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.

Add to Goodreads

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

IMG_4294

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)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Tour Organized By:

R&R Book Tours

Blog Tour: Of the Lilin (The Sage Chronicles #1) by Paulette Hampton @PauletHampton42 @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #OftheLilin

Check out this upcoming novel, Of the Lilin by Paulette Hampton! Hitting shelves and eReaders September 1st!

Vintage,Room,Interior,Toned,Image,Studio,Shooting

Of the Lilin (The Sage Chronicles #1)

Expected Publication Date: September 1st, 2021

Genre: YA Paranormal (14+)

The Sage Chronicles, Book One – Of the Lilin follows a depressed and grief-stricken teenager who falls into a realm of darkness and demons, geared to readers fourteen and up.

After the loss of her mother and her stepfather’s mental breakdown due to the sudden and suspicious death of his best friend, 18-year-old Sage Frankle agrees to move in with her aunt and cousin at the Englewood Inn in Vermont. While working through her trauma, Sage meets cryptic guests at her aunt’s inn and discovers more about herself than she bargained for…

It’s a slow-burn story steeped in demons and archangels, myths and legends, romance and dark family secrets.

Add to Goodreads

Excerpt

I didn’t deserve happiness. Those joys shouldn’t exist without my family’s and friend’s presence. I should have to endure more suffering for what I had done. I no longer pressed my memory to find out what I was guilty of. It was a blur, a blip in my mind, but it was there. I felt it, and I needed to suffer for it.

Sage, when her dark side appears, describing her feeding:  From his wanting mouth, I began to inhale his essence, his spirit. It was exhilarating and decadent. I was filled with what was flowing and still, energetic and peaceful, awe-inspiring and banal. The dichotomies fit like two puzzle pieces. There was not one without the other. This was the only moment that existed. It was completeness.

Coming Soon!

About the Author

183726512_3939210149532669_119077285891943654_n

Paulette is an indie author who holds a Master of Arts in reading education.  Her writing inspiration stems from watching fantasy and paranormal movies, as well as her real-life experiences with mental health issues.  She hopes her readers will find humor in her stories, become curious about seeking peace through the present moment, and consider reaching out for help if they are struggling with their own issues.

Paulette loves drawing, watching a good thriller, kayaking, and eating chocolate…lots of it.  She and her husband live in North Carolina with their two cats, Linda Hamm and Bree.  Of the Lilin is the first book in her new upper YA paranormal series, The Sage Chronicles.

Paulette Hampton | Facebook | Twitter

Giveaway: Signed 5×7 art print and digital copy of the book 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

ofthelilin copy

Blog Tour Schedule

August 23rd

R&R Book Tours (Kick-off) http://rrbooktours.com

Reads & Reels (Guest Post) http://readsandreels.com

PoptheButterfly (Spotlight) https://popthebutterfly.wordpress.com/

August 24th

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

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

 August 25th

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

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

Behind the Pages (Spotlight) https://www.behindthepages.org/

August 26th

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

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

Misty’s Book Space (Spotlight) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com

Owl Book World (Review)  https://www.owlbookworld.com/

August 27th

Read & Rated (Spotlight) https://readandrated.com/

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

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

Nesie’s Place (Review out of tour) https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com

Blog Tour Organized By:

R&R Button

R&R Book Tours

Book Blitz: Anya Chases Down the End by Jeffrey Yamaguchi @jeffyamaguchi @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #YABooks

We are so happy to share this book with you today! Check out Anya Chases Down the End by Jeffrey Yamaguchi! Read on for details and a chance to win a digital edition of the book!

anya_chases_coverAnya Chases Down the End

Publication Date: May 26th, 2021

Genre: Young Adult/ Contemporary/ Novella

A missing book is about to write the story of her life — before she even gets one.

