Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Romantic Holiday Traditions From Around The World


AUSTRIA 

A Cherry Blooms – On the fourth day of December, which is Saint Barbara’s Day, young women place a single cherry twig in a glass of water. If it blooms before Christmas Eve then good luck and a marriage are likely to follow.

FINLAND

Molten Tins – On New Year’s Day, folks gather to pour molten tin into buckets of icy cold water. As the tin cools, the resulting shapes made are used to predict the future. Of course, hearts and rings are the most hoped for shapes by those looking for love.






ITALY

Looking for Good Luck – Men and women looking for good luck in the coming year and perhaps just to get lucky, wear red underpants on New Year’s Eve. As our mothers always reminded us…make sure they’re clean and no holes.

MEXICO
 
The Night of the Radishes – On the 23rd of December, in the city of Oaxaca, families come together to carve nativity figures out of none other than the humble little radish. The finest of the carvings are put on display in the town square.

PORTUGAL

Gone but Never Forgotten – During Consoada, the traditional Christmas Eve feast, an extra seat is placed at the family’s table so that the spirits of the departed can join in the festivities. There are similar traditions around the world. Some leave the seat open for the baby Jesus.

SWEDEN

An Almond in the Pudding – A creamy rice pudding dessert called Ris à la Malta is traditionally served at the Christmas feast. An almond is hidden within the pudding and the one who finds it in their bowl shall marry within the year.

UKRAINE

A Spider’s Kindness – An old folk tale tells the story of a poor widow and children who could not afford decorations for their Christmas tree. The mother and children sadly went to bed and fell asleep. Early the next morning, they woke to find the tree covered with cobwebs. When they opened the windows, the first rays of sunlight touched the webs and turned them into gold and silver. The widow and her children were overjoyed. From then on, they never lived in poverty again. Today, trees are decorated with ornaments resembling spider webs and an artificial spider is sometimes hidden within the branches for good luck.
More consistent traditions such as a 12-course meal, each dish representing a disciple of Jesus, and carols being sung following the meal also continue today.

UNITED KINGDOM

A Kiss Beneath the Mistletoe – the tradition of hanging mistletoe dates back to the Druids. A symbol of fertility because mistletoe remains green in winter and bears fruit in the form of berries, receiving a kiss a beneath it from a suitor, lover, or spouse ensured a happy relationship. Popularized in 18th Century England, the magic of the mistletoe continues a Christmas tradition even today.

UNITED STATES

King Cakes – Usually associated with New Orleans and the Mardi Gras celebrations there, many Americans now celebrate with King Cakes. In celebration of the Feast of the Epiphany or Twelfth Night when it’s said the three wise men visited the baby Jesus, a tiny baby figure is baked inside the cake and the person who finds it in their slice is promised good luck and is named ‘king’ or ‘queen’ for the rest of the party. It also becomes their duty to bring the next King Cake.

WORLDWIDE

A New Year’s Kiss – I don’t think anyone really knows how this tradition began but do we really care since it’s one of the most anticipated events of the holidays for when the clock strikes twelve and the New Year rings in, couples around the world share a kiss.



Happy Holidays Everyone!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Greetings to all my readers,

I wish to apologize for not having been very active with reviews or much else lately. I’ve had a lot of family issues keeping me busy and not giving me the time I need to keep up with my reading for reviews. I’m hoping to get back on track again in the next few weeks. I want to thank you for still coming by, and for faithfully following when I’ve only had a few things to share with you.

The past couple of months have been difficult and the upcoming holidays will most likely not see as much good cheer as holidays of the past. However, I do wish to express my gratitude to you all and to count among my blessings the wonderful people I’ve met through my years doing this blog. Without you, my life would not be as full as it is and so this Thanksgiving, my readers are at the top of my ‘what I am thankful for’ list.

10 Fun Facts About Thanksgiving
**maybe armed with these, you can prevent any discussions of politics**

1. Leaving a legacy—when Abe Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday, it was thanks to the tireless efforts of a magazine editor named Sarah Josepha Hale – who also wrote the nursery rhyme, "Mary had a Little Lamb."

2. Born in the U.S.A.—but Thanksgiving is not just an American holiday. Canadians celebrate it too, except they do it the second Monday in October.

3. Have it your way—if Ben Franklin had had his way, the turkey would be our national bird. An eagle, he had written in a letter to his daughter, had "bad moral character." A turkey, on the other hand, was a "much more respectable bird."

