Friday, March 30, 2018

Scared to Death ~ ~ ~ Audio Book Blog Tour, Review, & Giveaway!


SCARED TO DEATH
Detective Kay Hunter Series, Book 1
By Rachel Amplett
Narrator: Alison Campbell
Length: 8 hours 27 minutes
Publisher: Saxon Publishing
Sub-Genres: Mystery, Police Procedural


"If you want to see your daughter alive again, listen carefully."

When the body of a snatched schoolgirl is found in an abandoned biosciences building, the case is first treated as a kidnapping gone wrong.

But Detective Kay Hunter isn't convinced, especially when a man is found dead with the ransom money still in his possession.

When a second schoolgirl is taken, Kay's worst fears are realized.

With her career in jeopardy - desperate to conceal a disturbing secret, Kay's hunt for the killer becomes a race against time before he claims another life.

For the killer, the game has only just begun....

Scared to Death is the first book in a new crime thriller series featuring Kay Hunter - a detective with a hidden past and an uncertain future....

If you like the Kim Stone series by Angela Marsons, Peter Robinson's DCI Banks series and the Erika Foster series by Robert Bryndza, discover Rachel Amphlett's new detective novels today.



HALL WAYS REVIEW: Audio book review. Smashing! As Scared to Death begins, readers are immediately set on the edge of their seats and immersed in the anxiety felt by the characters in the opening scenes.  It isn’t long before the horror of the crime comes to surface and the body count begins to rise. Take no detail for granted because in this fabulous police procedural, author Rachel Amphlett doesn’t waste a word.

A few words about hearing the words… part of what makes Scared to Death so excellent as an audio book is that it is so very British – a novelty to this Texas girl. Though I am sure that the Brit factor shines through in the print version as well, there is nothing more entertaining to me than listening to the delightful accents of people from far away places. (I cannot get enough of hearing narrator Alison Campbell say “bastard” -- a term used frequently by many different characters. It delights me to no end; weird, I know.) It’s not just the word choices, but it’s the way the characters interact that makes the story so very British. The police and detectives are so polite! And nothing happens without steaming mugs of tea or coffee first! My kind of setting.

Politeness as it is, the crimes in Scared to Death are not for the faint of heart. The crimes and crime scenes are violent and disturbing and deal with sexual perversion. Detective Kay Hunter and the whole team of investigators are dealing with one sick baaaastard. (Side note: interestingly, the language in this book is mild, but as the series goes on, more profanity is sprinkled throughout the dialogue.) The good thing is that Amphlett doesn’t get overly graphic in her writing; the details are factual, and the story is gritty but without unnecessary elaboration. There are several exceptionally creepy scenes that I could easily visualize (and which made my skin crawl).

Since Scared to Death is the first book in a series (the sixth is currently in production), readers are introduced to a bunch of characters who will become the core group of future stories. There are glimpses into the personal lives of a few – including main character Kay Hunter – and at times, it feels a little clunky. However, those glimpses provide the humanity and emotional elements that lift the story. Readers will appreciate that Amphlett avoids the tropes of many female detective mysteries. Kay’s stable marriage and loving relationship with her husband provide a safe place for Kay – and readers – to escape the horrors of the outside world.

The narration by Alison Campbell is wonderfully done. She handles a huge cast of characters, male and female, giving each a unique voice. And while her voicing of Kay is perfection, she is particularly good in projecting the high creepy factor of character Eli – every time he speaks, readers will be uneasy. I did listen at 1.25x speed, which better matches how I’d read (and makes me less impatient).

Scared to Death has a solid plot with just a few holes (possibly not holes but things I missed in reading with my ears) and a lot to keep the reader engaged. There are twists and turns and surprises, and even when we think we know the deal, we don’t. Stunners continue to drop right down to the very end.  There aren’t really loose ends, but there are enough sub-plots brewing that I immediately downloaded the next book, Will to Live and started listening. I’m hooked!

Thank you to the author and Audiobookworm Promotions for providing an audio download in exchange for my honest opinion -- the only kind I give.

