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Dead Cereus

Holly Jackson, a scholarship student at Shellesby College, has been entrusted with organizing the Night Lights Ball, which will include a number of renowned botanists as well as donors to the college’s greenhouses.  Amidst the father-daughter Berkeley duo, inclined to throw out Holly any chance, at this night ball event Holly must not only save the last thread of her scholarship from snagging but also secure an internship at Boston Botanical College. But will she succeed in evading her tendency to attract trouble this time? Or is she to witness a murder right in front of her eyes, but also to act to prevent another one from occurring?

The author Kira Seamon, who grew up in a greenery infused home in Hawaii, colored the setting of her novel Dead Cereus with diverse greenhouses, an idea she got while visiting Wellesley College in Boston. The enchanting description she gives of botany in her novel seems as natural and explicit as if written while seated in the same place.

Throughout the mystery thriller, the characters reflect human feelings in different ways and emerge as unpredictable at times. There are many delightful botany puns within the witty conversations between William, the admired and brilliant young botanist, and Holly, the impulsive and powerful woman which greatly contributes to the romance thriller. The story turns out to show a significant social transformation in Ivy Berkeley, who transitions from being a stuck cocoon set up by his father and societal norms into a freed butterfly with full wings for flight.

The action-packed story and descriptions of college greenhouse residents, as well as the fresh foods straight from the greenery surrounding the campus do not let the limited setting of the book, in and around the college campus, get in the way. Throughout this enchanting story, readers will enjoy the puns used by the botanists, especially in naming their pets and loved ones.

In a disturbing scene, the author describes a murder which takes place in a greenhouse. The murder, exposed amid the beauty of botany around, gives an upsetting picture, which is both surprising and unusual. By describing the various plants and flowers species in the novel, the author reveals and emphasizes the danger and magnificence of botany while setting the plot in the middle of it. Besides the beautiful illustration of the Cereus flower blooming, there is also a warning of possible fatal damage of plant species.

If you are seeking a humorous romance thriller, or cozy mystery novel, Dead Cereus will herb your enthusiasm with its ardent characters and thrilling plot.

Pages: 243 | ASIN : B09LPJPWSL

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Chastity is Me

Holly Brandon
Holly Brandon Author Interview

Life in the Chastity Zone follows a woman’s dashed fairytale life once her fiancé dumps her, and she’s thrown into the wild world of dating. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?

My inspiration came from real-life events. My fiancé unexpectedly dumped me. Instead of being devastated, I turned lemons into lemonade and wrote about it. Few of the characters are mergers of two or more men that I’ve met in my past. I must say that I’ve met unique men who left an unforgettable impression on me. I was a senior in high school when I encountered my first adventure with a man I secretly labeled Montana Man. He was tall, dark, and handsome, and I was terrified of flying. It didn’t help that I left on a Delta flight from one of the most dangerous airports because of its topography and weather conditions. I was scared to death. I can still picture him coming up to me in the airport, his smell, his aura, everything, and then those few little words that took me off guard, “I want to sit next to you on the plane.” He was, I’d say, “what dreams are made of,” except that he was a facade—the cover was beautiful, but the inside was a seedy, tainted nightmare. And so began my adventures, which later I put on paper.

Chase is an interesting and well-developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

Chastity is me. I learned a long time ago that it’s worth waiting and fighting for all good things. I wanted readers to see a character who has everything thrown at her but then decides to stick to her guns and fights. In the process, she may come out bruised, but she’s stronger—a survivor.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The one lesson and theme I hope everyone will see is that you can overcome any obstacle thrown your way if you fight hard enough. And never, ever let anyone tell you that your ideas and beliefs are crazy and ridiculous because that’s what makes us all so unique and special. Marriage is extraordinary, and waiting for the right man is worth it, even if you’re a thirty-year-old virgin.

What is the next book that you are working on, and when will it be available?

