Book Blitz & Excerpt: Enchanted Kisses + Giveaway

Enchanted Kisses Blitz Banner

Enchanted Kisses
by Chelsea Bobulski
(Tara Gallina)
Publication date: September 2nd 2021
Genres: Magical Realism, New Adult

What’s a girl to do when death is the worst and best thing that can happen to her?

Lily cares for three things above all else: nature, her father, and her best friend, Caiden.

Caiden isn’t the typical hot guy, but his eyes glow—sometimes literally—with a confidence and charm that make Lily’s heart flutter wildly.

When she kisses him for the first time, he disappears into a swirl of gold and silver that leaves her questioning her sanity.

Three months later, Caiden reappears to explain what happened and who he really is, but Lily is too angry to hear it.

She needs time to figure out her feelings, time she doesn’t have because she’s being hunted by death—Death Sentries who know the truth about her lineage and want her for gifts she doesn’t know she possesses. Those gifts in Death’s hands can shift the balance between life and death on Earth and cause mass destruction.

Now, Lily must protect herself against manipulative Sentries sent to capture her, decide if she can trust Caiden, and resist or give into the explosive attraction between them.

But when she learns the truth about Caiden and his original intent toward her, Lily’s head and heart go to war. Before long, she’s left to question if her life is worth protecting or if her father and the world are safer without her in it.

*For mature young adult readers and all ages above.

Goodreads / Amazon

Enchanted Kisses by Tara Gallina marketing material image 1.

EXCERPT:

Caiden yanked a light-blue sundress from a hanger. “I always liked you in this one.” He threw it over his shoulder and then reached for the belt of my robe.

I stepped back, my hands flying up in protest. “What are you doing?”

“Suddenly shy?” His brows lifted. “You think I don’t know what you’ve got on under there? Your Tinkerbell favorites. Which I’ve seen on you. Not to mention, your bikini bares far more skin, and you wear it in public.”

I stepped away from his reaching arms. “Well, everyone dresses like that at the beach. And when I changed in the same room with you in the past, you were always distracted. Watching TV or reading. It’s not like you were interested.” Or had he been, and I was too naïve to notice?

He closed his eyes and crossed his arms over his chest. “Does this work for you?” Before I could respond, he said, “Come now. If I’m to have you back before your father wakes, we need to get moving.”

I couldn’t even comprehend how he could take us to the Realm of Life and have me back home before sunrise. Part of me thought this was a dream and I would wake in the morning to Caiden still being gone.

I glanced at the clock. 10:13 p.m. Here goes nothing. I tossed the robe to the floor, yanked the dress from Caiden’s shoulder, pulled it on, and fluffed my hair while sliding my feet into a pair of sandals.

“Perfect,” Caiden said, surprising me. I glanced at his face.

His eyes were wide and glowing with intense color.

“You looked?” I squealed, his turquoise orbs growing brighter. “And your eyes…”

He smirked. “I always look.”

I folded my arms, about to huff, “You what!” when his entire body shimmered with gold.

“It’s everywhere.” I pointed to his arm and then his face. I considered lifting his blue shirt to see if it covered his stomach, too.

“Does it frighten you?” he asked, in the same nervous tone as earlier.

“Why would I be frightened? I like it.” I couldn’t stop myself from caressing his arm. The texture was smooth but fuzzy, like static energy coated his skin. He twitched and clutched my hands.

“We should go,” he said, his voice suddenly husky.

 

Author Bio:

Tara Gallina is the author of the NA romance The Forever Series, and the YA retelling Fated to Die. She writes and reads romance in a variety of genres but has a soft spot for retellings.

She believes in fairies, true love, and happily ever after. When she’s not writing, she loves to visit gardens, European castles, and Caribbean beaches. She’s passionate about interior design, obsessed with throw pillows, is addicted to vinegar, favors the color pink, and only drinks wine that tastes like melted sugar.

She grew up in a small town by the beach but soon after moved to Orlando, Florida with her patient hubs, two older sons, and two fur-babies. With local theme parks like Disney World and Harry Potter, it’s no wonder her life is filled with fantasy and make believe.

