Wednesday, February 25, 2015

BlogTour Mini-Review, Excerpt, Giveaway!! Cinderella and the Ghost, by Marina Myles

Welcome to this stop in the 
blog tour for
Cinderella and the Ghost,
sponsored by
Bewitching Book Tours!!

I am featuring an excerpt 
with accompanying mini-review,
and there's also a 
tour-wide giveaway!!

Cinderella and the Ghost
(The Cursed Princes, #4)
Marina Myles
Trade Paperback, 246 pages
Lyrical Trade
February 17, 2015
Fantasy, Historical Fiction, 
Paranormal Romance, Science Fiction


When her demanding stepmother died, Ella Benoit knew just how far their fortunes had fallen, unlike her spoiled stepsisters. So she never expected the bequest from her late father. A chateau in France and the freedom to live her own life, all at once!

The chateau has seen better days, but Ella knows she can put the ruined house to rights. The life-size portrait of its first owner, Jean-Daniel Girard, seems to watch her work with approval, even pleasure. With bright blue eyes, strong features, and an athlete’s body, the viscount is a tempting sight even now, more than three hundred years after his tragic death. But the more she looks at the portrait, the more convinced Ella is that she’s met Jean-Daniel before. In another life, perhaps—or maybe, as the form who haunts the halls at night, invading Ella’s dreams…


I have always loved fairy tales, and the story of Cinderella is one of my favorites! It's just wonderful to read about how someone who has been abused finally gets to have a happy life!
This retelling is especially interesting to me, because Myles has thrown in some new elements, such as paranormal romance and time travel, that make this timeless tale even more interesting! (These also involve two of my favorite genres.)
Myles has described the setting superbly in this excerpt, with details that mystify and tantalize the reader. Together with Ella, the main female character, the reader is led through different rooms of the mysterious old mansion. As she makes her way, looking for a painting of the mansion's previous owner, Ella experiences strange flashes of what seems to be a previous incarnation.... Suffice it to say that I am totally fascinated, intrigued, and breathless with anticipation! I can't wait to meet the very handsome, tragic, Jean-Daniel Girard!

As Ella passed the drawing room, she halted. Eerie goose bumps blanketed her arms. Drawn to the room, she felt as though she’d been in it before.

She crossed the threshold under a sudden trance. Icy stabs of déjà vu assaulted her because the ornate furnishings and draperies seemed extremely familiar. Perhaps, she considered, I’ve seen the room in one of Adelaide’s real estate or decorating magazines.

Taking a few steps forward, she noticed a huge blank spot on the east wall. The area’s wallpaper not only showed a variance in color, it outlined a missing, life-sized painting or tapestry.

How odd. Why had the art work been removed? Where was it now?

An unrelenting force summoned her closer to the blank spot. Her inquisitiveness grew. If the missing object was indeed a life-sized painting, it must have taken forever to complete. She wondered about its subject. A landscape? More likely, a portrait.

Prodded to start a hunt, she went through several rooms on Château de Maincy’s main level. She searched the front parlor, the back parlor, and the music room. Her favorite was the ballroom. As she entered, a spark met her toes. Wide-eyed, she noticed that rays of sunshine cast a sparkling aura over its faded parquet floor. A glittering chandelier hung in the center of the gold-toned room and anchored the enormous space.

When the chandelier caught a beam of sunlight, Ella received another spark. She put her hand to her warm cheeks. She could almost hear strains of a quadrille—and the drone of chatter as if she were at a party.

Not a party. She rephrased the thought. A ball.

Eyes blurred, she slipped into a deeper trance. Suddenly, she was wearing a stunning costume and was stepping into waltz with a debonair nobleman sporting a mask. The nobleman pulled her tightly against him. Other guests wearing masks looked on.

It was a masquerade ball! More scenes flashed before Ella. Warm wind gusted into the room and then—

Exiting the trance, she realized that the hair on the back of her neck stood on end. Why in heaven had she experienced that?

Her father had written that Ella had been at the château before. Yet she had no conscious memory of the visit. Maybe, she thought as she rubbed her eyes, the atmosphere of this house is too seductive to resist.

Still reeling from the vision, her attention shifted to a long-case clock in the corner. Its shattered face was visible through a hinged glass panel that hung ajar. The top of the clock bore a large, vertical gash.

How odd.

Ella inched closer. The open door revealed that the time-piece had been frozen at twelve o’clock. She touched the immobile hands—and in the bright light of the room, she noticed that the clock’s maker had etched his name and creation date into a groove bordering the clock’s pendulum.

Montbleu ~ 1703.

All at once, Ella remembered standing in front of the long-case clock, precisely like this. But how could that be? She must have repressed memories from her visit here as a child. Yet, she couldn’t explain the vision of herself dancing with the handsome man.

