Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Book Blast and Giveaway: Titanian Warrior (Titanian Chronicles #3) by Victoria Saccenti

Welcome to my stop on the book blast for Titanian Warrior by Victoria Saccenti. 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 $15 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to visit the other stops on the book blast for more content. Enjoy!
--
Title: Titanian Warrior
Series: Titanian Chronicles #3
Author: Victoria Saccenti
Publisher: Essence Publishing
Publication Date: January 31st 2023
Print Length: 315 pages
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy Romance
~
One woman holds the key to his destiny—and his people’s salvation.

Hagen drags himself to the gates of Hell, body and soul shredded by the bloodlust that consumes all the unmated of his kind. Awaiting the painful atonement that will buy him ten more years to find his eternal mate—or face oblivion. But Hades himself kicks him out with the bloodlust still prowling, unsatisfied, in his veins.

Bargained away by her parents to Master O, a mysterious, cruel wizard, Faiza serves in his household, keeping her small magic a secret, plagued by wild, confusing visions of a strange, suffering man. Then the master brings home a wounded Titanian warrior whose touch sends ice, fire, and desire racing through her body.

When she learns Master O plans to use Hagen as a weapon to conquer all races, she devises a desperate plan to free him—a plan that opens a portal to a world she’s never known. And a destiny entwined with danger that could destroy them all.

---
EXCERPT:
The towering pair of boulders stood as gatekeepers and markers of the way. A steep path snaked between them until farther down the hill, the road disappeared in thick fog. Leaning on the closest rock, Hagen steadied himself to catch his breath, then pushed on.

Bloodlust crippled his Titanian vision. Still, he stumbled, rolled, and crawled over jagged rocks and gnarled roots with single-minded determination to reach his appointed meeting place, the cavern at the base of the Shivaliks, and the sole entrance to Hades’s domain on the earthly plane. A perverse satisfaction filled him each time he scraped and sliced his exposed skin, as this was only a precursor to the punishment he deserved. If he could shred his flesh to strips in anticipation as he had done with his clothes, so much the better.

Hagen advanced through the haze, seeking the deity’s promised signal. Images of his frenzy during the last skirmish prodded him. He strained past gore-filled images, and the effort paid off. There, deep within the haze, a faint red light marked the spot. Alecto had not forgotten. A hitched breath escaped his lungs as he stood and trod on a more secure step.

As the haze dissipated, the cavern’s hungry mouth gaped before him. Healing and deliverance acquired through pain would soon be his. As he inched closer to the wavering light, he removed the last remaining strips of clothing. The offering had to be bare and unadulterated. Nothing but skin would satisfy the Fury, purify his spirit, and postpone the horror of termination for another ten years—a mere blip in the lifespan of a Titanian.
---
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Award-winning, multi-genre author Victoria Saccenti writes romantic women’s fiction, contemporary romance, and paranormal romance. Not one for heart and flower stories, she explores the edgy twists and turns of human interaction, the many facets of love, and all possible happy endings.
 
After thirty years of traveling the world, she’s settled in Central Florida. She splits her busy schedule between family and her active muse at Essence Publishing. However, if she could convince her husband to sell their home, she would pack up her computer and move to Scotland, a land she adores. On a side note, in one form or another, Scotland appears in most of her stories.

---
GIVEAWAY:
Victoria Saccenti 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 Spotlight: One Girl in All the World (Buffy, The Next Generation #2) by Kendare Blake

Title: One Girl in All the World
Series: Buffy, The Next Generation #2
Author: Kendare Blake
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date: January 31st 2023
Print Length: 352 pages
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Fiction
~
"A worthy successor to the Slayer stories." ―Booklist (starred review for In Every Generation)

#1 New York Times best-selling author Kendare Blake returns to New Sunnydale in this sequel to In Every Generation, set in the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Frankie Rosenberg is the world's first slayer-witch, but she doesn't have that slay-life balance figured out just yet. She’s still reeling from the deadly explosion at the annual slayer retreat―and new evidence that some slayers may have survived. And while she’s defeated her first Big Bad, Frankie soon realizes it was just a warm up act―and bigger, badder forces of evil are only just getting started. The Hellmouth has been reawakened, inter-dimensional portals are opening, and an oracle warns of a new foe on its way: the Darkness.

