The Deep End of the Sea - Excerpt

We are thrilled to share an excerpt for Heather Lyons' THE DEEP END OF THE SEA! THE DEEP END OF THE SEA is a New Adult Fantasy set for release February 13, 2014 and definitely one you need to add to your TBR pile!

About The Deep End of the Sea 
The Deep End Of The Sea - Front Cover
What if all the legends you've learned were wrong?

Brutally attacked by one god and unfairly cursed by another she faithfully served, Medusa has spent the last two thousand years living out her punishment on an enchanted isle in the Aegean Sea. A far cry from the monster legends depict, she’s spent her time educating herself, gardening, and desperately trying to frighten away adventure seekers who occasionally end up, much to her dismay, as statues when they manage to catch her off guard. As time marches on without her, Medusa wishes for nothing more than to be given a second chance at a life stolen away at far too young an age.

But then comes a day when Hermes, one of the few friends she still has and the only deity she trusts, petitions the rest of the gods and goddesses to reverse the curse. Thus begins a journey toward healing and redemption, of reclaiming a life after tragedy, and of just how powerful friendship and love can be—because sometimes, you have to sink in the deep end of the sea before you can rise back up again.
Excerpt
I let it happen again.

The temple settles into that stagnant silence I’ve long learned to loathe, and these are the most cohesive series of words I can string together for many long, desolate minutes. I let it happen again. Resolutions apparently mean nothing, even if crafted under the best of intentions. Had I not, just this very morning, recited a daily pledge held dear to my heart: I shall not let myself be used for death?

And yet, a man is dead, and I was the weapon that slayed him.

I move closer to where he now stands, forever frozen in terror, and press my shaking hand against his outstretched stone one. “I’m sorry,” I whisper, though he cannot and never will be able to hear my words. “So, so sorry.”

His eyes, wide and mercifully detail free, offer me nothing in return. Once I commit his features to memory, I construct a life history with a name worthy of his sacrifice. Walt was single (I can’t bear the thought of spouses and children, thus my collection of singletons) and a bit of a daredevil when he wasn’t volunteering to teach literacy to adults in poverty stricken urban areas. He’d gone spelunking at least a half-dozen times, sky diving twice, and bungee cord diving off some crazy bridge in Colorado just once, on his thirtieth birthday. Walt liked to write poetry; how could he not, when his now-deceased parents had named him after one of the greats?

Walt liked to talk about poetry, too, which means he needs to be with others like him. I strip off my flannel work shirt, down to a tank top, and get to work. Shoving stones around when half of one’s body is reptilian isn’t the easiest of tasks, requiring a great deal of precision and care.

As I always tend to do when placing a new statue, I can’t help but flash back to the one and only time I’d broken one of my victims. I’d been tired—he’d snuck upon me when I’d been sleeping—and an overestimated shove sent poor Nikolaos face first against the temple floor. I’d spent most of that night collecting the pieces which once made a whole man, blubbering in misery. As penance, his head, missing an ear and part of his nose, still sits on a shelf in my bedroom. Treat us gently, I like to imagine him telling me nightly before I sleep. We deserve your care.

I have not failed Nikolaos since. Over the ages, I’ve developed a routine to transfer the statues around the island that includes wrapping the bodies in a thick quilt before putting them up on casters. It takes a painstaking amount of time to shift them short or long distances, but each person deserves nothing less from me.

Walt’s group sits just outside the temple. They are the philosophers of our island; it only seems natural they would find much to appreciate in both the sun and the stars. I struggle with his body over the stairs—they are tricky to maneuver for me even without hauling a two hundred pound statue—but eventually, I get him exactly where he’ll fit in best.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is Walt,” I tell the still faces forming a cluster near a non-functioning fountain. “His poetry is as beautiful as his namesake’s.”

I angle Walt so his eyes face theirs. It’s late afternoon, and there is soft orange light filtering down upon their features. It’s a beautiful sight, which only saddens me, because all of that talk about death and beauty being intertwined is one of the biggest loads of crap I’ve ever heard. Death isn’t beautiful. Too often than not, it’s messy and brutal; even when done in sleep, there’s still that theft of breath, that failure of a heart. Death is an act of violence.

