this idea of stay-at-home moms turned authors. I remember years ago listening to her say in an interview that if you have an idea just write it. She is a big inspiration to me.

Fun Facts/Behind the Scenes/Did You Know?’-type tidbits about book or the writing process of the book.

A vertical transfer virus is what I based my virus off of. It is technically a thing in biology but has never really occurred yet. It’s when a virus is passed down from mother to child. It’s, in the simplest of terms, making cancer a virus. So not only can you catch it if someone sneezes on you but then once you have it, it attaches to your DNA and you can pass it on to your posterity as well. Writing the backstory about the virus and the wars was actually more exciting than I thought it would be. The first draft version of the story didn’t have a whole lot about that. Originally I wanted it to be more about the romance but, then a reader mentioned that she was up late telling her husband about my book and all he had questions about were the wars. How did they get that way? What is the virus and why is it scary? It helped me realize I needed more about the details of their world and went back to the drawing board.

I’m excited to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about Blood Numbers by C.F. Kreitzer

Storiebook Charm ~ giveaway

From National Bestselling author Melissa Bourbon comes a small town magical story with a heart-stopping hero, a sigh-worthy romance, beautiful writing, and characters that jump off the page. Get ready to be charmed by Storie and Reid, and watch out for the twist!

Storie Bell is a witch. Not the kind that lives in Harry Potter’s world. No, she is more like Glinda, the good witch of the North, minus the munchkins and Dorothy. But a witch trying to blend in in a small southern town is no easy feat. She’s grown up believing that mortals and witchcraft don’t mix.

Storie thinks the biggest threat to her future—opening The Storiebook Cafe, where happy endings begin— is Reid Malone, the very man she ran away from years before. He seems hell bent on getting in the way of her bookstore’s grand opening. But when a mysterious woman from Storie’s past shows up and makes claims that leave Storie confused, she rethinks her entire future.

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Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Melissa Bourbon, the author of the Magical Dressmaking Mysteries (A Seamless Murder, A Killing Notion, A Custom-Fit Crime, Deadly Patterns), sometimes answers to her Latina-by-marriage name, Misa Ramirez. She gave up teaching middle and high school kids in northern California to write full-time amid horses and Longhorns in north Texas. She fantasizes about spending summers writing in quaint, cozy locales, has a love-hate relationship with yoga and chocolate, is devoted to her family, and can’t believe she’s lucky enough to be living the life of her dreams.

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Can you tell readers a little bit about yourself and what inspired to write in this particular genre?

I’ve written cozy mysteries, caper mysteries, and romantic suspense novels. A light paranormal romance is a completely different type of book. Weaving in just the right amount of magic into a contemporary romance takes more finesse than you might imagine. Turns out it’s right up my alley, though. It’s how I’d like the world to be. Making Storie a witch gave me the opportunity to bring that big of magic into my writing. I can’t wait to do it again!

What inspired you to write this book?

The whole concept for the Storiebook Café, the bookstore/café in the book, was inspired by a store of the same name in a little Texas town called Glen Rose.  Glen Rose is a cute little town, and the owner of the store, also named Storie, just sparked this idea.  I asked her if I could base a book off of her store and name, she said, “Of course!”, and I went to town writing!

Basically, Storie is a down-on-her-luck witch who’s not very good or experienced at what she does (for a variety of reasons).  She and her friend, Harper, set up a bookshop/café in Whiskey Creek, and she runs into Reid Malone, a man she once had a, um, run-in with years ago.  They don’t see eye to eye on things and sparks fly.  It’s a lot of fun!

Please tell us about your latest release.

I’d love to! Storiebook Charm is a short contemporary romance with a light paranormal twist.  It’s about Storie Bell and Reid Malone and the love story that began for them twelve years prior to when the actual story takes place.  It’s Southern, has a little spicy, and is a lot of fun.

What is your favorite scene from the book? Could you share a little bit of it, without spoilers of course?

The moment when Storie first realizes that maybe Reid Malone isn’t so bad is a favorite of mine.  She thinks he’s going to do (and want) one thing, but he does something different and that surprises her.  It felt right and was a great way to bring them together, even if later in the scene a big conflict rips them apart again.