The next book I am working on is Nothing’s As It Seems, the sequel to Life in the Chastity Zone. Readers can expect to find out what happened to Grant, Vincent, and Jacques-Pierre. They can also expect to see Chastity dive into the working force and the struggles that come with being a woman in a man’s world. There are a lot of unexpected twists and turns in the next book. Can a decision from years ago hinder Chastity’s destiny, or will her blind trust in love lead to a day of reckoning? Find out the answers and more in Nothing’s As It Seems, coming very soon.

Author Links: Facebook | Instagram | Website

Chastity (Chase) Morgan’s fairytale dreams of everything perfect–career, wedding, marriage, and family–all go by the wayside when her fiancé dumps her for someone else. The thirty-year-old virgin decides to take a trip on the wild side, so to speak, when Roxie, her partner-in-crime cousin, encourages her to get out of her nerdy comfort zone and dive into the world of dating … Roxie-style. It doesn’t help that a nine-year-old psychic relays more information than she can handle. Between the madness and the metaphysical, what unfolds in more bizarre than anything Chase could ever imagine.

I Really Love Tragic Stories

Zachary Ryan Author Interview
Zachary Ryan Author Interview

Playlist follows two people with a tragic past that help each other heal and find a way forward. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Romeo and Juliet were the biggest inspiration for this novel. I really love tragic stories, and I wanted there to be some beauty in it. I wanted this novel to matter.

Your characters are wonderfully emotive and relatable. Were you able to use anything from your own life to inform their character development?

I always will add an Easter egg or two of my own life into a novel. But honestly, I create this characters from so where in my brain, and I follow them around. I find out things they do as the reader does too.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Love, lost, self-worth, and how to work on overcoming tragedy. I think we all can easily get consumed into the darkness. I wanted to make sure people could
Come out of it.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I have a book coming out called Camp Afterlife. It’s another coming of age LGBT novel. It will be out October.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook

Music had always gotten Sarabeth through the struggles of her life. When she sat behind a piano, it was her at her purest form. Too many tragedies caused the once overused piano keys to collect dust. She was no longer the singing canary that her father always called her.Sarabeth didn’t know if she would ever be able to use her voice again, but then came Logan, who sat next to her in their English seminar; the cocky guy with his own fair share of tragedies that he was trying to run away from. Can these two help each other break free of the scars that imprisoned them, or would they end up like Romeo and Juliet?

Looking For An Escape

Lorin Petrazilka
Lorin Petrazilka Author Interview

Vale Born follows a young woman who discovers she’s half Fae as she sets out to find her missing friend and gets caught in the middle of a war. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I wanted to write a great fantasy adventure with epic world building and thrilling situations. I knew basically what I wanted to write, but I wasn’t sure where I wanted to start. I was visiting my family ranch in San Diego when inspiration struck. In the hills far off to the east there is a grouping of cliff rocks that I grew up looking at, they always felt off-limits and forbidden. That was the start of it all, the question of what if I had always been drawn to that area for a reason? The idea that the rocks were alluring because there was a tear in the Vale germinated–a passage to another world, and only someone who was born near the Vale could pass through it. The whole story evolved from that point.

Lily is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind her character’s development?

It was important to me that Lily is a proactive protagonist, though she is displaced in a mystical world and seemingly stuck there, I wanted her to have agency. It was also important to me that she not be perfect, and on top of that she is dealing with her own issues of anxiety and PTSD. She gradually starts to face those issues rather than avoid them. As we join her on her adventure, we get to be there for her journey of healing and self-discovery as well.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

I wanted there to be diverse magical creatures and for the story to feel very lush and vivid, but I still wanted it to be relatable to the human experience. There were several themes I wanted to include, while this book deals with loss and recovery from that, I wanted to explore what happens to a young person when they don’t take the path that they had always expected they would take, such as a specific career or college. She had always intended to become a horse veterinarian, yet when it came time to actually pursue that goal, she turned away from it, and didn’t move forward. I really wanted to dive into what Lily would be feeling at this point, as she is now twenty-one. Lily’s anxiety and PTSD stem from an event that changed the course of her life. She’s looking for an escape, which is another way for her to avoid moving forward. Instead of an escape, she finds her decisions are far more critical and involve more than just her as she’s confronted with life-and-death situations.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I just finished the first draft for the third book in the Vale Born series. I like to give a little breathing room after finishing a draft before editing begins, so while that simmers I’ll be working on a fantasy Christmas novella set with fellow author Laura L. Hohman. I’m looking forward to writing something different! We expect those to be released around Thanksgiving this year.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Website | Instagram