I should know. I am one of the most prolific murderers in history. And I think about death constantly.

I often wonder what my own death will be like, if I am ever blessed to embrace it. I’m not too picky in my imaginings; I’ll take any sort by this point. Logically, I’d prefer a less painful exit, but, knowing my luck, it’ll be as ruthless as once reported and still widely believed.

It ought to be noted I have some of the most wretched luck to ever be doled out, so there is that.

The sound of waves crashing against the shore sends my eyes to the horizon. I’ve tried to drown myself in those waters more times than I ought to admit over the years, but the sea always spits me back out. I’ve also tried overdosing on pharmaceuticals, stabbing myself in the chest and eyes (which was just as painful as you’d imagine), and throwing myself off a cliff. Melodramatic, yes, and all ineffective for an immortal cursed with impenetrable skin and a digestive system apparently filled with acid.

Death is not my friend. At least, not yet.
Author PhotoAbout Heather Lyons

Heather Lyons has always had a thing for words—She’s been writing stories since she was a kid. In addition to writing, she’s also been an archaeologist and a teacher. Heather is a rabid music fan, as evidenced by her (mostly) music-centric blog, and she’s married to an even larger music snob. They’re happily raising three kids who are mini music fiends who love to read and be read to.



If I Speak True: Tour & Review (Kind of...)

If I Speak True
Dahlia Kennedy's sixteenth birthday marks a decade of mysterious dahlias arriving and strange, lonely dreams of being in a forest. The only difference this birthday, however, is that for the first time, someone is there with her. And he's practically from a whole other era.

The more often Dahlia visits Rowan in his land of Ambrosia, the stronger their connection grows. But... is Ambrosia real? Is he real? What is going on between the two of them, exactly, and why does he insist that she keep it to herself?

As secrets usually go, however, it's only a matter of time before everything comes out. And when Dahlia finds out the truth of who Rowan is, who she is, and how he really feels -- it’s beyond anything she could have ever imagined.

Purchase If I Speak True


Thoughts
I am sad to say that I have not finished reading If I Speak True. As I'm typing this, I am itching to pick up my Kindle again so I can continue reading!

A whopping 500+ pages, If I Speak True is packed full of words I can't skim over. 47% into this book and I am enthralled! Brooks has definitely hooked me and I'm not wanting to let go.

I have a feeling I'm going to be very grateful that this is going to be part of a series. I'm not sure how many books she's planning to have in the Flora set, but I will be reading any, and all, that she publishes!

I will have a full review when I finish reading the remainder of the book! 

PS...Hafsah (Iceybooks/Iceydesigns) designed the cover!

About the Author
Jessica BrooksJessica L. Brooks resides with her husband of over sixteen years, three awesome daughters, and a plethora of pets in Central California, where fog, frost, triple-digit heat and various items of produce arrive bountifully, depending on the season. She has an affinity for both coffee and owls, and loves to connect with fellow readers and writers on most social networks like Goodreads, Twitter and Pinterest. You can also connect with her on her blog, Let Me Tell You A Story.

Jessica shares reviews for her favorite books on Afterglow Book Reviews, spreads writing and author love for independently-published authors at Indie Ignites, and salutes all writers (no matter what stage in their writerly journey) at Operation Awesome.


KateTiltonsBookBloggers
Blog Tour Schedule
January 27th – Kristalyn Thornock at The Sarcastic Palmtree (Release Day/DVD giveaway)

January 27th – Cassandra at Cassandra Lost in Books (Release Day)


January 27th – Meg at Book Groupies (Release Day)


January 28th – Kaitlin at Reading is My Treasure (Review)


January 28th – Lisa at Dizneeee's World of Books


January 29th – Kathy at I Am A Reader, Not A Writer (Author Interview)


January 29th – Cheyanne at Cheyanne Young (Author interview)


January 30th – Eugenia at Chasm of Books (Author Interview and Review)


January 30th – A. Kerr at Kerrific (Review)


January 31st – Jenna (JL) at Avid Reader Musings (Writing Playlist)


January 31st – Ella Johnson at Mymcbooks Blog (Spotlight/giveaway)


