New Release: No Such Luck by Staci Troilo #sweetromance #holidayromance #novella

Happy Tuesday! Although I’m mostly offline this month to concentrate on NaNoWriMo, I’ve made several exceptions to host new releases on my blog. First up, is No Such Luck a sweet holiday romance from Staci Troilo.

Staci is a dear friend and one of the founding members of Story Empire. She’s also a super talented author who always delivers a phenomenal story. Her latest is no exception. Look for my five star review at the end of this post, but in the meantime, say hello to Staci!


I appreciate you inviting me here today, Mae. Hi, everyone. Thank you for chatting with me about my new release, No Such Luck. It’s a fast and fun clean romance perfect for the holiday season.

Piper Seidel’s life-long best friend is Jack Rhodes. He’s always been there for her, and even though she moved away right after high school—first for college, then for her career—he never stopped staying in touch with her. When he says, “I’ll always be there for you,” he means it. They have history, even if she can’t remember it. This brief excerpt shows how far back it goes.

Teaser Graphic for or No Suck Luck by Staci Troilo shows couple in silhouette with background of red carnation, teaser text over top

“Where’d you park?”

“At the lodge.”

“At the—How do you get the tree down there?”

“We drag it.”

“You and your father drag a tree down the side of a mountain?”

Piper nodded and smiled.

“It’s no wonder it takes you so long.”

She shrugged.

“Grab the top, Pea.” 

“Stop calling me that.”

“Never. You earned it.”

“Did not.”

“Did, too.”

“How?”

“Third grade.

“How?”

“Guess you don’t remember that one.” Jack shook his head and sighed. “Grab your end.” When she complied, he hefted the trunk, then started down the hill. He called over his shoulder, “Come on, Frank.” 

She worried about her Dad. He was still on the phone with Pam and didn’t look happy. 

The three of them made their way back to the lodge. 

While her father paid for the tree and got it loaded in the bed of his truck, she thanked Jack again. “I’m really sorry about Pam. You didn’t need to come here.”

Jack got a bottle of water and bandana from his center console, then turned to her. He dabbed at the cut on her head, cleaning the blood off her face. “I’ll always come for you if you need me, Pea. Always.”

“Stop calling me that.”

He smiled. “No.”

She shook her head, but he kept wiping at it. 

“There. That’s better.”

“What are you doing?”

“Taking care of you. The way you should be cared for.”

“I don’t know what to make of that.”

“Think about it. Think about third grade, too. You need a better good luck charm.”


I have to admit, I’ve sustained an injury or two Christmas tree shopping. But I never walked away with my forehead bleeding. Good thing Piper had help. 

I hope you enjoyed that quick sneak peek. No Such Luck, the first installment of the Keystone Couples series, is available now on Amazon.

Book cover for No Suck Luck by Staci Troilo shows couple in silhouette  with background of red carnation

Blurb:

Seeds of luck usually wither. The rare one grows and blooms.

Piper Seidel has one thing going for her—a red carnation given to her by Tommy Burnett in the tenth grade. It might have dried over the years, but it’s still her good luck charm. Losing it sets her life in a downward spiral, forcing her to return to her hometown where she comes face to face with her high school crush.

The years have been kind to Tommy, who looks better than ever. Unfortunately, Piper is at her worst, continually embarrassing herself whenever he’s around. The only plus? Her long-time friend, Jack Rhodes, still lives in town. Since she last saw him, his legs have grown longer, his biceps thicker, and his shoulders broader. He was always the brother she never had, but now she can’t help noticing him in an unsisterly way. Jack is every bit as caring as he’s ever been—until her bad luck drives him away, maybe forever.

Piper needs a new good luck charm, and fast, before she loses her final chance at happiness.

PURCHASE FROM AMAZON

Bio box for Staci Troilo

Website | Blog | Social Media | Newsletter | Amazon ​| BookBub ​| Goodreads

MY REVIEW

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This is a sweet, breezy romance that instills a feel-good glow. Piper Seidel has lost her job as a journalist and ends up returning to her hometown for an extended winter vacation, uncertain of her future. Reconnecting with her past includes crossing paths with her old high school crush, Tommy Burnett, and her childhood best friend, Jack Rhodes. Both bring complications into her life and have her re-examining what matters most to her.

