blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Hiding Place – Amanda Mason*

Some secrets can never be concealed . . .

Nell Galilee, her husband and twelve year old step-daughter Maude rent a holiday cottage by the sea, needing time and space away from home. Nell grew up in this small, wind-blown town and has mixed feelings about returning, and it isn’t long before she is recognised by a neighbour, seemingly desperate to befriend her. The cottage has been empty for some time, and from the start Nell feels uncomfortable there. Something isn’t quite right about this place . . .

Maude, furious about being brought here against her will, soon finds herself beguiled by the house’s strange atmosphere. There are peculiar marks in the roof beams above her bedroom, and in another room, a hiding place, concealing a strange, unnerving object.

As the house gradually reveals its secrets, Nell becomes increasingly uneasy – and Maude spellbound. But these women – and the women that surround them – are harbouring their own secrets too, and soon events will come to a terrible head . . .

A brilliant, unsettling and chilling novel of mothers and daughters, truth and deception and the lengths people will go to, to obtain power over their own lives, The Hiding Place is the second chilling novel from the acclaimed author of The Wayward Girls.

My thoughts: I do like a creepy house, possibly because neither my parents’ almost 200 year old house or any of the ancient cottages of my childhood holidays were suitably spooky. No ghosts roamed the tumbling down Devon farm hands’ home turned holiday lets we stayed in, and the creepiest thing about my parents’ was the yellow nicotine stained ceilings when we first moved in.

Thankfully books deliver a nice line in sinister houses, filled with witch marks and strange artifacts hidden away in the walls and under the floor. Like this cottage in Whitby. Nell and her family are supposed to be enjoying a holiday and attending a party. But instead she and step-daughter Maude are being haunted and become obsessed with a tiny shoe (not explaining that, read the book).

Things go bump in the night, Nell’s oblivious husband has to leave, they meet the slightly strange neighbours and the previously good relationship between Maude and Nell deteriorates further. Gradually the house gives up its secrets, thanks to two intrepid teenage girls who go digging in the local museum, and the weird hold it exerts meets a match.

This was really good, well written and solidly sinister. The half answers and not quite unravelled history of the house and the land it stands on was cleverly done, while Nell feels safer at the end, the house still isn’t quite right. Probably best to head home.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: We Are Not Like Them – Christine Pride & Jo Piazza

Told from alternating perspectives, an evocative and riveting story about the lifelong bond between two women, one black and one white, whose friendship is indelibly altered by a tragic event—a powerful and poignant exploration of race in America today and its devastating impact on ordinary lives.

Jen and Riley have been best friends since kindergarten. As adults, they remain as close as sisters, though their lives have taken different directions. Jen married young, and after years of trying, is finally pregnant. Riley pursued her childhood dream of becoming a television journalist and is poised to become one of the first black female anchors of the top news channel in their hometown of Philadelphia.

But when tragedy strikes, the deep bond the two women share is severely tested. Six months pregnant, Jen is in free fall as her family’s future and her friendship with Riley are thrown into uncertainty. Covering a career-making story, Riley wrestles with the implications of what this tragic incident means for her black community, her ambitions, and her relationship with her lifelong friend.

Like Tayari Jones’s An American Marriage and Jodi Picoult’s Small Great Things, We Are Not Like Them considers complex questions of race and how they pervade and shape our most intimate spaces in a deeply divided world. But at its heart, it’s a story of enduring friendship—a love that defies the odds even as it faces its most difficult challenges

My thoughts: this is a powerful and thought provoking story, with terrible tragedy at the heart of it. We’ve all seen the rise in police killings of unarmed black men and boys, and the ensuing fallout as questions keep being asked but no real change takes place.

Riley is a black woman, a journalist and all too aware of how these things transpire, she’s at the heart of the story, interviewing the victim’s family. At the same time her beloved grandmother, Gigi, is dying in a hospital bed. Her lifelong friendship with Jenny, who’s white and married to a cop, is greatly strained by events.

Jenny is on the other side of the events, she doesn’t fully understand what the black community is going through or why Riley is so deeply affected. It stops her from being as close to her friend, her surrogate family, as she has been and means she misses out on seeing Gigi in her final days.

