Guest Post & Giveaway: Illusion by Martina Boone

illusionillusion_coverAmazon/Barnes & Noble/iBooks/Goodreads

Pub. Date: October 25, 2016

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Barrie must rescue her beloved and her family from evil spirits in the masterful conclusion to the Heirs of Watson Island trilogy.

Caged by secrets all around her and haunted by mistakes that have estranged her from Eight Beaufort, Barrie Watson is desperate to break the curse that puts her family in danger—without breaking the beautiful magic that protects Watson’s Landing. To do that, she must heal the rifts that have split the families of the island apart for three hundred years, unravel the mystery of the Fire Carrier and the spirits he guards, and take control of forces so deadly and awe-inspiring they threaten to overwhelm her.

With the spirits that cursed Watson Island centuries ago awake and more dangerous than ever, she finds an unlikely ally in the haunting and enigmatic Obadiah, whose motivations and power she still can’t read—or trust. His help comes at a price, however, plunging Barrie into a deadly maze of magic and wonder, mystery and intrigue that leads through history to places she never imagined she could go.guestI like to say that the Heirs of Watson Island series contains a lot of kitchen magic. Not just the kind that sets fire to the river around Watson Island, keeps the magical garden cared for, and gives the founding families their special gifts, but also the magic of family and friendship that centers around the kitchen table.

Food is important in the South, and it’s a core part of the Heirs of Watson Island series. Not only is the tea room at Watson’s Landing a big draw for the public in the first book, but Pru and Barrie and Mary open a full scale restaurant in the later books. Cooking was also one of the rituals that was important to Barrie and Mark. From the moment that Barrie arrives at Watson Island, she is immersed in the food of the lowcountry, from cakes to pastries shrimp and grits—and of course, the amazing hot dogs at the Beach Dogs shack in town.

Here’s the recipe for the first food mentioned in COMPULSION. The amazing Jamie Arnold of Two Chicks on Books was kind enough to do a Pinterest board for the series that contains all the various recipes for anyone who’s interested!

jordan-whoopie_pie_cake

Peanut Butter Whoopie Pie Cake from Compulsion

INGREDIENTS:

Cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

3/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup unsalted butter, lightly softened

4 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups milk or water

Frosting:

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 1/3 cups butter, softened

2 cups marshmallow fluff

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Ganache:

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate

1/4 to 1/2 cup finely chopped Reeses Peanut Butter Cups — or substitute chocolate or mint chips.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
  3. Combine dry ingredients: flour, cocoa, and baking powder.
  4. Combine milk and vanilla in a small, separate bowl.
  5. Cream butter in a separate large bowl, then add sugar and salt and beat on medium for five minutes or until light and fluffy.
  6. One at a time, beat eggs into the butter mixture.
  7. Beating continuously on low speed, alternate adding milk mixture and dry mixture into the creamed butter mixture until smooth. Scrape sides and remove lumps.
  8. Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans.
  9. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely on cooling rack before frosting.

For Frosting

  1. Beat butter in a large bowl for 2 minutes on medium. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
  2. On low speed, add vanilla and marshmallow fluff until combined and smooth.
  3. Frost cake and refrigerate until cold before pouring the ganache on top.

For Ganache

  1. On medium heat, bring whipping cream to a simmer, stirring continuously.
  2. Pour hot cream over Dutch processed chocolate in a heat-resistant bowl, cover with foil. Let sit 3 to 4 minutes. Whisk until smooth.
  3. Let mixture cool until lukewarm and pour over the frosted cake, letting it drip down the sides.
  4. Sprinkle chopped Reeses Peanut Butter Cups on top, or sprinkles, or chopped candy canes, or whatever you like.

Recipe adapted from Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice

ABOUT COMPULSION

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synThree plantations. Two wishes. One ancient curse.

All her life, Barrie Watson has been a virtual prisoner in the house where she lives with her shut-in mother. When her mother dies, Barrie promises to put some mileage on her stiletto heels. But she finds a new kind of prison at her aunt’s South Carolina plantation instead—a prison guarded by an ancient spirit who long ago cursed one of the three founding families of Watson Island and gave the others magical gifts that became compulsions.

