Book Tour: Rain City Lights by Marissa Harrison Genre: New Adult/ NA Mystery @marissa_hrrsn @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #Books

Welcome to the book tour for Rain City Lights by Marissa Harrison! Read on for more details and enter to win a fantastic giveaway!

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Rain City Lights

Publication Date: October 1st, 2021 (Hardcover Edition)

Genre: NA/ NA Mystery

Coming of age and mystery blend in this stark, yet atmospheric tale of love and loss. A young woman is pushed onto the streets where she learns the harsh realities of what it means to survive, to serve justice, and to fight for the man she loves. As they navigate their way through Seattle’s Underground, Monti & Sasha will break and warm your heart!

In the summer of 1981, a serial killer preys on black, teenage prostitutes working Seattle’s arterial highways. But the eyes of youth are blind to danger, and Montgomery “Monti” Jackson is distracted by her own problems. She’ll be starting high school soon, and the return of her mother’s boyfriend heightens the tension in her fractured household.

To add to her worries, Monti fears she may be in love with her best friend Sasha. But as close as they’d once been, now they couldn’t feel further apart. Sasha is a burnout punk rocker, and has befriended the neighborhood drug dealer. And when an eviction notice is posted on Monti’s door, a strange dynamic forms between them.

One night, an altercation leaves her family penniless. So Monti turns to the very streets where a killer stalks and ensnares young women, beginning her journey towards understanding one, simple truth – sometimes your only choices in life are to love and survive.

Rain City Lights is a gritty, urban love story that explores how poverty, addiction and abuse is passed from one generation to the next.

Trigger Warnings: Adult content and some violence

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Prologue 

Christmas Eve, 1972 

The rain pelt so hard it sprang up from the porch like bullets. The detective removed his hat,  water dripping down his face, hiding tears but for his red-rimmed eyes. He couldn’t help crying,  after what he had seen and for the scene before him. The Christmas tree lit with multi-colored  lights and draped with silver tinsel. The cookies on the mantle. Frank Sinatra crooning “Jingle  Bells” from the record player. And a small boy wearing red pajamas. These were the reasons the  detective wiped his nose like a baby, and steeled himself to bear the bad news. 

* * *  

Mikael Sasha Coen already knew why the detective had come. Someone once said he could  smile with only his big, blue eyes. He tried this by focusing his eyes hard into the sadness that  seemed to hunch the detective’s shoulders. He curved the corners of his mouth upward just a  little. It was enough to make the detective smile back. 

“He should leave the room,” the detective said.  

Daan shook his head. “The sooner he gets used to hearing bad news, the better.”  The detective scratched his sideburn.  

“Mr. Coen, I’m so sorry to say this, tonight of all nights. But there’s been an accident. Your  wife’s car went over the Ballard Bridge. She didn’t make it.”  

Daan Coen keeled over and keened, a sound more piercing than nails dragged against a  chalkboard. The detective described what happened. The grates were slick. His wife had been  speeding to beat the drawbridge, raised to let a party yacht into the Fremont canal. She skidded  and lost control. Daan sobbed and asked the Lord why. But Mikael thought he knew that, too.  

After a moment, Daan asked,  

“But wouldn’t she have seen the warning lights? Wouldn’t the gate have dropped? I don’t  understand how this could happen.”  

The detective pursed his lips. He spoke in the way adults sometimes did that made Mikael feel as  if he’d been naughty.  

“Not here,” the detective said.  

Mikael watched from the porch as Daan left to identify the body. He’d promised to stay with one  of the neighbors that lived in the apartment units of The Bridgewater. As Mikael turned, he heard  a chattering sound, and it drew his attention to the stoop next door. A young girl sat with her head 

pushed between her knees, her body rocking back and forth and her arms enclosing her shivering  shins. 

“What’re you doing? It’s raining,” he said.  

“No shit,” she muttered. “I’m locked out.”  

“Why?” He bit his lip. “Also, you shouldn’t talk like that. My dad says bad words send people to  hell.”  

The girl didn’t answer. When she looked up, he saw the gray eyes of a feral cat ready to scram  into the city gutters. 

Mikael walked inside and turned up the music. He took the cookies from the mantle and went  back to the porch, holding them in the rain, in view of the girl. 

“Want a cookie?”  