This was written with great sensitivity, an awareness of just how difficult these conversations can be to have with people who aren’t as aware or as well informed. Jenny isn’t a villain, she feels for the young man’s mother, but her lived experience means she can’t condemn the situation as wholeheartedly as Riley does. What saves them is learning a new way to communicate. To be more open with each other and to explain things more clearly. I can see this book starting a lot of conversations itself, with people seeing things from differing perspectives, much like the characters do. A timely and moving read.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Two Truths and a Guy – Jeannine Henvey

High school is hard enough. Imagine having to keep a secret that can change your twin’s life.

Sixteen-year-old twins, Stella and Peter, move cross-country with their parents to start fresh and leave their former life behind. Will the past determine their future, or will they finally get their happy ending?

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Peter and Stella may be twins, but individually their struggles are one of a kind. Peter wasn’t always Peter. And Stella misses who he used to be –her sister Petra. From the outside, they seem like two kids just trying to find their way at a new school, but behind closed doors they deal with the emotional baggage from the past they’ve yet to unpack. Beauty queen Mom counts Stella’s every calorie rather than deal with Peter’s transition. And even though Dad supports Peter’s true self, he’s blind to seeing Stella for who she really is. She just wants to be a teenage girl known for anything other than her sibling. Meanwhile, with a skin-tight binder around his chest, and desperation to be one of the guys, Peter feels like he’s suffocating. All this, just to have his outside match his inside–and simply be. If anyone learns their secret, the family’s sacrifice of moving to California will have been for nothing.

Brimming with a rollercoaster of emotion and unwavering hope, Two Truths and a Guy is a heartfelt coming of age story that touches us with the power of loyalty, the need for acceptance, and the importance of living our truth.

My thoughts: this was a really good read, discussing serious issues around gender and sexuality but with enough lightness and general teen drama to stop it feeling heavy and “issues” ridden, which can be off-putting and feel more like a lecture.

Stella and Peter have allowed themselves to drift apart, from being super close to struggling to talk, both have been dealing with a lot, mostly around Peter’s transition and all that ensued back in Pennsylvania. Moving to California didn’t change that, you take your problems with you if you don’t deal with them. Their lack of communication leaves them without the other’s support when they need it most. Luckily they’re able to finally talk, and write, and build a new start.

The people around them, the genuine friends they’ve made, help them through all of this struggle and I really liked the way even Peter’s basketball coach had his back, it was great to see adults being supportive too.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Blog Tour: The Sister Pact – Lisa Swift

Thirty-year-old Brooke Padgett is the landlady of The Highwayman’s Drop in the beautiful Yorkshire village of Leyholme. Commitment-averse and obsessed with work, she isn’t looking for anything
serious – and she certainly isn’t interested in the pub’s new barman, gorgeous single dad Hayden. Or is she?
Older sister Rhianna Garrett has fled wealthy husband James after discovering his infidelity. As she moves back to the pub with her children in tow, it’s clear that living together will be tricky for these
two very different sisters…
Meanwhile, their widowed mum Janey is keen to rejoin the dating scene. But a lot has changed since her youth in the seventies – and she’ll need the help of her girls.
As the sisters join forces to help Janey, as well as fight off the chain circling the pub, their relationship becomes close once again. Until Brooke discovers Rhianna is hiding a secret that could drive a wedge between them all…
Can the two sisters come together to save The Highwayman’s Drop, their mum’s love life – and their relationship?

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Lisa Swift is a romance author from West Yorkshire in the UK. She is represented by Laura Longrigg at MBA Literary Agents. Her first book was published by Hera Books in August 2019.
As Mary Jayne Baker, Lisa also writes romantic comedies for Aria Fiction.
Lisa is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

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My thoughts: I really enjoyed this book, the sisterly bickering was reminiscent of my relationship with my own younger sister – we can’t be in the same room for five minutes without disagreeing on something. Brooke and Rhianna are very different people and have differing opinions on pretty much everything. It doesn’t make their suddenly sharing the small flat that was their childhood home as adults easy at all. I felt sorry for Janey, drafted in as referee once again. This book was a lot of fun, as they come to see that they can get along if they want to and that sometimes you have to work to get what you want.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: A Little Piece of Paradise – T.A. Williams

