Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Meet Ross and Darci from Diamond Moon (Black Hills Wolves, Book 12) by Celia Breslin & Enter the #Giveaway

I have the pleasure of introducing my readers to Ross and Darci from Diamond Moon!

Diamond Moon:  A Chat With Ross and Darci

Hi Everyone!

Nice to be here on Sapphyria’s blog today, to celebrate the release of my latest paranormal romance, Diamond Moon.

Diamond Moon is part of Decadent Pub’s Black Hills Wolves line, a multi-author series featuring the Tao Wolf pack of Los Lobos, South Dakota. This is my first story for the BHW line, and I have two others in progress. Each story features one of three Wolf siblings.  First up, we have Ross, a hunky Dominant Wolf, and Darci, his half human, half Wolf love-interest. They tagged along with me today and agreed to answer a few questions about themselves.


Hi Ross and Darci! Thanks for joining me here at Sapphyria’s Book Reviews. Please state your names. Also, do you have a nickname?

Darci:  “Hi, I’m Darci Diamond. When I was little, my dad used to call me DeeDee. Ross calls me Moonbeam. He says my pale skin reminds him of moonlight.

Ross:  ::levels a heated stare at Darci::  Indeed it does, baby. Ross Luparell here. No nickname. Well, Darci calls me some interesting names when we’re intimate, but why don’t we let the readers learn that for themselves?

Fair enough. What is your hair color? Eye color?

Darci:  “My hair is black and short and a bit curly on the ends, styled in a pixie cut.  I have green eyes, like my dad.”

Ross:  I have brown hair with a lot of red in it. Shoulder length with some layers. My eyes are brown.  Darci likens them to milk chocolate.”

I’d have to agree with Darci on that one. How old are you both? Oh, and occupation?

Darci: “I’m 25 and fresh out of grad school, with a degree in Computer Science.”

Ross:  “I love a girl with brains. I’m 29. I own a software company, though I’m currently overseeing some construction projects in Los Lobos. Building homes for the pack members who need them.”

Darci:  “He’s being modest. He’s a freaking computer genius.  And those homes? They’re gorgeous and he’s paying for all of them.”

Where were you born? Where have you lived since then? Where do you currently call home?

Darci: “I was born and raised in Ashland, Oregon. I came to Los Lobos to get some help with my…well, I suppose that’s another thing for our readers to discover on their own.”

Ross:  “That’s right, Moonbeam. I was born and raised in Southern Indiana. Used to run with the Wolf packs in Hoosier National Forest. I returned to Los Lobos to help families in need and make a home here with the Tao pack. My parents were Tao pack members when the former pack leader Magnus still lived.”

What is in your refrigerator right now? On your bedroom floor? On your nightstand? In your garbage can?

Darci:  “LOL, well, this should be fun… Okay, fridge first. The one back in Ashland, Oregon. I lived with my human aunt and she’s vegan so basically vegetables and fruit. She stocked local, organic milk, eggs and cheese for me since she figured my Wolf side would need some protein. Yep, it’s true—I’m a vegetarian shifter. I’ve never eaten meat in my life.  As to your other questions…Nothing but the rug on my bedroom floor and garbage can is empty. I’m a bit of a neat freak. Computer tablet on my nightstand. I like to play video games before I sleep.”

Ross: “I’m a carnivore.”  ::arches a brow at Darci:: “As it should be. You’ll find red meat, coffee, cheese, and beer in my fridge. Plus some veggies and fruit for Darci. My bedroom is fairly tidy, though you’ll find an array of cat toys on my floor.  Books, too. Nothing in the bedroom wastebasket as my cat likes to push it over and attack any contents I’m foolish enough to leave in there. Don’t get me started about the ton of tissue he shredded the other day. What a mess…

Who are the people you are closest to?

Darci: “My aunt. She raised me after my parents died. I was six when they...”

Ross:  ::squeezes Darci’s hand::   Family is everything to me.  My parents live in Indiana. I also have a brother and sister. Haven’t seen them in a while. Hope to rectify that soon.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Darci:  ::grins:: “Well, I have no idea what I say, but Ross definitely goes overboard with the whole Moonbeam deal.”

