Monday, August 20, 2018

Realm Explorers Part CXIV: Visit the Dying Lands with Melissa Wright (with a Giveaway!)

Welcome to Realm Explorers!  In this weekly series, we visit a variety of unique worlds created by talented science fiction and fantasy authors.  Enjoy your travels!  And don't forget to read to the bottom of the post to find out more about each author and see how to purchase the featured book. 


Author’s name:
Melissa Wright

Title of book and/or series:
Queen of Iron and Blood (Shattered Realms book two) (Book 1 is FREE! Scroll to the bottom to see how to get a copy! There's also a giveaway where you can win a fun pack of survival gear!)

Brief summary of the story:
Mackenzie Scott is trapped in another realm, but that’s the least of her problems. Magic runs through her veins, and even now she can feel herself changing. Worse, Mackenzie’s not just a monster. She’s their queen.

Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
The dying lands exist in another realm, subsisting on the energy it reaps from Earth. It is inhabited by creatures known as Iron Bound, who subsist on that energy as well.

If we were to visit the dying lands as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
I would not recommend touring the dying lands, but if you were brought over against your will, the outer forests are lovely.

What dangers should we avoid in the dying lands?
The creatures of the dying lands are highly dangerous, but their king is especially deadly.

Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in the dying lands?
Every being in the dying lands relies on the realm’s energy to sustain themselves. Creatures in the dying lands do not eat—if they kill something, it’s not because they intend it as food.

What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in the dying lands?
Most weapons are fashioned from wood or stone, though much of the fighting is done by hand. Those who have the talent have been known to use the energy of the realm to destroy their foes.

What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to the dying lands?
The dying lands are void of technology and metals, but it is a realm flush with beasts both on land and in the air. Many of these creatures could be used for transport, but the stronger of the Iron Bound have the ability to fly.

What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in the dying lands that we don’t see on Earth?
The Iron Bound are a race of chimeras, each varied and unique, though many resemble a patchwork of creatures akin to those on Earth. In addition to stealing this realm’s energy, the Iron Bound also bring over flora, which transforms into something otherworldly when exposed to the dying lands power.

What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in the dying lands?  If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.
Magic comes in the form of energy, coursing through the realm and feeding all those who dwell within. It transforms every being it touches, giving them the power to manipulate the atmosphere in small ways—like the ability to lift their own body into the air to fly.

Are the days of the week and months of the year the same in the dying lands as on Earth? What holidays or special events are celebrated regularly there?
The dying lands operates on cycles, not years. And every 2,000 cycles, the gateway between realms aligns to allow the reaping: a culling of energy from Earth to recharge the dying lands.

What is the political or government structure in the dying lands?  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?
The dying lands is ruled by a single king, one who is powerful enough to open the gateway between realms and draw the energy through. He must protect the reaping at all costs, and he is responsible for keeping the realm’s legends in the hearts and minds of his people.

Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?
Travel is a wonderful tool for writers, and I definitely drew on inspiration from jungle flora and rock formations I’ve seen through mine. In addition to scenery, I did try to bring the terror of being caught in a storm and the horrible aftermath of that into the inciting event of book one. 

What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?
I’m not big on purposefully adding controversial topics into my work, but there’s definitely an element of protecting our planet beneath the plot of this series. I think there’s also a theme of unity, because when the world is attacked, we are no longer this country or that. We are humans. Together.

Author Autobiography:
Melissa is the author of the Frey Saga, Descendants Series, and Shattered Realms. She is currently working on the next book, but when not writing can be spotted collecting the things she loves at Goodreads and Pinterest. Contact her through the web at www.melissa-wright.com

Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your books? 
Queen of Iron and Blood is available in eBook and print.

Where can readers connect with you online? 


I hope you all enjoyed the trip to the dying lands.  Questions about the world or the book?  Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!  

Click here to read other posts in the Realm Explorers series.

Please join us again next Monday for a trip to another world in next week's edition of Realm Explorers!
-Annie Douglass Lima


On Tour with Prism Book Tours



Other Books in the Series

King of Ash and Bone
(Shattered Realms #1)
By Melissa Wright
YA, NA Urban Fantasy, SciFi
Paperback & ebook, 216 Pages
February 2nd 2015

When flying monsters break through the veil into her world, Mackenzie Scott has nothing left to lose. Her brother has been taken, her future has vanished, and all that remains is a desperate need for revenge. After discovering the breach the creatures used as a gateway, Mackenzie devises a plan to stop them, whatever the cost.

When she finds an injured stranger in the street, he just might be the key she needs to succeed. What Mackenzie doesn't know is that this stranger isn't the helpless boy he appears to be. He's one of the monsters. And he's got plans of his own.

Thrown into a dying city in another realm, Mackenzie is powerless to get back. With the gateway closing, time is not on her side. But the stranger is, and if they can escape execution, this girl and her monster might be able to save both their worlds.