Storiebook Charm (A Spellbound Novel 1) by Melissa Bourbon – Genre: Light Paranormal Romance

What is the most interesting thing you have physically done for book related research purposes?

I visited a nudist resort when I was researching Bare-Naked Lola, the 3rd book in my Lola Cruz mystery series.  Talk about surreal.  It was a very interesting experience.

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? How do you deal with it?

Sometimes, when writing sex scenes, I struggle a little bit.  My mom is my biggest fan and when she first bought Silent Echoes, I was horrified that she’d be reading the sex scenes.  She laughed and said she knew she’d be shocked that I knew the things I wrote about!  I’m 53 with 5 kids, so I got a good chuckle out of that. Still, I always think, holy smokes, my parents might read this!

Where is your favorite place to read? Do you have a cozy corner or special reading spot?

My nighttime ritual includes reading just before I go to bed.  I have a NOOK and that’s typically what I read on these days.  If I don’t read just before bed, something feels off.

What can readers expect next from you?

I’m working on a new mystery series. The series is Book Magic, and the first book is as yet unnamed. I’m so excited about it. It’s about a bibliomancer. I am also finishing up book 6 in my Bread Shop cozy mystery series. I have lots of balls in the air!

Storiebook Charm (A Spellbound Novel 1) by Melissa Bourbon
Genre: Light Paranormal Romance
I’m so excited to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about Storiebook Charm (A Spellbound Novel 1) by Melissa Bourbon Genre: Light Paranormal Romance

Curse of the Blacknoc Witch ~ giveaway

Tori V. Rainn is a Texas-based fantasy novelist who is on a lifelong mission to inspire her readers through the power of imaginative storytelling. During her creative journey, an array of her short stories have been showcased in various online zines. It all started when she took a writing course at Writer’s Village University, which earned her a Creative Writing Certificate. The moment she penned her first story, she knew writing was her ultimate calling and greatest passion.

When she isn’t crafting thrilling plots, you can find this avid video gamer watching her favorite shows, collecting unique knives, or going on meditative walks in the heart of nature. She is also a chocoholic and tea aficionada with an unquenchable sweet tooth. Above all else, Tori enjoys spending quality time with her loved ones.

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Curse of the Blacknoc Witch

by Tori V. Rainn

Genre: Fantasy

Samuel dreamed of being a lot of things, but a monster trapped in a forest realm never entered his mind. The Blacknoc Curse wasn’t supposed to be true, only a children’s story meant to persuade them away from evil. Yet, here he was tasked with hunting cursed kids. There’s nothing left for Samuel except the horror surrounding him.

Layla, a young girl tormented by the same curse, is dropped into the terrifying forest every night, running from the monsters intent on taking her life. She meets Samuel and vows to save all the children, especially Samuel, from their torment.

Working together can they defeat the Blacknoc Curse?

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Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?

I’m the typical introvert who couldn’t contain her wild imagination. In my late teens, I started dabbling in writing. Since I didn’t really know much about writing I couldn’t really go too far until I took an online writing course that explained the basics of fiction writing. Once I understood the basics it was like something clicked within me. I wanted to learn more and write more. I wrote short stories, and then eventually took on bigger projects like novellas and novels.

Describe yourself in 5 words or less!

Laid-back. Goofy. Loyal. Creative. Pensive.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I think the first time I made it official was when I decided I wouldn’t treat it as a hobby anymore. I had to change my state of mind. I wanted to stop dreaming and make my dream of getting published a reality. I invested more time in reading about the craft of writing. I tried to write more, even when I didn’t feel like it. Another process was slowly coming out of my shell and letting others read my work for feedback. I think it’s the little steps taken that slowly start to define who I am as a writer.

Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?

How about my current one? Curse of the Blacknoc Witch. I’m sure most know it’s every author’s dream to get their book adapted into a film. I wouldn’t mind seeing my book as a Netflix movie. Not as a series but a movie. How cool would that be, right? I’d imagine awesome CGI to portray the monsters and the magic. A real forest shot in the dark to show the setting. Ah, I could dream though.

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Curse of the Blacknoc Witch?

