Spotlight: A Curse of Roses, by Diana Pinguicha

A Curse of Roses tour banner

 

Check out my stop on the blog tour for A Curse of Roses by Diana Pinguicha from Entangled Teen!
A Curse of Roses
by Diana Pinguicha
Genre: YA Fantasy – Own Voices, LGBTQ
Release Date: December 1st 2020
Entangled Teen

With just one touch, bread turns into roses. With just one bite, cheese turns into lilies.

There’s a famine plaguing the land, and Princess Yzabel is wasting food simply by trying to eat. Before she can even swallow, her magic—her curse—has turned her meal into a bouquet. She’s on the verge of starving, which only reminds her that the people of Portugal have been enduring the same pain.

If only it were possible to reverse her magic. Then she could turn flowers…into food.

Fatyan, a beautiful Enchanted Moura, is the only one who can help. But she is trapped by magical binds. She can teach Yzabel how to control her curse—if Yzabel sets her free with a kiss.

As the King of Portugal’s betrothed, Yzabel would be committing treason, but what good is a king if his country has starved to death?

With just one kiss, Fatyan is set free. And with just one kiss, Yzabel is yearning for more.

She’d sought out Fatyan to help her save the people. Now, loving her could mean Yzabel’s destruction.

Based on Portuguese legend, this #OwnVoices historical fantasy is an epic tale of mystery, magic, and making the impossible choice between love and duty…

Purchase links can be found HERE!

 

 

Advance Praise:

“This immersive, richly imagined queer love story set in medieval Portugal is
guaranteed to enchant. A skillful weaving of history and mythology, Pinguicha
will leave you rooting for her two headstrong heroines, brought together by
fate but separated by duty and the prejudices of their world.” – Ellen
Goodlett, author of the Rule series

 

“Brimming with heart, A Curse of Roses is magical, romantic, and impossible to put down. Yzabel and Fatyan’s love story will enchant you from the first page to the last. I loved it!” – Meredith Tate, author of The Last Confession of Autumn Casterly

 

“Pinguicha writes with such texture, creating an exquisitely detailed and vibrant world, full of color and energy. Yzabel and Fatyan are real and complicated characters, both vulnerable and strong in their own ways, reaching across time and space to find one another and to fight for a love that seems as impossible as it is inevitable.” – Emma Berquist, author of Devils Unto Dust and Missing, Presumed Dead

 

“A rich and captivating retelling of the legend of a Medieval saint, Pinguicha’s debut gripped me from its first page. An utter delight to read — meticulously researched, refreshingly queer and sharp as thorns!” —  Julia Ember, author of Ruinsong and The Seafarer’s Kiss.

 

Suspense, romance, compelling characters, and a unique setting make A Curse of Roses a strong addition to the growing body of folktale retellings for teen and crossover readers.” – Lyn Miller-Lachmann, The Pirate Tree Blog

 

“…a delicate queer romance between strong heroines propels the plot forward.” —Publishers Weekly 

 

About the Author

Born in the sunny lands of Portugal, Diana is a Computer Engineer graduate who currently calls Lisbon home. She can usually be found writing, painting, devouring extraordinary quantities of books and video games, or walking around with her bearded dragon, Norberta. She also has two cats, Sushi and Jubas, who would never forgive her if she didn’t mention them.

Her art can be found at Deviant Art.

Also publishes under Diana Pinguicha Connors.

Book Blitz & Excerpt: Cemetery Song + Giveaway

Cemetery Songs Blitz Banner

Cemetery Songs
Julie Gilbert
Publication date: December 15th 2020
Genres: Young Adult Fiction

Poignant and uplifting, Cemetery Songs is a compelling YA about a girl, a ghost, and the graveyard that sends them both on a journey of self-acceptance.

When Polly Stone’s birthmother dies, she feels lost and adrift. How do you mourn someone you never knew? Even the dead, whose final thoughts Polly can hear, offer no advice.

Instead Polly fails her classes, alienates her friends, gets fired from her summer job, and accidentally sets fire to the high school. At a loss, Polly’s parents ground her and insist she volunteer at the local archives.

The dusty boxes are boring, but Polly is intrigued by her assignment: mapping an abandoned Black settlement on the edge of town. At the very least, it gives her time to examine her confused feelings for Billy Meyer, a former classmate who is also blackmailing her.

Amid weedy tombstones, Polly and Billy encounter the charming ghost of Harrison Card, who died in 1924. Sensing there’s more to the story than Harrison can recall, the unlikely trio investigates the mysterious circumstances surrounding his death.

The discoveries are unnerving, especially since the ugly racist history reflects some of Polly’s own experiences as a biracial teenager. Past and present collide when Polly’s attempts to help Harrison go tragically wrong. As Polly grapples with the consequences of her actions, she must decide if she is brave enough to heed the wisdom of the dead.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

INSTA_Cemetery song

EXCERPT:

“You about ready?” I ask as I sit in the grass at the corner of the gravestone.