“I’m fine. My mom is coming soon.”  

“You want to help me open my presents?”  

The girl shrugged and stared at her knees.  

Mikael sighed and stomped back to the Christmas tree. He moved the gifts from beneath the tree,  one by one, into his bedroom. He knew the girl would come out of the rain soon. No kid could  resist Christmas presents. On each trip to the tree he passed a photo of his mother. It was the kind  with two faces, one of the smiling front and the other a profile. The two-faced photo was  ghoulish, and each time he passed it became harder to look at because of the goosebumps that  tickled his arm. He didn’t want to open presents in front of the ghost that had once been his  mother.  

Mikael waited on his bedroom floor. The music blared from the living room, but over the  smooth, velvet voice of Sinatra came the soft pattering of uncertain footsteps. 

“I’m in here,” Mikael called. 

The girl appeared in the open doorway of his bedroom. 

“Hi,” Mikael said.  

Her eyes were glued to the presents.  

“Where are your parents?” she asked.  

“My mom is dead. My dad went to see her.”  

“What happened?” 

“A car accident.”  

He sniffled and pushed the presents towards her.  

“Here. You can have them all.”  

He handed her a football wrapped in gold paper, something he never wanted. Mikael’s father  wanted it for him, in the same way Daan wanted other things. Be a good, Christian man. Don’t  cry. Stand up straight. Don’t tell lies.  

The girl tore the paper from the gift, filling the silence with the sound of shredding paper. Her  eyes sparkled. She tossed the football in her hands as if it was something she was made to do. 

“My name is Montgomery. But you should call me Monti. I’m seven.”  

“My name is Mikael.” He paused, thinking of his Norwegian grandfather for whom he was  named, a strict Lutheran who built the walls that enclosed them now. It was a name his father  wanted for him.  

“But you should call me Sasha. I’m seven and a half.”  

Monti shoved an entire cookie into her mouth. She smiled, showing the crumbs stuck between  the gap in her front teeth. 

“Why aren’t you sad?”  

“I was sad yesterday,” he said. “My mom said goodbye yesterday.”  

She took another cookie and ogled the rest of the gifts. 

“I can’t take your presents.”  

“Yes you can. I don’t want them.”  

She sputtered cookie crumbs from her mouth. 

“Why the hell not! I’d kill for this many toys.”  

“They’re from my dad. And he’s the reason my mom’s gone.” He picked another gift and laid it  in her lap. “Also, you shouldn’t swear.”  

She nodded, as though everything he’d said made perfect sense. He felt very brave next to her, so  he whispered through clenched teeth,  

“I hate my dad.” 

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About the Author

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Marissa Harrison is the author of her debut novel, Rain City Lights. She began her career by reading as many books as she could get her hands on, and would fondly wander the aisles of her neighborhood Target to pick the hottest reads for her enjoyment and education. She caught the bus from her job in Downtown Seattle to take classes and workshops offered around the city, and eventually completed her first novel during the early morning hours while watching the trains roll by from her apartment window. She is an avid reader of mysteries, true crime, and heart wrenching love stories, and explores these themes in her own writing.

In her spare time Marissa enjoys running, hiking, dramatic miniseries’ and a great glass of wine. She lives in Seattle with her husband and four guinea pigs.  

Marissa Harrison | Twitter | Instagram

 

Giveaway: Cozy Book Box – Includes Signed Copy, Luxe Throw Blanket, & Hand-Crafted Candles (US Only).

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Book Tour Schedule

November 22nd

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

Bri’s Book Nook (Review) https://brisbooknook.com/

Bunny’s Book Review (Spotlight) https://bookwormbunnyreviews.blogspot.com/

November 23rd

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

Nesie’s Place (Spotlight) https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com

