Thursday, August 31, 2023

A Bounty of Secrets and Rebellion Sharayah Maurice + Deleted Scene!


An historical alliance between two gifted races is threatened when Princess Alana Bell Sundry is attacked and a bounty is placed on her head. With powerful enemies on two borders, the kingdom of Latera is relying on her arranged marriage to the Gaellen Prince to strengthen their position in Tanithor.

Enlisting the help of a mysterious bodyguard to keep her alive until her prince arrives to claim her, Alana soon learns there’s more to the undercover guard than meets the eye. As she spends time with her new bodyguard, she realizes that the attacks on her life aren’t the only threats to the alliance. Her heart may prove just as effective at dismantling a union that has been years in the making.

Meanwhile, across the Great River, Griff Shoshone is unaware of the political events happening around him. The girl he’s loved for years has recently been promised to his little brother, the future Chief of Hoken, and Griff must find a way to reconcile his heart to the Oracle’s prophetic declaration. However, after a fateful decision with deadly consequences leaves him and his brother’s betrothed captured in enemy territory, Griff must now come to terms with his new fated destiny.

A Bounty of Secrets and Rebellion is the first in the Chronicles of Tanithor YA fantasy romance series told from multiple POVs. If you like clean romance, characters with elemental powers, and action packed chapters with cliff hanger endings, then you’ll love the enchanting world of Tanithor.

Wow, what a great start for debut author, Sharayah Maurice!  This story is the beginning of what will be an epic fantasy adventure series.  It's full of royal intrigue, adventure, magic, danger and growing love.  Literally everything you want in this type of book, right?  The characters are growing on me and I'm starting to feel invested.  The plot grew in intensity and the last bit of the book had me so anxious for all the characters.  And then left me hanging.  Which, I'll admit, is my least favorite place to be.  boo.  I'd like to keep reading this story!  But I have to wait.  Sigh.

A couple of notes:
1. I love the boys more than the girls.  (shrugs)  I can't help it.
2. The elemental magic is cool.  (water, earth, wind)

This book releases tomorrow, September 1st!  If you love epic fantasy romance, you should definitely check it out.  It will also be on KU if you have that.

Content:  peril, violence, death.  Kissing.

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.

As part of the blog tour for this book, I have a special deleted scene for you all!  Enjoy!

There was a cough and a grunt and Koa looked up from his painting to see Menard sitting up in bed. “What time is it?” he croaked, rubbing his eyes.

Koa glanced out the window. “A little after mid-day.”

“Dang night shifts. They get me all messed up,” Menard grumbled, stretching out his arms and neck. Koa leaned back over his work as Menard slowly stood up and made his way over to Koa’s corner of their room. He peered over Koa’s shoulder at the canvas. “That’s good.”

Koa frowned. “It’s not turning out how I want it.” He set his pallet down and let out a breath of frustration.

“Want to come train with me? It’s what I do when things aren’t working out how I want,” Menard asked, grabbing a fresh shirt and switching out the one he had on. Koa briefly glimpsed big, black tattoos all over Menard’s upper body. 

He nodded, quickly putting his supplies away and followed Menard out to the training grounds.

It was a cooler afternoon. Between the hot sun and crisp breeze that blew on the wind, the temperature was perfect for staying cool while training. Menard brought Koa to the center ring for some sword practice. As they faced off, swords at the ready, Menard asked casually, “So, you’ve been taught sword play, huh?”

And then he lunged at Koa.

Koa grunted as he quickly blocked the move and came back at Menard with his own. “Yes.” Clang! “Where did you learn? The Academy?”

Menard stepped left and swung his sword, steel on steel crashing as the blades met between them. “Yes. I was the top of my class,” Menard boasted with a gleam in his eye.

Koa raised a brow as he caught the challenge in Menard’s expression. He quickened his pace, swinging his blade to the right as Menard lunged left to parry his attack. As he stepped, Menard turned his foot out and Koa tripped, sending his sword flying up as he went down to the ground. Menard caught his sword and smiled proudly. “Want to go again?”

Koa peered up at him with a grin, retrieving his sword from Menard’s outstretched hand. Getting back to his feet, they took their positions in the ring and started again. Koa kept his eyes on Menard’s movements, learning from him as their blades met again and again. Koa managed to hold his own longer this time, but his energy was giving out. Late nights and full days were taking its toll. Finally, Koa yielded, out of breath and beginning to sweat despite the coolness of the breeze.

Menard lowered his sword with a wolfish grin. “Not bad, buddy.” He turned around and waved Koa over. “Let’s get some water.”

Koa matched Menard’s stride as they made their way to the water barrels. Eyeing the bulky man, Koa pegged him to be in his late twenties, early thirties at most. He had hazel eyes and short, cropped light brown hair. As Koa took a sip of water, he spotted the the dark black markings peeking out from under his shirt. “What’s with all the tattoos?”

