Tuesday, May 31, 2022

NBtM Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway - In Between: Stories of the Eververse by Darby Harn

Welcome to my stop on the NBtM virtual book tour for In Between: Stories of the Eververse by Darby Harn. This book tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as a lovely guest post from the author. There's also the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to visit the other stops on the tour for more content. Enjoy!
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Title: In Between: Stories of the Eververse
Author: Darby Harn
Publisher: Fair Play Books
Publication Date: May 6th 2022
Print Length: 421 pages
Genre: Speculative Science Fiction
~
Telepathic wolves. Zombie gangsters. Sentient houses. Just another day for Kit Baldwin.

Fifty years after an alien ship crashed in Break Pointe, the only protection in a strange new world is Great Power, a corporation of superhumans. If you can afford them. Most people can’t.

Enter Kit Baldwin, a young woman who helps people to help people. Except her power is the alien’s power, and she may be more of a danger to her city than she is a help.

This collection of stories and novellas follows Kit's journey in a series that's been called 'the next logical step after Watchmen.'

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EXCERPT:
Bloodback

The sky bruises over The Derelicts. I didn’t know what to expect when I started defending the city a few months ago, but I figured full moons would mean less criminal activity.

So far, my most effective super power is being wrong.

The thief runs through the wreck of the alien ship. I hold my position, hovering in the night. Used to be I put on a big light show and scared the daylights out of them soon as they snuck in through the breached hull. That got old.

Now, I let the ship do the work for me. A gauntlet of maroon shards scarps the strange cave of the ship. Bird bones crunch under his boots, hard as rocks. Never a good idea to run here. A gasp caroms around the gutted candle of the interior as he trips and plunges headfirst into a narrow crevice of specious crystal.

Lucky for him, it’s not that deep.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Darby Harn studied at Trinity College, in Dublin, Ireland, as part of the Irish Writing Program. He is the author of the sci-fi superhero novel EVER THE HERO. His short fiction appears in Strange Horizons, Interzone, Shimmer, The Coffin Bell, and other venues.

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GUEST POST:
- Which character from your book do you think you are most like and why?

I’m certainly most like Kit Baldwin, the main character of In Between: Stories of the Eververse. I didn’t set out to draw any parallels, but I’ve had numerous people tell me Kit and I share similar personality traits. Her compassion and consideration for other people is something I aspire to. Kit represents the best of humanity and though she’s a superhero in name only, she is a real hero and I hope a positive role model for people. The thing Kit and I most share is the fact that we are both autistic.

I discovered I was autistic later in life, about five years ago. I learned this around the time I began writing the first book in the Eververse series, Ever The Hero. Kit became a way of working out this discovery. I always process aspects of my life on the page and Kit became my avatar in many respects. I had internalized a lot of ableism growing up ignorant of my autism for so long. Kit reflected this in ways I regret now but were and are honest to the experience of discovering the truth about yourself.

Kit is obviously autistic in the first book to readers who recognize autistic traits but it’s not until In Between: Stories of the Eververse that she begins to acknowledge this. Her journey echoes my own in many ways. I struggled for a long time to accept and understand this part of myself and it’s only recently that I have felt comfortable speaking about it. One reason I did is that I began to see the value in Kit as a positive representative for autistic characters in fiction, of which there are too few.

Autistic people often get tagged with being unempathetic or robotic. That is not my experience personally or of other autistic people. If anything, autistic people such as myself and others I know are hyper-empathetic, to the point they take steps to insulate themselves from experiences that may overwhelm them. They are hyper-perceptive in many cases and a greater awareness of others leads to greater empathy.

Kit contains a universe of empathy within her. It doesn’t always register in neurotypical ways. Her life experience taught Kit not to speak or react for fear of being misunderstood, and this gives off the impression of her being distant. She’s anything but. Her actions and words reveal a woman of deep feeling and limitless compassion for those in need. One of the joys of writing these stories is discovering Kit’s capacity for kindness. Every story challenges her. Every new circumstance puts pressure on her. She struggles to navigate the twists and turns of being responsible for a city of people but she never struggles to maintain her compassion.

I’d like to think Kit and I share this in common. One thing I know we do share is that we are always fighting for the better and to be better.
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GIVEAWAY:
Darby Harn will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Good luck!

(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, its entries, or the prize. Goddess Fish Promotions and the author assume all responsibility over this giveaway.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blitz and Giveaway: The Bequest (The Birch Creek Ranch #1) by B.E. Baker

Title: The Bequest
Series: The Birch Creek Ranch #1
Author: B.E. Baker
Publisher: Purple Puppy Publishing
Publication Date: November 30th 2021
Print Length: 404 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Women’s Fiction

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Two widows, six kiddos, and a will that leaves them a massive cattle ranch, but only if they work it for a year.

