Monday, November 30, 2020

UpSpark Tour and Giveaway

 


UpSpark
The Five Elements Book 1
by Nicole Wells
Genre: New Adult Urban Fantasy Romance


Get ready for an award winning story that reached Amazon's top 500 for all e-books (over 2 million), now fully revised!

Can they find themselves and each other before time runs out?

Enya's dreams of making a difference in the world are devastated the summer after high school when she finds out she has a fatal disease.

A cross country road trip to Native American reservations helps her find meaning. But Jacob, her best friend and traveling companion, has longed for them to become something more.

Their expedition is just the start of an amazing love and spiritual journey, but a one-in-a-million phenomenon changes everything.

"I get the feeling like I'm reading Fault In Our Stars Part 2."

Winner of the Readers' Favorite 5 Star Award

... In the captivating novel, UpSpark, written by Nicole Wells, many essential themes - such as acceptance, forgiveness, trust, and love - are fully explored.
This story has many exceptional aspects ... The author's ability to interweave these various themes into one engaging, fascinating story is truly amazing. She develops the main characters in likable and relatable ways, and each one imparts important lessons. The last chapters are unexpected and memorable. Author Nicole Wells notes the novel, UpSpark, is Book One of the Five Elements Series. Everyone who reads this gem of a book will certainly anticipate the second one!    -   Deborah Lloyd  for Readers' Favorite

Let me start by taking a moment to revel in the beauty of the name of this story, you won't get it right away, I didn't either, but reading this story, a story of absolutely everything. I'm at a loss for words.
The story follows Enya (another incredibly beautiful name) and her life, a life marked by everything extraordinary. What starts out as heartbreaking news to an experience of a lifetime (literally), this story covers it all. The author Nicole Wells has portrayed a picture almost too good and too pure to be true, and she is right, such hope, that too, set in a post-quarantine world is all you could wish for.  
As unrealistic as it seems for an 18 year old Jacob to have such deep understanding of life and of love, Ms. Wells' writing makes it very believable and very desirable too. It is a love story of the dreams and stars.
The story in itself is complex, and that is expected, nothing of this caliber could be any less; but the very understanding the author has put into the life of her characters brings them to you in a very real sense. [...]
Read this book, it is intense. But you need to, it will give you pain, and it will give you hope.   - Oviya Nila Muralidharan, Book Blogger

Enya is 18 when she discovers she has Huntingtons, the same disease that devastated her father. Grieving the diagnosis, she impulsively goes on a road trip with her friends, and during the trip, she begins to have striking visions. These visions lead her on a journey she could never anticipate.
I was surprised to love this book like I did. Firstly, the representation of often overlooked characters was excellent. ... the author wrote extensively about Native American communities and beliefs with such tenderness and beauty.
I resonated with the spirituality of this book and was inspired by it as well ... Enya works through these and many other spiritual components without the writing becoming boring or heavy.
I always surrender to books, without trying to jump ahead or analyze them, but still, many books are written with a much-used formula you can see a mile away. In "Upspark" the author made several (big) unpredictable choices, which surprised me.
... She clearly knew Enya inside and out, and loved her characters, which made it a compelling read. I would highly recommend this book! - Bookstagram.reviews

UpSpark is a new inspirational fiction novel geared toward young adults or anyone looking to develop a sunnier outlook. ... The story spans years of her unique life and details her lows and her highs. The inspiration comes as Enya comes to terms with the hand she's been dealt. With the help of some supportive friends, she gains perspective. With that perspective, she also gains an extraordinary gift. This gift, as much as the Huntington's, dramatically changes the course of Enya's life.Enya is not your typical superhero. Her ability to see visions is pretty low-key. She doesn't want a flashy life or fame, and her modesty is charming. ... This highly introspective novel will cause you to take a step back and look at what's really important. Via some complex characters with their own unique set of obstacles, Nicole Wells has crafted an inclusive novel that deals with some hard-hitting issues. The sensitivity is obvious, exploring the raw emotions surrounding coming out in a religiously devout family, and in dealing with the process of Native Americans being adopted into non-Native families. UpSpark is an elegant character-driven drama that will make you sob and smile, but mostly it will instill a sense of gratitude for whatever time we have. - Amanda Murello for Indies Today



Chapter One

Private Medical Practice

Silver Spring, Maryland

June 2017


    I'M WAITING IN THE EXAMINATION ROOM.  I've moved from the exam table to the plastic chair at its side.  I feel like I have more fortitude here.  It's a little more familiar and less lonely than being elevated and exposed on the exam table.  My mom is still in the waiting room.  I didn't really think it would best for her to be here.  I mean, Jesus, dad only died a year and a half ago.  But what if it's positive?  I wouldn't be able to drive myself home after that.  And I couldn't ask a friend.  It's just ... too much.  Too personal.

