Spotlight & Excerpt: The Shaman’s Gift + Giveaway

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The Shaman’s Gift
by Lee Fishman
Genre: Ecological Thriller, Women’s Fiction

 

Leaving everything behind, Carrie Mullen, a young scientist, travels to the Central American country of Belize to study with Don Rodrigo, one of the last Mayan healers still practicing the old ways. At his side, Carrie learns the secret healing powers of plants, but when her aging mentor’s health starts to fail, she must move on. As her finances dwindle, she meets an expat tech millionaire who promises a chance to use what she’s learned. When he offers laboratory space to do research, she signs on. With the help of Don Rodrigo, Ronnie, an ex-soldier with PTSD, finds relief in an ancient ayahuasca tea ceremony as Carrie sets up a therapeutic haven. But instead of using her talents to benefit others, Carrie finds herself caught in a web of conflicting and dubious schemes.

 
 

theshamansgift - excerpt

As the jungle’s shadows deepened, heat lightning flickered across the sky. The only participants at the tea ceremony would be Ronnie, Mel and me. Not a large gathering. Julio suggested we add one more participant. Perhaps, Gabrielle, Mel’s girlfriend?

Mel shook his head. “Just the three of us will be fine,” he said.

Once the sun had set, we gathered in the gazebo. Julio placed us in a circle around the shelter. We were ready, and a ball of excitement filled my core. I was happy to see Don᷉a Luisa, the short, brown-skinned woman standing quietly next to my teacher. Her dark eyes looked out kindly from a face weathered by years of living.

As the moon rose, we watched Don Rodrigo roll the dry leaves of tobacco into a sphere. Before placing them in a pipe made from the root of the Ceiba tree, he sprinkled crushed herbs on top. When all was ready, be brought flame to the pipe bowl. The tobacco ritual was the first step in a cleansing that would continue through the night. As Don Rodrigo stood before Mel, a smell of tobacco mixed with the aromatic herbs hovered above us, drifting into the night air. Mel squirmed in his seat like a kid. Unfazed, Don Rodrigo brushed Mel’s eyes closed before exhaling the pungent mixture over his head, and shoulders. He went to Ronnie next, and as the billows of smoke wafted above him, the ex-soldier relaxed with a sigh. I was next. Breathing in deeply, the tobacco tickled my nose.

Don Rodrigo and Julio stepped outside to the open fire where the tea, made from plant essence, bubbled. The two men took turns stirring the vat of liquid. When it was ready, Don Rodrigo scooped out a dipper-full of the brew. Pouring the liquid from the dipper into a mug, he transferred the steaming brew from mug to dipper and back again, waiting for the beverage to cool. When all was ready, he divided the tea into small cups, one for each of us to drink.

Mel went first, gulping until the cup was empty. “Lentamente, go slow, go slow,” Don Rodrigo said. “Not so much.”

Ronnie did the same. When it was my turn, I sipped at the bitter mixture. Don Rodrigo stood beside me, waiting until I drained all the liquid in the cup.

In the dim candlelight, Julio took the center of the space and began a chant. Our eyes were alert and questioning, waiting for what would come next. As I listened, the words seemed to come from a distance, growing fainter and fainter. After some minutes, Ronnie sat up, a startled look on his face.

Suddenly, he ran out into the night. On his return a few minutes later, his expression was difficult to read.

It was Mel’s turn next. He bolted, running out into the darkness. We heard sounds of gagging in the warm jungle air. I was not surprised when my stomach began to churn, and soon I was lurching out into the night. Supporting myself against a tree, an internal spasm sent the contents of my stomach pitching onto the ground. More internal tremors followed. Once my stomach was empty, I allowed myself a few moments rest before I staggered back into the communal space. Once the purge was over, it was time to rest. Each of us had prepared pallets to make ourselves comfortable. Now we sought refuge in the cushions waiting for us.

As Julio turned in a circle, he called on each of the nine benevolent spirits by name. When the wind picked up it was as though they were heeding the call. Don᷉a Luisa began her song, repeating the phrases over and over, the sounds sweet and soothing, like a lullaby. Though the words were unknown to me, I seemed to grasp their meaning.

The night sounds of the jungle grew faint as Julio lowered the netting. We closed our eyes. The inward journey had begun. Like a leaf fluttering slowly to the ground, I drifted into a trance.

My thoughts turned to Don Rodrigo and his gift. I reached for it in my pocket. As I held it in my hand, the small stone fetish grew warm, seeming to vibrate. I heard a buzzing, as though a rattle was being shaken somewhere close by. As I shook my head to clear the sound, I fell into a space between sleep and wakefulness.