Menard gulped back his water and hissed a sigh of relief. He took a seat on the bench, looking out at the soldiers on the training field. “The tattoos are symbolic of major events in my life. They each tell a story of how I came to be where I am now. It’s a tradition back where I’m from.”

“Where are you from?”

“The Very Islands. My family and I actually came over with Queen Malia when she married the king. My father was her body guard which was why we came. Plus, my mother was a good friend of the queen’s mother. I think she wanted to be able to look after the queen.”

“So being a guard is a family business?” Koa commented, and Menard smiled. “I guess you could say that.”

Koa took a seat next to Menard on the bench. “What are some of the major events in your life?”

Menard leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees. “I have one for when I left the Very Islands. There’s one for completing the Academy. I have one for when I was accepted into the king’s army, and I plan to get one for being promoted to the princess’ guard.”

Koa had considered getting a tattoo many times. Being an artist, he had thought of many designs he might like to have inked on his body; however, tattoos were permanent. There was no way to erase them. What if one day he no longer liked the permanent marking he’d gotten? It was because of this that he never ended up getting one. “Have you ever regretted a tattoo you’ve gotten?”

Menard was silent for a moment before he pulled down the collar of his shirt to reveal a large tattoo over his heart. The design comprised intricate little dots that formed the center and spread out wider and wider. Lines then encircled the dots and flowed out over his chest, curling up to his shoulder and down to his ribs, creating the shape of a flower. “This represents my ex-fiancé. We got them the night I proposed. Then, long story short, I realized she wasn’t the one and called it off.”

Koa glanced at Menard sidelong. He shrugged and released his shirt, covering the flower so that only a small tendril peeked out of his collar. “I don’t regret it though. It serves as a reminder that if I ever want to propose again, it will be with forever in mind and she has to be worth forever.”

Sharayah Maurice has been a lover of books since she first learned to read and has dreamed of being an author for just as long. She is the author of The Chronicles of Tanithor: Age of the Oracle series. Her stories are filled with adventure, political intrigue and swoony romance that will leave you desperate for more. She lives in north Texas with her husband and five children.

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Tuesday, August 29, 2023

The Trespassers by Stephanie Black


Rayna Kirkpatrick has lived her entire life with a secret: she possesses dangerous paranormal abilities. But she’s carefully kept her powers hidden from the world―or so she thinks. When new struggles in her life prompt her to seek information about her abilities, her internet search sends up red flags. Without her knowledge, she is placed under surveillance by a government team who monitors people with unique gifts like hers, individuals known as Trespassers. There are only two options for those manifesting such supernatural abilities: submit to regulation and scientific study or be eliminated.

Damon Hale is an invaluable asset to the government. As a Trespasser himself, he is perfectly positioned to determine how to handle others like him. When a series of unexplained deaths is connected to Rayna, Damon is assigned to go undercover to her California hometown to determine whether she’s the killer they suspect she is. As he gets to know this kind and charming woman, he’s determined not to allow his growing attraction to her to shake his objectivity. But the deaths surrounding her are no coincidence, and as his suspicions about her guilt begin to fade, he realizes he and Rayna must work together to discover the truth or risk becoming the next victims.

 * Amazon * Goodreads * Deseret Book *

First, I have to say that I think the cover on this book is super cool.  I love how it represents this book so perfectly.  Yeah, very cool cover.

The story is pretty cool too.  All mystery and a bit of suspense.  The plot thickens with every turn of the page while I suspect everyone at some point or another.  There is a big cast of characters but I never felt overwhelmed or lost in keeping track of them all.  That's a huge credit to the author.

Rayna has a crazy supernatural, paranormal type of ability.  I can't even imagine how that would be but it was fun to be immersed in a world that was nothing like my own for a bit.  It all felt so real, so plausible.  It was good stuff.

I'm hoping this has set us up for a whole new series by this author.  Rayna's story definitely isn't over so it better continue on!  Also, as a note, there is no romance in this book.  Just in case that is a make or break for you. 😉

Release day is September 5th!  You can pre-order now.

Content:  peril, mild violence, death.  Mention of miscarriages, divorce, abuse.

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, August 25, 2023

Crown and Serpent: A Fate of Eyrinthia Novella by Heather Frost


Genre: YA Fantasy (Villain Origin Story)

Series: Fate of Eyrinthia (Prequel)

Release Date: August 25, 2023

All she wanted . . .

Seventeen-year-old Iris Winn loves her quiet life with her father, studying the poisons that fascinate them both. But after his sudden death, Iris is now the ward of her estranged aunt and uncle. In order to claim her inheritance, she must live in the capital city of Lenzen for one year. While there, she must attend parties, balls, and participate in every other vapid thing the elite of Ryden value. Iris doesn’t care about learning their rules or joining their ranks–her only goal is to endure the next year. Then she meets Prince Henri Kaelin.