Grab an ebook of the first book in the series for FREE!
GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleKoboiBooks


Tour Schedule

August 20th:
It's All About the Romance
SilverWoodSketches
An Indie Adventure
Mythical Books
August 21st:
Declarations of a Fangirl
My Life, Loves and Passion
Letters from Annie (Douglass) Lima
August 22nd:
Andi's Young Adult Books
Wishful Endings
Angel's Guilty Pleasures
August 23rd:
Reading On The Edge
Getting Your Read On
Colorimetry
August 24th:
Stacking My Book Shelves!
Nicole's Book Musings
August 25th:
Grand Finale

Tour Giveaway


1 winner will receive an awesome prize pack with "survival" gear: print copies of The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey, Angelfall by Susan Ee, and King of Ash and Bone by Melissa Wright, plus Be Your Own Hero bracelet, lip balm, compass, playing cards, emergency blanket, and other fun stuff 
US only
Ends August 29th

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Sunday, August 19, 2018

The Lawman's Secret Vow: a Romance Novel with a Giveaway!

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Book Tour Grand Finale for
The Lawman's Secret Vow
By Tara Randel

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you can see snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:

Launch - Note from the Author

...The Lawman’s Secret Vow features Dante Matthews and Eloise Archer. Both are detectives in a local police department, who have been paired up, pretending to be a newly married couple while they infiltrate a car theft ring. Problem is, they discover feelings for each other while undercover. Can they work together and keep their emotions in check as they delve deeper into the case? Or does the real danger come from falling in love?

I hope you enjoy being a part of Dante and Eloise’s journey.

―Tara

Remembrancy - Review

"Randel does a superb job in highlighting the opposites in Dante and Eloise even down to their families and upbringing. And I loved Dante and his brothers (and can’t wait to hang out with a couple of the others in future books)."


As Dante closed the door behind him, he yanked at his tie. The conversation with Chambers set his mind in motion and the idea of being weighed down in paperwork didn’t thrill him. Would there be reams more if he made sergeant? A definite check in the con list.

He’d just settled in his chair when Eloise caught his eye. She was busy writing something on a yellow legal pad. No doubt jotting down notes on a case or for a trial. She was organized that way. Making sure to cross all her t’s and dot all her i’s. Had mad computer skills he lacked. But there was an air of uncertainty about her that he understood. It made him want to coax a smile out of her. She took everything in life so seriously, not even recognizing his teasing until they were well into a conversation. Calling her Ellie was just icing on the cake. He knew it rattled her and thought it might secretly please her.


"This story was such an enjoyable read!...

I loved the romantic tension that developed early on between these two. The way they viewed each other and the way they related to each other felt very authentic and I really enjoyed seeing them interact together."

E-Romance News - Excerpt

Dante cleared his throat. “And who are we exactly?”

“Dan and Ellie Smith.”

Dante heard another quiet groan escape his new partner. A good rule of thumb when undercover was to use a variation of your real name so you wouldn’t get mixed up during the op. Eloise was going to hate this.


"This is a great story of romance, suspense and more. I brought about a great number of emotions." - Vickie

"...a delightfully, although somewhat predictable, story. It is well-written, captivating mystery/romance novel...

The tale sustained the reader's interest until the very last page." - LAWonder10


Dante was flummoxed. Plain and simple. It was the only word he could come up with to explain his current state. 

He flinched when the door closed behind Brandy with a bang. Eloise stood on the other side of the room, a flicker of hesitancy in her eyes. He hated that he was the cause of her discomfort, but c’mon. She was stunning. 

Again, her understated beauty captured him. He’d sensed it was there all along, just disguised under her professional work persona. Why, he had no idea.


They both froze. Dante’s hands on her waist, hers gripping his upper arms. By the light of the moon hovering in the clear night sky, Eloise watched Dante’s gaze search her face before moving to her lips. Her breath caught.

“Back in the truck,” he said, voice low and husky, “I wanted to kiss you. Looks like fate has given me a second chance.”


"Two great protagonists with stellar chemistry. An undercover marriage with a high-stakes case. Intriguing supporting characters and lots of delightful possibilities for the series. If you love the undercover marriage trope, then you’ll love rooting for Dante and Eloise as their friendship builds into something more all while trying to catch the bad guys and secure their spots for the same promotion."


The well-maintained one-story house was painted a bright yellow, with white shutters. Neatly trimmed bushes lined the length of the foundation. Two smaller windows, curtains drawn, flanked the large picture window in the center of the home. A flag with bright flowers greeted them as it swayed from a holder by the front door. Best of all, in Dante’s opinion, it had a two-car garage. He planned on moving a car he’d been working on here in order to keep up with their cover.

“What do you think?”