Stuck with the ghosts of a generations-old feud and hunted by forces she cannot see, Barrie must find a way to break free of the family legacy. With the help of sun-kissed Eight Beaufort, who knows what Barrie wants before she knows herself, the last Watson heir starts to unravel her family’s twisted secrets. What she finds is dangerous: a love she never expected, a river that turns to fire at midnight, a gorgeous cousin who isn’t what she seems, and very real enemies who want both Eight and Barrie dead.

authormartina-2WebsiteTumblr | FacebookPinterest | Instagram | Twitter | Google+ | YouTube | Goodreads

Martina Boone was born in Prague and spoke several languages before learning English. She fell in love with words and never stopped delighting in them. She’s the author of SIBA Book Award nominated Compulsion, book one in the romantic Southern Gothic trilogy, the Heirs of Watson Island, which was an Okra Pick by the Southern Independent Bookstores Alliance, a Kansas State Reading Circle selection, a Goodreads Best Book of the Month and YA Best Book of the Month, and an RT Magazine Best of 2014 Editor’s Pick. The second book in the trilogy, Persuasion, will be published in October 2015.

She’s also the founder of AdventuresInYAPublishing.com, a three-time Writer’s Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers site, the CompulsionForReading.com book drive campaign for underfunded schools and libraries, and YASeriesInsiders.com, a site devoted to the discovery and celebration of young adult literature and encouraging literacy through YA series. She is also a founder and permanent mentor at 1st5PagesWritingWorkshop.com, helping to shepherd aspiring writers into the publication process and help them find the right starting point for their novels in progress, Locally in her home state of Virginia, she is on the board of the

Literacy Council of Northern Virginia, helping to promote literacy and adult education initiatives.

She lives with her husband, children, and a lopsided cat, she enjoys writing contemporary fantasy set in the kinds of magical places she’d love to visit. When she isn’t writing, she’s addicted to travel, horses, skiing, chocolate flavored tea, and anything with Nutella on it.

giveaway2 winners will receive hardcover sets of COMPULSION, PERSUASION, & ILLUSION, US Only.

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Tour Schedule:

Week One:

10/17/2016- Just Commonly- Review-Compulsion

10/18/2016- Kayl’s Krazy Obsession- Guest Post

10/19/2016- Always Me- Review-Compulsion

10/20/2016- YA Book Madness- Guest Post

10/21/2016- The Young Folks- Review-Compulsion

Week Two:

10/24/2016- The Cover Contessa- Review-Persuasion (repost)

10/25/2016- Good Choice Reading- Guest Post

10/26/2016- Curling Up With A Good Book- Review-Persuasion

10/27/2016- Tales of the Ravenous Reader- Guest Post

10/28/2016- A Dream Within A Dream- Review-Persuasion (repost)

Week Three:

 10/31/2016- Here’s to Happy Endings- Review-Illusion

11/1/2016- Two Chicks on Books- Guest Post

11/2/2016- Bookish Lifestyle- Review-Illusion

11/3/2016- Dark Faerie Tales- Guest Post

11/4/2016- Book Briefs- Review-Illusion

Epic reading, 

Jordan

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Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Illusion-Lea Nolan

It’s cover reveal day for Illusion by Lea Nolan. This is the third book in The Hoodoo Apprentice Trilogy, and I am so excited because all three books are getting gorgeous new covers! Check it out!

ILLUSION_500Goodreads | Amazon Pre-Order

Release Day: October 5th

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal

synNew school. Cross-country move. Broken heart. If only these were Emma Guthrie’s worst problems as the first day of her sophomore year dawns. Instead, she must battle a trio of enemies—human and spectral—who may or may not have joined forces against her. All while pretending to be over Cooper Beaumont, her ex-boyfriend and true love, to shield him from her arch-nemesis’s revenge.

Worse, when the fight escalates, Emma is tempted to use the black magic she’s always fought against, endangering her own soul. As her enemies close in, join forces, and fight with new and dark magic she’s never seen before, Emma must finally harness the power within her to fulfill an ancient prophecy, defeat a centuries-old evil, save her family, and reclaim the only boy she’s ever loved.

Conjure_500Amazon | Barnes and Noble | GoodreadssynBe careful what you search for…

Emma Guthrie expects this summer to be like any other in the South Carolina Lowcountry–hot and steamy with plenty of beach time alongside her best friend and secret crush, Cooper Beaumont, and Emma’s ever-present twin brother, Jack. But then a mysterious eighteenth-century message in a bottle surfaces, revealing a hidden pirate bounty. Lured by the adventure, the trio discovers the treasure and unwittingly unleashes an ancient Gullah curse that attacks Jack with the wicked flesh-eating Creep and promises to steal Cooper’s soul on his approaching sixteenth birthday.