Daily needs: sunshine, laughter, morning coffee, family.
Daily wants: castle, English accent, princess hair, anti-age venom.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Bookbub

 

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted by:
XBTBanner1

Spotlight: Whispers For Terra + Excerpt

WHISPERS for terra TOUR banner

Whispers for terra Cover

Whispers for Terra
By Nancy Houser-Bluhm
Genre: Magical Realism

Suffering from job fatigue, Mary, a speech pathologist, finds herself at a crossroads. Feeling a diminished sense of purpose, she finds solace in a nearby woods. It’s in these woods she discovers she is more than she knows. The earth spirits sense her ability to communicate and choose her to deliver a message that will influence our earth’s soil and everything that comes from it.

Seeking to enlighten humanity, an initially reluctant Mary is emboldened by a ninety-seven-year-old patient to embark on a journey of inner healing and outer discovery. Mary soon encounters others who have also been marked to carry the earth’s message. As their collective efforts turn into an expansive movement, the impact of the earth’s message amplifies, and the earth begins to sense something new: relief.

Whispers for Terra is a story of hope, inspiration, and finding one’s path, showing us the impact individual and small group actions can make to heal our earth.

All we have to do is listen.


Excerpt:

I didn’t know my World Was about to be rocked. As I prepared to step into the patient’s room, I only knew how my jaw felt as it tightened when I saw the last-minute speech language evaluation order placed at my station. My body had been settling into a feeling of relief for the end of the day. Barbara, a nurse, knew I would be off in ten minutes, but she also knew the policy stated that new evaluations had to be initiated the day they were ordered. Somewhere in me, I knew this wasn’t her fault, but I also sensed too much pleasure in it for her, and irritation was an easier emotion for me right now.

As I entered the patient’s room, I lifted my head and smiled broadly. As a kid, I was told my smile could light a room. And now, Mr. Talbot would never know I was anything but excited to help him. My soul knew the real story.

I reached for the clipboard and my sleeve slid down. I saw Mr. Talbot look at the mole on my arm, then look questioningly at me. He had no idea the mole had developed over a few short months. I shrugged and gave him a look of “Eh,” but my inner self was mirroring his same questioning look. Although most of my patients qualify as elderly and look the frailer part, Mr. Talbot, with his twinkling blue eyes, allowed me to envision the handsomeness he carried when he was younger.

I was relieved to read he was NPO, meaning nothing by mouth, and only tube feeding for now. He’d be safe from the risk of aspirating for the time being; he needed more strength and the medical staff needed more time to put a plan in place.


Author Bio

Nancy Houser-Bluhm author photoNancy Houser-Bluhm has lived in the foothills west of Denver, Colorado for over 20 years with her husband and miscellaneous pets. She hails from Michigan but always had a longing for the mountains after growing up watching Bonanza. Their current piece of heaven is called the Bluhmerosa. For some years she and her husband, Jon traversed the country moving from Michigan to Oregon, back to Michigan and then to Colorado. Once a rock climber, she now spends time with biking, skiing, camping, enjoying nature and yoga; oh yes and with writing.

Nancy received her first monetary writing award of $3.00 for a poem submitted by her middle school. Coinciding with the late 1960’s it pertained to war. About the same time, she won a statewide essay contest which took her to a presidential inauguration. She realizes she has outted herself and can never again use attending a presidential inauguration in the party game One Truth, Two Lies.

Like the character in her first novel, Nancy’s pursuit of personal growth and awareness, led her down numerous paths. In the 1990s, Journey Seminars was her effort to bring entry level knowledge on such topics as dreamwork, Feng Shui, and homeopathy to her community.

Authentic communication with herself and others has been an ultimate life quest, sometimes to the chagrin of others. A lifelong journaler, Nancy produced her own journal with excerpts from her past journal wisdoms and her husband’s art. She offered classes highlighting the power of the practice through gathered techniques. Nancy has had numerous prompted memoir-based articles in a local mountain newspaper. After working forty years as a Speech-Language, both in the schools and health care, she retired from being a full-time worker bee. It was then she began a blog and ventured into the arena of writing her first novel.