“It’s lovely. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I could only pull up a picture of the outside of the house from satellite imagery.”

“Think you could live here for a couple weeks?”


"I love a good opposites attract love story and Dante and Eloise couldn't be more opposite! I loved the clash and pull between them in almost every situation. It was great. . . . The added bit of light suspense the mystery provided help in the all around full feel of the book. I really liked it a lot!"


She held her breath when she saw the desire and admiration in his eyes.

“I’d like us to be partners, Ellie. In real life. It’s not a decision I can make on my own, so I’m asking you to think about it.”

Her throat went dry and she had to clear it before speaking. “How do I know I can trust you?”

“By giving me a lifetime to prove myself to you.”

Book by Book - Review

"The Lawman’s Secret Vow is a great choice for any fan of heartwarming contemporary romance. I completely enjoyed the time I spent with it—seeing Eloise and Dante both playfully and professionally work their way to a happy conclusion made me smile every time I picked up the book—and now, I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next for Randel’s Meet Me at the Altar books."


“HEY, ELLIE. WAIT UP.”

Eloise ignored the jolt to her heart and turned to find Dante racing through the parking lot the next morning. The sun was shining, the temperature hovered in the mid seventies and Dante was calling her name. Did life get any better? She took a breath and kept her voice level. “What’s up?”

The bright morning light lifted the multiple shades of brown in his unruly hair. Dark sunglasses shaded his eyes, but not the cocky curve of his lips.

“I just found out we’re short a person for the mud run on Saturday.”

“That’s too bad.” Adjusting her purse strap on her shoulder, she was disappointed by his statement, though why, she couldn’t explain. She headed for the building.


"An intense story line, filled with intrigue, danger and a happily ever after! The latest from Tara Randel packs a punch! Not only do we get the normal sweet romance that she’s known for, but we also get a boatload of mystery as they go undercover and we have to try to figure out who the bad guys are. . . . overall, it was a compellingly rich plot and gave me that happily ever after I was looking for."


Together. Right. She needed her cop face right now because she didn’t know how else to cover the riot of emotions battling inside her. Taking a deep breath, she met Dante’s shuttered gaze. “I’m good.”

“No, you’re not,” he muttered as he took her hand and practically dragged her across the lawn, his bossiness almost bringing a smile to her face.

Once inside the house, Dante said, “Let me get my wallet and keys.”

She nodded, on autopilot as she went to the master bathroom to splash water on her face. Her heart still raced and her head pounded.


"I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is not your typical Heartwarming romance. It has a small suspenseful side to it. Books with undercover work never cease to keep me enthralled. I could not put this book down. I literally even killed the battery on my tablet."

Becky on Books - Excerpt

“How long have you been married?”

“We’re newlyweds,” Dante said, slipping his arm around her waist to tug her closer, wrapping her in the cocoon of his spicy cologne. She fought the telltale shivers she was sure would give her feelings away if Dante noticed.

“I remember those early days,” a woman said, grinning at her husband. “Every year we celebrate at the first place we met. Where’d you two fall in love?”

Eloise glanced at Dante. He met her gaze with a blank. Oh, no.


He nodded his head toward her. “Where were you tonight?”

“A new club. Twilight. It just opened and Stella’s been dying to go. There were lots of women, few husbands and many male employees. Let’s just say I was glad to call it a night. Things were getting out of hand.”

“Not your scene?”

She shuddered. “Never in a million years.” She paused. “Not that I’m boring or anything.”

Dante checked the mirror again. “Didn’t say you were.”

Don't forget to enter the giveaway below, if you haven't already...

The Lawman's Secret Vow
By Tara Randell
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 Pages
August 1st 2018 by Harlequin Heartwarming

To have and to hold—

until the case is solved?

When an undercover assignment pairs laid-back Florida detective Dante Matthews with by-the-book cop Eloise Archer, he knows it won’t be easy. And not just because they’re competing for the same promotion. Now they’re living together under the same roof, and it’s getting harder to ignore his deepening feelings for his “wife.” Can he convince Eloise to partner up—for life?

About the Author


USA Today Bestselling Author Tara Randel has enjoyed a lifelong love of books, especially romance and mystery genres, so it didn't come as a surprise when she began writing with the dream of becoming published. Family values, mystery and, of course, love and romance are her favorite themes, because she believes love is the greatest gift of all. Tara lives on the West Coast of Florida, where gorgeous sunsets inspire the creation of heartwarming stories, filled with love, laughter and the occasional mystery.


Tour Giveaway


Prize #1: Beach/pool tote and water bottle, signed print copies of The Bridal Bouquet and His One and Only Bride, $25 Amazon Gift Card. (Open to US only)

Prize #2: $25 Amazon e-Gift Card (Open Internationally)

Ends August 22nd

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Thursday, August 16, 2018

The Blood Race Series: a Science Fiction Novel with a Giveaway!

