Cover Reveal for Touched With Fire by Christopher Datta

badge Welcome to the TOUCHED WITH FIRE cover reveal! This fabulous historical fiction has received a new look and it’s going to blow you away. Now before we get to that, let’s talk about Touched With Fire, a novel of the Civil War inspired by the true story of Ellen Craft.

Ellen Craft is property; in this case, of her half-sister Debra, to whom she was given as a wedding gift. The illegitimate daughter of a Georgia plantation owner and a house slave, she learned to hate her own image, which so closely resembled that of her “father:” the same wiry build, the same blue eyes, and the same pale—indeed, lily-white—skin.

Ellen lives a solitary life until she falls, unexpectedly, in love with a dark-skinned slave named William Craft, and together they devise a plan to run North. Ellie will pose as a gentleman planter bound for Philadelphia accompanied by his “boy” Will. They make it as far as Baltimore when Will is turned back, and Ellie has no choice but continue. With no way of knowing if he is dead or alive, she resolves to make a second journey—South again. And so Elijah Craft enlists with the 125th Ohio Volunteers of the Union Army: she will literally fight her way back to her husband.

Eli/Ellie’s journey is the story of an extraordinary individual and an abiding love, but also of the corrosive effects of slavery, and of a nation at a watershed moment.

touchedwithfire
The story tells of how a brave and resilient black woman went to great lengths to gain not only her freedom, but that of the man she loved.” – Amazon Reviewer Kelley McCormick

“[A] deliberate and sincere historical fiction wends its way through this abject time in our nation’s youth…Touched with Fire is a welcome addition to the ever-increasing canon of Civil War fiction.” – E. Warren Perry, Jr., author, Swift to My Wounded: Walt Whitman and the Civil War

Celebrate this great new cover with us by entering our giveaway below and spreading the word!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Read an excerpt:

April, 1855
Macon, Georgia

William Craft admired the interior of the small church, much of which he had built. His master required him to work ten hours six days a week, but he squeezed in many late nights as well as his free Sundays, his one day of rest, to do most of the building’s finishing work and the crafting of the altar and pews. Being a skilled cabinetmaker set him apart from most slaves, and it brought in a good income to Master Johnston, his owner and a banker in their town.

Yes sir, he thought, it was not as large or as fancy as the white church, but it had style—his style: smooth clean lines to naturally draw your focus to the altar, and lovingly crafted highlights and scrollwork to fix your gaze on the pulpit where the minister preached.

A large, elderly black woman sat down heavily next to him.

“Good morning to you, Miss Betsey,” said Will, bowing slightly. “And how are you this fine Sunday morning?” A house slave belonging to Colonel Thomas Collins, a prominent member of the white community, Will had known Miss Betsey all his life.

“Terrible,” fussed the old woman, wheezing. “My arthritis is so powerful bad today it’s a wonder I can walk.”

“Well, I’m sorry to hear it.”

“Sorry and a cat’s whiskers don’t never fix a thing, but thank you anyways. But listen, young man, I’s sitt’en here for a reason. How old is you?”

“I’m twenty-five,” he answered. “But you know that.”

“Yes I do, but I wanna be sure you does, because it’s high time you take yourself a wife. A young, honest ’n fine-looking buck like you got no business being single. I knows lots a young girls be only too pleased to be the aim a your partiality, and it’s high time you got about it.”

Every matron in town seemed to want to play matchmaker for him. It was a subject he dearly preferred to avoid, but he was trapped in church with no escape.

“Well, it’s not so easy as that, Miss Betsey,” he started, but was cut off.

“What in thunder ain’t easy? You a man ain’t you? Just look ’round this here church,” she said, waving her cane in the air and nearly knocking the hat off the woman sitting to her front. “It ain’t like you ain’t got a plentitude a pretty gals like chickens in a barnyard ready for plucking. What ain’t easy ’bout it’s what I’d like to know? Ain’t there even one good nuff for you, Mr. All-Fire-High-and-Mighty?”