    I also moved to the chair because every time I moved on the table, every fidget, every deep breath, caused that damn paper to crinkle, like a mocking echo of my nervousness.  A refrain to my thoughts.  I decided I could do without the added exclamation of the too-loud crinkle in the too-quiet room.

    My thoughts circle around and around, only pausing when I wonder how much time has passed.  I refuse the temptation to check my phone, but then lose the fight to keep my eyes off the clock on the wall.  It's been three minutes.  Goddamn, but the brain can think a helluva lot of thoughts in three minutes.

    Happy birthday to me.

    My name is Enya.  I'm 18.  Newly minted.  Just a couple weeks ago, actually.   To most kids, that means another degree of freedom.  Moving out of the house, entering official adulthood, starting the rest of their lives, maybe beginning the independence of college.  To me, it means I get to take a test.  

    A genetic test.

I've been waiting my entire life for this test.  No, I've been waiting my entire life for the results of this test.  And I can wait a little longer.  I think of not looking at the clock and end up looking at the clock.  Another minute has passed.  

Are these my last minutes of freedom or the beginning of freedom?  The shadow of a death sentence will either become real or dissipate.

    My eyes drift to the clock again.  Thirty-two seconds have ticked by.

    I focus on benign facts.  Did you know that about 300 million cells die every minute in our bodies?  

    And that we replace about 48 million cells a minute?

    Or that every few years most of our body has recreated itself?

    Or that most of our body is made up of stardust?  Everything in our bodies originates from stardust, which is still falling and still recreating us.  There’s something beautiful in the impermanence of us from the eternity of stars.  I wish that thought could bring me the reassurance it usually does.

    Did you know that I want to be a doctor?  I know exactly the kind, too.  I want to do Integrative Medicine.  Yeah, all that kooky stuff.  I love it.  I really believe I've got my head screwed on a little tighter than my mom does since my dad died last year.  I credit my getting acupuncture and homeopathy.  People know it works, too.  That's why it's so popular.  I'm gonna be part of the movement that brings it to the forefront. 

   Despite waiting for it, the double rap on the door startles me, and Dr. Yee strides in before I can recover.  I could have chosen a different doctor to tell me my fate.  A genetic expert in a comfy conference room.  But Dr. Yee is my family doctor who’s a special combination of straightforward and kind, and I trust her.  She grabs the black wheeled stool and sits, leaning onto the examination table, facing me.  There is a computer screen hiding my medical records beside us, but she doesn't log in.  I want her to.  In my mind — I've prepared by imagining this playing out, and I used our prior visits as fodder for my fantasy — she logs in.  She shows me what it says.  Sometimes it's printed out; in my fantasy that usually doesn't bode well.

    She is staring at me now and I desperately, unreasonably, want her to show me the computer screen.  I don't want her to tell me directly.  Give me a buffer, let the windows to my soul have some privacy.  But the only shutters to my eyes are my eyelids, and my face feels frozen, eyes wide.

    I observe a part of my brain that is having its own conversation, that's analyzing all her mannerisms, like a poker fiend making bets.  Is that normal?  I've had this doctor for as long as I can remember, and she knows me.  And I know her.  And she seems extra doctor-y today.  I cannot marshal my thoughts, and a group of them tangent off, ping-ponging into a future of preordained death.  Other thoughts perseverate on the computer screen, while the background conversation of Dr-Yee-is-wearing-sunshine-yellow-today-what-does-that-mean distracts me from her words.

    She leans even closer and paper crinkles.  "Enya, I know you are prepared for any answer.  You've had extensive counseling."  

I've had, and I'm not.  My dad had Huntington’s disease.  It’s a fatal disease that’s passed on to your kids.  His mother had it and he had a fifty percent chance of having it, just like I have a fifty percent chance.  My dad decided not to get tested, but I want to know.  So I had to go through a lot of counseling to get tested.  Since there’s no cure.  It’s not a pretty way to go, but I’d like to prepare if I can.   But I’m not prepared for this like I thought I would be.  

