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Blog Tour: To Be Enlightened – Alan J. Steinberg

Enlighyened copy

Welcome to the tour for “cosmic love story”, To Be Enlightened by Alan J. Steinberg. Read on for details and a chance to win a $100 Amazon e-gift card!

Copy of To Be Enlightened book coverTo Be Enlightened

Publication Date: February 27, 2021

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/ Literary Fiction/ Romance

To Be Enlightened is a cosmic love story that follows Professor of Philosophy Abe Levy as he grapples with what it means to love both his wife, Sarah, and the ocean of silence within. It is also an intellectual exploration of the most intimate of subjects: our consciousness.

Abe Levy’s long tenure as a philosophy professor has motivated thousands of students to ponder age-old questions in light of New Age ideas. Though Abe is passionate about his teaching, he is obsessed with a powerful childhood dream of heaven. To return to that heaven, he must reach enlightenment in his lifetime. Day after day, Abe settles into deep meditation, reaching the very cusp of his goal but unable to cross the threshold. Desperately, he commits to doing whatever it takes, even if it means abandoning his wife for a more ascetic life-a decision that sets off a cascade of consequences for Abe, Sarah, and those he loves the most.

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Excerpt

Vedic wisdom holds that during the forty-eight minutes prior to sunrise, which is called the Brahma Muhurta, a wave of purity and balance sweeps through the world, gently waking it up, along with the birds and other animals. I sip my coffee, enjoying the silence and morning calm. About fifteen minutes before sunrise, the birds start singing praises, enlivening and infusing the atmosphere with optimism for the approaching day. The transition rarely fails to uplift me.

A high-pitched fluttering followed by a distinctive buzzing draws my attention. I look up to see a large, shiny purple hummingbird hovering about a foot above the center of the table, looking at me as if wanting to speak. It flits its beak up, down, and sideways, and—zip! It’s gone. I don’t remember ever seeing a hummingbird so close. I sit for a moment. I know that hummingbird! I’ve seen her many times before in my dream. But she was always a bee.

I do asanas and pranayama and then walk toward our bedroom for my morning meditation. The hummingbird gets me thinking about omens. If there really are omens, does it mean that God communicates with us only at specific, special times? Or is it that at certain times we become still enough to precipitate an omen? Maybe there are always omens and we aren’t aware enough to appreciate them? I bet it’s even more complex than that. I adjust my pillows for meditation. In a half lotus, my eyes close.

Mantra, mantra, maaaantra, mmmannntraaaa, maaa…mantra emerges from shimmering pool, drop of water in reverse. Mantra, mantra, mmmmaa…the place on surface of pool where mantra will emerge begins to move, vibrate…I am observing and hearing the mantra’s emergence from my consciousness. It is separate from the real Me, the observer…The school’s administrative board has asked me to head the search committee for a new chief of campus security. I don’t know anything about security. I’m not going…I observe that thought, and this thought, arise in the same way the Mantra emerges.So interesting…Mantra, mantra, mantraaaaa, maaaantra…surface of pool, no ripples, no thoughts, no feelings coming from body or mind, endless…one side, silent awareness; other side, activity. Mantra, maantraa, mmmmm…mantra barely tickles my expansive surface…Bliss surges through body, mind. Bliss is caused by awareness of subtle disturbance at junction between…Mantra, mantra, mantraaaaa, mmmmmmaaaaaaa…flowing outward, all directions; I am a boundless, luminous mirror between my self and my Self… Mmmaaaa…mmmm…maaaaa…I am the surface of the ocean, impossibly still, deafeningly silent…needing to let go…ready to let go…fearing loss…Mmmmmmmm…decision made, must go forward, will go forward…surrendering all I thought I was for what I am…individuality dissolves: raindrop, ocean…

I am.

I am—the vast, unbounded ocean of consciousness. I am—unmoving wholeness. I was never that body or that mind. I have been observing Abe Levy since the moment he was born, and much, much longer than that. I am—at peace. I am—now awake. I was sleeping before. I can see the sun and the planets clearly. They are so dear to have nurtured Mother Earth, allowing her to birth humanity. I notice distantly that my body is glowing. Time is immaterial and has lost its grip on me…

* * *

Back in my body, I look over at my bedside alarm clock. More than an hour has gone by. I lie down to rest and a deep sleep envelops my body and mind, though I am awake, aware, and witnessing.

I get up and put on my robe. Something is very, very different. It’s as if I am still meditating even though my body and I are active in the world. I am in two places at the same time—the unbounded ocean of consciousness and the bounded world of activity and senses. I have never, ever, felt so good and so focused. I walk to the kitchen, but I don’t seem to be moving.

