Friday, September 30, 2022

Oscar, The Apprehensive Apparition

I’m happy to welcome Author H. R. Sinclair here today as part of her tour featuring her book, OSCAR, THE APPREHENSIVE APPARITION, to be released the first week of October.

This is a Chapter Book for ages 5 through 8 but is a delight to read no matter your age. If you’ve ever enjoyed Casper, then you’ll be glad you got to know Oscar.

Oscar, the Apprehensive Apparition

By H. R. Sinclair
Chapter Book for Ages 5-8

*Independently published

*ISBN: 9798848409956
*Dimensions: 5x8
*42 pages, black and white illustrations
*eBook: 3.99
*Print book: 6.99
*Release date: Oct 3

    Oscar the ghost dwells happily in his cozy cottage, where he hides from creatures that lurk in the dark. After a mysterious message arrives, he must find the courage to go out and discover what's waiting for him. Can he do it? Or will the monsters get him?

Oscar, the Apprehensive Apparition
is available to purchase at the following links:





Now my thoughts on the book …..

Chapter books are fun to read no matter your age. Combine that with an inspiring character and you have a delightful story that will have you laughing. OSCAR, THE APPREHENSIVE APPARITION, is just such a story.

The author takes readers on an exciting adventure with Oscar where one can learn without realizing they are being taught. The author has created a main character with traits and fears young readers can relate to and learn from. Along the way more encouraging characters are discovered.

Another highlight of the story are the beautiful illustrations by the author. The vivid detailed artwork brings the story to life even more and will have you smiling.

While targeting the five to nine age group, this enchanting story is a quick and entertaining read for all ages. Don’t be surprised when you can’t put it down until you know what Oscar discovers in the woods.

Meet The Author: H. R. Sinclair

H.R. Sinclair is a left-handed hermit prepping for the squirrel apocalypse. She writes fantastical stories and visits cemeteries for inspiration.

For more about the author and her work, connect with her on the following sites:








Thanks for stopping by today during H. R. and Oscar’s visit. Are you a fan of friendly ghosts like Casper and Oscar?  

Thursday, August 4, 2022

A Coup of Tea (+ Giveaway)

A Coup of Tea
By Casey Blair
(Tea Princess Chronicles, #1)
Publication date: August 2nd, 2022
Genres: Adult, Fantasy

When the fourth princess of Istalam is due to dedicate herself to a path serving the crown, she makes a choice that shocks everyone, herself most of all: She leaves.

In hiding and exiled from power, Miyara finds her place running a tea shop in a struggling community that sits on the edge of a magical disaster zone. But there’s more brewing under the surface of this city—hidden magic, and hidden machinations—that threaten all the people who’ve helped her make her own way.

Miyara may not be a princess anymore, but with a teapot in hand she’ll risk her newfound freedom to discover a more meaningful kind of power.

A Coup of Tea is the first book of the Tea Princess Chronicles, a cozy fantasy series full of magic tea, friendship, and lifting people up even when the odds seem impossible.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo


She hands me a third cup, and I eye her mistrustfully, that unease back again and sharp.

“Earning your tablecloth,” she reminds me.

I smell the grassiness of the green tea before I taste it. But the flavor is so strange I can’t immediately identify the elements—she’s used aloia nectar not just as a sweetener, but to bind this mystery ingredient, and the result has a strangely smooth, nutty element. I frown at the cup and take another sip, swirling the tea in my mouth.

“So?” Lorwyn asks.

It’s much better than the other two, but this tea gives the impression of oozing—no, crawling through the grass—

I set the cup down abruptly. “Please tell me your mystery ingredient is not insectoid.”

Her eyebrows rise in surprise. “Wow. Okay, I’m impressed. Apparently the trekkers named them sleekbeetles. New species discovered in the Cataclysm. Talmeri bought crates of their scales.”

I am drinking beetle scale tea.

This morning I was a princess, and now I sit sopping in a tablecloth drinking beetle scale tea.


Lorwyn shrugs. “I’m sure they were cheap. Talmeri’s always on the lookout for novelty items to boast the most unique tea flavors in the city, and she also likes torturing me. Who can say which was the primary factor this time?”

I grimace. “Wonderful. A hitherto untasted bug. I hope it’s at least magically inert and you haven’t poisoned me?”

“Of course I didn’t poison you,” Lorwyn says. “I tasted it before you did. How could you tell it was beetle?”

“The grassiness of the green tea,” I say. “It’s too sharp. You need something mellower that’s still robust enough to hold up to the aloia nectar.”