This is a short read, but one that is tightly written with a fully fleshed out plot. I loved the near-to-Christmas time frame (especially when Piper and her dad go searching for a Christmas tree) and the small-town feel. Piper grows over this story, learning truths that she was too blind to see previously, but I like to think the other characters (one in particular) experienced personal growth, too. Definitely a charmer!


Thanks for joining Staci and me today as we celebrate the release of No Suck Luck, Pop the virtual bubbly, and drop a comment to cheer on Staci with her newest book, the first in the Keystone Couple Series. I for one am definitely looking forward to more!

Guest Author Thursday: Welcome Marie Sinadjan with Hotel Fen #newrelease #urbanfantasy #norsemythlogy

red quill pen on a piece of old parchment paper, with an ink well with words Welcome Guest in script

Happy Thursday! I’m excited to introduce new friend and first time guest to my blog, Marie Sinadjan. If you haven’t already connected with this talented lady, I suggest rectifying that pronto! Not only is Marie a sweetheart, she brings a unique perspective to the world of authors. Her debut release, Hotel Fen, (co-authored with Meri Benson) is a mesmerizing blend of Norse mythology and modern day. I devoured the book in two days, and was especially taken with the vintage hotel and snowy Norwegian setting.

So what’s up with the unique perspective I mentioned? Marie is not only a writer, but a musician/singer/performer with an ethereal voice and a passion for musical theater. I’ll let her tell you more. Take it away, Marie!


Hi, Mae! Thank you so much for having me today and allowing me to share with your readers my debut novel, Hotel Fen, which I wrote with my friend Meri Benson. It’s an urban fantasy, Norse mythology-based story about two unsuspecting strangers who find themselves trapped in a dreamy, vintage hotel.

We know how those kinds of stories go, right? 🤭

In lieu of a written excerpt, however, let me offer you one… in song form. Here is Elevator, an original song I collaborated with some friends to celebrate the book’s release, and in true musical fashion (I’m a musical theatre fan), it tells of a pivotal scene in the beginning of the novel — the meet-cute the blurb talks about!

I don’t entirely remember how we ended up choosing Norse mythology, only that it’s something I’ve long been interested in (the Norse pantheon is ridiculous and insane and I love it) and that Meri has Swedish and German roots. As for me, I’m from the Philippines, and we already have plans to showcase my side of the world’s myths and folklore in future stories, with the dream of someday creating an interconnected mythological universe.

Anyway, here is Hotel Fen. We also have a Spotify playlist for the universe’s all-original soundtrack, with new releases coming soon. And if you ever want to collaborate on a song for your books, just let me know and we can work something out! I love collaborations, as this project has been so far.

Book cover for Hotel Fen by Meri Benson and Marie Sinadjin

BLURB:

Are you ready for the vacation of a lifetime?

Victor has always had a passion for Norse history and mythology, but after hitting a dead end with his book on valkyries, not even that passion is enough to move him forward. Just when he’s ready to abandon the project, he receives an email: he’s won a free trip to Hotel Fen, a remote vintage resort in the Scandinavian Mountains.

Silje has always felt that her life was fairly unremarkable. She cares deeply about people and
that has led her to find her purpose at a nursing home in Oslo. When a resident dies and leaves her an all-expense paid vacation package to Hotel Fen, however, she takes the opportunity to experience something different.

It all starts innocently enough, with a little meet-cute in the hotel elevator that takes forever to arrive on their floor. But the longer Victor and Silje remain together, the more dangerous the hotel becomes, and the more they question where reality ends and the impossible begins.

Thanks again for hosting me, Mae!

UNIVERSAL PURCHASE LINK

AUTHOR BIO:

Author, Marie Sinadjan

Marie Sinadjan is an indie author and singer-songwriter from Cebu, Philippines. She’s always loved theatre and music, as well as trading stories, worldbuilding, and collaborative writing. Hotel Fen is her debut novel, written with her US-based friend Meri Benson, and aside from the sequel, she’s also working on the series’ soundtrack and the accompanying short stories. When not crunching numbers for her full-time job, spending time with her family, or dreaming up more worlds, she’s recording songs in her bedroom or dressing up as Disney princesses for kids and special events.



