Tattoo of Crimson by Sarah Chislon: Author Guest Post and Giveaway



Hello all, please join me in welcoming author Sarah Chislon to my blog today. Sarah is on virtual tour for her book Tattoo of Crimson and she’s stopping by today to discuss her Top Ten Writing Practices. Read on for details about her book and also for a chance to win a $25.00 Amazon gift card. Details below.

Book details:

Tattoo of Crimson by Sarah Chislon
(Blood of the Fae, #1)
Publication date: January 17th 2023
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Mystery

Synopsis:

Society, suitors, and…serial murders?

As much as she desires to please her family, gently-bred herbalist Jessa Caldwell has no intention of making a suitable match—not when she’s seeking the truth about the taint of the fae that lies within her. If she’s to escape the madness brought on by fae-touch, she must devote her energies to seeking a cure.

But then mysterious tattoos begin to appear on the citizens of Avons. None recall receiving these harbingers of death, but all die at the hand of an untraceable killer days or weeks after being marked.

When the tattoo appears on her beloved mentor, Jessa seeks the Magistry with information on the case—yet they refuse to consider her findings, so she must risk both social censure and her own safety to hunt for the killer herself.

Her one possible ally represents her greatest fear—the encroaching Otherworld consuming her mind—and may well undo all her efforts to control her fae-touch. Yet if she forsakes the offered aid, the killer will go free.

Something sinister stalks the streets of her city, and she must decide…how far will she go to stop the killing?

Tattoo of Crimson, a gaslamp fantasy novel, is the first book in the Blood of the Fae series. If you like quick-minded heroines who solve cases with logic and intuition, beautiful yet deadly fae, and Otherworldly intrigues, then you’ll love this mystery set in a world of manners and mythical monsters.

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/63216952-tattoo-of-crimson

Purchase links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3GOMlGz
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tattoo-of-crimson-sarah-chislon/1142912533?ean=9781958755037

iBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/tattoo-of-crimson/id6444664981
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/tattoo-of-crimson


Top Ten Writing Practices
by Sarah Chislon

When I consider my writing practices, I find that I must start with mindset, which provides the foundation for developing the more technical skills needed to write fiction. Without further ado, here are ten tips for writers.

1. Know your strengths and utilize them in your writing. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of Clifton Strengths, I highly recommend checking out the resources offered by Becca Syme, which help interpret the Clifton strengths for the writing community. The central concept behind Clifton Strengths is that we go further faster using our strengths to approach any area of work, life, and creativity. So it’s worth learning your own unique combination of strengths and using them as a springboard for success.
2. Don’t compare your process to others. Certainly, learn and glean from those before you on the path—and be willing to experiment—but don’t expect to fit into the same exact box as another writer (see the first point about unique combinations of strengths).
3. Keep your creative well filled. Enjoy great books, long walks in nature, quiet and meditation, or the company of others—whatever keeps your mind and creativity stimulated.
4. Cultivate curiosity, an inquiring mind, and a sense of wonder. As Albert Einstein once said, “imagination is everything.”
5. Never stop learning craft. Read books on writing. Take courses. Read excellent books in your genre and outside of it.
6. Be willing to write a mediocre first draft. Like all these tips, your milage may vary, depending on your strengths, but I find it invaluable to let the words pour out in the first draft without worrying about perfection. Then I flesh things out and polish during edits.
7. Track your time. I’m in the middle of writing a series with preorders, and the fact that I’ve tracked my time writing prior books has given me the knowledge of how long it typically takes me to draft, edit, and produce a finished novel. That’s been immeasurably helpful in allowing me to set deadlines for preorders with more confidence.
8. Know your why. Why are you writing—in general and for a particular story? It will shape the decisions you make during the process.
9. Seek excellence. I want to know that I’ve crafted each story I release into the world with as much skill and excellence in craft as I currently possess. Of course, as writers, we’re learning and growing with each book, but take the time to develop your work well, whatever that looks like for you. 10. Enjoy the journey. It’s a gift to write and create, so if you find you’re approaching burnout/not enjoying the process, then take a step back and make time to reignite the spark that got you writing in the first place.


Giveaway Details:
Tour-wide giveaway (INT)
$25 Amazon gift card
Ends Feb 2nd

CLICK HERE TO ENTER TO WIN Good luck!