The main characters of Curse of the Blacknoc Witch are Samuel Fawcett and Layla Marlowe. They’re teens who are both hunted by a wicked curse. Samuel was a teen at one time before transforming into a monster. He’s supposed to hunt and eat all the wicked kids but he was given a choice and uses that chance to protect the weak. Layla is under the protection of Samuel. She’s bent on breaking the curse for herself and the others who are tormented by the curse. Samuel may not have hope for a new day but Layla holds onto that hope for a day to come.

Where did you come up with the names in the story?

I google names for inspiration but I’m very picky about choosing the names of my characters. The name I pick usually reflects the personality of my character. If the name matches who the character is or symbolizes them or their circumstance in any way, that’s the one I’ll usually go with. For example, I could not decide between using Layla or Lilith. Both names can have a similar meaning. ‘Of the night’ or ‘beauty.’

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I enjoyed watching the interactions between my main characters, but really it was just a blast to see some of the action scenes unfold. Monsters fighting monsters. Kids fighting monsters. So much fun. I love action scenes!

Who designed your book covers? 

I’m in love with the cover. Abigail Owen at The Wild Rose Press, Inc designed the cover. She did such a great job of capturing the feel of the book. The story takes place mostly at night in a forest. It has a witchy and fantasy feel all while setting that dark mood. My publisher lets you have a small say in the cover. I had the option of including one important element in the cover. The designer worked those awesome witch knots you can see at the corners of the book.

Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

As a reader myself, I just like to sit back and enjoy the ride. So a note to the readers, I do hope my stories can be that escape for you like the way I enjoy books. My characters are to inspire and entertain and it is my wish that they are that influence for you.

 Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.

Eep, I really must sell it here, huh? Well, it’s filled with twists and turns, and if you don’t mind a little creepy in your story about two unlikely heroes filled with fantasy elements, romance, a sprinkle of humor, and action, then I do believe this is a must read for you.

If your book had a candle, what scent would it be?

It would probably be a scent that reminded me of herbs to match the witchy part and with a tinge of pine or forestry to match the setting.

What is your writing process? For instance, do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?

Most of the time, I use an outline. An outline is like a map that helps me see where I’m going. I like to have a plan to follow.  Depending on how much detail you put into the outline, you can only see as far as the light sprays. Without any light, I feel like I’m walking blindly and this can be chaotic. Now, sometimes chaos is good. It’s rare but I do like to write by the seat of my pants. The results can be positive if you’re in search of something spontaneous.

A Case For the Yarn Maker ~ giveaway

A Case For the Winemaker (Ainsley McGregor Book 1) by Candace havens
Genre: Cozy Mystery

The closer she gets to the truth, the more she finds herself drowning in trouble.

It’s an exciting time in Sweet River, Texas, and the whole town’s talking. Maybe, a little too much. Former English professor Ainsley McGregor has gambled everything on her new business: Bless Your Art, an artisan market where local artists sell their wares and teach classes.

The bright, white space is filled to the brim with colorful art, yarn, jewelry, pet treats, antiques and even a few medieval weapons. Oh, and there are wine tastings. Everything’s better with wine. Ainsley is surprised by how well things are going–right up until the moment her Great Dane finds a dead body. With her friend accused of the murder, it’s up to Ainsley to find the real killer.

As the suspect list grows longer, Ainsley has her work cut out for her. The task is made more difficult by the fact her brother, the sheriff, doesn’t seem to want her help. If she doesn’t wrap up the case soon, she might be the next wine, um, one to die.

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A Case for the Yarn Maker (Ainsley McGregor Book 2) by Candace Havens
Genre: Cozy Mystery

Spin a yarn…at your own risk.

Everyone at Bless Your Art in Sweet River, Texas, is excited about the Yarn Goddess (yes, that’s her real name) coming to town. Ainsley McGregor has set up a special event at the local community center, but when old Mrs. Whedon doesn’t see eye-to-eye with the Goddess about using quality yarn, a fight breaks out. Who knew the octogenarian had ninja moves like that?

