Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Book blitz: Tarragon: Dragon Mage

I'm having issues posting pictures at the moment, but will tell you about this first and update later.  

After hundreds of years, the gates to Tarragon are open once more, fulfilling age-old prophecy. However, Anwen’s journey is far from over. The dragons still sleep and she has no clue how to wake them. Forced to retreat from the Mountain, she and her newfound friends must devise a new plan to wake the inhabitants of Tarragon.

Meanwhile, the Mage Circle, a group of dragon mages with a vendetta, is camped outside the Gates. Calling on allies of their own, they will stop at nothing to gain control of the Dragon City and all who dwell inside.

To complicate matters even more, Anwen’smother has joined the party. But even with the help of all her friends, can Anwen overcome the ordeals set before her or will this spell the end of the dragons and the world as we know it?

Character Casting
Anwen Porter – Daisy Ridley
Daphne Millard - Claire Holt
Courtney Willis - Teresa Palmer
Walter Watkins – LL Cool J
Margo Pack – Julianne Moore
Tyler Durand - Zac Effron
Callum Durand - Eric Winter
Josef Forster - David Lambert
Emi - Maggie Elizabeth Jones
Madame Matilda Millard - Melissa McArthy
Mathias Porter - Joshua Jackson
Kern Nurrim - Mark Harmon
James Porter – Dennis Quaid
Mr. Miller -  David Bradley

Snippet 1:
Courtney stopped abruptly as the scatterings of a cave-in came into view. “Oh no,” she whispered, one hand to her mouth. Moving slowly, she noticed a body slumped in the hallway. “Please don't be dead,” she said over and over again as she moved closer. She couldn't help but wonder which of her friends lay there, and what had happened to the other.
The closer she came, the more detail came to light. She recognized Tyler Durand as he lay on his side. His light-colored hair lay limp against his head. His skin was unnaturally pale. At least she didn’t think he was dead. It took a lot to kill a dragon. But just beyond him, a little more out of the way, lay AnwenPorter. And she wasn’t moving.

URL Links
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Author Social Media Links:
Twitter @karliemlucas

Book Buy Links

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Book Blitz: Grandma's Wedding Quilts, Day 3

I am a stay at home mom, who loves to read and write clean historical romance. I enjoy thinking back to a simpler time, a time when men and women were true heroes. I also believe that a good romance can be told without needing to know all of the details;)

All of my stories will tell of people who find true love, and who find their happy ever after. Sometimes the road might be rocky, but that makes it all worthwhile!

Cora left England for a new life in America as a mail order bride - only to find the man she’s come to marry has been killed in a gunfight. She has a sister in Kansas, but how can she get there? 

Jesse needs this job driving cattle to Kansas so he can marry the woman who’s given him an ultimatum - buy land and settle down, or she’ll marry someone who will.

But, his cook’s been killed in the same gunfight, leaving him without anyone to drive the chuckwagon. His right hand man, an old cowboy with a soft heart, has a solution for both Cora and Jesse - one he might not like.

Dressed as a boy, Cora heads off with a team of cowboys, led by a man who isn’t happy about her being there. Kansas is a long way away…and a lot can happen before they get there.
 Q&A With The Author:

1.  Describe yourself in 50 words or less.

A mom, who loves nothing more than spending time with my family.  I prefer the quiet of living in a small town than being in a city.  I’ve always loved to read, and being at home with a good book is just as exciting to me as traveling the world.
2. What do you love most in the world?
I love my family.  I grew up around all of my grandparents, my aunts, uncles and cousins.  And I have a sister and two brothers, who all still live in the same town with their families.  My girls get to grow up knowing everyone, and see the importance of family above anything else.  Being able to just do things on a regular basis with my family is truly the thing I love most in the world.
3. What do you fear most?
This is a tough one.  I have some fears, but I think the one that gets me the most is just that my kids won’t be happy.  All I hope for them is that they find happiness, and never have to face life with worry.  When I went through treatments for breast cancer, I felt so bad that they were having to deal with that at such a young age.  I wish I could take that fear away from them, and show them to grab life and just be happy, no matter what happens.
4. What is your largest unfulfilled dream, and what are you doing to reach it?
Well, it had always been to write a book, but since that’s been done, my largest unfulfilled dream now is to earn enough money for my husband to be able to give up truck driving.  I want the kids to have both parents home regularly, and he’s worked hard to allow me to be a stay at home mom when the kids were small.  I’d like to pay that back.
5. What is the hardest thing you've ever done?
The hardest thing I’ve ever done was say goodbye to my grandparents.  I grew up with them all close to me, and they were a huge part of my life.  I was with each of them when they passed, and each time, having to let them go was the hardest thing for me to do.  But, after all they’d done for me over the years, I knew I had to be there when they needed me.
6. Now that we've gotten to know each other, tell me a story. It can be long or short. From your childhood or last week. Funny, sad, or somewhere in between. Just make sure it's yours. What's your story?

