In this dazzling first book in the EMPRESS CHRONICLES series by the author of THE MOMENT BEFORE, one courageous girl seeks keys to the past to unlock the future…
When city girl Liz is banished to a
rural goat farm on the outskirts of Portland, the 15-year-old feels her life spiraling out of control. She can’t connect to her father or his young girlfriend, and past trauma adds to her sense of upheaval. The only person who seems to keep her sane is a troubled boy who is fighting his own demons. But all of this changes in one historical instant.
One-hundred fifty years earlier, Elisabeth of Bavaria has troubles of her own. Her childhood is coming to a crashing end, and her destiny is written in the form of a soothsaying locket that has the ability to predict true love. But evil is afoot in the form of a wicked enchantress who connives to wield the power of the locket for her own destructive ends.
When Liz finds a timeworn diary, and within it a locket, she discovers the secrets and desires of the young Bavarian princess who will one day grow up to be the legendary Empress of Austria. It is in the pages of the diary that these two heroines will meet, and it is through their interwoven story that Liz will discover she has the power to rewrite history—including her own…
Readers of books like Rachel Harris’s MY SUPER SWEET SIXTEENTH CENTURY will love THE EMPRESS CHRONICLES
About The Author
Suzy Vitello is a proud founding member of a critique group recently dubbed The Hottest Writing Group in Portland, and her short stories have won fellowships and prizes (including the Atlantic Monthly Student Writing Award, and an Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship).
Like most humans (especially the female ones), I wear many hats in life. Wife. Mother. Daughter. Friend, Employee. Volunteer. Blogger. For about a year, I have flirted with the idea of putting on the Writer hat – I have always wanted one, actually.
A tiny book idea is being coaxed into the open where it can mature. I have incredible friends and family in my corner, and I sincerely appreciate what they have done to encourage me to date. I can only imagine the gratitude I will express when I sit to write the Acknowledgements part of this book. If all goes well, others beyond my team of supporters will read it.
As this project unfolds, I will be dialing back the number of reviews on this blog… one of the reasons I have not put on my writer hat sooner was because of previous commitments. I have been a reading fool all year, and I LOVE getting books from friends, agents and publishers in exchange for honest reviews. I look forward to getting back to that in the new year. Until then, I will continue to participate in promo posts, excerpts, guest posts, interviews and author spotlights when possible. From time to time, I will post my thoughts on this writing journey as I make my way from here to there.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you for following this blog. As of today, I have 1,480 subscribers via email, 877 likes on Facebook and 472 followers on Twitter. I have been wearing this Blogger hat for a year and a half, and it is truly humbling to know that friends, fellow book lovers & kindred spirits have supported this labor of love. – kris
Before she can become Catherine The Great, fifteen-year-old Sophie will have to survive her social-climbing mother’s quest to put her on the throne of Russia—at any cost.
Imperial Court holds dangers like nothing Sophie has ever faced before. In the heart of St. Petersburg, surviving means navigating the political, romantic, and religious demands of the bitter Empress Elizabeth and her handsome, but sadistic nephew, Peter. Determined to save her impoverished family—and herself—Sophie vows to do whatever is necessary to thrive in her new surroundings. But an attempt on her life and an unexpected attraction threatens to derail her plans.
Alone in a new and dangerous world, learning who to trust and who to charm may mean the difference between becoming queen and being sent home in shame to marry her lecherous uncle. With traitors and murderers lurking around every corner, her very life hangs in the balance. Betrothed to one man but falling in love with another, Sophie will need to decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice in order to become the empress she is destined to be.
In a battle for the soul of a nation, will love or destiny reign supreme?
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Series: A Stolen Empire Series
Praise for Queen of Someday:
“UGH. This book was just too perfect. How will I ever come down from this book high?”
~Kalla (Goodreads reviewer)
“If I could rate this book more than five stars, I would. It was INCREDIBLE.”
~Kelli from Beautiful Book Chaos
“Woah. This book kicked ass.”
~Leanne Bell (Goodreads reviewer)
“I don’t when the next book will be out but I can guarantee it will be too long.”