February 1rd -Eugenia at Chasm of Books (Shaver dream cast)


February 3rd – Heather Rosdol at Buried in Books (Review)


February 3rd – Rachel at The NerdHerd Reads (Dreamcast)


February 4th – Penny at One Writer's Journey (Author Interview)


February 4th – Dana at Dana Square (character interview)


February 5th – Beverly at The Wormhole (Author interview and book promo spot)


February 5th – Kaycee at My Crafty Zoo (Deleted scene and recipe)


February 6th – Kimberly Lim at Kim's Reading Lounge (Review)


February 6th – Dianne at Oops! I Read A Book Again (Review)


February 7th – Janie Junebug at Women: We Shall Overcome (Guest Post)


February 7th – Jodie at Books for Company (Lyrics written for If I Speak True)


February 7th - Colleen at Cici's Theories (Plant meanings and their correlations to the characters)

Starcrossed: New Release (w/ Giveaway)

Starcrossed, a Starstruck novel by Brenda Hiatt, is out now!  To celebrate the release we are happy to share an interview with Princess Emileia and Rigel Stuart as well as an excerpt from the book.  Be sure to stay tuned to the end where there's a giveaway as well!


The Starstruck adventure continues…

Marsha spent the first fifteen years of her life as a nerdy nobody before discovering her true identity as the long lost princess of a secret civilization. Now M is dodging extraterrestrial paparazzi while trying to keep the truth from her adoptive aunt and uncle and everyone at school. At least she can be herself with her boyfriend and literal soulmate, Rigel. Whenever they’re together, it’s easy to forget the responsibilities that will eventually come with her new status. But when a new boy arrives at Jewel High, everything M thought she knew about herself and her future is turned upside down. Now the very destiny that lifted her from obscurity threatens to tear her away from Rigel and their happy ever after. But when two planets conspire against you, where is there to run?
Purchase Starcrossed
  

Recently Discovered Princess Grants Exclusive Interview
with Gwendolyn Gannett, Echtran Enquirer

I’m sitting here in a charming little ice cream shop in Jewel, Indiana, to chat with our new-found Princess Emileia and Rigel Stuart, the boy who recently saved her life when she was attacked by the dictator Faxon’s minions here on Earth.

Tell me, Princess, how did it feel to discover your true identity after being raises as a Duchas?

With great presence of mind, the Princess immediately shushes me. “Not so loud! And please, stick to English. I don’t want everyone in Dream Cream to freak out the way I did when Rigel first told me there are . . . people like us…living on Earth!”

Given the pains our Nuathan Ministry of Terran Obfuscation has taken to keep that secret, I suppose she has a point. I lower my voice as I continue.

Is that true, Rigel? Did the Princess ‘freak out?’

“Only for a day or so,” he replies. “Really, she handled the news like a champ—way better than I did when my parents first told me.”

So you were raised Duch I catch myself. Like a regular Earthling, too?

“Until I was ten, yeah.”

Back to my original question, Princess—

Please don’t call me that!” she interrupts me. “Not here. Just Marsha is fine, or M—that’s what my friends call me.”

Though it seems terribly disrespectful, far be it from me to disobey. M, then. How has your life changed since learning the truth?

“If you don’t count people trying to kill me, mostly for the better. I mean, back in August I was a complete nobody on the very bottom rung of the social ladder. Now I hardly get picked on at all—well, except by Trina, but that’ll never change. I even get invited to parties and stuff. Not that my aunt ever lets me go, but it’s still cool to be invited. But that’s not because of being, you know, who I am. Nobody at school knows about that.”

Unfortunately, this coincides with the rumors of her being mistreated by her adoptive Duchas family and the surrounding townsfolk.

Then why the change?

“Mostly because of Rigel. He’s pretty popular, what with being quarterback of our football team and just generally awesome. I’m just kind of along for the ride.” 

“Not true!” Rigel interjects. “You’re the awesome one. It just took people a while to figure it out.”


The Princess laughs at this and claims, “Nobody would ever have called me awesome before—” She breaks off when Rigel raises his eyebrows at her.

Not wishing to pry, I move on. You must be dying to tell everyone the truth about yourself. Is it hard living with such a huge secret?