My story…well, I decided after I had cancer that I didn’t want that to be what defined me.  I didn’t want that to be what people thought when they saw me.  I get told all the time that people actually forgot I had it.  It was a horrible time of my life, but I’ve moved past it and now try to just stay positive.  It helped me to realize what was important, and that nothing is ever guaranteed in life.  So, I took a chance and started writing—the thing I’d always wanted to do but was too afraid to even try.  And, I’m not going to let myself say “someday I’ll do that” anymore.  If there’s a way to do it now, and it’s something I want, I’m going to do it.  And I want to teach my kids to do the same thing.  

Book Blitz: Grandma's Wedding Quilts, Day 2

Zina Abbott is the pen name used by Robyn Echols for her historical romances. Robyn currently lives with her husband in California, USA, near the “Gateway to Yosemite.” 

She is a member of Women Writing the West, and American Night Writers Association. She enjoys any kind of history including family history. 

When she is not piecing together novel plots, she pieces together quilt blocks.

Running from hostile Indians attacking Salina, Kansas in 1862, feisty Kizzie Atwell, Grandma Mary’s oldest grandchild, runs into freighter Leander Jones traveling the Smoky Hill Trail. He is as interested in her as his stallion is in her mare. The two join forces to prevent the Fort Riley Army captain from requisitioning their beloved horses for the cavalry. Avoiding bushwhackers and fighting off a thieving bullwhacker binds their bargain.

In 1865, at the victory dance held at Fort Riley to celebrate the end of the Civil War, Kizzie is asked to participate in a fund-raiser to aid the Sanitary Commission helping injured and sick soldiers. It involves chaste sweetheart kisses in exchange for tickets purchased by officers and guests. As a contract freighter for the Army, Leander is invited. Much to Leander’s chagrin, before his chance to claim his kiss, Kizzie’s uncle steps in and puts an end to the kissing game.

Is Leander out of luck, or will the bargain Kizzie and Leander made three years earlier to save their horses lead to a more romantic bargain sealed with a kiss?

     10 top favorite things:

1.      I love my computer so I can use it to write stories
2.     I love my sewing machine so I can quilt when I need a break from writing
3.     I love paper and ink books that fill my bookcases
4.    I love my Kindle, Nook and Deseret Book apps because my bookcases are already full of paper and ink books
5.     I love my camera so I can take photographs
6.    I love my photo-editing program so I can tweak my photos so they look even better
7.     I love Yosemite National Park because it is so pretty in any season
8.    I love museums because of all the wonderful historical items they display
9.    I love Columbia State Park and Mono County because they capture the history of the California Gold Rush
10.                        I love my car because it comfortably takes me to all my favorite places


Book Blitz: Grandma's Wedding Quilts, Day 1

Kate Cambridge is an emerging author of Sweet Historical Romance and Sweet Contemporary Romance. She is a hopeless romantic, strong supporter of women's rights, and loves to create stories that inspire, and characters who seem real long after "The End."

Visit for more information, or to join the Choice Readers group for special launch-day pricing, contest, and more. Be one of the first to know what happens next...

Kate loves to connect with readers!

 The greatest inspiration is often born of desperation.

One year ago Hannah Quinn scored her dream job, and now the fate of the museum she loves will rise or fall on her next exhibit. But wait... there's a problem. She doesn't have a clue what her next exhibit will be!

When a trunk with two quilts is donated to the museum, Hannah's boss thinks she's wasting her time chasing down the history of the quilts, regardless of their beauty; but Hannah persists. She knows there's something special about these quilts, and a story that demands to be told.