Could this be what attacked the slayers? And is it coming for Frankie?

---
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kendare Blake is the #1 New York Times best-selling author of the Three Dark Crowns series, the Anna Dressed in Blood duet, All These Bodies, and others. She lives and writes in Gig Harbor, Washington, from under a pile of dogs and cats.

Monday, January 30, 2023

Book Blitz and Giveaway: The Worst Woman in London by Julia Bennet

Title: The Worst Woman in London
Author: Julia Bennet
Publication Date: February 2nd 2023
Print Length: 299 pages
Genre: Historical Romance

~
A defiant Victorian wife fights to escape a bad marriage but her love for a forbidden man jeopardizes her chance at freedom.

James Standish knows how to play society’s game. He’ll follow the rules, marry a virginal debutante, and inherit a massive fortune. At least, that’s the plan until he meets Francesca Thorne. She’s not the sort of woman a respectable gentleman like James could ever marry—not least because, strictly speaking, she’s married already.

Francesca is determined to flout convention and divorce her philandering husband. When James sweet talks his way into her life tasked with convincing her to abandon her dream of freedom, she’s unprepared for the passion that flares between them.

Torn apart by conflicting desires, James and Francesca must choose whether to keep chasing the lives they’ve always wanted or take a chance on a new and forbidden love.

Goodreads * Amazon

EXCERPT:
"That red is quite flamboyant," Miriam said, brows knit. "A woman contemplating divorce shouldn't make herself conspicuous."

"What color would be more to your taste?" he asked. If he hadn't, he might have been tempted to offer his opinion with regard to his aunt's attire. She’d dressed in a particularly vibrant shade of yellow that made him think of bile.

"Lilac, perhaps. No one would notice her in lilac. She’d simply fade from view."

No one would ever compare Fran to an Amazon. When he’d held her in his arms, she’d fit neatly under his chin, and her uncorseted flesh had felt soft and warm. He’d tried not to think about the unexpected intimacy of embracing a woman with whom he’d been acquainted for so long. Now, for the first time, he understood why so many sticklers condemned rational dress. Without the fortification a corset provided, she could have worn a nightgown and her body wouldn’t have felt any different.

Tonight, she’d cast aestheticism aside for less practical attire, taming and restraining her unruly curves. The ruby-red silk, though vivid and unashamed like its wearer, revealed no more than was proper. He saw a hint of upper arm bracketed by short sleeves and long white gloves, and the gentle swell of her d├ęcolletage concealed behind the black feathers of her fan. She didn’t go out of her way to display herself, but she disdained to hide.

"Perhaps she doesn't wish to fade from view," he said.

"That's precisely my point. I remember her when she was plain Miss Heller. Sweet little thing. Wouldn't say boo to a goose. But, when I think of the shame she’s causing the Lyttons…" She gave a theatrical shudder. "No family feeling at all."

To Miriam, family, or at least lineage, was sacrosanct. She had a long gallery filled with works of art depicting august cousins and illustrious ancestors. Fran's faded red and gold walls boasted not a single picture. He’d wager the Lytton house abounded with family portraits, but she might never look upon them again, much less own one. "I'm sure they'd prefer she appeared in sackcloth and ashes," he said. "Or, better yet, that she'd stayed buried alive in the country."

"As indeed she should," said Miriam, undaunted. "What would become of society if every wife with a philandering husband made such a spectacle of herself? Her family is quite right to take a stand. And if the rumors about her and Trafford are true..." She let the sentence taper off suggestively. "With those tales flying about, she could wear the sackcloth until it rubbed her raw and not a soul would pity her."

"Why, I wonder?" He spoke quietly to mask a sudden and quite unreasonable surge of anger. "If Thorne doesn't want her, why shouldn't she take a lover?"

He didn't quite believe what he'd just said. Did he really think a woman justified in taking a lover if her husband abandoned her? How very bohemian of him.

Miriam didn't appear shocked in the least. "Whether or not she has a lover is irrelevant," she said with the air of a seasoned pragmatist. "It's the indiscretion that's objectionable. A married woman can do as she pleases as long as she observes the strictest secrecy. If I were to take a lover, you can be sure no one else would ever hear of it."