    It's like when my mom gets her mammogram and then freaks out until the test results come.  If there's cancer, it's been there.  It didn't magically appear on the day of the mammogram.  The test just brought the possibility front and center and she's out of her mind with worry until she gets the results.  There's something in the knowing that makes fear manifest.  Ignorance is bliss.

    So I’m here, willingly giving up my bliss, and freaking out.  

    Because my dad started having symptoms on top of a midlife crisis and ended up killing himself.  

    Because the knowledge catches up to you.   It would be better to prepare.  Dr. Yee said I’m prepared.

    "You are prepared for this," she repeats.  The exam table paper crinkles sound their exclamation point, now like a cheerleading section, but I don't need an audience.  She's staring, and I think she expects me to nod.  I'm still frozen.

    "Enya, it's positive."



Chapter 2


     THE BOTTOM DROPS OUT and there's a roaring in my ears.  I think I'm going to throw up and I don't care.  I couldn't move if my life depended on it.  What life?  Oh my God.  Oh my God.

     She reaches out and grasps my hand, a tether keeping me from falling further into the abyss. She's modeling deep breaths and gently squeezing my hand and her eyes are trying to catch mine.

     "This isn't the death sentence it used to be.  We have great treatments for the symptoms."  

     OhmyGodOhmyGodOhmyGod.  She's got to be wrong.  Every test has its false positives, right? OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD!

     "Enya, look at me."  My body registers her words and follows her command without the compliance of my mind.  Her kind brown eyes hold me steady.  She hasn't moved, hasn't changed except to clasp my hand, since she first sat down.  "Enya, take a deep breath in. And let it out."  I siphon in air through stiff lips.  I feel like a scarecrow, a mishmash of ill-fitting parts about to topple down.  I'm shaking.  My eyes are leaking.  Deep breath, she is saying.  My breath is a ragged and staccato in and out, like I'm learning how for the first time.  I feel if I stop this breathing I will fall apart.  I realize I am squeezing her hand when wetness plops on our grip.  Deep breath.  The echo of her words is resonating in my mind, like sounds heard under the ocean, registered but not received.  Breath, breath,  -athhh, -thhhhHH.

     Eventually, in the quiet of this rhythmic space, I see her again.  Her image blurs, I blink a tear free, and I see her again.  She squeezes my hand once more.

     "Enya, you are the same person you were when you walked in that door."  

     We've talked about this.  She's repeating things we've talked about.  Like my wooden body, a wooden automaton mind numbly clasps onto the concept and holds it close.  I nod.  The ocean spills from my eyes, a river down my face.  But I'm granite now, my face, my limbs, heavy, frozen, immobile.  Cold and detached.  Only a small section of my mind is whirring, not enough to run this body, but enough to grasp onto each lifeline of thought she feeds me.

     "There is no one hundred percent in medicine.  We have best guesses.  And our best guess is that you will be able to have a full and complete life.  You can have a career and a family if you want."  Yes, we have talked about this.  I thought I was prepared.  I thought I had taken it all to heart.  But somewhere, some dark unconscious passage along the way, I skirted away from letting the possibility fully sink in, like thinking about it would tempt fate.  I thought I was prepared, but this... this is riding out a hurricane on the makeshift raft of a door that is all that's left of the house you knew.  

     She goes on, but trivial thoughts of my college applications occupy my stupid mind.  It’s deteriorated into a hamster on a wheel, scurrying round and round.  What a waste of application fees.  What a waste of time editing all the application essays.  What a waste...

     My brain sounds an alarm as it hears the word “anticipation.”  This is medicalese for “it could get worse with each generation”.  Such an ill-fitting, stupid word to take the place of “poor prognosis.”  I remember talking about this too.  It's because it was my father that had it, not my mother, that I might have it worse and symptoms might start earlier.  

     Wow, the measure of good now is like a ruler through bug eyeglasses, some fractured thing repeating and magnified in its power over me, mocking what I used to know and how things used to be. 

     She mentions my mother and I surface from the abyss of my thoughts.  Do I want her to come in the room with me now?  There is an appointment with the counselor to go to.  We earmarked the time, but I'd hoped we wouldn't use it.  It's strongly recommended I have a loved one with me.  I fought it before, with all the hallmark independence of youth, but I see the sense now.  I force my wooden head to nod.  

