INTRODUCTION

Hi everyone My name is Victoria Zumbrum, 40 years old, married 14 years with 1 son. This is my very first blog. So bear with me. I have always wanted to have my own blog. I have always loved to read. I enjoy getting lost in a good book.
I love becoming part of the story and characters. I am hoping to bring my love of books to my readers.

I love reading different genres such as paranormal, young adult, romance, romantic suspense, mystery, Christian fiction, some horror, etc. The list goes on. I started reviewing books a couple of years ago and have done reviews for different blogs and even some authors. I really have enjoyed reviewing books and I will continue to do so. If anyone is interested in me reviewing a book for them, please contact me. I still have a lot to learn regarding my own blog so bear with me. I welcome and appreciate all followers.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Romance between the pages Podcast


Ever wondered about the personalities behind your favorite books? Victoria Danann's new podcast with Riley J. Ford has an incredible lineup of authors booked through the spring. No question is out of bounds. Check it out!


THIS WEEK'S BEST SELLING AUTHOR...
RILEY J FORD!

Riley J. Ford is a NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling author represented by CAA (Creative Artists Agency). She has had tremendous success with her books, reaching #6 on the NEW YORK TIMES bestsellers list and #9 on the USA TODAY bestsellers list within her first two years of publication. She made the USA TODAY bestsellers list again in September of 2014.

Riley writes romantic comedies, humor, romance, mystery, and contemporary fiction. Fast-paced plots, humor, and steamy scenes are her specialty. Her books are available in e-book formats, paperbacks, audio books, and in foreign languages.

Riley J. Ford is a UCLA graduate with a degree in English. She was a teacher for many years before becoming an author. She resides in California and enjoys reading, dancing, sunsets, and spending time with her family. When she's not writing, you can find her at her children's sports activities or running off to the beach for an afternoon swim.







Friday, August 18, 2017

Cover Reveal Unfiltered by Leigh Lennon

UNFILTERED
by Leigh Lennon

Romance between the pages Podcast



Ever wondered about the personalities behind your favorite books? Victoria Danann's new podcast with Riley J. Ford has an incredible lineup of authors booked through the spring. No question is out of bounds. Check it out!


THIS WEEK'S BEST SELLING AUTHOR...
JENIKA SNOW!


Jenika Snow is a USA Today Bestselling Author that lives in the northwest with her husband and their two daughters. Before she started writing full-time she worked as a nurse.


Release Tour Return to Ecstasy Her Master's Pleasure, Book 1 by Tina Donahue

RETURN TO ECSTASY
Her Master's Pleasure, book 1

by Tina Donahue

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Review of Once Upon a Haunted Moon by K.R. Thompson





Having to share your soul with a wolf isn't easy, but that is what Brian Shaw is learning to do. Amidst learning about Indian legends and folklore, he's also finding out what becoming a Keeper truly is.

And that's just the easy part.

An old evil is stalking the forest and it is up to the Keepers to discover her secrets before she destroys all they hold dear. As legend, ghosts, and the past link to the present, will Brian and the Keepers be strong enough to defeat her? Or will history repeat itself once again?

The Keeper Saga recommended reading order:
Hidden Moon, book one
Once Upon a Haunted Moon, book two
The Wolf, the prequel
Wynter's War, book three
Charmed

MY REVIEW:

ONCE UPON A HAUNTED MOON IS THE SECOND BOOK IN THE KEEPER SAGA SERIES.  THE SECOND BOOK IN THE SERIES IS JUST AS GOOD AS THE FIRST BOOK.  IN THIS BOOK, WE LEARN EVEN MORE ABOUT THE WEREWOLVES AND THE NATIVE AMERICANS.  BRIAN, THE NEWEST WOLF IS LEARNING WHAT A KEEPER IS AND WHAT HE MUST DO.  THERE IS A LOT OF ACTION THROUGHOUT THE BOOK.  AN OLD EVIL IS RELEASED AND THE WOLVES AND NIKKI MUST STOP IT AND SAVE ONE OF THEIR OWN BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE.  WILL THE WOLVES AND NIKKI SUCCEED?