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Welcome to the Book Blitz for
The Blood Race Series
By K.A. Emmons

Check out snippets from the month-long tour and enter the giveaway below...

The Blood Race
(The Blood Race #1)
By K.A. Emmons
YA SciFi, Fantasy
Paperback & ebook, 321 Pages
July 27th 2017

All Ion Jacobs ever wanted was to be normal. But when you’re capable of killing with your very thoughts, it’s hard to blend in with the crowd.

Running from his past and living in fear of being discovered, Ion knows he will never be an average college student. But when Hawk, the beautiful, mysterious girl next door unearths his darkest secret, Ion’s life is flipped upside-down. He’s shocked to discover a whole world of people just like him -- a world in another dimension, where things like levitation, shape-shifting, and immortality are not only possible… they’re normal.

Forced to keep more secrets than ever before, Ion struggles to control his powers in the real world while commuting between realms -- until his arch enemy starts a fight he can’t escape. Now he has sealed the fate of the Dimension, severing their connection to the real world, and locking himself inside forever. But a deadly threat hidden in plain sight may cost Ion more than just his freedom -- it may cost him his life.

The Blood Race is the first book in K.A. Emmons' riveting new sci-fi/fantasy thriller series. If you like epic urban fantasy, fresh takes on super powers, deep allegories, raw emotions and intricate plots that surprise you at every turn, you'll love the first novel in Emmons' page-turning series. Grab your copy of The Blood Race and delve into a new dimension today!



Worlds Beneath
(The Blood Race #2)
By K.A. Emmons
YA SciFi, Fantasy
Paperback & ebook, 333 Pages
July 1st 2018

I used to think that seeing was believing, but now, as I struggle to stay alive below the ravine, I begin to realize that - good or bad - I will see whatever I believe.

“Who are you, Icarus, that the earth opens its mouth to receive your blood?” Sensei’s words were my last thoughts before I fell into the bottomless ravine, plunging toward my own death, and bringing about Hawk’s at the same time. Or so I thought.

I woke up underwater. I awoke in a strange and unfamiliar world, filled with maze-like forest, shadows, and nightmares seemingly as vivid and dangerous as reality. I had no idea who I was, or how I got there - I couldn’t remember anything, until I remembered her: Hawk. The other half of my soul.

I knew that in order for her to stay alive, I had to survive and find a way out. But that’s easier said than done when you’re trapped in a realm as deadly as your every thought - and dominated by a hierarchy of ravenous wolf packs.

Alerted by a dream, I realize that Hawk has left the Dimension to come find me. For an instant, I rediscover hope. But that hope quickly burns to ash when I realize that we may not be the only ones down here. Someone else with a thirst for her blood may have survived the fall too. And I may have just lured her right into the jaws of a predator even fiercer than the wolves.


A Tour Recap

July 1: Author Interview with Jameson C Smith

If the characters of The Blood Race trilogy could jump into any other fictional world, where would they go? Oh, hands down Narnia. Because that’s where I’m trying to “jump into” every day of the week, yo. I’m still checking those closets.

July 2: Guest Post with Hot Town Cool Girl: Top 5 Tips for Aspiring Writers

#5 JUST DO IT. so many of us spend a heck of a lot of time, debating about whether we should write a book, thinking about how we would write it, wondering if we’re good enough, or psychoanalyzing every single detail.

July 3: Book Review of World's Beneath on Stories and Soulspeak

"Worlds Beneath is a captivating novel that pulls the reader in from the first page."

July 4: Author Q&A on Plottinger Twist

CAN I JUST GUSH ABOUT THIS GORGEOUS COVER??? I MEAN. LOOK AT IT.

July 5: Q&A with Author at Unicorn Quester

July 7: Book Review of World's Beneath at Inkwell

July 9: Book Review of World's Beneath at Paper Pizza

"What made the second installment in The Blood Race series so incredibly amazing was THE CHARACTERS."

July 11: Author Interview at Ivie Writes

Kate: "...we are NOT the things that have happened to us. We are not our pasts. Letting go is hard, but one of the most important things you will ever do."

July 12: Author Interview at Elly Lily

July 13: Author Interview at Rebecca Morgan

I’m also a surfer, karate enthusiast, and military wife.

July 14: Guest Post at The Book Sprite

Each time I sit down at the desk in the morning with my cup of coffee, I don't have a map or a plan, or a binder full of notes...

July 15: Book Review of World's Beneath at Totally Graced

"The ending, in typical Kate style, KILLED ME, and I am already counting down the days until Book 3 comes into the world."

July 16: Book Review of The Blood Race at The Red-Hooded Writer

"It's deep. It's full of powerful themes, breathtakingly complex characters, and intense twists and turns that had me on the edge of my seat. If you want something emotional, gritty, fantastical, fast-paced, and theme-focused, I highly recommend The Blood Race!"