@dreaminginpages (Review) https://www.instagram.com/dreaminginpages/

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

November 24th

Books + Coffee = Happiness (Spotlight) https://bookscoffeehappiness.com/

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.com/

  @isbn_reading (Review) https://www.instagram.com/isbn_reading/

Liliyana Shadowlyn (Spotlight) https://lshadowlynauthor.com/

November 25th

Stine Writing (Spotlight) https://christinebialczak.com/

   @jypsylynn (Review) https://www.instagram.com/jypsylynn

@rozyreads (Review) https://www.instagram.com/RosyReadz/

@bhaneereads_ (Review)  https://www.instagram.com/bhaneereads_/

November 26th

@amysbooknook8 (Review) https://www.instagram.com/amysbooknook8/

 @libraryofbookish (Review) https://www.instagram.com/libraryofbookish/

@softestreader (Review) https://www.instagram.com/softestreader/

 @allpagesandcoffee (Review) https://www.instagram.com/allpagesandcoffee/

@addictedtobooks86 (Review) https://www.instagram.com/addictedtobooks86/

Gryffindor Bookish Nerd Blog (Review) http://gryffindorbookishnerd.simplesite.com/

 

 

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Book Tour Sign Up: Bluebird at My Window by H. Noah (Genre: Dark Fiction/ Psychological) Jan 24 – 27 @thehnoah @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours

Hey Bookworms!

I am organizing a book tour for a contemporary and dark psychological genre bender called Bluebird at My Window by H. Noah! The tour will run from January 24th to the 27th and I am looking for people to host! Reviews will take priority but there will be room for spotlights and interviews. ARCs will be available in print however, they may be limited due to shipping delays and location. Digital ARCs should be ready soon. 

Sign up below!

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Bluebird at My Window

Expected Publication Date: February 2022

Genre: Dark Fiction/ Psychological

When faced with trauma, how would you react?

Would you survive, succumb, or lose yourself to your own meaning of justice?

Ann was only seventeen when she died. She tried to be a dutiful daughter, to pray, to repent. But it wasn’t enough. Her mother, Diane, didn’t mean to kill her but when she found Ann consorting with devils, she had no choice. She believed the angels—that in the end, the water would save them both. 

But every choice holds weight.

One death, and Arthur is thrown back into the work he wanted to leave. One death, and Richard must face the reality of his choices. One death, and Maddie and Marie are confronted with the hardest parts of love. 

If only good intentions were enough to keep them from the carnage of their own decisions . . .

A dark contemporary fiction drenched in blood, this debut novel from H. Noah has an intricate true crime feeling with psychological depth.

Coming Soon!

About the Author

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They’ve been a massage therapist, social worker, poet, teacher, and more. Picking up a B.A. in Criminology and an M.S. in I-O Psychology. They’ve also lived in Alaska, Maine and many places in-between. They are currently still trying to find a forever place as they travel the US.

H. Noah | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

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Book Tour & Giveaway: Cenotaphs by Rich Marcello @marcellor @RRBookTours #RRBookTours #Books

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.

Available on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble

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.

Rich Marcello | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Click the link below for a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card! (E-Card)

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Book Tour: No Names to Be Given by Julia Brewer Daily @JBDailyAuthor @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #Books

Congratulations to author Julia Brewer Daily on the release of her debut novel, No Names to Be Given!

Read on for more info and a chance to win a $100 Amazon e-gift card!!!!

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Publication Date: August 3rd, 2021

Genre: Historical Fiction/ Women’s Fiction

Today’s young women will not understand how our families made us feel shame so intensely; we surrendered our first-born children to strangers. Faith Reynolds, No Names to Be Given 

The widely anticipated debut novel by Julia Brewer Daily is a glimpse into the lives of women forced by society to gift their newborns to strangers. Although this novel is a fictional account, it mirrors many of the adoption stories of its era.

When three young unwed women meet at a maternity home hospital in New Orleans in 1965, they are expected to relinquish their babies and return home as if nothing transpired. Twenty-five years later, they are brought back together by blackmail and their secrets threatened with exposure—all the way to the White House.

Told from the three women’s perspectives in alternating chapters, we are mesmerized by the societal pressures on women in the 1960s who found themselves pregnant without marriage.

How that inconceivable act changed them forever is the story of No Names To Be Given, a novel with southern voices, love exploited, heartbreak and blackmail.

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Excerpt

M A G N O L I A  H O M E  H O S P I T A L

N E W  O R L E A N S , 1 9 6 6

Men loved Sandy’s body. She didn’t have the option of leading with her wit or intellect. Her looks arrived first. It was both a blessing and a curse.