If Miriam said anything more of her lover, theoretical though he might be, James would never recover. To his relief, she narrowed her shrewd little eyes and said instead, "Don't tell me you feel sorry for her. If you do, you're a fool. She didn't lose her reputation. She threw it away like rubbish."

He remained silent for several moments longer. Though he didn't disagree with anything she'd said, he didn't share her sense of outrage. "You’re right," he said. "Say what one likes about Mrs. Thorne, she chose her fate with both eyes open. Instead of enduring more years of marriage to an absent and unfaithful husband, she chose to sacrifice her position and her friends. Presumably, she thought it the lesser of two evils."

"She must be mad. It's a case of moral insanity. It has to be."

Moral insanity? The thought hadn't occurred to him. True, turning down five thousand pounds per annum for the sake of an ideal smacked of lunacy. Yet, to his way of thinking, it seemed less wicked than his aunt's laissez-faire attitude to marital fidelity.

"Oh, I don't think so,” he said. “Her behavior may be hopelessly vulgar by society’s standards, but at least she isn't a coward or a hypocrite like the rest of us." Yet another thing he hadn't meant to say.

Miriam pursed her lips but otherwise gave no sign she perceived an insult. "When you marry, I advise you to choose more wisely than your friend Thorne. Don't choose a furtive little thing who can't look you in the eye, and don't choose a bold piece who's no better than she should be. The chit you met in Hyde Park might suit you."

He smoothed nonexistent creases from his white gloves. "Which chit?"

"Miss Randle of course. Very elegant figure. I saw her riding in the park with her father today. She has an excellent seat."

He had no idea who she meant. For several seconds his mind stayed blank, until at last he remembered.

"Ah yes, Miss Randle. She of the renegade handkerchief."

"She's a beauty and so stylish." Spoken in the tones of a hostess persuading him to take one more slice of cake.

With any luck, he didn't look as ill as he felt. "I'm sure she'll make an excellent wife for some lucky fellow."

"But you're too busy enjoying yourself? Gracious, James. You're thirty-six and I'm not going to live forever. I should like to see you settled and settled well. Girls of that caliber are few and far between. You should consider her at the very least." She must've noticed his pained expression because she gave a huff of laughter. "Gentlemen are always so reluctant to relinquish their freedom. I can't imagine why. Your friend Thorne has an excellent time."

He looked and saw Thorne trailing Mrs. Kirkpatrick's closed fan along the curve of her bosom. Yes, an excellent time. "But not with his wife, ma'am."
---
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Julia Bennet writes historical romance with passion, intrigue, dark humor and the occasional animal sidekick. A tea-sodden English woman, she’s the only girl in a house of boys and yearns for all things pink and fluffy. If she isn’t writing, she’s probably reading everything she can get her hands on, spending time with her boys or procrastinating on the internet.

Website * Goodreads *
Facebook * Twitter * Instagram
---
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

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Book Spotlight: The Life of Plants in a Changing Environment by Rishikesh Upadhyay (editor)

Title: The Life of Plants in a Changing Environment
Editor: Rishikesh Upadhyay
Publication Date: January 1st 2022
Print Length: 270 pages
Genre: Non-Fiction
~
Plants experience stress due to environmental changes, either in biotic or abiotic form, during their life cycle. Non-heritable modifications in morphological, physiological or biochemical characteristics tend to reduce or decrease growth and productivity, and sometimes lead to death.

This book presents an exhaustive overview of the specific effects and modifications that could occur in this regards, and will serve to consolidate the ideas to promote standardization of plant adaptation to these changes in the environment. This book returns to the facts of both biotic and abiotic stress, detailing an essential aspect of plant life in the context of stress response.

The text is a comprehensive, current reference that effectively addresses issues and concerns related to plant stress in natural environments. Although many reference books about abiotic stress and other environmental stresses have been published, they all exist in relative isolation from one another, covering only one specific topic. This book is, rather, a comprehensive review of all aspects of the responses of plants to changes in the environment.

