Friday, April 9, 2021

He'll Be Waiting by Liz Alterman

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Liz Alterman will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

What would you do to remember? What would you give to forget?

When Tess Porter agrees to pick up her boyfriend’s college pal at the airport on a snowy December night, she has no idea she’s about to embark on the most dangerous ride of her life.

Two days later, the 17-year-old wakes up in a hospital with broken bones, unable to remember how she got there. Her parents are acting strange, and neither James, her boyfriend, nor her best friend, Izzy, has visited.

As she struggles to physically recover, Tess wrestles with haunting questions: What happened? Will her memory ever return? And what if she’s better off not recalling any of it?

Read an Excerpt

In my hand is a beautiful silver pocket watch on a long, delicate chain. It looks antique, but it’s been polished and shined to appear almost new again. 5:05 it reads. How can it be that late already? I glance at the clock on the mantle. 4:05. It’s been in there since before Daylight Saving Time ended in early November. But how did it get there? Who gave it to Mom? It’s ticking in my hand. A truth bomb. I read the note once more.

“I’m counting the minutes until we’re together again. I’m hoping you’re doing the same.” I study it. No loops or swirls. This isn’t a woman’s script. Aside from the fact that someone is pretty eager to see Mom again, what does this mean? I haven’t a clue, but I do know this: That is not my father’s handwriting..

About the Author:
Liz Alterman lives in New Jersey with her husband and three sons. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Parents, McSweeney's, and other publications. She spends most days microwaving the same cup of coffee and looking up synonyms.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

She's the One Who Cares Too Much by S.R. Cronin

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. S. R. Cronin will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Coral, the second of seven sisters, has been hiding her affair with the perfect man until her older sister can get her life together. But the perfect man is getting impatient and now she’s gotten pregnant. Coral decides it’s time to consider her own happiness.

But what does she want? The perfect husband turns out to be less than ideal. She adores the small children she teaches but the idea of being a mother fills her with joy. Meanwhile, her homeland is gripped by fear of a Mongol invasion and she can’t stop crying about everything now that she’s with child.

Then a friend suggests the ever-caring Coral possesses a power well beyond what she or anyone else imagines. Does she? And why is the idea so appealing?

When Coral’s big sister loses faith in the army and decides to craft a way to use magic to save Ilari from the Mongols, she decides Coral’s formidable talent is what the realm needs. Can Coral raise a baby, placate an absent military husband who thinks he’s stopping the invasion, and help her sister save her homeland?

Read an Excerpt:

I didn’t expect Davor to stay, but he spent two nights at the farm. He made a noticeable effort to converse with my father, and my father made the same effort back.

“So, you must have been the one who named your daughters,” Davor said, not realizing there were family controversies hidden in the topic.

“I named most of them.” Dad wasn’t going to give details. Mom felt otherwise.

“He started the whole thing off by naming Ryalgar after some obscure rock,” she said.

“A perfectly lovely red mineral often found in mines,” he interjected.

“So I named our second daughter after the beautiful peach-colored necklace from Persia he bought me when we were married. The stone is the color of a soft setting sun.”

“Coral is not a stone. It’s organic. It comes from sea creatures.”

Davor maintained a vacant smile as they argued.

“Then he got even by naming the next child Sulphur. Horrible name. Horrible smell. My sweet daughter.”

Everyone turned to Sulphur. She shrugged. “I like my name. No one else has it.”

We were lucky my fourth sister, Olivine, brought in more wine and some fruit and cheese to nibble on while we waited for the meal.

About the Author:
Sherrie Cronin is the author of a collection of six speculative fiction novels known as 46. Ascending and is now in the process of publishing a historical fantasy series called The War Stories of the Seven Troublesome Sisters. A quick look at the synopses of her books makes it obvious she is fascinated by people achieving the astonishing by developing abilities they barely knew they had.

She’s made a lot of stops along the way to writing these novels. She’s lived in seven cities, visited forty-six countries, and worked as a waitress, technical writer, and geophysicist. Now she answers a hot-line. Along the way, she’s lost several cats but acquired a husband who still loves her and three kids who’ve grown up just fine, both despite how odd she is.

All her life she has wanted to either tell these kinds of stories or be Chief Science Officer on the Starship Enterprise. She now lives and writes in the mountains of Western North Carolina, where she admits to occasionally checking her phone for a message from Captain Picard, just in case.