The inheritance of a lifetime… with a catch.
When Sophie’s uncle leaves her a castle in the Italian Riviera in his will, she can’t believe her luck.
The catch? She and her estranged sister, Rachel, must live there together for three months in order to inherit it.
Having worked in Rome for four years, Sophie’s excited to revisit to Italy, even if it reignites memories of a cheating ex who soon learns of her return and wants to rekindle their spark. Sophie realises that distance does indeed make the heart grow fonder – but for her friend back home, Chris, who she discovers is more to her than just a friend.
With the clock ticking, can Sophie and Rachel stick it out and heal old wounds, or are the sisters destined to go their own way at the end of the three months? And does Chris feel the same way about Sophie as she does for him?
A beautiful story of romance and sisterhood, perfect for fans of Alex Brown and Lucy Coleman.

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I’m a man. And a pretty old man as well. I did languages at university a long time ago and then lived and worked in France and Switzerland before going to Italy for seven years as a teacher of English. My Italian wife and I then came back to the UK with our little daughter (now long-
since grown up) where I ran a big English language school for many years. We now live in a sleepy little village in Devonshire. I’ve been writing almost all my life but it was only seven years ago that I finally managed to find a publisher who liked my work enough to offer me my first contract.
The fact that I am now writing escapist romance is something I still find hard to explain. My early books were thrillers and historical novels. Maybe it’s because there are so many horrible things happening in the world today that I feel I need to do my best to provide something to cheer my
readers up. My books provide escapism to some gorgeous locations, even if travel to them is currently difficult.

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My thoughts: I really enjoy T.A. Williams’ books, they’re joyful slices of escapism, full of drama and heartache, set in beautiful locations. And this is no exception. I read this book, set in sunny Italy while it was pouring with rain outside and felt completely transported with Sophie. I don’t have the best relationship with my sister so I empathised with her, having to find a way to spend several months with her estranged one – Rachel.

Throw in a complicated love situation with her best friend Chris (who’s back home in the UK), and it’s a real treat of a book. Plus there’s the lovely woofy Jeeves, which is an excellent bonus. A really enjoyable and relaxing read.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Perfect House – R.P. Bolton

They’ve finally found their forever home. So why is it tearing them apart?

A fresh start
Ellie knows she has found her dream home – number six Moss Lane. The place she and Tom can settle down, raise their new baby and start again.

A dark secret
But why do their new neighbours think they’re so brave for moving in? Why are Ellie’s keys never where she left them? And why can Ellie hear strange noises in the night that Tom can’t?

A living nightmare
Suddenly their dream house no longer feels so perfect and when Ellie learns the truth about number six’s dark past, a truth that Tom has been keeping secret from her, she no longer knows who she can trust.

Has their perfect home become her worst nightmare?

My thoughts: I felt for Ellie, she’s carrying around guilt about the past, no one seems willing to suggest post-natal depression or really even listen to her. Her partner’s too preoccupied with work to support her, and she’s very isolated. She doesn’t seem to have many friends, her mum lives in Spain and the new house seems a bit remote.

Add that to all the rumours and half stories she’s heard about the house and no wonder she’s seeing ghosts. I grew up in a really old house, they can be really creepy, and when you’re sleep deprived and suggestible I imagine you do start hearing and seeing things.

I was glad she eventually got some help, although it really shouldn’t have been that hard. But the isolation and the fact that no health visitor popped by, and she wouldn’t tell anyone about her past mental health issues, didn’t help. There’s such a lot of stigma around these things that I don’t blame her for being scared of someone thinking she was a bad mother. Luckily babies are both super resilient and don’t form memories much till they’re about 3 or 4.

Anyway, this was an interesting concept and I was glad the truth about poor Mary and her shitty dad eventually saw the light, Ellie made some friends, Tom stopped putting his job first and the house stopped being filled with nightmares.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Blog Tour: More Than the Game – Jenni Bara

Who loves bad-boy, Sport Romance?