It happened. The thought comes that I should be jumping with joy, but I’m past that. A more pressing, evolving issue appears to be whether my body can contain my joy. I close my eyes and watch as thin, sparkling beams of Bliss increasingly poke their way through the shell that is my old body, shining out from my new one in a myriad of luminous, waving threads of various lengths and hues. The brightest and most numerous ones are congregated around my solar plexus and the top of my head. The weirdest part of all is that I’m not surprised or concerned by this in the least.

I make oatmeal with whole milk, dried cherries, roasted almond slivers, cinnamon, cardamom, and a hint of nutmeg. I notice something is gone. I am not, in general, an anxious or fearful man, but I now realize I had significant anxiety and fear all my life. I know this because, for the first time, I am completely without those constant companions. Along with my anxieties and fears, my worries about leaving Sarah to go to Fairfield have evaporated. I don’t have to go anywhere now. I am where I have always wanted to be. I’m Here. The weight of responsibility that I had shouldered in guiding Sarah around her triggers has lifted. I think that I can now lovingly support her without feeling bogged down or burdened.

I shower, shave, dress for class, and it all seems to happen automatically, as if I’m uninvolved in the process. I was somewhat intellectually prepared for this, but even after over fifty years of meditation, I’m not prepared experientially. This will take some getting used to.

Walking to my office, the world is delicious. The singing birds are part of me, thrilling me thoroughly from the inside with our perfect twittering. My heart sings with them. My body hums with a hymn as my feet beat the rhythm into the sidewalk.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

Alan Steinberg

Alan J. Steinberg, MD is board-certified in Internal Medicine and practices with the Cedars-Sinai Medical Group in Beverly Hills, California. He also serves as one of the attending physicians for the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers. He grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he learned Transcendental Meditation (TM) in 1975. Earning his undergraduate philosophy degree at Pomona and Pitzer Colleges in Claremont, California, he went on to attend the University of Nevada School of Medicine, receiving an MD degree in 1984. His first book was a non-fiction consumer’s guide, The Insider’s Guide to HMOs (Plume/Penguin), which garnered favorable reviews in the Los Angeles Times and other publications as well as appearances on The Today Show20/20 and C-Span. The book helped sway the direction that healthcare was heading in the late 1990s. His debut novel, To Be Enlightened (Adelaide Books, 2021), is a work of visionary fiction, inspired by some of his own experiences as a lifelong practitioner of TM. Dr. Steinberg lives with his wife of over thirty-five years in Los Angeles, California. They are the proud parents of three young adults.

Alan J. Steinberg | Twitter | Instagram 

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Blog Tour: The Meeting Point – Olivia Lara

What if the Lift driver who finds your cheating boyfriend’s phone holds the directions to true love?

‘Who are you and why do you have my boyfriend’s phone?’

‘He left it in my car. You must be the blonde in the red dress? I’m the Lift driver who dropped you two off earlier.’

And with these words, the life of the brunette and t-shirt wearing Maya Maas is turned upside down. Having planned to surprise her boyfriend, she finds herself single and stranded in an unknown city on her birthday.

So when the mystery driver rescues Maya with the suggestion that she cheers herself up at a nearby beach town, she jumps at the chance to get things back on track. She wasn’t expecting a personalised itinerary or the easy companionship that comes from opening up to a stranger via text, let alone the possibility it might grow into something more…

Come on this 5* journey to love, laughter and back again, perfect for fans of Mhairi McFarlane, Josie Silver and Sally Thorne.

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As a child, Olivia not-so-quietly ‘observed’ (AKA bothered with countless questions) her grandfather — who worked for the biggest publishing house in Romania — edit hundreds of books. And when he wasn’t editing, he read. Everything, all the time. Just like her father, who wrote short sci-fi stories, and was set on building the largest library she’d ever seen and her mother who’s never found without a book…wherever she goes. Her love for words came naturally, and after studying marketing, communications & photography, Olivia worked as a journalist for a newspaper and news television network in Romania.

An unapologetic citizen of the world, she spent a few years in Greece, Sweden, France, before settling in sunny California with her photographer husband and young daughter, where she works in marketing and writes. Oh, and let’s not forget the ever-growing menagerie that completes the family: Pumpkin, the Maine Coon mix, three black cats and a siamese kitten.

When she’s not writing or thinking about writing, she reads (across genres), watches old movies and collects vintage books, vinyl records, and eerie paintings. She loves traveling (and can’t wait until she can do it again, safely), swimming, biking, hiking and of course, photography.