Author Social Media Links:

Author Blog:
Book Series Blog:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 5, 2021

The Place Beyond Her Dreams by Oby Aligwekwe

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/ gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Welcome to It's Raining Books. If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be?

Invisibility. I could sneak into places, learn secrets, make an escape and take what I want without being seen. Anything anyone can achieve with any other ability you can imagine, I can achieve with being invisible.

What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to learn about you?

I used to design and sew for myself and friends in university. I even had paid clients.

When writing descriptions of your hero/ine, what feature do you start with?

Usually their eyes.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Definitely a panster. The characters tell me what to do.

Did you learn anything from writing this book? If so, what?

In the course of writing The Place Beyond Her Dreams, as I interacted with people, I got to learn more about the challenges young people are facing with regards to finding meaning in life. I also learned more ways to share and provide guidance through a story.

“We are most courageous at our weakest; when we believe we have faced what we fear the most and have nothing more to lose.”

At the sudden death of her grandfather, Ona’s pain transports her to mystical Luenah—a place of infinite possibilities, free of turf wars and other ills that plague the earthly dimension she lives in. In Luenah, where her grandfather awaits her, Ona learns she is an Eri, one bestowed with unique intuitive and spiritual gifts passed down from generation-to-generation.

On her eighteenth birthday, she returns to Luenah and is handed a box to deposit her ‘exchange’ for love and happiness—her great desires.

Burdened by her quest, Ona crosses paths with danger and heartbreak as the two men that love her dearly are viciously pitted against each other. As evil looms, she learns that dreams carry a hefty price, and no one is who they seem. Now, she must unmask the villain and save the one she loves, even at the risk of losing everything she holds dear.

Set against the backdrop of two warring towns, Oby Aligwekwe’s Young Adult debut—told from the viewpoint of her main character—is inspired by her West African heritage, fables, and spiritual beliefs. Ona’s journey reveals the power of choice, the true source of happiness, and, most importantly, the transformation one must go through to realize and eventually occupy their purpose.

Read an Excerpt

Death was nothing new to me as living with my grandparents gave me the experience of witnessing village elders passing away. My grandfather was always in attendance to support families who had lost loved ones, and I sometimes accompanied him. Unlike the others, his death was more than a passing experience. This was no ordinary man. This was my Papa—a six-foot-six gentle giant, the head of our family. Since my grandfather was a chief, layers of rites were performed in keeping with the tradition of Ntebe. All the other chiefs in the town, twenty in total, lined up in their full chiefly regalia to pay homage to their fallen comrade. For a full twenty minutes, they danced and made ritualistic sounds around the casket that bore the body of my grandfather. I remember being in complete awe of their attires and flamboyant displays.

They placed the casket in the ground at midday. I stood next to my grandmother and my parents at the graveside. My parents had been in Ntebe since the day before. For the first time that day, I saw a physical reaction from my grandmother. Wailing from deep within her lungs, she threatened to throw herself into the six-foot grave if my grandfather didn’t return to her. As the gravediggers worked desperately to cover the hole with a mound of red dirt, a group of men tried to prevent her from jumping in.

“Stop her!” I heard several people screaming.

Since I had always known her to be dramatic, I doubted she was going to carry out her threat. And I was right. As gunshots to commemorate the occasion tore through the air, my grandmother abandoned her display and ran for cover.

About the Author:
Oby Aligwekwe is the author of Nfudu and Hazel House. The Place Beyond Her Dreams is her Young Adult debut.

Oby’s first novel, Nfudu, a romance set in 1960’s Paris, received critical acclaim and was featured in publications such as Excellence Magazine and Mosaic Editions. Her second novel, Hazel House, paints a vivid portrait of how the needs of humans collide amidst intense desire and the quest for power. In her Young Adult debut, The Place Beyond Her Dreams, the protagonist Ona goes on a transformative journey to discover her purpose.

A talented writer, Oby is also an inspirational speaker and a chartered accountant. She lives in Oakville, Ontario, with her family and supports her community through her charity Éclat Beginnings.

When Oby is not working on her day job or whipping up stories, she enjoys traveling to exotic locations and bringing pieces of her travel with her. She lives in Oakville, Ontario, with her family and supports her community through her charity Éclat Beginnings.