“Sometimes,” she confesses, “but when I think about what could happen if people found out, I’m
a lot less tempted to say anything.”

And what was your life like, growing up as a—you used the word ‘nobody’ in a non-Echtran household? Was it difficult living in such primitive conditions?

She laughs again. “Since I never knew anything else, I never thought of my conditions as primitive. And it’s not like my aunt was ever actually cruel or anything, even if she isn't always easy to get along with.”

All right, then, next question. Once a certain dictator falls, how do you see your future unfolding? Are you excited at the prospect of someday returning to the place you were born?

The Princess shrugs. “I guess so, though I have an awful lot to learn before I’ll be ready for that! All the stuff people will expect of me, I mean. Besides, I’m pretty happy right here in Jewel for now. For instance, I went to my very first Homecoming dance last week and it was amazing.”

Oh? With Rigel here as your date?

“Well, yes. He and I—”

“Went with a bunch of our friends,” Rigel butts in, cutting her off for the second time, something he’d never dare to do in Nuath, I’m sure.

This makes me very curious. You two have shared a few harrowing experiences since meeting and I’m sure that’s created a bond of sorts. (I notice they exchange a glance when I say that.) Tell me, just how close have you two become?

At this point, Rigel stands up, then the Princess stands, too. “We said we’d give you five minutes,” Rigel says, “and we've been here longer than that. You have your story. And please tell your readers she’s tired of being stalked, okay?” 

The Princess is much more polite, but it’s clear she’s ready to leave, too, so I don’t detain them.

Overall, I’d say our Princess seems surprisingly content with her new identity and especially with her knight in shining armor, Rigel Stuart. It will be interesting to see how things progress there once she’s called upon to take up the position she was born to—but I’ll leave that story to my colleagues in Nuath, who will be on the spot to witness it firsthand. 

STARCROSSED EXCERPT: 
“Hey, did you hear there’s a new transfer?” Debbi Andrews asked the moment I sat next to her in Geometry class.

Petite and blond, Deb was my second-best friend after Brianna Morrison, though lately it seemed like the two of them were closer to each other than to me. Not that I could blame them, between the time I spent with Rigel and all the secrets I couldn't tell them.


“Really? Two in one semester must be a record.” I grinned over at Rigel, who’d been the new kid at the start of the school year. “Boy or girl?” 


“Boy. I haven’t seen him yet. I think he’s a junior or senior. Natalie said—”


The teacher cleared his throat then and Deb had to shut up. I was sure I’d hear more later, from Bri if not from Deb. New students were a huge deal at our little rural school. 


Sure enough, the new guy was the first thing Bri talked about when we met up with her in the lunchroom a couple hours later.


“Hey, Rigel, looks like you’re off the hook for the basketball team.” Bri had been pestering Rigel for days to try out, egged on by her father, who was on the coaching staff. “This new guy, Sean, is just what our sucky team needs, according to my dad.” 


“Sean?” Deb asked eagerly. “So that’s his name?”


I glanced at Rigel, who looked more relieved than curious. I, meanwhile, was having a mild deja vu moment, remembering when Bri had been all excited about the wonderful new quarterback we were getting—Rigel.


“Yeah, Sean O’Gara,” Bri told Deb. 


“So, is it true he’s from Ireland? That’s what Natalie told me this morning.”


Bri nodded, her long, dark curls bouncing.


“That’s what Dad said, too. I didn't even know they played basketball in Ireland! But apparently it’s huge there.” 


“Ireland? Really?” I glanced at Rigel again, remembering something he’d told me a while back, and saw he looked a little more interested. 


“Yeah, he and his family just moved here last— Ooh, that must be him!” Bri broke off to point. 


Of course, we all looked. The new guy was definitely tall enough to play basketball, maybe three or four inches taller than Rigel. He was fair bordering on pale, with bright, copper-colored hair. 


Very good looking, though of course he couldn't compete with Rigel in that department. Who could? 


“Let’s go say hi,” Bri suggested, already heading his way. “You know, welcome him to Jewel.”


It looked to me like plenty of people—mainly girls—were already doing just that. Again I was reminded of Rigel’s first day, especially when I saw Trina Squires—cheerleader, flirt and bitch extraordinaire—saunter up to to the newcomer. Rigel and I followed Bri and Deb, since it seemed the nice thing to do. We were maybe halfway across the lunchroom when both of us stopped cold to stare at each other. “Do you—?” Rigel asked. 


I nodded. “I feel it, too.” It was the brath—the weird, almost electric vibe Martians sense when other Martians are nearby. Like what I’d felt from those two tourist women yesterday. 

Sean O’Gara was one of us.

Don't miss the first book, Starstruck, only .99 cents for a limited time!
Purchase Starstruck
  
 About the Author

Brenda Hiatt is the author of nearly twenty novels (so far), including traditional Regency romance, time travel romance, historical romance, and humorous mystery. She is as excited  bout her new STARSTRUCK series as she's ever been about any of her books. In addition to writing, Brenda is passionate about embracing life to the fullest, to include scuba diving (she has over 60 dives to her credit), Taekwondo (where she recently achieved her 2nd degree black belt), hiking, traveling, and pursuing new experiences and skills. She is an active  ember of Romance Writers of America, the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and Novelists, Inc, an international organization of multipublished novelists, where she served as President in 2006. For the past dozen years, Brenda has also collected data on writers' earnings, which she shares at her website, http://brendahiatt.com
You can also find Brenda on Facebook, Twitter (@Brenda_Hiatt), Tumblr, Goodreads and Wattpad.


Giveaway
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A Date of Godlike Proportions: Book Blitz

So, I'm back with another fantastic book blitz for Tellulah Darling. I am such a fan of Tellulah's. She is an absolutely funny, funny, funny lady. Make sure to check out the extra author fun with the About the Author section. She honestly makes me laugh!

Book & Author Details
A Date of Godlike Proportions by Tellulah Darling
(The Blooming Goddess Trilogy #2.5)
Publication Date: December 20, 2013
Genres: Comedy, Mythology, Young Adult

Synopsis

There’s bound to be pressure when it takes 2500 years to get to a second date. Which is exactly why Theo Rockman, a.k.a. Prometheus, would rather not go. With his best friend gravely injured and the fate of humanity still on the line, Theo has all sorts of creative excuses to avoid dating swoon-worthy god and love of his life, Hephaestus.

YA romantic comedy gets an epic mythological twist in the free (at select retailers) short story A Date of Godlike Proportions (The Blooming Goddess Trilogy Book 2.5). Being human hasn’t killed Theo, but this date just might.
Excerpt
Great. The cavalry had arrived. I flicked my gaze over to my other best friend Hannah, staring at me incredulously from her position in the doorway, where she had joined Festos.
Festos patted Hannah on the shoulder affectionately before edging past her to leave.
I reluctantly tore my eyes from his retreating figure to meet her bemused gaze.
Allies. That’s what I needed. “There’s too much at stake right nowlike your future for examplefor us to be going out on a
She flapped a hand at me. “Get dressed.”
I looked down at what I was wearing. Which was basically what I always wore. A long-sleeved black T-shirt and baggy black pants. “I’m dressed.”
Hannah rolled her eyes. “Pierce,” she called out.
Her boyfriend trotted into the room at her call. “Yeah, love?”
Hannah pointed to a spot in front of me. “Stand there and look pretty, so this idiot gets the picture.”
Pierce nodded. He got into position and, with a toss of his blond tousled head, adopted the most pouty model boy expression imaginable. He winked at me, obviously amused.
Hannah blinked at him. “Whoa. That’s pretty … pretty.”
“Down, Saul,” I said. “Besides, he’s the God of Love. I’m sure there’s some kind of inherent pretty built into his DNA. With me?” I cast a skeptical look down at myself. “Festos knows what he’s getting.”
Pierce pulled up a desk chair and turned it around to straddle it.
Hannah kicked my legs away so she could sit down on the bed next to Sophie. She picked her friend’s hand up to clasp between her own. Her lip quivered as she stared at her friend but she quickly replaced any concern with a determined glare my way.
She crossed her legs and leaned forward toward me. “Have you seen that boy’s room? It’s like a hurricane went off in there. He’s going nuts trying to find the perfect outfit for this special event and you can’t even get changed?” She tucked a strand of her blond hair behind her ear.
I swung my head in Sophie’s direction. “Did you not notice your bestie lying there unconscious?”
Her hand tightened on Sophie’s. “Don’t be an idiot. Or drag Soph into this. We’re here. Nothing else is going to happen to her. She needs to heal. And don’t pull any of that ‘fate of the universe’ crap either. It’s one night. So, next excuse. I’ll shoot that down too.”
I closed my eyes. There was silence for a blessed moment.
“You feel guilty, don’t you?” She spoke softly.
I shrugged, my eyes still closed.
I felt her make the sign of the cross over me. “I absolve you of guilt, Prometheus.”
I gave a faint smile. “I’m not Catholic.”
“Well, I have no idea how to absolve a Greek God.”
“Titan,” I murmured. “And I’m not even that anymore.”
Purchase A Date of Godlike Proportions
Amazon // iTunes // Kobo (Free download!)

About the Author
Tellulah Darling
noun
1. YA Novelist
2. Alter ego of former screenwriter and instructor
3. Sassy minx

Geeks out over: cool tech.
Squees for: great storytelling.
Delights in: fabulous conversation.
Writes about: where love meets comedy. Awkwardness ensues.

     

10 Things You Didn't Know About Tellulah Darling

1) I am too lazy to learn songs properly, choosing instead to just fit whatever word seems closest to the phonetic sound I hear. This means that nothing I sing makes any logical sense. However, they are all wildly creative. Every once in a while I actually figure out what the words are supposed to be and realize how much sense the song now makes. What's funny is that there are certain songs I'm suck in a perpetual loop with. I learn what they are, promptly forget and go back to my nonsense, and then have that deja vu moment when I understand them again. Maybe I was dropped on my head as a child.

2) I love to travel but hate flying. As a result, I spent much of my life gripping the arms of my airplane seat while whispering "please don't fall" for hours on end. Happily, my doctor informed me a couple years ago (while staring at me like I was an idiot upon hearing how I coped) that since my way didn't work, I might want to try drugs. Miracles of modern science, indeed!

3) Speaking of travel–the first time I went to Italy, I was 15 yrs old. We were in Heathrow waiting for our flight to Rome and I'd fallen asleep stretched out across the chairs at the departure area. I woke up to the sight of the Italian National Football (Soccer) team seated around me. Even at that tender age, I was partial to that particular flavour of man candy. So I shot up and might have tried to shove my little brother under a seat in an attempt to look like a worldly solo traveller. Yeah, right. I wish you all a similar wake up call with *insert group of hot men of your choice*.

4) I was a professional screenwriter for 12 years. Crazy things happen in writers' rooms. On one of my favourite shows to work on, the showrunner and I plotted out the entire season arc's battle using Smurfs. This was for a kids' show. We'd renamed them with our characters' names and did their voices and everything. On another, not a kids' show, there was an actual meeting to discuss the star's wife's Playboy photos. There can be this intimidating mystique around film and television. Don't believe any of it.

5) I forget that my husband is one of my followers on Twitter. This leads to a lot of head shaking when I've been a bit too vigorous discussing hot guys - fictional or otherwise and steamy reads. I try to push the excuse that it's simply ways of interacting with social media friends and readers. I think I’ve gotten away with it but I’m not sure because I am no longer able to make eye contact with him.

6) I hold a Masters' Degree in Film Theory. Yes, you read that right. In watching movies. Okay, and criticizing them. Possibly the most useless degree known to mankind. Not only that, I did my Master's thesis on Gender and Spectatorship in the animation of Chuck Jones. Which means that I watched Bugs Bunny Cartoons for two years. My family despaired. They used to lie and say I was studying journalism. I share this with you so that if your family gives you any grief about your area of study, you can use me as an example of how it could be so much worse. You're welcome.

7) I think that the right shade of lipstick and a great head of hair can be a woman's finest accessory. Who's with me here?

8) I think the world needs more choreography. I have a constant soundtrack in my head and like to tap dance my way through the day. Which in my head comes off like a brilliant Gene Kelly-esque routine. I take no responsibility for how it looks in reality. Obviously, you all just need to see things in my special way.

