Frozen Hearts Cover Reveal!

Today is a pretty exciting day as it’s the cover reveal of Topaz Winters’ upcoming book, Frozen Hearts!

I have been really anticipating this for a while as Topaz is an incredibly talented writer, and the snippets I’ve read from this book have me waiting for it’s release rather eagerly 😀

Cover

Stunning, right? Makes me even more excited!

Blurb:

“Rose, don’t try to tell me what’s real or not real. I live and breathe impossibilities.”

Rosalyn Lawrence is not the type of girl who strays from the norm. She’s not the type of girl who goes on whirlwind adventures or travels across the world and beyond or fights fire-breathing dragons to the death. After all, fairy tales exist only in books, and Rosalyn is happy to keep it that way.

But when her beloved little brother Benjamin disappears, Rosalyn’s entire world comes crashing down. Then a boy with a wand climbs through her window and she learns that the grieving queen of a shockingly desolate enchanted land has abducted Benjamin. If she chooses to be sucked into the magic of this land, its power – and the power of an enemy she isn’t quite sure even exists – could destroy her.

A world of frozen fantasy is waiting for Rosalyn – and if she will succeed in bringing Benjamin home, she must learn how to trust herself, use her wits, and perhaps discover an inner magic she never knew she had.

Excerpt:

Rosalyn woke in the middle of the night.

Her head was clouded, cobwebs of sleep still lingering, a fog drifting over her senses. The surface she was lying on was soft. As she sat up she saw a figure, not quite near enough to touch, motionless on the floor. She couldn’t seem to recall his name.

As her eyes adjusted to the darkness she realised that his shirt was off and his back was to her, bare in the soft moonlight. She looked out the window. The stars seemed to glisten, impossibly dense confetti scattered over the blanket of night. The moon hung suspended as if from a child’s mobile.

She stood, moving closer to the figure on the floor. The rise and fall of his chest was almost imperceptible. His face was still just out of her line of sight, his name still just out of the grasp of her slumber-clouded memory.

In the moonlight she caught a glimpse of something on his back. Her fingers glided down to it and she traced it, feather light, afraid for reasons she could not fathom of waking him. The scar joined another and another, until all at once she realised that she was connecting a veritable constellation of pain across the canvas of his back.

She gazed down at them. They were old, she could tell, but they still looked painful. The skin was gnarled, as if some heavenly hand had reached down, ripped it off of his back, and then bunched it up and pasted it haphazardly back on – and she knew she should be horrified at the sight, knew she should be pitying him or turning away in revulsion, yet she could not bring herself to. All she felt was the inherent need to know: how had he gotten them? Did they still hurt?

Was Chase all right?

And there was his name, pulled from the graveyard of her memory: Chase. A boy with a crooked smile and a secret she’d never been meant to discover.

Somewhere in the back of her mind a deep voice with a cold accent surfaced, murmuring something about his father. What had he told her? She struggled to remember, and finally it hit her. “Let’s just say he wasn’t the best role model,” the voice had said.

The gashes were long healed, yet so deep, so thick and ragged that she almost didn’t want to think about who might have put them there – his father? she wondered, and then wished the thought had never crossed her mind.

She couldn’t bear to look at them for a moment longer. Turning away from his pockmarked body, she glanced up at the stars once more before climbing back into the small cot and letting sleep overtake her – an uneasy sleep, riddled with nightmares of long, thin sticks of ice, dark men and evil laughter, unbearable pain

lacing through her back. This time the stars did not look like confetti, but teardrops.

In the morning, she would have no memory of her nighttime awakening.

And the boy lying across from her would never tell her that his eyes had been open the whole time.

Profile Picture

TOPAZ WINTERS is a songbird, word hoarder, and cheesecake connoisseur. Sometimes she composes music. Other times she writes books. If she knows you, she’s probably written about you. Topaz’s debut novel, Frozen Hearts, drops this year, and her first album in 2015. She enjoys strong coffee, ugly cats, and the taste of words.

Topaz rambles about writing, music, and the meaning of life over at her website.

End of Month Indie Review: Destiny of Kings by Fiona Tarr

Destiny of Kings by Fiona Tarr

*I was given this book in exchange for an honest review*

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Blurb: The King is going slowly mad, bewitched by the dark magic and seductive powers of the Egyptian Princess Jezebel. Martinez, the King’s general must choose between the life of a young shepherd boy who is like the son he never had or the man who is his King and lifelong friend. The One True God has shared a prophecy with the old seer Samuel, while the little Holy man Narayana claims the Universe has called him out of meditation to restore balance. Francesca the Priestess carries the burden of responsibility, until her faith is rocked, her heart opened and her resolve challenged. In a world where control is only an illusion, evil is subjective and the most righteous are challenged, an unlikely group will be drawn together to restore balance once more.