AmazonB&N / Goodreads / Instagram / Twitter

 

tell your stories
Hosted by

 

 

Book Blitz & Excerpt: At the End of the World + Giveaway

at-the-end-of-the-world_fellows_banner

at the end

At the End of the World
by Kevin J. Fellows
Published: October 21, 2020 by Modern Folklore Press (https://modernfolklorepress.com/)
Genre: Literary Fantasy, Magical Realism
Age Group: Adult
Pages: 284 (Print Length)

Possible Ultimate Tour Experience Tickets: Represent, It’s All About the Journey, That Ship Has Sailed, Love Actually, I’m Not Crying You Are Crying, Bring On the Magic

A wayward city spinning through time and place connects and draws travelers; trapping them with no way to return home. Each traveler: Nico the peddler, Stina the university graduate, João, Lieutenant for the King of Portugal, and Croydon, a boy at the edge of adolescence, face a choice: stay in the strange medieval city where magic infects and wealth is not measured in coin, or leave to find a new home in the next time and place.

Many arrivals accept the city’s magic, others are rejected by it. A few desire it for themselves, and one seeks to destroy it. Disrupting the magic could trigger the unmaking of the city and the world containing it.

A rich and magical literary fantasy debut about finding ourselves in unfamiliar places and situations; the choices we face and the decisions we make. Do we find solace in what familiarity remains, risk everything hoping to regain what we lost, or embrace the strange and the unknown?

Goodreads / Universal purchase link / Bookshop / Modern Folklore Press

Twitter Quote

Excerpt:

Nico Walks to the End of the World
Many will advise against this place.
A few will say seek it.
– Notes of a Traveller
(Written in small, elegant characters on the back of a crisp map.)

Nico tried to be alert to other travelers along the muddy road—a basic rule of the road—but he was tired. Ten years ago, at forty, he could have covered a few more leagues. This route had been his father’s—a meandering run through towns needing pots mended or new spoons. Maybe a different path would have found better results for the odd bits he peddled. He was no tinker, but the route was what he knew, and he walked it by long memory.
The three men walking ahead were close enough for him to hear their conversation, if they were having one. They were not. Nico’s soft, woven creel full of wrapped glass trinkets thudded against his back, and the straps cut against the skin under his arms. He was hungry. Budens was just a few more leagues. His muddied boots trundled against the road and he was glad that it had at least stopped raining. The Atlantic’s criminal winds and relentless waves battered this coast on two sides. Rain was a possibility on any day, though it rarely lasted more than an hour or two.
He was looking at his boots and noticed another pair of boots facing his. He stopped and looked up into the stubby face of one of the men who had been walking ahead.
“Purse, mendigo,” the man said. He was the smallest of the three and wore a long, mud-stained brown coat. He held a dagger in his right hand. The other two wore the same and also held daggers. There was no one on the road behind him; no one ahead. No houses for another league.
Nico lifted the leather pouch from his belt and handed it to the thief.
“Pretty light, mendigo. Where’s the rest?”
“My creel’s full, so my purse is empty.”
“What’s in it?”
“Glass figurines and a book.”
“Glass?”
Something hard struck his head, and everything fell black and muddy.

