Tag Archives: first in a series

Featured New Book: Ashes and Blood by Katie Zaber

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Book cover

Book Cover for book by Katie Zaber, Ashes and Blood

I can not WAIT to tell you guys about this book!

I’ve read it and I love it. So you all now need to go get your own copy and see how right I am.

As I said, this is Katie Zaber’s debut — wait. I didn’t say that. Well, now I am! It’s also the first in a series and I doubt I’m the only one foaming at the mouth for the next book. I use a mechanical keyboard, so this is NOT a good habit I’ve developed, let me tell you… plus the neighbors are a bit worried… okay, more than usual…

Katie, what song makes you think of your book?

Swan Dive by Ani DiFranco
There is nothing like diving into an adventure, especially when you have no clue where your feet will land… or if they will ever hit solid ground again. And after impact, will you have the strength to get up?

The song “Swan Dive” reminds me of Megan, the main character in Ashes and Blood. She is more pragmatic and sticks to her morals. When faced with impossible decisions, she still does what she believes is right, even if the outcome destroys her.

Yeah, I can see this… this is also new to me. I love it when you guys expand my musical horizons. (Really, this is why I love this feature so much. I get to learn stuff!)

Need the cover copy?

“I’ll start at the beginning. Long ago, before roads, before we built structures, before medicine was discovered, before the government was created, before man gained any knowledge, there were The Five. Independent from each other, The Five had a mutual respect for one another. They knew their roles in the world and their duty. They were gods…”

An adventure begins when an otherworldly tree captures the attention of Megan and her friends. The environment morphs around them, transferring them to an exotic planet. Stuck in a rural town still maimed by the plague, a chance encounter with a familiar face gives Megan and her friends some security during their adjustment period.

While settling into new, promising lives, they are attacked and stalked by planet Dalya’s humanoid inhabitants, who focus on Megan. One dark night, after an epic, magical attack, the Fae King’s knight is sent to fetch Megan. When she wakes up a prisoner, she learns that there is much more to this strange world, and it is oddly more like her own than she ever would have expected.

Guys, this doesn’t do the storyline justice! There is SO MUCH to this story and it’s new and it’s fresh and if you can’t tell how high I am on it, well, you’re not reading carefully enough.

Get yours!
Smashwords (This is an affiliate link, so you know, but it’s also FREE until July 4!)
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

And, of course, connect with Katie! She is lovely and fierce and all sorts of good things. You’ll be glad she’s part of your life. I know I am.
Website

Remember, once you’ve read this, be sure to leave a review! Reviews help books find new readers, and YES it is okay to leave a thoughtful, negative review if the book doesn’t work for you. But this one will. No worries there. And if you’re struggling with reviews, be sure to reach out. I’m more than glad to help.

Also, be sure to send over your author friends for their turn in the spotlight! Here’s the link to the handy-dandy form.

Featured New Book Spotlight

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Featured New Book Spotlight: A King Under Seige by Mercedes Rochelle

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Let’s welcome Mercedes Rochelle to West of Mars! Yay!

I love the cover of her book, don’t you? It’s so perfectly period and yes, it makes me want to pick this up and read it. (I know. I want to read almost everything!)

This is the first in a new series, friends! The series is called The Plantagenet Legacy, and that says a lot right there too, doesn’t it? The cover makes even more sense.

So… Mercedes Rochelle, what song makes you think of your book?

I AM THE COMMON MAN by the Battlefield Band.

What better song for the Peasants’ Revolt in my novel, A KING UNDER SIEGE? In 1381, fed up with their mistreatment and the Poll Tax used to support the government’s reckless spending, the common man rose and terrorized England. Only the quick thinking of 14 year-old King Richard II saved London from destruction, though he was nearly a victim, himself. Here are the lyrics:

I am the Common Man.
I am the brute and the slave.
I am the fool, the despised,
From the cradle to the grave.
I am the hewer of coal.
I am the tiller of soil.
I am serf of the seas,
Born to bear and to toil.
I am the builder of halls.
I am the dweller of slums.
I am the filth and the scourge
When winter’s depression comes.
I am the fighter of wars.
I am the killer of men,
Not for a day or an age,
But again and again and again.
I am the Common Man,
But, Masters of mine, take heed,
For you have put into my head
Oh! Many a wicked deed.

If you’d like to listen, it begins at the 36:48, so use that fast forward button first and then go back and listen to the whole thing.

I’m intrigued. Are you? I hope so!

How about the cover copy, so you know exactly what the plot is?