It’s all fun and games until George Clooney, Ainsley’s Great Dane, finds Ms. Yarn’s dead body in a booth at Bless Your Art. Now the prime suspect is Mrs. Whedon, and while she’s not the easiest woman to get along with, there’s no way she’s the killer. At least, Ainsley doesn’t think so. As this yarn unravels, Ainsley and her quirky friends learn some interesting things about the case and the Goddess’s checkered past. But there’s a killer on the loose, and George may be the only thing protecting Ainsley from certain death.

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Bestselling author Candace Havens has published more than 25 books. Her novels have received nominations for the RITA’s, Holt Medallion, Write Touch Reader Awards and National Readers Choice Awards. She is a Barbara Wilson Award winner. She is the author of the biography “Joss Whedon: The Genius Behind Buffy” and a contributor to several anthologies. She is also one of the nation’s leading entertainment journalists and has interviewed countless celebrities from George Clooney to Chris Pratt. Candace also runs a free online writing workshop for more than 2000 writers, and teaches comprehensive writing classes. She does film reviews with Hawkeye in the Morning on 96.3 KSCS, and is a former President of the Television Critics Association.

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I am proud to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about A Case for the Yarn Maker by Candace Havens.

Deadly Legends ~ giveaway

Melissa Bourbon, the author of the Magical Dressmaking Mysteries (A Seamless Murder, A Killing Notion, A Custom-Fit Crime, Deadly Patterns), sometimes answers to her Latina-by-marriage name, Misa Ramirez. She gave up teaching middle and high school kids in northern California to write full-time amid horses and Longhorns in north Texas. She fantasizes about spending summers writing in quaint, cozy locales, has a love-hate relationship with yoga and chocolate, is devoted to her family, and can’t believe she’s lucky enough to be living the life of her dreams.

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Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Deadly Legends (A Boxed Set featuring: Silent Echoes and Silent Obsession) by Melissa Bourbon
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Deadly Legends

National Bestselling author Melissa Bourbon brings dark twists to two Latin-American urban legends guaranteed to keep you up into the wee hours. With riveting suspense, sigh-worthy romances with heart-stopping heroes, beautiful writing, and characters that jump off the page, these thrilling romantic suspense novels will have you believing in curses and ghosts.

For the first time, Silent Echoes and Silent Obsession are together in this boxed set. Get ready for a thrill-ride… 

Silent Echoes

Something deadly waits in the shadows…

On a Texas night twelve years ago, Vic Vargas kissed Delaney West so deeply that she almost came apart. Later that same night, evil crept into Delaney’s room as she slept – and everything in their world fell apart. Now Vic is a rancher living a half-empty life punctuated by one-night stands and a strained relationship with his 11-year-old son.

Then Delaney returns to San Julio, and the past comes rushing back… along with the silent echoes of that night so long ago. Livestock are dying. Some say coyote, but others whisper another darker word. Chupacabra. Bloodsucker.

The past hasn’t disappeared – nor has the instinctive desire that snaps and crackles between Delaney and Vic. And as those emotions ignite, so does the evil that hibernated for the last twelve years. The evil that waited for Delaney to return to San Julio… and to Vic Vargas.

Silent Obsession

Johanna Rios is a woman whose past has come back to haunt her.

The ghost of la Llorona is said to haunt the riverbanks, always searching for her drowned child. She also haunts high school teacher Johanna Rios, whose own mother believed so deeply in the legend she tried to drown her daughters. And now the ghost has become real, a young woman murdered, and the safe world Jo created is falling apart.

Since returning home from his last tour of duty to become a school principal, Ray Vargas has fought his attraction for his employee, the sensual woman who’d once been the girl next door. But the Llorona Killer will not stop until he claims his final victim—Johanna—and Ray will do anything to protect the woman he’s come to love.

With a serial killer out to prove the curse is real, will Ray and Johanna’s future be drowned in the ghostly waters of the past? Or will the power of their love give them the strength to stop a killer…and heal their wounded hearts…?

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Mysteries are close to my heart.  Truthfully, books of any kind are close to my heart, but mysteries, in particular.  The mystery can be large or small.  It can be the central focus of the story, or play a supporting role.  It really doesn’t matter to me the scope of the mystery elements, as long as it’s there in one way, shape, or form.