Light and sense returned slowly. It was nearly dark, and he was not alone. Nico leaned against a stone wall. Had he crawled there? His hair was wet against his head. He rubbed through it and his hand came away stained with rain-diluted blood. Where was his creel? A man dressed in odd black clothes—a short coat with thin stripes of gold thread and matching trousers—bent over something. The man’s shoes were once a shiny black, but were now stained with mud. He collected something, placing whatever he found into a basket—Nico’s creel.
“Hey, what—”
“Ah, finally awake, my friend.” the stranger said, turning to Nico. The stranger wore shiny, mirrored spectacles that hooked behind his ears. “Most of these are fine. Only a few busted. Now, what you need, is a new map.”
The man placed the last of the scattered figurines into the creel. “Thank you,” Nico said. He felt the lump on his head and feared this man might be working with the others.
“Not at all. I must have found you just after the damned thieves clocked you.”
“Clocked?”
“Here you go.” He handed the covered creel to Nico. A few broken pieces of glass remained embedded in the muddy road. “How far do you have left to go?”
Nico saw himself reflected in the small oval mirrors of the man’s spectacles. “Not far.”
“I’m a bit of a peddler too. At least, until I sell this last map.” He pulled a folded parchment from inside his coat and held it out to Nico.
“A map of what?”
“A wealthy port city less than half a day’s journey from here.”
“I’ve been there. I know my way without a map.”
The man shook the map at him. “I doubt you’ve been to the End of the World. And you have to get there soon, no later than tomorrow night, or the map will be worthless. Sooner would be even better.”
Nico took and unfolded the map. It lacked detail outside a circle, but inside lay a depiction of a small city and harbor. The familiar trading towns of Almedina, Burgau, Figueira, and Vila da Luz were sketched at the edges, but just beyond Rocha Negra, east of Vila da Luz, was the start of a road he’d never heard of—the Goresetch. The Goresetch led into the circle and city. The mapmaker had marked the city’s name in strange characters he couldn’t read. The End of the World, the stranger called it. Who named a city Fim do Mundo? Similar characters filled the back of the map—from the orient? Elegant-looking thin lines, but written at different times and with different quills. The writer had used every available space, as if it were their only paper. He handed the map back.
The man put his right hand in a pocket at the side of his pants. He continued offering the map with his left. “Two coins and you put me out of business. A city like that would flock to art such as your glass. They’d love it. There’s a kind of magic at the End of the World.”
Nico looked at his creel. He’d sold nothing in five days. Maybe a new route, a new city, was what he needed. “But I was just robbed.”
“Dude, you haven’t reached your age peddling without knowing how to preserve a few coins.”
There was no question he wanted the map, and the stranger had guessed right. Nico pulled off his left boot and shook out two dull and worn dinheiro. He replaced his boot. The man handed him the map for the coins.
“Pleasure doing business, and safe travels. Don’t let anyone else jump you.” The man turned toward Almedina. “Don’t forget, be at the End of the World before tomorrow ends,” he said, waving a finger over his head.
Nico tucked the map into his coat and headed home, wondering if he had been robbed twice.

Before dawn, Nico swallowed the last chunk of stale bread with a swill of flat, watery ale. Lura stood with her arms crossed in her worn gray house smock and stained gray wimple. The cottage smelled stale. Even the fresh bread tasted stale, but he hadn’t married Lura for her cooking. Her basketweaving was little better than her food, and while they sold, it was never enough. Their thirty years together had faded in his mind. What had drawn them together? Why had they stayed together? Had she been beautiful, wealthy? Certainly not wealthy, and he had never been handsome. However they found each other, they had become comfortable. She drew him home, always. The cure for his wanderlust, however temporary.
That’s what a lifelong love turned into—comfort. There was something more, too, something he couldn’t quite remember. It happened more often lately. Last week, he had forgotten for several panicked moments which fork in the road to take outside Burgau. He wasn’t old enough to lose so much memory. He felt no different at fifty than he had at thirty.
He rose from the table and lifted the creel over his back.
“Where will you find people longing for glass baubles today?” Lura asked, smiling.
“At the End of the World.”
“Well, if you find the end of the world be careful not to fall off and leave me widowed. Whatever would I do without your vast income?”
Let her joke. He had determined upon waking that he had not been robbed a second time but given an opportunity. The map sat in his pocket like a promise.
She leaned toward him, and he remembered. She had been and still was beautiful. Her lush brown hair was giving in to silver, and her sparkling eyes were set with fine smile wrinkles. She had chosen him—plucked him away from his father like a child adopting a puppy. He gave her a peck on the lips, and she smiled. “Return to me.”

