Spotlight & Excerpt: Mary, Everything + Giveaway

mary everything
Mary, Everything
The Flapper Covenant Series, #1
by Cassandra Yorke
Genre: Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, LGBTQ+
Time Travel, Time Travel Romance
Date of Publication: March 30, 2020
ISBN: 9780578680361
ASIN: B086HYTB3Q
Number of pages: 414
Word Count: 108,498
Cover Artist: Cass


A gripping tale of best friends and romance, sorcery and survival, at the dawn of the Roaring 20s.

A young woman born in the wrong reality.

A destiny that will lead her into the past.

And a love so enduring it reaches across time – and existence itself – to bring her home.

Courtney is a lonely undergrad at secluded Braddock College in 2004, working a drowsy summer job in the Archives. Assigned to a new project, she becomes haunted by a college yearbook from the 1920s – filled with familiar faces and memories of times she never experienced. A chance encounter with a mysterious girl named Sadie – dressed in long-outdated clothes – alters her reality. But if you were never meant to be born, that reality can expel you like an infection – or kill you outright. While Courtney struggles against forces she cannot comprehend, a psychopathic stalker smells blood and closes in for the kill.

Sadie, now in 1921, races against the clock to save her friend, joined by some remarkable allies – an American combat sorceress and veteran of World War I, an enigmatic professor who specializes in piercing the veil between realities, and two young women who insist they’re Courtney’s oldest friends – one of them even claiming to be her truest love.

Time is running out for Courtney, and a terrifying wilderness – haunted by the dead from centuries past – may hold the key to her salvation. But none who enter have ever returned…

Cassandra Yorke’s groundbreaking debut brings Magical Realism home to the Midwest in an explosive new style, blending midwestern gothic and historical fiction with a warm lesbian love story to create a riveting, deeply immersive epic you won’t be able to put down. It’s the world of Boardwalk Empire and Gatsby, with an urgent, immersive narrative about what it means to belong, what it means to be hated, what it means to be loved, and ultimately what it means to come home.

Author Commentary: This novel is a memoir wrapped in fiction. While it’s a tale of time travel and sorcery, at its core are real events and real themes – haunted yearbooks in college archives, yearning for times long gone, battery and abuse, exile and homecoming. 

While I hope you enjoy it, I promise you will never read another story like it. It’s from the heart, it’s gritty and lurid – and below the action, it’s real.


Excerpt

The crosswalk is the busiest place in town any time of the year, and even if Braddock has a fraction of the people in the summer, it’s still bustling. As I’m coming up, I spot a girl approaching from my left. She’s ghostly pale like me, with auburn hair cut in a short bob around her soft jawline. The most striking thing about her is her narrow, almond-shaped eyes. I’ve always thought chicks with eyes like that are really cute. They catch mine as I approach, and there’s a kind of click; two people in a crowd with matching energy. She greets me with a narrow, witty smile. I return hers in my usual unintentional way, soft and genuine and a little bit sad-looking without ever meaning to seem that way. And we stand there for a minute, waiting for the traffic to clear.

 “Say, is it gonna be dry like this all week?” she asks.

 “Um…” I wish I had a better answer ready. “I think so? I haven’t really checked the weather.”

“Why, I sure hope it is.” She stares back across the street at the shade of College Green. “Anything I hate is rain in the summer.”

 Roll my eyes in agreement. “Ugh, totally.”

I sneak a look at her. She’s wearing a brown bell-shaped hat, the kind that were popular in the 1920s. She’s wearing a 20s style dress, too: green, knee-length, with a round-cut neckline and loose cap sleeves. She’s even wearing old-fashioned brown stockings and brown heels. It catches my eye and I stare for a second or two; it’s a hot day for stockings, especially the old-fashioned silk kind like that. And her shoes are really retro, like old church grandma shoes. She must shop at that vintage thrift store all the way up at the far end of Court Street; it’s the only place around here where you could get clothes like that, unless she goes thrifting in Columbus.

She’s standing here next to me, watching the street, not self-conscious at all. Like she wears stuff like that every day without even thinking about it.

