Saturday, January 12, 2019

Book Blitz/Giveaway!! Secret Lady, by Beth Trissel

Welcome to the Book Blitz for 
Secret Lady, sponsored by
XPresso Book Tours!!

For my post, I'm featuring 
an excerpt with mini-review!

There's also a blitz-wide giveaway!!

Secret Lady
(Ladies In Time, Book 3)
Beth Trissel
Trade Paperback, 232 pages
January 9, 2019
Kindle Edition, 172 pages
January 19, 2019
The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
Fantasy, Historical Fiction, 
Paranormal Fiction
Science Fiction, New Adult

Torn apart by Time, reunited by flames.

At Lavender House, Evie McIntyre is haunted by the whispers from her bedroom closet. Before she can make sense of their murmurs, the house "warbles" between times and transports her to the Civil War. Past and present have blended, and Evie wishes she'd paid more attention to history. Especially since former Confederate officer, Jack Ramsey, could use a heads up.

Torn between opposing forces, Jack struggles to defend the valley and people he loves. Meeting Evie turns his already tumultuous world upside down. Will solving the mystery of the whispers return her home, and will the handsome scout be by her side?

Against the background of Sheridan's Burning of the Shenandoah Valley, Jack and Evie fight to save their friends and themselves – or is history carved in stone?

This mini-review is of the excerpt below, and 
not the entire book.
I only do this kind of thing when I'm really interested in a book, which is the 
case with this one!

This is certainly intriguing! I love the time switch feeling I get from this short excerpt, with the female protagonist's obvious disorientation. The mention of Doctor Who is cute and humorous, too. And her meeting with that mysterious man with the GORGEOUS eyes..... 
Time travel romance is one of my favorite genres, so I will be sure to add this one to my collection!
I already want to know where the story goes from here!

What had happened to the room?

Nothing in the parlor was as it had been a short while ago. Furnishings suited to a monastery had displaced the frou-frou décor. Simple wooden chairs, stools, and a plain couch were arranged in a circle. A small table supported a large black book, possibly the Bible. Discarded knitting lay on a side table. A spinning wheel sat in one corner.

There were no frills anywhere. No lavender sprigged wallpaper or lacy valentines, or anything she remembered. Her grandmother’s cherished things were gone. Everything had changed, and yet, the layout of the room was the same.

Was she lost in a dream, or had she stepped into a parallel universe? That sometimes happened…in Doctor Who, not her world.

Oh, my,” she gulped, and blindly reached out to steady herself against the back of a chair. “Not what I was expecting.”

“Nor are you.” The man called Jack returned the match tin to his pouch and studied her by the flickering light, his sandy brows arching under the broad brim.

“Whew.” He thumbed his hat back. “You’re nothing like Hettie Wenger.”

“Not in this life,” she said in a bare whisper, realization nagging at her.

“Did you have another?”

She nodded, gazing into the most glorious greenish-brown eyes, like sun-dappled trees.


Lightning bolt impact.

Purchase Links

Married to my high school sweetheart, I live on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with my human family and furbabies. An avid gardener, I grow herbs and heirloom flowers and use them in my stories. The rich history of Virginia, the Native Americans (especially the Shawnee), and the Scots-Irish are at the heart of my inspiration. My English, Scottish, and Scots-Irish ancestors were among the earliest settlers in America. 

I write historical romance set in the colonial frontier (The Native American Warrior Series), the American Revolution, Georgian England, and 20th-century America. I like a good ghost story, so some of my historical romances have paranormal and ghosts in them. In addition to historical romance and Native American/Western romance, I write time travel romance (some are Scottish time travels), Young Adult wolf shapeshifter paranormal sci-fi fantasy romance (The Secret Warrior Series), New Adult fantasy paranormal time slip romance (Somewhere In Time), and my latest ongoing series, Ladies In Time (Somewhere My Lady, Book 1), (The White Lady, Book 2). The latest one in this series is Book 3 -- Secret Lady, to be released in January, 2019. 

I also write single titles, and nonfiction about gardening, herbs, and country life. 

Amazon Author Page

This blitz is brought to you by

Friday, January 11, 2019

Buddy Read Time!! The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give
Angie Thomas
Hardcover, 444 pages
Balzer + Bray
February 28, 2017
African-American Fiction,Coming-of-Age, Contemporary Fiction, Diverse Reads,
Social Justice, Young Adult Fiction

A three-time winner of Goodreads Choice Awards

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Be sure to read Barb's Launch Post, which you will find HERE!!

So here I am, teaming up again on a buddy read with fellow book blogger extraordinaire, Barb @ Booker T's Farm -- Books and Nails and Puppy Dog Tales!