He left their tiny home made of wood and thatch and surrounded by carob trees and wheat fields. The eastern sky was still dark, but ribbons of purple rippled above the horizon. Hearth smoke filled the air and his breath was visible. The muddy road out of Budens was rutted with cart tracks and footprints. He had to pass through Burgau and Almedina, then Vila da Luz, then down the league-long stretch of the Goresetch Finger, and finally to the End of the World.
“I should be there by evening,” he told the sky. “Well before the end of the day.”
The padded glass ornaments in his creel thudded against each other as he walked. The creel was heavy. He carried every glass bauble in his inventory, making more room by leaving behind his new book, Don Quixote. If he sold the lot for anything near the price he expected, he could live for a year without making another trip. A year spent with Lura, reading and watching her weave baskets if the wanderlust didn’t grab him.

Burgau came into view just as the sun emerged through the trees. A small fishing community with a large beach, Burgau was full of practical people but afflicted with sea salt. It hung in the air and stung the nose, a fine, pale crust that clung to anything that didn’t move. Just a few hours’ walk lay between Budens and Burgau, but less than a handful of people from either town ever visited the other. They were born, lived, and died without ever leaving their village. Budens was home and Lura, but he couldn’t stay for more than a week at a time. The pull of the road drew him away on adventures of commerce. When he was young, even if he sold his wares at cost, it felt like a success, especially if there was a book among the things he carried in return. The journey was its own payment.
Yet that form of payment no longer satisfied. There had to be some small profit. The glass baubles were a brilliant idea, but they had not sold quickly—nor at all. Farmers and fishers were not interested. Decoration was for those who appreciated art and beauty for its own sake. A more cosmopolitan place, like an actual port city, would appreciate art and have the money for it.
He stopped at a tavern for a drink and some bread with a little crottin of cheese, neither of which was stale. He left one of his two remaining dinheiros on the counter.
The tavern keep snatched the coin. “Still selling glass statuetta?”
Nico nodded. “Has someone asked for me?”
“No, just wondering if you gave them up.”
“I have to sell them. I can’t eat them.”
“True enough. Where to this time?”
“The End of the World.”
The tavern keep stopped wiping the counter. “Now, there’s a town strange as sunless mornings.”
“You’ve heard of it? Strange how?”
“Man dressed all in black with mirrored glass over his eyes stopped in here last night; said he was from the End of the World. I thought he was being secretive, but he started talking. Told me he just couldn’t take the life there. Said he came from the future, but fell into the End of the World. He gave up trying to leave and tried to fit in. Never had enough chips or something, so he gave up living there. Said this wasn’t the road home, but it was better than the End of the World.”
“Odd.”
“Imagine you’re correct.”
Nico finished his ale and left. If the man was so eager to leave, was it a place he wanted to visit?
Yes. It was a place he’d never been.

Energy and purpose drove Nico away from Burgau and over tree-lined hills and vineyards toward Vila da Luz, fueled by the feeling he was running out of time. He stopped in the empty road under a warming, early season sun to study the map. The writing on the back had been done at different times and with different inks, like notes. Why had he never heard of the End of the World, or even of the Goresetch road? He knew many distant towns and cities, had traveled to several, but heard nothing about a place called the End of the World. He would have remembered a name like that. Wouldn’t he? A kind of magic, the man had said. Also, if he didn’t reach the town today, the map would be useless. Why would that be? Must have been a sales trick, pressuring him into acting before it was too late by creating a false limitation. He was familiar with those tactics, though he didn’t use them himself. The map was probably a copy among hundreds. And probably already worthless. The city, despite its name, would be no different from any other.
He didn’t believe in magic, but he had experienced wonder. It’s what drove his wanderlust. He’d seen a man with six fingers and mountains so tall they blocked the sun half the day. He once visited the grand city of Lisboa, guarded by men in glimmering steel who were mounted on the finest horses; the city was dense, with people stuffed into every street like fish in a basket. And there was the stoic cathedral Santa Maria Maior de Lisboa, which had remained proudly upright and whole through earthquakes that had crumbled its neighbors. Miracle to some, but a wonder to him. He believed in wonders, and they beckoned him to the road. He collected wonders. So many he knew he’d forgotten some. Books, too, were collections. Collections of memories recalled by the reader, but they were someone else’s memories, or no one’s if fiction. The failures of his memory crawled at the back of his mind, stalking with the stealth of time lurking in the shadows. What happened when you lost the connection to your memories? Smells could reconnect them, sometimes a touch. But were the rest just gone forever, like a breath?
He folded the map and returned it to his pocket. He needed to hurry. It would be late when he arrived at the End of the World, and the limitation felt true.