Now, Sandy placed her hand on her formerly taut stomach. It felt bloated and mushy. How long would it be before she was back in her sparkly dance costumes and performing for audiences? The provocative bustiers and garter belts would not fit her now. She slid up in her hospital bed and peered through a crack in the curtain. They were all in the same recovery room, separated by thin blue fabric. She heard the other two moaning as they awakened. A nurse worked among the three of them and whispered, as if the others were out of earshot, “What a coincidence ya’ll went into labor on the same day. We were inducing you next week.”

An acidic smell of disinfectant and the rusty odor of blood invaded Sandy’s nostrils. She swallowed and found her throat parched and lips chapped. Her head throbbed with a dull drumbeat, and she tasted a metallic tang. What have I done? Why did I think this was the better choice?

Sandy’s thoughts jumbled, like a bad movie looping in her head. She squeezed her eyes shut as she remembered how her heart once pounded whenever she heard Glen’s voice. The curtains separating the roommates’ beds reminded Sandy of those in her home in Illinois, and her mind projected Glen’s image into the hospital room.

“You see what happens to trashy girls?”

She imagined him sitting at the end of the bed, sneering at her. Sandy’s teeth chattered, and her body quaked in small jerks. Her chest rose and fell so rapidly; she became faint. Sandy imagined dying in the hospital. Women died from childbirth all the time. Would her mother ever find out? Probably not. Sandy covered her tracks pretty well. Glen would think she got what she deserved.

“Becca?”

Sandy leaned forward and yanked back the cloth separating them. Becca twisted from side to side. Sandy hated seeing her roommate in such distress. Becca might have been a princess-like creature in her former life, but Sandy admired her rebellious streak. How many other white girls had the guts to fall in love with a Negro? Becca broke the silence. “I cannot believe our babies are in the nursery down the hall, and they won’t let us see them,” she whispered. “Maybe we can sneak down there.”

“Don’t. It may make things worse.” Sandy wanted to avoid all maternal feelings and didn’t want to see a child who might look like her or Carlos.

“I can barely walk to the bathroom.” Faith’s voice trembled. Her pixie haircut, unwashed and dishwater blond, was in spikes and her eyes seemed too large for their sockets.

“Hey, Nurse Carter. If you let me go to the nursery, I won’t bother you anymore.”

“You know that’s not allowed.” The nurse frowned at Becca.

“I promise to stand behind the window. I just want to see my baby. One time. I promise.” The nurse’s response was to leave the room.

Becca whispered to Sandy. “I just want to see the skin color. I want to see if the adoptive parents will know it’s a mixed-race baby.”

Most of all, Sandy knew she longed to hold her child. Becca still declared love for her baby’s father. Sandy was still in love with her child’s father, too, but he would be no help to her from behind prison bars.

“I’ll go on a hunger strike. Do you want me to barricade myself in the nursery?” Becca made her announcements in a loud voice.

“Hush. You’re disturbing the entire home.” Nurse Carter poked her head back in the doorway and spoke harshly.

Perspiration beaded in the hollows of Becca’s cheeks, and Sandy watched as she swiped it away with her palm. Her beauty dulled only slightly with her auburn hair in a messy knot on the top of her head and her freckles dominant on her ivory skin. Becca’s startling blue eyes were now the color of a very stormy sea—gunmetal and glinting.

“Everything’s gonna be alright,” Sandy cooed. She feared Becca would

spring from the bed and run toward the nursery. Sandy watched Faith with her hands clasped as if in prayer.

“Faith, are you okay?” She always spoke to Faith as if she were a child. They were all about the same age, eighteen, but Faith’s innocence made her seem so much younger.

“I’m miserable,” Faith said.

“Me, too. I feel like a medieval torture device stretched my limbs,” `Sandy said.

Faith chanted prayers for her baby. “Please, Lord. Please let my baby have the very best parents. I know you’ll take care of him—or her.” She hummed the lyrics of “Jesus Loves the Little Children.” “Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight.”

“How are we expected to walk away and pretend nothing happened? They knocked us out before we had our babies and won’t let us see them? We don’t even know if we had a boy or a girl.” Becca blurted out.

Sandy did not turn to Becca. Instead, she watched Faith twist her hands. Faith’s frame disappeared from view under the sheet. Sandy was afraid her tiny limbs, awkward and knobby, would vanish altogether without the bed to contain her. Every time Sandy looked at Faith, she remembered Faith’s description of her assault.

