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February 2018 - Tianna Holley | Tianna Holley

A Pirate at Pembroke Spotlight & $25

Posted by on Feb 20, 2018 in Current Giveaways | 0 comments

A Pirate at Pembroke by Danielle Thorne

A Jane Austen-inspired Pirate Romance

Sophie Crestwood is never going to catch a husband, and she isn’t even sure she wants one. Her father is a gossip, her mother always has her nose in a book, and little Jack has shamefully been dismissed from boarding school. Worst of all, a pirate moves next door into Pembroke Hall!

When Sophie’s sent to a matchmaking party at a neighboring estate, the pirate from Pembroke arrives and distracts everyone from the summer festivities. Unguarded, her feelings about the mysterious Captain Murdock bloom into a trusted friendship that Sophie fears may come to mean much more than anyone would ever suspect. Keeping company with a reputed pirate is one thing but falling in love with him could ruin the eccentric Crestwood family for good.Danielle Thorne’s book A Pirate at Pembroke is up for nomination in the Kindle Scout Contest.

Please vote for her book!

If Kindle Scout selects A Pirate at Pembroke for publication you’ll get a copy of the book for free!

Excerpt:

The sad sonata continued its siren’s call. It echoed a passionate and haunting melody, just like the dark halls of Pembroke with its soiled paintings of aristocrats from long ago. Sophie examined the chamber doors through the gloom and decided the door to the second room on the left was slightly ajar with a dim light shimmering around it. She moved in silence to the small gap and caught her breath.

Captain Murdock stood in front of a languid fire burning beneath a marble mantel. One bare foot was balanced on a low, milking stool nestled up against a heavy, velvet-covered chair. The other kept time on the floor. With his cane leaning against the fireplace, Murdock stood balanced on his own. In his hands, a violin tucked underneath his chin swayed. It moved in time with his body as he performed a strange dance to the music. His profile in the firelight was sharp and clear. He stood slender and tall. In these private bedchambers, half-dressed in loose buckskin breeches and an untucked shirt open at the neck, he did not seem as rigid and menacing as before. From his dreamy stare, his thoughts were somewhere inside the flickering blue and orange flames. The reflection of the firelight made his pale eyes glow.

Sophie noticed his hair was undone. It hung far past his neck, with slight waves resting on his broad upper back on either side of his shoulders. She put a hand to her mouth realizing it had fallen open, and at the same time, that it was scandalous to spy on her host. She swallowed and stepped away. The music stopped in mid-cry. Her heart jumped in her chest, and for a brief pause, the only sound to be heard was her own loud breathing. She stepped back and pivoted on her heel.

Horrified he might have felt her examination, she strode down the rug-lined hallway as quietly as she could, but each footfall sounded like muffled thunder as she hurried back to the stairs. She reached the banister and slipped down the first step, but her shift snagged on something, and she spun about to free it.

Captain Murdock stood behind her, silent. He held a handful of her shift in his fist. She had not snagged it after all. Rather, he had snagged her. She jerked in surprise, but his hold kept her from falling backward and tumbling down the stairs. His other hand trembled as it balanced precariously on a carved dragon head at the top of his cane.

“What do you think you are doing?”

“I… I heard music and followed it.”

His eyes blazed with accusation, and it unnerved her.

“I’m so sorry,” she said in a choking voice. Her nose tingled again. She touched it with her fingers to make it stop.

“It’s not possible you heard music from all the way down in your room.”

Sophie took a nervous breath. He stood there, one step above her like a giant, her bedclothes gripped in his hand so tight it shook. She hadn’t heard him shuffle down the hall after her. He moved as silent as a ghost when he wanted — even with a cane. She found the courage to meet his penetrating gaze. “I did hear something from my room. Then I was in the hall.”

Captain Murdock waited for a long pause, while the dust they had stirred up in the rugs pirouetted in the air and into Sophie’s eyes and nose. “You should not be out of bed,” he said.

Sophie swallowed down her frightened apprehension. She tried to beg his pardon, but her lungs failed her, and she coughed in reflex. She covered her mouth with her fingers. “I’m so sorry,” she repeated between them, her cheeks hot with humiliation. She stared at the fistful of her garments he’d snatched, aware his eyes examined her from her straight, waist-length hair down to her naked ankles. With a jerk, he dropped her shift like it burned his hand.