SOMEDAY IN PARIS, her debut, published by Aria Fiction/Head of Zeus in May 2020 became a B&N, Apple, Kobo and Amazon Top 100 Bestseller and was shortlisted for the Romantic Novel Awards 2021. Her second novel, THE MEETING POINT, a contemporary romcom set in Northern California, is set to be published as an e-book on September 2, 2021 and in paperback in December 2021 in the UK and March, 2022 in the US.

Keep up with Olivia: twitter || instagram || facebook  Website

My thoughts: this was a lovely, sweet rom com set on the California coast, where two people share one amazing day, by text. A year later Maya returns to see if it was more than just a single day, but something real.

I loved Maya, I hated her crappy boyfriend and mean boss. I was thrilled she decided to hunt out “Max” in Carmel, and then bicker her way round the Bay Area with Ethan Delphy (a name and a few other things perhaps inspired by a certain trilogy of films…) and I am a secret sucker for a happily ever after, just like Maya.

Basically this was a delightful read, made me want to go back to California, and explore a bit I don’t know at all. Curl up with this love story and enjoy being somewhere magical and beautiful, where it’s not freezing cold and raining. And where a text could change everything…

*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 Wars Between Us – J.A. Boulet

ThewarsBetweenUs

Welcome to the blog tour for The Wars Between US by J.A. Boulet. Read on for an excerpt and a chance to win a $15 Amazon gift card!

EBOOK - J A Boulet b03The Wars Between Us (The Olason Chronicles)

Publication Date: June 18th, 2021

Genre: Historical Fiction/ Historical Romance

Meet Zachary Olason, a bad boy struggling on the brink of alcoholism. During the Great Depression, Zack loses himself and spirals into nights of debauchery, riots and drunkenness. His twin brother, Adam, thinks lowly of him as his entire family struggles to help him.

But Zack is determined to make a mess of his life.

Until he meets a beautiful petite woman, half Cree and part British, who helps him to grow into a better version of himself.

Then just as he thinks life is getting better, he sinks to the bottom of hell. Will he survive from his own self-destruction?

The only way he sees out is to join the Canadian Navy.

The Battle of the Atlantic will either teach him or break him.

THE WARS BETWEEN US

With action packed adrenaline and steamy love scenes, The Wars Between Us will keep you gripped to your seat on a ride of addiction, unwavering love and the fight to stay alive during WWII.

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Chapter One

The fields were dry, so dry in fact, that swirls of dirt and sand kicked up in the winds making it difficult to see. The terrible drought had devastated most of the fields and ruined many farming families. Zack was upset that everyone was struggling, even the people who still had family and properties. Many people were becoming destitute. His half-sister, Annabella, and her farming family were hit hard. They were barely surviving, but they somehow managed to grow their own vegetables for food, using the chickens for eggs and fish for dinner. Gimli was still enduring throughout the Depression, with the fishing industry holding things precariously together.

“Get those fishing rods ready, son,” Nath instructed as he lowered the anchor in the middle of the lake. The boat bobbed lazily in the waves as they prepared to fish for the day.

It was early morning. Zack picked up the rods and opened the bait box. He looked up and caught his father’s eye. His dad had aged so much in the last year. He could see it in the way Nathan moved with a slower, more deliberate task in everything he did. His father used to take him and his twin brother into the bush, running, hunting and laughing when they were younger. Now, the only energy Nathan had left was to fish. Zack loved fishing with his dad and absorbed every minute of it, but he was concerned. His dad meant everything to him.

Zack baited the lines and waited until Nath had dropped the anchor securely with a splash in the deep water. He handed Nath the baited rod and turned his attention to the remaining rod, flipping the slippery tiny fish onto the hook.

He smiled at his dad and flung his rod out into the lake, as Nath did the same. The sun would be rising soon over the watery horizon. It was still very early; the skies were just beginning to turn a lighter blue on one side. The west side was still a darker blue of night. It was so strange to Zack how that always seemed so lopsided. Daylight on one side and the night slowly slipping away on the other.

“When is this depression going to end, Pabbi?” Zack asked, using the endearing Icelandic term for father.

“I don’t know, Zack,” Nath replied, gazing over the lake. “I wish I had a crystal ball sometimes. I could see into the future and make better choices.”

“I think you’ve made pretty good choices,” Zack replied, his blue eyes reflecting the lake’s colour.

“Yes, for some things,” Nath said thoughtfully, thinking of his beautiful young wife, Maria. She was his angel. Maria had helped him to love again. Together they had birthed two strong sons, both of whom had their mother’s bright blonde hair. The boys had inherited his piercing blue eyes and his tall build. He felt blessed every single day for Maria and his family. Nathan couldn’t imagine his life without them.