I LOVE THE KEEPER SAGA SERIES.  WHAT A WONDERFUL SERIES.  IT IS TRULY MAGICAL AND FILLED FOLKLORE AND INDIAN LEGENDS.  I LOVE THE DIFFERENT CREATURES AND CHARACTERS THAT THE AUTHOR HAS CREATED.   I LOVE HOW THE WOLVES AND NIKKI ARE CONNECTED TO EACH OTHER.  THEY ARE VERY PROTECTIVE OF HER.  I LOVE THE FOLKLORE IN THIS SERIES.  I LOVE HOW THE AUTHOR HAS DIFFERENT PARANORMAL CREATURES.  I LOVE READING THE LEGENDS AND THE FOLKLORE.  THIS SERIES IS DEFINITELY A MUST READ IF YOU LOVE PARANORMAL.  YOU WILL LOVE K.R. THOMPSON'S WRITING AND CHARACTERS.  I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO READING THE NEXT BOOK IN THE SERIES. 5 STARS







Biography
K.R. Thompson writes paranormal stories with a bite and fairytales with a twist. An avid reader and firm believer in the magic of books, she spends her nights either reading an adventure or writing one.

She still watches for evidence of Bigfoot in the mud of Wolf Creek.

Be the first to know about new releases! Join my VIP mailing list for the latest in my stories, exclusive excerpts, giveaways, contests, and more!

http://www.krthompson.net

Review of Vein River by Kellie Honaker





The locals of Vein River fear the covered bridge and avoid it at night at all costs.

They say she hangs in the darkness, her long silk nightgown drifting in the breeze. She swings from a noose, her toes rat-tat-tatting across the hood should someone drive beneath her.

As legend goes, if you receive her withering kiss, you either die, get sick, or go stark raving mad. Your only chance of pardon is to kiss her dangling feet and beg for mercy.

The fate of the town rests on the shoulders of Annie Forrester , a sixteen year-old girl with psychic powers.


Only Annie will have the strength to enter the bridge and face the evil head on.

MY REVIEW

I REALLY LOVED VEIN RIVER.  IT IS THE FIRST BOOK I HAVE READ BY KELLIE HONAKER AND IT WON'T BE THE LAST BOOK I READ BY HER.  I WAS DRAWN INTO THE STORY FROM THE VERY FIRST PAGE UNTIL THE END.  WE MEET ANNIE FORRESTER WHO IS 16 YEARS OLD AND IS DEALING WITH HER PARENT'S DIVORCE.  ANNIE AND HER MOTHER MOVE TO VEIN RIVER FOR A FRESH START.  THE LOCALS HAVE A LEGEND ABOUT THE COVER BRIDGE NEAR ANNIE'S HOME.  THE BRIDGE IS TO BE AVOIDED AT NIGHT AT ALL COSTS.  THERE IS A LEGEND ABOUT A GIRL THAT HANGS IN THE DARKNESS BY A NOOSE.  IF SHE KISSES YOU, YOU ARE NEVER THE SAME AGAIN OR YOU DIE.  WILL ANNIE HAVE THE COURAGE TO FACE THE EVIL ON THE BRIDGE?

VEIN RIVER IS A SCARY, CREEPY, MYSTERIOUS AND SUSPENSEFUL READ. I DID NOT WANT TO PUT THE BOOK DOWN.  THE AUTHOR WILL KEEP YOU IN SUSPENSE AND GUESSING WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT.  YOU WILL BE ON THE EDGE OF THE SEAT  TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT.  ANNIE'S CHARACTER BECOMES STRONGER AND MORE MATURE THROUGHOUT THE BOOK.  SHE HAD TO GROW UP QUICK AND IS SPECIAL.  THE GIRL IS TRYING TO COMMUNICATE WITH ANNIE.  SHE WANTS HER TO KNOW THE TRUTH OF WHAT HAPPENED TO HER.  SLOWLY ANNIE STARTS TO UNCOVER THE TRUTH BEHIND THE COVERED BRIDGE AND THE GIRL.  YOU WILL DEFINITELY BE SURPRISED BY THE TRUTH.

IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A SCARY STORY, I RECOMMEND YOU READ VEIN RIVER.  THE STORY IS DEFINITELY SCARY, CREEPY AND SUSPENSEFUL.  I LOVE THE AUTHOR'S WRITING AND I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO READING MORE OF HER BOOKS.   5 STARS





Biography
When Kellie isn't reading, rescuing animals, or fueling her book addiction, she's busy mastering the art of becoming a hermit and a writer. When editing her stories, she reads them aloud to her blind rescue dog named Murphy. She considers him to be her most valuable critic.

Review of Blackheart by Raelle Logan and Promo Tour


BLACKHEART
by Raelle Logan

Promo Tour Outreach & Cimmerian Shade by Dariel Raye

Promo Tour for
OUTREACH by Dariel Raye
&
CIMMERIAN SHADE boxset

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Release Tour Switching It Up and Forging Love by Michele Zurlo

Double Release for SWITCHING IT UP & FORGING LOVE
A SAFE Security series

by Michele Zurlo

Daisies in the Outfield by Carolyn LaRoche

Carolyn LaRoche grew up in snow country but fled the cold and ice several years ago. She now lives near the beach with her husband and their two sons.

She’s been known to lug her laptop to the baseball fields and keeps a notebook by her bed to jot down the next big story idea in the wee hours of the night.

Facebook      Blog      Goodreads     Twitter     Amazon



Daisies in the Outfield 

After his professional baseball career crashed and burned, Jamie escaped to the scenic coastal town of Falmouth for a fresh start. With a new career that fit his personality, Jamie lived life on his terms. His terms were simple—fight fires for the adrenaline rush, coaching MLB hopefuls for the love of the game, and spending his nights with one of the many pretty faces that crossed his path. Plenty of women passed through his life but none had tempted him to settle down.

Until a feisty brunette changed all that. Too bad the sexy paramedic had no interest in Jamie or spending the night with him. She carried an attitude as thick as her New York accent and he wanted to coax a smile on her face.Mandy was running from something and Jamie couldn’t help but be intrigued.

Can a sexy little wager convince a confirmed bachelor and a woman running from her past to take a chance on love?

Goodreads     Amazon US     Amazon UK     Amazon CA     Amazon AU     iTunes     Nook

Dandelion Wishes 

When a terrible injury ended his pro career, Grant knew nothing would ever take the place of his one and only love—baseball. Fighting fires didn’t hold the same kind of excitement as catching a ninety mile an hour fast ball at Fenway Park but he loved every minute of it. Especially when he met the sassy, sexy as hell paramedic that’s as complicated as a three-alarm fire.

Callie had already lived through her fair share of serious. At twenty-eight, her current plans for the future included having a good time and enjoying the MLB hopefuls that showed up on the Cape every May to play in the summer baseball league. College boys were fun but didn't hold half the appeal as the sexy firefighter that kept showing up when she least expected it.

He wanted her and she wanted absolutely none of it. Or, so she thought. Grant could not only set her body on fire with just a look but with only a few kisses she started to forget that serious was off the table for her life. After hiding so much for so long, can she open her heart up and trust that Grant’s in it for more than just the chase?

Goodreads     Amazon US      Amazon UK      Amazon CA     Amazon AU     Barnes & Noble     iTunes

 

