#BookTour “Enchanted: Volumes 1 & 2” Love Africa Press Collections

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ENCHANTED VOLUMES 1 & 2

A LOVE AFRICA PRESS COLLECTION

Be enchanted. These handpicked tales of African deities and daemons, shamans and shape-shifters will keep you spellbound page after page.

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FEATURED STORIES

BOND CALL

by Emem Bassey

Sese vehemently rejects the mating heat to a non-warrior like Urua. 

Suddenly, imbued with powers of a diviner, he stands as the only hope and defender of Abedeng people. Will Urua relinquish his hurt to save his mate? Will he submit to the bond call and take her back despite her betrayal?

NIGHT MOVES

by Lauri Kubuitsile

Things are happening in Lesedi’s life, unexplained things. Did her bi-friend Mmapula sneak into the hotel room and finally succeed in her long-threatened plan to make love to Lesedi? Or was it all a dream, a beautiful, sexy dream?  When it happens again, though, Lesedi is sure she’s being visited by a supernatural being that has some insane skills in lovemaking. But is there something sinister going on? 

RETURN TO LAGOS

by Michele Sims

From the looks of her, Winnie seems to have it all: fame, wealth, beauty, friends and a dashing and successful fiancé. It’s what is lying beneath the surface that drives Winnie’s life and career: the devastating loss of her family, the increasing demands of her career and the fact that she has to reveal all of this to her future husband, who also harbors a secret of his own. 

SHE CALLED HIM GOD

by Obinna Obioma

Snatched of a father’s love at such a tender stage in life, Asari feels the betrayal of the gods. He leads a loveless, rigid and faithless life; until he unwittingly walks into the Sacred Circle of the same gods he holds in disdain and incurs their wrath.

Assuming the mortal form, Altheme sets out to make Asari fall in love. But the terrestrial realm is riddled with unforeseen challenges. Can love truly conquer all?

AVAILABLE TO BUY NOW

FOR A LIMITED TIME: Get a FREE book when you buy a copy of Enchanted: Volume One (Free ebook, Enemy Call, by Emem Bassey) Email info@loveafricapress.com with copy of receipt.

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FEATURED STORIES

DAEMON TRAPPED

by Bambo Deen

When long-suffering daemon Leonidas is trapped in Besidas’ hotel, she is drawn into a world of curious and strange creatures. Stranded after a cruel attempt on his life, Leon has spent decades trying and failing to return home. Besi evokes emotions within him that he did not think were possible for his kind and for the first time he’s enjoying Earth. But can Leon protect Besi when a dangerous entity from Leon’s past comes for revenge?

FINDING LOVE IN BETRAYAL

by Fiske Nyirongo

A love story full of hope and seeing beyond differences. 

Mbawemi is an heir to the throne in a kingdom of witches, wolves and hybrids. Hybrids are considered the lowest form of creature in the kingdom. In enters Sangwani, a hybrid king who is anything but what Sangwani thinks of hybrids. Can their love build bridges? 

DREAM SEDUCTOR

by Karo Oforofuo

Ajiri runs away from the river kingdom to avoid an arranged marriage and settles in the human world. But her relationship and sex life is lacking until she finds herself torn between two men. Will she give in to the suggestive stares from the handsome human, or cling to the blue man who haunts her dreams and unleashes erotic desires that make her yearn for more?

HAUNTED

by Kiru Taye

In life, he loved her. In death, he craved her.

Somma is heartbroken when husband David is killed in a tragic accident. After a year she is struggling to move on, especially since she swears he haunts her dreams and does sexy stuff to her every night. When friends convince her to perform an exorcism, things take a turn she doesn’t expect. 

AVAILABLE TO BUY NOW

FOR A LIMITED TIME: Get a FREE book when you buy a copy of Enchanted: Volume Two (Free ebook Homecoming by Kiru Taye) Email info@loveafricapress.com with copy of receipt.

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EXCERPT

CHAPTER ONE

BOND CALL

by EMEM BASSEY

“You’ve been following me all day, Urua.”

The tall, lanky man had grinned at her. “This isn’t strange, my friend. I’ve been following you since we were children, you just haven’t noticed.”

Sese had bristled, hating the burning urge in the pit of her stomach to hold him and smooth away his worries. “The sun has long since set, please go!”

Guilt had chewed her intestines when she’d seen the forlorn expression on his face. The urge to care had raged like a furnace within her, but she’d bitten her tongue, drawing blood in the process, to control it. He’d sighed heavily and turned onto the path leading to his home.

She sighed as she lay on her pallet, staring at the raffia roof of her hut. She should’ve been sleeping, but worry tarried in her heart. Urua had become insistent in the past seven days, the exact time the dreams had begun.

She wondered if he had dreams too, then shook her head. If Urua had the dreams she was having, he’d be more bothersome. It was as though a rope joined them now; she would leave home without informing her father of her whereabouts, yet, Urua would find her wherever she thought to hide.

Sese was afraid of what was happening. She didn’t want it—at least, not with him; what would Abedeng people say?