Zack shuffled on the boat, trying to get comfortable. “Pabbi, I’m seventeen, and I was thinking about joining one of those unemployment labour camps. It would help everyone out if I got a job. Then the strain on you and mom would be less. You wouldn’t have to struggle to feed me anymore. The food has become so sparse, and I don’t want to become a burden on you. I’m young and strong; the camps will feed and house me.”

Nath looked across at his young son, his heart skipping a beat. “Please don’t,” he said. “Those camps are terrible. Deplorable working conditions and even rumoured to have a communist group. I don’t want you getting all messed up with that. We have enough food.”

Zack grinned lopsidedly and accepted his father’s words, although he wasn’t sure that he would listen to his father’s decision. He wanted to travel and experience his life, but Zack felt trapped by the Great Depression. It was like every door he tried to open was locked, and every door that miraculously opened had nothing behind it. He was feeling frustrated and reckless. Zack wanted to make something of his life. He yearned to show people that he was a man and that he had worth.

“Things will get better soon,” Nath said. “They created the Bank of Canada just this past March. The government is changing in a good way, son. You can still work at the fishery with Mike and your cousins.”

“Yeah, you’re right,” Zack said, slumping into the boat. He’d be stuck out here forever, he thought.

Zack closed the door quietly and stepped out onto the wood porch gingerly. He tried not to awake anyone, keeping his departure secret. He had written a short note for his mom and dad, telling them he was off to find some work and not to worry.

It was June 18, 1935. Zack felt uneasy about going against his father’s wishes. He didn’t want his dad to fuss. Zack always had a staunch spirit and felt spurred into action when presented with life’s problems; he simply couldn’t sit by and do nothing. He was once called rebellious by his mother. But it was not entirely true. Zack yearned to do the right thing and felt that without action, there would never be change.

He would come back home when the depression was over. It would save precious food for his momma and his Pabbi.

They would thank him one day.

Zack stepped quietly onto the sand and walked towards the train tracks. He didn’t know where he was going, but Zack knew what he was looking for. He wanted a life he could call his own.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

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J.A. Boulet is the passionate author of The Olason Chronicles, a historical saga of war, courage, love and strength. Her newest novel The Wars Between Us Book 3 is scheduled for release June 18, 2021 on Amazon. J. A. Boulet was born and raised in Western Canada as a first generation Canadian from European descent. Her father enlisted with the Hungarian military and fought bravely during the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, changing sides to stand up for what he believed in. He was granted asylum in Canada and built his family here.

J.A. Boulet was born many years later, raised with strong morals and values, which she stands behind, to this day. She started writing poetry at the age of five and progressed to short stories and novels. She has a keen interest in settlers, healing, family bonds and military history. J. A. Boulet writes with a spine-tingling realism like none other, grabbing your emotions and refusing to let go. The Olason Chronicles is the series you’ve been waiting for. Watch for the final book (4) in the series, being scheduled for a 2022 release.

Follow her on TwitterInstagramYouTube and Reddit.

JA Boulet

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Blog Tour: Clinch – Nicole Disney

TheClinch FIX

Welcome to the blog tour for The Clinch by Nicole Disney. Read on for more info and a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card!

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The Clinch

Publication Date: January 12, 2021

Genre: LGTBQ+ Romance/ Women

TWO WOMEN COMPETE IN A MEN’S WORLD FOR RECOGNITION & LOVE

Eden Bauer grew up in a rough part of New York with an unsafe home life and took refuge in the neighborhood Taekwondo dojang. When the master of the dojang offered to train Eden as a live-in student, he started her on a journey that would eventually lead her to become the UFC featherweight champion of the world.

Eden loves competing and coaching the underprivileged kids of her community, but just as she’s getting comfortable with her champion title, a new martial artist from a legendary family comes roaring onto the scene with a dynasty on her shoulders. Brooklyn Shaw is a loud, cocky, aggressive Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu genius who’s also unfortunately pretty dreamy.

Brooklyn and Eden’s rivalry attracts worldwide attention, but as they spend time together, Eden sees past Brooklyn’s showmanship to who she really is. They ought to be perfect for one another, but can either really fall in love with the person standing in the way of her dreams?

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About the Author

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THE CLINCH brings together Nicole’s two lifelong passions: writing and martial arts. She has been a student and teacher of martial arts most of her life. She won the 18th Annual Writer’s Digest Short Story Competition for Beneath the Cracks. She lives in Denver, Colorado.

Nicole Disney | Facebook | Instagram

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Publication Day Blitz: Twilight’s Temptation – Shilpa Suraj

 The ace photographer and the supermodel, they should have been a match made in heaven. Instead, they fought like the demons of hell. 