Once she confirmed that a life-sized painting wasn’t hanging in the ballroom, she made her way up the grand staircase. Inexplicably, she felt drawn to where she was going. When she reached the second floor of the house, she studied a wall of faded frescoes depicting late seventeenth century life. When something told her to go on, she padded to the third floor landing.

A palpable hush filled the corridor ahead of her. Then a charged stream of energy rushed through the hall. Since all the curtains were drawn over the arched windows, the hallway sat in darkness and shadow. Ella should be doing so many things. Unpacking. Cleaning. Deciding which bedroom would be hers. But a sense of urgency prompted her feet to continue.

What will I find in this part of the house? Glimpses of the valiant but very dead Jean-Daniel Girard?

Gulping, she opened door after door and peeked in. She finally came to a storage space, with an additional staircase leading up to an attic. Creeping up those stairs, Ella surveyed the articles on the landing. Broken mirrors and articles of furniture draped in white sheets lay strewn about. Tangled strings of cobwebs swathed the wood paneling.

A glowing beam of sunlight angled into the room. Ella’s pulse sped. In the corner, she spotted an item covered with a black cloth. The object reclined against the far wall—and appeared to be larger than she was. Pushing the curtains open, she allowed more sunlight to bathe the space. Hands quivering, she moved back to the draped item and pulled away the black cloth.

The painting’s gilded frame was stunning. On it, Ella located a nameplate.

Jean-Daniel Girard—Viscount de Maincy


Slowly, as though her life was being altered with every centimeter, her stare ascended to the nobleman’s astonishing face. Instantly, the world fell into a compelling silence.

Jean-Daniel Girard was tall, muscular, and inarguably handsome. In fact, his good looks were so striking that Ella could barely breathe as she gazed upon them. More than that, she knew she’d seen his face somewhere before. While she racked her brain about where she’d seen it, her gaze roamed over Jean-Daniel’s sold body, penetrating aquamarine eyes, and angular features. He could be described as classically handsome. The epitome of male beauty, really. And thankfully, that classic quality helped him transcend the fanciful clothing and wig he wore.

Ella took a step in and studied him some more. True to subjects painted in that era, he wasn’t smiling. Rather, he seemed a pensive and a bit melancholy. However, she could tell from the laugh lines bracketing his generous mouth that he grinned often.

Incredibly lifelike, Jean-Daniel seemed capable of emerging from the painting right then and there. Ella’s skin tingled.

Her gaze drifted to the adorable dog sitting at the viscount’s feet. A splendid example of a hound, it possessed a gleaming brown-and-white coated, an open mouth, and a protruding tongue. Oddly, the dog seemed to be smiling.

“I can tell you loved your master,” she murmured.

Mesmerized by the man in the painting, Ella stared at his image for what felt like hours. The more she analyzed it, the more she noticed its “lost soul” quality. She crossed her arms. No, that wasn’t it. Instead, there seemed to be something underlying the viscount’s solemn face. As if he weren’t solemn at all. As if he possessed a sense of unfinished business.

To die so young…

She finally looked at the portrait’s backdrop. A vivid depiction of Château de Maincy surrounded Jean-Daniel. A cluster of servants was working in the fields adjacent to the splendid house. Wide-eyed bluebirds perched on the tree branches over his wigged head.

So that’s the way the estate looked in its heyday.

Stepping closer, she zeroed in on Jean-Daniel’s astounding eyes. They seemed to come alive—and for the briefest moment, he did as well. If only they were on a first-name basis! The thought exhilarated her.

While she and the figure locked stares, a new layer of goose bumps sprang up on Ella’s arms. She retreated. Despite the warmth of the room, a chill barraged her body.

    “Jean-Daniel Girard is quite swoon-worthy, non?” whispered an unfamiliar voice.

Marina Myles’s love of books began as soon as she read her first fairy tale. During her college days in Dallas, she received degrees in English Literature and Communications—and enjoyed the unique experience of being a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader. Now that she lives under the sunny skies of Arizona, she hasn’t left her glamorous life behind completely. After all, she gets to divide her time between her loving family, her loyal Maltese, and worlds filled with fiery—but not easily attained—love affairs.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Blog Tour Spotlight/Guest Blog: Help Me Move On, by Angie Hemmings

Welcome to this stop in the
Help Me Move On Blog Tour,
sponsored by
Bewitching Book Tours!!

I am featuring a character bio of the 
very handsome Colton Walker,
from the book, courtesy of
the author, Angie Hemmings!!

Help Me Move On
(The Southern Ties Series, #1)
Angie Hemmings
Trade Paperback, 248 pages
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
December 8, 2014
Contemporary Romance


Ally Dunn is a small town girl with big dreams planning a wedding that would never happen. Ally’s life revolved around being Eric’s wife…until she watched his best friend Isaiah step off that plane, his arm in a sling and Eric's casket behind him. Her grief consumed her, their last conversation not one filled with love but an argument over her favorite flower. He knew her favorite flower, he was just busy…fighting for his country. Isaiah made a promise to Eric, he would keep Ally safe even if that meant saving her from herself. Isaiah takes Ally away when her grief becomes too much but their return brings about something she never expected.  

