Sunday, March 6, 2016

Courting Cassandry by Joyce DiPastena Finale and GIVEAWAY

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Book Tour Grand Finale for
Courting Cassandry
By Joyce DiPastena
We hope you enjoyed going back to Medieval times, finding tokens of courtship from Gerolt to Cassandry, and their story at their chance for a rare second chance at love! If you have been gathering tokens for the giveaway, here is the eighth one (previously not posted):

If you missed any of the stops or tokens, go back and check them out now...

Launch - Author Q&A

What is your motivation behind Courting Cassandry? Why did you want to write it?

Courting Cassandry is the second book in my Hearts in Autumn Romance series. The couples in this series are older than couples in most romances, in their 40s and 50s. Now that I’m, oh, somewhere around those ages myself, I thought it would be interesting to explore how romances might develop between more mature couples, all based on the premise: “You’re never too old to fall in love!” Because really, don’t we all want to be loved regardless of our age?

The Written Adventure - What is a Hearts in Autumn Romance?

These are characters who have already lived rich lives, who have experienced depths of heartache and joy that my younger characters only stand on the threshold of. That gives my autumn couples layers of complexity that I can’t quite reach with younger characters. And I am finding that aspect exceptionally enjoyable!

Lampshade Reader - Interview

6. If you were presented with the opportunity to travel through time, which period would you choose and why?

My fascination with the Middle Ages began with King Henry II of England, who has played an offstage role in several of my books, so I suppose I would like to go back to the days when he was king and see what he was truly like. Not what his modern critics or supporters say he was like, but what he was really like.

Wishful Endings - Excerpt

Fire churned in her stomach. How dare you make me feel again? After you failed me so abysmally. You abandon me, then sweep back into my life as though you were never gone. But I will always be a child to you, your sparrow, when at this moment I want nothing more than to wipe away the taste of Sir Samson with your kiss on my lips.

Bookworm Lisa - Review

"The characters and story are well written. This is a clean romance that pulled me in from the beginning. I love reading Joyce's books and this book lived up to my expectations!"

deal sharing aunt - Excerpt

At the risk of another rebuff, Gerolt took her hand again, allowing some of the purple blossoms to scatter at their feet. How could she not feel his longing for her in his touch? His thumb swept lightly over her knuckles. “I cannot let you simply disappear again.”

I Am A Reader - Medieval Tokens

One event at which a lady might quite openly give a token to a man with few repercussions was at a tournament. These tokens were usually called “favors” and when worn by the knight, indicated that all his successes on the tournament field would be won on behalf of the lady whose token he wore.

Letters from Annie Douglass Lima - Medieval Rules of Inheritance

Sometimes well-meaning readers question the lines of inheritance in my medieval romances. More familiar with the popular and wide spread Regency romance, they assume that the strict rules of inheritance that basically disowned the rights of daughters during the Regency or even Victorian eras have always stood in England. This was not the case.

EskieMama Reads - Excerpt

“I hate seeing you in such distress.” The vehemence that shook his lowered voice made her turn her head to gaze at him. “As much as we love them, children can sometimes be the very devil. If you would like me to shake Egelina for you, I should be happy to oblige.”

Getting Your Read On - Review

"I loved the stories within stories. Each character in this book has a story to tell. They all weave together but shape each character separately. It was a gentle and slow unfolding and I feel like I became more personally acquainted with each character page by page."

underneath the covers - Medieval Entertainments, Part 1 – Dancing

The curious thing about medieval dancing is that no one knows how medieval couples actually danced. Written descriptions of dancing in Europe didn’t appear until the mid-1400s, during the Renaissance. Nevertheless, we know people did dance during the Middle Ages because there are references to dancing in medieval poetry, as well as glimpses of dancing in medieval paintings and illuminated manuscripts.

Singing Librarian Books - Review & Interview

"Readers will be captivated by the charming and beautiful love story, as well as the wonderfully developed characters. I would recommend this novel to readers that enjoy medieval romance novels."