We’re celebrating the release of Jenni Bara’s latest novel, More than the Game! Read on for more details and a chance to win a $25 Amazon e-gift card!

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More Than the Game (Becoming and Evans #1)

Publication Date: September 14th, 2021

Genre: Contemporary Romance/ Sport Romance

Trending on social media is her nightmare.

Beth Evans, former Olympic golden girl, known for a national scandal and daughter of a rising political star, is more than happy to stay out of the spotlight, living life as a normal single mom in a small Jersey town. The last thing Beth needs is Twitter’s favorite bad boy–Marc Demoda–walking into her life to stir things up.

Marc lives for the three b’s; baseball, bars, and ball bunnies, until the unthinkable happened. An accident destroys his shoulder and his career, leaving him desperate to get back in the game. Too bad no one hires notorious bad boys to coach. With his reputation on life support, Marc finds his saving grace might be the feisty blonde he can’t get out of his head.

When pictures of Beth and Marc’s chance encounter blow up on Twitter, they strike a deal to avoid further scandals and fix their image. But even in the harsh public spotlight, their fake relationship begins to feel real. Beth’s growing feelings for Marc have her questioning if she can permanently handle the limelight, just as Marc wonders if Beth might mean more than the game.

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Excerpt

Marc walked down the ramp over the dunes in front of his house with his water bottle, cooling off after his evening workout. He took a selfie and sent it to Austin, telling him to post it with a comment about keeping in shape. For fuck’s sake, he wouldn’t let anyone think he was getting fat. He pulled his shirt back on and leaned against the railing overlooking the Jersey coastline.

Who knew getting good media was so hard? When he’d been pitching, even bad press wasn’t that bad. He’d been patient with being called a drunk, a drug addict, a hothead, even a whorish disease-infested sleaze bag, but he drew the line at fat.

His eyes scanned the beach while he sucked in a breath of salt air. He sank into one of the two chairs he’d placed on the wooden planks, watching the runners who dotted the sand this time of night. Nothing caught his eye until he landed on slender, toned legs in a pair of tight Sideline shorts. The woman reached down to tie her shoelace, allowing him to catch a glimpse of her heart-shaped ass.

He swallowed, feeling relieved. For days he’d tried to drudge up interest in the women he met in bars and clubs, but he couldn’t. It had been years since he spent so many consecutive nights alone.

Seeing this woman, watching her bend down, Marc found himself interested. He smiled as he brought the water bottle up to his lips, but it stopped halfway to his mouth when the woman turned around, and he realized it was Beth. Shit. How had he not known this was the same woman he’d spent days uselessly trying to forget? He shook his head in frustration.

Ever since that night, when he’d been close to placing his lips on Beth’s, he’d spent most of his waking hours thinking about her. He couldn’t believe how badly he’d messed up by asking her to go out with him. He winced.

But he’d have to think about what that meant later if he wanted to catch up with her now. Marc left the bottle sitting on the chair’s arm and took off down the ramp towards the water.

“Beth,” Marc called, but she didn’t hear him. When he got closer and she still didn’t answer, it became clear she was ignoring him. No one ever ignored him–especially not women. Marc picked up his pace, putting himself in her path, forcing Beth to acknowledge him. Her eyes tracked over him, and his stomach tightened before she glanced away.

 “Marc,” she replied coolly. Her tone clearly showed her annoyance. He’d have to try harder.

“It’s beautiful this time of night,” he said awkwardly.

That was the best he could do?

He shook his head as he moved in step beside her, slowing his long legs to match her shorter strides.

“I usually enjoy it alone.” Her eyes took in anything and everything apart from him.

“Lucky you; now, you don’t have to,” he joked sending her a smile—knowing full well by her body language that she didn’t see it as lucky.

She didn’t even crack a grin back.

“I realize I owe you an apology.” Her glare turned softer as, at last, she snuck a glance at him, so he continued. “Beautiful women make men nervous and we say stupid things.”

“It’s been two weeks, and that’s the best you got?” She shook her head and tried to speed up, but he easily matched her pace.