Now, a living reminder of it existed. Faith had said she didn’t want this baby carrying the blame for its conception. Suddenly, Faith began gulping breaths like drinking water with a cupped hand from a bucket. Sandy tried not to look at her reflection in the mirror. Her hair, not dyed since entering the home, showed roots black and wide like the stripe of paint against a hot asphalt roadway, only in reverse—her platinum locks clung to the dark center. Towering above Faith, she saw how sallow her skin was and how lackluster. She needed her eyebrows plucked and her nails painted—no time to worry about all that. Sandy required all her strength for her own recovery and assisting her friends.

She tucked Faith and Becca’s blankets around them, raised their hospital bed rails, and crawled back into her bed.

Tomorrow, they had plans to make.

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About the Author

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Julia Brewer Daily is a Texan with a southern accent. She holds a B.S. in English and a M.S. degree in Education from the University of Southern Mississippi.

She has been a Communications adjunct professor at Belhaven University, Jackson, Mississippi, and Public Relations Director of the Mississippi Department of Education and Millsaps College, a liberal arts college in Jackson, Mississippi.

She was the founding director of the Greater Belhaven Market, a producers’ only market in a historic neighborhood in Jackson, and even shadowed Martha Stewart.

As the executive director of the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi (three hundred artisans from nineteen states) which operates the Mississippi Craft Center, she wrote their stories to introduce them to the public.

Daily is an adopted child from a maternity home hospital in New Orleans. She searched and found her birth mother and through a DNA test, her birth father’s family, as well.  A lifelong southerner, she now resides on a ranch in Fredericksburg, Texas, with her husband Emmerson and Labrador Retrievers, Memphis Belle and Texas Star.

Julia Brewer Daily | Facebook | Twitter  | Instagram | Linkedin

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Book Tour Schedule

August 2nd

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Books, Rambling & Tea (Spotlight) https://booksramblingsandtea.com/

@esmeralda_lagiggles18 (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/esmeralda_lagiggles18/

Rambling Mads (Spotlight) http://ramblingmads.com

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.com/

@isbn_reading (Review) https://www.instagram.com/isbn_reading/

 August 3rd

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

August 4th

 A Very Unusual Name (Spotlight) https://averyoriginalusername.wordpress.com/

Liliyana Shadowlyn (Spotlight) https://lshadowlynauthor.com/

@FlowerGirl0214 (Review) https://www.instagram.com/flowergirl0214/

@m_books.dogs (Review) https://www.instagram.com/m_books.dogs/

August 5th

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Interview) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

On the Shelf Book Reviews (Spotlight) https://ontheshelfreviews.wordpress.com

@mischiefmanaged_04 (Review) https://www.instagram.com/mischiefmanaged_04/

 @mrs.a.reads (Review) https://www.instagram.com/mrs.a.reads/

August 6th

The Librocubicularista (Interview & Review) https://thelibrocubicularista.wordpress.com/

Nesie’s Place (Spotlight) https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com

Sophril Reads (Spotlight) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

@fatimaa.zainab_ (Review)  https://www.instagram.com/fatimaa.zainab_/

@hoardingbooks.herdingcats (Review) https://www.instagram.com/hoardingbooks.herdingcats/

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Book Tour: Catwalk by Nicole Gabor @nngabor @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #Catwalk #Books

We’re thrilled to share this new book with you all today! Catwalk is a coming-of-age NA (Mature YA) novel by Nicole Gabor! Read on for more details and a chance to win a signed copy of the book AND a $25 Amazon e-Gift Card!

Catwalk_EbookCoverCatwalk

Publication Date: July 6th, 2021

Genre: YA/ NA Contemporary/ Fashion/ Modeling/ Coming-of-Age

Eighteen-year-old, shy, suburban aspiring model Cat Watson suddenly has it all as the New York fashion world’s new “It” girl and she thinks she has everything she ever dreamed of—until she realizes be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.

Leaving her good-girl image behind, Cat quickly learns things aren’t always what they seem on the catwalk, and she’s faced with a decision that will change her life forever.

