Spotlight & Excerpt: Red + Giveaways

Red Blog Tour

Today I am excited to be a part of the Transplanted Tales 10-Year Anniversary Blog Tour. The year long event kicks off today with Red by Kate SeRine. Kensington is giving the series a fresh new look and Kate is hosting a year long giveaway in addition to tours for each book. Come check it this fantastic paranormal romance series featuring Tess “Red” Little.

Red by Kate SeRine

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Fairytale characters meet the mean streets of Chicago in this gritty paranormal romance featuring Little Red Riding Hood as a tough-as-nails detective.

Once upon a time, a spell went awry, stranding Make Believe characters in the ordinary world. Since then, Tess “Red” Little has worked as an Enforcer for the Chicago branch of the Fairytale Management Authority. All grown up and with nothing to lose, she’s not some waif with a basket of goodies. Guns and combat boots are more her style now. And on her latest assignment, no one’s living happily ever after.

Someone is viciously murdering transplanted Tales, and the list of characters capable of such grisly violence includes more than one of Red’s old flames. To make matters worse, she’ll be working alongside sexy, enigmatic Nate Grimm, the FMA’s lead detective and part-time Reaper. Red normally prefers playing the lone wolf, but Nate’s dark side makes him perfect for this case. That is, if she can trust him. As she learned long ago, believing in the wrong person can have big, bad consequences.

Transplanted Tale Series

Read an Excerpt

I threw the covers back and stormed down the stairs, brushing past Gran in my fury. I charged into the kitchen, fully expecting to light into Nate about barging into my house—okay, well, not technically my house, but still—but when I saw him I slid to a halt, briefly wondering if I’d wandered into a parallel dimension.

Nate had discarded his omnipresent suit jacket and fedora in exchange for one of Gran’s pink frilly aprons with a creepily cheery gingerbread man embroidered on the front. His shirt sleeves were rolled up to the elbow, revealing muscled forearms and intricately drawn tribal-style tattoos that were completely out of sorts with the girly cooking attire.

When he heard me come in, he turned away from where he was scrambling eggs with peppers and onions and offered me a wide smile. “Good morning, sunshine,” he called over his shoulder.

I intended to stun him with a witty comeback that started with Piss and ended with Off, but before I got the chance, he added, “Breakfast will be ready in a sec. I hope you like your eggs loaded. I didn’t figure you for a cinnamon roll kind of girl, but Gran insisted I whip some up when she heard my recipe.”

I blinked at him, now certain about my alternate reality theory. “What the hell are you doing here?”

Nate added some shredded cheese to his concoction and gently folded the eggs a couple of times before responding, “Thought we’d get an early start.”

I hopped up onto one of the stools nestled around the kitchen bar and gave him a wary look. “Start on what exactly?”

“I figured we’d drop in on Wolf,” he said. “Get it out of the way.”

I felt my stomach flop ominously. Probably just the hangover. “He’s nocturnal,” I muttered. “Maybe we should wait until later in the day.”

“Or we can catch him unawares so he doesn’t run,” he rejoined.

I bristled a little at his tone. “Seth won’t run.”

Nate shrugged. “Because he has a history of sticking it out when things get rough?”

“Fine,” I snapped, having to admit he had a point. “But he’s not the guy.”

“So you keep saying. As soon as he’s cleared, we’ll move on to Caliban.”

Nate scooped the eggs onto a plate and arranged a few slices of crisp bacon, perfectly toasted sourdough, and a sprig of parsley around them before setting the lot in front of me.

I stared down at the beautifully arranged food before me and wondered if I should eat it or take a picture of it. My stomach grumbled in spite of its queasiness, which really left only one option. I shoveled a bite of eggs into my mouth and had to stop myself from moaning with delight as Nate set out a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.

“So what do you think?” he asked, studying me in that über-intense way of his.

“I think Caliban can be an arrogant, foul-tempered asshole,” I mumbled around my eggs, “but I don’t think he’s your perp either.”