For many nights, she’d lain like this, afraid of sleep because he’d be waiting in her dreams to embrace her. She was weak in dream land, and the more she gave in to him there, the stronger the bond pulling them together became. She wasn’t sure Urua knew what he was doing, and she hoped it remained that way until the diviner hitched her with a worthy warrior in a fortnight.

In that time, she would avoid him as much as she could.

***

“Urua, you’re trying my patience.”

He reared back at her comment as though entirely shocked by it, even though she said the exact same thing every day, with the exact same expression—or lack of expression in her case.

“You called my name!” he enthused in suppressed excitement.

This caused her to groan in exasperation and resume her clipped pace on the narrow beaten path leading to the deserted area where the diviner dwelled in his tiny hut.

He rushed after her.

“I think me trying your patience is a good thing,” he expressed conversationally.

“How is that?” Sese asked before she could tighten her mouth and remain unresponsive as usual.

Urua grinned at her angry look because he knew she hated responding to him, especially after having ignored him for a better part of their lives.

“Well, you should be nicer to me. The gods might just hitch us tonight,” he proclaimed.

Sese stumbled, missing a step despite the dark path being slightly lit by a lone torch one of the maidens must have considerately left, tied to a low branch. She could walk these paths without light, so it wasn’t that she hit her feet. No, Urua’s words had shocked her down to her core.

They had caused a visceral reaction which she was taking as panic, and it had weakened her knees for a moment, causing her to stumble.

“See well, my heart!” he exclaimed, reaching out to steady her.

That same primeval reaction, this time shooting through her body as though she had been lanced by lightning, unearthed strange warmth from the pit of her stomach.

No, it couldn’t be.

She’d been fighting this for days. Did it mean the ntung leaf—rumoured to break unwanted bonds—she’d squeezed into her eyes and nose hadn’t worked after the fiery hurt she’d endured?

No, it had to be the boiled palm juice she’d imbibed at her grandfather’s hut. It wasn’t Urua’s words, either—everybody was used to him saying outrageous things like that to her, and they were used to her always ignoring him.

In their little settlement south of the great Niger river, females had always been more plentiful than males, and so, it was required that every twelve moons, the diviner would seek the face of the gods and hitch a woman to a man with the hope that they might mate and birth, at least, one male.

During her father’s birthing period, a lot of males had been born, but their numbers still couldn’t compare with that of the females. So, some of the females of her age would be hitched tonight to males that already had one or two women who had birthed males and were presently suckling them at their breasts.

It was believed that a male able to mate with two females, causing them to birth males, deserved a third female to carry his strong seed, though this practice only began because there were just not enough males in Abedeng.

The females were tender and nurturers while the males became warriors. But the strangest thing had happened—Urua had been birthed a male but had the lack of strength of a female, while Sese had been birthed a female but was as strong as the fiercest Abedeng warrior; a sacrilege.

The villagers began shrugging their shoulders at them as many twelve moons added to their age. Urua was older than her with three twelve moons, but he acted like a child, which was how females behaved, while she acted like a male.

Her mother had died on her eighth twelve moons while trying to birth another child. So, her father had been confused as to how to care for a female child with male abilities. The other children had refused to play with her—they had accepted Urua but rejected her. They told their mothers she didn’t know how to play, since her touch was too strong; they said she would never birth a child.

The diviner had called a gathering and explained to the village that her strength wasn’t strange since the gods had prophesied about females with male strengths in the past. He’d also explained that every male must not be warriors and that Urua had the divining gift, the reason why he didn’t have the male strength.

Males in Abedeng were known to be extremely tall with big, burly bodies bulging with strength. Urua was tall, but his body never developed with strength no matter how many times he joined in the ceremony of lifting stones which the males did every morning to increase their bulk.

Her father had allowed her to join him in the ceremony every morning when she had reached her ninth twelve moons and had taught her how to fight like a warrior; it was the only thing he knew to teach her, since the other females wouldn’t come near her strangeness enough to teach her female ways.

So, she had grown up a warrior. Her father had stopped her from the ceremony of lifting stones before she reached her twelfth twelve moons as her body had begun looking more like a male with rippling strength. He had worried that if she continued, no male would want to mate with her. But he had continued teaching her the warrior fights.

Sese had been avoided like a leper by males and females, well, except for her father and of course, the person she most wanted to avoid, Urua. In her fifteenth twelve moons, she had bested the third warrior in an unplanned fight. The third warrior had been disgracing Urua in front of their age group, abusing him for lacking strength like a female; his words and tone had angered her.

She had challenged him, and he had accepted. It had taken only three fight claps from the gathering to throw him on his back. She had learned well from her father who was the second warrior in his own age group.

The third warrior’s father had been incensed and had demanded that Sese be punished for disgracing a warrior three twelve moons older than her. Culture demanded that she forfeit any fights with her elders. But she couldn’t have—she had been filled with so much fury when she had seen the redness in Urua’s eyes, redness caused by the third warrior putting sand there.

She had been punished with seven days of pulling weed around the third warrior’s hut. It was a painful process to pull weed, since these had sharp edges that pierced the skin. She had not been allowed to use a tool, so she had pulled with her bare hands, bleeding the whole seven days.