“I was trying to ask you out for a drink or dinner or something, and it came across like I was trying to get you into bed. That’s not what I meant.” Those words felt strange coming out of his mouth. They were true now, but for most of his life that statement would have been a lie.

“You think I don’t know Marc Demoda’s reputation?” Beth rolled her eyes, but Marc almost missed his footing.

“You know who I am?” He made a poor attempt to keep the shock out of his voice.

“Of course.” Beth stopped suddenly and turned in the opposite direction. “This is where I head back. Enjoy the rest of your run.”

Marc stood frozen after her apparent dismissal.

In hindsight, it was obviously she knew who he was. His father had called her a VIP client, and his sister spoke about Beth as if Glory knew her. On top of that, repeatedly Beth called him Marc without him having to introduce himself.  But he’d assumed as soon as she discovered who he was, she would be falling over him like every other woman he met. She was so different. 

“Beth,” he called, taking off down the beach after her. She seemed not to hear him, or maybe she was ignoring him again, but that didn’t stop him. “Did Steve know too?” He slowed down and matched her stride again.

“Yes.”

“He didn’t care either?” Damn, kids were always impressed with him. She shot him a look that said, Are you kidding me?

“You’re definitely not going to be his pick for a teammate anytime soon.”

“I had an off night.” He couldn’t even blame it on his bad arm; it was her fault. “Normally I’m more impressive.”

“Marc, you flooded my kitchen and played bad baseball. That’s the extent of my impressive experience with you.”

“Then give me a chance to do better.”

“I’ve told you I’m not interested,” Beth sighed.

Couldn’t she spend some time getting to know him before she decided he wasn’t worth her time?

“Well, I am,” he huffed. Wow, that was his comeback? Maybe even given a chance, he wouldn’t impress her.  

“Why, Marc?” Beth stopped running and looked at him.

It was a good question, and one that he damn well wished he could answer, but he didn’t know. Well, that wasn’t exactly true. His eyes slid over her sweatshirt and then lingered on her hips. He reached for curl that had fallen out of her ponytail and tucked it behind her ear.

“I can think of a few reasons,” he said, his voice low and throaty. Without consciously deciding to, he’d fallen back into seduction mode.

Instead of backing away, Beth let her hand run down his arm before grabbing his wrist and pulling him closer, so almost no space existed between them. She stood up on her toes and let her mouth move to within a centimeter of his ear. His gut clenched as a jolt shot down his body and he licked his lips in anticipation of what she’d do. He finally had her.

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About the Author

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Even as a young child Jenni Bara would conjure up all kinds of tales with her endless imagination. She’s improved her skills since the days of scaring her younger cousins with ghost stories, but her love for books and stories has never changed.

In her everyday life, she is a paralegal for family law writing unhappily ever afters for people every day. So in turn she spends her free time with anything that keeps her laughing including life with her four kids, or five if you count her husband!

All joking aside she is blessed to have not only a very supportive husband but super supportive parents as well as a loving extended family always happy to share their opinions! 

Her favorites spots all have the best views of the sunsets and she loves to share the views through photos

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Cover Reveal: Red Roses – Katie Ward

Today I’m sharing the cover reveal for Katie Ward’s upcoming book – Red Roses. Review coming soon. Read on for more info about the book.

Autumn is stuck in a rut and desperate to escape the fears that bind her to the life she’s grown to hate. Back home and living with her parents after university with a degree that seems to count for nothing, she knows something has to change. After a chance meeting with a stranger at the beach, she makes the spontaneous decision to move to Dublin and chase her dreams. However, what Autumn doesn’t realise is that she has just made the decision that will lead to her death. But does a short life have to mean an unsuccessful life? Will she be able to make it count? 

Red Roses is a compelling and uplifting story that shows the true beauty of life, love and friendship.

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Publication Date: 31st October

Book trailer via YouTube

Katie Ward always knew she wanted to write for a living. However, she was told by her careers advisor that “it might be more appropriate for you to work in a shop”. When Katie didn’t get the grades she needed to get into college, she negotiated a three month trial. After successfully completing the course she secured a place at her first choice university to study Journalism. 