Abigail and Amanda may have married brothers, but they have almost nothing else in common (and really, they never did get along very well). After their husbands both pass away, they have no reason to interact. Their connection drops to an awkward phone call on birthdays and an exchange of holiday cards.

Until an eccentric uncle of their husbands’ leaves a massive cattle ranch to the women’s minor children. . . if they work the ranch themselves. A ranch that’s located near a small town on the border of Wyoming that isn’t too keen on outsiders.

They’re both going to turn the bequest down, clearly. It’s not like either of them could properly raise their kids or find love again in a backwater province like Birch Creek. But when things at home change dramatically—for both moms—they decide to give it a try. . . just for the summer.

What could possibly go wrong in a mere three months? (Or more importantly… what might go right?)

Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author Pamela Kelley said, “B. E. Baker takes you right to the heart of the small town that two widowed sisters-in-law land in very unexpectedly. Can they survive the year they need to spend there to keep it? I really enjoyed reading Bridget’s romantic women’s fiction debut.

Goodreads * Amazon * Barnes & Noble *
iBooks * Kobo * Google Play

EXCERPT:
I pay, and we’re out the door. It takes almost five minutes to get all the kids and all the groceries squeezed into the car, but with the sun setting, I’d rather not try and find a place to buy dinner. My son Ethan lets me pile him up with stuff, including a rather precarious stack of produce. At least no one argues with me or begs for McDonald’s. With four kids and more than fourteen hours of travel under our belts, it’s a small miracle.

“I’ll hurry,” I promise.

The sun has lit the entire sky an orangey pink by the time we’re cruising down the street off which the ranch is set. Ethan’s so excited that we’re close that he’s belting “On Top of the World” by Imagine Dragons. It’s making it hard to think, much less hear The Jetsons in the back.

“Cut it out,” Izzy says.

He ignores her.

“We’re almost there,” I say.

“Shut up, Ethan!” Whitney throws something—not sure what—that knocks the bag of apples sideways. They roll off Ethan’s lap and spill all over the center console. One rolls down into the floorboard.

“Guys!”

“Sorry, Mom!” Whitney says. “But Ethan won’t shut up, and I can’t hear.”

I slow way down so that I can grab the apple. I finally end up stopping in the middle of the road while I rummage around for it. I’m lucky this road has no traffic on it.

My hand finally wraps around the shiny, smooth skin. “Ha!” After I sit up again, I look around to make sure it’s clear for me to drive.

There aren’t any other cars, but there is a tall, shirtless man mowing the front lawn of a small white farmhouse. It may not be that warm outside, but his body still glistens with sweat. I can’t look away from the defined pecs, the bunched biceps, and the washboard stomach. Ohmygoodness, I’m too old to go entirely blank when I see someone who’s magazine centerfold hot. I’m sure he’s young enough to be—

But then he looks up, and I realize he’s not young at all. He’s close to my age. And he’s staring right at me staring back at him, and he has no idea I wasn’t staring at him the entire time we were stopped. My foot slams against the gas pedal and we shoot forward, but he waves in spite of my quick departure. I wonder whether this man who must be a relatively close neighbor could see through the window and might recognize my face. I really hope not.

The sun has dropped so low that there’s barely a golden glow when we crest the ridge and turn into the driveway my map is bleating at me to take, and my heart has finally settled down to a sustainable rate. “I think this is it, guys.”
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Bridget Baker loves her husband (every day) and all five of her kids (most days).

She’s a lawyer, but does as little legal work as possible. She has three quarter horse geldings, a Holsteiner (jumping) horse, and she spends too much time riding and not enough time writing. (Or too much time writing and not enough time riding, depending on your perspective!)

She has more chickens than she’ll admit to having, two lions head rabbits, a cat, two dogs (one bouncy and one yappy). She makes cookies waaaaay too often and believes they should be their own food group. In a (possibly misguided) attempt at balancing the scales, she kickboxes daily.

So if you don’t like her books, her kids, her horses, her chickens, or her cookies, maybe don’t tell her in person.

B.E. Baker is the romance/women's fiction penname for Bridget E. Baker, who also writes fantasy, end of the world, and dystopian books that add a little magic to the world.

Please sign up for Bridget's fantasy or romance newsletters on her website.