When Ally meets Colton Walker she knows her life will never be the same. She never planned to move on from Eric, the mere idea of moving on would send her into a panic. How do you move on from the man you loved, the man who shared your dreams, who made your heart feel whole? But Colton doesn’t push her, he doesn’t pressure her, he gives her everything she ever needed and he does it effortlessly.

Falling in love with Colton was like taking her next breath; she didn’t have to think about because it came naturally…only a cloud hangs over Ally. Isaiah trains her in Krav Maga, Eric trained her in gunfire. Colton sees all of this, asking the one question she can’t answer, why? Why would a woman who lives in such a small town need to know such aggressive self-defense? Isaiah vows to keep her safe, going so far as to track her every move…but why?  

Surviving Eric’s death almost killed Ally, the hole in her heart never truly healed until Colton. Falling in love with Colton was easy, fighting for her life when everything she thought she knew was wrong…that was a completely different story.

Purchase Links

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The Book Depository


Guest Blog: Character Bio of 
Colton Walker my name is Angie Hemmings and I’m the author of Help Me Move On.  I’ve spent a year of my life working on this book and I’m super excited to finally release this.  Today we’re taking a closer look at one of the characters, Colton Walker.

Who is Colton Walker?

I loved coming up with Colton Walker because he’s this cool, laid back guy.  He isn’t dramatic and he doesn’t care about what kind of car he drives or what name brand he’s wearing.  He drives an old pickup and he goes hunting every year.  A country boy at heart, Colton runs the fire department in Pilot Mountain.

I want to say there’s some great mystery to Colton, but there really isn’t.  He wakes up and goes to work every single day and that’s it.  Except he just so happens to save lives.  Climbing into a window and carrying someone out of a  burning inferno is just another day at work for Colton.

The first time Colton meets Ally she doesn’t even see him.  He watches her from a distance at first, the rain falling around them as Ally grieves the loss of her fiancè.  When Colton helps her grandmother to the car his heart breaks for the woman sitting under that canopy.  When her grandmother asks him to bring her granddaughter to her he realizes his life will never be the same.  Looking down at this broken woman, the rain soaking her body and her sobs wrecking havoc on her body he realizes his life will never be the same.

Only she leaves.

He knows she isn't ready, he knows that she needs time, and he knows that with time and patience he'll get what he wants...and he wants Ally.

The day Ally comes home  from Uganda, Colton is there, a favor for her grandmother leading them to their second meeting, and the night of her homecoming party he realizes she'll need his help.  Ally can't move on, she's stuck living in the past, and she's punishing herself for something that won't accomplish anything.  He makes it his mission to help Ally, and help he does.

And one of my favorite scenes in this book...


Anyone from the South knows about mudboggin, and Colton is the perfect Southern boy.  He opens doors for ladies one minute, and the next he's driving a truck full of people through a mudbog.  It's at the mudbog that Colton is able to finally get Ally alone for the first time, and it's at the mudbog when he takes his first step to helping her move past the mistakes she's made.

Slow and steady wins the race, right...

Earning the love of a woman trapped in the past is no easy task, but Colton is a patient man who knows how to get what he wants, and when the love of his life is threatened, he'll stop at nothing to keep her safe.

Another feature to Colton that I absolutely love...his strength.

At her weakest moment, it isn't Isaiah who comforts Ally, and when everything goes all to hell, it's Colton who's there for Ally...Colton who picks up the pieces of her shattered heart...and Colton who helps her move on.

At the end of the day, I want a leading man who is exactly that -- all man.  It doesn't mean I'm weak or dependent on him, it means I want a man, not a little boy who can't give me what I need.  I've dated the weak little boys before, the ones that can't even tie their own shoes without someone telling them to do it, and believe me, that's not my idea of fun.  Maybe that's why I've chosen to always want the strong alpha male type of leading man. Who wants a pansy for a boyfriend?  I married an alpha male type, so of course I'm going to lean towards those types of men, and believe me, when you marry an alpha male, the type of man who no one will mess with...and that's true of a TRUE alpha male...then you'll understand my fascination with these types of men.

The real question is, what would be your idea of the perfect leading man? 


Angie Hemmings is a self-proclaimed romance addict.  Her love for romance began at an early age, but after years of reading romance novels she found herself wanting more, which led to her first novel.  She's originally from Mount Airy, a small town in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and she loves the art behind creating a new story.  Getting lost in the romance, the struggle between her characters is what makes Angie Hemmings continue her work and writing is what she loves. 

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