Recent high school grad Anya doesn’t just want to write the great American novel — She wants to publish it, too. So she has faked her way into a summer internship at a major New York City publishing house thousands of miles from home in order to pursue her dream career at an accelerated pace. But her shaky, clandestine plan — which includes camping out in the office and surviving on leftovers from the pantry refrigerator — is completely upended when she loses track of a coveted manuscript by one of the biggest authors in the world. Off she has to race into the late night streets of New York City to track down the manuscript — to save her internship and preserve her cover story, not to mention her best-laid career plan — before the sun rises and her boss is back in the office.

Come along on the madcap quest in this standalone YA novella filled with secret door venues, abandoned subway stations, concealed backrooms and crash pads, mysterious missed connections on old school rotary phones, electric alleyway kisses, and revelatory poetry hiding in plain sight.

Add to Goodreads

Chapter One

I wasn’t usually invited to the toasts. And technically, I wasn’t invited to this one, but because I was pulled into the last second effort to put it together, at the very least I’d get to mill about in the group of people raising glasses, as opposed to the usual: being huddled over in my cube, my work-a-day motions provided with the soundtrack of everyone else in the office having a good time.

“Anya, what are you still doing here?”

The big boss — Francine — was looking at me like I had failed to rush to the vet a deathly sick puppy that was lying at my feet.

“I was just about to leave, Francine.”

“You do know how important this is, right?”

As a matter of fact, I did know. Because literally one minute earlier, when she was tasking me with picking up the champagne for the toast, had told me just that, in tones usually reserved for someone who was being given the responsibility of delivering a package that contains the formula for an antidote to the virus that is in the process of wiping out the entire human race.

I had spent the first 30 seconds excited that I would get to be a part of the toast — so excited that you would have thought that I was going to be personally thanked. Not going to happen. Still, it felt like a little bit of publishing history was happening, and I was going to be there to witness it — maybe even showing up in some photographs that many years from now, would end up in the biography about my long and storied career as a writer AND publisher who transformed the literary landscape. Or, more realistically, maybe they’d just end up on the publishing house’s Instagram page, and I could share the photo so all my friends would see me making it big in the big city. Not now, of course — I didn’t want to social expose myself and ruin everything in the real right now (more on that later), but at some point in the future, when I’ll probably need to show photographic evidence to case close on everyone that I really did spend six whole weeks of the summer in New York City working at a publishing house.

The inside-my-own head revelry of both the toast and the future brag did not last long, however, because it hit me like a seven layer chocolate cake in the face — while I’m wearing my favorite summery cocktail dress, no less — that I had no way to actually purchase the champagne.

This was double-drag bad — like, not only is the party off, but the house where the party was supposed to be is engulfed in flames. For one thing, Francine expected that champagne to be ice cold and ready to pop in far less time than it was going to take me to get to and from the liquor store that is located just around the corner from the office.

But the bigger issue is that I had no way to actually buy the champagne for the very simple reason that I am not 21 years old, and I don’t have a fake ID.

Yes, it sucks. It sucks to not be able to buy alcohol. Old enough to vote, but not be able to go to bars. Or get into shows, or clubs. But that’s nothing compared to the suckage that is about to swallow up my situation into a deeper and much darker hole. And the situation is this: I am 18 years old and I just graduated from high school, but nobody here knows this. They think I am 21 and about to start my senior year of college, because that is what I told them. At the time that I applied for the internship, it was an impossible lark, and I didn’t really think about any of the consequences of getting exposed as a fabulist because I simply didn’t think it was ever going to happen.

But such an exposure will trigger a cascade of questions and open up the floodgates to a number of deceptions that I’ve had to vocalize, sign-on-the-dotted-line, and sustain in order to pull off what I am literally just one day from totally and completely getting away with.

I know it sounds like I’m a lying, no-good cheat, but to my mind, I applied for an internship in a field I am desperate to break into, got it, and have worked hard during my six weeks here at Teasdale House. While it’s true that I lied about my age, and that I was close to finishing up college, not to mention telling my parents that this was all part of a University program for pre-college students — I wasn’t trying to be deceptive. The false information propping it all together didn’t seem like a big deal at the time. But now, it’s clear to me that there’s quite a few people — and institutions — unknowingly tangled up in the web of deception that I’ve weaved to pull all of this off. If it all falls apart… Well, frankly, I can’t think about that right now.