5. What inspired the idea for your Courting Cassandry or Hearts in Autumn Series?

A couple of years ago, a writers group I was in challenged us each to try to write an autumn-themed story. While I was trying to come up with an autumn theme, the thought came to me, “What if I wrote a story about falling in love during the characters’ ‘autumn years?’” So I wrote a romance about an older couple and enjoyed it so much, I decided to turn it into a series called “Hearts in Autumn.” Courting Cassandry is the second title in the series. (The first was Loving Lucianna.)

Zerina Blossom's Books - Medieval Entertainment, Part II - Chess

Chess was a hugely popular game among the nobility of Europe during the Middle Ages. The game is believed to have originated in India in the 6th century and made its way to Europe somewhere around the year 1000. The rules were somewhat different than the modern game and the names of some of the pieces changed, translated into more familiar European concepts.

Courting Cassandry
(Hearts in Autumn #2)
by Joyce DePastena
Adult Historical Romance
ebook, 348 pages
February 17th 2016

Is it too late for second chances when the girl you loved in your youth comes back into your life?

Gerolt de Warenne became guardian to a child-heiress named Cassandry when he was only nineteen-years old. As he watched her grow into a lovely young woman, he found himself falling in love with her, but Cassandry viewed him as an older brother. So, burying his feelings, he gave permission for her to marry another.

Twenty-four years later Gerolt and Cassandry meet again. With the loss of their respective spouses, Gerolt hopes to finally court Cassandry, but she desires to remain a widow. Instead, they agree to a betrothal of their children.

Matters become complicated as their friendship begins to evolve into the romance Gerolt has always wanted. But by the law of the medieval Church, Cassandry and Gerolt can’t marry if their children do. Can they find a way to be together? Or must they sacrifice their future for the love of their children?

"Courting Cassandry" is a “Hearts in Autumn” romance, medieval romances revolving around heroes and heroines “in the autumn of their years.” Because love isn’t only for the young!

The First Book in the Series

Loving Lucianna (A Hearts in Autumn Romance, #1)Loving Lucianna
(Hearts in Autumn #1)
by Joyce DePastena
Adult Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 220 pages
October 11th 2014

Sir Balduin de Soler gave up long ago on love. He never had the means to support a wife until an unexpected advancement in his fifties allows him to reassess his future just as the lovely Lucianna enters his life. 

Lucianna Fabio harbors a secret, painful memory from her past that has kept her unwed, as well. Now in her forties, she thought herself too old to marry until she meets Sir Balduin. Now suddenly their lonely autumn lives feel very much like spring again . . . until Lucianna’s brother appears without warning and threatens to revive the secret that will destroy Lucianna’s second chance at love. 

"Loving Lucianna" is the first in Joyce DiPastena’s new "Hearts in Autumn" romance series, medieval romances revolving around heroes and heroines “in the autumn of their years.” Because you’re never too old to fall in love!

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Joyce DiPastena dreamed of green medieval forests while growing up in the dusty copper mining town of Kearny, Arizona. She filled her medieval hunger by reading the books of Thomas B. Costain (where she fell in love with King Henry II of England), and later by attending the University of Arizona where she graduated with a degree in history, specializing in the Middle Ages. The university was also where she completed her first full-length novel…set, of course, in medieval England. Later, her fascination with Henry II led her to expand her research horizons to the far reaches of his “Angevin Empire” in France, which became the setting of her first published novel, Loyalty’s Web (a 2007 Whitney Award Finalist).

When she’s not writing, Joyce loves to read, play the piano, and spend time with her sister and friends. A highlight of her year is attending the annual Arizona Renaissance Festival .

Joyce is a multi-published, multi-award winning author who specializes in sweet medieval romances heavily spiced with mystery and adventure. She lives with her two cats, Clio and Glinka Rimsky-Korsokov, in Mesa, Arizona.

Tour Giveaway

$20 See's Candies Gift Certificate (if US) or $20 PayPal Cash (if international)
Copies of Loving Lucianna and Courting Cassandry (signed print if US, ebook if international)
Ends March 12th

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

A Family Like Hannah's by Carol Ross Tour Grand Finale and GIVEAWAY!!

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Book Tour Grand Finale for
A Family Like Hannah's
By Carol Ross

We hope you enjoyed coming along with us to an Alaskan ski resort and two strong characters who begin at odds, but may just find family and love in each other. If you missed any of the stops, go back and check them out now...