An Excerpt from Daisies in the Outfield 

"Come on, Sally, when's dinner gonna be served?" All the guys had a girl name for their night on kitchen duty. Jamie's was Sally. Grant had been harassing him big time and it was getting way beyond annoying. Every time the door to the house opened, he held his breath hoping Mandy would walk in.
"You'll get your food when it's ready," he snapped, not bothering to hide his annoyance.
"Touchy today, aren’t we. Is it your time of the month, Sally?"
"Go to hell." Jamie stirred the sauce then poured the five pounds of pasta into the oversized colander to drain it.
"Damn, man. You need to get laid something serious."
"You might not understand this, but there is more to life than getting laid and getting drunk."
"Tell that to my liver and my dick. They are pretty feisty little guys and they want what they want when they want it."
"You really need a life, Grant."
"I have a great life. A job I like, a twenty four hour grocery store across the street and
plenty of pretty ladies around town with a thing for firefighters."
"Why don't you and your dick go tell the guys grub's on. I need to step outside for some air."
"Thinking about my parts got you all hot and bothered, does it?" Grant left the kitchen laughing and Jamie stepped out the back door to the little grassy area behind the fire station. Stretching, he let the cool ocean breeze that always accompanied nightfall, wash over him. The smell of sand and salt assaulted his senses. It was a heady combination on a warm summer night. Even better if he had a certain woman in his arms watching the waves crash in over their toes.
"Hey," a voice called out quietly from the dimness of dusk. A very familiar voice. A voice that made his heart jump around wildly in his chest. Mandy.
He turned around and saw her standing at the corner of the building, peering at him with an amused look on her face. Suddenly feeling a little shy, he replied, "Hey, yourself," instead of striding over and taking her in his arms like he had ached to do all day long. Mandy giggled and twisted her hands in front of her.
"What's so funny?"
"Well, I came here to meet a guy named Jamie but it looks like I've found Betty Crocker instead.”
Oh, shit. The apron!
"You got a problem with a man in an apron?" He grinned and she laughed again, shaking her head.
"No. I don’t suppose I do."
"Good." This time he did close the distance between them but he didn’t touch her. She shivered a little and he hoped it was because of his proximity and not the evening breeze. "It's a house joke. The guy on kitchen duty has to wear one—the frillier, the better—and he gets a girl name. Hazing at its best, I suppose."
"What's yours?"
"My what?" It was getting hard to think when all he could focus on was her lips and how badly he wanted to taste them.
Mandy ran a finger lightly up his arm until she reached the place where the full length apron started up around his neck and hooked her finger there. "Your girl name. What is it?"
"Sally."
"Hmmm…I've always had this secret fantasy of kissing a girl named Sally. Ever since I heard the song Mustang Sally."
"You have? Maybe we should do something about that."
"Maybe we should." Mandy was more
relaxed than he had seen her over the last few days, flirting with her words and ravaging him with her eyes. He sure liked this side of her.
Jamie bent down and scooped her up in his arms. Mandy wrapped her legs around his waist and her arms around his neck. She leaned back slightly and murmured, "Oh, Sally. You have the most amazing—eyes." She ran her tongue over her lips, never once looking him the eyes.
"So do you," he replied focused only on those now slightly dampened lips. The space between them disappeared as she took his mouth with a passion he wouldn't have thought her capable of. Worried one of the guys might walk outside and see them, he carried her into a stand of pine trees on the side of the building, never once breaking their contact. She let a tiny little moan escape as she ended the kiss.
"I'm sorry. I couldn't help myself." She sounded embarrassed.
"I never want you to not do that if you have the urge. Did that even make sense?" He chuckled huskily against her throat as he placed tiny little kisses across the neck line of her top. The thin, silky material was erotic, caressing his chin and cheek as he explored the bare skin of her shoulder with his tongue.
"Yes. It made sense." She pulled his mouth back up to hers. "I feel like doing it again."
Jamie dropped to his knees, setting Mandy gently onto the ground. He sat in the cushion of the pine needles and pulled her onto his lap. "Then by all means—"
The second kiss was better than the first as his tongue sought hers. She was as fervent as he was in her desire to get as close as possible. If he weren't in uniform, twenty feet from ten other guys, he would have given into her every demand. As it was, they were about to go to a place he wouldn't return from without an ice cold shower so he pulled back reluctantly.
"Did I miss something?" he whispered against her ear.
"No. Why?"
"This morning I wasn't sure I would ever see you again. I mean, there was something—"
"I know. I'm sorry. I was having some doubts but then I talked to Callie and worked a few things out."
"I like when you talk to Callie." He grinned and pressed a kiss to the side of her neck, behind her ear. "Can you talk to her more often? Preferably on a day when I am not on duty?"
Mandy laughed. "I think that can be arranged."
"Are you hungry?"
She shook her head. "Not anymore."
There was no mistaking the meaning in her words. "Yeah, me either. Unfortunately, I have to get back inside. The captain can be a bit of a ball-buster."
Mandy moved to stand but Jamie pulled her back in, crushing his lips to hers in one last hard kiss. He wanted to remember the feel of her lips all night long. She snaked her arms around his neck and murmured, "I know exactly what you mean."
His hands slid up her back slowly, slipping under the hem of her top and finding the soft skin of her lower back. A groan rumbled through his chest. Frustration mounted and that ice cold shower was definitely about to become reality.
"I should go," she whispered. "I don’t want you to get in trouble on my account. I'm thinking you are going to need those balls your captain will want to bust in the near future."
He groaned again, this time in sweet agony over the image her words had conjured in his mind. They walked out of the stand of trees hand in hand, Jamie cursing his need to be employed.
"Are you sure you don’t want to come in for a bit?"
She shook her head. "No. I don't want to get in the way."
"You are never in my way."
He loved the way all her skin, not just her face, changed colors when she was embarrassed. Half the time he said stuff like that just to make her blush.
"See you for the game tomorrow night?" he asked, wrapping his arm around her waist and pulling her in for one last kiss.
"Wouldn't miss it for the world, Coach." She batted her eyelashes exaggeratedly and gave him a sugary sweet smile.
"Good. I'll make sure one of my uniforms is clean just for you."
"You can but you'll be wasting your time." Mandy stepped away and gave a little wave. "I never lose a bet. Enjoy the rest of your shift."
He watched as she walked away, stopping just before she turned the corner and blew him a little kiss.
What the hell was all that?
That was a side to Mandy, he hadn't expected. All her temperature changes over the past few days hadn't prepared him for what had just gone down.
The door opened behind him. "Where the hell'd you get off to, man? I was about to call in search and rescue."
"Nowhere. I've been out here the whole time."
"You've got dirt on your knees."
"I dropped something."
"And found it by rolling around under the trees?" Grant reached up and pulled a pine needle out of Jamie's hair.
"I guess so."
"You look like a freak in that apron."
"Mandy likes it."
Grant's eyes widened as he scanned the area. "She's here?"
"Was. I invited her for dinner."
"Well, why didn't you all come inside then?"
Jamie turned and grinned at his friend. "Because she skipped the meal and filled up on desert."
"You dog! You didn't—?"
"No! Not that. I would have but you know, work and all."
"Always getting in the way of the good stuff," Grant grumbled as they returned to the kitchen. "If I could get paid for having sex, I would."
"You can. But, you can also get arrested for it."
"I meant legally, you ass hat! Maybe I'll become a porn star." He gyrated his hips exaggeratedly, making Jamie laugh.
Jamie pulled off his apron and tossed it to Grant. "Sorry, dude. You better stick with fighting fires. You're on cleanup. I need a shower."
A very, very cold shower.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Release Tour Love on Fire