4. Speaking of birds…gobble, gobble? Hold on there…Only male turkeys, called toms, gobble. Females, called hens, cackle.

5. And to make it worse, they are doomed from birth—those poor turkeys just don't stand a chance. Just look at the name we give them. A turkey less than 12-weeks-old is called a fryer-roaster.

6. Ever wonder why this succulent dinner bird is even called a turkey? Well, it seems the Europeans took a liking to the guinea fowls imported to the continent, and since the birds were imported by Turkish merchants, the English called them turkeys. Later, when the Spaniards came to America, they found a bird that tasted like those guinea fowls. Consequently, when they were sent to Europe, the English called these birds "turkeys" as well.

7. There are four places in the U.S. named Turkey. Louisiana's Turkey Creek is the most populous, with a whopping 440 residents. There's also Turkey, Texas; Turkey, North Carolina; and Turkey Creek, Arizona. Oh, let's not forget the two townships in Pennsylvania—the creatively named Upper Turkeyfoot and Lower Turkeyfoot!

8. Going shopping for all the big sales? Well, if you’re a plumber you probably won’t be. Black Friday is the busiest day of the year for them, according to Roto-Rooter, the nation's largest plumbing service. After all, someone has to clean up after household guests who "overwhelm the system."

9. A tradition is born— TV dinners have Thanksgiving to thank. In 1953, someone at Swanson misjudged the number of frozen turkeys it would sell that Thanksgiving -- by 26 TONS! Some industrious soul came up with a brilliant plan: Why not slice up the meat and repackage with some trimmings on the side. Thus, the first TV dinner was born!

10. Finally, something truly unique to add to your trivia list—in 2013, the first day of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving came together for the first time since 1888. Scientists say the confluence won't occur again for another 70,000 years, give or take a millennium.

And Some Funnies because what would Thanksgiving be, without a few laughs.







May your holidays be filled with joy, laughter, good reading 
and most importantly, love.


Happy Thanksgiving Everyone, safe travels, good eats, 
and Happy Reading! 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Spotlight on DRACONES - BETRAYED, book three of the Dracones series by Sheri-Lynn Marean

DRACONES – BETRAYED
Dracones Book Three
by Sheri-Lynn Marean

available now at


A newly awakened Dracones, with tenuous control of his powers, Samarias barely survived her the first time. Now she’s back.

Coldly rejected by Hellfire, his soul mate, Sami struggles with a reason to live. He finds that reason after rescuing one of the very special and rare Genesis Dracones. With an unexpected second chance at happiness, he’s determined to make it work.

An unforgivable betrayal has pushed Hellfire, a fiery Phoenix, to stand alone against the world. She vows never to allow a man into her heart again. Not even one who makes her knees weak, and her heart pound like thunder.

Only now, her baby sister is in danger and Hellfire is frantic to rescue her. With no other choice, she seeks assistance from the only male who can help them. The same one she heartlessly tossed away. Sami. Knowing she may lose her sister is heartbreaking enough, but is it possible she’ll lose more than that to the man who wants to claim her heart?

Get Dracones Betrayed now—a dark steamy tale of love, hate, betrayal, and broken promises that will tie you to your seat as it sweeps you into the magical world of Tartaria. For ages 17+

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I was the editor on this amazing story and so ethically cannot review it, but let me just say this about it. Sheri-Lynn Marean conjures an amazing other world while pulling the reader deeper into the mysteries and secrets surrounding the fabulous cast of characters in DRACONES - BETRAYED…her best installment yet.

If you haven’t tried out this amazing debut series…give it a try. Her stories are getting better and better, and I’m so proud to be her editor and experience them first.

Happy Reading Everyone!

About the Author:

Born in Scarborough Ontario, Canada, Sheri-Lynn has lived in many different places. The main ones being Toronto, Montreal, London Ontario, Alabama, Texas, & Alberta. Sheri-Lynn now resides in British Columbia, Canada with her husband, three kids, one dog, three cats, & numerous chickens. Sheri-Lynn never imagined she'd one day be an author. Instead, she grew up riding and working with racehorses, drawing and selling animal artwork and of course, reading. Sheri-Lynn fell in love with reading at age twelve when she read The Black Stallion series by Walter Farley. She has not stopped reading since. With a wide variety of reading interests, Sheri-Lynn’s passion presently is the paranormal romance genre. One day, after reading an unsatisfying book, she decided to write her own book, with her own characters, doing what she wanted them to do. She began to type and the characters came to life in her head. She has never looked back.