Nate laughed. “Not what I meant. The breakfast—do you like it?”

I swallowed, lifting my face from the trough—uh, plate—and meeting his gaze. “Yeah, it’s great. Thanks.”

He gave me a wink and went back to the stove, gathering up the frying pans and utensils and loading them into the dishwasher. Bemused by the decidedly surreal experience, I continued eating and was just polishing off the last of the most delicious cinnamon roll I’d ever consumed when Gran came bustling in.

“Well, I’m off!” she cried cheerily, her cheeks aglow with excitement. “Wish me luck, my darlings!”

Darlings? Plural?

Nate hastily dried his hands on the edge of his apron and shook Gran’s hand warmly. “Best of luck, Tilly—”

Tilly?

“—I’m sure your interview will go swell.”

Swell?

            Gran tittered like a schoolgirl, blushing at Nate’s encouragement, then good-naturedly batted at his shoulder. “Oh, Detective, if all my audience was as kind as you, I would never worry about ratings!”

Dear God, it was a morning person conspiracy.


About the Author

Kate SeRine (pronounced “serene”) is a hopeless romantic who firmly believes in true love that lasts forever. So it’s no surprise that when she began writing her own stories, Kate vowed her characters would always have a happily ever after. She’s the author of the award-winning TRANSPLANTED TALES paranormal romance series as well as two romantic suspense series: PROTECT AND SERVE and DARK ALLIANCE.

Kate lives in a smallish, quintessentially Midwestern town with her husband and two sons, who share her love of storytelling. She never tires of creating new worlds to share and is even now working on her next project — probably while consuming way too much coffee.

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Giveaways

Red Blog Tour Giveaway

Enter to win a $25.00 eGift card from retailer of your choice (Amazon, Apple, B&N or Kobo). Ends March 10th.


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10-Year Anniversary of the Transplanted Tales Giveaway

 

Join Kate SeRine’s newsletter for the chance to win a US Amazon eGift Card. Winner will be selected at random from active subscriber list on December 16, 2022.

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Spotlight & Author Interview: Second Star to the Left + Giveaway

Second Star to the Left tour stops (blog)

Second Star to the Left Cover

Second Star to the Left
by Megan Van Dyke
Series: Reimagined Fairy Tales
Genre: Romantic Fantasy
Intended Age Group: Adult
Pages: 350ish
Published: February 15, 2022
Publisher: City Owl Press

Universal buy linkGoodreads

Book Blurb:

Tinker Bell, banished from her homeland for doing the unthinkable, selling the hottest drug in Neverland—pixie dust—wants absolution.

Determined to find a way home, Tink doesn’t hesitate to follow the one lead she has, even if that means seducing a filthy pirate to steal precious gems out from under his…hook.

Captain Hook believes he’s found a real treasure in Tink. That is, until he recovers from her pixie dust laced kiss with a curse that turns the seas against him. With his ship and reputation at the mercy of raging storms, he tracks down the little minx and demands she remove the curse. Too bad she can’t.

However, the mermaid queen has a solution to both of their problems, if Tink and Hook will work together to retrieve a magical item for her.

As they venture to the mysterious Shrouded Isles to find the priceless treasure, their shared nemesis closes in. However, his wrath is nothing compared to the realization that achieving their goal may mean losing something they never expected to find—each other.


Not Your Kid’s Neverland · Two Words: Strip Dice · But Why Is the Rum Gone?


Content/Trigger Warnings:

Shown on Page:

  • Drinking
  • Drug use (Pixie Dust)
  • Nudity
  • Sex
  • Mild Violence
  • Adult Language
  • Sea Sickness/Nausea
  • Brief Ableism
  • Dismemberment (Hook losing his hand – in a brief flashback)
  • Kidnapping of an adult

Alluded to:

  •  Death of a parent
  • Child malnutrition

Author Interview:

1. Tell us a little about how this story first came to be.
Second Star to the Left is a retelling of Peter Pan from the perspectives of Tinker Bell and Captain Hook. It’s an enemies-to-lovers romantic adventure fantasy that explores the dynamic between these two characters and how things might have turned out very differently from the Neverland we know. If it were to fit within the canon timeline of the original, it would be considered a prequel since it takes place before the Darling children arrive.