CONNECT WITH MARIE AT THE FOLLOWING HAUNTS:
WEBSITE | BLOG | SPOTIFY | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS | AMAZON


Thanks for visiting today. I hope you’ll make Marie feel welcome in the comments below. As a new author, she’s working on building her blog following and has been making regular rounds in the blogosphere. There’s plenty of connect buttons and sharing buttons above. I hope you’ll use both, then hop over to Amazon and ONE-CLICK Hotel Fen. I’m already looking forward to the next book in the series. If you love Norse myth, you don’t want to miss this one!

Book Tour Day 5: Things Old and Forgotten by Mae Clair #speculativefiction #magicalrealism #fantasy #newrelease

ebook Things Old and Forgotten by Mae Clair in front of wicker basket, apples and leaves, fall setting

Happy Hump Day! I’m almost at the midway part of my book tour for Things Old and Forgotten. Thanks to all who have been popping in and out as I make the rounds of the blogosphere. I feel like a celebrity, LOL!

Today, I’m visiting my Story Empire colleague, D.L. Finn. Denise is bonafide sweetheart with a wonderfully whimsical outlook on life. As an author, she’s highly diverse, writing everything from fictional novels to short stories, poetry, and childrens’ books. She’s never lost her magical sense of childhood.

When I think of Denise, I think of dolphins, angels, and fairies. Her Evildwel series combines mystery elements with the tug-of-war between angels, humans and “evildwels.” I especially loved This Last Chance, and hope there will be more tales coming. Her most recent release, Tree Fairies and Their Short Stories is a children’s book for all ages. I found it endearing, heartfelt and magical. You can find these and numerous other releases on Denise’s Amazon Author Page.

While visiting Denise today, I’m sharing an excerpt from my short story, Desert White. I thought this particular story was a good match for Denise’s blog. If you have a moment, hop over and see what it’s all about. You can visit us HERE.



Book Tour Day 4: Things Old and Forgotten by Mae Clair #speculativefiction #magicalrealism #fantasy #newrelease

book Things Old and Forgotten by Mae Clair on leaf covered brick walk, blurred image of autumn trees in background

A new week, and a new round of visits for Things Old and Forgotten. Today, I’m visiting Story two wonderful friends. Story Empire colleague, Gwen Plano, and my “PenderPal,” Marcia Meara.

Gwen is one of the kindest people you’ll meet online, an all around generous and giving person who is also a talented author of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. I first encountered Gwen’s optimism and resilience through reading her memoir Letting Go Into Perfect Love. She has an amazing life story.

Her versatility as an author really comes through in her Contract series. I found the most recent release The Culmination particularly strong, but highly recommend them all. The entire series can be found on her Amazon Author Page.

While visiting Gwen, I’ll be sharing an excerpt from my short story, Resurrecting Merlin. If you have a moment, hop over and JOIN US. 🙂



Marcia Meara is a sweetheart with the best sense of humor I know! She is highly supportive of other authors, and has regular features to promote them on her blog The Write Stuff. We both share love of the fictional character Aloysius X. L. Pendergast (hence PenderPals) and Harry Dresden (which makes us Dresdenphiles).

I’ve devoured everything Marcia has written. Her Riverbend Series is highly engrossing, and her Wake-Robin Ridge Series features a character named Rabbit who is guaranteed to steal your heart. You can find both series as well as novellas and more on her Amazon Author Page.

Because Marcia has such a fun sense of humor, I’m sharing an excerpt from my short story Miss Lily Makes A Wish (the singular comedic tale in the collection) while visiting her today. HOP OVER to see what it’s all about!


And an update:
The wonderful and uber-supportive Sally Cronin is featuring Things Old and Forgotten along with an early 5-star review of the book on the Smorgasboard Cafe and Bookstore. If you’re not familiar with Sally, you’re missing out connecting with one of the sweetest, friendliest, kindest, and as I said—uber-supportive—bloggers you’ll find online. Sally is also a talented writer with a vast collection of books you can find HERE. I wish you happy reading!