Amazon author page URL -
Barnes and Noble Author URL -

BN Buy Link:
Amazon Buy Link:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Eat Your Heart Out by Shirley Goldberg

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Shirley Goldberg will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

When a tyrant in stilettos replaces her beloved boss, and her ex snags her coveted job, teacher Dana Narvana discovers there are worse things than getting dumped on Facebook. Time for the BFF advice squad. Alex—hunky colleague, quipster, and cooking pal extraordinaire is Dana’s staunchest ally. So what’s with the smooching after hours? And why won’t this grown man make up his mind?

Actor turned teacher Alex Bethany craves a family of his own. Newly hotified, he’s now got the confidence to try online dating. Meanwhile he’s sending Dana mixed messages in the kissing department. After a surprising event rocks his world, Alex panics, certain he’s blown his chances with his special person. Funny and bittersweet, Dana and Alex’s story will have you rooting for them all the way to dessert.

Read an Excerpt

Alex trotted inside to pay. Dana stood in the aisle ahead of him, drinking coffee from a Smiley’s container, her back to him.

What the hell, he’d give it a whirl. “Hey Dana, nice to see you.”

She turned. Her expectant look morphed into confusion.

Why hadn’t he changed after his trip to the mall? He pulled the T-shirt tighter by stuffing it into the back waistband of his shorts and leaned an elbow on the counter. The casual look. “I thought I saw you fondling the peaches. With Sunny and Noelle. One minute you’re there, next you’re gone.”

Irritation crossed her face. She checked her watch.

“You don’t have a clue about who I am, do you?” She’ll recognize me. I’ll make her see me. The stubborn gene from his grandmother.

“Let me give you a hint.” He cleared his throat and bounced on his heels as if limbering up for a sprint. “Cha-cha-cha changes,” he sang like a demented fool. Then repeated the refrain.

Heat rose in her face and he watched, fascinated as a drop of sweat slid down her neck into the V of her blouse. He stopped as suddenly as he’d begun. What the hell are you doing?

“Look, I’ve got to run.”

She was gone before he could explain, apologize…or cover his face with a paper bag.

About the Author:
Shirley Goldberg is a writer, novelist, and former ESL and French teacher who’s lived in Paris, Crete, and Casablanca. She writes about men and women of a certain age starting over. Her website offers a humorous look at living single. Her books FINISH THIS and dating in mid life, and her friends like to guess which stories are true. Eat Your Heart Out is the second book in the series Starting Over. Middle Ageish, the first, is available now. Her characters believe you should never leave home without your sense of humor and Shirley agrees.

Contact Links:


Purchase Links for Eat Your Heart Out

Barnes and Noble:

Purchase Links for Middle Ageish, 1st book in series

Barnes and Noble:
Google: Kobo:

va Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Mom and Dad's Martinis by Jacelyn Cane

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jacelyn Cane will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Jacelyn Cane's mom and dad liked their martinis dry: straight gin on the rocks with a dab of vermouth and a hint of water - and they liked them often. They also liked to party; they danced, socialized, and drank - they were good at all three. Sometimes this behaviour led to humorous situations - antics in the pool, at the club, the cottage or in the car, for example. Other times, however, the experiences were not so funny - family fights and times of neglect, trauma, and abuse. By weaving together a series of episodes that take the reader to light and dark places, author Jacelyn Cane tells a poignant cautionary tale for anyone affected by alcoholism and/or family struggles. The author is using a pseudonym and most of the names in the book have been changed to protect people's identities. "Mom and Dad's Martinis: A Memoir" is a great read for anyone who has experienced a childhood mixed with joy as well as sorrow. It is a story of love, acceptance, forgiveness, and hope.

Read an Exclusive Excerpt

Mom and Dad had been dating for about a year when Dad graduated and found a job that required him to relocate to Montreal. The separation was difficult for both of them. Dad was spending a fortune on phone calls to Mom every night, and Mom felt an aching lump of loneliness in her stomach. In time, he started coming back to Toronto to see her every weekend. It wasn’t long before they became engaged and made plans for a wedding at Timothy Eaton Memorial Church in Toronto’s Forest Hill where Mom had been a member of the congregation since she was a child.

It was a crisp fall day, and, as Mom stood shivering in her white satin and lace gown on the front steps of the church, Mary handed her the flowing bouquet of white roses. Dad and his six attendants wore tails. Mom had five bridesmaids and a flower girl who all wore full-length olive-green velvet and satin dresses and velvet pill box hats. My parents wed on October 13th, 1951.