     Dr. Yee cracks the door open and talks to someone in the hall.  She doesn't leave me, she doesn't let go of my hand.  I feel like an invalid with her concerned vigilance.  I will never know what it's like to be old, but maybe I am getting a glimpse now.  What weird thoughts.  I think I am losing my mind.  Maybe this is like being old too.  I guess I'll never know.






Nicole Wells had been guiding people spiritually for over 10 years. In UpSpark, she weaves in everything she's learned in an emotional heartwarming journey, with a psychic paranormal fantasy twist. An observer of people and life, she crafts inspirational romance stories that make you laugh and cry, reflecting our human condition with tenderness and hope. This New Adult contemporary romance is her debut novel.




Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$25 Amazon 


The Cursed Series Tour and Giveaway

 

Eternal Curse
The Cursed Series Book 1
by Kara Leigh Miller
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance


After pulling the plug on her mother’s life support, seventeen-year-old Chloe Madison moves to live with relatives she hardly knows. Her new hometown in the Adirondack Mountains is barely more than a pinpoint on the map, but it’s shrouded in deadly secrets and strange family legends. Chloe is determined to keep her head down, finish high school, and get the heck out of there. Until she meets the enigmatic Trent Halstead. Something intriguing hides beneath his quiet self-assurance and hero hair. Maybe there’s something—or someone—worth sticking around for after all.

But when a rash of unsolved murders leaves two of Chloe’s classmates dead, she begins to suffer from disturbing hallucinations that build to the horrifying image of Trent as a murderous vampire. With nowhere else to go, she’s stuck in a town she hates, surrounded by people she can’t trust, and she’s pretty sure she’s going to be lunch.

If all that isn’t bad enough, Trent is hiding a lethal secret, besides the whole immortal bloodsucker thing. He’s the not-so-proud owner of an ancient, family curse—no Halstead will ever know true love—and he’s desperate to find a way to break the curse. Could Chloe be the key to his happiness or just another secret Trent wished he never unlocked?

** The Cursed Series is perfect for fans of The Crave Series by Tracy Wolff, The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer, and The Vampire Diaries by LJ Smith **

**Only .99 cents!!**


He hopped out of the truck and was around to my side with the door open before I even had my seatbelt unhooked. 

“Everything all right?” He tucked his cell phone into his pocket, concern blanketing his face. 

“Yeah. Why?”

“You were frowning pretty intently.” 

“Oh.” It was sweet how he was so worried. “Guess the heat is getting to me,” I said with a faint smile. The temperature must have jumped twenty degrees while we were at Trent’s house.

Trent put his hand on my forehead like he was checking me for a fever. The stark contrast of his cool hand against my heated skin made me shiver. 

“You are pretty hot.” He winked. 

I laughed. “That’s a horrible line.” 

He raised a brow and lightly dragged his fingers down the side of my face, stopping to cup my cheek, making the hairs on my arms stand on edge. I looked into his crystal-clear eyes and held my breath. His mouth was so close, and I wanted nothing more than to feel his lips on mine. Why wouldn’t he just kiss me already? 

“Do you trust me?” His voice was soft, almost hesitant.

“Yes.” 

It amazed me how quickly and easily I said that—and how much I meant it. I barely knew him, but deep down in the darkest corners of my soul, I knew he would never hurt me. I didn’t know how I knew that, but I did. 

Slowly, Trent closed the distance between us. His lips pressed against mine, featherlight and much too quick. In the split second when our lips connected, I was hit with a wave of intense longing that had my knees shaking. And then in the next moment, he straightened and moved away from me. 

Trent cleared his throat and rubbed the back of his neck. “Sorry.” 


Eternal Choice
The Cursed Series Book 2


Forced to move to California with her father, the same man who abandoned her ten years ago, Chloe is once again starting over. Only this time, she has a perky new stepmom and an annoying baby brother. To make matters worse, the sea of snobby rich kids at her new prep school pretend she's invisible. As if all that wasn’t bad enough, she has this gnawing sensation that she’s forgetting something important.

And then Trent Halstead crashes back into her life, bringing with him everything she's forgotten and the devastating news that there’s a coven of witches after her, and no one knows why—until Chloe discovers the answer in a box of old family photos. Now, she's keeping a secret that could save Trent's life. There’s just one problem: his salvation will come at a cost. Her destruction. And that’s a price she’s not sure she’s willing to pay.