Everything they demanded . . .

Every young woman in Lenzen wants Henri–except for Iris. Unfortunately, the prince only has eyes for her. The king has decreed that Henri must choose a bride before his birthday, and Iris is determined it won’t be her. Dodging a prince’s focused attention while placating her relatives and the rest of Ryden’s high society is exhausting–and more dangerous than Iris could have ever imagined. She is about to learn that not all games are innocent, and some smiles are more lethal than poison. Luckily, Iris is a quick study, and this is a game she is determined to win.

She would take it all.

*Crown & Serpent is a Fate of Eyrinthia prequel novella that’s actually the length of a novel. This villain origin story was released after Royal Rebel, but it can be read at any point in the series.*

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

Here it is!  The backstory for King Henri (booooo) and Queen Iris (booooo) who are the most evil, horrible, awful, terrible villains in a series that I absolutely love.  I was equally terrified and excited heading into this story and rightly so.  (Yikes! Haha.)  But how can you turn down a chance at a glimpse into how these two people not only came together but came to reign with such terror and evil?  I couldn't.  Ugh.  It was SO, SO good.

This author does such a good job at weaving this backstory for Henri (booooo) and Iris (booooo) that is so believable.  You can see the events that triggered them and shaped into warped things in their minds.  It's like a train wreck you can't look away from.  And can I just say something here?  Poisons are SCARY!!

I was surprised at a few things and caught off guard with others.  In the end, I was completely satisfied and felt justified with my hatred for Henri (booooo) and Iris (booooo).  I'm not giving away more details because I want you to experience this for yourself.  If you haven't started this series, what are you waiting for?!?!  It's seriously one of my very favorites.  

Content:  peril, violence, death.  Kissing.

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

PAUSE by Taylor Dean


Marin and Blu, a lifetime for two.

Such a cute rhyme for our wedding invitations. Until my wedding day didn’t happen.

I felt sure my life was over and there was nothing left for me except heartache and loneliness. I had a lot to learn. About life, love, and loss.

When I heard Blu took off on our honeymoon trip by himself, I decided to make an escape as well. I needed to pause my life, take time to heal. Breathe. Laugh. Feel the sun on my skin.

Marin and Blu, boo hoo.

I wasn’t expecting to meet Slade Sheridan on the heels of losing the false love of my life. He erased my grief and drew a picture-perfect future of us together. I thought I knew love. Turns out, we’d never even met before. Until now.

Blu who?

But when Blu makes a reappearance, my hasty actions threaten to destroy my new love. I know which man is the one for me. I have a new rhyme planned for my life.

Marin Sheridan.

Slade’s the one for me.


 * Goodreads * Amazon *

After a brief pause in life, author Taylor Dean (one of my favorites) is back on the scene.  I've really missed her writing and her books so excitement levels are high with this new book, releasing on August 25th!  

Do you ever just want a dreamy love story where you get to let out breathy sighs the whole way through because it's just so romantic and sweet?  That's pretty much this book.  I absolutely loved basking in the growing attractions and love of Slade and Marin.  It was, well, dreamy.  All the heart eyes, dreamy.  Because Slade is DREAMY.

I could gush on and on about Slade but honestly, you should just experience him firsthand.  He'll make you smile.  And swoon.  Marin is one lucky girl to find and experience real love, true love, on the heels of something heartbreaking.  Because yeah, there were some moments of sadness, shock and anxiety in this story but mostly, love.  And now I want to go to Venice.  It's always been on my bucket list.

The whole cast of secondary characters are great.  They felt comfortable and familiar the whole way through.  It was easy to settle in with this story and stay there, in that dreamy, comfortable state until the end.  I loved it.  Adored it. 

Speaking of the end, it made me excited for the next book, that must come soon!  Ooh, I'm SO curious about what is coming next.  Blu?  Is that you?

Content:  Kissing

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Voice of the Ancient (The King's Men #1) by Connilyn Cossette

As the eldest son of a Levite and a Philistine, Avidan is torn between his duty to his family legacy and the desire for something more. When Ammonites attack the city of Yavash-Gilead, he takes the opportunity to fight with his cousins for the newly crowned King Saul. But when one of the cousins goes missing during the battle, Avidan stays behind to search for him in hopes that he's still alive.

Keziah is the daughter of one of the most powerful clan chiefs in the territory of Manasseh. On the brink of a forced marriage to a loathsome man decades older than her, she has no choice but to run. Dressed as a boy, she takes her horse and heads for the south, hoping to find sanctuary with her mother's family.

Battling to survive the dangers surrounding them, Avidan and Keziah make a pact to travel together. As Keziah's true origins are revealed and Avidan's search for his cousin becomes increasingly futile, they must not only rely on each other to stay alive but learn to trust the true and eternal King of Israel to guide their every step.

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

My first book by author Connilyn Cossette was A Light on the Hill (Cities of Refuge Series) and I actually listened to that book in my car.  I was so entranced by not only the characters and the story but the way the author made it all come to life for me.  The way historical biblical settings and customs were brought to life just drew me in.  I actually listened to that whole series through audible in my car.  It was fantastic.  Because of that, when I saw this title up on NetGalley for the beginning of a new series, I knew I wanted to read it.

This book is so much like the other series in that the traditions, customs and beliefs of the people of King Saul's reign are brought to life.  It is so interesting to me.  The foundation for this series is being laid down in this book.  The families, the warring factions, the reign of a new king and four boys, on the brink of manhood, wanting to prove themselves.  There is war, danger and a consistent forward momentum that felt exciting.

I loved Avidan and Keziah.  Both are fantastic characters, full of life and love.  Avi had a great arc of development.  He learned some hard lessons but through it really came to know himself and who and what he wanted to be.  I love that he is a storyteller- an audible book for any who will listen.  Keziah has been through so much but she is resilient and brave.  She didn't allow bitterness to override her other emotions and she was open to love when it came in it's many different forms.

What a great start to this series!  I'm so anxious to know how things go for the rest of the cousins.

Content:  peril, violence, kissing.  Christian (old biblical) beliefs and customs.

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Unseen (Guardian #7) by Traci Hunter Abramson

You never know when you’ll be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Manuel never expected to be condemned to life in prison for something as mundane as going to buy milk. When the guardian program offers him a way out, he fakes his death and becomes a ghost, protecting U.S. government operatives in Central and South America.

Laura’s work as a nurse practitioner in San Diego has pushed her to the breaking point. Her visit to Honduras to see her abuela is supposed to be a respite from the pressure. In a split second, however, Laura is captured in a deadly case of mistaken identity. The outlook is dire until a mysterious rescuer appears, launching the pair on a desperate flight to freedom.

Manuel’s skills are pushed to the limit as he races to get Laura out of the country alive. What begins as a connection forged in a shared ordeal quickly deepens, and Manuel and Laura must learn to trust their instincts―and their hearts―if they hope to survive..

I love this series so much and getting my hands on a new addition to it feels a bit like Christmas.  This author really knows how to deliver the growing tension of suspense that keeps me on the edge of my seat throughout the whole book.  There was plenty of action and the story had great forward momentum with a few of those quiet moments interspersed so I had the chance to really get to know the characters better and feel their growing connection.

Manuel was a great protector and defender.  How can you not admire a guy who was dealt a bad hand and makes the very most out of it?  He was so easy to like.  He and Laura worked so well together and I liked the way their friendship and trust grew.

I think you can read these books as standalone's, in any order, but you might be happier if you read them in order.  The references to characters from other books will have more meaning.

Content:  peril, violence.  Death.  Kissing.

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Countdown (Extreme Measures #4) Lynette Eason


A stalker who wants to finish what he started. A US Marshal who's vowed to protect his charge. And one woman who is determined to put the past to in the past.

Flight paramedic Raina Price has been running so long it's hard to stop. To escape a dangerous stalker, she changed her name and disappeared, building a new life with the help of a friend from her time in juvie. It feels good to put her energies into saving people's lives, but because her stalker was never found, she's never stopped looking over her shoulder. And one can only run so far before the past finally catches up.

US Marshal Vincent Corelli's job is to hunt down fugitives and protect those who are assigned to him. When Raina is almost killed right in front of him, he vows to protect her at all costs--whether it's his job or not. Together they work to solve the mystery of Raina's past. But someone is out to make sure Raina doesn't live long enough to do it.

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

Wow, I really love fast paced, heart racing suspense stories and this author does them so well.  This whole series has been so good.  I've read every single one.  As the story ramps up, so does my reading rate.  Faster and faster until I have to force myself to slow down and enjoy the story instead of being caught up in the intensity that keeps propelling me forward.  That's when you know it's good stuff.

The romance is really on the lighter side in this story.  It's in it's beginning stages and definitely not the focus of the story but I really enjoyed Raina and Vince.  They are pretty chill people despite the crazy things that are happening.  They mostly keep level heads, think things through and remained focused on the most important things.  It was easy to like them.  I loved Vince's desire to support, protect and stand by Raina through it all.

If you love romantic suspense, you should give this series a try.  It's so good!

Content:  peril, mild violence. Some Christian elements (talk of believing in God, praying). Adoption. PG kissing.

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.