It was a dry reception - not because my grandfather didn’t drink, but because he didn’t want to spend money on the bar. It was held in the Imperial Room at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto. One hundred and fifty guests dined and danced in the magnificent dining room with its full-length windows, elaborate ceiling, beautiful wooden dance floor, and stage for the band.

The reception was suddenly interrupted when Princess Elizabeth arrived at the hotel with full security detail.

“Dot, Princess Elizabeth is here. She’s pulling up at the front door now. Let’s go.”

“Princess Elizabeth, here? I’ve got to see this!” Mom stopped dancing with her father and, along with dozens of wedding guests, ran out of the Imperial Room to catch a glimpse. Out by the front door, she spotted the princess’s car. “Hoist me up.” Mom yanked her wedding dress up around her hips and, with the help of her friends, dragged herself up onto one of the enormous flowerpots at the front door of the hotel. “Here she comes. She’s coming! Princess Elizabeth, over here! Hello, Princess Elizabeth. It’s my wedding day.” My mother stood in the flowerpot, with her white satin shoes in the soil, delighted to see the princess up close. Dad was standing behind Mom, silently enjoying her kooky spirit.

About the Author:
Jacelyn Cane was born and raised in Toronto. She lives with her husband, and near her three children and step-daughter. She is a retired elementary school teacher who also worked in social justice education with the United Church of Canada. She has worked in theatre and as a reporter. She was educated in Toronto, earning a B.A. in Political Science and an M.A. in Canadian History from York University. Later, she earned a B. Ed. at the University of Toronto. She is passionately involved in numerous social justice issues such as climate crisis concerns and Indigenous rights. She loves meditating, writing, reading, music, laughing, and being around nature. She is motivated by a deep sense of spirituality. Her number one love, however, is being with family and friends.


Buy Links:;jsessionid=35317AFA4CB43BE3A32DFB3DDB3E62C8.prodny_store01-va11

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Midnight Masquerade by Anya Summers

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Anya Summers will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Sophia is in trouble. Again.

Maybe it’s the masks. Maybe she needs to feel something other than regret. Whatever the reason, she is either daring… or foolish… when she trades places with another submissive, and ends up spending the night in her mysterious boss’s bed.

He doesn’t recognize her, but now she’s had him, she knows one taste of his dark love will never be enough.

Gabriel Ryan has one firm rule: don’t sleep with employees.

Even though he’s infuriated beyond measure to discover Sophia in his bed after a night of mind-blowing pleasure, she is now in his blood. He craves her. Needs her. Yearns for her surrender.

But she is forbidden. He will break her with his dark desires.

When Sophia’s dangerous past waltzes into his club, Gabriel must protect her. He must claim her. And break every single one of his rules to keep her safe.

Read an Excerpt

By the time he ventured down into the Eros Pit, his exclusive, members only BDSM club hidden a floor beneath Eternal Eros, he was in no mood to play. It had been a spectacularly long day at the office. Shame, really, that his mind and body weren’t on board, given the submissive bounty in his club.

But tonight, he would participate in the event, under threats and orders by Sophia. He sighed over the fact that he could deny the woman little. And she had badgered him from the start about joining in the events each month, until he finally yielded.

Granted, that might have had something to do with the way she had stood in his office earlier today, her hands on her lush hips, a fierce scowl on her face and a glimmer in her eyes that told him that she would forcibly escort him if needed.

He’d folded like a house of cards while ignoring what the sight of her in his office did to him and his libido. Gabe refused to let his dick do his thinking for him, no matter how much Sophia stirred him.

In the elevator, he adjusted the black mask covering his face. He’d not changed into a costume, as much as his event coordinator had pestered him to wear one. The woman had gone so far as to have a costume made for him. But he couldn’t see himself prancing around in the dandy seventeenth century garb, not even to make her happy. Instead, he had stuck with his black suit and navy-blue tie. His one concession, besides his willingness to participate tonight, was the mask covering the top half of his face.

And the mask was all Sophia would get out of him.

The mood in the Eros Pit most nights tended to be more subdued—with the extra added elements of scenes in progress and muted music—than the club upstairs. That was by design on his part. At least, it usually was more laid back, with scenes at various stations and the occasional high-pitched moans from submissives. But tonight, with the masquerade event, the air in the Eros Pit held a thrill of excitement. Submissives in their exotic costumes were grouped together, talking excitedly, wondering who they would end up with for the night.