After realising she wanted to be an author, Katie moved to Dublin where she worked her way up from receptionist to Executive Assistant at Merrill Lynch. Katie continued to write in her spare time, submitting her short story into the “Do the Write Thing” competition being run by Irish TV show ‘Seoige and O’Shea’. This story was originally written when Katie was 14 after she was inspired by an article in her favourite teen magazine. Katie was the only non-Irish author selected to have her story published in an anthology of the same name which reached 19 in the Irish Best sellers List. Katie was also shortlisted for a competition judged by MAN Booker Prize winning author Roddy Doyle which was run by Metro Eireann newspaper. 

Katie currently lives in Devon with her cat (aka ‘Her Royal Fluffiness’) where she sings in a community choir and has recently taken up Archery. Katie’s favourite author has been Roald Dahl since she was a child as she loves the dark edge he brings to his books. On the flip side though, Katie loves Disney, magic, unicorns and a good rom com film at the cinema with her friends.

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Blog Tour: Where We Are Tomorrow – Tavi Taylor Black

wherearewetomorrowBT copy

Welcome to the blog tour for award-winning novel, Where Are We Tomorrow by Tavi Taylor Black! Read on for more info and a chance to win a $25 Amazon e-Gift Card!

Untitled design(23)

Where We Are Tomorrow

Publication Date: May 31st, 2021

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/ Women’s Fiction

Publisher: TouchPoint Press

Alex Evans, a thirty-six year old touring electrician, discovers through an accidental pregnancy and then the pain of miscarriage that she truly wants a family. But to attempt another pregnancy, she’ll have to change both her career and her relationship; her partner Connor, ten years her senior, isn’t prepared to become a father again.

When Alex is implicated in an accident involving the female pop star she works for, she and three other women on tour rent a house together in Tuscany. While the tour regroups, confessions are made, secrets are spilled: the guitar tech conceals a forbidden love, the production assistant’s ambition knows no limits, and the personal assistant battles mental issues.

Through arguments and accidents, combating drug use and religion, the women help each other look back on the choices they’ve made, eventually buoying each other, offering up strength to face tough decisions ahead.

TRIGGER WARNING: MISCARRIAGE/ ADDICTION/ GRIEF 

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Excerpt

Inside the concrete arena, programmed lights whirred and spun in rhythm; eleven thousand fans watched, mesmerized, as vibrant magenta and violet beams sliced through midnight black. On stage, the band regurgitated the same set as the night before, and the night before that. They’d performed the set in Mexico City and Guadalajara. As far south as Santiago and Lima. The road crew for Sadie Estrada’s Home Remedy tour knew each dip in volume, each drop in the beat. They knew exactly, down to the second, how much time it required to step outside and suck down a Marlboro. These time-zone travelers planned bathroom breaks by the songs’ measures; no one missed a cue to mute the stage mics, to hand out room-temp bottled water for set breaks, to pull up house lights.

Behind heavy velvet curtains, separated from the frenzied pace of the show, Alex unscrewed the cover of a moving light to expose the core: circuit boards and capacitors, motors connected to color wheels. Deep bass, feedback, and the fevered pitch of collective voices penetrated the curtain, the familiar, almost comforting reverberations of life on the road. Alex continued her diagnosis, removing the light harness as a mother removes a soiled diaper— routinely, with a touch of tenderness. While she located and replaced the broken part, she kept an ear to the music, alert to the final measure of the set, ready to repack her multi-wheeled toolbox, move on to the next city, set up again.

Alex ran the light through all its functions, testing and retesting once she’d replaced the gobo wheel. The body of the light panned and tilted, working fine. A small victory.

“Sure you know what you’re doing, little lady?” Alex turned at the familiar voice of the tour’s production manager.

“Funny,” she said. “Very original. For that, you get to help me put it away.” Alex waited for another barb, one about her not being able to lift the seventy pounds by herself, but Joe simply helped her flip and crate the unit, a harder task for him at 5’2” than it was for Alex, a good five inches taller.