Website * Goodreads *
Facebook * Instagram * Bookbub
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GIVEAWAY:
Win a $25 Amazon gift card!

(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, its entries, or the prize. Xpresso Book Tours and the author assume all responsibility over this giveaway.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Book Blitz and Giveaway: Serenade (The Dark Nocturne #1) by Morgan Shamy

Title: Serenade
Series: The Dark Nocturne #1
Author: Morgan Shamy
Publisher: Aethon Books
Publication Date: May 31st 2022
Print Length: 319 pages
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Fantasy

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St. Paul’s Academy of the Arts isn’t your usual boarding school…

When November Huntington is sent away to live with her long-lost family, she’s forced to attend a music school for the gifted—which wouldn’t be a problem if November were musical. She’s an athlete through and through, and hates being different.

The kids at the school don’t welcome her, they’re wary of her presence, especially Vincent, a brooding teenage boy involved with dark spirits, who can make time stop when he plays his piano. In fact, all her classmates are all obsessed with playing their instruments. And odd things happen when the do.

But something is off about the school. Deaths have occurred through the years, students showing up dead the same way November’s parents were killed—with their throats ripped out.

A killer is on the loose… November must figure out a way to stop whoever it is, balance her feelings for Vincent, and solve her parents’ past before she, too, is numbered among the dead.

The first in a Paranormal Fantasy Saga by debut author Morgan Shamy.

Goodreads * Amazon

EXCERPT:
“Hello?” she called again. She poked her head outside and looked both ways down the hall, but still, nothing but a long stretch of dark.

She started to pull back into her room when she heard it. A voice—smooth and deep, barely a whisper.

“You shouldn’t be here, you know. Your father wouldn’t have wanted it.”

Her heart pounded at the mention of her father, and her mind screamed at who would know him. She gripped the doorframe, her fingers digging into the wood.

“Who are you?” she asked, her jaw tight. “And what do you know about my father?”

“Just call me a family friend.” A smirk carried in his voice.

She squinted down the hall and her eyes cleared a tad. A long dark figure leaned against the wall, arms crossed.

“What are you doing hiding in the dark?”

“I don’t want you in my home,” he answered. “So figure out a way to go and go. Now.

November glared through the dark, her teeth clamping together. She had never allowed herself to be bullied, and she wasn’t about to start now.

“I can stay here if I want to,” she said. “And you can’t say otherwise.” She didn’t want to be here either, but she also didn’t want to be told what to do.

A low laugh erupted through the dark. “Oh?” The guy pushed off the wall and straightened. He began to take long steps toward her, smooth, calculated. “You won’t last a week here. Guaranteed.”

November’s grip tightened on the doorframe, anger rising up her throat. She’d met people just like him, climbers even—who were full of themselves—who thought they knew everything. He continued to glide toward her.

“I don’t know who you think you are, showing up at my door in the middle of the night and lecturing me, telling me to get out,” she said, “but I won’t have it.” His snark was pushing her over the edge.

He continued to advance, his silhouette lean and black. “Pretty powerful words for a Huntington.” The name came out in disgust.

November’s stomach tightened the closer he drew near. Awareness prickled on her skin, every inch of her buzzing. He glided to a stop, standing right in front of her, but she still couldn’t see his face.

“Tell me, Huntington, what makes you think you’re better than the rest of us?”

Her brows creased. “I don’t.”

“Oh, I can see your ego a mile away. Or maybe I just know too much about you. World class rock climber. Dead parents. Trying to use your sob story to find meaning in your life. Well, Huntington, it’s time for you to wake up. Gain some responsibility for your own emotions and go back to your life. Get out. No one wants you here.”

November narrowed her eyes, until tears started to gather. She still couldn’t see him, only the wild spat of dark hair on top of his head. She’d never had anyone call her egotistical before. Not even Shawn, and he’d been horrible to her.

“Looks like I’m not the only one with an ego,” she said, her tears thickening. “And I don’t want to be here either, so looks like we both win.”

She slammed the door in his face, the sound echoing in her head. She wanted to see his shocked expression as the door shut, but she couldn’t stand his presence any longer. She needed to take control of the situation and show him who was boss. She wasn’t some girl who cowered away from someone who pushed her around.

She pressed her back against the door, breathing fast, but could still feel him outside. A part of her wanted to run to April and Conroy and demand that they tell her who he was, but she didn’t want to give him the pleasure of knowing he affected her. She would ignore him. He didn’t have any power over her. But she didn’t dare move, not until she heard his footsteps disappear down the hall and walk away.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Morgan Shamy is an ex-ballerina turned YA writer. She has been immersed in the arts since the young age of 4, where she performed various roles alongside a professional ballet company for over seven years, and has danced on prestigious stages like soloing at Carnegie Hall in New York City. She has taught hundreds of girls in her fifteen years of teaching, where some of her students have received full-ride scholarships to schools like School of American Ballet, the Harid Conservatory, Kirov Academy of Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet, to name a few.