LOVE ON FIRE
Genre: Contemporary Romance


Cover Reveal Coming Home by Aine Kelley





Coming Home
by Aine Kelley
Release Date: August 21st, 2017

Five years spent wishing things were different.

Five years spent trying to forget it ever happened.

Five years spent wondering what coming home would be like.

Five years spent hoping there was still a chance.

For Jenny Foster, coming home was the scariest thing she’d ever faced, but she was tired of being haunted by the one boy – man – she’d ever loved. She was tired of hiding in the shadows of her childhood; it was time to be the woman she ran away to find.

Jack Ryan knew he only had one chance to make things right with Jenny; a chance he didn’t deserve, but he knew he wouldn’t waste it. It had already taken him a lifetime to see what was right in front of him all along, and he’d be damned if he let her slip away again.

Maybe time heals most wounds, but when it comes to wounds of the heart, Jenny knows time only builds walls to protect what’s already broken. Only love can heal a wounded heart, and for Jenny Foster that meant letting in the one person who broke it in the first place – Jack Ryan.



And he was waiting for her; ready for her to come home…to him.




 

PREORDER:







BOOK ONE: 

ON SALE FOR 99 CENTS!!!



Can two broken people help each other learn to love again and find their way home?



For Samantha Cole, love and relationships have never come easy. Pain and heartbreak have forced her to build a wall around herself. Hoping to start over, Sam leaves Boston behind and moves to Napa with her best friend. Trying to make better choices in love, Sam establishes rules to keep her heart safe. Little did she know that one man would challenge her and change her mind. He had the potential to break down her walls and bring her heart back home.