“Go to bed,” he said in a quiet voice.

Sophie’s nose had not quit tingling and itching. “Yes, sir,” she said at once, but not soon enough to keep a sneeze from erupting. It came so fast and without warning, she had no chance to catch it before it doused him with all her rejection.

Horrified, she stumbled down the next step, thankful the old handrail held fast. When she glanced back, he was wiping off his shirt with a look of disgust.

 

 

Author Danielle Thorne

Danielle Thorne is the author of classic romance and adventure in several genres. She loves Jane Austen, pirates, beaches, cookies, antiques, cats, dogs, and long naps. She does not like phone calls or sushi. A graduate of Ricks College and BYU-Idaho, Danielle saw early work published by Every Day Fiction, Arts and Prose Magazine, Mississippi Crow, The Nantahala Review, StorySouth, and… you get the idea. Besides writing, she’s edited for both Solstice and Desert Breeze Publishing. Her growing blog, The Balanced Writer, focuses on writing, life, and the pursuit of peace and happiness. Currently, Danielle freelances as a non-fiction author while waiting to hear from readers like you through her website. During free time, which means when Netflix is down, she combs through feedback and offers virtual hugs for reviews. A Pirate at Pembroke is her newest release. Her non-fiction book, The Story of Queen Victoria 200 Years After Her Birth, is coming fall 2018.

Website * Blog * Twitter * Instagram

Giveaway Details

$25 Amazon Gift Code or $25 PayPal Cash

Ends 3/15/18

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Child Slavery & Chocolate – Why I ONLY Buy Fairtrade

Posted by on Feb 15, 2018 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

Along with writing, I’m known for my love of dark chocolate, hot tea, and healthy food. I’ve been grinding my own flour for over fifteen years, and before becoming an author, I had a blog on healthy eating and enjoyed sharing my lifestyle with others. However, living in the Deep South, I often get teased about my food choices–especially when I visit my family in small towns.

A few years ago I stumbled upon a video about child slavery and chocolate. That video led me to do more research and watch other videos, and in that moment, my life changed. I swore I would no longer support or buy non fair-trade chocolate, and I’ve lived by that rule ever since.

Although I don’t push my lifestyle on others, it gets noticed when I’m out shopping or eating with friends and family. If I don’t see the fair-trade mark or something written about ethically sourced, I won’t even consider it. It’s just not an option for me. It’s that important.

Unfortunately, slavery has always been around, and I believe it always will be. It’s not just in the chocolate industry, either. It’s a problem with food, clothing, electronics, and so much more. It’s everywhere!

I can’t stop slavery, but I don’t have to support it. I can also help to make others aware so that we can come together to fight it. If enough people demand ethical treatment by supporting fair-trade companies, things could slowly change in the right direction. In fact, it already is. There are people already fighting for that cause. We just need to support it.

There are SO many videos and articles on slavery in the chocolate industry, and this post took longer than I expected since I found myself searching for a specific video. I know most people don’t have hours to go through everything on the topic, so I wanted to give you a short video. I also wanted you to look into the eyes of actual survivors. It’s only a few minutes long, so please watch it.

When I think of the chocolate industry, I think of the children stolen from their families, driven nearly three hundred miles to a village where they don’t speak the same language, thrown into a shed with other children, and beaten if they don’t work from sunrise to sunset–never getting paid. That is the dark truth about the sweets we so often buy our own children. It’s not right, and it must stop.

As for the cost of fair-trade chocolate, and even finding it in small towns, it’s not that expensive or hard to find. My favorite choice is cheaper than most other brands, and I’ve found it in all the small towns I’ve visited. CVS even carries it in some small towns. Before I moved from Atlanta, I often found it BOGO at Krogers. It’s always on stock at my house. (Or my husband rushes out to get more–feed the beast!) The Endangered Species brand carries a large variety, and 10% of their profits goes to charity.

There’s also BarkThins. You can now find them at most gas stations. Although the almond and pretzel varieties are the ones you’ll most likely find, they actually have a lot of choices. I became addicted to their chocolate covered pumpkin seeds from Costco and had to limit buying it, because I would lose control of my daily portions. I just couldn’t stop with them.