Morgan discovered writing when her three-year-old son was diagnosed with cancer. It was through that experience which instilled the need to share art and magic with children through words on the page.

Morgan is also an accomplished concert pianist. She was the first girl in Utah to receive the 75 pt. Gold Cup in the Utah Federation of Music in piano solo/concerto competition. Morgan currently lives with her X-Games gold-medalist husband and four children in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Website * Goodreads * Facebook *
Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub
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GIVEAWAY:
Win an eBook of Serenade by Morgan Shamy - 10 winners!

(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, its entries, or the prizes. Xpresso Book Tours and the author assume all responsibility over this giveaway.)

Monday, May 30, 2022

Excerpt Tour and Giveaway - I'll Go the Length of Meself: The Story of Newfoundland's Daring Rascal, Captain Guy Earle, North America's Youngest Master Mariner by Philip Earle

Welcome to my stop on the excerpt tour for I'll Go the Length of Meself: The Story of Newfoundland's Daring Rascal, Captain Guy Earle, North America's Youngest Master Mariner by Philip Earle. This tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an exclusive excerpt from the book. There's also the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $15 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to visit the other stops on the tour for more exclusive excerpt. Enjoy!
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Title: I'll Go the Length of Meself: The Story of Newfoundland's Daring Rascal, Captain Guy Earle, North America's Youngest Master Mariner
Author: Philip Earle
Publisher: Tellwell Talent
Publication Date: March 27th 2022
Print Length: 373 pages
Genre: Memoir
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"Guy's life was a living adventure: he was a mariner and navigator of the first order, a character with the bravery of a Viking and the kindness of Robin Hood. Generous to a fault, he could never turn his back on someone in need, and would risk his life in a flash to save the life of another. He was like a godfather to the coastal people.
– Philip Earle

"Guy Earle commanded ships when he was a boy. He had the qualities admired by Newfoundlanders, and created maximum employment in the family business wherever he could. He was truly a Newfoundland hero."
– Geoff Stirling, (1921–2013), founder, CJON-TV (NTV)

"Guy had a mind of his own. He was a terrific leader and he played hard to win at anything he did. He was quick to size up a situation and quick to take action. He never, ever accepted the word 'can't'; if it was possible, it had to be done."
– Fred Earle (1924–1999), Guy's brother and partner in business

"Skipper Guy could take charge on anything. He had no fear and believed in himself. He could make friends with the Queen, as they say, if he wanted, and get anything he wanted."
– Fred Rossiter, (1905–1985), shipmate and friend of Guy.

"It must be a beautiful thing to know you saved someone's life. Guy Earle saved me. I've had a long life, a successful business, and raised a family because of him. He was a great man."
– Ed Wahlen, businessman and friend of Guy

"Guy Earle was the exemplification of courage in everything he did. His trade was with people and his warmth spread as widely as his countless business negotiations. He gave his life to his vision of the fishery; it was his gift to his homeland, a gift few men can claim to better."
– Maurice Quinlan (1910–1983), co-founder, Quinlan Brothers Ltd

"Guy Earle was sent here by God to give to people."
– Pasteur Harold Slade

"Captain Guy was a daring seafarer whose legendary adventures rivalled those of the heroes in such Hollywood films as Captain Blood, Down to The Sea in Ships, and Captains Courageous."
– Gordon Lore, author

"There will never be another Guy Earle; there couldn't be."

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EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT:
Intelligence is not just an act of thinking. It does not take place only in the thinking consciousness, but also in the unconscious awareness area of the brain. Your unconscious awareness affects your thinking and can also make you act without thinking. If you have ever solved a difficult problem in mathematics—or any problem—while you were asleep, waking up with the answer in your head, the process has involved unconscious awareness.

It is where scientific discoveries and creativity occur. This same thing happened when you were a child running across rocks in a stream. When you got going out over the water in a forward motion, you didn’t know where you were going to put your next step on a rock ahead of you. But you went from rock to rock all the way across, not knowing how you did it. Your unconscious awareness knew where to make your feet go! You were moving too fast for the thinking mind to guide you correctly to the next rock. What makes a baby think and learn a language? Thinking does not teach itself to think—the inherited instinct of unconscious awareness teaches the baby.