Strangely, I felt neither fear nor surprise as I saw myself at the edge of a lake, climbing on the back of a giant green toad. As the toad broke the water’s surface, we plunged together, through murky water, touching bottom. At that point, a reed drifted past. I grasped it and held it to my chest. Slowly the toad turned, swimming upward, breaking the surface of the water, then gliding to shore. I stepped onto dry land, but before the creature returned to its watery home, I felt a sense of trust pass between us. There were no words. The time passed slowly by.

It seemed hours, minutes, years were all one. I woke at dawn, stiff, cold and exhausted. Lifting my head from the pillow I sought out my fellow participants. Mel was still asleep while Ronnie sat silently, tears streaming down his face. Don Rodrigo slept soundly. Next to him, Don᷉a Luisa rested her head on his shoulder. I heard running water and saw Julio in the outdoor shower, his face turned upward to the water. When he felt me watching, he shook the water from his hair, letting his dark eyes rest on my face as he smiled. My face grew warm and the tug at my heart surprised me.


Lee Fishman arrived in Philadelphia as a college student, fell in love with city living and stayed. Even after traveling to Italy, Greece, France, Holland, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Turkey, England, Belize, Guatemala, Columbia and other beautiful countries she still can’t think of anywhere else she’d rather live. OK, maybe Paris. 

Fascinated by ancient civilizations, Lee dreamed of being an archaeologist. As a student, she spent time at digs and worked in a lab piecing together pottery shards from the ancient ruins at Tikal. Many trips to Central America, rekindled her fascination with the Maya culture and inspired her to write The Shaman’s Gift.

 

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Spotlight & Excerpt: Summer’s End + Giveaway

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On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Summer’s End
(Evening Island #2)
By Olivia Miles
Women’s Fiction, Romance
Paperback & ebook, 201 Pages
Date 2020 by Rosewood Press

 

The USA Today bestselling author of the Oyster Bay series invites readers to return to Evening Island for a heartwarming, stand-alone story about three sisters at very different crossroads in their lives who reunite for one unforgettable summer at their family’s lake house.

The Taylor sisters spent every summer at their family’s lake house, but as they grew up, they also grew apart. Now, in honor of their late mother’s wishes, they reunite on Evening Island, each hoping to find the best part of themselves they’d left behind.

Kim is just weeks away from what should be her dream wedding, but as the big day draws closer, her doubts only grow stronger. Some time away may be just the thing she needs to help clear her head…or change her heart.

Heather has always been the reliable sister, but a recent divorce has made everything feel uncertain. When a second chance with an old flame comes along, she must decide if a summer love can last a lifetime.

Andrea’s career is her top priority, even if her heart is no longer in it. When her boss suggests a vacation, a couple of weeks on the island leads to the inspiration she was searching for, and not just for work…

Thanks to the beauty of the island and the memories they share, the sisters come together, search their hearts, and discover what the future holds for each of them at summer’s end.

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Other Books in the Series

 

Meet Me at Sunset
(Evening Island #1)
By Olivia Miles
Women’s Fiction/Romance
Paperback & ebook, 324 Pages
February 25, 2020 by Rosewood Press

From USA TODAY bestselling author Olivia Miles comes the first in a collection of stand-alone novels set on the fictional shores of Evening Island—just a ferry ride across the lake from Blue Harbor, home to the newest heartwarming series!

The Morgan sisters spent many blissful summers at their family’s lake house growing up, but as they grew older, their lives took very different paths.

Hope adores her twin girls, but she doesn’t love being a stay-at-home mom. When her workaholic husband doesn’t support her career aspirations, she packs up the kids and goes to Sunset Cottage, thinking that some time apart will help her decide what she really wants-but when the life she dreamed of becomes a possibility, she is more torn than ever.

Gemma was supposed to be planning her wedding, not trying to get back deposits. And she was supposed to be finished writing her latest romance novel, not staring at a blank screen. Lost and down on her luck, she heads north to Evening Island, hoping to find the inspiration she needs to fill the page, and maybe, her heart.

Ellie is almost perfectly content living in the house that once belonged to her grandmother, even if it does get a little lonely sometimes. Still, work is steady at her art studio and the island continues to serve as a muse, especially when her first love makes a surprise return.

In the course of a month, the Morgan sisters learn that despite their differences and their personal struggles, they might just have more in common than the old summer cottage that they inherited.

(Affiliate links included.)