“Now Miss Betsey…”

“Don’t you ‘Miss Betsey’ me. It ain’t right a fine young boy like you ain’t do’en his duty. Now I can pick a woman make you happy as a tick in a dog’s ear, just see if I can’t.”

“I’m sure you can, Miss Betsey…”

“Then what’s your problem?”

“The problem is a slave marriage has no standing, and you know it. We don’t belong to ourselves, but to our masters to decide if and when we come or if and when we go, as their pocketbook or mood decides. Now what kind of a marriage is that?” he said heatedly.

“Shush,” Miss Betsey hushed him, “keep your voice low.”

She looked at the Reverend Zachary Hess at the front of the church, the white preacher sent every Sunday to watch over the slave congregation. Sitting quietly observing the assembling crowd, he was fiftyish, fat, squinty-eyed and sporting a handlebar moustache of truly epic proportions. The whites forbade the assembly of slaves for fear they would hatch plots to rebel, but church was the exception. Religion, properly supervised, was believed to have a calming influence on the mind of the slave, and Hess was there to see that this church and its messages were properly supervised. He did not preach himself; a black minister, Reverend Evander, did that. He just sat by the altar staring balefully at the congregation and watching, watching, watching. Watching him watch them gave William a case of the shivers, but there was nothing to do about it.

Miss Betsey leaned in close to William and in a low voice said, “Now you listen and you listen good. Ain’t noth’en in life for nobody that’s their own. The good Lord says when you lives and when you dies, where you goes and what you does, and that’s as true for any white man as for any nigger. The day a jubilation’s coming, William, when all slaves will taste the sweet, sweet fruit a freedom. I knows it in my heart. Maybe I ain’t gonna see it, but it’s a coming none the same.”

“Well, the good Lord is taking his own sweet time about it,” said William bitterly.

“Don’t you blaspheme Lord Jesus,” said Betsey. “I reckon the Lord knows His business better even than some grand pumpkin like you.”

A solitary figure walked past, taking a seat five pews to their front. That it was a white woman surprised William until he recognized her as Ellie Smith, a short, thin and handsome young woman with jet black hair and a sad yet defiant set to her face and eyes. William knew she was the slave daughter of Major Smith; everyone in town knew the scandal of her parentage. Her mother was also the offspring of a master-slave coupling, making Miss Ellie a quadroon.

Two of the women next to her got up and moved, leaving her prominently alone as she stared straight ahead.

“Why do they do that?” whispered William.

“Do what?” said Betsey.

“Why do those women move away from her like that?” he said, nodding to Ellie.

“Oh, you mean that piece a calico? Just see how fine she dresses, putt’en on airs like she’s the better of us all just cause her daddy’s a white man and she white as the harvest moon in a midnight sky her own self. And for all her airs them clothes ain’t nothing but hand-me-downs from her daddy’s real gals.

“And she talks even better’n you, all high and mighty when she ain’t no more’n just another nigger. I knows for a fact she can’t neither read nor write, just like the rest a us, even with her fine airs. And she won’t have nothing to do with no black man, she’s so proud a that white skin. Proud a what I don’t even know except being conceived in shame and she act like she got a badge a honor. It ain’t fitt’en.”

William noted many young men watching Ellie, a strange blend of lust and hostility in their eyes. There was not a man here who did not want her, knew he could not have her, and felt a fierce resentment because of it. A resentment apparently shared, thought William, by most of the women.

William caught the look in the Reverend Hess’s eyes, who was also staring at her, and the lust William saw there curdled his blood.

William shook his head. He knew she refused the advances of every young man in the congregation, and even if her dresses were hand-me-downs from her half sisters, she was still the best-dressed woman in church. And growing up in the house with her half sisters, she did speak like an educated woman, even if she was not. Of course, William was the same. Dealing almost exclusively with educated whites in his trade, he learned to speak like one.

“I hopes you ain’t got your eye set on that trash,” sneered Miss Betsey. “That ain’t nothing but trouble, and that’s the Lord’s sweet truth.”