~Michelle (Goodreads reviewer)
“(This) book is utterly brilliant.”
~Pearl from Bibliopearl Reviews
“Ficklin’s writing is a marvel to read.”
~Sara from Smitten Over Books
“Queen of Someday is a bright new addition to the YA scene…”
~Bobbi (Goodreads Reviewer)
“…holy crap I loved that ending. It was perfect!”
~Eileen Lee of Book Captain Reviews
Be sure to enter the giveaway!
A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:
ABOUT SHERRY D. FICKLIN
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I LOVE THIS SERIES!!! This blog is only 1.5 years old, but some of my favorite books I have shared on this site are Ghost Hand and Ghost Hold. If you are looking for an original, action-packed, well-written paranormal adventure – this is the series for you! Do yourself a favor and read the first two (Book 1 is FREE HERE!) & then dive into Book Three – Ghost Heart!
There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of Ghost Heart. These are the prizes you can win:
– a set of signed cover posters (US only)
– a $10 Amazon gift card (international)
For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:en
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Book Three picks up where Book Two left off, and the mysteries continue as well. Passion. Olivia and Marcus take turns telling the story, but one of my favorite chapters is the first one, where a Magic Eight Ball is swept up in a swift river current and it reports on its journey. Awesome way to open set the scene. Kudos to the author!
I really liked getting inside Passion’s head – she is one of my favorite characters, and her storytelling did not disappoint! The triple POV was a great way to move the plot along while giving insight to past and current actions of all the players. As always, I would rather be vague than risk spoilers – just know that if you enjoyed the unique world of Olivia crafted by Ms. Patton- and all the surprises that come with it.
If you read the first two books and found them to be thrilling and addictive, you will equally enjoy this installment. I had assumed the series was a trilogy, and it was a bittersweet surprise to know there is a Book 4 in my future. Only bitter because I had hoped for a different ending – very sweet because I get to read more before I get there. – kris
This is my stop during the book blitz for Ghost Heart (The PSS Chronicles #3) by Ripley Patton. This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 20 till 26 October, you can view the complete blitz schedule on the website of Lola’s Blog Tours.
So far this series contains 3 books: Ghost Hand (The PSS Chronicles #1), Ghost Hold (The PSS Chronicles #2) and Ghost Heart (The PSS Chronicles #3).
In the aftermath of a brutal tragedy, Jason and Passion are on the run. Marcus is lost beyond reach, and The Hold is in shambles. If that weren’t enough, Olivia Black has been taken by the CAMFers to be used as Dr. Fineman’s personal lab rat in his merciless quest to uncover the mysteries of Psyche Sans Soma once and for all. But only if he can break her.
They are scattered.
They are devastated.
They are ruined.
Their only hope is Olivia’s stubborn determination to thwart her captors and unlock the secrets of her ghost hand before Dr. Fineman can. Will she finally find the strength within herself to embrace the full power of her PSS?
And will it even matter if Marcus has already betrayed her?
You can find Ghost Heart on Goodreads.
Seventeen-year-old Olivia Black has a rare birth defect known as Psyche Sans Soma, or PSS. Instead of a right hand made of flesh and blood, she was born with a hand made of ethereal energy.
How does Olivia handle being the girl with the ghost hand? Well, she’s a little bit morbid and a whole lot snarky.
Her mother thinks her obsession with death, black clothing, and the local cemetery is a bid for attention. But when Marcus, the new guy in Olivia’s calculus class, stares at her like she’s a freak, Olivia doesn’t like it. And when her hand goes rogue, doing things she never imagined possible, Olivia finds herself running for her life with Marcus from a group of men bent on taking the power of her hand for their own nefarious purposes.
You can add Ghost hand to your to-read list on Goodreads.
Olivia Black is back.
Only this time she’s not the one in need of rescue.
Samantha James, rich, popular, and an award-winning composer at age seventeen, is the next target on the CAMFers’ list. In order to convince Samantha to come with them, Olivia and Passion must pose as cousins, blend into the most affluent high school in Indianapolis, and infiltrate a mysterious cult known as The Hold.