Before turning to writing, Rachel Amphlett played guitar in bands, worked as a TV and film extra, dabbled in radio as a presenter and freelance producer for the BBC, and worked in publishing as a sub-editor and editorial assistant.

She now wields a pen instead of a plectrum and writes crime fiction and spy novels, including the Dan Taylor espionage novels and the Detective Kay Hunter series.

Originally from the UK and currently based in Brisbane, Australia, Rachel cites her writing influences as Michael Connelly, Lee Child, and Robert Ludlum. She’s also a huge fan of Peter James, Val McDermid, Robert Crais, Stuart MacBride, and many more.

She’s a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold sold to Fanucci Editore's TIMECrime imprint, and the first four books in the Dan Taylor espionage series contracted to Germany’s Luzifer Verlag.
WebsiteTwitterFacebookGoodreadsInstagram
Narrator Allison Cambell


Giveaway
Win a choice of signed paperback + set of coordinating bookmarks! 
Runs March 29th-April 26th, 2018. Continental US Only.

The Detective Kay Hunter Series Giveaway: Signed Paperback & Bookmark Set



BOOK ONE:

Mar. 29th:

Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews

Jorie Loves A Story

Mar. 30th:

What Is That Book About

Buried Under Books

Hall Ways Blog

Mar. 31st:

Next Book Review

Jazzy Book Reviews

Turning Another Page

Apr. 1st:

AudioSpy

The Writing Train

Apr. 2nd:

Bound 4 Escape

2 Girls and A Book

Booktalk with Eileen

Apr. 3rd:

Lomeraniel

Apr. 4th:

The Book Addict's Reviews


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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Wickwythe Hall ~ ~ Blog Tour Promo & Giveaway!

WICKWYTHE HALL
by
Judithe Little
Genre: Historical Fiction / WWII
Publisher: Black Opal Books
Date of Publication: September 30, 2017
Number of Pages: 324


*Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards Finalist*
*2018 Reader Views Readers’ Choice Award for Historical Fiction*
*Winner of the Tyler R. Tichelaar Award for Best Historical Fiction*

*Official selection of the Pulpwood Queens Book Club*
  
Scroll down for the giveaway!


May 1940. The Germans invade France and the course of three lives is upended. Annelle LeMaire is a French refugee desperate to contact her Legionnaire brothers. Mabry Springs, American wife of a wealthy Brit, is struggling to come to terms with a troubled marriage and imminent German invasion. And Reid Carr, American representative of French champagne house Pol Roger, brings more than champagne to Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Their paths entwine when Churchill and his entourage take refuge at Wickwythe Hall, the Springs' country estate hidden from the full moon and German bombers beneath a shroud of trees. There, as secrets and unexpected liaisons unfold, Annelle, Mabry, and Reid are forever bound by the tragedy they share.
Part Downton Abbey, part Darkest Hour, Wickwythe Hall was inspired by an actual confrontation between the British and French navies in July 1940 and is a story of love, loyalty, and heartrending choices.


PRAISE FOR WICKWYTHE HALL:


“...a riveting and enlightening mix of history and fiction that puts a human face on the costs of war...engaging...”  — Foreword Reviews

“Little’s characterization of Churchill is so well done. She makes his personality and presence so real. Mabry was a character to be admired for her decisions and actions. A good read with a satisfying ending.”   — Historical Novels Review

“Judithe Little tackles war and masterfully boils it down to personal moral dilemmas. Beautifully written and rich with atmosphere…Wickwythe Hall is a stellar achievement.”  — Ann Weisgarber, author of The Personal History of Rachel DuPree and The Promise

“...an emotional and touching story about the lives of three people during World War II, at the time of Hitler’s invasion of France in 1940. Inspired by real people, places and events in history, this whirlwind novel will no doubt leave an imprint on your heart long after you finish reading.”  — Reader Views

“If you love history, beautifully rendered characters, and stories that will tug at your heart, add Wickwythe Hall to your list.”  — Book Perfume