---
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Rishikesh Upadhyay PhD, also known as R K Upadhyay, is an Indian author, Professor and research writer. His research and teaching works has focused largely on the environmental physiology, stress biology and biochemistry of plants. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Plant Environmental Physiology, Eco-physiology and Stress Biology in the Department of Botany at Haflong Government College, India.

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Book Blitz and Giveaway: Fallen Raven (Raven Duet #1) by Diana A. Hicks

Title: Fallen Raven
Series: Raven Duet #1
Author: Diana A. Hicks
Publisher: Hicks Media Group
Publication Date: June 21st 2022
Print Length: 429 pages
Genre: Dark Contemporary Romance

~
”This book completely destroyed me in all the best ways! I can’t wait for more” – Amazon Reviewer

I wanted her since the moment I saw her.

I didn’t even care she’d been promised to someone else.

Then we kissed, and I realized I was her first.

I became…Obsessed

A Note from Diana: The Duet is now Complete. Binge Read Today! Fallen Raven is book one in the Raven Duet, which is a standalone romance in the Crime Society World featuring Don Enzo Alfera and Aurora Vitali. This star-crossed lovers romance is about never letting go. Check TW.

Goodreads * Amazon * Barnes & Noble *
iBooks * Kobo * Google Play *
Special Edition Paperback *
Special Edition Hardback

EXCERPT:
“What’s the deal with her?” Santino’s voice jerked me out of my reverie. He leaned forward and braced his arms on the table, openly staring in Aurora’s direction. “I mean.” He chuckled. “We already know what she’s into. But really? Her dad is now your dad’s right-hand man. How did that happen?”

“Hmm.” I exhaled. “I don’t know. Apparently, Stephano Vitali saved Dad’s life.”

“I didn’t think Don Alfera was the grateful type.”

“Me neither. The old man is planning something.” My attention shifted back to Aurora.

“What did I tell you?” Donata hugged Rex from behind then set her tray of sushi on the table. “I think our Enzo has a crush on the new girl.”

“I don’t date the help.” I glared at her as I stabbed a piece of Wagyu steak and popped it in my mouth.

I focused on chewing while I kept my attention on Donata’s features and her blonde hair. Though I couldn’t stop thinking about Aurora’s reaction in the bathroom. The small sound of pleasure she had made when I fed her the chocolate echoed in my head.

For the last three hours, that moan was all I could hear. All through chem class, I played the scene from the bathroom over and over again like a movie trailer. A sharp pain on my shin brought me back to reality. I lifted my gaze and met Donata’s amused look.

She smiled at me, shaking her head. “She rode in the limo with me this morning.” She raised her eyebrow as if that sole statement made her point. “She’s a mousy little thing, but Aunt Vittoria has taken an active interest in her. I’d stay away from that one, if I were you.”

“Thanks for the advice.” I rolled my eyes at her.
---
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Diana A. Hicks is an award-winning author of steamy romantic suspense and science-fiction romance.

When Diana is not writing, she enjoys hot yoga, kickboxing, traveling, and indulging in the simple joys of life like wine and chocolate. She lives in Atlanta and loves spending time with her two children and husband. Connect with Diana on social media to stay up to date on her latest releases.

Website * Goodreads * Facebook Page *
Facebook Group * Twitter * Instagram *
TikTok * Bookbub * Amazon
---
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.)

Friday, January 27, 2023

Book Blitz and Giveaway: Rescue Me (A Frazier Falls Small Town Novel #1) by Kelly Collins

Title: Rescue Me
Series: A Frazier Falls Small Town Novel #1
Author: Kelly Collins
Publisher: Book Nook Press
Publication Date: December 5th 2019
Print Length: 218 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance

~
Her company is failing. His plan could save it. Will their partnership move from business to pleasure?

Carla “Carl” Stevenson takes a special joy in running the local timber mill. But when the economy takes a downturn, selling the family business may be her only heartbreaking option. After a prospective buyer takes an interest, she’s horrified by his plans to raze the Frazier forest to make room for cheap cattle farming. To protect her home, she reluctantly turns to the town’s most notorious player…

Owen Cooper can’t believe Carl’s mill is for sale. But the construction company owner is even more shocked that “Carl” is actually a beautiful woman. Moved by feelings he never saw coming, Owen drafts an ambitious plan to save the mill owner’s livelihood… and maybe even win her heart.