The idea for this story literally popped into my head randomly one day while I was playing with my (then infant) son. The initial spark was this: What if Captain Hook had a curse placed on him that made the seas his enemy, and the one responsible was Tinker Bell, a pixie notorious for selling the hottest drug in Neverland—pixie dust.

Yeah, seriously, I have no idea where my mind came up with that, but one minute it just appeared. The concept captivated me so thoroughly that I had to explore it. Questions came next: Why was Tinker Bell selling pixie dust? Why curse Captain Hook? What led them to become enemies? What was he willing to do to free himself of the curse?

Those questions and many, many others led me to learn so much about these characters and this world, and before I knew it, the plot of the story had basically written itself.

2. What, if anything, did you learn when writing the book?
One of the biggest things I researched for this book was ship design and functionality. Someone once told me that one key to making fantasy shine is to get the non-fantastical details right, and that’s so true. Quite a few scenes take place at sea, and there’s more than one ship battle. While I’m by no means an expert, I still wanted to make sure I knew enough to make those scenes realistic, plausible, and immersive.

3. What surprised you the most in writing it?
Some of the twists. I know, that sounds weird since I wrote the book, but as a writer, I feel like it’s the characters who tell the story, and I’m just the one getting it down on paper. Some things I see in advance, but there was at least one big twist in this story that I didn’t know until the character found out, and oh wow, did it surprise us both!

4. If it’s not a spoiler, what does the title mean?
The title is a play off the line “second star to the right,” and also happens to be part of the directions that Hook and Tink must follow to find a priceless treasure within the novel. Honestly, the title was very difficult for me to come up with. I’d already finished the book by the time I came up with it. Second Star to the Left immediately brings the original tale to mind, which I wanted, but also being that it’s ‘left’ and not ‘right’ gives a hint that this will be different than the Neverland most people know.

5. Were any of the characters inspired by real people? If so, do they know?
Yes, the main villain of the story, Captain Blackbeard, is inspired in name and appearance by the historical figure. Hook has a connection with Blackbeard according to J. M. Barrie, author of the original Peter Pan, so it felt appropriate that he should appear in this tale as well.

Additionally, one of Captain Hook’s crewmembers, Anne, is a nod to the historical figure of Anne Bonny. They share a name and appearance, but the Anne in SSTTL has a much different personality than that of the historical figure.

6. Do you consider the book to have a lesson or moral?
Family is a central theme that comes up in pretty much every story I write, and that includes all kinds of families: ones people are born into, found/chosen family, healthy and loving families, toxic families, etc. Family has always been a central component of my own life, which is probably why it inevitably leaks into my work. I was lucky to grow up in a good, loving family (though not without its flaws), but I’m also a strong believer in the families we find and build around ourselves, which often have very little or nothing to do with blood. Second Star to the Left explores this in a lot of ways, as it’s a key thing that both Tink and Hook are struggling with, even if they don’t quite admit that at the beginning. That idea of home and family is the foundation on which the story rests and is something that takes on new and changing meaning for the characters as they grow through the events that they are faced with.

7. What is your favorite part of the book?
Oh gosh, that’s like asking me to pick my favorite child, lol! One that I think about often though, is a scene that takes place in the first half of the novel at the merfolk’s isle. Hook and Tink share a vulnerable moment at a hot spring. It’s tender, sexy, and emotional, but has some funny moments too. Plus, it’s a pivotal scene that shifts the dynamic between them.