The third warrior had hung around for three days, waiting for the humiliation of Sese sobbing for forgiveness, but that had never happened. On the fifth day, he had gone to his warrior group, a group Urua wasn’t a part of because of his weakness, and told them she was a witch, an abomination that the gods would never allow to birth a child.

People had started avoiding her more, but Urua had stuck to her like the gum from the mango tree. Despite her several rejections of him, he remained by her side every time he could. And then, every time he wasn’t supposed to.

He had taken to joining her father when he practiced the ceremony of lifting stones at the crack of dawn. It had taken her ten days to realize that in doing that, he bore the humiliation of not being able to lift the bigger stones; he bore her father’s mockery of his weakness just because he wanted to watch her learn the warrior fights from her father.

It annoyed her to no end that he wouldn’t just leave her alone. She was fine with the rejection of the village, though she worried she might never mate with a male since all the warriors, even of her age group, refused to mate with her. No one wanted a witch; no one cared for an abomination—everyone mated to birth children, and there was a possibility she might not be able to.

She should have been mated two twelve moons ago, but no warrior wanted her. Even the old warriors of her father’s age group shook their heads when she was pointed at in the mating line. And then the dreams had begun, and Urua had become even more clinging.

But tonight, the diviner had called a special gathering to hitch the next age group. Sese was going with the hope that a younger warrior might choose her, or the gods might force her on an unsuspecting one. She really needed to mate. She needed to feel like a woman, and only a warrior would make her feel that way by mating.

She was afraid she might not birth a child, but she wanted to experience the heat of mating that her mother had always spoken to her about before her death. She wanted to feel that heat with a warrior, not Urua.

“The gods wouldn’t be so cruel,” she spoke after snatching her arm away from his helping hands. Sese looked into the darkness as though she were facing the immortal ancestors believed to dwell beyond the brightness of burning torches. “The gods wouldn’t be so cruel to hitch me with you.”

Urua grabbed his chest as though he had just been lanced by a spear. For a moment, she thought he had been attacked from behind by an enemy, but then, he looked up with his smile, the one that created two deep indents in his cheeks; the one that made him almost as beautiful as the fairest maiden in Abedeng.

“You pierce my heart, sweet Sese,” he murmured.

When had his voice deepened to that gruffness that seemed to vibrate in her chest when he spoke? Even her father, second warrior of his age group and revered chieftain, didn’t have such deepness in his tone.

Sese took a step back. She wasn’t afraid of Urua—she could beat him in an unplanned fight, but she worried about the things she was noticing in him. Like the broadness of his chest, though it wasn’t as broad as the usual Abedeng warrior, but strangely, she liked it.

She took another step back; she shouldn’t like it. Urua was an apprentice to the diviner. He would never be hitched, since the present diviner wasn’t.

This shouldn’t be happening, she thought in panic. She’d taken the rumoured antidote; she couldn’t be experiencing the heat of mating her mother had explained towards Urua.

No, she silently screamed. It was a mistake. Mother had said that the mating heat was rare, and it only happened between two special people after so many uncountable twelve moons. The mating heat entailed a man and woman feeling undeniably drawn to each other without the selection of the diviner. Mother had explained it as sometimes being shameful, as the mates couldn’t stay away from each other.

She hadn’t felt the heat for any other warriors, no matter how many times her father had asked her; no matter how many times she’d tried by surreptitiously brushing her body against males when at gatherings—an act her mother had said triggered the heat. She had never felt it, though it didn’t mean she wanted to feel it with Urua.

But a touch from him, just one helping hand, and heat had unfurled in her stomach like a coiled snake angrily rousing from slumber. That’s what she’d been avoiding the past fortnight, and it was happening now, just when she was close to, hopefully, being hitched by the diviner?

Sese shook her head, refusing the possibility. She straightened her height; a foot shorter than Urua, she noticed. Her heart instantly jumped in elation, but she stomped it down and widened the distance between them.

“You look strange, my heart. What is it?” he asked with concern.

Why wouldn’t he stop calling her his heart? The look on his beautiful face surged the heaviest warmth from her stomach, pushing at the walls of her chest to burst free.

She tightened her hand on her staff and silently fought to hold up the walls of her chest. Sese realized that distancing herself from him reduced the force of the heat. She took three more steps from him, not minding that Urua looked at her strangely.

Silently, she prayed he not feel the heat or the connection. The farther she was from him, the better chance of ending this night wrapped around a worthy warrior who would surely give her a male child.

“Sese?”

Even his voice was alluring. She could feel the warmth pooling and tingling in between her thighs. Oh, gods, it was exactly as her mother had said it would be. She had said she would know instantly who her fated mate was, but she didn’t want to know it was Urua. She would never be normal if she mated with Urua. The village would avoid them and any children they birthed … if they birthed children.

They were the only abominations in Abedeng, and she knew they would only birth strange children if they mated. If she accepted the bond call, she would be stuck with Urua all her life, dependent on him, unable to be without him.