Complicated, surly, and sexy, Manav Apte was probably the only photographer who resented his muse. From the day he’d seen her, there had been no other. Unfortunately, she was the one woman he could never have.
Passionate, talented, and gorgeous, Diana Severes refused to give the temperamental ass behind the camera the satisfaction of knowing he got under her skin. It was, however, impossible not to notice him or his glowering disapproval that trailed her everywhere she went.
Their dislike and distrust of each other is legendary in the fashion industry and yet, the sparks that fly when they come together for work are enough to light the sets on fire.
Will the Golden Girl of India’s fashion scene be able to see beyond his hatred to the love he’s desperately trying to mask? And will the country’s most talented photographer realise that his true talent lies not in what he views through his lens but what he sees through the filter of his heart?

Book Links:
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Read an Excerpt from Twilight’s Temptation

We walked along the beach. Me in my shorts and black t-shirt, Diana in a glamorous white beach dress with lace trim. If there was ever a contrast competition, we’d win it hands down.

“Are you okay?” I asked her. 

Diana shrugged. “I guess. That was unpleasant but necessary. I’ll get next steps in place as soon as we get back to Mumbai.” 

“Will your family be okay with this?” 

“My parents don’t get a say in my career decisions. My dad is ex-army and my mom is a teacher. They don’t understand how this world works anyway.” She sidestepped some dog shit on the beach, moving a little closer to me. 

I itched to wrap an arm around her, pull her in for a hug and kiss her. Instead, I clenched my hands in my pockets, Adil’s words still echoing in my head. 

“My brother, who is a typical tech nerd, wouldn’t bother to venture an opinion either. The only other person who would have understood was Andrew, the brother who died. He was the one who encouraged me to get into modelling and pursue my dreams.” Tears glimmered in her eyes, a stray one streaking across one golden hued cheek. 

“And this was your dream? To be a model?” 

She stared back towards the resort in the distance, her mind somewhere I couldn’t follow. 

“I wanted the fame, the glamour and the money. I wanted to be independent. I wanted to be someone. Modeling gave me all of that and when my time ends, and it will end, we all know that, I have a backup plan in place for that too.”

I stared at her, seeing her, truly seeing her for the first time since I’d met her two years ago. She was so much more than that gorgeous face and bubbly personality that people mistook to be the entirety of her.

“I wanted to be a wildlife photographer,” I blurted out with all the finesse of a horny sixteen year old. 

“You can still be one,” she smiled. “Just in addition to what you already do.”

“I work nonstop. I’d never be able to find the time,” I muttered. 

“We can always find the time if it’s important enough to us. We make time when we want to.” She cupped my cheek and pressed a light kiss on to it. 

She was right. We made time and space for what we wanted, for what was important to us. And in that moment, I knew… Diana was desperately important to me. 

“Everything he said was true, you know,” I told her, shoving my hands deeper into my pockets to keep them from reaching for her. 

“Everything I said was true too, Manav,” she smiled, sadly. “But what is your truth?” 

What was my truth? It was buried under so many years of misery, pain, and heartache, would I recognize it even if I found it?

About the Author:

Shilpa Suraj wears many hats – corporate drone, homemaker, mother to a fabulous toddler and author.

An avid reader with an overactive imagination, Shilpa has weaved stories in her head since she was a child. Her previous stints at Google, in an ad agency and as an entrepreneur provide colour to her present day stories, both fiction and non-fiction.

Contact the Author:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Newsletter




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Cover Reveal: Twilight’s Temptation – Shilpa Suraj

 

The ace photographer and the supermodel, they should have been a match made in heaven. Instead, they fought like the demons of hell. 
Complicated, surly, and sexy, Manav Apte was probably the only photographer who resented his muse. From the day he’d seen her, there had been no other. Unfortunately, she was the one woman he could never have. 
Passionate, talented, and gorgeous, Diana Severes refused to give the temperamental ass behind the camera the satisfaction of knowing he got under her skin. It was, however, impossible not to notice him or his glowering disapproval that trailed her everywhere she went. 
Their dislike and distrust of each other is legendary in the fashion industry and yet, the sparks that fly when they come together for work are enough to light the sets on fire. 
Will the Golden Girl of India’s fashion scene be able to see beyond his hatred to the love he’s desperately trying to mask? And will the country’s most talented photographer realise that his true talent lies not in what he views through his lens but what he sees through the filter of his heart?

About the Author:


Shilpa Suraj wears many hats – corporate drone, homemaker, mother to a fabulous toddler and author.

An avid reader with an overactive imagination, Shilpa has weaved stories in her head since she was a child. Her previous stints at Google, in an ad agency and as an entrepreneur provide colour to her present day stories, both fiction and non-fiction.