July 17: Guest Post at Christ is Write

Be the lighthouse on the cold and craggy isle, flickering vanilla beams into the billows of the storm.

July 18: Author Interview at Writings From a God Girl

July 19: Author LIVE at Livy Lynn Blog

July 20: Review of World's Beneath at Rock and Minerals for Him

"Kate has a way with describing scenes that makes one feel like they’re in it without being too wordy."

July 21: Guest Post at Audrey Caylin

Write about the things that make your soul hum.

July 23: Book Review of World's Beneath on PoeTree

"The plot is brilliantly woven and full of vibrant, real characters with wonderful depth and raw emotion. Amid the tense action, thought-provoking dialogue and text often had me slowing down to savor the book."

July 25: Guest Post at Musings of a Creative Spirit

The sheer joy I get when I sit down in the morning with a cup of coffee to write is immeasurable. And that’s my favorite part of writing.

July 27: Interview at Authoring Arrowheads

My writing zone at the moment is being lost in my head in my cozy, colorfully painted office, with coffee and a soundtrack of Vermont rainfall pattering against my window.

July 28: Book Review of The Blood Race at The Calico Books

"There were so many unique and such fierce characters. I especially loved Icarus, Hawk, and Fin. They had so much depth! I loved watching the growth and maturity that happens in this novel..."

July 29: Book Review of The Blood Race on Novels, Dragons, and Wardrobe Doors

"The character development, the fascinating originality of the Dimension, the Christian allegory woven through, it was really good."

July 31: Book Review of The Blood Race and Author Interview at Oh So Priceless

"The concept is completely original and you're immediately drawn in and enthralled by the story. I started reading it and I just could not put it down!"

About the Author


When she’s not hermiting away in her colorfully-painted home office writing her next science fiction, passionate story-teller and adventurer Kate Emmons is probably on the road for a surf or hiking trip, listening to vinyls, or going for a power run. Emmons’ debut novel The Blood Race is the first book in her YA science fiction/fantasy thriller series. Get connected with Kate on your favorite social platform, and be sure to check out http://kaemmons.com/.


Blitz Giveaway

- 3 winners will win an ebook of THE BLOOD RACE
- Open internationally
- Ends August 19th

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Sunday, August 12, 2018

Nice to Come Home To: a Romance Novel with a Giveaway!

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Book Tour Grand Finale for
Nice to Come Home To
By Liz Flaherty

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you can see snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:

Launch - Note from the Author

Thank you so much for joining me on the debut ride for Nice To Come Home To. It’s the third book in a mini-series from Lake Miniagua, and Cass and Luke’s story was such a satisfying one to tell. I have to admit I got a little selfish in the writing of it…

I hope you enjoy the trip with me this week. There will be giveaways, excerpts, some blog posts where I hope you join in the conversations, and…did I mention giveaways?

— Liz


"I really enjoyed this book. It's a make you feel good book. The story was great and had me eagerly gobbling up this book. It had it's funny carefree moments, but also serious hit you right in the heart moments. . . . All the characters are well written and makes you want to be part of this little town."

Declarations of a Fangirl - Cass’s & Luke’s Tips on Running an Orchard

Thank you so much for having me here today!

Cass Gentry writes a cozy mystery series and has spent most of her adult life in California. Although she played volleyball in high school, that was twenty years ago. She’s not a country girl—much less an outdoorsy one, but when her mother dies, Cass inherits half of an apple orchard on Lake Miniagua, Indiana...


"Another great contemporary (clean!) romance from Liz Flaherty, set in the quaint Indiana town of Lake Miniagua. I loved watching Cass and Luke’s relationship move from business colleagues to a sweet friendship to something even sweeter. Great characters, a beautiful setting, and humor as well as heart abound – not to mention the gentle message of accepting yourself, flaws and all, and accepting the painful parts of your story with grace and self-forgiveness."


“Mr. Rossiter?”

The voice came as he was locking the door of the apple barn behind him. He turned, squinting into the setting sun. “Yes? We’re closed, but can I get you something quick?”

“I’m Cass Gentry.”

“Oh.” The sun moved enough that she became less of a silhouette and more of the tall, slender person he remembered from Marynell’s funeral. She wasn’t as slim now, and the cap of light brown hair was almost certainly her own, but he’d have recognized her anywhere. He extended his hand. “Nice to meet you. I expected you earlier today.”

Remembrancy - Review

"Liz Flaherty brings this series full circle. Don’t worry, if you haven’t read the other two books, you won’t be lost, but if you have, Nice to Come Home To is that much sweeter. As Cass learns that some friendships survivor tragedy, that family is what you make it,and that accepting herself—flaws and all—is the only way to live fully. And maybe, just maybe, falling in love isn’t something to fear."