In May of last year, Barb and I embarked upon our very first buddy read, for the paranormal YA novel, Dread Nation, by Justina Ireland. We had SO much fun, and it was such an interesting experience, we decided to do another one! And we'll DEFINITELY be doing more of them in the future! 

This time around, we both agreed that The Hate U Give was the PERFECT choice! As you can see from the partial list of literary awards above, this book has definitely hit a nerve with the American reading public. It's sad that it should be so, but unfortunately, it is. Our current political climate has brought all kinds of bigotry to the limelight. However, the United States has a long and terrible history of racism directed toward its own African-American population. Far from being a thing of the past, this particular brand of racism has continued to be a blight upon this nation that is supposedly dedicated to liberty and equal rights for ALL. The recent creation of the activist group, Black Lives Matter, is clear evidence that our ugly heritage of racism is definitely not a thing of the past. 

So this is a very relevant book, as well as a very important one that should be read by everyone who is concerned about social justice in America.  It has also been made into a movie of the same name, which premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival on September 7, 2018, and was released in the U.S. on October 5, 2018. This film has received critical acclaim, also grossing over $32 million at the box office. (Source: Wikipedia)

For our buddy read, Barb and I have decided to read certain chapters each week. We'll be posing questions to each other, which we will then be answering in each other's weekly update posts.  Our last post will be a review of the book. Please refer to the schedule below. 

Buddy Read Schedule
The Hate U Give
by Angie Thomas

Launch Post - 1/11/19
Buddy Read Update No. 1 - 1/18/19
(Chapters 1 - 7)
Buddy Read Update No. 2 - 1/25/19
(Chapters 8 - 14) 
Buddy Read Update No. 3 - 2/1/19
(Chapters 15 - 21)
Buddy Read Update No. 4/Wrap Up - 2/8/19
(Chapters 22 - 26)
Book Review -  2/16/19

And now I'm going to answer Barb's first questions for me, regarding this buddy read!

Barb: We've planned on reading this together for so long. What initially made you gravitate toward this title when it was released? Does it fall into something you'd normally read, or is it more "out of the box"?

Maria: Yes, we certainly have been planning on doing this buddy read for quite a while now! But it seems that one thing after another kept coming up. Finaly, HERE WE ARE!!! :)  :)

I'll answer your last question first. This is definitely the type of read that is more "out of the box" for me. I don't much like to read stuff that's TOO similar to "real life". I much prefer to read novels that take me to magical, fantasy lands, or far-flung planets. However, I felt I had to make an exception for this book, because it's such a VERY important one, as I stated in the paragraphs above.

Actually, part of the answer to your first question is contained in my answer to your second question. Lol. I gravitated toward this book, first of all, because the topic of racism, especially as it relates to African-Americans, is one I've always been interested in, as well as totally appalled by. WHY this type of thing should exist is totally BEYOND me! I've felt this way my whole life, too. 

I remember seeing the movie "Beloved", back in 1999, and how horrifying it was..... (Spoiler coming!) That an African-American slave mother should be willing to kill her own daughter, so as to spare her the evils of slavery.....well, suffice it to say that this film was not only an eye-opener for me, but something that tore at my heart. I need to read the book this movie is based on.

So, when I came across The Hate U Give, I felt that, in spite of the fact that I know it will be an emotionally-wrenching read, I really need to read it. It's just too important a book for me to NOT read it, even though it won't be easy for me to do so.....

Barb: The movie releases on DVD and streaming soon. Do you think you'll watch it?

Maria: I really don't know if I'll be able to...... I mean, "Beloved" affected me VERY strongly. I cried and cried and cried and cried...... I know I should watch "The Hate U Give", but it might be too much for me. I'm a very visual person, as well as a very emotionally sensitive one. If do watch this movie, it will have to be on a weekend, on my PC, with headphones on, and a box of Kleenex nearby.....

So that's it, folks! Barb and I have officially launched our buddy read! Come on over to each of our blogs every Friday for the next few weeks, as we share our thoughts and insights on this highly-acclaimed novel! Thanks in advance for any comments you might wish to make!  :)


Angie Thomas was born, raised, and still resides in Jackson, Mississippi, as indicated by her accent. She is a former teen rapper whose greatest accomplishment was an article about her in Right-On Magazine, with a picture included. 

She holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Belhaven University, and an unofficial degree in Hip Hop. She can also still rap if needed. 

She is an inaugural winner of the Walter Dean Myers Grant 2015, awarded by We Need Diverse Books.
  Her debut novel, The Hate U Give, was acquired by Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins in a 13-house auction.
The book has won several awards, and has
been translated into several languages.
  Film rights were optioned by Fox 2000, with George Tillman attached to direct and Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg set to star.
 The film premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, and was released in the U.S. in October 2018, grossing $32 million at the box office. The DVD is currently available on Amazon.