AUTHOR BIO:

Sarah Chislon lives in Virginia with her husband and three daughters. When she’s not writing, she’s homeschooling her children and running a web development business with her husband. As an avid reader and a lifelong story-weaver, she delights in creating fantastic worlds and exploring them alongside her characters.

To find out more about her, visit sarahchislon.com.


Special thanks to Xpresso Tours and thank you Sarah! Click here for the rest of the tour stops.

Vampires and Villains (Magical Mystery Book Club #2) by Elizabeth Pantley Review and Giveaway


Source: Free review copy via Partners In Crime Book Tours
Title: Vampires and Villains (Magical Mystery Book Club #2)
author: Elizabeth Pantley’s
Genre: Paranormal Cozy Mystery
Published by: Better Beginnings, Inc.
Publication Date: September 2022
Pages: 219
ISBN: 9798849790657
Book Links: Amazon | Goodreads

Book blurb:
Paige and her joyful Aunt Glo have learned that the home they inherited comes with a magical library. They put together a book club group of loveable kooks to explore the magic. They’ve recovered from their first book journey, and they all agree on their next book which takes place on a cruise ship bound for Hawaii. Problem is, they were so excited about the cruising idea that they didn’t read the entire blurb on the back of the book. (“It was entirely too long,” explains Zell.) Once on the ship, they meet a charming and likeable man who blends seamlessly into their motley group. Too bad they don’t know why he’s so scarce during the day but shows up to join them every evening for dinner, drinks, and a show. When a dead body shows up on board, their new friend is labeled a suspect. Can they help him out by finding the real murderer? Or is he the real murderer? The book club will need to solve the case to get off the ship, out of the book, and back to their home.

Excerpt:
“Here’s one with a cruise ship on the cover,” yelled Forrest. “It’s called Havoc in Hawaii.”
“Yes!” squealed Sebastian, doing a little jig. “I loooove Hawaii!”
Zell marched up to Forrest and he handed her the book. She began to scan the back cover and mumble, “Cruise … adventure … tropical islands …”
“Ah. The blurb is too long. I’m sure this will do!” She flipped the book open and before we could stop her, she began to read.
“Zell! Stop reading!” Vee yelled. “We don’t even know what the mystery is about yet—”

It was too late. The globe turned golden until it shone like the sun. It began to spin, faster and faster, the speed increasing by the moment. Sparks began to shoot from it, and the room slowly filled with fog until we could no longer see. In the quiet fog-filled room, Million’s thunderous gasp of a string of bad words made us all laugh.

As the dense fog continued to fill the library, we all became perfectly still and silent. Waiting. Wondering. What would be next? The silence finally gave way to the excited chatter of a crowd around us. Once the air was cleared, we found ourselves in a boarding line, heading onto a majestic, glittering cruise ship. Its name was painted across the bow: Serendipity of the Seas.

The air was warm, humid, and smelled of tropical flowers. Beyond the glass enclosed walkway that snaked back and forth toward the ship we could see palm trees and blue skies.

“Looks like we’re embarking right in Hawaii,” said Zell.
“Most likely Honolulu,” added Million.
“Probably Pier 2,” said Zell with a look of superiority.
“Looks busy today. I’d say we’re using the alternate terminal at Pier 11.” Million looked smug, as if he’d just won that round of their game of one-upmanship.
“This is so exciting!” squealed Sebastian. “And look at my outfit!” He did a spin showing off his crisp khaki trousers, an aloha shirt airbrushed with colorful bird-of-paradise flowers, and beige espadrilles.
We had all arrived in clothing that wasn’t ours but was suitable for the trip. The only person who looked perfectly normal was Moonbeam, except that the type of flowers displayed on her kaftan were more tropical than hippie. Even Forrest was decked out in a Hawaiian print shirt, though his was teen-appropriate, worn open over a white t-shirt, and set off with a stylish pair of sunglasses.

“Isn’t anyone weirded out about our clothes changing?” asked Vee.
“Hold up, Vee-Vee,” said Frank, sporting a floral print scarf around his neck. “You’re okay with plopping into a mystery book and solving a murder case, but you think it’s weird that your clothes have changed?”
“If you put it that way.” She shrugged.
Glo called out over her shoulder. “We’re almost to the front of the line!” She was leading the group and trotting so fast we could barely keep up with her. Her beach-print sundress was fluttering in the breeze behind her. My aunt loved adventures and having fun, and this was certainly both.
As soon as we were over the gangway the crowd split into two directions. Photo stations were set up on both sides with a screen shot of a Hawaiian beach, the Serendipity of the Seas cruise ship in the background, and a banner over the top saying “Welcome Aboard!” A photographer’s assistant was placing a lei around each passenger.