Be sure to check out DRACONES – AWAKENING, and DRACONES – REVELATIONS too!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Unwrapping a Review of AWAKENED BY FIRE, a Dragons of Bloodfire novel by Erin Kellison

Dragon lovers, if you haven’t checked out the series, Dragons of Bloodfire by Erin Kellison then do, and do it now. This series is exploding with action and sexy dragon shifters. The first book was excellent but the second book, AWAKENED BY FIRE was exquisite.

***Copy purchased for my own personal reading but sharing an honest and unscripted review.

Blurb for AWAKENED BY FIRE:

Billionaire dragon shifter and Bloodkin Triad member Warrick Voclain is no stranger to power. But when his trusted steward’s beautiful granddaughter—all grown up and successful in her own right—seems to be using illegal magic in his presence, he is thrown for a loop. And the fact that she’s doing so to protect him? Alarming.

Samantha Vine needs to stay under the radar, or her secret gift will get her and her granddad killed. She didn’t intend for her quick visit home to stretch into weeks in Warrick’s company, but anyone striking at Warrick would also hurt her granddad. Only she has the ability to see what’s coming…though she’ll need Warrick’s help to stop it.

The use of such magic is punishable by death, and Warrick’s position on the Triad requires that he adhere to the rule of law. But the attraction between them is electric, stirring his blood and straining his control.

Adversaries wait in every shadow, and the easiest way to strike down a powerful dragon is to go for the heart…in Warrick’s case, Samantha. With fire and blood, he’ll reshape the world into one that’s safe for her. And those that don’t bend to his will? They will burn. 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Samantha Vine has a secret. A secret that if found out could get her killed. She is a Tempus and can time travel. This isn’t something that just anyone can do, not even dragons even though time is always on their sides. Being a Tempus is dangerous to dragons and so if her ability is discovered, her grandfather’s dragon and Bloodkin Triad member, Warrick Voclain must by law kill her, and her grandfather for hiding her ability.

Warrick Voclain has the greatest trust in his Vine family of humans. They are his family and his greatest assets. He would destroy anyone who even tried to harm one of them so when he discovers betrayal among them, he is torn as to what to do. When he discovers who has also been hiding the secret of a Tempus, he must figure out a solution and before others discover it and those against him try once more to destroy him.

Samantha becomes his protector and much more, as the unrequited feelings she has had for Warrick since her teen years become problematic. Dragons don’t fall in love with humans…or do they?

AWAKENED BY FIRE, book two in the Dragons of Bloodfire series by Erin Kellison hits a home run when it comes to depth of story, action, intrigue, and romance. I love the idea of time travel and Erin uses it fabulously in this story about the bloodthirsty world of the Bloodkin Triad of which Warrick is a member and Samantha is trying to distance herself so that none will discover that dragon blood created a Tempus in her. Being a Tempus, means she can move through time, which could potentially make her a dangerous threat to dragons. However, she becomes Warrick’s greatest asset and the woman he’s willing to risk everything for to protect, save, and call his own.

I’m totally in love with this series and can’t wait to see what happens next. Each one so far is a standalone read with no cliffhangers but I highly advise reading TEMPTED BY FIRE first, because it gives us a great look at the world of the Bloodkin dragons.

I highly recommend to anyone who enjoys the fantasy of dragons and dragon worlds to read AWAKENED BY FIRE by Erin Kellison. It’s extraordinary, character-driven, action-packed, exciting, intriguing, and I guarantee it will have you cheering for Samantha and Warrick. You might even get a bit of a kick out of Warrick’s mother who is a tad overbearing but has a good heart. Dragons are the ultimate in fantasy and Erin rocks their world like an expert. You'll almost believe they are real.

Happy Reading Everyone!


AWAKENED BY FIRE, a Dragons of Bloodfire novel by Erin Kellison, Fire Flower Publishing, available now in print and ebook formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Ghosts: Real or Imagination?


Happy Halloween Everyone! 
So tell me please...do you believe in ghosts? 
Well, I do - absolutely!

Some years ago, I recounted a story about what I believe was a ghost strolling along the road in front of my home in Stafford, Virginia. It was a full moon night so the road was ablaze with moonlight. The figure strolled along down the middle of the road indistinguishable even in the brightness of the moonlight, whistling a tune then suddenly vanished. That was only one of the many eerie things that happened in and around that house. I've got far too many to tell you about but since it is Halloween, I thought I’d tell you about the only one that ever truly scared me.