**Eternal Choice is the exciting sequel to Eternal Curse.**

**Only .99 cents!!**

Fog billowed from the stage and swirled out toward the crowd. My chest tightened, and my eyes burned. I coughed, blinked, and waved my hand in front of my face, but the fog only seemed to get thicker. My vision blurred, and everything around me shifted out of focus. 

Something frighteningly familiar hung in the air—the fog, the fear, the confusion—I’d been in this situation before. Hadn’t I? I wasn’t positive, but the feeling I had been was so strong it threatened to choke me.

Taking a few steps back, I looked for a way out of the crowd, a place I could escape to for a moment, just long enough to catch my breath. Someone bumped into me, and I stumbled into someone else as people rushed closer to the stage, ping-ponging me between various bodies. I was trapped. 

“Simon!” I shouted.

But he couldn’t hear me over the roar of the music, and soon, we were separated by a few dozen people. I spun around, panic seizing me. I needed to get out of here. Bending over, I clutched my stomach and squeezed my eyes shut. 

Strong arms wrapped around me, lifting me off my feet and spinning me around as a someone landed hard on the floor where I’d just been hunched over. I let out a small gasp, and then I realized my body was pressed against a wall of muscle. 

Slowly, I lifted my head, and the breath rushed from my lungs. 

It was the mystery man. 

Fear strangled my ability to speak, and I was paralyzed, unable to shove him away and run—which was exactly what my mind was screaming at me to do. 

“Are you okay?” he asked. 

The noise and chaos around me dulled to a low hum, making it too easy to hear him. And good God, that voice—it could melt the polar ice caps. 

All I could manage was a nod. I was lost in the depths of his ocean blue eyes, mesmerized by his presence. His arms were still around me, holding me to him. Tingles shot through me, and my pulse was like a jackhammer, pounding against every nerve ending in my body. Fear gave way to something else, something just as primal.

He stared down at me, his eyes darkening, and there was something in his gaze… something intimately familiar, like he knew me. But I was positive I didn’t know him and had never known him, because he wasn’t the kind of guy I’d so easily forget. 




Eternal Bond
The Cursed Series Book 3


Chloe is in a fight for her life. Literally. Held prisoner by the Rose Coven, they are desperate for her to break the curse and restore the magical balance, but Chloe adamantly refuses—until a nearly starved Jax Halstead is tossed in the room with her. Now, hanging on to her humanity might be next to impossible.

When one act of mercy creates an unbreakable bond that threatens to destroy everything she’s ever wanted, getting away alive—and still human—is more important than ever.

Once freed, her love and devotion to Trent is at war with the bond she shares with Jax, a bond that’s only growing more intense by the day. And now she must decide which is stronger. All while navigating her senior year of high school, college applications, and waiting for the Rose Coven to return. If that isn’t bad enough, Isach Zoya is back. He knows the truth, and he’s watching her every move. What else could possibly go wrong?

**Only .99 cents!!**

I offered a small smile, though I wasn’t sure why. She was holding me hostage with no release date in sight. She wasn’t my friend, and while I felt bad she’d lost a sister witch, I refused to feel any sympathy for Ivy.

“We’re not a violent coven, and believe me when I say we don’t want to hurt your father. Yes, he wronged us, but we can understand why he did so. Parents will go to any lengths to protect their children. And I will go to any lengths to protect my coven. Do you understand?”

I sucked in a breath and nodded.

“Also believe me when I say that one way or another, we’re going to break this curse. I’d prefer if we did so with your full cooperation.” She clasped her hands behind her back and turned to face me. “I know this isn’t easy for you. I do. But my patience is wearing thin.”

I crossed my arms.

She stared at me for several moments, then moved down the hallway, waving for me to follow. I was starting to feel like her pet, coming when I was called, being obedient. We were silent as she led me back to my room.

Ivy stopped in front of my door, keys clutched in her hand. “Give it some more thought, and we’ll talk again in a couple of days.” She moved around me to unlock the door. “But know that I’m not going to keep giving you more time. A decision needs to be made. Soon.”

“He won’t change me, you know. He’d die first.” Saying those words nearly choked me.

“I know.” She swung the door open and nodded for me to go in. “Which is why I’m offering another incentive.”

I glared at her as I stepped around her and back into what was now my prison cell. And then I froze. Standing in front of the window, back to me, was a male form. Tall. Dark hair. Broad shoulders. My heart jackhammered in my chest. Trent had come for me!