Book Blogger Hop No. 158: My First Book of the Year

Welcome to the Book Blogger Hop,
hosted by Billy @

For more information, and 
to find out the topic of next week's question, click HERE.

This Week's Question

What is your first book
of the year?

(Submitted  by Elizabeth  @ 

My Answer

I started a Christmas-themed book, titled A Magical Christmas Present, toward the end of December, and finished it on January 7th. So this collection actually counts as my first book of the year.

A Magical Christmas Present is an anthology of short Christmas romance stories by three different authors, and they were ALL lovely! I won't say much about them now, though, as I do intend to review this collection. However, I can say that each story has a fantasy/paranormal angle to it. There's one story involving a ghost, another involving magical spectacles, and two involving time travel (the ghost story has this ingredient, as well). I LOVE romance stories that include time travel!

This is the book I'm referring to. Click on the cover for the Goodreads page, if you're interested in learning more about it.

I'm also going to be reading The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas, pretty soon. But A Magical Christmas Present is really the very first book of 2019, even though I began it before New Year's.

What are your thoughts on
this topic?
Please leave a comment! 
If you're participating in this meme,
I'll go comment on your 
own BBH post.
If not, I will then comment on one 
of your blog posts!
Thanks for visiting!!! 

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Can't Wait Wednesday No. 87: Vortex Visions, by Elise Kova

Welcome to "Can't Wait Wednesday"!

This is a weekly event hosted by
Tressa @ Wishful Endings!
This is also where we excited book bloggers showcase future releases we're eagerly anticipating! 
For more information, 
please click HERE.

There's also a Linky widget, so participating blogs can link up!

Here's my choice for this week!

 Vortex Visions
(Air Awakens: Vortex Chronicles, Book 1)
Kindle Edition,  11835 KB
Silver Wing Press
   February 4, 2019
Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult Fiction

A desperate princess, a magical traveler, and a watch that binds them together with the fate of a dying world.

 Vi Solaris is the heir to an Empire she’s barely seen. Her parents sacrificed a life with her to quell a rebellion and secure peace with a political alliance. Now, three years past when her wardship should’ve ended, Vi will do anything to be reunited with her family.

The Empire is faltering beneath the burden of political infighting and a deadly plague. Yet, Vi can’t help but wonder if her inability to control her magic is the true reason her parents haven’t brought her home. Suspicion becomes reality when she unleashes powers she’s not supposed to have. 
Powers that might well cost her the throne.

As Vi fights to get her magic under control, a mysterious stranger appears from across the world. He holds the keys to unlocking her full potential, but the knowledge has an unspeakable price — some truths, once seen, cannot be ignored.

All eyes are on her and Vi must make the hardest choice of her life: Play by the rules and claim her throne. Or, break them and save the world.

If you enjoy epic fantasy stories with sorcery, slow-burn romance, and expansive worlds to adventure in, then you’ll love the Vortex Chronicles!

 Why I can't wait for this one!

When I first came across this cover, I was hooked!
I just HAD to find out more! The only problem
is that this is is an ebook.....
Well, I'm crossing my fingers that it
will soon be out in print, as well!! 
Meanwhile, I'll go ahead and pre-order the 
Kindle Edition, because this sounds 
MUCH TOO GOOD to pass up!!!

For more information on this author, you can check out her
Goodreads profile HERE!

What do you think of my
choice this week? 
Please leave a comment and
let me know!

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Book Blogger Hop No. 157: Books I'm Looking Forward to in 2019!!!

Welcome to the Book Blogger Hop,
hosted by Billy @

For more information, and 
to find out the topic of next week's question, click HERE.

This Week's Question

Any books you are looking
forward to for 2019?

(Submitted  by Elizabeth  @ 

My Answer

I did publish a post about interesting January releases, on January 1st. This was also my Happy New Year post. However, the list of books in that post included some that I wouldn't read myself. So this list was really more for my first-time visitors and regular blog readers (although I do like a couple of the books on it, as well; one of them is also featured below).  You can access that post HERE.

As for books I'm looking forward to strictly for myself, well, here they are! You can find out more about each one by clicking on the book image, which will take you either to the Goodreads page, or the Amazon page.

Would you be interested in any of these? Again, since I'm a very eclectic reader, I do have several genres featured here, just as I did in that New Year's post.

  I'm VERY interested in this book 
because this is actually the city
where I was born.

What are your thoughts on
this topic?
Please leave a comment! 
If you're participating in this meme,
I'll go comment on your 
own BBH post.
If not, I will then comment on one 
of your blog posts!
Thanks for visiting!!!