“Sure,” Billy says, sitting back on his heels. He swings the flashlight to illuminate his handiwork. A series of objects is arranged around the perimeter of the grave. Nearest me is a chipped coffee mug with the Monroe city logo on it. Next to that there’s a single golf glove and a pile of tees. A worn dog leash curls in the corner, nestled against a plastic water dish.

“He’s the guy who died at his desk, isn’t he?” I ask. “Like two weeks ago or something.” My mom mentioned it over dinner the other night, the city employee who’d been physically fit but plagued with anger management issues. Apparently he died in the middle of a conversation.

“Yeah, that’s him. You know him?”

“No, but I’m about to.”

I wrap my hands around the mug, drawing in a few deep, clean breaths and turning my  attention to Arnold Weber, sliding into his mind, or whatever’s left of it.

He died during an argument, I learn. What the hell, Scott? was his final thought. I hold  the mug tighter and images start to appear in my mind. I see the inside of an office paneled in wood and carpeted in gray. There’s an industrial desk dominating the small space, buttressed by several filing cabinets. A clock ticks on the desk and I see that it’s golf-themed and inscribed with the word “Pinehurst.”

A wave of memories rushes through me as I amplify Arnold’s mind further. I see a woman’s blonde hair shot gray at the temples, her eyes tired and distant. I see the same woman in a photograph, younger, her eyes wary but hopeful beneath the veil of her wedding dress. I see a

parade of children and I see Arnold and the woman standing near this very spot on a cold, October day, watching as a tiny coffin is laid into the ground.

There are more memories. Christmas morning, Halloween night. Endless meetings and workshops where the phrases “organic synergy” and “workflow analysis” rattle around sterile conference tables. There’s a cruise in the Bahamas where everyone got sick and another to Alaska where they saw whales. As I release the mug, there’s one last image of Arnold as a college student, skipping over the art class that tugs at his pen and reluctantly signing up for an accounting class instead.

I can feel myself return to the surface, can hear Arnold’s voice yelling at Scott in my mind. Before I break through into consciousness, I hear the words “Jessam Crossing” and a voice says, “She can’t use what she can’t find.” Then I’m back in my own body, crouching over a mound of earth.

Billy is studying me.

“How long was I gone?” I ask.

“About thirty minutes. You okay?”

“Yeah.”

“What did you learn?” he asks.

“Lots.” I shake my head. “Lots of images and memories. I’m not sure where to start.”

“I can ask you the security questions when I find them,” Billy says, his voice low.

“Might be easier,” I interrupt. I clamber to my feet and we start walking back to the truck. I’m concentrating so hard on trying to recall other snippets of the conversation that I step into a badger hole and stumble to my knees.

“I gotcha,” Billy says. His hands slide from behind me to cup my elbows and leverage me to my feet. When I’m standing again, I’ve got my back to him. We’re not touching, other than his hands at my elbows, but I can sense him, his entire body towering over me, sheltering me. It’s electric. I swallow and feel my breath speed up. He moves a hair closer to me, his chest against my back, his legs brushing mine. He’s so much taller than me but I feel tall and strong standing here like this. His head dips and I can feel his breath on my neck.

“Polly—” he says, just as a bat swoops overhead, breaking the spell. I jump and take a few steps toward the truck.

“I should get home,” I say. I put my hand over my throat to conceal the rapid flutter of my heart, even though I know he can’t see it in the dark anyway.

“Let’s go,” he says at last, his voice gravelly. We go back to the truck and don’t talk the rest of the way.

Author Bio:

Although Julie K. Gilbert’s masterpiece, The Adventures of Kitty Bob: Alien Warlord Cat, has sadly been out of print since Julie last stapled it together in the fourth grade, she continues to write. Her short fiction, which has appeared in numerous publications, explores topics ranging from airport security lines to adoption to antique wreaths made of hair. Julie makes her home in southern Minnesota with her husband and two children.

Website / Goodreads / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted by:
XBTBanner1

Spotlight & Excerpt: Blind Spot + Giveaway

Blind spot Jo Richardson Banner
Blind Spot
Jo Richardson
Paranormal Romance, Suspense, Mystery
Out December 15, 2020
ISBN: 9798686197770
Number of pages: 498
Cover Artist: Jada D’Lee Designs

 

How do you stay out of someone’s life when it flashes before your eyes on a daily basis?
 
Sydney Fallon has spent her entire life seeing things before they happen.
Tucker Chase is no exception. He’s not looking for any new friends when he rolls into town. He’s not looking for anything but a way to escape his past.
But how do you stay out of someone’s life when you see it flashing before your eyes on a daily basis?

Amazon

Excerpt
 
At water’s edge, I try to let the cool evening breeze wash away my anxieties. I barely hear myself or understand myself as I say the words I’m asked to repeat.
 
Two words, for sure, I know by heart.
 
By my heart.
 
“I do.”
 
You may now kiss your bride.
 