CLICK TO ORDER ON:
┃  Amazon  ┃  Barnes & Noble  ┃


Judithe Little grew up in Virginia and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia. After studying at the Institute of European Studies and the Institut Catholique in Paris, France, and interning at the U.S. Department of State, she earned a law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law where she was on the Editorial Board of the Journal of International Law and a Dillard Fellow. She lives with her husband, three teenagers, and three dogs in Houston, Texas, where she's at work on her next historical novel set in France.  
 ║Website ║ Facebook ║ 
║ Instagram 
║ Pinterest  Goodreads 


-------------------------------------
GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
THREE WINNERS
1ST: Signed Copy of Wickwythe Hall + $50 Amazon Gift Card
2ND: Signed Copy of Wickwythe Hall + $25 Amazon Gift Card
3RD: Signed Copy of Wickwythe Hall  + $15 Amazon Gift Card
MARCH 27-APRIL 5, 2018

VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
3/27/18
Guest Post 1
3/27/18
Bonus Post
3/28/18
Review
3/29/18
Excerpt
3/30/18
Guest Post 2
3/31/18
Review
4/1/18
Notable Quotable
4/2/18
Guest Post 3
4/3/18
Review
4/4/18
Guest Post 4
4/5/18
Review

   blog tour services provided by
  


Monday, March 26, 2018

The Progeny ~ ~ Blog Tour, Excerpt, Author Interview, & Giveaway!


The Progeny: A Novel
by Tosca Lee

Series: Descendants of the House of Bathory (Book #1)
Genre: YA Fiction
Pages:  352 pages
Categories: Thriller, Slight paranormal
Publisher: Howard Books
Release date: May 2016
Content Rating: PG

Scroll down for giveaway!

Book Description:  From New York Times bestselling author Tosca Lee comes a story of love, ancient secrets, and survival. Book 1 in the House of Bathory duology.

When you wake up, you remember nothing. Not your name, or where you were born, or the faces of the people you knew. Just a single warning written to yourself before you forgot it all:

"Emily, it’s me. You.

Don’t ask about the last two years… Don’t try to remember and don’t go digging. Your life depends on it. Other lives depend on it.

By the way, Emily isn’t your real name. You died in an accident. You paid extra for that."

You start over in a remote place with a new name, a fresh life. Until the day a stranger tells you you’re being hunted for the sins of a royal ancestor who died centuries before you were born.

You don’t believe him, until they come for you. Now you’re on the run.

Every answer you need lies in a past you chose to erase. The only thing you know for sure is that others are about to die and you need those memories back.

But first, you have to stay alive.



Praise for The Progeny:

"Be warned: once you start this book, it’s impossible to put down!” - Maria V. Snyder, New York Times bestselling author of Poison Study
 
“Intriguing and romantic, I literally couldn’t put it down.”  - Jennifer L. Armentrout # 1 New York Times bestselling author

"Irresistible..."  - Publishers Weekly

"[A] complex thriller with various turns and twists...A great choice for readers who enjoy their psychological thrillers with a historical twist."  - Library Journal

"Exciting...action-packed…intriguing.”  - Romantic Times Book Reviews

"Filled with intrigue, romance, and reversals fans are sure to love."  - Family Fiction

"The Progeny has risen to the top of my favorites list…I devoured every word of it.” - Book Reporter


Buy the Book:


Begin Reading Now!
EXCERPT:


The Center

No one speaks when you enter the Center for the last time. There’s no need. You’ve gone through the counseling, tests, and a checklist of preparations to get the plastic bracelet you wear the day of treatment. The one that saves a life. They don’t need to know why you’re doing it any more. Or that you lied about it all. Just the scratch of the stylus as you sign your name on the screen one last time.

A nurse takes me into a room and I lie down on the table. I give her the sealed packet—the only thing I brought with me. There’s cash, meds, and an address inside, the one for “after.” It’s a thousand miles away. She’ll pass it to the companion assigned to me. No point meeting her now.

I’m 21 years old and my name doesn’t matter because it’s about to be erased forever. I’m choosing to forget the ones I love, and myself, in the process.