My house was built on land in an area of Virginia where the Union Army had a very large encampment during the Civil War. I was quite accustomed to strange sounds in the middle of the night—sometimes in the daytime too. Sounds such as shrill whistles, dings like metal on metal, and a sound that I found out was similar to the sound a flintlock would make when cocked. I learned to live with these oddities and never felt threatened by any of them. I fully understood there might be residuals left floating in our world from lives lived in the past.

Then there was the night I was in bed, light on, and reading a book—of course. The door to the bedroom was shut, but not locked. My then husband was sleeping on the other side of the house, and the dog was sleeping in the living area just outside my room.

All was well; I was engrossed in my book and comfortable in my bed. Suddenly, the entire door shuddered within the door-frame. It made me jump out of my skin, but then I just figured it was the dog settling in against it. I went back to reading. A moment later, the door shook again and this time I noticed that the doorknob was moving back and forth as if someone were trying to open the door. Remember, I said it wasn't locked, and the door never stuck so my heart leaped into my throat, and might even have stopped for a moment.


Once the door quieted, I sat there, upright, not breathing, waiting for it to happen again. When it didn't, I got out of bed and slowly approached it...I will admit, I was terrified to open it for fear of what might be on the other side. I grabbed the knob, threw the door open and of course, there was nothing there.

I looked to the dog who was lying nearby, and looking at me funny. I hurried to the opposite side of the house to my then husband, and asked if we'd just had another earthquake. Yes, this was after the big Virginia earthquake of 2011. He said no. I told him what happened and he told me I must have dozed off and imagined it. I knew I hadn't.

I went back to bed but left the door open. The next morning, I tried an experiment with the door. I closed it and pushed on it from the outside. The door didn't move—not even the slightest bit. Good doors. I tried jiggling it every which way, but nothing. Then I grabbed the doorknob and tried to get through the door without turning it...the door shuddered in the frame just as it had the night before. A chill rushed over me because it was then I realized that someone...or something...had been trying to get through that door.

Never has any ghostly experience I’ve experienced, and there have been many, ever terrified me like that one did. It never happened again while I was living there but I’ve never forgotten the sheer terror of it either.

So…I’m curious…and it is Halloween…have you any strange experiences to share? Plagued by strange sounds in the night or even in broad daylight? Seen strange figures where there shouldn't be any?

I’d love to hear them so please do share, after all it is the day the dead walk the earth and my dog, Marco's waiting to hear some real life scary stories. I think he’d like to know he’s not alone in experiencing his visitations
    

Happy Halloween, may you only encounter friendly spirits!

Still the best thing to watch on Halloween.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Lady Amber's Release Day Blitz for THE SATYR'S CURSE III - REDEMPTION by Alexandrea Weis with #excerpt

 
THE SATYR’S CURSE III: REDEMPTION
by Alexandrea Weis

Available today at Amazon | Kobobooks

Since returning from Fairview Plantation, Jazzmyn Livaudais has noticed strange occurrences in her Garden District home. She attributes the ghostly happenings to Julian Devereau.

Trapped in a world between death and life, Julian waits. Jazzmyn is torn between her feelings for him, and her impending nuptials to her temperamental chef, Kyle Baker.

But before she can consider Julian’s fate, she must deal with a detective eager to solve the horrific murders of women that have plagued New Orleans for decades. The detective suspects Julian is the killer, and his frequent visits to The Sweet Note are putting everyone on edge.

With Julian’s time running out, Jazzmyn discovers there may be another spirit hanging around her home. One who is out to settle an old score.
Will Jazzmyn rescue Julian from his self-imposed limbo? And what will happen if he returns?

When one curse ends, another can begin. Beware The Satyr’s Curse.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~


                                         ~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Excerpt:

“Do you miss the demon, Jazzmyn?”
“He’s not a demon.” Jazzmyn carefully weighed her words. “Do you think …? I keep wondering if he’s all right.”
Ms. Helen’s unsettling sigh carried through the bedroom. “That satyr man has crossed over. He’s where he’s supposed to be.”
“Is he?” Jazzmyn questioningly raised her eyebrows.
“Do you know somethin’ I don’t, child?”
Jazzmyn motioned to the newest daisy painted on the wall. “That just appeared last night.”
Ms. Helen inspected the flower. “I thought you said you painted them daisies.”
“No, that’s what I told Kyle to keep him from asking too many questions. I can’t paint. They just appeared.” Jazzmyn rubbed her hands together. “They’re a lot like the ones Julian put in Jackie’s bedroom at Fairview Plantation. If I didn’t know better, I’d say they’re exactly like the ones he painted.”
Ms. Helen spun around. Her coffee-colored skin paled.  
“That’s not all. Last night, Kyle found Odette’s painting hanging sideways on the mantle. This morning, the coffeemaker had been turned on and filled with coffee before either one of us got up.”
Ms. Helen’s brown eyes grew in size. “Do you think it’s the demon?”
“Who else could it be?” Jazzmyn gestured to the flower on the wall. “He had a fondness for painting, loved coffee before he was cursed, and who else would turn Odette’s picture on its side like that?”
“What you’re suggestin’ would mean he’s finding a way back to you.”
“But when I came back from Fairview, you said he was trapped. How can he come back?”
“I’m not sure. I’ve never seen such a thing.” Ms. Helen knitted her brow. “You told me he was the one who threw the pot on the fire, not you. And you never spoke the words banishing him.”
“Yes, the curse was lifted, and he disappeared into a ball of green light after the pot exploded.” Jazzmyn tossed up a hand. “So?”
“If the ritual wasn’t completed, that might allow him to move back and forth between this world and the place where he’s trapped,” Ms. Helen warned in a dark voice.         
Jazzmyn shivered as if enveloped by an icy breeze. “Which means he might be trying to get back to me.” She faced her daughter, sitting in her crib. “Back to Jackie.”
“Julian’s paid his debt to your family and to those he wronged, but you didn’t force him out of your life, Jazzmyn. Julian sent himself away. That tie to you and his daughter may have left a door open somewhere.”
“What door?”
Ms. Helen waved her hand high in the air. “The door that lies between this world and the next. A portal through which spirits can cross over.”
“Because I didn’t complete the ritual, he’s able to come back and forth through this door?” Jazzmyn gripped the railing of Jackie’s pink crib. “Are you sure about this?”
Ms. Helen put a reassuring her hand on Jazzmyn’s shoulder. “He’s bound to you and his daughter. It’s those ties that probably kept him from crossing over completely.”
 “Is Julian a ghost, haunting my house?”   
“Ghosts are dead people trapped on this earth, but your demon ain’t dead. Far from it.”
Jazzmyn was overcome by a wave of dizziness as what Ms. Helen was proposing sunk in. “Are you saying he’s alive, physically, somewhere?”
“If you’d performed the ritual like Ms. Evangeline instructed, your satyr man would have been sent to his rest. His physical body would have died. But you didn’t perform the ritual, at least not all of it.”
Jazzmyn glared at the woman, dumbfounded. “You never said anything about his being alive and trapped. I thought he was a spirit, and no longer living.”
Ms. Helen sighed and looked Jazzmyn up and down. “So do you want to get rid of your satyr man for good?”
Jazzmyn said nothing but glanced down at her baby in the crib.     
“What about your crazy chef?” Ms. Helen pressed. “Kyle plans on marryin’ you in October. You got any idea what you’re gonna tell him?”
Jazzmyn sagged against the crib, unable to bear the weight of her emotions. “I don’t know what I feel for either man right now.”
“You’re gonna have to decide, Jazzmyn. Sooner than later, you’ll have to let one man go.”



About the Author:
From New Orleans, Alexandrea Weis was raised in the motion picture industry and began writing stories at the age of eight. In college, she studied nursing and went on to teach at a local university. After several years in the medical field, she decided to pick up the pen once again and began her first novel, TO MY SENSES. Since that time, she has published many novels. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her award-winning books, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story memorable.
Alexandrea Weis is also a certified/permitted wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries. When she is not writing, she rescues orphaned and injured wildlife. She is married and lives in New Orleans.



Happy Reading Everyone!

Friday, October 21, 2016

A Review of THE SATYR'S CURSE II - THE RECKONING by Alexandrea Weis

I love anything to do with the supernatural…within reason of course, I don’t play with Ouija boards. But I do love to read stories based in the supernatural. Having read and thoroughly enjoyed THE SATYR’S CURSE by Alexandrea Weis, I knew I had to read the sequel—THE SATYR’S CURSE II – THE RECKONING. Especially since the third book in the series, THE SATYR’S CURSE III – REDEMPTION is releasing October 24th. Sweeet!

