THE SCHOLAR’S HEART by Antonia Aquilante: 5 Drops #Review, #Excerpt, & #Giveaway

Title: The Scholar’s Heart The Scholar's Heart (Chronicles of Tournai, #3)
Author: Antonia Aquilante
Genre: M/M Fantasy Romance
Series: Chronicles of Tournai
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Release Date: May 30, 2016
Length: Novel (294 pages)
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Purchase Links: Dreamspinner Press ebook | Dreamspinner Press paperback | Amazon | AllRomance | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Apple

Youngest son of a royal duke, Etan is a scholar at heart who juggles his work for the prince with his studies of the history and legends of Tournai, something of particular interest to him because he shares the magical Talent that runs in the royal bloodline. Etan’s peaceful world turns upside down when his best friend—the man he secretly loves—unexpectedly marries a woman. Though Tristan values his friendship with Etan and has always been attracted to him, he is a dutiful son, raised to shoulder responsibility for the family business one day. That day comes far sooner than anticipated, and he makes a deathbed promise to his father to marry the woman his father chose and become head of the company and family.

A year later, Tristan is a widower with an infant daughter and a mother who demands he marry again quickly—something Tristan resists. Circumstances throw Etan and Tristan together, and even as they succumb to the desires they’ve always harbored, Etan battles his feelings, wary of being cast aside again. When Tristan’s daughter is kidnapped, Etan and Tristan must come together to find her, find the person responsible, and support each other through the ordeal… and maybe beyond.

The Scholar’s Heart was… in a word, wonderful. It is a story of love, pain, redemption, friendship, learning, and so much more. It is also one that teases the reader. It made me want to demand, when is book four coming? The author graciously has informed me that we only *cough* have to wait until November/December for the follow-up, and trust me, you will want it.

This is not just as story of romantic love, but one about family. Tristan has a baby daughter and has lost his wife tragically. While he didn’t love her, he did care for her, so this is a hard thing for him. His mother doesn’t make things easier for him. The blurb doesn’t do justice to how pushy and bullying his mother is about the idea of him remarrying.

Etan has loved Tristan for years now, as we all know. He however, pulled away when Tristan married. I can’t blame him, I would have too. But fate, tragedy, and maybe even their friends intercede and before long, they are faced with the truth. But has too much happened, too much time, too much pain, too much hurt. Can Etan trust Tristan? Can Tristan relegate himself, body and heart, to one man? And can they save Tristan’s daughter?

Thankfully, The Scholar’s Heart is an HEA, so yes, but it wasn’t easy getting there. And the things we learn…. The things we are teased with possibilities about…. The world building is again excellent and the characters well developed. The plot twisty enough to be enjoyable, the sex hot enough to require a fan or two, and the romance sweet and tangible enough that my heart hurt, squeezed, and raced for Tristan and Etan. Definitely a ReRead.

Several people milled around the small entrance hall, all strangers to Etan except Adeline, Amory’s sister. She moved gracefully around other people and dropped into a curtsy in front of Philip and Amory. The others in the room noticed the action and the princes in their midst and made their bows and curtsies as well. When Adeline straightened, Amory embraced her and Philip kissed her cheek.

“It’s good you’re here. I know Tristan will be glad to see friendly faces,” she said, reaching out a hand to Cathal and Etan, and then Flavian.

“How is he?” Amory asked. Etan was secretly happy he did, because it saved Etan from having to ask the question.

“A little overwhelmed, I think. With the arrangements, and between his family, Da
riela’s family, and the baby.” She shrugged. “I’m trying to help as much as I can.”

“You’re a good friend, Adeline,” Amory said, smiling and squeezing his sister’s hand.

“Oh, hush. Come, I’ll take you to him.” They followed Adeline’s slim figure, clad in a gown so dark a gray it was nearly black, as she walked farther into the house. People bowed or curtsied when they passed. Etan trailed at the back of the group, still flanked by Cathal and Flavian.

While conversation had been quiet in the entrance hall, it was hushed in the room where the coffin was, so much so that the quiet weeping of the older woman who was likely Dariela’s mother was clearly audible. She was in a chair in the corner, a small cluster of women around her, trying to comfort her.

The poor woman had lost her daughter far too young. But still Etan’s eyes sought out Tristan. He stood near the coffin. Etan was used to him shining with his bright blue eyes and his gleaming gold hair. Today Tristan seemed dulled, dragged down by fatigue and grief. Etan ached to make it better, to take some of the burden from his shoulders, to hold Tristan and comfort him, but he couldn’t. He steeled himself against the urge to do so.

They filed past the coffin on their way to pay their respects to Tristan. The woman lying there had been undeniably pretty in life. Etan didn’t know much else about her. In the months they had been married, Etan had done his best to spend as little time with Tristan, with or without his wife, as he could. Self-preservation on his part, giving himself the time to get over his grief and put away his love for Tristan. He hadn’t managed to get over all the hurt yet. And now she was dead. As much as he wished Tristan hadn’t married at all, as much as he wished Tristan returned the feelings Etan had had for him, he never would have wanted that for this poor woman. Etan’s unrequited feelings, his grief, hadn’t been her fault.

And he felt wrong standing at her coffin with her mourners after doing his best to avoid her for so long.

“Etan.”

Tristan’s voice brought Etan out of his thoughts. The musical quality was muted now, but his voice still made Etan’s insides swoop around dizzyingly. As it always had. He ruthlessly ignored the feeling.

“Tristan, I’m very sorry for your loss.”

Tristan nodded. “Thank you for coming.”

The words were stiff, formal, completely different from the words they used to exchange back before Tristan had married. Back when they had been close friends and Etan had reason to hope for more someday.

“Of course.” Yes, of course, Etan would come today to pay his respects after Tristan’s wife died, but Tristan couldn’t have known that, not after he had distanced himself from Tristan and their friendship as much as possible in the almost year of Tristan’s marriage. Guilt stirred inside him, just a little.

As Tristan stared at him, Etan struggled for the polite words he should say in this situation, but he couldn’t seem to find them. He’d been brought up to know what to say in every social situation, but all of that training failed him now. Not that he thought Tristan was waiting for meaningless social niceties. No, Tristan had to expect something more from someone who had been his friend, and Etan should give him that because it wasn’t Tristan’s fault Etan’s heart was broken, not really. But Etan couldn’t find the words.

Thankfully, Amory stepped up, filling the silence with all the words Etan couldn’t conjure up. And that was best. Amory had been Tristan’s closest friend since childhood, was someone Tristan had probably been more than a little in love with. Maybe still was, for all Etan knew.

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The Prince's Consort (Chronicles of Tournai, #1) The Artist's Masquerade (Chronicles of Tournai, #2) The Scholar's Heart (Chronicles of Tournai, #3)

Antonia AquilanteAntonia Aquilante has been making up stories for as long as she can remember, and at the age of twelve, decided she would be a writer when she grew up. After many years and a few career detours, she has returned to that original plan. Her stories have changed over the years, but one thing has remained consistent – they all end in happily ever after.

She has a fondness for travel (and a long list of places she wants to visit and revisit), taking photos, family history, fabulous shoes, baking treats which she shares with friends and family, and of course reading. She usually has at least two books started at once and never goes anywhere without her Kindle. Though she is a convert to ebooks, she still loves paper books the best, and there are a couple thousand of them residing in her home with her.

Born and raised in New Jersey, she is living there again after years in Washington, DC, and North Carolina for school and work. She enjoys being back in the Garden State but admits to being tempted every so often to run away from home and live in Italy.

She is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the New Jersey Romance Writers, and the Rainbow Romance Writers.

Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads


Attraction, Disguises, and the Truth within The Artist’s Masquerade by Antonia Aquilante

The Artist’s Masquerade
by Antonia Aquilante
M/M Fantasy Romance
Series: Chronicles of Tournai
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Release Date: December 21, 2015
Length: Novel (300 pages)
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Buy Links:
Dreamspinner Press ebook | Dreamspinner Press paperback | Amazon | AllRomance | Kobo

As the first-born son of the Duke of Tournai and cousin to the prince, Cathal has always tried to fulfill his duty to family and country, including following through with an arranged marriage to Velia, cousin to the emperor of Ardunn. But it’s Velia’s companion, Flavia, who fascinates Cathal. Cathal doesn’t know that Flavia is really Flavian, a man masquerading as a woman to escape Ardunn, a restrictive place in which Flavian’s preference for men is forbidden.

Even when Cathal discovers Flavian’s true gender, he cannot fight his attraction to him. Flavian is intrigued by Cathal, but Cathal is still betrothed to Velia, and Flavian worries Cathal is more taken with his feminine illusion than the man beneath it. While both men battle their longings for each other, spies from Ardunn infiltrate the capital, attempting to uncover Tournai’s weaknesses. They are also searching for Flavian, who possesses a magical Talent that allows him to see the truth of a person just by painting their portrait—a skill invaluable to Ardunn’s emperor.

Continue reading “Attraction, Disguises, and the Truth within The Artist’s Masquerade by Antonia Aquilante”

4.5 Drops #Review: The Prince’s Consort by Antonia Aquilante

The Prince’s Consort
by Antonia Aquilante
M/M Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Release Date: October 16, 2015
Length: Novel (290 pages)
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Goodreads
Buy Links: DSP (ebook) | DSP (paperback) | Amazon | ARe | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

Legends tell of large cats defending the principality of Tournai, but such creatures have been lost to time.

Or have they?

Prince Philip inherited the throne at a young age, and since then, his life has centered around ruling his country and resisting those pressuring him to take a wife and conceive an heir—forcing him to hide his attraction to men. When kind-hearted Amory is offered to the prince in exchange for more time for Amory’s father to complete a commission, both Philip and Amory are horrified. But Philip agrees to keep Amory at the palace, where they gradually become friends, then lovers. For the first time in his life, Philip is free to share not only his heart, but the magical shape-shifting ability that runs in the royal bloodline.

Neither Amory nor Philip imagined falling in love, and they certainly don’t expect the lengths those who oppose their relationship will go to keep them apart—maybe even resorting to murder.

I love a good paranormal romance, as you well know, right? Well, the blurb intrigued me so I had to get this one (and Dreamspinner Press was running a sale, so why not try a new author…). I’m so glad I got this one! The writing style flows well and the story is both fresh and fluid. The characters ‘real’ and solid even though they are in a fantasy world and in another time and reality to our own. What really sold me was that I could se easily picture myself meeting these men, talking with them, walking along with them, living, loving, hurting, and growing along with them as they each find their way in this strange life each leads.

Philip is the Crowned Prince so he should have everything he wants and needs, right? The world at his fingertips and all that. BUT what he doesn’t have is companionship, and no, I don’t just mean a lover or sex. He could get that with be a look or a snap if that’s all he wanted. He lives in a castle with his sister but his parents are gone and he’s seen as above others to the point even his cousins treat his differently. What he wants and what he has are so far separated as to be impossible, or so he thinks.

Amory is kind-hearted but emotionally abused and cowed by his father and older brother to the point he has no hope of ever being who he truly is. Then his horrid father comes up with a plan to buy himself time on a project and gifts the prince with Amory (really, what kind of father does that! Ugh!!!) The thing is, what starts out as a horrible thing turns out to be the greatest blessing either man could hope for.

I loved watching as each man grew into who each was meant to be, with the help of the other. As each learned to love, to accept love, and to embrace all of themselves. If you love paranormal stories with a few fun twists and some yummy hot men, then don’t wait to grab this one! Oh, and guess what? You can get book 2, The Artist’s Masquerade (guest post tomorrow right here on my blog!) as it just came out yesterday.

Antonia Aquilante has been making up stories for as long as she can remember, and at the age of twelve, decided she would be a writer when she grew up. After many years and a few career detours, s
he has returned to that original plan. Her stories have changed over the years, but one thing has remained consistent – they all end in happily ever after.

She has a fondness for travel (and a long list of places she wants to visit and revisit), taking photos, family history, fabulous shoes, baking treats which she shares with friends and family, and of course reading. She usually has at least two books started at once and never goes anywhere without her Kindle. Though she is a convert to ebooks, she still loves paper books the best, and there are a couple thousand of them residing in her home with her.

Born and raised in New Jersey, she is living there again after years in Washington, DC, and North Carolina for school and work. She enjoys being back in the Garden State but admits to being tempted every so often to run away from home and live in Italy.

She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the New Jersey Romance Writers.

Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

Book Blitz: Body & Soul by Jamie Loeak

Title: Body & Soul
Author: Jamie Loeak
Series:  The Chronicles of Light & Darkness (#1)
Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy/Romance
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: Aug 25 2012 (First Edition)
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook
A demon searches for the source of his humanity.
Kate, the daughter of a lawyer and marine biologist, has just moved to a small beach town in Florida. She’s forced to start over in the middle of the summer, but is used to it by now, since she’s moved around her entire life. When Kate meets Rico and Adriana on her second day at the beach house, everything changes. Kate is introduced to the world of Light and Darkness, and is thrown into the middle of it when a mysterious being attacks her one night. As Kate’s nights continue to get weirder, her friendship with Rico and Adriana grows stronger, and for the first time Kate has real friends. When Rico sits Kate down to tell her what is really happening to her, things start to click for Kate, and she is forced to make a decision to quit or fight for her body and soul.
Book Links  Perma Free
Amazon Kindle Free
iBooks Free
Kobo Free
Jamie Loeak is an aspiring YA author. She has written and published her trilogy and continues to work toward finishing the ideas for more novels that pop into her ever changing mind. Jamie resides in Florida, where she is a middle school teacher. Finding time for writing is difficult within the world of lesson plans, assessments, and students; however, Jamie makes sure to make time for all of the things that she loves in life, including her students, pets, and loving boyfriend. When Jamie isn’t writing or grading papers, she is forcing her sister into photo shoots or playing her guitar. Her current goal is to become a bestselling author.
 
Other Works by Jamie Loeak
The Chronicles of Light and Darkness
The Atlantis Novella Serial

#Interview w/ Diamante Lavendar, #Author of "The Secrets of Yashire"

Title: The Secrets of Yashire; Emerging from the Shadows
Author:
Diamante Lavendar
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: YA Fantasy Adventure
Publisher: Shelf Published
Release Date: Jan 9 2014
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print
Book Links:
Kindle | Amazon Print | Barnes and Noble
Books a Million (BAM) | Smashwords

The Secrets of Yashire: Emerging from the Shadows is a young adult fantasy adventure that occurs within the framework of a young girl’s subconscious mind. The main character, Brianna, finds herself thrown into a world called Yashire where she is forced to deal with circumstances that are threatening Yashire’s existence.

Against her will, she is sent on a journey to restore unconditional love back to the land while also contending with the evil force in the land, Zolan.

Brianna is sent on her mission by Libban, Keeper of the Land. Along the way, Brianna travels with the mystical tiger, Angelos; a huge, whitish-tan tiger with thick black stripes who sings only the purest songs of love, and the wondrous little one-eyed bird named Abiba. During the journey, Brianna is also preparing to meet her soulmate-the one she longs to be with and the one who will bring complete healing back into her life.

Together they travel through fantastic lands filled with magical creatures that could only exist in the wildest of imaginations. Through her treacherous brushes with danger and heartwarming experiences of love and acceptance, Brianna discovers many things.

It is here, amidst the powers and phantasms of the mind that Brianna receives life lessons and virtues to help her. Will one of her greatest triumphs be achieved as she learns to believe in herself? For only then can she truly see all of the wondrous things that life has to offer.

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Guest Author: Cecily Magnon, Author of DARK SKIES

Title: Dark Skies
Author:
Cecily Magnon
Series: Order of the Anakim (Book 2) Though Amazon List it as Book 3 because of the Prequel to the Series.
Genre: Paranormal/ Fantasy/ Supernatural /with elements of Romance
Publisher: 12 Angels Publishing
Release Date: Nov 28 2014
Length: 316 Pages
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print
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Goodreads
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Passions are erupting.

Cryptic alliances are forming.

Armies are gathering.

And the fabric between good and evil is slowly tearing open.

Time is running out on Elysa and The Order of the Anakim. A gathering gloom hangs heavy over their mystic realm as the demon hordes measure a final deathblow in their age-old struggle. Step by step, the demons murder, capture, and conjure their way to a realm unified by utter darkness. Their ruthless queen Ashtaroth, guided only by ambition and her voracious thirst for carnal pleasures, masterminds their rising tide of evil.

The Order must unify its splintering members to meet the defining challenge of their history… or pass forever into oblivion.

But in a world where magic, warfare, and sinister prophecies rule the day… in the night, vile enemies may seek the warmth in each other’s touch.

At this vital juncture, Elysa’s passion is lured by a wicked voice both arousing and terrifying. If the love between Elysa and Jarron is eternal, it will have to overcome pressures seen and unseen and withstand the crush of an all-out attack by demon forces.

Darkness is bleeding its treachery into our world and Elysa and The Order of the Anakim must find a way to combat the gathering doom.

Dark Skies will sweep legions of fantasy fiction fans into Elysa Amalfi’s thrilling and treacherous world of the supernatural.

Continue reading “Guest Author: Cecily Magnon, Author of DARK SKIES”

#Interview with Gracen Miller, Author of ROYAL PARTNERSHIPS

Title: Royal Partnerships 
Author: Gracen Miller 
Series: Road to Hell (Book 4)
Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy/"Horromance" (because it’s a mix of horror and romance) 
Publisher: Self
Release Date: June 11, 2015
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print 
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Book Links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

It’s good to be the Queen…

Having ascended the throne of Hell, Madison Wescott is finally able to breathe a sigh of relief. Though she has embraced her demonic nature, she has ensured the safety of everyone she loves. With both Micah and Nix at her side, she wields more power than she could have ever imagined.

But not even the throne is safe when you rule in Hell.

In the wake of a failed assassination attempt, Madison learns about a realm of the damned older than Hell itself. A fierce and powerful incubus vows to escape his imprisonment there — and his efforts are weakening the bonds that hold him and countless other monsters at bay. With no plan and nowhere else to turn, Madison contacts an unlikely source for help. But whose side is he really on? Will he help preserve her reign, or bring about Hell’s downfall?

Choose your partnerships carefully…

Continue reading “#Interview with Gracen Miller, Author of ROYAL PARTNERSHIPS”

#Interview with Michael McDuffee, author of CITY OF MAGI

Title: City of Magi 

Author: Michael McDuffee

Series: Magi Stone Series (Book 1)

Genre: Industrial-era Fantasy

Publisher: Self Published

Release Date: July 25 2014

Edition/Formats Available In: Kindle

Book Links Amazon | Goodreads

At the heart of Astosen, the city of Dein Astos stands as a bulwark for the free world, always on alert to battle Valania’s attempts to bring the republic under continental dominance. Sophisticated and diverse, driven by magic, money, and information, this city of magi teems with tea houses, government agencies, exclusive clubs and risky districts.

Alexander Locke, a great Magi Knight and the hero of the republic, lies dead. His daughter, Zia Locke, reluctantly rises to power, unaware that her father may not have died of natural causes, as everyone believes.

That is, until she is artfully maneuvered into meeting the mysterious and abundantly self-assured Grayson Kearney. A keen judge of character and cunning magus, Grayson rocks Zia’s world in more ways than one as he helps tear away the veil of ignorance from her eyes. From lifelong friends to sworn enemies, the new leader of the House of Locke is discovering that anyone could be the next to betray her. What Zia needs is a good intelligence officer at her side. But when everyone has a hidden agenda, can she truly place her trust in Grayson?

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Deceived by L.A. Starkey

Title: Deceived 
Author: L.A. Starkey
Series: Soul Keeper, #1
Publisher: Self 
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy Romance
Release Date: August 28th, 2014 
Length: 890 KB / 498 pages 
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Available at 
Amazon

They say a soul is the immaterial essence, the animating principal, the actuating cause of an individual life.

But what if you had to share yours with the one person you hated the most?

The soul mate principal states that for every one soul there is another that will recognize its match, hence creating the perfect union.

But what if you had two soul mates, which would you choose?

What if your choices had eternal ramification?

Deceived, the debut novel in the Soul Keeper Series, is a modern day love story about the implications of having more than one soul mate, and having to choose between the two of them. The decisions of the gods has left the next generation, their heirs, torn between fate and reality, and the balance of the future hangs in anticipation of what’s to come.

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Max Blizzard and the Gem of Camelot by Patrick Hatt

Title: Max Blizzard and the Gem of Camelot
Author:
Patrick Hatt
Publisher: Pat Hatt Books 
Genre: Arthurian, Fantasy, YA
Release Date: October 2014
Length: 1683 KB / 260 Pages
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Available at Amazon | B&N

Max Blizzard was like any other drone living in Earth’s realm until the arrival of his eighth birthday. On that day his imagination awoke and Max started thinking for himself. He was an outcast the moment he let people know about his imagination. That moment also unknowingly set forth a chain of events years in the making. By having imagination, Max had given Sir Dreadvent exactly what he wanted, a way into Camelot’s realm.

Now Max and his friends, Trudesile and Lester, must complete the quest that Max’s father, Merlin, set out for him years ago. They must find the Gem of Camelot to defend the realm from Sir Dreadvent’s and his sevesties. Their perilous journey will take them from the shores of Merlinia and the ship of Davy Jones to the fields of Avalon, in the hope that they can save Camelot, save Earth and save all the lost realms that have been consumed by Sir Dreadvent and his sevesties on their quest to remake the universe.

A tale about where your imagination can lead if you choose to follow it, with creatures large and small joining Max Blizzard on his journey. King Arthur, Oberon, Hercules, Apollo and other heroes of imagination believed to be myth will become truth as Max and his friends face the trials ahead. Let your imagination lead the way to Max Blizzard and The Gem of Camelot.

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