Launch - Intro to the Book

A Family Like Hannah’s is my version of an Alaskan winter - and more specifically - a wintertime in Rankins. On each stop of the tour, I’ve tried to infuse some of this enduring and inspiring winter spirit Alaskans seem to so easily embrace. Hope you enjoy!

"Sweet, clean romance that will still have you reaching for your fan on occasion, A Family Like Hannah’s by Carol Ross takes you through a whole gamut of emotions. From anger and heartbreak to laughter and joy, you will ride the slopes along with a cast of compelling and truly likable characters."

I Am A Reader - Let’s (Really) Get to Know Hannah & Tate from A Family Like Hannah’s

Hannah James – professional skier, owner and manager of Snowy Sky Ski Resort...

Tate Addison – professional snowboarder, businessman, inventor, ski area consultant...

"This was such a delightfully touching tale of possible romance and enduring love amongst life's challenges."

"This book was easy to read and hard to put down. I was drawn in and invested in this story. So good!"

" I love that this isn't just an easy, fluffy story, but had some real filling to go along with it, while maintaining a lighter feel--it wasn't heavy. What a perfect recipe for a great story!"

Colorimetry - Hey, Honey, Let’s Load up the RV and Take the Kids Skiing!

Sure, we saw some of those charming resorts and lodges. From the parking lot. Out the window of our old motorhome. I still can’t believe my dad braved winter weather and treacherous mountain roads in that beast. (Visualize one-step up from Cousin Eddie’s “RV” from Christmas Vacation.) It would only putt along at about 15 miles per hour up the hills, so he would frequently have to pull over and let cars pass. Yep, we were those people. As kids, most of these realities and hazards escaped us. We were just thrilled to be there. For me, there was (is) no place I’d rather spend a winter day than skiing up in the mountains.

underneath the covers - Is the Road to Love Paved with Embarrassing Moments?
Alaskans are pretty inventive with their wintertime endeavors. Luckily, the town of Rankins had already laid a solid foundation for some of the best “meets” between Hannah and Tate. Add a little humor, a lot of tension, some creative license, and I’m excited to bring you a few of my favorite moments from A Family Like Hannah’s...

"This story takes you deep into a small town filled with kind people and history. . . . Tate and Hannah’s ideas for the resort don’t line up very well, so there is tension between them, but there’s also attraction … a lot of it!"

Becky on Books - Review

"A Family Like Hannah’s is a sweet, feel-good romance. . . . This was my first book by this author, but it won’t be my last. It worked well as a standalone. . ."

deal sharing aunt - Interview

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

My ideas always come from my characters. I start by creating a person in my mind. I give them a personality first, including family situation, a job, hobbies, interests, likes and dislikes, and even little quirks. Then I try to drop them right into some kind of action. I add a line or two of dialogue, and I’m off and running. I do love to research my settings also, and often interesting scene ideas will arise from that.

Heidi Reads... - Review

"The characters in this book are vibrant and easy to visualize. . . . I loved the setting of winter in Alaska, especially at a ski resort since I've only been snowboarding twice."

Zerina Blossom's Books - Love, Snow, and Hot Cocoa

When I started writing this story, Hannah’s character was already sitting right beside me - telling me what she wanted to do, what she wanted to say – and what she likes. And Hannah likes hot chocolate...

Wishful Endings - Baby, it's (Really, Really) Cold Outside

Spending the last couple years doing research and just learning fun things in general about this state, I thought it would be fun to show how an Alaskan winter really stacks up.

A Family Like Hannah'sA Family Like Hannah's
(Seasons of Alaska #4)
by Carol Ross
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
February 1st 2016 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Starting over is serious business

With her professional skiing career cut short by an accident, Hannah James is putting all her energy into transforming Snowy Sky Resort into something special. There's only one obstacle. Famous pro-snowboarder-turned-consultant Tate Addison has his own ideas about taking the Rankins, Alaska, lodge to the next level. But Hannah won't compromise her dreams. She gets that Tate is trying to create a stable home for his orphaned six-year-old nephew—a boy Hannah already adores. And if she isn't careful, she could also fall for the boy's too-attractive uncle. Is she risking heartbreak? Or do she and Tate really want the same things out of life?