They say your life flashes before your eyes when you die. But they don’t tell you that every detail comes screaming back to life. That you taste each bite of every meal you savored, feel the shower of every rain you walked in… smell the hair against your cheek before that last, parting kiss. That you will fight to hold on to every memory like a drowning person gasping for poisoned air.

Then everything you knew is gone. And you are still alive.

For now.

Continue reading the first four chapters FREE.

Author Interview:
Tosca, on the Writing Life

1. Tosca, between deadlines, family, book signings, speaking at writing conferences, and book releases, your plate seems full. How do you fit everything in?

Haha. I keep wondering this, and the answer is: I drop a lot of balls. My standard e-mail signature line should read: “I’m so sorry for the massive delay in getting back to you…”

After getting married two years ago and becoming an insta-mom to four, it’s definitely been a learning process for me! But they are teaching me well. :D

2. You’re not only a newlywed and new mom, but you also moved to a farm! What has surprised you most? What have you grown to love? Look forward to?
I love the quiet, the wide-open space, the smell of the seasons... did I mention the quiet? The surprises happen out of the blue: a raccoon in the barn, a neighbor’s rogue chicken in the yard (and the boys won’t touch it, so who ends up having to catching it? Yup—this girl.). It’s an entirely new life for this city girl, and I love it. One of the things I look forward to every morning is fresh farm eggs that we get from our neighbor. And every summer: sweet corn.
  
3. What do you enjoy most about writing?
Getting to work in my pajamas. J

4. Do you have any writing rituals or quirks? 
I have to clean out my desk, closets, bathroom drawers, and computer files between each project. I think it makes me feel like I’ve put in order everything that got messy in the process of obsessively working on my latest project. And when I’m working, I have to begin with prayer.

5. Who is your favorite author to read? 
Do you know how many friends of mine are authors? Are you trying to get me killed?

6. What is the most valuable piece of advice you’d like to give to unpublished authors?
If you’re not published yet, this is a special protected time. Write a lot. Be bold, experimental, and audacious. It gets harder to write this way as you publish and become constantly aware of those reading your work, which is why my #1 Rule of Writing is “write like no one will ever read this”—like you’re writing secret stuff in your closet. It helps keep fear from getting in the way.

7. Tell us about the premise of The Progeny.
It’s the story of a 21-year-old girl named Emily who has erased the last two years of her memory and started over in the North Woods of Maine. Through a quick series of events, she comes to learn she’s being hunted as one of the descendants of the “Blood Countess” Elizabeth Bathory—and now everything she erased is what she needs to survive.

8. How did you decide to write about the descendants of Elizabeth Bathory?
A fan suggested it! I was signing books in Orlando and a reader wanted a picture but didn’t have a phone/camera, so I got his info., and we took a photo and I sent it to him. When he wrote back to thank me, he said, “How about a book about Elizabeth Bathory?” While this book is more about her descendants than Bathory herself, the idea came from him. (Thanks, Keith!)

9. What do you find most interesting about Emily? 
I like her gutsiness, her smarts, priorities and integrity. After erasing her memory, she doesn’t know what’s going on in her life any more, and she’s a little weird (aren’t we all?), but she relies on her intelligence and her integrity to make right decisions.

10. You visited Croatia, Hungary, Italy, and Bratislava as part of your research.  Tell us a little about your visit.
The best part of that was getting to take my mom with me. We have a history of globetrotting—from India to Ixtapa, Transylvania to Peru. My mom loves to travel and really instilled that love in me. So when I asked her to come with me, her bags were packed before I even booked the tickets LOL.

We ate Istrian beef in Croatia and walked along the Adriatic in Croatia. We sampled pizza and wine in Trieste, Italy, tromped through castle ruins in Slovakia, visited “ruin pubs” in Budapest and wandered churches an hour from the Ukranian border. All the locations that made it into the book are included on my “Real Life Progeny” Pinterest board (https://www.pinterest.com/toscalee/real-life-progeny/?lp=true) so you can follow along!