Destiny of Kings is a retelling of the story of David and Goliath, but involving much more than that. There are witches and priestesses, kings and monks, and a whole plethora of exciting events that bring them all together in a destined path.

Destiny of Kings involves a lot of different points of views from a range of characters. Though the points of view could jump around quite a bit, I didn’t find it difficult to keep up with and enjoyed being able to view different points of the stories through such varying characters.

The story pretty much follows the tale of David as he is destined to become King of Israel and what he must do to accomplish that. The character of David was written really well and, in fact, all of the characters were brilliantly written and unique in their viewpoints. Francesca was probably one of my favourites, and Martinez, the two of them were strong characters that I would have been happy to read a lot more about.

This is a well-paced book that didn’t feel like it lacked at any points, though I did skip over some hunting scenes. Everything flowed nicely and at some points when I thought it was going one way, it would quickly turn in another direction and surprised me, which was nice as it kept me excited to turn the page and find out what came next to these characters I really came to care for.

The way the book was written made it feel like an old book, like a telling of a tale passed down through the years, which I absolutely loved! It gave the whole story a kind of other-world feel whilst I was reading and took me to another world and time.

Now I have to admit, I am not a religious person, so I think a lot of the biblical references were lost on me! But I also have to say not to be put off this book if you’re not a fan of bible tales or religion, it’s a good story in itself, and the religious side of things wasn’t that heavy, it was just like magic or faith in any fantasy-type book.

The only reason I didn’t give this book full 5 stars is due to the amount of errors throughout, including spelling and grammar. It really just needs someone with fresh eyes to go over it and pull them out. Still, I kept reading even through the errors as I was enjoying the story so much.

Overall I have to say I loved this book, the story pulled me in without realising and I found myself eager to read it everyday to find out what happened next. It’s a great read that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys a sweeping tale filled with great characters and exciting adventure.

Links:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Barnes and Noble

Goodreads

The Queen’s Jester- A passion fuelled, fantasy romance.

Queen'sJesterCoverThe Queen’s Jester
Fantasy romance.

Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk
Barnes and Noble

Blurb:
An exquisite wedding gift. A husband whom she loves. A Jester who she craves. A Kingdom in peril.

After receiving a beautiful emerald amulet at the celebrations of her wedding, new Queen Marie finds solace in the stunning, yet strange amulet. A warm comfort that fills the hole that her husband has left with his distance at her every affectionate touch.

That is until the new Jester arrives, his presence fuelling in Marie an instant burning need.

The more she finds herself drawn to the enigmatic man, the quicker she realises he is anything but the fool.

Marie must make a choice, one that could not only affect her marriage and her life…

But her entire Kingdom.

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Heart of the Arena- A fast paced, historical romance.

HeartofArenaCoverHeart of the Arena
Historical Romance

Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk
Barnes and Noble

Blurb:
Ancient Rome is a dangerous place, in more ways than one.

Captured by slavers, distraught but determined Sabina is thrust into the world of gladiators. Disguised as a man, she struggles to remain undetected whilst navigating through her new life.

But love forces its way into her focus again and when a haunting figure from her past re-emerges, the couple’s fate is to be decided in the Heart of the Arena.

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Promote Yourself!

Seeing as I’m away this week and having my own marketing posts scheduled, I thought why not let others promote their work as well?

It’s always nice to find some great new books to read or blogs to follow!

So go ahead and post your links to blogs or books in the comments, maybe add a bit of detail about what the book is about or what your blog deals with 🙂

I will be certain to check them out when I get back!

Have a great week everyone and I will be back on Monday 15th to reply to comments and emails then!

Stolen Bloodline- A Paranormal romance.

StolenCover Stolen Bloodline
Paranormal Romance

To Buy:
Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk
Barnes and Noble

Blurb:
Stolen away from her humdrum life, Imogen is thrown into a dark world where the creatures from tales are not only real, but rule the realm.

Vampires.

In this world of dark, moonlight is Imogen’s only source of safety, but the moon’s glow reveals a lot more than she ever realised. She soon learns her heritage and bloodline are what put her in danger, and the reason these vampires are keeping her hostage. But with a father who doesn’t even care enough to call, how was she supposed to know?