My love of mysteries started, like most young girls of a certain age, with Nancy Drew.  From there I graduated straight to Agatha Christie. I have a distinct memory of going with my mom to our town’s library so she could check out the last Hercule Poirot novel, Curtain.  She was crushed that it was to be Poirot’s last, and her love of these book intrigued me enough to start reading them.

I spent almost all of my high school lunches in one classroom or another reading.

Now, I should say that I’m a light-weight when it comes to these things. Horror movies and books are not for me. I threw Silence of the Lambs across the room once or twice while reading it, and I covered my eyes during certain parts of Dexter.

But I love the deduction. 

So, of course, I when my passion for writing grew until it couldn’t be denied, it was no surprise that it manifested itself in the form of mysteries. I began with the Lola Cruz Mystery series. The bestselling A Magical Dressmaking Mystery is straight cozy mystery (small town dressmaking sleuth who happens upon murder in Bliss, Texas).  The Bread Shop mystery series is set in central coastal California.

And then there are my 2 romantic suspense novels (Silent Echoes and Silent Obsession—the boxed set is Deadly Legends), which, of course, have strong mystery elements in them. They’re based on Mexican legends and, to me, that’s a huge part of what makes them so interesting.  The legends themselves are like mysteries.  I had to research into the legends and I learned so much about chupacabra and la Llorona during the writing of both of these books, building the mysteries around them.  Fascinating stuff! 

Mystery, mystery, mystery. The characters. The communities. The crime. The puzzle.  The deductions. The justice. Add in a romance, and you have one satisfying read.

I am excited to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about Deadly Legends (A Boxed Set featuring: Silent Echoes and Silent Obsession) by Melissa Bourbon

The Sheridan Hendley Mysteries ~ giveaway

Christa Nardi is an accomplished author of cozy mysteries. Christa’s background is in higher education and psychology, much as her protagonist, Sheridan Hendley in the Cold Creek mystery series. She has always loved mysteries – reading them, writing them, and solving them. Christa is a member of Sisters in Crime.

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A New Place, Another Murder (A Sheridan Hendley Mystery Book 1) by Christa Nardi
Genre: Cozy Mystery

Sometimes you need to be careful what you wish for.

Pretty much settled into her new home in Appomattox with Brett and his daughter, Sheridan longs for something to keep her busy.  That is, until Maddie and her new friend are framed for theft and murder.  Not quite the distraction she had hoped for, but she’ll turn over every rock to prove their innocence.  In the process, she learns about the powerful Buchanan family and the history of the local community.  Will the truth come out before the person calling the shots takes Sheridan and Maddie out of the picture?

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Dogs and more Dogs, Another Murder (A Sheridan Hendley Mystery Book 2) by Christa Nardi
Genre: Cozy Mystery

An abandoned house, an abundance of dogs. And a dead body or two.

Sheridan Hendley’s volunteer position at Pets and Paws takes a new turn when more than twenty malnourished dogs are found at a rundown house on the outskirts of town. When the body of an elderly woman is found amidst mountains of clutter in the house, a search of the property leads to startling revelations. And another body. While Herman Stoneham’s death is deemed natural causes, his wife’s is not. Where did all the dogs come from and who’s responsible for Justine’s untimely death? Are the two connected? With dogs and murder at stake, Sheridan can’t help but get involved in the investigation.

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Old Friends and New, Another Murder (A Sheridan Hendley Mystery Book 3) by Christa Nardi
Genre: Cozy Mystery

A touch of nostalgia, a murder, and good friends.

When a former colleague is implicated in his neighbor’s demise, Sheridan Hendley returns to Cold Creek to prove his innocence. Annoying as Max can be, she can’t imagine the quirky professor is capable of murder. Unfortunately, not everyone shares her opinion. Of course, it doesn’t help that Max threatened his neighbor in a public place soon before the man was murdered. Or that the victim’s drug shipments had a habit of turning up on Max’s doorstep.

Goodreads * Amazon

Would you like a chance to win a $15 Amazon gift card? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

An Interview with Christa Nardi, Author

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself, your background?