When a strange girl appears, bent on revenge; demon dogs become a threat; and Jack turns into a walking skeleton; Emma has no choice but to learn hoodoo magic to undo the hex, all before summer—and her friends–are lost forever.

ALLURE_500Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Goodreads

synWorst. Summer. Ever.

Emma Guthrie races to learn the hoodoo magic needed to break The Beaumont Curse before her marked boyfriend Cooper’s sixteenth birthday. But deep in the South Carolina Lowcountry, dark, mysterious forces encroach, conspiring to separate Emma and Cooper forever. When Cooper starts to change, turning cold and indifferent, Emma discovers that both his heart and body are marked for possession by competing but equally powerful adversaries.

Desperate to save him, Emma and her twin brother, Jack, risk their lives to uncover the source of the black magic that has allured Cooper and holds him in its grip. Faced with the horror of a soul-eating boohag, Emma and Jack must fight to resist its fiendish power to free Cooper long enough to join their strengths and face it together, before it destroys them all.

ExcerptA screech echoes through the woods. The sound is like a nail scraped against tin and raises the tiny hairs on the back of my neck. It’s the unmistakable caw of a crow. Spinning, I search the dimness for the source. Before my eyes can focus, a glossy black shadow bursts through a sheet of Spanish moss draped on a nearby live oak.

Shrieking, I cover my head with my hands and duck, then dart toward the path that brought me here. The bird pursues, flapping its large wings and gaining ground fast. With a whoosh, it swoops from the sky and slams into me, sinking its talons into my arm. I scream, then thrash around, trying to knock it loose. Its spiky nails clamp deeper into my flesh.

“Get off her!” Cooper’s voice booms.

Tears, the very best kind, surge. I’ve never been so happy to have him near. “Help!” I lamely shake my arm again, but the psychotic bird hangs on.

Cooper’s feet pound against the dirt as he races toward me and my winged assailant. As he draws close, the crow squawks, then jams its beak into my scalp, yanking out a clump of hair.

Pain, brilliant yellow and blinding, flashes across my vision. I wail, overcome.

“Emma, duck.”

I drop to my knees. Something hard thumps against the bird, launching it into the air like a golf ball from a tee. Its piercing caw bounces across the clearing. As the bird soars into the moonlit sky, it attempts to beat its wings, but something’s wrong. Only one of its feathered sides extends. Midair the shiny black crow stalls then careens back toward the earth. Just as I’m sure it’s headed straight for us, the lame wing unfolds then beats furiously to avoid what is sure to be a deadly collision. Veering off, it follows a wobbly flight path toward the shadowy forest.

Cooper tosses a long, heavy stick onto the ground, then reaches for my hand and pulls me to my feet. “Are you okay?” His wide hands clutch my arms as his eyes search mine.

“I—I think so.” My voice shakes as I work to process all that’s happened in the last few minutes. My temperature drops as shock sets in. Was it real, or just an immensely screwed-up dream? One glance at the slick streak of blood dripping down my skin confirms my new wound, though I can’t tell how bad it is until I see it in the light.

Grabbing me close, he wraps his strong arms around my back. The heady scent of his Cooperness swirls around me, filling me with familiar warmth that heads off my shock. My thoughts zoom to the red stain that has likely already smeared his polo. “I’m bleeding.” I try to pull away.

“I know.” He grips me close, like he’s fallen from a ship and I’m the only life preserver.

“But it’ll get it on your shirt.” A tear streams down the side of my face.

He pulls away, just enough to meet my gaze. “Who cares about my shirt? I thought I lost you, Emmaline.” Brushing his thumb against my cheek, he wipes away the salty liquid.

“But you didn’t. You saved me.”

“I was almost too late.” His voice is breathy and so full of despair it nearly breaks my heart.authLea Nolan Bio Pic 6-2012Lea Nolan is a USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary Romance and YA. Her books for young adults feature bright heroines, crazy-hot heroes, diabolical plot twists, plus a dose of magic, a draft of romance, and a sprinkle of history. She also pens smart, witty contemporary stories for adults filled with head-swooning, heart-throbbing, sweep-you-off your feet romance.

Born and raised on Long Island, New York, she loves the water far too much to live inland. With her heroically supportive husband and three clever children, she resides in Maryland where she scarfs down crab cakes whenever she gets the chance.

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Pleasant reading, 

Jordan