Contact the Author:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Newsletter

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Blog Tour: Whisper of the Runes – Christina Courtenay*

Read my review of The Whisper of the Runes

Time is no barrier for a love that is destined to be.
She couldn’t be sure that she had travelled through time … but deep down she just knew.
And her only way back had just disappeared.
When jewellery designer Sara Mattsson is propelled back to the ninth century, after cutting herself on
a Viking knife she uncovers at an archaeological dig, she is quick to accept what has happened to her.
For this is not the first Sara has heard of time travel.
Although acutely aware of the danger she faces when she loses the knife – and with it her way to return to her own time – this is also the opportunity of a lifetime. What better way to add authenticity to the Viking and Anglo-Saxon motifs used in her designs?
As luck has it, the first person Sara encounters is Rurik Eskilsson, a fellow silversmith, who is also no
stranger to the concept of time travel. Agreeing that Sara can accompany him to Jorvik, they embark on a journey even more perilous than one through time. But Fate has brought these two kindred spirits together across the ages for a reason…

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Christina Courtenay writes historical romance, time slip and time travel stories, and lives in Herefordshire (near the Welsh border) in the UK. Although born in England, she has a Swedish mother and was brought up in Sweden – hence her abiding interest in the Vikings. Christina is a
former chairman of the UK’s Romantic Novelists’ Association and has won several awards, including
the RoNA for Best Historical Romantic Novel twice with Highland Storms (2012) and The Gilded Fan (2014). Whispers of the Runes (time travel published by Headline 24th June 2021) is her latest novel. Christina is a keen amateur genealogist and loves history and archaeology (the armchair variety).

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Giveaway to Win a signed copy of Whispers of the Runes plus a pair of silver Viking style
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My thoughts: this was really enjoyable, Sara was friends with Linnea, the protagonist of The Whisper of the Runes, so she isn’t too frightened when she finds herself in the past with a hunky Norseman. They travel to Jorvik, modern day York, with a bunch of raiders, not that they’re given much choice. Together they plan to return to Sara’s time but in the meantime they begin to build a life.

I really like these books, they’re a fun blend of romance and history, the writing draws you in to the story and the characters keep you engaged. The plot was interesting and I like the way the characters have to adapt to living in different centuries – I’m not sure I could do it with such ease.

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

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Book Blitz: Genuine; Love Can Be Controlled – Lena Ma

Genuine

Congratulations to Lena Ma on the release of her latest novel and the start of a brand-new series, Genuine: Love Can Be Controlled. Read on for more details and the chance to win a print copy of the book!

CoverGenuine: Love Can Be Controlled (The Scarlett Series Book 1)

Publication Day: June 5th, 2021

Genre: Dark Romance

One-night stands, cheating exes, and abusive partners. They’re all she thought she deserved. Repressed memories and a persistent voice inside her head that undermined her every word, leading to a life of alcoholism and depression. When her last failed attempt at love finally pushed her over the edge and into desperation, Sarah Levinson decided to take matters into her own hands by creating Genuine, an app that allowed her to choose the love she wanted, a partner guaranteed to remain forever faithful, until everything so right turned horribly wrong. Her new love interest tested her algorithm and took everlasting love to a new extreme that may just destroy her carefully crafted plan and lead to a disastrous end, and everything Sarah once thought she believed about her life, her future, and her past are called into question. Will her strategy for everlasting love lead to her demise, or will it shed light on unspeakable truths in this dark, twisted story?

Note: Possible Triggers

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Excerpt

“Love cannot be controlled nor can love be forced. Love must be mutually accepted by both ends of the spectrum before it is able to come to fruition. That’s what we were led to believe anyway. What if, instead, we are able to choose love, exclusively select who we want to love us rather than waiting for them to never love us back? What if we are able to control love with the simple click of a finger, choose the relationships we want regardless of the opinions of the other person? This dream that we have all been lusting for, a dream that would forever abolish our fear of loneliness, has now come to life. I have found you. Choose or Lose.” – Genuine

Applause sounded as the light darkened in the auditorium, and a video appeared, the deep sound of a man’s voice was heard in the narration.

“Love. It’s all we ever seem to want. Love from a parent or a friend can never truly replace the love we obtain and experience from a partner, romantic love that requires unrequited love from someone choosing to be with us and only us, staying loyal through times of thick and thin. We have all been heartbroken, every single one of us in this room and more, falling for someone who only wants us for our bodies before moving onto the next victim. How many times have we fallen for the lies of those who promised us love, just to later on deceive us before our very eyes? How many times have we become the victim of someone who wants us one day and completely shuts us out of their life the next?

Meet Stacy, a young woman who had struggled with finding a loyal partner for over a decade, constantly being tricked by those who wanted her just for a night or two, never having a relationship last more than four months before the lies and infidelity set in, and always having to settle for those less than subpar instead of those she wanted. When we first met Stacy, she was a mess, a once-independent and intelligent woman on the brink of suicide.

