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!

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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.”

 

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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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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:
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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:
 

 

 

Cover Reveal: Of Darkness and Crowns

Of Darkness and Crowns (Goddess Wars #2)

Release Date: September 1, 2013
Cover artist: Steven Novak
Cover Reveal Organized by: YA Bound Book Tours
 
***WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS IF YOU HAVEN’T READ BOOK ONE***
 

 

Summary from Goodreads:


The moon goddess has taken up residency
within Prince Caben, darkening his mind and soul. Now he hunts the very women
he sacrificed his life to save, his conflicting desires for love and power
raging a battle within him. Kaliope possesses the key to setting Bale free, and
Caben will stop at nothing to see his goddess restored. Even if that means destroying
the kingdom he’s sworn to protect, and the infuriating woman who torments his
thoughts.

 

Kaliope,
now the leader to the newly formed Nactue Guard, has vowed to save Caben. But
with a traitor lurking among her people, and powers she’s unable to fully
control, Kaliope’s mission becomes shrouded with doubt. Her new role as watcher
over Caben’s kingdom brings a burden she’s unable to bear alone, and appointing
the right person in charge of the prince’s affairs has turned a kingdom against
the Nactue leader. Saving her stubborn, willful prince from the darkness
overtaking him will be the battle of her life, and she needs people she can
trust by her side. But bad blood between members of the Nactue obscure Kaliope’s
journey, while her feelings for Caben cloud her judgment.
When the
time comes to do what she must to destroy the goddess of chaos, will she be
able to if it means losing Caben forever?
Book two
of the Goddess Wars is told in dual point of view from Kaliope and Caben. New
Adult Dark Fantasy, intended for readers 17 years of age and older.
 

***Excerpt (Caben’s POV)***
The Crusher grinds to a halt. I’m
propelled forward, and my head smacks the low-hanging ceiling of the front
compartment.
“Damn, you fool!” I palm my
throbbing forehead, eyeing the driver of the Crusher—the machines I now call by
their Otherworlder name.
“Sorry, my liege,” he says,
backing against his seat, farther away from the glowing ribbons circling my
fingers. 
Ignoring him, I study the luminous
white—like the surface of the moon—crawling beneath my skin, and marvel at the
power. My power. Had I possessed it
that day the Cavan Army forced me from my home, they never could have done so
easily. But then, I never would have obtained this power. Ironic. 
“Just drive,” I tell him. I take a
seat on the front bench, away from the foul stench emanating from the back
compartment—our diversion tactic that will gain me entry into my palace, where
I know she’s being kept.
The glow beneath my skin
illuminates brighter, reminding me of her
skin. I curl my fingers into a tight ball.
The battle up ahead is only part
of my plan, one that I know Kaliope will fall for. I need the reserves away
from the palace. Then we’ll take care of her Nactue once we’re inside. My back
molars clamp down hard at the thought of her—a mix of something like fire and
nausea invading my stomach.
At one time, I felt things for the
black-haired beauty. I chuckle to myself. Well, at least my groin did. Just
thinking of her body makes me ache, and I have to adjust myself. But that was
when I was weak, when I only thought and felt with that weakness. As much as I hated my father for thinking me too feeble
to rule, he was right. I was pathetic.
Bale freed me. Released the part
of me that I kept buried, locked away deep down, and I no longer fear anything. I think of everything that
once made me shudder or quake with dread and laugh. It’s so simple.
Without fear, there is only
freedom.
Power.
And if I free Bale completely,
releasing her from within my being and making her corporeal, she’ll bestow me
with even more power. I don’t care what the dark goddess does or where she goes
once I restore Empress Iana’s relic. I don’t give a damn what happens to the
maggoty Otherworlders or their realm.
I just want her out of my mind.
And I want the power.
Then I’ll set my sights on
Perinya, and on gaining what’s mine.
A deep cackle fills my head, deep
and sultry.
“Quiet, woman.” I roll my eyes.
We’ve come to a compromise, the goddess and I, that she may remain within my
mind, but she’s to keep quiet. I got tired of her constant lectures and angry
rants about her sisters. She does stay silent…for the most part. But the sooner
I get her out of my head, the better.
Having a woman fill your thoughts
is a weakness in itself. A sudden flash of a smiling, laughing Kal blurs my
vision, and I shake my head.
There’s only one way to rid my
thoughts of that woman.
Kill her.
“Burrow, leach,” I command the
driver. “We’re coming up on the battle. Go underground.”
“Yes, my liege.”
Tonight, I plot. Find a way into
the capital of Perinya and into my home. And then take back what’s mine. The
goddess can have what she wants. I’m only interested in claiming what’s mine.
No one will ever take anything
away from me again.
Don’t get
in my way, Kal
.
I shake my head harder, trying to
quiet the pesky thoughts that always spring up when I think of her. Something
left over from before—a residual feeling, an effect she has on me.
It won’t be there much longer. I
smile, and Bale laughs.

***
Of Silver and Beasts (Goddess Wars #1)
Release Date:  April 19th 2013

Summary from Goodreads:
In the
sand-covered queendom of Cavan, the goddess once saved a young Kaliope’s life,
preventing the mercury her father attempted to hide in her blood from reaching
her heart. Now, a cybernetic clamp filters it, but the silver streaks swirling
faintly beneath her skin are a constant reminder that she’s different.
When nineteen-year-old Kaliope is chosen as head of the Nactue Guard, she
becomes the sworn protector to her empress. In the midst of an invasion on a
neighboring land, Kaliope is placed in charge of guarding Prince Caben, the
last heir to his kingdom. But when they’re attacked by the feared
Otherworlders, Caben and Kaliope are abducted and taken below to a realm where
they must fight for their life in a caged arena.Kaliope struggles to protect her princely charge, keeping him and herself alive
while battling inhumanly opponents, and trying to save the stolen, sacred relic
that will restore her empress’s life force and all of Cavan. And if she can
somehow awaken the goddess within her, she may save what’s most important.

New Adult Dark Fantasy: Intended for readers 17 years of age and older.

Of Silver and Beasts is on sale
right now for only $.99.  Get your copy
here:

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Where to find Trisha:
***Bonus Material***
Don’t miss out on the bonus scene
of Astarte’s
Wrath
Bath
Scene in Xarion’s POV

Book Cover, Art Reveal, and GIVEAWAY: The Trickster’s Totem by H. B. Bolton

Hi, guys!
We’ve got a great cover and art reveal for you today from author H. B. Bolton. Her brand-new book, THE TRICKSTER’S TOTEM, is the second book in the Relics of Mysticus series and an awesome MG novel. And the best part? I’m giving you a chance to win an eBook copy of this amazing book today! Continue reading