The Other Books in the Series

Mountains ApartA Case for ForgivenessIf Not for a Bee

Carol Ross is the author of three books for the Seasons of Alaska series for the Harlequin Heartwarming line. She lives with her husband and one loveable miscreant of a dachshund in a small town in Washington close to both the ocean and the mountains. For a complete list of her books, giveaways, and other fun stuff stop by and visit her new website:

Tour Giveaway

$50 Amazon eGift Card and an ebook of A Family Like Hannah's (open internationally)
Rankins' Alaska Prize Pack: signed copy of A Family Like Hannah’s, an infinity scarf, gray fluffy mittens, a tin of Starbucks hot chocolate, a coffee mug, and a sterling silver snowflake necklace. (US only)
Copy of A Family Like Hannah's (print if in the US, ebook if outside the US)
Ends February 26th

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Monday, February 22, 2016

Wolfsbane's Daughter by Jennifer Silverwood Release and GIVEAWAY!

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Welcome to the Release Celebration for
Wolfsbane's Daughter
By Jennifer Silverwood

Read the exclusive excerpt and enter the giveaway below...

Wolfsbane's Daughter
(A Wylder Tale Novella)
by Jennifer Silverwood
YA Dark Fantasy
ebook, 52 Pages
February 25th 2016

Wolfsbane and his daughter Resha are on a never ending quest in the Wylder Mountains, to wipe out the wolves who destroyed their village. Before their enemies stole everything she loved, Resha cared for little beyond learning how to be a hunter. After, she learned a hunter must be prepared to fight as well as flee. Now she cares for nothing but revenge.

Until she discovers two majikal humans half frozen in the forest. Resha has a choice, to follow her instincts and leave the strangers to the wolves, or save them. Yet the enemy is on the prowl and there is little time for Wolfsbane's daughter to find safe haven before they are discovered.

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Exclusive Excerpt

There was a time when she did not hate her father, when her only concern was checking her traps and learning knives from Grandfather. But this was before their village on the ridge of Mount Grimm was attacked and destroyed by their enemies. After that she learned a hunter’s claws must be longer and much sharper. A hunter must always be prepared to fight as well as flee, Father said.
“Stay close, Resha!” her father hissed, drawing her attention to their bleak present.
They had been on the run ever since the attack on Mount Grimm. An entire moon had passed since half the village was murdered, including her brother Vilhelm. If any others survived they were hiding deep in the mountains. The beasts had always been a threat to them. But recent attacks alluded to a new hunger, to wipe out the last humans living in the Wylder Mountains.  Some in the village had blamed Wolfsbane and his quest to avenge Grandfather’s death. Those who might still have blamed her family were dead.
Now all that was left to them was this hunt, her first true hunt. Before this she had been little more than a trapper, practicing her knife on the small creatures she found in the woods near their village. Every time she ended a hare or tripe’s life, she felt nothing of the thrill the other children did.
“Sometimes I wonder if you are too soft to be a predator after all.”
Truly, Father’s words resonated with her far more deeply than she wanted them to. A part of her was so much a child. She had never plunged her knife into the heart of a true beast. It was her greatest fear she would fail in a task Vilhelm would have fulfilled without flinching. Now the legacy of vengeance was left to her hands and the dagger Grandfather made for her last moon day.
Resha took a deep breath and watched it hover in the freezing air. The territory they hunted in was new, closer to the lost city than most of their kind had ever dared to trail. Her father, Wolfsbane, said they were searching for signs of man and beast. She watched the way Father crouched and inspected every curve of the path the tracks had made. When she looked down it was difficult to see anything but shadow and snow. Yet she could almost feel the faintest traces of their prey’s footfalls. It was the smell and the warmth Wolfsbane was following now.
Her attention was diverted by a bright splash of red along the roots of a nearby tree trunk. Her stomach clenched at the thought of the berries hanging from those thin branches. Mother told her to forage whenever they came across nuts and rare plant life. Just because they were hunting, didn’t mean she couldn’t savor a morsel. And there might even be a chance she could snatch enough to save for when they made camp. She glanced up, hopeful Wolfsbane would not notice.
She poked through the fur wrappings keeping her palms and wrists warm, making quick work of the winter berries. Meanwhile, she kept her eye on the glow of torchlight up ahead and slipped the rest into the satchel attached to her belt. The juice stained her fingers a faint purplish hue and she licked them, hoping to hide the evidence. Her eyes shut involuntarily as she drank in the sweet taste. A hand grasped her wrist roughly and pulled so she was forced to face Wolfsbane’s grizzled visage.
“Foolish pup!” he growled. “This land is cursed and you are a fool to touch it! Do you wish to fall asleep forever in these woods?” With every word he squeezed her wrist tighter, drawing tears from her eyes.
“Wolfsbane!” her mother interrupted, gripping his arm tightly with her free hand. “You will not harm our last remaining child. She is hungry and we have not stopped for three days. Leave her be.”
They stood together against the torch, the light illuminating the sickly rage in Father’s eyes and the fear in Mother’s. Resha tried not to give into that same fear. Father would only see it as a weakness. He was too deep into the hunt, and addled by grief to know better.
So she lifted her chin and willed her tears to stop. To say anything would only spark his fury again. Instead she kept her eyes locked with his. Mother’s fingers crept higher, resting over both her wrist and her father’s tense grip. His anger faded, and for a moment, Resha saw the love her father had for her. He opened his mouth to speak and hope bloomed in her chest.
That was the moment a chorus of howls rose together like a nightmare in the woods around them. The cries began ahead of them, further up the valley. Often she had heard them in the distance as a small child within their cottage. Never had she heard them so close and so far away from all she knew.
Her breath came in short, violent gasps as her heart pounded in her ears. These were the beasts who stole everything from them, the ones they had been hunting ever since. For the first time, Resha felt the stirring of the hunt in her blood.