I dash into the elevator bank, see a set of doors that are in the midst of closing, and jump my way in, like I’m narrowly escaping a mine shaft about to be rocked by a massive explosion.

It wasn’t until after I screeched “Fuck!” that I realized someone was in the elevator with me.

“Good thing you made it! This is the last transport off the literary industrial complex prison module known as the Teasdale House of Strikethroughs and Last-Minute Changes.”

***

Of course it would be Max, or Hot Max as I referred to him in my waking workaday fantasies. I also call him “The dude,” because he’s always the one dude in meetings full of women. He’s one of those forever interns, meaning he’s operating outside the usual seasonal cycle, and people think of him as a staffer, but ultimately, he’s still just an intern. Likely, when he graduates from college, he will get a job at the publishing house. The word is that he’s been promised exactly that. But I have no idea. What I do know is that he’s quite the dapper dresser despite always looking like he was out a little too late the night before. I would occasionally relay messages to him from Francine. This is how our interactions would go:

“Francine would like to see the front cover selections for the Spring list’s lead titles.”

“Okay, I will bring them by in a few minutes, just need to print out the latest versions.”

“Great, thanks,” I’d say, already turned around with my head down.

Pathetic, I know. I made myself feel a little bit better by acknowledging the fact that he probably wasn’t paying close enough attention to me to notice the ridiculously insecure way in which I was functioning, seeing me more as a sentient being transporting messages and documents from one person to another, nothing more, nothing less.

But there was no time for this kind of thinking. In fact, there was no time for thinking at all. The elevator in this shiny and slick new building might as well have been a hyperspace chamber, zapping you instantaneously to whatever floor you needed to get to by the push of a button.

So I just blurted out: “Hey, I just realized I forgot my ID at home. Do you think you could help me get something done for Francine?”

This not thinking thing was really working for me. Not only did I lay the groundwork of the forgotten ID, but I threw in a Francine name bomb. Even if Max was going to try and squirm his way out of helping me out — a fellow intern who never said more than two words to him, if he even remembered anything about me at all — the inclusion of the Francine factor was going to force his hand.

Max swung around and looked me square in the eyes, his smile further lighting up his light green eyes, as well as a no sleep swell to the perfect skin above his everyday, all the time, 5 o’clock shadow. He was holding the elevator door open for me.

“No problem,” he said, with not a hint of annoyance, “Whaddya need?”

***

Fifteen minutes later, the champagne was set up in the conference room, which had an expansive view of the NYC skyline, but most directly looked out upon a residential building that seemed to have some kind of dance studio on one of the floors about midway up the old brick structure. You couldn’t help but catch the movement flowing from that floor, especially after the sun went down. It’s always lit up, and there is always a blur of activity: whirling, gorgeous, flowing bodies moving from one side of the floor to the other.

That’s what I love about the city. It doesn’t make sense that there’s a dance studio in an otherwise residential building, but there it is, and there are people in their dancing, and your eyes can’t help but fall on one particular dancer, who is moving this way and that way, seemingly never touching the ground. As I held in my breath, I realized this dancer’s movement might possibly be the most beautiful thing that is happening on the entire planet at that particular, fleeting moment in time. I’m too far away to actually make out her face. It always strikes me as odd — sad, even — that If I saw this dancer on the street, I would have no idea that this was the person I had been watching flow through the most beautiful of moves, elegantly sweeping her way across the floor in a blur, or balancing herself in a graceful, otherworldly stillness.

***

What I had thought would be a very good thing — standing there with everyone, holding a plastic cup, listening intently to the toast — in reality felt painfully forced and extremely awkward, like I had been invited up on stage to share in the acceptance of an award that I didn’t deserve.