Book Tour Day 3: Things Old and Forgotten by Mae Clair #speculativefiction #magicalrealism #fantasy #newrelease

ebook showing cover for Things Old and Forgotten by author Mae Clair on old and opulent chair with wood carvings

Today, is the last stop for Things Old and Forgotten this week (though far from the last stop of the month-long tour). I’m with Story Empire colleague, John W. Howell, an awesome blogger and author with a wonderful sense of humor. John tells creative and clever microfics on his blog, Fiction Favorites as well as offering a look each Thursday into the highly entertaining life of his pampered dogs Lucy and Twiggy. Their antics never fail to make me smile!

His work includes the explosive John Cannon action thrillers and the paranormal suspense novel Eternal Road. I recommend them all. To browse John’s collection of novels, visit his Amazon Author Page.

I also hope you’ll have a chance to visit me today at John’s blog, where I’m sharing an excerpt from my short story, Robin of Sherwood. Not quite the Robin Hood you would expect. If you’re of a mind to drop by, you can find us HERE. Happy Thursday!



Book Tour Day 2: Things Old and Forgotten by Mae Clair #speculativefiction #magicalrealism #fantasy #newrelease

cell phone featuring cover of Things Old and Forgotten by author Mae Clair, resting on top of pine boards surrounded by dried leaves, fairy lights and cinnamonsticks

Happy Tuesday! It’s Day two of my bog tour for Things Old and Forgotten. Today, I am visiting Jan Sikes, a great friend and also a Story Empire colleague.

Jan is a super friendly and supportive blogger who is not only a talented author, but also a musician. You can read all about her amazing life with renown musician Rick Sikes in her Flowers and Stone series (I’m waiting for the Lifetime movie).

Her latest release, Ghostly Interference has been receiving amazing accolades and praise. You can discover all of Jan’s books on her Amazon Author Page. Be sure to check out her work, then hop over to visit us on her blog, where I’ll be sharing an excerpt from my short story, Kin-Slayer.

I hope you’ll JOIN US!



Book Tour Day 1: Things Old and Forgotten by Mae Clair #speculativefiction #magicalrealism #fantasy #newrelease

Kindle featuring cover of Things Old and Forgotten by author Mae Clair on top of open paperback book surrounded by dried red roses

Hi, friends! Welcome to the kick-off of my book tour for Things Old and Forgotten. Today, I am visiting Staci Troilo, one of my oldest and dearest blogging friends. Staci is also a colleague at Story Empire, and one of its founding members.

She is a fabulous writer and highly supportive of other authors. I devour her books immediately whenever she has a release. I especially love her Medici Protectorate Series and Cathedral Lake Series. The first involves a secret brotherhood, alchemy, and an ancient bloodline, while the second offers a compelling family saga.

Staci always delivers quality stories with compelling characters and polished writing. If you haven’t already discovered her work, you’re missing out on something special. Check out her Amazon Author Page for all her titles.

I’m going to be sharing an excerpt from the short story Father’s Day, while visiting with Staci. I hope you have a chance to hop over, say hello, and check out the excerpt. See you there!



New Release: Things Old and Forgotten by Mae Clair #speculativefiction #magicalrealism #fantasy

My book birthday has arrived! Things old and Forgotten is now available on Amazon. I’m going on tour throughout the moth of October, and to celebrate, I’m offering the ebook at the introductory price of .99c through Halloween. Grab your copy now and discover…

BOOK BLURB:

A man keeping King Arthur’s dream of Camelot alive.
A Robin Hood battling in a drastically different Sherwood.
A young man facing eternity in the desert.
A genteel southern lady besting a powerful order of genies.
A woman meeting her father decades after his death.

These are but a few of the intriguing tales waiting to be discovered in Things Old and Forgotten. Prepare to be transported to realms of folklore and legend, where magic and wonder linger around every corner, and fantastic possibilities are limited only by imagination.