However, through the power of Genuine, Stacy finally met the man of her dreams, Timothy, a man who checked off every item on her list, a man she doesn’t need to settle for, a man who will love her through thick and thin until she decides it is time for the relationship to end.

Genuine, true love is no longer impossible. Choose or Lose.”

As the video ended and the lights reappeared, so did the host of the App X-Change Summit, Brian Flint.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to the creator of Genuine, Sarah Levinson!”

              Another round of applause rose from the crowd and camera flashes began to pepper the stage from the media rows. Sarah felt a familiar surge of fear pushing at the edges of her mind. She closed her eyes and breathed deep; I make the world a better place. I am the one in control. Move over, Aphrodite – I am the new goddess of love.

With that, Sarah stepped onto the stage with a winning smile and waved to the audience. Making her way to the podium, she shook hands with Brian, and then turned to the crowd, who only quieted when Sarah began to speak.

“Love cannot be controlled. For so long in our society, we believed that love was elusive to many and attainable to few. It was something that just happened…or didn’t. That belief can now be put to rest, thanks to Genuine.”

Sarah picked up a small remote from the podium and pointed it toward the big screen. A slideshow began, showing the Genuine logo, and the home screen of the app on someone’s phone.

“Genuine gives you the power to lock down love, the true love that you decide you want. Much like the hundreds of dating apps that already exist, with Genuine, users swipe through various profiles to find an ideal mate, swiping right to ‘Choose’ and swiping left to ‘Lose’. The profiles include pictures, a short bio, likes and interests, so on and so forth, but they also display a rating based on a 5-star system.”

Available on Amazon & Barnes & Noble

About the Author

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The world is a dark and destructive place, and the mind is constantly flawed. Through personal traumatic and emotional experiences, such as domestic abuse, infidelity, and hospital-ridden adventures, Lena Ma brings her stories to life by exhibiting raw emotions that plague, not just her, but many others living in this world. Her stories come with dark, twisted scenes that reflect the horrors of reality. Happy endings are a thing of the past while the pain of disturbing reality shines. As an aspiring author, Lena hopes to make a difference in the lives of others by exposing the truths of psychological warfare and the manipulation of the modern world.

Lena Ma Books | Instagram | Facebook | Amazon | B&N 

Win a print copy of Genuine by Lena Ma! Giveaway will run from today until June 15th!

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Spotlight: The Fire God – Michelle Sims

thefiregodtour

Welcome to the book tour for The Fire God Tour by Michele Sims. Read on for more details about this genre-blurring romance! There’s also a chance to win a signed copy of the book!

The Fire God Tour

Publication Date: May 29th, 2019

Genre: Romantic Suspense/ Magical Realism

Miles Moore is obsessed with fire. He can’t help it—it’s in his genes. He’s also the famous performer Ari, an international hip-hop sensation. There are some negatives that come with fame—death threats and life on the road among them—but there’s also a lot of good: fast cars, fast women, international travel, and more money than he can handle. When Bella Wahlberg joins his team as the chief of marketing, she seems like the antithesis of what he’s looking for, so much so that Miles dubs her Belsa the Ice Queen. It would be unprofessional for them to get together, but more than that, she’s unavailable—and deathly afraid of fire. But as they prepare for The Fire God Tour, Miles can tell something is changing. Is he ready to commit himself to one woman? Can fire and ice come together?

EACH BOOK IN THIS SAGA IS A STANDALONE STORY!

Excerpt

Bella powered down her computer in time to see her phone buzzing with a message: the limo driver was minutes away. After locking the front door just as the driver pulled up, she waited while he parked and got out of the car to open the door.

“Thank you.” She got in and sighed, feeling torn that she had to work on her day off instead of enjoying a long hike; yet also wanting to be seen as a team player. Resolved that even though she’d agreed to do this favor for Darien, she would accomplish it as quickly as possible and get away to enjoy nature with Corey.

Traffic was light and the car arrived at the estate quicker than she expected. The butler, Mr. Curtis, dressed in a black suit with a starched white shirt, dark tie, and spit-shined black shoes, greeted her at the door. She sensed he disapproved of her casual attire as he looked her over, jutting out his chin, giving her a loud sniff.

“Good morning, Bella. Darien left instructions to take you to Miles’s bedroom to get the papers.”

She hesitated a bit but followed him as he walked up the stairs to the space regarded as off limits.

“This is quite unusual, since Mr. Moore rarely allows employees other than Parker, Darien, or myself in his personal space, but I was assured it would be okay for you to go into his private suite of rooms to search for the contracts in question.”