A thrilling adventure, a sexy escape. Desperate to find her missing best friend Josie, Lily Brennanfalk’s hope is renewed when she picks up Josie’s trail in a mystical world. A chance meeting with a charming Umorfae turns to a fight for survival, as Lily finds herself embroiled in a battle between the warring Fae.
She makes a deal with a lethally attractive male that could save them both, as she tracks down her friend…if it’s not too late.
She must grow past her trauma and learn what it means to be Vale Born, if she is going to survive the treacherous perils of Alternis.
Fans of Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses will love this lush and vivid adventure. Vale Born is the first in a New Adult fantasy novel series.

Vale Born

Vale Born by [Lorin Petrazilka]

Vale Born is a thrilling YA fantasy book by Lorin Petrazilka. It follows the life of Lily, a young woman who discovers she is half-Fae after she passes through a portal to another realm. While her journey begins as a search for her recently missing friend Josie, it develops into much more than she had anticipated.

She meets different kinds of Fae, makes friends, falls in love, and even experiences shocking betrayals. At some point, she is even caught in a love triangle. But while living in this new realm is far from boring, it comes with dangers at every corner. Ultimately, Lily has to figure out who she really is and decide what home means to her.

If there is one thing that this book has going for it, it is its suspense factor. The author manages to keep us at the edge of our seats throughout the narrative. We are constantly wondering who means well and who doesn’t. Additionally, since the book is written in the first person from Lily’s perspective, we discover new information and revelations all through her perspective. This makes the narrative feel more like real life and also creates a sense of camaraderie between Lily and the reader. You can’t help but root for her and feel her loss more deeply. This is further intensified by the fact that Lily’s character is very well developed. You not only get a sense of her physical features but also of her personality and beliefs. It is the little idiosyncrasies that the author includes that make this character believable and relatable.

By the end of the book, you can clearly see the major themes that the author was trying to discuss in this narrative – love, family, belonging, and the importance of tenacity. The author also does a good job of tying the behaviors of the characters to their intentions in very realistic ways.

Moreover, her writing style is light yet informative – she tells you the most with as few words as possible. As such, there aren’t any long-winded paragraphs and the dialogue is clear and precise, making the book easy to read. Also, the author is great at infusing humor and quirkiness in the story, particularly through Lily’s personality.

Vale Born is a suspenseful new adult story that creatively combines romance with epic fantasy in a compelling way that makes this novel relentlessly entertaining.

Pages: 306 | ASIN: B08PS1XBB8

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Small Fingernails: Even Less Love – Book Trailer

Sometimes, love finds us; other times, love is a trauma that hurls itself into the very fabric of our lives. My experiences at New England University explain how traumatic events and life’s unfortunate turns can become amplified and overshadow our understanding of how love and friendship should contribute to our lives.

The sages say love can blind us; however, sometimes, that love transforms our lives into radically altered states–states in which we must learn how to cope for the relationship to survive and thrive. These altered states are often difficult to manage without help from friends and family. If left to our own devices, without these critical supports, the very creative energy that once nurtured our passion has the potential to destroy the very foundation of our love and caring that was once manifest.

Small Fingernails chronicles my life as a student at college in Freedomtown and in love. It evaluates the impact of toxic relationships on our well-being and our capacity to pursue friendship. Through transgressions, fear, loss, grief, and misfortune, even my profound love could endure. Ultimately, my ethics and belief in what is right collapsed on its head.

Love needs to be free and rid of all elements that can destroy its beauty. This book signals the need to reevaluate our closest and most personal spaces, friends, and family members. The complications that interfere with our pursuit of happiness will one day be more easily overcome by people who follow their hearts and seek only the best for those they care about the most.

