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Astronomical Events and Romance?

March 28, 2024 by in category Quarter Days by Alina K. Field tagged as ,

Mr. Moon meets Mrs. Sun—or is it the other way around?

There’s a big solar eclipse coming on April 8th! It’s predicted to be a spectacular one, witnessed by over 32 million people.

We know that the paths of the moon and the sun will line up. The moon will block the sun and cast the earth into darkness, while “deep pink geysers of nuclear fire shoot from the Sun’s edge” as described in the link I just mentioned.

That amazing ring of fire!

A total solar eclipse is such a startling event that before the science of astronomy developed, humans came up with different ways to explain the sudden darkness.

Some cultures evoked gods, demons, dragons, and other mythological creatures to cope, while others explained the eclipse in terms of a romantic union between the moon with the sun. Check out some of the mythology in this post from Almanac.com.

The right place at the right time

Eclipses aren’t often visible where I live, due to either wrong geography or a lack of a clear sky. (Fog? Smog? Who knows?) The sky darkened noticeably during last October’s eclipse, but there was so much cloud cover, I couldn’t view what was only a partial eclipse in our area.

However, on April 8th this year, I’ll be on an airplane flying home above the cloud cover from a most romantic event, a family member’s wedding in New York City.

Maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to witness something through the airplane window, or while I wait for my connecting flight. I’d better shop for some eclipse shades!

Year of the Comet

Comets are another astronomical novelty.

I don’t know of any romance relationships ascribed to comets, but there seems to have been a spectacular relationship between the comet of 1811 and the grapes–and wine–produced that year.

Vin de Comète (comet wine) is the name given to the 1811 vintage of wine. (There’s a 1992 movie about a chase across Europe for a bottle of Vin de Comète with Napoleon’s seal.)

One sparkling wine made during this era was made famous by a courageous and innovative French woman vintner, the Veuve (French for widow) Clicquot.

Astronomical, or perhaps Gastronomical Inspiration

The Veuve Clicquot, and the fabulous champagne she made helped inspire a story I wrote last year. The Veuve herself doesn’t appear until the epilogue, but it’s her demand that spurs the hero’s quest, and she also sends him home to England with a precious and very valuable case of Vin de Comète.

Under the Champagne Moon first appeared in the October 2023 Bluestocking Belles collection, Under the Harvest Moon, and tells the story of a young Frenchwoman and the ex-soldier who’s looking for her.

I’m happy to announce that it will be available in its own edition on April 16th! Here’s the beautiful new cover and a bit about the book. Buy link to follow, but you can find out more at my website, https://alinakfield.com/book/under-the-champagne-moon/.

Orphaned by the French Revolution and rescued by a British family, Fleur Hardouin didn’t—or wouldn’t—speak, until the jolly young Gareth Ardleigh crossed her path one summer and saved her from bullies.

Fifteen years later, Fleur and the beloved lady she serves return to Cheshire. Determined to rescue them both through an advantageous marriage, Fleur tries to brush off the attention she receives from Captain Gareth Ardleigh, who’s home from the wars and as handsome as ever. Her heart longs for him, but her head knows he can’t provide the security she needs.

Gareth’s excuse for visiting Cheshire is to deliver the personal effects of his best friend who perished at Quatre Bras. But his real purpose is finding the little French girl he met years ago, for marriage—not to him, but to the Frenchman who helped save his life.

Astonished to find that Fleur has grown into a beautiful—and still intriguing—young woman, it soon becomes clear, he must choose between honoring a promise or trying to win the hand of the woman he loves.

Except for the cover, all images are courtesy of Depositphotos.com.

Happy spring, everyone! I’ll be back in June with another Quarter Days post!

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Curiosity by Neetu

March 27, 2024 by in category Poet's Day by Neetu Malik tagged as , , , ,

Curiosity

how many steps
to the edge of the world
she wants to know

small feet press on
each foot forward
taking her closer to

destination unknown
undeterred, unwavering

asking the same question
though she knows
I have no answer

though I am
mother

© Neetu Malik


Some of Neetu’s Books


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Book Tour: Lexi Wells Gift of Sight by Karen Tjebben

March 23, 2024 by in category Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley, Rabt Book Tours
 

 

 

Paranormal Thriller

Date Published: 06-26-2023

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lexi never considered her gift of sight anything but a curse until she is lured to a murder scene by a young, dead girl. Detective Evan Steele doesn’t like working with others, especially ones who ruin his crime scene. Going against his gut and logic, he teams up with a medium who challenges everything he ever believed. Together, they must stop the serial killer that is terrorizing New Sainte.