Richard II found himself under siege not once, but twice in his minority. Crowned king at age ten, he was only fourteen when the Peasants’ Revolt terrorized London. But he proved himself every bit the Plantagenet successor, facing Wat Tyler and the rebels when all seemed lost. Alas, his triumph was short-lived, and for the next ten years he struggled to assert himself against his uncles and increasingly hostile nobles. Just like in the days of his great-grandfather Edward II, vengeful magnates strove to separate him from his friends and advisors, and even threatened to depose him if he refused to do their bidding. The Lords Appellant, as they came to be known, purged the royal household with the help of the Merciless Parliament. They murdered his closest allies, leaving the King alone and defenseless. He would never forget his humiliation at the hands of his subjects. Richard’s inability to protect his adherents would haunt him for the rest of his life, and he vowed that next time, retribution would be his.

I have so much respect for historical authors, I can’t tell you. The depths of their knowledge, the hours spent researching, the details they have to get right… My hat’s off to you, Mercedes and all of you who put in the time and work to make historical writing such an amazing thing.

Yeah… I totally am adding this to my wish list. Are you? Or are you just ready to grab a copy? Amazon only, I’m afraid.
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Connect with Mercedes Rochelle, too! She’d love to get to know you.
Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads

Remember, the best way to say thanks to an author is to share his/her/their book with your friends and reading circle. The second best way is to write an online review. If you’re struggling with the latter, I’m glad to help. Just drop me a note and we’ll work it out.

Featured New Book Spotlight

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Featured New Book Spotlight: A Matter of Manners by Terry Graham

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Book Cover for A Matter of Manners

Been seeing this cover a lot? I sure have been! So I’m beyond thrilled to host Terry Graham today and find out more about her new book, A Matter of Manners. What’s up with this book that’s seemingly everywhere?

Terry, what song makes you think of your book?

Use Somebody by Kings of Leon because I can imagine Jeremy singing the lyrics

Ooh, I love this song! As soon as it started to play, I realized it’s not on my Spotify playlists, and, well… THAT’s been fixed. Thanks, Terry!

So… what’s the book about? Why would Jeremy be singing these lyrics?

Jeremy Wyles believes himself sterile. He’s also a sadist and fears no lady would agree to marry him. When a woman shows up on his doorstep, pregnant and claiming to be his wife, he’ll do whatever is necessary to ensure his dukedom has an heir. A loveless marriage in name only seems the perfect solution, but his disobedient duchess stirs his desire for discipline…and something more.

Irish rebel Kathleen “Katy” Brennan only seeks recompense from the husband whose cousin married her by proxy and left her with child. The bargain he offers is tempting. He’ll claim her baby as his own, and she can become the grand lady she’s always imagined. There’s just one condition she’s not sure she can live with. The delicious-looking duke refuses to touch her…ever.

Can Jeremy put aside the wicked urges that rule his life, or will Katy’s rebellious spirit destroy his tenuous control?

WOW. That’s a hell of a premise, no?

I’m not sure this one is for me, given the elements of sadism, but if you’re carrying less baggage than I am, be sure to pick this up! I love every other element of the plot. Sigh.

THIS is why reviews are helpful, folks. You can leave a review that talks about the level of sadism and let those of us with issues decide if we can handle it. So remember to take a few minutes and write up your thoughts on a book. Even if it’s “I liked this because…” — that counts! And it’s important! Not every review has to inform the potential reader of what they are going to encounter. It’s just nice when they do.

Also, make note: this is the first in a new series! Get in on the ground floor; your buying a copy now helps Terry and her publisher decide if the series is worth continuing.

Grab your copy here:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Kobo
Googleplay

And, of course, your local independent store would LOVE your business, too!

Connect with Terry Graham!
My website is www.terrygrahamromance.com and I can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others as TGrahamWriter

As always, if you need help writing a review, drop me a line! It’s a nominal charge for my time, but I’ll make it worth your five bucks. Promise!

And if you’re an author or friends with an author, here’s the link to the Featured New Book Spotlight submissions page — the more submissions I get, the more books you get to learn about!

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Featured New Book: Her Real Man by Natalina Reis

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Featured New Book SpotlightThere’s a Reis Run Road not too far from West of Mars. Think the person that road was named for is any relation to Natalina Reis?

I know… who cares? But it’s fun to make those small connections, especially now that we’re welcoming Natalina to the West of Mars family. She’s got a new book out, called Her Real Man, Book 0 in the Rescue Me Collection.

How can it be Book 0? Well, think of it as Ground Zero: where it all begins.