Held captive by the vampire leader, Bane, and his brother, Caden, Imogen must find a way to keep herself alive. Yet, the longer she remains, the more she wonders whether those she feared are the ones she should trust, as new truths continue to shine through.

When Bane shows Imogen that life in a world of dark can be more enlightening than her own sunlit realm, it seems that, though he may have stolen her from home, she risks him stealing her heart as well.

stolenq2

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Prophecy of Stones- A fantasy, romance, adventure!

ProphecyCover Prophecy of Stones
Fantasy, adventure romance.

To Buy:

Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk
Barnes and Noble

Blurb:
The bond of love can conquer all, but only if it is accepted.

Prophecy states that three champions imbued with the best virtues of the mortal race: heart, strength and soul, will be the ones to save them all from an enemy which threatens to steal the life from their world and those who live upon it.

These three, along with their scribe, his bond mate, and an overly sarcastic oracle, must set off on a journey which will take them through forest, city, swamp and mountain. On this quest they activate the magical stones which charge the only weapon powerful enough to defeat Tildar and his cult of Dwell.

Yet the closer they draw to journey’s end, the more it seems that it is not the evil which will be their downfall, but the fear of a champion unwilling to accept the bond of their destiny.

Prophecy of Stones is a tale of adventure, love and magic.

Trailer:

Meet my character blog hop!

So, I’ve been asked to participate in the Meet my Character blog hop by the awesome Shehanne Moore whose next book, ‘The Viking and The Courtesan‘ hopefully won’t be far from publishing after being signed with Soulmate publishing!

First, a bit of info about Shehanne Moore:

shey_blog_hop

When not cuddling inn signs in her beloved Scottish mountains, Shehanne Moore writes dark and smexy historical romance, featuring bad boys who need a bad girl to sort them out. She believes everyone deserves a little love, forgiveness and a second chance in life. Visit her blog to find out about past releases and hear more about her forthcoming time-slip historical, The Viking and The Courtesan.

Shehanne’s blog: http://shehannemoore.wordpress.com/

So first off I have two things to say before starting:

1. I’m VERY sorry to Shehanne who asked me to do this a couple of weeks ago and I just completely forgot, and she was really, really lovely to let me try it again!

2. I’m a terrible blog hopper. Because I actually forgot I had to find people to, you know, hop onto next 😀 So, I’m making a plea to other bloggers to do this and post a link in the comments? Because you’re all so lovely!

I swear I will get better at blogging one day!

Now onto the questions!

The character I have chosen is Alex Lailand from my work in progress, which is embarrassingly still untitled! 😀

What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?

Her name is Alexandra (Alex) Lailand and she is a completely fictional woman.

When and where is the story set?

The story is a modern day story set in London and Scotland!

What should we know about him/her?

Alex is a very practical woman, and a very confident one. She built her business from nothing to a business that allows her to have a fancy apartment and office in the middle of London.

Though city life is beginning to wear on her, she won’t admit it.

What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?

What messes up her life? More like who messes up her life!

That would be FG, her rom-com obsessed fairy godmother who appeared in her office one day and sent her life spiralling into chaos. FG believes Alex has lost her heart and passion for life including love and business, and she isn’t leaving until that’s fixed!

Though FG’s imagination runs as far as throwing Alex into her own romantic tale, flinging her and her ‘perfect match’ into an assortment of clichés she’s picked up from watching and reading too much romance, which only serve to make things a little awkward for the pair.

What is the personal goal of the character?

To be successful.

Alex is all about getting the win, even if that means focusing only on the hard facts rather than the personal when it comes to her clients.

Is there a working title for this novel and can we read more about it?

There is currently no working title! Which I should probably rectify pretty soon.

I recently posted a short, unedited teaser from the first draft. And of course I shall post more about it the closer it gets to release day (end of September!).

Ok, now is the part where I’m supposed to link to the other bloggers participating in the hop! But like I said, I had a complete blank when it came to this hop apparently! So I really hope someone is willing to join in!

If you do, please post it next Monday and let me know and I will link to the post 🙂 If you want more info, drop me an email and I will send you the details! Email: harliqueen (at) Hotmail (dot) co (dot) uk

Progress Report:

Status of fifth manuscript: Editing first draft.

Books read this month: 0/4

Mid-September Book Review: Currently reading.

And it’s done! With bonus teaser!

Photo by Oliver Hammond on Flickr

Photo by Oliver Hammond on Flickr

Yesterday I wrote, ‘The End’ on my first draft of my fifth book!