Francine wasn’t a particularly eloquent speaker, but she knew how to command a room. “This is one of many toasts to come,” she began. “There will be many more milestones and even more successes.”

And then, with just the right amount of volume uptick, she proclaimed even more forcefully, “This new book, which Chester just finished, insures all of this and more. This is just the beginning. And oh what a glorious beginning it is. Cheers to you, Chester!”

On cue, people put their hands together and clapped. Chester Fred Morrissey had the look of a man who was used to applause, and no matter how muted it might be, I got the feeling he felt it roll into his ears with pounding thunder. He had a monster hit a few years ago, and that’s a ticket that he, along with everyone else standing in this conference room, plus many others, has been riding ever since.

“I just finished going over the edits with Francine — there weren’t hardly any at all,” he said, a little too heavy on the self-assuredness.

Was that a joke? I wasn’t sure, and I don’t think anyone else was either, because no one laughed.

“I hand it over to you, and I have absolute faith that you will all do your best to share it with the whole world — They’ve been waiting for it, of course, so by all means, carry on with your hard work, full speed ahead!”

Another joke? No one was laughing at all, and though Francine was still smiling, there was the ominous hint of confusion — or was it concern — in that steely, never-let-them-see-you sweat veneer of hers.

“So to the hard work that is complete, and onto the hard work yet to be done!”

People were barely clapping, and perhaps that’s why it quickly became apparent that someone was clapping a little too loudly and far too slowly. All of the sudden, all eyes were staring down on the perpetrator of the obnoxious clapping, which meant all eyes were zeroing in on me as well, because wouldn’t you know it, I had the terrible luck of standing right next to this…. insane person.

I had no idea who this guy was — a disheveled, full-bearded, middle-aged white guy, dressing like an old man wearing the opposite of a custom fit grey suit and, of course, dirty white sneakers. I think I had seen him around before, but I couldn’t quite place him. He definitely didn’t work on this floor.

Before I knew it, Francine was on top of him, smile ablaze but moving too swiftly and with too much purpose to seem like a natural, so good to see you here approach.

Nobody was drinking their champagne. The eyes in the back of Francine’s head must have made her aware of this because she quickly turned around, raised up her glass, and announced, “Cheers indeed!”

She then took a hard swallow from her glass, drinking not in celebration, but to be done with it. With the murmuring reaching its peak, Francine put her arm around the gentleman, whispered into his ear, and ushered him away back towards her office.

I scanned the room and saw that I was not alone in wondering what the fuck was going on — everyone was unified in a look of discomfiting confusion. Everyone, that is, except for Max — he was radiating a bemused grin. I don’t think he knew what was going on, and that was fine with him — he was just enjoying the disarray. He raised up his glass in my direction, kept his eyes locked on mine, and then drank his glass down in one swallow.

***

Just as I’m sinking into Max’s eyes and working to decipher exactly what that was all about — hedging toward the fantasy that Max is actually interested in me — I am immediately struck with an urgent and impossible thought: What if he comes over at this very moment and starts talking to me? Yes, this is what I want, but because I’m a total idiot, I also realize I’d just like to disappear.

It turns out that the disappear option would have been the right choice, because without warning, Francine stomps into my space, grabs a hold of my shoulder, and pulls me in the direction of her office.

Once inside, she shuts the door, and then takes a seat behind her desk. It still feels like her hand is on my shoulder.

Before Francine even has a chance to say anything, and that means I spoke up pretty quickly, I asked, “Who was that guy?”

Whoa. Clearly I was buzzing off the two sips of champagne I had drunk… that, and the buzz I was feeling from the look Max may or may not have been throwing in my direction.

Francine didn’t want to spare the second to compute that I had perhaps spoken out of turn. “He’s not important, never mind him, Anya.”

Then, she got even more cult-leader like.