All participating Doms had been given a station in one of the scene areas or private rooms a floor down. Then the submissives, in their erotic ball wear, selected from a bowl a marker with the scene area and Dom listed. The submissive would head to the scene area or private room upon selection, and then the Dom would join them once all the selections were made.

It was a rather brilliant strategy and way of introducing unattached Doms and submissives to one another. In participating, they were agreeing to scene with another for the night—and possibly more, depending on the connection.

And the place was packed to the gills tonight.

Scanning the crowd, Gabe discovered that even his rapscallion brothers were in attendance—and had gotten into the spirit of the event, given their costumes, or most of them had, anyhow. Dean was a no show, but that had been the norm the last few months.

The submissive selection process was already in progress, with peals of laughter and squeals of delight from the women. It was arranged so that by midnight, all the submissives would be at their stations. With time to kill before he went to his private room, Gabe made his way through the throng to his private section of the club. Most nights there were available subs standing near the black velvet rope separating his section of the club, or sitting at one of the booths or tables nearby with the hope that either he or one of his brothers would give them a nod and join them. Yet, this evening, all those subs were dressed in costume and waiting in line to select their Dom..

About the Author:
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Anya grew up listening to Cardinals baseball and reading anything she could get her hands on. She remembers her mother saying if only she would read the right type of books instead binging her way through the romance aisles at the bookstore, she’d have been a doctor. While Anya never did get that doctorate, she graduated cum laude from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with an M.A. in History.

Anya is a bestselling and award-winning author published in multiple fiction genres. She also writes urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and contemporary romance under the name Maggie Mae Gallagher. A total geek at her core, when she is not writing, she adores attending the latest comic con or spending time with her family. She currently lives in the Midwest with her two furry felines.

Amazon Author Page:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Haunting in Old Tailem by Janice Tremayne

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Enter to win a print copy of the book. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Five Things You Might Not Know About Me

1. I like to visit haunted houses and I use a spirit box app on my phone to try and establish an energy source or presence. These haunted houses inspire me to write ghost stories and finding unique settings. There is many ghost towns in Australia that grew from boom-and-bust gold mines. It makes history so interesting in terms of people, their life struggles, disease, and death.

2. When I was about ten years old, I saw a ghost in my room. I was terrified, and I called for my parents. It was so real I have never forgotten about it after all this time. It was the ghost of a man in uniform kneeling in front of a fireplace. The ghost never looked at me, but it wasn’t threatening in any way—just disturbing for a child. When my parents came racing into the room it disappeared.

3. I am Australian and grew up in the city of Melbourne. That means I speak with an Aussie accent. “Good on ya mate! Let’s throw another shrimp on the barbie.”

4. Janice Tremayne is my pen name. I am a male author. I created Janice because I was changing genre and it made sense from a marketing perspective. I also wanted to keep my business life separate from writing. Most people are ok with me using a pen name—it does not seem to bother them. I hope it does not bother the readers of this blog.

5. When I wrote my first book in the horror genre, I did not know what I was doing. I had no idea of book marketing and building a readership (audience). I wasted a lot of time and marketing my first book as an unknown and without having a follow-up sequel to continue the relationship. One fundamental mistake after another.

An Australian Ghost town. A resident demon and a local Shaman. A confrontation with evil awaits.

Clarisse realizes that running from evil is not a bad idea until you figure out you can't hide. When some ghosts get tired of hanging around, they latch onto you. At the centre of the war on evil is a historic Church that carries dark secrets within its walls. After she meets with the local Shaman, Clarisse discovers secrets with evil consequences by digging too deep into the town’s past. When matters become complicated, she visits a circus of young performers on the outskirts of town triggering unexpected paranormal events and unleashing memories of a one-hundred-year curse. After being caught in the crossfire of a battle for evil supremacy, Clarisse confronts Little Charlie as he rallies the town's ghosts into an impeccable evil stronghold.

Can the local Shaman and townsfolk rally in her quest to defeat the evil incarnate or will the town succumb to Little Charlie and his evil crew?

Haunting in Old Tailem is the third book of the Haunting Clarisse Series. If you like spine-tingling, chilling, creepy and spooky supernatural thrillers, then you will love this story by 2020 USA Readers' Favorite International Book Awards Finalist in Supernatural Fiction, Janice Tremayne.

Pick up your copy today and follow Clarisse through her battles with evil!