This is what happened with Skipper Guy one June morning in 1959. I was thirteen and in disbelief at what I witnessed. I could not understand how the skipper automatically acted without thought while completing a stunt.

I was in the front seat, and the skipper was driving his car on the road around the beach in Carbonear when he noticed something wrong on the company wharf. We took off down the street, and when we got to the entrance of the company premises going down the hill between two buildings, he turned into it and hit the gas! We were hurtling along at high speed like we were free-falling down the hill. The road down to the wharf had three sharp ninety-degree turns before it came out on the inner wharf, and he never touched the brakes. As I tried to hold on, I was thrown left onto him in one turn, then right onto my door on the next turn. It was the most reckless driving I had ever seen him do! How the car never hit something or rolled over, I don’t know. But this was nothing compared to what happened next.

As we drove out straight towards the water, we had to make a ninety-degree left turn around the corner of the building facing the main wharf. The building completely blocked our view from what was around the corner. When we turned the corner—at full speed—there was a big truck blocking our way! There was no way around it, and one of two things had to happen: either stop the car or continue towards a head-on collision—at least that’s what I thought. But what did I know? That wasn’t the case with the skipper!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
My father lived an exhilarating life. With I’ll Go the Length of Meself, my hope is to showcase his legacy as a great mariner, businessman, humanitarian, and exhibitionist, along with many other attributes. There will never be another Guy Earle, there couldn’t be. This is his story, and I’m proud to share it.

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GIVEAWAY:
Dr. Philip Earle will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Good luck!

(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, its entries, or the prize. Goddess Fish Promotions and the author assume all responsibility over this giveaway.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blast and Giveaway: Murderous Interruptions (The Veils of Parallel Times #2) by C.J. Carson

Welcome to my stop on the book blast for Murderous Interruptions by C.J. Carson. This book blast was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as the blast wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to visit the other stops on the book blast for more content. Enjoy!
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Title: Murderous Interruptions
Series: The Veils of Parallel Times #2
Author: C.J. Carson
Publication Date: August 31st 2021
Print Length: 214 pages
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
~
The paranormal mystery The Veils of Parallel Times continues with “Murderous Interruptions”. Allie Callahan’s nemesis is a challenging and formidable adversary.

Travel with Allie as she finally accepts and embraces her ancestral gifts to stop her archenemy who would have her destroyed for his own lust of power. Explore the depths of her relationship with this rival in this life and beyond the veil.

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EXCERPT:
I wasn’t traveling long when darkness settled over the woods, and the air became chilled and damp. I was getting nervous that I might not find my way back out of the woods in the dark. I stopped at a brook to give my horse a quick break and a cool drink. As I raked my fingers through his mane, something caught his attention. Nodding his head, he whinnied. When I looked up, I spotted a campfire in the distance. As I walked him in that direction, I found a heavyset elderly woman with long dark braids sitting at, and stoking the fire. Moving in for a closer look, she wore a dress made of brown suede and was wrapped in an animal skin blanket, shielding her from the cold.

I didn’t recognize her, but somehow, she was oddly familiar to me. Without speaking a word, she reached out, beckoning me. I could feel a connection that drew me in as I slid down from my horse and joined her. She opened the blanket and, as I sat down, she held me in her arms to warm me by the fire. I was suddenly in my youth again, swept up in warmth and safety I hadn’t felt for a very long time.

Raising her arm, the woman drew my attention to the flames, and as I stared into the blazing fire, I couldn’t pull my eyes away. It was as if it was speaking to me, its warmth drawing me in.

“This is your truth, my daughter of my daughter’s son. You are at your best and can do your work in this lifetime when you accept that you are one with the earth, fire, water, and elements. Only when you embrace them, can you move toward your true destiny. You are a rare spirit in that you are blessed with many gifts that you are yet to discover and recognize. Yours is not an easy path unless you embrace it. I am always here; you have only to think of me, and I will be in your thoughts to help you, as are all your ancestors.

“Little Bird, you have traveled and lived in many times and dimensions. Think of time as a path that runs horizontally, but many paths are layered, one on top of the other, in a horizontal pattern.

“You have the ability to move through them, not only in time, but from one dimension to another. It was the element of water in the stream that brought you to me. Keep your routes planted firmly into the earth, for that will ground you and keep you balanced. Tonight, I want you to look into the dancing flames and listen to them speak to you. It is past the time for you to begin to understand your truth, my dear. You do not have the luxury of putting it off any longer.”