Rallying their community around the audacious idea, Owen and Carl find their fates delightfully intertwined. But both their chemistry and the project hang in the balance when he suddenly walks away…

With the whole town at stake, will Carl and Owen save the mill and find their way to true love?

Rescue Me is the heartwarming first novel in the Frazier Falls romance series. If you like strong women, honorable men, and small-town love, then you’ll adore Kelly Collins’ charming tale. Buy Rescue Me to build a foundation of passion today!

**The eBook is FREE for a limited time only!**

Goodreads * Amazon

EXCERPT:
Owen splashed water at my head. I returned the favor as he waded over and picked me up.

“What are you doing?”

“You can barely stand over here.” He lifted me higher out of the water. “I’m giving your legs a break.”

“Is that so?”

“Absolutely,” he replied. “One must be sure not to tire when in a precarious situation.” His arms tightened around me.

“I’m pretty sure I could out-swim you on a bad day.”

His brows reached for his hairline. “Is that a challenge?”

“Damn straight.” I pointed to the copse of trees at the bend. “First one from here to the trees upstream wins?”

“Done,” Owen exclaimed, immediately dropping me to get a head start.

“That’s cheating,” I called out before righting myself and working furiously to catch up. It didn’t take long because I was an excellent swimmer. By the time we reached the trees, I was in the lead by several feet.

He stared at me incredulously as he caught up. “You’re fast.”

“I know.”

“You hustled me good, Stevenson.”

“Hey, I told you I could out-swim you, Cooper. If you chose not to believe me, that’s on you.”

“What’s my consolation prize?”

“Why should you get rewarded for coming in last when I don’t get anything for winning?”

He sidled up to me in the water, gently pressing me against the bank. The barest suggestion of a current sent tiny pebbles ricocheting off my feet, the beat of them accurately reflecting the way my heart thumped inside my chest.

“I can think of something that might act as a prize for both of us,” he said suggestively, tracing the edge of my jaw with a finger, tipping it to line up my lips with his.

“How presumptuous of you,” I replied quietly, but I closed the gap between our lips immediately. He tasted of creek water and whiskey. Until now, I’d never have considered that an attractive combination.

As Owen leaned in and deepened the kiss, running his fingers through my hair and pressing his body against mine, I found I couldn’t get enough of it. Enough of him.

I threw my arms around his neck, desperate to get closer.

He wouldn’t be a client for much longer. In a few months, I’d be gone, and unlikely to see him again. It was now or never. I voted for now.
---
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Like FREEBIES? Join Kelly Collins' VIP readers for members-only exclusives!

International bestselling author of more than thirty novels, Kelly Collins writes with the intention of keeping love alive. Always a romantic, she blends real-life events with her vivid imagination to create characters and stories that lovers of contemporary romance, new adult, and romantic suspense will return to again and again.

Kelly has sold more than a quarter of a million books worldwide, and in 2021 she was awarded a Readers' Favorite Award Gold Medal in the Contemporary Romance category for A Tablespoon of Temptation.

Website * Goodreads * Facebook *
Instagram * Bookbub * Twitter * Amazon
---
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

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Book Blitz and Giveaway: Hello Spain, Goodbye Heart (The Wandering Hearts Series #1) by LoLo Paige

Title: Hello Spain, Goodbye Heart
Series: The Wandering Hearts Series #1
Author: LoLo Paige
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Publication Date: January 23rd 2023
Print Length: 248 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance

~
Travel writer Dayna Benning tours Europe to write a feature story for a travel magazine. Along the way, she helps her bestie scatter her husband’s ashes. When Dayna accidentally sprinkles Alex Mendes with dried rose petals intended for the deceased, she senses a chemistry with the silver fox airline pilot. Just one catch—he wears a wedding band. Embittered by her divorce, Dayna refuses to be a homewrecker, like the woman who ruined her marriage. Alex and Dayna go their separate ways, but she’s mystified when serendipitous signs point her toward him at every turn. Determined to find out why, she learns Alex is a widower. Dayna hopes for a second chance at love…but her resentful heart stops her. Can she forgive those that broke her heart the first time? And for that matter, can she forgive herself for her failed marriage? Unless she finds a way to piece together her fragmented heart, Alex will forever remain a fantasy.