Then he turned around, and my heart stopped



Eternal Love
The Cursed Series Book 4

As if having an unbreakable bond with Jax isn't hard enough, Chloe’s now forced to work with him on a major school project, and the more time they spend together, the stronger the bond becomes. 

Fighting it will most certainly drive her mad. But if she ever wants to have a future with Trent, she has no choice but to resist. Unfortunately, any hope she has of ever becoming a vampire and spending an eternity with Trent hangs on breaking the bond, which is an impossible feat.

Until an unlikely source offers them a solution to their problem. There’s just one catch—in order to fully break the bond, Trent’s immortal life will be linked to her mortal one. And with two of the most powerful covens in the world hellbent on killing her, the decision is a no-brainer. Not even the promise of eternal love is enough to make Chloe risk Trent’s life.

**Only .99 cents!!**


Kara Leigh Miller is a full-time wife; stay-at-home mom to 4 kids, 3 pit bulls, and 6 cats; writer, and the Editorial Director at Anaiah Press. When she’s not herding her family, she’s working out, reading, or binge watching Netflix. Sometimes, she’ll even go golfing with her husband, even though she totally sucks at it.




Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$25 Amazon gift card + 
a swag pack that will include a bookmark, pen & character trading cards



✱✱Book Review✱✱ The Lies That Bind by Emily Giffin

 


The Lies That Bind

by Emily Giffin 


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In the irresistible new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of All We Ever Wanted and Something Borrowed, a young woman falls hard for an impossibly perfect man before he disappears without a trace. . . . 

It’s 2 A.M. on a Saturday night in the spring of 2001, and twenty-eight-year-old Cecily Gardner sits alone in a dive bar in New York’s East Village, questioning her life. Feeling lonesome and homesick for the Midwest, she wonders if she’ll ever make it as a reporter in the big city—and whether she made a terrible mistake in breaking up with her longtime boyfriend, Matthew. 

As Cecily reaches for the phone to call him, she hears a guy on the barstool next to her say, “Don’t do it—you’ll regret it.” Something tells her to listen, and over the next several hours—and shots of tequila—the two forge an unlikely connection. That should be it, they both decide the next morning, as Cecily reminds herself of the perils of a rebound relationship. Moreover, their timing couldn’t be worse—Grant is preparing to quit his job and move overseas. Yet despite all their obstacles, they can’t seem to say goodbye, and for the first time in her carefully constructed life, Cecily follows her heart instead of her head. 

Then Grant disappears in the chaos of 9/11. Fearing the worst, Cecily spots his face on a missing-person poster, and realizes she is not the only one searching for him. Her investigative reporting instincts kick into action as she vows to discover the truth. But the questions pile up fast: How well did she really know Grant? Did he ever really love her? And is it possible to love a man who wasn’t who he seemed to be? 

The Lies That Bind is a mesmerizing and emotionally resonant exploration of the never-ending search for love and truth—in our relationships, our careers, and deep within our own hearts.

GoodReads


BookBub



Momma Says: 1 star⭐

The Lies That Bind is the first book I've read by Emily Giffin, and if this is an accurate sample of the author's work, it will be the last I read by her. The story had potential, but nothing about it worked for me. The characters were flat at best, and I found Cecily to be unlikeable and selfish. I've read other books that were written around the 9/11 attacks, but I have to say that none were handled quite like this one. Cecily's attitude and actions just felt disrespectful to what was a horrific tragedy in this nation's history. I started to DNF this one several times but pushed through, hoping things would improve. Sadly, they did not and the conclusion went exactly where I was afraid it would go. In the end, I couldn't find anything that I liked about this story and just came away disappointed. 

❃❃ARC provided by NetGalley and Ballantine Books

Lachlann's Legacy Tour and Giveaway

 

Lachlann's Legacy
The Order of the Scottish Thistle Book 1
by Ashley York
Genre: Historical Romance


Hidden secrets could tear them apart as fast as their passion drove them together
 
On the Moray coast in Scotland…
 
Ethne’s genuine and caring nature makes her invaluable to her brother as his son’s caretaker, but he and his wife treat her as little more than their servant. When she learns their tribal leader would use her chaste status for his own purposes, Ethne plans to escape and reluctantly accepts the help of Lachlann—a handsome pilgrim she only just met at the local faire.
 
Despite her independent spirit, Ethne feels drawn to Lachlann. Her instincts say his intentions are honorable, but can she trust him with her heart?
 