“Wait up, Glo! Veer to the right!” Zell shouted, then she turned toward us. “You need to pick your photographer wisely.”
“Yeah,” said Million, nodding in agreement. “Cuz they charge an arm and a leg for those photos, but you can’t resist buying them.”
“You’ve got the millions, so spend a few,” laughed Sebastian.
“Who told you I got millions?” Our newest member turned to Sebastian with a scowl.
“As I was saying,” Zell said. “You want the best one. See that guy on the left. He’s boring and bland. Looks like he’d rather be somewhere else. People are barely smiling for him. His assistant is passing out wilted leis. Now, that guy on the right – he’s the life of the party. Even his assistant is doing a little dance to the music. He’s joking, he’s talking. Everybody’s laughing. Makes for a great photo.”
“Plus, he looks like Mr. Bean. Makes you laugh before he even opens his mouth,” said Moonbeam.
“Who’s Mr. Bean, Mom?” asked Forrest.
“Google him, honey.”
A moment later Forrest chuckled. “He does look like Mr. Bean!”
“Hey! You have cell service. Good deal,” said Vee. “Means a contemporary setting, right, Zell?”
“Yeppers!” Zell nodded vigorously. “… as far as I know.” Her voice faded off at the end.
We were at the front of the line where Glo was eagerly waiting. “Picture time!” She was bouncing on the toes of her cork-wedge sandals – a pair she’d never buy for herself, though she was obviously enjoying them.
“Howdy folks!” called the photographer, Mr. Bean’s twin, with a name tag that said Grant Perkins, USA. “Welcome aboard!”


my thoughts:
Last year I read the first book in this cozy paranormal mystery series called Shifting and Shenanigans by Elizabeth Pantley and really enjoyed it so when I had the opportunity to read this second installment I jumped at the chance.

Vampires and Villains picks right up where the first book left off. The series revolves around a magical mystery book club whose select members are actually transported into their book club selection to solve the mystery. They cannot leave the book until they crack the case. This time the reading group find themselves on a cruise ship called the Serendipity of the Seas. Not before long, a body turns up in the casino onboard and it’s up to the book club members to figure out who dunnit. The cast of characters from the first book are here, including Frank the talking cat. There are also some new characters introduced. There are nearly 5 thousand guests and crew aboard, including vampires as the group tries to narrow the suspects down.

I enjoyed the mystery, the vampires and I loved the cruise ship setting. The descriptive writing transported me aboard the ship alongside the book club members as they tried to figure out who committed the crime. I didn’t know who did it until the author revealed it.

I have to say, I just love this series. I enjoy Elizabeth Pantley’s easy and addictive writing style. This is my second time reading a book of hers where I finished it in one sitting. Although Vampires and Villains is the second book in this series, it reads fine as a stand-alone. However, I suggest reading the first book to get a feel for how the book club got started. I recommend this one if you enjoy paranormal cozies with a bit of humor in the mix and a fun cast of characters.

“RED ALERT. CODE DRACULA”– 54% Kindle, Vampires and Villains by Elizabeth Pantley




Giveaway Details:
CLICK HERE TO ENTER TO WIN one $10 Amazon.com Gift Card for US Residents.
Good luck!



Author Bio:

Elizabeth Pantley says that writing her several Mystery and Magic book series is the most fun she’s ever had at work. Fans of the series say her joy is evident through the engaging stories she tells. Elizabeth is also the international bestselling author of The No-Cry Sleep Solution and twelve other books for parents. Her books have been published in over twenty languages. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, a beautiful inspiration for her enchanted worlds.
Catch Up With Elizabeth Pantley:
www.nocrysolution.com/books
Goodreads
BookBub – @DestinyFalls
Instagram – @destinyfallsmystery
Facebook – @DestinyFallsMysteryandMagic


Tour Participants:

01/23 Review @ Review Thick And Thin
01/24 Review @ Guatemala Paula Loves to Read
01/26 Review @ Mythical Books
01/28 Review @ Confessions of the Perfect Mom
01/30 Review @ Scrapping&Playing
02/01 Review @ nanasbookreviews
02/02 Review @ Urban Book Reviews
02/03 Review @ Curious Artifact
02/04 Review @ Book Corner News and Reviews



Disclaimer: This review is my honest opinion. I did not receive any kind of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. I am under no obligation to write a positive review. My copy of Vampires and Villains by Elizabeth Pantley came via Partners In Crime Book Tours in exchange for my honest thoughts on it.