The book is called Her Real Man, and the song that makes Natalina think of it is…

Ed Sheeran’s Perfect

An awkward writer and a scarred firefighter. As imperfect as Ana and Gavin were, they were perfect in each other’s eyes.

I know a LOT of writers who would describe themselves that way… but I’m hopeful that for Natalina, this isn’t a case of Write What You Know.

Anyway, I love that very simple description. Don’t you? It’s so pure and trusting… Oh, that gives even the most jaded among us (and you all point to me, I know) hope.

Want more? Here’s the official description:

An imperfect firefighter defined by his past.

A determined author on a mission for the truth.

When Ana Mathews searches for book-boyfriend inspiration, she gets more than she expected from Gavin McLeod. Her quest to find imperfection could be the spark that brings to life their chance at happiness, or the burn that could destroy it all.

I LOVE that. “When Ana Mathews searches for book-boyfriend inspiration…” I have clients who do this! I have friends who do this!

(I do not. See above about being jaded.)

And suddenly, the title makes a LOT more sense. In fact, it’s really darn clever and I appreciate the sly nod here.

Grab a copy. You know I did.

Please provide buy links
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon AU
Amazon CA
Kobo
iTunes

And connect with Natalina!
Instagram
FB
BookBub
Amazon
Newsletter
Twitter:
Goodreads:
Blog

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Featured New Book Spotlight: Eternal Curse: Giovanni’s Angel by Toi Thomas

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Let’s welcome author Toi Thomas to West of Mars! Toi stopped in last week to see what song made her friend Alex think of his book and decided to hang around and step into the spotlight, herself.

Brave woman!

Let’s get right to it: Toi, what song makes you think of your book?

When I wrote the story, Eternal Curse: Giovanni’s Angel, that of a gray man and his search for a purpose and transformation; romance was the last thing on my mind. During the developmental stage, I realized that Giovanni needed a new relationship to replace one that was fading. I wanted it to be a friendship, but with the new character being a likable and attractive woman (not a bombshell by far) soon romance was on the page.

There’s a scene where Giovanni is drawn to the woman, Mira, who has left him temporarily and gone to another state. It was the next scene that made me realize that this friendship was a romance. Giovanni finds Mira across many miles, when he’s not even looking for her, because of a compulsion. Later, I heard the song, When Can I See You by Babyface. That scene came back to me and I thought, “Giovanni just couldn’t wait to see Mira again.”

Ooh, this sounds by turns deep, spiritual, uplifting, and maybe even a little bit scary. Don’t believe me? Check out the description!

“You have plenty of time to change your mind. You have not yet seen the monster I can be.” — Giovanni

Giovanni has been waiting his whole life to meet someone like Mira, someone from the outside world who might be able to help him. He wonders if there really is help for him as he continues to hold tightly onto dark secrets and even darker memories. Giovanni wants to be hopeful and he wants to accept Mira’s help, but first he has to look himself in the mirror and face what he truly is- and that is a reality no one is quite ready to accept.

Searching for new purpose and meaning in her life, Mira meets Giovanni online and an exciting and, in some ways, scary friendship is developed. Mira decides one day to meet Giovanni in person, at his secluded country home, in order to aid him on his journey of self-discovery. What these two are able to discover will not only test their strength and will, but it will stretch the limits of their minds and catapult them into a world where earth, Heaven, and Hell collide.

Giovanni’s Angel is the story of a man who may just be the answer to a spiritual war swiftly heading his way- but for now, he just wants to be a man.

Do you need to read this book? I think I do! And you know what else I need to do? Check out more Babyface; I’ve never really explored his music, but hearing him take on James Taylor? You betcha. That’s how you open doors and get someone to listen to a new artist: expose ’em to a cover of a song that’s got some sort of attachment and make ’em curious. I approve!

Pick up your copy of Eternal Curse: Giovanni’s Curse:
Amazon
Createspace

Connect with Toi; she seems really cool!
Website/Blog: The ToiBox of Words
Toi Thomas Facebook Fan Page
@toithomas on Twitter
GoodReads
YouTube Channel
Pinterest
Amazon Author Page

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Lines of Distinction: Something Else by Nia Farrell

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0 SE Grace quote Mindfuck+Karma  11-24-15

SOMETHING ELSE by Nia Farrell. Three soulmates forge a future from the flames of their pasts in an interracial MMF ménage erotic romance. “It’s part paranormal, part BDSM, part love story, but all good.”