Goodreads * Purchase Links

EXCERPT:
Alex pulled out bills for a tip. “Where are you going next?”

“Lisbon, then Barcelona, to begin our group tour with Wanderlust Travel. Mariko talked me into going on this tour, and my magazine editor thought it would make a great travel article. Northern Spain, southern France, then back to Portugal.”

“Sounds fantastic. I hope you ladies enjoy yourselves.” Alex finished his wine and stared off.

Dayna detected a hint of sadness in his eyes. He was too exquisite to be sad. “What about you?”

“I plan to walk part of the Camino de Santiago trail, the Way of St. James, in Spain. Are you familiar?”

Her mind raced, ticking off the sights in her travel brochure. She remembered scribbling an asterisk next to it. “Yes, it’s on our group itinerary. When I read about why people walk it, I considered making it a sidebar for my travel piece.” She thought for a moment. “I had a friend who walked it a few years ago to find herself. Is that why you’re going? To find yourself?”

“Something along those lines. I’m walking from Burgos to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, about two-hundred-fifty miles. They say it takes about three weeks. I hope to average ten to twelve miles a day.”

Her eyes roved him in a two-second evaluation. “You seem like you can manage it. I couldn’t, possibly. Twenty years ago, maybe.”

His eyes roved her right back, along with a million-dollar smile. “Sure, you could.”

She couldn’t remember how long it had been since a guy smiled at her that way. Goose bumps sprung up on her arms like daisies. “Are you walking alone?”

“Yes.”

What about his French wife? Dayna wished she could walk the El Camino with him. What a wild and crazy thought.

“I’d better go. Sorry you got rose petals in your face—but not sorry I met you.” She feigned a lighthearted tone.

“A unique experience, for sure.” He stood and pushed in his chair, gesturing her to walk ahead of him. “Where’s your bags?”

“On the bus.” She drew a deep breath, hating the gold band on his finger—hating how the good ones were always taken. She wondered if anyone had ever thought the same about her, back when she wore her own wedding band.

They wandered out to the boardwalk as the bus pulled up. Mariko stood next to it, waving her to hurry.

“Dayna.” Alex spoke her name in such a way, her gaze drifted to his. He slanted a grin at her. “Maybe our paths will cross someplace in Spain. You never know.”

She knew darn well she’d never see him again. “Wouldn’t that be something?” She extended her hand. “Nice meeting you, Alex. I hope you find answers on your trail walk.”

He squeezed her hand. “Thanks. It was fun meeting you. Tell Mariko thanks for the delightful meal. And what a humbling experience it was to witness her scattering her husband’s ashes.” A sad expression crossed his face, but only for a moment. Alex fixed his eyes on Dayna’s as if he could see into her soul. She wanted to bare it for him—along with a heck of a lot more. She couldn’t look away.

Apparently, he couldn’t either. Time suspended, like every air molecule had stilled. Did he feel it too? If he weren’t married, she would have asked for his email address. If her schedule wasn’t so rushed, she would have hung out with him...which made little sense for someone she could never have. Life sucked sometimes.

“Dayna, get the lead out!” Mariko called to her.

Dayna glanced at Mariko, then back at Alex. “Good luck to you. Have a safe trip.” She donned her sunglasses and turned away.

Everything slid to slow-motion as she felt an impossible tide roll toward her as she stepped to the bus. She couldn’t dispel the feeling of walking away from someone wonderful. Her chest clenched and a familiar heaviness anchored her heart.

Why did she feel like Meryl Streep in the truck behind Clint Eastwood at the end of Bridges of Madison County? Meryl was torn between staying in the truck with her husband or jumping out to run after Clint, knowing if she didn’t, she’dlose him forever.

She’d only known this guy for a couple of hours and didn’t even know his last name. Her heart mashed up in a roiling mix of confusion. The romantic notion of being on a European vacation had clouded her mind with impossible fantasies.