 

 

Don’t miss Cherish Lively’s My Secret Obsession Podcast. If you enjoy listening to novels, stop by the podcast and listen to Confessions of a “Fallen” Good Girl.

 

Join the Podcast

 

 

About the Author

Karen lives in Georgia with her wonderful husband and twin daughters. She loves traveling the world. Whether it’s to the heights of Yosemite, the white sands of the Caribbean, or even Down Under, she’s always ready to pack a bag in search of inspiration. She enjoys creating worlds filled with unique characters that will delight and raise goose bumps on her readers.

 

Contact Links

Website

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Amazon

 

 

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RABT Book Tours & PR

Excerpt
Lexi Wells: Gift of Sight

The layer of gray clouds reflected the flashing lights of the police cars lining the street. Lexi’s head whirled in rhythm with the swirling lights as her heart pounded. Each inhalation seemed to be filtered through a dozen surgical masks as dizziness overwhelmed her. Her grip tightened on the wheel as she came to a sudden stop in her driveway. She didn’t want to move, but she had to. She couldn’t deny the little girl who beckoned her.

Olivia Shaw ran to her, yet her little feet didn’t quite touch the ground. Lexi couldn’t describe exactly how the dead moved or how much of their earthly selves remained once they were dead, but there always seemed to be a process by which the dead came to terms with their death and finally receded into the afterlife.

Lexi wasn’t sure if she was screaming aloud or if her cries of horror merely echoed in her head, but as she ran across the driveway towards the little girl, she knew that she was the only one that saw Olivia.

“Help Amelia! She’s hiding!” screamed Olivia with her hands in fists by her side. She looked like a kid throwing a tantrum, but it wasn’t a tantrum. Desperation to help someone she loved fueled her pleas. The eight-year-old turned and raced back towards her house.

At first Lexi didn’t notice the police officers making their way towards her, but as she neared Oliva, a man in a suit stepped in front of her and motioned for her to stop.

Lexi’s focus on Olivia was totally obscured by the broad chest that suddenly blocked her way. She nearly stumbled as she came to an abrupt stop. She steadied herself by planting her hands on the man’s chest. His hands wrapped around her arms to keep her from fully plowing into him.

“Ma’am,” Detective Evan Steele said as he kept the woman steady. “Ma’am, you can’t go in there. Do you live here?”

Evan hated this part of his job. Death and murder were horrible business, but justice for the dead and the ones who lived on needed to be found. The woman before him was pale and clearly traumatized. Her fingers clutched at his shirt, and her nails scraped his flesh through the cloth.

“Ma’am,” Evan repeated. The woman shifted and refused to look at him. Instead, her gaze was locked on something behind him.

He glanced over his shoulder to see what held her attention, but he didn’t see anything.

“Let go of me,” Lexi panted. She tried to push off his chest, but his hands remained locked on her arms.

Fury exploded through Lexi and she shouted, “Let go of me!” She jerked free of his hold and only got a few steps before he stopped her again.

“Ma’am,” this time Evan’s voice was firm, authoritative. “You can’t go in there. It’s an active crime scene.”

“We have to help her!” Lexi screamed. “She’s afraid. She needs my help.”

Evan felt sorry for the desperate woman before him. The people in the house were dead. There was no one to help.

“I’m sorry, ma’am. We have the situation under control.”

Olivia’s screams for help echoed through the air. Amelia had to be safe. Olivia wouldn’t be so desperate if her sister was already dead. Lexi wasn’t a quitter, but she knew he wouldn’t let her by.

“Okay,” Lexi said, finally making eye contact with the man. “Okay.” God, what could she say to convince him to let her into the house? She couldn’t tell him that she saw ghosts and that one was pleading with her to help a little girl still in the house.

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Nemesis and the Swan: A Review by Veronica Jorge

March 22, 2024 by in category Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge tagged as , , , ,

Nemesis and the Swan


by


Lindsay K. Brandy

Blackstone Publishing 2020

ISBN 978-1-09-405947-1

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Nineteen-year-old Helene languishes in a squalid French prison tormented by questions she cannot answer. Why was she arrested? Who could have made a wrongful accusation against her? And if so, why?

Together with Helene, we attempt to unravel the mystery of her imprisonment as we follow the journey of her life that led to this moment.