Olivia doesn’t expect it to be easy, even with the PSS guys backing them up. But what she discovers over the course of the mission will call into question everything she ever believed about herself, her family, and especially about Marcus, the guy she is undoubtedly falling in love with.
You can add Ghost Hold to your to-read list on Goodreads.
About the Author:
Ripley Patton lives in Portland, Oregon with one cat, two teenagers, and a man who wants to live on a boat. She is an award-winning short story writer and author of The PSS Chronicles, a young adult paranormal thriller series.
Ripley doesn’t smoke, or drink, or cuss as much as her characters. Her only real vices are writing, eating M&Ms, and watching reality television.
The Book Beacon is proud to be a stop on the Blog Tour for Burying Water by K.A. Tucker. Please keep reading for information about the fantastic novel, a signed book giveaway, book excerpt and our 5 Star Review!
About BURYING WATER:
The top-selling, beloved indie author of Ten Tiny Breaths returns with a new romance about a young woman who loses her memory—and the man who knows that the only way to protect her is to stay away.
Left for dead in the fields of rural Oregon, a young woman defies all odds and survives—but she awakens with no idea who she is, or what happened to her. Refusing to answer to “Jane Doe” for another day, the woman renames herself “Water” for the tiny, hidden marking on her body—the only clue to her past. Taken in by old Ginny Fitzgerald, a crotchety but kind lady living on a nearby horse farm, Water slowly begins building a new life. But as she attempts to piece together the fleeting slivers of her memory, more questions emerge: Who is the next-door neighbor, quietly toiling under the hood of his Barracuda? Why won’t Ginny let him step foot on her property? And why does Water feel she recognizes him?
Twenty-four-year-old Jesse Welles doesn’t know how long it will be before Water gets her memory back. For her sake, Jesse hopes the answer is never. He knows that she’ll stay so much safer—and happier—that way. And that’s why, as hard as it is, he needs to keep his distance. Because getting too close could flood her with realities better left buried.
The trouble is, water always seems to find its way to the surface.
Enter to win 1 of 5 SIGNED copies of Burying Water!
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Before I get into HOW MUCH I LOVED THIS BOOK, I need to quickly mention something: My friends tease me sometimes because my reviews are always so positive – like I love every book I read… but I don’t. I just write about the ones I really like on my blog. The purpose of The Book Beacon is to spotlight/ highlight/ call attention to the books (that are in my opinion), worth reading. I don’t write or post bad reviews; I simply decline offers to participate if the book wasn’t for me.
That being said, THIS BOOK WAS FOR ME. AND FOR YOU. AND FOR HER OVER THERE.
In the acknowledgements, the author describes Burying Water as “ambitious… the shift between past and present, alternating POVs, and two people falling in love twice was a lot to take on.” As a HUGE fan of her other work, I must thank K.A. Tucker for taking this story on. It is exceptionally well done and crafted in such a way that you know you are participating in something complex and special.
The main character shifts from Alexandria to Jane Doe to Water and back again in a fantastic display of characteristics ebbing and flowing during her recovery from a violent assault. The first few chapters were hard to read, knowing what she has been through, but her recovery from wounds and re-entry to life is all the more remarkable for having survived. Her love interest Jesse switches displays both age appropriate selfishness and sacrificial love when it comes to Alex/Jane/Water. His actions – past and present – are authentic demonstrations of both self preservation and willingness to risk it all for the right woman.
I cannot imagine anyone reading this beautifully written story and not loving it. Not telling others to read it – much like the author’s book, Ten Tiny Breaths – you read something like that and tell everyone who will listen that it should go to the top of their TBR. That is also how I feel about Burying Water. – kris
Keep reading for an excerpt from the novel and information about the gifted author, K. A. Tucker… Continue reading
A CHILL RUNS THROUGH HIS SKIN AS THE PHANTOM APPEARS.
HE SEES THEM EVERYWHERE . . .
Eric Stark is not insane. Or at least he doesn’t think so. He wishes everyone in Dust, Texas, felt the same way. But that’s not going to happen since the whole town thinks he’s crazy. Why didn’t he keep his mouth shut?
No one understands. Eric is alone as he battles his sanity in a town of tormenters. Suddenly a new friendship emerges after the new kid, Kyle Barrett, moves to town.
Eric reluctantly reveals his secret. Is it a curse or a gift? He isn’t certain, but with Kyle by his side he finds the courage to seek the truth.
They soon realize that something sinister is descending on the residents of Dust.
Is it caused by Eric’s phantoms or is it something else? Is it connected to the mysterious death of hundreds of townspeople over sixty years ago? One thing is certain—only Eric and Kyle can save them.
They set out on a heart-pounding adventure and find themselves transported to a disturbed and deserted version of their small southern town. They quickly discover that this new world has mysteries of its own to uncover. What they find could prove more than they bargained for, and it only leads to more questions. Eric and Kyle must face a horrifying fact—they may never get out alive.
“We’re gonna die here,” Kyle muttered.
“I don’t believe that,” Eric said. “And neither do you.”
Will they survive their encounter with these dark and mysterious beings?
Will they find a way back home?
Or will they be lost forever?
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I really enjoyed Vanished from Dust. The media kit includes the following: The Vanished from Dust series is perfect for anyone who craves a hair-raising thriller packed with mystery and suspense. This paranormal story for young adults can be compared to Stand by Me, mixed with Odd Thomas, and a twist of The Dark Tower. I agree completely.
This was a fun adventure/ coming of age/ paranormal mystery story with enough plot twists and suspense to keep any reader’s attention. The characters are very well developed, and the setting of Dust, TX is vividly described. The original plot is very well crafted and fast paced. I enjoyed the author’s writing style, and this is the kind of story that grips you early and does not let go. While geared for teens and young adults, this story of friendship, secrets and paranormal activity will be fun for every reader.
I loved the friendship between Eric and Kyle, and their adventures were a joy to read – I look forward to reading more from the series.
“I’m not crazy,” Eric Stark shouted at the crowd of seventh graders as they surrounded him. He looked up from the ground, which consisted of patches of grass and dirt, to see the sunlight glinting off of the metal braces of a girl with pigtails as she pointed and laughed with the rest of them. Another boy kicked him in the stomach, causing him to retreat into a fetal position to guard against another blow.
“Oh yeah?” Greg Coffey asked as he towered over Eric. His lip was curled, showing his crooked, heavily stained teeth. “What happened last week in class? You said, ‘They’re watching me.’ Remember that, loser?”
“I didn’t say that.” Eric tried to get up, but Greg pushed him back down and kicked dirt in his face. Eric rubbed his burning eyes with both hands. When he opened them he saw four more kids sneering over him, all laughing at his expense. Where was a teacher when you needed one? The hot Texas sun was high on the horizon, almost blinding him as he stared back at his tormentors. Sweat was pouring from his brow, mixing with the tears that streamed down his face.
“Yeah you did,” Adam Marshall said with a smirk. “You’re going off the rails,
“I like that—crazy train. Just like the song,” Greg said. He laughed and gave Adam
a high five. “That’s your new name. Like it?” Greg kicked another pile of dirt at Eric. Eric tried to spit it out, but his entire face was covered in a muddy film. He
wished that he’d just kept his mouth shut about it, but it was too late now. News traveled fast in a small town, and he was sure everyone thought he was insane by now.
He didn’t know what he was.
“Leave him alone,” a kid said. He leaned over to help Eric to his feet. “I don’t like
“Stay out of it, new kid.” Greg said and gave him a scowling stare.
“Or what?” The kid got closer.
“Let’s go,” Adam said. “There’s a teacher coming.” He slapped Greg on the
“This ain’t over,” Greg said as he walked away. “Thanks,” Eric said.
“I’m Kyle Barrett,” the kid said, extending his hand.
Eric shook it. “Did you just move here?”
“Yeah, this is my first day,” Kyle said. “It’s hard being the new kid. No one talks to
“No one talks to me either, except to make fun of me,” Eric said.
Six months after the dirt-‐kicking incident, Eric and Kyle had turned from strangers
into fast friends. But everyone else still thought Eric was crazy. Even now, he
couldn’t be sure if they were right or wrong.
He only knew one thing—he hadn’t actually seen them in several months. So was
it all in his head? His mom always told him time heals all wounds. But this wound
was more like a cut that never healed. It festered in the eyes of everyone in Dust, Texas. He was just a mentally defective kid who barely deserved their pity.
He was in the eighth grade now, and he tried to put those troubled years behind
him. It seemed that most of his classmates felt the same way, but a select few never grew tired of reminding him of his sanity (or lack thereof) and demeaning nickname from time to time.
Eric looked up at the clock. The second hand moved in a slow, agonizing speed
before the bell rang loudly, reverberating throughout the building.
“Finally,” he said quietly to himself. The sound of the bell signified the end of the school week, and he was happy to hear it. It was only the week after Thanksgiving and he was already looking forward to summer break. He scrambled down the stairs and out the heavy double doors. Kyle Barrett waited at the foot of the steps wearing
a tucked-‐in red polo. They had been inseparable ever since Kyle had stood up for
him that day.
He didn’t stop when he got outside, taunting Kyle to a footrace. Kyle ran hard to catch up after seeing Eric dart by. Kyle was five months older, but for the time being they were both still fourteen, and they were often thought of as brothers due to
their similar appearances. Both of the boys had dark-‐brown hair, chestnut-‐colored eyes, and olive skin. But Kyle was broader in the shoulders compared to Eric’s slender frame.
“Bet I can beat you to the car,” Eric yelled.
“No way,” Kyle said as he raced ahead of Eric.
Eric wasn’t going down without a fight, so he ran harder while dodging several students loitering outside the school. He was closing the distance when he tripped, scattering his books across the parking lot. A group of girls standing on the sidewalk giggled as he got to his feet and gathered his things and what little dignity he had
left. Kyle made it to the car and pointed at Eric, laughing. “You busted big time,” Kyle said.
“You got lucky. If I hadn’t tripped I would’ve beat you,” Eric replied.
“Yeah right, you’ll never beat me.”
Jean, Kyle’s mother, rolled down the car window. She had a cigarette hanging from her lip. Eric watched as the smoke drifted out the window and disappeared into the wind.
“Can I spend the night at Eric’s house tonight?” Kyle blurted out, still breathing
Eric was standing anxiously next to the car, waiting for her reply. He bent over to rub his knee. He was pretty sure he’d scraped it hard enough to draw blood. He looked back to see if the girls were still watching him. They were on the sidewalk waiting for their rides but apparently had found a more interesting topic to discuss since they were no longer looking at him.
“Did Eric’s mom say it was all right?” Jean asked. She flicked her ash out of the window and took another drag. She had dry, ashy-‐brown hair, along with a pair of large-‐rimmed glasses that draped over her hazel eyes. She wore a simple mauve-‐ colored T-‐shirt and blue jeans.
Kyle’s little sister, Katie, and older brother, Ben, were sitting in the backseat. Katie Barrett, the youngest of the family, had wavy dirty-‐blonde hair that looked like a poodle’s fur. Ben was Kyle’s older brother.
“She is okay with it,” Kyle said.
“Yeah, we asked last period,” Eric added.
“Well if she doesn’t mind, then it’s fine with me,” Jean said. She took her huge glasses off, wiped the lenses with her shirt, and put them back on. “Kyle, do you still have your bike at Eric’s?”
“It should be there.” Kyle eyed Eric for confirmation, and he nodded.
Eric looked in the backseat and saw Ben picking his nose with no shame. He thought about pointing it out but quickly decided against it. It was only a couple of weeks ago that Eric had narrowly escaped getting his head dipped in the toilet by him at the high school football game, so it was best that he kept a little distance for now. If it hadn’t been for the school principal walking in during the act he would have had the unfortunate opportunity of seeing a close-‐up view of the inside of the toilet bowl.