I grew up in a suburb in New England and lived in that general area for most of my life. I’m part of the baby boomer generation, coming of age at the time of the Viet Nam war and similar politically volatile occurrences. I attended public school K-12 and a state university for my undergraduate education, and pursued a career as a Psychologist.

What is something interesting many people may not know about you?

That’s a hard one. My education was punctuated by many different jobs and experiences. At one point, I worked for the state civil preparedness and worked with FEMA in response to a disaster, I volunteered with the American Red Cross to teach basic first aid, and for several years worked on volunteer ambulance. I’ve worked in public schools and in two university settings.

What do you do to unwind and relax?

Listening to music, reading, watching old movies, chatting with friends, cuddling with my dogs, working in the garden, and taking walks. With COVID-19, I’ve been binge reading a lot. Books have always been an easy escape from stressors for me.

As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

I love dogs, so it would have to be a dog. When I looked it up, the words and themes associated with a dog spirit animal include adventure, excitement, curiosity, re-evaluating interactions with people, and loyalty. At some level, the relationships are just as important as the plot.

Are your characters based on real people?

Yes and no. Characters are composites of multiple people with similar personalities and then exaggerated, like a caricature. Regardless of where I’ve worked, there are have been the very generous and social individuals, the hysterical and over-reactive ones, self-centered ones, ones who belittle and bully, the ones who lack confidence, and the ones who march to a different tune. They come in different sizes and shapes and combinations.

Are your characters fully developed before and their destiny determined before you start writing?

Heck, no. Even the major characters sometimes do things I didn’t consciously plan on them doing. And the ones that are book specific? I create them as I go. As the story progresses, the characters have to adjust and respond to new situations and each other.

Do you have a favorite movie or book or series?

That’s hard and the media doesn’t matter. There are several movies that I’ve watched multiple times – White Christmas (every year!), Grease!, Dirty Dancing, Pretty Woman, and Sound of Music. Yup, all musicals with great music and romance. Book series – I’m a proud owner of an original set of Nancy Drew and some of the Dana Girls. I also have almost a complete set of Louisa Mae Alcott. I like series and have read many by Sandra Brown, Sue Grafton, Patricia Cornwall, Lisa Gardner, Janet Evanovich… I could keep going. As I binge read through COVID-19, I am now caught up on Kathleen Brooks Bluegrass series, at least until the next ones come out. 

I am excited to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about The Sheridan Hendley Mysteries!

House of Redemption ~ giveaway

House of Redemption by Kathy Finfrock
House of Redemption by Kathy Finfrock
House of Redemption by Kathy Finfrock
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Horror

Eight unscrupulous guests have been invited to the centuries old Blackstone Resorts. Each patron has his or her own reason for needing an escape from unpleasant circumstances. Tensions mount quickly as, one-by-one, they come to face their worst nightmare. Will they repent their evil ways or remain in Blackstone for the rest of their lives?

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Kathy Finfrock is the author of the horror thriller House of Redemption and host of a podcast series Spooky Tales where you can find her short stories. An avid supporter of other writers, she is the organizer of a local writer’s group and has published The Ten-Minute Writing Prompt (Volume 1). She is currently working on a paranormal ghost novel.

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Would you like a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

House of Redemption by Kathy Finfrock

Who is your favorite character in House of Redemption?

I would say my favorite is Louis simply because he makes me smile. He is quite charismatic and enjoys the ladies. All the ladies. It doesn’t matter if they are young or old, tall or short, fat or thin. He loves them all and they love him.

Are the characters based on real people you know? 

I would say inspired by and the answer is not all of them, but a few.  Louis is based on a former boss I had. That man would flirt up anyone in a skirt. Married or single, he would take your breath away and leave you feeling warm and tingly and then off he would go. He was such fun. Unlike Louis, he sincerely loved and appreciated  women. He  was not a player as far as I know.  I still smile when I think of him many years later.  I also had a little pity for him as his wife did not appreciate his flirtatious ways. He might have been a bit scared of her. 

Sounds like you really liked him. Why would you invite him to Blackstone?

Because everyone has a dark side and appearances are deceiving. Some people are better at hiding their true face than others and this is true of Louis. 

House of Redemption by Kathy Finfrock
I am excited to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about House of Redemption by Kathy Finfrock.