And if a mate died, Mother had explained that the unbearable pain usually made the living mate take his or her life. Sese didn’t appreciate the unbreakable link that came with being fated mates tied by an unseen bond. She rather preferred being physically paired with a warrior she wouldn’t be dependent on; with a warrior stronger and more ripped than her who would make her feel feminine, a warrior for whom she wouldn’t have the urge to kill herself if he died.

All that was lost as thoughts of mating with Urua became insistent, making her thighs tighten to stop the recent incessant tingling.

“By the gods, you’re sweating,” Urua noticed, his voice filled with confused concern as he hurried towards her, intending to grant help, which would mean touching her.

Sese shook her head and bolted down the path as though chased by the eleventh enemy of the gods.


GIVEAWAY

The hunt is on…

From now until 31st October, join in the #LAPEnchanted Scavenger Hunt and solve the crossword puzzle for your chance to win 2x $25 or ₦10000 cash prize.

Details: https://www.loveafricapress.com/quiz


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#CoverReveal “Round of Applause” by Marilyn Barr


Strawberry Shifters Book 2: Round of Applause

Paranormal Romance

Date Published: 11/2020

Aurora Turner embarks on a post-graduate adventure to find her forever family only to be captured by the Sluagh, soul-sucking Fae exiles. While she is grateful to be rescued by the Strawberry shifters, her Prince Not-So-Charming is a little hasty when he starts picking out their wedding china.

Destiny gives James Martin a second chance at love. Aurora may prove to be more of a hazard to herself than the Sluagh ever were. He has the daunting task of keeping her away from sharp objects, and from ogling his best friend, Nate.

Nate Wagner is shocked when Aurora passes the prophesized shifter smell test identifying her as his mate. The beta male competes against the mature courtship skills of James with his own modern twist.

However, will his devotion to James keep her out of his arms or will they create their perfect family—one they never dreamed of?

            


About the Author

Marilyn Barr currently resides in the wilds of Kentucky with her husband, son, and rescue cats. When engaging with the real world, she is collecting characters, empty coffee cups, and unused homeschool curricula.  Join her mailing list at http://www.marilynbarr.com/contact/ to receive her monthly newsletter, the Strawberry Rumor Mill, to hear the latest news from Strawberry KY, USA.


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RABT Book Tours & PR

#AuthorSpotlight “Meet Penny Hampson, author of The Unquiet Spirit”

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Thanks for stopping by Nesie’s Place today! Author Penny Hampson is here to share a little bit about herself and her latest release, The Unquiet Spirit.

Welcome, Penny! What inspired The Unquiet Spirit?

I was also keen to introduce elements of real life that are sometimes overlooked or ignored — issues that I feel strongly about that don’t easily fit in a historical novel. One of the characters in The Unquiet Spirit suffers from a chronic illness, and I wanted to show how that can impact the whole family, something I have personal experience of as a carer.

Do you have a favorite character in the story?

No, I quite like all my characters, even the ones who are a bit naughty. I think that, as a writer, one has to feel something for the characters one creates, even the villains, in order to make them believable.

What is your work schedule like when writing a book?

My work schedule can be erratic whether I’m writing a book or not. I try to write most days but it is not always possible. As soon as I finish one book, or at least the first draft, I start the next one, it’s a continuous process. I find it’s good to leave a gap of time between completing a first draft and then going back to it to correct and rewrite. 

When did you write your first book?

coverI started writing my first book, A Gentleman’s Promise, about four years ago. I was working full-time then, so I was only able to write at weekends. I came to writing quite late in life, so I feel like I’m catching up. The downside is that I don’t have the same amount of time to devote to reading because I no longer have lengthy commutes.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

I’ve written four books in total. The Unquiet Spirit is my third book and my first contemporary novel. My fourth book, an historical novel called A Bachelor’s Pledge will be released next month. I don’t have a favourite book, I enjoyed writing them all, though they each had their difficulties. The Unquiet Spirit was in some ways easier to write because it’s set in the present day, so there were no tricky historical issues to deal with.

Are you self-published, traditional, or hybrid?

I’m a hybrid author. My historical novels are all self-published, but The Unquiet Spirit is published by Darkstroke. It’s good having total control over one’s stories and how they look, but the costs of professional editing, proofing and covers are significant. These are costs which I considered to be essential before releasing my books. However, I’m happy to say that my experience with Darkstroke has been excellent.

Do you write full time, or do you also work outside the home?

I gave up full time work a few years ago to care for a chronically ill member of the family. While this restricts my writing time, I now have considerably more time to write than I did before.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

A lot of my time is taken up with the usual household tasks like cooking and cleaning, but in my downtime I enjoy going for walks, swimming, reading, and visiting family and friends. Of course, this year has been rather different for everybody, thanks to Covid, so trips away and socialising have been off-limits. I still manage to fit in a daily walk, and now lockdown here has relaxed I’ve been able to get a bit further afield — doing the same circuit round my town everyday for several months was beginning to send me crazy!

Coffee or tea?

I drink both, but only decaffeinated. The husband is a budding barista who is working on his latte art, so I enjoy a wonderful decaffeinated flat white every day.

Do you have pets who “help” or inspire you?

I can’t have pets I’m afraid, because of the ill-health of a member of my family. If I could, I’d probably have a dog – one like Sal, who appears in The Unquiet Spirit.