 
Raised by his godfather with few clues to his family’s past, Lachlann values his freedom and the brotherhood of his highlander kin. Disguised as a pilgrim on a mission for the priory, he encounters Ethne, a warm, intelligent maiden whose courage in the face of a loveless marriage awakens an intense need to protect her.
 
Unfortunately, Ethne is one of the very people he must deceive to explore the cave system containing clues to the lost treasure he seeks. But he cannot abandon her to an uncertain fate—or deny the simmering tension between them.
 
With religious prejudice running high and both of them facing tests of loyalty, Lachlann and Ethne may realize the only way to fight for their futures is to surrender... to each other.



From within the chapel, one of the nuns came alongside the priest. She also watched Lachlann, but with an anxious expression. That was enough to convince him to do the “proper thing,” leastwise as far as the good priest was concerned.

With quite a bit of reluctance, Lachlann retraced the path back to the chapel. Guilt made his steps heavier than they needed to be, and the priest’s dark expression seemed to confirm his first impression.

“Good day to ye, Lachlann,” the nun spoke first. “And how are ye this fine day?”

Surprised by her cheery tone, he accepted the small hand she extended, bowing slightly. “Hearty and healthy, and how are ye, sister?”

Her eyes widened with surprise. “Do ye not remember me?”

“This is Sister Elizabeth from the priory.” Father Michael looked down his nose at the two of them. “She assures me ye’ve met. That ye’ve even been there and helped them out on occasion.”

The priest’s tone carried so much doubt that Lachlann almost laughed at the man’s bad opinion of him, but quickly swallowed the urge.

“Of course. Sister Elizabeth.”

A small woman, slightly younger than himself, and always a gracious hostess. They had enjoyed her company.

“Ye’ve only just missed Niall and Aldred,” he said.

He, Niall, and Aldred had gone to the priory often over the years to help with upkeep—cropping and herding, filling in the gaps along the roof, digging a new well. Mayhap as a way of penance for some of their foolishness, but they hadn’t been there recently.

Her lips transformed into a genuine smile. “Oh. Please do tell Aldred I said hello. As always, I’ve kept him in my prayers.”

“I can bring ye to him,” Lachlan said with more enthusiasm than he intended, even turning toward the general direction of the stables as he spoke. Idly chatting with the priest, who always found him lacking, was not how he wanted to spend his day.

“Many thanks, but ’tis ye I wish to speak with.”

Her piercing gaze held his, and his stomach dropped at the uncharacteristic insistence. Was he to be reprimanded by her as well? No doubt she’d been one of the nuns lined against the wall, probably listening to the Father’s admonishment, but politely pretending not to hear it.

“I am returning to Restenneth shortly, but I had hoped to enlist yer help before I do,” she said. “The three of ye.”

“As always, we would be happy to help in any way we can, though I admit Niall’s uncle keeps us quite busy in battle as of late.”

So much so that when they weren’t living off the land, sleeping wet and cold on the ground, they weren’t sure what to do with themselves.

“I was hoping ye’d say that.”

She seemed ready to burst with excitement and his heart quickened.

“Do ye have such exciting labor?” He asked half-jokingly.

“Ah, no.” Sister Elizabeth laughed. “But we did find something that will interest ye.  Completely unexpected. The sisters and I have a journey we need the three of ye to make on our behalf.”

“A journey.” The idea immediately intrigued Lachlann. This might be the very thing they needed to escape Garnait’s grasping clutches and ceaseless wars. And as long as he could convince his friends to go… Lachlann smiled. He had no doubt that he could do just that. “Tell me more.”



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The Saxon Bride
Norman Conquest Book 1
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Norman Conquest Book 2
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Norman Conquest Book 3
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Norman Conquest Book 4
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Award-winning author Ashley York writes historical romance full of passion and intrigue set in 11th and 12th century Ireland, Scotland, and England where life was wild and survival was never guaranteed.
Whether it's in the mysterious ring forts of Ireland, the romantic Scottish Highlands, or the battle fields of Hastings, her characters fight hard and play hard. Good or evil, primary or secondary, they'll yank at your emotions and make it hard to put her books down.
Passionate about history and research, York may tweak some historical facts (like the location of the Baron's Rebellion) but the flavor of the time is undeniable. With heroes and heroines you'll want to read about again and again, her stories are fresh and unpredictable but still finish with a satisfying HEA.




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