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Perseverance: How It All Began

Perseverance: How It All Began by [Rebecca Branch]

Perseverance: How it All Began, is the first novel in a romance series following Cadence who is a nurse at a local hospital. The story follows her journey, as her friend Trystan (whom she has admired from afar), moves closer to her, throwing her emotions into turmoil.

Perseverance: How it all Began has an easy to follow structure. It is organized into chapters that are narrated by the two main characters, although most chapters are told from Cadence’s viewpoint. The story is simple to follow, but there are several very compelling twists and turns. Although the action is mostly centered around the budding romance of the two main characters, there are some moments of tension that really bring this novel to life.

Cadence is a well-developed character that comes across as authentic and believable. A nurse at a local hospital, the story focuses on her anguish in trying to choose between two men. Readers follow her emotional turmoil, fears, and dreams. Her character develops and deepens over the course of the novel, as she finds herself falling in love with Blake whilst still pining for Trystan, a friend who she’d fallen in love with but never admitted her feelings to him or anyone else.

The dialogue throughout the novel felt grounded and the characters motivations throughout the story were believable, both of these things combine to make a novel that is easy to be engrossed with. Cadence’s long-time friend Trystan is also a main character in the novel. We gain less of an insight into his thoughts, but he’s still an intriguing character without feeling completely original. He has a manly job, is intensely handsome, self-confident, and their relationship starts with him showing Cadence little, if any, romantic attention. However, once another man is in the picture his interest soon increases! These two characters are supported by numerous smaller characters, such as Cadence’s boyfriend, and their respective friends and colleagues. These characters add welcomed depth and interest to the story.

This novel is firmly focused on the romance between Cadence and Trystan and the descriptive writing focuses on the main characters and their physical descriptions, rather than building out the setting and world.

Perseverance: How it All Began is an impassioned romance novel that will appeal to readers looking for an easy to follow but stirring story that focuses on the relationships between people.

Pages: 432 | ASIN: B07BF4MM46

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Delightful and Endlessly Funny

Linda Sheehan Author Interview

Decanted follows a vivacious young woman as she learns making wine and the perils of love. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

My daughter, the delightful and endlessly funny Samantha Sheehan, who created and produces Poe Wines Pinot Noir, Ultraviolet Cabernet, and a 95 point organic vermouth under the MOMMENPOP label is my total inspiration for Decanted. Like the novel’s heroine Samantha Goodyear, my daughter quit her job at a big five accounting firm to go to France to learn everything she could about making wine. Like the main character in Decanted, she then moved to Napa and took a bookkeeping job at a winery before launching her own wine brand that’s sold across the US and in many countries around the world.

Samantha is a compelling character that was fun to follow. What were some driving ideals behind her character development?

I wanted to draw my main character as a young woman who, though she’s a total product of modern times, has a tremendous love and respect for those who came before her. Samantha also has a tremendous work ethic, and never veers from her quest to achieve her dreams.

Wine making and wine culture were intriguing parts of this novel. Why was this an important aspect for you to include in the story?

Many people would like to understand more about wine culture and the winemaking process but don’t know where to begin. My goal in writing the book was to seamlessly give readers a fun wine education and illustrate what separates a great wine that reflects what nature intended from a tricked up brand with ingredients and flavors added by the big corporate wineries to sell the most bottles possible.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

My next book is my novel Fore Play, a comedy set at a Los Angeles country club that will be available this coming summer.

Author Links: Facebook | Website

Decanted eimage.jpg

From author Linda Sheehan, who’s part of a Napa wine dynasty, comes a story of grapes, wine, first crushes, and juicy redemption. Dreading the desk job that awaits her after high school, eighteen- year-old Vivian Goodyear takes off for pre- World War ll Paris, where she supports herself as an artist’s model.

Flash forward to modern day Manhattan where, inspired by Vivian’s courage, her grand-niece Samantha leaves her pressure cooker career to work the grape harvest in France. There, between picking grapes in the vineyard and crushing them in the cellar, she gets lessons in the art of making wine and in the art of making love. But when her world is turned upside down, a link from Aunt Vivian’s past could right it in a tale of being on top, sinking to the bottom, and coming up for glorious air.

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