Ben Foster has been dealing with heartache and guilt for the past two years, believing he lost his only chance at love. Pounding guys on the Rugby field and running the family winery get him through the pain. When Sam arrives he slowly lets out the breath he's been holding and the fog lifts. He wonders if she is the one that can help his heart find a new way home.



Letting go of the past and moving forward is not always easy. Their connection is strong, but their pasts keep getting in the way. Will Sam and Ben's journey tear them apart or help them find their way to becoming each other's home?



Aine Kelley is a Massachusetts native who resides in a small seaside
community outside of Boston. Besides her immense love for her two girls, she's
a huge fan of her Patriots. Bruins and Red Sox!  She's a one click addict
and loves getting lost in a story. Like her strong female characters in her
books, she's a huge 80's movie lover, book addict and a music freak! Her love
of words, books, beta reading for authors and reviewing for a blog, led her
down this crazy yet exciting writing path. She's so excited for you to finally
read and enjoy Jack and Jenny’s story. Her motto is: Live freely, laugh
heartily and love deeply.













Saturday, August 12, 2017

Release Blitz Royally Cursed by Cameron Drake




Release Blitz
Title:Royally Cursed
Series: Vampire Princess, Book 2
Author: Cameron Drake
Release Date: August 3, 2017







I’m in love with two boys, and neither one of them are human. Then again, who am I to talk?

It’s the summer before my Senior year and I’m in trouble. Besides needing to pass my driver’s test, I’m cursed with an insatiable hunger for blood. I have to be locked up when the urge strikes me, and the thirst is terrible.

Only drinking the blood of a Vampire can sate me.

Maxim offers himself to me. But it is another’s blood I truly crave. The blood of my ex-boyfriend Dylan.

He hates me for breaking his heart. Little does he know I did it for his own protection. And because his Fae family might kick my butt.

When he learns the truth about me, nobody expects what will happen. But how can I choose between the two? And none of it will matter if I can’t save my Kingdom.

But first things first: I need a dress for prom.




























Cameron Drake is an emerging author of paranormal fiction. Vampire Princess is Cameron’s first book.
Look for the second Vampire Princess book coming soon, along with the Dreamshifters series, a new collaboration with young adult fiction author Kara Sevda!

Mailing List| Facebook|Amazon





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Release Blitz Billionaire's Bet by Claire Adams






Tyler is on his way home to spend time with his father before he passes away from lung cancer. He has spent the past 15 years figuratively running away from home, having made a life—and billions—for himself in Birmingham, Alabama. But now that it is time to come home for a visit to Rainbow, Texas, he is feeling conflicted.
And a big reason for that is Kelsi, the high school sweetheart who broke up with him and broke his heart. Of course, she has a different perspective on just who broke whose heart back then. Needless to say, she had no intentions of ever getting back with him, but thanks to a bet from his friends, he decides to try to woo her once more.

Despite her best efforts, Kelsi ends up falling for him, only to have the bet revealed ton her. Unfortunately, Tyler has truly fallen for her as well. Will she be able to get past his betrayal?

Billionaires Bet is a standalone billionaire romance with a HEA, no cheating.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Vanity in Dust by Cheryl Low

Cheryl Low might be an Evil Queen, sipping tea and peeping on everyone from high up in her posh tower—a job she got only after being fired from her gig as Wicked Witch for eating half the gingerbread house.

…Or she might be a relatively mundane human with a love for all things sugary and soap opera slaps.

Find out by following her on social media @cherylwlow or check her webpage, cheryllow.com. The answer might surprise you! But it probably won’t.

Social Media Links: Twitter& Instagram: @cherylwlow Website: cheryllow.com





In the Realm there are whispers. Whispers that the city used to be a different place. That before the Queen ruled there was a sky beyond the clouds and a world beyond their streets.

Vaun Dray Fen never knew that world. Born a prince without a purpose in a Realm ruled by lavish indulgence, unrelenting greed, and vicious hierarchy, he never knew a time before the Queen’s dust drugged the city. From the tea to the pastries, everything is poisoned to distract and dull the senses.  And yet, after more than a century, his own magic is beginning to wake. The beautiful veneer of the Realm is cracking. Those who would defy the Queen turn their eyes to Vaun, and the dust saturating the Realm.