“No,” said William. “I don’t need that problem in my life. I’m no fool, Miss Betsey.”

 

Book Blitz Kick-Off: The Holders by Julianna Scott

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Holders (Holders #1)
Release Date:
03/05/2013
 
Summary from
Goodreads:
17-year-old
Becca spent her whole life protecting her brother from, well, everything. The
abandonment of their father, the so called ‘experts’ who insist that voices in
his head are unnatural and must be dealt with, and the constant threat of being
taken away to some hospital and studied like an animal. When two
representatives appear claiming to have the answers to Ryland’s perceived
problem, Becca doesn’t buy it for one second. That is until they seem to know
things about Ryland and about Becca and Ryland’s family, that forces Becca to concede
that there may be more to these people than meets the eye. Though still highly
skeptical, Becca agrees to do what’s best for Ryland.

What they find at St. Brigid’s is a world beyond their imagination. Little by
little they piece together the information of their family’s heritage, their
estranged Father, and the legend of the Holder race that decrees Ryland is the
one they’ve been waiting for. However, they are all–especially Becca–in for a
surprise that will change what they thought they knew about themselves and
their kind.

She meets Alex, a Holder who is fiercely loyal to their race, and for some
reason, Becca and Ryland. There’s an attraction between Becca and Alex that
can’t be denied, but her true nature seems destined to keep them apart. However,
certain destinies may not be as clear cut as everyone has always believed them
to be.

Becca is lost, but found at the same time. Can she bring herself to leave
Ryland now that he’s settled and can clearly see his future? Will she be able
to put the the feelings she has for Alex aside and head back to the US? And can
Becca and Ryland ever forgive their father for what he’s done?

Available from:
 
Book 2:
(linked to Goodreads)


 

Pre-Order:
As an added bonus, here’s an excerpt from book 2:

I didn’t mean to gawk, or blush, or get a goofy grin on my face, but as he stood there just inside the archway of the alcove I’m pretty sure I did all three. Though in my defence, I couldn’t help it – he looked amazing. I’d never thought of Alex as “hot,” or “gorgeous,” or any of the other terms that a lot of girls my age used to describe a good looking guy. That isn’t to say that Alex wasn’t any of those things, or that I didn’t find him attractive, as I did. Very much so, in fact. His dark blonde hair was always styled, he dressed very well, and his eyes – which had always been my favourite feature – were the most amazingly clear shade of storm cloud blue you could imagine. The thing was that the specifics of his appearance weren’t usually what came to mind when I thought about him. He was Alex. It had never mattered what he looked like.

And while it still didn’t matter, I was not about to pretend like I didn’t notice. He was wearing a black tux like Jocelyn, but instead of the white shirt and black tie, Alex’s tie and shirt were black, and he also had a charcoal gray vest on under his jacket. His cuffs were French, his shoes shone as though they were new, and across his chest lay the same green sash Jocelyn was wearing.

Not going to lie, there was definitely a flush rising up my neck….

Though red as I was, oddly enough, Alex’s didn’t blush at all. I’d have thought with me ogling him the way I was, that his ears would be ablaze, but then again, he seemed far too preoccupied to notice the way I was looking at him. Preoccupied… looking at me. His eyes clung to me like condensation on a glass, with an expression that seemed to hover between anger and fear – though deep down I knew it was neither. Still, I couldn’t help but feel self-conscious.

Why didn’t he say anything? Was he upset? Did he not like the dress? Was something wrong?

I took a breath to speak, but before I could find my voice he was coming straight toward me. He didn’t look around, didn’t check the hall, or so much as shift his eyes away from mine as he crossed the small alcove in three strides, took my face in his hands, and kissed me.

And dear God… what a kiss…

His mouth moved against mine with more passion than I’d ever felt from him before. His right hand slid up into my hair and gently but firmly held my mouth to his, while his left dropped to my waist and pulled me tightly against him. His fervour poured over me like boiling water over ice, melting me down to my core. I had no idea what had come over him, but whatever it was, it was hot, it was intense, and if he wasn’t careful, it was going to bring me to my knees.