Ross:  “Hey! I resemble that statement. So there you have it:  Moonbeam. That’s not likely to change.  Ever.”

Thanks for chatting today, Ross and Darci! And thank you, Sapphyria, for having us all over for a visit!


Book Information:

Diamond Moon
Black Hills Wolves, Book 12
Celia Breslin

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Date of Publication: March 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-61333-803-2

Number of pages: 85
Word Count: 29,737

Cover Artist: Fiona Jayde

About Diamond Moon:

Human-wolf hybrid Darci Diamond spends every full moon locked in auntie’s basement in Southern Oregon. Her excruciating shifts terrify her, the last one causing her heart to stop beating. Seeking a cure, she journeys to Los Lobos.

Ross Luparell returns to the struggling Tao pack, using his millions made in the tech industry to build homes for pack families in need. He never imagined he would also find his one true mate. But when a hybrid with the biggest green eyes he’s ever seen lands on his doorstep in the middle of a wicked summer storm, there’s no denying it. She’s the one.

She wants a normal human life, free from pain-filled shifts. He won’t give up on her Wolf, and will do whatever it takes to help her accept her true nature. But can he convince her to trust him with her heart?

Read an Excerpt:

He reached out with his Wolf senses. The feedback froze his fingers on the doorknob. Female. Damn, she smelled good. Human. Wolf. Wait…both? The copper tang of blood hit his nose. And injured.

            He flung open the door. His abrupt move caught his visitor off guard, one small, white fist raised to knock. The woman startled and fell forward. Catching her, he pulled her inside, kicking the door shut with his foot.

            She sagged against him, a shivering bundle of wet woman. Underneath the dampness, her scent drop-kicked his gut. Apples and cinnamon. Roses and honey. His body perked up, taking extreme notice. He fought the growl of possession threatening to tear out of his throat. Holy hell, had his potential mate just walked into his home in the middle of a storm?

            The scent of her blood jump-started his brain into action. He lowered her gently to the floor. “Jesus. You okay?”

            His instincts urged him to check her for wounds, but he was a stranger and didn’t want to spook her. But goddamn, he wanted to touch her. Peel off her wet clothes. See all of her. With a jacket covering her torso, tight jeans hiding her legs, and her ball cap pulled low on her face, all he’d seen so far was her quivering pale chin, full red lips, and those delicate, trembling hands.

            “S-s-sorry, d-dripping all ov-v-ver your f-f-floor,” she said, teeth chattering. Her snow white fingers curled on the hardwood, arms trembling with her effort to keep herself upright. Blood streaked the wood. A line of liquid crimson slid down her jaw and dripped from her chin onto her jacket.

            To hell with propriety. “You’re injured. Let me help you.” He pulled off her cap and damn near swallowed his tongue.

            Big green eyes blinked up at him from a face so pale it made him think of moonlight. Drenched, short black hair lay plastered to her head, the ends framing features reminiscent of the fairies his sister loved to draw for the hidden-object games she designed. Ethereal beauty. My beauty. He stroked a knuckle down her cheek then ran his thumb over her soft, full lower lip.

            She flinched and batted his hand away, falling to her side in the process.

            Ross snapped back to reality with a healthy hit of guilt. “Shit. Sorry.”

            His gaze shot to her forehead where a two-inch cut sent blood trailing over her prominent cheekbone with its silky-smooth skin he’d so enjoyed caressing—

            Shit. He gave himself a mental ass kicking for scaring her. “I’m Ross. You’re safe here. Promise.”

Available at: 

Meet the Author:

Celia lives in California with her husband, daughter, and two feisty cats. She writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance, and has a particular fondness for werewolves, vampires, and the Fae. Her award-winning vampire series - The Tranquilli Bloodline - is available from Champagne Books. Diamond Moon is her first werewolf story for Decadent Publishing’s Black Hills Wolves shifter line.

When not writing, you’ll find Celia exercising, reading a good book, hanging with her family, or indulging her addiction to Joss Whedon’s TV shows and movies.

Socialize with Celia:

Enter the Giveaway:

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Happy Release Day: Gambit by C.L. Denault #YA #Dystopian

About Gambit:

In Earth’s battle-ridden future, humans have evolved. Those with extraordinary skills rise to power and fame. Those without live in poverty.

Sixteen-year-old Willow Kent believed she was normal. But when a genetically-advanced military officer shows up in her village and questions her identity, long-buried secrets begin to emerge. With remarkable skills and a shocking genetic code the Core and its enemies will do anything to obtain, Willow suddenly finds the freedom she craves slipping through her fingers. Greed, corruption, and genetic tampering threaten every aspect of her existence as she’s thrust, unwilling, into the sophisticated culture of the elite Core city. To ensure peace, she must leave the past behind, marry a man she’s never met, and submit to the authority of a relentless officer with a hidden agenda of his own.

Her life has become a dangerous game. How much will she sacrifice in order to win?

Purchase Link: http://www.reuts.com/store/books/gambit/

Watch the Trailer:

Meet the Author:

Displaying cldenault_authorphoto.jpg

C.L. Denault is a speculative fiction writer who loves dreaming up tales of adventure and intrigue. A former systems analyst, she gave up her nerdy code-writing skills to care for her family (including a son with special needs), and currently lives among the vast stretches of cornfields in Illinois.

Writing stories and posting on The INFJ Café are her biggest passions, along with drinking coffee and watching sci-fi. When she’s not hanging out with her husband and kids, she can usually be found at a library or tucked away in the shadowy corner of a hip coffeehouse. She’s also been glimpsed sneaking into her garage, late at night, to work on her time machine.

Her debut novel, Gambit, is the first in a Young Adult dystopian series.

Find out more at: 

Blog Tour: Fall Out Girl by L. Duarte

About Fall Out Girl:

Imagine a social outcast: Me. (Luna)

Imagine a popular boy: Him. (Caleb)

Sound like the characters of a cliché story, right? Here, hold my hand. Come away with me. I’ll tell you my story, and you’ll decide. 

But I have a warning: Proceed at your own risk. Since it’s a snippet of my life, I’m one of the main characters. And to put it lightly, I’m not the most likable person in the world, cue the earned label. Also, unlike fairy tales, my story is real with a dash of sorrow and loss. 

How do I start? Once upon a time…? Shoot me now, please. 

The beginning? No, too boring.

Well, let’s start with the catalytic moment that set in motion a chain of events that changed my life, yet again.

As for a happily ever after? Sorry, no spoilers here. You’re going to have to figure that one out on your own. After you read my tale, it becomes yours, and as such, you’re entitled to your interpretation.

So, off we go! 

Fasten your seat belts. This ride may get bumpy.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Due to strong language and graphic sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

Book Information:

Fall Out Girl

by L. Duarte

Publication Date: March 21, 2015

Cover Design: Okay Creations

Genre: New Adult Romance

Amazon: Fall Out Girl

Barnes & Noble: http://tiny.cc/9sntvx

Read an Excerpt from Chapter 1:

Patience wasn’t my strong suit. Yet there I was, sitting on a boulder—poised, self-assured, and cocky. Perfectly masked. Waiting for someone absolutely pissed me off, especially if it was a client. My foot started to bob, repeatedly hitting the ground with little muffled thuds, displaying signs of my anxiety. I pressed a firm hand against my thigh. To show emotion was the same as cracking open your chest and inviting others to pry out your secrets, dissect your soul, and ultimately judge and condemn you. No, thank you. I had built a stronghold around my heart. No one got in. Where the hell was Andrew? I glanced at my watch. Tick-tock. Ten seconds late. If he was a no show in the next fifty seconds, I would flee. One of the cardinal rules of a drug delivery: Don’t wait. Junkies are punctual to a fault. Weird, right? But true. Desperation for the next fix is a great motivator. I had learned that, in this field, tardiness equaled trouble. And I had become an expert on dodging problems, earning the reputation as one of the best hustlers in the area. I pushed off the boulder I was sitting on and stood up. Thirty seconds. With a look of serenity far from the way I felt, I opened my compact mirror, mussed my hair, and checked my makeup, a pretense to scan what was behind me without appearing concerned. Twenty seconds. I shoved the mirror into my messenger bag and glanced at the interior. The secret compartment, where I stashed drugs, was the way I intended—unnoticeable. Ten seconds. “Luna!” An overly-friendly voice called. I snapped my head up and locked eyes with Andrew. He always gave me the creeps, but he was a stellar client. Cocaine, pot, pills, the works. He was always an eager consumer. “You’re late,” I said, appalled. “No, I’m not.” “Fifty seconds. I don’t do late.” “Jeez, take a chill pill,” he said with a charming grin that had girls melting their panties. I noticed a stranger standing behind Andrew and a nervous energy hummed through my skin. My hands balled into tight fists. “Who is that?” I nodded to the guy, my eyes never deviating from Andrew. “Oh, this is my boy, Caleb. He moved here over the summer.” Andrew’s arm flung to the guy’s back, propelling him forward and making introductions. 

Meet the Author:

I have found that there is only one thing better than reading, and that is writing. I’m always torn between the two. I’m also frequently torn between chocolate and coffee. However, I emphatically don’t like the month of February, lies, and flies. For me, bravery is defined by the courage to do what we fear the most. I live in Connecticut with my husband and two children. Drop a few lines. I would love to hear from you.

Enter the Giveaway:

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Cover Reveal for Wedding Matilda by Heather Hiestand

Welcome to the cover reveal for Wedding Matilda!

Book Information:

Title: Wedding Matilda
Author: Heather Hiestand
Publisher: Lyrical Press

About Wedding Matilda:

Displaying Wedding Matilda-highres.jpg

Sugared violets, buttercream…but he craves her kiss most of all…

Orphaned as a boy, Ewan Hales is proud to make his living as secretary to the manager at Redcake’s Tea Shop. But the startling news that he’s heir to the Earl of Fitzwalter changes everything. While tendering his resignation to lovely Matilda Redcake, however, Ewan is struck by her spirit, the luscious bow of her lips—and a realization. Matilda might not marry a working man—but will she wed a future nobleman?

Ewan’s unruly hair and roguish kisses are tempting, but Matilda has far too many problems to consider romance. With sabotage at a cake factory threatening the family empire, she must focus her considerable willpower on keeping Redcake’s from ruin—until she learns that her young son has been kidnapped. Together, she and Ewan must uncover the truth before they can savor the sweet freedom of love…


“One Taste of Scandal is a delicious, multi-layered Victorian treat.”
–Gina Robinson, author of The Last Honest Seamstress and the Agent Ex series

Wedding Matilda is available for pre-order at Amazon:  Wedding Matilda (The Redcakes)

Meet the Author:

Displaying Heather-Hiestand-photo-228x300.jpg

Heather Hiestand was born in Illinois, but her family migrated west before she started school. Since then she has claimed Washington State as home, except for a few years in California. She wrote her first story at age seven and went on to major in creative writing at the University of Washington. Her first published fiction was a mystery short story, but since then it has been all about the many flavors of romance. Heather’s first published romance short story was set in the Victorian period and she continues to return, fascinated by the rapid changes of the nineteenth century. The author of many novels, novellas, and short stories, she is a bestseller at both Amazon and Barnes and Noble. With her husband and son, she makes her home in a small town and supposedly works out of her tiny office, though she mostly writes in her easy chair in the living room. She also writes as Anh Leod.

Heather loves to hear from readers! Her email is heather@heatherhiestand.com.

For More Information:

Visit Heather’s website.
Connect with Heather on Facebook and Twitter.

Cover Reveal: Rundown (Curveball Series, Book #2) by Teresa Michaels

Welcome to the Cover Reveal for Rundown by Teresa Michaels!

About Rundown:

Breanne Sullivan never expected to find love again. Allowing herself to move on wasn’t easy, and now it may be too late. Determined to give herself a second chance, she will go to any lengths to prove her love to Drew. If only she could find him. Desperate to numb his heartache in the wake of Breanne’s rejection, with something other than women and booze, Drew Scott packs his bags for the West Coast. Distance and a fresh start are just what he needs to heal the wounds caused by the only woman to ever captivate his heart. But when the past and present collide in an unexpected way, Breanne and Drew quickly learn that things aren’t always what they seem. Caught between solving the mysteries that haunt them and getting the happily ever after they deserve, the two once again find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that could destroy them both. Answers come at a dangerous price. Sacrifices must be made in order to protect the ones they love. Can Breanne prove her love to Drew before its too late? Or will opposing forces interfere and destroy any chance of them having a future together?

Book Information:


Curveball Series, Book #2

by Teresa Michaels

Cover Designer: Mayhem Cover Creations

Meet the Author:

Teresa Michaels lives in the New England area with her husband and children. Curveball is her debut novel.

Enter the Giveaway:

Monday, March 30, 2015

Blog Tour Review: Dark Promise ~ Epic Conclusion to the Soul Storm Series by Ann Gimpel

Some choices can never be undone.

Book Information:

Dark Promise
Soul Storm, Book 3
Ann Gimpel

Dream Shadow Press

108K words

Release Date: 1/29/15

Genre: Urban Fantasy

About Dark Promise:

Lara and Trevor flee Seattle in the wake of rising chaos. Like raptors drawn to road kill, demons converge on what’s left of civilization, urging it to implode even faster.

In this final book of the Soul Storm series, Lara and Trevor’s relationship undergoes stresses that threaten to annihilate them. Constantly hungry, besieged by dark forces, they need every resource they’ve developed as a couple to keep from ripping each other apart. With her mentors snared in a chokehold by Goblins, Lara has only her half-baked magic standing between survival and certain death for herself, her love, and their unborn child.

The remote location that was supposed to solve all their problems has done anything but. Though she works diligently, Lara’s crash course in magic proves woefully inadequate. Trevor’s determined to protect his family, but he’s developed a decidedly haunted edge from all the carnage.

When he’s captured by demons, Lara curses their decision to leave Seattle, risks everything to go after him, and falls headlong into a cunningly crafted trap.

My Review:

**The Review of Dark Promise may contain Book 1 & 2 Spoilers.

Dark Promise concludes the Soul Storm series in epic fashion.  The HEA (happily ever after) ending caused me to sob into my pillow at 1:30am EST....but don't let my outburst cause you not to read this excellent conclusion to Ann Gimpel's Soul Storm trilogy.  

Sometimes the choices we make would have been better left unmade.  

So many things happen in Dark Promise that cause Lara to wonder if they should have just taken their chances with the thugs in the city.  Moving to the secluded land when neither Lara nor Trevor know anything about surviving off of the land and all that encompasses should have been a huge red flag.  When the Goblins invade and Trevor is kidnapped by Gradoxst, it is only when Lara tries to rescue him that she realizes that Trevor was just a means to an end.

The story is a gritty and well-written pre-apocalyptic novel that masterfully weaves in urban fantasy, paranormal, and the fantasy realm that legends are born into.   The world that Ann created is so realistic that as I read it I found myself wondering if the non-paranormal elements of the story (the worldwide lack of fuel, food, sanity) could be right around the corner for us. The Soul Storm series is very creative and thought-provoking.

Lara and Trevor both attempt to acclimate to their new home and surroundings but everything is completely overwhelming.  The stresses of their new life and the evil that follow are almost too much to handle.  Like any couple, there are bound to be disagreements and arguments.  Lara and Trevor prove to be a very strong super-couple, weathering the storm that has become their everyday life.

Sometimes you have to make decisions that will affect everyone for the rest of their lives - how however long that may be.

Dark Pursuit will draw you in and keep you engaged from start to finish.  There is so much going on but it's laid out well and paced perfectly.  Between the end of the world theme, Lara's heritage, and Trevor's past there isn't a dull moment.  There are twists and turns around many bends and the suspense is high. Be ready to devote an entire day to this novel because you won't want to put it down until you're done.

I read Book 3 a week ago and the entire series still resonates within me.  I empathize with Lara - she had to give up her practice, her home, and everything she knew in hopes of staying safe and out of the wrong hands.  Trevor's love for Lara was so genuine and believable that I felt all of his emotions - worry, fear, anxiety, etc. when the strange occurrences ~ paranormal or not ~ came knocking on her door.  Brad, the police officer, had to deal with the kidnapping, possession, and untimely death of his daughter and I was distraught at the idea of losing a child.  And the ending, just wow.  All magic has a price but I wasn't expecting just how much it was going to cost (hence the sobbing comment at the beginning of the post).

Review copy courtesy of the author, at no cost, in exchange for an honest review.


Available at Amazon:

Old blood and ancient power pit themselves against evil so dark, deep, and menacing it changes everyone who comes into contact with it. And not for the better.

Book Information:

Dark Pursuit
Soul Storm, Book 2
Ann Gimpel

Dream Shadow Press

Release Date: 12/30/14
Genre: Urban Fantasy

About Dark Pursuit:

Widespread rioting, plus shortages of fuel, food, and electricity lure demons across the veil to invade Earth. Drawn by anarchy, they’re out of control, drunk on their own power, and growing stronger by the day.

With her life crumbling around her, Dr. Lara McInnis is reluctantly roped into channeling her unpredictable psychic talents to help a detective who saved her from a psychopathic killer. Problem is, she’s still quite the neophyte in terms of either summoning her magic, or bending it to do much of anything. Her lack of skill strands her in the murky underbelly of a world inhabited by dark forces.

Trevor Denoble may not be psychic, but his old blood gives him gifts as well. After years of uncertainty, Lara is really and truly finally his. He’s determined to keep her by his side, but she refuses to cooperate. The detective’s daughter is trapped in darkness, and Lara insists on going after her—to a place barred to Trevor. Not to be denied, he latches onto his Celtic blood and uncovers latent power. No stranger to violence, more blood on his hands is a small price to pay to keep the woman he loves safe.

Ready My 5-Star Review for Dark Pursuit

Available at Amazon: 

When the dream world spills its murky contents, everyone’s worst nightmares run free.

Book Information:

Dark Prophecy
Soul Storm, Book 1
Ann Gimpel

Publisher: Dream Shadow Press

Release Date: 12/11/14

Genre: Urban Fantasy

About Dark Prophecy:

Dr. Lara McInnis reads auras and flirts with an elusive ability to foretell the future. Ambivalent about the magic within her, she’s done a fine job ignoring other aspects of her power—until now. After several patients—and a student or two—describe the same cataclysmic dream, she uncovers ancient evil intent on draining her power. Lara knows next to nothing about her psychic side, but it will destroy her if she can’t come to terms with it.

Trevor Denoble has secrets, but he shields them well with a stunning body and a boatload of British charm. The airline he works for folds because there’s no fuel for the planes, and Lara’s changing into someone he barely recognizes. Though he doesn’t know it yet, the rest of his carefully crafted life is about to come crashing down too.

Living in a world teetering on the edge of anarchy, Trevor and Lara are faced with a series of painful decisions. Is the love between them enough for Trevor to swallow his distrust of Lara’s burgeoning paranormal ability? Will their personal demons tear them apart in a world gone mad, as shortages of everything from electricity to food escalate?

Ready My 5-Star Review for Dark Prophecy:


Watch the Book Trailer http://youtu.be/H2mtTvxkrT4

Available at Amazon:

About the Author:

Ann Gimpel is a national bestselling author. She’s also a clinical psychologist, with a Jungian bent. Avocations include mountaineering, skiing, wilderness photography and, of course, writing. A lifelong aficionado of the unusual, she began writing speculative fiction a few years ago. Since then her short fiction has appeared in a number of webzines and anthologies. Her longer books run the gamut from urban fantasy to paranormal romance. She’s published over 20 books to date, with several more contracted for 2014 and beyond.

A husband, grown children, grandchildren and three wolf hybrids round out her family.

Socialize with Ann:

Earth’s Imagined Corners (The Round Earth Series, Book 1) by Tamara Linse ~ Historical Fiction Novel with #Giveaway

Big Questions Drive New Novel

Tamara Linse’s great grandfather Frank Wood was a horse thief.

“He had a rough life,” Linse says. “It was just him and his mom moving across the country in the 1860s and 70s.” Family stories say that he worked for an uncle for a year, but the uncle refused to pay him, and so he stole two horses. In the official deposition for the incident, Deputy Sheriff John Carstensen testified that Frank “claimed it was poverty that drove him to it.”