Where’s Oxfordshire located? What’s one interesting thing about it?

Oxfordshire is a county just north-west of London. It’s quite a rural county, which is lovely for me, because it means that the countryside is on my doorstep. Being city born and bred, it’s still a novelty for me to see green fields and open vistas every day. Oxford, the county town of Oxfordshire has two universities, one of them, established in the 12th century, is the oldest university in the English speaking world.

Totally addicted to social media or could you live without it?

I have a Twitter account and I’m on Facebook, so I suppose you could say I’m addicted. I spend some time on both everyday.

What’s your next project?

My next book is already written. A Bachelor’s Pledge, an historical mystery/romance set in 1810 will be released on 7th October. It tells the story of government agent, Phil Cullen and Sophia Turner, the young lady he rescues from a notorious brothel. Both become embroiled in a plot to unmask a ruthless French spy and prevent a hidden cache of gold reaching French shores. Expect lots of adventure and action. Like The Unquiet Spirit, it too is mainly set in Falmouth and Bath, making my research trips to these places doubly useful! 

Beyond that, I have more contemporary paranormal mysteries to come. I’ve plans for Freddie, a minor character from The Unquiet Spirit, to have his own encounter with the supernatural, and I’m also working on a short story about witches set in Glasgow.

Please share an excerpt (extract) with us from one of your favorite scenes.

This scene occurs on Kate’s first morning in Falmouth. She’s in a coffee shop where she’s had an abrupt encounter with a guy who couldn’t get away fast enough and his dog Sal who contrarily had wanted to stay. After the guy and his dog had departed the waitress is eager to chat.

“Think you made a bit of an impression there.” Kate jumped at the waitress’s voice. The woman placed a fresh cup of coffee on the table.

“Sorry?” Kate guessed she meant the dog. The guy had wanted nothing to do with her. Hadn’t even given his name.

“On Tom…and Sal, of course. Lovely dog, but very shy; doesn’t like strangers. Bit like Tom, really. Sal usually sits good as gold outside the door while he gets his coffee. It’s his parents’ dog, but he brings it for a walk first thing. Nice bloke.” The woman started to clear the table of Kate’s now empty plate and used mug.

“Really?” Kate was unconvinced. He was brusque and overbearing in her opinion.

The woman nodded and put the dishes back down. She was in no hurry to work. “Yeah. Known Tom for years. We were at primary school together. He went on to the grammar and then university. He was working in London, then out of the blue he came back.” The waitress gave a sigh. “S’spect he’d made enough money. Keeps himself to himself. No girlfriend as far as I know – and that’s not for want of trying by some of the local girls.” She giggled and leaned forward conspiratorially. “Most he does is one date and that’s it.” She smirked. “Yeah, there’s a few disappointed ladies in Falmouth, I can tell you.”

“Hmm?” was Kate’s response to this flood of unwanted information. Why would anyone think a guy so rude was a catch? Though she had to admit, he was easy on the eye when he wasn’t scowling.

The waitress leaned her hip against the table. It seemed she had time on her hands and wasn’t ready to finish the conversation. “You on holiday then?”

“No, I’m here for a while. It might be permanent, not sure yet.”

###

Oh, I love chatty waitresses, Penny! They know everything about everyone! LOL! Looking forward to reading more about Kate, Tom, and Kate’s house! Many thanks for spending time on the blog with me!

Thank you, Felicia for choosing me and my book, The Unquiet Spirit, to feature on your blog. I’ve enjoyed answering your questions.

Keep scrolling to read more about, and get your copy of The Unquiet Spirit. It can also be read through Kindle Unlimited!


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Synopsis

A new beginning. A house with a past. A man with secrets.

It was a dream come true…that turned into a nightmare.

Kate Wilson thinks moving back to Cornwall might be the answer to her prayers. But it isn’t long before she begins to have doubts. Is the house she inherited from her godmother haunted? Or is she going out of her mind? With a stalker, threats, and attempted break-ins, Kate’s troubles multiply.

Then there’s her enigmatic neighbour, the brooding Tom Carbis; a man with secrets he doesn’t wish to share. Can she trust him when he says he wants to help?

In her quest to unravel the mysteries surrounding her, will Kate uncover more than she bargains for?

Set in beautiful Cornwall, The Unquiet Spirit is a gripping suspense with paranormal and romantic elements. Fans of Barbara Erskine will enjoy this tale.

Purchase Links

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Author Bio

Penny Hampson

Some time ago Penny Hampson decided to follow her passion for history by studying with the Open University. She graduated with honours and went on to complete a post-graduate degree.

Penny then landed her dream role, working in an environment where she was surrounded by rare books and historical manuscripts. Flash forward nineteen years, and the opportunity came along to indulge her other main passion – writing. Penny joined the New Writers’ Scheme of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and  three years later published her debut novel, A Gentleman’s Promise, a  historical mystery/romance. Other books in the same genre soon followed.

But never happy in a rut, Penny also writes contemporary suspense with paranormal and romantic elements. Her first book in this genre is The Unquiet Spirit, published by Darkstroke.