A hole opened in her heart. Choices, choices. But which were the right ones? She reminded herself of the wonderful people she had yet to meet on this trip. Alex was only the first of many. As the bus pulled away, he stood on the boardwalk, smiling and waving, as if he’d known her all her life.

She pressed her palm to the window, watching him grow smaller.

The bottom fell out of her.

If only.
---
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
LoLo Paige is an award-winning author who has a passion for writing romantic comedies after decades of theatre experience acting in stage comedies. While comedy is her first love, she also writes the pitfalls of falling in love in the action-packed, perilous world of wildfire. As a former wildland firefighter who married her hot firefighter husband, she lives her HEA, spending glorious Alaskan summers at her oceanfront cabin on Kachemak Bay, with her husband and two golden retrievers.

Website * Goodreads * Facebook *
Twitter * Instagram * Amazon * Bookbub
---
GIVEAWAY:
Win a copy of Hello Spain, Goodbye Heart by LoLo Paige!

(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

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

NBtM Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway: The Secret of Alviton (The Stygian Curse #1) by L.V. Clark

Welcome to my stop on the NBtM virtual book tour for The Secret of Alviton by L.V. Clark. This book tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as which scene was the most fun for the author to write. 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 content. Enjoy!
--
Title: The Secret of Alviton
Series: The Stygian Curse #1
Author: L.V. Clark
Publisher: Tellwell Talent
Publication Date: October 13th 2022
Print Length: 465 pages
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
~
Alviton was a strong, prospering country, full of light. The people worked side by side with the Fae, creatures blessed with magic. But that was before the war. Massive genocide and fear of the Fae touched everyone as brother turned against brother. Years later, and still reeling from the war, the new generation has clawed and connived to remove the stains left by their predecessors.

Sheltered from this reality, Nydia lives her life relatively happy and ignorant, surrounded by smoke and mirrors. But eventually glass shatters and smoke settles. As she struggles to unveil the truth about herself and the people around her, danger lies on the horizon, threatening to extinguish the small flicker of light in this dark and twisted country.

---
EXCERPT:
“Magic is as real as you and me. It flows, like life, throughout everything, though humans don’t necessarily have access to it, though I hope to figure out a way,” he mused.

“Well, have you ever heard of a human using them to share visions like this?” I asked.

“Heh,” he lugged over two large blue and red books, “I haven’t even read of the Fae doing something like that. So, you’ve actually given me something else to be looking into.”

I wrung out my hands, feeling anxiously defeated. “So, tell me more about yourself Brian. You’re obviously different from most people in our kingdom,” he asked, not really looking up from his desk. “Well, I’m a merchant. I’m married to a designer named Lillian. I grew up in Valicitor,” I started.

“Ah, Valicitor? That’s interesting.”

He looked at the map again. “You wouldn’t happen to be related to the new governor of that city, Kale Valen?”

A mix between pride and shame that I couldn’t quite pin shadowed over me. “Yes, he’s my brother.”

“No kidding? Heh,” he crossed his arms and propped against the table.

“Please tell me how a man like Governor Valen and you get along?”

I looked at the ground, conflicted. “It’s okay. It must be hard, but rest assured my family and I are doing everything in our power to stop the branding, isolating, selling, and abusing our citizens because they lack a piece of paper stating their lineage. Such an outdated practice that has only been proliferated by greed and selfishness.”

A ray of light shone through the shadows of my mind. “You are?”
---
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
L.V. Clark has had this story in their head for over a decade, and they finally got it on paper. Clark used their other hobbies—weight lifting and crocheting—to help develop ideas and work through any blocks. They grew up in the south of the United States with their large family. Clark is happily married with two sweet dogs and an apathetic ball python.

Clark hopes you enjoy this book as much as they enjoyed writing it. Expect more to the story!

---
GUEST POST:
- What scene in your book was the most fun to write and why?

Oh without a doubt, the big battle scene in Alviton City. I just loved writing the changes in Nydia's thinking and behavior. She started off so quiet and timid, but secretly had a strong and resilient heart. And her leaning into that and seeing what she is capable of was really fun and borderline therapeutic for me.
---
GIVEAWAY:
L.V. Clark 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