For that, Frank served two and a half years in Iowa’s Anamosa Additional Penitentiary and was released early for good behavior. He and Ellen Noble married shortly after, changed their last name to Strong, moved to Kansas City, and opened a grocery.

The life of Frank and Ellen forms the basis for Linse’s new historical novel Earth’s Imagined Corners.

Earth’s Imagined Corners
The Round Earth Series, Book 1
Tamara Linse

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publisher: Willow Words
Date of Publication: January 31, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-9909533-1-9                 

Number of pages: 472
Word Count: 130,000

Book Description:

In 1885 Iowa, Sara Moore is a dutiful daughter, but when her father tries to force her to marry his younger partner, she must choose between the partner—a man who treats her like property—and James Youngblood—a kind man she hardly knows who has a troubled past.

When she confronts her father, he beats her and turns her out of the house, breaking all ties, so she decides to elope with James to Kansas City with hardly a penny to their names.

In the tradition of Willa Cather’s O Pioneers! and Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, Earth’s Imagined Corners is a novel that comprehends the great kindnesses and violences we do to each other.

Earth’s Imagined Corners is based on the lives of the author’s great grandparents, Frank and Ellen Strong, and it is Book 1 in the Round Earth Series.

Read an Excerpt:

Anamosa, Iowa, 1885

Sara Moore should have nothing to fear this week. She had been meticulous in her entering into the ledger the amounts that Minnie the cook requested she spend on groceries. She had remembered, just, to include her brother Ed’s purchase of materials to mend sister Maisie’s doll house and to subtract the pickling salt that she had purchased for sister Esther but for which Esther’s husband Gerald had reimbursed her. She stood at her father’s shoulder as he went over the weekly household accounts, and even though her father owned Moore Grocer & Sundries from which she ordered the family’s groceries, he still insisted she account for the full price in the ledger. “No daughter of mine,” he often said, though sometimes he would finish the thought and sometimes his neatly trimmed eyebrows would merely bristle.
Despite the buttressing of her corset, Sara hunched forward, somewhat reducing her tall frame. She intertwined her fingers so that she would not fiddle with the gathers of soft navy wool in her overskirt, and she tried not to breathe too loudly, so as not to bother him, nor to breathe too deeply, in order to take in little of the cigar smoke curling up from his elephant-ivory ashtray on the hulking plantation desk.
As always, the heavy brocade curtains armored Colonel Moore’s study against the Iowa day, so the coal oil lamps flickered in their brackets. Per instructions, Sipsy the maid lit them early every morning, snuffed them when he left for the grocery, lit them again in anticipation of his return at seven, and then snuffed them again after he retired. It was an expense, surely, but one that Sara knew better than to question. The walls of the study were lined with volumes of military history and maps of Virginia and Georgia covered in lines, symbols, and labels carefully inked in Colonel Moore’s hand. In its glass case on the bureau rested Colonel Moore’s 1851, an intricately engraved pistol awarded to him during the War of Northern Aggression. Sipsy dusted daily, under stern directive that not a speck should gather upon any surface in the room.
Sara’s father let out a sound between an outlet of breath and a groan. This was not good. He was not pleased. Sara straightened her shoulders and took a breath and held it but let her shoulders slump forward once more.
“My dear,” he said, his drawl at a minimum, “your figures, once again, are disproportionate top to bottom. And there is too much slant, as always, in their curvatures. I urge you to practice your penmanship.” His tone was one of indulgence.
Inaudibly, Sara let out her breath. If he was criticizing her chirography, then he had found nothing amiss in the numbers. The accounts were sound for another week. Later, when he checked the numbers against the accounts at the grocery, there was less of a chance that she had missed something.
He closed the ledger, turned his chair, and with both hands held the ledger out to her. She received it palms up and said, “I will do better, Father.”
“You would not want to disappoint to your mother.” His drawl was more pronounced.
So he had regretted his indulgence and was not satisfied to let her go unchecked. His wife, Sara’s mother, had been dead these five years, and since then Sara had grown to take her place, running the household, directing the servants, and caring for six year-old Maisie. Ed needed little looking after, as he was older than Sara, though unmarried, and Esther, the oldest, was married with two daughters and farm of her own.
Sara straightened her shoulders again and hugged the ledger to her chest. “Yes, Father,” she said and turned and left the room, trying to keep her pace tranquil and unhurried. She went to the kitchen, where Minnie had a cup of coffee doused with cream and sugar awaiting her. Minnie gave her an encouraging smile, and though Sara did not acknowledge what went unsaid between them—one must shun familiarity with the servants—she lifted her shoulders slightly and said, “Thank you, Minnie.” Minnie, with the round figure and dark eyes of a Bohemian, understood English well, though she still talked with a pronounced accent, and Sara had only heard her speak the round vowels and chipped consonants of her native tongue once, when a delivery man indigenous to her country of origin walked into the kitchen with mud on his boots. Sara tucked the ledger in its place on a high shelf and then allowed herself five minutes of sipping coffee amid the wonderful smells of Minnie’s pompion tart. Then she rose, rinsed her cup, and applied herself to her day.
The driver had Father’s horse and gig waiting, as always, at twenty minutes to nine. As Father stretched his fingers into his gloves, pulling them tight by the wrist leather, he told Sara, “When you come at noon, I have something unusual to show you.”
“Yes, Father,” she said.
It seemed odd that he would concern her with anything to do with business. He left her to the household. He had long tried to coerce Ed into the business, but Ed’s abilities trended more toward the physical. He was a skilled carpenter, though Father kept a close rein on where he took jobs and whom he worked for. All talk of renaming the business Moore & Son had been dropped when Father had recently promoted the young man who was his assistant, Chester O’Hanlin, to partner. Mr. O’Hanlin had droopy red muttonchops and a body so long and thin he looked a hand-span taller than he really was, which was actually a bit shorter than Sara. Mr. O’Hanlin didn’t talk much, either, and he seemed always to be listening. He held himself oddly, cocking his head to one side, first one way and then the other, his small dark eyes focusing off to the left or right of the speaker. His nose, long and wedge-shaped, seemed to take up half his face. “Chester, the Chinaman,” Maisie called him outside of his presence because of the way he stooped and bobbed whenever their father entered the room. 