WILMINGTON, Delaware, April 2021

When 18-year-old Catherine Watson disobeys her parents and ditches her Ivy-league acceptance to start fresh as an aspiring model in New York City, a chance encounter with fashion world bigwigs gives her a world-class agent plus a boyfriend she only dreamed about. But as she navigates the fickle world of modeling, she realizes that to get ahead, she’ll have to leave herself behind—but is it worth it? Catwalk is an expertly written tale of first love, coming of age, and high-fashion, from award-winning author and editor Nicole Gabor, inspired by her own experiences as a runway model.

In her suburban hometown, Catherine had what most would consider a charmed life: a 4.0 GPA, a good-guy boyfriend who had his whole life planned out down to the two kids, two dogs, two-car garage—and it scared her to death. She wasn’t ready to follow a traditional path to a paint-by-numbers existence. She longed for adventure, for a life less…ordinary. When Catherine moves away to pursue her modeling dream in New York City and moves in with Jon-Michelle “Jonnie” who tackles the newly-named “Cat” as “her next project,” she revels in her newfound career, thinking “this is what it’s like to be young and beautiful in the greatest city in the world.”

“At that moment, it hit me. I was a mere mortal in a room full of demigods: actors, actresses, bygone legends of the stage and screen; men and women who had traipsed down red carpets all of their lives, whom the rest of the country, no, the world, had pined for, had paid to know the secrets of. Here I was standing among them, cavorting with twenty-first century royals.”

Cat meets Seth, a beautiful and kind but troubled New York scenester, the son of a ‘70s fashion model icon who fatally overdosed during her prime, and she feels strangely protective. She wants to save him like he saved her on her first night out on the town in New York City’s gritty yet swanky meatpacking district club scene.

When Cat is “discovered” by the one and only Philippe Borghetta, the hottest fashion designer in the pages of Vogue magazine, she thinks she has it all. Her life is thrust into an alternate universe, where star-studded cocktail parties, casting calls, go-sees, and nightclub openings revolve around her like constellations. She tries to play the part. Her former self, “Catherine,” was now a shadow of who she was and what she was becoming.

Cat thinks she’s finally gotten what she wanted all along—a chance to start over, a redo, a refresh. But as the lines blur between who she once was and who she wants to be, she’s reminded of her mother’s words, “Sometimes the things that are most worth fighting for are the things you already have.” Cat finds she has to make a decision that will change her life—and possibly the modeling world—forever.

Drawing on her own experiences in the fast-paced fashion model industry, former model and author of more than twenty children’s books, Nicole Gabor masterfully weaves a timeless story of self-discovery, coming of age, and the heartache of first loves. Catwalk is her debut young adult/new adult novel, available in Summer 2021 wherever books are sold.

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Excerpt

“She was discovered! Discovered by Philippe!” Clive, my new agent (yes, agent!) at Icon, chimed into the phone as I walked into his office to get my daily appointments in late-September.

“Yes, she is booked for the spring show and Philippe’s fall print campaign … Fashion week? Booked solid!” he said, winking at me. “Sorry, honey, she’s in high demand. But for you, maybe we could work something out. Say, time and a half?”

Time and a half? Ohmigod. I still couldn’t believe the turn of events here. This man was talking about me, Catherine Watson, and not some other incredibly fortunate girl.

Pinch me. Smack me. Punch me!

“Oh, she can’t walk out of the house for twice that! … I know, I know, but I’m telling you, she’s gonna be huge! Remember Fosgate?”

The last three weeks had thrust me into an alternate universe, where star-studded cocktail parties, casting calls, go-sees, and nightclub openings revolved around me like constellations. I tried to play along and not think about the catalyst of this sudden success — that fact that I was running around with the son of the dead woman I supposedly resembled. Given its Freudian implications, it wasn’t something I really wanted to dwell on.

Sitting there, waiting for Clive to get off the phone (yes, Clive of the “we have no place for you here” notoriety), I let my mind wander, reimaging for the three-hundredth time the scene in the Icon offices when, weeks earlier, Philippe’s personal assistant called up to ask if I was available for the showing of his spring collection at Fashion Week.

Jaws dropped, eyebrows arched, and coffee cups tumbled, no doubt. Wasn’t I that forgettable girl they had dared to take a chance on to appease their star, Jonnie, only days earlier? My god, yes.