When the Day Comes (Timeless Book 1) by Gabrielle Meyer


source: Bethany House / Twitter
title: When the Day Comes
author: Gabrielle Meyer
published: May 3, 2022
pages: 373
genre: Christian historical fiction romance
first line: For as long as I could remember, my mama had told me that my life was a gift.
rated: Sweet historical fiction with a dash of romance and time travel.
4 out of 5 stars



blurb:
Libby has been given a powerful gift: to live one life in 1774 Colonial Williamsburg and the other in 1914 Gilded Age New York City. When she falls asleep in one life, she wakes up in the other without any time passing. On her twenty-first birthday, Libby must choose one path and forfeit the other–but how can she possibly decide when she has so much to lose?



my thoughts:
I meant to read When the Day Comes by Gabrielle Meyer last year and I’m glad I finally got to it. This was a sweet, moving, historical romance with a dash of time-travel in the mix that had me hooked until I turned the final page. This is book 1 in the Timeless Series.

At the heart of the story is Libby who is turning 21 in about a year. Libby is a time-crosser which means she lives simultaneously in two different time periods. She wakes up 1774 Colonial Williamsburg one day and then goes to sleep at night and wakes up in 1914 as a socialite in New York City the next day. She awakens daily alternating between these two time periods, which are so different from one another. In one time frame she is wealthy but unhappy, in the other time period her family struggles financially but she’s happy. On her 21st birthday, which is 13 months away, Libby needs to pick a time period to stay in permanently. This means she will have to leave one of her lives behind, including her friends and family in that life. In the timeline Libby chooses to leave behind she’ll pass away in her sleep on her 21st birthday, so it’s a hard choice for her to make knowing she’ll be breaking her loved one’s hearts in the process.

I can’t really say too much without including spoilers but the American history nerd in me loved this book through and through. The author does a fantastic job at doing her research in setting the story up in Williamsburg Virginia 1774 on the cusp of the American Revolution and in New York City and England 1914 as WW1 is about to begin. The 1914 and the 1774 settings both jump to life within these pages. Libby is pretty much experiencing two pivotal wars in history at the same time. American history and the sacrifices people have made for liberty is also at the center front of the story. Libby works hard to help others in both of her timelines.

The story flowed and the descriptive settings transported me through time and place. The cast of supporting characters like Libby’s mom and her father and her 1774 love interest Henry, all added to the storyline. The story had plenty of twists and turns and I wondered how Libby would choose a permanent era to stay in.

This is also Christian fiction and the main theme in this story is that what is meant to be, will be. Libby’s faith gets her through the tough times and on looking back in the end, she sees why things turned out the way they did. As Libby’s story comes to a conclusion, the ending also leaves it wide open for the next book in this series.

I loved the heartfelt way the story turned out and how the author wrapped it all up and gave us a nice surprise at the end. In reading the afterword I discovered Gabrielle Meyer began writing When the Day Comes in 2020 while having some health issues herself and I can see how this influenced the way the story went. I recommend When the Day Comes if you enjoy well researched historical fiction with faith, romance, time travel and family drama in the mix. I really enjoyed this one.

“Just ahead, the Raleigh Tavern loomed. It was a large establishment by Williamsburg’s standards, but it was even larger in my imagination. It was one of the most important places in American history and would play a part in the outcome of democracy.
A group of men exited the building as I approached, including George Washington and Henry Montgomery, among others.”
– p,150, When the Day Comes by Gabrielle Meyer

“Freedom isn’t stagnant or guaranteed. It lives and breathes and must be defended constantly. Don’t take it for granted. Fight for it, both in the public and private spheres of your life. And always look for ways to help.”- p. 311 When the Day Comes

about the author
Gabrielle Meyer grew up above a carriage house on a historic estate near the banks of the Mississippi River, imagining real and make-believe stories about the occupants who had lived there. She went on to work for the Minnesota Historical Society and loves writing fiction inspired by real people, places, and events. She currently resides in central Minnesota on the banks of the Mississippi River, not far from where she grew up, with her husband and four children. By day, she’s a busy homeschool mom, and by night she pens fiction and non-fiction filled with hope. Learn more about Gabrielle and her writing by visiting http://www.gabriellemeyer.com. – quoted from Goodreads



Disclaimer: This review is my honest opinion. I did not receive any kind of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. I am under no obligation to write a positive review. Special thanks to Bethany House for my copy of When the Day Comes by Gabrielle Meyer.