A number of awesome friends are helping me spread the word by hosting me on their blogs. If you’d like to tag along the schedule is below—but rest assured I’ll be announcing my stops each day!:)

10/5 • Staci Troilo
10/6 • Jan Sikes
10/7 • John Howell
10/12 • Gwen Plano
10/12 • Marcia Meara
10/13 • Denise Finn
10/14 • Joan Hall
10/19 • Harmony Kent
10/20 • Craig Boyack
10/21 • Jacqui Murray
10/21 • Jill Weatherholt
10/23 • Teri Polen on Bad Moon Rising

10/26 • Judi Lynn

Thanks again for joining me on my release day and helping me celebrate the launch of Things Old and Forgotten. I’m popping the virtual bubbly and throwing oodles of confetti. Should you like to see what all the fuss is about (and I certainly hope you will), hop over to Amazon and grab a copy for yourself! 🙂

PURCHASE LINK (US)
PURCHASE LINK (UK)
BUY FOR THE INTRODUCTORY PRICE OF .99C

Guest Author Thursday: Lunar Boogie by C. S. Boyack #newrelease #superherofantasy

red quill pen on a piece of old parchment paper, with an ink well with words Welcome Guest in script

Hello, everyone. Welcome to a special Guest Author Thursday. My friend and Story Empire colleague, C. S. Boyack has released a new Lizzie and the Hat novella, Lunar Boogie. I’ll be sharing my 5-star review next week on my blog. In the meantime, suffice to say I loved this story—it’s my favorite Hat novella to date. To tell us all about it, Craig has sent his spokes model and personal assistant, robot girl extraordinaire, Lisa, to share the details. Take it away, Lisa!

So excited to be here today, Mae. I’m excited to be anywhere after 2020, if you know what I mean. I’m on the road because Craig published a new book. This is book number four in the hat series, and it’s titled “Lunar Boogie.”

This one has Lizzie, our budding monster hunter on the trail of a werewolf. She’s really no more special than anyone else, but her partner is a creature from another dimension. He’s trapped forever in the form of a hat. When she wears him, they form a symbiotic bond that allows both of them to accomplish things they couldn’t do alone.

Today’s topic involves that bond, but falls on the side of earning a living. Chasing monsters isn’t the most profitable thing to do, but Lizzie still has rent and utilities to pay. It turns out that many years before he met Lizzie, the hat learned to play the upright bass. He needs that symbiosis, because he doesn’t have hands, but he’s pretty good.

They formed a small cover band, and spend their weekends playing around the country. He uses her fingers to play the bass, while Lizzie sings. This brings some added fun to the stories, because when the bars let out, it’s a pretty good time to chase monsters. It also lets them travel around so all their adventures don’t have to take place in Lizzie’s back yard.

Lizzie is a pretty creative girl, and tries to spend her money at thrift stores and pawn shops. This time she scored a cool jacket and bedazzled it up herself. I get to wear that outfit in my promotional poster. Tell your friends to download the image and feel free to use it as a phone background or add it to Pinterest.

Honestly, I visit with artist Sean Harrington when we make these. I was worried about this poster, because robot girls are a little heavier than the standard issue bass player. It all worked out in the end, and we came up with some fun artwork. This is a scene from a college dance the band played.

Sexy blonde woman in tight black pants,  black ankle boots and black fringe jacket standing on tilted upright bass with python image covering center of bass

The book is way fun. Plenty of banter between Lizzie and the hat like fans have come to expect, and a different kind of adventure. I hope your readers will give it a chance.


BOOK BLURB:
Lizzie and the hat are back in action, only this time they’re up against the most tragic monster of all, a werewolf.

This adventure is more like hunting an animal, and the werewolf is unlikely to come to any of their musical performances. This puts Lizzie out in the dark corners and wooded areas of the city. It may be more beneficial to get the monster to hunt Lizzie than to stalk him on his own turf. All she has to do is be quicker on the trigger than the wolf is on his feet.

At the same time, the police think they’re after a serial killer. Lizzie tries to keep them alive while also keeping them out of her way. As the body count rises, so do the pressures. It doesn’t help that people are blaming Lizzie and the hat for the killings. This involves an urban myth about them that the locals call Hellpox.

Pull on your boogie shoes and join the hunt. Designed as an afternoon read, this one is tons of supernatural fun.

bio box for author, C.S. Boyack

You can connect with Craig at the following haunts:
Blog | Novels | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook | Pinterest | BookBub


I’ve enjoyed each of the Lizzie and the Hat novellas, and have already picked up my copy of Lunar Boogie. It sounds like Lizzie and the (snarky) hat really have their hands full this time! If you’d like to help Craig with his book launch, be sure to use the sharing buttons below, then hop over to ONE-CLICK your copy at Amazon!