“What is important is Chester, and the manuscript completion we are celebrating. He arrived today with the last pages — the ending we’ve been waiting so long for. It’s all been reviewed and the pages have been marked-up, including on the stunning new pages that close the novel. The edits just need to be implemented.”

Francine then lets out a sigh of accomplishment, and pauses for effect, before carrying on: “Now I’ve got to go out to dinner with Chester. What I need you to do is go through the marked-up manuscript and the notes, implement all the changes and fixes, and lock down a final draft. Pay special attention to everything, but especially the end. These are the newest pages and they’ve had very few eyes on them — Just Chester’s and mine.”

She was looking at me, and pointing at the manuscript, which was drenched in so much red pen it looked like someone had left it in a room full of school children armed with nothing but red crayons. Clearly, she wanted to see my reaction.

“This has to be done… before the start of the work day tomorrow,” she says sternly. 

“By tomorrow morning…?”

“That’s not a question, right, Anya? That’s your affirmation to me that you understand how critically important this is, and how you will have it done by tomorrow morning.”

She didn’t wait for an answer. She got up, put on her jacket, and opened her office door.

“I know you’re going to have to stay here pretty late to get this done,” she said, in a softer voice than usual. For a moment, it seemed like she was about to show some concern, or possibly, some gratitude, but the next thing I knew, she had raised up her arm and she was pointing a finger in the direction of my chest but seemingly aimed at my very soul.

“Under no circumstances should you remove the manuscript from this office — not even a page or two while you go to get a cup of coffee. And no one — I mean NO ONE — is allowed to step foot in here.”

And with that, she turned and left to go out to her fabulous dinner with the fabulous author in a fabulous restaurant in a fabulous part of the city.

Of course I’m stuck at the office with a pile of work that is sure to keep me here all night. I know what you might be thinking. How horrible! An all-nighter in a deserted, darkened office tower, the creepy clinking and clanking of air vents and cheap metal file cabinets settling deeper into the industrial carpet. But for me, this wasn’t unusual at all. Not because I was always being left to do all the work while everyone else goes out for the fancy dinners, or at least some slices and a few after-work drinks.

Staying not just late, but through the entire night, is absolutely normal for me, because I’ve been sleeping at the office since this internship began.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

yamaguchi_author_photo

At the age of 26, Jeffrey Yamaguchi quit his job, threw himself a retirement party, and believed that he could make a living publishing zines. It didn’t work out, but he continues to dream the dream. Jeffrey’s books include 52 Projects, Working for the Man, Anya Chases Down the End, and Body of Water. His stories, poems, photography, and short films have been published in many literary journals, including Okay Donkey, Kissing Dynamite, Back Patio Press, X-R-A-Y Literary Magazine, Honey & Lime, Spork Press, Vamp Cat Magazine, Nightingale & Sparrow, Black Bough Poetry, and the Atticus Review.

Jeffrey Yamaguchi | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Giveaway: Win one of five digital editions of Anya Chases Down the End (Closes August 21st)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blitz Organized By:

R&R Button

R&R Book Tours

Book Release: She’s the One Who Doesn’t Say Much by S. R. Cronin @cinnabar01 @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours

Happy publication day to S.R. Cronin! Check out the latest installment in The War Stories of the Seven Troublesome Sisters! Read on for details and a chance to win a $20 amazon gift card and an Amazon gift copy of the first book in the collection, “She’s the One Who Thinks too Much“!

2021-0819 S R Cronin b04She’s the One Who Doesn’t Say Much (The War Stories of the Seven Troublesome Sisters)

Publication Date: August 13th, 2021 (Today)

Genre: Historical Fantasy

Do you know what your problem is?

Olivine knows hers. This quiet thirteen century artist has been hiding a secret as she travels to K’ba to meet her friends. Others assume she’s fallen in love with another artist, and it’s not a match Mother would consider suitable. But it’s much worse than that. For on the way to K’ba is the dirt poor nichna of Scrud, a place scorned by other Ilarians. And in Scrud is the one man who understands her.