But what hit me the hardest wasn’t his sudden hunger or intensity, but the hint of something deeper, driving like an undercurrent beneath his passion. It was something I’d never seen from him before, but unmistakable all the same.

Possession.

Alex had never been a dominant or outspoken person in general, but conscious or not, something in him was definitely sending a message: “She is mine.” It may have only been implied, but it was definitely there, and the very idea sent a tingling shiver across my skin as I gripped the lapels of his jacket with a throaty sigh. The message was raw, it was primal, and above all else, it was true: I was his. And he was mine. The fact that we had to hide it around these people didn’t make it any less valid. We belonged to one another.

Forever.

A few short seconds later he pulled back with a husky breath, resting his forehead against mine for a moment before releasing me and stepping back slowly, his eyes glowing. He hadn’t said a word – he hadn’t needed to. I smiled, hoping he saw the “I love you” in my eyes. His answering smile told me he did.

Praise for Series:
“The twisty plot and swoony romance of The
Seers kept me turning the pages as I fell in love with Becca and Alex all over
again.”
Trisha Wolfe, author of Fireblood
 
“It had a gripping plot, plenty of exciting twists and
turns and some pretty fantastic characters which all combined to keep me glued
to the pages.”
A Dream of Books
 
“If this is any notion of what Julianna Scott
can do, I cannot wait to see what is next.
The Holders was refreshing and just one heck of a good
read.”
The Book Cellar
 
“I am so thankful this is only the beginning of a
series because I couldn’t imagine not being able to read a continuation of
Becca’s story. The Holders is a novel too entertaining and emotionally
charged to pass up!”
Lovey Dovey Books
 
“There are a lot of other things to love about The Holders – a detailed history and Celtic element come to mind
– but it was really the characters that sold this novel for me.”
 
More Than Just Magic
 

About the Author

Julianna was
born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and spent the majority of her educational
career convinced she would be a musician. However, after receiving her music
degree from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, she realized that she’d been
born in the wrong era for her dreams of singing jazz to adoring fans clad in
zoot-suits and flapper dresses to come true, and began to wonder if her true
calling might be elsewhere.

While Julianna had always excelled in writing throughout school, she’d never
considered it a career possibility until about three years ago, when she’d
gotten her first story idea and decided to go for it. She grabbed her laptop,
started typing away, and has never looked back.


Author Links:
 photo iconwebsite-32x32_zps1f477f69.png  photo icongoodreads32_zps60f83491.png  photo icontwitter-32x32_zpsae13e2b2.png
Pre-Order Gift:
 As a special gift to anyone who pre-orders The Seers,
we are giving away a free e-book with several scenes from The Holders written
from different character’s points of view! All you have to do to get yours is
pre-order The Seers, then email your receipt or other proof of purchase to
Julianna Scott at
juliannascottbooks@hotmail.com
, and she will send you the e-novella in the format of your
choosing. That’s it! And if you have already pre-ordered The Seers, not to
worry! Send your receipt along, and you’ll get your copy too!
 
***GIVEAWAY***
1 – Necklace (as pictured) plus ebook copies of The Holders
and The Seers
 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blitz Organized by:
 

 

Book Cover Reveal: The Deep End of the Sea by Heather Lyons

We are extremely excited to be able to share with you the cover for Heather Lyons’ THE DEEP END OF THE SEA. You can buy THE DEEP END OF THE SEA February 13, 2014!

Deep End Of The Sea - Front Cover

About THE DEEP END OF THE SEA:

What if all the legends you’ve learned were wrong?

Brutally attacked by one god and unfairly cursed by another she faithfully served, Medusa has spent the last two thousand years living out her punishment on an enchanted isle in the Aegean Sea. A far cry from the monster legends depict, she’s spent her time educating herself, gardening, and desperately trying to frighten away adventure seekers who occasionally end up, much to her dismay, as statues when they manage to catch her off guard. As time marches on without her, Medusa wishes for nothing more than to be given a second chance at a life stolen away at far too young an age.