Among the Reads - About Brothers and Sisters and Teenagers

Thank you for having me here today.

The only teenagers I raised were the ones I’d known since birth, whose diapers I’d changed and whose personalities I’d had something to do with and who I loved more than I ever thought it was possible to love anyone...


"Nice to Come Home To by Liz Flaherty is a wonderful read. . . . This book touches so many emotions and heartfelt situations. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Royce, Cass, Zoey, Lucas, and Seth. These characters are all absolutely wonderful and each have their own story to tell."

E-Romance News - Excerpt

When Luke gets his first clue that Cass isn’t going to be a silent partner…

Cass beamed, her eyes lighting. The expression opened a place in him he’d thought was permanently closed. Oh, boy. “I love the orchard, and I love everything you’ve done to it.”

Encouraged, he asked the question that had lingered uppermost in his mind since they’d toured the orchard earlier in the day. “Do you know what you’d like to do? Stay a silent partner like your mother was? Sell out? I don’t have the money, but having a financially savvy brother-in-law has ensured I have good credit.”

It was as if he’d slapped her. The light left her eyes and her beam faded to a polite smile. She started to speak, then stopped, turning her head to gaze out at the lake. Spangled with moonlight, starshine and colored lights on boats cruising the calm water, it was a good thing to look at. Calming and exhilarating at the same time.

What had he said? Whatever it was, she was neither acknowledging nor answering.

Splashes of Joy - Review

"Cass and Luke’s story is a beautiful and heartwarming one. I enjoyed watching the two work closely together, attractions were noticeable, but they were so determined to not fall in love. . . . I appreciate so much that this is a good clean, fun, and enjoyable book to read!"


When Luke is still being a pain in the neck about the coffee shop…

“Tell me again why we can’t just have the coffee shop in the center corridor of the barn. It’s plenty big enough and access is right there from both entrances. That leaves the side areas for offices or even other little shops if this thing takes off.” Luke looked both tired and impatient. And on the edge of angry.

Cass wasn’t good at standing her ground—it wasn’t something that had ever worked particularly well for her. But… “Because the coziness factor would be gone. It would never be quiet or intimate or conducive to working.” She had said all this. She knew she had. Who knew that under that straight, silky hair of his, Luke Rossiter had such a thick head?


"I really enjoyed this sweet story. There are other stories related to this one, all set in this quaint community. However, the author did a really good job of making this book readable as a stand alone. I had not read the other stories and had no trouble diving into this one."

Handcrafted Reviews - The Idea Trail

I’m not much for having ideas. I mean, I like the idea if having them, but I think when the Lord was wiring my brain, He gave me frizzy hair instead of ideas—that’s all I can figure. Naturally enough, one of the most frequent questions a writer is asked is, “Where do you come up with your ideas?”

Er…what ideas would those be?

But with Nice to Come Home To, released this month from Harlequin Heartwarming (squealing and jumping up and down here—aren’t you glad you can’t see the frizzy hair?), I can pinpoint the idea trail. Want to come along?...

Book by Book - Review

"So, if you’re in need of a heartfelt contemporary romance to read, check out Nice to Come Home To. I enjoyed experiencing the ups and downs with Flaherty’s immensely likeable characters and smalltown community, and I’m sure you will, too."

Becky on Books - Meeting the Protagonists of Nice to Come Home To

Thanks for having me here today!

Characters, and the development thereof, are my favorite parts of writing books. They usually come to me pretty fully developed, scars and all, long before I know their stories. This is fun.

But then the characters do exactly what everyone else does—they change...


"An emotional rollercoaster that will leave you smiling! This story was quick to draw my attention with it’s in depth details of what each character is feeling as the setting is laid out. We get not only the potential romance of Cass and Luke, but also several feel good moments between the older characters and with the teens. It’s a complex story with many pieces pulling at our hearts, but it comes together well. Memorable, sweet and very enjoyable. Loved it!"


A kissing kind of day…

Luke’s distinctive rap came on the door at that moment, and the women laughed as Cass went to open it. He called, “Evening, Zoey,” and pulled Cass onto the porch, wrapping his arms around her. “This is probably wrong on so many different levels, but I can’t care right now. It’s a kissing kind of day.” The last words were murmured against her lips, and all she could do was swallow a sigh.

They’d avoided physical contact beyond the occasional one-armed hug, even though they’d talked all around the subject. The conversation always ended with the assertion that neither of them was interested in dating anyone, much less someone they were in business with. If they got a little hormonal, well, that was just the way it was. They were adults, after all—they could handle themselves. Besides everything else, they were in charge of two teenagers whose hormones made their own look like rank amateurs.


"I did enjoy and connect with the two main characters–Cass and Luke. Both are a little bit older and have been married before. That already made them more interesting and relatable to me. The story was sweet with a little conflict here and there, but never more than what the reader would want.

...I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a solid romance with heart, soul, and lightheartedness."


Thank you so much for having me to visit!

Breast cancer has affected my life. I lost my mother to it, my friends Dottie and Inge, and others. I have friends who are fighting it now. When you read Nice to Come Home To, you won’t see their names in the dedication—that happened years ago when I wrote One More Summer—but the disease still attacks. All too often, it still wins...


When Cass finds out where the music is…

Later that day, walking through the orchard with Misty keeping her company, Cass looked through the branches of a pear tree, loving the picture the nearly leafless limbs made against the pale blue sky.

She eyed the tree trunk where it divided. It made her wish she had one of the orchard’s ladders out here. It had been a while since she climbed a tree just for the sake of climbing it. The last time had probably been when the volleyball team camped near the creek at the back of the Worths’ farm.

There weren’t enough leaves left on the tall Bartlett pear tree to offer the whispering accompaniment to her thoughts she remembered from those days, but still…it had been a while.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway below, if you haven't already...

Nice to Come Home To
By Liz Flaherty
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 Pages
August 1st 2018 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Will an apple a day…

Keep love at bay?

For Cass Gentry, coming home to Lake Miniagua, teenage half sister in tow, is bittersweet. But her half of the orchard she inherited awaits, and so does a fresh face—Luke Rossiter, her new business partner. Even though they butt heads in business, they share one key piece of common ground: refusing to ever fall in love again. But as their lives get bigger, that stance doesn’t feel like enough…


Other Books in the Series


About the Author


Liz Flaherty was a little nervous about retiring from her day job, but making quilts, more family time, traveling at the mere mention of “why don’t we go...” and becoming a Harlequin Heartwarming author have made the past years more fun and exciting than she could ever have imagined.


Tour Giveaway


5 PRIZE PACK WINNERS WILL RECEIVE: a backlist book, dish towel, magnet, and notepad (picture includes an example - not a complete prize)
US only
Ends August 15th

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Thursday, August 2, 2018

The Rancher's Twins: a Romance Novel with a Giveaway!

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Welcome to the Book Blitz for
The Rancher's Twins
By Carol Ross

Learn more about the start of this new Harlequin Heartwarming seriesread an
excerpt from this first book, sign up to review them all, and enter the giveaway below...

Note from the Author

Funny how the waning twilight of life shines so brightly on one’s mistakes. Nearing his eightieth birthday, family patriarch Elias Blackwell can only hope it’s not too late to rectify a few of his. Namely, his relationships with his five grandsons, Jonathon, Ethan, Ben, Tyler, and Chance. With both the operation of the Blackwell Family Ranch and the boys’ upbringing entrusted to him after the tragic death of his son and daughter-in-law, he made a mess of both. Now the boys are scattered to the winds and the family legacy is in jeopardy. Bringing his family back together is going to take every bit of the ingenuity, shrewdness, and tenacity Elias is known for. And, yes, maybe it’ll even take a bit of deception to instigate the Return of the Blackwell Brothers.



Each subsequent book in the series will release as follows:
The Rancher's Twins by Carol Ross, August 1st
The Rancher's Rescue by Cari Lynn Webb, September 1st
The Rancher's Redemption by Melinda Curtis, October 1st
The Rancher's Fake FiancĂ©e by Amy Vastine, November 1st
The Rancher's Homecoming by Anna J. Stewart, December 1st

In book one, The Rancher’s Twins, single father and rancher Jon Blackwell needs help. His five-year-old twin girls are out of control, it’s calving season, and his grandfather is MIA. Hiring a real nanny, a professional childcare worker from an accredited agency with years of experience, turns out to be the best decision ever. Lydia is amazing. She adores the girls. The girls love her. Even as Jon wonders if she’s too good to be true, he finds himself smitten, too. What he doesn’t know is that Lydia isn’t a professional at all. She’s on the run and using the ranch to hide out. Just when Jon begins to believe that life might actually be as sweet as Lydia’s smile, her past shows up and threatens to destroy them all.

― Carol


The Rancher's Twins
(Return of the Blackwell Brothers #1)
By Carol Ross
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 Pages
August 1st 2018 by Harlequin Heartwarming

She’s not the country nanny he advertised for

But she could be perfect for him…

Jon Blackwell needs a woman ready to tackle the duties of a cattle ranch and two lively, take-no-prisoners twin girls. But ever since Lydia Newbury showed up at his six-generation Montana spread, the frazzled single father is rethinking, well, everything. The Philadelphia dazzler is a marvel. What he doesn’t know is the secret that has Lydia on the run…

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Excerpt

THAT WAS THE moment Lydia realized that she’d talked herself into a corner. She didn’t want to lie to him. Of course, she was sort of lying to him by being here as it was. But that was different. She’d had no idea that she’d fall in love—with him, his girls, the ranch, Falcon Creek. “I just kind of fell into it. All the jobs and experiences I’ve had seemed to point me in this direction. When my friend saw the position available, he encouraged me to take it.” That felt good, truthful. “And I’m so glad I did. It’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”

“But...how is that possible?”