Barnes and Noble
Amazon
Allromance
BookStrand
Smashwords *Affiliate link
Dark Hollows Press

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Lines of Distinction: Something Else by Nia Farrell

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000 SE Quote Last Time

SOMETHING ELSE by Nia Farrell. Three soulmates forge a future from the flames of their pasts in an interracial MMF ménage erotic romance. “It’s part paranormal, part BDSM, part love story, but all good.”

Barnes and Noble ➔ http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/something-else-nia-farrell/1122571287?ean=2940151122504
Amazon ➔ http://mybook.to/SomethingElse
Allromance ➔ https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-somethingelse-1874223-340.html
BookStrand ➔ http://www.bookstrand.com/something-else-mmf
Smashwords ➔ https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/571934
Dark Hollows Press ➔ http://www.darkhollowspress.com/#!something-else/c1tdc

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Featured New Book: Alpha’s Voodoo by Haley Whitehall

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Haley Whitehall is back here at West of Mars! Yay, Haley!

alphasvoodoo

I love that cover. I also love repeat visitors. And since we all know the drill, let’s get right to it: Haley, what song makes you think of your new book, Alpha’s Voodoo?

I’d like to thank Susan for letting me step into the spotlight once again. It is always a pleasure to be on West of Mars. I’ve recently had a book birthday. My new release, Alpha’s Voodoo, is my first historical paranormal romance. The interracial novella is set in New Orleans in the 1850s, and my story delves into Voodoo. In fact, the Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau plays an important part. Both the hero, Mark Afton, who is secretly a wolf shifter, and the heroine, Violet Creed, think they have been cursed. But have they?

When I was trying to think of a playlist for Alpha’s Voodoo, lots of songs with witchcraft and magic came to mind, but I don’t consider Marie Laveau a witch. In my erotic romance, she is more of a matchmaker.

I finally came across the perfect song Voo Doo by Rachel Sweet. The music video is a little creepy, but I like the lyrics. “Cause I’m caught in your magic spell. It’s such a spooky romance.” With Mark being a wolf shifter, he can indeed read Violet’s mind. See, the song lyrics were perfect!

For different reasons, my hero and heroine are afraid that their attraction to each other is not natural. If a spell is causing these strong feelings, what should they do?

Alpha’s Voodoo is the first book in the Bayou Pack series. Mark and Violet’s story will slowly unfold one book at a time.

Wow. That song has a very ’80s feel. (and the video has a very ’80s look, too! Think there’s a reason?) I’d have thought of Godsmack, myself, but … it’s always fun to be exposed to new stuff. Even if it’s very ’80s. (or maybe *especially*)

I would read this. I totally would. Here’s why:

With her reputation in tatters, debutante Violet Creed is forced to exchange her life of luxury for one of uncertainty. Mark Afton wants nothing more than to take his rightful place as the leader of the Bayou Pack, but he needs a mate. Is Violet Mark’s destined mate, or is their attraction merely Voodoo magic? Haley Whitehall is pleased to present Alpha’s Voodoo, Book 1 of her hot, new, paranormal romance series, Bayou Pack.

Are curses real or merely imagined?

Violet Creed is a colored New Orleans debutante. She was brought up with servants and a strict set of rules regarding propriety, and her papa never approved of her interest in Voodoo. One night she sneaks out of the house and attends one of Marie Laveau’s gatherings—where she loses her virginity and her reputation. Turned out by her papa, Violet is destined for a life on the streets until Madam Dawn saves her.

Cursed to live as a wolf shifter, Mark Afton is a wealthy lawyer and heir to the Bayou Pack. Unfortunately, he can’t take over leadership from his uncle without a mate. Wanting to escape his mother’s endless matchmaking attempts, he accepts Madam Dawn’s invitation to sail on the maiden voyage of the Southern Rose and enjoy the pleasurable company of her ladies.

One of Madam Dawn’s recent hires catches his attention. He is drawn to Violet immediately. Could she be his mate or is their attraction merely Voodoo?

Maybe it’s the whole Godsmack thing. I don’t know. But I’d totally read this.

If you agree, go pick up a copy.

Liquid Silver Books

Amazon Universal Link

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

All Romance Ebooks

 

 

Haley loves to connect with readers. You can find her here:

 

Twitter: http://twitter.com/HaleyWhitehall

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LightonHistory

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5752677.Haley_Whitehall

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/haleywhitehall/

Website: http://haleywhitehall.com/

Blog: http://haleywhitehall.com/blog/

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Haley-Whitehall/e/B0078EO6CE/

 

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