Penny lives with her family in Oxfordshire, and when she is not writing, she enjoys reading, walking, swimming, and the odd gin and tonic (not all at the same time).

For more on Penny’s writing, visit her blog: https://pennyhampson.co.uk/blog/

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#BookSale “The Impossible Julian Strande: Complete Box Set” by Kathryn Ann Kingsley

Regularly 3.99 each, this 2-book set is 99c thru September 6th!

Grab this set if you’re a fan of Paranormal Romance!

I reviewed both books in June – scroll down to read my 5-star reviews!  🙂

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boxset cover

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Read the complete series together, with all the deleted content included! A sinister illusionist wants Alice… and he won’t take no for an answer. Alice’s life has always been ordinary. But when her new job comes complete with strange noises, creepy legends, a sexy amateur magician, and an enticingly wicked ghost, all that changes. Of course, Alice doesn’t actually believe in ghosts, but what she encounters at the Strande Mansion has her questioning a lot of things—including whether or not her gorgeous new boss is as skilled in the bedroom as he is at illusions. Julian Strande may have died a century ago, but that doesn’t stop him from taking a keen interest in the new caretaker of his estate. It’s been such a long time since he’s had anyone to play with. And he plans to have a great deal of fun with Alice. That is, if he doesn’t decide to kill her first…

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Author’s Note: This book is what I would call “villain romance.” This story is for anyone who always finds the villain more interesting than the hero. That said, they are therefore sometimes not the nicest of male heroes. This story has a HEA, but it may be a tough ride getting there. This story has mature themes and content.

BUY LINKS

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Review of Book 1 from June 19, 2020

Ghosts are real.

At least that’s what Alice Monroe believes long before the end of this read.

But then, I believe it too!

The introverted gamer and geek-girl is happy with her new position as live-in caretaker for the Strande Estate. Once home to illusionist, Julian Strande, the four-story mansion is now a public attraction featuring tours and magic shows.

Alice isn’t put off by the rumors of people disappearing, unexplained accidents, or of the mansion being haunted by Strande himself, but when things not only go bump in the night, they talk… and touch, her fear is outweighed by curiosity and excitement. Julian Strande is haunting his home and he’s a little creepy and a lot pervy. The things he does to her shouldn’t be possible, and… she shouldn’t enjoy it.

However, as she grows closer to the mansion’s current owner, Charles Mensonge, Alice is conflicted. Julian will not be denied, but she’s falling in love with Charles, the arrogant, controlling magician’s great-grandnephew… and the spitting image of him.

When Alice confesses her love for Charles to his uncle, things settle down, but not for long. The mansion, its mazes, and Julian’s mysterious disappearance one hundred years ago become obsessions for her and the pragmatic puzzle-solver doesn’t realize her search takes her closer to Julian and his plans for their future.

Great read that pulled me in from the beginning. The author’s attention to detail made the Strande Mansion a formidable character that had me doodling on a scratch to see the things described.

Alice and Charles are weird… but in a good way. She smoothes his sharp edges and he pulls the withdrawn loner from her comfort zone. They’re a cute couple and have good chemistry even though I knew despite his candid, abrupt personality, Charles wasn’t telling Alice everything.

And then there’s Julian, a one-hundred-fifty-year-old, self-centered ghost with an attitude. Being dead doesn’t stop him from lording over the mansion, dispensing his brand of punishment when people annoy him, much like the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera. The author calls this read villain romance and she nailed it as Julian veers off into psycho-land, flipping between a caring, attentive lover and a harsh dominant. A sleeping Alice doesn’t hear the secret he whispers in her ear, but she’s sharp and will figure it out. Right?

You won’t have to suspend belief for this paranormal tale. Julian Strande will convince you it’s real and not an illusion. Trust me.

Enjoy!

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Review of Book 2 – June 24, 2020

Book 2 of The Impossible Julian Strande picks up right where book 1 left off, so I’ll do the same with my review.

Julian is nuts!

There. It had to be said. But he is so freakin’ adorable at times, I’ll forgive him anything. Almost.

Though Julian comes out of hiding, Alice is still in the dark as she works to solve his puzzle. Enraged when his sexual advances return, she threatens to leave the estate for good, and Julian does the unthinkable. He kidnaps Charles.

Knowing the demented magician has killed before, Alice races against the clock to find his corpse, hoping Charles is still alive. When she learns the truth, Alice’s reaction is explosive but led by her heart, an easy but short-lived peace wins out. When I looked down and saw I was ONLY a third of the way through the book, I knew this would not end well.

Peace and trust are shattered when Julian confesses the truth about Billy. Devastated, Alice tries to leave the estate and learns the true depths of Julian’s depravity. It still creeps me out!

Suspense amps up as Julian rushes to complete his ultimate goal for Alice. But Alice Monroe is having none of it!

The nerdy geek-girl is smarter than she believes and possesses strength she didn’t know was inside her. I was cheering as she worked to beat Julian at his own game. She wrestles with her heart and conscience, but fear is her motivator to win before her captor reaches the point of no return.