Little does Hannah know, her friend Callum, a researcher and consultant, plays an unexpected a role in her investigation that leads to questions and discoveries that threaten the foundation of all she holds most dear.

Will her desperation to discover the story of the quilts cause her to lose the very thing she loves the most - or will the secrets she uncover lead her to more than she ever dreamed?

 Snippet #3

“She hurried past the doctor before Dr. Wagstaff could see the tears forming in her eyes. Hannah knew it wasn’t just her mistake that upset her, it was the sensation of the quilt under her fingertips. It stirred something in her, something that she couldn’t explain.”

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Day 82: Powerful Perennials

As many of you know, I am a published novelist.  Cedar Fort Books has been good to me and I've made some good friends among the authors.  So when I put out a notice that I would be willing to review books by people from my publisher, I got a bunch of responses.  We'll get to those later, but one of the requests was for a gardening book, Powerful Perennials.

I admit that I am not a gardener.  I have a succulent named Janet and last year, I killed my roommate's bell pepper plant by accident.  My roommate, meanwhile, has a complicated system of starter pots and seedlings and a kind of mini-greenhouse sitting on our kitchen table until the plants are ready to go in the ground.  But I'm interested in learning and that's one of the reasons that I took an interest in that request.  (Plus, the author shares a name with my favorite aunt.)

Nedra Secrist doesn't just give you the kind of advice that you find on the back of a seed packet or the side of a houseplant container.  I was relieved by the tone of the book as soon as I read the prologue and found that she had experience instructing gardeners from those who do it for stress relief to those improving their health.  She knows what it's like to try to make an Eden out of a desert and has practical advice that isn't Greek to me.  (Though, given my background in classics, Greek might have helped.)

I plan to pull this book out again when it comes for next year's efforts.  I might just request a corner of our garden to be my personal lab.

Monday, March 20, 2017


I asked my roommate to name a genre and said I'd review a book from that category.  She chose historical fiction and after listing the two books I'd reviewed, I remembered my favorite book set in the time of the Spanish Influenza.

The story takes place in a very tight-knit community in Chicago, 1918.  Hannah and her sisters live with relatives while their parents are unable to come home from the war.  Meanwhile, people in their building are falling ill and coming to her wise old relations for help.  There's no telling if or when Hannah's own family will fall prey to the influenza and what she will do if her worst fears come true.

I love this book on a number of levels.  Her family dynamics are well-written, showing both the respect Hannah has for her elders and the misunderstandings that come from the generational gap.  She has a complex love for her family, but also cares for people who are only related by address.  This is also a very realistic depiction of a practicing Jewish family and the near-familial closeness of those of their same faith reminds me of having lived in Provo, where most of my neighbors were people I saw on Sundays.

Mostly, I enjoy that the drama is almost entirely a matter of what-if and worst-case scenarios.  Fear can be related to very intangible things, but no less powerful than fear of an assailant or a weapon.  Hesse does a great job of focusing on things that are more terrifying to the characters than the war on distant shores.

Sunday, March 19, 2017


Once in a while, Katey and I pick a library and spend an afternoon there, reading picture books to each other.  Sometimes, they're familiar--in our first session, I got choked up reading my favorite book (The Polar Express)--but more often, they're books that struck as us funny or interesting or profound when we thumbed through them earlier that day.

Yesterday, we had one such session.  I read a book about Irish step dance (complete with accents), a short biography of Babe Ruth (Boooooooooooooooooo), an Arab fairy tale about camels, a book about winter and finally, today's review subject.

I have many fond memories of my maternal grandparents.  We lived in Oregon near them and would have outings to Eagle Creek, where we would have pancakes and sausages and go fishing.  On my sixth birthday, Grandma had me stay overnight and taught me how to use a typewriter.  Even when we moved to Massachusetts, Grandma and Grandpa Nelson would come to visit and Grandpa would almost always fix something around the house.

This book, therefore, amused me greatly.  It instructs children on how to feed, entertain and comfort their elderly guest.  It even deals with how to calm a grandpa who has separation anxiety.  It shows "empathy" for Grandpa's need for a nap and understanding of what grandparents really treasure about their hosts.

And don't tell him, but I'm totally getting this book for my dad to keep around the house for when my nephews and nieces visit.