The Goresetch was hardpacked and dusty. In the twilight, Nico couldn’t see the dust, but it tasted stale and clogged his nose. A current-driven breeze blew from the south across the Goresetch, warm and humid. Beneath the wind, there was a hint of smoke. That familiar scent of hearth and civilization mingled with the dust. He was close now, but he took another rest and pulled a glass figure from the top of his creel: a mule, like the one his father had used to carry tin pots and tools. He never cared to learn the tinker trade, but he loved that dutiful mule. He had fed and watered it as if it were his pet. He’d named him Viajante—wanderer. Loading creel baskets over Viajante’s back early in the morning, before sunrise, was a promise of a trip out of Budens. With few days at home for friends, Viajante, or Via as he grew to call him, was his closest friend. Viajante never complained about the distance or the weight on his back. It was through their travels he had met Lura. His father tinkered for her mother. That year was a warm, lavender memory. It returned, seeped into his mind like heat returning to frostbitten fingers. He put the glass mule in his pocket.
Nico walked another hour in full darkness, stopping several times to listen and search for lights. Nothing. Only the flapping of bat wings at twilight had made a sound. The seabirds were quiet in their roosts. His legs ached and his back was stiff, the weight of the glass in the creel bending him forward. The night was moonless, but that wasn’t right. It should have been a quarter moon. There must have been clouds he couldn’t quite see, though there were stars. He drifted to one side of the road, then the other, unable to see the way forward. Only the softer edge of grass on the edges outlined where the road passed. The sound of the road behind changed. It was quieter and felt more isolated. The air smelled different. Gone was the scent of sandy pines replaced by the smell of the open sea. Was it too late? Was the limitation real? Was the map?
A warm, yellow light poked a finger toward the road. Drawing closer, he saw more lights and the shadowed outlines of buildings. Voices drifted from behind dimly lit windows. There was laughter, some harsh words, and a few delighted squeals. He exhaled long, unaware he had been holding his breath.
A half dozen masted ships swayed as black silhouettes against the blacker sky. A harbor city in the truest sense. Hope lightened his step. A few people walked along the docks under the light of the ships’ lanterns, and at the far end of a quay a red light glowed at the top of a stone structure. A warning light.
A friendlier light, and some hearty laughter, spilled from a particular inn and tavern. The Scale and Tentacle called to him with its welcoming glow and cheerful sound, like a familiar haunt. There was a crowd inside, the room brightly lit. His arrival drew no attention. His stomach rumbled. There was a seat and a small table in the back, and he set his creel down and sat. A wooden menu, handwritten in charcoal, was extensive and looked delicious: roast lamb, pork tenderloin, buttered sole. Expensive items. Could one dinheiro buy a meal and shelter for the night?

Author Info

I’m a poet and author of fantasy and speculative fiction. At the End of the World is my debut novel. You can find my poetry in the Star*Line Summer 2020 issue, and in my short collection An Important Sky.

My fiction is about ordinary people and places that might have been or could be. The stories always contain magic, but never in a complicated system. What some people call ‘Low Fantasy’ but I dislike the term. There’s nothing low about it; it has plenty of deep magic. I write stories of people struggling through strange and impossible situations; of how they learn about each other and the magic of their world to find their ways.

I live in the desert southwest, but was born in the wilds of New Hampshire. I have also lived in upstate New York and Boston. I run, bike, and play guitar, all less often than I should.

kevin-j-fellows

Website
Twitter
Instagram
Facebook
BookBub

Giveaway

Prize: signed copy of At the End of the World by Kevin J. Fellows
Starts: April 7th, 2021 at 12:00am EST
Ends: April 11th, 2021 at 11:59pm EST

a Rafflecopter giveaway