Lorwyn slumps back—I’m not entirely sure how she manages to, since she’s sitting on a stool.

“Aloia is tricky,” she grumbles.

“Maybe it needs another note,” I say. “The aloia manages the beetle flavor into something nearly salvageable. Now you need a bridge between the aloia and the tea.”

Lorwyn bolts out of her stool. “Wait there!”

She returns with another small pot and a cup, adds them to the tea service. She lifts the pot to pour, and all at once I realize, beetle scales aside, what’s been bothering me.

The water from that kettle should not have correctly brewed different kinds of teas and tisanes. The temperature of the water has to have changed, and there are no cooling or heating devices anywhere near the table.

I glance around for a structure, anything she could have used to anchor magecraft. The stools aren’t in any particular order around the table, there are no candles, and the teacups are arranged for the taster’s benefit alone.

Which means this isn’t magecraft at all.

It’s witchcraft.

I promise I can maim you in any number of ways, she said.

Lorwyn holds a cup of tea out to me with an excited look on her face.

I’ve lost my wits. After realizing what she’s doing, it’s the only explanation for what I do next.

I take the cup, and I sip.

Meet the Author: Casey Blair

Casey Blair writes adventurous fantasy novels for all ages, and her serial fantasy Tea Princess Chronicles is available online for free. After graduating from Vassar College, her own adventures have included teaching English in rural Japan, attending the Viable Paradise residential science fiction and fantasy writing workshop, and working as an indie bookseller.

She now lives in the Pacific Northwest and can be found dancing spontaneously, exploring forests around the world, or trapped under a cat. For more information visit her website or follow her on Twitter @CaseyLBlair.

Website / Goodreads / Twitter

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Doesn't this sound like a fascinating story. I'm a huge coffee drinker, but a enjoy a cup of tea now and then. Doesn't the cover just make you smile and want a cup of tea?

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Wednesday, July 6, 2022

A Dress of Violet Taffeta

It’s a pleasure to share with you today the recent release of author Tessa Arlen’s A DRESS OF VIOLET TAFFETA (Berkley Trade Paperback Original; July 5, 2022), a sumptuous novel based on the fascinating true story of La Belle Époque icon Lady Lucile Duff-Gordon.

Lucy shattered the boundaries of fashion with her magnificently sensual and striking designs. She launched her fashion empire in the late 1890s as a way to keep her and her five-year-old daughter financially afloat after she was abandoned by her husband.

In a time when women from good families were expected to look beautiful and be content with producing children and running their elegant houses, this woman triumphed in the competitive London world of dressmaking and became the Queen of Haute Couture.

Lady Lucile Duff-Gordon was a female fashion icon, trailblazer, and survivor of the Titanic, yet very little has been written about her life and work.

This is the second historical fiction novel from Tessa Arlen, whose debut in the genre, In Royal Service to the Queen, received rave reviews from BuzzFeed, People Magazine, Parade, and Woman’s World.


By Tessa Arlen
Fiction - Biographical
Berkley Trade Paperback Original
on sale July 5, 2022

The story: Lucy Duff Gordon knows she is talented. She sees color, light, and texture in ways few people can begin to imagine. But is the male-dominated world of haute couture, who would use her art for their own gain, ready for her?

When she is deserted by her wealthy husband, Lucy is left penniless with an aging mother and her five-year-old daughter to support. Desperate to survive, Lucy turns to her one true talent to make a living. As a little girl, the dresses she made for her dolls were the envy of her group of playmates. Now, she uses her creative designs and her remarkable eye for color to take her place in the fashion world—failure is not an option.

Then, on a frigid night in 1912, Lucy’s life changes once more, when she becomes one of 706 people to survive the sinking of the Titanic. She could never have imagined the effects the disaster would have on her fashion label Lucile, her marriage to her second husband, and her legacy. But no matter what life throws at her, Lucy will live on as a trailblazing and innovative fashion icon, never letting go of what she worked so hard to earn. This is her story.

Meet the Author: Tessa Arlen

Tessa Arlen is the author of the Woman of World War II Mysteries and the novel In Royal Service to the Queen.

Born in Singapore, the daughter of a British diplomat, she has lived in Egypt, Germany, the Persian Gulf, China, and India. She now lives with her husband in historic Santa Fe, where she gardens in summer and writes in winter.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Isn't it fascinating to read stories based on true events? Does it make it want to Google Lady Lucile Duff-Gordon to learn more about her? It does me!