However, Bohdan recognizes the dangers posed by an impending Mongol invasion. When he learns of Olivine’s unusual visual powers, he convinces her to pick up her bow and start practicing.

She does, though she’s more concerned with producing enough art to run away from home and live in K’ba, where she can paint all day and see Bohdan as often as she wants. If only her sister hadn’t learned of what she can do and decided Olivine and her fellow long-eyes hold one of the keys to defending the realm.

Then, as if life wasn’t complicated enough, Olivine learns the artist community she yearns to be part of has developed a different take on the invasion. They’re certain the only way to survive is to capitulate completely to the Mongol’s demands. Artists who feel otherwise are no longer welcome.

Where does her future lie? The supposed invasion is coming soon and Olivine doesn’t have much time to decide.

The War Stories of the Seven Troublesome Sisters consists of seven short companion novels. Each tells the personal story and perspective of one of seven radically different sisters in the 1200s as they prepare for an invasion of their realm. While these historical fantasy/alternate history books can be enjoyed as stand-alone novels, together they tell the full story of how Ilari survived.

Which sister do you think saved the realm? That will depend on whose story you read.

Add to Goodreads

Excerpt

We lay together afterwards, talking as people do. I shared my ideas of living on my own in K’ba and he shared what he’d worked on recently. I’d already seen a set of beautiful bowls he’d carved with the knife I’d bought him. Now, he turned to a bin near his mat and pulled out a handful of small shivs, sized to fit in a skirt pocket.

“Our leaders in Scrud worry about these Mongols, too,” he said. “They worry the army won’t bother to defend the likes of us. But I’ve been thinking about the women in Ilari. We’ve heard what happens to females in an invasion. The idea of … my mother, my aunts, my sisters. It just makes me sick.”

“Women face added risks,” I said. “When conquered, we endure things men generally don’t.”

 “I know. I thought I could make these, and give them to women to carry. Here, hold this.” He put one of the shivs in my hand. “What do you think? Could you defend yourself if you had this?”

I held the tiny weapon tight. Perhaps I imagined it, but the wood felt poised to defend me if I needed it to.

 “I could do some damage, if it was up close and personal, which I guess it would be. And a surprise. Then maybe once they discovered how dangerous Ilari women are, they’d think twice before assaulting us.”

He nodded. “That’s what I’d hope for. I’m going to start making as many of these as I can. Give one to every woman I meet.”

I looked around at his meager belongings. There were no comforts to speak of. None. “Bohdan, don’t you think you should sell them? At least for a little something?”

“How could I do that? Come on, Olivine. No woman should have to pay me to keep herself safe.”

Then he looked at me and his eyes softened. He reached out and took a piece of my long bronze hair between his fingers and looked into my eyes. He’d already told me how much he loved their intense green color. I expected him to compliment them again, but instead he said “I wish you were more of a fighter.”

I raised an eyebrow. “I rather thought you liked me the way I was.”

He looked down, embarrassed. “Oh, I do. I mean I wish you had more ways to look out for yourself. You’re just not that physical, and I think force is all these monsters will understand.”

“I have physical skills.”

“Yes, so you’ve demonstrated. I don’t mean those, you’re great in that area.”

“I don’t mean in that area. They made me learn stuff in school, told me I had to develop my body to be well rounded.”

Right away I regretted saying it. The Royals of each nichna prided themselves on sponsoring basic education for children, everywhere but Scrud. If Scrud even had Royals, which I wasn’t sure they did. I’d already learned Bohdan was embarrassed he’d never been to school, although an older sister had taught him to read and write some.

“So what did they make you learn?” he asked.

“How to shoot with a bow and arrow.”

“Seriously? Are you any good?”

“I used to be. Surprised everyone, most of all me.” I paused. I hesitated to talk too much about the many things I’d gotten to do over the years, because Bohdan had been offered so few opportunities.

“I do this thing, it’s hard to explain, but if I focus on something small that’s far away, like a flower or a bee or a leaf, it comes into clear focus while everything else goes blurry.”