But then comes a day when Hermes, one of the few friends she still has and the only deity she trusts, petitions the rest of the gods and goddesses to reverse the curse. Thus begins a journey toward healing and redemption, of reclaiming a life after tragedy, and of just how powerful friendship and love can be—because sometimes, you have to sink in the deep end of the sea before you can rise back up again.

Deep End of the Sea - Full Cover

Author PhotoAbout Heather Lyons:

Heather Lyons has always had a thing for words—She’s been writing stories since she was a kid. In addition to writing, she’s also been an archaeologist and a teacher. Heather is a rabid music fan, as evidenced by her (mostly) music-centric blog, and she’s married to an even larger music snob. They’re happily raising three kids who are mini music fiends who love to read and be read to.

 

Links:

Website: http://www.heatherlyons.net

Author Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/heatherlyons

THE DEEP END OF THE SEA Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18844839-the-deep-end-of-the-sea?ac=1

Twitter: https://twitter.com/hymheather

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/heatherlyonsbooks?fref=ts

 

Book Cover Reveal: Twelve Steps by Veronica Bartles

Twelve Steps
by Veronica
Bartles
Release Date:
03/25/14
Book Summary:
Sixteen-year-old Andi is tired of being
a second-class sibling to perfect sister Laina. There in Laina’s shadow, Andi’s
only noticeable feature is her pretty awesome hair. And even that is eclipsed
by Laina’s perfect everything else.
When Andi’s crush asks her to fix him
up with Laina, Andi decides enough is enough and devises
a twelve-step program to wrangle the spotlight away from
Laina. After all, great hair must count for something.
Step 1: Admit she’s powerless to change
her perfect sister, and accept that her life really, really sucks. OK,
maybe that’s two steps in one.
Step 4: Make a list of her good
qualities besides great hair. There have got to be at least three
good qualities, right?
Step 7: Demand attention for more
than just her shortcomings, and break out of her shell. Easier said that done,
but worth the effort in the long-run. 





When a stolen kiss from her crush
ends in disaster, Andi finds that her prince isn’t as charming as she’d hoped,
and realizes she may need a new program–perhaps with less steps!
As cracks in Laina’s flawless façade
begin to show, the sisters work together to find a spotlight big enough for
both to shine.

About the
Author
As the second
of eight children and the mother of four, Veronica Bartles is no stranger to
the ups and downs of sibling relationships. (She was sandwiched between the
gorgeous-and-insanely-popular older sister and the too-adorable-for-words
younger sister.) She uses this insight to write stories about siblings who
mostly love each other, even while they’re driving one another
crazy.   When she isn’t writing or getting lost in the pages of her
newest favorite book, Veronica enjoys knitting fabulous bags and jewelry out of
recycled plastic bags and old VHS tapes, sky diving (though she hasn’t actually
tried that yet), and inventing the world’s most delectable cookie recipes.
TWELVE STEPS
is Veronica Bartles’s first novel.

Author Links:
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Release Day Book Blitz: Finding Joy by Jenni Moen + GIVEAWAY

Remembering Joy
Release Date: 12/13/13
Book Summary from Goodreads:
Love is patient. 
 
It can happen when you least expect it, where you least expect it, with whom you least expect it.
 
Love is kind.
 
But love may not grow out of kindness. It can happen with the person who hates you most because love knows no bounds. 
 
And it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love doesn’t hold a grudge.


Love forgives.


Love forgets.


 



But when the healing of your heart 

 

breaks the hearts of the ones you love …

 

it may seem impossible to

 

 

Find joy.
Available from:
 photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg

boatquote (2)
Book One:
(linked to Goodreads)
Available from:
 photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg  photo 111AD205-AA04-4F9E-A0F4-C1264C4E9F30-1855-000001A1E8CEB6D7_zps9b730b94.jpg  photo KoboIcon_zps515cdc1a.jpg
About the Author
Jenni Moen lives in Oklahoma with her husband and three crazy, exuberant kids that have the potential to burn the house down at any moment. 
When she’s not chauffeuring kids around town, performing her mom duties as a short order cook and maid, or vacuuming for her fastidious husband, she hammers away at her keyboard at her big girl job as a patent attorney. While vodka and exercise have provided some relief from the daily grind, it is reading … and now writing … that are her true escapes.
 

