Saturday, October 31, 2020

Book Blog Tour and Giveaway: The Love Note by Joanna Davidson Politano

Joanna Davidson Politano

Genre: Christian / Historical Fiction / Romance
Publisher: Revell
Publication Date: October 20, 2020 
Number of Pages: 400

 Scroll down for the giveaway!
Focused on a career in medicine and not on romance, Willa Duvall is thrown slightly off course during the summer of 1859 when she discovers a never-opened love letter in a crack of her old writing desk. Compelled to find the passionate soul who penned it and the person who never received it, she takes a job as a nurse at the seaside estate of Crestwicke Manor.

Everyone at Crestwicke has feelings
mostly negative onesabout the man who wrote the letter, but he seems to have disappeared. With plenty of enticing clues but few answers, Willa's search becomes even more complicated when she misplaces the letter and it passes from person to person in the house, each finding a thrilling or disheartening message in its words.

Laced with mysteries large and small, this romantic Victorian-era tale of love lost, love deferred, and love found is sure to delight.

Chapter 1, Part 1
There are two ways to truly know a person—one is to begin a friendship with them. The other is to end it.
~A scientist’s observations on love

Brighton, England, 1859

It always came to this, didn’t it? Amid the glittering swirl of music and gowns, I looked up into the handsome face of Lord Cumberland and forced a smile as if nothing at all were about to happen.

He leaned close. “It’s time we spoke privately.”

No. No, not privately. I looked up, willing it not to be so, but his face was sober. Determined. Decided.

And things had been going so well between us.

I tried to swallow. Tried and failed. The grand affair swelled around me, sparkling beneath the crystal chandeliers. The vibrant music, the swish of gowns and shoes, faded into the background as our eyes met over the cup of cider he handed me with a lingering touch, and I couldn’t look away. Good gracious, how I wanted to, but his gaze was relentless. Searching. Full of anticipation. Of course, to make matters worse, he was terribly handsome in that dark and reckless sort of way. Bows continued to hum over violin strings, shoes beating a rhythm on the wood floor, as if life weren’t shifting dramatically in this shadowed corner by the drink table.

Cumberland glanced toward my father, the great Dr. Phineas Duvall, who was spouting his opinions to a senator and two solicitors across the grand parlor, then back to me with a self-satisfied smile. Unfortunately, the coast was clear. “Suppose we stroll out to the balcony?”

I was going to be sick. I forced a brilliant smile. “Oh, come now, I’ve hardly danced.”

His brows knit. “Are there other men with whom you were hoping to dance?”

“Of course not.” Too quick. Too eager. My voice had pitched higher than old widow Tarskin’s roof. I took his arm, looking straight ahead at the dreaded balcony where words would be exchanged and futures altered.

Staring down the barrel of my fourth marriage proposal left me cold and shaky. I had no remedy in our little clinic for what I now faced, no antidote to reverse it.

An evening breeze slipped through the curtains from the balcony and cooled my face. “You’d have me catch my death, would you?” I kept my tone light and swept toward the waiter carrying a tray of tarts. I turned back to make another cheeky comment, but Lord Cumberland’s eyes were brimming with the unasked question.

“Just for a moment.” He moved close and I felt his breath. “I promise to keep you warm.”

My arms prickled inside my long gloves. His voice felt invasive. Intimate. I glanced around for Father, but he had stepped out, likely to discuss the never-ending research for his new clinic. How I wish I could trade that discussion for the one being thrust upon me.

Cumberland leaned down, his hand cupping my elbow. “Come now, you know I’m a gentleman.”

But I didn’t know. How could I? With chaperoned outings and puddle-deep conversations, we were strangers. Yet he was about to suggest we share a home, our lives, ourselves, for good. Oh, heavens.

What was wrong with me, anyway? Hadn’t men and women been stepping into such a promise for centuries? Willingly, no less.

With an impulsive smile, I grabbed his hand. “Come. I’ve not given you your dance yet.”

His look darkened. “There’s no need—”

“Of course there is.” I could be relentless too. “I promised you, didn’t I? And I never make a promise I don’t intend to keep. Ever.” I let my gaze linger, but his expression didn’t register understanding. Only frustration at the interruption to his plans.

With a set jaw, he swept me into the dance, and the familiar rhythm pulled us along.

His voice was terse. Acidic. “I suppose this is the most privacy you will afford me tonight, so I’ll simply have to pose my question here.”

“What could two friends have to say to one another that couldn’t be said on a dance floor?” He’d been such a good friend too. Quite diverting.

He spun me close in the waltz. “You know I want more, Miss Duvall.” His mint-laced breath washed over my face. Deeper meaning darkened his eyes.

Innocent. Look innocent. Smile. “Nothing is greater than friendship.”


“Especially when I’m so busy helping Father. He has more patients than he can tend, and plans for a most brilliant clinic.”

“You wouldn’t have to do that anymore. I’m offering you a fine home in Manchester.”

Offering four walls, closing in around me.

“I’m trying to rescue you from all this. You don’t deserve what’s been heaped upon you.”

Rescue me from a rich and glorious life, working beside a most beloved father? Rescue me from saving lives, from pouring myself out for the broken and desperately needy? And he was right—I had done nothing to deserve the beauty and richness of my life.

His arms framed me in a way that was strong and guiding, yet restrictive. “Please. I can give you everything you desire.”

But no one seemed to recognize what that was—least of all the men who proposed.

My heart sifted through tender memories from earlier this day. A new child entering the world. A man whose foot had been spared by my work and a girl whose life had been saved. I had saved a life. A whole life. How could anyone think I’d wish that taken away from me? We twirled faster and harder, my heart thudding the rhythm.

To read the next excerpt of The Love Note, please visit Book Bustle on 11/1/2020 or later.
Joanna Davidson Politano is the award-winning author of Lady Jayne Disappears and A Rumored Fortune. She loves tales that capture the colorful, exquisite details in ordinary lives and is eager to hear anyone's story. 

She lives with her husband and their two kids in a house in the woods near Lake Michigan.

  Website Bookbub  Facebook Twitter  Pinterest ║ Amazon  Goodreads
Win a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card + a copy of The Love Note by Joanna Davidson Politano + a pack of 50 love note cards.
(US only)

or visit the blogs directly:


Book Trailer

Hall Ways Blog



Jennifer Silverwood


Character Interview

Reading by Moonlight



Rainy Days with Amanda


Top Five

Story Schmoozing Book Reviews



Carpe Diem Chronicles


Excerpt 1

All the Ups and Downs


Excerpt 2

Book Bustle


Author Interview

The Adventures of a Travelers Wife



The Clueless Gent


Guest Post

Max Knight


Top Eight List

Chapter Break Book Blog



Missus Gonzo



Jennie Reads



StoreyBook Reviews

   blog tour services provided by

Book Tour and Giveaway - From Dill to Dracula: A Romanian Food & Folklore Cookbook by A.M. Ruggirello

Title: From Dill to Dracula: A Romanian Food & Folklore Cookbook
Author: A.M. Ruggirello
Publisher: Cardboard Monet Publishing
Publication Date: November 10th 2020
Print Length: 262 pages
Genre: Nonfiction, Cookbook
Romania—a hidden gem of Eastern Europe—is better known for its brush with communism than its cuisine. But, just because it’s hidden, doesn’t mean it’s forgotten. Filled with lush ingredients, many picked fresh from the field, you’ll find a traditional Romanian plate loaded to the brim with vegetables and lean proteins, never lacking in flavor.

And nestled in those hidden hills and winding landscapes, lies a culture as rich and decadent as their meals. Journey through the countryside with over 80 recipes as unique as the people who have been perfecting them for centuries, all the while learning about the folklore and traditions that have steeped Romania in mystical mystery for so long.

Ash (who writes as “A.M.”) wears many hats, though she favors the dark gray cable knit beanie from Amazon, most. A descendant of Romanian immigrants, she grew up in a family that fostered all forms of creation, the guiding force which led her towards her careers as an author + bloggerbook designer + graphic artist, and certified nutrition + lifestyle coach.

She lives in Beer + Cheese Land, Wisconsin with her real-life superhero husband, loud-mouth + drool-bucket coonhound, and I’m-allergic-to-myself cat, but frequently spends a fortnight (or two) in the fictional world of Skyrim (add her on the PlayStation Network: supersmaaashley).

She considers herself a designer by nature, a writer at heart, and always wanted to make video game walk-throughs as a child. (Hint: she still does.) Her favorite color is chartreuse, and she has an undeniable attraction to moss (not of the Kate variety).

Win a  $25 gift card to for the purchase of Romanian goodies!

Follow the tour HERE for more content!

Friday, October 30, 2020

Blurb Blitz and Giveaway: Centricity (Centricity Cycle #1) by Nathaniel Henderson

Welcome to my stop on the blurb blitz for Centricity by Nathaniel Henderson. This blurb blitz was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt for you. There's also a tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $40 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. For more content, be sure to follow the rest of the blitz each day. Enjoy!
Title: Centricity
Series: Centricity Cycle #1
Author: Nathaniel Henderson
Publication Date: October 20th 2020
Print Length: 452 pages
Genres: Science Fiction
The world already ended once. Now it's up to an outgunned negotiator, a disavowed spy, and an immersion-addicted hacker to stop it from happening again.

Centuries after the Fold, civilization is fragile. In the megacity of Naion, people live stacked in arcologies, most never going outside because the air is another enemy. Instead, freedom comes from technology: bodytechs modify the human form while synthetic intelligences whisper through brainware.

Now a new bridge between man and machine has emerged, one that could destroy humanity’s second shot at survival—or save it, depending on who gets to it first....

Adasha Denali is one of the government’s best dispute resolution specialists, but when a scandal threatens to destabilize the city and end her career, she’ll need more than words to escape the fallout. Venturing out of her office and into a fight for the future, she’ll team up with a disavowed spy, learning the hard way that betrayal wears many faces, and one of them may be her own.

Neon Nik is an immersion-addicted IT freelancer struggling to pay off debts to circling loan sharks. Threats of dismemberment become the least of his problems when a surprise inheritance throws him into a vortex of corporate kill squads willing to burn the city down to find him.

Engineered spies, high-tech mercenaries, and immersion hackers collide in this first gripping installment of the Centricity Cycle.

JUSTICE OFFICER NEIL Linz watched Adasha from across the table with bulbous eyes set in a surgically smooth face. The conference room lights reflected slashes of crystal white along the hard edges of his cheekbones, jaw, and the solid metallic wave one might call hair. 

“Then to summarize: to your knowledge, Gabriel never shared classified information with any unauthorized persons, never lied to or withheld pertinent information from superiors, nor did he ever act in a way counter to the goals of the CPCA?” 

Three dozen questions in and he hadn’t blinked once. No eyelids. Fully synthetic ocular implants didn’t require cover as they could be deactivated, but most people had some for aesthetic reasons. Linz obviously enjoyed the discomfort his perpetual stare caused; it was more unsettling than the facial canvases of self-mutilators. 

“As I said, no, he did not.” Adasha clasped her hands together on the polished table, posture a vertical line, and stared straight back. 

“Mmm.” Linz glanced at the folder in front of him, pushed aside a sheet of vaper to get at one beneath. His use of the physical medium felt like a strategic choice, as if to emphasize how solid his thoughts were. “When did you first meet Gabriel?”

Adasha wondered if Linz’s disregard of honorifics was meant to rile her. “Fourteen years ago.”

“You were a legislative director for Assembly Representative Jenov Quamay at the time.”

“I was an assistant.” It seemed Linz had made the mistake on purpose. To test the accuracy of her responses, she assumed. “The title of director came a year later.” 

“Legislative director to CPCA senior analyst to interagency coordinator…. People usually climb in the other direction, no?”
Nathaniel Henderson was born in 1983 in Albuquerque, NM, USA. At a young age he moved to Tulsa, OK, where he spent the next fifteen or so years surviving adolescence. After graduating from high school, he packed it up and headed out west to the picturesque Santa Cruz, CA to attend UCSC. After a year of wrestling with computer science, he transferred to San Francisco to study computer animation and special effects. The career didn’t stick, and he set off to teach English in South Korea, Thailand, and finally Tokyo, Japan, where he currently resides. 

Nathaniel Henderson will be awarding a $40 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter after the blurb blitz. To increase your chance of winning, leave a comment at a different stop on the blitz each day. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blast and Giveaway: Merlin Raj and the Drones of Sleepy Hollow (Merlin Raj #3) by D.G. Priya

Welcome to my stop on the book blast for Merlin Raj and the Drones of Sleepy Hollow by D.G. Priya. This book blast was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $20 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to visit the other stops on the book blast for more content. Enjoy!
Title: Merlin Raj and the Drones of Sleepy Hollow
Series: Merlin Raj #3
Author: D.G. Priya
Illustrator: Shelley Hampe
Publisher: Vulcan Ink
Publication Date: September 29th 2020
Print Length: 120 pages
Genre: Children's Fiction
Mom's Choice Gold Award Winner

"...the more conceptual discussion of algorithms is well done, and the story is satisfying and emotionally resonant." -- Kirkus Reviews

My name is Merlin Raj and I live in Sleepy Hollow. Legend has it that a Headless Horseman haunts the town. Usually, I only have to worry about helping my boy, Matthew, to walk at school. But during the spookiest time of year, we’ll tackle the scariest creature of all—big brother.


Will learning conditional logic save this family’s Halloween from certain doom?

Appealing to readers of all ages, Merlin Raj and the Drones of Sleepy Hollow is an ILLUSTRATED chapter-book. From artists to astronauts, the jobs of the future will deal with computers. But do kids want to read a coding book? Not as much as dog stories.

With a Computer Science degree and a passion for preparing kids for the future, author D. G. Priya blends technology with animal stories to stimulate a desire to read. Each book in the series introduces a new programming skill. If you or your child like delightful dog tales that explores universally positive themes, including empathy, kindness, dedication, and the importance of being true to one's self, then you'll love D. G. Priya's tail-wagging adventure.

After a rousing “Trick or Treat,” Matthew got some sticky taffy. He plunked it into the pumpkin-shaped plastic bag. He’d also put a second sack on my back, in case he ran out of room. We expected to knock on a lot of homes.

Peter marched up to the front door. He flew the pumpkin-head drone ahead of him. It had a small net hanging from it. Peter reached the lady giving out the candy. He drove the drone in front of the candy bowl in her hands and declared, “Trick or treat!”

“What?” Matthew muttered at my side. “He got two pieces.”

As he walked back toward us, Peter smirked. “Guess who’s going to win?”

“You cheater,” Matthew said.

I nodded in agreement.

“It’s not cheating if I’m just smarter,” Peter said.
D. G. Priya is the bestselling author Priya Ardis. She obtained her Bachelor's of Science in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Austin, #6 in the world (Academic Ranking of World Universities, 2014) and #8 (US News, 2020) in Computer Science. Her advocacy of early education in computing and the challenges of childhood disabilities come from her experience as a parent and volunteer. Her love of dog stories comes from the antics of her own golden retriever.

Shelley Hampe is an author-illustrator. She is known for her work with Harvard University, illustrating a ground-breaking social-emotional learning program for children. She has a master's in studio art and has taken part in world-recognized artist residencies in the United States. When she isn't busy solving problems, Shelley can be found teaching STEAM principles to elementary aged kids. Shelley's dog Beau, helped solve her problem of cold-feet while illustrating this book. 
D.G. Priya will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. To increase your chance of winning, leave a comment at a different stop on the book blast each day. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway: Jungleland (White Hawk Aviation Stories #2) by M.T. Bass

Welcome to my stop on the virtual book tour for Jungleland by M.T. Bass. This tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as a guest post from the author. There's also the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $50 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to visit the other stops on the tour for more content. Enjoy!
Title: Jungleland
Series: White Hawk Aviation Stories #2
Author: M.T. Bass
Publisher: Electron Alley Publishing
Publication Date: October 22nd 2020
Print Length: 221 pages
Genre: Adventure Fiction
There are only two types of aircraft: fighters and targets.” ~Doyle ‘Wahoo’ Nicholson, USMC 

Sweating it out in the former Belgian Congo as a civil war mercenary, with Sparks turning wrenches on his T-6 Texan, Hawk splits his time flying combat missions and, back on the ground, sparring with Ella, an attractive young missionary doctor, in the sequel to My Brother’s Keeper.

I slid back the canopy. The woman wriggled out from around the mechanic’s blocking move and headed towards me.

Sparks shrugged his shoulders at my hand motion query. He folded his arms over his chest to watch the show.

The woman didn’t even walk around the wing but stooped to cut underneath to take a more direct line towards me. She disappeared under the leading edge and appeared at the aileron, then followed the trailing edge back to the fuselage, looking for the handhold to get herself up on the wing.

I turned in the cockpit and watched her step up onto the wing and climb the incline up to me. I started to slide myself up to get out, getting my butt up on the back of the seat, but she got to me and blocked my way out. 

“Just who do you think you are, mister?” she barked with the authoritative voice of a medical professional at the very top of the heap. I had heard that tone in my brother’s voice more than a few times.

I just pulled off my helmet but left my mirrored Ray-Bans on. From safely behind the lenses, I carefully surveyed her gorgeously animated face—even in anger, her lips wrinkled in a bit of a smile as if this was half-show, half-genuine indignation. Her red hair was neatly pulled back in a ponytail, showing a freckled, fair complexion that had not yet been weathered and tanned by the sun, so she was new in country. Most of us outsiders knew each other well, but I didn’t recognize who this was. I had heard about a new doctor at the mission, though never imagined it might have been female.

“You’re not from around here, are you?” I asked.


“I mean originally—not born and raised.”

She scowled and punched my arm with her fist…hard.

“Ow!” I guessed she had at least one brother.

“Was that you—of course it was. Who else would it have been.”

I unscrewed the plugs from my ears, and the volume level on her voice got louder. Over her shoulder, I saw Sparks shake his head and smile.

“Listen, mister—”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa there,” I finally interrupted, holding up my hand, palm out like a cop stopping traffic. 

She stopped talking and stared hard at me. She punched my arm again…
M.T. Bass is a scribbler of fiction who holds fast to the notion that while victors may get to write history, novelists get to write/right reality. He lives, writes, flies and makes music in Mudcat Falls, USA.

Born in Athens, Ohio, M.T. Bass grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. He graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University, majoring in English and Philosophy, then worked in the private sector (where they expect “results”) mainly in the Aerospace & Defense manufacturing market. During those years, Bass continued to write fiction. He is the author of eight novels: My Brother’s Keeper, Crossroads, In the Black, Somethin’ for Nothin’, Murder by Munchausen, The Darknet (Murder by Munchausen Mystery #2), The Invisible Mind (Murder by Munchausen Mystery #3) and Article 15. His writing spans various genres, including Mystery, Adventure, Romance, Black Comedy and Techno Thrillers. A Commercial Pilot and Certified Flight Instructor, airplanes and pilots are featured in many of his stories. Bass currently lives on the shores of Lake Erie near Lorain, Ohio.

- What song do you believe could be the theme song to your book? Why?

I did not write this book with the idea of having a specific theme song, but it definitely traces its title from Bruce Springsteen’s “Jungleland.”

And I guess the themes of the novel do fit together with the lyrics—in a metaphorical way. At their roots, the story and song are both romances:

The rat pulls into town, rolls up his pants
Together they take a stab at romance

It’s clear when Hawk meets Dr. Mickleson in chapter one, there is at least some attraction for her on his side:

“I guess she told you, doncha know,” Sparks said when I came up beside him. He smiled an evil, knowing grin.

“You know, I think I feel a fever coming on.” I put the back of my hand to my forehead.

“Maybe you should have that looked at.”

“Hmmm. Maybe you’re right.” We watched Ella get swallowed up by the jungle.

And in the song:

The kids round here look just like shadows
Always quiet, holding hands
From the churches to the jails
Tonight all is silence in the world
As we take our stand
Down in jungleland

…are just like the kids there in the mission where Ella works, who are caught in the middle there too:

Even though I had to take it extra slow, since I had boxes of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies in the back, I got there around three, and kids swarmed around me like flies on a wildebeest. Chocolate didn’t really work too well in the heat so close to the equator, but licorice did, so I passed sticks out from a bag until they had all run off with their prizes.

Ella watched from the door to her clinic, but I studiously ignored her.

In Springsteen's words, a life and death struggle plays out:

Outside the street's on fire, in a real death waltz
Between what's flesh and what's fantasy
And then the poets down here, don't write nothing at all
They just stand back and let it all be

And the reality of civil war in Congo is harsh and brutal:

“And the mayor there, Bond…Bondess…Bondekwe or something. I don’t know, but they stripped him down completely naked and stood him up in front of a mad, mad crowd of rebels.”

I waited. “And?”

Eric shook his head.


“And they carved his liver out—while he was still alive.”

I could feel my face squint in repulsion.

“Yes, while he was still alive.”


“Then they cut it up while it was still hot and—and—and they ate it in front of him as he died.”

Casting its dark, dark shadow over romance:

And in the quick of the night
They reach for their moment
And try to make an honest stand
But they wind up wounded, not even dead

Tonight in Jungleland…

Jungleland by Bruce Springsteen on YouTube
M.T. Bass will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. To increase your chance of winning, leave a comment at a different stop on the tour each day.
a Rafflecopter giveaway