“What do you mean?”

“Stuck out here in the middle of nowhere taking care of someone else’s kids? This is the life you want?”

Lydia stared back at him, hoping her heart wasn’t showing in her eyes. “Um...” She turned and held her arms out in front of her. “This isn’t exactly nowhere. Pretty sure it’s the most beautiful place on earth.”

“I’m not trying to put you on the spot here, it’s just that I’m wondering why.”

In that moment, she wished she could tell him everything. But what would he think of her? There wasn’t a situation in the world that would cause Jon Blackwell to run from his problems the way she’d always run from hers. Maybe, she could tell him a little, though. Tanner’s warnings surfaced but she brushed them away. She’d keep things vague.

“Well, Jon, I’ve made some mistakes. I haven’t had great luck with relationships.” With a little grimace, she went on, “There’s no luck involved. It’s more that I get involved with the wrong guys. The last one was a real piece of work. I had a difficult time getting out of the relationship.” Gripping the rock she’d gathered, she continued, “That’s part of the reason that I took this job, to get away from him. I needed to get out of Philadelphia.”

Jon’s eyes homed in on her like a laser beam. “Lydia, did some guy...? What are you talking about? If someone hurt you, I’d like to know about it.”

Lydia’s heart fluttered helplessly in her chest. She couldn’t help but wonder how it would feel to have a man protect her for once, or at least to not want to hurt her. And not just any man, but this man, who was strong and smart and good. Too good, maybe, because he ended up with a woman who took advantage of that goodness. She ignored the little voice that reminded her that she was currently doing the same.

But she didn’t want to be. She wanted to protect him, too, from the wiles of Ava and Marilee. She wanted to help him in every way that she could—take care of his girls, support him on the ranch and keep him from working too hard. She wanted to be his partner. And love them all in the way they deserved.

“Um...he didn’t hurt me physically.” Lydia had often thought he wanted to. She suspected he’d been abusive in other relationships. “But he could be rough and the threat of more was always there. Verbal abuse, yes. I worked for him so that made it all worse.” She sighed. It was so difficult to explain without explaining. “At the end, I lived in constant fear.”

Lydia watched his mouth flatten out to a thin, angry line. “You deserve so much better.”

“Thank you. I know I want better.”

“What do you want?” His voice was low and deep and somehow made her want to cry a little.

You, her heart answered immediately. It hurt that she couldn’t say it, so she looked out at the view again. Doing her best to lighten the moment, she tossed the rock from the cliff and answered in a teasing tone, “Oh, I don’t know. Not much really. Just love, safety, security... And someday...maybe my own horse.”

Her attempt at levity didn’t work.

Jon looked out toward the horizon. He was still and appeared calm. But Lydia knew him better now. Tension radiated from him and she knew it wasn’t anger. Her breath stalled as her pulse began to pound fast and hard. His expression was pure Rancher Blackwell—grave and solemn and almost unreadable. Almost, because she could see the vulnerability there. She knew he had feelings for her, too. The attraction between them had been simmering hotly since he’d kissed her on Easter. What she hadn’t known was what those feelings entailed or how strong they were. But now she did. And at that moment, all of the reasons why they couldn’t be together flew out of her head. Which left only her heart, aching and craving his love. Just say it, she silently pleaded. Because no matter what happened long-term she wanted to hear the words at least once in her life from a person she wanted to hear them from.

He faced her again, his gray-blue gaze ensnaring hers. Her heart jumped into her throat. “What if I told you that I want those things, too? And what if I told you that I didn’t ever want to let you go, not even when the girls leave for college?”

Review Opportunities


Interested in reviewing the series? Sign up for each book by clicking on its cover.

About the Author


USA Today bestselling author Carol Ross grew up in small town America right between the Pacific Ocean and the Cascade Mountains, in a place where you can go deep sea fishing in the morning and then hit the ski slopes the same afternoon. The daughter of what is now known as free range parents, she developed a love of the outdoors at a very early age. As a writer, Carol loves to breathe the life she has lived into the characters she creates, grateful for the “research material” that every questionable decision, adrenaline-charged misstep, and near-death experience has provided.


Blitz Giveaway


- 1 winner will receive a $50 Amazon eGift Card and a copy of THE RANCHER'S TWINS (print to US/CAN and ebook to international)
- 3 winners will each receive a copy of THE RANCHER'S TWINS (print to US/CAN and ebook to international)
- Ends August 5th

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