Then she looks at me, glances away, looks at me again a little longer. Her eyes linger on my top and on my legs, and she looks away again, blushing. I’ve always been a little bit empathic and I can feel curiosity in her glance. And…attraction?

Nah, that can’t be right – girls are never into me. Maybe I look too preppy, I don’t know. I’m a D&D nerd, raised on video games from the age of five, but because I wear an Abercrombie hoodie or Hollister shorts or flat iron my hair, people assign me a whole package of expectations – Courtney is a bitch, Courtney’s stuck-up, Courtney’s a backstabbing gossip, Courtney’s rich. Courtney is heterosexual…? Look, I’ll be honest with you, I’m gonna have a hard time living up to all of that. Maybe not the bitch thing – because yeah, I’m probably a bitch – but the rest of it?

Sorry, no can do.

The traffic finally stops from the other direction. I give her one last smile – which she returns warmly – and step onto the street. A few quick steps take me to the other sidewalk. I stop and look at my slender Fossil watch, making a pretense to turn in her direction again for one last look. She’s awfully cute, and I love her chic vintage style. I wonder if she’d think I was creepy if-

There’s nobody there. I glance around to see if she took off in another direction. Nothing. There are plenty of people around, walking dogs, wearing flip-flops, riding bikes. But no girls with vintage clothes.

She’s gone. It’s like she was never there.

But she totally was there! I talked to her!

Unless I’m finally losing it?

I rub an eye with the heel of my hand, not really caring that I just stamped dry mascara on my skin. Maybe I need to get out more. Maybe I need friends. I stand on the busy sidewalk for a moment, completely disoriented, before remembering that I was looking for a place to sit down and eat my salad. But even as I make my way onto College Green and up toward the Civil War statue, looking for a place to sit, I can’t get that girl out of my head. Not just because she was cute. Something about her, that weird click when we saw each other.

Eh, maybe I’ll see her again. I shove a straw through the lid of my drink. Nobody just vanishes.

I wish you could just disappear.

Though I guess if you wanted to disappear, this would be the place to do it. Outside the city limits, the nights are dark and old, and people who vanish are never seen again.


About the Author:
Cassandra’s life was changed forever when she was taken captive by a haunted college yearbook as an Ohio University senior in the summer of 2004. Ten years later, she started work on Mary, Everything to make sense of the experience. Bathed in summer sunlight and crafted from early 2000s punk rock, Cassandra’s goal is more than just telling a story – she wants to take you captive, too.
She lives in central Ohio with her wife, house rabbits, and video games.
And of course, her own ghostly memories.
 

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Spotlight & Excerpt: Dutybound + Giveaway

TourBanner_Dutybound

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Mark Aaron Alvarez II will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Dutybound
Light Wings Epic Volume 1
by Mark A. Alvarez II
Genre: Fantasy

The world was their creation until they sought to destroy it.

Dutybound is the story of Terestria and its Virtues, heirs of nobility forced to face the Sins of their forefathers and bring their world from the brink of Darkness. Among them is Lucia Sanoon, High Maiden to the province of Moz and chosen of the Light Wings. The ancient relic, bestowed upon a long-forgotten civilization by the Light itself, was forged to harbor the Light’s essence if ever Terestria’s balance were threatened by the Darkness’ desire to corrupt the Light’s most-prized creation, Life. If successful and the long-standing covenant between the Light and its Protectors were ever to be broken, the Darkness would be free to roam Terestria and reclaim the land it had a hand in creating, bringing death and destruction to every corner of the world.

But as long as there is Light, there is hope. With the help of the Light Wings and its power, Lucia must heed its call to assemble the Light’s Virtues and lead them into battle against the very Sins that seek to destroy their world. But finding the four will not be easy, for much of the knowledge is lost and the understanding of one’s own morality is the only key to unlocking the power each of them holds within.

A story of faith and morality, Dutybound will lead you through a journey of self-discovery as our heroes face conflict from outside and within themselves. Duty, desire, envy, hope, hate, love, pride, and temperance all are challenged within this series in an epic tale that is sure to have you pondering your own true nature.