I have to say, considering it was supposed to be a light novella at under 30,000 words to give me a bit of a break, it kind of took on a life of it’s own!

I did skip a week at the beginning of August where I didn’t write at all (naughty, I know!), so when I realised I managed to pump out over 45,000 words in 3 weeks I was revelling in quite a lot of triumph!

I’m really starting to get my writing routine down and sticking to it 🙂

It’s always a rather exhilarating moment to finish a first draft, but it does tend to be only for a moment, because then I get the sinking feeling of knowing how much editing there is to do next 😀

And I have to say, I was worried about going back and reading this one. For some reason I got it into my head that the writing was terrible and I was going to practically be changing everything.

So, when I started reading through and looking at editing, I was pleasantly surprised it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I had told myself it would be! In fact, some parts were pretty darn good, if I do say so myself 😀

There is still plenty of editing to be done, but I have to say I’m enjoying the editing a lot more now I realise it’s much better than I thought, especially considering it’s a first draft.

And now, I am going to brave and post an unedited teaser/excerpt from my new book!

“And now, it’s time to get physical,” she said.

“Huh?” Alex asked, broken from her thoughts.

“What you like in a man, in his looks. But I think that’s pretty easy to determine.” FG slapped her wand against the desk’s surface, the bottom drawer flinging open and making Alex almost topple from her chair in surprise. From the drawer floated a dog-eared, well-read romance novel that Alex only brought out when she was certain she was alone.

“No, you can’t have that!” Alex yelled, trying to clamber over the desk to retrieve it. But it was nestled in the fairy godmother’s lap before she even had the chance.

The front cover was a vivid purple, the title, ‘Love of the Best Kind’, emblazoned in hot red, curling front across it.
“See? There is a romantic buried beneath that professional exterior of yours.” FG chuckled but Alex flushed red, sinking back into her chair and hoping it would swallow her whole.

FG flicked open the book, the crumpled pages falling open with ease. Her brows raised as she scanned the words and her eyes slowly widened.

She snapped the book shut. “Well, maybe not so romantic, but certainly passionate.”

Alex sunk further into her chair with a groan, covering her eyes with her hand.

Hope you enjoyed it!

How are you guys doing with your writing projects? Do you dread the editing phase? Have you ever been pleasantly surprised by your own work when going back and reading it over?

*As usual, I will be away over the weekend and back on Monday to reply to comments and emails 🙂 Have a brilliant weekend everyone!*

Progress Report:

Status of fifth manuscript: Editing first draft.

Books read: 5/4

Mid September Book Review: Currently reading.

Books and Reading Wednesday- Review: Sins of the Father by Melissa Barker-Simpson

End of August Indie Book Review: Sins of the Father by Melissa Barker-Simpson

sins

Goodreads synopsis:

As a former Royal Marine Commando, Brad Morgan is among the best of the best. Now heading up his own unit in the private security world, he lives by the same mottos he served by.

When Alicia Gladstone, a star in the entertainment industry, is put under threat, Brad and his team at Morgan and Fairchild must step in to find a killer before it’s too late.

At the peak of physical and mental fitness, all his years of training are put to the test when he is forced into a world artificial by nature, and too distracting for his own good. But it isn’t the environment that poses the biggest threat. It is the past he ran away from, one he thought he had overcome.

I’ve read some of Melissa Barker-Simpson’s work on her blog, where she posts short fiction, which is always of amazing quality and incredibly gripping. Her book was no different! The opening was amazing, and I was instantly pulled in from the very first sentence.

The characters were all written in such a way that they felt truly real, not like characters on a page, with their dialogue flowing like a real conversation that I could hear in my head rather than written on the page.

There are some great action moments written into the book, and although it is described so that you feel thrown into the scene yourself, it was the glimpses into how the character’s felt that made those moments even more intense and exciting.

The romance was amazingly written and gave me butterflies at some points.

Throughout Sins of the Father, you are thrown into an exciting story of mystery and romance that I couldn’t wait to find out what happened, but then didn’t want to reach the end because it was such a great story!

It was a brilliant ending, where I felt satisfied with how the book finished and no cliff-hanger, but I grew to know the characters and loved them so that I can’t wait for the next book from this author.

This book has high quality writing, well-developed characters, and a good flowing story. I would definitely recommend reading it.

Links:

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Goodreads

Progress Report:

Status of fifth manuscript: Writing first draft.
Word count: 2393 (Total word count: 42091).

Books read: 5/4

Mid- September Book Review: Currently reading.