She was also uncomfortable being in Miles’s private space, but Darien had been frantic when he’d called. He knew NeNe would be angry if all the documents weren’t there for her review even if she was on a conference call with them and not there in person. He assured her Miles wouldn’t be at the house and he would handle any fallout if he discovered she had been in his bedroom without his permission.

“He had a date last night and planned to stay at his penthouse in the city,” Darien had assured her on the phone before she’d agreed to do him the favor.

Bella and Mr. Curtis were at the top of the stairs when she began wondering if changing her plans with Corey was such a good idea. She liked the hardware store entrepreneur and was glad things were working out between them. He seemed okay with her work obligations in general, but she shrugged at the gnawing idea that Corey might not be okay with anything out of the ordinary at AriMusic, especially if it involved close collaborations with its CEO.

Mr. Curtis opened the door to the bedroom, and she took in the view of the massive mahogany bed, with etches of rams carved into the posts. Tastefully decorated, the room had touches of black and bold red accents. There was a very masculine feel to the room.

Looking around, she discovered his desk with papers on top of it. What piqued her curiosity was the old-style lamp filled with oil next to an ornate candle on his desk.  She began looking for the papers Darien had asked her to find and didn’t notice the bathroom door opening or the presence of someone else in the room.

“What the—” The loud verbal bomb startled her, causing her to spin around and throw the papers in the air.

Miles abruptly cut off the f-bomb and stood still, a few feet away from her, while she froze as she viewed his nude body. She knew he had a great one, but she’d never imagined she would meet Adonis in this lifetime. His beautiful pecs, six-pack abs, and his.. oh my, made her gasp. His thick muscular legs had her face feeling hot and her heart racing.

“Why are you here, Bella?” He initially made no effort to cover himself.

The papers scattered across the floor, blown by the air currents from the ceiling fan whirling above. “Darien asked for a favor, and he said you wouldn’t be at home. He needed these papers for a meeting later today,” she stammered and tried but couldn’t hide her tremulous voice or the shaking of her hands as she tried to gather the papers.

 Breaking her stare, embarrassed by the impropriety of their meeting, she knelt to pick up the papers scattered throughout the room.

Available on Amazon!

About the Author

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Michele Sims is the “author-ego” of Deanna McNeil and creator of the Moore Family Saga. She loves writing hot love stories and women’s fiction with multigenerational characters. She is the recipient of the 2019 RSJ Debut Author Award, the 2018 RSJ Aspiring Author Award, and first runner up in the Introvert Press Poetry Contest for February 2018.  She is a member of  LRWA, in Charleston, SC, and the NK Tribe called Success.

She lives in South Carolina with her husband who has been her soulmate and greatest cheerleader. She is the proud mother of two adult sons and the auntie to many loved ones. When she’s not writing, she’s trying to remember the importance of exercise, travelling, listening to different genres of music, and observing the wonders of life on this marvelous planet. She is currently working on several collaboration projects.

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Blog Tour: It’s Not Never – Louise Gregory & N.G.K *

From the worldwide bestselling author NGK, and Louise Gregory, a new contemporary love story based around the first human mission to Mars.

A timeless love story.

Ambitious and hardworking, astronaut Jessica Gabriel refuses to let love get in the way of becoming the first person to walk on another planet. Or maybe she is just afraid of losing her best friend?
Fellow astronaut, John Eden, is determined to prove he is more than his family name. Yet his insecurities might cost him his place on the mission.
Neither of them are looking for love, and mission protocol forbids it. But love doesn’t follow the rules, and the two friends have to decide whether they want to risk everything they’ve worked for to be together.

Louise Gregory is the debut co-author of It’s Not Never, and uses her extensive background in psychology, coaching and team dynamics to create multi-layered characters with deep rooted feelings and motivators.

Louise lives by the “three r’s” – reading, writing, and running, all of which she would do more of were it not for her addiction to social media. She lives in the Cotswolds with her husband, two daughters, and a cat who is plotting to kill her.

N.G.K. is the best-selling author of seven books, including the popular Harry the Happy Mouse and Ridgeway Furrow series which have collectively sold over a million copies around the world. It’s Not Never is his first book for adults.

N.G.K. lives in the Forest of Dean with his wife, two children, and Lulu the cat. 

My thoughts: this was a hugely enjoyable and rather lovely book. It did what all the best love stories do, so have tissues on standby.

I enjoyed all the science-y, space travelling stuff as much as the slow burn romance between Jessica and John, from their first meeting at university to reconnecting at astronaut training and into space. The characters are deftly drawn and fully realised, two very different people on the same path to the stars. Moving and inspiring.

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