Read an Excerpt

He hung with the rope around his neck, his tongue sticking out with a red-starved oxygen face. At the same time, he was smiling as though he was only having fun. Death was a reenactment that he had become accustomed to, to the point he thought it funny; a way of horrifying others and making them pay attention. He had a young mind—innocent and conditioned to get the attention of others. Little Charlie didn’t know whether he was dead or alive; far too young to understand. As far as he was concerned, tying a loop around his neck, jumping, and choking to death made him realize he felt no pain. He could do it over and over again.

Clarisse knew from her encounter in Hartley that Little Charlie was an attention seeker and someone who liked to cling onto you. That could explain how he had ended up in Old Tailem Town. Running away from evil might seem like a good idea at the time, but you could not hide.

“Come over here, Little Charlie. There is nothing to be afraid of,” she said.

He replied with a cheeky grin on his boyish face. His mousy brown hair thrown from side to side, he signaled with his right index finger, waving it left to right many times.

“Nuh-uh,” he mimed, his way of saying no.

About the Author:
Janice Tremayne is an Amazon bestselling and award-winning ghost and supernatural writer. Janice is a finalist in the Readers' Favorite 2020 International Book Awards in Fiction-Supernatural.

She is an emerging Australian author who lives with her family in Melbourne. Her recent publication, Haunting in Hartley, reached number one on the Amazon kindle ranking for Occult, Supernatural, and Ghosts and Haunted Houses categories, for hot new releases and bestsellers.

Janice is well-versed in her cultural superstitions and how they influence daily life and customs. She has developed a passion and style for writing ghost and supernatural novels for new adult readers.

The concept of writing the Haunting Clarisse series was spawned over a cup of coffee many years ago, and she has not looked back since. Her books contain heart-thumping, bone-chilling, and thought-provoking ghost and paranormal experiences that deliver a new twist to every tale.


Buy the series:
Buy Haunting in Old Tailem:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 29, 2021

The Salty Rose by Beth M. Caruso

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Beth M. Caruso will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Why do you write in your genre? What draws you to it?

I’ve always loved history, facts, and research, but there are also elements of magical realism in my books. Living in New England, history is all around me in the locations and homes of everyday life prompting curiosity toward the past. Even though I consider myself an intellectual, I am also quite aware and fascinated by the reality that there are some things in life we cannot understand through science or facts alone. This viewpoint allows for magic and spirituality to flow as a subtle undercurrent in my reality-based stories. It’s important to me to provide a space in my novels for not only an authentic historical background, but also for the less tangible and esoteric facets of life.

What research is required?

Writing historical novels requires a plethora of research into old archives and documents. The information provided by those sources is necessary to create an accurate historical timeline and cultural details of the era I am writing about. It was complicated to pull together details for The Salty Rose because I was describing the culture and customs of two distinct colonial empires—the English colonies of New England and the Dutch colony of New Netherland. I also pieced together the personal historical timelines of each character based on the real person they represented. All of these components need to fuse together seamlessly to maintain an accurate historical representation. With all this in mind, I then create fuller character profiles and use literary inventions to complete the story.

Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.

Marie du Trieux shows that it’s possible to be true to oneself while also having a generous heart. She teaches that peacekeepers should be acknowledged in a much bigger way than those who perpetuate war. Their actions save many from unnecessary suffering.

Do you have any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?

Astrological charts for characters. Yes, I’m serious. I know the rough birthdates or baptisms for some of my main characters who were adapted from real people. So why not see if my intuition fits what I find in a chart? It usually is very in line with their character development and enriches what I’ve already come up with based on the actions of the historical figures turned into characters in my novels.

Are you a plotter or pantser?

Plotter. My novels are complex and follow a background of historical and detailed events. I can’t do this kind of writing without a concrete structure to follow. However, that doesn’t mean that characters can’t change course within that structure.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

The spirit of my father Joe Caruso. We were extremely close. He encouraged me and loved hearing my stories as I developed my first novel One of Windsor: The Untold Story of America’s First Witch Hanging. Sadly, he was very ill at the time it was published and died just a couple of weeks later. He never got to read it. However, I always feel him near me, continuing to cheer me on. He was a chemist and The Salty Rose: Alchemists, Witches and A Tapper In New Amsterdam is in large part about alchemy, the beginnings of modern chemistry. I know he would have been fascinated.

Anything new coming up from you? What?