As a child, Helene, an aristocrat in revolutionary Paris, absorbed ideas of liberty and an egalitarian society from her governess. Words and ideas that created in her heart a different life from the one she had been living, and which she thought possible if only given the chance.

Perhaps such idyllic hopes and dreams are what caused her to fall in love with a commoner.

But how to deal with an unstable mother who cares nothing for her? Or a father, who although affectionate, views her as a means of securing his own wealth and maintaining his lifestyle via an arranged marriage for his daughter to a rich but base man?

To complicate matters further, she discovers a murder mystery within her family that may put her own life at risk.

When an acquaintance, who may be able to help set her free, visits her in prison, Helene pours out her fears and reveals all about her life. But in such perilous times, how can one know who to trust? What awaits her next? Freedom or the guillotine?

A riveting tale of the revolutionary days in Paris told from the perspective of a young woman, the author asks us to consider the importance of examining the way we each draw lines between good and bad, right and left, and us and them.

Nemesis and the Swan is a book you will want to read again and again, and again.

Veronica Jorge  

See you next time on April 22nd!

BLACK FOOD: STORIES, ART & RECIPES FROM ACROSS THE AFRICAN DIASPORA

INCIDENT AT SAN MIGUEL

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INCIDENT AT SAN MIGUEL

REFUGEE

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THE WITCH WHISPERER

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UPROOTED: THE JAPANESE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE DURING WORLD WAR II

THE ORPHANS OF BERLIN

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THE ORPHANS OF BERLIN

DISTANT RELATIONS

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DISTANT RELATIONS

FIVE BELLES TOO MANY

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FIVE BELLES TOO MANY

THE ONLY ROAD

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THE ONLY ROAD

THE LAST GOODNIGHT

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MIGUEL’S BRAVE KNIGHT

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MIGUEL’S BRAVE KNIGHT

FOUR CUTS TOO MANY

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FOUR CUTS TOO MANY

FORGIVING MARIELA CAMACHO

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FORGIVING MARIELA CAMACHO

FORGIVING STEPHEN REDMOND

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FORGIVING STEPHEN REDMOND

FORGIVING MAXIMO ROTHMAN

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FORGIVING MAXIMO ROTHMAN

MY FRIEND JACKSON

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MY FRIEND JACKSON

THREE TREATS TOO MANY

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THREE TREATS TOO MANY
SERIOUSLY, MOM, YOU DIDN’T KNOW?

SECRET RELATIONS

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TWO BITES TOO MANY

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#PLEASE SAY YES (#HermosafortheHolidays Book 1)

FOREIGN RELATIONS

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FOREIGN RELATIONS

ONE TASTE TOO MANY

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ONE TASTE TOO MANY

THE ALLIANCE

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THE ALLIANCE

A DRAKENFALL CHRISTMAS

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A DRAKENFALL CHRISTMAS
THE RELUCTANT GROOM AND OTHER HISTORICAL STORIES
THE DAY BAILEY DEVLIN PICKED UP A PENNY

THE SCRIBE OF SIENA

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THE SCRIBE OF SIENA
THE DAY BAILEY DEVLIN’S HOROSCOPE CAME TRUE

SEVERED RELATIONS

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SEVERED RELATIONS

A BIRD WILL SOAR

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A BIRD WILL SOAR

NEMESIS AND THE SWAN

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Dianna Sinovic, Featured Author

March 21, 2024 by in category Featured Author of the Month tagged as , , ,

Author of the Month: Dianna Sinovic

picture of dianna sinovic

Dianna is a contributing author in the last three anthologies from The Bethlehem Writers Group, An Element of Mystery: Sweet, Funny and Strange Tales of Intrigue, Fur, Feathers, and Scales, Sweet, Funny Animal Tales and Untethered, Sweet, Funny & Strange Tales of the Paranormal. She has also contributed stories for the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable ezine, including “In the Delivery.”

Born and raised in the Midwest, Dianna has also lived in three other quadrants of the U.S. She writes short stories and poetry, and is working on a full-length novel about a young woman in search of her long-lost brother.

She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Horror Writers Association, The American Medical Writers Association, and The Bethlehem Writers Group, LLC.

Dianna also has a regular column here on A Slice of Orange, titled Quill and Moss, in which she frequently includes short fiction.

Below, you can also listen to Dianna read her short story, “Cold Front” from the GLVWG Writes Stuff anthology.


Other books by Dianna Sinovic


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