“Sounds useful for an artist.”

“Oh, it is. I used to think everyone could do it. I mean, who talks about how their eyes work, right? But when I was in Pilk I found out it’s called being a long-eye and it’s uncommon. Some artists have it but most don’t. Anyway, it helped me with archery, too. I got a kick out of shooting arrows and being good at something like that.”

He’d gone back to worrying. “If I asked you to pick up a bow again and practice, would you? For me?”

“Of course, but why? You know I’m trying to make as much art as I can so I can move to K’ba. There are only so many hours of light in a day.”

“True. But it could be a way to defend your home. I think Ilari will need all the fighters it can get, and all the kinds of fighters it can get.”

He just wasn’t going to stop fretting about the Mongols. I rolled my eyes.

“Okay. A little archery every day, I promise. The sunshine will do me good.”

Available on Amazon US & Amazon UK

She’s the One Who Doesn’t Say Much will also be available on B&N, Kobo, Apple, and Smashwords in late August.

About the Author

authorpicture

Sherrie Cronin is the author of a collection of six speculative fiction novels known as 46. Ascending and is now in the process of publishing a historical fantasy series called The War Stories of the Seven Troublesome Sisters. A quick look at the synopses of her books makes it obvious she is fascinated by people achieving the astonishing by developing abilities they barely knew they had.

She’s made a lot of stops along the way to writing these novels.  She’s lived in seven cities, visited forty-six countries, and worked as a waitress, technical writer, and geophysicist. Now she answers a hot-line. Along the way, she’s lost several cats but acquired a husband who still loves her and three kids who’ve grown up just fine, both despite how eccentric she is.

All her life she has wanted to either tell these kinds of stories or be Chief Science Officer on the Starship Enterprise. She now lives and writes in the mountains of Western North Carolina, where she admits to occasionally checking her phone for a message from Captain Picard, just in case.

SR Cronin | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram 

Troublesome Sisters | BookBub | Amazon | Goodreads

Giveaway Time: Giveaway run from today until Sunday!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Release Organized By:

R&R Button

R&R Book Tours

Blog Tour: The Clinch by Nicole Disney @PRBookPro @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours

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! There’s also a bookstagram tour this week that you can follow!

56024405._SY475_

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?

Add to Goodreads

Available for Purchase Here!

About the Author

5rhsc1ppd9v5ejkpo8r2vt4aci._US230_

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

Win a $25 Amazon gift card! Click the link below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Banner

Blog Tour

August 9th

R&R Book Tours (Spotlight) http://rrbooktours.com

Read & Rated (Spotlight) https://readandrated.com/

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

August 10th

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

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

Cocktails & Fairytales (Spotlight) https://www.facebook.com/CocktailsFairytales

August 11th

Kam’s Place (Review) https://www.superkambrook.com/

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

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

August 12th

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

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

Jennifer Mitchell, The Bibliolater (Spotlight) https://www.jennifermitchellbooks.com

August 13th

The Invisible Moth (Review) https://daleydowning.wordpress.com/

Misty’s Book Space (Review) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com

The Book Review Crew (Spotlight) https://thebookreviewcrew.com/

IG 2

Bookstagram Tour

August 9th

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

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

August 10th

@better_0ff_read (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/BETTER_0FF_READ/

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

August 11th

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

@eatingbetweenthelines (Review) https://www.instagram.com/_ebl_inc_/

August 12th

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

August 13th

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

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

Blog Tour Organized By:

R&R Button

R&R Book Tours

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!!!!

No Names cover_00001No Names to Be Given

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.

Add to Goodreads

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.

Barnes & Nobel | Target | Bookshop | Roku | Amazon

About the Author

HiRes-Julia_Daily-8529-Edit

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

Giveaway: Click the link to enter the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

NoNamestobeGiven

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/

Book Tour Organized By:

R&R Button

R&R Book Tours