Julian is even more Phantom-like in book 2 as he straddles a fine line between true love and madness. Like the Phantom, Julian’s treatment in his early childhood shaped his life and it followed him into the afterlife.

I was ready for a bittersweet ending, but that would have been too easy. The author drops a plot twist I didn’t see coming, but… it made sense and made me smile because the heart wants what the heart wants.

I highly recommend this read, but please read book 1 first! Reading Ghosts & Liars without reading Illusions of Grandeur first would be like eating a hamburger bun without the patty. You might get full, but you’ll know you’re missing something!

Enjoy!

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#BookBlitz “Magic Once Removed” by James Kirst

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Paranormal Suspense

Published: June 2020

Publisher: World Castle Publishing

 

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Down on his luck former police detective turned private investigator Peter Cunningham thought the beautiful Abigail Mitchell was just another crazy client. Now he’s entangled in an ancient conspiracy that dates back to the Salem Witch Trials, a far cry from the simple assault case the woman wanted him to solve.

His budding romance with the witch Abigail will have to be put aside as he travels the Pacific Northwest with estranged friend and former partner Kelly Martinez to discover who these people are and their goals.

A coin, a five-year-old case, the Malleus Maleficarum, televangelist and motivational speaker Tony O’Stein, Pope Innocent VIII, and a secret society all tie back to a tragedy from Peter’s childhood and he will need to figure out what it all means and a solution.

Though many witches live amongst us, they are also part of a secret society but their clandestine organization seems to have been discovered which has led to a new wave of persecution. Internal tensions were already high and the attacks have only exasperated the issues. Peter must expose the members of the conspiracy and thwart their nefarious plans before an even bigger tragedy strikes.

Purchase Links

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IndieBound

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About the Author

James Kirst lives in the Evergreen State in a humble little abode within the forested city of Dupont. There, he earned his Master’s Degree at the University of Washington. Commuting up north to Tacoma, he has worked as a senior programmer and software development lead for almost ten years.

With a borderline obsessive interest in the paranormal, James has conducted an intensive study on the subject. To that end, he has visited some of the most haunted places in the United States including Salem, the LaLaurie Mansion of New Orleans, and his personal favorite, the Shanghai Tunnels of Portland, Oregon.

As an avid fan of mystery both in fiction and in real life, he has done extensive research into police procedurals, the machinations of detective work, and life as a private investigator.

A big sports fan, James is sure to either be watching or participating in one when not writing about or educating himself in one of the aforementioned subjects. In fact, he has won multiple championships in bowling and slow-pitch softball and has made several appearances as a softball All-Star where he was given the privilege of playing in Cheney Stadium. He is still seeking that elusive kickball title, however.

 

Contact Links

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#BookReview “Once Upon A Princess: Land of Dreams (A Paranormal Fairy Tale)” by Deborah A. Bailey

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When we last saw Willem, the (pervy) gargoyle in Heart of Stone,  he died.

Okay, kinda, sorta. But I won’t go into detail—you must read that story for yourself!

Willem awakens on a muddy riverbank with no memory of past or present. He’s greeted by a water goddess, Lady Maris, who tells him because of his sacrifice to free her son, Eduardo, he has been granted a chance at a life and love of his own… after he fulfills his destiny. Think Pinocchio “You’re a real boy!” Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Lady Agnes appears again. In Beauty and the Faun, she was Kayla’s godmother. Turns out, she’s a real fairy godmother and it’s her job to train Willem in the ways of magic and spells. He goes along with the plan, though he’s still confused and convinced he’s not being told all the facts.

Though he appears as a human now, Lady Agnes gifts him with a pendant that makes him a gargoyle shifter with the ability to transform at will.

And he does. To clear his head and jog his memory, Willem spreads his massive wings, takes flight, and visits the other side of the world. And he’s devastated as his memories return. All the treachery and betrayal; pain and loss, and knowledge of what he can never have.

My heart broke for poor Willem! He did the right thing for the right reason and paid a steep price. Now all he wants to do is run away and forget, but Ladies Agnes and Maris insist he is the only one who can fight the coming evil. Lord Montrose implores him to save his daughter’s life.

This quick, feel-good read made me smile because even with all the swords and sorcery, and magic and spells, Willem will learn to defeat the evil of dark magic and gain his own identity, the source of his greatest power will be love.

How cool is that?

Was good to see and hear mention of characters from the Once Upon a Princess Duet, and to see everyone so happy.

This is such a different ending from what I imagined for Willem in Heart of Stone. It’s better because he’s alive and in love. And yeah, he’s still a little pervy, but gotta love him, right?

Enjoy!

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Formula for Fairy Tale Love: 1 adventurous Heroine + 1 tortured-but-noble Hero = Happily-Ever-After.

In the rich and fertile land called Montrose, humans and creatures of magic exist together in a complex web of harmony…and deceit.cover

A Sequel to Once Upon A Princess: Heart of Stone  
Willem was created of magic and trapped in the Land of Dreams by a curse in which he shared his gargoyle form with Eduardo. When Eduardo freed himself from the evil spell his jealous half-brother Erokan cast on him, Willem survived and was given a new life by the faeries. Haunted by the duality of his previous existence as well as the woman he and Eduardo both fell in love with while hexed, Willem, now a gargoyle shifter, meets the daughter of Lord Montrose. Compassionate, graceful and adamant about marrying for love and not riches, Cicely is far more wondrous than her outside beauty suggests. Suddenly, everything he’s ever wanted is within his grasp. But he isn’t the only man who longs to capture her.