9) I love my Kindle because it allows me to read my steamy romances to my heart's content without the constant judging I get from haters who obviously are down on love. I've found that if I nod my head sagely whilst reading, people think I'm engrossed in some deep literary classic and perhaps feel bad for not reading such a weighty tome themselves. I feel no guilt for this. I've had too many years of snotty reactions to all the genre reading I've done.

10) Since I write romantic comedies, I'll share a couple of my favs with you. Book: Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie. This is the smexiest book around. (Ha - autocorrect wanted it to be the smelliest book around.) Film: When Harry Met Sally and The Princess Bride. Don't make me choose. It could get ugly.

Thanks so much for having me! And if anyone wants to chat books, romcom or otherwise, let's friendvite on Goodreads or email me on my site www.tellulahdarling.com.
Tellulah Darling's Top 5 Romantic Comedy Films

1) When Harry Met Sally - This movie is the gold standard of romcoms. It's funny, it's insightful, the characters are flawed and deluded and above all it's totally fabulous and all about love. Also, I'm a sucker for "best friends becoming more" films. In fact my first novel, Sam Cruz's Infallible Guide to Getting Girls was written precisely because I love this film so much.

2) The Princess Bride - I've met people who don't like this film with its whimsey and wit and magic and love. They are cold dead people. No judgement. I'm just saying. It also wins for best way to say "I love you."

3) Scott Pilgrim Vs the World - There have been a lot of crappy romcoms in the past decade or so but this isn't one of them. The premise of having to battle Ramona's seven evil exes is so fun and executed with such glee. The love triangle (square?) is wonderful and I love Kieran Culkan. There is no downside to this film. So over the top and yet wonderfully deadpan at the same time.

4) His Girl Friday - If, like me, you like your banter witty and your leads so very deluded in their feelings for each other, then this is your film. The dialogue is gunfire fast and whip smart. I love, loathe, and love again Cary Grant's character, while Rosalind Russell gives as good as she gets. A classic for all the best reasons.

5) Strictly Ballroom - Any film whose HEA is captured in a joyous dance number is okay by me. Plus it's an ugly duckling story and the scene with Doris Day singing "Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps" makes me swoon like nothing else. Another totally over-the-top film but if you can't go big when it comes to love, then go home.

I hope I gave you some new romcom favs today. Let me know which ones you love!


Dream Killers: Book Blast (w/ Giveaway)

Dream Killers
The Dream Killers
“The Dream Killers” is geared for fans of “Once Upon a Time”. The first season (2013-2014) consists of 6 novellas called episodes. It follows River as he tries to escape the pirate Captain Bo, the guardians of the Sea of Dreams, the runners, the elders, and the master mechanics.

Captain Bo is after the dreamnet that River stole from him. He uses it to capture dreams to power devices for all those who sail the Sea of Dreams. They’re all the Nightmare Realm’s failures. They have no place and no purpose. Some are good. Some are bad. Most are just in it for themselves. Bo doesn’t care what price he has to pay in order to get the net back from River.


The guardians of the Sea of Dreams are also after that net, and all those like it. The nets are dream killers, and the guardian Teandra has sworn to destroy any who hold it.


The runners, elders, and master mechanics are searching for any rogue Dreamlander. They need strange gifts, anything of power they can use to bring down Dreamland and rebuild her in their image.


As River struggles to figure out who and what he is, he also has to protect Bo from the sea’s guardians, the kids he’s collecting from the rabid dreamplanes, and himself from a mysterious force that seeks to send him back to where he came from–wherever that might be.


Each episode takes River, his merry crew, and our set of villains through adventures where we discover nuggets of information that will help the heroes in the main novels (Dreamland Stories – Nightmare’s Dream). Each “Dreamland Story” novel can be read as a stand-alone, but there are tons of compelling nuggets that will be revealed through reading each book, and the supporting stories of “The Dream Killers”.


Graveyard of Dreams (The Dream Killers #1)

Dream Killers Cover
My name’s River, and I’m a dream killer.