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Excerpt:

Well, this certainly was news! Kim looked at Heather, happy that for once it wouldn’t be her own love life they were all discussing. Andrea never seemed to have time to date, and with Heather’s divorce, Kim didn’t exactly feel comfortable asking for details on that front. But Billy Davidson had been Heather’s first love, or at least first crush, and judging from the way she struggled to fight off a smile, she hadn’t completely gotten over it.

“He’s on the island?” Kim considered this. They had made friends in the years they had come up—other seasonal people, especially all the girls on West End Road. The Morgan family next door was their favorite trio, similar in age, and always reliable, coming summer after summer until they eventually aged out and grew up, much like the Taylors. Then there were the Andersons, who occupied the house on the other side of the Morgans. Some of their happiest memories were those spent playing all day until they caught fireflies at night, splashing in the cool waters across the road, picking flowers and berries by day, and decorating their playhouse in the backyard or swinging on the hammock in the Morgans’ backyard, telling ghost stories and counting the stars.

Kim knew that the Morgans’ grandmother, who owned their summer house, had passed a while back, and that Ellie, the youngest of the Morgans, had lived on the island year-round for some time. As of last summer, though, things had changed, and Ellie had gone abroad while it was Gemma, the middle sister, who stayed behind, after meeting Leo. Kim had read Gemma’s card more than once last August, thinking of life here on the island and the visit that they hadn’t been able to make happen. How things were changing, even here, just as things were for their family.

She glanced over at Sunset Cottage now, having a yearning for those old times, when West End Road was filled with the laughter of nine barefoot girls, and sometimes, a cute little boy named Billy.


About the Author


Olivia Miles is a USA Today bestselling author of heartwarming women’s fiction and small-town contemporary romance. She has frequently been ranked as an Amazon Top 100 author, and her books have appeared on several bestseller lists, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BookScan, and USA Today. Treasured by readers across the globe, Olivia’s novels have been translated into German, French, and Hungarian, with editions in Australia and the United Kingdom. After growing up in New England and later living in Montreal, Olivia traded salt water for fresh water, and is most happy reading on the sandy shore of Lake Michigan, or spending time with her husband, daughter, and two lovable dogs.


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Book Blitz: Summer, by Lynn Mapp & Janis McCurry

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Summer
by Lynn Mapp & Janis McCurry
The Matchmaker Chronicles Duets, Book 1

Chick Lit, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Women’s Fiction

Publisher: Mapp & McCurry LLC

Mothers. Meddling. Matchmaking. What could possibly go wrong?

Best friends Rina Thorn and Maggie Barnes decide it’s time to help their not-even-looking-for-love children find their happily ever afters.

Ander Thorn will do anything for his mother Rina—except get married. But when he collides with his mother’s beautiful home renovator, more than walls come tumbling down. Noelle DeWitt refuses to give into her attraction to the arrogant and aggravating man. At first. Time and proximity chisel her resolve. She falls hard for a commitment-averse Ander, which poses a dilemma because she wants forever.

***

Police officer Finn Riley reluctantly agrees to help his neighbor Maggie find a husband for her daughter, Jennifer. After he meets her, Finn puts his name at the top of the soul mate list. Romance is on Jennifer’s backburner until she meets Finn. Their strong attraction seems impossible to ignore until Jennifer discovers he’s been helping her mother in the crazy matchmaking scheme. Can their relationship survive when it began with deception?

Purchase Link

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Other Books in the Matchmaker Chronicles Duets series:

 

Autumn

The Matchmaker Chronicles Duets Book 2

 

Winter

The Matchmaker Chronicles Duets Book 3

 

Spring

The Matchmaker Chronicles Duets, Book 4

Amazon

Summer Blitz

About the Authors

Janis McCurry – I was born and raised in Boise, Idaho, nestled in the beautiful Treasure Valley. I’ve never wanted to live anywhere else. We have four distinct seasons, mountains, lakes and deserts. My sisters and I were close growing up and we all still live in Boise. I could no more leave out a family connection than I could the romances I put in my novels. I write contemporary romance because I believe in happy endings, whether with a first-time love or a second chance love. An inveterate reader and moviegoer, I like romantic comedies, drama, and adventure themes.

Lynn Mapp is a daughter, sister, friend, wife, mother, teacher, writer…obviously a multi-faceted diamond, princess cut. Lynn was a navy brat, born in San Diego, California. While she was born in California, her Idaho roots are deep. Her mother and grandfather were Idaho natives. She has always looked for happily ever afters, the light after the darkness. Families and humor are central in her life and her stories.

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