A smaller, random moment I really love is when Smee (somewhat accidentally) reveals who, or rather what, the Jolly Roger is named after. It was not a moment I planned, but rather something the character revealed to me (and others) out of the blue when I was writing a particular scene. It cracked me up then and still makes me giggle thinking about it.

8. Which character was most challenging to create? Why?
None of the characters were overly challenging in this story, but I’d say it was Tink who took me the longest to truly get to know. Hook was immediately very open and willing to share his story with me, so it was actually some of his chapters that I wrote first. Tink, though, took a while longer. I struggled over the first few chapters I wrote from her point of view, but thank goodness she finally opened up and really let me in. Once she did, the book started to flow really well.

9. What are your immediate future plans?
I have more books completed and coming soon, and I’m writing even more that I hope to release in the future. Up next in the Reimagined Fairy Tale series is The Ugly Stepsister, a mash-up of Cinderella and Snow White that sees Anna, the ugly stepsister, teaming up with Will, a former royal huntsman, to take down the wicked queen (aka Cinderella). It will release from City Owl Press in Fall 2022. I also have a completely different adult fantasy series launching this summer, the first of which is titled A Bargain with the Fae King, and releases on May 3, 2022.


Giveaway:

Starts: February 14th, 2022 at 12:00am EST
Ends: February 20, 2022 at 11:59pm EST

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Direct link


Author Bio & Information:

Megan Van Dyke is a fantasy romance author with a love for all things that include magic and kissing, especially fairytales and anything with a happily ever after. Many of her stories include themes of family (whether born into or found) and a sense of home and belonging, which are important aspects of her life as well. When not writing, Megan loves to cook, play video games, explore the great outdoors, and spend time with her family. A southerner by birth and at heart, Megan currently lives with her family in Colorado.

Megan Van Dyke author headshot

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Spotlight & Giveaway: Silence the Siren, by Michele Israel Harper

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silence the siren cover

Silence the Siren
Book Two of the Beast Hunters
by Michele Israel Harper
Genre: Fairy Tale Retelling
Release Date: August 17, 2021
Paperback: $18.99, eBook: $4.99
Love2ReadLove2Write Publishing, LLC
494 pages,
ISBN: 978-1-943788-52-1

Huntress Ro LeFèvre is hired to hunt the sirens who have been sinking the king of Angleterre’s ships, and in turn, vast amounts of his wealth. All who have gone before her have failed.

Fleeing heartbreak, Ro gladly accepts, but there’s just one problem. The king will credit the Marquis de la Valère, and no other women are allowed on the voyage.

Ro will just see about that. Hiring an all-female pirate crew without the king’s knowledge, Ro hopes they will follow her to the Caribbean, not take the gold and flee.

But when Ro is plunged deep into the ocean by the siren she’s being paid to kill, presented the sirens’ side of the story at knife point, and pressed to join them or die, Ro must decide whether to complete her mission, join the sirens, or something in between.

Before the sirens sink the ship full of men above.

Purchase Link

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Praise:

Silence the Siren is a fresh take on a classic fairy tale that I did not see coming! Michele Israel Harper weaves a wildly creative tale that will have your heart beating fast with excitement one moment and then breaking the next. Ro is the heroine we’ve all been waiting for. You’ll be rooting for her as she takes on man and sea in this odyssey-esque adventure. Can’t wait to see what Harper does with the rest of the series!”

—Julie Hall, USA Today Bestselling author of the multiple award-winning Life After series


About the Author:

Michele Israel Harper spends her days as an acquisitions editor for L2L2 Publishing and her nights spinning her own tales. Sleep? Sometimes . . . She has her Bachelor of Arts in history, is slightly obsessed with all things French—including Jeanne d’Arc and La Belle et la Bête—and loves curling up with a good book more than just about anything else.

Author of nine published novels as well as an award-winning freelance editor in her spare time, Michele prays her involvement in writing, editing, and publishing creates many enjoyable books in the years to come. Visit www.micheleisraelharper.com to keep in touch or sign up for her newsletter.

Michele Israel Harper

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