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Read an Excerpt

Ara grasped her blouse. This deepening wound tore at her chest, as though she knew this whole time that it would be here that her heart would break.

“Lady Ara,” called her loyal maid, Amelia, so struck with concern that the wrinkles in her forehead seemed to suddenly age her ten years. In her eyes was a clinging intuition.

Ara sensed her concern, as if the maid already knew, but spoke anyway. “He’s gone.”

“The master?” asked the maid.

“Stello.”

“My lady,” Amelia said with grief before bringing her eyes back to Ara.

There was then a lull as they both thought. The maid’s stare grew distant as Ara let out a faint whimper, breaking the still silence.

Finally, Amelia asked, “May I ask why the master left?”

Ara’s insides shuddered. “He fears of . . .” She hesitated, looking at the letter, fully dazed, unable to grasp the idea of its true meaning. It was as if something hid beneath his words, something he was not telling her. Memories flashed through her mind, and her chest tightened. It couldn’t have returned. It was her prayers that had saved them. It was her strength, her power that had defeated it in the first place. Could it still exist somewhere, outside the reach of man? “He fears of its return.” She felt the warmth of her tears beneath her eyes once more, while the maid’s face paled, her own fears apparent in this revelation. The war was supposed to be over.

Amelia wanted to release tears of her own. But still, she held an unchanging sternness of stone, something unbreakable, showing a strong sense of obligation and duty, no matter the adversity. She had to be strong for the lady even though she could not be strong for herself. “Lady Ara, I’m terribly sorry. Lucia . . .” Her concern for the child shone within the sparkles of her green eyes as she uttered her name. “Should I go to her?”

Ara looked up at her, her amber eyes still wet with tears. Despite the circumstances, she released a slight smile, remembering her daughter. “Yes, please. Thank you.”


About the Author:

Mark A. Alvarez II is a Hispanic-American born in Houston, Texas. He’s a graduate of Texas State University, where he studied public relations and mass communication. He was an apprentice at the NEW Apprenticeship where he was certified in digital marketing. He is the CEO of Light Wings Promotions LLC, a digital marketing and creative branding agency in San Antonio, Texas, where Mark currently resides.

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Book Blitz: The Woe of Shadows, by D. Fischer

THE WOES OF SHADOWS FBB BANNER

Title: The Woe of Shadows
Author: D. Fischer
Genre: YA Epic Fantasy
Publisher: Divinus Kingdom Publishing

Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

Blurb:

No shadow fears the dark. Not even their queen.

From award-winning author D. Fischer, arrives the highly anticipated Heavy Lies the Crown, a series for fans of Throne of Glass, The Red Queen, and The Cruel Prince.

On any normal night, Amala Ashcroft, Queen of the Shadow People, would feel honored by a God’s presence. But Fate, one of the four Divine Gods, does not visit for pleasantries. He visits to save his realm, his creations, and his legacy.

Amala has no choice. She can feel the darkness rising in the realm and knows her people will be the first to fall. To save her kingdom, she allows Fate to bless her unborn daughter with his unimaginable magical gifts, so that someday, she can stand against the darkness.

The Woe of Shadows is the prequel of Heavy Lies the Crown, a series based in the world of D. Fischer’s Divinus Kingdom. Divinus Kingdom is interconnecting novels that branch one series to the next.

Bestselling and award-winning author D. Fischer is a mother of two very busy boys, a wife to a wonderful husband, and an owner of two sock-loving German Shorthair Pointers. They also have a cat named Geralt, but since Geralt adopted them and not the other way around, the cat is more of a tenant who occasionally purr-purrs for his rent, if he’s not too busy murdering nerf darts.

Together, these misfits live in Orange City, Iowa.

When D. Fischer isn’t chasing after her children, she spends her time typing like a mad woman while consuming vast amounts of caffeine. Sometimes, if her husband can manage to remind her of the real world outside her office window, they hike!

Known for the darker side of imagination, she enjoys freeing her creativity through worlds that don’t exist, no matter how much we wish they did.

Author Links:

Amazon | Website | Instagram | Facebook

Facebook Group | Bookbub | Twitter

 

 

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