Author Links:
 photo iconwebsite-32x32_zps1f477f69.png  photo icongoodreads32_zps60f83491.png  photo icontwitter-32x32_zpsae13e2b2.png  photo iconfacebook-32x32_zps64a79d4a.png***GIVEAWAY***

1 – Print book set of Remembering Joy and Finding Joy (US
only)
3 – eBook sets of Remembering Joy and Finding Joy (INT)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blitz Organized by:
 

Book Cover Reveal: Finding Joy by Jenni Moen

Remembering Joy
Release Date: 12/13/13
Book Summary from Goodreads:
Love
is patient. 

 

 


It can happen when you least expect it,


where you least expect it,


with whom you least expect it.

 

 

 

Love is kind.

 

But love may not grow out of kindness. 

 

 

It can happen with the person who hates you most

 

 

because love knows no bounds. 

 

And it keeps no record of wrongs.

 

 

Love doesn’t hold a grudge.

 

 

Love forgives.

 

 

Love forgets.

 

But when the healing of your heart 

 

 

breaks the hearts of the ones you love …

 

 

it may seem impossible to

 

Find joy.
Book One:
(linked to Goodreads)
Available from:
 photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg  photo 111AD205-AA04-4F9E-A0F4-C1264C4E9F30-1855-000001A1E8CEB6D7_zps9b730b94.jpg  photo KoboIcon_zps515cdc1a.jpg

 

About the Author
Jenni Moen lives in Oklahoma with her husband and three crazy, exuberant kids that have the potential to burn the house down at any moment. 
When she’s not chauffeuring kids around town, performing her mom duties as a short order cook and maid, or vacuuming for her fastidious husband, she hammers away at her keyboard at her big girl job as a patent attorney. While vodka and exercise have provided some relief from the daily grind, it is reading … and now writing … that are her true escapes.
 

Author Links:
 photo iconwebsite-32x32_zps1f477f69.png  photo icongoodreads32_zps60f83491.png  photo icontwitter-32x32_zpsae13e2b2.png  photo iconfacebook-32x32_zps64a79d4a.pngCover Reveal organized by:

 

 

 

Cover Reveal: Playing Pretend by Juliana Haygert

Playing Pretend
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance

 

Word Count: 65,000
Release date: March 2014
Summary from Goodreads:
As the Governor’s daughter, Charlotte McClain is an expert in playing pretend. High society, the men her mother shoves in her direction and a Pre-Law major are all a part of her perfect pretense. But when she pretends to be a nobody during Spring Break, she meets someone who rocks her world.

 

 

 

Mason Rowell knows heartbreak and Spring Break don’t mesh well, so he allows the mysterious Charlotte to seduce him. What should have been a fling, results in something deeper. After Spring Break has long since passed, he moves to Washington to pursue his graduate degree, but what he never expected to find living among the rich and pompous, was the girl who gave him the strength to change and the desire to start anew.
When the guy Charlotte can’t forget goes from a sensual memory to temptation in the flesh, her facade is put to the test. If she surrenders to his charms, she risks ruining her mother’s perfect career and master plan. Playing pretend is what Charlotte does best, but how long can she pretend she doesn’t love the man who made her proud of her true self?

 


**A light, sexy NA Contemporary Romance**

 

About the Author:
New Adult author and contributor at NA Alley blog.
While Juliana Haygert dreams of being Wonder Woman, Buffy, or a blood elf shadow priest, she settles for the less exciting—but equally gratifying—life of a wife, mother, and author. Thousands of miles away from her former home in Brazil, she now resides in Connecticut and spends her days writing about kick-ass heroines and the heroes who drive them crazy.

Author Links:
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Cover Reveal Organized by: