Friday, May 27, 2016

The Madness of Mercury

Today's post is a Virtual Blurb Blitz for The Madness of Mercury, a mystery by Connie di Marco for Midnight Ink. The book will be released on June 8, and the tour will run from May 9 - June 3. As a Blurb Blitz there is no author interview or blog post, but there is a blurb, excerpt and author bio. Connie di Marco will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to one winner drawn via Rafflecopter.

Connie di Marco is the author of the upcoming Zodiac Mystery series from Midnight Ink featuring San Francisco astrologer, Julia Bonatti.  The Madness of Mercury, first in the series, will be released on June 8, 2016.  Writing as Connie Archer, she’s also the national bestselling author of the Soup Lover’s Mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime.  You can find her excerpts and recipes in both The Cozy Cookbook and The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook.  She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers and Sisters in Crime.  You can visit her at her website:, or (Author) and Twitter: @askzodia. 

Buy links for The Madness of Mercury:


Barnes & Noble:

Indie Bound:


 Blurb for The Madness of Mercury

Astrologer Julia Bonatti never thought her chosen profession would bring danger into her life, but her outspoken advice in her newspaper column, AskZodia, makes her the target of San Francisco’s recently-arrived cult leader, Reverend Roy of the Prophet’s Tabernacle.  The followers of the power hungry preacher will stop at nothing to quell the voices of those who would stand in his way and Julia’s at the top of his list.  She’s willing to bet the charismatic Reverend is a Mercury-ruled individual, and she knows all too well that Mercury wasn’t just the messenger of the gods, he was a trickster and a liar as well.  

Excerpt from The Madness of Mercury

The second floor hallway was dim, lined with dark wood wainscoting and lit only by a few wall sconces leading to the top of a curving staircase.  A stained glass window filtered outside light onto the landing.  It was only mid-afternoon, but the sky had grown dark, muting the brilliant reds and blues of the window.  Heavy Pacific storms were closing in from the north and San Francisco would be buffeted by wind and rain through the holidays. 

At the foot of the stairs, I called to Dorothy.  She didn’t answer but a sweet and toasty aroma filled the foyer.  I followed the short hallway toward the rear of the house and pushed through the swinging door to the kitchen.  At the other end of the room, a wall of windows overlooked the back garden and beyond that, a view of the city and the bay to the north.  Black clouds, roiling and heavy with rain, were visible beyond the Golden Gate and the Marin headlands.  The storm would hit within a few hours. 

Dorothy worked at the center island, kneading dough, a full length white apron tied over her loose slacks and long-sleeved red sweater.  She looked up and smiled then spread her dough carefully over the board.  An apple and cinnamon mixture was warming on the stove top and my stomach was reminding me I hadn’t eaten since breakfast.  “What are you making?” 

“Apple pastries, little turnovers.  I make them every Christmas.  My aunts love them.  I thought it might cheer Evandra up especially . . .”  The sound of a gasoline-powered mower drowned out the rest of Dorothy’s response. 
Dorothy glanced toward the windows.  “Damn.  What’s he doing?” 

“The gardener?” 

“Yes.  Luis.”  Dorothy walked to the windows and peered out into the garden.  “He probably wants to finish the lawn before the rain starts.” 

A low stone wall formed the perimeter of the back garden, delineating an edge where the ground dropped off to a steep cliff marked with rocky outcroppings.  I joined Dorothy at the window and followed her line of sight.  The power mower was running, unattended, butting against the stone wall.  A red bandanna hung from the vibrating handlebar of the machine. 

Dorothy looked puzzled.  “He shouldn’t leave that thing like that.  Where did he get off to?”  She tossed her dishtowel on the table, heaved a sigh and opened the back door to the garden. 

“Luis . . . Luis,” she called. 

I followed her out the door and joined her on the lawn.  The wind was whipping fiercely across the hillside and the sky had grown even darker.  In the distance, the sea churned black in the bay.  Dorothy’s apron billowed like a sail in the wind.  She strode purposefully across the grass to the mower, and hit the control, silencing the monster.  She turned her head to speak to me and hesitated, then turned back and peered over the low wall.  Something had caught her eye.  She was still for a moment and then took two steps backward. 

“What is it, Dorothy?” 

Her face had drained of color.  “It’s Luis.  He’s down there.”  Her voice quivered.  “I think he’s dead.”  

Participating Blogs

May 9: Straight from the Library
May 10: BooksChatter
May 11: Long and Short Reviews
May 12: Nana Prah's Blog
May 13: jbiggarblog
May 16: Read Your Writes Book Reviews
May 17:
May 18: Author B. L. Blair
May 19: Rogue's Angels
May 20: T's Stuff
May 23:
May 24:
May 25:
May 26:
May 27: My Odd Little World
May 30;
May 31:
June 1: The Avid Reader
June 2:
June 3: Stormy Vixen Book Reviews

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Thursday, May 5, 2016

In The Company of the Dead--Epic Fantasy Romance

Today is my first post in a while, and it is a Virtual Super Book Blast for In the Company of the Dead, an Epic Fantasy Romance by Ciara Ballintyne from Evolved Publishing. As a Book Blast, there is no interview or author post, but there is a blurb and excerpt for your enjoyment. Ciara will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to one randomly drawn winner (via Rafflecopter). Now for an author bio, and the blurb and excerpt. 

Ciara Ballintyne grew up on a steady diet of adult epic fantasy from the age of nine, leaving her with a rather confused outlook on life – she believes the good guys should always win, but knows they often don’t. She is an oxymoron; an idealistic cynic.

She began her first attempts at the craft of writing in 1992, culminating in the publication of her debut work, Confronting the Demon, in 2013. Her first book to be published with Evolved Publishing is In the Company of the Dead.

She holds degrees in law and accounting, and is a practising financial services lawyer. In her spare time, she speculates about taking over the world – how hard can it really be? If she could be anything, she’d choose a dragon, but if she is honest she shares more in common with Dr. Gregory House of House M.D. – both the good and the bad. She is a browncoat, a saltgunner, a Whedonite, a Sherlockian, a Ringer and a Whovian… OK, most major geek fandoms. Her alignment is chaotic good. She is an INTJ.

Ciara lives in Sydney, Australia, with her husband, her two daughters, and a growing menagerie of animals that unfortunately includes no dragons.

Twitter: @CiaraBallintyne



Buy Links:

Blurb for In the Company of the Dead

Ellaeva’s obligations to the death goddess leave her no time to hunt down her parents’ murderer—until both duty and revenge lead her to the lonely castle where Lyram Aharris has been exiled for striking his prince. As the castle falls under siege, Ellaeva and Lyram must fight to save themselves from political machinations and clashing gods—but the greatest threat comes from an unexpected quarter.

Excerpt from In the Company of the Dead

Only a fool would split hairs with a god, least of all the goddess of death, but Ellaeva would count herself such a fool and consider it worth it—if she could get away with it.

She leaned across the knife-scarred timber of the tavern table.

“Are you sure?” she asked, her tone even and barely loud enough to be audible over the noise of the flute and the zither. Her work on behalf of the goddess Ahura, adjudicating the small war here in Dayhl, could only be abandoned in favour of a greater threat. If she was going to chase off after the man who killed her parents, she needed to be sure her arguments stacked up. The pursuit of personal justice wouldn’t be enough.

Is it justice or revenge?

No time to worry about that now. She tugged her black hood farther down over her infamous face, even though deep shadows blanketed the common room corner. She’d chosen a table far from the tallow candles mounted in their stag-horn chandeliers. There was no point taking chances; the black hair and porcelain skin of a Tembran would be remarked here among the platinum-haired Dayhlish. Besides, someone might recognise her.

“In Ahlleyn, sure as the spring comes after winter, Holiness.” The narrow-faced man across from her grinned, baring teeth more brown than yellow. The acrid smoke from the candles didn’t cover his pungent breath.

She half-stood, making an urgent, negating gesture as she glanced around, but the hubbub of chatter from the patrons and the music covered his slip. No one even glanced their way. On the far side of the room, away from the two blazing hearths, tables were pushed aside for dancing. She dropped back into her seat, her black robes fluttering around her booted feet.

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Participating Blogs

1Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews
2: The Avid Reader
3: Hope. Dreams. Life... Lovel
4: Dawn's Reading Nook
5: Around the World in Books
6: Blog of author Jacey Holbrand
7: BooksChatter
8: CBY Book Club
9: Coffee Books & Art
10: Cover2Cover
11: Edgar's Books
12: Eyes and Books REVIEW
13: GothicMoms
14: Mama Reads Hazel Sleeps REVIEW
15: My Odd Little World
16: Natural Bri REVIEW
17: Readeropolis
18: Robyn Bachar: Paranormal and Sci Fi Romance Author
19: Romance Author Hear Me Roar CANCELLED
20: Romance Novel Giveaways
21:Sharing Links and Wisdom
22: SolaFide Book Club
23: StarAngels Reviews
24: Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin'
25: Stormy Vixen's Book Reviews
26: T's Stuff
27: The Blackwood Blog
28: The Recipe Fairy
29: The Snarkology
30: Long and Short Reviews
31: U.S. - Brazil Book Review
32: Wake Up Your Wild Side