If you live in a small town, start looking around. I’ve not found a place I can’t get fair-trade chocolate. You just have to look for it.

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If I Could Stay Spotlight & $25 Giveaway

Posted by on Feb 7, 2018 in Current Giveaways | 0 comments

Coming February 22, 2018


If I Could Stay by Annette K. Larsen

They killed her mother, and if they find her, Leila could be next. Being pursued from one state to another, she has learned to constantly look over her shoulder, and when necessary, to become someone new. She’s burned through four cities and four identities, always managing to stay one step ahead.

Now Leila is left with nothing. No car, no money, and no choice but to trust the man who finds her, half frozen, wandering the back roads of Missouri.

Despite the fact that Jack seems to genuinely care about her, Leila knows all too well the danger she poses to anyone brave enough to get close to her. Her growing feelings for Jack force her to make a choice. She could risk staying and hope she’s not found, or she could do what she’s always done, and disappear.

 

Excerpt:

I don’t know how long we sat in that pickup truck, two strangers wrapped around each other. One desperate for help, the other willing to give it without a thought for himself. But it was long enough that my shaking stopped, and my breathing slowed, and I started to feel very, very tired.

“You falling asleep on me?” he asked.

“Maybe,” I whispered.

“So you can talk.”

I cleared my throat and took a deep breath, realizing for the first time how good he smelled. “Yeah. I can talk.”

“You got a name?”

Hmm. I hadn’t decided on a new name yet. Now was as good a time as any. “Celeste.” It came out sounding like a question.

“You sure?”

I let out a little chuckle. “No, I’m not sure. What do you think my name should be?” I was feeling a little bit floaty, safe, like everything was suddenly fine.

He grunted. “Angel seems appropriate.”

My brow furrowed in confusion. I wasn’t an angel. I might not have been sure of much right then, but I did know that. “Why?” I asked as I was finally able to unlock my arms and wrap them around him.

“That’s what you looked like, standing in the middle of the road. Your hair looked like it was glowing. Though that might have been frost.”

I was guessing my white blouse, beige pants, blonde hair and pale skin all added to the image.

He cleared his throat. “Wow, that sounded cheesy. I swear I’m not trying to hit on you.”

I smiled, knowing that was true. “What’s your name?”

“Jack.”

“Nice to meet you, Jack. I’m pretty sure you saved my life.”

Author Annette K Larsen

I was born in Utah, but migrated to Arizona, Missouri, and Virginia before settling in Idaho.

Though I dabbled in writing throughout school, being an author seemed like an unattainable dream. It took me seven years to write my first book, Just Ella. During that time, I taught myself how to write a novel. Not the most time effective method, but it gave me an education I wouldn’t have received from a class or a how-to book. Something about the struggle of writing without a formula or rules worked for me.

I write clean romance because I love it. Jane Eyre is the hero of my youth and taught me that clinging to your convictions will be hard, but will bring you more genuine happiness than giving in ever can.

I love chocolate, Into the Woods, ocean waves, my husband, and my five littles. And I love books that leave me with a sigh of contentment.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

Also by Annette K. Larsen

Giveaway Details

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 2/23/18

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Beta Readers, Get Ready for Unexpected Beginning!

Posted by on Feb 1, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Finally! Are you ready for Unexpected Beginning? The goal is to get it out to the beta readers this month, and then they’ll have two weeks to read it. After that, it’s off to the formatter before it’s sent to the distributors, and I should have it ready for pre-order next month.

Unexpected Legends, the fifth and final book in the Alissia Roswell Series, will be back on track for a spring of 2019 release. That one will be action packed, as Alissia has a LOT going on 🙂

I’ll also be adding to the Pinterest board for Unexpected Beginning, so you may want to check it out. For now, I’ll leave you with the theme song for this book. I’m dying to release the two theme songs for Unexpected Legends, but it’s just not time. The contrasts are too great, and you’d be confused. Alissia’s adventure is quite complex, and you should know by know that I love throwing surprises at my readers. It keeps you on your toes, and it’s just so fun!

I have yet to find one reader to guess the endings, and I greatly enjoy getting private Facebook messages from people after they read chapter two of Unexpected Peril. They actually set the book aside and contact me in disbelief. Surprise!!! 🙂

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