The next novel in progress is very dear to my heart as it involves the legend of a kidnapping on the Sicilian side of my family. Again, it’s a way to be close to my dear dad since his passing and learn more about the culture he came from and what he was passionate about. As I research, I’m also learning Italian and meeting family members from afar who are helping me to understand the cultural significance of the customs in this story. And, my more metaphysical nature urged me to write a ghost story. The outline for it is complete, but the writing has not yet begun.

Do you have a question for our readers?
Would you like to learn more about early colonial history in the form of an enticing novel full of witch trials, mystical alchemists, and a fiercely independent rebel rouser and tavern keeper named Marie du Trieux? Have you ever heard of the Connecticut Witch Trials? Surprisingly, most Americans have not. What topics would you, dear readers, also love to have discussed in future novels?

Thank you so much for this time at It’s Raining Books. I hope you found this information to be interesting.

Marie du Trieux, a tavern keeper with a salty tongue and a heart of gold, struggles as she navigates love and loss, Native wars, and possible banishment by authorities in the unruly trading port of New Amsterdam, an outpost of the Dutch West India Company.

In New England, John Tinker, merchant and assistant to a renowned alchemist and eventual leader of Connecticut Colony, must come to terms with a family tragedy of dark proportions, all the while supporting his mentor’s secret quest to find the Northwest Passage, a desired trading route purported to mystically unite the East with the West.

As the lives of Marie and John become intertwined through friendship and trade, a search for justice of a Dutch woman accused of witchcraft in Hartford puts them on a collision course affecting not only their own destinies but also the fate of colonial America.

Read an Excerpt

“Marie. Enough of this! Go roll out another barrel to tap. We are already out. These ravenous sailors will drink us dry with their unending thirst. And, think about minding your manners with the wealthy man at the window table,” Mr. Couwenhoven scolded me as he glared in the man’s direction.

The tavern was humming with activity, encased in a cloud of smoke and overflowing with not only beer but also boisterous laughter that night.

I’d rebuffed a lecherous traveler again. My mistake was that he was a repeat customer and one who had a little wealth to spread around.

“What shall I do? Let the letch grab me? You ask too much of me,” I retorted. “Certainly, you understand I must protect myself against some of these animals,” I emphasized.

Mr. Van Couwenhoven was a hideous man, only thinking of his coin.

“Listen to me quite well, you little Walloon,” he retorted as his chubby face reddened with anger. “I’m giving you a chance to have a living, but you will end mine if you are not a little more lenient with my good customers! I don’t care if you unleash that sharp tongue of yours with the foolish rogue sailors who are too drunk to remember what you say, but you will not chase away my better clientele. You understand me? Be polite!” he yelled.

I looked at Van Couwenhoven’s son, Pieter, nodding as he raised his eyebrows at me, motioning to the back.

“Yes. For you, I can be ever so lenient,” I said under my breath, staring into Pieter’s bright blue eyes.

My heart raced a little at the chance to meet Pieter in the back. It was hard for me to take my eyes off his handsome cherub-like face, a face that hid the personality of a little rascal.

Mr. Van Couwenhoven ordered me to the storeroom one more time, not wanting to lose business.

“Marie, I said to go get another barrel of beer from the back. Do as I say!” Mr. Van Couwenhoven ordered me.

As mad as he was, he still liked me. It was worse when his wife was around too. The husband was greedy but only resented me if I got in the way of profits. His wife was another story. I knew she’d despise me once she got wind of my budding romance with her son.

About the Author:Award-winning author, Beth M. Caruso, is passionate to discover and convey important and interesting stories of women from earlier times. She recently won the literary prize in Genre Fiction (2020) from IPNE (Independent Publishers of New England) for her most recent novel The Salty Rose: Alchemists, Witches & A Tapper In New Amsterdam (2019). The Salty Rose is Beth’s second historical novel and explores alchemy in early colonial times, an insider’s view of the takeover of the Dutch colony of New Netherland, and the Hartford Witch Panic with information she gathered from previous and ongoing research. Beth’s first historical novel is One of Windsor: The Untold Story of America’s First Witch Hanging (2015), a novel that tells the tale of Alice ‘Alse’ Young and the beginnings of the colonial witch trials. She based the story on original research she did by exploring early primary sources such as early Windsor land records, vital statistics, and other documents. She lives in Connecticut with her family. Beth kayaks and gardens to unwind.


a Rafflecopter giveaway