The First Book in the Series

Craving Beauty
(A Wylder Tale, #1)
by Jennifer Silverwood
YA Dark Fantasy
Paperback & ebook, 239 pages
October 31st 2015

Vynasha has spent the last four years tending her mother's roses and looking after her nephew. The fire that killed their family has left her scarred and put Wyll on the brink of death. Soon the first frost will come down from the mountains and she knows this winter will be his last.

Until a strange beggar appears on the road, telling her of the majikal Source that can heal her Wyll. With nothing left to lose, Vynasha braves the forbidden Wylder Mountains to seek out a cure and her fate.

A lost kingdom is uncovered by an equally lost girl, but the castle is not abandoned as she believes. Shadows cloaking unseen eyes watch. Tapestries whisper from the hidden corners, wondering if the one to break their curse has come. And a hungry beast waits, ready to devour her soul.

Jennifer Silverwood

Jennifer Silverwood was raised deep in the heart of Texas and has been spinning yarns a mile high since childhood. In her spare time she reads and writes and tries to sustain her wanderlust, whether it’s the Carpathian Mountains in Transylvania, the highlands of Ecuador or a road trip to the next town. Always on the lookout for her next adventure, in print or reality, she dreams of one day proving to the masses that everything really is better in Texas. She is the author of the Heaven’s Edge series, Stay and Silver Hollow.

Other Books by the Author
Silver Hollow Qeya (Heaven's Edge #1) Ohre (Heaven's Edge, #2) Stay

Release Celebration Giveaway

$20 Amazon eGift Card (Open Internationally)
Signed copy of Craving Beauty, ebook of Wolfsbane's Daughter, & Swag (US Only)
Ends February 26th

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Sunday, February 21, 2016

A List of Free Book Sites

The symbiotic relationship between blogger and author is a wonderful and mutually benefical unity. Bloggers love to read; authors love to write. Without one, there can’t be another. Or maybe, because of one, there is the other. The chicken and the egg conundrum, lol.

Often, authors will offer free reads to introduce bloggers to new books or a new series. And there are a veritable host of blogs that comb through and compile the free reads offered daily on Amazon and other sites. You can sign up for newsletters from these blogs where lists of free books are sent to your inbox each day.

Now how cool is that??

Below is a list of some blogs that I subscribe to and some that I have seen but never utilized.

Check them out for your next free read! - (this one is great! it's manuscripts that you can read) - (this is another fun one! you can nominate books that look good. if they win, you get an email with a free copy to download:) )