The Sea of Dreams spat me out without any memories of who was or where I came from. I’ve spent years traveling Dreamland in our gypsy caravan, searching for clues. All I’ve discovered is that the all-powerful elders are collecting people like me—Dreamlanders who don’t fit in.

Then I met a man who sails the Sea of Dreams, the one place all Dreamlanders fear. One touch of those ocean waves could shred the soul. Yet, he’s like me. He can hear the water’s whispers, touch her waves, and watch her dreams. My answers are out there—on his ship, on that sea.

Somewhere out there is the graveyard of dreams.
Dream Killers will be FREE from January 8th to 11th.
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About the Author

SM BLoodingSM “Frankie” Blooding lives in Colorado with her pet rock, Rockie, and Jack the Bird. Jack has refused to let her to take up the piano again, but is warming to the guitar. It might help that Frankie has learned more than two strings. She’s added a few more Arabic words to her vocabulary, but don’t invite her into conversation yet—unless, of course, you’re willing to have a very . . . slow . . . conversation.

She’s dated vampires, werewolves, sorcerers, weapons smugglers and US Government assassins. Yes. She has stories.


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Review: The Promise of Rain

Title: The Promise of Rain (Book 1)
Author: Rula Sinara
Publisher: Harlequin Heartwarming
Genre: Romance (Clean)
Release: January 1, 2014
Source: ARC from author

Summary & Cover


He wants to take her child out of Africa...

The Busara elephant research and rescue camp on Kenya's Serengeti is Anna Bekker's life's work. And it's the last place she thought she'd run into Dr. Jackson Harper. As soon as he sets eyes on her four-year-old, Pippa, Anna knows he'll never leave...without his daughter.


Furious doesn't begin to describe how Jack feels. How could Anna keep this from him? He has to get his child back to the States. Yet as angry as he is with Anna, they still have a bond. But can it endure, despite the ocean--and the little girl--between them?

Purchase The Promise of Rain
Thoughts
Wow. Wow! It was so refreshing to read such a clean romance. I thoroughly enjoyed The Promise of Rain.

Our main characters, Anna and Jack, are long-time friends. Anna has trust issues about men and love due to her father. Jack has trust and love issues due to his birth parents. 

Jack was adopted after his biological parents died from drug overdoses. He was grateful and loved his adoptive family, but never could say the word, "love."

Anna loved Jack, but refused to be the one to say it. 

After graduating from college, Jack and Anna took their friendship to the next level. Anna was leaving for Africa and Jack proposed. Anna thought he was only proposing because they had taken that big step in their relationship. She turned him down and ran to Africa so she could do her elephant project.

Jack, not knowing that Anna got pregnant that night, shows up at her elephant camp to see a little girl who is a mirror image of himself.

The story alternates POV between Anna and Jack. It's actually nice to get into both of their heads. It makes their stubbornness so much more understood.

With all of the bickering, doubting of feelings, deciding to build back a friendship, and the daughter living situation, the background story is about the poaching of elephants in the Serengeti. I absolutely love that Sinara was able to build such a creative and visionary place for my mind. I empathized with those sweet baby elephants and with the funding crisis Anna and her team were having.

If you love a great heartfelt (or heartwarming...haha! Get it!?!) book, this is definitely one to add to your TBR list. So much information and great reading and tears at the end.

A review copy was provided. All thoughts are my own and I have not been persuaded in any way.

Rating
The Promise of Rain definitely deserves 4 lovey-dovey Mickeys from me! I loved the story and the passion for the elephants, poaching, and Africa. I love when an author has such a strong connection to the topic.

About the Author
After a childhood enriched with exotic travels and adventures (both in books and real life), Rula
Sinara is now settled in rural Virginia with her husband, three boys and crazy but endearing pets. When she's not writing, she's busy attracting wildlife to her yard, watching romantic movies (despite male protests) or researching trees on her garden wish list.

Her debut novel, The Promise of Rain (Harlequin Heartwarming), will release January 2014. It's set primarily at an orphaned elephant rescue camp in Kenya's Serengeti and is the first of three books in a series.

Rula enjoys interviewing fellow authors and is a Special Contributor for USA Today's Happy Ever After blog. Find links to her interviews and discover more about her at www.rulasinara.com or www.awritersrush.blogspot.com.