Sunday Post/Mailbox Monday 1/22/23: Book and Crochet Updates

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists…



Happy weekend. It’s been a busy week and yet somehow it’s still January. I worked remotely all week but I went into the office one day mid-week and that ended up becoming a 10-hour workday not including the commute, which left me totally drained. Then my insomnia set in for a few nights after which is so exhausting. I’m hoping to just relax today, read a little and binge watch GOT.
Here’s Otis on his afternoon walk last Sunday at the local park and although it was cold, the views are so peaceful out there.


onto my weekly updates…

recently on the blog:

I had a pretty quiet blog week but I did manage to share Top Ten Tuesday 1/17/23: Bookish Goals for 2023. This was a fun topic and I found that several other bloggers wanted to go to the library more and get their pending Net Galley books reviewed.

coming soon:

I’ll be sharing my thoughts on When the Day Comes by Gabrielle Meyer this week. I meant to get my review up yesterday, but the day got away from me.


I’ll be sharing my thoughts on Vampires and Villains by Elizabeth Pantley on Wednesday as part of a book tour.

in my mailbox:

A Gilded Death by Cecelia Tichi came via the publicist this past week and it looks like a good one. This is for a late February review.



crochet:
I have a few projects going on, but I decided to crochet a mood blanket this year. The idea behind a mood blanket is you write down your moods and assign them colors…i.e. blue for relaxed, pink for creative…etc. I decided to add a row of multi-colored yarn on the days I do yoga so some days will have 2 rows. So beginning on January 1st, you crochet a row for your mood daily for the whole year. However, I’m not going to be doing 365 rows, I think I’ll stop at the 6-month mark.

This is my blanket so far up through January 18th. I picked white for tired and there’s plenty of those days for January so far. I’m only using yarn I have already so this is also a great way to stash bust. I have accumulated so much yarn that I have a linen closet full of it, plus several duffel bags full so I’m totally on a yarn buying ban. I had to tell friends and family not to buy me yarn this past Christmas please because I already have a massive collection. 🙂


watching


I finally started Game of Thornes last week and it has taken over my life lol. I’m halfway through Season 2. Have you watched it?

That covers my updates for now, what have you been up to? Happy reading this week!

Disclaimer: Nothing in this post is available for download. The photos here are my own and not be to be removed from this post.

Top Ten Tuesday 1/17/23: Bookish Goals for 2023

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.


Happy Tuesday. Today’s topic is another really good one: Bookish Goals for 2023.


Otis and I have a few bookish goals for this upcoming year, here are our top ten.

1. Read 50 Books
This is easier said than done with everyday life being so busy but I’m going to aim to read every day this year, even if it’s just a few pages. I’ve been doing so since the start of the year and I know I can reach my reading goal this way.

2. Get to the library
I’d like to get to the library this year and start borrowing audio books again.

3. Organize my bookshelves
I want to organize my shelves and weed a few books out to donate. This is easier said than done because whenever I try to organize my books, I wind up talking about the books I’m organizing to my daughter or whoever is within earshot, and nothing gets accomplished.

4. Blog regularly
Every year I take blogging breaks but I still want to make sure to keep up with my book blogging on a regular basis.

5. Tackle my pending review books
I have to tackle my pending NetGalley books and other pending review books within the next 4 months. I know it’s possible.

6. Discover new authors
I’d like to branch out and read new to me authors. I tend to stick with the same favorites.

7. Go to Barnes & Noble
I’ve been meaning to go to B&N for years literally. I haven’t set foot in there since pre-pandemic. The one I like has 2 floors.

8. Read this stack of books specifically.

This is a pile of books from my TBR mountain that I want to make sure I read this year.

9. Read a selection from Reese’s Book Club.
I follow her on Instagram and she seems to pick some great reads.

10. Find more book blogs to follow.
I enjoy finding new book blogs!

That wraps up my reading goals this year, what are yours? Happy reading this week. 🙂



Disclaimer: Nothing in this post is available for download. The photos here are my own and not be to be removed from this post.