Gazing into the flames, I saw visions of a young woman riding my white horse. As the horse moved up a hill and into a green meadow, the young girl was now a young woman. As I studied her, she looked nothing like me, but I felt like I was watching my memory unfold. She was riding on a horse with a knight that looked like he was from medieval times. As the horse reached the top of the meadow, I knew the woman in the vision was an image of me, and when the valiant knight turned to me, a chill coursed through my entire body. Although his face was unfamiliar, his deep blue eyes caught me off guard. Those eyes, those beautiful eyes. I would know them anywhere.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
CJ Carson was inspired by a great story from a very early age. What brought her to this juncture in life and encouraged her to put pen to paper are the many rich experiences and opportunities of her life's journey.

While working in the medical field, she explored energy work and became a Polarity Therapist and Reiki Therapist.

Exploring acting brought her into the theatre world both on the stage and behind the scenes.

Painting introduced her to a group of artists that shared her passion for bringing a scene to canvas.

Her love of singing allowed her to travel twice to Europe as a soloist with conductor Sonja Dahlgren Prior, who inspired her to do something, she never dreamed possible.

CJ Carson has always wanted to write. Now she is introducing to the world her second published book, "Murderous Interruptions," from her trilogy, Veils of Parallel Times.

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GIVEAWAY:
CJ Carson will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Good luck!

(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, its entries, or the prize. Goddess Fish Promotions and the author assume all responsibility over this giveaway.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blitz and Giveaway: Almost Perfect (The Cordoba Agency #4) by Delaney Diamond

Title: Almost Perfect
Series: The Cordoba Agency #4
Author: Delaney Diamond
Publisher: Garden Avenue Press
Publication Date: May 20th 2022
Print Length: 252 pages
Genre: Romantic Suspense

~
A cat burglar and an assassin run for their lives across Paris—and try not to get distracted by the sizzling attraction between them.

Assistant antique dealer by day, cat burglar by night, Sable Devereaux has lived in the shadows for years. With one final heist, she can walk away from a life of crime and open her own antique store, retiring to the quiet existence she has always dreamed of. But during her last theft, she witnesses a murder and goes on the run to escape the cross-hairs of some very powerful people.

Agent and master-of-disguise, Hunter Mitchell is intrigued when he has to subdue the sexy thief after she breaks into his Parisian apartment. Then he quickly learns he must protect her—and himself—from an organization hiding much more than a murder.

The couple races across Paris in a fight to stay alive and stop one of the most powerful organizations in the world—and discover what they’ve been looking for all along… is each other.

Goodreads * Amazon * Barnes & Noble

EXCERPT:
After she hung up, Hunter took the phone. “What did he say?” he asked.

She and Hossam had carried on the conversation in French.

“He told me to trust you and said I’d be safe with you until he can return to Paris.”

“So you trust me now?”

“Hossam would not have told me to trust you if I shouldn’t. He’s vouched for you, and that’s good enough for me.”

Hunter nodded, and a moment of understanding emerged between them. Trust was paramount, but guilt niggled at the base of her spine. She hadn’t been completely honest with Hunter yet, but she would be. She only met him yesterday, and she’d exercised caution in the information she divulged. When Hossam arrived, she’d tell them both everything.

Sable gathered up the rest of her belongings and put them in her rolling suitcase. With one last look around the room, she made sure she left nothing behind.

“I’ve got it,” Hunter said, taking the handle on the suitcase.

His fingers brushed hers and scalded her skin. Sable snatched away her hand. She took two steps in reverse to widen the distance between them, and her back hit the wall.

He raised one eyebrow and then, ever so slowly, edged closer. He crowded her, looking down from his superior height, head cocked to the side. “You know I don’t bite, right?”

His gray eyes suggested different. He looked like the kind of man who assaulted a woman with rough hand strokes and deep kisses and nips to her lips—and she’d love every second of it.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Delaney Diamond is the USA Today Bestselling Author of sensual, passionate romance novels, and was born and raised in the U.S. Virgin Islands. She reads romance novels, mysteries, thrillers, and a fair amount of nonfiction. When she’s not busy reading or writing, she’s in the kitchen trying out new recipes, dining at one of her favorite restaurants, or traveling to an interesting locale. To get sneak peeks, notices of sale prices, and find out about new releases, visit her website and join her mailing list. Enjoy free stories on her website.

Website * Goodreads *
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GIVEAWAY:
Win a $25 Amazon gift card!

(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, its entries, or the prize. Xpresso Book Tours assumes all responsibility over this giveaway.)

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Book Blast and Giveaway: Violins and Vampires (Vampires of the Daemonverse #1) by Cee Bee

Welcome to my stop on the book blast for Violins and Vampires by Cee Bee. This book blast was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as the blast 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!
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Title: Violins and Vampires
Series: Vampires of the Daemonverse #1
Author: Cee Bee
Publication Date: July 26th 2022
Print Length: 65 pages
Genre: Paranormal Romance
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Lexa Kozlov must pay off her family's massive debt to the mob... all while raising even more money to save her little sister. The result? A never-ending (and incredibly illegal) stakeout for the Bratva. Lexa barely has time to sleep, let alone find love.

Enter Caelin Vass, the handsome Scotsman who runs Empire Investments. Caelin offers Lexa a new job with dollars galore, as well as a hot bod (his own) to contemplate every workday. Even so, Lexa isn’t sure. Freaky things keep happening whenever Lexa and Caelin are alone. The energy between them is magical, sensual, and way overwhelming.

Is Lexa leaving her old prison just to enter a worse one… or is Caelin Vass all he seems and more?

***12,000 word novella, previously published on Kindle Vella as Blood Slave***
**Available on Kindle Unlimited or $0.99 to buy**

Vampires of the Daemonverse Series:
1. Violins and Vampires
2. Veils and Vampires
3. Valor and Vampires

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EXCERPT:
Another Saturday night, another stakeout.

This time, I'm watching the apartment of James Fisher, a major Wall Street tycoon and even larger dumbass.

Suddenly, my phone blares the Imperial March from Star Wars. I stifle the urge to groan. That's the ring tone of my current boss, Otto. He's a middle aged guy with a beer gut, receding hairline, and iron-fisted grip on my lady balls. Long story.

I pop in my ear buds and click accept. "It's Lexa."

"What the f*ck?" Otto's gravelly voice blares in my ears. "I can hardly hear you."

"I'm in Big Apple Coffee." The place looks like it fell out of the 1950's... and didn't land too nicely. In other words, Big Apple sports dingy walls, a grimy tile floor, and chipped Formica tables.

"Why can't you run a stakeout from some place that's quiet?" asks Otto. "You know, like a normal person?"

"I don't know," I counter. "Why can't you text instead of call? You know, like someone from this century?"

A few seconds later, my phone dings with an alert. No question. That's a text from Otto. I should know better than to look, but I've never been the type who knows better about anything.

I take a peep.

It's a drawing of me as a pin-up girl from the 1940's. Which isn't too far off. I'm on the shorter side with lots of curves. I don't dress in pin-up style--no push-up bras and bright colors for me, thank you very much. With my job, it's best to blend in. Today, that means a pencil skirt and white top. Unlike this image on my phone which shows me naked.

Ugh. What an Otto thing to do.

"The pic is good from the shoulders on up," I say dryly. The artist captured my heart-shaped face, ice-blue eyes, and long black hair.

Otto snickers. "One of the club shlubs left this under my door."

Club shlubs. That's what we call the gents who visit Otto's Lucky Ladies Lounge And Exotic Dancing Club. It's a horrible name, but Otto is known for hiring great strippers, not having excellent writing and grammar. I live in the club's back room and participate in the odd bikini contest for extra cash. Fan art is a sad side effect.

I really shouldn't have looked.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
CEE BEE writes stories that blend epic fantasy, steamy romance, and lots of sass. If you want immersive tales that transport you to fresh worlds (and new book boyfriends) then you’ve come to the right author.

CEE BEE also writes young adult fare under the name Christina Bauer. Be sure to check out Christina’s books. There’s a literal sh*t ton of them.

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GIVEAWAY:
Cee Bee will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to one randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Good luck!

(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, its entries, or the prize. Goddess Fish Promotions and the author assume all responsibility over this giveaway.)

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Sunday, May 29, 2022

Book Blitz and Giveaway: Dark Blue Waves by Kimberly Sullivan

Title: Dark Blue Waves
Author: Kimberly Sullivan
Publication Date: May 27th 2022
Print Length: 491 pages
Genre: Historical Time Travel Romance

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When you wake up in Bath, England two hundred years in the past, how far can a love of Jane Austen get you?

Janet Roberts dreams of an academic career in literature, so she can hardly believe her good fortune when she’s accepted into a Jane Austen graduate seminar in Bath, England. Settled in Georgian splendor among her seminar colleagues, Janet and her classmates live, eat and breathe Jane Austen.

An accident interrupts this idyll when Janet regains consciousness in her own room—back in Regency England. For a scholar of nineteenth-century literature, this should be a dream come true.

But Janet quickly learns there’s a world of difference between scholarly knowledge of the written page and maneuvering real life as a reluctant time traveler.

Her burgeoning friendship with Emma Huntington eases her entrĂ©e into nineteenth-century society. However, Emma’s brother, the handsome, proud and frustratingly magnetic Sir Edward, is far less welcoming.

While desperately attempting to make sense of her dilemma, Janet treads a thin line between trying to blend into her new world and not being unmasked as the imposter she is. Can she discover the way to return to her twenty-first century life? After working so hard to create a rewarding nineteenth-century life for herself and opening her hart to friendship and love, does she even want to?

**The eBook is only 99¢ for a limited time!**

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EXCERPT:
In her room, Janet sat at the window seat, watching the people wandering the narrow streets of Bath. She read a few pages of her book before giving in to her exhaustion and crawling into bed. After setting the alarm, she drifted off to a troubled sleep.

A piano played in the distance. Mozart. Voi che sapete. Janet struggled to breathe. Something constricted her chest and waist, yet her feet still carried her forward at a brisk pace, through candle-filled hallways she didn’t recognize. Full-length portraits lined the walls. Thick velvet brushed against her legs as she walked.

An inexplicable sense of relief washed over her when she reached a room. Her hand clasped the doorknob and turned. She slipped inside, closing the door behind her.

Darkness enveloped her. Her heartbeat slowed as she looked up to something familiar. Individual, disjointed images captured her gaze. A billowing pink cloth. An alabaster face, slightly turned. Arms reaching up to the sky. A splattering of green. These flashes seemed to calm her, but she struggled in vain to see the single parts in their entirety.

A movement under the soothing images caught her attention. A chair was positioned before a fireplace. Someone stood. A man, his back toward her. He was tall, dressed in fine, old-fashioned clothes. There was something so familiar about him. Now he was turning and taking long strides across the room to where she stood. Her heart beat faster.

Janet tried in vain to make out his features but quickly gave up. It was as if she were glimpsing him through a fog. She longed to retreat, but her feet remained firmly rooted in place as his confident gait narrowed the distance between them.

Although he was mere inches from her, she could still not distinguish the features of his face. Only the depths of his blue eyes were distinct. As she gazed into them, she felt an unfamiliar fluttering in her stomach. The man slipped a book into her hand. She opened to see shadow words scrawled in thick, black ink. Squinting did not help bring them into focus. He began to speak. She watched his lips move. She heard his voice as if she were under water, not comprehending the individual words. Oddly soothing, but indecipherable.

He reached up and stroked her face before enveloping her in an embrace. Who was this stranger who was overly familiar with her? She knew she should scream and flee, but her thoughts did not control her body. Her legs made no attempt to move from this unknown man. Inexplicably, she felt safe in his arms, with his heart beating solidly beside hers. Now he was pulling back, stroking her hair, searching her face.

Janet still only saw the shadow version of him, soft and out of focus. She gave up trying to reconstruct his face. His gaze mesmerized her. It seemed so familiar, made her knees feel weak. Those piercing blue eyes kept coming closer and closer to her own face until firm lips brushed against her own. A warmth spread throughout her body. High-pitched yells rang out. Her knees buckled.

A burst of pain exploded at her temple, and she woke with a panicked start. Her eyes flickered around the room in confusion. Deep breaths.

It was nothing. Her hotel room in Bath. A dream. Only a dream.

As her heartbeat slowed and her breathing calmed, she realized it was most likely the jet lag or all the silly talk of romantic literature. Her head throbbed. Willing the pain to stop, she closed her eyes and drifted back to sleep.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kimberly Sullivan grew up in the suburbs of Boston and in Saratoga Springs, New York, although she now calls the Harlem neighborhood of New York City home when she’s back in the US. She studied political science and history at Cornell University and earned her MBA, with a concentration in strategy and marketing, from Bocconi University in Milan.

Afflicted with a severe case of Wanderlust, she worked in journalism and government in the US, Czech Republic and Austria, before settling down in Rome, where she works in international development, and writes fiction any chance she gets.

She is a member of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA) and The Historical Novel Society and has published several short stories and two novels: Three Coins and Dark Blue Waves.

After years spent living in Italy with her Italian husband and sons, she’s fluent in speaking with her hands, and she loves setting her stories in her beautiful, adoptive country.

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GIVEAWAY:
Win a $25 Amazon gift card!

(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, its entries, or the prize. Xpresso Book Tours and the author assume all responsibility over this giveaway.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted by:
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