The arena crackled in anticipation of the show’s climax. Thousands of voices swelled and surged, a unified congregation. The body of the moving light settled into the carved Styrofoam, and Alex tucked its tail inside the handle. As she slammed the case shut, Joe’s laminate got caught inside the box, and he was jerked down by the lanyard around his neck. He freed the latches and yanked it clear, smoothing the wrinkles from the photo of his two young children, a wallet-sized clipping he’d taped behind his backstage pass. Joe caught Alex eyeing the photo.

“When are you gonna give in and pop out a few yourself?” Joe asked.

Alex breathed slowly, letting a brief sadness settle into her body, though her face wore a practiced, blank expression. She gestured into the smothering dark, into the roar of the crowd and sweat-filled air. “And give up all this?”

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About the Author

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Tavi Black lives on an island near Seattle where she designs sets for the ballet, works as the tour manager for a musical mantra group, and has founded an anti-domestic violence non-profit organization. Before earning an MFA from Lesley University, Tavi spent 14 years touring with rock bands. Several of Tavi’s short stories have been shortlisted for prizes, including Aesthetica Magazine’s Competition, and the Donald Barthelme Prize for Short Prose.

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Blog Tour: Cenotaphs – Rich Marcello

Cenotaphs copy

Welcome to the book tour for Cenotaphs by Rich Marcello! Read on for details and a chance to win a fantastic giveaway!

Cenotaphs FRont Cover FinalCenotaphs

Publication Date: July 26th, 2021

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

AFTER A CHANCE MEETING, AN OLD MAN AND A MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN CHART AN UNCONVENTIONAL PATH FORWARD.

When Ben Sanna, a contemplative retiree with a penchant for helping people, and Samantha Beckett, a secretive New York City hedge fund manager, meet by chance in a small Vermont town, they enter into a tenuous relationship. Over several weeks, Samantha and Ben open their pasts inch by inch, sift through their futures consciously, and come to terms with the strength and depth of their bond. A meditation on redemption told in alternating chapters of musings and scenes, Cenotaphs is about platonic love; the ways we close ourselves off in reaction to pain and what happens when we open ourselves up again; and the deep, painful legacy of loss.

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A SORTING

The parts recur––the son, the lover, the husband, the father, the friend, the citizen. They come in whispers and fragments, in the unwinding of memory. They come in your smile, in the laughter of our children, in nightmares, in bursts of violence against once precious objects. How do you gauge the parts of a life? Did I perform any of them well? How do you summon them into an unfettered whole?

I am old now. I’d hoped I would’ve figured out a few answers by this point, but the truth is I spend more time each day watching the Red Sox than thinking about such things. In the summer and fall, the games are on every day, often twice a day, and watching them gives Zeke and me something to do. Something zen exists about the game, something appealing to me as I age, something about the stillness, the waiting, the bursts of energy, all mimicking the best and worst times in life. And I like the red, blue, and gray uniforms. They remind me of a more structured time.

Zeke, a big black, brown, and white mutt I rescued about ten years ago, keeps me company in our cabin. When I first got him, he liked digging holes in my yard, searching deep and dirty, with only a rare unearthing. His record: twenty-two holes. Twenty-two! In one of them, he found an empty wine bottle, message-less. Now, Zeke mostly sleeps in the same worn spot on the living room rug. I’m not sure which one of us will die first.

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About the Author

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Rich is the author of five novels, The Color of Home, The Big Wide Calm, The Beauty of the Fall, The Latecomers, and Cenotaphs, and the poetry collection, The Long Body That Connects Us All. He also teaches creative writing at Seven Bridges’ Writer Collaborative. Previously, he enjoyed a successful career as a technology executive, managing several multi-billion dollar businesses for Fortune 500 companies.

As anyone who has read Rich’s work can tell you, his books deal with life’s big questions: love, loss, creativity, community, self-discovery and forgiveness. His novels are rich with characters and ideas, crafted by a natural storyteller, with the eye and the ear of a poet. For Rich, writing and art making is about connection, or as he says, about making a difference to at least one other person in the world, something he has clearly achieved many times over, both as an artist, a mentor, and a teacher.

Rich lives in Massachusetts with his wife and Newfoundland Shaman. He is currently working on his sixth and seventh novels, The Means of Keeping and In the Seat of the Eddas, a follow-on to The Latecomers.

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