“Dammit Ben. Don’t pick your nose and throw boogers in my car,” Jean
Ben looked up and replied, “I’m not picking my nose Mom.”
“Katie, did you see him picking?” Jean asked.
“No ma’am. I didn’t see anything,” Katie said. Eric was fairly certain that she had
in fact seen her older brother pick a fairly large booger, methodically roll it into a neat ball, and then flick it onto the floor of the car, but she probably knew that it was much wiser to keep her mouth shut.
Jean turned and gave Ben a stern look before turning back to look at Kyle. “Y’all
be good now.”
Kyle and Eric nodded in near unison as she rolled up the window and pulled out
of the school parking lot.
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Lucy Aimes has always been practical. But even her rational mind can’t explain her dark and familiar dreams of a time long ago, filled with people she shouldn’t know, but does. When her family moves to New Orleans, Lucy’s dreams suddenly become more intense. Reluctantly drawn into the old city’s mystical undercurrent, she searches for answers about the nighttime visions that haunt her.
What Lucy finds is Alex, a mysterious boy who behaves as if they’ve known each other forever. They’ve only just met, and she shouldn’t be drawn to him, but she is. As she tries to unlock Alex’s secrets, a killer strikes close to home and a century-old vendetta unspools, putting Lucy and everyone she loves in mortal danger.
Awesome prizes include:
8 signed copies of Sweet Unrest & Swag
art print from French Quarter
adorable Voodoo Doll charm,
$25 bookstore gift card
Sweet Unrest is a YA Paranormal Romance with a high creep factor. If you like your paranormal romances on the dark and mysterious side, this is the book for you. Eerie vibes surround the locations, characters, and plot. There are spooky plantations, ghosts, voodoo, and a mystery that spans time. Much of what Lucy experiences in modern day New Orleans is anchored in the city’s history, and the author does a wonderful job depicting both settings.
Lucy becomes immersed in the local voodoo culture while looking for an explanation and solution for her recurring nightmares. Before she knows it, she is thrust in the middle of a century’s old mystery and a modern day murder investigation. The plot unfolds as Lucy navigates current events and dreams of flashbacks. The writing and storytelling are well done. Sweet Unrest is unlike anything I have previously read, and I appreciated the original plot, authentic characters and vivid imagery.
There were a few details that, in my opinion, were not fully resolved or clearly explained, but overall I did enjoy the book. – kris
Amazon * B & N * Flux * Book Depository * Indiebound
About Lisa Maxwell: Lisa Maxwell is the author of Sweet Unrest (Flux, Fall 2014) and Heartless Things (Simon Pulse, Spring 2016). She has a PhD in English, and when she’s not writing books, she’s a professor at a local college. She lives near DC with her very patient husband and two not-so patient boys.
Social Media Links:
Book on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18402202-sweet-unrest
Author on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7246482.Lisa_Maxwell
Rhett Madison and Clementine O’Hara were best friends for years before they decided to give dating a shot. Everyone around them thought they were perfect for each other, but neither one of them realized just how much their relationship would change once they got together.
They’d only been dating for a couple of months when they decided to move across the country and live together. Neither one of them were prepared for all the trials and tribulations they would face as a new couple living in sin, as Clementine’s Nanna called it.
Rhett’s still acting like he’s a bachelor and Clementine’s not sure if going from friends to lovers was the best decision they ever made. So they decide to enroll in a relationship course to see if they are meant to be together. Only it seems like Rhett’s more interested in the passionate side of their relationship, as opposed to the deeper more emotional side.
Hilarity and chaos ensues when Tomas comes to visit and Rhett and Clementine are both faced with questions that could change their relationship status once again. Neither one knows what’s going to happen, but no-one ever said that the pathway from friends to lovers was going to be an easy one.
Rhett in Love is a standalone sequel to the New York Times Bestselling book, Rhett.
Rhett in Love has special content in Part II that is not to be missed as it makes this book a truly interactive book!