Aware that Cicely descends from the royal line and was hidden away as a child to keep her magical ability a secret, a mysterious stranger intends to bend the powerful fire elemental to his will. To succeed, he has only to dominate Willem, still anguished by the curse that trapped him…and easily beguiled by a fair princess.

Cicely knows she possesses magical ability, but her origins are a mystery even to her. She loves her family and her land. Falling in love with the courageous, self-sacrificing Willem may be the key to awakening…or unleashing…something formidable buried deep inside her.

Books2Read: https://books2read.com/u/bzvjgL

Amazon U.S. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07WKL6JDQ

Amazon global store links: mybook.to/LandofDreams

Goodreads

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#Featured “Once Upon A Princess: Land of Dreams (A Paranormal Fairy Tale)” by Deborah A. Bailey

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Formula for Fairy Tale Love: 1 adventurous Heroine + 1 tortured-but-noble Hero = Happily-Ever-After.

In the rich and fertile land called Montrose, humans and creatures of magic exist together in a complex web of harmony…and deceit.

A Sequel to Once Upon A Princess: Heart of Stone  
Willem was created of magic and trapped in the Land of Dreams by a curse in which he shared his gargoyle form with Eduardo. When Eduardo freed himself from the evil spell his jealous half-brother Erokan cast on him, Willem survived and was given a new life by the faeries. Haunted by the duality of his previous existence as well as the woman he and Eduardo both fell in love with while hexed, Willem, now a gargoyle shifter, meets the daughter of Lord Montrose. Compassionate, graceful and adamant about marrying for love and not riches, Cicely is far more wondrous than her outside beauty suggests. Suddenly, everything he’s ever wanted is within his grasp. But he isn’t the only man who longs to capture her.

Aware that Cicely descends from the royal line and was hidden away as a child to keep her magical ability a secret, a mysterious stranger intends to bend the powerful fire elemental to his will. To succeed, he has only to dominate Willem, still anguished by the curse that trapped him…and easily beguiled by a fair princess.

Cicely knows she possesses magical ability, but her origins are a mystery even to her. She loves her family and her land. Falling in love with the courageous, self-sacrificing Willem may be the key to awakening…or unleashing…something formidable buried deep inside her.

Books2Read: https://books2read.com/u/bzvjgL

Amazon U.S. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07WKL6JDQ

Amazon global store links: mybook.to/LandofDreams

Goodreads

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#Featured “Family Pride: Love and Challenges” by Deborah A. Bailey

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Business owner Mac Mackennon is a perfect catch: attractive, ambitious and successful. He’s a member of an old, established pride of lion shapeshifters, but determined to live life as a loner. Except that when Zora Mason walks into Mac’s coffee bar one day and applies for the position of assistant manager, he knows without a doubt he’s met the woman of his dreams.

Can she accept life with a shifter-boyfriend?

Zora knows a lot more about Mac (and the other shifters in town) than she’s been letting on. Falling in love with a sexy shifter is more than she bargained for when it comes to dealing with sibling drama, learning the business, and managing an alpha male who’s used to doing things his way. When a challenge to Mac’s Pride threatens to destroy Mac’s family, Zora has to decide whether to be claimed as his mate in a ritual in front of the pride.

Who knew that love with a lion shifter would be so challenging?

Book 1  – Family Pride: Love and Challenges
Book 2 – Family Pride: Blood Fever

UNIVERSAL LINK

 

#Featured “Sire’s Broken Crystal: Kiss The Night” by Marcelle Sixx

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To be a member of the Monarchy, it comes with great consequences. For instance, having to keep yourself pure for an alpha wife that you might not ever have when there are many gorgeous woman willing to allow you to slip inside for a secret night or two. After having his chosen wife choose to leave him three years prior, Yawha was on a downward spiral. That was of course, until he came across Crystal Welch for a single date. What was supposed to be a dance and dinner for the Peace Ball turned into much more. Nights of passion and sweet ‘I love you’s’, tender kisses and the hopes of living out the rest of his days with her.

His father’s kingdom is falling apart, so he must lend a hand, even if it gets bitten in the process by Gray– his egotistical father who doesn’t listen to anything or anyone, and only lives by his own powerful list of rules that seem to keep everyone else caged in.

However, Crystal is not only the sister-in-law to Aaron Feròz, the Lycan King, but Jerome McIntyre, the Leprechaun King. Neither realm is quite fond of the way Yawha and his realm of pureblood vampires are handling things. To have Crystal– who is already broken from previous relationships– stuck in the middle doesn’t sit well with Aaron or the family. But with a dive of hope, she’s willing to take the chance at love, even at the cost of being hurt all over again… and even if it costs her, her life.

KINDLE UNLIMITED

99c /99p

AMAZON US

AMAZON UK

AMAZON CA

AMAZON AU

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