Then miraculously and all at once, as if a fairy godmother had sprinkled dewdrops and glitter into the eyes of all who gazed upon me, I became the most enchanting creature, one worthy of the Icon name. Before I could ask for it, I had a portfolio with my name emblazoned on the cover, a new iPhone filled with go-see appointments, blond highlights framing my face, and hair extensions that would make the Kardashians jealous. I, Catherine Watson, had been “made.” AGH!

But perhaps most unbelievable of all, I had a new name: Cat.

“It’s hip, modern,” Clive had said.

Catherine, on the other hand, was what he called “stuffy, boring, old,” a person his mother would watch on PBS. There’s no denying that. In junior high, I tried shortening my name to Cate, but at the time Cate Winters (the most popular girl in 8th grade) was already a Cate with a “C” and there was no way a peon like me was going to steal her nickname. So, since Cate with a “C” was ruined for me, “Cat” seemed a welcome change.

It was all part of the branding process, Clive said. “Babe, you exude youth and innocence. It’s refreshing! I can read the headlines now: ‘Plucked from Obscurity!'”

Not completely true, but evidently we weren’t going for truth here.

“We’re gonna make you the girl next door, the one out in hicksville driving all the boys crazy with her kitty cat eyes …”

I was excited, but somehow listening to a balding, fat man say “kitty cat eyes” made me want to puke.

“So, I know you’ve got the good girl thing down pat, but you’re going to have to get a little naughty.”

“Naughty?” I said, hoping I misheard him and this wasn’t really the premise for a Hallmark movie.

“Step it up a bit,” he said. “Nice girls with no edge get nowhere in fashion.”

He handed over the contract — about 10 pages of tiny text. I flipped through it, trying to absorb all the information in the five-minute window he had allotted for this purpose.

“It’s standard,” he said. “We get a cut from each job you take, you take home the rest.”

I’d never had to sign something so official-looking before.

“Is it nonbinding?” I asked, having heard my father talk about contracts before and trying to appear in the know.

“Look, it’s what all our girls sign,” he said, slightly annoyed by my dilly-dallying. “Do you need more time? ‘Cause you gotta run if you’re going to make your go-sees in Midtown.”

A part of me wanted to hold back. I knew I should go over the contract with my father, but Clive wouldn’t have gone for that. That was part of the “little girl” mentality I was going to have to shed. I held my breath and signed on the dotted line.

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About the Author

PIC.Gabor

Nicole is a published author of more than twenty children’s picture books and an award-winning health writer and editor. Her debut young adult/new adult fiction novel Catwalk, is inspired by her experiences living and working in New York City as a model. Nicole is also a contributor at Highlights for Children and a senior editor at KidsHealth.org, the Web’s most-visited site for children’s health. She lives in Delaware with her husband, three young children, and their Goldendoodle named Ginger.

Nicole Gabor | Twitter | Instagram

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Everyday Magic by Charlie Laidlaw is Now Available for Pre-Order! Every Book Ordered Before May 26th will be a Signed Edition!!! @CLaidlawAuthor @RingwoodPublish @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours

Great news! If you pre-order a copy of Everyday Magic by Charlie Laidlaw and you will receive a signed edition! But you have to order before May 26th!

Everyday Magic Front cover FINALEveryday Magic

Expected Publication Date: May 26th, 2021

Genre: Literary fiction/ Contemporary Fiction/ Humour

Publisher: Ringwood Publishing

Carole Gunn leads an unfulfilled life and knows it.  She’s married to someone who may, or may not, be in New York on business and, to make things worse, the family’s deaf cat has been run over by an electric car.

But something has been changing in Carole’s mind.  She’s decided to revisit places that hold special significance for her.  She wants to better understand herself, and whether the person she is now is simply an older version of the person she once was.

 Instead, she’s taken on an unlikely journey to confront her past, present and future.

Everyday Magic is an uplifting book filled with humour and poignancy, and reminds us that, while our pasts make us who we are, we can always change the course of our futures.

Pre-Order HERE!

About the Author

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Charlie Laidlaw lives in East Lothian, one of the main settings for Everyday Magic. He has four other published novels: Being Alert!, The Space Between Time, The Things We Learn When We’re Dead and Love Potions and Other Calamities. Previously a journalist and defence intelligence analyst, Charlie now teaches Creative Writing in addition to his writing career.

Charlie Laidlaw | Facebook  | Twitter

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