Book Spotlight: I Am Mayhem by Sue Coletta #preorder #womensleuths #crimefiction #bookreview

An open book with rays and orbs of light shooting from the pages

Today I’m shining the spotlight on the very talented, Sue Coletta, who is releasing the long-anticipated fourth novel in her Mayhem series. Shawnee Daniels makes a great MC, and “Mayhem” is one of my favorite book villains. Mayhem’s crows—yes, crows—Edgar, Allan, and Poe, also deserve a mention because they are every bit characters in their own right. Especially Poe.

I was lucky enough to score an ARC of this novel, and am sharing my 5 STAR review at the end of this post. Be sure to take a look and be ready to ONE-CLICK!

Book Description:

As bloody, severed body parts show up on her doorstep, Shawnee Daniels must stop the serial killer who wants her dead before she becomes the next victim.

But can she solve his cryptic clues before it’s too late? Or will she be the next to die a slow, agonizing death?


With crows stalking her every move, Shawnee can barely function. Things worsen when body parts show up on her doorstep. An unstoppable serial killer wants her dead. Mr. Mayhem threatens to murder everyone she loves, sending Shawnee a piece at a time.

As Mr. Mayhem sits in judgement, his cryptic clues must be solved before the final gavel drops. The game rules are simple—win the unwinnable or submit to a slow, agonizing death.

When Shawnee tries to fight back, she discovers her very existence is based on lies. But the full impact of the truth might become the headstone on Shawnee’s grave.

Preorder on Amazon for 99c.

Book will be delivered to your device on April 20, 2021 (release day).

Tirgearr Publishing

Sue Coletta

Author Bio:
Sue Coletta is an award-winning crime writer and an active member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. Feedspot and Expertido.org named her Murder Blog as one of the “Best 100 Crime Blogs on the Net” (Murder Blog sits at #5). Sue also blogs at the Kill Zone, a multi-award-winning writing blog.

Sue lives in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire and writes two serial killer thriller series (Tirgearr Publishing) and true crime (Rowman & Littlefield Group, Inc.). And recently, she appeared on an Emmy award-winning true crime show. Learn more about Sue and her books at: https://suecoletta.com


MY REVIEW:
Wow! I’ve followed this series from book one, and it just keeps getting better. Coletta has penned a wonderfully unique and memorable set of characters—Shawnee Daniels, a (reformed?) cat burglar/computer hacker currently working for the police, her detective boyfriend, and Mr. Mayhem—serial killer, and chameleon-like adversary. Oh, and there are crows. Not just ordinary crows, but birds who are characters in their own right. Mayhem has three crows who do his bidding—Edgar, Allan, and Poe. 

Poe, in particular, is a scene stealer. A charmer with Mayhem, Poe is oil to Shawnee’s water. Nails on a blackboard which makes for intriguing interaction.

In this the fourth book of the series, Coletta builds on the cat-mouse relationship between Mayhem and Shawnee. There is history between these characters, deeply-rooted, so it does help to have an understanding of that going into the novel, especially as this story picks up where book three left off. Stakes are high right off the bat with murder on the menu. As the story progresses, cold-blooded killings mingle with mysticism and Native American beliefs, customs, and folklore. For those who have followed the series, Shawnee’s family background is fleshed out, along with that of Mr. Mayhem, bringing surprising results.  

Shawnee and Mayhem are polar opposites—one street-tough, and gritty, the other cultured but deadly. Parts of this story left me biting my fingernails to see how everything would play out, while other sections had me misty eyed. The suspense is great, but the character development is what makes this one so exceptional. The story wraps with a solid ending but does leave wiggle room should the author choose to continue. As a fan of the series, I can only hope she does. If you enjoy strong characters in a fast-paced tale layered with folklore and Native American themes (think skinwalkers and Tony Hillerman), you won’t want to miss this novel.

*I received a complimentary ARC for an honest review


Intrigued? I hope my FIVE STAR review enticed you. You can grab your own copy of I Am Mayhem from Amazon. Release date is April 20, but you can pre-order through the link below. An excellent read for a mere .99c.

Thanks for visiting today. Please drop Sue a line or two in the comments to help her celebrate her upcoming release.


Preorder on Amazon for 99c.