About the Author:

Tamara Linse jokes that she was raised in the 1880s, and so it was natural for her to set a book there. She is the author of the short story collection How to Be a Man and the novel Deep Down Things and earned her master’s in English from the University of Wyoming, where she taught writing. Her work appears in the Georgetown Review, South Dakota Review, and Talking River, among others, and she was a finalist for an Arts & Letters and Glimmer Train contests, as well as the Black Lawrence Press Hudson Prize for a book of short stories. She works as an editor for a foundation and a freelancer.
 Find her online at www.tamaralinse.com and her blog Writer,
Cogitator, Recovering Ranch Girl at www.tamara-linse.blogspot.com

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/tlinse

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Helena Goes to Hollywood by CC Dragon ~ Book Spotlight

Book Spotlight for 

Helena Goes to Hollywood

by CC Dragon

Genre: Cozy Mystery

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About Helena Goes to Hollywood:

Martial arts instructor Helena Morris has a few weaknesses. One is her FBI agent ex-husband who she avoids. The other is her superstar sister Sonia who is divorcing a soap star hunk of a husband. When Sonia needs protection from a stalker, Helena finds herself playing bodyguard and investigator. Glitz and glamour aren’t her style but she must gain full entry into her sister’s world to keep her safe!

It’s hard to know who to trust when half the suspects are professional actors with out of control egos. A murder too close for comfort stuns everyone and Hel knows her sister is probably next. Working the case with a little help from her still interested ex, a hunky LAPD detective, and other helpful friends, she has to track down rabid fans and clear jealous co-stars to get at the killer. With so many suspects, she’ll have to outsmart them all while not pissing off the LAPD to get a step ahead of the killer.

A loyal Chicago girl who loves deep dish pizza, the Cubs, and The Lake! CC Dragon is fascinated by the metaphysical and paranormal. Loves creating characters, especially amateur sleuths who solve mysteries. Coffee and chocolate addict who loves fast cars. Still look for a hero who likes to cook and clean…so she can write more!