There’s a lingering kiss, a wandering hand. He’s as needy as I am and I smile against his lips for letting himself feel it.
 
Clapping and cheering, teasing and laughter erupt all around us as we turn and face the world together. The scattered faces of all our friends are a blur, but I can tell they’re happy to take part in the ceremony.
 
Happy for us.
 
A declaration of matrimony is made, then we’re hurrying through the small crowd.
 
People toss rice; they blow bubbles.
 
The rest of it, I hardly remember.
 
The dance.
 
The kiss.
 
The cake.
 
It’s all in fast forward. 
 
I hope someone’s getting it on video.
 
The car ride at the end of the night is as swift as it’s not even happening. 
 
I watch landscapes speed by, clouds swirl.
 
My mind wanders.
 
Three words bring me back to him.
 
“You’re mine now.” His voice is low and vulnerable, rough and sultry.
 
I always was.
 
A soft glow shimmers from a window as we pull up to our new home and I shiver from anticipation.
 
He whisks me into his arms. He carries me across the threshold. He gazes at me with nothing but adoration.
 
His smile is disarming. His lips even more so as they travel along my jaw, underneath the soft curls that dangle against the back of my neck, then finally, near the upward tilted corners of my mouth.
 
He’s everywhere.
 
Soft fabrics fill the bedroom. Against the windows, on the floor, in our bed. Deep purples and reds. Sheer curtains ripple from the breeze like they’re reaching out to me.
 
Candles flicker and dance. Their scents romanticize the mood, as though it needs any help.
 
“I want you,” he murmurs.
 
You have me. Forever.
 
Clothes are gone in an instant. He hovers over me, trailing soft, tender, needy kisses. He follows a map of some sort to my lips.
 
The backs of his fingers graze my skin. Along the dip between my breasts, then my belly, between my legs, stopping when I squirm and giggle.
 
Wrinkles crease at the edges of his eyes as he grins down at me. My heart wants to burst.
 
Oh, the intensity in that smile.
 
I know him.
 
Better than he knows himself.
 
“I’ll always protect you,” he promises.
 
I believe him.
 
His fingers trace. They tease. They dip. They do things I’ve never known fingers can do.
 
I gasp from the overwhelming bliss of it all.
 
“So good,” he whispers in my ear. The stubble from his beard scratches lightly against my cheek.
 
I agree. “So good.”
 
Soft, desperate hums raise flesh along my shoulders, down my back. Experienced hands guide my body, leaving me breathless underneath him.
 
“I will always love you.”
 
I’ll hold you to that.
 
He presses himself against me, and I meet him, hungry for more.
 
Then I beg him to stay.
 
He answers like he always does.
 
“I can’t.”
 
Not again.
 
The beginnings of loss prick at the corners of my eyes. I hold on to him for dear life. I can’t stifle the sounds that escape me as his strong arms surround me, making promises I know better than to hold true.
 
Colors fade.
 
Soft touches subside.
 
Scents diminish.
 
And then he’s gone.
 
xxx
 
 
My eyes flutter open. I wipe away the tears.
 
My thighs tighten and I throb between them as consciousness creeps back.
 
I breathe in and out. I roll to my side. I sigh as morning glints through the trees.
 
I try to recall details, but it’s useless.
 
I can never quite make out his face, only the sound of his voice. What I imagine it sounds like, anyway. Just thinking about it now makes me shiver underneath the covers.
 
It’s been haunting me for weeks.
 
Every time, he sweeps me off my feet. Every time, he loves me. Every time, he leaves me.
 
“Ugh.”
 
“Sydney!” Even from down the stairs and out the door, I can hear my grandmother calling me, as clear as if she’s in my room.
 
I force myself out of the warmth of my bed with a stretch and a yawn. No need to check the time. Gran is my alarm clock.
 
I peer down at her from my window and watch her for a moment. She’s always told me to listen to my subconscious, to try and hear what it’s telling me, but honestly, even I have to laugh as I think about it.
 
What can a reoccurring sex scene be trying to tell me other than, “you really need to get laid”?
 
She catches me spying down at her, and Gran summons me in her typical way. Two fingers placed strategically inside her lips, then a whistle that’s louder than those old air raid sirens from back in the fifties.
 
I roll my eyes but smile. I wave to her to let her know I’ll be down soon to help with breakfast. Then I push the imaginary stranger out of my thoughts and head for the shower, feeling silly.
 
After all, it was just a dream.

 

About the Author:

A FanAddict of worlds inside big screens, small screens, and books.

A superhero geek who grew up in Maryland with four siblings, three parents and an endless number of cousins within the vicinity – but it was too cold up North for this thin blooded girl. Today, Jo lives in Florida with her two girls and a husband who shares her same sense of humor and basic take on life as they know it.

Sometimes, she even creates her own worlds.

Dabbling in both contemporary and the paranormal, Jo writes stories with mystery, suspense, humor, action, romance, and anything else she can think up.

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

bewitching book tours

Scroll Up