***purchased for my own personal reading but sharing an honest and unscripted review

Blurb for THE SATYR’S CURSE II – THE RECKONING:

Jazzmyn Livaudais is struggling to hold it together. With a continuously cranky baby, a rocky relationship with her fiancé, Kyle, and money getting tight at her restaurant, she’s having trouble staying focused. But when the strange nightmares begin, Jazzmyn knows it can only mean one thing: Julian Devereau is back.

In order to protect her daughter and Kyle, Jazzmyn must keep Julian from his moment of reckoning. Will the satyr’s curse be lifted, or will Jazzmyn find the strength to destroy Julian Devereau once and for all?

Some curses are never meant to be broken, and some desires are never meant to be undone.

Beware The Satyr’s Curse.


~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Having hoped she’d freed herself from the unseemly bond that the Satyr man, Julian Devereau had connected with her since childhood, Jazzmyn Livaudais was trying to make a life for herself with her daughter, Jackie and her fiancé, Kyle but things weren’t going well. Kyle was pushing to get married but he’d begun drinking again even after promising her not to, especially at the restaurant. Then there were the strange dreams…sexy disturbing dreams of Julian and the sexual energy that always existed between them. Jackie seemed at odds as well, acting as if she didn’t like Kyle even though he was the only father her baby daughter had ever known. But then there were strange feelings of being watched, toys appearing out of nowhere and other things that kept her on edge. Jazzmyn was beginning to worry that Julian had returned and if he had, what he would do. He had not been happy when she and Ms. Helen sent him away in the cemetery that bizarre night.

A trip to one of the strongest voodoo witches tells her Julian Devereau is not done with her and it’s up to her to banish him forever before he stays forever, trapping her in his world—but can she do it?

I will warn you up front, THE SATYR’S CURSE series is a continuing story. To understand the second book, you must read the first and to find out what finally happens in the end, we’ll have to read the third book, which I’m looking forward to immensely.

Alexandrea Weis writes the most amazing stories set in New Orleans. She creates such an atmosphere around her characters that you want desperately to visit the city even before finishing reading the book. Whereas, this series is not a true romance in that there is not a happily-ever-after…at least, not yet…it’s a remarkable unique and suspenseful example of extraordinary women’s fiction and the relationship between men and women. She has many other series, which are equally good and I highly advise you perusing her book list. There seriously is something for everyone.

For me, I love her supernatural stories with voodoo, ghosts, and dark secrets lurking in the background, which keep you wondering about the characters and what’s really happening. This is exactly the setting for THE SATYR’S CURSE II – THE RECKONING. Julian Devereau is not a nice man. He’s selfish, self-centered, and highly egotistical but he’s also man from the past living in a modern age with antiquated ideals. He’s the man you wish you could truly despise but somehow you know there’s a good soul lurking within all the darkness and he's sexy as hell. I won’t tell you what happens but we get a glimpse of that light within the dark this time around.

Alexandrea takes us on a ride that keeps you changing your mind about Julian and Jazzmyn, and what she should do. What I love most about THE RECKONING is that it proves once again that the greatest gift is love and that love can conquer all things when it’s needed.

I highly recommend THE SATYR’S CURSE II – THE RECKONING by Alexandrea Weis if you love the unusual, the mysterious, and a story with such a dark core but in the end, you might just find yourself smiling.

Happy Reading Everyone!

THE SATYR’S CURSE II – THE RECKONING by Alexandrea Weis, World Castle Publishing, available now in print and ebook formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks.


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Avon Romance Invites Readers to Enter the #Giveaway of the Year - a chance to Win an Eastern Caribbean Cruise and a Boatload of Novels!

It's Avon's 75th birthday!
And to celebrate, they’re holding the most
amazing GIVEAWAY ever!

*Seven day Eastern Caribbean cruise for two people, embarking and disembarking from Fort Lauderdale, FL, courtesy of Princess Cruises.

*$500 gift card that may be used toward airfare.

*A boatload of 25 Avon books!


Who wouldn’t want to celebrate a landmark event with a once-in-a-lifetime cruise? This year, Avon Books, leading romance publisher and imprint of HarperCollins, celebrates its 75th anniversary by offering readers the chance to win a seven-day Eastern Caribbean cruise for two people, sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, FL, courtesy of Princess Cruises. In addition, the winner will receive a $500 gift card, which can be used toward airfare…as well as a boatload of 25 Avon books!