From the carnivorous pixies in the shadows to the wolves in the streets, Vaun thought he knew all the dangers of his city. But when whispers of treason bring down the fury of the Queen, he'll have to race to save the lives and souls of those he loves.

A deliciously decadent debut that will make you reconsider the world within which we live – because how different are we than Low’s drugged-up citizens of the upper crust?” -- Sara Dobie Bauer, author of the Bite Somebody series

Grab your copy now     World Weaver Press     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     iTunes     Kobo     Goodreads

Building the world of Vanity in Dust 

Vanity in Dust is a dark fantasy about a city of magic users and abusers under the thumb of a queen so feared that she doesn’t even have to come out of her tower to keep them in check. The Realm is a dangerous place. The drug of choice, dust, is called into question as bad batches have driven people mad. The Queen is frequently sending out her wolves to chase down anyone she considers a traitor and drag their souls back to her. And flesh-eating pixies gather in the shadows waiting for a chance to bite a chunk out of the nearest body.

Coming up with this world was an obsession of mine. I left it stewing in the back of my mind for years while I did other things, jotting down notes until it finally came together. I tell people that I’m an expert on nothing but the things I make up, and I mean it. It’s important to be an expert on your own story. I know how the Realm works, the social structure, the bad areas of town, and the secrets. I even made sure I knew what was outside the city, because whether it was a fantasy world or our world would ultimate effect how the Realm had become a city separated from everything else.

I asked myself endless questions about how the world worked. I considered everything I saw in real life and tried to decide how it would work in the Realm—if it would exist at all—and how it would be perceived by the different districts of the city.

Building the world and answering all those questions helped me figure out where the story would go over the course of the series and what had led these people to this breaking point in their society.

One of the funnest parts of building a world, is knowing all its secrets and where it’s going.

The Realm and the people in it are deeply divided by social hierarchy. The aristocracy live at the heart of the city, around the Queen’s Tower. They’ve lost all purpose, eternally young and seeming to rotate through the same scandals and gossip. They play games of pretend in a Library where no one reads but everyone whispers, and at dinner parties where no one is ever hungry but every course is made of sugar.

Unbeknownst to them, their city is about to take the first turn into a storm of change.



Grayc snatched a book from a table as she passed and swung it against the back of Vaun’s skull. The impact echoed in the room a moment before the scrape of chairs and chorus of alarmed voices drowned it out. She waited as Vaun’s head turned toward her, clutching the novel like a weapon or a shield, bracing herself as the full weight of his rage settled on her. Black consumed his eyes like ink spilling from a bottle, blooming in his whites before saturating them completely. “Grayc,” he growled.

“Madness is no excuse for bad manners or wasted tea.”

His lip curled. “Mad? Me? Only the Low—”

“Drink bad dust? In Belholn Main district teahouses, perhaps?” She arched an eyebrow. “No, a fine prince of the Realm would never be so foolish. A prince would never overconsume without giving his body a chance to rest between highs. Surely a prince would know better.”

The veins in his neck jumped when his jaw clenched. “You think you can speak to me like this? You think you can get away with striking me, in front of all of these people? I own you!”

“If you think that is true, then perhaps I did not hit you hard enough.” Her voice rose with a spike of anger.

The prince’s hand drew back but before it could sail she spoke again.

“Swords or guns, your highness?”

Vaun blinked. “What?”

“For our duel,” GraycIllan said. “Would you rather I shoot you, or stab you?”

His lips curled back into a snarl that twisted at the corners of his mouth. “You cannot challenge me, Grayc. I am a prince of the Realm. You are just a rat.”

She felt the entire room watching her but his blackened eyes weighed on her nerves the most, urging her to abandon her pretense of confidence and beg for mercy. It was not an option. His madness would only worsen the longer they allowed him to continue sucking down cups of tea. With a lazy shrug she tossed the book onto the table, ignoring the way the porcelain suffered and more tea spilled. “Vaun—” She used his given name and heard the intake of shock-stricken breaths. “—if you are frightened, you only need say so.”