11. You speak at writing conferences and teach, too, right?
I do, when my schedule allows. I’m just back from Florida and am gearing up to head to Omaha and St. Louis this spring and summer.

12. Where can readers keep up with your future adventures, teaching schedule, and book releases?
Through my newsletter, which you can sign up for here: http://bit.ly/subscribetoTosca  (including an option to receive From the Asylum, my newsletter just for writers) and my website, www.toscalee.com!


Meet the Author:

"Superior storytelling." - Publishers Weekly

"One of the most gifted novelists writing today." -Steven James, bestselling author

Tosca Lee is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of the House of Bathory Duology (The Progeny and Firstborn, currently in development for television), Iscariot, The Legend of Sheba, Demon: A Memoir, Havah: The Story of Eve, and the Books of Mortals series with New York Times bestseller Ted Dekker (Forbidden, Mortal, Sovereign). A notorious night-owl, she loves watching TV, eating bacon, playing video games and football with her kids, and sending cheesy texts to her husband.

You can find Tosca on her website, on social media, or hanging around the snack table. (And be sure to check out Ismeni, the free e-short prequel to The Legend of Sheba!)

Connect with the Author: 

Enter the Giveaway!
Win 1 of 15 Progeny Swag Packages! Each swag package includes: Set of Progeny Character Cards; Progeny necklace; Progeny bookmark; and a Progeny button.
(open to USA only / 15 winners total) 
Ends April 21, 2018

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BOOK SPOTLIGHT TOUR SCHEDULE:

​March 26 - Working Mommy Journal - book spotlight / giveaway
March 26 - 
Freda's Voice - book spotlight / giveaway
March 26 - 
Hall Ways Blog - book spotlight / interview / giveaway
​March 26 - TFaulc Book Reviews - book spotlight / giveaway

March 27 - Elizabeth McKenna Romance Author - book spotlight / giveaway
March 27 - Book Paradise - book spotlight / giveaway
March 27 - Simple Wyrdings - book spotlight / giveaway
March 27 - Library of Clean Reads - book spotlight / giveaway
March 28 - Brooke Blogs - book spotlight / giveaway
March 28 - Bound 2 Escape - book spotlight / giveaway
March 28 - The Phantom Paragrapher - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
March 29 - Singing Librarian Books - book spotlight / interview
March 29 - Literary Flits - book spotlight / giveaway
March 29 - Books for Books - book spotlight
March 30 - Rockin' Book Reviews - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
March 30 - Adventures Thru Wonderland - book spotlight / giveaway
April 1 - Just One More - book spotlight
April 2 - The Desert Bibliophile - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
April 2 - Svetlana's Reads and Views - book spotlight / giveaway
April 3 - FUONLYKNEW - book spotlight / interview / giveaway
April 3 - #redhead.with.book - book spotlight / giveaway
April 4 - Book Crazy Scrapbook Mama - book spotlight / giveaway
April 4 - The Autistic Gamer - book spotlight / giveaway
April 5 - The All Night Library - book spotlight / interview / giveaway
April 6 - Cheryl's Book Nook - book spotlight / giveaway
April 6 - This and That Book Blog - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
April 6 - Bibliobibuli YA - book spotlight / giveaway
April 9 - Ishiee's Book Blog - book spotlight / giveaway
April 9 - XoXo Book Blog - book spotlight / giveaway
April 10 - Blooming with Books - book spotlight / interview / giveaway
April 10 - books are love - book spotlight / giveaway
April 11 - The Book Drealms - book spotlight / giveaway
April 11 - Bookworm for Kids - book spotlight / giveaway
April 11 - 411 on Books, Authors, and Publishing News - book spotlight / giveaway
April 12 - My Novel Life - book spotlight / giveaway
April 12 - 100 Pages A Day - book spotlight / giveaway
April 13 - The Book Engima - book spotlight / giveaway
April 13 - Jessica Cassidy - book spotlight / giveaway
April 13 - T's Stuff - book spotlight / interview / giveaway