Launched in 1941, Avon is renowned for widely popularizing the historical romance category. Today, Avon is recognized as the “Diamond Standard of romance,” and the imprint is proud to publish the best and brightest authors in the romance industry. 

What’s more romantic than a getaway on the Love Boat? The publisher is ecstatic to share that Princess Cruises has generously donated an indulgent cruise for two to help commemorate Avon’s diamond anniversary.  Promotional partners - BookingBuddy®, Oyster.com, and Woman’s Day -have joined forces to float airfare for two, along with a travel gift certificate valued at $500.

Of course, no great vacation is complete without some me time so Avon is generously providing the winner with ultimate voyage of imagination—an extensive library of 25 timeless romances, including: 

THE EARL by Katharine Ashe
HOW THE DUKE WAS WON by Lenora Bell
LORD OF SCOUNDRELS by Loretta Chase
BLACK LYON by Jude Deveraux
THAT SCANDALOUS EVENING by Christina Dodd
HALFWAY TO THE GRAVE by Jeaniene Frost
SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE by Rachel Gibson
WAKING UP WITH THE DUKE by Lorraine Heath
FROST LINE by Linda Howard and Linda Jones
MY AMERICAN DUCHESS by Eloisa James
FORBIDDEN by Beverly Jenkins
RIDE HARD by Laura Kaye
FLOWERS FROM THE STORM by Laura Kinsale
DEVIL IN WINTER by Lisa Kleypas
GENTLE ROGUE by Johanna Lindsey
HOT IN HELLCAT CANYON by Julie Anne Long
THE ROGUE NOT TAKEN by Sarah MacLean
THE FAIREST OF THEM ALL by Cathy Maxwell
MATCH ME IF YOU CAN by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
THE DUKE AND I by Julia Quinn
THE SCOTTISH DUKE by Karen Ranney
STONE COLD COWBOY by Jennifer Ryan
RUNAWAY VAMPIRE by Lynsay Sands
SWEET LITTLE LIES by Jill Shalvis
and
SHANNA by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss

Note: As part of this special promotion, select Avon romances will also be available in gift shops onboard all ships in the Princess Cruises fleet during the month of October.

The Avon 75th Anniversary Sweepstakes is sponsored by HarperCollins Publishers, 195 Broadway, New York, NY 10007. Must be legal U.S. resident 18 or over. Sweepstakes begins October 11, 2016 12:00 p.m. (ET) and ends on November 18, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. (ET). Offer void in Alaska, Hawaii, Rhode Island and all U.S. territories and possessions, and wherever prohibited or restricted by law. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.
For more information and Official Rules, visit: 

Contest Sponsors:

One of the best-known names in cruising, Princess Cruises is a global cruise line and tour company operating a fleet of 17 modern cruise ships renowned for their innovative design and wide array of choices in dining, entertainment and amenities, all provided with the experience of exceptional customer service. A recognized leader in worldwide cruising, Princess carries 1.7 million guests each year to more than 360 destinations around the globe on more than 150 itineraries ranging in length from three to 111 days. The company is part of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE:CUK).

BookingBuddy, a TripAdvisor company, is a travel-shopping site that gives travelers easy access to the best airfare, hotel, car rental, cruise, vacation rental, and vacation deals, plus prices from 140+ travel sites. Travel search made simple.®

Oyster.com is a TripAdvisor Media Group company.  The service is the Hotel Tell-All, sending professional investigators to every hotel, publishing comprehensive high-resolution photos, amazing panoramas, and expert reviews.

Woman’s Day is an indispensable resource to 20 million women. The brand speaks to our readers' values and focuses on what’s important. We empower her with smart solutions for her core concerns - health, home, food, style, and money - and celebrate the connection she cherishes with family, friends, and community.

ABOUT HARPERCOLLINS:

HarperCollins Publishers is the second-largest consumer book publisher in the world, with operations in 18 countries. With nearly two hundred years of history and more than 120 branded imprints around the world, HarperCollins publish approximately 10,000 new books every year in 17 languages, and has a print and digital catalog of more than 200,000 titles. Writing across dozens of genres, HarperCollins authors include winners of the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Newbery and Caldecott Medals, and the Man Booker Prize. 
HarperCollins, headquartered in New York, is a subsidiary of News Corp (NASDAQ: NWS, NWSA; ASX: NWS, NWSLV) and can be visited online at corporate.HC.com


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